Benjamin F. Whitson Family Papers, 1835-1957

(14 boxes; 7 linear ft.)

RG 5/164


©Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College 
500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, PA 19081-1399  

Seal of Swarthmore College
Table of contents
Abstract
Benjamin F. Whitson (1867-1957) of Moylan, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, was a Quaker businessman. Whitson was active in Quaker affairs such as Friends World Conference in 1937 and the Fellowship of Reconciliation, and in Quaker concerns such as peace, temperance, and education. He was the son of Thomas H. and Phebe (Cooper) Whitson, and his family and extended family has deep Quaker associations. Both Benjamin Whitson and his father, were recognized as Quaker ministers and made visits to Ohio Yearly Meeting (Conservative). Benjamin Whitson lived in California from 1905-1907 and was active in Pasadena Meeting of Friends. In later life, he collected letters and genealogical information on the many Quaker branches of his family. Papers consist of correspondence, 10 journals (1893-1957), account of trips to Quaker conferences, essays, speeches, and genealogical notes and correspondence of Included in the papers are a 1936 diary of his wife, Jane T. Whitson; Thomas H. Whitson's "Account of Religious visit to Ohio, Indiana, Iowa;" piece books, extensive correspondence, and other memorabilia of members of the Cooper, Master, Moore, Stratton, Thorp, Walker, Whnitson, and Yarnall families.

Background note:
BIOGRAPHICAL/HISTORICAL
Benjamin F. Whitson (1867-1957) of Moylan, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, was a Quaker businessman, active in Quaker affairs such as Friends World Conference in 1937 and the Fellowship of Reconciliation and in Quaker concerns such as peace, temperance, and education. He wrote extensively on social and religious topics for Quaker periodicals.
1829-1907 Whitson was the son of Thomas H. and Phebe (Cooper) Whitson, and his family and extended family had deep Quaker associations. Thomas Whitson (1829-1907) was a farmer and acknowledged as a minister by New Garden Monthly Meeting (Pa.). An Orthodox Quaker, he and his wife were conservative in dress and worship. In 1901, he traveled as a minister to Ohio Yearly Meeting (Conservative).
1867-1891 Thomas and Phebe Whitson had five children: Sarah (1857-1945; Quaker minister of Philadelphia Monthly Meeting (Orthodox); married first Phillips Chamber and second, Elwood Cooper); Samuel L. (1858-1918, married Frances Linton); Mary (1860-1924); Joseph T. (1861-1925, married Jane Thorp); and Benjamin F. (1867-1957). Benjamin Whitson was a birthright member of New Garden Monthly Meeting. He was educated at Westtown School and briefly taught at Barnesville School before entering various business ventures.
1892-1923 In 1892, he was married under the care of New Garden Monthly Meeting (Ohio) to Anna Masters (1869-1925) at a double ceremony at which Anna's sister, Mary Masters, married Elisha K. Brantingham. Benjamin Whitson and his family lived in California from 1905-1907 and were active in the Pasadena Meeting of Friends. Benjamin Whitson was acknowledged as a minister by Chester Monthly Meeting in 1913, and he and wife Anna, an Elder in the Meeting, made a ministerial trip to visit Conservative Quaker meetings in Ohio in 1923, accompanied by Anna's father, Joseph Masters.
1927-1957 After the death of his first wife, Benjamin Whitson in 1927 married Jane Thorp Whitson (1866-1952), the widow of his brother. She was the daughter of James and Jane (Yarnall) Thorp and an also active in Chester Monthly Meeting (name changed to Media Monthly Meeting in 1955).
Scope and content
SCOPE AND CONTENT Papers consist of correspondence, 10 journals (1893-1957), accounts of trips to Quaker conferences, essays, speeches, and genealogical notes and correspondence of Benjamin F. Whitson (1867-1957) of Moylan, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, a Quaker businessman. Whitson was active in Quaker affairs such as Friends World Conference in 1937 and the Fellowship of Reconciliation, and in Quaker concerns such as peace, temperance, and education. He wrote extensively on topic such as "Ohio Yearly Meeting, 1912," "Are Soldiers Murderers?" "To Change the Social Order", "Quaker Pioneers", "A Confession of Faith," "Treasures of Old Thoughts", "Letters to Friends - 1916". Whitson was active in local organizations in the town of Media, Pa. He was the son of Thomas H. and Phebe (Cooper) Whitson, and his family had deep Quaker associations. Both Benjamin Whitson and his father were recognized as Quaker ministers and made visits to Ohio Yearly Meeting (Conservative). Benjamin Whitson lived in California from 1905-1907 and was active in Pasadena Meeting of Friends. In later life, he collected letters and genealogical information on the many Quaker branches of his family. Included in the papers are a 1936 diary of his wife, Jane T. Whitson; Thomas H. Whitson's "Account of Religious visit to Ohio, Indiana, Iowa;" piece books, extensive correspondence, and other memorabilia of members of the Cooper, Masters, Moore, Stratton, Thorp, Walker, Whitson, and Yarnall families. Also of interest is a copy of an 1824 letter of Huldah Hoag.

Arrangement
Arrangement The collection is divided into six series:


Added entries

Subjects
  • Cooper family
  • Delaware County, Pa. --Quakers
  • Diaries - Quaker
  • Masters family
  • Pennsylvania -- Quakers
  • Pennsylvania--Media (Pa.)
  • Quakers -- Pennsylvania--Delaware County
  • Quakers -- Social life and customs
  • Quakers --Social service
  • Thorp family
  • Whitson family
Additional Authors and Contributors
  • Five Years Meeting (Society of Friends: U.S.)
  • Friends World Conference 2nd: 1937: Swarthmore and Haverford, Pa.)
  • Hoag, Huldah, 1762-1850
  • Ohio Yearly Meeting of Friends (Conservative: 1854-)
  • Whitson, Jane Thorp, 1866-1952
  • Whitson, Thomas H., 1829-1907
Credits
Processed by: SKM
Date: 2001
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.


Inventory

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE RECORDS
Ser. 1. Journals, 1885-1953
( 10 vol. and approx. 10 small notebooks)

Notebook describing session at Westtown School 1887-1890 Box 1

Notebook with reflections 1892-1898 Box 1

Notebook with reflections 1901-1938 Box 1

Miscellaneous notes 1925 Box 1

Daily notes 1935-1950 Box 1

Notes and quotations 1939-1942 Box 1

Account book, personal expenses 1885-1918 Box 1

Jane T. Whitson, small journal 1935 Box 1

Thomas H. Whitson Account of Religious visit to Ohio, Indiana, Iowa 1901 Box 1

Journal I 1892-1897 Box 1

Journal II 1897-1903 Box 1

Journal III (includes published account of their time in California, including visit to Pasadena Friends Meeting of Ohio Yearly Meeting Conservative) 1903-1908 Box 1

Loose items removed from Journal III Box 1

Journal IV 1908-1941 Box 1

"Daily Register" 1931 Box 1

Journal V (begins loose-leaf journals) 1935-1945 Box 2

Journal VI 1945-1949 Box 2

Journal VII 1948-1949 Box 2

Journal VIII 1950-1952 Box 2

Journal IX 1954-1953 Box 2

Journal X (Includes some Quaker history) Box 2

Summary of vacations 1926-1937 and trips 1888-1920 1888-1937 Box 3

Account of vacation trip 1901 Box 3

Account of vacation trip

Account of vacation trip 1905 Box 3

Account of vacation trip 1917-1919 Box 3

Account of vacation trip 1922-1927 Box 3

Account of vacation trip 1928 Box 3

Account of vacation trip 1928-1929 Box 3

Account of vacation trip 1931 Box 3

Account of vacation trip 1932 Box 3

Account of vacation trip 1933 Box 3

Account of vacation trip 1934 Box 3

Five Years Meeting, F.O.R. Conference 1935 Box 3

Cape May Conference, Somerton Quarterly Meeting, Virginia 1936 Box 3

Friends World Conference, Wyalusing, Cape May General Conference 1937-1938 Box 3

Account of vacation trip 1941 Box 3

Account of vacation trip 1947 Box 3

Ser. 2. Correspondence, 1887-1953
Additional family correspondence included in Ser 5., Miscellaneous


Letters from Thomas H. Whitson 1889-1907 Box 3

Whitson family letters 1887-1891 Box 3

Miscellaneous Whitson letters 1888-1908 Box 3

Whitson Family Letters 1900-1923 Box 3

Typed letter describing correspondence between B.F. Whitson and his first wife, Anna ca. 1953 Box 3

St. Albin Kite Box 3

Max Reich Box 3

William Richie Box 3

Miscellaneous 1934-1948 Box 4

Miscellaneous correspondence, arranged alphabetically, 1910-1948

Miscellaneous Correspondence, A-C Box 4

Miscellaneous Correspondence, D-G Box 4

Miscellaneous Correspondence, H-L Box 4

Miscellaneous Correspondence, M-P Box 4

Miscellaneous Correspondence, R-T Box 4

Miscellaneous Correspondence, W-Z Box 4

B. J. Whitson, letters, article clippings Box 4

"The Circulator," family letters, 1912-1922

"The Circulator," family letters 1912-16 Box 5

"The Circulator," family letters 1912 Box 5

"The Circulator," family letters 1914 Box 5

"The Circulator," family letters 1915 Box 5

"The Circulator," family letters 1916 Box 5

"The Circulator," family letters 1917 Box 5

"The Circulator," family letters 1918 Box 5

"The Circulator," family letters 1919 Box 5

"The Circulator," family letters 1919-1920 Box 5

"The Circulator," family letters 1921 Box 5

"The Circulator," family letters 1922 Box 5

"The Circulator," family letters 1918-1922 Box 5

Small diary and letter concerning Jeremiah Cooper (1825-1848) c. 1848 Box 5

Miscellaneous, relating to Quaker concerns, family matters, and business matter, arranged alphabetically

Miscellaneous, "B" Box 5

Miscellaneous, "C" Box 5

Miscellaneous, "D" Box 5

Miscellaneous, "E" Box 5

Miscellaneous, "F" Box 5

Miscellaneous, "H" Box 5

Miscellaneous, "K-L" Box 5

Miscellaneous, "M" Box 5

Miscellaneous, "P" Box 5

Miscellaneous, "R" Box 5

Miscellaneous, "S" Box 5

Miscellaneous, "T-Z" Box 5

Miscellaneous Correspondence to E.A. Abbot, J.S. Butler, Wilson, Roosevelt, Sproul, Alexander, Wolfenden, and Senator Davis 1910-1951 Box 6

Miscellaneous Correspondence to Wilson, Roosevelt, Sproul, Alexander, Wolfenden, and Senator Davis 1910-1951 Box 6

Miscellaneous Correspondence 1930-1951 Box 6

Miscellaneous letters 1920-1936 Box 6

Ser. 3. Writings, arranged chronologically, 1882-1950

Essays at Westtown 1885-1887 Box 6

Examination at Westtown, etc. 1886-1890 Box 6

Old essays 1889, 1900-1902 Box 6

Compositions 1882-1886 Box 6

Lecture (Barnesville) 1891-1892 Box 6

"The Conversational," essays on various topics 1894-1903 Box 6

Essays 1937-1940 Box 6

Essays 1936, 1940 Box 7

Miscellaneous Essays 1919-1928 Box 7

Various Essays c. 1928-c. 1935 Box 7

Essays in Print 1892-1924 Box 7

Sundry Essays 1892-1924 Box 7

Essays 1930 or prior Box 7

Essays 1935 or prior Box 7

Essays 1944 Box 7

Most Recent Essays Box 7

Duplications of essays Box 7

Sermonettes in Media News 1936 Box 7

Public Speaking Box 7

Various writings on Prohibition 1929-1935 Box 7

"Peace Beginning to Be" essay Box 7

Memorial to Walter L. Moore (letter) Box 7

"Problems in Temperance Education" 1945 Box 7

Articles published in Media News 1934-1939 Box 7

"Effusions" (poems) and Effervescence (early writings) 1886-1950 Box 8

Printed essays 1886-1917 Box 8

Addresses 1894-1911 Box 8

Letter to Friends throughout US 1916 Box 8

"National Defense" 1917 Box 8

"The Sanity of Christianity" 1917 Box 8

"Treasures of Old Thought" 1915 Box 8

Criticism of Society of Friends (a conversation) Box 8

Ser. 4. Organizations and interests, 1880-1937

Civic Association papers Box 8

Lessons for Media Adult Classes 1911-1915 Box 8

Miscellaneous from the Media Adult Class 1934-1937 Box 8

Adult Studies for World Conference 1937 Box 8

The Conversational Circle 1898 Box 8

Extension Committee Box 8

Pamphlets on Gambling Box 9

Investments Box 9

Media 50th Anniversary May 1900 Box 9

Poems Box 9

Media Civic Association 1880 Box 9

Scripture Lessons 1880 Box 9

Sermons, etc. 1880 Box 9

Sundry References to Present Day Economic System 1932, 1922-1926 Box 9

Tobacco Education 1922-1926 Box 9

World War I 1918 Box 9

Progressive Party 1912 Box 9

Fellowship Committee Box 10

Fellowship for Reconciliation Box 10

Friends Fellowship Council Box 10

Media Church Council 1933-1944 Box 10

National Anti-Saloon League of America 1913 Box 10

Quadrangular Conference: Mennonites, Schwenkfelders, Brethren, and Friends Box 10

Visits among M.M. Families 1935 Box 10

Ser. 5. Genealogical Notes and Correspondence, 1893-1964

"Ancestral Tablets" (1 vol.), compiled by Benjamin Whitson, with notes 1933 Box 10

Genealogical correspondence on Beeson, Whitson, Seaman families 1943-1945 Box 11

Notes and Correspondence, Whitson family Box 11

Whitson notes Box 11

Worksheets on Cooper-Moore-Walker Book 1949 Box 11

"Old letters," family and genealogical, letter concerning Plain Dress (1893) c. 1893-1930 Box 11

Whitson family Notes and Worksheets Box 11

Duplicate loose-leaf Whitson family genealogy Box 11

Cooper, Walker, Moore families Box 12

Moore family Box 12

Autobiography of Daniel Stratton Box 12

Thorp family Box 12

Joseph and Huldah Hoag Box 12

Joseph Masters (Strattan) family, including correspondence Box 12

Master family Box 12

Whitson family, letters Box 12

Genealogical letters Box 12

Genealogies of Whitson women Box 12

Early research by B. F. Whitson on Whitson and Masters families Box 12

Notebook on Cooper, Masters, Stratton, Thorp, Whitson, Yarnall families Box 12

Genealogical records kept by Mary H. Whitson, a cousin of B. F. Whitson, and correspondence 1949 Box 12

Records kept by Sarah Whitson Cooper before 1925 Box 13

Wllzue Whitson family 1964 Box 13

Ser. 6. Miscellaneous, including piece books and Memorabilia, 1843-1934

Sarah Ann Cooper autograph book
From her sister Susanna J. Cooper in 1838.
1843-1844 Box 13

Sarah Cooper (mother of Phebe Cooper) letters, poems 1843-1851 Box 13

Phebe P. Cooper piece book
wIncludes letter from her mother, Sarah Walker Cooper. Phebe was the mother of B. F. Whitson.
1845-1846 Box 13

Anna Master (later the wife of B. F. Whitson) piece book 1887 Box 13

Joseph Masters (father of Anna Masters) piece books ca. 1862 Box 13

Mary A. Masters (sister of Anna Masters, married Brantigan) piece book
Includes "Life in Kansas" essay
ca. 1891 Box 13

Thomas H. Whitson (father of B. F. Whitson) biographical sketch, letters, sermons, etc. 1855-1909 Box 13

Thomas H. Whitson memorials and related materials collected by B. F. Whitson, including sermons, letters 1884-1909 Box 13

Benjamin Whitson autograph book 1883-1901 Box 13

Joseph T. Whitson (brother of B.F. Whitson), estate and biographical sketch 1925-1934 Box 14

Mary Whitson, sister of B.F. Whitson, notes concerning about 1907-1934 Box 14

Samuel Whitson, brother of B.F. Whitson (1858-1918) memorials and papers concerning 1896-1919 Box 14

Sarah Whitson, sister of B. Whitson, dictation book, piece book 1857, 1874 Box 14

Sarah W. Cooper (wife of Elwood Cooper), account of a visit to Kansas Yearly Meeting, 1911, and letter from her husband 1911 Box 14

Photostat of sampler , pocket Bible
Sampler transferred to Relics.
Box 14

Family photographs
Cased photos removed to PA 107, FHL Cased Pictures Collection.
Box 14

Whitson's reference file on Lyman Abbott and others Box 14

Miscellaneous reference material
Westtown catalogues removed to PG 2, brochure on New Garden MM (Ohio) removed to PG 1.
Box 14