Beasley family papers
Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. 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
The Beasley family papers are comprised largely of documents relating to three generations of Beasleys who lived in the vicinity of Philadelphia in the nineteenth century: Frederick Beasley (1777-1845), Frederick Williamson Beasley (1808-1878), and Frederick Williamson Beasley, Jr. (1845-1873).
Frederick Beasley was born near Edenton, North Carolina, in 1777. His educational career began at the College of New Jersey in 1793 (later known as Princeton University) where he earned a B.A. and later studied theology under the sitting president, Dr. Samuel Stanhope Smith. Beasley was ordained in the Episcopal Church and served as rector for various congregations in New Jersey, New York, and Maryland until he accepted the position as Provost and Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania in 1813. He received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Penn and Columbia University in 1815 and continued to serve as Provost until his resignation in 1828. Following his tenure at Penn, Beasley returned to New Jersey to serve as rector of a church in Trenton and eventually retired to Elizabethtown, New Jersey where he lived until his death in 1845. Frederick Beasley married twice and had a number of children, one of who was also named Frederick Beasley, and who continued his legacy as rector and academic to the next generation.
Frederick Williamson Beasley was born in 1808 to Frederick and Marie Williamson Beasley. He followed in his father's footsteps and graduated with a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1827, becoming ordained in the Protestant Episcopal Church in Philadelphia in 1832. He was known as the Rev. Frederick W. Beasley (also spelled Frederic) throughout his career, and eventually received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1868. He served as rector of All Saints' Church in Lower Dublin, Philadelphia, for much of his life. In addition to writing sermons, he also wrote poetry, publishing the volume Henry Venola, the Duellist, a Poem, in 1841. F. W. Beasley married Virginia Teackle Bancker and had four children: Frederick Williamson, Jr., Sally (also known as Sarah), Anna, and Virginia. Sarah Beasley married William F. C. Morsell and had two daughters, Virginia and Anne Beasley Morsell. Anne Morsell married Stockton Mortimer and had one daughter, Sarah B. M. Mortimer, who was born in 1902. Mortimer donated the Beasley family papers to the University of Pennsylvania upon her death in 1974.
Frederick Williamson Beasley, Jr., was born to Frederick W. and Virginia T. B. Beasley in 1845, the year of his grandfather's death. He also attended the University of Pennsylvania and graduated with the class of 1866, giving an address to his fellow classmates as Class Historian. He also participated in the first intercollegiate game to be played in the state of Pennsylvania, a cricket match held at Haverford College on May 7, 1864, between Penn and Haverford, with Haverford clinching the victory. Beasley, Jr., worked as a professor to pupils at the Academy of the Protestant Episcopal Church until his early death in 1873 at the age of 28.
The Bancker family was closely connected with the Beasley family through the marriage of Rev. Frederick W. Beasley and Virginia Teackle Bancker Beasley. Virginia's parents were Charles Nicoll Bancker and Sarah Teackle Bancker. Charles was a prominent member of Philadelphia society and served as President of the Franklin Insurance Company in addition to a successful career as a merchant. Charles and Sarah also had two sons, Charles Gerard Bancker and Evert John Bancker, who both graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1826 and 1834, respectively.
The Beasley family papers are comprised largely of documents relating to three generations of Beasleys who lived in the vicinity of Philadelphia in the nineteenth century: Frederick Beasley (1777-1845), Frederick Williamson Beasley (1808-1878), and Frederick Williamson Beasley, Jr. (1845-1873). The collection includes letters, certificates, published works of the Beasleys, memorabilia from the University of Pennsylvania, guidebooks to the city of Philadelphia, and auction catalogues relating to the interests of the Beasley and Bancker families. The collection includes items with dates ranging from 1802 to 1929, with the bulk of the material falling between 1822 and 1899.
The first series relates directly to the life and work of Frederick Beasley (1777-1845), fifth Provost of the University of Pennsylvania. Included are various certificates presented to Beasley from the Protestant Episcopal Church, letters received from various people including his mentor, Dr. Samuel Stanhope Smith, of Princeton University, and letters written to his granddaughter, Anne, requesting information about his life for purposes of genealogy research.
The second series relates directly to the life and work of Rev. Frederick Williamson Beasley (1808-1878), rector of All Saints' Church in Lower Dublin, Pennsylvania. Items in this series include certificates presented to Frederick W. Beasley from the Protestant Episcopal Church, letters received from various people and institutions including the University of Pennsylvania upon receipt of an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree, letters written to his wife and son, poetry written to his wife, and a deed of cemetery lots at All Saints' Church.
The third series relates directly to the life and work of Frederick Williamson Beasley, Jr (1845-1873), professor at the Academy of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Philadelphia. Items in this series include a "History of the Class of '66" – a speech written by Beasley upon graduation from the University of Pennsylvania which was delivered to his fellow classmates, a bound manuscript of a speech he delivered numerous times in the Mid-Atlantic region, a letter remarking on his good work at the Academy of the P.E. Church, and a letter of condolence to his father upon his early death in 1873.
The fourth series is comprised of items relating to various members of the Bancker family. Included is a manuscript of a speech delivered by Charles [Gerard?] Bancker at the University of Pennsylvania, a letter from Charles Nicoll Bancker to his daughter, Virginia Teackle Bancker Beasley, and a catalogue and supplement of Revolutionary-era broadsides collected by Gerard Bancker.
The fifth series includes other Philadelphia themed publications with the following subseries: University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia guidebooks, and catalogues & pamphlets. The University of Pennsylvania subseries includes a collection of mixed memorabilia with class magazines, tuition slips, ribbons, and programs from Class Day and Commencement. It also includes a Biographical Catalogue of the Matriculates of the College. The Philadelphia guidebooks subseries include four guidebooks published between 1879 and 1899 with information for travelers about Philadelphia and its surrounding areas. The catalogues & pamphlets subseries include other documents from nineteenth century Philadelphia not directly related to the Beasley or Bancker families.
Gift of Sarah B. M. Mortimer, 1974.
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Sarah Yerger
- Finding Aid Date
- 2016 June 10
- Access Restrictions
This collection is open for research use.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.