Manuscript Friendship Album of Caroline McKean (1805-1833), granddaughter of Thomas McKean, dated Philadelphia 1827-30
quarto, original full red straight-grained morocco, gilt, extremities rubbed, front board detached, approximately 51 pages of manuscript poetry, 13 pages of which are on loose sheets included in the volume, plus blanks. Some of the poetry in the volume appears to be original, that on the loose sheets appears to be copied from known writers. There are also included 8 mounted pictures, original watercolor illustrations of a variety of subjects, a couple of which have poetry inscribed below the picture.
The front board is stamped in gilt "Caroline McKean." Front blank has the inscription "Caroline McKean, 1827, Caroline Matilda McKean, U.S.N. from brother W." It is likely that the book was given to Caroline by her brother Commodore William Wister McKean (1800-1865). One of the poems in the book is signed "W.W. McKean."
The owner of this album was Caroline McKean, the granddaughter of Thomas McKean (1734-1817), a signer of the Declaration of Independence, as well as a Continental Congressman from Delaware.
Thomas McKean also served as the second President of the Continental Congress under the Articles of Confederation. He later became a Governor and a Chief Justice of Pennsylvania.
Caroline McKean was born April 27, 1805 and died March 19, 1833, she never married. She was the daughter of Thomas McKean's oldest son, Joseph Borden McKean (1764-1826) and his wife Hannah Miles (1764-1845). Caroline's father was a Philadelphia lawyer, who later became the presiding judge of the District Court of the City and County of Philadelphia. Some of the poetry inscribed in Caroline's album is signed with the names: Letitia Buchanan, Rosa McKean, M.A. Petit, W. W. McKean, Henry Pettit, Robert Pettit, Sidney Paul, Rebecca Paul, James Donnell, & Rebecca Stewart. These individuals are all related by marriage to McKean and represent some of the most prominent families in Philadelphia at the time.