The Alexander Ramsay Thompson Manuscript Collection

Collection Summary

Creator: Thompson, Alexander Ramsay, 1804-1895
Dates: 1777-1895
Extent: 4 boxes (2 linear feet)
Language(s): English
Repository: Princeton Theological Seminary Libraries. Special Collections.


1822 October 16 Born, New York City
1842 Graduated, New York University
1842-1845 Student, Princeton Theological Seminary
1845 Assistant, Reformed Church of America, Brooklyn
1845 Assistant, 8th Street Presbyterian Church, New York City
1846 January 14 Ordained, Presbytery of Elizabethtown
1846-1847 Pastor, First Church, Morristown, New Jersey
1847-1848 Missionary, Bedford, New York
1848-1851 Pastor, Reformed Church of America, Tompkinsville
1851-1859 Pastor, Stapleton
1859-1862 Stated supply, South Cong church, Bridgeport, Connecticut
1862-1873 Pastor, 21st Street Reformed Church of America, New York City
1863-1865 Chaplain, New England Hospital, New York City
1865 Awarded honorary Doctor of Divinity, New York University
1873-1890 Chaplain, Roosevelt Hospital, New York University
1873-1884 Pastor, North Reformed Church of America, Brooklyn, New York
1895 February 7 Died, Summit, New Jersey

Biographical Information

The Reverend Doctor Alexander Ramsay Thompson (1822-1895) was born in New York University and educated at New York University and Princeton Theological Seminary (class of 1845). He was a pastor of several Dutch Reformed churches in New York and New Jersey, and served as a military chaplain during the Civil War. He also received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from New York University.


Scope and Content

This collection consists of scrapbooks, photographs, genealogical tables and notebooks, ledgers, diaries, correspondence, and various mementos and documents belonging to Dr. Thompson's family.



Thompson, Alexander Ramsay, 1822-1895--Archives.

Princeton Theological Seminary--Alunmi and alumnae--Archives.

Princeton Theological Seminary. Library. Manuscript collections.


Administrative Information

Processing Information

The provenance of this collection is unknown. These items had been preserved uncataloged in library storage for many years before they were semi-organized as a manuscript collection in October of 1996. The original finding aid was written by Raymond D. Cannata, under the direction of William O. Harris, Archivist, in January 1997. The collection was reorganized and the finding aid was updated by Daved Anthony Schmidt in October of 2009.


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

Use of Materials

The following is the acceptable citation for publication: The Alexander Ramsay Thompson Manuscript Collection. Special Collections, Princeton Theological Seminary Library.


Related Material

See also the following material in Special Collections:

Thompson, Alexander R. Hymnal. New York?: s.n, 1870s. Benson Collection of hymnals and hymnology. Call Number: SCC #4927

Thompson, Alexander R. On the Way. New York: [s.n.], 1895. Benson Collection of hymnals and hymnology. Call Number: SCB #14,595

Zimmermann, Linda. Forging a Nation: From Revolution to Civil War : personal experiences of three generations of the Thompson Family, from documents in the private collection of Richard F. Ricca. New York: Eagle Press, 1996. Call Number: SC Ref CS71.T66 Z56 1996



Box 1
- Diary. January 1 - December 31, 1859
- Diary. January 1 - December 31, 1865
- Printed copy of a "Sermon Commemorative of the Rev. George A. Shelton," by R. Ormiston Currie. November 15, 1864
- Account book from Bank of America. 1851 and 1856
- Notebook of genealogical information. undated
Box 2
- 2 notebooks listing books, essays and articles organized according to religious topic. [Loose items from these two notebooks were replaced with photocopies and the originals are organized in folders 5:4-5:7.] undated
- Notebook listing names and religious subjects. undated
- 3 notebooks listing books, essays and articles on the subject of baptism. undated
- 2 notebook listing books, essays and articles on various religious subjects. undated
Box 3
- Notebook containing Alexander Thompson's autobiography, written by Thompson and his daughter, Mrs. Hoydenpyl. [Includes photocopies of loose items found in the notebook, originals are organized in folder 4:8.] undated
- Family scrapbook with items dating from the 1820s to the 1890s. [Several loose items were organized and moved to 4:9-4:15]
Box 4
-8 photographs of Alexander Thompson and other family members.  
-8 photographs and woodcuts of church buildings.  
-Newspaper clipping titled, "The De Harts,".  undated
-Obituary for Mary Carpenter.  August, 1887
-Genealogical information.  undated
-Photography of a certification letter noting that Alexander Thompson served in the Continental Army, signed by Silvanus Seely.  February 7, 1777
-Woodcut of "The Sugar House, Liberty Street,".  undated
-Woodcut of the "Earliest Map of the City".  1642, [undated]
-Woodcut of the Thompson House.  undated
-Woodcut of "Broad Street in Early Days,".  undated
-Woodcut of "Provost (now Franklin) and Chapel (now West Broadway) Streets".  1826, [undated]
-Woodcut of unnamed town.  undated
-Letter from John H. Thompson to Alexander R. Thompson; genealogical information attached.  March 2, 1884
-Newspaper clipping, "Style of Early Churches,".  undated
-Ticket to the Metropolitan Fair signed by Alexander R. Thompson.  undated
-Photograph of a "List of officers in the corps of Architects and Engineers in the Service of the United States,".  undated
-Envelope which contained the contents of folders 4:1-4:3.  
-Loose items removed from Box 2, notebook 1, page 1 replaced with photocopies.  
-Loose items removed from Box 2, notebook 1, page 81 replaced with photocopies.  
-Loose items removed from Box 2, notebook 2, page 309 replaced with photocopies.  
-Loose items removed from Box 2, notebook 2, page 325 replaced with photocopies.  
-Loose items from Alexander R. Thompson's Autobiography in Box 3.  
Items removed from the family scrapbook in Box 3:
-Alexander R. Thompson to Mary Pitman.  March 11, 1839
-Alexander R. Thompson to Mary Pitman.  July 14, 1842
-Alexander R. Thompson to Miss E. W. Van Renssalear.  January 23, 1843
-R. Lowre to Alexander R. Thompson.  February 24, 1865
-W. R. Thompson to Alexander R. Thompson.  September 22, 1856
-John Gardner to George H. Hodenpyl.  April 24, 1895
-[unknown] to [unknown].  January 3, 1896
-New York Observer to George H. Hodenpyl.  November 8, 1895
-Matthias Williamson Jr., to Alexander R. Thompson.  May 1, [unknown]
-Matthias Williamson Jr., to Alexander R. Thompson.  May 23, [unknown]
-Untitled document, "In looking back across the intervening years at the Revolution...".  undated
-Hand-drawn family copy of a family tree.  undated
-Untitled document, "Strong are his arms, tender and sure his hold,".  undated
-Document pertaining to the regular meeting of The South Classis of Long Island.  April 16, 1895
-Periodical clippings pertaining to Alexander R. Thompson's career as well as family members.  
-Family documents and photographs dating from the Civil War era.  
-Photographs of family members and church buildings.  
-Name cards for Alexander R. Thompson and Mr. and Mrs. William Robert Thompson.  
-Membership certificate of the Daughters of the Revolution for Margaret Hodenpyl.  March 24, 1893
-Marriage certificate for George Henry Hodenpyl and Margaret Carpenter Thompson.  January 4, 1879
-Certificate of baptism for George Henry Gesberth.  May 4, 1889
-Oversized folder containing periodical clippings taken from the family scrapbook in box 3. This folder is stored in oversized storage in the book box.  
-Bridgeport Daily News, "In Honor of the Dead Soldiers,".  undated
-Alexander R. Thompson, "The Burial of Moses," Sunday School Times.  September 8, 1888
-2 copies of The Easter Lily.  April 16, 1879
-Copy of The Olive Plant.  December 1, 1842
-Copy of The Christian Intelligencer.  July 17, 1879
-"Our Secretaries," The Jeweler's Review.  November 10, 1891
-Copy of The Independent.  November 12, 1891
-Copy of The Morning Journal and Courier.  December 10, 1861


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