An Inventory of the Holmes-Webb Family Papers, 1839-1972

(3 boxes; 1.5 linear ft.)

RG 5/065


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

Seal of Swarthmore College
Table of contents
Abstract
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. Holmes was a prominent Quaker, taught philosophy and religion at Swarthmore College, and was active in AFSC relief in Europe after World War I. He also served as President of the National Federation of Religious Liberals and was an active member of the Socialist Party. The collection includes correspondence of the Webb and Holmes families, journals of Jesse Herman and Rebecca W. Holmes, and other miscellaneous materials. Of particular interest is the correspondence between the Holmes during his trip overseas and several letters from S. R. Sharma concerning the early Indian self-determination movement and the work of Mahatma Gandhi from 1930 to 1934.

Background note:
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
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.

Arrangement
Arrangement The collection is divided into seven series:


Added entries

Subjects
  • American Friends Service Committee
  • Europe -- International relief
  • Gandhi, Mahatma, 1869-1948
  • Holmes family
  • 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
  • Swarthmore (Pa.)--Quakers
  • Swarthmore College
  • Travel -- Diaries -- Europe
  • Turner family
  • Webb family
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
Credits
Processed by: Finding Aid Prepared by FHL staff
Date: 1989
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 materials, 1891-1896
By Rebecca T. Webb and others.


General correspondence concerning genealogy 1894-1895 Box 1

Correspondence with Charles St. Clair, concerning genealogy 1891-1896 Box 1

Ser. 2. Correspondence, 1839-1973, n.d.

Webb family 1839-1886 and n.d. Box 1

Rebecca Turner to William B. Webb 1852 and n.d. Box 1

William B. Webb to Rebecca Turner 1852 and n.d. Box 1

William B. Webb to Rebecca Turner Webb 1881-1885 Box 1

Jesse H. Holmes to Rebecca Webb Holmes 1899-1900 Box 2

Jesse H. Holmes to Rebecca W. Holmes 1920 Box 2

Rebecca Holmes to sisters while in Europe 1914 Box 2

Cassandra [Webb] Carr to sisters while in California 1908 Box 2

S.R. Sharma (in India) to Jesse H. Holmes 1930 and 1934 Box 2

Albert Wahl to Jesse Herman Holmes Jr. 1973-1973 Box 2

Miscellaneous correspondence 1869-1972 Box 2

Ser. 3. Family Materials, n.d.

Obituaries Box 2

Memorabilia of Rebecca Turner Webb Box 2

Memorabilia of Rebecca Webb Holmes Box 2

Autograph book, Elizabeth Webb Box 2

Jesse Herman Holmes Jr. baby book Box 2

Jesse Herman Holmes Jr. memorabilia. Box 2

Ser. 4. Journals and Writings, 1899-1913, n.d.

Journal, Jesse Herman Holmes, Oxford 1899 Box 2

Journal, Rebecca W. Holmes, Germany and England 1898 Box 2

Journal, Rebecca W. Holmes, England and Scotland 1913 Box 2

Copybook containing suggestions for teaching children, no author n.d. Box 2

Jesse Herman Holmes writings: Box 2

General and poetry Box 3

India Box 3

Far East Box 3

Russia Box 3

Ser. 5. Financial and Legal, 1862-1958

Deeds and mortgages 1862-1872 Box 3

Burial ground plots 1870-1927 Box 3

William Webb estate 1954-1958 Box 3

Ser. 6. Photographs, 1939, n.d.

Photographs used for the Wahl biography of J.H. Holmes Box 3

Jesse Herman Holmes family Box 3

Webb/Holmes extended families Box 3

Jesse H. Holmes Jr. family Box 3

Swarthmore College Reunion 1939 Box 3

Miscellaneous Box 3

Ser. 7. Miscellaneous Materials

Printed material, includes poetry, map of the Rhine, and copies of presidential documents Box 3

Manuscripts, no author [19th c.] Box 3