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M.J. Scarlett letter to Joseph Pownall Scarlett

 Collection — Box: 1 letter
Identifier: 003-MS 439
1 sheet 8 x 10 inches, folded in half, written with sepia ink on watermarked paper.  Includes card 1 3/4 x 3 /12 inches with her hand written name and address.


  • Other: Date acquired: 11/06/2015


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1.00 items


Manuscript letter from M.J. Scarlett to her brother, Joseph Pownall Scarlett, describing speeches by abolitionist leaders Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison. The letter also notes that she had attended a meeting at the Race Street Meetinghouse at which Lucretia Mott was also present. A slip of paper containing Mary J. Scarlett's handwritten name and address accompanies the letter.

Biographical or Historical Information

Mary J. Scarlett, the youngest child of John and Elizabeth (Pownall) Scarlett, was born on October 23, 1822. She taught for a number of years in country schools before attending the Female Medical College of Pennsylvania from which she graduated in 1857. Dr. Scarlett was appointed a demonstrator of anatomy at the College in 1859 and Professor of Anatomy in 1862. During many of these same years, she also served as a resident physician at the women's hospital which was associated with the Female Medical College. Like her parents and several of her brothers, Mary Scarlett was a Quaker and an abolitionist. Her brother, Joseph Pownall Scarlett, was one of three white men accused of treason for his role in the Christiana resistance in September, 1851. The suit against him was dropped when Castner Hanway, another white participant in the event, was acquitted. Mary J. Scarlett married G. Washington Dixon in May of 1873, retaining her professorship and continuing to practice medicine until her eyesight failed in 1881. She died in 1900.

Note written by

Technical Access Requirements

The processing fee for photocopying or scanning requests is $10.00/request. There is no charge for Millersville University students, faculty, or staff.

Source of Acquisition

M & S Rare Books, Inc.
Method of Acquisition Purchase

Related Materials

The Christiana Riot and the Treason Trials of 1851, part of the Henry Frank Eshleman Papers.

Other Descriptive Information

Folder also contains a description of the letter containing biographical information about Mary J. and Joseph P. Scarlett, a biographical sketch of Mrs. Mary J. Scarlett Dixon printed from the Pennsylvania Genealogy Trails website and a photocopy of the article "Notes by the way: the Christiana riot of 1851" from the Friends' intelligencer and journal.
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Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Millersville University Special Collections Repository

9 North George Street
McNairy Library, PO Box 1002
Millersville University
Millersville 17551-302 US