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The William Harris Manuscript Collection

Identifier: SCM 261

Scope and Content

This collection consists of largely of sermon and Sunday school lesson manuscripts, plus one file box of correspondence, printed lecture notes with Harris' student marginalia, mementos, and other items. Of special note are hand sewn, leather bound marriage and baptism ceremonies and hand drawn and printed maps.

For the sermons and Sunday school lesson manuscripts, the date and location that the material was used is often written on the back of the first page.


  • 1831 - 1885

Language of Materials

English, Latin


There are no special restrictions to access of this collection. It may be examined by library patrons under the normal rules and conditions of Special Collections.


1831 December 20
Born, Chester County, Pennsylvania
Graduated, University of Pennsylvania
Entered, Princeton Theological Seminary
Graduated, Princeton Theological Seminary
Pastor, Towanda, Pennsylvania
Treasurer, Princeton College
Elected as the New Jersey Representative on the International Sabbath School Convention Executive Committee
1881 June 22-24
Arranged and Published the Triennial Convention, Toronto, Canada
Voyaged to Europe
1885 March 23

Biographical Information

William Harris was born December 20, 1831 in Chester County, Pennsylvania. His father, Dr. William Harris, was a physician in Philadelphia and an elder in the 10th Church under Dr. Boardman’s ministry.

Harris graduated from University of Pennsylvania in 1850 and he pursued a career in business. He worked in a business house in New York City, New York. In 1858 he enrolled in Princeton Theological Seminary, graduating in 1861.

During the American Civil War, he was a chaplain in the 106th Pennsylvania Volunteers and worked for the Sanitary Commission. In 1864, Harris became a Presbyterian pastor for six years at a church in Towanda, Pennsylvania. In 1870, he became Treasurer of Princeton College, a position he held for fifteen years.

Harris co-operated with the Philadelphia Society, which resulted in Inter-Collegiate Young Men’s Christian Association being located at Princeton College. He was President of the New Jersey Sabbath School Association for several years and associate conductor of the Sabbath School Assembly at Ocean Grove, New Jersey. In 1878, he was elected New Jersey Representative on the International Sabbath School Convention Executive Committee. Also, he arranged and published the June 22-24 1881 Triennial Convention.

Harris's health declilned, and in the summer of 1883, he voyaged to Europe for a rest.

The Rev. William Harris was laid to rest on March 23rd, 1885.


2 Linear Feet (6 Boxes)


Original order has been maintained to ensure provenance.

Related Material

See also the following manuscript material in Theological Commons:

Rev. William Harris, entered into rest March 23rd, 1885.

Processing Information

These papers were given to the Seminary by one of Mr. Harris' descendants, the Reverend Edmund Holden Morgan in 1989. The Rev. Morgan was a graduate of the University in 1938 and the Seminary in 1942 and founded the Westerly Road Church of Princeton in 1956.

Initial processing of the collection was begun in November of 1996 by Raymond D. Cannata and completed May 2015 by Diane Feldman.

The William Harris Manuscript Collection
Diane Feldman
May 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Princeton Theological Seminary. Library. Special Collections Repository

Princeton Theological Seminary
Wright Library
25 Library Place
Princeton NJ 08540 USA