Guide to the Calvin Green (1765-1847), Farmer Papers 1790-1846 MG 221
TABLE OF CONTENTS
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The New Jersey Historical Society, Publisher
Inventory prepared by Jeff MacMillan, August 2000, as part of the “Farm to City” project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
Finding aid encoded by Julia Telonidis. March 2006. Production of the EAD 2002 version of this finding aid was made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Finding aid written in English.
Calvin Green was born on July 25, 1765 in Hanover, Morris County, New Jersey. Green’s father, the Harvard educated Rev. Jacob Green (1722-1790), was the minister of the First Presbyterian Church of Hanover Township and a founder of a Latin academy there. Although Calvin did not attend his father’s school, as did his brother Ashbel (1762-1848), he was literate and able to read the Bible by the age of 5.
Too young to fight in the Revolutionary War like his older brother Pierson, Calvin spent his early years helping his father on the family’s farm. Rev. Green encouraged his son to learn a trade and, at the age of 12, Calvin began studying shoemaking and tanning with a Hanover tradesman named John Smithson. Leatherwork did not appeal to Green however and he spent much of his apprenticeship working in the fields on Smithson’s farm. Green eventually gave up the leather trade in 1794 and concentrated solely on farming and tending to livestock.
In 1787 Green married Hannah Beach (1768-1847) with whom he had six children: Nancy (1788-1813), Jacob (b. 1790), Gabriel (b. 1794), Willis (b. 1802), John Calvin (1805-1807), and Elizabeth (1809-1838). He died in Hanover on February 3, 1847.
The collection consists of a handwritten autobiography dating from 1765-1846, a diary dating from 1790-1844, and a typescript index of the diary’s contents. In addition to providing a yearly account of Green’s life from early childhood until 1846, the autobiography discusses the tanning and shoemaking trade, farming, historical events (example: the 1802 burning of the college at Princeton), his father’s Latin academy, the hiring of slave labor, the church’s succession of ministers, and deaths and births in the town. The diary lists daily events such as biblical readings; the preaching schedule; town births, deaths, and marriages; and crop and livestock reports. Appended to the diary are various autobiographical notes and transcribed records from the First Presbyterian Church of Hanover Township, Morris County (1747-1846) relating to church membership and activity. The typescript index of the diary’s contents is organized by year.
There are no access restrictions on this collection.
Photocopying of materials is limited and no materials may be photocopied without permission from library staff.
Researchers wishing to publish, reproduce, or reprint materials from this collection must obtain permission.
The New Jersey Historical Society complies with the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code), which governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions and protects unpublished materials as well as published materials.
This collection should be cited as: Manuscript Group 221, Calvin Green (1765-1847), Farmer
Papers, The New Jersey Historical Society.
The collection was a gift of Calvin Green’s great-granddaughters, Mrs. Laura Green Dorer and Miss Emma J. Green of West Caldwell, New Jersey.
“Calvin Green’s ‘Diary’ The Life Of Calvin Green.” N.J. Historical Society Proceedings. Volume 69, 1951: pages 115-136.