Hannah Bacon Evans (1839-1939) of Philadelphia, the daughter of Quakers Thomas Evans (1798-1868), and Catharine Wistar (1802-1871) is the chief letter writer in this collection. She wrote almost exclusively to her niece, Edith Wistar Stokes, who married William Silver, but occasionally to another niece, Esther, who seemed to live primarily with Bacon Evans. Silver lived in Hulings, W. VA and then in Maryland The letters date from 1888 until 1925.
The letters mention family events, attending Quaker meeting, many Quakers whom Bacon Evans sees, daily events and amusements, clothing styles, domestic life, servants, treatment for ailments, the weather, children's upbringing, local travel. She mentions her uncle, Thomas Cope and family connections with Emlens, Copes, Stokes, Rhoads, Masons. The letters form a picture of the life of an unmarried Quaker woman in Philadelphia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. With the passage of time, the letters note changes in families, as Edith Silver's children growing up, Bacon Evans' handwriting changes, health issues become more prominent and the weather becomes a bigger issue.
1897. Tells Edith not to wash and iron, as that is what "the colored are used to working along at such things today and don't seem to mind it."
1898 3/6. Heard Joseph Hoffman play piano and it was remarked he was better than Paderewsky
1900 6/21. Visits Haverford College and reports on hearing J. Rendel Harris speak on Lady Guyon
1903 7/22. Reference to the death of Rufus Jones' son
1907 6/9. Burning of Conowingo bridge
1908 3/28. Missionaries going to Brumanna, Syria
1909 2/16. Book club reading
1909 3/17. Agenda of a Tea Meeting
1911 11/9. Tea Meeting where William Warder Cadbury will speak
1920 12/19. Reference to Katharine Elkinton and Honey Run and the help