Historic fife orchestrates the Battle of Lake Erie

Historic fife orchestrates the Battle of Lake Erie

The grog ration being served out, drums and fifes struck up the thrilling air “all hands, all hands, to quarters”, calling all to their respective stations. So wrote Usher Parsons, Surgeon’s Mate onboard the U.S. Brig Lawrence, describing the onset of the Battle of Lake Erie, a turning point in the War of 1812 and …

Continue reading ‘Historic fife orchestrates the Battle of Lake Erie’ »

World War I medals honor soldier’s sacrifice

World War I medals honor soldier’s sacrifice

Memorial Day, as the day has come to be known, traces its origins to the American Civil War. People observed the day, initially known as Decoration Day, by decorating the graves of Union soldiers who had fallen in battle. The Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans, selected May 30 as the …

Continue reading ‘World War I medals honor soldier’s sacrifice’ »

The Whiskey Rebellion: Carrying the flag of a militiaman

The Whiskey Rebellion: Carrying the flag of a militiaman

This week’s Pennsylvania Treasure is a flag carried by a militiaman during the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794. Selected by CAP curator Jennifer Gleim, this flag is featured in Pennsylvania Icons, a new exhibit at The State Museum. The Whiskey Rebellion protested taxes on distilled spirits levied by the federal government in 1791. Three years later, …

Continue reading ‘The Whiskey Rebellion: Carrying the flag of a militiaman’ »

Pennsylvania Icons: Your top 5 treasures

Pennsylvania Icons: Your top 5 treasures

On Sunday, Nov. 8, The State Museum of Pennsylvania will open to the public Pennsylvania Icons, a landmark exhibit showcasing nearly 400 artifacts, many of which have not been displayed in decades, that tells the story of the commonwealth, its people and the role they played in shaping the nation. In the past, only a …

Continue reading ‘Pennsylvania Icons: Your top 5 treasures’ »

Settlers rebel against hard-to-swallow whiskey tax

Settlers rebel against hard-to-swallow whiskey tax

Selected by CAP curator Jennifer Gleim and appearing this fall in the upcoming Pennsylvania Icons exhibit, this receipt recalls a tumultuous time in the early history of the United States. The Whiskey Rebellion and President George Washington’s subsequent response was the first test of the newly-formed government’s authority to both levy taxes and pass and …

Continue reading ‘Settlers rebel against hard-to-swallow whiskey tax’ »

In Washington’s army, buttons signaled how they served

In Washington’s army, buttons signaled how they served

When Gen. George Washington took command of the Continental Army in 1775, regulations regarding soldier uniforms did not exist. Generally, enlisted men wore whatever they owned, resulting in many variations in color and material. An unofficial standard was the linen hunting shirt, which many men at this time would have owned. In 1779, Congress passed …

Continue reading ‘In Washington’s army, buttons signaled how they served’ »

Weathered Revolutionary War flag to unfold its story​

Weathered Revolutionary War flag to unfold its story​

After 239 years, this flag has certainly seen better days! The flag belonged to the First Pennsylvania Regiment of the Continental Line between 1776 and 1783. Initially commanded by Carlisle native Col. William Thompson, the regiment was later led by Lt. Col. Thomas Robinson. A March 8, 1776 letter drafted by Lt. Col. Edward Hand …

Continue reading ‘Weathered Revolutionary War flag to unfold its story​’ »

Washington and Lafayette: A friendship immortalized in fine art

Washington and Lafayette: A friendship immortalized in fine art

Curator Amy Hammond recommends Washington bids Adieu to Lafayette, painted by Frederick Kemmelmeyer around the year 1800, as this week’s Pennsylvania Treasure. An antiques dealer bought Washington bids Adieu to Lafayette from a tavern in Turtle Creek, Pa. It was subsequently acquired and donated to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission by Mrs. Roberta F. Griffith of Sewickley, …

Continue reading ‘Washington and Lafayette: A friendship immortalized in fine art’ »

Locks of George Washington’s Hair

Locks of George Washington’s Hair

Artifacts associated with the nation’s first president are highly coveted by museums, history buffs and memorabilia collectors alike. The State Museum of Pennsylvania is fortunate to possess two samples of George Washington’s hair. Collections Advancement Project Curator, Katelyn Adam, selected the tresses as this week’s Pennsylvania Treasure.   Adam said she finds it “incredibly random …

Continue reading ‘Locks of George Washington’s Hair’ »