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Reading Family of New Jersey 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

Reading, Thomas, 1734-1814.

Thomas Reading was born in Amwell Township, Hunterdon County, N.J. The Provincial Congress appointed him captain of the Sixth Company, Third New Jersey Regiment, First Establishment. On June 22, 1778, by act of the Legislature, he was appointed one of the agents of the State of New Jersey for procuring provisions, forage, and other supplies for the use of the army to carry on the Revolutionary War. Reading was commissioned justice of the peace in Hunterdon County for several terms, and he was one of the founders of the Presbyterian Church in Flemington, New Jersey; in 1797 was ordained an elder of the church.

John Reading was the first native-born governor of New Jersey, serving in 1747, and again from September 1757 to June 1758. His father, Colonel John Reading, was the first white, major landowner in Hunterdon County. Governor Reading was also one of the founders and trustees of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University.)

George Reading, also born in Amwell, N.J., inherited from his father large tracts of land. Early in the Revolution he was sent to Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. He was recommissioned in 1780 and sent to Bourbon County, Kentucky, where he died.

The collection consists of correspondence and documents of Thomas Reading, his father, Governor John Reading, and his brother, George Reading, dating chiefly from the time of the American Revolution. Thomas Reading's papers include a deed for land purchased from William Humphrys in Hardwick and Oxford townships in Sussex County, N.J., dated August 30(?), 1765; a return of purchases made for forage for the U.S. Army during the Revolutionary War, dated 1779; a statement of accounts, dated 1780, when he served as contractor for Hunterdon County, New Jersey; and a "Statement of certificates given," dated 1780. There are several other letters and documents sent to Thomas Reading from officials in the Continental Congress regarding army supplies and hay and forage for the starving horses of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, and terminating his position as supplier of provisions for the army. These correspondents include William Chamberlain, Sidney Berry, Phillip Dils, Azariah Dunham, John Leahy, and John Matthews.

Included is a marriage license for Jacob Green and Mary Brailey signed by Governor John Reading, dated October 20, 1757, as well as the last will and testament of Governor Reading written in four parts on vellum, dated October 29, 1767.

In addition, there are two letters from Thomas's brother, George Reading. The first, sent from Ligonier Mills, Pa., and dated January 23, 1779, deals with family matters. In the second letter, dated May 22, 1787, when he was commissioned at Fork Licking in Kentucky, George writes to his brother about members of several different Indian nations stealing army horses, a treaty with the Shawnee Indians, and the Shawnees' offer to help find the individuals responsible for these thefts.

Folders are organized 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.

Marriage license was transferred from the Hunt Papers, in January, 1906.

All material, except for the marriage license, was a gift of Mrs. James Donaldson Paxton, Princeton Class of 1895, on November 4, 1936.

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.

Some of the material is very fragile, please do not remove from Mylar folders.

Folder inventory added by Nicholas Williams '2015 in 2012.

No appraisal information is available.

Publisher
Manuscripts Division
Finding Aid Date
2008
Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research use.

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

Marriage Certificate Between Jacob Green and Mary Brailey, 20 October 1757. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letters from Sydney Berry to Captain Thomas Reading, 1780. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Documents by William Chamberlin, January 1780. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Document by Philip Dils to Thomas Reading, 25 August 1781. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letters from Azariah Dunham to Thomas Reading, 1780-1781. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letters from John Leahy to Thomas Reading, 1780. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letter from John Matthews to Thomas Reading, 15 June 1780. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Letters from George Reading to Thomas Reading, 1779-1787. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Documents by John Reading, 29 October 1767. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Document by Thomas Reading, 1780. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Document by Thomas Reading, 1 March 1769. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Document by Thomas Reading to William Chamberlin, 25 August 1781. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Documents by Thomas Reading, 1779. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Indenture Document by Thomas Reading to William Humphrys, 30 August 1765. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

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