In Chester County, residents’ divided loyalties fueled tensions
During the Civil War, Chester County found itself in the crosshairs of controversy with residents divided in their support for the Union or President Lincoln – conflict that spilled over into contentious public meetings and dueling newspapers’ content.
Now, 150 years later, the Chester County Historical Society (CCHS) will recapture that drama with an exhibit that opens to the public on Friday. Entitled “On The Edge of Battle: Chester County and The Civil War,” the show will spotlight the struggles for hearts and minds that raged over union and secession, freedom and slavery. The material will focus on the experiences of local men and women who lived during the nation’s bloodiest war.
Founded in 1893, the Chester County Historical Society works to preserve the county’s rich past, which dates back to 1682 when it was established by William Penn. The CCHS has seven galleries filled with hundreds of objects, including nationally-recognized 18th and 19th century decorative arts, manuscript and photo collections. All combine to provide insight into the daily life and work in the region from the 1600s to the present.
The CCHS is located at 225 N. High St., West Chester. Hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, call 610-692-4800 or visit http://www.chestercohistorical.org. The CCHS also administers the Chester County Archives in cooperation with the county. The County Archives, which houses the historic government records of Chester County, is located in the Government Services Center on Westtown Road. To learn more about the archives, call 610-344-6760 or visit www.chesco.org/archives.