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This Week in Princeton History for August 14-20

In this week’s installment of our recurring series, one alum condemns lynch mobs, another observes an enemy army arriving, and more.

August 14, 1818—Following an investigation, faculty suspend sophomore George W. Giles and discipline three other students for “supping at the tavern” without permission. Though the others will face only reproof, “Mr. Giles had also conducted himself, at the tavern, in a highly disrespectful & contemptuous manner toward” a Princeton employee, and is therefore subject to a more serious punishment.

August 18, 1909—A member of a geological exploration party writes in his journal that a previously unknown pair of glaciers sit around what has been named the “Nassau Fjord,” with one being the “Tiger” glacier and the other the “Princeton” glacier. A set of photographs of these glaciers will later be displayed in Guyot Hall.

William Gaston, Class of 1796. Undergraduate Alumni Records 1748-1920 (AC104), Box 60.

August 19, 1836—Cincinnati’s Western Christian Advocate prints excerpts from comments made by North Carolina Judge William Gaston (Class of 1796) while speaking to the literary societies at Princeton condemning lynch mobs.

“We tell the people of the United States, that unless they look well to themselves, the day of their destruction is at hand. They are trying to destroy themselves. … We disclaim every man who advised the people to take laws into their own hands no matter for what cause… We say that every man who deprives or attempts to deprive the veriest wretch that breathes God’s atmosphere, of the right of trial by jury for any crime, is virtually a traitor—not only to his country, but to his own best rights and dearest interests.”

August 20, 1776—John Woodhull, Class of 1766, observes “a number of the Red Coats—and at the same time a large body of Hessians…” on his way from Elizabeth to Newark.

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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