Sarah A. G. Smith collection on 18th century Philadelphia merchants
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
Sarah Anne Green Smith was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1906. She wrote for local publications such as the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. Her great great grandfather was Daniel B. Smith (1793-1883), a prominent early American pharmacist who founded the first college of pharmacy, the first pharmacy journal, and the first national professional association for pharmacists in the United States. He was also a charter member of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and served as its first corresponding secretary.
Daniel B. Smith's son Benjamin R. Smith (born 1825) married Esther Fisher Wharton (born 1836), the sister of Joseph Wharton. One of their children was Edward Wanton Smith (born 1875), who married Anna Dorothea Atwater (born 1877). Their first child was Sarah A. G. Smith.
The Sarah A. G. Smith collection on 18th century Philadelphia merchants consists of the business correspondence, accounts and records, and miscellaneous family papers of a number of prominent merchants. Over half of the collection pertains to the Wharton family, primarily Charles Wharton; his father Joseph Wharton; his brothers Thomas, Samuel, William, and Joseph; and his son Charles Wharton Jr.
Box 1 contains business correspondence, accounts, promissory notes and receipts, and miscellaneous documents of (Thomas) Lamar, (Henry) Hill, (Robert) Bisset & Company, a partnership of three brothers-in-law who conducted trade between Philadelphia, London, and Madeira beginning in the 1750s. There are references to the Wharton family (Box 1, Folder 4) and several letters mentioning business dealings with Willing & Morris, a partnership of Thomas Willing and Robert Morris active in shipping, real estate, and the slave trade (Box 1, Folders 6, 7).
The Wharton family documents are contained in Boxes 2, 3, and 4 and Flat Files 1 and 2 and include business correspondence, account statements, deeds, promissory notes and receipts, bonds, agreements, tax assessments, real estate indentures, bills of lading, and other shipping documents. Highlights include Charles Wharton’s letter books (Box 2, Folders 1, 4) and account book with the Bank of Pennsylvania (Box 2, Folder 2), a 1770 letter from Colonel George Croghan to Joseph Wharton regarding Colonel Washington (Box 2, Folder 13), and a 1927 survey report on the "Wharton Tract" in Pike Township, Pennsylvania with maps and photographs (Box 2, Folder 23).
Additionally, Box 2 contains account statements, invoices and receipts, and correspondence between John & Arthur Burrows of St. Vincent and Antony Clarkson of Philadelphia; the business letters, records, account statements, and miscellaneous documents of Joshua Fisher and Sons; and documents signed by Thomas Wright, lord mayor of the City of London, on behalf of Joseph Hibbert and John Byerley. Finally, Boxes 3 and 4 contain several documents relating to members of the Smith family.
Gift of Sarah A. G. Smith, 1962, 1966, 1969.
- International trade--18th century
- Merchants--United States--History--18th century
- Slave trade--United States--History--18th century
- United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783--Economic aspects
- United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783--Quakers
- Historical Society of Pennsylvania
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Mark D. Carnesi.
- Finding Aid Date
- ; 2015.
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open for research.
Folder contains correspondence with the first noted references to the Wharton family in the collection.
Folder contains at least one letter mentioning business dealings with Willing & Morris, a partnership of Thomas Willing and Robert Morris active in shipping, real estate, and the slave trade.
Folder contains additional correspondence mentioning Robert Morris.
Folder contains an award letter (1797) prepared by two arbitrators between Hill, Bisset & Company and Mary Lamar ordering a cessation of all “Controversies and Disputes."
Folder contains a note stating "This box contains almost all the old letters from Daniel B. Smith's desk when the latter was sent to a W.W. in May 1915" which appears to be signed G.W.S.
One of letters in folder makes reference to a "Dr. Franklin."
Folder includes a bill from Doctor Physick, likely Philip Syng Physick, for medical services rendered.
Hannah Carpenter (1711-1751) was the first wife of Joseph Wharton (1707-1776). Presumably, in light of year she was born and dates of these documents they were signed/executed by another Hannah Carpenter.
Folder also contains letter from Governor William Bebb of Ohio to Daniel B. Smith about “the threatened outbreak against the colored population of Mercer County” (1847).