[Princeton? 1796]. ,pp. Modern calf, gilt leather label. Some chipping and wear to a few leaves, light scattered foxing. Very good. Item #102
Manuscript volume of eighty-three 18th-century university theology lectures written in Taylor shorthand. Picking up at the start of the semester in January 1796, the book contains lecture notes through late February, with lectures numbered 75 to 158. The volume begins with an extensive table of contents written mostly in English, followed by over 400 pages of manuscript notes written out primarily in Taylor shorthand. Taylor shorthand was developed in 1786 by Samuel Taylor in Britain, and is comprised of nineteen simplified geometric characters. Though principally written out in shorthand, the text is interspersed with words in English, Latin, and Greek.
Lecture 94, dated January 22, mentions Dr. Smith and Jersey College, potentially linking this volume to Princeton University. Samuel Stanhope Smith was a Presbyterian minister and president of Jersey College (later Princeton) from 1795 to 1812. Smith taught at Princeton from 1779 onward, first as a professor of moral philosophy and later as a professor of theology; he also served on the board of trustees. He was married to Ann Witherspoon, daughter of the previous president of the college, John Witherspoon, and was elected to the presidency upon Witherspoon’s death.
An unusual and fascinating artifact of 18th-century higher education.