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John Letchworth papers


Held at: Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections [Contact Us]370 Lancaster Ave, Haverford, PA 19041

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

John Letchworth (1759-1843) was the son of John and Diana Letchworth and was born in London in 1759. In 1767 the family relocated to Philadelphia, where he later became a chair maker's apprentice at age 11. Letchworth married Elizabeth Kite in 1783, the daughter of Thomas Kite, and they had two children, Mary and Robert Letchworth. In 1793, he became a member of the committee for relieving the sick and distressed during the Yellow Fever epidemic in Philadelphia. He was a fairly prominent Quaker minister of Quakerism. In 1801, he received a minute from his Meeting (presumably the Philadelphia Monthly Meeting) to accompany two women, Gulielma Widdefield and Hannah Shinn, to visit other Quaker Meetings, where he discussed the effects of slavery. In 1819, Letchworth accompanied Isaac Pennock to visit Meetings and several Indigenous American groups, going from Tunesassa in New York to as far west as Kentucky.

The John Letchworth papers (1749-1870) contain various materials related to and written by John Letchworth. There are biographical materials (1749-1843), which include a manuscript entitled "Some Account of John Letchworth, 1749-1843" with information taken mainly from letters and memoranda. There is also fairly extensive correspondence (1801-1870), consisting of letters from John Letchworth to his family as well as miscellaneous letters not written by John Letchworth, but related to his life and work. This collection contains a journal (1819) detailing his visit to Ohio Yearly Meeting, as well as a copybook (1801-1809) of Letchworth's letters and journals. There are a few miscellaneous materials (1755-1767, 1812) which include primarily documents related to John Letchworth's life such as a work permit for his father and a poem concerning the death of E.A. Cheyney.

Materials within each series are arranged in chronological order.

The work permit and certificate of removal were given by Alice and Rachel Letchworth in 1984. Correspondence and biographical information were given by Alice Letchworth in 2000.

Processed by Grace Thiele; completed July 2014

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
Grace Thiele
Finding Aid Date
July, 2014
Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Law Applies (U.S. Title 17)

Collection Inventory

Biographical material, 1749-1843.
Box 1 Folder 1

Letters to family (1801-1811), 1801-1811.
Box 1 Folder 2
Letters to family (1813-1819), 1813-1819.
Box 1 Folder 3
Letters not written by John Letchworth.
Box 1 Folder 4
Journals, 1819.
Box 1 Folder 5
Copybook, 1801-1809.
Box 1 Folder 6
Miscellaneous, 1755-1767, 1812 (1755-1767).
Box 1 Folder 7

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