Inclusive dates
  • Papers, 1709-1928, of the Evans family of Paoli, Chester County, Pennsylvania and South Boston, Halifax County, Virginia. The majority of the collection relates to the activities of Joshua Evans, Jr. (1777-1846), John Davis Evans (1814-1884), and Edward Livingston Evans (1857-1909). Includes correspondence, accounts and receipts, estate papers, subject files, oversized items, framed items, and a ledger containing miscellaneous papers
  • The correspondence begins in 1770, but the majority is post-1810. Most of the letters between 1810 and 1840 are addressed to Joshua Evans, Jr. and his sister-in-law Sarah Davis (1784-1857), who moved in with the family following the death of his wife, Lydia Evans, in 1818. There is a good deal of correspondence written to Davis from her sisters in Havre de Grace, Maryland. Also of note are letters written to Joshua Evans, Jr. while he was serving in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (1820) and the United States House of Representatives (1829-1833). Subjects include state and national political issues, the introduction of various petitions to the legislature, political patronage and appointments, taxation issues, the annexation of Texas, removal of deposits from the Bank of the United States, letters regarding pensions and bounty land of Revolutionary War veterans, party politics, tariff matters, and internal improvements
  • The correspondence between 1840 and 1880 is mostly to John D. Evans, as well as Sarah Davis. There are a number of letters from his sister Mary M. Baily while she was living in Memphis, Cincinnati, and Troy, New York. She describes her medical studies while attending the Troy Female Seminary. Many of the letters contain her views on women's rights, and also relate to her separation and divorce from her husband John P. Baily (b. 1805). There is a good deal of correspondence concerning the settlement of the estate of their father Joshua Evans. Also included are letters between John D. Evans and the Pennsylvania Railroad Company concerning damages to his property by the railroad
  • The correspondence after 1880 concerns the activities of Edward Livingston Evans of South Boston, Virginia. There are a large number of letters between him and his future wife Mildred Blanton of Farmville concerning their courtship and marriage. Much of the correspondence also relates to his activities in the hardware business, as well as legal and financial matters. Also included are letters of sympathy written to the family upon his death on 15 March 1909
  • The accounts and receipts cover the years 1806 to 1909. Most of them relate to the operation of the Paoli Inn by Joshua Evans, Jr. and his son John D. Evans
  • The estate papers contain information on numerous individuals for whose estates Joshua Evans and John D. Evans served as executor or administrator. There is a large amount of material on the estates of John Campbell, Robert Clemens, Henry and Margaret Dermont, Frederick Landis, Philip Landis, and Nathaniel and Jane Lawrence. See the collection guide for a complete listing of individuals
  • The subject files include account books, agreements, accounts and correspondence with the brokerage firm Thomas A. Biddle and Company, cancelled checks, circulars, clippings, and information concerning the Columbia Manufacturing Company in which John D. Evans was a partner. There are also deeds, exercise books on geometry and oceanography, guardianship papers, invitations, travel journals, and memorandum books. There are a large number of bank statements for the firm Norwood & Company in Halifax County. Also included in the subject files is information on the Paoli Monument, powers of attorney, promissory notes, information on rental property owned by John D. Evans, report cards, resolutions, tavern licenses, tax tickets and receipts, and other items
  • There are a large number of oversized items similiar to those contained in the subject files. See the collection guide for a complete listing
  • The framed items include a letter from David Jones of Philadelphia to Brig. Gen. William Irvine of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, dated 20 April 1781, as well as a deed from David Powell to James Parry, dated 28 October 1709
  • The ledger contains miscellaneous papers that were professional conserved prior to their donation to The Library of Virginia. A decision was made to leave the ledger intact, rather than split up its contents. It includes various wills and estate inventories of members of the Evans and Davis families, correspondence between John D. Evans and Edward Livingston (Evans), Bible records, genealogical notes, and other material
Member of
  • Accessioned
  • Described
Biographical or historical data
  • The Evans family were prominent residents of Paoli, Chester County, Pennsylvania, and South Boston, Virginia. Joshua Evans, Jr. was born in Paoli on 20 January 1777. He was a hotel keeper and farmer, and served one term in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (1820) and two terms in the United States House of Representatives (1829-1833). He married Lydia Davis. She was the daughter of Dr. John Davis (1744-1816), and was born on 2 February 1778. She died shortly after the birth of their fifth child, on 20 November 1818. Joshua Evans, Jr. died in Paoli on 2 October 1846 and is buried in the Great Valley Baptist Church cemetery in New Centerville, Pennsylvania.
  • His son John D. Evans was born on 18 October 1814. He lived his entire life in Paoli, and took over the hotel business after his father died. He was also a farmer, and a partner in the Columbia Manufacturing Company. He owned rental property in Philadelphia as well. John D. Evans never married. He died at his home in Paoli on 6 June 1884.
  • His "adopted son" was Edward Livingston Evans. Born Edward Livingston on 2 January 1857, he was orphaned at a young age and resided in an orphanage in Philadelphia under the charge of John D. Evans' cousin Nathaniel Jones. Evans later assumed much of the expense for his care. Edward Livingston took the last name Evans around 1873. He later resided in Farmville, Virginia in the residence of Major Andrew R. Venable, Jr., and graduated from Hampden-Sidney College. He married Mildred Blanton on 22 April 1884. They had ten children and resided in South Boston, Virginia where he was employed in the hardware business, as well as in the lumber business and in manufacturing of building material, and also in the tobacco business. He served as a town councilman and was mayor for two terms. He died at his home in South Boston on 15 March 1909.
Cataloging source
Form designation
  • The Library of Virginia
Cumulative index finding aids
  • Inventory
  • Inventory
  • 10.75
  • 1
Governing access note
Immediate source of acquisition
Adams, J. Wayne, Jr.
Organization method
Organized into the following seven series: I. Correspondence. II. Accounts and Receipts. III. Estate Papers. IV. Subject Files. V. Oversized Items. VI. Framed Items. VII. Ledger.
Type of unit
  • cu. ft.
  • v.



Member of

Library Locations

    • Library of VirginiaBorrow it
      800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA, 23219, US
      37.5415632 -77.4360805
Processing Feedback ...