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Collection Overview

Lindsley, Philip, 1786-1855
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Philip Lindsley Letters
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1 box and 0.2 linear feet
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1


Consists of selected letters of Philip Lindsley, educator, Presbyterian clergyman, and acting president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1822-1823.

Collection Description & Creator Information


The collection consists of selected letters of Philip Lindsley, both original and copies. Included are a letter (1826) to Rev. Robert Baird concerning a description of Nashville and other matters; a letter (1837) to Lewis J. Cist to let him know that on account of illness he was not able to examine his collection of papers for names to be included in Cist's publication; one letter (1823) to Rev. Ashbel Green asking his advice on accepting the presidency of Cumberland College; three letters to Rev. James Richards, one of them (1823) asking for a bigger salary and a larger house and one (1823) concerning his call to the presidency of Princeton University. Also included is a letter (1823) to an unidentified person recommending the Bloomfield Academy in New Jersey, from which many students attended the College of New Jersey (now Princeton).


Arranged by accession number.

Collection Creator Biography:

Lindsley, Philip, 1786-1855

Philip Lindsley, an educator, Presbyterian minister, and classical scholar, was born in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. In 1802 he was admitted to the junior class of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), from which he graduated in 1804. He returned to the college as tutor in 1807, and to study theology under President Samuel Stanhope Smith. In 1813 Lindsley was made professor of languages, librarian, inspector (dean), and secretary of the Board of Trustees. By the time he was elected vice-president of the College of New Jersey in 1817, Lindsley was recognized as one of the foremost classical scholars in the United States. In 1822 he was made acting president of Princeton. The next year he was offered the permanent presidency not only of Princeton but also of several colleges and universities, including the struggling Cumberland College in Nashville, Tennessee, but he declined them all. In 1824, though, he changed his mind and accepted the position in Nashville. The next year, at Lindsley's instigation, the college's name was changed to University of Nashville. He wrote: "Throughout the immense valley of the lower Mississippi, containing at least a million of inhabitants, there exists not a single college." His effect on public opinion appeared in the fact the that by 1848 there were twenty colleges in Tennessee.

Collection History


The original letter (1823) to an unidentified person was a gift of Dr. Gilbert C. Norton, Princeton Class of 1939, on May 9, 1990 .

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 Dina Britain on May 22, 2006. Finding aid written by Dina Britain on May 23, 2006. Folder inventory added by James Clark '14 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:

Philip Lindsley 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 (scamss): Box 1