Rutgers Affiliates & Namesakes

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Rutgers Affiliates & Namesakes
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  • Abraham Blauvelt (1764-1838)
    Abraham Blauvelt (c. 1764-1838) was an alumnus and trustee of Queen's College (later Rutgers). He was born in Rockland County, NY, and lived most of his life in New Brunswick, NJ, where Middlesex County records indicate that he held people in bondage. He received a degree from Queen's College in 1789 and was elected to the Board of Trustees in 1800, assuming the position of the Secretary of the Board. From 1808 to 1810 he was the chairman of the Building Committee that oversaw the construction of the college's first permanent building, now known as Old Queens. He maintained the financial records related to the construction of the building, which document the college's use of enslaved labor. Blauvelt was a printer in New Brunswick. He established a newspaper called the Guardian, or, New Brunswick Advertiser, in 1792 and published it for decades, delivering news and advertisements to the surrounding counties. Many advertisements for runaways and slave sales appeared in his newspaper over the years. Blauvelt helped facilitate slave sales for his subscribers. Some sellers did not want to publish their own name and contact information in the newspaper, preferring to keep the transaction more private. In such cases, Blauvelt acted as a middleman, publishing ads that said "Enquire of the printer," and encouraging prospective buyers to come to Blauvelt for more information about the sale.
  • Alpheus Freeman (1766-1813)
    Alpheus Freeman was an enslaver in New Brunswick, NJ. He was born in 1766, probably in Metuchen, NJ (which was part of Woodbridge Township at the time). He attended Queen's College (now Rutgers University), receiving his degree in 1788, after which he established a law practice in New Brunswick. He married Mary Parker in Philadelphia in 1803. He owned several properties in New Brunswick, including a large building on the corner of George Street and Prince (now Bayard) Street. He died suddenly on December 29, 1813, aged 47, and was interred with military and masonic honors. Archival documents show that he was the enslaver of a young man named Dick (who ran away) and a young woman who was sold by the executors of his estate to settle Freeman's accounts.
  • Andrew Kirkpatrick (1756-1831)
    Andrew Kirkpatrick (1756-1831) was a prominent New Brunswick lawyer and politician with deep ties to Queen's College (later Rutgers University). He enslaved multiple people in his household. In the first two decades of the 19th century, he manumitted several individuals. In the 1780s, Andrew Kirkpatrick was a teacher at the Queen's College grammar school. In 1783, he was the first person to receive an honorary degree from Queen's College. In 1797 be became a member of the New Jersey General Assembly, and a year later he was appointed as a judge to the New Jersey Supreme Court. He served as the Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court from 1804 to 1825. Andrew Kirkpatrick served as a trustee of Queen's College from 1792 to 1809. During his time as a trustee, he was instrumental in reviving the struggling college. He worked with the Reverend Ira Condict to raise funds for the erection of a new building for the college (now called Old Queens building). Andrew Kirkpatrick then sent his son John Bayard Kirkpatrick to study at the college in the 1810s. Andrew Kirkpatrick's oldest son Littleton Kirkpatrick carried on his father's legacy in supporting the college; he served as a trustee of the college from 1841 until his death in 1859. Having no surviving heirs when they died, Littleton Kirkpatrick and his wife Sophia Astley Kirkpatrick left their fortune to the college. Their donation was used to build the Kirkpatrick Chapel on campus.
  • Cornelius C. Vermeule (1785-1859)
    The Rev. Cornelius C. Vermeule was a Dutch Reformed minister and the son of Revolutionary War Captain Cornelius Vermeule Jr. (1757-1824). He graduated from Queen's College (later Rutgers University) in 1812. After receiving his degree, he served as a tutor at Queen's in 1812-1814, and was the professor of languages in 1814-1815. He then left New Brunswick and became the pastor of the Harlem Reformed Church in 1816. He was an enslaver. During the time when he taught at Queen's College, he sold a Black man named Prince to John Neilson. He was the first cousin of Dr. John Vermeule whose house in Green Brook Township is on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Ferdinand Schureman Schenck (1790-1860)
    Ferdinand Schureman Schenck was born in Millstone, Somerset County, New Jersey, in 1790. He attended the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New York (Columbia University) and set up a medical practice at Six Mile Run (now Franklin Park, NJ) after graduating in 1814. As part of his medical practice, he sometimes provided medical treatment for enslaved people in the area. He was also a politician and served as a U.S. Congressman from 1833 to 1837. He was a Rutgers trustee from 1841 until his death in 1860. The Ferdinand Schureman Schenck Papers are housed at Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries (call number MC 1095).
  • Gertrude Skinner Parker (1739-1811)
    Gertrude Parker (1739–1811) was an enslaver who resided in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. She was the daughter of William Skinner and Elizabeth van Cortland and the wife of James Parker Sr. (1725–1797). Together with her son James Parker Jr., she donated land to Rutgers University (then Queen's College) from the Parker estate in the early 19th century. The nucleus of Rutgers-New Brunswick’s historical campus (with Old Queens, Winants Hall, and Kirkpatrick Chapel) is located on the land donated by the Parkers.
  • Henry Rutgers (1745-1830)
    Our school’s namesake Henry Rutgers (1745-1830) was a trustee and an important donor during the college's struggles in the early nineteenth century. Undergraduate classes were suspended at Queen’s College in 1816, but trustees worked to get the college back on solid footing financially. When the college reopened in 1825, the new president Rev. Philip Milledoler proposed to change the school’s name to Rutgers College in honor of one of the most benevolent members of the Dutch Reformed Church. Soon after, Henry Rutgers provided an endowment for the college and purchased a bell for the cupola of the Old Queens building. This bell is still in operation today for special ceremonies and events. Henry Rutgers was a slaveholder for nearly all of his life. He was a wealthy Dutch landowner and developer in New York City where slaveholding was common among his class. His father and grandfather had owned slaves. By the end of the American Revolution, Henry Rutgers supported state laws to limit the slave trade, but he personally continued to exploit slave labor for decades after. According to federal census records, he was the owner of two enslaved people in 1790, five in 1800, and three in 1810. In 1817, Henry Rutgers decided to manumit and set free a black man named Thomas Boston. However, Henry Rutgers continued to own human beings after he manumitted Thomas Boston. The 1820 census shows that Rutgers still owned one slave. Henry Rutgers lived for 85 years and witnessed tremendous changes during his lifetime. In 1827, three years before his death, slavery was finally abolished in his home state of New York.
  • Jacob Dunham (1767-1832)
    Dr. Jacob Dunham (1767-1832) was physician in New Brunswick, NJ. He was the son of Azariah Dunham (1718-1790) and Mary Ford Dunham (c. 1734-1802). He practiced medicine in the city and the surrounding area for over thirty years. He enslaved a man named Will and drew income from hiring out Will to perform strenuous labor around the city. In 1808 and 1809, he got paid for hiring out Will to do construction work for the first permanent building for Queen's College (later Rutgers), the building now known as Old Queens. Dunham's accounting records also document medical treatments that he provided for both enslaved and free people of color in New Brunswick.
  • Jacob Rutsen Hardenbergh Jr. (1768-1841)
    Jacob Rutsen Hardenbergh Jr. (1768-1841) was the son of the first president of Queen's College (later Rutgers). He grew up at his father's parsonage at Raritan (present-day Somerville) and then lived in New Brunswick, NJ, for much of his life. Historical records indicate that he bought and sold enslaved individuals in the late 18th century at the time when he was the Secretary of the Board of Trustees of Queen's College. He attended Queen's College while his father was president and received his degree in 1788. He was an instructor at the college in 1794. He was a trustee of the college for nearly 50 years from 1792 until his death in 1841, serving as the Secretary of the Board of Trustees in 1793-1800 and again in 1833-1835. He studied law and worked briefly as a lawyer, then went into banking and industry. He was the founder and president of the Bank of New Brunswick, the first bank established in the city, which was known locally as Hardenbergh's bank. He was also the owner of Bloomfield Works (lumber and powder mills), near Spottswood, NJ.
  • Jacob Rutsen Hardenbergh Sr. (1736-1790)
    Jacob Rutsen Hardenbergh (1736-1790) was the first president of Queen's College (later Rutgers). He was one of the chief founders responsible for establishing the college in 1766 and was active in the college's affairs for two decades before he was appointed its first president by the trustees in 1786. Hardenbergh Hall, a dormitory located on George Street on the College Avenue campus, was named for him in 1956. Hardenbergh was a Dutch Reformed minister who came from a prominent slaveholding family in Ulster County, New York, and took over the churches in the Raritan Valley after his mentor Johannes Frelinghuysen passed away. His parsonage was located in present-day Somerville (now the Old Dutch Parsonage historic house). Slaveholding was an ordinary part of life for the Dutch landowners in New York and New Jersey in this era, and the Rev. Hardenbergh was used to exploiting enslaved labor in his home. His wife, the widow Dina Van Bergh, also inherited three slaves from her first marriage. Unfortunately we do not know the names of the enslaved individuals who labored in Hardenbergh's parsonage in New Jersey. However, we do know that among the many Black people enslaved by Hardenbergh's family in Ulster County was a girl named Isabella Baumfree who would grow up to become a famous abolitionist and women's rights advocate. Isabella's enslaver was president Hardenbergh's brother Johannes Hardenbergh Jr. After Isabella escaped to freedom and became a preacher, she adopted the name Sojourner Truth. President Hardenbergh never met Sojourner Truth as she was born about seven years after his death, but he was likely well acquainted with her parents James and Betsey Baumfree who served the Hardenbergh family for decades. The following is a description of the house (with slave quarters) where Jacob Rutsen Hardenbergh grew up. The house was originally built by his great-grandfather Jacob Rutsen in 1700. This description is from the book The Hardenbergh Family: A Genealogical Compilation by Myrtle Hardenbergh Miller (New York: American Historical Co., 1958), page 58: "a stone building sixty-two by twenty-five feet in dimensions. The main house had numerous rooms, fireplaces, and had handsome panelled woodwork and recesses for beds enclosed by panelled doors. At the southwest end and opening into the house were the slave quarters of stone fifteen by eighteen feet, on the same end in the cellar was a cell in which delinquent slaves were confined." This house was originally called Rosendale (giving its name to the town of Rosendale in Ulster County, NY). After Jacob Rutsen Hardenbergh's grandparents Johannes Hardenbergh (1670-1745) and Catherine (nee Rutsen) moved into the house, it came to be known as Hardenbergh Hall.
  • James Neilson (1784-1862)
    James Neilson was a prominent New Brunswick businessman and a benefactor of Rutgers College. He served on the Rutgers Board of Trustees from 1834 until his death in 1862. He supported Rutgers with regular monetary contributions and donated land for the college campus. James Neilson was colonel of the New Jersey State Militia and served in the War of 1812; thus he is often called Colonel James Neilson in historical sources (not to be confused with his father Colonel John Neilson, who served in the Revolutionary War). In 1830, James Neilson built a mansion called Wood Lawn that would serve as the family home for the Neilsons for over a hundred years, until it was bequeathed to Rutgers University upon the death of Neilson's son James Neilson Jr. in 1937. Neilson enslaved several African Americans throughout his life, with the last known records of slaveholding dating to the 1830s when the Neilson family resided at Wood Lawn mansion.
  • James Parker Jr. (1776-1868)
    James Parker Jr. (1776-1868) was a wealthy politician and enslaver and from Perth Amboy, NJ. His parents were James Parker Sr. (1725-1797) and Gertrude Parker née Skinner (1739-1811). His family was from Perth Amboy, where his father had served as Mayor, but James Jr. was born in Bethlehem, Hunterdon County, because his parents moved to a farm called "Shipley" there during the Revolution. The Parkers moved to New Brunswick in 1783 and then returned to Perth Amboy two years later when James Jr. was about nine years old. He attended Columbia College in New York City and began his career as a merchant in the city, but returned to Perth Amboy when he was about 21 years old to manage the family's substantial estate after his father died. Settling in Perth Amboy, he pursued a career as a magistrate and a politician at the local, state, and national level. Among the offices he held in Perth Amboy were Recorder of the City and Mayor. He served several non-nonconsecutive terms in the New Jersey General Assembly between 1806 and 1827. As a state legislator, he grew concerned about the dealings of the Van Wickle slave-trading ring — a nefarious operation that was transporting enslaved people to Louisiana from the port of Perth Amboy, Parker’s hometown. He formed an Association "for the purpose of opposing the practice of Kidnapping and unlawful trade in persons of color" with fellow concerned citizens in July 1818 and served as the Secretary of this group. In 1819, he originated a law that put a stop to the slave-trading ring and made it much more difficult for enslavers to take Black New Jerseyans away from the state. He went on to serve as a Congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1833 to 1837. Middlesex County records indicate that James Parker Jr. and other members of his family were enslavers and held several people in bondage in Perth Amboy in the early decades of the 19th century, during the same period when Parker was working to stop the illegal kidnapping and human trafficking in New Jersey. Parker’s family is crucial to Rutgers history due to their land holdings in New Brunswick. James Jr. and his mother Gertrude donated land to the college from the Parker estate. The nucleus of Rutgers–New Brunswick’s historical campus (with Old Queens, Winants Hall, and Kirkpatrick Chapel) is located on the land donated by the Parker family.
  • James Parker Sr. (1725-1797)
    James Parker Sr. (1725–1797) was a wealthy enslaver who lived in New Jersey. After his death in 1797, his family donated land from the Parker estate to Rutgers University (then called Queen's College). The nucleus of Rutgers-New Brunswick’s historical campus (with Old Queens, Winants Hall, and Kirkpatrick Chapel) is located on the land donated by the Parkers. --- The following biographical note was created by the New Jersey Historical Society, which holds several manuscript collections pertaining to the Parker family: James Parker (1725-1797), the son of Janet Johnstone (d.1741) and John Parker (1693-1732), served in the colonial military as a young man. Some time after 1746, he left the army and partnered with Beverly Robinson and Andrew Johnston in a mercantile business. The company traded with the West Indies and in 1750-1751, Parker traveled to Jamaica for business reasons. Soon after this trip he settled in Perth Amboy, New Jersey to manage the family estate, which included the mansion known as “The Castle.” He married Gertrude Skinner (d.1811), the sister of Cortlandt Skinner (1727-1799), and with her started a family. Parker served in a number of different capacities throughout his lifetime. He was an agent for the East Jersey Proprietors; an agent for the Hunterdon and Sussex County properties of Sir Robert Barker, an absentee landlord; a lawyer; a councilor under Governor William Franklin (1764-1775); and mayor of Perth Amboy (1771). In 1775, he declined the appointment as one of Perth Amboy’s delegates to the Provincial Congress, choosing instead to stay neutral during the escalating conflict. Though he had loyalist connections and sympathies, he remained neutral and moved his family to the farm he called “Shipley” in Bethlehem (now Union), Hunterdon County, New Jersey. In November of 1777, James Parker and two others were taken as loyalist hostages to ensure the safety of patriot captives. Parker was soon allowed to return to his family at “Shipley,” where they remained until the end of the war. In 1783, the Parkers moved to New Brunswick, New Jersey for two years before returning to the family home in Perth Amboy. James Parker died on October 4, 1797, leaving his son, James (1776-1868), to manage the remaining family lands.
  • James Schureman (1756-1824)
    James Schureman was an enslaver who resided in North Brunswick, NJ. He was the son of John Schureman (1729-1795) and Antje De Remere (1721-1800). He was one of the earliest graduates of Queen's College (later Rutgers University) in 1775. He served as a Captain of the Middlesex County militia in the Revolutionary War and then went on to become a merchant and politician. His political career included multiple terms as the Mayor of New Brunswick, Councilman for Middlesex County in the New Jersey Legislative Council, as well as U.S. Congressman and U.S. Senator representing the State of New Jersey. He had a house and store on Burnet Street in New Brunswick and also owned a farm at One-Mile Run. Middlesex County Clerk's records include a birth certificate that Schureman submitted for an enslaved child named Phillis (born to a woman named Patty who was enslaved by Schureman). Additionally, Schureman served as one of the executors of the estate of his brother-in-law Peter Vredenburgh and, in that capacity, carried out Vredenburgh's wishes to manumit two enslaved persons named Tom and Margaret, which manumissions were recorded by the County Clerk. Schureman was the son-in-law of David Williamson of South Brunswick, NJ, by marriage to Williamson's daughter Eleanor. Schureman was one of the executors of his father-in-law's will. In 1799, Schureman signed a bill of sale for a Black woman named Lydia on behalf of Williamson's estate.
  • James Stevenson (1763-1839)
    James Stevenson was an enslaver from Hunterdon County, NJ. He is associated with Amwell and Hopewell. He was the son of John Stevenson (1728-1775) and Elizabeth Throckmorton. He was born in 1763 and died in 1839. He is probably the James Stevenson who graduated from Queen's College (now Rutgers University) in 1789 and served as tutor of the college in 1789-1790 and then again in 1809-1811. He served on the Board of Freeholders of Hunterdon County from 1813 to 1827, and was the Director of the Board for many years.
  • Johannes Hardenbergh (1706-1786)
    Johannes Hardenbergh (1706-1786) was one of the founding trustees of Queen's College (later Rutgers) and the father of the college's first president Jacob Rutsen Hardenbergh Sr. He was a wealthy landowner and slaveholder who resided in Ulster County, NY, for most of his life. During the last year of his life he came to live in New Brunswick, NJ, with his son Jacob Rutsen Hardenbergh Sr., who was beginning his tenure as college president. He was a member of the First Provincial Congress of New York. Historical records often refer to him as Col. Johannes Hardenbergh; he was a field officer in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. He is not to be confused with his father Sir Johannes Hardenbergh (1670-1745) or his son Col. Johannes Hardenbergh Jr. (1729-1799). The following is a description of his house with slave quarters, originally built by his grandfather Jacob Rutsen in 1700, from the book The Hardenbergh Family: A Genealogical Compilation by Myrtle Hardenbergh Miller (New York: American Historical Co., 1958), page 58: "a stone building sixty-two by twenty-five feet in dimensions. The main house had numerous rooms, fireplaces, and had handsome panelled woodwork and recesses for beds enclosed by panelled doors. At the southwest end and opening into the house were the slave quarters of stone fifteen by eighteen feet, on the same end in the cellar was a cell in which delinquent slaves were confined." This house with slave quarters was originally called Rosendale (giving its name to the town of Rosendale in Ulster County, NY), and by the mid-18th century it came to be known as Hardenbergh Hall.
  • John Croes (1762-1832)
    The Right Reverend John Croes (1762-1832) was a prelate in the Episcopalian Church in New Jersey. He served as rector of Trinity Church in Swedesboro in the 1790s and was called as rector of Christ Church in New Brunswick in 1801. He was elected and consecrated the first Bishop of New Jersey in 1815. He also served as the Principal of the Queen's College Grammar School (now Rutgers Preparatory School) in 1801-1807, and then as Trustee of Queen's College in 1809-1816. Middlesex County records indicate that John Croes was an enslaver.
  • John Frederick Frelinghuysen (1776-1833)
    John Frelinghuysen was an enslaver who resided in Somerset County. He was the eldest son of Frederick Frelinghuysen (1753-1804) and Gertrude Schenck (1752-1794). He was born near Millstone, Somerset County, and later resided around the area of Somerville and Raritan (then part of Bridgewater township). The house where he lived in the 19th century, located in present-day Raritan, is on the National Register of Historic Places and now serves as the Raritan Public Library building. His family was closely associated with the founding of Queen's College (now Rutgers University). He graduated from the college in 1792 and served as a trustee from 1800 to 1833. He was a lawyer. He served as the Somerset County Clerk in the early 19th century and was responsible for keeping records related to manumissions and enslaved children's births. He served in the war of 1812 and became a brigadier general, thus he is often referred to as General John Frelinghuysen in historical sources.
  • John Neilson (1745-1833)
    Colonel John Neilson was an early trustee and benefactor of Queen's College (later Rutgers University). His parents were John Neilson (c. 1710s-1745) and Joanna Coeymans. His father died shortly before Neilson was born. Consequently, Neilson was raised by his uncle, the New Brunswick merchant James Neilson (1700-1783), from infancy and worked in his uncle's shipping business trading between Madeira, the Dutch West Indies, and New Jersey. Neilson became the heir to his uncle's mercantile business and estate, which included several enslaved persons. Neilson bought and sold many enslaved persons throughout his life. During the American Revolution, John Neilson served as a colonel in command of the New Jersey militia in the northern part of the state. He served in the New Jersey legislature during and after the Revolution. A statue of John Neilson reading the Declaration of Independence was erected in Monument Square in New Brunswick in 2017.
  • Peter Vredenburgh (1745-1823) [Petrus Benedict Van Vredenburgh Jr.]
    Petrus Benedict Van Vredenburgh Jr. (1745-1823) was an enslaver who resided in New Brunswick, NJ. He was named after his father and then eventually Anglicized his name to Peter Vredenburgh, and historical records may use both versions of the name to refer to him. He was the last in the family to use the Dutch name. He was the son of Petrus Benedict Van Vredenburgh (1721-1810) and Margaret (or Margrita) Schureman (1726-1745), who died shortly after Petrus was born; he was raised by his father's second wife Elizabeth Fisher after his mother's death. He was a civic leader in New Brunswick and served for decades as the Treasurer of Middlesex County. He was also a Trustee of Queen's College (later Rutgers University) from 1784 until his death in 1823, following in the footsteps of his father, who was also a trustee of the college. He married a cousin named Margaret (or Margrita) Schureman (1752-1786) (not to be confused with his mother of the same name) and then, after her death, his second wife was Ann Van Voorhees. He mentioned two enslaved persons in his will, Tom and Margaret, whom he wished to manumit. He made Peter Vrendenburgh (his son) and James Schureman (the brother of his first wife and his son Peter's uncle) the executors of his will.
  • Philip Livingston (1716-1778)
    Philip Livingston (1716-1778) was a charter trustee of Queen's College and a slave trader. He came from a wealthy landowning family in upstate New York and moved to New York City to operate the family's mercantile business, which was started by his father Philip Livingston (1686-1749). He invested heavily in slave-trading voyages to Africa and owned several plantations in the Caribbean as part of a vast international mercantile operation that revolved around the exploitation of Africans. These activities made him one of the richest men in 18th-century New York. A signer of the Declaration of Independence, he held a variety of government roles representing the state of New York, including member of the Provincial Assembly (1759-1769), and state senator in 1777. He married Christina Ten Broeck in 1740. They had nine children, of whom daughter Sarah (1752-1814) would marry her cousin and future Queen's College President, the Rev. John Henry Livingston, in 1775.
  • Robert Adrain (1775-1843)
    Robert Adrain was a professor of mathematics at Queen's College (now Rutgers University) in 1810-1813 and again in 1825-1827. Middlesex County records for the early 19th century indicate that he was an enslaver. His sons Robert Adrain Jr. (RC 1827) and Garnett B. Adrain (RC 1833) graduated from Rutgers and lived most of their lives in New Brunswick, NJ. The following is a biographical sketch of Robert Adrain, from the Guide to the Robert Adrain Collection, 1826-1840 (R-MC 154), at Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries: Robert Adrain was born on September 30, 1775, in Carrickfergus, Ireland, the son of a Frenchman who had fled to Irish shores, and an Irish mother. In Ireland, he opened a school and became a math tutor, as well as taking on a commission to tutor in the private home of an Irish official in service to the British crown. During the Irish Uprising in 1798, Adrain became an officer in the insurgent Irish forces and nearly died--shot by one of his own soldiers and left for dead. He recovered in the care of friends, and once well, headed to the United States of America. There, Mrs. Theobald Tone, the widow of his commanding officer in the Irish uprising, gave him lodgings and he became a school teacher in Princeton, New Jersey. In 1805 he moved to York, Pennsylvania, to become principal of an academy there. Adrain's publications, such as “View of Diopahntine Algebra" in The Correspondent, led to his appointment to the faculty of Queen's College in New Brunswick, New Jersey as professor of mathematics in 1809. In 1810 the college awarded him an honorary master of arts and he remained on the faculty until 1813. He later became professor of mathematics and natural history at Columbia College in 1814, where he stayed until 1825. While at Columbia, his official title changed in 1820 to professor of mathematics and astronomy. His reasons for leaving Columbia are presently unknown. In 1825 Queen's College, which had closed due to financial problems, reopened as Rutgers College and Adrain rejoined the faculty and served until 1827, when he moved to Philadelphia to teach at the University of Pennsylvania. One year later Adrain became vice provost. He ultimately resigned his position at Penn in 1834. Records explain that his resignation came after his inability to control the students in his classroom, although they remain vague as to the exact circumstances as to what incited the ruckus for class after class. After a two year break, Adrain returned to New York to teach at Columbia College Grammar School, staying there from 1836 to 1840. He returned to New Brunswick, New Jersey after that, staying there until his death on August 10, 1843. During his time at Rutgers and Columbia, Adrain was active in professional organizations and authored a number of publications. In 1812 he became a fellow of the American Philosophical Society located in Philadelphia and in 1813 a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Boston. Adrain contributed to the Mathematical Correspondent as well as published in The Analyst in 1808, and again in 1814. His Mathematical Diary proved to be a more successful journal and ran for thirteen volumes from 1825-1833. He calculated the Gentleman’s Diary and Almanac in 1811, published the first edition of Huttons Mathematics in North America in the mid 1810s and “Investigation of the Figure of the Earth, and the Gravity in Different Latitudes" as well as becoming known for the method of least squares. Adrain had seven children by his wife Anne Pollock, including Garnett Bowditch Adrain, who served in Congress from 1856-1860.
  • Robert Boggs (1766-1831)
    Robert Boggs (1766–1831) was an enslaver who resided in New Brunswick, Middlesex County, NJ. He was the eldest child of Dr. James Boggs and Mary Morris. He studied law and practiced law with his uncle, judge Robert Morris, in New Brunswick. He became the clerk of the U.S. District Court. He served as a trustee of Rutgers College from 1800 until his death in 1831. He was also an active and influential member of the Christ Church, New Brunswick, and was buried in the Christ Church graveyard when he passed away. Note that some modern family trees refer to him as "Robert Morris Boggs" (Morris being his mother's maiden name), but archival documents usually refer to him as Robert Boggs (without listing a middle name), and it appears he usually signed his name "Robt Boggs." Documents referring to "Robert M. Boggs" and signed "R. M. Boggs" in the 1810s and 1820s likely belong to his son Robert Morris Boggs (1796-1827) who was in business for himself in New Brunswick since about 1817.
  • Sojourner Truth (c. 1799-1883)
    Sojourner Truth was a famous Black abolitionist and women's rights advocate. She was born in bondage in Swartekill (near present-day Rifton), a hamlet in Hurley, Ulster County, New York. Her parents were James and Betsy Baumfree, who were enslaved to Johannes Hardenbergh Jr. (1729-1799), the brother of the first president of Queen's College (later Rutgers) Jacob Rutsen Hardenbergh. Her name at birth was Isabella. Although the exact year and date of her birth is not known, we know that she was born shortly before New York began to gradually abolish slavery. Because she was born before the Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery went into effect on July 4, 1799, Isabella inherited her mother's status as an enslaved person. Isabella was an infant when Johannes Hardenbergh Jr. passed away in 1799 and his son Charles Hardenbergh inherited Isabella and her parents. After Charles Hardenbergh's death in 1808, Isabella was sold at auction at the young age of 9, along with a flock of sheep, for 100 dollars. Until this age, Isabella grew up speaking Dutch, which was the language spoken in the Hardenbergh household. After being sold several times in the next few years, she ended up at the household of John Dumont at West Park, New York. She lived there for about 16 years. She bore five children, one of whom was the result of a rape by John Dumont. In a defiant act of resistance, Isabella freed herself by leaving John Dumont's home together with her infant daughter Sophia in 1826 (months before she became eligible for legal emancipation under New York law). In her autobiography, she described how she "walked away" from John Dumont. She left behind her other children who were bound to serve John Dumont for a term until they could gain freedom under New York's gradual abolition law. Upon gaining her freedom she adopted the name Isabella van Wagenen, taking the last name of the van Wagenen family who had sheltered and helped her. When she learned that her son Peter, who had been sold by John Dumont at age 5, was illegally taken across state lines to Alabama, she took the issue to court. She sued her son's new enslaver Solomon Gedney and won Peter's return to New York where he could become free. The case was one of the first times a black woman challenged a white man in court and won. In 2022, the New York State Archives in Albany announced that archivists had uncovered 8 pages of the 1828 court documents pertaining to the suit that was filed in the New York Supreme Court under the name Isabella van Wagenen. Previously, these documents were considered lost to history. The documents include the deposition given by Isabella van Wagenen, the writ of habeas corpus, Somolon Gedney's response, and the court order freeing Peter. As a free woman, she became a devout Christian. She had a series of religious experiences that prompted her to change her name to Sojourner Truth and to preach publicly about the causes she cared about: the abolition of slavery and women's rights. In 1850, she published her life story in a book called The Narrative of Sojourner Truth. She dictated the book to Olive Gilbert. Sojourner Truth did not learn to read or write, but she was a noted orator well known for her moving speeches. She continued working for Black freedom until her death in 1883.
  • Staats Van Deursen (b. 1773)
    Staats Van Deursen (born in 1773) was an enslaver who resided in New Brunswick, NJ. He was a graduate of Queen's College (now Rutgers University), class of 1791. His father Willem (William) Van Deursen (1736-1816) had been one of the early trustees of the college. In 1807, Staats Van Deursen became a trustee of Queen's College, and he served as the college's Treasurer from 1813 to 1823. He also sent his son John Schurman Van Deursen to study at the college in the 1810s. In the early 19th century, Staats Van Deursen served in various roles in city government, including as treasurer of New Brunswick and as Overseer of the Poor for the township of North Brunswick (which contained within it most of the the city of New Brunswick). Staats Van Deursen's younger brother William Van Deursen (1791-1873) was also a Queen's College alumnus and prominent physician in New Brunswick. In 1817, Staats Van Deursen and his brother William decided to sell two young Black women to a man named Jacob Klady who was moving from New Brunswick to Ouachita, Louisiana, to establish a plantation there. As the result of Staats Van Deursen's actions, a 22-year-old woman named Phillis was taken away from New Jersey to Louisiana to work on Klady's plantation. At the same time, his brother William sold a woman named Dinah, who was also taken to Louisiana by Klady.
  • Theodorus Jacobus Frelinghuysen (1691-1747)
    The Rev. Theodorus Jacobus Frelinghuysen (1691-1747) was a Dutch Reformed minister who immigrated to New Jersey and settled in the Raritan Valley in 1720. He is best known for bringing religious fervor to the Raritan Valley during the First Great Awakening. He pastored several churches in the Raritan Valley, including congregations in Raritan, New Brunswick, Six-Mile Run, and Three-Mile Run (locations in present-day Middlesex County and Somerset County). Although he passed away nearly two decades before Queen's College (later Rutgers) was officially established, he is widely acknowledged as the progenitor of the school by Rutgers historians who credit him with originating the intellectual ideas that would eventually prompt his sons to seek a charter for a Dutch Reformed school in New Jersey. Frelinghuysen enslaved several persons of African descent in his household and worked to convert them to Christianity. The most well-known of these enslaved people was Ukawsaw Gronniosaw. Frenlinghuysen manumitted Gronniosaw upon his death in 1747, and Gronniosaw went on to publish an autobiography in 1772 where he recounted his life in the Frelinghuysen household.
  • Will
    Will was an enslaved man who lived in New Brunswick in the early 19th century. His enslaver was Dr. Jacob Dunham, a local physician, who routinely hired out Will's labor to others in the city. Dunham collected about a dollar a day for Will's labor. Will worked doing masonry, hauling heavy loads, breaking sugar, and ringing a bell at auctions. In 1808 and 1809 he worked at the Queen's College (later Rutgers) construction site, laying the foundation and doing masonry work for the college's first permanent building. This building is known today as Old Queens, and it houses the office of the chancellor of Rutgers University–New Brunswick. The biographical facts of Will's birth, death, or other life-course events are not known. The historical record, drawn from accounting books, primarily highlights his labor. Based on the extant record of his strenuous labor, dating from the late 1800s to the early 1820s, he was probably born circa 1780s. Following the publication of Scarlet and Black, Vol. 1: Slavery and Dispossession in Rutgers History, Will was memorialized at Rutgers University. In 2017 the walkway leading up to Old Queens from Hamilton Street was named Will's Way in his honor. Two historical plaques at this location commemorate Will. The first is a large Scarlet and Black historical marker that stands on the lawn alongside Will's Way. The text reads: "This plaque honors Will, an enslaved black man who worked to lay the foundation for the Old Queens Building in 1808. In recognition of Will's labor and the role of slavery in Rutgers' early history, the walkway from Hamilton Street to the entrance of Old Queens has been named Will’s Way." The second plaque is attached to the Old Queens building by the entrance that faces Will's Way. The text reads: "The walkway leading from this door to the Hamilton Street gate has been named 'Will's Way' in recognition of the labor of an enslaved man named Will who contributed to the early development of Queen’s College, which later became Rutgers University. Construction began on Old Queen's, the college's first permanent building, in the fall of 1808. Will, who was enslaved by a local physician named Jacob Dunham, laid the foundation for the building. Dunham received about a dollar a day for Will's labor. It is likely that Will was not the only enslaved laborer on the campus of Queen’s College during its early decades, particularly in light of the fact that slavery persisted longer in New Jersey than in any northern state. This plaque and the research upon which it is based are the result of work by the Committee on Enslaved and Disenfranchised Populations in Rutgers History, formed as part of the observance of the 250th anniversary of Rutgers' founding in 2016."
  • William Livingston (1723-1790)
    William Livingston (1723-1790) was the first governor of the State of New Jersey during the Revolutionary War, serving from 1776 to 1790. In 1969, Livingston College at Rutgers University was named in his honor. His family had a long-standing connection with the university. In 1766, his brothers Philip Livingston and Robert Livingston were two of the charter trustees of Queen's College (the original name of Rutgers University); and his cousin Rev. John Henry Livingston would go on to become the university's fourth president from 1810 to 1825. William Livingston was an ex-officio member of the college's Board of Trustees (by virtue of his position as New Jersey governor), and he presided over several meetings of the board in the 1780s. Livingston came from a wealthy family of landholders, merchants, and slave-traders in New York. Before coming to New Jersey, he worked as an attorney in New York City representing the interests of his family's vast international mercantile operation; their business included slave-trading voyages to Africa and plantations in the Caribbean. He moved to Elizabeth, New Jersey, in 1772. During the American Revolution, William Livingston became convinced that slavery was incompatible with the young American nation's ideals of freedom. Livingston called slavery "an indelible blot" upon humanity. As governor of New Jersey, he opposed the slave trade and hoped to pass a gradual abolition program after the Revolution. To set a public example for other slaveholders, in 1787 Livingston manumitted a woman named Bell and her son Lambert, who had been enslaved in Livingston's household in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Livingston won a ban on the Atlantic slave trade in New Jersey in 1786 (22 years before the Atlantic slave trade became illegal nationwide). But he was not able to achieve abolition during his tenure as governor, because slaveholders who opposed Livingston's views held too much power in the New Jersey legislature. In 2021, a Scarlet and Black historical marker acknowledging the connection between the Livingston family and slavery was erected at Livingston Campus. The text of the historical marker reads thus: "Livingston Campus (site of former Livingston College) was named after William Livingston, the first governor of the state of New Jersey, whose family made a fortune trafficking human beings in the transatlantic slave trade. The campus opened in 1969 as an experimental, social-justice oriented campus at the site of Camp Kilmer, a World War II-era military camp. The Livingston family collectively enslaved hundreds of people and William’s brothers, Philip and Robert, two of Rutgers’ founding trustees, bought and sold hundreds more. When William Livingston moved to New Jersey, he enslaved at least two people, a woman named Bell and her son Lambert. Though he later advocated for gradual abolition, he continued to represent the legal interests of his slave-trading family’s wealth throughout his career. This marker honors Bell, Lambert, and the other women, men, and children enslaved and sold by the Livingston family."
  • William Philips Deare (d. 1826)
    William Philips Deare was a lawyer in New Brunswick, NJ. He was an alumnus of Queen's College (later Rutgers), class of 1794. He was elected a trustee of the college in 1804 and served until his death in 1826; for most of that time he was the Secretary of the Board of Trustees (1807–1821). During this period he also served as the Clerk of Common Pleas for Middlesex County and was responsible for maintaining the county records related to enslaved people's births, manumissions, and removals from New Jersey.
  • William Van Deursen (1791-1873)
    William Van Deursen was an enslaver who resided in New Brunswick, NJ. He was a graduate of Queen's College (now Rutgers University), class of 1809, and he served as a trustee of the college for fifty years from 1823-1873. He was a prominent local physician and was active in the New Jersey Medical Society and the Middlesex County Medical Society. His father Willem (William) Van Deursen (1736-1816) had also been one of the early trustees of Queen's College, and his older brother Staats Van Deursen was the treasurer of the college. In 1817, William Van Deursen and his brother Staats decided to sell two young Black women to a man named Jacob Klady who was moving from New Brunswick to Ouachita, Louisiana, to establish a plantation there. As the result of William Van Deursen's actions, a 22-year-old woman named Dinah was taken away from New Jersey to Louisiana to work on Klady's plantation. At the same time, his brother Staats sold a woman named Phillis, who was also taken to Louisiana by Klady. William Van Deursen also served on the New Brunswick City Council. As a councilman, starting on November 7, 1823, he was on a committee that was charged with rounding up free Black people and removing them from New Brunswick. According to City Council minutes for March 5, 1824, his committee was also charged with enforcing a racially specific curfew that prohibited any Black people from being out in the street after ten o'clock on Saturday evenings.