Collection inventory

Special Collections home page
printer friendly version

Leonard Woods Letters

An inventory of his correspondence at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Woods, Leonard, 1774-1854.
Title: Leonard Woods Letters
Inclusive Dates: 1796-1832
Quantity: 0.25 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the American Congregationalist clergyman. Mainly outgoing correspondence to brother-in-law Isaac Warren about Woods' career as a minister, from his education and ordination to his work as a theology professor at Andover Theological Seminary.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Leonard Woods (1774-1854) was an American Congregationalist clergyman and author. A graduate of Harvard University, he taught at Andover Theological Seminary and helped establish several Christian social agencies including the American Tract Society, the American Education Society, the Temperance Society, and the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.

Return to top

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Leonard Woods Letters comprise 83 items of outgoing correspondence to Woods' brother-in-law Isaac Warren of Cambridge. In addition there are two items of incoming correspondence, one from nephew Samuel Warren (10 Apr 1813), the other from Isaac Warren (21 Mar 1827).

The correspondence focuses on Woods' religious training for the ministry and, later, on his teaching at Andover Theological Seminary. Other topics of discussion include the preaching of sermons, financial arrangements for sending students from Andover to preach in Boston, various philanthropic projects of Warren; and religious controversies involving other ministers, including Henry Ware and Jedidiah Morse. The letters also document a number of family matters, including births, illnesses, marriages, deaths, and the religious education of children. The flavor of the correspondence is summed up in the following passages from the last letter (1 Jul 1832):

One remark in your letter I thought quite worth of consideration; that is, the remark you made as to the impropriety of introducing all sorts of subjects in conversation on the Sabbath. I believe that ministers and Christians generally fault in that subject.
May if please our merciful heavenly Father to help us by his gracious Spirit, so that we may do good while we live, be faithful unto death, & receive at last the crown of eternal life. If our trials & losses & sufferings may conduce to this end, happy trials, happy losses, & happy sufferings. I hope you will dwell on this thought. & your mind be unburdened of all anxious cares, & filled with the peace which Jesus gives.

Return to top

Arrangement of the Collection

Letters are arranged in chronological order.

Return to top


Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Return to top

Subject Headings


Morse, Jedidiah, 1761-1826.
Warren, Isaac.
Woods, Leonard, 1774-1854.

Corporate Bodies

Andover Theological Seminary.


Clergy -- Family relationships.
Clergy -- United States.
Congregational churches -- Clergy.
Congregationalists -- United States.
Religious education.
Theological seminaries.

Genres and Forms

Letters (correspondence)



Return to top

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Leonard Woods Letters,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Finding Aid Information

Created by: KM
Date: Oct 1988
Revision history: 3 Dec 2009 - converted to EAD (MRC)

Return to top