Henry-Bacon Family Papers, 1785-1988

Held by The Filson Historical Society

Creator: Henry-Bacon Family

Title: Papers, 1785-1988

Rights: For information regarding literary and copyright interest for these papers, contact the Curator of Special Collections.

Size of Collection: 2.66 Cubic Feet

Location Number: Mss./A/H521b

Scope and Content Note

The papers of General William Henry and his descendants in the Henry and Bacon families.  Correspondence and land and financial papers trace the family’s eighteenth-century migration from Virginia to Kentucky, first in the Bluegrass region and then in Christian County.  Numerous letters from the 1810s discuss the settlement of the area around Hopkinsville, Ky. and Clarksville, Tenn. and describe agriculture and slavery in the region.  Letters, certificates and an order book detail Henry family service in the War of 1812, and correspondence to Dr. John F. Henry concerns his service in the United States House of Representatives in the 1820s.  Other material in the collection addresses the family’s relocation to Iowa in the 1840s and journeys to California in the early 1860s.  Letters, diaries, and military papers document John F. Henry, Jr.’s service in the Confederate army during the Civil War.  Material from the twentieth century details family matters, social life, travel in the U.S. and abroad, politics, and other topics.

Related Collections

The Filson has an additional collection of Henry Family Papers (Mss./A/H521) and the University of North Carolina’s Southern Historical Collection has the Gustavus A. Henry Papers (Mss. #1431).

Separation Note

Photographs and published material have been transferred to The Filson’s Photograph Collection and Library, respectively.

Biographical Note

The Henry family was a prominent family in Virginia and Kentucky in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.  General William Henry (1761-1824), the son of Rev. Robert Henry (d. 1767?), was a veteran of the Revolutionary War and immigrated to Kentucky in 1781.  He settled in the Bluegrass region before relocating to Christian County in the early-nineteenth century.  On October 12, 1786, he married Elizabeth Julia Flournoy (1767?-1813), the daughter of Matthews Flournoy (b. 1732) and Elizabeth Patsy Pryor Smith.  During the War of 1812, Henry was the commander of the 1st Division of the Kentucky militia.  Henry had numerous children.  Those featured prominently in the collection include sons Robert Pryor (1788-1826), John Flournoy (1793-1873), Patrick (1801-1864), and Gustavus Adolphus Henry (1804-1880).

John Flournoy Henry, a Representative from Kentucky; born at Henrys Mill, Scott County, Ky., on January 17, 1793; attended Georgetown Academy, Kentucky, and Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, Pa.; was graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1817; served in the War of 1812 as surgeon’s mate of Kentucky troops; returned to Kentucky, working as a farmer and doctor; replaced his deceased brother in the House of Representatives, December 1826-March 1827, but was not reelected; professor in the Medical College of Ohio at Cincinnati in 1831; moved to Bloomington, Ill., in 1834 and in 1845, to Burlington, Iowa, where he resumed practicing medicine; died in Burlington, November 12, 1873 and buried at Aspen Grove Cemetery.  For more information on William and Elizabeth Henry’s other children, see John F. Henry’s The Henry Family, copies of which are located in folders 45, 47, and 49 of the collection.

John F. Henry, Jr. (1839-1899) was the son of John F. Henry.  He attended the Lebanon Law School, 1858-1860, but left before receiving his degree. He briefly lived in Colorado in 1860 but returned to Kentucky to enlist in the Confederate army.  He served from 1862 to 1865, primarily in the western theater, but at the close of the war, he was part of Jefferson Davis’s escort following the fall of Richmond.  Immediately after the Civil War, he lived in Augusta, Ga.  In 1869, he married Mary Churchill Richardson (1848-1938).  Their children included Lucy Ridgely Henry (1876-1969) and Violet F. Henry (b. 1880?).  Around 1902, Lucy Henry married Ernest Jennings Bacon (1874-1958).  In 1934, they relocated from Louisville to Los Angeles, where their daughter Frances Henry Bacon (1906-2003) worked in the animation department at Warner Bros. Studios.  After living in Los Angeles, Frances M. Bacon moved to Colorado and then back to Louisville, where she died.  Frances Bacon never married.

Folder List

Folder 1: Correspondence, 1785-1799

Folder 2: Correspondence, 1802-1819

Folder 3: Correspondence, 1820-1829

Folder 4: Correspondence, 1830-1839

Folder 5: Correspondence, 1840-1849

Folder 6: Correspondence, 1850-1859

Folder 7: Correspondence, 1860-1863

Folder 8: Correspondence, 1864-1869

Folder 9: Mary Churchill Richardson Henry Correspondence, ca. 1865-1867

Folder 10: Correspondence, 1870-1879

Folder 11: Correspondence, 1882-1899

Folder 12: Correspondence, 1901-1929

Folder 13: Correspondence, 1930-1934

Folder 14: Correspondence, 1935-1944

Folder 15: Correspondence, 1945-1950

Folder 16: Correspondence, 1951-1964

Folder 17: Correspondence, 1965-1988

Folder 18: Correspondence, undated, 19th century

Folder 19: Correspondence, undated, 20th century

Folder 20: John F. Henry, Jr. Diary, 1862-1863

Folder 21: John F. Henry, Jr. Diary, 1864

Folder 22: John F. Henry, Jr. Diary, 1865

Folder 23: Financial papers, 1782-1869, 1948

Folder 24: Legal papers, 1780-1829

Folder 25: Military papers, 1813, 1861-1872

Folder 26: Order Book, 1813

Folder 27: John F. Henry, Jr. Autograph Book

Folder 28: John F. Henry, Jr. Lebanon Law School Photograph Album

Folder 29: Autograph Album

Folder 30: Violet F. Henry Autographs

Folder 31: Jack F. Henry New Testament

Folder 32: Henry Family Printed Material

Folder 33: Genealogy

Folder 34: Newspaper clippings

Folder 35: Miscellaneous

Folder 36: M.C. Henry Diary, 1919

Folder 37: Short-Wilkins Family Notebook

Folder 38: Scrapbook

Folder 39: Frances Bacon Cancelled Checks

Folder 40: Kenneth W. Rendell Appraisals

Folder 41: Henry Family

Folder 42: Short Family

Folder 43: Richardson Family

Folder 44: Genealogy (including Anna Symmes Harrison & John Cleves Symmes)

Folder 45: The Henry Family – Mrs. John F. Henry copy

Folder 46: Material from Mrs. John F. Henry’s copy of The Henry Family

Folder 47: The Henry Family – Mary C. Henry/Violet F. Henry copy

Folder 48: Material from M.C./V.F. Henry copy of The Henry Family

Folder 49: The Henry Family – Lucy R. Henry copy

Folder 50: Material from Lucy R. Henry copy of The Henry Family

Folder 51: A Chronological Record of the Families of Charles Wilkins Short and Mary Henry Churchill

Folder 52: A Chronological Record of the Families of Charles Wilkins Short and Mary Henry Churchill typescript

Folder 53: Daughters of the American Revolution Charts

Folder 54: Lucy Henry Bacon Stamps

Folder 55: Antiques notebook

Folder 56: Lucy Henry Bacon Clippings

Folder 57: Miscellaneous

Folder 58: Miscellaneous (2)


Folder 59: Maps and Newspapers

Subject Headings

Abolitionists – Autographs

American Party – Iowa

Authors – Autographs

Christian County (Ky.) – history – 19th century

Clay, Henry, 1777-1852

Colorado – History – To 1876

Confederate States of America – Newspapers

Crittenden, John J. (John Jordan), 1787-1863

Davis, Jefferson, 1808-1889


Dueling – Kentucky


Europe – Description and travel

Greek letter societies – Southern States

Henry, Gustavus A. (Gustavus Adolphus), 1804-1880

Henry, J. (John), 1793-1873

Henry, John Flournoy, 1839-1899?

Henry, Robert Pryor, 1788-1826

Henry, William, 1761-1824

Henry family

Iowa – History – 19th century

Jackson, Andrew, 1767-1845

Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826

Johnson, Richard M. (Richard Mentor), 1780-1850

Kenton, Simon, 1755-1836

Lafayette, Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert Du Motier marquis de, 1757-1834

Lebanon Law School (Lebanon, Tenn.)

Lee, Robert E. (Robert Edward), 1807-1870

Letcher, Robert Perkins, 1788-1861

Mammoth Cave (Ky.)

Morehead, C.S. (Charles Slaughter), 1802-1868

National Republican Party (Ky.)

Politicians – Autographs

Presidents – United States – Elections – 1824

Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877)

Richardson family

Robinson, James Fisher, 1800-1882

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962

Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945

Sayre Institute (Lexington, Ky.)

Shelby, Isaac, 1750-1826

Short family

Slave insurrections – Southern States

Slavery – Kentucky

Tennessee – History – 19th century

Toombs, Robert Augustus, 1810-1885

Tornadoes – Kentucky – Louisville

Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972

United States – Description and travel

United States – History – Civil War, 1861-1865

United States – History – Civil War, 1861-1865 – Veterans

United States – History – War of 1812

United States – Politics and government – 1815-1861

Woodliegh (Louisville, Ky.)

World War, 1939-1945

Venue Rental

Spaces Available for Rent Beginning 2022

The Filson Historical Society is a unique venue that blends the historic with the modern and provides a stunning background for any event. Several areas of the campus are available to be rented for dinners, retreats, meetings, receptions, parties, or weddings. The venues have access to 74 free parking spaces and wifi, as well as small catering areas. All of the Filson’s facilities have accessible parking.

View a virtual tour of our spaces!

Visit the Filson

1310 S. 3rd St., Louisville, KY 40208
(502) 635-5083

The Filson is temporarily closed to the public to protect our staff, volunteers, and patrons during the coronavirus pandemic. All events are currently being held virtually; to register for our live virtual events, please visit our Events Page; for information on recorded lectures and other activities, please visit us online at Bringing History Home.

We continue to provide remote research services; please email gro.l1628141360aciro1628141360tsihn1628141360oslif1628141360@hcra1628141360eser1628141360.


Brown Forman Logo
Fund for the Arts Logo
Blue Grass Motorsport Logo
PNC Logo
Cave Hill Cemetery Logo
Kentucky Select Properties Logo
JBS Logo
Stock Yards Bank and Trust Logo
The Eye Care Institute Logo