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Bicentennial Graphic Header 1

              

 
 
  1812-1861       1862-1911       1912-1961         1962-1999      2000-2012  
  |   

A Princeton Seminary Timeline 1812-1861

Before 1812 

1536              

First Edition of John Calvin’s Institutes published


 

1643-1649    

British Parliament convenes the Westminster Abbey


 

1667-1692    

Early Presbyterian Congregations organized in such places as Newark, Elizabeth, and Woodbridge, New Jersey; Fairfield, Connecticut; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


 

1706              

Francis Makemie and seven other ministers form the first American presbytery


 

1727              

William Tennent Sr. moves to Neshaminy, Pennsylvania, and begins his Log College


 

1745-1746    

David Brainerd preaches to Native Americans at Crosswicks and Cranbury


 

1746              

College of New Jersey (later Princeton University) established at Elizabeth, New Jersey, at the home of Jonathan Dickinson


 

1756              

College of New Jersey moves to Nassau Hall in Princeton


 

1784              

Dutch Reformed church establishes a seminary which would eventually become New Brunswick Theological Seminary


 

1789              

First Presbyterian General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America is held in Philadelphia


 

1793              

Ashbel Green graduates from the College of New Jersey, delivering his valedictory address in the presence of George Washington


 

1805-1810    

Need for more systematic efforts in the field of theological education regularly discussed at General Assembly


 

1808              

Congregationalists establish Andover Seminary in Massachusetts


 

1810-1811    

After looking at several competing ideas, General Assembly appoints a committee to develop a plan for a single theological seminary, to be centrally located. This plan “for the establishment of a Theological School, intended to increase the piety and learning of candidates for the holy ministry, as well as to procure a larger supply of ministers for the wants of the churches” is drawn up by Ashbel Green and others, circulated among the churches, and adopted by the General Assembly of 1811.


 

1812 – 1861 

1812              

Princeton, New Jersey, temporarily chosen as a location for the seminary. Ashbel Green chosen as president of the Board of Directors. Archibald Alexander appointed first professor. Site offered by Richard Stockton, a son of the signer of the Declaration of Independence. The library is formed unofficially in the care of Professor Alexander. The first books were two Hebrew bibles.


 

1813              

Samuel Miller appointed second professor of the Seminary. Princeton made the permanent location. Class of fewer than a dozen students met in the study of Archibald Alexander’s home and additional functions were held in Nassau Hall at the College of New Jersey.


 

1822              

Charles Hodge raised to rank of third professor of the Seminary


 

1814              

Students at Princeton Theological Seminary form the “Society of Inquiry respecting Missions and the general State of Religion”


 

1815              

General Assembly determines to erect a building with a lecture hall and rooms for students. Cornerstone of Alexander Hall (“Old Seminary”) is laid.



1817              

Alexander Hall completed (except for cupola) and occupied


 

1820              

General Assembly authorizes the appointment of Charles Hodge, a graduate of the Class of 1819, as assistant teacher

1822-1824    

Act of Incorporation of Princeton Theological Seminary under the laws of the State of New Jersey debated by the New Jersey Assembly, passed, amended, and accepted by the General Assembly


 

1825              

Biblical Repertory (later Biblical Repertory and Princeton Review) founded by Charles Hodge


 

1826              

First meeting of the new Board of Trustees. The Board of Directors oversaw academic, faculty, and student matters, while the Board of Trustees was primarily responsible for fiscal affairs and the physical property of the Seminary.


 

1828              

Theodore S. Wright becomes the first African American graduate of a theodore_wright50.jpgPresbyterian seminary. After he is recommended to the Seminary by the Presbytery of Albany, the Seminary’s Board of Directors specifically declares that “his color shall form no obstacle in the way of his reception.”


 

1830              

General Assembly authorizes the building of a chapel and a library


 

1833-1834    

The chapel of the Seminary, since 1893 known as Miller Chapel, erected next to Alexander Hall, facing Mercer Street. Funds were not found for the projected library on the opposite side of Alexander Hall.


 

1837              

Disruption of the Presbyterian Church. Princeton Theological Seminary remains with the Old School.


 

1843              

James Lenox, a Trustee of Princeton Theological Seminary from 1831 until a year before his death in 1880, donates five acres of land across Mercer Street from the Seminary and builds there the first free-standing library in Princeton. Known later as “Old Lenox,” it stood on the corner of Mercer Street and Library Place until the mid-20th century, when it was replaced by the former Speer Library.


 

1843-1851    

Cortland Van Rensselaer, a director of Princeton Theological Seminary and for many years secretary of the Presbyterian Board of Education, undertakes a major campaign to raise endowment funds for Princeton Theological Seminary


 

1847              

Building designed by noted Philadelphia architect John Notman for use as a refectory, with a small infirmary, constructed. This later was modified into a gymnasium and still later into the current Administration Building.


 

1849              

Samuel Miller becomes professor emeritus and dies the following year


 

1851              

Archibald Alexander dies


For a short narrative history of Princeton Theological Seminary, as well as portraits, historic photographs, and writings by early Princeton Seminary authors, see the Special Collections website: http://digital.library.ptsem.edu