Philadelphia: A 300-Year History

Seminar Leader:
Walter Licht


Native American encounters with European settlers, slavery and abolitionism, the crafting of a democratic republic, industrialization, ongoing waves of immigration, ethnic and racial tensions, political corruption and reform, the impact of wars, urban disorder and renewal, suburbanization and population decline, and deindustrialization: the city of Philadelphia provides the means to study fruitfully all the great issues of American history. This TIP workshop was devoted to the study of the history of Philadelphia with a special emphasis on race and ethnicity. Members of the workshop learned of new interpretations of Philadelphia’s history, new methods of studying the past and the availability of primary source materials in local archives: all to facilitate the creation of these curriculum units.

Unit TitleAuthor


The Black Press and the Philadelphia Tribune

Florence B. Oliver
Keywords: Philadelphia Tribune, society, Press, Media, Democratic Society

The Evolution of Law Enforcement in Philadelphia

Tim Woods
Keywords: Police, Philadelphia Police Department, Philadelphia Law Enforcement, United States Government, PPD, Criminal Justice

Lenni-Lenape (Delaware) Indians’ History, Culture and Food

Nancy Baulis
Keywords: Philadelphia Region, Plant, beans, Corn, Culture, Growing of Food, Lenni-Lenape People, History

Neighborhood History through Mathematical Analysis

Ellen Clay
Keywords: West Philadelphia, Build interest in history, Build interest in mathematics

A Past and Present Look at Overbook

Rita Sorrentino
Keywords: Technology, West Philadelphia, social studies, Overbrook, History of Philadelphia Neighborhoods

Replicate the History of the Black Bottom

Myrtle Bastien
Keywords: West Philadelphia, Urban Renewal, Residents, Private Homes & Properties, Black Bottom

Slavery and the Health of Blacks in Philadelphia During The 18th Century

Keith Mitchell
Keywords: Pathogens, Pathogenic Organisms, Medical Care, Slaves, diseases, Health

Slavery in Philadelphia

Stephanie R. Wicks
Keywords: Slavery, local, African Americans, Africans, Africans in Philadelphia, Fugitive Slave Laws, Gradual Abolition Act, Impact of Slavery, History

The Disappearance of Sherwood Forest: The History of Cobbs Creek in Philadelphia

Patricia Blakeney-Whack
Keywords: West Philadelphia, pollution, Watershed, Preserving the Environment, Cobbs Creek Parkway, Ecology, Environmental Science