Finding Aid -- Deshler Morris House Committee, Inc. Records

 

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History

The Deshler-Morris House Committee interprets the history of the Deshler-Morris House in cooperation with the National Park Service and Independence National Historical Park. Located in Philadelphia's Germantown neighborhood, the Deshler-Morris House is historically significant for its role in the 1777 Battle of Germantown and as the only remaining Philadelphia residence of George Washington. The house operated as a private residence until 1948, when the Morris family donated it to the National Park Service. At that time, Independence National Historical Park signed a cooperative agreement with the Germantown Historical Society establishing the society's role in maintaining and interpreting the house. The society created the Deshler-Morris Women's Committee to interpret the house's history, staff the house museum, and fundraise for its maintenance.

In 1984, the cooperative agreement was dissolved, and the Deshler-Morris Women's Committee incorporated as a 501 (3)(c) non-profit organization. In May 1985, the newly-named DeshlerMorris House Committee signed a memorandum of agreement with the National Park Service. Under the terms of this new agreement, the National Park Service assumed management of the house while the committee continued to interpret its history.

Since its inception, the Deshler-Morris House Committee has been staffed by a team of volunteers dedicated to preserving and interpreting Germantown's history. The committee continues to play a role in interpreting the history of the Deshler-Morris House and its significance in the story of our nation's founding.
 

Scope and Content

Deshler-Morris House Committee, Inc. Records
1941-1999 and undated

Catalog Number: INDE 104154

Volume: 4.5 LF

Description:
The Deshler-Morris House Committee, Inc. Records document the Committee's involvement in interpreting the history of the Deshler-Morris House in Germantown, Pennsylvania. Materials in this collection include correspondence, meeting minutes, financial records, historical research files, newsclippings, printed material, and photographs.

This collection spans the years 1941-1999. Researchers should note that records dating from 1862-1912 have been removed from the collection and integrated into the Morris Family Papers.

Organization:
This collection is arranged into twelve series:
Series I: Correspondence
Series II: Family Records
Series III: Financial Records
Series IV: Furnishings
Series V: Garden/Landscaping
Series VI: Germantown Historical Society
Series VII: House Committee, Inc.
Series VIII: Publications
Series IX: Research Materials
Series X: Special Events
Series XI: Women's Committee
Series XII: Photographs

Restrictions: No

Associated Materials:
Independence National Historical Park Archives: Morris Family Papers
Associated materials can also be found at the Germantown Historical Society, Pat Henning Library and Archives
 

Hierarchy

Series I: Correspondence, 1950-1988
Series II: Family Records, 1973, undated
Series III: Financial Records, 1951-1983
Series IV: Furnishings, 1950-1996, undated
Series V: Garden/Landscaping, 1949-1990
Series VI: Germantown Historical Society, 1949-1966
Series VII: House Committee, Inc., 1949-1999
Series VIII: Publications, 1941-1990, undated
Series IX: Research Materials, 1950-1971, undated
Series X: Special Events, 1951-1999
Series XI: Women's Committee, 1971-1996
Series XII: Photographs, 1949-1954, undated
 

Series Descriptions

Series I: Correspondence, 1950-1988
This series is arranged chronologically. This series contains the correspondence of the Deshler-Morris House Committee. Included among the correspondence is a notable letter from First Lady Mamie Eisenhower.

Series II: Family Records, 1973, undated
This series is arranged alphabetically. This series contains genealogical research files on the families who once inhabited the Deshler-Morris House, including the Morris family.

Series III: Financial Records, 1951-1983
This series is arranged chronologically. This series contains the Deshler-Morris House Committee's financial records, and includes receipts, account statements, and expense reports.

Series IV: Furnishings, 1950-1996, undated
This series is arranged alphabetically. This series contains documentation regarding furnishings at the Deshler-Morris House, and includes object loan information, furniture inventories, newsclippings, and appraisal files.

Series V: Garden/Landscaping, 1949-1990
This series is arranged chronologically. This series contains records regarding the grounds of the Deshler-Morris House, and includes landscaping plans, reports, and correspondence.

Series VI: Germantown Historical Society, 1949-1966
This series is arranged chronologically. This series contains records relating to the Germantown Historical Society, who maintained the Deshler-Morris House in conjunction with the Deshler-Morris House Committee and the National Park Service. Materials include agreements, blueprints, correspondence, and caretaker information.

Series VII: House Committee, Inc., 1949-1999
This series is arranged alphabetically, and thereunder chronologically. This series contains records that were, for the most part, created by the Deshler-Morris House Committee after they incorporated as a non-profit organization. Materials include annual reports, Board meeting minutes, visitor books, and cooperative agreements with the National Park Service.

Series VIII: Publications, 1941-1990, undated
This series is arranged alphabetically. This series contains publications on subjects related to a variety of subjects, including the National Park Service, the Deshler-Morris House, and the Germantown neighborhood. Researchers should note that some nineteenth-century historical pamphlets have been removed from this series and placed in the Morris Family Papers collection.

Series IX: Research Materials, 1950-1971, undated
This series is arranged alphabetically. This series contains historical research files on a variety of subjects, including early American building styles, fashions, and histories of the Deshler-Morris House.

Series X: Special Events, 1951-1999
This series is arranged alphabetically, and thereunder chronologically. This series contains planning documents for special fundraising events at the Deshler-Morris House, including card parties, fashion shows, Christmas tea parties, and herb sales.

Series XI: Women's Committee, 1971-1996
This series is arranged chronologically. This series contains records that are mostly related to the Deshler-Morris Women's Committee, the precursor to the Deshler-Morris House Committee. Materials include correspondence, meeting minutes and agenda, and address lists.

Series XII: Photographs, 1949-1954, undated
The photographs are arranged chronologically. This series contains photographs and postcards documenting the Deshler-Morris House and various events held there. Researchers should note that some nineteenth century photographs and a stereoview were removed from this series and placed in the Morris Family Papers collection.
 

Container List


Box 1

SERIES I: CORRESPONDENCE, 1950-1988

Folder 1: Correspondence regarding the inventory of the house, 1950-1957
Folder 2: Correspondence regarding an estimate for window curtains, 1952
Folder 3: Letter from Mamie Eisenhower, 1954
Folder 4: Correspondence from Mrs. James W. Wister, 1965
Folder 5: Correspondence regarding silhouettes of David Deshler and his daughter, 1971
Folder 6: Correspondence regarding a Deshler family visitor, 1983
Folder 7: Thank you note to Deborah Crease McLaughlin, 1987
Folder 8: Correspondence regarding the Martha Canby Morris receipt book, 1988

SERIES II: FAMILY RECORDS, 1973, undated

Folder 9: Allen genealogical chart, undated
Folder 10: Burghalter genealogical chart, undated
Folder 11: Correspondence – Edith Morris Engle Roberts, undated
Folder 12: "History of My Ancestors" – James C. Dillow from family Bible [photocopy], undated
Folder 13: List of surnames – Deshler, undated
Folder 14: Membership in the Huguenot Society [photocopy], 1973
Folder 15: Morris genealogical chart and notes, undated
Folder 16: Owners of house – notes, undated

SERIES III: FINANCIAL RECORDS, 1951-1983

Folder 17: Expenses, 1951-1954
Folder 18: Insurance survey, 1954
Folder 19: Photographer – Bill of sale, 1979
Folder 20: Printer – Bill of sale, 1979-1980
Folder 21: Sales account book, 1979-1980
Folder 22: Account statements, 1980-1981
Folder 23: Expenses, 1981-1982
Folder 24: Account statements, 1981-1982
Folder 25: Account statements, 1982-1983

SERIES IV: FURNISHINGS, 1950-1996, undated

Folder 26: Acquisitions and loans, 1950-1984
Folder 27: Colonel Isaac Frank's inventory – General Washington period, undated
Folder 28: Dining room dishes and finery, 1996
Folder 29: Display chronology, undated
Folder 30: Dolls, 1981
Folder 31: Inventory of rooms, 1954
Folder 32: Newsclippings, 1989

Box 2

Folder 1: Philadelphia Art Museum, 1981
Folder 2: Saitto Company – Appraisals, 1950

SERIES V: GARDEN/LANDSCAPING, 1949-1990

Folder 3: Plans and correspondence, 1949-1956
Folder 4: Report, 1980
Folder 5: Pennsylvania Horticultural Society nomination, 1990

SERIES VI: GERMANTOWN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, 1949-1966

Folder 6: Agreement and report, 1949
Folder 7: Blueprints, 1949
Folder 8: Leases with caretakers, 1949
Folder 9: Business correspondence, 1949-1958
Folder 10: Dedication ceremony, 1950
Folder 11: Correspondence regarding the condition of the house, 1951
Folder 12: Correspondence regarding handmade iron gridiron, 1951
Folder 13: Correspondence regarding historic house tours, 1951-1955
Folder 14: Host and hostesses, 1954-1966
Folder 15: Host and hostesses – Address book, 1962

SERIES VII: HOUSE COMMITTEE, INC., 1949-1999
(Additional materials can be found in Boxes 6-9)

Folder 16: Annual Report, 1998-1999
Folder 17: Board meeting minutes, 1949
Folder 18: Board meeting minutes, 1990-1991
Folder 19: Board meeting minutes, 1992-1993
Folder 20: Board meeting minutes, 1993-1994
Folder 21: Board meeting minutes, 1994-1995
Folder 22: Board meeting minutes, 1996
Folder 23: Cooperative Agreement Data Sheet, 1989
Folder 24: Cooperative Agreement with the National Park Service, 1999

Box 3

Folder 1: Correspondence, 1972
Folder 2: Corporate Records, Volume I, 1984-1989
Folder 3: Corporate Records, Volume II, 1989-1993
Folder 4: Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation grant proposal, 1999

SERIES VIII: PUBLICATIONS, 1941-1990, undated

Folder 5: American Antiques, 1976
Folder 6: Book of etchings of Germantown, undated
Folder 8: Extracts from the journal of Elizabeth Drinker [photocopy], undated
Folder 10: Friends of Independence National Historical Park News Bulletin, 1974, 1990
Folder 12: Independence National Historical Park project, undated
Folder 13: Martha's Memos, 1982
Folder 14: The Masland Calendar, 1959
Folder 15: Meeting News, 1948
Folder 16: Morris House, 1955
Folder 17: National Park Service pamphlets, Number 1 and 2, 1941-1947
Folder 18: Newspaper clippings, 1947-1987
Folder 19: Newspaper clippings, 1948-1976

Box 4

SERIES IX: RESEARCH MATERIALS, 1950-1971, undated
(Additional materials can be found in Box 5)

Folder 1: Dress pattern, Bicentennial costume, undated
Folder 2: Early American homes, 1954, 1971
Folder 3: House guides, undated
Folder 4: House history, undated
Folder 5: Script, "Opposites in Harmony" – President Washington meets with his Cabinet, undated
Folder 6: Storybook, 1950

SERIES X: SPECIAL EVENTS, 1951-1999

Folder 7: Bridge and canasta party, 1951
Folder 8: Card party notebook, 1974-1975
Folder 9: Card party/fashion show notebook, 1977
Folder 10: Card party/fashion show, 1978-1979
Folder 11: Christmas Tea, 1978-1979
Folder 12: Christmas Tea, 1984
Folder 13: Christmas Tea, 1998-1999
Folder 14: Herb sale, 1977-1982
Folder 15: Old Germantown historic tour, 1954
Folder 16: Weddings, 1979

SERIES XI: WOMEN'S COMMITTEE, 1971-1996

Folder 17: Correspondence, 1971, 1982
Folder 18: Minutes, 1972-1984
Folder 19: Address lists, 1978-1981
Folder 20: House guides, 1979
Folder 21: Constitution/House Agenda, 1981-1982
Folder 22: Bill of sale, 1984
Folder 23: Drawing for pottery plate, 1996

Box 5

SERIES IX: RESEARCH MATERIALS, 1950-1971, undated
Binder: Interpretation for volunteers, 1963-1971

Box 6

SERIES VII: HOUSE COMMITTEE, INC., 1949-1999

Visitors book, 1949-1956
Visitors book, 1956-1960

Box 7

Visitors book, 1960-1972
Visitors book, 1972-1981

Box 8

Visitors book, 1981-1986

Box 9

Volunteers – Address book, 1949

Box 10

SERIES XII: PHOTOGRAPHS, 1949-1954, undated

Reception, December 9, 1949
Dedication, May 16, 1950
House mantel, 1951
Flower Mart, 1952
Contact sheet, correspondence with Mamie Eisenhower, 1954
Benjamin Franklin letter – Salutation, undated
Backyard of house, undated
Rooms in the house, undated
Postcards, undated

Last updated: June 7, 2018

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