Guide to the Papers of the Denny-O'Hara Family, 1769-1949 (bulk 1769-1875)

Detre Library & Archives, Heinz History Center

Summary Information

Repository
Detre Library & Archives, Heinz History Center
Title
Denny - O'Hara Family Papers
Collection Number
MSS.51
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1769-1875
Date [inclusive]
1769-1949
Extent
9.5 linear feet
Extent
(19 boxes)
Abstract
The Denny and O'Hara families are two prominent families who migrated to the Pittsburgh region prior to the American Revolution. Ebenezer Denny and James O'Hara both served in the Revolutionary War and became civic and business leaders of the growing city. Two of their children, Harmar Denny and Elizabeth O'Hara, were married in 1817, uniting the families. These papers primarily relate to the family's vast landholdings in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Illinois and include correspondence, receipts, accounts, and deeds.

Preferred Citation note

Denny - O'Hara Family Papers, 1769-1949 (bulk 1769-1875). MSS 51, Detre Library & Archives, Sen. John Heinz History Center

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Biographical/Historical note

The Denny and O'Hara families are two prominent families who migrated to the Pittsburgh region prior to the American Revolution. Ebenezer Denny and James O'Hara both served in the Revolutionary War and became civic and business leaders of the growing city. Two of their children, Harmar Denny and Elizabeth O'Hara, were married in 1817, uniting the families.

Ebenezer Denny (1761-1822)

Ebenezer Denny, Pittsburgh's first mayor, was born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania on March 11, 1761, the eldest son of William and Agnes (Parker) Denny. At the age of thirteen, Denny became a bearer of dispatches to Fort Pitt, and was commissioned ensign in the First Pennsylvania Regiment during the American Revolution. At the surrender of the British forces at Yorktown, Ensign Denny was designated to plant the first American flag on the British parapet, but at the last moment, Baron von Steuben usurped this honor. After the Revolution, he served in the Carolinas under General Arthur St. Clair and in the western campaign against the Indians, as adjutant to General Josiah Harmar and aide-de-camp to General St. Clair. He was commissioned captain in 1794 and sent to Presque Isle (now Erie) to protect commissioners engaged in laying out the town, but hostilities with the Six Nations forced the detachment to turn back.

He retired from military service in 1795 and returned to Western Pennsylvania, where he lived on a farm on Street's Run, six miles up the Monogahela River from Pittsburgh. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the legislature about 1795, but was elected a commissioner of Allegheny County in 1796. Around that time, he moved to the city and became a merchant. He continued his political career as county treasurer in 1803 and 1808. In 1804, he was appointed a director of the Pittsburgh branch of the Bank of Pennsylvania, and was also active in the First Presbyterian Church, Society of the Cincinnati, and was the first president of the Moral Society, founded in 1809. He played a prominent role in the establishment of the Western Theological School in Allegheny City. During the War of 1812, he served as commissary of purchases for troops on the Erie and Niagara frontier. When the city of Pittsburgh was incorporated in 1816, he was elected the first mayor. He was reelected January 14, 1817, but only served until July, when ill health forced him to retire.

On July 1, 1793, he married Nancy Wilkins (1776-1806), the daughter of Captain John Wilkins, Sr., early settler of Wilkinsburg. They had four children: Harmar Denny (1794-1852), William Henry Denny (1796-?), St. Clair Denny (1800-?), Agnes (Nancy) Denny, and another daughter who died in infancy. His wife died on May 1, 1806 at the age of thirty. Ebenezer Denny died July 21, 1822.

James O'Hara (1752-1819)

James O'Hara was born in County Mayo, Ireland in 1752. He left Ireland in 1765 to study at the College of St. Sulpice, a Jesuit school in Paris, where he remained until 1770, when he accepted a commission in the Regiment of the Coldstream Guards. After eighteen months in the military, he obtained a position as a clerk in the countinghouse of a Liverpool ship broker. Seeking adventure, he sailed for Philadelphia in 1772. He quickly acquired a position as an Indian trader in Western Pennsylvania, enabling him to become familiar with the area surrounding Fort Pitt. Recognizing the potential of the area, James O'Hara began accumulating property there at an early date.

At the outbreak of the American Revolution, O'Hara raised an army, the Third Virginia Regiment, outfitting the soldiers at his own expense. In 1779, the Regiment, reduced to only twenty-nine men, joined the Ninth Virginia Regiment. O'Hara returned to the East to serve as Commissary of the General Hospital at Carlisle, Pennsylvania. In 1781, he was appointed Assistant Quartermaster and in 1792, he became Quartermaster General of the United States Army, responsible for paying troops, arranging transportation, and procuring supplies. He resigned this position in 1796, but continued government contracting until 1802.

Despite his frequent absences from Pittsburgh, O'Hara continued purchasing land and began several pioneering business ventures. The first of these was the transport of salt from Onondaga salt works in Salina (Syracuse), New York to Pittsburgh. Prior to O'Hara's efforts, salt had to be brought over the Allegheny Mountains from Baltimore, at considerable expense. In partnership with Isaac Craig, he built the first glassworks west of the Alleghenies about 1797. The O'Hara-Craig Glass Works, later Pittsburg Glass Works and finally O'Hara Glass Works, was located on the foot of Coal Hill (now Mt. Washington) opposite the Point. He established his first brewery in McKeesport in 1798, but left this business to start another brewery at the Point, in partnership with Joseph Coppinger. O'Hara's only business failure was the Hermitage Furnace, built in Ligonier, Pennsylvania in 1816. The mill ceased production after only one year, with considerable debts. His other business concerns included fur trading, sawmill, shipbuilding, tannery, grist mill, and a dry goods store.

In contrast to his business successes, O'Hara's political career was marked by disappointments. He ran unsuccessfully for state and local offices, and was finally councilman for the city of Pittsburgh. Like his friend Ebenezer Denny, O'Hara was appointed a director of the western branch of the Bank of Pennsylvania, and succeeded John Wilkins as president in 1815, a position he held until the bank was absorbed by the Bank of the United States in 1817. O'Hara was also active in the civic life of the community. Along with Ebenezer Denny, O'Hara patrolled the First Presbyterian Church when it was still a log structure threatened by Indian attacks. Although he had converted to Protestantism, O'Hara donated land for the construction of Saint Patrick's Church, the first Catholic church in Pittsburgh, at the corner of Liberty and Washington Streets.

In 1783, O'Hara married Mary Carson (c1761-1834), known as "Pretty Polly," the daughter of a well-known Philadelphia innkeeper. They settled in Officers' Orchard, on the Allegheny River near the Point, an area established to house officers of the French army during the primacy of Fort Duquesne. As their family and fortunes grew, the O'Haras moved from this modest log structure to more spacious surroundings on Clapboard Row, on Water Street, the most fashionable street in the growing community. James and Mary had six children: William Carson O'Hara, James O'Hara, Charles O'Hara, Richard Butler O'Hara, Elizabeth Febiger O'Hara Denny, and Mary Carson O'Hara Croghan (c1803-1827). Only the three younger children outlived their parents.

James O'Hara died on December 17, 1819. According to his obituary in the Pittsburgh Gazette, O'Hara was mourned by the entire city as a "beloved parent." Mary outlived him by fifteen years, dying in 1834.

Harmar Denny (1794-1852)

Harmar Denny, eldest son of Ebenezer and Nancy Denny, was born in Pittsburgh on May 13, 1794. Named for his father's military comrade, he completed his preparatory education in Pittsburgh and graduated from Dickinson College in Carlisle in 1813. He was admitted to the Allegheny County Bar in 1816, under motion of his teacher and eventual law partner, Henry Baldwin.

One year later, on November 25, 1817, Harmar married Elizabeth Febiger O'Hara, daughter of James and Mary O'Hara. This union of two of Pittsburgh's leading families brought increased wealth and prestige to Harmar, as well as an opportunity to demonstrate his business acumen, as he became administrator of his father-in-law's vast estate in 1819. He also operated a law practice in Pittsburgh from 1819-1826, when he began to devote more time to his political career.

In the early 1820s, he served on city council. From 1824-1829, as a member of the state House of Representatives, he advocated any legislation that would benefit Allegheny County and Western Pennsylvania. In 1829, he accepted the Antimasonic nomination for a special election to U. S. Congress, and won reelection in 1834. He served as a member of Congress until 1837, once again favoring governmental action that benefited his district. In addition, he favored protectionism and the "American System" for internal improvements, promotion of domestic manufacture and industry, and the rechartering of the Second Bank of the United States. In 1837, he served as a delegate to the convention in Harrisburg to amend the state's Constitution of 1790. Although he was not actively involved in politics from 1837-1844, he abandoned his affiliation with the Antimasonics and became active in the Whig party during that time. In 1844, he cherished hopes of being nominated as Henry Clay's running mate on the Whig presidential ticket, but when journalists reminded the public of Harmar's criticism of Clay's Compromise Bill of 1833, these hopes were dashed.

Harmar's civic and charitable activities were legion. In 1815, he became a member of the Pittsburgh Chemical and Physiological Society, and in 1817, the president of the newly-founded Young Men's Western Auxiliary Bible Society. He was active in the First Presbyterian Church throughout his life, serving as an elder from 1829 until his death. His other affiliations included: Allegheny Bridge Company, manager, 1819; Eagle Fire Company, vice president, 1819; The Society for the Promotion of Agriculture and Domestic Manufactures in Allegheny County, secretary, 1823; Bank of Pittsburgh, director, 1823-1824; Western Theological Seminary, director, 1830-1852 and president of the board of trustees, 1845-1848; Western University of Pennsylvania, trustee, 1840-1852; Exchange Bank of Pittsburgh, director, 1843-1845, 1847, 1850-1851; Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, president, 1843; and American Philosophical Society, 1848.

His interest in Pennsylvania transportation continued after his retirement from politics. In 1846, he was involved with the Pittsburgh & Connellsville Railroad Company and later became director and president of the Pittsburgh-Steubenville Railroad Company. Visiting Philadelphia in 1851 on behalf of the latter company, Harmar contracted a severe lung inflammation. After a prolonged illness, he died on January 29, 1852.

Elizabeth Febiger O'Hara Denny (1796-1878)

Elizabeth Febiger O'Hara was born on December 31, 1796, the fourth child and oldest daughter of James and Mary O'Hara. She was given her unusual middle name in honor of her maternal aunt, Elizabeth Carson Febiger. As a young woman, Elizabeth taught at the Adelphi School, the city's first free school for underprivileged children, providing instruction in reading, writing, sewing, and knitting. This school was affiliated with the First Presbyterian Church and was only one of many church-related organizations with which Elizabeth was involved. She also served as president of the Allegheny Orphan Asylum, member of the Allegheny Home for the Friendless, and member of the Domestic Missionary Society, to which she donated $1,000 per year toward the salary of a city missionary. In addition to being a member of the Female Bible Society and the Parent Society, Elizabeth led a teacher's training class for women in 1831. Like her father-in-law and husband, Elizabeth was a patron of the Western Theological Seminary. Along with her husband and niece, Mary Schenley, Elizabeth donated land for the construction of the Western Pennsylvania Hospital, in present-day Bloomfield. After the hospital was completed in 1849, there were insufficient funds for furnishings, so Elizabeth and Elizabeth Krieder Brunot founded the Helping Hand Society to raise money.

She and Harmar had twelve children, eight of whom survived childhood: Ann Wilkins Denny (1818-c1823), Mary O'Hara Denny Spring (1820-1904), James O'Hara Denny (1821-1859), William Croghan Denny (1823-1866), Elizabeth O'Hara Denny McKnight (1824-1896), Catharine Denny (1826-1828), Agnes Denny (1828-1828), Caroline Sophia Denny Paxton (1829-1920), Amelia Melusina Denny Brereton (1831-?), Harmar Denny (1833-1908), Matilda Wilkins Denny (1836-1918), and Baldwin Denny (1839-?).

Although little has been written on Elizabeth, the family papers show that she was the anchor of the family, providing guidance and support to her grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and her own children long after they had reached adulthood. Although her husband and her sons-in-law often acted as her agents, she handled many of her own business affairs and was the only female stockholder in the Duquesne Inclined Plane Company. She died on January 19, 1878.

Other Family Members

The eldest son of Elizabeth and Harmar Denny, James O'Hara Denny, was born in Pittsburgh in 1821. Following in his father's footsteps, he attended Dickinson College and studied law under the Honorable Sydney Bradford in Pittsburgh. Later he managed the O'Hara Glass Works and became involved in other business concerns in Pittsburgh. He served as captain of the First Pennsylvania Infantry in the war with Mexico. His first wife was Catharine Dallas, daughter of Judge Trevanion and Jane (Wilkins) Dallas. In 1852, he married Margaret Darragh Stevenson (?-1895). James and Margaret had three children: Henry Stevenson Denny (1854-), James O'Hara Denny (1855-), and Francis Herron Denny (1857-1919). James O'Hara Denny died on January 31, 1859.

Matilda W. Denny, youngest daughter of Elizabeth and Harmar Denny, was born on January 12, 1836. In 1850, Matilda helped to organize the Juvenile Society of the First Presbyterian Church. She continued to be very active in the First Presbyterian Church, serving as president of the Women's Christian Association (1903), superintendent of the Sewing School (1902-1903), and president of the Young Ladies' Sewing Society. She was also a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.) and played an instrumental role in securing the donation of the Fort Pitt Blockhouse to the D.A.R. Included among her other philanthropical activities was the donation of the Denny property in Carlisle, where her grandfather Ebenezer Denny was born, to Dickinson College. This property is now the site of Denny Memorial Hall. Matilda never married, living in Allegheny City (now the North Side) until her death on February 17, 1918.

Mary Carson, youngest child of Mary and James O'Hara, married William Croghan of Louisville, Kentucky in 1821. She died in 1827, and Croghan moved with his young daughter, also named Mary, to Pittsburgh, where he was practiced law and built the estate, Pic-nic. Recognizing that Pittsburgh was a lonely place for a young girl, he sent Mary to Miss MacLeod's, a fashionable boarding school in Staten Island. There she met Captain Edward W. H. Schenley, a British officer, with whom she eloped in 1842. At forty-three, Capt. Schenley was nearly triple his third wife's age. As the sole heir to one of James O'Hara's three survivors, Mary Schenley eventually inherited a third of her grandfather's vast estate. Although she lived in Pittsburgh only a few years, she was very generous to the city, donating the Fort Pitt Blockhouse, and land for West Penn Hospital, Riverview Park and Schenley Park.

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Scope and Contents note

The Denny-O'Hara Family Papers are housed in nineteen archival boxes and are arranged in three series and in sub-series chronologically by family members' names within the series. Series have been designated for the Denny Family, O'Hara Family, and Denny-O'Hara Descendants. The papers of the principal family members, i.e., James O'Hara, Harmar Denny, and Elizabeth Febiger O'Hara Denny, have been divided into Personal and Non-Personal Papers. These papers primarily relate to the family's vast landholdings in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Illinois and include correspondence, receipts, accounts, and deeds. The James O'Hara Papers pertaining to his activities as Quartermaster General and government contractor constitute a large portion of the papers. Items of a personal nature are comparatively limited, but include estate information and personal correspondence.

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Arrangement note

The Denny-O'Hara Family Papers are arranged in three series and in sub-series chronologically by family members' names within the series. Series have been designated for the Denny Family, O'Hara Family, and Denny-O'Hara Descendants. The papers of the principal family members, i.e., James O'Hara, Harmar Denny, and Elizabeth Febiger O'Hara Denny, have been divided into Personal and Non-Personal Papers.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Detre Library & Archives, Heinz History Center, July 31, 1993

1212 Smallman Street
Pittsburgh, PA, 15222
412-454-6364
library@heinzhistorycenter.org

Revision Description

 Revision and rearrangement for the encoded version of the finding aid provided by Susan M. Allen. December 3, 1999

Conditions Governing Access note

Josiah Harmar’s Regimental Book originally located in Box 19 has been removed. The microfilm copy of the volume should be used by researchers.

Conditions Governing Use note

Property rights reside with the Senator John Heinz History Center. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the Thomas and Katherine Detre Library and Archives of the Senator John Heinz History Center.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

These papers were received in several accessions and combined into one body of papers in 1993.

Acc# 1932.1; Gift of Elizabeth B. M. Denny (Papers). Acc# 1934.258; Gift of Elizabeth B. M. Denny (Papers, James O'Hara account books). Acc# 1935.355; Gift of Mrs. William G. Hawkins, Jr. (Papers, Ebenezer Denny). Acc# 1937x; Gift of Mrs. Charles Dahlinger (Papers, Harmar Denny). Acc# 1963x; Gift of Elizabeth Denny Gregg Brereton (Papers, O'Hara Family). Acc# 1980.252; Gift of Richard O. Hommel (Papers, James O'Hara and Denny Family).

Processing Information note

Papers rearranged and inventory rewritten by Susan J. Illis on July 31, 1993.

Existence and Location of Copies

A digital reproduction of Ebenezer Denny’s journal is available online.

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Related Materials

Separated Materials note

To the photographic collection, one folder of photographs have been separately arranged as MSQ# 51. These photographs (c1815-1875) include portraits of Ebenezer Denny, Mary O'Hara Denny Spring and her daughters, and Kennedy Turner and Sevilla Stoy Shaffner Friend.

To the oversize collection three folders have been separately arranged as MSO #51. Items in this collection include various indentures/deeds, newspapers/clippings, and documents such as fort provisions and passport (1794-1856).

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Antimasonic Party -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh.
  • Dickinson College (Carlisle, Pa).
  • O'Hara Glass Works (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
  • Pittsburgh Manufacturing Company.
  • Western Theological Seminary (Pittsburgh, Pa.).
  • Western Theological Seminary of the Presbyterian Church.

Geographic Name(s)

  • Pittsburgh (Pa.) -- Antimasonic Party.
  • Pittsburgh (Pa.) -- Colonial Period, ca.1600-1775.
  • Pittsburgh (Pa.) -- Decedents' Estates.
  • Pittsburgh (Pa.) -- Glass Manufacture.
  • Pittsburgh (Pa.) -- Government Contractors.
  • Pittsburgh (Pa.) -- History -- Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775.
  • Pittsburgh (Pa.) -- Industry.
  • Pittsburgh (Pa.) -- Land Titles.
  • Pittsburgh (Pa.) -- Landowners.
  • Pittsburgh (Pa.) -- Mayors.
  • Pittsburgh (Pa.) -- Quartermasters.
  • Pittsburgh (Pa.) -- Salt Industry and Trade.
  • Pittsburgh (Pa.) -- Shipbuilding.

Personal Name(s)

  • Baldwin, Henry, -- 1780-1844.
  • Brereton, T. J., -- 1822-1870.
  • Butler, Richard, -- 1743-1791
  • Carey, Mathew, -- 1760-1839
  • Cooke, S. S.
  • Craig, Isaac, -- 1742?-1826
  • Croghan, William, -- 1795-1850.
  • Denny family
  • Denny, Ebenezer, -- 1761-1822.
  • Denny, Elizabeth Febiger O'Hara, -- 1796-1878.
  • Denny, Harmar, -- 1794-1852.
  • Henry, James.
  • Hunn, Adrian.
  • McKnight, Robert, -- 1820-1885
  • O'Hara family.
  • O'Hara, James, -- 1752-1819
  • Putnam, Douglas.
  • Schenley, Edward W. H., -- 1798-1878.
  • Schenley, Mary Croghan, -- 1827-1903.
  • Thompson, David.
  • Torrens, Finley.

Subject(s)

  • Allegheny City (Pa.) -- Land Titles.
  • Decedents' estates -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh.
  • Denny-O'Hara Family.
  • Glass manufacture -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh.
  • Government contractors -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh.
  • Land titles -- Pennsylvania -- Allegheny County.
  • Land Titles -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh.
  • Landowners -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh.
  • Mayors -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh.
  • Quartermasters -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh.
  • Salt Industry and Trade -- New York.
  • Salt industry and trade -- Pennsylvania.
  • Shipbuilding -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh.

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Collection Inventory

Series  I. Denny Family Papers 

Scope and Contents note

The Denny Family Papers have been divided into four sub-series: Genealogical Information, Ebenezer Denny, Harmar Denny, and Other Denny Family Members, with folders arranged alphabetically by title within each sub-series. The Ebenezer Denny Papers include a military journal kept by Ebenezer Denny and the Denny-Foster Ledger from Ebenezer's store in Pittsburgh. Ebenezer Denny's correspondence is primarily related to military issues, with the exception of an 1816 letter from his eldest son W. H. Denny. Harmar Denny's personal correspondence includes letters from his wife and children, correspondence with William Croghan regarding Mary's elopement (1842), and correspondence with Dickinson College having to do with his son's expulsion. Some of these letters have been transcribed and are arranged with the originals. There are also letters advertising the Pittsburgh Select Female Seminary from George E. Chapman, who Harmar termed an "excentrick." Included with Harmar Denny's biographical materials are a handwritten biography by L. A. Murray and a copy of the resolution of the Pittsburgh Bar Association after Harmar's death. The political materials include clippings, broadsides, and pamphlets pertaining to the Antimasonics. Some materials concerning Harmar Denny are also included with the Elizabeth Denny materials, particularly household accounts and land records. The fourth sub-series, Other Denny Family Members, includes the dressmaking account of Harmar's sister, Nancy Denny, and Hugh Brady Wilkins' application for the Sons of the American Revolution (S.A.R.), with additional information pertaining to this organization.

Subseries  1. Genealogical Information 

  BoxFolder
Denny Family 11
  Folder
 2 Wilkins Family 2

Subseries  2. Ebenezer Denny 

  Folder
 3 Business Records 1793-1820 3
  Folder
 4 Correspondence 1794-1795 4
  Volume
Journal 1785-1791 1
Online
  Volume
Ledger - Denny & Foster 1807-1808 2

Subseries  3. Harmar Denny 

Section: Personal Papers 

  Folder
Biographical Materials 1852-1883 5
  Folder
Correspondence 1827-1839 6
  BoxFolder
Correspondence 1842-1849 21
  Folder
Militia 1823-1824 2

Section: Non-Personal Papers 

  Folder
Correspondence 1822-1835 3
  Folder
Correspondence 1836-1849 4

Section: Financial 

  Folder
Financial Documents 5
  Folder
Financial Documents 1831-1847 6
  Folder
Allegheny County Bridge Company 1819-1843 7

Section: Landholdings 

  File
Correspondence 1823-1859 8
  Folder
Deeds 1817-1842 9
  Folders
Surveys 1822-1835 10

Section: Legal Documents 

  Folder
Legal Documents 1818-1857 11
  BoxFolder
Estate of Lackey Murray 1810-1839 31
  Folder
Harmar Denny v A. Kirk Lewis 1837-1850 2

Section: Political Materials 

  Folder
Political Materials 1826-1835 3
  Folder
Mathew Carey Broadsides 1826-1828 4
  Folder
Newsclippings 1835-1836 5

Subseries  4. Other Denny Family Members 

  Folder
Denny, Nancy 1823 6
  Folder
Denny, William H. 1833 7
  Folder
Wilkins, Hugh Brady 1897-1910 8

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Series  II. O'Hara Family Papers 

Scope and Contents note

The O'Hara Family Papers have been divided into four sub-series; Genealogical Information, James O'Hara, Elizabeth Febiger O'Hara Denny, and Other O'Hara Family Members, with folders arranged alphabetically by folder title within each sub-series. James O'Hara's papers have been divided into two major groups, Personal Papers and Non-Personal Papers, with the latter group being further subdivided into government contracting and Pittsburgh businesses. The Personal Papers all pertain to the settlement and distribution of his estate and include accounts, correspondence, deeds, and financial records. The inventory of his personal property was appended to the 1779 Fort Pitt cash book, in the Non-Personal Papers. As previously mentioned, the papers relating to his work as a government contractor constitute the largest body of papers and include correspondence, articles of agreement, abstracts of provisions, receipts, and accounts. The bulk of the receipts cover the years 1796, 1797, and 1798, while the abstracts of provisions record supplies at Forts Pickering, Massac, Fayette, Kaskaskias, Greensburgh (sic), and Presque Isle. Articles of agreement and financial records pertaining to the transport of salt from New York have been intermingled with the government contracting materials, because he apparently carried out this business concurrently with the transport of other supplies.

The letterbook (1805-1820), included with the Pittsburgh business materials, contains copies of O'Hara's outgoing correspondence concerning the glassworks, shipbuilding, and landholdings. Most of the correspondence covers the years 1805-1810, with a few letters from 1819 and 1820, when Dennis Scully acted as O'Hara's agent. His daybook, 1814-1819, records rents received and wages paid to glassworkers, and also includes a few entries made by Scully. The leasebook, 1810-1818, is indexed and contains articles of agreement for rental property. Some personal accounts are intermingled with the financial records. Because Harmar and Elizabeth Denny handled the administration of O'Hara's estate, some materials regarding his landholdings, particularly those eventually distributed to Elizabeth, are included with her Non-Personal Papers.

The Elizabeth Febiger O'Hara Denny Papers have also been separated into Personal and Non-Personal Papers. Most of the Personal Papers pertain to her estate and are almost exclusively vouchers for various disbursements, such as repairs, salaries, and general expenses. Her personal correspondence contains letters from Edward and Mary Schenley. In using these, the researcher should be aware that Mary Schenley frequently referred to her aunt as "Mother." The miscellaneous materials include reports from the Female Bible Society and the Parent Society, as well as a catalog (i.e., map) of fruit trees on one of her estates. The Non-Personal Papers include voluminous household accounts and papers relating to the family landholdings, such as correspondence, deeds, tax receipts, eviction notices, and other legal documents. As was already discussed, much of her property was inherited from her father, so some of these materials also pertain to him. Also, the household accounts involve other members of the family, particularly Harmar and their children. The accounts appear to be nearly comprehensive for the years 1859-1865, with the exception of 1864. Because her sons-in-law T. J. Brereton and Robert McKnight often acted as her agent, much of the business correspondence is addressed to one of them. The tax receipts are for property owned in Allegheny City, City of Pittsburgh, Jackson County (Illinois), Erie, Erie County, Harmar Township, Findley Township, Meadville, and Marietta, Ohio.

The fourth sub-series, Other O'Hara Family Members, includes materials from James Carson, Joseph Carson, William Croghan, Mary Carson O'Hara, and Mary Schenley. At the end of James Carson's Allegheny Docket Book, 1789-1792, is a Herd Book, a list of cattle, along with their names, owned by Harmar Denny, c1820. Both the William Croghan and Mary Carson O'Hara Papers primarily contain correspondence. Included with Mary Carson O'Hara's correspondence is a rare letter from James O'Hara. Much of William Croghan's correspondence discusses his daughter's elopement. The Mary Schenley Papers include transcripts of correspondence, primarily written to her aunt (1843-1847), speeches delivered by the Daughters of the American Revolution upon the presentation of the Blockhouse, and Alberta McLean's reminiscences of her grandmother (1949).

Subseries  1. Genealogical Information 

  Folder
Carson Family 9
  Folder
O'Hara Family 10

Subseries  2. James O'Hara 

Section: Personal Papers-Estate 

  Volume
Account Book 1819-1846 1
  Volume
Account Book-Trustees 1820-1840 2
  Folder
Correspondence 1821-1847 11
  Folder
Deeds 1819-1831 12
  BoxFolder
Deeds 1833-1849 41
  Folder
Distribution of Property 1848-1849 2
  Folder
Financial Records 1820-1833 3
  Folder
Financial Records 1834-1850 4
  Folder
Journals 1841-1850 5
  Folder
Leases 1829-1848 6
  Folder
Legal Documents 1821-1849 7
  Folder
Legal Documents -- Denny v Matthew Brown 1826-1829 8
  Folder
Surveys 1823-1838 9

Section: Non-Personal Papers-Government Contracting 

Section: Abstracts of Provisions 

  Folder
General records 1795-1797 10
  BoxFolder
General records 1798 51
  Folder
General Records 1799-1802 2
  Volume
Fort Hamilton 1796 1
  Folder
Pittsburgh 1796-1800 3
  Folder
Correspondence 1784-1795 4
  Folder
Correspondence 1796-August 1798 5
  Folder
Correspondence September 1798-1799 6
  Folder
Correspondence 1800-1806 7
  BoxFolder
Correspondence -- Henry, James 1797-1801 61

Section: Financial Records 

  Volume
Account Book 1797-1799 1
  Folder
Accounts 1787-July 1796 2
  Folder
Accounts August-December 1796 3
  Folder
Accounts January-June 1797 4
  Folder
Accounts July-December 1797 5
  Folder
Accounts 1798 6
  BoxFolder
Accounts 1799 71
  Folder
Accounts 1800-1804 2
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Accounts -- U. S. Government 1796-1799 3
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Cash Books 1778-1779 4
  Volume
Cash Books 1794-1795 1
  Folder
Cash Books -- Fort Pitt 1779 5
  Folder
Invoice Books 1786 6
  Folder
Invoice Books -- Philadelphia 1784-1785 7
  Folder
Invoice Books -- Pittsburgh 1784-1786 8
  BoxFolder
Invoices 1796-1798 81
  Volume
Receipt Book-Fort Hamilton 1797 1
  Folder
Receipts 1785-1796 2
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Receipts 1797 3
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Receipts 1798-1804 4
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Sight Drafts 1792-1801 5

Section: Legal Documents 

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Legal Documents 1782-1802 6
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Articles of Agreement 1796-1799 7
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U. S. Treasury v James O'Hara 1801-1819 8
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Regulations 1796-1798 9
  Folder
Miscellaneous 1786-1801 10

Section: Non-Personal Papers-Pittsburgh Businesses 

  BoxFolder
Articles of Agreement 1813 91
  Folder
Articles of Agreement -- Isaac Craig 1802-1824 2
  Volume
Daybooks 1792-1794 
  Volume
Daybooks 1797-1798 
  BoxVolume
Daybooks 1801-1808 10
  Volume
Daybooks 1810-1813 
  BoxVolume
Daybooks 1814-1819 11
  Folder
Deeds 1773-1819 1
  Folder
Financial Records 1775-1819 2
  Folder
Financial Records -- Rent Receipts 1775-1819 3
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Financial Records --Stoystown & Greensburgh 4
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Landholdings 1800-1832 5
  BoxVolume
Lease Book 1810-1818 12
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Legal Documents 1786-1817 1
  Volume
Letter Book 1805-1819 
  Folder
Surveys 1805-1819 2

Subseries  3. Elizabeth Febiger O'Hara Denny 

Section: Personal Papers 

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Correspondence 1833-1862 3

Section: Estate-Vouchers 

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Distribution to Heirs 1878 3
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Distribution to Heirs 1879-1880 131
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General Expenses 1878-1880 2
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Permanent Improvements & Insurance 1878-1879 3
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Repairs January-July 1878 4
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Repairs August 1878-January 1879 5
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Repairs February 1879-February 1880 6
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Salaries January-October 1878 7
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Salaries November 1878-July 1879 8
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Salaries August 1879-1880 141
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Tax Receipts 1878 2
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Tax Receipts 1879-1880 3
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Miscellaneous 1879-1880 4

Section: Non-Personal Papers-General 

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Accounts & Receipts 1851-1855 5
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Accounts & Receipts 1856 6
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Accounts & Receipts 1857 7
  BoxFolder
Accounts & Receipts 1858 151
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Accounts & Receipts January-March 1859 2
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Accounts & Receipts April-July 1859 3
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Accounts & Receipts August-December 1859 4
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Accounts & Receipts 1860-June 1861 5
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Accounts & Receipts July-December 1861 6
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Accounts & Receipts 1862-June 1863 7
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Accounts & Receipts July-December 1863 8
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Accounts & Receipts 1864-July 1865 9
  BoxFolder
Accounts & Receipts August-December 1865 161
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Accounts & Receipts 1870-1871 2
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Accounts & Receipts 1872-1873 3
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Accounts & Receipts 1874 4
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Accounts & Receipts 1876 5
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Accounts & Receipts January-May 1877 6
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Accounts & Receipts June-July 1877 7
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Accounts & Receipts August-December 1877 8
  BoxFolder
Cancelled Checks 1857-1859 171

Section: Non-Personal Papers 

Section: Landholdings 

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Assessments 1873 2
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Correspondence 1829-1860 3
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Correspondence 1861-1865 4
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Correspondence 1866-1869 5
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Correspondence 1870-1879 6
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Correspondence 1880-1883 7
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Eviction Notices 1856-1858 8
  Folder
Eviction Notices 1859-1866 9
  BoxFolder
Financial Documents 1815-1879 181
  Folder
Financial Documents -- Tax Receipts 1870-1873 2
  Folder
Financial Documents -- Tax Receipts 1874-1875 3
  Folder
Legal Documents -- Deeds 1780-1858 4
  Folder
Legal Documents -- Deeds 1859-1864 5
  Folder
Miscellaneous 1800-1879 6
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Memorandum Book 1871-1875 7
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Surveys 1820-1845 8

Subseries  4. O'Hara Family Members 

  Volume
Carson, James 1789-1792 
  BoxFolder
Carson, Joseph 1804 191
Croghan, William 1827-1850 2
  Folder
O'Hara, Mary Carson 1785-1821 3
  Folder
Schenley, Mary 1843-1949 4

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Series  III. Denny-O'Hara Descendants 

Scope and Contents note

The third series contains papers of Elizabeth and Harmar Denny's children, as well as miscellaneous materials. The Denny Family correspondence primarily includes letters written by Mary Denny Spring to her brother William Croghan Denny. There is also a letter from Mary Schenley, addressed to "sister," presumably one of her female cousins as she had no sisters. Additional genealogical information is contained in the correspondence of Matilda W. Denny, who provided assistance to researchers of the O'Hara and Denny families. Also included with her papers are a copy of her Daughters of the American Revolution application and a copy of a birthday poem written in her honor in 1868. The James O'Hara Denny Papers include sundry items such as correspondence, business papers, and estate materials. The miscellaneous materials include Richard Butler Papers (his will and miscellaneous other legal and financial records) and Josiah Harmar's Regimental Book of the First Regiment (1785-1788), which provides extensive personal information on the enlistees, desertions, trials, furloughs, and discharges.

  Folder
Denny Family Correspondence 1837-1846 5
  Folder
Denny, Harmar C. 1868-1869 6

Section: Denny, James O'Hara 

  Folder
Business Papers, General 1868-1869 7
  Folder
Cancelled Checks 1856-1857 8
  Folder
Hillsborough Railroad Co. 1852-1859 9
  Folder
Correspondence 1857-1858 10
  Folder
Estate 1859-1864 11
  Folder
Denny, Matilda W. 1868-1912 12

Section: Miscellaneous 

  Folder
Butler, Richard 1785-1847 13
  Folder
Harmar, Josiah 1785-1788 14
  Folder
"The Life of George Washington" 1785-1788 15
  Folder
News clippings 1820-1880 16
  Folder
Writings 1758-1876 17
  Folder
Miscellaneous 1795-1878 18

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