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Manuscript Collections


Collection 35

Rev. Archibald P. Cobb (1821-1881)

Papers, 1840, 1869-1881 



Processed by Lois R. Densky

Edited by Gregory J. Plunges

Monmouth County Historical Association
70 Court Street
Freehold, New Jersey 07728

July 1981


Rev. Archibald Perritt Cobb (1821 Nov 9 - 1881 Feb 26), the son of Henry Cobb and Maria Baldwin, was born in Parsippany, NJ. At the age of thirteen, he went to work at a store in Madison, NJ. Afterwards, he was employed at a dry goods store in Newark and then at H.B. Claflin & Co., a wholesale dry goods company in New York City.

When he was twenty-two, Cobb converted to Presbyterianism and joined the Newark First Presbyterian Church. At this time, he decided to study for the ministry. Cobb returned home, prepared for college, and entered the sophomore class at Princeton University (1847 - 1850). In 1850, he completed two years at Princeton Theological Seminary. He graduated from Union Theological Seminary in New York City in 1852.

Rev. Cobb was licensed to preach on 1853 April 20 by the Presbytery of Newark. From 1853 to 1854, he was a tutor in mathematics at Princeton and acted as Stated Supply to the Witherspoon Street Church, a Black congregation in Princeton. Rev. Cobb was ordained an evangelist by the Presbytery of Newark on 1854 April 19. From 1855 to 1861, he was pastor at the Southwark Mission Church in Philadelphia. Due to impaired health, he withdrew from an active pastorate during the years 1861 and 1862.

Rev. Cobb was installed at Tennent Church on 1863 August 8 and remained as pastor until his death in 1881. During his long and distinguished career, Rev. Cobb is remembered for a number of important Monmouth County sermons. These include: a sermon on the life, character, and death of Rev. William Tennent Jr., (1887); a sermon on the 100th anniversary celebration of the Battle of Monmouth (June, 1878); a sermon comparing Alexander the Great and Paul the Apostle (n.d.); and a sermon on temperance (1881).

Rev. Cobb married Marianna C. Brown (b. 1829), the daughter of Robert J. Brown of New York City. They had two daughters, Anna C. (b. 1859) and Sarah J. (b. 1864). Anna later married G.B.F. Hallock. On 1867 October 23, Rev. Cobb purchased the "Roy Parsonage" from the Tennent Congregation. The parsonage burnt down in 1869 causing the loss of sessional records. Afterward, he rebuilt his home near this house. Rev. Cobb is buried in the Tennent Church graveyard.




The Rev. Archibald P. Cobb Papers contain materials which document his tenure as pastor of Tennent Church in Tennent, NJ. The papers consist of sermons, funeral discourses, baptism and marriage ceremonies, scripture readings, proverbs, hymns, miscellaneous manuscripts, and printed material. The bulk dates of the collection are from 1869 to 1881.

The collection documents the activities of a Tennent Church pastor during the last quarter of the 19th century. The papers provide additional material which pertains to Presbyterian church history in Monmouth County, and will be useful for further study of the history of Tennent Church. Genealogists will find the funeral discourses useful for their research.

Collections housed at the Monmouth County Historical Association which relate to these papers include the Tennent Church Records, the Rev. Frank R. Symmes Papers, and the Robert Roy Papers. The last two collections also document the activities of former Tennent Church pastors. Check the library card catalog for miscellaneous material.



1. Sermons, 1870 - 1881
Arranged chronologically.

Rev. Cobb's sermons including charges to newly installed pastors and their congregations, and settlements. The series also contains his 1877 sermon on Rev. William Tennent.


2. Funerals. 1869 - 1881
Arranged chronologically.

Funeral services presided over by Rev. Cobb which include his master lists and specific funeral discourses. Funeral sermons are numbered 1 through 323, but the series is incomplete. Funeral topics are also included here.


3. Baptism & Marriage Certificates, 1874 - 1881
Arranged chronologically.

Series contains the baptism ceremony of Thomas Smith Combs, the marriage ceremony of Frank P. McDermott and Anna Elizabeth Thompson, and a wedding service performed at James Laird's house in Hoboken.


4. Scripture Readings & Proverbs, n.d.

Series consists of scrapbooks compiled by Rev. Cobb which he mounted with scriptures, proverbs of Solomon, and the Book of Proverbs. They were annotated by him.


5. Hymns, 1840, 1880, n.d.
Arranged chronologically.

Series includes a copy of JH Hickok's The Social Lyrist... (1840) and Rev. Cobb's handwritted copies of hymns ued at Tennent Church by the congregation, choir, and Sunday School.


6. Miscellaneous Manuscripts, 1872 - 1876, n.d.
Arranged chronologically

Series contains two letters and miscellaneous notes.


7. Printed Material, 1869 - 1879, n.d.
Arranged chronologically

Series contains a pamphlet, circular letters, flyers, and clippings. Subjects include the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions, the Presbyterian Hospital, the American Colonization Society (re: Black resettlement in Liberia), the Monmouth Presbytery, the Princeton Theological Seminary, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (re: polygamy), the International Sabbath Association, and temperance. Clippings include his sermon on the 100th anniversary celebration of the Battle of Monmouth.


Provenance: Acquired in 1954, gift of Miss Adelia Cobb Hallock, Rochester, NY

Restrictions: None.

Size of Collection: 1 Linear Foot



Box # / Folder # / Contents

1 / 1 / Table of Contents

1 / 2 / Sermons, 1870 - 1874

1 / 3 / Sermons, 1875 - 1881

1 / 4 / Funerals, 1869 - 1873

1 / 5 / Funerals, 1874 - 1875

1 / 6 / Funerals, 1876 - 1877

2 / 1 / Funerals, 1878 - 1879

2 / 2 / Funerals, 1880 - 1881

2 / 3 / Baptism & Marriage Ceremonies, 1874 - 1880

2 / 4 / Scripture Readings & Proverbs, n.d.

2 / 5 / Hymns, 1840, 1880, n.d.

2 / 6 / Misc. Manuscripts, 1872 - 1876, n.d.

2 / 7 / Printed Material, 1869 - 1879, n.d.




1. "Obituary Notice" Monmouth Democrat, 1881 March 3

2. Symmes, Rev. Frank R., comp. History of the Old Tennent Church. 2nd ed. Cranbury, NJ : George W. Burroughs, 1904



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This page last updated 9 July 2008.

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This website was funded by the Marion Huber Trust

Museum & Library, 70 Court Street Freehold, NJ 07728
Monmouth County Historical Association received a general operating grant from the the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.
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