Life in the Governor’s House: A Quaker Love Triangle!

Two young Quaker women conversing in Pennsbury's front court garden.

Two young Quaker women conversing in Pennsbury’s front court garden.  Marriage was an important decision, one that would require serious discussion with friends and family.

Ann Shippen’s Story (Part II)

In an earlier post we shared the story of Ann Shippen, who at age 17 was living with the Penn family at Pennsbury Manor.  Ann was being courted by two men, James Logan and Thomas Story, both loyal confidantes of William Penn and fellow Quakers.  Ann’s father, Edward Shippen, voiced his opinion regarding the courtship and favored Thomas Story over James Logan. He thought Logan, who was 10 years older than Ann, to be too young, too naïve, and not successful enough to support his daughter. He preferred Thomas Story because he was more mature (20 years older than Ann), and as a Quaker minister and a member of the Provincial Council, was more established.

Despite the discouragement of Edward Shippen, Logan continued to court Ann at the same time as Story. Their competition for Ann’s hand in marriage became so well known in Philadelphia that William Penn wrote of his concern in this 1704 letter to James Logan –

“I am anxiously grieved for thy unhappy love for thy sake and my own, for T.S., [Thomas Story] and thy discord has been no service here any more than there.”

After several years of courtship from both James Logan and Thomas Story, Ann was finally convinced of Thomas Story’s love for her.  Story confessed his love to her by saying that he had “ the patience beyond what was common,” and that he would, “reasonably try all or stretch upon the rack, which had no common heart, nor soul could be able to endure.” Ann overlooked the 20-year age difference, listened to her father, and finally accepted Thomas’s proposal.

The couple married in July, 1706 and lived in Philadelphia. Sadly, their marriage was short-lived.  Ann died in 1710. There were no children. Thomas, who died in 1742, never remarried.

Melanie Hankins, Intern

Further Reading

John W. Jordan, Colonial and Revolutionary Families of America, 1978.

Albert Cook Myers, Hannah Logan’s Courtship: A True Narrative, 1904.

Craig W. Hortle, Lawmaking and Legislators in Pennsylvania: A Biographical Dictionary Volume Two 1710-1756, 1993.

Life in the Governor’s House: Ann Shippen’s Story (Part I)

Pennsbury Manor's Manor House

 Ann Shippen was the 17 year-old daughter of Edward Shippen, a prominent Philadelphia Quaker. She became acquainted with the Penn family when they stayed at her father’s home in Philadelphia. When William and Hannah Penn moved into their new country home along the Delaware River in the spring of 1700, Ann joined the household at Pennsbury Manor.

It was common in Quaker families to have their daughters live with another Quaker family to further their education. Here at Pennsbury, Ann learned from Hannah Penn how to manage the many responsibilities of a household, and became friends with Penn’s daughter Letitia, and Abigail Pemberton, the daughter of Phineas Pemberton, who was also living at Pennsbury for the same reason. The girls helped Hannah with household tasks and other responsibilities to keep Pennsbury running smoothly. Hannah had also just given birth to her first child, so the extra help from Ann and the other girls was certainly helpful.

Ann attracted several suitors while at Pennsbury Manor. James Logan and Thomas Story were both interested in courting Ann.  James Logan was William Penn’s secretary, and would later serve as the manager of Penn’s business affairs in the Pennsylvania colony.  Logan eventually became one of the most influential and wealthy Quakers in the colony, but at that time he was not so well-established. On the other hand, Thomas Story was already a prominent member of the community, a Quaker minister, and a member of the Provincial Council.

Picart, "Two figures for a fete galante," 1708

Picart, “Two figures for a fete galante,” 1708

Although these men were friends and colleagues for many years, their interest in Ann strained their relationship to the point where the men publicly debated the courtship.  Story charged Logan with offensive behavior through spoken and written word that was against Quaker discipline. Logan claimed Story could not carry a conversation with him in a civilized manner. Young Ann was caught in the middle. Who would she select as her future husband!

By Melanie Hankins, Intern

 

 

Further Reading

John W. Jordan, Colonial and Revolutionary Families of America, 1978.

Albert Cook Myers, Hannah Logan’s Courtship: A True Narrative, 1904.

Craig W. Hortle, Lawmaking and Legislators in Pennsylvania: A Biographical Dictionary Volume Two 1710-1756, 1993.

Peaceful Game-Changers

“Our principle is… to seek peace.”

George Fox, Founder of the Quakers, 1661 

mlkToday we remember Martin Luther King, Jr., who advocated for national equality and freedom at the expense of his own safety.  His commitment to peaceful change and the well-being of all people puts him in the highest company of our nation’s most honorable leaders and game-changers.  In honor of his memory, we’d like to reflect on the peaceful principles that influenced colonial Pennsylvania and the young nation it would help create. 

Born from a country ravaged by civil war and religious combat, the Quaker movement dedicated their time and resources to advocating a message of peace and acceptance.   One of their most articulate and effective members was actually a former soldier.  William Penn, after being sucked into war in Ireland, found the Quaker movement and determined that his life’s work should be the establishment of peace.  This evolved into his dream of a new colony, founded on Quaker principles of tolerance, religious freedom, and diversity.  This involved populating his land with people who held the same principles and creating a government to protect them.  Pennsylvania was the only colony who did not maintain a militia, who tried for years to refuse sending soldiers to fight in England’s wars, and established friendships with the native inhabitants of the land. 

penn

In this, Penn was extremely lucky.  The Lenape Indians who resided here were known in the native communities as peacemakers.  In wars between tribes, it was the Lenape who would often step up and broker a peace agreement.  So when Penn arrived to make friends and trade fairly for the land, the Lenape were willing to become friends.  The land westward, previously occupied by the Susquahannocks, had been vacated, so the Delaware Valley Indians were willing to relocate. 

Even though his passion was Pennsylvania, Penn never stopped believing in the possibility of peace throughout the Old World.  In 1693, he wrote “An essay towards the present and future peace of Europe” advocated for an end to the political violence.  Penn was not always successful in what he advocated, but peace and tolerance continued to be a dominant trait in his government and in the Quaker people’s beliefs. 

We honor the countless individuals, known and unknown, who struggled and sacrificed alongside William Penn and Martin Luther King Jr. to create a better world for the generations to come!

 

Hannah Howard, Volunteer & Special Project Coordinator

German Cooking: Not the “Wurst” Food in the Colony!

During the 17th century, what we know as Germany was a hodgepodge of different states disputing everything from religion to politics. With religious persecution and destruction brought about by The Thirty Years War, many Germans were fed up and chose to leave for the New World.  But leaving their country behind didn’t mean leaving their traditions – especially when it came to their food!

 

Map of Western Europe, 1648

A smokehouse at Pennsbury Manor demonstrates one of several ways colonists could preserve meat

The colony of Pennsylvania was appealing to a large variety of people, for it accepted diversity and offered freedom of religion. The first wave of German immigrants purchased about 15,000 acres from William Penn, a tract of land about 6 miles north of Philadelphia.  There they founded “Germantown” and were free to prosper without the political disputes of the Old World.  As the settlement prospered, many more Germans followed, and soon their population swelled to dominate south central Pennsylvania!

These new inhabitants came with respected farming techniques and prized cooking traditions.  The recipes used by these new settlers greatly varied by what regions of Germany they came from.  These people, erroneously referred to as the “Pennsylvania Dutch,” rather than the proper “Pennsylvania Deutsch,” became famously known for their hearty meals, heavy in starches and fats. As they mingled with the English, French, and other nationalities living in Pennsylvania, their traditions would intermingle.  William Penn was especially fond of the smoked meats Germans favored. 

A sampling of seasonal ingredients used for Open-Hearth Cooking at Pennsbury Manor

The majority of these immigrants came here impoverished, so what they ate was determined by what their new land offered. They became well known for their sausages and soups, which were great ways of getting the most from the ingredients available. Even today, local delicacies like Scrapple and Pork Rolls have their roots in the colonial Deutsch culture.  With the opportunities William Penn offered in his new colony, German immigrants helped establish the diverse state Pennsylvania has become.

Visit Pennsbury Manor on Sunday, November 18th 1:00 – 4:00 to watch our Open-Hearth Cooks preparing traditional German cuisine!

Written by Ray Tarasiewicz, Intern

Edited by Hannah Howard

Further Reading:

Fletcher, S. W. Pennsylvania Agriculture and Country Life 1640-1840. Harrisburg: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1971. Print.

Philadelphia versus Salem: Preventing Witch Hysteria

Last week, we shared the story of the Mattson Witch Trial, the only known witch trial Willaim Penn presided over.  Pennsylvania never reached anywhere near the heights of Salem’s infamous witch hunts.  So just how much did Penn’s ideals make a difference in the witch hysteria? 

“The Bewitched Man,” Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, 1798

The answer lies not within one difference, but many differences.  Penn and his Quaker colony had a very different social environment influenced by religion, politics, and education.  Penn founded his colony as a “holy experiment” grounded in his plans for religious tolerance, laws created and governed by the people, and a fair justice system.  These values changed how witch hysteria affected the communities in Pennsylvania.

Much like the Quakers, Salem’s Puritan founders created their community out of a desire to escape religious persecution in Europe. However, contrary to Penn’s policy of inclusion and tolerance, Salem prohibited any non-Puritans from living in Salem. 

 

“Witches’ Initiation,” David Teniers the Younger, 1647-49

Salem also had a history of persecution for witchcraft.  The religious leaders regularly gave sermons warning of the danger of witches and openly advertised the witch hunts that happened throughout Europe.  In addition, the court system did not really function and failed to regulate or protect those accused of witchcraft.  So in 1692, when the accusations and trials really began to engulf the community, the colony’s government failed to maintain order and sanity.

 

Anonymous drawing of witches at work from Johann Geiler von Kayersberg, 1517. Cornell University Library.

All of these factors play into the horrible persecution of the 59 people tried in Salem, of which 20 were put to death before anyone could stop the hysteria. By the end of the summer in 1692, 13 women and 6 men were hanged in Salem, Mass. for the crime of witchcraft.

Needless to say the hysteria of witch hunts struck hard for centuries throughout Europe and the colonies, leading to severe persecution, shunning, and often death for the accused men and women.  Anything mysterious or hard to explain, like cows not producing milk or infant deaths, could be blamed on a witch.  Science would later prove the real reasons for such events, but it would come to late to save the many people who were burned or hanged or drowned as witches.Pennsylvania avoided most of this madness, but not entirely, as Margret Mattson and Yeshro Hendrickson’s trial proves.

 

Visit Pennsbury Manor on Sunday, October 28 1:00-4:00 for our FREE Trick-or-Treat at the Manor event!  Families with costumed kids get free admission to our many activities, including a Reenactment of the Margret Mattson Witch Trial!

 

Written by Mary Barbagallo, Intern

Edited by Hannah Howard

Sources:

Pennsylvania Colonial Cases – Proprietor vs. Mattson

 The Malleus Malficarum of Henrich Kramer and James Sprenger: Translated with an introduction by the Reverend Montague Summers, Dover Publication, Inc., New York, NY, 1971.

 The Witch Hunts: A History of the Witch persecutions in Europe and North America, Robert Thurston, Pearson Education Ltd., United Kingdom, 2007.

“What magic words do you utter then?”: How to Catch a Witch!

‘Tis the month of ghost and ghouls and all things otherworldly… so it’s a great time to explore the role of witchcraft in 17th-century society!

So how would you react as a colonist, if someone in your community was accused of witchcraft?  Well first you have to understand what constitutes witchcraft.  Otherwise, how exactly would you know if your neighbor down the street had made a pact with the devil?  And then, if you found someone to be a witch, what exactly could you do about it?

Malleus Maleficarum, published  1487

In making these and all other decisions regarding witchcraft, there was a lengthy and well-known piece of literature that was referenced and it was called The Malleus Maleficarum (“The Hammer of Witches”). It gave well-respected advise on defining witchcraft, the powers possessed by witches, connections they had to the devil, and the threat this presented to society, as well as the judicial process for charging witches and how to punish them accordingly. Among these descriptions it also provided a set of questions to further help in the trial processes, one of which provides the title to this blog. In fact, the Malleus Maleficarum was such a bestseller, it was published in four languages between 1487 and 1669.  It even made its way across the Atlantic Ocean and was used within the colonies during bouts of 17th-century witch hysteria that found hold in even the most liberal of colonial governments!

“The witches’ sabbat,” Gottlief Spisseln, 1687

Although the majority of hysteria during this time was not directly tied to Pennsylvania, there is one recorded witch trial in Penn’s colony in 1684. A Swedish immigrant to the colony, Margret Mattson pleaded “not guilty’ to accusations of being a witch and practicing her craft. Presiding as judge, Penn allowed Margret to defend herself on the stand, provided interpreters and fellow Swedes on the jury. After testimony was over Penn gave the jury his charge and the verdict was reached.  

 The jury found Mattson, along with the other woman being charged with witchcraft, Yeshro Hendrickson, guilty of having the reputation of being a witch (“the common fame of”), but there was no law against such a thing. However, in order to maintain calm within the community, Penn imposed a fine on both women’s husbands of £50 to be held as bond and for Mattson and Hendrickson to be on good behavior for 6 months. If no further charges were brought against them in this time by their neighbors, the money would be returned. This type of “sentencing” was known as a “peace bond” and often utilized by Quakers as a tool to encourage good behavior and to keep the peace within their settlement. Moreover, the death penalty was abolished by Penn for crimes of any sort with the exception of willful murder.

So why did Pennsylvania’s witch trial turn out so differently than other colonies?  Check back next week to catch Part 2 of this bewitching comparison!

William Penn presiding over the Margret Mattson Trial

Visit Pennsbury Manor on Sunday, October 28 1:00-4:00 for our FREE Trick-or-Treat at the Manor event!  Families with costumed kids get free admission to our many activities, including a Reenactment of the Margret Mattson Witch Trial!

Written by Mary Barbagallo, Intern

Edited by Hannah Howard

Sources:

Pennsylvania Colonial Cases – Proprietor vs. Mattson

The Malleus Malficarum of Henrich Kramer and James Sprenger: Translated with an Introduction by the Reverend Montague Summers, Dover Publication, Inc., New York, NY, 1971.

The Witch Hunts: A History of the Witch persecutions in Europe and North America, Robert Thurston, Pearson Education Ltd., United Kingdom, 2007.

Miniature Models – Dressing Children in the 17th Century

As the school year quickly shifts into high-gear and stores advertise their latest sales on backpacks and sneakers, the staff at Pennsbury can’t help but notice the differences between modern life and childhood back in the 17th century.  We spent the summer posting on children’s daily lives and education, so maybe it’s time to feature what they’d be wearing! 

Pieter de Hooch – A Women with a Baby in Her Lap, and a Small Child (Detail) -1658

“Dress to impress”  is surely a phrase we’re common with this day in age, but not something you would necessarily abide by in William Penn’s time. In 17th century England and the colonies thereof, clothing was expensive. With the majority of the common folk working solely to survive, the average household could not afford to pay as much attention to fashion as their modern counterparts. 

What was purchased and worn had to be durable enough to endure the work they’d be doing – silk brocade mantua gowns and embroidered coats were not going to cut it!  The secondhand clothing found in the markets of the day actually became a great source among the working class for affordable and up-to-date options for dress.

A portrait of a commonly dressed mother with her child. Adriaen Jansz van Ostade – “Mother Holding her Child in a Doorway” -1667

However, this lack of emphasis on fleeting fashion does not to diminish its true importance of clothing. “What people wore defined their social position and every colonial government tried with sumptuary legislation to keep class lines clear.” In 1619 in Massachusetts, legislation was passed “against excess apparel” among plain people . The court ordered that offenders be fined by local priests. Nevertheless, the lines blurred in many cases and it became sometimes difficult for guests in well-to-do families’ households to distinguish between the lady of the house and her servant!

Children of the time followed the same standards as their parents. “Dressed as miniature adults from the time they could walk,” children always knew their families’ status in society and were direct representations of such status. “Wives of the well-to-do imposed standards of proper dress on the children” and likewise, if you were from the country and a farmer’s child, the same aprons, straw hats, and patterns your mother wore would also be your attire. 

A prime example of a miniature adult of the upper classes. Gerard Terborch -“Helena van der Schalcke as a Child” – 1644

In the 17th century, what you wore was much more telling of who you were then in our modern society.  In our world, many people can afford even the cheapest imitations of the season’s latest fashions, and children of all families are often dressed up like dolls!  But for the Penn Family, their clothing would have reflected their social position and their Quaker beliefs.

Although a man of power and money, William and his family would have dressed in the best fabrics and high-quality materials, but their religion would have demanded the fashionable embellishment and frills be left off.  This was sure to define the family in a rather unique way, in comparison to their Protestant and Anglican English counterparts of equal social rank. 

Written by Mary Barbagallo

Edited by Hannah Howard

 

Further Reading: 

 Everyday Life in Early America, David Freeman Hawke, Harper and Row, Publishers, Inc. 1988,  New York, NY.

The Criers and Hawkers of London: Engraving and Drawings by Marcellus Laroon, Standford University Press, Standford, CA,1990.

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

French Cuisine – The Height of English Fashion

Last month our Open-Hearth Cooks demonstrated the cooking traditions of the Netherlands, previewed in an article we posted about Dutch foodways

Now we turn our attention to another highly influential culture, one that has been closely intertwined with the English for centuries: France!

A French maid peeling potatoes in the kitchen. “The Kitchen Maid,” Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin, 1738

For many years England and France shared many of the same trends and traditions, from food to fashion.  This began to change around the mid-17th century.  Many in England began looking to the French as the trendsetter of the age, mostly for the upper class.  Even as their countries waged war against each other, the English were often reluctant to give up French trends in the name of patriotism!

A typical kitchen filled with all varieties of meats, which were the most popular feature at any table. “Kitchen Scene,” David Teniers the Younger, 1644

French cuisine began to move away from the heavily spiced and sweetened meals they had long enjoyed, and began returning to a focus on the more natural flavors of produce and meats. All varieties of salads and sauces appeared during this time.  Salads featured the fresh vegetables and flowers of the season, and were often dressed with toppings including various meats, eggs, and oil.  Check out Colonial Williamsburg’s recipe for a “salmagundy!”

Notice how the table is filled with all sorts of dishes, instead of places being set for different courses. Hosts aimed to provide a variety of dishes to please her guests, so there would always be something to their taste. “Wedding Dinner,” Jacob Gerritsz van Hasselt, 1636

The new trend in French cooking also spurred changes in table etiquette.  Meals began to be served in courses, rather than platters being laid out on the banquest tables for immediate consumption.  The use of utensils also became more common place, along with the use of more restrained table manners.  Though the French remained a small minority in colonial Pennsylvania, their influence on English culture translated into an influence on the population of William Penn’s colony. 

By Ray Tarasiewicz, Intern

Edited by Hannah Howard

 

Come visit Pennsbury Manor next Sunday, September 16th to watch our Open-Hearth Cooks making authentic French cuisine

Learning Your ABC’s and 123’s – A 17th-Century Education

“Education is the stamp Parents give their Children”

– William Pen

When we think of standards in education today, it is safe to say it has come a long way since our colonial forbearers. We talked last month about the realities of colonial childhood, particularly for Quakers.  Because of their responsibilites to their family, general education in the 17th century was erratic. 

Without buildings dedicated for teaching, communities had to organize financing for the construction of school houses, funding teachers’ salaries, and getting parents to agree to let their children spend the day in a schoolroom instead of helping at home.   This last condition was sometimes impossible for poorer families, who needed their children’s help to survive. 

Gerard Terborch, “The Reading Lesson,” mid-late 17th century

As a result, families often chose to become their own center of education. So if a child was to learn to read,  write, or calculate, someone in the family had to teach them.  This also meant time away from chores, but these skills would be necessary if a son (especially the one to receive the family inheritance) were to manage the family’s business and participate in public affairs. 

One of the few existing hornbooks today. This particular one is owned by a family in Long Island.

The common way for the children to learn to read and spell was through the use of a hornbook. Named literally for the materials that made it, a hornbook was a thin piece of wood backing topped by a piece of printed, then covered with a layer of horn.  The horn was thin enough to let the paper been seen for reading, and all was held together by strips of metal around the edges. The book had a small handle with a hole for string so the book could be carried, either around the neck or over the shoulder. The printed page would include an alphabet with large and small letters, along with simple syllables and the Lord’s Prayer. The backs of the books were often decorated with a design. Used nearly every day, they were often used until worn out, meaning few 17th-century hornbooks exist today. 

Quakers used the hornbook and some of the other practices of  traditional 17th-century education; however, the main ideas behind their educational practices were based in their religious beliefs.  They tried to control the children’s environment, preserving their faith and promoting certain behaviors including dress, speech, and silence.  This led Quakers to believe that education was a foundational tool for spreading their practices, and opened their own institutions separate  from the Protestant or Angelican schools.

A young man learns the skills of being a Joyner, a 17th-century woodworker.

 Because of their isolation and irregular practices, Quaker education did not prepare children (mainly boys) for college.  Classic topics (Latin and Greek) were often not included in their education. Moreover, Quakers were also “free in their criticisms of traditional schools.” Even Penn noted the issues with English schools, saying “We are in Pain to make them Scholars, but not Men! To talk, rather than know.” Nonetheless, both Penn and other Friends wanted “classical learning with the study of useful knowledge”. This practical knowledge meant being able to” read, write, and cipher” while gaining “a fuller appreciation of the Creator”. William Penn also made his sentiments on education known through letters to his wife,which can be viewed in a previous post entitled, Stay in School.

Classical and practical education also came in the form of apprenticeships. Apprenticeships were seen as privileges that provided an education which ensured a child’s livelihood later on. On the other hand, becoming an apprentice could be a traumatic experience, seeing as many children (again, boys) would start young (usually around 12 years old) and leave their families to live with their master. This strict frame for growing up was backed by the Proverb 22:6, a popular verse amongst Friends: “Train up a Child in the way he should go, and when he is Old he will not depart from it.”

Realistically though, we know better than to think all children listen to their parents! For Penn this proved true and it’s safe to say that his children didn’t quite follow his religious and education views through and through. 

Written by Mary Barbagallo, Intern

Edited by Hannah Howard

 Sources:

Child Life in Colonial Days, Alice Morse Earle,Corner House Publishers, 1989, Williamstown, MA.

Everyday Life in Early America, David Freeman Hawke, Harper and Row, Publishers, Inc. 1988, New York, NY.

The Quaker Family in Colonial America, J. William Frost, St. Martin’s Press, Inc. 1973, New York, NY.