“Sons from the Southward & Some from the West Indies”
The Academy and Slavery in Revolutionary America
I learn from Messrs [James] Madison & [Caleb] Wallace how much I am indebted to you for your favourable Opinions & Friendship[,] the Continuance of which I will do [my] best to deserve.
PRESIDENT JOHN WITHERSPOON, PRINCETON,
TO COLONEL HENRY LEE, VIRGINIA, 1770
“Give us a merchant acquainted with trade!” workingmen in Bristol, England, shouted in support of Henry Cruger Jr. during a special election to fill a vacant seat in Parliament. Five years into a costly war between Britain and its North American colonies, many Bristol citizens were tying their political and economic futures to a colonial slave trader. Slavers and planters had become symbols of prosperity in Britain and America. Henry Cruger Jr. lost that 1781 election but won the Bristol mayoralty later that year. He reclaimed a seat in the House of Commons shortly after the war when the kingdom’s economy was even more flaccid. The Cruger commercial network extended throughout the Atlantic world: from New York to Britain, Jamaica, Saint Croix, Curaçao, and the West African coast. Cruger ships brought enslaved Africans to the Caribbean and the North American mainland, supplied the West Indian and southern plantations, carried the products of enslaved labor to Europe, and transported European goods to the colonies. Cruger had studied in New York City at King’s College, where his father and uncle were founding trustees. In 1739 his grandfather became mayor of New York, and his uncle claimed the mayoralty in 1757. Slave traders, planters, and land barons underwrote the institutional development of the colonies. The elite established schools, libraries, churches, and hospitals and combined to govern these new institutions. Colonial academies were born in the slave economy, and that same economy funded the expansion of the educational infrastructure in the early years of the United States.1
Although established, sponsored, and, to differing degrees, governed by Christian denominations—Congregational, Anglican, Presbyterian, Baptist, Dutch Reformed, German Reformed, Methodist, Catholic, and Lutheran—early colleges and academies were poorly supported. The governors of Harvard (founded 1636) exploited the dense commercial networks that linked New England, the South, and the British Caribbean. Boston was second only to London as a destination for Barbadians. New England ships circled in and out of the West Indies, where successive Harvard administrations campaigned for donations and solicited students. While in port at Bridgetown, Barbados, in 1709, the Harvard graduate Thomas Prince logged the continual arrival of ships from the northern colonies, particularly Newport, Boston, New York, and Philadelphia.2
Colonial North America was a hostile environment for schools. In 1718 the trustees of the Collegiate School (founded 1701) in New Haven, Connecticut, received a donation from the Welsh merchant Elihu Yale: four hundred books, some cash, and a painting of George I. The board recognized the gift by renaming the college for Yale. In 1722 the governors built a house for the rector—the more ministerial term used before the trustees established a presidency—by taking subscriptions, selling lands, and getting the General Assembly of Connecticut to tax rum imported from the West Indies. A year later, the Yale board bestowed a medical degree upon Daniel Turner, a respectable guild-licensed surgeon in London who lacked the academic credentials to join the Royal College of Physicians. It was the first medical degree ever granted in North America. Turner sent twenty-five books and a brief letter outlining his qualifications to New Haven, and at the September commencement the trustees awarded him in absentia an honorary doctorate in medicine. Yale had no medical school and no science faculty. The Royal College declined to recognize Turner’s colonial credentials.3
The actions of Yale’s trustees were not unusual. From the establishment of Jamestown through the Civil War, Americans began several hundred academies, but 80 percent of them failed. “Small and unknown as we are in respects of the great and famous universities w[hi]ch adorn the Kingdomes of Great Britain,” the trustees of Harvard wrote to the embattled King George I before describing their institution as “yo[u]r Maj[es]ty[’]s Loyal and Humble College in America.” Governors had little choice but to forge or affirm such ties. For most of its first hundred years, Harvard did not have a single professor but instead relied upon tutors for instruction. The presidents of colonial colleges lived like itinerants, spending much of the year journeying from town to town and province to province, by horseback and in rough coaches, hats in hands. They delivered sermons and academic addresses in churches and local associations, frequently publishing these lectures to raise a bit more money for their schools.4
Historian Frederick Rudolph neatly captured the hand-to-mouth realities of the early academy: “Often when a college had a building, it had no students. If it had students, frequently it had no building. If it had either, then perhaps it had no money, perhaps no professors; if professors, then no president[;] if a president, then no professors.” In 1724 the Reverend Hugh Jones complained that William and Mary (founded 1691) had a seminary without a chapel, a college without scholarships, a library without books, all under a “President without a fix’d Salary till of late.” Seeking to solve his financial woes, President James Blair unsuccessfully promoted Virginia as a site for servicing and building ships for slave traders in Bristol, England.5
Higher education in the colonies ascended as the Atlantic slave trade peaked. In the decades before the Revolution, slaving families like the Crugers transformed British North America. In the quarter century between 1745 and 1769, ministers, merchants, and land speculators organized seven new colleges in the British colonies: Codrington College in Barbados in 1745; the College of New Jersey, now known as Princeton, in 1746; King’s College (Columbia) in 1754; the College of Philadelphia (University of Pennsylvania) in 1755; the College of Rhode Island (Brown) in 1764; Queen’s College (Rutgers) in 1766; and Dartmouth College in 1769. More schools also meant greater competition for money, including money linked, directly and indirectly, to the slave economy.
A coincidence of religious and economic developments excited this academic revolution. The First Great Awakening, the spiritual revival in the first half of the eighteenth century, brought attempts to institutionalize new theologies and religious practices. The wave of college building responded to these denominational rivalries: Presbyterians in New Jersey and Pennsylvania; Anglicans in Barbados, New York, and Pennsylvania; Baptists in Rhode Island; Reformed Dutch in New Jersey and New York; and Congregationalists in New Hampshire.6 Families like the Crugers of New York, the Livingstons in New Jersey and New York, the Allens of Philadelphia, the Browns in Rhode Island, and the Lees of Virginia became the new patrons of colonial education. This generosity facilitated their political rise and allowed them simultaneously to meet the expectations of their faiths and their economic positions.
Colonists also established preparatory schools, formal and informal, to feed the new colleges. College-bound boys frequently studied privately with ministers and tutors. Elisha Williams, a 1711 Harvard graduate who “attained the dignity of land and slaves” through his marriage to Eunice Chester, writes his biographer, kept a school at Wethersfield, Connecticut. In September 1725 Williams became the rector of Yale, where he and a single tutor constituted the faculty. In 1743 the Reverend Francis Alison began New-Ark Academy (now the University of Delaware) in his home to counter New Light theology in the Mid-Atlantic. The evangelicals countered with “log colleges,” ephemeral frontier schools, to train young men for the college in Princeton. The Jesuits (the Society of Jesus) had a preparatory school at their secluded slave plantation at Bohemia Manor, Maryland, where they educated Catholic boys away from the hostile gaze of the Protestant majority. Wealthier Catholic families then sent their sons to finish their educations in Europe. The cousins Charles Carroll of Carrollton, an affluent slaveholder and a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and John Carroll, a slave owner and the first Catholic bishop in the United States, had both studied at Bohemia. In 1774, on the eve of the American Revolution, the Reverend Alexander MacWhorter—who trained at New-Ark Academy in Delaware, graduated from the College of New Jersey, and received a doctorate from Yale—helped found Newark Academy.7
In the upper Mid-Atlantic and New England, families whose incomes came from the slave trade and from provisioning the southern and Caribbean plantations financed the new schools, while in the lower Mid-Atlantic, the South, and the British West Indies, plantation families largely sponsored education. However, the integration of these slave economies increased intercolonial social contacts and philanthropy.
The officers and trustees of northern schools knew that wealthy clients sat at the other end of the trade routes that brought fish, meat, produce, horses, wood, candles, rope, cloth, and human beings to the southern and Caribbean plantations. “Whereas the Drafts of several Letters have been prepared to be Transmitted to the several West India Islands by a committee,” began the minutes of the October 1759 meeting of the trustees of King’s College, where the board, which largely comprised merchants, launched its first Caribbean fund-raising campaign before the college had a building. Hezekiah Smith, a College of Rhode Island trustee, headed south to solicit money from the Baptist communions in the plantations, particularly South Carolina. Shortly after the Scottish minister John Witherspoon took the helm of the floundering College of New Jersey, he went to New York and New England to meet the most prominent families and then left for a tour of the South. Upon his return, Reverend Witherspoon used his new connections to bring Colonel Henry Lee’s son, Harry Jr., from Virginia to Princeton. In 1770 the Reverend James Caldwell raised £700 in South Carolina for the Princeton college. Two years later, President Witherspoon authored a communiqué to the British West Indies, welcoming donations and cataloging the benefits of educating sons in New Jersey. That same year, Dr. Hugh Williamson traveled to the West Indies on behalf of New-Ark Academy.8
The wealth of traders, planters, and landowners raised the prospects of American academies and colleges. New York’s merchants designed a grand campus for King’s College to display their status and their city’s growing prestige. Their vision for the college differed significantly from that of the founding president, Samuel Johnson, who called his board a gang of dullards who elevated the aesthetic over the academic. “Our Building (now finished) has cost so much, that I see not how we shall have stock enough to provide sufficient salaries,” Reverend Johnson complained to the archbishop of Canterbury only four years after the college received its charter. Faced with escalating costs, President Johnson protested that he had done “all that I can do to save it” and begged Providence to protect his college from its trustees.9
The wealth generated in Atlantic slavery swelled the confidence of many boards and officers. When it opened, Nassau Hall, the nucleus of the College of New Jersey in Princeton, was the largest building in British America, a monument to its merchant benefactors. It stood three stories, could house nearly 150 students, and included a library, chapel, dining halls, and meeting rooms. The Reverend Eleazar Wheelock planned Dartmouth Hall as the focal point of his campus, located on a small hill and topped by cupola and weathervane to balance the surrounding terrain. Sometimes college governors referenced British tradition for campus designs, but they as frequently seized the opportunity to make statements about the economic and social importance of the colonies. The trustees of the College of Philadelphia drew upon an emerging vernacular architecture. They even cut a new path with the most significant early decision that trustees could make—how to house their school—by choosing to purchase and renovate a preexisting building.10
The economic networks of the Atlantic also brought flows of students and money that routinely crossed denominational and national boundaries. In 1764 an eighteen-year-old William Churchill Houston set out from his father’s South Carolina slave plantation on horseback to enroll at the College of New Jersey. Recent alumni were tutoring and running preparatory academies throughout the Carolinas and sending a stream of southern boys like Houston—who carried a pocket full of cash and letters of recommendation—to Princeton. Thomas Martin, a graduate of New Jersey, tutored the white children at the Madison family’s Montpelier plantation in Virginia. In the summer of 1769 the young James Madison, the future president of the United States, arrived in Princeton on horseback and attended by his slave, Sawney. Sawney returned to Montpelier once Madison was settled on campus.
In 1771 Nicholas Cruger and a small group of traders and planters in Saint Croix sent the sixteen-year-old orphan Alexander Hamilton to study at Elizabethtown Academy—one of a few early colonial preparatory schools to survive into the revolutionary era—under Francis Barber, a recent graduate of the College of New Jersey. In May 1773 John “Jacky” Custis moved into a suite in King’s College with his slave, Joe. General George Washington had escorted his stepson to New York City, and King’s president, Myles Cooper, and the faculty bent over backward to cater to the demands of the wealthy young Virginian, earn the general’s favor, and make new connections to the southern planter class.11
School officers traded indulgences to solve real problems. Despite the enthusiasm of the trustees, eighteenth-century campuses remained rude, libraries were mean, and study areas lacked basic teaching materials. Most early colleges had a single main building that housed study halls, libraries, kitchens, residences for students and sometimes faculty, and chapels. Challenged by the proliferation of schools and the aggressive recruiting of the northern colleges, William and Mary had trouble attracting Virginia students, and the governors relied upon donations from local planters as well as British friends to stay solvent. (The latter source of funds quickly dried up as the American Revolution approached.) “The college makes a very agreeable appearance,” Josiah Quincy Jr. wrote upon entering Williamsburg on the eve of the American Revolution, but once he got past the lovely gardens and into the buildings, he was troubled to discover that William and Mary “is in a very declining state.”12
The American Revolution brought greater stress. While the British electorate suffered the economic dislocations caused by the North American revolt, people in the colonies endured shortages of goods, military occupations, confiscations of property, an unraveling economy, and armed warfare. The U.S. government also sought alliances that brought foreign Catholic soldiers onto American soil, no small concession for a historically anti-Catholic people. In 1778 France recognized the United States, and American ambassadors and their French allies were soon pressuring King Louis XVI to send troops. Spain secretly supplied the rebellion through the Mississippi corridor and in 1779 declared war on England. “We have lived to see perilous times in our once happy & peaceful Country;—Times which, more or less, affect us all in a very uncommon Manner,” lamented James Manning, the first president of the College of Rhode Island and a graduate of New Jersey. Manning spent much of the war worrying about the future of his college and recording the destruction of its facilities. The British navy and army disrupted the economies of the ports and plantations: “This Town has been a Garrison ever since the Troops came to Newport; and the College, which is converted into Barracks, and the adjoining Land, have severely felt the Effects” of the war.13
The benefits of campuses were apparent to commanders on all sides of the conflict. “It is not possible to have our troops winter in North America,” a French intelligence report cautioned. “There is not a military barrack on the continent or an edifice where the troops could be placed and kept under military discipline.” Complete with furnished living quarters, servants’ facilities, additional rooms and offices, large kitchens, supplies of water, and, often, farms, colleges were of obvious value to generals looking to quarter troops and organize military operations. Colleges’ strategic locations in port cities and along accessible roads in the interior made them even more attractive. Weeks before Christmas 1776, American forces seized the College of Rhode Island and remained for more than three years. When they finally departed in April 1780, allied French soldiers took the campus and converted it into a military hospital and barrack.14
Several colleges ceased operations during the war; others survived by moving away from the coast. “By the present War into which the American Colonies have been driven to save themselves from Oppression & Despotism,” Harvard’s governors defiantly declared, “the College has been several Months in an interrupted & dispersed State.” The faculty and students migrated inland to Concord, where local officials swiftly ordered renovations to the meetinghouse, the grammar school, and the courthouse to accommodate classes. About a hundred professors and students arrived in the first weeks. “By the good Providence of God, the Society is at length collected in the Town of Concord, & restored to order,” the faculty celebrated at their October 1775 meeting.15
Enslaved people helped usher Concord and Harvard through the crisis. Slavery was ordinary in Concord, where the townspeople maintained a lively commerce in human beings. In the preceding years, Sarah Melvin had given Captain William Wilson thirty pounds for a two-year-old girl named Nancy. Peter Hubbard had bought Cato, a six-year-old boy, from Henry Spring for thirty-seven pounds and some change. Both children were sold without any reference to their parents. Dr. Joseph Lee, a slave owner whose son Samuel was in the senior class, boarded Harvard students. An undergraduate during the Revolution, the Reverend William Bentley even returned after the war to visit his former landlord, Samuel Potter, and Potter’s slave, Boston.16
In late December 1776 President Naphtali Daggett and the fellows of Yale dismissed the students for winter break and began searching for alternative sites for the college. The governors begged New Haven officials to protect their buildings from troops and vandals, authorized the president and treasurer to move the library and any valuable papers and equipment “some distance from the sea,” and began praying for the moment when “God in his kind Providence shall open a door for their return to this fixed and ancient seat of learning.” The college relocated north to Hartford County, which was a distance from the coast and had the second largest enslaved population in Connecticut. The following spring, sophomores and juniors were studying in Glastonbury, just east of the town of Hartford, where the governors were also hiding the college bell, while freshmen had gathered in Farmington, to the west. Meanwhile, President Daggett was searching for a place to reconvene the senior class. Given the growing dangers brought by war, the Reverend Ezra Stiles of Newport, Rhode Island, asked Yale’s officers to send his son home. The officers read that letter at the same meeting in which they voted to offer Reverend Stiles the presidency.17
Few officers were in as untenable a position as Eleazar Wheelock, who found himself on the opposite side of a war from his primary benefactors, Governor John Wentworth and William Legge, Earl of Dartmouth. At Whitehall, Lord Dartmouth was maneuvering to contain the colonial uprising. He instructed the British generals to treat with the northern Native nations to create a cordon of Canadian and Native American soldiers to harass New England. Wheelock embraced the colonial cause. He promoted his college as an instrument for solidifying alliances between Indian nations and the colonists, gathering intelligence, and planting missionaries to hold the Indians neutral or bind them to the rebellion. Samuel Kirkland, Wheelock’s most prominent white student, was acting as General George Washington’s ambassador to the powerful Iroquois Confederacy, serving as a chaplain to the troops, and spying on friendly and hostile Native nations. Dartmouth’s location protected it from direct invasions, and Wheelock was thus spared the problems of damage to his campus or loss of his slaves. The president still aggressively sought arms and ammunition from the Continental Congress and the regional government “for defence against the savages.” He also encouraged New Hampshire men to enlist with the New England forces and authorized numerous reconnaissance missions.18
Matters were worse in the Mid-Atlantic. King’s new president, Myles Cooper, an Anglican and a royalist, had fled to England, and the trustees put the Reverend Benjamin Moore, only seven years after his graduation, in charge of the historically Tory college. Continental troops seized the campus in May 1776. The British invasion and occupation of New York, which began in the late summer of 1776, did nothing to improve the prospects of the Anglican college. Black militias, allied with the English, were waging their own revolution, attacking and raiding colonial strongholds throughout New York and New Jersey, and black people were pouring into the city under the British proclamation of freedom for the enslaved. Several of King’s trustees were cowering, the students were scattered, and the campus was inaccessible. The governors moved operations to a Wall Street house owned by the merchant and trustee Leonard Lispenard but had difficulty gathering a quorum. In May 1777 the remaining trustees described their predicament: “Many of the Gov[erno]rs. being in England,” General Oliver DeLancey and Colonel John Cruger were in the field leading regiments loyal to George III, and several Tories were “in the power of the Rebels and not able to Come to Town.” Three years into the war, the board was meeting in a Manhattan tavern, and they had lost another prominent trustee: Governor William Tyron, who had been commissioned a major general in the British army and was busy sacking New Haven. (The college effectively stopped operations until the state reorganized it in 1784 under a new patriotic name: Columbia.)19
Philadelphia and Princeton were also in chaos. “New Jersey College, long the peaceful seat of science and haunt of the Muses, was visited with the melancholy tidings of the approach of the enemy,” an undergraduate wrote. “Our worthy President [Witherspoon] deeply affected at this solemn scene, entered the hall where the students were collected, and … very affectionately bade us farewell.” Numerous students were stranded, with no way to get home. This undergraduate retreated from campus to join the American forces. British troops captured the college as they hunted General Washington. They destroyed and burned buildings, pillaged livestock and supplies, and terrorized the public. Soldiers occupied and wrecked Witherspoon’s estate, Tusculum. The trustee Richard Stockton left his homestead, Morven, in the hands of his slaves. It was destroyed. Farther south, President William Smith, an Anglican, fled the shuttered College of Philadelphia, in part because of his royalist politics. He headed to Maryland, where, with the support of prominent planters, he later founded Washington College (1784) in honor of the victorious general.20
As the war came to campus, colleges went to war. Alexander Hamilton left King’s and took a commission in the colonial army. Simeon DeWitt—the only graduate in the class of 1776 at Queen’s—was promoted to chief geographer in the Continental forces. Queen’s was closed for the next two years. Lewis Vincent, one of Eleazar Wheelock’s Native students, served as a scout and interpreter. John Wheelock, who succeeded to the Dartmouth presidency after his father’s death in April 1779, secured an appointment as an army major and, despite mixed results in the field, rose to lieutenant colonel. William Churchill Houston left his chair as professor of mathematics and natural philosophy at the College of New Jersey to accept a captaincy. Francis Barber of Elizabethtown Academy took a commission as a lieutenant colonel. Shortly after he offered his resignation, President Daggett of Yale joined several students and townsfolk in an unsuccessful attempt to stop the British invasion of New Haven. On July 5, 1779, two British ships landed with troops under the command of General William Tyron and General George Garth. They captured Daggett and chased off the students. An undergraduate at Yale, James Kent—later the founder of the law course at Columbia and a slaveholder—went home to his family farm, where he plowed fields, sat by the kitchen fire in the evenings reading from his father’s limited library, and waited for the military situation to change.21
Higher education in the United States began a remarkable era of expansion in the decades after the American Revolution. The war left almost all of the campuses damaged or in ruins and facing uncertain futures, but Americans rebuilt and broadened the educational infrastructure of the new nation by attaching their schools to the resurgent slave economies. Americans founded eighteen new colleges between the end of the Revolution and the beginning of the new century, two-thirds of them in the plantations of the South and lower Mid-Atlantic, where there had been only one college, William and Mary, before the Revolution. Colleges promised to unify the American people, protect young republicans from the corrupting influences of European schools, and level the regional inequities in the nation. The Presbyterians broke ground on seven new schools, only two of them in the North. The Episcopalians raised three colleges in the South. North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee chartered public universities. Shortly after the war ended, Father John Carroll called his fellow priests to the White Marsh slave plantation in Maryland, where they organized a governing body, eventually the Corporation of Roman Catholic Clergy, for the newly decriminalized Catholic Church. The corporation administered the former Jesuit slave plantations and funded the church’s missions, which included the founding of Georgetown, the first Catholic college in the nation.22
College governors’ initial challenge was rebuilding. On November 8, 1783, before the defeated British army had finished evacuating from New York City, James Manning sat down at his desk in the reclaimed College of Rhode Island and wrote several pleas to wealthy Baptists in England. In a tone more desperate than brazen, the president stressed the unity of the communion above the obvious barrier of “our independence.” The trustee Morgan Edwards had personally called upon these donors during his earlier fund-raising trip to England. Manning now prayed that the two nations would become firm allies in the future and suggested that the progress of religious education was a greater concern than any immediate political wounds and insults. He sweetened the appeal by promising to name the college after a major benefactor, preferably but not necessarily a Baptist. “Can you find no gentleman of fortune among you who wished to rear a lasting monument to his honor in America?” he wrote to the Reverend John Ryland. The college already had “an elegant edifice … which waits for a name from some distinguished benefactor.” In his letter to the Welsh classicist Thomas Llewelyn, Manning listed the British sponsors who had endowed colleges in the colonies and added how pleased he would be to see, hear, and speak the name “Llewelyn College” throughout New England.23
College leaders found few benefactors, foreign or domestic. “Among the numerous consequences of the late war, the destruction of the college buildings, the funds & revenues of the institution under the care of your memorialists have been almost annihilated,” Reverend Witherspoon pleaded to the New Brunswick presbytery, which authorized a fund-raising campaign in the mid-Atlantic churches. The trustees had called upon “friends of literature in Europe,” he continued, either naively or disingenuously, but they “have, from sundry unexpected causes, failed in their foreign solicitations.” President John Wheelock sailed for England to reconnect Dartmouth to its British benefactors. He returned with little money and few commitments. To make matters worse, the ship carrying him home wrecked at Cape Cod, where he nearly died and where he lost his strongbox.24
The Americans had few friends in Britain, and their allies in France were sinking into financial crisis after rapidly growing their debt in support of the American rebellion. President Manning begged his Rhode Island board to send him abroad to find money. The trustees chose a cheaper option by naming a European representative to appeal to Louis XVI and then hedged their bets by also appointing a delegate in the South. Both agents declined. The board then asked Thomas Jefferson, the U.S. minister in Paris, to deliver their petition to the king. Louis chose not to assist. Reverend Witherspoon also sought to capitalize on the French king’s obvious interest in assuring the success of the United States. John Jay, who had decades of experience lobbying for King’s College, advised the New Jersey president that aristocratic support would determine the success of any European effort: “If indeed the Court should set the Example, and really wish to promote it, the Thing would then become fashionable.”25
Not every republican was canvassing the European courts for money. College officers did not have to wait for King Louis to be dragged to the guillotine to know that American institutions had to fend for themselves. President Jacob Hardenbergh concluded the 1787 Queen’s College commencement with an unusual if honest call to self-reliance and self-interest. A native Dutch speaker, Hardenbergh began by apologizing for his difficulties with English but showed great rhetorical skill in hammering his audience on the importance of generosity. Thanking the families who had donated, he cautioned those who had yet to give. “Has kind heaven blest any of your Sons with a more than ordinary Genius,” the minister bluntly asked, concluding that the liberal support of academies remained parents’ best insurance against the stinginess of nature. Despite, or perhaps because of, such efforts, the New Brunswick college ceased operations from 1795 to 1807.26
Atlantic slavery allowed American college educators to rediscover their capacity for self-reliance. In 1787 a group of men in Flatbush, Kings County (today’s Brooklyn), organized a preparatory school. Named for the Dutch Catholic philosopher Desiderius Erasmus, the new academy was located along a Dutch slaveholding belt that reached from Nassau County on Long Island to Morris and Somerset Counties in New Jersey. Virtually all the free families in Flatbush owned someone. Brooklyn, then a separate village, and nearby Newtown, Queens, and Hempstead, Long Island, had larger populations of enslaved people, but none of these towns approached the density of slaveholding in Flatbush. By 1790 a third of the 4,495 residents of Kings County were enslaved, and in Flatbush enslaved black people were 40 percent of a total population of 941 people. In fact, black slaves outnumbered white adults in the village. The charter trustees of Erasmus Hall Academy collectively held more than a hundred human beings in bondage, including more than a quarter of all the black people in Flatbush. The Reverend John H. Livingston, the founding principal and later the president of Queen’s College in New Brunswick, and his successor Peter Wilson, a classics professor at Columbia, were both slaveholders.27
Slavery empowered Catholics to institutionalize their claims to equality in the new nation. In 1789 Pope Pius VI appointed John Carroll as the first Catholic bishop of the United States. That same year, Carroll presided over the founding of Georgetown College. The Catholic clergy had taken control of the old Jesuit slave plantations at Bohemia, White Marsh, St. Inigoes (Ignatius), Newtown, and Saint Thomas, as well as the lesser properties in Maryland and Pennsylvania, and subsidized Georgetown with proceeds from the farms. The regulations of the college gave the vice president the responsibility for overseeing the college servants. The officers and faculty regularly used slaves on campus, and the Catholic clergy even sold slaves off the plantations to fund the college.28
The postwar recovery and expansion of higher education in the United States were the consequences of the restoration and escalation of Atlantic slavery. James Manning leaned upon the merchant families of Rhode Island to help his college recover from the war. His trustees committed several hundred pounds of their own money to repair and improve the campus. In 1784 John Brown alone gave a gift of £200, while Governor Stephen Hopkins arranged to get fourteen hundred volumes for the library.29
College leaders also turned their attention back to the plantations. The fate of the College of New Jersey, Reverend Witherspoon confessed, rested on maintaining “the great Concourse of Gentlemen[’]s sons from the Southward & some from the West Indies.” The president included that phrase in a letter to St. George Tucker, whose son had just matriculated—a letter that included a mild apology for the cost of boarding, which the president explained had been rising with the population of wealthy southern students. Witherspoon housed the young Virginian with Witherspoon’s own relatives and provided the young man’s father with a survey of the positive experiences of other southerners at Nassau Hall. “I have the pleasure to inform you that your son gave complete satisfaction in his examination and is admitted into the Sophomore Class,” Witherspoon wrote to Governor Nicolas Van Dyke of Delaware. “I am happy to find that you judge so well as to his education.” The flow of students went both ways. Like Witherspoon, James Manning strengthened his school’s ties to the plantations by recruiting southern students and sending ministers, teachers, and other graduates to the South and West Indies. In a letter to his friend Samuel Jones, the president worried that a South Carolina benefactor had twice requested a minister and had yet to get a satisfactory response. Manning had a student in mind for the post, “if he could think of going Southward.”30
Boys from the South and the West Indies were also traveling to northern schools, and the diversity of these students is telling. The governors of Erasmus Hall in Flatbush asked New York State to exempt their students from militia service because so many of the boys were from the South and the West Indies. The son of a once prominent family from Antigua and Dominica, William Alexander Duer, later the president of Columbia College in New York City, studied at Erasmus Hall in its first decade. William Livingston, the grandson of Philip Livingston, a slave trader and a signer of the Declaration of Independence, also attended Erasmus during that era. William’s mother was from Jamaica, where his father had managed one arm of the family’s business. Henry Cruger Jr. returned to New York City after his final term in the House of Commons and purchased slaves for his house. Cruger’s mother was born in Jamaica. Three of his nephews enrolled at Erasmus in its first years. By early 1790, just three years after it opened, more than a fifth of Erasmus’s ninety-seven students were from the West Indies, Europe, and the South. Those classes included three students from Saint Croix, two from Saint Thomas, a Jamaican, two Portuguese boys, two French scholars, and the brothers John and William Lambert, who simply listed their home as the West Indies.31
At Georgetown, émigrés could be found in the presidency, professoriate, and undergraduate classes. Fathers Robert Plunkett and Robert Moyneux, the first two presidents, were both born in England and trained in Europe. Bishop John Carroll deployed the French, Belgian, and Creole expatriate priests—who fled to Maryland from the revolutions in France and Haiti—to build the Catholic Church in the United States. The Reverend Louis-Guillaume- Valentin Dubourg, a refugee of the revolution in Saint-Domingue (Haiti), served as Georgetown’s third president. Dubourg was the first of two early Georgetown presidents from Saint-Domingue. The college’s first classes included students from Hispaniola, Cuba, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Saint Lucia. It was likely the most diverse college campus in the early nation, and its primary rival was St. Mary’s College in Maryland, which was founded by Father John Dubois and other French Sulpicians (the Society of Saint Sulpice) in 1805.32
The labor and the bodies of unfree black people paid for this educational revolution. “Agreed that the Rev. Mr. [Uzal] Ogden be empowered to sell the negro Man James, given by Mr. Watts, for as much money as he will sell for,” the trustees of Newark Academy resolved during their March 9, 1795, meeting. A New Jersey alumnus and slave owner, Uzal Ogden ministered at Trinity Church in Newark. Other Newark trustees had similar ties to the mid-Atlantic colleges, including Uzal Johnson, who graduated from the medical school at King’s College. British soldiers had burned Newark Academy during the Revolution, and in 1792 Alexander MacWhorter, a trustee of the College of New Jersey, organized a small local committee to reopen the school. “The intention of this lottery being to compleat and finish an Academy, in the Town of Newark,” read a broadside published the following year, “there is little doubt but that every person, desirous to promote Science and encourage Literature, will become an adventurer.” The lottery did not provide all the funds that the trustees needed. In May 1795 the board voted to “sell [the] Negro James, a Donation to the Academy, to Moses Ogden,” a trustee and the brother of Uzal Ogden who promised to pay forty pounds within two months.33 It appears that the money was used to finish the roof.
Slaveholding patrons such as Stephen Van Rensselaer and Henry Rutgers saved Queen’s College. In 1810 the Reverend John H. Livingston, pastor of the Dutch Reformed Church in New York and the former principal of Erasmus Hall, accepted the presidency. He reminded the New Jersey legislature that the Revolution came during his school’s infancy. He then explained the college’s plight during the war: “A revolution which however destructive for the moment to establishments of this kind, is ever to be held in grateful remembrance by the lovers of learning & science, as well as by the lovers of liberty and the rights of man.” Father Livingston reported that his campus was “wasted & destroyed,” the professors were now “devoted to other pursuits,” the students were “dispersed,” the donors were “worn out with fatigue,” and his treasury was “depreciated and sunk,” leaving his college with only “a naked charter and little else.” The first solution—a lottery—had failed. The War of 1812 and the death of President Livingston forced another decade-long closure that ended in 1825, when a gift of $6,000 from Henry Rutgers allowed a reopening. President Philip Milledoler, who had arranged the Rutgers donation, then had the trustees rename the college in Rutgers’s honor.34
Rhode Island’s governors were also able to name their campus for a prominent donor: not a Bristol or Welsh philanthropist but Nicholas Brown Jr., who gave his alma mater $5,000 in memory of his deceased brother, also a graduate. The postwar Rhode Island campus became a retreat for the sons of the merchant elite, including the sons of the DeWolfs, who launched more slaving ventures than any other family in U.S. history. The DeWolfs would continue slaving long after the state of Rhode Island had barred the trade and even after the congressional prohibition of 1808. The family also owned a slave plantation in Cuba through the 1820s.35
As slaveholding receded from the northern states and the United States approached an end to its involvement in the slave trade, college trustees and presidents forged new ties to Atlantic slavery. They seized the economic rewards of human slavery, followed the westward push of cotton agriculture to and across the Mississippi River, fought to rebuild their connections to the Caribbean plantations, and courted the emerging industrialists of the Northeast to sustain their schools. In 1818 the Reverend Charles Van Quickenborne and a group of Belgian Jesuits—and their slaves—established St. Louis University, the first college west of the Mississippi River. It was about the same time that sugar refiners and textile manufacturers began funding engineering and technical colleges in the Northeast to service the mills and plants that were using the products of slavery to launch an industrial revolution. Legislative and judicial actions to end slavery in the North lived with continual reminders of the importance of Atlantic slavery to the nation. American colleges embraced that contradiction in order to find funds, to recruit students, and to protect the flows of money and scholars by dispatching their graduates to staff the slave regimes of the Atlantic world.36
1. One opponent highlighted Cruger’s divided sympathies and demanded the election of “a real friend to OLD ENGLAND” rather than a political interloper. Another enemy accused Cruger of intrigue and disloyalty, rhetorically tying him to the blood and treasure that Britain had lost because of the American rebellion. “I shall (with unshaken integrity) persevere to the last moments of my life, in every effort to promote the cause of Liberty,” Cruger had promised when he was first elected to Parliament in October 1774. He had then countered concerns about his colonial origins by arguing that the mutual rewards of commerce between England and its North American possessions created a bilateral investment in union and peace. The second promise of his acceptance speech flowed from his profession: “to render essential benefits to the Trade and Commerce of this oppulent and flourishing City.” The Whole Proceedings of the Late Contested Election, of the City of Bristol; Between Messrs. Cruger, Burke, Clarke, & Brickdale: Which Began on Monday, October 9th, 1774; and Was Carried on for Twenty-Three Days, with Unremitting Ardour on All Sides (London: J. Browne, ca. 1774), 8–9, 41; Henry C. Van Schaack, The Life of Peter Van Schaack, LL.D., Embracing Selections from His Correspondence and Other Writings, During the American Revolution, and His Exile in England (New York: D. Appleton, 1842), 30; The Bristol Contest; Containing a Particular Account of the Proceedings of Both Parties, from the Death of Sir Henry Lippincott, Bart. To the Close of the Poll. Together with the Various Papers, Letters, Advertisements, Squibs, Songs, & c. which were printed at the contested Election, between Henry Cruger, Esqr. And George Daubeny, Esqr., In 1781 (Bristol: W. Pine, ca. 1781), 42–44, 57–58.
2. Donald G. Tewksbury, The Founding of American Colleges and Universities before the Civil War with Particular Reference to the Religious Influences Bearing upon the College Movement (New York: Teachers College, 1932), 16–33, 55–60; Richard S. Dunn, Sugar and Slaves: The Rise of the Planter Class in the English West Indies, 1624–1713 (1972; New York: Norton, 1973), 111; Samuel Eliot Morison, The Maritime History of Massachusetts, 1783–1860 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1921), 11–12; entries for April–June, 1709, in Thomas Prince, “A Journal of a Voiage from New-England to Berbados,” Journal of Voyages to Barbados, 1709–1711, Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston.
3. The college was founded in Killingsworth in 1701, moved to Saybrook in 1707, and then moved to New Haven in 1716. Entry for September 10, 1718, “Yale University Corporation and Prudential Committee Minutes,” Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library, New Haven, Conn.; Gerard N. Burrow, A History of Yale’s School of Medicine: Passing Torches to Others (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2002), 13–15; Thomas Clap, The Annals or History of Yale-College, in New-Haven, in the Colony of Connecticut, from the First Founding Thereof, in the Year 1700, to the Year 1766: With an Appendix, Containing the Present State of the College, the Method of Instruction and Government, with the Officers, Benefactors and Graduates (New Haven, Conn.: John Hotchkiss and B. Mecom, 1766), 94–96.
4. Frederick Rudolph, The American College and University: A History (New York: Knopf, 1962), 47; Tewksbury, Founding of American Colleges, 27–40; “Address of the President, & Fellows of Harvard College in Cambr. In the county of Middlsx with in ye Majtys Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England in America,” February 5, 1723, Records of the Harvard Corporation, 1650–1992, 1:150, Harvard University Archives, Cambridge, Mass.; Richard Hofstadter, Academic Freedom in the Age of the College (1955; New York: Columbia University Press, 1961), 85.
5. Rudolph, American College and University, 47; Hugh Jones, The Present State of Virginia. Giving a Particular and Short Account of the Indian, English, and Negroe Inhabitants of that Colony. Shewing Their Religion, Manners, Government, Trade, Way of Living, &c. With a Description of the Country. From Whence is Inferred a Short View of Maryland and North Carolina. To Which are Added, Schemes and Propositions for the Better Promotion of Learning, Religion, Inventions, Manufactures, and Trade in Virginia, and the Other Plantations. For the Information of the Curious, and for the Service of Such as are Engaged in the Propagation of the Gospel and Advancement of Learning, and for the Use of All Persons Concerned in the Virginia Trade and Plantation (London: J. Clarke, 1724), 83; Henry Harwell, James Blair, and Edward Chilton, The Present State of Virginia, and the College (London: John Wyat, 1727), 4.
6. Tewksbury, Founding of American Colleges, 16–33, 55–60.
7. Alison’s school was first opened in New London, Pennsylvania. John Langdon Sibley, Biographical Sketches of Graduates of Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts (Cambridge, Mass.: Charles William Sever, 1873–), 5:588–97; John A. Munroe, The University of Delaware: A History (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1986), 9–25; John A. Munroe, History of Delaware (1979; Cranbury, N.J.: Associated University Presses, 2006), 111; Douglas Sloan, The Scottish Enlightenment and the American College Ideal (New York: Teachers College Press, 1971), esp. 28–59; John D. Krugler, English and Catholic: The Lords Baltimore in the Seventeenth Century (Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004), 242–43; Annabelle M. Melville, John Carroll of Baltimore: Founder of the American Catholic Hierarchy (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1955), 1–12; Thomas Meagher Field, ed., Unpublished Letters of Charles Carroll of Carrollton; and His Father, Charles Carroll of Doughoregan (New York: United States Catholic Historical Society, 1902), 20; James McLachlan, Princetonians, 1748–1768: A Biographical Dictionary (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1976), 194–99; Catalogue of All Who Have Held Office in or Have Received Degrees from the College of New Jersey at Princeton in the State of New Jersey (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1896), 7; “Brief Sketch of McWhorter Family of New Jersey,” Proceedings of the New Jersey Historical Society (Newark: Daily Advertiser, 1867), 10:52–54; William H. Shaw, comp., History of Essex and Hudson Counties, New Jersey (Philadelphia: Everts & Peck, 1884), 1:652–53.
8. Entry for October 2, 1759, “Minutes of the Governors of King’s College,” vol. 1, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University, New York; Scott Bryant, The Awakening of the Freewill Baptists: Benjamin Randall and the Founding of an American Religious Tradition (Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 2011), 57–58; Samuel Miller, Memoirs of the Rev. John Rodgers, D.D.: Late Pastor of the Wall-Street and Brick Churches in the City of New-York (New York: Whiting and Watson, 1813), 197–98; John Witherspoon to Colonel Henry Lee, December 20, 1770, folder 11, box 1, John Witherspoon Collection, Manuscript Division, Firestone Library, Princeton University, Princeton, N.J.; William Nelson, ed., Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New Jersey (Paterson, N.J.: Press Printing and Publishing, 1905), 27:112; John Witherspoon, Address to the Inhabitants of Jamaica, and other West-India Islands, in Behalf of the College of New-Jersey (Philadelphia: William and Thomas Bradford, 1772); Hugh Williamson, “To the Human and Liberal, Friends of Learning, Religion and Public Virtue, in the island of Jamaica. The Memorial and Humble Address of Hugh Williamson, M.D. One of the Trustees of the Academy of New-Ark, in Behalf of That Institution,” Philadelphia Packet, June 15, 1772.
9. Set back from the Hudson River near St. John Chapel and a short walk from Trinity Church, the campus offered views of the harbor, Staten Island, and East Jersey. There was a large courtyard and garden. The main building was planned as a long, three-story, stone structure divided into four sections, each with stone stairs leading to a dozen student residences and halls. A windowed cupola offered panoramic views. Inside there was a lecture hall, a library, a chapel, a museum, and an anatomical theater. The labor that kept the college running was done in the main hall and a series of informal outbuildings. Samuel Johnson to Dr. [Thomas] Secker, the archbishop of Canterbury, November 20, 1760, and Samuel Johnson to William Samuel Johnson, February 1, 1762, Samuel Johnson Letter Books, vol. 2, Samuel Johnson Papers, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University, New York; “Description of Columbia College, in the City of New-York,” New York Magazine, or Literary Repository, May 1790.
10. Frederick Rudolph, Curriculum: A History of the American Undergraduate Course of Study since 1636 (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1977), 26; John Frelinghuysen Hageman, History of Princeton and Its Institutions … (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1879), 2:246; George E. Thomas and David B. Brownlee, Building America’s First University: An Historical and Architectural Guide to the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000), 27–34.
11. Thomas Allen Glenn, William Churchill Houston, 1746–1788 (Norristown, Pa.: Privately printed, 1903), 7–12; Varnum Lansing Collins, President Witherspoon: A Biography (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1925), 2:216–17; James Madison to the Reverend Thomas Martin, August 10, 1769, in The Papers of James Madison, ed. William T. Hutchinson and William M. E. Rachal (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962), 1:42–44; Ron Chernow, Alexander Hamilton (New York: Penguin, 2004), 29–38; Willard Sterne Randall, Alexander Hamilton: A Life (New York: Harper Collins, 2003), 45–50; James L. O’Neill, “Col. Francis Barber, A Soldier of the Revolution,” Journal of the American-Irish Historical Society 7 (1907): 42; Ron Chernow, Washington: A Life (New York: Penguin, 2010), 155–64; Helen Bryan, Martha Washington: First Lady of Liberty (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2002), 162–66.
12. Josiah Quincy, Memoir of the Life of Josiah Quincy Jun. of Massachusetts, by His Son, Josiah Quincy (Boston: Cummings, Hilliard, 1825), 124–25.
13. Thomas E. Chávez, Spain and the Independence of the United States: An Intrinsic Gift (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2002), 8–12; Lee Kennett, The French Forces in America, 1780–1783 (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1977), 7–36; James Manning to Samuel Jones, March 9, 1777, A26, box A, Samuel Jones Papers, John Hay Library, Brown University, Providence, N.J.
14. Stephen Bonsal, When the French Were Here: A Narrative of the Sojourn of the French Forces in America, and Their Contribution to the Yorktown Campaign Drawn from Unpublished Reports and Letters of Participants in the National Archives of France and the MS. Division of the Library Congress (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Doran, 1945), 4; Report of the Committee of Claims, to Whom Was Referred on the 21st Ultimo, the Petition of the Corporation of Rhode-Island College. Together with Former Reports Thereon. 17th February, 1800 (By Order of the House of Representatives, 1800).
15. Entry for October 10, 1775, Harvard University, Faculty Minutes, 1725–1890, 4:14–16, Harvard University Archives, Cambridge, Mass.; Robert A. Gross, The Minutemen and Their World (New York: Hill and Wang, 1976), 134–35; Pauline Maier, From Resistance to Revolution: Colonial Radicals and the Development of American Opposition to Britain, 1765–1776 (1972; New York: Norton, 1991), 308.
16. Gross, Minutemen and Their World, 94–97, 134–38; Lemuel Shattuck, A History of the Town of Concord; Middlesex County, Massachusetts, from Its Earliest Settlement to 1832; and of the Adjoining Towns; Bedford, Acton, Lincoln, and Carlisle; Containing Varios Notices of County and State History Not Before Published (Boston: Russell, Odiorne, 1835), 120–21; Bills of Sale for Slaves, by or to Concord, Mass., Residents, 1740–1755, Special Collections, Concord Free Public Library, Concord, Mass.; Concord, Massachusetts: Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1635–1850 (Concord, Mass.: Printed by the Town, 1891), passim; Elise Lemire, Black Walden: Slavery and Its Aftermath in Concord, Massachusetts (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009), 101–11.
17. Entries from December 10, 1776, to September 10, 1777, “Yale University Corporation and Prudential Committee Minutes”; An Account of the Number of Inhabitants, in the Colony of Connecticut, January 1, 1774; Together with an Account of the Number of Inhabitants, Taken January 1, 1756 (Hartford, Conn.: Ebenezer Watson, 1774).
18. Frederick Chase, A History of Dartmouth College and the Town of Hanover, New Hampshire (Cambridge, Mass.: John Wilson and Son, 1891), 1:324–40, 380; Robert S. Allen, His Majesty’s Indian Allies: British Indian Policy in the Defence of Canada, 1774–1815 (Toronto: Dundurn, 1992), 44–46; Eleazar Wheelock to Governor Jonathan Trumbull (775369.2), Rauner Library, Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H.; Collin G. Calloway, The American Revolution in Indian Country: Crisis and Diversity in Native American Communities (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 1–64.
19. In 1775 Virginia’s last royal governor, Lord Dunmore, granted freedom to any enslaved people who joined the British forces. In 1779 General Henry Clinton published a proclamation from Philipsburg, New York, freeing any enslaved people who reached British lines. Entries for May 14, 1776, May 13, 1777, June 11, 1779, “Minutes of the Governors of King’s College,” vol. 2; Graham Russell Hodges, “Black Revolt in New York and the Neutral Zone: 1775–83,” in New York in the Age of the Constitution, 1775–1800, ed. Paul A. Gilje and William Pencak (Rutherford, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1992), 20–40.
20. “A Campaign Journal from November 29, 1776, to May 6, 1777,” in Glenn, William Churchill Houston, 22–35 (originally published in the Princeton Standard, May 1863); John Frelinghuysen Hageman, History of Princeton and Its Institutions … (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1879), 1:121–26; William Smith, An Account of Washington College, in the State of Maryland (Philadelphia: Joseph Crukshank, 1784).
21. John Howard Raven, comp., Catalogue of the Officers and Alumni of Rutgers College (Originally Queen’s College) in New Brunswick, N.J., 1766–1909 (Trenton, N.J.: State Gazette Publishing, 1909), 41; Chase, History of Dartmouth College, 1:372–73, 390; Glenn, William Churchill Houston, 19; William Nelson, New Jersey Biographical and Genealogical Notes from the Volumes of the New Jersey Archives with Additions and Supplements (Newark, N.J., 1916), 135–36; Ebenezer Elmer, An Elogy on Francis Barber, Esq., Lieutenant-Colonel Commandant of the Second New Jersey Regiment (Chatham, N.J., 1783), 7; Charles Hervey Townshend, The British Invasion of New Haven, Connecticut, Together with Some Account of Their Landing and Burning the Towns of Fairfield and Norwalk, July 1779 (New Haven, Conn., 1879), 30–72; M. Louise Greene, “New Haven Defenses in the Revolution and in the War of 1812,” Connecticut Quarterly 4 (January–December 1898): 272–80; entry for April 1, 1777, “Yale University Corporation and Prudential Committee Minutes”; Benjamin Franklin Miller, “Notebook from Chancellor Kent’s Lectures,” Lecture Notes and Memorabilia, 1817–1915, box 1, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University, New York; William Kent, Memoirs and Letters of James Kent, LL.D.: Late Chancellor of the State of New York, Author of “Commentaries on American Law,” etc. (Boston: Little, Brown, 1898), 99–100.
22. I have included Kentucky in this grouping since it was the western migrations and speculations of the Virginians that led to the founding of Transylvania College (1783). Tewksbury, Founding of American Colleges, 34–35; Robert Emmett Curran, Shaping of American Catholicism: Maryland and New York, 1805–1915 (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 2012), 15–16.
23. James Manning to Henry Kane, John Ryland, Samuel Sennett, and Thomas Llewelyn, November 8, 1783, in Life, Times, and Correspondence of James Manning, and the Early History of Brown University, by Reuben Aldridge Guild (Boston: Gould and Lincoln, 1864), 307–20; Hywel M. Davies, Transatlantic Brethren: Rev. Samuel Jones (1735–1814) and His Friends, Baptists in Wales, Pennsylvania, and Beyond (Cranbury, N.J.: Associated University Presses, 1995), 109–11.
24. The Memorial of the Trustees of the College of New Jersey to the Rev’d Presbytery of New Brunswick, September 30, 1784, folder 12A, box 1, Witherspoon Collection; John Wheelock to T. Russell, Esq., January 4, 1784 (784104), and John Wheelock to Theodore Atkinson, February 28, 1784 (784178), Rauner Library, Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H.
25. James Manning to David Howell, January 9, 1784, James Manning to William Rogers, January 9, 1784, and reports of meetings of the corporation, September 3, 1783–March 19, 1784, folder 2, box 2, Rhode Island College Miscellaneous Papers, 1763–1804, Brown University, Providence, R.I.; Guild, Life, Times, and Correspondence, 301–4; John Jay to John Witherspoon, April 6, 1784, folder 21C, box 1, Witherspoon Collection.
26. Jacob R. Hardenbergh, Commencement Address of 1787, MC 089, folder 17, box 2, Elizabeth R. Boyd Historical Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Alexander Library, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J.
27. Heads of Families at the First Census of the United States Taken in the Year 1790: New York (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1908), esp. 97–98; Return of the Whole Number of Persons within the Several Districts of the United States, According to “An Act Providing for the Enumeration of the Inhabitants of the United States,” Passed March the First, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Ninety-One (Philadelphia: Childs and Swaine, 1791), 36–41; Regents of the University of the State of New York, Charter of Erasmus Hall Academy in Kings County, November 12, 1787, Erasmus Hall Academy Records, 1787–1896, folder 3, box A0068, Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Craig Steven Wilder, Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities (New York: Bloomsbury, 2013), 245.
28. Thomas W. Spalding, The Premier See: A History of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, 1789–1989 (Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989), 21–27; Thomas Murphy, S.J., Jesuit Slaveholding in Maryland, 1717–1838 (New York: Routledge, 2001); Georgetown College, “Minutes of the Board of Directors of Georgetown College from 1797–1815,” entries for December 20, 1797, and March 29–31, 1808, in Minutes of the Board of Directors, September 1, 1797, through July 11, 1815, box 1, Special Collections Research Center, Georgetown University Library, Washington, D.C.
29. Guild, Life, Times, and Correspondence, 301–4; William E. Foster, Stephen Hopkins: A Rhode Island Statesman: A Study in the Political History of the Eighteenth Century (Providence, R.I.: Sidney S. Rider, 1884), 105–7.
30. John Witherspoon to St. George Tucker, May 1, 1787, and John Witherspoon to Nicolas Van Dyke, 1786, folders 16A and 17, box 1, Witherspoon Collection; James Manning to Samuel Jones, March 23, 1791, A29, box A, Jones Papers.
31. “Biographical Account of Col. William Duer by William Alexander Duer,” undated, folder 29, box 1, Duer Family Papers, Rare Books and Manuscripts Library, Columbia University Library, New York; United States Bureau of the Census, Heads of Families at the First Census of the United States Taken in the Year 1790—New York (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1908), 116; Erasmus Hall Academy Account Book, 1787–1875, esp. folios 2–9, 43, Erasmus Hall Academy Records, 1787–1896, folder 2, box A0068, Brooklyn Historical Society; Wilder, Ebony & Ivy, 52–53; entry for November 1, 1788, and the student rolls at the end of the book, Minute Book of the Corporation of Trustees of Erasmus Hall, 1787–1896, vol. 1, Erasmus Hall School Archives, New-York Historical Society, New York.
32. “College Catalogues, 1791–1850,” vol. 1, box 1, Special Collections Research Center, Georgetown University Library; Georgetown University Alumni Directory (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Alumni Association, 1957); James Hennesey, S.J., “Neither the Bourbons nor the Revolution: Georgetown’s Jesuit Founders,” in Images of America in Revolutionary France, ed. Michèle R. Morris (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 1990), 1–11; Maryland Gazette, January 3–24, 1805.
33. “Minutes of the Board of Trustees Newark Academy, February 3rd, 1792, to December 9th, 1811,” 9–19, 43–44, MG 1303, Collection of the New Jersey Historical Society, Newark; Jonathan F. Stearns, Historical Discourses, Relating to the First Presbyterian Church in Newark; Originally Delivered to the Congregation of that Church during the Month of January, 1851 (Newark: Daily Advertiser Office, 1853), 216–18; Milton Halsey Thomas, Columbia University Officers and Alumni, 1754–1857 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1936), 106; William Ogden Wheeler, comp., The Ogden Family in America: Elizabethtown Branch and Their Ancestry: John Ogden, the Pilgrim and His Descendants, 1640–1906, Their History, Biography & Genealogy (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1907), 64, 85–86; “Scheme of the Newark Academy Lottery …” (Newark, July 3, 1793). Lotteries were an old source of funds for schools. They required no layout from the governments and could be carried out by paid agents. Before the College of New Jersey opened, its founders held a lottery in Connecticut that was followed by a Philadelphia game. In 1754 the trustees of the College of Philadelphia announced a lottery in anticipation of their charter. In 1772, twenty years after his graduation, Jeremiah Halsey oversaw a Delaware lottery for the College of New Jersey. A slaveholder and Presbyterian minister, Halsey had served as a tutor at the college. Harvard was beneficiary of a 1773 Massachusetts lottery. The priests at Georgetown College wagered a small sum on a local lottery ticket. They also used lotteries to help fund St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore. Samuel Jones, a classmate of James Manning who helped secure the charter for the College of Rhode Island, suggested a lottery to replenish the endowment after the Revolution. “We need funds exceedingly,” conceded a frustrated Jonathan Maxcy, who had succeeded to the presidency, adding that a recent lottery had failed. McLachlan, Princetonians, 53–55; “Pettie’s Island Cash Lottery, For Raising the Sum of Fourteen Hundred and Fifty Pounds …” (Philadelphia, 1772); Pennsylvania Gazette, March 12, 1745, December 12, 1749, October 3, 1754; “The Managers of the Delaware Lottery for the College of New-Jersey, &c.” (Philadelphia, March 24, 1774); entry for March 6, 1797, Georgetown College, “Ledger A, Financial Ledgers,” 1789–1799, vol. 1, Special Collections Research Center, Georgetown University Library; John Gilmary Shea, The Life and Times of the Most Rev. John Carroll, Bishop and First Archbishop of Baltimore, Embracing the History of the Catholic Church in the United States, 1763–1815 (New York: John G. Shea, 1888), 607; “List of the Numbers That Came Up Prizes in the Delaware Lottery, for the Use of New-Jersey College, the Presbyterian Church at Princetown, and the United Congregations of Newcastle and Christiana Bridge …” (Philadelphia, 1774); William B. Weeden, Economic and Social History of New England, 1620–1789 (New York: Hillary House, 1963), 2:737; Thomas Harrison Montgomery, A History of the University of Pennsylvania from Its Founding to A.D. 1770 (Philadelphia: George W. Jacobs, 1900), 378–79; Jonathan Maxcy to Samuel Jones, May 3, 1794, A31, box A, Jones Papers.
34. Milledoler began tutoring at the college in 1793 after his graduation from Columbia. He later pastored churches in Philadelphia, Albany, and New York and guided Dutch Reformed missions to the Indians. When he arrived at New Brunswick on April 20, 1825, he had found “the West Wing … was in a very unfinished state—other parts of the College[,] excepting [the] chapel, also unfinished or very much needing repair.” Funds from Van Rensselaer allowed the main hall to be completed, but the academic program was in ruins. The new president hired a mathematician and a language professor and had the theology professors offer courses in the literary departments. By stretching the faculty, he was able to reopen the seminary and the college at little cost. J. H. Livingston, president of Queen’s College, “To the Honourable the Legislative Council & General Assembly of the State of New Jersey,” also see petitions dated October 28, 1809, and November 6, 1822, all in folder 12, box 1, Boyd Historical Collection, and record of Henry Rutgers’s gift, folder 5, box 2, Boyd Historical Collection; “Private Memoirs, 1825–1832: Private Memoirs relating to my call and events connected with the revival of Queens, now Rutgers College,” box 5, Philip Milledoler Papers, New-York Historical Society.
35. Nicholas Brown Jr. to the Honorable Corporation of Rhode Island College, September 6, 1804, folder 2, box 2, Rhode Island College Miscellaneous Papers; Historical Catalogue of Brown University, 1764–1919 (Providence, R.I.: Published by the University, 1914), passim; the records for the Cuba plantations and operations are in folders 1 and 2, box 8, DeWolf Papers, Papers of the American Slave Trade, Series A, Part 2, Reel 11, Rhode Island Historical Society; James Coughtry, The Notorious Triangle: Rhode Island and the African Slave Trade (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1981), 31–49, 94, 236, passim; James A. McMillin, The Final Victims: Foreign Slave Trade to North America, 1783–1810 (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2004), 37, 88–89; Benjamin Franklin Grady, The Case of the South against the North: or, Historical Evidence Justifying the Southern States of the American Union in Their Long Controversy with the Northern States (Raleigh, N.C.: Edwards & Broughton, 1899), 151.
36. Gilbert J. Garraghan, “The Beginnings of St. Louis University,” St. Louis Catholic Historical Review, October 1918, 85–101; Catholic Telegraph, August 31, 1837. See also Joseph Aloysius Griffin, The Contribution of Belgium to the Catholic Church in America, 1523–1857 (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America, 1932); Wilder, Ebony & Ivy, 285–87.