Biography and History

Henry Clay Cameron

Henry Clay Cameron (1827-1906), educator, administrator, essayist, librarian, and clergyman, was born on September 1 in Shepardstown, Virginia. He entered the Junior class in the College of New Jersey in 1845, receiving an A.B. with honors there in 1847. After spending the next three years in Virginia teaching at King George Court House, he returned to Princeton to enter the Theological Seminary in 1850, obtaining an A.M. degree in 1855. In between those years he was Principal of the Edgehill School in Princeton in 1851, and a tutor of Greek in the College of New Jersey from 1852-1855. He became an adjunct professor of Greek in 1855, and was licensed to preach in 1858. That same year he married, in Princeton, Mina Louise Ceclie Chollet on September 14. He was an instructor of French and Latin at the College from 1859-1870. In 1860, he became associate professor of Greek, and full professor the following year. Cameron was ordained to the ministry in the Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia on February 1, 1863. In 1865 Cameron became a librarian at Princeton, holding this position until 1872; it was also in 1865 that he published the Princeton Roll of Honor (a list of graduates of the College who fought in the War for the Union). For twenty years (1866-1886) he was the editor of the General Catalogue of the College of New Jersey. Cameron earned a doctorate degree from Princeton in 1866, and that of D.D. from both Rutgers and Wooster in 1875. Cameron wrote numerous articles and essays, including one on Jonathan Dickinson and the Rise of Colleges in America and The History of the American Whig Society, published in 1871. He also became a member of the General Assembly, serving in the years 1875, 1887, and 1900. Cameron held the chair of Greek language and literature at Princeton in 1877, Princeton's first year to have a Greek chair. He was clerk of the faculty from 1882-1902. Becoming Professor Emeritus in 1902, on the fiftieth anniversary of entering the College, he spent the last days of his life in retirement in Princeton, and died on October 25, 1906, during an operation. Cameron also published with his wife's uncle, professor Arnold Guyot, a series of classical wall maps of Greece, Italy, and the Roman Empire.

Arnold Guyot Cameron

Arnold Guyot Cameron (1864-1947), professor of French and journalist, was born on March 4 in Princeton, son of Henry Clay Cameron and Mina Chollet Cameron and a godchild of his great-uncle, Arnold Henry Guyot. Taught entirely by his father, he entered Princeton in the fall of 1882 and graduated with the Class of 1886, earning a B.A. He continued his education at Princeton, receiving an M.A. in 1888 and a Ph.D. in 1891. In 1888 he was professor of German and French languages and literatures at Miami University, a post he held for three years. For the next six years, from 1891 to 1897, he was an assistant professor of French and head of the department at Yale University's Sheffield Scientific School. Cameron was professor of French at the John C. Green School of Science, Princeton University, from 1897-1900. He continued to teach at Princeton as the Woodhull professor of French from 1900-1905. He taught at New York University in the summer of 1909. From 1912-1916, he was a staff member of The Wall Street Journal and in 1916 a foreign affairs and financial journalist. In 1918, he went to France on a patriotic mission to the French army, organized by the Young Men's Christian Association (Y.M.C.A.). In 1925, he joined the staff of The National Financial News as foreign affairs editor. He was secretary and historian for the Class of 1886 and an honorary member of the U.S. Civil Legion. He edited numerous textbooks, and his publications include Contes de Daudet (Holt, 1893), Colomba (Holt, 1894), Coppee and Maupassant Tales (Holt, 1897), Selections from Pierre Loti (Holt, 1897), Selections from Edmond and Jules de Goncourt (American Book Company, 1898), Tales of France (American Book Company, 1904), Selections from Emile Zola (Holt, 1905), Selections from Jean Richepin (Silver, Burdett and Company, 1905), and The Torrens System. Its Simplicity, Serviceability, and Success (Houghton Mifflin, 1915).

Arnold Guyot Cameron married Anne Wood Finley of London, Ohio, on June 21, 1899, in the First Presbyterian Church of Oakland, Maryland. They had six children: Constance Guyot Cameron (1900), Arnold Guyot Cameron, Jr. (1902), David Pierre Guyot Cameron (1904), Nicholas Guyot Cameron (1905), Stephanie Guyot Cameron (born February 3, 1908; died February 6, 1908), Gerard Guyot Cameron (1909). He died in Princeton in 1947.

Arnold Guyot

Arnold Guyot (1807-1884), essayist and professor of geology and geography, was born in Boudevilliers, Switzerland, son of David Pierre and Constance (Favarger) Guyot. He entered the College of Neuchatel in 1821 and graduated in 1825. Early on in Guyot's studies, which took him to Karlsruhe, Metzingen, Stuttgart and Berlin, his original plan of entering the ministry was altered in favor of the natural sciences. This was due to the influences of friends with whom he was closely associated, such as botanists Alexander Braun and Carl Schimper, Louis Agassiz, and others like Carl Ritter, whose interests lay in subjects like psychology, physics, meteorology, and physical geography. Guyot received a Ph.D. from the University of Berlin in 1835, and in the ensuing five years he was in Paris acting as a tutor. Also during this time Agassiz formulated his theory on glacial epochs, opening up a new field of investigation and thought, and Guyot's studies between 1838 and 1848 centered on glaciology. These dealt with the laws of glacial motion, their structures, and the movement of morainic matter (mud, stones, etc. moved by glaciers). From 1839-1848 he was professor and chair of history and physical geography at the Academy of Neuchatel. He came to America in 1848 when the Academy closed, settling in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The following winter (January and February 1849) he delivered, in French, the very successful lectures at the Lowell Institute, Boston, that became published that same year as Earth and Man. This publication was one of Guyot's most significant, reflecting Ritter's influence and earning him a respected and commanding place among American geographers. He continued to lecture under the Massachusetts Board of Education in institutes and normal schools on geography and teaching methods from 1848-1854. This six-year period of lecturing formulated for him a method of teaching geography which he later incorporated into a series of textbooks, published between the years 1866-1875. These books were the first definite attempt at a scientific presentation of geography in American schools and were paradigms for textbooks for many years to come. In 1854, Guyot came to Princeton (where he would remain until his death) to be professor and chair of physical geography and geology at the College, a position he held for thirty years. He founded a museum there, the first of its kind. Guyot Hall today houses the museum and the department of natural science.

As Guyot became interested in meteorological and topographic work, he selected and equipped weather observation stations in New York and Massachusetts. This was the beginning of the system of weather stations all across the United States which makes weather maps and weather predictions possible. His topographic work consisted of obtaining the altitude of significant localities in the Appalachians and the Catskills by using barometric measurements; from the accumulated data he constructed detailed and accurate topographic maps of the Appalachians and Catskills.

Arnold Guyot married Sarah Doremus Haines on July 2, 1867, in his sixtieth year. They had one child, Lucie. In 1873, Guyot received the honorary degree of L.L.D. from Union College. He died in Princeton on February 8, 1884.

Source: From the finding aid for C0355

  • Cameron Family Papers. 1850-1945 (bulk), 1805-1947 (inclusive).

    Call Number: C0355

    The Cameron Family Papers consist primarily of the correspondence and writings of former Princeton University professors Henry Clay Cameron (1827-1906) and his son, A. Guyot Cameron (1864-1947), with some correspondence relating to Henry C. Cameron's wife, Wilhelmina "Mina" Louise Cécile Chollet (1832-1908). There is also a significant amount of Cameron family photographs as well as some documents, printed matter, and ephemera relating to Princeton University. Famed Swiss-American geologist, geographer, and Princeton professor Arnold Henry Guyot (1807-1884), a relative of the Cameron family through marriage, is also represented in the collection through classroom maps, correspondence, a journal, and printed articles and lectures by and about Guyot. Most of the materials in the collection are professional in nature.