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Logan, Deborah Norris (1761–1839) - Local History

philadelphia society historical letters

Deborah Norris Logan, called a “collector of historical records,” was born October 19, 1761, to Charles Norris, a Quaker merchant, and Mary Parker, his second wife. They lived in Philadelphia, two doors away from the State House, and on July 8, 1776, when Deborah was fourteen, she stood on the garden fence to hear the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. She attended the Friends Girls School in Philadelphia but was mostly self-taught. On September 6, 1781, she married George Logan, a Quaker physician, and two years later they moved to Stenton, north of Philadelphia, to the family farm. Her husband entered politics and became a United States Senator.

In 1814 Logan found a series of old letters in the family attic that turned out to be the correspondence of William Penn and James Logan, her husband’s grandfather. She got up at daybreak each day afterwards to copy the letters, which she presented to the American Philosophical Society. They were published in Memoirs of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (vols. 9-10, 1870–1872). The next year Logan began keeping a diary and included the reminiscences of Charles Thomson, secretary of the Continental Congress. In 1821 her husband died; she began a memoir of his life, published in 1899 as Memoir of Dr. George Logan of Stenton . It contained letters and anecdotes of Washington, Jefferson, Citizen Genet, and Randoph of Roanoke, all guests of the Logans. In 1827 Logan became the first woman member of the Historical Society of Philadelphia (an honorary member), and in 1830 John F. Watson’s Annals of Philadelphia included her memoirs and some of the manuscripts she rescued. Deborah Logan died on February 2, 1839. The Historical Society of Philadelphia issued a tribute to her as a Pennsylvania historian.

Loguen, J. W.(1813–1872) - Minister, abolitionist, Life at Manasseth’s, Chronology, Flight North, Life in Canada [next] [back] Lodge, Thomas (1558–1625) - BIOGRAPHY, CRITICAL RECEPTION

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