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Robert C. Fraim poetical writings


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

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. 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

Robert C. Fraim was born in 1830 at Brandywine Hundred in Delaware. His early career as a school teacher at Sharpley School House in Brandywine Hundred was interrupted by the Civil War, in which he served as First Sergeant in Company D of the Fifth Delaware Regiment. Following the war, he was appointed Registrar of Wills for New Castle County and was admitted to the New Castle County Bar. The bulk of his career was spent as an attorney in Wilmington. Fraim also served on the Wilmington Board of Education. In addition to his professional activities, Fraim wrote poetry and articles for Philadelphia and Wilmington newspapers, typically publishing under the pseudonyms "Lex," "Robin Hood," and "Isaker Thompson." He died in Wilmington in 1903.

Biographical information derived from the collection.

In 1873, Robert C. Fraim began to collect his poems and articles in a quarto volume, which he titled "Poetical Writings." The majority of the writings are in holograph copies, though the volume includes several pasted-in newspaper clippings. The volume covers work from 1873 through 1901.

A number of Fraim's poems are occasional pieces. "Welcome to the Chief" commemorates the visit of President Ulysses S. Grant to Wilmington in February 1873. It was sung for Grant, to music composed by Professor J. N. Clemmer, at the Wilmington Opera House. "Death of President [James A.] Garfield" was printed in the

Delaware Republican and later, according to Fraim's note, was published as a pamphlet by Charles Bliss, and "several thousand copies thereof were sold . . . in different cities and towns in the U.S." Other poems are political, concerned with national and local election campaigns in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Fraim was a Republican and supported Grant against Horace C. Greeley in 1872, and the unsuccessful campaign of James G. Blaine against Grover Cleveland in 1882. Fraim includes annotations to many of the poems, documenting the place and date of their original publication, as well as commenting on the circumstances or events that led to their composition.

In addition to poetry, the collection includes a manuscript "Family History" of the Fraim family, and newspaper clippings of the obituary notices for both Fraim and his wife, Eliza, among other items. There is also an estate inventory.

Box 1: Shelved in SPEC MSS manuscript boxes (1 inch)

Purchase, November 1999

Processed by Kevin Burke, January 2002. Encoded by Jaime Margalotti, July 2021.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2021 July 21
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 Department, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

Large quarto volume of manuscript poems and articles.
Box 1 Folder F1
Scope and Contents

Includes inlaid items and pasted-in newspaper clippings.

Untitled manuscript draft of a poem with note.
Box 1 Folder F2
Scope and Contents

"Composed by Robert C. Fraim, Esq. April 25th 1896, and read by him on the occasion of a flag raising at the old School House in School District No. 7 known as Sharpley's School House in Brandywine Hundred April 25th 1896."

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