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Edward Hicks Manuscript Collection


Held at: Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College [Contact Us]500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College. 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

Edward Hicks was an American primitive artist and a prominent Quaker minister. Born in 1780, Hicks grew up on a farm in Bucks County. During his lifetime, he was well-known within the Quaker community, but beginning in the 1930s, his reputation as a folk artist rapidly grew. Today he is best known for his paintings of the "Peaceable Kingdom," of which he painted sixty versions. A relative of Elias Hicks, Edward Hicks was a Hicksite and an abolitionist. He died in 1849.

Arranged in three series: 1: Correspondence; 2: Writings; 3: Miscellaneous.

According to his biographer, Alice Ford, the bulk of the Edward Hicks papers descended to his granddaughter, Sarah Worstall Hicks, daughter of his son Isaac. Her niece, Hannah Hicks, married J. Stanley Lee.

Hicks Memoir/Journal, gift of Hannah H. and J. Stanley Lee, 1952; she was the great-granddaughter of Edward Hicks. Gift of Edward R. Barnsley, 1952. Gift of Alice Ford, 1961 and 1980. Transferred from Exeter Monthly Meeting papers, 1991.

In 1952, Edward Barnsley, noted historian of Newtown, Bucks Co., Pa., donated fragments of the memoirs together with some correspondence and miscellaneous papers which were subsequently processed as a Small Collection titled Collection of Edward Hicks Papers, SC 056. The following year, J. Stanley Lee, collector and married to a great-granddaughter of Edward Hicks, donated the journal and related miscellaneous papers which were cataloged within the FHL genre collection, Journals. These papers and others were used as the source material for Alice Ford's biography Edward Hicks, Painter of the Peaceable Kingdom (University of Pennsylvnia Press, 1952.) At the time of her research, the papers were retained by the family in Newtown, Pa. Following publication, the papers in the present collecction were were donated to Friends Historical Library in 1952 and 1953, with individual items from Alice Ford added to the Barnsley collected manuscripts. In 1987, Alice Ford donated her research notes, separately cataloged as SC/040. In 2017, FHL staff determined to unite the related Lee and Barnsley donations in order to fully catalog them for better access.

The acidic Contoura positives and negative copies donated by J. Stanley Lee were copied onto acid-free paper and removed from the collection.

Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
Finding Aid Author
Susanna Morikawa
Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Collection Inventory

Edward Hicks to Beloved Friend, 1836-12-27.
Scope and Contents

AL (copy) transferred from RG2/Exeter Monthly Meeting Records, 1991. Also photocopy. Religious theme.

Edward Hicks to Samuel Johnson, 1839-10-08.
Scope and Contents

ALS in verse addressed to "Dear Brother." From the Edward Barnsley collection, with a typed transcripts by Alice Ford.

Samuel Johnson to Edward Hicks (printed and typed), undated.
Scope and Contents

Photocopy of a proof copy, a verse addressed to Hicks, with typed transcript by Alice Ford, biographer. Gift of Alice Ford 1960 and 1980. Note from donor to FHL Curator indicates that the original of the galley proof was the property of the Hicks Collection, presumably retained by the family as of 1980.

Edward Hicks to Hugh Balderston, 1840-01-25.
Scope and Contents

2 Ms copies and typed transcript.

Edward Hicks to Joseph Watson., 1844-09-23.
Scope and Contents

Photo static copy. Concerning a painting he is selling. Original in the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Collection, Williamsburg.

Oliver Hough to Edward Hicks, 1845-09-10.
Scope and Contents

ALS concerning Hough's editing and preparing the Memorial for publication.

James B. Bowen to Edward Hicks, 1846-02-07.
Scope and Contents

ALS from Bowen, a Baptist minister, informing that he will be visiting Newtown to preach.

Isaac Parry to Benjamin Ferris, 1849-11-06.
Scope and Contents

ALS. Regarding the manuscript of the Memoirs which Henry W. Hicks was having transcribed in order to make it easier to edit. Parry is asking Benjamin Ferris to write a preface and notes that he should consult Elizabeth (the daughter) to provide further information. Parry was a close friend of Hicks, and his son married Elizabeth, youngest daughter of Edward. Gift of Edward Barnsley, transcript from Alice Ford, 1960.

Edward Hicks to Samuel Swain, Undated.
Scope and Contents

ALS (copy). Photocopy made from contoura prints of papers in collection of J. Stanley Lee. Also typed transcript.

Letters (copy) to Makefield Monthly Meeting , undated.
Scope and Contents

T.M.K. and J.M.S. to Makefield Monthly Meeting (ms copies), acknowledging inappropriate speech. Photocopy made from contoura copy of papers in collection of J. Stanley Lee. Also typed transcript.

Edward Hicks to the Bucks County Intelligencer, undated.
Scope and Contents

Photocopies of manuscript drafts which belonged to J. Stanley Lee. Contoura prints removed and replaced with acid-free photocopies.

Biographical Sketch [of the Hicks family], 1850-1880.
Scope and Contents

Ms history of the Hicks family. Pencil notation: "Auntie thinks this was written by Benjamin D. Hicks, Long Island."

Edward Hicks, drafts of first section of Memoirs and additions, 1847.
Scope and Contents

AMs. Received with the manuscript journal in 1952, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Lee.

Edward Hicks, draft of the first page of the memoir, 1847.
Scope and Contents

AMs. Alice Ford noted that this contains some information not in the final draft for publication. Gift of Edward Barnsley, 1952

Edward Hicks, draft of "A Word of Exhortation", 1845.
Scope and Contents

AMs. Rough draft, paged as continuation of the Memoir. Received with the Ms journal in 1952, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Lee.

Ms copy, "A Word of Exhortation", Undated.
Scope and Contents

Ms copy, edited for publication (Oliver Hough?)

Photocopies of miscellaneous writings by Edward Hicks, 1837, undated.
Scope and Contents

Incomplete manuscripts, copied from the collections of J. Stanley Lee. Reproduced as "contoura" prints, made from a non-xerographic photocopier, circa 1952. These acidic copies are replaced by acid-free photocopies.

Memoir/journal, 1843-1849.
Scope and Contents

AMs. Part 1 - 160 pp. Part 2 - 125 pp. Miscellaneous writings - 89 pp. Hicks's biographer notes that editors made few changes in the 1852 published version other than correcting the spelling. Do note handle: Written on acidic paper, very fragile.

Hair sample, 1840-1850.
Scope and Contents

Loose hair in envelope, not identified

Commonplace book cover, 1753.
Scope and Contents

Leather cover titled H. Hicks. Inside cover is a note that used as commonplace book for Woods Institutes, etc. Contents removed. This was pPart of 1953 donation of Memoirs/Journal, presumably used has a hard cover to protect the manuscript. Stored in buffered tissue

Print, Suggest