Contents and Arrangement

Series 2: Correspondence, 1807-1842

79 boxes

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The series contains the personal and professional correspondence of Samuel L. Southard. It includes correspondence both to and from Southard. The material relates to all aspects of his life. Personal correspondence includes letters to and from his family. Southard received many letters in Washington, D.C., from his wife in New Jersey updating him on her medical condition or their children's schooling. As Southard's children grew and moved away, he and his children exchanged letters in order to keep each other abreast of changes in personal and professional life. Much of Southard's correspondence with friends, such as John Taliaferro, runs throughout his life. Southard discussed his family and career with some and politics and social issues with others. Professional correspondence ranges from formal letters announcing political appointments to letters from notable associates discussing political issues of the day. Some are brief memos that appear to be little more than a formality and some contain long conversations on key topics.

Particularly well documented are the presidential elections of 1824 and 1840. The political history of New Jersey during Southard's career in politics is extensively documented, and his correspondence contains many letters received regularly from county leaders in all sections of the state. Also reflected in his correspondence is his relationship with Princeton University and his interest in his Quaker constituents.

Southard's correspondence includes letters to and from many notable politicians and persons of the time including John Quincy Adams, John C. Calhoun, Henry Clay, James Fenimore Cooper, Alexis De Tocqueville, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Jackson, James Madison, James Monroe, Richard Rush, John Tyler, Martin Van Buren, Emma Willard, and William Wirt. Southard also communicated with such prominent New Jerseyans as Mahlon Dickerson, Charles Ewing, Samuel Miller, Aaron Ogden, William Pennington, and Richard Stockton, son of the signer of the Declaration of Independence.


This series is arranged chronologically with an alphabetical arrangement within each year.

Collection History


No accruals are expected.


The bound books from Southard's library were moved to the Rare Books Division for cataloging. Several maps were moved to the Historic Maps Collection. All other material has been retained.


These papers were processed with an operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Casey Babcock in the fall of 2005. It was originally processed by Esther Felt Bentley in 1964. She was largely responsible for organizing the index. Finding aid written by Casey Babcock in fall of 2005 and early part of 2006.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The 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:

Series 2: Correspondence; Samuel L. Southard Papers, C0250, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

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Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (mss): Box 5-83