Princeton, borough (1990 pop. 12,016) and surrounding township (1990 pop. 13,198), Mercer co., W central N.J.; settled late 1600s, borough inc. 1813, township est. 1838. A leading education center, it is the seat of Princeton Univ., the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton Theological Seminary, Westminster Choir College of Rider Univ., St. Joseph's Seminary, and other institutions. Numerous national and international corporate research centers and headquarters are there, including the Educational Testing Service (ETS).
In the American Revolution the British and later colonial troops occupied Nassau Hall (of Princeton Univ.) as barracks. Shortly after the battle of Trenton, Princeton was the scene of a battle (Jan. 3, 1777) in which Washington surprised and defeated a superior British force. Gen. Hugh Mercer was mortally wounded in the attack. A monument with sculptures by Frederick MacMonnies commemorates the battle. "Morven" (1701), home of Richard Stockton, was Cornwallis's headquarters and a center of social and political life during and after the Revolution. The Continental Congress met in Nassau Hall from June to Nov., 1783. In 1869 the first intercollegiate football game (between Rutgers and Princeton) took place. William Bainbridge's birthplace is the headquarters of a historical society. Palmer Square, a civic center on Nassau St., has buildings designed in colonial style by Thomas Stapleton. Paul Robeson was born in Princeton, and Albert Einstein spent the last 20 years of his life there.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.