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
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)..
The collection is divided into four series:
Business and financial papers
Note to Researchers: To request materials, please note both the location and box numbers shown below: