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Archives & Manuscripts

Jacob R. Elfreth Sr. diaries

Identifier: HC.MC-975-01-019
This collection is composed of 45 handwritten, bound volumes of the diaries of Jacob R. Elfreth, Sr. The majority of entries detail family news, births, deaths, and marriages within the Quaker community, Quaker meetings, and Elfreth's work with the Leigh Navigation Company.

Diaries from 1860-1866 include entries and newspaper clippings that discuss issues related to the American Civil War, including slavery, movements of the Union and Confederate troops, battles between the two, and issues of reconstruction towards the end of the period.


  • 1814-1870


Use Restrictions

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


2.5 Linear Feet (46 volumes)

Biographical note

The Elfreth family was a notable Philadelphia Quaker family during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Jacob R. Elfreth Sr. (1789-1870), was initially apprenticed to enter into the hardware trade, Elfreth Sr. left the trade to become a teacher, first in New Jersey, and later at the Westtown school. He later became a bookkeeper for the Leigh Navigation Company, his occupation until he retired. Elfreth Sr. married Abigail Pierce in 1821, and the couple had ten children.



Related Materials

  • MC 975.01.020 Jacob R. Elfreth Jr. diaries
  • MC 975.03.010 Elfreth family commonplace books
  • MC 975.08.009 Jacob R. Elfreth account books
  • MC 1221 Elfreth family papers

Processing Information

Processed by Kara Flynn; completed June 2015.
Jacob R. Elfreth Sr. diaries, 1814-1870
Kara Flynn
June 2015
Description rules
Language of description

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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

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Haverford PA 19041 USA US