Mr. Madison’s War: A Handful of Princeton Perspectives

By: Amanda Pike

Today marks the bicentennial of the official declaration of the War of 1812. While the war itself had little influence on the daily experiences of Princeton students, on occasion, these students would witness soldiers passing through town on their way to the conflict. Some of these encounters were detailed in student correspondence to family members, and these letters also address the public sentiment towards the war and the tumultuous political climate that provided its impetus. A few examples of these writings are highlighted below.

The first excerpt is from a letter written by James Mercer Garnett, Jr., Class of 1814, to his mother, Mary E. Garnett of Pittsville, Virginia. Dated June 16, 1812, two days before President James Madison (a fellow Princetonian, Class of 1771) officially declared war on Great Britain, Garnett wrote his letter while traveling through Washington, D.C. on his way to Princeton. Meanwhile, Congress deliberated Madison’s grievances with England, which included British trade restrictions with France, British support of indigenous resistance to American expansionism, impressment of American soldiers in the British Royal Navy, and British seizure of American ships.

As I probably shall not have an opportunity to write, on the way between here and Princeton; I take the opportunity while my Father is writing, to let you know we have got so far safe on our journey….I have not time to say much more now, as we are going to the Cappitol (sic) in a few minutes. Tell Uncle Mercer that the recruiting business goes on very slowly here; & that in stead (sic) of the 17 thousand men that are reported in our neighbourhood to have enlisted; the Secretary at war says there are only between three and five thousand. I fancy all the reports about what the senate have done are false, their doors are still closed; I expect we shall know what they have determined on tomorrow; the general oppinion (sic) about here is that we shall have war, although they say the public sentiment seems to be much against it….
Student Writings and Correspondence Collection (AC334, Box 9)

After several days of deliberation, the House of Representatives voted 79 to 49 for a declaration of war, and the Senate agreed by a vote of 19 to 13. On June 18, 1812, Madison signed this measure into law, becoming the first U.S. President to declare war on another nation.

The following excerpt is from a letter written by Walter Kirkpatrick, Class of 1813, to his cousin, Maria Cobb of Morristown, New Jersey dated July 6, 1812. In the letter, Kirkpatrick addresses the recent declaration of war, and the anticipated effect it will have on the college. He writes:

…War is indeed declared, yet it will not have that effect on this institution which you seemed to imagine it would have, the probability is that we shall continue here as we have done as idle spectators of the scene, since no student is obliged to perform military duty while he is a member of college ….Wednesday last a company of about one hundred soldiers passed through this place on their way to New York – They had with them 12 pieces of cannon, each piece being able to carry a ball of six pounds weight, and men followed at a considerable distance by four very large baggage-wagons guarded by about twenty soldiers…

Undergraduate Alumni Records (AC104, Box 73)

Walter Kirkpatrick letter, envelope

Continue reading

She Roars. We Record.

By: Q Miceli ’12

A year ago, after the introductory slideshow at the She Roars Conference for female Princeton graduates and students, various audience members asked President Shirley Tilghman if there was a museum or other exhibit documenting the history of women at Princeton. I remember President Tilghman directing the conference participants to Mudd Library if they were interested in learning more about the history of coeducation at Princeton. Mudd has featured an exhibit this year called “She Flourishes: Chapters in the History of Princeton Women,” However, Wikipedia articles about Princeton women created using University archives resources would enhance the online accessibility of this information, while ensuring its reliability.

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Enter the idea of hosting another Wikipedia Edit-a-thon at Mudd, this time on the theme of Women at Princeton. Wikimedia Community Fellow Sarah Stierch’s recent interview on CBC Radio 2, in which she discussed the Wikipedia gender gap and the fates of articles about women in academia, inspired me to organize this even to highlight the contributions women have made to Princeton as an institution and to help close the Wikipedia gender gap.

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With help from members of the Wikimedia of NYC chapter, new Wikipedia editors teamed up with experienced Wikipedians in order to research and create articles for the history of women at Princeton, Coeducation at Princeton, and a few notable faculty and staff members. By the end of the day, we had drafts of articles in a few different users’ sandboxes on Wikipedia and an article on coeducation that is ready for expansion.

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Sophomore Anna Kornfeld Simpson wins a gold star for using the most books in the reference room while researching women engineers at Princeton!

By the numbers, we had:
*Total participants: 15
*Princeton students: 4
*Usernames created: 5

Article Creations
*Coeducation at Princeton University
*Karin Trainer
*History of Women at Princeton University
*Margot Canaday

Article Expansions
*Elaine Pagels
*Evelyn College for Women
*Addition of the first editrix of The Daily Princetonian, Anne C. Mackay-Smith ’80 and the first woman business manager, Judy E. Piper ’76

Wikimedia Commons Category
*http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Women_at_Princeton_editathon

We invite you to keep the momentum going by checking the meetup page, choosing a topic, and contributing your time and article-writing talent.

Check in with us on Twitter @muddlibrary and Facebook

Applying “More Product, Less Process” to very large collections: Mudd archivist presents at professional conference

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Recently project archivist Adriane Hanson participated in a panel at the recent spring conference of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) in Cape May, NJ. The topic of her talk was how she is handling the size of her current project, processing 2,500 linear feet of the records of the American Civil Liberties Union Records in a two-year project funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).
In a nutshell, this feat is accomplished by:
1. Stay on top of the schedule through careful project management, collecting metrics to have realistic data on how long each task requires, and frequently revisiting and adjusting the timeline of the project.
2. Be flexible about the workflow, examining the way you have always done things and adjusting as needed to better work with a massive collection.
3. Think of it as data management. Use tools to repurpose data from one step of the project to another, and to analyze and transform the data once the box inventories are complete.
4. Spend extra time writing descriptions about each part of the collection to provide the researcher with important keywords to search for and context to understand the significance of the section. But do not spend time on description that is not aiding in searching, such as lists of document types in the collection inventory. Time should be spent on value-added description.
The slides and text for her presentation are available here.
If you have any questions for her, you can reach her by email: ahanson@princeton.edu

University Archives featured in Princeton Alumni Weekly

Every few weeks the Princeton Alumni Weekly focuses one segment of the magazine to highlight items from the Princeton University Archives entitled "From the Vault."

The articles are researched and written by alumnus W. Barksdale Maynard ’88 who has been contributing the content to the PAW for two years. Mr. Maynard has also written a few books, two focusing on Princeton, which you can see here. The concept of the articles originated with Editor Marilyn H. Marks *86 who has an interest in the University Archives, which are housed at the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library. http://www.princeton.edu/mudd/

The most recent article focuses on a former Princeton alumni who was aboard the Titanic when it sank. http://paw.princeton.edu/issues/2012/04/04/pages/7288/

Recently PAW photographer Riccardo Barros and Art Director Marianne Gaffney Nelson came to Mudd to photograph physical items included in the collections for upcoming issues of the PAW. Here you can see a behind the scene’s view of how those articles come to life.
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Keep checking the next few issues of the PAW to see these items explained!!
For more about the University Archives click here.

Additional ACLU Collections Available

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There are now 3 more American Civil Liberties Union finding aids available online and accessible to the public:

Series 2: Project Files
The Project Files series contains the records of twelve of the ACLU’s projects, which each addressed an area of civil liberties violations. Project records typically consist of case files, research files, project publicity correspondence. The best documented projects are the Children’s Rights Project Women’s Rights Project, to a lesser extent the Arts Censorship Project, Capital Punishment Project, Reproductive Freedom Project.
Series 3: Subject Files
The Subject Files series contains articles, reports, court documents, and other materials collected by the ACLU during the course of their work. The main subjects are drugs, homelessness, and Supreme Court nominations, largely of Robert Bork. Other significant subjects in the series include campaign finance, discrimination, environmental equity and racism, school pension plans, state constitutions, and welfare.
Series 4: Legal Case Files
The Legal Case Files series documents the ACLU’s involvement in litigation, ranging from files collected on cases for research purposes to records of cases they were significantly involved in. The records include documents filed with the court, correspondence, lawyer’s notes, depositions and expert testimony, transcripts of the trials, newspaper clippings, and research materials on the background of the case and legal precedent.
The Legal Case Files series contains records about over 1,500 cases, with the majority being files collected on non-ACLU cases for research on the broad range of civil liberties which the ACLU investigates. Common subjects include the separation of church and state, public education, racial and sexual discrimination, injustice in the legal system, illegal surveillance and search, and protecting the freedom of speech and expression, as well as politics and voting, information access and privacy, fair employment and health care practices, and immigration. Cases which are particularly well documented include Carlos Rivera v. John Rowland about the public defender system in Connecticut and three cases about public education: Brown v. Board of Education, Charlet v. Legislature of Louisiana, and Harper v. Hunt.

For more information about the ACLU collections check out our recent post:
http://blogs.princeton.edu/mudd/2012/03/american-civil-liberties-union-records-new-series-available.html

-Adriane Hanson

American Civil Liberties Union Records: First New Series Available

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Researchers can start using some newly open American Civil Liberties Union Records ahead of schedule!

Series 1: Organizational Matters is now open for research by using the following finding aid. http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/x346d492c

This series is part of an ongoing two-year project funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission to process 2,500 linear feet of ACLU records, largely from 1970 to 2000. Each series will be made available as processing is completed, with the entire project scheduled to end on July 1, 2012. Look for Series 2: Project Files and Series 3: Subject Files to be made available in April.

Series 1: Organizational Matters documents the inner workings of the ACLU. These records take you behind the scenes as individuals at the national office, regional offices, and affiliates negotiate the ACLU’s official position on emerging civil liberties issues. Executive Director Ira Glasser’s papers shed light into the complicated management of one of the nation’s preeminent civil liberties organizations. Within the correspondence, meeting minutes, and position papers, you can see the ACLU shape strategies to try cases, combat restrictive legislation, and mobilize public opinion to support the ACLU’s interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. At 472 linear feet, this series holds a wealth of potential for anyone looking at a late 20th century civil liberties issue or the U.S. policy-making process.

The public is welcome to visit the Mudd Library to conduct research within these materials. For more information on the ACLU collections, search our finding aids, and you can always get help by emailing us at mudd@princeton.edu.

–Adriane Hanson

Princeton’s African American Honorary Degree Recipients: Activists and Public Servants

by: Brenda Tindal

In the fall of 1748, Princeton University–then known as the College of New Jersey– held its first commencement. During this ceremony, six undergraduate students were graduated with Bachelor of Arts degrees and the administration conferred the honoris causa (honorary degree) upon Jonathan Belcher, the Governor of New Jersey. Thereafter, Princeton awarded honorary degrees to individuals who had made significant contributions in various sectors of society including religion, academics, arts and culture, politics, science, military, and finance, among other fields. However, it would not be until 1951 that Princeton would confer this honor upon an African American. Since then, more than forty African Americans have been honored in this way. This post focuses on some African American activists and public servants who have received an honorary degree from Princeton University.

Ralph Johnson Bunche

Diplomat and scholar-activist Ralph Johnson Bunche was the first African American awarded an honorary degree from Princeton in 1951, receiving a Doctor of Laws degree.


Citation read at Princeton’s 204th Commencement:
"A political scientist on the faculty of Howard University on leave since 1941 for government service. Stafford Little Lecturer at Princeton in 1950. Professor-designate at Harvard. An expert analyst of colonial areas and territorial affairs for the State Department and advisor to the United States Delegation at the several Conferences that initiated the United Nations. Now on loan from the State Department to be Director of the Department of Trusteeship in the United Nations. Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for 1950 as United Nations mediator in Palestine. Where human affairs need a knowing appraisal and statesmanlike leadership, people draft him because he can be believed. His singleness of purpose brings people to the point of reconciliation, and his sincerity and simplicity inspire in them confident hope. A world citizen ‘ever willing to accept as great a share of hazard as of honor.’ "

Thurgood Marshall

Judge and civil rights litigator Thurgood Marshall received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws in 1963.

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Citation read at Princeton’s 206th Commencement:

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Whitney Moore Young, Jr.

Leader of the National Urban League and civil rights activist Whitney Moore Young, Jr., received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws in 1967.

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Citation read at Princeton’s 220th Commencement:

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Coretta Scott King

Human rights activist and widow of slain Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Coretta Scott King received the honorary degree of Doctor of Humanities in 1970.

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Citation read at Princeton’s 223rd Commencement:

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John Lewis

Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws in 1987.
Citation read at Princeton 240th Commencement:
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Constance Baker Motley

Judge and civil rights litigator Constance Baker-Motley received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws in 1989.

Citation read at Princeton’s 242nd Commencement:

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Dorothy Irene Height

Civic leader, activist, and educator Dorothy Irene Height received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws in 1990.
Citation read at Princeton’s 243rd Commencement:

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Robert Parris Moses

Educator and civil rights pioneer Robert Parris Moses received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws in 2002.
*Moses is currently the 2011-2012 Visiting Fellow in Princeton’s Center for African American Studies (CAAS)
Citation read at Princeton’s 257th Commencement:

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University Archives materials in new Art Museum exhibition

A new exhibition at the Princeton University Art Museum features items borrowed from the Princeton University Archives. Princeton and the Gothic Revival: 1870-1930 is a look into "Americans’ changing attitudes to the art, architecture, and style of the Middle Ages through the lens of Princeton University around the turn of the twentieth century" and opens to the public this Saturday, February 25, 2012.

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Alexander Hoyle for Cram and Ferguson, architects

The exhibit includes 10 items loaned from the Princeton University Archives, including the signature image for the exhibition, a watercolor of the University Chapel (above). Other items include architectural drawings of the Marquand Chapel, Holder Hall, Madison Hall and the South Court Tower, and some suggested additions for the university library from 1898, which at that time was housed in Chancellor Green.

One piece needed some intricate and delicate conservation efforts from University Paper Conservator Ted Stanley. A watercolor of the proposed exterior of the A. Page Brown, Class of 1877 Biological Laboratory had split in half. Stanley was able to restore the watercolor and the board it was mounted on to its original form to hide the separation. We challenge you to find the seam!

This is the first time that any of the archives material has been loaned and displayed at the Princeton Art Museum. The exhibit will run from February 25th to June 24, 2012

For more about Princeton and the Gothic Revival: 1870-1930 or the Princeton Art Museum, visit their website.

My own sweet angel: The Love Letters of Peter Page

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Peter M. Page and Ann Pearman

For Valentine’s Day, we bring you a love letter. Peter M. Page joined the US Naval Air Corps after graduating with Princeton University’s Class of 1941. The following letter is part of the correspondence between Page and his fiancée Ann Pearman (nee Aiguier) during his training and military service. (The Peter M. Page papers are housed at the Mudd Manuscript Library on the campus of Princeton University. Click here for more about Page.)

Transcript below images:

Approximately January 20, 1942.
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Peter Page:1942 letter page 1

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Peter Page: 1942 letter page 2

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Peter Page: 1942 letter page 3
My own sweet angel-

I had the most marvelous conversation over the telephone this evening I ever had in my life, with the most marvelous creation in the history of the world — you’ll never know how I felt this afternoon from the second I read that letter until I finally go you on the phone — as soon as I read it there was only one thing left for me to do and that was to call you as soon as possible and find out just what was the story, the trouble, the situation — if you ever doubted in all your life whether I love your or not today should have proven to you just exactly how terribly much you do mean to me – if I’d had to go thru this entire night without knowing the answer, without knowing whether you loved me, it would have been too much. I’ve proven just how weak I am, that I couldn’t live without you — you mean so much to me that it terrifies me to think what would happen if you left —– I was going to stay in town tonight and have a few drinks with the boys but after talking to you, everything else lost all interest for me and after a nice big steak dinner I came back here to the barracks where I could write you for the third time today. All I can think of is you, my dear-heart; you’re in my heart twenty-four hours a day and facing the next four months without seeing you is the blackest outlook possible — how can I live four months without my "better-half" — its like living without my heart.

Dreamt about you last night – we were back at 10 Rad. Rd and were having some trouble convincing Jeannie that the upstairs instead of the downstairs was the place for her – she finally gave in, dearest, finally —
Good night my precious — I wish you were here with me now, now and always, forever – be a good girl and love me as I love you, completely & eternally
Yours and I do mean Yours
Peter
For goodness sake don’t worry about Ma – how could she keep from loving you as I do — and she’ll just love to see you because she knows how much I love you — You’re getting as silly as usual and that’ll never do.

Peter Page lost his life on February 13, 1943 in the aftermath of the Guadalcanal campaign serving as a Marine Corps pilot. Ann Pearman calls Peter her "first real love" and was devastated by the loss; however she went on to graduate from Vassar and has lived a long and prosperous life.

The beginnings of American Football

Superbowl Sunday is once again upon us. As we head toward the “Big Game” you can’t help but think back to when intercollegiate football gained its beginnings right here in Princeton.

In the book A Princeton Companion author Alexander Leitch notes that the first American intercollegiate football game was played between Princeton and Rutgers in New Brunswick on November 6, 1869.

The Princeton University Archives, housed at Mudd Manuscript Library, contains a treasure trove of memorabilia, photographs and programs from the early days of Princeton football.

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Princeton football team from 1879.
A Souvenir Programme from the Princeton-Pennsylvania Foot-Ball Game from November 5, 1892 gives a description of the game. See the transcript below.

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“Our Game of Foot-Ball” from a Souvenir Programme dated November 5, 1892.

Transcript:
Our Game of Foot-Ball.

It is proper to call it our game,for the reason that Foot-ball, as you will see it played to-day, is peculiarly an institution of American Colleges. From the time, however, that man’s constructive genius evolved a large but airly light sphere, he has delighted to kick and chase it about in rivalry with his fellows. Therefore, Foot-ball, as a game, is not ours either in the sense of American or modern. We read of games in the Middle Ages, in which hundreds of men participated, and the bounds of which were miles apart. Who has not laughed at the description, in “Tom Brown’s School-days,” of the game into which the silk-hatted, gold spectacled graduates rushed-forgetful of dignity and clothing-remembering only the glory of their school and the intoxicating delight of the game. Show me the boy or man even – indeed I will add old woman – who can see a foot-ball rolling temptingly near the foot and yet feel no desire to kick it, and I would advise the consulting of some sensible physician. But it would be well to speak only of our game. Among the spectators there is undoubtedly a large minority who know actually nothing about the technique of “Inter-Collegiate” Foot-ball. Probably half of the remainder know just enough to arouse their curiosity, and many of the other half feel that they do not know it all. Hence it does not seem untimely to describe the game in such a way that any, so desiring, may, by careful reading, know and enjoy Foot-Ball better.

THE GROUNDS
You will see, spread out before you, a field enclosed by white bouandry lines. Its length is 330 feet — its breadth 160 feet. Width-wise across this field you will see other white lines, drawn parallet and exactly five yards apart. Three of these “five-yard” lines are marked more heavily than the others. These are twenty-five yards from each end and the one in the centre of the field. The end lines are called the “goal-lines.” In the centre fo the lines you will see two posts twenty feet high, eighteen feet and six inches apart and connected ten feet from the ground by a straight bar. This-H like structure is called the goal.

THE TEAMS
If you are properly enthused, you will experience considerable excitement when the teams come on the field about two-fifteen. Until the game is called there will be about twenty men at each end of the field, warming up by passing the ball, falling on it and kicking it. When it is time to play, however, eleven only of each side strip off their sweaters and assemble at the middle of the field. The conventional method for these men to line up on ordinary plays is as follows: Seven of them, called “Rushers,” stand in line to protect he “Backs,” who are the other four men. Of the Rushers, the man in the middle is known as the Centre Rush, and is the man to put the ball in play. On each side of him are the Guards – the one on his right being known as Right Guard, the other as Left Guard. The next man on each side is known as a Tackle, and the end men are known respectively as Right and Left End Rush. Of the Backs, the man who plays directly behind the Centre Rush and takes the ball from him when he snaps it back is know as the Quarter Back. The other three backs stand in a line about five yards from the Rushers and are know respectively as Right and Left Half Backs and Full Back.

THE OFFICIALS
Consist of a Referee and an Umpire. The principal duty of the former is to watch the ball – tell to which side it belongs, how many downs it is, how far to gain, and whether the ball has been properly put into play. The Umpire must watch the players – keep them on side, prevent unfair holding, decide with regard to the fairness of interference and prevent brutality by sending from the field all men who strike, kick, throttle or are unnecessarily rough.

THE GAME
When it is nearly time for the game to begin, the Referee calls the two Captains together and, by flipping a coin, determine which team shall have the ball at the kick-off. The Captain who does not get the ball always has a choice of the goals, and usually chooses to defend the one from which the wind is blowing, so that the kicking may be more effective. The Referee now placed the ball in the exact centre of the field, and the team having the kick-off forms itself into the shape of a V, with the apex over the ball and a man standing in the angle to run with it behind the protection of his V. The Referee asks each Captain if he is ready and then shouts, “Play!” The game is now begun and continues an hour and a half, with a rest of ten minutes in the middle.

Above items were found in collections:

In addition, you can see film highlights of Princeton football games on our Reel Mudd blog.

Early films of Princeton football, 1903-1951.
Post-war Princeton football newsreels, 1947-1956.
Princeton Football, the Winning Way,” 1975.

For more information about Princeton Football and the University Archives visit the finding aids page of the Mudd Manuscript Library website.

Additional reading Princeton Football: Images of Sports available at Firestone and Mudd Libraries.