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Smith Family papers

Identifier: HC.MC-1149

Scope and Contents

Papers include financial accounts, including those of Edward Smith, M.D., 1851-1854; Legal papers including deeds for land in Moorestown and Gloucester County, New Jersey, 1880 and 1893; Seth Smith's papers dealing with astronomy, 1840s; Minutes of the Mechanical Institute (of Philadelphia) 1821-1825; and the Death mask of Seth Smith.


  • Creation: 1821-1893


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

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

Biographical / Historical

Seth Smith (ca. 1785-1861?) was a teacher at William Penn Charter School and the Franklin Institute. He was also a Philadelphia businessman and a government administrator. His astronomical calculations were requested for publication in L. Johnson and Company's Almanac in 1845. The reason Smith's vital dates are in question is that they are not confirmed as the match for this particular Seth Smith, though they likely are.

Smith was a member of the Mechanical Institute and was married to Mary Ann (Martha) Dowing in 1813. The Mechanical Institute was founded in 1821 to inquire into the laws and application of mechanics and the establishment of a library. Although not specifically a Quaker organization, members included Isaiah Lukens, William Mason, Rufus Tyler, Coleman Sellers, James Rush, and Seth Smith, Secretary. Edward Smith was a doctor.

(Information from: Internal evidence and Quaker periodicals, with additions courtesey of Mark Lloyd)


0.5 linear ft. (2 boxes, 2 volumes)

Language of Materials



The papers of two 19th century Smith family members, Seth Smith and Edward Smith, the former a teacher and astronomer, the latter a medical doctor. Seth Smith was likely a Quaker.


The Smith Family papers were donated to Special Collections, Haverford College in 1986 and 1987 by Robert and Eliza Smith.

Processing Information

Original processing information unknown. Reboxed and finding aid revised by Sakina Gulamhusein, March 2022.

Smith Family papers, 1821-1893
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • March 2022: Reboxed and finding aid updated
  • June 2022: Finding aid Harmful language remediation, CPeraria MLIS intern

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

370 Lancaster Ave
Haverford PA 19041 USA US