Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Josiah Addison Cary Sermon Notebooks, 1838-1845

Finding aid created by
Clements Staff and Meg Hixon, December 2011

Summary Information
Title: Josiah Addison Cary sermon notebooks
Creator: Cary, J. Addison (Josiah Addison), 1813-1852
Inclusive dates: 1838-1845
Extent: 3 items
This collection contains two notebooks that Josiah Addison Cary kept about sermons he heard while in New York City from 1838-1839 and 1844-1845, as well as an empty wallet. Cary most frequently heard Presbyterian minister Thomas Harvey Skinner, who spoke on a variety of religious topics such as morality and faith.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1995. M-3106.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Josiah Addison Cary Sermon Notebooks, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Josiah Addison Cary was born in West Brookfield, Massachusetts, in March 1813, the son of Josiah Cary and Betsey Henry. After graduating from Amherst College in 1832, he attended Union Theological Seminary; he received a degree in 1839. Cary remained in New York City as a resident licentiate until 1843 and was ordained a Presbyterian minister in 1844. Between 1832 and 1851, he taught at the city's Deaf and Dumb Institute, and in 1851 he became principal of the Deaf and Dumb Institute in Columbus, Ohio. He and his wife, Gertrude Jenkins, had three children: Mary, Naman, and Josiah. Josiah Addison Cary died in Columbus on August 7, 1852

Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection contains two notebooks that Josiah Addison Cary kept about sermons he heard while in New York City from 1838-1839 and 1844-1845, as well as an empty wallet.

The first volume (around 120 pages) contains notes on sermons that Cary attended almost weekly between February 4, 1838, and February 17, 1839, with a gap between June and December 1838. Among the clergymen he heard were Thomas Harvey Skinner (1791-1871), Dr. Cox of the Spring Street Church, Dr. Burchard of the "Ch. Chapel," J. Parker, and "Dr. Beecher." Cary most frequently attended Thomas Skinner's sermons, which often related to morality and faith.

The second volume (around 220 pages), which Cary kept between June 30, 1844, and September 7, 1845, is entitled "Reports of Sermons in Mercer Street Church" and mainly contains notes on services by Thomas Skinner. The entries, composed almost weekly and often several pages long, contain contain citations of relevant Biblical verses and an outline of each sermon's main points. Frequent topics included the human conscience and morality, particularly in Dr. Beecher's sermon of June 24, 1838, and other aspects of faith and Christian life. Skinner also delivered a sermon addressing the Catholic Church's power in Europe and the role of religion in the establishment of the American colonies (February 16, 1845).

Subject Terms

    • Christian life--United States.
    • Clergy--New York (State)--New York--Sermons.
    • Mercer Street Presbyterian Church (New York, N.Y.)
    • New York (N.Y.)--Religious life and customs.
    • Presbyterian Church--Clergy.
    • Presbyterians--United States.
    • Sermons, American--New York (N.Y.)
    • Skinner, Thomas H. (Thomas Harvey), 1791-1871.
    Genre Terms:
    • Notes.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Josiah Addison Cary sermon notebooks [series]
    Volume   1  
    Josiah Addison Cary notebook,  February 4, 1838-February 17, 1839
    Volume   2  
    "Reports of Sermons in Mercer Street Church,"  June 30, 1844-September 7, 1845
    Volume   3  
    Leather wallet
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    The Book Division has the following published volume: Cary, J. Addison. The Blessedness of Beneficence: a Discourse Delivered In the West Reformed Dutch Church of New York, January 26, 1851. Columbus [Ohio]: Printed by Scott & Bascom, 1852.


    McClintock, John, and James Strong. "Cary, Josiah Addison." Cyclopædia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature. Volume 1. New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, 1885.