October 13, 2017
firstname.lastname@example.org (American Legion)
Toll's rejection of what the rest of us regard as critically important recalls the lines Senator Welch uttered to Senator McCarthy at the height of the latter senator's witch hunt: "You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"
A Seventh Heaven
As World War Two was coming to a close in Europe in March of 1945, two Pennsylvania state senators, Weldon Heyburn of Concordville and George Scarlett of Kennett Square, felt it important that we honor the sacrifices made by those who fought for our freedom in the Revolutionary War. If sacrifices made by those fighting the tyrannies of Tojo in the Pacific or the Hitler in Europe were to be honored, then surely the sacrifices made by those who fought the King George III tyranny on our own soil must be honored as well. Mindful of this, senators Heyburn and Scarlett introduced legislation calling for the preservation of the Brandywine Battlefield:
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Possible talking points:
• Is the Brandywine Battlefield any less important than Pearl Harbor,
Gettysburg, or any other hallowed ground?
• Should a corporation be allowed to profit from developing an
important American battlefield?
• Toll Brothers tried to develop land inside Valley Forge National
Historical Park but were hugely oppposed by preservation
groups. What they're proposing to do at Crebilly is worse. There
was no fighting at Valley Forge.
• To the news outlet: please help us generate national outrage at
Toll's disregard for our history...
• How would veterans feel if they knew this is how an American
corporation treated hallowed ground on which other veterans
sacrificed their lives?
• Each generation we ask young men and women to join the armed
services and to risk their lives for this country. Is it any way to
honor them if we desecrate the battlefields of the past?
The Big Swindle
"The Department of Forests and Waters shall mark the boundaries of the Brandywine Battlefield and acquire by gift or purchase in the name of the Commonwealth, important and historic lands and particularly buildings which existed at the time of the Battle, in order that they may be preserved for the benefit and enjoyment of the people and be incorporated into the Brandywine Battlefield Park when the same is developed into a state park...The Department [of Forests and Waters] shall secure options on lands lying within the area of the battlefield, and shall make a report to the General Assembly of the amount of appropriation required to acquire all of the lands within the area of battlefield...so that it may be preserved as a park of major historical importance."
History matters to us and to so many of the people who support the fight against Toll Brothers. How bizarre is it, then, that we have to fight an American corporation – ostensibly peopled with our fellow Americans –to save an important connection to our common American past and the place where part of the Battle of the Brandywine took place.
So after 72 years, so how much of the battlefield has been preserved? Not nearly enough. Many hundreds of acres of housing and commercial development entomb the "historic shrine" that Heyburn and Scarlett wanted to create for our original American heroes. They would in fact be appalled to see how much of the battlefield has been lost to history and would be shocked to learn what Toll Brothers (and the Robinsons) have proposed for the hallowed ground of Crebilly Farm which falls within the federally authorized boundary of the Battle of the Brandywine.
Written by Ken Hemphill
Photo: Rob Lybeck
shown such contempt for the "historic countryside" that Heyburn and Scarlett wanted to save for future generations? Who can say, but thankfully, there are those in our local and county governments who cherish our history and who have not shrunk from the fight against relentless and senseless "development."
Why have the people who work for Toll not shown any concern for the sacrifices and memory of those who came before us? Why have they
What if Toll eyed Gettysburg?
Toll Doesn't Want You to Know
Seven decades ago, two state senators called for the
preservation of the Brandywine Battlefield
A long cherished dream of historically-minded residents of Chester County regarding the preservation of its Brandywine Battlefield as a historic shrine may one day become a reality as the result of a bill which has been introduced to the state legislature by Senator George B. Scarlett, of Kennett Square, and Senator Weldon B. Heyburn, of Concordville, majority leader in the Senate.
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