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May 31

James Monroe Document in the Chester County Archives

Posted on May 31, 2019 at 10:51 AM by Chester County Archives

One of the best things about working with government records is their authentic representation of everyday life in American history. The records at the Chester County Archives typically don't highlight big names or important events. Rather, they reflect the unexceptional actions of ordinary life (paying taxes, testifying in court, purchasing property, settling estates, applying for licenses, etc). It's not every day a county archivist discovers something signed by a United States President, so you can imagine the surprise of former archivist Jack McCarthy when he discovered an 1812 record signed by then Secretary of State James Monroe. Read more in this month's blog post. 

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Mar 25

A Will of One’s Own

Posted on March 25, 2019 at 9:55 AM by Chester County Archives

The Chester County Archives' collection of Will & Administration files span from 1714 to 1923, but it contains very few wills written by married women prior to 1848. Before Pennsylvania passed the Married Women's Property Act of 1848, a married woman typically could not write a legal will. Read more about this law with some collection highlights in this month's blog.

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Feb 28

The Story of Henrietta Cummings and Charles Cassidy

Posted on February 28, 2019 at 8:56 AM by Chester County Archives

In this month's blog post we discuss how the Civil War impacted a young couple from Southeastern PA. Henrietta Cummings of West Chester and Charles Cassidy of Haverford got engaged in January 1863. Less than a year later, Cassidy marched off to war as a Private in Company E of the 25th Regiment of the United States Colored Troops. Unfortunately, no correspondence between the young couple is known to exist, but we can share their story thanks to court records preserved at the Chester County Archives. 

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