Aaron Burr, Sr (Aaron Burr)

Aaron Burr, Sr

Educator and Founder of Princeton University. Born in Connecticut, he attended Yale College (now Yale University) where in 1735 he obtained his BA Degree in religious studies. Upon graduation, he became a Presbyterian Minister in Newark, New Jersey, where he also opened a school for classical studies, to earn extra money. In 1752, he married Esther Edwards, daughter of the Rev. Jonathan and Sarah Pierpont Edwards; their son Aaron Burr, Jr. would later become the third Vice President of the United States. In the 1740s, a controversy on religious doctrine split Yale College, and in opposition to Yale’s president (the Reverend Thomas Clap), Burr, the Rev. Jonathan Edwards (his father-in-law), and the Rev. Jonathan Dickinson founded the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1746. Sponsored by the Presbyterian Church, the school received its charter from King George II, and was one of the first colleges to admit students of all faiths. The first classes were held in 1747 in Elizabeth, New Jersey, at the home of the Rev. Jonathan Dickinson. Dickinson was elected to be the first President of the new college, but several months after taking office, he died, and Burr was selected as the second President, serving nine years. During the period from 1748 to 1757, Burr settled the curriculum, oversaw the significant increase in students, and twice moved the college, first in 1748 to Newark, New Jersey, and then in 1756 to its permanent home in Princeton, New Jersey. There he supervised the actual construction of Nassau Hall, Princeton University’s best known building, which was completed in 1756. Burr, elected at age 32, currently holds the record as the youngest President in Princeton’s history. In 1755, suffering from overwork, Burr gave up his religious pastor duties to work full time as college President. He died in the early fall of 1757 of fever, believed to have been brought on through overwork. As an honor, his remains were buried in the newly created President’s Lot of the Princeton Cemetery. (bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson)  Family links:  Parents:  Daniel Burr (1660 – 1727)  Elizabetha Pinkney/Pinckney Burr (1673 – ____)  Spouse:  Esther Edwards Burr (1732 – 1758)*  Children:  Sarah Burr Reeve (1754 – 1797)*  Aaron Burr (1756 – 1836)*  Sibling:  Elizabeth Burr Hull (1696 – 1760)**  Aaron Burr (1716 – 1757) *Calculated relationship**Half-sibling


  • January, 04, 1716
  • USA


  • September, 09, 1757
  • USA


  • Princeton Cemetery
  • USA

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