This collection (227 items) consists of personal correspondence between members of several Pennsylvania families in the early to mid-19th century. The letters pertain to family news, marriage, religion, and everyday life in Pennsylvania and Virginia in the early to mid-19th century.
Members of the Baker, Biddle, Black, Eckert, and Shippen families wrote one another from various Pennsylvania towns, including Shippenville, Shamokin, Washington, and Philadelphia. A group of early letters pertains to Harriet Wood Eckert, who wrote to her parents and sister about life in Washington County, Virginia, and received letters from family members in Pennsylvania. Richard Shippen wrote to his father, Robert Shippen of Drumore Township, Pennsylvania, about life in Shippenville in the early 1800s.
After the 1830s, much of the correspondence concerns Mary G. Eckert, the daughter of Harriet Wood and Solomon Eckert. Her first letters, written to her parents, describe her life and educational experiences in Philadelphia and Washington, Pennsylvania. In the mid-1840s, she began corresponding with Adam Black of Shippenville, whom she married around 1844. During the early years of their marriage, they wrote one another with news from Shippenville and from Shamokin, where Mary lived with or visited her parents. Their letters relate to courtship and marriage, family news and health, religion, and additional subjects. Letters by other family members concern topics such as health, family news, and daily life in 19th-century Pennsylvania.