Howland-Kirby Family Papers
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
Weston Howland (1815-ca. 1901) was a birthright Quaker and a prominent businessman involved in the whale oil industry. The Howland Family lived in and around New Bedford, Dartmouth, and Fairhaven, MA. The collection includes his will, correspondence, as well as papers related to his business. Weston married Rebecca Kirby (1825-1895), the daughter of George and Abigail Kirby. George Kirby (1794-1882) was both treasurer and tax collector for the town of Dartmouth. His financial and personal papers are included in the collection. Weston Howland, Jr. (1852-1878), son of Weston and Rebecca Howland, joined the family whale oil business. His correspondence with his parents as well as his journals are included in the papers. The journals of his sister, Rachel (1853-1934), are also included in the collection. One of his other sisters, Alice (b. 1867) was the mother of the donor of the collection, Elizabeth Howland Jordan.
The collection contains primarily transcripts and photocopies of the papers of George Kirby (1794-1882), farmer and local official, of Dartmouth, Mass.; his wife, Abigail H. (Smith) Kirby (1825-1895); their daughter, Rebecca (Kibry) Howland (1825-1895); her husband, Weston Howland (1815-ca. 1901), businessman and merchant, of Fairhaven and New Bedford, Mass.; and their children, Weston, Jr. (1852-1878), Rachel (1853-1934), and Abby S. (1861-1950) Howland, and Alice H. (Howland) Garrett (b. 1867). Chiefly includes personal diaries (1820-1891) of Howland family members and Abigail H. (Smith) Kirby, containing observations on the weather, trips taken, social activities, and daily and family affairs. Diaries of Weston Howland, Jr., include notes on the arrival of whaling ships in New Bedford and details of a controversy over the New Bedford-Fairhaven bridge; those of Abby S., and Rachel describe a trip taken by Abby to New York, N.Y., and Washington, D.C. (1888) and women preaching at Friends meetings; and diaries of Abigail H. (Smith) Kirby reflect her philosophical and religious life as well as involvement in the Dartmouth Friends meeting. Also contains correspondence, diaries, poems, property records, and other papers of Weston Howland, his wife, daughter, Alice H. (Howland) Garrett, and his mother, Abigail (Hathaway) Howland (1774-1867); papers of George Kirby including town records (1827-1849) of Dartmouth, Mass., particularly relating to his duties as town treasurer; and genealogical materials.
The collection is divided into six series:
- Biographical and genealogical
- Weston Howland
- Howland family
- Hathaway family
- Kirby family
Donor: Elizabeth Howland Jordan, 1990, 1993
Donor is a descendent of Weston and Rebecca (Kirby) Howland.
- Local finance -- Massachusetts
- Local government -- Massachusetts
- Whaling -- Massachusetts
- Quakers -- Massachusetts
- Quakers -- Social life and customs
- Quaker women -- Massachusetts
- Whaling ships -- Massachusetts
- Lay ministry -- Society of Friends
- Bridges -- Massachusetts
- Voyages and travels
- Real property -- Massachusetts
- Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
- Finding Aid Author
- FHL staff
- Finding Aid Date
- Encoding made possible by a grant by the Gladys Kriebel Delmas Foundation to the Philadelphia Consortium of Special Collections Libraries
- Access Restrictions
Collection is open for research.
- Use Restrictions
Some of the items in this collection may be protected by copyright. The user is solely responsible for making a final determination of copyright status. If copyright protection applies, permission must be obtained from the copyright holder or their heirs/assigns to reuse, publish, or reproduce relevant items beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to the law. See http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/UND/1.0/.
[427 p.] in four folders