Main content

Charles Godfrey Leland Collection

Notifications

Held at: Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division [Contact Us]

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Leland, Charles Godfrey, 1824-1903.

Charles Godfrey Leland was born on 15 August 1824 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Charles and Charlotte Leland. He graduated from the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University) in 1845, and also studied in Heidelberg and Munich, Germany.

A humorist, poet, essayist, and editor, Leland, is not well known today, although his Hans Breitmann (fictional German persona) ballads enjoyed an immense popularity (1860s-1890s). He edited such well-known publications as the New York Times, Vanity Fair, the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, Knickerbocker Magazine, Continental Magazine, and the Philadelphia Press.

Leland was also very interested in the mysterious and occult, as well as gypsy lore and language. His extensive writings include several books on these topics: The Poetry and Mystery of Dreams (compiler, 1856), The English Gypsies and Their Language (1873), The Gypsies (1882), Gypsy Sorcery and Fortune Telling (1891), and Old Rabbit the Voodoo and Other Sorcerers (1893).

Leland died on 20 March 1903 in Florence, Italy.

Consists of poetry and prose manuscripts, letters by and to Leland, and other correspondence. Among the manuscripts in the collection is a notebook, titled "Essays and Extracts from Old Books and Writers" (1841-1843), in which Leland copied extracts from Hobbes, Spinoza, and others, as well as his own essays. Poetry manuscripts include "Educatio Diaboli" (1842 or 1843), "Serenade" (1842), and "Witch Songs" (undated). Several of the letters by Leland were written while he was a student at the College of New Jersey (one gives a very entertaining account of his suspension in 1842); and others refer to the formation of the American Students' Union, a group which fostered social correspondence between the classes of different universities.

The following standard abbreviations, or their variations, are used to identify materials in this collection: ALS = autograph letter signed, AN = autograph note, AMsS = autograph manuscript signed, ADS = autograph document signed.

Microfilm exists for the materials housed in folders 3A, 10A, and 13A [microfilm made in April 2003].

Various AM. Letter to Messrs Dalziel purchased from Antiquarian Bookseller Center in 1977.

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.

This collection was processed by Ran Tao, Princeton Class of 2006 in 2004. Finding aid written by Ran Tao, Princeton Class of 2006 in 2004.

No appraisal information is available.

Publisher
Manuscripts Division
Finding Aid Author
Ran Tao, Princeton Class of 2006
Finding Aid Date
2004
Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

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.

Collection Inventory

Scope and Contents

Consists of writings such as "Jane Eyre and Shirley," "Serenade," and "Witch Songs," as well as others.

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by title.

Physical Description

1 box

Physical Description

4 items

AMsS, 1886 June 10 8 pp. bound, 1886 June 10. 1 item.
Scope and Contents

[See General Manuscripts Miscellaneous (Bound) C0199 (no. 594)]

Physical Description

1 item

ALS to the editor of St. Nicholas, 1886 August 6 1 p., 1886 August 6. 1 item.
Scope and Contents

[See General Manuscripts Miscellaneous (Bound) C0199 (no. 594)]

[tipped in]

Physical Description

1 item

"By Laws of the Sophomore & Freshman Class of the Union at Princeton College," prose AMs (fragment), 1843 March, 2 pp., 1843 March. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Diary of a trip through New York State, with some sketches and other notes, AMs, circa 1841-1843, 100 pp. bound, circa 1841-1843. 1 item.
Scope and Contents

[See General Manuscripts Miscellaneous (Bound) C0199 (no. 596)]

Physical Description

1 item

"Educatio Diaboli," poetry AMs, [ 1842 December or 1843], 3 pp., 1842 December. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

[unpublished poem on how the devil came to Princeton, passed his examinations, etc. See Chronicle, v. 1. no. 4, p. 21, 1940 June]

Physical Description

1 folder

Scope and Contents

[contains extracts from Hobbes, Spinoza, and others, as well as Leland's own essays]

Physical Description

1 box

Photostat of a pen sketch of Leland's Princeton dorm room, dates not examined. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Sealed envelope with initials CGL and AMs Greek poem, contains dried flowers, dates not examined. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"For I do not believe there are any Self Made Men...," prose AMs, undated, 1 p., undated. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

[containing reflection on class and America]

Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Description

1 box

AMs, circa 1850, 20 pp., circa 1850. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Draft of above, prose AMs, circa 1850, 19 pp., circa 1850. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"Looking Back - A Princeton Song," poetry AMs, 1859 January 2 pp., 1859 January. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

[written for a Princeton Song Book, 1859]

Includes selections from "Fort Nassau - a Ballad" by E. Struser, poetry AMs, 2 pp.; and "Thus valiantly and sturdy...," poetry AMs, 1 p.

See ALS from Andrew J. Hetrick, 1858 December 7 asking for a contribution to Princeton Song Book.

Physical Description

1 folder

"The Norsemen," prose AMs, 1844 June 25 6 pp., 1844 June 25. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

[delivered at Junior Exercises]

Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Description

1 box

AMs, 1842 August 1 pp., 1842 August. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

ANs on reading on verso, dates not examined. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"Song of Harold," poetry translation AMs, 1844 June 2 pp., 1844 June. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

[translated from the Norse Edda]

Physical Description

1 folder

"The Squyer of Lowe-degre," poetry AMs with illuminations, undated, 68 pp. bound, undated. 1 item.
Scope and Contents

[inscribed "To George H. Boker, from his friend, Charles G. Leland, Dec. 24th 1864," and "To Edith Boker, from Geo. H. Boker, January, 1889"] [See General Manuscripts Miscellaneous (Bound) C0199 (no. 992)]

Physical Description

1 item

Statement of origin, purpose, and hopes of the American Students' Union, prose AMs, 1843 3 pp., 1843. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"Tales of the Trouveurs or Lais and Fabliaux," poetry AMs, 1843 10 pp., 1843. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

Translated by Henry P. Leland and Charles G. Leland [see page marked 11]

Physical Description

1 folder

"The Tempest and the Storm, or Shakespeare and Rabelais," prose AMsS, undated, 17 pp., undated. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

[numbered 1-10, 14-20] [published in Recreation of the Rabelais Club, 1880-1881]

Physical Description

1 folder

"The Wedding Trip of Jarl Alvar Rafn," poetry AMs, 71 pp. bound, dates not examined. 1 item.
Scope and Contents

[See General Manuscripts Miscellaneous (Bound) C0199 (no. 595)]

Physical Description

1 item

Engraved portrait of Leland, undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"Witch Songs," poetry AMs, undated, 4 pp., undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Scope and Contents

Consists of letters to individuals such as M. T. Pyne, Edmund Quincy, and Walter Besant, as well as others.

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

Physical Description

1 box

A-Z Miscellaneous, dates not examined. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Description

1 box

[ALS, 1884 February 15 4 pp., 1884 February 15. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

[regarding an unpleasant visit from Lucy Desley; and efforts to find someone to write down Maine Indian stories, which are far beyond the Hiawatha legends]

Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Description

1 box

49 ALsS, 1878-1882, 1884, 1891, 1895 and ALS (fragment), undated, 1878-1882. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

[from America, England, and Italy; regarding the Rabelais Club and the Society of Authors; lively correspondence full of gossip about literary luminaries on either side of the Atlantic]

Physical Description

1 folder

Scope and Contents

[later The George Washington University]

Physical Description

1 box

AL, 1843 January 2 pp., 1843 January. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

[urging help in extension of American Students' Union to other colleges, suggests that "lower classes" not be admitted simultaneously with higher classes, and offers high hopes for success of Union]

Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Description

1 box

ALS, 1842 August 25 4 pp., 1842 August 25. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

[concerning Leland's suspension from Princeton]

Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Description

1 box

ALS, 1887 September 4 1 p., 1887 September 4. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

ALS, 1887 October 30 1 p., 1887 October 30. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

[includes drawing and humorous commentary]

Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Description

1 box

ALS, 1871 May 29, 2 pp., 1871 May 29. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

[offering her the entire and complete works of Hans Breitmann (Leland's fictional German persona)]

Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Description

1 box

ALS, 1844 October 1 1 pp., 1844 October 1. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

[urgent request that he send "Renwick's Mechanics" and music and a letter; about to move]

Physical Description

1 folder

ALS, 1845 April 4 4 pp., 1845 April 4. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

[family news; college activities; most of the freshman class has been dismissed in rumpus over tutor, Hodge]

Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Description

1 box

ALS, 1883 March 24 1 pp., 1883 March 24. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

[it will be impossible to be in New York City on 10 April]

Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Description

1 box

4 ALsS, 1863-1864. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Scope and Contents

All letters are to Leland, unless otherwise indicated.

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

Physical Description

1 box

Physical Description

1 box

ALS, 1845 October 1 4 pp., 1845 October 1. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

[campus news: Clio has some new sofas; tragic shooting accident of Boudinot, a classmate]

Physical Description

1 folder

Scope and Contents

(committee for sophomore class, Hamilton College)

Physical Description

1 box

ALS, 1842 November 2 1 pp., 1842 November 2. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

[hearty concurrence for plan of the American Students' Union]

Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Description

1 box

ALS to Robert C. Leland, 1843 January 5 2 pp., 1843 January 5. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

[Columbian College (later The George Washington University) is ready to join the American Students' Union]

Physical Description

1 folder

ALS, 1843 January 12 1 pp., 1843 January 12. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

[apologies for letter wrongly addressed to "Robert C. Leland"]

Physical Description

1 folder

ALS, 1843 March 14 2 pp., 1843 March 14. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

[Columbian College (later The George Washington University) wants to extend the advantages of the Union; wants a list of institutions now belonging; regrets hasty admission of freshmen class]

Physical Description

1 folder

Scope and Contents

(committee for sophomore class, Yale College)

Physical Description

1 box

ALS to Walter T. Scott, 1843 March 17 1 pp., 1843 March 17. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

[The Sophomore Class of Yale College expresses guarded approval of the American Students' Union]

Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Description

1 box

ADS, 1851 August 8 1 pp., 1851 August 8. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

[bill from Columbia House, Cape Island, N.J.]

Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Description

1 box

ALS, 1858 December 7 3 pp., 1858 December 7. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

[requesting Leland's help in writing a song for the Nassau Song Book]

See "Looking Back - A Princeton Song," AMs by Leland, 1859 January.

Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Description

1 box

ALS, 1851 May 2 2 pp., 1851 May 2. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

[sending him money; life is hectic in New York; messages]

Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Description

1 box

ALS, 1843 April 11 1 pp., 1843 April 11. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

[requests copy of letters, constitution, etc. of the Union; Leland's war song liked; requests a prose piece for the next Monthly]

Physical Description

1 folder

AL, 1844 May 30 4 pp., 1844 May 30. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

[chatty letter; enjoyed articles presumably by Leland in May number of Monthly; messages to old friends]

Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Description

1 box

ALS, 1843 March 23 1 pp., 1843 March 23. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

[Washington College asks for copy of constitution of the American Students' Union; sophomore class has accepted it as a body]

Physical Description

1 folder

Scope and Contents

Consists of correspondence with individuals such as William Clark, the College of New Jersey, and Richard Stout, as well as others.

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

Physical Description

1 box

Scope and Contents

(Class of 1846, Columbian College [later The George Washington University])

Physical Description

1 box

ALS to Class of 1846, College of New Jersey, 1843 January 5 1 pp., 1843 January 5. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

[invitation to join the American Students' Union accepted]

Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Description

1 box

AL to Columbian College [later The George Washington University], 1843 March 25 2 pp., 1843 March 25. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

[gratification for their approval and help; constitution not yet ready to send out; list of colleges in Union with names of college who may join soon]

Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Description

1 box

ALS to Joseph H. Skelton, 1809 October 13 1 pp., 1809 October 13. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

[regarding business]

Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Description

1 box

ALS to [?] Dowman, 28 September, no year, 3 pp., 28 September. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Description

1 box

ALS to Joseph H. Skelton, 1815 May 3 1 pp., 1815 May 3. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

[reproaching him for delay in handling a legal affair]

Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Description

1 box

ALS to William H. Morton, 1843 March 1 1 pp., 1843 March 1. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

[Washington College (Trinity College, Hartford, Conn.) wants more information about the Union; Morris has committed some classmates to it]

Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Description

1 box

ADS to Joseph H. Skelton, 1817 July 19 1 pp., 1817 July 19. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

[statement of case against Jos. Gullick]

Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Description

1 box

ALS to John Maclean, 1841 July 12 1 pp., 1841 July 12. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

[recommending Leland for admission to the freshman class at the College of New Jersey]

Physical Description

1 folder

Scope and Contents

Consists of discharge papers from the armed services and a diploma from the University of Heidelberg.

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by title.

Physical Description

2 boxes

Discharge papers from military service, DS, 1863 July 30. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Engraving of Leland captioned "Yours truly Charles G. Leland,", undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Diploma from University of Heidelberg, 1846 May 9. 1 box.
Physical Description

1 box

Print, Suggest