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Francis Willing Lockwood Wharton family letters

Ms. Coll. 1309

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Wharton, Francis Willing Lockwood, 1869-1966
Francis Willing Lockwood Wharton family letters
Date [inclusive]:
Call Number:
Ms. Coll. 1309
0.4 linear foot (1 box)
Francis Willing Lockwood Wharton (1869-1966) was a Philadelphia based woman who was married to Henry Wharton Jr. This collection of papers documents their courtship in 1890, and contains various familial correspondences throughout the early twentieth century.
Cite as:
Francis Willing Lockwood Wharton family letters, 1852-1923, Ms. Coll. 1309, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania
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Francis Willing Lockwood Wharton (1869-1966) was the wife of Henry Wharton Jr. (1867-1933). Francis was the daughter of Benoni and Florence Bayard Lockwood and the niece of Delaware Senator, Thomas F. Bayard. She had two siblings, Florence Bayard Lockwood (1884-1944) and Benoni Lockwood. Henry (Jr.) was the son of prominent Pennsylvania lawyer Henry Wharton Sr. and Katherine Johnstone Brinley. Henry (Sr.) was educated at the University of Pennsylvania, earning his B.A. in 1846 and his M.A. in 1849.

Following their marriage in 1891, Francis and Henry settled in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania. They had four sons over the next decade: Henry (born 1895), Thomas (born 1898), Bayard (1899-1959), and Philip (1908-1913). Although her husband Henry, who worked as president of a coal company, passed away from complications of an operation in 1933 at age 65, Francis continued to live in Chestnut Hill until her death in April 1966.

Work Consulted

Unknown, “[Francis Willing Lockwood Wharton].” Photograph. n.d. From Chestnut Hill Historical Society: Photograph Record. 2011.14.1.

Scope and Contents

This collection contains nearly 800 pages of handwritten letters to Francis Willing Lockwood Wharton. The bulk of the collection consists of courting letters from Henry Wharton Jr., starting in the summer months of 1890 leading up to their wedding in 1891. This correspondence was written while he was away for business and Francis remained in Chestnut Hill. Often his letters were written during his free-time throughout the day, as well as in the evening which often led to multiple letters to Francis each day. The contents mainly revolve around mundane happenings, leisure activities such as riding, as well as abundant professions of love. These letters were set aside in a handmade cloth folder, which is also a part of the collection. Additional correspondence from Henry, ranging in date from 1892 to 1907, is contained within the collection.

Other correspondence received by Francis is from her brother Benoni Lockwood, sister Florence Bayard Lockwood, and mother Florence (née Bayard) Lockwood. Researchers will also find an 1852 small composition written by her mother "To a Lady from a Lady" within her file.

There is a small number of letters in which the senders could not be identified or the letter appears to be a fragment of a larger document.

This collection will be of research value to scholars interested in prominent Pennsylvania families during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as well as those interested in personal correspondence from the American Victorian era.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts,  2017 May 24

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Alexis Morris

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Access Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Custodial History

Sold by Ian Brabner Rare Americana, 2016

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Controlled Access Headings

  • Correspondence
  • Family papers
Personal Name(s)
  • Wharton, Henry, 1867-1933
  • Courtship
  • Families

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

Lockwood, Benoni (brother), 1886-1889, undated.

1 1

Lockwood, Florence (née Bayard) (mother), 1852-1893, undated.

1 2

Lockwood, Florence Bayard (sister), 1891-1894, undated.

1 3

Wharton, Henry Jr. (fiancé and later husband), 1889-1909, undated.

1 4-16

Unidentified correspondence, 1889-1923, undated.

1 17-18

Fragments, 1891, undated.

1 19