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Jonathan Edwards Family Collection

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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

Edwards, Jonathan, 1703-1758.

Jonathan Edwards, the elder, was a colonial American Congregational preacher and theologian. In 1757, on the death of the Rev. Aaron Burr, who had married Edwards's daughter Esther, he reluctantly agreed to replace his late son-in-law as the president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), where he was installed on February 16, 1758. Almost immediately after becoming president, he was inoculated for smallpox, which was raging in Princeton at the time. However, Edwards died of the inoculation on March 22, 1758, and was buried in the Princeton Cemetery.

Edwards's eldest son, Timothy, was a member of the Princeton Class 1757.

Edwards's middle son, also named Jonathan, was a member of the Princeton Class of 1765. A theologian and a pioneer of Native American languages, he became president of Union College in Schenectady, New York.

The youngest son, Pierpont, was a member of the Princeton Class of 1768, and the uncle of Aaron Burr. Pierpont was a delegate to the American Continental Congress from Connecticut in 1787-88, and served as United States Attorney for 17 years.

The collection consists of correspondence, sermons, and documents of Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) and his three sons, Timothy Edwards (Princeton Class of 1757), Jonathan Edwards (Princeton Class of 1765), and Pierpont Edwards (Princeton Class of 1768). Among the other correspondents are Joseph Bellamy, Rev. Aaron Burr (1716-1757), Capt. N. Dwight, John Ely, Jonathan Sergeant, and Benjamin Trumbull. Of significance is one of the few letters Edwards wrote during the five weeks he served as president of the College of New Jersey, before his death from an inoculation for smallpox. In this letter, dated February 28, 1758, Edwards asks Jonathan Sergeant for an advance of his stipend for his work at the College. He died three weeks later on March 22, 1758. Also of significance is Edwards's letter (1752) to Burr about his proposed trip to Great Britain to collect funds for the College of New Jersey. Ironically, Edwards suggests that Burr get inoculated for the smallpox. There are three substantial sermons by Edwards (the son) and a broadside (1795) reporting his dismissal as pastor of the White Haven Church of New Haven, Connecticut. In addition, there are numerous notes and fragments for sermons, and receipts, including ones related to the College of New Jersey.

The folders are arranged in accession number order.

Various AM. Letter to "Dear Brother" purchased from Forest H. Sweet. Letter to Capt. Nathaniel Dwight is a gift of Louise B. Caldwell.

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.

Folder Inventory added by Hilde Creager (2015) in 2012.

No appraisal information is available.

Publisher
Manuscripts Division
Finding Aid Date
2008
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

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Collection Inventory

Pierpont Edwards A.L.S. to Susan Edwards, 1788 June 14. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

To his daughter.

Physical Description

1 folder

Timothy Edwards Receipt for 81.11.7 pounds for the expenses of the children of Rev. Aaron Burr, 1762 Novemver 12. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Timothy Edwards Receipt to Jonathan Sergeant for 12.17.9 pounds for rent for "the President's lot" due to the heirs of Rev. Aaron Burr, 1770 March 1. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Timothy Edwards DS to Jonathan Sergeant, receipt for balance due Edwards as tutor of the College of NJ, 1770 March 1. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Jonathan Edwards A.L.S. to Rev. Aaron Burr (Facsimile), 1756 March 14. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

A.L.S.

Physical Description

1 folder

Jonathan Edwards A.L.S. to Mrs. Ester Burr (Facsimile), 1757 November 20. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

A.L.S.

Physical Description

1 folder

Jonathan Edwards A.L.S. to Rev. Aaron Burr recommending Mrs. Ester burr for membership in Christ Church, 1753 September 17. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Jonathan Edwards Receipt on verso of note to Robert Stockton, 1767 August 17-18. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Jonathan Edwards A.L.S. to Rev. Aaron Burr regarding collecting funds in Great Britain for the College of New Jersey, 1752 May 6. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Jonathan Edwards Sermons 1767-1772, undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Jonathan Edwards Agreement (Photostat), 1723 October 26. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Jonathan Edwards Note for a sermon, circa 1743-1744. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Jonathan Edwards A.L.S. to John Ely, 1753 August 27. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Jonathan Edwards Transcripts of 2 letters to Moses Lyman, 1742-1743. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Jonathan Edwards A.L.S. to Jonathan Sergeant seeking advance to his stipend, 1758 February 28. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Jonathan Edwards Transcript of letter to Benjamin Coleman, 1738 May 27. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Jonathan Edwards A.L.S. to Benjamin Trumbell, 1792 November 6. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Jonathan Edwards A.L.S. to Rev. Joseph Bellamy, 1742 January 21. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Materials Viewable Online
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Jonathan Edwards Fragment of notes for a sermon, undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Jonathan Edwards A.L.S. to brother Timothy Edwards, Nassau Hall, 1768 June 7. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Materials Viewable Online
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Timothy Edwards DS: Receipt to Jonathan Sergeant from the estate of Ester Burr due to Elizabeth Edwards, 1762 November 20. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Jonathan Edwards Resolution of the First Meeting of the inhabitants of Northampton, circa 1741 February 10. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Jonathan Edwards Receipt to the College of New Jersey, 1767 February 21. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Materials Viewable Online
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Jonathan Edwards Council Meeting Broadside, New Haven, 1795 May 19. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Jonathan Edwards Notes of a sermon preached at a funeral, 1798 October 6. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Materials Viewable Online
  1. View digital content
Jonathan Edwards A.L.S. to Capt. Nathaniel Dwight, 1754 December 5. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Jonathan Edwards Autographed Note Fragment, undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

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