The James McCosh Manuscript Collection

Collection Summary

Creator: McCosh, James, 1811-1894
Dates: 1843-1910
Extent: 1 box (.25 linear feet)
Language(s): English
Repository: Princeton Theological Seminary Library. Special Collections.


1834 April 01 Born in Ayrshire, Scotland
1825 Graduated from Edinburgh University
1834 Licensed to preach by the Presbytery of Ayr
1843 Joined Free Church movement in Scotland
1851 Served as Professor of Logic and Metaphysics at Queen’s College, Belfast
1868-1888 Served as President of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University)
1869-1894 Served as a Director at Princeton Theological Seminary
1888-1894 Continued lecturing in philosophy at Princeton University
1894 November 16 Died in Princeton, New Jersey

Biographical Information

James McCosh was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, in 1811. He studied at the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, obtaining a master's degree from the latter institution in 1825. McCosh was licensed to preach by the Presbytery of Ayr in 1834 and served as a minister in the Church of Scotland at churches in Arbroath and Brechin. In 1843, he became part of the Free Church movement in Scotland.

In 1852, McCosh became professor of logic and metaphysics in Queen's College, Belfast. In 1868, he became the eleventh president of the College of New Jersey, now Princeton University. McCosh resigned the presidency in 1888, but continued as lecturer in philosophy until his death in 1894. McCosh was a Princeton Theological Seminary director from 1869 to 1894.

For a complete list of McCosh’s writings, see Joseph H. Dulles, McCosh Bibliography: A List of the Published Writings of the Rev. James McCosh (Princeton, 1895).


Scope and Content

This collection brings together various items that have been held in the Princeton Theological Seminary Library for some time. The provenance of most of these materials is not known.

The collection consists of correspondence, newspaper clippings, and other ephemera related to James McCosh. The materials have been arranged chronologically.



McCosh, James, 1811-1894

Princeton University. Department of Philosophy, Princeton University--Faculty.

Princeton University, College of New Jersey (Princeton, N.J.)


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

The following is the acceptable citation for publication: The James McCosh Manuscript Collection. Special Collections, Princeton Theological Seminary Library.

Processing Information

The collection was processed by Joshua Wilder in Spring 2015 under the supervision of Curator of Special Collections and Archivist Kenneth Henke.


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.


Related Material

See also the following materials:

James McCosh Records at Princeton University Archives



The James McCosh Collection has been arranged chronologically in a single group.



Box 1
1:1 Typescripts of letters from and to McCosh 1843-1855
1:2 Invitation to McCosh’s Presidential Inauguration [missing] 1868
1:3 Photocopies of letters from McCosh to James Addison Henry and Arthur T. Pierson 1873-1883
1:4 Letter from McCosh on behalf of Charles Alexander Richmond 1885 September 21
1:5 New Princeton Review 1885
Letter from McCosh regarding the New Princeton Review  1885 December 21
Printed circular announcing the Review  1885
Letter from John Mackay to Kenneth Gapp explaining the provenance of letter and circular  1948 February 26
1:6 Letter from McCosh to D. Dulles circa 1840-1894 April 15
1:7 Letter from Collin Hughes to McCosh 1887 June 26
1:8 Dr. McCosh on Matthew Arnold: With Some Remarks Apropos of ‘Robert Elsmere’ undated
1:9 The Interior [subtitle: Dr. McCosh on McCosh walk at Princeton] 1910 May 19


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