Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Barnes, James, 1866-1936
James Barnes Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1894-1936 (mostly 1930-1936)
3 boxes
Storage Note:
ReCAP (rcpxm): Box 1-3


James Barnes, Class of 1891, was a writer and military historian. The collection consists primarily of correspondence to Barnes from friends and contemporary writers, such as Joseph Choate, William Lyon Phelps, and Edith Wharton. Also included are carbons of some of Barnes's letters, memorabilia and papers of other persons.

Collection Description & Creator Information


The collection consists, for the most part, of correspondence to Barnes (Princton Class of 1891) from friends and contemporary writers, most of whom are represented by one letter, such as Joseph Choate, William Lyon Phelps, and Edith Wharton; more correspondence exists for Poultney Bigelow, Robert Reid, and Booth Tarkington. Also included are carbons of some of Barnes's letters, a few documents, and his 3-page appreciation of Carlton T. Chapman. The rest of the collection comprises obituaries of Barnes's friends, memorabilia, and papers of other persons, highlighted by an inscribed photograph of Bigelow, a signed carbon of Joseph Jefferson Holland's "The Vanity of an Actor," and a copy of John Paul Jones's letterbook for 1778-1779.


Correspondence (alphabetically arranged) is followed by documents, memorabilia, newspaper clippings, papers of other persons, and John Paul Jones's letterbook.

Collection Creator Biography:

Barnes, James, 1866-1936

James Barnes was a writer and military historian who lived in Princeton, New Jersey. Born in 1866, Barnes graduated from Princeton University in 1891 and served in the Spanish-American War and World War I. During World War I, he was head of the head of the Princeton Aviation School. He also worked for Scribner's Magazine, was assistant editor of Harper's Weekly, war correspondent for The Outlook in South Africa, and from 1905 to 1908 was editor of Appleton's Booklover's Magazine. Barnes authored a number of books, including For King or Country (1896), Naval Actions of 1812 (1896), A Princetonian (1896), Commodore Bainbridge (1912), Yankee Ships and Yankee Sailors (1898), David G. Farragut (1899), Drake and His Yeomen (1899), The Giant of Three Wars (1903), The Unpardonable War (1904), The Blockaders (1905), Outside the Law (1906), The Clutch of Circumstance (1908), Rifle and Caravan (1912), and Through Central Africa from Coast to Coast (1915). He later served as president of the Naval History Society of America. Barnes died in 1936.

Collection History


Gift of Mrs. James Barnes.

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. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Credit this material:

James Barnes Papers; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184