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.
Copyright has not been assigned to Friends Historical Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in to the Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Friends Historical Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.
Biographical / Historical
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.
Jesse Merritt (1889-1957) was a Quaker historian of Nassau County, New York, and President of Bethpage Press of Farrnlngdale, N. Y. The Merritt family settled on Long Island, NY, in the mid-18th century. This collection contains the 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 was 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
Reference material collected by the family
For current information on the location of materials, please consult the Library's online catalog
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donor: Jesse Merritt, ca. 1936-1943
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was given
John J. Merritt Papers, RG 5/102, which contains papers concerning another branch of the family descended from Nathaniel and Ann Merritt.
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)
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.
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.
Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College Library
[Indicate the cited item or series here], Jesse Merritt Family Papers, RG 5/101, Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College http://archives.tricolib.brynmawr.edu/repositories/7/resources/2203 Accessed December 15, 2019.