Parrish and Pemberton families papers
The Parrish and Pemberton families were wealthy Quaker merchants living in Philadelphia during the 18th century. They shared a dedication to several benevolent causes, among them the abolition of slavery, improvement of relations with the Indians, penal reform, and the poor. This collection contai...
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Processing Information: Collection was rehoused in acid-free folders in the order found.
1.0 Linear feet ; 2 boxes, 3 volumes, 1 flat file
Open to researchers without restrictions.
The Parrish and Pemberton families were wealthy Quaker merchants living in Philadelphia during the 18th century. They shared a dedication to several benevolent causes, among them the abolition of slavery, improvement of relations with the Indians, penal reform, and the poor. This collection contains a selection of documents from and pertaining to both families. The Parrish documents focus on several noted family members, principally John Parrish (1728/29-1807), who was a Quaker minister active in promoting good relations with the Indians, and his nephew Dr. Joseph Parrish (1779-1840), a noted Philadelphia physician who was an outspoken abolitionist and crusader for penal reform. The Parrish family documents then follow Joseph Parrish’s sons Dillwyn Parrish (1809-1886), a prominent Philadelphia pharmacist who was also a dedicated abolitionist and crusader for racial equality, and his brother Samuel Parrish (1822-1872), who appears to be largely responsible for gathering much of the Parrish and Pemberton material. Volumes in the collection concern early Quaker settlement and religious concerns, “Visitations to the sick,” (1796) by philanthropist Ann Parrish (1760-1800), Parrish family genealogy, the political and moral writings of Dr. Joseph Parrish, “Sketches and recollections…” of John Cox (1755-1847), father-in-law to Dr. Joseph Parrish, collected source material of Quaker historian Robert Proud (1728-1813), and a slave narrative written by James Carter in 1807. The Pemberton documents focus primarily on brothers Israel Pemberton (1715-1779), James Pemberton (1723-1809) and John Pemberton (1727-1795) in their efforts toward abolition and the improvement of relations with indigenous peoples through the Friendly Association for Regaining and Preserving Peace with the Indians by Pacific Measures during the Seven Years’ War.
The Parrish and Pemberton families papers (Collection 1653) consist of two boxes of documents relating to the Parrish and Pemberton families of Philadelphia, wealthy Quaker merchants who shared a dedication to various benevolent causes, notably the abolition of slavery, Indian relations, penal reform, and concern for the poor, especially women. Throughout this collection runs a thread of activism on behalf of the disenfranchised. The collection has been arranged into three series: Series 1 contains Pemberton family documents, largely correspondence, but also papers relating to the Friendly Association for Regaining and Preserving Peace with the Indians, and papers relating to the Society of Friends. Series 2 contains Parrish correspondence and various papers collected by family members, as well as photographs and portraits. Series 3 contains volumes written or transcribed by Parrish family members, as well as several works relating to Quaker history and practice. The Parrish/Pemberton family connection remains unclear. There is no attested relation by marriage evident in the documentation, but there is clear evidence that the two families knew each other well and worked together in the same benevolent organizations. Robert Parrish (1727-1815) was a long-term member of the Friendly Association, organized and directed largely by Israel Pemberton (1715-1779). John Parrish (1728/29-1807), who worked tirelessly on behalf of indigenous peoples, shared his efforts in correspondence with John Pemberton (1727-1795). Samuel Parrish (1830-1889) was a family historian and antiquarian, who had in his possession a large collection of Pemberton correspondence, although not necessarily the documents in this collection.