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
Consists of selected papers of the Maclean family, particularly John Maclean (1771-1814), the first professor of chemistry at Princeton University, then called the College of New Jersey. John Maclean was born in Scotland and educated to become a surgeon like his father. He came to the United States in 1795 and, on the advice of Benjamin Rush, established himself in Princeton in the practice of "physic" and surgery. In October 1795, Maclean was appointed professor of chemistry at Princeton. In 1798, he married Phebe Bainbridge, the eldest daughter of Absolom Bainbridge and Mary Taylor Bainbridge of Middletown, New Jersey. Phebe's brother was United States Navy Commodore William Bainbridge (1774-1833). John and Phebe Maclean's eldest son, John Maclean Jr. (1800-1886), became Princeton's tenth president in 1854.
Materials in this collection include ten letters written by John Maclean (1777-1814), including letters addressed to Benjamin Silliman (1779-1864), the first lecturer at Yale in chemistry for whom Maclean served as mentor in the teaching of chemistry; Samuel Stanhope Smith (1751-1819) and Ashbel Green (1762-1848), the seventh and eighth presidents of Princeton; Major Benjamin Walker (1753-1818), United States Representative from New York; and Joshua Maddox Wallace. The letter to Ashbel Green concerns the student rebellion and suspensions in 1807. There is also a manuscript containing biographical details of Maclean's life, an extract of a letter of introduction by Dr. Miller of Glasgow to Dr. Caspar Wistar (1761-1818) of Philadelphia on Maclean's behalf, and Maclean's medical license from the State of New Jersey.
Materials related to John Maclean Jr. (1800-1886) include his Princeton Theological Seminary diploma and an honorary doctorate from the University of the State of New York. There is also some legal correspondence of Archibald Maclean (1810-1894), family letters from William Bainbridge, and a power of attorney document for Mary B. Maclean. Of note is a bound volume containing a detailed genealogy of the Maclean, Bainbridge, and Taylor families.
This collection was formerly referred to as the "John Maclean Collection" and the "John Maclean Letters and Papers."
Arranged by family member.
This collection was formed as a result of a departmental practice of combining into one collection manuscript material of various accessions relating to a particular author.
Materials in this collection were acquired through multiple gifts, transfers, and purchases, as noted at the file-level.
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 Nicholas Williams '2015 in 2012.
Finding aid updated by Kelly Bolding in August 2017 and August 2021.
No materials were separated during 2017 processing.
- Bainbridge family
- Taylor family
- McLean family
- Bainbridge, William, 1774-1833
- Maclean, Archibald, 1810-1894
- Maclean, John, 1771-1814
- Maclean, John, 1800-1886
- Chemistry -- Study and teaching -- New Jersey -- Princeton
- Student suspension -- New Jersey -- Princeton -- 19th century
- Manuscripts Division
- Finding Aid Date
- Access Restrictions
Collection is open for research use.
- Use Restrictions
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6 letters.Physical Description
Includes letters (1822-1823) from William Bainbridge to his sister Phebe Maclean (Mrs. John Maclean) and her son, John Maclean Jr. There is also a 1834 letter including a recommendation William Bainbridge gave on behalf of John Maclean Jr.Physical Description
Includes a letter from M. Newkirk regarding land sales (1841) and a letter from Mr. Weed and Mr. Oakley of New York regarding property in New Orleans, Louisiana (1847). There is also a letter from Archibald Maclean and Isaac Brown looking to locate information about Thomas Jefferson's attempt to establish a college in Virginia around 1800 (1860).Physical Description
Two letters, one of which is from J. Henry Johnson.Physical Description
Bound volume containing a 123-page manuscript genealogy of the Maclean family, and to a lesser extent, the Bainbridge and Taylor families. Bound inside is a printed booklet, titled "Re-union of the Family of Joseph Taylor, at Middletown, New Jersey, in 1861" (Wm. Everdells Sons, Printers, New York, 1861).Physical Description