Collection Title: Rebecca Webb Pennock Lukens Papers

Collection Number: 199

Dates of Collection: 1825-1982, Bulk dates: 1825-1850

Box Numbers: 1

RepositoryChester County Historical Society

Language: English

Project Archivist: Jasmine Smith


In 1815 or 1816, Rebecca Lukens and her husband, Charles, came to the Brandywine Iron Works. The property was owned by Rebecca’s father, and he wished his daughter and her husband to take over the care and running of the dilapidated mill. The young couple spent several years repairing and rebuilding the mill and surrounding buildings at great expense, eventually setting up the property for boiler plate rolling. Charles’ unexpected death in 1825 left Rebecca with a great deal of debt, a newly active business enterprise, and several children for which to provide. Rebecca took over the running of the mill and proved to be an excellent business woman. She created an institution in Coatesville that would last over a century beyond her lifetime.          

Resources Used:

“Statement of Rebecca W. Lukens,” Brandywine, September 10th, 1850.

Collections Scope:

The Rebecca Lukens collection includes short biographies written about Rebecca Lukens, as well as several short statements and autobiographies written by Lukens herself. The collection also includes a map of her property, two of her account books, and several letters.

Collection Arrangement:

Materials are arranged by document type.

Related Material:

CCHC Newspaper Clippings Collection: Lukens, Rebecca.  Coatesville. Business Houses, Lukens Steel

CCHC Ephemera Files: Coatesville. Business Houses, Lukens

CCHC Family Files: Lukens Family

Collections Contents:

Folder #           Description

1               Rebecca Lukens Biographies

                 A Woman in Steel, Robert W. Walcott, 1940

                 “Rebecca Pennock Lukens,” Anna M.P. Stern, n.d.

                 “Rebecca Pennock Lukens, 1794-1854,” Mary S. Pinkney and

Claire Etherton, 1982

2                Rebecca Lukens’ Own Accounts, Autobiographies

                  MS 7577 – “Autobiography of Rebecca W. Lukens, Written about


                  “Statement of Rebecca W. Lukens,” Brandywine, September 10th,


                  Property accounting following death of Charles Lukens, 1826

3                Rebecca Lukens Property Map, undated 

4                Rebecca W. Lukens Various Documents, Holton Collection

                  Includes her autobiography and other documents, transcribed 

5                Letters

                  Letters to Martha P. Gibbons, Coatesville, 1848-1849,

MS 3098-3104

6                Rebecca Lukens Account Books for Brandywine House

                  Two books, MS 76206-76207, 1839-1848