Exotic animals within the United States are a fact taken for granted, especially when one visits the multiple 'zoological gardens' or zoos, scattered throughout the country. Many circuses as well have been renown for their non-human participants, the first circus having been held in Philadelphia on April 3, 1793, by John Bill Rickets.
In modern times, we often take for granted the lack of severity in Western countries of various punishments attached to crime, whereas it is still quite common in such places as Saudi Arabia, to be stoned to death for adultery, or to have one's hands cut off for thievery, designed as a deterrent to would-be law breakers. However, at one time, other barbaric customs were a part of United States history as well.
Stereotypically, when one thinks of Philadelphia during the 19th century, an image comes to mind of a sophisticated urban area, filled with scientific, educational & cultural institutions, legacies derived in part from the preceding century, when such enlightened events as the signing of the 'Declaration of Independence' and the 'Constitutional Convention' transpired, a city which at at one time served as the capital of our nation, a metropolis blessed with famed citizens like Benjamin Franklin and Dr. Benjamin Rush.
One of the earliest Colonial families in the Philadelphia area was the Bonsall family, deriving from Richard Bonsall & his wife Mary, who immigrated from Derbyshire, England (ca. 1683) to what is now Upper Darby. Many of their descendants became prominent citizens in Chester, Delaware, and Philadelphia counties.
The subject of undiscovered aquatic, subterranean or terrestrial animal life throughout the world is a topic receiving an increasing amount of attention by scientists and the lay public alike. New species are constantly being discovered from remote areas in such familiar places as Vietnam, to the depths of the Amazon River in South America, resulting in the verification of local legends, oral traditions and myths of various indigenous peoples.
On May 31, 2004 at the age of 97, Alberta Martin, the last surviving widow of an American Civil War soldier passed away at Enterprise, Alabama. She was only one of many young women who had married much older men who fought as soldiers in America's greatest military conflict.
The presence of Native-Americans in Europe, as a result of European contact, is of course a well attested fact of history. From the time of Columbus forward, many went as guests, some as slaves, and others resided on the European continent as servants throughout the days of early exploration in the Western Hemisphere as well as during the period of Colonial-American history.
There are many sayings still current in modern English, in reference to being in an unwanted position or predicament, such as the following: 'stuck between a rock & a hard place; hanging by a thread; between the Devil and the deep blue sea; or 'the wolf is at the door,' the latter usually mentioned in reference to someone's dire economic conditions.
During the Civil War in September of 1863, one Margaret Tinney, age 23, a native of New Jersey residing on Trout Street in Philadelphia, committed suicide by taking a large "horse pistol," which she promptly placed within her mouth, then "pulled the trigger," after which the "upper part of her head was almost entirely blown off." A few days later she would be buried in Lafayette Cemetery, with her 'official' cause of death being listed as: "suicide by shooting."
While our work on the Chew project has been completed for some time now, we at HSP continue to work hard on many other archives and conservation projects to make our collections accessible and available to the public.
You can read more about our work on collections like the Friends of the Benjamin Franklin House, the Allen Family Papers, A.A. Humphreys, George Meade, and many others at our new blog Fondly, Pennsylvania. Please join us!