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Collection Overview

Pyne, M. Taylor (Moses Taylor), 1855-1921
Moses Taylor Pyne Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1686-1939 (mostly 1861-1913)
18 boxes and 17.6 linear feet
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (scamss): Boxes 1-15; B-001085


Consists of various materials, including correspondence, diaries, documents, and genealogical materials related to Moses Taylor Pyne (Class of 1877), the Pyne family, and the history of Princeton University.

Collection Description & Creator Information


The collection consists of various materials, including correspondence, diaries, documents, and genealogical materials related to Moses Taylor Pyne (Class of 1877), the Pyne family, as well as the history of Princeton University and the town of Princeton. Genealogical materials consist of both originals and copies of estate papers, family charts, narratives, and manuscripts. Included are the research materials of Ernest Cheston, the Pyne family researcher, and his resulting manuscript, "Memorials of the Family of Pyne," ; the typescript of "A Journey in France in 1815" by Francis John Pyne; two translations by Pyne of "A Chronicle of the King En Pere (Pedro III of Aragon) and His Ancestors" by Bernat Desclot and "Genealogy and Descent of the House of Pinos" by Don Bernardo Galceran de Pinos IV. Papers documenting the history of Princeton, both the university and town, include correspondence, scrapbooks, and other material related to the Graduate College, the inauguration of President Hibben, the Endowment Fund, Cleveland Tower, the Hutton Collection, the Isabelle McCosh Infirmary, and the Princeton Battle Monument, among other topics.


The order of the physical materials at the time of their acquisition has been retained.

Collection Creator Biography:

Pyne, M. Taylor (Moses Taylor), 1855-1921

Moses Taylor Pyne (1855-1921), graduate of the Princeton Class of 1877, was a longtime trustee and benefactor of Princeton, and did much to usher the school's transition from a college to a university by way of his donations and financial support. Among other projects, in conjunction with fellow trustee Bayard Henry, Pyne amassed a sizable collection of records, letters, and writings documenting the early history of the University. Upon its donation in 1894 the Pyne-Henry Collection formed the cornerstone of the University Archives.

Pyne's family wealth was originally accumulated by his maternal grandfather, Moses Taylor, who served as the first president of the National City Bank of New York and the principal stockholder in the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Company.

A year after receiving his LL.B. at Columbia Law School in 1879, Moses Taylor Pyne married Margaretta Stockton, a great-great-granddaughter of Richard Stockton (1730-1781), and became general counsel for the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad Company. In 1891, he resigned from this office in order to give more time to his other interests, particularly Princeton. For a period of time, Pyne's estate, "Drumthwacket," served as the center of social life for many Princeton residents and those affiliated with the university; the state and the surrounding land was sold to the state of New Jersey in 1966 and was designated the governor's mansion in 1982.

Collection History


Donated in 1948 by Agnes Pyne Coke. (AM 15717)


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

Folder inventory prepared by Feng Zhu '2014.

Finding aid updated by Faith Charlton in October 2017 with additional folder inventory by Matthew Oakland '20.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing 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:

Moses Taylor Pyne 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): Boxes 1-15; B-001085

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Separated Materials

4 linear feet of 19th century newspapers were transferred to Rare Books in 2006.


Biographical information taken from: Alexander Leitch, A Princeton Companion (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1978).

Genre Terms:
American diaries.
Architectural drawings.
Deeds -- England -- Devonshire.
Wills -- England -- Devonshire.
College of New Jersey (Princeton, N.J.). Class of 1877
Princeton University
Princeton University. Graduate College
Hibben, John Grier, 1861-1933
France -- Description and travel.
Princeton Battle Monument (Princeton, N.J.)