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The American Whig-Cliosophic Society

The American Whig-Cliosophic Society is the world's oldest college political, literary, and debate society. Its founders include William Paterson (Class of 1763), James Madison (Class of 1771) and Aaron Burr (Class of 1772). The Whig Society and the Cliosophic Society were originally separate groups and throughout the 19th century, competition between the two for members and stature was intense.

Outgrowing its original quarters in Nassau Hall and subsequently Stanhope Hall, the University constructed two identical wooden neo-Classical halls, which were completed in 1838. With flourishing membership in the 1890s, A. Page Brown designed two marble buildings to take the place of the original structures. In 1928 the Whig and Cliosophic societies merged to become a single entity, the American Whig-Cliosophic Society, which is housed in Whig Hall. Whig-Clio remains one of the largest and most active student groups. Its activities include debate, model United Nations, mock trial, political discussions, and guest speakers.

(Adapted from A Princeton Companion and the Whig-Clio Web site.)

Whig Hall I, 1873 (Photo courtesy of Mudd Manuscript Library)
Whig Hall I, 1873
(Courtesy Mudd Manuscript Library)
Cliosophic Hall I, c. 1876 (Photo courtesy of Mudd Manuscript Library)
Cliosophic Hall I, c.1876
(Courtesy Mudd Manuscript Library)