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Correspondence of Martha Roberts and Frederick Fraley


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

Martha W. Roberts was a Quaker and farmer, born in 1808. Her maiden name was Martha Warner Cresson and she was part of the prominent Cresson family in Philadelphia. She originally married Enoch P. Walker in 1937 and had a child with him, however, both Enoch and her son died in 1838 and 1839 respectively. In 1845, Martha married Charles Roberts. After their marriage, the couple moved to a farm that Martha had purchased in Chester County, Pennsylvania during the mid to late 19th century. Although Martha purchased the farm, the property was listed under Charles Roberts in the 1870 census. The two were active members in the Society of Friends. They had three children: Martha, James, and Mercy Roberts. Martha kept a book accounting for all household and family expenditures from 1848 (shortly after marrying Charles in 1845) to 1877 (when she died). Frederick Fraley was the cousin and tenant of Martha Roberts. He was born in 1804 and played a prominent role in Philadelphia politics. He was a businessman, President of the National Board of Trade, part of the American Philosophical Society, and a member of the Philadelphia city council and Pennsylvania state senate. He also aided Martha in handling her property. Information from Frederick Fraley New York Times obituary (September 24, 1901) and Tracey Rae Winters, "A Dynamic Look at Material Life: The Charles W. Roberts family, 1848-1890"

This collection consists of 7 letters between Martha W. Roberts and Frederick Fraley regarding Matha W. Roberts's estates and her family's (the Cressons) property. In these letters, the two go over some expenses, as well as unapproved payments made on behalf of Martha's uncle and father (James Cresson). Martha writes that she is disappointed and appalled at the expenditures made on her father's estate's account without her agreement, which result in Martha getting no income from the estate. She expresses much frustration and anger towards Frederick Fraley.

Materials arranged chronologically

Gift of Anne T. Bronner, April 1993

Processed by Sakina Gulamhusein, completed April 2022

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
Sakina Gulamhusein
Finding Aid Date
April, 2022
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use

Use Restrictions

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

Collection Inventory

Box 60

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