The Journal of Charles Rawn
April 1, 1852 to April 15, 1852 (Book 23)

Edited by Robert Clay

From the entries in this section of the journal, Charles Rawn and his wife appear to be socially outgoing. They regularly attend church as a family and are present at many social gatherings. In these two weeks there are more than seventy individuals mentioned that include friends, business associates, acquaintances and various service people.

While Rawn provides little insight in his journal into his beliefs and personality, his dedication to friends and the types of clients he represented may give us some understanding of the man. During the days of the Fugitive Slave Law, Rawn was actively involved on behalf of poor blacks and was known as an "eloquent pleader" for human rights.1 Andrew Dunn, a client of Rawn, provoked Harrisburg’s first successful labor strike. Theophilus Fenn, editor of the Telegraph, hired Dunn, an inexperienced young Scot from Cincinnati, to work at the newspaper and paid him the union wage. The union journeyman working at the Telegraph complained that Dunn had presented no card from the printer’s union in Cincinnati. The journeyman gave Dunn two weeks to produce a union card. When Dunn produced no card, Fenn refused to fire him and was unwilling to submit to the union. This caused the printers to strike.2 What is revealed in Rawn’s journal is the apparent physical abuse that Dunn suffered during this period from the union printers at the Telegraph. Rawn’s sympathies may have been on the side of business and not on the side of labor in this case. Or perhaps Rawn, by taking this case, was showing he sympathized with the battered Dunn. In any case, the transcription of this brief two week period has brought us new documented information about labor unrest in Harrisburg and added a glimmer of light to the personality of Charles Rawn.


1 - Biographical Encyclopedia of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania (Chambersburg, Pa. J.M. Runk & Company, Publishers, 1896), p. 427.

2 - Gerald G. Eggert, Harrisburg Industrializes: The Coming of Factories to an American Community. (University Park, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1993), p. 272.

The Journal

Transcriptions for this section of the journal begin April 1, 1852 and end April 15, 1852. Click on a date to begin reading.

List of Names Mentioned

  • Alrick, Herman(us), Esq.- Senior attorney in Dauphin County
  • Alricks, Hamilton - Harrisburg attorney who tried cases in U.S. Supreme Court
  • Bergners Book Store
  • Bevan + Dunham - Law firm in Baltimore
  • Bitterman, Mo. - Of Gratztown
  • Boas, S. T. K., Esq.
  • Bordin, G. W.
  • Brawley, Gen’l L. P.
  • Bredin, James, Esq.
  • Buch, Wm.
  • Buehley, Robert
  • Buffington, ?
  • Bullocks - Next door neighbors to the Rawns
  • Burnett, ?
  • Clark, A. M.
  • Crepley, Mr.
  • Curzon, E.
  • DeWitt, Rev. Wm. - Pastor of Presbyterian Church
  • Dunn, Andrew - From Cincinnati, a non-union Scot printer at Fenn + Sedgrericks who caused a strike at the Telegraph by failing to carry a union card
  • Earness, J.
  • Eicheiberger, Jacob
  • Fenn + Sedgrericks - Printing firm owned by Theophilus Fenn
  • Fleming, Dr. - Dentist
  • Gellentniy, F. - Tenant of Rawn
  • Germantown Telegraph - Newspaper
  • Graff, Paul
  • Grahm, James - Of Philadelphia
  • Greenwalt - A server from Hummelstown
  • Hackiden, ?
  • Haehrolen, Jacob H.
  • Jackson, Betsey - Laundress
  • Johnson, ?
  • Jones, Joseph
  • Joseph, Charles
  • Kelly, David
  • Kline, Esq.
  • Kreide, Mr. - Of Dauphin Deposit Bank
  • Lowry, Mr. - Of the House of Representatives from Schuylkill County
  • Mapluckin, Mo.
  • Meyer, Charles F. - Of Baltimore
  • Miller, Rothy
  • Mollriler - Colored man
  • Moore, M. - Colored man
  • Nelf, McCormick
  • Oglesby, Jonah - Prominent agriculturalist and manufacturer of sickles
  • Parkhills, Robert
  • Pollock, Mrs.
  • Porter, Mr. - Carpenter worked on Rawn house
  • Rahn, Judge
  • Roberts, Dr. E. W. - Edmund Wilson Roberts M.D., Yale graduate
  • Rouch, Mr. - Journeyman carpenter; worked on Rawn house
  • Sain, Geo.
  • Shell, Mr. C. M.
  • Shellehamer, Abrm. - Of East Hanover
  • Shirk, Michl. - Engaged in mercantile pursuits in Dauphin County
  • Shoch, Saml., Esq. - Prominent Harrisburg attorney (Colonel S. Shoch)
  • Shunk, Wm. - Son of Gov. Shunk
  • Sinn, Jos. - Brother-in-law of Chas Spring
  • Sinnickson, Storms,+ Martin - Law firm from Philadelphia
  • Spring, Amos
  • Spring, Charles
  • Spring, Jos.
  • Steins Hotel
  • Sykem, Wm.
  • The Presbyterian - Newspaper
  • Trimble, Thos. R.
  • VanRiper, Christopher Columbus - Son of P. G. Van Riper
  • VanRiper, P. Ganeh
  • Walace, Joseph - Leaser of pew rents, Presbyterian Church
  • Walters, Saul
  • Wenrich, Amos
  • Wyett, Gertrude - Married Wm. Shunk
  • Zimmerman, C. O. - Conrad O. Zimmerman, brick manufacturer

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PDF Icon Book 22: 1852-04-01 to 1852-04-15