Biography and History

In his youth, Simpson followed his father's banking career and worked as a note clerk in the second Bank of the United States and, afterwards, as a cashier at Girard's Bank. Simpson resigned form banking and enlisted for the War of 1812. In fact, both he and his elder brother, George, Jr., were engaged under Andrew Jackson in the Battle of New Orleans on January 8, 1815. Their company was the only one in which men were killed. Simpson formed a great admiration for Andrew Jackson during the war, especially after Jackson defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans. This admiration motivated much of his political writing a decade later. From 1816 to 1817, together with his brother-in-law, Tobias Watkins, Simpson was editor and proprietor of The Portico: A Repository of Science and Literature, a monthly periodical published in Baltimore and in Philadelphia. In 1822 Simpson was co-editor with John Conrad of the radically democratic newspaper The Columbian Observer, which was also published in Philadelphia. Simpson was the first candidate for Congress of the initial organization of workers in America "The Workingmen's Party of Philadelphia."

Source: From the finding aid for C1239

  • Stephen Simpson Letters to His Wife. 1813-1829 (inclusive).

    Call Number: C1239

    Consists of a group of fifteen letters by Philadelphian Stephen Simpson, who enlisted in the War of 1812 and distinguished himself at the battle of New Orleans in 1815. The letters were sent from different cities where Simpson was stationed to his wife, Mary, who was living in Philadelphia in his father's house.