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James Carnahan 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

Carnahan, James, 1775-1859

James Carnahan was the ninth president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), from which he graduated in 1800. In 1823 he was elected to the presidency of the college while it was in the middle of a period of decline. There were many faculty resignations, and enrollment had dropped from 120 to 70 students. He was very discouraged by the state of affairs and thought of recommending closing it down. However, with the help of professor John Maclean, he was able to strengthen the faculty, which in turn, strengthened the college's reputation. When Carnahan retired in 1854, there were 250 students enrolled, new chairs were endowed, many scholarships were established, and East and West Colleges and Clio and Whig Halls were erected. After his retirement and until his death, Carnahan served as a trustee of the college and as president of the board of trustees of the Theological Seminary.

The collection consists of correspondence, documents, and a fragment of a sermon by Carnahan. The bulk of the correspondence and documents deals with matters regarding the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) and fund-raising for it. Included is a circular letter (1836) soliciting funds for the building of Whig Hall, a receipt (1837) for $1000 given by Mrs. Dolley Madison for the benefit of the college library, and a thank you note (1851) for a collection of Pacific Coast shells donated to the college.

Arranged by accession number.

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.

Various AM.

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.

Finding aid written by James Flannery on January 25, 2006. Folder Inventory added by Hilde Creager (2015) in 2012.

No appraisal information is available.

Publisher
Manuscripts Division
Finding Aid Date
2006
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

Letter from James Carnahan to Ashbel Green, President of the College of New Jersey, introducing James Crawford, 1816 October 27. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Receipt for one thousand dollars- a bequest to "the Library of the College of Nassau Hall" from Sir Hall Caine to Mrs. Dolly Madison,, 1837 May 15. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Document by James Carnahan to George C. Washington- Bill for tuition rendered by Mr. Lewis Washington, Letter from John K. Cowen to Dr. Francis Patton describing this bill, 1822-1897. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from James Carnahan to Robert G. Williams written "in behalf of the Trustees and Faculty" thanking Williams for his gift of sea shells from the Pacific Coast, 1851 September 23. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from James Carnahan to John McDowell advocating honorary degree for W.B. Hodgson, 1858 June. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from James Carnahan to George Bush concerning moral philosophy textbooks, 1834 February 18. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from James Carnahan to "The Rev. Pres. MacLean", 1857 December 22. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from James Carnahan to James W. Alexander, 1846 December 28. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from James Carnahan to Ashbel Green, President of the College of New Jersey, recommendation for student William Richardson Abbot, 1821 May 8. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from James Carnahan to Rev. Joseph Smith concerning relatives of Smith, Letter from Max E. Schmidt to Mr. M.T. Pyne describing this letter, 1853-1912. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from James Carnahan to Rev. John McDowell concerning the College of New Jersey, 1829 October 20. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Text for D.D. Diploma from the College of New Jersey from James Carnahan to John Summerfield, 1823 October 8. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Fragment of sermon beginning "Christians in the pious instruction of our children..." by James Carnahan, undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from George Emlen Hare to James Carnahan recommending Samuel Edwards for M.A. degree with signed note by Alonzo Potter, 1850 November 6. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from John Branch to James Carnahan concerning Branch's son, 1837 January 5. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

2 Letters from James McDowell to James Carnahan concerning the date for commencement and centennial, 1846-1847. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from James McDowell to James Carnahan concerning appreciations to the Trustees "for the distinguished trust which they propose committing to my hands", 1845 October 26. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter James K. Polk from to James Carnahan declining invitation to centennial celebrations of the College of New Jersey, 1847 June 19. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from John C. Spencer to James Carnahan asking about the requirements for his son's admission to the sophomore class, 1834 September 17. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from Charles Fenton Mercer to James Carnahan, 1826 December 23. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from William B. Sprague to James Carnahan asking for help getting material about the life of Rev. Samuel Porter, 1857 March 14. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from James Carnahan to Charles F. Mercer telling of College of New Jersey news, 1802 August 8. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from R. Hyde Woolworth to James Carnahan acknowledging the honorary degree of L.L.D. conferred by the Trustees, 1835 October 26. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from William L. Marcy to James Carnahan, Samuel Miller, Matthew Newkirk, and James Green, 1847 June 25. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from James Carnahan to Charles F. Mercer, 1802 October 6. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from Matthew Newkirk to James Carnahan arranging for a speaker at the centennial celebrations of the College of New Jersey, 1847 May 1. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from William B. Sprague to James Carnahan asking for help in getting material about the life of Rev. Samuel Porter, 1857 May 16. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from Francis Wayland to James Carnahan inquiring about the character and standing of student Clapp, 1847 September 18. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from John Johns to James Carnahan commending George Alexander Ohio to his consideration, 1846 June 3. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from James Thompson to James Carnahan relating to a bill for his son's college expenses, 1850 July 1. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from John C. Calhoun to James Carnahan, Samuel Miller, Matthew Newkirk, and James Green, 1847 June 24. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from James Carnahan to James C. Moffat, 1854 September 15. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

List of bonds of Board of Trustees of the College of New Jersey by James Carnahan to Archibald Alexander, 1847-1874. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Document from James Carnahan to "Brothers of the American Whig Society" soliciting funds for the erection of a building for the society addressed to Philemon Dickerson (Duplicate), 1836 August 30. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from James Carnahan to Robert L. Banks, 1848 April 6. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Note from James Carnahan authorizing the degree earned by Theodore Little, 1838 September 27. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from James Carnahan to W.W. Woodward, 1826 December 23. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from James Carnahan to Ashbel Green concerning Biblical studies at the College of New Jersey, 1830 October 16. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from James Carnahan to Rev. Nicholas Murray concerning a steward wanted in the Theological Seminary, 1838 October 29. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from James Carnahan to Stacy G. Potts, 1856. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from James Carnahan to Ely Alfred (Class of 1804), 1834 September 26. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter by "Dr. Smith" an order for one dozen pairs of stockings to be sent by Mr. Calhoun (xerox), 1808 July 20. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from James Carnahan to Joseph Washington Hunsicker, 1846 January 25. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from James Carnahan to Charles F. Mercer, 1826 January 29. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

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