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George Churchman 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

George Churchman (1730-1814) was born on October 28, 1730, in Nottingham, Pennsylvania, the son of John and Margaret (Brown) Churchman. In 1752, Churchman married Hannah James, the daughter of Mordecai and Gaynor (Lloyd) James. The couple had ten children. Churchman was a surveyor by profession, and in 1750, he succeeded his father as clerk of Nottingham Monthly Meeting, and served as clerk for 20 years. Churchman was a pioneer in the promotion of schools for Friends, including Westtown School. George Churchman died on November 18, 1814, at West Nottingham, Pennsylvania, at the age of 84.

This collection is comprised of ten volumes of George Churchman's original, handwritten diaries. Churchman frequently traveled throughout the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions, and thus many of his entries describe his travels to visit various meetings and Quaker families from Pennsylvania to as far north as Massachusetts. Entries describe meetings attended and families visited in the various towns and cities that Churchman traveled to, as well as family news, and marriages and deaths within the Quaker community.

The George Churchman diaries were donated to Special Collections, Haverford College in 1949 and 1955 by Henry J. Cadbury.

Processed by Kara Flynn; completed July, 2015.

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

THe collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

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

Collection Inventory

Vol 1, 1766-1769.
Volume 1
Scope and Content note

This volume describesthe death of Churchman's grandmother, Hannah Churchman, concerns about war and conflict in the colonies, issues related to Quakers marrying out, and Churchman's attendance at the treaty at Lancaster with Native Americans from the Six Nations.

This volume also includes a copy of the Yearly Meeting Minutes for 1762, and a copy of "the Yearly Meeting Committee's Epistle to Philadelphia Monthly Meeting, containing a proposal of their dividing into two monthly meetings."

Vol 2, 1766-1788.
Volume 2
Scope and Content note

This volume includes a description of Churchman's illness with fever, his mother's death in 1770, visits from Friends from North Carolina, and an address discussing issues of "backsliding." Copies of correspondence are included at the back of this volume.

Vol 3, 1777-1780.
Volume 3
Scope and Content note

This volume focuses on issues faced by Churchman, his family, and his Quaker community during the American Revolutionary War. Entries describes military movements, and holding meetings within two miles of battle. Churchman describes how twleve members of his meeting were exiled to Virginia for refusing to fight, and how the American army took possesion of the meeting house for use as a hospital, and his how meeting began holding meetings in a barn instead.

Vol 4, 1780-1781.
Volume 4
Scope and Content note

This volume includes discussions of the Quaker's refusal to pay war taxes and John Pemberton's upcoming religious visit to Europe. Churchman describes his attendance at a "Meeting for black people" in Philadelphia, as well as descriptions of his visit to Nantucket. While in Nantucket, entries are related to Wampanoag people in the area, the whaling business, and his visit with the Governor of Rhode Island during his time there.

Vol 5, 1781-1785.
Volume 5
Scope and Content note

This volume describes Churchman's visit to see Friends in prison for refusing the war taxes.

Vol 6, 1785-1790.
Volume 6
Scope and Content note

in this volume, Churchman discusses abstaining from buying, selling, or consuming "spiritous liquors."

Vol 7, 1793-1796.
Volume 7
Vol 8, 1802-1804.
Volume 8
Vol 9, 1804-1808.
Volume 9
Scope and Content note

This volume includes travel to visit meetings and Quaker meetings in New York and Churchman's attendance at Baltimore Yearly Meeting.

Vol 10, 1808-1813.
Volume 10

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