Philadelphia, A Running Commentary
A series of observations in and around Philadelphia by notables over the last three and one-half centuries.
Quakers: The Society of Friends
According to an old Quaker joke, the Holy Trinity consists of the fatherhood of God, the brotherhood of man, and the neighborhood of Philadelphia.
Quakers: All Alike, All Different
Quaker doctrines emerge from the stories they tell about each other.
Customs, Culture and Traditions
Abundant seafood made it easy to settle here. Agriculture takes longer.
Shakspere Society of Philadelphia
Maybe not the first, but the oldest Shakespeare club in America or possibly even the world, has kept minutes for over a hundred fifty years.
Philadelphia's Fourth Century: Revival or Relapse?
Novelists, sociologists, playwrights, financiers, historians, poets -- and others -- have described and explained the rise and fall of Philadelphia. Each of them is a little bit right, and a little wrong. Philadelphia is hidden, but it isn't hiding.
Right Angle Club 2017
Dick Palmer and Bill Dorsey died this year. We will miss them.
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|Elizabeth Robbins Pennell|
There are several million people living in Philadelphia, but of course, not all of them are real Philadelphians. >Elizabeth Robbins Pennell, a friend and biographer of James McNeill Whistler, tells us the definition of a real Philadelphian in 1914.
"I think I have a right to call myself a Philadelphian, though I am not sure if Philadelphia is of the same opinion. I was born in Philadelphia, as my father was before me, but my ancestors, having had the sense to emigrate to America in time to make me as American as an American can be, were then so inconsiderate as to waste a couple of centuries in Virginia and Maryland, and my Grandfather was the first of the family to settle in a town where it is important, if you belong at all, to have belonged from the beginning. However, [my husband's] ancestors, with greater wisdom, became at the earliest available moment not only Philadelphians, but Philadelphia Friends, and how much more that means Philadelphians know without my telling them. And so, as he does belong from the beginning, and as I would have belonged had I had my choice, for I would rather be a Philadelphian than any other sort of American, I do not see why I cannot call myself one despite the blunder of my forefathers in so long calling themselves something else."
--Our Philadelphia, 1914
Originally published: Friday, June 23, 2006; most-recently modified: Tuesday, June 16, 2020