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Samuel R. Slaymaker II Papers

Identifier: DC053

Scope and Contents

The Samuel R. Slaymaker II Papers document the history of the creation of his book Five Miles Away: The Story of The Lawrenceville School. Documents cover both the research and writing process. Of particular interest is correspondence detailing the origins of the project and feedback from school administration and alumni that Slaymaker received prior to publication.


  • 1981 - 1985

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is 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 R. Slaymaker II was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in 1923. He entered The Lawrenceville School in September of 1937. Though he did not receive a diploma, he is a member of the class of 1943. Slaymaker joined the Air Force in 1942. He served in World War II flying combat missions over Europe with the 8th Air Force. He received and honorable discharge in December, 1945.

Slaymaker went on to study at Corpus Christi College. While there, he was afforded the opportunity to study history at Cambridge University in England. Upon graduating from college, Slaymaker went to work for his family business, Slaymaker Lock Company. Slaymaker remained with the company until he retired in 1973 when Slaymaker Lock Company merged with American Home Products.

While Slaymaker was employed full-time by Slaymaker Lock Company, he also freelanced as a writer, specializing on the subject of fly fishing in articles for national magazines. His first book, Simplified Fly Fishing, was published by Harper & Row in 1969. Slaymaker went on to published several more including, Five Miles Away: The Story of The Lawrenceville School, in 1985. Though Slaymaker appeared at the time to be an unlikely candidate to write a new school history, he was chosen by Head Master Bruce McClellan specifically because he was not embedded in the school. McClellan believed a new school history would benefit from an outsiders' perspective.


1.25 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Language of Materials



The Samuel R. Slaymaker II Papers are arranged into two series: Series 1: Correspondence and Series 2: Manuscripts.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

These papers were a gift from Samuel R. Slaymaker II.


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

Related Materials

Additional material on Samuel Slaymaker and Five Miles Away can be found in the Bruce and Mary Elizabeth McClellan Collection (DC048).


Information in the biographical note was gathered from Five Miles Away: The Story of The Lawrenceville School by Samuel R. Slaymaker, II.

Processing Information

The Samuel R. Slaymaker II Papers were processed by Casey Babcock in April of 2012.

Samuel R. Slaymaker II Papers
Casey Babcock
April 25, 2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the The Lawrenceville School Stephan Archives Repository

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