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Henry Simmons letterbooks

Identifier: HC.MC-975-02-019

Scope and Content note

This collection is comprised of the two volumes of the letterbooks of Henry Simmons, and a single folder of related materials. Letterbooks are comprised of business and government correspondence related to Simmons' work with various Indian tribes.


  • 1797-1799, Undated


Access Restrictions

The collection is open to research use.

Use Restrictions

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

Biographical note

Henry Simmons (1768-1807) was born on September 15, 1768 to Henry Simmons Sr. and Mary Paxson, the youngest of the five children of Henry and Mary. 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, as a result of being among the elder of the eleven children in the family, he went on to be a school teacher on the Oneida reservation from 1796-1797, and at Cornplanter's village from 1798-1799.

Henry Simmons belonged to the Middletown Monthly Meeting, where he first expressed his desire to help the Indians. 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 spent a year with the Seneca near Cornplanter's village, where 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), Henryetta (b. 1808). Simmons died in Pennsylvania in 1807.


0.06 Linear Feet (2 volumes)





Related Materials

  • MC.975.01.072 Henry Simmons journals
  • MC.975.03.054 Henry Simmons commonplace book
  • MC.975.07.132 "Account of a visit paid to the Indians in New York State"
  • MC 1003 Associated Executive Committee of Friends on Indian Affairs records
  • MC.950.101 Halliday Jackson papers
  • MC.975.01.069 Joshua Sharpless diaries
  • MC.975.01.078 Joel Swayne diary

Processing Information

Processed by Kara Flynn; completed August 2015.
Henry Simmons letterbooks, 1797-1798
Kara Flynn
August 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

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