MSS 0097, Item 0086 - Reminiscences of Wilmington

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This manuscript consists of M.C.L. (Miriam C. Lamborn) Worrell’s reminiscences about Wilmington, Delaware, in the 1810s-1820s. The notes were recorded by Worrell in the 1880s-1890s. In these reminiscences, Worrell created a detailed sketch of Wilmington, Delaware, as it appeared in the 1810s and 1820s. Worrell moved block by block through the city and its outskirts, recording information about the architecture of buildings, infrastructure, street plans, and past and current residents. Using Market Street and the Christina and Brandywine Rivers as her reference points, Worrell described wharves, craft shops, hotels, private residences, and a variety of specialty stores. She made brief reference to the sections of town inhabited primarily by African American residents, including Chicken Alley. Worrell described Arthur Murphey’s “groggery” on Front and Shipley Streets as the location “where all the lower class of drunkards were made.” In crafting her reminiscences, Worrell made frequent references to Benjamin Ferris’s A History of the Original Settlements on the Delaware (1846) and Elizabeth Montgomery’s Reminiscences of Wilmington (1851). When she reached the limits of her own knowledge of Wilmington, she referred readers to these authors’ descriptions of the city. Worrell also included the genealogies of several Wilmington families and information about her schoolmates and members of the Wilmington Monthly Meeting. She provided extensive genealogies of the Richardson and Gilpin families, as well as information regarding the Tatnalls, Mendenhalls, Corbits, Bayards, Shipleys, and others. She included lists of her schoolmates at the Friends’ School between 1817 and 1820 and at “Neighbor Moore’s” school in the later 1820s. Worrell also recalled members of the Wilmington Meeting by their seating order in the pews. This collection consists of twenty-two leaves of paper with handwritten notes in black ink, several small newspaper clippings, and an envelope that was used to hold the materials.

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