The Archibald Alexander Manuscript Collection
Scope and Content
This collection consists of personal papers and documents from the life of Archibald Alexander. In addition to many texts of lectures and sermons, the collection also contains notes on lectures and sermons taken both by Alexander and by his students. Lectures on polemics, and on the theologies of different religions and sects are particularly varied and comprehensive. There is little correspondence, but there are some early journals, manuscripts for longer writings, and some publications and fragments of others' writings.
- Alexander, Archibald, 1772-1851 (Person)
Language of Materials
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.
The following is the acceptable citation for publication: The Archibald Alexander Manuscript Collection. Special Collections, Princeton Theological Seminary Library.
- 1772 April 17
- Born, near Lexington, Virginia
- Student, Timber Ridge Academy, Virginia
- 1794 June 7
- Ordained, Presbytery of Hanover
- Pastor, Briery and Cub Creek, Virginia
- Pastor, Briery, Virginia
- President, Hampden-Sydney College
- Pastor, Pine Street Church, Philadelphia
- Moderator, General Assembly
- Awarded Doctor of Divinity, College of New Jersey (now Princeton University)
- Professor, Didactic and Polemic Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary
- Professor, Pastoral and Polemic Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary
- Professor, Pastoral and Polemic Theology and Church Government, Princeton Theological Seminary
- 1851 October 22
- Died, Princeton, New Jersey
Archibald Alexander (1772-1851) was a prominent American theologian and the first professor and principal at Princeton Theological Seminary. He was born in Virginia and grew up in a pious and intellectual household. He was greatly influenced by a local religious awakening in 1789, shortly after which he became a missionary in Virginia and North Carolina. He returned in 1794 to become a minister in Charlotte County, Virginia. He was appointed principal at Hampden Sydney College in 1797 and remained until 1806. He was called to the pulpit at the Pine Street (Third) Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia in 1807, and was elected Moderator of the General Assembly the same year.
At his departing sermon at the next year's General Assembly, Alexander argued for the creation of a seminary, in agreement with growing sentiment in the Presbyterian Church. Princeton Theological Seminary was founded in 1812 and the General Assembly almost unanimously voted Alexander its first teacher. He accepted and was inaugurated on August 12, 1812. He and Samuel Miller, who began teaching in 1813, served as the cornerstones of education for the Presbyterian ministry until Miller's death in 1849 and Alexander's in 1851. Alexander's son, James Waddel Alexander, also served as professor at Princeton Theological Seminary.
For more biographical information about Archibald Alexander, please request his faculty file from Special Collections.
15.45 Linear Feet (33 boxes)
Box 1: Journal kept by Archibald Alexander
Boxes: 1-6 Student Lecture Notes
Boxes: 7-11 General Lecture Notes and Sermons written by Archibald Alexander
Boxes 11-13: Lectures on Pastoral Theology written by Archibald Alexander
Boxes 13-15: Lectures on Polemic Theology written by Archibald Alexander
Boxes 15-20: Lectures on Preaching, and Sermons written by Archibald Alexander
Boxes 21-23: Notes and Course Materials on Jewish Antiquities, Biblical Criticism and Others
Boxes 23-24: Correspondence
Boxes 24-27: Student Lecture Notes (Boxes 24 and 25 also contain eight notebooks with writings by Archibald Alexander)
Box 28-33: Other Correspondence, Lectures, Sermons, and Biographical Material (Box 31 contains sermons attributed to Charles Hodge)
This collection was processed, and a list of its contents was compiled in the spring of 1992, by Douglas F. Denné under the direction of William O. Harris, Archivist. The original finding aid was written by Matthew Reeder in March of 2007. In the summer of 2009, identification of handwritten items, and a general review of the collection was performed by Daved Anthony Schmidt. The finding aid was edited and updated by Sarah Seraphin in October of 2009.
- Alexander, Archibald, 1772-1851 (Person)
- The Archibald Alexander Manuscript Collection
- Matthew Reeder. Updated by: Daved Anthony Schmidt
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Part of the Princeton Theological Seminary. Library. Special Collections Repository
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