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W.R. Harrison private journal

Ms. Coll. 497

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:
Harrison, W. R.
Title:
W.R. Harrison private journal
Date [inclusive]:
1841-1886
Call Number:
Ms. Coll. 497
Extent:
0.2 linear foot (1 box)
Physical Facet note:
Title and attribution from front cover. Front flyleaf and first 3 leaves of journal have been cut out. Bookplate of Wolcott R. Harrison glued inside back cover. Three engraved colored maps tipped in: "Plan of Baltimore," unsigned; "City of New York" by David H. Burr; and "Morrison's North River Traveller's Companion" of the Hudson River Valley by Thomas Morrison of Philadelphia.
Language:
English
Abstract:
W.R. Harrison was a publisher's representative for A. S. Barnes & Co. and Mather, Case, Tiffany, & Burnham, who sold maps and textbooks to public and private schools and booksellers. This collection consists of a journal kept from October 14, 1841, to February 20, 1844, by W. R. Harrison as well as several items originally laid into the volume, including bills and receipts, a letter, and the lyrics to a few songs.
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Biography/History

W.R. Harrison was a publisher's representative for A. S. Barnes & Co. and Mather, Case, Tiffany, & Burnham, who sold maps and textbooks to public and private schools and booksellers.

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of a journal kept from October 14, 1841, to February 20, 1844, by W. R. Harrison. Entries from 1841 to April 1842 describe events and social pastimes in Philadelphia, including his visits to the Navy Yard and Water Works; several trips to Blockley Hospital, including one to view Dr. Pancoast operate on a patient with cancer of the jaw; services, sermons, and lectures at a number of churches (Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish) and halls; and plays and operas at Philadelphia theatres.

Beginning on April 23, 1842, Harrison travels to Utica, New York, on business, and he keeps accounts of his sales and orders, specifying the maps and books he is promoting. He describes business travel and excursions to Boston, New Bedford, and Nantucket, Massachusetts; Rhode Island; New Haven, Connecticut; New York City; Baltimore, Maryland; Richmond, Roanoke and other locations in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina by horse, train, steamship and sailing ships. He spends periods of time in Philadelphia, where he worked closely with Apollos W. Harrison and worked for Mr. Thomas and Mr. Cowperthwait of Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co.

There are detailed observations of militia drills; firemen's parades; holiday celebrations; Tom Thumb's visit to Philadelphia on February 24, 1843; architecture; mining; travel; occasional descriptions of African Americans in the North and the South, including the August 1, 1842, black celebration of "Emancipation Day" on freeing the slaves in Jamaica, which culminated in a two-day riot in Philadelphia; and a record of the words to the song "Ole Dan Tucker," as sung by slaves in the South.

Items laid in the journal include lyrics to "Jock o' Hazeldean," "The Lass o' Gowrie," and "My heart's in the highlands;" five receipts for payment of Miss Hamilton's tuition and board at Mount Saint Joseph, Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, 1862-1863; and a letter from Lizzie G. Lesher of Lansing, Michigan to her aunt Anne E. Harrison in Philadelphia, dated December 14, 1886.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts,  2018 April 9

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.

Source of Acquisition

Sold by Carmen D. Valentino, 2003.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)
  • A.S. Barnes & Co..
  • Mather, Case, Tiffany & Burnham.
Form/Genre(s)
  • Accounts
  • Correspondence
  • Diaries
  • Maps (documents)
Geographic Name(s)
  • Philadelphia (Pa.)--Social life and customs
Subject(s)
  • African Americans--History
  • Booksellers and bookselling
  • Business
  • Songs--Texts

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

Private journal, volume II and III, 1841 October 14-1844 February 20.

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Items laid in (bills and receipts for the education of Harrison's daughter at the St. Joseph's Academy in Chestnut Hill; letter to Anne E. Harrison from her neice, Lizzie Lesher; and lyrics to songs), 1862-1863, 1886, undated.

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