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.
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News & Events
The Daily Princetonian, 4/3/19
A group of students at the Princeton Theological Seminary is demanding that the institution pay reparations in response to a report it published last year, which details its historical connections to slavery.
Monday, April 8 and Tuesday, April 9
Princeton Theological Seminary
Princeton Alumni Weekly, 3/20/19
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 New York Times, 11/6/17
Princeton University has a long history connected to slavery, which has remained hidden until now.
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.
Moses Taylor Pyne and the Sugar Plantations of the Americas
The financial contributions of Moses Taylor Pyne (class of 1877), one of Princeton's most prominent benefactors, reveal the complex relationship between Princeton, the American sugar trade, and the slave economy.
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).
Letter from John Witherspoon Woods
Letter from John Witherspoon Woods (class of 1837) to his mother, describing a student-led attack against an abolitionist.