Place Record Title
Place Type
City, Town, or Village
Princeton is a municipality in Mercer County and the site of Princeton University's campus. The university was established in 1746 in Elizabeth and then moved to Princeton ten years later in 1756; it was originally called the College of New Jersey and changed its name to Princeton University in 1896.

Due to the history of Princeton's development at the crossroads of Somerset and Middlesex counties, researchers looking for slavery records related to present-day Princeton will need to carefully review database records for Princeton, Montgomery, and West Windsor.

The first European settlement in the area of present-day Princeton was called Stony Brook and was established by Quakers in the 1690s. The community of Princeton was established in the early 18th century, and early records also refer to it as Princetown or Prince's Town. Although the settlement grew in importance after the College of New Jersey relocated to the area in the 1750s, Princeton remained an unincorporated community and did not have its own municipal government until the 19th century. Additionally, present-day Mercer County was not established until 1838. Princeton was originally located at the border between Somerset County and Middlesex County, and many documents related to Princeton before 1838 would be found among the historical records of those two counties. The northern portion of Princeton was originally part of Montgomery Township, Somerset County, and the southern portion of Princeton was part of West Windsor Township, historically in Middlesex County (West Windsor is now in Mercer County).

The downtown area of Princeton was first incorporated as the Borough of Princeton in 1813. The larger surrounding area was incorporated as Princeton Township beginning in 1838, and an additional portion was annexed from West Windsor in 1853. The smaller Borough of Princeton and the larger surrounding Princeton Township existed as distinct municipalities until 2013 when they merged into one entity that occupies the northeast section of Mercer County.
County (Modern)
Mercer County
County (Historical)
Somerset County
Middlesex County
State or Province
New Jersey
United States of America
Alternate Name
Prince's Town
Record Contributor
Jesse Bayker

Linked resources

Items with "Location Created: Princeton"
Title Class
Letter from Robert Finley to John Neilson regarding Jef Bibliographic Resource
Items with "Place of Publication: Princeton"
Title Class
Obituary of Clara Voorhees in the Princeton Press Bibliographic Resource
Items with "Places Located Here: Princeton"
Title Class
New Jersey Location
Items with "Located In: Princeton"
Title Class
Bainbridge House, Princeton Location
President's House (Maclean House at Princeton University), Princeton Location
Prospect Farm (Prospect House at Princeton University), Princeton Location
Items with "Location of Event: Princeton"
Title Class
1756-09-02 Sale: Caesar Event
1766-06-25 Will (of Samuel Finley): Peg Event
1766-07-31 Advertisement: 2 Black women, a Black man, and 3 Black children for the estate of Samuel Finley Event
1774 Freedom seeking: Costant Event
1774-09-19 Freedom seeking: Peet Event
1775-01-30 Advertisement: Black man, 1st Black boy, 2nd Black boy Event
1778-08-20 Freedom seeking: Prime Event
1780-05-20 Freedom seeking: Michael Hoy Event
1780-11-12 Freedom seeking: Caesar Event
1780-11-20 Advertisement: Black boy aged 11 Event
1781-01-10 Advertisement: Black girl Event
1781-12-15 Jailing: Henry Heywood Event
1784-03-25 Advertisement: Black man aged 25 Event
1791-06-04 Freedom seeking: Jack Event
1792 Sale: Mary Event
1793 Sale: Jef Event
1793-01-12 Freedom seeking: Will Griggs Event
1793-12-10 Freedom seeking: Mary Event
1794-02 Sale: Jef Event