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Kensington: A Bibliographic Guide: Home



              A Draft of Twelve Lots of Ground Situate in Kensington, belonging to Mr. Samuel Palmer. Surveyed in May 1768. [Of 621 1768]

The Kensington History Project helped HSP's library staff prepare the following bibliography of Kensington-related materials in our collections. You can learn more about Kensington and the Kensington History Project in the November 2002 issue of Pennsylvania Legacies, HSP's illustrated history magazine.




Published Materials

Alcock, Sarah. A Brief History of the Revolution with a Sketch of the Life of John Hewson.  Philadelphia: Mrs. Sarah Alcock, 1843. [Kensington’s Revolutionary War hero and America’s first calico printer of fabrics.]  Gh .658 B8533

Ball, William. Brief of the Title of the Estate of William Ball. Philadelphia: 1858. [Deals with the settlement of the William Ball estate. Ball purchased “Hope Farm” from Palmer in 1729. Ball named his Mansion House “Richmond Hall” hence leading to the current Philadelphia neighborhood being called Port Richmond.]  Wk* .31 v.2

Barker, Charles R.  A Register of the Burying-Grounds of Philadelphia. [Kensington information in volume two, pp. 106-107.]  Ph 20A:2

Catrambone, Jamie and Harry C. Silcox., eds. Kensington History: Stories and Memories.  Philadelphia: Brighton Press, c1996.  [Factual and oral histories of Kensington.]  UPA/Ph F 158.68 .K42 K4 1996

Cramp, Charles. Memoirs of Churches in Old Kensington: Shipbuilders Paramount in Numbers and Influence in the “Old Brick” and “Chandler’s”; Five Notable Vaughan Families. Philadelphia: Public Ledger, 1836 (reprint 1909). UPA/Pam F 158.68.K46 C734 1909a

Cramp, Charles. Old Kensington District and Its Memories: Numerous European Settlers Before the English Occupation. Philadelphia: 1909. UPA/Pam F 158.68 .K46 C73 1909a

Cramp’s Shipyard: The William Cramp & Son’s Ship & Engine Building Company, 1830; the I.P. Morris Company, 1928; the Kensington Shipyard Company, 1900. Philadelphia: 1910.  Wf* .996 v.6

A Digest of the Acts of Assembly and the Ordinances, of the Commissioners and Inhabitants of the Kensington District of the Northern Liberties: for that Government of that District. Philadelphia: Joseph Rakestraw, 1832. UPA/Ph KFX 2139 .K46 A6 1832

Du Ponceau, Peter Stephen. Memoir on the history of the celebrated treaty made by William Penn…Philadelphia: M’Carty & Davis, 1836 [Perhaps the most complete discussion on the plausibility of the Treaty Tree legend.] UPA/Ph F 152 .D89 1970z

Evangelical Home Mission Society of Kensington: Constitution and By-Laws. Philadelphia: 1852. Wh* .99 v.1

Eve, Sarah.  Extracts from the Journals of Miss Sarah Eve, 1772-3. Philadelphia: Collins, 1881 (reprinted from the PMHB v. 5, p.198).  UPA/Ph F 152 .E85 1881

Feldberg, Michael.  The Philadelphia Riots of 1844: A Study of Ethnic Conflict. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1975.  UPA/Ph 158.44 .F44 1975

Gauer, David W. Vaughan Shipwrights of Kensington, Philadelphia: Their Van Hook & Norris Lineages and Combined Progeny. Decorah, IA: Anundsen Pub. Co., c1982.  [Important for the study of Kensington shipwrights and shipbuilding.]Fa 929.2 V364g 1982

Grant, Karen…[et al.]. Fishtown - A Slice of Life: 300 Years in Philadelphia, 1682-1982.  Philadelphia: Fishtown Civic Association, 1982. UPA/Ph F 158.68 .F44 F6 1982

Heinrich, Thomas R. Ships for the Seven Seas:Philadelphia Shipbuilding in the Age of Industrial Capitalism. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1997. UPA/Ph VM 299.6 .H45 1997

Feind, Ernest, N.   A History of the First Presbyterian Church of Kensington: 418 East Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, Organized March 23, 1814. Philadelphia, 1939. Wg* .399 v. 5

A History of the First Presbyterian Church of Kensington in Philadelphia.  Philadelphia,1964. UPA/Ph BX 9211 .P5 F576 1964

Kensington: A City Within a City, Historical and Industrial Review. Philadelphia: Keighton Printing House, 1891. [Illustrated, a business biography of theneighborhood.] UPA/Ph F 159 .K3 K3 1891

Kensington Day Nursery: 6th Annual Report. Philadelphia, 1888. Wj* .424

Kensington Hospital for Women: 124 W Diamond Street, Norris Square Instituted 1883, Incorporated June 1887; Non-sectarian. Philadelphia, 1888.UPA/Pam RA 981 .P5 K43 1888

The Kensington Massacre. Philadelphia: S.C. Atkinson, 1845. Pam JC 585 .R47 no.1 Laughlin, H.H. Causes of the Kensington Riots Explained: In a Series of Letters to the Honorable Daniel O’Connell. Philadelphia: A.H. Rowand, 1845. Wq* .929 v.1.

McKearin, Helen.  Bottles, Flasks and Dr. Dyott. New York: Crown Publishers, 1970.  Dc .4241 M193

Molmer, Joseph S. Kensington: From the Beginning to Consolidation. 1854UPA/Ph F 158.68 .F7 M73 1968

Needles,  Samuel. The Governor’s Mill, and the Globe Mills, Philadelphia. Philadelphia:Collins, 1884 [Extracted from Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, v. 8, p. 279-299 & 377-390.]  UPA/Ph HD 9858 .P5 N43 1884

Palmer, Anthony. Anthony Palmer to William Ball, April 22, 1729. (Grantor Rolls p.528-530, microfilm) [This deed is the purchase by Ball from Palmer of “Hope Farm.”] XD Pa Ph 96

Popkin, Susan A. & Roger B. Allen. Gone Fishing! A History of Fishing in River, Bay, and Sea. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Maritime Museum, 1987. Wn .83481 P828

Robson, Charles. The Manufactories and Manufacturers of Pennsylvania in the Nineteenth Century. Philadelphia: Galaxy Publishing Co., 1875.Ref HD 9727 .P4 M3 1875

Robinson, James.  The Philadelphia Directory for 1804: Containing the Names, Trades and Residences of the Inhabitants of the City, Southwark, Northern Liberties, and Kensington.  Philadelphia: John Oswald, 1804.  Wa .01

Scharf, J. T., & Thompson Westcott. History of Philadelphia, 1609 – 1884. Philadelphia: L.H. Everts, 1884. (three volumes) Ref F 158.3 .S4 1884

Scott, Robert F.  Historic Presbyterian Churches of Kensington and the Northern Liberties: Address by Robert F. Scott at the Fourteenth Annual Meeting of the Friends of Old Pine Street, at the First Presbyterian Church of Kensington, April        28, 1964. Philadelphia, 1964.  UPA/Pam BX 9211 .P5 S36 1964

Scranton, Philip. Proprietary Capitalism: The Textile Manufacture at Philadelphia, 1800–1885. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1983. [Early period of textile manufacturing in Kensington.]  Ref HD 9858 .P5 S35 1983

Seder, Jean. Voices of Kensington:  Vanishing Mills, Vanishing Neighborhoods. Ardmore, PA: Whitmore Pub. Co, 1982. [Oral history of Kensington mill workers and shopkeepers.] UPA/Ph HD 8039 .T42 U667 1982

Shane, Dennis J. The History of the Kensington Burial Ground, Palmer Cemetery, Founded in 1732. Philadelphia: Smith-Edwards-Dunlap Co., 1977. UPA/Ph F 158.61 .K46 S53 1977

Stutz, Bruce, Natural Lives, Modern Times, People and Places of the Delaware River. New York: Crown Publishers, 1992. UPA F 157 .D4 S78 1992

Supplement to the Digest of the Laws, Ordinances, and Resolutions of the Kensington District of the Northern Liberties. Philadelphia: J. Harding, 1848. KFX 2139 .K46 A6 1848

Swindells, William.  Annals of the Kensington Methodist Episcopal Church,Philadelphia.  Philadelphia, 1893. UPA/BX 8481 .P5 K46 1893

Tarr, Elihu D. Digest of Acts of Assembly Relating to the Kensington District of Northern Liberties and of the Ordinances of the Corporation. Philadelphia: Isaac Ashmead, 1847. UPA/Ph KFX 2139 .K46 A6 1847

Vaux, Roberts. Memoir on the Locality of the Great Treaty Between William Penn and the Indian Natives in 1682. Philadelphia. Va .62 v.1

Walther, Rudolph J.  Happenings in Ye Olde Philadelphia 1680-1900.  Philadelphia: Walther Printing House, 1925. UPA/Ph F 158.3 .W15 1925

West, George Montgomery.  Hear Both Sides: Being a Statement of the Controversy Respecting the Destruction of the Church in Kensington.  Philadelphia, 1837. Wg* .899 v.1

Wilson, John G.  Exposition of Facts Relating to the Union Wesleyan Church, Kensington: Both Sides Reviewed. Philadelphia, 1837.  E* .593 v.II

Watson, John F. Annals of Philadelphia, and Pennsylvania, in the Olden Time; Being a Collection of Memoirs, Anecdotes, and Incidents of the City and Its Inhabitants, and of the Earliest Settlements of the Inland Part of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia, J.M. Stoddart & Co. 1877. (three volumes)  [These volumes have a lot of information on Kensington throughout them.] Ref F 158.3 .W75 1877

Worthington, Robert. Robert Worthington to Anthony Palmer, January 27th 1730. (Grantor Rolls p. 363-365, microfilm) [This deed shows Palmer buying the lot for the future town of Kensington. Worthington was an innkeeper who sold the Fairman Mansion and the surrounding 191 1/2 acres to Palmer.]  XD Pa Ph 96

Manuscript Materials

Allaire, Alexander. Indenture, 1765. [Printed indenture, July 26, 1765, for a public burying ground, granted by Alexander

Allaire, and others to Emanuel Eyre and others in Kensington, Northern Liberties, Philadelphia.] Collection 892, Am .30950

Ball families. Papers, 1676-1879.  [Ball was an important early landowner in Kensington, then called Shackamaxon.] Collection 28

Bower, S.D.S. Bower Family of Philadelphia. Gen Bo 4

Frankford Mutual Fire Insurance Company. Records, 1843-1885. [Records of the Frankford Mutual Insurance Company, located in the Frankford district of Philadelphia.  Most of the buildings described are in the Frankford, Bridesburg, and Kensington sections of Philadelphia County.] Collection 1906

Hewson, Col. John. Part of His Diary About His Escape from British to N.J. Sept. 20, 1778. (autographed manuscript) [Kensington’s Revolutionary War hero’s escape from the British.]  Society Collection

Kensington papers, 1890-1891, 1907, 1927.  [Papers include photographs of the area and local industries including F. & J. Bodine, Glass Manufacturers; Henry Bouteau Hardware, Cutlery and Nail Warehouse; Henry Disston: Keystone Saw, Tool and Steel Works; Dreifus & Co, Inc.; Glass Works of T.W. Dyott; John J. McCarron, Horse Shoer; Parke & Tiers Brass: Bell and Iron Founders (Pt. Pleasant); and Wilson, Childs & Co: Philadelphia Plantation and Road Wagon Works.]  Collection 2148

Kensington register, ca. 1812. [Copies of deeds, surveys, road records, list of property holders, and other items.] Collection 340

The Lighthouse. Records, 1893-2000. [The Lighthouse, a settlement house, was founded as a social center for the mill workers of the Kensington section of Philadelphia. It shortly expanded to include a Boys' Club, Men's Club, Girls' Club, Women's Club, Baldwin Day Nursery, and a several other activities, with the boys' sports program as its most viable activity. Also includes, Old Timers' Association minutes, and the Lighthouse Beneficial Society minutes.] Collection 1970 (finding aid available)

MacPherson family. Correspondence, 1766 (1766-1813) 1855.  [MacPherson was another large estate owner in Kensington; his estate became the McPherson Library in Kensington. John MacPherson, Jr., served as Richard Montgomery's aide-de-camp during the Revolutionary War.]  Collection 1688

Miscellaneous Government Records, 1664-1950. Philadelphia (Pa.). Courts. Grand Jury. Minutes, 1844.  [This jury considered many of the cases arising from the anti-Catholic riots of 1844 in Kensington and Southwark.]  Collection 1855

Norris family. Papers, 1742-1860. [Most of Isaac Norris’ Fairhill & Sepviva Plantation would become the District of Kensington.] Collection 454

Northern Dispensary of Philadelphia for the Medical Relief of the Poor. Records, 1816-1904. [The Northern Dispensary was chartered in 1817 for the purpose of  furnishing gratuitous medical assistance to those who, though not destitute, could not afford medical care.]  Collection 1687

Palmer Cemetery.  Interments 1859-1887, 1884-1978; Vault Book 1871-1874; Minutes 1889-1913. XR 805


Breton, William L. Treaty Ground of William Penn and the Indian Natives, 1682 of Shackamaxon, now Kensington, 1830 watercolor, 13 x 18.5 cm. Bb 862 B756 #14.

Easton, Alexander.  Dyottsville Glass Works, 1858 lithograph, 13 x 22 cm. Stauffer Collection v. 1 p.56.

Herline, Edward and Daniel Hensel Die Katholische St. Peter's Kirche Zu Philadelphia. On Der Funften Und Franklin Strasse,  1857 lithograph, 19.5 x 15 cm. Ba 131 S149

Old Log Cabin. Yeakle Residence, Germanton Ave. and Mermaid Ave. Campbell Collection, v.36 p.73-76.

Queen, James.  Empire Hook & Ladder Company, No. 1, Instituted February 6th 1851,1851 lithograph, 38 x 59 cm.  Bc 832 E55

Rease, William H.  Penn Steam Engine & Boiler Works Foot of Palmer Street Kensington, Philadelphia, 1859 lithograph, 41 x 62 cm.  Bc 38 R288

Rosenthal, Max.  Reliques of William Penn in Philadelphia in 1864. Six Scenes: Penn's House in 2nd St.; House in Letitia St.; Brewhouse at Pennsbury; Penn's Manor; Treaty with the Indians, 1864 lithograph, 26 x 36 cm. Bb l8 R8l5

Schell, Francis H.  Episcopal Hospital (Late Leamy Estate), 1858 lithograph,14 x 23 cm. [in Philadelphia Views] Bd 61 P 53

Sinclair, Thomas S. Franklin Iron Work: Franklin Str. Between Second and Front Sts., Kensington, Philadelphia, 1842 lithograph, 47 x 58 cm.  Bc 35 S967


Kensington - Her Official Boundaries & Neighbors before Absorption by Philadelphia in 1854. [Compiled from old records and presented to members of the 18th Ward Council by George Baker, Christmas 1950.] Of 621 [1950] a

Lukens, John.  A Draft of Twelve Lots of Ground Situate in Kensington, Belonging toSamuel Palmer.  Of 621 1768

Map of Kensington. Logan Papers p.77

Smart, James.  Series of Twenty-four Maps and Enclosed Descriptions Entitled “Neighborhoods of Our City” Which Ran in the Philadelphia Sunday Bulletin from March 1, 1964-January 17, 1965.  Of 600 1964-1965 Surveys of Lands in Prince-Queen-Palmer Cherry Streets Area in Kensington.  Of 621 [1800] a-e

Uhle, John C.  Map of Lands Granted Timothy Scrath and Others in the Kensington Area. Of 621 S [1750]


created 11/2002; web formatting updated 2/6/2013