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Francis Willing Lockwood Wharton family letters


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

Francis Willing Lockwood Wharton (1869-1966) was the wife of Henry Wharton Jr. (1867-1933). Francis was the daughter of Benoni and Florence Bayard Lockwood and the niece of Delaware Senator, Thomas F. Bayard. She had two siblings, Florence Bayard Lockwood (1884-1944) and Benoni Lockwood. Henry (Jr.) was the son of prominent Pennsylvania lawyer Henry Wharton Sr. and Katherine Johnstone Brinley. Henry (Sr.) was educated at the University of Pennsylvania, earning his B.A. in 1846 and his M.A. in 1849.

Following their marriage in 1891, Francis and Henry settled in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania. They had four sons over the next decade: Henry (born 1895), Thomas (born 1898), Bayard (1899-1959), and Philip (1908-1913). Although her husband Henry, who worked as president of a coal company, passed away from complications of an operation in 1933 at age 65, Francis continued to live in Chestnut Hill until her death in April 1966.

Work Consulted

Unknown, "[Francis Willing Lockwood Wharton]." Photograph. n.d. From Chestnut Hill Historical Society: Photograph Record. 2011.14.1.

This collection contains nearly 800 pages of handwritten letters to Francis Willing Lockwood Wharton. The bulk of the collection consists of courting letters from Henry Wharton Jr., starting in the summer months of 1890 leading up to their wedding in 1891. This correspondence was written while he was away for business and Francis remained in Chestnut Hill. Often his letters were written during his free-time throughout the day, as well as in the evening which often led to multiple letters to Francis each day. The contents mainly revolve around mundane happenings, leisure activities such as riding, as well as abundant professions of love. These letters were set aside in a handmade cloth folder, which is also a part of the collection. Additional correspondence from Henry, ranging in date from 1892 to 1907, is contained within the collection.

Other correspondence received by Francis is from her brother Benoni Lockwood, sister Florence Bayard Lockwood, and mother Florence (née Bayard) Lockwood. Researchers will also find an 1852 small composition written by her mother "To a Lady from a Lady" within her file.

There is a small number of letters in which the senders could not be identified or the letter appears to be a fragment of a larger document.

This collection will be of research value to scholars interested in prominent Pennsylvania families during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as well as those interested in personal correspondence from the American Victorian era.

Sold by Ian Brabner Rare Americana, 2016

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Alexis Morris
Finding Aid Date
2017 May 24
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

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.

Collection Inventory

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Lockwood, Benoni (brother), 1886-1889, undated.
Box 1 Folder 1
Lockwood, Florence (née Bayard) (mother), 1852-1893, undated.
Box 1 Folder 2
Lockwood, Florence Bayard (sister), 1891-1894, undated.
Box 1 Folder 3
Wharton, Henry Jr. (fiancé and later husband), 1889-1909, undated.
Box 1 Folder 4-16
Unidentified correspondence, 1889-1923, undated.
Box 1 Folder 17-18
Fragments, 1891, undated.
Box 1 Folder 19

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