Guide to the Henry W. Green Collection of Princeton University Senior Speeches 1819-1820 MG 566


Descriptive Summary
Historical Note
Scope and Content Note
Access Points
Related Material
Administrative Information

Guide to the Henry W. Green Collection of Princeton University Senior Speeches
MG 566
The New Jersey Historical Society
52 Park Place
Newark, New Jersey 07102
Contact: NJHS Library
(973) 596-8500 x249
© 2004 All rights reserved.
The New Jersey Historical Society, Publisher
Inventory prepared by Laura Ruttum as part of the “Farm to City” project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Finding aid encoded by Danielle Kovacs. February 2004. 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.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Henry W. Green, Collector
Title: Henry W. Green Collection of Princeton University Senior Speeches
Dates: 1819-1820
Abstract: Consists of a notebook of speeches delivered by the graduating students at the College of New Jersey of 1819 and 1820.
Quantity: 1 volume
Collection Number: MG 566

Historical Note

Many of the graduating Seniors of the classes of 1819 and 1820 of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) delivered speeches on various national, international, moral and philosophical topics, as demonstration of their achievements and education at the institution.

The compiler of this collection of Senior speeches, Henry Woodhull Green, was a graduate in 1820, who later went on to study at the Litchfield Law School, and to become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New Jersey, New Jersey Chancellor and a trustee of the University. His brother, John Cleve Green, a noted benefactor of the University, named the first library building on Princeton campus after him.

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Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of a notebook of speeches delivered by the graduating students at the College of New Jersey of 1819 and 1820. The notebook contains the text to four of the speeches, a poem, and a complete list of the “Subjects of Senior Speeches of 1819 and 1820.”

The book begins with the poem, entitled “Honoriad,” written by John A. Stuart, (1800-1852) of Beaufort, South Carolina, and was read in 1819. The poem contains stanzas dedicated to each of the Senior class students of that year, fondly poking fun at each student.

The first speech included in the notebook was also delivered by John A. Stuart in 1819, and was a condemnation of the manner in which the United States treated the Native American population. His speech began with an examination of misery and injustice, from this quickly developing the central theme of his oration, “Where is the misery? Where the injustice? Tis the Indian struggling for his right, tis the white man wresting it from him We may strive to forget the wrongs of the unfortunate savage-But they will be forced on our remembrance-For the Indians never will forget them.”

William Peronneau Finley delivered a speech on February 18, 1820, entitled “On the Dismemberment of Poland,” addressing the third partition of that country in 1795. This third partition-in which Polish lands were divided between Austria, Russia and Prussia-resulted in the disappearance of Poland from the map of Europe. Mr. Finley compared the struggle for Polish independence to the recent American one. Finley served as President of the College of Charleston from 1845 to 1857.

James H. Gholson, (1798-1848) of Virginia spoke on the same date as the previous speech, on “The Effects of Religion on Government, Particularly the Mahometan.” This speech compares Christianity to Islam, finding that “The effects of religion on government have been far more powerful and permanent than those of all other moral causes.”

Following his time in Princeton, Gholson practiced law in Percivals, Virginia, was elected a member of the State House of Delegates from 1824 to 1828, and 1830 to 1833, at which time he was elected as a Representative from Virginia to the U.S. House of Representatives. Following his time in the house, he was a judge of the circuit court of Brunswick County, Virginia, until 1848.

The final speech in the collection was written by Bloomfield McIlvaine of New Jersey, in 1814, and does not appear to have been included in the Senior speeches delivered in 1819 and 1820. This speech addressed the Spanish colonization of Mexico and South America, lamenting the “base and profligate invasion of these Spanish colonies.”

The list of Subjects of Senior Speeches contained at the end of this notebook are thirty-six in number, and address topics ranging from “the evil effects of standing armies,” to “chivalry,” to “the Missouri question,” to “an elegy on Commodore Perry.”

Other names of Princeton Seniors represented in this collection include: Adamson, Alexander, Allen, Andruss, Bache, Bara, Bayard, Blight, Blearley, Bowie, Brown, Butler, Carter, Cassat, Chambers, Cochrane, Crawford, Donnell, Garritson, Grimball, Groome, Haines, Harrison, Hay, Hodgson, Hoffman, Hunt, Hynashaw, Iverson, Kirk, Krebs, Lumpkin, Mason, Masyeh, McDowell, McOrmick, Middleton, Ogden, Patten, Reed, Rogers, Ross, Rutgers, Schroeder, Skillman, Stuart, Suydam, Swayre, Talmadge, Taylor, Thomas, Townsend, Tyler, Van Arsdale, Venable, Walker, Ward, and Wilson.

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Access Restrictions

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Photocopying of materials is limited and no materials may be photocopied without permission from library staff.

Use Restrictions

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.

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Access Points

The entries below represent persons, organizations, topics, forms, and occupations documented in this collection.
Subject Names:
Bache, Benjamin Franklin, 1801-1881.
Finley, William Peronneau.
Gholson, James H., 1798-1848.
Green, Henry Woodhull, 1804-1876.
McIlvaine, Bloomfield.
Stuart, John A. (John Allan), 1800-1852.
Subject Organizations:
College of New Jersey (Princeton, N.J.)
Princeton University.
Subject Topics:
Commencement ceremonies.
Native Americans–United States.
Subject Places:
New Jersey–History–1775-1865.
Princeton (N.J.)
Document Types:
Subject Occupations
Students–New Jersey.

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Related Material

For related materials in print on College of New Jersey, (Princeton, NJ) or students in this collection, see:

Fay, B. Bernard Fay’s The Two Franklins: Fathers of American Democracy. Boston: Little, Brown, 1933.

Princeton University Cliosophic Society Catalogue, 1857.

Leitch, A. A Princeton Companion. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1978.

For related collections on College of New Jersey, (Princeton, NJ) or students in this collection, at the New Jersey Historical Society, see:

Manuscript Group 27, Boggs Family Papers

For related collections on the students documented in this collection, at other institutions, see:

Argument of William P. Finley, Esq. Delivered in the Court of Appeals of the State of South Carolina. At the Special Collections of the College of Charleston

Manuscript Collection C0304, Green Family Collection, Princeton University

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Administrative Information

Custodial History

The source of this collection is unknown.

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as: Manuscript Group 566, Henry W. Green Collection of Princeton University Senior Speeches, The New Jersey Historical Society.

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