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..

Dates: 1753-1997.

Extent: portions of 2 boxes

Languages: English.

Access Restrictions

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 public service.

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.


No arrangement action taken or arrangement information not recorded at the time of processing.

Preferred Citation

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.

    Request Checked Items
    Title Date Container
    Sermons 1753 1756 Box 1A, Folder 2-3
    Valedictory Address 1760 Box 1A, Folder 4
    Sermon 1761 Box 1A, Folder 5
    Biographical Information 1753-1997 Box 2, Folder 5
    The College of New Jersey Years 1760-1971 Box 2, Folder 6
    Family Members 1917-1985 Box 2, Folder 7
    Post Mortem 1761-1977 Box 2, Folder 8

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