1775 · Philadelphia
Alexander Bartram was a loyalist pottery manufacturer who fled to New York 1n 1778 with the British, following the British occupation of Philadelphia. We know about Alexander Bartram from his wife, Jane Bartram, who remained behind when her husband fled, from her compensation for loyalty claim made in 1787 to John Antsey, a fact finder for the Royal Commission. A Quaker from the Gwynedd Friends' community, she was orphaned in childhood and stepped out of obscurity only when she became estranged from her husband after eleven years of marriage and fought to survive as an independent woman born in America and determined in her loyalty to the Revolutionary Cause. Her quest for legal administrative relief for herself and her son left a record which documents her struggle to recover assets and improve the desperate circumstances Alexander Bartram left her in when he fled first to New York, and later, to Halifax.
Alexander Bartram emigrated from England to Philadelphia in 1764, and he was recorded as living in Philadelphia's Middle Ward in 1767, where he maintained a shop in Market Street. He imported dry goods, china and pottery for retail in a "cash only" business. He made a quantified estimate of his losses at 10,000 pounds, due in large part to land and businesses he owned in other places. He was described in 1775 by Joseph Galloway, the Superintendent of the Philadelphia Police, as he "was considered a thriving man, and of good credit in Philadelphia, he kept a shop, he must be worth some money." In 1770, he confessed to having broken the Non-Importation Agreements. In June 1777, Bartram was imprisoned by the Whigs but escaped. In his absence, his wife, Jane Bartram seized the opportunity of his absence to step out of economic obscurity, accusing her husband of desertion in a divorce petition dated 1785, as he had sailed for New York with Sir Henry Clinton on June 18, 1778. Alexander Bartram's goods may have been the first to be confiscated in Philadelphia, but despite this added hardship, his wife was able to maintain her residence in Philadelphia for herself and one child, James Alexander Bartram. Jane Bartram, was by surviving accounts, out-spoken about her adherence to and belief in the principles of Revolutionary America. The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. CXV, No. 2 (April 1991).
John Dunlap (1747-1812) is best remembered in American printing history for the first printing of the Declaration of Independence. Coming to America as a boy, he was apprenticed to his uncle, William Dunlap, a printer and bookseller in Philadelphia. Holding a lucrative contract with the Continental Congress, Dunlap prospered as a printer and also later served as an officer in the Revolution, rising to the rank of Major. John Dunlap also prospered from the purchase of loyalist property from persons who refused to take the loyalty oaths, which Dunlap printed.
Condition: This document has undergone a surface cleaning to remove superficial and ground-in dirt. Tears were reinforced, and other weak areas were also reinforced with minimal application of mulberry paper with wheat starch paste. The two halves were rejoined. The document was then flattened after humidification between blotters. (Inventory #: 337)