Moses Sheppard 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
Moses Sheppard (1775-1857) was a Quaker humanitarian and businessman of Baltimore, Maryland. He was the son of Nathan and Sarah Shoemaker Sheppard, born outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After their property was confiscated during the Revolutionary War, the family settled in Maryland. Moses began work as an errand boy for Quaker merchant, John Mitchell; he eventually went into partnership with him and was also involved in a number of other business ventures. Sheppard never married and devoted most of his life to a number of social reforms, including the treatment of the insane and the colonization movement. As a member of Baltimore Monthly Meeting, he was active in a number of committees, including that of Indian Affairs of Baltimore Yearly Meeting. He was also involved in the Maryland State and American Colonization Societies and believed strongly in colonization as a means of eliminating slavery in the U.S. At his death, his bequest established the Sheppard Asylum.
The collection includes correspondence on the subjects of antislavery and colonization in Liberia, plans for a mental hospital, and on personal affairs. Also includes manuscripts relating to the Maryland State and Pennsylvania Colonization Societies and the Sheppard Asylum, material on the libel trial of William Lloyd Garrison, and other papers. Of particular note is the correspondence of Moses Sheppard with Henry Gassett of Boston on Freemasonry and with Benjamin F. Taylor of Loudon Co., Virginia, on anti-slavery issues and the "spiritual tyranny" of the Catholic Church. Other correspondents include Benjamin Hallowell, John Jackson, Joshua Dungan, Thomas Ellicott, Dr. Nathan Shoemaker, Elisha Tyson, and many others. Collection also includes a list of applicants for Liberia and correspondence from Joshua H. Stewart in Africa and Samuel Ford McGill, a Liberian physician who was sponsored by Sheppard.
The collection is divided into six series:
- Business papers
- Writings by Moses Sheppard
- Social concerns
- Reference material
Donor: Sheppard Asylum, 1958
Donor: Bliss Forbush, 1958-1972
The collection was given by Bliss Forbush, Director of Friends School, Baltimore, and by the Sheppard Asylum.
The following material, originally part of the collection, was removed and integrated into appropriate FHL files.
- The African Repository and Colonial Journal. (Colonial Journal dropped from title after Aug. 1850 issue) Jan. 1848 to March 1853, with gaps).
- The Friends' Weekly Intelligencer. 5/3/1845 to 3/10/1849, with gaps.
- The Liberator, 1/1/1831
- The Pennsylvania Freeman. 3/11/1847, 4/11/1850 to 10/6/1853, with gaps (1851 missing)
- African Americans -- Colonization -- Africa
- Quakers -- Maryland -- Baltimore
- Quakers -- Social life and customs
- Quakers -- Relations with African Americans
- Quaker social reformers
- Quaker philanthropists
- Mental Illness
- 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
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/.
Bound volume containing mss. and newspaper accounts of Moses Sheppard's life, his plans for a mental hospital, and descriptions of the buildings and grounds of the Sheppard Asylum in process of construction. Also, copies of correspondence received by Sheppard from persons seeking charity upon reading of his large bequest to the hospital.Physical Description
See accompanying notes by Bliss Forbush.
With some letters by Dempsey R. Fletcher, 1845-1854Physical Description
re: Catholicism, slavery, etc.Physical Description
2 large bound vols.
Includes letter to Henry Ward Beecher re: old ring sent from Liberia by S.F. McGill for Beecher's sister, Harriet Beecher Stowe (p. 274); also, essays by Moses Sheppard on such subjects as the Laws of Nature, as the basis for Protestant Christianity: misc. articles such as Puritan marriage ceremony; Papal Bull of Leo X conferring on Henry VIII the title of "Defender of the Faith;" allegory of "Gonzalmo;" the miseries of walking in city streets; genealogy of Moses Sheppard.
Includes Savings Bank of Baltimore.
Includes annual report for 1963-1965.Physical Description
Same document included for 1785, 1786, 1790, 1791, 1792.
Same document included for 1827, 1831.
See list in Box 6 for titles of pamphlets filed in RG 5 as well as titles and location of those pamphlets filed elsewhere in FHL.