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Henry Wharton letterpress copybook


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. 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

Wharton was the youngest of four children born to Arabella Griffith and Thomas Isaac Wharton (1791-1856), a prominent Philadelphia lawyer. Henry Wharton attended the University of Pennsylvania receiving his bachelor of arts degree in 1846 and his masters degree in 1849. Wharton studied law under his father and eventually took over the practice. Wharton became a prominent Philadelphia lawyer, legal writer, and editor. His legal practice dealt with many facets of real estate law. In 1858 Henry Wharton married Katharine Johnstone Brinley and they had six children.

This oversize volume with a red leather spine and corners is a letterpress copybook containing the outgoing correspondence of Henry Wharton's law practice in Philadelphia, located in Washington Square. The letters span almost four years beginning on July 20, 1874 and ending on January 18, 1878. At the beginning of the volume is an alphabetical index followed by 700 numbered leaves in chronological order. The correspondence is copied on leaves 1 to 693. The alphabetical index has thumb tabs from a to z in red and black ink listing names followed by the corresponding page numbers. The copied letters in the volume are in four different hands. In some instances there are two letters on one leaf and some letters span several leaves. The correspondence from Wharton is addressed to clients, lawyers, judges, and politicians and chiefly concern all aspects of real estate law including wills, trusts, transfers, mortgages, and collateral. Many of the almost 300 of Wharton's clients and correspondents are prominent Philadelphians, individuals, and families such as, Biddle, Cadwallader, Dechert, Ingersoll, Lea, Morris, Price, Rawle, and Wharton. Some correspondence concerns Wharton's attention to Philadelphia ordinances and legal matters. In some instances he wrote judges providing his opinion and arguments regarding a new law or ruling. A handwritten copy of a letter on ruled legal paper is laid in the volume before leaf 630, dated July 16, 1877. "Henry Wharton, January 17, 1874, 204 W. Washington Square" appears on the verso of the first leaf. "Letters" is stamped in gold on the spine of the volume. Some leaves in the letter book are torn.

Label pasted on inside front cover: James Hogan, blank book manufacturer, stationer, and printer, No. 339 Chestnut St., Philadelphia. Label pasted on inside front cover: S & L, Paris dépôse. A red and white octoganal label with an image of a crowned eagle.

Sold by The Lawbook Exchange (Clark, New Jersey), 2015

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Donna Brandolisio
Finding Aid Date
April 2016
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Henry Wharton letterpress copybook, 1874-1878. 1 volume.
Volume 1
Physical Description

1 volume

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