Christian Lehman papers


Collection 0362

circa 1704-1867, bulk 1748-1774
(0.9 Linear feet ; 3 boxes, 2 flat files)

Summary Information

Repository
The Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Creator
Lehman, Christian.
Title
Christian Lehman papers
ID
0362
Date
circa 1704-1867, bulk 1748-1774
Extent
0.9 Linear feet ; 3 boxes, 2 flat files
Author
Finding aid prepared by Cary Hutto
Sponsor
Processing made possible by a generous donation from Wayne Strasbaugh.
Language
English
Language note
Most of the material is in English with some in German.

Preferred citation

Cite as: [Indicate cited item or series here], Christian Lehman papers (Collection 362), The Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

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Abstract

Christian Lehman (1714-1774) of Dresden, Germany, was the first of his family in America. He arrived in Philadelphia some time before 1748, as in that year, he married Elizabeth Fende, a native of Germantown, Philadelphia, who was born in 1730. The couple had at least one son, William, born 1760.

Lehman, appointed a notary public by John Penn, found a successful career as a local surveyor, though he traveled to other regions of Pennsylvania and into New York state for surveying jobs, as well. He worked most extensively surveying lands in Germantown during the mid to late 1700s, and he was one of the first people to map the neighbohood in the 1760s. In addition, Lehman was close friends with mathematician and clockmaker David Rittenhouse, with whom he shared an affinity for astronomy. He also reportedly worked for a time as the secretary of the Germantown Library.

The Christian Lehman papers consist chiefly of surveys, drafts, and plats of land situated in colonial Germantown and Roxborough, including lands held by the Rittenhouse family (Box 2, Folder 12). These documents show the names of landowners, their holdings, changes in titles, along with other survey data. Along with the surveys, the collection also contains legal papers, such as deeds and mortgages, pertaining to many of the lands that Lehman surveyed. The land surveys and legal papers, which have been arranged alphabetically by place (county, township, etc.), take up all of Box 1 and the bulk of Box 2. Besides Germantown and Roxborough, other spots where it appears that he frequently worked are Bristol Township (Box 1, Folder 1), Chestnut Hill (Box 1, Folder 4), and Northern Liberties (Box 1, Folder 16). Additionally, there's a significant grouping of surveys and papers from unidentified locations in Box 2, Folder 11. Groups of solely legal papers have been arranged near the end of Box 2, with the largest group being miscellaneous items in Box 2, Folder 22.

Other items in the collection include miscellaneous bills and receipts, a calculation table (Box 2, Folder 26), and German manuscripts on astronomy and astrology, as well as bee culture. There are also a few folders of items that date from after Christian Lehman's death in 1774. These include an early 1800s case involving one Benjamin Lehman versus The Turnpike Company (Box 2, Folder 24) and a group of newspaper clippings from the 1850s and 1860s concerning legal satire and humor (Box 2, Folder 25). There is also a unbound volume of writings, likely from the mid 1800s, that was found in the collection under the title "humorous writings about lawyers" (Box 3).

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

 The Historical Society of Pennsylvania ; 2017

1300 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19107
215-732-6200

Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Provenance

Gift of the Lehman estate.

Processing note

The German writings on astronomy and bee culture, as well as two torn indentures have been temporarily removed from the collection for conservation. If you would like access to them, please call the library for an update on their status. Once work has been completed, these items will be returned to the collection and this finding aid will be updated.

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Controlled Access Headings

Geographic Name(s)

  • Germantown (Philadelphia, Pa.).

Personal Name(s)

  • Lehman, Benjamin.
  • Rittenhouse, David, 1732-1796

Subject(s)

  • Astrology--German--18th Century.
  • Beekeeping--German--18th Century.
  • Deeds--Germantown (Philadelphia, Pa.)--18th century.
  • Deeds--Pennsylvania--18th Century.
  • Germantown (Philadelphia, Pa.)--History.
  • Land Surveys--18th century.
  • Land surveys--Pennsylvania--18th century.
  • Land surveys--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--18th century.
  • Land surveys.
  • Legal Documents--18th Century.
  • Roxborough (Philadelphia, Pa.)--History.
  • Surveying--18th century.
  • Surveys (land)--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--18th century.

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

Land surveys: Bristol Township 1748-1768 

1 1

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Land survey: Bedminster Township 1756, 1765 

1 2

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Land survey: Bucks County 1774 

1 3

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Land surveys and legal papers: Cheltenham Township circa 1754-1773 

1 4

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Land surveys and legal papers: Chestnut Hill 1745-1767, undated 

1 5

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Land surveys: Creesham Township 1768, undated 

1 6

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Land surveys and legal papers: Germantown circa 1704-1774, undated 

1 7-9

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Land survey and legal papers: Horsham Township 1771, 1773 

1 10

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Land survey: Limerick and Frederick Township 1765 

1 11

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Land survey: Lower Dublin Township 1767, 1768 

1 12

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Land surveys: Lower Merion Township 1755, 1758 

1 13

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Land surveys: Marlborough Township 1760, 1773 

1 14

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Land surveys: Northampton Township 1730, 1742, 1765, 1767, undated 

1 15

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Land surveys and legal papers: Northern Liberties 1746-1774, undated 

1 16

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Land survey: Northumberland County 1773 

2 1

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Land surveys: Oxford Township [Philadelphia] 1752, 1754, 1760, 1764 

2 2

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Land surveys: Philadelphia County 1758, 1774 

2 3

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Land survey: Plymouth Township 1772 

2 4

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Land survey: Richland Township 1768 

2 5

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Land survey: Rockhill Township 1768 

2 6

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Land surveys and legal papers: Roxborough Township 1742-1763, undated 

2 7

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Land survey: Springfield Township 1753, 1759, 1760, 1762 

2 8

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Land surveys: Upper Hanover Township 1761, 1767 

2 9

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Land surveys and legal papers: Whitemarsh Township 1742, 1745, 1769 

2 10

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Land surveys: Unidentified locations 1748/9-1772, undated 

2 11

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Papers relating to Rittenhouse family holdings in Roxborough Township 1746/7, 1759, 1763-1767, 1772 

2 12

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Draught for Michael Schlatter's land in Albany County 1772 

2 13

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Miscellaneous survey notes and receipts 1762, 1763, 1770 

2 14

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Surveys and legal papers for roads 1742, 1764, 1768, 1770 

2 15

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Legal paper: Falls Township 1772 

2 16

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Legal paper: Franconia Township 1768 

2 17

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Legal paper: Manheim Township 1773 

2 18

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Legal papers: Philadelphia County 1771, 1774 

2 19

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Legal papers: Salford Township 1771 

2 20

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Legal paper: Whitpaine Township circa 1754 

2 21

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Miscellaneous legal and financial papers 1748-1774, undated 

2 22

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Bills and receipts 1762, 1763, 1787-1800 

2 23

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The Turnpike Company vs. Benjamin Lehman circa 1809 

2 24

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Newspaper clippings bundled under title "legal fun" 1856, 1857, 1866, 1867, undated 

2 25

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"Table of the difference of degrees" undated 

2 26

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Miscellaneous 1763, 1767, 1774, circa 1820, undated 

2 27

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Box

"Humorous writings about lawyers" undated 

3

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Oversize

Land surveys and legal documents (oversized): Chestnut Hill, Gemantown, Northern Liberties, Roxborough, Springfield, unidentified 1755-1767, undated 

Flat file 1

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"The Course of the Wissahickon Creek" 1764 

Flat file 2

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