Law, Politics and Government

Newspaper clippings

Newspaper clippings

Anne Hampton Brewster papers and letters, 1777-1892 (Library Company of Philadelphia):  Anne Hampton Brewster (1818-1892) was an American novelist, journalist and foreign correspondent who defied contemporary conceptions of womanhood and society during the nineteenth century. The papers date from 1777 to 1892, with the majority of the materials dating from 1845 to 1892. The materials primarily consist of diaries, journals, commonplace books, correspondence, newspaper clippings, notes about her writings and drafts of her writings. The materials document Anne Hampton Brewster’s personal life with friends and family, and they document her professional life as a journalist and writer.
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Colonel Richard Thomas papers, 1741-1919 (Chester County Historical Society): Richard Thomas (1744-1832) was a Revolutionary War colonel and a politician. He served in the Revolutionary War in the 5th Battalion Association despite his Quaker faith and served as an Assembly man from 1796 to 1790, as Pennsylvania Senator from 1790 to 1794, and as Congressman from 1794 to 1798. The collection dates from 1741 to 1919 with the bulk of materials dating from 1741 to 1857. The materials in the collection document the history of Chester County and the United States as well as the personal side of the Thomas family.
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Edwin S. Stuart papers, 1884-1937 (Temple University Libraries Special Collections Research Center): Edwin Sydney Stuart (1853-1937) was a Philadelphia businessman and politician during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In addition to owning and operating a successful bookstore, Stuart also served as mayor of Philadelphia from 1891 to 1995 and governor of Pennsylvania from 1907 to 1911. The Edwin S. Stuart papers, as received by Temple University, reflect a portion of the files from the Stuart/Emmons family and material stored at Leary & Co. prior to the closing of the firm in 1969. The records date from 1884 to 1937, and reflect both the archives of the Leary firm and the political and social activities of Governor Stuart. His papers document a variety of personal activities and social functions as well as his work with Girard College and the Union League. While the papers do document some of his political functions in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, this collection does not contain his formal political office files.
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General correspondence relating to Civil Works projects originating under the Wilmington and Philadelphia Engineers, 1871-1948, Bulk 1907-1943 (National Archives at Philadelphia):  The “General correspondence relating to Civil Works projects originating under the Wilmington and Philadelphia Engineers” collection houses correspondence, blueprints, maps, bids, photographs and reports dating from 1871 to 1948 [bulk 1907-1943]. This collection relates to civil engineering projects in the Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey area, such as: dredging of rivers, creeks, and harbors; flood control; removing wrecks; bridge building and maintenance; dam building and maintenance; and relocations of roads, cemeteries, and railroad lines.
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The Ruler's Ruler

The Ruler's Ruler

Health Policy Advisory Center (Health/PAC) records, 1945-1985 (Temple University Special Collections):  The Health Political Advisory Center, a health advocacy and research organization, was based in New York City and active from 1968 until 1977. The policies advocated by Health/PAC were largely left-wing and socialist health care programs, with special attention given to national health insurance, patients’ rights, and health care for disadvantaged, minority, and/or immigrant populations. The main purpose of Health/PAC was to spread information and foster activism through publications, conferences, and other events. Health/PAC published a variety of pamphlets, newsletters, bibliographies, and two books: The American Health Empire (1971) and Prognosis Negative (1976). The organization’s newsletter, The Bulletin, was published regularly from 1968 until the late 1990s. After Health/PAC closed in 1977, The Bulletin’s publication was carried out by a volunteer board of editors. This collection contains papers relating to Health/PAC’s primary functions and operation. The materials date from 1945 to 1985, with the bulk of the collection dating from 1965 to 1977. This collection includes research on various health and health care issues gathered by Health/PAC, Health/PAC’s newsletter ( The Bulletin), and correspondence with doctors, activists and politicians. Though the organization was based in New York City, Health/PAC was interested in health and health care globally, the materials collected by the organization reflect that interest, with records covering health care events and issues throughout the United States and in several foreign countries. Of particular interest are the materials about changes in women’s health care during this time period; mental health and the treatment of mental illnesses; drug abuse; the Marxist, Socialist, and Communist movements within the United States and their relationship to health care issues; and specific health events that occurred during the 1960s and 1970s, such as Legionnaire’s Disease and the swine flu outbreak of 1976.
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Election of 1886

Election of 1886

James Wood papers, 1865-1964, bulk 1865-1921 (Haverford College):  James Wood (1839-1925) was “interested in education, philanthropy, in the various branches of agriculture, in archaeology, history, Indian lore, anthropology, science, in prison reform and above all, in the Bible and religion,” (ABS, 2). He was also a business man, serving as President of the Genesee Salt Company in Piffard, New York. The James Wood papers are divided into twelve series: “Biographical Material:” “Agriculture;” Business and Financial Material;” “Collected Quaker Material;” “Correspondence;” “Hugh Barbour Writings and Talks regarding James Wood;” “Journals;” “Organizations;” “Photographs and Albums;” “Political Involvement;” Prison Reform;” and lastly, “Writings by James Wood.” This collection contains many materials, including correspondence, photographs, record books, awards, and printed material such as newspapers and pamphlets. Given Wood’s heavy involvement in agriculture, this collection has high research value for those interested in farming methods, live stock breeding, and general agriculture history from the late nineteenth to early-twentieth centuries. Also of note to researchers is a series covering Wood’s work in female prison reform, which includes several official reports and newspaper stories in this area.
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An Address

An Address

John Dickinson papers, 1676-1885 (Library Company of Philadelphia):  John Dickinson (1782-1808), a Philadelphia lawyer and politician, was a major figure in colonial Delaware and Pennsylvania governments and during the early national period. He was an active presence and prolific writer during the American Revolution and early Republic from the passage of the Sugar Act (1764) until the Jefferson presidency. He also served in the military as colonel, private, and brigadier general. He married Mary Norris in 1770. John Dickinson died in Delaware in 1808. The John Dickinson papers contains incoming and outgoing correspondence; revolutionary and early national government documents; Revolutionary War documents; Delaware and Pennsylvania government papers; land papers; legal papers; bills and receipts; collected essays, notes and commonplace books; and estate material. The papers provide a clear picture of the way in which colonists envisioned their new country and how these new Americans worked, compromised and adapted in order to achieve their visions. Mary Norris Dickinson is documented through two volumes: one of letters and one of poems.
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John Thurloe papers, 1654-1659 (Rosenbach Museum and Library): John Thurloe (1616-1668) was a secretary to the council of state of the Commonwealth of Great Britain under Oliver Cromwell. He was given charge of the intelligence department in 1653, which included foreign and domestic espionage, and the post office in 1655. He entered Parliament in 1654, and supported the succession of Richard Cromwell in 1658. He was deprived of his office after the fall of the Protectorate, and was arrested for high treason after the Restoration in 1660. The John Thurloe papers, 1655-1660, contains five bound volumes of copies of letters written to Thurloe, as well as two partial inventories of those volumes. On the whole, the letters document the variety of Thurloe’s exploits as secretary to the council of the state of the Commonwealth of Great Britain under Oliver Cromwell.
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League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania records, 1867-1988 (Historical Society of Pennsylvania): The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania was established in 1920 as a successor organization to the Pennsylvania Woman Suffrage Association, with the purpose of providing “education to increase the effectiveness of women voters and to further better government.” The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania records document the history of this organization from 1867 to 1980, however, the bulk of the material dates from 1959 to 1977. The majority of the materials consist of minutes, newsletters, reports and memorabilia; however, there is a small amount of early material, particularly relating to the suffrage movement. Of particular interest may be the photographs of the 1915 Women’s Liberty Bell Tour in support of the vote.

Register to Vote

Register to Vote

League of Women Voters of Philadelphia records, 1920-1984 (Historical Society of Pennsylvania):  The League of Women Voters (LWV) was established in 1919, to help educate women on the civil responsibilities of voting. In addition to its primary focus of educating the public during elections, the LWV quickly extended its program, taking positions on several national issues, especially the legal status of women; foreign policy, like the institution of the United Nations and the Marshall Plan; as well as the on-going debate over the taxation of margarine. Locally, chapters were involved in public issues such as child care, city management, housing, public education and public health. The Philadelphia chapter communicated with the national and state League organizations, politicians, civic leaders, and organizations. The League of Women Voters of Philadelphia records houses administrative documents and organizational papers for the Philadelphia branch of the League of Women Voters (LWV). The collection, which dates from 1920 to 1984, consists of materials from the national, state, and local branches of LWV. In particular, there are financial records, membership lists, publications, program materials, meeting minutes, correspondence and memoranda, newspaper clipping scrapbooks, and audiovisual materials. These records evidence the organization’s administration as well as its outreach activities, and document the development of an important women’s rights organization with a strong commitment to educating women on political issues and the importance of voting.
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Logan family papers, 1638-1964 (Historical Society of Pennsylvania): The Logan family was a prominent Philadelphia family dating back to 1699, when James Logan, the family patriarch, arrived in Philadelphia to serve as the first secretary of the Pennsylvania colony. Through work in agriculture and politics, Logan and his descendants were intimately involved in the development of the Pennsylvania colony and, later, the fledging United States. James Logan’s prominence resulted in connections, both professional and familial, with other prominent colonial families,including the Norris and Dickinson families. The Logan family papers, 1638-1964 (bulk 1670-1872), documents James Logan’s personal and professional life, as well as that of several generations of his descendents. There are papers documenting the lives of his son William, his grandson George Logan, his great-grandsons Albanus Charles Logan and Algernon Sydney Logan, and the subsequent relationships with the Dickinson and Norris families. John Dickinson, who married one of James Logan’s descendents, is well documented in this collection as are his activities with the Pennsylvania and Delaware governments and his legal practice. This collection is rich in the history of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Delaware, the formation of the colony of Pennsylvania, the relationship of early colonials with the Native Americans, the bid for independence and the later formation of the United States of America. Included in the papers are correspondence, legal records, estate records, financial records, land and property records, diaries, and writings. Not only are prominent political figures (James Logan, George Logan, and John Dickinson) well documented in this collection, but women are also well documented, largely thanks to Deborah Norris Logan who kept a diary for most of her adult life. Her diaries and letters and those of some of her female relations reveal a glimpse into the lives of educated and prominent women in the Philadelphia area during the 18th and 19th centuries.
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This indenture ...

This indenture ...

Penn family papers (Historical Society of Pennsylvania): The Penn family papers house the personal and governmental records of William Penn, the proprietor of Pennsylvania, and his family. This collection, which dates from 1592 to 1960 (bulk of materials dating 1629 to 1834), consists primarily of correspondence, legal records, governmental records, surveys, deeds, grants, receipts, and account books; there are also 19th and 20th century auction catalogs and other secondary materials. This collection documents the creation of the Pennsylvania colony through records created by William Penn and his associates. The records continue beyond this and document the development of the colony through the records of Penn’s descendants. These records reveal valuable insights into Penn’s relations with American Indians, the Pennsylvania/Maryland border dispute, government framework, as well private correspondence between family members and close associates.
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City of New York Common Council

City of New York Common Council

Pierre Eugene du Simitière collection, 1492-1783 (Library Company of Philadelphia):  Pierre Eugène Du Simitière (1737-1784) was a collector, artist, and historian, who opened the first public museum, the American Museum, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At the American Museum, Du Simitière presented his many materials collected during his travels and from his collections. The Library Company of Philadelphia purchased many of the manuscript materials at an auction in 1785 following Du Simitière’s death and the closing of the American Museum. The collection is Du Simitière’s manuscript collection purchased at this auction. The collection reflects his interests and his lifestyle and includes poetry, sketches, watercolors, newspaper excerpts and clippings, treatise, correspondence, lists of nature, historical chronologies, bibliographies, and copies and originals of historical documents. The collection includes compiled information on places such as the West Indies, Pennsylvania, New England, New York, and the Carolinas in the form of historical chronologies, documents, bibliographies, sketches, and narratives. It includes information, documents, and research on many Native American groups and Creoles. The collection also contains information, documents, and research on historical events in the United States such as the Jacob Leisler case, politics in New York, the American Revolution, the colonization of America, and the Pennsylvania Line Mutiny. With the exception of a few miscellaneous items, the collection’s focus is on the years 1720 to 1780.
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Read family papers, 1736-1896 (Library Company of Philadelphia):  The Read family consistently played an important role in American government and politics from the time that George Read, a Delaware resident, signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Throughout the 17th to 19th centuries, the Reads served as lawyers, judges, politicians, generals, consul-generals and foreign ministers. This collection contains the papers of four generations of the Read family of Philadelphia, consisting of John Read, Judge John Meredith Read, General John Meredith Read, and Harmon Pumpelly Read. The materials date from 1736 to 1896, with the bulk dating from 1792 to 1896, and include extensive correspondence, bills and receipts, genealogical notes, legal documents, newspaper clippings, photographs, scrapbooks and ephemera. The majority of the collection consists of General John Meredith Read’s papers relating to his family history and genealogy, correspondence, and political materials. The collection is particularly valuable in illustrating Philadelphia social life, global and local politics, as well as Civil War experiences, as it includes extensive correspondence describing first-hand accounts as well as with several key political figures during the Civil War era.
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Rufus King papers, 1756-1890s (Rosenbach Museum and Library): Rufus King and his sons occupied a central place in early United States politics. Rufus King (1755-1827) was a Federalist who served in a wide range of government offices and unsuccessfully ran for Vice President (1804, 1808) and President (1816). His eldest son, John Alsop King (1788-1867), a successful politician in his own right, was also elected to a range of government positions including the governorship of New York. Charles King (1789-1867), one of Rufus’s younger sons, was a political and business leader in New York who also served as the President of Columbia College (now Columbia University). The Rufus King family papers, 1756-1890s, primarily document the professional lives of Rufus King and his sons Charles and John. In addition to correspondence, the papers also include bond certificates, autograph clippings and a real estate contract. Much of this collection relates to Rufus King’s service as the United States minister to Great Britain and would be of greatest value to researchers who are interested in his diplomatic work.
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Preserve Liberty

If we mean to preserve our liberty

Rush family papers, 1748-1876 (Library Company of Philadelphia):  The Rush Family papers includes material from Benjamin Rush, physician, social activist, educator, writer and patriot; his brother Jacob Rush, lawyer, Supreme Court judge, and patriot; and Benjamin’s son James Rush, physician and Treasurer of the United States Mint. These American men were “strong characters, zealous patriots during the stirring period in which they lived, tenacious of their convictions and of the high standard of individual duty which they set for others, and typified in themselves,” (Richards, page 53). The bulk of the collection is the papers of Dr. Benjamin Rush and his son Dr. James Rush. Judge Jacob, John, Richard and William are represented, but to a much lesser degree. The other Rush family members are represented in a very limited manner. The collection contains correspondence; financial records; medical notes, lectures, and case histories; writings regarding medicine, politics, and the judicial system; and observations on colonial Philadelphia, the formation of the United States, and the new nation.
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WATCH OUT!!

WATCH OUT!!

Safe Energy Communication Council (SECC) records, 1973-2003 (Temple University Special Collections): Safe Energy Communication Council (SECC) was a national, non-profit council of ten environmental and public interest media groups, founded in 1980 after the 1979 partial meltdown of Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. From 1980 to 2003, SECC educated the public and the media about energy efficiency and renewable energy’s potential to produce a larger share of our nation’s energy needs, as well as the economic and environmental liabilities of nuclear power. SECC provided local, state and national organizations with technical assistance through media skills training and outreach strategies. Scott Denman served as Executive Director for the majority of SECC’s existence. This collection contains the records of the Safe Energy Communication Council. The collection dates from 1974 to 2003, and covers a wide range of materials and subjects. The bulk of the collection is comprised of administrative records, which include internal communications, meeting minutes of the Board of Directors, and extensive financial and fundraising materials. Other records in the collection include newspaper and magazine clippings, correspondence, internal communications and planning materials, SECC publications and press releases, video and audio tapes, and the results of public opinion polls and surveys about energy and environmental issues.
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Senator J. Allen Frear, Jr. papers, 1917-1963 (University of Delaware): J. Allen Frear, Jr. (1903-1993) was a politician from Dover, Delaware (Kent County). A member of the Democratic Party, Frear served two terms as U.S. Senator from Delaware. The Senator J. Allen Frear, Jr. papers are primarily those of his congressional career, when he represented Delaware in the U.S. Senate from 1949 to 1960, though the collection also includes personal material from pre- and post-Congressional periods. The collection dates from 1917 to 1963, with bulk of the material dating from 1949 to 1961. The collection consists of correspondence, memoranda, reports, legislation, speeches, clippings, photographs, and audio-visual material. Personal material includes correspondence, class notes, travel brochures and post cards, and memorabilia.
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United Political Action Committee of Chester County records, 1958-1996 (Chester County Historical Society): “In 1966, several black civil rights workers decided to form a small organization whose purpose was to end racial discrimination in Chester County.” So began the United Political Action Committee of Chester County (UPAC). The founders included Charles A. Melton, Charles H. Butler, Norman W. Bond, Robert L. Wright, Willie Stokes, James Ward, Alston B. Meade, W.T.M. Johnson, Ernest Spriggs and Charles V. Hamilton. The records, 1958-1996, include biographical material on committee members and others associated with UPAC as well as correspondence, minutes, hand written notes, legal documents, newspaper clippings, news releases, memos, scrapbooks, programs and photographs of activities. Also in the collection are papers of Dr. W.T.M. Johnson. These include indexed compilations of his published letters as well as papers related to his time as a member of the faculty at Lincoln University.
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Department of Interior Reports

Department of Interior Reports

Vaux family papers, 1708-1995, bulk 1912-1932 (Haverford College):  The Vaux family was deeply involved with Quaker and Native American affairs throughout much of the nineteenth and early 20th centuries. George Vaux, Sr. was involved in Quaker activity through the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and other Quaker meetings throughout the world (including Antigua and London). Both George Vaux, Jr. and his sister Mary Morris Vaux Walcott served as commissioners for the U.S. Board of Indian Commissioners. This organization was established by the United States Congress in 1869 to watch over federal policies regarding Native Americans and to make certain that treaty obligations were fulfilled, especially in reference to supply deliveries. George Vaux, III also worked as the treasurer of the Indian Committee of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. Within the collection are letters, reports, photographs, land surveys, and administrative records. This collection may be of special interest to researchers who are studying both the history and recent state of affairs of Native Americans in the United States. Of note in the collection are original Department of Interior documents, first-hand written accounts, and letters. Also, of great note are the land surveys, which provide valuable information from the early 1920s regarding the health, education, population, and land ownership of Native Americans, as well as maps, and photographs.
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