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- Collection Description & Creator Information
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- Edwards, Jonathan, 1703-1758.
- Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
- Jonathan Edwards Family Collection
- Manuscripts Division
- Permanent URL:
- 1 box and 0.2 linear feet
- Storage Note:
- Firestone Library (mss): Box 1
Consists of selected correspondence, sermons, and documents of Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) America's most important and original philosophical theologian, and his three sons, Timothy, Jonathan, and Pierpont Edwards.
Collection Description & Creator Information
The collection consists of correspondence, sermons, and documents of Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) and his three sons, Timothy Edwards (Princeton Class of 1757), Jonathan Edwards (Princeton Class of 1765), and Pierpont Edwards (Princeton Class of 1768). Among the other correspondents are Joseph Bellamy, Rev. Aaron Burr (1716-1757), Capt. N. Dwight, John Ely, Jonathan Sergeant, and Benjamin Trumbull. Of significance is one of the few letters Edwards wrote during the five weeks he served as president of the College of New Jersey, before his death from an inoculation for smallpox. In this letter, dated February 28, 1758, Edwards asks Jonathan Sergeant for an advance of his stipend for his work at the College. He died three weeks later on March 22, 1758. Also of significance is Edwards's letter (1752) to Burr about his proposed trip to Great Britain to collect funds for the College of New Jersey. Ironically, Edwards suggests that Burr get inoculated for the smallpox. There are three substantial sermons by Edwards (the son) and a broadside (1795) reporting his dismissal as pastor of the White Haven Church of New Haven, Connecticut. In addition, there are numerous notes and fragments for sermons, and receipts, including ones related to the College of New Jersey.
The folders are arranged in accession number order.
- Collection Creator Biography:
Jonathan Edwards, the elder, was a colonial American Congregational preacher and theologian. In 1757, on the death of the Rev. Aaron Burr, who had married Edwards's daughter Esther, he reluctantly agreed to replace his late son-in-law as the president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), where he was installed on February 16, 1758. Almost immediately after becoming president, he was inoculated for smallpox, which was raging in Princeton at the time. However, Edwards died of the inoculation on March 22, 1758, and was buried in the Princeton Cemetery.
Edwards's eldest son, Timothy, was a member of the Princeton Class 1757.
Edwards's middle son, also named Jonathan, was a member of the Princeton Class of 1765. A theologian and a pioneer of Native American languages, he became president of Union College in Schenectady, New York.
The youngest son, Pierpont, was a member of the Princeton Class of 1768, and the uncle of Aaron Burr. Pierpont was a delegate to the American Continental Congress from Connecticut in 1787-88, and served as United States Attorney for 17 years.
Various AM. Letter to "Dear Brother" purchased from Forest H. Sweet. Letter to Capt. Nathaniel Dwight is a gift of Louise B. Caldwell.
- Archival Appraisal Information:
No appraisal information is available.
- Processing Information:
Folder Inventory added by Jameson Creager (2015) in 2012.
Access & Use
- Access Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.
- 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:
Jonathan Edwards Family Collection; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library
- Permanent URL:
- Firestone LibraryOne Washington RoadPrinceton, NJ 08544, USA(609) 258-3184
- Subject Terms:
- Clergy -- Connecticut -- 18th century.
Congregational churches -- Clergy -- 18th century.
Congregationalism -- United States -- 18th century.
Educational fund raising -- United States -- 18th century.
- Genre Terms:
- Broadsides -- 18th century.
Correspondence -- 18th century.
Documents -- 18th century.
Family papers -- 18th century.
Manuscripts -- 18th century.
Receipts -- 18th century.
Sermons -- 18th century.
- College of New Jersey (Princeton, N.J.)
White Haven Church (New Haven, Ct.)
Edwards, Jonathan, 1745-1801
Edwards, Pierpont, 1750-1826
Edwards, Timothy, 1738-1813