Sunday, October 6, 2019

Princeton University

Imagine, having to work your entire life time just to earn some money so that you can have your freedom. This is what happened to James Collins Johnson. 

I saw this picture  on a doorway while strolling around Princeton campus. 

It said "James Collins Johnson (1816 - 1902) arrived on campus in 1839 and worked as a janitor until 1843 when a student identified him as a fugitive slave from Maryland. After a trial in which he was ordered to be returned to his master, a local citizen loaned Johnson approximately $500 to buy his freedom. Johnson returned to work on campus and repaid the debt. He sold used clothing and furniture to students and for almost 60 years was also the licensed vendor, selling fruits, candies lemonade and other snacks from a wheel barrow near this site. After he died in 1902, students inscribed an epitaph on his gravestone in Princeton cemetery that described him as 'the students friend'

Was at the Princeton Campus last month. It had a relaxed atmosphere (being a Sunday) and I could see some students under the trees with their laptop 

Could see some group of tourists on a guided tour of the campus. Loved those tall trees. 

Even though it was noon time, I preferred to click pictures against the light. It showed the leaves the way I liked to see it. 

Was told that Einstein's house was close by but somehow we missed visiting the place. 
I had no idea in which style this was made (maybe Gothic) but it  looks grand and good to know that it still stands.  

and so does the stone work here. 

Some tourists found it a good spot for clicking some modelling shots. 

I don't know how old Morrison Hall is but the windows look mesmerising with that long balcony. 

Was always fascinated by Sundials and I found one here:  

What a coincidence. Two days after coming back home, I happened to watch a movie "I will follow you down" and while watching the movie I realised that most of the movie was shot at the Princeton campus, so the scenes were very familiar to me. 

and yes the movie showed Einstein's house too :-)


Andrew said...

James lived to the age of 86, not bad back then. $500, the price of his freedom, was an awful lot of money back then.

I've never seen photos of Princeton, which may well be the name of our apartment block, so thanks.

Anvilcloud said...

Great story about Johnson.

Bob said...

Love the story of Johnson. And the photos of Princeton. I love the old buildings.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see the array of subjects you blog on - Anand Rao

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Ditto what Andrew said Haddock. When I hear stories like this it makes the expression 'white privilege' all the more relevant ✨

bill burke said...

What a wonderful post and some great photos. I enjoyed the backgrund story of Mr. Johnson, what a determined man.

joeh said...

Interesting story, times have changed so much, probably not enough yet, but so much.

Liz A. said...

That student that turned him in was just rude. Slavery was such a terrible institution, and we're still dealing with the aftermath of that today.

trees said...

White privilege, yeah! But so many people still don't get it.

Anonymous said...

Nice to hear from you.
Good pictures. - Madanlal Sharma

Jeanie said...

This looks very lovely. And yes, that's a lot to pay for freedom. But it is so worth it.

Anonymous said...

I liked the story of Johnson..... student's friend....... every student needs a friend and every college has one such individual who stands out because of his magnanimity to students. Pictures are amazing as is the norm when it comes from you. Am forwarding it to Siddharth - Anna Krishnan

baili said...

thank you for kind visit my friend
it is pleasure to know that you belong to India my neighboring country :)

loved your blog and sharing is so wonderful!

story of James is heart warming indeed ,i am glad he was able to earn the most valuable thing in his life "freedom"

i enjoyed the shots thoroughly , each is captured so nicely

Jeannette said...

Great post, Joe. What a privilege to visit and tour at such length....good of you to share your opportunities generously.

Giancarlo said...

Buon inizio settimana