Stewart, John G. Papers, 1761-2002 (bulk 1953-1973) *JMU Faculty Papers*

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Summary Information

Repository:
Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University
Creator:
John G. Stewart, 1918-2010
Title:
John G. Stewart Papers
Collection No.:
SC 0157
Date:
1761-2002 (bulk 1953-1973)
Extent:
5 boxes, 1 flat file, 2.29 Cubic Feet
Language of the Material:
English
Language of the Material:
English, German
Abstract:
Research materials and topical files pertaining to Shenandoah Valley folk culture including recipes, cures for ailments, folklore stories, and other traditions gathered and documented by John G. Stewart and Elmer Smith, former professors at Madison College (James Madison University).

Preferred Citation

[identification of item], [box #, folder #], John G. Stewart Papers, 1761-2002 (bulk 1953-1973), SC 0157, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va.

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Bio/Historical Note

John G. Stewart was born in 1918 in Vienna, Austria under the name Hans Gideon Stein to Wilhelm Stein and Margarethe Pick Stein. Practicing Jews, the family was subject to scrutiny and Hans was arrested during Kristallnacht. Fearing for their safety, the family obtained visas to come to the United States soon after Hitler invaded Austria in 1938. Hans Gideon Stein attended the College of the Pacific, now called the University of the Pacific, from 1939 until he was drafted into the United States Army in October 1941, where he served as Staff Sergeant in Military Intelligence. He became a United States citizen in 1943 and officially changed his name to John Stewart. After World War II, Stewart decided to complete his education. He attended Columbia University from 1945 to 1948, obtaining a masters degree. Stewart taught at Harrisonburg High School from 1951 to 1958, when he was offered a teaching position at Madison College in the language department, for which he taught German and Latin until 1973. Until 1989, he continued to teach classes on folklore and folk culture in the Department of Sociology. After retirement, Stewart continued to research and write about Shenandoah Valley German folklore and culture. He passed away August 27, 2010.

Elmer L. Smith was born in 1920 in Newark, New Jersey. After earning a B.S. at Florida Southern College, an M.A. at Western Reserve University, and a Ph.D. at Syracuse University, he taught government, economics, and sociology in several Pennsylvania colleges and universities. In 1958 he came to James Madison University (then Madison College) as Director of the Social Sciences Division, serving until his death in 1981. Smith recognized that there was a large German-speaking segment of the population that had settled in the Shenandoah Valley. He conducted research and interviews to document the folk culture of the Shenandoah Valley, and published a wide variety of books and papers. Most of Smith's papers and many of his publications are available at the Blue Ridge Institute of Ferrum College in Ferrum, Virginia.

Smith and Stewart collaborated on research and conducted interviews with descendants of the German settlers in the Valley, much of which is documented in this collection. Together, Stewart and Smith established the Valley Folklore Society in the early 1960s. They compiled and published information on many folk traditions of the Shenandoah Valley Germans, including holiday traditions, food recipes, medicinal remedies and favorite pastimes.

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Scope and Content

The John G. Stewart Papers consists of five boxes, measuring 2.12 cubic feet, spanning the years 1761 to 2002. The collection contains a wide array of facsimile documents pertaining to Germanic folklore and culture in the Shenandoah Valley including notes from Stewart's own lectures and presentations on particular Valley topics. Documents consist of photocopies and drafts of articles written by Stewart and his colleague Elmer L. Smith, information compiled from interviews with Valley residents, as well as photocopies of primary source materials such as images, recipes, correspondence and medicinal remedies from individuals living in Rockingham, Augusta, Wythe and Shenandoah Counties in Virginia and Pendleton County in West Virginia. Most of the photocopied articles are reprints from the Pennsylvaanisch Dietsch Eck and "Valley Folklore" articles from the Highland Recorder (Highland County, Virginia.) spanning from November 1953 to November 1973. A detailed list of those articles is included in the Contents List below, as a link to a pdf document, and is also on file in Special Collections. The collection has been left largely in the order in which Mr. Stewart used it, with minor exceptions. It is arranged in six series: Topical Research Files, Folk Medicine and Remedies, Pow-Wow Documents, Lectures and Administrative Files, Henkel Materials, and Folk Culture Posters. Numbers in brackets in the contents list below indicate item count within a folder.

Topical Research Files, 1961-1995, are further divided into subseries: Calendar Events and Other. The series consists of drafts of articles written by Elmer L. Smith and John Stewart, reprinted articles from the Pennsylvaanisch Dietsch Eck (1953-1963), and "Valley Folklore" columns from the Highland Recorder (1965-1973), and miscellaneous notes taken by John Stewart. Of particular interest in the Calendar Events subseries are folders pertaining to traditional German holidays such as Belsnickeling and Martinmas. The Belsnickel was the Christmas gift giver, who disguised himself as an evil man. For good children he gave presents, but for naughty ones he carried whips or sticks. Martinmas, or the Feast of Saint Martin, was celebrated on November 11th and typically marked the first day of winter. Materials in the "Other" category cover a wide range of topics and are arranged alphabetically.

Materials in Folk Medicine and Remedies, 1790-1984, were left in the donor's original order and primarily consist of photocopies or photographs of original primary source documents obtained from individuals in Rockingham, Shenandoah, Augusta and Wythe Counties in Virginia and Pendleton County, West Virginia. Also represented are articles by John Stewart, Kurt Kehr, Elmer Smith, and Billie Jo Monger. Documents include medicinal remedies for ailments such as arthritis, dog bites, and blisters. Information regarding provenance of various items in this series, if available, resides in the administrative file for this collection in the Special Collections office.

The series Pow Wow Documents, 1883-1900, contains materials pertaining to the handwritten, unpublished Pendleton County Pow-Wow Book of West Virginia and other related materials. The Pow-Wow Book demonstrated the art of healing people through prayer and the placing of hands on the body, which was ostensibly a custom among the Pennsylvania Germans. The series contains the following: photographs of the original Pow Wow book, which was written in German; English translations of part of the book; an undated typed article by Elmer L. Smith and John G. Stewart entitled An Occult Remedy Manuscript from Pendleton County, W.VA; a reprint of Elmer Smith's c.1976 article "The Medical Therapy of Powwowing: Early History in Europe to Surviving Practices in Modern America," typed notes taken from Folk-Medicine: a Chapter in the History of Culture (1883), by William George Black, and Der Deutsche Volksaberglaube der Gegenwart (1900) by Adolf Wuttke, regarding folk healing practices.

Lectures and Administrative Files, 1966-2002, include various papers and notes on topics Stewart presented at conferences, seminars, and other speaking engagements in the Valley and abroad. Topics generally concern Valley folklife and folklore. Material pertaining to his teaching and research obligations include course syllabi, a grant application, an oral history program proposal, and bibliographies.

Henkel Materials, 1796-1963, document the general history of the Henkel Family and Henkel Press of New Market, Virginia and consist of photocopies of publications and medicine labels printed at the press. Materials pertaining to Paul Henkel include an index and trascriptions from his daybook and diary as well as materials documenting his sermons and correspondence. A list of Solomon Henkel correspondence is also included. Photographic images of broadsides printed at the Henkel Press and woodcuts and impriints used in various publications are present. The donor's research nots concerning materials at Special Collections at JMU are also contained within this series.

Folk Culture Posters, undated, is a collection of oversized photographs taken by the donor of Frakturs, tomb stone rubbings, folk medicine recipes, and Henkel Press broadsides. The images are mounted on cardstock and numbered according to the donor's description list.

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Arrangement

The collection is arranged in six series:

Series 1: Topical Research Files, 1761-1995

Series 1.1: Calendar Events, 1953-1973

Series 1.2: Other, 1761-1995

Series 2: Folk Medicine and Remedies, 1790-1984

Series 3: "Pow-Wow" Documents, 1883-1900

Series 4: Lectures and Administrative Files, 1966-2002

Series 5: Henkel Materials, 1796-1963

Series 6: Folk Culture Posters, undated

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Administrative Information

Revision Description

Converted to schema conforming EAD by dtd2schema.vh.xsl. 2013-11-21

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.

Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collections Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (library-special@jmu.edu).

Acquisition Information

John Stewart donated this collection of research material and notes in August 2007 and June 2009.

Processing Information

Original newspaper clippings were photocopied onto archival paper and acidic originals discarded. In order to streamline the process of applying collection numbers, Special Collections staff completed a large-scale renumbering campaign in 2017-2018. This collection was previously cataloged as SC 4016.

Location of Originals

Many original documents may still be in the hands of the owners cited by Mr. Stewart in his notes, or their heirs.

Location

Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

880 Madison DriveMSC 1704Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807library-special@jmu.eduURL: https://www.lib.jmu.edu/special/

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Related Materials

Related Material

Elmer L. Smith Papers, undated, SC 0166, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va.

Separated Material

Due to copyright restrictions, photocpoied materials from the following collections were removed: Henry Z. Jones, German Origins of Jost Hite: Virginia Pioneer, 1685-1761 (Edinburg, Va.: Shenandoah History, 1979); John Brown, Circular-schreiben an die deutschen Einwohner von Rockingham und Augusta, und den benachbarten Caunties. Erster band. Von Johannes Braun. Prediger des Evangelii in den Caunties Rockingham und Augusta, Virginia (Harrisonburg, Va.: Gedruckt bey Laurentz Wartmann, Rockingham County, Virginia, 1818); Adolf Spamer, Romanusbuchlein: historisch-philogischer Kommentar zu einem deutschen Zauberbuch. Aus seinem Nachlass bearb. von Johanna Nickel (Berlin: Akademie-Verag, 1958); "Schreiben eines deutschen Juden, an den Prasidenten des Kongresses der vereinigten Staaten von Amerika," Deutsches Museum 1.6 (1783): 558-566. The map Deutsche Einwanderung 1750-1850 entlang shenandoah und Potomac sowie heutige Dialektinseln des Virginiadeutschen has been removed from folder German Immigration and placed in the map drawer.

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Index Terms

Genre and Form

  • Folklore -- Pennsylvania -- Sources

Subject

  • Cooking, American -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.)
  • Holidays -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.)
  • Vernacular architecture -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.)
  • Pennsylvania Dutch -- Sources
  • Folklore -- Virginia -- Sources
  • Folklore -- West Virginia -- Sources
  • Folk art -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.)
  • Traditional medicine -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.)
  • Spiritual healing -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.)
  • Manners and customs -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.)
  • Superstition -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.)
  • Folk music -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.)
  • Marriage customs and rites -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.)
  • Funeral rites and ceremonies -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.)
  • Mennonites -- Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.)
  • Rockingham County (Va.) -- History
  • Augusta County (Va.) -- History
  • Wythe County (Va.) -- History
  • Shenandoah County (Va.) -- History
  • Highland County (Va.) -- History
  • Pendleton County (W. Va.) -- History
  • Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.) -- History
  • Virginia -- History
  • West Virginia -- History

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Bibliography

Aurand, A. Monroe. The "Pow-Wow" Book; A Treatise of the Art of "Healing by Prayer" and "Laying on of Hands", etc... Harrisburg, Pa.: Aurand Press, 1929.

Obituary of John Gideon Stewart. Daily News-Record August 30, 2010.

"John Gideon Stewart," Shenandoah Valley Folklife Society Newsletter 23, no. 3 (Sept. 2010): 1-2.

Stewart, John G. Oral History Interview, John G. Stewart; interviewed by Carol Maureen DeHart, 2003. SdArch no. 25-1. Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va.

Stewart, John G. Memoirs of Hans Stein/John Stewart, 2003.

Smith, Elmer Lewis, John G. Stewart and M. Ellsworth Kyger. The Pennsylvania Germans in the Shenandoah Valley. Allentown, Pa.: Pennsylvania German Folklore Society, 1962.

Smith, Elmer Lewis and John G. Stewart. A Collection of Papers from the Virginia Folklore Collection, Valley Folklore, and Specialized Collection of Pennsylvania Dutch Folklore from the Region, 1965-1967.

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Collection Inventory

Series 1: Topical Research Files, 1761-1995

Subseries 1.1: Calendar Events, 1953-1973

Title/Description Instances
General Holidays, Customs, Traditions

29 items

box 1 folder 1
Christmas, Belsnickeling, Shanghaiing

36 items

box 1 folder 2
Easter

13 items

box 1 folder 3
Ground Hog Day, Candlemas

12 items

box 1 folder 4
Halloween

6 items

box 1 folder 5
Lent, Fastnacht, Shrove Tuesday

19 items

box 1 folder 6
May 1st

5 items

box 1 folder 7
Martinmas (Michaelmass)

1 item

box 1 folder 8
New Year, Shooting in the New Year

41 items

box 1 folder 9
St. Patrick's Day

1 item

box 1 folder 10
Seasons

10 items

box 1 folder 11
Thanksgiving

3 items

box 1 folder 12
Valentine's Day

18 items

box 1 folder 13

Subseries 1.2: Other, 1761-1995

Title/Description Instances
Almanac

3 items

box 1 folder 14
Amish and Mennonites

26 items

box 1 folder 15
Apple Butter, Sugaring

7 items

box 1 folder 16
Ballads, Poetry

17 items

box 1 folder 17
Bottles, Springs

6 items

box 1 folder 18
Churches, Preachers, Religion

91 items

box 1 folder 19
Civil War

12 items

box 1 folder 20
Domestic and Arts and Crafts

37 items

box 1 folder 21
Folk Architecture, Barns, Folk Art

50 items

box 1 folder 22
Folk Beliefs

45 items

box 1 folder 23
Folk Expressions (Language)

9 items

box 1 folder 24
Folk Humor

18 items

box 1 folder 25
Folk and Plant Medicine

92 items

box 1 folder 26
Folklore

44 items

box 1 folder 27
Funerals, Tombstones

39 items, inc. photographs

box 1 folder 28
Furniture

1 item

box 1 folder 29
Genealogy, Surnames, and Place Names

59 items

box 1 folder 30
German Immigration: Research Files

34 items

box 1 folder 31
German Immigration Map: Deutsche Einwanderung 1750-1850 entlang Shenandoah und Potomac sowie heutige Dialektinseln des Virginiadeutschen

Deutsche Einwanderung 1750-1850 entlang Shenandoah und Potomac sowie heutige Dialektinseln des Virginiadeutschen

Map Case 1 Drawer 3
Guns, Gunsmiths

9 items

box 1 folder 32
Henkel Press, New Market

37 items

box 1 folder 33
History, General

42 items

box 1 folder 34
Hunting, Fishing

10 items

box 2 folder 1
Interviews

7 items

box 2 folder 2
Language, Dialects

33 items

box 2 folder 3
Legends

4 items

box 2 folder 4
Proverbs

13 items

box 2 folder 5
Mail Musings, Letters from Readers

7 items

box 2 folder 6
Marriage

12 items

box 2 folder 7
Moonshine, Whiskey

2 items

box 2 folder 8
Pottery

12 items

box 2 folder 9
Probst Lutheran-Reformed Church, Pendleton County, WV

10 items

box 2 folder 10
Puzzles, Religious

12 items

box 2 folder 11
Public Events

8 items

box 2 folder 12
Reading

42 items

box 2 folder 13
Recipes

10 items

box 2 folder 14
Rhymes, Riddles, Tongue Twisters

18 items

box 2 folder 15
School Days, Memory Album

15 items

box 2 folder 16
Solomon's Church, Forestville, Shenandoah County

27 items

box 2 folder 17
St. Michael's Lutheran-Reformed Church, Pendleton County, WV

10 items

box 2 folder 18
St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Grove Hill, Page County

83 items

box 2 folder 19
Superstitions, Letters from Heaven (Himmelsbrief)

33 items

box 2 folder 20
Superstitions, Witchcraft

57 items

box 2 folder 21
Translations, Various Documents

25 items

box 2 folder 22
Traveler's Accounts (18th-19th Century)

77 items

box 2 folder 23
Trinity Lutheran Church, Keezletown

18 items

box 2 folder 24
T.V. Set, Shenandoah Valley

15 items

box 2 folder 25
Unclassified

10 items

box 2 folder 26
Water Witching

9 items

box 2 folder 27
Weather

38 items

box 2 folder 28

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Series 2: Folk Medicine and Remedies, 1790-1984

Title/Description Instances
Folk Medicine Recipes, 1850-1939

7 items

box 2 folder 29
Andrew Hess' Notebook containing Recipes for Common Ailments and Diseases, 1849-1853

24 items

box 2 folder 30
Recipes for Arthritis, Pendleton County, W. VA

4 items

box 2 folder 31
Letters from Heaven (Himmelsbrief), May 1908, undated

18 items

box 2 folder 32
Dr. Wilhelm Stoy's Dog Bite Remedy

4 items

box 2 folder 33
Sator Formula to Protect Against Disease

5 items

box 2 folder 34
Recipes for Ailments (Horses, etc.)

5 items

box 2 folder 35
How to Prepare Blue Color

2 items

box 2 folder 36
Medical Prescriptions, New Market/Mt. Solon

8 items

box 2 folder 37
Medical and Personal Advice, sent from Henrich Muhlenberg to Mr. Henkel, 1800-1817

19 items

box 2 folder 38
Articles re Herbal Medicine by John Stewart, Kurt Kehr, Elmer Smith, Billie Jo Monger, 1970s-1980s

96 pages

box 2 folder 39
Four Recipes for Common Ailments, from Shavers School House, Linville Creek, Virginia

2 items

box 2 folder 40

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Series 3: "Pow-Wow" Documents, 1883-1900

Title/Description Instances
Pendleton County Pow Wow Book

25 items

box 3 folder 1
English Translations, Part 1

37 items

box 3 folder 2
English Translations, Part 2

13 items

box 3 folder 3
E.L. Smith and J.G. Stewart, "Occult Remedy"

11 items

box 3 folder 4
E.L. Smith and J.G. Stewart, "Occult Remedy"

87 items

box 3 folder 5

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Series 4: Lectures and Administrative Files, 1966-2002

Subseries 4.1: Lectures and presentations, 1966-2002

Title/Description Instances
The Dumb Dutch of the Shenandoah Valley, 1966

32 items

box 3 folder 6
How and When: Literature in the Foreign Language Curriculum, 1969

16 items

box 3 folder 7
The German Element in Shenandoah Valley Folklore, 1975

22 items

box 3 folder 8
The Valley Germans in the Revolutionary War, 1976

16 items

box 3 folder 9
Folklore and Nationalism, Politics, Ideology, 1980

17 items

box 3 folder 10
Shenandoah Valley Folklife, 1980

10 items

box 3 folder 11
Naturalization Ceremony Speech, 1982

3 items

box 3 folder 12
Folklore and Linguistics, 1982

16 items

box 3 folder 13
German Settlers in the Shenandoah Valley in the American Revolution, 1985

20 items

box 3 folder 14
How and When? Literature in the Foreign Language Curriculum, 1988

20 items

box 3 folder 15
German Folk Culture in the Shenandoah Valley, 1988

29 items

box 3 folder 16
The Zirkle Family: Historical Perspective, 1989

31 items

box 3 folder 17
The Germans of New Market, Va., 1990

26 items

box 3 folder 18
Shenandoah Valley Folk Culture, 1991

24 items

box 3 folder 19
Early Books of the Shenandoah Valley, 1992

20 items

box 3 folder 20
Fraktur Writing in the Shenandoah Valley, 1992

31 items

box 3 folder 21
Popular Beliefs and Superstitions in the Valley of Virginia, 1993

30 items

box 3 folder 22
Folk Culture and Medicine, 1993

8 items

box 3 folder 23
Shenandoah Valley Folklore Fieldwork, 1993

21 items

box 3 folder 24
Our Trip to Israel, 1995

24 items

box 3 folder 25
Shenandoah Valley Fraktur, 1995

13 items

box 3 folder 26
The New Market Henkels, 1999

3 items

box 3 folder 27
Valley Germans in the Revolutionary War, 2000

35 items

box 3 folder 28
Valley Germans, Customs, Traditions, 2000

2 items

box 3 folder 29
Price Rotary Speech, 2000

4 items

box 3 folder 30
Shenandoah Valley Fraktur, 2002

29 items

box 3 folder 31

Subseries 4.2: Teaching and Administrative Files

Title/Description Instances
Bibliographies

34 items

box 4 folder 1
Syllabi

34 items

box 4 folder 2
Proposal for a Madison College Oral History Program

16 items

box 4 folder 3
Grant Application, A New Age in Shenandoah Valley History: A Cultural Resource Symposium

12 items

box 4 folder 4

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Series 5: Henkel Materials, 1796-1963

Subseries 5.1: German Books and Printers

Title/Description Instances
German Books and Printers

16 items

box 4 folder 5

Subseries 5.2: Henkel Family

Title/Description Instances
General History

36 items

box 4 folder 6
Paul Henkel Materials

101 items

box 4 folder 7
Solomon Henkel Materials

73 items

box 4 folder 8

Subseries 5.3: Henkel Press

Title/Description Instances
General History

42 items

box 4 folder 9
Ballads

18 items

box 4 folder 10
Der Virginische Volkberichter und Neumarketer Wochenschrift

27 items

box 4 folder 11
Miscellaneous Publications

48 items

box 4 folder 12
Translations

25 items

box 4 folder 13

Subseries 5.4: Images

Title/Description Instances
Broadsides

38 items

box 4 folder 14
Imprints

25 items

box 4 folder 15
Woodcuts

26 items

box 4 folder 16

Subseries 5.5: Medicine

Title/Description Instances
Directions, Uses, and Bottle Labels

26 items

box 4 folder 17

Subseries 5.6: JMU Special Collections Research Notes

Title/Description Instances
JMU Special Collections Research Notes

13 items

box 4 folder 18

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Series 6: Folk Culture Posters, undated

Title/Description Instances
Folk Culture Posters, undated

See description list

60 items

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