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The Mystery of Peter Stuart Ney

A guide to materials in Archives and Special Collections related to Peter Stuart Ney, the designer of the college seal, and the mystery of his identity.

Contents of this Guide

In 1840, the trustees of Davidson College appointed a committee to draw a design for the official college seal. Peter Stuart Ney, a local schoolteacher was called upon to design the seal. Peter Stuart Ney arrived in America in 1818 and taught around the Carolinas, later settling in Rowan County, NC. He was believed by many to be Napoleon's famous Marshal Ney, having survived a faked execution after the final defeat of Napoleon. Today, the mystery of Peter Stuart Ney and his identity continues to live on. 

Portrait of Marshal Ney

Portrait of Marshal Michel Ney (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

This guide is designed as a resource to help researchers locate archival collections and materials from Archives & Special Collections related to Peter Stuart Ney. This guide is organized by topic, including:

For each topic, relevant resources from Archives and Special Collections are listed, as well as other related library resources. For questions and more information about materials and listed in this guide, please email

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