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Reah Frazer letters

Ms. Coll. 976

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Repository:
University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Creator:
Frazer, Reah, 1804-1856
Title:
Reah Frazer letters
Date [inclusive]:
1826-1856
Call Number:
Ms. Coll. 976
Extent:
0.2 Linear feet (1 box)
Language:
English
Abstract:
The attorney Reah Frazer (1804-1856) was a leading figure of the Democratic Party in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The letters addressed to him relate mostly to local and national politics, but also to private and professional matters.
Cite as:
Reah Frazer letters, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania
PDF Version:

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Biography/History

Reah Frazer (1804-1856) was a prominent attorney and a leading figure of the Democratic Party in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Born at "Carpenter Hall," in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on June 27, 1804 to William C. and Susannah Carpenter Frazer, Reah Frazer was the third in a line of Frazers who were politically active and worked in the legal profession. Frazer's grandfather, William Frazer (1753-1817) was a veteran of the Revolutionary War and served as a justice of the peace in New Castle County, Delaware; and Frazer's father, William C. Frazer (1776-1838), worked as an attorney in Lancaster and served as a Supreme Court judge in Wisconsin territory.

Reah Frazer read law in the office of Amos Ellmaker and was admitted to the bar in 1825. According to Alexander Harris, Frazer was "possessed of a very buoyant and impulsive temperament [and] was not long in establishing himself as one of the most conspicuous attorneys of Lancaster, and for many years, and indeed up to a short time before his death, he was employed in most of the important cases that came before the courts of his native county" (Harris, page 217). He was known for his persuasive speeches before the court and during political events, so much so that Harris states, "his efforts were terrific and applause-producing, and he simply bore off the victory by the herculean might of his inflammatory declamation," (Harris, page 217). Despite being one of the most prominent Democratic political figures in Pennsylvania, Frazer "never held office because he never wanted it," ( Indiana Gazette, page 15).

Politically, Frazer was opposed to the platforms of James Buchanan (1791-1868) and Thaddeus Stevens (1792-1868), both powerful politicians from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Despite his dissatisfaction with these candidates, Frazer remained loyal to the Democratic party. In fact, he was known as the "Lancaster War Horse," and was satirized in the book War Horseiana, or An authentic report of the sayings and doings of the war horse and his ponies: from the year 1847 up to the present time: containing their speeches, resolutions, toasts, adventures, communications, dances, songs, etc. written by Tommy Watchem and published in 1851.

Frazer married Abby Ann Steel (1821-1887) and was the father of four children: Henry Carpenter Frazer (-1903), Reah Frazer, James P. Frazer (-1905), and Susan Carpenter Frazer (1852-1930). He died in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on December 30, 1856.

Works consulted:

Carpenter, Seymour David. Genealogical notes of the Carpenter family. Springfield, Ill.: Illinois State Journal Co., 1907.

Harris, Alexander. Biographical History of Lancaster County. Lancaster, PA: Elias Barr & Co., 1872.

Indiana Gazette. "Colonel Reah Frazer: Lawyer and Politician." June 29, 1925, page 15.

Scope and Contents

The vast majority of this collection contains letters written to Reah Frazer, largely dealing with county and national politics, local political meetings, and appointments of candidates, as well as the nomination of the Pennsylvania Democrat James Buchanan for president in 1856. Some letters relate to Frazer’s law practice and there are several family letters, especially from his brothers Abraham Carpenter Frazer and William Frazer and his sister Mary Clark Frazer, which are more personal in nature. In addition to letters, there are a few newspaper clippings relating to political issues. The letters, which are arranged alphabetically by author, express a great deal of political opinion.

Historians of antebellum politics in Pennsylvania will find this collection to be very useful. The scope is fairly narrow, focusing largely on Buchanan's nomination, but the letters also offer information about Democratic party politics, especially at the county level. Reah Frazer, himself, is a fascinating topic of interest, though this collection alone does not provide a thorough view of him or even his political involvement. Instead, researchers will glimpse a few snippets of political opinion from a number of leading Pennsylvania citizens during a turbulent time in American history.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts,  2014 April 28

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Aleth Tisseau des Escotais

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

At the Pennsylvania State Archives: Reah Frazer papers, 1739-1879, MG-53.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)
  • Democratic Party (Pa.).
Form/Genre(s)
  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Correspondence
Geographic Name(s)
  • Lancaster County (Pa.)--Politics and government
  • United States--Politics and government--1815-1861
Personal Name(s)
  • Buchanan, James, 1791-1868
Subject(s)
  • Lawyers--United States

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

Allen, William S. to Frazer, Reah, 1852 January 1.

1 1

Arnwake, J.B. to Frazer, Reah, 1842 October 8.

1 1

Balmer, Daniel to Frazer, Reah, 1852 February 14.

1 2

Banks, E. to Frazer, Reah, 1852 January 8.

1 2

Barr, R.M. to Frazer, Reah, 1842 December 14.

1 2

Barrett, O. to Frazer, Reah, 1852 April 15-28.

1 2

Beaumont, A. to Frazer, Reah, 1851 January 17, 1853 January-February.

1 2

Beschler, John to Frazer, Reah, 1853 February 25.

1 2

Biddle Thomas M. and others to Frazer, Reah, 1854 September 23.

1 2

Bitner, Abraham to Frazer, Reah, 1850 November 9.

1 2

Blattenberger, George to Frazer, Reah, 1836 October 12.

1 2

Blythe, Calvin and others to Frazer, Reah (typewritten), 1828 September 15.

1 2

Boas, F.R. to Frazer, Reah, 1840 November 7.

1 3

Bohn, John to Frazer, Reah, 1836 October 10.

1 3

Bonham, J. Ellis to Frazer, Reah, 1847 December 15.

1 3

Boyer, Riter to Frazer, Reah, 1852 January 28.

1 3

Brewster, Benjamin H. to Frazer, Reah, 1850-1853.

1 3

Brindle, William to Frazer, Reah, 1843 June 27.

1 3

Brinton, John H. to Frazer, Reah, 1852 January-May.

1 3

Brown, Jeremiah to Frazer, Reah, 1836 June 30.

1 3

Brush, George G. to Frazer, Reah, 1836 October 17.

1 3

Burkett, William to Frazer, Reah, 1853 January 19.

1 3

Burrowes, Robert W. to Frazer, Reah, 1853 January 5.

1 3

Cameron, James to Frazer, Reah, 1850 February-September.

1 4

Cameron, Simon to Frazer, Reah, 1852 February-April.

1 4

Carpenter, D.E. to Frazer, Reah, 1840 October 26.

1 4

Committee to Procure Carriages for to Bring in the Sick [sic], undated.

1 4

Coryell, Lewis S. to Frazer, Reah, 1842 November 7.

1 4

Cummings, A. to Frazer, Reah, 1836 December 13, 1853 March 7.

1 4

Danner, J.B. to Frazer, Reah, 1850 October 14.

1 5

Dawson, John L. to Frazer, Reah, 1850, 1852.

1 5

Deen, Thomas to Frazer, Reah, 1850 November 3.

1 5

Diehl, David and others to Frazer, Reah, 1840 October 14.

1 5

Dieffenbach, H.L. to Frazer, Reah, 1850 April-October.

1 5

Disney, David T. to Frazer, Reah, 1850 December 14.

1 5

Doyle, John C. to Frazer, Reah, 1842 September 21-30.

1 5

Drake, W.E. to Frazer, Reah, 1852 February 25.

1 5

Dungan, William to Frazer, Reah, 1850 April-November.

1 5

Eby, Benjamin and others to Frazer, Reah, 1856 August 18.

1 6

Eby, Jonas to Frazer, Reah, 1850 September 15, 1852 January 5.

1 6

Feran, Thomas to Frazer, Reah, 1853 February 23.

1 7

Field, C.C. to Frazer, Reah, 1844 November 10.

1 7

Filbert, Peter and others to Frazer, Reah (typewritten), 1850 June 15.

1 7

Foltz, J.M. to Frazer, Reah, 1842 October 16.

1 7

Forney, Charles B. to Frazer, Reah, 1852 February 12.

1 7

Fornet, Wien to Frazer, Reah, 1850 February 15.

1 7

Franks, O.G. to Frazer, Reah, 1856 August 20.

1 7

Frazer, A. Carpenter to Frazer, Reah, 1826-1827.

1 8

Frazer, Elizabeth to Frazer, Reah, 1842 November 12.

1 7

Frazer, Mary C. to Frazer, Reah,, 1827 October 28.

1 8

Frick, William to Frazer, Reah, 1844 November 21.

1 7

Galbraith, William to Frazer, Reah, 1852 January 11.

1 9

Gerhard, A.L. to Frazer, Reah, 1840 December 20.

1 9

Gibson, James G., Jr. to Frazer, Reah, 1852 February 17.

1 9

Given, James to Frazer, Reah, 1836 October 27.

1 9

Glatz, Jacob to Frazer, Reah, 1836, 1840, 1842.

1 9

Glossbrenner, Adam J. to Frazer, Reah, 1836 October 16.

1 9

Gordon, John to Frazer, Reah, 1836 December 17-20.

1 9

Hague, Andrew and others to Frazer, Reah, 1852 June 29.

1 10

Hamilton, A. Boyd to Frazer, Reah, 1842 December 29, 1850 March 7.

1 10

Hamilton, J.B. to Frazer, Reah, 1852 January 6-19, 1853 February 23.

1 10

Hammond, R.H. to Frazer, Reah, 1840 October 31.

1 10

Haverstick, George to Frazer, Reah, 1840 April 18.

1 10

Hawkins, William G. to Frazer, Reah, 1832 May 31.

1 10

Heintzelman, R.B. and others to Frazer, Reah (typewritten), with a card for the National Celebration of July 4th, 1853, signed by Colonel Deringer, 1853 June 25.

1 10

Heistand, John A. to Frazer, Reah, 1853 January 12.

1 10

Hilshman, Henry to Frazer, Reah, 1836, 1842.

1 11

Hodgson, John to Frazer, Reah, 1852 July 10.

1 11

Housekeeper, T.W. to Frazer, Reah, 1850 October 1.

1 11

Hubley, Edward B. to Frazer, Reah, 1852 January 8.

1 11

Huston, John to Frazer, Reah, 1852 January 5.

1 11

Hutter and Cantine to Frazer, Reah (typewritten), 1840 October 5.

1 11

Jackson, Evan O. to Frazer, Reah, 1850 July 30.

1 12

Jenks, D.T. to Frazer, Reah, 1856 September 12.

1 12

Johnson, C.M. to Frazer, Reah, 1850 May-October.

1 12

Jones, Jonathan D. to Frazer, Reah, 1833 October 10.

1 12

Jones, Joshua Y. to Frazer, Reah, 1853 January 5.

1 12

Kegerrize, Abiram to Frazer, Reah, 1853 March 12.

1 13

Keenan, Edward J., article on the Democratic candidates, Campaign Democrat, Greensburg, 1856 September 19.

1 13

Keim, Geo M. to Frazer, Reah, 1840 October 26.

1 13

King, Robert to Frazer, Reah, 1833 September 27.

1 13

Kline, Michael, Jr., to Frazer, Reah, 1836 September 19.

1 13

Kolp, John to Frazer, Reah, 1850 November 18.

1 13

Lagan, Daniel to Frazer, Reah, 1852 January 28.

1 14

Lancaster County Convention Roll, 1840 September 9.

1 14

Lancaster County Election Returns, 1836 October 12.

1 14

Lee, Robert M. and others to Frazer, Reah, 1852 February 16.

1 14

Lee, Robert M. to Frazer, Reah, 1852 May 10.

1 14

Leilin, John K. to Frazer, Reah, 1832 February 18.

1 14

Lewis, Joseph J. to Frazer, Reah, 1833 October 9.

1 14

Libhart, John J. to Frazer, Reah, 1850 March-November.

1 15

Libhart, John J., letter from Potts, Thomas P., 1850 August 24.

1 15

Lindsay, Hugh to Frazer, Reah, 1842 November 27.

1 15

Long, Jacob R. to Frazer, Reah, 1850 September 12.

1 15

Long, Reuben H. to Frazer, Reah, 1852 January 9.

1 15

Lowry, M.B. to Frazer, Reah (includes a newspaper clipping containing an article by Lowry), 1848 October 24.

1 15

Lytle, J.F. to Frazer, Reah, 1840 August 28.

1 15

Martin, Peter to Frazer, Reah, 1850 October-November, 1852 January 5.

1 16

McAllister, M.H. to Frazer, Reah, 1845 November 13.

1 16

McAllister, Richard to Frazer, Reah, 1850-1853.

1 16

McClelland, R. to Frazer, Reah, 1853 April 1.

1 16

McConnel, Abraham to Frazer, Reah, 1850 October 9.

1 16

McCormick, Thomas to Frazer, Reah, 1836 November 14.

1 16

McKillips, John to Frazer, Reah, 1850 October 28.

1 16

McLanahan, James K. to Frazer, Reah, 1850 September 30.

1 16

McSparren, John M. to Frazer, Reah, 1850 August 12.

1 16

Maxwell, Philip M. to Frazer, Reah, 1851 January 2.

1 17

Mayer, John L. to Frazer, Reah, 1833 March 16.

1 17

Miller, George A. to Frazer, Reah, 1853 March 7.

1 17

Miller, J. to Frazer, Reah, 1850 March 6.

1 17

Moderwell, A.P. to Frazer, Reah, 1853 January 24.

1 17

Mohler, J.A.P. to Frazer, Reah, 1852 January 2.

1 17

Montgomery, Moses to Frazer, Reah, 1836 August-October.

1 17

Myers, Jacob to Frazer, Reah, 1842 October 4.

1 17

Myers and Wiley, prospectus of newspaper The Lancasterian, 1852 April 21.

1 17

Newton, Albert O. to Frazer, Reah, 1850 November 17.

1 18

Ovenshine, Samuel to Frazer, Reah, 1842 November 25.

1 18

Overholzer, H.D. to Frazer, Reah, 1836 October 12.

1 18

Pearce, Stewart to Frazer, Reah, 1850 September 12.

1 18

Pettit, William V. to Frazer, Reah, 1836 July 16.

1 18

Raiser, Lewis to Frazer, Reah, 1840 October 31.

1 19

Redsecker, Jacob to Frazer, Reah, 1836 October 12.

1 19

Reigart, J.F. to Frazer, Reah, 1842 July 9.

1 19

Roberts, Anthony E. to Frazer, Reah, 1856 August 18.

1 19

Robertson, James M. to Frazer, Reah, 1832 June 1.

1 19

Rogers, William T. to Frazer, Reah, 1833 March 13.

1 19

Rowe, Emanuel to Frazer, Reah, 1856 October 28.

1 19

Seidenstriker, Frederick to Frazer, Reah, 1848 March 29.

1 20

Shaffner, Gabriel to Frazer, Reah, 1853 February 27.

1 20

Shriner, C.H. and others to Frazer, Reah, 1850 September 9.

1 20

Shugert, S.T. and others to Frazer, Reah (typewritten), 1856 September 22.

1 20

Sipes, William B. and others to Frazer, Reah, 1856 August 22.

1 20

Small, Daniel to Frazer, Reah, 1836 September 10.

1 20

Smith, H.K. to Frazer, Reah, 1848 October 23.

1 20

Smith, P. Frazer to Frazer, Reah, 1833 November 30, 1836 September 28.

1 20

Snyder, Henry to Frazer, Reah, 1844 December 18.

1 20

Stambaugh, S.C. to Frazer, Reah (one typewritten letter), 1828 September-October .

1 20

Stambaugh, Henry to Frazer, Reah, 1850 September 2.

1 20

Steele, William P. to Frazer, Reah, 1856 November 23.

1 20

Stokes, P.J.T. to Frazer, Reah, 1850 November 9.

1 20

Strickland, N. to Frazer, Reah, 1845 April 9.

1 20

Thomas, F.A. to Frazer, Reah, 1836, 1850-1852.

1 21

Thomas, Joseph L. and others to Frazer, Reah, 1843 June 20.

1 21

“Tom” to Frazer, Reah, 1850 July 4.

1 21

Truitt, George to Frazer, Reah, undated.

1 21

Vansant, Joshua to Frazer, Reah, 1840 September 12.

1 22

Warren, William F.S. to Frazer, Reah, 1850 August 26.

1 22

Watts, Joseph M. to Frazer, Reah, 1850 May-November.

1 22

Westcott, James D. to Frazer, Reah, 1852 April 23.

1 22

Wilson, John to Frazer, Reah, 1840 October 14.

1 22

Wilson, Stephen to Frazer, Reah, 1840 October 31.

1 22

Zerman, John to Frazer, Reah, 1850 December 9.

1 22