Date Published: 1892 to 1931
Binding: No binding & hard cover
Henry Van Dyke was a Presbyterian clergyman, author, and professor was born on November 10, 1852, in Germantown, Pennsylvania. Van Dyke attended Princeton University and received his B.A. in 1873 and an M.A. in 1876. He then spent the next two years studying at the University of Berlin and when he returned to the United States, he was ordained as a Presbyterian minister. For the first four years of his ministry, Van Dyke served as a pastor of the United Congregational Church of Newport, Rhode Island. In 1883, he left Newport to become the pastor of the Brick Presbyterian Church of New York City where he stayed for eighteen years. While in New York, Van Dyke gained a national reputation as one of the greatest preachers of New York City and also published his first book in 1884, The Reality of Religion. Van Dyke published several other books, short stories, and poems during his lifetime, usually incorporating religious matters and literary criticism. In 1900, Van Dyke became the Murray Professor of English Literature at Princeton and would remain in that position through 1923, when he retired. In 1908-1909, Van Dyke also served as a visiting lecturer for the University of Paris and in 1913, President Woodrow Wilson appointed him the United States minister to the Netherlands and Luxembourg. Henry Van Dyke died at his home in Princeton, New Jersey, on April 10,1933. quoted from Brown University finding aid.
Henry van Dyke Collection contains 95 items dating from 1892 to 1931, specifically 37 Autograph letters signed, 30 Typed letters signed, 6 Manuscripts, 11 Autographed signed notes / cards and 12 Ephemera.
Henry van Dyke Collection contents:
• Correspondence with Charles Williston McAlpin, Princeton University’s secretary. 27 letters (18 ALS, 9 TLS), written by van Dyke between 1897 and 1929, most with envelopes. 21 July 1897, McAlpin’s donation of $1,000 for the new organ; 13 December 1898, re serving on a committee in the McAlpin Memorial Home; 21 May 1899, re talking with McAlpin at a church meeting; 8 June 1899, re Babcock Memorial fund, travelling to Canada, will be with McAlpin’s father the second Sunday in August; 22 October 1899, re wants to consult with McAlpin; 22 March 1900 (TLS), re memorial tablet for Dean Murray in the University Chapel; 17 December 1900, re action by the Trustees, pleased that McAlpin and his wife are at Princeton nearby; 3 May 1901, re gift of $150, McAlpin’s father’s funeral and friendship; 20 December 1901 , re check for $500 for the Babcock Memorial fund; 26 December 1901, re McAlpin’s generous gift to the Babock fund; 23 December 1906, re wishing McAlpin and wife a merry Christmas; ; 29 December 1906, thanking him for the gift of the book; 18 July 1907, re his departure for the Adirondacks, his journey to Palestine; 3 January 1911, re McAlpin’s kindness at Christmas, the excellent cigar; 11 November 1911 (TLS), re Jim’s state of health; 26 December 1911, re greetings from the peaceful banks of Stony Brooke, Christmas, Partagas, fragrant ring of smoke in the direction of Glen McAlpin; 23 January 1913, asking McAlpin replying to a letter, packing up; 25 January 1913, re President’s nomination of van Dyke as Ambassador to the Netherlands, reminds McAlpin that his wife is Dutch; 8 November 1913 (TLS), re van Dyke’s stay at the Hague, weather there, interesting work, International Conference on Education, promotion of the Third Peace Conference, his leave of absence without salary; 19 March 1916, thanks him for the box of cigars, sailing on the S.S. Rotterdam weather very rough but not disturbing van Dyke’s equanimity, sinking of ships during the war disturbing, being in God’s hands; 6 January 1925, re getting over the flu, box of cigars, planning to go on a fishing trip to New Zealand; 22 January 1927 (TLS), staying with McAlpin and his wife in New York, dinner of the Signs of the Zodiac at Mr. J.P. Morgan’s; 9 April 1928 (TLS), re invitation to dinner of the American Academy of Arts and Letters at the Hotel Biltmore; 12 April 1928 (TLS), re sorry that McAlpin and his wife are unable to dine with him, accepts invitation to stay with McAlpin; 3 December 1929 (TLS), re staying with McAlpin and his wife; 6 December 1929 (TLS), re van Dyke staying with McAlpin but unable to go with the McAlpins to the theatre.
16 Autographed Letters Signed (ALS):
• ALS to George H. Putnam (letterhead of The Brick Church on Fifth Ave N.Y. where van Dyke was pastor), 5 January 1892 or 1897, recommending Leonard C. van Noppen, well known poet and translator of Dutch literature.
• 3 ALS to George Park Fisher (American theologian and professor of ecclesiastical history at Yale University), 18 February 1897, 12 September 1902, and n.d (the latter 6 pp.), re (“our chance of a good talk on the yacht was gobbled up by an academic misunderstanding”), their shared Christian values, and Van Dyke’s appreciation of Fisher’s History of Christian Doctrine.
• ALS addressed Dear Sir, 30 November 1890, re his lecture, “The Study of Tennyson” or “The Childhood of Christ in Art” on 23 February.
• ALS to Dr. Mason, 21 November 1891, re Mr. Hathaway receiving an honorary doctorate.
• ALS to Mr. Tucker, 17 July 1897, re Tucker’s book of Biblical quotations in Scribner’s Cameo Series.
• ALS to My dear Friend, 14 January 1898, re activities of the Brick Church.
• ALS to Miss Lockwood, 9 Jan. 1902, informing her that he can’t be at Mt. Vernon on 3 June because he’s travelling from the University of Missouri to Trinity College, North Carolina.
• ALS to Rev. Dr. William Elliot Griffis, June 22, 1903 (dict and signed) sending 1 dollar (not included) for a copy of Chambers Memoir
• ALS to Earl M. Benson, 19 September 1929, giving Benson permission to reprint “The Americanism of Washington”.
• ALS addressed “Dear Sir”, 25 April 1913, telling his correspondence that the shortness of his stay (in San Francisco) has prevented him from making an appointment and he can probably find what he wants by consulting the poetry of Ella Wheeler Wilcox or The Book of Verse.
• ALS addressed Dear Sir, 4 July 1920, re return to the Main Coast, just back from Japan, trout fishing.
• ALS to Edwin A. Elsbach, 19 July 1921, sends him his autograph and apologizes for the delay in it sending because his wife was ill, now recovered.
• ALS without a named recipient, 3 April 1924, “You made a good guess at the story. But go on a little further….”
• ALS to Dr. Davenport West, 22 March 1930, with envelope, “mighty pleasant to get” his “note yesterday, in the corner of the screened verandah where my lunch is served” [The Gasparilla Inn, Boca Grande, Florida], hopes to see him at Princeton at the end of the month, van Dyke’s illness
22 Typed Letters Signed (TLS):
• TLS to Rev. Dr. William Elliot Griffis, Feb. 20, 1899 Condolences on Griffis’s wife death and and asking for one of his preachers at the Brick Church next summer.
• TLS to Herbert D. Gallaudet, 5 March 1901, declining an invitation to go to the University of Virginia.
• 2 TLS to Harper’s Magazine (Henry E. Rood), 17 October 1907 and 16 January 1908, re the “foolish newspaper report”, Talcott Williams’ editorial, proofs of the Damascus article, pamphlet entitled The News and Jesus, and book Van Dyke might write (Palestine Travel Papers) or a novel of News Testament times.
• TLS to The Rev. Christopher R. Eliot, 26 January 1911, telling him that he’s unable to speak at a meeting of the Unitarian Association in Boston due to a prior commitment.
• TLS to James Carleton Young, 3 October 1911, about Young’s personal library (“I have also read the remarkable French tributes which have been paid to your library.”).
• TLS with envelope to Charles W. McAlpin, 19 March 1915, re enclosure from Princess de Ligne.
• TLS to Margaret Carhart, 7 March 1916, verses of Longfellow and whether they are under copyright.
• TLS to Mrs. S.H. Beard, with envelope, 14 March 1919, re Half-Told Tales and “The Three Beggars”.
• TLS to Jacob Rohrback with envelope and cutting of magazine photo, 18 October 1920, declining an invitation.
• TLS to Carson C. Hathaway, 23 November 1927, re Little Rivers which was dedicated to Van Dyke’s oldest daughter, Brooke, in 1895, when she was twelve years old.
• TLS to Hilda E. Woodruff, 29 November 1927, writing that he is pleased that students at her school have read two of his stories: “I am particularly glad to know the Jewish boys and girls whom you teach find something to interest them in the stories and nothing to wound their feelings. After all, the little children whom Jesus of Nazareth took into his arms and blessed were Jewish children, and I believe we ought not to forget it.”
• TLS to Edgar Williams, 22 December 1930, sorry that Williams is ill, will autograph books for Mr. Higginbotham.
• TLS to Charles Edwin Knowles, 2 January 1931, re James Larkin Pearson, the Mountain Poet of North Carolina.
• TLS from Van Dyke to Charles Levings, 28 January 1911, tipped in between pp. 196 and 197 of the book The Spirit of America Book (New York: Macmillan, 1910) includes a 15-line , thanking him for pointing out an error in his book about Thomas Jefferson’s tombstone).
• TLS to S.D. Green, 13 February 1925, re message to the students of Trenton Senior High (hard work, intellectual honesty, sense of honor, love of God).
• TLS to William Lucas, 22 September 1927, re ivy and periwinkle in the garden of his house in Germantown, gladly will autograph books for him.
• TLS from and signed by Agnes Rix, van Dyke’s secretary, to Green, 21 February 1927, re van Dyke willing to sign three volumes before he leaves for California
• 2 TLS to Charles W. McAlpin • 30 April 1915, .re: check for $100 for the Belgian refugees in Amsterdam • 27 November 1929 his preaching at the Brick Church, reading at the Christmas Festival at Carnegie Hall, request for staying with McAlpin
• TLS to Mr. Palmer, 17 May 1910, re Phi Beta Kappa meeting at Harvard, poem while fishing in Pennsylvania.
• TLS, The Hague, Netherlands, to the Honorable Brand Whitlock, American Minister, Brussels, 14 June 1915, providing evidence that the British government has given evidence to Howard W. Bible to export dye-stuffs of German origin to America
• Autograph manuscript signed, written in pencil, commemorative tribute entitled “Hamilton Wright Mabie”, 5 pp., published in American Academy of Arts and Letters, no. 22, 1922.
• incomplete ms, n.d. but perhaps circa 1910,12 pp., some pages torn, probably written by a female student of his (perhaps Edith Burk or Fridolyn Mastbaum Gimbel, daughter of the famous Gimbel’s department store owner) that knew him well by the list of girls’ names on the last page, Hollman School for Girls in Philadelphia a school that had some strong affiliation with Princeton University at the time.
11 Autographed Signed Notes (or Card) (ANS);
• ANS, 13 February 1900, “Life is an arrow, - therefore you must know what mark to aim at, how to use the bow, - Then draw it to the head, and let it go!”
• ANS for Mrs. H.G. Jacobs, sent from Pasadena, CA, 11 March 1913. “Life is an arrow, - therefore you must know what mark to aim at, how to use the bow, - Then draw it to the head, and let it go!”
• Autograph card, 28 September 1904.
• Typed signed card, 8 May 1929: “So many requests for autographs come to me that I can do no more than send you this with good wishes.”
• Signed card (18 May 1927) with several news clippings of his poems and photogravure signed in facsimile.
• Signed quotation on page dated October 3, extracted from the pages of a 1902 Autograph Calendar book recovered from Orange Memorial Hospital, New Jersey: "Life is an arrow: therefore you must know what mark to aim at, how to use the bow, Then draw it to the head, and let it go!”
• B&w printed photo, signed twice.
• 2 Signed cards dated May 21, 1928 and 1932.
• ANS, 20 December 1928.
• Signed card, n.d., stating that he is still very ill and busy but providing his autograph.
• Typed card signed, n.d., saying that he is ill but sends his autograph; with a printed poem on the same sheet, “America for Me”.
• Van Dyke’s bookplate with “Ex Libris Henry Van Dyke” and motto “Lux summa lex mea” depicts the Greek god, Hermes, reading a book while fishing and a shield with a helmet and star.
• 6 post card sand printed poem cards: image of van Dyke and flowers with quotation, “There is love that stirs the heart…”, 1908, The Scofield-Pierson Co.; greeting card, n.d., “Not to the swift, | the race;….”; “The Foot Path to Peace”, 1907, with quotation “To be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars....’; “The Spirit of Christmas”, [190?], addressed to Elsa Rist; “Life Is in Tune with Harmony” from Music and Other Poems (1904); “My Work”, post-marked 1908. “The Legend of the Vain King”, Post card, Princeton New Jersey Mansion Home of Professor Henry Van Dyke, 8 April 1915, to Mrs. Guest, apparently in Van Dyke’s hand. “Henry van Dyke. The Man and His Work”,
• 1 page article extracted from the Ladies’ Home Journal, September 1904.
• B&w small printed full profile image of Van Dyke with biographical information about him.
• Signed card, n.d., “Pay to order of Lincoln Natl Bank Henry van Dyke”.
• Signed card, November 1932, “Although I am old, busy and not very well, I must send you the autograph for which you ask.”
• Photo card signed, “FaithfullyYours Henry van Dyke”.
• Custom postal cover hand-signed in ink, “Avalon, Oct. 1, 1930”, featuring original mixed media illustration by notable collector H.M. Brehm, Appleton, Wisconsin
This collection is on consignment with LDRB.