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Elizabeth Drinker diaries

Identifier: HC.MC-975-01-018

Scope and Content note

The collection includes unbound typed transcripts of Drinker’s original diaries, from 1758-1800, though the diaries from 1787-1788 are missing. The diaries are composed of Elizabeth’s personal reflections of the day-to-day life of a wealthy Quaker woman in colonial Philadelphia. The majority of Elizabeth’s entries detail her daily life, including social calls with other Quaker families and individuals, the births, deaths, and marriages within her community, and attendance at, and descriptions of weekly and monthly Quaker meetings. While Elizabeth is generally not concerned with larger economic or political events, her entries during the Revolutionary War discuss military movements by both the British and the Americans, specifically General Washington’s military movements. Elizabeth’s description of events during this period include general military events, as well as personal experiences during the war. In addition to the Revolutionary War, Elizabeth’s entries are often concerned with medical and health matters, both within her own family, and as concerned the city of Philadelphia more generally. Specifically, her entries provide a record of small pox and yellow fever outbreaks during her lifetime, and her personal entries detail the illnesses of herself and her family, as well as treatments administered to herself and her children.


  • 1758-1800


Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Law Applies (U.S. Title 17).

Biographical note

Elizabeth Sandwith Drinker (1735-1807) was born circa 1735 in Philadelphia, where she married Henry Drinker, and together they had nine children. Elizabeth was a prolific journal writer throughout her life, and kept journals from the colonial period, during the Revolutionary war, and in the early years of American independence. Elizabeth died in Philadelphia in 1807.


0.34 Linear Feet (24 volumes)





Related Materials

  • MC 854 Elizabeth and Henry Drinker letters
  • MC 950.061 Henry Drinker papers
  • MC 950.149 Pike family papers
  • MC 1121 Henry Joel Cadbury papers

Processing Information

Processed by Kara Flynn; completed June 2015.
Elizabeth Drinker diaries, 1758-1800
Kara Flynn
June 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

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 Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections Library

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Haverford PA 19041 USA US