Guide to the Record Book of the Literary Clubs of Newark1786-1799MG 180

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Historical Note

Scope and Content Note

Restrictions

Access Points

Related Material

Administrative Information

Guide to the Record Book of the Literary Clubs of Newark1786-1799MG 180Inventory prepared by Bob Golon as part of the "Farm to City" project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Guide to the Record Book of the Literary Clubs of Newark
1786-1799

MG 180



The New Jersey Historical Society
52 Park Place
Newark, New Jersey 07102
Contact: NJHS Library
(973) 596-8500 x249
© 2004 All rights reserved.
The New Jersey Historical Society, Publisher
Inventory prepared by Bob Golon as part of the "Farm to City" project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Finding aid encoded by Danielle Kovacs. February 2004. Production of the EAD 2002 version of this finding aid was made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Finding aid written in English.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Literary Clubs of Newark (N.J.) Record Book
Dates:1786-1799
Abstract: Consists of the records from three men's literary societies of Newark: the Belles-Lettres Society, the Minerva Society, and the Union Society.
Quantity: 0.08 linear feet (1 item in 1 folder)
Collection Number: MG 180

Historical Note

In the late 18th century, literary societies were a source of social and fraternal activity in Newark. The Belles-Lettres, Minerva, and Union Societies shared common goals of brotherhood, gentlemanly debate, literary awareness and social responsibility. The Belles-Lettres Society was, according to its constitution, "instituted for literary improvement," with the three exercises of each meeting being reading, writing, and speaking. The Minerva Society was founded to "promote and cultivate a love of literature, friendship, and morality." The Union Society was "instituted for the improvement in literature and science…(stressing) the importance of acquiring knowledge in youth when the mind is free from pursuits which commonly engage it when arrived at a more advanced age." Membership was all male.

Discussion at the meetings centered on social and political topics of the day, including slavery, education, the merits and drawbacks of an agricultural versus an urban society, and legal issues such as capital punishment. The groups met on a weekly basis.

William Halsey (1770-1843), the first Mayor of Newark, Joseph C. Hornblower (1777-1864), Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, and Elias Van Arsdale (1770-1846), President of the State Bank of Newark, were members of one or more of these organizations as young men.

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Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of the records from three men's literary societies of Newark: the Belles-Lettres Society, the Minerva Society, and the Union Society. The bound volume contains a separate section for each group, each containing the constitution, rules and bylaws of the organization, and a full membership list. The minutes and notes from meetings are recorded for each group, as well as a listing of discussion topics for each meeting.

This collection also consists of a section of legal questions and answers, resembling a transcript of a legal interrogation. It does not appear to be related to the literary societies activities. It may have been the work of Joseph C. Hornblower, Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, as this collection was donated by Caroline Bradley Hornblower, his granddaughter.

Multiple pages are torn out of the bound volume at two different locations.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Photocopying of materials is limited and no materials may be photocopied without permission from library staff.

Use Restrictions

Researchers wishing to publish, reproduce, or reprint materials from this collection must obtain permission.

The New Jersey Historical Society complies with the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code), which governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions and protects unpublished materials as well as published materials.

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Access Points

The entries below represent persons, organizations, topics, forms, and occupations documented in this collection.
Subject Names:
Camp, John, fl. 1790.
Coe, Aaron, fl. 1798.
Condit, Aaron, fl. 1790.
Halsey, William, 1770-1843.
Heard, James, fl. 1790.
Hornblower, Joseph C. (Joseph Coerten), 1777-1864.
Macwhorter, John, fl. 1790.
Ogden, David Bayard, 1775-1849.
Rogers, Joseph, fl. 1790.
Van Arsdale, Elias, 1770-1846.
Subject Organizations:
Belles-Lettres Society (Newark, N.J.)
Minerva Society (Newark, N.J.)
Union Society (Newark, N.J.)
Subject Topics:
Literature societies, etc.
Subject Places:
Newark (N.J.)
Document Types:
Minute books.
Minutes.
Notebooks.

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Related Material

For materials related to literary societies and clubs or the individuals documented in this collection, see:

Manuscript Group 10, Hornblower Family Papers

Manuscript Group 89, Sayers Coe Records

Manuscript Group 92, William W. Morris Biographical Sketches of Newark Mayors

Manuscript Group 291 Baldwin-Brown-Coe Family Papers

Manuscript Group 386, Ogden Family Papers

Manuscript Group 454, Condit-Dodd Family Papers

Manuscript Group 1000, Ann Ogilvie Account Book

Manuscript Group 1025, Estate of James W. Burnett Records

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as: Manuscript Group 180, Literary Clubs of Newark (N.J.) Record Book, The New Jersey Historical Society.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Caroline Bradley Hornblower, 1881.

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