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Rhoads Family papers

Identifier: HC.MC-1033

Scope and Contents

Papers include letters, journals, diaries, commonplace books, miscellaneous papers, photographs, and silhouettes. The letters were mainly written to Anne (Gibbons) Rhoads and Samuel Rhoads by English Friends, 1840-ca. 1889, including Thomas Clarkson, H.J. Sturge, Joseph Sturge, and Mary Wright, who discuss abolition, the free produce movement in Britain, and the Free Produce Association of Friends of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. There are also letters from Thomas Charles Potts (1872-1955) to his wife, Ethel Rhoads Potts, and many letters of sympathy on his death. Journals and diaries include Anne Rhoads's record of a trip to England, 1847, and diaries of Samuel Rhoads, 1822-1834 and Ethel Rhoads, 1896. Commonplace books include that of Samuel Rhoads, 1828, giving an account of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, just after the Separation of 1827-1828. Miscellaneous papers include an address by William Gibbons Rhoads, read before the Haverford College Euethean Association, 4mo. 16, 1858. Pictures include a water-color painting of West Hill, home of Eliza Paul Gurney, and silhouettes of members of the Dymond family.


  • Creation: 1822-1955


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

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

Historical Note

Sarah Wistar (1839-1920) married William Gibbons Rhoads (1838-1880) on November 28, 1866. This event joined three Quaker families, the Rhoads, Gibbons, and Wistars, beginning a long correspondence between them all. Samuel Rhoads, Jr. (1806-1868) was born on September 19, 1806, the son of Samuel and Sarah (Garrett) Rhoads. Samuel Rhoads, Jr. was a manager of Haverford College and the publisher and editor of the Friends Review from 1853 to 1867. On March 15, 1837, he married Anne Gibbons (1809-1890). Gibbons was born on September 28, 1809 and died on February 16, 1890, at the age of 81.

The Free Produce Assocation of Friends of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting was a Quaker organization, founded in 1845, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Free Produce Association was a boycott movement against "produce," which referred to anything produced through the labor of enslaved people. Its constitution begins: "We believe that slaveholding is diametrically opposed to the whole spirit and tenor of the Christian religion, and that while it sustains the traffic in slaves, it is mainly supported by the traffic in and the consumption of the productions of slave labor. In order therefore to promote the use and facilitate the acquirement of goods, supplied by free labour, we unite in an Asssocation under the title of the Free Produce Association of Friends of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting."


1.25 Linear Feet (3 boxes)




Nineteenth century letters and papers primarily of the Quaker Gibbons and Rhoads families, often relating to abolition and the Free Produce Association.


  • Box 1: Letters and geneological information
  • Box 2: Miscellaneous Letters and Papers; Pictures and Silhouettes
  • Box 3: Journals, Diaries and Letterbooks


The Rhoads Family papers were donated to Special Collections, Haverford College in 1959 by Ethel Rhoads Potts and in 1963 and 1991 by Sarah Potts Benson.

Related Materials

  • HC.MC.950.150 Thomas C. Potts correspondence
  • HC.MC.975.07.021 "The History of the Rise, Progress, and Accomplishment of the Abolition of the African Slave Trade," undated
  • HC.MC.975.09.011 Free Produce Association of Friends of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting
  • HC.MC.1211 Sarah Wistar Rhoads family papers

Processing Information

Original finding aid author unknown; processed March, 2007.

Rhoads Family papers, 1822-1955
March, 2007
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

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

Find It at the Library

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Haverford PA 19041 USA US