Seth Williston diaries, 1786 - 1940Manuscript MS-1285

Full Finding Aid


Seth Williston diaries, 1786 - 1940

Call Number:

Manuscript MS-1285

Collection Dates:

1786 - 1940

Size of Collection:

1 box (.5 linear ft.)


Seth Williston (1770-1851), minister. Dartmouth College Class of 1791. The collection contains diaries and one of his published books "Sermons on Doctrinal and Experimental Subjects."

Access to Collection:


Use & Access

The materials represented in this guide may be accessed through the Rauner Special Collections Library at Dartmouth College. Rauner Library is located in Webster Hall. The materials must be used on-site and may not leave Rauner Library.

Rauner Special Collections Library is open to the public and in most cases no appointment is necessary. The exception is in the case of materials stored off site for which there may be a delay of up to 48 hours in retrieval. Please consult the Access to Collection statement below or contact Rauner Reference.

Access to Collection


Use Restrictions

Permission from Dartmouth College required for publication or reproduction.

Introduction to the Collection

The collection contains 7 diaries kept by Williston prior to entering Dartmouth College and during his time as a student at the College. The diaries describe daily occurrences, including the state of the weather, his studies and musings on life and God. A published copy of his "Sermons on Doctrinal and Experimental Subjects" (1812) is also included. Attached to the book is a note to "Bill", great-great-grandson of Williston by his mother.


Seth Williston was born on April 4, 1770 in Suffield, Connecticut. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1791, after which he studied theology and started preaching in 1797. Williston became minister of Lisle, New York in 1799. In 1810, he was installed at a Presbyterian church in Durham, New York, where he preached until 1828. Hamilton College gave him the degree of Doctor of Divinity in 1838. Williston also authored many theological texts including "Address to Parents" (1799-1802); "Sermons on Doctrinal and Experimental Religion" (1812); "Five Discourses of the Sabbath" (1813); "Vindication of Some of the Most Essential Doctrines of the Reformation" (1817) and "Sermons on the Mystery of the Incarnation and the Special Influences of the Spirit" (1823). Williston died on March 2, 1851 in Guilford, New York.

Series, Box & Folder List

Series 1, Papers, 1786-1940

Access Restrictions


Box: 1, Dates: 1796-1940

Access Restrictions


Box Contents

  • Folder: 1, Diaries, 1786-1787
  • Folder: 2, Diaries, 1789
  • Folder: 3, Diaries, 1790
  • Folder: 4, Diaries, 1791-1792
  • Folder: 5, Diaries, 1792
  • Folder: 6, Diaries, 1793
  • Folder: 7, Diaries, 1794
  • Folder: 8, "Sermons on Doctrinal and Experimental Subjects," by Seth Williston (1812) with note to Bill, great-great-grandson on Williston by his mother (1940), 1812-1940

Finding Aids