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Archives & Manuscripts

Joshua Evans Papers

 Collection
Identifier: SFHL-RG5-190

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the autobiography (1731-1793) and portions of the journals of Joshua Evan (1731-1798) kept while traveling in the ministry among Friends in New Jersey, New York, the South, and elsewhere, in the period 1794-1798. The copies of the journal in manuscript are attributed to George Churchman and Abraham Warrington, who was the son-in-law of Joshua Evans. One volume is considered an original manuscript in the hand of Joshua Evans. Also included are letters, mounted in a letterbook, mostly to Joshua's second wife, Ann, by Quakers at whose homes Evans stayed while on his religious visits.

The collection contains six volumes of the Journals of Joshua Evans's religious ministry on the American continent, from Nova Scotia to the south. Also included is a letter book arranged by Thomas H. Fawcett in 1935 which contains letters, indexed and bound, written mostly to Evan's wife by Quakers at whose homes Joshua Evans stayed during his ministry.

An edited version of the journal, A Journal of the Life, Travels, Religious Exercises, and Labours in the Work of the Ministry of Joshua Evans was published in 1827 by John Comly. The manuscripts on which this is based is deposited in the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North Caroline and is available the and in the Davis Microform Collection.

Dates

  • ca. 1788- ca. 1804

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 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

Joshua Evans, a Quaker farmer, minister, and abolitionist, was born in 1731, the son of Thomas and Rebecca Evans of Haddonfield Monthly Meeting, New Jersey. In 1753, he married Priscilla Collins under the care of Haddonfield Monthly Meeting. About the year 1754, he experienced a religious conversion and thereafter, devoted his life to sharing his rigorous interpretation of the gospel through an ascetic and pious life style and simple ministry.

Barely educated, he was nevertheless acknowledged as a minister by Haddonfield Monthly Meeting in 1759 and visited Friends in New Jersey, New York, the South, and elsewhere, mostly in the period 1788-1798. Evans was a vegetarian and a fervent proponent of the peace testimony, Quaker plainness, and ending slavery. He also argued for temperance and the fair treatment of Indians. In 1798, he traveled through the southern states condemning slavery in the strongest terms. Returning to New Jersey, he died in July 1798. Controversial in his own time, Evans is representative of a radical, "primitive" Quaker tradition and reflects the diversity of late eighteenth century Quakerism.

Extent

1 Linear Feet (2 boxes (and 1 bound volume))

Language

English

Overview

Joshua Evans, a Quaker minister and abolitionist, was born in 1731 in West Jersey. About the year 1754, he experienced a religious conversion and thereafter devoted his life to sharing his rigorous interpretation of the gospel through an ascetic and pious life style and simple ministry. Barely educated, he was nevertheless acknowledged as a minister by Haddonfield Monthly Meeting in 1759. Evans was a vegetarian and a fervent proponent of the peace testimony, Quaker plainness, and ending slavery. In 1798, he traveled through the southern states condemning slavery in the strongest terms. Returning to New Jersey, he died in July 1798. Evans is representative of the radical, "primitive" Quaker tradition and reflects the diversity of late eighteenth century Quakerism. This collection contains portions of the journals kept while traveling in the ministry among Friends in New Jersey, New York, the South, and elsewhere, mostly in the period 1788-1798. The transcripts of the journal in manuscript are attributed to George Churchman, and Abraham Warrington. One volume is considered an original manuscript in the hand of Joshua Evans. Also included are letters, mounted in a letterbook, mostly to Joshua's wife, Ann, by Quakers at whose homes Evans stayed while on his religious visits.

Arrangement

This collection is divided into two series:
  1. Journals
  2. Correspondence

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donor: Thomas H. and Edward H. Fawcett, 1935-1939

Related Materials

See also:
  1. The Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina, holds manuscript copies of the Autobiography, 1731-1793, and Journal, 1793-1798. This is probably the George Chapman transcript on which the 1837 printed version is based. The Southern Historical Collections manuscripts have been microfilmed and are available at the Southern Historical Collection and in the Davis Microforms Collection.

Processing Information

The collection was given by Thomas H. and Edward H. Fawcett. Thomas Fawcett arranged the letters in 1935, which are mounted in a bound and indexed volume.
Title
Joshua Evans Papers, ca. 1788- ca. 1804
Author
FHL staff
Date
2000
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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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