Fondly, Pennsylvania is a joint blog of HSP's archives, conservation, and digitization departments. Here you will find posts on our latest projects and newest discoveries, as well as how we care for, describe, and preserve our collections. Whether you are doing research or just curious to know more about the behind-the-scenes work that goes on at HSP, please read, explore, and join the conversation!
Poetry fans wishing to mark the 125th anniversary of the passing of Walt Whitman - he died March 26, 1892 - should consider a trip across the Delaware to visit his Camden home.
New York rightly claims him as a native son, as Whitman grew up on Long Island and in Brooklyn. But as is the wont of bards, wanderlust drew him across the country.
At the height of the Civil War, Whitman made it to Washington, D.C., and worked as a nurse, providing cheer and doling out gifts of preserves and tobacco to his "dear comrades."
“Philadelphia has the finest orchestra I have ever heard at any time or any place in my whole life. I don’t know that I would be exaggerating if I said that it is the finest orchestra the world has ever heard.”
This post is courtesy of Faye Allard-Glass, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the Community College of Philadelphia, who will be moderating Becoming U.S. – Age and Assimilation, a free program exploring the many ways age and generational status affect immigration and assimilation experiences.
As crowds line the route of this year's St. Patrick's Day parade, consider the story of Irish immigration through the prism of the Union Army's Irish Brigade.
First some background. When many Americans think of Irish immigration, imaginations flock to the 19th century's crush of humanity chased from the Emerald Isle by famine and political oppression. But this forgets the early contributions of the "sons of Erin" in the nation's founding.
Nearly 3½ centuries ago this weekend, a pacifist became the world’s largest crown-less landowner. On March 4, 1681, British monarch Charles II granted William Penn a charter for lands in the New World and “thus was a Quaker raised to sovereign power,” quipped the French philosopher Voltaire.
The following article was written by HSP volunteer Randi Kamine and is being posted on her behalf.
"My Dearest X.Y.Z. I want to tell you everything that has occurred lately and I want you to ask me questions which I am bound to answer.” So begins the first entry in the diary written by Selina Richards Schroeder in early 1889."
With the resignation of Michael Flynn and recent uptick in Ukrainian unrest, Russia has infiltrated news feeds across the United States. A hundred years ago, the Eurasian country garnered perhaps as many American headlines. As we approach the centennial of the Russian Revolution's outbreak, consider a mysterious local connection to the upheaval's royal victims, the Romanovs.
First some background. Ravaged by 21/2 years of fighting in the First World War, Tsar Nicholas II's Russia was in a bad way by February 1917. Battlefield disasters mounted as bread queues grew.
Nearly 175 years before President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, four Germantown Friends launched the first formal protest against human bondage in North America.
Penned in 1688 by Francis Daniel Pastorius – the founder of Germantown – the protest is peculiar among Quaker texts in its lack of direct references to God. Instead, Pastorius denounces the “traffick of men-body” with practical arguments and appeals to empathy. Unlike Lincoln’s later proclamation, it is simple, human.
History is a mystery, especially for events that occurred more than 100 years ago. With no one around who was a witness, the evidence is often sketchy at best. A newspaper article, a photograph, a letter – each piece only whets the appetite by offering a tantalizing clue.
Historians, like real life Sherlock Holmeses, search out all the evidence they can find and then apply their honed skills of reasoning to create an interpretation of what happened. Even then, they don’t always have all the right information – and they may come to incorrect conclusions.
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