Traditionalist Puritan leaders, troubled by the tendency toward modern science and a lessening of religious stringency at Harvard, felt the need for an institution that adhered to traditional Congregationalism. Not long after the establishment of William and Mary in the South, New England saw its second college in 1701, when Yale College began as a Puritan school in the home of its first rector, Abraham Pierson, in Killingworth (now Clinton), Connecticut. In 1707, the school moved to Saybrook (now Old Saybrook), and, in 1716, it moved finally to New Haven. It was renamed Yale College in 1718, after Elihu Yale, a Boston-born English merchant in the British East India Company, donated to the college nine bales of goods valued at over 562 pounds, 417 books, and a portrait and coat of arms of King George I. Yale followed a traditionalist, Puritan curriculum for a generation, devoted to upholding and propagating the Christian Protestant religion by a succession of learned and orthodox men. College of New Jersey (Princeton) In a move to counter the conservative philosophy at Yale and also to counter opposition to the Great Awakening by both Harvard and Yale, moderate Presbyterians in New Jersey sought to continue the tradition of a Presbyterian institution. The Log College, operated by William Tennent, an Edinburgheducated Presbyterian minister, was located in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. When Tennent died in 1745, there was consternation that the Log College supplying of Presbyterian ministers in the middle colonies would come to an end. The denomination’s leaders proposed a new college for the middle colonies, applying for a charter in 1745. Presbyterians disapproved of Harvard and Yale’s opposition to the new religious revivals of George Whitefield, yet they also were uncomfortable with the restrictive limitations of the Log College curriculum. They envisioned a college with a more modern approach. The charter was eventually granted by acting governor John Hamilton, an Anglican with rather liberal views, to a board of trustees, all Presbyterians, who directed that the new college would be operated by well disposed and public spirited persons and that the mission of the college would be to offer the arts and sciences, a seminary to prepare ministers of the Gospel, and instruction useful in the learned professions. Named the College of New Jersey, and created under the sponsorship of the New York Synod, the school was originally located in Elizabeth. In October 1747, upon the death of its first president, Jonathan Dickinson, the college moved to the parsonage of Aaron Burr, local Presbyterian rector of Newark and the college’s second president. In 1753, the FitzRandolph family donated 10 acres of land in Princeton, where the College of New Jersey established a permanent home in 1756. Although dominated by Presbyterian trustees, the college was open to adherents of all recognized religions, reflective of the eighteenth-century movement away from the traditionalist philosophies at Harvard and Yale. Although officially the College of New Jersey, it was commonly referred to as Princeton College, or Nassau Hall, the name of its main building. At the college’s sesquicentennial celebration in 1896, the name was officially changed to Princeton University.
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