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Jonathan Odell Collection


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

Odell, Jonathan, 1737-1818

Jonathan Odell, a clergyman, was born in Newark, New Jersey, and died in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. He was the son of John Odell and Temperance, a daughter of Rev. Jonathan Dickinson, first president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University). Odell graduated from the College of New Jersey in 1754, and received the A.M. degree also from there in 1757. For three years Odell taught at the Nassau Hall Grammar School. He was trained in medicine but entered the Church of England ministry. He served as parish priest at Burlington, N.J., and at Mount Holly, N.J. With the outbreak of the American Revolution, Odell became a strong Loyalist to the British Crown. He wrote poetry that was sung by British prisoners. His case came up before the New Jersey Provincial Congress, and, on July 20, 1776, he was ordered to sign an oath not to aid the British. He was placed on parole, and was ordered to keep within a radius of eight miles from the Burlington County courthouse. He remained there till December, but then fled to New York. There he worked for the Loyalist cause as an administrator and satiric poet-propagandist. In 1784 Odell emigrated to New Brunswick, Canada, having been appointed provincial secretary as a reward for his loyalty to the Crown.

Consists of selected material of Jonathan Odell and his father, John Odell. Included is a contemporary copy of the political poem "The American Times: A Satire in Three Parts" (29 pp.). The poem, attributed to Odell and published in 1780 under the pseudonym "Camillo Querno," is an invective aimed at the American leaders of the Revolution. A portion of the first page has been torn away. It also has been attributed to George Cockings, to Daniel Batwell, to Jonathan Boucher, and to Myles Cooper. The collection contains an undated letter by Odell addressed to John Boynton, a merchant in Philadelphia, as well as the parole oath, written and signed by Odell on 20 July 1776 for the New Jersey Provincial Congress, in which he vows not to aid the British during the American Revolution. Also included is an extract from the will of Odell's father, John Odell, signed by Thomas Barrow and William Smith.

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.

Letter to John Boynton is part of the Pyne-Henry collection.

Parole oath was a gift of Chas. A. Cass in 1902.

Poem: The American Times was purchased in 1946.

Folder inventory added by Nicholas Williams '2015 in 2012.

No appraisal information is available.

Manuscripts Division
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Collection Inventory

Letter to John Boynton, undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Extract from John Odell's Will, Signed by Thomas Barrow, Secretary, and William Smith in 1751, 1750-1751. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter by Johnathan Odell and Funeral Papers for Odell, 1776-1818. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"The American Times: a Satire" Contemporary Manuscript Copy Addressed to Miss Berrien, undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

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