Burr, Aaron Sr.

honorific(s): Reverend; Mr.
Other names: President
Birth: January 4, 1716 in Fairfield, Connecticut
Death: September 24, 1757 in Princeton, New Jersey

Yale College (Yale University); College of New Jersey (Princeton University)


B.A. from Yale College (Yale University) in 1735; divinity school in New Haven, Connecticut.






Minister of the Presbyterian Church and conductor of school for classical studies in Newark, New Jersey.

  • Fairfield, Connecticut (from 1716-01-04)
  • New Haven, Connecticut ( to 1735)
  • Newark, New Jersey (from 1735 to 1747)
  • Princeton, New Jersey (from 1747 to 1757-09-24)
Marital status

Married Ester Edwards, daughter of Jonathan Edwards (a leader of the First Great Awakening) on June 29, 1752. The couple had two children, Sarah and Aaron.


Aaron Burr, Sr. is known as the founder of Princeton University (formerly College of New Jersey). He is technically Princeton's second president, but his predecessor, Jonathan Dickinson, died during his first year in office so the responsibility of Princeton's organization fell to Burr. Prior to his presidency at Princeton, Burr was a Presbyterian minister in Newark, New Jersey. He became acquainted with Jonathan Dickinson and was the youngest clergyman of the original trustees of Princeton when Dickinson established it as a classical school. Burr took over the running of the college in October 1747, upon Dickinson's death. One year later Burr was formally elected as president of the college. Burr served as both the president and pastor of the college until 1755 when, at the request of the trustees, he ceased his duties as pastor in order to devote more time to the college. Burr established the first entrance requirements, the first course of study, the first set of rules and regulations, and supervised the erection of the first building, Nassau Hall. Burr also moved the college to its permanent home in Princeton, New Jersey. Burr died only ten years after the founding of Princeton, at the age of 41.


Leitch, Alexander. A Princeton Companion. 1978. http://etcweb.princeton.edu/CampusWWW/Companion/burr_aaron_sr.html (accessed June 28, 2013).

General note

Aaron Burr, Sr. is the father of Aaron Burr, Jr. who became the third vice-president of the United States.