Map of the Public Ground Around the State Capitol (1827)

“Draught of Sundry levellings and gradings of the public ground around the State Capitol,” dated 1827, offers a firsthand look at a proposal for sculpting the land surrounding the building in Harrisburg, which had been dedicated five years earlier. The plan bears notations giving detailed instructions for the work, including the volume of earth to be removed. The document also...
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Minutes of the Provincial Council, 1727

The name of Madame Montour first appears in the Minutes of the Provincial Council on July 3, 1727, when she served as the interpreter for Deputy Governor Patrick Gordon, in office from 1726 to 1736, who met with various chiefs of the Cayuga, Conestoga, and Conoy tribes assembled at Philadelphia. The Cayuga had requested the meeting with Gordon on behalf of the Five Nations of the Iroquois...
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Old Rights Warrant to First Purchaser Humphrey Morrey

William Penn granted Old Rights Warrant D-69-63 on “23 Fifth Month [July] 1683” to Humphrey Morrey (circa 1650–1716), a prominent Quaker slave owner residing in New York, for 250 acres of land in Philadelphia County. As a First Purchaser, Morrey also received three Philadelphia town lots. Within two years, by August 1685, he had acquired several additional town lots and erected a large timber...
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Black Hand with Italian Inscription

The History File of the Game Commission Library (Series 39.2) of the Records of the Game Commission (RG-39), held by the Pennsylvania State Archives, contains extensive materials relating to the tenure of the Game Commission’s first secretary, Joseph Kalbfus (1852–1919). In dramatic contrast to early private conservation efforts, these records reveal the perils — including murder — associated...
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Chestnut Tree Blight Disease Commission

Not all of the records relating to forestry in Pennsylvania were created by large permanent state agencies such as the Department of Forests and Waters (see “Reviving — and Revising — the Reputation of Ralph Elwood Brock” by Rachel L. Jones Williams in the fall 2007 issue). A 1912 diagram accompanying a field inspection report for the Mahoning Valley in Carbon County, for example, is among the...
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The Ring of the Nibelung Hand-Colored Plate

Many Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects initiated under FDR’s New Deal resulted in a long term legacy (see “An Activist Government in Harrisburg: Governor George H. Earle III and Pennsylvania’s ‘Little New Deal'” by Kenneth C. Wolensky in this issue). This is particularly true with regard to the WPA materials contained in Record Group 13, Records of the...
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Museum Extension Project Model Makers at Work

A photograph labeled “Model makers at work” graphically documents workers employed by Pennsylvania’s State-Wide Museum Extension Project (MEP) creating a large-scale model of Independence Hall. The MEP operated under the direction of the Professional and Service Division of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) that funded the creation of architectural models, costume plates, dioramas,...
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Pennsylvania German Lemon Pie Recipe

A recipe for lemon pie is one of a number of traditional Pennsylvania German recipes contained in Manuscript Group 514, Rupp Family Papers, recently acquired by the Pennsylvania State Archives. The new accession documents five generations of the Rupp family of Cumberland County descended from Johanes Jonas Rupp, born in 1729 in the Duchy of Baden and who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1751. First...
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Pennsbury Manor Architectural Drawing

Works of art featured in “Rediscovering the People’s Art: New Deal Murals in Pennsylvania’s Post Offices” by David Lembeck, beginning on page 28, are some examples of the legacy of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal in Pennsylvania. Another is the reconstruction of William Penn’s Pennsbury Manor overlooking the banks of the Delaware River in Bucks County. A popular attraction along...
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“Mackin’s Porch” Ballad by Con Carbon

The working files of the Pennsylvania Historical Survey [circa 1935–1950], Series 13.108, conducted by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) as part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, are held by the Pennsylvania State Archives. They consist of 133 cartons, five boxes, seventy-nine microfilm rolls, forty folders, seven volumes, and one bundle of materials. Among these diverse...
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