Esther Edwards Burr


Mother of 3rd Vice President Aaron Burr Jr. Esther married Aaron Burr Sr., pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Newark and founder of Princeton University (then the College of NJ), in 1752. Historic Newark talks about the townspeople’s excitement when she arrived, so much that they painted her likeness on teacups.

In June she traveled to Newark where she had two children Sally and Aaron Burr Jr. She stayed in Newark until the family and the university moved to Princeton in 1756. Esther died two years later of fever in 1758 at age 26. Esther Edwards Burr’s journal provides one of the earliest accounts of a colonial American woman’s daily life.  There are several fictionalized versions of the journal online, that circulate in addition to the real one. She wrote on Newark, “Newark people are as difficult as New York and some will not like this or the other man because such and such persons like him etc.” (pg 38) and “Newark looks like a garden…tis so pleasant I can’t stay home all day” (pg 199-200).


Atkinson. History of Newark.

Fidelity Union Trust. Historic Newark.

Esther’s Journal:

New Jersey Women’s Project. Past and Promise Lives of NJ Women.