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This Week in Princeton History for July 3-9

In this week’s installment of our recurring series, Princeton is transformed into a national capitol, Aaron Burr’s grave makes the news, and more.

July 3, 1799—Charles Ingersoll (Class of 1800) “was brought before the Faculty on the charges of irregularity in College and the use of profane Language … and assured the next instance of misconduct of which he was guilty, he should be sent with disgrace from College.”

Copy of faculty minutes showing quoted text regarding Charles Ingersoll being brought before the faculty
Faculty minutes, July 3, 1799. Office of the Dean of the Faculty Records (AC118), Volume 1.

July 4, 1836—The planned celebration of the 60th anniversary of American independence turns out to be changed drastically by a hard rain shower at about 1:00PM.

The faculty and students politely offer their black silk gowns to some of the fair sex, in order to protect them as far as it is in their power. But all efforts on the part of the stronger sex to protect the weaker from the peltings of the storm are unavailing.

July 5, 1783—A Princeton student writes to his father to describe the transformation of the small town into a national capitol:

The pace of things is inconceivably altered in Princeton within a fortnight… Instead of almost total silence in town, nothing is to be seen or heard but the passing and rattling of wagons, coaches, and chairs, the crying about of pine-apples, oranges, lemons, and every luxurious article both foreign and domestic.

July 8, 1852—The New York Evangelist reports,

The grave of Aaron Burr, at Princeton, N.J. has been daguerreotyped. Not a stone marks the spot, though Burr is understood to have left a wealthy widow, and his ashes lie surrounded by the impressive monuments of Jonathan Edwards, John Witherspoon, Ashbel Green, other deceased officers of Princeton College, whereof Burr’s father was once President. Such is the end of evil greatness.

Grave of Aaron Burr with three visitors
The grave of Aaron Burr had a prominent stone at least as early as 1860, as can be seen in this photo. Historical Photograph Collection, Grounds and Buildings Series (AC111), Box AD10, Image No. 9472.

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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