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The Dwight Lyman Moody Manuscript Collection

Identifier: SCM 198

Scope and Content

This collection consists of correspondence chiefly to Moody's brother, written during his historically significant evangelistic campaigns in England and Scotland from 1881 to 1882. Subject matter of the letters includes maintenance of Northfield Seminary, D. L. Moody's home in Northfield, and other details and queries regarding the operation of the Moody farm.


  • 1881-1914 (bulk 1881-1882)

Language of Materials



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

Preferred Citation

The following is the acceptable citation for publication: The Dwight Lyman Moody Manuscript Collection. Special Collections, Princeton Theological Seminary Library.


1837 February 5
Born, Northfield, Massachusetts
Moves to Chicago, works as a shoe salesman
Organizes North Market Hall Sabbath school
Appointed missionary of the Young Men's Christian Association of Chicago
Elected president of the Chicago YMCA
First trip to the United Kingdom
Meets Ira Sankey at the International Convention of the YMCA
First form of Sacred Songs and Solos used
Elected president of the Illinois Sunday School Union
Founded Northfield Seminary for Young Women (now Northfield Mount Hermon School)
First Northfield Conference organized
Founded Mt. Hermon School for boys (now Northfield Mount Hermon School)
Founded the Chicago Evangelization Society (now Moody Bible Institute)
Elected president of the International Sunday School Association
1899 December 22
Died, Northfield

Biographical Information

Dwight L Moody was born the seventh of nine children on February 5, 1837, in Northfield, Massachusetts. His father, Edwin, was a bricklayer, and died when Moody was four. At five years old, Moody was baptized by his uncle, a Unitarian pastor. Moody had seven years of formal education in a rural one-room schoolhouse before he began working at nearby farms. At seventeen, Moody moved to Boston and began working as a shoe salesman. In Boston, Moody attended Bible class at Mt. Vernon Congregational Church conducted by Edward Kimball, and in 1856 Moody was converted.

In the same year, Moody moved to Chicago and continued his work as a shoe salesman. There he also became involved with the mission programs of several churches, including First Baptist, First Methodist, and Plymouth Congregational. Moody began his first Sunday school in the Fall of 1858. It became so popular that attendance reached some 1,500 persons weekly. Moody decided to engage in full-time Christian work in June, 1860, and subsequently was hired by the YMCA as a city missionary in 1861. Emma Charlotte Revell married Moody on August 28, 1862. The couple had three children: Emma, William Revell, and Paul Dwight.

Moody's preaching career began with "Evangelistic Campaigns" in England and Scotland (1873), and later extended campaigns in America (1875-1895). Other work included ministering to the wounded during the Civil War; the World's Fair Campaign (1893) and Spanish War work (1898). In 1870, Ira David Sankey joined Moody's growing evangelistic work adding religious song and music to the campaign program.

Besides his revival ministry, Moody was also involved in the development of schools for theological training In 1879; Moody founded Northfield Seminary (now Northfield School for Girls) In 1881, Mount Hermon Massachusetts School for Boys was founded, and in 1889 he, with the help of Emma Dryer, founded the Chicago Evangelization Society (now Moody Bible Institute) In addition, Moody founded the Illinois Street Church- presently known as the Moody Memorial Church. After preaching a sermon in Kansas City in November, 1899, Moody became very ill. He returned to his home in Northfield, Massachusetts and died there on December 22.


0.3 Linear Feet (1 Box)

Processing Information:

The provenance of this collection is unknown. It was processed and the original finding aid was written in August of 1997, by Peter T. Haas, under the direction of William O. Harris, Archivist. The finding aid was edited by Sarah Seraphin and Daved Anthony Schmidt in May of 2009.

The Dwight Lyman Moody Manuscript Collection
Peter T. Haas
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Repository Details

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

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