The William Harris Manuscript Collection

Collection Summary

Creator: William Harris
Dates: 1831-1885
Extent: 6 archives boxes (2 linear feet)
Language(s): English, Latin
Repository: Princeton Theological Seminary Library. Special Collections.


1831 December 20 Born, Chester County, Pennsylvania
1850 Graduated, University of Pennsylvania
1858 Entered, Princeton Theological Seminary
1861 Graduated, Princeton Theological Seminary
1864-1870 Pastor, Towanda, Pennsylvania
1870-1885 Treasurer, Princeton College
1878 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
1883 Voyaged to Europe
1885 March 23 Died

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.


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.




Bible. 1 Corinthians--Sermons.

Bible. 2 Corinthians--Sermons.

Bible. 1 John--Sermons.

Bible. 1 Timothy--Sermons.

Bible. 2 John--Sermons.

Bible. 3 John--Sermons.

Bible. Acts--Sermons.

Bible. Deuteronomy--Sermons.

Bible. Exodus--Sermons.

Bible. Ezekiel--Sermons.

Bible. Galatians--Sermons.

Bible. Genesis--Sermons.

Bible. Hebrews--Sermons.

Bible. Isaiah--Sermons.

Bible. Jeremiah--Sermons.

Bible. John--Sermons.

Bible. Luke--Sermons.

Bible. Matthew--Sermons.

Bible. Psalm--Sermons.

Bible. Revelation--Sermons.


Lecture notes.


Sunday school literature.

United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Chaplains.

United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Sermons.

William Harris.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

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

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.


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 manuscript material in Theological Commons:

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



Original order has been maintained to ensure provenance.



Box 1
1:1 Latin Exegesis, “An Christus sit Deus”
1:2 “Prophecy, Pastoral Theology and Preaching, and Church History” senior year course notes from Princeton Seminary, with marginalia 1860-1861
1:3 Notes from sermon by Charles Hodge, Luke 2:1-40 [photocopy; original placed in Charles Hodge Manuscript Collection]
1:4 "A Critical Study of the Bible Essential to the Faithful S.S. Teacher."
1:5 “Lecture on Psalm CXXII.”
1:6 Princeton Seminary financial appeal for new dormitory
1:7 Critical exercise, "Parable of the Unjust Steward Luke XVI: 1-13."
1:8 Sermon, “Isaiah xlix.”
1:9 Sermon, “1 Cor. Xvi. 13. Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.”
1:10 Documents and correspondence during Civil War chaplaincy 1861-1862
1:11 U.S. Government document for Anna L. Yeomans May 5, 1887
1:12 Miscellaneous correspondence 1858
1:13 Biographical materials and miscellany concerning William Harris
Box 2
2:1 “Romans XI. 22 Behold the goodness and severity of God.”
2:2 “Genesis xxv. 34 Thus Esau despised his birthright.”
2:3 “John xx. 28. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.”
2:4 “Gen IV. 7. If thou doest well shalt there not be accepted? And if there doest not well, a sin – lieth at the door.”
2:5 “John xvi: 31 Do ye now believe?”
2:6 “Zachariah IV: 10. Who hath despised the day of small things.”
2:7 “Jude 14-15 v.v. And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds, which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”
2:8 “Deut xviii. 15 The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet… unto him shall ye hearken.”
2:9 “The Necessity of the Atonement. Luke xxiv. 26.”
2:10 “Psalm ii. 6. I have set my King upon my holy hill of Lion.”
2:11 “The Syrophenician Woman. Matt xv. 21-28.”
2:12 “Ezek. Xxxiii. 20. Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the Lord.”
2:13 “Galatians iii. 24 The law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.”
2:14 “Rom. X. I. Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.”
2:15 “Ephesians vi. 18. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit”
2:16 “1 Corinthians ii:2 I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified.”
2:17 Heb xi. 4. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.”
2:18 “Gen. v. 24. Enoch walked with God.”
2:19 “Hebrews XI. 5 By faith Enoch was translated.”
2:20 “Hebrews XI. 8. By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.”
2:21 “Hebrews xi. 9. 10. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: for he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”
2:22 “Hebrews xi. 17. By faith Abraham.. offered up Isaac.”
2:23 “Hebrews xi. 20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.”
2:24 “Hebrews xi. 17-19. By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, that in Isaac shall thy seed be called: accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.”
2:25 “Hebrews xi. 21. By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.”
2:26 “Hebrews xi. 23. By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment.”
2:27 “Hebrews xi. By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.”
2:28 “Hebrews xi. 24-26.”
2:29 “Hebrews xi. Through faith he kept the Passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.”
2:30 “Hebrews xi. 29. By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.”
2:31 “Hebrews xi. 30. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.”
2:32 “Rev: ii. 4. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.”
2:33 “The Two Debtors Luke vii. 41-43”
2:34 Loose Sermon Texts
2:35 “Psalm xivi. 1. God is our refuge and strength a very present help in trouble.”
2:36 “Prayer”
2:37 “Rev ii. 5. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works. V.y. To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.”
2:38 “Ephesians vi. 14 Stand therefore.”
Box 3
3:1 “Luke xvii. 32 Remember Lot’s Wife”
3:2 “Jeremiah v. 31 And what will ye do in the end thereof.”
3:3 “Matt xxxvi. 26. 27 And as they were eating Jesus took bread and blessed it… And he took the cup and gave thanks.”
3:4 “Luke xxiv. 34. The Lord is risen indeed.”
3:5 “Luke xvi: 31 If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”
3:6 “John viii. 12. I am the light of the world.”
3:7 “Revelation iv: 1 Come up hither.”
3:8 “John xx. 27. Then Saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing.”
3:9 “John xx. 29. Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”
3:10 “II Cor iv. 3. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost.”
3:11 “Romans X. I. Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.”
3:12 “Faith in J. C. the ground of consolation.”
3:13 Loose Sermon Text
3:14 “The Wicked Husbandmen”
3:15 “Mark viii. What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
3:16 “The Wicked Husbandmen”
3:17 “Deut xi. 18-21.”
3:18 “Romans 1: 16. I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.”
3:19 “Matt v. 14-16. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
3:20 “Matt vi. 9 After this manner therefore pray ye.”
3:21 “1 John 2. 14. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the work of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.”
3:22 “Gal iii: 24. The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ.”
3:23 “Brotherly Love.”
3:24 “Acts ii. 22. Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles, and wonders and signs.”
3:25 “II Kings v. 12. 13. Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage. And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?”
3:26 “Ephesians vi. 14. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth.”
3:27 “Matt. Xiii. 44. The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.”
3:28 “Matt ii. 2 Where is he that is born King of the Jews.”
3:29 “ii. Tim. iii. 16. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”
3:30 “ii Timothy 3;16. All scripture is given by inspiration of God.”
3:31 “Isaiah ix.6.”
3:32 Loose Sermon Text
3:33 “Gen xiii.12. And Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom.”
3:34 Loose Sermon Texts
3:35 “Types of Symbols”
3:36 “Analysis of the Law of Moses”
3:37 “Acts vii. 25. But they understood not.”
3:38 “Peter i.i. Peter, an Apostle of Jesus Christ.”
Box 4
4:1 “Peter, an Apostle of Jesus Christ.”
4:2 “John xx. 29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”
4:3 Untitled Sermon
4:4 “John xix. 30 It is finished.”
4:5 “Matt xvii. 14 It is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.”
4:6 “John vi. 44. No man can come to me except the Father… draws him.”
4:7 “Gen ii. 3. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.”
4:8 Correspondence
4:9 “Matt xxii. 42 What think ye of Christ?”
4:10 “John xx. 24.25 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
4:11 “The Sermon on the Mount.”
4:12 “The Sermon on the Mount. No 2. Division. Locality.”
4:13 “Matt v. 3. Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
4:14 “Matt v. 14 Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted.”
4:15 “Matt: 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.”
4:16 “Matt v.6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”
4:17 “Matt 5.7. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”
4:18 “Matt v. 8. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”
4:19 “Matt. 5. 9. Blessed are the peace-makers: for they shall be called the children of God.”
4:20 “Matt. V. 10-12.”
4:21 “Matt v. 13. Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.”
4:22 “Matt. V. 17-19. Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
4:23 “Matt v. 20. Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
4:24 “Matt v. 21-26.”
4:25 “Matt v. 25-26. Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.”
4:26 “Matt v. 27-30”
4:27 “Matt v. 33-37”
4:28 “Matt v. 38-42.”
4:29 “Matt v. 43-47”
4:30 “Matt vi. 1-6.”
4:31 “Matt vi. 9. Our Father which art in heaven.”
4:32 “Matt: 6.9. Hallowed by thy name.”
4:33 “Matt vi. 10 Thy kingdom come.”
4:34 “Submission”
4:35 “Matthew vi. ii. Give us this day our daily bread.”
4:36 “Matt vi. 12 And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.”
4:37 “Matt. vi. 13. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
Box 5
5:1 “Matt vi. 13. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”
5:2 “Matt vi. 19-21 Lay not up for your: treasures upon earth.”
5:3 “Matt vi.23. If the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness.”
5:4 “God and Mammon.”
5:5 “Matt vii. 1-5.”
5:6 “Matt vii. 7-11.”
5:7 “Matt vii. 7-11.”
5:8 “Matt vii. 7-11.”
5:9 “Matt vii. 12. Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”
5:10 “Matt vii. 13.14. Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
5:11 “Matt vii. 21-23.”
5:12 “Matt vii. 22-23.”
5:13 “Luke xxii.19. This do in remembrance of me.”
5:14 “The Fruitless Fig Tree.”
5:15 “Acts iv. 33.”
5:16 Loose Sermon Text
5:17 Sunday School notes
5:18 “The Mince or Pounds. Luke xix. 11-27.”
5:19 “The Cleansing of the Leper. No 2. Mark 1. 41-42.”
5:20 “Dives and Lazarus. Luke xvi. 19.31.”
5:21 “The drag. Net. Matt. xiii.47.50.”
5:22 “The Talents. Matt xxv. 14.30”
5:23 “The Pharisee and the Publican Luke xviii.9.14.”
5:24 Map of Palestine
5:25 “Baptismal Service.”
5:26 “Marriage Ceremony.”
5:27 “Marriage Ceremony.”
5:28 “Timothy”
5:29 “Burial Service.”
5:30 “Communion Service.”
5:31 “The Prodigal Son Luke xv.11-16.”
5:32 “The Prodigal Son. No 2. Luke xv.17-24.”
5:33 Sunday School Notes
5:34 “The Wedding Garment Matt xxii. 11-14.”
5:35 Untitled Sermon
5:36 “The Cleansing of the Leper Matt viii. 1-4. Mark 1.40-45. Luke v.12-16.”
5:37 “The healing of Simon Peter’s Wife’s Mother.”
5:38 “The Demoniac in the Synagogue of Capernaum.”
5:39 “The Miracles Draught of Fishes Luke v. 1-11.”
5:40 “The Healing of the Centurion’s Servant Matt viii. 5-13. Luke vii.1-10.”
Box 6
6:1 “Luke xxiii:33-43. The Penitent Thief.”
6:2 “The Healing of the Paralytic.”
6:3 “The Friend at Midnight Luke xi. 5-8.”
6:4 “The Unmerciful Servant”
6:5 Sunday School Notes
6:6 “The Unjust Steward Luke xvi.1-13.”
6:7 “The Mustard Seed The Leaven.”
6:8 “Matt 5.20. Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
6:9 “Blind Barlimens.”
6:10 “2 Cor iv. 3. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost.”
6:11 “The Good Samaritan Luke x. 35-37.”
6:12 “The Unjust Judge. Luke xviii.1-8”
6:13 “The Ten Virgins”
6:14 “The Marriage of the King’s Son No 2.”
6:15 “The Marriage of the King’s Son No 1.”
6:16 “The Prodigal Son No 3. Luke xv. 25-32.”
6:17 Sunday School Notes
6:18 “Matt xxiv. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.”
6:19 Sunday School Notes
6:20 “Rev. iv.i Come up hither.”
6:21 Sunday School Notes
6:22 “Luke viii.14. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.”
6:23 Sunday School Notes
6:24 “Matt xiii.21. Yet hath he not root in himself.”
6:25 Sunday School Notes
6:26 “The seed growing secretly. Mark iv.26-29.”
6:27 Sunday School Notes
6:28 “Acts xi.23. Cleave unto the Lord.”
6:29 “Acts xi.19-24.”
6:30 “Mark iv.40. How is it that ye have no faith?”
6:31 “Mark iv.40. How is it that ye have no faith?”
6:32 “Acts 2.42. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
6:33 “ii Cor iv.4. The light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God.”
6:34 “The Barren Fig Tree. Luke xiii.6-9.”
6:35 “The Water made Wine John ii.1-12. No 1.”
6:36 “The Water made Wine John ii.1-12. No 2.”
6:37 Sunday School Notes
6:38 “The Healing of the Nobleman’s Son John iv. 46-54.”
6:39 Sunday School Notes
6:40 “Matt vii.15-20.”
6:41 Sunday School Notes
6:42 “Heb viii.12. I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”
6:43 “Gal. iii.28. Ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”
6:44 Sunday School Notes
6:45 Untitled Sermon
6:46 “Exodus x. 3 Thus saith the Lord God of the Hebrews, How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me?”
6:47 “”
6:48 “John vii.17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God.”
6:49 “I Cor. 16:13. Quit you like men.”


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