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Joseph Hines correspondence


Held at: Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia [Contact Us]19 S. 22nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Joseph Hines was born 25 December 1835 in Hardwick, Vermont, to Nathan Hines and Martha (Griffin) Hines. He had six siblings, Lydia (1830-1863); John (1832-1880); Maria (1841-1878); Chester (1844-1901); and Samuel (1847-1897). By the time he was 18, in 1854, he was working for a Mr. Page, selling patent medicine (pills) throughout Wayne, Bradford, and other northern counties in Pennsylvania. In 1863, he married Sabrina Arzealy Hine; it is unclear whether they had children.

Later, Hines was a druggist and stationer in Athens, Pennsylvania; by 1884, he had bought the business from a Dr. H. L. Gibbs. He was elected burgess of Athens in 1894. Hines died 15 June 1917 from pneumonia.

Hines' brother, Levi, served in the Civil War with the 1st Regiment of Vermont, Artillery, Company A, reaching the rank of Private Lieutenant. He was taken prisoner 23 June 1864, in Weldon Railroad, Virginia, and died in Andersonville, Georgia, 12 October 1864.

Hines' sister, Maria, married John Hazen Poor in 1867; they had two children. She died 29 March 1878.

This small collection consists of 21 letters sent to various family members by Joseph Hines during the years 1854 to 1866. Hines wrote most of his letters to his sister, Maria, and his brother, Levi, and several to his parents. Many of the letters are 'doubles'; the folded sheets of paper contain separate letters to two (or more) correspondents.

In his letters, Hines writes about the weather, his boarding rooms, people he encounters as he travels, and his customers. He often asks for news from home and asks about the well-being of various neighbors and family members.

Researchers should note that Hines does not discuss medicine or any details about the products he is selling. Although the letters span the years of the American Civil War, there is no mention of it, other than that his brother, Levi, is probably in a dangerous situation. However, Hines' letters provide good insight into the life a young, single man working as a traveling salesman during the second half of the 19th century.

This collection was discovered during a survey in the summer and fall of 2015. It was processed in the summer of 2018.

Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
Finding Aid Author
Chrissie Perella
Finding Aid Date
29 June 2018

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