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Aaron M. (Aaron Macy) Powell 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

Aaron M. (Aaron Macy) Powell, (1832-1899) was a Quaker social reformer, active in the Anti-Slavery Society.

Aaron M. Powell was born March 26, 1832, in Clinton, New York, the son of Townsend and Catherine Macy Powell. He was a birthright Quaker and the older brother of Elizabeth Macy Powell, who became the first Dean of Women of Swarthmore College. When he was thirteen, the family moved to Macy homestead in Ghent, New York, and Powell as a young man became active in the anti-slavery movement. He was an editor of the National Temperance Advocate and the National Anti-Slavery Stand and a founder of the American Purity Alliance. He married Anna Rice in 1866, and they had one child who died at the sage of four. Powell was a member of Plainfield and Rahway Monthly Meeting (N.J.) at the time of his death on May 13, 1899. His widow died March 27, 1915.

The collection, which was removed from the papers of Powell's sister, Elizabeth Powell Bond, contains personal correspondence, much of it letters of condolence following the death (1867) of Powell's only child, Elizabeth; biographical materials and tributes; and manuscripts of his biographies of George Fox and Wendell Phillips.

The collection is divided into four series:

  1. Biographical
  2. Correspondence
  3. Manuscripts
  4. Albums

Donor: Estate of Elizabeth Powell Bond and Hannah Clothier Hull, 1935(?)-1958 (?)

The papers which became the nucleus of the Elizabeth Powell Bond Papers (RG 5/014) were found in Dean Bond's furniture after her death in 1926, date unknown. The papers concerning her brother, Aaron M. Powell, were removed from those papers and established as a separate collection probably before 1958.

Papers which became the nucleus of the Elizabeth Powell Bond Papers (RG 5/014) were found in Dean Bond's furniture after her death, date unknown, and were processed prior to 1958. Papers relating to her brother, Aaron Macy Powell, were made into a separate collection at that time.

Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
Finding Aid Author
FHL staff
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

Collection Inventory

Includes sketch of life, memorials.
Box 1

Includes letters from Emerson, Wendell Phillips, signatures of Lucy Stone, Lydia Maria Child, and others., 1865-1882.
Box 1

By Aaron M. Powell on George Fox and Wendell Phillips.
Box 1

Album presented to Anna Rice Powell by her husband, 1872.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Contains brief quotations from well-known authors

Anna Rice Powell album, 1858-1915.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Contains printed family obituaries and letters of condolences on the death of the Powells' daughter in 1867.

Print, Suggest