Guide to the Hendricks-Tobias Business Correspondence, undated, 1802-1889

Processed by Abigail H. Schoolman (January 1999)

American Jewish Historical Society

Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, N.Y. 10011

Phone: (212) 294-6160



© 2019  American Jewish Historical Society, New York, NY. All Rights Reserved.
Finding aid was encoded by Marvin Rusinek on November 30, 2006. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Hendricks-Tobias family
Title: Hendricks-Tobias business correspondence
Dates:undated, 1802-1889
Abstract: The bulk of the 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.
Languages: The collection is predominantly in English, with some French.
Quantity: 0.75 linear feet (2 manuscript boxes) and 1 oversized folder
Identification: P-704
Repository: American Jewish Historical Society
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Historical Note

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 (see genealogical charts). Two of Harmon's (1771-1838) daughters, Roselane and Hermoine, married Tobias men (see genealogical chart). 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).

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Scope and Content Note

The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence to Hendricks & Brothers, 1833 [?] to 1851. Also included is business cards from various Hendricks enterprises, correspondence to Harmon Hendricks and correspondence to various members of the Tobias family. The collection is arranged in four series: Series I: Business Cards, Series II: Hendricks Family, Series III: Tobias Family, and Series IV: Hendricks and Tobias Family Associates. The collection was acquired as a single unit with no original order.

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 II: Hendricks Family: To Hendricks & Brothers, 1837). In addition, throughout Series III: Tobias Family there is correspondence between Henry and Charles Tobias that touches on personal matters, as well as their business.

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The collection has been arranged into four series as follows:

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers by permission of the Director of Collections and Engagement of the American Jewish Historical Society, except items that are restricted due to their fragility.

Use Restrictions

Information concerning the literary rights may be obtained from the Executive Director of the American Jewish Historical Society. Users must apply in writing for permission to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection. For more information contact:
American Jewish Historical Society, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY, 10011

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Related Material

Hendricks Family Papers. American Jewish Historical Society, Newton Centre, Mass. and New York, N.Y.

Tobias Family Papers. American Jewish Historical Society, Newton Centre, Mass. and New York, N.Y.

Hendricks & Brothers Papers. New York Historical Society, New York, N.Y.

Harmon Hendricks Papers. American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Tobias I. Tobias Letter Book. New York Historical Society, New York, N.Y.

Tobias Scrapbook. Winterthur Library: Joseph Downs Collection of Manuscripts and Printed Ephemera, Winterthur, Del.

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The Society purchased the collection in October 1998 (accession number 1998.020).

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); Hendricks-Tobias business correspondence; P-704; box number; folder number; American Jewish Historical Society, New York, NY.

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Access Points:

Click on a subject to search that term in the Center's catalog. Return to the Top of Page

Container List

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Click the box in the request column to open the form that allows you to request a box for onsite viewing in the reading room at the Center for Jewish History, New York, NY.


Series I: Business Cards, undated, 1850s-1889

Box 1, Folders 1-2. (2 folders)

Arranged in two groups.

Scope and Content:

Business cards from companies bearing the Hendricks and Tobias family names or operated by either family. Also includes business cards from companies doing business with Hendricks & Brothers.

11Hendricks-Tobias Family Companies undated, 1882, 1889request_box
12With Messages1850s and 1860srequest_box
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Series II: Hendricks Family, 1802-1871

Box 1, Folders 3-38. (36 folders)

Arranged by addressee and chronologically therein.

Scope and Content:

Correspondence to Harmon Hendricks, Hendricks & Brothers, and Hendricks Brothers. Also includes invoices, Copper Manufacturer's meeting minutes, and a telegram.

13To Harmon Hendricks 1802request_box
14To Harmon Hendricks1804request_box
15To Harmon Hendricks1805request_box
16To Harmon Hendricks1808request_box
17To Harmon Hendricks1815request_box
18To Harmon Hendricks1816request_box
19To Harmon Hendricks1817request_box
110To Harmon Hendricks1819request_box
111To Harmon Hendricks1820request_box
112To Harmon Hendricks1822request_box
113To Harmon Hendricks1823request_box
114To Harmon Hendricks1825request_box
115To Harmon Hendricks1826request_box
116To Harmon Hendricks1827request_box
117To Harmon Hendricks1828request_box
118To Harmon Hendricks1829request_box
119To Harmon Hendricks1830request_box
120To Hendricks & Brothers1833 [?]request_box
121To Hendricks & Brothers1836request_box
122To Hendricks & Brothers1837request_box
123To Hendricks & Brothers1838request_box
124To Hendricks & Brothers1839request_box
125To Hendricks & Brothers1840request_box
126To Hendricks & Brothers1841request_box
127To Hendricks & Brothers1842request_box
128To Hendricks & Brothers1843request_box
129To Hendricks & Brothers1844request_box
130To Hendricks & Brothers1845request_box
131To Hendricks & Brothers1846request_box
132To Hendricks & Brothers1847request_box
133To Hendricks & Brothers1848request_box
134To Hendricks & Brothers1850request_box
135To Hendricks & Brothers1851request_box
136To Hendricks Brothers: Shipping Invoices1865request_box
137To Hendricks Brothers: Telegram1869request_box
138To Hendricks Brothers: Copper Manufacturers' Meeting Minutes1870-1871request_box
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Series III: Tobias Family, undated, 1819-1860

Box 1 (Folders 39-46), Box 2 (Folders 47-60), Box 3 (Folder 66). (23 folders)

Arranged by addressee and chronologically therein.

Scope and Content:

Correspondence to various members of the Tobias family. Also includes invoices.

139To Tobias I. Tobiasundated, 1819request_box
140To Tobias I. Tobias1823, 1824, 1826request_box
141To Tobias I. Tobias from David Judah1824-1825request_box
142To Tobias & Co.1832request_box
143To Henry Tobias1837request_box
144To Henry and Charles Tobias & Co.1838request_box
145To Henry and Charles Tobias & Co.1839request_box
146To Henry and Charles Tobias & Co.1840request_box
247To Henry and Charles Tobias & Co.1841request_box
248To Henry and Charles Tobias & Co.1842request_box
249To Henry Tobias1843request_box
250To Henry Tobias1844request_box
251To Henry Tobias1845request_box
252To Henry Tobias1846request_box
253To Charles Tobias1847request_box
254To T.J. Tobias1844, 1845request_box
255To T.J. Tobias1846request_box
256To T.J. Tobias1848request_box
257To T.J. Tobias1853request_box
258To T.J. Tobias1856request_box
259To T.J. Tobias1858request_box
260To T.J. Tobias1860request_box
366To T.J. Tobias from I. S. Cohen1848request_box
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Series IV: Hendricks and Tobias Family Associates, 1820-1826, 1840

Box 2 (Folders 61-65). (5 folders)

Arranged alphabetically by addressee and chronologically therein.

Scope and Content:


261To Solomon Isaacs1820-1826request_box
262To David Judah1825, 1826request_box
263To Edward Pollack1821-1822request_box
264To Edward Pollack from David Judah1821request_box
265To Shepard & Farquar1840 request_box
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