Skip to main content

Henry Simmons journals

Identifier: HC.MC-975-01-072

Scope and Contents

This collection is comprised of four volumes of Henry Simmons's journals, the majority of which are related to time Simmons spent with the Oneida and Seneca nations. In addition to the four handwritten journals, the collection includes two photocopies of Simmons's 1796-1797 journal (volume 1), and a single typed transcript of Simmons's 1799 journal (volume 2).


  • Creation: 1796-1800


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (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 their five children. 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, he went on to be a school teacher on the Oneida reservation from 1796 to 1797, and at Cornplanter's village from 1798 to 1799.

Henry Simmons belonged to the Middletown Monthly Meeting, where he first expressed his desire to help Indigenous peoples. 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 was invited by Cornplanter (Gaiänt'wakê, John Abeel) to spend a year with the Seneca Nation during which 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), and Henryetta (b. 1808). Simmons died in Pennsylvania in 1807.


0.1 linear ft. (4 volumes)

Language of Materials



Henry Simmons was a Quaker missionary to the Seneca Nation and a member Middletown Monthly Meeting. Henry Simmons's journals are related to time Simmons spent with the Oneida and Seneca nations.



Related Materials

  • HC.MC.950.101 Halliday Jackson papers
  • HC.MC.950.135 Native Americans speeches
  • HC.MC.950.302 Correspondence
  • HC.MC.975.01.069 Joshua Sharpless diaries
  • HC.MC.975.01.078 Joel Swayne diary
  • HC.MC.975.02.019 Henry Simmons letterbooks
  • HC.MC.975.03.054 Henry Simmons commonplace book
  • HC.MC.975.07.132 "Account of a visit paid to the Indians in New York State
  • HC.MC.1003 Associated Executive Committee of Friends on Indian Affairs

Processing Information

Processed by Kara Flynn; completed July, 2015.

Henry Simmons journals, 1796-1800
Kara Flynn
July, 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

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