Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Finley, Samuel, 1715-1766
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Samuel Finley Collection
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1 box and 0.2 linear feet
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (mss): Box 1


Consists of selected correspondence and documents of Samuel Finley, fifth president of Princeton University.

Collection Description & Creator Information


The collection consists of selected correspondence and documents of Finley. Included are several receipts for payments of his salary, Finley's outline for the process of commencement in 1764, and a manuscript titled "A Forensic Disputation in the Presence of the Rev. Mr. Sam. Finley, President of Nassau Hall, the 29th of January, 1763." The subject of this debate was "Is it reasonable to suppose that preternatural Apparitions & Witchcraft do exist : or are they meer Creatures of the Imagination?" Correspondents include Joseph Bellamy, Richard Stockton (trustee of the College of New Jersey), and Eliezer Wheelock.


Arranged by accession number.

Collection Creator Biography:

Finley, Samuel, 1715-1766

Samuel Finley, fifth president of The College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), was a Scotch-Irishman who came to the United States when he was nineteen. One of the original trustees of the college, Finley succeeded Samuel Davies as president on May 31, 1761. His presidency was marked by a steady growth in enrollment, and he was respected and beloved by the students.

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.


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

Finding aid written by James Flannery on February 8, 2006. Folder Inventory added by Hilde Creager (2015) in 2012.

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:

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

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