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William Hodgson Jr. diary


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

William Hodgson Jr. (1804-1878) was born May 24, 1804, in Sheffield, England, the son of William (Sr.) and Mary Fairbank Hodgson. William (Sr.) had been a Unitarian clergyman who became a convinced Quaker by the ministry of Thomas Scattergood and joined Friends. In 1827, William Hodgson Jr. came to Philadelphia and engaged in the drug business with Daniel B. Smith. He married Elizabeth Richardson in 1835, and the couple had one daughter, Mary Richardson Hodgson, born April 30, 1836. In 1860, with about 100 other Quaker families, Hodgson separated from the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and established the "General Meeting of Friends for Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.

Hodgson published a number of pieces related to the Society of Friends, including: "Select Historical Memoirs of the Religious Society of Friends" (1844), "An Examination of the memoirs and writings of Joseph John Gurney" (1856), "A brief account of the sorrowful lapse from the first principles in the Religious Society of Friends" (1862), and the two volume work, "The Society of Friends in the Nineteenth Century" (1875).

Hodgson died in 1878, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at about 74 years old.

Source: Dictionary of Quaker Biography

This collection is comprised of the single handwritten diary of William Hodgson Jr. Hodgson titled his diary: "Notes taken during a voyage from England and a Visit of six months in Philadelphia and New York." Initial entries describe the voyage from Liverpool, England, to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, including descriptions of the weather, books Hodgson read while on board, and the Captain and other passengers. Later entries related to Hodgson's time in Philadelphia describe the terrain, his attendance at the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and other Quaker Meetings, visits to schools in Philadelphia, and discussions of the Hicksite separation. Although the title Hodgson assigned his diary indicates he visited New York on the same trip, there are no diary entries describing his time there.

Included in Hodgson's diary are three sketches by the author, including a sketch of Elias Hicks, drawn from memory, a sketch of Weehawken Cliff along the Hudson River, and a sketch of the nearly completed Eastern State Penetentiary.


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

Diary, 1827.
Volume 1

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