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This Week in Princeton History for December 27-January 2

In this week’s installment of our recurring series, a Hoboken woman endows a professorship in mathematics, Congress faces criticism for tariffs on books imported for higher education, and more.

December 29, 1823—The Trenton Federalist expresses shock that any newspaper “should publish such extravagant reports as are stated in some of the Philadelphia papers respecting the disorders which have occurred among the students at Princeton.”

December 31, 1869—Local press reports that Martha Bayard Stevens has endowed the Albert Baldwin Dod Professorship of Mathematics at Princeton. Stevens, a widowed philanthropist from Hoboken, is Dod’s eldest child.

Martha Bayard Stevens. Portrait courtesy Stevens Institute of Technology.

January 1, 1805—The Balance (Hudson, New York) reprints a piece from the Commercial Advertiser using antisemitic language to lambaste Congress for refusing to suspend duties on books imported for use in institutions of higher education, saying the country owes this to Princeton, who have privately raised the money to repair Nassau Hall after the 1802 fire and replace its books and scientific equipment:

with a narrow, miserly, degrading covetousness, that would stamp infamy on Jewish avarice, they make a profit out of the misfortunes of the college—they exact, with the gripe of a hard-hearted tax-gatherer, a duty on the books, purchased by the laborious collection of assiduous piety and benevolence. Bale and shameful exaction! Foul blot on the name of America!

January 2, 1899—The Princeton Club of Philadelphia hosts a housewarming for its new clubhouse.

The Princeton Alumni Association of Philadelphia already had a longstanding presence in the city by the time their clubhouse opened in 1899. This was their 1898 directory. Alumni Association Records (AC048), Box 25.

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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