Paul Family Papers, 1709-1956

(9 boxes, 25 vols., 4.5 lin. feet)

Collection 2033

© The Historical Society of Pennsylvania
1300 Locust Street * Philadelphia, PA 19107

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Table of contents
This collection contains the papers of four generations of the Paul family. Members of the family first arrived in the United States in 1685 and settled in Philadelphia, Bucks County, PA, and Belvidere, N.J. Among the materials representing them are indentures, estate information, accounts, business records, correspondence, and miscellaneous items. Several sections of the collection are of particular note. The records of the businesses of Comegys Paul contain detailed information about the dry-goods trade from 1810-1850. Family correspondence, such as letters written by John Marshall Paul and John Rodman Paul on their European trip, 1823-1825, provide insight into American views of Europe from the time period. Finally, domestic family correspondence illustrates family life in the late nineteenth century.

Background note
The Pauls were a merchant family based in Philadelphia and Belvidere, N.J. Members of the family first arrived in American in 1685 when Joseph Paul immigrated from Somersetshire, England. His descendants entered mercantile and general businesses, became doctors and lawyers, and were involved in real estate, politics, and public affairs.

Thomas Paul, the first generation represented here, was born October 6, 1760 and enlisted in the Revolutionary War in 1779. In the closing years of the war he went into business with Cornelius Comegys, forming the company of Comegys and Paul. Later, Joseph Atkinson, Paul's brother-in-law, joined the partners and the business became Comegys, Paul and Co. After the war, Paul was active in real estate division in Belvidere, New Jersey.

Thomas Paul named his son in honor of his business partner. Comegys Paul was born in Philadelphia on June 5, 1785 and graduated from Princeton in 1803 with a law degree. After his father's death, he returned to Philadelphia where he carried on a dry goods trading business as Canonge, Paul & Co. beginning in 1810. Later, in 1814, a change of partners inspired the renaming of the business to Comegys Paul & Co. Paul had many literary interests and was a member of The Athenaeum and the Library Company of Philadelphia.

John Marshall Paul, the brother of Comegys Paul, graduated from Williams College and received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. John Rodman Paul, their cousin, was one year younger than John Marshall and also attended medical school. During a trip John Marshall Paul and John Rodman Paul took together in Europe from 1823 to 1825, they frequented the medical hospitals in Paris, thus increasing their medical knowledge. After his retirement, John Rodman was active as a manager and director of various institutions and involved in public affairs.

Henry Neill Paul II, the grandson of John Rodman Paul, was born in Philadelphia in 1863 and graduated from Princeton in 1884. He was a patent lawyer in Philadelphia and his literary interests centered on Shakespeare. His son, Henry Neill Paul III, was born in Philadelphia in 1900 and graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1922. He was a Philadelphia lawyer and was responsible for the items in this collection.

Scope and content
These papers consist of correspondence, accounts, and indentures that relate to the personal and business activities of the Paul family. The collection represents four generations of the Paul family as well as associated families. Series are divided primarily into family clusters.

The first series in the collection contains overview information about the Paul family, such as genealogical material, and the papers of Thomas Paul, the first generation of the Paul family represented. Personal and business materials relating to Comegys Paul are found in the second series. Series three is comprised predominantly of letters of John Marshall Paul, John Rodman Paul and Sidney Paul and other family members of the second generation. Most of these letters are to and from traveling family members. The fourth series is made up of papers of Henry Neill Paul I and his son Henry Neill Paul II. H. N. Paul I's papers are chiefly letter books and account books while his son's papers are mostly letters. Another branch of the family, Mary Pope Paul, John Marshall Paul's sister-in-law, and her children, are represented in the fifth series by their correspondence. The sixth and final series contains miscellaneous Paul family including wills, deeds, newspaper excerpts.

The researcher should keep in mind the following two pieces of information in order to minimize confusion regarding this collection. First, Comegys, Paul & Co. and Comegys Paul and Co. are not the same company. Thomas Paul of [Cornelius] Comegys, Paul and Co, named one of his sons Comegys Paul who in turn formed Comegys Paul and Co. Second, the letters of Henry Neill Paul II date from the earlier part of his life, 1888-9, and from the latter part of his life, 1938-52. He was born in 1863 and lived at least until 1952.

Series I Early Papers, 1709-1851
a. Basic Genealogy
b. Indentures, 1709, 1714-1816
c. Stadelman Family Papers, c. 1714-1780
d. Thomas Paul Papers, 1783-1798
e. Elizabeth Stadelman Paul (Mrs. Thomas)
Series II Comegys Paul Papers, 1810-1851
a. Comegys Paul Papers, 1810-1851
b. Canoge, Paul & Co., 1811-1814
c. Comegys Paul & Co., 1821-1829
d. Comegys Paul
e. Theodore S. Paul to Comegys Paul, etc., 1812-1850
f. Theodore S. Paul, 1829-1842
Series III John Marshall Paul, John Rodman Paul & Sidney Paul Papers, 1818-1872
a. John Marshall Paul, 1823-1825
b. Paul Family, 1823-1872
c. Sidney Paul, 1818-1847
Series IV Henry Neill Paul I & II Papers, 1858-1952
a. Henry Neill Paul I, 1858-1883
b. Henry Neill Paul II, 1888-1952
c. Margaret Butler Paul (Mrs. Henry N. Paul II), 1898
Series V Mary Pope Paul (Mrs. Frank E.) Papers, and those of her children, 1868-1936
a. Mary Pope Paul, 1868-1956
b. Edith Vanderveer Paul, 1896-1906
c. Augustus R. Paul, 1900-1936
Series VI Miscellaneous
a. Miscellaneous letters
b. Wills
c. Claypools Daily Advertiser
d. Other miscellaneous items
e. Miscellaneous volumes
f. Deeds

Administrative information
Restrictions on use

Restrictions on use
The collection is open for research.

Preferred citation
Cite as: [Indicate the cited item or series here], Paul Family Papers (Collection 2033), The Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

Gift of Arthur Paul, 1975.

Accession number: 75:50

Processing notes
Reprocessed by: Meena Rajan

Processing Completed: December 2000

Processing notes
This collection was revisited for the EAD finding aid project. Much of the necessary processing was completed prior to December 2000, such as establishment of series and the creation of an inventory. The finding aid, compiled in December 2000, also took advantage of information about the Paul family in the collection folder. Series description and the scope and content sections of the finding aid, however, were written for the finding aid. Though much of the processing has already been completed, smallscale work, such as removal of metal fasteners, remains to be done.

Additional information
Related material
Worrall Family Papers, (Collection 1387), contains some material that relates to the Paul family.

Language(s) represented

Added entries
  • Europe--Description and Travel--Nineteenth Century
  • Medical Practices--France--Nineteenth Century
  • Slaves--Indentures
  • Social Life and Customs--Philadelphia
  • Trade--Dry Goods--Eighteenth Century
  • Trade--Dry Goods--Philadelphia--Nineteenth Century
  • Contributors
  • Atkinson Paul & Company
  • Canoge, Paul & Company
  • Canonge, Benjamin
  • Comegys Paul & Company
  • Comegys, Cornelius, d. 1845
  • Comegys, Paul & Company
  • Memorial Missionary Society of Calvary Presbyterian Church
  • Paul, Augustus Russell, b. 1880
  • Paul, Comegys, 1785-1851
  • Paul, Edith Vanderveer
  • Paul, Elizabeth Duffield, 1809-1866
  • Paul, Elizabeth Stadelman, 1833-1918
  • Paul, Henry Neill, 1835-1899
  • Paul, Henry Neill, 1862-c. 1955
  • Paul, John Marshall
  • Paul, John Rodman, 1802-1877
  • Paul, John Rodman, 1852-1941
  • Paul, Margaret Butler
  • Paul, Margaret Neill, 1830-1897
  • Paul, Mary Pope
  • Paul, Sidney
  • Paul, Theodore S.
  • Paul, Thomas, 1760-1802
  • Ranten, James, d. 1814
  • Watson, John T.
  • Watson, William
  • Contact information

    The Historical Society of Pennsylvania
    1300 Locust Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19107

    Collection overview

    Box (Box 1)

    The materials in this series consist primarily of pre-1800 papers regarding the Paul family and other related families. Included is family genealogy and indentures. The Thomas Paul papers, 1783-1798, consist of miscellaneous correspondence and records of his mercantile business, personal affairs, and his estate. Material relating to the Stadelman family and Elizabeth Stadelman Paul, primarily accounts and estate information, are also in this section.

    Box (Boxes 2-4)

    This section contains the personal papers of Comegys Paul and business papers from the various companies with which he was involved. The items in box 2 relate to Paul's personal affairs and contain his letters, writings, accounts and indentures. Canoge, Paul & Co., the first company Paul founded, is represented in this series by partnership and general correspondence, receipts, bills, checks and invoices. Material from Comegys Paul & Co. includes correspondence and legal papers. Additional personal material pertaining to Comegys Paul and his family can be found in box 4. This material includes account books and several miscellaneous volumes, including lists of books and land surveys. Correspondence between Theodore S. Paul and Comegys Paul and business papers of Theodore Paul comprise the final sections of this series.

    Box (Box 5)

    In this series are various letters written to family members, many while traveling abroad. John Marshall Paul and his cousin John Rodman Paul traveled to Europe together (1823-25) and their letters home are found here. Letters to and from a variety of different family members, including Henry Neill, John Rodman, Elizabeth Neill Paul, and Margaret Paul are in the second section of this series, which spans fifty years. Also in this series are letters from John Rodman Paul, Jr., from his trip to Europe in 1872. The final subseries contains the letters of Sidney Paul, John Rodman's sister.

    Box (Boxes 5-7)

    The papers in this series represent Henry Neill Paul [I] and [II]. Henry Neill Paul [I's[letterpress books, 1858-1886, 1890-1899, contain letters on property in St. Paul, Minn., his other real estate holdings, Paul family estate business, letters written as an officer of the Manufacturers Land and Improvement Company, Gloucester Land Company, and the Pennsylvania Company for Insurance on Lives and Granting Annuities. His personal ledger, 1858-1859 and journal, 1879-1888, are also present. Also included are the Memorial Missionary Society of Calvary Presbyterian Church minutes for the time when Mrs. Elizabeth Stadelman Paul served as secretary, 1870-1883. Henry Neill Paul [II], papers represent his personal business, as well as his bibliophilic and genealogical interests. His papers include incoming and outgoing correspondence, arranged in rough chronological order. The final section of the series is composed of a small number of letters to Margaret Butler Paul, the wife of Henry Neill Paul [II].

    Box (Box 8)

    Mary Pope married Frank Ellinwood Paul, the son of Theodore Paul and brother of John Marshall Paul. This series contains her papers and those of her two children. Included is personal and family correspondence, 1868-1920, together with some correspondence of Augustus Russell Paul, 1900-1937, mainly on agricultural subjects.

    Box (Box 9)

    This series includes miscellaneous letters, mainly to family members not previously represented in the collection, wills, excerpts from Claypools Daily Advertiser, miscellaneous volumes and deeds.

    Collection inventory


    Series 1. Early Papers

    Basic Genealogy

    Box 1: 1

    Box 1: 2-4

    Stadelman Family Papers
    Box 1: 5-6

    Thomas Paul Papers: Letters
    Box 1: 7-8

    Thomas Paul Papers: Indentures
    Box 1: 9-10

    Thomas Paul Papers: Land surveys
    Box 1: 11

    Thomas Paul Papers: Comegys & Paul; Comegys Paul & Co. records
    Box 1: 12

    Thomas Paul Papers: Atkinson Paul & Co. records
    Box 1: 13

    Thomas Paul Papers: Estate of Thomas Paul
    Box 1: 14-18

    Elizabeth Stadelman Paul (Mrs. Thomas)

    Box 1: 19-21


    Series 2. Comegys Paul Papers

    Comegys Paul Papers: Letters
    Box 2: 1-9

    Comegys Paul Papers: Writings
    Box 2: 10-13

    Comegys Paul Papers: Accounts
    Box 2: 14-16

    Comegys Paul Papers: Indentures
    Box 2: 17-19

    Canoge, Paul & Co.: Partner Correspondence
    Box 3: 1-4

    Canoge, Paul & Co.: General Correspondence
    Box 3: 5-13

    Canoge, Paul & Co.: Receipts, Bills, Checks
    Box 3: 14-16

    Canoge, Paul & Co.: Invoices
    Box 3: 17-19

    Comegys Paul & Co.: Correspondence
    Box 4: 1-2

    Comegys Paul & Co.: Legal Papers
    Box 4: 3

    Comegys Paul: Account books

    Box 4: 4-5

    Comegys Paul: Miscellaneous volumes

    Box 4: 6

    Comegys Paul: Miscellaneous items, including land surveys

    Box 4: 7-14

    Theodore S. Paul to Comegys Paul
    Box 4: 15-16

    Theodore S. Paul
    Box 4: 17


    Series 3. John Marshall Paul, John Rodman Paul & Sidney Paul

    John Marshall Paul
    Box 5: 1

    Paul Family
    Box 5: 2-8

    Sidney Paul
    Box 5: 9


    Series 4. Henry Neill Paul [I] & [II]

    Henry Neill Paul [I]: Miscellaneous

    Box 5: 10

    Henry Neill Paul [I]: Miscellaneous volumes

    Box 5

    Henry Neill Paul [I]: Account books

    Box 5

    Henry Neill Paul [I]: Letterpress books
    Box 6

    Henry Neill Paul [I]: Minutes, Memorial Missionary Society of the Calvary Presbyterian Church
    Box 6

    Henry Neill Paul [I]: Genealogical records & recipes for illness

    Box 6

    Henry Neill Paul [II]
    Box 7: 1-11

    Margaret Butler Paul (Mrs. Henry N. Paul [II])
    Box 7: 9


    Series 5. Mary Pope Paul (Mrs. Frank E.) Papers, with those of her children

    Mary Pope Paul
    Box 8: 1-5

    Edith Vanderveer Paul
    Box 8: 6-7

    Augustus R. Paul
    Box 8: 8-11


    Series 6. Miscellaneous

    Miscellaneous letters

    Box 9: 1-3


    Box 9: 4

    Claypools Daily Advertiser

    Box 9: 5

    Other miscellaneous items

    Box 9: 6-9

    Miscellaneous volumes

    Box 9 Vol. 3 vols.


    Box 9 Box .5 box