White, (Rt. Rev.) William. Papers

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White, (Rt. Rev.) William. Papers


  • 1643, 1764-1855 (Creation)


2.5 cu.ft. (6 boxes)

Name of creator



Rev. William White was not only the first President of the House of Deputies, but also the first Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. Bishop White was born in Philadelphia in 1748. After his graduation from college in 1765, he studied theology, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1772. In addition to ministering to the United Parishes of St. Peter’s and Christ Church in Philadelphia from his ordination until his death, he was the chaplain to the Continental and Constitutional Congresses and the Senate from 1777-1801.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This collection contains primary sources created, collected, and/or annotated by William White and his descendants, including correspondence, sermons and manuscripts, financial and family estate records, printed illustrations and photographs, and research materials. The collection covers a broad period from 1643 to 1957, although the bulk of White’s papers dates from around 1784 to 1836, when White was most active in the Episcopal Church until his death.


Personal Papers, 1643, 1722, 1748-1855
Ministerial Papers, 1782-1844
Print materials, 1802-1957
Research on White, 1832-1957
Images, 1832, 1861, 1916, 1936, n.d. (19th/20th centuries)
Correspondence, 1807, 1836-1895
Thomas H. White Estate and Legacy Papers, 1809-1849
Miscellaneous Collected Materials, 1823-1895

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Access conditions

Access to Episcopal Church records is governed by the Archives Public Access Policy. Research requests must be submitted in writing.

Technical access

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The Archives is able to respond to limited requests for reproductions subject to copyright restrictions, internal policy, and the condition of the source documents.

Languages of the material

  • English

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White Papers in Other Repositories:

Christ Church, Philadelphia, PA. William White artifacts and furniture, portraits, baptism and burial records, marriage registers, correspondence, sermons, the "Counter-Apology," and other manuscripts.

General Theological Seminary, New York, NY. Robbins Collection of Bishops' Papers (MSS-B541r). Christoph Keller, Jr. Library, Index to White materials located in Archives Control Files on White Papers.

Episcopal Diocese of Maryland Archives, Baltimore, MD. William White Papers, 1784-1873. 184 letters by Bishop White and material of the formative years of the Episcopal Church.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. William White, Manuscripts, 1765-1865. Forty-four items include manuscript sermons, certificates of consecration (1770-1787), diplomas (1765, 1781), and property and estate records. The collection also contains the draft and printer's copy of "Memoir of the Life of the Right Rev. William White, D.D.," 1839, with notes by Bird Wilson.

Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia, PA. Listing of extant publications by William White and site of the Bishop White House.

Massachusetts Historical Society Library, Boston, MA. Approximately 30 items relating to White. Individually catalogued sermons, addresses, writings, letters, committee reports, engravings, and biographical information.

Piermont Morgan Library, New York, NY. Collection of autographs and manuscripts of the Bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church (MA 0364-0375, Vol. 1). Approximately 70 items of White correspondence.

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