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Charles Thomson Letters

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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

Thomson, Charles, 1729-1824

Charles Thomson is best known as the secretary of the Continental Congress, a position he held from 5 September 1774 until 23 July 1789.

The collection consists primarily of 40 letters by Thomson to his wife, Hannah, in Philadelphia, written while he was attending the Continental Congress in Princeton, New Jersey, from June to October, 1783. Also included are copies of four additional Thomson letters to his wife during the same period (Princeton does not own the originals); printed material about Thomson and Harriton House, his estate in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, where he resided from 1789 to 1824; photographs of the interior and exterior of Harriton House; and photographs of Thomson's grave in Philadelphia's Laurel Hill Cemetery.

The collection has been organized into the following sections:

Most of the letters were published in Congress at Princeton: Being the Letters of Charles Thomson to Hannah Thomson, June-October 1783, edited by Eugene R. Sheriden and John M. Murrin (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Library, 1985).

The Thomson letter of 28 August 1783 was a gift from Patricia S. Jones on September 15, 2009.

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 Karla J. Vecchia in 2004. Finding aid written by Karla J. Vecchia in 2004.

During 2022, restrictions on original letters where researchers were required to use surrogates were lifted as part of a restrictions review project.

No appraisal information is available.

Publisher
Manuscripts Division
Finding Aid Author
Karla J. Vecchia
Finding Aid Date
2004
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

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

These letters are all written by Thomson to his wife Hannah.

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically.

Physical Description

1 box

1783, 1783. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 June 30, 1783 June 30. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 July 3, 1783 July 3. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 July 4, 1783 July 4. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 July 6, 1783 July 6. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 July 8, 1783 July 8. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 July 22, 1783 July 22. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 July 23, 1783 July 23. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 July 24, 1783 July 24. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 July 25, 1783 July 25. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 July 26, 1783 July 26. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 July 29, 1783 July 29. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 July 30, 1783 July 30. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 August 1, 1783 August 1. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 August 19, 1783 August 19. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 August 20, 1783 August 20. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 August 27, 1783 August 27. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 August 28, 1783 August 28. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 September 4, 1783 September 4. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 September 10, 1783 September 10. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 September 12, 1783 September 12. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 September 13, 1783 September 13. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 September 13 (evening), 1783 September 13. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 September 15, 1783 September 15. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 September 16, 1783 September 16. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 September 17, 1783 September 17. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 September 18, 1783 September 18. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 October 13, 1783 October 13. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 October 14, 1783 October 14. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 October 15, 1783 October 15. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 October 16, 1783 October 16. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 October 19, 1783 October 19. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 October 20, 1783 October 20. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 October 21 (morning, evening, and enclosure), 1783 October 21. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 October 23, 1783 October 23. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 October 24, 1783 October 24. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 October 25, 1783 October 25. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 October 30, 1783 October 30. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Scope and Contents

Consists of photographs of Harriton House and Thomson's grave, Xeroxes of additional original letters by Thomson to his wife Hannah (with typed transcripts), Harriton House brochure, and printed matter about Thomson.

Arrangement

Arranged by genre of material.

Physical Description

1 box

Photographs: Harriton House and Thomson's grave, dates not examined. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Description

1 box

1783 July 5, 1783 July 5. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 August 6, 1783 August 6. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 August 20, 1783 August 20. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1783 August 22, 1783 August 22. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Harriton House brochure, dates not examined. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Physical Description

1 box

2 pamphlets of Harriton House, dates not examined. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1 auction catalog (Henkels #1442, 1930), dates not examined. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1 Pennsylvania Magazine, 1977 July. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1 offprint from Pennsylvania Magazine, 1976 July. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1 postcard of Harriton House, dates not examined. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

2 copies of photos of Thomson portraits, at age 42 and at age 92 [original portraits by Charles Wilson Peale are at Portrait Gallery, Philadelphia), dates not examined. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Printed matter about Thomson: Xerox copies of articles, dates not examined. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Print, Suggest