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Leon Gardiner collection of American Negro Historical Society records


Held at: Historical Society of Pennsylvania [Contact Us]1300 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19107

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 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

The American Negro Historical Society was founded in Philadelphia in 1897 by a group of upper-class African-Americans. The society’s membership was open to both men and women and its mission focused on collecting historical materials related to African-American history. Members met monthly at its headquarters in the parish house of the Church of the Crucifixion to discuss matters related to race, collection of materials, and the publishing of pamphlets and other printed material to share the history of African-Americans.

Founding members of the organization held prominent positions in Philadelphia’s society. The first president of the organization, Robert Mara Adger, was a city merchant and the son of an abolitionist; Theophilius J. Minton, who became the organization’s first vice-president, was an attorney. William Carl Bolivar, bibliophile and journalist with a particular interest in historical documentation, wrote columns for The Philadelphia Tribune. William Henry Dorsey worked as a Philadelphia municipal official, Matthew Anderson served as minister of the Berean Presbyterian Church, and Henry L. Phillips, the society’s treasurer, was the rector at the Church of the Crucifixion.

According to William C. Welburn, who studied William Carl Bolivar’s interest in preserving the history of African-Americans, the efforts of organizations like the American Negro Historical Society “formed the foundation for black collections and collecting practices today and were integral to the development of African American historical studies and African diaspora studies in general.”

I. Correspondence and Personal Papers, 1812-1962, undated; 83 folders

II. American Negro Historical Society Records, 1861-1905, undated; 20 folders

III. Banneker Institute, 1790-1865, undated; 28 folders

IV. Pythian Baseball Club, 1867-1870, undated; 16 folders

V. Lebanon Cemetery, 1825-1901; 12 folders

VI. Philanthropic, Civic, and Religious Organizations, 1829-1893, undated; 38 folders

VII. Portraits of Black Leaders and Abolitionists, undated; 3 boxes

VIII. Negro Activities: Broadsides, Printed Matter, and Miscellaneous material, 1825-1904, undated; 2 boxes and 28 folders

IX. Volumes, 1715-1933, undated; 35 volumes and 5 folders

Welburn, William C. "To "Keep the Past in Lively Memory": William Carl Bolivar's Efforts to Preserve African American Cultural Heritage." Libraries and the Cultural Record 42.2 (2007): 165-179 Gatewood, Willard B. Aristocrats of Color: the Black Elite, 1880-1920. University of Arkansas Press, 2000.

A microfilm guide for this collection is available at the reference desk. Please see the Alternative Formats note in this finding aid for more information on this collection's microfilm.

Volumes 11 and 12, records concerning the Clarkson Institute, were mistakenly included in this collection when the collection was reprocessed. They have been removed from this collection to their proper collection, the Pennsylvania Abolition Society records (Collection 490). They can be accessed using the call numbers AmS .3311 and AmS .3313, respectively.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Willhem Echevarria.
Finding Aid Date
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by Lori Cohen.
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Collection Inventory

Gilbert Lyceum--Correspondence, (1841).
Box 2G Folder 13
Frederick Douglas Memorial Hospital--Announcements and Correspondence, Printed Material, (1895-1901).
Box 3G Folder 1-10
Frederick Douglas--Correspondence, Newspapers Clippings, Printed Material, (1883-1898).
Box 3G Folder 11-12
Robert Douglas Estate--Correspondence, Last Wills, Rent Records, (1846-1893).
Box 3Ga Folder 1-2
William Johnson Estate--Financial Records, (1850-1855).
Box 3Ga Folder 3
Macklin Estate--Financial Records, (1845-1857).
Box 3Ga Folder 4
William Octavius Catto--Correspondence and Personal Papers, (1856-1871).
Box 3Ga Folder 5
Perry Tilghman--Financial Records and Miscellaneous Papers, (1852-1856).
Box 3Ga Folder 6
Ann Powers; William Russell; Ralph Smith--Miscellaneous, (1832-1850).
Box 3Ga Folder 7
Jacob C. White Jr.--Letters, Accounts and Advertisements, (1855-1899, undated) .
Box 6G Folder 1-20
James Still--Correspondence and Biographical Information, (1879, 1962).
Box 9G Folder 1-2
Isaiah C. Wears--Notebooks, Letters, Financial Papers, Newspaper Clippings, (1855-1900).
Box 9G Folder 3-10
William Still--Letters, (1855-1902).
Box 9G Folder 11-21
Jacob C. White Sr.--Bills and Receipts, Letters, (1812-1865).
Box 12G Folder 1-9, 22
Jacob C. White Jr.--Letters, Notes relating to Teaching, Account Book, Bills and Receipts, Miscellaneous School Material, (1855-1898).
Box 12G Folder 10-21

Minutes, Printed Material, Correspondence, Reports, Bills and Receipts, Lists of Pamphlets, Lists of Black Autographs, Lists of Books by Black Authors, Lists of Books by White Authors, Miscellaneous, (1861-1905, undated).
Box 10G Folder 1-20

Constitution, Minutes, Reports, Bills and Receipts, Printed Material, Lectures, (1790-1865, undated).
Box 5G Folder 1-28

Scorecards, Membership, Correspondence, Checks, Bills and Receipts, Letters from Delinquents, (1867-1870).
Box 8G Folder 1-16

Notes, Copies of Death Certificates, Printed Material, Correspondence, (1825-1901).
Box 11G Folder 1-12

Pennsylvania State Equal Rights League--Correspondence, (1861-1870, undated).
Box 2G Folder 1-10
Agricultural and Mechanics Association of Pennsylvania and New Jersey--List of Shareholders; Bills and Receipts, (1837-1843).
Box 2G Folder 11-12
Civil, Social, and Statistical Association of Philadelphia--Rules; Index, (1867).
Box 2G Folder 13
First African Presbyterian Church--Minutes, Correspondence, Rent Book, Financial Summaries, Expenses, (1829-1893, undated).
Box 4G Folder 1-23
Bethel Church of Philadelphia--Historical Chart, (undated).
Box 4G Folder 24
Programs of Philadelphia Sunday Schools--Printed Material, (1862, undated).
Box 4G Folder 25

Black Leaders--Portraits--A-J, (undated).
Box 7G (1)
Black Leaders--Portraits--K-Z; Abolitionists, (undated).
Box 7G (2)
Women Abolitionists; Photographs of Philadelphia, (undated).
Box 7G (3)

Miscellaneous--Broadsides [EMPTY FOLDER], (1825, 1863).
Box 1G Folder 1-2
Miscellaneous--Articles--I.C. White--Christian Recorder, (1893).
Box 1G Folder 3
Miscellaneous--Broadsides and Printed Material, (1866-1868).
Box 1G Folder 4
Miscellaneous--Broadsides, Printed and Typed Material, (1837-1904).
Box 1G Folder 5-13, 18-19, 21-26
Miscellaneous--Broadsides and Printed Material--Religious.
Box 1G Folder 14
Miscellaneous--Broadsides and Printed Material--Insurance Companies and Banks.
Box 1G Folder 15
Miscellaneous--Broadsides and Printed Material--YMCA.
Box 1G Folder 16
Miscellaneous--Broadsides and Printed Material--G.A.R.
Box 1G Folder 17
Miscellaneous--Broadsides and Printed Material--School.
Box 1G Folder 20
Miscellaneous--Newspaper Clippings.
Box 1G Folder 27
Miscellaneous Negro Literary Undertakings, (1875, undated).
Box 2G Folder 14
Miscellaneous Loose Items, (1882).
Box 1G Folder 28
Negro Activities--Programs, Advertisements, Flyers, Invitations, Tickets, Visiting Cards, Miscellaneous [Photocopies].
Box 13G
Negro Activities--Programs, Advertisements, Flyers, Invitations, Tickets, Visiting Cards, Miscellaneous [Originals--DO NOT SERVICE].
Box 13Ga

Pennsylvania State Equal Rights League--Minutes of the Executive Board [Ams .237], (1864-1868).
Volume 1
Agricultural and Mechanic Association of Pennsylvania and New Jersey--Constitution; Stock Transfers [Ams .302], (1839-1846).
Volume 2
Agricultural and Mechanic Association of Pennsylvania and New Jersey--Stock Certificates [Ams .303], (1840-1844).
Volume 3
Banneker Institute--Minute Book [Ams .32], (1853-1855).
Volume 4
Banneker Institute--Minutes [Ams .321], (1855-1859).
Volume 5
Banneker Institute--Roll Book [Ams .324], (1854-1865).
Volume 6
Banneker Institute--Roll Book [Ams .325], (1866-1872).
Volume 7
Banneker Institute--Treasury Receipt Book [Ams .327], (1855-1868).
Volume 8
Banneker Institute--Order Book [Ams .328], (1867-1872).
Volume 9
Banneker Institute--Lectures and Debates [Ams .329], (1859-1861).
Volume 10
Clarkson Institute of Pennsylvania--Minute Book [Ams .3311], (1834-1838).
Volume 11
Clarkson Institute of Pennsylvania--Board of Maganager Minutes [Ams .3313], (1836-1838).
Volume 12
Zoar Sabbath School--Catalogue of Books [Ams .34], (1844).
Volume 13
Daugthers of Africa--Minutes [Ams. 35], (1822-1838).
Volume 14
Daugthers of Africa--Order Book [Ams .351], (1821-1829).
Volume 15
Benjamin Lundy Philantropic Society--Roll [Ams .36], (1830-1842).
Volume 16
Benjamin Lundy Philantropic Society--Roll [Ams .36], (undated).
Box 1G Folder 33
Arrangement note

This is a folder found empty during processing.

Benjamin Lundy Philantropic Society--Accounts [Ams .361], (1838-1842).
Volume 17
Newsclipping on Fugitive Slave; Jacob White--Rental Accounts [Materials Removed from Ams .361], (1845-1858).
Box 1G Folder 30
Benezet Joint Stock Association--Minutes [Ams .371], (1854-1855).
Volume 18
Benezet Joint Stock Association--Stock Certificates Issued to Scipio Sewell [Materials Removed from Ams .371], (1873).
Box 1G Folder 31
Benezet Joint Stock Association--Board of Directors--Minutes [Ams .373], (1854-1855).
Volume 19
Benezet Joint Stock Association--Record Book of Shares [Ams .375], (1871-1889).
Volume 20
Benezet Joint Stock Association--Record Book of Shares [Materials Removed from Ams .375], (1871-1889).
Box 1G Folder 32
Benezet Joint Stock Association--Order Book [Ams .377], (1871-1885).
Volume 21
Lebanon Cemetery--Receipt Book [Ams .383], (1848-1853).
Volume 22
Lebanon Cemetery--Book of J.C. White [Ams .387], (1874-1881).
Volume 23
Lebanon Cemetery--Book of J.C. White [Ams .388], (1881-1886).
Volume 24
William Still--Letter Book [Ams .47], (1873-1874).
Volume 25
Slave Holder's Ledger [Ams .471], (1835-1841).
Volume 26
C.S. Statistical Association of Philadelphia--J.C. White, Treasurer--Order Book [Ams .54, Part 1], (1860-1867).
Volume 27
C.S. Statistical Association of Philadelphia--Civil and Social Committee of Superintendence--Constitution, By-Laws, Roll, Minutes [Ams .54, Part 2], (undated).
Volume 27
Letters on Food Prices [Ams .65], (1822).
Box 1G Folder 29
Arrangement note

This is a folder containing two letters formerly in volume format.

Laws of Maryland in Regard to Slaves [Ams .651], (1715-1791).
Volume 28
Census of the Conditon of Colored People in Philadelphia--Taken by N. Kite [Ams .86], (1847).
Volume 29
Census of People of Color of Philadelphia--Philadelphia City [Ams .87, Part 1], (1848).
Volume 30
Census of People of Color of Philadelphia--Southwark and Moyamensing [Ams. .87, Part 2], (1848).
Volume 30
Census of People of Color of Philadelphia--Spring Garden and West Philadelphia [Ams .87, Part 3], (1848).
Volume 30
Census of People of Color of Philadelphia--Northern Liberties [Ams .87, Part 4], (1848).
Volume 30
Some References to the Services of Negro Soldiers of Pennsylvania in the Various Wars of the Republic [Ams .92], (1933).
Volume 31

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