Invitation to Share

This summer a young friend attended summer camp at Pennsbury Manor, and during the course of the week she formed some opinions about my job as the Museum Educator.  She told me that I have the coolest job in the world because I get to “take care of the animals, give tours, and drive the golf cart.”  Well, maybe my job isn’t quite as simple as that, but it is pretty cool! 

Without question, my favorite part of the job is talking with visitors.  I get to learn where they are from and what brought them to Pennsbury Manor, hear their questions and discussing answers – because history is rarely made of pure facts.  Most of all, I love that moment (especially transparent in children) when an idea catches hold and true learning takes place.

Every day, all sorts of people (including you!) visit our blog.  I often feel like I am missing out because I can’t have the same conversations with you as I do with the people who visit the physical site.  But lately we’ve been having some great discussions with our readers and volunteers.  We’d like to encourage everyone to feel they can participate, with questions, comments, and experiences of your own!

Below each blog article, there is a comment section for anybody to post their responses.  If you are shy (like me) and don’t wish to post a public response, please email us at willpenn17@aol.com.  We’d love to know what your interests are, and what you would like to hear more about!  I’d like to know what questions you have about current or previous posts.  Finally, I’d like to hear about YOU.  Where are you from?  How did you come to love history?  What experience at a historic site or museum truly moved you?

Go ahead, make my day and shoot me an email or comment.  I look forward to hearing from all of you!

Mary Ellyn Kunz

Museum Educator

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5 comments on “Invitation to Share

  1. Jim McNeill says:

    Hi – Thanks for the invitation to participate on your blog pages – I look forward to doing so over the next few months.
    Jim

  2. Jim McNeill says:

    Hi
    I have two questions from the UK for the Pennsbury Estate researchers.

    Q1. Do you have any information on Thomas Rutter who established on of Pa’s first iron works at Pine Forge Iron Plantation, c1714/15? I understand that he was employed by William Penn at Pennsbury?

    Q2. Do you know of evidence that William Penn and James Logan were activly promoting the production of iron in the colony?

    Many thanks,
    Jim McNeill

  3. Jim McNeill says:

    Hi
    Further to my previous comment, I thought it may help you answer my Qs to know that. Thomas Rutter married Rebecca Staples at Pennsbury Manor on 11th October, 1685.
    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Jim

  4. Pennsbury Manor Staff says:

    Hi Jim,

    Thanks for your questions. Though we know several historians have speculated that Thomas Rutter, Elizabeth Staples, or both of them worked for William Penn at Pennsbury during the early 1680s, there is no extant evidence that attests that either worked at Pennsbury or for William Penn. (To be fair, we should say that there is a lot we don’t know about the staffing at Pennsbury in these early years – there is only scattered documentation of its residents). They were both residents of the Falls Meeting catchment area in the months before their marriage, as their request to marry was handled by the Falls Meeting. We do know that the Falls Meeting did use Pennsbury’s manor house for an occasional meeting in the early years. Though in his record of the wedding, the county deputy registrar, Phineas Pemberton, noted that Thomas Rutter was a resident of Philadelphia (and Elizabeth Staples a resident of Bucks county).

    Historians have also wondered if the Penns gave Thomas Rutter assistance with his bloomery. We know of nothing which attests to this specifically. If it happened, the initiative would have come from James Logan and/or from Hannah Penn, as by 1712 WP’s failing health prevented him from handling Pennsylvania affairs. Nor do we know of any evidence attesting that Logan or the Penns gave material help to other iron-working.

    Good luck with your research into iron-working!

  5. Jim McNeill says:

    Many thanks, dear staf members, for getting back to me so promptly. I’ll incorporate your comments into my forthcoming blog entry on Rutter & co’s early Pa iron works.
    Evidence of support from the international Quaker network (of which Hannah and William Penn were major hubs) can be evidenced in the naming of the second of Rutter’s ironworks as ‘Colebrookdale’ after the English (Bristol) Quaker industrial complex at Coalbrookdale, Staffordshire, England. I’d speculate that William & Hannah Penn along wth Logan will have been working with English-based Quaker industialists, such as Abraham Darby, to share cutting edge technology with colonists and develop their trans-Atlantic merchantile trade in iron, copper & brassware.
    Anyway, thank you, once again. I’ll be in touch in the near future when I’ve written up my findings and, no doubt, to ask for further information on early Pa colonial history!
    Jim McNeill
    UK

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