These volumes, the fourth and fifth, complete the series of biographical sketches of students at Princeton University (the College of New Jersey in colonial times). They cover pivotal years for both the nation and the College. In 1784, the war with England had just ended. Nassau Hall was still in a shambles following its bombardment, and the College was in financial distress. It gradually regained financial and academic strength, and the Class of 1794 graduated in the year of the death of President John Witherspoon, one of the most important early American educators.
The introductory essay by John Murrin, editor of the series since 1981, explores the postwar context of the College. The two volumes contain biographies of 354 men who attended with the classes of 1784 through 1794 and two other students whose presence at the College in earlier years has only now been demonstrated. During these years Princeton accounted for about an eighth of all A.B. degrees granted in the United States. It was the young republic's most "national" college, although it had nearly lost its New England constituency and was instead beginning to draw nearly 40 percent of its students from the South.
Originally published in 1991.
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Another Princeton book authored or coauthored by Ruth L. Woodward: