Guide to the Papers of John Nelson Abeel and Gustavus Abeel 1786-1874 MG 959
TABLE OF CONTENTS
|Guide to the Papers of John Nelson Abeel and Gustavus Abeel1786-1874MG 959Inventory prepared by Laura Ruttum as part of the “Farm to City” project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
The New Jersey Historical Society
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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. March 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.
John Nelson Abeel, (1769-1812) father of Gustavus Abeel, served as a minister in the Arch Street Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for one year, before serving at the Collegiate Dutch Reformed Church in New York, where he remained for seventeen years, until the time of his death in 1812. His son, Gustavus Abeel, (1801-1887) served as a Dutch Reformed minister at several New Jersey and New York churches over a period of 40 years, from 1824 to 1864.
John Nelson Abeel was born in New York City in 1769 to Colonel James Abeel. He graduated from the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1787, after having studied under the theology professors John Henry Livingston and John Witherspoon. He studied at the New Brunswick Theological Seminary in 1793, was licensed by the Classis of New York, and functioned as University Librarian of Princeton in that same year. He acted as minister to the Arch Street Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia from 1794 to 1795, and then the Collegiate Reformed Dutch Church in New York City from 1795-1812. Reverend Abeel received his Doctor of Divinity degree from Harvard University in 1804.
Towards the end of his career John Nelson Abeel became a trustee for Columbia College, under which title he served for thirteen years-from 1799 to 1812-and for Queen’s College, (now Rutgers University) a position he held for five years, from 1807 to 1812. John Nelson Abeel died January 19, 1812.
Gustavus Abeel, the son of John Nelson Abeel, was born in New York City on June 6, 1801. He received his bachelor’s degree from Union Theological Seminary in 1823, studied at the New Brunswick Theological Seminary, was licensed by the Classis of New Brunswick, New Jersey and ordained in the Classis of Bergen in 1824. Reverend Abeel served as a pastor to the English Neighborhood of Ridgefield, New Jersey, as well as a missionary in Hoboken, from 1824 to 1828. From 1828 to 1834 he served as minister in Belleville, New Jersey, while simultaneously completing the degree of Doctor of Divinity, which he received from Rutgers College in 1829. From 1835 to 1849, Reverend Abeel served in Geneva, New York, while also completing his Doctor of Theology degree at Columbia College in 1842. Gustavus Abeel ended his clerical career in Newark, New Jersey, where he served at the Second Reformed Dutch Church from 1849 to 1864.
Among Reverend Abeel’s other career highlights were his term as President of the General Synod in 1852, and his service as trustee at Rutgers College from 1845-1887, and Hobart College from 1836 to 1838. Reverend Abeel died in Stamford, New York on September 4, 1887.
This collection is composed of twenty-four documents, chiefly sermons and orations many of which are undated, relating to John Nelson Abeel and his son Gustavus. It is uncertain which of the two men wrote the majority of the sermons, although it is likely that both men contributed to the works in the collection.
Also included in this collection are two letters of correspondence, one written to each man; and a bill from a printer, dated December 1874, relating to the family Coat of Arms-from painting the Coat of Arms, to producing stationary, a steel helmet and other various materials.
The letter addressed to John Nelson Abeel was written to the Reverend on behalf of a parishioner, requesting that he prevent one of her servants from taking communion as the servant’s behavior was of an “…unbecoming manner and (she conceives) unworthy of the Holy Sacrament.”
The letter addressed to Gustavus Abeel was a call to become pastor, preach, issues sacraments, and educate the youth of the church, that was issued by the Reformed Dutch Church of Newark. The letter stipulated two sermons on Sundays and one weekly lecture, for the initial salary of $1000. This letter was dated November 1, 1849, and signed by Deacon Simpson Vanness and elders Samuel R. Southard and Nathan Cravell.
This collection is arranged by type of material and chronologically therein.
There are no access restrictions on this collection.
Photocopying of materials is limited and no materials may be photocopied without permission from library staff.
Researcher 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.
For related materials in print on John Nelson Abeel, or Gustavus Abeel see:
Abeel, Gustavus. The Work of God in the Church by Human Instrumentality: a Subject of Grateful Remembrance; a decentennial sermon, preached 6 May 1860 in the Second Reformed Dutch Church, Newark, New Jersey.
Abeel, John N. (1801) A Discourse , delivered April 6th, 1801, in the Middle Dutch Church: before the New-York Missionary Society, at their annual meeting. Isaac Collins and Son: New York
Gemmil, John. (1785) A Sermon Delivered at the Ordination of Rev. John N. Abeel, A.M., as a Collegiate Minister of the Second and Third Presbyterian Congregations in the City of Philadelphia. William Young: Philadelphia.
Gunn, Alexander. (1812) A Sermon Occasioned by the Death of the Late Rev. Dr. John N. Abeel, One of the Pastors of the Reformed Dutch Church in this City: containing a short account of the life and character of that servant of Christ: preached the 26th January, 1812, the Sabbath following his internment in the Reformed Dutch Church, Bloomingdale. Whiting and Watson; New York.
For related collections on John Nelson Abeel or Gustavus Abeel at other institutions, see:
Abeel, Mary Stille. (1821-1823) Letters Sent, 1821-1823 (inclusive), at the new Brunswick Theological Seminary
Green, Ashbel. (1801) Letter to John Abeel, March 13, 1801, at the Princeton Theological Seminary
The source of this collection is unknown.
This collection should be cited as: Manuscript Group 959, John Nelson Abeel and Gustavus Abeel Papers, The New Jersey Historical Society.
Vandenberge, Peter N., ed. (1966) Historical Directory of the Reformed Church in America, 1628-1965. Somerset Press: Somerville.
Richardson, E.C. (May 1898). The University Library in 1898, Reprinted from an article on the University Library in the Princeton University Bulletin.