Contents and Arrangement

John from Schenectady, N.Y., undated

1 box

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information


The correspondence to their parents cover the period 1903-1908. The collection also contains undated and partially dated letters. The bulk of the letters were written from 1903 to 1907 when Robb and John were undergraduates at Princeton. A smaller portion of letters were written by John when he was an Electrical Engineering graduate student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston and Princeton University from 1907 to 1908. John and Robb also wrote to their parents from Chautaugua, New York (July 1903) and Schenectady, New York (letters undated). The collection also contains nine postcards.

Some of the letters convey a good sense of the issues and circumstances which shaped student life at Princeton University during a time of change.

The letters from the academic year of 1903 and 1904 contain the most detail about the relationship between Freshmen and Sophomore students. A letter dated December 4, 1903, reveals some of the ways Sophomores "horse" the Freshmen. A discussion of the "expulsion of students" resulting from a cheating scandal is discussed in letters of February 6 and 7, 1904. Sophomores "horsing" of Freshmen involved a variety of initiation activities. Throwing bags of flour on Freshmen when they were having their class picture taken and being "ambushed" by Sophomores with snowballs as they crossed campus are but two of the many "horsing" rituals. In his February 10th, 1904 letter John relates how students reacted when they found out Robb and he were twins. The lifting of Freshmen restrictions and the number of "students flunked" after mid terms are discussed in a letter of February 21, 1904. A reaction to President Wilson's new policies and the preceptorial system can be seen in letters of May 1, 1904 and February 23 and 28, 1905. There are two letters from friends which are in response to invitations by John and Robb.

Collection History

Archival Appraisal Information:

No appraisal information is available.

Access & Use

Access Restrictions:

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions for Reproduction and Use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. For quotations that are fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. The Trustees of Princeton University hold copyright to all materials generated by Princeton University employees in the course of their work. If copyright is held by Princeton University, researchers will not need to obtain permission, complete any forms, or receive a letter to move forward with non-commercial use of materials from the Mudd Library. For materials where the copyright is not held by the University, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold the copyright and obtaining approval from them. If you have a question about who owns the copyright for an item, you may request clarification by contacting us through the Ask Us! form.

Credit this material:

John from Schenectady, N.Y.; John and Robb Carson Letters, AC017, Princeton University Archives, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library
Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library
65 Olden Street
Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
(609) 258-6345
Storage Note:
Mudd Manuscript Library (mudd): Box 1