Ury House -- 1824

The nine drawings of "The Blackberry Rambles" are the pictorial diary of a three-day stroll through the countryside north of Philadelphia, its object being the restoration of health by outdoor exercise and a diet of blackberries fresh from the brambles crowding the country lanes. He [Charles Willson Peale at 83 years old] had taken the stage to Frankford, "and from the Bridge took the road toward the delaware," then moving inland in an easy and meandering course, meeting friendly people everywhere and lingering to sketch their houses and enjoy their company. The last sketch is of Friends' Asylum (still standing), and from there he trudged back to Philadelphia, arriving at the "time of lighting the lamps." The itinerary is described in letters to Rubens Peale, August 23, and to Samuel Swift, September 25, 1824. The sketches were made in the following order, though it is not followed precisely in the book:

Aug. 15. [1924]
Home of Hon. John Lardner, at the junction of Wissoniming Creek and the Delaware. "it being of handsome architecture."

"I made a sketch of the next seat belonging to Mr. Slater (uninhabited)."

Mr. Eddows place--here they gave me fruit & I made a slight sketch of their house which stood almost covered with trees."

In the afternoon he was invited to tea by the two Misses Swift, sketched their house which stood among broad lawns, gravel walks and a profusion of flowering shrubbery, and was presuaded by them to remain overnight.

Before breakfast he made another view of this hospitable mansion, and later walked over to the home of the ladies' brother. At Samuel Swift's preparations were being made for the wedding of one of his daughters, but their elderly guest was no less welcome, spending there the dayand night.

On the homeward road, he made first a sketch of "Ury," the home of Miers Fisher.

Farther on, at the corner of Asylum Pike and Hartshorn's Road (Forty-Acre Lane), he made two views of Hartshorn's." These were probably of different buildings at "Summer Hill," Patterson Hartshorn's estate.
A view of Friends' Auylum completes this record of the ramble.
Charles Coleman Sellers, "Charles Willson Peale with Patron and Populace. A Supplement to "Portraits and Miniatures by Charles Willson Peale". With a Survey of His Work in Other Genres" in Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, New Ser., Vol. 59, No. 3 (1969), pp. 50-51.




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