Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Ogden family
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Ogden Family Collection
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
2 boxes, 6 items, and 0.6 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-2


Consists of miscellaneous letters and documents--originals as well as copies--relating to multiple generations of the Ogden family of Elizabeth (formerly Elizabethtown), New Jersey.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

TThe main portion consists of original correspondence, deeds, receipts, manuscripts, financial documents, some relating to the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), and other documents of several members of the Ogden family of Elizabeth (formerly Elizabethtown), New Jersey. ‡b Various members of the Ogden family are represented including Aaron Ogden (Princeton Class of 1773), Abraham Ogden, David Ogden, Ernest H. Ogden, Francis Barber Ogden, John Ogden, Mathias Ogden, Oliver Wayne Ogden, Robert Ogden (Princeton Class of 1765), and Samuel Ogden. Most of the correspondence concerns New Jersey State government, legal, political, or military issues; while some is regarding the sale of land or of slaves, or regarding bonds payable to the Trustees of the College of New Jersey. Included is a letter from Robert Ogden to Aaron Burr, dated 1757, with advice on how to prevent William Morris from becoming governor of New Jersey; a letter from Ernest H. Ogden to Philip Ricard Fendall (Princeton Class of 1815) asking him to deliver a public oration for the Cliosophic Society on July 4, 1832; a letter from Robert Ogden to Jonathan Sergeant (Princeton Class of 1762) regarding a bond from Elias Woodruff payable to the Trustees of the College of New Jersey; and a letter from Samuel Ogden also to Sergeant dated 1775, asking him to bring action in the Supreme Court against Lord Sterling to recover very large sums of money. Other correspondents include John Branch, Elias B. Dayton, Jonathan Dayton (Princeton Class of 1776),Thomas Gibbons, Robert C. Griffith, John Halstead, Esq., the Marquis de Lafayette, Nicholas Low, Garret Dorset Wall, and Benjamin Williamson (Princeton Class of 1827).

The documents include one of David Ogden titled "A Brief History of the Discovery of America and Settlement ...," an index in alphabetical order of Elizabethtown people on record, and a copy of a legal document concerning the title of lands in Newark, N.J. from the Indian Land Purchase. There is a document dated 1843 from Sam Houston, President of the Republic of Texas appointing Francis Barber Ogden as Consul of Texas in Liverpool, England. Included is an article of agreement between John Ogden, John Cooper, and John Clement dated 1727 for the transfer of a lot of land in Newark. There are two documents of Mathias Ogden; one is from the Continental Congress and one from the New Jersey Provincial Congress, dated 1775, appointing him Major of a Brigade in New York.

The second portion consists of photostats of original letters and documents relating to the Ogden family, collected by Mrs. Richard Kennedy. Various members of the Ogden family are represented, including the family's American founding father, John Ogden, who settled in Elizabethtown in 1664; Aaron Ogden; Robert Ogden (1687-1733); his namesake son Robert Ogden (1716-1787); and the third generation with the same name, Robert Ogden (1746-1826, Princeton Class of 1765). Also present are papers (1763-1771) concerning the College of New Jersey Lottery managed by Robert Ogden (1716-1787), estate inventories, deeds, a survey of land in Sussex County, genealogies, wills, and slave bills of sale. Correspondents include Aaron Burr, Jonathan Belcher, William Alexander, Elisha Boudinot, Stephen Crane, Ebenezer Platt, Samuel Meeker, and an Indian named Wickquaylis.

For additional information regarding the Ogden family, see The Ogden Family in America, Elizabethtown Branch, and Their English Ancestry, John Ogden, the Pilgrim, and his Descendants, 1640-1906, Their History, Biography & Genealogy (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1907) compiled by William Ogden Wheeler, and edited by Lawrence Van Alstyne and Rev. Charles Burr Ogden (P.U.L. call no. 1244.685.96).


Organized into two series:

Collection Creator Biography:

The Ogden family of Elizabeth (formerly Elizabethtown), in Union County, New Jersey includes the family's American founding father, John Ogden, who settled in Elizabethtown in the 1680s; Aaron Ogden (1756-1839, Princeton Class of 1773), a governor of New Jersey; Robert Ogden (1687-1733); his namesake son Robert Ogden (1716-1787); and the third generation with the same name, Robert Ogden (1746-1826, Princeton Class of 1765).

Collection History


The photostats (Series 2) were made from originals in possession of Mrs. Richard (Jocelyn) Kennedy.

Custodial History

The collection was formed as a result of a Departmental practice of combining into one collection material of various accessions relating to a particular person, family, or subject.


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Rachel Jordan in 2004. Finding aid written by Rachel Jordan in 2004.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Photoduplication of the photostats of the Kennedy collection is prohibited. Otherwise, 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.

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:

Ogden Family 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:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-2