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Pemberton Family papers


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

John Pemberton (1727-1795) was born in Philadelphia, Pa. February 27, 1727, the youngest son of Israel Pemberton Sr. and Rachel Read. Pemberton went to England for his health in 1751, and accompanied John Churchman on the voyage and on the preacher's travels in England. Pemberton first spoke as a minister in Penzance, Cornwall. He was involved in Indigenous American issues and was present at the Treaty of Easton, Pennsylvania, in 1758. Pemberton married Hannah Zane in Philadelphia in August, 1766. During the American Revolutionary War, in 1777, Pemberton was taken prisoner as a non-combatant in Winchester, Virginia. Pemberton went again on religious visit to Europe in 1794, where he became ill and died. He was buried in Pyrmont, Germany, January, 31, 1795.

James Pemberton (1723-1809) was born in Philadelphia, Pa. on the 26th day of the 6th month, 1723, the sixth son of Israel and Rachel Pemberton. Pemberton was a sucessful Philadelphia merchant, a founder of the Pennsylvania Hospital, and a member of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, of which he became president in 1790. He was sent as an exile to Virginia in 1777, when he was accused of disloyalty for not joining the military during the American Revolution. Pemberton was married three times. He married Hannah Fishborne Lloyd (d. 1764), with whom he had six children. He later married Sarah Smith (d. 1770), with whom he had one daughter, and his third wife was Phebe Lewis Morton (d. 1812), whom he married in 1775. James Pemberton died in 1809.

Correspondence (personal and business) and other papers of Israel Pemberton (1715-1779), James Pemberton (1723-1809) and John Pemberton (1727-1795). They were the sons of Israel Pemberton (1684-1754) and Rachel Read Pemberton of Philadelphia. They were prominent in both Society of Friends affairs and in the Philadelphia business community.

Letters to and from Israel Pemberton are noteworthy for discussing "Friendly Association for the Regaining and Preserving Peace with the Indians by Pacific Measures" matters and Indigenous Americans; letters of James Pemberton deal almost exclusively with business matters and letters of John Pemberton primarily discuss Friends, their activities and business matters.

Pemberton, Israel (chiefly letters addressed to him) ca. 22 items (1743-­1773) includes letters, receipt, bill, memorandums

Pemberton, Israel (chiefly letters written by him) ca. 12 items (1756­-1773), includes letters, drafts of letters, address, memorandum, minutes

Pemberton, James (letters addressed to James Pemberton) ca. 23 items (1741-­1785), includes letters, bills and receipts, accounts

Pemberton, James 2 items (1773, 1784)

Pemberton, John 3 items (1768, 1782)

Pemberton, John (letters addressed to John Pemberton) ca. 51 items (1753-­1789) includes letters, accounts


Revised and box list updated by Lillian Sweeney, February 2020.

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use

Use Restrictions

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

Collection Inventory

Letters to Israel Pemberton, 1743-1773.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Most of the letters revolve around business, both with other Quakers, and with local Indigenous Americans. Correspondents include: Paul Abbot, Joseph Allicocke, Benjamin Bagnall Jr. Samuel Benniworth, James Callahan, William Callender, Elizabeth Carver, Latham Clarke, Esther Clase, William Edmonds, George Fisher, Thomas Forster, Thomas Hackett, James Kenny, Samuel Lightfoot, Richard Partridge, E. Robinson, George Saunderson, Gottlieb Shein, Edward Stabler, Teedyuscung [Lenape chief], and John Watson.

Letters and Memorandum from Israel Pemberton, 1756-1773.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Most of the letters are about relations with Indigenous Americans. Addressed to: William Johnson, Benjamin Hersey, Charles Read, Haydock & Bowne, George Ross, Samuel Lightfoot, Christian Frederic Post, Richard Lawrence, and John Heartshorne. There is also an address "to Netawattwaleman and the rest of the head men of the Delaware Indians [Lenape] of Kekailammapaikung"

Letters to James Pemberton, 1741-1785.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

The letters are almost entirely regarding business matters. Correspondents include: Hannah Alloway, John Beal, Daniel and Isaac Bourdeax, Broadbent & Company, Ellen Chadwick, Robert Collison, Philip Countyman, Peter & John Garnault, Haydock & Bowne, Henton Brown, Hillary & Scott, Mary Lightfoot, William Moore, Jacob Parke, James Pemberton, Alice Read, Peter Reeve, Nathan Rigby, William Rodman, Edward Taylor, and Rachel Wilson.

Letters from James Pemberton, 1773 and 1782.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

There are two letters: one is a letter to Charles Read about his departure, the other is a "State of demand on Gilbert Hicks for Thomas Smith".

Letters from John Pemberton, 1768 and 1782.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

There are three letters: one to John Pemberton from John Shinn re: a payment, one from John Pemberton to Executive Council re: his intention to leave Europe, and one from John Pemberton to Hannah Pemberton (Zane), his wife.

Letters to John Pemberton, 1753-1789.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

These letters are mostly about business affairs and some discussion of family. Correspondents include: Robart Abraham, Josiah Appleton, Joseph Atkinson, Robert Atkinson, William Backhouse, Archibald Balfour, Johannes Yearkley Barnet, Israel Barras, Hannah Cathrall, Experience Clibborn, Jane Corsfield, Joseph Elam, Robert Evans, Hannah Foster, William Fry, John Hadwen, John Hall, Thomas Hallowell, Hannah Harris, Job Harvey, Susanna Hatton, Zachariah Hope, David Kenyon, John Kilden, Benjamin Lamb, James Lea, Ann Lea, Ann Matthew, Paul Osborn, George Parker, Pearson Parvin, Henry Paxson, Nathan Pearsall, John Pearson, John Pleasants, William Reckett, Thomas Rodman, John Row, Joseph Row, Adam Solomon, Jesse Waterman, Elihu Williams, Samuel Wood, and John Woodcock

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