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Hamill Family Papers

Identifier: DC011

Scope and Contents

The Hamill Family Papers consist of correspondence and subject files. The bulk of the correspondence pertains to school business, but some personal correspondence is also included. The majority of the correspondence is to and from Dr. Samuel M. Hamill and Samuel M. Hamill, Jr. though some miscellaneous correspondence regarding other family is included. The bulk of the subject files also pertain to Lawrenceville School business though the history of the Hamill family beyond Dr. Hamill is also documented. Included with the general family subject files are newspaper clippings, obituaries, and biographical information. These papers do not represent a complete history of the documentation created under Dr. Hamill. Much of the records of the Hamill administration were thought to be lost in a fire in Dr. Hamill's home in 1887.


  • Creation: 1821 - 1935


Conditions Governing Access

The records are open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies and digital photographs may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from the Archivist. Researchers are responsible for determining any other copyright questions.

Biographical / Historical

Samuel McClintock Hamill was born in 1812 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. He entered Jefferson College in 1830 and graduated with distinction. He later received a Doctor in Divinity from Hanover College in 1864.

In 1837, Alexander Hamilton Phillips sold the Lawrenceville Academy (now The Lawrenceville School) to Dr. Hamill and his brother, Reverend Hugh Hamill. Dr. Hamill renamed the School the Lawrenceville Classical and Commercial High School. He then amended the curriculum to include math and science as a response to increasing industrialization. In the mid-18th century, eight new subjects - geography, English grammar, algebra, geometry, ancient physical geography, English composition and United States history - were added to the School’s curriculum when they became Princeton admission requirements. Dr. Hamill helped establish the first extracurricular activities at Lawrenceville. The first literary society, the Calliopean Society, was followed shortly by the Philomathean Society. These were followed by the Young Men’s Christian Society, a Bible Society and the Temperance Society. He also oversaw the creation of the first alumni association.

In 1879, the residuary legatees to the estate of John Cleve Green, agreed to purchase the School from Dr. Hamill for $25,000 and asked him to continue as principal until they could find a new head of school, which they did when they secured the services of James C. Mackenzie. Dr. Hamill gave his last commencement address in 1883. On September 20, 1889, at age 77, he died in his sleep.


6.72 Linear Feet (13 boxes)

Language of Materials



The Hamill Family Papers are arranged into two series: Series 1: Correspondence, 1831-1916 and Series 2: Subject Files, 1821-1935.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The bulk of the papers were transferred from the Office of the Head Master. Some gifts from the Hamill family are also included. The tuition receipts were purchased from Jessica Staines on March 28, 2013. Additional Dr. Samuel McClintock Hamill correspondence and the bulk of the Samuel McClintock Hamill, Jr. correspondence were a gifted to the Archives by William Hamill and Samuel W. Lambert, III on June 25, 2013. Additional correspondence was gifted to the Archives by Samuel William Lambert, Sarah Hamill Lambert, and Kelly Walker on September 1, 2013.


Appraisal has been conducted in accordance with The Lawrenceville School Stephan Archives guidelines.

Separated Materials

A folder of nine photographs removed to PC011 (held in PC999 Small Collections box).


Information in the biographical note was gathered from material within the collection. Five Miles Away: The Story of The Lawrenceville School by Samuel R. Slaymaker, II and The Lawrenceville Lexicon: A Compendium of All Things Lawrenceville, Merrell Noden, editor, were also consulted.

Processing Information

The Hamill Family Papers were processed by Casey Babcock in September-October of 2012. Additional content added by Whitney Kehl, Adam Stokes, Peter K. Steinberg, and others from 2020 to 2023.

Hamill Family Papers: Finding Aid
Casey Babcock
September 20, 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The Lawrenceville School Stephan Archives Repository

Box 6128
2500 Main St.
Lawrenceville 08648 U.S.A. US