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Archives & Manuscripts

Coffin Family Papers

 Collection
Identifier: SFHL-RG5-029

Scope and Contents

The collection contains family correspondence (1828-1913), journals of Elijah Coffin (1842), Benajah Coffin (1826), and Percival Brooks Coffin (1883-1920), business papers of Elijah Coffin and Charles F. Coffin, and miscellaneous writings. Includes documents and letters pertaining to Charles F., Rhoda M., and Elijah Coffin's prison reform activities and articles concerning the treatment of the insane, Indian rights, and temperance. Also manuscripts having to do with Indiana Yearly Meeting of Friends and the Cincinnati Book Association of Friends. Correspondents include Elijah Coffin, Rhoda M. Coffin, Mordecai Hiatt, and Rufus Jones.

Dates

  • 1797-1932

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

Elijah Coffin was born in 1793 in Guilford County, N.C., the son of Bethuel and Hannah Dicks Coffin. He married Naomi Hiatt in 1820, and the family moved to Milton, Indiana, in 1824. Elijah worked as a banker, and the family moved for a short time to Cincinnati and then to Richmond, Indiana. Benjamin and Elizabeth Hiatt, Naomi's parents, also migrated to Indiana at the same time, together with Naomi's brother, Mordecai, and his family. Charles F. Coffin, the son of Elijah, was born in 1823 and married Rhoda Moorman Johnson in 1847; he was employed as a banker. Charles F. and Rhoda M. Coffin were active in the peace movement, prison reform, reform of the treatment of the insane, and the temperance movement. He succeeded his father as Clerk of Indiana Yearly Meeting from 1857 to 1884. Charles F. and Rhoda M. Coffin's youngest son, Percival Brooks Coffin, also a banker and active in Quaker and philanthropic causes, was born in 1865. He married Lucy V. Baxter and was one of the original members of the 57th Street Meeting in Chicago.

Extent

3 Linear Feet (6 boxes)

Language

English

Overview

The Coffin family were Quakers of Wayne County, Indiana. Elijah Coffin was born in 1793 in Guilford County, N.C., the son of Bethuel and Hannah Dicks Coffin. His son and daughter-in-law, Charles F. and Rhoda M. Coffin were active in the peace movement, prison reform, reform of the treatment of the insane, and the temperance movement. Father and son both served as Clerk of Indiana Yearly Meeting. The collection contains family correspondence, journals, business papers, and miscellaneous writings. Includes documents and letters pertaining to Charles F., Rhoda M., and Elijah Coffin's prison reform activities and articles concerning the treatment of the insane, Indian rights, and temperance. Also incldues manuscripts having to do with Indiana Yearly Meeting of Friends and the Cincinnati Book Association of Friends.

Arrangement

The collection is divided into nine series:
  1. Biographical and genealogical
  2. Business papers
  3. Correspondence
  4. Prison reform work (Charles F., Rhoda M., and Elijah Coffin)
  5. Writings
  6. Printed material
  7. Pictures
  8. Memorabilia
  9. Reference material

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donor: Mrs. Bennett Cooper (Emily Fletcher Cooper), 1961-1964

Lucy Vincent Baxter (born 1868) was a daughter of William Baxter and his second wife, Mary Ellen. She married Percival Brooks Coffin. The donor, Mrs. Bennett Cooper (Emily Fletcher Cooper), was their niece.

Related Materials

See also:
  1. RG 5/011, William Baxter Papers (formerly Collins-Baxter Papers). Both collections were given to Friends Historical Library by Mrs. Bennett Cooper (Emily Fletcher Cooper) whose aunt, Lucy V. Baxter (her mother's sister), was married to Percival Brooks Coffin.
  2. See also: Charles F. and Rhoda M. Coffin Collection, Quaker Archives, Earlham College.

Separated Materials

Elijah Coffin's spectacles and case were removed to Relic [#218], July 1974.

Photographs stored in PA 145, inventory in repository.

Processing Information

Sorted and filed in Record Group 5. In 2007, the photographs were removed to PA 145 and stored in two boxes.
Title
An Inventory of the Coffin Family Papers, 1797-1932
Author
FHL staff
Date
Before 1967
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

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Swarthmore Pennsylvania 19081 USA