SYMMES, John Cleves, 1742-1814


Guide to Research Collections

Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA
Papers: 1788, 1 volume.
An agreement in which John Cleves Symmes transfers two million acres of land between the Great Miami, the Little Miami, and the Ohio Rivers in Ohio to Elias Boudinot; with maps of the tract.


Indiana Historical Society
Indianapolis, IN
Papers: In the Northwest Territory Collection, 1721-1838, 4 boxes.
Persons represented include John Cleves Symmes. A finding aid is available in the repository.


Kentucky Historical Society Library
Frankfort, KY
Papers: In the James Taylor and Family Papers, 1783-1845, 0.5 cubic foot.
Persons represented include John Cleves Symmes. A finding aid is available in the repository.


Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Microfilm: 1788-1796, 1 microfilm reel.
The microfilm reel of the papers John Cleves Symmes is from originals in the Princeton University Library (Princeton, N.J.).

Papers: In the Short-Harrison-Symmes Family Papers, ca. 1760-1878, 12.4 linear feet.
Family members represented include John Cleves Symmes. A finding aid is available in the library.

Papers: In the Edward Tiffin Papers, ca. 1779-1964, 0.5 cubic foot.
Other authors include John Cleves Symmes.

Papers: In the Winthrop Sargent Papers, 1776-1865, 1.75 cubic feet.
Other authors include John Cleves Symmes.


Massachusetts Historical Society
Boston, MA
Papers: In the William Livingston Family Papers, 1695-1788, 2 boxes, 11 narrow boxes, 4 v., and 2 oversize folders.
Other authors include John Cleves Symmes.

Papers: In the William Livingston Family Papers II, 1789-1822, 4 boxes.
Other authors include John Cleves Symmes.


Minnesota Historical Society
St. Paul, MN
Microfilm: In the Lawrence Taliaferro Papers, 1813-1868, 5 microfilm reels and 3.75 cubic feet.
Other authors include John Cleves Symmes.


New Jersey Historical Society
Trenton, NJ
Papers: In the Edwin A. Ely Autograph Collection, ca. 1663-1890, 250 items.
Persons represented include John Cleves Symmes.

Papers: In the Symmes Tract Records, 1787-1792, 2 volumes.
A French version of Trenton Circular, written by John Cleves Symmes, describing the Symmes Tract (also known as Miami Purchase) in Ohio’s Miami River Valley, and conditions for granting lands; together with blank certificates authorizing the surveyor of the Military Range to survey lands in the third range of townships within the tract (of which only two stubs (nos. 33, 78) have been completed), printed by Francis Childs, of New York, N.Y.


Ohio Historical Society
Columbus, OH
Papers: 1803-1810, 8 items.
The letters are from John Cleves Symmes to his grandson Charles W. Short, written between 1803 and 1810.

Papers: In the John William Baldwin Papers, 1803-1915, 0.5 cubic foot.
Correspondents include John Cleves Symmes.


Rosenbach Museum & Library
Philadelphia, PA
Papers: 1786, 1 item.
A letter from John Cleves Symmes to an unidentified recipient written on April 15, 1786. In the letter, John Symmes writes concerning rents paid by tenants of an unidentified plantation, probably in New Jersey, that he recently sold to Gilbert Imlay, and the amount he had previously been offered for the property.


Wisconsin Historical Society
Archives Division
Madison, WI
Papers: In the Draper Manuscripts: John Cleves Symmes Papers, 1791-1846, 0.8 cubic foot.
The papers of John Cleves Symmes, the elder Symmes, primarily deal with his business and land development, especially with Jonathan Dayton. Major topics discussed include the Miami Purchase and its early settlements, the government of the Northwest Territory, and military operations against the Indians. Biographical and genealogical information was extracted and summarized by Draper from the elder John Symmes’s correspondence and daybook. This collection is also available as a microfilm publication.