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Fondly, Pennsylvania

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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Of Wanamakers and Romanovs: A History Mystery from the Archives

During the course of the Howard Lewis Project in our Archives department, the John Wanamaker collection [2188] received some much-needed attention in order to make the collection more accessible and easier to use for our researchers. As one of our larger collections (approximately 190 feet of material) that documents a very prominent Philadelphia citizen and the store he founded, the collection sees a great deal of use in our research library. It was determined that one of the things we could do to make the collection easier to use would be to take a detailed inventory of all the volumes in the collection and number them consecutively. Previously, the volumes had been numbered rather confusingly and were further obscured by the fact that some were housed in boxes with other materials and not listed separately in the finding aid. All volumes were removed from the boxes (except where they were fragile and in need of extra support) and given labels with their new numbers and titles that accurately reflect their contents.

It was in the course of these tasks that I began to notice that some of these volumes were very poorly or confusingly described. I realized that researchers looking at the finding aid (since the collection is located in our closed stacks and not directly accessible to our patrons) would likely have no idea as to their contents or any indication that they could be potentially useful. One of the most interesting results of this re-labeling of volumes was the discovery (or re-discovery) of material within the collection, especially former volume 20-24. On the shelf, this volume was labeled as “20-24 Mary Brown Wanamaker Europe trip, 1909.” The finding aid description was only slightly more helpful: “Scrapbooks and photo albums: Mary Brown Wanamaker: photo album, European Trip, 1909.” Seems fairly lackluster, right? Based on these titles, one could only surmise that the album contained photographs that maybe depicted members of the Wanamaker family somewhere in Europe. As with the other scrapbooks and albums, I had to open up the volume and sift through its contents to get a more specific and accurate title.

Cover of the Mary Brown (Wanamaker) Warburton photo album

 

It became obvious fairly quickly, thanks to the captions under the photographs, that this album was not assembled by John Wanamaker’s wife, Mary Brown Wanamaker, but rather by his daughter, also named Mary Brown but known as “Minnie” and who had married Major Barclay Warburton in 1895. The album features Minnie, her husband, and her three children, as well as her mother and other unidentified family members and travelling companions. As I reached the end of the album however, I surprisingly began to see some very familiar faces:

(left to right) Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna, Tsar Nicholas II, Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich, and Grand Duchesses Xenia Alexandrovna, Tatiana Nikolaevna, and Olga Nikolaevna

and:


(left to right) unkown Russian officer, Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich, Kaiser Wilhelm II, and unknown Russian cavlaryman

and:

Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich and Tsar Nicholas II

For students of history, those faces should be quite familiar since they often appear in textbooks and scholarly works around the world.

My initial reaction was to assume that these images were clipped from newspapers or magazines. But closer inspection revealed that they were authentic.  First, many of the photographs are quite informal and are not of the sort that would have been published in the media at that time due to strict rules of etiquette. Second, Minnie Wanamaker Warburton and her husband Barclay appear in several photographs with members of the tsar’s extended family. And third, one of the photographs of Grand Duchess Xenia and her daughter, Princess Irina appear to be authentically autographed.

Assuming all of the above to be true, the only question remaining was: why in the world would the daughter of a Philadelphia department store magnate have such photographs in her possession?

It is known that both the Wanamakers and members of the Romanov family owned property in the south of France at Biarritz however, the true answer may lie in the relationship with one member of the imperial family in particular.

Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich at Biarritz

It is Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich, brother-in-law and second cousin to Tsar Nicholas, who appears over and over again in the album. Alexander was married to the tsar’s sister, Grand Duchess Xenia, and served as an admiral in the Imperial Navy as well as an advisor to the throne.

Sometime before 1913, the Grand Duke appears to have made the acquaintance of Major Warburton, either through military circles or through close proximity while vacationing in Biarritz. An article from the New York Tribune dated September 4, 1914 discloses the following:

“Of late years Mr. Warburton has interested himself in the sale of the Lewis automatic gun, the invention of an American officer. This gun and other war material he has sold to the Russian government. He is well known in Russia, and is the personal friend of Grand Duke Alexander, who, on his visit to America last summer, was Mr. Warburton’s guest.”

There are very few materials relating to Minnie and Barclay Warburton in our Wanamaker collection, none of which seem to provide any additional information about their international connections or activities while abroad.

(left to right) Grand Duchess Xenia, Barclay Warburton, and Minnie Wanamaker Warburton

The last dated photograph in the album depicting Grand Duke Alexander and members of the imperial family is from 1914, an ominous date for those who know that World War I began in that year and would bring with it the eventual bloody overthrow of the tsarist regime. Alexander, his wife, and seven children were some of the lucky few members of the Tsar’s inner circle to escape Russia with their lives. They were placed under house arrest at their estate in Crimea by the Bolsheviks for over a year until the German occupation of Yalta freed them (Alexander’s niece was married to Kaiser Wilhelm’s son and heir, the Crown Prince). Several months later, after the armistice was declared and the Germans were forced to evacuate Russian territory, the family was rescued by the British Navy (thanks again to their extended family connections since Alexander’s mother-in-law, the Dowager Tsarina, was the aunt of King George V) and escaped the Bolsheviks for good.

Grand Duke Alexander made his way to the peace talks then taking place at Versailles, in the hopes of gaining support for the anti-communist forces in Russia as well as initiating the rescue of members of the imperial family still threatened by the communist regime. While his pleas ultimately fell on deaf ears, he may have had the chance to be reunited with Barclay Warburton who was serving as a military attaché with the American delegation.

Afterwards, the family split up with Alexander settling in the south of France while Xenia and most of their children settled in England (living on the charity of George V) or immigrated to America. With the loss of his social and political stationnot to mention most of his money, the former grand duke took up amateur archaeology and became a prolific author in his later years. I was unable to find any evidence that he maintained his relationship with the Warburtons of Philadelphia after the end of the war, although it is certainly possible that they stayed in touch.

Grand Duchess Xenia, Tsar Nicholas II, and Grand Duke Alexander posing for the camera with friends in better times

And so this tantalizing piece of evidence from the Wanamaker collection remains shrouded in mystery, for now. There is still a great wealth of material within the collection to comb through that perhaps may shed some light on the rest of the story. But without the benefits of archival processing, arrangement, and description this obscure connection might have remained hidden for many more years. Additional processing of the collection, accompanied by use from researchers, may very well one day uncover more information.

George F. Parry's Civil War Diaries: October 1865

Hello everyone! We are happy to present another post of transcriptions from the George F. Parry Civil War diaries (George F. Parry family volumes, Collection 3694). If you're just joining us, in 2012 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 dating from 1863 to 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.

*****

By the time October 1865 hit, George F. Parry was back into the swing of regular life. He visited friends and family and traveled around the area being generally social. However, he also complained about the dullness of his hometown. No doubt, after being at war for nearly two years, civilian life probably would have seemed very boring at times. But Parry appeared to make the best of things.


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.



*****

Wednesday, October 4
Cold – Many Attending
Doylestown Exhibition

            Sick at 12PM

Excessive tired of Newtown
Dull – nothing doing

*****

Tuesday, October 10
Election Day passed
off very quietly
                        Voted
Union ---

*****

Monday, October 16
In Philadelphia[,] saw
the Fireman’s Parade
Attended Theatre [and] Saw
Kate Fisher play
Mazeppa and French
Spy.

*****

Monday, October 23
At Jacob Cadwallader’s with
Anna after dinner[,] rode up to
Doylestown after her Piano[.] Called
on Houghs and came back
by Unckle[sic] Georges – stayed(?) the
Evening[,] called over at Aunt
and had a very good time.

*****

Friday, October 27
Ben Hough in Newtown
Dr. Trego fixed up my Teath.
Bid good by to Benj. Hough
At Grooms Hotel.

*****

George F. Parry's Civil War Diaries: September 1865

Welcome back, dear readers, for more transcriptions from the George F. Parry Civil War diaries (George F. Parry family volumes, Collection 3694). If you're just joining us, in 2012 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 dating from 1863 to 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.

*****

September 1865 was all about home for Parry. At the beginning of the month, he was on his way to Harrisburg. By the 10th Parry was back with friends and family. After two years of service and traveling across the southeastern United States, it was time for Parry to return to a normal life. He got sick during the month, but that didn’t seem to deter his social activities.


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, September 1
Spent the night and dined at
the Chrsitian St. Hospital.  then
Called at the Barley Sheaf Hotel
saw J. W. Coverdale[,] John Hay [PARRY?}
and others of Bucks County[.]
Dined at Marion House with
Paxon.
                                Started for Harrisburg
8:30 PM[.] arrived at 1 O’clock
at night.   Stayed at National.

*****

Thursday, September 7
Settled up with the United
States Pay Master and with the
Seventh Penn’a Cavalry --- bid
adieu to Harrisburg, Pa at [5??] O’clock
and arrived in Phila at 8:30 PM
accompanied by Colonel C. L. [illegible??]
after a tramp around City stayed
at the Barley Sheaf Hotel.

*****

Sunday, September 10
At Home in Newtown
Spent the Evening at
Esq. Barnsleys. Quite
a number them.  Long time

*****

Sunday, September 17
Attended Quaker Meeting
Called on Eliza
Buckman
                        Very unwell.

*****

Saturday, September 23
With Joseph S. Ely attended
Albert Phillips funeral in Doylestown

Called on Houghs[.]   dined at
Cowells.  Called on Gen. B. Wallis???

*****

Thursday, September 28
To Fallinsgton with
Davis??? Roberts
                                Sent a Letter
to E. B. French 2d {illegible???]
Washington D. C.

Eve at Kinsey Tomlinson

*****

Closing the Loop: Creative Reuse in the Bindings of the Bank of North America Collection

In the age of e-readers and mass paperbacks, it is easy to forget that books were once a very scarce and expensive commodity made by hand from materials equally costly and difficult to acquire.  In the distant past, before the prevalence of paper, book pages were most often cut from vellum, a parchment made from calfskin; depending on the size of the book and number of pages, a single volume could require the laboriously prepared skins of several, even dozens, of animals.  It was therefore not unheard of for such pages and books to be scraped down and reused, the new words written over the place of the old, and the contents of one book being obscured by another. 

Twice-written manuscripts of this kind are known as palimpsests, and hold a special fascination for historians and archivists.  The inks and pigments of the original text leave their trace deep in the parchment, and while often invisible to the naked eye, can now be revealed through multispectral imaging.  In this way many texts that were previously lost might be recovered, but even if the original text is known and has survived in other manuscripts, the existence of a palimpsest tells a story of its own and points to the circumstances of its making: perhaps the original text was commonplace, perhaps it was deemed heretical, or perhaps the scribe was simply desperate for a clean page on which to work.

 

Fragments of a vellum manuscript repurposed as support tapes
in the binding of volume 39 of the BNA collection (#1543).

 

Whatever the circumstances, the practices of recycling and creative reuse in the making of books continue to this day.  In our world of mechanized production, we most commonly see this in the form of recycled paper, in which case any trace of the previous life of a material is all but completely obliterated – but if we travel back two hundred years or so, to the time when many of the ledgers and account books of the Bank of North America Collection (#1543) were being made, we find many charming and illuminating instances of salvaged and repurposed materials.  Some, like the ones pictured directly above and below, are hidden, and only come to light when we take these books apart in order to mend them.  Others are self-evident, and remain visible to be enjoyed by conservators and researchers alike.

 

Fragment of an engraving repurposed in the spine
of a springback binding the BNA collection (#1543, vol. 187).

 

Often these glimpses are fragmentary, and inspire a certain curiosity and desire to identify the original source of the repurposed material.  It presents a challenge to research and see what information can be gleaned, what minor and possibly untold story might be revealed, and a wondering whether the search will culminate in historical fact or conjecture.

In a previous blog post, on the subject of marbled endpapers in the Bank of North America Collection, conservation technician Alina Josan briefly mentioned a special case where the marbled paper had previously been printed with pages from a book.  Since 2013 when Alina wrote this post, we have encountered several other instances within the BNA Collection of marbling over pages printed with text.  Many are marbled pages from the same book identified by Alina, but there is one volume that is especially curious, featuring marbled text papers from two distinctly different books – one apparently on Poland, the other on feminine health.

 

BNA vol. 14: front endpapers featuring repurposed
text pages from the American Quarterly Review.  

 

The searchable text features on Google Books and Archive.org made it possible for me to identify the sources for each of these printed pages, and soon after to discover that editions of both - contemporary to this specific BNA ledger (vol. 14) - could be found in the collections at HSP and next door, at the Library Company of Philadelphia. 

 

Original sources for the marbled texts of BNA volume 14 (col. #1543): Page 472 from an AQR article on Poland, and Page 590 from Dewees' Treatise on the Diseases of Females.

 

A detail of the marbled pattern applied over page 472
from the AQR article on Poland (June 1831: vol. IX, no. XVIII).

 

The marbled endpapers at the front of this ledger, with the text about Poland, contained portions of pages 471 through 475 of the 18th issue of the 9th volume of the American Quarterly Review, dating from June of 1831. The AQR at this time was printed and published in Philadelphia, by Carey & Lea.

 

The marbled text endpapers at the back of BNA volume 14.  
The text is barely visible along the edge of the page.

 

The endpapers at the back of the ledger were marbled over fragments of what appeared to be an index or table of contents. It took some digging, but I eventually matched it to a book printed in 1831: A treatise on the diseases of females, by William Potts Dewees (1768-1841).  This book was also published in Philadelphia, by Carey & Lea – as it happens, the very same year and publisher as the article on Poland from the American Quarterly Review.

 

A detail of the marbled pattern applied over a fragment of text
from page 590 of Dewees' Treatise on the Diseases of Females (1831).

 

Given that both books were published in 1831, it is a safe assumption that the BNA ledger was bound sometime thereafter.  While the ledger itself did not have a binders' ticket, indicating when or where it had been made, browsing through the BNA Collection as a whole, I was able to find at least five other ledgers of a nearly identical style and proportion; four of which had binder’s tickets for Hogan & Thompson, of no. 108 Chestnut Street, and no. 50 North Fourth Street, Philadelphia.  Looking at the titles and contents of each ledger, it was interesting to see that they are all minute books, and that the dates of their contents line up nearly perfectly, spanning from July 1st of 1837 to August 28th of 1879 – over 40 years!  Gauging by the uniform appearance and signs of age, it would seem that these ledgers were all made and purchased around the same time, the blank ones stowed away for later use; a minor but interesting glimpse into the more practical operations of the bank. 

 

The binders' ticket of Philadelphia's Hogan & Thompson,
as can be seen in BNA volume 228 (col. #1543).

 

The exact story of how the printed pages came to be repurposed and eventually used in the binding of a bank ledger remains a mystery for another day.  Given that the pages were likely printed in 1831 and that the ledger was not put to use until 1837, there is a five to six-year gap in which the extra pages were marbled and found their way to the Hogan and Thompson Stationers – or perhaps were marbled at/by Hogan and Thompson.  HSP actually holds the Lea and Febiger records (Collection 227B) - which spans over 200 years of publishing, including the Carey & Lea period -and might possibly shed some light on the question of how the marbled texts came to be.  It is easy to imagine the existence of an accounts page or letter in the Lea & Febiger collection that gives evidence of a relationship between the two binderies – a holy grail of little consequence, but one that nevertheless inspires further questing.  Perhaps there will someday be a part two to this entry; for now please enjoy the related links and resources given below. 

George F. Parry's Civil War Diaries: August 1865

Hello all! We're closing in on the final months of posts of transcribed entries from the George F. Parry Civil War diaries (George F. Parry family volumes, Collection 3694). If you're just joining us, in 2012 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 dating from 1863 to 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.

*****

At the end of July 1865, Parry was recuperating at Cumberland Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee.  He spent most of August in the hospital dealing with bouts of rheumatism and fever (as well as trying to avoid smallpox patients!). Though the month was mostly uneventful, things picked up by the the end of it, which saw Parry on his way back to Pennsylvania. Undoubtedly, he was happy to be home.


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.


*****

Thursday, August 3

Not so well to Day[.]  received fourteen
sick men in the ward.

                                                Drs. held
a consultation over sick man in
this ward and diagnosed his case
to be small pox.  he was with
affects removed at once to Small
Pox Hospital[,]   After giving us all
a splendid chance to take the
Disorder.

*****

Monday, August 7
Very sick all night with rheumatism
and Fever.   Slept none of account[,]
some better during the day>

Cool and nice.  Sent a Louisville

Journal home.
                     About as leave be dead
as suffer as I have and live like
I have for over two years.

*****

Sunday, August 13
All day in quarters[,]  nothing
new. Regiment still at Marion[.]

Write a Letter Home.
                                     no news and
very dull.

*****

Monday, August 14

Sent a Louisville Journal home[.]
all quiet in Hospital[,]  very warm[.]
Waiting for a transfer.
                                       Received
by Dr. a Telegraph Dispatch from
Phila. asking if I had Typhoid
Fever or was bad.
                                 Sent a Letter
home.

*****

Wednesday, August 23
Bid adieu to Nashville at Seven
O clock by Hospital[.]  Train run
very fast till one o'clock when
an axel tree broke under the engine[.]
[illegible] bringing train to a stop by
throwing the front cars of[f] the track.
Delayed six hours when a Freight
train came along that pulled us
though to Louisville, KY[.]  reached
their[sic] two O clock night.  Ambulance
Train conveyed us to Hospital.

*****

Saturday, August 26
All North Eastern troops
Transferred from the Crittenden
Hospital to a steam boat on
the Ohio river.
                          Some fever to
day – and Heachak[headache]

*****

Thursday, August 31
On Cars all night on Penna.
Central R. R.[,] arrived at Harrisburg
10 O clock P. M. and at Philadelphia
at 12 A. M.
                        In evening Lt.
Sommers and I called on Paxson
and number of Others[,] had a
good time.  Spent some time
with Col. Sibert and Major
Davis.

******

Goodbye HINT, Hello "Politics in Graphic Detail"

After two long years of poring through HSP's graphics collections, digitizing countless images, researching the history of political cartoons, playing around with high-tech image viewers, painstakingly encoding TEI, creating lesson plans and resources for educators, learning about RDF and metadata standards, and blogging, blogging, blogging, it is time for Historic Images, New Technologies (HINT) staff to sign off on this digital history project.

The adventure isn't over, however. Although the HINT project ends on September 1, the digital history exhibit we developed for the project, Politics in Graphic Detail: Exploring History through Political Cartoons, will debut on September 16.

Here's what you can expect to see:

  • Over 125 political cartoons, keyword searchable, transcribed, and annotated
  • An interactive image viewer that allows you to zoom, pan, rotate, download, and explore transcriptions and annotations for the images in our exhibit
  • More than 200 biographies and descriptions of the people, organizations, and symbols associated with our cartoons
  • An educators' portal with links to cartoons-based curricula
  • Essays by experts in political cartoon history
  • Video and details on how to use the site and learn more about the HSP Image Viewer and our TEI encoding

Thank you for following our progress on this exciting project over the past two years. We hope you enjoy the exhibit!

A Pinch of History: Amelia Simmons's Apple Pie

One of the most interesting articles I have come across randomly browsing the Internet discussed last meals of famous inmates on death row. There are several outrageous feasts, but the most popular food of choice is apple pie a la mode. Why, you might ask?

To many, apply pie is quintessentially American. Yet its unmistakable scent holds specific memories. Memories of Thanksgiving and Christmas evenings spent gathered around the table with my large family. My mouth is watering as I write this post, as I am thinking about the remainder of this pie in my refrigerator and how I cannot wait to heat it up in the microwave when I go home. Other favorite desserts of the thirteen colonies were different variations of puddings, mini cheesecakes, bread puddings, and candied fruits.

Apple pie dates back to the 14th century, printed in a recipe book by Geoffrey Chaucer. It was referred to as "English pudding". This first variation consisted of a pastry crust, apples, figs, pears, & raisins. Interestingly, the British recipe did not call for sugar. It is believed the pears were to provide the sweetness; sugarcane, at the time, had to be imported from Egypt and was very expensive. Apple pie began to appear in America in the 17th century.

Like the cookbook of Hannah Glasse profiled in my previous post, Amelia Simmons's cookbook was published during her lifetime. However, HSP’s copy is a modern facsimile, so I was not as afraid to touch it as I was with Glasse’s book.

Simmons channeled Hannah Glasse when she garnished her cookbook with a lengthy title:

American Cookery, or the art of dressing viands, fish, poultry, and vegetables, and the best modes of making pastes, puffs, pies, tarts, puddings, custards, and preserves, and all kinds of cakes, from the imperial plum to plain cake: Adapted to this country, and all grades of life.

This book is significant because it is the first cookbook published in the 13 states upon its publication in 1796. Before that, the cookbooks in use were British or were shared through families, such as that of Martha Washington, also featured in a previous post of mine. The recipes combine British methods and tradition with American products, as different ingredients were available on these different continents. The book is also important as it calls for a chemical leavening of bread, a novel idea. This ingredient is an ancestor of modern baking powder. Bread was normally leavened with yeast at the time.

Very little is known about Amelia Simmons, other than that she was an orphan who may have lacked formal education. She paid the publishing and printing costs of her cookbook herself, as the title page says "For the Author". It was not bound in hard covers. This cookbook was very simple to read and understand, which I think just makes it easier to prepare meals the way they were meant to be.

After my last foray into the world of lettuce tarts, I chose apple pie because it sounded edible; I might be able to find all of the ingredients, and who doesn’t love apple pie? Maybe my family would actually eat this recipe (unlike Martha Washington’s lettuce tart—not a popular one). The original recipe reads:

Apple Pie.
Stew and strain the apples, to every three pints, grate the peal of a fresh lemon, add cinnamon, mace, rose-water and sugar to your taste—and bake in paste No. 3.
Every species of fruit such as peas, plums, rasberries, black berries may be only sweetened, without spices—and bake in paste No. 3.

Don’t judge me—after the lettuce tart I decided to use store-bought pie crust, not paste No. 3. If you ever want to bake a pie, use Pillsbury. It was so buttery and flakey. Unfortunately,  I could not get my hands on mace. I planned to bake this pie after my internship, so I had my mom run to the store while I was here. I told her to look for mace in the spice section. When I came home, she told me how she was looking for pepper spray. I love how she is concerned for me living and going to school in North Philly, as that is why she assumed I meant pepper spray. I improvised with some nutmeg, as mace is the shell of a nutmeg. Rose water is not so easy to come by, either. It was used to add flavor to recipes, so I tried a drizzle of melted butter.

This pie is delicious in its simplicity. It had the taste of conventional apple pie, but not so much artificial sweetness. It’s like a clean-eating apple pie (if pie can be clean-eating). My mom said it didn’t feel like she was eating a load of junk.

Besides preparing the crust, I also dreaded peeling the apples. Simmons doesn’t specifically say to, but I always do when preparing my cinnamon apple topping for crepes. For this task, I enlisted the help of my boyfriend. Colonial women most likely had their daughters helping them in the kitchen, so I felt justified in requesting a little help too! He decided not to conform to traditional vanilla and ate his apple pie with coffee ice cream on top. It’s all we had in the freezer, but you can use whatever flavor ice cream you please.

I actually enjoyed baking this pie, and I normally much prefer cooking to baking. Maybe it's because I cheated with pre-made pie crust, but either way I liked the feeling of preparing a simple apple pie the way it would have been done in the 18th century when the food was extremely popular. Simple and without all of the added artificial ingredients.

I think apple pie has withstood the tests of time in the United States because Americans love desserts and they love apples; it is easy to prepare and requires few ingredients; and it has become a symbol of patriotism and tradition. As the world increasingly becomes nutritionally conscious, the fate of apple pie as we know it could be in danger. However, as someone who likes to eat as healthily as possible, I have found many variations that provide the same satisfaction. Go crustless and create an apple "crisp" with a granola or quinoa topping. There are also countless recipes for grain-free/gluten-free crusts using almond meal or coconut flour. Then make the filling similar to mine, nothing but apples and spices, and perhaps substitute the sugar for all-natural Stevie or honey! Top it with low fat Cool Whip instead of ice cream and it's complete. Keeping the legacy alive.

Amelia Simmons’s Apple Pie

2 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts, brought to room temperature
3 Granny Smith apples
3 tbs. butter, divided
Granulated sugar
Cinnamon
Nutmeg
Lemon juice
Cooking spray

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and spray a pie dish with cooking spray

2. Unroll your first pie crust and line the pie dish

3. Peel, core, and chop the apples

4. Sprinkle sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg on the bottom of the pie crust

5. Add apples and spread them to fill the dish

6. Cover with more sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg

7. Melt 1 ½ tbsp. butter and drizzle it over the apples

8. Add a drizzle of lemon juice (I didn’t use much)

9. Unroll your second pie crust & cover the apples

10. Seal the sides of the crusts together with a fork and poke holes in the center (I am not sure why I do this; I think I vaguely recall being taught to in high school cooking class, so the pie doesn’t blow up or something)

11. Melt the remaining butter and brush the top crust so it becomes golden brown when baking

12. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until the pie is browning

13. Allow to cool fully

14. Serve warmed, topped with whatever toppings you would like!

Highlights from the HINT Project

In a few short weeks we’ll be wrapping up work on the Historic Images, New Technologies (HINT) Project. While working on the two year project, we’ve come across many interesting and funny political cartoons.

One of our favorites is Join, or Die. It was published by Benjamin Franklin in the Pennsylvania Gazette, and is most likely the first American political cartoon. The cartoon shows a snake cut into eight pieces and makes the point that the colonies must unite in order to defend themselves against tyranny.

Join, or Die (photograph), 1754, Historical Society of Pennsylvania cartoons & caricatures

Another hysterical cartoon is Ten Little Anarchists which was published in 1887 in Puck, the famous American humor magazine. In the cartoon each of the ten little anarchists are killed, captured, jailed, or taken away one by one until none remain. The fifth vignette of the cartoon is my favorite, and illustrates how the sixth anarchists met his unfortunate demise. It reads: “six little Anarchists, meeting in a dive, One talked himself to death, and then there were five.”

Ten Little Anarchists, 1887, Historical Society of Pennsylvania cartoons & caricatures

In the cartoon below, Another Bombardment.-The Newspaper Fleet Firing on the Bedouins in Washington , a fleet of newspaper editors in paper gunboats are armed with ink, pens, and cannons. They surround and attack a fort secured by a group of  Washington politicians flying a "plunder" flag. 

Another Bombardment. -- The Newspaper Fleet Firing on the Bedouins in Washington, 1882, Balch Broadsides: Satirical Cartoons (PG278)

The political cartoon, The Siege of Zion 1787, reminds us of a hellish scene from Dante’s Inferno. In the image, "Zion," which in this cartoon represents the 1776 Constitution of Pennsylvania, is located atop a mountain guarded by figures holding banners labeled "Franklin & Liberty." Devils, witches, satyrs, and mythical beasts attack “Zion” and climb the mountain.

The Siege of Zion 1787 [Zion Besieged and Attacked], 1787, Historical Society of Pennsylvania large graphics collection

And lastly, one our favorite HINT cartoonists is Joseph Keppler (1838-1894) who published the humor magazine Puck. He drew a number of “puzzle” cartoons which we discussed in a previous blog post entitled “Hidden Faces”  http://hsp.org/blogs/fondly-pennsylvania/hidden-faces. In the cartoon below, “An Unpleasant Ride through the Presidential Haunted Forest,” Keppler hid the faces of over 20 presidential hopefuls in the landscape, rocks, and trees. Can you spot all the hidden faces?

An Unpleasant Ride through the Presidential Haunted Forest, 1884, Historical Society of Pennsylvania cartoons & caricatures

We hope you've enjoyed exploring some of our favorite political cartoons. And remember to check out our digital exhibit, Politics in Graphic Detail, when it becomes available later this year!

A Pinch of History: The Philadelphia Tavern

As a foodie, one of my favorite things to do is explore the city discovering new restaurants and cafés to try. My personal focus is on the use of new and fresh ingredients and the nutritional quality of the items offered. Philadelphia is a gold-mine for my hobby; there are hidden restaurants you would never even hear of without having explored the city on your own. Each establishment I venture into has its own ambiance, which can often help you make a decision on where you want to eat. Sometimes I want to eat outside on the sidewalk, sometimes I want a quiet café style, and sometimes I want a big and loud restaurant.

I also enjoy people-watching and meeting the more frequent customers at each place I find; they help me see a wide variety of perspectives, not only on food culture, but anything else that may come up in conversation. I have had some of my best memories in randomly-discovered Philadelphia restaurants.

After trying to make a mental list of all of the eclectic places I’ve found in this city, I began wondering about the foodies of the 18th century. Where did they go when they wanted to socialize while around food and beverage?

After taking a Colonial America class at Temple, I immediately recalled an entire lecture devoted to taverns. There are several scholarly works based solely upon tavern-going practices of the early United States, such as Peter Thompson’s Rum, Punch, & Revolution: Taverngoing & Public Life in Eighteenth Century Philadelphia, published in 1999.

Philadelphia was founded as an anomaly. It was based upon notions of tolerance and order. Christ Church on 2nd and Market Streets, the first Protestant church, stood alongside Quaker meetinghouses. On the streets closest to the river lived wealthy merchants alongside poorer artisan neighbors. Diversity ran rampant, much like it does in Philadelphia today, and that diversity was a prominent characteristic of 18th century taverns and food life. Men of all classes and ethnicities drank alongside each other, with the exception of apprentices, slaves, Native Americans, and most women—but this does not mean the men  were always tolerant of each other. Brawling was a frequently-used means of settling tension.

As demonstrated by Benjamin Franklin, Philadelphia was characterized by social mobility. Franklin came to the city in 1723 as a runaway printing apprentice and established himself quickly as a gentleman, founding significant institutions such as the American Philosophical Society and the Library Company of Philadelphia. A 1764 political cartoon depicts Franklin conversing with Quakers in a tavern setting during that year's election of the Members of Assembly:

(Click on the image to view The Quakers and Franklin on HSP's Digital Library.)

In this city, civil discourse was viewed as a bridge across class rank and ethnicity. Although appearance and wealth were important, men of all classes were able to express their opinions regarding public matters within tavern walls. Men from disenfranchised groups could voice their thoughts and possibly influence someone who could vote. Drinking was a means of establishing a connection between men who may have lead very different lives outside the tavern.

City Tavern is the most well-known colonial tavern, although it is not original; the initial building burned in 1853 and was subsequently rebuilt and remodeled. Man Full of Troubles on 2nd and Spruce Streets is considered the last colonial tavern in existence. It is permanently closed but still intriguing to pass by. Restaurants today have short, modern names, often only one word. I now wonder why this is; I greatly admire the creativity of tavern names in colonial Philadelphia. Maybe if you did not feel like going to Man Full of Troubles again, you could head over a few blocks to George Bows Out With a Blowout.

Today, we go to restaurants and bars to enjoy delicious food and drink and to interact with our peers. Taverns of the 18th century had an even larger importance. They often served as a location for clubs to meet, merchants to conduct their trade, travelling businessmen to find new customers, and politicians to campaign across class lines. Tun Tavern, formerly located on Front Street, is known as the birthplace of the United States Marine Corps in 1775.

(Click on the image to view The Old Tun Tavern, Philadelphia, in which the first lodge of the Freemasons was organized in North Americ on HSP's Digital Library.)

In a time where socialization had to be done face-to-face and not through technological devices, taverns were vital to the functioning of society. Taverns were a place of gathering where men of all social classes could express their ideas and opinions together. The Revolution was fueled by a rapid spread of ideas, a large amount of which took place in colonial taverns. Food and drinking practices were as vital to cultures in the colonial era as they are today.

George F. Parry's Civil War Diaries: July 1865

Greetings! Thanks for coming back for more transcribed entries from the George F. Parry Civil War diaries (George F. Parry family volumes, Collection 3694). If you're just joining us, in 2012 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 dating from 1863 to 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 the war over, things were winding down for Parry and his regiment. At the beginning of the month, he remained in Georgia, in a camp outside of Macon. And, as he noted in several entries, it was a hot, hot summer. It seems that Parry caught some sort of illness that led him to an extended hospital stay. At the end of the month, he was moved north, based on orders from command, with other sick soldiers. Parry ended up in Cumberland Hospital, a volunteer organization, in Nashville, Tennessee.


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.


*****

Thursday, July 7

An excessive Hot Day[.] So Hot
Turpentine run out of Pine trees
by Gallons.
                   (Row?) some sick with
Fever
                    Flies very bad and almost
Hell on Earth[.] 'So Hot' and so
much torment.
 

*****

Thursday, July 13

Dressed up[,] rode into Macon
called on Major Greens[,] got a
pass to go at will. also  got
$1400.00 in Confederate Money.
Had a nice time. [midling?] well to
Day.
 

*****

Wednesday, July 19

Very busy all Day[.] moved camp
to what was [a] building for the
Grand Confederate Armory. works

of Magnitude and beauty. Now
the property of the U. S. Gov't.
                                                Sent a
Paper to Edward Buckman.
 

*****

Monday, July 24

Very Sick with Fever[.] Called
the Dr.['s] attention to things and
was sent to the Ocomulgee [Ocmulgee]

Hospital. Examined by Dr.[,] placed
under treatment.  changed my
suite for a Hospital one. Slept
till four O'clock when the orders
came to send all sick to Hospital
train to go north.  placed in a
splendid car on a very easy bed
hung on rubber. All night in cars.

*****

Thursday, July 27
Left Huntsville in evening and
travelled all night. Had rain
during night.  passed through many
small towns and arrived at
Columbia at day light and at
Nashville. Transferred by Ambulance
to splendid Hospital. Cumberland
Hospital.
 

*****

Friday, July 28
In Hospital[,] lost Day some
where.
           Suffering from Piles[,]
weak Kidneys & Inflammation
of Bladder
 

*****

11/11/15
Author: Megan Evans

During the course of the Howard Lewis Project in our Archives department, the John Wanamaker collection [2188] received some much-needed attention in order to make the collection more accessible and easier to use for our researchers. As one of our larger collections (approximately 190 feet of material) that documents a very prominent Philadelphia citizen and the store he founded, the collection sees a great deal of use in our research library. It was determined that one of the things we could do to make the collection easier to use would be to take a detailed inventory of all the volumes in the collection and number them consecutively. Previously, the volumes had been numbered rather confusingly and were further obscured by the fact that some were housed in boxes with other materials and not listed separately in the finding aid. All volumes were removed from the boxes (except where they were fragile and in need of extra support) and given labels with their new numbers and titles that accurately reflect their contents.

Comments: 0

10/28/15
Author: Cary Hutto

Hello everyone! We are happy to present another post of transcriptions from the George F. Parry Civil War diaries (George F. Parry family volumes, Collection 3694). If you're just joining us, in 2012 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 dating from 1863 to 1865, when he served with the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry.

Comments: 0

9/30/15
Author: Cary Hutto

Welcome back, dear readers, for more transcriptions from the George F. Parry Civil War diaries (George F. Parry family volumes, Collection 3694). If you're just joining us, in 2012 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 dating from 1863 to 1865, when he served with the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry.

Comments: 0

9/8/15
Author: Charissa Schulze

In the age of e-readers and mass paperbacks, it is easy to forget that books were once a very scarce and expensive commodity made by hand from materials equally costly and difficult to acquire.  In the distant past, before the prevalence of paper, book pages were most often cut from vellum, a parchment made from calfskin; depending on the size of the book and number of pages, a single volume could require the laboriously prepared skins of several, even dozens, of animals.  It was therefore not unheard of for such pages and books to be scraped down and reused, t

Comments: 0

8/26/15
Author: Cary Hutto

Hello all! We're closing in on the final months of posts of transcribed entries from the George F. Parry Civil War diaries (George F. Parry family volumes, Collection 3694). If you're just joining us, in 2012 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 dating from 1863 to 1865, when he served with the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry.

Comments: 0

8/19/15
Author: Rachel Moloshok

After two long years of poring through HSP's graphics collections, digitizing countless images, researching the history of political cartoons, playing around with high-tech image viewers, painstakingly encoding TEI, creating lesson plans and resources for educators, learning about RDF and metadata standards, and blogging, blogging, blogging, it is time for Historic Images, New Technologies (HINT) staff to sign off on this digital history project.

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8/17/15
Author: Olivia D'Aiutolo

One of the most interesting articles I have come across randomly browsing the Internet discussed last meals of famous inmates on death row. There are several outrageous feasts, but the most popular food of choice is apple pie a la mode. Why, you might ask?

Comments: 0

8/12/15
Author: Diane Biunno

In a few short weeks we’ll be wrapping up work on the Historic Images, New Technologies (HINT) Project. While working on the two year project, we’ve come across many interesting and funny political cartoons.

One of our favorites is Join, or Die. It was published by Benjamin Franklin in the Pennsylvania Gazette, and is most likely the first American political cartoon. The cartoon shows a snake cut into eight pieces and makes the point that the colonies must unite in order to defend themselves against tyranny.

Topics : Politics
Comments: 0

7/30/15
Author: Olivia D'Aiutolo

As a foodie, one of my favorite things to do is explore the city discovering new restaurants and cafés to try. My personal focus is on the use of new and fresh ingredients and the nutritional quality of the items offered. Philadelphia is a gold-mine for my hobby; there are hidden restaurants you would never even hear of without having explored the city on your own. Each establishment I venture into has its own ambiance, which can often help you make a decision on where you want to eat.

Comments: 0

7/29/15
Author: Cary Hutto

Greetings! Thanks for coming back for more transcribed entries from the George F. Parry Civil War diaries (George F. Parry family volumes, Collection 3694). If you're just joining us, in 2012 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 dating from 1863 to 1865, when he served with the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry.

Comments: 0