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Sharpless family letterbook


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

Susanna Forsythe Sharpless (1815-1907) was born May 1, 1815, the daughter of James Forsythe and Ann Truman. She married Aaron Sharpless and died October 8, 1907.

Isaac Sharpless (1848-­1920) was the president of Haverford College from 1887 until his resignation in 1917. He was the son of Aaron and Susanna (Forsythe) Sharpless and was born in Birmingham Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania. In 1876, he married Lydia Trimble Cope. Sharpless taught at Westtown Boarding School from 1867­ to 1868 and 1873­ to 1875. He taught mathematics and astronomy at Haverford College from 1875 to 18­84. In 1884, he was named Dean of the faculty and in 1887, president of the College. During his tenure as president, the College saw improvements in the areas of enrollment, academic standards, endowments, and facilities.

This collection is comprised of a single volume letterbook of Sharpless family letters. The personal correspondence included acted as a circulating "family letter," and was added to by each family member with the goal of assembling the letters at the end of the year and binding them together for the use of future generations. Letters generally provide news of each letter writer, as well as comments on past letters. The family letters often discuss the state of religion in Colorado, where Thomas Sharpless resided, and how Thomas should strive to maintain his Quaker principles and beliefs in the west. Letter writers include Susanna F. Sharpless, Edith Sharpless, Thomas Sharpless, Elizabeth S. Smedley, Ann Sharpless, William Sharpless, and Susanna Sharpless.


Processed by Kara Flynn; completed August, 2015.

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

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

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

Collection Inventory

Letterbook, 1883.
Volume 1

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