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Mason, Smith, Ewing 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

The collection presents a detailed picture of several generations of Smiths, Masons and Ewings, Philadelphia families, at least some of whom were Quakers, portraying their daily lives and concerns. The primary authors are Edith Mason Smith (1857-1944) and her husband, Joshua Cowgill Smith (1857-1911), their children Elizabeth Newlin Smith (1884-1977) and her husband J.M. Sharpless Ewing ( - 1960), Mildred Smith (1888-1973) and Jean Smith (1883-1966). The concentration of the collection is the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century, although the earliest document is dated 1809 and the latest in 1970. Included are a travel diary kept by Elizabeth Newlin Smith in the 20th century; a folder of marriage certificates, including Joshua Cowgill and Martha Newlin, 1809; Gideon Smith and Elizabeth Cowgill, 1834; Rebecca Smith and Thomas Gould, 1867 and others. Additionally, there are photographs of members of the Smith and Ewing families, and one of James Whitall, husband of Mildred Smith and some photographs of family homes. Most of the items are in poor condition.

A genealogical tree for the descendants of Samuel Mason is available.

Processing history is unknown.

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for use.

Use Restrictions

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

Collection Inventory

Correspondence of Edith Mason Smith and Joshua Cowgill Smith. 5 folders.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

There are four folders of letters between Edith Mason Smith and her husband, Joshua Cowgill Smith, 1880-1908 & n.d. and an additional folder of letters from Joshua Smith to his wife, Edith in 1881.

There is one folder of letters from other correspondents to Edith Mason Smith and one letter written by her. They touch on family matters, health, travel and people whom they knew in common. Letter writers include: Elizabeth Wistar, Samuel Emlen, Anna Waring and others. The letters to Edith M. Smith include: from Emlen, Samuel. 1892 7/? Says he Expects the question of music in the Society of Friends will be decided by its women members, as they are the ones who seem to want it; from an unsigned correspondent 1901 1/6. Telling of the appointment of William Wistar Comfort to the newly created language department at Haverford College.

The letters from Joshua Smith to Edith Mason in 1881, very affectionate in content and often written on stationery of his company in Conowingo MD, the Conowingo & Stafford Flint and Feldspar Mills and Quarries. They contain some bits of information about the company. The letters include: 1881 6/1. Smith's visit to the President and Secretary of the Treasury

The letters of Edith Mason Smith and Joshua Smith, 1880, primarily from Joshua Smith, and mentioning many Philadelphia Quakers, and comments about his business, include: EMS, Philadelphia, 1880 12/11. Speaks of their admiration for each others' qualities; meeting for Kansas sewing at Awbury

The letters of Edith Mason Smith and Joshua Smith, 1881, again mentioning many Philadelphia Quakers, health, daily activities, wedding plans

The letters of Edith Mason Smith and Joshua Smith, 1882 & 1884 indicate their residence at Roscrea and the many decisions to be made about its outfitting

The letters of Edith Mason Smith and Joshua Smith, 1885, 1908 & n.d. also include some letters from "Mother." All letters tell of activities, friends and relatives

Physical Description

5 folders

Letters to Smith Family, 1864-1938, 1864-1938. 1 boxes.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

These are primarily letters to Edith Mason Smith. Letter writers include Edith Comfort, Smith's parents Jane Edge Mason and Samuel Mason, Elizabeth Wistar, Anna Chace, Elizabeth Cope, Elizabeth Warner, Katherine Stokes, Jean M. Smith. The letter writers are family and friends. Beginning in 1905, there are letters of Edith and Joshua Smith to their own children as well as from others to their children. There is a folder of undated letters and one of miscellaneous writers to Martha C. Smith and others, including one from Isaac Sharpless thanking Smith for her service at Haverford College.


Folders arranged in chronological order; one folder of miscellaneous letter writers, mostly Smith family but also including Isaac Sharpless, to Martha C. Smith

Physical Description

1 boxes

Scope and Contents

Letter writers include: Mother (Beulah?) Ewing, Mollie.

Topics include: Family news, including health, Justice, travel

Letters 1907 & 1908, 1907-1908. 1 boxes.
Box 3
Scope and Contents

Letter writers include: Beulah? Ewing (J.M.S.E. mother), a "sister" named Mollie, Richard Cary, Jean Ewing

Topics include: family matters -- health, Justice, vacations, presents -- attending a lecture on Japan with references to Inazo and Mary Nitobe, Nesta Edwards' work to improve working conditions for women

Physical Description

1 boxes

Letters, 1909. 1 boxes.
Box 4
Scope and Contents

Letter writers include: Jean Smith, Mildred Smith, Edith Mason Smith, Justice (Ewing?), Beulah S. Ewing

Topics include: Travel, family, mutual acquaintances, genealogy (with the letters of G.J. Ewing and mother of Sharpless), health, death of Justice Ewing

Physical Description

1 boxes

Letters, 1910-11; 1921; 1923-24 & n.d.
Box 5
Scope and Contents

Some of the prominent writers include: 1910: Edith Smith, Jean Smith, Joshua Smith; 1910-11: Mollie (Mary Ewing), M. Ewing (father of J.M. Sharpless Ewing), Grace Ewing, Edith Smith; 1921, 1923, 1924 & n.d.: Mildred --, Betty H.P., Grace Ewing, Mildred (English); 1923 (2 folders): Betty H.P., Mildred --; Grace Ewing, J.M.S. Ewing; n.d.: Edith Smith

Topics include: 1910: Daily life, such as cooking and guests, family 1910-11: M. Ewing's assessment of life, daily life, family, travel; also, announcements, advertisements and miscellany; 1921, 1923, 1924 & n.d.: health, daily life, material goods 1923 (2 folders): daily life, life on the road; n.d.: daily life

Papers of Newlin and Smith families.
Box 6
Scope and Contents

Included in this box is a folder of marriage certificates, including Joshua Cowgill and Martha Newlin, 1809; Gideon Smith and Elizabeth Cowgill, 1834; Rebecca Smith and Thomas Gould, 1867 and others. Most of them are in poor condition. Another folder contains an account of the Ewing family that settled in Cumberland Co., NJ, written in 1841; will and inventory of the estate of Elizabeth N. Ewing, 1970s. A folder contains the letters to Martha C. Smith from Smith and Waring family members at the end of the 19th century. A folder includes the travel diary of Elizabeth Newlin Smith (1884-1977) and a published memoir of Elizabeth C. Smith (1872), as well as some genealogical information and miscellaneous material. A final folder contains letters of various people, including Gideon Smith, beginning in 1822; information about the deaths of Elizabeth Cowgill Smith, 1871 and Nathaniel Newlin, 1829 and a list of other deaths

Photographs of the Smith family.
Box 7
Scope and Contents

Photographs are of: B. Gilpin Smith, Dorothy Smith

Photographs of the Ewing, Whitall and other families; also places.
Box 8
People, places and documents

Photos are of: Elizabeth Newlin Ewing, Edith Mason Smith and others, 1916-18, Sharpless and Justice Ewing, James Ewing, Maskell Ewing; Smith family members; James Whitall; unidentified people; unidentified homes, ca. 1930s; appointment of Thomas Ewing as lieutenant in the Continental army, 1775 (photograph) and other photos of documents

Album of photographs.
Scope and Contents

Album contains photos of people, including Francis Stokes, and places

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