Elizabeth Fish Alexander Darlington Papers

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Collection Title: Elizabeth Fish Alexander Darlington Papers

Collection Number: 198

Dates of Collection: 1856-1903

Box Numbers: 1 box, 10 folders

Repositiory: Chester County Historical Society

Language: English

Project Archivist: Jasmine Smith

Information For Researchers:

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  • Access:
    access: 
    This collection is open to researchers.
  • Preffered Citation:
    Preferred Citation: 
    Manuscript Collection 198: Elizabeth Fish Alexander Darlington Papers. Folder number. Item title, Item Number. Chester County Historical Society Library, West Chester, Pennsylvania.
  • Acquisition Information:
    Acquisition Information: 
    2017.33

Biography:

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Biography: 

Elizabeth Fish Alexander’s papers begin in 1856, when she was a student at the Ercildoun Boarding School, in Ercildoun, Pennsylvania. Through her letters to her mother, she details her life as a student at the girls’ boarding school. Elizabeth Alexander graduated valedictorian of her class in 1858, and was offered a position to remain at the school as a helper, and then promoted to a teaching role. As she assumed her professional role, she also met Richard Darlington, who came to work permanently at the school in 1859. He purchased the school from Smedley Darlington in 1861. Richard and Elizabeth married in 1861 and had five girls: Ella, Marian, Sara, Alice, and Grace. Elizabeth discusses her daughters, home life, and the running of the school in her letters to her mother in the 1860s. During this time, she was also preoccupied with the welfare of her brother, Robert Alexander, who was a Union soldier in the Civil War. Later in her life, Elizabeth Fish Alexander Darlington traveled, visiting Canada, the Western US, and California. She died during the trip to California in 1903.

Collection Scope:

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Collection Scope: 

This collection primarily consists of correspondence from Elizabeth Fish Alexander Darlington to her mother, Sarah Fish Alexander. Letters to and from Elizabeth Darlington’s children, written to and from her husband, and written to and from her brother are included. A few ephemera items and papers related to earlier family generations are present. 

Collection Arrangement:

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Collection Arrangement: 

Letters are arranged chronologically and grouped by writer, with recipient as a secondary guideline. Undated letters have be placed into chronological order through matching references to events in dated letters and discussion of historic events.

Many letters are tagged with notes created by Elizabeth Fish Alexander Darlington’s granddaughter. While many of these notes are helpful, some dates and events listed in the notes do not correspond correctly to the letters themselves. Researchers are encouraged to read both notes and letters in full.

Related Material:

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Collection Contents:

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Collection Contents: 

Folder 1: Elizabeth F. A. Darlington to Sarah Fish Alexander, 1856 – 1857

  1. July 1, 1856
  2. November 23, 1856
  3. December 7, 1856
  4. December 20, 1856
  5. January 4, 1857
  6. January 14, 1857
  7. January 25, 1857
  8. February 25, 1857
  9. March 15, 1857
  10. Valedictory address, written 1857
  11. “Phrenological Description of the Head of Elizabeth Fish”, prepared by S. Alina, ca. 1857

Folder 2: Elizabeth F. A. Darlington to Sarah Fish Alexander, 1858 and 1859

  1. January 2, 1858
  2. May 2, 1858
  3. May 16, 1858
  4. May 23, 1858
  5. Report card of Elizabeth Alexander, April 29 – June 2, 1858
  6. June 6, 1858
  7. June 20, 1858
  8. October 10, 1858
  9. November 24, 1858
  10. December 25, 1858
  11. May 15, 1859
  12. October 23, 1859
  13. November 6, 1859
  14. December 4, 1859
  15. December 11, 1859
  16. December 18, 1859

Folder 3: Elizabeth F. A. Darlington to Sarah Fish Alexander, 1860-1862

  1. January 22, 1860
  2. January 29, 1860
  3. February 7, 1860
  4. September 1860
  5. January 29, 1862 and follow-up
  6. March 8, 1862
  7. April 10, 1862
  8. Undated, believed summer 1862
  9. Undated, believed summer 1862
  10. Undated, believed summer 1862
  11. August 5, 1862
  12. August 15, 1862
  13. September 17, 1862
  14. October 18, 1862
  15. November 2, 1862
  16. November 9, 1862
  17. December 7, 1862
  18. December 17, 1862 

Folder 4: Elizabeth F. A. Darlington to Sarah Fish Alexander, 1863-1868

  1. February 22, 1863
  2. April 7, 1863
  3. Undated, believed August, 1863
  4. August 29, 1863
  5. Undated, believed September, 1863
  6. October 4, 1863
  7. November 3, 1863
  8. Undated, believed November 1863
  9. December 20, 1863
  10. January 17, 1864
  11. January 26, 1864
  12. February 9, 1864
  13. April 24, 1864
  14. Undated, believed summer 1864
  15. Undated, believed late summer 1864
  16. November 27, 1864
  17. December 27, 1864
  18. January 31, 1865
  19. November 5, 1865
  20. January 27, 1867
  21. April 10, 1867
  22. Undated, believed to be later April, 1867
  23. April 30, 1867
  24. April 8, 1868
  25. April 10, 1868 

Folder 5: Elizabeth F.A. Darlington’s Late Life Travels and Death

  1. Elizabeth F.A. Darlington to Richard Darlington, January, 1901
  2. Elizabeth F.A. Darlington to Richard Darlington, January, 1901
  3. Elizabeth F.A. Darlington to Alice D. Scattergood, August, 1901
  4. Elizabeth F.A. Darlington to Richard Darlington, August 2, 1901
  5. Elizabeth F.A. Darlington to Alice D. Scattergood, August 4, 1901
  6. Elizabeth F.A. Darlington to Richard Darlington, August 6, 1901
  7. Elizabeth F.A. Darlington to Alice D. Scattergood, August 8, 1901
  8. Elizabeth F.A. Darlington to Alice D. Scattergood, August 15, 1901
  9. Elizabeth F.A. Darlington to Alice D. Scattergood, January, 1903
  10. Telegram, Charles Curtis, M.D. to Richard Darlington, February 9, 1903, on weak state of Elizabeth F.A. Darlington
  11. Charles Curtis, M.D. to Robert Alexander, Esq., February 17, 1903, letter and bill for Elizabeth F.A. Darlington’s end-of-life medical care
  12. Lawyer of Charles Curtis to Richard Darlington, March 23, 1903
  13. Lawyer of Charles Curtis to lawyer of Richard Darlington, April 24, 1903 

Folder 6: Correspondence of Elizabeth F.A. Darlington’s daughters and granddaughters

  1. From Ella Darlington to her grandfather, ca. 1868
  2. Ella Darlington to Emma Walter, 1868
  3. Ella Darlington to Sarah Fish Alexander, April 5, 1868 (age 6)
  4. Ella Darlington to Sarah Fish Alexander, March 19, 1869
  5. a – 5f.      Ella Darlington, short essays: “Winter,” “Summer,” “Birds,” “Happiness,” “Snow,” “Mothers Love,” ca. 1869
  6. Sara Darlington to Sarah Fish Alexander, ca. 1879
  7. Sara Darlington to Sarah Fish Alexander, Oct. 13, 1879
  8. Sara Darlington to Sarah Fish Alexander, Oct. 29, 1879
  9. Sarah Fish Alexander to Alice Darlington, Oct. 1884
  10. Elizabeth F.A. Darlington to Alice and Sara Darlington, June 1888
  11. Elizabeth F.A. Darlington to Sara Darlington, July 1888
  12. Elizabeth F.A. Darlington to Alice and Grace Darlington, July 3, 1890
  13. Elizabeth F.A. Darlington to Alice Darlington, August 9, 1894
  14. Francis Short (suitor) to Alice Darlington, May 16, 1896
  15. Elizabeth F.A. Darlington to Alice Darlington, Aug. 26, 1898
  16. a – 16g. From William Scattergood and wife to Alice Darlington upon her engagement to William Scattergood’s son, Joseph Scattergood, 1901
  17. Elizabeth F.A. Darlington to Alice D. Scattergood, undated, ca. 1901
  18. Elizabeth F.A. Darlington to Alice D. Scattergood, Dec. 1902
  19. Elizabeth F.A. Darlington to Alice D. Scattergood, Dec. 1902

Folder 7: Letters and Documents of Extended Family

  1. To Elizabeth Wildman from Mary Wildman, March 9, 1810 – ancestors of Elizabeth Fish Alexander
  2. To Elizabeth and Elijah Fish from John Wildman, December 6, 1818
  3. From E. Wildman to his mother, June 3, 1851
  4. To Elijah Fish from a friend, Sept. 10, 1855
  5. Emma Walter to Sarah Fish Alexander, partial, early 1860s
  6. May Alexander, daughter of Robert Alexander, to Sarah Fish Alexander, undated
  7. Niece to Sarah Fish Alexander, July 18, 1884
  8. Emma Walter to Sarah Fish Alexander, August 9, 1884

Folder 8: Miscellaneous

Includes mementos, invitations, news clippings, poems. Items of note include a listing of important marriage, birth, and death dates for Elizabeth F. A. Darlington’s immediate family and a notebook listing all her books and to whom she wished to will them at her death.

Folder 9: Richard Darlington Letters

  1. To Alice E. Darlington, July 14, 1886
  2. To family from Paris, June 26, 1891
  3. To Elizabeth F.A Darlington from Paris, June 28, 1891
  4. To Elizabeth F.A Darlington while traveling, June 30, 1891
  5. To family from Glasgow, July 2, 1891
  6. To family from Edinburgh, July 5, 1891
  7. To Elizabeth F.A Darlington from London, July 7, 1891
  8. To C.W. Talbot, Esq. from London, July 9, 1891
  9. To Elizabeth F.A Darlington from Cologne, July 14, 1891
  10. To Elizabeth F.A Darlington from Baden Baden, July 17, 1891 

Folder 10: Robert Alexander Letters

  1. From Elizabeth F. A. Darlington, Oct. 26, 1862, includes envelope
  2. To Sarah Fish Alexander, April 10, presumed 1863
  3. To Sarah F. Alexander, July 15, 1863, during Civil War service
  4. To Sarah F. Alexander, July 20, 1863, during Civil War service
  5. To Sarah F. Alexander, July 25, 1863, during Civil War service
  6. To Sarah F. Alexander, July 31, 1863, during Civil War service
  7. To Sarah F. Alexander, August 5, 1863, during Civil War service