Skip to contentSkip to site navigation

Guide to the John Howard Raymond Papers, 1823-1913 (bulk 1823-1878)

Table of Contents

Collection Summary

Repository: Archives and Special Collections Library, Vassar College Libraries
Creator: Raymond, John H. (John Howard), 1814-1878
Title: John Howard Raymond Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1823-1913
Bulk Dates: 1823-1878
Quantity: 2.7 cubic ft (5 boxes including 1 scrapbook)
Abstract: Correspondence, manuscripts, a scrapbook, and other materials relating to Raymond's personal life as well as his work as a minister, one of the founders of the University of Rochester and then president of Vassar College.

Biographical Note

John H. Raymond (1814-1878) was born in New York City and entered Columbia College at the age of fourteen. He was expelled in his junior year for insubordination but continued his studies at Union College, where he was graduated in 1832. Raymond began the study of law, but a particularly persuasive sermon convinced him to study for the ministry. In 1838 he was graduated from the Baptist seminary at Madison (now Colgate) University and remained there as a teacher until 1850, when he, along with other Madison faculty and students, left to found the University of Rochester. He remained at Rochester for five years and became active in the antislavery cause. In 1855 Raymond became the first president of the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute.

John H. Raymond was appointed a member of Vassar's first board of trustees; and following Milo P. Jewett's resignation in 1864, he agreed to assume the presidency of the college. When Vassar opened in 1865, the responsibility for the organization of the college and its curriculum fell on Raymond's shoulders. Within Vassar he set very high standards, and outside the college he defended it from critics of higher education for women. He was married to the former Cornelia Morse. In all his relationships Raymond appears to have been able to combine dignity with warmth and understanding. His death followed a long illness, and his final words are reported to have been: "How easy it is to glide from our work in this world to our work in heaven."


Scope and Content Note

Correspondence includes letters by Raymond, 1823-1878, concerning religious issues and themes, family events, troubles with an Irish servant over alleged stealing, educational theory, the birth of his children, death of a son in a stage accident, changes at Colgate College, and other issues; includes letters while a schoolboy to his brother and his courtship letters to Cornelia Morse; letters received from Henry Fowle Durant, James Harper, and others, 1865-1875; and letter books containing copies of his outgoing correspondence as Vassar College President, 1864-1878, concerning appointments, students, his views on women's education, and other issues. Other items include manuscripts of sermons, verse, and an autobiographical sketch; propositions regarding Vassar College salaries and other issues, 1866-1868; his scrapbook on women's education, women's work, and women's rights, 1869; tributes to him, 1878 and 1913; and some letters by his wife, Cornelia Morse Raymond, relating to Vassar College concerns, 1885-1886.



This collection is open for research according to the regulations of the Vassar College Archives and Special Collections Library without any additional restrictions.

Restrictions on Use

Permission to quote (publish) from unpublished or previously published material must be obtained as described in the regulations of the Vassar College Archives and Special Collections Library.

  • Biographical information and a collection of photographs are located in the Vassariana Biographical File and the Photograph File.

Subject Headings


  • Durant, H. F. (Henry Fowle), 1822-1881.
  • Harper, James, 1795-1869.
  • Raymond family.
  • Raymond, Cornelia Morse, 1861-1952.


  • Colgate University.
  • University of Rochester.
  • Vassar College--Presidents.
  • Vassar College--Students.
  • Vassar College. Board of Trustees.


  • Clergy.
  • College administrators.
  • College presidents.
  • Courtship--New York (State)
  • Domestics.
  • Family--New York (State)
  • Irish Americans.
  • Women's colleges--New York (State)--Poughkeepsie.
  • Women's rights.
  • Women--Education.
  • Women--Employment.

Document Types:

  • Poems.
  • Scrapbooks.
  • Sermons.

Encoding Information

Encoded by Elizabeth Clarke, April 2007. Updated June 2008 by Laura Finkel.


Preferred Citation

John Howard Raymond Papers, Archives and Special Collections Library, Vassar College Libraries.

Processing Information

Original processing date unknown. Container list updated November 2006 by Elizabeth Clarke.

Acquisition Information

Gift of various donors, including Cornelia Raymond; and purchase. Four letters from Benson Lossing to John Howard Raymond and one letter to his wife, Cornelia E. Raymond may have originated with the Lossing Papers and moved at some point in the 1980s. Other material may have been moved from the Cyrys Swan Papers around the same time.


Container List

Box 5 Letter Book, 1864-1866
Box 5 Letter Book, March 3, 1866-October 15, 1875
Box 5 Letter book, January 9 [1870?]-June 17, 1878
Box 1 Correspondence some with typescripts, 1865-1877
Box 1 Cornelia M. Raymond’s Notes on John H. Raymond’s letters
Box 1 Correspondence, 1823 - June 1863
Box 2 Correspondence, July 1863 - Oct 1868
Box 3 Correspondence, Feb 1869 - July 1878, n.d.
Folder 4.2 Correspondence — A.L. Allen to John H. Raymond, 1872
Folder 4.3 Correspondence — Rufus Babcock to John H. Raymond, n.d.
Folder 4.4 Correspondence — Antoinette Blackwell to John H. Raymond, 1875
Folder 4.5 Correspondence — Edward Bright to John H. Raymond, 1873
Folder 4.6 Correspondence — S.M. Buckingham to John H. Raymond, 1872
Folder 4.7 Correspondence — Charles Collins, J.C. Lockhart, et al to John H. Raymond, 1865
Folder 4.8 Correspondence — Henry Fowle Durant to John H. Raymond, 1874-1876
Folder 4.9 Correspondence — Charles S. Farrar to John H. Raymond, n.d.
Folder 4.10 Correspondence — James Harper to John H. Raymond, 1868
Folder 4.11 Correspondence — Benson Lossing to John H. Raymond, 1867-1868
Folder 4.12 Correspondence — Benson Lossing to John H. Raymond, 1872-1873
Folder 4.13 Correspondence — Benson Lossing to John H. Raymond, 1874-1875
Folder 4.14 Correspondence — Benson Lossing to John H. Raymond, 1876-1878
Folder 4.15 Correspondence — Elias Magoon to John H. Raymond, 1873
Folder 4.16 Correspondence — Samuel F. B. Morse to John H. Raymond, 1871
Folder 4.17 Correspondence — Benson Lossing to Mrs. John H. Raymond, 1878-1883
Folder 4.18 Correspondence — E.E. Poppleton to and from John H. Raymond, ca. 1875
Folder 4.19 Correspondence — Ephraim Powell to John H. Raymond, 1873
Folder 4.20 Correspondence — Pratt to John H. Raymond, 1866
Folder 4.21 Correspondence — Cyrus Swan to John H. Raymond, 1873
Folder 4.22 Correspondence — C.W. Swift to John H. Raymond, 1869
Folder 4.23 Correspondence — Rezin A. Wight to John H. Raymond, 1875, 1893
Folder 4.24 Correspondence — Dr. Woolworth to John H. Raymond, 1866
Folder 4.25 Correspondence — Mrs. John H. Raymond to Cornelia M. Raymond, 1885-1886
Folder 4.26 Correspondence — Mrs. John H. Raymond to unidentified man, 6 Sep 1864
Folder 4.27 Miscellanesous correspondence and notes relating to Vassar College, 1866-1868
Folder 4.1 Appointment to Vassar Presidency - Extracts from Trustee meeting minutes, 29 Apr 1864
Folder 4.28 Raymond's death and memorials, 1878, 1896, n.d.
Folder 4.29 Publications
Folder 4.30 Verse, etc.
Folder 4.33 Sermons
Folder 4.34 Sermons
Folder 4.35 Sermons
Folder 4.36 Autograph undated
Box 5 Songs of Devotion
Folder 4.31 Sketchbook
Folder 4.32 Loose items removed from sketchbook
Box 1 Scrapbook on "Woman's Education, Woman's Work, Woman's Rights," 1869

Return to the Table of Contents