Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Straus, Roger W. (Roger Williams), 1891-1957
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Straus Autograph Collection
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1637-1905 (mostly 1778-1850)
2 boxes and 0.8 linear feet
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (mss): Box 1-2


Consists of Americana dating, primarily, from the period of the American Revolution and the thirty years immediately following, collected by Straus.

Collection Description & Creator Information


The collection consists of Americana dating, primarily, from the period of the American Revolution and the thirty years immediately following, collected by Straus. Included are autograph letters from, and documents signed by, some of the leading figures of the period, such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, John Hancock, John Adams, John Quincy Adams, John Jay (1745-1829), James Madison, James Monroe, Robert Morris, and various signers of the Declaration of Independence. In addition, there are autograph letters from later presidents--Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, William Henry Harrison, James Buchanan; a folder of letters from various other 19th-century statesmen, English and American; and a folder of colonial bills of lading, dating back to 1698.

Specific items include John Adams's letter to Richard Rush (1813) in support of the War of 1812; letters patent (1835) for a new kind of brick, with accompanying diagrams and description by the inventor; an autograph memorandum (1637) of Roger Williams; George Washington's letter to James Madison (1788) in which he rejoices at all the states having, so far, adopted the Constitution; John Hancock's letter to the Assembly of the State of Delaware (1777), enclosing a copy of the Declaration of Independence for the state's archives; the petition (1676) of Peter Freeman, Indian, to the Court of Mass. for the freedom of his wife; and a document circulated by the Massachusetts' Committee of Correspondence (1773), discussing the colonies' common grievances against Great Britain and anticipating war.

Collection Creator Biography:

Straus, Roger W. (Roger Williams), 1891-1957

Roger W. Straus was a twentieth-century American industrialist, philanthropist, and collector.

Collection History


Bequest of Mrs. Gladys G. Straus, James Moore.

Archival Appraisal Information:

No appraisal information is available.

Access & Use

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research. The Thomas Jefferson and George Washington items (Box 1, folders 8, 9, 18, 36, 37, 38, 50, 51; and box 2, folder 73) are restricted: readers use color Xerox copies.

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.

Other Finding Aids:

A list (7 pp.) of the documents is available in the Dept.

Credit this material:

Straus Autograph Collection; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

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