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Anna Wharton Morris family photographs

Identifier: SFHL-PA-075

Scope and Contents

The photographs in this collection are related to the Anna Wharton Morris Papers, RG5/106. The photographs date from as early as 1823 but are mostly from the 1860s and onwards. The photographs are either bound in leather albums or loose. They depict the Wharton Morris family and friends. They include silhouettes, tintypes, and paper prints.


  • Creation: 1823 - 1997


Limitations on Accessing the Collection

This collection is available for research use.

Copyright and Rights Information

Some of the items in this collection may be protected by copyright. The user is solely responsible for making a final determination of copyright status. If copyright protection applies, permission must be obtained from the copyright holder or their heirs/assigns to reuse, publish, or reproduce relevant items beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to the law. See

Biographical / Historical

Anna Wharton was born in Philadelphia on July 15, 1868. Her father, Joseph Wharton (1826-1909), was a wealthy industrialist. He married Anna Corbit Lovering (1830-1914) in 1854 at the Cherry Street Meeting House in Philadelphia. Two children preceeded Anna: Joanna (1858-1938), who married Joshua Bertram Lippincott in 1885, and Mary Lovering (1862-1923), who never married. The Whartons moved to Ontalauna near Old York Road, Philadelphia, in 1881. Their summer residence, Marbella, was at Conanicut, west of Newport, Rhode Island.

Harrison S. Morris was born in Philadelphia on October 4, 1856. He had two younger sisters, Matilda Harris Morris and Jane Walters Morris, who never married. At the age of sixteen he went to work for the Reading Coal and Iron Company to help support his parents, who were in ill health. In 1893 he became the managing director of the Philadelphia Academy of the Fine Arts, a position which he held until 1905. Morris also served as editor of Lippincott's Magazine, art editor of the Ladies Home Journal, and chairman of the Ways and Means Committee of the National Academy of Design. From 1909-1917 he was president of the Wharton Steel Company. His activities brought him in contact with leaders in the artistic and literary world. He also wrote and published his own works, in both English and Italian, on Roman history, literature, and culture, as well as at least 17 volumes of poetry, fiction, and essays.

Anna and Harrison's only child, Catharine Wharton Morris, nicknamed "Kit," was born on Jan. 26, 1899. In April 1905, Anna underwent a hysterectomy, the first of a number of surgeries and hospital stays that are documented in the Journals. The Morris family traveled to Europe in 1906, 1910, 1911 (when Harrison was appointed as United States Commissioner for the International Exhibition of Art and History in Rome), and 1914 (when they witnessed the beginning of World War I in France). These trips and the visit to California in 1917 are described in separate travel journals. At home, Anna wrote numerous essays, short stories, and poetry, and participated in Philadelphia's rich social and cultural life. Home was at the "Annex" on the Wharton property near Old York Road until 1926 and then "Pear Hill."

In 1913, Anna Wharton Morris became deeply interested in prison reform. This concern probably stemmed from her horror over newspaper reports of cruelty to the young inmates at Glen Mills. In 1914, she met Thomas Mott Osborne, the famous prison reform advocate; the two formed a close friendship which lasted until his sudden death in 1926. Anna's reports of conditions in prisons throughout the country and, particularly, in the Philadelphia region, are preserved in her journals.

In 1925, "Kit" married Sydney Longstreth Wright, Jr., the son of Mr. and Mrs. William Redwood Wright of "Waldheim" in Germantown. Harrison Smith Morris died on April 12, 1948. Anna Wharton Morris died on June 21, 1957, at the age of eighty-eight. Catharine "Kit" Morris Wright died in 1988.


3.7 cubic ft. (13 boxes)

Language of Materials



Anna Wharton Morris was the youngest daughter of Joseph Wharton, prominent Philadelphia industrialist and philanthropist. She was a birthright member of the Society of Friends, active in prison reform and other social reform movements of her day, and was a profilic writer, primarily of short stories and essays. In 1896, she married Harrison S. Morris, Philadelphia author and arts administrator, and they had one child, Catharine Morris Wright. The photographs in this collection are related to the Anna Wharton Morris Papers, RG5/106. The photographs date from as early as 1796 but are mostly from the 1860s and onwards. The photographs are either bound in leather albums or loose. They depict the Wharton Morris family and friends.


The collection is physically arranged in the order received. The collection is listed in the inventory as divided into two series, People and Places, with further subseries.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of the grandchildren of Anna Wharton Morris: Harrison Morris Wright, Anna W. Templeton-Cotill, W. Redwood Wright, and Ellicott Wright in memory of their parents, Sydney L. and Catharine Morris Wright 1991-1997, 2012

Date: 1991-1997

Accession number(s): 91.24; 92.28; 94.011, 048; 95.004, 97.012, 97.014

Related Materials

Anna Wharton Morris Papers, RG5/106.

Alison Sielaff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

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