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John W. Jordan, "Random Notes of a Week's Visit to England" scrapbook


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

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Overview and metadata sections

John Woolf Jordan (1840-1921) was a Philadelphia historian specializing in genealogies and personal histories, especially those of Pennsylvania families.

Jordan served as librarian of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania from 1903 until his death in 1921. He served as a lieutenant during the Civil War and also as the first president of the Pennsylvania Federation of Historical Societies, vice-president of the Colonial Society of Pennsylvania, and registrar of the Pennsylvania Society Sons of the Revolution. He edited and contributed to histories and genealogies such as

Colonial and Revolutionary Families of Pennsylvania (1911) and Colonial Families of Philadelphia (1911). Jordan also edited several printings of historical diaries, narratives, and personal histories, many of them from the Revolutionary War period. In 1902 he received a Doctor of Laws degree from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. He was married twice, to Lillie Moore in 1866 (with whom he had two sons) and to Anne Page in 1873 (with whom he had two sons and one daughter).

Jordan, John W.Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania: Biography, Vol 2.New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1914. Available online via Google Books at (accessed September 13, 2012). Mullen, Shaun. Email to L. Rebecca Johnson Melvin, September 15, 2012.

This scrapbook comprises a single volume containing clippings of John W. Jordan's "Random Notes of a Week's Visit to England" from an unknown publication; also included are picture postcards of the locations he visited, several of which are accompanied by handwritten annotations. The notes detail Jordan's sea voyage to and from England and his experiences exploring the counties of London, Surrey, and Sussex. Jordan's voyage took place between July 8 and August 6, 1911.

Jordan's essay is written in the form of an informative travel narrative and emphasize the historical significance of the places he visited. There is also ample description at the beginning and the end of the narrative to describing Jordan's experience aboard the ocean liners.

Jordan departed Philadelphia on July 8, 1911, for Boulogne, France, aboard the S. S. Graf Waldersee. The description of the ship and voyage is accompanied by images of the ship and its interiors. Jordan spent two days in Boulogne before steaming to London, and descriptions of the port city are also accompanied by pasted-in images. Once in London, Jordan described landmarks relevant to a Pennsylvanian audience, such as the newly erected William Penn memorial in the church of All Hallows Barking and the Middle Temple at the Inns of Court where listed as students are three pre-Revolutionary period Pennsylvanians.

The majority of Jordan's tour was spent sight-seeing in Sussex county via his host Mr. Keasbey's "high power automobile." He described the towns of Lewes and Brighton and features such as the Downs, Devil's Dyke, and Beachy Head, of which an image is also included. Other notable places he visited were Pevensey Castle, Battle Abbey in Hastings, and the ancient towns of Winchelsea and Rye. Jordan's descriptions of these places and their histories are accompanied by pasted-in picture postcards and images. The final page of Jordan's descriptions of these places before his return to London includes a color image of the "Wilmington Giant" accompanied by a handwritten note indicating that it was "seen from the car windows after leaving Eastbourne for London."

Jordan concluded his tour with some final sights in London such as St. Paul's Cathedral, Somerset House, Westminster Cathedral, and the "Ye Cheshire Cheese" inn on Fleet Street. Jordan departed for New York on July 29,1911, aboard the S.S. Minnetonka of the Atlantic Transport Line. An image of the ship is included as well as an abstract log from the voyage containing the travel schedule and weather forecast.

Throughout his essay, Jordan also mentioned his acquaintanceships with various notable figures. He shared his train to London with former Liverpool mayor and House of Commons member Sir William Watson Rutherford (1853-1927), lamented missing a visit with American artist Edwin Austin Abbey (1852-1911), whose name is misprinted as "W. E. Abbey" due to Abbey's illness, and on the trip home befriends former Atlantic Transport Line president Bernard N. Baker (1854-1918),

New York Evening Post financial editor Alexander Dana Noyes (1862-1945), and the Minnetonka's captain, Edwin Galton Cannons (1862-1934).

  1. Item 0025: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0093 SCRAPBOOK FOLIO

Gift of Shaun Mullen, 2012.

Processed and encoded by Elyse Brown, September 2012.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2012 September 13
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

John W. Jordan, "Random Notes of a Week's Visit to England" scrapbook, 1911.
Item 0025
Physical Description

1 volume

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