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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!

HSP Blog

An Introduction to the HSP Image Viewer

Those of you who have been following our Historical Images, New Technologies (HINT) Project closely will be aware that the project involves development of our Digital Library image viewer for use and integration with TEI-encoded annotations. Our aim is to both provide users with a much more technically capable image viewer that includes long-awaited panning and rotation features, and also allow for a level of graphics cataloging—using a combination of transcriptive and interpretive annotations—that goes beyond structured but limited subject terms and generalized, free-text descriptions. The hope behind this more ambitious workflow is to improve the discoverability of graphic materials and render them more readily usable to researchers.

While work continues on the TEI export component and the research front, here's a sneak peek at the new capabilities of our improved image viewer.

Public features:

1) Image rotation—Simple, but invaluable. 360 degrees capable.

2) Image overview—This allows for easy panning across the image, which comes in handy when zoomed-in for high-resolution viewing. Minimizes endless scrolling across vast engraved landscapes.

Staff features:

3) Rectangle annotation tool

4) Point annotation tool

5) Polygon annotation tool

Ultimately, our hope is that the annotation tool can be utilized for a variety of graphic materials ranging from maps to artwork to photographs, though its zoning capabilities will also allow for new possibilities for encoding manuscripts.

Our end goal, regardless of collection material types, is to provide users with an information-rich digital record using tools that can be reused across platforms by our peer communities.

With that in mind, both the HSP Viewer code and the TEI documents for the project will be available on GitHub, and we would most welcome any thoughts or feedback on future uses and additions to the image viewer.

How Does it Sound? Name Spelling Variations in Pennsylvania German Fraktur

 

 

As the digital collections intern at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, I have been working on digitizing and creating metadata for the Pennsylvania-German collection (V80). The collection consists mostly of Geburts- und Taufscheine (birth- and baptismal certificates), furthermore there are some confirmation certificates, writing exercises, house blessings, bookplates, one butcher’s certificate, an indenture, a watercolor, and some facsimiles of Pennsylvania German fraktur art.


This blog post is about the spelling of names in fraktur, particularly in Geburts- und Taufscheine. While extracting metadata from the birth- and baptismal certificates, it occurred to me that in different documents, some people seemed related yet the spelling of their names were different. However, if you would pronounce their names, they would sound very similar or even the same.


Putting this observation together with a little research on additional information taken from the documents themselves, such as names of parents, names of townships and date-ranges, it became clear that some differently-spelled but similar-sounding names were in fact representing one and the same person or a family-member. In fact, that particular realization greatly helped to clarify that several documents --and respectively the people-- were related to each other.

 

Last names

Let me give you examples taken from this collections, where name-spellings appeared in different versions but which in fact turned out to represent one person or immediate family members. The following images show how the name of Maria Röder appears in different spellings including Roeder and Rohder (record no. 12577 & related objects):

 

 

 

 

 

The situation is very similar with the occurance of the last names Clemmer and Clymer (who are actually related to the Roeders, record no. 12582 & related objects), and Merckel and Merkel (record no. 12675 & related objects).

 

Another example, and the most compelling one about the interchangeability of name-spellings can be found in the Indenture between Godfrey Weyland and Laurence Spindler (record no. 12637).

 

In this document, two versions of the same name appear within one document (see below). The appearance of the name in the official text is stated as Godfrey Weyland and the signature on the bottom right reads Gottfried Wieland. So while the official document spells his name in the anglicized way, the person still signed his name the German way.

 

 

 

 

First names

First and last names were not always anglicized together. My examples above pertained mainly to anglicizations or sound-transcriptions of last names. However, the indenture above (Godfrey Weyland - Gottfried Wieland) already shows how the spellings of first names were also subject to change. 

 

Names such as Heinrich may have records describing him as Henry, and Maria could be found as Mary. The example for Mary can be seen in the three images above. Below you can also see the change from Heinrich Röder, father of Maria (record no. 12577) to Henry Roeder, father of Mary (record no. 12592). 

 

 

 

 

 

In another case the name Feioleta was later transribed into Violetta (record no. 12677). Feioleta is the way a German speaker would literally pronounce the English name Violetta.

 

Abbreviated names

Furthermore, some first names may appear abbreviated in a way that seems rather unusual today. For example: Mar: Macht: Schulze (record no. 12571) is an abbreviation for Maria Magdalena Schulze, as a later document verifies (record no. 12576). Concluding from the transcription of the first example, it looks like that “gd” may likely have been pronounced as a “cht” by these people.

 

Suffixes

Suffixes can also present a spelling-variation of last names. This applies in particular to last names of women, who may carry the suffix “in,” which in some cases designates the feminine form of a name. Today, this is not done anymore with personal last names, hence it still exists in the designation of professions which distinguish between masculine and feminine form (masc./fem.) such as Lehrer/Lehrerin=teacher, Bäcker/Bäckerin=baker, Professor/Professorin=professor.

 

In the (V80) collections, the suffix “in” was found several times, and one example is the name “Gilbertin” as documented in the Geburts- und Taufschein Ritschert Rickert (Ritschert=Richard), where the woman’s last name, Gilbert, contains the suffix “in,” (record no. 12563), while her birth certificate clearly indicates that the family name, as represented by the father, was Gilbert (record no. 12604).

 

 

 

In some cases, the suffix "in" can be abbreviated with an apostroph preceding the "n" (see second image of the blog above: Roeder'n). In other cases, the suffix of a simple "n" to a personal last name will indicate being part of that family.

 

 

Summary

When doing genealogical research involving German immigrants’ documents such as birth certificates, looking beyond the written text and including the sound of the words may reveal otherwise overlooked relationships.

 

In case of doubt, reading words out loud and imagining what the German pronunciation may have sounded like (experts may additionally take regional variations into consideration) and how they then may have been transcribed into English can lead to new insights. Vice versa it may be helpful to think about how various English transcriptions of German names may have looked and sounded like.

 

Another aspect to keep in mind is that in the 18th century, women's last names often carried the suffix “in”. Last not least, the anglicization of first names is also something to include when looking at fraktur documents with personal information.

 

Juliette Appold, PhD, MLIS candidate and intern at HSP Digital Services, October 2014

George F. Parry's Civil War Diaries: October 1864

Greeting readers – we're glad you've returned for another group 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.

*****

Parry was a busy soldier during October 1864. He and his regiment remained on the outskirts of Atlanta traveling around the city, and they eventually broke farther east. Parry entered several battles with the Confederates and, at least according to Parry's allusions, the Union Army seemed to come out on top each time.  Parry mentioned often made mention of fighting near Rome, Georgia, where he was stationed for a time. At the end of the month, Parry's regiment made a brief march into Northern Alabama, but soon returned to Rome.


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.


*****

Monday, October 3
Very rainy night. Moved in the Morning
towards Lost Mt. found the Rebels in
heavy force across Sweet Water[.]
rained very Hard part of Day[.]
a Lieut. In Gen'l. Killpatrick['s] Staff
killed one of 4th Michg. Shot
Halted at Sun down and got
supper.   Expecting attack any moment[.]
Genl Hood and Army at Big Shanty.

*****

Friday, October 7
Marched at Night in westerly
direction to near Dallas where we
found Rebels in force. Attacked
them and captured one Brigadier
General and one Lieut. Colonel – the
Brid-Gen'l. Formerly belonged to
The 4th U. S. [illegible][,] also number
of Prisoners[,] one Ambulance, &c.
very nice day and had much
sport. Foraged Corn & Potatoes[.]
Encamped at night five miles
from Dallas.     Cold night.

*****

Thursday, October 13-Friday October 14
Moved on the Rebels at Day Light.
Our Brigade mounted and the 7th
Regt. in advance in the road[.] the other
Bridgs. Dismounted in battle line each
side of road.   Rebes fought will with
Artillery and small arms.  Our Regt. was
ordered to charge with drawn sabers[,] we
flew into the rebel ranks Killing and
capturing their Artillery[,] Sixty Prisoners
and Killing Seventy[.]  Charged on full
run at two [charges?]  fifteen miles
to [illegible] River. Rebels completely
routed [illegible] to near Rome at Dark.
Received a Mail Letters from Home. Shirt[,]
Gloves[,] (Election papers) and Sallie Lukens.
Moved out at light through Rome.
on till after Dark to near Kingston
And then went into camp[.]   Everything
in confusion.     Hard Days march.

*****

Thursday, October 20
Marched at light on into Alabama
through Gaylesville – six miles west
on the same road[.]  Gen'l Jackson
marched on New Orleans.    Fought
the rebel rear Guard all day.   A
splendid day[,] Birds a singing like a
spring day North.     Rosey and I foraged
Corn Oats Potatoes Honey Chickens
Hog &c. Flour.           Fight with a Woman

*****

Tuesday, October 25
Our Brigade in Camp all
Day[.]   other Bridge with [illegible]
went with two Days Rations to
attack the Rebels.
                             Gen'l Elliot
Relieved[.]   Our Division ordered to
Reorganize[.]
                              Mail arrived at Dark[.]
Letters and Papers from Home[.]

*****

Sunday, October 30
Moved out in advance at Light[,] marched
on twenty five miles to home and
encamped North of the city.
                                              Rome Alive
with Soldiers – Thousands of them
three army Corps[.]
                                               Foraged Flour
Dried Apples. Pork and Potatoes[.]
Eve'g Received Mail Letters from Home[.]
Lizzie Barnsley[,] Sallie C. Lukens & papers
From Home.

*****

Discoveries of an Enchanting Name: Part One

As a conservation technician on the Bank of North America project, I am constantly amazed and inspired by the collection. Indeed, it is inevitable that as I clean and mend pages in the manuscripts, my interest is piqued by what I find within – whether it be ink blots, insects, doodles, or in this case, certain recurring names. The names I find particularly eye-catching are those that speak of bygone eras, names that I have not previously encountered in contemporary society, names that inspire narrative imaginings like fictional characters in a favorite novel.

One such name went a step above casual pondering to elicit genuine curiosity. That name was Isaac Hazlehurst. I began to find his name so often in the ledgers on which I was working, that I felt sure he must have been a prominent Philadelphian of his age… and yet his was not a name with which I was familiar, like George Latimer, Stephen Girard, or Henry Drinker. I knew that I must pose this question: who was this Isaac Hazlehurst, exactly, and what was he doing in Philadelphia at the end of the 18th century?

The Bank of North America Collection, Volume 358: Cash book 1790 January 13 - April 15

The Bank of North America Collection, Vol. 664: Rowlett's Tables, 1802. 

Surprisingly enough, this was my first foray into research of a genealogical nature at the Historical Society. I knew that I should begin with a conversation with our resident historian, Dr. Dan Rolph, as he could most assuredly direct me on my way. I was simply unprepared for the amazing wealth of information we amassed about Isaac in the span of one hour – details about his birth, death, marriage, and children, which began to paint a picture of this man, the life that he led, and the lives of his family. When we found a record of a letter from Alexander Hamilton to Isaac Hazlehurst on Founder's Online (part of the National Archives), I knew that my hunch that Isaac was a prominent figure in Philadelphia was correct. As I continued my research on my own in the weeks following, I was stunned that the investigation into a name with which I felt an affinity could reveal such a gold mine of Philadelphia and mid-Atlantic history.

Isaac Hazlehurst, Jr. (it turns out!) was born on November 22, 1742 in Manchester, England, the son of Isaac Hazlehurst and Mary Gryme. He was a prominent lawyer and merchant, establishing the Hazlehurst mercantile firm in Philadelphia in 1768. He wed Julianna Purviance on April 25, 1769 here in Philadelphia, and together they had seven children: Mary Elizabeth, Andrew, Samuel, Robert, John, Richard Hunter, and Isaac III. The following images show records for two locations for the Hazlehurst mercantile firm. The first was located at the now non-existent corner of Water St. and Tun Alley, approximately where Columbus Blvd now stands, parallel to I-95. The second Hazlehurst house and store was located on Drinker’s Alley, parallel to and in the same city block as our beautiful Elfreth’s Alley. In my optimistic imaginings I pictured myself visiting this house, but sadly, the entirety of Drinker’s Alley has also vanished. Instead of the history of these streets being preserved and cherished, they were leveled in the name of progress. 

Philadelphia and her merchants by Abraham Ritter

Philadelphia and her merchants by Abraham Ritter 

Philadelphia Directory, 1795, 1796 by George Alberti, M.D. 

After this disappointment, I was thrilled to stumble upon the name Isaac Hazlehurst in a list of portraits by famous American portraitist Thomas Sully. Even more amazing to learn was that this painting is actually contained in the collection of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts here in Philadelphia! However, the date on the painting indicates that it must be Isaac Jr.’s son, Isaac III, who is immortalized in the painting. There is also one of Mary Elizabeth, our Isaac’s eldest child.

Thomas Sully, Isaac Hazlehurst, 1838. Oil on canvas.

Thomas Sully, Mary Hazlehurst, 1831. Oil on canvas. 

Isaac’s daughter Mary ended up marrying Benjamin Henry Latrobe, who has been called “The Father of American Architecture”. Latrobe is noteworthy for his designs of the sadly now demolished Bank of Pennsylvania and the Center Square Water Works, once found at the location of Philadelphia’s City Hall. Latrobe also contributed designs for our Capital in D.C. As if this is not incredible enough, it is Mary Hazlehurst and Latrobe’s grandson (and Isaac Jr.’s great grandson), who was Mayor of Baltimore seven times over: Ferdinand Claiborne Latrobe.

The Bank of Pennsylvania. Architect: Benjamin Henry Latrobe. Artist: Benjamin Ridgway Evans, 1855. 

Benjamin Henry Latrobe, United States Capitol, Rendered Elevation for West Front with Propylaeum, 1811.

Ferdinand Claiborne Latrobe Monument in Baltimore, designed by Edward Berge and J. Maxwell Miller. 

In addition, we in the conservation department made another exciting connection, one that is close to our hearts here at HSP. In 2011, HSP produced and published a facsimile of Ellen Emlen’s Cookbook written in her own hand. On page 124 of this cookbook can be found a recipe for Mrs. Hazlehurst’s Brandied Peaches! With no first name mentioned, the recipe could be sourced from any number of Mrs. Hazlehursts, but it is Samuel, Isaac’s third child, who married Elizabeth Baynton Markoe. This Elizabeth may have been a relation of Ellen Emlen, who was also a Markoe; because of this connection, it is our working theory that Elizabeth Hazlehurst, Samuel’s wife, may well be the Mrs. Hazlehurst responsible for these brandied peaches.

As I continue my research, it is my hope to visit some of the locations I have learned about with which Isaac held a connection. If you know anything about the Hazlehurst or Latrobe families, or have advice on how I may continue my research, please feel free to share!

In conclusion, I am truly awe-inspired by the revelations that have occurred simply through my curiosity of a name found within our collections. I cannot help but wonder about the other names I have glimpsed, the wealth of historic narrative attributed to each, and the connections waiting to be discovered. 

Author's note: For further information, follow the links buried throughout this post, both in the text and in the images. 

Uncle Sam's Loss Was the Quakers' Gain

Low blood pressure kept Francis Bosworth (1904-1983) from serving in the military during the Second World War. In response, Bosworth, a seasoned writer, turned to social service. It was this second calling that brought Bosworth, an Episcopalian, to Philadelphia, where he was employed by the Quakers for nearly a quarter of a century to oversee a settlement house. Oversight led to activism, and in recognition of his efforts on behalf of urban development, Bosworth was awarded one of the city’s most prestigious honors in 1952, the Philadelphia Award. In this photograph, Bosworth, at right, receives the award from Judge Curtis Bok.

Born September 6, 1904, in Minnesota, Francis Bosworth began his writing career in the newsroom, working as an editor of the Minnesota Daily and as a reporter for the Minneapolis Journal. He moved to New York and continued writing for the New York Evening World. He taught journalism and drama at Columbia University, wrote a play, The Fields Beyond, which had a short Broadway run, and directed the Federal Theater Project, which was established under the Works Progress Administration in 1935. According to a 1967 article published in the Friends Journal, which was a modified reprint of an article that appeared earlier in the Sunday Bulletin Magazine (Philadelphia), Bosworth also filled his time in New York as an editor of a confession magazine, a music critic, and a public relations adviser to St. Patrick’s Cathedral and to the legendary screen and stage actress Tallulah Bankhead.

Bosworth was working for Newsweek when the United States entered the war in 1941. He hoped to join the military, but a classification of 4F kept him out of the service. Wanting to make his contribution to the war effort, he volunteered with the Quakers to teach English to refugees. His work was so impressive that he was invited in 1943 to become executive director for the Friends Neighborhood Guild, a Quaker settlement house in Philadelphia. At that time the Guild was located in an area considered the worst housing section of the city. Supporting 32,000 residents, two-thirds of the homes lacked toilets, electricity, and/or water. Finding the task “not his cup of tea,” Bosworth was told, “…it is awful. Your job is to make it better.” To do so, Bosworth refocused the mission of the Guild. Rather than passive assistance and handouts, the Guild encouraged tenants to become activists, taking charge and taking to task landlords negligent in keeping their buildings to code. According to the Journal, neighborhood constituents testified at legislative hearings in support of public aid to the run-down areas. By the late 1940s, the Guild, along with the American Friends Service Committee, devised a four-part housing program that was considered radical for its time. First, the project was to be cooperatively owned by its tenants; secondly, the project was to be interracial. Parts three and four required each tenant do some type of home improvement labor as part of their down payment; and lastly, the buildings were to be renovated rather than razed since they were structurally sound. After four years of fighting for approval, the Friends Housing Cooperative became a reality, sporting gardens, a courtyard, playground and communal facilities, such as a woodworking shop open to all tenants. As Bosworth recalled when he retired in 1967, along with the interracial stipulation, the “cooperative angle” was also innovative. “Now you see FHA-backed co-ops everywhere.” Bosworth later focused on programs for the young residents, establishing summer education projects.

In championing community relations, Bosworth worked closely with the Philadelphia Housing Authority, the Health and Welfare Council, and the Division for the Aged. He also used his writing skills to continue the cause, with articles such as “The neighborhood is our client,” (1949), “The story of Friends’ Neighborhood Guild” (1950) and “The cost of poverty" (1968). Francis Bosworth died May 1, 1983, at the age of 78.

“No Money for Schools”: A Familiar Refrain

[Editor's note: the following blog post was written a few weeks prior to publication. The cigarette tax legislation mentioned in the first paragraph was just signed into law.]

September 8, 2014, was the first day of public school here in Philadelphia. The dire state of the city’s schools is well-known to many Americans by now; in the face of an approximately $81 million budget gap, schools have closed, thousands of teachers and support staffers—including nurses, janitors, counselors, and bus drivers—have been laid off, class sizes have swelled, and educators and administrators have been reduced to begging for basic materials such as paper and pencils on internet crowdsourcing platforms. Over a thousand more layoffs are in store if state legislators do not pass legislation in the next few weeks that will allow Philadelphia’s City Council to levy a controversial $2-per-pack tax on cigarettes that, it is hoped, will raise approximately $49 million for the city schools during the 2014–15 academic year.

Above: John L. De Mar, "Stop!" Philadelphia Record, October 9, 1907 (HSP Cartoons and Caricatures collection, #3133)

As we’ve worked to select and research approximately 500 political cartoons for inclusion in a digital history exhibit as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s Historic Images, New Technologies (HINT) project, we’ve come across several cartoons that comment on Philadelphia’s public schools in the early 1900s. A handful of cartoons from October 1907, clipped from the Philadelphia Record, focus on a challenge faced by the city's schools. In the cartoon below, as in the cartoon above, the Record’s cartoonist, John De Mar, contrasts images of innocent children and indignant citizens against caricatures of corrupt members of Philadelphia's political "machine."

John L. De Mar, "No Money for Schools--But We Can Take Care of You," Philadelphia Record, October 12, 1907

John L. De Mar, "No Money for Schools—But We Can Take Care of You," Philadelphia Record, October 12, 1907 (HSP Cartoons and Caricatures collection, #3133)

I would love to see the Record's print commentary on this issue (sadly, full issues of the Record for this period are hard to come by). Combing through back issues of the Philadelphia Inquirer in online databases, however, helps to fill in the details behind the drawings. In October 1907, Philadelphians were preparing to vote on a $10 million loan bill. If passed, it would provide $2.5 million to the Board of Education for the annual budget for 1908—not an insignificant sum, but only half of the $5 million the board needed to maintain school sites and build new school buildings.

John L. DeMar, "The Last Appropriation Was Delivered at the Wrong Address," Philadelphia Record, October 8, 1907

John L. De Mar, "The Last Appropriation Was Delivered at the Wrong Address," Philadelphia Record, October 8, 1907 (HSP Cartoons and Caricatures collection, #3133)

If the bill failed, no school loan could legally be made until the following November. Philadelphians thus faced an unpleasant choice: vote yes to the hefty loan bill, accept the limited funds for schools, and try to struggle on, or reject the bill entirely and allow the schools to languish for another year. The bill ultimately passed by a large majority.

John L. De Mar, "A Machine Melodrama," Philadelphia Record, October 7, 1907

John L. De Mar, "A Machine Melodrama," Philadelphia Record, October 7, 1907 (HSP Cartoons and Caricatures collection, #3133). Caption: "Vote for the loan or I'll drop the che-ild"

Sadly, it’s all too easy to draw direct parallels between the challenges facing the schools then and  now. Researching political cartoons is a fun job, but it's depressing to realize that while we’ve made progress in many areas of American life between 1907 and 2014, the magnitude of the challenges facing Philadelphia’s schools has only gotten worse.

George F. Parry's Civil War Diaries: September 1864

Greetings readers, and happy autumn to you all! We're back again with 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.

*****

September 1864 was bookended by two major events: the takeovers of Atlanta, Georgia, and Richmond, Virginia, by the Union Army, both of which Parry noted in his diary. As he also noted, his regiment was among the first to step into the newly-captured Atlanta. Besides that excitement, this was a routine month that Parry spent mostly in Georgia. He put in a lot of quality time with his horse, Rosencrans, who was featured in several entries. By the end of the month, Parry was once again on the march.


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 2
Scouting Party went out and James
Collins was Killed by Rebel Shot[.]
Our forces this morning too posses-
sion  of Atlanta, Our Regt. some
of the first in the place. rode
out to Pike Mountain in the afternoon
and wrote a Letter to Albert [illegible]
Washington

*****

Thursday, September 8
Wrote a Letter to Sallie Lukens

Rode into the City[,] saw the Guns
And ruins of five ammunition
Trains burnt by the Rebels[.]
Army Cummberland moved into
and around the City.  Saw Wm. Fetter
in Atlanta.     
                                   Fred Davis got
Drunk and very abusive[.]

*****

Monday, September 12
Moved out at Light[,] marched
to few miles N. E. of Decatur
and camped after a hard Days
march in a Pine woods.
                                      A very
nice but Dusty Day – orders
so reported to dismount the
7th Penna Cavalry[.]

*****

Wednesday, September 21
Fixed up our Quarters [in Roseville, GA][,] Rosen-
crans went out in country and
got a fine lot of Potatoes and
Mellons.
              Got some medicine of
4th Mich. Cavalry

twenty Rebels came in Deserters

Rainy and Disagreeable

*****

Tuesday, September 27
Richmond taken
Moved camp and put up tent
Some words with Jobson and
A few words about Rowling
Mules with Lt. Rank
                                 Rosencrans
Got a Hog and about one bushel
Of Potatoes[.] a splendid Day.

*****

 

Reading Terminal Market: Then and Now

This is the eighth and final blog in A Philly Foodie Explores Local History-- a journey in food history that has led me to cook from Martha Washington’s original cookbook, connect with Philadelphia’s historic Italian Market, and dedicate an entire blog to Pennsylvania peaches.  It only seems fitting to end this blog series by visiting Reading Terminal Market, a popular foodie destination in the city today whose history reflects massive changes in American food production and distribution throughout the 20th century.  At the 1931 formal opening of The Food Show and Home Progress Exposition at Reading Terminal, president of Reading Company Agnew T. Dice spoke about the role railroads and modern technology played in reshaping the American dinner table at the time.  A copy of this speech along with an incredible collection of 1940s photographs have made their way into archives at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and provide a lively view of the market’s past.  After peering into the history of Reading Terminal Market below and in the photo album to the right, you might be inspired to visit the market in person!  If that is the case, you will be happy to find two end-of-summer dishes at the end of this blog whose ingredients can be found entirely at Reading Terminal!

Then: Transforming American Foodways

Reading Terminal Market’s roots go all the way back to the end of the 17th century when farmers from across the Delaware began selling produce in Philadelphia as outdoor street vendors along High Street.  The informal marketplace that developed was commonly known as the “Jersey Market,” since most of the vendors came from Jersey and eventually the name of the street would better reflect the scene by changing to Market.  The market that exists in Philadelphia today along 12th Street between Market and Arch was established in 1891 when the Reading Terminal Railroad Company purchased property containing an established indoor 30-year-old marketplace owned by the Twelfth Street Market Company.  

A partnership between railroad and market was a smart business move in 1891, though the early days of the Reading Terminal Railroad and Market relationship was fraught with tension since the market had previously existed independently from the railroad.  As railroads developed across America throughout the late 19th and early 20th century, transporting goods across the country became drastically easier and more affordable.  The close proximity of a railroad station to a market would bring fresh produce and customers to the market and the demand for produce at the market would guarantee business for the railroad.

Outside Reading Terminal Market in 1946. You can see that the market was a very busy place from  this photograph as well as the first pitcture at the top of this article that reads "No Turkeys." That photograph was taken on Christmas Eve, 1944 when the shops had run out of holiday turkeys. (Philadelphia Record Photograph Morgue Collection).

Forty years into the railroad-market partnership, President of Reading Company Agnew T. Dice reflected on how modern transportation had transformed the American dinner table at the formal opening of The Food Show and Home Progress Exposition at Reading Terminal in 1931:

“The railroads and steamship lines bring the products of the world to this place.  Here you will find deer meat from the Arctic, nuts from Africa, dairy products and delicacies from Europe, nuts and fruits from the Argentine and Brazil, while China, India, Arabia, and I know not how many other countries send their best for the table to these counters.  The fruits of Florida and California as well as the vegetables from the South are ready for us when our own farms are frozen.  What were the delicacies for the rich alone a few years ago have become staple winter foods for all” (Dice, 2).

Selecting a fresh cut of meat, 1940s (Philadelphia Record Photograph Morgue Collection).

At the time Dice was speaking, more than $5 million in annual business was being done at Reading Terminal Market between 152 merchants who were open 6 days a week.  The market was the only in the state open for business so many days a week and had a new cutting-edge cold storage facility to support demand for produce.

“... within forty years (the market) has become an established Philadelphia Institution and its fame has spread across the entire nation.  Indeed, there is not a state in the Union to which goods from this market are not sent.  In Philadelphia the name is a synonym for good things to eat, honest values and fair dealing.  Pennsylvania boasts of this market as the largest in the State, and you may not know that it is the largest market in the country under one roof” (Dice, 1).

Today: A Philly Foodie Destination

Today, Reading Terminal Market remains one of Philadelphia’s most popular foodie destinations with over seventy shops selling everything from artisanal cheeses to handmade donuts to knock-your-socks-off barbecue.  I don’t know about you, but after two months of exploring local history through food, I’ve worked up quite an appetite.  Below are two recipes that I love and made using ingredients from the market.  What could be better motivation to visit Reading Terminal Market then a good recipe?  And there is no better time than the present.

*Please note that the following dishes are not my own original recipes but have been adapted from  recipes found on the Food Network and New York Times online.  

Melon and Prosciutto

Ingredients: 1 Cantaloupe, 1/4 lb. prosciutto, parsley, olive oil.
Directions: Slice cantaloupe into thin, bite-sized pieces.  On a serving dish, alternate layers of cantaloupe with prosciutto.  Garnish with a bit of chopped parsley and olive oil.

Original recipe can be found here.

Farewell Summer Corn Dish

Ingredients: About a 1/2 lb. of pre-cooked shrimp (optional), 1/4 lb. of bacon (optional), 4-6 ears corn, 1 red pepper, 1 carrot, 1 shallot, 3 scallions, 4 cups spinach, 1/2-1 tbsp. butter, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper.

Directions: Before cooking, dice carrot, pepper, scallions, and shallot and cut corn off of the cob.    Meanwhile, fry bacon in a separate pan and set aside on paper towels when finished. Then in a large pot, melt butter and add shallot.  Add corn, carrot, and red bell pepper,.  Season with red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to taste.  Cook for 5- 10 minutes.  Add shrimp.  Add spinach by the handful, stirring contents until spinach is wilted by the heat.  Serve after all of the spinach has cooked and crumble bacon on top as desired.

Original recipe can be found here.

The Nuts and Bolts of Historic Images, New Technologies

We're deep in the phase of making changes to our technological platforms (Collective Access, our DAMS, and Drupal, our digital exhibits platform) in order to launch the Historic Images, New Technologies (HINT) project next fall.  I recently wrote a blog post on the project for the Delaware Valley Archivists Group (DVAG) website.  Head on over to the DVAG blog to learn about what we've done so far, what we still have to do, and how we plan to get there.

We invite you to keep up with the project by regularly checking in on the HINT homepage, as well as keeping an eye out for updates here on "Fondly, Pennsylvania."  You can read my post for DVAG by clicking here.

Dinner with the Penns

As you might expect, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania has a large collection of materials related to the founding father of Pennsylvania, William Penn.  Much to my delight, many recipes of Penn’s first wife Gulielma Maria Penn have been preserved in The Penn Family Papers, an impressively large collection of personal written materials by William Penn and various family members.  The cooking recipes were collected into a 4-part manuscript totaling more then 150 pages towards the end of the 17th century at the request of Gulielma and Penn’s son William.  You can see in the images below that the original recipes are very difficult to read, which is largely due to the rushed manner in which they were transcribed and their use of 17th century spelling and words that are obsolete today.  Luckily, HSP has an excellent transcription of the cookbook by Evelyn Abraham Benson that came in very handy in clarifying the cooking instructions and explaining the book’s origins.  This week, I tested out two excellent recipes for “A Tart of Spinage” and “Fregasy of Chicken” which would like to share with you below:

Too Make a Tart of Spinage

Above: original recipe "Too Make a Tart of Spinage" by William Penn’s first wife Gulielma Maria Penn from the Penn Family Papers. Below: transcription by Evelyn Abraham Benson:

“Take a good Dele of spinaige and boyle it in water and a Littell salt, and when it is boyled well Drain out the water very Clene, take the yeolks of eggs and Creme strain them with the spinaige through a strainer, and seson it with suger, put too it a slise of butter then put them in the Coffen. and boyle them--” (Benson, 151).

Too Make a Fregasy of Chicken

Above: original recipe "Too Make a Fregasy of Chicken" by William Penn’s first wife Gulielma Maria Penn from the Penn Family Papers. Below: transcription by Evelyn Abraham Benson:

“Take your Chicken flea (flay) them and Cutt them in peces and boyle them gently in butter with a bunch of sweet herbs, after they have bin a pretty while in, putt sum good broath to them, and when allmost enough, a gill of white wine then take the yeolks of 4 or 5 eggs, and sum shred parsley 1/2 a nutmeg grated and sum juce of Lemon but if you have not that 2 or 3 spunfulls of vinegar beate them well together, and when the other is enough, put this to it sturring it up and downe together a Litell while you may putt mushroons to it, and slised Lemon, this is for 4 Littell biskets putt a bitt or 2 of butter too the eggs and other things when you mix them together--” (Benson, 29).

On to the Cooking

The general instructions in these recipes sparked a few challenges for me, but also allowed room for more personal creativity when cooking, unlike modern recipes which specify cooking times and ingredient measurements down to the minute and teaspoon and leave less room for diversion.  This was more an issue with the chicken then the spinach.  At the beginning of the recipe, the instructions tell the cook to gently boil the chicken in butter with some sweet herbs, but does not explain what gently boiling chicken in butter might look like or specify how much butter or what kind of herbs to use.  These details were likely not included because a 17th century cook would not have easy access to ingredients, unlike modern cooks who can drop by their local grocery store to pick up extra butter or fresh cilantro even when it’s out of season.  I decided that a healthy half stick of butter would suit my needs, along with a large helping of freshly chopped basil and rosemary.  For my purposes, “boil in butter” translated into pan frying the chicken in melted butter on very low heat and covered with a lid.  Similarly, I was left to decide when and how much broth and wine to add to the chicken.  

Although the recipes’ lack of cooking specifics initially left me feeling uneasy, having the creative leeway to make my own decisions about cook-time and ingredients actually turned out to be refreshing.  Replicating these 17th century dishes was more simple and relaxed compared to trying out some modern recipes that require intensive attention to details and timing. 
If you’re wondering how long I cooked the chicken or spinach, I could only give you a rough estimation because I wasn’t focused on time.  The chicken cooked for about 45 minutes on a very low heat while the spinach boiled for roughly 5 minutes and then was reheated and kept warm in a pan after straining out the water pouring whipped egg yolks and cream through the spinach as it sat in the strainer. 

Looking at the picture above, you might mistakenly assume that I immediately dug into the chicken and spinach when they were finished cooking.  Perhaps a bit too relaxed when working through the recipes, I failed to notice that the chicken dish was meant to be served over biscuits.  Less then 10 minutes until the dishes were ready to be served and I realized-- no biscuits!  Since the herby white wine sauce that had been stewing along with the chicken for nearly an hour had collected all sorts of flavor, serving the chicken without some sort of bread to soak up the sauce would essentially be leaving a key component out of the dish.  Luckily, I was able to put the meal on hold while my dinner guest kindly volunteered to run out in search of appropriate bread and returned with a box of biscuits from Popeyes.

While I could go on to romanticize that pairing 17th century Penn family dishes with biscuits from a fried chicken fast food chain was an innovative fusion of historic cooking with modern food, the combination was simply comical, unplanned, and tasty.  Initially, I expected that cooking an entire meal from Gulielma Penn’s recipes would have allowed me to imagine inviting the Penns over for a dinner party.  As I sat down to eat and tried to reflect on the history behind the food before me, I couldn’t help but laugh at the thought of Gulielma and William Penn sitting in my kitchen when a box of Popeyes biscuits was on the table before me.  Although the meal may not have turned into the transformative historic experience I had anticipated, the vague instructions in these historic recipes gave me the creative freedom to make them my own and left me with new confidence in my cooking abilities.  The chicken was phenomenal-- definitely the best I’ve ever cooked-- and no doubt this is the result of my interpretation of how much butter and wine should be used in the sauce.  Though I would not recommend these dishes to my health-conscious friends, they have certainly earned a permanent place within my personal collection of recipes-- a perfect example of how history can be made relevant through food.


Come back next week for a special blog on Reading Terminal Market that will be the final installment in this food history series A Philly Foodie Explores Local History!

10/24/14
Author: Cathleen Lu

Those of you who have been following our Historical Images, New Technologies (HINT) Project closely will be aware that the project involves development of our Digital Library image viewer for use and integration with TEI-encoded annotations.

Comments: 0

10/22/14
Author: Cary Hutto

Greeting readers – we're glad you've returned for another group 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

10/6/14
Author: Erin Paulson

As a conservation technician on the Bank of North America project, I am constantly amazed and inspired by the collection. Indeed, it is inevitable that as I clean and mend pages in the manuscripts, my interest is piqued by what I find within – whether it be ink blots, insects, doodles, or in this case, certain recurring names. The names I find particularly eye-catching are those that speak of bygone eras, names that I have not previously encountered in contemporary society, names that inspire narrative imaginings like fictional characters in a favorite novel.

Comments: 3

10/1/14
Author: Bertha Adams

Low blood pressure kept Francis Bosworth (1904-1983) from serving in the military during the Second World War. In response, Bosworth, a seasoned writer, turned to social service. It was this second calling that brought Bosworth, an Episcopalian, to Philadelphia, where he was employed by the Quakers for nearly a quarter of a century to oversee a settlement house. Oversight led to activism, and in recognition of his efforts on behalf of urban development, Bosworth was awarded one of the city’s most prestigious honors in 1952, the Philadelphia Award.

Comments: 0

9/25/14
Author: Rachel Moloshok

[Editor's note: the following blog post was written a few weeks prior to publication. The cigarette tax legislation mentioned in the first paragraph was just signed into law.]

Comments: 0

9/24/14
Author: Cary Hutto

Greetings readers, and happy autumn to you all! We're back again with 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

9/23/14
Author: Sarah Duda

This is the eighth and final blog in A Philly Foodie Explores Local History-- a journey in food history that has led me to cook from Martha Washington’s original cookbook, connect with Philadelphia’s historic Italian Market, and dedicate an entire blog to Pennsylvania peaches.  It only seems fitting to end this blog series by visiting Reading Terminal Market, a popular foodie destination in the city today whose history reflects massive changes in American food production and distribution throughout the 20th century.  At the 1931 formal opening of The Food Show and Home Progress Exposition at Reading Terminal, president of Reading Company Agnew T. Dice spoke about the role railroads and modern technology played in reshaping the American dinner table at the time.  A copy of this speech along with an incredible collection of 1940s photographs have made their way into archives at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and provide a lively view of the market’s past.  After peering into the history of Reading Terminal Market below and in the photo album to the right, you might be inspired to visit the market in person!  If that is the case, you will be happy to find two end-of-summer dishes at the end of this blog whose ingredients can be found entirely at Reading Terminal!

Comments: 0

9/17/14
Author: Sara Borden

We're deep in the phase of making changes to our technological platforms (Collective Access, our DAMS, and Drupal, our digital exhibits platform) in order to launch the Historic Images, New Technologies (HINT) project next fall.  I recently wrote a blog post on the project for the Delaware Valley Archivists Group (DVAG) website.  Head on over to the DVAG blog to learn about what we've done

Comments: 0

9/11/14
Author: Sarah Duda

As you might expect, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania has a large collection of materials related to the founding father of Pennsylvania, William Penn.  Much to my delight, many recipes of Penn’s first wife Gulielma Maria Penn have been preserved in The Penn Family Papers, an impressively large collection of personal written materials by William Penn and various family members.  The cooking recipes were collected into a 4-part manuscript totaling more then 150 pages towards the end of the 17th century at the request of Gulielma and Penn’s son William.  You can see in the images below that the original recipes are very difficult to read, which is largely due to the rushed manner in which they were transcribed and their use of 17th century spelling and words that are obsolete today.  Luckily, HSP has an excellent transcription of the cookbook by Evelyn Abraham Benson that came in very handy in clarifying the cooking instructions and explaining the book’s origins.  This week, I tested out two excellent recipes for “A Tart of Spinage” and “Fregasy of Chicken” which would like to share with you below:

Comments: 1