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William S. C. Webster 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

Webster, William S.C.

William Stewart Cross Webster was a member of the Princeton Class of 1864 and attended the Princeton Theological Seminary.

The collection consists of selected correspondence and several manuscripts of William Stewart Cross Webster. His correspondence, with members of his family and with friends and classmates, dates from the time he was a student at the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) and, later, at the Princeton Theological Seminary. Most of Webster's letters are quite detailed and contain valuable information about student life at both institutions during the second half of the nineteenth century. In his earlier years at Princeton, Webster writes to his mother, sisters Martha and Lizzie, and brothers Richard and Charles, about his classes, the faculty, events on campus, and his friends and classmates. In a letter to his mother dated January 21, 1864, Webster informs her of his plans to become a missionary. In order to fulfill residency and teaching requirements for his degree, Webster traveled and lived in such cities as Philadelphia, Pa., and Hartford, Conn., and taught small children; during that period he writes about all the places he visits and the people he meets, the clergy and their sermons, New Jersey politics and government, Abraham Lincoln and slavery, and about Lincoln's murder. After his return to Princeton, Webster starts giving detailed information about the Seminary, its presidents, administration, faculty, curriculum, students, and the general life of a seminary student. In 1866 Webster's brother Richard was admitted to the College, and they both shared a room. Some of the letters sent home then are from both brothers.

The manuscripts include an undated short story titled "The Pigeons," written by Webster at an early age, and three speeches or essays written for one of his classes. The first one (untitled) is about hatred, and it was delivered at the College Chapel on November 28, 1863. The second, dated March 1864, is titled Causes Modified by Circumstances, and the third speech or essay (undated) is titled "The Eye."

The collection was a gift of F. H. Schaefer in January 1941 (AM12192-12194).

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.

Folder Inventory added by Hilde Creager (2015) in 2012.

No appraisal information is available.

Manuscripts Division
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

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Collection Inventory

35 Letters from Webster to his mother, brothers, and sisters, 1862-1866. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

3 Manuscripts by Webster, "Hatred", "Causes Modified by Circumstances", "The Eye", undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

15 Letters from friends, classmates, and family of Webster to Webster, 1862-1887. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

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