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Henry Simmons commonplace book


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 their 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 single volume commonplace book of Henry Simmons, and includes "A Memorable instance of Divine guidance and protection," prayers, a speech made by the King of England to the Quakers, "A Testimony concerning Elisha Kirk," a memorial for his wife, Priscilla Yarnall, and a memorial for Robert Jordan.


Processed by Kara Flynn; completed November, 2015.

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

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

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

Collection Inventory

Commonplace book, 1791-1796.
Box 1

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