During the Colonial period and well within the 19th-century, as the early American pioneers plowed their land, cleared trees from property containing vast virgin forests, dug wells and explored the frontier, numerous ancient works of the former inhabitants of North America were continually brought to light in the form of burial mounds, fortifications, skeletons and mysterious artifacts.
In an 1818 publication, by famed Philadelphia physician & Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Dr. Benjamin Rush, entitled, Medical Inquiries & Observations, Upon the Diseases of the Mind, he included the account of a patient, who "believes he has a living animal in his body. A sea captain, formerly of this city, believed for many years that he had a wolf in his liver. Many persons have fancied they were gradually dying, from animals of other kinds preying upon different parts of their bodies," (p.80).
Likely obvious to anyone who has read previous entries to this blog, the Chew Family Papers contain a great deal of information about the family’s land holdings. Primarily through the speculative efforts of Benjamin Chew and his son Benjamin Jr., the Chews owned thousands of acres of land throughout Pennsylvania, as well as substantial tracts in Delaware, Maryland, and New Jersey. Their land acquisition, spread out over the course of nearly a century, created a huge volume of paperwork. Many months of this project were spent sorting through and organizing the land papers.
In reality, the 'stereotypical' American Civil War, never existed. Not everyone 'North of the Mason-Dixon Line' were lovers of freedom & equality for African-Americans, neither were all Southernors ardent slave-holding secessionists. Perhaps that is one reason why the Civil War continues to generate such a fascination to both scholars and the lay public, since there wereso many 'exceptions to the rule.' Certainly, the state of Pennsylvania was not exempt from this phenomenon.
We have been hard at work here in the 4th floor processing room, tidying up our finding aid, working on EAD tagging, labeling boxes, and just generally tying up loose ends. There are just 13 work days left in the project, and we are simply thrilled that we have managed to make this formidable collection much more accessible to researchers.
The subject of UFO's are of course nothing new, but continue to create controversy, debate and investigation, within the scientific community and public-at-large, as to their existence or fallacy. Yet most studies of 'Unidentified Flying Objects' are predominately concerned with sightings from the modern-era, particularly that of the 20th and now 21st centuries.
Since the completion of processing last week, I have had the chance to go back through previously processed series to tweak the finding aid description. This has also included the exciting task of numbering each folder, now that we are sure there are no more documents lurking around to be added.