Letters presents readers' comments and reactions to specific articles in Pennsylvania Heritage, the initiatives of PHMC, and other developments in the historical, cultural and museum communities of Pennsylvania.

You Can Go Home Again!

I so enjoyed the interview with James Michener in your winter 1993 edition (see “You Can Go Home Again: An Interview With James A. Michener” by Michael J. O’Malley III), which gave me a fascinating new insight into the life of this complex and great writer. I had been aware of his intense interest in art and artists, but prior to this interview, I had little knowledge of this lovely man’s life. I am grateful to you for your probing questions and the splendid answers Mr. Michener gave. His portrait which opens the article is simply outstanding, as are your selections of various paintings to supplement the interview. I also had no idea of the tremendous amount of money and paintings he and his wife have donated to so many institutions to enrich all of our lives. Yes, a great and sensitive man of many facets. My congratulations on a wonderful and insightful interview.

Gloria M. Hoffman
Hometown, Pa.

It was a great pleasure to read the winter 1993 issue featuring the interview with James Michener. We lived in Doyles­town from 1955 to 1983 and still love to discuss and read about the area’s history. Every­time we look at the painting of our residence on Swamp Road, which was built in 1735, it rekindles our interest. Upon reading the article I immediately ordered copies for our four daughters who love the area as much as we do.

Jack Mowry
North East, Pa.

I very much enjoyed Michael J. O’Malley III’s interview with James Michener. The photo­graphs and reproductions of the paintings are wonderful. Until this interview, I was not familiar with many of the artists, and now I do like their work. As mixed as my feelings are about great wealth, I do admire people like Mr. and Mrs. Michener who preserve valuable works of art with their wealth. The preparation for such a fascinating inter­view must have taken great thought and much time. Thank you!

Georgia Westervelt
New Ipswich, N.H.

Just a brief note to commend you on the quality of your interview with James Michener. While the New Hope School and Michener’s books have little to do with Dauphin County, I was entranced by the interview with this dean of American writing and premier collector of American regional paint­ings. The article covered an extensive range of topics without giving short shrift to any one area. You are to be commended for bringing out the best of this amazing gentleman, as well as for conveying a tremendous amount of information within the context of a single article.

Peter S. Seibert
Harrisburg, Pa.

Peter S. Seibert is the executive director of the Historical Society of Dauphin County, Harrisburg, which administers the John Harris Mansion.


Dynamic Duo

I very much enjoyed the fall 1992 issue of Pennsylvania Heritage. It is always a treat because I learn something new about our Commonwealth and its wonderful people. In Wayne L. Trotta’s article, “James Wilson: Forgotten Founding Father,” I was surprised to find Wilson paired with James Madison, Jr., as a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Madison was not even elected to the Continental Congress until 1780. Certainly it is correct to term Wilson and Madison a “dynamic duo” in the writing of the U.S. Constitution. Chadwick Allen Harp’s “The Tax Collector of Bower Hill” is a vivid account of Gen. John Neville’s travails with the Whiskey Rebels. Neville must have felt redeemed when he was honored later in life to entertain the due d’Orleans and his brothers during their visit to America; the due would become Louis Philippe, King of France from 1830 to 1848. Likewise, the old general was probably justly proud of his son Presley for marrying Nancy, daughter of fellow general and leader of the Revolutionary War, Daniel Morgan. Thank you for enriching our lives with Pennsylvania Heritage.

David C. G. Dutcher
Philadelphia, Pa.

David C. G. Dutcher is chief historian for Independence National Historical Park. A regular contributor of rare images to Pennsylvania Heritage, he and his wife Joan, who is coordinating the centennial activities for the National Park Service at Valley Forge National Historical Park, are the subjects of an interview by William C. Kashatus III that will appear in a future edition.