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William Bacon Evans papers

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Held at: Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections [Contact Us]370 Lancaster Ave, Haverford, PA 19041

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

William Bacon Evans (1875-1964) was born in Philadelphia, son of William and Rebecca Carter Evans. A Quaker, he attended Westtown School, Columbia University, Harvard University and Rollins College. In 1903, he went to Europe to practice French and study European birds. From 1908-1910, he taught French and general science at Westtown School. From 1919-1930, he taught English, French and general science to orphan boys at an English Quaker mission run by Daniel and Emily Oliver in Ras el-Metn (Ras el-Matn) in Lebanon. In this period he learned Arabic which served him when he visited Palestine and Syria as well as Israel. He was an avid student of ornithology. He gradually adopted Quaker plain dress and language. He was the primary author of entries in the Dictionary of Quaker Biography. At the close of his life, he was a member of Monthly Meeting of Friends of Philadelphia.

A collection of letters and journals relating to the Evans family, Carter family, and others. Included are letters written by William Bacon Evans, 1889-1933, to members of his family, describing his travels in Europe, his work in Palestine, his sojourn in Germany, and relating to various family matters. Also, letters addressed to William Bacon Evans by well-known people, 1896-1946, acknowledging gift copies of his books of poems and other letters, 1927-1962. In addition, letters by Elizabeth B. Evans, Elizabeth R. Evans, William Evans, Jr. Hannah Evans, Jonathan Evans, Rebecca Carter Evans, Thomas Evans, and papers relating to the estate of William Evans (1787-1867). As well, there are letters of John Carter and Sarah S. Carter (husband and wife). There are diaries or journals of Esther Collins, William and Thomas Evans, William Evans, William Evans, Jr., Sarah C, Hull, David Roberts, and Rachel Hunt Roberts.

An author of diverse genres, there are Bacon Evans' essays, poems, riddles, short stories, manuscripts and graphics.

Letter writers include: Howard Brinton, Richard E. Byrd, Bennett Cerf, Charles Evans, Clifton Fadiman, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Cordell Hull, Helen Keller, Frederick J. Libby, Thurgood Marshall, Francis J. McConnell, Archibald MacLeish, A.J. Muste, Herbert Nicholson, Levi Pennington, Mary Roberts Rinehart, Eleanor Roosevelt, Richard R. Wood and others.

Box 1: Letters written by William Bacon Evans Box 2: Letters to William Bacon Evans, 1896-1963 Box 3: Genealogical items; Evans and Carter family letters Box 4: Papers of Evans and Roberts families Box 5: Additions: Papers of William Bacon Evans, 1875-1964 Box 6: Papers of William Bacon Evans Box 7: Additions: Wm. Bacon Evans Miscellaneous Papers. Box 8: Letters to William Bacon Evans, 1927-1962 & n.d.; Essays; Fragments Box 9: Poems; Riddles; Short Stories; Graphics

Presented by William Bacon Evans, 1942-1958; WB Evans estate, 1967

Original processing information unknown.

Publisher
Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use

Use Restrictions

No restrictions

Collection Inventory

1889-1892, 1889-1892.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Letter with no date, and letter from 1889-1892. 10 items; Including childhood and boyhood letters to brother Charles. Also filed here: Cover of the American Friend, Jan. 15, 1953, with picture of Bacon Evans on front and paragraph about the picture on back; leaflet, "Reunion of Descendants of Jonathan and Hannah Bacon Evans,.9mo. 22, 1928," which gives birth and death dates for them and their children; paper in Bacon Evans's hand, headed, "Do I Know---?"

1903, 1903.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Letter written during a trip to Europe, 1903 and 1908. 19 items

1920-1922, 1920-1922.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Letters from Ras-el-Metn [Ras el-Metn], Syria [modern Lebanon]. 1920-1922. 52 Items.

1923-1924, 1923-1924.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Letters from 1923-1924. 65 items.

1925-1926, 1925-1926.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

From Beyrouth [Beirut]. 1925-1926. 83 Items.

1927-1928, 1927-1928.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

From Lebanon, Syria, Moorestown, N.J., and Winter Park, Fla. 1927-1928. 86 Items.

1929, 1929.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Letters from Florida, Moorestown, N.J., Italy, and Syria, 1929. 57 items.

1930, 1930.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Letters from Syria, 1930. 54 items.

1931, 1931.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Letters from Syria, 1931. 51 items.

1932, 1932.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Letters from Syria, 1932. 76 items.

1933, 1933.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Letters from Germany, lmo. 2 - 7mo. 7, 1933, and one from Pocono Manor, Pa., U.S A., Aug. 9, 1933. P.C., 1951 42 items.

Scope and Contents

375 items, including 7 items added, 1967. Alphabetically arranged, by authors. Largely about birds, his poetry books, etc.

A-C.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Note: While the Roosevelt signature appears to be a reproduction, the Keller appears original. Others thank Bacon Evans for items he has authored or produced. Additionally, extensive historical information about the Christian Children's Fund (formerly China's Children Fund).

Letter writers include:

American Association for the United Nations (Eleanor Roosevelt), American Foundation for Overseas Blind (Helen Keller), American Friend (Errol Elliott), American Friends Service Committee (William Ensor), American Indian Fund (Haven Emerson et al), American Walswnain Aid Society, Asheboro Friends Meeting (Seth Hinshaw), Athens College (Homer Davis), Bailey, Joshua L., Baltimore Yearly Meeting of Friends (Harold Tollefson), Anderson Barker, E.F. Bellows, Isaac Bradford, Ernest R. Bromley, Walter J. Brown, Burlington County Hospital (Alfred E. Darnell), Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors (Ray Newton and A.J. Muste), Citizens Committee on Displaced Persons (Earl Harrison), Christian Children's Fund (J. Calvitt Clarke), Christopher Publishing House (Thomas Christopher), Roy Clampitt, Committee of 100 (Francis McConnell, Harry Emerson Fosdick, Thurgood Marshall et al), Commonwealth of Pa. Dept. of Public Education (James Duckrey), Congress of the U.S. (Charles Howell), William Copel, Orval Cox, Elwood Cronk. Highlights include:

Christopher Publishing House (Thomas Christopher). 1951-1961. 13 items.[primarily re publication of WBE's Sonnets for Lovers and Lovers of Sonnets]

Committee of 100. 1950-1960. 11 items. [issues relating to segregation and injustice toward African Americans]

D-H.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Francis D'Olier, Downingtown Friends School (Wm. E. Cadbury), Eleanor Roosevelt 70th birthday Committee (Charles Mayo, Frank Graham), Charles Evans, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Five Years Meeting (Errol Elliott), William E. Fort, Frederick Libby Gift Committee (Ray Newton), Freedom House Bookshelf Committee (Archibald MacLeish), Free Public Library of Haddonfield (Beatrice Stuckert), The Friend (Alfred Scattergood), Friends Boarding School (Byron Thomas), Friends Committee on National Legislation (Wilmer Cooper), Friends General Conference (James Frorer), Friends Historical Library (Frederick Tolles), Friends Hospital (Samuel Brinton), Friends Peace Committee (Richard R. Wood), Friends Select School (J. Theodore Peters), Friends World Committee (Clarence Pickett et al), Helen Gilbert, Guilford College (John C. Bradshaw), Taylor and Irma Guthrie, J. Bernard Haviland, H.K. Heebner, J. Omar Heritage, Theodore and Rebecca Hetzel, Historical Society of Pennsylvania (R.N. Williams), Hotel Dennis (J. Howard Buzby), Hotel Morton (Paul Cope), Cordell Hull.

Highlights include:

Freedom House Bookshelf Committee (Archibald MacLeish). New York, 1960 5/4. [In an effort to exceed the number of translated copies of works by Lenin and other Communists, the Committee is publishing works of some notable Americans]

Friends Historical Library (Frederick Tolles). 1949-56. 2 items. [on the influence of 18th century Friends and impact of Joseph John Gurney on PYM]

Friends Hospital (Samuel Brinton et al). 1953-56. 4 items. [WBE elected a member of the Coporation of the Hospital]

I-N.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Letter writers include:

Indian Committee of PYM (Edna Morris et al), Iron Curtain Refugee Campaign (Richard E. Byrd), Jack & Jill (Ada Rose), John Bartram Association (Emily Chester), John Woolman Association (Douglas Steere), Howard Kershner, Donald Knapp, Leonard Wood Memorial (Perry Burgess), Lincoln University (A.O. Grubb), Horace M. Lippincott, Paul S. Lippincott, Edward W. Marshall, Georgie May, Frank B. Moody, Mutual Aid Food Package Service, Nat'l Council for Prevention of War (Frederick Libby), Nebraska Central College (Milo Crosbie), New England Yearly Meeting (Rebecca Perry), New Jersey Audubon Society (Betty Carnes), Herbert Nicholson, Joe Nicholson

O-R.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

Letter writers include:

Douglas Oliver, G. Ray Parker, Florence Palmier, Pendle Hill (Howard Brinton), Levi Pennington, Pennsylvania Hospital (Florence Grein), Harold Perry, Phila. Center for Older People (Lola Harris), Phila. Yearly Meeting (Richmond Miller, Howard Taylor), Prohibition Party (John Lytle), Provident Mutual Life (Paul Baker), Pocket Testament League (Alfred Kunz), Public Library of Haddonfield (Beatrice Stuckhert), Eveline Rausch, Redevelopment Authority (Francis Myers), Welden Reynolds, Philip Rhoads, Richard Rhoads, Mary Roberts Rinehart, William Roberts, Margaret Robbins, Rollins College (Erwin Brown), C. Chandler Ross.

Highlights include:

Pennington, Levi. Newberg, Oregon, 1949 10/8. [refers to an attempt to start another branch of Friends in Amboy Indiana, based on the location of a new meeting house, while he (Pennington) was a pastor there; the split-off was called "Modern Friends."]

Prohibition Party (John G. Lytle). Blairstown, N.J., 1949 3/15. [glad WBE willing to run as a candidate for State Assembly from Burlington County on the Prohibition Party ticket]

S.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

Letter writers include:

Saturday Evening Post (Ashley Halsey), Alfred Scattergood, J. Henry Scattergood, Nellie Seltzer, Logan Shannan, Social Order Committee (Bernard Waring), St. Mary's Rectory (Wilbur Hogg), Hannah Stapler, Alfred Steer, Francis Stokes, Ed Stratton, Guilford Street.

Highlights include: Stratton, Ed F. Salem, Ohio, 1949 4/19. [suggests where WBE can find information on a number of Quakers]

T-Z.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

Letter writers include:

Louis Taber, Teachers College (Hollis Caswell), Elma Thompson, Harold Toomey, Tract Assoc. of Friends (Ralph Rose), Elton Trueblood, Trustees of Athens College (Homer Davis), U.S. Dept. of Commerce (h.P. Adams), William Van Hoy, Lavora Vaughn, James F. Walker, Peter Walsh, George Walton, J. Warner, Kenneth Webb, Wellesley College (Ruth Lindsay), Westfield Friends School (Donald Stillwell),Westtown School (J. Robert James), Westtown School Anniversary Fund (John Parker), William Penn College (Herbert Nichols), H. Justice Williams, Albert H. Wilson, Joseph Wilson, George WoodWorld Council of Churches (Ursula Schuster), Young Friends Movement (Milton Zimmerman), Mrs. William Wright.

Highlights include:

Warner, J. Yardley. West Grove PA., 1949 2/17. [responds to announcement placed by WBE in The Friend re obtaining information about deceased Friends]

Wilson, Albert H. Haverford, Pa., 1954 11/12. [asks WBE to serve on the nominating committee of the Tract Association]

Ester R. H. Collins.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

update series label on folders

Scope and Contents

Diary, 1787-1807, plus 2 letters, l808 and 1820.

John Carter.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

update series label on folders

Scope and Contents

1800- . 7 items, 1807-1858.

Sarah Shoemaker Carter.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

update series label on folders

Scope and Contents

d.l858. 5 items, 1852-1856.

Elizabeth Barton Evans.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

update series label on folders

Scope and Contents

1829-1861. 42 items

Elizabeth Reeve Evans.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

update series label on folders

Scope and Contents

1830-1906. Letters, etc., 1854-1898. 17 items.

Hannah Evans.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

update series label on folders

Scope and Contents

1827-1902. Letters, 1856-1901. 33 items.

Jonathan Evans.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

update series label on folders

Scope and Contents

Legal papers re his estate, 1839. 4 items.

Rebecca Carter Evans.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

update series label on folders

Scope and Contents

1835-1919. Letters, 1851-1914. 107 items.

Thomas Evans.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

update series label on folders

Scope and Contents

Letters, 1856-1857. 6 items.

Biographical Sketches of Family.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

update series label on folders

Papers: 1920-1962, 1921-1962.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

update series label on folders

1787-1867, 1787-1867.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

update series label on folders

Sarah Cooper Hull.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

Hull, Sarah (Cooper), wife of Henry Hull. Memorandums for Sarah C. Gaskell. Notebook journal of journey in ministry from Phila. to Friends in Upper Canada. 1831.

Rachel Hunt Roberts (folder no.1).
Box 2
Scope and Contents

Copy book, 1806; Journal, 1837, 1839, 1840, 1844-45

Rachel Hunt Roberts (folder no.2).
Box 3
Scope and Contents

Letter to husband, 1837; Journal, 1846-56, 1856-58

1787-1867, 1787-1867.
Box 3
Scope and Contents

Papers re estate of. 5 items and a fragment of his Journal, 1822-1829 (pp.99-168)

William Evans, 1831-1833.
Box 3
William Evans trip to London, 1895.
Box 3
Europe Journal, 1903-1908.
Box 3
Rome, 1929.
Box 3
Visit to Great Britain, 1950-1951.
Box 3
Five year diary.
Box 3
Reminiscences of James Kite.
Box 3
Scope and Contents

memoirs of James Kite, written by himself [ca.1912]

Commonplace book, 1913.
Box 4
Commonplace book, 1894-1907.
Box 4
Scope and Contents

includes spring bird migration records

Birds in Syria, 1928.
Box 4
Scope and Contents

Notebook of birds in Syria, 1928, and folder of bird drawings, 1963 (some on backs of manuscript pages)

Memo books.
Box 4
Scope and Contents

four books

The Free Reading Room Associtaion of Moorestown, New Jersey membership notebook, 1901.
Box 4
Publication of Friends Library, 1844-1866.
Box 4
Prose writing.
Box 4
Miscellaneous Prose Writings.
Box 4
Chart of Yearly Meetings in America. James Cox, comp.
Box 5

Photo album of Europe.
Box 5
Scope and Contents

All photographs, inscribed, "For William Bacon Evans and the Peacemakers, B. H. Dyshel, Jerusalem, 4mo. 14, 1960."

Loose photos of Syria.
Box 5
Scope and Contents

All photographs, inscribed, "For William Bacon Evans and the Peacemakers, B. H. Dyshel, Jerusalem, 4mo. 14, 1960."

Painting of a man.
Box 5
Scope and Contents

Framed painting of man, inscribed, "For William Bacon Evans and the Peacemakers, B. H. Dyshel, Jerusalem, 4mo. 14, 1960."

Bird Drawings.
Box 5
Scope and Contents

Some drawings are on the back of manuscript papers.

estate of.
Box 5
Scope and Contents

5 items

Correspondence, 1835-1919.
Box 5
Scope and Contents

Folder 1: Letters, 1859-1908. 31 items.

letters addressed to, 1835-1919.
Box 5
Scope and Contents

Folder 2: Letters to him, 1862-1903. 66 items.

David Roberts.
Box 5
Scope and Contents

Roberts, David Journal, 1830; 3 letters, 1837.

Pictures: Miscellaneous.
Box 5
Pictures from Daniel Oliver's School, Ras-el-Metn, Syria.
Box 6
From A Book of Nonsense.
Box 6
"Those Quakers,"Compiled by William Bacon Evans.
Box 6
Scope and Contents

series of extracts, etc.

Poetry [T. of C.: nos. 4,5,6,7,8.].
Box 6
Word Puzzles, etc.
Box 6
Scope and Contents

70 items

Material on Separation of 1827-1828.
Box 6
Scope and Contents

Materials pertaining to the Separation of 1827-1828. 22 items.

Limericks and Sonnets.
Box 6
Scope and Contents

-Limericks [original?] 18 items. -Sonnets, some printed. 100 original; 39 not original.

Birth Certificate and Will.
Box 6
Scope and Contents

Birth certificate and will of Wm. Bacon Evans, 11mo, 6, 1958. [Birth certificate is notarized letter from Joseph Stokes, M.D., Moorestown, N.J., 6mo 9, 1942]

Poems, A-E.
Box 6
Poems, F-O.
Box 6
Poems, P-Z.
Box 6
Riddles and Short Stories.
Box 6
Scope and Contents

Note: The short stories are arranged alphabetically, and include the following titles: Aunt Hannah Stories, The Parrot that Used to Bite, Seneca Indian Legends, They Played Tag, Thunder-Storms

Anti-Quakeriana.
Box 6
Scope and Contents

1 Folder (4 items)

Bird Drawings, Sketches, Drawing, etc.
Box 7
Scope and Contents

Bird drawings, sketches, other drawings by W.B.E. 1 Folder (ca. 20 items)

Note: The bird drawings are finished renderings in color.

Photos.
Box 7
Letters, A-B.
Box 7
Letters, C-E.
Box 7
Letters, F-H.
Box 7
Letters, I-Q.
Box 7
Letters, R-Z.
Box 7
Letters, Unknown Sender and Fragments.
Box 7
Scope and Contents

Unknown sender and letter fragments. 1 folder (8 items)

Essays.
Box 7
Scope and Contents

Note: Typescripts, annotated, primarily undated. The essays are not signed, but presumed to be by Evans, because of the typewriter font. Essays are arranged alphabetically, and include the following titles:

ƒ The Christian Message ƒ Concord Quarterly Meeting: State of the Meeting Report, 1957 ƒ Divisions in the Society of Friends ƒ George Fox and the Light Within ƒ A Second Period in the History of Philadelphia ƒ A Straight and Narrow Way ƒ Welsh Origins: Thomas Ap Evans

Fragments.
Box 7
Scope and Contents

Typescripts, annotated, undated. Presumed to be by Evans. The items are fragments of essays and some chapters of an unnamed larger work.

40 items.

Print, Suggest