An Inventory of the Branson-Jackson Family Papers, 1794-1962

(8 boxes; 4 linear ft.)

RG 5/016

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

Seal of Swarthmore College
Table of contents
Anna M. Jackson and her daughter, Anna M. (Jackson Branson) Theiss, were Quaker activists in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Anna M. Jackson was very involved in reform activities in New York City. She served as Chairman of the Women's Prison Reform Committee, and was also involved in the Women's Municipal League and the Political Study Club. Her daughter, Anna Morris Jackson, attended Swarthmore College for two years, and in 1909 earned a B.S. in Education from Columbia University. Anna was involved in Green Street Monthly Meeting, Friends General Conference, and helped to organize the Inter-Racial Committee of Philadelphia. The collection contains correspondence, journals, and memorabilia. It also includes related materials of the Davis, Price, Jackson, and Fox families, as well as some correspondence. There are significant materials relating to prison reform, women's suffrage, peace, and equal rights for African-Americans in New York City in the late 19th century, Quaker activities throughout the period, the Schofield Normal and Industrial School in the late 19th century, and Swarthmore College in the 1890's and the 1930's.

Background note:

Anna Margaret “Nan” Davis

Anna Margaret “Nan” Davis was the daughter of David H. Davis, a New York textile merchant, and Susan (Price) Davis. Her father's sister, Elizabeth Ann, married the architect, William Eyre, and her mother's father, Ichabod Price, was a prominent New York City hatter. Anna M. Davis was born on May 15, 1848, in Greenwich Village and graduated from New York Friends Seminary in 1864. In 1869, she married William Morris Jackson, who had been a teacher at that school, and they moved to Richmond, Indiana, where Jackson was appointed Principal of Friends Academy. Seven years later they returned to New York City when William Jackson decided to leave teaching as a career and joined his bother, Edwin Atlee Jackson, in partnership in the family business of manufacturing fireplace accessories.

Anna Margaret Jackson was deeply involved in reform activities in New York City. She served as Chairman of the Women's Prison Reform Committee and was involved with the Woman's Municipal League of the City of New York. She was on the Boards of the Colored Orphan Asylum in New York City and of the Schofield Normal and Industrial School from before 1902 until her death in 1920. Both she and her husband served as Delegates to the Parliament of Religions held in Chicago in 1893 and to the World's Peace Conference held in Cleveland. She was a Charter member of the Political Study Club of New York. She became involved in the Young Friends Aid Association after her sister's death, was active in the Friends Temperance Union, and was on the Peace Committee of New York Yearly Meeting. She attended the First Day School General Conference in Yarmouth, Ontario, in 1888, and from that time until her death continued to attend and work toward development and improvement of what became the Friends General Conferences.

The bulk of her correspondence in this collection involves prison reform for women and includes letters from other prominent female reformers as well as prison and municipal officials.

William M. Jackson

William M. Jackson (1937-1919) was the son of James M. and Mary Ann (King) Jackson of Philadelphia and later of Richland, Pennsylvania. He served on the Board of Managers of Swarthmore College from 1887 until his death in 1906 and on the Board of Schofield Normal and Industrial School from 1887 or 1888 until after 1892. He was also a member of the Board of Trustees of Friends Seminary in New York.

Anna Morris Jackson Branson Theiss

Anna Morris Jackson, nicknamed “Pansy,” was born in New York City on Dec. 27, 1881, the youngest child of William Morris and Anna Margaret Jackson. Although she was not a birthright Quaker because her mother did not join Friends until 1890, her name was entered into the rolls of New York Monthly Meeting soon after her birth in 1882. She attended Friends Seminary, the Chappaqua Mountain Institute, and then Swarthmore College for two years. At the latter she was a member of Pi Beta Phi, the Joseph Leidy Scientific Society, and the Somerville Literary Society, but left in 1902 after a nervous breakdown. In 1909, she earned a B.S. in Education from Columbia University. After graduation she went on to establish a domestic science Department in the Mt. Vernon, New York, public schools and taught at Butler High School in New Jersey.

Anna Morris Jackson married Charles Fox Branson, the son of Lindley M. Branson and Anna Miller (Fox) of Cadiz, Ohio, at the Friends Meeting house in New York City on 4mo 30 1910. Their daughter, Anna Florence, was born in Pittsburgh in 1913, and son, Charles F. Jr., in Cleveland in 1916; the latter died within a month of his birth. The Bransons remained in Ohio and Western Pennsylvania until the early 1920's; in 1922, Anna M. Branson was received on certificate from New York Monthly Meeting (she never transferred her membership to Ohio) by Green Street Monthly Meeting in Philadelphia, and her husband was received by Green Street from Short Creek Monthly Meeting in 1924. She attended Summer School at Pendle Hill in 1935. Some time in the 1930's, Charles F. Branson moved to California where he died in 1945. The couple was divorced in 1939, and she remarried Dr. Lewis E. Theiss, head of the Department of Journalism at Bucknell University, on June 9, 1939. She transferred her membership from Green Street to Millville Monthly Meeting in 1944.

Anna Branson Theiss helped to organize the Inter-Racial Committee of Philadelphia and chaired it for three years. This bi-racial group included Leslie Pinckney Hill, Hannah Clothier Hull, and other religious, educational, and civic leaders; its stated purpose was to establish “contacts and [to] educat[e] each race in the viewpoint of the other.” At this time, Anna was Chairman of the Division of Work Among Colored People for Friends General Conference (1922). Her activities within the Society of Friends were extensive. In 1920, she attended the first All Friends Conference in London. She served as Chairman of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Committee on the Interests of the Colored Race (1925-29) and was the first Chairman of the Intervisitation Committee of the Fellowship Council of AFSC (1936-39?), working to accommodate visitors at the Second World Conference at Swarthmore and Haverford Colleges in 1937. She also was Chairman of the Epistle Committee for several years and Assistant Clerk of Ministry and Counsel of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. On a local level, Anna was the Clerk of Ministry and Council for Green Street Monthly Meeting from 1925-28, and also worked as Secretary of the Monthly Meeting until her resignation in 1939. She served on the Executive Board of the Friends Historical Society when Francis Taylor was President and was a Trustee of Schofield Normal and Industrial School for several years.

She remained deeply interested in the spiritual approach to life, and many of her writings reflect this concern. She was a contributor to the Friends Intelligencer and served as one of its editors. In her early married life she lectured on domestic science subjects for the State of Ohio, and after moving to Germantown gave talks to Quaker groups and Women's clubs.

She was President of the Alpha province of Pi Beta Phi, and later served as Vice President of the general fraternity as well as treasurer of its settlement school fund. She was corresponding secretary of the New Century Club of Philadelphia, served on the board of the local YWCA, was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and was one of the founders of the Lewisburg Chapter of the Daughters of American Colonists. She was also active in the affairs of the Lewisburg Civic Club.

Anna Florence Branson Boardman

Charles F. and Anna Branson's only daughter, Anna Florence, graduated from Friends Central School in 1931 and attended Swarthmore College from 1931-1935. She graduated with an A.B. in June 1935, and married classmate, Myron Lewis Boardman in 1936 at Green Street Monthly Meeting in Germantown. They had two children, Thomas and Jean. Myron worked for Prentice-Hall as an Editor. Anna Florence and her husband spent the last years of their lives working for the Institute for Christian Living in Pawling, New York, and were members of Housatonic (Connecticut) Meeting.

Scope and content
SCOPE AND CONTENT OF THE RECORDS This collection consists primarily of the correspondence, journals, and memorabilia of Anna Margaret (Davis) Jackson (1848-1920) and her daughter, Anna Morris (Jackson) Branson Theiss (1881-1960), Quaker activists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It also includes related materials of the Davis, Price, Jackson, and Fox families as well as some correspondence of William M. Jackson and memorabilia of Anna Florence (Branson) Boardman, and Myron Lewis Boardman. There are significant materials relating to prison reform, women's suffrage, peace, and equal rights for black Americans in New York City in the late 19th century, Quaker activities throughout the period, the Schofield Normal and Industrial School in the late 19th century, and Swarthmore College in the 1890's and 1930's. Correspondents include Mrs. Sarah J. Bird, Samuel J. Barrows, Kate Bond, Joel Bean, Elizabeth Powell Bond, William W. Birdsall, Cornelia Bowen, George Gordon Bennett, Harriet Stanton Blaton, Antoinette Blackwell, Ellen Collins, Susan J. Cunningham, Isaac Clothier, Anna J. Cooper, Grace H. Dodge, W.E.B. DuBois, Phebe A. Hanaford, Cornelia Hancock, Josephine Shaw Lowell, Jacob A. Riis, Belle deRivera, Theodore Roosevelt (as New York Police Commissioner and President), Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Margaret Schofield, Fanny G. Villard, Stephen Samuel Wise, Booker T. Washington, Rosalie Loew Whitney, and Alice L. Woodbridge.

Arrangement The collection is divided into four series:

Added entries

  • Branson family
  • Charities -- New York (N. Y.)
  • Prison reformers
  • Quaker women
  • Quakers -- New York (N. Y.)
  • Schofield Normal and Industrial School (Aiken, S. C.)
  • Social reformers
  • Woman's Municipal League (New York, N. Y.)
  • Women and Peace
  • Women, Quaker
Additional Authors and Contributors
  • Barrows, Samuel J. (Samuel June), 1845-1909
  • Bean, Joel, 1825-1914
  • Blackwell, Antoinette Louisa Brown, 1825-1921
  • Blatch, Harriot Stanton, 1856-1940
  • Boardman, Anna Florence, 1913-1978
  • Collins, Ellen, 1828-1927
  • Cooper, Anna J. (Anna Julia), 1858-1964
  • de Rivera, Belle, 1848-1943
  • Dodge, Grace H. (Grace Hoadley), 1856-1914
  • Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963
  • Hanaford, Phebe A. (Phebe Ann), 1829-1921
  • Hancock, Cornelia, 1840-1927
  • Jackson, Anna M. (Anna Margaret), 1848-1920
  • Jackson, William M. (William Morris), 1837-1919
  • Riis, Jacob A. (Jacob August), 1849-1914
  • Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919
  • Stanton, Elizabeth Cady, 1815-1902
  • Swarthmore College
  • Theiss, Anna J. (Anna Jackson), 1881-1960
  • Villard, Fanny Garrison, 1844-1928
  • Washington, Booker T., 1856-1915
  • Wise, Stephen Samuel, 1874-1949
Processed by: Finding Aid Prepared by FHL staff
Date: 1990
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


Note to Researchers: To request materials, please note both the location and box numbers shown below:

Ser. 1. Genealogical and Biographical Materials, 1903-1910, n.d.

Genealogical Notes
Contains material on the Cooper, Miller, Day, Branson, Balderston, and Fox families. See also: Oversize. Chart of Fox family.
1903-1910 & n.d. Box 1

Ser. 2. Anna Margaret (Davis) Jackson, 1848-1920

Correspondence, 1839-1919

Anna M. Jackson correspondence, 1978-1919

Sent, General 1878 Box 1

Received, General
Alphabetically arranged. Primarily correspondence regarding reform activities in New York City. Includes letters from John Ashworth, Mrs. Sarah J. Bird, Samuel J. Barrows, Kate Bond, Joel Bean, Elizabeth Powell Bond, William W. Birdsall, Cornelia Bowen, George Gorden Bennett, Antoinette Blackwell, Harriet Stanton Blaton, Aaron Chadwick, Ellen Collins, Susan J. Cunningham, Isaac Clothier, Carrie Chapman Catt, Anna J. Cooper, Belle de Rivera, W.E.B. DuBois, Grace H. Dodge, David Ferris, Charles P. Fagnani, William Foulke, Clark B. Firestone, Helen Hoy Greeley, Elizabeth B. Grannis, Phebe Hanaford, Cornelia Hancock, S.B. Hambleton, Thomas A. Jenkins, Robert M. Janney, Josephine Shaw Lowell, Maud Nathan, Mary W. Plummer, Jacob A. Riis, Theodore Roosevelt, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Martha Schofield, Anna Garlin Spencer, Fanny G. Willard, Armayis P. Vartooguian, Stephen Samuel Wise, Booker T. Washington, Rosalie Loew Whitney, Alice L. Woodbridge, and police and New York government officials. Also includes some correspondence between third parties which AMJ had in her possession.
1891-1919 Box 1

Libbie Lefetra, sent 1865 Box 2

William Morris Jackson correspondence, 1867-1918

Sent, 1869-1915: Box 2

General 1869 & n.d. Box 2

To Anna M. Jackson (daughter) 1900-1915 Box 2

To Sarah F. Green (sister) 1867-1882 Box 2

To James M. & Mary Ann Jackson (parents) 1865-1877 Box 2

To Florence L. Jackson (daughter) 1867 & n.d. Box 2

To Anna M Jackson (wife) 1869-96 & n.d. Box 2

To family members
Written while on Caribbean cruise with Florence.
1900 Box 2

Received, 1867-1918:

General 1867-1919 Box 2

From Arthur Reeves (Jerusalem) 1872 Box 2

From William & Lida Hutchinson 1918 & n.d. Box 2

William Walter Jackson, received 1900-1914 Box 2

William & Elizabeth Ann Eyre, sent 1864-72 Box 2

A.R. Eyre, sent 1876-93 Box 2

David H. Davis, 1843-1866

Sent, 1843-1864

To Susan M. Davis (wife) 1843-59 Box 2

To Anna M. Jackson (daughter) 1854-64 Box 2

General 1859 Box 2

Received, 1847-1866

From Johanna H. Davis 1847-49 Box 2

General 1850-66 Box 2

Susan M. Davis, 1839-1976

Sent, 1864-1876

To Susan Price (mother) 1869 & n.d. Box 2

To David H. Davis (husband) 1866 Box 2

General 1864-76 Box 2

Received 1839-70 Box 2

Ichabod Price, sent to Susan M. Davis (daughter) 1858 Box 2

Mary E. Davis, received & sent 1866-78 Box 2

Mary Ann Jackson, received and sent 1877, 1887, n.d. Box 2

Unidentified 1889 Box 2

Journals and Other Writings, 1841-1920, n.d.

Anna M. Jackson, 1894-1920

Minutes, Prison Reform Committee, New York Monthly Meeting
Probably personal record of AMJ. Includes miscellaneous reports, 1894-99 and AMJ notes on correspondence, 1900-03.
1894-1900 (2 vols.) Box 2

Daily Calendars 1918-1920 (3 vols.) Box 2

“The Race Problem in the United States,” Friends Conference, Toronto 1904 Box 2

Wm. M. Jackson, 1894-1919, n.d.

Daily Calendars 1917-19 (3 vols.) Box 3

Autobiographical notes n.d. Box 3

"Whittier's Religious Character" n.d. (ms) Box 3

“The Light Universal,” Young-Friends Review 3mo 1 1894 Box 3

"Should Quakerism Be taught in Our First Day Schools?” n.d. (offprint) Box 3

"Duties of the Society of Friends” n.d. (offprint) Box 3

"The Present activity of the Religious World in the Direction of Liberal Thought and the Relation of the Society of Friends thereto” n.d. (ms) Box 3

“The Higher Criticism and the Relation of its Results to Quakerism” n.d. (typescript and mss.) Box 3

"The Relation of Spiritual Culture and Devotion to Moral Progress,” n.d. (typescript) Box 3

"Character Building” n.d. (typescript) Box 3

Susan M. Davis, Poetry & essays
Includes original work and copies.
1841-44 (mss.)

Unidentified Box 3

Poetry 1858-66 & n.d. Box 3

Biblical research n.d. Box 3

Business and Property, 1794-1879

Jackson Family, 1823-1871

Agreement between Peter Jackson and James M. Jackson to carry on a grate and fender business in Philadelphia Box 3

Receipt for Farm Work 1871 Box 3

Davis Family, 1865-1879 Box 3

Receipts for Anna M. Davis schooling 1857 Box 3

Receipts for Mary E. Davis 1865-1879 Box 3

Income for David H. Davis 1865, 1866 Box 3

Receipt, S. Price 1870 Box 3

Green Family, 1794-1849

Business correspondence, bills, and authorization as Postmaster 1823-49 Box 3

William Green, Administration of Joseph Minchinger's Estate 1794-1839 Box 3

Memorabilia, 1809-1915

Wm. M. and Anna M. Jackson, 1847-1912, n.d.

General Memorabilia
Includes clippings, school catalogues, brochures and handouts, etc
1847-1912 & n.d. Box 3

Embroidery, Anna M. Davis 1857, n.d. Box 3

Price Family, 19th c.

Scrapbook of mounted clippings of poetry and prose
Includes documents relating to the military service of Ichabod Price 1809-1915
19th c. Box 3

Unidentified memorabilia 1847-1865, n.d. Box 3

See also: Oversize. Price Family silhouettes, diploma (1864), marriage certificates (1827, 1844).
Box 3

Ser. 3. Anna Morris (Jackson) Branson Theiss (1881-1960); 1844-1960

Correspondence, Anna Morris Theiss, 1887-1958

Sent, 1909-1944

To Family 1925-44 Box 4

To Charles Branson 1909 Box 4

Received, 1887-1958

From Lewis Theiss 1944 & n.d. Box 4

From Martha Schofield 1887 Box 4

General 1909-1958 Box 4

Journals and Other Writings, 1912-1950, n.d.
See also series 5.

Anna J. Branson Theiss

Appointment Diary 1912 Box 4

Lectures and Speeches
Includes notes and announcements
1912-43, n.d. Box 4

Published articles 1922-26, n.d. Box 4

“Domestic Science" ca. 1912 Box 4

“Henry Adams" n.d. Box 4

“Have You a Friend Going Abroad" ca. 1933 Box 4

[I am Glad...] 1916 Box 4

[Anything Worth Anything...] n.d. Box 4

Miscellaneous Notes, mostly on religious topics n.d. (6 notebooks) Box 4

Note Cards n.d. Box 5

Poetry n.d. Box 5

Lewis E. Theiss. Ms. speeches and articles 1950, n.d. Box 5

Business and Property, 1844-1959

Fox Family
Miscellaneous property agreements and papers concerning Josiah and Charles J. Fox of Harrison County, Ohio
1838-75. Box 5

Estates of Emma Green, Ella L. Burdge, and Lucretia Dunn 1913-1956 Box 5

Philadelphia Properties 1930-36 Box 5

30 Beekman Street, NYC (Jackson Estate) 1921-31 Box 5

Cadiz Mining Company/Ohio-Pennsylvania Properties 1844-1930 Box 5

Miscellaneous Financial Papers 1914-1959 Box 5

Scrapbooks, 1902-1959 Box 5

Includes Phi Beta Phi, Somerville Day and other Swarthmore College memorabilia, Columbia University, Friends Summer School (at SC), correspondence concerning teaching at Mt. Vernon, as well as dance cards, playbills, receipts, and photographs. Note: typewritten instructions for speakers (suffrage).
1902-1909 Box 6

Includes playbills, Phi Beta Phi, Somerville, lectures on Domestic Science for Farmers Institutes and other groups in Ohio, a small account book, and other ephemera.
1910-1919 Box 6

Includes memorabilia and correspondence of the Fellowship Council, Committee on the Interests of the Colored Race (1925), Ministry & Council, New Century Club, Friends Sesqui-Centennial Commission, Inter-Racial Committee of the City of Philadelphia as well as original mss poetry, clippings of published articles, and photographs.
1920-1929 Box 6

Includes material on Green Street Monthly Meeting, many lectures, peace rallies, Friends World Conference, European trip, Fellowship Council, notice of divorce, and re-marriage.
1930-1939 Box 7

Includes information on Bucknell NAACP, Fellowship Council, lectures, and Lewisburg clubs
1940-1949 Box 7

Includes clippings on other memorabilia of Lewisburg clubs.
1950-1959 Box 7

Other Memorabilia, 1898-1960, n.d. Box 7

“My Wedding Presents" 1910 (notebook) Box 7

Notes on European Trip 1931 (notebook) Box 7

Swarthmore College 1898-57 Box 8

New Century Club 1910-29 Box 8

Quaker Activities 1938-49, n.d. Box 8

Genealogical Memorabilia 1898 Box 8

Miscellaneous Memorabilia 1910-60, n.d. Box 8

See also: Oversize. Branson-Fox family (reunion), FGC (1925).
1895-1936, n.d. Box 8

Ser. 4. Anna Florence (Branson) Boardman (1913-1978); 1924-1962

Correspondence, 1926-47

Received by Myron Boardman 1935-47 Box 8

Received by Anna F. Boardman 1926-35, n.d. Box 8

Memorabilia, 1924-62

Friends Central School 1928-35 Box 8

Swarthmore College Includes correspondence, bills, student papers, and ephemera 1931-38. Box 8

Anna F. Boardman 1931-38, n.d. Box 8

Myron L. Boardman 1931-35 Box 8

See also: Oversize. Diplomas (1931 (2), 1935 (2), certificates (1952).
1924-1962 Box 8