Story Bibliography
Pennsylvania Politics 1865-1930. Bibliography
Further Reading

Astorino, Samuel J. "The Contested Senate Election of William Scott Vare," Pennsylvania History, 28 (1961): 187-201.

The story of the election of Philadelphia Republican boss William Vare to the United States Senate in 1926, and of the successful effort of his opponents to prevent him from ever taking office.

Beers, Paul B. Pennsylvania Politics: Today and Yesterday: The Tolerable Accommodation. University Park: Penn State Press, 1980.

Stresses 20th century developments, but some material on the 19th century. Best overall account of how the bosses ran Pennsylvania, and how businessmen ran the bosses.

Bowden, Robert Douglas. Boies Penrose: Symbol of an Era. Freeport, NY: Books for Libraries Press, 1971 (reprint of 1937 ed.) .

A lively account of Penrose from the 1890s to 1920 that does full justice to this larger-than-life figure’s manipulation of political life in the state and his national influence.

Bradley, Erwin S. The Triumph of Militant Republicanism: 1860-1872. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1964.

Scholarly account of how the Democrats lost Pennsylvania because of their stance in the Civil War, and how the corrupt Simon Cameron, rather than reformers like Andrew Curtin and Thaddeus Stevens, took their place.

Brown, Ira V. "William Kelley and Radical Reconstruction." in Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography., 316-329.(1961).

A biography of Philadelphia Republican Congressman William Darrah Kelley, and his role during Radical Reconstruction as a supporter of African American civil rights and other Reconstruction policies.

Brown, Ira V. Pennsylvania Reformers: From Penn to Pinchot. Pennsylvania Historical Association, 1966.

Portraits of feminists, prison reformers, abolitionists, temperance advocates, labor leaders, urban progressives, and other Pennsylvanians who sought to improve the world.

Cannadine, David. Mellon: An American Life. New York: Vintage, 2008.

The first book-length biography of Pittsburgh’s Andrew Mellon, the wealthy financier who as Secretary of the Treasury in the 1920s was one of the nation’s most powerful men.

Crist, Robert G., ed.. Pennsylvania Kingmakers. University Park: The Pennsylvania Historical Association, 1985.

Good, short studies of Simon Cameron, Matthew Quay, Boies Penrose, and David Lawrence.

Davenport, Walter. Power and Glory: The Life of Boise Penrose. New York: Putnam, 1931.

A colorful account of Penrose’s influence and the man’s gargantuan personality. Lots of excellent stories.

Donehoo, George P. Pennsylvania: A History. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1926.

Includes excellent, if somewhat dated, histories of the political administrations of each Pennsylvania governor between Andrew Curtin (1861-1867) and Gifford Pinchot (1923-1927).

Dudden, Arthur P. "Lincoln Steffens' Philadelphia." Pennsylvania History 31:4 (1964): 449-458.

An analysis of muckraker journalist Lincoln Steffen's famous exposure of Philadelphia's "corrupt and contented" politics at the dawn of the twentieth century.

Dunaway, Wayland. A History of Pennsylvania. New York: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1948.

Another older survey of Pennsylvania history that includes a short and very readable introduction to Pennsylvania politics between 1865 and the end of World War II.

Ershkowitz, Miriam and Joseph Zikmund II. Black Politics in Philadelphia. New York: Basic Books, 1973.

Shows how blacks, an underrepresented and poorly rewarded minority during the days of the Republican machine, came into their own in the Democratic Party and especially in the 1970s and 1980s, when Mayor Wilson Goode appealed to both blacks and whites as a more liberal and gentler alternative to Frank Rizzo.

Evans, Frank B. Pennsylvania Politics: The Campaign of 1900. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1961.

Charts Republican William McKinley's decisive win in Pennsylvania during the 1900 presidential election, explaining the roles that rhetoric, organization, and Senators Quay and Penrose played in his victory.

Evans, Frank B. Pennsylvania Politics: 1872-1877. Harrisburg: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1966.

The Republican Party's and Simon Cameron's influence and that of the Pennsylvania Railroad were at their height in this period. Ends with Cameron's resignation and the immediate appointment of his son Donald to succeed him.

Fox, Bonnie. "The Philadelphia Progressive." in Pennsylvania History., 372-94.(1967).

Explains how the Progressive movement failed to make much inroad on the Republican machine in Philadelphia. The Vares, who represented South Philadelphia, stole most of their thunder by supporting pensions and workmen's compensation in addition to providing services for the city's working class.

Furlow, Jr., John. "Cornelia Bryce Pinchot: Feminism in the Post-Suffrage Era" in Pennsylvania History., 329-46.(1976).

This colorful, radical woman spoke to unions and feminists, but failed to win political office in conservative northeastern, rural Pennsylvania where she lived with her husband, Governor Gifford Pinchot.

Gillette, Howard, Jr. "Philadelphia’s City Hall: Monument to a New Political Machine" in Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography., 233-249.1973.

On the financial opportunities that construction of Philadelphia’s massive City Hall presented for the city’s Republican machine.

Harrison, Robert. "The Hornet's Nest at Harrisburg: A Study of Pennsylvania's Legislature in the late 1870s." in Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography., 334-355.(1979).

On how Senator Simon Cameron and the Pennsylvania Railroad were able to dominate a legislature where turnover was high and most lawmakers were primarily concerned with passing laws to cater to local interests.

Hellerich, Mahlon H. "The Origin of the Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention of 1873." in Pennsylvania History., 158-186.(1967).

A history of the developments that led to up to writing of the Commonwealth's current constitution, ratified in 1873.

Hendrickson, Kenneth E., Jr. "The Socialists of Reading, Pennsylvania, and World War 1: A Question of Loyalty." in Pennsylvania History., 430-450.(1969).

A study of Reading's leading Socialist, state dynamic state legislator James Maurer, and of how Socialists won control of Reading city government in the 1920s despite their persecution during World War 1.

Hutton, Anne Hawkes. The Pennsylvanian-Joseph Grundy. Philadelphia: Dorrance and Company, 1962.

A flattering biography of conservative Republican lobbyist Joseph Grundy, head of the Pennsylvania Association of Manufacturers, who during the 1920s and 1930s was one of the state’s most powerful politicians.

Jenkins, J. Philip. "Spy Mad: Investigating Subversion in Pennsylvania, 1917-1918." in Pennsylvania History., 204-231.(1996).

Explains Governor Martin Brumbaugh's successful efforts to curb the hysteria that flourished elsewhere in the country during World War I.

Jones, Gary Richard. "American Cossacks: The Pennsylvania Department of Police and Labor, 1890-1917." Ph.D. thesis, Lehigh University, 1998.

The best and most modern treatment of the Pennsylvania State Police during the era when it existed almost solely to break up labor unions.

Kashatus, William C. "Muckraking the Governor: Samuel W. Pennypacker Battles the Philadelphia Press." Pennsylvania Heritage 28:2 (2002): 22-29.

Entertaining article on governor Samuel W. Pennypacker's battle with the press during his term as governor between 19103 and 1907.

Katzenstein, Caroline. Lifting the Curtain: The State and National Woman Suffrage Campaign in Pennsylvania as I Saw Them. Philadelphia: Dorrance, 1955.

A history of the suffrage movement in Pennsylvania, as seen through the eyes of one of its leaders.

Kaylor, Earl C. "The Prohibition Movement in Pennsylvania, 1865-1920." Ph.D. thesis, Penn State University, 1963.

Explains how prohibition was rarely enforced in Pennsylvania despite the efforts of reformers like Governor Gifford Pinchot.

Kehl, James A. Boss Rule in the Gilded Age: Matt Quay of Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press: , 1981.

A fascinating study of Quay’s political power and the colorful personality of the dominant figure in Pennsylvania politics in the 1880s and 1890s.

Kinney, Kevin. Making Sense of the Molly Maguires. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

An excellent introduction to the complicated history of the Molly Maguires of northeastern Pennsylvania, including an explanation of the politics behind their conviction and execution.

Klein, Philip S. and and Ari Hoogenboom. A History of Pennsylvania. University Park: Penn State University Press, 1980 2nd ed..

Excellent accounts of politics in all periods in the context of economic and social developments.

Lane, Roger. William Dorsey’s Philadelphia and Ours: On the Past and Future of the Black City in America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.

A detailed history of African Americans in Philadelphia during the late 1800s, including their troubled participation in city politics.

Leach, Roberta J. "Jennie Bradley Roessing and the Fight for Woman Suffrage in Pennsylvania." in Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine., 189-211.(1984).

An examination of the history of the women's suffrage movement in Pennsylvania through told through the story of Pittsburgh suffragist Jennie Bradley Roessing.

Lubove, Roy. Twentieth-Century Pittsburgh: Government, Business, and Economic Change. New York: Wiley, 1969.

The best study of how, thanks to the New Deal, Pittsburgh changed from a city dominated by the Republican machine to one where Democrat David Lawrence worked with the Mellons and business interests to eliminate smog and revitalize the downtown.

Lukacs, John. Philadelphia: Patricians and Philistines, 1900-1950. New York:: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1981.

Excellent discussion of Boies Penrose and the general cultural and political climate of the city.

Lukacs, John. "Big Grizzly," American Heritage Magazine, (October/November), 1978

A colorful, short account of Penrose based on the author's personal access to the family papers.

Lyons, William. "Populism in Pennsylvania, 1892-1901." in Pennsylvania History., 49-65.(1965).

Populism was a near total failure in Pennsylvania except in a few cities and rural areas that were immune from Republican Party control. This article explains why and details the few victories the Populists won.

Maurer, James. It Can Be Done: The Autobiography of James Hudson Maurer . New York: Rand School, 1938.

A highly readable and entertaining autobiography of cantankerous Socialist state legislator and labor leader James Maurer of Reading, Pennsylvania.

McCaffery, Peter. When Bosses Ruled Philadelphia: The Emergence of the Republican Machine, 1867-1933. University Park: Penn State Press, 1993.

A scholarly account, of a sociological/political science nature, of how the bosses provided needed services for their poor constituents, but at an exorbitant price.

Morgan, H. Wayne. From Hayes to McKinley: National Party Politics, 1877-1896. Syracuse University Press, 1969.

An exhaustive political history of the United States. Emphasizes the growth of party organization, civil service reform, and the role of Pennsylvania Boss Matthew Quay in the context of national politics.

Murray, Lawrence L. "The Mellons, Their Money, and the Mythical Machine Organizational Politics in the Republican Twenties." in Pennsylvania History., 221-241.(1975).

Explains how the Mellons took relatively little interest in Pittsburgh local politics, saving their energy and money for national issues that affected their business interests, including ALCOA and the Mellon Bank.

Pennypacker, Samuel. The Autobiography of a Pennsylvanian. Philadelphia: John C. Winston Company, 1918.

Governor of Pennsylvania (1903-1907) tells about his career as a Philadelphia judge and exonerates himself from the Capitol scandals that plagued his administration.

Powderly, Terence. The Path I Trod: The Autobiography of Terence Powderly. New York: Columbia University Press, 1940.

Scranton mayor and Knights of Labor president Terence Powderly's rambling but fascinating autobiography.

Preston, L. E. "Speakers for Women's Rights in Pennsylvania." in Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine., 245-263.(1971).

The leading advocates of women's rights seen through the massive campaign of 1915 that still failed to give women the vote.

Quay, Mathew. Pennsylvania Politics: The Campaign of 1900 .1901.

Provides a sampling of the oratory and ideas of one of Pennsylvania’s most powerful Republican state bosses.

Rathgeber, Lewis Wesley. “The Democratic Party in Pennsylvania, 1880-1896” (Ph.D. thesis, University of Pittsburgh, 1953).

The best account of the career of Robert Pattison, comptroller of Philadelphia who exposed Republican corruption and was the only Democratic governor of the state between 1860 and 1930.

Richer, Ralph B. "The Greenback-Labor Movement in Pennsylvania." in Pennsylvania Heritage.(1966).

Explains how Greenback Labor leader Terence Powderly's refusal to merge with the Democrats helped the Republican Party triumph in the 1870s.

Sklar, Kathryn Kish. Florence Kelly and the Nation’s Work: The Rise of Women’s Political Culture. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995.

A biography of one of the nation’s most important, turn-of-the-century feminists, and her efforts to aid women, children, and workers through the National Consumer League.

Smith, Eric Ledell. "Asking for Justice and Fair Play: African American State Legislators and Civil Rights in Early Twentieth Century Pennsylvania." in Pennsylvania History., 169-203.(1996).

Excellent study of the handful of black legislators in the State House from 1900 to 1920 and why they failed to pass a civil rights bill.

Stevens, Sylvester. Pennsylvania: The Heritage of a Commonwealth. West Palm Beach, Florida: American Historical Publishing Company, 1968.

Vols. 1 and 2 have excellent, detailed accounts of political development, as well as economic and social trends, during this period.

Treadway, Jack. Elections in Pennsylvania: A Century of Partisan Conflict in the Keystone State . University Park: Penn State Press, 2005.

Statistics and analysis of elections and political development from 1900 to 2004.

Vare, William Scott. My Forty Years in Politics. Philadelphia: Roland Swain, 1937.

The candid autobiography of the Republican boss of the City of Philadelphia during the 1920s.

Zahniser, Keith A. Steel City Gospel: Protestant Laity and Reform in Progressive Era Pittsburgh. New York: Routledge, 2001.

Emphasizes the role of religious leaders in the unsuccessful sense to clean up Pittsburgh politics in the era when Lincoln Steffens wrote of it as one of the most corrupt cities in America in Shame of the Cities.

Web Guide

Allegheny College, Ida Tarbell

Description of the life and writings of Ida Tarbell, with connections to some of her works

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-Present

Biographical sketches of all Pennsylvanians who served in the United States Senate and Congress, including brief bibliographies. Includes links to the Senate and House History Pages.

Geographic Index to Cemeteries in Pennsylvania, The Political Graveyard

The Pennsylvania section of the Internet's most comprehensive source of political entries, includes county listings of Pennsylvania politicians, organized by the cemeteries in which they are buried.

John Wanamaker, The speeches of Hon. John Wanamaker on Quayism and boss domination in Pennsylvania politics, 1898 , Pennsylvania State University

John Wanamaker's speeches against Republican boss Matthew Quay.

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, "J. Horace McFarland,"

Website includes biographies of many Pennsylvania environmental leaders, including Mira Lloyd Dock, J. Horace McFarland, and Joseph Rothrock.

Pennsylvania Election Statistics: 1682-2006, The Wilkes University Election Statistics Project

Statistics and maps on how Pennsylvanians have voted in elections for governors, senators, presidents, and state legislators from 1682 to the present.

Pennsylvania Governors Past to Present, Pennsylvania Historical Museum Commission

Biographical sketches of Pennsylvania governors provided by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies

The journal includes important articles on the history of Pennsylvania, including many on Pennsylvania political history referenced in the Beyond the Marker entries in this story, which can be downloaded as PDF files. Type in the name of the author, subject, or person you are interested in researching.

Who Was Henry George?, Robert Schelenbach Foundation

A brief biography of economic philosopher and political reformer Henry George written by his granddaughter Agnes DeMille, which includes links to his writings, and a summary of his economic remedies.

William Bauchop Wilson, First U.S. Secretary of Labor

Very thorough account of the life of the first Secretary of Labor, William B. Wilson; maintained by, a community website.

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