Held at: Andalusia Foundation [Contact Us]PO Box 158, Andalusia, PA, 19020
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Andalusia Foundation. 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
"Nicholas Biddle [(1786-1844)] was one of the most prominent men in [early nineteenth-century] America, noted for his leadership in finance and his skill at extending diplomatic goodwill on behalf of the young nation. [He directed the Second National Bank of the United States for most of its existence, from its establishment in 1819 until shortly before it failed in 1841, and lobbied (unsuccessfully) for its federal rechartering.] Between Andalusia and his Philadelphia house, he entertained the likes of President John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, the Marquis de Lafayette, and Joseph Bonaparte, the former King of Spain. Biddle was not only the young nation's most powerful early 19th century banker, but also a poet, the editor of the Lewis and Clark Journals, an authority on architecture, an experimental farmer, and the foremost political and financial adversary of President Andrew Jackson." ("About Andalusia")
"Commodore James Biddle (1783-1848), a brother of Nicholas Biddle (1786-1844), served in the United States Navy for forty-eight years. James Biddle was a crew member of the ship Philadelphia that in 1803 ran aground off the coast of Tripoli during the Barbary Pirate wars. The release of the crew after nineteen months in prison was later celebrated in the Marine's hymn "to the shores of Tripoli." Biddle was awarded a medal and a sword for his exploits during the War of 1812. In 1817, he received orders to set the American flag at the mouth of the Columbia River to provide a stronger US claim to Oregon over Great Britain. James Biddle was a member of the team that arranged a trade treaty with Turkey in 1830 and was responsible for ratification of a treaty with China in 1845. Biddle's short stay in Japan's Jeddo Harbor a few months later has long been a point of controversy; some scholars insist that the Commodore failed in his attempt to open trade with Japan. However, Government instructions explicitly ordered him to proceed with utmost care to see if ports were open and make an attempt at gaining access, yet 'not in such a manner as to excite a hostile feeling or a distrust of the Government of the United States.'...
"Charles Biddle (1819-1873), son of Nicholas and Jane Biddle, served with the US Army during the Mexican war when he formed his own company. He was breveted Major 'for gallant and meritorious conduct' during the take over of Chapultepec and was also present at the capture of Mexico City. During the Civil War, Biddle served as Colonel of the famous 'Bucktail Regiment' and later was a member of the United States House of Representatives. During the war, he became the proprietor and editor of the Philadelphia Democratic newspaper, The Age.
"John Craig Biddle (1823-1910), another son of Nicholas and Jane, also served with the Army during the Civil War. He became a respected judge in Philadelphia County, serving in that capacity for over thirty years, ten as President Judge. He also devoted much of his spare time to maintaining Andalusia as a home for his family.
"Long interested in gardening at Andalusia, Letitia Glenn Biddle (1864-1950), who was married to Charles Biddle (1857-1923), became a founding member of the Philadelphia Garden Club. In 1913, she and a small group of women met in the Billiard Room where they wrote the Constitution for the Garden Club of America. Charles and Letitia modernized the Big House [the main residence at Andalusia] by installing electricity in 1917 and plumbing a few years later.
"When they married in the 1920's, Charles J. (1890-1972) and Katharine Legendre Biddle (1893-1973) became full-time residents [of Andalusia]. Charles Biddle, a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, served with distinction during World War I as a member of the Lafayette Escadrille. An ace pilot credited with destroying eight enemy aircraft, Major Biddle was a recipient of the Legion of Honor and the Croix de Guerre as well as the American Distinguished Service Cross. He wrote of his experiences in a book, Fighting Airman, the Way of the Eagle, based on letters home to his parents. After the war, Biddle practiced law with this father's firm until the elder Biddle's death. In 1925 he became a partner in the firm of Drinker, Biddle and Reath.
"Charles and Katharine's younger son, James Biddle (1929-2005), was curator of the American wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and served as President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. During his tenure at the National Trust, membership as well as influence of the Trust increased dramatically. After retirement, he resided in the Cottage at Andalusia and in 1980 created the Andalusia Foundation to help preserve his ancestral home." ("Andalusia History")
Quoted text from: Andalusia Foundation. "About Andalusia" and "Andalusia History." 2013. Accessed April 2, 2014. http://www.andalusiapa.org/about/index.html and http://www.andalusiapa.org/about/history.html.
This collection consists largely of original manuscript documents from a number of Biddle family members, notably Nicholas Biddle (1786-1844), Commodore James Biddle (1783-1848), Letitia Glenn Biddle (1864-1950), Charles J. Biddle (1890-1972) and Katharine Legendre Biddle (1893-1973), and Nicholas Biddle, Jr. (1917-2013). The original documents include correspondence, diaries, financial records, legal records, scrapbooks, draft and published articles, pamphlets and ephemera, deeds, and numerous other materials. There are photographs in many formats, including framed and unframed prints, photograph albums, film negatives, glass slides, stereographs, and daguerreotypes. In addition, there are some secondary-source materials pertaining to the Biddle family and the administration of Andalusia, such as newspaper clippings, articles, photocopies of original documents held at other repositories, pamphlets and ephemera, building-related materials such as floor plans, and genealogical research and information on the Biddles and related families.
Highlights of the collection include Nicholas Biddle papers relating to banking and the Second Bank of the United States, and Commodore James Biddle papers relating to his naval career and travels, especially a sketchbook, 1845-1848, with copies of Biddle's correspondence paired with sketches by artist Edward C. Young illustrating scenes from Biddle's time in the Navy, 1800-1848. Many Biddle family members were involved in the military, and through this collection aspects of the War of 1812, Civil War, World War I, World War II, and other wars are documented. Also, because the Biddle family was well connected politically and socially, a wide range of well-known and historically important individuals are represented to varying extents in the collection. Original documents from John Quincy Adams, Aaron Burr, John C. Calhoun, Henry Clay, Brigadier General George Meade, General George McClellan, James Monroe, Daniel Webster, and many additional prominent individuals are present in the collection.
The largest portion of the collection belonged to Commodore James Biddle (1783-1848) who served in the United States Navy for forty-eight years. His papers include sixteen bound volumes of letters and miscellaneous documents (there is a separate finding aid for these volumes, available on-site). In addition, there are: newspaper clippings; letterbooks and journals; copybooks providing information in preparation for his voyage to China; logbooks, including one from the ship, Columbus. Two boxes (1 linear foot) contain letters, a silhouette, Mandarin calling cards, and other miscellaneous letters and documents.
Nicholas Biddle (1786-1844) papers in the collection include numerous account books, letters and documents relating to the Second Bank of the United States as well as printed pamphlets containing some of his poetry and the Alumni Address to Princeton University. Receipts and other papers relate to the graperies and "Big House" (the main residence at Andalusia), and include a farm journal, handwritten Catalogue of the Library, and miscellaneous receipts. Some of his letters, as well as his father's, Charles Biddle (1745-1821), are in bound volumes.
There is one box (.5 linear feet) of letters to and from Charles J. Biddle (1819-1873), son of Nicholas and Jane Biddle, as well as Congressional speeches and other pamphlets relating to him, several scrapbooks, and newspaper clippings. The collection includes three broadsides: two for Biddle recruiting troops for the Mexican War and one for his Congressional campaign.
The collection also contains one box (.5 linear feet) of (John) Craig Biddle (1823-1910) material such as miscellaneous letters, travel accounts, pamphlets, and a phrenology report. Also present are Craig Biddle's Garden Account Book 1854-70 and a miscellaneous scrapbook.
Numerous family photographs include originals and copies, as well as photos of portraits and paintings. There are also photographs of the buildings on the estate including the Big House, Cottage, Graperies and Garden and Reservoir building. Architect plans for twentieth century changes to the Big House, garden and reservoir building (John Dickey; Mellor and Meigs). Of interest is a photograph album of Civil War officers.
There are miscellaneous estate papers as well as copies of wills of several family members, deeds transferring Philadelphia property of Nicholas and Jane Biddle, and a small number of miscellaneous legal documents. Papers that show a personal and family relationship include Kitty Biddle's August 1886 diary. Daughter of Charles J. Biddle (1819-1873) and grand-daughter of Nicholas and Jane Craig Biddle, Kitty's daily account offers a glimpse into the life of a fourteen year old who cares deeply for her pets and enjoys summer activities with relatives.
The centuries-old appeal of gardening and farming at Andalusia are represented by John Craig, the original owner, in his copy of Everyman His Own Gardener by Thomas Mawe and others. Later interest besides those previously mentioned include the Andalusia Herd Registry with supporting documents and Letitia Glenn Biddle and Charles Biddle's (1857-1923) correspondence relating plans for reforestation of a portion of the estate in the 1910s. Of particular interest for Women's studies is Letitia Glenn Biddle's Guest book beginning in 1911 to her death in 1950; Garden Club members can be documented through years of signatures. Photograph albums from the early 20th century illustrate the changes or lack thereof for Andalusia gardens.
Numerous newspaper clippings include news of: Commodore James Biddle, Nicholas Biddle, Charles J. Biddle (1819-1873), Craig Biddle, various other Biddle family history articles, and articles about the opening of Andalusia for public visitation in the 1970s.
The collection is organized into the series based on donor, family member, and/or topic. Separate finding aids, with a varying level of detail sometimes down to the item level, exist for most of these series. Some boxes which have been only partially processed are described with a more summary box listing. The series are as follows: Andalusia Gardens Autograph letters "Biddle Papers, Andalusia" Charles Biddle (1745-1821) Commodore James Biddle letters (1783-1848) Nicholas Biddle (1786-1844) Letitia Glenn Biddle (1864-1950) Charles J. Biddle (1890-1972) Henry B. Keep (1891-1918) Jane B. Lewis (1915-20004) auction items Nicholas Biddle Jr. (1917-2013) James Biddle (1929-2005) Gerda Paumgarten (born 1943) Other family members
Some of the most important and/or fragile items in the collection have been copied. Researchers will be provided with a CD to access digital surrogates of the content, rather than the original materials.
The bulk of the collection was left in the house and outbuildings when the Biddle family turned over the property to the Andalusia Foundation. Over time, additional materials have been acquired through gift or purchase, mostly from other Biddle family members.
Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2012-2014 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.
In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact Andalusia Foundation directly for more information.
- Biddle family
- Biddle, Charles J., 1890-1972
- Biddle, James, 1783-1848
- Biddle, Katharine Legendre, 1893-1973
- Biddle, Letitia Glenn, 1864-1950
- Biddle, Nicholas, 1786-1844
- Biddle, Nicholas, 1917-2013
- Banks and banking
- Trade routes--Asia
- United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
- United States--History--War of 1812
- World War, 1914-1918
- World War, 1939-1945
- Andalusia Foundation
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories using data provided by Andalusia Foundation
- This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
- Access Restrictions
Contact Andalusia Foundation for information about accessing this collection. Parts of it are restricted for a temporary period due to family privacy concerns.
Documents relating to Andalusia Gardens include account books, photographs, correspondence, clippings, planting plans, drawings, and other materials. A working copy of a finding guide is available on-site, although the materials have not been fully processed and some materials are currently restricted or can only be viewed with advance notice.
Charles J. Biddle's (1890-1972) papers that relate to Andalusia are largely uncataloged and filed in date order according to his system. Only a select few are available for researchers. Photographs are mainly in family photo albums. Earlier agriculture pursuits are contained in collections of individuals. The earliest relevant item is a Nicholas Biddle account book, 1821-1838 (particularly a folder on the "Grapery and Mansion House"). Letitia Glenn Biddle's garden journal, a small diary, her guest book, and miscellaneous papers reveal early 1900s gardening at Andalusia. James Biddle's collection (1929-2005) [some items restricted] mainly shows gardening in the 1980s and 90s. Also available is a 2011 survey of trees on the property with identification, photos, and database prepared by Heather Schmidt, Temple University student.
The "Biddle Papers Autograph Letters" are alphabetized by the last name of the letter writer to various Biddle family members. The documents--sometimes full pages, sometimes clipped autographs--were attached to large sheets of paper, organized, and bound into two volumes around 1916. There is a finding aid with an item-level listing of contents available on site.
Volume 1 begins with John Quincy Adams regarding Nicholas Biddle's appointment as Director of the Second Bank of the United States in 1819 while letters from Adams in the 1830s are of a more personal nature. Some notables in Volume 1 include John C. Calhoun, Henry Clay, Thomas Jefferson's biography of Meriwether Lewis which was included in the first published Journals of Lewis and Clark; Sarah J. Hale concerning a memorial, and an 1862 letter from General Thomas Hooker to Charles J. Biddle (1819-1873) requesting his help in a prisoner exchange.
Volume 2 begins with letters from the Marquis de Lafayette regarding business and personal matters. Other Civil War letters are from Brigadier General George Meade, General George McClellan, and General Andrew Porter, and Winfield Scott and others to Charles J. Biddle (1819-1873) both as a Colonel and as a member of the House of Representatives. There is a small number of letters to him during the Mexican War.
Personal correspondence includes letters from Daniel Webster and a C. Read in Reading who enclosed a letter from George Whitefield, the great eighteenth century evangelist. A.C. Stoughton [Anna Claypoole Peale Stoughton] offers for $20 a miniature of Nicholas Biddle that she had painted "As I am about leaving the city with my husband and am giving up my profession as a miniature painter. . ." Also included is a letter describing the death of Nicholas Biddle in 1844 ". . . he died most calmly. . ." and a newspaper clipping as well as a letter announcing the death of Thomas Biddle whose death resulted from a duel in St. Louis.
The letters in this particular collection were attached to large sheets of paper, organized, and bound into a volume in 1916. A finding aid with an item-level inventory is available on-site. The Biddle Papers, Andalusia contains letters beginning with Charles Biddle in the late eighteenth century [small in number, see the Papers of Charles Biddle 1793-1817 for more letters] and continues with his descendants to 1951. There are also newspaper clippings, receipts, and other miscellaneous documents with the greatest concentration in the early to mid nineteenth century.
Personal correspondence includes letters to and from Nicholas Biddle (1786-1844) beginning as a student at Princeton, and later, letters from his own sons. Some correspondence relates to Nicholas Biddle as a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives while letters from architect Thomas U. Walter discuss expansion of the mansion at Andalusia. A letter from William Barton thanks Nicholas Biddle for his "hint" regarding his book about Dr. Rittenhouse; a list of books owned by Nicholas Biddle in 1803 reveals that many of these books remain in the Andalusia library.
Letters from John Biddle (1792-1859) recount experiences during the War of 1812; later letters were written while serving with the army in Detroit and as territorial Governor. Also of military interest is a letter from Commodore William Bainbridge to Nicholas Biddle which includes a few pages of memoirs.
Of agricultural interest are letters regarding the Guernsey cattle purchased by Nicholas Biddle in 1840 and a short history of the American Guernsey Cattle Club; the last of the Biddle's Guernsey cattle were sold in 1951.
Charles Biddle (1745-1821) was the great grandson of William and Sarah Biddle who settled in Burlington County, New Jersey in 1681. He was the father of Nicholas Biddle (1786-1844). Most of the Charles Biddle papers at Andalusia were attached to large sheets of paper, organized, and bound into a volume in 1916. There is a finding aid with an item-level listing of contents available on site.
Charles Biddle (1745-1821) was the great grandson of William and Sarah Biddle who settled in Burlington County, New Jersey in 1681. Biddle's Autobiography relates his early experience at sea as well as later years in Pennsylvania government serving with Benjamin Franklin; in 1791 he was appointed Prothonotary of Philadelphia County. He married Hannah Shepherd whom he met during his merchant shipping years in New Bern, North Carolina. They were the parents of eight sons and two daughters.
The letters begin with Charles Biddle's friend Aaron Burr, in 1793. Other letters from Burr date to shortly after his duel with Alexander Hamilton and later written from Richmond during Burr's trial for treason in 1807. Numerous letters from James Wilkinson reveal his side of the Burr treason matter but also deal with personal issues as Wilkinson is married to Biddle's cousin. Documents include Charles Biddle's appointment as Prothonotary of Philadelphia County by Thomas Mifflin.
Commodore James Biddle (1783-1848)'s papers at Andalusia are largely organized into sixteen bound volumes of letters, 1798-1848, and miscellaneous documents. In addition, there are: newspaper clippings, letterbooks and journals, copybooks providing information in preparation for his voyage to China, logbooks including one from the ship Columbus, letters, a silhouette, Mandarin calling cards, a sketchbook (1845-1848) with copies of Biddle's correspondence paired with sketches by artist Edward C. Young illustrating scenes from Biddle's time in the Navy, and other miscellaneous letters and documents. Finding aids are available on site both for the 16 volumes of letters and for the other miscellaneous Commodore Biddle papers.
James Biddle, second son of Charles and Hannah Shepard Biddle, was born in 1783 and died in 1848 after serving in the Navy for forty-eight years. The Letters of Commodore Biddle, 1798-1848 and undated, were attached to large sheets of paper and bound in chronological order into 16 volumes early in the twentieth century. They cover the full range of his time in the Navy and contain both personal letters and military related documents such as courts martial proceedings.
James Biddle was a member of the crew of the ship Philadelphia that in 1803 ran aground on the coast of Tripoli during the Barbary Pirate wars. After spending nineteen months in prison, the crew was freed in an agreement precipitated by General Eaton and a group of men which included nine United States Marines later celebrated in the Marine's hymn "to the shores of Tripoli."
Biddle's exploits during the War of 1812 enabled him to rise in rank much faster than normal; he was awarded a medal and a sword for his deeds. In 1817 Biddle received orders to, among other duties, set the American flag at the mouth of the Columbia River to provide a stronger US claim to Oregon over Great Britain. Upon his return by way of Chile, Biddle became embroiled in a disagreement with British commander Lord Thomas Cochrane over the firing of salutes.
Commander of the West India Squadron during 1823 and 1824, Biddle's role was to deal with piracy although the successes were overplayed by the loss of approximately one third of his crew on the Macedonian to yellow fever. It was a time that historian David F. Long refers to as "the one clear fiasco in a life otherwise characterized by perceptive, diligent, and successful diplomacy." More successful was the Commodore's role in arranging a trade treaty with Turkey in 1830 and taking over from the ill Alexander H. Everett and exchanging ratification of the treaty with China on 31 December 1845. Documents in the collection include letters dealing with other business in China as well as Biddle's instructions from the government to visit as many ports and islands as he can to increase protection to commercial interests abroad. Several documents deal with preparations for the mission; Document #4511 describes the voyage to China, ratification of the treaty, and food served at a "handsome entertainment." Biddle's short stay in Japan's Jeddo Harbor has been a point of controversy; some scholars insist that the Commodore failed in his attempt to open trade with Japan.
Commodore Biddle returned to America by the Sandwich Islands where he learned of the war with Mexico. Document #4513 reveals that Biddle realized that the Columbus was the only ship of the line in commission and, therefore, might be required in the Gulf of Mexico. At Valparaiso he received orders to command the Pacific Squadron, thus, numerous letters deal with local and military matters in California during this time.
Biddle arrived at Norfolk in March 1848 after an almost three year voyage, retired from the Navy and headed for Philadelphia. He died on 1 October, barely six months after his retirement; his remains were interred in his father's vault at Christ Church burial grounds.
Nicholas Biddle (1786-1844) papers in the collection includes numerous account books, letters and documents relating to the Second Bank of the United States as well as printed pamphlets containing some of his poetry and the Alumni Address to Princeton University. Receipts and other papers relate to the graperies and Big House, farm journal, handwritten Catalogue of the Library, and miscellaneous receipts. Some of his letters, as well as his father's (Charles Biddle, 1745-1821), are in bound volumes: Biddle Autograph Letters A-K and L-W. A finding aid to the Nicholas Biddle papers is available on-site. There is also a separate series (currently being processed as of 2014) of letters to Nicholas Biddle, circa 1815-1840, in alphabetical by correspondent. This series includes several well-known correspondents, such as Aaron Burr.
There are a large quantity of Letitia Glenn Biddle in this collection, relating largely to gardening, other aspects of maintaining the Andalusia property, and family genealogy. Her papers include: two volumes of film negatives of Europe and Nova Scotia, circa 1900-1910; collected periodicals, 1891-1914; a garden journal and other gardening-related papers; a guest book; a large amount of cancelled checks and other financial papers; correspondence; photographs; and blue prints of Andalusia.
The Charles J. Biddle (1890-1972) materials at Andalusia are largely unprocessed, except for a section of World War I papers, for which there is a finding aid available on site. There are preliminary box inventories on site for some other sections of his papers, including some of his Andalusia-related materials. The Charles J. Biddle papers include legal documents, deeds, zoning materials, blueprints, materials related to Andalusia administration (house and garden), family history materials, waterfowl record books (1935-1981), 2 scrapbooks (one of World War II clippings), and other materials. There are many items from his wife, Katharine Legendre Biddle (1892-1973), such as about half a dozen photo albums of Andalusia and other locations (circa 1924-1970s), an album (1908-1928), travel journals, and other materials.
Charles John Biddle, the only child of Charles and Letitia Glenn Biddle, was born on 13 March 1890. He graduated Princeton University and Harvard Law School and was engaged in practicing law when he determined that he could be of help to the European War effort. Biddle served with the French Air Service from April 1917, before the United States entered the War, until January 1918 when he transferred to the American Flying Corps, the Lafayette Squadron. Biddle was promoted to Major in June and was commander of first, the Thirteenth Pursuit Squadron and then the Fourth Pursuit group. Charles Biddle became an Ace pilot and was credited with destroying eight German aircraft. In May 1918 he was wounded in air battle, managed to escape to Allied lines and was thus awarded the Purple Heart. In addition to being cited for the Croix de Guerre with three Palms, Biddle received the Belgian Order of Leopold, and was named a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor. Many of Biddle's World War I experiences were documented in his 1919 book Fighting Airman: the Way of the Eagle.
Charles J. Biddle's World War I Collection contains correspondence relating his experiences during pilot's training and later, his combat exploits. There are several pilot training books and related aircraft pamphlets, some are in the French language. Additionally, numerous photographs and postcards show individuals, squadrons, airplanes, and the French countryside; newspaper articles focus on his heroic acts. A series of letters comprising 117 typed pages, some of which are not a part of the originals in the collection, provide excellent detail of Biddle's training and wartime experiences.
Henry B. Keep, Sr. (1891-1918)'s connection to the Biddle family is through marriage: Keep died in action during World War I shortly after the birth of his son, and his widow, Katharine Jennings Legendre (1893-1973), re-married to Charles J. Biddle (1890-1972). A finding aid to the Henry B. Keep papers is available on-site; there are some additional unprocessed materials, including World War I and World War II-related letters and other papers from Henry B. Keep, Sr. and Jr., respectively.
The Henry B. Keep papers consist of approximately four linear feet and are comprised of the letters, miscellaneous documents, and photo/memorabilia books belonging to Henry B. Keep Sr. (1891-1918), Henry B. Keep Jr., and Chauncy Keep (Henry Sr.'s father). Henry Blair Keep (1891-1918) and Katharine Jennings Legendre were married in New Orleans on 7 December 1916; their son Henry B. Keep Jr. was born on 1 October 1917. Henry Sr., a member of the US Army Infantry during World War I in France, was killed in action in October 1918. Katharine L. Keep later married Charles J. Biddle in 1923, gave birth to Charles (1925) and James (1929) and resided at Andalusia for fifty years.
Henry Blair Keep was born on 25 September 1891 to Chauncy and He was educated at the Hill School in Pottstown, Pennsylvania and Yale College, class of 1915. He joined the Army at the beginning of United States involvement of the War and was commissioned a Lieutenant. He went into the front lines early in July 1918 at the beginning of the Allied Drive at Chateau Thierry, acting in command of his Company, the 10th Machine Gun Battalion of the 4th Division. In August he was commissioned a Captain and had been scheduled for further Officer's training, but at his request was allowed to remain in command of his company that it might have his personal leadership during the ensuing campaign. At the time of his death, Henry Keep had been fifteen days with his Company in the section between the Meuse River and the Argonne Forest. His death was due to a shell which entered a shell hole or crater where he and all the other officers of his Company were sleeping on the night of 5 October 1918. Immediately buried in the southwest corner of the Bois-de-Fay just west of the town of Brieulles on the west bank of the Meuse River, a month later his body, along with those of other officers killed, was moved to the recently established American Military Cemetery at Madelaine Farm about one mile away. Captain Keep's remains were returned to the United States in August 1921.
Just one year after Henry Blair Keep Jr. was born, his father died in action in France, on 5 October 1918. According to a note left by James Biddle (1929-2005) Keep Sr. never saw his son. Photograph albums track Henry Jr.'s years through his time serving in the diplomatic corps in Asia. Letters of interest include one written from Berlin in August 1945 describing the post-war conditions of that city and its inhabitants and letters describing trips to Kashmir, Darjeeling, and Tokyo. Numerous condolence letters written to Keep upon the death of his mother, Katharine Legendre Keep Biddle in 1973 illustrate the great number of individuals whose lives she touched. Likewise, estate papers and condolence letters written to James Biddle when Keep died in 1983 reveal that he too, was a generous and caring friend. Correspondence reveals that museum bequests include the University of Pennsylvania Museum and the Far East Department of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Items acquired at the Jane B. Lewis auction include framed and unframed Biddle family photographs, a daguerreotype, and objects.
Nicholas Biddle, Jr. (1917-2013) accumulated materials from his Biddle predecessors, 1784-1949, including approximately 450 letters and documents, 3 notebooks, 24 pamphlets, 3 journals/diaries, 1 photograph album, 2 glass-plate negatives, 1 handwritten book of copies of letters, 1 commonplace book, 2 ledgers, 1 published book, 6 newspapers, and 1 historical map. The Nicholas Biddle, Jr. section is being processed as of 2014; an incomplete finding aid exists on site at Andalusia Foundation. Of special interest are: a series of correspondence between James Monroe and Nicholas Biddle, 1807-1828; several letters from Aaron Burr, 1807-1808 and undated; Charles J. Biddle (1819-1873) autograph collection of letters with autographs cut out (most autographs were pasted into a separate album, also available at Andalusia); Nicholas Biddle (1786-1844) Greece Journal No. 1; Nicholas Biddle (1786-1844) personal journal/memoir, 1838-1839 (32 handwritten pages); Jane Craig Biddle, commonplace book, begun 1811 (15 handwritten pages, 1 leaf drawing); Charles Biddle (1745-1821) letterbook with list of Senate members, 1809-1812; and Edward Biddle III (1851-1933) photograph album of Europe, circa 1890.
The James Biddle (1929-2005) materials are temporarily restricted to researchers due to privacy concerns. Some sections may be accessed sooner at the discretion of the archivist; inquire with the Andalusia Foundation directly. The James Biddle papers include personal papers, papers relating to the Andalusia property, and materials relating to his work with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Gerda Paumgarten is the great-great-great-grandaughter of Nicholas and Jane Craig Biddle through their daughter, Meta (Margaret) Craig Biddle who married her cousin James Stokes Biddle, son of Nicholas's brother Charles. James S. and Meta's son, also named Nicholas, had a daughter also named Meta (1880-1958) who gave birth to Elise Robinson (b. 1906) and married Harald Paumgarten, an Olympic champion from Austria--Gerda's parents.
Much of this series consists of handwritten copies of genealogy reports, letters of historical and family interest, and letters written to Mr. and Mrs. James S. Biddle and Mrs. Nicholas Biddle (Eliza I. Butler) regarding family information. Some of the genealogy information may have been used in the Autobiography of Charles Biddle (1745-1821) edited by James S. Biddle and published by Judge Craig Biddle.
There is a photo of a portrait circa 1840 possibly of James S. Biddle and a corrected proof of a memoir of his life which includes letters from family members and substantial correspondence from his years in the Navy 1833-1856, including letters and observances from the War with Mexico.
Some of the documents are written as the remembrances of Meta Biddle (Mrs. James S.) and copied by Elise Robinson Paumgarten. Other "memoranda of Craig Biddle" (John Craig Biddle (1823-1910) are a compilation of information that he knew and/or found from a variety of sources within the collection.
Of special interest is a journal presumably kept by Mrs. Nicholas Biddle (Eliza I. Butler1845-1904) describing events in the life of her daughter Emily Butler Biddle (b. 1878.) Emily married Charles W. Churchman at Andalusia in 1903.
Other Biddle family members represented in the collection include: Henry Carvill Lewis (1889-1971) insurances/scrap/photo book; K. C. Biddle sketch of C.D. Dixon (1894); Adele Biddle Thomas (1863-1940); Adele Dixon Lewis (1887-1957); Jane B. Lewis (1915-2004); Adele Biddle (1828-1909) scrapbook, circa 1842; Craig Biddle, "Reminiscences of the Bench and Bar," circa 1898; Jane Biddle (1830-1913) account book; Katharine Craig Biddle (1872-1919) diary (1886) and other materials; Craig J. Biddle newspaper clippings scrapbook; Craig Biddle (1823-1910) scrapbook, circa 1850-1910.