Guide to the Jonathan Going Papers 1805-1841
Cage 586

Summary Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries
Going, Jonathan
Jonathan Going Papers
Cage 586
Date [inclusive]
1.0 box
General Physical Description note
1.5 linear feet of shelf space.
Correspondence, sermons, circulars and notes, chiefly relevant to religious subjects.

Preferred Citation note

[Item Description]. Cage 586, Guide to the Jonathan Going Papers. Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries, Pullman, WA.

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Biographical/Historical note

Jonathan Going (Mar. 7, 1786- Nov. 9, 1844), Baptist clergyman, missionary secretary, and educator, was born in Reading, Windsor County, Vt. He was educated at the academy in New Salem and attended college at Brown University from 1805 to 1809. Going was converted to the Baptist faith his freshman year. Following his graduation from Brown, he stayed on to study theology under University President Messer and then returned home to convert his family. He and his three brothers entered the Baptist ministry. At his ordination in May of 1811, Jonathan Going became the first college educated Baptist minister in Vermont. Going married Lucy Thorndike in September of 1811 and thereafter served four years as pastor in Cavandish. He and his family then moved to Worcester where he served as pastor for sixteen years. During this tenure, Going helped establish the Worcester Academy and the Newton Theological Institution and was trustee at both Brown University and Amherst College. He also organized the Massachusetts Baptist State Convention and founded the American Baptist Home Mission Society with Rev. John M. Peck in 1831. In 1837 Going was offered the presidency of two colleges, the Literary and Theological Institute at Granville, Ohio and the Shuntlief College at Alton, Illinois. These offers constituted a staunch testimony to the high regard in which Going was held by those committed to religious education. He had a reputation as an excellent organizer and fundraiser, skills that served him well in the seven years he served as president of the college at Granville.

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Arrangement note

The Jonathan Going collection contains four series: notes, sermons, circulars and correspondence. The first series is arranged chronologically and contains Going's personal notes from 1805 to 1823. The notes detail daily activities on 31/2" X 6" paper that appears to have once been bound in a notebook. The early entries are sketchy and rather philosophical. Beginning in 1809 the notes become a daily log of his ministry activities and list the places and people he visited. Many of the names are repeated on a list of 1812 Ohio Baptist Society members found toward the back of the notes. The second series contains two sermons written by Going. The first, dated April 28, 1809 is titled, "A Lecture on Prayer." It was written while Going was a theological student at Brown University. The second sermon, "Isaiah 58:12," is not dated. It references the Baptist Convention and encourages the listener to send aid to the less fortunate students struggling to learn the gospel in colleges and missionary schools. The circulars contained in the third series are not dated though they are arranged in chronological order by inference. The first circular, Circular of the Ohio Baptist Educational Society, makes reference to Going's 1837 election to the Granville Institution presidency. Written by J.B Swaim, a frequent correspondent of Going and a fellow member of the Society, the circular is a clear call for monetary support and may have bearing on the Society's financial responsibility for a portion of Going's salary while he was president at Granville. The second circular,  The Granville Lit. and Theo. Institution, appears to have been written in Going's handwriting. It too is primarily a fundraising effort and may have been written as part of Going's administrative duties while president of Granville. Series four contains correspondence received by and sent from Jonathan Going during the period 1807 to 1841. Most of the correspondence centers around the year 1837 when Going was elected to the presidency of two colleges, Granville and Shuntlief; Going declined Shuntlief. The bulk of the rest of the correspondence concerns the Granville presidency and the role of the Ohio Baptist Education Society in funding his position. Though most of the correspondence is professional in nature, there are a few personal letters interspersed throughout the series. One such correspondence contains only the first page of a letter written by Going to his parents in 1809. It describes an interesting list of flourishing businesses and shops Going passed each day on his way to University. (19 letters).

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries © 1992
Terrell Library
P.O. Box 645610
Pullman, WA, 99164-5610

Conditions Governing Access note

This collection is open for research use.

Processing Information note

The Going papers were processed in June 1992 by Liza Rognas.

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Related Materials

Separated Materials note

Papers of Jonathan Going were separated from the papers of J. Orin Oliphant, also located at the Washington State University Libraries (Cages number 232 and 563). Oliphant's papers include extensive research notes on Going's life.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Granville College--History--Archives
  • Granville Literary and Theological Institution--History --Archives
  • Ohio Baptist Education Society--History -- Archives


  • Missionaries--Ohio -- 19th century--Archives

Personal Name(s)

  • Carter, Paschal--Correspondence
  • Colby, Lewis--Correspondence
  • Crofsey, Timothy R.--Correspondence
  • Going, Jonathan, 1786-1844 --Archives
  • Kennan, N.W.--Correspondence
  • Peck, John Mason, 1789-1858--Correspondence
  • Pratt, John, 1800-1882--Correspondence
  • Swaim, J.B.--Correspondence


  • Missionaries
  • Religion
  • Sermons, American--19th century--Archives

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Collection Inventory

Series 1. Jonathan Going Notes 1805-1825 

1 / 1

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Series 2. Jonathan Going Sermons: Isaiah 58:12 and A Lecture on Prayer 1809 undated 

1 / 2

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Series 3. Circulars 1837 


Circular of the Ohio Baptist Educational Society 

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Circular of the Granville Lit. and Theo. Institution 

1 / 4

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Series 4. Correspondence 1807-1841 


Letter to Parents January 24, 1807 

1 / 5

Letter from J. Going to wife Lucy May 14, 1814 

1 / 6

Letter from. B. Everett Pattison Feb.3, 1828 

1 / 7

Letter from J. Going to Lucy Going May 14, 1834 

1 / 8

Letter from John C. Murphy, N.Y. Nov.13, 1835 

1 / 9

Letter from Prof. Carter, Ohio Aug. 10, 1837 

1 / 10

Letter from Rev. R. Cressy, Ohio Aug. 18, 1837 

1 / 11

Letter from Lewis Colby Sept. 14, 1837 

1 / 12

Letter from J.M. Peck, Ill. Sept. 22, 1837 

1 / 13

Letter from Prof. Carter, Ohio Sept. 25, 1837 

1 / 14

Letter from J.B. Swaim Sept. 25, 1837 

1 / 15

Letter from John Pratt, Ohio Sept. 25, 1837 

1 / 16

Letter to Stephen Griggs, Alton, Ill., declines Shuntlief Sept. 30, 1837 

1 / 17

Letter from J.B Swaim, Granville Oct. 19, 1837 

1 / 18

Letter from N.W. Kennan, Indianapolis Oct. 19, 1837 

1 / 19

Letter from James R. Geanga (?) Feb. 23, 1838 

1 / 20

Letter from J. Going to daughter, Josephine Sept. 12, 1838 

1 / 21

Letter to Rev. Timothy R. Cressy, Ohio, Aug. 8, 1838 Aug. 8, 1838 

1 / 22

Letter from John Pratt to Mr. Wilson in N.Y., introduces J. Going to Mr. Wilson Aug. 17, 1841 

1 / 23

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