Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Thomson, Charles, 1729-1824
Charles Thomson Letters
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1 box and 0.4 linear feet
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (hsvm): Box 2


Consists of letters and miscellanea of the educator, merchant, and first secretary of the Continental Congress Charles Thomson (1729-1824).

Collection Description & Creator Information


The collection consists primarily of 40 letters by Thomson to his wife, Hannah, in Philadelphia, written while he was attending the Continental Congress in Princeton, New Jersey, from June to October, 1783. Also included are copies of four additional Thomson letters to his wife during the same period (Princeton does not own the originals); printed material about Thomson and Harriton House, his estate in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, where he resided from 1789 to 1824; photographs of the interior and exterior of Harriton House; and photographs of Thomson's grave in Philadelphia's Laurel Hill Cemetery.


The collection has been organized into the following sections:

Collection Creator Biography:

Thomson, Charles, 1729-1824

Charles Thomson is best known as the secretary of the Continental Congress, a position he held from 5 September 1774 until 23 July 1789.

Collection History


The Thomson letter of 28 August 1783 was a gift from Patricia S. Jones on September 15, 2009 .


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Karla J. Vecchia in 2004. Finding aid written by Karla J. Vecchia in 2004.

During 2022, restrictions on original letters where researchers were required to use surrogates were lifted as part of a restrictions review project.

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:

Charles Thomson Letters; 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 (hsvm): Box 2

Find More


Most of the letters were published in Congress at Princeton: Being the Letters of Charles Thomson to Hannah Thomson, June-October 1783, edited by Eugene R. Sheriden and John M. Murrin (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Library, 1985).

Subject Terms:
Husbands -- New Jersey -- Princeton -- 18th century -- Correspondence.
Genre Terms:
Letters -- 18th century.
United States. Continental Congress
Harriton House (Bryn Mawr, Pa.).
Thomson, Charles, 1729-1824
Princeton (N.J.) -- History -- Revolution, 1777-1783 -- Sources.