Claude W. Unger collection

The collection contains letters and documents representing some 2,000 individuals connected to a wide range of subjects. People from the 19th century such as abolitionists, women’s suffragists, scientists, and politicians (particularly Pennsylvania politicians) are the most commonly represented ind...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Unger, Claude W. 1882-1945 (Creator)
Corporate Author: Andrew Clow & Company (source)
Collection:Claude W. Unger Collection
Collection Number:1860A
Format: Manuscript
Language:English
Subjects and Genres:
Online Access:Link to finding aid
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Item Description: Processing Information: Box 9 could not be located when the collection was re-inventoried in 2018. When the box is found, it will be reintegrated into the collection, and this finding aid will be updated.
Physical Description: 34.0 Linear feet ; 40 boxes, 112 volumes
Access: The collection is open for research
Summary: The collection contains letters and documents representing some 2,000 individuals connected to a wide range of subjects. People from the 19th century such as abolitionists, women’s suffragists, scientists, and politicians (particularly Pennsylvania politicians) are the most commonly represented individuals in the collection. There also are a number of items from various dukes, duchesses, and other titled nobility. The largest group of papers concern Philadelphia merchants of the late 18th and early 19th centuries and include correspondence, accounts, bills of lading, and ships’ papers. Firms represented are Richard Ashhurst and Sons which traded in dry goods primarily with Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi; Thomas Astley whose papers in this collection mostly pertain to land investments in western Pennsylvania; Andrew Clow and Company which traded with England and Europe (here mostly with Rathbone and Benson in Liverpool); and Dutilh and Wachsmuth which traded mostly with the West Indies but also with Europe. Much of the material filed under “Bills” and “Ships and Shipping” relates to these major firms, particularly Dutilh. Some of the Dutilh and Wachsmuth papers are in French. The document collection also contains a number of items connected to well-known historical events. A number of documents pertain to the American Civil War, including an Oath of Allegiance from a Southerner seeking to reinstate his United States citizenship (Box 12, Folder 7) and a group of letters to Ansom Hemmingway, grandfather of Ernest Hemmingway, which Ansom received between 1863-1865 while he served in the Union army and was stationed in Vicksburg, Mississippi (Box 22, Folder 2). Additional items connected to major historical events include an item from the Merchants and Traders of Philadelphia to the U.S. government expressing concerns about the newly-passed Non-Importation Act on 18 April 1806 (Box 25, Folder 7); an item discussing how the Panic of 1837 was affecting the people of Mississippi (Box 1, Folder 8); and several items concerning 19th century slavery in the United States, including receipts from the sales of slaves, the impressment of slaves into the Confederate Army, and a pro-Democratic Party newspaper offering anti-Lincoln and anti-emancipation sentiment during the lead up to the election of 1864 (Box 26, Folder 2 and Box 35, Folder 8). Some of the oldest documents in the collection date back to the 17th century. The majority of the 17th century documents are last wills and testaments that may be of interest to genealogists studying early colonial families in the Middle and New England colonies. In addition to the 40 document boxes, there are 112 volumes in the collection. The volumes consist of account books representing a variety of businesses of Pennsylvania Germans, court dockets, and school exercise books. The bulk of this material consists of the records of Jonas Robinhold's dry good store in Port Clinton (1840-1890), Robinhold’s justice of the peace docket books (1845-1863), Hiram Robinhold’s Port Clinton tax collection records (1872), and other blotters, journals, and ledgers. Additional volumes include Heidelberg Township accounts of supervisors (1775-1836), Peter Hoffman ledger (1817-1831), Aaron Keffer ledger (in German, 1845-1853), David Rinewald, linen merchant, daybook (1797-1815), John Romich, lumber merchant, ledger (1844-1888), William Weiler, dry goods merchant, ledger (1851-1859), and others.
Most of the Claude W. Unger collection at HSP once formed part of the extensive stock of Unger, a book and manuscript dealer in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, who was most active between 1925 and 1937. The collection contains letters and documents representing some 2,000 individuals connected to a wide range of subjects. People from the 19th century such as abolitionists, women’s suffragists, scientists, and politicians (particularly Pennsylvania politicians) are the most commonly represented individuals in the collection. In addition to the 40 document boxes, there are 112 volumes in the collection. The volumes consist of account books, court dockets, and school exercise books representing a variety of Pennsylvania Germans covering from the the late 18th to 19th centuries.