History Projects

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  1. 2022 Projects
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Manuel Rivero - A Short Biography (June 2022)

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June is National Caribbean American Heritage Month, and it is an opportunity to recognize the many contributions Caribbean Americans have made to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States. To celebrate this, we turned to the story of Manuel Rivero who immigrated to the United States in 1918 and enjoyed a successful 43-year career as a coach, educator, and administrator at Lincoln University. Check out this video we made documenting Rivero’s inspiring journey—from a 9-year-old boy entering Ellis Island to having a gymnasium named in his honor. Information, images, and other media for this video came from the Chester County Archives, Chester County History Center, Lincoln University Special Collection, Columbia University Special Collections, and other online sources. Click the image to the left to watch the video. 



Catharine Boothe - Farmer (March 2022)

Cover2 Opens in new windowAfter the death of her husband in 1803, Catharine Boothe of Londonderry Township became a widowed mother of eight children all of whom were under the age of fourteen. Catharine had no family nearby for support. She faced the loss of her husband, the challenge of single-parenting, the threat of financial instability, and the inherent adversity in homesteading and farming alone. Despite all of this, Catharine’s story is not one of barely surviving or subsistence. Instead, Catharine achieved a great deal of success throughout her life—tripling the family’s collective land holdings and providing her children with both financial and inspirational support. Read more about Catharine and her inspiring story by clicking on the image to the left. 



The Last Will & Testament of Bilha of Westtown - A Brief Account of Her Life & Legacy (February 2022)

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On February 18, 1768, Bilha of Westtown signed her mark between the words “Negro” and “Bilha” on her last will and testament. Unbeknownst to her or any of the witnesses, she became the first identified person of color in Chester County to have her will probated. This unique record offers a remarkably rare glimpse into colonial Chester County history from the perspective of a Black woman. Learn about Bilha’s historic life—from an enslaved woman to a free woman with an estate file—in this new project by the Chester County Archives. Click the image to the left to read more about Bilha and her story.