|Columbia University Archives|
At a Glance
This collection is arranged in one series: Series I: John Mitchell Mason papers, 1798-1814.
Scope and Contents
The collection is by no means complete, but adds some depth to knowledge of Mason's interest in the College and in his planning abilities, as well as his political connections in that very political age.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Conditions Governing Access
You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.
This collection is located offsite. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.
This collection has no restrictions.
Conditions Governing Use
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); John Mitchell Mason papers; Box and Folder; University Archives, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University Libraries.
Additional correspondence can be found in the Columbia College papers (UA#0224) and in the David C. Humphrey Collection of Revolution-Era King's College and Columbia College Student Information (MS#0634).
No additions are expected.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This collection was the gift of Mason's descendants, Mrs. Karen Lerner and Gilbert D. Brinckerhoff, M.D., to the University Archives in 2000.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
This collection was processed by Marilyn H. Pettit in December 2002.
2020-04-16 Full finding aid (JR)
History / Biographical Note
John Mitchell Mason was a graduate of Columbia College, A.B. 1789, and his careful reports and enthusiasm for changing the college curriculum and raising admission standards merged with his leadership in the same period of the "Scotch" (or Cedar Street) Presbyterian church, a small Presbyterian seminary that was the forerunner of Union Theological Seminary, teaching in the College, and outspoken Federalist political views.
Mason became de facto head of the college although given the title "provost" as a convention, since preexisting agreements with Trinity Church in the City of New-York required the head of the College to be of the Anglican/American Episcopalian communion, while Mason was a Presbyterian and an eminent Protestant leader during the period known as "the Second Great Awakening." He resigned from the Columbia College in 1816 because of his health and later served as President of Dickinson College, 1821-1830.