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Collection Overview

Davies, Samuel, 1723-1761
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Samuel Davies Collection
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1752-1931 (mostly 1752-1759)
1 box and 0.2 linear feet
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (mss): Box 1


Consists of selected correspondence and several manuscript sermons of Samuel Davies, fourth president of Princeton University.

Collection Description & Creator Information


The collection consists of selected correspondence of Davies, autograph manuscripts of two of his sermons, and a typescript of The Diary of the Revd. Samuel Davies, From July 2 A.D. 1753 To April 28 [A.]D. 1754. Carefully Transcribed, Compared and Corrected by Philander Camp, 1845. Correspondents include Davies' brother Col. William Davies and William F. Ast. Also included is Davies' 1758 letter to the Trustees of the College of New Jersey, giving his reasons for refusing the appointment to the presidency of the college, and a letter from Wilberforce Eames, dated June 1931, regarding miscellaneous poems by Davies.


Arranged by accession number.

Collection Creator Biography:

Davies, Samuel, 1723-1761

Samuel Davies, fourth president of Princeton University, was born in New Castle County, Delaware, on November 3, 1723. He was licensed to preach when he was twenty-two, and was ordained as an evangelist to Virginia. In 1753 Davies and Gilbert Tennant were chosen by Princeton trustees to go to Great Britain and Ireland in search of donations for the College. Davies kept a diary of the mission, which was later published. During their stay in the British Isles they were able to secure sufficient funds to build Nassau Hall and the president's house. In 1758 Davies was elected to succeed Jonathan Edwards as president of the College, but declined election, partly because of a reluctance to quit his pastoral work in Virginia. The trustees subsequently re-elected Davies and persuaded him to accept. He took up his duties on July 26, 1759, and died of pneumonia on February 4, 1761.

Collection History


Various AM.

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.

Archival Appraisal Information:

No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information:

Finding aid written by James Flannery on February 6, 2006. Folder Inventory added by Jameson Creager (2015) in 2012.

Access & Use

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Conditions for Reproduction and 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:

Samuel Davies Collection; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184