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Hallowell-Stabler Family Papers

Identifier: SFHL-RG5-057

Scope and Contents

This important collection describes the life of a Quaker family active in the 19th century in Alexandria, Virginia; Sandy Spring, Maryland; Washington, D.C.; and Philadelphia, Pa., where several relatives resided. The collection contains correspondence of James S. Hallowell, his wife, Margaret Stabler Hallowell, their children, and other family members. Also includes letters of Edward Stabler and his children, poems by Alice Hallowell, lesson books, financial papers, and pictures of Hallowell and Stabler family members. While emphasizing family affairs and domestic life, these papers contain material of interest on education, farm life, observations of the Civil War and the Federal bureaucracy, travel and hunting.


  • Creation: 1811-1946


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some of the items in this collection may be protected by copyright. The user is solely responsible for making a final determination of copyright status. If copyright protection applies, permission must be obtained from the copyright holder or their heirs/assigns to reuse, publish, or reproduce relevant items beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to the law. See

Biographical / Historical

The Hallowell-Stabler papers are mainly the correspondence of James S. Hallowell (1821-1886), his wife Margaret Stabler Hallowell (1824-1900), their six children, and various Hallowell and Stabler relatives. An educator much of his life, James taught during the 1840's at the Alexandria Boarding School, directed by his uncle, Benjamin Hallowell (1799-1877). When Benjamin went to Philadelphia in 1845 to help establish Friends' Central School, James and his brother Caleb were left in charge of Alexandria Boarding School. After Benjamin's return in 1846, James founded Alexandria Female Seminary, remaining as principal until the turmoil of the Civil War forced it to close. He then moved to Washington, where during most of the Civil War years he served as Clerk of the Post Office Department and Superintendent of the Post Office Building. After his resignation in 1865, James S. Hallowell spent the remaining years of his life near the Quaker community of Sandy Spring, Maryland, first as Principal of Fulford Female Seminary and after 1874 at Oak Grove Farm, near Brookeville, Maryland.

Some of the Stabler correspondence involves Edward Stabler 1794-1883, a noted engraver and postmaster of Sandy Spring, Maryland, for more than forty years. Founder of the Mutual Fire Insurance Company of Sandy Spring, Stabler was also an avid hunter, and much of his correspondence concerns hunting expeditions and the design of rifles.


3.5 linear ft. (7 boxes)

Language of Materials



The Hallowell and Stabler families were Quakers mainly of Sandy Spring, Maryland. James S. Hallowell was a noted educator, and Edward Stabler was the postmaster of Sandy Spring. The collection illustrates the life of a 19th century Quaker family in Alexandria, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Sandy Spring, Maryland, and Philadelphia, where several relatives resided. While emphasizing family affairs and domestic life, these papers contain material of interest on education, farm life, observations of the Civil War and the Federal bureaucracy, travel and hunting.


The collection is divided into ten series:

  1. Genealogical
  2. Correspondence of Margaret Stabler Hallowell, 1838-1900
  3. Hallowell Family Correspondence, 1839-1945
  4. Stabler Family Correspondence, 1837-1927
  5. Poetry
  6. Lesson books
  7. Financial
  8. Printed material
  9. Pictures

Physical Location

For current information on the location of materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donor: Thomas O. Taylor, 1979

Related Materials

See also:

  1. Additional Hallowell Papers, including Alexandria Boarding School minutes, were donated to Lloyd House, Alexandria, VA. in July, 1994.

Processing Information

Collection was received partially processed.

An Inventory of the Hallowell-Stabler Family Papers, 1811-1946
FHL staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Encoding made possible by a grant by the Gladys Kriebel Delmas Foundation to the Philadelphia Consortium of Special Collections Libraries

Find It at the Library

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