Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Odell, Jonathan, 1737-1818
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Jonathan Odell Collection
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1 box and 0.2 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1


Consists of selected material of Jonathan Odell, an eighteenth-century New Jersey clergyman and loyalist in the American Revolution, and his father, John Odell.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Consists of selected material of Jonathan Odell and his father, John Odell. Included is a contemporary copy of the political poem "The American Times: A Satire in Three Parts" (29 pp.). The poem, attributed to Odell and published in 1780 under the pseudonym "Camillo Querno," is an invective aimed at the American leaders of the Revolution. A portion of the first page has been torn away. It also has been attributed to George Cockings, to Daniel Batwell, to Jonathan Boucher, and to Myles Cooper. The collection contains an undated letter by Odell addressed to John Boynton, a merchant in Philadelphia, as well as the parole oath, written and signed by Odell on 20 July 1776 for the New Jersey Provincial Congress, in which he vows not to aid the British during the American Revolution. Also included is an extract from the will of Odell's father, John Odell, signed by Thomas Barrow and William Smith.

Collection Creator Biography:

Odell, Jonathan, 1737-1818

Jonathan Odell, a clergyman, was born in Newark, New Jersey, and died in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. He was the son of John Odell and Temperance, a daughter of Rev. Jonathan Dickinson, first president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University). Odell graduated from the College of New Jersey in 1754, and received the A.M. degree also from there in 1757. For three years Odell taught at the Nassau Hall Grammar School. He was trained in medicine but entered the Church of England ministry. He served as parish priest at Burlington, N.J., and at Mount Holly, N.J. With the outbreak of the American Revolution, Odell became a strong Loyalist to the British Crown. He wrote poetry that was sung by British prisoners. His case came up before the New Jersey Provincial Congress, and, on July 20, 1776, he was ordered to sign an oath not to aid the British. He was placed on parole, and was ordered to keep within a radius of eight miles from the Burlington County courthouse. He remained there till December, but then fled to New York. There he worked for the Loyalist cause as an administrator and satiric poet-propagandist. In 1784 Odell emigrated to New Brunswick, Canada, having been appointed provincial secretary as a reward for his loyalty to the Crown.

Collection History


Letter to John Boynton is part of the Pyne-Henry collection.

Parole oath was a gift of Chas. A. Cass in 1902 .

Poem: The American Times was purchased in 1946 .

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

Folder inventory added by Nicholas Williams '2015 in 2012.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

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:

Jonathan Odell 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