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William Bacon Evans papers

Identifier: HC.MC-1020

Scope and Contents

A collection of letters and journals relating to the Evans family, Carter family, and others. Included are letters written by William Bacon Evans, 1889-1933, to members of his family, describing his travels in Europe, his work in Palestine, his sojourn in Germany, and relating to various family matters. Also, letters addressed to William Bacon Evans by well-known people, 1896-1946, acknowledging gift copies of his books of poems and other letters, 1927-1962. In addition, letters by Elizabeth B. Evans, Elizabeth R. Evans, William Evans, Jr. Hannah Evans, Jonathan Evans, Rebecca Carter Evans, Thomas Evans, and papers relating to the estate of William Evans (1787-1867). As well, there are letters of John Carter and Sarah S. Carter (husband and wife). There are diaries or journals of Esther Collins, William and Thomas Evans, William Evans, William Evans, Jr., Sarah C, Hull, David Roberts, and Rachel Hunt Roberts.

An author of diverse genres, there are Bacon Evans' essays, poems, riddles, short stories, manuscripts and graphics.

Letter writers include: Howard Brinton, Richard E. Byrd, Bennett Cerf, Charles Evans, Clifton Fadiman, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Cordell Hull, Helen Keller, Frederick J. Libby, Thurgood Marshall, Francis J. McConnell, Archibald MacLeish, A.J. Muste, Herbert Nicholson, Levi Pennington, Mary Roberts Rinehart, Eleanor Roosevelt, Richard R. Wood and others.


  • Creation: 1787-1963


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use

Conditions Governing Use

No restrictions

Biographical / Historical

William Bacon Evans (1875-1964) was born in Philadelphia, son of William and Rebecca Carter Evans. A Quaker, he attended Westtown School, Columbia University, Harvard University and Rollins College. In 1903, he went to Europe to practice French and study European birds. From 1908-1910, he taught French and general science at Westtown School. From 1919-1930, he taught English, French and general science to orphan boys at an English Quaker mission run by Daniel and Emily Oliver in Ras el-Metn (Ras el-Matn) in Lebanon. In this period he learned Arabic which served him when he visited Palestine and Syria as well as Israel. He was an avid student of ornithology. He gradually adopted Quaker plain dress and language. He was the primary author of entries in the Dictionary of Quaker Biography. At the close of his life, he was a member of Monthly Meeting of Friends of Philadelphia.


3 linear ft. (7 boxes)

Language of Materials



The papers of Quaker William Bacon Evans (1875-1964), a traveler to the Middle East, including Palestine, Syria and Lebanon and to Europe. His letters and journals are complemented by letters to him from a number of prominent people.


Box 1: Letters written by William Bacon Evans Box 2: Letters to William Bacon Evans, 1896-1963 Box 3: Genealogical items; Evans and Carter family letters Box 4: Papers of Evans and Roberts families Box 5: Additions: Papers of William Bacon Evans, 1875-1964 Box 6: Papers of William Bacon Evans Box 7: Additions: Wm. Bacon Evans Miscellaneous Papers. Box 8: Letters to William Bacon Evans, 1927-1962 & n.d.; Essays; Fragments Box 9: Poems; Riddles; Short Stories; Graphics

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Presented by William Bacon Evans, 1942-1958; WB Evans estate, 1967

Related Materials

MC.975.07.137 "John Comly and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, 1827-1828," undated

Processing Information

Original processing information unknown.

William Bacon Evans papers, 1787-1963
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • May 2022: by Nathaniel Rehm-Daly, Harmful Language Revision Project

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 or requesting repoductions from Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections Library

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Haverford PA 19041 USA US