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Haverford College
Quaker and Special Collections

R. W. Kelsey's Notes on American and Agricultural History

Ms. Coll. 1108
ca. 2,500 items (3 boxes)

Table of contents

Biographical sketch

Rayner W. Kelsey (1879-1934) was the son of Asa and Sarah (Atwater) Kelsey. He was educated at Earlham College and taught at Whittier before becoming professor of history at Haverford College (1909-1934). In 1922 he was named curator of the Quaker Collection at Haverford. He served on and was later chairman of the Associated Executive Committee of Friends on Indian Affairs. He was president of Friends Historical Association from 1913-1915 and was editor of the association's Bulletin from 1922-1932. Kelsey was the author of Friends and the Indians (1917) and editor of the journal of Theophile Cazenove (1740-1811).

[Biographical information: Dictionary of Quaker Biography , Haverford College, Haverford, PA ,Dictionary of American Biography vol. 21.]

Using links

In order to aid navigation within this finding aid, links have been provided at the beginning of each box description: to the table of contents, collection summary and to all other boxes in the collection .

Links to images

The following list brings together all of the image links found throughout this finding aid.

Scanned Image Entry from the Journal of James Kenny, 1761-1763 discussing the weather as a cause for illness in soldiers and Indians (approximately 20K).

Scanned Image Entry from Statues at Large, discussing bounty on blackbirds and crows (approximately 20K).

Summary of collection

Notes, extracts and transcripts (handwritten and typed) from primary and secondary sources related to American colonial history and Pennsylvania agricultural history of the colonial and early Federal periods. Includes 2 file card boxes of notes, arranged by topic by Kelsey, of his research on Pa. agricultural history. Also notes, extracts and transcripts of letters and documents (petitions, proclamations, etc.) relating to British colonial tea and sugar trade, also the Stamp act of 1765; includes transcripts of letters (1797-1799) of Theophile Cazenove related to Holland Land Company transactions; also notes taken by Kelsey while researching in London.

Arrangement and description of collection

The following links will link back to the Table of contents, Summary, etc. and were put before the beginning of individual boxes in the descriptive part of the finding aid.

Box 1 | Table of contents | Summary | Box 1 | Box 2 | Box 3

"Rayner W. Kelsey. Notes on Agricultural History. I."
This is a file box of notes [3" X 5" slips of paper] arranged into the following categories:
[these are Kelsey's headings from card file]

  • Ia. Soils, general. Soil treatment. See VIj. for drainage. Types of soil. Limestone vs. shale, & settlers there-on.
  • Ib. Soils - Rotation.
  • Ic. Soil - feeding. Subsoiling, manure, lime, fertilizer, green manure, cover crops.
  • Id. Weather. Climate.
    Scanned Image Entry from the Journal of James Kenny, 1761-1763 discussing the weather as a cause for illness in soldiers and Indians (approximately 20K).
  • IIa. Tools, general.
  • IIb. Tools, plows.
  • IIc. Vehicles.
  • IId. Harrows, rollers, etc.
  • IIe. Harvest machinery.
  • IIf. Threshing machinery.
  • IIg. Seeding machinery.
  • IIIa. Crops, general. Maple sugar.
  • IIIb. Wheat.
  • IIIc. Rye.
  • IIId. Oats.
  • IIIe. Hay. Pasture.
  • IIIf. Fruits. Trees, lumber, naval stores.
  • IIIg. Tobacco.
  • IIIh. Corn.
  • IIIi. Pests.
    Scanned Image Entry from Statues at Large, discussing bounty on blackbirds and crows (approximately 20K).
  • IVa. Livestock. Bees.
  • IVb. Horses.
  • IVc. Cattle, beef.
  • IVd. Swine.
  • IVe. Sheep, wool.
  • IVf. Poultry, pigeons.
  • IVg. Diseases, Drs., Meds.
  • Va. Industries, business. Silk worms.
  • Vb. Domestic blacksmithing, wagon-making, household manufacturing.
  • Vc. Spinning. Weaving.
  • Vd. Butter, cheese. [see] also IVc.
  • Ve. Liquor-making on farm.
  • Vf. Sale and transportation of products, how and where sold, duties, trade restrictions.
  • Vf1. Exports.
  • Vg. Land sales, leases, forfeitures, rental. Land values.
  • Vh. Supplies, groceries, dry-goods, salt.
  • Vi1. Produce prices, all prices of stock. Weights and measures.
  • Vi2. Wages.
  • Vi3. Currency. Finance. Taxes.
  • Vi4. Mortgages, interest, banking.
  • Vj. By-products. See also Vf.

Other notes in box 1 without supplied headings from Kelsey include: notes from Adams County Historical Society newspaper clippings; notes from "Life of John Dickinson: notes on newspapers examined on agric. hist.; notes from Howard M. Jenkins' "Pennsylvania Colonial and Federal"; "Morris notes `Settlement of Pennsylvania'"; notes from "Penn-Logan correspondence."

Box 2 | Table of contents | Summary | Box 1 | Box 2 | Box 3

"Rayner W. Kelsey. Notes on Agricultural History. II."
This is a file box of notes [3" X 5" slips of paper] arranged into the following categories:
[these are Kelsey's headings from card file]

  • VIa. Manners and customs, general.
  • VIb. Home, social life, temperance, amusements.
  • VIc. Churches, schools, home education, distant travel.
  • VId. Roads, bridges, local travel. Taverns.
  • VIe. Local industries: blacksmiths, wheelrights, mills, weaving, tanning, English shop, breweries.
  • VIf. Hunting, fishing.
  • VIg. Indian relations.
  • VIh. Labor. Kinds of labor, slaves, etc. Supply and availability of labor.
  • VIi. Politics, clubs and societies, farmers in.
  • VIj. Clearing and fencing land, drainage, water-ways. Hedges. Irrigation.
  • VIk. Farm buildings, including houses and building materials.
  • VIIa. Population, nationalities, etc.
  • VIIb. Immigration. See VIIc.
  • VIIc. New areas settled. Maps.
  • VIId. Germans.
  • VIIe. Scotch-Irish.
  • VIIf. Irish.
  • VIIg. Welsh.
  • VIIh. Sects of religion.
  • VIII. Landmark events: i.e. turning points in Pennsylvania agriculture.
  • IX. Indian agriculture.
  • Xa. General Misc. Agricultural societies. Closing quotation.
  • Xb. Prominent agriculturalists.
  • Xc. Pictures for use as illustrations.
  • Xd. Agricultural societies, journals, books, etc.
  • XI. State aid or other organized aid to agriculture.
  • XII. Methods and results. Tillage and seeding practice, results, yield per acre.
  • XIII. Bibliography.
  • XIIIb. Inc. bibliography.
  • XIV. Maps of Pennsylvania.


To look up.
  • Indirect agriculture.
  • Misc. agriculture.
  • Cazenove notes.
  • Misc. history.

Other notes in box 2 without supplied heading from Kelsey include: cost of labor, etc., 1848; env. with notes for agr. hist. file; notes from Falckner's "Curieuse nachricht von Pennsylvania," 1700; notes from "Pemberton papers"; notes from "Penn-Logan correspondence."

[Note: in "Possibilities of intensive research in agricultural history," in Annual Report of the American Historical Association for 1919, Vol. 1, p. 375-383, reprinted 1923, RWK discusses his note-taking method and arrangement of same.]

Box 3 | Table of contents | Summary | Box 1 | Box 2 | Box 3

Contents as follows:

  1. Misc. items removed from boxes 1 and 2
    4 items
    • "The Gilbert Cope Historical and Genealogical Collection" printed notice of sale, 1920
    • ALS of A. Gerber, Munchen, Jan. 18, 1920 to RWK re: historical research of Germans in Pa. [was he going to do some work for RWK?]
    • Typed transcript of letter of Richard Hartshorne, 1675
    • Typed transcript of letter [extract?] of John Adams, Phila., Aug. 29, 1777 to his wife
  2. 15 envelopes of notes, labeled by Kelsey as follows:
    1. Amsterdam notes
    2. Public Record Office
    3. Check list from Andrews compiled in British Museum
    4. Privy Council Office. Whitehall, S.W.
    5. Post Office, St. Martin's-le-Grand
    6. Oxford
    7. British Museum notes
    8. Royal Society, Burlington House, London W.
    9. Society for Propagation of Gospel and Dr. Bray's Associates
    10. Devonshire House notes
    11. House of Lords
    12. Fulham Palace notes, Bishop of London's palace
    13. Zeurich
    14. Lambeth Palace, London residence of Arb. of Canterbury
    15. Royal Agricultural Society
  3. Notes taken from estate inventories [ca. 1689-1722] in papers filed in the Register of Wills office, Philadelphia.
    TLS of Charles Francis Jenkins to RWK, Phila., Feb. 17, 1922 accompanying notes from inventories [Jenkins had the notes taken for a book he proposed writing on Pa. agricultural history]
  4. P.O. Documents
    [found in folder labeled "P.O. Docs." by RWK; orig. folder discarded]
    5 p. of notes on the colonial Post Office
  5. Sugar Act, 1733
    [found in folder labeled "Sugar Act, 1733" by RWK; orig. folder discarded]
    17 items
    contains typed and handwritten transcripts of documents related to colonial sugar [and tea] trade, as follows:
    • "Copy of some short observations in answer to the three representations from Barbadoes, Antigua and St. Christophers, relating to the trade between the Northern Colonies and the French and Dutch settlements. For and on behalf of several of the Northern Colonies." [1731?] [2 typed copies (orig. and carbon), 10 p. each; holograph copy, 13 p.]
    • "A reply ... in behalf of the Leeward islands and Jamaica, to a paper, intituled, some short observations on and reasons in answer to the three representations from the Assembly of Barbadoes, and the Islands of Antigua and St. Christophers ..." [n.d.] [19 p. holograph copy]
    • "Petition of New York to the King's most Excellent Majesty." Sept. 15, 1731. [2 typed copies (orig. and carbon), 4 p. each; 6 p. holograph copy]
    • "The case of the Provinces of the Massachusets [sic] Bay, and New-Hampshire, and the Colonies of Rhoad-Island with Providence Plantations, and Connecticut in New-England, and the Province of New Jersey, with respect to the Bill now depending in the Honourable House of Commons, intituled [sic], A Bill for the better securing and encouraging the Trade of His majesty's Sugar Colonies in America." [n.d.] [2 typed copies (orig. and carbon), 10 p. each]
    • "To the Delaware pilots" Nov. 27, 1773. [re: the tea ship "Polly"] [3 p. typed copy]
    • "Copy of a reply on behalf of the Island of Barbadoes, to the Observations on their Petition, and to the Address from the Northern Colonies, relating to the Trade with Foreign Sugar Islands." [n.d.] [2 typed copies(orig. and carbon), 8 p. each]
    • "The case of the British Northern Colonies." [n.d.] [2 typed copies (orig. and carbon), 14 p. each]
    • "The case of the British Sugar Colonies." Feb. 13, 1734-5 [2 typed copies (orig. and carbon), 10 p. each]
    • "Gooch's letter" [8 p. notes on letter of William Gooch, Esqr., Lt. Gov. of Va.]
    • notes taken by RWK on various petitions re: colonial sugar trade [40 p., holograph ms.]
  6. House of Lords MSS. re: Tea troubles in Philadelphia, 1773
    ca. 55 p.
    [found in folder labeled "Tea troubles" by RWK; orig. folder discarded]
    These are typed transcripts of documents re: to above, also typed note of RWK dated Haverford 2/15/1921 and 3 small notes.
  7. Notes taken at the British Museum
    ca. 54 p.
    [found in folder labeled "Brit. Mus." by RWK; original folder discarded]
    These are handwritten notes on documents at the British Museum related to colonial trade.
  8. Notes on the Stamp Act, 1765
    ca. 35 p.
    [found in folder labeled "Stamp Act" by RWK; orig. folder discarded]
    These are handwritten notes on documents re: Stamp Act, 1765; also 3 small notes.
  9. Notes and transcripts of documents, including petitions, also lists of names from petitions [from the Office of Public Records?] re: colonial history
    ca. 66 p.
    [found in folder labeled "Pub. Rec. Off." by RWK; orig. folder discarded]
  10. Misc. material
    folder contains:
    • 4 TL (carbons) of introduction to mss. repositories in London, dated Nov. 18, 1920
    • typed transcripts of 14 letters of Theophile Cazenove, 1797-1799, with references to page numbers on each letter [letters relate to Holland Land Co. transactions]

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