Sartain family papers

Collection 1650

1771-1946, undated (bulk 1830-1897)
(8.7 Linear feet ; 24 boxes, 31 volumes, 15 flat files)

Summary Information

Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Sartain, Emily, 1841-1927.
Sartain, Samuel, 1830-1906.
Sartain, William, 1843-1924.
Swaine, John, 1775-1860.
Sartain family papers
1771-1946, undated (bulk 1830-1897)
8.7 Linear feet ; 24 boxes, 31 volumes, 15 flat files
Finding aid prepared by Mindy Steinberg, Cary Hutto.
EAD encoding of the original finding aid in 2001 and all current processing and conservation work was generously funded by the Delmas Foundation.
The patriarch of the Sartain Family, John Sartain, was born in London and came to the United States in 1830. He established himself as an engraver and publisher in Philadelphia. He edited Campbell's Foreign Semi Monthly Magazine from 1843 until his 1848 purchase of an interest in a New York publication, which became  Sartain's Union Magazine of Literature and Art. He served as director of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts for 23 years, and also worked in the art departments for both the 1876 Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia and the 1887 American Exhibitions in London. This collection of papers from John Sartain and other family members includes personal and business correspondence, letterpress books, administrative records from outside organizations in which the family was involved, biographical sketches, articles from  Sartain’s Magazine, and ephemera. There are also Rembrandt Peale’s unpublished “Notes of the Painting Room,” as well as a sizable compilation of prints, portraits, and other artwork.

Preferred citation

Cite as: [Indicate cited item or series here], Sartain Family Papers (Collection 1650), Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

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Background note

Born in London, John Sartain studied the art of engraving and mezzotinting under John Swaine, married Swaine's daughter, and brought his new knowledge to the United States. Known as the father of American mezzotint engraving, Sartain found great success in his new home. He became Philadelphia's most established and accomplished portrait engraver, and was sought after by the preeminent artists of the day to do engravings of their work. John Neagle, Thomas Sully, and Christian Schussele are only a few of the artists that entrusted their work to Sartain's hand. Sartain also did work for various publications of the day, such as Godey's Lady Book, Gentleman's Magazine, and  Grabam's Magazine. In 1848, Sartain purchased the  Union Magazine with his partner, William Sloanaker. In January of 1849, the first issue of  Sartain's Union Magazine of Literature and Art was circulated. Unfortunately, the magazine folded only three years later, after publishing the work of such well-known authors as Edgar Allen Poe, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Frederika Bremer. Among his many other accomplishments, Sartain also served as a director of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and art director of the Centennial Exhibition of 1876, while remaining a very active Mason.

Sartain and his wife, Susannah Swaine Sartain, raised eight children, four of whom entered the art world in the father's footsteps. Samuel Sartain (1830-1906) studied under his father and became a preeminent printmaker in his own right. Henry Sartain (1833-1895) became a printer, rather than a printmaker, and established himself as a master printer of engravings in Philadelphia. Emily Sartain (1841-1927) is considered to be the first female mezzotint engraver and one of only fifteen or twenty female engravers working before 1900. Emily also served as principal of the Philadelphia School of Design for Women (now the Moore College of Art and Design) for 33 years. Emily also served as the Chairman of the Committee of Women Artists at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. While in Chicago, the Bureau of Awards named her a Judge in the Fine Arts Department, the 1st woman to receive such an honor at an international exposition. William Sartain (1843-1924) also took up the art of engraving and mezzotint engraving, but chose to leave Philadelphia for New York and Paris. The Sartain legacy did not stop with John's children. His son Henry's daughter, Harriet Sartain (1873-1957) became a painter, and also served as dean of the Philadelphia School of Design for Women for 26 years.

Also represented in the collection are John Swaine, Sartain's father-in-law with whom Sartain apprenticed in London and John Barak Swaine, another English artist. The Swaine family papers include drawings by John Swaine and John Barak Swaine, a letterpress book of John Barak Swaine's letters to his father, 1834-1837, and genealogical data on the Swaine and allied families.

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Scope and contents note

The Sartain Family Papers consists of manuscripts and graphics. The manuscript collection consists of correspondence, manuscripts, by-laws and minutes of various organizations, biographical notes and sketches, and volumes. The collection also covers John Sartain's work with the Centennial Exhibition of 1876, along with several other events Sartain helped to plan. The graphic collection contains approximately 3,000 images engraved, etched, or drawn by one of the Sartain artists: John, Henry, Samuel, Emily or William. The graphic collection also includes some family photographs. An inventory of the collection is available on paper in the library.

Together the Sartain Family Papers provide an interesting and unique insight into the lives of a family of Philadelphia artists, who were also some of the most preeminent American engravers of their time. The correspondence between family members often refers to the writer's or recipient's work and technique, and it is clear from their other activities that the lives of the Sartain family revolved around the art world. It appears that the Sartains, along with a few other prominent artists in the city, had the ability to influence and impact the directions and advancements of the community as a whole. For instance, John, Emily, and Harriet Sartain's involvement in the Philadelphia School of Design for Women (now known as Moore College of Art and Design) serve to demonstrate how instrumental the Sartain's were in the opening up of the art community to women. Before Emily Sartain, there were no female mezzotint engravers in the world. Moreover, there were only a handful of female engravers at all. Emily had to do much of her studying with her father, because many art schools did not accept women. However, by the time Emily resigned her post as principal of the Philadelphia School of Design for Women in 1919, the art community had truly begun to embrace female artists. The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts had begun to expand their offerings for women and the presence of female engravers, both here and in Europe, had significantly increased.

The other pursuits highlighted in this collection of the Sartains, particularly John Sartain, serve to further illuminate the way in which art and life intertwined for them. Everything from their professional careers to their correspondence between friends and family members completely revolved around their art. The rich visual archive available in the graphic collection is not only valuable in its own right for including some of the earliest American mezzotint engravings, but also to further support information included in the manuscript collection. For instance, information John Sartain wrote about in one of his notebooks (Volume 9) pertains to technique and the various inks and tints he had at his disposal. That volume in conjunction with some of his engravings could prove instrumental in studying Sartain's development as an artist.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

 Historical Society of Pennsylvania 2001, 2019.

1300 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19107

Revision Description

 Finding updated with collection reprocessing, 2019.

Access restrictions

The collection is open for research.


Gift of Harriet Sartain, 1950.

Processing note

Many of the engravings and images in this collection are undergoing conservation treatment and may be unavailable over the course of the work. Questions about the availability of such items may be directed to HSP's library staff. Once this work is complete, all materials will be put back in the collection, and this finding aid will be updated.

Alternative formats

Sections of the collection at HSP, along with portions of the collections at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the Moore College of Art and Design have been microfilmed on to six reels and can be found at the Archives of American Art in Washington D. C. Some of the reels can also be located at the participating institutions.

Rembrandt Peale, "Notes of the Painting Room," is available on microfiche, Papers of Charles Willson Peale, 1978.

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Related Materials

Separated materials

122 drawings by Thomas Birch removed to the HSP print collection (Collection V89). Swaine oil paintings, and a set of engraving tools were transferred to HSP's museum department, and subsequently to the Philadelphia History Museum.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Artist Fund Society.
  • Graphic Association of Philadelphia.
  • National Art Association.
  • Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.
  • Philadelphia Union of Associationists.

Personal Name(s)

  • Sartain, John, 1808-1897.
  • Swaine, John Barak, 1815-1838.


  • Art and Artists--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--19th century.
  • Centennial Exhibition (1876 : Philadelphia, Pa.).
  • Freemasons--Philadelphia--19th century.
  • Women's History.

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Peet, Phyllis. "Emily Sartain: America's First Woman Mezzotint Engraver." Imprint: Journal of the American Historical Print Collectors Society. Volume 9, Number 2 (Autumn 1984). Pp. 19-26.

"About John Sartain (1808-1897)." (

"The Sartain Family of Philadelphia." (

"John Sartain." The Columbia Encyclopedia: Sixth Edition. 2000. (

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Collection Inventory

 Series 1.  John Sartain papers 1802-1904, undated 

Series description

These manuscripts that are specifically attributed to John Sartain span the bulk of his life, and beyond, from the 1820s to the early 1900s. The papers, listed under Series 1, are housed in the first six boxes of the collection.

In Box 1 are three letterpress books. One of the books is comprised mostly of letters written by Sartain during his time as Corresponding Secretary of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and primarily deals with the launching of exhibits and other routine business matters. Another letterbook documents Sartain's work as the Chief of the Art Department for the Centennial Exposition of 1876.

Box 2 contains Sartain’s correspondence pertaining to various commissions from artists and institutions. Many of the letters were written in thanks for work that Sartain had done or committed to doing. There are also some agreements for commissions included in this subseries. Additionally, there are Sartain's indenture papers to John Swaine, notification from the Franklin Institute that Sartain had won the silver medal at the 10th Exhibition of Domestic Manufactures in 1838, Sartain's naturalization papers from 1840, and some material on Sartain's various responsibilities including the Artist's Fund Society, the Great Central Fair of the U.S. Sanitary Commission, the Centennial Exhibition, and the American Exhibition in London in 1887.

Comprising Box 3 are autobiographical notes and drafts of Sartain's work Reminiscences of a Very Old Man, a four volume set published in 1899. This subseries also includes several speeches written and delivered by Sartain, including one introducing Past Grand Master Peter Williamson to the Grand Lodge.

Box 4 houses papers that primarily concern Sartain’s involvement with different organizations, especially the Masons. Among the Masonic items are the "New England Anti-Masonic Almanac" of 1831, nine copies of the "American Tyler" (Volume V, No. 44) with a cover story on Sartain, and several certificates. Sartain's work with the Monument Cemetery is also documented in this subseries. Genealogical data on the Sartain and Swaine families along with a biographical sketch of John B. Swaine from Gentleman's Magazine (May 1838) and various newspaper clippings round out this subseries.

Box 5 contains material relating to and manuscripts of articles for Sartain's Magazine. Some of the authors represented in this subseries are Frederika Bremer, Alice Cary, Phoebe Cary, Edward Everett Hale, and Charles Godfrey Leland. There are also several covers of the magazine and one full copy of the magazine from January, 1850. An expense book kept for the magazine’s production, dated 1848 to 1852, can be found as Volume 27.

The last box in this grouping, Box 6, contains six different engraving plates made by Sartain. Each one is labeled with its particular subject.


Letterbooks 1869-1871, 1875-1876, 1887 

Box Folder

Letters and papers 1828, 1838-1896 

2 1-13

Letters and papers, including items relating to J. Sartain illness and death. 1897-1904 

2 14

Miscellaneous undated 

2 15

Memos, bills, and receipts 1833-1882 

2 16

Agreements 1838-1877 

2 17

Artists Fund Society papers 1837-1846 

2 18

Great Central Fair, Fine Arts Committee minutes 1864 

2 19

Great Central Fair papers and ephemera 1864 

2 20-22

Centennial Exhibition, Report of the Art Department and memorabilia 1876 

2 23-24

American Exhibition – London 1887 

2 25

Reminiscences, Volumes 1-2; notes and other papers undated 

3 1-3

Notes for biographical sketch undated 

3 4

Biographical article (reprint) and sketch 1886, undated 

3 5

Biographical notes, miscellaneous undated 

3 6

Notes for speeches undated 

3 7

Notes for speech on presentation of past Grand Master Peter Williamson to the Grand Lodge 1868, undated 

3 8

Miscellaneous notes undated 

3 9

Masonic papers, articles, and newsletters 1831, 1871-1897 

4 1-3

Monument Cemetery papers 1847, 1862, 1889 

4 4

Membership certificates and letters 1873, 1891-1897 

4 5

“One the Ancient Art of Painting in Encaustic,” Journal of the Franklin Institute 1885 

4 6

House Painting and Decorating, vol. 1, no.3, (as practiced by the Ancient Greeks) by John Sartain 1885 

4 7

Membership certificates 1840, 1848, 1869, 1897 

4 8

Passports 1862, 1864 

4 9

Invitations and announcements 1857-1869 

4 10

Articles – “On Raphael,” ( Our Continent); “Early Engravings,” (  Our Continent) April 1882, May 1882 

4 11

Newspaper clippings of Washington Monument, Fairmount Park 1897 

4 12

Sartain genealogical papers 1802-circa 1869 

4 13

Dedication of Washington Monument, Fairmount Park 1897 

4 14

Biographical Sketch of Mr. J. B. Swaine (reprint) 1838 

4 15

Swaine and allied families undated 

4 16

Clippings circa 1850-1889, undated 

4 17

Descriptions of engravings 1868, 1880, undated 

4 18

Clippings (obituaries), sheet music, miscellaneous 1897 

4 19

Edgar Allen Poe clippings 1889, 1897, undated 

4 20

Clippings and miscellaneous printed matter 1836-1891, undated 

4 21

Advertising sign for Sartain’s Magazine undated 

5 1

Sartain’s Magazine miscellaneous 1844-1852, undated 

5 2

Magazine manuscripts – Barr, C. Chauncey undated 

5 3

Magazine manuscripts – Batchelder, Eugene circa 1852 

5 4

Magazine manuscripts – Bremer, Fredricka 1846-1851 

5 5

Magazine manuscripts – Carey, Pheobe undated 

5 6

Magazine manuscripts – Cary, Alice undated 

5 7

Magazine manuscripts – English, Thomas Dunn undated 

5 8

Magazine manuscripts – Hale, Edward Everett undated 

5 9

Magazine manuscripts – Hirst, Henry B., undated undated 

5 10

Magazine manuscripts – Leland, Charles Godfrey undated 

5 11-12

Magazine manuscripts – Stoddard, Richard Henry undated 

5 13

Magazine manuscripts – Read, Thomas Buchanan undated 

5 14

Engraving plates undated 

Scope and content note

There are engraving plates:

1. Copper engraving plates: Landscape

2. Steel engraving plate: John Sartain portrait from daguerreotype by M.A. Root (onplate stamped John Sellers and Sons, Sheffield

3. Steel engraving plate: John Biddle. Painted by Thomas Sully. Engraved by Samuel Sartain

4. Steel engraving plate: John Sartain portrait. Engraved for the Nineteenth Century

5. Steel engraving plate: Sartain's Union Magazine, certificate of subscriptions procured

6. Steel engraving plate: John Neagle. Engraved by Samuel Sartain from daguerreotype by F. DeB. Richards


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 Series 2.  Sartain family and miscellaneous papers 1771, 1804-1946, undated 

Series description

Papers that various members of the Sartain family created and collected can be found in Series 2. Together they span the bulk of the 1800s. Materials here are housed in Boxes 7 to 9 of the collection.

Box 7 consists primarily of family correspondence of Emily and Samuel Sartain. Emily Sartain's papers include letters to her father from Europe and other places in the United States and letters of sympathy and condolence upon the illness and death of John Sartain. Typescripts of letters between William H. Furness and Ralph Waldo Emerson regarding a portrait Emily engraved of Emerson are also included. Samuel's papers include information on his copyrights, and deeds and papers for his property on the 700 block of Sansom Street. Samuel owned the home right next to the two that John Sartain owned. There are also some certificates and papers of Harriett Judd Sartain, M. D. who was a graduate of Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania.

In Box 8 are letters from William Sartain to family members, mostly Emily, John, and Henry. In these letters, William discusses John's work and technique, current affairs, and family matters. The subseries also includes some printed material, clippings, and photographs that were originally mailed with the letters.

Comprising Box 9 are miscellaneous letters and papers collected by various family members, such as ephemeral printed material, including advertisements, theater programs, invitations, sermons, almanacs, and catalogues. Some correspondence is also included in this series, mostly single letters from prominent people. Some of the correspondents in this series include Henry Clay, Charles Willson Peale, Frederick III (the Duke of Saxe Gotha), and Henry Inman.

Box Folder

Samuel Sartain – Art Union of Philadelphia 1852-1885 

7 1

Ann Sartain – British certificate of stock August 17, 1830 

7 2

Emily Sartain – Condolence letters, other papers, and miscellaneous 1865-1922, undated 

7 3-5

Harriet Judd Sartain, MD – Letters, correspondence, and biographical notes 1854-1857, 1870-1887, undated 

7 6

Emily Sartain – Magazine articles 1871, 1893, 1916 

7 7

Harriet Sartain – Certificate 1926 

7 8

Henry Sartain – Letters, and Proceedings of the Supreme Council (containing his obituary) 1862-1863, 1895 

7 9-10

Paul J. Sartain – Letters 1888-1899 

7 11

Samuel Sartain – Printed materials, letters and papers, copyrights, and deeds and legal papers 1806-1877, undated 

7 12-16

Harriet Sartain – Republican National Convention list of delegates and Philadelphia delegates to state convention 1856 

7 17

Samuel Sartain – Certificate 1874 

7 18

Susanna Longsmate Swaine Sartain – Obituaries 1883, 1890 

7 19

Susanna Longmate Swaine Sartain (1910-1890), Obituary and Miscellaneous 1883,1890 

7 20

William Sartain – letters, certificate, broadsides (in Italian), prayer books, and miscellaneous clippings and photographs 1861-1889, 1917, 1919 

8 1-9

Complimentary to Christian Schussele on his return from Europe, and the subscription list for his picture “Hamman and Queen Esther.” Minutes of meetings. 1868-1869 

8 10

Parabola spectacles advertisement 1860 

9 1

Dr. Elder Prospectus of Lecture: Societary Scienced undated 

9 2

“The Irvington Stories” advertisement circa 1865 

9 3

Bacon, Joshua B., letter 7 September 1835 

9 4

Conde, Princé de, unsigned letter 17 June 1808 

9 5

Constable A., letter 26 November 1824 

9 6

Gilson, Mr., letter 3 December 1804 

9 7

Jackson, Andrew, signature undated 

9 8

Meade, R. W., letter 22 December 1823 

9 9

Otley, William Young, letter 18 February 1813 

9 10

Paper, handmade from rigging of British vessel captured on Lake Erie 1813 

9 11

Payne, John Howard, letter 17 June 1833 

9 12

Pye, Thomas, letter 12 December 1771 

9 13

Quincy, Josiah, letter 16 October 1844 

9 14

Smith, C. Charles, letter 29 May (no year) 

9 15

Stuart, Nehemiah 10 March 1806 

9 16

Clarke, Mary Cowden, presentation ad 15 July 1851 

9 17

Washington, George, invitation to Birth Night Ball February 1817 

9 18

Washington, George, bookplate undated 

9 19

Whitwell letter 24 September 1815 

9 20

Wilhelm, Johann Duke of Eisenach; letter of William A. Bryan [1700], undated 

9 21

Sartain, John, certificate 1860 

9 22

Christian Schussele – A Sermon Memorial by Reverend George H. Johnston; An Obituary Notice of Franklin Peale by Robert Patterson 1870, 1879 

9 23

“External Aspects of the Sun” – S. P. Langley 1874 

9 24

Almanacs 1870, 1895 

9 25

Theatre programs 1877, undated 

9 26

Catalogue from the sale of the private collection of John Neagle 31 March 1866 

9 27

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts 1813, 1872, undated 

9 28

Transactions of the Art Union of Philadelphia 1848-1849 

9 29-30

Jenny Lind concert programs 1850 

9 31

Miscellaneous printed material, including "Blind Tom" and Fairmount Water Works 1853, 1858 

9 32

Certificates of Edward and Francis Hopkinson 1930, 1936, 1937, 1946 

9 33

Dorigo Musical Association 1848 

9 34

Peale, Charles Willson, letter 28 October 1812 

9 35

Clay, Henry, 10 January 1827 

9 36

Fredrick III Duke of Saxe Gotha, signature undated 

9 37

Griscom, John H., letter 3 October 1864 

9 38

Huntington, D., letter 26 November 26 1860 

9 39

Inman, Henry, letter 18 January 1829 

9 40

Leiper, Thomas, letter fragment undated 

9 41

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 Series 3.  Rembrandt Peale, "Notes of the Painting Room" 

Series description

Making up Series 3 is a single box of use copies of Rembrandt Peale's unpublished "Notes of the Painting Room" and an Introduction to that volume. The manuscript has also been reproduced on microfiche. Peale's original, handwritten manuscript is available as Volume 24, but due to its fragile condition, researchers are asked to consult these photocopies first.

Box Folder

"Notes of the Painting Room,” (photocopy transcription), Section 1, pages 1-100 undated 

10 1

“Notes of the Painting Room,” (photocopy transcription), pages 101-200 undated 

10 2

“Notes of the Painting Room,” (photocopy transcription), pages 201-249 and index undated 

10 3

“Notes of the Painting Room,” (photocopy transcription), Section 3 – comparison of the 3 extant texts undated 

10 4

“Notes of the Painting Room,” (photocopy transcription), Section 4 – Annotation and miscellany undated 

10 5

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 Series 4.  Graphic material 

Series description

Series 4 (Graphic material) is housed in Boxes 11 to 23, is composed of engravings made by John Sartain and his family as well as drawings and other works on paper. Family photographs and photographs of subjects for engravings are included. Subjects include portraits, figure studies, landscapes, and buildings. There are approximately 2,000 prints, 750 drawings, 130 photoprints, and one large engraving plate. (Additional engraving plates are in Box 6.) The graphics have been roughly arranged into groupings according to subject, though there is some overlap in the boxes. Portraits are those primarily engraved by John Sartain after other artists. Some of the artists represented are John Neagle, Thomas Sully, Van Dyke, Titian, and others. The subjects of the portraits run the gamut from poets, artists, heads of states, monarchs, and others. Sartain's prints, generally, cover a wide range of subjects from animals to figures to landscapes. Illustrations selected for Sartain's autobiography, The Reminiscences of a Very Old Man are also included in this series. This series also contains a sketchbook of William Sartain (Box 21), family photographs, and prints of vignettes and classical subjects.

Fifty-four engravings of William Young Ottley, a British engraver and artists affiliated with the Swaines, have been moved to the Oversized series (Series 6) as a portfolio numbered Item 2. Any large items have also been moved to this same series and can be found mostly in flat files 1-6.


John Sartain prints and portraits 


John Sartain prints and portraits 


John Sartain prints and portraits 


John Sartain prints and portraits 


John Sartain prints and portraits 


Sartain family photographs and portraits 

Box Folder

Stereoviews: Artists Fund Society undated 

16 1

Photographs of Sartain family of engravers circa 1860-1870 

16 2

Three unidentified photographs 1899, undated 

16 3

Three photographs of Sartain residences: 726 and 728-30 Sansom Street undated 

16 4

Photographs of the Artists' Fund Society undated 

16 5

John Sartain group photographs undated 

16 6

Portraits of Henry Sartain undated 

16 7

Photograph of Emily Sartain (1841-1927) undated 

16 8

Portraits of William Sartain (1843-1924) 1883, undated 

16 9

Portrait: Samuel Sartain (1833-1906) undated 

16 10

Portrait: Amy Sartain Gaskiel (daughter of Samuel Sartain) undated 

16 11

Portraits: Susanna Longmate Swaine Sartain (1810-1890). Married John Sartain 11 Jan 1830 undated 

16 12

Portrait: Ann Sartain Pratt (Sister to John Sartain) undated 

16 13

Portrait: Charles Sartain undated 

16 14

Portrait: Dr. Harriet Amelia Judd Sartain (1830-1906) (Wife of Samuel Sartain) undated 

16 15

Photograph of John Sartain and his wife Susannah at Schussel's Grave undated 

16 16

Portrait: Helen M. Sartain Schofield undated 

16 17

Photographs: William Sartain (1843-1924) 1875 

16 18

Prints of residence at Broad and Martin Streets undated 

16 19

Portraits: John Sartain undated 

16 20

Portrait: Edward Swaine undated 

16 21

Photographs: General Ulysses S. Grant undated 

16 22

Photographs: Abraham and Robert Lincoln undated 

16 23

Photographs and Portraits of identified men undated 

16 24

Photographs and Portraits: identified women (one of Harriet Beecher Stowe) undated 

16 25

Image of members of the Artists' Fund Society undated 

16 26

Albumen photo prints of Trowbridge Church undated 

16 27

Picture of the grave of Rebecca Gratz (model character for "Rebecca" from Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe) undated 

16 28

Photographs: Inner and Middle Temple Gardens undated 

16 29

John Sartain, American Exhibition, London 1887 

16 30

Stereoviews undated 

16 31

Photograph of 221 S. 18th Street, Rittenhouse Square (Residence of Joseph Harrison) undated 

16 32

Photograph of Sartain's engraving of Cleopatra undated 

16 33

Miscellaneous undated 

16 34

Sartain prints of various groups 

Box Folder

Prints of fictional characters and events undated 

17 1

Prints of women in groups undated 

17 2

Prints of families and groups undated 

17 3

Prints of men and women undated 

17 4

Prints of children and animals (dogs) undated 

17 5

Prints of children and adults undated 

17 6

Prints of women (solitary) undated 

17 7

Prints of children undated 

17 8

Prints of women and animals undated 

17 9

Prints of women (solitary) undated 

17 10

Prints of various persons undated 

17 11

Prints of various ethnic groups undated 

17 12

Various prints and engravings, most attributed to Sartain 

Box Folder

Prints of churches undated 

18 1

Prints of games undated 

18 2

Prints of Philadelphia scenes undated 

18 3

Prints of various scenes undated 

18 4

Prints of windmills undated 

18 5

Prints of weatherstorms and a copy of "On the Comparison of Certain Theories of Solar Structure with Observations," by S. P. Langley March 1875, undated 

18 6

Prints of tombs and monuments undated 

18 7

Prints of animals undated 

18 8

Prints of various times of day undated 

18 9

Prints of boats, ships, trains undated 

18 10

Fashion plates undated 

18 11

Prints of Biblical scenes from the Old Testament 

18 12

Prints of religious scenes, prayer, clergy undated 

18 13

Prints of seasonal scenes undated 

18 14

Prints of sickness, death, sorrow scenes undated 

18 15

Prints of schools undated 

18 16

Prints of work scenes undated 

18 17

Prints of musical scenes undated 

18 18

Prints of military scenes undated 

18 19

Prints of mysterious and mystical scenes undated 

18 20

Prints of people reading, praying undated 

18 21

Prints of scenes from the New Testament undated 

18 22

Prints and Sketches of various landscape scenes undated 

18 23

Prints bound together undated 

18 24

Various prints and engravings, most attributed to Sartain, some by Swaine and Scharf; includes prints used in "Reminiscences of an Old Man" 

Box Folder

Swaine prints: Miscellaneous-allegory, church windows, royal objects undated 

19 1

Swaine portraits undated 

19 2

J. Barak Swaine: churches undated 

19 3

J. Barak Swaine: military scenes undated 

19 4

J. Barak Swaine: scenes of residences undated 

19 5

For drawing: see Classical figure file undated 

19 6

Images of George Richmond (halftone) undated 

19 7

European sites and scenes undated 

19 8

Scenes of residences undated 

19 9

Prints: allegory undated 

19 10

G. Scharf prints: filed under Buildings, Religion, Military and Miscellaneous Vignettes undated 

19 11

Prints of classical figures and scenes undated 

19 12

Signs and symbols: Miscellaneous Vignettes undated 

19 13

William Sartain sketchbook (disbound, preserved) 


Uncataloged portraits, most attributed to Sartain 


Uncataloged prints, most attributed to Sartain 


The Early Florentine School, William Young Ottley (London) - 54 engravings 1826 


Steel engraving plate of Thomas W. Walter, from life by Draper, etched by John Sartain 1885 


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 Series 5.  Volumes 1710, 1828-circa 1918, undated 

Scope and Contents note

The collection's fifth series consists of various manuscript volumes, scrapbooks, and published books on different topics, such as the life of John Barak Swaine, the brother-in-law of John Sartain whose flourishing engraving career was cut short by his death at the age of 23. The published volumes often contain prints done by John B. Swaine, and many have inscriptions to one of the Sartains from one of the Swaines, written in by hand. The series also includes two volumes of political material. In one volume are recorded to the minutes of the first Republican Convention, held in Philadelphia in 1856 (Volume 7). Another is a book of election returns from the 8th Ward, 1st Precinct for that same election (Volume 8). This series includes several volumes of newspaper clippings and other notes on art, poetry, history, the classics, travel, and many other topics. Most of these scrapbooks seem to have been put together by John or his children.

There also a few minutes books (Volumes 28-30) of major organizations in which various Sartains were actively involved. The Graphic Association of Philadelphia, the National Art Association Conference of 1858-1859, and the Philadelphia Union of Associationists are represented. Volume 31 offers an historical sketch of the National Academy of Design from 1865.


"Musee Royal" - presented to John Sartain by John Swaine [in French] 1850 


The Tryal of Dr. Henry Scheverell 1710 


Biographical sketch, engravings and paintings of J. B. Swaine 1838 


Memoir of life and writings of William Marsden 1838 


Copy of Letters Written by J. B. Swaine to his Father 1834-1937 


Additional copy of Sartain's Magazine, Volume 3 1850 


Minutes of the proceedings of the Republican Convention, Philadelphia 27 December 1855 


Book of election returns, 8th Ward, 1st Precinct, Philadelphia 1856 


John Sartain sketchbook 1828 


Art-related newsclippings 


Newspaper clippings 


Listing of different "passions," newsclippings, notes, etc. 


Notebook with handwritten poetry, historical information 


"Classical" reviews, concerning Greek or Roman topics 


Handwritten historical and vocabulary notes 


Art-related newsclippings pasted into the Social Register of New York for 1908 


Newsclippings and notes pasted into a 1913 book about the National Museum 


Art-related clippings and notes 


Newsclippings, notes, essays circa 1918 


Notes relating to France and "Paris Notes of 1919" 


Art-related notes and newsclippings 


Handwritten notebook discussing historical and classical themes 


Newclippings, poems, anecdotes 


Rembrandt Peale, "Notes of the Painting Room" 


Biographical sketch, engravings and paintings of J. B. Swaine [copy 2] 1838 


John Sartain book of instructions and recipes 


Sartain's Magazine expense book 1848-1852 


Philadelphia Union of Associationists constitution and meeting minute book 1847-1854 


Graphic Association of Philadelphia minute book 1849-1855 


National Art Association record book (constitution, national convention, etc.) 1858-1859 


Historic Annals of the National Academy of Design 1865 


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 Series 6.  Oversized 

Series description

The sixth and last series in the collection is made up of papers and items that were removed, conserved, and rehoused from the regular collection due to their size. Papers moved to flat files include various prints, drawings, photographs, and certificates. Flat file 4 contains numerous drawings done by Emily Sartain, many from when she was in school. Two oversized items in this series are a large steel engraving plate etched by John Sartain of Thomas W. Walter (Item 1), and a portfolio of 54 engravings by William Young Ottley (Item 2).


John Sartain drawings 

Flat file 1

John Sartain portraits 

Flat file 2

Prints by John Sartian and others 

Flat file 3

Emily Sartain drawings 

Flat file 4


Flat file 5


Flat file 6

Masonic papers 

Flat file 7

Centennial images in Harper's Weekly 

Flat file 8

Passports: Emily Sartain and Samuel Sartain 1850, 1871 

Flat file 9

Deeds and legal papers 

Flat file 10

Swaine prints miscellaneous - allegory, church windows, anatomical, royal objects 

Flat file 11

Swaine/Sartain Family tree 

Flat file 12

Public Ledger 25 March 1836 

Flat file 13

Landscape (watercolor) by John Varley undated 

Flat file 14

Sketch of Monument Cemetery monument designed by John Sartain undated 

Flat file 15

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