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John Thomas Scharf papers

Identifier: MS-0081

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Scope and Contents

The collection consists of original documents and notes of historian, author, and Confederate soldier John Thomas Scharf, and those of other historians, including Henry B. Dawson and Thompson Westcott. The materials span in date from 1750-1947. The material relates to various aspects of American history in the 18th and 19th centuries. Subjects include events from the period of the American Revolution, settlement of Seminoles in Florida, and early histories of cities in New York and Pennsylvania.


  • Creation: 1750-1947


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Contact Special Collections for more information.

This collection is open for use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Biographical Note

John Thomas Scharf was an American historian, author and collector. He was born in Baltimore in 1843, and left home at 18 to join the Confederate Army during the Civil War. After the war, Scharf became a lawyer, an editor for several Baltimore newspapers, a politician, and an officeholder. He was also an collector of historical materials, particularly those dealing with Southern history.

Scharf was the author of several volumes of local history related to Baltimore City and Baltimore County. His other works include A History of Philadelphia (1884), and A History of Westchester County (1886). Scharf died in 1898.


1.88 Cubic Feet (4 legal size document boxes)

Language of Materials



John Thomas Scharf (1843–1898) was a United States historian, author, and Confederate soldier. The collection consists of his original documents as well as those of other historians, including Henry B. Dawson and Thompson Westcott. The materials span in date from 1750-1947.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Scharf Collection was presented to The Johns Hopkins University in 1891, and most of the items were transferred to the Maryland Historical Society in 1897. This collection is formed by materials that were not included in the transfer.

Related Materials

Related material can be found in the John Thomas Scharf Collection at the Maryland Historical Society, 201 W. Monument St., Baltimore, MD 21201.

Separated Materials

The James D. McCade papers (MS.0081) were formerly a part of the Scharf papers.

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Joan Grattan.

Rachel Gattermeyer revised the biographical note, abstract, and scope and contents fields, as well as two item titles in this finding aid in October 2023 to bring them into compliance with Johns Hopkins guidelines for inclusive and conscientious description (2023). The previous version of the finding aid is available upon request.

John Thomas Scharf papers
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA