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Joshua L. and Theodate L. Baily diaries


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

Joshua Longstreth Baily (1826-1916) was a Quaker merchant in the dry goods business. He attended all the American Yearly Meetings between 1845 and 1855, keeping notes. He was an effective speaker. He contributed to African American causes, was interested in peace issues, and worked toward temperance, establishing temperance coffeehouses in Philadelphia. He was treasurer of the Mohonk Arbitration Conference, president of the American Bible Society, and was affiliated with the Pennsylvania Prison Society for 66 years. He was an author on topics related to Bible study and temperance.

Baily married Theodate Lang in 1856. The couple had 5 children: Frederick Lang Baily (b. 1858), Albert Lang Baily (b. 1859), William Lloyd Baily (b. 1861), Charles Winter Baily (b. 1866), and Henry Paul Baily (b. 1868). Theodate died in 1886, and Baily never remarried.

Theodate Lang was the daughter of John Damon Lang, a preacher of the Society of Friends and one of the Indian Commissioners of the United States Government, and Ann Elmira Stackpole Lang, both from Vassalboro, Maine. She was born February 2, 1833, and died November 25, 1886.

Sources: Dictionary of Quaker Biography, Prison Reform in Philadelphia, Genealogy of the Baily Family, pg 302-303, Obituary in Friends Intelligencer vol 43(1886):777, History and Genealogy of the Stackpole Family, pg 172.

This collection includes 43 original, bound, handwritten volumes of Joshua Baily's personal diaries, which span the majority of his adult life. Baily began keeping a diary at the age of 19 and continued to write daily entries throughout his life. Diaries for the years 1857-1878 are missing. As a young man, Baily was involved in the Philadelphia community, and many of his early entries describe his attendance at both religious and secular lectures, and his attendance at meetings for various societies, including the Philadelphia Historical Society, the Eromathean society, the Pennsylvania Prison Society, which advocated for the health and safety of prisoner and prison reform, The Philadelphia Society for Employment and Instruction of the Poor, and the Moyamensing House of Industry, two organizations that worked to train the poor, and particularly immigrants, to enter the work force. In later entries, Baily is largely concerned with temperance efforts, prohibition, and city government. In his old age, Baily's focus shifts to news of his family, and he increasingly records international affairs and political or military events, particularly in the years leading up to World War I. Two volumes, for the years 1879 and 1880, are the diaries of Theodate Lang Baily, the wife of Joshua Baily's. Her diaries largely focus on social calls and family news, as well as descriptions of her husband and children and their health.

The Joshua L. and Theodate L. Baily diaries were donated to Special Collections, Haverford College in 1941-1964.

Processed by Kara Flynn; completed June, 2015.

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
Kara Flynn
Finding Aid Date
June, 2015
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

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

Collection Inventory

Scope and Contents

Baily's early diaries, prior to his marriage (1845-1856) focus on his involvement in prison reform efforts with the Pennsylvania Prison society and the various organizations and institutions that he worked with through the Pennsylvania Prison Society.

Diaries during his middle adulthood and later years focus more heavily on personal matters, including news of his children and various other relatives, quaker meetings, social calls, and births, marriages, and deaths that occur in the community.

Beginning in 1900, Baily's diaries record larger historical events, including the Boer War and American and British politics leading up to, and during, WWI.

Vol. 1, 1845-1849.
Volume 1
Scope and Contents

Hosting visiting Quaker missionaries, including; John Pease and Isabel Cassin. Discussions of objections to warfare by Quakers. Visits to New York City and upstate New York and New England.

Vol. 2, 1852-1853.
Volume 2
Scope and Contents

Prison Work: Eastern State Penetentiary (Philadelphia), visits to Baltimore Penetentiary, Cincinnatti City Prison (1852). Descriptions of Prisons, with small diagrams. Descriptions of missionary work done in prisons, mainly at Eastern State Penetentiary.

Vol. 3, 1855.
Volume 3
Scope and Contents

Philanthropic involvement & Board meetings: House of Refuge, Moyamensing Dispensary, Moyamensing House of Industry, Philadelphia Society for employment and instruction of the poor.

Vol. 4, 1856.
Volume 4
Vol. 5, 1879.
Volume 5
Scope and Contents

Births, deaths, marriages, temperance meetings, visits to NY

Vol. 6, 1880.
Volume 6
Vol. 7, 1882.
Volume 7
Scope and Contents


Vol. 8, 1883.
Volume 8
Scope and Contents

Includes newspaper clippings at front

Vol. 9, 1884.
Volume 9
Scope and Contents

City government nominations/elections

Vol. 10, 1885.
Volume 10
Scope and Contents

City government, board meetings.

Vol. 11, 1886.
Volume 11
Scope and Contents

Entries related to Theo's final illness and her death

Vol. 12, 1887.
Volume 12
Scope and Contents

Baily attends the Prohibition State Convention.

Vol. 13, 1888.
Volume 13
Scope and Contents

Entries describe Quaker meetings and board meetings.

Vol. 14, 1889.
Volume 14
Vol. 15, 1890.
Volume 15
Vol. 16, 1891.
Volume 16
Scope and Contents

Additional genealogical information recorded in the "memorandum" section at the end of the diary.

Vol. 17, 1892.
Volume 17
Vol. 18, 1893.
Volume 18
Vol. 19, 1894.
Volume 19
Vol. 20, 1895.
Volume 20
Scope and Contents

Pamphlet on House of Industry included.

Vol. 21, 1896.
Volume 21
Scope and Contents

Newspaper clippings on prohibition enclosed.

Vol. 22, 1897.
Volume 22
Vol. 23, 1898.
Volume 23
Vol. 24, 1899.
Volume 24
Vol. 25, 1900.
Volume 25
Scope and Contents

Boer War, American & British politics, voyage taken on S.S. Miami.

Vol. 26, 1901.
Volume 26
Vol. 27, 1902.
Volume 27
Scope and Contents

Photo of unidentified woman in front of diary, outbreaks of illness in Philadelphia-smallpox, typhoid.

Vol. 28, 1903.
Volume 28
Scope and Contents

Outbreaks of illness -smallpox, typhoid.

Vol. 29, 1904.
Volume 29
Scope and Contents

Funeral card for Caroline Yarnall Baily inside.

Vol.30, 1906.
Volume 30
Vol. 31, 1907.
Volume 31
Vol. 32, 1908.
Volume 32
Vol. 33, 1909.
Volume 33
Vol. 34, 1910.
Volume 34
Vol. 35, 1911.
Volume 35
Vol. 36, 1912.
Volume 36
Vol. 37, 1913.
Volume 37
Scope and Contents

Outbreaks of typhoid.

Vol. 38, 1914.
Volume 38
Scope and Contents

Correspondence inside.

Vol. 39, 1915.
Volume 39
Vol. 40, 1916.
Volume 40
Scope and Contents

Discussions of events related to WWI, specifically as concerns Britian, Germany, & Russia.

Vol. 1, 1879.
Volume 41
Scope and Contents

Topics include; social calls, her children, husband, and their health.

Vol. 2, 1880.
Volume 42
Scope and Contents

Topics include; social calls, her children, husband, and their health.

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