Scope and Contents
The collection contains primarily the correspondence of Isaac Hicks, including letters from Isaac Hicks to his wife describing religious journeys taken with Elias Hicks; some letters concerning the Separation of 1827-28; and business letters. Correspondents include: John Comly (letters about Edward Hicks, the primitive painter), Elias Hicks, John Murray, Jr., Thomas Rotch, William Rotch, Thomas Sturge. The letters provide insight into Quaker family life on Long Island and the life of a Quaker minister. Also of interest is a letter concerning the disownments of Isaac T. Hopper, James Gibbons, and Charles Marriott, as well as an anecdote conveying the Quaker attitude towards music in the late 19th century.
Copyright and Rights Information
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
Isaac Hicks was born in 1767, the son of Samuel and Phebe (Seaman) Hicks in a Quaker farming community on Long Island, New York. A birthright member of Westbury Monthly Meeting, he was part of a prominent and extended Quaker family that included distant cousins primitie artist Edward Hicks (1780-1849) and Quaker minister Elias Hicks (1748-1830). In 1789 he went to New York City to start a career in business, and in 1790 he married Sarah Doughty. They had six children: John D., b 1791;, Robert, b. 1793; Benjamin, b. 1798; Isaac, b. 1802; Elizabeth, b. 1805; and Mary, b. 1807. In 1796, Isaac Hicks established a shipping and commission business. Benefiting from his extended Quaker connections in America and England, he soon became a wealthy ship owner. In 1806, he retired from business, returning to Westbury, Long Island, and became increasingly involved in Quaker concerns.
In 1804, his brother Valentine (1782-1850) married Abigail Hicks, the daughter of Elias Hicks, uniting even more closely a family already tied by kinship and Quaker belief. Elias and Isaac Hicks were both descended from Jacob and Hannah (Carpenter) Hicks, and Edward Hicks, the artist, was descended from Jacob's brothers, Isaac and Thomas. Isaac supported Edward Hicks financially as well as accompanied Elias Hicks on a number of his ministerial travels, including the visits to Philadelphia Yearly Meeting in 1813 and Rhode Island Yearly Meeting in 1816. Isaac Hicks died in 1820.