May 25, 2021
Thanks to a recent gift by W. Graham Arader III, Philadelphia’s Historic Strawberry Mansion now has a rare and fascinating Revolutionary War map of Pennsylvania on display. Written in French, “La Pensilvanie” was created by Pennsylvanian William Scull and Frenchman Georges-Louis Le Rouge and published in Paris by Le Rouge in 1777-78 to aid the American and French troops.
The map’s fine-honed accuracy must have been appreciated by the allies; it’s laid down from actual surveys of the Province and boasts an unprecedented amount of detail. Scull added roads, tolls, houses, mills and inns and, unlike earlier maps, a great deal of information about Western Pennsylvania.
The map, framed, will be at home among a collection of antique furnishings and antique reproductions that have continued to be gifted to the Mansion since the Committee of 1926 “adopted” the estate for the nation’s sesquicentennial. In one room, two chairs that belonged to George Washington sit quietly within an arrangement of antique tables, chairs and sofa. Another room showcases fine old china. Amid the elegant French furniture of the ballroom stand a grand piano and golden harp. Two rooms on the third floor host dolls and toys dating back to the 18th century, including two groups of centennial dolls and one of the latest treasures, Philadelphia Baby, a 1908 doll made exclusively for a Philadelphia department store.
According to Committee of 1926 President Connie Ragsdale, “The generous gift of this historic map is a wonderful addition to the Mansion, and with our post-COVID-vaccine reopening in June, we’re delighted that we can now welcome visitors to see it.”
Visiting hours are Thursday through Sunday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm June to December. Parking is free. Admission for guided tours: Adults $8, students and senior citizens $5, children 12 and under free. For reservations, private parties or information, visit historicstrawberrymansion.org or phone 215-228-8364.