Jesse Merritt Family
Held at: Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College [Contact Us]500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College. 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
Jesse Merritt (1889-1957) was a Quaker historian of Nassau County, N.Y., and President of Bethpage Press of Farrnlngdale, N. Y. The Merritt family settled on Long Island, NY, in the mid-18th century. The first Jesse Merritt (1767-1843) was the son of Nathaniel and Anna Merritt. He married Mary Cornelius at Bethpage meeting house in 1789 and was a friend and fellow traveler of Elias Hicks, the Quaker minister. Mary was a descendent of Thomas Powell who had been the original proprietor of Bethpage Purchase. Jesse and Mary had three children. Jesse Merritt (1889-1957) was the grandson of their son John C. Merritt.
Jesse Merritt was born in 1889 in Bethpage, Nassau County, NY., the son of Jesse and Pauline Willis, who were members of Jericho Monthly Meeting. In 1918, he married Mabel Witte, who became a Quaker in 1925. The couple settled on Long Island where Jesse Merrit owned and published a newspaper and was involved in local government and history. Their two daughters, Jean and Jessica, attended Swarthmore College, and Jesse Merritt was an honorary curator of Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College. He died in 1957.
This collection contains the family papers of Jesse Merritt including biographical and genealogical material, correspondence, writing, legal papers, and memorabilia. In addition to the information on Nassau County, NY, of particular note is a letter collected by Jesse Merritt from Isaac T. Hopper concerning a young female former prisoner who is looking for work.
The collection is divided into eight series:
- Biographical and genealogical
- Correspondence, primarily between Jesse Merritt and the staff of Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
- Printed articles on Jesse Merritt and his daughter Jean
- Scrapbook on the opening of Bethpage meeting house
- Legal papers
- Reference material collected by the family
Donor: Jesse Merritt, ca. 1936-1943
The collection was given
Processed by FHL staff prior to 1967. Correspondence of Alfred A. Merritt, 1893-1905, unrelated to this collection but added to it circa 1959, was removed 4/2000 and placed in a Small Collection.
The following genealogical charts have been placed in the Chart Case, filed as a group under "Merritt":
- Goffe, Whalley. (ms.); Powell, Thomas, founder of Bethpage, N. Y., ancestor of Pres. Chas. DeGarmo and Dean Elizabeth Powell Bond of Swarthmore College. Taken from Mary Powell Seaman Bunkers Long Island Genealogies. (pos. Photostat)
- Underhill, Capt. John - Elizabeth Feke, of Westchester Co., N. Y. (pos. & neg. photostats)
- Underhill, Capt. John, m. 1st. Mary Mosely; m. 2nd. Elizabeth Feke. (1 neg., 2 pos. photostats)
- Whaley, Underhill, Sutton, Goffe(Gough) (2 pos.; 2 neg. photostats; 2 mss.)
The following pictures have been catalogued and filed in Picture Files:
- Photostat of Muirhead Bone etching of view from 2nd floor of Fifteenth Street Meeting House, N. Y.
- Elizabeth Fenimore Cooper, mother of James Fenimore Cooper, from unpublished daguerreotype. (neg., 2 pos. photostats)
- Hicks Hall (London) c.1750. (photostat); Rotogravure copies of paintings by Thomas Hicks of Stephen Foster, Abraham Lincoln, with attached carbon of letter from Charles F. Jenkins to Jesse Merritt, 10-25-193.; photographs of Thornas Hicks's summer and winter paintings of Westbury L.I., Meeting House, and photostat of section of diary of Mary F. Willitts recording her watching, 1853, Thomas Hicks painting the Meeting House. Also, article from American Collector, June 1942, by Jesse Merritt, re. the two paintings; 2 photostats (large & small) of Howard Pyle's painting "Quaker Wedding"; "Skipper Ireson's Ride",- Will H. Low's illustration for the Whittier poem. (photostat); 2 photostats of Spencer's engraving of George Fox at Cambridge; Portrait of Anna W. Waln (Rawle)(photographic copy) by Thomas Sully. Original in Brooklyn Museum; Clipping of copy of Swarthmore (Parrish Hall) drawn by Thomas Moran; plate of Thomas Hicks's painting of Westbury Meeting House (summer).
The following printed materials have been catalogued as appropriate:
- Another Cry of the Oppressed for Justice:.., London, 1664
- A Declaration and an Information from Us the People of God Called Quakers..., Thos. Simmons & Robt. Wilson, Lond. 1660
- The Devil Was and Is the Old Informer Against the Righteous, by George Fox. John Bringhurst, Lond., 1682/3
- Extracts from the Minutes of the Yearly Meeting of Friends held in N. Y., opened on the 2th of 5th month, 1866. Egbert, N.Y.,1866
- The Guide Book to Historic Germantown, prepared for the Site and Relic Society by Charles F. Jenkins, Germantown, 1904
- The Hicksite Quakers and Their Doctrines, by James De Garmo. N. Y., Christian Literature Co., 1897
- Inward Light, 22, Dec. 1944
- The Journal of John Woolman with introduction by John G. Whittier. Boston, Houghton, Osgood & Company, 1879. (Riverside Press, Camb.); Memorial of the Society of Friends in re. to the Indians. Rose & Co., Balt., Md., [c.1867]; Newsletter on Economic Problems, Committee on Economic Problems, Friends General Conference. Jan., Feb., Mar., 1944
- A Particular Account of the Late and Present Great Sufferings and Oppressions of the People Called Quakers.... Andrew Soule, Lond., 160.
- Quakers -- New York (State) -- Nassau County
- Quakers -- New York (State) -- Bethpage
- Quakers -- Genealogy
- Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
- Finding Aid Author
- FHL staff
- Finding Aid Date
- Before 1950
- Encoding made possible by a grant by the Gladys Kriebel Delmas Foundation to the Philadelphia Consortium of Special Collections Libraries
- Access Restrictions
Collection is open for research.
- Use Restrictions
Some of the items in this collection may be protected by copyright. The user is solely responsible for making a final determination of copyright status. If copyright protection applies, permission must be obtained from the copyright holder or their heirs/assigns to reuse, publish, or reproduce relevant items beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to the law. See http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/UND/1.0/.
Given to Jesse Merritt by his mother, Pauline Willis Merritt, granddaughter of the original owner. Stored with "Bibles." Contains genealogical pages between Apocrypha and New Testament, on Albertson family and related families
Binder, stapled sheets, and loose sheets
Includes letter from Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Jesse Merritt, 1937 4mo 5 (photoprint).
Concerning a young female former prisoner who is looking for work.Physical Description
Filed in Whittier Mss.Physical Description
Includes letter from John Chew to John Galloway 1795 9mo 2Physical Description
Jean was the daughter of Jesse. Writings are chronologically arranged.
Jesse Merritt was the news editor.
Includes picture of Jesse Merritt.
Jesse Merritt was the associate editor and trustee.
Citing of his address at re-opening of Bethpage Friends Meeting House.
Includes 4 undated clippings, one containing a picture of Jesse Merritt.Physical Description
Filed under "M"Physical Description
Filed under "Chew"Physical Description
printed poem and copy
Includes 11 photostats of items on him. Also includes letter from Dr. Dick to Jarnes H. Howe, 2mo 2 1815.
"For Jane Mott, 1788"Physical Description
Revised 1876.Physical Description
Certifying membership of certain individuals. Filed in RG 5++M under Merritt Papers.Physical Description
pos. photostats, 2 sheets