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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 StocktonStockton, Richard,
1730–81, political leader in the American Revolution, signer of the Declaration of Independence, b. near Princeton, N.J. A successful lawyer in New Jersey, he tried to find means of reconciliation in the conflict between England and the American colonies.
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, 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 BainbridgeBainbridge, William,
1774–1833, American naval officer, b. Princeton, N.J. An experienced sea captain, he joined (1798) the navy when war with France threatened. His ship, the Retaliation,
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'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 RobesonRobeson, Paul
, 1898–1976, American actor and bass singer, b. Princeton, N.J. The son of a runaway slave who became a minister, Robeson graduated first from Rutgers (1919), where he was an All-American football player, and then from Columbia Univ. law school (1923).
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 was born in Princeton, and Albert EinsteinEinstein, Albert
, 1879–1955, American theoretical physicist, known for the formulation of the relativity theory, b. Ulm, Germany. He is recognized as one of the greatest physicists of all time.
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 spent the last 20 years of his life there.


a town in central New Jersey: settled by Quakers in 1696; an important educational centre, seat of Princeton University (founded at Elizabeth in 1747 and moved here in 1756); scene of the battle (1777) during the War of American Independence in which Washington's troops defeated the British on the university campus. Pop.: 13 577 (2003 est.)
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