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Lehigh University President Henry Coppée Manuscripts and Lecture Notes

Identifier: SC MS 0018

Scope and Contents

This collection is organized into five categories: English, history, his personal notebooks, Christian evidence and miscellaneous. There are several different examples of handwriting. Of special interest: sections SC MS 0018.02.02 “History” notebook and 0018.03.03 “Glimpses of Life in a Conquered Capital 1848-1893” are Coppée’s personal observations of marching into Mexico City as an Army officer with General Winfield Scott during the Mexican-American War. Also a little history of the remains of Christopher Columbus in Santo Domingo - SC MS 0018.03.05 “The Remains of Columbus.”


  • 1846-1893


Conditions Governing Access

Collection housed remotely. Users need to contact 24 hours in advance.

Conditions Governing Use

Collection is open for research.

Biographical / Historical

Henry Coppée was born in Savannah, Georgia attended Yale University for three years studying railroad engineering which resulted in his working for the Georgia Central Railroad. Eventually he returned to student life and graduated from the U.S. Military Academy. Upon graduation from West Point he served in the Mexican-American War as a Captain with General Winfield Scott. He resigned from the Army after the war and returned to West Point to teach English from 1850 to 1855. Leaving West Point, he served on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania before becoming the first president of Lehigh University in 1866. At UPenn during the Civil War, he served the governor of Pennsylvania in a military capacity as an aide-de-camp and secretary. He resigned from Lehigh University in 1875 but continued as a professor emeritus teaching English Literature.


2.5 Linear Feet (5 manuscript boxes)

Language of Materials



Manuscripts, and holograph notebooks of some lectures delivered by Henry Coppée, first president of Lehigh University, on Woman, Education, Rhetoric, English language and literature, Christian Evidences, International Law, Health, and History, as well as the manuscript of his published book "Conquest of Spain by the Arab Moors." Most interesting are his personal observations as an Army officer marching into Mexico City during the Mexican-American War.


The materials in this collection are arranged topically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Some items arrived from unknown sources but the Lehigh University Plan by Coppée came from Richard Flint Young, BA’54 in 2005 as a separate entity and cataloged separately.


It is believed that various additions came to Special Collections from the Development Office.

Lehigh University President Henry Coppée Manuscripts and Lecture Notes
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Repository Details

Part of the Lehigh University Special Collections Repository

Lehigh University
Linderman Library
30 Library Drive
Bethlehem PA 18045 USA
610-758-6091 (Fax)