Henry Family papers
William Henry (1729-1786) was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, but lived most of his life in Lancaster County, where he raised a family and led successful business and military ventures. Before the Revolutionary War, he ran a hardware business from 1759 to 1773, and he was a dealer in supplies... Full description
|Collection Information:||Henry Family Papers (#0280)|
Link to finding aid
|Main Author:||Henry family.|
|Contributors:||Henry, Matthew Schropp 1790-1862., Henry, William 1729-1786.|
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1.25 Linear feet ; 9 volumes
The collection is open for research.
William Henry (1729-1786) was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, but lived most of his life in Lancaster County, where he raised a family and led successful business and military ventures. Before the Revolutionary War, he ran a hardware business from 1759 to 1773, and he was a dealer in supplies to Indian traders. During the war, Henry was a strong proponent of independence and was appointed to many public offices. He served on the board of war, was named the superintendent of arms and accoutrements, and held the office of assistant commissary general to the Continental Army to help supply arms. In Lancaster, he was also the fiscal agent of Pennsylvania and the United States and later served nine years as county treasurer. After his death in 1786, his wife, Ann Wood Henry took over in his position as Lancaster County treasurer, making her the first woman in the state of Pennsylvania to hold public office.
The Henry family papers contain correspondence and other documents primarily relating to William Henry's political interests in Lancaster County and his activities during the Revolution. Everything, including loose papers, is housed in volumes. AIn addition to two volumes of personal and business papers, there is also a ledger, 1777-1779; a record of the "disbursements of the Hide Department," 1779-1783; Lancaster County docket, 1774-1781; J. J. Henry's journal of the campaign against Quebec, 1775; his notes on Indian names of rivers and streams and other Indian vocabulary; and notes for a history of the Indian nations, with maps of Pennsylvania counties.
The Henry family papers are comprised of nine volumes that contain numerous documents of the family dating from 1759 to 1914. Volumes 1 and 2 contain the bulk of the family-oriented and business papers, with a mix of personal letters, household financial records, and papers highlighting Henry's military involvement. Additional records of Henry's work during the Revolutionary War can be found in Volume 4, while later family correspondence from the early nineteenth century is house in Volume 5. Volume 3, "John Joseph Henry’s Journal of Campaign against Quebec" details John's experience as a prisoner of war in Quebec in 1775. Volumes 6, 7 and 8 were reportedly compiled by Matthew Shropp Henry (1790-1862), William Henry's grandson, and contain extensive details on the names given to rivers, creeks, stream, and other places and landmarks by local Indian tribes. The final volume in the collection, Volume 8, is a portfolio that contains prints of Ann Wood Henry.