Race and Ethnic History

Albert Cook Myers’ collection of William Penn materials, 1668-1955 (Chester County Historical Society):  Albert Cook Myers (1874-1960) was a Pennsylvania historian, who dedicated his life’s work to the identification, study and organization of William Penn’s published writings and personal papers. Beginning in 1910, after securing an endorsement from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, he set out to publish The Complete Works of William Penn.  All told, Myers devoted fifty years of his life to this project. Though his publication goals were never realized, he assembled a massive and notable body of information about William Penn. To complete his studies, Myers traveled abroad and throughout the United States. As a result of his efforts, he came to be regarded as an expert on the topic and often spoke publicly on the life and times of William Penn. The Albert Cook Myers research collection of William Penn materials contains the information gathered by Myers in his pursuit to thoroughly research and publish a volume documenting the complete writings of William Penn. Researchers will find Myers’ notes, transcriptions, photocopies of documents, newspaper clippings, various author articles, first editions and other early editions of Penn’s works, picture postcards of places related to Penn, and photos and original manuscript material. The bulk of the collection is “The Manuscript” series, which focuses on Myer’s work on Penn’s own writings. Researchers should be aware that the bulk of the collection is Myers’ notes and only a small portion is original manuscript material related to Penn. The collection spans the dates of 1645 to 1960, however, the bulk of the material was collected and created by Myers from 1910 to 1960.
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Black Coalition records, 1968 August-1969 December (Temple University Libraries Special Collections Research Center): The Black Coalition was formed in response to the growing concern among certain members of the Greater Philadelphia Movement that efforts to establish a meaningful dialogue between whites and blacks in Philadelphia were failing. The reason for this was attributed to the lack of communication with the so-called “gang element” in the city. Convinced of the necessity to deal with this element, a meeting was planned for Good Friday, April 12, 1968, one week after the assassination of Martin Luther King. A broad cross section of both the white and black communities were invited to this meeting, including a number of gang leaders. It was at this meeting that the Black coalition was formed, as a vehicle to maintain an ongoing dialogue between the white business community and the gang element, as well as other segments of the black community within the city. This collection dates from April 1968 to December 1969 and the bulk of the materials cover the time during which the Black Coalition operated, from April 1968 to April 1969. The collection contains records from the Black Coalition, the Good Friday Group, and the Greater Philadelphia Movement, along with its fiduciary body, the Greater Philadelphia Foundation. All of the records, regardless of the originating organization, pertain to the operations of the Black Coalition, and include correspondence and clerical records relating to funding the Black Coalition and its programs or projects.
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Dillwyn and Emlen family correspondence, 1770-1818 (Library Company of Philadelphia):  The Dillwyn and Emlen family was joined in 1795 when Susanna Dillwyn married Samuel Emlen, Jr. Both the Dillwyn and Emlen families were prominent in early America as Quakers and advocates for abolition. This collection consists of six disbound volumes of letters written to and from William Dillwyn of London and his daughter Susanna Dillwyn in America from 1770 to 1795; and thereafter until 1818, to and from Susanna and her husband Samuel Emlen, Jr. of Burlington County, New Jersey. Although Susanna lived almost her entire life apart from her father, their letters are frequent and deal primarily with family matters and kin. However, there is frequent comment concerning such topics as yellow fever; abolitionism and slavery; Native Americans; breast cancer; and American and European politics, including the Napoleonic wars and the embargo, as well as their effects upon trade and merchants in Philadelphia and London.
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Friends Neighborhood Play Park

Friends Neighborhood Play Park

Friends Neighborhood Guild records, 1903-1994 (Temple University Urban Archives): The Friends Neighborhood Guild social settlement was founded by Quakers in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia in 1879; its mission, “…to serve and respond to the needs of the people in its community, particularly those people who are less able to help themselves,” (FNG, p.3). Throughout its more-than-hundred-year history, this mission has guided the Guild’s programs, which have evolved to meet its ever-changing constituents’ needs. At different times, its work has focused on education, Americanization, recreation, housing, community organization and other areas of social need. The Friends Neighborhood Guild records date from 1903 to 2004, with the bulk of materials dating from the second half of the twentieth-century. The records evidence the social programs and activities of the Guild, as well as its relationships with other agencies, such as the Greater Philadelphia Federation of Settlements, Philadelphia Housing Authority, and the United Way. In addition to general administrative records, financial records, meeting minutes and subject files, there is a nice collection of candid snapshots and scrapbooks, documenting Guild activities and its neighborhood from the 1950s to 1960s. Researchers interested in the history of settlement houses and social welfare programs, or in the history of the Northern Liberties/Kensington neighborhoods of Philadelphia during the twentieth century would find this collection useful.
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300th Anniversary of Anti-Slavery Protest Memorial

300th Anniversary of Anti-Slavery Protest Memorial

Germantown Settlement records, 1946-1994 (Temple University Urban Archives): Germantown Settlement was founded in 1934, when two existing social welfare agencies, Morton Street Day Nursery and Working People’s Aid, Inc. and Germantown Community Center merged. Like most settlements, it provided wide-ranging services to its community, including child care, educational and vocational instruction, and classes in art and music. In the 1950s and 1960s, it also worked closely with city agencies to facilitate urban renewal in the Morton neighborhood, while at the same time encouraging community participation and empowerment. The Germantown Settlement collection houses the records of this social welfare organization from 1946 to 1994, with a majority of the material dating from 1970 to the early 1990s. The collection contains business records, correspondence, financial documents and program files. Taken together, the records evidence Germantown Settlement’s efforts to assist and generally improve the lives of Germantown residents, particularly the youth and elderly populations, fight crime and eradicate urban blight. While the collection does not offer exhaustive documentation of the Settlement or any of its program, the records do enable an overall understanding of the organization, its programs and the overarching issues of its community. There is some documentation of the general administration of the Settlement, especially its leadership and finances, as well as its relationship with other social welfare agencies.
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Integration

Integration

Helen Oakes papers (Temple University Urban Archives):  Helen Oakes was a nationally recognized activist for public education from the 1960s to the 1980s. Oakes was chairman of the West Philadelphia Schools Committee from 1965 to 1970, chairman of the Education Committee of the League of Women Voters in 1965, and in 1968, she wrote “The School District of Philadelphia: A Critical Analysis.” From 1971 to 1980, she was a member of the board of the Citizens Committee on Public Education in Philadelphia. She was a member of the Philadelphia Board of Education from 1982 to 1989. From 1989 to 1998 she served as liaison in the educational partnership between ARCO Chemical Company and James Rhoads Elementary School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She also wrote, published and distributed the “Oakes Newsletter,” from 1970 to 1989, which addressed issues affecting the Philadelphia School District. This collection contains the professional papers of Helen Oakes. The materials are for the years 1958 to 2002 and include correspondence; printed materials, such as newsletters and pamphlets; newspaper clippings; educational and statistical reports; meeting minutes; financial reports and memoranda. The materials relate to Helen Oakes’ long-term involvement with a wide-range of educational institutions and initiatives, specifically in Philadelphia. Of particular note, are significant materials related to Oakes’ research, writing and publication of the “Oakes Newsletter.”
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circa 1725

circa 1725

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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Making of Oregon collection, 1804-1883 (Rosenbach Museum and Library): The Making of Oregon collection contains letters, diaries, and other documents relating to the exploration and settlement of the Oregon Territory. About half of the collection deals with missions and missionaries; other topics include Indian affairs, the opening of transportation routes, and political affairs of the territory. Individuals represented include Cushing Eells, David Greene, James John, Joseph Lane, Jason Lee, David Leslie, Samuel Royal Thurston, Elkanah Walker, Mary Walker, Alvan F. Waller, Elijah White, and Marcus Whitman.
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Treaty

Treaty

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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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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On the Size of the Brain in Various Races and Families of Man

On the Size of the Brain in Various Races and Families of Man

Samuel George Morton papers, 1832-1862 (Library Company of Philadelphia):  Samuel George Morton (1799-1851) of Philadelphia was a physician and natural scientist whose work focused on the craniometric studies of humans with conclusions regarding the relative intellectual capacities of the “five races.” His work had a profound influence on the development of physical anthropology in antebellum America. He also made contributions in the fields of geology, mineralogy, paleontology and natural history. Morton served as a professor of medicine at Pennsylvania College (now, the University of Pennsylvania.  This collection contains mainly the papers of Samuel George Morton, whose papers date from 1832 to 1851, when Morton devoted his research efforts almost exclusively to ethnology and to the collecting of human skulls for comparative studies. The bulk of the papers consist of incoming correspondence, from 1832 to 1851, relating to ethnology and other related interests such as anthropology, craniology, paleontology and Egyptology.  The remainder of the collection contains the papers of Samuel George Morton’s son, James St. Clair Morton, who served as an engineer during the Civil War.
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Samuel R. Joyner artwork collection, 1947-2005 (Temple University Libraries Special Collections Research Center): Samuel R. Joyner is among the small number of African American cartoonists in the United States. Born in Philadelphia in 1924, he received early attention and publication credits. Joyner enlisted in the United States Navy after graduating from high school during World War II. Upon his return to the United States, he enrolled into the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art (now University of the Arts). His experience with racism and discrimination, primarily in the Navy, served as the backdrop for the kind of artwork he desired to produce. Over the years he would become a recognized “visual voice” for African Americans as represented in mass-circulated magazines and newspapers. His work has been published in over 40 different publications. The Samuel Joyner collection includes photographs, original art work and sketches (and photocopies), posters, signs, newspapers and clippings, newsletters, one book of African American illustrations, and ephemera. This collection spans 60 years, from 1947 to 2005. The majority of the material is dated in the 1990s.
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Smiley family papers, 1885-1983 (Haverford College): In 1883, Quakers Albert Keith Smiley and his brother Daniel Smiley organized the first annual conference to discuss assistance to Native Americans at their estate at Lake Mohonk in New York state. These conferences were widely attended by specialists in various fields, as well as important officials. Only later were Native Americans represented, but they did come. The concern to “uplift” was also directed at Filipino, Hawaiian, African American and Puerto Rican peoples, though attention at the conferences was primarily focused on Native Americans.

A New Race War?

A New Race War?

Stevens-Cogdell-Sanders-Venning collection, 1734-1955 (Library Company of Philadelphia):  The Stevens-Cogdell-Sanders-Venning family papers document the development of a white family and a black prominent middle class African American family in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, beginning with the 1760s emigration of John Stevens from England to South Carolina. The materials date from 1734 to 1976 and consist of scrapbooks, ephemera, newspaper clippings, Common Prayer books, invitations, holiday cards, correspondence, business papers, and a variety of personal papers. The materials document the Stevens-Cogdell-Sanders-Venning families’ professional, family, and personal lives as well as the development of a prominent middle class African American family.
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Taylor, Harris, Roman, Frazer, and Smith families papers, 1683-1980 (Chester County Historical Society):  The families in the Taylor, Harris, Roman, Frazer, and Smith family papers, 1633 to 1980 (bulk 1685 to 1851) are all related by the marriage of Marianne Smith to Dr. Stephen Harris on April 14, 1833. Both sides of the lineage represented in this collection immigrated to Pennsylvania because of religious persecution in England and Ireland. As Presbyterians and Quakers, they no longer wished to live under a series of laws which forced non-Anglicans out of public office, schools and the church as well as prohibiting meetings for non-Anglican worship. These newcomers contributed to the establishment of the government and religious expression in early Chester County. The documents, covering topics such as land surveying, Native Americans, the Revolutionary War, astronomy, publishing, the iron industry, and religious persecution, provide a broad picture of early Chester County and its residents as they interacted with each other at home and in Philadelphia through business, religious, and social transactions.
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Theodore Brinton Hetzel papers and graphics, 1866-1987 (Haveford College):  Theodore Hetzel (1906-1990) was a Quaker professor of engineering at Haverford College in Haverford, Pennsylvania whose interests led him to involvement with Native American and Quaker issues. An avid photographer, the materials in this collection are primarily photographic, as well as correspondence and documents.

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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Sketches

Sketches

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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