Wood Family Papers
Scope and Contents
The Wood Family Papers contains papers from a Quaker family active in 19th century New York City Friends affairs, compiled by M. S. (Mary Sutton) Wood. Included are business correspondence concerning the printing house founded by Samuel and William Wood, correspondence from prominent Friends concerning abolition, the Civil War, freedmen, prisoners, First Day schools, peace, and other Quaker concerns. Also included is a scrapbook of genealogical material, writings, and reminiscences by Mary S. Wood compiled in 1885 for her granddaughter, Mary Underhill Wood. It includes her reminiscences about life in New York City as a Friend active in such concerns as abolition, First Day Schools, and prison visitation. The collection includes letters from Elihu Burritt, Angelina Grimke, and others.
- Wood, M. S. (Mary Sutton), 1805-1894 (Person)
Limitations on Accessing the Collection
Collection is open for research.
Copyright and Rights Information
Friends Historical Library believes all of the items in this collection to be in the Public Domain in the United States, and is not aware of any restrictions on their use. However, the user is responsible for making a final determination of copyright status before reproducing. See http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/NoC-US/1.0/.
Biographical / Historical
Samuel Wood (1760-1844) of New York was a convinced Friend, and he married Mary Searing. He taught school until 1803 when he moved to New York City and operated a book store and printing press producting children's books. By 1815 he had established a publishing company, Samuel Wood & Sons, which became a successful business operated by succeeding generations.
In 1822, he and his son, William Wood (1797-1877), operated the printing house. In 1835 William Wood was married to Mary S. Underhill (1805-1894) under the care of New York Monthly Meeting. William and Mary Wood were active in Quaker concerns, and he served as clerk of New York Yearly Meeting for twenty years. William Wood retired in 1868, and the business was continued by his son, William H. S. (Henry S.) Wood (1840-1907) and his sons.
Mary and William's daughter, Elisabeth Underhill Wood (1842-1922), was married to David S. Taber (died 1914) in 1869.
Mary S. (Underhill) Wood (M. S. (Mary Sutton) Wood) was an author and poet and known in the family as an enthusiastic creator of scrapbooks. In an article entitled "Our Autograph books" in Friends Review in February 1868, Mary Wood described her efforts to preserve autographs and letters of Friends, modeling her collection on similar public and private collections. The scrapbook of letters was made for her grandson, David S. Taber, II, son of David S. and Elizabeth U. Taber. A note by Mary S. Wood, indicates that this scrapbook was compiled in 1879 and intended for her eldest grandson. The family scrapbook was compiled for her granddaughter, Mary Underhill Wood, in 1885.
0.5 Linear Feet (1 box)
The Wood Family Papers contains papers from a Quaker family active in 19th century New York City Friends affairs, compiled by M. S. (Mary Sutton) Wood. Included are business correspondence concerning the printing house founded by Samuel Wood and his sons, correspondence from prominent Friends concerning work for social causes including abolition, freedmen, prisoners, First Day schools, and peace, and genealogical material, writings, and reminiscences by Mary S. Wood.
The scrapbook of letters has been dismantled and placed in folders in the order of the original. The second scrapbook, of reminiscences and family memorabilia, is retained in its original form as a bound volume.
For current information on the location of materials, please consult the Library's online catalog
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donor: Ruth and David Taber, 1948
Donor: Purchase, Tolles Fund, 1976
The scrapbook of letters was given by Ruth and David Taber, and, according to the donor, it was made by Mary S. Wood for David S. Taber. The genealogical and reminiscences scrapbook by Mary S. Wood was purchased from a rare book store.
The scrapbook of letters which was received in 1948 was dismantled in 1976, and the letters were placed in folders in the order in which they had been pasted into the album. The second scrapbook, purchased in 1976, was rebound by bookbinder Shihadeh in 1977 and added to the collection. The collection was formerly known as Wood Manuscripts and was transferred to RG 5 in 1988. A new finding aid was prepared in 11/2001.
A similar scrapbook compiled by M. S. Wood is deposited in the Quaker Collection, Haverford College.
Scrapbook and journal by M. S. Wood entitled "History of the Society of Friends in the City of New York/New York Yearly Meeting/ Compiled by Mary S. Wood, 1880" is in the manuscript collection of the New York Historical Society.
- Authors and publishers -- United States
- Church work with prisoners
- New York (State) -- Social life and customs
- Peace -- Religious aspects -- Society of Friends
- Prison reform -- Society of Friends
- Prison visits
- Publishers and publishing -- New York (State) -- New York -- History -- Sources
- Quaker authors
- Quaker women -- New York (State) -- New York
- Quakers -- New York (State) -- New York
- Quakers -- Social life and customs
- Samuel S. & William Wood (Firm)
- Social reformers
- Society of Friends -- New York (State) -- New York
- Sunday schools -- New York (N.Y.)
- United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865
- Women and peace
- Wood, M. S. (Mary Sutton), 1805-1894 (Person)
- Burritt, Elihu, 1810-1879 (Contributor, Person)
- Grimke, Angelina Emily, 1805-1879 (Contributor, Person)
- Samuel S. & William Wood (Firm) (Contributor, Organization)
- Wood, Samuel, 1760-1844 (Contributor, Person)
- Wood, William, 1797-1877 (Contributor, Person)
- Wood Family Papers, 1784-1874
- FHL staff
- 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 reproductions from Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College Library
500 College Avenue
Swarthmore Pennsylvania 19081 USA