An Inventory of the Joseph Bancroft Papers, 1858-1890

(4 boxes; 2 linear ft.)

RG 5/007


© Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College.  
Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081-1399 U.S.A.  

Seal of Swarthmore College
Table of contents
Abstract
Joseph Bancroft (1803-1874) was Hicksite Quaker and cloth manufacturer from Wilmington, Delaware, who worked for the reunification of the Society of Friends in the 1860's and 1870's. He wrote a number of religious tracts and published a book, A Persuasive To Unity, which he published in 1874. At his death, Bancroft established a trust fund to secure the free circulation of this book among Quakers. This collection includes materials which relate to Joseph Bancroft's writing and other religious activities, particularly to the efforts regarding the circulation of A Persuasive To Unity before and after his death. His son, William Poole Bancroft, continued to promote its distribution until at least 1890.

Background note:
BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL NOTE Joseph Bancroft (1803-1874) was a Hicksite Quaker who worked for the reunification of the Society of Friends in the 1860's and 1870's. He wrote a number of religious tracts and published a book, A Persuasive To Unity, in 1874. This collection includes materials which relate to his writing and to his other religious activities, particularly to the efforts regarding the distribution of his book before and after his death.

Joseph Bancroft, a birthright Friend, was the son of John and Elizabeth Bancroft. Born in Manchester, England, he attended the Ackworth School, and was apprenticed to his uncle, Jacob Bright, at the age of 14 years. In 1824 he emigrated to Wilmington, Delaware, to join his family which had preceded him and were engaged in the manufacture of cloth.

Joseph Bancroft married Sarah, daughter of William and Sarah Poole in 1829. They had two sons, William Poole (1835-1928) and Samuel Jr. (1840-1915), who became his partners in 1865, forming the firm of Joseph Bancroft & Sons, manufacturers of cotton goods.

During the Separation of 1827-28, Joseph retained membership in the Hicksite branch of the Society of Friends, but devoted most of his efforts in the latter years of his life to effecting a reconciliation and reunion. After 1855 he became increasingly involved in a group of Quakers, “Friends of Truth,” which met at Bethany Mission School House at 15th and Brandywine Streets and elsewhere in Philadelphia, and signed his name as Clerk of “Some Friends Who Met in Philadelphia” after 1865. He also wrote a number of religious tracts, and, in the last months of his life, published a book on this subject, A Persuasive to Unity. Joseph Bancroft left a trust fund to secure the free circulation of this book among members of the Society of Friends after his death. His son, William Poole, continued to promote its distribution until at least 1890.

Scope and content
SCOPE AND CONTENT OF THE RECORDS This collection includes materials which relate to Joseph Bancroft's writing and other religious activities, particularly to the efforts regarding the circulation of A Persuasive To Unity before and after his death. His son, William Poole Bancroft, continued to promote its distribution until at least 1890.

Arrangement
The collection is divided into five series:


Added entries

Subjects
  • Bancroft family
  • Bancroft, Joseph, 1803-1874. A persuasive to unity.
  • Publishers and publishing
  • Quakers - controversy
  • Quakers -- Delaware
Additional Authors and Contributors
  • Bancroft, Joseph, 1803-1874
  • Bancroft, William P. (William Poole), 1835-1928
Credits
Processed by: Finding Aid Prepared by FHL staff
Date: 1956
Restrictions: Use Restrictions Copyright has not been assigned to Friends Historical Library All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in to the Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Friends Historical Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.
Sponsor: Encoding made possible by a grant by the Gladys Kriebel Delmas Foundation to the Philadelphia Consortium of Special Collections Libraries


Inventory

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE RECORDS
Notes
Note to Researchers: To request materials, please note both the location and box numbers shown below:

Ser. 1. Biographical and Genealogical, 1912, n.d.

Biographical and genealogical material
Includes 4 ALsS from Susan M. Bell to “Cousin William” [Bancroft] concerning genealogical and historical matters and a 1912 list of records compiled by William P. Bancroft.
1912, n.d.

Ser. 2. Correspondence, 1868-1887
Records kept before 1874 are written in the hand of Joseph Bancroft; after his death, they were maintained by William P. Bancroft, except where specifically noted.


Letter Books Box 1

Letter books
Includes Journal entries after 1869 concerning correspondence and some Friends matters.
1868-1874 Box 1

Letter books 1876-1879 Box 1

Letter books 1880-1887 Box 1

Correspondence received, 1876-1885
Chronologically arranged.

Correspondence received 1874-1875 Box 1

Correspondence received 1876-1879 Box 2

Correspondence received 1880-1885, n.d. Box 3

Postcards 1879-1883 Box 3

Ser. 3. Financial, 1864-1883
Records kept before 1874 are written in the hand of Joseph Bancroft; after his death, they were maintained by William P. Bancroft, except where specifically noted.


Account Book 1864-1874 Box 4

Inventory of Books and Expenses to the Estate 1874-1883 Box 4

Ser. 4. Subscribers Lists, 1874-1883, n.d.
Records kept before 1874 are in the hand of Joseph Bancroft; after his death, they were maintained by William P. Bancroft, except where specifically noted.


Subscribers list
Includes some Journal entries of Joseph Bancroft
1874 Box 4

List of Subscribers, chronologically arranged by month. 1878 Box 4

List of Subscribers by State 1881 and n.d. Box 4

List of Subscribers, alphabetically arranged 1883 and n.d. Box 4

List of Subscribers, by monthly meeting n.d. Box 4

Memorandum Book n.d. Box 4

Ser. 5. Miscellaneous, 1860-1890

[Joseph Bancroft] “A List, or Index, of Publications put forth by some Friends from the year 1858”
Also includes “List of Books belonging to Rebecca W. Bancroft received from her 10th mo 12th 1868”
Box 4

Publications regarding “Meeting of Some Friends”
Also includes “Friends of Truth,” 1866, n.d.
1865-1874 Box 4

Publicity for “Persuasive to Unity” 1883, 1890 Box 4

Checklist of Religious Correspondence of Joseph Bancroft in the Collections of the Eleutherian Mills Historical Library. 1860-1868 Box 4