Morris Evans Leeds 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
Morris Evans Leeds (1869-1952) was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Barclay R. Leeds and Mary Maule Leeds. He was educated at Westtown School and graduated from Haverford College in 1880. He studied at the University of Berlin from 1892 to 1893. For a brief time, he taught at Westtown, then was employed by Queen & Company. Beginning in 1889 until 1903, Leeds was managing partner in Morris E. Leeds & Co. He became president of Leeds & Northrup in 1903. The company began its operations in 1899, and was joined for a short time by Dr. Northrup, from which it derived its name, Leeds & Northrup. The company made strides not only in the field of precision instruments, but also, under the direction of Leeds, in employee working conditions, relations between employees and management, and amelioration of unemployment. Some of his ideas for these developments came from a study of the Carl Zeiss Stiftung company in Jena, Germany. Leeds's business correspondence, primarily for the years 1950-1952, presents an overall picture of the committees with which he was associated and causes with which he sympathized. In 1926, Leeds married Hadassah J. Moore. They had two daughters. From 1909 to 1952, he was a member of the Corporation and Board of Haverford College, including serving as President of the Board. Leeds was also active on the School Board of Philadelphia and was its president from 1938 to 1948. Morris E. Leeds was interested in botany and was a member of many scientific and cultural societies. He was co-author of Toward Full Employment.
The papers of Morris Evans Leeds (1869-1952), a Philadelphia Quaker who graduated from Haverford College and became president of Leeds & Northrup Company, manufacturers of precision instruments. He was also an inventor and developer. Leeds was a member of the Board of Haverford College and active on the School Board of Philadelphia.
Materials in the collection include geneological information on the Leeds family, and materials related to a variety of Leeds and Maule family members, including letters, diaries, and financial information. There is biographical information and correspondence from Arthur Newlin Leeds. Morris Evans Leeds' correspondence includes letters with his wife, Hadassah Moore Leeds; letters related to Leeds' education and career; letters related to his time on the Haverford College Board of Managers; letters related to his involvement with various organizations and charitable societies, including the Board of Public Education. Leeds' interests are also represented through his speeches and study notes. Documents include materials related to the Leeds' house in Germantown and tax returns. The collection also includes documentation on numerous awards given to Morris Evans Leeds, letters of sympathy on Leeds' death, and photographs.
Original processing information unknown. Reboxed and finding aid revised in April 2022 by Hannah Kolzer.
- Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open for research use.
- Use Restrictions
Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).
Index/list of genealogical information contained in next four folders.
Narrative Genealogy compiled by Morris Evans Leeds, with preface dated 1947. Quotes many primary sources, including wills. Families include Leeds, Maule, Lake, Evans, Scull, Risley, Baldwin, Conard. This is a xerox copy of a typed original--copy made 6/5/1962.
Statistical Genealogy compiled by Morris Evans Leeds, containing complete lists of descendants for five of his great-great-grandfathers: Japheth Leeds (1710-1781), Thomas Maule (1720-1765), Joshua Baldwin (1721-1800), Edward Conard (1738-1824), and Isaac Evans (1732-1782). Descendants are numbered chronologically throughout the genealogy, and dates of birth and death are given wherever possible.
Coat of arms for Leeds family painted by Margaret J. Marshall. Short piece with biographical information about Margaret Marshall. Letter and newspaper clipping related to Leeds family coat of arms.
Letters about English origins of the Leeds family, some with transcriptions.
Photostat of 1687 almanac by Daniel Leeds. Photostat of will of Daniel Leeds. Letter from Francis R Taylor to Morris E. Leeds re: Daniel Leeds almanac and membership in Society of Friends. More information about Daniel Leeds.
Copy of will of Daniel Leeds (father of Barclay R. Leeds); letter from Leeds to Hannah Gillingham; Letter to Leeds from Japheth Leeds.
Correspondence with brothers Barclay and Lewis. Advertisement for teaching services and certificate of competency in languages.
Papers relating to other Daniel Leeds: A transcript of a letter about the possible son of the first Daniel Leeds. Text of a funerary reading (?) for a Daniel Leeds of the same era as his brother Japheth Leeds (1710-1781), Letter relating to finances and legal proof of will of Japhet [sic] Leeds, with Daniel Leeds as Executor.
Material related to various other Leeds family members, including Thomas and William. Includes correspondence re: research, contemporary copy of will of Japeth Leeds, commonplace book for Rebecca Lake Leeds (1799-1836) along with an accout of her death, and correspondence of Amelia Leeds (1820-1898).
Correspondence regarding the Leeds family burial ground in Germantown. Large map of the city of Linwood, New Jersey and surrounding area, with plot of land willed by Daniel and Hannah C. Leeds to John Ireland in 1839 marked.
Correspondence between Morris Evans Leeds and J. Henry Bartlett about genealogical research, especially provenances for documents and family trips to significant sites. MEL papers are typed, not signed; Bartlett letter are handwritten and signed.
Photos of various Leeds family members and significant locations including the Orange Street Meetinghouse, as well as occasional correspondence. Most photos are informatively labelled.
Account of administrators of estate of Isaac Evans (1851). Narrative family history titled "At Lampeter" written by Matilda Evans (wife of William Evans who was son of Isaac Evans).
Papers related to Benjamin Maule and Margaret Evans Maule (husband and wife): narrative biographies of Benjamin and Margaret Maule, autograph album of Margaret Maule, their wedding invitation, will of Benjamin Maule, papers relating to his properties in Radnor and in West Marlborough, PA.
Letters from sisters to Emily Maule about various topics including sewing for formerly enslaved people in 1864 and a family visit to Philadelphia. Also sample leaves of a book of poetry.
Documents related to ownership and operation of Maulton Farm: lease of farm from Benjamin Maule to his son Isaac; account of estate of Benjamin Maule; distribution of the estate (Benjamin Maule died intestate); Isaac Maule gives up his share of Maulton; will and testament of Margaret Maule; agreement about operation of Maulton Farm among the Maule sisters.
Letters re: death of Margaret Maule. Account of trip to Catskill mountains made by Emily Maule. Papers related to Maulton Farm: sale of her share in the farm by Hannah M. Sharpless, and correspondence by R. Esterbrook to Barclay R. Leeds and others re: possible sale of the farm.
Various correspondence to Maule Sisters: Mary Maule Leeds to her sisters, Morris Evans Leeds to his aunts, Arthur Newlin Leeds to his aunts. Letters concern care and upkeep of Maulton, transfer of care from the Maule sisters to MEL and ANL, legal agreements.
Various correspondences to Maule sisters, from Arthur Newlin Leeds, Morris Evans Leeds, and others. Business papers, a history of Wickersham farm written by Hayes Taylor, papers related to personal health, letter from committee re: dissolution of London Grove Monthly Meeting.
Biographical sketch of Arthur Newlin Leeds by Francis Harper, reprinted from the Journal of Mammalogy; ANL's grades from Friends' Select School for Boys; ANL's grades from Haverford College.
Letters to ANL from various people including Frances Branson of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, Thomas Kite Brown of Westtown School, Margaret Cary, Howell S. England, Charles Evans, Francis Harper, Rendel Harris, and others. Subjects are varied but mostly aroung Leeds' involvement with Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, Westtown School, and various botanical groups.
Series of letters from Arthur Thomas about vacation, botany, etc; series of letters from Agnes L. Tierney about botany, entomology, personal matters; series of letters from Charles Townsend about travel; personal letters from various others. Also awards given to ANL: membership certificate for Penn Charter Board, 1919 account of the class of 1889; certificate appointing him as a manager of the Apprentice's Library Co., Membership certificate for Americal Geographical Society, Membership in Haverford College Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.
Mostly personal letters from ANL to various family members, especially to his brother Morris Evans Leeds, and later, to MEL and Hadassah Moore Leeds (his wife). Accounts of many travels over his lifetime.
Personal letters from Morris Evans Leeds to Hadassah Moore Leeds (his wife), which speak in detail about his various engagements in business, education, etc. as well as his views on philosophy, socialism, and compensation of workers.
Personal Letters from Morris Evans Leeds to Hadassah Moore Leeds, including information related to his business dealings with Leeds and Northrup, his involvememnt with the Haverford College Board of Managers, and his philanthropy.
Personal letters from Morris Evans Leeds to Hadassah Moore Leeds. These discuss travel and other personal matters, business issues during the Great Depression, as well as MEL's involvement with Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges, Westtown School, and Quaker meetinghouses.
Personal letters from Morris Evans Leeds to Hadassah Moore Leeds. Include information about MEL's dealings with Leeds and Northrup, his labor codes and labor work, including a call to come to the White House in 1935, and the death of Margaret Maule in 1935.
Personal letters from Morris Evans Leeds to Hadassah Moore Leeds. These include information about his business dealings with Leeds and Northrup, his public work with the Philadelphia Labor Board and the School Board of Philadelphia, and his work with Haverford College (including speaking at Commencement and helping make Felix Morely president of the college).
Personal letters from Hadassah Moore Leeds to Morris Evans Leeds. She speaks about her involvement in Philadelphia Yearly meeting among other subjects.
Letters and other material from Morris Evans Leeds' time at Friends' Select School and Westtown School: reports of grades, letters home to family, essays, some letters to MEL from family, reports of his conduct. Invitation to Jane Maule for MEL's commencement at Westtown School, 1886.
Reports of grades for MEL at Haverford College. Invitation to Junior Class Exercises 1887, where MEL spoke about the Alexandrian School. Invitation and program for Commencement 1888, MEL graduating. Personal corresponence throughout his time at Haverford mostly to his Brother (Arthur Newlin Leeds) and his mother, writing about classes, activities, friends, etc.
Personal letters from MEL to his parents and other family members mostly about his experience at Westtown school and his decision to leave the school in 1890. Many of these letters and similar from MEL 1889-1891. Letters to MEL from various 1889-1927, about friendships, travel, school and work.
Letters to and from MEL, mostly regarding family issues, various publications and public work by MEL, travels to Germany and to the Western U.S. Many letters of condolence for the death of Arthur Newlin Leeds in 1939.
31 letters to Morris Evans Leeds celebrating his eightieth birthday. Most of these letters are accompanied by reply notes from MEL's secretary, who forwarded them to him as he was on vacation in Florida at the time. Many others are accompanied by personal replies from MEL.
Correspondence between Morris Evans Leeds and others, including members of the Island Beach National Monument Committee, especially George H. Shull, related to the establishment of a National Monument at Island Beach, New Jersey. Also MEL's notice of retirement from the Piladelphia Committee on Public Affairs.
Letters to MEL from members of Haverford Board of Managers re: MEL's contributions to the alumni fund and his place on the Board.
Correspondence between Morris Evans Leeds and various people of Haverford College, including Henry Scattergood, Gilbert F. White, and William M. Maier about MEL's contributions to Haverford and the ways the money was used.
Correspondence related to MEL's place on Haverford Board of Managers: letters from Henry S. Drinker, Frank W. Fetter, and others. Letter from Drinker asks about lack of women on Haverford Board; MEL replies that "there would [not] be any advantage". Correspondence with Professor Fetter is mostly about books.
Correspondence related to MEL's place on Haverford Board of Managers. Correspondents include David Hinshaw (biographer of Rufus Jones), Lester C. Haworth, and Wilmot R. Jones. Extensive correspondence with Lester C. Haworth, about number of topics both business and personal.
Correspondence related to MEL's place on Haverford Board of Managers. Correspondents include Dean P. Lockwood, Archibald MacIntosh, and William Morris Maier. Topics include: MEL's membership in Library Associates, conferral of honorary degree to MEL, MEL's contributions of stock in Leeds and Northrup to Haverford College.
Correspondence between MEL and Felix Morley. Topics include Morley's resignation from his position as President of Haverford College, Haverford's financial situation and future, Haverford's position in WWII, WWII more broadly (especially the use of the atomic bomb), Morley's replacement.
Correspondence related to MEL's position on the Haverford Board of Managers. Correspondents include S. Emlen Stokes, J. Henry Scattergood, Frederic C. Sharpless, Eugene Seder, Douglas V. Steere, and others. Topics are mostly to do with appointments and resignations of various people in Haverford, financial matters (mostly from J. Henry Scattergood, treasurer), soundproofing of Founder's Hall, and fundraising campaigns.
Correspondence related to MEL's position on Haverford Board of Managers. Correspondents include L. Hollingsworth Wood, Gilbert F. White, W. Nelson, L. West. Topics include MEL's gifts to the college, his positions on committees, the role of engineering at Haverford.
Tribute to MEL for his years of service as President of the Corporation and Chairman of the Board of Managers (1928-1945). Three page summary of his contributions. Signed by John F. Gummere.
4 certificates, one for each of MEL's four terms as a member of the Board of Public Education. Issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Correspondence related to MEL's resignation as President of the Board of Public Education in 1950. MEL's letter of resignation to Judge Brown, acknowledgement thereof, and many letters of thanks and regret from other board members and associates.
Certificate of thanks presented to MEL upon his resignation as President of the Board of Education.
Correspondence of MEL related to business matters. This is mostly requests from various people (including Henry J. Cadbury) that MEL contribute to various organizations (including Harvard Divinity School and the Citizens' Charter Commission). Also typed letter signed by Herbert Hoover.
Papers related to MEL's receipt of the Edison Medal (highest honor awarded by the American Institute of Electrical Engineers) in 1948. Letter of notice from H. H. Henline; letter of acceptance from MEL. Papers related to the conference at which the award was conferred, including address by I. W. Stein about MEL, and address by MEL.
55 items of correspondence: letters of congratulation to MEL for receipt of the Edison Medal Award; MEL's responses.
Papers here are organized alphabetically by organization, rather than by correspondent's name. Organizations include Friends Free Library, Friends of Scouting, Friends World Committee, Friends Peace Committee, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Friends Freedmen's Association, Germantown Friends School, Germantown Monthly Meeting, Genealogical Society of Philadelphia. Most of these are letters about fundraising, special events, or personal matters.
Business correspondence organized by name of organization and name of correspondent: including Human Betterment Association of America, J.E. Hodgkin, International Rescue Committee (Reinhold Niebhur), Iron Curtain Refugee Committee (Adm. Richard Byrd). Topics are mostly related to MEL's business activities and finances, including contributions to Haverford College.
Business correspondence: much of this is about financial matters, charitable contributions, taxes, etc. Correspondence between H.G. Beale, secretary, and Hadassah M. Leeds about MEL's failing health throughout 1952. Letters to Marriage Council of Philadelphia, National Council for Prevention of War, National Conference of Christians and Jews, many other organizations re: financial contributions, etc. Notice of election for MEL to Newcomen Society for the study of the history of engineering and technology.
Business Correspondence organized both by name of correspondent and name of organization. Many of these are requests or receipts of funds from various organizations. Correspondence with Charles Redding of Leeds and Northrup about business matters.
Business Correspondence organized by name of correspondent and name of organization. Much of this correspondence is through Helen Beale, MEL's secretary.
A speech at Westtown Literary Union, "Asa Gray: an essay." Address at Lyceum on the life of Edward Drinker Cope. Paper read at Germantown Tea Meeting, "The Attitudes of Friends toward Industrial Conditions."
Speech at Haverford Alumni Dinner, 1929, about education. Paper read for Junto series on post-WWII reconstruction (manufacture as a bolster for the economy), 1942. 2 annotated copies of essay titled "The Social Order: Why Should Friends Study It?"
Notes by MEL, both typed and manuscript, about Ernst Abbe and Carl Zeiss Stiftung. Annotated pamphlets by those authors.
"An attempt to summarize for [himself. MEL] the teachings of Jesus as they appear in the synoptic gospels." Bound volume with notes and passages from the Bible.
The Ozone Club was established for industrialists in 1900 who met to discuss and formulate solutions to the post-depression problem of unemployment — and played golf together. Photographs and description of the club. Four-Way Lodge located in the pine barrens of N.J. was used for relaxation, contemplation and interaction with congenial companions. Includes articles, plans, deed, map.
Architectural specifications for house at 1025 Westview St., Germantown, Philadelphia PA. Also blueprints, other plans, and labor contract.
Further plans and correspondence related to the construction of the house at 1025 Westview St., Germantown.
Letter notifying MEL of his election as a director of Germantown Co.; letter by R.P. Lamont, Secretary of Commerce, requesting MEL to serve on committee reporting to him on the work and equipment of the National Bureau of Standards; letter by Frances Perkins inviting MEL to serve on Advisory Council on Economic Security; Testimonial dinner held by L & N Cooperative Association in honor of MEL; Program during which MEL received 1st rotary award.
Program for American Society of Mechanical Engineers Annual Banquet for Members, at which MEL recieved the A.M.S.E. Medal, 1946. Also seating chart for banquet, award certificate, and citation about MEL which was read at banquet.
Program for 31st annual meeting of Scientfic Apparatus Makers association (SAMA) at which MEL received the medal of SAMA. Editorial comment about MEL. Award cerificate.
Materials from the Leeds and Northrup 50th annversary celebration: includes photo of MEL, copies of remarks by C.S. Redding given at celebration and MEL's reply; event program; testimonial presented to MEL at event; copies of publications mentioning the event.
Certificate of award/membeship granted to MEL.
Letters of sympathy from various clubs, organizations, and personal friends to Hadassah M. Leeds about the death of MEL on February 8, 1952. Some letters contain copies of memorial minutes.
Letters of sympathy from various clubs, organizations, and personal friends to Hadassah M. Leeds about the death of MEL on February 8, 1952. Some letters contain copies of memorial minutes for various clubs. Continued from previous folder.
Calligraphied copies of memorial minutes for MEL from the Board of Managers of the Pennylvania Copany of Banking and Trusts, and from the Board of Directors of Leeds and Northrup.
Some brief biographical information and notes, including organization memberships and countries visited.
Most photos not labeled or dated. Includes photos of MEL on Board of Education and photos taken on a trip to Guatemala.