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Cope-Evans Family papers

Identifier: HC.MC-1170

Scope and Contents

Collection includes letters (with accompanying poetry, acrostics, drawings, clippings, etc.), marriage certificates, photographs, friendship book, estate related papers, account books, and computer disks. Primarily letters of the closely related Quaker families of Cope and Evans of Germantown (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania); other families include Brown, Drinker, and Haines.

Letters primarily discuss family, friends, and home life, reflecting the social environment of these relatively well­-to-­do Quaker families. Letters of Mary Cope (1766­-1825) to her children at school are full of affection and advice, both practical and spiritual. Thomas Pim Cope's letters include those to his son Henry at Westtown School, as well as letters reflecting on his business interests, including a copy of an 1805 letter to his then partner, J. Thomas, requesting they end their business association because of Thomas's sloppy book­keeping habits.

Business matters dominate the letters of brothers Henry, William D., and Alfred Cope: Henry and Alfred continuing the Cope family shipping business begun by their father, and William D. Cope (1798­-1873) establishing his farm in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, where he looked after his father's land interests.

The letters of Anna S. Cope (1822-­1916) and Francis R. Cope (1821-­1909) discuss home life and children as well as family and friends activities; many of Anna S. Cope's letters were written from family vacation spots in New England, where she often went to escape the hot summer months in Philadelphia. Letters of Francis R. Cope include letters written while in Virginia on Freedmen's Relief Association business after the Civil War (1866) as well as letters related to the sale of Pennsylvania Freedmen's Association property in Washington, D.C.

The letters of sisters Clementine, Caroline, and Annette Cope include many travel letters from Europe. Clementine Cope's letters also include those written while teaching at a Freedmen's Association School in Baltimore in 1865.

There are a number of letters written by children; of particular interest are those written by brothers Henry, Francis, and William D. Cope while a Westtown Boarding School in the early 1800s, and letters of brothers Francis R. Cope (1821­-1909) and Thomas P. Cope (1823-­1900) while at Haverford College in the 1830s.

The letters of Elizabeth S. Cope relate family and travel news; letters after the death of her husband Alexis T. Cope in 1883 express her loss.

Letters of Rachel and Jonathan Evans discuss children, family, home life, and health concerns and contain much information related both to their roles as parents and to their love for each other. Rachel's letters include information on the illness, treatment, and recovery of their oldest child, Anna Cope Evans, who was sent to "Bournewood" (Brookline, Massachusetts) after a nervous breakdown in 1900; also letters of Anna Cope Evans (b. 1875) from "Bournewood."[Note: many handwritten comments on letters in the collection are in the hand of Elizabeth S. Cope (1848­-1937)].

Also marriage certificates; copies of original photographs of members of Hartshorne, Yarnall, Stokes, Garrett, Wistar, Haines, Drinker, and Bright families; friendship book of Francis R. Cope at Haverford College (1835­-1838); and papers and account books of estate of Thomas Evans.


  • Creation: 1732-1911


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Law Applies (U.S. Title 17).

Biographical note

Caleb Cope (1736-­1824) married Mary Mendenhall (1738-­1809) in 1760. Their son was Thomas Pim Cope (1768­-1854) who married Mary Drinker (1766-­1825) in 1792.

Thomas and Mary's children included Henry Cope (1793­-1865), Francis Cope (1794­-1816), William D. Cope (1798­-1873), Caroline R. Cope (1802­ -1881), Alfred Cope (1806-­1875), and Elenor Cope (1807-­1847).

Henry Cope (1793­-1865) married Rachel Reeve (1794­-1863) in 1818. Henry and Rachel's children included Mary Drinker Cope (1819-­1890), Francis R. Cope (1821­-1909), Thomas Pim Cope (1823­-1900), and Ruth Anna Cope (1834-1879).

Francis R. Cope (1821­-1909) married Anna Stewardson Brown (1822-­1916) in 1847. Francis and Anna's children included Elizabeth S. Cope (1848­-1937), who married Alexis T. Cope (1850-­1883) in 1875, and Rachel R. Cope (1850-­1939), who married Jonathan Evans (1843­-1911) in 1873.

Jonathan Evans was the son of Thomas Evans (1798­-1868) and Catharine Wistar Evans (1802­-1871).

William D. Cope (1798-­1873) married Susan Newbold (1805­-1872) in 1834. William and Susan's children included Clementine Cope (1835­-1903), Edgar Cope (1838­-1895), Caroline Elizabeth Cope (1840-­1944), Annette Cope (1843-­1916), and Alexis T. Cope (1850­-1883).

Thomas Pim Cope (1768­-1854), prominent Quaker merchant, member of Philadelphia City Council and Pennsylvania legislature, was the founder of the Cope packet line,­ a mercantile shipping firm based in Philadelphia which predominantly traded with Liverpool, England. His sons, Henry and Alfred, later took on the business themselves when their father withdrew from the company in 1829. Their brother, William D. Cope (1798­-1873), settled in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, where William looked after his father's land interests, establishing his home at "Woodbourne." Henry's sons, Francis R. Cope (1821­-1909) and Thomas Pim Cope (1823-­1900), also joined the shipping firm, continuing it as Cope Brothers after the death of their father in 1869 and the withdrawal of their uncle Alfred. The company was sold in 1880.

Henry Cope (1793-­1865) was the founder of the family enclave "Awbury." During the 1850s, he bought about 40 acres in Germantown (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) and built his house there. Henry and Rachel's children were raised at Awbury and later built their own homes on the property.

(See "Stokes Cope Emlen Evans: genealogical charts of four closely associated Germantown families" by Francis Joseph Stokes, Jr. for more on Awbury, including a map showing the various houses, dates of construction and original owners).


3.25 linear ft. (9 boxes, 3 volumes)

Language of Materials



Letters (with accompanying poetry, acrostics, drawings, clippings, etc.), marriage certificates, photographs, friendship book, estate related papers, account books, and computer disks. Primarily letters of the closely related Quaker families of Cope and Evans of Germantown (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania); other families include Brown, Drinker, and Haines.


Letters are arranged alphabetically by author and then chronologically within each author.


The Cope-Evans Family papers were donated to Special Collections, Haverford College by J. Morris Evans.

Related Materials

  • Edward Drinker Cope papers, 1848­-1940 (MC 956)
  • Charles Evans papers, ca. 1681­-1860, additions 1827­-1845, (MC 1006)
  • Evans family papers (MC 1007)
  • Thomas P. Cope family papers, 1795-­1891, (MC 1013)
  • Hartshorne family papers, 1797-­1957, (MC 1030)
  • Stokes ­ Evans ­ Cope family papers, 1713­-1981 (MC 1169)
  • Cope-Evans family papers (MC 1242)

Processing Information

Original processing information unknown. Revised by Lillian Sweeney; completed February, 2020.

Cope-Evans Family papers, 1732-1911
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • February, 2020: Revised and box listed added by Lillian Sweeney
  • May 2022: by Nathaniel Rehm-Daly, Harmful Language Revision Project

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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Haverford PA 19041 USA US