History and Research


At the Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation, we strive to present a typical Pennsylvania farm from the period 1760-1790. To accomplish this, we rely on primary documents detailing both the history of our particular site but also similar farms in southeastern Pennsylvania. Although we do not interpret our farm as the "Pratt Farm," we have been able to use the actual records of our site to shape how we interpret colonial farm life.


Wills and Testaments
Wills are valuable to historians to document many things, including property boundaries, family members, some biographical information about the people of the time, and more.

The Will of Joseph Pratt I

The Will of Joseph Pratt II

The Will of Joseph Pratt III



Estate Inventories
Estate inventories are essential to understanding the importance of objects, whether decorative, agricultural, or sentimental, to the people we study.

Estate Inventory of Joseph Pratt I

Estate Inventory of Joseph Pratt II

Estate Inventory of Joseph Pratt III


Diaries
Diaries give us a glimpse into the daily lives of the people we study. Things such as weather, crop yields, interactions with neighbors and more can be found in diaries of the time period.

Diary of Benjamin Hawley, Chester County farmer, January 1775

Diary of Benjamin Hawley, Chester County farmer, February 1775

Diary of Benjamin Hawley, Chester County farmer, March 1775

Diary of Benjamin Hawley, Chester County farmer, April 1775



Are your students studying primary documents? Here are a few activity worksheets for understanding what wills and estate inventories tell us about historical people.

Questions for Analyzing the Will and Inventory of Joseph Pratt I

Questions for Analyzing the Will and Inventory of Joseph Pratt II

Questions for Analyzing the Will and Inventory of Joseph Pratt III


TEACHERS: Answer keys are available to the question sheets listed above. Just email us at education@colonialplantation.org and we'll send them to you!







Phone
610.566.1725

Mailing Address
PO Box 158
Gradyville, PA 19039

GPS Address
3900 North Sandy Flash Dr
Newtown Square, PA 19073

General Email
info@colonialplantation.org



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