5Results for "c. 1741"
Jonathan Edwards Sr.
Jonathan Edwards Sr. (1703-58), who served as Princeton’s third president for less than two months, exercised an immense influence on religious and intellectual thought in colonial North America. Though he recognized the cruelty of the slave trade and considered enslaved people his spiritual equals, Edwards himself owned slaves throughout his life and career.
John Witherspoon (1723-1794), Princeton’s sixth president and founding father of the United States, had a complex relationship to slavery. Though he advocated revolutionary ideals of liberty and personally tutored several free Africans and African Americans in Princeton, he himself owned slaves and both lectured and voted against the abolition of slavery in New Jersey.
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.
Samuel Hopkins and the Paradoxical Legacy of Jonathan Edwards Sr.
Patriot and theologian Samuel Hopkins (1721-1803) vigorously opposed slavery throughout his life. Paradoxically, his antislavery theology was inspired by his mentor, the slave-owning Princeton president Jonathan Edwards Sr.
Jonathan Edwards Sr. Letter on Slavery
Draft letter on slavery written by Princeton president Jonathan Edwards Sr., in which he defends the practice of owning slaves.