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Caleb Cope and family papers

Identifier: HC.MC-1222

Scope and Contents

The collection of letters and papers of the interrelated Cope and Howard families spans the latter part of the 19th century and the first quarter of the 20th century. It consists of letters by Memucan Hunt Howard and his wife Rebecca Porter Howard to their niece, Josephine Porter Cope and to her husband, Caleb Cope, as well as letters to the Howards on personal and business matters. The letters from Caleb Cope are primarily directed affectionately to his wife, Josephine Porter Cope, and many are to her uncle, Memucan H. Howard; others are to his son, Porter. Many of Caleb Cope's correspondents are attorneys and they write from a number of different states in the U.S. on matters of Cope's property. Porter Cope's letters refer to his work as a lawyer and to his issues with anxiety. His mother, Josephine's letters to him are dense with her thoughts and wishes. The collection also includes photographs of Cope and Howard family members.


  • 1848-1929


Access Restriction

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Porter Farquharson Cope

Porter Cope (1869-1950), son of Caleb and Josephine Porter Cope was born in Philadelphia. He received a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania and was a member of the firm MacVeagh and Bispham. He was a lecturer on chemistry at the Lauderback Academy, 1884-85; editor and publisher of "The Illustrated Weekly," 1885 and several other publications. He was an active member of the Republican Party. (This information was clipped from an article and placed in the genealogical volume; it was missing a second page and no source was given).

Rebecca Porter Howard and Col. Memucan Hunt Howard

Rebecca Porter Howard died "in the 75th year of her age" according to a newspaper clipping without a date. She married Col. M. Hunt Howard. She was also the daughter of James Porter -a businessman (who may or may not have been the same James Porter, governor of Tennessee) and Elizabeth Paul French. Rebecca Howard and her husband traveled widely. He, M. Hunt Howard, is credited with being a main contributor in acquiring land the Howard School building was erected in Nashville, TN. The Howards were benefactors of the Tennessee Historical Society, Fisk University, Woman's Mission home and others. They had no surviving children.

Caleb Frederick Cope

Caleb Frederick Cope (1797-1888) was the head of Caleb Cope & Co., wholesale silk merchants. He was also director of the Second Bank of the U.S., president of the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society. Josephine Porter [niece of Rebecca Porter Howard](1836-96) was Caleb's second wife. They had two children together: Caleb Frederick Cope and Porter Farquharson Cope. From: Internal genealogical information)

Connection between the Porters and Copes

Rebecca Porter Howard and Memucan Hunt Howard left no direct heirs (their only son died in infancy) and the connection between the Howards and Copes is through Josephine Porter Cope who married Caleb Cope and was the niece of Rebecca Porter, but Josephine Cope's parents have not been established, though in two of Caleb Cope's letters to Josephine's mother, he refers to her as "Mrs. Desha."


2 Linear Feet (4 boxes)




Letters and papers of the interrelated Cope and Howard families in the latter part of 19th and early 20th centuries. Although the Cope family had Quaker roots, most of the members of these two families were probably not Quaker.

Processing Information

Processing history is unknown.

Caleb Cope and Family Papers, 1848-1929
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • February 2022: CPeraria- (MLIS Intern) project to remove harmful/biased language from finding aids

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