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Fondly, Pennsylvania is HSP's main blog.  Here you will find posts on our latest projects and newest discoveries, as well articles on interesting bits of local history reflected in our collection.  Whether you are doing research or just curious to know more about the behind-the-scenes work that goes on at HSP, please read, explore, and join the conversation!

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George F. Parry's Civil War Diaries: August 1863

Hello! This month I'm happy to present another round of transcripts from the George F. Parry Civil War diaries (George F. Parry family volumes, Collection 3694). If you're just joining us, several months ago, HSP acquired the diaries of Bucks County resident and Civil War veterinary surgeon George F. Parry. In that collection are three diaries he kept during the Civil War, 1863-1865, when he served with the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry. In celebration of Parry's work and the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, I'm providing monthly posts on Fondly, PA of transcripts of entries from his diaries.

To see other posts in the series, check out the links over on the right-hand side of this page.  Clicking on the diary images will take you to our Digital Library where you can examine the volumes page by page, along with other digitized items from the Parry collection.

*****

As Parry and his regiment continued on through Tennessee, he consistently noted one thing – it was hot! Despite the weather, he spent much of the month travelling from camp to camp, occasionally noting the harsh conditions, the need to forage for food, and the wildlife. This month Parry also celebrated his birthday (August 22nd -- he turned 25), and noted August 9th as a day of fasting and prayer. Additionally, he remained in contact with friends and family from home through letters and received from them local papers, which allowed him to keep abreast of Pennsylvania news.


Notes about the transcriptions: I've kept the pattern of Parry's writings as close as formatting here will allow, including his line breaks and spacing. My own additional or clarifying notes will be in brackets [ ]. Any grammatical hiccups that aren’t noted as such are Parry's own.



Sunday, August 2
Bugle sounded at 3 o'clock up
Breakfast[.] in saddle at 5 o'clock
arrived in McMin[n]ville 12 o'clock
and went into camp. Very hot[.]
Dinner at two on corn[,] coffee
Bread + Veal. Eate very hearty[.]
Very hot. saw a number of sick
Horses – hot acquainted with some
officers. Capt Jennings and myself
took a swim in the river. I took
supper with Capt Jennings [miss?]
splendid evening in tent.

*****

Tuesday, August 11
Wrote a Letter home – very
Hot. down to the river with
G. F. Frazier took a swim
a most splendid place and
the water delightful!
                              Received
three Papers from Home[,] the
Bucks Co. + the Phila Press
         Glad to get them
                 Hot

*****

Friday, August 14
found some horses in the Woods hid
up[.] been there two days + nights with[-]
out anything to eate. reported them.

Wrote a letter to Genl. Stoneman
very ine cool rain. very nice

Wiskey in Camp by Frazier

no letter to Day[,] expectations
not gratified
                      Had some Cider

*****

Wednesday, August 19
Breakfast on Hog[,] Coffee + Potatoes
Collum began to move[,] rode on ahead
very nice time. splendid scenery
accompanied by Isaac Ruth
Encamped on Mount. Killed a
very large rattle snake[,] ten rattles
one killed with 13 rattles
very Large
                      very cool night[,] slept
well but cold

*****

Sunday, August 23
Number of Boys went out a
Foraging – Had a very fine time
got any quantity of Peaches and
Fruit. Found a Plantation in the wilderness
that had never been visited by the Union
Soldiers – muched pleased to see us[,] had never
Saw Yankeys before. Got us a very good
Dinner[,] feed our Horses and then
proceeded to our Camp at Pikeville
Plenty of Peaches and very Hot

*****

Sunday, August 30
Smith Crossroads Tenn.
in Camp in a Dismal place
no tents and no cooking utensils
Have to Eate with sticks. Roast
Corn + Potatoes. Letter + Papers
From Home – Letter from Sue
very nice Day.
                       Sent in a
Requisition for Medicine –
Called on Col. Minty –
no use

"Unveiling" the Articles of Confederation

A 1776 draft for the Articles of Confederation in John Dickinson's hand resides at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and it was recently conserved during a project funded by Bank of America.

The text itself can be studied in digital or transcribed form, but the physical object offers additional clues to its material life. Such clues can come in the form of watermarks, designs embedded in the paper during its manufacture, and this document presents various such marks and countermarks. Legal documents of the 1770s were still written on high quality imported paper, often from Dutch papermills. A sheet of the draft bears a watermark of a rampant lion, holding seven arrows (a symbol of the seven provinces) and a staff, standing on a platform labeled: VRYHEIT, inside a crowned oval strap inscribed: LIBERTATE, PRO PATRIA, EIUSQUE.

In a much earlier effort to preserve the document, both sides of the paper had been covered with a thin, transparent material. This process is called silking and it was pioneered at the turn of the 20th century by William Berwick, an influential Library of Congress conservator. Silk, or some other type of thin fabric was adhered to both sides of a fragile sheet. Silking is no longer in favor, as its long-term effects tend to be detrimental to the object it is meant to protect. Paper that has undergone this process has been observed to become brittle and yellow faster than paper undergoing natural deterioration. A silked document tends to have a veiled, opaque appearance, making manuscripts especially difficult to parse.


After testing the ink and paper, we decided to remove the remaining silk, to slow down further natural damage and improve the structural integrity of the paper as well as the legibility of the text. Once the silk was removed and the paper surface was selectively cleaned of residual grime and adhesive, tears were mended and losses were filled.

Some pages of the draft no longer retained the silk layer and heat-set tissue had been used on some of the tears. This was removed and replaced with Japanese mulberry paper, toned to match the original.

Finally, the individual leaves were placed in acid free paper folders and housed in a custom-made cloth covered protective enclosure.

The draft and other notes by Dickinson relating to the Articles can be found in the John Dickinson papers of the R. R. Logan Collection (1671-1863) or in the Digital Library.

 

Good Times Roll at the Philadelphia Stage Door Canteen


Sifting through the photographs of the Philadelphia Stage Door Canteen, an entertainment center for members of the armed forces during World War II, one can almost forget there was a war going on. Though the outside world dealt with destruction and fear, there was a small haven in the basement of the Academy of Music building where men could forget their troubles and enjoy themselves.

The Stage Door Canteen first opened its doors in June of 1943, and reportedly served 2,500,000 members of the military before it closed in October of 1945. Though it remained open for only three years, the raucous good times that were had at the Canteen are not forgotten, and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s Collection of World War II Papers features quite a few photographs of the Canteen.

Young men in uniform can be seen posing next to celebrities and enjoying a variety of entertainers. Faces of celebrities crop up with frequency; one photograph features a moment with Duke Ellington playing alongside an orchestra while the next photograph depicts Ethel Merman in the midst of an energetic performance. The entertainment offered by the Canteen was quite diverse. Dancers, opera singers, actors, ventriloquists, and instrumentalists alike all seemed eager to perform for the boys at the Canteen. The photographs of these performances, while varied, are not altogether unexpected. Once in a while, however, the collection provides an opportunity for surprise and even amusement.

 

One such surprise appears in a folder full of photographs concerning theatre and vocal performances. After images of singers, mouths wide open in mid-song, and actors caught up in their dramatic performances, the last photograph shows a boxing match. Another folder includes a photograph of a performing seal. The Canteen was clearly dedicated to entertaining its guests with all sorts of events, never mind the unusual nature.

 

Another opportunity for amusement is found in a folder that documents a show entitled This is the Army, a musical based on the 1943 motion picture. One of the last photographs depicts a group of men wearing frilly skirts, the main subject smiling in a pained way and daintily bending his knees. An inscription informs the reader that the picture is from a show cheekily called This is the Navy.

 

Yet another entertaining photograph appears in a folder full of dance performances. The first few photographs capture the performance of an exotic, scantily-clad dancer. She appears to be completely immersed in her performance. The next photograph reveals that the audience, or at least one specific member of the audience, is similarly immersed in her performance.

Eyebrows raised in interest, a young man in uniform tips his chair backward. Perhaps he was just trying to make sure the dancer had enough space to execute her dance, which apparently calls for her to be sprawled out on the floor at this moment. From his new angle, however, the young man certainly has an improved view up the loose skirt of the dancer. Whether this was an intentional result or merely a happy accident we may never know. The reactions of the rest of the audience to this vignette, ranging from uncertain horror to absolute amusement, are also worth noticing.

 

There are plenty more opportunities to witness the good times at the Philadelphia Stage Door Canteen in HSP’s Collection of World War II papers. Though the viewer may not completely forget the dark and serious events of World War II, he or she can certainly appreciate the small moments of happiness in an otherwise troubling time.

Extra-illustrated Volumes of the History of the Bank of North America

These three handsome volumes with matching slip cases, luxuriously leather-bound with gold tooling and gilded fore-edges, hand-sewn silk endbands and ribbon book markers are exquisite examples of extra-illustrated books. An extra-illustrated book is created by inserting supporting documents (prints, manuscript materials and ephemera) into the pages of an ordinary book. The practice of “illustrating” one's own books was popularized after the publication of James Granger’s Biographical history of England in 1769, which included no actual imagery, but provided a “Plan of the Catalogue” for readers to collect portraits of the biography sketches.  Throughout the 19th century, “gentlemen scholars” were excited to show off their ability to collect printed and manuscript materials. In 1881, the term grangerize (in honor of previously mentioned, Mr. Granger) was entered into the Oxford English Dictionary.

In 1882, the History of the Bank of North America, prepared at the request of Presidents and Directors, was published by the Philadelphia-based J.B. Lippincott & CompanyAs the title page announces, “This copy is extra illustrated, in three volumes, for the bank, and is to be retained and preserved amongst its archives.  It contains many valuable documents belonging to the bank.”  There is a preface which explains that this special edition book was created in honor of the Centennial Anniversary of the bank in 1887.

The first book contains the most text of the volumes. The illustrations are sparse at first - a few pages list illustrations, and in a some instances, there pages that are placeholders for illustrations that never made it into the book:


Frontispiece placeholder.

The first and second volumes contain many printed portraits of the earliest subscribers to the Bank, followed by lists and portraits of the later subscribers. (Earlier in the project, I wrote about the printing plates for some of these portraits.)  The only woman included is Anne (Willing) Bingham, daughter of Thomas Willing, the first president of the Bank of North America.  Noted socialite, Anne was also a model in many paintings for the artist Gilbert Stuart, and it is suspected that her likeness was used for the image of Lady Liberty on the "draped bust" coins.


Lady Liberty, herself?

Some of the original documents contained are receipts for items used by the actual bank including furniture, ink, and paper used to print currency.


Gallons and gallons of ink purchased.




Receipt and sample of paper from Mark Willcox of Ivy Mills.

The books contain a variety of printed currency - shillings from the 1790s to paper money of branch banks from the 1880s.


A trustworthy friend guarding the key to your protected funds.

The third volume in the series stands out, as it contains folded documents inset into thicker pages.  The thick pages are created by layering framed paper in the shape of the document.  The inset pages contain the charter of the Bank of North America and then subsequent documents renewing or amending the charter.


p577_col1543_b_textblockdetail.jpg

Thickened pages created to hold folded documents.

Extra-illustrated books provide an engaging reading experience in which the text narrates an exhibition of prints and documents.  More images of the Bank of North America extra-illustrated volumes can be found on HSP’s Flickr page.

Also, the Historical Society holds a number of extra-illustrated books in its collections:

George F. Parry's Civil War Diaries: July 1863

Welcome readers to another installment of transcripts from the George F. Parry Civil War diaries (George F. Parry family volumes, Collection 3694). If you're just joining us, several months ago, HSP acquired the diaries of Bucks County resident and Civil War veterinary surgeon George F. Parry. In that collection are three diaries he kept during the Civil War, 1863-1865, when he served with the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry. In celebration of Parry's work and the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, I'm providing monthly posts on Fondly, PA of transcripts of entries from his diaries.

To see other posts in the series, check out the links over on the right-hand side of this page. Clicking on the diary images will take you to our Digital Library where you can examine the volumes page by page, along with other digitized items from the Parry collection.

*****

With Parry now in the army, one might think that his adventures would be in full swing! But his diary tells a quieter, tougher story. He spent the first half of the month camped in Mufreesboro, Tennessee, and he spent the rest travelling with his unit further south. During that time, he didn’t see much action; but rather, he wrote letters, enjoyed some nice but hot weather, received his own horse, and occasionally attended to injured horses and mules. He also got sick and frequently noted the general lack of food available to soldiers. He also met several individuals from the Philadelphia area.


Notes about the transcriptions: I've kept the pattern of Parry's writings as close as formatting here will allow, including his line breaks and spacing. My own additional or clarifying notes will be in brackets [ ]. Any grammatical hiccups that aren’t noted as such are Parry's own.


Friday, July 3
Spent the day in camp very
Hot in the morning[,] thunder shower
did not rain much but made it
much cooler. Col. Wynkoop and Capt.
Jennings whent to Mufre[e]sboro –
The Col. left me in charge – I slept
most of the day –
               Stone River is very High
dead horses and mules go floating by

returned to tent early 9 o'clock
Surrender of Vicksburg

*****

Tuesday, July 7
In Camp reading[.] Received
good news from the army of the
Potomac capture of 2000 prisoners
100 large guns.
Received orders to move south
from Mufresboro Tenn[.] orders
not right     very rainy

*****

Tuesday, July 14
In taking my Horse down to
the Stone River to water with Halter
he throwed me off right in a
mud puddle. Had to make a
change of Clothes. Rode down
to Mufresboro and bought some
Provisions. Mutton 2 cts per Potatoes $4 a bu.
Onions 7 cts piece Tomatoes 8 cts piece
Wrote a letter to Miss Armentage
New Brunswick N.J. and sent
it to Post Office

*****

Friday, July 17
Bid good by to Mufresboro
and with the train traveled
South through Shelbyville
where we camped for the
night. Shelbyville is a very
nice country town. I never
felt much worse in my life
tired and sick at my stomach
but the trip was very [nice?]
but Hard.
Encamped in a splendid Grove
On Duck river near Shelbyville

*****

Tuesday, July 21
In Camp in a Handsome Grover near
the base of the Cum-
berland Mountain. Broke camp at
12 o'clock[.] Proceeded South by Winchester
when the train Halted and the rear
of the train was favored with some
music by the Band of the 4th Reg Cav
Encamped in a Grove near Salem
here we joined with the rest of the
Seventh Penn Calvary who
just arrived from Huntsville Ala
slept on the ground under a
White Oak tree. Who [wouldn't?]
be a soldier 13 miles from Ala

*****

Thursday, July 30
got up and took a Survey very
dirty Hungry and nothing to eat
having gone without supper
near Winchester[.] Letter from
Ellie + Cad Paff. Two Papers
from home.
                 Genl Turchison gave
up his command of this division
called on Col. Snipes on my account
offered me a roll of Green Backs
for medical attention on Horse
                  I did not take it
in Camp and in field

From the archives: LGBT materials

In the wake of the historic Supreme Court decision on the Defence of Marriage Act and on the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, now seems like an appropriate time to highlight some of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's collections related to LGBT movements and history. This is not, of course, an exhaustive list. One of the wonderful and infuriating things about working in archives is never really being sure what's in every folder and on every page of every volume. This can be an exciting part of research -- will the next folder contain a love letter? A recipe for soup? Queen Victoria's wedding cake? But when you're looking for materials about repressed groups of people, this uncertainty can be daunting, as many scholars know. Evidence of these lives can be hidden or lurking in the margins of other texts, requiring some intellectual digging from a researcher and sometimes actual digging (sans-shovel) from your friendly archivist or librarian.

This is a growing area of our collections, which nonetheless contains some important documents. The most impressive, to me, is the entire John Fryer collection (3465). You can read more about Dr. Fryer and his work in a blog post by my colleague, Willhem Echevarria, but here's a quick overview:

Dr. Fryer was a practicing psychiatrist and a homosexual. His 1972 anonymous speech (conducted through a mask and a voice-distoring microphone) to the Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association was one of the first steps in getting homosexuality removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. Although it took until the 1980s for all mentions of homsexuality to be removed from the DSM, Dr Fryer's speech is still considered a turning point. The collection also contains personal and professional documents and correspondence, his diary, and photographs.

The archives of HSP also contain a pamphlet about Reminder Day (collection 3682), a series of yearly demonstrations held at Independence Hall in the 1960s. Although the Reminder Day protests stopped in the aftermath of Stonewall, they represent some of the first gay rights protests in the United States and laid the groundwork for future movements. The demonstrations were designed to both raise awareness about the rights denied to lesbian and gay people, and to present them as conforming to a certain middle class ideal (and thus being employable). The former was accomplished through picket signs, and the latter through a strict dress code for protesters and an enforcement by protest organizers of quiet, docile behavior.

We also have a typescript of West Chester State Teachers College student Donald Vining's diary (Am.137452). Vining was a student at WCSTC in the 1920s and 30s, and his diary records his experiences there, including being a gay college student in the early 20th century.

In the library, we have a wide variety of materials, including (but of course not limited to):

The John J. Wilcox, Jr. LGBT Archives at the William Way Community Center is the place to go for a more comprehensive look at LGBT life in Philadelphia from the 1960s through the present. Finding aids for some of the Wilcox Archives materials are available online.

 

George F. Parry's Civil War Diaries: June 1863

Hello and happy summer, dear readers! Welcome back to another post of transcripts from the George F. Parry Civil War diaries (George F. Parry family volumes, Collection 3694). If you're just joining us, several months ago, HSP acquired the diaries of Bucks County resident and Civil War veterinary surgeon George F. Parry. In that collection are three diaries he kept during the Civil War, 1863-1865, when he served with the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry. In celebration of Parry's work and the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, I'm providing monthly posts on Fondly, PA of transcripts of entries from his diaries.

To see other posts in the series, check out the links over on the right-hand side of this page.  Clicking on the diary images will take you to our Digital Library where you can examine the volumes page by page, along with other digitized items from the Parry collection.

*****

It's June 1863, the month when George Parry parted from his friends and family to join the Seventh Pennsylvania Cavalry. Parry's entries this month are mostly lengthy and very detailed. He received his appointment as the cavalry's veterinary surgeon at the beginning of the month, and he was in Tennessee with the army by the end of the month. In between these moments, Parry's diaries entries reflect a certain sort of calm and methodology. He appeared very comfortable with the appointment, he went about the mustering process with seeming ease, and he traveled without incident.


Notes about the transcriptions: I've kept the pattern of Parry's writings as close as formatting here will allow, including his line breaks and spacing. My own additional or clarifying notes will be in brackets [ ]. Any grammatical hiccups that aren’t noted as such are Parry's own.


Friday, June 5
James Palmer – Suppoena from
Esq. Martindale on base at
Allteboro. Trenton with Moses
Paxson in afternoon[.] Eve met
a number of ladies at Roses
the two Miss Armetages[,] Anna
and Sue of Danville, Ky. They
live now at New Brunswick
N.J. a pair of splendid
girls---
           Letter from Seventh Penn.
Cav. with the appointment of vet.

*****

Sunday, June 7
Moses Paxson and me left home 6
o'clock and arrived in Phila at 11 o'clock[.]
Took dinner at the Merchants House
Started for Pottsvile at 3:15 P.M.[,] arrived
their at at 7:30 P.M.  Stopped at the
Penn. Hall. Called on Col. Wynkoop
who appointed me Vet. Sur. to seventh
Penn. Cavalry as soon as mustered
in. Had a very nice time at the
Col. Wynkoops.

*****

Saturday, June 13
in Phila. David Leedom and I went
down to Guard House at 8 o'clock.
Met Joseph Ely and Mr. Russels who
Paid Eky the Draft money. Attended
the House Beggar. I called at the
Grand Masonic Lodge and got
a Blank form to fill up so I can
get a certificate. Came home from
Phila. then started Mother and I
For Unkle Geo. [illegible]. I went to Doylest[own]
And arrived ay Geo. [illegible] at [illegible]

*****

Thursday, June 18
Met Col. Wynkoop at Reading
leave Phila. ay 8 o'clock – counter-
manded + Rebels leave the State.

Called on Ed. Brickman and
took Glass of Wine and some
cherries & strawberries
Settled with Geo. Buckman
Aaron Rose upset
Eve took Miss Taylor to Miss
Puffs
        Rainy

*****

Monday, June 22
Met Col. Geo. P. Wynkoop at
Reading. Bid good by to Phila.
arrived in Reading [^] fare 3.30 met Col. Wynkoop
then Proceded to Harrisburg where
I was mustered in the service as
Vet Surgeon to 7 Penn. Cavalry
Wrote a letter home
stopped at Brady House

*****

Thursday, June 25
Louisville House Ky[.] Wrote a
Letter to Phebe Parry to send paper
to Jack Janney. Attended Sale of
Horses and mules at the Louisville
Race course[,] about 12000 Horses
their.         Oakland race course
Condemned Gov. Horses and mules
Sold for one to thirty dollars
Some sold very low

*****

Monday, June 29
City Hall Nashville
Paid my bill 10.00 three day [illegible]
Arrived in Camp at Mufre[e]sboro
At 12 o'clock[.] took dinner with
Capt. Jennings & Col. Wynkoop
the union army moving to Shelbyville
21 miles south of Mufresboro
I am to answer to Company Capt.
Jennings. Spent the Eve playing
Eucre with Col. Wynkoop[,] Capt. Jennings[,]
Lut. Schuyler of Reg Army.

 

Celebrating Slavery's End

On June 19, 1865, two-and-a-half years after the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect, the Union Army arrived in Galveston, Texas, bringing with them the news that all enslaved people in the state were now free. This past weekend, people all over the United States held “Juneteenth” celebrations in honor of slavery’s end, and more celebrations will be held today, on the event’s 148th anniversary. One site of celebration this weekend was Germantown, Pennsylvania, home of the the historic Johnson House (pictured above), a rare preserved Underground Railroad landmark, which holds annual community festivals in honor of Juneteenth.

 

The events of the day included a panel discussion on “William Still’s Journal C Manuscript and the Underground Railroad” and “special guest appearances” by Harriet Tubman and Henry “Box” Brown, whose true-life adventures are chronicled in William Still’s manuscript Journal C and his published book, The Underground Railroad.* Appropriately, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s own William Still Digital History Project also got a shout-out. In this project, we are using text encoding and developing mapping tools and contextual materials to explore the experiences of women, men, and children mentioned in these two documents who braved incredible risks to attain their freedom and the courageous networks of agents, advocates, and “conductors” who aided their journeys.

 

When William Still was recording the narratives of the fugitives aided by Philadelphia’s Vigilance Committee in the 1850s, he had no idea that the end of the institution of slavery in America was so near at hand. Nor did the fugitives whose varied stories he recorded in Journal C and later published in The Underground Railroad. No longer willing or able to wait for freedom, they took their fate in their own hands at great risk and, often, at great cost: separation from their families and loved ones. As risky as it was, Still explains in the preface to his book, he kept these notes in the hopes that the facts he recorded might help family members separated by slavery and flight reunite eventually. As he wrote down “their hopes, fears, and sufferings,” he had “expectation, however, that the day was so near when these things could be published” (The Underground Railroad, 4).

 

Illustration from The Underground Railroad of the Shephard family's escape from slavery. The caption reads: "Escaping with master's carriages and horses. Harriet Shephard, and her five children, with five other passengers."

Illustration from The Underground Railroad of the Shephard family's escape from slavery. The caption reads: "Escaping with master's carriages and horses. Harriet Shephard, and her five children, with five other passengers."

 

In 1865, Still, along with millions of Americans, celebrated the end of slavery. But his journal and book bear witness to many more earlier celebrations of the liberation of individuals and families from bondage. Whenever a fugitive made it safely to freedomand whenever family members separated or threatened by slavery were able to stay together or reuniteit was cause for rejoicing. In the first phase of our project, we are focusing on three families who struggled to find freedom together: the Shephards, the Wanzers, and the Taylors. But Journal C and The Underground Railroad contain the stories of many more individuals and families who had reason to celebrate slavery’s end. 

It is these stories that we hope to illuminate and celebrate in the William Still Digital History Project. Happy Juneteenth, everybody!

* Correction, Nov. 14, 2014: The original version of this post incorrectly listed the first name of Henry "Box" Brown as William.

 


 

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Ephemera in the Bok papers

While treating volumes from the William Curtis Bok and Nellie Lee Holt Bok papers (1836-1991) I often encountered objects pressed inside. The book below, History of Holt and Atchinson Counties, Missouri (vol. 26), seen after conservation treatment, is an example of the family's treasured books.  The leaf of an American elm, a ribbon with graphite scribblings, and a party souvenir printed on fabric were among the items stored inside the books.

 

 

The Holt family bible contained more ephemera than any other volume in this collection. Both boards and spine were completely loose when the book arrived in the lab. They were reattached after text block reinforcement and the construction of a new hollow tube, covered in cloth dyed to match the original leather.

 

 

Friedrich Frobel (1872-1852) is remembered for the introduction of the kindergarden system and books detailing educational activities and kits called "gifts."  Paper Weaving is the 14th gift among "Frobel's Gifts" as outlined in his Systems of Bodies and Occupations. One such paper weaving, seen below, completed by a member of the Holt family was stored inside the bible.

 

 

Family bibles, frequently used as repositories of family records, can be very valuable for genealogical research. This particular edition was outfitted by the publisher with special pages for marriage certificates and album pages for photograph storage.

 

 

A envelope scrap with a portion of a Nebraska postage stamp on the verso carries a short but poignant note: "Ma, I could not find any dried Beef. Geo."

 

 

A small bouquet was so carefully stored inside the book that it survived nearly intact.

 

 

All ephemera associated with this particular volume was encapsulated in clear polyester material for protection and improved handling and placed in an envelope inside the book itself.

The finding aid for the William Curtis Bok and Nellie Lee Holt Bok papers (Collection 3096) is available on HSP's website.

George F. Parry's Civil War Diaries: May 1863

Greetings readers! And welcome back to another post of transcripts from the George F. Parry Civil War diaries (George F. Parry family volumes, Collection 3694). If you're just joining us, several months ago, HSP acquired the diaries of Bucks County resident and Civil War veterinary surgeon George F. Parry. In that collection are three diaries he kept during the Civil War, 1863-1865, when he served with the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry. In celebration of Parry's work and the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, I'm providing monthly posts on Fondly, PA of transcripts of entries from his diaries.

To see other posts in the series, check out the links over on the right-hand side of this page.  Clicking on the diary images will take you to our Digital Library where you can examine the volumes page by page, along with other digitized items from the Parry collection.

*****

The Springtime social scene continued in full force for George Parry in May 1863. He kept himself quite busy it seemed, as there was no shortage of things to do or people to see. This month, George traveled around the Bucks County and into New Jersey, received some hay, and bought a horse! And, of course, he maintained close contact with a regular group of friends that were mentioned in many of his previous entries. 


Notes about the transcriptions: I've kept the pattern of Parry's writings as close as formatting here will allow, including his line breaks and spacing. My own additional or clarifying notes will be in brackets [ ]. Any grammatical hiccups that aren’t noted as such are Parry's own.


 

Sunday, May 3
Wm. Linton's
Quaker meeting
Afternoon Moses Paxson
and I took a ride over
to Taylorsville[,] Tytusville[,]
Penington[,] Cross Keys[,]
[Bromigen?][,] Yardleyville[,]
home.  Eve at Taylor's
home at 9 o'clock
Edward Hough of Anderson troop buried
at Episcopal Graveyard at
Yardleyville

*****

Tuesday May 12
Home nearly all day greasing
harnass[sic].  Wrote two letters[,] one
to John Rook and one to
Medical & Surgical Journal.
Eve took G. V. Taylor out
Riding went to Ephraim Tomlinson
who paid me $11.20. came
home – hard thunderstorm
partly

*****

Thursday May 14
Stacy Watson
Esq. Jonathan Schofield

Henry Cornell hauled me
a load of hay from Eliza
Martindale's at .60 [cents] a hund-
Red – weight of the load
2200 lbs
                          Eve at Taylors
Miss Barnsley was there

*****

Thursday, May 21
Called on Wm. Connard

Eve called on Jenney Hough
and G. V. Taylor with Jack Janny
and Barnsley, after that went to
Paxson Store, wine + crackers
Went to Looms Rollney Pag-
[illegible] once Barnsley twice
and Janny once[.] home at [11:00?]

*****

Sunday May 31
Silas Camp[,] Dr. Bonsall[,] and Judge
Hare of Phila. took one then went to
Henry Taylor's[,] looked at Grey Mare then to
Hibbs at Pineville where we bought a
Bay Seladin Mare seven years old for
$185.00.  Loaned Dr. Bonsall $5.00
Dr. Chas. Bonsall $10.00 for funding the
funeral of Amos Clayton's children
buried New Cemetery

Eve. at Rose's

 

8/14/13
Author: Cary Hutto

Hello! This month I'm happy to present another round of transcripts from the George F. Parry Civil War diaries (George F. Parry family volumes, Collection 3694). If you're just joining us, several months ago, HSP acquired the diaries of Bucks County resident and Civil War veterinary surgeon George F. Parry. In that collection are three diaries he kept during the Civil War, 1863-1865, when he served with the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry.

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8/8/13
Author: Alina Josan

A 1776 draft for the Articles of Confederation in John Dickinson's hand resides at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and it was recently conserved during a project funded by Bank of America.

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7/17/13
Author: Cary Hutto

Welcome readers to another installment of transcripts from the George F. Parry Civil War diaries (George F. Parry family volumes, Collection 3694). If you're just joining us, several months ago, HSP acquired the diaries of Bucks County resident and Civil War veterinary surgeon George F. Parry. In that collection are three diaries he kept during the Civil War, 1863-1865, when he served with the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry. In celebration of Parry's work and the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, I'm providing monthly posts on Fondly, PA of transcripts of entries from his diaries.

Comments: 2

6/28/13
Author: Sarah Newhouse

In the wake of the historic Supreme Court decision on the Defence of Marriage Act and on the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, now seems like an appropriate time to highlight some of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's collections related to LGBT movements and history. This is not, of course, an exhaustive list.

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6/26/13
Author: Cary Hutto

Hello and happy summer, dear readers! Welcome back to another post of transcripts from the George F. Parry Civil War diaries (George F. Parry family volumes, Collection 3694). If you're just joining us, several months ago, HSP acquired the diaries of Bucks County resident and Civil War veterinary surgeon George F. Parry. In that collection are three diaries he kept during the Civil War, 1863-1865, when he served with the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry.

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6/19/13
Author: Rachel Moloshok

On June 19, 1865, two-and-a-half years after the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect, the Union Army arrived in Galveston, Texas, bringing with them the news that all enslaved people in the state were now free.

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5/31/13
Author: Alina Josan

While treating volumes from the William Curtis Bok and Nellie Lee Holt Bok papers (1836-1991) I often encountered objects pressed inside. The book below, History of Holt and Atchinson Counties, Missouri (vol. 26), seen after conservation treatment, is an example of the family's treasured books.  The leaf of an American elm, a ribbon with graphite scribblings, and a party souvenir printed on fabric were among the items stored inside the books.

 

 

Comments: 1

5/29/13
Author: Cary Hutto

Greetings readers! And welcome back to another post of transcripts from the George F. Parry Civil War diaries (George F. Parry family volumes, Collection 3694). If you're just joining us, several months ago, HSP acquired the diaries of Bucks County resident and Civil War veterinary surgeon George F. Parry. In that collection are three diaries he kept during the Civil War, 1863-1865, when he served with the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry.

Comments: 0