ROBERTS, Jonathan (1771-1854)
Senate Years of Service: 1814-1821

ROBERTS, JONATHAN, a Representative and a Senator from Pennsylvania; born near Norristown, Pa., August 16, 1771; privately tutored; apprenticed as a wheelwright; member, State house of representatives 1799-1800; member, State senate 1807-1811; elected as a Democratic Republican to the Twelfth and Thirteenth Congresses and served from March 4, 1811, to February 24, 1814, when he resigned, having been elected Senator; elected as a Democratic Republican to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Michael Leib; reelected in 1815 and served from February 24, 1814, to March 3, 1821; chairman, Committee on Claims (Fourteenth through Sixteenth Congresses), Committee to Audit and Control the Contingent Expenses (Sixteenth Congress), Committee on Public Buildings (Sixteenth Congress); member, State house of representatives 1823-1826; collector of customs at the port of Philadelphia 1841-1842; died on his farm, "Robertsville," King of Prussia, Montgomery County, Pa., on July 24, 1854; interment in the Roberts family cemetery near Norristown, Pa.

Dickinson College Library
Carlisle, PA
Papers: 1817. 1 item.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA
Papers: 1780-1930 (bulk 1780-1848). 3,000 items. Correspondence, speeches, and newspaper clippings relating to state and national political history during Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe administrations. Topics include politics and political factions, the United States Bank, foreign trade and commerce, political appointments, Jackson's conduct in Florida and New Orleans, the Missouri question, elections, and ratification of the Spanish treaty.
Papers: 2 volumes of Jonathan Roberts' memoirs, entitled "A Father's recollection addressed to his children as a legacy transmissible to his descendants in future time,'' 1799-1830, containing his views on a variety of personal and political topics; and United States Customs House correspondence in Arthur Bining collection, 1787-1957.

New-York Historical Society
New York, NY
Papers: December 9, 1817; January 5, 1818; May 27 and June 3, 1841; and December 17, 1847. 5 letters. Personal and official correspondence.

  • Champagne, Raymond W., Jr., and Thomas J. Rueter. "Jonathan Roberts and the `War Hawk' Congress of 1811-1812.'' Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 104 (October 1980): 434-49.
  • Klein, Philip S., ed. "Memoirs of a Senator From Pennsylvania: Jonathan Roberts, 1771-1854.'' Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 61 (October 1937): 446-74; 62 (January 1938): 64-97; (April 1938): 213-48; (July 1938): 361-409; (October 1938): 502-51.
  • Reed, John F. "Jonathan Roberts.'' Bulletin of the Historical Society of Montgomery County Pennsylvania 16 (Fall 1967-Spring 1968): 5-15.