About the Project
Princeton University, founded as the College of New Jersey in 1746, exemplifies the central paradox of American history. From the start, liberty and slavery were intertwined. The Princeton and Slavery Project investigates the University’s involvement with the institution of slavery. We invite you to explore the many stories and sources included here and to contact us with research, stories, and ideas of your own.
News & Events
The New York Times, 11/6/17
Princeton University has a long history connected to slavery, which has remained hidden until now.
The Atlantic, 11/9/17
A new sculpture project thoughtfully grapples with the university’s historical participation in slavery.
The New York Times, 4/17/18
Five months after the release of sweeping research into its deep historical connections with slavery Princeton University announced on Tuesday that it would name two prominent spaces in honor of enslaved people who lived or worked on its campus.
Monday, April 8 and Tuesday, April 9
Princeton Theological Seminary
Princeton Alumni Weekly, 20 March 2019
Emily Mann, playwright and artistic director, discusses her nearly three decades at the helm of McCarter Theatre Center as well as collaborations with Princeton University and the Princeton & Slavery Project.
The Riot of 1846
In June 1846, more than a dozen Southern students mobbed, whipped, and nearly killed an African American man in Princeton—but only after fighting off another group of classmates who opposed them. This brief flashpoint of violence, in which Princeton students came to blows after dividing along regional lines, revealed the tensions over race and slavery present even at a college known for its moderate conservatism.
James Collins Johnson: The Princeton Fugitive Slave
James Collins Johnson, a fugitive slave freed after an 1843 trial in Princeton, became a prominent figure in town and on campus over the course of his many decades working at the College of New Jersey.
Destiny Salter (Class of 2020)
A Princeton & Slavery Oral History by Christo Ritter (Class of 2020), produced in conjunction with the freshman seminar Princeton, Slavery and Historical Memory (Fall 2016).
Two Women, a Man, and Three Children
An advertisement announcing the estate sale of President Samuel Finley, held at the President's House on campus.