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Henry Simmons letterbooks


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

Henry Simmons (1768-1807) was born on September 15, 1768, to Henry Simmons Sr. and Mary Paxson, the youngest of the five children. Before he was a year old, Simmons's mother died, and his father married Sarah Dun. Simmons's father and step mother went on to have eight more children. Despite Simmons's relative lack of formal education in his youth, he went on to be a school teacher on the Oneida reservation from 1796 to 1797, and at Cornplanter's village from 1798 to 1799.

Henry Simmons belonged to the Middletown Monthly Meeting, where he first expressed his desire to help Native American populations. After Middletown Monthly Meeting found Simmons suitable for missionary work, he was given a certificate from that meeting recommending him for missionary service to the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Indian Committee. Along with Halliday Jackson and Joel Swayne, Simmons was invited by Cornplanter (Gaiänt'wakê, John Abeel) to spend a year with the Seneca Nation during which the group of missionaries set up a school and model farm.

Henry Simmons married Rachel Preston in 1800, and the couple had four children: Deborah (b. 1804), John (b. 1803), Hannah (b. 1806), and Henryetta (b. 1808). Simmons died in Pennsylvania in 1807.

This collection is comprised of the two volumes of the letterbooks of Henry Simmons and a single folder of related materials. Letterbooks are comprised of business and government correspondence related to Simmons's work with various Indigenous nations.


Processed by Kara Flynn; completed August, 2015.

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
Kara Flynn
Finding Aid Date
August, 2015
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

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

Collection Inventory

Vol. 1, 1797.
Box 1
Scope and Content note

Copies of letters to the State Legislature of New York from the Oneida, Tuscarora, and Stockbridge Chiefs.

Copies of treaties between the United States and the Six Nations, and between the United States and the Oneida and Tuscarora Nations and Stockbridge Mohicans.

Copies of U.S. Secretary of State Timothy Pickering's letters to: the Chiefs and Warriors of the Oneida and Tuscarora Nations and Stockbridge Mohicans (01/22/1795), the Chiefs and Warriors of the Six Nations (02/15/1796).

Copy of an Act of the New York State Legislature for the relief of the Stockbridge Mohicans passed, 04/12/1792.

Correspondence between the Mohicans and the Lenape, and the Friends in Philadelphia.

Vol. 2, 1798-1799.
Box 1
Scope and Content note

Correspondence between Simmons/Jackson/Swayne and PYM Indian Committee:

To the committee at Philadelphia from SJS at Genesingutha 07/29/1798 11/13/1798 11/16/1798 01/23/1799 03/24/1799 04/21/1799 06/16/1799 08/22/1799

To SJS from the Committee 11/19/1798 02/19/1799 04/09/1799 04/20/1799 06/22/1799

Correspondence pertaining to the Allegany mission: To Abner & Jesse Barker at Pittsburgh from Thomas Fisher & Peter Barker at Philadelphia, 04/28/1798 To George Stevenson at Pittsburgh from Thomas Wistar at Brandywine, 04/30/1798 To SJS at Genesingutha from Joshua Sharpless & John Pierce at Buffalo, 06/15/1798 To SJS at Genesingutha from John Pierce on the Genese River, 06/17/1798 To the Allegany Quakers 9SJS) at Genesingutha from the Seneca at Cataraugus, 04/11/1799 To the Seneca at Cataraugus from the members of the Inidan Committee at Philadelphia, undated

Related Materials, Undated.
Box 1
Scope and Content note

Related materials includes notes on the collection made by researchers, as well as newspapers clippings.

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