This Week in Princeton History for June 27-July 3

In this week’s installment of our recurring series, New Jersey’s governor worries that the colonists won’t support a college, a court rules in favor of an alum, and more.

June 27, 1748—Governor Jonathan Belcher writes to the Committee of the West Jersey Society,

But as I find upon the Best inquiry hardly Sixty thousand Souls in the whole Province of New Jersey and most of them People that live by their day Labour, I am At Present much discouraged about a College Not Seeing where Money will be found to Build the House and to Support the Necessary Officers for the Assembly (Many of them Quakers) will do Nothing towards it…

June 28, 1920—In a letter to the editor of the Washington Bee, Marianna G. Brubaker writes, “If Wilson ‘battled for democracy’ at Princeton, it must have been white democracy, the only part of which he has the remotest conception.”

July 1, 1883—The Atlanta Constitution reports that U.S. President Chester Arthur’s son, Chester Alan Arthur II, Class of 1885, is known around Princeton’s campus as the “lion dude” and “the precious thing.”

July 3, 1973—The New York Supreme Court sides with William J. Thom ’63 in approving his application for the incorporation of Lambda Legal, overturning a lower court ruling that the gay rights organization was “neither benevolent nor charitable in ostensible purpose.”

Leaflet describing the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, ca. 1973. (Click to enlarge.) American Civil Liberties Union Records (MC001), Box 2997.

For the previous installment in this series, click here.

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