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Archives & Manuscripts

Elkinton Family Papers

 Collection
Identifier: SFHL-RG5-037

Scope and Contents

Contains the papers of the Elkinton Family, a prominent Quaker family of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and its vicinity.The collection contains correspondence, journals, and other papers as well as reference material and papers on various Quaker concerns and early letter books of the Philadelphia Quartz Company.

Dates

  • ca. 1736-2002

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

Joseph Elkinton was born in Salem, New Jersey, in 1794 and settled in Philadelphia where he established a soap manufacturing business which eventually became the Philadelphia Quartz Company. He was involved with the Seneca Indians at the Quaker school at Tunesassa (Quaker Bridge), New York, where his oldest son, Joseph Scotton Elkinton, was born in 1830. The latter was a Quaker minister and involved with the resettlement of the Doukhobors in Canada. His oldest son, Joseph Elkinton, was active in the Society of Friends in the Midwest and traveled to Japan and China on religious visits. His sister, Mary Passmore Elkinton, married the Japanese diplomat, Dr. Inazo Nitobe, in 1891. His son, Joseph Passmore Elkinton, married Mary Russell Bucknell in 1909; after Mary's death in 1929, he married Anna Bassett Griscom, a Hicksite minister, in 1931. J. Passmore also was a Quaker minister. See the notes preceding each series for more detailed information.

Extent

53 Linear Feet (132 boxes)

Overview

Contains the papers of the Elkinton Family, a Quaker family of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and its vicinity. Joseph Elkinton was born in Salem, New Jersey, in 1794 and settled in Philadelphia where he established a soap manufacturing business which eventually became the Philadelphia Quartz Company. He was involved with the Seneca Indians at the Quaker school at Tunesassa (Quaker Bridge), New York, where his oldest son, Joseph Scotton Elkinton, was born in 1830. The latter was a Quaker minister and involved with the resettlement of the Doukhobors in Canada. His oldest son, Joseph Elkinton, was active in the Society of Friends in the Midwest and traveled to Japan and China on religious visits. His sister, Mary Passmore Elkinton, married the Japanese diplomat, Dr. Inazo Nitobe, in 1891. His son, Joseph Passmore Elkinton, married Mary Russell Bucknell in 1909; after Mary's death in 1929, he married Anna Bassett Griscom, a Hicksite minister, in 1931. J. Passmore also was a Quaker minister. The collection contains correspondence, journals, and other papers as well as reference material and papers on various Quaker concerns.

Arrangement

The collection is divided into twelve series:

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The bulk of the collection was given J. Passmore Elkinton beginning in the late 1940s. In 1966, he gave additional Rachel Edgerton Passmore correspondence which he had received from Rachel’s granddaughter, Elizabeth Lowry Froelicher. Beginning in the late 1970s, his youngest son, David Cope Elkinton, also a member of Media Monthly Meeting, continued his father's goal of creating a family collection, with deposits up until the time of his death in 2002 and subsequently by his estate.

Related Materials

RG5/053, Anna Bassett Griscom Papers

RG5/107, Inazo Nitobe Papers

Swarthmore College Peace Collection, Doukhobor Papers

Hagley Museum, Wilmington, Delaware, Philadelphia Quartz Company Records

Separated Materials

The following material was also given:
  1. Tape recording made at J. Passmore Elkinton's 80th birthday, 1967, removed to FHL Audio Visual
  2. Photographs removed to PA 60
  3. Bound marriage certificates previously stored in FHL Marriage Certificates removed to Series 1 (4/2013).

Processing Information

The collection was received intermittently beginning in 1940, largely from Joseph Passmore Elkinton (1887-1971) with additional deposits by his son David Cope Elkinton (1915-2003) after 1977. The papers were collected by J. Passmore Elkinton and other members of the family and organized by him and David C. Elkinton into family series. The collection includes some handwritten explanatory notes and copies by Martha Gregson who, according to J. Passmore Elkinton, did secretarial work for both Joseph S. and William T. Elkinton, apparently helping them organize the papers. Additions were interfiled or added as new series or sub series, including business papers of Joseph Elkinton (1794-1868) and family journals which were received from Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. In the 1990s, parts of the collection were re-foldered and the albums of letters compiled by Joseph S. Elkinton were dismantled due to the condition. In 2009, FHL staff completed a major re-processing, organizing the series into a more logical, basically chronological order, and adding recent gifts from David C. Elkinton. David succeeded his father, Joseph Passmore Elkinton in compiling the family records at Friends Historical Library.

Creator

Title
An Inventory of the Elkinton Family Papers, 1736-2002
Author
FHL staff
Date
2009
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
English

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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