Princeton to Air Out Its Legacy of Slavery
If a historian would take a hard look at almost any American institution going back 200 years or so, it’s likely slavery will pop up somehow. It’s one of the shameful facts of American history.
Princeton University was unique among the nation’s early universities because it was a northern school that attracted a lot of students from the South. Before the Civil War, about 40 percent of the students were from southern states, according to historian and professor Martha Sandweiss.
“We needed those southern students here. We relied on their tuition money,” she said. “So the president and faculty on campus created an atmosphere where you didn’t talk about this stuff much. You tried to keep the peace, so southern boys and northern boys could coexist in peace.”