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William M. Coates autograph album and diaries

Identifier: HCS-003-014

Scope and Contents

Volumes include decriptions of William M. Coates's time at and after Haverford College from 1860 to 1863.


  • Creation: 1860-1863


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

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

Biographical Note

William M. Coates was born on October 19, 1845, to George Morrison Coates and Anna Troth. He entered Haverford in 1859, and graduated in 1863. Following his graduation, he served as a Private in the Grey Reserves from 1863 to 1865, and as a member of the Veteran Corps, 1st Regiment, of the Pennsylvania National Guard. After the war, he married Anne Morris Lloyd on September 30, 1869, and had five children between 1870 and 1890. Occupationally, he worked as a bookkeeper, President of the Philadelphia Board of Trade, President of the Apprentices Library Company, trustee of the Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, and director of the American Security and Trust Company in Washington. He was also a member of many clubs including the University Club in Philadelphia, the Rittenhouse Club, the Union League, Art Club, Metropolitan Club, University Club. Amidst his work, family, and social organizations, he also served as the Vice President of the Haverford Alumni Association in 1891. William Coates died on May 25, 1937, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the age of 92.


0.4 linear ft. (5 volumes)

Language of Materials



William Coates’s diaries detail his time at Haverford College and following his graduation. He writes about the weather, academic studies, weekly collections, the Everett Society, exercise, his letter correspondence, and trips with his friends and family. He begins writing about the Civil War on April 14, 1861, detailing Fort Sumter’s surrender and evacuation, remarking on the “great excitement” and formation of a mob in Philadelphia. He later remarks on Civil War events such as the Baltimore Riots and the Battles of Harrisburg and Gettysburg. Coates continues writing of his life at Haverford, describing his classes, flute playing, friends, religious life, weather, health, clubs, cricket matches, and family, providing insight into Haverford during the Civil War. This includes writing about a runaway enslaved person on June 8, 1861, and the successful request to the Faculty to prevent Charles Parry from returning to Haverford for being a “blackguard, Secessionist, Infidel to all that’s bad + carries a big knife, etc.” on June 22, 1863. Following his graduation, Coates mentions his musket drills with a Company in Philadelphia, describing the balance between his bookkeeping work and military drills. Coates stops recording after October 27, 1863.


Materials are arranged chronological order.


The William M. Coates autograph album was donated to Special Collections, Haverford College in 1937 by Mrs. Anne Morris Coates (née Lloyd).

Related Materials

  • HC.MC.800.5 Non-Quaker notebooks and journals.
  • HC.MC.1184 Families of Philadelphia Papers

Processing Information

Processed by David Canada; completed February, 2018.

William M. Coates autograph album and diaries, 1860-1863
David Canada
February, 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

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