Eugene Vickers Civil War correspondence
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
Eugene Vickers (1841-1924) was the son of Joseph (1811-1864) and Elizabeth (Painter) Vickers (1813-1863). His parents, both Quakers, married contrary to Discipline but acknowledged and were restored to the membership of Bradford Monthly Meeting. They removed to Short Creek Monthly Meeting, Ohio, in 1840 with their children Jonathan (1838-1883) and Joseph P. (1840-1885). Eugene and his younger sister, Lydia Ann ("Annie") (1845-1936) were born in Ohio. The family had deep Pennsylvania Quaker roots on both sides of the family, and Joseph's father was an agent on the Underground Railroad.
The family returned to Chester County, Pennsylvania in 1854. Eugene served in Company C of the 97th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers during the Civil War and was stationed variously at Washington, Fortress Monroe in Virginia, Port Royal in South Carolina, and other coastal locations. After the War, Eugene married Mary Davis, and they lived in Philadelphia.
During his War service, he received letters from his parents and other relations. His brothers also served in the military. Jonathan spent part of the war as a seaman and part helping his father who participated as a sutler in Pennsylvania. Three letters from Dr. Joseph Paxson Vickers who served as an Assistant Surgeon in the 50th Regiment of Infantry Volunteers of the 9th Army Corps, are written from camps in Virginia.
This small collection of Civil War correspondence consists of letters of a Hicksite Quaker family of West Chester, Pennsylvania, received by Eugene Vickers while he was serving with Company C of the 97th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers in the coastal South. Most of the letters are from his mother, Elizabeth (Painter) Vickers, expressing anxiety about the dangers facing her family. A few are from his brothers, Jonathan and Joseph P. Vickers, who also served the Union cause, and his father, Joseph Vickers, a sutler for a Pennsylvania regiment. The material is particularly interesting for the insight into Quaker attitudes during the Civil War.
Arranged chronologically in two folders.
Purchased from Fred Shihadeh, 1985
- Vickers family
- Society of Friends -- Military service
- Quakers -- Pennsylvania
- Quakers -- Pennsylvania -- Chester County
- Quakers -- United States -- Civil War, 1861–1865
- Quakers -- Correspondence
- Society of Friends -- History -- 19th century
- Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
- Finding Aid Author
- Susanna Morikawa
- Finding Aid Date
19 ALsS. Most are from his mother. Elizabeth P. Vickers, with her comments on the war and family news, expressing despair that the war has lasted longer than expected. Her letter of May 12 notes the local celebration at the sinking of the Merrimac.Physical Description
18 ALsS. ALS from his father dated 1 mo 12, 1863, celebrates the Emancipation Proclamation and expresses his support of formerly enslaved people forming regiments. Another letter refers to his giving begrudging consent to Eugene and the other sons' sense of duty to serve the Nation. Another letter answers Eugene's question about how their monthly meeting handles young men's participation in the War, contrary to the Peace Testimony. He writes that the Hicksites are not disowning. Elizabeth Vickers died in September, and in December Annie wrote that their father is very ill. He died Feb. 4, 1864. Also included are letters from a cousin Lydia M. Ward of Marlborough Township, Chester Co., Pennsylvania.Physical Description