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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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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
 

*****

Violet Oakley: Citizen of the World

 

Violet Oakley was truly a citizen of the world; as a muralist, illustrator, portrait painter, author, designer, and visionary, Violet Oakley stood out amongst fellow female artists of her generation. Her devotion to art and the belief that it was not only for “the select few” was made apparent through her involvement in political activities, which mainly focused on international issues of world government and disarmament. With such devotion to art and its place in politics, Violet transcended conventional roles of painting and portraiture and by 1911 she had become the only American woman to have established a successful career in mural art.

An Artistic Lineage

 

Violet Oakley [b. June 10, 1874] was born into a third generation of amateur and professional artists. Her father, Arthur Edmond Oakley, was a successful businessman who held a great interest in arts; as a young woman, her mother, Cornelia Swain, taught drawing and painted portraits in San Francisco; her elder sister, Hester, was a writer and illustrator; aunts Julianna and Isabella Oakley studied painting in Munich; both grandfathers were members of the National Academy of Design. So, it came as no surprise when Violet began to show interest in the arts and her early efforts of expression were highly encouraged. With pencil or brush in hand she filled numerous sketchbooks from childhood well into adulthood that captured daily events, family outings, concerts, and landscapes.

Women Playing Piano: page from Violet Oakley's Sketchbook

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania boasts around 140 of these personal sketchbooks in its vaults. (Violet Oakley Sketchbooks Call Number: Collection n. 3336)

Formal Education

 

Enchanted by the stories her aunts wrote in letters home from abroad, Violet started to live vicariously through their tales of adventure and art in foreign lands. This prompted her to start a more formal education in the arts. However, her training was quite sporadic in the beginning. In 1894 she traveled with her father to New York City to study at the Student’s Art League, then in 1895 while on an extended family trip to Paris she enrolled at the Academie Montparnasse to study under Edmond Aman-Jean and Raphael Collin. In 1896, while still in Paris, her father became ill and the family returned for medical treatment in Philadelphia. Violet entered the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts to study under Cecilia Beaux, Joseph de Camp, and Henry Thouron. She would leave to study at Drexel a year later, but in 1913 she returned to PAFA to teach a class in Mural Decoration and was the only other woman besides Cecilia Beaux to teach there until the 1950’s.

After her year at PAFA Violet decided to change focus and left for the Drexel Institute School of Illustration to study under Howard Pyle, the most celebrated illustrator of the late nineteenth century. Pyle was known for his charismatic nature and generosity as an educator and was a significant inspiration to aspiring artists. He played a particularly large role in Violet’s education and was a tremendous inspiration to her. She admired him for his skill and versatile drawing style and throughout her career similarities in their aesthetic became apparent.

Commissioned Work

 

Between the years 1896 and 1906, under the encouragement of Pyle, word of Violet’s skill began to spread and she undertook numerous commissions. Violet was contracted to illustrate for numerous magazines such as Harper’s, Century Magazine, and Everybody’s Magazine. In 1900 All Angel’s Church in New York City approached Violet to decorate their church. She designed for them five lancet windows, a glass mosaic altarpiece and two large murals for the Apse. These two paintings were the beginning of Violet’s established career as a muralist.

In 1902 Joseph Huston, the architect  of the new Pennsylvania State Capitol building in Harrisburg decided “at least one room should be decorated by a woman” and commissioned Violet to paint 13 murals for the Governor’s Reception Room. This would be the first time in American history that a woman was awarded such a commission in a public space. Violet decided the land of William Penn was a good place to begin her studies. She felt the imagery in the Capitol building should reflect ideals promoted by the founder of Pennsylvania, so Violet and her mother sailed to England and studied the history of the Quakers and of William Penn. Violet’s studies of the Quaker doctrine heavily influenced her personal outlook on life; she stated, “In time I became so impressed by the belief or testimony of the Quakers against carnal warfare that this idea, the victory of law, or truth over force, became the central idea of my life”. Violet would have another opportunity to exercise this new found doctrine. In 1911 Edwin Austin Abbey, the original artist commissioned to decorate the Senate and Supreme Chambers of the Capitol building, passed away before he could begin the work and Violet was approached to fulfill the rest of Abbey’s contract. From 1911 – 1927 she worked tirelessly on both rooms, taking the opportunity to continue to develop ideas found in the Governor’s Reception Room.

Violet Oakley with mural, photograph, undate

Violet Oakley with mural, photograph, undated

Art and Politics

 

Immediately after the completion of the Supreme Court murals, Violet left for Geneva, Switzerland to document the League of Nations. Oakley interpreted the creation of the League of Nations as an extension of William Penn’s ideals (as well as her own) and found herself a self-appointed ambassador. Violet’s involvement in this political event caused her to see a direct relationship between Geneva and Philadelphia and envision a “great Suspension Bridge connecting Penn’s City of Brotherly Love and the City of Geneva”. During the years 1927 to 1929 Violet created numerous portraits of the League’s member-delegates and other dignitaries for a Philadelphia newspaper, many of which were later turned into widely exhibited portfolios. These portfolios embodied Violet’s hope for a world where all nations could live together in peace. The originals were later presented to the Library of the United Nations in Geneva. After all of her involvement, it caused Violet great dismay when she learned of the United State's refusal to join the League.


Leage of Nations Delegate: page from Violet Oakley's Sketchbook

Violet felt politics was not an inappropriate activity for an artist. She strongly believed that the world’s problems are not to be left solely to politics and economics – that the attempt to create harmony in the world is in itself a work of art in which everyone has a part to play. Violet found a way to communicate this idea in a more accessible manner through two portfolios of color reproductions of all the Harrisburg murals along with a detailed explanation of them in a personally designed hand-lettered text. The Holy Experiment – William Penn’s term for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1682, depicted the images found in the Governor’s Reception Room and the Senate Chamber. Law Triumphant, the sequel, contained reproductions found in the Supreme Court Room and portraits of delegates who participated in the League of Nations (1933).

Violet Oakley’s collective work represents a lifelong pilgrimage and quest to help establish peace and harmony throughout the world. She embraced this as her “sacred challenge” with passion and dedication until her death at the age of 86, at her home in Philadelphia, 1961.

 

HINT Goes to Summer Camp!

Last month I attended the Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents in Lincoln, Nebraska.  The Institute or “camp edit” was a five day workshop funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission and administered by the Association for Documentary Editing.   At the camp, I had the opportunity to meet librarians, archivists, professors, and historians who are also annotating and transcribing historical documents and working on digital history projects.

Camp Edit

At the institute, I learned about the best practices for writing transcriptions and annotations and received further training in TEI (text encoding initiative), the markup language we are using to encode the political cartoons for the Historic Images, New Technologies (HINT) project.   I also got to attend a special session on using social media to promote digital projects and exhibits.

My favorite part of camp edit was learning about the digital projects that my colleagues are working on.  At camp edit we took turns giving ten minute “project spotlight presentations” where we outlined the basic goals of our projects, as well as, discussed the tools, resources, and technologies that we are using to build them.  Most importantly, we talked about the challenges we are facing and together came up with possible solutions.

At the conclusion of the camp edit we participated in a graduation ceremony and received a wonderful diploma.

Camp edit graduation diploma

At the end of the five day workshop, I decided to remain in Lincoln a few more days in order to attend the Association for Documentary Editing and Society for Textual Scholarship (ADE/STS) 2015 Joint Conference.  At the conference, I presented a poster about the HINT project.  Attendees at the poster session were quite interested in learning more about HSP’s new open source image viewer and how we used TEI to markup images. 

In conclusion, the Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents and the ADE/STS 2015 Joint Conference were truly valuable professional experiences for me.  I encourage anyone new to the practice of editing historical documents to apply to next year’s camp edit! And remember to check out our digital exhibit, Politics in Graphic Detail, when it becomes available later this year.

A Pinch of History: Norfolk Dumplings

Hannah Glasse’s cookbook is the oldest of the four that I chose to focus on, with the exception of Martha Washington’s Booke of Cookery (which holds recipes dating to Elizabethan times). Glasse was English, but her cookbook was widely used on the American continent.

Published in 1755, Glasse's cookbook looks its age. The front cover is completely detached and pages fall out left and right. When researchers hold the book in their hands, tiny pieces of paper sprinke the table below. 

I was terrified of damaging a valuable piece of history. For these reasons, I was more comfortable reading an e-book version on the computer. It was an exact facsimile scanned onto the Internet. The photos are of the original book, which it now safely back in its protective acid-free box. 

As I stated in my second post, Hannah Glasse’s cookbook is a published work created for instructive purposes. It felt less personal than Martha Washington’s or Mary Plumstead’s handwritten books. The book bears a title reflective of its time: The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy; Which far exceeds any Thing of the Kind ever yet published. She asserts in the introduction that the purpose of the book is to simplify the art of cooking for the servile classes so that servants may better provide for their masters. To this, I would say that Glasse has succeeded. Her book provided the most instructions on how to choose the best ingredients, the most basic instructions on tasks like roasting or boiling, the most recipes in total, and the most explicit recipes— I was left with little questions on how to execute the recipes because she provided enough steps and insight in the first place. The handwritten books are much vaguer; they were probably thoughts scribbled down in live action in the kitchen. Amelia Simmons’s cookbook is published as well, though much shorter and less in-depth.

 


The other challenge I encountered with Glasse, aside from the fragile condition of the book, was her use of the formal “S”. I come across these stylized characters in my history classes while exploring primary sources. Eventually you get used to it, but when I first begin I cannot help but read with a slight lisp as the “S” looks like an “F”. 

Compared to others included in Glasse's work, this recipe was extremely simple. I also thought the recipe was adorable, how Glasse added her own opinion at the end even though the book was a more formal work. The original recipe reads:

“To make Norfolk Dumplings, Mix a good thick Batter, as for Pancakes, take Half a Pint of Milk, two Eggs, a little Salt, and make it into a batter with Flour. Have ready a clean Sauce-pan of Water boiling, into which drop this Batter. Be sure the Water boils fast, and two or three Minutes will boil them; then throw them into a Sieve to drain the water away, then turn them into a Dish, and stir a Lump of fresh Butter into them, eat them hot, and they are very good.”


To say the least, this recipe fits in to how many might imagine colonial cooking to be. It was slightly tasteless and bland, according to our modern tastes. The addition of the butter at the end is definitely necessary, and I am not even a huge fan of butter.

I have no measurement of the flour, but you need A LOT to create sticky dough that can hold its own. Cooking often cannot come down to exact measurements. My dumplings looked like shapeless blobs because, rather than roll them into neat little balls, I felt that I should just drop handfuls of dough into the boiling water. I had never prepared a dumpling before, so I had no idea what shape they should be. I am still developing as a cook, and I have much to learn from these 18th-century women.

Hannah Glasse’s Norfolk Dumplings:

1 cup milk (I used 1% reduced fat)
2 eggs
Whole-wheat flour
Sea salt
Butter

1. Bring a saucepan of water to a rolling boil
2. Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl
3. Add milk and stir to combine
4. Sprinkle some sea salt in before adding the flour
5. Begin adding flour little by little, stirring between. You want the liquid ingredients and dry ingredients to form a dough (I tried to get it to pizza crust or pie crust consistency)

6. Once the dough is cohesive, drop balls into the boiling water
7. After about 3 minutes, or when the dumplings are solid and cooked, drain them in a strainer


8. Place the dumplings in a bowl and stir a decent glob of butter into them while they are still hot, so that it melts fully—and enjoy!

Perhaps the addition of some honey & cinnamon would help to liven these dumplings up. Or they could simply serve as a dinner roll-type food!

Regardless of how each recipe is turning out, the experience of cooking from a historical cookbook is indescribable. I find myself laughing, grimacing, questioning, and feeling very excited to taste the results. Every recipe is literally an adventure-- who would have thought cooking could be so complicated and intriguing!

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.

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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
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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.

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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

7/21/15
Author: Diane Biunno

Last month I attended the Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents in Lincoln, Nebraska.  The Institute or “camp edit” was a five day workshop funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission and administered by the Association for Documentary Editing.

Topics : Politics
Comments: 0

7/13/15
Author: Olivia D'Aiutolo

Hannah Glasse’s cookbook is the oldest of the four that I chose to focus on, with the exception of Martha Washington’s Booke of Cookery (which holds recipes dating to Elizabethan times). Glasse was English, but her cookbook was widely used on the American continent.

Published in 1755, Glasse's cookbook looks its age. The front cover is completely detached and pages fall out left and right. When researchers hold the book in their hands, tiny pieces of paper sprinke the table below. 

Comments: 0