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Thomas Wistar journals

Identifier: HC.MC-975-01-089

Scope and Content note

This collection is composed of five bound, handwritten journals by Thomas Wistar. Each volume includes daily entries interspersed with correspondence. Journal entries largely describe Wistar’s work as an Indian Commissioner, including visits to Washington D.C. and various trips to Indian Reservations, and Indian Agencies including the Seneca Nation and the Wichita Indian Agency. In addition to his work as a commissioner, entries detail social calls with family and friends, descriptions of Quaker meetings, and religious reflection and prayers.


  • 1841-1875


Access Restrictions

The collection is open to research use.

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Law Applies (U.S. Title 17).

Biographical note

Thomas Wistar (1798-1876) was born June 23, 1798, in Philadelphia, Pa to Thomas Sr. and Mary (Waln) Wistar. Wistar was active in Indian affairs, beginning in 1838, and was appointed as an Indian commissioner in 1841. Thomas Wistar married twice- his first wife was Elizabeth Buckley Morris, who he married in 1822. The couple had two children, and Elizabeth died in 1863. In 1867, Wistar married Mary Richardson. According to his obituary in the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, the Indians Wistar visited named him “Man with a tear in his eye.” Thomas Wistar died on January 16, 1876 in Philadelphia, Pa at the age of 78.

Sources: Dictionary of Quaker Biography, Obituary in the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin.


0.42 Linear Feet (5 volumes)





Related Materials

  • MC 950.056 Dodge, Starin, and Wistar family papers
  • MC 962 Taylor family papers
  • MC 966 Nicholas Waln family papers
  • MC 975.02.029 Thomas Wistar letterbook
  • MC 1003 Associated Executive Committee on Indian Affairs records, 1758-1929
  • MC 1034 Hoag Indian papers
  • MC 1104 Enoch Hoag letterbooks
  • MC 1188 Thomas Wistar and family papers

Processing Information

Processed by Kara Flynn; completed July 2015.
Thomas Wistar journals, 1841-1876
Kara Flynn
July 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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