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 April 8-14

In this week’s installment of our recurring series bringing you the history of Princeton University and its faculty, students, and alumni, the Board of Trustees bans dueling, the contract for construction of the infirmary is awarded, and more.

April 8, 1917—James Barnes of the Class of 1891 outlines a proposal for privately financing an aviation school to Princeton University’s Committee on Military Instruction.

April 10, 1799—In response to a faculty report about a growing trend of students engaging in duels with one another, the Board of Trustees establishes a new policy. They declare any student caught dueling or attempting to duel be subject to immediate expulsion, promising that they “will never fail to match every instance of this crime with the highest expression of their detestation and abhorrence and to subject the perpetrators to that just and pointed infamy which their aggravated guilt demands.”

The expulsion of Alfred Powell of the Class of 1799, pictured above, seems to have been the primary inspiration for the Board of Trustees imposing the penalty of expulsion for dueling. Powell, unlike other students involved, was unapologetic about challenging his peers to duels. Image from Undergraduate Alumni Records 1748-1920 (AC104).

April 11, 1892—The Committee on Grounds and Buildings awards the contract for the construction of Isabella McCosh Infirmary to Charles W. Kafer of Trenton. The cost will be $26,300.

Isabella McCosh Infirmary shortly after its construction. Historical Photograph Collection, Grounds and Buildings Series (AC111), Box AD05, Image no. 8489.

April 13, 1929—Members of Princeton’s Theatre Intime in the production of “The Admirable Crichton” are the first men to appear in plays at Bryn Mawr when they join the Varsity Players. They will further break tradition when they attend the first dance ever held at the institution. The Bryn Mawr Bulletin will reflect on this change, “Male collaboration in general is an interesting issue at present, and we incline on the whole to accept the artistic function of the male while keeping his official social function at a minimum.”

For the previous 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 April 8-14”

Leave a Reply

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