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This collection includes letters to Mary G. Otis written by her mother and father, Susanna I. and James H. Otis, and her aunt, Sarah H. Otis. These relate primarily to family and local news. One letter of interest, written by Sarah H. Otis, quotes from Theodore Parker, describes his personal character, and muses on the similarities between Parker and the Quakers.

1 item

Black and white photograph of Mary G. Otis's head and shoulders

The collection contains papers of Mira Sharpless Townsend, a major Quaker social activist and reformer in Philadelphia. Mira Sharpless Townsend (1798-1859) was born in Philadelphia, attended Friends Select School, and in 1828 married Samuel Townsend (1800-1887). He was a member of Philadelphia Monthly Meeting by whom she had six children, only two surviving to adulthood: Emily Sharpless Townsend who married Powell Stackhouse and Clara Gordon Townsend, married William Penn Troth. During the 1840's, Mira Townsend became an active and vocal social activist who wrote and published a variety of poetry and articles which reflected her strong views regarding women, slavery, temperance and capital punishment.

She also was the driving force behind the founding of the Rosine Association. In January 1847, at a meeting of the Society for the Abolition of Capital Punishment, she announced her desire to form a society "to open a house for the reformation, employment and instruction of females, who had led immoral lives." The result was the establishment of the Rosine. Mira Townsend was on the committee of five to create a Constitution and served as a Manager and Treasurer for the organization until her death. Encouraged by the support for the Rosine Association, Mira Townsend, together with others including her sister Eliza Parker, established a Temporary Home, a boarding house for destitute women and children. Townsend traveled to Harrisburg to petition the all-male state legislature for funding which was approved, and her case books record in detail her visits to unfortunate women.

Her extensive collection of correspondence, poetry, and related materials reflect her goals and political and social activism, and the case books offer documention of the lives of the women she sought to help. Her journals, letters, and poetry reflect her devotion to friends and family, especially to her two daughters, and her wide range of interests.

32 items

Photograph of Mira Sharpless Townsend writing at a table

This collection of images of 33 letters written by Mohandas K. Gandhi includes twenty letters written to Reginald Reynolds between 1929 and 1946, six letters to Richard B. Gregg between 1927 and 1953, and single letters to Jane Addams, Horace Alexander, C.Y. Chintamani, John H. Holmes, Hannah C. Hull, Dorothy Newman, and one unknown recipient. An essay about the Gandhi-Reynolds correspondence is available.

33 items

Handwritten letter from Mohandas Gandhi discussing the use of one of his speeches

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.

5 items

Handwritten card from Moses Sheppard to Thomas Ellicott, discussing "Leading Social and Political topics"

Lucretia Mott was a prominent Philadelphia Quaker minister and a leader in reform movements, especially antislavery, education, peace, and women's rights. The bulk of the collection consists of material which was assembled at the time of the publication of Life and Letters by Anna Davis Hallowell in 1884. It includes original correspondence of Lucretia Mott and her husband, James M. Mott, with family and other reformers of their day. It also contains sermons, essays, and antislavery documents, and the diary of Lucretia Mott's trip to England to attend the World's Antislavery Convention of 1840.

734 items

Black and white photograph portrait of Lucretia Mott wearing a bonnet

Quaker records document extensive interaction between members of the Society of Friends and Native Americans. This collection includes journals, correspondence, committee minutes, and other miscellaneous original documents dated from 1791 until 1815.

39 items

Photograph of several graduates from the Carlisle Indian School dressed in a formal European style


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