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"An Autobiography and Family History"


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

Barclay White (1821-1906) was born April 4, 1821, in Philadeliphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Joseph White and Rebecca Smith. White's parents died when he was a young child, and he was educated at Westtown School, and later at Smith's Academy in Wilmington, Delaware. He married Rebecca Merritt Lamb (1824-1850) in December, 1842, and the couple had four sons: Howard (b. 1844), Joseph Josiah (b. 1846) George F. (b. 1847), and Barclay (b. 1850). In 1853, Barclay married for a second time, to Beulah Sampson Shreve, and the couple had three children: Daniel (b. 1853), Elizabeth (b. 1857), and James (b. 1859).

Barlcay White was the Superintendent of Indian Affairs during the administration of President Ulysses S. Grant. During his time as Superintendent, he lived with his family in Omaha, Nebraska. After his retirement from the position, he returned to his farm in Burlington, New Jersey, where he died in 1906.

This collection is comprised of the two volume family history and autobiography of Barclay White. In addition to providing genealogical information about his ancestors, White describes his early life in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and his work with various indigenous nations as an Indian Agent.


Processed by Kara Flynn; completed October, 2015.

Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
Kara Flynn
Finding Aid Date
October, 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.
Volume 1
Scope and Content note

The first volume of this manuscript includes roughly two hundred pages of family history and genealogical information, including the etymology of the surname of White, and a tracing of the Barclay White Branch of the family back to the mid seventeenth century, in London, England. For each subsequent generation, White writes character sketches of his direct ancestors, including photographs and sketches of portraits of various family members, and the houses or towns in which they lived. After summarizing his family history, Barclay begins the autobiographical portion of the manuscript, in which he describes his early life in Philadelphia, his education, his marriage and family life, his second marriage, and his work as the Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Northern Superintendency in Omaha, Nebraska. The end of this volume includes his travel to Utah and meeting with Brigham Young, and begins a short biographical account of Brgiham Young.

Vol. 2.
Volume 2
Scope and Content note

This volume continues the biographical account of Brigham Young's life, and describes his trip to California from Utah, and the journey back to Omaha. This volume also includes extracts of correspondence related to White's position as the Superintendent of Indian Affairs.

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