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Bernard C. Wolff Papers

Identifier: MS 012


This collection contains correspondence written to Bernard C. Wolff by German Reformed ministers who were interested in and potential contributors to the union of Franklin and Marshall College. The bulk of the material dates from the year 1852. There are also a few letters written by Wolff to John Williamson Nevin in 1842.


  • 1841-1887,
  • Majority of material found in 1852


Restrictions on Access

Access unrestricted.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Photocopying and publication may be restricted by copyright. except by permission of copyright holder..

Biographical / Historical

Bernard C. Wolff was born on December 11, 1794 in Martinsburg Virginia. In his early years Wolff worked as a saddler and harness maker and was a prominent lay leader in the Reformed Church who helped establish the Reformed Seminary in 1820. In 1831 Wolff decided to become a minister and was ordained the next year after attending the Seminary in York, PA. He served as minister for many years in Easton (1832-1845) and Baltimore (1845-1854). During that time, as a prominent member of the Reformed Church Synod, Wolff was influential in the establishment of Marshall College (1835) and the later merger of Marshall College with Franklin College in 1852. In 1854 Wolff became a professor at the Theological Seminary in Mercersburg where he served until 1864. Retiring to Lancaster in 1864 Wolff continued to work on the behalf on Franklin and Marshall College until he died on November 1, 1870. For more biographical information see: Schaeffer, Charles E. "A Repairer of the Breach: the Memoirs of Bernard C. Wolff." Lancaster, PA. 1949.


.5 Linear feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



Collection: Arranged alphabetically by correspondent for those persons writing more than one time to Wolff, and then chronologically within each name. In addition to the individually named correspondent folders, there is also a general correspondence folder containing an alphabetical arrangement of letters of persons who wrote to Wolff only once.

Ownership and Custodial History

The papers in this collection are believed to have been acquired by the college from the Reverend P.S. Davis. Davis, in turn, had received the material from William Wilbeforce Nevin, son of John Williamson Nevin, second President of Franklin and Marshall College (see "Nevin, William Wilbeforce to P.S. Davis. 1887 May 1" in inventory.).

Related Archival Materials

Records of Franklin and Marshall College, Bernard C. Wolff Files (RG 04/01/02): Custodian--Archives and Special Collections: Address--Franklin and Marshall College Library, Franklin and Marshall College. Lancaster, PA, Country--USA..

Processing Information

Processing completed February 1986.

Description rules
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Franklin and Marshall College Special Collections Repository

PO Box 3003
Lancaster PA 17604 United States