Rittenhouse family papers, 1774-1932


Date: 1774-1932 | Size: 0.25 Linear feet, Ca. 40 items


These papers include letters, broadsides, and other documents pertaining to various branches of the Rittenhouse family, in particular, David Rittenhouse. Included are references to Benjamin Smith Barton, and copies of documents concerning the Barton family, especially Thomas Barton, in Fanny Abbott's, "Family Records."

Background note

Ancestors of the Rittenhouse family were paper-makers, and William Rittenhouse built the first papermill in America in 1690 on the Wissahickon Creek in Roxborough (Pa.). William's grandson, David Rittenhouse, was a famous astronomer.

Collection Information

Physical description

Ca. 40 items.


Purchased from Sessler, Freeman (no. 281; $350.00) and accessioned 03/01/1970 (1970 555ms).

Early American History Note

This small notebook contains copies of correspondence and other documents that someone in the Rittenhouse family transcribed in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. The earliest document copied appears to be dated from the 1750s in Lancaster. The documents pertain to the family's past.

Indexing Terms

Family Name(s)

  • Barton family.
  • Rittenhouse family.


  • Broadsides.
  • Family Correspondence
  • Genealogies.

Personal Name(s)

  • Abbott, Fanny D.
  • Barton, Benjamin Smith, 1766-1815
  • Barton, Thomas Pennant, 1803-1869
  • Rittenhouse, David, 1732-1796


  • Marriage and Family Life
  • Papermakers.