Skip to main content
Archives & Manuscripts

Cope Family Papers

 Collection
Identifier: SFHL-RG5-178
The Cope family was a Quaker family of Chester County and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Baltimore, Maryland. The collection contains extensive family correspondence, genealogical papers and legal papers, a journal (1832) of Ann (Shoemaker) Janney, and other papers of the Cope and related Yarnell, Shoemaker, and Janney families. The largest part of the correspondence is that of Rebecca (Shoemaker) Cope, especially her correspondence with her sister, Ann (Shoemaker) Janney and her daughter Emma (Cope) Yarnell. Persons represented in the collection include Mahlon Day, Joseph John Gurney, and John Janney of Alexandria, Virginia.

Dates

  • 1792-1877

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.

Extent

1 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Overview

The Cope family was a Quaker family of Chester County and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Baltimore, Maryland. The collection contains family correspondence, genealogical papers and legal papers, a journal (1823) of Ann (Shoemaker) Janney, and other papers of the Cope and related Shoemaker, Yarnell, and Janney families. Individuals represented include Mahlon Day, Joseph John Gurney, and John Janney.

Biographical / Historical

  • 1680s, 1721, 1736-1760The Cope family in America descended from Oliver Cope who settled in northern Delaware, arriving from England in the late 1680s. His son, John Cope, joined the Society of Friends, and his and succeeding generations were active in Quaker affairs. John Cope married twice, the second time in 1721 to Charity Jefferis Evans. They were members of Bradford Monthly Meeting, and their son, Caleb, was born in 1736. Caleb Cope (1736-1824) was married in 1760 at Bradford Monthly Meeting to Mary Mendenhall (died 1809).
  • 1800-1823Their son, Jasper (1775-1856) was married in 1800 at Philadelphia Monthly Meeting, Northern District, to Rebecca Shoemaker (1781-1856). She was the daughter of Joseph and Abigail (Jones) Shoemaker. Rebecca's sister, Ann (1772-1837), married John Janney (1765-1823) of Alexandria Monthly Meeting, Virginia, at Frankford Monthly Meeting in Philadelphia, 1817. He died in 1823 while on a sea voyage, a trip recorded in a journal kept by his wife.
  • 1808-1834Jasper Cope was a dry goods merchant in Baltimore, establishing the firm of Cope and Company. Rebecca and Jasper Cope had seven children, including Emma (b. 1808) who married Charles Yarnell, son of Ellis and Mary Horner Yarnell, in 1834. They also had seven children, including Ellis Horner, Charles, and Amy, who are represented in the correspondence.
1680s, 1721, 1736-1760
The Cope family in America descended from Oliver Cope who settled in northern Delaware, arriving from England in the late 1680s. His son, John Cope, joined the Society of Friends, and his and succeeding generations were active in Quaker affairs. John Cope married twice, the second time in 1721 to Charity Jefferis Evans. They were members of Bradford Monthly Meeting, and their son, Caleb, was born in 1736. Caleb Cope (1736-1824) was married in 1760 at Bradford Monthly Meeting to Mary Mendenhall (died 1809).
1800-1823
Their son, Jasper (1775-1856) was married in 1800 at Philadelphia Monthly Meeting, Northern District, to Rebecca Shoemaker (1781-1856). She was the daughter of Joseph and Abigail (Jones) Shoemaker. Rebecca's sister, Ann (1772-1837), married John Janney (1765-1823) of Alexandria Monthly Meeting, Virginia, at Frankford Monthly Meeting in Philadelphia, 1817. He died in 1823 while on a sea voyage, a trip recorded in a journal kept by his wife.
1808-1834
Jasper Cope was a dry goods merchant in Baltimore, establishing the firm of Cope and Company. Rebecca and Jasper Cope had seven children, including Emma (b. 1808) who married Charles Yarnell, son of Ellis and Mary Horner Yarnell, in 1834. They also had seven children, including Ellis Horner, Charles, and Amy, who are represented in the correspondence.

Arrangement

  1. Family Papers & Journals
  2. Correspondence

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession information:

Donor: Unknown, Unknown date

Donor: Sarah A. G. Smith (Alfred Cope MSS), 1962

The source of the collection is unknown, but apparently there were several donors. The collection is grouped around the family of Rebecca Shoemaker and Jasper Cope, and from internal evidence, the papers seem to have descended through their daughter, Emma, who married Charles Yarnell; their family is also represented in the correspondence.

Processing Information

The collection was originally stored as a manuscript collection, arranged chronologically with individual items catalogued in the FHL Manuscript card catalogue. Subsequently, a checklist was created which divided the collection into two series. In 1996, the collection was transferred to Record Group 5.

Creator

Title
Cope Family Papers, 1792-1877
Author
FHL staff
Date
1996
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.

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:
500 College Avenue
Swarthmore Pennsylvania 19081 USA