An Inventory of the Jesse Merritt Family Papers, 1838-1949

(2 boxes; 1 linear ft.)

RG 5/101


© Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College.  
Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081-1399 U.S.A.  

Seal of Swarthmore College
Table of contents
Abstract
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.

Background note:
BIOGRAPHICAL AND 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.

Scope and content
SCOPE AND CONTENT 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.

Arrangement
Arrangement The collection is divided into eight series:


Added entries

Subjects
  • Albertson family
  • Bethpage (N.Y.) -- Quakers
  • Bethpage Meeting House -- Bethpage, N.Y.
  • Genealogies -- Quaker
  • Nassau County (N.Y.) -- History
  • New York -- Nassau County -- Quakers
  • Quakers -- New York -- Nassau County
Additional Authors and Contributors
  • Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
  • Hopper, Isaac T., 1771 1852
  • Merritt, Jean
  • Merritt, Jesse, 1889-1957
Credits
Processed by: Finding Aid Prepared by FHL staff
Date: Before 1950
Restrictions: Use Restrictions 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.
Sponsor: Encoding made possible by a grant by the Gladys Kriebel Delmas Foundation to the Philadelphia Consortium of Special Collections Libraries


Inventory

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE RECORDS
Notes
Note to Researchers: To request materials, please note both the location and box numbers shown below:

Ser. 1. Biographical and genealogical material

Bible of Benjamin Albertson
Given to Jesse Merritt by his mother, Pauline Willis Merritt, granddaughter of the original owner. Stored with “Bibles.” Contains genealogical pages between Apocrypha and New Testament, on Albertson family and related families
Box 1

Goffe genealogical chart Box 1

Genealogical notes on Goffe (Gough), Seaman, Sutton, Underhill, Whalley families (Binder, stapled sheets, and loose sheets) Box 1

Ser. 2. Correspondence, 1795-1949

General correspondence, largely between Jesse Merritt and members of the staff of the Friends Historical Library
Includes letter from Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Jesse Merritt, 1937 4mo 5 (photoprint).
1937-1949 Box 1

Special category, collected letters: Box 1

Dolly P. Madison to I.T. Buckingham 1838 4mo 5 (ALS) Box 1

Isaac T. Hopper to Hannah Pennock
Concerning a young female former prisoner who is looking for work.
1847 12mo 10 (ALS) Box 1

John Greenleaf Whittier to “My Dear friend”
Filed in Whittier Mss.
June, 1860 (photostat) Box 1

Extract of letter from B. Chew, Jr. to J. Chew
Includes letter from John Chew to John Galloway 1795 9mo 2
1795 8mo 28 (photostats) Box 1

Ser. 3. Published writings by Jean and Jesse Merritt, 1938-1951, n.d.
Jean was the daughter of Jesse. Writings are chronologically arranged.


“Walt Whitman and Long Island Quakerism,” by Jean Merritt. Clipping from The Long Islander. 1938 6mo 24 Box 1

Article on Robert Moses, by Jean Merritt. Clipping from The Nassau Daily Review-Star. 1940 5mo 17 Box 1

Letter to the editor, “Don't Throw America Overboard,” by Jesse Merritt, Clipping from The Farmingdale Post 1941 5mo 22 Box 1

Article, “Thomas Worth, Humorist to Currier & Ives,” by Jesse Merritt, in American Collector August 1941 Box 1

“Historical Notes,” by Jesse Merritt, in The Nassau County Historical Journal
Jesse Merritt was the news editor.
Sept. 1941 Box 1

Article, “Thomas Hicks, N. A.," by Jesse Merritt. Clipping from The Nassau County Historical Journal. Spring 1943 Box 1

Article, “The Duke's Laws Adopted In Hempstead at 1665 Assembly Still States' Basic Laws”, by Jesse Merritt. Clipping from The Hempstead Sentinel
Includes picture of Jesse Merritt.
1943 10mo 7 Box 1

“Dr. Elisha Cullen Dick, Physician,” by Jesse Merritt, from “Masonic Miniatures” 1945 Box 1

Article, “The Founding of Hicksville," and “Historical Notes,” by Jesse Merritt, in The Nassau County Historical Journal
Jesse Merritt was the associate editor and trustee.
Autumn 1948 Box 1

“Historical Notes,” and “List of Nassau County Markers,” by Jesse Merritt, in The Nassau County Historical Journal Spring 1950 Box 1

Article, “Thomas Dongan and the Charter of Liberties”, by Jesse Merritt, in The Nassau County Historical Journal. (Jesse Merritt trustee) Fall 1951 Box 1

Article, “George Washington and a Quaker Friend,” by Jesse Merritt n.d. Box 1

“The History of Bethpage Meeting House,” by Jesse Merritt.
Citing of his address at re-opening of Bethpage Friends Meeting House.
n.d. Box 1

Article, “West and Quaker Artists”, by Jesse Merritt? n.d. Box 1

Ser. 4. Printed articles concerning Jesse Merritt, 1923-1941, n.d.

6 clippings: containing pictures of Mrs. Merritt and daughters Jean and Jessica, and of the Merritt home
Includes 4 undated clippings, one containing a picture of Jesse Merritt.
1923 10mo 5, 1941 8mo 14 (pos. photostat) Box 1

Ser. 5. Scrapbook

Scrapbook re: re-opening of Bethpage Friends Meeting House Box 1

Ser. 6. Legal papers, 1712-1802

Power of Attorney, J. Thomas Young to Samuel Young 1729 Feb. 4 Box 1

Summons signed by Benj. Chew, Att'y Gen'l, with portrait 1758 (photostats) Box 1

See also Deeds in Chart Case:
Filed under "M"
(pos. photostats) Box 1

Thomas Willetts, Sr. to Thomas Willetts, Jr., Islip, Suffolk Co., Nassau Island 1712, May 30 Box 1

Benjamin Birdsall and Martha, to Ananias Wording, Oysterbay Twp., Queens Co., Nassau Island 1753, March 6 Box 1

Elias Hicks to Royal Idrich, Jericho, Oysterbay Twp., Queens Co. N.Y. 1802, 5mo 14 Box 1

See also MISC. MSS. Samuel Chew's Commission as Clerk of Court, Kent Co., Del
Filed under "Chew"
Jan. 4, 1771 (pos. photostats) Box 1

Ser. 7. Reference material, 1755-199?

Nathalia Crane's “The Bryant Tree” and biographical sketch of the poet. 199? (printed poem and copy) Box 2

Papers re: Benjamin Chew & picture (photostats) Box 2

Material re: Dr. Elisha Cullen Dick
Includes 11 photostats of items on him. Also includes letter from Dr. Dick to Jarnes H. Howe, 2mo 2 1815.
Box 2

"A Treatise of the Materia Medica," by Wm. Cullen, M. D. with Elisha C. Dick's name inside cover. Box 2

“An Elegy on the Death of John Woolman” anon. verses
“For Jane Mott, 1788”
1788 (ms.) Box 2

“History of the Society of Friends in Queens Co...” by Henry Onderdonk, Jr.
Revised 1876.
1870 (ms.) Box 2

Positive photostat of Contents, Preface, and Index Box 2

Miscellaneous clippings relating mainly to the history of Long Island Box 2

Roscoe Pound's remarks for the anniversary of Bethpage Friends Meeting Box 2

“The Rise of Jacob Brown”, by Capt. Joseph I. Greene, from Seventh Regiment Gazette, March 1938 Box 2

Westbury Monthly Meeting, extracts from minutes
Certifying membership of certain individuals. Filed in RG 5++M under Merritt Papers.
1755 (pos. photostats, 2 sheets) Box 2

Ser. 8. Pictures, 1853

Gravestone of Job Anthony, grandfather of Susan B. [Anthony] Plate of Mary F. Jillitts's signature 1853 Box 2