University of Delaware Library

Special Collections Department

Samuel Meredith
Letters and Documents

1786 - 1798


Manuscript Collection Number: 239
Accessioned: Purchase, 1991
Extent: .1 linear ft. (25 items)
Content: Letters, notes, and receipts
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: July, 2000 by Anita A. Wellner

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Special Collections, University of Delaware Library
Newark, Delaware 19717-5267
(302) 831-2229

Table of Contents

Biographical Note

Samuel Meredith was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1741, the son of merchant Reese Meredith and Martha (Carpenter) Meredith. After being educated privately in Philadelphia and Chester, Pennsylvania, Samuel Meredith joined his father's business in Philadelphia.

Prior to the American Revolution, Samuel Meredith was a signer of the non-importation resolutions adopted in Philadelphia in 1765. He attended the Provincial Convention as a deputy from Philadelphia in 1775. During the Revolutionary War, Meredith served as an officer of the 3rd Battalion of Associators, also known as the "Silk Stocking Company." He served with distinction in the battles of Trenton, Princeton, Brandywine, and Germantown. Because of his outstanding service, he was promoted to brigadier- general of the Pennsylvania militia on April 5, 1777. He resigned from the army in 1778 and returned to his business.

Between 1778 and 1783, Meredith served three terms in the Pennsylvania Colonial Assembly, and in 1786 was elected to the Congress of Confederation, in which he served until 1788. After serving less than a year as surveyor of the Port of Philadelphia, Meredith accepted an appointment as the first Treasurer of the United States, at the urging of George Washington. He began his duties on September 11, 1789 and served until his health and financial matters required his retirement on October 31, 1801. During his tenure in office Meredith lent the government more than one hundred thousand dollars, a sum that was never repaid. Upon his retirement, Samuel Meredith returned to his estate in Wayne County, Pennsylvania and managed his land. He died at this estate in 1817.

Samuel Meredith married Margaret Cadwalader on May 19, 1772. Together they had seven children. One daughter, Martha Meredith, married John Read, Jr., a lawyer and senator. One son, Thomas Meredith, was also a lawyer and helped manage his father's estate.


Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1961. Vol. 6.

Graham, S. M. Meredith. A Short History of the Three Merediths, [n.d.]

Scope and Content Note

The collection of Samuel Meredith Letters and Documents, spans the dates 1786 to 1798. The collection includes twenty- five letters, notes, or receipts written to Samuel Meredith. Most of the items are notes regarding financial matters, such as land purchases, loans or other debts due, and receipts for goods or services. Several are addressed to Meredith as Treasurer of the United States but most are addressed to him personally.

The collection includes letters or receipts from William Constable, William Geary, John D. Coxe, Edward Burd, William Riddle, Philemon Thomas, Thomas Canty, Arthur Breefe, John Burrall, Andrew Bayard, John A. Boyd, Sam Roberts, John Blagge, George Harrison, Mr. Vaughn, William M. Biddle, John Buhe, Matthew Connell, and Mr. Clark.

Related Collections:

Ms 240 Samuel Meredith Papers

Contents List

Folder -- Contents

F1   Letters, 1786-1787       6 items

F2   Letters, 1788-1794       6 items

F3   Letters, 1795-1796       7 items

F4   Letters, 1798 and [n.d.] 6 items

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Last modified: 01/19/11
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