Slaves in the Ivy League: Princeton Discovers Its Racial Past
When Martha A. Sandweiss moved to Princeton, in 2009, she didn’t know much about the history of the university, least of all why she had heard some people refer to it as “the southernmost Ivy.” Ignorance and curiosity, she said, drove her first undergraduate seminar, in 2013. In that course, Dr. Sandweiss, a professor of history, worked with a group of students to examine Princeton’s historical ties to slavery, largely because no scholars before her seemed to have taken a thorough look.
Nobody is as surprised as Dr. Sandweiss by what that seminar has sparked. Out of it came the Princeton & Slavery Project, a continuing work of research that already stands as one of the most-ambitious investigations of an institution’s connections to slavery.