MG-139. FRANK W. MELVIN PAPERS, 1708-1961 (bulk 1820-1861). 8 cu. ft.

Papers of Frank W. Melvin (1884-1961), a Philadelphia lawyer who held many important legal and historical positions in Pennsylvania. He served on the executive committee of the Pennsylvania 300th Anniversary Commission, 1937-1938, was chairman of the Pennsylvania Historical Commission, 1935-1939 and chairman of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1956-1961. This collection contains correspondence, reports, minutes, copies of legislation, invitations, programs, newspaper clippings, booklets, pamphlets, photographs, and maps. The following booklets pertain to African Americans:

Gustavus Hesselius, 1682-1755, tells of the life of this Pennsylvania artist and craftsman, stating that he built the first pipe organ in America. It further states that he willed to his daughter Lydia "my Negroe Woman Pegg" and "my Negroe man Tom." His son, John, married a wealthy widow and spent the rest of his days on an "extensive plantation 'Bellefield,’ on the Severn River near Annapolis, where he boasted many more slaves than his father’s "Pegg" and "Tom."

The Horse-Shoe Trail identifies the following places that have an African American association: Hershey Industrial School, Hopewell Park and Hopewell Furnace, Joanna Furnace, Elizabeth Furnace, Cornwall Furnace, Governor Dick Hill, and the Swatara Creek area. For additional references to African Americans at these furnaces see MG-2, Business Records Collection.

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