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Like many archival repositories, the Moravian Archives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, opens its reading room to those wishing to study its holdings. Scholars researching papers, family historians investigating their genealogy, and church leaders seeking information on their congregations: all are...
Because of the constraints of photography in the art form’s early days, photographs of the Civil War tended to be either posed portraits, camp scenes, or—most haunting of all—images of a battle’s aftermath. Taken days or even weeks after the violent events had passed into history, the aftermath...
Among the first to purchase property when Mount Tabor, New Jersey, opened as a Methodist summer camp meeting ground in 1869 was Benjamin Foster Britten of Jersey City. Like many Victorian-era city dwellers escaping the summer heat by attending open-air religious revivals, Britten traveled to Mount...
When photographer Timothy O’Sullivan (1840-1882) accompanied Lieutenant George Montague Wheeler on his “United States Geographical Surveys West of the One Hundredth Meridian” between 1871 and 1874, he crossed California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Idaho, and New Mexico with a portable darkroom, pulled...
Although his books would eventually earn him an international reputation as the father of American ornithology, Alexander Wilson (1766-1813) began his publishing career as an unsuccessful poet. Throughout his late teens and early twenties, he wandered his native Scotland, peddling poetry. He gained...
Walk through West Philadelphia toward 39th Street and Woodland Avenue, and you’ll come across a landscape set apart from the industrial and residential areas that characterize much of the city. The Woodlands cemetery looks the same as it did in the 1840s, when Eli K. Price decided to build it on a...
Even before he was old enough to officially rule France and the territories the nation had acquired throughout the world, King Louis XV knew his geography. He was eight years old when Guillaume Delisle, the great mapmaker who pioneered scientific cartography, took the position of Royal Geographer...
As the colonies prepared for a revolution in 1775, Pennsylvania faced a conflict of its own. Dissatisfaction with its conservative governing body, which had not supported any proposals for independence, had led to the formation of local “committees” that were demanding major change. In June 1776,...