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.
This collection contains the memoirs and autobiographical notes of Peter Adolph Grotjan, a German merchant who immigrated to Philadelphia in 1796 and became an important figure in area commerce and politics. He served as Philadelphia County Auditor twice (once from 1828 to 1836 and again from 1841 to 1844) and published a commercial newspaper,
Grotjan's Philadelphia Public Sale Reports. Volume 1 of the collection is a bound book of "preparatory notes and memoranda" used in writing his memoir, which is Volume 2. The memoir is a detailed account of Grotjan's life to 1817, briefly covering his childhood in Germany and focusing on his adult life in and around Philadelphia. It provides a detailed description of the cholera and yellow fever epidemics in Philadelphia, Albert Gallatin's visit to Reading, Pennsylvania in 1798 and the ensuing riot, and encounters with political figures including Thomas Jefferson, Aaron Burr, and James Buchanan. There are also descriptions of his journeys to the American West and South, and to the West Indies. The memoirs in Volume 2 have many notes in the margins that point out important events, and annotations from a later proofreading that possibly were used to prepare the memoirs for publication. The last chapter of the autobiography was completed posthumously from notes.
Gift of Pedro G. Salom.
At the Historical Society of Pennsylvania:
Grotjan's Philadelphia public-sale report, 1812-1820. (Call number Newspaper)
Memoirs of an early American: by Peter A. Grotjan. (Call number Gg.9251)
Memoirs of Peter A. Grotjan. (Call number Gg .925F)
At other institutions: "Peter Adolph Grotjahn Memoir" at the American Philosophical Society. http://www.amphilsoc.org/mole/view?docId=ead/Mss.B.G913-ead.xml