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Princetonians, 1748-1768: A Biographical Dictionary

Princetonians, 1748-1768: A Biographical Dictionary

Copyright Date: 1976
Pages: 736
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    Princetonians, 1748-1768: A Biographical Dictionary
    Book Description:

    Benjamin Rush, William Paterson, David Ramsay, Oliver Ellsworth, Jonathan Edwards, Jr.-these are only a few of the remarkable men who attended the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University) in its first twenty-one classes. Alumni included five members of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, twenty two participants in the Continental Congress, four Senators, seven Congressmen, and two Justices of the Supreme Court. This volume describes the lives of the 338 men who graduated from the College between 1748 and 1768. Their biographies are arranged by year of graduation, and an introduction provides the early history of the College and its role in colonial culture.

    In sharp contrast to the graduates of other colleges at the time, Princeton's early students were either born or found their later careers in every one of the thirteen states as well as in Tennessee, Kentucky, the West Indies, and Ireland. After graduation most became clergymen, lawyers, doctors, businessmen, and soldiers. While some served as national leaders, others rose to prominence in state and local government, becoming governors, state legislators, and participants in the drafting of state constitutions. This record of their lives is a mine of information about America during the Colonial, Revolutionary, and Early National periods.

    Originally published in 1977.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-7077-6
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-xvi)
    (pp. xvii-xxiv)

    During the eighteenth century, approximately 1,268 men are known to have matriculated at the College of New Jersey, which often was called Princeton College long before its name was officially changed to Princeton University in 1896. Of this total, 919 received the bachelor’s degree, while some 348 attended without graduating. This volume contains the biographies of approximately one-quarter of Princeton’s known eighteenth-century matriculates, the 338 men who attended the College in its first 21 classes, those spanning the years 1748 through 1768. Of these men, 313 received their A.B., while another 25 matriculated in the College but did not complete...

    (pp. xxv-xxviii)
  7. CLASS OF 1748
    (pp. 1-12)

    Enos Ayres, A.B., Presbyterian clergyman, was probably born in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, New Jersey, about 1723, the son of Joseph Ayres, a moderately well-to-do farmer, most likely by Joseph’s second wife, Elizabeth. Since he had two contemporaries of the same name, and also two other contemporaries namedEnochAyres, accounts of his career have been confused.

    As a youth Ayres was familiar with the preaching of the great evangelist George Whitefield, for in 1745 he wrote to the New Light theologian Joseph Bellamy from Elizabethtown that Whitefield’s “seeming to favour the Moravians causes our ministers to keep aloof from him.”...

  8. CLASS OF 1749
    (pp. 13-24)

    John Brown, A.B., Presbyterian clergyman, was born in County Limerick, Ireland, the son of Jennett Stevenson and her husband, James Brown, in 1728. In about 1722 Brown’s older sister Janet married Archibald Stuart (or Stewart). Stuart, who had engaged in political and religious opposition to the government, fled to Pennsylvania about 1725, leaving his family behind in Ireland. Freed from fear of arrest by an amnesty in 1732, Stuart sent for his family, which included his wife, two children, and Janet Stuart’s four-year-old brother, John Brown. In 1738 the family moved south down the Valley of Virginia to what is...

  9. CLASS OF 1750
    (pp. 25-32)

    Hugh Bay, A.B., lawyer or physician, has proved to be elusive. He is reputed to have been the brother of Andrew Bay, a weaver who emigrated from Ireland and was ordained a Presbyterian clergyman by the Presbytery of New Castle before 1748. Many Hugh Bays were living at the time. Writing to his father in June 1752, Joseph Shippen, Jr. (A.B. 1752), said that Samuel Livermore (A.B. 1752) had entrusted a large sum of money to a Hugh Bay and expected it to be recovered. Shippen added that Bay had received a license to practice law at “York Town”—whether...

  10. CLASS OF 1751
    (pp. 33-48)

    Jonathan Badger, A.B., A.M. 1754, College tutor, was born in Union, Connecticut, on December 4, 1729, the son of Captain Daniel Badger and his wife, Patience Durkee. After graduation Badger served as a tutor in the College from 1752 until late in 1755. He was also perhaps studying for the ministry, for he paid seven shillings for one of Jona than Edwards’s books in 1755. His salary was very small: £10 a quarter. His activities after leaving the College are unknown, but he was in Newark on Sunday, May 19, 1756, when on returning home from church Esther Burr recorded...

  11. CLASS OF 1752
    (pp. 49-66)

    George Duffield, A.B., A.M. 1755, D.D. Yale 1785, Presbyterian clergyman, was born on October 7, 1732, in Pequea, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the son of George Duffield, a farmer, and his wife Margaret. He may have been prepared for college at Newark, Delaware. After graduation Duffield went back to Pequea to study theology with the Reverend Robert Smith. In 1754 he returned to New Jersey and served as a tutor in the College for the next two years.

    On March 8, 1756, Duffield married Elizabeth, daughter of the Reverend Samuel Blair of Fagg’s Manor, Pennsylvania; she died in childbirth the following...

  12. CLASS OF 1753
    (pp. 67-90)

    Daniel Isaac Browne, A.B., A.M. 1756, A.M. King’s 1758, lawyer and public official, was probably born in 1739 or 1740 at Setauket, Long Island, New York, the son of an Anglican clergyman and sometime physician, Isaac Browne (Yale 1729). In 1747 Browne’s father became rector of Trinity Church in Newark, New Jersey. It could only have been proximity that led Browne's father to send him to a college for radical dissenters.

    Browne was licensed as an attorney in New Jersey in 1760, and set up practice in Hackensack, Bergen County. It was not, apparently, a flourishing practice. In 1786 a...

  13. CLASS OF 1754
    (pp. 91-128)

    Moses Barrett, A.B., schoolmaster and preacher, was probably the Moses Barrett, son of Rachel Buge and Thomas Barrett, born at Chelmsford, Massachusetts, on February 1, 1719. By October 22, 1747, Barrett had moved to Voluntown, Connecticut, where he married Mary Dow on that date. The couple had four children.

    On October 24, 1753, Barrett bought property in Lebanon, Connecticut. It was presumably shortly after this that he traveled south to Newark. Whether he actually attended the College or not is unclear. In the manuscript minutes of the Board of Trustees Barrett is listed along with the other regular A.B.s of...

  14. CLASS OF 1755
    (pp. 129-152)

    Jonathan Baldwin, A.B., A.M. 1758, College steward, merchant, and public official, was born in Newark, New Jersey, on May 22, 1731, the son of Esther and Nathaniel Baldwin. His father apparently took an active interest in the new College of New Jersey, for when he died in 1750 he bequeathed £20 to President Burr. The Baldwins were one of Newark’s first families, as were the Sergeants, with whom Jonathan would be closely associated throughout his life,

    After graduation, Baldwin became the steward of newly founded King’s College in New York City. In 1756, perhaps because of the smallpox epidemic in...

  15. CLASS OF 1756
    (pp. 153-168)

    Stephen Camp, A.B., physician, was born at Newark, New Jersey, in 1739, the son of Nathaniel, a well-to-do citizen of the town (he left an estate valued at over £1,582), who was very active in the affairs of the College. Stephen’s mother boarded many students in her house, and William Burnet (A.B. 1749) married Stephen’s sister. In College Stephen bought copies of Watts’sLogicand Plato’sDialoguesand took special lessons in French.

    After graduation Camp studied medicine and then set up practice in Bridgetown (now Rahway), New Jersey. He married Hester Birt, daughter of a British officer. The Camps...

  16. CLASS OF 1757
    (pp. 169-220)

    Moses Baldwin, A.B., A.M. 1760, Dartmouth 1791, Presbyterian clergyman, was born in Newark, New Jersey, on November 5, 1732. His father John Baldwin, Jr., a farmer, died before the end of the year. His mother, Lydia Harrison Baldwin, died in the early months of 1737. At her death her estate was valued at £258.08.11.

    For two years after his mother’s death, Baldwin lived with his uncle, Moses Harrison. He then moved to the home of his great-uncle Moses Ball, who was an associate of Jonathan Sergeant, a trustee of the College. When Ball died in 1747, leaving a small portion...

  17. CLASS OF 1758
    (pp. 221-256)

    John [Johannes] Borkuloe [Borkulo], A.B., farmer, was probably the son of Harmanus Borkuloe and his wife Sarah Terhune of the Narrows, Brooklyn, New York. He was baptized in the Dutch Church of Flatbush on September 1, 1734. The Borkuloe family, whose name was spelled with absolutely no consistency, was extensive. It included at least one branch in Kingston, New Jersey, and many members were named John or Johannes. The Princeton alumnus apparently returned to Brooklyn to help manage his father’s farm after graduation, and he was actively farming in 1760. By 1766, however, when Harmanus Borkuloe’s property was divided among...

  18. CLASS OF 1759
    (pp. 257-296)

    James Anderson, A.B., Presbyterian clergyman, was born about 1739. He may have come from Chester County, Pennsylvania, but the name was so common in the eighteenth century that it is impossible to distinguish the College’s James from scores of contemporaries of the same name. Anderson entered the College’s junior class in November 1756. He should have graduated in September 1758, but for reasons now unknown his graduation was delayed until September 1759. At some time during the following years Anderson studied for the ministry and was licensed by the Second Presbytery of Philadelphia in 1766. Shortly thereafter the presbytery sent...

  19. CLASS OF 1760
    (pp. 297-338)

    Joseph Alexander, A.B., A.M. 1763, D.D. 1807 South Carolina College, Presbyterian clergyman and educator, was born in Cecil County, Maryland, in 1730, the son of Catherine Wallis and her husband Theophilus Alexander.

    Alexander prepared for the College at Nottingham Academy in Maryland. If, as academy head Samuel Finley wrote to acting Princeton President Jacob Green in 1759, he was being sent off “somewhat rustecl in ye classicks,” Alexander must haye compensated for his deficiencies while at the College. For in 1767, the year of his licensing by the New Castle Presbytery, he founded a classical school at Sugar Creek, Mecklenburg...

  20. CLASS OF 1761
    (pp. 339-366)

    David Caldwell, A.B., D.D. University of North Carolina 1810, carpenter, Presbyterian clergyman, schoolmaster, public official and sometime physician, was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, on March 22, 1725, the eldest of the four sons of Ann Stewart and Andrew Caldwell, a farmer and immigrant from Ireland. When Caldwell was seventeen his father apprenticed him to a carpenter. After reaching journeyman status at the age of twenty-one Caldwell followed his craft for four more years. Then, at the age of twenty-five, he underwent a religious conversion and determined to become a clergyman. He studied at the Reverend Robert Smith’s academy at...

  21. CLASS OF 1762
    (pp. 367-416)

    Hugh Alison, A.B., Presbyterian clergyman and schoolmaster, was born in Pennsylvania in 1740 or 1742, the son of Rachel and Hector Alison. The father was a Presbyterian minister who after seeing service in the Seven Years War moved to South Carolina in the mid-i76os where he continued his ministry and also established himself as a planter, accumulating 2,450 acres of land.

    After graduation Alison joined his family in South Carolina and was soon installed as pastor of the Presbyterian church at Williamsburg. He served there until 1766. In 1768 Alison became pastor of a Presbyterian congregation on James Island just...

  22. CLASS OF 1763
    (pp. 417-450)

    James Boyd, A.B., Presbyterian clergyman, was born in 1743 at Pequea, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to very religious emigrants from northern Ireland. There Boyd was prepared for college by the Reverend Robert Smith. After graduation, Boyd studied theology and received his license from the New Castle Presbytery on July 31, 1766. On the death of Henry Smith, the minister of the combined churches of Newton and Bensalem, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the congregations unanimously called Boyd to fill the vacancy. There in October 1769 he was ordained by the Presbytery of Philadelphia. Shortly thereafter, he married a woman named Jane, whose last...

  23. CLASS OF 1764
    (pp. 451-476)

    Thomas Alkin, A.B., was an Anglican clergyman. No information concerning either his parentage or background has been discovered. Shortly after graduation Alkin traveled to England, where he was ordained by the Bishop of London in the Chapel Royal on February 23-24, 1766. Upon the recommendation of Lord Baltimore to Governor Sharpe of Maryland, he was sent in October 1766 to St. John’s Parish, which encompassed, wholly or partly, both Queen Anne and Caroline counties. On February 25, 1767, he became a “curate on probation” at St. John’s, and on July 7, 1769, he became its rector. During his tenure as...

  24. CLASS OF 1765
    (pp. 477-540)

    John Bacon, A.B., A.M. 1768, Harvard 1771, Presbyterian clergyman, public official, and farmer, was born in Canterbury, Connecticut, on April 9, 1738, the son of Ruth Spaulding and her husband, John Bacon. After graduation from the College young Bacon studied for the ministry and on July 30, 1767, was licensed by the Presbytery of Lewes, Delaware. On June 23 of the following year he was ordained by the presbytery as an itinerant preacher.

    From then until August 7, 1771, Bacon served Presbyterian churches in Delaware and on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. “The climate being unfavorable to my health,” he later recalled,...

  25. CLASS OF 1766
    (pp. 541-604)

    Waightstill Avery, A.B., A.M. 1771, lawyer, was born at Groton, Connecticut, on May 10, 1741, the tenth child of Jerusha Morgan and her husband, Humphrey Avery, a substantial resident of New London County, selectman, justice of the peace, and sometime deputy in the General Assembly. He studied in a school at Hempstead, Long Island, conducted by the Anglican Reverend Samuel Seabury (Harvard 1724). Avery was initially enrolled at Yale, but on July 27, 1764, President Thomas Clap recorded that he and Oliver Ellsworth (A.B. 1766) “at the request of their respective parents” had been dismissed from the college. Both young...

  26. CLASS OF 1767
    (pp. 605-628)

    Isaac Avery, Anglican clergyman and public official, the younger brother of Waightstill Avery (A.B. 1766), was born October 27, 1743, at Groton, Connecticut, the eleventh child of Humphrey and Jerusha Morgan Avery. Evidence of his attendance at the College is slight but convincing. He is listed among the “sub-graduate” members of the Cliosophic Society under the year 1765, which is to say that he presumably belonged to its forerunner, the Well-Meaning Club. Even more persuasive is the fact that, when he was ordained a priest by the bishop of London on October 18, 1769, he was described as “Isaac Avery...

  27. CLASS OF 1768
    (pp. 629-662)

    Robert Blackwell, A.B., A.M. 1782, A.B. King’s 1770, D.D. Pennsylvania 1788, Anglican and Episcopal clergyman and sometime surgeon, was born near Newtown, Long Island, on May 6, 1748, the eldest son of Frances Sackett and Colonel Jacob Blackwell, a moderately well-to-do landowner. The family’s properties included Blackwell’s Island in Manhattan’s East River. Although an active Anglican, the father was not prejudiced toward religious dissenters: in 1758 he donated land for a Presbyterian church and school in Blooming Grove, New York. Robert prepared for college at Rudge’s Classical School at Hallett’s Cove, Long Island, and in New York City. At his...

    (pp. 663-678)
  29. INDEX
    (pp. 679-706)
  30. Back Matter
    (pp. 707-707)