Object Highlights

With many items in the Friends Historical Association collection, you can see a variety of themes or subjects – here are just a few:


Quaker hats/bonnets were known for their simplicity of form and fine workmanship. Deep pleats were often used in Quaker designs. The collection holds a variety of headware with a large portion being the Quaker bonnet. 

Rebecca Jones

Quaker Minister and Educator – known for having helped maintain the tradition of female preaching and leadership among American Quakers, and helping create it in England. She was born in Philadelphia on July 8, 1739. She was not raised Quaker but began a conversion at age 16 after hearing minister Catherine Peyton preach. Even with objections from her family and friends, she became increasingly involved in the Quaker religion…becoming a regular speaker by 1758.

She was a teacher and traveling preacher throughout the 1760s and 1770s. She traveled to England and at the London Yearly Meeting she (and others) successfully advocated for English Quaker women to have the right to hold a women’s yearly meeting. 

Jones fell ill during the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793. She contracted Typhus in 1813 which remained a chronic presence in her life. The illness ended her traveling career, but she continued consulting for those who wanted her expertise. She remained an invalid until her death in 1818.

The collection contains a variety of materials once owned (or thought to be owned) by Rebecca Jones. Just a few of the items are shown here. You can find more in the collections portal


A small but interesting group of materials in the collection fall under the theme of sewing…thimbles, pin cushions, needle cases, actual samples of sewing…all in different shapes and sizes. Often these materials are the most colorful or patterned with interesting designs.