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Thomas Willis 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

Thomas Willis (1771-1864), a Quaker minister, was the son of Fry and Anne Willis of Westbury Monthly Meeting. In 1789, Jericho Monthly Meeting was set off from Westbury, and in 1795, Thomas married Phebe Searing (d. 1845) under the care of Jericho Monthly Meeting. Anne, Thomas, and Phebe Willis, all Elders in the Meeting, had serious concerns about the views of fellow member and minister, Elias Hicks. In 1827, Phebe Willis asked Elias Hicks to respond in writing to specific questions about his beliefs. His reply was published and touched off a bitter debate. After the Hicksite-Orthodox Separation in 1828, the Willises remained members of Westbury and Jericho Monthly Meeting (Orthodox). In 1829, Evan Lewis published a defense of Elias Hicks in a pamphlet in which he argued that Hicks was following the "ancient testimonies."

This collection contains a handwritten letter from Thomas Willis to his friend Samuel Rhoads and a transcribed description of an event from the summer of 1972, referenced in Willis's letter.

This collection is arranged in a single folder.

Processed by Alexandra Stern; completed December, 2018.

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
Alexandra Stern
Finding Aid Date
December, 2018
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

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

Collection Inventory

Thomas Willis papers, 1792-1859.
Box 56

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