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"The Celebrated Alexander Dumas Watkins": Princeton's First Black Instructor
Alexander Dumas Watkins (1855-1903), a self-taught biologist, conducted significant scientific research alongside Princeton University professors from the 1880s until his death in 1903. Despite holding no formal academic position, Watkins worked in Princeton’s laboratories and taught courses as the University’s first Black instructor—and the last until the 1950s.
Princeton’s Founding Trustees
A firm majority of Princeton's founding trustees (sixteen out of twenty-three) bought, sold, traded, or inherited slaves during their lifetimes.
Princeton and Abolition
Princeton’s faculty and students actively opposed abolition, creating a climate of fear and intimidation around the subject during the 19th century. Although some Princeton affiliates were critical of slavery, the institution demonstrated a catastrophic failure of leadership on the greatest moral question of the age.
African Americans on Campus, 1746-1876
African Americans were a constant presence at the College of New Jersey as servants, support staff, research and teaching assistants, and students. They labored under harsh conditions on a campus dominated by racism and white supremacy.
Escape from Princeton
In 1819, Princeton Mayor Erkuries Beatty engaged a recent College of New Jersey graduate to recapture his runaway slave, Joe. The incident underscores the terror and uncertainty of enslavement in central Jersey.
Advertisement for a slave sale
An advertisement for Somerville Academy in the New York Evening Post.
"100 Dollars Reward" for Jack
Advertisement for a runaway slave
"Negro Man" to be sold by Samuel Hazard
Advertisement for a slave sale brokered by Princeton trustee Samuel Hazard.
"Shameful Outrage at Princeton"
Letters from Lewis Tappan, James Carnahan, and Theodore Wright regarding the attack on Wright during the Princeton commencement.
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Princeton & Slavery: A Paradox of American History
Thursday, May 3
6:30 pm Reception; 7 pm Presentation and Discussion
Princeton Club of NY (15 West 43rd St.)