What do we have to say about Pennsylvania? Quite a lot, actually. Millions of people have visited, lived, or merely passed through the Keystone State over the centuries, and its made an impression on all of them.
Shortly after I started working at the Pennsylvania State Archives, I came across a few quotes about the state that I thought were too good to pass over and wrote them down. In the next few months I found a few more and decided I should keep a running file of them any time I find them.
Three years later, my list has topped 100 and has statements describing everything from Pennsylvania’s people, land, and work ethic. They date from the 1600s to just last year. Some are blatantly propagandistic, others brutally honest. Some ring just as true today while others are noticeably dated. But that’s why I liked compiling these! Lots of perspectives on Pennsylvania demonstrate the complexity and importance of understanding this state’s history. I hope you’ll check out the original sources to learn more about the context of each quote.
I know there are many other quotes out there that belong in this list, and I hope my list keeps growing. Most of the records I go through in my job are related to government and politics (I do work in a state archives after all), so keep in mind this is not a complete list by any account! If you know a good one I missed please share!
Keep an eye out for a few new posts each month full of good Pennsylvania quotes, I’ve organized everything into categories of subject, speaker, location, etc:
“The People of Pennsylvania”
Black Pennsylvania History
Impressions of Early Immigrants
Work, Labor, Industry
Crime and Violence
Military and Warfare
Education and Intellect
Government and Politics
Presidents of the United States
Coal and Oil