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Sarah Hopper Palmer Papers

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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

Sarah Hopper Palmer (1796-1885) was the eldest child of Isaac T. Hopper (1771-1852), noted Hicksite Quaker abolitionist and social reformer. The collection was apparently compiled as a basis for Lydia Maria Child's Life of Isaac T. Hopper, which was first published in 1853. The original manuscript of the published book is included in the collection.

1771-1787Isaac Tatem Hopper was born 12/3/1771 on a farm in Woodbury, New Jersey. His grandfather had been a Quaker, but was disowned for marriage to a non-Quaker. His father, Levi Hopper, attended Meeting but never became a member. Rachel Tatem, his mother, was born a Presbyterian, but joined the Society of Friends twenty-four years after her marriage. Isaac was sent to Philadelphia at age 16 to learn tailoring from his mother's brother. 1793-1811, 1811-1820On 9/18/1795 Isaac married his childhood sweetheart, Sarah Tatum, daughter of Quakers John and Sarah (Ward) Tatum) of Woodbury, NJ, he having joined Friends about two years earlier. Living in Philadelphia, Hopper soon became involved with the Pennsylvania Abolition Society as an active and leading member and became widely known as a friend and advisor to fugitives in emergencies. In the course of these experiences he gradually developed a strong interest in prisoners and those released from prison. He helped found a society for the employment of the poor, was an overseer of the Benezet school for colored children, taught in a free school for colored adults, was an unsalaried inspector of the prison, and was always on call to the poor or sick. He also had a large family to support, and with so many demands on his time gradually got into debt and was disowned for that reason by Philadelphia Monthly Meeting for the Southern District in 1811. He was eventually able to pay off his debts, and was reinstated in membership in 1820. 1822-1830In 1822 his wife Sarah died, leaving nine children. In 1824 he married Hannah Attmore, daughter of a close friend. After the Separation of 1827, he was offered a job running a Hicksite bookstore in New York City, so the family moved there. In 1830 he made a trip to Ireland to settle some disputed claims his wife, Hannah, had on the estate of her maternal grandfather. There are several letters in the collection written from Ireland and England, some regarding the prejudice which had been stirred up against him by Orthodox Friends in America. Back in New York he became active in the New York Anti-Slavery Society and also very active in the New York Prison Association. 1841-1852In 1841 Lydia Maria Child came to New York to edit the National Anti-Slavery Standard and lived with the Hopper family for some years. On 8/4/1841 Isaac T. Hopper and his son-in-law, James Sloan Gibbons, were disowned by the New York Monthly Meeting (Hicksite). The cause of the disownment was the publication in the National Anti-Slavery Standard on March 25, 1841, of an article entitled "A Rare Specimen of a Quaker Preacher", written by Oliver Johnson, a non-Quaker. The article denounced the inflammatory preaching against Abolitionists done by George F. White, a minister at Rose Street Preparative Meeting. Both Hopper and Gibbons served on the Executive Committee of the American Anti-Slavery Society which published the newspaper, and therefore were considered to approve the article, which was regarded as derogatory by New York Hicksite Friends. In addition, some New York Friends objected to Hicksite Friends working with Friends from the other branch of Quakerism, and with non-Friends. Hopper accepted the disownment with good grace and continued to attend meeting for worship until the end of his life. 1845His labors on behalf of released prisoners were aided greatly by his daughter, Abby Gibbons. With the help of other women she established an asylum for these women, in which Hopper took a deep interest. This institution still exists, and is called the Women's Prison Association and Isaac T. Hopper Home, on Second Avenue in New York City. Descendants of Hopper still serve on the Board in 1978. 1852Isaac T. Hopper died at Abby Gibbon's home on May 7, 1852, surrounded by all but two of his ten surviving children.

The collection contains material on the Palmer, Hunn and Jenkins families, family correspondence, legal and financial papers, and memorabilia. Of particular interest is the correspondence of Isaac T. Hopper which includes references to his work with Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, the Anti-slavery Society of New York, and the New York Prison Association.

The collection divided into eleven series, with five of the series containing correspondence grouped by the individual family member:

  1. Biographical and genealogical
  2. Correspondence, Isaac T. Hopper (1807-1852 and n.d.)
  3. Correspondence, Sarah Hopper Palmer and family
  4. Correspondence, Sallie Tatem Palmer (daughter of Sarah Hopper Palmer)
  5. Correspondence, concerning William Gibbons, son of James S. and Abigail H. Gibbons
  6. Correspondence, Lydia Maria Child, concerning the publication of her biography on Isaac T. Hopper
  7. Manuscript of Isaac T. Hopper by Lydia Maria Child
  8. Legal papers, 1705-1865
  9. Financial papers
  10. Writings by the Palmer family
  11. Memorabilia

Donor: Edward Needles Wright, 1973

Donor: James M. Dunning, 1977 (Gibbons Genealogy)

The collection was given by descendents of Sarah Hopper Palmer

Publisher
Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
Finding Aid Author
FHL staff
Finding Aid Date
ca. 1977
Sponsor
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

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 http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/NoC-US/1.0/.

Collection Inventory

Archival Resource Key. Includes material relating to the Hopper, Palmer, Gibbons, Hunn, and Jenkins families, alphabetically arranged.
Archival Resource Key. Genalogical chart, Hopper-Palmer family.
Box 1
Archival Resource Key. Journals, Sarah H. Palmer, 1879, 1880.
Box 1
Archival Resource Key. Ledger - "Property of Halliday Jenkins.".
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Contains pages of Hunn family genealogy copied from family Bible of Halliday Jenkins, 1828. Also the Jenkins family, of Rent Co., Delaware.

Archival Resource Key. Letters to Henry Palmer, mainly from Charles T. Palmer, a distant cousin, and Sarah M. Fell (cousin), 1876-1881.
Box 1
Physical Description

19 letters

Archival Resource Key. Children of John Sotcher and Mary Loftus.
Box 1
Archival Resource Key. Children of John Palmer and Christian Joses.
Box 1
Archival Resource Key. Descendants of David Palmer and Tamar Twining.
Box 1
Archival Resource Key. "Indexed Genealogy of Peter Troth Wright and Mary Seal Betta,", 1896.
Box 1
Physical Description

in separate folder

Archival Resource Key. "Marriages on the Falls Monthly Meeting Records," 14 p. (13-175).
Box 1
Archival Resource Key. "Record taken from the Bible of Sarah Tatum Hopper, wife of Isaac T. Hopper".
Box 1
Physical Description

7 p.

Archival Resource Key. "Genealogy of the Palmer Family".
Box 1
Physical Description

24 p.

Archival Resource Key. "The History and Genealogy of the Palmer Family of Bucks, Co., Pa.".
Box 1
Physical Description

62 p.

Archival Resource Key. "Genealogy of the Palmer family of Bucks Co., Pa.".
Box 1
Physical Description

66 p.

Archival Resource Key. "Genealogy of John Fell and Sarah Palmer,", 1880.
Box 1
Physical Description

20 p.

Archival Resource Key. "Palmer Genealogy,", 1880.
Box 1
Physical Description

27 p.

Archival Resource Key. "Gibbons Genealogy,".
Box 1a
Scope and Contents

Gift of James Morse Dunning (great-grandson of James S. and Abigail Hopper) Gibbons, 1977.

Physical Description

bound ms. volume, 504 pp.

Archival Resource Key. 112 letters, partially catalogued., 1807-1852, n.d.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Most are letters from Isaac T Hopper to his eldest daughter, Sarah H. Palmer. A few are letters received from former convicts, whom he had helped on their release from prison. Also a report of the inquiry against ITM and his son-in-law, James S. Gibbons, and their subsequent disownments by New York M.M. in 1841.

Archival Resource Key. Miscellaneous items, copies and incomplete fragments of letters, n.d.
Archival Resource Key. "Copy of a letter from a Clergyman in England to Patience Brayton,".
Box 1
Archival Resource Key. Letter transcribed for Hopper by Sarah Tatum at age 15., 1786 2mo.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

She later became his wife.

Archival Resource Key. "Memoirs and letters of Sarah Hopper, late wife of Isaac T. Hopper, of Philadelphia", 1793-1821.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

A brief biography of Sarah Hopper and a collection of her letters, copied by Isaac T. Hopper.

Physical Description

23 pp.

Archival Resource Key. Signatures, 17 fragments. 15 signatures of Hopper, cut from letters. 2 of Sarah T. Hopper.
Box 1

Archival Resource Key. Received and sent, about 180 letters. Mostly incoming correspondence from brothers, sisters, and children., 1804-1883.
Archival Resource Key. Jacob Waln, correspondence with Sarah H. Palmer, 1827, 1833, n.d.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

Waln was apparently a boarder with the Palmers and related to Jonathan Palmer, Sarah's husband.

Physical Description

about 26 letters

Scope and Contents

Sallie was the daughter of Sarah H. and Jonathan Palmer.

Archival Resource Key. Received and sent, About 150 letters. Mostly incoming, from siblings, cousins, and friends, 1839-1850, and n.d.
Box 3
Archival Resource Key. Letters by Sallie's close friend, Martha Mott ("Pattie"), daughter of James and Lucretia Mott, while she was away at Kimberton College, a Chester Co., Pa., boarding school, 1843.
Physical Description

5 letters, catalogued

Archival Resource Key. 5 sympathy letters, after his sudden death in 1855.
Box 3
Scope and Contents

He was the son of James S. and Abigail H. Gibbons, and was in the Sophomore Class at Harvard at the time of his death.

Archival Resource Key. Letters concerning the publication of her book, Isaac T. Hopper: a true life., 1852-1853.
Box 3
Scope and Contents

Includes a ms. copy of the title page and preface.

Physical Description

8 letters

Archival Resource Key. Isaac T. Hopper: a true life. Original manuscript draft of biography by Lydia Maria Child, 1853.
Box 3

Scope and Contents

These include 3 sets of deeds, and 2 small collections of miscellaneous legal papers. Papers of the Jenkins family are grouped separately from the Palmer family. Jenkins papers refer mainly to land in Delaware and Maryland; Palmer papers to land in Pennsylvania. Item level listing available in Library.

Archival Resource Key. 36 deeds and other legal papers from Hunn and Jenkins families of Delaware and Maryland, 1764-1865.
Scope and Contents

Catalog cards for each deed have been prepared.

Archival Resource Key. 1 paper deed and 14 parchment or vellum deeds, 1705-1858.
Box 4
Scope and Contents

Preserved by Jonathan Palmer, conveyancer, and Henry Palmer, attorney.

Archival Resource Key. Miscellaneous Jenkins family, "Papers appertaining to title of small farm lot of Henry P. Prettyman, 10mo 1861." Calculations, bonds, receipts., 1858, 1861.
Box 4
Physical Description

9 items

Archival Resource Key. Miscellaneous Palmer family, 1812-1853, n.d.
Box 4
Scope and Contents

Jonathan Palmer was a conveyancer, and Henry Palmer was an attorney. Includes a bond, 1853, real estate announcements, papers, surveyor's maps, judgment docket.

Physical Description

9 items

Archival Resource Key. 2 sets of miscellaneous papers, and 1 set of account and check books, 1772-1865.
Box 4
Scope and Contents

Chronologically filed within each set.

Archival Resource Key. Book: "Jonathan Palmer, 2nd mo 5th, 1810.".
Box 4
Archival Resource Key. [Checkbook], n.d.
Box 4
Scope and Contents

Also includes folder containing cancelled checks, dated 1858-1864. Most checks involve Peter T. Wright & Co. as signer or casher.

Archival Resource Key. Miscellaneous papers, Edward Needles, 1772-1816.
Box 4
Scope and Contents

Various accounting records, receipts, credit slips, calculations, etc., some relating to his estate after his death in 1799(?). Also includes a ms. poster advertising a public auction by William Harris, 1816.

Physical Description

41 documents

Archival Resource Key. Miscellaneous papers. Peter T. Wright Co, ca. 1847-1865, and n.d.
Scope and Contents

Mostly promissory notes, checks and receipts. Roughly chronological, but papers concerning certain individuals or prolonged transactions have been clipped together. These groups are filed by earliest date. Items of interest include papers relating to legal action against W.W. Clark for nonpayment, 1851-1853; dividend note from Mercantile Mutual Insurance, 1853; endorsements and recommendations of Wright's patent medicines, written by various customers, doctors and pharmacists; notice of a Deposit of a Print in the Copyright Office, 2/18/1854; Indenture, 2/25/1865, Peter T. Wright, Charles W. Wright, and James Palmer of Philadelphia, Pa., to Adolph Leidensticker and Henry J. Kappes, real estate in Marion County, Indiana.

Physical Description

78 documents

Archival Resource Key. Writings, 1814-1857, n.d., arranged alphabetically.
Box 5
Physical Description

25 pieces

Physical Description

5 items

Archival Resource Key. "Almanack," anonymous., 1827.
Box 5
Archival Resource Key. "An Inaugural Essay," by Peter T. Wright, 1844.
Box 5
Scope and Contents

"Submitted to the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy."

Physical Description

Manuscript, 8p.

Archival Resource Key. "Journal of Trip from Camden, Del., to Princeton, KY," Hunn Jenkins, 1857 8mo. 7.
Box 5
Physical Description

50p.

Archival Resource Key. "The Proprietors of the Friends Weekly, Monthly, and Yearly Line of omnibuses,", n.d.
Box 5
Scope and Contents

Humorous announcement of omnibus line run by Love Brothers. Probably a family joke.

Archival Resource Key. "Sarah Hopper," penmanship notebook., 1814 5mo. 12.
Box 5
Scope and Contents

Many of the poems are undated, and unsigned, or signed with a pseudonym. Arranged alphabetically by title.

Physical Description

20 poems

Archival Resource Key. "An Epic Poem," signed "Cousin Joshua Coffin.".
Box 5
Archival Resource Key. "Epitaph," signed "Caprice for HP by her sister A.".
Box 5
Archival Resource Key. "For the Tribune," signed A.W.H., 10/20/1852.
Box 5
Archival Resource Key. "[Frail gift go to the gay...]".
Box 5
Archival Resource Key. "[I know thou hast gone to the house of thy rest.]".
Box 5
Archival Resource Key. "Ideal Love", 2/9/1848.
Box 5
Archival Resource Key. "Introduction to the Address to the Clarkson Reading Association," signed Ben. M. Hollinshead., 3/3/1842.
Box 5
Archival Resource Key. "It is an agreeable business...".
Box 5
Archival Resource Key. "The last leaf", "The September Gale.".
Box 5
Archival Resource Key. "Lines addressed to a friend...," by E.W.
Box 5
Archival Resource Key. "Lines composed by Joshua Coffin for Frances Sarah Tatem Palmer,", 12/31/1834.
Box 5
Archival Resource Key. "[May I my gen'rous friend...]" signed Edwin.
Box 5
Archival Resource Key. "The Morning Glory," by Maria Lowell.
Box 5
Archival Resource Key. "My Birth Day," by Thomas Moore.
Box 5
Archival Resource Key. "The Offspring of Mercy," Sarah Hopper.
Box 5
Archival Resource Key. "On Seeing my Infant Niece Carolina H --- unusually playful," signed Henry.
Box 5
Archival Resource Key. "On the death of Richard Brinsley Sheridan," by Moore.
Box 5
Archival Resource Key. "Ten Years Ago," By A. A. Watts.
Box 5
Archival Resource Key. "The Withered Violets".
Box 5
Archival Resource Key. "[Written on hearing that much curiosity was excited]", signed Ironicas., 1824 7mo.
Box 5

Scope and Contents

15 items. This series includes a number of portraits of different men, including Napoleon, apparently because it was said Isaac Hopper bore a resemblance to the French emperor. Items are undated, unless otherwise indicated.

Archival Resource Key. Currency., dated 3/25/1775 and 1/1/1776.
Box 5
Scope and Contents

3 numbered and signed shilling notes for the amounts of 1, 5 and 16 shillings. Printed in Penna. and Delaware.

Archival Resource Key. Dance Program, 1/23/1868.
Box 5
Scope and Contents

"Ninth Social of `Les Miserables', at the residence of Miss Palmer." Belonged to Rosalie H. Palmer, daughter of Charles and Harriet Palmer.

Archival Resource Key. Envelope scrap/receipt. Addressed to Wm. Gibbons.
Box 5
Archival Resource Key. Log of the Yacht "Nettle", 1860-1861.
Box 5
Scope and Contents

"Nettle" was owned and raced by Louis D. Senat. Filed in separate folder.

Archival Resource Key. List of Life Contributors to the `Preston Retreat.' Signers include Joseph Parrish, Joseph Trotter, Eli K. Price and others.
Box 5
Archival Resource Key. Memoirs of Alice and Phebe Cary, 8/11/1871.
Box 5
Scope and Contents

By Abby Hopper Gibbons, reprinted from Pennsylvania Inquirer.

Physical Description

1 p.

Archival Resource Key. "N. Waln's address to the Grand Jury," Text titled, and title signed, by Isaac T. Hopper.
Box 5
Physical Description

3 pp.

Archival Resource Key. Petition from the 12 Inspectors of the Prisons, 12/20/1797.
Box 5
Scope and Contents

To Thomas Mifflin, Governor of Pennsylvania, in favor of Owen O'Hara, who was condemned to be hanged for murder.

Physical Description

ms. copy, 1 p.

Archival Resource Key. Picture of Grand Duke Alexis of Russia. "Presented to the patrons of the Philadelphia Inquirer on the occasion of his visit to Philadelphia, Dec. 4, 1871.".
Box 5
Archival Resource Key. Elias Hicks.
Box 5
Archival Resource Key. Benjamin Lundy.
Box 5
Archival Resource Key. Napoleon.
Box 5
Archival Resource Key. John Howard Payne.
Box 5
Archival Resource Key. Robert Penn Smith.
Box 5
Archival Resource Key. Wallet. Writings on leather, no name apparent., n.d.
Box 5

Scope and Contents

11 items. Newspspers, pamphlets, tracts, etc. Listed chonologically.

Archival Resource Key. New York Morning Post, 11/7/1783.
Box 5
Scope and Contents

"Exact facsimile" published by Christopher, Morse, and Skippen. Contains text of "George Washington's Farewell Orders to the Armies of the United States."

Archival Resource Key. "To Our Fellow Citizens of the United States,", 10/21/1814.
Box 5
Scope and Contents

A refutation of a certain announcement in the Democratic Press, a Philadelphia newspaper. Published by a "meeting appointed to represent our religious society in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and the eastern parts of Maryland," Jonathan Evans, Clerk.

Archival Resource Key. National Gazette and Literary Register, Articles on the Revolution in France, 9/29/1830.
Box 5
Archival Resource Key. Friends Miscellany, vol. V, "Biographical Memoirs of Nicholas Waln.", 1834 2mo.
Box 5
Physical Description

144 pp.

Archival Resource Key. "Narrative of the Life of Thomas Cooper," 4th ed. Published by Isaac T. Wopper, New York, 1837.
Box 5
Physical Description

35p, 3 copies

Archival Resource Key. "Memoir of Benjamin Lay", 1842.
Box 5
Physical Description

35p.

Archival Resource Key. "An Excusion Among the Glaciers and the Ascent of Mont Blanc," by a Philadelphian,, 1867.
Box 5
Scope and Contents

"Peter Wright" written across top of title page.

Physical Description

32 p.

Archival Resource Key. Cape May Daily Wave, 8/15/1868.
Box 5
Archival Resource Key. "A New Society called the Self-Examining Society", n.d.
Box 5
Scope and Contents

Tract including Constitution and By-laws of the Society. No names appear on the sheet.

Print, Suggest