1.5 linear feet
The William Rafferty papers contain incoming correspondence, manuscript sermons, lecture notes, and financial documents related to Rafferty, an Irish immigrant to the United States who became a Presbyterian and Episcopal minister in the early 19th century.
The Correspondence series contains 15 incoming letters to William Rafferty from his father, John Rafferty, and from several educational colleagues in New York. John Rafferty provided news of his health and William Rafferty's acquaintances from Union College and other schools discussed developments at their institutions. Five letters from P. Canfield of Baltimore, Maryland, concern the construction of his lottery systems for the benefit of St. John's, Washington College, and other institutions, and a broadside outlines Canfield's proposed arrangements. One item, dated April 11, 1896, is addressed to "Cornelia" from her grandmother.
The Sermons series consists of 177 manuscript sermons that William Rafferty delivered between 1801 and 1827, while he was minister of the Blooming Grove Congregational Church and president of St. John's College. For the most part, these are bound, have several pages, and focus on Bible verses. Included are a funeral sermon (March 23, 1812) and "A Valedictory Sermon" delivered when Rafferty resigned from his congregation at Blooming Grove (March 7, 1816). He frequently recorded the place and occasion of his sermons. Rafferty delivered 4 additional sermons in Blooming Grove, New York, in the 1890s; one of these is a typed draft of a speech concerning Irish nationalism, to be delivered at the dedication of the Blooming Grove Soldiers' Monument.
A series of Lecture Notes (18 items), compiled in the early 19th century, contains material on several scientific subjects and disciplines, including electricity, astronomy, optics, and mechanics. The series also holds an 1823 report on St. John's College. Financial Records (60 items) mainly consist of personal receipts and originate primarily from Annapolis, Maryland; books, stationery, and furniture were among the items purchased.