The Filson Historical Society Digital Projects

Browse Items (928 total)

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    Campaign material in the form of a letter written by Jerry Abramson to classmates of Seneca High School
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    In September of 1956, violinist and Louisville Symphony Orchestra Conductor, Sidney Harth invites Kurt Ackermann to audition for a new orchestra forming at the University of Louisville. The audition was successful and Kurt Ackermann is listed as a violinist in the program for the new orchestra's first performance December 1956.
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    Incomplete letter. Unnamed author (seemingly adoptive parent of "Minnie") writes to include "a few lines this 'lonesome rainy day'" from Minnie. Minnie writes about the weather and asks about her little sisters and brothers still in the Home. The author of the letter says that they will take Minnie to see them in the Spring. Letter marked Buchanan, TN.
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    Incomplete letter. Unnamed person writes to Hollingsworth regarding Noe, who he says was taken about 18 months or two years ago by a Mr. J. W. Coplinger of Luisble Co., KY. Noe is about 12 years old. Author says that "we learned that Mr. C- wishes to dispose of her- so last Sunday I went down to have her come up and live with us." He says that he took the agreement with them, and if she doesn't suit them he will send her back to the Home. Letter marked Campbellsburg, KY.
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    Women sometimes exercised greater power than the letter of the law accorded them. Annie Henry Christian, an early settler of Jefferson County, directed her husband's salt works operation south of Louisville following his death in 1786. Eliza Tevis, a free woman of color, consulted lawyers on multiple occasions--suing the estate of her former employer for withheld wages in 1838 and drawing up a prenuptial agreement prior to her marriage in 1843.
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    A framed set of four documents from the Filson's exhibit "Women at Work." Documents start from the left and go clockwise:
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    In a letter to the Jewish Hospital board president, Gussie Newberger outlines how the Jewish Ladies Benevolent Society No. 1 wants its donations to that hospital to be used. She explains that the society would like $65 spent on a “Demonstrator” doll for medical training, “in order to protect the Charity Patients from Fright [and] Exposure” they may have experienced if used for training purposes themselves.  

    The dawn of the 20th century brought changes and challenges for American Jews. German Jewish immigrants of the mid 1800s had established houses of worship, community groups, and successful businesses throughout the United States. But the late 19th and early 20th centuries brought a new wave of Jewish immigration from eastern Europe. Fleeing oppression and violence, many arrived on American shores destitute and unfamiliar with the language and customs of their new home. Groups such as Jewish Ladies Benevolent Society No. 1, organized in Louisville in 1849, sought to ease the way of these new Americans.  

    In his work The American Jewish Woman: A Documentary History (1981), Jacob Rader Marcus describes Hebrew Ladies Benevolent Societies as  

    “An essential part of the structure, of the very being, of the entire Jewish group in any area. Its functions were manifold. Very often it was a mutual-aid society helping the local Jewish poor, especially impoverished women. Though dedicated to charity and synagogal aid, it was at the same time the social club for the town’s Jewish women. Whatever the guise, the members persisted in emphasizing their identity as women.” 
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    In January 1918, distillers and philanthropists Bernard and Isaac Bernheim contributed $100,000 for an addition to the Jewish Hospital. One of the conditions attached to the brothers’ donation was their request to rename the hospital Bernheim Memorial Hospital in memory of their parents. The blank hospital bill with the “Bernheim Memorial Hospital” letterhead is a remnant of the board’s initial acceptance of the donation with its conditions.
  • 1914 demonstration doll_BF_J59_301.jpg

    In this letter to the Jewish Hospital board president Samuel Hess, Gussie Newberger outlines how the Jewish Ladies Benevolent Society No. 1 wants its donations to the hospital to be used. She explains that the society would like $65 spent on a “Demonstrator” doll for medical training, “in order to protect the Charity Patients from Fright [and] Exposure” from being used as learning material for medical or nursing students.

    Through donations and volunteer work, the Jewish Ladies Benevolent Society No. 1 contributed to the mission, maintenance, and growth of Jewish Hospital. The Jewish Welfare Federation and the National Council of Jewish Women Louisville Section also gave critical support to the hospital.
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    Letter to W. L. Weller from Z. T. Long of Mayfield, Kentucky on behalf of his adopted daughter, Mary. Mr. Long writes that Mary is adjusting well to her new home and new things, and receives many hugs and kisses from Mr. Long and his wife. Mary sends her love to Mrs. Hollingsworth and Mrs. Hackley, as well as all her "mates:" Gassie, Sallie, Merry Bell Brown, Mollie Cot, Evaloma Spernits, Nrussinice (?) Dickens, Cleven Dickens, Hattie Stemper, Maggie Halloween, Mirnice (?) Jacksons. Mr. Long requests Mr. Weller pass on Mary's messages, as well as send any of Mary's birth information the Home has to put in the family Bible.
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    Letter to W. L. Weller from Wm. Russell denying his neighbor's allegations that he and his wife have been abusing the two children they adopted at the home.
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    Letter to Mary Hollingsworth from Wm. W. Morris, secretary of the Mutual Life Insurance Company of Kentucky in Louisville, on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Callis in Trimble County, Kentucky. They want to adopt an orphan girl as one of the family.
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    Letter to the President of the Baptist Orphan's Home from Wm. K. Withers in Hardinsburg, Kentucky, who writes for advice on how to discipline his adoptive son, John Martin, who keeps running away.
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    Turpin writes to Hollingsworth regarding a letter she just received from Mrs. I. J. Turpen regarding a letter Mrs. Turpen received from Hollingsworth. The Turpens took Cherley in from the Home and are still living in Louisville, but Cherley seems to have moved to Carthage, MO. Cherley says that when she visited Louisville, Papa (her name for Mr. Turpen) told her that she was two years older than she had always thought and said he knew by examining papers. She says that "he never told me what records they were nor did he say a word about your letter." She goes on to say that she has always used the name "Wm. Cherley Turpen," and thought she was "entitled to the name by addoption but Mrs. Turpen informs me that I am not that Mr. Turpen never addopted me and it was not legal for me to go by that name." She asks if Hollingsworth would "be so kind as to let me know about this matter and tell me anything that you may know about myself." She says that she has "no complaint to make of Papa" and "Mrs. Turpen says that was the reason he failed to tell me that he had such a kind feeling for me." Letter marked Carthage, MO.
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