J.G. Rosengarten collection
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
J.G. (Joseph George) Rosengarten, Esq. was born on July 14, 1835. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1852, and in 1856 was admitted to the bar. At the encouragement of his father George D. Rosengarten he traveled the following year to Heidelberg in order to study the history of Roman law. Upon his return, Rosengarten had the extraordinary luck of witnessing the conclusion of John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry while traveling with his father during a tour of inspection on the Pennsylvania Railroad. During the Civil War, Rosengarten served first in Company A of the Pennsylvania Artillery, a volunteer unit composed mostly of lawyers, and later, in the 121st Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, of the Army of the Potomac. After action at the Battle of Fredericksburg, he joined the staff of General John F. Reynolds with whom he served at Gettysburg. After the war, Rosengarten served on the boards of numerous public institutions in Philadelphia, including the Lankenau Hospital and Drexel Institute, and was instrumental in the establishment and expansion of the Free Library. He served the University of Pennsylvania as a member of the Board of Trustees and as a chairman of the Trustee's Library Committee. His scholarly interests revolved around social history, in particular the roles of German and French immigrants in the founding and development of the United States. To this end he was the author of "The German soldier in the wars of the United States," "German archives as sources of German-American history," and "French colonists and exiles in the United States," among other publications and articles. He passed away on January 14, 1921.
The collection consists of manuscripts and correspondence written by or collected by J.G. Rosengarten. The materials are divided into three series - the J.G. Rosengarten correspondence, consisting of letters to and from Rosengarten; Collected historical material, comprising documents usually relating to the American Revolutionary War; and Printed matter and scrapbooks, also usually pertaining to the aforementioned war. The correspondence and historical material series are arranged alphabetically.
The J.G. Rosengarten correspondence consists largely of thank-you letters to Rosengarten from those who received (and in most cases read) a copy of "French colonists and exiles in the United States." Recipients included senator and industrialist Henry Algernon du Pont, Penn Shakespeare scholar Horace Howard Furness, United States senator, Attorney General (and eventually Secretary of State) Philander Chase Knox, founder and chief of the United States Forest Service Gifford Pinchot, and President Woodrow Wilson.
Collected historical manuscripts consists of numerous primary sources collected by Rosengarten in the course of his research. Correspondents include Madame de Stael, Charles Maurice de Talleyrand, Francois Chateaubriand, Frederick II of Prussia, James Hamilton, Francis Hopkinson, John Jay, and George Clinton.
The third and final series, Printed Matter and scrapbooks, consists of three battle maps, original Massachusetts and Virginia dollars and a folder of photographic negatives, containing some unidentified prints of ships and the photographed text of a letter from Baron von Steuben to Colonel Benjamin Walker.
While, by nature, the collection is somewhat sporadic, individual items within the collection will be of value to researchers. The materials focusing on German involvement in the Revolutionary War (diaries, reports, letters, documents within Rosengarten's extra-illustrated volumes) may be of particular interest, and forms the strongest subject concentration within the collection.
Gift of J.G. Rosengarten, 1924.
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Kevin Stuart Lee
- Finding Aid Date
- 2014 April 24
- Access Restrictions
The bulk of this collection is open for research use. The scrapbooks however are restricted due to poor condition.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.