University of Delaware Library


John Penn (1700-1746) plaintiff. Breviate. John Penn, Thomas Penn, and Richard Penn, esqrs; plaintiffs. Charles Calvert esq; Lord Baltimore in the kingdom of Ireland, defendant. For the plaintiffs. Upon a bill to compell a specifick execution of articles of agreement entered into between the partys for setling the boundarys of the province of Pensilvania, the three lower countys, and the province of Maryland, and for perpetuating testimony, &c. Mr. Attorney General Sir Dudley Ryder. Mr. Solicitor General Murray. Mr. King's Council Noel. Paris and Weston sollicitors. [London: s.n., 1742].

This scarce copy of the Penn Family Breviate is a legal landmark in the history of the longstanding boundary dispute between Lord Baltimore and his heirs and the Penn Family. The Breviate is a summary of the legal history of the dispute to that point which was presented on behalf of the Penn Family. The Penns, of course, were eventually successful with their case and the three lower counties of Pennsylvania remained part of that colony until they formed their own separate Assembly in 1704 and eventually became the State of Delaware.

Gift of the University of Delaware Library Associates and Melva B. Guthrie Fund.

John Biggs, Jr. Demigods. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1926.

The Wilmington, Delaware jurist John Biggs, Jr. (1895-1979) was one of the foremost federal judges of his time. He was also an accomplished author whose friends included Maxwell Perkins, Edmund Wilson, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, who was Biggs's roommate at Princeton. Demigods is Biggs's first published novel. It is a psychological thriller and reflects Judge Biggs's deep interest in the area of criminal insanity.

Gift of John A. Munroe

… Know ye that I Gideon Waples of Milton in Broadkiln hundred Sussex County and State aforesaid for divers Good causes and Considerations … Do hereby declare, set free, manumit and discharge my Negro man John aged thirty one years on the first day of January eighteen hundred and thirty four, to be free from me my heirs Execs or Adm on the first day of January next eighteen hundred and thirty five …

Gideon Waples. Manumission of "Negro John" from Gideon Waples. Autograph document signed, March 6, 1834.

Gideon Burton Waples. "Fellow Athenaeans." Autograph document signed on stationery bearing an image of "Old College," ca. 1851. Speech by Gideon B. Waples before the Athenaean Literary Society, delivered upon the occasion of his election to the presidency of the Society, Delaware College, Newark, Delaware.

The Waples Family papers, 1753-1864, contain records typical of important family transactions: deeds and surveys, financial and legal documents, wills, and correspondence. Telling of its time and regional history, the Waples Family papers also include an 1834 manumission for a slave held by the family. The papers outline the family's role in the economic development of Milton in Broadkill Hundred, Delaware. But the bulk of the collection, 1851-1864, focuses on Gideon B. Waples (c. 1832 - c. 1864), beginning with the pre-Civil War period when he was a student at Delaware College. After he voluntarily left his studies, he became a farmer and businessman in southern Delaware; he also served as a political aide to two governors of Delaware during the Civil War. The collection covers layers of a maturing man's life: his close male friendships formed during college days; his political leanings during the tumultuous 1850s-1860s, including his association with Stephen A. Douglas's American Union Party; and life in Milton, Delaware, in the mid-nineteenth century.

from the Waples Family Papers
Gift of Mrs. Charles D. Carey


Vernon L. Good. Historic Newark Delaware. Watercolor on paper, 35 " x 26," signed by the artist and dated "11/1/1983."

In the spring of 1983 the Newark Historical Society commissioned the noted Delaware artist Vernon Good to produce a limited edition print consisting of a montage of thirty-seven illustrations of historic Newark buildings and a map. This watercolor is the original painting from which the print was produced.


… I feel highly honored to think that I am in the service of my Country using my humble efforts to maintain the many privileges that this glorious nation has bestowed upon us …

Josiah Pancoast. Autograph letter signed to Mary Jane Wilds, Smyrna, Delaware, May 3, 1863, with envelope.

Sergeant Josiah Pancoast wrote this letter home to his Delaware cousins after having been "wounded in the left limb below the knee" in the battle of Fredericksburg. While recuperating, he was able to work in the clerk's office at the Lincoln General Hospital in Washington, D.C. Over a century later, the patriotism expressed by this Union soldier is still extraordinarily poignant.

from the Lydia S. Wilds Family Papers
Gift of Mary S. Hutchison Brown

Album of Remembrance

Lydia S. Wilds

Album of Remembrance, 1856-1862. New York: J.K. Biker [185?]

Lydia S. Wilds, c. 1856. Daguerreotype.

This small collection consists of two autograph albums and two daguerreotypes of Jennie and Lydia Wilds, who were sisters and lived in Kent County, Delaware. Filled with sentimental verses and poems of remembrance, the autograph albums represent the popular nineteenth-century custom of keeping friendship albums, and the photographs provide portraits of the young schoolgirls who typically engaged in this activity. The albums are notable because they preserve the signatures of acquaintances made during Jennie Wilds's and Caddie Lynch's attendance at the Deer Park Seminary for young women, located at the landmark Deer Park Hotel in Newark, Delaware.

from the Jennie Wilds and Caddie Lynch Autograph Albums and Daguerreotypes
Gift of Mary S. Hutchison Brown


G. Burton Pearson, Jr., "Beedle Officer at Marshalltown, Del.," July 1924. Studio portrait. [Wilmington, Del.]: Cummings, 1924.

Dr. & Mrs. G. Burton Pearson, Sr., on the porch of 94 E. Main Street, Newark, c. 1920. Mounted photograph.

George Burton Pearson, Jr. (1905-1999) was a Delaware lawyer, judge, and banker. Pearson worked in the Wilmington law firm of Hugh M. Morris, served as Delaware's first statutory Vice Chancellor, and was appointed Associate Judge of the Delaware Supreme Court. He resigned from the Bench to take a position at Wilmington Trust Company. In 1951, he joined the Board of Trustees of the University of Delaware. He was a founding member and president of the Unidel Foundation, Inc., which supports many academic departments at the University by providing research funds for students. In 1988, the University awarded Judge Pearson an honorary doctorate.

Judge Pearson's family papers, especially the correspondence and photographic series, are strong sources of Delaware local and family history. For example, the collection includes photographs of members of the Pearson, Cochran, Warren, and Hardcastle families of Delaware and Maryland. Photographs of early-twentieth-century Middletown depict Delaware architecture, children at school and at play, pets, domestic life, and leisure activities. The collection contains a real estate advertisement and several photographs of the Pearson family home at 94 East Main Street, which remains a notable landmark in Newark, Delaware.

from the G. Burton Pearson, Jr., Papers
Gift of the Pearson Family


Newark Diner on Main Street, Newark, Delaware, July 1998.
Facsimile of a color photograph.

Longtime Newark resident Asa Pierratt regularly strolls the streets with camera in hand and captures the changing face of Newark. Mr. Pierratt makes periodic gifts to the Library of his prints, often providing commentary and identifying captions. The Newark Diner was "formerly Jude's Diner and prior to that Jimmy's Diner."

from the Asa Pierratt Photographs of Delaware Collection
Gift of Asa Pierratt


Esther Schauer Frear, Chairman, Delaware Dinner. Typed letter signed to "Friends of Delaware," October 1, 1958.

Woman's National Democratic Club Luncheon: Mrs. Jane Bayard, Mrs. [Bess] Truman, Mrs. Esther Frear; April 12, 1950. Photograph, 1950.

Mildred Pepper. Typed letter signed to Esther S. Frear, April 28, 1976.

Ladies of the United States Senate. Red Cross patch from the Club, ca. 1950.

J. Allen Frear, Jr., represented Delaware in the U.S. Senate from 1949-1961. The Library acquired the papers from his congressional career in 1988, but after the death of his widow, Esther Schauer Frear, in 2000, their children made several additions to the collection. The new accession includes additional papers from Senator Frear's Senate years with a substantial group of photographs from that time; materials related to foreign affairs, economics, and politics gathered during trips abroad; personal items from his student days at the University of Delaware (B.S. 1924); and sources from his numerous banking and civic engagements.

Notable in the new material are records documenting the accomplishments of Esther Frear. As she accompanied her husband in politics and public service, Mrs. Frear held many leadership positions at the community, state, and national level. She served as president of the Women's National Democratic Club in 1958 and was very active, even in retirement, in the Senate Ladies Club, an organization that supported the Red Cross. In the Dover community, where she and Senator Frear made their home, Mrs. Frear was head of such projects as the Kent General Hospital Drive (1955) or the Dover Community Concert Association (1959-1960), among many others.

from the Papers of Senator J. Allen Frear, Jr.
Gift of Fred Frear and Louise Frear Baylis


John A. Munroe, "Speech for ceremony inducting new members into the Wall of Fame," May 4, 2001. Word-processed typescript with autograph notations, 4 pp.

Wilmington High School. The Whisp, 1932. John Munroe's copy of his high school's literary magazine.

John Munroe in WHYY television studio, c. 1963. Photograph by Richard Stewart, University of Delaware.

In addition to decades of college students who studied under direction of Dr. John Munroe at the University, an entire generation of Delaware school children learned the history of their state from his fifteen-part series, The History and Government of Delaware, broadcast on educational television WHYY in the 1960s. The papers of acclaimed historian and H. Rodney Sharp Professor Emeritus of History, Dr. John A. Munroe, whether in personal or professional content, are an invaluable source of Delaware history. Dr. Munroe continues to add personal memorabilia, such as his high school magazine, The Whisp, that illustrates life in Delaware, or professional materials, such as his numerous speeches, articles, and teachings on the history of Delaware and the University of Delaware.

from the John A. Munroe Papers
Gift of Dr. John A. Munroe


Capt. Patricia D. Brown

Scenes from U.S. Air Force Base at Cam Ranh Bay, South Vietnam, 1967. Facsimile of page from a photograph album (shown in rear).

Capt. Patricia D. Brown, U.S. Air Force, Cam Ranh Bay, South Vietnam, 1967. Facsimile of color photograph.

University of Delaware alumna Patricia D. Brown (B.A. Biology, 1964) was a veteran of the Korean War and among the first female members of the U.S. Air Force Nurses Corps to be assigned to Vietnam. The photographs shown here are part of the visual records documenting her tour of duty as an Air Force nurse stationed at Cam Ranh Bay in South Vietnam in 1966-1967. A captain at the time, Brown was in charge of the Inhalation Therapy Department #12 at the 12th United States Air Force Hospital at Cam Ranh Bay. When Brown arrived at the base in 1966, she was one of thirteen female nurses. By the end of her tour in 1967, the base had grown to accommodate 113 nurses. Photograph albums and a homemade video in the collection depict the work, everyday life, and recreational outlets for doctors, nurses, and support personnel on duty in the hospital and at the base. The images chronicle the development of the base, from tent hospital and tent living quarters with dirt roads evident in 1966 to the more permanent Quonset huts and paved roads constructed in 1967.

from the Papers of Colonel Patricia D. Brown related to Service in Vietnam
Gift of Colonel Patricia D. Brown


Charles Scribner. Autographed letter signed, to George Alfred Townsend, June 9, 1882.

George Alfred Townsend, age 53. Facsimile of a photograph. Washington, D.C.: M.B. Brady's, [1894].

Delaware native George Alfred Townsend (1841-1914) became a nationally noted correspondent, covering battles of the Civil War and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Townsend also traveled through Europe during the war, using the experiences to publish Campaigns of a Non-Combatant and his Romaunt Abroad during the War (1866). A popular lecturer, he traveled throughout the United States, lecturing on the Civil War, European politics, and U.S. government. During the 1860s and 1870s, Townsend's columns, articles, and letters appeared in newspapers throughout the United States, including papers in Boston, Baltimore, New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Washington, San Francisco, St. Louis, and Cincinnati. Some of these articles, as well as some of the novels he also wrote, were issued under a number of pen names, including "G.A.T.," "Swede," "Laertes," "Johnny Bouquet," and his favorite, "Gath."

The George Alfred Townsend Correspondence, 1862 - 1912, includes letters and telegrams addressed to Townsend, legal documents, and other ephemera related to Townsend's life and work, from various friends, business associates, editors, and admirers. The letter shown here, from the publisher Charles Scribner, June 1882, discusses a manuscript that Townsend had submitted to Charles Scribner's Sons for publication. The portrait of Townsend was made in the photographic studio of Matthew Brady in Washington, D.C.

from the George Alfred Townsend Correspondence
University of Delaware Library Associates


John Lofland. The Slave, or the Ways of Providence. Newark, Del.: Dreamstreets Press, 2001.

The Slave was first issued in serial form in The Blue Hen's Chicken, in August 1848, to coincide with the annual Big Quarterly celebration in Wilmington. Big Quarterly, now known as the August Quarterly, is the oldest African American holiday in the United States. Earlier in 1848, Thomas Garrett, the famous abolitionist and stationmaster in Wilmington for the Underground Railroad, was tried and convicted for harboring runaway slaves. Publication of Lofland's story, sympathetic to the abolitionist cause, added to debate of the slavery issue in Delaware. Steven Leech re-published The Slave in 2001, reprinted for the first time since its original appearance in 1848.

Gift of Steven Leech


Steven Leech, interviewer. Interview with Delaware author Jack D. Hunter, Spring 1966. Reel-to-reel audio recording.

Poet, editor, and publisher Steven Leech has been active in the Delaware literary scene since the early 1970s. Leech founded Dreamstreets, a small local literary press, which first published the magazine Dreamstreets and has recently issued a number of reprints of nineteenth-century Delaware authors such as John Lofland, "the Milford Bard." Leech has promoted the appreciation of literature and literary history through publications, readings and poetry seminars, and through radio broadcasts on WVUD 91.3, where he is a radio host and producer. Leech received a 1993 Individual Artist Fellow in Literature from the Delaware Division of Arts. His own work includes the novels Raw Suck, Untime, Poe's Daughter, and Golden Star; stories and poems that appeared in Nemocolin X Press; and numerous articles for Delaware publications such as Out & About and the Wilmington Spectator.

from the Steven Leech Papers
Gift of Steven Leech


Bloody Mary's Cool Sister (Franetta McMillian). Etidorhpa #1 "The Final Closet." Newark, Del.: [published by the author, January 1999].

Poet, prose writer, and "zine" publisher Franetta McMillian is active in the literary scene in Delaware; she has been a member of the board of Dreamstreets since 1999. Her writing has been published in Perspectives of New Music, Taproot, Dreamstreets, and Jittering Microscope. In 1995 she was added to the Zinesters' Hall of Fame recognized by MUSEA: "Fran writes extraordinary, rich prose and poetry that's got the works: great characters, stories, poems, essays, even a sermon now and then. The mood is often dark with multi-overtones, making it all complex and fascinating reading." A number of McMillian's titles are published under the name "Bloody Mary's Cool Sister" and many feature her original artwork and photography.

Gift of Franetta McMillian


All items shown in this case are from the Littell Family Papers, which comprise the personal records of members of the Morris, Harrington, Littell, and Winslow families of Pennsylvania and Delaware, from 1800 to the 1990s. The donor's great-grandfather, John Stockton Littell (1806-1875), married into the Morris family of Germantown, Pennsylvania. The donor's paternal grandmother, Helen Arcadia H. Littell (1848-1924), was a member of the Harrington family of Dover, Delaware.

The core of the generation shown in the family portrait above was the Reverend T. Gardiner Littell and his wife, Helen Arcadia Harrington Littell. Of their three sons, two followed their father and became Episcopal ministers: Samuel Harrington Littell served as a missionary in China during the Boxer Rebellion and later became Bishop of Honolulu; John Stockton Littell served parishes in Lewes, Rehoboth, and Wilmington, and also gained renown as a church historian. Elton Littell became a pediatrician and superintendent of health in the public schools of Yonkers, New York. Daughters Helen Arcadia Littell and Mary Morris Littell traveled abroad, both were active in the Women's Auxiliary of the Episcopal Diocese of Delaware, and Helen cared for her brother's children in China after the death of his first wife in 1913.

This strong family collection contains varied personal effects from both male and female family members who were active in literary and scientific pursuits, politics, law, the ministry, and the military. It includes significant examples of copybooks, commonplace books, and diaries; early-nineteenth century literary publications; scientific manuscripts, illustrations, and published articles by two nineteenth-century female scientists; and materials on Episcopal Church history in the United States and China. Treasured by generations, the family papers provide rich social and cultural history.

from the Littell Family Papers
Gift of Jeanie Morse Littell Winslow and Julian D. Winslow


The Littell Family

The Littell Family, 1902
Facsimile of a photograph.
front (left to right): Samuel Harrington Littell, Helen Arcadia Harrington Littell, T. Gardiner Littell, Mary Morris Littell.
rear: John Stockton Littell II, Gertrude Wilson Littell holding T. Gardiner Littell II (author of the diaries), Elton Gardiner Littell, Helen Arcadia Littell.


Elizabeth C. Morris. "Offerings of Friendship", Germantown, 1826-1847. Copybook and album.

Among the treasures in the Littell family papers are the copybooks, albums, and scrapbooks created by all three of the Morris sisters. The "Offerings of Friendship" album that belonged to Elizabeth Carrington Morris (1795-1865) was a work of art that she began in 1826 and to which she added until the year before her death. It represents a form of self-education and a recreational pastime that was common practice for genteel young women of the nineteenth century. It is filled with calligraphic exercises, watercolors made by Elizabeth or her sister Margaretta, pencil sketches, and original and copied verse and writings. John Stockton Littell contributed many original poems to his sister-in-law's volume, and she added many beautiful scrap engravings, probably cut from Eliakim Littell's Museum of Foreign Literature and Science, Littell's Living Age, or other popular periodicals of the time. The original sketches and nature drawings, such as the one for the agapanthus, are extraordinary.


Jeanie Morse Littell (Winslow)
Facsimile of a photograph, c. 1923

Youngest of the six children of John Stockton Littell and Gertrude Wilson Littell, Jeanie Morse Littell Winslow became the collector and keeper of the archive that preserves her family history.

Jeanie Morse Littell (Winslow)


Purnell Frederick Harrington. Facsimile of a photograph.

Purnell Frederick Harrington. Autograph letter signed to Samuel Maxwell Harrington, July 17, 1864.

On August 5, 1864, Admiral David Farragut led the Union Army's armored ships, including the U.S.S. Monitor, into waters thick with Confederate torpedoes in the Battle of Mobile Bay. Writing from aboard the U.S.S. Monongohela, P.F. Harrington (1844-1937), later Rear Admiral, described preparations and the battle plan in this letter to his father, Samuel Maxwell Harrington, who was Chancellor of Delaware and also father of Helen Arcadia Harrington (Littell).


Harriet Hare Littell (1835-1885) Facsimile of a photograph by Broadbent & Co., Philadelphia.

Littell Diary 1919

Littell Diary 1928

Tuesday January 14th. At midnight last night the dreadful thing happened.

T. Gardiner Littell II (1903-1929)
Diary. Volume I.A. For the Winter and Spring terms, 1919.

What of the future? … The chances of my becoming a successful writer are as 1 is to 10.

T. Gardiner Littell II (1903-1929)
Diary. Volume XXI. January 6 - July 27, 1928.

T. Gardiner Littell was sixteen when his mother Gertrude Wilson Littell succumbed to the great influenza epidemic that killed so many Americans during the winter of 1918-1919. An avid diarist, Gardiner Littell wrote almost daily from the age of thirteen until his own untimely death at twenty-six. As he matured, Littell's diaries reflected his intellectual and spiritual growth, which he expressed in music and art criticism, in his deepening understanding of international political economy, and in his increasingly sophisticated writing style. He lived with great spirit and adventure, working his way overseas in 1925 by feeding and watering 800 steer aboard a tramp steamer to Liverpool, and undertaking a cross-country automobile drive in 1927. Arthur M. Schlesinger, who had taught Littell history at Harvard, sent condolences to the Littell family upon the loss of their shining son, the "bright young mind" who had shown so much promise as a student.



Margaretta Hare Morris (1791-1867), Elizabeth Carrington Morris (1795-1865), and Susan Sophia Morris (1800-1868) were the daughters of Ann Willing Morris (1767-1853) and Luke Morris (1760-1802) of Germantown, Pennsylvania. Elizabeth and Margaretta achieved recognition as scientists during their lifetime. The sisters used the back garden of their Germantown home to study insects and plants. Elizabeth maintained a collection of rare plants and corresponded with Dr. Asa Gray, a noted botanist and member of the American Academy of Natural Sciences. Margaretta is credited with discovering the seventeen-year-cicada. She was invited to become a member of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, which published the results of her work in their Proceedings. Her papers were read before the American Philosophical Society, and she published articles in the American Agriculturist under the name M.H. Morris.

Susan Sophia Morris married John Stockton Littell (1797-1875) in 1832, forming a union that fostered strong intellectual and spiritual values to be handed down to later generations of their family. John Stockton Littell worked in Philadelphia with his older brother, Eliakim, publisher of Littell's Living Age, a prominent nineteenth-century weekly digest of literature and science. John Stockton Littell wrote the widely distributed Clay Minstrel; or National Songster, to which is prefixed a sketch of the life, public services, and character of Henry Clay, a collection of campaign songs published in 1842, as well as other histories and studies of law and politics.

from the Littell Family Papers
Gift of Jeanie Morse Littell Winslow and Julian D. Winslow


Susan Sophia Morris Littell (1800-1868) Facsimile of a photograph by Broadbent & Co., Philadelphia


Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 1847.

Margaretta Hare Morris (1791-1867), of Germantown, was a regular correspondent to the Academy, reporting on the seventeen-year locust and another insect that fed on wheat, for which she proposed the name C. culmieola.


Planner, consultant, and educator William J. ("Bill") Cohen has had a rich and varied career in city and regional planning in the state of Delaware. He recently donated his personal archives to his alma mater, the University of Delaware (B.A. 1965, M.A. 1976), giving valuable resources of maps, charts, planning documents, field reports, photography, publications, and other documents that will enable students and historians to explore twentieth-century planning, development, and land use issues in Delaware.

Cohen worked at the Delaware State Planning Office, 1967-1971, where he developed expertise with waterfront use and development on assignments such as project planner for Lewes. As planning director for the city of Newark (1971-1977), Cohen worked with the city council, the planning commission, and community groups to develop the state's first flood plain ordinance. He promoted preservation of the White Clay Creek watershed, and planned Delaware's first urban route bicycle system. After private consulting, Cohen returned to government as a senior resources planner for the Delaware Department of Natural Resources in 1990. During the next eight years, Cohen was selected to be a Governor's Management Fellow (1993), and served as executive director of the Governor's Task Force on the Future of the Brandywine and Christina Rivers. Under Cohen's leadership, this group successfully pushed forward plans to establish the Wilmington Riverfront Development Corporation. Throughout the archives, it becomes apparent how any planning for land use is so closely related to issues for development or preservation of water resources in the state of Delaware.

from the William J. Cohen Papers
Gift of William J. Cohen


Riverfront Development Corporation of Delaware.
Riverfront Retail / Entertainment Area Access. [Wilmington, Del.]: Rummel, Klepper & Kahl, LLP, 1998.

from the William J. Cohen Papers
Gift of William J. Cohen


Aerial view of Nanticoke River, Seaford, Delaware, Spring 1991.
Facsimile of a color photograph.

William J. Cohen (standing, right) with colleagues at the Delaware State Planning Office, 1967.
Facsimile of a news clipping from the Wilmington News Journal.

Port of Wilmington Maritime Society.
Document signed, charter membership for William J. Cohen, 1978.

from the William J. Cohen Papers
Gift of William J. Cohen

William J. Cohen


"Save White Clay Creek - Don't Dam It!"
Bumper sticker, c. 1980s

Weekly Post (Newark, Del.)
The Beltway … 20 years of delay. A transcription of a three-part series … by Celia Cohen, January - February, 1977.

from the William J. Cohen Papers
Gift of William J. Cohen


Department of Planning. New Castle County (Del).
The Greater Newark Planning District Plan, 1985. [Newark, Del.]: Department of Planning, 1974.

from the William J. Cohen Papers
Gift of William J. Cohen


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December 21, 2010