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Friends Historical Library collected silhouettes


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

Cut paper silhouettes were a popular art form in the first half of the 19th century as an alternative to painted portraits. They were generally mounted on a contrasting color paper or silk and often collected in albums or framed for home display. Skilled specialist artists such as August Edouart could quickly cut freehand and produce faithful likenesses in duplicate. Other artists drew an outline on paper, then painted it in. The physionotrace apparatus made the production and duplication of likenesses easily available. Charles Willson Peale introduced the machine in his Museum in Philadelphia in 1803, and thousands of images were produced. Silhouettes were particularly popular with members of the Society of Friends who were opposed to the vanity of painted portraiture, but embraced the simplicity and close representation from life of silhouettes. The popularity of silhouettes quickly declined with the invention of photography.

This collection combines various silhouette albums and images acquired by Friends Hitorical Library into a single unit.

The albums and collections were described as separate series.

In 2018 the scattered silhouette collections in Friends Historical Library from various sources and poorly described were combined into a single artificial collection for better preservation and cataloging.

Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
Finding Aid Author
Susanna Morikawa
Finding Aid Date
September 2018
Access Restrictions

Access is restricted due to the fragility of the materials.

Use Restrictions

Friends Historical Library believes all of the items in this collection to be in the Public Domain in the United States, and is not aware of any restrictions on their use. However, the user is responsible for making a final determination of copyright status before reproducing. See

Collection Inventory

SFHL-PA-033A. Edouart, Augustin-Amant-Constant-Fidèle, 1789-1861. August Edouart silhouette of Price family, 1843. 1 items.
Existence and Location of Copies

Eduouart's duplicate figures were published in the book August Edouart, A Quaker Album by Helen and Ned Laughon. Richmond, Virginia: Cheswick Press, 1987.

Scope and Contents

Mounted and enhanced cut silhouettes of Philip M. Price, Matilda Price and Hannah P. Davis. Signed and dated Augt Eduouart, fait 1843.

Physical Description

1 itemsFoldered

SFHL-PA-033B. Edouart, Augustin-Amant-Constant-Fidèle, 1789-1861. August Edouart duplicate silhouette album and index, 1827-1849. 2 volumes.
Existence and Location of Copies

Published as August Edouart, A Quaker Album by Helen and Ned Laughon. Richmond, Virginia: Cheswick Press, 1987.


After the volume was purchased in 1969, on the urging of Friends House, London, the seller provided a fragmentary account of its history as he knew it. The silhouette artist was not identified until 1983 when Helen and Ned Laughon visited FHL to study silhouettes in the Library's collection, especially the Thomas Gilpin album.

Related Materials

The Thomas Gilpin silhouette album contains a lithographed self-portrait by Edouart. The Edouart duplicate volume includes a silhouette of Gilpin, page 140.

Scope and Contents

An album of duplicate silhouettes created by August Edouart, beginning in 1827 and during his visit to the United States, 1839-1849. Many of subjects were members of the Society of Friends, all identified. This is the only "American" Edouart folio that is still intact, and the images not only preserve a likeness in silhouettes of the sitters but also details of dress and activities.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has not been assigned to Friends Historical Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to the Curator. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Friends Historical Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.

Physical Description

2 volumesBound volume 14-1/2 x 10-1/2 inches and soft bound Index titled "Friends"

Scope and Contents

This album of profiles was the property of Thomas Gilpin, Quaker manufacturer and author. It contains primarily copies in ink of profiles made by Joseph Sansom about 1790 in Philadelphia of distinquished personages of the day as well as some other collected images. The sitters include well-known figures such as George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and James Madison and also important Quakers including William Savery, the Pembertons, George Dillwyn, Miers Fisher, Rebecca Jones, and Nicholas Waln. The copyist is not identified, but but the collection also includes a card addressed to Thomas Gilpin, signed by the silhouette artist, Augustin Edouart, Philadelphia 1st March 1843.

Related Materials

Augustin Edouart Album, PA 33-A;

"An Occasional Collection of Physiognomical Sketches. . ." by Joseph Sansom, Historical Society of Pennsylvania


Inscription inside front cover: Thomas Gilpin/Philadelphia/1820

Physical Description

1 volumes1 leather bound volume

John S. Hutton (of Philadelphia, Sliversmith a native of New York).
Dr. Abraham Chovet.
William Savery (Minister in the Society of Friends).
John Pemberton (Minister in the Society of Friends).
Rebecca Jones (Minister in the Society of Friends).
Owen Jones.
George Dillwyn (Minister in the Society of Friends).
Mary Ridgeway.
James Pemberton Esqr.
Sarah Rhoads.
Nicholas Waln (Counsellor at Law Minister in the Society of Friends).
Benjamin Chew (Chief Justice of Pennsylvania).
John Redman (MD).
William Lewis Esqr. (Counsellor at Law).
Richard Smith (of Burlington).
Daniel Williams Esqr.
Samuel Shoemaker (Mayor of Philadelphia).
Philip Benezet Esqr.
Robert Proud (Author of History of Philadelphia).
Thomas Harrison (Advocate of Emancipation).
John Head.
Miers Fisher Junr.
Samuel Coates.
Tseruyeaathaw [Tsekuyeaathaw] (or The man who keeps you awake Chief Speaker of The Five Nations.).
(Standing for the last time before The Representatives of the People).
William White (DD. Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania).
Robert Morris.
Timothy Pickering (of Wilkes Barre).
James Madison.
Dr. Benjamin Franklin.
Several unlabeled sketches.
Images of seals, all labeled "EXECUTED BY A. SPENCER".
Inserted silhouette with a description (Presented to Thomas Gilpin...) and no name.
Deborah Darby.
Elias Hicks.
Page with illustrations (not silhouettes) labeled "HENRY D. GILPIN".

Scope and Contents

Commercial album containing hollow-cut silhouettes of the extended Philadelpia Quaker Coates and Horner family and friends mounted on blue paper. All are identified, some stamped MUSEUM, cut at the Peale Museum. The bulk of the silhouettes date between about 1803 to 1824. An unrelated printed reproduction of a silhouette of Thomas Shillitoe (Liverpool, 1839) is glued near the end of the volume. Also includes some Quaker ministers and prominent Philadelphians such as Benjamin Rush.

Physical Description

1 volumes

Mery Morrison [born Mary Warner, sister of Robert Warner, wife of Captain George Morrison], p. 3.
George Warner [?].
Benjamin Horner [stamp].
Mary Horner, p. 6.
Rebecca Horner, 7 years [stamp, p. 7].
Rebecca Horner, 4 years [p. 8].
George Coates [George Morrison Coates, p. 9].
Beulah Coates [sister of George, p. 10].
Josiah Coates, son of Josiah Langdale Coates [stamp, p. 11].
Alice Coates, married E. Corsing [stamp, sister of Josiah, p. 12].
Elizabeth Morrison [stamp,p. 13].
Evan Morrison [stamp, p. 14].
Hannah Clement, cousin, married 1800 [child of Samuel and Lydia Clement, stamp, p. 15].
James Clement [brother of Hannah, p. 16].
John R[eynall] Coates [p. 17].
Joseph Saunders Coates [p. 18].
Samuel Coates [p. 19].
Joseph Saunders [p. 20].
Lydia Coates (married Minteson) [p. 21].
Mary Lawrence (of N.Y.) [stamp, p. 22].
Sarah Horner [p. 23].
Amy Coates [p. 24].
Hannah Vicasy, p. 25.
George Morrison, p. 26.
Dr. John Redman Cox (2), p. 27 [as young man].
Dr. John Redman Cox (2), p. 28 [older].
John Field, p. 29.
Samuel Pleasant,, p. 30.
Zebedee Clement, p. 31.
Beulah Clement, p. 32 [stamp].
Anna Potts, p. 33.
Rebecca Potts, p. 34.
Cornelia Harrison, p. 35.
Elizabeth Glifton [?], p. 36.
Sarah Clement. p. 37.
Elizabeth Clement, p. 38.
Sarah Williamson. p. 39 [stamp].
Mary Dawson, p. 40 [stamp}.
Deborah Howell, p. 41, and Hannah Howell, p. 42.
George Morrison, p. 43.
William Morrison, p. 44.
Lydia Hart, p. 45.
Sarah Speakman, p. 46.
Joseph Fields, p. 47.
Mercy Coates (Marcia Coats), p. 48.
George Deg.
William Savery, p. 50.
Reese Lewis, p. 51.
Sarah Robinson (of New York), p. 52.
John Dorsey, p. 53; Hannah Dorsey, p. 54.
Mary West, p. 55.
Esther Vondenberg, p. 57.
Mary Hallowell, p. 58.
Elizabeth Robinson, p. 59.
Jane English, p. 60.
Hannah Bowie/Bowne, p. 61.
Josiah Hewes, p. 62.
Ann Clement, p. 64, and Elizabeth Clement [of Philadelphia]. p. 65.
John Drinker, p. 66.
James Pemberton, p. 67.
William Stokes, p. 68, and Abigail Stokes, p. 69.
[Mary Coates and Josiah L. Coates - on handwritten list but page cut from album].
Agnes Eldridge, p. 72.
Ann Hopkins of NY, p. 73.
James Wood, p. 74.
Sarah Forster [Peale stamp]. p. 74.
Rachel Gardener, p. 77.
Rebecca Horner, p. 78, and Joseph Potts Horner, p. 79 .
Benjamin Horner, Sr., p. 80, and Amy Horner Clifton, p. 81 [elderly].
Jane Horner. p. 82.
Henry Clifton, p. 83.
Ellis Yarnall, jr., p. 84, and Benjamin Yarnall, p. 85. [both as children: Ellis b. 1794 and Benjamin b. 1790].
Sarah Yarnall, p. 86, and Amy Yarnall, p. 87.
David Sands. p. 88.
Mary Ridgeway of Ireland, p. 89.
Dr. Benjamin Rush, p. 90.
Dr. Redman, p. 91.
Elizabeth Horner, p. 92, and Stacy Horner, p. 93.
Nicholas Hopkins, p. 94, and Rebecca Hopkins, p. 95.
Rachel Cumming, p.. 96.
Margaret Club, p. 97.
Margaret Ail, p. 98, and Elizabeth Ail, p. 99.
William Wagner p. 100 and Elizabeth Weyer p. 102, of New England.
Lydia Tracy, p. 102, and ---- Peabody, p. 103, of New England [?].
Dr. Samuel Hopkins, p. 104, and Elizabeth Hopkins, p. 105 [Museum stamp].
Josiah Langdale Coates, p. 106.
Captain Weyer.
Thomas Roberts, p. 108.
Mary Emlen [or Anna Emlen], p. 109.
Zebedee Cook, p. 110.
George Ail, p. 111.
Mary West, p. 112, and Charles West, p. 113.
Beulah Hopkins, p. 114, and John Hopkins, p. 115.
Griffith Cooper, p. 116.
William Hopkins, p. 117.
SFHL-PA-033E. Truman-Shaw collected silhouettes , 1806-1850.
Scope and Contents

Hollow cut silhouettes pasted onto pages of a copybook. The lettering practice workbook is autographed Jane Trumans Book, and some copy poetry is signed by Sarah Shaw, 1806. The album includes silhouettes of members of the Truman and Shaw families of Philadelphia as well as other figures of the day including George Washington. Some are imprinted with the Peale MUSUM stamp. An additional 56 silhouettes mounted on 7 pages of black paper are associated family members, including children of Joseph M. and Sarah Shaw Truman.

Samuel Eastlake.
John Evants [MUSEUM stamp].
Jacob Evants.
Matthew Franklin.
Elizabeth Fry (ink on paper).
Elias Hicks, (ink on paper).
Elizabeth Hodgkin (in on paper with added detail).
Scope and Contents

Handwritten note: thy affectionate friend/Elizabeth Hodgkin

Paul Moon James.
Aaron Pancoast.
Scope and Contents

Stitched onto black silk

Anne Pancoast.
Scope and Contents

Stitched onto black silk

Abraham Paxson (ink on paper).
Evelina Paxson (ink on paper).
Unmounted cut paper silhouettes presumably of the Paxson family.
Scope and Contents

Given to FHL together with the inked silhouettes. Placed in archival plastic individually for fragility. Some are stamped and a few are identified.

J. Reeve.
Elizabeth Parsons.
John Sloan.
James Stackhouse [museum stamp].
Ann Warner.
Unidentified woman, mounted on black paper, museum stamp.
Unidentified - 3 hollow cut and 1 cut-out.
Henry M. Tollickoffer (ink on paper).
Unlabeled man [probably Isaac T. Hopper] (full-body, print).
General [George] Washington.
Scope and Contents

Hollow cut silhouette mounted to black fabric. Formerly cataloged as PA 100/M5/094

Unidentified man [Lupton family] (on glass).
Scope and Contents

Hollow-cut silhouette, adhered to painted glass. Removed from Lupton family papers (RG5/093).

Uriah Woolman.
John Comfort (reproduction).
Scope and Contents

Photographic copy of silhouette that was purchased of Mrs. John Grady (who found it in attic of 99 Branch St) and given to [Friends Historical] Association by A.M.G. [Amelia Mott Gummere]

Unidentified hollowcut silhouettes (possibly Matlack or Stackhouse; 2 men and 1 woman).
Corinne Hibbard.
Unidentified hollowcut silhouette .
SFHL-PA-033G. August Edouart silhouette of Edward Randolph, Jr., 1843-01-30.
Scope and Contents

The silhouette was "taken from description" after his death.

SFHL-PA-033H. Rhoads-Snowden-Evans silhouettes.
Scope and Contents

Approximately 15 hollow-cut silhouettes, mosly unidentified. Some stamped "MUSEUM" may have ben cut at the Peale Museum.

SFHL-PA-033I. Silhouette of the Public Universal Friend.
Scope and Contents

Hollow-cut silhouette with facial features added in pencil and the seal of the Public Universal Friend in ink, framed in an elaborate frame.

Print, Suggest