The Eugenia Jones Bacon Manuscript Collection

Collection Summary

Creator: Bacon, Eugenia Jones, 1840-1920
Dates: 1880-1908
Extent: 1 Box (0.3 linear feet)
Language(s): English
Repository: Princeton Theological Seminary Libraries. Special Collections.

Biographical Information

In September of 1880 Mrs. Eugenia Jones Bacon of Atlanta, Georgia attended the deci-annual Passion Play in Oberammergau, Bavaria. While there she climbed the mountain Kopfel that overlooks the village and collected some minerals and rocks. Eight years later, after viewing one of the stones in a certain light, noticed that the rough edge on one side showed an image the face of Jesus. Experts of the day investigated, to find that the stone did not appear to have been carved or altered by human hands.

The entrepreneurial Mrs. Bacon called the stone "the Natural Portrait Stone," (also referred to as "the Wonder Stone"). She had the stone exhibited at many places, including the Vatican and Buckingham Palace. Three works about the stone were written by Bacon, including: A Stone from Oberammergau: With a Description of This Wonderful Phenomenon. New York: J. Pott & Co, 1891; The Stone Portrait of the Man of Sorrows, An Ideal of Patient Suffering. London: Lamley, 1896; and The Real Stone Face; or, Suffering Depicted by Nature. Atlanta: Foote & Davies, 1899.

In 1898, Bacon published Lyddy: A Tale of the Old South, a fictionalized memoir of her life, written as a response to Harriett Beecher Stowe's 1852 anti-slavery work Uncle Tom's Cabin.


Scope and Content

This collection consists of various documents related to the "Wonder Stone," including various pamphlets, printed testimonials, Mrs. Bacon's manuscript recollections, correspondence with Dr. Charles Erdman of the Seminary (1908), and numerous photographs.



Bacon, Eugenia Jones, 1840-1921--Manuscripts.

Princeton Theological Seminary. Library. Manuscript collections.


Administrative Information

Processing Information

It is not currently known how these items were acquired by the Seminary. They may have been given to the library by Dr. Charles R. Erdman. These documents were organized as a manuscript collection in December of 1996 under the direction of William O. Harris, Archivist. The finding aid was edited by Sarah Seraphin in February of 2009.


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.

Use of Materials

The following is the acceptable citation for publication: The Eugenia Jones Bacon Manuscript Collection. Special Collections, Princeton Theological Seminary Library.


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