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Thomas Jefferson, Peter Spurck, Philadelphia and Somerset, Ohio: People and Places United by Time
April 9, 2016 @ 6:30 am - 7:30 pm
Please join us this Saturday evening for another exciting installment in our free annual Appalachian Heritage lecture series. This week’s presenter is our own Joseph Snider presenting on the subject of local clock maker, Peter Spurck, in a paper entitled, “Thomas Jefferson, Peter Spurck, Philadelphia and Somerset, Ohio: People and Places United by TIME.” See abstract below for details. Hope to see you there!
For far too long historians and laymen alike have willingly accepted the narrative of the Ohio frontier as one marked by disparity, and endless toil, whose only players were hardened pioneers who lacked refinement and expended all their energy fighting of bands of Indians, building log cabins and simply surviving. This concept ignores the fact that Ohio’s forefathers where individuals with high ideals, and taste, both of which they imported from the east to Ohio where they hoped to create an improved society. Moreover, these pioneers were consumers of goods which they continued to demand on the Ohio frontier. As settlers moved in, they were quickly followed by merchants and craftsmen, such as Peter Spurck, who sought to cash in on their demand for material culture. The Story of Spurck, a Philadelphia clock maker, who settled in Chillicothe, Ohio, in 1806 and later moved to Somerset in the 1820s, provides a fascinating insight into the consumer culture of Ohio’s early frontier. Spurck’s connections with the likes of Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and famous American inventor Robert Leslie, make him all the more incredible a character.
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