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Rankin Family papers

Identifier: HC.MC-1132

Scope and Contents

The Rankin Family papers concern the case brought before the Pennsylvania Congress by the heirs of James Rankin. They consist of correspondence, legal documents, newspaper accounts of the case, photographs (presumably of James Rankin's descendants), and genealogical information on the Rankin and Wilson-Willson families. Among the correspondents were James Newlin of the Attorney General's office (August 18, 1868) and Ellis Lewis, Chief Justice of Pennsylvania (November 12, 1870).


  • Creation: 1804-1894


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Biographical note

James Rankin (d. 1802), a resident of York, Pennsylvania, remained loyal to the British crown during the American Revolution. He moved to England in 1776, a year before the government of Pennsylvania was organized. Accused of treason for not having sided with the revolutionary government, Rankin's property was confiscated and sold. Rankin's heirs asked for restitution of the money received by the state in the sale of his estate under the congressional recommendation that restitution be made to real British subjects in cases of confiscation. The Pennsylvania Senate Journal for 1895 indicates that bill number 479 (revising the attainder of treason against Rankin and proposing restitution to the heirs) passed the Senate and was sent to the courts for processing.


0.5 linear ft. (1 box)

Language of Materials



The case of James Rankin, a loyalist during the American Revolution, whose estate was confiscated and sold. Rankin's heirs sued for restitution and won.


The Rankin Family papers were purchased by Special Collections, Haverford College in 1973 from Samuel T. Freeman & Co.

Processing Information

Original processing information unknown.

Rankin Family papers, 1804-1894
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