100Results for "presidents"
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.
Slavery at the President's House
At least five Princeton presidents who served between 1756 and 1822 owned enslaved people who lived, worked—and on one occasion were auctioned off—at the President’s House on campus. During this period, the President’s House was the center of slavery at Princeton.
Princeton in the West Indies
Under the leadership of President Witherspoon, the College of New Jersey launched an ill-fated campaign to secure donations from slaveholding planter elites in the West Indies.
Slavery in the Curriculum
John Witherspoon and Samuel Stanhope Smith’s curriculum emphasized Scottish moral philosophy, providing early Princeton students with a new philosophical framework for opposing slavery even as pro-slavery apologists used the same philosophical concepts to defend the practice of owning slaves.
Jonathan Dickinson, a prominent figure in the Great Awakening of the mid-18th century, served as Princeton’s first president. Genny, an enslaved girl he purchased in 1733, may have worked beside him and his students in the college’s earliest years.
1850 Census Entry for James Carnahan
1850 census entry for Princeton president James Carnahan, who employed "free colored persons" in his household in Princeton.
1820 Census Entry for James Carnahan
1820 census entry for Princeton president James Carnahan, who owned two slaves while living in Georgetown, Washington D.C.
Aaron Burr Sr.
A portrait of Aaron Burr Sr., second president of the College of New Jersey.
"Declaration of Independence"
John Trumbull's painting "Declaration of Independence." Princeton president John Witherspoon is pictured in the background facing the large table, the second seated figure from the (viewer's) right.
A portrait of Jonathan Dickinson, founder and first president of the College of New Jersey.
A Slave Auction, Slave-Owning Presidents: Princeton University Unveils a Dark Past
The project sheds light on how slavery was a part of daily life for early Princeton faculty and students.
Princeton Research Project Explores Past Ties to Slavery
Princeton University, 11/6/17
That a slave sale took place on campus and that the first nine Princeton presidents were slaveholders at some point in their lives are two of the major findings from a sweeping new endeavor by Princeton scholars and students to explore the ties of early University trustees, presidents, faculty and students to the institution of slavery.
Princeton & Slavery Project Launches Website
Princeton Magazine, 11/6/17
The project is a remarkable research effort and work of public history that stands to reshape the thinking of both University affiliates and Princeton area residents.
Toni Morrison Praises Princeton & Slavery Project Research
Planet Princeton, 11/27/17
Morrison gave a keynote address at the Princeton & Slavery Project Symposium in November 2017.
Author Toni Morrison Delivers Keynote at Princeton Slavery Symposium
Morrison’s address explores Princeton University’s historical ties to the institution of slavery.
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Memorial Plaque - President's House
In May 2019, Princeton University placed a memorial plaque commemorating the 16 enslaved people who lived and worked on campus on permanent display outside the historic President's House.