George and Samuel B. Fales collection, 1815-1866 (majority within 1834-1850)
Using These Materials
- The collection is open for research.
- William L. Clements Library
- This collection contains personal and business correspondence related to Philadelphia merchant George Fales, as well as documents, newspaper clippings, and correspondence pertaining to the Union Volunteer Refreshment Saloon and Hospital, which Fales's nephew, Samuel Bradford Fales, helped to operate during the Civil War.
- 41 items
- Collection processed and finding aid created by Rob S. Cox, October 1997, and Meg Hixon, March 2012
- Scope and Content:
This collection contains personal and business correspondence related to Philadelphia merchant George Fales (35 items), as well as documents, newspaper clippings, and correspondence pertaining to the Union Volunteer Refreshment Saloon and Hospital, which Fales's nephew, Samuel Bradford Fales, helped to operate during the Civil War (6 items).
George Fales received 4 letters from his brother Samuel between 1815 and 1835, which mainly concern financial and business matters. The first letter, written on December 4, 1815, provided a list of expenses, including money intended for the construction of a school for African Americans in Boston. Other letters from business associates discuss finances; business with Fales or with his firm, Fales, Lothrop & Company; and potential business ventures such as a wood-chopping enterprise. Fales also received 3 personal letters from his nieces Eliza F. Bridgman and Mary T. Monroe and 1 from his nephew Samuel Bradford Fales, who described his travels near Pittsburgh (April 22, 1836). Samuel B. Fales granted his uncle power of attorney in a document dated February 4, 1834.
The collection also contains 6 items related to Philadelphia's Union Volunteer Refreshment Saloon and Hospital, including 2 letters addressed to historian Benson J. Lossing. Robert R. Carson encouraged Lossing to utilize the Union Volunteer Refreshment Committee's business card in his pictorial history of the war, and attached a newspaper clipping reporting a grand jury's approval of the project (April 7, 1862). Arad Bellows provided a list of corrections and additional information in response to Lossing's recent work (August 6, 1866). Samuel Fales wrote 2 letters to "Reverend Sibley" about the Union Volunteer Refreshment Saloon and Hospital, written on stationery bearing a letterhead engraving of the establishment and including the projected number of soldiers assisted (November 20, 1865). One of these letters is attached to a printed newsletter about the enterprise, entitled "The Fair Record of the Union Volunteer Refreshment Saloon."
Three newspaper clippings, including 2 from The Philadelphia Inquirer and 1 from the Evening Bulletin, concern the history of the saloon and hospital, and contain testimonials. The collection also contains a carte-de-visite photograph of Samuel B. Fales and a broadside poem entitled "Lines in Memory of the Philadelphia Volunteer Refreshment Saloon," signed and inscribed by Samuel B. Fales for Benson Lossing.
- Biographical / Historical:
George Fales was born in Bristol, Rhode Island, on December 1, 1787, the son of Nathaniel Fales and Elizabeth Bradford. In 1802, he went into business with his brother Samuel, a dry goods merchant in Boston, Massachusetts. Fales moved to Philadelphia in 1814, where he formed Cheever & Fales and, later, Fales, Lothrop & Company, which sold American manufactured goods. In 1830, George Fales married Anne Rush. He became the director of the Commercial National Bank in 1840, and the director of the Franklin Fire Insurance Company in 1875.
Samuel Bradford Fales was born in Boston, Massachusetts, around 1807, the son of Samuel Fales. After graduating from Harvard College in 1825, he briefly studied medicine before becoming a merchant in Philadelphia. He later collected art and served as director of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. During the Civil War, he helped establish and operate the Union Volunteer Refreshment Saloon and Hospital. Samuel Bradford Fales died in September 1880.
The Union Volunteer Refreshment Committee of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was formed on May 27, 1861, to provide food, water, lodging, and medical care to soldiers passing through the city between military assignments. The committee erected the Union Volunteer Refreshment Saloon, a hospital, and other facilities on the corner of Washington and Swanson Streets, and served hundreds of thousands of soldiers throughout the Civil War. The buildings were demolished after the end of the war in 1865.
- Acquisition Information:
- 1980, 2011. M-1898, M-4878.2 .
- Processing information:
Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.
The collection is arranged chronologically, with undated items and a series of items about the Union Volunteer Refreshment Saloon placed at the end.
- Rules or Conventions:
- Finding aid prepared using Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS)
- Additional Descriptive Data:
Several additional manuscript collections at the Clements Library contain material related to Benson J. Lossing, including the Benson J. Lossing collection.
The Historical Society of Pennsylvania holds a letter book and a collection of telegrams related to the Union Volunteer Refreshment Saloon, as well as a large collection of Samuel B. Fales papers.
"Death of Samuel Bradford Fales." New York Times 20 September 1880.
Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States. Samuel Bradford Fales. Privately printed.
The Biographical Encyclopaedia of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia: Galaxy Publishing Company, 1874.
An index to authors within the collection is available in the Manuscripts Division.
Click on terms below to find any related finding aids on this site.
Cartes-de-visite (card photographs)
Clippings (information artifacts)
Powers of attorney.
Union Volunteer Refreshment Saloon and Hospital (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Lossing, Benson John, 1813-1891--Correspondence.
Fales, Samuel Bradford, 1808-1880.
Philadelphia (Pa.)--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
Using These Materials
The collection is open for research.
- USE & PERMISSIONS:
Copyright status is unknown
- PREFERRED CITATION:
George and Samuel B. Fales Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan