Hendricks-Tobias business correspondence
Scope and Content Note
The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence to Harmon Hendricks, 1802-38, and Hendricks & Brothers, 1833 [?] to 1851, Tobias family individuals, associates and various business related documents. The collection was acquired as a single unit with no original order. Series V. contains Tobias and Hendricks business records.
While most of the correspondence in the collection relates solely to business matters, there is a particularly interesting letter from Washington Hendricks (1807-1841) in Kingston, Jamaica to his brothers at home in New York (Series I. Hendricks Family: To Hendricks & Brothers, 1837). In addition, throughout Series II. Tobias Family there is correspondence between Henry and Charles Tobias that touches on personal matters, as well as their business.
Series IV contains business documents and papers from various Hendricks and Tobias enterprises, donated by Eleanor and Morris Soble, former I-263.
- Creation: undated, 1802-1889
Language of Materials
The collection is predominantly in English, with some French.
The collection is open to all researchers, except items that may be restricted due to their fragility, or privacy.
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The firm that eventually came to be known as Hendricks & Brothers (and later, Hendricks Brothers) was founded by Uriah Hendricks (1737-1798). Uriah Hendricks was born in Amsterdam and emigrated from London to New York in 1755. Once in New York, he opened a dry goods store and became an active member (and, in 1791, president) of Congregation Shearith Israel. In 1764, Uriah established a metals business. Upon Uriah's death in 1798, Uriah's only son Harmon (1771-1838), who had gone into business for himself, took over and expanded his father's company. In 1812, Harmon established one of the first copper-rolling mills in the United States. The mill, which was located in Soho, New Jersey, was managed by his partner and brother-in-law, Solomon I. Isaacs. Clients included the United States War Department and Paul Revere and Son. Harmon followed in his father's footsteps, serving as president of Congregation Shearith Israel from 1824 to 1827. Each of Harmon's four sons, Uriah (1802-1869), Henry (1804-1861), Washington (1807-1841), and Montague (1811-1884), joined the family cooper business. In 1830, the partnership between Harmon and Solomon Isaacs was dissolved. The firm was reorganized. Harmon retired and his sons, with Uriah in charge, took over the business, which was then renamed Hendricks & Brothers.
The Hendricks family was closely associated with the Tobias family. Both Uriah (1802-1869) and Henry (1804-1861) married Tobias women. Two of Harmon's (1771-1838) daughters, Roselane and Hermione, married Tobias men. Another Tobias family became associated with the Hendrickses when, in 1853, Uriah's (1802-1869) daughter Adelaide (1829-1902) married Thomas Jefferson Tobias (1830-1878) of Charleston. Adelaide's younger brother Francis (1836-1912) later went into business with T.J. Tobias, creating the firm of commission merchants Tobias, Hendricks and Company.
In 1861, after the death of Henry (1804-1861), Uriah and Montague changed the name of the firm to Hendricks Brothers, and Uriah's son Joshua (1832-1893) became more active in the business. During the Civil War, Uriah's son Edmund (1834-1909) joined the firm, an injury having forced him to leave the Union Army. After the Civil War, Uriah resumed the Hendricks family's relationship with Hartford Bank, which began with Harmon (1771-1838). When Uriah's youngest son, Harmon Washington (1846-1928), came of age he also joined the family copper business. After the death of Uriah in 1869, Francis dissolved his partnership with T.J. Tobias, and joined his brothers Edmund and Harmon Washington at Hendricks Brothers, with Uriah's eldest son Joshua at the helm. Joshua eventually passed Hendricks Brothers, the oldest firm in the American copper industry, on to his three sons Edgar (1857-1895), Henry Harmon (1859-1904), and Clifford Brandon (1862-1901), with their uncles Edmund (1834-1909), Francis (1836-1912), and Harmon Washington (1846-1928) as senior partners.
After the death of Francis in 1912, Harmon W. Hendricks was the only family member still involved in the copper trade. After his death in 1928, the output of the family copper rolling mill was gradually reduced. The mill closed in December 1938.
For further information on Hendricks & Brothers, the Hendricks family and the Tobias family, see Copper for America: The Hendricks Family and a National Industry, 1755-1939, by Maxwell Whiteman, published by Rutgers University Press, 1971 (AJHS call number HD9539.C7U5817).
0.75 Linear Feet (2 manuscript boxes)
The bulk of this collection consists of correspondence to Hendricks & Brothers, 1833[?]-1851. Also included are business cards from various Hendricks-Tobias family enterprises, correspondence to Harmon Hendricks, and correspondence to several members of the Tobias family.
The collection has been arranged into four series as follows:
- Series I: Hendricks Family, 1802-1871
- Series II: Tobias Family, n.d., 1819-1860
- Series III: Hendricks and Tobias Family Associates, 1820-1826, 1840
- Series IV: Shipping and business records from Harmon Hendricks, Henry Hendricks, Tobias, 1824-1836, 1840-1870
- Series V: Business Cards, some with messages, undated, 1850s-1889
Located in AJHS New York, NY
The Society purchased the collection in October 1998 (accession number 1998.020). Also included are Hendricks business letters donated by Eleanor and Morris Soble, [former I-263] and a business letter donated by the Daughters of the American Revolution-Golden Nugget Chapter, Paradise CA.
- Guide to the Hendricks-Tobias Business Correspondence, undated, 1802-1889 P-704
- Processed by Abigail H. Schoolman (January 1999). Re-processed with additions by Susan Malbin (Fall 2012).
- © 2006
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- October 2020: EHyman: post-ASpace migration cleanup.