This collection contains personal and business correspondence related to Philadelphia merchant George Fales (35 items), as well as documents, newspaper clippings, and correspondence pertaining to the Union Volunteer Refreshment Saloon and Hospital, which Fales's nephew, Samuel Bradford Fales, helped to operate during the Civil War (6 items).
George Fales received 4 letters from his brother Samuel between 1815 and 1835, which mainly concern financial and business matters. The first letter, written on December 4, 1815, provided a list of expenses, including money intended for the construction of a school for African Americans in Boston. Other letters from business associates discuss finances; business with Fales or with his firm, Fales, Lothrop & Company; and potential business ventures such as a wood-chopping enterprise. Fales also received 3 personal letters from his nieces Eliza F. Bridgman and Mary T. Monroe and 1 from his nephew Samuel Bradford Fales, who described his travels near Pittsburgh (April 22, 1836). Samuel B. Fales granted his uncle power of attorney in a document dated February 4, 1834.
The collection also contains 6 items related to Philadelphia's Union Volunteer Refreshment Saloon and Hospital, including 2 letters addressed to historian Benson J. Lossing. Robert R. Carson encouraged Lossing to utilize the Union Volunteer Refreshment Committee's business card in his pictorial history of the war, and attached a newspaper clipping reporting a grand jury's approval of the project (April 7, 1862). Arad Bellows provided a list of corrections and additional information in response to Lossing's recent work (August 6, 1866). Samuel Fales wrote 2 letters to "Reverend Sibley" about the Union Volunteer Refreshment Saloon and Hospital, written on stationery bearing a letterhead engraving of the establishment and including the projected number of soldiers assisted (November 20, 1865). One of these letters is attached to a printed newsletter about the enterprise, entitled "The Fair Record of the Union Volunteer Refreshment Saloon."
Three newspaper clippings, including 2 from The Philadelphia Inquirer and 1 from the Evening Bulletin, concern the history of the saloon and hospital, and contain testimonials. The collection also contains a carte-de-visite photograph of Samuel B. Fales and a broadside poem entitled "Lines in Memory of the Philadelphia Volunteer Refreshment Saloon," signed and inscribed by Samuel B. Fales for Benson Lossing.