Nicholas Waln 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
Nicholas Waln (1742-1813), Quaker minister, was the son of Nicholas and Mary Shoemaker Waln. He married Sarah Richardson in 1771. Their children included Joseph R. Waln (1773-1783), Jacob Shoemaker Waln (1784-1847), and William and Nicholas Waln. Waln was educated as a lawyer but, as a result of a profound religious experience in 1772, gave up his lucrative practice. Waln began to travel in the ministry in 1774 and made two religious visits to Great Britain, in 1783 and 1795.
Correspondence, portraits, photographs, poetry, genealogy, and miscellaneous papers related to Nicholas Waln and the Waln family. The bulk of the material consists of correspondence related to Nicholas Waln's journeys as a Quaker minister in England and Ireland. Topics discussed include news of family, activities of Friends, travel, friendship, spiritual matters, and ministry. Correspondents include James Bringhurst, Joseph Bringhurst, Henry Drinker, Rebecca Jones, John Parrish, M. Richardson, David Sands, Hannah Stephenson, John Townsend, Robert Valentine, Richard Waln, Robert Waln, and Sarah Richardson Waln.
Includes letters (1807-1809, 1818-1819) of Jacob Shoemaker Waln to his family while studying law in England and visiting France; letters discuss his travels and activities and include comments on social life and Napoleon. Includes letters (1818-1819) of Townsend Compton to Sarah R. Waln giving news of her son Jacob, letter of Lloyd Mifflin on provenance of Waln letters, poems written on the death of Joseph R. Waln (1773-1783), and chart of Waln family genealogy.
Papers consist of deeds relating to Nicholas Waln's (1650-1721/2) land holdings in the Northern Liberties area of Philadelphia where his estate, Walnford, was located; wills, including the certified copy of the will of Nicholas Waln in 1721/2; letters to Richard Waln (1737-1809), brother of Nicholas Waln; documents, including the appointment of Thomas Wistar as "Indian Commissioner" by Andrew Johnson and Zachary Taylor; and a photograph of Wistar with members of the Sac and Fox Nation and the Kiowa Tribe taken in ca. 1866 by Alexander Gardner.
Arranged alphabetically by person.
Original processing information unknown. Reboxed and finding aid updated November 2021 by Abel Kelbessa.
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The collection is open to research use.
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1st of 6th mo., 1784 to Nicholas Waln, "To the care of James King, Glasshouses, Newcastle upon Tyne" , news of NW's family, many Friends traveling in the ministry at this time
21st of 4th mo., 1784 to NW, "To the care of John Townsend, No. 47, Prescot Street, Goodman's Fields, London"
letter, dated Phila., 23rd of 4th mo., 1784 to NW, "[per] favour of S. Emlen, London". Includes, his difficult voyage to Philadelphia, news of NW's family, commentary on lives of enslaved people in St. Kitt's
letter dated London, Aug. 28 and Nov. 25, 1818 and March 17, 1819 to Sarah Waln, Phila. Includes: news of her son Jacob and particulars of TC's own family
letter dated Phila., 4 mo. 17, 1784 to NW, "to the care of John Townsend, Merchant, London". Topics include: friendship, and religious thoughts.
letter dated Plow Court, 6th day, [no year] to NW, "at Jno Townsend's Prescott Street". Includes: photograph of a silhouette of Rebecca Jones [photo gift of Susan J. Dewees, 1950], and her regrets at not seeing him before she leaves for Ireland.
letter dated 3rd day, Sept. 19, [no year] to Sally Waln. Topics include: friendship.
letter dated dated Columbia, Pa., Jany 22, 1895 to Mrs. Charles C. Harrison [Ellen Nixon Harrison (Waln)?]. Letters of Waln family [apparently this collection] he wishes her to have, having come to him through the estate of Ann Waln (his great uncle Lloyd Mifflin was her executor)
2 bills, 1783, 1802, from Great Britain; bank draft?, 1783
letter dated Phila., 18th of 6th mo., 1784 to NW, ""to the care of James King, near Newcastle upon Tyne, favoured by Jno. Cook"". Topics: news of NW's family, Friends
letter , dated "First day, just meeting time" to Sarah Waln, Phila. Topics: friendship
letter dated London, 4th of 6th mo. 1796 to Sarah Waln, Phila. : Topics: news of NW and his ministry. 3 silhouettes of DS
Letter dated Bristol, 23rd of 1 mo., 1786 to NW, Phila.
Letter, to Sarah Waln. London, 2 mo. 2, 1784. Topics: news of her husband [NW] and how he bore news of son's death (Joseph); Westbury, 5th mo. 27, 1786, wishes her to take notice of John Warder's wife who has come to Philadelphia. London, 9th mo. 29, 1795, NW now in Ireland. London, 11th mo. 2, 1795, news of NW in Ireland.
Letter dated Norwich, 26th of 7th mo. 1783 to NW, [c/o] ""Daniel Mildred, London, for Nicholas Waln."" Topics: RV's travel plans, and news of other Friends
"Descendants of Nicholas Waln" (b. ca. 1650), a family tree ending with John Waln, b. ca. 1766. (6 p.)
Letters to family. Middle Temple, 2nd mo. 10th, 1807 to his mother [Sarah Waln], Phila. Topics: describes surroundings, lottery, sends presents, Temple, 7th mo. 9th, 1807. Letter to A. Mifflin [cousin], Phila. Page 2 | Page 3 (each approximately 59K). Topics: comments on Napoleon. Letter from Falmouth, 5th mo. 7th, 1809 to his parents, Philadephia on plans for departure.
Letters to to his mother, Sarah Waln, Philadeaphia. Includes his voyage to England and reflections on English character.
Letters to his mother, Sarah Waln. Includes reflections on nature of man, education of children, his arrival in France and travel to Paris.
Letters to his mother, Sarah Waln, Philadelphia. Describes time in France, including wine making, visit to a prison for women, the ballet, departure of foreign troops.
Letters to members of his family from London and New York. Includes his wish to study law, visit to Christ's Hospital, London, and remarks on a comet seen July 9 in New York.
Letters dated Holmesburg, Feb. 24, 1819 to ""Dear father"" (William Waln), Phila. On the benefits of education.
Four poems on his death.
Letter dated Walnford, 7 mo. 22, 1784 to NW ""To the care of John Townsend, Prescott Street, Goodmans Fields, No. 47, London, 7th mo. 28 Forwarded by thy affectionate Friend, Thomas Fisher"" Topics: informs him of illness and death of his uncle Robert Waln, leaves a large estate, loss of wheat and rye crop to an insect pest, 2 photopostcards of ""Walnford"" [house] Walnford, N.J.
Letter dated Phila., 5th mo. 25, 1784 to NW, "to the care of J. Townsend or Jno. Warder Mercht. London" Topic: wants to know why NW hasn't written to him once in the year he's been away
"Nicholas Waln's prayer" spoken by him at youth's Meeting 1771; letter of NW, Bristol, 1 of 10 mo., 1783 to James Pemberton, Phila. topics: news of English Friends, petition to Parliament on behalf of enslaved people [?], NW has been sitting quietly in meetings, John Elmsley's financial problems; , Liverpool, 27 of 9 mo. 1784 to Sarah Waln, sending her a Cheshire cheese and beer, traveling with Morris Birkbeck; , London, 10th 3 mo., 1796 to Sarah Waln (his wife), Wilberforce has bill in the House calling for the abolition of slave trade in 1797; etc.
Letter dated Phila., 4 mo. 9, 7 mo. 5, 23, 10 mo. 25, 1784 to NW. Topics: news of family and friends, family business developments, news of death of Uncle Robert Waln and his estate, difficult business climate, paper money expected to be issued, people in jail for debt, reflects on death of son Joseph, news of death of Uncle Jonathan Shoemaker.
1690 Francis and Mary Cooke to Edward Smoout [sic] 1696 Nicholas Rideout 1697 Joshua Carpenter 1697 David Lloyd and Isaac Norris, Executors of Thomas Lloyd 1697 Nicholas Walln [sic] to Ellis Jones. 3 items. 1698/9 George Walker 1700 Thomas Woolrith to Robt. F. Smith 1701 Thomas Ffarmar [sic], Sheriff 1703 Nathaniel Bye. Signed by David Lloyd. 1703 Robert Heath. Signed by David Lloyd. 1703 John Swift. Signed by David Lloyd. 1711 Robert Heaton to Evan Griffith 1719 Richard and Ann Morrey and Humphrey Morrey. Signed by Isaac Norris. 1716 John Ffrniss [sic] and Penelope Ffurniss [sic] to Ismael Bennet [sic] 1716 Nicholas Waln and Jane Waln to Ishmael Bennett [sic] and cop
1724 Richard and Jane Waln to William Waln 1724 Richard and Jane Waln to William Waln 1726 William and Ann Waln to Richard Waln 1726 William Waln to Richard Waln 1730 Isaac Norris to Richard Waln 1738 William and Elizabeth Melchior to John Thompson 1743 Richard Waln to Nicholas Waln 1760 Richard Waln, Jr. to Jonathan Mifflin 1764 Abraham Howell to Jonathan Mifflin 1779 Jonathan Mifflin to Samuel Mifflin 1792 George and Mary Fox to Henry Hill
1803 John Dorsey and Archibald McCall (for Gideon Hill Wells) to Benjamin W. Morris 1816 William Hill Wells and Elizabeth by John Hallowell, atty. to William T. Stockton 1817 Caspar W. Morris, Luke W. Morris, Isaac W. Morris, Israel W. Morris to William T. Stockton 1818 Benjamin Wistar Morris and Mary Morris and Rachel Hill Wells to William T. Stockton by Jacob S. Waln, atty. Signed by Robert Vaux and George Vaux 1824 Nathan Bucknam to Jacob S. Waln and Samuel B. Morris 1824 Benjamin and Seward Bucknam to Jacob S. Waln and Samuel B. Morris 1824 Ezekiel Prince to Jacob S. Waln and Samuel B. Morris 1827 Jacob Strembeck, Sheriff for Stockton Estate to Thomas Lee 1845 James Kempton to Stille family to Henry L. Waln 1848 James Kempton to Charles and Henry Borie to Henry L. Waln
William Kenton, Thomas Armit
Election certification of 12 Philadelphia men as sheriffs, 1762; List of quit rents, 18th century; Financial account for Richard Waln, 1803; Promissory note of M.S. Wickersham, 1852; Document signed by Pres. Andrew Johnson appointing Thomas Wister Commissioner to negotiate with Indigenous Americans in the Southwest
2 letters to Richard Waln, 1772, 1790, Dury, William to Richard Waln. Barbados, 1760 , D. & I. Barclay [Co.] to Richard Waln. London, 4th Nov. 1772
18 land surveys or notes respecting property, 17th and 18th century