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Adam Empie Papers

Identifier: Mss. 65 Em7

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  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

Papers, 1821-1979, of and concerning Adam Empie, the president of the College of William and Mary and his family. Includes account book, 1829-1831, of Adam Empie and copy of his will as well as four letters, undated, from Sarah Moore Grimke to Anna Eliza (Wright) Empie as well as a commonplace book, undated; poems; engravings; flower illustrations, sketches and silhouettes; and prayers.

The addition, Mss. 1979.13, includes papers of the Rev. Dr. Adam Empie’s descendants, most prominently of Warren Seymour Lurty, Confederate captain, prisoner of war, and US District Attorney of western Virginia from 1877-1882.

The addition, Mss. Acc. 2010.360, contains one letter of July 20, 1847 written by former College of William and Mary President Adam Empie sending his condolences for not being able to accept an invitation.

The addition, Mss. Acc. 2011.707, contains papers of and relating to Adam Empie, twelfth president of the College of William and Mary. The bulk of the collection consists of biographical information about Adam Empie. While most of the material consists of extracts and copies from official records and correspondence, there are a few original documents, including a Baccalaureate Sermon by Empie in 1832, as well as a letter from Rector John Tyler verifying he had administered the Oath of Office to Empie in 1828.


  • Creation: 1811-2004
  • Creation: Majority of material found in 1811-1850


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access:

Collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use:

Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

Biographical Information:

Adam Empie was born September 5, 1785 in Schenectady, New York. He was educated at Union College in Schenectady. He served St. George's Church in Hempstead on Long Island, NY and St. James Parish, Wilmington. He was chaplain and professor at the United States Military Academy. He was president of the College of William and Mary, 1827-1836. He resigned to be rector of St. James Episcopal Church, Richmond.

See the SCRC Wiki for more information about Adam Empie:


1.00 Linear Feet

Custodial History:

Acc. 2011.707 was previously part of the University Archives Faculty-Alumni File Collection and was made part of this collection on 12/15/2011.

Acquisition Information:

Gift, 82 items, of Adam E. Potts on 02/13/1959. Gift, 3 items, of Mrs. Adam E. Potts in 12/1969. Mss. 1979.13 gift of Ralph James. Acquisition information for material received after 7/13/2009 is available by consulting a Special Collections Research Center staff member.

Separated Materials:

Mss. Acc. 2011.707 was previously part of the University Archives Faculty-Alumni File Collection and was added to this collection on 12/15/2011.

Processing Information:

Mss. 2010.360 was accessioned as part of the backlog by Steven Bookman, University Archives Specialist, in June 2010. Mss. 1979.13 processed by Lisa Sparks Carpenter, American Studies Intern, in November 2010. Acc. 2011.710 accessioned and minimally processed by Steven Bookman, University Archives Specialist, in December 2011.

Guide to the Adam Empie Papers
Special Collections Staff.
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Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository