William Thornton Research Papers, 1673-1963

(1 box; 0.25 linear ft.)

RG 5/150

©Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College 
500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, PA 19081-1399  

Seal of Swarthmore College
Table of contents
This group of papers relating to the Thornton family, all copies, were made available to Harriet Frorer Durham, a Quaker writer who was working on a biography of Dr. William Thornton (1759-1828) of Philadelphia. William Thornton of England, Dr. Thorton's descendent, provided the papers. The collection contains genealogical material compiled for Dr. William Thornton and photocopies of business and legal papers (1673-1802).

Background note:
BIOGRAPHICAL/HISTORICAL William Thornton (1759-1828), physician, architect, and government official, was born in Tortola and practiced medicine there briefly before moving to the United States. He was a birthright Quaker and strongly antislavery, concerned primarily with colonizing efforts for freed slaves. He was disowned after his 1790 marriage in Philadelphia. His best known buildings are the United States Capitol and Woodlawn Plantation in Mount Vernon, Virginia.

Scope and content
SCOPE AND CONTENT This group of papers relating to the Thornton family, copies and transcripts, were made available by William Thornton of England to Quaker writer, Harriet Frorer Durham, who was working on a biography Dr. William Thornton (1759-1828) of Tortola and the United States. William Thornton was a descendent of the Doctor. Durham was a graduate of Swarthmore College, Class 1945, active in social concerns, and wrote the book Caribbean Quakers (Dukane Press, 1972)..

Arrangement The collection is divided into four series:

Added entries

  • Caribbean Quakers
  • Quaker - Genealogies
  • Thornton family
Additional Authors and Contributors
  • Durham, Harriet Frorer, d. 1991
  • Thornton, William, 1759-1828
Processed by: FHL staff
Date: 2000
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.


Note to Researchers: To request materials, please note both the location and box numbers shown below:

Ser. 1. Genealogical material

Thornton family

Ser. 2. Genealogical correspondence, 1961-1963 and n.d.

Correspondence 1961-1963, n.d.

Ser. 3. Business and financial papers

Accounts Box 1

Bills Box 1

Inventories Box 1

Receipts Box 1

Proposal for Auction Box 1

Valuations, and estimate Box 1

Ser. 4. Legal papers

Abstract of mortgage Box 1

Appointment and release
Reverse of document, shows signer of John Quincy Adams.
Box 1

Deeds, list of deeds Box 1

Instrument of guardianship Box 1

Leases Box 1

Opinion concerning trusteeship Box 1

Release Box 1

Wills (see separate folder labeled "Wills") Box 1