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Frost family 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

Gideon Frost (1798-1880) was a prominent Long Island Quaker and founder of Friends Academy in Locust Valley. He was born January 11, 1798, in Glen Cove, Nassau County, New York, the son of Caleb and Sarah (Halstead) Frost. He married Mary U. Willets in 1823 under the care of Westbury Monthly Meeting. Mary was the daughter of William and Letitia Willets. Her brother, Jacob Willets settled in Indianapolis and was an active abolitionist. After the death of Letitia, William married second to Amy Bedell, and they had four children including Hannah Willets (1808-1877) who married Milton Arnold. They were members of Scipio Monthly Meeting, and subsequently moved to Sacramento, California. Gideon and Mary had one child, Leonard Frost (1824-1870). He married Lizzie J. Malone and died of tuberculosis at the home of his uncle, Milton Arnold. Mary W. Frost died December 15, 1847, and Gideon Frost died in Matinecock, New York, on February 25, 1880.

The collection contains correspondence between members of the Gideon and Mary W. (Willets) Frost family, Hicksite Quakers of Westbury, Long Island, New York. Gideon Frost was a merchant, philanthropist, and founder of Friends Academy at Locust Valley. Members of the extended family were active in Quaker concerns, especially education and abolition. The letters mention prominent Friends, family and anti-slavery concerns.

Arranged chronologically.

Gift of Christopher Densmore, 2015, and FIC 2023.

Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
Finding Aid Author
Susanna Morikawa
Finding Aid Date
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

Hannah Arnold, Skaneateles, New York, to Mary W. Frost, New Jersey, 1831-05-19.
Scope and Contents

Family concerns, comments regarding Scipio Monthly Meeting. Hannah (b. 1808) was Mary's younger sister, daughter of William and his second wife, Amy Bedell.

M.W. [Mary W.] Frost to Gideon Frost , 1838-06-14.
Scope and Contents

Her letter to her husband describes her journey Upstate New York to Farmington, then Rochester, and attending Quaker meetings. Also a photocopy of a drat typed transcription.

Leonard Frost and Mary W. Frost, Cedar Swamp, Nassau County, to Gideon Frost, Tecumseh, Michigan , 1843-06-04.
Scope and Contents

In his section of the joint letter, Leonard reported that hemissed the Yearly Meeting where George Truman (his favorite) visited. Mary Frost gave an account of attending the Yearly Meeting.

Elizabeth H. Prior, Ledyard, Cayuga County, New York, to Mary Frost, Glen Cove, Long Island., 1843-04-21.
Scope and Contents

Elizabeth, a sister of Gideon Frost, and her husband John were members of Scipio Monthly Meeting. Her letter notes that Jacob and Stephen Willets stayed with them and expressed strong views on slavery. She mentioned Hannah and Milton [Arnold] and prominent Friends including Lucretia Mott and Job Scott. Milton Clark, a freedom seeker, attended Quaker meeting and then told his story to an assembled audience.

Leonard Frost and Mary W. Frost, Cedar Swamp, to Gideon Frost, Mansfield, Ohio , 1843-06-15.
Scope and Contents

The two correspondents report farm and business concerns, and Mary noted that Samuel Thorn preached at meeting.

[C.A.L.?], Brooklyn, New York, to Mary W. Frost, Glen Cove, Long Island, 1845-02-28.
Scope and Contents

Discusses the life of meeting, local Quakers (including the Seaman family), and the writings of Felicia Hemans,

Amy Willets, Skaneateles, New York, to Mary W. Frost, Cedar Swamp, Long Island, 1847-02-01.
Scope and Contents

Recounts the health issues of friends and family, a fire in the village, and mentions the visits of some recent traveling ministers.

[Gideon Frost] to brother [Milton Arnold] , 1871-01-09.
Scope and Contents

Gideon's letter gave instructions for shipping his son's body from Sacramento, California, to be interred at the Quaker cemetery in Matinecock. Leonard died in California where he had gone to try to restore his health.

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