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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.
Founded in 1857 by a group of interested students, the Natural History Society of Rutgers College enjoyed a short but active life under the direction of Professor George Cook. The records include founding documents such as the society's constitution, minutes, catalogs of donations to the society, bulletins , correspondence from honorary and corresponding members, financial records, and newspaper and other accounts of the society's activities.