Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Hodge, Charles (1797-1878)
Charles Hodge Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1773-1930 (mostly 1811-1886)
27 boxes and 13.5 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-27


Consists primarily of the personal papers of Hodge, including lectures, speeches, articles, books an correspondence dealing with questions of Presbyterian theology in the mid and latter nineteenth century. The papers reflect Hodge's lifelong association with the Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS).

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection contains the personal papers of Hodge, including lectures, speeches, articles, books, and correspondence dealing with questions of Presbyterian theology in the mid and latter nineteenth century. Included are manuscripts for Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans (1835) and What Is Darwinism? (1874). The papers reflect Hodge's lifelong association with the Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS) where he taught Biblical literature and theology and supplement manuscript material in the PTS library. The collection also contains personal correspondence between Hodge and his wife, Sarah Bache Hodge, his brother, Dr. Hugh Lenox Hodge, as well as with his mother, Mary Blanchard Hodge, and children. In addition, there are papers by his son, Archibald Alexander Hodge, also a clergyman and, later, his father's successor at the seminary as professor of theology.

Collection Creator Biography:

Hodge, Charles

Charles Hodge (Dec. 27, 1797 - June 19, 1878), theologian and leader in the Presbyterian Church, was born in Philadelphia, son of Dr. Hugh Hodge, a surgeon in the Continental Army and later in Philadelphia, and Mary Blanchard. Charles was educated at Princeton (Class of 1815) and went on to attend the Princeton Theological Seminary, where he graduated in 1819. His training in theology, especially his instruction by Archibald Alexander, was later to shape his thought and life's work. He became an instructor at the seminary in 1820 and taught there all his life, except for two years of study in France and Germany (1826-1828). His subjects were Biblical and Oriental literature from 1822 to 1840, after which date he concentrated on theology.

Hodge was an extremely gifted teacher, able to arouse the minds of his students with his tools of clear analytical statement, strong certainty, solid learning, and knowledge of contemporary thought. However, his personal religion and piety were more powerful tools of instruction, as demonstrated by his famous Sunday afternoon conference addresses. His theology was centrally Calvinism, as purported by the Westminister divines, but also from other sources, notably Turretin. His theology was always deeply Biblical, and he held it unchanged, even in the face of disintegrating Calvinism (in America), altering conceptions of the Bible, and the emerging force of Darwinism. The theology he established at Princeton was a powerfully conservative force, not only in the Presbyterian Church, but also in other churches. He started in 1825 the publication that would come to be known as the Biblical Repertory and Princeton Review, which he edited for more than 40 years. In his essays contributed to it, he defended vigorously the Princeton theology, especially against that of Andover. His first book, A Commentary on the Epistle of the Romans, brought him high repute. His other works include The Constitutional History of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, commentaries on other Pauline epistles, The Way of Life, and finally his Systematic Theology, which had extensive circulation. Posthumously appeared Discussions in Church Polity, a book of much importance, and Conference Papers.

He held a commanding position in the Presbyterian Church through both active participation and his articles in the Review. He was moderator of the (Old School) General Assembly in 1846, as well as being on both the missionary and education boards. In the church schism of 1837, he supported division and argued against the New School views. Although rigid in his views, he was also tender-hearted and affectionate. In 1822, he married the great-grand-daughter of Benjamin Franklin, Sarah Bache, daughter of Dr. William Bache and Catharine Wistar. Two of their eight children, Archibald Alexander and Caspar Wistar, became professors at Princeton Theological Seminary. His first wife died in 1849, and in 1852 he married Mrs. Mary (Hunter) Stockton.

Collection History


The collection was given to the Library in 1942 from descendants of Charles Hodge.


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Judith Golden in 1985 and Rebecca Johnson in 2001. Finding aid written by Judith Golden in 1985 and Rebecca Johnson in 2001.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on this collection.

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:

Charles Hodge Papers; 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:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-27