Past Meetings

At our public meeting on Sunday, March 16, 2008 the featured presentation was:


The Harlan Family: From William Penn's Chester County to the Settlement of California

by Bruce Mowday

The Harlan family has been associated with Chester County since the 1600s and has impacted the county’s development. Members of the family have also played an important role in the nation’s history.

The Harlan family landed in New Castle, Delaware, in 1687 and members settled in Chester County and throughout the region. Josiah Harlan, who was born in Newlin Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, is believed to have been the model for Rudyard Kipling’s book, The Man Who Would Be King. Josiah Harlan did attain the title of Prince of Ghor in Afghanistan and had plans to be king.

Part of Mowday’s talk was based on the release of Eyewitness to the Settlement of the West: Jacob Wright Harlan’s California 1846-1888. The book was recently released by Squire Cheyney Books of Chester County.

Mowday is an author, president of the media relations firm of The Mowday Group and former reporter and editor for the Daily Local News of West Chester. He writes for Business 2 Business and Chester County Life magazines and other publications. He is also a board member of the Chester County Historical Society and the Chester County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Signed books were available for purchase, including Mowday’s latest book, Six Walking Tours of West Chester. He has written four pictorial history books for Arcadia publishing, West Chester, Coatesville, Downingtown and Along The Brandywine River. Two of his books, September 11, 1777: Washington’s Defeat Dooms Philadelphia and The Selling of an Author, were published by White Mane Publishing. A book on the history of the Republican Committee of Chester County was published by Squire Cheyney Books and his first work, Unlikely Allies: Fort Delaware’s Prison Community in the Civil War, was published by Stackpole Books.

For more information on Mowday’s books, visit

Bruce Mowday


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