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Manuscript Collections


Collection 24

Hartshorne Family

Papers II, 1664-1915

Processed by

Lois R. Densky

Edited by

Gregory J. Plunges

Monmouth County Historical Association
70 Court Street
Freehold, New Jersey 07728

February 1981


The Hartshorne Family Papers II is comprised of two record groups, the Joseph Hartshorne Collection (1664 - 1895) and the Lawrence Stabler Collection (1800 - 1915). Both record groups were collected by Hartshorne descendants. The papers document the Pennsylvania and Virginia branches of the Hartshorne family. Primarily documented are the lives of William Hartshorne (1742 - 1816), his daughter Sarah Saunders Hartshorne (1785 - 1853), his son Joseph Hartshorne, M.D. (1779 - 1850), and his grandson Edward Hartshorne, M.D. (1818 - 1886). The bulk dates of the collection are from 1800 to 1896.

William Hartshorne (1742 - 1816) was born in Burlington County, N.J., the son of Hugh Hartshorne (b. 1719) and Hannah Pattison (d. 1782). He married his first wife, Susannah Saunders (1745 - 1801) in 1761. She was the daughter of Joseph Saunders and Hannah Reeve. They had twelve children: Joseph (d. 1768), Hannah (d. 1769), Rebecca (1770 - 1810), Hugh (d. 1772), Robert (1773 - 1851), William (1775 - 1836), Susannah (1777 - 1778), Joseph (1779 - 1850), Peter Saunders (1781 - 1846), Mary (1783 - 1853), Sarah Saunders (1785 - 1853), and Pattison (1787 - 1822). In 1803, he married his second wife, Susanna Shreve.

William Hartshorne was a Quaker. In 1760, he became Joseph Saunder's apprentice in the insurance business. After 1767 he was in business for himself in Antigua. By 1769 he was in business in Philadelphia. Between 1773 and 1775, he moved his family to the plantation, Strawberry Hill, near Alexandria, VA., where he was a planter, flour miller, and grain and flour commission merchant. Hartshorne was an intimate friend of George Washington and was connected with him in business enterprises.

Joseph Hartshorne, M.D. (1779 - 1850), the son of William Hartshorne and Susannah Saunders, was born at Strawberry Hill. In 1813, he married Anna Bonsall (1792 - 1879), the daughter of Isaac Bonsall and Mary Milhous. They had eight children: Mary Bonsall (1814 - 1834), William Milhous (1816 - 1842), Edward (1818 - 1886), Charles (1821 - 1826), Henry (1823 - 1897), Jane (1825 - 1905), Isaac (1827 - 1900), and Charles (1829 - 1859).

Joseph Hartshorne was educated at Alexandria Academy by Dr. McGrath, who was George Washington's chaplain. He began his medical studies under Washingtin's physician, Dr. Craik. In 1801, Hartshorne was appointed resident apprentice and apothecary at Pennsylvania Hospital. He received his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1805. While senior resident at Pennsylvania Hospital, he published the first American edition of Boyer's Treatise on Diseases of the Bone.

After completing his residency, he served for two years as supercargoe and surgeon on voyages to Batavia and India. In 1808, he opened an apothecary shop and began practicing in Philadelphia, but gave up the shop after a few years. He then opened an office near Pennsylvania Hospital, where he was elected to the surgical staff in 1815. In 1818, after the death of Dr. Wister, he acquired Wister's practice. Hartshorne was a member of the Philadelphia Medical Society, the American Philosophical Society, and the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. He is buried in the Friends Burying Ground in Philadelphia.

Edward Hartshorne, M.D. (1818 - 1886), the son of Joseph Hartshorne, M.D., and Anna Bonsall, was born in Philadelphia. In 1850, he married Adelia Coffin (Swett) Pearse (1817 - 1891), widow of Oliver Pearse and daughter of John Barnard Swett and Adelia Coffin. They had five children: Joseph (1852 - 1918), Robert (1854 - 1856), Mary (d. 1855), Anna (1855 - 1859), and Mary (d. 1857).

Hartshorne graduated from Princeton University in 1837, and received his M.D. from the University ofPennsylvania in 1840. After graduation he served under Dr. Kirkbridge as first assistant at the Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane. From 1841 to 1843, he was a resident at Pennsylvania Hospital and resident physician of the Eastern Penitentiary. From 1844 to 1846, he made professional visits to hospitals in Europe.

In 1846, Hartshorne began his practice in Philadelphia as a physician and surgeon. For one year he was the editor of the Philadelphia Journal of Prison Discipline, and in 1853 he edited the American edition of Taylor's Medical Jurisprudence. He was a surgeon at both the Wills Hospital for the Blind and Lame and Pennsylvania Hospital. During the Civil War, Hartshorne served as assistant surgeon in charge of a Washington hospital and in the field after the Battle of Antietam. After the war he had to give up surgery because of an infection he contractedwhich rendered a finger in his hand useless.

During his career, Hartshorne served in various professional capacities. He served as secretary of the Philadelphia branch of the U.S. Sanitary Commission, of the National Quarantine and Sanitary Convention, and of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. He served as a member of the Board of Managers for both the Episcopal Hospital and University Hospital. He was vice-president and later president of the Opthalmological Society of Philadelphia. In 1873, he was chairman of the Committee of Arrangements for the American Medical Association meeting held in Philadelphia.

Although born a Quaker, Hartshorne converted to Episcopalianism. He was vestryman at the Church of the Epiphany and at St. Andrews Church. He is buried at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia.

PROVENANCE: The Joseph Hartshorne Collection was deposited in 1931 by Mr. Edward Hartshorne or Pottstown, PA, son of Joseph Hartshorne (1852 - 1918). The Lawrence Stabler Collection was deposited by Mr. Lawrence Stabler of Alexandria, VA.


SIZE OF COLLECTION: 6 file folders.

Series Description

1. Joseph Hartshorne Collection. 1664 - 1894, n.d.

Arranged first by subseries then by sub-subseries.

Series includes the papers of Joseph Hartshorne, M.D., Edward Hartshorne, M.D., miscellaneous correspondence, and miscellaneous papers. The papers of Joseph Hartshorne contain mostly incoming personal and professional correspondence (some documenting medical cases), medical papers, and literary productions. His correspondents include: Charles Caldwell, Dr. JE Cooke, Dr. Edward Hartshorne (1818 - 1886), William Hartshorne (1742 - 1816), Benjamin P. Howell, LS Howell, Dr. S. Jackson, Julius _____, Sarah Kennedy, Dr. William H. Reynald, and Dr. Wister. The medical papers include lecture and case notes, an 1837 autopsy report, and an 1843 table of charges for professional services. The literary productions are genealogical research notes created by Joseph Hartshorne on Hartshorne and related families. These notes may have been completed by Edward Hartshorne.

The papers of Edward Hartshorne contain incoming and outgoing personal and professional correspondence, and miscellaneous papers. His correspondents include: Benjamin Harris Brewster (U.S. Attorney General, 1881 - 1884), Walter Cary, I. Murray, Henry M. Olmstead, William B. Reed, F.G.S., the Social Gathering of Octogenarians, W. Strong, and Jonathan Welsh. The miscellaneous papers include stock certificates, a receipted account, a poem, and two letters of reference to Edward Hartshorne's estate.

The miscellaneous correspondence includes some photographic copies of original letters. The letters are arranged first by recipient and then chronologically. Correspondents and recipients include: William Hartshorne (1742 - 1816) to Hugh Hartshorne (b. 1719); Susannah (Saunders) Hartshorne (1745 - 1801) and George Washington (copy) to William Hartshorne (1742 - 1816); William Hartshorne (1742 - 1816) to Robert Hartshorne (1773 - 1851); an outgoing letter book belonging to Peter Saunders Hartshorne (1781 - 1846) kept while employed as captain of ships belonging to the shipping firms of Post, Grinnell & Minturn, Minturn & Champlin, and William & Jonas Minturn; William Hartshorne (1742 - 1816), Susannah (Saunders) Hartshorne (1745 - 1801), Sarah Hartshorne (cousin) and Phineas Janney (husband) to Sarah Saunders Hartshorne (1785 - 1853); and miscellaneous letters.

The miscellaneous papers also include photographic copies. These papers contain a map of John Hartshorne's (n.d.) land at Black Point, a poem by Susan Waln Hartshorne (b. 1784), Joseph Hartshorne's (1852 - 1918) 1884 passport, one page of John Stillwell's (n.d.) diary, one page of Richard Thomas Hartshorne's (b. 1803) autobiography, John Miller's and Susan Earl's marriage certificate, a 1784 inquisition conducted by NY sheriff Marinus Willitt, and autographs of William Hartshorne (1678/79 - 1747) and William Milhous Hartshorne (1816 - c. 1842).

2. Lawrence Stabler Collection. 1800 - 1915, n.d.

Arranged first by subseries then by sub-subseries

Series contains incoming personal correspondence to Sarah Saunders Hartshorne (1785 - 1853), miscellaneous correspondence, and miscellaneous papers. Correspondents to Sarah S. Hartshorne include: Hannah Bowne (cousin), R. Budd, Catharine Hartshorne, Hugh Hartshorne (cousin), Joseph Hartshorne (1779 - 1850), Pattison Hartshorne (1787 - 1822), Peter Saunders Hartshorne (1781 - 1846), Robert Hartshorne (1773 - 1851), Sarah Hartshorne (1758 - 1835, aunt), Susannah (Saunders) Hartshorne (1745 - 1801), William Hartshorne (1742 - 1816), William Hartshorne (1775 - 1836), Mordecai Miller (brother-in-law), Rebecca (Hartshorne) Miller (1770 - 1810), Hannah Lewis Jr. (cousin), N. Lewis Jr. (cousin), and Mary (Hartshorne) Stabler (1783 - 1853).

Correspondents and recipients in miscellaneous correspondence include: ? to Elisha Talbot; Robert Hartshorne (1773 - 1851) to brother-in-law Phineas Janney and to daughter Lucy Hartshorne (b. 1826); Richard (Salter) Hartshorne (1814 - 1872?) to Robert Allen; Isaac Hartshorne (1827 - 1900) to nephew Joseph Hartshorne and to his son; and Edward Stabler (1769 - 1831) to cousin Dorothy Hopkins.

Miscellaneous papers contain poetry by Susan Waln Hartshorne (b. 1784) and by Lawrence Stabler, deeds, a receipt to Joseph Hartshorne (1779 - 1850), Joseph Hartshorne's (1852 - 1918) Lay Reader license from the Diocese of Pennsylvania, and a silhouette of Peter Saunders Hartshorne (1781 - 1846).


The Hartshorne Family Papers II will be of interest to researchers of the genealogy and family history of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia branches of the Hartshorne and related families. The collection is also useful for material that pertains to the history of medicine. Other collections, housed at hte Monmouth County Historical Association Library and Archives that relate to these papers include: the Hartshorne Family Papers (1771 - 1954) and the Joseph Hartshorne Genealogical Collection (1852 - 1918). Additional Hartshorne material may be located through the card catalog. Hartshorne letters will also be found in the Holmes Family Papers (1780-1907) loceated at the New Jersey Historical Society in Newark. The museum collections of the Monmouth County Historical Association also include many significant objects with Hartshorne family histories.

Container List


Joseph Hartshorne Collection (1664 - 1894)

1 / Joseph Hartshorne, M.D. (1779 - 1850) Papers

Correspondence. 1806 - 1847, n.d.

2 / Joseph Hartshorne, M.D. (1779 - 1850) Papers

Medical Papers. 1813 - 1843, n.d.

Literary Productions, n.d.

3 / Edward Hartshorne, M.D. (1818 - 1886) Papers

Correspondence. 1844 - 1883

Miscellaneous Papers. 1864 - 1894, n.d.

4 / Miscellaneous Correspondence. 1741 - 1856, n.d.

5 / Miscellaneous Papers. 1664 - 1884, n.d.

Lawrence Stabler Collection (1800 - 1915)

6 / Sarah Saunders Hartshorne (1785 - 1853) Papers

Correspondence. 1800 - 1821, n.d.

Miscellaneous Correspondence. 1822 - 1896, n.d.

Miscellaneous Papers. 1801 - 1915, n.d.


1. Freehold, N.J. Monmouth County Historical Association. Joseph Hartshorne Genealogical Collection. (Hartshorne - Bowne - Minturn - Collins - Haines Line).


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This page last updated 4 August 2008.

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