Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Shellabarger, Samuel, 1888-1954.
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Samuel Shellabarger Collection
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
7 boxes and 2.5 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1-7


Samuel Shellabarger attended Princeton University as member of the Princeton Class of 1909 and was an English professor between 1914-1923. The collection contains Samuel Shellabarger's manuscripts for two biographies and five works of historical fiction, as well as a small amount of miscellaneous material related to his writings.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection contains manuscripts of Shellabarger (Princeton Class of 1909, English professor, 1914-1923) for two biographies-- The Chevalier Bayard (NY, London: The Century Co., 1928) and Lord Chesterfield (NY: The Macmillan Co., 1935) -- and five works of historical fiction -- Captain from Castile (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1945), The King's Cavalier (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1950), Lord Vanity (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1953), The Token (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1955), and Tolbecken (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1956) (published posthumously). A small amount of miscellaneous material includes a lecture (1938), "The Profession of Writing," a radio speech on education entitled "Town Meeting," a letter by Robert Kilburn Root, a letter to V. Lansing Collins II, reviews of Shellabarger's books, and promotional advertisements.

Collection Creator Biography:

Shellabarger, Samuel, 1888-1954.

Samuel Shellabarger, noted writer, was born on May 18, 1888 in Washington D.C. He was a member of the Princeton University class of 1909, and studied at the University of Munich and Harvard Law School before returning to Princeton to get a Ph.D. in English. After serving in the army for two years, Shellabarger returned to Princeton as an English professor until 1923. For the next four years, Shellabarger lived in Switzerland with his family, traveled around the European continent, and focused on his own writing. In 1927 he returned to Princeton and published his first book, The Chevalier Bayard, the next year. This biography, although praised by critics, was not a popular success, and inspired Shellabarger to produce his first novel, Door of Death, which received much greater popularity. This novel and his two subsequent novels were published under his pseudonym John Esteven in an effort to keep his scholarly and creative work distinct. He continued to write both biographies and novels for the rest of his life, eventually dropping his pen name. His most successful novel was Captain from Castile, published in 1945. Shellabarger passed away in Princeton on March 21, 1854.

Collection History


Most of the collection is a gift of Mrs. Samuel Shellaberger. Article entitled "Sam Shellaberger" signed by R.K. Root with note from Prof. Ludwig is a gift of Prof. Neil Rudenstein. A letter from Seumas McManus to Shellaberger is a gift of Maria Rice Miller.


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed in 2002. Finding aid written in 2002.

Biography written by Alyxandra Cullen, '09. During 2022, restrictions on a letter by Mrs. Samuel Shellabarger to Samuel Shellabarger (July 11, 1916) were lifted as part of a restrictions review project.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Samuel Shellabarger Collection; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1-7