For over thirty years, between January 1758 and November 1788, Hannah Callender kept a diary in which she recorded, among many topics, descriptions of the country seats she visited, primarily in the vicinities of Philadelphia and New York. Callender, 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;1756. 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. by Susan E. Klepp and Karin Wulf (Ithaca and London: 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>Callender 2010, 17. By July 1760 William Callender had sold his Front Street house, and Richmond Seat became the family's primary residence. Hannah Callender, diary entry for July 14, 1760, in Callender 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," ''The Pennsylvania Gazette'' (Philadelphia, Pa., February 16, 1744), 4, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/TKWJBRAA view on Zotero]; "To Be SOLD," ''The Pennsylvania Gazette'' (Philadelphia, Pa., 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, Callender 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>Callender 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. Callender 2010, 12, 14, 21, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/33F7ZBKJ view on Zotero]. The Library Company of Philadelphia’s 1770 and 1775 catalogs, 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); ''Hill’s Compleat Body of Gardening''; ''(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 catalogs are available online, http://librarycompany.org/about/history.htm.</ref> As part of their education, upper-class women in eighteenth-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," ''The 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 Callender 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="Bayards_citeBushHill_cite"></span>After a September 1758 visit to [[James Hamilton]]’s [[Bush Hill]], for example, Callender 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]]). [[James Hamilton|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>
From May to June 1759, twenty-one-year-old Hannah Callender traveled to New York City and Long Island. In her diary, she notes a visit to Bowne House, the home of Samuel Bowne in Flushing, where she participated in a game of “trays-ace” in the [[orchard]].<ref>Hannah Callender, diary entry for May 26, 1759, in Vaux 1889, 441, [https://www.zotero.org/groups/54737/items/itemKey/STWXKSK3 view on Zotero].</ref> <span id="Bayards_cite"></span> A couple of weeks later, Callender wrote that she “took a walk to Bayard’s country seat” near New York and described the “fine [[walk]] of locust trees” that leads to the house, with “a beautiful [[wood]] on one side and a garden for both use and ornament on the other.” Despite such praise, Callender championed Philadelphia’s gardens above New York’s, claiming that New York had “no gardens…which come up to ours of Philadelphia” ([[#Bayards|view text]]). <span id="RichmondSeat_cite"></span> After returning to Philadelphia, Callender recorded the agricultural and ornamental uses of the land at Richmond Seat, observing that half of the sixty-acre property was covered in “a fine [[woods]],” an [[orchard]], flower and kitchen gardens, and the house and barn, while the remaining thirty acres was given over to [[meadow]] ([[#RichmondSeat|view text]]).

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