Included are eight photographs and, on p. 170, two newspaper
The Site and Relic Society of Germantown has placed a large bronze tablet on the front of the Morris-Littell house, on the district high school site at Germantown avenue and High street. During several years following its organization the society marked a large number of historic sites in Germantown, but the present tablet is the first that has been erected for some years. At the instance of Germantown people interested in the preservation of landmarks, the Board of Education has agreed to preserve the Morris-Littell house. The reasons for this are set forth in the inscription on the tablet reading as follows: 'On this site a botanical garden, one of the first in America, was planted by Dr. Christopher Witt, botanist, mystic and physician, born in Wiltshire, England, November 10, 1675; died in Germantown, January 30, 1765. Later on the same site lived Elizabeth Carrington Morris, botanist, and her sister, Margaretta Hare Morris, who here investigated and discovered the habits of the '17-year locust,' and who was the first woman member of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. Erected 1915 by the Site and Relic Society of Germantown.'"
"The old stone house that the two societies wish to preserve was the home of Dr. Christopher Witt, a Germantown pioneer, who settled in that locality in 1704, and who was for many years well known in the Germantown district as a physician, an astrologer, a botanist and a painter. He was associated with the celebrated John Bartram, founder of the Bartram Gardens, and laid out a botanical garden, which is said to have been the first in America. Christopher Witt was also associated with the band of Pietists that established a community on the banks of the Wissahickon creek, and he painted a portrait of their leader, Johannes Kelpius. This portrait is now in the possession of the Pennsylvania Historical Society and is supposed to be the oldest oil painting made in America. Witt died in 1765.
"For many years the house was in the possession of descendants of Charles Willing, Mayor of Philadelphia in 1748 and 1754 and founder of the celebrated Willing family. From 1812 until 1832 the house was the home of Mrs. Ann Willing Morris, Mayor Willing's granddaughter and a friend of Dolly Madison. Mrs. Morris sheltered in this house one night in 1812 a company of Montgomery county volunteer soldiers, who were on their way to the front in the second war with England. Her daughter, Margaret H. Morris, was the first woman elected amember of the Academy of Natural Sciences. She was a noted naturalist, and is accredited with having discovered the habits of the 17-year locusts whereby she was able to predict their reappearance."
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