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Samuel Davies 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

Davies, Samuel, 1723-1761

Samuel Davies, fourth president of Princeton University, was born in New Castle County, Delaware, on November 3, 1723. He was licensed to preach when he was twenty-two, and was ordained as an evangelist to Virginia. In 1753 Davies and Gilbert Tennant were chosen by Princeton trustees to go to Great Britain and Ireland in search of donations for the College. Davies kept a diary of the mission, which was later published. During their stay in the British Isles they were able to secure sufficient funds to build Nassau Hall and the president's house. In 1758 Davies was elected to succeed Jonathan Edwards as president of the College, but declined election, partly because of a reluctance to quit his pastoral work in Virginia. The trustees subsequently re-elected Davies and persuaded him to accept. He took up his duties on July 26, 1759, and died of pneumonia on February 4, 1761.

The collection consists of selected correspondence of Davies, autograph manuscripts of two of his sermons, and a typescript of The Diary of the Revd. Samuel Davies, From July 2 A.D. 1753 To April 28 [A.]D. 1754. Carefully Transcribed, Compared and Corrected by Philander Camp, 1845. Correspondents include Davies' brother Col. William Davies and William F. Ast. Also included is Davies' 1758 letter to the Trustees of the College of New Jersey, giving his reasons for refusing the appointment to the presidency of the college, and a letter from Wilberforce Eames, dated June 1931, regarding miscellaneous poems by Davies.

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 February 6, 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

Partial Letter from Samuel Davies in which he discusses at length his position on religion, refers to the "hurries of preparations for my voyage" in 1753, undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from Samuel Davies to William F. Ast asking for the return of insurance papers, 1798 June 10. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Sermon, Luke XIV, undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from Samuel Davies to the Trustees giving his reasons for refusing the appointment to the Presidency of the College, 1758 October 18. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Autograph of Samuel Davies, Autograph of Alexander Mitchell, 1760-1762. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Sermon, 1752 May 31. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from Samuel Davies to Col. William Davies (his brother) relating to a sale, 1782. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from Wilherforce Eames written about miscellaneous poems of Samuel Davies, 1931 June 14. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from Samuel Davies to Mrs. Daddridge telling of safe journey (photostat), 1755 April 28. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from Samuel Davies to Dr. Stennett regarding his return from London, strength of French forces in America, places for American and British forces for the summer. He needs Stennett's influence on behalf of the dissenters in Virginia (Transcript), 1755 April 25. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from Samuel Davies to Mr. Menzies (contemporary copy), 1759 June 25. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Copy of Portrait of Davies, undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Diary of Samuel Davies (typescript), 1753-1754. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

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