Rev. Aaron Burr Sr.

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Aaron Burr, Sr.

Also Known As: "Reverend Burr", "President Burr"
Birthplace: Fairfield, Fairfield County, Connecticut
Death: September 24, 1757 (41)
Princeton, Mercer County, New Jersey, Colonial America
Place of Burial: Princeton, Mercer County, New Jersey
Immediate Family:

Son of Lt. Daniel Burr and Elizabeth Burr
Husband of Esther Burr
Father of Sarah (Sally) Reeve and Aaron Burr, Jr., 3rd Vice President of the USA
Brother of Elizabeth Hull; Stephen Burr; Peter Burr; Jane Sherwood; Esther Bradley and 4 others
Half brother of Eleanor Andrus; Hannah Burr; Daniel Burr; Jehu Burr and Mary Meeker

Occupation: Reverend, President of College of NJ (Princeton), President of Princeton, MINISTER, , Rev
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Rev. Aaron Burr Sr.

The Reverend Aaron Burr (January 4, 1716 – September 24, 1757) was a notable divine and educator in colonial America. He was a founder of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) and the father of the third United States Vice President, Aaron Burr (1756–1836).


A native of Connecticut, Burr was born in present day Fairfield to Daniel Burr, a wealthy landowner in 1716. He was of English ancestry. His grandfather Jehu Burr (1625 - 1692) was born in Lavenham, Suffolk, England and settled in the Connecticut Colony. Aaron Burr attended Yale College (now Yale University), where he obtained a B.A. in 1735. After graduation, he became a Presbyterian minister in Newark, New Jersey, also conducting a school in classical studies there. In 1752, he married Esther Edwards, daughter of the New England divine, Jonathan Edwards, and his wife Sarah, daughter of the Rev. James Pierpont. Jonathan Edwards was a leader of the First Great Awakening, a significant religious movement of the 1730s and 1740s.

In the 1740s, a controversy over religious doctrines led to a split in the faculty and student body at Yale. In opposition to Yale's first president, the Rev. Thomas Clap, Jonathan Edwards, Burr, and Jonathan Dickinson founded the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) at Elizabeth, New Jersey, in 1746. Dickinson was elected first president of the College, but died soon after in 1747. Burr then became the second president. During his tenure (1748–1757), the curriculum was settled, the student body increased significantly, and the College moved to its permanent home at Princeton, New Jersey. He supervised the construction of Nassau Hall, Princeton's best-known structure, completed in 1756. Burr, elected at age 32, was also the youngest person ever to serve as president of Princeton.

In 1755, Burr was relieved of his pastoral duties in order to concentrate full-time on his work at Princeton. In the fall of 1757, Burr died in Princeton of fever, believed to have been brought on or aggravated by overwork. His remains were interred in the President's Lot at Princeton Cemetery.

Aaron Burr

Founder of Princeton University

BURR, Aaron, clergyman, born in Fairfield, Connecticut, 4 January, 1716; died 24 September, 1757. He belonged to a Puritan family that for three generations had given to church and state men of eminence. He was graduated at Yale in his nineteenth year, having gained one of the three Berkeley scholarships, which entitled him to maintenance at the College for two years after graduating. While pursuing his post-graduate studies he was converted, and at once turned his attention to theology.

At the age of twenty-two he became pastor of the Presbyterian church in Newark, New Jersey, where he soon acquired a commanding reputation as a pulpit orator. Here he also established a school for boys, which proved highly successful. He prepared for his pupils a Latin grammar known as the "Newark Grammar" (1752), which was long in use at Princeton. In later years he published a small work on the "Supreme Deity of Our Lord Jesus Christ" (new ed., 1791), with an occasional sermon.

In 1748, at the age of thirty-two, he became president of the College of New Jersey, but without interrupting his pastoral service. In the summer of 1752 he married Esther, daughter of Jonathan Edwards, of Stockbridge, Massachusetts. In the autumn of 1756 he resigned his charge at Newark and removed to Princeton, where he died from overwork. He left two children, Sarah, born 3 May, 1754, and Aaron. As scholar, preacher, author, and educator, President Burr was one of the foremost men of his time. To his more solid qualities were added a certain grace and distinguished style of manner, which re-appeared in his son. Though nominally the second president of Princeton, he was practically the first, since the former. Jonathan Dickinson, only served for a few months. He was in a true sense its founder, and the College may be said to be his monument. Six of its presidents are buried in Princeton by his side.

--His son, Aaron Burr, statesman, born in Newark, New Jersey, 6 February, 1756; died on Staten Island, New York, 14 September, 1836.

baptized March 4, 1715/6; graduated from Yale University in 1735

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Rev. Aaron Burr Sr.'s Timeline

January 4, 1716
Fairfield, Fairfield County, Connecticut
March 4, 1716
Fairfield County, Connecticut, Colonial America
March 4, 1716
Fairfield, CT6
May 3, 1754
Newark, Essex County, New Jersey
February 6, 1756
Newark, Essex County, New Jersey
February 6, 1756
Age 40
Princeton president
February 6, 1756
Age 40
Princeton, Mercer County, New Jersey, United States
February 6, 1756
Age 40
College of New Jersey (later Princeton)
September 24, 1757
Age 41
Princeton, Mercer County, New Jersey, Colonial America