Vaux Family Papers
1739-1923 (Bulk: 1795-1890)
(12 boxes, 7 vols., 6 lin. feet )

Collection 684

©The Historical Society of Pennsylvania
1300 Locust Street * Philadelphia, PA 19107-5699
The Historical Society of Pennsylvania 1300 Locust Street Philadelphia, PA 19107-5699
Table of contents Abstract
Roberts Vaux, the eldest son of Richard and Ann (Roberts) Vaux, was born in Philadelphia in 1786. A descendant of English Quakers, he was among the first generation of his family to be born on American soil. Roberts's father, Richard (1751-1790), had arrived in Philadelphia in 1768 as an apprentice and later established a successful mercantile business. Roberts followed in his father's footsteps as a merchant for a short time, but soon pursued a career in philanthropy. His name is associated with many of Philadelphia's early charitable institutions and organizations, with most of his efforts focused on education and penal reform. Following his death in 1836, his son, Richard (1816-1895), served the public as well, in his one term as mayor of Philadelphia from 1856 to 1858, and later through his association with the Democratic Party.

This collection primarily contains materials related to Roberts and Richard (1816-1895) Vaux. Their papers consist of correspondence, personal journals, scrapbooks, financial records, legal papers, speeches, and other miscellaneous materials that chronicle not only their own lives, but also the histories of many charitable and political organizations of Philadelphia, most specifically the Pennsylvania Society for the Promotion of Common Schools, Eastern State Penitentiary, and the Democratic Party. Some miscellaneous items for Robert J. Evans and C. C. Burton are also included; the Vauxes were executors of their estates. In addition there are papers of several of Roberts and Richard's immediate family members which record not only the family's origins as merchants, but also the religious and business activities of female members of the family. Other family members most represented in this collection are Richard Vaux (1751-1790), Ann Vaux, Susanna Vaux, Margaret Vaux, and Thomas Wistar Vaux. Their materials consist of correspondence, deeds, diaries, and miscellaneous materials.

The first member of the Vaux family to arrive on American soil was Richard Vaux, born to the Quaker family of George and Francis (Owen) Vaux in London on November 29, 1751. He was one of five children. His siblings were George, Jeremiah, James, and Susannah. Both Richard and James immigrated to Philadelphia in the later half of the eighteenth century and became important members of the Philadelphia community. Upon their arrival, both brothers embarked upon lucrative careers in trade and agriculture and established lines of descendants who have held positions of influence in the civic and social economy of Philadelphia ever since.

Richard Vaux immigrated to Philadelphia based on the recommendation of his cousin, the wealthy London merchant John Strettell. Several members of Strettell's immediate family had gone to Philadelphia in the 1730s and had found much success as merchants in the Quaker City. Recognizing a wonderful opportunity for his young cousin, Strettell helped Richard's father, George, arrange an apprenticeship for Richard in the mercantile firm of Samuel Sansom in Philadelphia. Upon his arrival in 1768, Richard found himself in one of the leading commercial centers of America. After completing several years of apprenticeship with Sansom, Richard rose rapidly in the business world and began his own mercantile business trading items such as tobacco, corn, wheat, sugar, molasses, and coffee. Richard's success continued until 1776, when he was stymied by the Revolution. Siding with the Loyalists, Richard was imprisoned in October 1776 for singing "God Save the King" in public. After being incarcerated for several months and then placed on house arrest, Richard returned to London in January 1777 and remained there for seven years. In London, he continued to trade goods, traveling back and forth to St. Thomas. However, throughout his time in London, he maintained close ties with his friends and family in Philadelphia.

James Vaux, Richard's brother, was born in 1748 and arrived in Philadelphia in 1771. However, unlike his merchant brother, James was interested in farming. A year after his arrival, James began a thriving career in agriculture, purchasing a 300-acre farm near Valley Forge on the northeast bank of the Schuylkill river, which he named Vaux Hill. At his farm, James carried out scientific experiments in agriculture, becoming the first person to cultivate red clover in America, and also pioneered the use of anthracite coal for heating and cooking purposes. Accounts of his experiments can be found in early editions of the Franklin Institute Journal.

Removed from the city environment, James also took quite a different view of the Revolutionary War than his brother, aligning himself with the Patriots. Vaux Hill was a central location for a small portion of the Revolution in September 1777, immediately following the Battle of Brandywine. Both American and British forces occupied the farm, and both George Washington and General Howe rested in Vaux's home on separate nights. During the battle, the British plundered much of Vaux's farm.

In 1777, James married Susannah Warder, daughter of Jeremiah and Mary (Head) Warder. They had two children together, a daughter, Frances, and a son, George. About 1792 or 1794, he sold Vaux Hill to John Echline Allen and moved to Philadelphia, where he resided until his death.

Descendants of Richard Vaux

In 1783, Richard returned to Philadelphia to marry his sweetheart, Ann Roberts, and reestablish his mercantile business. Ann Roberts was the daughter of Hugh and Mary (Calvert) Roberts. Their marriage produced two children. Roberts, the eldest, was born in 1786 and his sister, Susanna (often called Susanna Jr.), in 1787. Richard Vaux died in 1790, leaving Ann the single mother of two young children.

Ann remained in Philadelphia with her children for the rest of her life. Raising Susanna and Roberts in the Quaker faith and providing them with Quaker educations at Friends' Academy, Ann enforced in their minds acceptance of diversity and the importance of maintaining family ties. She allowed her children to travel throughout the Philadelphia countryside visiting their relatives but remained in close contact with them, writing almost every week. She herself was known to travel with her daughter, Susanna, who was often sickly in her youth. Susanna died unmarried in 1812, when she was twenty-four years old. Ann died just two years later, in 1814.

Roberts Vaux went on to become one of the most noted philanthropists in Philadelphia. The young Roberts started his career by following in his father's footsteps as a merchant, working in the counting house of the prominent Philadelphia firm of Cooke & Co. After achieving his majority, he left the firm and began his own mercantile enterprise. However, he abandoned this occupation, using his private fortune to pursue a career in philanthropy and activism. Roberts Vaux is perhaps best known for implementing a public school system for the lower classes of Philadelphia, and special schools to meet the needs of deaf or blind children. He was also a primary advocate for the institution of schools for infants, girls, and colored children. Owing to his Quaker background, Roberts believed that all members of society were entitled to an education and made it his business to ensure that almost all residents of Philadelphia received one. Roberts served as president of the Board of Controllers for Public Schools for several years and helped regulate curriculum for students as well as improve the quality of the learning environment. Because of his pro-active stance toward educating all Philadelphians and the variety of schools that he helped put into operation, Roberts became a key correspondent with likeminded people in several European countries that were trying to implement similar educational reforms. Some of these countries included England, France, Switzerland, Russia, and Spain.

Roberts was also responsible for several reforms in the prison system. He stressed the importance of educating prisoners during detention in order to prevent multiple incarcerations, and pushed for the abandonment of inhumane punishments. He served as secretary for the Prison Discipline Society for twenty-one years, was on the committee to erect the Eastern State Penitentiary, and helped form the House of Refuge for juvenile offenders. He also attempted to educate young people about their rights by providing pamphlets to schools that outlined Pennsylvania laws in terms that children could understand. In addition, he authored several articles that recorded the history of the penitentiary system.

Other causes with which Roberts was associated included the abolition of slavery and petitioning government on behalf of the rights of Native Americans. He also authored biographies on such prominent philanthropists and abolitionists as Anthony Benezet, Benjamin Lay, and Ralph Sandiford, and was a member of several scientific, historical, and anthropological societies, both locally and nationally, to which he contributed financially and intellectually. Because of Roberts's high civic standing, President Jackson offered him appointments to several prominent positions. He refused all of them, except an appointment as judge in the Court of Common Pleas, a position that he assumed in 1835. Unfortunately, Roberts died suddenly the following year of a malignant form of scarlet fever.

Roberts had married Margaret Wistar, daughter of Thomas and Mary (Waln) Wistar in 1814. They had two children together, Richard and Thomas Wistar Vaux. Like her husband, Margaret was herself an honorary member or donor to several different charitable organizations including the Female Association, the Franklin Reformatory Home, the Bethany Mission School, the Philadelphia Orphan Asylum, and the Widows Asylum. Following her husband's death, she rented out much of her late husband's property, which proved to be very lucrative. This allowed her to remain financially independent. However, she lived with her son, Thomas, until her death in 1886. Thomas never married and little is known of his life. He died in 1887.

In contrast to his father, Roberts, who remained politically independent throughout his philanthropic career, Richard (1816-1895) served the public through political appointments. He is most noted for his term as Philadelphia's mayor from 1856 to 1858. He had campaigned for the position in three prior elections, losing to John Morin Scott in 1842, John Swift in 1848, and Robert T. Conrad in 1854. His victory in 1856 came as a result of the disintegration of the Whig party and an expanded voting populace following the Act of Assembly of 1854, which had consolidated the city and county of Philadelphia into one political and geographic unit. During Richard's term as mayor, many of Philadelphia's streets were paved and the police force was regulated. Although his term was a success, he lost his campaign for re-election to Alexander Henry of the People's Party in 1858, mostly because of the weakening of the Democratic Party following the "Bleeding Kansas" controversy, and ensuing tensions related to issues of slavery in the territories. Prior to his election as mayor, Richard had served as bearer of government dispatches to London and secretary to the American Legation in London near the court of St. James in 1837. He was also appointed recorder (a judge who has criminal jurisdiction in a city) for Philadelphia from 1841 to 1848. It is noteworthy that no decision made by him during his time as recorder was ever reversed by a higher court. His political career continued through 1890 when he was elected to fill the unexpired term of Congressman Samuel J. Randall who had died in April of that year. He ran for reelection but did not win.

Richard's political aspirations were closely tied to his alignment with the Democratic Party. Following the split between northern and southern members of the Democratic Party in 1860, Richard began to act as a spokesman for northern Democratic policies regarding the Civil War. His speeches emphasized the importance of preserving the unity of the nation, but against Lincoln's draft. At the completion of the war, he continued to engage in debate about Reconstruction, the regulation of currency, tariffs, the limiting of expenditures of public money, and other issues that Democratic policy had wavered on for several years. Richard continued to be an active member of the Democratic Party and carried much influence in regional party politics throughout his life.

Richard also followed in his father's footsteps to bring about reforms in the penitentiary system, becoming one of America's most noted penologists. Like his father, he wrote many articles about the penitentiary system including, "Locked Up: The Principles, Practice, Purposes, and the Prevention of Penitentiary Punishment," and "The Convict: His Punishment, What it Should Be, and How Applied." Richard was also a member of many charitable and historical organizations including the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and The American Philosophical Society. He married Mary Morris Waln, daughter of Jacob Shoemaker Waln and Sarah (Morris) Waln, in 1840. Together, they had six children, Mary Waln Wistar, Sally Waln, Meta, Elizabeth Waln, Roberts, and Jacob Waln. Richard died in 1895.

Scope and content
Roberts Vaux and his son Richard are the two family members best documented in this collection. Their papers are comprised of materials that represent both their private and public lives. Incoming and outgoing correspondence from 1795 to 1836 provides a complete picture of Roberts's life. Topics included in the correspondence pertain to his days as a student, his relationship with his family, and later, his activities as a philanthropist. Materials related to his public life include a variety of papers from different benevolent organizations, a book of questions he compiled related to the history of Philadelphia, and a scrapbook with newspaper clippings about his retirement from the presidency of the Board of Controllers of Public Schools. More personal items include a journal from 1807 to 1808, legal papers, bills and receipts, poetry and prose, and letters he collected of prominent philanthropists and activists. Some of the more miscellaneous items amongst Roberts's papers are a few notes and some printed materials. There is also a receipt book and several account statements for Robert J. Evans. Roberts became the executor for Evans's estate in 1822. All of these materials relate to those business dealings.

Richard's papers are less extensive and for the most part, less comprehensive than Roberts's. Included amongst his materials is incoming and outgoing correspondence that covers a period from 1834 to 1890. Most of these papers relate to his involvement in the Democratic Party and several political appointments that he held, including his term as mayor of Philadelphia from 1856 to 1858. There are also a variety of financial papers associated with Richard that include bills and receipts, account books, and check books. Almost all of the financial papers relate to Richard's personal accounts. However, there is one account book and one checking account statement that relate to the finances of Lieutenant C. C. Barton of the U. S. Navy, who was one of Richard's legal clients. Also included are several lectures and speeches Richard presented on behalf of the Democratic Party, legal papers, various papers related to his involvement in different charitable organizations, and certificates of appointment. More personal items consist of a journal chronicling his travels to London in 1837, poetry and prose, a collection of French autographs, and lists of visitors to his home. There are also some printed materials such as a flyer promoting Richard for mayor and political pamphlets.

There are also several materials related to other members of the Vaux family. Of the other family members, Richard Vaux (1751-1790) is represented most significantly, his materials consisting of incoming and outgoing correspondence from 1778 to 1795, legal papers and deeds, and several bills and receipts related to his business dealings as a merchant. Also included are two memorandum books and a diary that cover his time in London from 1777 to 1783. Correspondence for Ann (Roberts) Vaux and Susanna Vaux gives some insight into the family life of these Quaker women, recording their travels and day-to-day activities, while Margaret Vaux's financial and legal papers give evidence of her lucrative real estate dealings. There are also a few letters to Thomas Wistar Vaux. Also included in this series are miscellaneous correspondence, deeds, and prose related to George Vaux (1721-1783), James Vaux (1748-1842), George Vaux Jr., William Sansom Vaux (1811-1882), and Jacob Waln Vaux.

There are a number of materials in this collection that could not be identified with any one member of the Vaux family. These materials include correspondence, deeds, financial papers, photographs of Richard Vaux (1816-1895) and unidentified persons, printed materials, poetry and prose, and compiled genealogical charts. Most of these materials are undated and are of uncertain authorship.

Series I Roberts Vaux (1786-1836), 1775-1835, n.d. 5 boxes, 1 vol.
a. Incoming correspondence, 1795-1835, n.d.
b. Outgoing correspondence, 1803-1835, n.d.
c. Robert J. Evans, 1807-1828.
d. Miscellaneous, 1775-1835, n.d.
Series II Richard Vaux (1816-1895), 1833-1893, n.d. 5 boxes, 1 vol.
a. Incoming correspondence, 1834-1893, n.d.
b. Outgoing correspondence, 1834-1890, n.d.
c. Financial papers, 1833-1888.
d. Miscellaneous, 1835-1892, n.d.
Series III Other family members, 1774-1901, n.d. 44 folders, 5 vols.
a. Richard Vaux (1751-1790), 1774-1795, n.d.
b. Ann Vaux (1753-1814), 1759-1814, n.d.
c. Susanna Vaux (1787-1812), 1795-1812, n.d.
d. Margaret Vaux (1793-1886), 1793-1887, n.d.
e. Thomas W. Vaux (1819-1887), 1831-1887, n.d.
f. Miscellaneous, 1768-1901, n.d.
Series IV Miscellaneous, 1739-1923, n.d. 10 folders

Administrative information
The collection is open for research.

Gift of Mary Vaux Buckley.

Am.1742 (Roberts Vaux Diary), provenance unknown.

Preferred citation
Cite as: [Indicate cited item or series here], Vaux Family Papers (Collection 684), The Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

Processing information
Processing made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Am .1742 was formerly a part of Collection 1995.

Alternate formats

Additional information
Separated material

Related material
Richard Vaux Papers, Library Company of Philadelphia.

Roberts Vaux Diaries, American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Mass.

Roberts Vaux's Address on the Impolicy of Slavery, American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, Pa.

Leach, Frank Willing, "Vaux," The Philadelphia North American, 23 Nov. 1908.

Philadelphia Information Locator Service, Mayors of the City of Philadelphia 1691-2000,

Vaux Family Genealogy, Family Collections (FC Va), The Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Virtual American Biographies, s.v. Roberts Vaux,

Added entries
  • American loyalists
  • Autographs--Collectors and Collecting
  • Blind--Education--19th century
  • Charities--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--19th Century
  • Civic leaders--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--19th Century
  • Commission merchants
  • Deaf--Education--19th Century
  • Democratic Party (Philadelphia County, Pa.)--19th Century
  • Eastern State Penitentiary of Pennsylvania
  • Education--Elementary--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--19th Century
  • Education--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--19th Century
  • Education--Special Education--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--19th Century
  • Education--Urban--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--19th Century
  • Girard College
  • Mayors--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--19th century
  • Merchant ships--18th Century
  • Merchants--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--18th Century
  • Merchants--Political activity--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--18th Century
  • Ocean travel--19th Century
  • Pennsylvania Society for the Promotion of Common Schools
  • Pennsylvania--Politics and government--19th Century
  • Philadelphia (Pa.)--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
  • Philadelphia (Pa.)--Politics and Government--19th Century
  • Philanthropists--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--19th Century
  • Political parties--Platforms--Pennsylvania--19th Century
  • Presidents--Election
  • Prison reformers--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--19th Century
  • Quaker abolitionists--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--19th Century
  • Quakers--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--18th century
  • Quakers--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--19th century
  • Reconstruction
  • Social reformers--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--19th century
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
  • United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783
  • Women--Education--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--19th Century
  • Women--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--19th Century
  • Contributors
  • Barton, C. C.
  • Benezet, Anthony, 1713-1784
  • Buchanan, James, 1791-1868--Correspondence
  • Evans, Robert J.
  • Lancaster, Joseph, 1778-1838
  • Parke, James P. (James Pemberton), b. 1783.
  • Roberts, Hugh, ca. 1694-1776
  • Roberts, Moses, 1724-1804
  • Strettell, John, d.1786
  • Vaux family
  • Vaux, Ann (Roberts), 1753-1814
  • Vaux, George, 1721-1783
  • Vaux, George, Jr.
  • Vaux, Jacob Waln, 1849-1893
  • Vaux, James, 1748-1842
  • Vaux, Margaret Wistar, 1793-1886
  • Vaux, Richard, 1751-1790
  • Vaux, Richard, 1816-1895
  • Vaux, Roberts, 1786-1836
  • Vaux, Susanna, 1787-1812
  • Vaux, Thomas Wistar, 1819-1887
  • Vaux, William Sansom, 1811-1882
  • Wistar, Caspar, 1761-1818
  • Wistar, Thomas, 1764-1851
  • Contact information
    The Historical Society of Pennsylvania
    1300 Locust Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19107-5699



      Sponsor:Processing made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
    Collection overview

    Series 1. Roberts Vaux (1786-1836) 1775-1835, n.d.
    Box 1-5

    a. Incoming correspondence 1795-1835, n.d.

    Correspondence from this collection dates to 1795, when Roberts was a student. Most of the early letters are from his sister Susanna and his mother Ann (Roberts) Vaux inquiring about his studies. These letters narrate Ann and Susanna's day-to-day activities including travels, attendance at Quaker meetings, and reports of Philadelphia news. Other letters from his family, most specifically from his uncle, George Vaux, stress the importance of education, proper letter writing, and maintaining his studies. There are also several letters from James P. Parke regarding their mutual involvement in a literary society. Parke acted as a mentor and friend to the young Roberts and all of these letters are of a very personal and friendly nature.

    Following the completion of his education, letters are addressed, "Roberts Vaux, Merchant." This correspondence refers to Roberts's time as clerk for the prominent firm of Cooke & Co. He remained at their counting house until his majority and then began his own mercantile business, retiring from this enterprise around 1815 to rely on his private fortune. Mentioned are personal goods that he sold to members of his family, and also hoses that he traded to the Philadelphia Hose Co. In addition to his mercantile activities, he also received several letters from his cousin, Samuel Emlen from Westhill, asking Roberts to purchase different bank stocks from the plethora of new banks in 1813.

    Even in his days as a merchant, Roberts began to align himself with many of the causes of his day, particularly, education. The importance of education in his early days had a significant impact on his desire to promote a regulated free school system for the lower classes in Philadelphia. In 1807, Roberts received notice of his election to president of the Society for Promoting Common or Public Schools. There are several letters throughout the correspondence asking for his help, relating to the misdirecting of funds, the introduction of new courses, and the initiation of new schools for different types of students such as those who were deaf, blind, infants, female, or colored. The majority of correspondence relating to education is from Joseph Lancaster, president of the Education Board. These letters indicate that Roberts was adamant in his belief that everyone deserved an education, even though this notion was not supported by some of his peers. A wonderful example of this can be found in the correspondence between Roberts and Lancaster in 1818, regarding the introduction of a girls' school. Roberts pressed for the opening of a girls' school, while his colleague rejected the idea because the introduction of the new school would amount to the "loss of several hundred dollars" for him. Consequently, Lancaster also rejected the idea of female teachers in schools, a heated issue that almost led to his resignation in 1819. However, due to Robert's persistence, the girl's school was opened in 1824, with Mrs. Jamison acting as the superintendent for the Female Department of Public Schools.

    Because of Robert's involvement in the Philadelphia public education system, he became a primary correspondent with other people in the United States and Europe who were interested in implementing their own education system. In 1818, he was elected a foreign member of the British and Foreign School Society and began to receive letters from England, France, Switzerland, Russia, and Spain asking about his theories on education. These letters show a growing trend at the time toward educating the masses. He promoted knowledge in other ways as well. Letters indicate that he was heavily involved in promoting and implementing societies for history and the sciences. He helped establish such societies as the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and the Apprentice Library Co. of Philadelphia, designed for the intellectual improvement of the apprentices of the city. He also received several printed letters notifying him of his nomination to honorary membership in several historical and scientific societies, both local and national, based on his achievements in instituting public education systems and for authoring biographies on such important historical figures as Benjamin Lay, Ralph Sandiford, Anthony Benezet, and William Penn. He was particularly interested in the location where William Penn signed his treaty with the Indians, a topic on which he gave a lecture at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in 1827. In conjunction with his speech, he often received letters thanking him for sending, as a gift to his colleagues, a small wooden box carved out of what he asserted as the exact tree of the historic interlude between Penn and the Indians.

    Another noble cause with which Roberts associated himself was the reformation of the prison system. His involvement in this cause began in 1818, when he was elected an honorary member of the Society for the Improvement of Prison Discipline in London. Letters to Roberts show his advocacy of the idea that educating the prisoners and abandoning harsh treatments would prevent recurrent incarcerations. He received correspondence from several different countries including England, Holland, and France, with ideas of how this could be accomplished. In a letter dated June 14, 1824, the unidentified author relates the experience of having women help reform the prisoners, stating that their experience had, "remarkably proved to me that women of principle are peculiarly calculated to administer help and consolation both to the wanderers and the sorrowful in prisons." Following in this same notion, the Netherland Society for the Moral Improvement of Prisoners in Amsterdam recommended the reform of prisoners through elementary and religious instruction during detention. Most important among the reforms, however, was an emphasis on a more humane treatment of the prisoners. Colonel Samuel Miller of the U.S. Marine Corps wrote to Roberts in March 1828 discussing the use of strips and lashes. Miller provided an account of the military's abandonment of this practice in favor of solitary confinement, stating that it was "less degrading" and more effective. Correspondence also asserts that Roberts attempted to educate Philadelphia youth about the prison system through the publication of a pamphlet on the criminal laws of Pennsylvania that he distributed in schools.

    Roberts was also involved in the abolition of slavery and in advocating the rights of Native Americans. In 1815, he was a member of the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery. Letters thank him for providing pamphlets in Illinois, Maryland, and Washington D.C. to help persuade people in those areas to reject the slave trade and help support the causes of abolition in government. He was also an advocate for the rights of the Cherokee Indians in Georgia in 1830. Fellow philanthropists and lawmakers wrote to Roberts for his support in petitioning Congress to repeal the "Indian Bill," referring to the Removal Act of 1830. In both cases, Roberts was active in memorializing the history of African American and Native American cultures.

    In 1835, Roberts received many congratulations on his appointment to judge of the Court of Common Pleas. It is important to note that he was asked to serve in several prominent positions by President Jackson, but he refused the appointments. Correspondence from this period ends in January 1836, with his sudden death caused by a malignant form of scarlet fever that ended his life a few days before his 50th birthday.

    b. Outgoing correspondence 1803-1835, n.d.

    The outgoing correspondence relates to Roberts's days as a student and his career as a philanthropist and judge. The outgoing correspondence begins with a series of letters written to James P. Parke, who seems to have been a very good friend of Roberts. Most of these letters coincide with the letters in the incoming correspondence from Parke to Roberts, and again discuss the exchange of books and opinions on those books, on his travels, and so forth. Roberts also wrote letters to Thomas Wistar with the same purpose. Other letters from the early part of this collection were written to his mother, Anne, and sister, Susanna, about his studies and day-to- day activities, most specifically his travels to Wilkes-Barre, New York, and Oxmead, as well as his attendance at Quaker Meetings. Also of note is a letter dated June 27, 1814, to his fiancée, Margaret Wistar, listing items that would be transferred to their new home and declaring his love for her. They were married in November of that same year.

    There is no correspondence from 1815 to 1820 or from 1826 to 1830. Letters from 1821 to 1825 are more sporadic and provide little information on any given topic. However, they do demonstrate his personal views on conditions at the School for the Deaf and Dumb and his views on slavery.

    One letter of particular interest in the outgoing correspondence is a letter that Roberts wrote to John Wurts on February 12, 1823. The letter is a twenty-page document relating to a complaint that was brought to the Philadelphia School Board's attention concerning the misconduct of one of their teachers, identified as Mr. Seixas, toward his female students. The complaints were first brought about when one student's mother, identified as Matron Ford, came to the board concerned about a dream that she had had about Seixas's conduct. The dream was later verified by Ford's daughter, Letitia Ford, and accusations of molestation were made against Seixas. Similar charges of molestation were brought about by other female students following her complaint and all circumstances were verified by the matron of the house and the cook. The letter relates that although three separate investigations were made and proved conclusively that Seixas was guilty of all the charges, the case was ignored by legislative bodies because of arguments made by Seixas's lawyer, identified as Todd, that the girls had been told to lie by members the School Board who were corrupt and had wanted Seixas out of the school for years. In the letter, Roberts related all specific facts of the case and defends all decisions made by the board. There are no other letters associated with this case or any other case of teacher misconduct. The specific name of the institution was not included.

    c. Robert J. Evans 1807-1828

    This subseries contains materials pertaining to the estate of Robert J. Evans. Roberts Vaux retained possession of these materials following Evans's death in August 1822, when he became the administrator for Evans's estate. All of the materials in this subseries relate specifically to the settling of that estate.

    Items in this subseries include a small leather bound receipt book that begins in 1807 and notes everyday expenses, such as receipts for clothing, taxes, and boarding. Evan's entries end in January 1821, although it unclear why. Vaux began making payments on Evans account in August 1822. These entries continue until November 7, 1828 when all accounts were finally settled. The rest of the materials pertain to the business dealings between Cadwalader Evans and Robert Evans. Materials include an insurance stock agreement between said partnership in addition to several account statements. There is also an inventory of personal property belonging to Evans, as well as an account statement of how Robert Evans divided up the estate of John Evans the Elder.

    d. Miscellaneous 1775-1835, n.d.

    The miscellaneous subseries includes bills and receipts, various papers of charitable organizations, a question book, and a scrapbook, all of which touch on Roberts's involvements in philanthropy. Most important among these materials are papers of various charitable organizations. The majority of materials recount his involvement with the Pennsylvania Society for the Promotion of Common Schools. Materials include a rough and final draft of the constitution of the society, a report of the state of education in Pennsylvania in 1828, a small book listing the contributors to the society from 1830 to 1831, a pamphlet proposing a school for the instruction of the blind, and the constitution of the Philadelphia Association of Teachers in 1831. Other papers in this section relate to the Society of Friends, Girard College, Pennsylvania Hospital, the Male Refuge at Hoxten, and the Philadelphia Museum (also known as Peale's Museum). Also included are notes about books and pamphlets about the abolition of slavery, some authored by Roberts, which were deposited into the Abolition Society's readings.

    A few bills and receipts give an indication of Roberts's financial involvement in several of these organizations, while the question book provides evidence of his intellectual involvement. The small question book includes a list of "Questions to ask aged Persons about Ancient Philadelphia." It is possible that he gave the information that he collected in reference to these questions to The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, an organization that often asked its members to gather information about the origins of the city for its collections. Also related to his involvement in charitable organizations, the scrapbook is an assortment of newspaper clippings pasted into an old receipt book that chronicle his retirement from President of the Board of Controllers for Public Schools in 1831.

    More personal items for Roberts include his journal, legal documents, poetry and prose, and materials he copied. The first entries in the journal begin in November 1807 and pertain to lectures he attended on "The Uses of Chemistry, its Application to Physiology, Pharmacy, the Arts, & etc." He began to write personal entries in the journal in June 1808, recording his travels from Philadelphia to Clarks Valley and home. Most of the entries relate to the distance that he and his companion, R[euben?] Haines, covered each day, descriptions of the landscape, and names of people they met along the way. In several of the entries he includes hand-drawn maps. On the inside cover of the journal, Roberts copied an Indian recipe for how to cure a poisonous snake bite. The journal ends with his return to Philadelphia after what appears to be several days of travel. There are no dates written in the entries. More than half of the journal is empty.

    Legal papers and poetry and prose included with Roberts's materials are both personal and collected. Personal legal papers include Roberts's will and a Deed of Conveyance for which he acted as escrow for Benjamin Shaw and George Murray. However, there are also several copies of narratives and verdicts of legal cases that Roberts acquired. None of these cases involve Roberts and it is unclear how he came in possession of these materials. The poetry and prose range from copies of grammar techniques written during Vaux's school days in 1794, to a recipe for "Baleyguts" sent from his sister, to copies of sermons and prayers read during Friends' meetings. Other materials include extracts from poems, letters, and wills of prominent philanthropic figures that Vaux admired. Of note is a selection from William Penn's will about land that he left to his servants, two letters written by Benjamin Franklin and three letters written to Anthony Benezet.

    Also included in this subseries are several certificates of appointment, a minute book from Robert's time as secretary for the Stockholders of the Bank of the Northern Liberties from 1811 to 1813, miscellaneous notes, and printed materials. The printed materials give insight into Philadelphia atmosphere during Robert's lifetime. Of note is a broadside relating the poor character of Marcus Cicero Stanly. The circular hails him as "The Thief, Blackmailer, Swindler, and Prince of Stool Pigeons!" Also included are broadsides from different schools and charitable organizations and a copy of the New Brunswick Royal Gazette dated Tuesday, December 27, 1825.

    Series 2. Richard Vaux (1816-1895) 1833-1893
    Box 6-11

    a. Incoming correspondence 1834-1893, n.d.

    The incoming correspondence of Richard Vaux is sporadic and often quite general, providing only brief glimpses of his youth and later political career. Correspondence begins in 1834 with his days as a legal student. Most of these early letters are personal notes from friends and family relating to his father's death in 1836, and studies in London from 1837 to 1839. Most prominent among his early correspondents are James Buchanan and Ferdinand Cove. Cove studied law in London for a short time and was joined there by Richard in 1837. Of note are letters of introduction on Richard's behalf to several British contacts including Theodore S. Fay of the American Legation in London, Daniel O'Connell, and Robert Forshr from Senator James Buchanan, Congressman Aaron Vanderpoel, and John Hughes.

    There are few letters from 1840 to 1844; they relate little information about Richard's career during that time. Letters address him as "Recorder Vaux," a position that he filled from 1841 to 1848. Most of these letters relate to appeal cases. However by 1842, his political aspirations were guiding him toward more prominent positions. Richard campaigned in several mayoral elections, losing to John Morin Scott in 1842, John Swift in 1848, and Robert T. Conrad in 1854. He was finally elected in 1856, defeating Henry D. Moore. Following his election, most of the correspondence relates to his term in office. During his two-year term as mayor, Richard's administration paved many of the city streets, including Broad Street, Frankford Street, and a portion of the turnpike, as well as the streets of Germantown and Manyunk. Also included in this correspondence are requests to speak at different events and letters of recommendation for officers to be appointed into the police force. His term in office ended in 1858 when he was replaced by Alexander Henry of the People's Party. There is little correspondence from 1858 to 1860, following his defeat for reelection.

    The correspondence from 1860 to 1870 relates mostly to Richard's involvement in the Democratic Party and how the party responded to changes in the country during the Civil War. Topics in these letters include the presidential campaign of 1860 and the split in the Democratic Party. Many of the letters are marked "Confidential" or "Private," because they provide the personal opinions of Richard's peers concerning who should be nominated for the presidency. Fellow democrat, James McHall wrote to Richard on March 29, 1860, stating that "I believe Douglas is the strongest candidate for the Democracy of the Northern States, and if nominated that the South will support him as a unit." Following Douglas's defeat, Henchel V. Johnson wrote to Richard, "Buchanan gave the north to Lincoln--the seceders took the South from Douglas--their united fragmentation gave the victory to the Republicans." Other noteworthy correspondents who wrote to Richard on this topic include Representative William H. Miller of Pennsylvania, Representative Samuel J. Randall of Pennsylvania, and Senator George Connell of Pennsylvania.

    By 1865, following the war's end, many of the letters discuss how to reconcile the divided Democratic Party, and strategies for nominating a democratic candidate for the Pennsylvania gubernatorial election of 1865 in the face of Republican policy on Reconstruction. Correspondents also address the emergence of new political parties. In response to these issues, there was an attempt made to educate the voting public on political history and to provide a unified Democratic Party policy related to currency, tariff, and the limiting of expenditures of public money. Richard had maintained the appearance of a reliable Democrat, having received an election to the Little Giant Club of Burlington, New Jersey, for having pure "Democratic Principle" during the Presidential Election of 1860, and so was often selected to be a spokesman for such purposes.

    There are very few letters from 1880 to 1890, but most of the correspondence recounts Richard's involvement in reforming the prison system, which began with his election as president of the Board of Inspectors of the State Penitentiary for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in 1860. Other organizations of which he was a member included the Manhattan Club, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and Girard College. In October 1890, Richard was elected to Congress to fulfill the unexpired term of Congressman Samuel J. Randall. There is no correspondence regarding this topic except a letter of congratulations from Thomas R. Elcock. Richard's incoming correspondence ends in 1890.

    b. Outgoing correspondence 1834-1890, n.d.

    Early letters from the outgoing correspondence relate to Richard's days as a student. In these letters, Richard wrote to his friends and family about his travels, education, and the circumstances surrounding his father's death. Of particular interest is an 1834 letter, written from New Hope, in which he discussed his business dealings with James Buchanan and James Burke, associates in the buying of several horses from the Wilkenson family. This is the first indication of Richard's contact with James Buchanan, who continued to correspond with Richard throughout his political career, often working toward similar political outcomes. Also of note are letters that Richard wrote to State Senator Chester Pierce Butler and State Senator James Buchanan in 1837 asking for their assistance in securing a position as Bearer of Government Dispatches to either the English or French ministries.

    Letters from 1840 to 1854 are scarce and relate mostly to Richard's term as recorder of Philadelphia. However, there are several letters related to his interest in running for mayor of Philadelphia in 1854. In a draft of a letter to the Temperance Convention dated April 27, 1854, he discussed his candidacy for mayor. He wrote, "In reply to the questions propounded in your note, I beg leave to state - that the office of Mayor is not invested with any legislative functions; the powers and duties of the office are singly executive; that if elected Mayor, I will faithfully perform all the duties enjoined by law; that my energies shall be devoted to the impartial enforcement of all laws now existing, and such as may be enacted during my official term - the preservation of the public peace and order - the maintenance of good morals - and a jealous watchfulness over, and support of, all measures identified with the true and substantial interests of the people of the city of Philadelphia."

    However, Richard wasn't elected to be Philadelphia's mayor until 1856. Letters recount ordinances that he enforced including making the city streets and public water system cleaner and ensuring that all police officers wore their badges while on duty. Also of note was his rejection of the petition from the Philadelphia Passenger Railway Company to lay their rails over the Market Street Bridge. Richard denied the petition in order to reduce the presence of big corporations and monopolies in the Philadelphia area. The letters relating to his term in office end with a small edited fragment of his farewell message as mayor in 1858. There is no outgoing correspondence from 1859.

    Following his term in office, most of the letters indicate that Richard became very involved in the Democratic Party. His involvement was renewed in 1860 at a time when the party was experiencing serious splits over several policies, most specifically relating to dissentions over the Baltimore and Harrisburg Conventions and about questions of how to deal with the issue of slavery in the territories. Letters from this period also indicate that Richard tried to renew his political career in 1860, when he wrote about his aspirations to run for the U.S. Senate, and again in 1862 when he wrote a letter asking for an appointment as minister from the United States to Belgium. Neither of these nominations came to fruition. Later in 1862, he wrote against the Union Army's draft, believing that it would hurt the financial stability of Philadelphia.

    Correspondence from 1863 to 1890 is very sporadic. Most of the correspondence after 1875 consists of letters Richard wrote thanking different charitable organizations for nominating him as an honorary member.

    c. Financial papers 1833-1888

    Included in this subseries are bills and receipts, several account books, and check books. The bulk of the bills and receipts cover the years 1887 to 1888 and relate to personal items such as groceries, gas, and cigars. However, earlier receipts also reflect Richard's contribution to different charitable organizations such as the Philadelphia Board of Trade, the Athenaeum Society, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and the Library Company of Philadelphia. The only receipts related to business transactions are those from his real estate broker, Adams & Baker which refer to inherited pieces of property that he and his mother, Margaret Vaux, rented out. Most of the records involving real estate are kept with Margaret's records. Also of note is the receipt book which refers to Richard's position as co-executor with Henry P. Small for the estate of William A. Edwards. All of the receipts in this book refer to the settling of said estate.

    There are a total of eight account books that refer mostly to Richard's personal transactions. In most cases, Richard kept separate account books for different types of transactions as well as for fees paid and fees received. For example, the account book from 1833 is solely designated to Vaux's account with his grocer, A. Rose. Likewise, the account book from 1870 refers only to rents collected. The account books for items that he purchased often provide a detailed inventory while accounts that he received money for only list a person's name with an amount, providing no indication of why the money was received. There are two account books that differ significantly from the others. The first is an account book for Lieutenant C. C. Barton of the U. S. Navy. It appears that Vaux was Barton's lawyer and handled all of his financial transactions. The account was Barton's personal ledger listing the purchase of such items as gloves, postage, stockings for his children, and the withdrawal of cash. Also of interest is the account book from 1880. This book provides a record of donations made to the Democratic Party during Richard's time as chairman of the Committee of Finances. Donations made into this account vary from $25 to $150. Also included are check books which provide a list of check numbers, a name, and an amount. There is no indication of what the payments were for.

    d. Miscellaneous 1835-1893, n.d.

    There are several miscellaneous materials included with Richard's papers that relate to his private life. These items include a journal, legal papers, and collected materials. On the front of the journal is marked in pencil "Rough Sketch of a Journal of a Trip to Europe and returned by a Young Lawyer." The journal refers to Richard's travels to Europe in 1837. All entries were recorded on board a ship, which was never identified. The journal is very brief but gives a good account of sea travel to Europe from America in the nineteenth century. Early entries discuss his inability to eat or walk about on account of his voracious sea-sickness. Later, when the sea-sickness subsided, entries provide names of people who also traveled on the ship and day-to-day activities such as religious services and weather conditions.

    The legal papers include both his personal legal papers as well as public legal cases. Some personal papers include his last will and testament and a letter of administration regarding his brother Thomas's estate in 1887. The majority of legal papers however, relate to cases for which Richard acted as recorder or judge. Items include deeds, wills, petitions, patents, and articles of co-partnership. Of special interest is an 1856 ordinance to prevent dogs from "running at large," and a patent for lubricating journal bearings between T. P. Wendell and S. P. M. Tasker written completely in German in 1852. Also included is Vaux's personal docket book from 1855 to 1868 listing legal cases that he acted as attorney.

    Other personal materials include a collection of French autographs. There is no date indicating when or how he collected these items. All of the letters are written in French and include the signature of prominent Frenchmen such as the Duke de Valentinoes, Duke de Chestillon, and the Duke de St. Aignan. Also included are three copies of letters written by William Penn.

    Several materials, including speeches and notes, poetry and prose, and printed materials relate to Richard's dealings in the Democratic Party. The speeches and notes provide a clear picture of Richard's political views. Of note are his philosophical speech on the nature of truth and a few of his political addresses to the Democratic Party. Many of Richard's political speeches addressed the state of the union before the Civil War, and reflect his belief that the country as a whole should be preserved. In one speech he proclaimed, "A calm consideration of the present condition of the country should be the first duty of every patriot...They would hush into silence all minor suggestions and looking to the foundation of that system on which our political liberty was first built lest try and compare our present departures from it, and make our last effort to restore the country to its normal political condition." There are also many speeches about the state of democracy in Pennsylvania, the split in party lines, and the emergence of new political parties. In a speech against the Black Republican Party in 1861, he calls them "too ignorant and too lazy to earn within character or competency by any labor of mind or muscle, they have been belched out, by the corrupted gases of political club rooms, into Legislative Halls, there to paunder and to plunder, whenever redeemable promises to pay on demand to bearer, convinced them that merit was its own award." Also included are toasts that he gave at the anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans and a speech on the history of the Pennsylvania prison system.

    The poetry and prose also give brief insight into his political beliefs. Several of the poems are political such as, "Tardy George," and "Why we did not Keep Lincoln's Thanksgiving Day," which begins,

    How can we praise the President, for all his party deeds/
    For discord and dissention, of which he sows the seeds/
    Forswearing the constitution-relying on green triggers,/
    Enslaving the white freeman, to liberate the niggers."

    Also included is a version of the popular Christmas poem, "The Night Before Christmas," and a sermon by J. J. Gurney.

    Printed materials include the Constitution and By Laws of the Central Democratic Union, distributed minutes of the Democratic Party Meeting and a flyer promoting Richard Vaux for mayor. There are also several menus and invitations to different political and charitable events.

    Also among his miscellaneous materials are certificates of appointment, lists of visitors to his home, and papers of charitable organizations. A large portion of the papers of charitable organization relate to his involvement in the Eastern State Penitentiary. Included is a description of the grounds occupied by and adjoining the prison, as well as reports about the conditions of the prison presented to the Senate and House of Representatives. Other papers refer to Pennsylvania Hospital and the Keystone Club of Pennsylvania.

    Series 3. Other Family Members 1774-1901
    Box 12

    a. Richard Vaux (1751-1790) 1774-1795, n.d.

    Richard Vaux's correspondence begins in 1778 and ends in 1795. All of the correspondence from 1778 to 1783 is written to Vaux in London; 1784 correspondence is addressed to Vaux in St. Thomas. It is important to note that Richard lived and operated as a merchant in Philadelphia prior to 1778, but returned to his native country in 1777 because of his political beliefs. Almost all of the letters to Richard relate directly to the circumstances surrounding his return to London. In 1778, all of the letters are from Joseph P. Whitall, who wrote to Vaux from Paris. His letters requested that Richard send information about the state of affairs in Philadelphia during the war, in addition to information about trading conditions with the United States. Almost all of the letters written to Vaux in London are from his business associates and relate to trade.

    By 1784, letters are again addressed to Richard in Philadelphia. Most of the letters offer him congratulations on his "matrimonial business." Richard was married to Ann Roberts in October of 1784. These notes are often interwoven into business letters related to trade. Upon his return to Philadelphia, Vaux returned to his mercantile business, trading items such as tobacco, corn, wheat, sugar, molasses and coffee. One letter also mentions spurs. It appears that Richard's trade was mostly overseas, most specifically with John Strettell and John Brickwood, both in London. The majority of the correspondence ends in 1790. The only other letter is from 1795 and was written to Henry Drinker, the executor of Vaux's estate. The letter is from J. Gibbon and is related to settling debts on an account he had with Richard.

    There are three letters of outgoing correspondence. The first is a letter written in 1775 that provides a record of an incident between he and members of an unidentified committee. The members of the committee were John Cox, John Shu, Thomas Barclay, and James Mease. The committee accused Vaux of being the author of a letter published in the Pennsylvania Ledger. The circumstances of the letter were not given but Vaux considered the accusation as an attack on his character. The letter was written one year before his return to London. The other letters are written to Dr. Thomas Park in Philadelphia in 1790. These letters request information about conditions during the war and ask the good doctor to pass on messages to his beloved, Ann Roberts.

    Other materials included amongst Richard's personal papers are some legal documents, including his last will and testament and a statement of case and questions proposed to Jared Ingersol in 1791 by Henry Drinker, the executor of Richard's estate. There are also several financial papers including bills and receipts, account balances, mostly between Vaux and John Strettell in London, and a bank book for Richard's account with the Bank of North America from 1789.

    Some of the most valuable resources in Richard's papers are his memorandum books and diary. It is important to note that the diary is a typed version, transcribed for the reader by George Vaux VIII, distant relative of Richard Vaux and great grandson of Samuel Sansom, for whom Richard apprenticed. Although George labeled this volume a "diary," it follows the same format as Richard's memorandum books.

    The series of memorandum books and diary narrate almost five years of Richard's life following his return to London. The first memorandum book begins in March 1779 and ends in June 1780. Entries include a listing of day-to-day activities and expenses, mentioning mostly his attendance at several coffee houses and dining with his friends. The second book, labeled a diary, begins in July 1780. Most of these entries again refer to visitors and where he dined during his stay in London. However, in July 1781, he begins to record his travels aboard the Providence. Richard traveled aboard the ship on merchant business to Saint Thomas. The travelers on this ship met with several troubles which began with Captain Brun becoming very ill at the beginning of the voyage. His illness detained their departure for some time. When the ship finally did set sail, they were captured by the Hendrick Privateer, a ship from Salem, Massachusetts, commanded by Thomas Benson. The diary ends on October 27, 1781, with Richard's account of Benson taking the ship and sending it to America as prize. His experience aboard the Hendrick Privateer continues into the third memorandum book mentioning their safe arrival at St. Thomas. Richard was finally able to return to London in March 1782. In September of that year he again began a voyage to St. Thomas for business aboard the ship Koninglijken Keysea, with Captain Evers presiding. The entries end with his continued travels aboard said ship.

    b. Ann Vaux (1753-1814) 1759-1814, n.d.

    The correspondence to Ann Vaux (Roberts, aka Nancy Roberts and Nancy Vaux) begins in 1767 and ends in 1814. All of the correspondence is from family members and is of a personal nature. The majority of the correspondence is from Susanna Vaux, her sister-in-law; Samuel and Susanna Emlen, her cousins; Jon and Ann Cox, also her cousins; and her daughter, Susanna. She also received several letters from her son, Roberts. (See Series 1b.) Most of the correspondence relates the day-to-day activities of her relatives, including information on their travels, their health, and attendance at Quaker Meetings. Letters indicate that in 1788, her husband, Richard, went blind. He subsequently died in 1790 of unknown causes. Having only been married for six years, Ann became the single parent of two children, Susanna and Roberts. Later in the correspondence, most of the letters are from her daughter Susanna, who spent most of her time in Oxmead with her uncle and aunt, Jon and Ann Cox.

    Also included in Ann's papers are several poems. Included is a copy of a "Prayer for Indifference" written by a Mrs. Greville, a copy of the poem written on the side of an urn owned by Ben Franklin, and a copy of a dream (written by an unidentified person). There is also a memory book containing an eight-page religious poem and a few items related to her father, Hugh Roberts, and a distant relative, Moses Roberts. These materials include receipts for donations Hugh Roberts made to the Pennsylvania Hospital, legal papers related to the dividing of Evan Morgan's estate for which Hugh Roberts acted as a witness, and a letter from Moses Roberts to his wife.

    c. Susanna Vaux (1787-1812) 1795-1812, n.d.

    Correspondence addressed to Susanna Vaux begins in 1803 and ends in 1812. Most of the correspondence is from her family, including her aunt Susanna Vaux, aunt Ann Cox, and cousin Ann Eddy. However, there are also several letters from her schoolmates, including Mary Gaugum and Mary Taylor. Most of the correspondence relates to happenings in her social circles and to health. There are also several pieces of outgoing correspondence. Most of these letters are addressed to Susanna's aunt, Elizabeth Roberts, and contain similar information to that in the incoming correspondence.

    Also included in Susanna's personal materials are copies of poetry and prose that she either wrote herself or collected from her friends. It is interesting to note that several of these poems are related to death. Susanna was frequently ill and died unmarried in 1812, at the age of twenty-four.

    d. Margaret Vaux (1793-1886) 1801-1887, n.d.

    The correspondence for Margaret (Wistar) Vaux begins in 1801 and ends in 1885. In 1836, she received several letters from her family and different charitable organizations expressing grief for the death of her husband Roberts Vaux. One of her most frequent correspondents was Elizabeth Kohne from Charleston, South Carolina. Letters from Elizabeth often inquire after the well-being of herself and her two children, Richard and Thomas. The correspondence also indicates that like her husband, Margaret was herself an honorary member or donor to several different charitable organizations including the Female Association, the Franklin Reformatory Home, the Bethany Mission School, the Philadelphia Orphan Asylum, and the Widows Asylum.

    There are only a few letters of outgoing correspondence. The first letter is written to the Orphan Asylum of Philadelphia in 1837, rejecting her appointment to manager of the orphanage stating that she felt, "wholly inadequate to the faithful performance of the important duties." Most of the other letters relate to her friend, Elizabeth Kohne of South Carolina. In 1839, Margaret wrote to Elizabeth to let her know that she was searching for a coachman for her. She also wrote to Judge Greer on Elizabeth's behalf in 1839, asking if Richard Vaux could be the auditor for her friend's estate. Other letters from the outgoing correspondence suggest that Margaret rented out several pieces of property. In a letter to an unidentified person from 1859, she writes about the conditions for renting out her property to tenant, R. Nicholson. She rented the property to Nicholson on a five year lease at $300 a year.

    Her activities as a landlord are confirmed in the legal papers and in the bills and receipts, which include leases and also several receipts for payments made on leases by her tenants. The bills and receipts indicate that she was financially independent of her sons, only relinquishing the property to them in her last will and testament. Also included is a small book listing all of the property she inherited from her husband after his death in 1836. This real estate book also contains a listing of repairs that needed to be done on the property and how much should be charged for each lease.

    Other miscellaneous materials included in her personal papers are three scrapbooks, poetry and prose, papers related to her uncle, Caspar Wistar, and lists of visitors to her home. The scrapbooks are compiled newspaper clippings pasted into old grammar books. The clippings from the scrapbook of 1812 and 1824 are mostly poems and clippings on the French school system. However, the last scrapbook from 1836 contains clippings about her husband's death. Included in the poetry and prose are two recipes, one for "Bunns" and one for "Hoarchhound syrup," and several poems. The materials for Caspar Wistar are proposals for the making of a bust of he and several other professors created by William Rush.

    e. Thomas Wistar Vaux (1819-1887) 1831-1887, n.d.

    The correspondence for Thomas Vaux begins in 1836 with letters of regret for the sudden loss of his father, Roberts Vaux. Almost all of the correspondence to Thomas is of a personal and friendly nature. One letter, from a friend named William, discusses several of the available young ladies in their social circle and the "enchantedness" of their dark eyes. The correspondence gives little information about Thomas's career although it does indicate that he was a member of some charitable organizations. A letter from 1859 requested his attendance at a meeting given by John Beeson, Chairman of the New York Indian Aid Association, to hear of the sufferings and wrongs of the aboriginal tribes. Most of the incoming correspondence is from his family members including his cousins, George Vaux, Thomas Wistar, and Josiah Wistar.

    There are also a few letters of outgoing correspondence that relate mostly to personal issues as well. It is important to note that in several of his letters, he wrote on behalf of his mother as well, indicating that they lived together until her death in 1886. The correspondence ends with him notifying his friends of her death. He died unmarried in 1887.

    f. Miscellaneous 1768-1901, n.d.

    This subseries is comprised of a brief selection of materials associated with relatives of the Vaux family. In each case, there are only one or two items related to each person, often correspondence, deeds, or writings. Correspondence is addressed to George Vaux (1721-1783), George Vaux Jr., and Jacob Waln Vaux. The letter to George Vaux is dated May 19, 1768, from Edward Pennington. The letter relates to Pennington setting up an apprenticeship for George's son, Richard Vaux (1751-1790), in America. Correspondence to George Vaux Jr. is mostly about genealogical information that he looked into for a friend, Joseph E. Gillingham, and also to Mary Vaux Buckley about a photograph of John Strettell. There is only one letter of correspondence for Jacob Waln Vaux written to J. D. Stone. The letter is very vague, stating that he wouldn't be able to go to Valley Forge but would subscribe if funds were needed. There is no indication of what he would subscribe to or what the trip to Valley Forge was about. Also amongst these materials is prose written by William Sansom Vaux (1811-1882) entitled "The Man of Honesty," and a deed for land that James Vaux (1748-1842) sold to George Bidleman in 1815.

    Series 4. Miscellaneous 1739-1923, n.d.
    Box 12

    Most of the materials included in the miscellaneous series contain items that could not be identified as belonging to any particular member of the Vaux family. In most cases, no names or dates are included on the materials, or, in some instances the dates predate the materials for both Roberts and Richard and have no connection with other relatives of the Vaux family. This is most evident in the correspondence, land papers, financial papers, and minutes. It is possible that Roberts or Richard compiled these materials, as they were known to do for legal cases.

    Correspondence primarily consists of pages of letters that were separated from the rest of the correspondence, and extracts of letters copied by an unidentified transcriber. One of the more notable extracts includes a copy of a letter written by Robert Morris to several "respectable Quakers for a subscription in favor of citizens of southern states."

    Land papers are also included in this series, and consist of several deeds and land surveys from 1764 to 1795. The deeds pertain to property in Northumberland County purchased by merchant John Field in 1788, and land deeded to James Gibbons in Westmoreland County in 1787. Also included are several land surveys taken on lands in both Northumberland and Westmoreland Counties.

    There are only two items of financial materials included amongst the miscellaneous materials. The first is a contract from 1739, binding David Stephens of Bucks County to the General Loan Office for one hundred and twenty pounds. The second is a charter dated June 1774 from an unnamed group enacted to form a fund to help support the relief of the distressed in Boston after Parliament had shut down their ports. The petition is signed by many members who contributed to the fund and also list contributions that many of the members made.

    The minutes included in this series are undated copies of the original minutes of the Provisional Council for the County of Philadelphia. The first minutes are dated March 13, 1684, and refer to a disagreement between unidentified parties. The councils decision was as follows: "There being a difference between them the Governor and Council advised them to shake hands, and to forgive one another; and ordered that they should enter into Bonds for fifty pounds a piece for their good abearance which accordingly they did: It was also ordered that the records of court concerning that business should be burnt." The next record dates January 1687 and refers to the appointment of individuals to the council.

    Other materials included in this series are genealogical charts for the Jones, Roberts, and Vaux families, and several items of poetry and prose. Most of the poetry and prose is religious, including poems entitled "The Prophets," and "Religion." There are also several copies of prayers and sermons. The more miscellaneous items amongst this series are notes jotted down on pieces of scrap paper, lists of names and the buses that traveled on Chestnut Street, a few printed materials, and wrappers that had contained original letters written by George Washington and James Madison. These letters are absent from the collection. There are also a number of photographs included at the end of the series. Most of the photographs are unidentified, except for a few that are labeled Richard Vaux (1816-1895).

    Detailed inventory

    Series 1. Roberts Vaux (1786-1836) 1775-1835, n.d.
    Box 1-5

    a. Incoming correspondence 1795-1835, n.d.

    Incoming correspondence 1795-1798
    Box 1: 1

    Incoming correspondence 1800-1802
    Box 1: 2

    Incoming correspondence 1803-1805
    Box 1: 3

    Incoming correspondence 1806
    Box 1: 4

    Incoming correspondence 1807-1808
    Box 1: 5

    Incoming correspondence 1809-1810
    Box 1: 6

    Incoming correspondence 1811
    Box 1: 7

    Incoming correspondence 1812
    Box 1: 8

    Incoming correspondence Jan.- July 1813
    Box 1: 9

    Incoming correspondence Aug.- Dec. 1813
    Box 1: 10

    Incoming correspondence 1814
    Box 1: 11

    Incoming correspondence 1815
    Box 1: 12

    Incoming correspondence 1816
    Box 1: 13

    Incoming correspondence 1817
    Box 1: 14

    Incoming correspondence Jan.-July 1818
    Box 1: 15

    Incoming correspondence Aug.- Dec. 1818
    Box 1: 16

    Incoming correspondence Jan.-Feb. 1819
    Box 2: 1

    Incoming correspondence Mar.- July 1819
    Box 2: 2

    Incoming correspondence Aug.-Dec. 1819
    Box 2: 3

    Incoming correspondence Jan.-Feb. 1820
    Box 2: 4

    Incoming correspondence Mar. 1820
    Box 2: 5

    Incoming correspondence April-Aug. 1820
    Box 2: 6

    Incoming correspondence Sept.-Dec. 1820
    Box 2: 7

    Incoming correspondence Jan.-April 1821
    Box 2: 8

    Incoming correspondence May-Dec. 1821
    Box 2: 9

    Incoming correspondence Jan.-Mar. 1822
    Box 2: 10

    Incoming correspondence April-Dec. 1822
    Box 2: 11

    Incoming correspondence Jan.-Feb. 1823
    Box 2: 12

    Incoming correspondence Mar.-Sept. 1823
    Box 2: 13

    Incoming correspondence Oct.-Dec. 1823
    Box 2: 14

    Incoming correspondence Jan.-April 1824
    Box 2: 15

    Incoming correspondence May-Aug. 1824
    Box 2: 16

    Incoming correspondence Sept.-Dec. 1824
    Box 2: 17

    Incoming correspondence Jan.-June 1825
    Box 2: 18

    Incoming correspondence July-Dec. 1824
    Box 2: 19

    Incoming correspondence Jan.-Feb. 1826
    Box 2: 20

    Incoming correspondence Mar.-Aug. 1826
    Box 3: 1

    Incoming correspondence Sept.-Dec. 1826
    Box 3: 2

    Incoming correspondence Jan.-April 1826
    Box 3: 3

    Incoming correspondence May-June 1827
    Box 3: 4

    Incoming correspondence July-Dec. 1827
    Box 3: 5

    Incoming correspondence Jan.-Mar. 1828
    Box 3: 6

    Incoming correspondence April-June 1828
    Box 3: 7

    Incoming correspondence July-Dec. 1828
    Box 3: 8

    Incoming correspondence Jan.-Sept. 1829
    Box 3: 9

    Incoming correspondence Oct.-Dec. 1829
    Box 3: 10

    Incoming correspondence Jan.-July 1830
    Box 3: 11

    Incoming correspondence Aug.-Dec. 1830
    Box 3: 12

    Incoming correspondence Jan.-Mar. 1831
    Box 3: 13

    Incoming correspondence April-Aug. 1831
    Box 3: 14

    Incoming correspondence Sept.-Dec. 1831
    Box 3: 15

    Incoming correspondence Jan.-April 1832
    Box 3: 16

    Incoming correspondence May-Oct. 1832
    Box 3: 17

    Incoming correspondence Nov.-Dec. 1832
    Box 4: 1

    Incoming correspondence Jan.-Mar. 1833
    Box 4: 2

    Incoming correspondence April-May 1833
    Box 4: 3

    Incoming correspondence July-Sept. 1833
    Box 4: 4

    Incoming correspondence Oct.-Dec. 1833
    Box 4: 5

    Incoming correspondence Jan.-Feb. 1834
    Box 4: 6

    Incoming correspondence Mar.-May 1834
    Box 4: 7

    Incoming correspondence June-July 1834
    Box 4: 8

    Incoming correspondence Aug.-Sept. 1834
    Box 4: 9

    Incoming correspondence Oct.-Dec. 1834
    Box 4: 10

    Incoming correspondence Jan.-Feb. 1835
    Box 4: 11

    Incoming correspondence Mar.-June 1835
    Box 4: 12

    Incoming correspondence July-Dec. 1835
    Box 4: 13

    Incoming correspondence 1836
    Box 4: 14

    Incoming correspondence, A-C n.d.
    Box 4: 15

    Incoming correspondence, D-H n.d.
    Box 4: 16

    Incoming correspondence, I-L n.d.
    Box 4: 17

    Incoming correspondence, M n.d.
    Box 4: 18

    Incoming correspondence, O-R n.d.
    Box 5: 1

    Incoming correspondence, S-V n.d.
    Box 5: 2

    Incoming correspondence, W n.d.
    Box 5: 3

    Incoming correspondence, unidentified n.d.
    Box 5: 4

    b. Outgoing correspondence 1803-1835, n.d.

    Outgoing correspondence 1803-1806
    Box 5: 5

    Outgoing correspondence 1807-1808
    Box 5: 6

    Outgoing correspondence 1809-1810
    Box 5: 7

    Outgoing correspondence 1811-1812
    Box 5: 8

    Outgoing correspondence 1813
    Box 5: 9

    Outgoing correspondence 1814, 1820
    Box 5: 10

    Outgoing correspondence 1822-1826
    Box 5: 11

    Outgoing correspondence 1830-1835
    Box 5: 12

    Outgoing correspondence n.d.
    Box 5: 13

    c. Robert J. Evans 1807-1828

    Inventories and accounts 1811-1822
    Box 5: 14

    Receipt book 1807-1828
    Vol. 1

    d. Miscellaneous 1775-1835, n.d.

    Legal papers 1813-1835
    Box 5: 15

    Bills and receipts 1803-1835
    Box 5: 16

    Charitable organizations, education 1805-1803, n.d.
    Box 5: 17

    Charitable organizations, other 1810-1834
    Box 5: 18

    Charitable organizations, other n.d.
    Box 5: 19

    Charitable organizations, other n.d.
    FF 1

    Certificates of appointment 1813-1817
    Box 5: 20

    Certificates of appointment 1807-1835
    FF 2

    Journal 1807-1808

    Question book n.d.
    Box 5: 21

    Scrapbook 1831
    Box 5: 22

    Minute book 1811-1813
    Box 5: 23

    Poetry and prose 1794-1824, n.d.
    Box 5: 24

    Notes n.d.
    Box 5: 25

    Collected materials 1775-1819, n.d.
    Box 5: 26

    Printed materials 1825-1835, n.d.
    Box 5: 27

    Printed materials 1825
    FF 3

    Series 2. Richard Vaux (1816-1895) 1833-1893
    Box 6-11

    a. Incoming correspondence 1834-1893, n.d.

    Incoming correspondence 1834
    Box 6: 1

    Incoming correspondence Jan.-July 1835
    Box 6: 2

    Incoming correspondence Aug.-Dec. 1835
    Box 6: 3

    Incoming correspondence Jan.-April 1836
    Box 6: 4

    Incoming correspondence May-July 1836
    Box 6: 5

    Incoming correspondence Aug.-Dec. 1836
    Box 6: 6

    Incoming correspondence Jan.-Mar. 1837
    Box 6: 7

    Incoming correspondence April-Oct. 1837
    Box 6: 8

    Incoming correspondence Nov.-Dec. 1837
    Box 6: 9

    Incoming correspondence 1838
    Box 6: 10

    Incoming correspondence 1839
    Box 6: 11

    Incoming correspondence 1840-1844
    Box 6: 12

    Incoming correspondence 1845
    Box 6: 13

    Incoming correspondence 1846-1847
    Box 6: 14

    Incoming correspondence 1848
    Box 6: 15

    Incoming correspondence 1849
    Box 6: 16

    Incoming correspondence 1850
    Box 6: 17

    Incoming correspondence 1851
    Box 6: 18

    Incoming correspondence 1852-1853
    Box 7: 1

    Incoming correspondence 1854
    Box 7: 2

    Incoming correspondence 1855
    Box 7: 3

    Incoming correspondence Jan.-Aug. 1856
    Box 7: 4

    Incoming correspondence Sept.-Dec. 1856
    Box 7: 5

    Incoming correspondence 1857-1859
    Box 7: 6

    Incoming correspondence Jan.-Sept. 1860
    Box 7: 7

    Incoming correspondence Oct.-Dec. 1860
    Box 7: 8

    Incoming correspondence Jan.-May 1861
    Box 7: 9

    Incoming correspondence June-Aug. 1861
    Box 7: 10

    Incoming correspondence Sept.-Dec. 1861
    Box 7: 11

    Incoming correspondence Jan.-Feb. 1862
    Box 7: 12

    Incoming correspondence Mar.-May 1862
    Box 7: 13

    Incoming correspondence June-Dec. 1862
    Box 7: 14

    Incoming correspondence 1863
    Box 7: 15

    Incoming correspondence Jan.-May 1864
    Box 7: 16

    Incoming correspondence June-Dec. 1864
    Box 7: 17

    Incoming correspondence Jan.-June 1865
    Box 7: 18

    Incoming correspondence July-Sept. 1865
    Box 7: 19

    Incoming correspondence Oct.-Dec. 1865
    Box 8: 1

    Incoming correspondence Jan.-April 1866
    Box 8: 2

    Incoming correspondence May-Dec. 1866
    Box 8: 3

    Incoming correspondence 1867
    Box 8: 4

    Incoming correspondence 1868, 1870-1874
    Box 8: 5

    Incoming correspondence 1875
    Box 8: 6

    Incoming correspondence 1876-1877
    Box 8: 7

    Incoming correspondence Jan.-April 1878
    Box 8: 8

    Incoming correspondence May-Dec. 1878
    Box 8: 9

    Incoming correspondence Jan.-Oct. 1879
    Box 8: 10

    Incoming correspondence Nov.-Dec. 1879
    Box 8: 11

    Incoming correspondence Jan.-Mar. 1880
    Box 8: 12

    Incoming correspondence April-Dec. 1880
    Box 8: 13

    Incoming correspondence 1881-1884
    Box 8: 14

    Incoming correspondence 1885-1888
    Box 8: 15

    Incoming correspondence 1889-1893
    Box 8: 16

    Incoming correspondence, A-H n.d.
    Box 8: 17

    Incoming correspondence, I-S n.d.
    Box 9: 1

    Incoming correspondence, T-Z n.d.
    Box 9: 2

    b. Outgoing correspondence 1834-1890, n.d.

    Outgoing correspondence 1834-1836
    Box 9: 3

    Outgoing correspondence 1837-1839
    Box 9: 4

    Outgoing correspondence 1842-1855
    Box 9: 5

    Outgoing correspondence 1856-1858
    Box 9: 6

    Outgoing correspondence 1860-1884, 1890
    Box 9: 7

    Outgoing correspondence n.d.
    Box 9: 8

    c. Financial papers 1833-1888

    Bills and receipts 1836-1888
    Box 9: 9

    Bills and receipts 1860-1865
    Box 9: 10

    Account book 1833
    Box 9: 11

    Account book 1848-1849
    Box 9: 12

    Account book 1848-1860
    Box 9: 13

    Account book 1850-1853
    Box 9: 14

    Account book 1870
    Box 9: 15

    Account book 1880
    Box 9: 16

    Check book 1850-1852
    Box 9: 17

    Check book-item removed from check book (1850-1852) 1850-1852
    Box 9: 18

    Check book 1852-1855
    Box 9: 19

    d. Miscellaneous 1835-1893, n.d.

    Speeches/notes n.d.
    Box 10: 1

    Speeches/notes n.d.
    Box 10: 2

    Journal 1837
    Box 10: 3

    Legal papers 1835-1865
    Box 10: 4

    Legal papers 1866-1890
    Box 10: 5

    Legal papers 1870
    Box 10: 6

    Legal papers 1850-1871
    FF 4

    Certificates of appointment 1837-1892
    FF 5

    Certificates of appointment 1853
    Box 10: 7

    Docket Book 1855-1868
    Vol. 2

    Poetry and prose n.d.
    Box 10: 8

    Collected materials-French autographs n.d.
    Box 10: 9

    Collected materials-William Penn letters n.d.
    Box 10: 10

    Lists 1836-1839, n.d.
    Box 10: 11

    Charitable organizations 1849-1886, n.d.
    Box 10: 12

    Charitable organizations 1836-1862
    FF 6

    Printed materials 1837-1888, n.d.
    Box 10: 13

    Printed materials, original newspaper clippings 1888, n.d.
    Box 10: 14

    Printed materials 1875
    FF 7

    Series 3. Other Family Members 1774-1901
    Box 12

    a. Richard Vaux (1751-1790) 1774-1795, n.d.

    Incoming correspondence 1778-1779
    Box 10: 15

    Incoming correspondence 1782-1783
    Box 10: 16

    Incoming correspondence 1784
    Box 11: 1

    Incoming correspondence 1785
    Box 11: 2

    Incoming correspondence 1786
    Box 11: 3

    Incoming correspondence 1787-1789
    Box 11: 4

    Incoming correspondence 1790, 1795
    Box 11: 5

    Incoming correspondence n.d.
    Box 11: 6

    Outgoing correspondence 1775, 1778
    Box 11: 7

    Legal papers 1789
    FF 8

    Legal papers 1790-1791
    Box 11: 8

    Financial papers-bills and receipts 1772-1789
    Box 11: 9

    Financial papers-account balances 1774-1789
    Box 11: 10

    Financial papers-account book 1789
    Box 11: 11

    Financial papers-insurance on cargo 1790
    Box 11: 12

    Memorandum book 1779-1780
    Vol. 3

    Memorandum book 1781-1782
    Vol. 4

    Diary Jan.-Oct. 1781
    Vol. 5

    b. Ann Vaux (1753-1814) 1759-1814, n.d.

    Incoming correspondence 1767-1788
    Box 11: 13

    Incoming correspondence 1792-1795
    Box 11: 14

    Incoming correspondence 1796-1795
    Box 11: 15

    Incoming correspondence 1800-1802
    Box 11: 16

    Incoming correspondence 1803-1805
    Box 11: 17

    Incoming correspondence 1806
    Box 11: 18

    Incoming correspondence 1808-1814
    Box 11: 19

    Incoming correspondence n.d.
    Box 11: 20

    Memory book n.d.
    FF 9

    Poetry and prose 1762-1784, n.d.
    Box 11: 21

    Roberts family 1759-1792
    Box 11: 22

    Miscellaneous 1790-1791, n.d.
    Box 11: 23

    c. Susanna Vaux (1787-1812) 1795-1812, n.d.

    Incoming correspondence 1803-1812
    Box 11: 24

    Outgoing correspondence 1798-1809
    Box 11: 25

    Poetry and prose 1795-1803
    Box 11: 26

    d. Margaret Vaux (1793-1886) 1801-1887, n.d.

    Incoming correspondence 1801-1834
    Box 12: 1

    Incoming correspondence 1836-1885
    Box 12: 2

    Incoming correspondence n.d.
    Box 12: 3

    Outgoing correspondence 1837-1859
    Box 12: 4

    Legal papers 1836-1869
    Box 12: 5

    Bills and receipts 1803-1887
    Box 12: 6

    Real estate book 1836
    Box 12: 7

    Scrapbook 1812
    Vol. 6

    Scrapbook 1836
    Box 12: 8

    Scrapbook n.d.
    Vol. 7

    Poetry and prose n.d.
    Box 12: 9

    Lists 1858-1869, n.d.
    Box 12: 10

    Wistar family n.d.
    Box 12: 11

    e. Thomas Wistar Vaux (1819-1887) 1831-1887, n.d.

    Incoming correspondence 1836-1886
    Box 12: 12

    Outgoing correspondence 1831-1887
    Box 12: 13

    f. Miscellaneous 1768-1901, n.d.

    Correspondence 1768-1901, n.d.
    Box 12: 14

    Deed 1815
    Box 12: 15

    Prose 1821
    Box 12: 16

    Series 4. Miscellaneous 1739-1923, n.d.
    Box 12

    Correspondence 1800-1849, n.d.
    Box 12: 17

    Land papers 1785-1829
    Box 12: 18

    Legal papers 1764-1787
    FF 10

    Financial papers 1739-1774
    Box 12: 19

    Minutes 1684
    Box 12: 20

    Genealogy n.d.
    Box 12: 21

    Poetry and prose n.d.
    Box 12: 22

    Notes n.d.
    Box 12: 23

    Lists n.d.
    Box 12: 24

    Wrappers n.d.
    Box 12: 25

    Printed Materials 1907-1923
    Box 12: 26

    Photographs n.d.
    Box 12: 27