12Results for "1785"
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.
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.
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.
Jonathan Edwards Jr.
Jonathan Edwards Jr. (1746-1801), the son of early America’s preeminent theologian and Princeton’s third president, strongly opposed slavery throughout his life and career as a minister—becoming a leading antislavery activist of the 18th century and one of the few abolitionists Princeton ever produced.
Prospect Farm, today part of Princeton’s central campus, was worked by enslaved people in the 18th and 19th centuries. Prospect House was built in 1851 with money derived from slave labor on southern rice plantations.
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.