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This Week in Princeton History for January 8-14

By April C. Armstrong *14

In this week’s installment in our recurring series, locals are discussing the injustice of the Northwest Indian War, the establishment of a law school seems a foregone conclusion, and more.

January 9, 1792—The Philadelphia Chronicle observes that the entire town of Princeton is occupied with discussing St. Clair’s defeat at the Battle of Wabash in the Northwest Indian War. After warning that “all attempts to reduce the savages must inevitably fail,” the writer expresses the local view that it is also a waste of money when the new nation still has debts from the American Revolution,

a war to emancipate us from the shackles of that power whose claims of dependency and vassalage were not more inequitable than ours with respect to the Indians of the western territory. … The Indian War–a war though unnecessary, inequitable, and impolitic, is therefore objectionable, and hence it is inferred, that the enormous sums annually expended on so unjustifiable a business, is mere prodigality.

January 10, 1896—A writer in the Princetonian notes, “The establishment of a law school at Princeton, seems to be an assured fact.”

Ivy Hall,  ca. 1870s. This building served as Princeton’s law school from 1846-1855. Plans to revive the defunct program in the late 19th century did not come to fruition. Historical Photograph Collection, Grounds and Buildings Series (AC111), Box MP52, Image No. 1837.

January 13, 1987—At an open forum held to discuss the issue, Dean of Students Eugene Lowe ’71 says the institution is in “what feels almost like an epidemic” of sexual assault cases. He expresses concern that students aren’t taking this seriously enough. “One of my deep worries is that there is this impression among undergraduates that nothing is going to happen to them.”

January 14, 1937—The Princeton University Library has received a donation of 56 volumes of original and early editions by English and American authors as a memorial of William Pitman Earle III ’38, who died in a car accident in November 1935.

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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