The largest stone building as well as the largest academic building in the American colonies, Nassau Hall figured in the history of the American Revolution, when it was used as barracks by both American and British forces, and eventually surrendered by the occupying British army to General George Washington after the Battle of Princeton in 1777. In 1783, it served as the temporary capitol for the Continental Congress for six months and was where Congress first learned Britain had signed the peace treaty that gave the United States its independence. The interior was destroyed by fire twice, in 1802 and 1855; this print is one of the earliest depictions of its restoration following the second fire, when Benjamin Latrobe changed the building’s style to Federal and raised the belfry to add a clock.
Robertson, Seibert & Shearman was a New York lithography firm initially founded as Robertson & Seibert by Alexander Robertson and Henry Seibert and joined by James A Shearman in 1859. They apparently specialized in architectural views, including the U.S. Capitol, Mt. Vernon, Nassau Hall at Princeton University, and town views such as one of Saginaw City, Michigan.
Full publication information: “Lith. & Printed in colours by Robertson, Seibert & Shearman 93 Fulton St. N.Y. Published by George Thompson.”
Condition: Generally very good, recently professionally cleaned and deacidified, also chip in lower left corner tipped in. The original colors remaining fresh and bright; otherwise with light remaining toning and wear, and faint pale scattered minor foxing in outer margins.
“Nassau Hall.” Princetonia, Princeton University. 2019. https://princetoniana.princeton.edu/campus/nassau-hall (8 November 2019).
“Nassau Hall, Princeton University.” Princeton University Art Museum. 2019. https://artmuseum.princeton.edu/campus-art/places/18353 (8 November 2019).
Peters, Harry T. America on Stone. U.S.: Doubleday, Doran, 1931. pp. 335-336.