Ebenezer Howell was born at sea en route to Delaware from Wales in 1725. The Howells, who were Quakers, made their home in Gloucester County and Cumberland County, New Jersey. Ebenezer and his wife, Sarah Bond, had eleven children. Their twin sons Richard and Lewis, who were born in 1754, participated in the "Tea Burning at Greenwich" in Cumberland County, New Jersey, on December 22, 1774, and fought with the New Jersey 2nd Regiment in the Revolutionary War; Richard was a major and Lewis was the regiment's surgeon. Lewis died after the Battle of Monmouth in June 1778. Richard Howell served as an aide to George Washington during the war and performed intelligence work at the request of Washington. Richard Howell served as the clerk of the New Jersey Supreme Court from 1788-1793, and was governor of the state of New Jersey from 1793-1801. He and his wife Keziah Burr had nine children. Joseph Burr Howell married Mary K. Shivers Roberts, whose family owned a fishery in Gloucester, New Jersey. He lived in Mount Ephraim, New Jersey most of his life. William Burr Howell moved to New Orleans; several of his sons fought in the Mexican War and Civil War and his daughter Varina married Jefferson Davis of Mississippi, who in 1861 became President of the Confederate States of America. George F. Howell, the son of Joseph Burr Howell, was the assistant to the agent of the Pawnee Agency in Nebraska and Oklahoma in the 1870s. George and his wife moved to Pasadena, California, in 1902. Their daughter, Mary, married Levi Shoemaker Taylor, a professor of Chemistry at Throop University (which later became the California Institute of Technology). They had two sons, William Henry and George Howell. William Henry Taylor, who was an architect, married Jean Engle in 1940. Because he was a Quaker and conscientious objector, William volunteered for civilian work when the United States entered World War II. He was sent to the Gila River Relocation Center in 1941, one of the internment camps for Japanese-Americans, and to Europe in 1944 with the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. While in Europe, William was stationed and worked with refugees in Egypt, Italy, Croatia, Serbia, Austria, and France. Jean Engle Taylor was a graduate of the Pasadena Playhouse program and acted and directed in the theater; she was also an artist. William Henry Taylor died in Pasadena in 1995. Jean Engle Taylor was still living in Pasadena in 1995.
Scope and Content
The entire collection spans 240 years of American history and includes seven generations of the Howell and Taylor families. Subjects covered are: the Society of Friends; land ownership in the New Jersey colony; Mount Ephraim, New Jersey; fisheries in New Jersey; the Revolutionary War, General William Maxwell and the New Jersey 2nd Regiment; the Mexican War; pre-Civil War New Orleans; the Civil War and Jefferson Davis; Quaker Missionaries; the removal of the Pawnees to their new reservation in Indian Territory; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; farming in early 20th century southern California; Adam Clark Vroman; the Gila River Relocation Center; the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration and refugees in post-World War II Europe and Belgrade; the Pasadena Playhouse; and life in late 20th century southern California including Altadena, San Dimas and Pasadena. There are letters written by William Burgess, Jefferson Davis, Varina Davis, George F. Howell, Richard Howell, Charles H. Searing, and William Henry Taylor. The collection includes manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, William Henry Jackson stereographs of Pawnee Indians, land deeds, legal papers, marriage records, diplomas, and notes.
The collection is arranged in the following order: Manuscripts, Correspondence, Ephemera, Monographs, Photographs and Oversize Ephemera. The manuscripts and correspondence are arranged alphabetically by author and then addressee or title. The ephemera is arranged by format and then subject.