Collection Title: Hannah H. Horne Papers

Collection Number: Ms. Coll. 206

Dates of Collection: 1840-1880

Box Numbers: 2 Folders

RepositoryChester County Historical Society, West Chester, PA 19380

Language: English


Hannah H. Horne was born in Delaware County, Pennsylvania to Thomas and Eliza Horne. She had two brothers, Charles and Thomas, and three sisters, Phoebe, Elizabeth, and Emily. In the early 1840s, Hannah was sent to the SharonBoarding School, which proved to be one of the most significant experiences of her life. The school, located near Darby, Pennsylvania, was started by John Jackson and his wife Rachel. The Jacksons used several distinctive methods of teaching, such as having the students copy several letters that they had written to each other before they were married. John Jackson also had his students copy a letter that he had written while visiting the West Indies. The letter describes the cruel slavery that was still occurring on the islands at the time. Though the Jacksons’ teaching style was seemingly unconventional, the students learned a great deal from it. It can also be concluded from Hannah Horne’s letters that the school allowed many students to build strong and long-lasting relationships with one another during a relatively short time period. Hannah’s experiences there remained a common theme in most of her letters over the next 20 years.

Although it was not always geographically convenient, the Horne family managed to maintain frequent communication throughout the years. Among the events discussed in their correspondence are Phoebe’s move from West Fallowfield to Wilmington, and the marriage of their brother, Charles. Hannah also kept in touch with several of her friends from the SharonSchool, such as Aesah Stapler and Esther Naylor. She had a rather extensive correspondence with her friend, Caroline Bovee over a long period of time as well. Hannah eventually married Frank Dutton of Aston Township, Delaware County and had a daughter, Hannah, to whom she eventually gave her collection of old letters. After the younger Hannah’s death in 1942, her adopted son Larry Urbine took possession of the letters and gave them to his cousin Thomas, who graciously donated them to the Chester County Historical Society.

Collections Scope:

Much of the collection consists of letters written by friends of Hannah H. Horne, and various members of the Horne family. Though several of the letters were written by Hannah herself, the rest are all addressed to her unless otherwise indicated. The collection also contains several impressive drawings by Hannah Horne, as well as a few small booklets that contain certain recipes for different purposes. The documents are organized alphabetically by the author’s last name, then chronologically within each author.

Information For Researchers:

  • Acquisition Information:
    Donated by Thomas Urbine, Jr.

Collections Contents:

Folder 1: Author’s last name, A-G

–          Bovee, C.N.

  • July 23rd, 1857 (To Carrie Bovee): He sent Carrie a copy of a book he has published and has included a newspaper advertisement for it. He discusses his regrets and justifications regarding their prolonged lack of communication and encourages Carrie to write more and consider him a close friend.

–          Bovee, Caroline “Carrie”

  • [Undated]: Invitation for Hannah to come visit. She also discusses the conditions of several old friends and certain family members.
  • [Undated]: Arrangements are being made for Carrie to visit Hannah in one week. She also discusses a recent fire that occurred very close to her home in Philadelphia.
  • November [No Year]: Talks of a recent trip she took to Chester and offers Hannah some of her plants.
  • December 12th, 1849: She is happy to have received a letter from Hannah recently and discusses recent events such as her trip to see a panorama of Italy. She also asks for certain information regarding Charles.
  • April 21st, 1850: She is very excited about something, but also misses Hannah and Charles. She has spent much time sewing since she has gotten home. The letter is signed as her alias, Ada.
  • June 10th, 1850: Thanks Hannah for an invitation and shows sympathy for Charles who is in poor spirits.
  • January 19th, 1880: Talks of family gatherings, Martha Ann James being ill, and the delicious food sent to her by Hannah.
  • June 18th, 1880: The letter is addressed to Hannah Dutton, signifying her marriage to Charles Dutton. She is very appreciative and grateful that she and Hannah have managed to keep in touch. She appreciates the handkerchiefs that Hannah has made her and talks of a recent funeral she attended. She signs the letter as Ada Lad.

–          Hannum, Susanne Ann

  • January 20th, 1860 (To her brother): She mentions that a local neighbor named William Powell is selling his land. She also describes the Christmas weather and food prices.

–          Horne, Emily

  • February 21st [No Year]: Letter written in by Emily, Phoebe Sleeper and Charles Sleeper to Hannah and her parents. The letter includes details regarding Phoebe and Charles’s plans to move to Wilmington, as well as their ideas for a sale to raise money.
  • January 20th, 1843: Mentions the recent marriage of Charles and the escapades her parents faced while trying to travel to a meeting in bad weather.

–          Horne, Eliza

  • April 8th, 1842: Martha Ann is debating on attending the Sharon school, while Eliza discusses the experience of helping Charles move.

–          Horne, Hannah

  • [Undated]: In a letter which appears to be to her parents, Hannah describes the powerful and emotional final meeting of the scholars and Sharon. It is likely that she will be leaving there soon and will miss it dearly.
  • April, 1840: Letter to her aunt Elizabeth Heacock, at the SharonSchool. She discusses certain science lessons and recent school activities, which included a lecture given by John Jackson about his trip to the West Indies.
  • November 28th, 1842: In a letter to her parents, she discusses her life away at school, as well as the death of Mary Ogden, one of their neighbors.
  • December 19th, 1842: To her sister Emily, Hannah talks about missing her home, but also praises some of her friends and superiors at the SharonSchool.
  • March 27th, 1843: In a letter to her mother, Hannah talks of a meeting she unfortunately missed, and discusses some of the local young men who are getting married soon.

–          Garrett, E.

  • February 1st [No Year]: Written while at the SharonSchool. She discusses her current classes, teachers, and various classmates.

–          Gaskill, Eliza H.

  • September 18th, 1850: She enjoys living with Phoebe and Charles in Wilmington and discusses some recent events including the death of her Uncle’s horse.
  • October 23rd, 1850: Discusses her experience on her Uncle Jesse’s boat. She also talks of the courses she is taking in school and of a family friend that has passed away.
  • November 21st, 1850: Talks of a visit from her father and brother, and a trip she took to see family in New Jersey. The letter includes small sections written by Phoebe and Charles.


Folder 2: Author’s last name, H-Z; Miscellaneous

–          Jones, Humphrey

  • [Undated]: Humphrey appreciates Hannah’s letter and talks of his life since they last spoke. He frequently members another of Hannah’s friends named George Martin.

–          Lyons, R.H.

  • [Undated]: Talks of the fun he had while visiting Hannah. He also mentions that Charles Dutton was notably upset that he was not invited.

–          Jackson, Ann P.

  • December 28th, 1849 (to Thomas Horne): Discusses a recent trip she took to New Jersey.

–          Jackson, John

  • [Undated, copied by E. Garrett]: Poetic love letter written by John Jackson to his wife before they were married.
  • 1843 [Copied by Hannah Horne]: Love letter to his future wife.

–          James, Martha Anna

  • March 21st, 1843: Martha is debating on attending the John Jackson’s SharonSchool for girls. She also discusses her current school subjects and a wedding she recently attended.

–          Ogden, Mary

  • April 14th, 1947: Offers her help to Hannah regarding the creation of a quilt.
  • January 18th, 1848: She has invited Hannah to an event the following day and will be expecting her attendance.

–          Naylor, Esther M.

  • March 29th, 1847Hannah has decided to visit Esther soon, and Esther is very excited. She sends her regards to a woman named Mrs. Steward.

–          Sleeper, Phoebe

  • November 25th [no year]: Phoebe misses Emily and expects her to visit soon. She also presents her with an opportunity to buy produce at a discount.
  • February 14th, 1845: Phoebe is very upset with Hannah for her lack of letters and broken plans to visit. Although she clearly feels hurt, she tells Hannah that she still loves her.

–          Stapler, Aesah

  • January 15th, 1844: Aesah talks of the fun she is having with the winter weather and reminisces about their times at the SharonSchool. She mentions the death of a friend’s father.
  • January 2nd, 1847: She talks of a recent examination she took and her experience at the Sharon School Festival. At the end of the letter, she hints that she may be getting married in the coming months.
  • August 24th, 1849: Discusses the recent rainy weather conditions and the current state of affairs at the SharonSchool.

–          Worall, Ann

  • February 16th, 1844: She has sent Hannah and others an invitation of some sort and would appreciate an answer soon.
  • April 9th, 1847: Ann apologizes for a previous miscommunication and invites Hannah to some kind of event.


–          Miscellaneous

  • Typed biographical information of the Horne family by Thomas A. Urbine, Jr.
  • Copied poem with no author listed
  • Paper with several small drawings by Hannah H. Horne
  • Booklet of physics sketches
  • Booklet of astronomy sketches 
  • Note dated 1850 marking a payment made Thomas Horne to Elizabeth Horne regarding the burial of Charles Dutton’s wife
  • Booklet of recipes for curing certain ailments-1843
  • Booklet of definitions- 1843
  • Recipe Booklet- 1850
  • Eggs Booklet- 1850
  • Recipe for Raspberry Vinegar
  • Architectural drawing by Hannah Horne
  • Recipe for Peach Vinegar by Hannah Horne
  • Hannah Horne’s copy of poem, “Address to the Deity”