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ARCHIVAL COLLECTIONS

J. William White Papers
1871-1925

UPT 50 W585

7.0 Cubic feet

Prepared by Carole Waters under the direction of J.M. Duffin

August 2000

Access to collections is granted in accordance with the Protocols for the University Archives and Records Center.

PROVENANCE

The J. William White papers, deposited at the Girard Trust Company in 1926, were formally turned over to the University Archives in 1947. A large collection of White's scrapbooks, which were felt by the University Archivist to most relate to the University of Pennsylvania, was opened to the public in 1956. 

A typescript of J. William White's diaries, not governed by the terms of J. William White's will, was given to the University Archives by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in 1981, and was incorporated into the publicly accessible collection. 

 

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ARRANGEMENT

The scrapbooks and diaries are arranged chronologically. 

 

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BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

Dr. J. William White was born in Philadelphia in 1850. His father, Dr. James W. White, was the longtime president of the S.S. White Dental Company. He received his M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in 1871. He began his career at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in 1874, and rose through the ranks as a surgeon and specialist in Venereal Diseases. In 1900 he was named John Rhea Barton Professor of Surgery, a position he held for 12 years until his retirement in 1911. In this capacity White co-authored many medical textbooks on surgery, venereal disease and anatomy. In 1912 White was named a Trustee of the University of Pennsylvania. 

A noted boxer, climber, and hiker himself, Dr. White was an early and significant supporter of Athletics and Physical Education at Penn. In 1884 he was named the University's first Chair of Physical Culture, a voluntary position which he maintained until 1887. From 1882 to 1890 Dr. White was president or vice-president of the University's Athletic Association, and throughout the 1890s he served as both formal mentor and adamant supporter of the University's Football and Rowing programs. In 1905, fund raising efforts headed by Dr. White culminated in the opening of Penn's first Gymnasium, open to all male students. 

An important part of the Penn community for over 40 years, Dr. White was also involved in the civic life of Philadelphia. At various times in his career, Dr. White served as Chief Medical Officer for Blockley Hospital, the Eastern State Penitentiary, and the Pennsylvania Rail Road. He also chaired the Fairmount Park Commission, served on the committee overseeing Philadelphia's Department of Charities and Correction, and belonged to many social, service, chess and medical clubs and organizations. 

Dr. White's extensive annual travels in Europe, and close friendships with Americans and Englishmen such as the painter John Singer Sargent, the English doctor Sir Frederick Treves, the writer Henry James, and former President Theodore Roosevelt, made him acutely aware of Europe's plight at the start of the first World War. His sympathy for the suffering Belgian nation lead him to spearhead relief fundraising drives, and, in 1915, to serve in a University of Pennsylvania Medical School unit at the American Hospital in Paris. To raise American awareness of the war in Europe, Dr. White published A Primer of the War for Americans in 1914, which was enlarged in 1915 to A Textbook of the War for Americans. 

In 1888 Dr. White married Letitia Brown. "Letty" was Dr. White's constant traveling companion, accompanying him all but his final summer voyage in the summer of 1915. Dr. White died in 1916. 

 

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SCOPE AND CONTENT

The J. William White collection consists of scrapbooks of newspaper clippings, diaries in manuscript form and typescripts of those diaries, diplomas and certificates, pamphlets and books written by and about White and his family, and letters from White's voyage on Professor Louis Agassiz's Hassler Expedition of 1872. 

Of this material, selected scrapbooks and diary typescripts are currently open to the public. The scrapbooks are comprised almost exclusively of clipped newspaper articles, and include coverage of the University of Pennsylvania Football team from the late 1890s until 1916. The diaries were written during J. William White's annual summer travels throughout Europe, and his summer adventures in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. White unfortunately did not keep a diary during the academic year. 

 

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CONTROLLED ACCESS HEADINGS

Corporate Name(s)

  • Hassler Expedition to Cape Horn. (1871-1872)
  • University of Pennsylvania. Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation.
  • University of Pennsylvania. School of Medicine.

Genre(s)

  • Clippings.
  • Diaries.
  • Memorabilia.

Occupation(s)

  • College teachers.
  • College trustees.
  • Surgeons.
  • Travelers.

Subject(s)

  • Medicine--Study and teaching.
  • Physicians--Biography.--United States

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INVENTORY

 

Scrapbooks, 1871 - 1925 

Box

Folder

March 14, 1871 - March 27, 1880 (33 leaves, 1 insert) 

White's Medical School Commencement 

 1

 

White fights a Duel 

 1

 

White in physical fights 

 1

 

Women kept out of White's Medical School Lectures 

 1

 

July 14, 1882 - January 21, 1885 (44 leaves, 1 insert) 

White's article series for the Ledger and Transcript on Health and Medicine 

 1

 

April 5, 1883 - August 2, 1884 (77 leaves, no inserts) 

White Lectures to Philadelphia Police 

 1

 

White becomes chair of Physical Culture at the University of Pennsylvania 

 1

 

White gives fashionable nursing lectures 

 1

 

University of Pennsylvania class Bowl games 

 1

 

March 21, 1887 - May 7, 1889 (84 leaves, 2 inserts) 

James W. White (J. William White's father) appointed to head Philadelphia Department of Charities and Correction 

 1

 

Death of Alice Fisher, head nurse of Blockley Hospital 

 1

 

James W. White (J. William White's father) removed from Department of Charities and Correction 

 1

 

May 2, 1887 - April 1, 1889 (79 leaves, 1 insert) 

University of Pennsylvania Rowing 

 1

 

White resigns chair of Physical Culture at the University of Pennsylvania 

 1

 

Melville Reese Dill dies under Dr. D. Haynes Agnew and White's care 

 1

 

Dinner for Dr. D. Haynes Agnew 

 1

 

White and necessity for city parks in Philadelphia 

 1

 

Death of Alice Fisher, head nurse of Blockley Hospital 

 1

 

White Marries Miss Letetia Brown 

 1

 

Clover Club Dinners 

 1

 

March 26, 1889 - February 26, 1890 (74 leaves, no inserts) 

Medical Examiner's Bill 

 1

 

White to Europe 

 1

 

White removed from post at Blockley Hospital 

 1

 

Clover Club dinner 

 1

 

May 8, 1889 - January 27, 1891 (33 leaves, clippings inserted) 

James W. White (J. William White's father)'s public dispute with Philadelphia Mayor Fitler, after removal from head of Philadelphia 

 1

 

Death of Alice Fisher, head nurse at Blockley Hospital 

 1

 

March 5, 1890 - December 26, 1891 (70 leaves, 1 insert) 

Marriage of Count Pappenheim 

 1

 

Dr. Koch and Lymph 

 1

 

Death of James W. White (J. William White's father.) 

 1

 

January 3, 1893 - November 6, 1895 (81 leaves, 3 inserts) 

Death of Dr. Agnew 

 2

 

Collegiate Football 

 2

 

November 5, 1895 - November 26, 1897 (83 leaves, 3 inserts) 

Collegiate Football 

 2

 

Dr. D. Haynes Agnew Clinic 

 2

 

November 22, 1897 - November 14, 1900 (76 leaves, 1 insert) 

Collegiate Football 

 2

 

University of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Dances 

 2

 

Mask and Wig Club Receptions 

 2

 

Clover Club Dinner 

 2

 

Mrs. White chaperoning niece/ at teas 

 2

 

November 2, 1900 - May 24, 1903 (81 leaves, no inserts) 

Collegiate Football 

 2

 

Exercise 

 2

 

White's fundraising efforts for a University of Pennsylvania Gymnasium 

 2

 

White's travels 

 2

 

January 3, 1903 - December 29, 1904 (122 leaves, 1 insert) 

Collegiate Football 

 2

 

Baseball 

 2

 

White appointed a member of Philadelphia Department of Charities and Correction committee 

 2

 

Collegiate Football controversies 

 2

 

August 6, 1903 - December 5, 1906 

Collegiate Football 

 3

 

Clover Club Dinners 

 3

 

Dedication of University of Pennsylvania Gymnasium 

 3

 

White's surgery at Mayo clinic 

 3

 

White visits University of Aberdeen in Scotland 

 3

 

January 4, 1905 - December 15, 1905 (131 leaves, no inserts) 

Collegiate Football 

 3

 

Collegiate Football reforms 

 3

 

December 4, 1906 - February 15, 1913 (81 leaves, 10 inserts) 

White's Travels 

 3

 

White appointed Surgeon to Pennsylvania Rail Road 

 3

 

Articles on Edwin Abbey, Painter 

 3

 

Articles on John Singer Sargent, Painter 

 3

 

White appointed to head Fairmount Park Commission 

 3

 

White retires as professor of surgery at the University of Pennsylvania, becomes Trustee of the University (1911) 

 3

 

Presidential campaign of Theodore Roosevelt 

 3

 

May 31, 1908 - November 23, 1914 (101 leaves, 1 insert) 

Collegiate football 

 4

 

Provost Harrison, White, retire from University of Pennsylvania 

 4

 

Edgar Fahs Smith appointed Provost of University of Pennsylvania 

 4

 

February 19, 1913 - May 4, 1915 (82 leaves, no inserts) 

White and movement to beautify Philadelphia 

 4

 

Presidential campaign of Theodore Roosevelt 

 4

 

Soliciting funds/giving, University of Pennsylvania 

 4

 

White's travels 

 4

 

White and campaign for aid for Belgium (World War One) 

 4

 

White publishes "A Textbook on War for Americans" 

 4

 

May 5, 1915 - May 24, 1916 (83 leaves, 2 inserts) 

World War One - White at American Hospital in Paris 

 4

 

Scott Nearing case 

 4

 

White becomes ill 

 4

 

April 25, 1916 - June 6, 1920 (28 leaves, no inserts) 

White's Obituaries 

 4

 

White's actual passport and visa from 1915 trip to France 

 4

 

April 25, 1916 - April 15, 1925 (43 leaves, no inserts) (labeled April 1916 - May 6, 1925, "For Mrs. White") 

White's Obituaries 

 4

 

Memorials for White 

 4

 

Reviews of Agnes Repplier's Biography of White 

 4

 

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Typescript Diaries, Summer, 1888 - 1915 

Box

Folder

June 23rd - September 12th, 1888 

pp. 1-50 

5

1

pp. 51-100 

5

2

pp. 101-150 

5

3

pp. 151-181 (end) 

5

4

July 13th - September 4th, 1889 

pp. 1-50 

5

5

pp. 51-84 (end) 

5

6

June 25th - September 12th, 1890 

pp. 1-50 

5

7

pp. 51-100 

5

8

pp. 101-150 

5

9

pp. 151-200 

5

10

pp. 201-208 (end) 

5

11

June 25th - September 21st, 1891 

pp. 1-50 

5

12

pp. 51-100 

5

13

pp. 101-150 

5

14

pp. 151-200 

5

15

pp. 201-243 (end) 

5

16

July 6th - September 30th, 1892 

pp. 1-50 

5

17

pp. 51-100 

5

18

pp. 101-121 (end) 

5

19

June 20th - October 4th, 1893 

pp. 1-50 

5

20

pp. 51-100 

5

21

pp. 101-150 

5

22

pp. 151-200 (end) 

5

23

June 23rd - September 20th, 1894 

pp. 1-50 

5

24

pp. 51-100 

5

25

pp. 101-150 

5

26

pp. 151-172 (end) 

5

27

June 30th - September 20th, 1895 

pp. 1-50 

5

28

pp. 51-100 

5

29

pp. 101-150 

5

30

pp. 151-200 

5

31

pp. 201-204 (end) 

5

32

June 23rd - September 24th, 1897 

pp. 1-50 

5

33

pp. 51-100 

5

34

pp. 101-150 

5

35

pp. 151-171 (end) 

5

36

June 29th - September 22nd, 1898 

pp. 1-50 

5

37

pp. 51-100 

5

38

pp. 101-150 

5

39

pp. 151-171 (end) 

5

40

June 24th - September 16th, 1899 

pp. 1-50 

5

41

pp. 51-100 

5

42

pp. 101-150 

5

43

pp. 151-153 (end) 

5

44

June 21st - September 16th, 1900 

pp. 1-50 

5

45

pp. 51-90 (end) 

5

46

June 15th - September 21, 1901 

pp. 1-50 

5

47

pp. 51-100 

5

48

pp. 101-150 

5

49

pp. 151-200 

5

50

pp. 201-228 (end) 

5

51

June 12th - September 17, 1902 

pp. 1-50 

5

52

pp. 51-100 

5

53

pp. 101-150 

5

54

pp. 151-179 (end) 

5

55

June 19th - September 25th, 1903 

pp. 1-50 

5

56

pp. 51-100 

5

57

pp. 101-150 

5

58

pp. 151-200 

5

59

pp. 201-250 

5

60

pp. 251-274 (end) 

5

61

May - June 1904 

pp. 1 - 50 

6

1

pp. 51 - 70 (end) 

6

2

June - July 1905 

pp. 1 - 50 

6

3

pp. 51 - 100 

6

4

pp. 101-150 

6

5

pp. 151-200 

6

6

pp. 201-250 

6

7

pp. 251-256 (end) 

6

8

1905 

pp. 1-50 

6

9

pp. 51-100 

6

10

pp. 101-150 

6

11

pp. 151-200 

6

12

pp. 201-250 

6

13

pp. 251-300 

6

14

pp. 301-324 (end) 

6

15

November 4th, 1906 - February 10, 1907 

pp. 1 - 50 (Pt. I) 

6

16

pp. 51 - 100 (Pt. I) 

6

17

pp. 101 - 150 (Pt. I) 

6

18

pp. 151 - 200 (Pt. I) 

6

19

pp. 201 - 250 (Pt. I) 

6

20

pp. 251-300 (Pt. I) 

6

21

pp. 301-303 (end Pt. I) 304 - 350 (Pt. II) 

6

22

pp. 351 - 400 (Pt. II) 

6

23

pp. 401-450 (Pt. II) 

6

24

pp. 451-500 (Pt. II) 

6

25

pp. 501-550 (Pt. II) 

6

26

pp. 551-600 (Pt. II) 

6

27

pp. 601 - 617 (end Pt. II) 

6

28

July 18th - September 24th, 1907 

pp. 1 - 50 

6

29

pp. 51 - 100 

6

30

pp. 101-150 

6

31

pp. 151-155 (end) 

6

32

July 16th - September 24th, 1908 

pp. 1-50 

6

33

pp. 51-100 

6

34

pp. 101-146 (end) 

6

35

June 12th - September 17th, 1909 

pp. 1-50 

6

36

pp. 51-100 

6

37

pp. 101-150 

6

38

pp. 151-157 (end) 

6

39

June 25th - September 16th, 1910 

pp. 1-50 

6

40

pp. 51-100 

6

41

pp. 101-150 

6

42

pp. 151-174 (end) 

6

43

February 23rd - March 27th, 1911 

pp. 1-42 (end) 

6

44

June 13th - September 7th, 1911 

pp. 1-50 

6

45

pp. 51-100 

6

46

pp. 101-152 (end) 

6

47

June 27th - October 1st, 1912 

pp. 1-50 

6

48

pp. 51-100 

6

49

pp. 101-150 

6

50

pp. 151-200 (end) 

6

51

August 16th - October 11th, 1913 

pp. 1-50 

7

1

pp. 51-100 

7

2

pp. 101-150 

7

3

pp. 151-200 

7

4

pp. 201-250 

7

5

pp. 251-258 (end) 

7

6

July 31st - September 10th, 1914 

pp. 1 - 50 

7

7

pp. 51-100 

7

8

pp. 101-131 (end) 

7

9

June 12th - September 1st, 1915 

pp. 1 - 50 (Pt. I) 

7

10

pp. 51-100 (Pt. I) 

7

11

pp. 101-150 (Pt. I) 

7

12

pp. 151-200 (Pt. I) 

7

13

pp. 201 - 250 (Pt. I) 

7

14

pp. 251-300 (Pt. I) 

7

15

pp. 301 - 306 (end Pt. I) 307 - 350 (Pt. II) 

7

16

pp. 351-400 (Pt. II) 

7

17

pp. 401 - 450 (Pt. II) 

7

18

pp. 451 - 500 (Pt. II) 

7

19

pp. 501-551 (end Pt. II) 

7

20

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