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Morris Wistar Wood Collection

Identifier: HC.MC-1140

Contents of collection

Correspondence, diaries, photographs, genealogy, deeds, financial, legal and business papers, clippings, maps, facsimiles and other misc. papers.

Primarily correspondence of the related Quaker families of Collins, Cresson, Emlen, Morris, Wistar and Wood with friends and family. There are a large number of travel letters in the collection, including letters of Caleb Cresson (1775-1821) while in England and France in 1815-1816; letters of Joshua H. Morris (1822-1885) and his wife, Elizabeth Stokes Morris, written to his daughter (her step-daughter) while they were in Europe, etc. (1876-1878); letters of Rev. Charles Wood (1851-1936) while he was in Europe in 1878-1891; correspondence (primarily love letters) between Annabella C. Wistar Wood and Horatio C. Wood, both before and after their marriage in 1897; letters (with photographs) of Horatio Curtis Wood (1870-1943) while traveling with his family in Europe (1913). There is also correspondence between Annabella Elliott Cresson (1743-1793) and her husband Caleb Cresson (1742-1816), a business letterbook of Bartholomew Wistar (1790-1841), letters of John Wistar (1759-1815) written to his son, Bartholomew Wistar and a notebook of letters (with photographs) of Morris Wistar Wood (1899-1980) detailing his experiences in China at the Canton Christian College (Lingnan University) in 1921-1923.

Includes diaries (1922-1978) of Morris Wistar Wood and his wife, Evelyn Byrd Page Wood (includes their life in China); diaries (1918-1924) of Annabella Bonnyman Wood (1902-1926) telling of her life as a Philadelphia debutante; diaries (1885-1905) of Annabella Cresson Wistar Wood (1872-1967) kept by her before her marriage to Horatio C. Wood and with entries by both of them afterwards (also with photographs); diaries (1910-1943) of Horatio Curtis Wood; also memoirs (ca. 1764) of Joshua Cresson (1744-1793) and transcripts made by Charles Caleb Cresson of James Cresson's Journal of his trip to Barbados in 1784-1785 and Caleb Cresson's journal of his trip to England in 1815-1816. ]

Papers of Charles Caleb Cresson (1816-1902) include his research notes and notebooks on various topics, including Pierre Cresson, William Penn Charter School, and John Archdale, the Quaker colonial governor of the Carolinas. Cresson's papers also include his genealogical research on Bacon, Cresson, Elliott, Emlen, Warder and related families; a letterbook (1893-1895) and his “Our Saviour as a Wine Drinker.”

Charles Wood papers include biographical material compiled by Herbert Howe, who appears to have been working on a biography of Wood in the 1940s.

Other manuscripts of interest in the collection are Caspar Wistar's oath of allegiance (1721); Caleb Cresson's 1816 passport signed by John Quincy Adams and Margaret Philpotts' 1785 manumission of Jess, an enslaved woman.

Photographs include four albums, chiefly of Cresson, Wistar and Wood families as well as many loose and mounted portraits.


  • Creation: 1716-1979


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restriction

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

Biographical background

Chiefly the related Quaker families of Collins, Cresson, Emlen, Morris, Wistar and Wood. See accompanying family charts for relationships.


18 linear ft. (36 boxes)

Language of Materials



The papers of related Quaker families including Collins, Cresson, Emlen, Morris, Wistar and Wood, consisting of travel letters, diaries, notebooks and photographs. Principals in the collection are Horatio C. Wood, Annabella Cresson Wood, Morris Wistar Wood, Caleb Cresson and Charles Wood.

Arrangement note

Arrangement of collection: The collection is arranged alphabetically by author or person responsible, as follows: boxes 1-3 contain miscellaneous letters, etc. A-Z with the exception of Cresson, Morris, Wistar and Wood which follow in boxes 4-29. Box 30 contains printed and misc. items. Boxes 31-35 contain photographs. Box 36 contains original deeds and marriage certificates. For more detail, see table of contents below:

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Gifts , accession nos. 4098, 4194, 5241, 5360, 5480, 7047, 7081

Related Materials

See Stokes ­ Evans ­ Cope family papers, 1713­1981, Ms. Coll. 1169.

Materials Cataloged Separately

Oversized items: 1. Marriage certificate of Solomon Cresson and Anna Watson, 1702. Photostat mounted on cardboard [“13f” in upper left corner, 36 × 56 cm.]

2. Marriage certificate of Joshua Emlen and Deborah Powell, 1728. Photograph mounted on cardboard [26 × 33 cm.]

3. Indenture between William Penn and James Petre, 1681. signed by Richard Vickris, Charles Jones, Jr., Philip Theo. Lehmann, John Greagory, Peter Young, Richard Wood, Ruth Wood. [not signed by Penn] with description of document, framed [frame 48 × 82 cm.]

vertical art shelves:

4. Wistar, Elizabeth Buckley Morris (1849-1925) Double framed albumen photograph [frame 38 × 33 × 7 cm.] - to vertical art shelves

5. Wistar, Bartholomew Wyatt (1818-1869) Framed portrait [frame 41 × 36 cm.] - to vertical art shelves

6. Wistar, Annabella Elliott Cresson (1818-1869) Framed portrait. [frame 36 × 42 cm.] - to vertical art shelves

General Physical Description note

36 document boxes & 1 album (18 linear ft., ca. 2,400 items

General note

Ms. Coll. 1140

Morris Wistar Wood Collection

General note

Box #, Contents of box, [page # in guide to collection]

Processing Information

Processing history is unknown

Morris Wistar Wood Collection, 1716-1979
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 or requesting repoductions from Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections Library

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