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Archives & Manuscripts

Hallowell-Stabler Family Papers

Identifier: SFHL-RG5-057
This important collection describes the life of a Quaker family active in the 19th century in Alexandria, Virginia; Sandy Spring, Maryland; Washington, D.C.; and Philadelphia, Pa., where several relatives resided. The collection contains correspondence of James S. Hallowell, his wife, Margaret Stabler Hallowell, their children, and other family members. Also includes letters of Edward Stabler and his children, poems by Alice Hallowell, lesson books, financial papers, and pictures of Hallowell and Stabler family members. While emphasizing family affairs and domestic life, these papers contain material of interest on education, farm life, observations of the Civil War and the Federal bureaucracy, travel and hunting.


  • 1811-1946


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 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.


3.5 Linear Feet (7 boxes)


The Hallowell and Stabler families were Quakers mainly of Sandy Spring, Maryland. James S. Hallowell was a noted educator, and Edward Stabler was the postmaster of Sandy Spring. The collection illustrates the life of a 19th century Quaker family in Alexandria, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Sandy Spring, Maryland, and Philadelphia, where several relatives resided. While emphasizing family affairs and domestic life, these papers contain material of interest on education, farm life, observations of the Civil War and the Federal bureaucracy, travel and hunting.

Biographical / Historical

The Hallowell-Stabler papers are mainly the correspondence of James S. Hallowell (1821-1886), his wife Margaret Stabler Hallowell (1824-1900), their six children, and various Hallowell and Stabler relatives. An educator much of his life, James taught during the 1840's at the Alexandria Boarding School, directed by his uncle, Benjamin Hallowell (1799-1877). When Benjamin went to Philadelphia in 1845 to help establish Friends' Central School, James and his brother Caleb were left in charge of Alexandria Boarding School. After Benjamin's return in 1846, James founded Alexandria Female Seminary, remaining as principal until the turmoil of the Civil War forced it to close. He then moved to Washington, where during most of the Civil War years he served as Clerk of the Post Office Department and Superintendent of the Post Office Building. After his resignation in 1865, James S. Hallowell spent the remaining years of his life near the Quaker community of Sandy Spring, Maryland, first as Principal of Fulford Female Seminary and after 1874 at Oak Grove Farm, near Brookeville, Maryland.

Some of the Stabler correspondence involves Edward Stabler 1794-1883, a noted engraver and postmaster of Sandy Spring, Maryland, for more than forty years. Founder of the Mutual Fire Insurance Company of Sandy Spring, Stabler was also an avid hunter, and much of his correspondence concerns hunting expeditions and the design of rifles.


The collection is divided into ten series:
  1. Genealogical
  2. Correspondence of Margaret Stabler Hallowell, 1838-1900
  3. Hallowell Family Correspondence, 1839-1945
  4. Stabler Family Correspondence, 1837-1927
  5. Poetry
  6. Lesson books
  7. Financial
  8. Printed material
  9. Pictures

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donor: Thomas O. Taylor, 1979

Related Materials

See also:
  1. Additional Hallowell Papers, including Alexandria Boarding School minutes, were donated to Lloyd House, Alexandria, VA. in July, 1994.

Processing Information

Collection was received partially processed.
An Inventory of the Hallowell-Stabler Family Papers, 1811-1946
FHL staff
Description rules
Language of description
Encoding made possible by a grant by the Gladys Kriebel Delmas Foundation to the Philadelphia Consortium of Special Collections Libraries

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.

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