of Trappe and Collegeville have a rich and fascinating history. Trappe was founded in 1717 by German immigrant Jacob Schrack Sr., who ran a tavern known as the Trap, after which the village was named. Its most famous early residents were Lutheran patriarch Henry Melchior Muhlenberg and his sons Peter, a Revolutionary War general, and Frederick, first speaker of the US House of Representatives. Collegeville, initially known as Freeland, developed primarily in the 1800s following the completion of the Perkiomen Bridge in 1799. It was named after several early colleges, including Freeland Seminary, established in 1848, and the Pennsylvania Female College, established in 1851. These institutions were succeeded by Ursinus College in 1869. A pioneer in women's education, Ursinus became coeducational in 1880. Trappe and Collegeville were formally incorporated as separate boroughs in 1896.
While written as a family history, the reader will find tie-ins to Benjamin Franklin’s papers, to Shakespeare’s The Tempest, to a British diarist who wrote about William Wordsworth and to an anti-slavery tract by Fanny Kemble. The book sheds light on family’s papers kept under wraps at historical libraries but leaves the final answers up to future generations.
In the author ́s own words, "I became interested in Fox family genealogy as a result of a business trip to Bechtel’s London Office in 1974. While there as the process design manager for an Algerian Liquified Natural Gas project, I took the opportunity to visit the Friends’ Library on Euston Road. There I found a family tree called Descendants of Francis Fox of St. German’s, by Joseph Foster and also Anne Cresson’s biography of my own ancestor, Joseph Fox, who had been Speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly during the Stamp Act uproar. I also located several books that seemed of immediate interest: The Journals of Caroline Fox 1835-1871, edited by Wendy Monk, and a biography, Caroline Fox, by Wilson Harris. These gave the approximate locations of several family estates out in Cornwall near Falmouth. There had been many famous visitors to these estates; men such as Wordsworth, Tennyson, Mill and Carlyle, and Caroline Fox had described their conversations in her Journals.
"I then convinced a fellow process design engineer, Bob Chu, to drive with me out to Falmouth over a weekend. There we found the closed offices of G. C. Fox & Company, shipbrokers, and the Fox Rosehill Gardens but no other sign of Fox activity. I was a little discouraged. Bob was intrigued, however, and insisted we investigate further. So on Sunday morning we drove further west and found the Glendurgan estate, with foxes on the gateposts and Mrs. Philip Hamilton (Rona) Fox about to start up a lawnmower in the garage. She immediately dropped what she was doing and led us into her house where notes were compared on family connections. One of Francis Fox’s sons had sailed to Philadelphia in 1686 on the same ship as Justinian Fox, my own ancestor.
"Bob and I then had a chance to tour the fabulous Glendurgan Gardens, just recently added to the National Trust. We also stopped off at Catchfrench, an estate in St. German’s, near Plymouth, where I sat in the ruins of the house where Francis Fox had lived in the mid-1600s. This was enough to send a chill up my spine and got me to thinking about recording all of this history. Back in London, Rona’s second son, Charles Lloyd Fox, introduced me to more relatives. As is described in this book, our families have maintained this relationship ever since then.
"Work on this book actually started in 1992 after I retired from Bechtel and my wife, Betty, died of Lupus, both in rapid succession. I joined a Creative Writing Extension Class run by U. C. Berkeley and, for my project, started the fictionalized account recorded in the first two chapters of this book. I had learned that Justinian had only been 13 years old when he joined t
His family’s sons and daughters fought the Revolutionary War against the most powerful army on Earth, and two generations later refused to bow to their perception of a tyrannical Federal government that threatened to take away their newly found freedom during the Civil War. Stewart’s dreams come full circle when his twin great-grandsons, Hiram and Martin, are faced with a heart wrenching dilemma: do they fight against the very country their ancestors established by supporting the Confederacy … or do they defend their families on the horrific home front in North Carolina?
American Spirit tells the fascinating story of these early Americans through touching scenes of love, humor, sad farewells, and faith in God combined with action-packed and detailed descriptions of battles and home front dilemmas. Author Roger Smith shares years of research along with maps, photographs, illustrations, and a detailed bibliography to create both a delightful story based on facts and a historically accurate portrait of a pivotal time in American history. In doing so, he poses an underlying, yet poignant question to the reader: Do the noble virtues our forefathers displayed in meeting the many challenges they faced still exist in American society today?
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.