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Archives & Manuscripts

Ash-Schofield Family Papers

 Collection
Identifier: SFHL-RG5-004

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of family papers, manuscript letters and memorabilia, largely of a domestic nature. Includes some descriptions of Meetings and religious journeys, of the early struggles of Samuel S. Ash in engineering and business, and references to the Schofield Normal and Industrial School in Aiken, S.C., of which Martha Schofield, one of the correspondents, was Manager. The exchange of letters between Mary S. Ash and her mother, Sarah Ash, describes student life at Swarthmore College in the 1890's.

Dates

  • 1796 - 1933
  • Majority of material found within 1833 - 1912

Creator

Limitations on Accessing the Collection

Collection is open for research.

Copyright and Rights Information

Copyright has not been assigned to Friends Historical Library All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in to the Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Friends Historical Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.

Biographical / Historical

Samuel Shinn Ash, son of Dr. Caleb and Rebecca (Shinn) Ash, was born Feb. 2, 1829, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Caleb Ash was described as a “radical Quaker and Reformer.” His marriage to Rebecca Shinn was the first to be solemnized in the new Cherry Street Meeting House; the bride's family had taken the Orthodox side in the Separation of 1827 and did not attend the ceremony.

The family moved to Darby in 1834, and here Samuel Shinn Ash received his early education. At 15, he joined the Franklin Institute, of which he remained a life-long member. Apprenticed as an engineer and machinist, he joined the firm of Howard and Son (later Howard and Ash) and subsequently worked to perfect a stamp-perforating machine for the manufacture of U.S. postage and revenue stamps. At the termination of the Government contract, he joined the furniture and upholstery firm of Amos Hillborn, where he remained until his retirement in 1897.

In 1859 he married Sarah Jane Schofield, daughter of Oliver W. and Mary Jackson Schofield of Darby. Her twin sister was Lydia A. Schofield, a prominent peace activist, and a her younger sister, Martha Schofield, was a prominent educator. Three sons and one daughter were born to Samuel and Sarah Schofield, the youngest son and the daughter surviving their parents. A number of the letters in the collection concern the loss of the two older sons, at ages of 14 and 21 respectively.

Throughout their lives, Samuel Shinn Ash and his wife were active members of their Meeting. He was not only a minister much in demand for a variety of spiritual services, but they were active in a wide range of philanthropic activities, antislavery, peace and temperance movements, women's rights, and education. As clerk of the First Meeting of Friends' Educational Association, he was one of the founders of Swarthmore College. Samuel Shinn Ash died in 1911, and Sarah Ash died in 1912. Their daughter, Mary Schofield Ash, married George Herbert Jenkins in 1903.

Extent

1.5 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Language

English

Overview

Samuel Shinn Ash and his wife, Sarah Jane Schofield Ash, were prominent Quakers, active in a variety of philanthropic activities, including anti-slavery, peace, temperance, women's rights, and education. Samuel Shinn Ash was apprenticed as an engineer and machinist and worked in manufacturing. This collection consists of family papers, manuscript letters and memorabilia, largely of a domestic nature. Includes some descriptions of Meetings and religious journeys, of the early struggles of Samuel S. Ash in engineering and business, and references to the Schofield Normal and Industrial School in Aiken, S.C. of which Martha Schofield, one of the correspondents, was Manager. The exchange of letters between Mary S. Ash and her mother, Sarah Ash, describes student life at Swarthmore College in the 1890's.

Physical Location

For current information on the location of materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donor: Mary Schofield Ash Jenkins, 1940

Donor: Eleanor Jenkins Zendt, daughter of Mary Jenkins, 1980

Donor: Katherine Smedley Yellig, 1986

Donor: Lydie Jenkins Valentine Wexler, grand-daughter of Mary Jenkins, Acc. 2016.052

Related Materials

See also:
  1. Martha Schofield Papers, RG 5/134

Processing Information

Previously titled Samuel Shinn Ash Papers.

In 2018, additional family papers were added to the collection, including Samuel Shinn's 1849 journal, Mary Schofield Ash 1895 commonplace book, family photographs, and a small number of letters.
Title
An Inventory of the Ash-Schofield Family Papers, 1888-1970
Status
Completed
Author
FHL staff
Date
1980, 1986
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
English
Sponsor
Encoding made possible by a grant by the Gladys Kriebel Delmas Foundation to the Philadelphia Consortium of Special Collections Libraries

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 Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College Library

Contact:
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Swarthmore Pennsylvania 19081 USA