and Museum Commission
Bureau of Archives and History
Pennsylvania State Archives
ORBINSON FAMILY PAPERS
Papers of William A. Thompson
Records pertaining to the will and estate of General William Thompson (b. 1725,
d. 1781), naming executors and including eventual power of attorney from these
to the general's youngest son, William A. Thompson. Papers also embrace correspondence
of Mrs. Catharine Thompson, widow of General Thompson and mother of William A.
Thompson, and of her sons, Robert and George, and of her daughters, Maria Thompson
Read and Catharine Thompson Orbison, and of her son-in-law, George Read, Jr.,
son of George Read, signer of the Declaration of Independence; accounts of Mrs.
Catharine Thompson, widow of General Thompson; and papers relating to the estate
of William A. Thompson.
Papers of William Orbison
Correspondence features letters from James Henry Orbison (b. 1826), son of William
Orbison, as student at Jefferson College, Canonsburg, as student at Princeton
Theological Seminary, and subsequently as a Presbyterian minister and missionary
to India, 1846-1857; from David Rittenhouse Porter, 1821-22, 1839; from Isabella
Siemmons to her brother, William Orbison, 1806-41; and from Michael T. Simpson,
regarding the founding of Orbisonia, 1832. Miscellaneous correspondence, 1823-1857,
represents Mrs. William Orbison (Eleanor Elliott) and these children of William
Orbison: Caroline Elizabeth, Edmund Burke, Ellen Matilda, Harriet, Henrietta Ashman,
James Henry, Louisa Augusta, Sarah Harriet, Thomas Elliott, and William Penn.
Included also are papers relating to Joseph Hiester's campaign for governor, 1820.
Individuals represented include Philip Benner, ironmaster and owner of Rock Iron
Works, Centre County, 1806-1823; John Blair (of Blair's Gap), 1818-1830, member
of the General Assembly, 1798, 1800, 1802, 1826-1830; J. and J. Boyd, Philadelphia,
touching on transactions with Richard Penn Smith, 1818-1824; Benjamin and George
Burd, Bedford, 1814-1831; Charles Cadwallader, 1814-1816, George Cadwallader,
1777-1841, and H. Cadwallader, 1825-1828; Alexander Dobbin, Gettysburg, 1808-1811,
and Dr. Daniel Dobbin, Bellefonte, 1818-1831; Greenberry Dorsey, founder of Barree
Forge on the Little Juniata, 1794-1830; John H. Dunn of Mt. Pleasant Iron Works,
1816-1830; Father Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin (Prince Gallitzin) of Loretto,
1813-1817; Christian Garber, 1817-1828, member of the General Assembly, 1816,
1817; Simon Gratz, Philadelphia, 1830-1833; Thomas Jackson, 1829-1847, member
of the Pennsylvania Senate, 1828-1832; Leonard Kimball, Philadelphia and Baltimore,
grandson-in-law of Jasper Yeates of Lancaster, relating in part to the construction
of the Pennsylvania Canal in Huntingdon County, 1829-1841; William and John Patton,
Jr., sons of Colonel John Patton, founder of Centre Furnace (1790s) in Centre
(then Mifflin) County, 1795-1798; Hardman Philips, founder of Philipsburg, 1817-1844;
Charles Ridgely and his estate, 1815-1817, including correspondence with Edward
Day, Charles Dorsey, J. Meredith, and Edward Ridgely; John Royer of Cove Forge
and Kiskiminetas Salt Works, 1818-1825; Peter Schoenberger, ironmaster of Juniata
Forge, 1805-1817; Henry Shippen of Lancaster and subsequently of Meadville, 1811-1824;
Dr. Joseph Galloway Shippen, Philadelphia, 1810-1820; and Thomas Bull, Robert
May, and John Smith, 1811-1813, in connection with Joanna Furnace. Also represented
are Benjamin and Claudius H. Bailey, William Bell, John Bryson, Moses Canan, Mary
Chambers, Nicholas Clopper, Robeson deHart, John Denniston, Edward W. Doyle, the
Reverend George Duffield, Thomas Lloyd, J. G. Lowrey, Jonathan Maury, Samuel Park,
John Hare Powell, Henry Rubbell, William and Henry Scott, Samuel Swift, George
Thompson, William A. Todd, and Jacob Yingling.
Papers Pertaining to the Cox-Barton-Binney-Sievens Family
Included in this series are the following documents: Will, 1793, of Dr. John Cox,
of Bloomsburg, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, specifying, among other bequests,
that "Estherton" on the Susquehanna go to his brother, Cornelius Cox;
Papers of Esther Cox and other executors of the will of Dr. John Cox, 1808-1815;
Papers of Matthias Barton (b. 1762, d. 1809) of Lancaster and Philadelphia, son-in-law
of Dr. John Cox and member of the State House of Representatives, 1793-1795, and
of the Pennsylvania Senate, 1796-1804; Papers, 1810-1841, of Mrs. Esther (Cox)
Barton, widow of Matthias Barton; Power of attorney, 1825, to William Orbison
from John Stevens (b. 1749, d. 1838), engineer and inventor, founder of Stevens
Institute, sometimes called the father of the Pennsylvania Railroad, son-in-law
of Dr. John Cox and executor for Cox; Letters, 1808-1829, from Horace Binney (b.
1780, d. 1875), Philadelphia lawyer and financier, son-in-law of Dr. John Cox;
Letters from Horace Binney, Jr., 1835-1851, pertaining to the affairs of Mrs.
Esther (Cox) Barton; Deed, 1768, of Edward Ward of Cumberland County to John Cox,
merchant of Philadelphia.
Papers of the Cromwell and Smith Families,
This series contains the following materials:
Papers of the Huntingdon Bank,
- Papers, 1799-1832, concerning Colonel Thomas Cromwell, ironmaster in Huntingdon
County and a founder of Bedford Furnace (ca. 1785).
- Letters, 1824-1843, of Thomas Cromwell, son of Colonel Thomas Cromwell.
- Cases at law, 1829-1842, affecting Thomas Cromwell, son of Colonel Thomas
- Letters and other papers, 1786-1845, relating to the Reverend Dr. William
Smith (b. 1727 d. 1803), founder of Huntingdon Furnace; to Richard Smith (b.
1769, d. 1823), Huntingdon, son of the Reverend Dr. William Smith; to Letitia
Nixon (Coakley) Smith, widow of Richard Smith; to Charles Smith (b. 1765,
d. 1836) Lancaster, son of the Reverend Dr. William Smith; to William Wemyss
Smith (b. 1795, d. 1828), son of Charles Smith; and to Richard Penn Smith
(b. 1799, d. 1854), grandson of the Reverend Dr. William Smith.
Papers include preliminaries to organization and early affairs, 1813-1816; transactions
with the Bank of Chambersburg, 1814-1829, the Harrisburg Bank, 1815-1833, the
Hollidaysburg Office of the Exchange Bank of Pittsburgh, 1839-1847, the Juniata
Bank, Lewistown, 1815-1822, the Mechanics Bank, Philadelphia, 1814, 1815, and
the ank of Pittsburgh, 1818-1820; affairs of ironmasters John Patton, Jr., John
Royer, and others, 1819-1834; transactions with William Simpson, tavern keeper,
1820-1835; letters from ironmaster George Anshutz, 1814-1819, from Thomas L. Emory,
Baltimore, 1821-1827, from Elias W. Hale, Lewistown, 1817-1827, from James B.
Hubley, Orwigsburg, 1819-1823, and from Jacob and Frederick Lindenberger, Baltimore,
1818-1822; and letters to William Orbison as president, 1816-1851.
Miscellaneous Legal Papers,
Papers feature items relating to land transactions, 1766, of John Baynton and
Samuel Wharton; papers, 1791, regarding tracts of land once held by Henry Bouquet
in Cumberland County along the Indian path from Bedford to Frankstown; and papers,
1802-1845, pertaining to the affairs of and the estate of General Samuel Meredith
(b. 1740, d. 1817). Included is a memorandum on Scipio Young and other slaves,
Papers of the Huntingdon Academy,
Minutes, 1825-1840; applications for positions as teachers, recommendations, etc.,
1823-1848; accounts of teachers and enrollments, 1831-1845; contract for a new
building, 1844; and miscellaneous literary exercises, poems, songs, etc., 1823-1843.
Papers of Ellen Matilda Orbison Harris
Letters to William Orbison (father), 1837-1855; to and from William Penn Orbison
(brother), 1840-1867; from Thomas E. Orbison (brother), 1866-1868; from Hugh Nelson
McAllister (brother-in-law), Mary McAllister (niece), and Sarah McAllister (niece),
1860-1867; from General James A. Beaver (nephew-in-law), 1867; and from numerous
other relatives and friends, 1816-1902. Letters between Dr. John Harris and William
Orbison, 1841-1849; letters of William Penn Orbison to Dr. Harris, 1859-1863;
letters of William Harris, Bellefonte, to his brother, Dr. Harris, 1861, 1862;
letters to Dr. Harris from other friends and relatives, 1853-1868, several relating
to Civil War matters; and a letter (with petition) asking for the appointment
of Dr. Harris as consul to Venice, Italy, 1865.
Papers of the Philadelphia Ladies' Aid Society,
Papers consist of organizational papers, secretary's reports, treasurer's accounts,
etc.; correspondence of Mrs. Margaret Bonsell, Dorothea Dix, and Mrs. Joel Jones;
statement of Mrs. Harris regarding the society's work for presentation to General
George B. McClellan; letters received from surgeons; letters from soldiers; letters
of Mrs. Harris to her husband, many written from the battle fronts; letters of
Dr. Harris to his wife; printed circulars, etc.