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Hiram Corson, M. D. 


The Corson Family 

A History of the Descendants 



Son of Cornelius Corssen 
of Staten Island, New York 


Hiram Corson, M. D. 

Plymouth Meeting, Pa. 

Printed for Private Distribution 


Hknry Lawrence Everett, Publisher 

227 South Sixth Street 



4 ( 






Preface . . 5 

Chapter I. 
Cornelius Corson 

Chapter II. 
The Three Benjamins 13 

Chapter III. 
Descendants of Benjamin the Second 17 

Chapter IV. 
Descendants of Benjamin the Third . . 31 

Chapter V. 
Joseph Corson 67 

Chapter VI. 
Alan Wright Corson and his Descendants 74 

Chapter VII. 
Mary Corson Adnmson and her Descendants 82 

Chapter VIII. 
Sarah Corson Read and her Descendants 90 

Chapter IX. 
Joseph Dickinson Corson and his Descendants 97 

Chapter X. 
Charles Corson and his Descendants 104 


Chapter XI. 
George Corson and his Descendants ^^^ 

Chapter XII. 
Dr. Hiram Corson and his Descendants 121 

Chapter XIII. 
Dr. William Corson *39 

Chapter XIV. 
Maternal Ancestry '45 

Chapter XV. 
The War Record ^55 

In Memoriam. 
Dr. Hiram Corson ^"9 

List of Illustrations. 

Hiram Corson, M. D Frontispiece. 

Richard D. Corson, M. D Facing Page 22 

Robert Rodgers Corson 24 

Theodore C. Search 44 

Joseph Corson's Home at Mickorytown 66 

Plymouth Meeting 72 

Alan Wright Corson 74 

Where Alan Wright Corson Lived 76 

Elias Hicks Corson 78 

Elias Hicks Corson's Home 80 

Mary Corson Adamson 82 

. Mary Corson Adamson's Home 84 

Thomas Adamson 86 

Friends' Meeting House, Schuylkill, Chester County, Pa. ... 88 

Louis W. Read, M. D 94 

Prok. Hiram Corson, LL. D 98 

Charles Corson 104 

The Home of Charles Corson 106 

George N. Highley, M. D loS 

John J. Corson no 

George Corson 112 

Where George Corson Lived. (Now the home of Helen C. 

Hovenden) II4 

Anti-Slavery Hall. (Lately the studio of Thomas Hovenden) 116 

Ellwood M. C0R.SON, M. D 1 18 

Maple Hill 122 

Dr. Joseph Kirby Corson, U. S. A 134 

William Corson, M. D . 138 

The Dickinson Home, Plymouth Meeting, Pa 150 

Ann J. FouLKE Corson 152 

The plates for these illustrations, with a single exception, have been prepared e.xpressly 
for this work. The pictures of the various homes and other buildings, are from photographs 
made especially for the book, by Wm. H. Richardson, Norristown, Pa. 


Prior to i860 I knew almost nothing about the genealogy 
of our family ; in June of that year an incident occurred that 
turned my attention strongly to the work of looking it up. I had 
on the first day of that year's meeting of the Pennsylvania State 
Medical Society, which I was attending, introduced a resolu- 
tion that gave much offense, and, in the discussion which 
ensued, impassioned speeches were made by my opponents 
and myself As soon as it was over, Dr. Henry Drayton 
came to me and wanted to know of what nationality the 
Corsons were. I told him that I really did not know ; I only 
knew that we were said to date from Staten Island about two 
hundred years ago. He said he knew we were Huguenots, 
but before he could explain himself, other friends, excited by 
the discussion, pressed forward to speak to me and so inter- 
cepted further conversation on that subject. I regretted not 
to be able to enquire what had caused him to think we were 
Huguenots, and when I reached home I related what had 
occurred to my brother Alan, who was sixteen years older 
than myself. He at once stepped to his library and took 
down Weiss' " History of the Huguenots," in the appendix 
of which he found that two ships had left France, bound for 
Charleston, South Carolina, on which were a number of 
families fleeing from French persecution. As related in the 
first chapter of this work, one of the vessels reached 
Charleston, as intended, but the other was carried by stress of 
weather, or other causes, to Staten Island. Among the pas- 
sengers aboard the first vessel, the one that went to Charleston, 
was one named Drayton, who was doubtless the ancestor of 
my friend, Dr. Drayton, who had set me thinking about family 

history. My friend had evidently been famiHar with the 
names of those who were on board the vessel which landed at 
Staten Island, and concluded at once that I was a descendant 
of the one whose name appears in the list of passengers as 
Coursen. These are the names of others on that vessel : 
Larselue (now Larzelere), Bedell, Rutan, Poillon, La Conte, 
Mercaran, Butten, Maney, Cruse (now Cruzen or Kreusen) 
De Pue, Martineau, Morgane, Leguine, Jouerney, and La Tou- 
rette. I have italicized the last named for cause : Some years 
ago my son. Dr. Joseph K. Corson, Assistant Surgeon United 
States Army, while stopping at Omaha, was introduced to 
Chaplain James A. M. La Tourette, who, on hearing the 
name Corson, at once said, "You are a Huguenot and my 
ancestor, Jean La Tourette, was on the vessel that brought 
your ancestor, Cornelius Coursen, to Staten Island." Chaplain 
James A. M. La Tourette was, in 1851, "Pastor of my Httle 
Church of the Huguenots (Staten Island), built for me in that 
year." I had much interesting correspondence with this good 
man, who regretted the paucity of narratives left by the Staten 
Island Huguenots or Refugees as he called them. He attrib- 
uted this to the ignorance caused by the Revolutionary War 
and antecedent disturbances, which prevented the people 
from taking a normal interest in educational matters. Staten 
. Island being often the seat of trouble, its people were espec- 
ially affected in this way. Mr. La Tourette has written me 
interesting accounts of the Staten Island Refugees ; of their 
little log churches which were made to serve as school 
houses ; of how they went in groups to different portions of 
the Island (then mainly inhabited by the Dutch), and to other 
places — each group constituting itself into a separate com- 

In the forepart of the Eighteenth Century one of these 
little groups came to Bucks County in the vicinity of Addis- 
ville, and there established homes. They built their little log 
church which served the double purpose of worship and 
education. In that group were my great-great-grandparents 

and their son, Benjamin, the second. The little log school 
was still standing when I was a boy, just as it was built by our 
Huguenot fathers. I recollect seeing it very well ; John 
Corson, son of Esquire John, taught school there at that 
time. The old homestead where the first Benjamin settled 
when he came from Staten Island was on the " Middle Road " 
half a mile below the school house, and a few miles further on 
was another log school or church built by another group ot 
Huguenot settlers. Time and the spirit of improvement have 
long since destroyed the old home and the little log church, 
but the graves in the graveyard with their marble slabs are 
there, much the same as when they were newly made. From 
the seven rows of graves — one for each family — it would seem 
that the Addisville group of Huguenots was composed ot 
seven families. I have twice visited the place since 1888, but 
the little " Huguenot Graveyard," as it was then called, is all 
that is left to tell us of our early fathers. 

The facts, which are here presented, concerning the Corson 
family, have been gathered in the midst of a busy life and 
with considerable difficulty. They are submitted with a 
belief in their substantial accuracy, though knowing full well 
that errors are almost unavoidable in a work of this kind. I 
may hope, at least, that the book will serve to stimulate 
interest in our family history, and, perhaps, become the basis 
for future records that will be more complete and freer from 

The various papers supplied by Dr. Corson for 
insertion in this volume could not have the advan- 
tage of his final supervision in making them ready 
for publication. The task of arranging them in a 
suitable manner, and of editing the whole work so 
that it shoidd be presented in most effective form, 
devolved upon George N. Highley, M. D., of Con- 
shohocken, Penna., a great-nephew of Dr. Corson. 
The children of Dr. Corson desire to express here 
their high appreciation of the faithfulness and 
excellence of Dr. Highley' s services. 

Dee, ji . 1. .-t'^"''^ 

Cornelius Corssen. 

Readers of Frerxh history know something of the perse- 
cutions inflicted on the Protestants after the revocation of the 
Edict of Nantes by Louis XIV on October i8, 1685. Simondi 
computed the whole number who emigrated from France at 
that time, at 400,000, and supposed that an equal number 
perished on the gallows, in prisons, at the galleys, and in 
attempts at escape. Voltaire said : " 600,000 fled carrying 
with them riches, their industry, and their implacable hatred of 
King." In 1685 two vessels with Huguenots left France for 
Charleston, South Carolina, but from some cause, perhaps 
stress of weather, one of them made a landing on Staten 
Island. In Weiss' History of French Protestant Refugees, 
Vol. II, page 315, are given the names of those who came in 
that vessel. These are the names there recorded : Resan, 
La Tourette, Cruse (now Cruzen or Kreuson), Corssen, Bedell, 
Larseleau (now Larzelere), and fourteen others. Weiss refers 
to the escape of one of the above parties, which is of interest 
as pointing to the part of France from which some of them, 
at least, came. He says : " Henri de La Tourette fled from 
La Vendee, after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. To 
avoid suspicion he gave a large entertainment, and, while the 
guests were assembled suddenly left with his wife for the sea 
coast where they boarded a vessel bound for South Carolina," 
On that vessel was Cornelius Corssen, the first ancestor of the 
Corsons in the United States. 

There is in the records of Staten Island an account of a 
patent conveying to Cornelius Corsen, Andrew Jurianson, 


lo History of the Corson Family 

Derrick Cornelison and John Peterson, i8o acres of land; 
sixty acres of which was conveyed to Cornelius Corsen, and 
forty acres to each of the others, "they yielding and paying 
therefore yearly and eveiy year, for his royal highnesses use 
as a quit rent, two bushels of good winter wheat unto such 
officer or officers as shall be empowered to receive the same 
at New York." Another patent to the same parties conveyed 
320 acres "westward of the Mill Creek" ; beside this tract 
"thirty-two acres of salt meadow where most convenient" 
was conveyed. All of these were in Staten Island. Very 
little positive knowledge can be obtained of the family of 
Cornelius Corsen, but we know from his will, probated in 
1693, that his wife's Christian name was Maritie, and that he 
had children, though he does not mention their names. 

There can be no doubt that Benjamin, our ancestor who 
removed to Bucks County from Staten Island in about the 
year 1726, was one of his sons. It is equally probable that 
Jacob, who lived and died on Staten Island, and who made a 
will on October 8, 1742, disposing of a comfortable estate, 
was another. There is also good reason to believe that 
Christian, Cornelius, and Daniel were likewise his sons ; for 
the first is spoken of in 1738, as a Lieutenant and Colonel, 
and again as a Judge, while Cornelius is mentioned as a 
Justice of the Peace, and Daniel as a "Clarke" (County 
Clerk). Among the records we find also that " on December 
19, 1689, Lieutenant-Governor Leisler commissioned Cornelius 
Corsen, of Richmond, Staten Island, as a Justice, and also as 
Captain." This was very likely Cornelius, the immigrant. 

As stated, Benjamin settled in Bucks County, Pennsyl- 
vania, but the others remained in the vicinity of Staten 
Island, and their descendants are to be found in that place, in 
New York State, and Northern New Jersey at the present 
time. We are concerned only in this narrative with the 
history of Benjamin, our ancestor, and his descendants. An 
account of them will be given in the following chapters. 
This one may be fittingly closed with the last Will and Testa- 
ment of the founder of our family in America. It is evident 

Cornelius Corssen ii 

from the Will that he must have died sometime between 
December 9, 1692, and December 7, 1693, for on the first 
named date the Will was signed, and on the last named it 
was admitted to probate. 


Registered for Maritie Corssen Widow Relict & Executrix to Corne- 
lius Corssen dec'd. 

In the name of God Amen ! I Cornelius Corssen of Staten Island 
within the county of Richmond in the province of New Yorke in 
America yeoman being sick in body but of sound and perfect minde 
and memory praise be therefore Given to Almighty God doe make and 
ordaine this my Present Last Will and Testament in manner and form 
following that is to say first and principally I commend my Soule into 
the hands of Almighty God hoping through the menits Death and Pas- 
sion of Jesus Christ my Savior to have full and free pardon and forgive- 
ness of all my sins and to inheritt Everlasting life and my body I 
commit to The Earth to be decently buryed at the discretion of my 
Executrix hereafter named and Touching the disposition of all sucli 
Temporall Estate as itt hath pleased Almighty God to bestow upon me 
I give and dispose thereof as followeth 

First I will that my debts and funerall charges shall be paid and 

Item all the Rest residue of my Reall and personall Estate watso- 
ever Lands and Tenements goods and chattels I doe give and bequeath 
unto my Loving and Deare wife Maritie Corssen for and dureing her 
naturall Live and after her decease the same Lands, Tenements Goods 
and chattels shall be Equally Divided between all my children Each 
child to have an equall portion or share but if my said wife Maritie 
Corssen shall happen to marry then my will and meaning is that the one 
halfe of all my Estate both Goods & chattels Lands and Tenements at 
the time of such her marriage shall be equally Divided between my 
children sufficient security being given by my said wife That the 
youngest childrens parte and portion of the same or soe many of my 
children as att the time of her marriage are not of the age of twenty- 
one years that the same shall be payd faithfully to each of them when 
they shall attain or come to the age of Twenty one yeares as aforesaid 
Dureing which age of twenty one yeares my will & meaning is that such 
young childes portion or parte shall be and Remaine in the hands of my 
said wife Maritie Corssen for such young childe or childrens Education 
She giveing security for due payment of the same as afosd. and if any 
of my children shall happen to dye before they come or attain to the age 
of twenty one yeares that then such childe or childrens part shall be 
equally divided amongst such of my children as shall happen to sur- 
vive and I doe hereby make my Loveing & deare wife Maritie Corssen 
before menconed full sole Executrixe of this my last Will & Testament 
hereby revoking & making void all former Wills & Testament by me 
heretofore made. 

In Wittness whereof I the said Cornelius Corssen to this my last 
Will & Testament have sett my hand & seale the nineth day of Decem- 
ber in the yeare of our Lord Christe 1692. 

Corn. Corssen [seale] 

12 History of the Corson Family 

Sealed & subscribed by the said Cornelis Corssen in presence of 
Cornelis X Nephews Peter X Staes Tho. Carhartt 

Benjamin Fletcher Captn. Generall and Governour in Cheife of the 
Province of NeV York Province of Pensilvania Country of New Castle 
and the Territoryes and tracts of Land Depending thereon in America 
and Vice Admiral of the same their Maj'ts Lieut Commander in Cheife 
of the Militia and of all the forces by sea and Land within their Maj'eis 
CoUony of Connecticut and of all the forts and places of Strength 
within the same To all men whom these presents shall come Greeting 
Know ye that at New Yorke the seventh day of December Instant before 
me and my delegates the last will and testament of Cornelius Corssen of 
Staten Island Yeoman Deceased annexed to these presents was proved 
and allowed of having while he lived and at the time of his death goods 
Rights and credits in divers places within this Province by means 
whereof the approbacon and allowance of the said last will and testa- 
ment and the granting of the administracon of all and singular the 
goods, rights and creditts of the sd. deceased as alsoe the hearing of 
account or rekoning of the sd administracon and the finall discharge 
and dismission from the same unto mee alone wholly and not unto 
another Inferior Judge are manifestly known to belong and the admin- 
istracon of all and singular the goods, rights and creditts of the sd. 
dec' d. the sd. dec' d. and his will any manner of ways concerning was 
granted unto Maritie Widdow Relict and Executrix in the said will 
named Cheifly of well and truly administering the same and of making 
a full and perfect Inventory of all and singular the goods reight and 
credits of the said deceased exhibiting the same unto the Registry of 
the prerogative Court at or before the seventh day of June now next 
ensueing and rendering a full and true account of the sd. administration 
being sworn upon the Holy Evangelists of God. In testimony whereof 
I have caused the Scale of the prerogative Court to be hereunto affixed 
at New York the Seventh day of December in the year of our Lord one 
thousand six hundred and ninety-three New Yorke the Jth of December 
1693. Then Maritie Corssen had the oath of an Executrix administered 
unto her before me thereunto authorized. 

David Jameson D. Secy, 



I, James F. McLaughlin, Clerk of the Surrogate's Court of said 
City and County, do hereby certify that I have compared the foregoing 
copy of the last Will and Testament of Cornelius Corssen, deceased, 
with the original record thereof now remaining in this office, and have 
found the same to be a correct transcript therefrom and of the whole of 
such original record. 

/« testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the 
Seal of the Surrogate's Court of the City and County of New York, this 
15th day of Feby, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred 
and ninety-two. 

[seal] James F. McLaughlin, 

Clerk of the Sitrros^ate' s Court. 


The Three Benjamins. 

There were more than three, but not of my own direct 
ancestors. My grandfather, my great-grandfather, and my 
great-great-grandfather were all named Benjamin. The last 
mentioned, Benjamin the first^, son of Cornelius, the immigrant, 
came to Bucks County, Pennsylvania, in about the year 1726, 
bringing with him his son, Benjamin the second'^ a boy about 
seven years old. 

Many years ago my brother — Alan W. Corson — in look- 
ing up the history of the Corson family in Bucks County, 
discovered in the office of the Recorder of Deeds in that 
county, in Deed Book No. 5, page 231, the record of a deed 
given by Jeremiah Dungan and his wife, Maiy, of Northamp- 
ton Township, to Benjamin Corson, of Staten Island, County 
of Richmond, for 250 acres of land (described by metes and 
bounds) ; the consideration being three hundred and fifty 
pounds {£3S^)- The deed is dated May 19, 1726, and it is 
likely that he removed from Staten Island to his newly pur- 
chased farm in Bucks County at about that time, bringing 
with him his wife, Nelly, and son, Benjamin, a boy about seven 
years of age. With them came also other Huguenot families 
that likewise settled in Northampton Township. 

As would be expected of people who fled from their native 
land because of religious persecution, their first thought was 
for a place to worship in accordance with the dictates of their 
own conscience. They erected a small log building to serve 
as church and school house on the " Middle Road," just 


14 History of the Corson Family 

below "White Bear Tavern." In my young days (about 1 8 1 5) 
school was taught in this building by Teacher John Corson, 
son of Esquire John, who lived on the old homestead farm a 
mile further down the road. (Esquire John Corson was a 
great-grandson of Cornelius and Maritie Corson, of Staten 

The first Benjamin's wife was named Nelly, surname 
unknown. They lived on the farm which they purchased 
of Jeremiah and Mary Dungan until their death, the 
dates of which are unknown. My brother Alan visited the 
place several times between 1800 and 1823, the year in which 
Esquire John died, and remembered well the old barn, 
called the " Low Dutch Barn," with its straw thatched roof, 
quite high at the peak, but not over ten feet at the eaves. I 
have myself twice visited the place since 1889, but the old 
buildings, with the exception of the springhouse, were gone, or 
so altered that I could not see them as they were originally 

Many years ago I was informed by my uncle Richard 
Corson, that his great-greatfather, Benjamin the first^ the sub- 
ject of this notice, was buried in the middle of the aisle of the 
Old Baptist Church in Southampton Township, near the Buck 
Tavern. If it was near the Buck Tavern it must have been 
in the Huguenot Church, as Uncle Richard added : "The old 
church was torn down and another built adjoining the ' Middle 
Road,' as being more central, which is now called ' South- 
ampton Baptist Meeting.' " Uncle Richard seemed to make 
no distinction between the Huguenots, who, before his man- 
hood, had lost much of their distinguishing characters by 
intermarriage, etc., and the Baptists, who had usurped the 
leading place. 

Benjamin the second', my great-grandfather, came to 
Bucks County, as before stated, with his father, in about the 
year 1726, when he was about seven or eight years of age. 
In reference to his age, the following incident will confirm 
what I have stated: In August, 1876, I visited New York, 
and on my return trip stopped off at Trenton to call on mv 

' .n!tft^ 

The Three Benjamins 15 

cousin, Dr. Thomas Johnson Corson, son of Dr. Richard 
D. Corson, of New Hope, Bucks Co., who resided there at that 
time. He showed me during the visit a small Dutch Bible, 
printed in 1734, on the fly-leaf of which was written : 
" Benj'n Corson His Book : Born in ye year of our Lord one 
thousand seven hundred and eighteen." This would make 
him about eight years old at the time of his coming to Bucks 
County with his father in 1726. So far as is positively known 
Benjamin the first^ and Nelly had but one child, Benjamin the 
second^, but I think it quite probable that Capt. Henry Corson 
of the Associated Regulars of Bucks County, who served in 
1747-48, was also the son of Benjamin the first^ and Nelly. 

Benjamin the second^ married Maria Sedam, or Suydam, 
on the first month, second, 1 741-2, at the Presbyterian '^i' 

Church, at Churchville, Bucks Co., Pa., so it is likely that the ^ 

wife's family were Presbyterians. They had the following ' 

children : 

I. Benjamin the third^ born March 6, 1743, married 
Sarah Dungan. ' '- - / ^ ' ' 

n. Cornelius* — married Mary Ann 

HI. John* — "Esquire John" — married Charity Vanzant. 
,IV. Henry* — married Margaret Cornell. 
V. Richard* — married Hannah Maulsby, a widow nee 

VI. Mar\^ — married Enoch Marple. \ 

Vn. Jane* — (or Jeanette) — married John Kreuson. 
Vni. Abraham*. 

I, Benjamin the third*, my grandfather, was born March 
6, 1743, and in 1761 he married Sarah Dungan, daughter of 
Joseph and Mary [Ohl] Dungan. Appertaining to their mar- 
riage the following story, related to me by their son Richard* (my 
great-uncle), may be of interest. He said that both the Corsons 
and the Dungans were considered quite wealthy, as wealth was 
estimated in those days ; that the Dungans were accustomed 
" to eat from silver plates," and in many ways gave evidence 
of their comfortable circumstances. It was agreed between 
the families — the Corsons and the Dungans — that one should 

1 6 History of the Corson Family 

give as much as the other towards " setting out " the young 
people ; but a dispute arose between them with the result that 
neither family gave anything, at least nothing like a farm, 
which had been promised to grandmother, Sarah Dungan, but 
after the dispute was given to her sister, Hannah, who married 
Benjamin Marple. My grandparents were, therefore, com- 
pelled to rent a farm, which they did in Dublin Township, then 
in Philadelphia County (Keen's farm). Nearly all of their 
children were born there. 

Prior to the year 1800 they moved to Longshore's farm, 
near Dolington, Bucks County. My grandfather also bargained 
to buy a farm in Northampton Township, but it was so heavily 
mortgaged and encumbered that he could not get a good title, 
though he tendered the money which he agreed to pay. He 
was afterwards subjected to a law-suit for damages, which a 
jury awarded in the sum of ;!^300. This unjust verdict my 
grandfather believed was the result of Masonic influence. He 
afterwards bought a farm of 159 acres in Wrightstown, where 
he lived until his death, which occurred October 2, 181 1. My 
grandmother died a few months before, on July 2, rSii. 
Grandfather Benjamin Corson left a will which is recorded in 
Will Book, No. 8, page 206. 



Descendants of Benjamin the Second^ 

In the preceding chapter I have given the names of the 
children of Benjamin the second^ and Maria Sedam Corson, 
and also an account of 

I. Benjamin the third^ their eldest child, whose 
descendants will be described in subsequent chapters ; the 
other children and their descendants are given here. 

II. Cornelius Corson* (second son and child of 

Benjamin the second^), married Mary Ann . He died 

Oct. 19, 1823, in the seventy-fourth year of his age. His 
home was on a part of the original 250 acres purchased by 
his grandfather Benjamin the firsts It was on the " Middle 
road," left hand side, going towards Southampton Baptist 
Church. He had two children — Benjamin^, who died un- 
married, and JoHN^ who married Mary Lentz, of Barren Hill, 
Whitemarsh Township, Montgomery Co., Pa. They had one 
child — Mary^, born about the time of her father's death, who 
continued to live with her mother unmarried, and died before 
her mother in 1887. Her mother died in the next year, so 
Cornelius's descendants are all gone. 

III. John Corson^ Esquire John, as he was called, 
resided on the old homestead. He married Charity Vanzant. 
In 1823-4, their children were nearly all swept away by 
typhus fever, and all are buried in the little Huguenot grave- 
yard at Addisville, just below the "White Bear Tavern." 
The further record of the family I obtained from the grave- 
stones in that grave-yard, where himself, his father and his 


1 8 History of the Corson Family 

children are buried. Their son, John Corson^ was for many 
years a teacher in the Httle log church by the graveyard. He 
was not married, and died of the typhus fever spoken of, 
January 6, 1823, in his thirty-eighth year. The inscriptions 
on the grave-stones give the followmg information : 

Esquire John^ (the father), died February 5, 1823, in his 
sixty-third year. 

Charity Vanzant Corson (the mother), died February 
8, 1823, in her sixty-third year. 

1. Benjamin Corson^ (their eldest son), died Septem- 
ber 4, 1824, in his forty-fourth year. 

2. James Corson^ (a son), died November 22, 1827, in 
his forty-fourth year. 

3. John Corson^ ("Teacher John"), died January 6, 
1823, in his thirty-eighth year. 

4. Mary Finney^ (a daughter), died March 7, 1823, in 
her thirty-fourth year. 

5. Jane Vanartzdalen-' (a daughter), died June 
17, 1 8 16, in her twenty-fifth year. 

James Corson^, son of Esq. John, was married to Nancy 
Addis ; they had children. 

In the summer of 1890 my niece, Helen Hovenden, and 
I went to the grave-yard where the family are buried and then 
to the old Corson home, which is now in other hands. This 
first Corson home in Pennsylvania is about half a mile below 
the "Black Bear" — three-quarters of a mile below the 
"White Bear Hotel" — as you go down the " middle road " 
towards Philadelphia, from the grave-yard. After crossing a 
bridge, just below Addisville (now Richboro — I believe), you 
come to a gate on the left hand side — the entrance to the old 
home — and where Esq. John died in 1823. To our regret 
the old house had been nearly all torn down the year before 
our visit, and a new one built, but the old spring-house, 
where, doubtless, great-grandmother Sedam had often 
skimmed milk, was still in good repair, as was also an out- 
house. ^ , /• , ' v-j. 5. 
,'-r s Mrs. So^r-oy^ Jq.i-<^ - 

Descendants of Benjamin the Second^ 19 

IV. Henry Corson* (fourth son of Benjamin the second'), 
lived in Plymouth township in 1790. Father attended his 
funeral at the Falls of Schuylkill in about the year 1 800. He 
died of obesity. Tradition had it that he weighed 400 
pounds. His wife was Margaret Cornell, and their children 
were: i, Benjamin^; 2, Wilhelmas^; 3, Richard-^; 4, Cor- 
nelius^; 5, Alice"^; and 6, Mary^ 

I. Benjamin Corson^ eldest son of Henry, married 
Mary Febridge. They had three children : 

(i) Margaret Corson^, unmarried, now deceased, 

(2) Susan Corson", married Peter Weaver, no children, 

(3) Alan Corson^, married Elizabeth Francis, daughter 
of Thomas and Margaret Francis, of Shannonville, Mont- 
gomery County, Pa., and their children were : i, Isabella^; 
2, Thomas Francis^; 3, Margaret^ and 4, Mary^ 

1. Isabella Corson'' and her sister Mary Corson''^ are 
living at the Shannonville home. Margaret'^, the third child, 
died at the age of three years. 

2. Dr. Thomas Francis Corson^ only son of Alan and 
Eliz. Francis Corson, studied medicine with my brother. 
Dr. William Corson, and, after graduating, went into the drug 
business. Subsequently he became a real estate agent, a busi- 
ness which he still successfully carries on in Philadelphia, 
where he resides. He has been twice married. His first wife 
was Margaret Johnson, by whom he had one child, Janet 
Corson^ His second wife, who is still living, was Edith 
McPherson, of Washington, D. C. ; they have one child, 
Alan Corson^ born in 1876. 

Benjamin Corson's^ first wife died, and he subsequently 
married her sister, Christiana Febridge, by whom he had two 
children : (4) Amos E.^ and (5) Mary F.*^ 

(4) Amos E. Corson'' married Mary A., daughter of 
Abram Heydrick, of Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia. They had 
one child, Sarah T. Corson'', who married James Van Court ; 
they live in a beautiful home near Fort Washington, Mont- 
gomery County, Pa. ; they have no children. 

20 History of the Corson Family 

(5) Mary Febridge Corson*' (second child of Benjamin^ 
by his second wife) married Charles Van Court, and they 
became the parents of five children: i, Benjamin Franklin^; 
2, James''; 3, Emma C/; 4, Howard"; and 5, Horace G.^ 

1. Benjamin Franklin Van Court'', born September 18, 
1838, was a civil engineer and conveyancer. He entered the 
army early in 1862, and was assigned to the Commissary 
Department of the Army of the Potomac. He was with the 
army at the battles of Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, 
and others. He was taken sick with typhoid fever at Rappa- 
hannock Station, returned home, and died February 17, 1864. 

2. James Van Court", born April i, 1840, studied phar- 
macy and was engaged in the drug business for about sixteen 
years, retiring in 1882. He married in 1880, his cousin, Sarah 
T. Corson^ (daughter of Amos E. and Mary A. Corson) and 
they are now living near Fort Washington, this county. They 
have no children. 

3. Emma C. Van Court^ was born December 27, 1844, 
and died in March, 1875, of a disease of the heart. She was 
a beautiful, refined, and intelligent girl. 

4. Howard Van Co URT^ born November 10, 1848, was 
connected with the Transportation Department of the Phila- 
delphia and Reading Railroad Company for about fourteen 
years, and then associated himself with his brother, Horace G.^ 
and engaged in the publishing business. He married, Decem- 
ber 21, 1871, Sarah E., daughter of Joseph and Hannah 
Rickert, and they have five children : Frank Howard Van 
CouRT^, bom December 29, 1872 ; William James Van 
CouRT^ born July i, 1878; Norman Van Court^, born 
July 29, 1880 ; Helen Van Court*, born May 3, 1884 ; and 
Emma Van Court^ born November 10, 1886. 

5. Horace G. Van Court^ born June 5, 1855, was with 
the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company for about 
ten years, and then (1882) entered the publishing business 
with his brother Howard uuder the business name of H. Van 
Court & Co. In 1884 he married Annie E., daughter of 

Descendants of Benjamin the Second^ 21 

Jacob Craft, of Norristown, Pa., and they have one child, 
Lewis Van Court^ born April 29, 1885. 

2. WiLHELMAS Corson^ (second son of Henr>' and Mar- 
garet Cornell Corson), married Mary Jones ; they had two 
children — James^ and Samuel"^ — who in 1870 lived near 
Churchville, Bucks County, Pa. 

3. Richard Corson^ (third son of Henr)^), married and 
moved to Ohio ; he died long since. 

4. Cornelius Corson^ (fourth son of Henry), married 
and had five children : (i) William*; (2) Henry^ and three 

(i) William Corson* (eldest son of Cornelius), was the 
proprietor of the principal hotel in Doylestown, Bucks County, 
for many years after 1850. I was acquainted with him — a 
genial, kind hearted man. The hotel was popular on account 
of the excellent table which was kept and the kindness of the 

(2) Henry Corson* (second son of Cornelius), married 
Eliza, daughter of Dr. Jesse Beams, of Buckingham, Bucks 
County. He died many years ago. 

5. Alice Corson^ (fifth child of Henry), married 

Vanburen. I do not know their history. 

6. Mary Corson^ (sixth child of Henr}^), married Isaac 
Bennett. Their son, General John Bennett*, lives near 
Johnsville, Bucks County. 

V. Richard Corson* (the fifth son of Benjamin the second^ 
and Maria Sedam Corson), married Mrs. Hannah Maulsby, a 
widow, whose maiden name was Davis, and who at the time 
of her second marriage had a son, Samuel Maulsby. They 
lived near the Neshaminy Creek, on the "Old York Road," a 
few miles above Hatboro, in Bucks County. From an old 
Bible in the possession of his son many years ago, I took the 
following : " Hannah Davis Maulsby, the second wife of 
Richard Corson (and mother of Samuel Maulsby, Dr. Richard 
D. Corson, and Hannah Corson), departed this life in conse- 
quence of a mortification of her left foot, which began in the 

22 History of the Corson Family 

shape of a small pimple on the toe next to the great one, on 
Tuesday, June 4, 1807, at 9 o'clock A. m." (She was born 
January i, 1743.) Richard Corson, her husband, died of a 
highly inflammatory fever which ran into typhus. He was a 
man of a remarkably good constitution, but during his last 
illness, which continued for twenty-four days, he suffered 
excruciating pain, which he bore with Christian fortitude. He 
was sensible and spoke to the last and appeared anxious to 
depart. Having shaken hands and bid the friends good-bye, 
he gave them these consoling words : "I have been in dark- 
ness all my life but have now come to a glorious light — all 
my difficulties are overcome." He then drew his son, 
Dr. Richard D. Corson, to him and kissed him, after which he 
died without a struggle, on Saturday morning, November 14, 
1812, about 8 o'clock. He was buried at Northampton, in 
the small Huguenot grave-yard, by the side of his first wife, 
Rachel Knowles. His children were : i, Richard Davis 
Corson^ and 2, Hannah Corson,^ who married John Bye. 

(i) Dr. Richard D. Corson,* son of Richard^ and Han- 
nah Corson, was born Friday, January i, 1785. He married 
Helen Stockton Johnson, of Princeton, New Jersey, and began 
to practice medicine in Buckingham Township, near by the 
"Ingham Spring." But prior to his settlement there he had 
been on a voyage to India and had practiced a year in 
Calcutta. On his return he landed at Charleston, South Caro- 
lina, ill from an affection of the liver, and was kindly cared 
for by Dr. David Ramsay — the Historian — at his house, dur- 
ing several weeks. I mention this merely to show some 
important results growing out of this accidental acquaintance. 
Restored to health he returned home, afterwards married and 
removed to New Hope. A few years later he invited Dr. 
David Ramsay to send his son James, then just from College, 
to him that he might have him as a student of medicine. He 
was sent and he continued during his two years of study, 
prior to his graduation, free from all expense. Dr. James 
Ramsay afterward became Professor of Surgery in South 
Carolina Medical College. Doctor Corson also named his 


Richard D. Corson, M. D. 


Descendants of Benjamin the Second^ 23 

eldest son David Ramsay Corson/ that he might have before 
him a daily remembrance of the kindness he had received 
from Dr. Ramsay. 

Dr. Richard D. Corson^ had a great many private 
students, some of them from a great distance, and others from 
his own county. James Ramsey, of South Carolina ; Thomas 
Miner, of Wilkesbarre ; Theodore Dunn, of Rhode Island ; 
Josiah Simpson, of New Jersey ; James McNair, and William 
L, Vanhorn, of Bucks County, Pa. (the latter afterwards a 
Surgeon in U. S. Navy) ; Hiram Corson, of Montgomery 
County, Pa. ; George Maulsby, of Plymouth Meeting, Mont- 
gomery County, Pa., who in 1838 became Surgeon in U. S. 

Navy, and died in Washington in , some years after his 

"retirement ;" R. Kunkel and Heniy Ely — all were pupils of 
his. Thomas J." and David Ramsay Corson,'' his two sons, 
also studied with their father. 

The students of Dr. Corson had reason to congratulate 
themselves on having a preceptor so careful to prepare them 
well for graduation at the University of Pennsylvania, and to 
qualify them to enter on the practice of their profession. 
His practice extended over a wide region of the populous 
country surrounding New Hope, Pa., and Lambertville, N. J., 
and it was his daily habit to take one or more of his students 
with him to see him treat the patients ; so that before they had 
even graduated they were well prepared to prescribe for the 
diseases which prevailed in that malarious region. 

Dr. Richard D. Corson^ was more than six feet in 
height, of commanding presence and courtly manners ; he was 
a most popular physician and a skillful surgeon. In all my 
hfe, of more than ninety years, I have never seen a finer, 
nobler, specimen of manhood. 

Dr. Richard D.^ and Helen Stockton (Johnson) Corson 
had eight children as follows : 

(i) Caroline Corson'', who died May 4, 1838, of typhoid 
fever, in the twenty-third year of her age. 

(2) David Ramsay Corson", graduated in medicine, died 
January 29, 1841, in his twenty-fourth year, of heart disease. 

24 History of the Corson Family 

(3) Harriet Matthews Corson^ married Chas. Foulke. 

(4) Eliza Paxson Corson'', unmarried, lives in Trenton, 

(5) Richard Corson^ died from fever, in his eighteenth 

(6) Helen N. Corson'' died from consumption, July 20, 
1849, i^ her twenty-fourth year. 

(7) Dr. Thomas Johnson Corson^, who married Mary K. 

(8) Robert Rodgers Corson*', who married Rebecca 

Three of these children of Dr. Richard D. Corson'* 
deserve further notice, viz., Harriet Matthews", Dr. Thos. J.", 
and Robert R." 

(3) Harriet Matthew S. Corson" married Dr. Charles 
Foulke, who succeeded to the practice of his father-in-law. 
Dr. Richard D. Corson, and continued to enjoy an extensive 
practice until his death in 1871. Their children are — 
I, Richard C.^; 2, Edward', and 3, Thom.vs^ 

1. Richard Corson Foulke^, born November 2, 1843, 
graduated in medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and 
has since practiced in New Hope, Bucks County. He mar- 
ried Louisa Vansant (1872), and they have had three chil- 
dren, two of whom — Chas. Edward Foulke^ and Claribel 
Foulke^ — are now living. 

2. Edward Foulke^ (sixth of that name), was born 
March 23, 1847, and married Eliza Vanhorn, of Yardleyville, 
Bucks County. They have one son — Vanhorn Foulke^ 

3. Thomas Johnson Corson Foulke^ was born in 
March, 185 1, and died September 15, 1883. 

(7) Thos. Johnson Corson" (son of Richard D.' and 
Helen Stockton Johnson Corson), was born in 1828, studied 
medicine with his father, and graduated at the University of 
Pennsylvania. For two or three years he practiced in 
Schuylkill County, then returned to Bucks County, where he 
practiced for a short time, finally going to Trenton, N. J., 
where he practiced until his death in 1879. He married 

Robert Rodgers Corson 

^ m>EW YORK 
(pUBUC library' 

^hMT, Lenox »n^ Tll^^ 

Descendants of Benjamin the Second*. 25 

Mary K. Steever, daughter of George Steever, of Philadelphia, 
and they had four children : i, George Robert Corson^, 
who died in 1859, aged two and one-half years ; 2, Caroline 
Steever Corson^ who died in 1875, aged seventeen years; 
3, Ha'rriet Foulke Corson^, who died in 1887, aged twenty- 
five years; and 4, Thomas Johnson Corson, Jr.,^ who died 
in 1 87 1, aged eighteen months. 

(8) Robert Rodgers Corson^ (son of Dr. Richard D.-^and 
Helen S. J. Corson), was born May 3, 183 1. He married 
Rebecca J. Foulke, of Penllyn, (a sister of my wife, Ann J. 
[Foulke] Corson) ; they are now living in Philadelphia. 

Robert R. Corson^ is a distinguished political reformer, 
and has been an important factor in the movements for pure 
politics and municipal reforms in Philadelphia during the past 
score of years. As an Inspector of Moyamensing Prison he 
was instrumental in having a woman physician placed in 
charge of the female prisoners, and was also interested in 
having matrons placed in station houses to receive and care 
for women picked up at night by the police. Before this 
reform was established, there were often disgraceful occur- 
rences at the station houses, where only men were in charge. 

Robert R. Corson is a humanitarian of high character, 
who is ever striving to uplift and improve the people who are 
within the reach of his influence ; and his efforts are ably 
seconded by his efficient wife, Rebecca J. Corson. They 
have no children ; so of all of the descendants of Dr. Richard 
D. Corson^, only three children and two grandchildren are now 
living ; with the death of Robert R., this branch will not 
have a single one of the Corson name. 

2. Hannah CoRSON^ (daughter of Richard^ and Hannah 
Maulsby Corson), was born May 6, 1788 ; she died Sep- 
tember 5, 1833, and was buried in Friends' Burjang Ground 
at Buckingham. She married John Bye, of Buckingham, and 
they had three children : (i) Richard C; (2) Merc\'*, and 
(3) Susan M.^ 

26 History of the Corson Family. 

(i) Richard Corson Bye'' married and went to Illinois 
in about 1835. He died leaving a widow and two sons: 
William'' and Lorenzo''; all of them are now dead. 

(2) Mercy Bye'' married Isaiah Ely, of Solebury, who 
died long since. They had one daughter, Helen Ely^ who 
married Wm. H. Flitcraft. Wm. H. and Helen Flitcraft are 
both dead ; they left a daughter, Helen Flitcraft^ who is 
now living with her grandmother, Mercy Bye Ely", in Phila- 

(3) Susan M. Bye*' married James Wilkinson, of Buck- 
ingham. They had six children : i, John^; 2, Henry 'LJ; 
3, Elias'';4, Mary''; 5, Edward^ and 6, Emma Bye^ Of these 
2, Henry L. Wilkinson'', married (i 87 i) and was living in Phila- 
delphia in 1890. He has one child, Laura ¥.. Wilkinson^ 

3. Elias Paxson Wilkinson' lives in Philadelphia ; he is 
married and has four children. 

4. Mary M. Wilkinson^ married E. M. Armstrong in 
1866. They live in Doylestown and have four children : 
(i) Emma W.^; (2) Annie H.^; (3) William^, and (4) George 

5. Edward M. Wilkinson^ died in 1870, unmarried. 

6. Emma Bye Wilkinson'', youngest child, lives with her 
mother in Doylestown ; she is unmarried. 

VI, Mary Corson* (sixth child of Benjamin the second^ 
and Maria [Sedam] Corson), married Enoch Marple. Their 
children were : i, David^; 2, Benjamin''; 3, Elizabeth*; 4, 
Joseph^; 5, Isaac*; 6, Enoch*, and 7, Abraham*. 

I, David Marple* (eldest child of Mary Corson and 
Enoch Marple), married Hannah, daughter of John Coulston, 
of Plymouth Township, Montgomery County, Pa., and they 
were the parents of two children : i, Samuel*, and 2, 


(i) Samuel Marple* (eldest child of David*), married 
Mary White ; both are now deceased, leaving some children, 
who reside in Philadelphia. 

Descendants of Benjamin the Second^. 27 

(2) Elizabeth Marple*' (youngest child of David^), mar- 
ried William Wills, of Plymouth Township, and they had six 
children : i, Alan WJ; 2. Clarence''; 3, William, ]rJ; 4, 
Andrew''; 5, Louis^ and 6, AnnieJ 

1. Alan Wood Wills^ (eldest son of Wm. and EHzabeth 
Marple Wills), married Hannah Supplee ; their children are 
Frank A. Wills^ and Katie Wills^ 

2. Clarence W. Wills^ (second child of Wm. and Eliza- 
beth Marple Wills), married Harriet Hogan (daughter of Judge 
Hogan) of Kentucky ; they had two children : Cordie Wills'^ 
and Mazie Wills^. 

3. William Wills, Jr/, (third child of Wm. and Elizabeth 
Marple Wills), married Sarah, daughter of Hon. Wm. B. 
Roberts, of Upper Merion, Montgomery County, Pa. ; they 
had seven children: i, Susan^; 2, Elizabeth^; 3, Sarah^; 4, 
Annie*; 5, George^; 6, Jonathan^ and 7, Louisl 

4. Andrew W. Wills'' (fourth child of Wm. and Eliz- 
beth Marple Wills), married Eleanora Willauer, of Nashville, 
Tennessee. Their children are: i. Van Lear\- 2, Wayne^ 
and 3, Eleanora'\ all of whom were living in Nashville in 
1 890, when their father sent me the above record. Of Andrew 
I shall say more hereafter, for he deserves the most honorable 
mention from myself who have known him during all his life. 
He was one of the first among our Montgomery County boys, 
though scarcely of age, to respond to President Lincoln's call 
for volunteers. 

5. Louis E. Wills'" (fifth child of Wm. and Elizabeth 
Marple Wills), married in New Jersey and resides at Atlantic 

6. Annie G. Wills^ (sixth child of Wm. and Elizabeth 
Marple Wills), married William E. Cochrane, of Philadelphia, 
and for several years has lived in Atlantic City. They have 
two children : William'^ and Elizabeth Cochrane^ 

In justice to Col. Andrew W. Wills'" I feel that it is 
proper to insert here what has been copied extensively by the 
prominent newspapers of the country : 

28 History of the Corson Family. 

"Col. Andrew W. Wills, who was recentl\- appointed 
Post-Master at Nashville, enlisted early in the War in the fif- 
teenth Pennsylvania Cavalry as a private. He was commis- 
sioned in December, 1863, as Captain and Assistant Quarter- 
Master. For years he was Depot Quarter-Master at Nash- 
ville, and his vouchers and disbursements covered millions of 
dollars. When the War ended, at the instance of Gen'l Geo. 
H. Thomas, he took charge of the location and purchase of 
National Cemeteries in the Southwest and constructed those 
at Corinth, Miss., and Pittsburgh Landing, Tenn. He served 
on the Staff of Gen'l Thomas and Gen'l John ¥. ]\Iiller, and 
afterwards became Senator from California. He was breveted 
Major and Lieutenant-Colonel for meritorious services and for 
bravery in the battles of Antietam and Nashville. He has a 
certificate of non-indebtedness from the Government, although 
millions of dollars passed through his hands from August, 
1862 to 1 868. He has lived in Nashville over twenty years." 
I may add here, not only twenty years, but e\cr since the 
war closed. 

2. Benjamin Marple'^ (second son of Mar}- Corson and 
Enoch Marple), married Elizabeth Tompkins and they were 
the parents of the following children: 

(i) Ann Marple", who died unmarried. 

(2) Mary Marple", married Jos. Wolfe ; left one son. 

(3) Agnes Marple", married Daniel Mullen. They li\e 
in Schuylkill Haven and have children. 

(4) Enoch Marple", married Jane Tompkins. 

(5) Jonathan Marple", unmarried. 

3. Elizabeth Marple' (third child of Mar>' Corson and 
Enoch Marple), married Capt. Daniel Davis, of Plymouth. 
Their children were : (i) William"; (2) Maria"; (3) Ann"; 
(4) Elizabeth", and (5) Marple Davis". 

(i) William Davis" married and moved to Harrisburg ; 
he is now dead. Left children. 

(2) Maria Davis" married John Vanartzdalen. She is 
also dead. There were children. 

Descendants of Benjamin the Second^. 29 

(3) Ann Davis^ married Lawyer Sebring, of Easton, Pa, 
They had one daughter, Sarah Sebring'', who married Gen'l 
John F. Hartranft, distinguished for eminent services during 
the War of the Rebellion, and afterwards twice elected 
Governor of Pennsylvania. He died in 1889. His children 
were: Linn*; Marion^ and AnnieI 

(4) Elizabeth Davls*^ married Samuel McNair, of Bucks 
County, and moved west ; they had several children. 

(5) Marple Davis*^ lives in Norristown. 

4. Joseph Marple'^ (fourth child of Enoch and Mary 
Corson Marple), married Phoebe Lukens. He died in 1856, 
leaving a daughter, Elizabeth Marple'', who married Joseph 
Yerkes, of Plymouth Township, Montgomery County. They 
had two sons, Evan'' and Hiram Yerkes'', who served all 
through the war, were in many hard fought battles, and 
marched with Sherman from "Atlanta to the Sea." I was 
their guardian, appointed by the court. They are both mar- 
ried and have children. They have lived in Philadelphia for 
many years, as did also their mother until her death. 

5. Isaac Marple^ (fifth child of Enoch and Mary Corson 
Marple), was twice married, the second time to widow Van 
Court, whose son Charles (by her first husband) married Mary 
Corson, the daughter of Benjamin (son of Henry and grand- 
.son of Benjamin second^ and Maria Sedam Corson). (James 
Van Court, son of Chas. and Mary Corson VanCourt, married 
Sarah Corson, daughter of Amos and Mary Heydrick Corson.) 
Isaac Marple died long ago in Bucks County. 

6. PLnoch Marple^ (sixth child of Enoch and Mary 
Corson Marple), married Sarah Hailman. 

7. Abraham Marple^ (seventh child of Enoch and Mary 
Marple), married his first cousin, Elizabeth Marple, of Chester 
County ; they had one son, Elwood Marple, who also mar- 
ried his first cousin, Marple, from Chester County, and 

they had several children. 

Abraham Marple^ survived his first wife and married 
her sister, Amy Marple ; both died years ago. 

30 History of the Corson Family. 

VII. Jane*. Jane or Jannetje, as spelled in baptismal 
record, or Jannette, as spelled in her father's will, (seventh 
child of Benjamin the second^ and Maria Sedam Corson) 
married John Kreusen, descendant of one of the Huguenot 
immigrants who came over with her great grandfather, Cor- 
nelius Corson. In 1868 my brother, Alan W. Corson, wrote: 
"I visited my uncle Joshua Corson, then eighty-eight years 
old, who told me that when a young man, he [Joshua] went 
to Muncy, Lycoming Count)', to see his brother Benjamin, 
and then paid a visit to his Aunt Jeannette, who lived in the 
neighborhood. I have not learned anything more about her." 

VIII. Abraham Corson^ I find by the will of Benja- 
min the second^ that Abraham is the last named, and, pre- 
sumably, his youngest child. I recollect my father telling me 
that Abraham lived in Plymouth a short time after father 
moved there, but he soon moved away and I am unable to 
find out anything further about him. 


Descendants of Benjamin the Third*. 

The children of Benjamin the third* and Sarah Dungan 
Corson were : 

I. Benjamin (fourth)^ married Hannah Whitaker 
II. Joseph^, married Hannah Dickinson, 

III. Thomas^ married Sarah Roberts. 

IV. Mary^, married WilHam Harvey. 

V. Richard^ married ist, Ann Marple ; 2d, Elizabeth 

VI. Elizabeth^ married Issachar Morris 
VII. R.A.CHEL^ married Paul Blaker. 
VIII. Sarah^ married Matthias Bennett. 
IX. Jane^ married William Bennett. ^W«,«mj> 
X. Joshua^ married Hannah Lee. 
XI. Amos^, married Martha Martindale. 
I. Benjamin Corson (fourth)^ the eldest child of Benja- 
min the third"* and Sarah Dungan Corson, married Hannah 
Whitaker, and they had ten children — four sons and six 
daughters, viz. : i, Sarah^; 2, Robert^; 3, Rebecca*; 
4, Rachel^; 5, Joseph^; 6, Hannah^- 7, Benjamin (fifth)"; 
8, Jane*^; 9, John^; and 10, Mercy". 

I. Sarah Corson^ (eldest child of Benjamin fourth^ and 
Hannah Corson) married Jonathan Sebring. In 1812 they 
moved to the "Block House" (now called Liberty) in Tioga 
Co., which was at that time a wilderness inhabited mostly by 
wild beasts — bears, wolves and panthers — and providentially, 
too, by numerous deer, which gave them a good supply of 
meat. Felix D. Costerisan, who married their daughter 
Rachael, thus writes me : "I have heard father Sebring say 


32 History of the Corson Family. 

that he frequently of a morning, when in want of meat, would 
walk a few paces from his door with his rifle, and bring down 
a deer. Like all frontiersmen he became a good marksman 
and at hunting quite an adept. He was, too, for many years, 
no less famous as a publican ; many a weary traveler found good 
cheer and rest under his hospitable roof" To his excellent 
and charming wife, who was respected by all who knew her, 
as a good woman in every sense of the word, is due a large 
share of the credit of that hospitable home. Though she has 
long since passed to the other shore, her children still hold 
her in precious remembrance. 

Jonathan and Sarah Corson Sebring were the parents of 
thirteen children : 

(i) Benjamin^; (2) Thomas''; (3) Hannah^- (4) William'; 
(5) Rachael M.^; (6) John"; (7) Robert'; (8) Jonathan"; 
(9) Joseph"; (10) Rebecca^; (ii) Sarah^; (12) George L."; and 
(13) Harriet". 

(i) Benjamin Sebring^ died crossing the plains, on his 
road to California ; he left a wife and daughter. 

(2) Thomas Sebring^ was in 1882 a prosperous farmer 
living in California ; he had four children. 

(3) Hannah Seeking'' married Daniel Corson (son of 
CorneHus and Phoebe Corson). Daniel died February 15. 
1882, of apoplexy, leaving his wife, a daughter and a son to 
mourn the loss of a good kind husband and father. 

(4) William Sebring' moved to Illinois, married and died 
there, leaving a wife and three children. 

(5) Rachel M. Sebring^ married Felix D. Costerisan. 
"We have been blessed with thirteen children — eleven still 
living now (1882); two in California, two in Iowa, one in 
Minnesota, and the rest in this State, Wisconsin, Lime Ridge, 
Sauk County." 

(6) John Sebring' married Marian or Mary Ann Touts, 
of Jersey Shore, Lycoming Co., Pa. 

(7) Robert Sebring'' married Phoebe Reed, now of 
Liberty, Tioga Co., Pa. He resided there all his life. I think. 

Descendants of Benjamin the Thirds 33 

(8) Jonathan Sebring^ never married ; he died the year 
his parents moved to Wisconsin. 

(9) Joseph Sebring" died in infancy. 

(10) Rebecca Sebring' married Daniel Callahan. They 
reside in Sacramento City, California. 

(i i) Sarah Sebring^ married Hulings Thomas. They 
now (1882) live in Lock Haven, Pa. 

(12) George L. Sebring married Rosanna Thomas; 
they had four children : i, William^ ; 2, Emma^ (died a few 
years ago) ; 3, Robert**, and 4, CoraI 

(13) Harriet Sebring" married Samuel Thompson ; they 
had nine children — seven still living in 1882, viz. : i, 
Rebecca Thompson^ ; 2, John Thompson^ ; 3, Royal Thomp- 
son^ ; 4, Thompson^ ; 5, George Thompson^ ; 6, 

Westley THOMPSON^ and 7, Otto Thompson*. 

2. Robert Corson^ (second child of Benjamin [fourth]" 
and Hannah Corson), died in 1865 in Sauk Co., Wisconsin. 

3. Rebecca Corson" (third child of Benjamin [fourth]^ and 
Hannah Corson), married James Davis and they had seven 
children : (i) Thomas Davis^ ; (2) John Davis'^ ; (3) Hannah 
Davis"; (4) James Davis"; (5) George Davis^ ; (6) Mary 
Davis^ and (7) Corson Davis^ ; they are all dead with per- 
haps one ex'ception. 

4. Rachel Corson" (the fourth child of Benjamin [fourth]^ 
and Hannah Corson), married John Sebring (a brother 
to Jonathan, who married her sister Sarah), and they moved to 
the Block House (now called Liberty) in Tioga Co., Pa., where 
they still were living in 1877 ; she died at the age of eighty- 
two, he at the age of eighty-four, they having been married 
sixty-two years. They had four children : (i) Benjamin 
Sebring' ; (2) John Sebring" ; (3) James Sebring', and (4) 
Thom.\s SEBRING^ Of these, Benjamin and Thomas are 

5. Joseph Corson" (fifth child of Benjamin [fourth]'^ and 
Hannah Corson), died unmarried in Washington, D. C, April 
7, 1S62. 

34 History of the Corson Family. 

6. Hannah Corson" (sixth child of Benjamin [fourth]* 
and Hannah Corson), married WilHam Cox. They had eight 
children, all of them now deceased except three, viz. : (i) 
Mary Cox^ ; (2) Rebecca Cox' , and (3) Robert C. Cox^ 
The last named is better known as General Robert C. Cox, 
and has made a most honorable record for himself as a soldier, 
civilian and citizen. A brief sketch of his life is here 
submitted : 

General Robert Corson Cox', only surviving child of 
William and Hannah (Corson) Cox*^, was born November 18, 
1823, in what is now the borough of Montoursville, Lycoming 
Co., Pa., then almost a wilderness. In April, 1846, he mar- 
ried Lydia Ann Wheeland, whose ancestors were among the 
early settlers in Loyalsock Township, Lycoming County. After 
his marriage General Cox settled in Tioga County where he 
still lives. Until 1854 he lived on a farm, and aftenvard sold 
it and engaged in the lumber business ; this he continued until 
the breaking out of the war. He was Major of the 171st 
Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, Colonel of 207th Regi- 
ment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, and received the commission 
of Brevet Brigadier General, April 9, 1865, and of Major- 
General of National Guards of Pennsylvania, June 6, 1871. 
After the war he was elected first. Treasurer, then Prothono- 
tary and Clerk of the Court of Tioga County at Wellsboro, and 
continued in office until January-, 1894, making a total of 
twenty-four years in all. He is now over seventy-two years 
of age, but is strong and well. He had three children who 
grew up and married, but has only one son living. His 
grandson, Homer, whose mother died when he was only three 
days old, has always lived with his grandparents, and is now 
an undergraduate of Cornell University. The children of 
Robert and Lydia Ann Cox are : 

I. Henry C. Cox^ born October 31, 1848, Cashier in 
First National Bank, Wellsboro, Pa., married ist, Catherine 

E- ; married 2d, Anna Aleck, July, 1888. Homer 

Cox^ born June, 1872, son of Heniy, by his first wife, has 
already been spoken of 

Descendants of Benjamin the Third*. 35 

2. Mary Cox\ born February 23, 1851, married Jacob 
Richards, February 22, 1871; died September 11, 1892. 
Their children were : Leon Richards^ and Nellie Richards'. 

3. Caroline Cox^ born July 7, 1866, married Alfred 
R Dentt, October 13, 1887 ; died February 24, 1891. She 
left one child, Mildred M. Dentt^ who lives with grand- 

Hannah Corson, mother of General Cox, died in Illinois. 

8. Jane Corson", (eighth child of Benjamin [fourth]^ and 
Hannah Corson), married John Tallman, and they had eleven 
children: (i) Benjamin^; (2) Hannah^; (3) Sarah'; (4) 
Elizabeth'^ ; (5) Deborah" ; (6) Joseph^ ; (7) Anderson^ ; (8) 
Thomas^ ; (9) Mercy^ ; (10) John^ and (i i) Rachel'. Four of 
these are deceased ; the others live in western States. 

9. John Corson", (ninth child of Benjamin [fourth]'^ and 
Hannah Corson), married Elizabeth or, (as John Sebring 
says), Alentha Bryan, and they had five children : (i) Jos- 
hua" ; (2) Catherine" ; (3) Benjamin" ; (4) Charles' ; and 
(5) Hannah'. 

10. Mercy Corson" (tenth child of Benjamin [fourth]^ and 
Hannah Corson), married John Chapman and they had seven 
children — names unknown to me. 

The foregoing acount of Benjamin Corson (fourth)' and 
his descendants was furnished me by Felix Costerisan, of 
Sauk Co., Wisconsin. John Sebring, of Liberty, Tioga County, 
Pa., writing to me in 1879 said : "The only child of Benja- 
min Corson (fourth)\ now living, is my wife, Rachel. I am 
now eighty-four years old ; my brother, Jonathan, who mar- 
ried my wife's sister, Sarah Corson, is ninety-seven years of 
age, and at the time of his wife's death they had been mar- 
ried sixty-five years." 

n. Joseph Corson^ my father, was the second son of 
Benjamin the third^ and Sarah Dungan Corson. His history 
will be fully given in Chapter V. 

HI. Thomas Corson' (third son of Benjamin the third* 
and Sarah Dungan Corson), left Bucks County soon after he 

36 History of the Corson Family. 

became of age, and bought a farm in Plymouth Township, 
Montgomery County, Pa. (This farm has been recently owned 
and occupied by Elhvood Ritter, grandson of Jacob Ritter, 
the Quaker preacher). Uncle Thomas married Sarah Roberts, 
and they had four children : 

1. Rebecca Corson^ married John Stockton. 

2. Bex'jamin Corson" married Rachel Harvey. 

3. Thomas Corson" died unmarried. 

4. Joshua Corson" died in his minority. 

About the year 181 5, Thomas Corson's wife.Sarah, died, 
and he then married his first cousin, Rebecca Marple, then 
the widow Hood. She was the daughter of his uncle and 
aunt, Benjamin and Hannah (Dungan) Marple. After his 
seco'nd marriage he bought a farm in the Chester Valley, 
Chester County, Pa., where they lived many years. 

The children by his second wife were : 

5. Sarah Corson" married John Phipps. 

6. Marple Corson" married Ellen L. Jones. 

7. Abel Corson" died young. 

8. Joseph Corson", now deceased ; so too, is Marple". 
Uncle Thomas^ died February 10, 1834, and his widow, 

January 26, 1846. 

1. Rebecca Corson^ (eldest daughter by his first wife), 
married John Stockton, of New Jersey. The)- lived for 
a while at Evansburg, Montgomery Count}-, Pa., and after- 
wards in Philadelphia, where they both died, leaving one son, 
John, who married , and lived in Philadelphia. 

2. Benjamin Corson" (second child of Uncle Thoma.s'^ 
and his wife Sarah Roberts Corson), married liLs first cousin 
Rachel Harvey. They lived six miles from Williamsport, Pa., 
where he died June 14, 1870, leaving several children. 

5. Sarah Corson" (fifth child of Uncle Thomas■^ and 
first by his second wife, Rebecca Marple Corson), married 
John Phipps ; they moved to his farm near Lionville, Chester 
County, Pa., where they lived many years. The>- had seven 
children : 

Descendants of Benjamin the Third'. 37 

(i) Rebecca Corson Phipps' married John T. Bell. 

(2) Clayton Phipps' married Nancy Alice Snively. 

(3) Mary Jane Phipps" married Geo. W. Miller. 

(4) Sarah Phipps' married Jos. E. Hickman. 

(5) Martha Phipps^ married Mordecai H. Steele. 

(6) Amy Marple Phipps^ married John Henry Storm. 

(7) John Beitler PhippsI 

The mother, Sarah Corson Phipps^ moved to Frazer, on 
the main line of the Pennsylvania Railroad. On April 14, 1882, 
she was seventy-six years of age, and, to commemorate the 
event, her children invited the relatives from Bucks, Mont- 
gomery and Chester Counties, to assemble at her home on 
that day. There was a large gathering present, but I was not 
able to attend. She died January 18, 1891. Her dauo-hter, 
Amy M. Storm, writes me the following history of the 
children : 

(i) Rebecca Corson Phipps^, married John Thomas Bell, 
and they had three daughters and one son. Her husband is 
now deceased; she resides in West Whiteland Township, Chester 
County, Pa. The four children are : i, Martha Thomas 
Bell^ ; 2, Lillian Bell*; 3, Chas. Phipps Bell^ and 4, Sarah 
Phipps Bell**. Their second daughter, Lillian Bell*, married 
Jonathan Wilmer Thomas ; they live in East Whiteland Town- 
ship, Chester Co. The youngest daughter, Sarah Phipps 

Bell^ married Dowlin. Their son, Charles Phipps 

Bell^ married EmmaGriffeth, and they have two sons, Maurice' 
and Lewis Bell^ who reside in Philadelphia. 

(2) Cl.\yton Phipps^ (second child of John and Sarah 
Corson Phipps), married Nancy Alice Snively, and they have 
five children : 

1. Zenlicka Bell Phipps^ 

2. Annie Marple PhippsI 

3. Clayton Phipps^ 

4. Joseph Snively Phipps-. 

5. John Beitler PHIPPS^ residing in Clarksburg, West 

38 History of the Corson Family. 

(3) Mary Jane Phipps^ (third child of John and Sarah 
Corson Phipps), married George W. Miller who is now 
deceased; she lives in Willistown Township, Chester County, 
Pa., and has no children.. 

(4) Sarah Phipps", married John E, Hickman. 

(5) Martha Phipps" (fifth child of John and Sarah 
Corson Phipps), married Mordecai Howard Steele, who was 
accidentally shot by one of a gunning party, November 21, 
1880. Martha lives with her son, George Miller Steele^ ; 
her daughters, Sarah W. Steele^ and Amy Marple Steele^ 
live in Marple Township, Delaware Co., Pa. 

(6) Amy Marple Phipps", (sixth child of John and 
Sarah Corson Phipps) [my correspondent], married John 
Heniy Storm ; they have two sons, Johx Bell Storm* and 
Corson Phipps Storm^ They reside in East Whiteland 
Township, Chester County, Pa., with the mother, Sarah 
Corson Phipps. 

(7) John Beitler Phipps" (youngest child of John and 
Sarah Corson Phipps), was killed while trimming a willow tree, 
January 23, 1875. "His death was a severe blow to mother," 
writes Amy M. Storm, "as he was a fine young man, of great 
promise, and a great comfort to his widowed mother." 

6. Marple Corson* (sixth child of Uncle Thomas 
Corson, and second by his second wife, Rebecca Marple 
Corson), married Ellen L. Jones ; they lived in Chester Co., Pa. 
Their children were : 

(i) William Jones Corson", born October 28, 1837. 

(2) Mary Elizabeth Corson^, born August 22, 1839. 

(3) Joseph Thomas Corson", born Februar>^ 18, 1843; 
died February 28, 1858. 

(4) George Washington Corson", born November 18, 
1845; died March 2, 1894. 

(5) Rebecca Jones Corson", born September 22, 1848. 

(6) Caroline Waltz Corson^, born May 25, 1853. 

(7) Marple Corson^, born September 16, 1855; died 
October 25, 1857. 

Descendants of Benjamin the Third*. 39 

(8) Catharine Waldrawin Corson^ born September 16, 

(i) William Jones Corson^ (eldest son of Marple^) mar- 
ried and had children. 

(2) Mary Elizabeth Corson^ (daughter of Marple*') mar- 
ried August 17, 1 87 1, Rev. Vincent G. Flinn (who died in 
1889), and they had three children: Eleanor B. Flinn^, 
born June 30, 1872; Caroline Corson F"linn^, born January 
10, 1875; and Frank Vincent Flinn^, born January 14, 

(4) George Washington Corson^ (son of Marple*') 
married February 12, 1889, Hilda Marguerite Pleym, of 
Christiana, Norway. Their children are George Clarence 
CoRSON^ born November 26, 1889; Hilda Marguerite 
Corson^ born in September, 1891 ; and Thomas Vickers 
Corson^ born December 20, 1893. 

Marple Corson, Sr.^ died about 1880. 

7. Abel Corson*"' (seventh child of Uncle Thomas*), died 

8. Joseph CoRSon^ (eighth child of Uncle Thomas', and 
fourth by his second wife, Rebecca Marple Corson), was born 
October 27, 1821. He married first, Caroline Waltz, of 
Shannonville, and second, Elizabeth A. Stockton, one of the 
"Princeton Stocktons," a very celebrated family in New 
Jersey. By his first wife he had one child, Edward Evan 
Waltz Corson^ who studied medicine and graduated at the 
University of Pennsylvania. 

His first wife, Caroline Waltz Corson, died January 17, 
1848 ; he married his second wife, Elizabeth A. Stockton, 
November 11, 1852. He died April 25, 1865. His son (by 
his first wife), Edward E. Waltz Corson^ after graduating in 
medicine, was admitted to the Navy as Assistant Surgeon, and 
died July 10, 1880, aged thirty-three years. There were two 
children by the second wife, but they died very young. The 
widow, Elizabeth A. Stockton Corson, lives in Philadelphia. 

40 History of the Corson Family. 

IV. Mary Corson', (fourth child of Benjamin the third' 
and Sarah Dungan Corson), married WilHam Harvey. They 
Hved near DoHngton, Bucks Co., Pa., until the husband's 
death ; after which event, Mary Corson Harve\'' moved with 
her children to the North Branch of the Susquehanna River, 
not far from Williamsport, and married again. She had no 
children by her second husband ; by her first husband, 
William Harvey, she had eight: i, Richard'* ; 2, Rachel" ; 
3, Belinda"; 4, Sarah"; 5, Allen^ 6, Benjamin"; 7. 
Thomas^ and 8, William", all born in the Bucks County 

1. Richard Harvey^ the eldest of these children, mar- 
ried and moved to Philadelphia, where he died. His grand- 
son, John Harvey^ married a grand-daughter of William 
Jeanes, a member of the Plymouth Meeting Society of 

2. Rachel Harvey'' (second child of William and Mary 
Corson Harvey'), married her cousin, Benjamin Corson", (son 
of Thomas', a brother to her mother). They lived near 
Williamsport, Lycoming County, Pa. ; they left children. 

3. Belinda Harvey" (third child of WilHam and Mary- 
Corson Harvey'), married William Atkinson. They lived in 
Upper Wakefield, Bucks County, Pa. Both died long ago, 
Belinda at the home of her son, Harvey Atkinson^ There 
were other children who live in or near Philadelphia. 

4. Sarah Harvey" (fourth child of William and Mary 
Corson Harvey'), married first, Peter Blaker, b}' whom she 
had eight children : 

(i) Henry Blaker" lives near Montgomer>^ville, Mont- 
gomery County, Pa. 

(2) William Blaker^ lived in Champaign County, 

(3) Levi Blaker'' lived in Missouri ; may be there still. 

(4) Peter Blaker' went to Missouri also. 

(5) Belinda Ann Blaker' lived in St. Louis, Missouri. 

Descendants of Benjamin the Third*. 41 

(6) Thompson Blaker^ lived in Bucks County. 

(7) Agnes Blaker' married, and died in St. Louis long 


(8) Thomas Blaker' married, and died in St. Louis. 

In 1877, the first six of these children were living, as was 
also a child by the second marriage. Sarah Harvey's" second 
husband's name was John Griffith, by whom she had but one 
child to which I have just referred. The children by her first 
husband all married and had children. 

5. Allen Harvey" (fifth child of William and Mary 

Corson Harvey^), married . He died 

in Williamsport, leaving three children : (i) Amos Harvey^ 
(2) Belinda Harvey", and (3) Mary HarveyI 

6. Benjamin Corson Harvey" (sixth child of William 
and Mary Corson Harvey^) — known among his associates as 
Corson Harvey — resided in or near Williamsport, Pa. 

7. Thomas Harvey" and 

8. William Harvey* (children of William and Maiy 
Corson Harvey'^), both lived in Logansport, Indiana. They 
were both married and had children. 

V. Richard Corson'^ (fifth son of Benjamin the third*, 
and Sarah Dungan Corson) was born December 4, 1768, and 
died October 29, 1845. He married (first) Ann Marple, by 
whom he had three children: i, David", and 2, Ann", who 
died very young; and 3, Eliza H.", who grew to womanhood 
and married Abraham Cornell. Richard lived for a time in 
Plymouth, but after his first wife's death he moved back to 
Bucks County. His second wife was Elizabeth Bennett, who 
died June 29, 1843, at the age of 68 years. They had three 
children: 4, John Bennett"; 5, Maria Ann", and 6, Nancy". 

3. Eliza H. Corson" (daughter of Richard Corson^ by 
his first \\-ife), married Abraham Cornell and they had eight 
children: (i) Ann Eliza'; (2) Richard^; (3) Charles'; 
(4) Catherine'; (5) HIRAM^• (6) David"; (7) Henrietta^, and 
(8) GilliamI 

Eliza H. Cornell" died December 29, 1857, aged 57 years. 

42 History of the Corson Fmnilv. 

(i) Ann Eliza Cornell" (eldest child of Eliza H.^ and 
Abraham Cornell), was born January ii, 1823 ; she married 
John Gill and they had three children — t^vo sons and one 

(2) Richard Cornell^ (second child of Eliza H.^), born 
October 3, 1824, married Mar}' States by whom he had four 
children — two sons and two daughters — all living in the We«-t. 

(3) Charles Cornell'' (third child of Eliza H.'^), born 
October 9, 1826, married Martha Ann Ritch by whom he had 
five children — three sons and two daughters. 

(4) Catherine Cornell^ (fourth child of Eliza H.^), born 
May 23, 1829, married Thomas Laylon ; they had no children. 

(5) Hiram Cornell'' (fifth child of Eliza H.'^), born 
September 4, 1832, married Mary Jane McKinstry ; they had 
two children : Catherine^, and JamesI 

(6) David Cornell^ (sixth child of l^liza H.'"'), born 
February 7, 1837, married Sarah McKinstrj^ ; Martin"* is the 
name of their only child. 

(7) Henrietta D. Cornell'' (seventh child of Eliza H."), 
born July 29, 1840, married William Ardeway; they had one 
child — Cornell Ardewav^ — who died in his nineteenth year : 
his father, William, died a few years previous, and his mother 
then married John Keppard. 

(8) Gilliam Cornell^ (eighth and youngest child of 
Eliza ¥[.% born March 15, 1843, graduated in medicine. He 
married Lucretia Good, by whom he had five children ; of 
these a son and daughter only are living — Howard\ and 

4. John Bennett Corson^ (eldest child of Richard Corsoir^ 
by his second wife, Elizabeth Bennett), was born October 6, 
1 8 10. He was always called "Bennett" Corson. He married 
Eleanor Fetter and they had four children : (i) Elizabeth^ ; 
(2) Maria Ann^ ; (3) William W.^ and (4) Mary E.^ 

(i) Elizabeth Corson", born April 5, 1832, died in her 
seventh year. 

Descendants of Benjamin the Third*'. 43 

(2) Maria Anw Corson", bom July 19, 1833, married 
S. Curtis Worthington, of Trappe, Pa., and they had four 
children: i, Maryanna Corson Worthington^ ; 2, Harrilt 
Worthington^ ; 3, Benjamima Ellen Worthington* ; 4, 
Clara WorthingtonI Of these, Benjamima Ellen Worth- 
ihgton* married Harr>^ Reed, by whom she has one child, 
Maria Louisa Reed\ 

(3) William Warren Corson' (son of John Bennett 
Corson''), born April 14, 1836, married Mary Grace Addis, of 
Pennypack. They have one child — William Warren Corson, 
Jr.^ — who married Bertha Dennison. William Warren Corson', 
the elder, ser\^ed in the Civil War. 

(4) Mary E. Corson^ (youngest child of John B. Corson*'), 
died in 1 866, in the twenty-second year of her age. 

5. Maria Ann Corson^ (second child of Richard Corson^ 
by his second wife, Elizabeth Bennett), was born May 30, 1813, 
and died February 21, 1855; she married her cousin, William 
Warren Bennett, and they were the parents of fourteen 
children, all dying in infancy except tAvo — (i) Louisa^ and 
(2) ElvinaI 

(i) Louisa Bennett", born in 1838, married William 
Hulse and they had one child, Luty Hulse^. 

(2) Elvina Bennett", born in 1845, married Samuel 
Bayles, a sea captain, by whom she had two children, Minnie 
Bayles^ and Clifton BaylesI Their home is at Port Jeffer- 
son, Long Island, N. Y. 

6. Nancy M. Corson" (third child of Richard' and Eliza- 
beth Bennett Corson), born September 29, 1818, married 
Jacob Miles Search, by whom she had five children as named 
below : 

(i) Ellwood Search'', born September 22, 1838, 

(2) Theodore C. Search'', born March 20, 1841, 
married Anna L. White of Bucks County and have one child 
— Ida May Search\ who married Prof George Howard Cliff, 
Principal of Philadelphia Normal School, and a grandchild, 
Anna Search Cliff", daughter of the last named couple. 

44 History of the Corson Family. 

(3) Henrv Lot Search', born September 18, 1846, 
married Maiy Ann Lefferts; they have two children — 
Susanna Search^ born in 1878, and Theodore Corson 

(4) Erasmus N. M Search", born March 7, 1851, 
married Maiy Ella Warren; they have three children, Pauline 
M.^, Leroy*, and Ethel^^ 

(5) Ann Elizabeth Search", born March 13, 1853, 
married Edwin W. Roberts ; they have two children, HARRV^ 
(died aged eight years), and Harold Search Roberts^ 

Of Theodore C. Search", who has achieved extraordinaiy 
success as a business man and who has an enviable reputation 
as a philanthrophist and as an advocate of protection and purer 
politics, a more extended notice must be given. In a recent 
publication there appears the following account of liis life : 

"Theodore Corson Search, son of Jacob Miles and Nancy (Corson) 
Search, was born in Bucks County, March 20, 1841 ; he is descended 
through his father, and grand-father, Christopher, from Charles Search, 
who came from England about one hundred and fifty years ago and 
settled in Bucks County. Theodore attended the country schools until 
his seventeenth year, when he went to Lancaster County and entered 
the State Normal School. After a preliminary course of study there, he 
entered what is now the Crozier Theological Seminary, where he 
remained three years, and completed an unusually solid and thorough 
literary education, which was given an extra effectiveness by his teach- 
ing simultaneously with the progress of his studies. For two years he 
was principal of the High School, Middletown, Dauphin County, Pa., 
and for two more had charge of the Academy in the same place ; in all 
he taught seven years and then, in 1868, he decided to go to Philadel- 
phia and then entered upon the business life that he has since followed 
with marked success. 

"His beginning was made in the mercantile house of Davis, Fiss 
& Banes, wool merchants, whose successors, Fiss, Banes, Erben & Co., 
engaged in the manufacture of worsted and woolen yarns ; in which firm 
he became a junior partner in 1872. In 1883, this firm was dissolved, to 
be succeeded by Erben, Search & Co. , who placed themselves in the front 
rank of their department of manufacture in the United States. The build- 
ing up of their huge business was largely the work of Theodore C. 
Search, who had labored zealously to make himself master of the art 
and secrets of textile manufacture, until he became an acknowledged 
authority in all that pertained to this most intricate and interesting 
industrial trade. He was master, too, of the business side of this 
industry ; its splendid success demonstrated to his associates, his 
executive abiUty, and one of them — the head of the immense corpora- 
tion bearing his name, the John B. Stetson Company — finding that he 

Theodore C. Search 

Descendants of Benjamin the Third*. 45 

needed freedom from the vast business which he had built up, souo-ht 
Mr. Search's services for that company. The result was that Theodore 
C. Search was made treasurer and practically the executive head of the 
John B. Stetson Company, in January, 1892, though he did not with- 
draw from the firm of Erben, Search & Co., until 1894. In addition to 
these large business interests he has been a director in the Bank of 
North America for fifteen years, and lately has been chosen Presdent 
of the Colonial Mutual Fire Insurance Company. He has been for 
many years a director in the Manufacturers' Club of Philadelphia after 
having filled the office of President of its predecessor, the Philadelphia 
Textile Association ; he is also a member of the Union League and one 
of its membership committee. While in the wool business he was one 
of the Vice-Presidents of the National Association of Wool Manufactu- 
rers of Boston, and the American Protective Association of New York ; 
both of these organizations are national rather than merely local in 
character, including in their membership many conspicuous men of the 
country at large. In politics he is a pronounced Republican and a 
champion of the principle of protection to American industry, and took a 
prominent part in the campaign which resulted in the election of General 

"Perhaps the work which Mr. Search takes most pride in, is the 
founding and building up of the Philadelphia Textile School, which is 
now included in the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial 
Art. For more than a dozen years he has sustained and developed it, 
and for this unselfish service the people of Philadelphia and manufac- 
turers of the entire country owe him a large debt of gratitude. 

"The story of the progress of this school, started by Mr. Search 
in a small room on Spring Garden Street, rented for the purpose, with 
five pupils, up to its present fine quarters in the Pennsylvania Museum 
and School of Industrial Ait, at Broad and Pine Streets, with its more 
than seven hundred pupils, would fill a large volume, if told in detail ; 
it suffices here to say that Theodore C. Search was its sole supporter for 
some time, until the late William Arrott and Thomas Dolan, hearing of 
the good work being done by Mr. Search, told him to depend on them 
for their share of the expense, and thus was the schcol afterwards 

"The fostering of this school has been Mr. Search's most exacting 
and, at the same time, most satisfying work during the last dozen years 
of his life ; and while he has given to the city and country a unique 
institution of the utmost practical value — viewed either from the art or 
humanitarian standpoint — he has unconsciously, also, reared himself a 
lasting monument. He still labors as zealously and as judiciously and 
successfully for the institution as he did during the period of its struggles 
and uncertainty. Within a year he has made impressive addresses in 
its interest, before the Legislature of Pennsylvania, and before the 
National Association of Wool Manufacturers, at Boston. His speech 
before the latter body, together with a striking illustrative exhibit of the 
product of the school, aroused intense interest throughout the New 
England States, and elicited the most pronounced and gratifying recog- 
nition of the value of this school and of its work, to the textile art and 
manufacture of America. 

"Theodore C. Search is now, and has been for years, Vice- 
President and Chairman Industrial Committee, Pennsylvania Museum 

46 History of the Corson Family. 

and School of Industrial Art, into which his Textile School has been 

VI. Elizabeth Corson'^ (sixth child of Benjamin the 
third* and Sarah Dungan Corson), married Issachar Morris. 
They hved for some years after their marriage at Wrightstown, 
Bucks County, Pa. ; they then moved to Philadelphia, next 
back to Wrightstown, and, finally, to Lycoming Count>v 
Their children were : 

1. Benjamin Corson Morris^ (born 1801), married Anna 

2. Hannah Morris", married Jacob Eyans. 

3. Jane Morris^ married Baltis Titman. 

4. Sarah Morris", married George Kudcr. 

5. Joseph R. Morris", married Elizabeth Ann Kline. 

6. Eliza Morris^ married Joseph Corson Blaker. 

7. George W. Morris", married Maria Thomas. 

8. Charles Morris", married Sarah Thomas. 

9. John C. Morris", married Caroline Fuller. 
10. Rachel Morris", married Zebulon Robbins. 

Elizabeth Corson Morris"^ died in Januaiy, 1853 ; her 
husband had died nearly eighteen years before, in June, 1835, 
and both are buried in Columbia County, Pa. 

I. Benjamin Corson Morris", their eldest son, graduated 
in medicine and settled at Philo, Illinois. He married Anna 
Oliver and subsequently moved to Urbano, Champaign County, 
Illinois, where they both died. His children all lived near 
their parents in Illinois'; their names are as follows : 

(i) Dr. Issachar Morris". 

(2) John Oliver Morris', a farmer. 

(3) George W. Morris', a merchant. 

(4) Mary Oliver MOrrisI 

(5) Ellis Morris^ a farmer. 

(6) Jacob Morris". 

(7) Emma Morris^, who married Boice. 

(8) Joseph Morris", who was killed at the battle of Stone 

Descendants of Benjamin the ThirdK 47 

2. Hannah Morris" (second child of Issachar and Eliza- 
beth Corson Morris^), married Jacob Evans. They lived and 
are buried in Columbia County, Pa. Their children numbered 
five : 

(i) Issachar Morris Evans', a farmer. 

(2) Andrew J. Evans^, a merchant — now deceased. 

(3) Dr. Joseph R. Evans", who lives in Bloomsburg — 
as do also Issachar M. and the family of Andrew J. 

(4) Sarah Evans", who married Stadin, and 

lives at Jeffersonville, Montgomery County, Pa. 

(5) Elizabeth Evans", who married Hartman, 

a preacher, of Kansas, where they reside. 

3. Jane Morris" (third child of Issachar and Elizabeth 
Corson Morris^), married, first, Baltis Titman, by whom she 
had three children : 

(i) Mary Titman^ who married Hampton, of 

Brooklyn, N. Y. 

(2) Elizabeth Titman^, now deceased. 

(3) Issachar M. Titman", also deceased. 

Jane Morris'" first husband died and she married, second, 
Daniel Fox, by whom she had five more children : 

(4) Rachel Fox". 

(5) Ellen Fox'^, married Stout of Shenandoah, 


(6) Anna Fox", (now deceased), married Creasy 

of Bloomsburg, Pa. 

(7) John Fox^, a merchant of Harley, Idaho. 

(8) James Fox", a dentist of Catawissa, Pa., who has been 
a member of the Legislature of this State. John and James 
are twin brothers. 

Jane Morris'" second husband also died and she then 
married, third, Samuel Kisner, Esq., whom she has survived ; 
she is now living a widow in Bloomsburg, Pa. 

4. Sarah Morris" (fourth child of Issachar and Elizabeth 
C. Morris'), married George Kuder and moved to Champaign 

48 History of the Corson Family. 

County, Illinois, where they both died. They had eight 
children — seven still living, as follows : 

(i) IssACHAR Morris Kuder", a farmer of St. Joseph, 

(2) George Kuder'^ and 

(3) Benjamin Kuder', farmers of Kansas. 

(4) Hannah Kuder", married Hamilton. 

(5) Emma Kuder', who married her first cousin, Paul 

(6) Sarah Kuder', who married Witte, a 

farmer of Sidney, Illinois. 

(7) Phcebe Kuder', who married Witte, a 

farmer of Homer, Illinois. 

Soon after the family settled in Illinois, Sarah Morris'" 
husband (George Kuder), died, and she married, second, 
Isaiah Wright, who survived her. 

5. Rev. Joseph Roberts Morris" (fifth child of Issachar 
and Elizabeth Corson Morris^), married Elizabeth Ann Kline, 
by whom he had five children, as follows : 

(i) Dr. Matthias K. Morris', of Holiday's Cove, W. Va. 

(2) John A. Morris', who lives in California. 

(3) Anna Morris', who married Rev. J. F. Heiiner, of 
Cripple Creek, Col. 

(4) Dr. a. Judson Morris', who is ph)-sician to the 
Indians at Rosebud Agency, South Dakota. 

(5) Joseph R. Morris', a lawyer of Salt Lake City, Utah. 

6. Eliza Morris" (sixth child of Issachar and Elizabeth 
C. Morris^) married, first, her cousin Joseph Corson Blaker 
(who was killed by being thrown from a horse, in 1835), and 
they had three children : 

(i) Issachar Blaker', (now deceased); his widow lives 
at Shenandoah, Pa. 

(2) Paul Blaker', who married his first cousin, Emma 
Kuder; he is now deceased. 

Descendants of Benjamin the Third'. 49 

(3) Gen'l. Charles M. Blaker^ Attorney at Law, 
Bloomsburg, Pa., (who has given me the information about 
this branch of the family). 

After the death of her first husband, Ehza Morris Blaker"* 
married, second, Vincent Arnwine, by whom she had five 
more children : 

(4) BuRTis Arnwine', who resides in Wilkes Barre. 

(5) Mary C. Arnwine^, who married Parver. 

(6) Amanda A. Arnwine'', who married Bow- 
man, of Wyoming, Pa. 

(7) Caroline Arnwine'', who married Rich; 

her husband is now deceased. 

(8) John A. Arnwine^, of Wyoming, Pa. 

Eliza Morris Blaker's" second husband is also dead, and 
she is now living, a widow, at Greenwood, about ten miles 
from Bloomsburg, Pa. 

7. George W. Morris'' (seventh child of Issachar and 
Elizabeth Corson Morris^), married Maria Thomas and moved 
to Cook County, Illinois, where he became a member of the 
Legislature ; both are now deceased. Their children were : 

(i) Freeman Morriss of Kansas. 

(2) William Morris", a merchant, of Onargo, III. 

(3) Corson Morris^, who died in Andersonville Prison. 

(4) John MorrisI 

(5) Dallas MorrisI 

(6) Emma MorrisI 

(7) Catherine Morris^, who lived near Chicago, 111, 
The father, George W. Morris, was killed by a railway 


8. Charles Morris^ (eighth child of Issachar and Eliza- 
beth Corson Morris'), married Sarah Thomas and moved to 
Cook County, Illinois ; he is deceased, but his wife is living in 
Chicago. They had five children : 

(i) Frances J. Morris^, married Doyle of 


(2) Ross Morris^ a farmer of Bloom, 111. 

50 History of the Corson Family. 

(3) Elizabeth Morris^ who married Green. 

(4) Freeman T. Morris', Esq., a lawyer of Watseka, 111. 

(5) Thomas MorrisI 

9. Dr. John C. Morris'' (ninth child of Issachar and 
Elizabeth Corson Morris'^), married Caroline Fuller ; they are 
living at Orange, Luzerne County. Pa. By his first wife he 
had four children : 

(i) Elizabeth Morris", deceased. 

(2) John C. Morris, Jr.', of La Fayette, Lidiana. 

(3) Franklin Morris^, a teacher of Dallas, Pa. 

(4) Wilbur Morris, of Tunkhannock, Pa. 

10. Rachel Morris*"' (tenth child of Issachar and Eliza- 
beth Corson Morris^), married Zebulon Robbins — both are 
deceased. Their children were : 

(i) John M. Robbins', a banker, living in Shenandoah, 

(2) Issachar M. Robbins", living at Mt. Airy, Philadel- 

(3) Dr. Honora Robbins^, residing in Bloomsburg, Pa. 

(4) Sarah S, Robbins'^, also of Bloomsburg. 

(5) Elmer E. Robbins^, a grain dealer of Sac City, Iowa. 
The parents lived in Columbia and Schuylkill Counties, 

but they have long since passed away. General Charles M. 
Blaker, Esq., (my correspondent) further adds : "The Morris 
children nearly all liv^ed to see ' three score and ten,' and had 
large healthy families ; so have their grandchildren." 

VII. Rachel Corson^ (seventh child of Benjamin the 
third'* and Sarah Dungan Corson), married Paul Blaker. The 
following from Mrs. Wynkoop, her granddaughter, is a reliable 
account of her husband's ancestry in Pennsylvania, and of her 
children after her marriage : 

John Blaker, great-grandfather of Paul, her husband, 
came from Germany about 1683. His son, Peter, married a 
Miss Buckman in 17 18. John, son of Peter, married a Miss 
Williams in 1740. 

Descendants of Benjamin the Third' 


Paul, son of John, was born in August, 1776, and married 
Rachel Corson^ daughter of Benjamin Corson third*, March 
28, 1805. (His wife was born in February, 1776.) He died 
of heart disease, November, 1839 ; his wife died from injuries 
received by being thrown from a gig, September 3, 1844. 
Their children were : (i) Joseph^ ; (2) Benjamin*' ; (3) Paul'' ; 
(4), Rack EL^; (5) Joshua", and (6) Alfred^. 

(i) Joseph Corson Blaker*' (son of Rachel Corson'^ and 
Paul Blaker), born September i, 1806, married his cousin, 
Eliza Morris, and they had three children, Issachar^, Paul^ 
and Charles M. Blaker^, Esq. Joseph Blaker'' was thrown 
from a horse and killed. 

(2) Benjamin Blaker" (second son of Rachel Corson'^ and 
Paul Blaker), married Caroline Walton. Their children were : 
I, Walton' ; 2, Louise", and 3, William". Benjamin" died 
in 1857 of softening of the brain. 

(3) Paul Blaker" (third child of Rachel Corson^ and 
Paul Blaker), married Sarah Tomlinson. Their children : 
I, Henry W.^ (born February 5, 1838); 2, Mary', and 3, 

1. Henry Walmsley Blaker" married Priscilla Cooper 
about 1863. They removed to Pleasanton, Kansas, in 1880, 
and engaged in the grocery business. They have three 
children: (i) Laura Blaker^; (2) Lizzie Blaker'', and (3) 
William BlakerI 

2. Mary Blaker" (daughter of Paul Blaker" and Sarah 
Tomhnson), born October 25, 1840, married, December, 1864, 
Benjamin Cooper, a farmer in Northampton Township, Bucks 
County, Pa. They have four children : (i) Luella Cooper^ 
born September 29, 1865 ; (2) James Cooper^ born May 3, 
1868; (3) Annie Cooper^ born in May, 1870, and (4) 
E'stella Cooper", born August 17, 1876. 

3. Howard Blaker'^ (son of Paul Blaker" and Sarah 
Tomlinson), married his cousin, Sarah Bennett", November 
25, 1880. 

52 History of the Corson Family. 

(4) Rachel Blaker'' (fourth child of Rachel Corson'^ and 
Paul Blaker), was bom November 17, 1 8 1 8 ; she died in 
middle age, unmarried. ^ . 

(5) Joshua Corson Blaker" (fifth child of Rachel Corson' 
and Paul Blaker), mamed Ann Croasdale, March 25, 1840. 
Their children were: i, Rachel An.V ; 2, Benjamin'; 
3, Alfred, Jr.^; 4, Eveline'; 5, Paul' ; 6, Emma Josephine' ; 
7, Susanna', and 8, '. 

1. Rachel Ann Blaker^ married William Wyncoop, 
January 6, 1859. 

2. Benjamin Blaker' married Addie Brabent of Wis- 
consin, December, 1872. 

3. Alfred Blaker, Jr.", married Annie Hibbs in 1869 ; 
moved to Kansas in 1871, where he went into the grain and 
lumber business with his brother, Benjamin, under the firm 
name of Blaker Brothers. They are still there and doing 
well. Alfred had three children : (i) Earnest^ ; (2) ELEANOR^ 
and (3) William^. 

(6) Alfred Blaker" (youngest child of Rachel Corson' 
and Paul Blaker), married Susan Roberts, Januaiy 15, 1853 ; 
they had no children. Alfred, who was born May i, 1822, 
was a very prominent man and a Justice of the Peace in 
Newtown, Bucks County, Pa. He was widely known as 'Squire 
Blaker. He is now deceased but his widow still lives in 

VIII. Sarah Corson' (eighth child of Benjamin the 
third* and Sarah Dungan Corson), married Matthias Bennett, 
They lived about one mile west of Addisville, Bucks County, 
until his death, which occurred about the year 1826. She 
afterwards resided with her children, of whom there were six : 

I, William"; 2, Bernard"; 3, Elizabeth"; 4, Redecca"; 
5, Benjamin", and 6, Matthias, Jr." 

I. William Bennett", the eldest of these children, died 

Descendants of Benjamin the Third'. 53 

2. Bernard Bennett" married Eliza Parks and had 
several children. They lived near the home of his father. 

3. Elizabeth Bennett" married Andrew Von Boskirk of 
Hatboro. She died over twenty-five years ago. I was in 
consultation in her case a few days before her death. She 
left several children who, I belie\'e are doing well. 

4. Rebecca Bennett" married Hogland; they 

had several children, but I heard a few years ago that all of 
them were dead. 

5. Benjamin Bennett" married Van Horn ; 

they had four children : Sarah'', Phebe', and two sons. 

6. Matthias Bennett, Jr." married Hannah Croasdale; 
I have heard that they had two children and lived in Warmin- 
ster, Bucks County, Pa. 

IX. Jane Corson'^ (ninth child and youngest daughter of 
Benjamin the third* and Sarah Dungan Corson), married, 
when nearly forty years of age. W ' MmHT - Bennett (brother to v3^a-0uC 
Matthias, who had married her sister Sarah). The two brothers 
lived on adjoining farms, about half a mile from the White 
Bear Tavern, at Addisville, in Northampton Township, Bucks 
County-, Pa. Jane had two daughters, both very intelligent 
girls. I often stopped to see the family on my way to and 
from New Hope, during the years 1826—7, and occasionally 
aftenvards. The names of the daughters were : i, Jane Eliza 
BENNE'iT"and 2, Sarah Margaretta Bennett", How well I 
remember their tall, graceful, intellectual mother, \\\\h her 
bright eyes, black and shining, beaming kindness and cheer ; 
she was a most lovely woman. How singular that this numer- 
ous family of six men and five women (my father and his 
brothers and sisters), should all have lived until the youngest 
was fifty years of age; and that, too, they should all have 
married and had families. 

I. Jane P>liza Bennett" (eldest daughter of Aunt Jane 
Bennett^), married William Buckman, of Newtown. They 
lived for some years on her father's farm and then moved to 

54 History of the Corson Family. 

the mil] on the Ncshaminy Crock near Newtown ; they next 
moved to a farm in Sadsbur}-, Chester Count>-, where they 
were found murdered on the moming of tlie 24tli of Septem- 
ber, 1863 — she, in her room ; he, out;ide of tlie house, hang- 
ing to a post of tlie fence witli his feet on the ground and a 
gasli in his tliroat There were strange stories about tliese 
deaths ; one of tliem, at least, was a foul murder. I attended 
the burials at Newtowm, Bucks Count\% Pa. Their children 
were t\vo boys: (1) Eugene Buckmax", who went to the war 
and died, and (2) Clarence Buckman", who was in 1SS2 a 
State Senator in Minnesota, 

2. Sarah Margaretta Bexnett'' (youngest daughter of 
Aunt jane Bennett^), married Charles Blaker, now deceased. 
They had five cliildren : (i)John'; (2) Isaac"; (3) Julian" ;V 
(4) Wade", and (5) Abbie". 

(1) John Blaker" (eldest cliild of Sarah Margaretta 
Bennett* and Charles Blaker) lived witli his mother on the faiTn 
uiiich was long in tlie possession of tlie Blaker family. He has 
since moved to some part of tlie West During the war he 
served as a Lieutenant in tlie Third Regiment of Colored 

(2) Isaac Blaker", (3) Julian Bl.\ker'. and (4) Wade 
Blaker", all live in Kansas, ^ ji^^ 

(5) Abbie Bl.\ker" (youngest chiid of Sarah MargaretLi 
Bennett* and Charles Blaker) married Harrison Rice (son of 
Hiram and Esther Corson Rice — the latter a first cousin to 
Abbie's motlier). They have t\\o children : i, Is.'L\c^ and 
2, Julian^ 

1, Isaac RiCE^ married Susan Comly; 2, Julian Rice" 
married and moved to Kansas. 

X Joshua Corson^ (tenth child of Benjamin the third* 
and Sarah Dungan Corson) was bora March 6, 1780. He 
mamed (1806) Hannah Lee, a sister of Dr. Ralph Lee oi 
Newtown, Bucks Count>% Pa, Tliey lived nearh^ all of their 
married life on a farm four miles below New Hope, on the 


Descendants of Benjamin the Tbird\ 55 

"Middle Road." (Subsequently the farm was o-vimed by their 
son Joshua.) When I v.-ent in 1826 to New Hope, as a 
student of medicine to Dr. Richard D, Corson, their oldest 
children were then young ladies. The parents continued on 
the farm until all of their daughters — seven in number — and 
two of their three sons were married ; they then moved to 
Forrestville. Hannah Lee Corson died August 14, i860, 
aged 75 years, 22 da}^; her husband (Uncle Joshua), died 
May 29, 1869. Both were buried in the Presbj'terian bury- 
ing ground at Forrestville. Their children were : 

1 . A^iiY Lee Corson* married Charles Heston, 

2. Sarah Duncan Corson* married Gilbert W. Ely. 

3. Amos Lee Corson^ married Anna Louisa Thomas. 

4. Esther Corson^ married Hiram Rice. 

5. Ralph Lee Corson^ unmarried — died I\Iarch 2y, 


6. Mary Corson^ married Anderson G. Smith. 

7. Ann M. Corson^ married William H. Ellis. 

8. Joshua Corson* married Sarah A. Johnson. 

9. Hannah Corson* married, first, Watson Kirk; second, 
Thomas WTiite. 

10. Elizabeth Helen Corson* married William K. 

All of Uncle Joshua's children are now (December, 
1895), dead except Esther, ]VIary, and Joshua. 

I. Amy Lee Corson*, the eldest child, married Charles 
Heston, and hved on his farm near Pinevffle, Bucks County. 
They had three children: (i) Hannah Ann^; (2) Albert 
Augustus", and (3) Mary Elizabeth^. 

(i) Hannah Ann Heston', bom November 4, 1837, 
married December 24, 1868, Joshua Beans, Esq., attomey-at- 
law and a member of the Penns}4vania Legislature from 1868 
to 1 870 ; they live in Doylestown and have had one child : 
Mary Heston Beans^ bom December 17, 1867 ; died March 
17, 1872. 

^6 History of the Corson Family. 

(2) Albert Agustus Heston^ born November 4, 1841, 
married July 4, 1867, Sarah E. Thompson, of Philadelphia. 
He was a soldier in the Civil War, serving three years and 
seven months. Of his nine children five died at an early age ; 
the others are : 

1. Frank E. Heston\ born March i, 1872. 

2. Phebe Thompson Heston^ born May 12, 1873. 

3. Hannah A. Heston^ born Januaiy 9, 1879; and 

4. Jesse Heston^ born May 11, 1874. 

Of these Frank E. Heston^ married Februar}- 15. 1893, 
Marion Murphy, and on the same day, his sister, Phebe T. 
Heston^ married Stephen Vandegrift ; the latter have one 
child, John Albert Vandegrift"*, born November 19, 1895. 

2. Sarah Dungan Corson^ (second child of Joshua* and 
Hannah Lee Corson), born August 26, 1808, married Decem- 
ber, 1828, Gilbert W. Ely, and lived near to Horsham Friends' 
Meeting, which they attended. Both are now deceased, 
Sarah, August i, 1888, and her husband, September 21, 1889. 
They had six children : 

(i) Hannah Corson Ely", born P^ebruary i, 1830. 

(2) Joshua Corson Ely", born September 28, 1833; died 
July I, 1853. 

(3) Rebecca Smith Ely", born Januaiy 29, 1837. 

(4) William Elwood P^ly^, born September 13, 1842, 
died July 6, 1892. 

(5) Anna Louisa Ely", born March 31, 1847, died 
March 13, 1883. 

(6) Adele Caroline P^ly", born Februaiy 28, 1853, 
died August 16, 1896. 

(i) Hannah Corson Ely", married December 14, 1854, 
George Webster, a farmer of Horsham, and they have two 
children : Joshua Ely Webster^ born January 20, 1856, and 
Ella Webster^, born August 27, 1857. 

(3) Rebecca Smith Ely", married George S. Teas, also 
a farmer of Horsham ; they have one child, Ellen Teas . 
born October 18, 1857. 

Descendants of Benjamin the Third*. 57 

(4) William Elwood Ely^ M. D., graduated from the 
University of Pennsylvania in 1 864, and served for a time as 
surgeon in the late war. He married, July 28, 1866, Hannah 
Conrad, by whom he had two children : Francis Edward 
El\'*, born March 26, 1867, and Bertha Estelle Ely^, bom 
August 2, 1868. They lived in Lansdale, where Dr. Ely, 
engaged in the business of broker and real estate agent. He 
died July 6, 1892. His eldest child, Francis Edward Ely*, 
married (1890) Letitia C. Pyle and they have one child, 
Eleanor C. Ely^. Bertha Estelle Ely®, the younger of 
Dr. Ely's two children, married Lincoln Weingartner. 

(5) Anna Louisa Ely'' married, July 13, 1872, Israel 
Mullen of Horsham, and they have three children : 

1. Howard Ely Mullen®, born October 6, 1874. 

2. Clarence Mullen®, born August 3, 1877. 

3. Wesley Mullen®, born July 8, 1882. 

(6) Adele Caroline Ely'' married, October 22, 1874, 
Samuel C. Lukens, a lumber merchant of Philadelphia, where 
they lived. They had ten children, three of them dying at an 
early age : 

1. Elsie Lukens®, born February 24, 1S76; died July 
16, 1876. 

2. Gilbert Ely Lukens®, born November 17, 1877; 
died June i, 1880. 

3. Jessie May Lukens^ born May 22, 1880. 

4. Marion Lukens®, born February 11, 1882. 

5. Edward Samuel Lukens®, born December 27, 1883. 

6. Barclay Walton Lukens®, born March 27, 1886; 
died February 19, 18S9. 

7. Helen Lukens®, born May 28, 1888. 

8. Walter Lee Lukens®, born May 13, 1890. 

9. Arthur Lewis Lukens®, born October 27, 1892. 
10. Samuel Conard LuKENS^ born June 9, 1895. 

3. Amos Lee Corson", (third child of Joshua'^ and Han- 
nah Lee Corson), born May 4. 18 10, married Anna Louisa 
Thomas, daughter of Reese Thomas of Gulf Mills, Mont- 

58 History of the Corson Family. 

gomen- Count)-, Pa. Tliey were married first b\- Friends' 
ceremony, January i6, 1834, at the Thomas residence, and 
four days latter, January 20, 1834, by the Mayor of Philadel- 
phia, in his office in that city. The second ceremony was 
brought about because it was rumored that the Friends' mar- 
riage ceremony was illegal unless it took place in a meeting 
house ; to avoid a possibility of that kind the)- went before the 
Mayor and were by him married again. Amos died July 5, 
1879; his wife, Anna Louisa, died April 11, 1891. They had 
two children : 

(i) Rebecca Brook Corson", born June 18, 1843. 
(2) Wilbur Thomas Corson', born March 9, 1853. 
(i) Rebecca Brook Corson^ married, December 10, 
1880, George B. Carr, Esq.; they have no children. Mr. Carr 
is an attorney-at-law. 

(2) Wilbur Thomas Corson', married, June 30, 1875, 
Elizabeth Lord Redman of Haddonficld. N. J., and they have 
tvvo children : Elizabeth Redman Corson", born March 5, 
1876, and Maria Louisa Corson^ born 13, 1885. 

4. Ralph Lee Corson^ (fourth child of Jo.shua'' and 
Hannah Lee Corson), lived at Wrightstown, Pa. He never 
married, and died March 27. 1889, in his seventy-eighth year. 

5. P^sther Corson*"' (fifth child of Joshua'" and Plannah 
Lee Corson), married September 10. 1835, Hiram Rice, and 
they had three children: (i) William Rice", M. D., born 
March 13, 1836; (2) Joshua Corson Rice", born November 
27, 1837 ; and (3) Harri.son Rick". They lived for a time 
near the Solebury Meeting House, later in the vicinity of 
Centreville, and finally at Newtown, Bucks County, where 
Hiram died, September 10, 1S81. Of their children : 

(i) William Rice", M. D., born in Solebury Township, 
Bucks County, was educated at the Hughescan School, in 
Buckingham Township, Bucks County, Pa., and at the P'riends' 
Pligh School, in Philadelphia, completing a cla.ssical course at 
the latter place at the age of eighteen. He then took up the 
scudy of medicine, graduating from the University of Penn- 

Descendants of Benjamin the Third*. 59 

sylvania, in i860. He began practice in h^cnchtown, N. J., 
of which borough he was one of the Incorporators and for two 
terms its Mayor. In 187 1, he removed to Trenton, N. J., 
and soon established a large and lucrative practice. He inter- 
ested himself in municipal affairs, serving three terms as a 
member of the Board of School Trustees, two terms as City 
Physician, and was finally, in 1879, elected Mayor of the 
City ; after serving a second term, (having received a re-elec- 
tion) as Mayor, he withdrew from political life and has since 
devoted his attention entirely to his practice. 

(2) Joshua Corson Rice was an invalid for many years 
until relieved of his suffering by death, January 27, 1877. 

(3) H.\RRiso.N Rice" married. May 16, 1877, Abbie 
Blaker', his second cousin, (she was a daughter of Sarah 
Margaretta [Bennett] Blaker). They lixed near Newtown, 
Bucks County, on a farm. Harrison died January 14, 1885, 
leaving a comfortable estate. He had two children : Lvn- 
DRETTA RICE**, boHi June 12, 1878. and Maud E.sther Rice\ 
born August 9, 18S1. 

6. Mary Corson" (sixth child of Joshua'' and Hannah 
Lee Corson), married, in 1838, Anderson G. Smith, a farmer, 
of her neighborhood. They lived on the "Middle Road" 
near Pineville. Her husband died May 16, 1894, in the 
eighty-third year of his age. They had six children : 

(i) Marv Ellen Smith", born January 14, 1840; died 
March 12, 1843. 

(2) Hannah C. Smith", born March 3, 1843. 

(3) Clara A. Smith', born February 12, 1848; died 
January 2, 1858. 

(4) Joseph Z. Smith", born June 13, 1849. 

(5) Edgar Pue Smith^ born December 13, 1854. 

(6) Ida May Smith", born April 3, 1859. Of this group 

(2) Hannah Corson Smith', married, March 3, 1864, 
Jacob S. Livezey, a prosperous farmer of B>berry, and their 
son, Edward LIVEZEY^ born June 30, 1866, married, March 
8, 1888, Ruth Betts. Edward and Ruth Livezey have two 

fio History of the Corson Family. 

children : Charles W. Livezev'', born June 26, 1890, and 
Martha Livezev^ born June, 1893. 

(4) Joseph Z. Smith" married, November 16, 187 1, 
Mary Paxson and they have two children : George L. Smith**, 
born January 11, 1873, ^""^ Edith W. Smith^ born Septem- 
ber 9, 1881. 

(5) Edgar Poe SMiTir married, October 9, 1877, Jennie 
E. Gurney, of New York State. They have two children : 
Hannah Mary Smith^ born July 17, 1879, and Charlotta G. 
Smith^, born November 23, 1880. Edgar Poe Smith's' wife, 
Jennie E. Gurney, died November 8, 1890 ; he married again, 
October 4, 1893, his second wife being Mary Elizabeth Akers. 

(6) Ida May Smith\ married, Januar>^ 21. 1885, Edward 
M. Carey. 

7. Ann M. Corson^ (seventh child of Joshua'' and Han- 
nah Lee Corson), married in 1833, William H. Ellis, an 
engraver of note; he died in 1892, at the age of 76; his wife 
died January 4, 1894, at the age of 77. They left two sons, 
(i) George Washington Ellis', born February 22, 1839, 
and (2) William Godey Ellis^ born October 10, 1844. 

(i) George Washington Ellis' married, March 30, 
1864, Annie Senior, by whom he had one child, Thomas 
White EllisI Annie Senior Ellis died October 12, 1889; 
on December 26, 1891, George W. Ellis married Anna Helen 
Watson. They have had one child, William Godey Ellis, 
Jr.^ born August 17, 1895. 

Thomas White Ellis*, only son by the first marriage, 
married, in 1892, Clara Childs, of London, England. 

(2) William Godey Ellis', (Sr.), married. May 26, 
1864, Anna M. Slack, by whom he has two children: 
I, George Edwin Ellis^ and 2, Enola E. Ellis^ the former 
born May 14, 1865, the latter, November 20, 1876. 

I. George Edwin Ellis-, married, May i, 1889, Nettie 
Hill; they have one child, George Edwin Ellis, Jr.*, born 
July 7, 1890. 

Descendants of Benjamin the Thirds 6i 

2. Enola E. Ellis'- married, November 15, 1893, Philip 
R. Schuyler. 

8. Joshua Corson^ (eighth child of Joshua^ and Hannah 
L. Corson), born May 2, 1820, married March 12, 1842, 
Sarah Ann Johnson, who was born May 2, 1820, and died 
January 12, 1876. They lived on his father's farm near New 
Hope, which subsequently became his own. He married 
again after the death of his first wife, and still lives with his 
second wife at the old home. His children by his first wife 
were : (i) James Johnson Corson", born March 2, 1844 J (2) 
Ralph Lee Corson^, born April 23, 1846 ; (3) Watson Kirk 
Corson^, born November 14, 1848 ; (4) Hannah Louisa 
Corson^, born July 25, 185 1 ; and (5) Caroline Amanda 
Corson", born April 27, 1853. 

(i) James J. Corson'' married, March 2, 1869, Flora 
Urania Humphrey, of Maine. They had two children : 
I, Anna Urania Corson^ born April 15, 1870 ; and 2, Ida 
Smith Corson, born December 2, 1875; died June 3, 1879. 

I. Anna Urania Corson^ married, April 18, 1893, 
Howard E. Young, Assistant Treasurer of Guarantee Trust 
Company, of Philadelphia, in which city they reside. They 
have one child, Flora Humphrey Young^, born March 5, 


(2) Ralph Lee Corson^ unmarried. 

(3) Watson Kirk Corson^ married (first), October 16, 
1872, Rosine I. Merrick, and they had two children : Watson 
Merrick Corson^, born April 2, 1879, ^"<^ James J, Corson^^, 
born April 14, 1881. His first wife died Januaiy 23, 1889, 
(she was born February 2, 1855), and on December 19, 1889, 
he married (second) Mattie Slack Keith, who died March 13, 
1891, without issue. He married (third), June 16, 1892, 
Lizzie Dolby Torbert ; they live in Camden, N. J. Watson is 
engaged in business in Philadelphia. 

(4) Hannah Louisa Corson^ married, December 30, 
1868, John Atkinson Ellis, a farmer ; they live near Forrest- 
ville. They have seven children, all living : 

62 History of the Corson Family. 

1. Carrie Corson Ellis^ born November 19, 1869 ; 
married, November 19, 1891, James R. Cooper. 

2. Edwin Milton Ellis^ born July 7, 1874. 

3. Mabel Ann Ellis^ born April 15, 1878. 

4. Elizabeth Bertha Ellis^ born May 8, 1880. 

5. John Atkinson ELLIS^ born May 19. 1885. 

6. Joshua Corson Ellis*, born April 22. 1890. 

7. WiNFiELD Roy Ellis"*, born February 5, 1892. 

(5) Caroline Amanda Corson" (daughter of Joshua 
and Sarah A. Johnson Corson), married, November 30, 187 1, 
James Pemberton Van Horn, a farmer living near Newtown, 
and they have two children: Edgar Smith Van Horn-, and 
Martha E. Van Horn"*, the former born November 21, 1872 ; 
the latter, April 27, 1879. 

9. Hannah Corson" (ninth child of Joshua'' and Hannah 
Lee Corson), born April 21, 1822, married (first), December, 
1844, Watson Kirk, a merchant of Centreville, who died 
October 18, 1858, in the thirty-eighth year of his age. Han- 
nah married (second). May, i860, Thomas White, and they 
continued in the mercantile business at Centreville. Hannah 
died June 15, 1894. She had no children b\- either husband, 
but adopted one who is now a young lady. 

10. Elizabeth Helen Corson'' (tenth and youngest 
child of Joshua* and Hannah Lee Corson), born October 19, 
1826; married, December 2, 1847, William R. Doan. a near 
neighbor. They had five children : (i) Benlamin Eastikrn 
Doan", born January 12, 1849; (2) Sarah Ann Doan^ born 
February i<S, 1851 ; (3) George W.\shington Doan", born 
August 19, 1853; (4) Hannah Kirk Doan", born September 
iS, 1855; (5) Martha Ellen Doan". born December 24, 1859. 

(i) Benjamin E.\stburn Doan" married, Januar}' 4, 
1877, Louisa A. Baker, a Yankee girl, daughter of Calvin 
Baker; they live near Elmira, N. V. They had three 
children: Anna Estella Doan«, born September 23, 1878; 
Calvin Baker Doan*, born January 13, i88i ; and Joshua 
Corson Doan*, born June 19, 1887. 

Descendants of Benjamin the Third*. 63 

(2) Sakah Ann Doan' married, November 18, 1868, 
Benjamin W. Rockafellow, a farmer ; they live near I'^orrest- 
ville and have had three children : John B. Rockafellow**, 
born September 6, 1869; Watson W. RocKAl•-ELLO^v^ born 
July 8, 187 1 ; and Willl\m Rockafellow^ born September 
23, 1873. Their second son, Watson, died Januar}' 11, 1886 ; 
their oldest son, John B. Rockafellow'*, married, January 3, 
1894, Louisa M. Fries, and they have a son, born November 
17, 1895. 

(3) GEOKfiE Washington Doan'', died at the age of four 

(4) Hannah Kirk Doan" married, September 18, 1880, 
Silas A. Selsor. They live in Doylestown, and have had four 
children : Thomas Watson Selsor^ born August 29, 1883 ; 
Lizzie Helen Selsor", born in 1885, died in May, 1886 ; 
Charles ALr.ERT Selsor*, born July 26, 1887 ; and Louisa 
Selsor^ born July 16, 1889. 

(5) Martha Ellen Doan' married, December 28, 1892, 
Clinton A. Paul, and they have two children : Sarah Eliza- 
beth Paul^ born November 17, 1893 ; and Hannah Louisa 
PauiA born July 26, 1895. 

Here I may add that all of Uncle Joshua Corson's daugh- 
ters, seven in number, were married, and that all of his grand- 
children but three are married. While his children were not 
members of Quaker Meeting, they all inclined to Quakerism. 
though Ann and Hannah joined the Presbyterian Church. 
Speaking of that, Ann P:ilis wrote to me : " All married into 
Quaker families and in spite of all adverse influences, the 
Quaker will stick out of all of u.s." 

XI. Amos Corson' (youngest child of Iknjamin the 
third^ and Sarah Dungan Corson), was born in December. 
1786. He married Martha Martindale. They lived for a 
time at the mouth of the Pennypack Creek ; then they moved 
to a farm near Bristol, which they had purchased. After living 
there several years they sold it and bought the Judge Jenks' 
farm, two miles east of Newtown, a fine place, where they 

64 History of the Corson Family. 

lived until uncle Amos' death, July 9, 1861. His widow 
moved to near Bristol, where her son Richard had bought a 
farm, and lived there until her death, which occurred on the 
twenty-second of March, 1869. Both were buried at South- 
ampton Baptist Church. Their children were : i, Sarah® ; 
2, Benjamin" ; 3, Jane'' ; 4, Joseph'' ; 5, Richard® ; 6, 
Elizetta" ; 7, Isaac®; 8, Maria Ann®; 9, Martha Ellen®, 
and 10, Amos®. 

1. Sarah Corson® (eldest child of Uncle Amos^) died in 
1827, aged 17 years. 

2. Benjamin Corson® (second child of Uncle Amos'*), 
born March 5, 181 2, married Mary Ann Scull, a lineal 
descendant of Nicholas Scull, Surveyor General in William 
Penn's time. Their children were : (i) Frances^, and (2) 

(i) Frances Corson' married Benjamin Shallcross and 
they had seven children : i, John''; 2, Leonard'^; 3, Mary*; 
4, Anna^; 5, Frances^- 6, Sallie C.**, and 7, Letitia^ 

(2) Lizzie Corson' (second child of Benjamin®) married 
Joseph Merrill and they had nine children: i, Benjamin''; 
2, Richard^; 3, Joseph^; 4, Edward*; 5, William Harris''; 
6, Thomas Roberts^; 7, Susan^- 8, Mary*, and 9, Martha 

3. Jane Corson® (third child of Uncle Amos') married 
Lewis Shallcross. Their children were : (i) Amos', (2) Lewis', 
and two others, deceased. 

(i) Amos Shallcross' lived at Holmesburg. 

(2) Lewis Shallcross' lived in Philadelphia ; he died in 
1890, leaving a widow and nine children, who live in 

4. Joseph Corson® (fourth child of Uncle Amos') married 
Mary Dungan and they had three children : 

(i) Josephine Corson', who married Robert Barr. 

(2) Jane Corson', who married James Johnson 

(3) Martha Corson'. 

Descendants of Benjamin the Third*. 65 

5. Richard Corson^ (fifth child of Uncle Amos^) mar- 
ried Mary Willard and they had one child, a daughter, born 
about 1870. They live on a fine farm in Bucks County, 
adjoining the city of Bristol. 

6. Elizetta Corson" (sixth child of Uncle Amos'^), born 
in 1818, lived in Bristol with the two orphan children of her 
sister, Martha Ellen Yerkes. Elizetta was unmarried ; she 
died September 11, 1885, and was buried at Southampton 
Baptist Church. 

7. Isaac Corson'' (seventh child of Uncle Amos^) married 
Sarah Pinto, who died in 1870; he had one child by her, 
Mary Corson^. After the death of his first wife, Isaac 
married Eliza Lane by whom he had three children. They 
lived in Philadelphia. 

8. Mary Ann Corson^ (eight child of Uncle Amos^), 
married Jeremiah Linn ; they lived in Frankford — had no 

9. Martha Ellen Corson" (ninth child of Uncle Amos^), 
married Theodore Yerkes, of Bucks County, Pa., who died in 
1870, leaving two children : (i) Emma Steinmetz Yerkes^ 
and (2) Newton Yerkes^ The children lived with their 
Aunt Elizetta after their mother died in 1881, leaving them 
orphans. Newton died in 1888 ; Emma married Alexander 
Forsythe, and they are now living in Bristol ; no children. 

10. Amos Corson" (youngest child of Uncle Amos'^), 
married (in 1862), Sarah Emma Willard, a sister to his 
brother Richard's wife. They lived on their farm between 
Doylestown and Centreville, and had four children : (i) Emma 
Corson'^, (died in infancy) ; (2) Isaac Willard Corson^ ; 
(3) Richard Corson^, and (4) Marian C. L. CorsonI 

Amos' first wife died, and he then married Sarah R. 
Hicks ; they are living at Holicong, Penna. 


Joseph Corson\ 

Joseph Corson^ my father, (second son of Tknjamin. 
the third', and Sarah Dungan Corson), was born March 1 5, 
1764, in Dublin Township, Philadelphia County, on the 
Keen farm. Until adult age he was not engaged in any other 
business than farming. lie had a good common school 
education for those times. When he had turned twenty-one 
years of age, he came, \\ith his friend, Samuel Maulsby, to 
live on the farm which the latter owned in the Whitemarsh 
part of Plymouth village. Samuel Maulsby, the friend, was a 
young man of just about m\' father's age ; he was the son of 
Hannah Maulsby, who, after the death of her first husband, 
married Richard Corson, my father's uncle. 

In 1786, my father married Hannah, daughter of Joseph 
Dickinson, (who lived on the fiirm his grandfather, William 
Dickinson, of Maryland, purchased about one hundred years 
before, when he first came to Pennsylvania, and which had 
been in the Dickin.son family ever since). After their mar- 
riage, my parents rented the Maulsby farm — which I have 
alluded to — and brother Alan was born there. The okl house 
has been removed ; it stood a few feet north of the barn, 
now (1891) belonging to David -Marple's widow — immed- 
iately in front of her new residence. 

The whole farm was in Whitemarsh Township. Mont- 
gomery County, Pa. It included the whole north corner 
of the two roads, the (iermantown turnpike, its south 
boundary, and the Plymouth and Inroad Axe turnpike, along 
which it extended for half a mile, its western boundary. 

I will here quote what brother Alan has written about 
father. "He was born in Dublin, Philadelphia County, from 
which place the (father's) family removed to Bucks Count}', 





, At*«r. LtMA *•« TMm i 

Joseph Corson'. cj 

and, when he had passed his minority, he moved to I'lymouth, 
where, after some time, he married, and rented Samuel 
INIaulsby's farm near l^lymouth Meeting House, where I 
was born, and where they hved two years, leaving in Marcli 
or April. 1789, and going to the farm of John Da\ is, in Ply- 
mouth Township, one-half mile above Hickorytown (now 
Ralph's farm), where they remained two years. They then 
moved to a farm along the northwestern side of Plymouth 
Township, called " Campbell's Farm," (now, 1880, owned by 
Samuel Stout), of 100 acres, where they remained a few 
years, paying ^^^30 annual rent. I'athcr afterwards pur- 
chased it, or agreed to, at ^looo, but it had been 
entailed, and there being difficulty about the title, it was 
given up ; he then bought the farm and store- house in 
Hickorytown. to which place the\- removed in March. 1800, 
where the\- remained and continued the store-keeping and 
farming till his death, fourth month, 4th, 1834. Our mother 
died twelfth month, 17th, 1810." 

Alan and Henjamin (who tlied before he was five years 
old) were born on the Maulsby farm ; Mary on the Davis 
farm; .Sarah, Hannah (who died under two years) and Joseph 
D., on the Campbell farm ; and Charles, George, Hiram, 
William, and Hannah, the second (who also died under two 
}'ears), at Ilickorj-town, Plymouth Township. The children of 
m\' father in the order of their birth are as follows : 

1. Ai..\n", born P'cbruaiy 2, 1788; married Mary Egbert. 

2. ]5K^•IA^^^•^ born May 12, 1789 (died early). 

3. Maky^ born June 19, 1792; married Charles 

4. Sarah*', born December 13, 1793; married Thomas 

5. HA^•^•AH^ born October 23, 1795 (died early). 

6. JosKi'U D.^ born January 4, 1799; married Ann 
Hagy. ■ 

7. CnAKL.Es'', born Januar\- 22, 1801 ; married S.irah 

68 History of the Corson Family. 

8. George'"', bom January 23, 1803; married Martha 

9. Hiram", born October 8, 1804; married Ann J. 

10. Willtam", born August 8, 1806; never married. 

11. Hannah^, born August 29, 1809, (died early). 
After mother's death, in 18 10, father married, in 18 12, 

Eleanor Coulston, daughter of John Coulston and grand- 
daughter of Bernard Coulston, one of the first settlers of 
Plymouth Township and a very large land-holder. She was a 
remarkably neat, smart woman, and was named after her 
aunt Eleanor Coulston, who was the second wife of David 
Rittenhouse, the astronomer, who for a time resided in Nor- 
riton Township, on the farm owned now by Mr. Gouldey, 
and where he made his observations on the Transit of Venus. 

About thirty years ago, the Cabinet of National Sciences 
of Montgomery County, appointed myself and Benjamin 
Markley Boyer, Esq., a committee to ascertain the spot on 
which he had placed his obscrvatoiy and also to get permis- 
sion to raise a small marble monument to commemorate the 
event. I saw the owner of the property and he readily 
acceded to my request, but the Society disbanded and noth- 
ing more was done in the matter. It has been my hope that 
the Montgomery County Historical Society, formed in 1881, 
would take up the abandoned project, and that long before 
this the monument would have been an accomplished fact. 
I still hope that it will be built. 

My father was a large man, being a little over six feet in 
height, but well proportioned, with a fine intellectual head 
and the keenest and most piercing black eyes. He was a 
man of great force of character, jocose, witty, and often quite 
satirical. Not being a member of Friends' Meeting, and 
mother having a "birth right," she in accordance with the 
discipline was "turned out for marrying out of meeting;" 
but notwithstanding this, she continued to go to the meeting 
and father to go with her. They used the plain language, 

Joseph Corson'. 69 

and father even wore the plain coat, quite a conspicuous article 
of dress then, and especially on so large a man. After 
mother's death, and before the coming to us of a stepmother, 
our sisters, Mary and Sarah, the former eighteen and the 
latter sixteen years of age, attended to the household affairs, 
and cared for their young brothers. Joseph was only eleven, 
Charles, under ten ; George, between eight and nine ; myself, 
six years, and William, four years of age. How faithfully 
these two frail young girls — I say frail, for our mother and her 
two sisters and her brother all died under fifty years of age of 
consumption — cared for us and led us along in safe places; 
how they shielded us from harmful influences, before, and 
even for years after, our stepmother came to aid them, the 
characters of our after lives must testify. 

They were fond of reading ; the early loss of their 
mother fell heavily upon them, made them thoughtful, anxious, 
studious, and thus were they fitted to direct our young minds, 
to create in us a love of such light pleasant literature as fell 
in their way. Compared with the present times, there were 
few books then, but in poetry and history we had some of the 
best, for father was a reader, and exceedingly sensitive. He 
would often read aloud, and frequently have I seen him 
unable to proceed when touched by the earnest pleadings of 
the orator or the touching sentiments of the poet. Often on 
these occasions the tears would flow over his cheeks freely. 
He was kind and generous to his children, a good neighbor, 
and a man of undoubted courage. 

I may here mention an incident illustrative of his prompt- 
ness and fearlessness. One day while building the house in 
front of his residence, in which to have grain, feed, etc. (for 
at that time he sold largely to the people from Berks County, 
who brought down wheat, and took back salt and other 
goods for the store-keepers in Berks County, and indeed all 
the way to Pittsburg), while standing in the yard looking at 
the builders, a large grey horse, on which was a gentleman 
equipped with saddle-bags, and to all appearance being an 

yo History of the Corson Fa mil v. 

up-country store-keeper (they then ahvays came down on 
horse-back), despite all the rider could do, came dashing into 
the yard where father stood. The man in a bland voice asked 
father to aid him in getting the horse to go on. which father 
quickly did by taking up a lath and giving the horse a sharp 
crack along the side. The man then went slowly on his way. 
After a few hours, men arrived at the hotel opposite our 
house, in hot pursuit of a man who had stolen from Berks 
County, the night before, a fine grey horse, owned by a 
Mr. Boyer. This Mr. Boyer was a frequent dealer with 
father, and the horse ' was used, therefore, to come to the 
place, and into this open yard, where they unloaded their pro- 
duce and loaded their goods. Father was quite mortified 
that he had helped the man away. Just two weeks after that 
time he and I were in the store late in the afternoon when we 
saw pass, the same man, saddle-bags and all, on a beautiful 
sorrel mare, trotting slowly and composedly along. Father 
stepped to the door and looked after the man —he was con- 
vinced that he was the one who rode Boyer's horse — he sent 
to the barn for a small, but speedy mare, as round as a barrel, 
and putting a horse-pistol, which belonged to ni)- brother 
Joseph — then a member of a Horse Company — in the pocket 
of his large Quaker coat, sprang upon her bare-back and rode 
briskly after the man. When he reached Pl)'mouth Meeting 
he saw him still riding in the moderate regular gait, and father 
followed slowl)', too, but gradually gaining on him till he 
came up to him just where now is the Marble Hall School- 
house. He had approached him so slowly, that the man was 
not alarmed, and after saluting him and talking along for a 
short distance, father remarked that his animal was a beautiful 
one, to which he gave quiet assent. Then father said: "You 
do not recollect me — I am the person who two weeks ago 
helped to get your stubborn grey horse out of the yard in 
Hickorytown " — "Yes" ! he recollected it, "now that it was 
brought to his mind." I'^ather then said he must ride on 
more briskly, and leaving him, rode to the hotel at Barren 

Joseph Cor son'. yx 

Hill, and told the inn-keeper and loungers there, the circum- 
stances of the case, and proposed to arrest him — he was 
already in sight and so respectable in appearance that they all 
positively declined to aid him. There was no time to be lost, 
and stepping to the middle of the road, he took the horse by 
the bridle and told the man that he had stolen Boyer's horse, 
and he suspected that this one too was stolen. The man in 
the quietest, gentlest way denied the charge, protested against 
being thus stopped from proceeding on his way, and the man 
of the hotel became very indignant, and quite out-spoken 
about the arrest of a man at his house. He seemed to fear 
that it would injure the reputation of his place, which was 
then a favorate place for travellers to stop. Others of those 
present denounced the arrest, but, nothing daunted, father 
told him he must turn around and go before a squire, and the 
man reluctantly turned about to go with him to Norristown. 
Before the\^ reached there, it had become dark, and when 
they arrived he at once enquired for a lawyer ; he was, how- 
ever, taken before a Justice. Father testified, but it was not 
considered sufficient, and he then begged the Squire to hold 
him till he could return home and get testimony. Despite 
the pleading and threats of the lawyer, he agreed and father 
came home, got several of those who had seen him on 
Boyer's horse, and after their testimony the man was placed 
in jail. There were numbers of people to speak of it as an 
outrage, and to predict the large damages which father would 
have to pay. At that time there \\-ere no daily papers ; 
country papers were sent by riders once a week, and inter- 
course even between Counties was very limited, so that, 
though the affair was published in our country paper, nothing 
was heard of the owner of the sorrel mare, and it seemed as 
though the case would depend on the testimony in the Boyer 
horse case, and this, it was thought, would fail to convict him. 
Weeks had passed when a lawyer from Norristown, John B. 
Sterigere, was looking after his political prospects in Lan- 
caster Count)', where he saw in a tavern a hand-bill describing 

72 History of the Corson Family. 

the stolen sorrel mare. She was so beautiful, that when the 
man was arrested, she attracted the notice of the Norristown 
people, and Mr. Sterigere having seen her, recognized the 
hand-bill as referring to her. He brought the hand-bill home 
with him ; father wrote to the o\\ner, who came down, 
recognized the animal, and the man was convicted and sent 
to the Penitentiaiy or State Prison for seven years. He had 
stolen many horses in Lancaster and Berks Counties, and sold 
them in New Jersey. His plan was to go in the Lancaster, 
Reading, or Harrisburg stage to a stopping place— even the 
roadside would do — then taking his saddle and bridle he would 
steal a horse early in the night, and by next morning, by even 
slow riding, would be thirty or forty miles away, and could 
cross the river at Philadelphia before bed-time and have his 
property in a safe place before morning of the next day. 
The Boyer horse and some others were recovered after his 

About twenty-five years after this occurrence, I had a 
similar experience in arresting a horse thief on the turnpike 
road below Barren Hill, and carrying him off to Norristown, 
but I will defer the details till I come to speak of my own 

Father died suddenly from paralysis, in the early morn- 
ing of the fourth day of fourth month, 1834; just six years 
after I began to practice medicine, and twenty-four years, 
nearly, after mother's death. After father's death our step- 
mother lived awhile at the old place in Hickoiytown, then for 
a year or two with us, but finally moved to her niece's home in 
Norristown, where she died eleventh month twenty-first, 1846. 
They are all buried in Plymouth Meeting burying ground, 
and here I may mention an incident, which at the time it 
occurred, made me feel both sad and revengeful, but as time 
rolled on my revengeful feelings subsided, for I came to 
believe it was the result of conscientious feelings on the part 
of the actor. Father had put at the head of mother's grave 
a marble headstone, very small, with merely her name, age, 

[awiii :.j-'^- ^ 

1909 ><^ 

Joseph Corson^. 73 

etc. There were a few others in the graveyard at that time, 
but not a great many, though Friends and some others had 
been burying there for about a hundred years. Laurence 
Egbert's wife had also had a stone placed at her grave just 
before the event of which I speak. It was a principle of 
Friends to avoid all show of that kind and very generally 
acted on. Old Friend Jacob Albertson, the grandfather 
of J. Morton Albertson, who died a few years ago, was a 
very strict Friend and became greatly annoyed by seeing 
persons placing these memorial stones to the graves. He 
spoke of it in the business meetings and privately to Friends ; 
but as no action was had to prevent it, he one day took a 
sledge and broke the tops off the headstones at the graves of 
mother and Mrs. Egbert It produced great excitement in 
the neighborhood and Thomas Egbert sued the old man for 
breaking his mother's gravestone. There was a settlement 
effected afterwards without a trial at court. Father went to 
the yard and finding that the stone had been broken off a few 
inches below the surface of the ground, had it sunk a little 
lower and there it is to this day, deformed somevvhat by the 
loss of a part of the very top of the stone, knocked off by the 

And now for the sequel. In what is called the "new 
ground," that occupied by the Orthodox, in the same yard, 
are laid Jacob Albertson, Jr.; his wife, Martha; their sons, 
Samuel, Lewis, and Henry, and at the head of every grave 
was placed a much larger marble stone than there was at 
mother's and Mrs. Egbert's graves. Hundreds of them are 
now to be seen in the Hicksite part of the bur>ung ground ; 
indeed there is scarcely a single person buried there whose 
grave is not thus marked. They are all low, plain and simply 
marked with the name, age, etc. No one objects to them 


ALAN Wright Corson*. 

Alan® was the eldest child of Joseph and Hannah Dick- 
inson Corson, and was born February- 21, 1788, on the 
" Maulsby Farm," located at the intersection of the German- 
town and the Plymouth and Upper Dublin Turnpikes ; he 
married, November 24, 181 1, Mary Egbert, daughter of 
Laurence and Sarah Norman Egbert, and lived for the greater 
part of his married life on his farm in Whitemarsh Township, 
a short distance northeast of Cold Point Church. He died 
on June 27, 18S2, aged ninety-four years, four months and 
six days — a long life, free from the use of alcoholic drinks, 
and unattended by any serious illness. His enjoyment of 
good health is the more remarkable when considered with the 
fact that his mother died of consumption at the age of forty- 
seven years. 

Our friend — the late Moses Auge — in his biography of 
distinguished men of Montgomery Count)', Pa., thus speaks 

of brother Alan : 

" Let the mind be great and glorious, and all other things are 
despicable in comparison. — Seneca." 

"Without doubt, the best known and most justly celebrated 
scholar and scientist in Montgomery County, was Alan W. Corson, (son of 
Joseph and Hannah Corson), of Whitemarsh Township. We have 
others whose scholastic attainments are more classical, but in the higher 
mathematics, botany, geology, mineralog)-, conchology, entomology- 
and astronomy, he was distinguished in our country. 

"Born in Whitemarsh Township, second month, 21, 1788, he con- 
tinued on the farm of his father and attended Friends' School until 
twelve years of age, when his father, having entered the store business, 
and needing his services, he entered on his duties there, at which he 
continued until grown to adult age. That business in the country 
affords much opportunity for study ; and, with an ambition to learn, a 
good memory and mental capacity, he soon made rapid progress in 
knowledge. The libraries were visited for volumes of histor}', science 
and literature, and he rp.pidly took place among the brightest young 


Alan W. Corson 

/Ilan Wright Corson\ 75 

men of his time. He possessed such decided mathematical capacity," 
says Mr. Auge, "that he was able to master these studies nearly unaided 
by teachers. By the time he was grown, therefore, he was capable of 
teaching all the common mathematical branches, as well as other 
studies usual in high schools. He was thus early a self-taught scholar 
and teacher also, a profession to which he devoted himself. For many 
years, in addition to carrying on a farm of about fifty acres, he taught 
Friends' School at Plymouth Meeting, and afterwards for many years 
a boarding-school in his own home, in Whitemarsh, his reputation as a 
teacher being so high that he drew many pupils from Norristown and 
other places. 

"About middle life, however, he abandoned teaching as a pro- 
fession, and having a large farm and a nursery of trees and shrubs, he 
divided his time between these and land surveying, an art in which he 
was regarded as the most accomplished in the count)-. His reputation 
in that department was so eminent that he was often called to distant 
places and employed whenever there were difficult lines to run that 
required extra skill and accuracy to determine true boundaries. 

"In this calling he was not relieved from service until he was 
nearly, if not quite, eighty years of age, when he deemed it prudent to 
decline further labor. 

"He was also, during nearly all his adult life, because of accuracy 
in accounts, excellence of judgment and high character of integrity, 
employed by neighbors and acquaintances to wiite wills, deeds, and 
agreements for them ; he was frequently also appointed executor by 
testators or chosen administrator by the heirs of those dying intestate." 

" No man could be more careful than was Alan W. Corson to 
deport himself so as not to give offense ; sensitive and unobtrusive, 
refusing to be put forward in places above his friends, ever ready to 
discover the appearance of neglect and quick to refuse to receive a 
favor bestowed with a shade of reluctance — such was his character. 

" He became a member of the Society- of Friends at a very early 
age, and attended the meetings very regularly. Once, after an attend- 
ance at Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, he was returning on foot (at that 
time there was not even a stage), when as he reached the hill at 'Robin 
Hood,' (now Laurel Hill), he saw a neighbor coming behind him in a 
two-horse carriage, with some of his family in it, but yet a vacant seat 
He felt that now he could have a ride home. As they neared he turned 
and spoke to them, and instinctively held up his hand as they seemed 
to be passing. Thev stopped and took him in. He had scarcely been 
seated before the conviction seized him that but for the gesture he made 
they would have passed without inviting him in. At once he said he 
des'ired to get out Thev endeavored to detain him. but he sprang out 
and after^vards walked home with a very light step. This litde inci- 
dent was most characteristic of the man." 

:\Ir. Auge. in his biography, already alluded to. thus sums 
up his history : 

"A nodce of Alan W. Corson would not be complete without 
further reference to his brothers and sisters, the other children of Joseph 
Cordon, who left a large flimilv. nearlv all of whom were well educated 

76 History of the Corson Family. 

and possessed commanding talents and marked moral characteristics. 
The author will be pardoned for saying that they exhibit marked pecu- 
liarities, reminding him of some of the time honored clans of Scotland. 
The Corsons will arraign each other sometimes sharply, but to the 
oDutside world they are a unit. This results from the very commendable 
and warrantable pride of the family, or esprit de corps, as the French 
phrase it. Almost all the race possess a keen jocular turn of mind, 
and some of them a talent for mimicry and critical badinage peculiarly 
French. The author may also add that he has no knowledge of any 
man of the country from whom are descended so large a number of 
cultivated and distinguished offspring, both in the male and female 
branches, as are descended from Joseph Corson. 

"With few exceptions, the whole Corson race have been cultivated 
in mind and are notorious for their love of free thought True to their 
Huguenot origin, they have been outspoken for freedom — the deadly 
foes of slavery, and most of them life-long teetotalers. As the phrenolo- 
gists say, the moral instincts have predominated over those strictly 
religious, Alan \V. being the only one of the male members of the 
family who assumed the strict garb and life of the Friends, although 
most of them adhere to the Society's teachings. Alan W. is justly 
noted for his doctrinal unity with those who hold the views of Elias 
Hicks, and for the conscientious fulfillment of every precept of Christian 

"Alan W. Corson's mind received a strong religious bent at a very 
early age, and his conscientiousness and truthfulness have been control- 
ling characteristics during his long life. Many years ago, with his 
cousin, John Evans, he used to make annual excursions to the lowlands 
of Delaware, Maryland, the sandy pine-woods of New Jersey, and even 
to the Adirondacks, for specimens of botany, geology, mineralogy and 
entomology, and in search of other scientific matters." 

Ala N^ was married on the 24th of November, 181 1, to 
Mary Egbert (daughter of Laurence Egbert — see history in 
chapter on Maternal Ancestry) and they were the parents of 
seven children : 

1. Hannah Corson^ born November 25, 1S12; married 
James Ritchie. 

2. Sarah Corson^ born October 13, 18 14; married 
Isaac Garretson. 

3. Elias Hicks Corson'^, born February 19, 18 16; 
married Emily R. Harris. 

4. Luke Corson^, born February 24, 1 8 1 8 ; married 
Clementine Quinlan. 

5. Laurence Egbert Corson^ born April 26, 18 19; 
married Mary A. Johnson. 




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Alan Wright Corson". 77 

6. Joseph Corson^, born January 20, 1821; married 
Martha H. Cutler. 

7. Martha Corson^ born April 5, 1827 ; married Isaac 

Of these Sarah, ElIx\s H., and Laurence E., are 

1. Hannah Corson'' (eldest of Alan's children), married 
August II, 1847, James Ritchie, a florist of Philadelphia, 
where they have lived. Her husband was suffocated in his 
room by gas, about eleven years ago. 

Hannah inherited her father's love of the natural sciences, 
and stands high as a botanist; she has a rare and valuable 
collection of plants and shells. 

Their children are: (i) Helen^ and (2) EmilyI 

(i) Helen Ritchie^ married George H. Perkins of Phila- 
delphia and they have five children : i, Emily Perkins^; 2, 
Howard Perkins^; 3, Edwin Perkins^; 4, Joseph Perkins^- 
and 5, Francis PerkinsI 

(2) Emily Ritchie^ married Dr. John Graham, a success- 
ful physician of Philadelphia, and they have three children : 
I, Bessie Graham''; 2, Warren Graham''; and 3, Lorna 

2. Sarah Corson^ (daughter of Alan W. and Mary 
Egbert Corson) married, P^'ebruary ii, 1847, Isaac Garretson, 
and they had four children : (i) Anna^; (2) Mary*; (3) Joseph^ 
and (4) Allen^. 

(i) Anna* and (3) Joseph* remained at home unmarried ; 
Joseph is now deceased. 

(2) Mary Garretson* married William P. Livezey and 
they have three children: i, Louis J. Livezey^; 2, Helen C. 
Livezey", and 3, Joseph Livezey''. 

3. Elias Hicks Corson^ (eldest son and third child of 
Alan W. and Mary Egbert Corson), was born February 19, 
1816, and died November 5, 1877. He lived, therefore, but 

78 History of the Corson Family. 

a little more than three score of years, yet his was a life of 
honor and usefulness. Theo W. Bean in his biography thus 
speaks of him : 

"His father, a distinguished teacher, mathematician, and botanist, 
was able to give him superior opportunities of instruction ; to which 
primary store of knowledge, he added by reading and observation. At 
the time of his majority he engaged in lime burning in Chester County, 
but soon returned and began the same business in Plymouth, where it 
was continued with energy and profit until his death, November 5, 1877. 
He was also engaged in the coal business, and was the owner of a fine 
farm adjacent to the quarries which he cultivated to its fullest capacity. 

"Early in the anti-slavery movement, he joined his efforts to those 
put forth by the friends of human rights, and through the long years 
of that strife, was active in the cause, contributing freely, and aiding in 
all proper ways to give freedom to the slave. 

" To the temperance cause he also gave his heartiest approval, for 
which work he was eminently fitted ; no amount of opposition or incon- 
sistency of others being able to tempt him to unbecoming violence, or 
prevent his administering a deserved rebuke. It may be said of him 
that few men in this section of the State were better known or more 
universally esteemed. He displayed a varied knowledge, was quick of 
apprehension and possessed a rare facility of conversation, combined 
with the kindness and gentleness of a child. He possessed a strong 
individuality, was a marked man, in stature, strength and symmetry, 
and possessed not less remarkable business qualifications than strong 
mental endowments. He was fond of literature, a reader of the poets, 
and kept pace with the transactions of the times. His conversation 
and presence were magnetic, his manner agreeable, and his wit devoid 
of sting or bitterness. Good, pure, strong, and true, his influence will 
survive, while to his he remains a bright memory, a spur to noble 
deeds in the cause of humanity." 

He married March 13, 1845, Emily R. Harris, daughter 
of Henry and Rachel [Wilson] Harris, of Philadelphia. 

Their children were : (i) Henry H.^; (2) George'*; 
(3) Martha^ and (4) Emil\'*, (twins); (5) Walter H.^; 
(6) Carroll^ and (7) Percy H.^ 

(i) Henry H. Corson^ the eldest son, is a shrewd and 
successful business man of Minneapolis, Minnesota. He 
married Sarah T. Abrahams, of Minnesota, and they have 
five children : i, Emily H. Corson^ ; 2, Margaret B. 
Corson^ ; 3, Henry H. Corson, Jr.^ ; 4, Helen Corson^ ; 
and 5, Anna A. Corson^ 

(2) George Coi^son^ (second son of Elias H.), married 
Elizabeth D. Cadwallader, daughter of Charles M. and Ann 

^ ' ^w 

Elias Hicks Corson 

Alan IVright Corson^. 79 

[Conrad] Cadwallader. He has been in partnership with his 
brother, Walter H. Corson, for about eighteen years, conduct- 
ing the business of lime burning which had been established by 
their father, and in which they have been very successful. 
George is one of the directors of the Tradesmen's National 
Bank of Conshohocken, Pa. He is a man of sterling integrity 
and has the respect and esteem of all who know him. His 
living children are : Charles Cadwallader Corson^ and 
George Corson, Jr.^ ; his second child, Percy Corson^ died 
in Januaiy, 1894, aged nine years. 

(3) Martha CoRsoN•^ (daughter of Elias H.), married 
Warren H. Poley, of Gcrmantown, v/here they live. Her 
husband is the proprietor of two large drug stores and has 
been very successful, both as a pharmacist and as a business 
man. They have three children: i, Emily C. Poley^ ; 
2, Corson Poley^ ; and 3, Irvin Poley^. 

(4) Emily CoRSON^ (daughter of Elias H. and a twin 
sister to Martha), lives at home with her mother. Both 
Martha and Emily arc most intelligent and refined v/omen, 
who possess the art of kindness and gentleness in the highest 

(5) Walter H.CoRSON^ (son of Elias H.), born October 28, 
1858, is associated with his brother George in the business of 
lime burning, etc., under the firm name of G. and W. H. 
Corson. He is a man of good judgment and business ability, 
and has a wide circle of acquaintances, who enjoy his society 
not only because of his bright and witty sayings, but, also, on 
account of his well informed mind and pleasing personality. 

He married, first, Anna Albertson, who died in October, 
1884; second, in 1892, Katherine Irene Langdon, an artist 
of high talent of New York City, whose landscape paintings 
have given her a wide reputation as a master in her profession. 
They have one child, Bolton Langdon CoRSON^ bom October 
27, 1894. 

(6) Carroll Corson^, (son of Elias H.) graduated in 
medicine from the University of Pennsylvania, in 188 1, and 

8o History of the Corson Family. 

practiced for a short time at New Richland, Minnesota ; then 
at Bismarck, South Dakota; and finally at West Duluth, 
Minnesota, where he still resides, having a large practice. He 
married Helen P. Hillyer, and they have one child. Hicks 
HiLLYER Corson®. 

(7) Percy H. Corson'^ (youngest child of Elias H. and 
Emily H. Corson) was engaged in the flour business in 
Minnesota for several years, and, while there, married 
Elizabeth A. Forbes. He subsequently entered the Univer- 
s\ty of Pennsylvania, as a student of medicine, graduating in 
June, 1894. He has since been engaged in the practice of 
his profession at his home in Plymouth Township, and success 
seems now assured to him. He has two children : Donald 
Corson®, born August 4, 1889; and Eleanor Corson®, born 
August 27, 1895. 

Emily Harris Corson, widow of Elias H. Corson, still 
lives at the home where her children were raised ; only her 
daughter Emily remains in her immediate household, though 
three of her sons have settled so near her as to be still 
practically a part of her family. 

4. Luke Corson^, (son of Alan W. and Mary Egbert 
Corson), born February 24, 181 8, married Clementine 
Quinlan, and they have one child, Alan Corson'', born July 
15, 1854. They reside in Nebraska, in Johnson County, near 

5. Laurence Corson'', (son of Alan W. and Mary 
Egbert Corson), born April 26, 18 19, married November 20, 
1845, Mary A. Johnson, and they had three children : 

(i) Alan W. Corson*, (second), who has three children : 
Mary Corson®, Burnside Corson®, and Norman Corson®. 

(2) Sarah CoRSON^ who married Robert P. Garsed. 

(3) Norman B. CorsonI 

6. Joseph Corson^, (son of Alan W. and Mary Egbert 
Corson), born January 20, 1820, married June 29, 1843, 
Martha H. Cutler. He studied medicine in my office, grad- 
uating at the University of Pennsylvania, and practiced for 

Elias Hicks Corson's Home 

Alan Wright Corson^. 8i 

many years in Portsmouth, Ohio, where he died July 7, 1866. 
He served in the Civil War as a Surgeon of an Ohio regiment. 
His children numbered three, all still living, namely : 

(i) Edward Jenner Corson^ born January 13, 1845, 
lives in Portsmouth, Ohio, and is engaged in the mercantile 
business. He is prosperous in his business and is highly 
esteemed as a man and citizen. 

(2) Florence Corson^ born August 16, 1847. 

(3) Frank B. M. Corson^ born February 6, 1855, lives 
in Portsmouth, Ohio. He is a manufacturer and has achieved 
pronounced success. 

7. Martha Corson^, (youngest child and daughter of 
Alan W. and Mary Egbert Corson), born April 5, 1827, mar- 
ried November 23, 1848, Isaac R. Styer. They have no 


Mary Corson«. 

Mary^ daughter of Joseph and Hannah Dickinson Corson, 

born June 17, 1792, married Charles Adamson in the spring of 

1 8 19. They resided a few years in Gwynedd Township, then 

moved to Charlestown (now Schuylkill), Chester Count>% Pa., 

where they both died, after a residence of many years. They 

were engaged in merchandising, their store being a base of 

supplies for a circuit of many miles until the iron works, a 

mile away, crystallized about them the town of Phoenixville. 

My sister Mar}--, for many years of her life, suffered from a 

bronchial affection, but although experiencing so much 

physical prostration, she was a most pleasant, cheerful woman 

up to the time of her death. Gentle in manners and sweet 

and unselfish in disposition, she yet possessed a strongly 

marked individuality. Her sense of justice made her an 

advocate of equal rights before the "suffrage movement" was 

known. Her love of beauty made her surround herself with 

plants and flowers, her garden being a delight to the eyes of all 

passers-by. All about her were recipients of her bounty. 

Her books, her flowers and fruit were always shared with 

others and seldom did visitors leave her presence without 

some tangible evidence to take with them of her genial, 

generous spirit. But more than all she gave sympathy to the 

afflicted, hope to the despondent, kindness to the unfortunate 

and an example of pure, sweet, womanhood to all. In her 

last years, when confined every winter to her chambers, she 

literally filled them with growing plants. She believed they 

had a beneficial effect upon her, though at that time 


Mary Corson Adamson 


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Mary Corson^. 83 

physicians considered them hurtful in a sick room. Some 
years ago when Dr. Anders of Philadelphia was advocating 
their value in the chambers of the sick, he published my 
account of her living, as it were, in a green house, and yet 
continuing to so great an age. She died in August, 1877, 
aged 85 years, i month and 23 days, having outlived her 
husband four years. 

Their children were: i, Joseph^, who was, when quite 
young, thrown by a stumbling horse and killed ; 2, Hannah^; 
3, Sarah^; 4, Thomas'', and 5, CharlesI 

2. Hannah Adamson^ eldest daughter of Charles and 
Mary Adamson, born February 7, 1820, married Elijah F. 
Pennypacker of Chester County, who died January 2, 1888. 
Hannah Pennypacker survived her husband until April 23, 
1894. Their children were: (i) Sarah^ (2) Caroline**, 
(3) Elizabeth^ (4) Elijah, Jr.^ (5) Margaret^ and (6) Sum- 
nerI Their father was a distinguished man. In early life, a 
member of the Legislature and one of the Commissioners of 
the State of Pennsylvania, he renounced a future of great 
political promise in order to espouse the anti-slavery move- 
ment. About the same time he united himself with the 
Society of Friends. His wife was above the average in 
intellectual ability and although much younger than her 
husband, her character and disposition were such that she 
could appreciate the sacrifices her husband made for the sake 
of his convictions and willingly co-operated with him in the 
work to which he was allied. Delicate health made her daily 
round a narrow one, but her keen intelligence took her far 
beyond her visible boundaries. Only those who knew her 
intimately knew how complete was her knowledge of the past 
and how wide and sympathetic was her interest in the progress 
of the great v/orld outside. 

Of the children of Elijah F. and Hannah A. Penny- 
packer, who arrived at maturity,(i) Sarah^ and (5) Margaret^, 
are interested in art — the former being connected for a 
number of years with the Philadelphia School of Design for 

84 History of the Corson Family. 

Women ; Margaret is teaching in a similar school in Pitts- 
burgh ; (6) Sumner* has spent some years in the West 
engaged in the construction of engines ; (2) Caroline^ and (3) 
Elizabeth* have remained at the homestead ; (4) Elijah, Jr.^ 
succeeded his father in the real estate business and settlement 
of estates. His honesty and sincerity united with good judg- 
ment soon won for him a place in the community similar to 
that occupied by his father. He was suddenly stricken and 
died in February, 1895, in his thirt>--sixth year. 

3. Sarah Read Adamson' (third child of Charles and 
Mary Corson Adamson) graduated in medicine in 1851, and 
in June of the following year (1852) married Dr. L. C. Dollcy 
and moved to Rochester, N. Y., where she has since lived 
and practised her profession. Her admission (along with that 
of Dr. Blackwell and one or two others) to the medical pro- 
fession marked an epoch in the progress of human thought 
and its realization was attended with many difficulties. It 
seems strange now to think that men could be so blinded by 
prejudice, and perhaps by jealousy or ignorance, as to deny 
to women the opportunities in the walks of life which they 
themselves enjoyed. But such was the condition of things 
forty or fifty years ago. A half century has righted many of 
the wrongs of women, but the dawn of the twentieth century 
will, I fear — though I hope not — find a multitude of injustices 
to her sex, still to be corrected. 

Jane Marsh Parker in her book, dedicated to Dr. Sarah 
R. A. Dolley,and entitled ''Rochester, a Story Historical," has 
written a short account of her life which with a little change 
and some condensation I will introduce here : 

In February, 185 1, Sarah R A. DoUey received her de;<ree of 
Doctor of Medicine from the Central Medical College of Rocliester, 
N. Y., she being one of the first women upon whom such honor had 
been conferred, Elizabeth Blackwell having graduated from Geneva 
College in 1849. 

The first application made by the brave Quaker girl for collegiate 
advantages was to the Philadelphia College of Medicine — Refused. The 
Jefferson Medical College hears her firm knock upon the door — No 
admittance. One after another of the medical schools listened to the 
plea of her preceptor and honored uncle, Dr. Hiram Corson, for her 

Mary Corson^, 85 

admittance only to say her nay. That women should be taught the 
science of medicine was not denied but the propriety of their attending 
lectures — that was the lion in the way. 

Dr. Edwin Fussel formerly of Chester County, Pa. , then of Phila- 
delphia, consented to take Miss Adamson as his private student in 
anatomy, and later to find her opportunities for dissection, but just at 
this time a circular of the Central Medical College of New York, then 
domiciled in Syracuse, met the eye of her ever vigilant uncle, Dr. Hiram 
Corson. He at once corresponded with the poet and Anti-Slavery 
lecturer, Wm. H. Burleigh, who was then living in Syracuse, with the 
result that arrangements were speedily made for her admission to the 
College. Dr. William Corson (a brother to Dr. Hiram, who was unable to 
go) accompanied her to Syracuse, and though the school was a little off 
color, in that it was Eclectic in its teachings, he did not advise his 
niece's return, but seemed pleased with the arrangements and with the 
women students whom he met there, some of whom afterwards became 
known to fame and honor. 

After the graduation of Miss Adamson, she made application to 
the governors of Blockley Hospital for admission to that Institution and 
she was the first woman who was accorded the privilege of studying in 
its wards as a physician and to whom a certificate of such observation 
and practice was accorded. 

In June, 1852, she married Dr. L. C. Dolley and they settled in 
Rochester — both practising their profession. Dr. Dolley, the wife, soon 
attracted attention as a woman of talent and ability, and became recog- 
nized as a leading physician among women — one who has ever been an 
honor to her profession, and more than realizing the expectations of her 
friends. Dr. Dolley has been a close student and a quiet leader of 
thought among the progressive women of her community. Her home 
on East Avenue has long been headquarters for scientific classes and 
committee meetings. She is a member of Monroe County and State 
Central Medical Societies of New York and of the American Medical 

Dr. Charles Sumner Dolley^ only son and child of 
Dr. Lester C. and Dr. Sarah R. A. Dolley, is well known in 
Philadelphia, where he resides, and among scientific men has 
a more than local reputation. He is a member of many 
learned societies. 

4. Thomas Adamson^, married Sarah Victoria Wright, of 
Philadelphia. For some years he was in mercantile business 
in Philadelphia, but for more than twenty-five years has been 
in the Consular Service of the United States. First at 
Pernambuco, then at Honolulu, next Consul-General at 
Melbourne, Australia, and now Consul-General at Panama, 
Central America. He is a man of great experience and 
ability in his profession, and so regarded by the Government. 

86 History of the Corson Family. 

Their hvo sons are: (i) Joseph Adamson^ who first married 
Miss Carrie Gleason of Philadelphia, and afterwards, Miss Lena 
Stovell of Georgia and was for a time Vice-Consul at Panama ; 
and (2) Charles Adamson^ a lawyer in Philadelphia, who, a 
few years since — Februaiy 20, 1889 — was elected a member 
of Philadelphia Common Council. 

Since writing the above I have received a copy of the 
Panama Star and Herald, of June 14, 1894, with such a 
detailed account of his doings during thirty-one years as 
Consul and Consul-General that it is proper to insert it here. 
He withdrew from the office of Consul-General a few years 
ago — in 1S92 — and has since resided in Cedartown, Georgia. 

The Star and Herald, thus speaks : 

Thomas Adamson Honored. 

Made a member of the Order of the Double Dragon. For more 
than thirty years in the Consular Service of the United States. 

\_From the New York Times.'] 

Recently the press announced that Thomas Adamson of Cedar- 
town, Ga., had received from the Emperor of China the star and 
insiijnia of the Order of the Double Dragon. Mr. Adamson' s life has 
been a most interesting one. Until recently he was Consul-General of 
the United States at Panama, and perhaps the most experienced officer 
in the service. He is a native of Chester County, Penna. His ancestors 
on his father's side were of the religious society of Friends, or Quakers, 
and on his mother's side descendants of French Huguenots who came 
to New York in 1675. 

His official life began November 25, 1861, when, on the recom- 
mendation of Thaddeus Stevens and other eminent Pennsylvanians, he 
was appointed by President Lincoln as Consul at Pernambuco, Brazil 
The accidents of war made that post one of the most important of our 
Consulates, for it was in that vicinity that the Anglo-rebel cruisers 
Alabama, Florida, and Georgia made their most serious depredations en 
our commerce. 

In May, 1863, Mr. Adamson had under his charge 294 of the 
men taken prisoners by the Alabama and Florida, for whom he had to 
provide. The United States Government had forbidden Consuls to 
draw for gold, and bankers in Brazil refused to buy currency drafts, so 
that for a time it seemed as if the Consul might not be able to feed the 
captured men. The personal character of the Consul enabled him to 
borrow of a British banker the money he would not advance on the 
credit of the United States, and the men were cared for and sent home. 

In May, 1863, the Florida entered the port of Pernambuco, and 
Mr. Adamson made a vigorous protest against her being permitted to 
coal there. In his discussion of the case he was pitted against the 

Thomas Adamson 



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(^Artw, Leoox and TII^m , 


Mary Corson\ 87 

President of the province, who was an eminent lawyer, afterward Minister 
of Foreign Affairs of the empire, and who was assisted by a Judge of the 
Supreme Court, who afterward became the chief legal adviser of the 
Emperor. Consul Adamson's management of the difficult cases he had 
to deal with secured for him the warm commendation of the United 
States Minister at Rio Janeiro and the thanks of the Department of 
State at Washington. His watchful care of the disbursements for relief 
of seamen secured for him the favorable notice of the Treasury Depart- 
ment. His services to vessels in distress caused the Boards of Under- 
writers of New York and Boston to petition the Department of State to 
promote him to a still more important position. 

In April, 1869, Consul Adamson returned home on leave of absence, 
and on the ist of June, 1869, he was appointed to the Consulate at 
Honolulu. On reporting at the department for instructions,' Mr. Adam- 
son was informed that he had been selected for the posts because the 
department wished certain things done there which it had not been able 
to get any Consul to do ; that in carrying out his instructions the Consul 
would probably make himself unpopular, but the duty must be performed, 
even if the Consul had to be sacrificed. Mr. Adamson performed the 
duty assigned to him, and received the thanks of the Department of 
State for his faithful administration, which, as Hamilton Fish said, had 
resulted in turning a Consulate that had cost the Government $30,000 a 
year into a source of large revenue. 

In February, 1871, at the instance of William D. Kelley, Mr. Adam- 
son was appointed to the Consulate at Melbourne, Australia. Shortly 
after his arrival at Melbourne he received from a member of the 
Hawaiian Cabinet an intimation that King Kamehamaha would be 
pleased to have him accept the position of Minister of Foreign Aft'airs 
of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Mr. Adamson highly appreciated the offer, 
but preferred to remain in the service of his own country. In Melbourne 
Mr. Adamson devoted himself to measures for increasing the commerce 
of the United States, and to the repeal of certain laws that interfered 
wuth our shipping. His usefulness was recognized by his promotion to 
the rank of Consul-General at Melbourne, dating from June 17, 1874, 
with supervision of all the Consulates in Australia, New Zealand, and 
Tasmania. During his term of office there he succeeded in obtaining 
the evidence necessary to complete the case of the United States before 
the Tribunal at Geneva, in regard to the claim for damages done to our 
commerce by the Anglo-rebel steamer Shenandoah, after her departure 
from Melbourne, where she had added to her crew and stores. This 
evidence fixed upon the British Government the responsibility for the 
destruction of thirty American whaleships, for which the United States 
were allowed _^ 1,250,000. 

In 1877 Mr. Adamson obtained leave of absence to return home, 
and April 10, 1878 was commissioned as Consul-General at Rio de 
Janeiro, where he served for over four years to the satisfaction of the 
Department of State. At Rio, Mr. Adamson's experience in Consular 
duties and his knowledge of Portuguese enabled him to detect the 
peculations of a subordinate, which had for twenty years escaped the 
notice of his superiors. A part of the stolen money was recovered, and 
turned into the United States Treasury. From Rio de Janeiro Consul- 
General Adamson was transferred to Panama, Colombia, because the 
commencement of v^-ork on the Panama Canal gave that post great 

88 History of the Corson Family. 

importance. On his arrival at Panama, in April, 1883, Mr. Adamson 
was immediately called to take action in a case in which the local 
authorities had exceeded their just powers, and violated the treaty rights 
of two American marines by imprisoning them. William L. Scruggs, 
United States Minister at Bogota, referring to Mr. Adamson's discussion 
of the affair with the President of Panama, said that his arguments were 
unanswerable and covered the whole ground, thus making his own side 
of the case easy in his controversy with the Government at Bogota. 
During 1884-5, Colombia was convulsed by civil war. In December, 
1884, communication with Bogota was cut off, and for five months our 
Minister there could not communicate with Washington. This leftCon- 
sul-General Adamson as the only representative of the United States in 
Colombia with whom the United States Government could communicate 
quickly, or from whom it could receive prompt information of the pro- 
gress of the revolution. Between November, 1884, and May, 1885. 
Panama had six different rulers, constitutional and revolutionary. 

The City of Panama was taken by assault of the rebel forces on the 
i6th of March, 1885, evacuated by them on the 17th, and retaken on 
the 31st of March, 1885. On the last named day, the guerrilla cliief 
Pedro Prestan, who had captured the City of Colon, imprisoned the 
United States Consul at that place, together with other prominent 
Americans, and on the evening of that day he burned the city, render- 
ing 12,000 people homeless. While these events were in progress, there 
was a constant necessity for action upon the various emergencies as they 
arose, and as to which it was impossible to wait for orders from Washing- 
ton. But Consul-General Adamson felt himself strengthened by the 
confidence of the new Secretary of State, Thomas F. Bayard, who sent 
him a message, as follows : "The Depnrtment trusts to your judicious 
management, and the wise discretion which your long experience in tne 
service enables you to exercise during the present trying times, and will 
omit no proper effort to sustain you." 

The burning of Colon and interruption of the Isthmian transit 
route caused the United States Government to send a large military force 
thither. During a part of April, 1885 there were 1,200 United Stales 
marines and blue jackets ashore. On the 24th of April, Commander 
B. McCalla, United States Navy, then commanding the United States 
force ashore, entered the City of Panama and issued a "notice to the 
public," declaring that " no persons with arms will be permitted to 
enter the city by land or by sea." He also arrested the rebel General 
Aizpuru, but soon released him. The notice that no persons bearing 
arms would be permitted to enter the city was of the gravest nature, 
because it forbade the landing of the National Army of the Cauca, which 
arrived to recover legitimate control. Commander McCalla posted a 
company of United States marines on the only wharf, and ordered them 
to fire upon any body of soldiers that might attempt to land there. 
Consul-General Adamson protested against this act, and declared that 
he had no right to attempt to prevent the National Army from landing 
on their own soil. As Commander McCalla persisted in his course, 
Consul-General Adamson cabled to Secretary Bayard, and received a 
reply to the effect that the action of Commander McCalla was unauthor- 
ized and that the United States did not intend any infringement on 
the sovereignty of Colombia. Consul-General Adamson' s action through- 
out was approved by the Department of State at Washington, and the 






Mary Corson^. 89 

representatives of the Colombian Government addressed to him a letter 
thanking him for his action in securing the "bloodless pacification of 
Panama.' ' 

In July, 1885, Consul-General Adamson returned home on leave of 
absence, and tendered his resignation to Secretary Bayard, who requested 
him to retain his place and return to Panama. Mr. Adamson retained 
his place at Panama until July i, 1893, when he was relieved. The last 
dispatch received by Consul-General Adamson from the Department of 
State was signed by Josiah Ouincy, and expressed the recognition of the 
Department, of "the valuable aud efficient services which you have 
rendered to the Government during the long period of time that you 
have been in its service." 

5. Charles Adamson'^, the youngest child of sister Maiy, 
hvcs in Phoenixvillc, Chester County, and has for many years 
been in the employ of the Pennsylvania Railroad, overseeing 
and attending to the many houses of that company in Con- 
shohocken, Norristown, Phoenixville and Pottstown. At 
present he is enjoying himself in leisure hours by a study of 
the writings of old poets and the historians of the nineteenth 
centur}^ a period of the greatest activity and progress the 
world has ever witnessed in efforts to advance the civilization 
of our country so that human rights shall be the inheritance 
of all equally, without distinction of sex, color or nationality. 


Sarah Corson Read*. 

Sarah was the third of father's children who Hved beyond 
their childhood. She was born December 13, 1793, in Ply- 
mouth Township, on what was known as the Campbell Farm, 
near Hickorytown. In 1816 she married Thomas Read. 
They lived for a short time at Hickorytown, and then moved 
to Pawling's Bridge, Chester County ; next, to a farm and mill 
in Upper Merion, Montgomery County ; and finally to Nor- 
ristown, where they both died, Thomas on the 23d of Sep- 
tember, 1856, Sarah on the 8th of May, 1859. Their chil- 
dren were as follows : 

1. Susan Read'', born in 181 5 ; died at the age of seven 

2. Sarah Read", born September 13, 1819 ; married 
Charles Jones. 

3. Hannah Read', born in Januan,-, 1822 ; married 
George Schultz. 

4. MaryAdamson Read", born in September, 1824; mar- 
ried John Roberts. 

5. Edwin Read^, died in infancy. 

6. Louis Wernwag Read'^, born July 5, 1828; married 
Georgine Hurst. 

7. Joseph Corson Read'^, married Minnie Burrins. 

8. Alan Wright Read^, unmarried. 

2. Sarah Read", second of these children, married 

Charles Jones, a farmer in Plymouth Township, where they 

resided until his death, February 14, 1864. They had seven 

children : (i) Ellen Corson Jones^; (2) Joseph Corson Jones^; 

Sarah Corson Read^. 91 

(3) Martha Corson Jones^; (4) Jonathan Read Jones^; 
(5) Charles Jones^; (6) James Cresson JoNES^ and (7) Sarah 
Read Jones^ 

(i) Ellen Corson Jones^ the eldest child, married in 
1864 David R. Jones. They have one child, Eliza R. Jones^. 

(2) Joseph Corson Jones'' (son of Charles and Sarah 
Read Jones), born December 5, 1841, received a good educa- 
tion and remained on the farm with his father until the break- 
ing out of the civil war, when he enlisted in the Fourth Regi- 
ment, Pennsylvania militia, under Colonel Knowerder, of 
AUentown, and Captain Heniy Bonsall, of Norristown. 
The regiment was taken to Hagerstown, Maryland, where it 
was held for a time and then mustered out. He then enlLsted 
in the Seventeenth Pennsylvania Cavaliy, in the army of the 
Potomac, and served in all the battles of his regiment from the 
battle of Chancellorsville to the close of the conflict. The 
most important are the following : Cold Harbor, Seven Days' 
battle, Gettysburg, and the surrender of Lee at Appomattox. 
Although he took part in some of the most hotly contested 
battles of the war, yet he was never seriously wounded. He 
was captured while on a reconnoitering party near Lynchburg, 
Virginia, but soon made his escape. After a faithful and hon- 
orable war ser\dce, he returned home and resumed farming. 
His father had died in 1863, so he assumed the active man- 
agement of the farm, which continued for about three years, 
when he removed to Conshohocken and became a member 
of the firm of E. D. & E. Jones, lumber merchants. The 
firm name was changed in 1880 to Evan D. Jones & Com- 
pany, and after the death of Evan D. Jones (senior member 
of the firm and a cousin to Joseph C), the business passed 
into the hands of Joseph C. Jones, who continued it under the 
old name of Evan D. Jones & Co. 

Joseph C. Jones is a good business man, careful and 
methodical, and has been very successful. He has long been 
recognized as a leading citizen of Conshohocken, in the affairs 
of which he takes an active interest. He has served at 

92 History of the Corson Family. 

various times as a member of Town Council, Board of Health, 
and School Board. He is still a member of the School Board 
and takes a deep interest in the public school system. 

He married, December 5, 1867, Emma Wood (daughter 
of Charles Wood) and they have five children : Nellie Jones^ 
who died at the age of four years ; Charles Wood Jones^ 
associated with his father in the lumber business ; J. C. Frank 
JoNES^ also interested with his father ; Florence Jones^ and 
Alan Wood Jones'. All arc unmarried and living at home 
with their parents. 

(3) Martha Corson Jones'' (third child of Charles and 
Sarah Read Jones) lives with her mother and sister Sarah at 
their home in Conshohockcn. 

(4) Jonathan Read Jonf^® (son of Charles and Sarah 
Read Jones) graduated at the Polytechnic College of Phila- 
delphia and was an architect for a number of years, being 
associated with Mr. Benner under the firm name of Jones & 
Benner. They were very successful designing and building 
many large and important bridges. A few years ago he con- 
nected himself with the Alan Wood Company, the large iron 
manufacturers in Conshohocken, and ha.s since occupied an 
important position in the management of that Company. 

In 1868 he married Hannah C. Wood (daughter of 
David L. Wood) and they were the parents of four children : 

1, Percy Wood Jones^ who married, Januar>', 1894, Helen 
Stanton ; 2, Arthur Jones^ deceased ; 3, Walter Law- 
rence JoNES^ living at home with his father ; and 4, Jona- 
than Raymond JonI':s'. 

Jonathan's wife, Hannah C. (Wood) Jones, died January 

2, 1892. In March, 1894, he married Dora Siedcntoft (a 
cousin to his first wife) and by her has one child, Bertram 
Warner Jones'. 

(5) Charles Jones (fifth child of Charles and Sarah Read 
Jones) learned the trade of a printer with Morgan R. Wills, 
of Norristown, and on December 18, 1869, issued the first 
copy of "The Recorder," of Conshohocken. He has been 

Sarah Corson Read^. 93 

for a number of years in the office of the "Evenmg Bulletin," 
of Philadelphia. He married, in 1871, Emma White, of 
Norristown, where they now reside. Their children are : 
I, Albert W. Jones^ (born November 6, 1871, died August 
27, 1896); 2, Joseph Jones^; 3, Helen Jones^; 4, William 
W. Jones"; 5, Ada Jones^ (deceased) ; 6, Charles Jones^; 
7, Clarence Jones^ and 8, Harry W. Jones" (deceased). 

(6) James Cresson Jones^ (son of Charles and Sarah 
Read Jones) graduated as a civil engineer at the Polytechnic 
College, Philadelphia. He was first employed on the Ply- 
mouth Railroad, afterwards on the Canada Southern Railroad. 
He died in August, 1872, aged twenty-one years. 

(7) Sallie Read Jones'^ (youngest child of Charles and 
Sarah Read Jones) lives with her mother and sister Martha in 
Conshohocken. She is unmarried. 

There are few women who excel these three — Sarah R. 
Jones and her daughters Martha and Sallie — in those benevo- 
lent and unselfish qualities that are essentially present in every 
truly noble and beautiful character. Intelligent, quick-witted, 
and full of quiet humor ; kind and gentle to all, especially to 
the poor and unfortunate ; inflexibly adherent to principle 
and right and as strongly opposed to intemperance and 
injustice — these are some of the qualities that have made 
them respected and esteemed by all who know them. (Post- 
script — Sarah R. Jones, the mother, died July 3, 1896.) 

4. Mary Adamson Read^ (daughter of Thomas and 
Sarah Corson Read) married Nov. i, 1849, John Roberts, of 
Norristown. He died December 20, 1 864 ; she on February, 
4, 1894. Their children numbered four: (i) Elihu R.^ (2) 
Willis R.^ (3) Nellie J.^ and (4) Joseph^ 

(i) Elihu Read Roberts^ married Isabella Webster, of 
Philadelphia ; they have one child, Gene Roberts". 

(2) Willis Read Roberts^ a graduate of Ann Arbor 
University, Michigan, married Margaret M. Jamison, of Norris- 
town ; they have three children: i, Willis Read Roberts, 
Jr.»; 2, Victor Jamison Roberts"; and 3, Paul Greir Rob- 

94 History of the Corson Family. 

(3) Nellie Jones Roberts'' and (4) Joseph Roberts^ 
died at early ages. 

5. Edwin Read died in infancy. 

6. Louis Werxwag Read'' (eldest living son of Thomas 
and Sarah Corson Read) was born at Plymouth, Montgomery 
County, July 5, 1828. His life has been a busy one, full of 
honor and success. Of him Friend Auge thus speaks : 

" There are few persons in our State, in civil, military, or profes- 
sional walks of life, who have had such varied e.xperience as the gentle- 
man whose name heads this sketch. Some of his early years were spent 
atwhatw.isknownas " Read's Mill," situated near the Schuvlkill, in Upper 
Merion Township, Montgomery County, and which his father owned for 
sometime. His rudimentary education was obtained in the common 
schools of the locality, after which he became a pupil for a considerable 
time at Treemount Seminary under Rev. Samuel Aaron. In 1845 ^^ '^ 
very early age he entered from that school, the office of his uncle. 
Dr. William Corson, to study medicine, and graduated from the Medical 
Department of the University of Pennsylvania in 1849, about the time 
of his majority. 

" When the Crimean War between Russia and Turkey and its allies 
broke out, Dr. Read, young and enterprising, offered his services to the 
Russian Government, then needing surgeons. Bearing the requisite 
credentials, he sailed for Russia, entered the service of the Czar in 1855 
as surgeon, and remained during the war and through the terrible siege 
of Sebastopol. WHiile there he effected some important improvements 
in the treatment of gun-shot wounds that elicited the admiration of his 
fellow-surgeons, and were generally adopted. After the war had closed 
he spent several months in the hospitals of Paris for the purpose of 
gaining further experience in the treatment of diseases, and then returned 
to the United States with advantages of experience possessed by few men 
of his age. In the autumn of 1857 he opened an office in Norristown 
and commenced the practice of medicine and surgery, in both of which 
he speedily attained a leading position. In the subsequent year he mar- 
ried Georgine, daughter of Alfred Hurst, who bore him two children- 
Nina Boreiche and Alfred Hurst Read. 

"Mrs. Read was a woman of rare mental gifts, and her death, 
which occurred August 5, 1885, was widely lamented. 

"On the breaking out of the Rebellion in 186 1, although in the 
possession of a large and lucrative practice. Dr. Read offered his services 
and experience to the government, and on June i, 1861, was appoirtcd 
Major and Surgeon of the Thirtieth Pennsylvania Infantry, First 
Reserves, the first three years' regiment. He hold his position until 
July 17, 1863, when he resigned to accept the appointment and promo- 
tion as Surgeon of United States Volunteers, and soon thereafter was 
assigned to duty as Medical Director of the Pennsylvania Reserve Corps, 
Third Division Fifth Army Corps, Army of Potomac, which position he 
filled until November, 1864, when he was transferred from duty in the 
field and placed in charge of the McKimm United States Hospital at 

/ ^ 

Louis W. Read, M. D. 




yh${*f, Lwlox ini TWitHj 



Sarah Corson Read'''. 95 

Baltimore. He continued in that position until after the return of peace, 
when the institution was closed and the officials honorably mustered out 
of the United States service. Dr. Read was brevetted Lieutenant- 
Colonel, United States Volunteers, January 12, 1866, ' for faithful and 
meritorious services during the war.' 

" It may be related in connection with Dr. Read's services as 
United States Army Surgeon that in all human probability he was the 
means of saving the life of General Hancock, while the latter was at his 
father' s house in Norristown and the Doctor at home on a brief visit to 
his family. The General' s wound had been repeatedly probed for the 
ball by army surgeons to no purpose, they expressing the belief that it 
did not remain in the wound, which continued intensely painful. On 
Dr. Read's visit the General seemed despondent of ever being relieved 
except by death, but at Hancock's earnest invitation Dr. Read intro- 
duced a probe, and in a few minutes found the ball and extracted it, to 
the General' s great joy, thus assuring an early recovery which enabled 
him again to take the field and render important services in the suppres- 
sion of the Rebellion. This providential relief of General Hancock 
was a marked professional achievement, and well corresponded with the 
enterprise and self-reliance that at twenty-two years of age led the 
Doctor to enlist in a foreign army with a view of obtaining the highest 
qualifications in his profession. 

" In April, 1866, after an absence and public service of nearly five 
years. Dr. Read returned to Norristown, where he opened his office 
and resumed practice with an experience still more enlarged by such an 
extended tour of duty in the field and hospitals of the country. 

" Upon the election of General Hartranft as Governor of Pennsyl- 
vania and the organization of the Pennsylvania National Guard, Dr. 
Read was appointed Surgeon-General of Pennsylvania, with the rank 
of Brigadier-General, on May 15. 1874, [and reappointed to the same 
position by Governors Beaver, Pattison and Hastings— the last appoint- 
ment being on the 3d of July, 1895. On the 25th of May, 1895, he was 
elected President of the Association of Military Surgeons of the United 
States]. He is a member of the Union League, the Military Order of 
the Loyal Legion of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Historical Society, 
and the Association of the Sons of the Revolution. 

"In 1876 Governor Hartranft appointed Dr. Read to the very 
responsible position of Commissioner for the Insane of the southeastern 
counties of the State. This trust involved the selection of a site, choice 
of a plan and the construction of the buildings at Norristown, all of 
which duties at great sacrifice of his private affairs, were patriotically 
performed ; and to his self-sacrificing efforts the success of this Asylum 
—now acknowledged, not only in this country, but also m Europe, to be a 
model one — is no doubt largely due. 

"Dr. Read has for many years been a member of the Montgomery 
County Medical Society, the Medical Society of Pennsylvania and of 
the American Medical Association." 

7. Joseph C. Read^ in early life was a druggist. After 
serving through the entire RebelHon he went to Minnesota, 
where he engaged in the himber business ; afterwards pursued 
the same business in Florida, where he married Minnie Burrins. 

96 History of the Corson Family. 

He died in Fernandina, in 1889, leaving three children : (i) 
Thomas Read", who died in infancy; (2) Joseph Read'', a 
student of pharmacy living in Norristown ; (3) Daisy Read", 
living with her mother, who is Matron of the Soldiers' Widows' 
Home at Marshallton, Iowa. 

8. Alan Wright Read'' studied dentistry with Brown & 
Coar in Norristown. In 1857 he joined them in Germany; 
practiced his profession there a short time ; then went to 
Copenhagen (Denmark) where he still lives. He is unmarried. 


Joseph Dickinson Corson/- 

Brother Joseph was born in Plymouth Township on the 
"Campbell Farm," January 4, 1799. He married Ann Hagy, 
daughter of William Hagy, of Lower Merion, Montgomery 
County, Pa. Their last years were spent in Norristown, where 
he died, March 30, 1857. He had an unusually bright mind 
and possessed special mathematical talent, as did many of our 
family. His wife died March 20, 1868. Their children who 
passed their minority were: i, Catharine''; 2, Hannah''; 
3, Hiram^ ; 4, William'' ; 5, Isabella'' ; 6, Clara" ; 7, Hum- 
phrey", and 8, Howard^ 

1. Catharine Corson^, died about 1849, unmarried. 

2. Hannah Corson'' is unmarried. Since 1871 she has 
been Supervisor of the Female Insane in the Eastern Hospital 
at Norristown, Pa., where there are at present 1000 female 
patients. It is a responsible position, which she fills to the 
satisfaction of the Trustees and the Chief Physician. She 
enjoys her position, as it affords an opportunity for the exer- 
cise of her administrative ability and her humanity. 

3. Hiram Corson'', whose brilliant literary career makes 
him deserve an extended notice, which here follows : 


Prof. Hiram Corson was born in Philadelphia, on the sixth of 
November, 1828. Up to the age of fifteen he was carefully educated 
at home by his parents. His father, who was an able mathematician, 
kept him at mathematical studies, and when he went to the classical 
and mathematical school, of which the Rev. Dr. Samuel Aaron was 
principal, in Norristown, Pa., he was far in advance of all students of 
his age in mathematics, the study of which he continued, and com- 
pleted the extended course there pursued. At this school and at the 


98 History of the Corson Family, 

classical school, of which the Rev. Dr. Anspach was principal, in Mont- 
gomery County, Penna., he gave the larger portion of his time, for 
nearly five years, to the study of Latin and Greek, reading extensively 
of the literatures of these languages and the opera omnia of several 
authors. In the fall of 1849 ^^ ^^"^"t to Washington, and was, during 
the following winter, connected with the reporting corps in the United 
States Senate. He was also, for a while, private secretary to Lewis Cass. 
In the following summer he became connected with the library of the 
Smithsonian Institution in Washington, then in charge of the accom- 
plished scholar and bibliographer. Prof. Charles C. Jewett, under whose 
guidance, and in the preparation of the catalogues of the library of 
Congress and of the Smithsonian Institution, in accordance with the plan 
originated by Professor Jewett, for the stereotyping of a general alpha- 
betical catalogue of the libraries of the United States, he made a care- 
ful study of bibliography and the management of libraries. He assisted 
Professor Jewett in the preparation of his " Notices of Public Libraries 
in the United States," which was printed by order of Congress in 185 i. 
This work was prepared in pursuance of a scheme to make the 
Smithsonian Institution a center of bibliographical knowledge. 

Professor Jewett' s plan, above referred to, was for stereotyping 
catalogues by separate movable titles. This plan was presented in a 
paper published in the fifth annual report of the Board of Regents of 
the Smithsonian Institution, together with the report of the commis- 
sioners, to whom the plan was referred for examination. It was proved 
to be entirely practicable, and far more economical than any other that 
had been devised. 

A serious disagreement which occurred between Professor Jewett 
and the Secretary of the Smithsonian, Prof. Joseph Henry, resulted in 
the removal of Professor Jewett from his position and the grand cata- 
logue scheme, the realization of which would have proved a great 
service to learning, was unfortunately abandoned. 

During the six or seven years of his connection with the Smith- 
sonian Institution, Professor Corson attended all the courses of literary 
and of scientific lectures given by the distinguished scholars and 
scientists who were engaged by the Institution at that time. He also 
made, with the abundant material at his command, an extended study 
of English, French and German literatures. In September, 1854, he 
married, in Boston, Miss Caroline Rollin, a native of Paris, a lady who 
had been highly educated in France and Germany, and who has, during 
her whole married life, done extensive literary work in the way of trans- 
lations from French and German, and in original contributions to 
periodical literature. She has written valuable articles on Faust, 
Machiavelli, Victor Hugo, etc. 

Their only surviving child, Eugene Rollin Corson, is a prominent 
physician and surgeon in Savannah, Georgia. He has, along with his 
extensive practice there, since 1880. contributed largely to medical 
journals. His elaborate paper on "The Vital Equation of the Colored 
Race and its Future in the United States," has been regarded as a 
valuable contribution to ethnology. 

In 1859 Professor Corson removed with his family to Philadelphia, 
where he devoted himself, for the six following years, to lecturing on 
English literature and kindred subjects, in the Ladies' Seminaries of the 
city and elsewhere. During these years he also prepared students in 

Prof. Hiram Corson, LL. D. 


'PUBL/C library] 

^(•r, Leno, t„o r/ld., ^ 


Joseph Dickinson Corson". 


Latin and Greek and mathematics for admission to the University of 
Pennsylvania, For three of those years he had his own lecture room 
in the city, where, in addition to his outside lectures and teaching, he 
lectured twice a week for twenty-five weeks each year to audiences com- 
posed of the most cukivated people of the city. He was also an active 
member during this time of the "Shakespeare Society of Philadelphia." 

In 1864 he received from the College of New Jersey the degree of 
Master of Arts. 

In March, 1865, he was elected Professor of Moral Science, History 
and Rhetoric, in Girard College, Philadelphia, and was, ex-officio, vice- 
president of the college. By reason of its too onerous duties, he 
resigned this position in August of the following year, having accepted 
the professorship (offered him by Dr. Henry Barnard, the newly elected 
president), of rhetoric and English literature, in St. John's College, 
Annapolis. During his connection with St. John's, literary study in the 
college attained to an unusual prominence. 

In 1870 he was elected Professor of Rhetoric, Oratory, and English 
Literature, in the Cornell University. Since the beginning of the 
academic year, 1890, '91, his professorship has been confined to Eng- 
lish literature, a new and distinct chair having been established of 
English philology and rhetoric. 

Professor Corson has contributed extensively to various journals and 
reviews, articles connected with his line of study, the titles of which 
alone would occupy more space than can be given in this notice, and 
has published the following works: "Chaucer's Legende of Goode 
Women," with an introduction and notes, glossarial and critical, 1863 ; 
" An Elocutionary Manual : with an introductory essay on the study of 
literature, and on vocal culture as indispensable to an aesthetic appre- 
ciation of poetry, " 1864 ; "Address on the Occasion of his Induction as 
Professor of Moral Science, History, and Rhetoric, in Girard College, 
March 29, 1865" ; "A Revised Edition of Jaudon's English Ortho- 
graphical Expositor," 1866, published forthe use of the Southern freed- 
men ; a separate edition of the above essay on the study of literature, 
and on vocal culture, etc., 1867; "The Satires of Juvenal, with a 
literal interlinear translation," 1868; " Handbook of Anglo-Saxon and 
Early English," 1871 ; " Syllabus of a Course of Lectures on the English 
language and literature" 1873; (a second enlarged edition, 1876); 
' ' Jottings on the text of Hamlet ' ' (First Folio versus Cambridge edition), 
1874 ; "The University of the Future : an address delivered before 
the Alumni of St. John's College," July 7, 1875 ! "The Claims of 
Literary Culture" ; an address before the Hahnemann Medical College of 
Philadelphia, September 27, 1875; "The Idea of Personahty and of 
Art as an agency of Personality, as embodied in Browning's poetry," 
a paper read at the eighth meeting of the London Browning Society, 
June 23, 1882, and pu'blished in the Society's Papers, Part III, 1882 ; 
"The Two Voices and A Dream of Fair Women, by Lord Tennyson ; 
with a biographical and general introduction and explanatory and critical 
notes," 1882 ; Response to the Toast, "The True Scholar," made at 
the sixth annual dinner of the N. Y. Alumni Association of Cornell 
University, March 31, 1886 ; "An Introduction to the study of Robert 
Browning' s poetry, ' ' 1 886. Of this work the poet wrote, ' ' Let it remain as 
an assurance to younger poets that after fifty years' work unattended by any 
conspicuous recognition, an over-payment may be made, if there is such 


loo History of the Corson Family. 

another munificent appreciator as I have been permitted to find ; in 
which case let them, even if more deserving, be equally gratified." 
This work has been the most extensively used of all the numerous works 
on Browning's poetry which have been published since the founding of 
the Browning Society of London. " An introduction to the study of 
Shakespeare," 1889 ; this is an introduction to the study of the Plays as 
plays. The work called forth immediately on its publication the most 
favorable notices from leading journals, literary magazines, and reviews, 
in the United States, England and Germany, evincing a general sense of 
the need of a higher study of the dramatist than the merely textual 
study pursued in the schools. 

The London Spectator, in its extended article on the work, February 
15, 1890, says : " If we were asked to give any one feature which had 
especially struck us in reading Dr. Corson's Introduction to Shakespeare, 
we should at once answer — its common sense. Upon reflection, and 
in dread of misconstruction, we might substitute the expression, clear- 
ness of judgment, or simplicity and directness of insight or thought ; 
but to ourselves, in all the comfort of intimacy, where there is no danger 
of misunderstandings, we said common-sense, and are tempted to leave 
the expression for those to whom it will carry its full weight of com- 

The New York Nation, of November 14, 1889. says : 
"The volume is full of interest, and is marked by its individuality ; 
but its great merit is that it exemplifies tlie spirit in which Shakespeare 
should be studied, standing squarely against the metaphysical and mor- 
alizing perversion, the superfine intellectuality, and all the misconcep- 
tions of dramadc art and confusion of aesthetic standards which came 
upon us from Germany, and have been fostered by the transcendental 
and latter-day critics of this country. As an ' Introduction' this book 
sets the student upon the right lines at once, and frees him from many 
errors before he has time to entertain them ; and the writer speaks with 
such spirit and decision that he cannot be misunderstood. Altogether, 
so excellent a volume of Shakespeare criticism has not been put forth 
by an American scholar in many a day." 

" A Primer of English Verse, chiefly in its leslhetic and organic 
character," 1892. In this work but little attention is given to the mere 
mechanics of verse ; it introduces the student to the higher study of 
verse as an inseparable, organic element of poetic expression. It has 
been extensively used in schools and colleges, and has given a new 
direcdon to an important line of literary study — important as conduc- 
ing to the informing life of poetical productions. 

"The Aims of Literary Study," 1895. This work has done much 
to revolutionize literary study in schools and colleges. The Atlantic 
Monthly,]\xrv&, 1895, says of it : " The truths which he sets forth are 
of the kind that enter the mind like light ; they do not knock like an 
officer of the law." The School Review. " The sympathetic insight for 
the spiritual in literature that Dr. Corson possesses in so high a degree, 
is a rare possession among the sons of men." 

Professor Edward Everett Hale, Jr. , writes in The Dial: • • We have 
to-day very, very few teachers of English literature who have exercised 
any such influence over their students as Zarncke exercised for manv 
years over some of the best scholars of Germany. But of these few 
there can be be no doubt that Professor Corson is one. I do not know 

Joseph Dickinson Corson^'. loi 

who among the younger teachers of English have ever studied with him; 
but they know themselves, which is the important matter, and their 
students reap the benefit of it. Among all the teachers in America, I 
suppose Professor Corson is one of the few who are really men of genius. 
.... Professor Corson has a keenness of insight into the living 
meaning of things that I can compare only with the power of Mr. Ruskin, 
or possibly of Professor Dowden, among those now living who have 
given thought and study to the interpretation of literature. It is only 
of recent years that this power has come to expression in books. And 
these books, remarkable contributions to criticism as they are, do not 
adequately convey Professor Corson' s influence. It is therefore an excel- 
lent thing that he. has now endeavored to condense the spirit of his 
teaching into an essay called 'The Aims of Literary Study.' . . , Ithas 
the great merit of conveying successfully just what itattempts to convey. 
... A student of Professor Corson's who reads it feels at once a 
revival of the old fire that was kindled when he first went into that 
stuffy lecture-room in White Hall. On others, the effect will perhaps 
hardly be so striking ; but still the book will say what it is meant to say. 
It is a very small book ; in fact, it is an i8mo. I wish it were larger, lor 
it ought to hold a place of dignity on the book-shelf alongside of works 
of greater size but less excellence. In its present shape, however, it 
will be easier to bind it upon the tablet of the heart, which is rather 
more to the purpose." 

Says the New York Evangelist: "Not Matthew Arnold himself 
has given, or could give, a more clear and lucid and persuasive exposi- 
tion of the subject of which it treats. In fact, Arnold's celebrated 
definition of culture, as a knowledge of the best that has been thought 
and said in all ages, seems poor and superficial beside Professor Corson' s 
warm and effective contention that culture is not knowing at all, but 
being, or, at least, knowing for the purpose of being. Never before, 
perhaps, was the idea of literary education lifted to so high a plane and 
so successfully carried over from the realm of the purely intellectual 
into the region of the spiritual. This is the power and persuasiveness 
of the little book — the light that shines through it is a spiritual light. 
Its interpretation of things intellectual is a spiritual interpretation. And 
yet it is very far from being cloudy, or vague, or above the head of the 
ordinary reader — the ordinary student or teacher of English. Many of 
the utterances have the precision and brilliancy of epigrams. The little 
volume contains much that is quotable, much that, if space permitted, 
we should give to our readers. We would call the attention of parents 
to what the author has to say on vocal culture as hardly less important 
than his lofty ideal of literary study." 

"The Voice and Spiritual PIducation," 1896; this work was as 
favorably received as the preceding, and the highest commendations 
were bestowed upon it by leading literary and educational organs. 
"Selections from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (Ellesmere Text), edited 
with Introduction, Notes, and Glossary," 1896. This work, published 
but two months ago, bids fair to be the leading text-book, in the study 
of Chaucer. 

Professor Corson, was among the earliest engaged lecturers at the 
Peabody Institute, in Baltimore. In January, 1868, he gave a course 
of lectures there on the poetry of Milton to large audiences. During 
the many years of his connection with the Cornell University (at the 

I02 History of the Corson Famity. 

time of the writing of this article, twenty-five), he has been in demand 
as a lecturer and reader ; and when his university duties have permitted, 
he has accepted invitations to lecture and read in various cities and 
towns of the country. In June, 1877, he read before the New Shakes- 
peare Society, in University College, London, a paper on the develop- 
ment of Shakespeare's verse as a chronological test. He has been a 
vice-president of the society for a number of years. In 1878, in con- 
sideration of his literary services, St. John's College conferred upon him 
the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. In June, 1882, he read a 
paper on Personality, and Art as an agency of Personality, before the 
Browning Society of London, in University College, of which the poet 
wrote to Dr. Furnivall, the founder of the society : "If your society 
had produced nothing more than Professor Corson's paper, I should feel 
abundantly grateful." 

Professor Corson has been instrumental in establishing and guiding 
a large number of Browning clubs in different parts of the country, and 
has carried on an extensive correspondence with Browning students. 
He has probably done more to promote the study of the poet than any 
one else in the country. He had conducted a club in the University, 
and had lectured on Browning in various places for some years before 
the London Browning Society was formed, in 1881. Up to that time 
the general reader had hardly looked into the poet's works, which had 
the undeserved reputation of being "wilfully obscure, unconscientiously 
careless and perversely harsh." Their quickening power has, of late 
years, been experienced by thousands, and thousands are indebted to 
Professor Corson for their introduction to this power. 

In the winter terms of 1883, '84, and '85, he lectured at the Johns 
Hopkins University, having been appointed for a period of three years 
lecturer on English literature. The first course comprised ten lectures, 
five on the aesthetics of English verse, and five on the poetic ideals of 
the nineteenth century, as exhibited in the poetry of Tennyson, Robert 
Browning, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning ; the second comprised 
twenty lectures on the poetry and drama of the Restoration period, and 
on the subsequent drama to Sheridan, inclusive ; the third, twenty 
lectures on Shakespeare. Of the last course. President Oilman, in his 
annual report, 1885, says: " Professor Corson, whose instructions dur- 
ing two preceding winters had exercised a marked influence in this 
community, gave twenty lectures upon Shakespeare in January, Feb- 
ruary, and March. After two introductory discourses, he discussed ten 
of the principal plays, namely, Romeo and Juliet, King John, Much 
Ado About Nothing, Hamlet, Macbeth, Coriolanus. Julius Ca:sar, 
Antony and Cleopatra, Winter's Tale, and Cvmbeline. It was the 
speaker's purpose, as he stated it, "to represent the poet's early, middle, 
and late work, and, along with a presentation of the organic structure 
of the plays selected, to indicate Shakespeare's progress in the creation 
of character, to contrast his portrayal of character with that of Ben 
Jonson and other contemporary dramatists, ... in a word to 
present the plays on the human side rather than on the scholastic. 
... So large a number of persons desired to hear Professor 
Corson and Mr. Gosse (who gave a course of lectures on the rise of 
classical poetry m England from Shakespeare to Pope), that the authori- 
ties of the Peabody Institute kindly opened one of their large halls to 
the university, and these lectures were therefore announced as under 
the auspices of both foundations. ' ' 

Joseph Dickinson Corson^. 103 

As the result of forty years lecturing on English Literature, and 
kindred subjects, Professor Corson has a large mass of literary material 
which he hopes to find time before his working powers fail him, to pre- 
pare for publication. This material covers the whole field of English 
Literature from the Anglo-Saxon epic of Beowulf, of the 8th century, 
to the present time. 

4. William Corson^ (fourth child of Joseph and Ann Cor- 
son), died unmarried, in Portsmouth, Ohio, October i, 18C4. 

5. Isabella Corson^ (fifth child of Joseph and Ann 
Corson), married George A. Lenzi, of Norristown. Their chil- 
dren are : 

(i) Anne Corson Lenzi^ married to Thomas Scott of 
North Wales. 

(2) William Corson LENZI^ assistant teller in the First Na- 
tional Bank of Norristown. 

(3) Marie Blanche Lenzi^ and (4) Claribel Lenzi*, 
the last three unmarried and living with their parents. All the 
daughters have shown marked artistic ability. 

6. Clara Corson^ (sixth child of Joseph and Ann Cor- 
son), married William John Sholl; their children are: (i) 
Albert Edward^ and (2) Anna McClureI 

(i) Albert Edward Sholl* married Mary Mills of 
Canajoharie, N. Y.; they have one child, Helen Corson 
Sholl^ born in 1890. 

(2) Anna McClure Sholl* is engaged in literary work, 
and has shown considerable talent as a writer. 

7. Humphrey Corson'' (seventh child of Joseph and Ann 
Corson), married Ella Bowman of Kent County, Md. He 
died August 19, 1892. Their children are : 

(i) Evelyn Corson* married Frank Webb Blake of 
Norfolk, Va., and they have one child, Mary Corson BLAKE^ 

born in 1890. 

(2) Emma Rubena Corson*, unmarried, teaching near 


(3) Walter Bowman Corson*, unmarried. 

8. Howard Corson^ (the youngest child of Joseph and Ann 
Corson), died unmarried at Norristown, January 21, 1870. 


Charles Corson^. 

Charles was the third son of Joseph and Hannah D, 
Corson, and was born at the Hickorytown home, January 22, 
1801. He married Sarah Egbert (daughter of Laurence 
Egbert and a sister of Mary who married brother Alan) and 
they Hved for more than fort)' years on their large farm at 
the junction of the Perkiomen and Skippack Creeks, in Lower 
Providence Township, Montgomery County. There they both 
died, Sarah on the 23d of August, 1864 (she was born, March 
17, 1801), Charles on the 5th of May, 1878, aged 76 years, 
3 months, 13 days. They are both buried in Montgomery 
Cemetery at Norristown. 

Though busily engaged in the labors of a farm of 177 
acres, Charles was not inattentive to what was passing around 
him. At the time he and his good wife commenced farming, 
the anti-slavery subject was beginning to exercise the people 
of PennsyK^ania, and especially of that portion of it between 
the Marjdand line and Philadelphia and Harrisburg. 

Charles was an impulsive man with an inborn courage 
that enabled him to espouse openly, and advocate boldly, 
any cause which had for its object the bettering of the com- 
munity. But not that alone ; his .sympathies were with the 
sufferer, wherever found, and he therefore entered boldly 
the ranks of the anti-slavery people — the hated abolitionists 
as they were then regarded. He entered the contest early, 
even before the formation of the Anti-Slavery Society of 
Philadelphia in 1837. The members of the Montgomery 

County Historical Society have recently asked me, one of 

Charles Corson^. 


their members, to write an account of the work done by 
abohtionists in Montgomery County ; from which I may be 
allowed to draw testimony in relation to Charles' participancy 
in anti-slavery work. In writing the account the county 
was divided into sections, so as better to individualize each 
one's work. The Lower Providence section is made up of a 
group of ten or fifteen men and women, of whom Charles 
Corson and wife are a part. The work done by this group 
was continued for many years and during the lifetime of 
Charles was carried on by him with great vigor and fearlessness. 
His house was a station on the " Underground Railroad," 
where fugitives were housed, secreted, and, when opportunity 
offered, sent on over the line to the next station, and so on to 

Numerous were the cases brought at night to his house 
by the other abolitionists of that and the Chester County 
group. I will mention a single one, the case of Rachel, or 
" Rache," as she was called. She had been a slave in Balti- 
more, but had escaped to West Chester, where she remained 
until the " Master " had her arrested. Her escape from her 
"Master" and her reception by Dr. Fussell is a thrilling 
histoiy ; but as these incidents occured in Chester County, 
we will start with her when she and three others were brought 
by Dr. Fussell to William Taylor's, in Phoenixville. Mr. Taylor, 
in speaking of it, said, " I arose and mounted my horse to 
pilot them ; we crossed the Schuylkill River at Phoenixville. 
There was then (forty-four years ago) no bridge there and the 
night was very dark. I took Dr. Fussell and his part)^ to 
Charles Corson's. A large part of the road was through 
woods and so dark that I had to feel the way and lead the 
Doctor's horse. We crossed the Perkiomen Creek at Tyson's 
Mill and got to Charles Corson's about midnight. I left 
Dr. Fussell and party at Corson's, and returned home at three 
o'clock that night. The next day Charles Corson geared to 
his market wagon and took ' Rache ' to the home of William 
H. Johnson at Buckingham, Bucks County (another important 

io6 History of the Corson Family. 

Underground Railroad station) — a distance of about twenty- 
five miles. Mr. Johnson then wrote to her husband in West 
Chester to tell him where she was. The husband, who was a 
free man, gave a power of attorney to some one in West 
Chester to dispose of his property and forward the receipts to 
him at Waterloo, Canada, where husband and wife finally 
reached." He also gives the cases of John and Jane French ; 
Periy and Lucy Simons ; Eliza, a slave mother and her son ; 
all of whom came to the Upper Providence Group and were 
carried across the Perkiomen to Charles Corson, and by him 
sent on and on, to the Underground Railroad stations in Ikicks 
County, and to all of the others until they were safe in Canada. 
Mr. Taylor in his account of the work, said "so, it would 
appear to those who- stood aloof, that the road of those 
engaged in the Underground Railroad was not strewn with 
flowers, but there was a consolation that outsiders did not 

The children of Charles and Sarah h^gbert Corson who 
lived beyond their childhood were : 

^, I. Richard Reed Corson", married Louisa Williams. 
^^*"'''' 2?^ William Egbert Corson", married Hannah Highley. 
"^^'""S. George Norman Corson', married Maria Hurst. 

4. Adelaide Corson'^, married Albert Crawford. 

5. Susan Rogers Corson", married Felix Francis Highley. 

6. John Jacobs Corson^ married Rebecca P^reedley. 

7. Mary Francis Corson", unmarried. 

8. Laurence Egbert Corson^, deceased ; was unmarried. 
Their first born, also named Laurence Plgbert Corson, 

died in infancy, as did also their second born, Joseph Leedom 
Corson, and their fourth child, PLleanor Corson ; their sixth 
child, Joseph Norman Corson, was drowned at an early age. 

I. Richard Reed Corson^ born October 31, 1825, mar- 
ried December 28, 1863, Louisa Williams (daughter of PMward 
and Maria Williams), of New Castle, Del. He served with 
distinction in the Civil War, in the cavalry branch of the 
service, attaining the rank of Major. After the war was 

(' THE 


Charles Corsorf. 107 

ended he engaged in the real estate business in Norristown. 
His wife, Louisa Williams Corson, is a woman of superior 
intelligence and highly gifted as a musician. They have three 
children : (i) Charles Edward^; (2) Marie^ and (3) Louise 

(i) Charles Edward Corson^ is in the real estate busi- 
ness ; he is unmarried. 

(2) Marie Corson^ married William E. Albertson, (son 
of the late J. Morton Albertson,) who is at the head of the 
Albertson Trust Company of Norristown. They have three 
childien : i, Marie Albertson^; 2, Howard Albertson", 
and 3, William Lee Albertson^ 

(3) Louise Harding Corson^ married September 24, 
1896, George Clay Bowker, son of the late John Bowker, of 

2. William Egbert Corson'' (son of Charles and Sarah 
Egbert Corson), born October 3, 1829, married January 8, 
1856, Hannah Highley (daughter of George and Ann [Francis] 
Highley), and they had five children, the last two (twins) dying 
in infancy. The mother also died shortly after their birth. 
The other three children are : (i) Frank Egbert'*; (2) 
Charles^ and (3) AnnieI 

(i) Frank Egbert Corson^ married Rebecca Hughes, 
and they had one child, Helen Corson^ who is now an 
orphan, her mother dying several years ago, and later her 
father was killed by a fall from a building in a Western State, 
where he was temporarily engaged, working at his trade, that 
of a carpenter. 

(2) Charles Corson'* moved to a Western State and 

(3) Annie Corson^ married the Rev. William T. Way, 
who is the Rector of Emanuel Episcopal Church in Baltimore, 
where they live. 

3. George Norman Corson^ (third son of Charles and 
Sarah Egbert Corson), was born March 11, 1833. After 

io8 History of the Corson Family. 

teaching in the public schools for a short time, he commenced 
the study of law and in due time was admitted to the Bar, 
where he soon assumed a leading position ; he was a member 
of the Constitutional Convention and has held other important 
positions. He married, September 29, 1859, Maria Hurst, 
(daughter of Alfred Hurst). Their children, who have 
reached adult life, are : (i) Georgine^; (2) Simon Cameron^; 
(3) Rosalie®; (4) Harold^ and (5) ChalfordI 

(i) Georgine Corson* married J. Sherburn Singer and 
they have one child, J. Sherburn Singer, Jr.^ 

(2) Simon Cameron Corson* is a civil engineer ; he is 

(3) Rosalie Corson* married George N. Weaver, and 
they have one child. Hurst Weaver^ 

(4) Harold Corson* is a conveyancer and Justice of the 
Peace ; he married Carrie, daughter of the late Kphraim and 
Margaret A. Gautier ; they have no children. 

(5) Chalford Corson* is unmarried. 

4. Adelaide Corson^ (eldest daughter of Charles and 
Sarah Egbert Corson), born October 28, 1834, married Novem- 
ber 29, 1855, Albert Crawford, a prosperous farmer of Lower 
Providence Township, Montgomery County, and they are the 
parents of four living children : (i) Joseph*; (2) J. Norman*; 
(3) Sarah C.*, and (4) Marv F.* 

(i) Joseph Crawford\ who is unmarried, is in the drug 
business in Philadelphia, and has been \cry successful. 

(2) J. Norman Crawford* succeeded his father in the 
management of the large farm owned by the latter ; he mar- 
ried Josephine, daughter of the late Samuel Rittcnhouse, and 
they have two children : (i) Bessie P'rancis Crawford^ and 
(2) Adelaide Corson Crawford^. 

(3) Sarah Corson Crawford* married Wallace B. Hen- 
derson, of Upper Merion Township, Montgomery County; 
she died August 8, 1896. They have two children : i, 
Joseph Crawford Henderson^ and 2, Allen Traquair 

George N. Highley, M. D. 

Charles Corson^. 109 

(4) Mary Francis Crawford'^ is unmarried ; she resides 
with her parents. 

5. Susan Rogers Corson^ (daughter of Charles and 
Sarah Egbert Corson), born December 9, 1836, married 
Januar>' i, 1857, Fehx Francis Highley, a son of George and 
Ann Francis Highley (and a brother to Hannah, who married 
Susan's brother William). They lived for about eighteen 
years after their marriage on their farm in Schuylkill Town- 
ship, Chester County, at the confluence of the Pickering Creek 
with the River Schuylkill, and then moved to a farm which 
they purchased, near Jeffersonville, in Norriton Township, 
Montgomery County ; finally, in 1884, they moved into their 
present home, in the eastern suburbs of Norristown, where 
they have been living a quiet retired life. They have had six 
children, the eldest of them, Albert Crawford Highley*, 
born March 22, 1858, died at the age of 12 years and 8 days. 
Their living children are: (i) George N.^; (2) Ione B.*; 
(3) Charles C.*; (4) Sarah C.^ and (5) Nannie P.« 

(i) George Norman HIGHLEY^ M. D., eldest living child of 
Felix Francis and Susan Rogers (Corson) Highley, was born 
August 13, 1859, on the Schuylkill Township farm, in the 
house (which is still standing) built by his great grandfather, 
Heniy Highley. He studied medicine with his great-uncle, 
the late Dr. William Corson, and graduated from the University 
of Pennsylvania, March 15, 1881 After practising for a short 
time in Roxborough, Philadelphia, he moved to Conshohocken 
(June 12, 1882), where he has since resided. He married, 
June I, 1887, Maiy Wood Wilson (daughter of the late 
William and Annie H. [Yerkes] Wilson) and they have had 
three children : i, Albert Wilson Highley^ who died May 
23, 1893, aged 4^ years; 2, Annie Wilson Highley^ born 
April 4, 1893, and 3, Charles Corson Highley, Jr.^ born 
June 8, 1895. 

Dr. George N. Highley is an active member of the 
Montgomery County Medical Society, the Medical Society of 
Pennsylvania, the American Medical Association, and the 

no History of the Corson Family. 

Obstetrical Society of Philadelphia. He is a Director of the 
Tradesmen's National Bank of Conshohocken, and is now 
serving his second term as Burgess of the borough. 

(2) loNE B. HiGHLEY*, boHi November 11, i860, married 
Henry Lawrence Everett, proprietor of The Aimers' Review of 
Philadelphia. Both she and her husband have decided literary 
tastes and have travelled extensively : they have no children. 

(3) Charles Corson Higiilev'', born February 23, 1862, 
is unmarried. After having been a student at law for a short 
period he was appointed (in 1882) Cashier of the Malvern 
National Bank, which position he still holds, as well as a 
directorship in the same institution. He is also a Justice of 
the Peace and a general business man in Malvern, Chester 
County, whose people hold him in high esteem. 

(4) Sarah Corson Highlev, born October 18, 1863, 
married George Meade Holstein, a son of Dr. George W. 
Holstein, of Bridgeport, Montgomer}'- County. Her husband 
is the general manager of the Bertha Zinc and Mineral Com- 
pany, Pulaski, Virginia, where the\' reside. They ha\'e three 
children : i, Abbv P""ou Albade Holstein", born July 19, 
1893 ; 2, George Meade Holstein, Jn.^born March 9, 1895 ; 
and 3, Francis Highley Holstein", born July 16, 1896. 

(5) Nannie Pawning HIGHLEY^ born May 5, 1873, lives 
with her parents in Norristown. 

6. John Jacobs Corson' (son of Charles and Sarah 
Egbert Corson), born Januar>^ 5, 1839, has been a successful 
business man in Norristown, where he has resided since he 
attained his manhood. He has been long recognized as a 
leading real estate agent and conveyancer, and an able 
financier. He is a Director of the Montgomery Trust and 
Safe Deposit Company, and is largely interested in the building 
associations and other financial institutions of the boro'ugh. 
He married, April 8, 1872, Rebecca Pawling Freedley 
(daughter of Henry Freedley, and great granddaughter of 
Joseph Heister, a former Governor of Pennsylvania). They 
have eight children : (i) Nellie Corson ; (2) Susan R. 

John J. Corson 



yA»Ur, Lenox tni TII^M , 



Charles Corson'' 


(Daisy) Corson^; (3) Alice Corson^ ; (4) John Jay Corson* ; 
(5) Henry Freedley Corson^; (6) Paula Corson"; (7) Russel 
Corson^ and (8) Dorothy Corson^ 

7. Mary Francis Corson^ (youngest daughter of Charles 
and Sarah Egbert Corson), born March 29, 1841, and her 
brother, 8, Laurence Egbert Corson'', born November 3, 1842, 
continued to live at the old homestead after the death of their 
father in 1878, and until the death of Laurence in February, 
1888. They operated the farm very successfully during that 
time, working in perfect harmony and love — each striving to 
better the condition of the other. Both were possessed of 
bright and intellectual minds, and were leaders of thought in 
their neighborhood and among their circle of acquaintances. 
Laurence died of an acute illness, February 16, 1888. 
Mary Francis then took up her residence with her sisters, 
Susan R. Highley and Adelaide Crawford, alternately. For 
several years before the death of her brother she suffered 
greatly with rheumatism and it afterwards afflicted her so 
much that she became unable to leave her bed or chair and 
has since remained in that unfortunate condition. Though 
her body has been deeply afflicted and pain and distress are 
her constant companions, she has borne it all with a Christian 
fortitude and forbearance. It can very truthfully be said of 
her that kindness and Christian charity have characterized her 
whole life. 


George Corson"'. 

George Corson^ (fourth son of Joseph and Hannah 
Dickinson Corson), was born Januaiy 4, 1803, at Hickory- 
town, in Plymouth Township. He was an apt scliolar with a 
remarkable mathematical talent, equalling if not excelling his 
brothers, Alan W. and Joseph D., who were distinguished in 
their neighborhoods for the same talents, and which was a 
characteristic of their father. In brother Alan's school, where 
were congregated some of the brightest minds from different 
parts of the county, George led them all in that branch of 
studies ; while in reading, and more especial)}' in spelling, he 
fell behind many of them, being very careless about these 
branches. When grown to adult age he engaged in store- 
keeping with Jonathan Maulsby at Plymouth Meeting, and as 
the business was one to which he had been accustomed, while 
with his father, he was successful to a great degree. On 
Januaiy 24, 1832, he married Martha Maulsby, daughter of 
Samuel and Susan IMaulsby, ncc Thomas. Samuel Maulsby 
was the owner of a large and fertile farm at Plymouth Meeting, 
where in addition to the farming operations the burning of 
lime was extensively carried on by him. After the death of 
his father-in-law, George purchased the homestead and the 
hmestone quarries and continued the business successfully 
until his death from consumption, November 18, i860, in the 
58th year of his age. 

Moses Auge, in his Biography of Men of Montgomery 
County, says of him : " He was justly distinguished for high 
moral qualities, being a most untiring temperance and anti- 


George Corson 



^/^»ttr, Leno> an* TII4««y 

i9uy ^ 

George Corson^. u, 

slavery reformer. Few men have exercised a better influence 
in the neighborhood, than the subject of this sketch. Though 
never a member of Friends' Meeting, he and his wife were 
frequent attendants of it, and their children were brought up 
in accordance with the principles of the Society." There are 
a few incidents of his life which will outline his character, 
better than any eulogium, which after the fashion of biogra- 
phers would do. At the time of cariying on his varied opera- 
tions at Plymouth and especially in the lime business where 
the men employed had long been exceedingly abusive to 
horses, he exercised a marked influence for good. Not a 
man was allowed to strike or maltreat a horse, and even the 
carters in the employ of others, were often stopped in their 
abuse of the animals, by his fearless interference. No threats 
of injury from the drivers checked him for a moment. I have 
several times seen the whip and even clubs raised to strike 
him, but those who raised them quailed before the courage 
and demands of the friend of the noble animal. 

When he added lime burning to his other business 
operations, it was the universal practice to furnish whiskey 
to the laborers. Among the workmen were a few called 
"•archers." It was their business to construct the arch. On 
account of the skill deemed necessary they received double 
wages. While the men received but a dollar per day the 
archers received two dollars. They were specialists and went 
from kiln to kiln in the neighborhood wherever such work was 
needed. Many of the workmen drank heavily, and there was 
sometimes great loss by reason of "bad burns," a term in 
use to designate a failure to have the stone well converted 
into lime ; fights among the men were also common, and 
George determined to stop the "grog." 

When he announced to the men, that no more liquor 
would be given to them, and that they should not bring any 
of their own, there were grumbling and oaths in abundance. 
The archers struck at once. They felt confident that he could 
not burn lime if they all refused to "arch," and that he would 

114 History of the Corson Family. 

soon come to their terms, Those people who best knew 
George Corson, knew full well that there would be no com- 
promise. They felt that a man of his mathematical talent 
and mechanical genius could easily be "foreman" and 
" archer," too, if need be. Hiring outside men, in place of 
those who quit the work, he stood on the top of the kiln and 
directed raw hands, where to lay the "arch stones," one after 
another till the arch was completed, and it was a success. 
From that time the business of "arching" was a lost one. 
Since then any of the common workmen can arch, and with- 
out increase of wages in his business. Other manufacturers 
of lime continued to give whiskey to the men for a time, 
some of them for years, but eventually, seeing how much 
better the business could be done without its being used, it was 
abandoned. Now, it is not given b\- any lime burner. 

As AN Anti-Slavkrv Man. 
As early as 1830, Benjamin Lundy, the little New Jersey 
Quaker, came to Plymouth to speak about slavery, and to 
show that the Southern slave-holders were scheming to embroil 
the United States with Mexico, and then to wrest Texas from 
that country, in order to have a vast, new and fertile region 
consecrated to slaver}-. F'ricnd Lundy was also desirous to 
procure subscribers to the Genius of Universal Ematieipation, 
a paper he was then publishing in the City of Baltimore. He 
came to George Corson's house and was entertained. George 
procured the Friends' Meeting-house in which to hold a 
meeting in the evening. Word was sent around to the resi- 
dents, but when the time came there were ver^^ few present — 
only Alan, George and Hiram Corson, Jonathan Maulsby and 
his sister, George Corson's wife, Jonathan Adamson, and two 
or three others. In a quiet, conversational tone Benjamin gave 
his views on the enormity of slavery in the United States ; 
told of his travels through Texas, undertaken in order to 
discover the condition of its people ; and especially their views 
of slavery in the States. He also laid bare the scheme of 
our Southern people to secure that vast region for the extension 



, Asur, Leno^ and TildM ^ 



George Corson''. 115 

of slavery. This was the awakening of George Corson and 
his wife to the subject which for many years strongly engaged 
his attention and sympathy, and led him to give entertainment 
and encouragement to anti-slaver>^ lecturers. It was the 
beginning of a generous hospitahty which was given to the 
advocates of anti-slavery for a period of thirty years. He 
subscribed for the Genms of Emancipation and thus kept 
abreast of the anti-slavery movement so that when William 
Lloyd Garrison made his famous declaration, George occupied 
a foremost position. 

The Anti-Slaver>^ Society of the nation was formed in 
1833, and he was ready to join hands with the hated aboli- 
tionists, as they were called. From that time he and his 
excellent wife, the youngest daughter of Samuel Maulsby, 
threw open their house to all the anti-slavery speakers, 
attended meetings, far and near, conveyed speakers to meet- 
ings gotten up for them, and while ever they remained in the 
neighborhood gave them a home. Garrison, McKim, Charles 
and Cyrus Burleigh, the renowned Lucretia Mott, Miss Mary 
Grew and her zealous friend, Mrs. Cyrus Burleigh — then 
Margaret Jones — Abby Kelley, the zealous and eloquent, 
afterwards married to the abolitionist, Stephen Foster, and many 
others, were entertained by his good wife and himself This 
now seems a trifling matter to talk about, to those who have 
been born since those days ; but to others who know how 
abolitionists were denounced by nearly the whole of our peo- 
ple, how ministers in their pulpits spoke of them as infidels, 
for going against slavery which was sanctioned by the Bible 
and was a divine institution ; how the vulgar people, sup- 
ported by the minister's belief, cursed them and mobbed 
them; how even Friends "dealt" with those of their members 
who took active part with the abolitionists ; how even their 
beloved preacher, the amiable and Christian Lucretia 
Mott and her husband, were treated with extreme coldness 
and heavy censure by Friends with whom they had a long 
time worshipped ; I say that to those who lived in these times 

ii6 History of the Corson Family. 

and knew of those things, the open advocacy of George 
Corson and his wife and their taking these '1 hated people " to 
their home, was not a trifling affair, but a heroic act, bom of 
courage and nobleness. 

Only persons of courage and deep convictions were 
found in the ranks of the aboHtionists in the early days of the 
anti-slavery struggles. It was at that time safe and respect- 
able to be a Colonizationist, for the slave-holders approved it 
as a means for removing from their midst the free negroes, 
whose freedom caused the slaves to long for it, too, and made 
them restless and dissatisfied. So, Northern people, who 
hated abolitionists, could prate boldly of being Coloniza- 
tionists, and consequently advocates of freedom for them. 

George Corson was, one day, on a visit to his brother 
Charles, who lived at the junction of the Skippack and 
Perkiomen creeks, and while coming home on the back road 
not much travelled, overtook a man on horseback, and behind 
him on foot a black man, with a rope around his neck, the 
other end being fastened to the rider's saddle. This unusual 
and disgraceful sight attracted his attention, but knowing as 
he did, that many colored men had been caught by their 
former masters and taken south, he at once took in the situa- 
tion, and riding up to the master asked him why he was 
taking the man along in that way ; the slaveholder replied, 
that *' the man had been his slave, had ran away, that he had 
found him and was taking him home." After some further talk, 
George hurried on to Norristown and got a warrant in order 
to arrest him. When the slaveholder came to the town he 
was arrested and taken before a Justice of the Peace (?) The 
master procured a lawyer, and the office was soon filled 
with people, indignant that a Southern gentleman (?) should 
have been thus insulted, and Norristown disgraced, by having 
him arrested. The Magistrate decided that the master had a 
right to his property — his slave — and ordered the prosecutor 
to pay the costs. "The master has a right to his property ; 
you want to rob him of his property," was the battle cry of 

< > 

H z 
o — 

I ? 

George Corsoi'f. 117 

the pro-slavery people everywhere at that time. George 
Corson was a small man and at that time a weak one, but a 
truer, braver man never stood by the side of a friend in his 
hour of peril. He died November 13, i860. 

Of the children of George and Martha Maulsby Corson, 
Susan'', their first born died of consumpton in her fifteenth 
year ; Mary'^ in infancy ; Dr. Marcus Heilner Corson^ in 
his twenty-third of year the same disease. This son — their fifth 
child — was a youth of remarkable talents, but died soon after 
he had graduated M. D. at the University of Pennsylvania. 
With a wonderful memory, a passion for knowledge, and great 
studiousness he gave great promise of eminence in his profes- 
sion, but the fond hopes of his friends were sadly blighted by 
his early death, which occurred May 23, 1872. 

Samuel Maui^by Corson'^, the oldest of the sons was 
a student in the literary department of the University of Penn- 
sylvania, afterwards studied law in Philadelphia, and practiced 
there for a time ; but the law was distasteful to him. Litera- 
ture was his delight, and like his brother. Dr. Marcus H. 
Corson, he was a scholar of mark. Too much of a " book 
worm " to engage in ordinary pursuits he resorted to teaching, 
for which he was peculiarly fitted and which seemed to be a 
delight to him. In this he was very successful, and greatly 
beloved by his pupils. While thus engaged he wrote valuable 
articles for the newspapers, which were greatly appreciated by 
the public. An unassuming, kind and scholarly gentleman, 
he passed away August 7, 1881, in his forty-third year. There 
are now (1896) only three of the children living: i. Dr. 
Ellwood M.'' ; 2, Helen^ (Mrs. Hovenden), and 3, Ida\ 

I. Dr. Ellwood Maulsby Corson', after a proper early 
education, entered on the study of medicine under my pre- 
ceptorship; but in one year after he commenced the study, the 
war of the Rebellion came on, and he and his cousin, Joseph 
K. Corson, entered the Military Hospital, corner of Broad and 
Cherry Streets, Philadelphia, as assistants to the surgeons there. 
He attended lectures at the University of Pennsylvania in the 

ii8 History of the Corson Family. 

day time, and the sick and wounded in the hospital in the 
evening and night, until he graduated in the spring of 1863. 
After graduation he was immediately commissioned Assistant 
Surgeon and attached to the Sixty-ninth Regiment, Pennsyl- 
vania Volunteers. He was with the army until after the battle 
of Antietam, where he was taken ill with typhoid fever and 
sent to Baltimore. This was but a few days preceding the 
battle of Gettysburg. After his recovery from a severe illness 
he was sent to New York, and thence on board a monitor to 
Charleston Harbor. There the vessel remained, daily exposed 
to a terrible cannonading until the rebels abandoned the city. 
After the war he continued in the Marine Hospital in Phila- 
delphia as assistant surgeon to his uncle. Surgeon George 
Maulsby, U. S. N. This service was somewhat distasteful to 
him, so he soon resigned and commenced the practise of 
medicine in Norristown in partnership with his uncle. Dr. 
William Corson, with whom he was associated until the latter's 
death, 1886. He has since practiced alone. Dr. P^llwood M. 
Corson has long occupied a prominent position in his profes- 
sion, possessing superior skill as a surgeon and high art as a 
practitioner of medicine. As a consultant he is in much 
demand. He married, November 20, 1 866, Margaret Livingston 
Wilkeson, daughter of Samuel and Catherine Cady Wilkeson, 
and a niece of Mrs. P^lizabeth Cady Stanton, the talented and 
eminent Abolitionist They have three children : Catherine 
Cady Corson'^; Bavard Wilkeson Corson'\ and Livingston 

Helen Corson', eldest daughter of George and Martha 
Maulsby Corson, was educated in art in the School of Design 
in Philadelphia, and after^vards in Paris, France. She has 
lived at the old homestead, at Plymouth Meeting, since her 
return from her studies abroad. She married, June 9, 1881, 
Thomas Hovenden, son of Robert and Ellen Br>-an Hovenden, 
of Dunmanway, Cork County, Ireland. Helen has executed 
some fine work in her profession and has an enviable reputa- 
tion as an artist. Her husband, Thomas Hovenden, whose 

Ellwood M, Corson M. D. 

George Corson^. 119 

paintings have won him world wide fame, met a shocking 
death at a grade crossing in Plymouth Township, while 
attempting to rescue a little girl from an approaching locomo- 
tive. This occurred in August of 1895. The loss was a 
severe one to the world of art as well as to his wife. His 
paintings, "John Brown being led to Execution," "In the 
Hands of the Enemy," "Breaking of Home Ties," and a 
number of others, have touched the tender chords of sympathy 
in thousands of human hearts. The Chicago Inter-Ocean in an 
article published shortly after his death, paid a glowing tribute 
to the man and his work. Among other beautiful thoughts, 
it said : "With all due deference to the great artists of the 
world whose canvases were hung on the walls of the Art 
Palace in Jackson Park [World's Fair, Chicago], there was no 
other picture which held the people by a stronger impulse or 
sent them away with better and tenderer sentiments than the 
one by Thomas Hovenden, marked ' The Breaking of Home 
Ties.' In speaking of his work to othershe would frequently 
speak of his wife's talent as being superior to his own. 
However that may be it is certain that she was both an inspi- 
ration and a help to him in the execution of his great work." 
Thomas and Helen Corson Hovenden have had two 
children : Thomas Hovenden, Jr.^ born March 11, 1882, and 
Martha Maulsby Hovenden^ born May 8, 1884. 

Ida Corson', youngest child of George and Martha 
Maulsby Corson is a graduate of Vassar College, and has 
resided in Washington, D. C, for a number of years. She 
lived with her uncle, Dr. George Maulsby, Surgeon United 
States Navy, until his death in 1886, and still considers that 
as her residence, though she passes a large part of her time 
with her sister, Mrs. Hovenden, in the old home at Plymouth 

As a fitting conclusion to the history of George Corson, 
I may add here the testimony of J. Miller McKim, at a meet- 
ing of the Anti-Slavery Society. He said: "I hold in my 
hand a contribution of ^10 to the funds of the Society, which 

120 History of the Corson Family. 

I do not feel at liberty to hand over to its destination without 
a word to the Society. It is from George Corson, of Mont- 
gomery County. He sent it as the last donation he should 
ever make, with a regret that he could not enjoy the pleasure 
of being with us, Our friend is in the last stages of consump- 
tion and entertains no expectation of recoveiy. He fully 
believes — I was going to say, fears, but that would not be the 
word — that his end is near at hand, and he calmly awaits the 
event. It will be no grief to him, but to us and the cause it 
will be a severe bereavement, for a truer-hearted and a more 
devoted friend to the slave is not to be found within the 
bounds of our Society." 


Hiram Corson, M. D. 

I was the seventh child and fifth son of Joseph and 
Hannah Dickinson Corson, and was born at Hickor^^town, 
Plymouth Township, Montgomeiy County, Pa., October 8, 
1804. My mother died when I was but six years of age, but 
I received almost a mother's care from my two sisters, Mary 
and Sarah, who were respectively twelve and eleven years 
my senior. My early education was received at the Friends' 
School, at Plymouth Meeting, under Joseph Foulke, a minister 
in the Friends' Meeting at that place ; later with my brother, 
Alan W. Corson, who was talented in mathematics and the 
natural sciences ; and finally, when nearing manhood, at the 
Friends' Select School, in Philadelphia, under Benjamin 
Moore. After leaving school, I was engaged on my father's 
farm and in his store, at Hickorytown, until May 9, 1826, 
when I entered as a student of medicine in the office of 
Dr. Richard D. Corson, at New Hope, Bucks County, Pa. 
The following winter I attended the lectures given in the 
Medical Department of the University of Pennsylvania, by 
Professors Physic, Chapman, James, Hare, Horner, Gibson, 
and Dewees, (who was an adjunct to James). During the 
second course, in addition to tliose which I have named, there 
were lectures by Samuel Jackson, on the " Institutes of Medi- 
cine." I graduated in the spring of 1828. After a few 
weeks rest at home I was invited by my father's family ph}'si- 
cian, Dr. Leedom (grandfather of Dr. Oscar Leedom), to join 
him in the practice of medicine. Dr. Leedom was well 
advanced in years and desired to be relieved of some of the 
arduous labor of his profession. After a three months' trial 
the partnership was abandoned, but Dr. Leedom desired me 

122 History of the Corson Family. 

to remain in the neighborhood, which I did, hax'ing obtained 
board with Jonathan Maulsby and wife. I was soon in posses- 
sion of a good practice, extending over a large extent of 
country. Light carriages were not then much used, physi- 
cians making their journeys mostly on horseback. The 
Schuylkill river had no bridge at Conshohocken nor at Spring 
Mill, but there was a shackly ferr\' boat at the latter place. 
At Conshohocken the river had to be forded, and sometimes, 
when it was swollen with freshets, it was a veiy hazardous 
undertaking. So, too, the Wissahickon had to be crossed, 
and often with great risk of life. 

In 1832, the Asiatic cholera made its appearance in this 
countiy. It was first observed in Quebec ; next (on the 
twenty-fourth of June) in New York, and then (on the fifth 
of July) in Philadelphia. When it reached Philadelphia, two 
hospitals were improvised, one by Dr. Joseph Parrish, and one 
by Dr. Samuel Jackson. I felt it to be my duty to my 
patients to visit them and learn what I could of the disease 
and its treatment It was deemed In- my friends a hazardous 
thing to do, but I went and saw the patients and felt well 
repaid for my visit in the personal inspection that I had of 
the terrible disease. I may remark that of those which w ere 
being treated at the time of m\' \isit, all died. In a week 
from that time the epidemic reached Conshohocken, and in a 
most violent form. For man)- nights in succession I was at 
the bedside of the sufferers, nearly all of whom found relief 
only in death. Scenes of suffering, such as I witnessed at 
that time, can never be forgotten, but remain in j)erfect clear- 
ness as long as memory' exists. 

On the twenty-sixth day of December, in the year 1833, 
I married Ann Jones Foulke, a daughter of Edward and Tacy 
(Jones) Foulke of Penllyn, Montgomery County, Pa. We 
were married in Philadelphia by Mayor Joseph Watrous, and 
soon afterwards began our married life in the house which 
I had built during the preceding summer and fall — situated 
a short distance from Plymouth Meeting. There we lived for 


Hiram Corson, M. D. 123 

fifty-five years, when death came to my wife, leaving me to 
make the rest of my life's journey without her comfort, sym- 
pathy, and support — upon which I had always placed the 
greatest reliance. I may say of her that she was a woman of 
the purest character, kind, gentle, and sweet in disposition ; 
seldom has fate given to husband and children a more lovable 
and loving wife and mother. Her nine children, brought up 
under her care and wise instruction, idolized her ; and to her 
I always turned for counsel in the many important incidents 
of my professional life. Whenever I prepared a paper for 
publication I invariably read it to her before sending it to the 
publishers, and none was ever sent without her approval. No 
home was ever blest with a wife and mother more devoted to 
the happiness of the family. She died on the 25th of June, 
1888, and wa.s buried in the beautiful cemeteiy at North 
Laurel Hill. 

I still live in the home in which our married life was 
commenced and completed, and the place, to which I long 
ago gave the name of " Maple Hill " (on account of the large 
number of maple trees — most of them planted by myself — 
about the lawn), has been dear to me these many years. And 
now, as my life's pilgrimage draws to a close, I look upon it 
with still more tender affection and sweeter memories. 

My life has been a busy one, devoted mainly to the prac- 
tice and progress of my profession, yet with a good share of 
mv energies given in the interest of public morals and of 
human rights and justice. My professional experience covers 
a period of about sixty years, from 1828 until 1888 ; at which 
last named date I retired from active practice. During that 
long period I contributed to the literature of the medical pro- 
fession, through various medical journals, the " Transactions 
of the Pennsylvania State Medical Society," and the "Trans- 
actions of the Ninth International Medical Congress," about 
sixty-eight medical papers and two important pamphlets, the 
one a " Histoiy of the Long Waged Struggle for the Recog- 
nition of Women Physicians," the other on the " Procuring a 

124 History of the Corson Family. 

law to have Boards of Trustees of all Hospitals owned by the 
State authorized to appoint Women Physicians to have the 
exclusive medical control of the Female Insane in those Hos- 
pitals." This last named pamphlet contained about fifty 
pages. In conjunction with the faculty^ of the Woman's 
Medical College, I had one thousand copies of it published 
and distributed. In addition to the above, papers on special 
diseases and subjects, rexiews and criticisms of papers published 
by others frequently were given to the medical public. That 
many of my views — so greatly at variance with those long 
held — were strongly opposed, is admitted ; especially so was 
the innovation introduced by giving to children, ill w ith measles, 
freely of cold water, as a remedy — a thing unheard of before 
that time (1829). Before that they had, from time immemorial, 
been dosed, disgusted and made to suffer the torture of thirst 
and fever. Yet as time rolled on and the great value of the 
cooling treatment was shown in that and in other febrile affec- 
tions, denunciations of it were allayed, and now, 1895, the 
cooling treatment which I so strongly advocated, is universally 
used among enlightened physicians. But faithful and contin- 
uous as were my labors as a physician, never in a single 
instance, in the sixty years, failing to give as prompt attention 
to the calls of the poorest as to those of the richest, I do not 
regard those labors as the great work of my life. My efforts 
— successful ones — to have women physicians recognized by 
the medical profession, and to procure a law to have the female 
insane, in all hospitals for the insane in Pennsylvania, to be 
cared for medically and otherwise, by female physicians, I 
regard as my great work. 

The Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania was 
founded in Philadelphia in 1850, and, in December, 1851, 
graduated seven young women. The college classes increased 
and each succeeding year greater numbers were graduated 
and sent forth to practice. This movement of the women was 
not agreeable to the profession in Philadelphia and elsewhere, 
and, strange as it now seems, was greatly opposed by many 

Hiram Corson, M. D. 125 

good men and women, outside of the profession, as being a 
business outside of woman's sphere, and demoralizing to her. 
No combined action was taken against them until eight classes 
had been graduated and established themselves in practice. 
But on November 10, 1858, the Board of Censors of the 
Philadelphia County Medical Society reported their disap- 
proval of any member of the Society holding professional 
intercourse with the professors or alumni of the Woman's 
Medical College. The following is their report : 

"In reply." they say "the censors would respectfully 
recommend the members of the regular profession to withhold 
from the faculties and graduates of female medical colleges, 
all countenance and support, and that they cannot, consist- 
ently with sound medical ethics, consult or hold professional 
medical intercourse with their professors or alumni." This 
was signed by the Secretary of the Board of Censors, and 
the Recording Secretary of the Philadelphia County Medical 
Society. In June, 1859, the above action was reported to the 
Pennsylvania State Medical Society and that Society appointed 
a committee of five to report on the subject. On the follow- 
ing day the committee reported that after a careful considera- 
tion of the resolutions adopted by the Philadelphia County 
Medical Society, that " the course proposed is a correct one 
and such as demands the sanction of the Society, and they 
would urge its observance by all the County Societies through- 
out the State." Their report was adopted. Thus far the 
opponents of women physicians had met with no opposition, 
and the report of the committee of five was sent to all the County 
Societies in the State, to be sanctioned by them, after which it 
was doubtless believed that no physician with proper regard 
for his success in practice, the friendship of his professional 
brethren, and the honor of the profession, would hold profes- 
sional intercourse with female physicians. No delegate from 
any of the fourteen County Societies expressed dissatisfaction 
with this action of the State Society. But the end had not 
yet come. 

126 History of the Corson Family. 

At the meeting of the Montgomeiy County Medical 
Societ)' held in Norristown, May 26, i860, nine members 
were assembled, viz. : Drs. William Corson, B. F. Foley, 
Hiram Corson, (myself), Louis W. Read, Jonathan Comfort. 
Frank Vanartzdalen, William P. Robinson, John Schrack, and 
Milton Newberry. (The names are given because on the vote 
of the majorit)' — the first seven — hung an important issue). 
I then read the resolutions passed by the Philadelphia County 
Medical Society, forbidding its members to have any profes- 
sional intercourse with the faculties of female medical colleges, 
the graduates of these colleges, and female physicians gener- 
ally ; which resolutions had been sent to the Montgomery 
County Medical Society for approval. Instead of approval 
they passed strong resolutions against those of the Philadel- 
phia County Medical Society, and in favor of the recognition 
of female physicians, with all the rights and privileges enjo\'ed 
by the male members of the profession. 

The next meeting of the State Societ}' was held in I'hila- 
delphia, in June, i860. Asa delegate from the Montgomer}'^ 
Count>' Society, I presented the action of that Society in favor 
of women ph}-sicians, but was instantly opposed and rebuked 
by many leading members of the profession. Only a single 
voice was raised in fa\"or of my advocacy of justice for women 
doctors — that of Dr. John Levcrgood of Lancaster Count)^ 
— who tried to say a few words in support of it, but instantly 
the opposition moved that the subject be laid on the table, 
and then adjournment took place. I was soon surrounded 
by members of the State Society, some indignant, some con- 
temptuous, some appealing to me not to disturb the harmony 
of the Society. Many of those who had been my warmest 
friends, now turned indignantly away from me, but I was still 
not turned from my course, and boldly said that the subject 
should come before the Society from year to year until victory 
was achieved. 

The countr)- was then just entering on the War of the 
Rebellion, and many members of the profession were engaged 
in it, so that the subject remained in abeyance until 1866. 

Hiram Corson, M. D. 127 

When the war was over, the State Society, in 1866, met at 
Wilkes-Barre, and I prepared again to renew my efforts to 
secure for the Woman's Medical College professors and grad- 
uates, all favorable to the cause, a proper recognition by the 
male members of our profession. When on my way to the 
place of meeting. I was fearful lest I could not get any one to 
"second" my resolution, but, on entering the railroad cars, 
met a friend, a member of the Montgomery County Society, 
who consented to do it, but who, after having had an inter- 
view with a group of Philadelphia delegates in another part 
of the train, weakened and asked to be excused from doing 
it. Fortunately I met with another who agreed to do it, and 
so, at a proper time, I presented the subject and the contest 
was renewed. And so, year after year, it was brought up for 
debate, and new advocates for the rights of the women ranged 
themselves, alongside of my leadership in the meetings. 
Finally, at the Williamsport meeting, in June, 1871, the 
obnoxious resolution of the Philadelphia County Medical 
Society was rescmded. The law to authorize Boards of 
Trustees of Hospitals for the care of the Insane in Pennsyl- 
vania to appoint women physicians to have the exclusive 
medical charge of the Female Insane in all these Hospitals, 
and how it was procured may now be considered. We have 
seen that in June, 187 1, the recognition of women physicians 
by the male medical profession was accomplished. In conse- 
quence of some newspaper articles published by me in rela- 
tion to the bad management of the insane in the Montgomery 
County almshouse, and which attracted the attention of 
Governor Hartranft, I was appointed Trustee of the Lunatic 
Hospital at Harrisburg, and served in that capacity during 
seven years. I there saw the bad management of the insane. 
There was a Chief Physician and two assistants, the Chief 
having the entire charge of the farm of more than 200 acres, 
and the entire management of the insane of both sexes. 
Beside the torturing appliances, pleasantly called " restraining 
measures," there were cells in which they could be shut up 

128 History of the Corson Family. 

for slight breaches of rules, and yet not the least employment 
for the poor inmates. And what to me seemed a shameful 
abuse was the control over the female insane by young male 
physicians. In my frequent visits to the Hospital, I became 
more and more dissatisfied with that part of the management ; 
but as the Board of Trustees had no right to interfere in the 
least with the despotic Chief Physician, I saw that nothing 
could come from appeals to lijm, so concluded to bring the 
subject before the State Medical Societ\'. 

Therefore, in June, 1877 — just six years after the status 
of women doctors had been settled by the State Society — I 
introduced a resolution, asking for a commiltee to be appointed 
to report on the propriety of ha\-ing a woman physician to 
have entire medical care of their sex in all our hospitals for 
the insane. Though this was violently opposed by superin- 
tendants of hopitals for the insane eveiywhere, I, and the friends 
of women physicians — and they had become numerous — 
pressed it forward, and got the sanction of the Society, and 
finally the passage of a bill — drawn by mj'sclf — into a law, 
giving the Trustees the power to appoint women physicians 
to have care of their insane sisters. This was in 1879 — only 
two years after the introduction of the subject to the State 
Societ}'. Of this wonderful reform, too much cannot be said. 
In many States the Trustees arc directed b\' mandatory law to 
have women doctors for the women insane, in every State 
Hospital. And what do we now see in Xorristown? A thou- 
sand female insane — sometimes more, sometimes not quite so 
many — under the exclusive care of Dr. Alice Bennett — no 
dark rooms, no torturing appliances, but many agreeable 
employments for the insane, and the whole government that 
of kindness and attention to their needs. 

Up to the time when the reform was effected, no employ- 
ment had been furnished to the insane to beguile the weary 
hours and dispel the ennui that hung as an incubus over them 
— and yet when it was announced by me, in a State Society 
meeting, that employment was furnished to the insane in Eng- 

Hiram Corson, M.D. 129 

land, the superintendent of the oldest hospital in the State 
declared the statement untrue, and that such a thing as to 
employ them was impossible. In that very year, in whicli 
he made that statement, the physicians of our great South- 
eastern hospital, Drs. Chase and Bennett, introduced it to 
the great comfort of the insane, and as one of the most 
potent governing agencies, and so successful were they, that 
now it is the practice in all hospitals for the insane throughout 
the country. 

Tributes from the Medical Profession. 

I was fifty-six years old when I began the opposition to 
the doings of the Philadelphia County Medical Society against 
medical women and the Woman's Medical College ; sixty- 
seven when the embittered struggle for the recognition of 
female physicians was accomplished ; seventy-two years old 
when I began my efforts, to procure the law to have only 
women physicians to have medical care of the insane of their 
own sex in our State Hospitals ; and seventy-five when that 
law was procured. The struggle was carried on with intense 
earnestness and conscientiousness during those many years, 
and yet the very men, many of the most eminent in the 
State, who so earnestly opposed the so-called reforms, after 
the battle was over not only acquiesced in the decision, but 
joined in doing honor to me. In 1883, twelve leading male 
physicians and twelve women — the faculty of the Woman's 
Medical College — ^joined hands in giving a reception to me at 
the Bellevue Hotel, Philadelphia, during the time of the State 
Medical Society's meeting, which in that year was held in 
Philadelphia. The reception was in ever}' way a great success ; 
hundreds of the profession were present. I was then in my 
seventy-ninth year and still in active practice. 

A resume" of honors received and positions which I have 
held may, perhaps, without impropriety, be introduced here : 

(I) Graduated in medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in 

'^"%) Elected Junior Member Philadelphia County Medical Society in 

130 History of the Corson Family. 

(3) Founded and became a member of the Montgomery County 
Medical Society in 1847. 

(4) Became a member of the Medical Society of the State of Penn- 
sylvania in 1848. 

(5) Elected President of the Montgomery County Medical Society 
in 1849. 

(6) Elected President Pennsylvania State Medical Society in 1853. 

(7) Elected corresponding member of Page Literary Society of 
Millersville, Pa., in 1858. 

(8) Became a member of American Medical Association in 1862, 
and at present (1895) ^ permanent member. 

(g) Elected corresponding m.ember Meigs and Mason Academy of 
Medicine of Middlcport, Ohio, in 1873. 

(10) Elected Associate Member of Philadelphia Obstetrical Society 
in 1874. 

(11) Elected Associate Fellow of College of Physicians of Phila- 
delphia in 1876. (This honor was greatly appreciated as only residents 
of the city can be Fellows, and there can be but thirty Associate Fel- 
lows in the United States and only twenty abroad.) 

(12) Elected life member of Alumni Association of University of 
Pennsylvania in 1879, ^^^ '^ Vice-President in 1894. 

(13) Elected Honorary Member of the Harrisburg Pathological 
Society in 1881. 

(14) Elected member of Historical Socielv of F'ennsvlvania in 

(15) Appointed Trustee of Insane Hospital at Harrisburg, Penn- 
sylvania, by Governor Hartranft in 1877, and reappointed by Governor 
Hartranft and Governor Hoyt until 1882. 

(16) Appointed by Board of Public Charities "Official \'isitor" 
to Montgomery Connty Jail and Almshouse and, after many years ser- 
vice, was. in 1884, appointed to same office in the great Southeastern 
Hospital for the Insane at Norristown, but on account of advanced age 
declined to accept the new appointment and resigned the old. 

(17) Elected Honorary Member of the National Association of 
Obstetricians and Gynecologists in 1894. 

The following testimonial from the Woman'.s Medical 

College of Philadelphia, I prize a.s highly as any of the honors 

which have been given mc : 

"The Faculty of the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania, 
believing that the present useful and honorable position of Woman 
Physicians is mainly due to the disinterested, persistent, and energetic 
efforts of Dr. Hiram Corson, of Plymouth Meeting, desire to convey to 
Dr. Corson, with mutual congratulations, their hearty thanks and ex- 
pressions of the highest esteem. 

(Signed) Fr.wces Emily White, 

Chainiiaii of Committee. 

The above adopted unanimously and the Dean directed to send a 
copy to Dr. Corson. 


Philadelphia, January 28, 1881. Dean. 

Hiram Corson, M. D. 


The following action was taken by the Philadelphia 
County Medical Society in relation to me. So frequently and 
earnestly had I for months — yea, even for years — published in 
Medical Journals my experience of the value of bloodletting 
in pneumonia, pleurisy, and, indeed, in all febrile diseases, and 
held before the profession the danger and fatality of the use 
of the poisonous arterial sedatives, and in strong terms held 
up the proof of the fearful mortality caused by the prevailing 
practice, as taught in the colleges and followed by practition- 
ers in the city and country, that eventually the Philadelphia 
County Medical Society invited me to address the Society on 
the subject, at a meeting to be held in the hall of the 
College of Physicians, on the thirteenth day of April, 1892. 
I was confined to my bed at the time the resolution of the 
Society was passed, and when its invitation was received, I 
was still ill, but, expecting to be well enough in a few days to 
do it, I consented. Though almost confined to my room. I 
wrote the paper. The Society had also appointed the three 
Professors of the Practice of Medicine, of the three Philadel- 
phia Medical Colleges, to discuss the paper after being read. 
When the time came, I was not feeling able to go to the city, 
so I asked my great-nephew. Dr. George N. Highley, to read 
it before the Society, which he did very well, and also dis- 
cussed it. It may be of interest to know what was thought 
of it. The following letter was sent to me by Dr. Oscar H. 
Allis, after the meeting : 

Philadelphia, 1604 Spruce Street, 

April 14. 1892. 

Dear Dr. Corson : 

I was earlv at the meeting, hoping to have a chat with you, but 
instead found Dr. Highley, your nephew. The paper elicited much 
discussion. Besides those appointed to discuss it, Drs. Horatio L. 
Wood, Daland, Woodbury. Cohen, La Place, and John B. Roberts, 
took part and spoke to a crowded house. Dr. Highley read it well, and 
spoke manfully and energetically in its behalf I took no other part 
than to ask that a typewriter make a copy of it for publication, and the 
original be bound with a portrait of the author, and presented to the 
Society. Will you not kindly send us a few lines written on similar 
paper, with the statement that much of it was prepared while you were 

132 History of the Corson Family. 

confined in bed ? If you do not feel able to do this, Dr. Highley could 
make such a statement as a brief preface to the article, giving the age 
of the writer. 

Very sincerely, 

Oscar H. Allis. 

This was followed in a few days, by the following : 

I S07 Chestnut St. , Philadelphia. Pa. 
My Dear Dr. Corson : 

Dr. Highley has doubtless told you of the cordial interest in your 
paper and yourself, so well shown at the Meeting of the County Society. 
As the President remarked from the Chair: "No other meeting has 
been so largely attended and no discussion so earnestly pursued for a 
long time." We are delighted to hear from you in this way, and all are 
sorry you could not be present. Dr. Highley filled the place assigned, 
both in reading and discussion, in a way to gratify every one. 

Yours very sincerely, 
4th mo. , 15th, '92. CHARLiiS H. Tho.mas. 

The same day came a letter from the Secretary of the 
Society, viz. : 

" Philadelphia Co. Medical Society, 
N. E. Cor. 13th and Locust St., Philadelphia, 

April 15, 1892. 
Dr. Hiram Corson, 

Dear Doctor : At a meeting of the I hiladelphia County Medical 
Society, held April 13, 1893, the following resolutions were unanimously 
adopted : 

Resolved, That the thanks of this Society be tendered to Dr. Hiram 
Corson for his interesting and valuable paper on pneumonia ; its unsuc- 
cessful treatment by arterial sedatives and its successful treatment by 
bloodletting ; and that the Secretary de instructed to convey to Dr. 
Corson an e.xpression of the sympathy of the Society in his illness and 
an assurance of its cordial regard for him always. 

Resolved, That the original paper be bound and filed in the 
archives of the Society, together with a photograph of the author — 
Dr. Corson — if this be obtainable. 

\'ery truly yours, 


Our children numbered nine, namely : 
I. Edward Foulke Corson", born October 14, 1834. 
3. Joseph Kirijv Corson^ born November 22, 1836. 

3. Caroline Corson", born April 2. 1839. 

4. Tacv Foulke Corson", born June 26, 1841. 

5. Charles Pollen Corson", born November 22, 1842. 

6. Susan Foulke Corson^ born August 9, 1845. 

7. Bertha Corson'', born December 17, 1847. 

Hiram Corson, M. D. 133 

8. Frances Stockton Corson'', born October 25, 1849. 

9. Mary Corson^, born November 26, 1852. 

Of these, Edward, Caroline, and Charles Follen, are 

I. Edward Foulke Corson" attended Hannah Williams' 
Boarding School at Plymouth, for a while, and then entered 
Treemount Seminar)-, where he remained several years under 
the tuition of Rev. Samuel Aaron. He then commenced the 
study of medicine in his father's office, and attended lectures 
in the Medical Department of the University of Pennsyl- 
vania, in Philadelphia, graduating M. D. in the spring of 1855, 
when just turned twenty-one years of age. After practic- 
ing for a brief time with his father and at Conshohocken, he 
was examined by the Navy Board, and passed a highly credit- 
able examination, being second in a class of more than fifty. 
At that time there were two new and large naval vessels 
waiting for Assistant Surgeons, and the two highest were im- 
mediately appointed. Dr. Bradley, who passed No. i, was 
assigned to the "Levant," which was to be sent to the Pacific 
coast. He went to Boston and embarked on the ship which 
rounded Cape Horn and was never heard of aftenvards. 

Dr. Edward F. Corson went on board the flagship 
" Hartford," bound for China and Japan, on a three years' 
cruise, and returned in 1861, just after the Rebellion began. 
After a few months spent at home, he was ordered to the 
Naval Asylum at Philadelphia, Pa., where he was made a full 
Surgeon. But the war was in progress and he could not bear 
to be idle while his friends were rushing forward to meet the 
enemy. So, though he was well entitled to have a rest on 
land after a three years' voyage, and had been given a most 
desirable place, one which he greatly appreciated, he made a 
request for active service, and was assigned to duty on board 
the " Mohican," which was sent out to capture the Rebel 
ship "Alabama," which was destroying our merchant vessels 
on the seas. For eighteen months they followed the "Ala- 
bama" up and down the coast of South America, around the 

134 History of the Corson Family. 

African coast, and the islands of the Atlantic Ocean, and 
returned without losing a single man, by sickness, out of i 50 
men. He was home but a few weeks when he sickened, and 
died of typhoid fever. He was a pure and brave young 
man, died June 22, 1864, and was buried at North Laurel 

2. Dr. Joseph K. Corson^, our second son, was born 
November 22, 1836, at Maple Hill. His education at first 
was under private tutors at home ; afterward under Rev. 
Frederick Anspach of the Lutheran Church at Barren Hill ; 
and finally, for some time, at Treemount Seminar}', at Norris- 
town, under direction of Rev. Samuel Aaron. He then 
entered the drug store of William and John Sa\-ery of Philadel- 
phia, and graduated in pharmacy at twenty-two years of age. 
He was then offered a situation in St. Paul, Minn., which he 
accepted. He was there but a few weeks when the proprietor 
failed. He returned home and engaged with his cousin, L. E. 
Corson, in the lime business, near Norristown. The Rebellion 
began soon afterwards and Pre.sident Lincoln's call for 75,000 
troops was made. Then the young men began to volunteer 
for the war. Joseph, and Charles Styer, then a student in my 
office, joined a company of the Fourth Regiment gotten up 
in Norristown, of which Walter Cooke was captain, and in a few 
days went toHarrisburg and the next night started for Perry^villc, 
on Chesapeake Bay, in Maryland. After a delay there of a 
week or two, owing to the armed hostility in Baltimore, where 
the Sixth ^Massachusetts Regiment had been fired on, they 
reached Washington by way of Annapolis. His army history 
in brief runs thus : Volunteered in Fourth Pennsylvania Regi- 
ment, April 20, 1 86 1, as Corporal; honorably discharged 
July 26, 1 86 1, as Sergeant, with the expiration of the regi- 
ment's three months term of sen'ice. Became acting Medical 
Cadet on duty in the Army Hospital at Broad and Cherry 
Streets, Philadelphia, from June, 1861, to March, 1863. Then 
graduated IM. D. at University of Pennsylvania in March of 
that year, and weis made Assistant Surgeon of the Sixth Regi- 

Dr. Joseph K. Corson, U. S. A. 

Hiram Corson, M. D. 


ment, Pennsylvania Reserve Corps, from March 23, 1863, to 
June II, 1864. Brevet Major "for feithful and meritorious 
services during the Wilderness campaign in Virginia," March 
13, 1865. Acting Assistant Surgeon at Camp Discharge from 
November 15, 1864, to May 15, 1865. Engaged in practice 
of medicine with his fiither from May 15, 1865, to November 
II, 1867. 

He entered the United States Army as Assistant Surgeon 
with rank of First Lieutenant, October 9, 1867; on duty at 
Governor's Island, from November, 1867, to March i, 1868, 
during which time, he went by sea from New York to Galves- 
ton, via New Orleans, with over six hundred recruits. At 
New Orleans the cholera appeared on board and over forty 
cases occurred before reaching Galveston. After his return to 
Governor's Island, he was at the Cavalry Depot, Carlisle 
Barracks from March until September 2, 1868 ; next at Fort 
Fred Steele, from October, 1868, to December 6, 1869, with 
rank of Captain from July 23, 1869; at Omaha Barracks, 
Nebraska, from December, 1869, to July, 1870; Fort D. A. 
Russell, Wyoming Territory, from July, 1870, to September, 
1870 ; Fort Bridger, Wyoming Territoiy, from September, 
1870, to November, 1872; on "leave of absence," at home, 
from December, 1872, to April, 1873; at Mobile Barracks, 
Alabama, from April to September, 1873 ; Mount Vernon 
Barracks (because of yellow fever at Pensacola), September. 
1873, to May, 1876 ; at Plattsburg Barracks, New York, from 
June, 1876, to May, 1878; at Fort Whipple, from June, 1878, 
to October, 1878; at F'ort Yuma, California, from October, 
1878, to May, 1882; at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri (Cavalry 
Depot), from November, 1882, to November, 1886; at Fort 
Coeur d'Alene (now Fort Sherman), Idaho, from January, 
1887, to September, 1890; at Washington Barracks, District 
of Columbia, with rank of Major, September. 1890, until 
October, 1895; home on two months vacation and then 
(December, 1895) reported at Fort Russell, Wyoming, where 
he has since been. He was present at battles of Gettysburg, 

136 History of the Corson Family. 

Falling Water, Manassas Gap, Bristow Station, Mine River, 
Rappahannock Station, Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna 
River, Bethesda Church, Virginia, and in various Indian scouts 
in Wyoming and other stations after the war. 

He married November 2, 1874, Mar}^ Ada Carter, 
daughter of Judge William Alexander Carter, of Fort Bridger, 
Wyoming, and they have had two children : (i) Mary Carter 
Corson* and (2) Edward Foulke Corson^ Their first child 
Mary Carter Corson'', was born at Mt. Vernon Barracks, 
Alabama, January 4, 1876. Her parents had taken pains to 
have her under good teachers in their various western stations, 
but feeling that she should have other opportunities for educa- 
tion had sent her for two years to schools in Philadelphia. 
She was an exceptionally bright child, a tall graceful girl of 
most attractive manners. In June, 1890, she took passage 
with some friends on a Northern Pacific Railroad train, for 
home. On the last day of June, after a ride of over fifteen 
hundred miles, and when within a hundred miles, or there- 
abouts, from home, where her parents were joyfully looking 
for her, the train was dashed over an embankment and she 
was so injured that she died in about an hour. I cannot 
write of the grief of her parents, and her numerous relatives 
and friends, who in her various homes had come to love her 
dearly. When they came from Fort Sherman to reside in 
Washington, they purchased a beautiful lot in West Laurel 
Hill Cemetery, and on October 2, 1890, we buried her there. 
She had reached her fourteenth year and was almost, so far 
as size goes, a full grown woman. To the writer of this 
article she was a child worthy of the love of all who knew her. 

P^DWARD Foulke Corson^ second and only living child 
of Dr. Joseph K. and Ada Carter Corson, was born P^ebruaiy 
29, 1883, at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri. He attended 
Friends' School at Washington, D. C, while his father was 
stationed there, and now, October, 1895, has just entered the 
Germantown Academy, at Germantown, Philadelphia. His 
father. Dr. Joseph K. Corson — is at present located at Fort 

Hiram Corson, M.D. 137 

Russell, Wyoming. He will have reached the age of compul- 
sory retirement with the dawning of the new century in the 

year 1 900. He may, however, be retired before that time, at 
the discretion of the President, upon the basis of his thirty 
years' service. 

3. Caroline Corson^ our eldest daughter, wa.s born 
April 2, 1839, and died July 25, 1865. 

4. Tacy Foulke Corson^ born January 26, 1841, mar- 
ried William L., son of James and Mary L. Cresson. Their 
children are : 

(i) Caroline C. CressonI 

(2) James Cresson^ 

(3) Ann CressonI 

(4) Mary CressonI 

5. Charles Follen Corson^, born November 22, 1842, 
graduated at the University of Pennsylvania and then studied 
law under William Henry Rawle, Esq., of Philadelphia He 
was admitted to the Philadelphia Bar and practiced his profes- 
sion there until his death, May 30, 1889. He senxd in the 
Pennsylvania Militia in the emergency call of 1862-3. He 
married, first, Mary, daughter of Lewis A. Lukens ; she died 
December 14, 1876. In 1889 he married Margaret, daughter 
of William Slemmer, of Norristown. His death occurred but 
a few months after his second marriage. 

6. Susan Foulke Corson'', born August 9, 1845, ""^^^^ 
ried November 26, 1868, Jawood Lukens, a prominent iron 
manufacturer of Conshohockcn, and a son of Lewis A. Lukens, 
of the same place. They have no children. 

7. Bertha Corson^ born December 17, 1847, married 
June 17, 1868, James Yocom, son of James Yocom, of Phila- 
delphia, where they reside. They have seven children, viz.: 

(i) Frances Corson Yocom^. 

(2) Thomas Corson YocomI 

(3) Bertha E. Corson Yocom^ 

138 History of the Corson Fainily. 

(4) Georgiana Corson Yocom^. 

(5) Hiram Corson YocomI 

(6) Dorothy Corson Yocom^. 

(7) James Corson Yocom^ 

8. Frances Stockton Corson'', born October 25, 1S49, 
married November 12, 1874, Richard Hopper Day, son of 
Charles and Anna (Miles) Day, of Philadelphia. They live in 
Germantown and have three children, viz.: 

(i) Bertha Corson Dav^ 

(2) Charles Day-. 

(3) Richard Foulke D\\^. 

9. Mary Corson", our youngest child, born November 
26, 1852, has lived at home, unmarried ; for the past ten or 
fifteen years she has suffered greatly with rheumatism and is 
now able to walk only with the greatest difficulty. She bears 
it all with great patience and fortitude. 

Wm. Corson, M. D. 


Dr. William Corson^. 

William was the youngest of Joseph and Hannah Dick- 
inson Corson's children and was born at their Hickoiytown 
home on the 8th of August, 1806. He remained at home 
with his father for several years after he had completed his 
school days, assisting on the farm and in the store. After I 
had graduated in medicine, William began the study under 
my preceptorship and graduated from the University of Penn- 
sylvania as a Doctor of Medicine, in 1831. During the whole 
course of his medical studies, prior to graduation, he continued 
to render active assistance to his father on the farm and in the 
store, yet in spite of these disadvantages he graduated with a 
creditable standing. 

He commenced practice in a house on Main street, near 
Swede, Norristown, but shortly afterwards moved further east 
on the same street, just below DeKalb, to a house which 
he purchased and in which he lived for the balance of his 
life, a period of over fifty years. He never married, but 
was devoted to his chosen profession, and to the great 
principles that uplift humanity to a higher plane of honor 
and usefulness. For over fifty years he practiced among 
rich and poor, white and black, among people in widely 
different circumstances and conditions and of a great variety 
of religious and political beliefs, yet all received the same 
willing service. It was his rule and practice to respond to profes- 
sional calls promptly no matter what the hour or how unpleasant 
the weather. He had a large practice. For many years he 

had practically no hours of leisure — indeed, had barely suffic- 


I40 History of the Corson Family. 

ient hours of rest Strong physically, and strictly temperate, 
he was enabled to live a long life of labor and usefulness. 

When he began to practice in Norristown, there were 
two other physicians in the borough who did most of the 
practice for the town and surrounding territoiy. These were 
Drs. Isaac Huddleson, an aged man, and George W. Thomas, 
who had passed the prime of life. Both of them became 
warm friends of William, as they had always been of each 
other and they soon established relations with him which were 
of mutual benefit, the two older physicians by being relieved 
of some burdensome features of practice ; William by obtain- 
ing patients that would not naturally have come to him in 
those early days and which therefore gave him an earlier 
opportunity for exercising his talents and capabilities. After 
the death of Dr. Thomas (who sur\-ived Dr. Huddleson several 
years), William became at once a leader in his profession, 
rapidly acquiring a large practice, which he continued to hold 
almost to the day of his death. A short time after the close 
of the war he entered into partnership with his nephew. Dr. 
EUwood M. Corson, and they continued to practice together 
until William's death in 1 886. 

My brothers and sisters were all active supporters of the 
anti-slavery movement, and in this great cause William was 
especially active. Many and many a fugitive slave received 
his assistance. A room over his office and another at the 
stable were frequently occupied by the runaways, and none 
left without means for supplying their bodily comfort With 
the aid of his friends Isaac Roberts, L. E. Corson, Dan Ross, 
the colored man, and a few others, he gave a welcome and 
substantial assistance to all of the fugitives who came to Nor- 
ristown or its immediate vicinity. Often old Dan Ross' house 
would have fifteen or twenty sleeping on the floor in a single 
night and all who were sheltered were sent safely on to the 
next station, where other friends would assist them, and so on 
until they had safely reached Canada. William was always 
proud of the part which he took in the abolition movement, 

Dr. William Corson'. j^i 

and he had good reason for his pride. It was in every way a 
work of honor — now recognized as such — though at the time 
it was stigmatized as being infamous and unworthy of upright 

His death occurred at 2 P. m. on November 7, 1886. It 
had been the wish of his Hfe that he might pass peacefully 
away after his days of active life should be ended and that he 
might be spared suffering and distress, and thus it came to 
pass. I will here introduce some testimony from others, 
brought out by the occasion of his death, which will make the 
history of his life more complete, and at the same time show 
his character as viewed by those outside of the family. The 
following from an unknown correspondent appeared in one of 
the public newspapers ; it is dated May 14, 1887, six months 
after his death : 

A Good Man Who Cast His Bread Upon the Waters. 
A few days ago there died in this town a well-known and respected 
colored man, aged about 70 years. He had accumulated a little property 
by care and thrift. Some years before the war the man made his way 
here, one stormy winter night, from slavery, and was cared for by 
Dr. William Corson, a prominent Quaker Abolitionist who died a few 
months aged about 80 years. Dr. Corson asked the man his name. 
"Samuel," was the reply, giving the name of the family by whom he 
had been owned. " That won't do," said Corson. "You are free now — 
suppose we call you Winter — it will suit the season," and by the name 
of Samuel Winter he was ever afterward known, and strong was his 
friendship for Dr. Corson. The same Dr. Corson, nearly fifty years 
ago, was called to attend a small boy, a poor little urchin who had been 
injured in a mill. " What is your name ?" asked the doctor. "John 
Smith," was the reply. " Oh, that won't do," said the doctor ; "there 
are plenty of plain John Smiths already ; why don't you call yourself 
John Corson Smith ?" The boy thought he would do so, and when 
word of the death of the good old doctor reached Chicago, one cf the 
saddest hearts in that great city beat in the breast of General John C. 
Smith, ex-State Treasurer, one of the best known men in Illinois. 

The Norristozim Herald contained, soon after the death of 

Dr. Corson, the following : 

Death of Dr. William Corson. 
Doctor Corson, one of the oldest and best known citizens of this 
borough, died at his residence, No. 16 East Main Street, Thursday 
afternoon. He had been in failing health for some weeks and his 
strength gradually gave way under advancing years. He was confined 
to his bed only t^vo days, and his interest in affairs about him was kept 

142 History of the Corson Family. 

up until within twenty-four hours of his death. He was the youngest 
of the children of Joseph and Hannah Corson, of Plymouth Township, 
and was born, August 8, 1806. He belonged to a family distinguished 
for their hostility to slavery and their adherence to the teachings of the 
Society of Friends, and he grew up thoroughly imbued with their prin- 
ciples, although never assuming the plain garb and language peculiar to 
them. He lost his mother at the early age of four years and grew up 
under the care of his sisters. He studied medicine and graduated in 
the Pennsylvania University in 1831. Dr. Corson began the practice 
of medicine in this borough and continued it more than fifty years — 
being nearly all that time at the head of the profession here, his advice 
and skill being sought by physicians throughout the county and even 
beyond its borders in difficult cases. 

During the war he was appointed on the board of Examiners, in 
connection with Professor Traill Green, M. D., of Easton, and Dr. 
Worthington, of West Chester. The duties were to examine those 
physicians who went to the field as surgeons and assistant surgeons ; 
the work was a responsible one and was well performed. .Subsequently 
he was called upon to fill the position of examining physician in this 
district, during the drafts made to obtain the quota of men for the 
army. At the close of the war he was appointed examining surgeon 
under the act granting pensions to soldiers and sailors disabled in the 
United States service, and held it until within a short time before his 

A few years since he was appointed, in connection with General 
James A. Beaver and Dr. John Curwen, a Commissioner to superintend 
the building of the Warren Hospital for the Insane. The work in con- 
nection with this institution required some sacrifice of time and attention, 
but was carried through in the most satisfactory manner. 

Dr. Corson gave instruction to many young men as students. Dr. 
Louis W. Read, his nephew ; Dr. Washington Nugent. Dr. Thomas F. 
Corson, Dr. Henry T. Slemmer, Dr. George N. Highley, Dr. David R. 
Beaver, Eugene M. Snyder, Isaac Hughes, Charles Bradley, S. N. Wiley, 
Wm. Ramsay and some others. For a number of years. Dr. Ellwood 
M. Corson, another nephew, has been associated with him in the prac- 
tice of medicine. He was also among the first to give instruction to 
female students — Dr. Ellen Zook of Port Kennedy, and Dr. Mary H. 
Stinson were his students, and became eminent women doctors. He was 
never married. Dr. Hiram Corson of Plymouth is his only surviving 
brother. He was a permanent member of the State and National 
Medical Societies. 

When his death was announced, the Montgomery County 
Medical Society was convened. Dr. Wilson, the President, 
stated that " the object was to take action on the death of one 
of the Society's oldest members — Dr. William Corson." A 
committee of whom Dr. P. Y. Eisenberg was chairman 
reported the following address : 

While we have assembled here, in special session, for the purpose 
of paying a tribute of respect, there is a vacant seat in our midst, and 
he who was accustomed to meet with us on such occasions as this, lies 

Dr. William Corsotf. 143 

at his residence on Main Street, still and silent in his last sleep. All 
that is mortal of Dr. William Corson, in obedience to nature's inexor- 
able law will soon join " the innumerable caravan which moves to that 
mysterious realm where each shall take his chamber in the silent halls 
of death." While his remains are still with us it is but fitting that we 
should pause for a moment and recall to our memories the life he led 
and the example he has set. It is true that the individual characteristics 
of men often stand out in bold relief and we now remember that some 
one has said 

"All greatness is solitary." 

So in the lifejust closed, the character, created by four score years' 
contact with his fellow-men, is as sharply defined as any product of the 
artist's skill and genius. Dr. William Corson may not have been a 
great man, but he was a remarkable one. Remarkable for his force of 
character, for his positive convictions, for the fidelity of his friendship, 
for his unswerving opposition to everything that savored of wrong, or 
tended in any way to compromise the dignity and honor of himself and 
of others. He was a man of lofty conceptions, purity of purpose and 
sincerity of action. He hated sham and pretense, no matter what their 
form. He was possessed of heroic courage and thrilled by philanthropic 
impulses. He was ever in the foremost rank, battling for the down- 
trodden and oppressed. He was generous to a fault. Many times have 
we seen him drop silver coins into the anxious hands of some needy one 
in tattered garments. He bore his own burdens uncomplainingly and in 
silence, and when they gathered around as though they would crush 
him down to earth, by the weight of his own imperious will he rose 
majestically above them. In this he was truly great. At times, his 
manner with those with whom he came in contact seemed harsh and 
abrupt, but to those who knew him best, he often displayed the gentle- 
ness of woman. These diverse qualities having been refined in the 
crucible of experience weie blended and unified harmoniously in his 

As a physician Dr. Corson was highly esteemed among his 
colleagues, and his judgment and diagnostic skill were sought in many 
a consulting room for a period of fifty-five years. He was a devoted 
attendant to his patients. His efforts to relieve their sufferings and to 
cure their diseases, were untiring and unceasing, and while we are here 
for the purpose of expressing our appreciation of him as a man and 
physician, in hundreds of households and in thousands of hearts, there 
is a sadness to-day that cannot be suppressed. 

At these meetings we shall sorrowfully miss his presence. \\ e, 
especially the younger members of the profession, have truly lost a 
friend and a brother ; one who was ever ready with a sympathetic ear 
and kindly counsel to assist in time of difficulty, lo the last his 
thoucrhts were not of himself but of others, and on the day before his 
death he rejoiced in the success of two of his friends, in their triumph- 
ant election at the polls to high and honorable stations. And but two 
days before he breathed his last, when his frame was too feeble to sit 
erect in his chair, and his hand so tremulous that he could scarcely 
hold the pen, he wrote a prescription for a patron and friend. 

Throughout his gradually increasing infirmities-for weeks— his 
intellect was clear and vigorous, and occasionally flashes of old time 

144 History of the Corson Family. 

fire kindled in his eye. When he was fully conscious that he could not 
rally and the end was drawing near, he expressed a wish that he might 
be spared the pain and suffering that are often incident to approaching 
dissolution. Nature graciously granted his request, and as the mellow 
twilight of an autumn evening fades gently into the deep darkness of 
night, so the life of our esteemed friend breathed itself out softly and 
peacefully into that sleep we call death. 

Such was his life and such his death, and he has furnished us with 
an example well worthy of imitation, and it is ours to see that it does 
not become a fleeting evanescence, but a practical reality — constantly 
admonishing us that 

' ' We can make our lives sublime, 
And departing leave behind us 
Foot-prints on the sands of time." 

The resolutions presented to the Society were unanimously 
adopted and were as follows : 

" IVhereas, The members of the Montgomery County Medical 
Society have learned with profound sorrow of the death of Dr. William 
Corson, one of the founders of this Society, and 

" Whereas, They recognize in the death of their late associate, the 
loss of one who at all times had the welfare and prosperity of this 
Society at heart, and feeling desirous of expressing in fitting words, 
their high appreciation of his many qualities as a man, and as a physi- 
cian, therefore be it 

"Resolved, That in the death of Dr. William Corson, this Society 
mourns the loss of one of its oldest, most active and talented members, 
and one who was justly esteemed by all his professional brethren, for 
many excellent qualities of head and heart. 

"Resolved, That while we deeply deplore his death, yet rejoice 
that his was a well spent life, full of years honorable alike to himself 
and the profession. 

"Resolved, That we tendei to his brother, his late associate in 
practice, and his relatives, the assurance of our heartfelt sympathy and 

"Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be sent to the family 
of the deceased, be published in the daily papers of Norristown, and 
entered upon the Minutes of this Society" — Signed by the Committee, 
of which P. Y. Eisenberg, M. D., was Chairman. 

Maternal Ancestry. 

In this chapter will be given some information about a 
few of the families who have intermarried with the Corsons. 

First, the Duncans, my grandmother Corson's family. 

Second, the Dickinsons, my mother's family. 

Third, the Foulkes, my wife's family. 

Fourth, the Egberts, my brother Alan's wife's family, 
which is also the family of brother Charles' wife, they being 

The Duncans — Father's Maternal Ancestors. 

The earliest one of whom we have an account is William 
Duncan, of St. Martin in the Field, London, England, who 
married Lady Frances Weston, widowed daughter of Lewis 
Latham, Falconer to Charles I., who is said to have lived 
to a great age : born, ISS'S, and died, 1655. Frances Latham, 
his daughter, was a rather remarkable woman. She was mar- 
ried four times, had eleven children and eighty-two grand- 
children. She was born in 1611, died in Newport, R. I., in 
1677. Her first husband was Lord Weston. Her second 
husband was William Duncan, by whom she had one son. 
Rev. Thomas Duncan, and three daughters. Her third hus- 
band was Jeremiah Clarke, who brought her and her children 
to America, to the Baptist settlement that Roger Williams had 
founded in Rhode' Island. Frances Clarke, as her name then 
was, had seven children named Clarke. After the death of 

Jeremiah Clarke, she married for her fourth and last husband 


146 History of the Corson Family. 

the Rev. William Vaughan by whom she had no children. 
The tombstone of Frances Vaughan can still be seen in an old 
graveyard in Newport with quite a long inscription on it. As 
will be seen by the foregoing, William Dungan, of England, 
left one son only, Thomas, and it is through him that the once 
numerous family in Bucks County is descended. 

Thomas Dungan became a Baptist minister and married 
Elizabeth Weaver, daughter of Clement and Mary (Freeborn) 
Weaver, by whom he had five sons and three daughters. In 
1684 the Rev. Thomas Dungan and his grown sons and 
daughters came to Bucks County, where he built the first 
Baptist church of Pennsylvania. It was at a place known as 
Cold Spring, three miles above Bristol, and there he died and 
was buried in 1688. 

On a gravestone in the graveyard of the Southampton 
Church (Baptist) there is this inscription : " Sacred to the 
memory of Joseph Dungan, grandson of Rev. Thomas Dungan, 
who came from Rhode Island in 1684, and died and was 
buried at Cold Spring in 1688.'' 

Sarah Dungan, daughter of the said Joseph Dungan 
and Mary Ohl, his wife, married Benjamin Corson, of North- 
ampton Township, Bucks County, and they had born to them 
eleven children, six sons and five daughters, namely : 

(i) I^enjamix, married Hannah Whitaker, moved to 
Muncy, Lycoming County. 

(2) Joseph (my father), who came to Montgomery 

(3) Thomas, married Sarah Roberts, moved to Chester 
Valley, Chester County. 

(4) Richard, married, first, Ann Marple ; second, Eliza- 
beth Bennett ; remained till his death in Bucks County, near 

(5) Mary, married William Harvey, moved to Philadel- 

(6) Sarah, married Matthias Bennett, remained in Bucks 
County, near to the Corson home. 

Maternal Ancestry. 1.7 

(7) Rachel, marned Paul Blaker ; lived in BucksCounty. 

(8) Elizabeth, married Issachar Morris ; moved to 
Muncy, Pa. 

(9) Joshua, married Hannah Lee ; moved to Makefield, 
Bucks County. 

(10) Jane, married Wm. Bennett; remained in North- 
ampton, Bucks County. 

(11) Amos, married Martha Martindale ; remained in 
Bucks County. 

Of the above, Joseph Corson came to Plymouth Meeting 
Montgomeiy County, and married Hannah Dickinson. Their 
children were : 

Alan W., married Mary Egbert. 

Mary, married Charles Adamson, of Chester County. 

Sarah, married Thomas Read. 

Joseph, marned Ann Hagy. 

Charles, married Sarah Norman Egbert. 

George, married Martha Maulsby. 

Hiram, married Ann J. Foulke. 

William, died unmarried. 

Their descendants constitute the entire number of Cor- 
sons in Montgomeiy County, save the small family of Corsons 
at Shannonville, (who are descendants of Benjamin Corson, 
a first cousin to Joseph [my father], of Plymouth Township). 

As it is sometimes veiy interesting to look back from 
effects to their causes, it m.ay not be amiss here to enquire 
why these Baptists of England left home so soon after 
America began to be setded. " On the restoration of Charles 
n," says the historian, "there commenced a series of fearful 
persecutions. In Wales, for twenty-eight years during his 
reign, they had to meet in the most secret places by night, 
somewhere in the woods, or on the black mountains, or the 
' Rough Rock.' They were obliged to change the place every 
week, that their enemies might not find them out. Often the 
friends of the infernal foe diligently sought them, but found 
them not. But sometimes despite all their care and prudence, 

148 History of the Corson Family. 

they were caught and unmercifully whipped and fined. Their 
cattle and household furniture were seized to pay the fines and 
the expenses of the executioners of the law. The safest place 
they ever found was in the woods under a large rock, called 
Darren Ddu, or the Black Rock. It is dreadful steep, and 
the roughest place we have ever seen." 

Rev. Thomas Dungan after his arrival in Rhode Island, 
heard of William Penn's toleration of the sect in Pennsylvania, 
so he came to this State, with a colony of followers. It is 
believed that Penn and Dungan were friends, for the father of 
William, Admiral Penn, was an P.nglish Baptist. So when 
Dungan came to purchase land, desiring a quiet spot, where 
he could end his days peacefully, Penn from the love he bore 
the Baptists and for his sympathy with those who had come 
out of terrible persecution, it is believed, offered him this Cold 
Spring, of which he had doubtless heard tlic Indians speak, 
for it was one of their great gathering places. It was at this 
place, Cold Springs at the mouth of the Pennepack, on the 
Delaware Ri\cr, three miles above Bristol, in Bucks County, 
where for four years, from 1684 to 1688, this Thomas Dungan 
lived and preached. There he founded a Baptist Church, the 
first one west of New England, except one in Charleston, 
S. C, founded one year earlier, 1683. The site of his bap- 
tism, at Cold Spring, is one of the most beautiful for such a 
purpose along the Delaware River. I-^rom then until the pres- 
ent time, that spot has frequentl}' been the scene of baptisms. 
There, in 1688, he died and was buried. In the burj'ing 
ground at Southampton Baptist Church, in Bucks County, on 
the tomb-stone of his son, Thomas Dungan, is this inscription : 
"In Memory of Thomas Dungan, Jr., son of Revd. Thomas 
Dungan, who came from Rhode Island to Cold Spring, in 1684, 
and who died and was buried there in 1688." This second 
Thomas Dungan was the father of Joseph Dungan, who mar- 
ried Mary Ohl. Their daughter, Sarah Duncan, married 
Benjamin Corson, third, by whom she had eleven children, 
already spoken of {I'ide Chapter IV.) ; the second child was 

Maternal Ancestry. 149 

Joseph Corson, my father, who was born March 15, 17G4. 
When twenty-two years of age (in 178G), he came from 
Bucks County to Plymouth Meeting, Montgomery County, 
and, in 1787, married Hannah Dickinson. 

The Dickinsons — My Maternal Ancestors. 

Hannah Dickinson, my mother, was the daughter of 
Joseph Dickinson and great-granddaughter of Wilh'am 
Dickinson, whose anc-estor, John Dickinson, of the Church of 
England, received, in 1658, a patent for 420 acres of land on 
the Patapsco River, in Maryland. 

William Dickinson was a descendant of Charles 
Dickinson, whose line of ancestry has been traced back to a 
very remote period ; a brief outline is here given. 

The earliest of the Dickinson name, of whom we have 
record, was Gaultier (Walter) de Caen, a lineal descendant 
of Ivar, General to Halfdan Heilbein, King of Norway in the 
year 700. His descendant, Gaultier de Caen, 2d, was 
with his kinsman, William the Conquerer, when the latter 
invaded t^ngland in 1066. He anglicized his name to 
De Kenson after having received a grant of land in the old 
Saxon Manor of Kenson, near the present city of Leeds. 
Subsequently he married a daughter of William Saxton, Lord 
of Kenson, and became known as Walter de Kenson. From 
him descended John de Kenson, clerk in Chancery during 
the reign of Edward L From John sprang Hugh Dicconsin, 
of Kenson Manor, near Leeds, who lived 1422 to 1475. 
His son was William, and William's son was John Dicconson, 
a wool merchant of Leeds, also Burgess and Alderman of the 
same place ; he married Elizabeth Danby (or Danbie), daugh- 
ter of Sir Robert Danbie, and died in 1525. John's younger 
son, William Dickinson, a country squire, moved to Bradley, 
Staffordshire, and married Rachael Kinge ; he died in 1590. 
His son, Richard Dickinson, of Bradley Hall, married Eliza 
Bagnall ; Richard died in 1600. His son, Symon Dickinson, 
a squire of Bradley, lived during the reign of Elizabeth and 

I50 History of the Corson Family. 

married Lady Catharine Dudley, a descendant of Edward the 
Third, (Direct Hne as follows : Edward III — his son John, of 
Gaunt ; his daughter, Joane ; her daughter, Elizabeth Ferrers ; 
her daughter, Elizabeth Fitz Hugh ; her daughter, Elizabeth 
Greystock ; her son, Sir Gilbert Talbot ; his daughter, Eleanor 
Talbot ; her daughter, Catherine Dudley, who married Symon 

Symon's second son, James Dickinson, born in 156S, 
who held positions of honor under James I., married Bridget, 
daughter of John Godson, a rich merchant ; he died in 1620, 
at St. James Palace (where he had lived from 1603), leaving 
six children. Charles Dickinson (the second son of James) 
was born in 1594, at the residence of his great uncle, Richard 
Dickinson, in St. Dunstan Parish, London, with whom his 
father then liv^ed ; at the age of nine he went with his father 
to St. James Palace, where he also held posts of honor until 
16 10, when he was apprenticed to John Carter, a wealthy 
merchant of London, whose daughter Rachel he married in 
16 19. Charles was a great favorite of King James the First, 
who presented him, on the occasion of his marriage, with a 
handsome set of silver. Some of the pieces are still in the 
possession of Wharton Dickinson, of Little Rock, Arkansas. 
In 1653, Charles and his three sons, Walter, Henry and 
John, were converted by the great Quaker Preacher, George 
Fox, who renewed his acquaintance with two of the sons, 
Walter and John, when he visited the Eastern shore of 
Maryland in 1672. Charles died in 1653, ^%^^ 59 years. 
His son John Dickinson, born in 1624, emigrated in 1654, 
with his two brothers, to Virginia ; subsequently he and his 
brother Walter went to North Point, Maryland, and took up 
300 acres of land, along the Patapsco River. In 1660 he 
again moved, going to Talbot County, Maryland, where he 
purchased 300 acres from Nicholas Holmes, whose daughter, 
Sarah Holmes, he married in 1664. Their third son, 
William Dickinson, born in 1669, married in 1690, to Sarah, 
daughter of William Harrison (and granddaughter of James 

Maternal Ancestry. 151 

Harrison, who died in Bucks County in 1687), moved to 
Darby, Pa., in the same year (1690). In 1703 he came to 
Radnor, as the records of the meeting show, and then bought 
a large tract of land in Plymouth Township, Montgomery 
County, Pa., adjoining the Meeting House, where he lived 
until his death. Joshua Dickinson, his fifth child, born in 
Darby (?), August 18, 1699, married Elizabeth Morris, 
only child of Richard and Hannah (Cadwallader) Morris, and 
moved to Whitpain Township, Montgomeiy County, on a 
farm of 200 acres, which his wife had inherited from her father. 
It was on the " Morris Road," near the present borough of 
Ambler; Joshua died April 20, 1752. His second child, 
Joseph Dickinson, born in 1729, married May 7, 1754, 
Hannah Wright, and they had four children, Israel, Mary, 
Ada, and Hannah (my mother, who married Joseph Corson). 
Hannah Wright, the wife of Joseph Dickinson (and my 
grandmother) was the daughter of John Wright, who came 
from Ireland about 1700, and settled in Hatfield Township, 
Montgomery County, and engaged in farming. He married 
Mary Morgan, who was a daughter of John Morgan; the 
latter's wife was a daughter of John Jerman, the Quaker 
preacher, who came from Llanidles, Montgomeryshire, Wales, 
about 1684, with his wife, Margaret, and two daughters 
Sarah and Elizabeth, and settled in Radnor Township, 
Delaware County. Pa. 

The Foulkes. * 

My wife, Ann J. Foulke Corson, was a direct descendant 
of Edward Foulke, who came to Gwynedd from the Parish 
of Llandderfel, Wales, in 1693, and whose ancestry has been 
traced back, by means of the Welsh records and other sources 
of information, through sixteen generations to Colwyn ap 
Morreiddig, King of Gwynedd. (My wife was the twenty-first 
generation.) Before his arrival, he purchased a plantation in 
Gwynedd of about 713 acres, which he called Penllyn. His 
wife, who came with him from Wales, was Eleanor, daughter 

152 History of the Corson Family. 

of Hugh ap Cadwallader ap Rhys, of the parish of Spytcr, 
in Denbighshire. They had nine children of whom Thomas 
FouLKE was the eldest. Thomas, born in Wales, married in 
1706, GwEX, daughter of David Evans, of Radnor, Delaware 
County, Pa., and they had eight children, of whom William 
FouLKE was the second born. 

William Foulke, born in 1708, married Hannah Jones, 
August 15, 1734. They had thirteen children, of whom Amos 
Foulke, born in 1740, was the fifth child. Amos married in 
1778, Hannah, daughter of Owen Jones, Sr., of Wynnewood, 
Pa. They had three children, of whom Edward Foulke, 
born November 17, 1784, was the second child. Edward 
married December 11, 1810, Tacy Jones. He died July 17, 
185 1. They had twelve children as follows : 

(i) Ann Jones Foulke, born September 15, 1811, mar- 
ried Hiram Corson, M. D., December 26, 1833. 

(2) Jesse Foulke, born June 23, 1813 ; died unmar- 
ried October, 1891. 

(3) Charles Foulke, born 18 15, died 1871 ; married 
Harriet M. Corson, great-granddaughter of ]^enjamin Corson 

(4) Susanna Foulke, born 1818, died 1886. 

(5) Owen Foulke, died in infancy. 

(6) Priscilla Foulke, born 1821 ; married Thomas 
Wistar ; died in 1882. 

(7) Jonathan Foulke, died in infancy. 

(8) Lydia Foulkp:, born February 18, 1827; married 
Charles W. Bacon. 

(9) Rebecca Foulke, born May 18, 1829; married 
Robert R. Corson, great-grandson of Benjamin Corson 

(10) Hannah Foulke, born September 18, 183 1 ; mar- 
ried Francis Bacon. 

(11) P^MiLY Foulke, born December 2, 1834; married 
Charles L. Bacon. 

(12) Owen P'oulke, died in infancy. 

Ann J. Corson 





Maternal Ancestry. i^^ 

The children of Ann Jones Foulke and Hiram Corson 
M. D., are : 

Edward Foulke Corson, U. S. N., born October 14, 
1834 ; died June 22, 1864, unmarried. 

(2) Joseph Kirby Corson, U. S. A., born 1836; married 
n 1874, Ada, daughter of Judge Carter. 

(3) Caroline C0R.SON, born 1839; died 1865. 

(4) Tacy Foulke Corson, born 1841 ; married William 
L., son of James Cresson. 

(5) Charles Follen Corson, born 1842 ; married first, 
Mary, daughter of Lewis A. Lukens ; second, Margaret Slem- 
mer ; died in 1889. 

(6) Susan Foulke Corson, born 1845 ; married in 1868, 
Jawood, son of Lewis A. Lukens. 

(7) Bertha Corson, born 1847 ; married in 1868, James, 
son of James Yocom. 

(8) Frances Stockton Corson, born 1 849 ; married in 
1874, Richard H., son of Charles Day. 

(9) Mary Corson, born 1852; unmarried. 

The Egberts. 

Two of my brothers, Alan and Charles, married daugh- 
ters of Laurence Egbert, son of Laurence Egbert, and 
grandson of James Egbert, who was born January 10, 1695. 

James Egbert's wife was Catherine , born December 6, 

1695, 'ii'id their sixth son, Laurence, was born January 20, 
1724, and lived in Whitemarsh Township, Montgomery 
County, during the time of the Revolution. While the army 
was in his neighborhood it took his son (impressing him into 
the sei"vice), his horses, wagons, and other valuable property, 
causing him much distress. He married Sarah Blackledge, 
who survived him, dying in the year 1800, at an advanced 
age. Their children numbered seven of whom the youngest, 
Laurence Egbert, Jr., was born in 1757, and died April 19, 
182 1. His wife was Sarah Norman, daughter of David 
Norman, and granddaughter of Robert Norman. The 

154 History of the Corson Family. 

Norman's have always been proud of their name and have 
boasted of their noble lineage. Da\'id Norman married 
Mary Stevenson (often called Stinson), daughter of John 
and Grace Stevenson, and they had eight children of whom 
Sarah, the fifth child, who became the wife of Laurence 
Egbert, Jr., was born April 13, 1765, and died July 13, 1836; 
her father, David Norman, died April 27, 1795. 

Laurence Egbert, the younger, and his wife, Sarah 
Norman, had six children of whom Mary, the eldest, married 
Alan W. Corson, and Sarah, the youngest, (she and her 
sister Susan were twins) married Charles Corson, both of 
them my brothers. Their descendants arc given in Chapters 
VI. and X. 


The War Record. 

The first ancestor of the Corson family of Pennsylvania, 
of whom we have any knowledge, was Cornelius Corssen', of 
Staten Island, N. Y., who received a commission as Captain, 
in 1689, for service in the French and Indian Wars. He died 
in 1693.-^/. /. Chile's History of Statai Island, X. Y., 

In the Provincial service in Pennsylvania we find Cafi'Ain 
Henry Corson^ Associated Regulars of Bucks County I'ro- 
vincial Service, 1747-48. — Pemisyhania Historical Magazine, 
Vol. 3, p. 437 

Revolutionary War. 

In the Revolutionary War in the " Roll of the Fourth 
Associated Company of Northampton Township, Bucks 
County, Pa., taken pursuant to the direction of the Committee 
of Safety, August 19, 1775, Captain Lott commanding," are : 

Christian CoRSEN^ 

Cornelius Corsen*. 

Daniel Corsen^ 

Cornelius Corsen, Jr.'^ 

Henry Corsen^ 

— Pennsylvania Associators and Militia, Vol. 2, p. 14S. 

In the Sixth Associated Company, of Southampton Town- 
ship, Bucks County, formed August 19, 1/75, commanded by 
Captain John Folwell, was — 

Benjamin Corson*. 

— Pennsylvania Associators and Militia, Vol. 2, p. 130. 


156 History of the Corson Family. 

War of 181 2. 

Richard Davis Corson^ M. D., grandson of Benjamin' 
and Maria (Sedam) Corson, was a Surgeon at Fort Marcus 
Hook in the War of 1 8 1 2. 

In the Civil War. 

Louis W. Read, M. D., grandson of Joseph^ and Hannah 
(Dickinson) Corson, was commissioned June i, 1861, Major 
and Surgeon of the Thirtieth Pennsylvania Infantry, First 
Reserves, the first three years' regiment. On July 17, 1863, 
he resigned this position to accept the appointment of Surgeon 
of United States Volunteers, and was assigned to duty as 
Medical Director of the Pennsylvania Reser\'e Corps, Third 
Division, P"ifth Army Corps, Army of the Potomac. In 
November, 1864, he was sent from duty in the field and placed 
in charge of the McKimm United States Hospital at Baltimore, 
and continued in that position until the end of the war. He 
was brevetted Lieutenant-Colonel United States Volunteers 
Januaiy 12, 1866, " for faithful and meritorious ser\'ices during 
the war." Appointed by Governor Hartranft Surgeon General 
of Pennsylvania, with rank of Brigadier General, May 15, 
1874, and reappointed by Governors Beaver, Pattison and 
Hastings to the same position. The last appointment was on 
July 3, 1895. On May 25, 1895, Dr. Read was elected 
President of the Association of Militaiy Surgeons of the 
United States of America. 

Joseph Corson Read", grandson of Joseph^ and Hannah 
(Dickinson) Corson, was Sergeant in Company B, Fourth Penn- 
sylvania \^olunteers (three months' regiment), April 20 to July 
27, 1861 ; Second Lieutenant Fifty-first Pennsylvania Volun- 
teers (three years), September 2, 1861 ; promoted to Captain 
and Commissary of Subsistence July 22, 1862; Colonel and 
Chief Commissary of Subsistence, Army of the Cumberland, 
June 9, 1865 ; brevetted Major and Lieutenant-Colonel, 
March 13, 1865, "for meritorious ser\ices during the war;" 
honorably mustered out, March 13, 1866 ; he was personally 

The JVar Record. 157 

engaged in the following battles, viz. : Roanoke Island. X. C. ; 
New Berne, N. C. ; Second Bull Run, Va. ; Chantilly, South 
Mountain, and Antietam. From March, 1864, to March, 
1866, he served in the field upon the Staff of Major General 
George H. Thomas. In the discharge of his duties as brigade, 
division, corps, and depot commissary, and chief commissary 
of the Army of the Cumberland, Colonel Read disbursed vast 
sums of money, and issued an immense quantit>' of subsist- 
ence stores, without the loss of one cent to the Government. 

William Corson Schultz^ great-grandson of Joseph* 
and Hannah (Dickinson) Corson, enlisted as private in Colonel 
Baker's Seventy-first Pennsylvania Volunteers. He was 
wounded in the battle of Gettysburg, July. 1863, and died in 
October of same year. 

Hexrv Corson Schultz**, great-grandson of Joseph'' and 
Hannab Corson, enlisted as a private, Fifty-first Regiment 
Pennsylvania Volunteers. He w^as killed in the battle of 
Antietam, September, 1862. 

Joseph Corson Jones^, great-grandson of Joseph"' and 
Hannah (Dickinson) Corson, enlisted August, 1862, in Fourth 
Pennsylvania Militia (Colonel Knoderer), Company C ; after- 
ward enlisted in Seventeenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, Company 
L (Colonel Kellog; Captain John Reese). He was Corporal 
and Sergeant and took part in fifty-seven battles and skirm- 
ishes, the most important of which were : Chancellorsville, 
(April 30 to May 2, 1863), Beverly Ford, Gettysburg, Falling 
Water, Brandy Station (August i, 1863), Stevensburg, Brandy 
Station (October ii, 1863), Thoroughfare Gap, Rappahannock 
Station, Bealton Station, Mine Run (November 29 to Decem- 
ber I, 1863), Kilpatrick's Raid to Richmond (February 27 to 
March 15, 1864), the battle of the Wilderness (May 7 to May 
30, 1864), Cold Harbor, Trevillian Station (June 11 and 12, 
1864), thirteen engagements along the Shenandoah Valley 
(June 23 to December 22, 1864), Sheridan's Raid to the 
James River Canal and White House (February 29 to March 
18, 1865), Dinwiddle Court House (March 30 and 31, 1865), 

158 History of the Corson Family. 

Five Forks, Scott's Cross Roads, Drumon's Mill, Saylor's 
Creek, Appomattox Station, and Appomattox Court House 
(April 9, 1865). He returned home June, 1865. 

Edward F"oulke Corson", grandson of Joseph'^ and Han- 
nah (Dickinson) Corson, was appointed Assistant Surgeon, 
U. S. N., April, 1859; sailed in May of the same year to the 
China Station on the U. S. Sloop of War, " Hartford," the 
flag-ship of the squadron. Returned in December, 1861 ; 
was promoted to Surgeon in U. S, Na\y in 1862, and sailed 
in the latter part of that year on the U. S. S. "Mohican," in 
search of the "Alabama" ; returned in the spring of 1864, 
and died June 22, 1864. 

Charlics Follen Corson', grandson of Joseph"' and 
Hannah (Dickinson) Corson, served in Company C, Ele\enth 
Regiment Pennsyhania Volunteer Militia, in the emergency 
call of 1862. 

Joseph Kirhv Cor>on", grandson of Joseph'' and Hannah 
(Dickinson) Corson, was Corporal and Sergeant in the Fourth 
Pennsylvania Volunteers (Colonel Hartranft), from April 20 to 
July 26, 1861 ; acting Medical Cadet at Military Hospital, 
Broad and Cherr>' Streets, Philadelphia, from P""cbruaiy, 1862, 
to March, 1864; Assistant Surgeon, Thirty-fifth Pennsylvania 
Infantr)' (Sixth Reserx'es), from March 18, 1863, to June 26, 
1864 ; present with his regiment at battles of Gettysburg, Pa., 
Manas-as Gap, Bristoe Station, Rappahannock Station, Mine 
Run, Wilderness, Spottsylvania, North Anna River, and 
Bethesda Church, Va.; Acting Assistant Surgeon U. S. A. at 
Camp Discharge, Pennsylvania, from November 15, 1864, to 
May 15, 1865 ; Assistant Surgeon U. S. A., October 9, 1867; 
Major and Surgeon, November 15, 18S8 ; received the brevet 
rank of Major Volunteers, March 13, 1865, for "faithful 
and meritorious serx'ices in the Wilderness campaign in 

George Norman Corson^ grandson of Joseph'' and Han- 
nah (Dickinson) Corson, enlisted in Company B, Fourth Penn- 

The War Record. 159 

sylvania Regiment (Colonel Hartranft), mustered in at I lanis- 
burg, April 21, 1861 ; carried mails from Washington to camp 
and back ; Perryville, Annapolis, Washington, Alexandria, 
Bull's Run ; mustered out July 27, 1861. 

John Jacobs Corson^ grandson of Joseph'^ and Hannah 
(Dickinson) Corson, entered the Army August 13, 1862, as a 
clerk, first of the Quartermaster's Department of liayard's 
Brigade of Cavahy, Army of the Potomac, until April, 1S63, 
and, afterwards, Clerk in the Quartermaster's Department of 
the Second Division Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac, 
until June 30, 1865. 

Richard Reed Corson'^, grandson of Joseph^ and Han- 
nah (Dickinson) Corson, enlisted as a private August 3, 1861, 
in Company B, First Pennsylvania Cavalry ; was commissioned 
First Lieutenant September 19, 1861, and made Quarter- 
master First Pennsylvania Cavalry ; was promoted to the rank 
of Captain and Assistant Quartermaster, May 12, 1862, and 
assigned to duty with General George D, Bayard, with whom 
he served until General Bayard was killed, December 13, J 862, 
and then served with General D, McM. Gregg as Division 
Quartermaster until December 15, 1864, when he was ordered 
to report to General Winfield S. Hancock, at Washington, as 
Corps Quartermaster, in the Veteran Reserve Corps; was 
promoted on June 19, 1865, to the rank and pay of Major 
and Assistant Quartermaster in the service of the United 
States ; mustered out October 7, 1865 ; certificate of discharge 
of indebtedness to the Treasury Department was issued to him 
January 7, 1868. 

Ellwood .Maulsby Corson", grandson of Joseph' and 
Hannah (Dickinson) Corson, was commissioned Assistant Sur- 
geon in the spring of 1863 and attached to the Sixty-ninth 
Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. He was with t'.ie army 
untU after the battle of Antietam, when he was attacked with 
typhoid fever and sent to Baltimore. After his recover)- he was 
assigned to duty on board a monitor which sailed from New 

i6o History of the Corson Family. 

York to Charleston Harbor. He was on board the vessel dur- 
ing her stay at the latter place, during which time (several 
days) she was subjected to a terrible cannonading by the Rebel 
batteries. He also had a good deal of experience in hospital 
service during and just after the close of the war. 

Edward Corson*, of Portsmouth, Ohio, great-grandson 
of Joseplr' and Hannah D. Corson, was a private in Company 
E, One Hundred and Eortieth Ohio Regiment. His father, 
Dr. Joseph Corson^ while not a commissioned officer was sent 
out from Portsmouth to look after the wounded after the 
battles of Bull Run and Vienna, and was Post Surgeon during 
the time a regiment was being raised for the war. 

Charles J. Adamson^ grandson of Joseph* and Hannah 
D. Corson, enlisted in September, 1862, in Company E, Nine- 
teenth Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer jNIilitia ; rc-enlisted 
in July, 1863, in Company I, Thirty-fourth Regiment, Penn- 
sylvania Volunteers, and again in July, 1864, in Company I, 
One Hundred and Ninct}--second Regiment, Pennsylvania 
Volunteers ; discharged November, 1864. He ser\'ed his full 
term in each regiment, but was in scr\'ice only about six 
months in all. 

Clarence W. WILLS^ great-grandson of Benjamin^ and 
Maria (Sedam) Corson, enlisted in the Fourth Pennsylvania 
Volunteers (three months' service), April 20, 1861 ; discharged 
July 20, 1 86 1. Re-enlisted in the Anderson Troop, Novem- 
ber 30, 1861 ; discharged March 26, 1863 ; died October 10, 
1874, at Pittsburg Landing, Tenn., aged 36 years, 

WiLLL\M WiLi^, Jr.^ great-grandson of Benjamin' and 
Maria (Sedam) Corson, enlisted April 20, 1861, in the Fourth 
Pennsylvania Volunteers (three months' service) ; discharged 
July 20, 1861 ; re-enlisted August 22, 1862, in the P""ifteenth 
Pennsylvania Cavalry (i i6th Regiment) ; discharged January 
26, 1864; died Januaiy 5, 1888, in Plymouth Township, 
Montgomery County, Pa., aged 49 years. 

The War Record. i6i 

Lewis E. Wills^ great-grandson of Benjamin' and Maria 
(Sedam) Corson, enlisted July i, 1863, in the Ind. 
Bat. Artillery (State Militia): discharged August 24, 
1863 ; re-enlisted in Battery G, Second Pennsylvania Heavy 
Artillery (ii2th Pennsylvania Volunteers), February 13, 1864; 
discharged July 29, 1866. 

Andrew W. Wills^, great-grandson of Benjamin' and 
Maria (Sedam) Corson, enlisted August 22, 1862, in the 
Fifteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry. Appointed Assistant Quar- 
termaster and Captain, December 5, 1863, and assigned to 
staff duty under Major-General George H. Thomas, in the 
Southwest. He was brevetted Major and Lieutenant-Colonel 
for meritorious semces and bravery in the battles of Antietam 
and Nashville ; received and holds a certificate of non-indebt- 
edness from every department of the government, although 
some ^$70,000,000 passed through his hands while on duty as 
Depot Quartermaster at Nashville and elsewhere. His force 
consisted of fifty-two clerks and from 5000 to 6000 employees. 
He was the youngest Assistant Quartermaster in the United 
States Army; resigned January i, 1868, and has since made 
his home in Nashville, Tenn. 

Albert Augustus Heston^, great-grandson of Benjamin* 
and Sarah (Dungan) Corson, enlisted in Company F, Eastern 
Shore of Maryland Volunteers ; re-enlisted in Company A, 
Second Maryland Volunteers ; served three years and seven 
months ; was in the battles of Falling Waters, Md., July 14, 
1863 ; Piedmont, Va., June 5, 1864 ; Lynchburg, Va., June 
17 and 18, 1864; Snicker's Ford, Va., July 18, 1864; Win- 
chester, Va., July 24, 1864 ; Martinsburg, Va., July 25, 1864; 
Cedar Creek, August 25, 1864 ; Berr>wille, Va., September 3, 
1864; Liberty, Va., June 19, 1864; Salem, Va., June 24, 
1864; Hall Town, Va., August 16, 1864. 

William Ellwood Ely, M. D.^ great-grandson of Ben- 
jamin* and Sarah (Dungan) Corson, was commissioned in 1864 
Surgeon in the U. S. A, and assigned to duty at the Fraicy 
Hospital, W^ashington, D. C, and from there placed in charge 

1 62 History of the Corson Family. 

of the Sixth Veteran Reserves, at Sherburn l^arracks. He 
was subsequently transferred to Philadelphia, and assigned to 
duty in McClellan's United States Army General Hospital, 
and after\vards appointed examining Surgeon for General Han- 
cock's Corps, Army of the Potomac, He died in 1892, in his 
51st year. 

Eugene R. Buckmax\ great-grandson of Benjamin* and 
Sarah (Dungan) Corson, enlisted in 1865, while at Millersville 
Normal School, in Company C, of the Eighth Pennsylvania 
Cavalry ; was wounded at Amelia Springs and sent to Annap- 
olis, Md., where he died April 25, 1865. He was buried in 
Newtown Cemetery, Bucks County, Pa. 

Joseph Morris'^, of Atlantis, Cass County, Iowa, great- 
grandson of Benjamin* and Sarah (Dungan) Corson, was killed 
in the battle of Stone River, during the Civil War. 

Corson Morris^ of Cook County, 111., great-grandson of 
Benjamin* and Sarah (Dungan) Corson, enlisted in Company 
F, Eighth Illinois Cavalry ; died in Andersonville prison. 

Freeman Morris^, brother of Corson Morris, and great- 
grandson of Benjamin* and Sarah (Dungan) Corson, enlisted in 
the First Colorado Cavalry and served three years. He died 
in Colorado, 1893. 

Robert Corson Cox^, great-grandson of Benjamin* and 
Sarah (Dungan) Corson, was commissioned Brigadier Inspector, 
with rank of Major, July 18, 1854, to continue to June, 1859; 
commissioned as Brigadier Inspector, June 6, 1859, to con- 
tinue to June, 1864 ; commissioned Major of the One Hundred 
and Seventy-first Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, Novem- 
ber 18, 1862 ; commissioned Colonel of the Two Hundred 
and Seventh Regiment, Pennsyl\-ania Volunteers, September 
28, 1864 ; commissioned Brevet Brigadier-General, April 9, 
1865 ; commissioned Major-General of National Guards of 
Pennsylvania, June 6, 1871. 

Henry Corson Cox^ son of the above and great-great- 
grandson of Benjamin* and Sarah (Dungan) Corson, enlisted 

The War Record. 163 

in the Two Hundred and Seventh Regiment, I'ennsylvania 
Volunteers, September 28, 1864, and acted as Orderly to his 
father, who was the Colonel of the Regiment. He was scarcely 
sixteen years of age when he went out, but, his father writes, 
"he was large and stout for his age and being an only son 
wasver\^ anxious to go with me." 

William Warren Corson^, great-grandson of Benjamin* 
and Sarah (Dungan) Corson, enlisted in the Thirteenth Regi- 
ment, F. V. Cavalry, August 22, 1862; was promoted 
to Second Lieutenant in the same regiment October, 1 864, 
which position he held until he was mustered out July 31, 

B. Franklin Van Court^ great-great-grandson of Ben- 
jamin'' and Maria (Sedam) Corson was chief clerk in the Com- 
missary Department of the Ninth Army Corps for one year. 
In January, 1864, he was taken ill with typhoid fever and was 
brought home and died in February of the same year. 

Thomas Francis Corson'', M. D., great great-grandson of 
Benjamin'^ and Maria (Sedam) Corson, entered the Army 
August I, 1862, as Assistant Surgeon Sixty-seventh Regiment, 
Pennsylvania Volunteers, Infantry ; remained in service until 
after the surrender of Lee; resigned May 7, 1865 ; partici- 
pated in the battles of Winchester, Va., June 14 and 15, 1S63 ; 
Locust Grove about November 23, 1863 ; Battle of the 
Wilderness, May 5, 6 and 7, 1864; Bloody Angle, Spottsyl- 
vania Court House, Va., about May 15, 1864 ; Cold Harbor, 
Va., May 31 and June i, 1864; Monocacy, Md., July 6, 1864; 
Opequand, Va., September 19, 1864; Fisher's Hill, Va., a 
few days after; Cedar Creek, October 19, 1864; front Peters- 
burg, Va„ April 2, 1865 ; Saylor's Creek, April 6, 1S65. 

Robert Rodgers CoRSON^ great-grandson of Benjamin* 
and Maria (Sedam) Corson, was commissioned Militar>' State 
Agent, June 5, 1862, by Governor Buckingham, of Connec- 
ticut ; June 28, 1862, by Governor Morton, of Indiana ; July 
7, 1862, by Governor Andrew, of Massachusetts ; July 8, 

164 History of the Corson Family. 

1862, by Governor Washburne, of Maine ; February 26, 1864, 
by Governor Corry, of Maine ; July 16, 1862, by Governor 
Solomon, of Wisconsin ; July 22, 1862, by Governor Hol- 
brook, of Vermont; July 31, 1862, by Governor Olden, of 
New Jersey; October i, 1862, by Governor Berry, of New 
Hampshire ; November 22, 1864, by Governor Gilmore, of 
New Hampshire, with rank of Colonel; November 5, 1862, 
by Governor Sprague, of Rhode Island ; November i, 1864, 
by Governor Smith, of Rhode Island, with rank of Lieutenant- 
Colonel ; December 23, 1863, by Governor Cannon, of Dela- 
ware ; July 10, 1864, by Governor Bradford, of Mar\land ; 
December 9, 1864, appointed Assistant Quartermaster-Gen- 
eral of Massachusetts, with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, 
"in recognition of the faithful, energetic and discreet services 
rendered the State"; July 20, 1865, "Commonwealth of 
Massachusetts, General Order No. 13: Lieutenant-Colonel 
Corson has the thanks of the Commander-in-Chief for the able, 
efficient and conscientious manner in which he has discharged 
the duties appertaining to his office, and for the kindness 
which he has shown in watching over the sick and wounded 
soldiers from this State" ; May 22, 1865, received the thanks 
of the State of New Hampshire through Governor Gilmore, 
with the expression of " the profound and hearty gratitude 
W'ith which the people of our State regard your efforts in 
behalf of our noble soldiers" ; May 26, 1865, received the 
thanks of the State of Vermont through Governor Smith, who 
writes : " Your kindness and attention to our brave volunteers 
has been and ever will be appreciated by them as well as by 
the State" ; January, 1866, received the thanks of the State 
by resolution of the General Assembly of Rhode Island " for 
his untiring energy and self-sacrificing devotion to the interests 
of our soldiers " ; 1861-1865, Recording Secretary and active 
member of the Union Volunteer Refreshment Saloon, which 
in connection with a similar organization provided gratuitously 
for over six hundred thousand soldiers passing through the 
City of Philadelphia; 1863, Agent in Philadelphia for the 


The ]Var Record. j^^ 

Boston Committee for recruiting the iMfty-fourth and Fifty- 
fifth Massachusetts Regiments, and sent over four hundred 
recruits to Boston, who were mustered into those regiments ; 
1 863-1 864, general agent of the Supervisory Committee for 
Recruiting Colored Regiments, with entire charge of the 
recruiting. Fourteen thousand men were placed in the field 
without cost to the United States Government ; was also c 
early member of the Union League of Philadelphia and 
active member of the Campaign Committee of that organiza- 
tion during Mr. Lincoln's campaigns ; 1 866-1 872, Secretary 
of the Pennsylvania Freedmen's Relief Association, whicli 
supported over one hundred teachers in the South and estab- 
lished schools in Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina, Alabama, 
Mississippi and Tennessee ; 1881-1885, one of the first secre- 
taries appointed in the Committee of One Hundred and con- 
tinued an active member in the organization until its dissolu- 
tion in 1885 ; first Treasurer and one of the original directors 
of the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to 
Animals ; Director and treasurer, since its organization, of the 
Citizens' Municipal Association ; a member of the following 
boards : Pennsylvania Institute for the Deaf and Dumb ; 
Inspectors of the Philadelphia County Prison ; Philadelphia 
Society for Organizing Charity ; The Sheltering Arms of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church ; The Philadelphia Fountain 
Society; The Young American Humane Society; Corpora- 
tors of the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania ; Cor- 
porators of the Hayes Mechanics' Home ; Trustees of The 
Morris Refuge Association. 

John Blaker^, great-grandson of Benjamin^ and Sarah 
(Dungan) Corson, enlisted in Company C of Colonel H. G. 
Sickles' Regiment. In 1863 he was promoted to First Lieu- 
tenant of the Third Regiment, United States Colored Troops. 

Ibiram Corson, /Ift. 2). 

Death of Dr. Hiram Corson. 


At the ripe age of ninety-one years, four months, and 
twenty-five days, Dr. Hiram Corson died at Maple Hill, the 
home in which he had lived nearly the whole of his adult life. 
Death came to him peacefully and quietly in the early morn- 
ing of March 4, 1 896. For many years he had suffered from 
periodical attacks of a peculiar palpitation of the heart (Parox- 
ysmal Tachycardia), and it was thought by his medical friends 
as well as by himself, that this would be the cause of his 
death ; indeed from the time of the first appearance of the 
affection it seemed likely that it would early compromise his 
life. But though it continued with him almost up to the day 
of his death, it apparently had little or no influence in short- 
ening his days and was not a factor in the cause of his death, 
which was due entirely to. general debility resulting from the 
enfeeblement of advanced age. 

The story of his life, written by himself, appears in its 
proper place in this work, but it seems fitting that some supple- 
mentaiy facts in connection therewith should be added here 
along with the announcement of his death. Without doubt 
he may be regarded as the most illustrious and talented 
member of the Corson family of whom we have knowledge at 
the present time. To him, perhaps, more than to any other is 
due the honored position which the name holds among the 
people of Eastern Pennsylvania and adjoining States, and, in 
the county and community in which he lived, he was, for o\-cr 
half a century, a recognized leader of thought and an exem- 
plar of the highest type of excellence. 

When his death became known, though all felt that his 

life had been extended to its natural limit, there was a feeling 


170 In Memoriam. 

of sadness in the hearts of the people, followed by a sincere, 
spontaneous outburst of eulogies on his well-spent life. The 
leading newspapers of Philadelphia, as well as those in his own 
and adjoining counties, published extended notices of his 
death, with sketches of his life, and many of them had beautiful 
editorial comments on his life and character. The Mont- 
gomery County Medical Society met in special session on 
Friday, March 6, 1896, to take action upon the death of 
Dr. Corson. The following members were present : Dr. J. C. 
Spear, U. S. N., who presided ; Drs. J. K. Weaver. C. H. 
Mann, George M. Stiles. John D. Weaver, S. X. Wiley. H. H. 
Whitcomb, Alice Bennett, Samuel Wolf J. j. Kane, P. Y. 
Eisenberg, E. E. Richards, D. R. Beaver, J. O. Knipe, J. R. 
Umstead. H. A. Arnold, L. W. Read, E. M. Corson, P. H. 
Corson, George N. Highley. A committee on resolutions, 
consisting of Drs. P. ^^ ICisenberg, Alice Bennett and S. N. 
Wiley, were appointed and they reported the following, which 
were unanimously adopted : 

H7tfrtas, The Montgomery County Medical Society has learned, 
with profound sorrow, of the death of its most honored member who, 
during a long and useful life, has ever been distinguished for the purity 
and benevolence of his character, his ability as a writer, his recognized 
skill as a physician, and his intense devotion to the cause of reform, 
therefore be it 

Resohuut That the members of the Montgomer)' County Medical 
Society realize the great loss they have sustained in the death of 
Dr. Hiram Corson, who was one of its founders, and for a half century 
was most active in its service and most interested in its welfare. 

Resolved, That it is the sense of his surviving colleagues that the 
cause of reform has lost a most zealous advocate ; society an upright 
citizen, and the profession a most useful member. 

Resolved, That the Montgomery County Medical Society respect- 
fully tender to his family their sympathy in its affliction, and that the 
members attend the funeral in a body. 

In submitting the above resolutions. Dr. 1'. Y. F^isenberg 
made the following touching address : 

Mr. President and fellow members of the Montgomery County 
Medical Society : 

We have assembled here this afternoon to pay our last tiibute of 
respect to the honored memory of our late fellow member — the founder 
of this Society — Dr. Hiram Corson. While we are in our accustomed 
places, all that is mortal of our good, venerable friend lies at his home, 

Address by Dr. P. Y. Eisenberg. lyi 

at Plymouth Meeting, cold and silent in his last sleep. He has been 
summoned to join 

"The innumerable caravan which moves 
To that mysterious realm where each shall take 
His chamber in the silent halls of death." 

Have we assembled here as mourners ? Or do we grieve because 
our aged friend has passed beyond the river? No; not for him have we 
come with heads and hearts bowed down. We need not weep for one 
whom the Great Husbandman has gathered to his garner as a shock of 
corn fully ripe and ready for the harvest. 

But we mourn our loss— the absence of that genial, companionable 

We grieve because we shall miss his kindly counsel— because we 
shall no more see his friendly face. 

It is fitting and appropriate, therefore, for us, his surviving friends 
and colleagues, to pause on the threshold of his interment and recall the 
life he has lived and profit by the example he has set. 

Sorrow may overshadow the heart at the thought of this final part- 
ing from our true and tried friend, yet its touch is softened with feelings 
of pleasure, when we call up before us the sterling qualities of the man. 

As the Alpine glaciers score their history upon the abiding rocks 
over which they pass, so do great men engrave enduring marks upon the 
records of the age in which they live. 

Dr. Corson may not have been a great man in the sense of a world- 
wide reputation, yet he towered above his fellows in many points. 

He was true as steel to his convictions and maintained them in face 
of almost overwhelming opposition with unflinching tenacity and vigor. 
His resources in zeal and energy were truly marvelous and his persist- 
ence in any cause he espoused was well-nigh boundless. 

He was original in his methods in dealing with either questions of 
reform, or treatment of disease. 

His sympathies for the down-trodden found expression in practical 
effort, and his home on Maple Hill in consequence was designated as a 
station on the Underground Railroad during ante-bellum days. 

He maintained his personal views of the causation and treatment 
of disease, and practiced his own methods in the face of the fiercest and 
most adverse criticism, with courage almost heroic. 

He championed the cause of woman — her emancipation from the 
limitations of her sex, her elevation to that plane where she might stand 
equal to man, her release from the environments of custom and preju- 
dice, until she is now a recognized factor, equal with her brother in the 
county, state and national medical associations. 

His fame has long since leaped the narrow boundaries of home and 
country, until the scholarly Zieuissen pauses to note a few sentences of 
praise for his treatment of inflammation and fever by the use of cold 
applications. But why should we multiply words ? 

His deeds, well known to all of us, are far more eloquent than 
they. His kindly nature has fashioned in our hearts a memorial of 
love, more precious to us at least than a shaft of marble or granite. 
Be it ever ours to imitate his virtues. 

172 In Memoriam. 

The pall bearers selected were his nephews, Drs. Louis 
W. Read, Elhvood M. Corson, Percy H. Corson and George N. 
Highley, and Drs. Samuel Wolf, J. K. Weaver, J. O. Knipe 
and H. H. Whitcomb. The names of Drs. L. W. Read, E. 
M. Corson and J. K, Weaver were added to those of the Com- 
mittee of Resolutions to constitute a Memorial Committee 
which was instructed to arrange for a memorial meeting to be 
held in Norristown, to which all of his friends were to be 
invited to be present. 

The funeral took place on Monday, March 9, 1 896, and, 
with one or two exceptions, it is likely that it was the largest 
attended of any funeral that has been held within the limits 
of Montgomery County. From far and near came his friends 
by scores and hundreds to have a parting look upon the face 
of their deceased friend. There were beautiful tributes to his 
memory by several friends, and then his body wa.s borne to its 
final resting place in Laurel Hill Cemetery. 

The memorial meeting, planned by the Montgomery 
County Medical Society, and arranged by its Memorial Com- 
mittee, took place in the Court House at Norristown on Friday 
evening. May 22, 1896. It was a complete success. Beautiful 
eulogies on the life and character of Dr. Corson were delivered 
before a large and cultured audience by Dr. John C. Spear, 
U. S. N. ; Prof James Tyson, of the University of Pennsyl- 
vania ; Dr. Thomas G. Morton, of the State Board of Charities ; 
Charles Heber Clark, of Conshohocken ; Dr. Charles Hermon 
Thomas, of Philadelphia ; Dr. William B. Ulrich, of Chester, 
Pa. ; James Boyd, Esq., one of the oldest members of the 
Montgomery County Bar, and William McDermott. 

The addresses of Dr. John C. Spear, Charles Heber 
Clark, Prof James Tyson, M. D., Dr. Charles Hermon Thomas 
and Dr. Thomas G. Morton were both beautiful and scholarly, 
and portrayed so truthfully and completely the character of 
Dr. Corson that they are here given in full : 

Address by Dr. John C. Spear, U. S N ,-^ 


Surely there is no one within the confines of Montgomcrv County 
to wnorn the hfe and services of Dr. Hiram Corson are known that is 
not ready with some offering of pubHc respect on this memorial occasion 
It IS tor the purpose of giving this desire practical effect that this public 
meeting has been called. I believe I am quite correct in saying that tl.e 
occasion is unique— that it is the first time in the history of Montgomery 
County that one of her deceased citizens has been thus honored For 
some years before his death Dr. Hiram Corson came to be looked upon 
as distinctly the first citizen of this county. This place, if we are right 
in according it to him, was won without the aid of political office, mili- 
tary rank or great fortune, but solely on his own merits as one wii'o had 
nobly labored to benefit his fellow man. 

In a large farm house, still standing, on the Germantown-Perkiomen 
pike, in Plymouth Township, Montgomery County, nearly opposite 
Ritter's tavern, Hiram Corson was born on the 8th of October, 1804. 
Jefferson was President of the United States, Washington had been 
dead only four years, and the Revolutionary War was fresh in the 
memory of the living. Such is the span of a single life ! Joseph Corson 
was his father and Hannah Dickinson Corson was his mother, both 
being descendants of Colonial families then in this part of Pennsylvania 
over a hundred years, and both belonged to the Society of Friends, as 
did their ancestors for several generations before them. Young Hiram 
first attended school at the village of Plymouth Meeting near by his birth- 
place, and when he was older he was sent to Friends' Select School in 
Philadelphia. His first venture in life was to enter the the office of the 
Norristown Herald X.o learn printing, so that he might become a jour- 
nalist ; but he gave up this in a few months and in 1826 began the studv 
of medicine, and two years later he received his degree as Doctor of 
Medicine from the University of Pennsylvania. Joseph Pancoast, in 
his day America' s greatest surgeon, was a classmate. 

Dr. Corson at once began the practice of his profession in the 
immediate vicinity of his birth-place, and almost direcdy acquired a 
large clientele for many miles around his home, succeeding in the course 
of a few years, to the large practice of Dr. Joseph Leedom, of Plymouth 
Meeting. In 1833 he built for himself a spacious residence near 
Plymouth Meeting, which he called "Maple Hill." Here the same 
year he brought his bride — here his nine children were born, reared and 
educated and his daughters married ; here too a few years ago his wife 
died ; and finally at the beginning of the present year the Doctor him- 
self fell into his last illness and died March 4th, surrounded by his lov- 
ing daughters, who had come home to him to be with him in liis Inst 

Of the many good works done by Dr. Corson the founding and 
sustaining of the Montgomery County Medical Society is not the least, 
for the profession here has derived great benefit from it in the last fifty 
years, and the best interests of the community at large have been 
thereby promoted in many ways. It was on the 12th of January, 1847, 
in a room in Ward' s Restaurant, corner Main Street and Strawberry 
Alley, Norristown, that the first meeting was held to form a County 
Medical Society. Dr. Geo. W. Thomas was called to the chair and 
Dr. Hiram Corson was appointed secretary. A committee was appointed 

174 ^'^ Memo ria III. 

to draft a constitution and by-laws ; and, on the 17th of April following, 
at a meeting held in the same room, they were adopted and our society 
was launched on its career of usefulness. It has grown to be one of the 
most important of the county societies in the State. 

Dr. Corson was one of the first to see the importance of having a 
vigorous, progressive medical organization in every county to hold the 
physicians together and elevate them both in professional attainments 
and in tone, and he worked hard to this end. So prominent a part did 
betake in this that he was elected in 1852, President of the State Medi- 
cal Society, being the youngest then who had been honored by election 
to that oltice. Our County Society is two years older than that of 
Philadelphia ; it was one of the original Societies that joined in form- 
ing the larger State Society, and later aided in founding the American 
Medical Association. Practically all this work fell on the shoulders of 
Dr. Hiram Corson. It was rare indeed he was absent from the meet- 
ings, and it is safe to say he read as many as fifty original papers of 
great value before our Society. Many of them were published in the 
medical journals, and became familiar to the profession both in this 
country and in Europe. In this way his reputation as a physician grad- 
ually extended and he enjoyed a large consulting practice, oftentimes 
patients coming from a great distance to seek advice. 

Dr. Corson frequently availed himself of Montgomery County 
Society as ?>. point d' appui\.o initiate medical and other reforms which he 
nearly always carried finally to a successful issue, thus conferring dis- 
tinction on the Society where they had their origin. 

The minutes of our Society bear ample evidence of the remarkaljle 
foresight of Dr. Corson. The day of his funeral a distinguished physi- 
cian who has closely followed him for forty years, remarked to me, 
" well it turned out after all that Dr. Hiram Corson was always right, or 
nearly so ! " As early as 1828 he began the use of cold drinks in febrile 
affections, though no other physician hereabouts did so. On July 12, 
1 85 1, he strongly advocated the application of ice and ice-water to the 
throat in scarlet fever, and in his practice had doubtless employed them 
in this maimer for some years previous to this date. On the fourth of 
October, 185 i, he again, but with more emphasis, advocated this treat- 
ment, and also advised when the fever was high, cold sponging of the 
body. On the fifteenth of October, 1853, at a meeting of the Society, he 
spoke, condemning the then prevalent plan of treating sun-stroke by 
bleeding, attributing (and rightly so in the light of subsequent discov- 
eries), the high death-rate to this practice. He advised in lieu of vene- 
section ice-water to the head and chest. Sun-stroke being infrequent in 
his country practice, he rarely had an opportunity to test the value of a 
treatment his superior mind had devised, and but little was heard of it 
in consequence. But with the advent of the thermometer in medicine, 
cold applications soon became the general treatment in sunstroke, and 
now thousands of lives, especially in our large cities and in India, are 
saved, that but for this would surely have perished. 

Dr. Corson's early use of cold applications in the treatment of 
febrile affections has recently been so perfected, and particularly so in 
typhoid fever, that now the death rate of this very common disease may 
be reduced at least one-half by its efficient use. 

The use of cold to reduce the temperature of the body in disease 
has latterly become so potent a remedy that I doubt not as a life-saver 

Address by Dr. John C. Spear. U. S. N. 175 

it will soon rank second only to vaccination in medicine and asepsis in 
surgery. We do not claim that Dr. Corson was the discoverer of this 
treatment, but only that to him is due some of the credit for the early 
and important part he took in its introduction. 

Again, it was in the Montgomery County Medical Society on May 
26, i860, that Dr. Hiram Corson began his efforts to procure the full 
recognition of women physicians by the profession and after much labor 
and bitter opposition, he succeeded in doing so in 1871. Then, too, 
closely connected with this was his beneficent work in securing the enact- 
ment of a law in this State, empowering female physicians to have charge 
of the insane of their own sex. It is difficult to estimate the benefits 
conferred on the hundreds of women physicians in this and other States 
by their full recognition in the profession, and no one anywhere can lay 
equal claim with Dr. Hiram Corson in bringing it about. And as to the 
great blessing the female insane have received from his thoughtful and 
human efforts no one can ever know. In both these reforms he was the 
leading spirit from beginning to end. AH honor to him I 

I must say a word about the extraordinary amount of work done 
by Dr. Corson. A simple calculation shows that he must have made at 
least 400,000 professional visits nearly all in the country ; and in doing 
so must have travelled on horseback or by carriage a distance equal to 
going sixty times round the world. The oldest sea captain in his fleet- 
winged clipper ship has not gone half so far ! Most of us are weary 
and want to rest after thirty-five or forty years of professional labor, 
but he worked on for sixty-eight years. He evidently thought it was 
better to Avear out than to rust out. What exposure and fatigue he 
must have experienced in the early years of his practice, with bad roads 
and dangerous streams to ford ! I have heard stirring stories in the 
country here as how he was sometimes kept two or three days on his 
rounds without once being able to reach his home. Messengers would 
track and overtake him on the road to call him to other distant patients, 
so that for several days at a time he would maintain a sort of "head- 
quarters in the saddle," depending on the farmers for food and fresh 
horses, leaving his jaded ones behind as he hurried on to other 

The members of the Montgomery County Medical Society affec- 
tionately acknowledge the great and lasting obligations they are under to 
Dr. Hiram Corson ; but though he is dead, his memory is embalmed 
in our hearts and there it will live honored and cherished. It is not 
expected that his vacant place will soon be filled for it is rare indeed 
that one reigns so long and so well as he did. 

His success in life was due, we would say, to a sound judgment, a 
resolute purpose to pursue the right, and an unusual capacity to gather 
wisdom from experience. He too knew how to inspire others with the 
soundness of his judgment and the integrity of his purpose. We always 
listened to him with rapt attention, for he elucidated every subject he 
spoke upon, and in the meetings of the society brought to our discus- 
sions the store of his knowledge and experience with a manner as 
unassuming as it was captivating. 

176 /;/ Memoriam. 


Dr. Hiram Corson as a Man and a Citizen. 

The Weight that retards the progress of humanity is Falsehood. 
Society has moved forw^ard slowly because it has always been barnacled 
with delusions and lies. The Oriental races have remained upon a low 
plane of civilization, not because they are inferior people, but because 
they have been overmastered and stunted by the influence of religion 
which hid the Truth from their eyes. Thus the\ have become laggards 
in the race in which the Western nations have been carried far forward 
by beliefs resting upon realities. These enlightened nations, in their 
turn, have made progression precisely in the ratio that they have 
adjusted themselves to close relation with fact ; and, if the most 
advanced of them all, our own nation, is halted upon its way to high 
prosperity, explanation is to be sought, not in the operation of occult 
forces, but in the application, by deluded men, of wrong theories to the 
business of conducting the government. 

The power of clear vision, therefore, the ability to perceive the 
Truth no matter in what measure ignorance and prejudice may have 
obscured it, this, surely, is one of the best gifts that can be possessed 
by man. The few men who have it are the prophets, the inspired seers, 
and inevitably, in the end, the leaders of the herd of their fellows ; and 
they are called to the performance of a function hardly less high and 
holy than that to which were summoned the men of ancient time who 
were the oracles of the Divine vision. 

Dr. Corson was a man thus gifted. His mental vision pierced 
through the incrustations of falsehood and error and penetrated to verity. 
To his mind, illumined by fact, it was an impossibility that the require- 
ments of justice could be reconciled with the jjroperty right of a human 
being to one of his fellow men ; and so negro slavery inevitably pre- 
sented itself to him as an indefensible outrage against the rights of man. 
With equal clearness he saw, when other men failed to see, that for 
women to acquire skill in the dealing with the maladies of women, and 
particularly for women to direct the treatment of persons of their own 
sex in institutions where physical ailment has distempered the mind, is 
demanded by considerations of equity as well as by those of decency 
and propriety. Nor could century-old theory and the dense opacity ot 
professional prejudice forbid that he should detect and repudiate the 
folly which would withhold the draught of cold water from lips that 
were parched with fever-thirst. In these, and in other matters, he saw 
fact where other men of his time could perceive only illusion which 
would tempt the rash away from the safe lines of precedent Were all 
men like the mass of men, there would be no progression ; the world would 
be smitten with the paralysis of petrification. Were all men like him, 
we should have celestial harmony instead of the jar and discord which 
accompany the struggle of the race toward a higher destiny. 

But it is possible that a man may have perception of the truth with- 
out possessing another quality that is necessary unless the faculty is to 
be but a dull-edged weapon, and that quality is courage. 

The man who, having clear insight, and postiveness of conviction 
that the thing that is is wrong, is set to no pleasing task when he begins 
the conflict to which he is summoned by the spirit that is in him. The 
very nature which qualifies him to discern has always a sensitiveness 

Address by Charles Heber Clark . 177 

that opens the door to suffering. It can give such a man no pleasure to 
place himself m antagonism to his fellows ; to bear the weight of a ver- 
dict of dangerous eccentricity ; to accept obloquy and vituperation as 
his portion. The seer would find life less difficult if he should c'ose his 
eyes to the vision of truth and join with the crowd in declarin<r that 
ancient Wrong is the only repository of Righteousness. *' 

And so it is that the still hioher gift, without which the ability to 
perceive may be but a guide to shame and dishonor, is the Courage that 
nerves the man to proclaim boldly the Truth that is in his soul ; and to 
stand fast for it, in absolute isolation, if required, through the conflict 
m which Falsehood would engage the Deliverer who tries to set its cap- 
tives free. 

The younger men of our time cannot know what the abolitionist of 
the old slavery days was called upon to endure. The press and the people 
and the pulpit were against him. Public opinion condemned his action, 
if it did not repudiate his theories. He was accused of all evil inten- 
tion, from the theft of the property of his fellow citizens to subversion 
of the government under which he lived. No epithet was too vile for 
application to him ; no reproach was too bitter and no violence too 
fierce and lawless that he might be deprived of his right of free speech. 
Amid this storm, and amid the storms almost as wild which raged about 
him when he plead for the rights of women and of the fever patients, 
Dr. Corson stood erect, undaunted, undismayed. The fight with Pre- 
judice and Ignorance and Wrong was on ; and he, in the front rank of 
the combatants for Truth, never lost wit or heart ; never failed to wield 
cogently his weapon of logic and sense, never doubted that his cause 
would have victory, and never sought ease and peace while the enemy 
remained in the field. 

He was but a country Doctor, with no influence of official authority, 
operating within narrow limits, never holding a conspicuous place in the 
view of the nation, and with no agencies at his command but his tongue 
and his pen for affecting public opinion. But if to do what he did 
valiantly, persistently, without shrinking from consequences or question- 
ing the possibility of ultimate success, be not heroic, then the world has 
had no heroism. 

Some of us, perhaps, may learn from his life, brave and triumphant, 
these not unimportant lessons : first, that we should have some other 
greeting than contumely for the man who, plainly in command of his 
mental powers, points us to a road different from that we have been 
traveling, and, second, that we ourselves, if our eyes shall be opened 
so that we can see Wrong where other men have only seen Right, shall be 
faithful to our high privilege and shall not fear or waver when the tempest 
shall burst upon our heads as it burst upon his. 

With his qualities of clear vision and steadfast courage. Dr. Corson 
combined the charity which confesses that wrong opinion is usually the 
result of delusion rather than of culpability. He hated error, not the 
man who held it and combated for it while unconsciously its victim. 
There is doubt if he ever cherished personal animosities, unless in cases 
where men had yielded themselves to complete degradation and had 
become vile. There are few traces of invective in his writings or his 
utterances. He contended with men because they embodied and repre- 
sented the principle that was hurtful ; but it may be asserted with confi- 
dence that his individual opponents were regarded by him with com- 

lyS In Mentor iain. 

passion instead of rancor. Thus, although he was an ardent advocate 
of the complete disuse of alcoholic stimulants in social and professional 
life, and in making contention for his opinions was vigorous and fear- 
less, it is safe to say that he was able to abhor the traffic and to denounce 
the practice without bitter feeling for those who conducted the one and 
indulged in the other. 

This characteristic appears in his method of controversy. He 
urged his case with all the potency of logic, sustaining the argument by 
abundant illustrations drawn from his own experience and that of 
others ; but usually his discourse was enlivened by touches of humor, 
quaint, kindly and illuminating, of which he was a master. His con- 
versation was made peculiarly charming by this quality. Deeply im- 
pressed always with the gravity of the need that men should earnestly 
endeavor to walk in the right way, still he knew that even the forlornest 
existence is not wholly tragic. And so, while maintaining his strenuous 
purpose that wrong should be righted, he could not be indift'erent to the 
comedy that is ever intermingled with the drama of human life. 

He was not fond of conversational argument. His practice was to 
listen patiently to a vehement opponent of his theories, and then, in 
quiet tones, to ask a single question or to make a mere observation 
which often was conclusive of the discussion. By nature his temper 
was quick. He reached conclusions rapidly, and his impulse was to act 
when his mind was made up. But those who knew him slightly might 
reasonably have concluded from his manner of speech, and from his 
general demeanor, that deliberateness and tranquillity were qualities 
belonging to his temperament. 

A man of his intellectual gifts and moral elevation inevitably 
placed a true valuation upon things of little worth which many other 
men pursue with eagerness as if they were invaluable. Public honors 
had no charm for him. He was always ready to serve society ; but he 
coveted no high place and wished for no distinction. He had endured 
calumny with calm indifference too often to possess any strong thirst for 
the praise of man or deep regard for it. He had encountered brainless 
incompetency in responsible office too often to yearn for the place 
which can bring no honor to the man who deserves none. 

And so, also, the soul which always faced itself to fact could not 
grovel among the delusions which lure the money-getter toward objects 
which can never satisfy. Wealth had no enticement and laid no snare 
for him. In all his money obligations he had that scrupulous precision 
which is, and rightly, the world's test of personal character ; but men of 
his kind inevitably disdain the sordid existence which finds its best 
satisfaction in gain, and the blind folly of him who expends all his 
energies in heaping up riches without knowing who shall gather them. 

Thus, too, although he had what may be called a deeply religious 
nature, he did not make any formulated creed fully his own. Perhaps 
he may have found the widest of them too narrow. Perhaps his charity 
was broad enough to discover some uplifting element of truth in all of 
them. We cannot tell, but of this we are sure, that he rested securely 
upon the conviction of Divine order and direction of the universe ; he 
recognized the Fatherhood of the Creator as the foundation-stone of the 
Brotherhood of man, and he proved the strength of his faith in the 
reality and obligation of that Brotherhood by doing what in him lay, to 
make men better and wiser. 

Address by Prof. James Tyson. 


Surely it would be difficult to pay a higher tribute to anv human 
being than this : that he fought only in the battle of righteousness ; and 
that, because he was valiant and faithful, victory came and with it bless- 
ing for the race. 

How may a man acquit himself manfully before his fellows better 
than by building up a spotless character, playing his part without 
reproach in his home and among his neighbors, obeying every require- 
ment of honor, extending his hand quickly when the cry for assistance 
is heard, appearing always as the enemy of the oppressor' ; always as 
the friend of him who has no helper ; and from first to last, offering to 
the young and to the wayward an example whose mute influence was 
never less than beneficent ? 

How could a man play his part as a citizen more nobly than by 
warring against an institution which belied the fact, fundamental in our 
political system, that men have equal rights ; by bearing his testimony 
persistently against the liquor traffic, which places a heavy burden upon 
thrift and sends myriads into dishonored graves, and by striving always 
against the conservatism which would make immovable the error that 
stands upon the pedestal of truth ? 

Dr. Corson will be forgotten, it may be, as time rolls by ; butlitde 
would he have cared for oblivion who cared little while he lived for 
fame. He knew, and we know, that the great things achieved by him 
or by his help will remain, and remain to bless. 

We honor ourselves by honoring his meinory here. Well would it 
be for us, and for those who regard him not, if all of us could use what 
powers we have as he used his. The holy war between Truth and False- 
hood must be waged so long as men stand upon the earth with dull 
minds and half-shut eyes and with stubborn prejudice against the unac- 
customed thing. If any of us covet the laurels of the brave whose 
warfare has been victoriously accomplished, it is needful that we shall 
have their valor and consent to become the sharers of their sacrifice. 

Dr. Hiram Corson as a Physician. 

Asking myself the question on receiving the invitation to speak 
this evening of Dr. Corson as a physician, how shall I characterize the 
type represented by the precious friend in whose memory we are 
gathered to-night? the answer comes promptly and unfalteringly— the 
honest physician, ardent lover of truth, inveterate and fearless foe of 
shams, whose single aim was the welfare of the sick and tlie honor and 
advancement of his profession. 

Dr Corson became a leader in medicine almost from the moment 
he entered it, on the 27th of March, 1828. when not twenty-four years 
old and perhaps if anv lived to tell us I doubt not we would be told he 
was a leader among the students of his day. With a restless, ardent 
temperament, though covered by a quiet gentle exterior, it was scarcely 
possible for him to be anything else than a leader ; and he continued a 
leader almost up to the day of his death, at ninety-four, after seventy 
years battling for the truth and the right. And fortunate was it for the 
right that he was alwavs on its side. For he never tired in his ettorts or 

i8o In Memoriam. 

ceased in his endeavor until victory crowned them, however lon^j it 
may have been delayed. 

Yet it could scarcely be otherwise than that he should be with the 
right. Of gentle lineage, dating backward for centuries, a lineage in 
which each generation was the best of its day, even though it might not 
reach the ideal of our day, it was scarcely possible that Hiram Corson 
should be aught than what he was, and that his acts should be else than 
those prompted by noblesse oblige. And I may be permitted to add 
also that thus is left to the descendants of Hiram Corson a heritage 
which will exact a similar fidelity to all that is true and just and 

To make more than a passing mention of many of the features and 
events which characterized Dr. Corson, as a physician, would consume 
much more time than is allotted me, and I will refer therefore only briefly 
to a few of such as seem especially characteristic. 

One of the most essential, if not the most essential, attribute of the 
good physician which was possessed by Dr. Corson in an eminent 
degree was common sense, and it was probably this attribute which 
prompted him to take most of the stands he took in connection with 
changes in the practice of medicine. The first of these was the crusade 
instituted in the second year of his practice against the use of hot 
liquids, such as teas and the like, in the treatment of measles, and the 
substitution of the liberal use of cold drinks to satisfy the craving 
thirst and to reduce the high temperature. The very next year, in 
1830, he began the treatment of scarlet fever by cool sponging of the 
body and advised the practice of holding pieces of ice in the mouth to 
cool its fevered heat and that of the swollen tonsils. This treatment 
was even more heretical at the time than that of measles, and when he 
added to it copious eli'usions of cold water on the head and external 
applications of ice to the inllamed submaxillary glands, the hostility 
excited against this "freezing treatment," as it was called by his critics, 
scarcely knew bounds. Nevertheless, with his wonted courage he held 
out, and as was usually the case his methods have received the sanction 
of modern and enlightened medicine. 

It was not by practice alone that he stood by his convictions, but 
he wrote vigorously in the journals and Society transactions on this 
subject, trenchant articles, far-reaching in their emphasis and convinc- 
ing in their argument. Similarly sensible were his papers on "Meddle- 
some Midwifery," " Puerperal Convulsions," "Diphtheria Treated by 
Ice Internally and Externally," "Blood Letting in Pneumonia," and 
many others. But the act which will perhaps prove to be the most bene- 
ficent and wide-reaching in its effects, and perhaps the event of which 
Dr. Corson himself was most proud, was the consummation of his idea 
that the women inmates of our State Hospitals for the Insane should be 
provided with physicians of their own sex. In 1877, Dr. Corson 
brought before the Medical Society of the Slate of Pennsylvania a 
resolution of which he secured the adoption, to the effect that women 
physicians should have the care of the insane of their sex. A com- 
mittee was appointed of which he was made chairman, to secure its 
adoption. And in less than two years after this committee began to 
work, a law was enacted by the State of Pennsylvania, authorizing 
Boards of Trustees of State Hospitals to appoint women physicians to 
have the medical care of the female insane. But the effect was not 

Address by Prof. James Tyson. iSi 

confined to Pennsylvania and now many States provide bv law for tins 
humanizing course and some require the insane women to' be under the 
separate care of women superintendents. 

But as I have intimated it was not simply in his devotion to the best 
interests of the sick alone that Dr. Corson did his duty as a physician 
He sought also to elevate his profession and his restless mind was always 
on the alert for means to this end. It was more particularly in the 
medical organizations of his county, State and nation that he could serve 
the profession thus. One of the founders of the Medical Society of the 
State of Pennsylvania as well as of the County Society of iMontgomcrv, 
his well known figure and alert, active intelligence always added an 
interest to the proceedings and when he spoke on any subject all faces 
were turned to him and all ears opened to him. He was quick to 
discern motives and woe unto him who sought to carry any measure 
which would not bear the light of day. f^r with scathing speech and 
pointed finger Dr. Corson always meted out to him the punishment he 
justly deserved. Always on the side of the oppressed it sometimes 
happened that advantage was taken of Dr. Corson's absence to put 
through measures it was known he would have opposed. But as surely 
as the next year came, and Dr. Corson was present, the action was 
reversed or good reason was given why it should stand. 

I well remember the first time I attended a meeting of the Penn- 
sylvania State Medical Society. It was in Pottsville, 1 think, in 1875. 
The late Dr. Andrew Nebinger had a couple of years before made an 
address before the Society which contained some unpleasant but truthful 
statements as to practices which characterized Protestant Christians as 
contrasted with Romanists. These statements did not meet the approval 
of certain members of the Society who proposed therefore to exclude 
the address from the published proceedings and had succeeded the 
previous year in deferring its publication, though I fear Dr. Corson must 
have been absent on that occasion. At this meeting the question came 
up again. There was a bitter contest; Dr. Nebinger' s enemies vigor- 
ously opposed the address being accorded a place in the proceedings. 
On the other hand Dr. Corson made a powerful speech in favor of it 
and was followed by Dr. E. A. Wood of Pittsburg. Dr. Wood was an 
acknowledged agnostic and Dr. Corson a Friend. It seemed to me, then 
a young physician, a hopeful sign of the times to see the grand old 
church defended by the Quaker and the agnostic against whom in the 
olden time it would have hurled its anathema and condemned to 
eternal torture those who held their belief. 

The recognition of women physicians was one of the causes for 
which he battled valiantly, and as was usual with him, won in the end. 
Doubtless some abler pen than mine will have described the stages of 
this struggle. How again and again he rallied his forcesuntil the final 
victory cTme. And at the present day over the breadth of the land 
men are wondering why they could ever have been found among those 
opposed to the admission of women to our profession and our societies, 
or denied them the fullest opportunities to make them the best of phy- 
sicians. And as I sat but a day or two ago at a session of the Medical 
Society of the State of Pennsylvania and listened to the able papers of 
two able women clearly and impressively read, and heard with rapt 
attention by a couple of hundred men— addresses full of useful knowl- 
edge culled from actual and ripe experience— again my thoughts reverted 

1 82 In Memoriam. 

with gratitude to the good man without whose efforts the opportunity 
might still have been denied us of profiting by the labors of these and 
other useful medical women. 

Oblivion of self was another attribute of our dear friend which it 
may be profitable for us to dwell upon for a moment. In all our inter- 
course of over thirty years' duration, in all the addresses of which he 
has delivered at different times so many, I cannot recall a word to show 
that any advantage or disadvantage to himself weighed an iota in deter- 
mining his course. He was not one of those who loved truth because it 
was useful to him, but he loved it for its own sake. It was always the 
good cause or the public weal on the altar of which he was ever willing 
to immolate self, and he would journey far and wide at personal expense 
and inconvenience to further such cause. 

Dr. Corson was fond of nature and his love of nature was an 
essential and natural part of his being. Indeed it has often occurred to 
me to observe the almost inseparable association of a love of truth with 
a love of nature. It had a striking illustration in the learned and great- 
hearted yet simple and retiring Joseph Leidy, of whom Dr. Corson was 
an intimate friend and admirer. I believe there is no better way in 
which 1 can show the fondness of nature which characterized our dear 
friend than by quoting from a letter he wrote me last summer, only a 
few months before he died. It ran as follows : 

Sunday, 23d June, 6 A. .M. (1895). 
Dear Doctor, 

As I look out of my window from my desk, on the north lawn, thus 
early in the morning, and see the chickens and robins scattered over it, 
hunting their breakfasts, and feel the fresh moist air that enters, the 
poem of Philadelphia's poet, George Boker, of which I will give 
you at least one verse, presents itself to me : 

" With song of birds and hum of bees 

And odorous breath of swinging flowers, 
With fluttering herbs and swaying trees, 
Begin the early morning hours." 

And then he adds: " You must have one more verse so as to appre- 
ciate the joy of rising early," 

" So fair and fresh the landscape stands, 
So vital, so beyond decay. 
It looks as though God's shaping hands 

Had just been raised and drawn away." 

Dr. Corson never said a word to me on the subject of religion. I 
knew that he was a direct descendant of Friends and a sympathizer with 
Friends and perhaps himself a member, but of this I have no accurate 
knowledge even to-day. On tlie occasion of my last visit to him, how- 
ever, in September, he said in the course of our conversation, parenthet- 
ically as it were, " I am ready to go ; I am not afraid to die." 

These words have often recurred to me since then. They were 
spoken, as I intimated, without reference to religion, yet it seemed to 
me too they were spoken as by authority. At any rate they became to 

Address by Dr. Charles Hermon Thomas. is^, 

me an encouragement to believe that if one has performed in the best 
way he could the task allotted him, however humble, and has been 
gentle and human in his relations to man and beast, as our dear friend 
was, it may be all that will be asked of him and he may meet death as 
he did without fear, and without regret, as he lived above fear and 
above reproach. 

Dr. Hiram Corson as a Champion of Womicn Physicians. 

The history of the movement for the education of women phy- 
sicians, for their recognition by the medical societies and their subse- 
quent advancement, is a history of contest from the beginning, becom- 
ing sharp and severe a few years later and lasting for many years. Dr. 
Corson's efforts in this cause began at the outset and ended only with 
his life. The period of storm and stress through which it passed and 
in which he bore a leading part can be best appreciated by reference to 
the records of the time, and the purpose of this occasion cannot, prob- 
ably, be better served than by presenting some citations from the 
documentary history of the struggle in the Medical Society of the State 
of Pennsylvania in particular, from a history of these events as com- 
piled by Dr. Corson himself 

It is now nearly fifty years ago — in the year 1848 — that Dr. Eliza- 
beth Blackwell, the pioneer medical woman of the world, in the face of 
many discouragements, began her medical studies. In 1849, Dr. Sarah 
E. Adamson, a niece and student of Dr. Corson, entered upon a like 
course. The difficulties encountered by Dr. Adamson in obtaining 
college instruction, as in the case of Dr. Blackwell, were very great. 
Dr. Corson applied in her behalf for admission to the Medical Depart- 
ment of .the University of Pennsylvania and the Jefferson Medical Col- 
lege, but applied in vain. She afterwards entered a small college for 
the medical education of both sexes, located in Syracuse, New York, 
and where she was graduated. 

A charter was obtained for the Woman's Medical College of Penn- 
sylvania in 1S50, and in due course a class of seven young women was 
graduated. From the very beginning the opposition to the entrance of 
women into the medical profession was great, but it is also true that, in 
the words of Dr. Corson, " no combined action was taken by the pro- 
fession against them until eight classes had been graduated and many 
had established themselves in practice, when the Board of Censors of 
the Philadelphia County Medical Society reported to the Society their 
disapproval of any member of it holding professional intercourse with 
the professors or the alumni of the Woman's Medical College." 

This report of the Censors, which was adopted by the Society 
November 10, 1858, "recommended the members of the regular pro- 
fession to withhold from the faculties and graduates of female medical 
colleges all countenance and support and that they cannot consistently 
with 'sound medical ethics consult or hold professional medical inter- 
course with their professors or alumni." 

Atthesucceedingmeetingof the Medical Society of the State of Icnn- 

sylvania, held in Philadelphia, June, 1859. this resolution of the County 
Society was presented and referred to a Committee, which reported that 

184 III Menioriam. 

"after a very careful consideration of the said resolutions of the Phila- 
delphia County Medical Society and the important ethical questions to 
which they have reference, the Committee believe that the course 
pointed out by the resolution is the correct one, and as such, demands 
the sanction of this Society and that they would urge its observance by 
all the county societies throughout the State." 

The report was unanimously adopted and sent to the county socie- 
ties, after which, as Ur. Corson remarks. " it was doubtless believed by 
its originators and advocates that no physician with proper regard for 
his success in practice, the friendship of his professional brethren and 
the honor of the profession would thereafter hold professional inter- 
course with female physicians." 

The resolution thus adopted in 1859 proved not to be the finality 
its promoters intended, but was destined instead to become a source of 
protest, contention and discord, occupying much of the time of the 
Society for more than a decade to follow. 

Before the ne.xt annual meeting, May 26, i860, a meeting of the 
Montgomery County .Medical Society was held in Norristown, when 
Dr. Corson, then Corresponding Secretary of the Society, presented a 
preamble and resolutions "dissenting from the action of the Philadel- 
phia County Medical Society and the State Medical Society," saying, 
" we believe the time is fully come when women should not be excluded 
from the medical profession, but if properly educated and observant of 
the code of medical ethics should receive the same treatment from the 
male members of the profession as is accorded to the male members 
thereof," and directing the delegates of the Society " to lay the pream- 
ble and these resolutions liefore the State Medical Society at its next 
meeting and ask that they have a place in the minutes of the Society." 
This was carried by the affirmative vote of seven of the nine members 

Ac the meeting of the State Society, held in Philadelphia a month later, 
Dr. Corson, as delegate from the Montgomery County Society presented 
these resolutions, where they were met at once as he tells us by violent 
opposition, and a motion to lay them on the table was promptly carried. 

The War of the Rebellion now came on and further action in the 
matter was postponed until 1866 when (at a meeting of the State Society 
held at Wilkes-Barre) Dr. Corson again led an attack upon the forces of 
opposition, introducing a protest from the Corporators and Faculty of 
the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania, coupled with a request 
for the repeal of the resolution passed in 1859. Much heated discus- 
sion ensued and the motion to rescind was lost. A motion, however, 
was carried referring to the several county societies to be reported on by 
them the following year, a declaration that "the resolution of 1859 is 
not intended to prevent members of the Society from consulting with 
regularly educated female physicians who observe the code of ethics." 
The progress made at this meeting was great, as considering that at its 
opening, it was only after several fruitless requests that Dr. Corson was 
able to obtain a seconder to his resolution. 

At the next annual meeting, the reports of the constituent societies 
upon the question were received. Some were in favor, some against, 
but the larger number took no action. The Philadelphia County 
Medical Society, however, reported "we cannot offer any encourage- 
ment to women to become practitioners of medicine, nor can we con- 

Address by Dr. Charles Hermon Thomas. 185 

sent to meet in medical consultation such practitioners/' while the Mont 
gomery County Medical Society « instructed her ddegat^ to use . 
honorable means to place respectable female graduates =md the p ofes 

Thus again was the issue squarely joined. The test vote was taken 
on a renewed protest from the Woman's Medical College, including -1 
request for the repeal of the obnoxious resolutions of 1850 when ^ 
motion to lay on the table was carried. ^' 

The next year the friends of women physicians again renewed the 
struggle and again their efforts, ended in defeat. 

A pause of a year now occurred as to the State Society 86q^ 
during which time the Philadelphia County Medical Society adopted 
lurther resolutions of the most stringent character, disqualifvin- pro- 
lessors and graduates of women's colleges from membership in the 
Society and prohibiting its members from consulting with the professors 
or graduates of female colleges. 

This brings us to 1870, when the struggle was renewed once again, 
practically on the same lines as heretofore, when a motion prevailed'' that 
"the question be laid on the table until the American Medical Associa- 
tion shall have decided upon it." 

The issue was now introduced to the American Medical Association 
by the action of the Woman' s Medical College in sending delegates to 
that body, where it proved the source of the liveliest contention, occu- 
pying the larger part of the time of the meeting held in San Francisco 
in 1 87 1, when, owing to the nearly equal strength of both parties, want 
of time and some parliamentary confusion, what may be called a drawn 
battle was the result ; this, however, showing a distinct gain for the 
cause of reform. A few weeks later both sides rallied for what proved 
to be the final struggle at the meeting of the Pennsylvania State Society 
in Williamsport, where the motion to rescind the now notorious resolu- 
tion of 1859 was, after a hot debate, carried by a decisive majority. 

Of this event Dr. Corson has said: "Thus, we found ourselves in 
1871 with the same resolution before us that we had presented by the 
Montgomery County delegates to the Society at Wilkesbarre in 1866. 
But, how different the situation. Then it was in the face of noisy 
insulting opposition that its mover was allowed to speak in favor of 
rescinding the obnoxious resolution ; now at Williamsport, the forces 
through changes effected by the lapse of years and the labors of the 
friends of reform met in nearly equal numbers, prepared to do their best 
for victory, and, after a free discussion, the resolution to rescind was 
passed by a vote of fifty-five ayes to forty-five nays amid intense 
but quiet excitement, and thus ended successfully a movement orgin- 
ated by the Montgomery County Medical Society to blot from the Trans- 
actions of the State Society a selfish, odious resolution adopted eleven 
years before." And he adds, "This report gives but the faintest idea 
of the bitterness of the contest, of the scorn with which the proceed- 
ings of the Montgomery County Medical Society w^ere received and the 
unkindness manifested against all who from year to year asked for jus- 
tice to women physicians." With this action of the State Society the 
conflict came to an abrupt conclusion, all organized opposition ceased 
and the work entered upon a new era. 

1 86 In Memoriam . 

This hasty sketch would be mcumpleie did I not here add that 
while it is to the lasting honor of the Montgomery County Medical 
Society that it was the first to resist the oppressive measures instituted 
by the Philadelphia County Medical Society and adopted by the State 
Society, to this Society also the distinction is due that it first of all the 
societies in the State accorded to women physicians the privileges of 
membership. For in the heat of the contlict, when its position before the 
State Society and in the American Medical Association even was jeop- 
ardized thereby, there was entered upon its records the following 
minute: "May, 1870, Doctress Anna Lukens was elected a member. 
This is the first female physician ever elected in a county society in 
Pennsylvania, or perhaps in the United States, perhaps in the world." 
At a later date (1890) a further and still higher step was taken when, 
honoring itself and her, it elected Dr. Alice Bennett to the presidency 
of the Society. 

It may also be added that notwithstanding the unfortunate pre- 
eminence of the Philadelphia County Medical Society in its antagonism 
to women physicians, itself accorded justice to the subjects of its former 
oppression a few years later (1887-1888) when it admitted women to 
membership ; the first to be so elected being Dr. Mary Willets, now of 
the State Hospital at Norristown. 

Again and again, as we have seen, the contest has seemed to lie 
between the Montgomery County Society on the one hand and the 
Philadelphia County Society on the other. Small wonder if we are 
reminded of the combat between David and Goliath, so unequal was 
the apparent strength of the combatants, so complete the victory of the 
righteous cause. 

With the cessation of active opposition, a period of rest naturally 
followed, lasting a number of years. Dr. Corson's mind during the 
time, however, was not idle. He had not gone thus far either to stoj) or 
turn back. A plan was forming and data were gathering for the 
prosecutii^n of a new and aggressive undertaking. He had studied the 
question of management of hospitals for the insane, especially that of 
the State Hospitals, for years which he was convinced had not attained 
the standard of their intended usefulness. He believed that little active 
treatment was prosecuted in them, and that the care of the female insane 
especially was defective in one important parii(ular, viz., the treatment 
of dise.Tses peculiar to their sex. For manifest reasons he held that 
such special treatment could only be properly conducted under the 
peculiar conditions e.xisting in asylums at the hands of women physicians. 

His indignation had been aroused by the reception given Dr. 
Mary Stinson at the asylum at Worcester, Massachusetts, where, in 
her position as assistant physician in the women's wards, he felt that 
her services were belittled and her work embarrassed by the male 
superintendent, because of prejudice against her as a woman. 

He had now become convinced that women physicians would and 
could work advantageously only when given positions of professional 
independence and responsibility ; and to remedy a condition of things 
inherent in the then universal organization of insane hospitals, he took 
the ground that the system of hospital organization should itself be 
radically changed. He held that the office of medical superintendent 
so-called, which then included beside medical superintendence of both 
male and female departments, the supervision of the business manager, 

Address by Dr. Charles Hermon Thomas. 187 

the steward, the farmer, etc., should be abolished and a steward or 
business superintendent appointed as in the great general ho p Lis 
whose work should relate solely to administratfon an^d who s3 fe 
responsible directly to the Trustees; the medical department to be 
medTcal d '. "'^r' '"' P'^>--ans-in.chief of equal rank, having on 1> 
medical duties, the one a man m charge of the department for men the 
other a woman in charge of the department for women ; each phys cian 
responsible direcdy and only to the Trustees of the hospital -in effect 
two separate and independent hospitals under one Board of Management 
Vv ith characteristic boldness, he placed before the State Medical 
Society in 1877 a resolution embodying this plan, and much to his satis- 
faction, though somewhat to his surprise, it was accorded a favorable 
reception. He was himself made Chairman of a Committee to report 
on the same at the next annual meeting, when the powerful endorsement 
of the Society was given to the plan proposed. He was then made 
Chairman of another committee authorized to memorialize the Legislature 
on behalf of the Society with a view to securing the enactment of the 
necessary laws to render the plan operative. 

A large measure of success attended his efforts before the Legislature, 
though confronted in the Senate by a memorial in opposition, numerously 
signed by prominent physicians of Philadelphia. In one important 
respect, however, the act as passed fell short of his desires, in that, 
while it conferred upon the Trustees the power to appoint a woman as 
chief physician for the insane, it did not make it their imperative duty. 
To attempt to remedy this defect became the work of his later years-^a 
work not even yet accomplished. 

While these events were taking place (1880) the Southeastern Hos- 
pital at Norristown was undergoing organization and preparing for 
active work. Dr. Corson ^vas well known to the Trustees and had much 
influence with them. He was earnestly desirous that the new plan 
should be adopted in this hospital, and, as of first importance, was par- 
ticularly solicitous that the character and attainments of the woman 
selected as the Chief Physician should be such as would render her a fit 
representative of the movement. Dr. Stinson received unanimous 
election, but owing to failing health, was unable to serve. The choice 
then fell upon Dr. Alice Bennett, at the time Demonstrator of Anatomy 
in the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania, of whose services I 
may now only say that the success attained by her and the fame with 
which her labors have been rewarded were an enduring source of grati- 
fication and pride to Dr. Corson. He believed that the results achieved 
by her were the complete justification of the wisdom of his plan, and 
that notwithstanding her acknowledged ability that such a success 
would have been impossible under the old system with assistanceship 
as the highest goal which a woman, however able, might attain. Thus 
he labored early and late, undeterred by defeat, physical infirmity or 
the burden of advancing years, to secure the extension of what may l)e 
called the Norristown system— or may I say, the Corson system— to tlie 
other hospitals under the control of the State. 

For the furtherance of this purpose he presented bill after lull at 
the various sessions of the Legislature, always in hopefulness and cour- 
age, and never cast down by repeated failure in its accomplishment. 
He believed that the cause was right and that it would finally prevail. 

1 88 In Memoriam. 

The part taken by Dr. Corson in the whole movement is representa- 
tive of his entire life and character ; his sense of justice was of the 
keenest, and in the pursuit of its ends he was capable of that absolute 
disregard of precedent which constitutes the born reformer. Not that 
he was ever attracted by the desire for change or mere novelty. He stood 
by the ancient testimonies with great tenacity as long as he saw they 
fulfilled a useful purpose, but when he felt they were outlived he 
cleared them away with a ruthless hand. 

In carrying out the various measures of reform in which he was 
engaged, he displayed an untiring energy. While he was a clear, strong 
speaker, well equipped to take his part in debate, his work in this 
respect by no means represented the chief part of his labors. He 
possessed a rare gift for correspondence, as those who were privileged 
to receive his letters will gratefully testify, and this gift was exercised 
most laboriously in preparing for the various contests in which he was 
engaged, either before the State Society or before the State Legislature. 

His life-long association with the Society of Friends had led him 
to entertain feelings of entire respect for women in public capacities, 
and, as was to be expected, he ardently favored the extension of the 
fields for work for women in all directions, and was, therefore, an earnest 
advocate of woman suftVage 

The limits of time will permit me to say little more. An event 
must barely be named in which Dr. Corson took a profound interest 
and which he has himself said moved him to his most active efforts. I 
refer to the well-known disturbance at the Pennsylvania Hospital in 
which the men students endeavored by insulting treatment to prevent 
attendance of the women students at the clinics. 

I must not omit to mention a later and most pleasurable occasion, 
when a reception was given in Dr. Corson's honor in the city of Phil- 
adelphia, a reception in the organization of which the women physi- 
cians of the city took the prominent part, in which they were joined by 
many of those formerly in active opposition and which was attended in 
large numbers by the members of the Philadelphia County Medical 
Society and the State IMedical Society of Pennsylvania — the latter then in 
session in that city. 

I cannot close without naming a few of his near friends and co- 
workers — not to make particular mention of his brethren of the Mont- 
gomery County Medical Society — prominent among many others on 
that honor roll stand the names of Dr. Traill Green, of Easton, Pa., 
Dr. James King, of Pittsburg, Dr. Wilmer Worthington, of West Chester, 
Dr. W^illiam B. Ulrich, of Chester, and Drs. Washington L. Atlee, 
Winthrop Sargent, Albert H. Smith, and Joseph Parrish, of Philadelphia. 

Our friend, honored and beloved, who has gone, has left behind 
him an unfinished work, and who that knew him well can doubt that if 
he were asked what monument he would desire to be raised to his memory 
— before and as better than stone or brass — he would choose as his best 
memorial the completion of the great undertaking to which so much of 
the energy of his brave and earnest life was devoted, the reorganization 
of the other insane hospitals of the State on the plan adopted in the 
institution at Norristown. 

Address by Dr. Thomas G. Morion. 189 


Dr. Corson as a Reformer and Phila.nthkopist. as shown uv 

His Work in Behalf of the Insane. 

It was with mingled feelings of pleasure and sadness that 1 accepted 
the invitation to be present on this interesting occasion, to join with 
this assemblage m honoring the memory of one who, having faithfully 
served his day and generation, has gone to his reward. From an inii'- 
mate personal acquaintance, extending through many years, I vcrv 
highly esteem this privilege of adding my testimony to the exalted per- 
sonal and professional character of our friend, Ur. Hiram Corson. ' 

It has been suggested to me, that I should select for special con- 
sideration the life-long and persistent efforts of Dr. Corson in behalf 
of that most dependent class, the indigent insane, whose welfare and 
best interests were ever in his mind. His sympathies were more especi- 
ally enlisted in behalf of insane women in our State institutions, and he 
saw more clearly than any other man of his time, that this es'peciMlly 
unfortunate, helpless, and often friendless class, not only required, but 
had the right to receive, the direct care, supervision and treatment of 
physicians of their own sex. Dr. Corson strove for this great principle, 
by day and by night, with characteristic determination and unselfish 

This important reform in the administration of our hospitals for 
the insane occupied Dr. Corson's attention for more than thirty years ; 
but he was from the very outset well aware of the almost insuperable 
obstacles he would encounter, and that the changes in hospital manage- 
ment he desired, were only to be overcome by public agitation, and an 
entire revolution in the views of the profession, including the County 
and State Medical Societies. This, he believed would ultimately be 
secured, and eventually lead to the enactment of legislation, which 
would at least permit the Trustees of our State Institutions to make the 
experiment of appointing women physicians to have the entire charge 
of the female insane. 

Into this reform movement in the management of our State hos- 
pitals, Dr. Corson entered with all his energies, and with untiring zeal, 
but his efforts from the very first were under the most discouraging, 
adverse and perplexing conditions. He labored constantly by his tongue 
and pen for more than a quarter of a century, until finally he had the 
proud satisfaction of seeing his original views approved, and his plans 
fully carried into effect, not only in the hospital at Harrisburg (which 
was the first to make request for a female physician to take charge of the 
female insane), but in every one of the six institutions which arc, 
either in whole or in part, under State control in our commonwealth. 

Following the appeal made to the Legislature in 1879 ''>' the Trus- 
tees of the Harrisburg hospital, the management of the Southeastern 
Hospital, early in 1880, elected a female physician to have the entire 
control of the female insane ; and subsequently at Dixmont. in i8q3 : 
at Warren, in 1894 ; and finally at Danville, in 1895, women were given 
the entire medical charge of the female insane. At the Southeastern 
Hospital here in Norristown, and at the Asylum for the Chronic Insane 
at Wernersville, female physicians have had the entire care and respon- 
sibility of the female patients from the dates of the opening of these 

I go /" Memoriam. 

institutions, respectively. Even our private hospitals for the insane 
have felt the inlluence of this great reform movement of Dr. Corson's, 
shown in the appointment of special female consultants ; while the 
Friends' Asylum for the Insane at Frankford has at present a resident 
woman physician. 

Dr. Corson's name first appears among the Trustees of the State 
Lunatic Asylum at Harrisburg, in 1877, he having received from 
Governor Hartranft the appointment in recognition of his life-long 
interest and zealous efforts in behalf of the insane, and in this position, 
which was accepted with the hope of doing a really good work, he 
labored in season and out of season, to bring about his long wished 
for reforms. 

When Dr. Corson became active in the Harrisburg hospital work, 
he found that the Medical Superintendents of all State hospitals for the 
insane had other than professional duties, which, he believed, greatly 
interfered with their purely professional work, and with the proper dis- 
charge of the responsibilities arising from the care and treatment of the 
patients, so that much of the medical work devolved upon young and 
often inexperienced assistants ; and to alter this condition, Dr. Corson 
gave much of his time and attention. The necessity for change in this 
respect became so apparent to the Trustees of the Southeastern Hospi- 
tal at Norristown, that they adopted the experiment of releasing the 
physicians of that institution from all duties, except pertaining to the 
medical care of the patients. The annual report of the State Commit- 
tee on Lunacy the following year states : "The Trustees of the Norris- 
town Hospital have taken the advance in this important change in Hos- 
pital administration, and have given the resident physicians of that 
Institution the largest liberty in the management, throwing the entire 
medical responsibility upon tliem, and, at the same time, have relieved 
them of all work other than the professional care and treatment of the 
patients." The Trustees also stated that "the entire relief of the phy- 
sicians from the business responsibilities of the Institution has con- 
tinued to work most satisfactorily and greatly to the benefit of the 

The consummation of his hopes by the appointment at this hospi- 
tal of a female Physician-in-chief of the female insane, the first in this 
country or elsewhere, and the divorcement of the purely domestic and 
administrative duties which heretofore devolved upon the Medical 
Superintendent, and the gratifying results from these reforms, which 
were announced in the Reports of the Institution from year to year, 
were to Dr. Corson a source of great pleasure and satisfaction — his 
labors had not been in vain. 

When Dr. Corson began his first and great reform, he was con- 
fronted with the difficulty of overcoming the prejudices of the medical 
men of that day against women doctors. Thus, by formal resolution of 
November 10, 1858, the Philadelphia County Medical Society recom- 
mended "the members of the regular profession to withhold from facul- 
ties and graduates of Female Medical Colleges, all countenance and sup- 
port," and decided that they "cannot, consistently with sound medical 
ethics, consult or hold professional medical intercourse with their pro- 
fessors or alumnit." This action was endorsed and adopted also by 
the Pennsylvania State Medical Society, at its next subsequent meeting, 
1859. The Philadelphia County Medical Society, nearly ten years 

Address by Dr. Thomas G. Morton. 191 

!i'i' ?'!°^''.''' !S68 reaffirmed the vuews expressed in the 

fessionally consu.t with any professor or graduate of a female coUeL-e '• 
At the time that this resolution was adopted such distinguished mem- 
!^' r[ the profession as Prof Alfred StiUe, Dr. Washington L Atlee 
and Dr. Albert H. Smith were among those who refused to recognize 
IL °"^^'°f ^^^'^^^""^y.^'^^^^^l Society to dictate to them in this 


at the Session of i860, by which action the friends'of the^'woman'^s 
Medical College at length gained the professional recognition which had 
been so long denied to its graduates, and the right to consultation with 
members of the Philadelphia County Medical Society could no longer 
be withheld. Subsequently, women physicians were admitted to mem- 
bership on exactly the same footing as other members of the Society. 
This somewhat lengthy digression has been made merely to illustrate 
the early difficulties which Dr. Corson had to encounter, and which he 
finally succeeded in conquering, after a ten years' war with the opposi- 
tion, which was of a most bitter and uncompromising character. 

Having gained professional recognidon of women as Medical 
practitioners. Dr. Corson next turned his attention to procuring a law 
which would require the Trustees of State Hospitals for the insane to 
employ women physicians to have charge of the insane of their sex. 
At the meeting of the State Medical Society, in 1877, Dr. Washington 
L. Atlee, on behalf of Dr. Corson, who was detained at home by sick- 
ness, offered a resolution, asking for a Committee to be appointed to 
consider "the propriety of having a female physician for the female 
department of every hospital for the insane which is under the control 
of the State." At the following meeting, held at Pittsburg, 1878, this 
Committee reported in favor of appointing a Committee of seven to 
memorialize the Legislature of Pennsylvania to enact laws, if any be 
needed, to authorize the employment, by managers of hospitals under 
the control of the State, of women Medical Superintendents for the 
female departments of said hospitals, and for hospitals to be erected 
for the accommodation of females." Dr. Hiram Corson was appointed 
Chairman of the Committee, which draughted a bill in accordance with 
instructions received from the State Society, and presented it at Harris- 
burg. The bill proposed by the Committee, entitled, "An Act for the 
better regulation and treatment of the female insane in the Asylums and 
Hospitals of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania," was finally passed, 
and signed by Governor Henry M. Hoyt, June 4, 1879. 

The act, as presented by the Committee, provided. That in all 
Hospitals or Asylums now built or hereafter to be built, and under the 
control of the State, and in which male and female insane patients are 
received for treatment, the Trustees of said Asylums or Hospitals shall 
appoint a skillful female physician, who shall reside in said Asylum or 
Hospital, and who shall have the medical control of said female 
inmates, who shall report to the Superintendents and also to the 

It is to be noted that on final passage, the wording of the Act was 
altered by the substitution of "may" for "shall," thus making the 

192 In Memoriam. 

appointment of women physicians optional instead of obligatory upon 
the Trustees. This alteration was unknown to Dr. Corson until he 
received an engrossed copy of the bill, and it was an occasion of great 
disappointment to him to have the fruits of victory taken from his 
grasp after such a prolonged and well-fought contest. 

Under date of January 9, 1879, the minutes of the Board of Trus- 
tees of the Pennsylvania State Lunatic Hospital at Harrisburg contain 
the following : " Whereas, the State Medical Society at its last meeting 
of the Society held at Pittsburg last May, appointed a Committee to 
memorialize the Legislature to pass laws, if any be needed, to have a 
female Medical Superintendent to have entire medical control and man- 
agement of every female asylum or female department of every hospital 
for insane, under the control of the State, therefore 

"Resolved, That we the Trustees of the Pennsylvania State Lunatic 
Hospital at Harrisburg, being deeply im])ressed with the propriety of 
the measure, and believing that many advantages would result to the 
female patients, from the proposed change, do earnestly desire that the 
Honorable Senators and Representatives will, in their wisdom, enact 
such laws as will enable the proposed measures to be carried into eftect 
as soon as conveniently can be done." When the law was enacted, the 
Trustees, to their infinite credit, promptly carried out its intent by 
appointing two female physicians, and the Trustees' Report states : 
"Although these ladies have been but a short time in the Hospital, the 
greatly improved condition of the patients and wards, under their care, 
alike show the wisdom of the step taken by the Trustees in determining 
to have our female patients under charge of physicians of the same sex, 
and of the choice of the ladies to have such charge." This was in 18S0, 
and since that time the woman physician has become a permanent fix- 
ture, not only in the Harrisburg hospital, as already stated, but at 
Norristown, Dixmont, Warren, Danville and Wernersville. For many 
years the Insane Department of the Philadelphia Almshouse has had 
some resident women physicians. 

Dr. Corson lived to witness the fulfillment of his cherished desires, 
in the admission of women physicians into every hospital for the insane, 
in whole or in part, under State management, and he likewise had the 
intense satisfaction of witnessing the successful operation at the South- 
eastern Hospital in this county, of his plan which relieved the medical 
staff of the institution of all duties not pertaining to the professional 
care of the patients. 

It is a wise observation, that great reforms come slowly, and it is 
confidently believed that indue time, with the necessary changes in the 
State laws now governing the other hospitals as to the duties of the 
Medical Superintendents, these officials will doubtless be relieved of all 
but purely professional work, thus allowing the Trustees really to govern 
these institutions in all respects as urged by Dr. Corson. 

To but few is given the privilege of living a more honorable, use- 
ful, and blameless life than that which we are now contemplating. A 
man of determined character, with the courage of his convictions. Dr. 
Hiram Corson was a true friend, a conscientious and devoted physician, 
and a man of the strictest integrity in word and deed. Such a career 
inspires emulation, and we are reminded that, " the path of the just is 
as the shining light," and are prompted to exclaim, with the Hebrew 
prophet of old, "Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my 
last end be like his." 


Of Names other than Corson found in the Genealogy. 

atuJU:. 1^ PAGE. 

Abrahams . 78 

Adamson 67, 82-89, ^^o 

Aleck 34 

Albertson 73, 79, 107 

Akers 5o 

Ardeway 42 

Arnwine 49 

Armstrong 26 

Atkinson 39 

Baker 62 

Barr 64 

Baylis 43 

Beams 21 

Beans 55 

Bedell . . 9 

Bell 37 

Bennett . . 21, 31, 41, 42, 43, 51,52,53 

Belts 59 

Bowman - 49, I03 

Blake 103 

Blaker, 31, 39, 41, 46, 50, 51, 52, 54, 59, 

Boice ■ . ■ 40 

Bowker . . 107 

Brabent 52 

Bryan 35, "8 

Buckman 50, 53-54, 162 

Burleigh -115 

Burrins 9° 

Bye 22, 25, 26 

Cady "8 

Cadwallader ■ . . . 78 

Callahan 33 

Carey 60 

Carr 58 

Carter 136 

Chapman 35 

Childs 60 

Cliff 43 

Cochrane 27 

Comlv 54 

Conrad 57 

Cooper 51, 02 

Cornell 15, 19, 41. 42 

Cornelison ^° 


Corssen . , 9 

Costerisan 31, 33, 34. 35 

Cox 34, 162 

Coulston 26 

Craft 21 

Crawford 106-108 

Croasdale 52, 53 

Cresson 137 

Cruse or Kreuson 9 

Cutler 77> 80 

Davis 21, 28, 29, 33 

Day 13H 

Dentt ^ 35 

Dickinson . . * 31, 66, 149 

Doan 55- 62, 63 

Dulley 84 

Doyle 49 

Dungan 13, M, I5. 64 

Dungan Family I45 

Dunn 23 

Egbert . ... 67, 73, 76, 104, 153 

Ellis 55, 60,61, 62 

Ely 23, 26, 55, 56, 57, 161 

Evans 46, 47- 76 

Everett no 

Febridge 19 

Finnev '8 

Fletcher '2 

FHnn 39 

Flitcraft 26 

Forbes 80 

Forsythe ^5 

Foster "5 

Foulke 24, 25, 68, 151 

Fox ■ 47 

Freedley 106. no 

Francis '9 

Fries °i 

Fuller 50 

Fussell '«5 

Garretson . 
Garsed . . 
Gautier . 

. 115 



. 108 


Gill 42 

Gleason 86 

Good 42 

Grew 115 

Green . 50 

Graham 77 

Griffith 41 

Gurney 60 

Hagy 67,97 

Hallmaii 29 

Harris 76, 78 

Hartman 47 

Hamilton 48 

Harvey 3h 3^> 39i 4' 

Heilner 48 

Henderson 108 

Heister no 

Heydrick I9> 29 

Heston 55i 56, 161 

Hibbs .!..(. 52 

Highley 106, 107, 109 

Hill 60 

Hillyer 80 

Hicks 65, 76 

Hickman 37. 38 

Hogland 53 

Hogan 27 

Hovenden 18, 118 

Holstein 110 

Hood 36 

Humphrey 61 

Hurst 90, 106, 107 

Hughes 107 

Hulse 43 

Jameson ... ... . 12, 93 

Johnson . 19, 22, 23, 55, 61,64, 7^, 105 

Jones 21, 36', 38, 90, 91 

Jurianson 9 

Keen 16 

Keith 61 

Kelly 115 

Keppard 42 

Kirk 55, 62 

Kisner 47 

Kline 46, 48 

Kreuson 15, 30 

Knowles 21 

Kuder 46, 47, 48 

Kunkel 23 

Larseleau or Larzelere 9 

La Tourette 9 

Lane 65 

Langdon 79 

Laylon 42 

Lee 3» . 54 

Lefferts 44 

Leisler 10 

Lentz 17 

Lenzi 103 

Linn 65 

Livezey 59-77 

Lukens 29, 57, 137 

Marple i5» 26, 27, 29, 41 

Martindale 3i> 63 

Maulsby I5i 21, 23, 66, 67 

McKim 105,109 

McNair 23, 29 

McKinstry 42 

McPherson 19 

Merrick 61 

Merrill 64 

Mills 103 

Miller 37 

Miner 23 

Morris 31, 46, 49, 50, 51, 162 

Mott 115 

Mullen 28, 57 

Murphy 56 

Norman 153 

Ohl 15 

Oliver 46 

Parks 53 

Parver 49 

Paul 63 

Paxson 60 

Pennypacker 83 

Perkins 77 

Peterson 10 

Phipps 3(>, 37, 3^ 

Pinto 65 

Poley 79 

Pleym 39 

Pyle 57 

Quinlan 80 

Ramsey 22, 23 

Read 67, 74, 90, 156 

Reed 32, 43 

Redman 58 

Resan 9 

Rice 54,55,58 

Rich 49 

Richards 35 

Rickert 20 

Ritchie 76, 77 

Ritch 42 

Rittenhouse 68 

Robbins 46, 50 

Roberts .... 27, 31, 44, 52, 90, 93 
Rockafellow 63 

Scholl 103 

Schultz 90, 157 

Scull 64 

Scott 103 

Schuyler 61 

Search 43, 44, 45 

Sebring 29, 31, 32, 33 

Sedam or Suydam 15, '7 

Selsor 63 

Senior 60 

Siedentoft 92 

Shallcross 64 


Simpson . . 23 

Singer 108 

Slack 60 

Slemmer 137 

Smith 55. 59> 60 

Snively 37 

States 42 

Stanton 118 

Staes . . 12 

Steever 24, 25 

Stockton 22, 36, 39 

Stowell 86 

Storm 37, 38 

Styer 77, 81 

Steele 37 > 38 

Stadin 47 

Supplee 27 

Tallman 35 

Taylor 105 

Teas 56 

Thomas 33-46, 49, 55, 57 

Thompson 33, 56 

Titman 46, 47 

Tompkins 28 

Tomilson 51 

Touts 32 

Torbet . 61 

Vanartsdalen 18,28 

Vanburen 21 

Van Court 19, 20, 29, 163 

« PAGE. 

Vandegrift 56 

Vanhorn 24, 53, 62 

Vansant 24 

Vanzant 15, 17 

Walton 51 

Way J07 

Watson 60 

Waltz 39 

Warren 44 

Webster 56, 93 

Weaver 19, 108 

Weingartner 57 

White 26, 43, 55, 62 

Whitaker 31 

Wheeland 34 

Wright 48,85,151 

Wilson 109 

Wilkinson 26, 118 

Willard 65 

Wills 27, 160, 161 

Witte 48 

Williams 106 

Willauer 27 

Wood 92 

Worthington 43 

Wolfe 28 

Wyncoop 52 

Yerkes 29, 65 

Yocom 137 

Young 61 


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