==History==
[[File:2108_detail.jpg|thumb|right|Fig. 1, Nicholas Scull and George Heap, ''A Map of Philadelphia and Parts Adjacent'' [detail], in Sylvanus Urban, ed. ''Gentleman’s Magazine and Historical Chronicle'' 23 (1753), p. 373.]]
For more than thirty years, between January 1758 and November 1788, Hannah Callender Sansom kept a diary in which she recorded, among many topics, descriptions of the country seats she visited, primarily in the vicinity of Philadelphia and New York. Sansom, born in 1737, was the only child of William Callender Jr. (1703&ndash;1763) and Katharine Smith (1711&ndash;1789), devout Quakers and active members of the Philadelphia Monthly Meeting.<ref>William Callender Jr., emigrated from Barbados to America, arriving to the Delaware Valley in 1727. He married Katharine Smith of Burlington, New Jersey, in 1731, and they moved to Philadelphia in 1733. William Callender was a prosperous merchant, who earned his wealth in the West Indian sugar trade and through Philadelphia real estate investments. He also helped found the Library Company of Philadelphia and was involved in politics, serving in the Pennsylvania Assembly from 1753&ndash;56. Both William and Katharine with active members of Philadelphia’s Quaker community and played prominent roles in the Monthly Meetings. Hannah was their only child to survive infancy. George Vaux, “Extracts from the Diary of Hannah Callender,” ''Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography'' 12, no. 4 (January 1889): 432, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/STWXKSK3 view on Zotero]; Hannah Callender Sansom, ''The Diary of Hannah Callender Sansom: Sense and Sensibility in the Age of the American Revolution'', ed. Susan E. Klepp and Karin Wulf (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2010), 16&ndash;19, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/33F7ZBKJ view on Zotero].</ref> The family maintained a home on Front Street in Philadelphia as well as a [[plantation]], Richmond [[Seat]], which William established in Point-No-Point, about four miles north of Philadelphia on the banks of the Delaware River [Fig. 1].<ref>Sansom 2010, 17. By July 1760 William Callender had sold his Front Street house, and Richmond Seat became the family’s primary residence. Hannah Callender Sansom, diary entry for July 14, 1760, in Sansom 2010, 138, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/33F7ZBKJ view on Zotero].</ref> Richmond Seat was a working [[plantation]] that produced “good English hay” for sale and, by 1752, boasted thirty-five acres of meadow with “good English grass,” an eight-acre [[orchard]] for the cultivation of various fruits, a two-acre garden, and “a small well-built brick house, with a boarded kitchen.”<ref>“Advertisements,” ''Pennsylvania Gazette'' (February 16, 1744): 4, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/TKWJBRAA view on Zotero]; “To Be SOLD,” ''Pennsylvania Gazette'' (February 25, 1752): 2, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/UIJSEJFE view on Zotero].</ref> With its agricultural focus and simple architecture, Richmond [[Seat]] fit well within Quaker ideals of plainness and frugality as well as the belief held by many Quakers during this period that farming in the country facilitated spiritual growth.<ref>Mark Reinberger and Elizabeth McLean write that for Quaker men of William Callender’s generation, retreating to the countryside “was religious and involved . . . a closer contact with God through living in the country and farming.” Mark Reinberger and Elizabeth McLean, ''The Philadelphia Country House: Architecture and Landscape in Colonial Philadelphia'' (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015), 257, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/5BEHWQK6 view on Zotero].</ref>
As a member of a wealthy family, Sansom was well educated and, according to the scholars Susan E. Klepp and Karin Wulf, had access to the collections of the Library Company of Philadelphia throughout her life. Both her father and her husband, Samuel Sansom Jr. (1738/39&ndash;1824), were members of the institution, which included various architectural, gardening, and horticultural manuals in its collections.<ref>Hannah Callender Sansom attended Anthony Benezet’s Society of Friends’ girls’ school in Philadelphia and also studied under Maria Jeanne Reynier, a French school mistress. In 1762 she married Samuel Sansom Jr., a merchant, real estate investor, and fellow Quaker from Philadelphia. Beginning in 1776, Samuel Sansom served as treasurer of the Library Company of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Contributionship for the Insurance of Houses from Loss by Fire. The couple had five children: William (b. 1763), Sarah (b. 1764), Joseph (b. 1767), Catherine (b. 1769), and Samuel (b. 1773). Catherine died of smallpox as an infant, but all of the other Sansom children survived to adulthood. Sansom 2010, 12, 14, and 21, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/33F7ZBKJ view on Zotero]. The Library Company of Philadelphia’s 1770 and 1775 catalogues, for example, include titles such as William Halfpenny, ''Useful Architecture'' (London, 1752); ''The Builder’s Dictionary'' (London, 1734); James Lee, ''An Introduction to Botany'' (London, 1760); Thomas Hitt, ''A Treatise of Fruit Trees'', 2nd ed. (London, 1757); Philip Miller, ''Gardener’s and Florist’s Dictionary'' (London, 1724); Philip Miller, ''The Gardener’s Kalendar'', 12th ed. (London, 1760); John Hill, ''Eden: or, A Compleat Body of Gardening'' (London, 1757); ''(William) Salmon’s English Herbal'' (London, 1710); and James Wheeler, ''Botanist’s and Gardener’s Dictionary'' (London, 1765), among many others. Several of the library’s early printed catalogues are available online, http://librarycompany.org/about/history.htm.</ref> As part of their education, upper-class women in 18th-century Philadelphia were encouraged to read widely and to “enhance and display” the knowledge they acquired from books “through fieldwork and critical observation of the world around them.”<ref>Sarah E. Fatherly, “‘The Sweet Recourse of Reason’: Elite Women’s Education in Colonial Philadelphia,” ''Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography'' 128, no. 3 (July 2004): 230, 232, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/DDXUGMRR view on Zotero].</ref> Visiting country houses provided “exclusive . . . educational opportunities” for Sansom and her companions, who were often permitted to explore the estates’ art collections, architecture, and gardens.<ref>Fatherly 2004, 251, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/DDXUGMRR view on Zotero].</ref> <span id="BushHill_cite"></span>After a September 1758 visit to James Hamilton’s Bush Hill, for example, Sansom wrote about the “fine house and gardens, with Statues, and fine paintings,” and commented in particular upon works depicting St. Ignatius and the mythological story of the rape of Proserpine ([[#BushHill|view text]]). Hamilton had amassed one of the few notable fine art collections in the Philadelphia area during this period, and, because he often welcomed visitors, his estate served as “a kind of art museum for Philadelphia’s gentry.”<ref>Reinberger and McLean 2015, 240, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/5BEHWQK6 view on Zotero].</ref>

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