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Hannah Whitall Smith correspondence

 Collection
Identifier: HC.MC-950-164

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of a group of 55 letters addressed between 1899 and 1911 by Hannah Whitall Smith to her dear friend Kate, whom she always referred to as “sister.” In addition, there are two poems and one Christmas card. The letters are often religious in tone. Smith relates news of her family, including Logan Pearsall Smith and Alys Smith Russell, especially regarding Russell’s health, visits from friends, references to Bertrand Russell, Quakers and Quaker Meeting, particularly in Philadelphia, as well as British Women’s Meeting, temperance, living a simple Quaker life, writing of her new book, health issues, and old age.

Dates

  • 1899-1911, undated

Creator

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

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

Biographical Note

Hannah Whitall Smith (1832-1911) was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of John Mickle and Mary Tatum Whitall. She married Robert Pearsall Smith in 1851. They were both devout Quakers and exponents of a fourfold gospel which included justification, sanctification, the second coming, and faith healing. Around 1848, Whitall Smith had a mystical experience that influenced the later course of her life. Whitall Smith wrote many Christian tracts, including The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life in 1875, a work that was issued in over 100 editions and was translated into many languages. In 1886, Whitall Smith and her husband settled permanently in England.

Whitall Smith’s children included Logan Pearsall Smith, who graduated from Haverford College in 1884 and became a writer and critic. He also moved to England and left the Society of Friends about 1913. Smith’s daughter, Alys, married Bertrand Russell; her daughter, Mary, married Bernard Berenson. Whitall Smith was the aunt of M. Carey Thomas, president of Bryn Mawr College.

(Information from the Dictionary of Quaker Biography and other sources)

Extent

0.15 Linear Feet

Language

English

Overview

In these letters to her friend Kate, Hannah Whitall Smith relates news of her family, including Logan Pearsall Smith and Alys Smith Russell, especially regarding Russell’s health, visits from friends, references to Bertrand Russell, Quakers and Quaker Meeting, particularly in Philadelphia, as well as British Women’s Meeting, temperance, living a simple Quaker life, writing of her new book, health issues, and old age.

Acquisition

Accession # 6980

Related Materials

  • HC.MC.975.03.047 Caroline Cope Yarnall Hartshorne commonplace book
  • HC.MC.1119 Whitall family papers

Processing Information

Processed by Mary A. Crauderueff; completed March, 2016.

Creator

Title
Hannah Whitall Smith correspondence, 1899-1911, undated
Author
Mary A. Crauderueff
Date
March, 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

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 Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections Library

Contact:
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Haverford PA 19041 USA US