Collection Title: Henry Pleasants Jr. Collection

Collection Number: 211

Dates of Collection: 1908-1970, bulk 1930-1960

Box Numbers: 1-7

RepositoryChester County Historical Society

Project Archivist: Seth Wheeler, Intern


Dr. Henry Pleasants Jr. was a Chester County physician, author, and historian on the national stage. He achieved national acclaim for his book, Doctor in the House and won fame as an historian and writer in the field of medicine. He also authored The Tragedy of the CraterMars Butterfly, and From Kilts to Pantaloons. He additionally contributed to numerous periodicals and magazines, such as Ladies Home Journal, Journal of the A.M.A., Penn Medicine Journal, and the General Magazine and Historical Chronicle. Accompanied by his writing, Pleasants pursed his hobbies in art, antiques, books, and historical documents by supporting the Chester County Art Association and Chester County Historical Society.

A native of Radnor Township, Delaware County, Dr. Pleasants started his medical practice in West Chester after receiving his MD in 1910 from the University of Pennsylvania. From 1911 to 1949, Dr. Pleasants practiced general medicine and served the community in many different capacities. For many years, he was a member of the Chester County Hospital, serving one term as chief of staff. Dr. Pleasants entered in the U.S.  Army Medical Reserve Corps in 1916 and saw active duty during World War I with the 77th division in 1917. Later he was honorably discharged and appointed lieutenant colonel in the Medical Reserve. In addition, Dr. Pleasants served for many years as head of the West Chester Board of Health, largely responsible for the construction of the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Coatesville.   From 1933 to 1936 and 1940 to 1942, Henry Pleasants Jr. worked as an editor of the Medical World and Pennsylvania’s Health. Lastly, he served as medical director of West Chester State Teachers College in 1941 to 1943 and the Department of Health of Pennsylvania from 1949 to 1957.

Resources Used:

“Dr. Henry Pleasants, Doctor, Author, Dies”. Daily Local News. February 7, 1963. Newspaper Clippings Collection. Chester County Historical Society. West Chester, PA.

“Dr. Henry Pleasants, Author Dies at 78”. Philadelphia Inquirer. February 8, 1963. Newspaper Clippings Collection. Chester County Historical Society. West Chester, PA.

Collections Scope:

The collection consists mainly of Henry Pleasants Jr.’s papers, writings, and various correspondences to publishers, authors, and prominent people in government or organizations. The vast majority of his writings comprises short stories that were either fictional, autobiographical, historical, or a combination of all three. Some of Henry Pleasants’ writings contain poetry and limited genealogical research. In addition, the collection holds special articles and periodicals related to Henry Pleasants Jr.’s lifelong career as a physician and writer. Researchers will find both published and unpublished literary works of Henry Pleasants Jr.

Collection Arrangement:

The collection is organized by topic and box number. Each box number includes a title related to its content. Box 7 has both folders and books pertaining to local interest.

Related Material:

For more biographical material, see the newspaper clippings collection under “Pleasants, Henry Jr.”

Collections Contents:

Box 1: Henry Pleasants Jr. Papers


  1. “The British Advance on Philadelphia in 1777.” 1960.
  2. “The Battle of the Clouds” Address and Program Exercises. June 21, 1941.
  3. Drama: “The Capture of Sandy Flash”.
  4. “I Didn’t Know It Was Loaded”.
  5.  “I Talked with Booker T.”
  6. “In the Fogs of Fundy”.
  7. “My Land of Use-To-Be”.
  8. “Notes and Possibilities”.
  9. “As Maine Goes”.
  10. “Brothers of Light”, “In an Emergency”, and “The Bruised Worm”.
  11. “Case in the Box Canyon”, “The Captain’s Share”, and “Two Friends & A Choice”.
  12. “Fauntleroy Pays Off”.
  13. From Kilts to Pantaloons.
  14. “Go West, Young Man”.
  15. “The Lady Alice”.
  16. “Let’s Call It a Day”.
  17. Letters from Publishers on “Mars Butterfly”.
  18. Mars Butterfly and Tragedy of the Crater.
  19. “The Meguntook”.
  20. “Nor Any Drop to Drink”.
  21. Compilation of Short Stories and Articles: “The Defense Rests”, “The Saskatchewan Hassle”, “How Dedicated is Medicine Today?”
  22. “Spies of Brandywine.”
  23. “The Third Lieutenant.”
  24. “Thunderhead Sargent”: A Letter to Publishers.
  25. “To Whom Honor is Due.”
  26. “Vacationing at Home” and “Danny’s First.”
  27. Medical Journals/Articles.
  28. Special Essays and Articles.
  29. Essay and Articles (Minor).
  30. Short Stories and Articles.
  31. Original Manuscripts of Short Stories and Articles.
  32. Personal Essays/Short Stories.
  33. Short Stories.
  34. Short Articles.


  1. “Fifty Years of Vacations” Rejection Letters.
  2. Rejections and Editors’ Comments.
  3. Donald Mac Campbell, Agent.
  4. Literary Agent.

Family History Research

  1. Pleasants Family History Research Part One.
  2. Pleasants Family History Research Part Two.
  3. Pleasants Genealogy.


  1. Shipping Device and Patent Search.
  2. Patent: Man-U-Save Binder.

University of Pennsylvania

  1. Univ. of Penna. Manuscripts. Part One.
  2. University of Pennsylvania Manuscripts. Part Two.


  1. Correspondence, General, 1936.
  2. Letters to Editors and Texan Responses.
  3. Texas Letters.
  4. Correspondence relating to Germantown.
  5. Lightning Beech Tree Letters.
  6. Correspondences: Sharp and Soule.
  7. Correspondences: Museum of Art/ Grover M. Olew.
  8. Letters: Thomas Donaldson to Henry Pleasants Jr.

Military Letters

  1. Correspondences with Veteran Organizations.
  2. Soldiers and Sailor Letters WWII.
  3. WWI Welcome Home Committee and Memorial to C.C. Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines.
  4. Correspondence with Admiral William Rea Furlong, Sept- Oct 1955.

Box 2: Henry Pleasants Jr Papers

Publishers/Newspapers/Press Reports

  1. “Who’s Who in America” A.N. Marquis Co.
  2. Publisher Response to “Mills of the Gods”.
  3. Newspaper Advertisements.
  4. Medical World.
  5. Pioneer Weekly: “Sons of Brandywine.”
  6. Hungarian Press Accounts, 1935.
  7. J.B. Lippincott Company, Starr L. Cornelius.
  8. Chilton Company.


  1. Verse Poetry Part One.
  2. Verse Poetry Part Two.
  3. Verse Poetry Part Three
  4. “Rhythms of the States.”
  5. “Epitome in Rhyme- English History.”
  6. “The Big Parade Verse.”

CC Municipalities

  1. Charlestown Township (Historical).
  2. Charlestown Township.
  3. Chester County, on the topic of industrial pollution of streams in 1956.
  4. City of Coatesville.
  5. East Bradford Township.
  6. East Nottingham Township.
  7. Easttown Township.
  8. Malvern Property Mortgage Papers, etc.
  9. Oxford Boroughs.
  10. West Brandywine Township.
  11. West Caln Township.
  12. West Goshen Township.
  13. West Nottingham Township.
  14. West Sadsbury Township.
  15. West Whiteland Township.


  1. Long Beach Island Board of Trade.
  2. Franklin Inn Club.
  3. Department of Health.
  4. Historical Societies: Chester County and Newcomen Society.
  5. Delaware Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.
  6. Eta Chapter of Delta Phi.
  7. The Numismatic & Antiquarian Society.
  8. Founders and Patriots.
  9. St. Andrews Society.
  10. Chester County Art Association.
  11. Social Service Society and West Chester Bird Club.


  1. Letters and Minor Publications.
  2. Penn State Pamphlet.
  3. Anthony Wayne, Play Brochures, Senate of Pennsylvania, National Archives.
  4. Letters to Congressmen, Sports Illustrated.
  5. Princeton University.
  6. Andrew Wyeth.
  7. William Marshal Swayne.
  8. Miscellaneous Correspondence.
  9. History of Old St. David’s Church.
  10. Braithwaite Centennial.
  11. List of Publications.
  12. Two folders of True Miscellaneous.

Box 3: Book Manuscripts

NOTE: Printed privately by Horace F. Temple, West Chester, Pa.

  1. Manuscript carbon copy of From Kilts to Pantaloons.
  2. Manuscript carbon copy of A Doctor in the House, 1948. Presented to Chester County Historical Society and autographed by Henry Pleasants Jr.

Box 4: Book Manuscripts

  1. Second version of A Doctor in the House, 1953.

Box 5: Book Reviews and Contributions to Periodicals

  1. Front Page for Jennifer book and review.
  2. Cintra’s Challenge book and review.
  3. Society of Colonial Wars in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 1958.
  4. Medical Economics, Henry Pleasants Jr’s Article: “Home or Hospital?” Page 24. 1936.
  5. The General Magazine and Historical Chronicle. Vol LI. Philadelphia Summer. 1949. Henry Pleasants Jr’s Article: “Progress”. Contains Henry Pleasant Jr’s criticism of It’s All Your Nerves.

Box 6: Periodicals

  1. The General Magazine and Historical Chronicle, July 1938. Vol. XL. Numb. IIII. Henry Pleasants Jr’s Article: “The Battle of the Clouds.” Page 436.
  2. The General Magazine and Historical Chronicle, October 1938. Vol. XLI. Numb. I. Henry Pleasants Jr’s Article: “Summering in the Nineties.” Page 12.
  3. The General Magazine and Historical Chronicle, July 1940. Vol. XLII. Numb. IIII. Henry Pleasants Jr’s Article: “The Philosophy of Vacations.” Page 475.
  4. The General Magazine and Historical Chronicle, Spring 1945. Vol. XLVII. Numb. III. Henry Pleasants Jr’s Article: “Before the Days of Scouting.” Page 172.
  5. The Picket Post: A Record of Patriotism. January 1950. Issued by Valley Forge Historical Society.
  6. The Picket Post: A Record of Patriotism. October 1953. Issued by Valley Forge Historical Society.
  7. The Picket Post: A Record of Patriotism. January 1954. Issued by Valley Forge Historical Society.
  8. The Picket Post: A Record of Patriotism. April 1954. Issued by Valley Forge Historical Society.
  9. The Picket Post: A Record of Patriotism. October 1954. Issued by Valley Forge Historical Society.
  10. The Picket Post: A Record of Patriotism. November 1959. Issued by Valley Forge Historical Society.
  11. “Radnor: The Old Welsh Church of St. David’s in Radnor, Pennsylvania” by Henry Pleasants Jr. 1915.
  12. “Instructions to Mothers” by Henry Pleasants, Jr. 1939.
  13. “Pennsylvania’s Health.” Department of Health, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. September. 1941. Henry Pleasants Jr’s article: “Physical Examinations.” Page 10.
  14. The Military Surgeon. Vol. 87. August 1940. No. 2. Henry Pleasants Jr’s Article: “Medicine of the Future.” Page 144.
  15. “Some Observations on Hydrochloric Acid.” Henry Pleasants Jr. Reprinted from The Military Surgeon, Vol. 84, No. 3, March 1939.
  16. The Bulletin of Office Practice. Vol. 12. Numb. 7. March 1939. Henry Pleasants Jr’s Article: “Medicine in the Spotlight.”
  17. “Neuropsychiatric Counterfeits of Organic Visceral Disease.” Coauthored by Henry Pleasants Jr. Reprinted from The Journal of The American Medical Association. Dec. 12, 1931, Vol. 97, page 1751-1756.
  18. “A System of Diagnostic Medicine for the General Practitioner.” Henry Pleasants Jr. Reprinted from International Clinics, Vol. I, Series 40. 1930. J. B. Lippincott Company.
  19. “The Ninety-two Chemical Elements: Their Relation to Life and Growing Plants Without Soil.” Homer Thomas Darlington. Prairie Publishing Company. 1939. Give credits to Henry Pleasant Jr.

Box 7: Local Interest

Note: First 7 entries are folders.

  1. Art Galleries of Local Interest and Local Artists, 1937-1970.
  2. Chester County History: Education.
  3. Chester County Events and Military History.
  4. Chester County Maps and Brochures.
  5. Historical Societies.
  6. Pamphlets on Chester County Landmarks, 1932-1963.
  7. Local Interest Miscellaneous.
  8. Lonely Midas. Harry Emerson Wildes. Farrar & Rinehart, Inc. 1943. Includes newspaper clipping.
  9. Our Pennsylvania: Keys to the Keystone State. Amy Oakley. Illustrated by Thorton Oakley. The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc. 1950. Includes newspaper clipping.
  10. Shadows on the Valley. Barbara Webster. Charles Scribner’s Sons. 1940. Includes personal notes from Vera Nancy Pleasants Logue and Henry Pleasants Jr.
  11. Valley Forge. Maxwell Anderson. Anderson House. 1934. Includes newspaper clippings.
  12. Chester County: A Governmental Picture. The Commissioners of Chester County.1949.
  13. Dedication of the Equestrian Statue of Major-General Anthony Wayne at Valley Forge, June 20 1908. Harrisburg Publishing Company. 1909.
  14. The Three Black Pennys: A Novel. Joseph Hergesheimer. Alfred A. Knoff. 1917. Contains a brief note dated 1936.
  15. To and Fro. Henry Mather Warren. WM. F. Fell Company. 1908.
  16. William Pyle Phillips: 1882-1950. The Corporation of Haverford College. Robel Press. 1952.
  17. Catalog of Historical Buildings, Sites, and Remains in Pennsylvania. Joint State Government Commission Report. March 1949.
  18. Green book, contains data on persons found in claim list.
  19. Byways and Boulevards in and about Historic Philadelphia: Sesqui-centennial Souvenir Edition. Francis Burke Brandt and Henry Volkmar Gummere. The Haddon Craftsmen, Inc. 1925.
  20. The Reviewer: Contributor Joseph Hergesheimer.
  21. Oiseaux De Passage. By Florence Polk Holding. 1932. Includes newspaper clippings.