Samuel Finley
Samuel Finley was a preacher and academic. He founded the West Nottingham Academy and was the president and original trustee of Princeton University.

Full Name Rev. Samuel Finley
Who President of Princeton University
Birth Date July 2, 1715
Death Date July 17, 1766
Country United States
Born Armagh, Ireland
Died Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Cause of Death unknown

Log College

University of Glasgow (honorary degree)

Father Michael Finley
Mother Ann Finley

Sarah Hall

Ann Clarkson


James Finley

Andrew Finley

Children over 8 children


Finley was the uncle-in-law of Benjamin Rush, who lived in his home after the death of his father, and attended the school where Finley taught. Many attribute Rush's interest in medicine to Finley. Decades later, Rush attended Finley on his deathbed.

Richard Stockton studied under Finley as a young boy, and later became Finley's nephew-in-law twice removed.

Finley oversaw and mentored numerous students during his five years as president of Princeton, including James Manning, William Paterson, Samuel Kirkland, David Ramsay, and Oliver Ellsworth.

Archibald Alexander was a close friend of Finley, at the time a Theology professor at Princeton. The two men shared the same Presbyterian views. When Finley died in 1766, Alexander spent much time at his deathbed, and later wrote about the experience, praising Finley for his bravery and composure.

Finley was the great-grandfather of Samuel Morse.


Armagh, Ireland - Born here, 1715.

Warminster, Pennsylvania, USA - Attended seminary here, about 1735 - 1739.

New Haven, Connecticut, USA - Preached a sermon here, 1743.

Milford, Connecticut, USA - Was pastor of a church here for a few weeks, 1743.

Colora, Maryland, USA - Founded a school here, 1744.

Cape May, New Jersey, USA - Was pastor of a church here, 1744 -1747.

Princeton, New Jersey, USA - Was university president here, 1761 - 1766.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - Died here, 1766.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.