How many times did Princeton University change hands during the American Revolutionary War?

Nassau Hall, the main structure of what would become Princeton University, was captured and recaptured three times during the heat of battle during the American Revolutionary War.

Finally, British soldiers made their last stand there before American artillery convinced them to surrender, doing quite a bit of damage to the building and its furnishings in the process, it should be noted.

The battle ended with an American victory on January 3, 1777. At the time, the school was called the College of New Jersey.

The school had been chartered 30 years earlier by King George II as a Presbyterian school “for the Education of Youth in the Learned Languages and in the Liberal Arts and Sciences,” the fourth university chartered in the British colonies, after Harvard, William and Mary, and Yale.

Coincidentally, the college president at the time was the Reverend John Witherspoon, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Classes continued after the battle ended, and the Class of ’77 boasted a record number of graduates-30, up from 27 in 1776.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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