Museum Musings

Thanks to our new website, we are posting unidentified photos from within our collections here at the Historical Commission.  We are counting on more people discovering photographs they haven’t seen before, even family pictures. Most exciting for the Commission staff is the help the community is giving us with identifying people in the photos, using […]
DECLARATION OF WAR Congress was growing more frustrated with the way the Administration was handling the economic turmoil and its failure to use economic sanctions to receive concessions from the British. A faction within Congress called the War Hawks became even more outspoken in their demands for stronger and more decisive actions with Britain. On […]
ENTER THE SPY John Henry (1776 Dublin-1853 Paris(?)) immigrated to the United States in 1796. He edited a newspaper, managed a wine business in Philadelphia, ran a farm in Vermont, studied law, and gave speeches and wrote articles for the Federalist cause. He was said to be tall, charming, and handsome. He gained connections with […]
ENTER THE DIPLOMATS     David Montagu Erskine was born in England in 1776 and died in England on March 19, 1855. His father was Thomas Erskine, the Lord High Chancellor of England. He was educated at Eton and Cambridge. In 1799 he married Frances Cadwalader, the daughter of General John Cadwalader, commander of the Pennsylvania […]
DESERTERS, ORDERS, AND DISASTER The incident between the USN Chesapeake and the HMS Leopard was set in play by the desertion of four men. William Ware, Daniel Martin, and John Strachan, three Americans who had been pressed into service by the British Navy, and Jenkin Ratford, a British sailor, deserted from the HMS Halifax and […]
APRIL 25, 1806 Three British warships parked in U.S. territorial waters around Sandy Hook, New Jersey outside New York. They searched every vessel entering the harbor for what they determined to be contraband and illegal commerce. The HMS Leander, captained by Henry Whitby, attempted to stop an American vessel. They fired a warning shot, trying to […]