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Archives & Manuscripts

Emlen Family Papers

 Collection
Identifier: SFHL-RG5-038
Contains papers relating to the Emlen family, residents of Middletown, Pennsylvania. Chiefly correspondence (1817-1849) of Sarah Foulke Farquhar Emlen (1787-1849), Quaker minister, relating to her travels to visit Friends' meetings in England, Ireland, New England, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia, as well as similar journeys made by her husband, James Emlen (1792-1866). Also biographical data, reference materials, and memorabilia. Includes material relating to Westtown School, a Quaker boarding school in Chester County, Pa., where both Emlens taught; the Hicksite-Orthodox separation; and the free produce movement. Correspondents include Moses Brown, John Churchman, Samuel Emlen (ca. 1765-1837), Josiah Forster, Samuel Fothergill, Isaac Hadwen, Thomas Kite, Thomas Shillitoe, Esther Tuke, Joseph Whitall, and John Wilbur.

Dates

  • 1740 - 1886
  • Majority of material found within 1817 - 1849

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 ps and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.

Extent

0.75 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Overview

Contains papers relating to the Emlen family, residents of Middletown and West Chester, Pennsylvania. Chiefly correspondence (1817-1849) of Sarah Foulke Farquhar Emlen (1787-1849), Quaker minister, relating to her travels to visit Friends' meetings in England, Ireland, New England, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia. Also correspondence of Quaker ministers 1740-1790, copybooks, and memorabilia. Includes material relating to Westtown School, a Quaker boarding school in Chester County, Pa., where both Emlens taught; the Hicksite-Orthodox separation; slavery, the free produce movement and other Quaker concersn. Correspondents include Moses Brown, John Churchman, Samuel Emlen (ca. 1765-1837), Josiah Forster, Samuel Fothergill, Isaac Hadwen, Thomas Kite, Thomas Shillitoe, Esther Tuke, Joseph Whitall, and John Wilbur.

Biographical / Historical

Sarah Foulke Farquhar Emlen was born 4mo 27, 1787, the daughter of Cadwalader and Phebe Foulke of Monmouth County, New Jersey. Her parents moved frequently, and her mother died when she was 15. Her father died in Ohio County, Virginia, in 1809. In 1809 she married William Farquhar under the care of Short Creek Monthly Meeting, Ohio. He died in 1811, and their infant son died the following year. Supporting herself as a teacher, Sarah Farquhar taught at the Westtown School in West Chester, Pennsylvania, 1811-1816. In 1816, she married James Emlen (1792-1866) under the care of Concord Monthly Meeting. He was the son of James and Phebe Peirce Emlen; his father was an Elder at Middletown Monthly Meeting, Chester Co., and served on the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Indian Committee as well as Westtown Committee. Like his father, James Emlen served as an Elder and on the Westtown Committee and traveled as a companion to Quaker ministers. About 1814, he moved to a farm in Middletown, Chester Co., where he operated a school for boys. In 1835, the family moved to Westtown where James Emlen worked as a teacher at the Boarding School School. Sarah Emlen began her ministry at a young age and was recorded as a minister by Chester Monthly Meeting in 1828. She travelled extensively in the U.S. and Great Britain. In 1831-1832, in the company of Esther Lewis and Henry Hull, she visited the southern States, and in 1844-1845 she visited Great Britain and Ireland. Sarah and James had seven children: James (1816-1827); Mary (1818-1893 married Chalkley Bell; Phebe (1820-1887) married three times; Sarah Cresson (1822-1904) married William P. Bangs, a Delaware merchant; Ann (1824-1905) married Joseph Howell; Susan (1826-1887) unmarried; and Samuel (1829-1920) who married Sarah Williams and was a recorded minister. Sarah Foulke Farquhar Emlen died 7mo 27, 1849
Sarah Emlen chronology
1787 4mo 27
Sarah Foulke, daughter of Cadwalader and Phebe Foulke, born in Monmouth Co., N.J., near Arney Town
1809 11mo 2
Married 1st William Farquhar, son of Allen and Phebe of Ohio Co., Va. in Short Creek MM, Jefferson Co., Ohio.
1819 9mo
Son born
1819 11mo 8
Husband William Farquhar died
1811 2mo
Infant son died
1816 1mo 11
Married 2nd James Emlen (b. 1792 6mo 17), son of James and Phebe Emlen
1816
son James born (died 1827)
1820
daughter Phebe born
1822
daughter Sarah Cresson born
1824
daughter Ann born
1826
daughter Susan born
1829
son Samuel born
1849 7mo 27
Sarah Emlen died, buried West Chester, Pa.

Arrangement

The collection is organized in into four series:
  1. Correspondence sent by Sarah Emlen
  2. Correspondence received by Sarah and James Emlen
  3. Miscellaneous correspondence
  4. Miscellaneous papers

Physical Location

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

Custodial History

The papers apparently were preserved by Samuel Emlen (1829-1920), son of Sarah and James Foulke. His son, George W. Emlen, married Eleanor Cope in 1877 and lived in Germantown, Philadelphia, Pa. Their son, George William Emlen, Jr., marrried Eleanor Clark. George W. and Eleanor C. Emlen, Jr., donated the Sarah Emlen correspondece and journals to FHL in 1965. In 1969, they donated the additional Quaker correspondence and miscellaneous papers.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. George W. Emlen, 1965, 1969

Related Materials

James Emlen, Journal of trip to Seneca Indians in connection with proposed treaty (photocopy), 1794. MSS 003/051

Separated Materials

The following material has been removed from the collection and recatalogued:
  1. “Anthony Benezet to His Friend Ann Emlen”, 1784; “Life of Elizabeth Ashbridge”; Appendix.
  2. Journals of Sarah Foulke Farquhar Emlen, 1811-1845. See Journals MSS 003/052

Creator

Title
An Inventory of the Emlen Family Papers, 1796-1866
Status
completed
Author
Susanna K. Morikawa
Date
2017
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English

Revision Statements

  • 2016: This electronic finding aid was updated in Summer 2016 by Abdulrezak Kemal in preparation for importing into ArchivesSpace, to conform to current markup standards and the ArchivesSpace data model.
  • 2017: This finding aid was revised in September 2017 by Susanna K. Morikawa to provide better detail and access.

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