Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Polly Carpenter Jones Correspondence

Finding aid created by
Kay Miller and Meg Hixon, January 2012

Summary Information
Title: Polly Carpenter Jones correspondence
Creator: Jones, Polly Carpenter, 1798-1870
Inclusive dates: 1814-1865
Bulk dates: 1814-1859
Extent: 23 items
This collection consists primarily of letters received by Polly Carpenter Jones between 1814 and 1865, as well as two letters addressed to her husband, Austin Jones of Harford, Pennsylvania. Friends and family frequently corresponded about daily life in Pennsylvania, and many of her female acquaintances mentioned their teaching careers.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1994, 2010. M-2984.6, M-4804.1.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Polly Carpenter Jones Correspondence, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged chronologically, with undated items placed at the end.


Polly T. Carpenter was born to John Carpenter and his wife, Polly Tyler (1771-1811), in Harford, Pennsylvania, on August 14, 1798. She had 5 surviving siblings: John, Asahel, Jesse, Betsey, and Nancy. She taught at a Sabbath school in Mt. Ararat, Pennsylvania, in 1818, and married Austin Jones (1788-1861) on September 30, 1824. They lived in Harford, Pennsylvania, and had five children, including Sarah, Henry, and Marietta. She died on March 19, 1870.

Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection consists primarily of letters received by Polly Carpenter Jones between 1814 and 1865, as well as two letters addressed to her husband, Austin Jones of Harford, Pennsylvania. The first items in the collection chiefly concern Polly's schooling in Harford, Pennsylvania, and include advice on the importance of an education, among other topics. Thomas Sweet specifically addressed the art of writing to a woman, admitting his own inexperience (December 4, 1816). Another early letter, written by William Torrey on December 29, 1818, concerns the administration of Sabbath schools and addresses Polly as the leader of such a school in Mt. Ararat, Pennsylvania. After 1857, much of Polly's incoming correspondence originated from her daughter Sarah, who wrote about her experiences teaching school in Canandaigua, New York, and who, in the collection's final letter, mentioned the recent fall of Richmond, Virginia, at the end of the Civil War (April 5, 1865). Another late correspondent, Hannah T. Ride, wrote a nostalgic letter about old friends in Harford and provided advice on medicinal plants (May 13, 1858). Undated material includes several similar letters from family and friends, including one from Polly's sister Betsey, who also taught school.

In addition to Polly's incoming correspondence, the collection holds one letter addressed to Ann Jones and two addressed to Austin Jones, Polly's husband; one of these, written by Polly weeks before their wedding, asked him to confirm his feelings for her (September 3, 1824), and another provided news of family members and acquaintances of Lydia W. Jones (March 10, 1855).

Subject Terms

    • Canandaigua (N.Y.)
    • Education--Pennsylvania.
    • Harford (Pa. : Township)--Social life and customs.
    • Medicinal plants.
    • Sabbath schools.
    • Teachers--United States.
    • Women teachers.
    Genre Terms:
    • Letters (correspondence)
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   29, Small Collections  
    Polly Carpenter Jones correspondence [series]
    Folders   39-41  
     January 4, 1814-April 5, 1865, and  undated
    Additional Descriptive Data

    Brigham, William I. Tyler. The Tyler Genealogy. Vol. 1. Cornelius B. Tyler and Rollin U. Tyler, 1912.