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Main Content

Anne Hampton Brewster papers

Brewster

Anne Hampton Brewster papers

Brewster

Anne Hampton Brewster papers

Brewster

Anne Hampton Brewster papers

Brewster

Anne Hampton Brewster papers

Brewster

Anne Hampton Brewster papers

Brewster

Anne Hampton Brewster papers

Brewster

Anne Hampton Brewster papers

Brewster

Anne Hampton Brewster papers

Brewster

Anne Hampton Brewster papers

Brewster

Anne Hampton Brewster papers

Brewster

Anne Hampton Brewster papers

Brewster

Anne Hampton Brewster papers

Brewster

Anne Hampton Brewster papers

Brewster

Anne Hampton Brewster papers

Brewster

Anne Hampton Brewster papers

Brewster

Anne Hampton Brewster papers

Brewster

Anne Hampton Brewster papers

Brewster

Anne Hampton Brewster papers

Brewster

Anne Hampton Brewster papers

Brewster

Anne Hampton Brewster papers

Brewster

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

Summary Information

Repository:
Library Company of Philadelphia
Creator:
Brewster, Anne M. H., (Anne Maria Hampton), 1819-1892
Title:
Anne Hampton Brewster papers
Date [bulk]:
1845-1892
Date [inclusive]:
1777-1892
Call Number:
Brewster
Extent:
28 containers
Language:
English
Abstract:
Anne Hampton Brewster (1818-1892) was an American novelist, journalist and foreign correspondent who defied contemporary conceptions of womanhood and society during the nineteenth century. The papers date from 1777 to 1892, with the majority of the materials dating from 1845 to 1892. The materials primarily consist of diaries, journals, commonplace books, correspondence, newspaper clippings, notes about her writings and drafts of her writings. The materials document Anne Hampton Brewster’s personal life with friends and family, and they document her professional life as a journalist and writer.
Cite as:
[Description and date of item], [Box/folder number], Anne Hampton Brewster papers, 1777-1892 (bulk 1845-1892), Library Company of Philadelphia.
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Summary Information

Repository:
Library Company of Philadelphia
Creator:
Committee to Attend to and Alleviate the Sufferings of the Afflicted with the Malignant Fever.
Title:
Committee to Attend to and Alleviate the Sufferings of the Afflicted with the Malignant Fever minutes
Date [inclusive]:
1793-1794
Call Number:
CAASAMF
Extent:
1 volume
Language:
English
Abstract:
On September 14, 1793, Matthew Clarkson, the mayor of Philadelphia called a meeting that created the Committee to Attend to and Alleviate the Suffering of the Afflicted with the Malignant Fever Prevalent in the City and Its Vicinity. This committee of volunteer citizens took responsibility for the city during the crisis and guided its recovery following the epidemic's end. The collection consists of a volume containing the minutes of this organization and dates from 1793 to 1794.
Cite as:
[Description and date of item], Committee to Attend to and Alleviate the Sufferings of the Afflicted with the Malignant Fever minutes, 1793-1794, Library Company of Philadelphia.
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Summary Information

Repository:
Library Company of Philadelphia
Creator:
Dillwyn, William, 1743-1824
Creator:
Emlen, Samuel, Jr., 1766-1837
Creator:
Emlen, Susanna Dillwyn, 1769-1819
Title:
Dillwyn and Emlen family correspondence
Date [inclusive]:
1770-1818
Call Number:
Dillwyn
Extent:
1.75 Linear feet (7 containers)
Language:
English
Abstract:
The Dillwyn and Emlen family was joined in 1795 when Susanna Dillwyn married Samuel Emlen, Jr. Both the Dillwyn and Emlen families were prominent in early America as Quakers and advocates for abolition. This collection consists of five disbound volumes of letters written to and from William Dillwyn of London and his daughter Susanna Dillwyn in America from 1770 to 1795; and thereafter until 1818, to and from Susanna and her husband Samuel Emlen, Jr. of Burlington County, New Jersey. Although Susanna lived almost her entire life apart from her father, their letters are frequent and deal primarily with family matters and kin. However, there is frequent comment concerning such topics as yellow fever; abolitionism and slavery; Native Americans; breast cancer; and American and European politics, including the Napoleonic wars and the embargo, as well as their effects upon trade and merchants in Philadelphia and London.
Cite as:
[Description and date of item], [Box/folder number], Dillwyn and Emlen family correspondence, 1770-1818, Library Company of Philadelphia.
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Summary Information

Repository:
Library Company of Philadelphia
Creator:
Fergusson, Elizabeth Graeme, 1737-1801
Title:
Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson papers
Date [inclusive]:
1752-1795
Call Number:
Fergusson
Extent:
1.33 Linear feet (6 volumes)
Language:
English
Abstract:
Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson (1737-1801), considered to be the outstanding female poet of her place and time, was a leader in the literary world of colonial Pennsylvania and an avid writer, who composed poems, songs, travel accounts and other writings, referencing literature, natural history, religion, politics and current events. This collection consists of six volumes of writings which probably represent all of her work, most of which is unpublished. Researchers interested in Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson, women authors in colonial America and the early United States, or a female commentary on contemporary events will find this collection to be extremely valuable.
Cite as:
[Description and date of item], [Box/folder number], Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson papers, 1752-1795, Library Company of Philadelphia.
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Summary Information

Repository:
Library Company of Philadelphia
Creator:
Gillespie, George
Title:
George Gillespie notes taken from Dr. Thomas Young’s Lectures on Midwifery
Date:
1761
Call Number:
George.Gillespie
Extent:
2 volumes
Language:
English
Abstract:
Dr. Thomas Young, 1730-1783, was appointed a professor of midwifery at the University of Edinburgh from 1756 until his death in 1783. He is generally considered to be the father of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Obstetrics. During his tenure, he created a Lying-In Ward at the Royal Infirmary, later the Edinburgh Maternity Hospital, to give clinical lectures. George Gillespie appears to have been a student of Dr. Young, and this collection consists of two volumes containing Gillespie’s verbatim notes of Dr. Young’s Lectures on Midwifery at the University of Edinburgh in 1761.
Cite as:
[Description and date of item], [Volume number], George Gillespie notes taken from Dr. Thomas Young’s Lectures on Midwifery, 1761, Library Company of Philadelphia.
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Summary Information

Repository:
Library Company of Philadelphia
Creator:
Swieten, Gerard, Freiherr van, 1700-1772
Title:
Gerard van Swieten dictata in materia medica
Date [inclusive]:
1733-1756
Call Number:
Swieten
Extent:
8 volumes
Language:
Latin
Abstract:
Gerard van Swieten (1770-1772) was a Dutch-Austrian physician who served as the personal physician to Austrian Empress Maria Theresa in 1745 and transformed the Austrian health services as well as medical university education. This collection consists of eight volumes of medical writings in Latin concerning nutrition, pharmacy, and surgery. Several pages at the beginning of Volume I, and a few pages elsewhere, are translated into English on the facing pages.
Cite as:
[Description and date of item], [Volume number], Gerard van Swieten dictata in materia medica, 1733-1756, Library Company of Philadelphia.
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Summary Information

Repository:
Library Company of Philadelphia
Creator:
Dickinson, John, 1732-1808
Title:
John Dickinson papers
Date [bulk]:
1753-1808
Date [inclusive]:
1676-1885
Call Number:
Dickinson
Extent:
5.2 Linear feet (13 containers, 5 volumes)
Language:
English
Abstract:
John Dickinson (1732-1808), a Philadelphia lawyer and politician, was a major figure in colonial Delaware and Pennsylvania governments and during the early national period. He was an active presence and prolific writer during the American Revolution and early Republic from the passage of the Sugar Act (1764) until the Jefferson presidency (1801 to 1809). He also served in the military as colonel, private, and brigadier general. He married Mary Norris in 1770. John Dickinson died in Delaware in 1808. The John Dickinson papers contains incoming and outgoing correspondence; drafts and original manuscript documents from the revolutionary and early national government, Revolutionary War, Delaware and Pennsylvania government; land papers; legal papers; bills and receipts; collected essays, notes and commonplace books; and estate material. The papers provide a clear picture of the way in which colonists envisioned their new country and how these new Americans worked, compromised and adapted in order to achieve their visions. Mary Norris Dickinson is documented in two volumes: one of letters and one of poems.
Cite as:
[Description and date of item], [Box and folder number], John Dickinson papers, 1676-1885, Library Company of Philadelphia.
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Summary Information

Repository:
Library Company of Philadelphia
Creator:
Library Company of Philadelphia.
Title:
Library Company of Philadelphia minute books
Date [inclusive]:
1731-2000
Call Number:
Minutes
Extent:
4.2 Linear feet (46 volumes)
Language:
English
Abstract:
In 1731, Benjamin Franklin and a group of intellectual Philadelphians established the Library Company of Philadelphia, a subscription library supported by its shareholders. The Library Company flourished because it adopted a purchasing policy responsive to the needs of its intellectually alert, economically ambitious, but non-elite membership. The Library Company of Philadelphia is now an independent research library specializing in American society and culture from the 17th to 19th centuries. The history of this organization is best documented by its minute books dating from 1731 to 2000. The collection consists of minute books documenting the meetings of the Directors (both the final approved version of the minutes and the rough drafts of the minutes), 1731 to 2000; the Trustees of the Loganian Library, 1853 to 1876; and the Committee for Fixing the Value of Lost Books, 1785 to 1848. In addition to meeting minutes, the minute books include financial reports, and supporting materials such as excerpts from annual reports, exhibition announcements, menus and correspondence. These volumes effectively tell the history of the Library Company of Philadelphia and document the establishment of and challenges of a 200 year old institution's struggles to maintain its mission, resources, and quality through financial and societal changes. Researchers interested in the history of the Library Company of Philadelphia, Philadelphia history, or libraries will find this collection to be of great value.
Cite as:
[Description and date of item], [Box and folder number], Library Company of Philadelphia minute books, 1731-2000, Library Company of Philadelphia.
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Summary Information

Repository:
Library Company of Philadelphia
Creator:
Library Company of Philadelphia.
Title:
Library Company of Philadelphia publications
Date [inclusive]:
1834-2006
Call Number:
Publications
Extent:
3 Linear feet (2 containers, 52 volumes)
Language:
English
Abstract:
In 1731, Benjamin Franklin and a group of intellectual Philadelphians established the Library Company of Philadelphia, a subscription library supported by its shareholders. The Library Company of Philadelphia is now an independent research library specializing in American society and culture from the 17th to 19th centuries. The mission of the Library Company of Philadelphia includes preserving, interpreting, making available, and augmenting the valuable materials within its care. In order to achieve this mission, the Library Company of Philadelphia curates exhibits, hosts symposia and conferences, and publishes works regarding the Library Company and its collections. This collection consists of printed material created by the Library Company of Philadelphia. Included are brochures; information about resources and services; event brochures, announcements, exhibit catalogues, and conference programs; and published works regarding the Library Company of Philadelphia or the materials held by the Library Company of Philadelphia.
Cite as:
[Description and date of item], [Box and folder number], Library Company of Philadelphia publications, 1834-2006, Library Company of Philadelphia.
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Summary Information

Repository:
Library Company of Philadelphia
Creator:
Library Company of Philadelphia.
Title:
Library Company of Philadelphia Shareholders records
Date [inclusive]:
1732-2007
Call Number:
Shareholders
Extent:
4.33 Linear feet (12 volumes)
Language:
English
Abstract:
In 1731, Benjamin Franklin and a number of his fellow members of the Junto founded the Library Company of Philadelphia, in order to provide its members access to books that they could not afford to purchase individually, but could afford to purchase collectively. Fifty subscribers invested forty shillings each and promised to pay ten shillings a year thereafter to buy books and maintain a shareholder's library. Thus "the Mother of all American Subscription Libraries" was established. Over the years, the Library Company continues to be supported by its members who participate in a centuries-old tradition by becoming shareholders and therefore allowing the Library Company of Philadelphia to continue serving the public, free of charge. This collection consists of twelve volumes of shareholders records dating from 1742 to 2007. The volumes, Record Books A to L, document share purchases and transfers of shares. Entries include date, name of member, and occasionally brief notes on circumstances of share transfers. They also provide information about the history of the Library Company of Philadelphia as well as some information on the men and women who became members.
Cite as:
[Description and date of item], [Box and folder number], Library Company of Philadelphia Shareholders records, 1742-1993, Library Company of Philadelphia.
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Summary Information

Repository:
Library Company of Philadelphia
Creator:
Logan
Title:
Logan family papers
Date [inclusive]:
1684-1925
Call Number:
Logan
Extent:
11 Linear feet
General Physical Description note:
10 containers, 62 volumes
Language:
English
Abstract:
The Logan family was prominent in Philadelphia from the start of the province, serving the people in many capacities, including political, medical and literary. This is a collection of manuscripts obtained by the Library Company of Philadelphia that relates to the Logan family. The collection includes papers of the Logan family members Albanus Charles, Algernon Sydney, Deborah Norris, William Jr., and James as well as family materials collected by Frances A. Logan and William Logan Fox. The collection dates from 1684 to 1925 and consists of family papers, correspondence, diaries, writings, medical texts, lecture notes, financial records, poetry, visiting cards, and invitations.
Cite as:
[Description and date of item], [Box/folder number], Logan family papers, 1684-1925, Library Company of Philadelphia.
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Summary Information

Repository:
Library Company of Philadelphia
Creator:
Renaudet, Peter
Title:
Peter Renaudet medical apprentice notebook
Date:
1741
Call Number:
Renaudet
Extent:
1 volume
Language:
English
Abstract:
This collection consists of a medical apprentice notebook containing the observations of a mid-18th century New York apprentice, Peter Renaudet. It is a record of clinical cases, in which Renaudet describes the patient's ailments, treatments prescribed, and the result of those treatments.
Cite as:
[Description and date of item], Peter Renaudet medical apprentice notebook, 1741, Library Company of Philadelphia.
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Summary Information

Repository:
Library Company of Philadelphia
Creator:
Du Simitière, Pierre Eugène, ca. 1736-1784
Title:
Pierre Eugène du Simitière collection
Date [inclusive]:
1492-1784
Call Number:
DuSimitiere
Extent:
3.8 Linear feet
General Physical Description note:
11 containers, 4 volumes
Language:
English
Abstract:
Pierre Eugène Du Simitière (1737-1784) was a collector, artist, and historian, who opened the first public museum, the American Museum, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At the American Musuem, Du Simitière presented his many materials collected during his travels and from his collections. The Library Company of Philadelphia purchased many of the manuscript materials at an auction in 1785 following Du Simitière’s death and the closing of the American Museum. The following collection is Du Simitière’s manuscript collection purchased at this auction. The collection reflects his interests and his lifestyle and includes poetry, sketches, watercolors, newspaper excerpts and clippings, treatise, correspondence, lists of nature, historical chronologies, bibliographies, and copies and originals of historical documents. The collection includes compiled information on places such as the West Indies, Pennsylvania, New England, New York, and the Carolinas in the form of historical chronologies, documents, bibliographies, sketches, and narratives. It includes information, documents, and research on many Native American groups and Creoles. The collection also contains information, documents, and research on historical events in the United States such as the Jacob Leisler case, politics in New York, the American Revolution, the colonization of America, and the Pennsylvania Line Mutiny. With the exception of a few miscellaneous items, the collection’s focus is on the years 1720 to 1780.
Cite as:
[Description and date of item], [Box and folder number], Pierre Eugène du Simitière collection, 1492-1784, Library Company of Philadelphia.
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Summary Information

Repository:
Library Company of Philadelphia
Creator:
Penn, William, 1644-1718
Title:
Proprietor of Pennsylvania accounts
Date [inclusive]:
1701-1704
Call Number:
Proprietor.of.Penna
Extent:
1 volume
Language:
English
Abstract:
The British colony of Pennsylvania was given to William Penn (1644-1718) in 1681 by Charles II of England in repayment of a debt owed his father, Sir Admiral William Penn (1621-1670). Under Penn's directive, Pennsylvania was settled by Quakers escaping religious torment in England and other European nations. Three generations of Penn descendents held proprietorship of the colony until the American Revolution, when the family was stripped of all but its privately held shares of land. This collection consists of a volume recording the transactions of William Penn's proprietary government of Pennsylvania, including date, name of seller or customer, item or service, and amount paid. This volume dates from 1701 to 1704.
Cite as:
[Description and date of item], Proprietor of Pennsylvania accounts, 1701-1704, Library Company of Philadelphia.
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Summary Information

Repository:
Library Company of Philadelphia
Creator:
Read, John Meredith, 1797-1874
Creator:
Read, John Meredith, 1837-1896
Creator:
Read, John, 1769-1854
Creator:
Read
Title:
Read family papers
Date [bulk]:
1792-1896
Date [inclusive]:
1736-1896
Call Number:
Read
Extent:
70 Linear feet ()
Language:
English
Abstract:
The Read family consistently played an important role in American government and politics from the time that George Read, a Delaware resident, signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Throughout the 17th to 19th centuries, the Reads served as lawyers, judges, politicians, generals, consul-generals and foreign ministers. This collection contains the papers of four generations of the Read family of Philadelphia, consisting of John Read, Judge John Meredith Read, General John Meredith Read, and Harmon Pumpelly Read. The materials date from 1736 to 1896, with the bulk dating from 1792 to 1896, and include extensive correspondence, bills and receipts, genealogical notes, legal documents, newspaper clippings, photographs, scrapbooks and ephemera. The majority of the collection consists of General John Meredith Read’s papers relating to his family history and genealogy, correspondence, and political materials. The collection is particularly valuable in illustrating Philadelphia social life, global and local politics, as well as Civil War experiences, as it includes extensive correspondence describing first-hand accounts as well as with several key political figures during the Civil War era.
Cite as:
[Description and date of item], [Box and folder number], Read family papers, 1736-1896 (bulk 1792-1896), Library Company of Philadelphia.
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Summary Information

Repository:
Library Company of Philadelphia
Creator:
Rush, Benjamin, 1746-1813
Creator:
Rush, James, 1786-1869
Creator:
Rush
Title:
Rush family papers
Date [inclusive]:
1748-1876
Call Number:
Rush
Extent:
34.5 Linear feet
Language:
English
Abstract:
The Rush Family papers includes material from Benjamin Rush, physician, social activist, educator, writer and patriot; his brother Jacob Rush, lawyer, Supreme Court judge, and patriot; and Benjamin’s son James Rush, physician and Treasurer of the United States Mint. These American men were “strong characters, zealous patriots during the stirring period in which they lived, tenacious of their convictions and of the high standard of individual duty which they set for others, and typified in themselves,” (Richards, page 53). The bulk of the collection is the papers of Dr. Benjamin Rush and his son Dr. James Rush. Judge Jacob, John, Richard and William are represented, but to a much lesser degree. The other Rush family members are represented in a very limited manner. The collection contains correspondence; financial records; medical notes, lectures, and case histories; writings regarding medicine, politics, and the judicial system; and observations on colonial Philadelphia, the formation of the United States, and the new nation.
Cite as:
[Description and date of item], [Box/folder number], Rush family papers, 1748-1876, Library Company of Philadelphia.
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Summary Information

Repository:
Library Company of Philadelphia
Creator:
Morton, Samuel George, 1799-1851
Title:
Samuel George Morton papers
Date [inclusive]:
1832-1862
Call Number:
Morton
Extent:
3.2 Linear feet (5 containers, 13 volumes)
Language:
English
Abstract:
Samuel George Morton (1799-1851) of Philadelphia was a physician and natural scientist whose work focused on the craniometric studies of humans with conclusions regarding the relative intellectual capacities of the “five races.” His work had a profound influence on the development of physical anthropology in antebellum America. He also made contributions in the fields of geology, mineralogy, paleontology and natural history. Morton served as a professor of medicine at Pennsylvania College (now, the University of Pennsylvania). This collection contains mainly the papers of Samuel George Morton, which date from 1832 to 1851, when Morton devoted his research efforts almost exclusively to ethnology and to the collecting of human skulls for comparative studies. The bulk of the papers consist of incoming correspondence, from 1832 to 1851, relating to ethnology and other related interests such as anthropology, craniology, paleontology and Egyptology. The remainder of the collection contains the papers of Samuel George Morton’s son, James St. Clair Morton, who served as an engineer during the Civil War.
Cite as:
[Description and date of item], [Box and folder number], Samuel George Morton papers, 1832-1862, Library Company of Philadelphia.
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Summary Information

Repository:
Library Company of Philadelphia
Creator:
Buck, Pearl S. (Pearl Sydenstricker), 1892-1973
Creator:
Cogdell
Creator:
Holden, Sallie Sanders Venning, 1872-1959
Creator:
Jackson, Mary Hinkson, 1928-2014
Creator:
Sanders
Creator:
Stevens
Creator:
Venning
Title:
Stevens-Cogdell-Sanders-Venning collection
Date [inclusive]:
1734-1982
Call Number:
Stevens
Extent:
3 Linear feet
Language:
English
Abstract:
The Stevens-Cogdell-Sanders-Venning family papers document the development of a white family and a prominent middle-class African American family in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, beginning with the 1760s emigration of John Stevens from England to South Carolina. The materials date from 1734 to 1982 and consist of scrapbooks, ephemera, newspaper clippings, Common Prayer books, invitations, holiday cards, correspondence, business papers, and a variety of personal papers. The materials document the Stevens-Cogdell-Sanders-Venning families’ professional, family, and personal lives as well as the development of a prominent middle-class African American family.
Cite as:
[Description and date of item], [Box and folder number], Stevens-Cogdell-Sanders-Venning collection, 1734-1982, Library Company of Philadelphia.
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Summary Information

Repository:
Library Company of Philadelphia
Creator:
Wolf, Edwin, 2nd.
Title:
The professional and personal papers of Edwin Wolf 2nd
Date [bulk]:
1920-1988
Date [inclusive]:
1798-1996
Call Number:
EW2
Extent:
20 Linear feet
Language:
English
Abstract:
Edwin Wolf 2nd (1911-1991) was a librarian, bibliophile, author, historian, Franklin scholar, and a civic leader in Philadelphia. Wolf was Curator of the Library Company from 1953 to 1955, and then served as Librarian from 1955 to 1984. During those years, he led the Library Company though a period of rejuvenation, growth, and prosperity. The Edwin Wolf 2nd papers contain correspondence, research files, volumes, publications, photographs, and other records that document the education, career, and personal family life of one of Philadelphia’s most prominent bookmen during the 20th century.
Cite as:
[Description and date of item], [Box/folder number], Wolf papers,The Library Company of Philadelphia.
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Summary Information

Repository:
Library Company of Philadelphia
Creator:
Leiper, Thomas, 1745-1825
Title:
Thomas Leiper and family business records
Date [inclusive]:
1771-1947
Call Number:
Leiper
Extent:
5.58 Linear feet (47 volumes)
Language:
English
Abstract:
Thomas Leiper (1745-1825) was introduced into the business of tobacco shortly after his arrival in Virginia in 1763. Within several years, he moved to Philadelphia where he opened a tobacco shop. During the Revolutionary War, Leiper became the principal tobacco provider in Philadelphia. In 1776, Leiper purchased land in Delaware County that included a mill at a waterfall on the Crum Creek. He established snuff mills and later purchased a stone quarry. The Thomas Leiper and family business records include correspondence, country estate records, and business and financial records of the family's paper, lumber and wood working businesses, quarry business, and tobacco business dating from 1771 to 1947.
Cite as:
[Description and date of item], [Box and folder number], Thomas Leiper and family business records, 1771-1947, Library Company of Philadelphia.
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Summary Information

Repository:
Library Company of Philadelphia
Creator:
Wilkey, Thomas
Title:
Thomas Wilkey journal on board the U.S.S. Delaware
Date:
1798
Call Number:
Wilkey
Extent:
1 volume
Language:
English
Abstract:
Thomas Wilkey served under Stephen Decatur (1752-1808) in the United States Navy during the Quasi-War with France aboard the U.S.S. Delaware. During the course of the Quasi-War, the U.S.S.  Delaware sailed between New York and the West Indies, protecting American ships from the French privateers. Wilkey’s journal contains daily records of the U.S.S.  Delaware’s voyages in 1798, including weather conditions, courses set, latitude and longitude, daily activities, and encounters with other ships, including privateers.
Cite as:
[Description and date of item], Thomas Wilkey journal on board the U.S.S. Delaware, 1798, Library Company of Philadelphia.
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Biography/History

Anne Hampton Brewster (1818-1892) was an American novelist, journalist and foreign correspondent. She defied familial and social conventions by converting to Catholicism, suing her brother for her share of their mother’s estate, emigrating to Rome, supporting herself financially, and not marrying. Brewster preferred an independent life and supported herself as a writer. After 1868, she lived in Rome, Italy and wrote articles about Italian art, architecture, archaeology, political events and social gossip for numerous American newspapers. Brewster continued to write until her death, publishing three novels, seven pieces of nonfiction, fifty-two short stories, and four poems, along with her many newspaper articles.

Anne Hampton Brewster was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on October 29, 1818 to Maria Hampton and Francis Enoch Brewster. She had one older brother, Benjamin Harris Brewster, who became an accomplished civil lawyer and served as Attorney General of the United States during Chester A. Arthur’s presidency. Anne’s father abandoned the family in 1834, to live with his mistress and their two sons. He provided minimal support to Anne and her mother, forcing them to rely heavily on Benjamin. As a result, Anne found herself managing her brother’s household. Anne maintained an ambivalent relationship with her brother throughout her life.

In fact, according to author Denise M. Larrabee, Brewster was also ambivalent about her place in the world as a woman, finding it difficult to reconcile her desire for independence and her inclination to write with her own Victorian values. Over the course of her life, however, independence became her predominant desire, one she ultimately achieved through writing.

According to Larrabee, this ambivalence was displayed in her use of a pseudonym, Enna Duval, at the start of her writing career. Between 1845 and 1849, Brewster published at least twenty-two short stories. All her protagonists were women, and the stories shared a common theme: “Marriage brings happiness only if one marries for love, not financial security,” (Larrabee, p. 11). In 1849, she published her first book, a novella titled Spirit Sculpture, and her first poem, “New Year Meditation,” was published in  Graham’s Magazine. After the publication of “New Year Meditation,” she was hired by Graham’s as an editor, a post she held until 1851.

It was after Anne’s father died in 1854 that she began her efforts for financial independence in earnest. Maria Hampton Brewster, her mother, died the year before, a tremendous personal loss for Anne. Maria left Anne her entire estate, per an understanding with her husband that stated Maria could dispose of her pre-marriage assets as she saw fit. However, Anne’s father reneged on the agreement, and left his entire estate, including Maria Hampton Brewster’s assets, to his two illegitimate sons. Anne’s brother, Benjamin, eventually convinced his half brothers to share the inheritance. Benjamin, however, retained control of Anne’s share. Completely dissatisfied with this arrangement, Anne took her brother to court. They battled in court for years; Anne eventually lost and Benjamin retained control of her inheritance.

Despite these legal issues, the 1850s proved a successful and exciting decade for Brewster. To begin with, between 1851 and 1857, she published four short stories. Then in 1857, leaving the matter of her lawsuit in the hands of a friend and lawyer, Charles F. Thomas, Brewster traveled to Italy and Switzerland. In Europe, she spent her time reading, writing, and studying French, German, and Italian. She returned to America in August of 1858, settled in Bridgeton, New Jersey, and supported herself by writing and teaching music and French. In 1859, Brewster wrote and published numerous short stories in Harper’s Magazine,  The Atlantic Monthly,  "Peterson’s Magazine" ,  Dwight’s Journal of Music and  The Knickerbocker. She also published the novel  Compensation. By this time, she had more confidence in her writing and abandoned use of her pseudonym. In 1866, she published her second novel,  St. Martin’s Summer.

In 1868, Brewster returned to Italy, where she would stay for the rest of her life. To help support herself in Rome, Anne wrote weekly or monthly articles about Italian art, architecture, archaeology, political events and social gossip for American newspapers. Most notably, she wrote for the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin and  Boston Daily Advertiser. Her newspaper articles gained attention, and she became prominent in artistic circles in Rome. She hosted a weekly salon where she entertained other famous writers and musicians of the day, and she developed close relationships with many of them.

Brewster was able to fully support herself in Italy, though she was not without financial worries. Income generated from her inheritance fluctuated from year to year, and in some years she needed to write more to compensate. Then, in the 1880s, she began to lose her newspaper engagements. Journalism in America was changing, and her contributions as well as her writing style were becoming antiquated. Her financial situation forced her to move to Sienna, Italy, where it was significantly less expensive to live. Though she missed Rome, she remained in affordable Sienna, still valuing her independence above all else. While there, she published one last article in the magazine Cosmopolitan, about her life in Sienna. She died in 1892.

Bibliography:

Larrabee, Denise M. Anne Hampton Brewster: 19th Century Author and “Social Outlaw”. Philadelphia: Library Company of Philadelphia, 1992.

For a more detailed description of Anne Hampton Brewster’s life and this collection, Larrabee's entire article is available through Google books at: http://tinyurl.com/23oycvg

Biography/History

Soon after Dr. Benjamin Rush announced the onset of the yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia in August of 1793, there was an exodus of Philadelphians. According to Martin S. Pernick, "between 19 August and 15 November, ten to fifteen percent of the estimated 45, 000 Philadelphians perished, while another 20,000, including most government officials, simply fled," (Estes, page 199). Thus, on September 14, 1793, Matthew Clarkson, the mayor of Philadelphia called a meeting to create a committee to take responsibility for the city during the crisis. Described as "an extraordinary citizen's committee to supervise the city's response to the epidemic, ... this committee of volunteers, with Clarkson presiding, stood as virtually the only public authority in Philadelphia at the height of the fever [and] quickly gained a reputation for practicality, efficiency, and quiet heroism," (Estes, page 28).

The Committee was comprised of a range of citizens, from the very wealthy and prominent to the average working class, from Philadelphia, the Northern Liberties and Southwark. According to Estes, the Committee met each day from the middle of September to November, and "in the abdication of all other authority, and by virtue of the authority granted it by the town meeting, this group of volunteers assumed by tacit, but universal consent, all governmental functions," (Estes, page 52). Members of the Committee included Andrew Adgate, Samuel Benge, Mathew Carey, Mayor Matthew Clarkson, Henry Deforest, Samuel M. Fox, Stephen Girard, Peter Helm, Joseph Inskeep, Israel Israel, James Kerr, John Letchworth, Caleb Lownes, Thomas Savery, James Sharswood, James Swain, Samuel Wetherill, and Thomas Wister. Mayor Clarkson served as president, Samuel Wetherill served as vice-president, Thomas Wistar served as treasurer, and Caleb Lownes served as secretary. Members of the Committee were not immune to the yellow fever--several stopped attending meetings because their families were ill, they were ill, and on a few occasions, they died of the disease.

Stephen Girard and Peter Helm volunteered and were tasked with streamlining work and sanitation at the make-ship hospital, Bush Hill. In addition, the Committee's duties included distributing food, medicine, firewood, and clothes to the sick and poor; distributing information to the newspapers; founding a home for children who were newly orphaned (ninety-three according to J.H. Powell) at the Loganian Library; burying the dead; and cleaning and disinfecting the city. They also handled donations from outside Philadelphia and requested funds to support their efforts. Finally, in the middle of November, "as the disease gradually began to abate, the Committee published notices prescribing measures for cleansing sites of illness and warning those in the country not to return prematurely," (p. 52).

In March 1794, the Committee on Malignant Fever was changed to the Committee of Health. As a result of this group of volunteers and "the notion that disease was related to cleanliness, ... [a] commitment to tightening standards grew out of discussions between the Committee on Malignant Fever and the state government during the fall of 1793," (Estes, page 100). Efforts were made to maintain cleaner streets and remove waste, particularly during the hot summer months.

Bibliography:

Estes, J. Worth and Billy G. Smith, editors. A Melancholy Scene of Devastation: The Public Response the 1793 Philadelphia Yellow Fever Epidemic. Canton, MA: Science History Publications, 1997.

Powell, J.H. Bring Out Your Dead: The Great Plague of Yellow Fever in Philadelphia in 1793. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1949.

Biography/History

The Dillwyn and Emlen family was joined in 1795 when Susanna Dillwyn married Samuel Emlen, Jr. Both the Dillwyn and Emlen families were prominent in early America as Quakers and advocates for abolition.

William Dillwyn was born in Philadelphia on July 21, 1743, the son of John Dillwyn and Susanna Painter. According to Clarkson, William Dillwyn was “a pupil of the venerable [Anthony] Benezet, who took pains very early to interest his feeling on [abolition],” (Clarkson). A Quaker merchant, Dillwyn married Sarah Logan Smith (1749-1769) on May 19, 1768 in Burlington County, New Jersey. On March 31, 1769, their daughter, Susanna, was born, and roughly a month later, Sarah died.

In 1772, William Dillwyn traveled (by Benezet’s arrangement) to Carolina to further study slavery, which was “of great use … in fixing him as the friend of these oppressed people, for he saw so much of their cruel treatment in the course of it, that he felt an anxiety ever afterwards, amounting to a duty to do everything in his power for their relief,” (Clarkson). By 1773, he, along with Richard Smith and Daniel Wells, wrote Brief considerations on slavery, and the expediency of its abolition: with some hints on the means whereby it may be gradually effected.

In 1774, he traveled to England in order to campaign against slavery. In 1777, he married Sarah Weston, making his stay in England permanent, and they lived at Higham Lodge, Walthamstow, Essex. Throughout his time in England, he helped to establish an anti-slavery committee in London in 1787 and toured parts of England and South Wales. In 1783, The case of our fellow-creatures, the oppressed Africans, respectfully recommended to the serious consideration of the legislature of Great-Britain, by the people called Quakers, was published, with William Dillwyn as author along with John Lloyd and Anthony Benezet. In 1803, he wrote, with Mary and Joshua Cresson,  Meditations written during the prevalence of the yellow fever in the city of Philadelphia, in the year 1793: which proved fatal to upwards of 4000 of its inhabitants. During one of his tours of South Wales in 1807, he purchased the lease of the Cambrian Pottery, Swansea, Glamorganshire from George Haynes, who continued to manage the pottery works. William Dillwyn and Sarah Weston Dillwyn were the parents of eight children. He died, aged 81, on September 28, 1824 and was buried in the Friends’ Burial Ground in Tottenham, Middlesex.

William’s daughter from his marriage to Sarah Logan Smith, Susanna, was born on March 31, 1769 in Houghton, New Jersey, about a month before her mother died. She was raised in Burlington, New Jersey at Oxmead by her aunt Susanna Dillwyn Cox with the additional family support of her uncle and aunt, George and Sarah Hill Dillwyn who were travelling Quaker ministers. On April 16, 1795, Susanna, frequently called Susan or Sukey, married Samuel Emlen, Jr. (1766-1837) and they lived in Philadelphia. They moved to Burlington, to a newly built home, West Hill, during the 1797 yellow fever epidemic. Like William Dillwyn and his own father, Samuel Emlen, Susanna’s husband was “an influential Friend himself [and] concerned himself particularly with the issues of slavery and Indian affairs within the Society of Friends,” (Leavitt, page 70). As a result of their Quaker community, business connections, and extensive family relations, the Emlen household resulted in “a close-knit circle of family and friends, radiating outward from Susan Emlen’s home at West Hill to Burlington, Philadelphia, and England,” (Leavitt, page 71).

Towards the end of 1813, at the age of 44, Susanna discovered a tumor in her breast; and after some time of deliberation, determined that she needed to seek professional medical help. On June 4, 1814, the tumor was removed by five doctors: Philip Syng Physick (Susanna’s brother-in-law), John Syng Dorsey (serving as principal surgeon), [Caspar] Wistar, Joseph Parrish and Dr. Tucker, and a nurse at the Dillwyn home. Susanna recovered from the surgery, despite several lingering issues such as weakness in her left arm and “pain in the operative scar,” (Aronowitz, page 34). In 1816, the Emlens traveled to England to visit William Dillwyn and his family. While in England, Susanna discovered that a new tumor had appeared. According to Robert A. Anonowitz, “further surgery was not an option that she wanted to seriously consider,” and instead opted for “mind therapies like warmed sea water, vigilance, and carful observation,” (Anonowitz, page 38). Eventually, a more stringent approach was seen as necessary, and Susanna was treated with compression therapy. The Emlens returned to New Jersey during the summer of 1818, her health declining until her death on November 24, 1819.

Samuel Emlen, Jr. lived until 1837. During his life, he served as assistant clerk to the Burlington Monthly Meeting from 1800 to 1806 and as clerk to the meeting from 1807 to 1814. At the time of his death in 1837, Samuel Emlen, Jr. “established a trust of $20,000 for an agricultural school, The Emlen Institute for the Benefit of Children of African and Indian Descent,” (Leavitt, page 70). The school was originally located in Ohio, but moved to Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Bibliography:

Aronowitz, Robert A. Unnatural History: Breast Cancer and American Society. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Clarkson, Thomas. The History of the Abolition of the African Slave-Trade by the British Parliament, 2 volumes. London: L. Taylor, 1808.

Leavitt, Judith Walzer. Women and Health in America: Historical Readings. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1999.

Biography/History

Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson (1737-1801) is described by author Elizabeth Fries Ellet as having had “…a mind richly endowed with intellectual gifts…,” (Ellet, p. 220). She was a leading woman in colonial Philadelphia and an avid writer, who composed poems, songs, travel accounts and other writings, referencing literature, natural history, religion, politics and current events. Beginning around 1765, she also hosted Saturday soirees, or salons, in her home, during which she and her friends, who included Benjamin Rush, Jacob Duché, Francis Hopkinson, Nathaniel Evans, John Dickinson, Benjamin West and others, discussed music, literature and politics.

Elizabeth was born on February 3, 1737, the youngest daughter of a prosperous Philadelphia physician and his wife, Dr. Thomas Graeme and Ann Diggs Graeme. She was raised both in Philadelphia and on a country estate that was situated twenty miles outside of the city near Horsham, Pennsylvania, called Graeme Park. Elizabeth was educated by her mother and later by private tutors. She developed a keen intellect and was affiliated with some of the brightest minds of the day, including Reverend Richard Peters and William Smith, who were both involved in the creation of the Pennsylvania Academy, which would become the University of Pennsylvania.

Elizabeth was engaged to William Franklin, Benjamin Franklin’s son, in 1754. In 1759, while he was away in England, he broke off their engagement and married another woman. Author Martha Slotten argued that this event served as the primary catalyst for Elizabeth’s literary career. It was at this point she began writing poetry in earnest and, in 1760; she translated Abbe Francois Fénelon’s The Adventures of Télémachus.

From 1764 to 1765, Elizabeth travelled abroad with Reverend Richard Peters of Christ Church. She was well received by London society, and while she was there she met author Laurence Sterne, Thomas and Juliana Penn, Dr. John Fothergill and King George III, among others. She kept an astute journal of her trip. Elizabeth returned to Philadelphia in 1765, when she received word of her mother’s death. Shortly thereafter, her sister Jane died, leaving Elizabeth as guardian of her two children, Anna and John.

In 1771, Elizabeth secretly married Henry Hugh Fergusson, a Scotsman, who was an acquaintance of Benjamin Rush. Then, in 1772, her father died, leaving her and Henry his estate. Elizabeth’s relationship with Henry grew problematic when the Revolutionary War broke out, as Henry was a staunch loyalist. In fact, in 1778, he returned to England; leaving Elizabeth who refused to join him behind. Prior to his leaving however, Henry persuaded Elizabeth on two occasions to deliver letters on behalf of the loyalist cause, which brought her own patriotism into question. As a result of Henry’s allegiance, Graeme Park and nearly all of Elizabeth’s other inheritance was confiscated. To get her property back, Elizabeth “…peppered the state legislature with petitions of her own formulation until its members… passed a special act revesting Graeme Park in herself,” (Ousterhout, p. xviii).

Despite the personal turmoil she suffered toward the end of the 1770s, around this time Elizabeth entered the most productive period of her literary career. She published her first poem, “Ode to Spring,” in Pennsylvania Magazine in 1776. Over the next sixteen years, she published an additional twenty-seven poems in various Philadelphia journals and newspapers. She often used the pseudonym Laura.

Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson died in 1801, after a long illness. She was buried with her parents at Christ Church Burial Ground.

Bibliography:

Ellet, Elizabeth Fries. The Women of the American Revolution, Vol. I. Philadelphia: George W. Jacobs and Co., 1900. (Accessed online via Google Books on July 30, 2010).

Library Company of Philadelphia. “A Blue Stocking of Old Philadelphia.” In Annual Report of the Library Company of Philadelphia for the Year 1962, pp. 38-46. Philadelphia: The Library Company of Philadelphia. (Accessed online via Google Books on August 24, 2010).

Ousterhout, Anne M. The Most Learned Woman in America: A Life of Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson. University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2004.

Slotten, Martha C. “Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson: a Poet in “The Athens of North America”.” In Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 108, No. 3 (July, 1984), pp. 259-288. Philadelphia: Historical Society of Pennsylvania. (accessed via JSTOR)

Biography/History

Dr. Thomas Young, 1730-1783, was appointed a professor of midwifery at the University of Edinburgh from 1756 until his death in 1783. He is generally considered to be the father of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Obstetrics. During his tenure, he created a Lying-In Ward at the Royal Infirmary, later the Edinburgh Maternity Hospital, to give clinical lectures. George Gillespie appears to have been a student of his lectures on midwifery in the year 1761.

Although only males were allowed to be physicians in the late 1700s, the majority of them had little training in obstetrics because “obstetrics was almost exclusively in the hands of midwives [and] it was, therefore, not considered necessary to teach medical students,” (Macafee, page 32). When Dr. Thomas Young was appointed professor in 1756, he began teaching midwifery at the University of Edinburgh. Dr. Young taught midwifery lectures until his death in 1783, but “it was not until 1833, fifty years after his death, that systematic lectures in midwifery were made compulsory,” (Macafee, page 32). In order to teach in a clinical setting: “by permission of the manager [of the Royal Infirmary], but at Dr. Young’s expense, [a ward] was fitted up for four lying-in women, or as many more as Dr. Young could accommodate,” (Macafee, page 32). According to C.H.G. Macafee, during the twenty-seven years that Young served a teacher of medical students in Edinburgh, “his teaching influenced the practice of midwifery not only in Scotland but in other countries,” (page 32).

Bibliography:

Macafee, C.H.G. “Medical Students and the Teaching of Midwifery: Opening address, Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, Winter Session, 1942.” Ulster Medical Journal, 1943 May; 12(1): 24–40.

Biography/History

Gerard van Swieten (1700-1772) was a Dutch-Austrian physician who served as the personal physician to Austrian Empress Maria Theresa in 1745 and transformed the Austrian health services as well as medical university education.

Born in Leiden, Gerard van Swieten obtained his education at the University of Leiden and was a student of one of the most respected physicians of the time, Hermann Boerhaave. After receiving his degree, van Sweiten lectured and became a respected physician in Leiden. Following the death of the Imperial Court physician, van Sweiten was asked to serve as the personal physician to Austrian Empress Maria Theresa and her family in Vienna.

In addition to his duties as court physician, van Sweiten focused his attention on reforming the Austrian health service and medical university education in Vienna. Through his efforts, "the teaching of lower-grade medical personnel such as midwives and barber-surgeons was improved, better-trained physicians were appointed at hospitals throughout Austria ... [and there was the] introduction of stringent control of sanitation by the State," (Kidd, page 448). Because of his efforts, the Vienna Medical School's prominence was established. He continued in his work both as physician to the Empress and her family, and in making sweeping reforms in medical education until his death in 1772. According to Kidd, "although he was an insightful scholar, a respectable scientist, and a gentle and devoted physician, it was his work in elevating the medical school of Austria into eminence that made his name renowned," (Kidd, page 449).

Bibliography:

Kidd, Mark and Irvin M. Modlin. "Van Swieten and the Renaissance of the Vienna Medical School." World Journal of Surgery, 2001 (25): 444-450.

Biography/History

John Dickinson was born in Talbot County, Maryland on November 13, 1732 to Samuel Dickinson (1690-1760), whose father had emigrated from England in 1654, and his second wife, Mary Cadwalader Dickinson, who was the daughter of a Philadelphia Quaker merchant. John Dickinson had two brothers, Thomas, who died in infancy, and Philemon. The Dickinson family owned vast amounts of land throughout Maryland and Delaware, which is where the family relocated around 1740. John Dickinson was tutored at home in Kent County, Delaware by William Killen until the age of eighteen, at which time he moved to Philadelphia to read law for the former king's attorney, John Moland. From 1753 to 1756, Dickinson studied law at the Middle Temple in England, where he was admitted to the bar in 1757. Upon his return to the colonies that same year, he moved to Philadelphia to begin practicing law.

Dickinson was elected to the Delaware Assembly in 1759 and became speaker in 1760. In 1762, he was elected to the Pennsylvania General Assembly, where he served intermittently until 1776. As the relationship between the colonies and England became tense, the General Assembly chose Dickinson as their delegate at a meeting for the Stamp Act in New York in 1756. He joined John Morton and George Bryan in formulating a declaration of grievances. In 1767/1768, Dickinson published Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania to the Inhabitants of the British Colonies. These letters, which were printed in newspapers throughout the colonies, argued that the Townshend Acts were in direct conflict with the ideals of British liberties. When the letters were published in pamphlet form around the colonies, as well as England, France, Holland, and Ireland, Dickinson became the best known advocate of American rights. In 1786, he also wrote "The Liberty Song," America's first patriotic song.

In 1770, John Dickinson married Mary (Polly) Norris (1740-1803), who was the daughter of Isaac Norris II (1701-1766) and Sarah Logan Norris (1715-1744). Isaac Norris was a prominent Quaker and speaker of the General Assembly, and his wife Sarah was the eldest daughter of William Penn's secretary, James Logan (1674-1751). John and Mary Dickinson had two daughters who lived past infancy, Maria (1783-1860) and Sally (1771-1855). Maria Dickinson married Albanus Logan (1783-1854), the son of George Logan and Deborah Norris Logan.

John Dickinson was busy in the years leading up to the American Revolution. He was a member of the Stamp Act Congress in 1765 and the First and Second Continental Congresses from 1774 to 1776. He was occupied with publishing treatises on the American cause and penning resolutions and appeals to the King that he hoped would bring an end to the conflict. Because he believed that preparations for war must take place simultaneously with measures for peace, he raised the First Battalion of Associators in Philadelphia, of which he was colonel. Because separation from Britain appeared likely, he wrote the first draft of the Articles of Confederation. When independence was declared, he refused to vote on or sign the Declaration, because he still believed that reconciliation was possible. When the document received support from the majority of the delegates, Dickinson supported their decision by taking up arms and joining his battalion in New Jersey. Because of his dissent from the Declaration, he was not returned to the Pennsylvania Assembly. He resigned his commission in September and returned to the Assembly, where he led the resistance to the new Pennsylvania constitution. In November of 1776, he resigned his seat in protest of it. His next public office was in 1779 as a delegate from Delaware to the Confederation Congress, where he worked on peace negotiations.

In addition to being a colonel in the Pennsylvania militia, he also enlisted as a private in the Delaware militia, during which time he served at the Battle of Brandywine. He was given a commission as a brigadier general. Although he did not serve as an officer in the Continental Army, he nevertheless was made an honorary member of the Society of the Cincinnati.

Dickinson suffered many hardships during the Revolution. In addition to being harassed by the Pennsylvania revolutionary government and others who questioned his patriotism for not signing the Declaration of Independence, because the British perceived him as the leader of the resistance, Tories attacked his property in Delaware in 1777 and the British destroyed much of his estate in Philadelphia. These setbacks did not affect his political involvement. He served as president of both Delaware (1781-1782) and Pennsylvania (1782-1785), he was unanimously elected president of the Annapolis Convention in 1786 to amend the Articles of Confederation, and he took part in the Constitutional Convention of 1787.

John Dickinson returned to Delaware after the federal convention and in 1792 served as president of the Delaware constitutional convention. Into his later years, he continued to write on causes of concern to him, such as American relations with France and education. He lived the remainder of his life in Wilmington, where he died on February 14, 1808.

Dickinson was not formally affiliated with any religious group, but he identified most closely with the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). He is buried in the Wilmington Friends burial ground next to his wife.

Biographical note written by Jane Calvert, author of Quaker Constitutionalism and the Political Thought of John Dickinson.

Biography/History

On July 1, 1731, Benjamin Franklin and a number of his fellow members of the Junto drew up "Articles of Agreement" to found a library. The Junto was a discussion group of young men seeking social, economic, intellectual, and political advancement. When they foundered on a point of fact, they needed a printed authority to settle the divergence of opinion. In colonial Pennsylvania at the time there were not many books. Standard English reference works were expensive and difficult to obtain. Franklin and his friends were mostly mechanics of moderate means. None alone could have afforded a representative library, nor, many imported books. However, by pooling their resources in pragmatic Franklinian fashion, they could. The contribution of each created the book capital of all.

Fifty subscribers invested forty shillings each and promised to pay ten shillings a year thereafter to buy books and maintain a shareholder's library. Thus "the Mother of all American Subscription Libraries" was established. The first list of desiderata to stock the shelves was sent to London on March 31, 1732, and by autumn, that order, less a few books found to be unobtainable, arrived. James Logan, "the best Judge of Books in these parts," had assisted in the choice.

By the time the library issued its earliest surviving printed catalogue of 1741, the general mix of its collection was established for over a century. Excluding gifts, historical works broadly defined accounted for approximately one-third of the total holdings. Literature comprised a little more than twenty percent, approximately the same proportion as science. Theology accounted for only a tenth of the titles. This was in marked contrast to the earlier libraries of Harvard and Yale, but a harbinger of other popular libraries which were founded later. To conclude the selection, it should be noted that philosophy matched theology in numbers, and that economics and such social sciences, the arts, linguistics, and the indefinables accounted for the rest. Bought for many years through the agency of the Quaker mercer-naturalist of London, Peter Collinson, this was and long remained the basic weighting of book selection until the decline of the proprietary libraries in the last half of the nineteenth century.

The Library Company flourished because it adopted a purchasing policy responsive to the needs of its intellectually alert, economically ambitious, but non-elite membership. Its successful example was quickly copied along the Atlantic seaboard from Salem to Charleston. It was Franklin's opinion that "these Libraries have improved the general Conversation of Americans, made the common Tradesmen and Farmers as intelligent as most Gentlemen from other Countries, and perhaps have contributed in some Degree to the Stand so generally made throughout the Colonies in Defence of their Priviledges."

The Library soon became not only an increasing collection of books but also a full-fledged cabinet of curiosities in the Renaissance mode. In accordance with its role as an all-embracing cultural institution, the Library Company also participated in the increasingly popular scientific experimentation of its day.

At first housed in a room in the librarian's lodgings, the burgeoning accumulation became too much for private quarters. Arrangements were made to move the books and curiosities into rooms on the second floor of the newly finished west wing of the State House (now Independence Hall). It was there that Franklin and his associates performed their first experiments in electricity.

Suitably settled, the library could turn its attention to making known its holdings. An existing small octavo of fifty-six pages, printed by Franklin and issued in 1741, lists the 375 titles then in the library. Franklin wrote "A Short Account of the Library" to fill a final blank page. Members could borrow books freely and without charge. Nonmembers could borrow books by depositing their value as security "and paying a small Acknowledgment for the Reading."

With a catalogue available, the books shelved in the State House wing, regular orders of books sent to the volunteer agent Collinson, and annual shipments received from London, the Library Company sought the patronage of the proprietors of Pennsylvania. On March 24, 1742, a charter from John, Thomas and Richard Penn, was issued in their name by Governor George Thomas. By it, since the members had "at great expense, purchased a large and valuable collection of useful books, in order to erect a library for the advancement of knowledge and literature in the city of Philadelphia," there was created "one body corporate and politic in deed." The charter was printed in 1746, together with the by-laws and a supplementary catalogue.

The first librarian, Louis Timothée, or Timothy as he became, left after a short tenure to become Franklin's printing partner in Charleston. For a very brief period, Franklin himself took on the bibliothecal responsibility. He was succeeded by William Parsons, who served from 1734 to 1746. He was followed as librarian by Robert Greenway, who remained in office for seventeen years. The more important functionary of the institution was the secretary, at first the scrivener and amateur botanist Joseph Breintnall. He kept the minutes and wrote the letters ordering books to Collinson, who faithfully carried out the Library Company's requests for over a quarter of a century. After Breintnall's death in 1746, it was Franklin who performed the secretarial duties. Despite his mythical reputation as the careful methodical "Poor Richard," he was careless about the Library Company's records. When he went to England in 1757, first the schoolmaster Francis Alison and then young Francis Hopkinson served as secretary. When the latter took custody of the Library Company's box, he found that the notes of minutes taken on separate pieces of paper during the printer-politician's years in office were scattered and imperfect. To create a permanent record Hopkinson copied into a book all the minutes of the Library Company from the beginning, although lacunae exist for some periods in the 1740s and 1750s.

Among those who guided the destinies of the Library Company in the years before the Revolution were the silversmith Philip Syng, Dr. Thomas Cadwalader, the schoolmaster Francis Alison, the builder-architect Samuel Rhoads, secretary Richard Peters of the Governor's Council, and a bit later the merchant-patriot Charles Thomson and John Dickinson, the "Pennsylvania Farmer." On May 9, 1769, Sarah Wistar became the first woman to be voted a share.

In 1772 the library had "become large & valuable, a Source of Instruction to Individuals and conducive of Reputation to the Public," and much too crowded in its State House rooms. After much consideration and no alleviation of the space problem, agreement was reached with the Carpenters' Company in 1773 to rent the second floor of their new hall off Chestnut