Skip to main content
Archives & Manuscripts

Hannah Bacon Evans letters

Identifier: HC.MC-1252

Scope and Contents

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.

Highlights include:

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


  • 1888-1925


Limitations on Accessing the Collection

This collection is open for research use.

Copyright and Rights Information

Standard Federal Copyright Law applies (U.S. Title 17)

Biographical / Historical

Hannah Bacon Evans (1839-1939) was the daughter of Quakers Thomas Evans (1798-1868), one of the founders of Haverford College, and Catharine Wistar (1802-1871). She never married. She had three brothers and one sister, Katharine Wistar Evans who married Francis Stokes. Her main correspondent in this collection was their daughter, Edith Wistar Stokes, thus her niece. Bacon Evans was active in the Employment Society.

From: Tapestry Threads: Jonathan & Rachel Cope Evans, 1843-1911 / by J. Morris Evans. 1993

Edith Wistar Stokes Silver (1873-1949) was born in Germantown PA, the daughter of Quakers Katharine Wistar Evans and Francis Stokes. She married William Silver in 1897. She was active in civic organizations and was a member of Deer Creek Monthly Meeting, Maryland.

From: American Friend 37 (1949) : 142


3 boxes (3 boxes)




The letters of Hannah Bacon Evans (1839-1939) written almost exclusively to her niece, Edith Wistar Stokes Silver (1873-1949) offering a picture of the life of an unmarried Quaker woman in Philadelphia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Also letters to other family members, primarily on family life, but also missionary work and other topics. The letters have been transcribed.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Seven floppy disks containing transcriptions of the letters accompanied the letters

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Alison Stokes MacLean through J. Morris Evans, 1995



Hannah Bacon Evans letters, 1888-1925
Diana Franzusoff Peterson
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Find It at the Library

Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections Library

370 Lancaster Ave
Haverford PA 19041 USA US