Collection History

Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) was born in East Windsor, Connecticut on October 5, 1703 to Rev. Timothy and Esther Edwards. He attended Yale for both undergraduate and graduate studies, graduating in 1722. He became pastor in Northampton, Massachusetts in 1726, succeeding his grandfather Solomon Stoddard. In 1727 he married Sarah Pierpont and together the couple raised 10 children. Their daughter Esther was born February 13, 1732.

Esther married Aaron Burr (1715/6-1757), a Presbyterian pastor in Newark, New Jersey in June of 1752. Burr went on to found Princeton College in 1746. He became the school’s second president in 1748.  The couple’s son, Aaron Burr, Jr (1756-1836) was born February 6, 1756. In September of 1757 Aaron Burr, Sr. passed away due to illness. Less than a year later, in April 1758 Esther died of smallpox.

A larger biography and timeline of Jonathan Edwards' life is available from the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale.

Digital Materials

Letter to Esther Burr, 1757


Letter written by Jonathan Edwards to daughter Esther Edwards Burr dated November 20, 1757.