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John Jackson Papers


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

John Jackson was also an astronomer and scholar, as well as a Quaker minister and active in Quaker concerns. He served on the Joint Committee on Indian Concerns and acted as a clark for the Committee beginning about 1844. John Jackson died 4 mo, 14, 1855. Rachel Jackson died September 7th, 1883, at her home in Germantown, a member of the Philadelphia Monthly Meeting.

Quakers were involved with the Canadaigua Treaty of 1794 with the Seneca Nation and maintained a school on the reservation from 1798 which taught basic skills and farming. In 1837 Griffith M. Cooper raised the concern at the Genesee Monthly Meeting that school needed additional financial report. Accordingly, a Committee of Indian Concerns appointed by the four Yearly Meetings of Baltimore, Genesee, New York and Philadelphia was formed. Hicksite Quakers were united in their desire to help negotiate a fair treaty for the Seneca. They were instrumental in securing a written constitution for the Seneca Nation and the Treaty of 1842 which gave the Seneca title to the reservations at Cattaraugus and Allegheny. By 1849, the active participation of the Hicksite Friends in the Seneca Reservations ended

Collection contains correspondence and other papers, 1827-1849. Series 1 is made up primarily of correspondence and drafts of correspondence between Griffith M. Cooper and Joseph Warner, 1835-1838 and 1843- 1846, circulated among members of the Joint Committee on Indian Affairs. Series 2 includes personal letters, 1827-1838, from Rachel Tyson to friends and family.

The correspondence in Series 1 relates to materials circulated between members of the Joint Committee on Indian Concerns of the Four Yearly meeting of Baltimore, Genesee, New York, and Philadelphia. Topics concern the Indian School, the controversial Treaties of 1838 and 1842, and the Seneca Nation Constitution adopted in 1845. Principle correspondents are: Joseph Warner and John Jackson, Philadelphia; Griffith M. Cooper, Genesee; Philip E. Thomas, Baltimore. Other correspondents include Adin J. Covy, Benjamin Ferris, Elisha Freeman.

The personal correspondence of Series 2 includes a letter of recommendation for a prospective teacher at the Sharon Female Boarding School, as well as letters and drafts of correspondence between Rachel Jackson and family and friends before and after her marriage to John Jackson.

The collection is divided into two series:

  1. Material relating to Joint Committee on Indian Affairs
  2. Personal Correspondence

Accession information

Donor: George School, 1995; Accession number: 95.037

Found with miscellaneous publications in the general safe of the business office at the George School.

Publications processed separately. Materials arranged chronologically within designated groups, described, and placed in document box; placed in RG 5.

Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
Finding Aid Author
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research

Use Restrictions

Friends Historical Library believes all of the items in this collection to be in the Public Domain in the United States, and is not aware of any restrictions on their use. However, the user is responsible for making a final determination of copyright status before reproducing. See

Collection Inventory

Correspondence, 1835-1846.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

The material in this folder was bound together with a paper labeled "Miscellaneous papers 1844". Most of the material are letters, primarily 1837-1838, between Griffith M. Cooper, Genesee YM and Joseph Warner, Philadelphia YM, concerning the need for financial support from the Four Yearly Meetings for the Indian School in Cataraugus, New York and controversy within the Seneca Nation regarding new treaties. Bound together with this material is corres. dated 1846 betweem U.S. War Dept. Office of Indian Affairs, and the Joint Com., signed by J. Jackson, clerk.

Correspondence and papers, 1841-1843.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Includes ALS from P.E. Thomas, Baltimore to Richard Price, Philadelphia, re: controversy of the strong abolitionist stance of some Quakers; Manuscript drafts for "Proposed plan of operation for the Education and further improvement of the Indians;" Manuscript minutes of the gen. meeting of the Delegates of the Four YM held in NYC, and the report from agent G. M. Cooper submitted to the Committee, including financial report.

Correspondence and papers, 1844-1848.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Includes manuscript draft of memorandum of relating to a meeting with the Seneca; manuscript lists of scholars at the Indian School and curriculum; manuscript report of visit to Quaker school; manuscript papers concerning decline of the school and proposed end to involvement from the Four Yearly Meetings.

Correspondence, 1827-1838 & n.d.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Includes 35 letters, some undated and only fragments, primarily between Rachel Tyson Jackson and family and friends, both before and after her marriage. Topics include the illness of her father and a recommendation for a potential applicant to teach at the Sharon Female School in a letter from L. Seaman. The letters are arranged chronologically with the undated letters in the front of the file.

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