BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL NOTE
William B. Webb was a druggist and member of Philadelphia Monthly Meeting of Friends (Hicksite). He married Rebecca Turner
in 1853. Their youngest daughter, Rebecca St. Claire Webb, married Jessie Herman Holmes in 1892.
Jesse Herman Holmes was born 1864 1mo 5 in Iowa, the son of Jesse and Sara Morgan Paxson Holmes. He attended Nebraska State
University and John Hopkins University, where he received a Ph.D. in chemistry. He married Rebecca S. Webb, daughter of William
B. and Rebecca [Turner] Webb in 1892. Holmes taught at Sidwell Friends School in Washington D.C. and then George School in
Bucks County, PA until 1899, when he set sail for Oxford to prepare to teach philosophy at Swarthmore College. He continued
to teach at the College until 1937. He was an active participant in AFSC relief after World War I, travelling to oversee work
in reconstruction throughout Europe. Correspondence from Europe in 1920, included in this collection, detail the organizational
hurdles that he encountered. Holmes was the president of the National Federation of Religious Liberals and an active member
of the Socialist party.
Jesse and Rebecca had three children, Elizabeth Webb, Robert Sinclair, and Jesse Herman Holmes Jr. [III]. Elizabeth died at
16 of complications from diabetes. The family lived in Swarthmore and were members of Swarthmore Monthly Meeting.
SCOPE AND CONTENT OF THE RECORDS
Holmes-Webb Family Papers includes the correspondence and writings of Jesse Herman Holmes, a prominent Quaker and professor
of philosophy and religion at Swarthmore College. It also contains family materials and genealogical data from his wife's
[Rebecca Webb] family.
The Holmes-Webb Family Papers also contain correspondence between Rebecca Turner and William B. Webb before their marriage
in 1852 and between members of the Webb family, mostly between Rebecca T. Webb and her sisters. It also includes correspondence
between Rebecca W. Holmes and Jesse during his trips overseas (Oxford, the Middle East, Eastern Europe) and letters from Rebecca
to her sisters. Several letters from a correspondent in India tell of the early Indian self-determination movement (1930 and
1934) and give a first hand opinion of Mahatma Gandhi's work there.
Three travel journals in the collection include anecdotes about Heidelburg (1898), Scotland (1913), and travel by ocean to
Oxford (1899). The rough notes of several talks, poetry, and writings of Holmes speak of the lands he traveled to, but often
his longing to be at Swarthmore and the Crum Creek.
Holmes-Webb Family Papers includes personal memorabilia and financial materials as well.
The collection is divided into seven series:
Biographical and genealogical
Journals and writings
Financial and legal
American Friends Service Committee
Europe -- International relief
Gandhi, Mahatma, 1869-1948
India -- History -- British occupation, 1765-1947
International relief -- Europe
National Federation of Religious Liberals (U.S.)
Quakers -- Diaries -- 20th century
Quakers -- Pennsylvania--Swarthmore
Quakers -- Social service
Quakers-- Social life and customs
Society of Friends -- Relief work
St. Clair family
Travel -- Diaries -- Europe
Additional Authors and Contributors
Holmes, Jesse Herman, 1864-
Holmes, Rebecca W. (Rebecca Webb), 1868-1957
Sharma, Shirpad Rama, 1879-
Webb, Rebecca T. (Rebecca Turner), 1825-1900.
Webb, William B. (William Barber), 1824-1894
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