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Historic Waynesborough collection


Held at: Historic Waynesborough [Contact Us]2049 Waynesborough Road, Paoli, PA, 19301

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Historic Waynesborough. 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

"Seven generations of the Wayne family continuously owned the property [now known as Historic Waynesborough] from 1724 until 1965. The original owner of the property was Captain Anthony Wayne, (The Immigrant, 1666-1739), who had fought valiantly for William of Orange at the Battle of the Boyne. With his wife, Hannah Faulkner, and several of their nine adult children he emigrated from Ireland to the Pennsylvania colony and purchased 386 acres in Chester County, PA in 1724. His son, Isaac (1699-1774), married Elizabeth Iddings, and was an officer in the French and Indian War. Isaac's son, Anthony, born January 1, 1745, was to become the famous Major General Anthony Wayne." ("Historic Waynesborough: The House")

"Anthony Wayne began his military career as the colonel of the Fourth Battalion of the Continental Army in 1776. The following year he was promoted to Brigadier General and saw action at all the major battles of the Philadelphia Campaign 1776-1777. He won a decisive victory at Stony Point, NY in July, 1779 and he was with the Continental Army when the British surrendered at Yorktown, VA in 1781. In 1784 he was promoted to Major General. He was commissioned Commander in Chief of the Legions of the United States by President Washington in 1792 and ordered to the Northwest Territory (today Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin and part of Michigan) with the assignment of raising and training an army to defeat the united Indian nations under the leadership of Little Turtle. His important victory at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794, and the subsequent Treaty of Greenville the following year, secured that area for the new United States, opening a gateway to westward expansion. General Wayne died in 1796 on his way home from an inspection tour of the western forts and was buried at Presque Isle, PA [Erie, Pennsylvania]." ("Anthony Wayne: Historic Waynesborough's Most Famous Resident")

"Wayne was known for his quick temper, his sometimes florid, off-color language, all of which may have contributed to the nickname 'Mad' Anthony Wayne. He was a systematic organizer who paid attention to basic military problems such as supply, training and the comfort of his men...He was the only Commander-In-Chief of the American military to not have also been the President of the United States." ("'Mad' Anthony Wayne, Military Hero")

General Anthony Wayne's descendants Colonel Isaac Wayne (1772-1852), Captain William Evans Wayne (1828-1901), William Wayne II (1855-1933), and William Wayne III (1884-1969) continued to own and utilize the house and property at Historic Waynesborough until 1965. That year William Wayne III sold it to Orrin Wickersham June, whose first wife, Jane, was a descendant of General Wayne's sister, Hannah Wayne VanLeer. June worked to restore the property, wishing to find a buyer who would continue to preserve it. In 1980, Easttown Township bought the property with funds that were raised by local residents and businesses.


Quoted text from: Historic Waynesborough. "Historic Waynesborough's Most Famous Resident," "Historic Waynesborough: The House," and "'Mad' Anthony Wayne, Military Hero." Accessed on March 6, 2014.

The collection consists largely of photocopies and other secondary materials, but there is also a significant amount of primary materials. There are about 20-25 original items dating from the 18th century and about 40-50 19th century originals. The original materials include: correspondence, numerous deeds, family photographs, land survey documents, and various other papers. The photocopied material includes William Wayne I, II and III diaries (1859-1913), Wayne Tannery documents (1700-1799), financial documents, correspondence, photographs and paintings, and various other materials. Colonel Isaac Wayne (1772-1852) is also represented among the photocopied materials. Also present are newspaper clippings (late 18th to 20th centuries), photographs of house exteriors and interiors (late 19th to 20th centuries), floor plans, blueprints/drawings relating to the restoration of the house, and slides of decorative objects. There are genealogy materials relating to the Wayne family as well the VanLeer (Vanleer) and Zook families, both of whom had members who married into the Wayne family. Genealogy materials include family trees, typescripts of VanLeer and Wayne family histories, copies of research articles, and other materials.

Cataloging of this collection is ongoing as of spring 2014. More detailed box lists and folder lists may be available on-site.

Gifts of various family members, and some materials possibly found in the Historic Waynesborough home.

Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2012-2014 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.

In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact Historic Waynesborough directly for more information.

Historic Waynesborough
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Sarah Leu through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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