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Thompson Family papers

Identifier: HC.MC-855

Scope and Contents

This collection includes correspondence, genealogy, silhouette, printed material, certificate, testimony, accounts.

Papers include letters from Jonah Thompson (written 1756-1758), accounts of his expenses in attempting to gain possession of land left him in America by Nathaniel Tilley (written 1753-1755), and his certificate of travel issued by New Port R.I. Yearly Meeting in 1751.

Letters of his son John to family in England (written 1773-1805) relate his experiences in Philadelphia; letters of John's grandson John James Thompson to his cousin John Thompson (at Hitchin, England) discuss family news, national and political questions, slavery, business and financial conditions, tariffs, and settlement of N.E. boundary of U.S. (written 1840-1874).

In addition there are letters from James B. Thompson (written 1876), George Thompson (written 1849), Louis Street (written 1868), John Jay Smith (written 1874), John Pleasants, Jr. (written 1751), John T. Lewis (written 1867-1869), Henry G. Landgraff, Elizabeth Coggeshall (written 1851) and Edward Armstrong (written 1868). Most of these additional letters are addressed to John Thompson at Hitchin. The collection also contains miscellaneous manuscripts, including genealogical notes on the Thompson family.


  • Creation: 1751 - 1876


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Biographical / Historical

Jonah Thompson (1702 or 1703­-1780) was the son of Isaac and Hannah Lawson Thompson. He was a schoolmaster and established a Quaker school at Compton, Dorsetshire (England) ca. 1735. He was a minister and made a religious visit to America in 1750-­51. Jonah married Mary Beaton in 1735. Their children included John (1744-1819), sent to the U.S. at age 26, and Thomas (1746-­1826), who married Ann Gregory and succeeded his father at his school at Compton. Thomas and Ann's children included John (d. 1877), who was in business at Hitchin (England). Jonah's son John (1744-­1819) came to America in 1770, taught in Anthony Benezet's Philadelphia school and was afterwards a merchant. He married Rebecca Chalkley James in 1782. Their son, James B. Thompson (b. 1785), merchant, married Lydia Poultney in 1809. James and Lydia's children included Rebecca, who married Isaac P. Morris (1803­-1869); and John James Thompson (1815­-1875), manufacturer and member of I.P. Morris & Co., who married Elizabeth Hough Trotter. Their son, James Beaton Thompson (1855­-1915), was a member of Philadelphia Monthly Meeting and Haverford College graduate (class of 1874).


.5 linear ft. (1 box)

Language of Materials



Correspondence, genealogy, silhouette, printed material, certificate, testimony, and accounts. Includes letters from Jonah Thompson (written 1756-1758) and son John Thompson to family in England (written 1773-1805). Letters (written 1840-1874) of John's grandson, John James Thompson, to cousin John Thompson (Hitchin, England) discuss family news, national and political questions, slavery, business, and financial conditions.


The collection is arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

Processing Information

Original processing information unknown.

Thompson Family papers, 1751-1876
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • June 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 repoductions from Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections Library

370 Lancaster Ave
Haverford PA 19041 USA US