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Samuel Davies was born in 1723 in New Castle County, Delaware. At age 15 he "made a profession of religion" and studied the classics, science and theology under the Rev. Samuel Blair at his school at Faggs Manor in Pennsylvania. In 1746, at age 23, he was licensed and in 1747 was ordained an evangelist by the New Castle Presbytery. He went to Hanover, VA, near Richmond, where he ministered with considerable success to seven Presbyterian congregations despite the opposition of the established Church of England in the colony.In 1753 the Synod of New York, at the request of the Board of Trustees of the College of New Jersey (Princeton), sent Davies and Gilbert Tennent to Great Britain to raise funds for that institution. In 1759 he was chosen to succeed Jonathan Edwards as president of the College of New Jersey. He held that position for about 18 months until his death in 1761.
Record Group 307 consists of sermon manuscripts and correspondence of Samuel Davies. The correspondence consists of five letters of Davies to the Rev. David Cowel (1704-1760), a trustee of the College of New Jersey, and one letter of Cowel to Davies. Also included are the manuscript for one of his published works, biographical notes concerning Davies, bibliographical data for his sermons.
This collection is arranged as follows:SERIES I: Correspondence, 1751-1760SERIES II: Sermon Manuscripts, 1755, 1760, n.d.SERIES III: Biographical and Bibliographical Data, n.d.
Also available on microfilm: MF/POS./809.
Researchers should consult the library card catalog for published works of Davies.
Collection processed and finding aid prepared: October 1992Glenn Colliver, Assistant Archivist
Finding Aid to Record Group 307
The manuscripts are fragile and should be handled carefully.
SERIES I: Correspondence, 1751-1760
Correspondence, 1751, 1758-1760
SERIES II: Sermon Manuscripts, 1755, 1760, n.d.
Sermon Manuscript (1 Cor. 5:20), date lost
Sermon Manuscript (Death of David Cowel), 1760
Sermon Manuscript (Hebrews 4), n.d.
Sermon Manuscript, n.d.
Manuscript, "Charity and Truth United, or, The Way of the Multitude Exposed: in Six Letters," 1755
SERIES III: Biographical and Bibliographical Data, n.d.
Bibliographical Data re Davies' Sermons. n.d.
Biographical Notes and Clippings, n.d.