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This Week in Princeton History for February 21-27

In this week’s installment of our recurring series, Abraham Lincoln disappoints students, the chief of staff for the Black Panthers speaks in Dillon Gym, and more.

February 21, 1861—Students who have waited for him are disappointed when Abraham Lincoln does not stop at Princeton’s train station between speaking from the train in New Brunswick and attending a reception in Trenton, Newark’s Centinel of Freedom will later report.

February 24, 1891—At the National Council of Women of the United States meeting in Washington, Annie Nathan Meyer, founder of Barnard College, criticizes Evelyn College, saying Evelyn is not holding women to the same standards as men. “Not only is the Evelyn degree given for less than is demanded by Princeton, but of the students that attend Evelyn twenty-five are special students; and only seven are regular students, working for the Evelyn degree.”

Diploma from Evelyn College, 1892, which awards a degree to Josephine Reade Curtis for having “completed the Special course of Study at Evelyn College” and having “passed in a satisfactory manner examinations corresponding to those of Princeton College upon the studies pursued.” (Click to enlarge.) Historical Subject Files (AC109), Box 434.

February 26, 1970—Black Panther chief of staff David Hilliard speaks to an audience of more than 3,000 in Dillon Gym. “For all the pigs in here…yes we’re subversives, yes we do intend to overthrow the United States government,” he says. “It is human to react when you see your mother shot in the street. It is inhuman to sit in your seat and rationalize your inaction.”

David Hilliard, 1970s. Princeton Alumni Weekly Photograph Collection (AC126), Box 26.

February 27, 1846—A letter to the editor of Virginia’s Alexandria Gazette decries ongoing efforts to have the votes of Princeton students thrown out in the contested election of U.S. Representative John Runk. “How Messrs. Chase, Chipman, Ellsworth and Hamlin can reconcile it to their consciences, to disfranchise such voters, is more than we can comprehend.”

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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