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Identifier: R-MC 027

Jacob R. Van Arsdale Letters


  • 1827-1835

Scope and Content Note

This collection offers a glimpse into the life of a member of the Rutgers College Class of 1830 as told through correspondence between members of the Van Arsdale family of Pluckemin, New Jersey. The bulk of the letters contained in this collection were written by Jacob Van Arsdale, who enrolled at Rutgers College at the age of 17 and pursued additional studies at New Brunswick Theological Seminary after completing his work at Rutgers. All but three of the letters are addressed by Jacob to Jacob's father, Isaac Van Arsdale, and describe events and personalities at Rutgers as seen through the eyes of young Jacob. Jacob's subjects run from the very mundane routine of life in New Brunswick at that time to his own reflections on his education and on the state of religion, and his perception of the quality of the instruction he receives at Rutgers and New Brunswick Theological Seminary. The letters also cover the initial two years of his pastoral ministry, which began after his graduation from New Brunswick Theological Seminary in 1833.


38 items (5 folders)

Language of Materials



The letters of Jacob R. Van Arsdale include two letters to Jacob's father Isaac, from Jacob's uncle Henry Van Arsdale, on the subject of Jacob's entry into Rutgers College, and one letter to Isaac Van Arsdale from Peter J. Nevius. The remaining correspondence consists of letters from Jacob to his father while a student at both Rutgers College and New Brunswick Theological Seminary and during the initial years of his pastoral ministry.

Biographical Sketch of Jacob R. Van Arsdale

Jacob R. Van Arsdale was born September 13, 1811 to Isaac and Laura (Lane) Van Arsdale. He married Martha Dawes of Stanton, NJ, and together they raised a family of eleven children. Jacob earned an A.B. degree from Rutgers College in 1830 and graduated from the New Brunwsick Seminary in 1833. He was a clergyman of the Reformed Church of America, serving as pastor of the Reformed Churches of Berne, New York (1834-35), Stanton/Mt. Pleasant, New Jersey (1835-50), and Tyre, New York (1850-1864). Jacob Van Arsdale died in 1871.

Arrangement Note

The Van Arsdale Collection is located in five folders. Folder One contains three letters to Jacob Van Arsdale's father, Isaac, from Peter Nevius and Henry Van Arsdale just before Jacob becomes a student at Rutgers, 1827-28. Folder Two contains ten letters to Jacob Van Arsdale's father, Isaac Van Arsdale, from Jacob while a student at Rutgers, 1828-29. Folder Three contains ten letters to Jacob Van Arsdale's father, Isaac Van Arsdale, from Jacob while a student at Rutgers, 1829-30.

Folder Four contains ten letters to Jacob Van Arsdale's father, Isaac Van Arsdale, from Jacob while a student at New Brunswick Theological Seminary (1830-1833) and in the years immediately following his graduation from the seminary (1834-35), and three receipts for board. Folder Five contains typewritten transcriptions of all of the letters in folders One to Four, except for the last three letters.

Guide to the Jacob R. Van Arsdale Letters, 1827-1835 R-MC 027
Edited Full Draft
John Riddle
October 1997
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Revision Statements

  • June 3, 2004: vanarsdale converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).

Part of the Rutgers University Archives Repository

Rutgers University Libraries
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
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New Brunswick NJ 08901-1163
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