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James Manning papers

Scope & content

The James Manning papers consists primarily of correspondence, mostly with prominent Baptist ministers. Much of the correspondence involves the early history of Brown University, including the effects of the American Revolutionary War on the university, the solicitation of funds to the university (including the King of France), the college’s financial difficulties, the construction of University Hall and the use of the building for war purposes, various issues regarding the Baptist religion and the growing tide of religion in Providence

There is some information on Manning’s family, but the bulk of the correspondence concerns Brown University and various contemporary issues. The bulk of the dates correspond to Manning’s tenure as president of Brown.

Some of the principal and/or prominent correspondents include:

  • Granville Sharp, British abolitionist
  • Samuel Stennett, English Baptist minister
  • Thomas Ustick, Baptist minister, bookseller and librarian
  • John Rippon, English Baptist minister and editor of the Baptist Annual Register
  • Caleb Evans, Baptist clergyman
  • Oliver Hart, Baptist minister
  • David Augustus Leonard, graduate of Brown, grandfather of John Hay, ardent Baptist
  • John Collett Ryland, English Baptist
  • Abraham Booth, English Baptist
  • Thomas Llewelyn, English Baptist
  • William Gordon, English Baptist
  • Hezekiah Smith, American