Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College

Summary Information

Repository:
Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
Creator:
Janney, Samuel M. (Samuel Mcpherson), 1801-1880
Creator:
Janney, Asa M., 1802-1877
Creator - crp:
Parrish, Dillwyn, 1809-1886
Creator:
Brown, Lydia Neal Janney, 1844-1925
Title:
Asa M. Janney Family Papers
ID:
SFHL.RG5.310
Date [inclusive]:
1831-1950
Physical Description:
.5 Linear Feet (1 legal sized box)
Language of the Material:
English
Mixed Materials [box]:
Box 1
Abstract:
The papers contain correspondence and other papers of Virginia Quaker family of Asa M. Janney. The letters contain family news and Quaker concerns and activities. Of special interest are letters from his older brother, Samuel M. Janney, noted Quaker minister, author and abolitionist. Also included are an account book of Janney's Forest Mills flour mill, 1860-1862; a Swarthmore College student notebook kept by his grandson, Thomas Janney Brown; and a notebook of genealogy and memoirs written by his daughter Lydia Neal Brown which includes a copy of a letter written by her sister Thamsin describing events on the Janney and Brown farms during the Civil War together with other family stories.

Preferred Citation

[Indicate the cited item or series here], Asa M. Janney Family Papers, RG5/310, Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College.

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Biographical / Historical

Asa M. Janney (1802-1877) was the son of Abijah and Jane McPherson Janney of Loudoun and Fairfax Counties, Virginia. He was the younger brother of Samuel M. Janney (1801-1880), noted Quaker minister, educator, abolitionist, and author. Samuel M. Janney lived with his uncle Phineas Janney while attending school in Alexandria and attempted to run a cotton factory in Occoquan. When that failed, he opened the Springdale Boarding School in Loudoun County. Asa Janney traveled with his brother in the ministry, and the brothers shared a concern for the welfare of Native Americans. Asa served an Agent to Santee Sioux tribe in Nebraska, 1870-1871, when his brother was Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Northern Superintendency.

Asa Janney married Lydia Neal Haines (1800-1891) in 1826 and operated a flour mill, Forest Mills, in Loudoun County. They were members of Goose Creek Monthly Meeting where Asa served as an Elder. Asa and Lydia had eight children: Mary Jane, Eliza, Ellen, Abijah, Cosmelia, Thamsin, Hugh, and Lydia Neal. Lydia Neal Janney (1844-1925) attended Earlham College and in 1866 married a Loudoun County neighbor, William Brown, a Quaker who owned property in nearby Circleville. They had three children: Thomas Janney Brown; Samuel who did not marry; and Cosmelia (Cossie) who married Daniel McPherson. The eldest, Thomas Janney Brown (1867-1951), graduated from Swarthmore College in 1888 and married Elsie Palmer. They were members of Goose Creek Monthly Meeting, Va., and had five children: Janet, Boyd Janney, Elsie Palmer, Virginia N., and Thomas McPherson Brown.

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Scope and Contents

The papers contain correspondence and other papers of Virginia Quaker family of Asa M. Janney. The letters contain family news and Quaker concerns and activities. Of special interest are letters from his older brother, Samuel M. Janney, noted Quaker minister, author and abolitionist. Also included are an account book of Janney's Forest Mills flour mill, 1860-1862; a Swarthmore College student notebook kept by his grandson, Thomas Janney Brown; and a notebook of genealogy and memoirs written by his daughter Lydia Neal Brown which includes a copy of a letter written by her sister Thamsin describing events on the Janney and Brown farms during the Civil War together with other family stories.

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Arrangement

Arranged in two series, Correspondence and Family Papers

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Administrative Information

Publication Statement

Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College

500 College Avenue Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081 friends@swarthmore.edu URL: http://www.swarthmore.edu/friends-historical-library.xml

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Lee and Paul Lawrence in honor of Gael McPherson Post, Acc. 2017.039

Processing Information

Sorted into series and described.

Conditions Governing Use

Collection is open for research.

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Related Materials

Related Materials

Samuel M. Janney Papers, RG5/183

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Controlled Access Headings

  • Quakers -- Virginia
  • Quakers -- Virginia -- Loudoun County
  • Quakers -- Virginia -- Diaries
  • Society of Friends -- Hicksite Separation
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Quakers
  • Quakers -- Social life and customs
  • Universities and colleges -- Pennsylvania -- Swarthmore
  • Account books
  • Women -- Diaries
  • Stabler, Edward, 1769-1831
  • Janney family
  • Brown family

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Collection Inventory

Series 1: Correspondence

Arrangement: Arranged chronologically

box Box 1
Title/Description Instances
Phineas Janney, Alexandria, to Dr. John Moore, 1831-02-12

Scope and Contents: Signed autograph letter (ALS) describes the last days and death of Edward Stabler (1769-1831), Quaker minister, and the illness of Stabler's children including 3 year old Caroline who died of measles a month after her father's death.

Edward A. and Samuel M. Janney to Asa M. Janney, 1836-11-13

Scope and Contents: Signed autograph letter (ALS) from Edward to his brother with addendum from Samuel. Mentions that family attended yearly and quarterly meetings, death of their sister Thamsin

Henry Clark, Wilmington, to Asa M. Janney, 1849

Scope and Contents: 3 ALsS, mention cholera and music.

Samuel M. Janney to Asa M. Janney, 1854, 1855

Scope and Contents: 2 ALsS. In 1854 Samuel writes that he is preparing to start a religious visit to New York and Philadelphia Yearly Meetings with John Smith as his companion. Family news and concern about the school. The letter dated 1855-5mo-2 is written on a prospectus for his Springdale Boarding School announcing that George S. Truman and wife will serve as superintendents

Caleb Russell to Asa M. Janney, 1856-02-06

Scope and Contents: ALS describes his removal to Iowa and attempts to establish a meeting, financial difficulties

A. H. Griffith to Asa M. Janney, 1857-01-31

Scope and Contents: Griffith visited the Janneys in Richmond, Va. The letter refers to offense taken regarding an Orthodox-Hicksite religious debate

Samuel M. Janney to Asa M. Janney, 1860

Scope and Contents: ALsS mostly concerning financial - land sales

Dillwyn Parrish, Philadelphia, to Asa M. Janney, 1859-05-29

Scope and Contents: Signed letter refers to controversy in Richmond Meeting, Virginia, and aiding the publication of Samuel M Janney's book

Cossie [Janney], Pawnee Agency, to sister, 1870

Scope and Contents: Letter to "Sister" from Cosmelia, mentions other Indian agents arriving. Also fragments of letters.

Indian Agency to Asa M. Janney, 1872, 1875

Scope and Contents: Cover letters concerning expenses submitted for payment

Miscellaneous correspondence received by Janney family , 1885

Scope and Contents: 2 ALsS, family concerns

William Brown to Thomas Janney Brown, 1912

Scope and Contents: Signed letter (initials) from Thomas Janney Brown's father

Miscellaneous correspondence to the Brown family, 1910-1950

Scope and Contents: Thomas Janney Brown and wife Elsie Palmer Brown and their children, Janet, Boyd, Elsie, Virginia, and Thomas. The Browns were members of Goose Creek Monthly Meeting and later resided in Washington, DC.

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Series 2: Family papers

box Box 1
Title/Description Instances
Deeds- Thomas/Nichols, 1817-1870

Scope and Contents: Property deeds, from Thomas and Emily Nichols and others. The Brown and Nichols properties were linked with the marriage of Thomas Brown and Phebe Nichols in 1835.

Marriage certificate, Brown and Nichols, 1835-11-09

Scope and Contents: Thomas Brown and Phebe Nichols, the care of Goose Creek Monthly Meeting. In fragments. The marriage united the two families, both landowners in Loudoun County.

Application for bankruptcy, Samuel M. Janney, 1842
Estate of Phebe Mills, 1849-1861

Scope and Contents: Asa M. Janney served as executor

Copyright for S. M. Janney's Life of George Fox, 1853

Scope and Contents: "True copy" signed by the Clerk

Draft of power attorney agreement, 1854

Scope and Contents: Power of attorney to Richard H. Stabler of Alexandria

Asa M. Janney account book, 1860-1862

Physical Description: 1 Volumes

Scope and Contents: Forest Mills

Swarthmore College stock receipt, 1866

Scope and Contents: Receipt signed for Asa M. Janney for one share of Swarthmore College stock

Asa M. and Lydia Neal Janney miscellaneous financial, 1867-1881
Asa M. Janney guardianship account, 1874

Scope and Contents: Account of the guardianship for his sisters, Cosmelia, Thamsin, and Lydia Neal Janney concerning the estate of Phineas Janney

Thomas Janney Brown student notebook, 1885

Scope and Contents: Thomas Brown, Swarthmore College Class of 1888, class notes.

Lydia Neal Janney Brown notebook, 1917-1924

Scope and Contents: Notebook containing family genealogy, history, and anecdotes. Includes memoirs of cousin Edward Haines settling in Virginia in 1758, a copy of letter sent to Lydia from her sister Thamsin at home in Loudoun Co., Va., describing a Confederate raid in 1862, and memoirs of the War and family anecdotes. Newspaper article on Circleville published in the Loudoun Times-Mirror in 1976 was largely based on this notebook.

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