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This Week in Princeton History for January 24-30

In this week’s installment of our recurring series, an alum urges Americans to put the Civil War behind them in order to defeat a new mutual enemy, the local newspaper advocates scrapbooking, and more.

January 24, 1817—The New York Commercial Advertiser reports that students at Princeton “are in a state of revolt.”

January 25, 1764—Around this date, the Pennsylvania Gazette reports that a fire has damaged Nassau Hall.

January 26, 1889—Students and others gather at a Temperance meeting at the town’s Second Presbyterian Church, where Alfred H. Colquitt, Class of 1844, now a senator from Georgia, warns that Americans must band together against liquor sales. “The Rebellion is over but a new war is upon us. No foreign enemy, but an enemy at home. Let the North and South unite and with combined strength overthrow this threatening evil.”

January 27, 1860—The Princeton Press encourages local residents to take up scrapbooking, and suggests they paste its own articles in their books.

Student scrapbooks do have plenty of newspaper clippings, local and otherwise, but often also a wealth of other contextual information. In this scrapbook made by Benjamin S. Morehouse, Class of 1862, we find an artifact not mentioned in the newspaper article he pasted in its pages, along with this note: “This ‘Golden Circle’ was one of a large no. tacked upon the trees in Princeton by some persons unknown during the night following the troubles mentioned in a preceding article in this scrapbook, ‘Treason Punished in Princeton College’ dated Sept. 16, [18]61. I took it down from a tree. The design thereof did not appear. Whether it is a sign of the ‘Golden Circle’ or not, I do not know. There was much excitement in the place during the few days mentioned in the article.” (The Knights of the Golden Circle was a secret society that formed in 1854 with an aim to establish a new country where slavery would be legal. During the Civil War, some northerners sympathetic to the Confederacy were part of the group.) Scrapbook Collection (AC026), Box 11.
For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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