This collection contains mostly incoming correspondance to Mary Brackett Willcox (1796-1866), wife of James M. Willcox (1791-1854) whose family owned one of the most significant paper mills in the country in Ivy Mills, now Glenn Mills, Pennsylvania. Along with their status in industry, the Willcox family was also one of the most prominent families within the Catholic community in the Philadelphia area. The family’s mansion became the center of Catholicity in Delaware County, and served as the beginnings of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, the oldest parish in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
During the 1840s and 1850s, students and the Vincentian administrators of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary spent their summers at the Willcox estate. The letters in the collection are from Vincentians, seminarians, and other priests serving the Archdiocese of Philadelphia who formed close ties with Mary and the Willcox family during this period. A majority of the letters address the topics of religion and spirituality, and more specifically, the teachings of the Catholic Church. These topics were of special interest to Mary. From an old established Puritan family from Massachusetts, she converted to Catholicism after marrying into the Willcox family. The correspondence also documents the Vincentians’ work in the Philadelphia diocese and in other parts of the country; and relates to the Willcox family. Besides correspondence, the collection also includes miscellaneous drafts, notes, and other writings that Mary likely authored.
0.4 Linear feet ; 1 box
- Amat, Thaddeus, Bishop, 1811-1878
- Frasi, Alexander, C.M.
- Maller, Mariano, C.M.
- Rollando, Bartholomew, C.M.
- Willcox, Mary Brackett, 1796-1866