Areas of Study

MSS 41 – Kendall, Amos, 1789-1869

Papers of Amos Kendall, 1840-1943

Gallaudet University Archives

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Gallaudet University Archives

Call No.: MSS 41


Title: Papers of Amos Kendall, 1840-1943

Quantity: 0.5 Linear Feet (1 document box)


Note: This document last updated 2006 January 3.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information: Unknown.

Processed by: Unknown.

Processing Note:

Conditions on Use and Access: This collection is open to the public with no restrictions. Photocopies may be made for scholarly research.

Related Material in the Archives: See ALADIN for more


  • Amos Kendall [picture]. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Portraits
  • Photograph album of Toivo Lindholm [picture]. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Photograph Album AL 43


  • Mary Sydney Gold, 1973-1974. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: SMSS

Vertical Files

  • Amos Kendall. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Deaf Biographical

Biographical Sketch

Amos Kendall was the Postmaster General under Andrew Jackson and it was on a land he owned that Gallaudet University and Kendall elementary school was built on. Amos Kendall was born August 16, 1789 in Dunstable, Massachusetts. He attended to Dartmouth College in 1807 and graduated top of his class in 1811.

He then moved west to seek opportunities and found himself in Kentucky where he settled in Frankfurt, Kentucky in 1816. He was the editor of the Argus of Western America. He was highly involved in politics and managed to gain a position in the Jackson Administration after the 1828 victory. He was a skilled speech writer and helped write some speeches for Andrew Jackson. In 1835, he became the Postmaster General and helped reform the Post Office and he continued until 1840 when he resigned to help Martin Van Buren run his unsuccessful campaign.

After he left Washington, he began to have difficulties, running into debt after unprofitable purchases in the west. In an attempt to get himself out of debt, he borrowed money to buy farmland outside of Washington DC. He became seriously ill, and four of his family members died within a span of fourteen months. It wasn’t until Samuel Morse approached him in 1845 to help him with his Telegraph business that he got out of debt and became successful again. He became so successful that by 1859, he was a millionaire.

On June 13, 1857, The Columbia Institution for the Deaf what is now known as Kendall School was established. Amos Kendall was the first president and continued until 1864. He appointed Edward Miner Gallaudet as the first principal of the school, and in 1859, he gave 8,000 dollars for the erection of a building. Amos Kendall obtained federal support for both the Kendall school and the Gallaudet College that was to be established 1864.

Kendall was married twice, first in 1818 to Mary B. Woolfolk who later died, and in 1826 to Jane Kyle. With both wives, he had 14 children. He died in Washington, D.C. on November 12, 1869.

Scope and Content

The collection dates from 1840-1943. The collection includes some articles in the newspapers, correspondences, a biography, and some other items. The correspondence include the Board of Directors, E.M. Gallaudet, and others. A proposal to loan the Columbia Institute $6,000 is also included.

Series Descriptions and Folder Lists

No Series

Box Folder Title of Folder Date
1 1 Article on A. Kendall‑The Daily News 1920
1 2 Article on A. Kendall‑The Sunday Star 1929
1 3 Article on A. Kendall‑The Sunday Star (75th Anniversary of Gallaudet College) 1939
1 4 Article on A. Kendall‑The Sunday Star 1943
1 5 Biography Part I n.d.
1 6 Biography Part 2 n.d.
1 7 Bond concerning support of deaf children 1857
1 8 Court Proceedings concerning land deeds 1841‑1845
1 9 Correspondence‑Board of Directors 1856
1 10 Correspondence‑Board of Directors 1857
1 11 Correspondence‑Board of Directors 1860
1 12 Correspondence‑Childester, Holdridge 1857
1 13 Correspondence‑Compton, John W. 1857
1 14 Correspondence‑Dillinger, H. M. 1857
1 15 Correspondence‑Gallaudet, E. M. 1857
1 16 Correspondence‑Gallaudet, E. M., from A. Kendall 1861-1863
1 17 Correspondence‑Gallaudet, E. M. 1864
1 18 Correspondence‑Hall, David A. 1860
1 19 Correspondence‑Peet, Isaac Lewis 1857
1 20 Correspondence‑Richards, Z, Morris, 0. W. to Joseph Henry 1857
1 21 Correspondence‑Thompson, Hon. Jacob 1857
1 22 Correspondence‑Turner, W. W. 1857
1 23 Extra Globe, Washington, DC 1840
1 24 Petition to the Judges of the Circuit Court for the DC on behalf of Ann Szymanoskie 1857
1 25 Poem written by A. Kendall n.d.
1 26 Proposal to loan the Columbia Inst. the sum of $6,000 for erection of a building n.d.
1 27 Reports to Hon. Jacob Thompson, Secty of Interior 1857-1859
1 28 Kendall, Mrs. Amos – from Alice E. Adams 1857

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