Series 5: Samuel Finley Records

4 folders

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: 1749-1996.

Extent: 4 folders

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.


As president of the College of New Jersey, Samuel Finley is known for increasing enrollment and for his popularity as a teacher. Finley was born in 1715 in Armagh County, Ireland. On immigrating to America in 1734, he immediately began to educate himself with the goal of becoming a minister and was ordained in 1740 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. During his seventeen years as pastor of the church of Nottingham, Maryland, he oversaw its educational academy. Early in his career, Finley preached in a contentious manner, very much in keeping with the spirited religious revivals of the Great Awakening, but he later moderated his tone. He received an honorary degree from the University of Glasgow before becoming the fifth president of the College of New Jersey in June 1761, serving in this role until his death in July 1766.

This series is arranged topically and contains biographical, College of New Jersey and family-related documents, and a folder pertaining to post-mortem issues. The material includes brief accounts of Finley's life, documents concerning his tenure as president, a genealogy of the Finley family, and information on Finley portraits. In addition to these secondary materials, there are six contemporary sermons, each dated in the late eighteenth century. Photographs of portraits of Finley also form part of this series.


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

Preferred Citation

Series 5: Samuel Finley Records; 1749-1996; 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
    Biographical Information 1749-1970 Box 2, Folder 9
    The College of New Jersey Years 1761 Box 2, Folder 10
    Family Members 1880-1996 Box 2, Folder 11
    Post Mortem 1766-1968 Box 2, Folder 12

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