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John Letchworth papers

Identifier: HC.MC-1198

Scope and Contents

The John Letchworth papers (1749-1870) contain various materials related to and written by John Letchworth. There are biographical materials (1749-1843), which include a manuscript entitled "Some Account of John Letchworth, 1749-1843" with information taken mainly from letters and memoranda. There is also fairly extensive correspondence (1801-1870), consisting of letters from John Letchworth to his family as well as miscellaneous letters not written by John Letchworth, but related to his life and work. This collection contains a journal (1819) detailing his visit to Ohio Yearly Meeting, as well as a copybook (1801-1809) of Letchworth's letters and journals. There are a few miscellaneous materials (1755-1767, 1812) which include primarily documents related to John Letchworth's life such as a work permit for his father and a poem concerning the death of E.A. Cheyney.


  • Creation: 1755-1870


Use Restrictions

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

Biographical Note

John Letchworth (1759-1843) was the son of John and Diana Letchworth and was born in London in 1759. In 1767 the family relocated to Philadelphia, where he later became a chair maker's apprentice at age 11. Letchworth married Elizabeth Kite in 1783, the daughter of Thomas Kite, and they had two children, Mary and Robert Letchworth. In 1793, he became a member of the committee for relieving the sick and distressed during the Yellow Fever epidemic in Philadelphia. He was a fairly prominent Quaker minister of Quakerism. In 1801, he received a minute from his Meeting (presumably the Philadelphia Monthly Meeting) to accompany two women, Gulielma Widdefield and Hannah Shinn, to visit other Quaker Meetings, where he discussed the effects of slavery. In 1819, Letchworth accompanied Isaac Pennock to visit Meetings and several Indigenous American groups, going from Tunesassa in New York to as far west as Kentucky.


0.5 Linear Feet (1 box)




Letters and journal entries of John Letchworth (1749-1843) of Pennsylvania, a minister in the Society of Friends who is called to journey in New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky to attend various Friends' Meetings, as well as to be present at Native American Councils.


Materials within each series are arranged in chronological order.


The work permit and certificate of removal were given by Alice and Rachel Letchworth in 1984. Correspondence and biographical information were given by Alice Letchworth in 2000.

Processing Information

Processed by Grace Thiele; completed July 2014

John Letchworth papers, 1755-1870
Grace Thiele
July, 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • May 2022: by Nathaniel Rehm-Daly, Harmful Language Revision Project

Find It at the Library

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 or requesting reproductions from Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections Library

370 Lancaster Ave
Haverford PA 19041 USA US