Hopkins, Samuel. Papers, 1766-1803.

Collection Information

Samuel Hopkins papers, 1766-1803.


Hopkins, Samuel 1721-1803


1766-1767, 1803


1 folder (0.01 cubic feet)

18 unique page images: archival TIF, derivative JPEG & PDF

Collection ID #:


Conditions Governing Access:

Access to the physical items is restricted. Digital surrogates are to be used instead. Exceptions may be granted in cases of extenuating circumstance, at the discretion of the Librarian.

Technical Access:

To access digital user's copies via online interface, a java-enabled web browser is required. Internet Explorer 8.x and later, Firefox 5.x and later, Opera 12 and later, Safari 5.x and later, or any version of Google Chrome are recommended.

Copyright: Preferred Citation:

[Identification of item], in the Samuel Hopkins papers, MS4865. The Congregational Library & Archives, Boston, MA.



Processing information:

Collection processed by Anderson Boone, September 2014, using DACS 2nd Edition.


Samuel Hopkins (1766-1803) was a Congregational minister in the New England area. This collection contains three letters, two written in Hopkins's hand from 1766, 1767. The letter from 1803 was not written in Hopkins's hand, but it is presumed to be dictated by him, and transcribed by an unknown person, due to Hopkins's age, and illness.

Acquisition Information:

No acquisition record of this collection can be found.


Accruals are expected for this collection in the form of full-text transcriptions of digital duplicates. There is no projected date for this accrual.


Historical Note

Samuel Hopkins (1766-1803) was a Congregational minister in the New England area. Born in Connecticut he was educated at Yale, and later studied under Johnathan Edwards (1703-1758). Hopkins preached in Sheffield (now Great Barrington) from 1743-1769, until a difference in theology between Hopkins and his congregation forced him to leave Sheffield. Hopkins then traveled to Newport Rhode Island, where he preached from 1770-1803, when he died. During the Revolutionary War, Hopkins fled Newport, and continued to preach at Newburyport in Massachusetts, as well as Canterbury and Stamford Connecticut (1776-1780). Hopkins is an important figure in Congregationalism, because of the school of theological thought that bears his name, Hopkinsianism, sometimes called New Divinity. Hopkins is also prominent as an early abolitionist, being one of the first Congregationalist ministers to denounce slavery, despite owning slaves at one time in his life.


Scope of Collection

This collection contains only one series, which contains only three individual items. These are three letters, two of which are written in Hopkins's handwriting (1766 and 1767), the other (1803) is presumably dictated by Hopkins, due to age, and illness. The letters written in 1766 and 1767 are to a Mr. Ebenezer Little in Newbury Massachusetts, thanking him for his hospitality in hosting Hopkins while he preached/stayed in Newbury. The 1803 letter is addressed to a man named Fuller, who may have lived in Newport, and may have also been a congregational minister. It is likely that it was dictated by Hopkins, because it begins with describing his poor health, and then launches into a theological argument. The 1803 letter may have been a draft, due to numerous crossed out words, scrawled additions, and being unsigned.


Further Searches

Subject Headings

Hopkins, Samuel, 1721-1803.

Hopkins, Samuel, 1721-1803. Correspondence.


New Divinity theology.

Theologians – United States – Correspondence.


Related Materials

At the Congregational Library and Archives:

Great Barrington, Mass, First Church Covenant and Confession of Faith RG4866

An Inquiry Concerning the Future State of Those Who Die in Their Sins by Samuel Hopkins (1783)

An Inquiry into the Nature of True Holiness by Samuel Hopkins (1773)

Timely Articles on Slavery by Samuel Hopkins, (1787) 28.9.4

Memoir of the Life and Character of Rev. Samuel Hopkins, D.D. by John Ferguson (1830) H77.47F

Memoir of the Life and Character of Samuel Hopkins by Edwards Park (1854) H77.47P

Samuel Hopkins and the New Divinity Movement by Joseph A. Conforti (1981), H77.47C

The Congregational Library and Archive holds many more works, by and on Samuel Hopkins. Please consult our catalog for more resources.

A portrait of Samuel Hopkins also hangs in the reading room of the Congregational Library and Archive.



Since this collection contains only three items in a single series called correspondence. The collection has been arranged in chronological order to best present the resources.



  Date Location
Letter to Mr. Little, 1766 1766 July 18 F1
    Online Interface
Letter to Mr. Littel, 1767 1767 January 9 F1
    Online Interface
Letter to Fuller, 1803 1803 October 18 F1
    Online Interface


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