- Series 1: Jonathan Dickinson Records
Series 1: Jonathan Dickinson Records
This collection is stored at Mudd Manuscript Library.
Requests will be delivered to Princeton University Archives, MUDD Reading Room
Collection Creator: Princeton University. Office of the President..
Extent: 4 folders
Materials generated by the office of the president are closed for 40 years from
the date of their creation. Some records relating to personnel or students are
closed for longer periods of time.
Jonathan Dickinson, born in 1688 and graduated from Yale College in 1706, was
the first president of the College of New Jersey. After becoming the pastor
of the Congregational church in Elizabethtown, New Jersey, Dickinson shifted
from Congregational to Presbyterian teachings in order to join the
Presbytery of Philadelphia. Yet while becoming a leader within the
Presbytery and the higher Synod of Philadelphia, Dickinson steadfastly
maintained his belief in the freedom of the individual clergy. Having first
envisioned an educational institute within the Synod, Dickinson only
realized his dream of founding a school to train future Presbyterian
ministers and pious laymen when he and others founded the College of New
Jersey in 1746. Dickinson died in office in October 1747.
Material on Dickinson is arranged topically and divided into four categories:
biographical information, his association with the College of New Jersey,
genealogical material, and post mortem material. This series contains only
secondary documents, most of which take the form of letters and clippings.
The biographical folder contains brief summaries of Jonathan Dickinson's
life, as well as a few cards referencing other sources. Material relating to
his foundational work on behalf of the College of New Jersey includes
numerous letters, documents concerning his death, such as the epitaph on his
tombstone, and a paper discussing the establishment of the College. Family
members are documented through the correspondence to and from descendents of
Dickinson and his wife, Joanna Melyen, and include two genealogical charts.
In several cases Dickinson's seven children, Abigail, Jonathan, Temperance,
Joanna, Elizabeth, Mary, and Martha, are mentioned. Post mortem material
details the buildings dedicated to him at both Yale and Princeton
Universities. Also to be found are several images of Dickinson and a
pamphlet about him and the College of New Jersey by Professor Henry
Series 1: Jonathan Dickinson Records; 1746-1977; Office of the President Records : Jonathan Dickinson to Harold W. Dodds
Subgroup, Princeton University Archives, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library.