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In 1682, on the banks of the Delaware River, William Penn and a group of Indian chiefs met beneath the shade of a large elm tree. The resulting Treaty of Amity and Friendship paved the way for the founding of the Pennsylvania colony and became a universal symbol of religious and civil liberty. Despite its protection by sentinels during the American Revolution, the great elm was finally uprooted in an 1810 storm, making national headlines. In honor of Penn's inspirational diplomacy, Kenneth W. Milano explores the frenzy of artists and historians interest in this historical landmark and chronicles the Penn Society's efforts to commemorate the place of Penn's Treaty and the public-spirited citizens of Kensington's success in memorializing the site through the construction of Penn Treaty Park.
The outskirts of Philadelphia seethed with tension in the spring of 1844. By May 6, the situation between the newly arrived Irish Catholics and members of the anti-immigrant Nativist Party took an explosively violent turn. When the Irish asked to have their children excused from reading the Protestant version of the Bible in local public schools, the nativists held a protest. The Irish pushed back. For three days, riots scorched the streets of Kensington. Though the immigrants first had the upper hand, the nativists soon put the community to the torch. Those who fled were shot. Two Catholic churches burned to the ground, along with several blocks of houses, stores, a nunnery and a Catholic school. Local historian Kenneth W. Milano traces this tumultuous history from the preceding hostilities through the bloody skirmishes and finally to the aftermath of arrests and trials. Discover a remarkably intimate and compelling view of the riots with stories of individuals on both sides of the conflict that rocked Kensington.
The native americans called it shackamaxon, the place where the chiefs meet, but Kensington soon became a meeting place of a different kind. Ideologies and demagogues, industry and entrepreneurs all came together in Kensington and Fishtown. Kensington was the epicenter of the American vegetarian movement, and a decade later the area's shipyards gave birth to the U.S. Navy's first submarine. In "Kensington & Fishtown," native son Kenneth W. Milano presents a collection of fascinating and diverse articles from his column "The Rest is History," Relive the golden age of Kensington and Fishtown as you learn about their fascinating pasts.
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