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Bacon Family papers

Identifier: HC.MC-1156

Scope and Contents

Correspondence, diaries and photographs relating to the 20th-century Quakers Edith Farquhar Bacon and Francis Rogers Bacon, their families, forebears, friends and colleagues. The collection opens with genealogical and biographical information on a number of the members of the Bacon family, the earliest, Samuel Bacon (ca. 1640-1695), rather less on the Farquhar family, and also on the Allen, Balderston, Barnstable, Comfort, Corzine, Cowles, Elfreth, Evans, Fell, French, Horner, Lippincott, Parker, Scattergood, Shoemaker, Stokes, Test and Tyler families. The correspondence brings further evidence on Quaker family life, education, Meeting, business and friends. There are also references to events of the day, both of historical and cultural interest. Many of the letters of Alfred Lowry and Grace Scattergood (Bacon) Lowry are written from Europe, especially Germany and France, during and after World War I and discuss work for the Y.M.C.A.and Alliance Universelle des Union Chretiennes de Jeunes Gens and assistance to prisoners of war, as well as the viewpoints of Americans living abroad. The centerpiece of the collection is the correspondence of Edith Farquhar Bacon and Francis Bacon. As letter writers, Edith and Francis Bacon's letters show 20th century Quaker family life, Edith's close ties to her parents and sister, Esther Farquhar Kamp, and to her husband and children. In the same way, the letters of Francis Bacon, many fewer in number than those of Edith, depict his relationships with his wife and children. There are also letters written from Germany in 1920-22 while Francis headed the A.F.S.C. child feeding program there (“Kinderhilfsmission”). Edith joined him for the year 1921-22. Some of Francis‟ letters give a detailed description of his work there and information on current events. In 1949, on a trip to England, Edith and Francis spent a good deal of time attending Meetings. Edith's letters continue to speak of their children and their activities, but also her life for the many years after Francis' death. Francis' letters reveal a little about his work as Dean at the School of Architecture. Equally, the large quantity of letters to Edith and Francis Bacon point to the circle of their family, friends and colleagues. Notable correspondents include: Edith Bacon (1892-1988), Francis Bacon (1888-1965), Elizabeth Balderston Bacon (1855-1914), George Bacon (1879-1959?), George Wood Bacon (1780-1857), Margaret Hope Bacon, Samuel Bacon ( 1848-1908), Esther Farquhar Kamp (1895-1994), Henry Farquhar, Mary Ada Farquhar, Alfred Lowry (1888-1935) and Grace Scattergood (Bacon) Lowry (1891-1964). In the collection of diaries are those of: Francis Bacon (1813-1870), George Bacon (1780-1857), Francis R. Bacon? (1888-1965) and Sarah Foulke Farquhar Emlen (1787-1849). There are also some marriage certificates, wills and other papers of the Bacon/Wood families. Finally, there are graphics, which include photographs of Bacon, Balderston, Farquhar, Green families and others.


  • Creation: 1800-1987


Access Restriction

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restriction

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

Biographical note

Edith Farquhar Bacon (1892-1988), daughter of Henry B. Farquhar of Ohio and Mary Ada Greene Farquhar. She graduated from Westtown in 1910 and Wilmington College in 1913. She married Francis Rogers Bacon in 1915 with whom she had 4 children. In 1921, she and the children went to Germany for a year where her husband was heading the AFSC Child Feeding Program. After many years spent in Ohio, in the 1950s, Edith and Francis moved to Lansdowne, Pa. where they joined Lansdowne Friends Meeting. Edith became a member of the PYM Race Relations Committee and a member of the board of Friends Shelter for Girls at Cheyney, PA. She volunteered at a rehab center and served as secretary of the Tricounty Women's Auxiliary. She was a member for over 50 years of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, a group working for "peace, justice and freedom for all humanity." She was also a member of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. Edith Bacon enjoyed singing, and worked with many groups, including, on occasion, a chorus with the Cleveland Orchestra. In 1971, Edith Bacon moved to The Harned, a Quaker retirement home. (Information from Friends Journal, 34 (Aug. 1988): 31 and collection biography)

Francis Rogers Bacon (1888-1965), son of Samuel Allen Bacon and Elizabeth Balderston Bacon, was born into a Quaker family and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with degrees in Architecture in 1911 and 1913. He married Edith Melrose Farquhar in 1915. From 1920-1922, he was a member of the American Friends Service Committee Children's Relief Mission in Germany. From 1923-1929, he served as the first Director of the Cleveland School of Architecture, and from 1929-1953, he was professor of architecture and Dean of the Cleveland School of Architecture at Western Reserve University. Bacon was also a recorded minister in the Society of Friends. He was a member of the Alien Enemy Hearing Board, 1942-45. (Information from: collection biography and Who Was Who in America, v. IV, 1961-68.

Samuel Allen Bacon (1848 -1908), son of Francis and Hannah Allen Bacon graduated from Westtown School in 1863. He married Elizabeth Balderston in 1875 and they lived in Pottstown, PA where he worked in the Pine Iron Works. He was clerk of Haddonfield (NJ) Meeting. Bacon was on the board of the Library Company of Philadelphia, serving as secretary and treasurer for a time.

George Bacon (1879-1959?), son of Elizabeth Balderston Bacon and Samuel Bacon, worked for a mill, later the American Water Softener Company.

Henry B. Farquhar (1864-1939) was an Ohio businessman who, along with his brother and father, invented the Farquhar Furnace, a hot air heater, self-regulating according to the outside temperature. They exhibited it at the Chicago World's Fair (1893). He attended Wilmington College, married Mary Ada Greene, and was a member of Wilmington, Ohio Meeting to which he “gave his time and talent of music unreservedly.” (Information from American Friend:24 (1939):295)

Esther Farquhar Kamp (1895-1994), daughter of Henry B. Farquhar and Mary Ada Greene Farquhar, attended Westtown School and Wilmington College. She taught in public schools in Ohio, then became a Quaker educator in Cuba (1921-22). She received an M.A. in Spanish from Middlebury College, and during the Spanish Civil War served in the child feeding program in Spain under the auspices of the A.F.S.C. She had supervision of the distribution of food, clothing and soap to the 3 English Children's Hospitals established by Sir George Young in Murcia, Spain, and neighboring cities. She supervised the establishment of two other infant clinics. Following, she spent 24 years in Indiana as a social service consultant for the state. In 1977, she married Wilbur Kamp, a Friends minister. They were active members in the Society of Friends. (Information from "extracts from E.F.'s letters, 1936" and Friends Journal 40 (Nov. 1994): 44)

Alfred Lowry Jr. (1888-1935), son of William C. Lowry and Elizabeth Webster and husband of Grace Bacon Lowry, received his B.A. and M.A. from Haverford College in 1909 and 1910 respectively. He was a teacher of German and later French, was Secretary General of Alliance Universelle des Union Chretiennes de Jeunes Gens, a section of the YMCA, 1916-1920, then performed religious work in Central Europe, 1920. He was a recorded minister in the Society of Friends (Information from: Haverford College Matriculate Catalog and stationery letterhead)

Grace Scattergood (Bacon) Lowry (1891-1964), daughter of Elizabeth Balderston Bacon and Samuel Bacon attended Westtown School and Wellesley College. She married Alfred Lowry ca. 1914, and worked for a time as a physiotherapist. She did relief work for French prisoners in German camps, then with German prisoners in France. In 1935 she started the Friends International Student House in Washington, D.C. and was its Director, then the Davis House, to house people from Africa, South America, India and Asia. She worked for the AFSC in France with refugees, then in India in 1952-53 representing the Society of Friends at a meeting of the World Council of Churches. In 1947-1948, Lowry served as a member of the orientation staff on special sailings of the S.S. Marine Tiger and S.S. Marine Jumper taking students to and from Europe to facilitate cross-cultural understanding. (Information from letter of Edith Bacon, Jan. 8, 1965)


8 linear ft. (16 boxes and 1 volume)

Language of Materials



Correspondence, diaries and photographs relating to the 20th- century Quakers Edith Farquhar Bacon and Francis Rogers Bacon, their families, forbears, friends and colleagues.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Edith Farquhar Bacon, 1988, Marjorie Cope, 1989, Roger Bacon, 2004, S. Allen Bacon, 2011.

Related Materials

Original diaries by Sarah Foulke Farquhar Emlen (1751-1849) of her 1825 visit to Friends of N.Y. & R.I. and her 1844-45 trip to Europe are at Friends Historical Library, Swarthmore College.

Processing Information

Original processing history is unknown. Reboxed and finding aid revised June 2022 by Cole Hannah.

Bacon Family papers, 1800-1987
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • March 2022: by Nathaniel Rehm-Daly
  • June 2022: Reboxed and finding aid revised by Cole Hannah

Find It at the Library

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