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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LEADER 10036ntc a2200397 u 4500
001 ead-1860A
008 181025i16471921xx eng d
040 |e dacs 
041 0 |a eng 
099 |a 1860A 
100 1 |a Unger, Claude W.  |d 1882-1945  |e creator 
245 1 |a Claude W. Unger collection  |f 1647 - 1921  |g 1790 - 1870 
300 |a 34.0 Linear feet  |f ; 40 boxes, 112 volumes 
351 |b In most cases, documents in this collection are identified by the name of the person who signed the document (e.g. Howard, Apphia). In some instances, a group of documents are identified by a unifying subject name rather than an individual signer (e.g. Crime). All documents have been arranged alphabetically according to either the signer’s last name or the document group's subject. The arrangement reflects Claude Unger’s original order. Unger organized his stock by name or subject, so collectors could easily find documents of interest. As a result, materials that were once part of a single record group were separated and filed under a variety of names or subjects. This separation persists in the collection’s current arrangement.  
500 |a 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. 
506 |a The collection is open for research 
520 |a 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.  
520 |a 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.  
524 8 |a Cite as: [Indicate cited item here], Claude W. Unger Collection (Collection 1860A), The Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 
541 1 |a Purchased, 1959. 
544 |a At the Historical Society of Pennsylvania: Autograph Collection of The Historical Society of Pennsylvania (Collection 0022A) George M. Conarroe Autograph Collection (Collection 0146) Ferdinand Julius Dreer Collection (Collection 0175) Simon Gratz Autograph Collection (Collection 0250B) John Wanamaker Collection, 1779-1892 (Collection 1832) 
545 |a Claude W. Unger was a book and manuscript dealer with a business in Pottsville, Pennsylvania for at least the period of 1925 to 1937. He issued catalogs and shipped orders of books, pamphlets, autographs, and prints to a national clientele that included collectors such as Franklin D. Roosevelt and Vilhjalmur Stefansson. Unger recognized a growing market for ephemeral materials relating to early American arts, industry, and social life. To build an inventory of this sort of material, he sought the files of long defunct mercantile firms in Philadelphia and the forgotten papers in old law offices in the towns and cities of eastern Pennsylvania. He also welcomed opportunities to rummage through attics, barns, and hencoops while offering to purchase old books and papers on any subject in any condition. After Unger’s death in 1945, Dr. Harvey Bassler of Myerstown, Pennsylvania purchased from Unger’s estate the entire stock of Unger’s remaining inventory, largely because much of it was pertinent to Dr. Bassler’s interest in Pennsylvania Germans. Dr. Bassler added materials from his own collection to the Unger collection and donated the materials before his death in 1950 to the Pennsylvania German Society under the condition that the materials be cataloged and made available for research. The Pennsylvania German Society was unable to make the collection available, so the collection soon passed into the possession of Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Also unable to manage the entire collection, the college withdrew much of the Pennsylvania German materials and items relating to Lancaster County and offered the remainder to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. The Historical Society of Pennsylvania agreed to purchase the collection in 1958, and it arrived in two installments with the first arriving in 1959 and the second arriving in 1967.  
555 |a Finding Aid Available Online:  
561 1 |a Most of this collection once formed part of the extensive stock of Claude Unger, a book and manuscript dealer in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, who was active at least between the years of 1925 through 1937. After Unger’s death in 1945, Dr. Harvey Bassler of Myerstown, Pennsylvania, purchased Unger's stock, added some of his own materials, and donated the combined collection to the Pennsylvania German Society before his death in 1950. Unable to make the collection accessible to researchers, the Pennsylvania German Society passed the collection to Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. At the college, most of the materials related to Pennsylvania Germans and Lancaster County were removed. The college sold the remaining portions of the collection to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in two installments with the first arriving in 1959 and the second arriving in 1967. The 1959 purchase became this collection, while the 1967 portion became the Claude W. Unger collection, Collection 1860B. 
600 1 7 |a Astley, Thomas  |d -1839.  |2 NACO Authority File 
610 2 7 |a Dutilh & Wachsmuth (Philadelphia, Pa.)  |2 NACO Authority File 
610 2 7 |a Richard Ashhurst & Sons  |2 Local Sources 
650 7 |a Shipping--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--19th Century.  |2 Local sources 
650 0 |a Shipping--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia. 
650 0 |a Slavery. 
650 7 |a United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.  |2 Local sources 
650 7 |a West Indies--Commerce.  |2 Local sources 
655 0 |a Autographs collections. 
710 2 |a Andrew Clow & Company  |e source 
852 |a The Historical Society of Pennsylvania  |b Claude W. Unger Collection  |c 1860A 
856 4 2 |y Link to finding aid  |u http://www2.hsp.org/collections/manuscripts/u/Unger1860A.html