Fox Family papers, ca. 1690-1915


Date: 1690-1915 | Size: 2 Linear feet


The collection contains information on Fox family speculation in western lands, two manuscript maps from the 1790's and 1830's depicting the family's holdings in northwestern Pennsylvania, and a photograph album from the 1890's documenting Chestnutwold, the Fox estate adjacent to Andalusia. Chief correspondents are Samuel and George Fox.

Collection Information

Physical description

2 linear feet.


Gift of Sam Fox, 2001. The papers came to the APS along with a collection of 200 books belonging to Samuel and George Fox.

Early American History Note

This collection contains information on the prominent Philadelphian Fox family with a large portion of the collection focusing on the family's land holdings and business dealings. George Fox was a close friend of William Temple Franklin, who bequeathed to Fox his grandfather's papers. George Fox was a doctor educated at the University of Pennsylvania. His brother Samuel was a businessman. Samuel's son Charles became a doctor. The collection reflects various papers relating to the lives and careers of these three men.

Most of the loose papers deal with lands that George and Samuel Fox owned or managed for others and are legal in nature. The Fox family's land dealings brought them into contact and sometimes partnership with many prominent individuals, such as Henry Lee, James Wilson and the Cadwalader and Hockley families. There are extensive account and receipt books from the 1780s, 1790s, and early nineteenth century. There is some personal correspondence as well, but the majority is related to land dealings.

The other miscellaneous papers are bound volumes that include a written guide on proper manners, recipes, tickets for medical lectures, Samuel Fox's oath of allegiance from 1777, a commonplace/account book of Samuel Fox, and a journal of a European tour in 1785, probably of George Fox.

This collection is noteworthy for surveys of Western Pennsylvania drawn between the 1790s and the 1830s. The collection also contains a late nineteenth century photograph album of historic houses, nature scenes, California, and property the Fox family owned called Chesnutwood on the outskirts of Philadelphia near Andalusia.

Indexing Terms


  • Commonplace Book
  • Correspondence.
  • Diaries
  • Educational Material
  • Family Correspondence
  • General Correspondence
  • Maps and Surveys
  • Maps.
  • Photographs
  • Travel Narratives and Journals


  • Americans Abroad
  • Business and Skilled Trades
  • Education
  • International Travel
  • Land and Speculation
  • Law
  • Literature, Arts, and Culture
  • Marriage and Family Life
  • Medicine
  • Pennsylvania History
  • Social Life and Custom
  • Surveying and Maps