Herman Alricks letters
Collection Scope and Content Note
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The Herman Alricks letters consist of a selection of the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania lawyer's incoming business correspondence, regarding several aspects of his legal practice. A number of professional acquaintances around Harrisburg and throughout southeastern Pennsylvania often requested legal advice or asked Alricks to take specific actions on their behalf. Some discussed the money collected by Alricks for them. Other writers requested other legal advice; Joel B. Ferree of Mifflin Township inquired, for example, on the legal power of a justice of the peace to make judgments in cases of trespass and related damages. Though the letters are overwhelmingly professional in nature, Alricks maintained friendly relations with several of his correspondents, and they occasionally included brief, more personal notes among their business discussions, such as William Whiteside's musings about local Anti-masonry politics and an upcoming election (August 17, 1838). The letters provide a picture of a lawyer's daily professional concerns in the early 19th century.