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 Mitchells were a Quaker family living in Philadelphia during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The earliest family members whose letters appear in this collection are George J. Mitchell, who died in 1891, and Tracy Iredell Mitchell, his wife. This couple had a son, J. Howard Mitchell, who married Beula Lippincott in 1859. The pair had multiple children, including Anna I. Mitchell and George Lippincott Mitchell, both of whom are featured in this collection as well. George, who was born around 1861, married Mary Ella Keeney in 1886. As a banker, George was, like various members of the Mitchell family, directly involved in business and commercial affairs. Among the children of George and Mary was George J. Mitchell Jr., who was born around 1890 and who is also referenced in the collection through an 1894 letter from his grandfather, J. Howard Mitchell.
This collection is comprised primarily of letters exchanged between various members of the Mitchell family. Each folder contains all of the letters authored by one family member or by an individual connected to the Mitchell family. Each author's letters tend to follow a similar pattern; they are addressed to the same recipients and are fairly consistent in terms of their structure and content. The themes of the collection as a whole, however, vary widely. Many of the letters are informal, day-to-day exchanges that speak to the weather, daily activities, and social encounters. In quite a few of the letters, either the writer or the recipient is abroad at the time of the communication. As a result, these documents often express sentiments of longing for traveling family members and offer well-wishes for safe returns.
Politics and business matters are two topics of note that are found primarily in the letters sent to George L. Mitchell by his friend, Robert S. Jones. The various mentions of economic uncertainty that appear in these letters can be placed within the historical context of the economic depression that occurred in the United States during the 1890s. While the majority of the documents in this collection were written by members of the Mitchell family, the letters by Robert S. Jones (span 1893-94), H.H. Tomson (1888), and John C. Parry (1895) stand out as exceptions. Each of these individuals was acquainted with George L. Mitchell and wrote to him for various purposes—ranging from friendly banter to a monetary dispute. These letters are included in a folder of "Non-Mitchell Family Corespondence."
The folder labeled "Other Mitchell Family Correspondence" contains letters written by authors who appear only once or twice throughout the materials, such as Beuulah Lippincott Mitchell or the aunts of George L. Mitchell. Finally, the collection includes a set of invitations addressed to or sent by members of the Mitchell family.
Each folder contains all of the letters written by one individual author. Within these folders, letters are sorted chronologically.
The Mitchell Family letters were donated to Special Collections, Haverford College in 1937 by Blanche Holmes.
Processed by Emily Kingsley; completed February 2015
- Mitchell, Anna I.
- Mitchell, George Lippincott
- Mitchell, J. Howard
- Mitchell, Mary Ella
- Mitchell, Tracy Iredell
- Mitchell, George Justice
- Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
- Finding Aid Author
- Emily Kingsley
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open to research use.
- Use Restrictions
Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17)