12Results for "1785"
Fundraising for Nassau Hall
Many of the donors and fundraisers who contributed to the construction of Nassau Hall had substantial personal, familial, or business ties to slavery and the slave trade.
Samuel Stanhope Smith
Samuel Stanhope Smith, Princeton’s seventh president (1795-1812), was an early defender of the unity of mankind—arguing that environment, not innate biological differences, determined one’s race. His convictions, however, did not prevent him from owning slaves himself, and his teachings ultimately influenced Princeton alumni to establish the American Colonization Society.
Princeton's Slaveholding Presidents
Princeton’s first nine presidents all owned slaves at some point in their lives. Though widely considered to be forward-thinking religious, intellectual, and political leaders in the 18th and 19th centuries, they failed to align their practices with their ideals—embodying the tensions between liberty and slavery that characterized American life from the colonial period to the Civil War.
James Madison, Princeton alumnus and fourth President of the United States, held contradictory views on slavery throughout his life—arguing that slavery was incompatible with Revolutionary principles even as he owned over one hundred slaves on his Virginia plantation, brought enslaved people to the White House, and ultimately sold them for personal profit.
Indians, Slavery and Princeton
Princeton’s history of Indian education, dating back to the 18th century, illustrates white Americans’ ambivalent views of American Indians.
Deposition of William Churchill Houston in Furman v. Vanhorne
Deposition from the 1784-86 court case Furman v. Vanhorne related to determining the rightful owner of the enslaved man Prime.