This blog includes text and images drawn from historical sources that may contain material that is offensive or harmful. We strive to accurately represent the past while being sensitive to the needs and concerns of our audience. If you have any feedback to share on this topic, please either comment on a relevant post, or use our Ask Us form to contact us.

This Week in Princeton History for January 22-28

In this week’s installment of our ongoing series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the Board of Trustees decides to move the institution from Newark to Princeton, a donor’s bequest causes controversy, and more.

January 22, 1773—Between 3:00 and 4:00AM, students wake up and help put out a house fire nearby. “The students upon this occasion behaved with a becoming boldness which does them honour,” the Pennsylvania Packet will report.

January 23, 1871—In a controversial lecture, College of New Jersey (Princeton) president James McCosh asserts that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution is consistent with Christianity.

James McCosh, ca. 1870s. Historical Photograph Collection, Individuals Series (AC067), Box AD13.

January 24, 1753—The Board of Trustees of the College of New Jersey vote to move the institution from Newark to Princeton.

First known image of Nassau Hall, New American Magazine, 1760. Nassau Hall Iconography Collection (AC177), Box 1.

January 28, 1931—President John Grier Hibben issues a statement regarding the gift offered to Princeton in the will of Albert Enoch Pillsbury. The will reads, “Believing that the modern feminist movement tends to take women out of the home and put her in politics, government or business, and that this has already begun to impair the family as a basis of civilization and its advance, I bequeath to Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Columbia colleges $25,000 each … [to be used] toward creating or developing sound public opinion and action on this subject.” Hibben responds, “We wouldn’t think of accepting a gift on those conditions.” (Harvard, Yale, and Columbia decline the offer, but the Board of Trustees of Princeton will ultimately accept despite Hibben’s comments. This will create administrative headaches decades as it will be difficult to find a use for the gift that reflects both its spirit and the University’s values.)

For last week’s installment in this series, click here.

Fact check: We always strive for accuracy, but if you believe you see an error, please contact us.

One response to “This Week in Princeton History for January 22-28”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.