Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College

Summary Information

Repository:
Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
Source - bsl:
Valentino, Carmen
Creator - ctb:
Shearman, David Sands, 1802-1852
Creator - ctb:
Shearman, Hepsa Hathway Howland, 1806-1892
Creator - ctb:
Shearman, Joseph Tucker, 1834-1894
Creator - ctb:
Kimber, Thomas, 1825-1890
Creator - ctb:
Shearman, Mary Eliza (Mary Eliza Shearman Kimber), 1838-1921
Creator - ctb:
Shearman, Alice Delano, 1840-1931
Creator - ctb:
Shearman, Henry F. (Henry Franklin Shearman), 1842-1922
Title:
Howland-Shearman Family Correspondence
ID:
SFHL/RG5/303
Date [inclusive]:
1800-1916
Date [bulk]:
1832-1899
Physical Description:
1 Linear Feet2 boxes
Language of the Material:
English
Abstract:
The collection is composed of correspondence of the family of David Sands Shearman and his wife, Hepsa Hathaway Howland Shearman of New Bedford, Massachusetts, and Poughkeepsie, New York. The Shearman and Howlands were prominent New England Quaker merchant and whaling families, intertwined by business and marriage. Much of the correspondence is directed to Hepsa, largely from her children who pursued a range of careers. Early correspondence is with her husband Captain David Sands Shearman, her siblings, and his relations and contains business and family information from New Bedford, MA, and Poughkeepsie, NY.

Preferred Citation

[Indicate the cited item or series here], Howland-Shearman Family Correspondence, RG5/303, Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College.

^ Top

Biographical / Historical

Hepsa Hathaway Howland was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, on 6 mo 12, 1806, the daughter of Pardon Howland (1777-1821) and Hepsa Hathaway (1777-1856), Quakers of New Bedford Monthly Meeting. She had six surviving siblings: Pardon (1803-1856), Elizabeth L. (1808-1837), Benjamin Franklin (1810-1888), Henry Stoddard (1812-1877), Mary Taber (1814-1906) who married Captain John A. Delano, and Hannah (1818-1891) who married Henry W. McCoughtry. Hepsa's father was a sea captain and the son of Gideon and Sarah Hicks Howland. Hepsa H. Howland married David Sands Shearman (1802-1852), also a sea captain, on 6 mo 23, 1826. He was the son of Captain David Shearman and Ann Tucker Shearman, Quakers of Dartmouth, Massachusetts. His siblings were Eliza, Hannah Tucker (1801-1858) who married William C. Taber in 1819 in New Bedford, MA., and Joseph Tucker. David S. and Hepsa H. H. Shearman had twelve children: David Sands (1827-1847), Anna (1828-1830), Isabella (1830-1832), Anna Russell (1832-1836), Joseph Tucker (1834-1894), Abraham (1836-1862), Mary Eliza (1838-1921)), Alice Delano (1840-1931), Henry Franklin (1842-1922), John Delano (1843-1929)), Isaac Haviland (1845-1879), and David Sands (1848-1857). In 1834, the family removed to Nine Partners Monthly Meeting in Poughkeepsie. After David Shearman's death in 1852, his widow and children returned to New Bedford. Hepsa and daughter Mary Eliza transferred to Philadelphia Monthly Meeting of the Western District in 1867. Joseph T. Shearman first followed his father into seamanship, but later in life worked in Philadelphia, Stroudsburg, Pa., and Kentucky. Abraham also was a sailor and died in his twenties. Mary Eliza Shearman married Thomas Kimber in 1874 under the care of New York Monthly Meeting (Orthodox). Kimber (1825-1890) was a Philadelphia merchant and railroad executive. In later life he devoted himself to Christian evangelism and was acknowledged as minister by New York Monthly Meeting in 1878. Mary Eliza traveled with him in the ministry and also was an acknowledged minister. Another daughter, Alice Delano Shearman (1840-1931) did not marry. She lived with her mother and later with her neice Hepsa H. L. Donaldson in Queens, NY. Henry F. Shearman worked in England for many years and became a naturalized citizen in 1886, changing his name to H. F. Howland-Russell. John Delano Shearman married Emmy F. Addams in 1865 under the care of New York Monthly Meeting. Isaac Haviland Shearman married Sarah ("Susie") and settled in Philadelphia, Pa. Hepsa Hathaway Howland Shearman died on 1 mo 10, 1892, and is buried in Friends Burial Ground, New Bedford.

^ Top

Scope and Contents

The collection is composed of correspondence related to the families of David Sands Shearman and his wife, Hepsa Hathaway Howland Shearman of New Bedford, Massachusetts, and Poughkeepsie, New York. The Shearman and Howlands were prominent New England Quaker merchant and whaling families, intertwined by business and marriage. Most of the correspondence is directed to Hepsa, largely from her children who pursued a range of careers. Some of the early correspondence is with her husband Captain David Sands Shearman while he was at sea. They contain business and family information as well as mention of Quaker meetings. Letters from his cousin Abraham Shearman mention whaling. Hepsa corresponded regularly with her family in New Bedford, MA. In 1874, their daughter Mary Eliza married Thomas Kimber, railroad executive and Quaker minister. Her letters and the correspondence of sister Alice D. Shearman convey family news and interests including Quaker concerns.

^ Top

Arrangement

Arranged in three series. Series 1 contains family correspondence between David and Hepsa Shearman and letters from their siblings, as well as their letters to their children. Series 2 is largely composed of letters to Hepsa H. H. Shearman and her daughters from her children. Series 1 and 2 are organized by correspondent. Series 3 contains a small number of miscellaneous items.

^ Top

Administrative Information

Publication Statement

Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College

500 College Avenue Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081 friends@swarthmore.edu URL: http://www.swarthmore.edu/friends-historical-library.xml

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase, Acc. 2014.043

^ Top

Controlled Access Headings

  • Quakers -- New England -- New Bedford (Mass.)
  • Whaling -- Massachusetts
  • Quakers -- New York (State) -- Poughkeepsie
  • Quakers -- Lay ministry
  • letters (correspondence)
  • Howland family
  • Sherman family
  • Valentino, Carmen

^ Top

Collection Inventory

David S. and Hepsa Hathway Howland Shearman correspondence, 1800-1891

Scope and Contents: This series contains correspondence between David and Hepsa Shearman as well as letters from their siblings and their letters to family members.

Title/Description Instances
Shearman, David S. to wife Hepsa, 1832-1854

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: Affectionate letters. In 1847 he is in England on business. 1854 in Poughkeepsie where cholera has broken out; he thinks it is not contagious.

box 1
Shearman, Hepsa H. H. to husband David, 1846-1851

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: 6 ALsS. Affectionate letters. Fragment of 1846 letter regarding illness of son, David Jr., who dies the following year. 1847 letter includes a note from daughter Mary Eliza who is studying with Aunt Dora, the other children attending Nine Partners School. 1849 Hepsa writes with great anxiety about her husband's voyage home from Liverpool under terrible weather conditions. Quarterly meeting, friends and family details.

box 1
Shearman, Abraham, Jr., to David S. Shearman, 1835-1842

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: Cousin Abraham Shearman, New Bedford, to David S. Shearman, Poughkeepsie. He worries about a French War and includes details about whaling, family and business as well as monthly meeting news and visiting minister. He mentions that he understands if David has given up whaling but recommends not so quickly.

box 1
Shearman, Capt. David S. correspondence received, 1835-1851, n.d.

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: Letters received, business and family. Letters from London mention Quaker ministers. 1850-1851 sent to Shearman who is at sea, including on the Horatio. Delano relations.

box 1
Shearman, Hepsa H.H. and David Shearman to sons Abraham and Henry F., 1846-1853

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: ALsS to Abraham and 1 ALS, undated, to young son Henry Franklin ("Frank"). Family news and advice to their son at school.

box 1
Shearman, Hepsa H. H. Shearman to her mother Hepsa H. Howland, 1834-1849, n.d.

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: 10 ALsS. She writes as she is settling in Poughkeepsie with family and Quaker meetings news. Smallpox afflicts the family in 1843, and her husband left on voyage. 1849 mentions the difficulties of being a sailor's wife,. Son Joseph has chosen the same career and is sailing with his father. Outbreak of cholera which they attribute to intemperance and not food or water.

box 1
Howland, Hepsa Hathaway to Hepsa H H Shearman, 1835-1856

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: Hepsa Hathaway Howland (1792-1856), wife of Captain Pardon Howland (m. 1802) to her daughter, Hepsa Hathaway Howland Shearman. Most are from New Bedford with family news. Includes details of death of daughter Eliza L. (1808-1837).

box 1
McCoughtry, Hannah Howland to mother, Hepsa Hathaway Howland, 1835

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: Hannah (1818-1891), the younger sister of Hepsa H.H. Shearman, married Henry W. McCoughtry (1807-1861). They lived in Hawaii where he served as treasurer of the royal government

box 1
Taber, Hannah T. to David S. Shearman, 1820

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: From the sister of David S. Hannah Tucker Shearman, who married William C. Taber in 1819. Sent from New Bedford, to her brother on board ship.

box 1
Delano, Mary Howland and John Delano to Hepsa Shearman, 1837-1872, n.d.

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: ALsS from sister Mary Howland who married Captain John Delano of New Bedford. Includes whaling and sailing news, an undated letter urges Hepsa to visit for the Yearly Meeting.

box 1
Howland, Benjamin Franklin (1828-1900), 1852

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: 2 ALsS, New Bedford from Benjamin Franklin Howland (1828-1900), brother of Hepsa H.H. Shearman. He had a varied career: worked as a seaman, then mining, and eventually operated a photographic studio in California and then Syracuse, NY.

box 1
Howland, Henry Stoddard, 1848-1856

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: Henry Stoddard Howland (1812-1877), brother of Hepsa H.H. Shearman, was a sea captain and then settled on a plantation in Hawaii. He married (first) Mary S. Howland.

box 1
Russell family correspondence, 1800-1815, n.d.

Scope and Contents: The Howlands and Russell families were inter-married New Bedford whaling families.

box 1
Shearman, Hepsa H. H. to her brother Parson Howland, 1834

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: 1 ALS sent from Poughkeepsie to her brother in New Bedford, MA. She writes that she regrets that she missed saying goodbye to him as her family moved to Poughkeepsie.

box 1
Shearman, Hepsa H. H. to Mary Eliza Shearman Kimber, 1880-1891

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: Final letter mentions that she looks forward to being with her two daughters.

box 1
Shearman, Hepsa H. H. to Mary Eliza Shearman Kimber, 1874-1879

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: She mentions attending Quarterly Meeting where Samuel Emblen spoke for 3-1/2 hours, "it could have been transacted in less than half the time."

box 1
Shearman, Hepsa H. H. to Mary Eliza Shearman, 1868-1873

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: Written bBefore her daughter's marriage to Thomas Kimber. Family and meeting news.

box 1
Shearman, Hepsa H. H. Shearman to Alice Delano Shearman, 1867

Scope and Contents: ALsS to daughter Alice Delano Shearman

box 1
Hepsa H. H. Shearman business, 1852-1871

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: After death of her husband, mostly business

box 1

^ Top

Shearman Family correspondence, 1846-1916

Scope and Contents: This series contains largely correspondence received by Hepsa H. H. Shearman and her daughters. The first group is composed of letters from her children, in their birth order.

Title/Description Instances
Shearman, Joseph Tucker to Hepsa and family, 1848-1882

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: Joseph (1834-1894) worked as a mariner and then settled in business in Stroudsburg, Pa, and later in Ohio and Kentucky. He married Anna Matlack under the care of Philadelphia Monthly Meeting of the Northern District in 1879.

box 1
Shearman, Abraham to mother and family, 1851-1860

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: Abraham (1836-1862) followed his father's career at sea. Letters are from New Bedford, New York, Malaga, and England

box 1
Shearman, Mary Eliza to family, 1846-1870

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: ALsS of 1846 written to her father while attending school with Aunt Dora. A note from her mother is added - David S. is at sea, and son David is ill. Other letters have family news and details of her activities. She spent time with her brothers in Philadelphia in 1869.

box 1
Kimber, Mary Eliza Shearman correspondence received , 1854-1871

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: Unsigned letter of 1854 mentions grand party held in New Bedford by Joseph Rickettson. In a letter dated 1862 she is notified that her contract to teach at the Friends School in New Bedford is renewed. ALS of Henry T. Wood, 4 mo 11, 1867, which mentions finding teachers for Freedmen South (Virginia) and commenting on the famous estate case involving "Hetty" Howland Robinson Green, financier.

box 1
Kimber, Mary Eliza Shearman to family, 1875-1902

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: Mary and Thomas Kimber were married 6 mo 24, 1874, and moved to Long Island, New York. Thomas Kimber was a Philadelphia railroad magnate who became a Quaker minister in late life. He was acknowledged as a minister by New York Monthly Meeting (o) in 1878. Her letters detail their travels and family news. They suffered a large financial loss in 1880 and removed to Long Island, NY. In late 1880s, Thomas's health was failing and he died in 1890..

box 1
Kimber, Mary Eliza Shearman letters received, 1878-1891

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: Miscellaneous correspondence

box 1
Kimber, Thomas to Hepsa H. H. Shearman, 1874

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: In a letter to his mother in law, he expresses his joy in his marriage to Mary Eliza.

box 1
Shearman, Alice Delano to family, 1865-1878, n.d.

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: Family news. Living in Burlington, NJ.

box 2
Shearman, Alice D, letters received from cousins and others, 1853-1901

Physical Description: 1 folders

box 2
Shearman, Henry Franklin ('Frank") and wife to mother and family, 1857-1870

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: 6 ALsS. ALS of 4 mo 9, 1870, asks for a loan after a case put him in debt. Mentions that he will speak on behalf of Free Trade League

box 2
Shearman, Henry Franklin to mother , 1873-1890

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: Henry (1842-1913) moved to England in 1872 and became a naturalized citizen in 1886 and changed his surname to Russell-Howland. He married (1) Mary Elizabeth Porter and (2) Mary Ada Emma Mackay. He continued to sign the letters to his mother as "Frank" or Henry F. Shearman

box 2
Shearman, Henry Franklin/ H. F. Russell-Howland to siblings , 1868-1903

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: Henry F. Shearman worked in various occupations including attorney and businessman. An 1877 letter to brother Isaac is written from a farm in Minnesota. In the late 1890s he wrote to sister Alice from Georgia and signed as H. F. Howland Russell. Later letters written to Alice and his grandson Howland care of his son-in-law John Donaldson, Long Island, from England.

box 2
Shearman, Ada to Hepsa H. H. Shearman, 1872-1888

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: Daughter-in-law, married son Henry Franklin Sherman/Russell-Howland.

box 2
Shearman, John Delano to mother and his siblings, 1852-1890

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: John (1843-1929) married Emma Adams under the care of New York Monthly Meeting in 1865. He was in business as Shearman and Adams in NYC, later in Indianapolis. The letter of 1890 is to sister Mary with condolences for the death of her husband.

box 2
Shearman, Isaac Haviland and wife to Hepsa and his siblings, 1864-1892

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: Isaac (1845-1891) married Sarah ('Susie") and lived in Philadelphia where he had a steam engines business.

box 2
Green, Eliza, Undated

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: To "sister," from Williamsport, Pa., mentions that there are no nearby Friends meeting.

box 2
Green, Charles to Alice Delano Shearman, Joseph Shearman, and Aunt Hepsa , 1853-1907

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: Charles Green, a cousin. His letter from New Bedford to Joseph in 1853 advises against making his livelihood at sea and mentions that brother Abraham is working hard in the shop and enjoying his social life. Remainder from Roaring Branch, Pa., where he is in the lumber business.

box 2
Wood, A.G., 1889

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: To My dear sister, from New Bedford, MA. She writes that she had visited Mary Eliza in NJ where her husband, Thomas Kimber, was very feeble. Comments on family news, missionary to Ramallah

box 2
To Hepsa from grandchildren, 1875-1888

Scope and Contents: Most are from Florence, the daughter of Henry F., from England

box 2
To Hepsa and Anna D. Shearman from relatives, 1833-1882

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: Nieces, nephews, cousins. a letter dated 2 mo 12, 1873 to "My Ever Dear Sister," written from Centerville. Two letters dated 1882 are from Hepsa H.L. Shearman, daughter of Henry F. Shearman and his first wife, begging her grandmother and aunt to let her return to the U.S. and live with them.

box 2
Hepsa H. L. Donaldson correspondence, 1915-1916, n.d.

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: Hepsa Howland Leonard Shearman (1863-) was the daughter of Henry F. Shearman/aka Russell-Howland and his first wife, Mary. In 1882, she asked to live with her aunt Anna D. Shearman. Undated letter is from her sister Florence congratulating her on her engagement. Hepsa married John Donaldson on Sept. 9, 1891, and they lived at Richmond Hills, Long Island. Her aunt Alice Delano Shearman lived with them until her death in 1931, and her father H.L. Howland-Russell (Shearman) also returned to the U.S. and lived in their household in Queens, NY.

box 2
Miscellaneous to family, fragments, 1864-1892

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: Friends and family

box 2

^ Top

Miscellaneous

Title/Description Instances
Poetry, 19th century
box 2
Memorabilia, (1874-1890)

Physical Description: 1 folders

Scope and Contents: Memorial for Thomas Kimber; receipts for tuition paid to Van Rennselaer Seminary, Burlington, NJ, 1877-1878, for Hepsa H. L. Shearman; etc.

box 2

^ Top