- Series 4: Samuel Davies Records
Series 4: Samuel Davies Records
portions of 2 boxes
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: portions of 2 boxes
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.
Having declined the presidency of the College of New Jersey in 1758, Samuel
Davies accepted it in 1759 with a reluctance akin to that of his
predecessor, Jonathan Edwards. Davies, who thought that his successor,
Samuel Finley, was the right man for the job, was urged to take the
position, even though some of the College's trustees shared his high opinion
of Finley. Born in 1724 in Summit Ridge, Delaware and educated both at home
and in the Rev. Samuel Blair's seminary, Davies received his license to
preach in 1746 in Newcastle, Delaware. Ordained the following year as an
evangelist to Virginia, he went on to serve as the first moderator of the
Presbytery of Hanover, encompassing all the Presbyterian ministers in
Virginia and North Carolina. At the request of the trustees, Davies traveled
to Great Britain with Gilbert Tennent in 1753 to raise funds for the
College. Among other uses, the donations collected abroad served to fund the
construction of Nassau Hall and the president's house. As president and
professor at the College of New Jersey, he was renowned for his emphasis on
This series is arranged topically and documents Davies's life, his years as
president, his family, and his legacy. Materials include letters referring
to his travels to Great Britain, excerpts from his diary, articles about his
death in office, and letters and documents concerning his immediate family,
including his first and second wives, Sarah Kirkpatrick and Jean Holt, and
distant descendents. Also included is information about Davies “artifacts,”
such as his portrait and a book of his sermons, and the performance of music
he composed. There are also several images of Davies.
Series 4: Samuel Davies Records; 1753-1997; 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.