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The Cope Evans Family Papers contain the letters of the closely related Quaker families of Cope and Evans who lived in Germantown, Pennsylvania.  The materials  in the collection were created between 1730-2009. Letters  discuss family, friends and home life, and reflect the social environment of these Quaker families.  Other topics to be found within the letters include Philadelphia history, Haverford history, travels in Europe, education, illness and death, and discussions of national events such as the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the assassinations of Presidents Lincoln and McKinley.  They are a rich source of information on a large number of topics.

Collection Guides for HC.MC-1170 Cope Evans Family papers and HC.MC-1242 Cope Evans Family papers



5077 items

Cope Evans Family Papers

David Bacon (1729-1809) was a Philadelphia hatter and a Quaker elder who visited Canandaigua, New York, in the fall of 1794, to be present at a treaty with the Indigenous populations of the Six Nations, also known as the Iroquois. Bacon kept this journal during his time with the Six Nations. Entries describe Bacon’s  journey to the Six Nations territory, and interactions between himself and the members of the Six Nations, as well as discussions between representatives from the United States and Six Nations governments concerning the treaty that was to determine the land rights of the Six Nations after the end of the Revolutionary War. Bacon also includes his accounts of speeches given by both United States representatives and Six Nation chiefs, including Cornplanter and Red Jacket.


1 item

David Bacon Journal

This collection consists of the letters of Katherine Wistar Mason Elkinton (1892-1961) and her husband Howard West Elkinton (1892-1955) as they engaged in relief work in Europe during and after World War I. During the war, the Elkintons worked for the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) in France as relief workers (1917-1919). Katherine taught and worked in the maternity ward of a hospital in Chalons while Howard was posted in Sermaize. Upon their return to the United States, the couple helped to found Chestnut Hill Monthly Meeting. In 1923, Katharine Elkinton established, along with business partner Sydney Cole, the Germantown Book Store in the front room of their home. In 1938, Katharine and Howard went to Germany; while Howard was director of the AFSC Berlin office, Katharine helped over 1,000 professional Jewish women emigrate to Australia.


135 items

Elkinton Family papers

The Female Association of Philadelphia for the Relief of Women and Children in Reduced Circumstances was founded in 1800. The organization provided money to "needy" women and children while building assets with which to accomplish their work. At various times they were supported in their charitable efforts through donations of goods and money. They did spinning work, gave out soup and opened a home for widows and orphans. The records make no mention of contemporary events, except yellow fever in 1802 and 1803, the calamities of war in 1812-15 and bad financial years of 1819, 1841-2 and 1860-2. 

The records include a history of the association; correspondence, 1800-1955, including letters of officers of the Female Association: Hannah Boudinot, Susan Bradford, Gladys Connelly, Mary Hodge, Margaret Stocker, as well as from Elias Boudinot, Benjamin Chew, Benjamin Rush and James Vanuxem; Board of Directors reports, 1804-1830s; Committee reports, 1810-1812; Legal papers, 1802-1972, including an agreement of account with Pennsylvania Company, amendments to charter and by-laws, and articles of incorporation; Financial accounts, 1801-1967; and a line cut seal of incorporation designed by Thomas Sully, 1811.


240 items

Female Association of Philadelphia for the Relief of Women and Children in Reduced Circumstances records

The Female Society of Philadelphia for the Relief and Employment of the Poor was established in 1795 by Anne Parrish, a young Quaker woman who wished to address the issues of poverty which had become aggravated following the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1793. She founded the society with the help of 23 other Quaker women, who began travelling around the city seeking those in need, especially the widows and children of Yellow Fever victims. At first, help was given in the form of food, clothing, or money for fuel. Soon, the Female Society decided that more permanent help was necessary, and that it would be more productive to give the needy a way to earn their own money. The Female Society established a House of Industry, which employed women to spin flax and wool. In 1799, to accommodate those workers with young children, a daycare center was opened at the House of Industry, possibly the first of its kind in the country. The Female Society was incorporated in 1815, and established a constitution and by-laws. The House of Industry reached its peak around 1854, when it employed 154 women and had 73 children in the nursery. In 1916, the Female Society joined the Philadelphia Society for the Instruction and Employment of the Poor to establish the Catherine Street House of Industry. By this time, more jobs had been made available to women elsewhere, so the majority of the Female Society’s workers were elderly and in need of less physically strenuous occupations. In the Catherine Street House of Industry, the women sewed for hospitals and other charity organizations in exchange for small weekly wages and a hot meal every day. The sewing room was closed in 1949, and the Female Society established in its place the Friends House for Older Neighbors. In 1959, the Female Society established a new, larger organization called the Philadelphia Center for Older People, which included non-Quakers and men on its board. Today, the Philadelphia Center for Older People has evolved into the Philadelphia Senior Center.

The collection includes mostly administrative records, as well as pamphlets, newspaper clippings, and photographs from major gatherings and events. The charter from the Female Society’s incorporation in 1815 is also included. The collection spans from the Female Society’s founding in 1795, until 1978.


466 items

Female Society of Philadelphia for the Relief and Employment of the Poor Records

The “Friendly Association for Regaining and Preserving Peace with the Indians by Pacific Measures” was established in 1756 by a group of eminent Quakers in Philadelphia following months of horrific violence between settlers and Native Americans on the Pennsylvania frontier.

The Friendly Association papers contain hundreds of unique and detailed accounts of behind-the-scenes treaty negotiations; historical documents dating back to the early years of Pennsylvania related to work with Indigenous groups; the correspondence of Pemberton and others relating to fund-raising and the exigencies of Pennsylvania politics; and missives from Indian leaders, transcribed or otherwise transmitted by an intricate network of Indian “go-betweens” who maintained almost constant contact with the Association.


707 items

Friendly Association Papers


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