Monday, February 23, 2015

City Hall and James Moore's WIll

Ok, today is the big day.  I have an appointment at City Hall to view the Will of James Moore!  And if possible to get a photo of the wax seal that he used on the document.  I am to go to Room 185.  I am taking nothing with me except my phone.  And perhaps a piece of paper and a pencil in case I decide that I want to transcribe it.  However, our research group already has a typed transcription of the will.

The trip was not disappointing, but I do not feel that we know much more about John Moore from my having looked at his original will and wax seal than we knew yesterday.  It was certainly fun to just look at the actual will.  The handwriting was very nice and it was actually quite easy to read.  All of the witnesses signed the will themselves except for Sarah Cureton who signed with her mark which looked like the letter c.  However, who knows what might come of my jaunt to city hall.  The office was very relaxed and the will was in the drawer for me to view.  If someone is hoping to look at the will for oneself, you should call 215-686-6269 several days ahead of time so that the staff can have the will readily available for viewing.  It is kept off-site in some sort of storage area.  The lady with whom I had talked ahead of time made a copy of the will for me.  I took a few photos of the seal before I was told that there were no photographs allowed.  The photos are disappointing.  But I will put them below:

The other two are even blurrier.  I think that the next time one of us tries to photograph the seal, we need some sort of specialized lens....or perhaps some practice with our iPhone to take very close up photos.

I then went a block or so away and bought all sorts of magnification ....Hoping to try to take a photo of the seal when it was magnified.  However, none of the magnification yielded results that I felt were worth making someone angry in the office trying to take a photo after I had been told not to.

So I spent the rest of the time with the 6x magnification examining the seal for myself.  And I came right back to the room to write down my gut guesses... the things that came to me while I was looking at the seal first hand.

The seal in the above photo is somewhat magnified.  The actual seal is about the size of a dime.  It looks to me that the method used was to put a blob of wax on the paper and then to press one's seal into the wax.  There is some black that you can see around the edges.  I don't know if that is ink or if the wax has been contaminated with something.    The actual seal is about the size of a dime.  The copy from the copy made by the clerk below is a truer rendition to the size:

What did I think that I saw after studying with 6x magnification?  I did not see a clover as someone else seems to have seen.  I thought that I saw a H or an E on the far left hand side around the rim...about where the pen stroke at the end of Moore points on the seal.  I felt as if there had been other letters in the same area, but I could not make out other letters even with my vivid imagination.  the light triangles are not a part of the design.  They are spots where the wax has disappeared and one sees paper underneath.  Now my next comment is just kind of off the wall.  But my imagination caused me to "see" an arm coming from the right hand side and holding a torch. The torch was held high towards the center of the top of the seal.....then on the other side I saw another arm also holding something high in the air towards the center of the top of the seal.  Could have been another torch....but what came into my mind was that it was a bare arm with a sleeve and that it could have represented the fact that John was a blacksmith.  I'll go on line to kind of show what I imagined.....Now honestly there was very little there....I am just telling you what jumped into my mind.

So on the right hand side I imagined a torch held somewhat like that below only higher:

  And the left hand side I envisioned an arm somewhat like the one below:

or like the below only arm higher so that both arms from both sides pointed up at something in the middle of the top of the seal.

I can only say that I didn't really see these things exactly....but I felt as if perhaps I saw at least one of the arms....and not necessarily did I see both arms at the same time...but that is what jumped into my head as I examined the seal.  So imagine arms coming from both sides and raised in the air.

I think that I am headed out this afternoon.  When I was looking for the magnifying glasses, I saw a Quaker center that I will explore.

I spent a few minutes googling blacksmith in Philadelphia and found this site that I don't want to loose:

I want to explain a bit better about the letter or letters that I saw.  The E or H was actually the clearest thing on the seal.  I felt as if the letter was part of several letters placed much as the letters in the below example are.....that is encircling the seal:

So the letter that I saw would have been about where the V in Pennsylvania is on this example.  I though perhaps I was seeing another letter or two in the same area...perhaps where the Y and L are.  But I saw no evidence of letters anyplace else on the edges around the outside of the seal.  Best I can do.

This evening I decided to sit at the bar at Bank and Bourbon instead of sitting by myself....So I ended up drinking Old fashions because I was so well entertained by the man sitting beside me who was in town on business.  He works for an advertising company that helps explain to doctors how different drugs work for their patients.  He spent time explaining in a thoroughly entertaining way about the new drugs that are injectable and also the cancer drugs that are immunotherapy (I might have made up that word, but it will trigger for me what I learned).  At the end of the evening he showed me photos of his beautiful family.  It was a very nice ending to another great day.

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