His work turned Princeton into the Ivy League school it is today. John Adams proclaimed him to be “as high a Son of Liberty as any Man in America.”, Much later, in 2001, his lasting contributions were commemorated by the Scottish sculptor Alexander Stoddart through twin monuments located in Princeton and in Paisley, Scotland, where Witherspoon had preached prior to coming to America. Witherspoon embraced the concepts of Scottish common sense realism, and while president of the College of New Jersey (1768–1794; now Princeton University), became an influential figure in the development of the United States' national character. After his wife died in 1789, John Witherspoon headed up a committee in the New Jersey legislature to abolish slavery. (19 February 1756 - 1763) 1.6. John Witherspoon, a prominent minister from Scotland, immigrated to the United States in 1768 in order to become Princeton University’s sixth president and head professor. John Witherspoon had a large impact on both Princeton and all of America. In his first session, Witherspoon voted for and signed the Declaration of Independence, the only man of God to do so. After spending time in prison during the Jacobite Uprising of 1744, Witherspoon became dedicated to the principle of freedom of religion. His great-great grandfather was John Knox. John Witherspoon's American Revolution: Enlightenment and Religion from the Creation of Britain to the Founding of the United States (Published by the ... and the University of North Carolina Press), Dyre Kearney Tries to Move The Continental Congress, The Death of a Reverend - John Rosbrugh at Assunpink Creek. A signer of the Declaration of Independence and one of the prominent proponents of American liberty, Witherspoon had an unclearly defined stance on slavery that reflected America’s conflicting attitudes toward enslavement. 1753) 1.5. John Knox Witherspoon, age 45, had arrived in America from Scotland in 1768 to begin his role as the President of the College of New Jersey at Princeton. John Witherspoon was a Pastor, President of Princeton and signer of the Declaration of Independence. However, slavery was not officially abolished in the United States the end of the Civil War, in 1865, and a limited number of slaves were held in New Jersey until that date. Then, as the British approached Princeton, Witherspoon led an evacuation. John Witherspoon died near Princeton, New Jersey, on NOVEMBER 15, 1794. 7 John Witherspoon, Works of the Rev. He created this website to share his passion of the American Revolution with anyone interested in this unique period of time. During his tenure as president, Witherspoon was instrumental in improving finances after the Revolutionary War, increasing enrollment and revolutionizing the curriculum. The idea of renaming the John Witherspoon Middle School has been discussed in the past, said Jennifer Cohan, a community activist and Princeton resident, but the momentum of the current anti-racism activism, as well as the recent renaming of the Woodrow Wilson School, contributed to what Cohan describes as a “long overdue change finally being made.” UPCOMING DATES . These two men managed to convince Witherspoon to accept a position as President of President of the College of New Jersey. If you are new to this site, make sure you subscribe to our email list for a new Founder every day. John was a member of almost every major committee through out the early stages of the United States’ existence, including that which was designated the responsibility of concluding peace with Great Britain. I must have missed this from two weeks ago, but the Princeton Public Schools Board of Education unanimously voted to change the name of John Witherspoon Middle School because the Presbyterian minister, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and former president of the College of New Jersey at Princeton (now Princeton University) owned slaves. Witherspoon's other Princeton students included: John Witherspoon, a prominent minister from Scotland, immigrated to the United States in 1768 in order to become Princeton University’s sixth president and head professor. Barbara Witherspoon, d.s.p. When John Witherspoon arrived to take control of the College of New Jersey (or as we know it today, Princeton University) he found the school lacking in every conceivable fashion. John Witherspoon was the only clergyman and the only college president to sign the Declaration of Independence. John Knox Witherspoon, Jr. (29 July 1757 - 30 January 179… John Witherspoon, Late President of the College at Princeton, New Jersey , 4 vols., vol. Who now remembers John Witherspoon? Witherspoon embraced the concepts of Scottish common sense realism, and while president of the College of New Jersey, became an influential figure in the development of the United States national character. The Rev. It was made in Paisley, Scotland, by Alexander Stoddart and is a duplicate casting of a statue dedicated in Pausley on June 22, 2001. Echoing the sentiments of many northern advocates, who were sympathetic toward slaves while recognizing the State’s economic dependence on the institution, Witherspoon supported gradual emancipation and expected slavery to disappear in the near future. John Witherspoon is buried at Princeton Cemetery along with future Princeton Trustee and President of the United States, Grover Cleveland. John became acquainted with Benjamin Rush and Richard Stockton (who, like him, were future signers of the Declaration of Independence) during their visit to Scotland. Finding the small college in dire straits, he instituted fiscal, educational, and structural reforms that pushed the college to the forefront of advanced education. To read about other important educators during the Revolutionary Period, check out my articles on George Wythe and Richard Bayley. Witherspoon as: “A … This ancestor of actress Reese Witherspoon contributed to the education of several high profile Founding Parents of the United States. Some descendants of Witherspoon also are expected to attend. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh, he gained a reputation in the Church of Scotland as a leader of the left-wing “Popular Party,” and his works made him well-known in the American colonies. John Witherspoon (February 5, 1723 – November 15, 1794) was a Scottish-American Presbyterian minister and a Founding Father of the United States. James Witherspoon, Major (17 November 1751 - 4 October 1777) 1.4. Elizabeth Montgomery (29 May 1722 - 1 October 1789) 1.1. The school will now go by the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, and Wilson College will be known as First College. Witherspoon himself was famous for advocating independence from the pulpit. He would remain a representative of New Jersey for the entire duration of the war. As president of the College of New Jersey (1768–94; now Princeton University), he trained many leaders of the early nation and was the only active clergyman and the only college president to sign the Declaration. John Witherspoon Woods sits within the Greater Mountain Lakes Open Space Area, and its trails are maintained by Friends of Princeton Open Space. John Witherspoon. PRINCETON, NJ — The John Witherspoon name has been removed from the Princeton middle school following a unanimous vote by the Board of Education on Tuesday night. Things To Do In Princeton Junction; John Witherspoon Woods; John Witherspoon Woods 4.9 77 Votes Currently Open. Enable Map. JWMS Fall Sports Information View JWMS Athletic Orientation Presentation JW Athletics Team Webpage Link . He died on his farm, Tusculum (Today located next to Mountain Lakes park), just outside of Princeton and was buried in the Princeton … Anne Witherspoon (23 July 1749 - 1 April 1817) 1.2. Jason is the Founder of Founder of the Day. In response to the Black Lives Matter movement, universities, colleges, and other institutions across the country have been removing from buildings the names of historical figures who supported slavery or promoted racism. Stoddart and officials from Princeton and Paisley universities will speak. The collection consists of selected manuscripts, correspondence, and documents of Witherspoon, as well as material about about him. He raised funds, improved the curriculum and constructed new buildings. Indeed, during a moral philosophy lecture for undergraduates at Princeton, he announced his opposition to slavery and declared it unlawful to take away people’s “liberty by no better right than superior force.” Despite this, Witherspoon owned slaves at home. Originally a Presbyterian clergyman in Scotland, John Witherspoon served as the sixth president of Princeton University, then known as the College of New Jersey, from 1768-94. If you are interested in learning more about Witherspoon’s beliefs (where were a unique mix of religious morals and secular government), pick up a copy of ‘John Witherspoon’s American Revolution’ from the affiliate link below. Introduction. He was president of Princeton, one of the most prestigious universities in the entire country. John Knox Witherspoon lived a remarkable life. There, Witherspoon taught 12 members of the Continental Congress, and 9 of the 55 writers of the U.S. Constitution, including James Madison. He will discuss his work on the project in a lecture titled "John Witherspoon: Man and Statue." Robert Witherspoon (b. The John Witherspoon Middle School in Princeton, New Jersey, was named after the Rev Dr John Witherspoon, one of the founding fathers of the United States. In Princeton and across New Jersey, Witherspoon discussed moral issues regarding slavery. Finding the small college in dire straits, he instituted fiscal, educational, and structural reforms that pushed the college to the forefront of advanced education. John Knox Witherspoon married: 1. John Knox Witherspoon (1723-1794) served as Princeton’s sixth president from 1768 to 1794. Witherspoon went about transforming the organization into the educational institution he knew it could be. John Witherspoon was a Pastor, President of Princeton and signer of the Declaration of Independence. These are just some of the suggestions residents have proposed for renaming the John Witherspoon Middle School in Princeton. Despite this, Witherspoon made one last contribution to the American Founder before he passed, attending the New Jersey Ratification Convention as an avid supported of the Constitution his most successful student had a hand in drafting. He personally owned slaves and publicly lectured and voted against the abolition of slavery in New Jersey, yet he also tutored several African and African American students. As a Preacher and Teacher, he did not have the vast wealth we associate with many of the Founders and therefore had to live on a very tight budget for the rest of his life. First, one of his sons, Major James Witherspoon, was killed in battle while fighting with the Continental Army. He stated that “I became an American the moment I landed.” He was the son of a minister and grandson of a Covenanter minister. John Witherspoon (February 15, 1723 – November 15, 1794) was a signatory of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of New Jersey. John Knox Witherspoon (1723-1794)—clergyman, educator, and founding father—served as Princeton’s sixth president from 1768 until his death in 1794. In 1776, John Witherspoon was elected to the Continental Congress. His work turned Princeton into the Ivy League school it is today. John Witherspoon (February 5, 1723 – November 15, 1794) was a Scottish-American Presbyterian minister and a Founding Father of the United States. There have been a number of biographies of Witherspoon and also a number of books on the signers of the Declaration of Independence that include a … In 1790, four years before his death, Witherspoon chaired a committee on the abolition of slavery in the New Jersey State Legislature. Thus, Witherspoon and his family emigrated to New Jersey in 1768. (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1990. IMPACT TEST IS FOR ATHLETES IN 7th AND 8th GRADERS ONLY Among the manuscripts are a Latin address (1783) to the trustees at Princeton, a Latin oration (1794), and fragments of a sermon (undated). John Witherspoon was a Scottish-American Presbyterian minister and a Founding Father of the United States. [1] Witherspoon embraced the concepts of Scottish common sense realism, and while president of the College of New Jersey (1768–1794; now Princeton University), became an influential figure in the development of the United States' national character. This ancestor of actress Reese Witherspoon contributed to the education of several high profile Founding Parents of the United States. A Presbyterian minister and theologian, he had opposed the Jacobite rising in 1745-46, and he was briefly imprisoned at Doune Castle following the Jacobite victory at the Battle of Falkirk. IV (Philadelphia: William W. Woodward, 1801)., 53. He transformed the College of New Jersey (later Princeton) from a poor theological seminary into a vigorous academic community.. John Witherspoon was born into a ministerial family near Edinburgh on Feb. 5, 1723. Princeton Public Schools is also eyeing a similar change, led by resident Geoffrey Allen, whose petition to rename John Witherspoon Middle School has racked up over 1,500 signatures since early July. Address: Princeton, NJ 08540, USA, Princeton Junction, United States; Tags: Park; Contribute; John Witherspoon Woods Map. A recent Princeton High School graduate, Geoffrey Allen, recently created a petition to rename John Witherspoon Middle School, which prompted the … Christian Witherspoon, d.s.p. At the urging of Benjamin Rush and Richard Stockton, whom he met in Paisley, Witherspoon finally accepted their renewed invitation (having turned one down in 1766) to become president and head professor of the small Presbyterian College of New Jersey in Princeton. The work was cast at the Morris Singer Foundry in Basingstoke, England. Witherspoon St., Princeton, N.J. Witherspoon’s first ministry was in Beith, Ayrshire (1745-58). Much of the school was destroyed and John spent significant amounts of his own money rebuilding it. He was born in Gifford manse in 1723 – son of the Rev James Alexander Witherspoon, the then minister at Yester Kirk who is … The Revolutionary War took great strength from Witherspoon as he made many personal sacrifices. John Witherspoon (1723-1794) was a Scottish-born American Presbyterian divine and educator. Location: Visitors can access John Witherspoon Woods from Mountain Lakes Preserve, off Mountain Ave, or through a … John Witherspoon When Princeton served as the nation’s capital after the Continental Congress fled Philadelphia, Witherspoon made Nassau Hall available for their meetings. John was particularly influential to the political ideologies of Madison, who would become the main architect of the Constitution and a future President. John Witherspoon – This statue was dedicated on November 10, 2001. Stoddart, a neoclassicist and Her Majesty’s Sculptor in Ordinary in Scotland, depicts the Princeton president in a realistic style, using everyday objects to convey Witherspoon’s character and contributions. A Bible and his gesture indicate dedication to ministry; the lectern and stack of philosophy books represent his role as professor; and the eagle shows his commitment to American liberty.Â, An investigation of Princeton University’s largely unexamined social, financial, and ideological ties to American slavery reveals John Witherspoon’s complicated interactions with the issue. John Witherspoon Woods Reviews & Ratings. Tax records reveal that, for a number of years, he used slaves to help him farm his more than five hundred acres at Tusculum in Princeton, and the inventory of Witherspoon’s possessions taken at his death indicate that he left two slaves, valued at $100 each.Â. Born in Scotland and educated at the University of Edinburgh, Witherspoon was a prominent 18th-century intellectual associated with the moral philosophy of the Scottish Enlightenment. The statue will be unveiled in a ceremony at 4:15 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, at the site east of East Pyne. Additionally, he served on the committee which drafted the Articles of Confederation. He later became directly involved in politics and at the Continental Congress, he was a big advocate for independence. John Witherspoon was born and raised in Scotland, receiving an exemplary education and becoming a very popular Presbyterian Pastor. (14 August 1750 - 1756) 1.3. Unless otherwise noted, future citations from Witherspoon’s Works will be from the first edition and designated by volume and page, as Works:4.53. While many Americans were troubled by slavery, they were also economically dependent on it. John Adams he described Rev. Witherspoon and Slavery. IMPACT TEST . Witherspoon also played a significant role in the early formation of the nation: he signed the Declaration of Independence and educated many of the nation’s early leaders. Write a Review. Witherspoon, John, The Selected Writings of John Witherspoon, Thomas Miller, ed. By the start of the American Revolutionary War, Witherspoon had personally overseen the education of several future Founders, most notably James Madison and Aaron Burr. Sailing to America in 1768, John Witherspoon became the President of the College of New Jersey, which was later renamed Princeton University. Despite his many achievements—a celebrated pastor, president of Princeton, tutor to James Madison and other founders, and the sole cleric to sign the Declaration of Independence—Witherspoon has all but fallen through the … The Institute is named for John Witherspoon, a leading member of the Continental Congress, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, the sixth president of Princeton University, and a mentor to James Madison, the fourth president of the United States of America. , increasing enrollment and revolutionizing the curriculum and constructed New buildings be known as first College 1789. St., Princeton, Witherspoon chaired a committee in the New Jersey 1768! 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