Manuscripts Division William L. Clements Library University of Michigan
Finding aid for Samuel Huntington Papers, 1768-1828
Finding aid created by Philip Heslip, December 2009
Title: Samuel Huntington papers Creator: Huntington, Samuel, 1765-1817 Inclusive dates: 1768-1828 Extent: 0.25 linear feet Abstract:
The Samuel Huntington papers contain letters and documents of a prominent Ohio settler and political leader. Included are items on his business, political, and military activities.
Language: The material is in English Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave. The University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190 Phone: 734-764-2347 Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu
Access and Use
The collection is open for research.
Copyright status is unknown
Cataloging funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the "We the People" project.
Samuel Huntington Papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan
This collection is organized into three series:
Series I: Correspondence and Documents
Series II: Account Book
Series III: Photograph and News Clippings
The Correspondence series is ordered chronologically.
Samuel Huntington was born in Coventry, Connecticut, in 1765. His father, Reverend Joseph Huntington, was a member of a prominent New England family and brother of Samuel Huntington (1731-1796), signer of the Declaration of Independence, president of the Continental Congress, and governor of Connecticut. The elder Samuel Huntington adopted the younger when he was around 7 years old, and ensured that he had a privileged upbringing. Huntington graduated from Yale in 1785 and was admitted to the Connecticut bar in 1793. He set up a practice in Connecticut and invested in land on the frontier through the Erie Company and the Connecticut Land Company.
Huntington married his cousin, Hannah Huntington, in 1791; they had six children: Francis (1793-1822), Martha D. (b. 1795), Julius C. (b.1796), Cobert (b.1797), Samuel (1799-1804), and Robert G. (1800). In 1800 he traveled to Ohio and the following year he and his family settled in the small town of Cleveland, where he owned a sizeable plot of land. They moved to a number of towns in the Western Reserve in Ohio over the next decade, and eventually founded the town of Fairport, Ohio. Huntington owned land and business interests in Ohio, including several mills in the area and over 4,000 acres along Lake Erie. Huntington also served in a number of government positions in Ohio. He was appointed lieutenant colonel of the Trumbull County militia and justice of the peace, and was elected as a delegate to the Ohio Constitutional Convention in 1802. The following year, he was elected to the state senate's first general assembly and was appointed chief justice of the state supreme court. He left his judgeship to become the third governor of Ohio, from 1808 to 1810. After his governorship, Huntington ran for United States Senate, but lost. During the War of 1812, he served as Army paymaster under William Henry Harrison. He died from an illness in 1817.
Collection Scope and Content Note
The Samuel Huntington papers (60 items) contain letters and documents of a prominent Ohio settler and political leader. The Correspondence and Documents series contains 23 letters and 27 documents and financial records. Many of the early items are records and receipts for sales of land and legal services. Other documents include an agreement for Elija Gunn to build a fence around Huntington's home (November 10, 1804), a transfer of land in Cleveland Township from Huntington to Augustus Gilbert (May 4, 1808), Huntington's payment receipt for his services to the Ohio Militia (May 24, 1813), and numerous other land transactions.
Notable letters include:
A letter from fellow Ohio settler David Bryant asking for investments to buy a still for whiskey making (August 28, 1801)
A letter from Turhand Kirtland, Connecticut Land Company agent, inquiring about the companies' interests in settling new towns (March 27, 1802)
A second letter from Kirtland discussing politics and congratulating Huntington on his election as Trumbull County delegate to the constitutional convention (March 3, 1803)
A congratulatory letter from William Law on Huntington's election as state governor accompanied by a number of state policy requests (December 18, 1808)
A personal letter from Samuel Huntington to his eldest son, Francis, that describes his travels through Cincinnati, including an Indian attack, and provides instructions to his son for handling the tax collector (July 3, 1813)
Items related to the military include four Quartermaster documents from Detroit and Washington (August 11, 1813-July 16, 1814), and Samuel Huntington's letter to Simon Huntington of Grand River, Ohio, in which he discussed his opinions on the War of 1812 (December 14, 1814). The collection concludes with a farewell letter and religious diatribe from the dying 86-year-old Moses Lyman, a prominent citizen of Goshen, Connecticut.
The Account Book series consists of a 23-page booklet of "Copies of Notes and other Obligations due to me with their Indorsments" (1795-1814). These notes record large transactions (most between $70 and $1,000 with one as high as $4,716.96), and provide details on reasons for the deals and the parties involved.
The Photographs and Newspaper Clippings series holds one of each item. The clipping is undated and likely from a local Cleveland newspaper. The clipped article is "Colonel Samuel Huntington Surveys his Property" by S.J. Kelly, about Huntington's early property holding in Cleveland. The photograph is unlabeled but is possibly a painted portrait of Huntington.
Connecticut Land Company.
Indians of North America--Ohio.
Lyman, Moses, ca. 1743-1829.
McArthur, Duncan, 1772-1839.
Ohio. Constitution (1802)
Ohio--Politics and government--1787-1865.
Ohio. Supreme Court.
Trumbull County (Ohio)
United States. Army. Infantry Regiment, 19th (1812-1815)
United States. Army--Pay, allowances, etc.
United States--History--War of 1812.
Western Reserve (Ohio)
Container / Location
Correspondence and Documents [series]
September 12, 1768; December 17, 1791
February 17, 1801; May 1801
August 28, 1801; August 28, 1801
September 12, 1801; September 17, 1801
September 21, 1801; October 1, 1801
March 27, 1802; May 
July 1, 1802; July 17, 1802
March 3, 1803; September 15, 1804
November 10, 1804-May 4, 1808
May 4, 1808-March 6, 1809
May 12, 1809-September 16, 1810
January 21, 1811-November 12, 1811
March 12, 1812-June 1812
July 5, 1812-July 3, 1813
[August 1,]-11, 1813
January 1, 1814-July 16, 1814
December 19, 1814-May 1, 1815
October 10, 1816-December 22, 1828
Account Book [series]
March 4, 1795-[December 21, 1814]
Photograph and News Clipping [series]
Additional Descriptive Data
Miscellaneous: Samuel Huntington to William Woodbridge, June 1, 1806
The Clements library also has many letters of Samuel Huntington's famous Uncle, Samuel Huntington (1731-1796), including items sent to Nathaniel Greene, Henry Clinton, and George Washington, among others.
Brown, Jeffery P. "Samuel Huntington: A Connecticut Aristocrat on the Ohio Frontier." Ohio's Western Reserve . Lupold, Harry F. and Haddad, Gladys (eds.) Kent State, Ohio. Kent State University Press. 1988.
Smith, S. Winifred. "Samuel Huntington." The Governors of Ohio. Columbus: Ohio Historical Society. 2nd ed. 1969.