A writ of habeas corpus is a procedure for obtaining a judicial determination of the legality of an individual's custody. This collection includes petitions for writs of habeas corpus and the writs themselves, showing the names of petitioners, persons to be brought to court, nature of dispute or alleged crime, dates of writs and accompanying documents, names of judges, and names of persons that the writs are filed against. Petitioners include indentured servants, runaway slaves, free African-Americans, convicted prisoners, those awaiting trial, relatives of prisoners, parties in child custody disputes, and relatives of army recruits and draftees. Arranged chronologically by date of filing. Handwritten, handwritten on printed forms, and a very few typewritten.
Liens filed by contractors showing names of parties including owner of property; description of property including location; nature of claim; description of materials and work done on property; volume and page number of recording in Mechanics' Liens Docket; and date filed.
This collection contains ephemera related to Alice Potter Fordney, antiques dealer and rugmaker. Items in the collection include business correspondence with Armstrong, F. Schumacher & Co., and the Montclair art museum; personal correspondence with friends and family; hooked rug patterns; and antiques sale flyers from the early 20th century. Also included in the collection are newspaper clippings, including the obituary of Fordney's sister Ellen Franklin; reference material for rug making and interior design (informational sheets, books and patterns); several items related to the Yeates School, which Fordney's brother William Bush Fordney attended; several photographs of unidentified persons; and a statement related to the will of William J. Fordney, her uncle.
Alice Potter Fordney was born June 21, 1887 in Lancaster, the daughter of Ida Cox and Thomas Potter Fordney. A prominent antique dealer from the late 1920s to her retirement in 1965, Fordney also made and sold hooked rugs.
Fordney's family features prominently in Lancaster County history. Her maternal great-grandfather was John Michael, who owned the historic Grape Hotel from 1805-1839. Fordney's paternal great-grandfather William Jenkins built Wheatland in 1828 and later sold the property to President James Buchanan. Colonel William Bush Fordney, her paternal grandfather, was a prominent lawyer in Lancaster. He served as district attorney from 1839-1845 and negotiated for the loan that enabled Lancaster city to build the "water works" in the 1830s. Sarah Cox, her maternal grandmother, was a known philanthropist and for years helped to manage the Home for Friendless Children in Lancaster. Her sister, Ellen Fordney Franklin, was a "pioneer" in the industry of women's knit suits, opening her first shop in 1929 in Philadelphia.
Fordney never married. She kept in contact with her nieces and nephews, as evidenced by letters in the collection. According to notes provided by Wendell Zercher, Sarah Ellmaker McIlvaine Muench, her niece and the donor of the collection, recalled her as "warm and artistic," and "a character." She died April 17, 1973, at the age of 85.
"Mrs. Franklin, pioneer of women's knit suits, dies." Daily Intelligencer Journal [Lancaster, PA], 10 May 1963, p. 2.
"Accident Fatal to Mrs. Sarah A. Cox." Daily Intelligencer Journal [Lancaster, PA], no date, page unknown.
"Miss Fordney, Antique Dealer, 85, Succumbs." Daily Intelligencer Journal [Lancaster, PA], 18 April 1973, p. 2.
"One of Lancaster's Most Prominent and Venerable Citizens Passes Away." Daily Intelligencer Journal [Lancaster, PA], 29 July 1889, p. 1.
From the Heritage Center of Lancaster County collection, G04.23.52.