James “Jimmie” Johnson was an escaped slave from Maryland who fled to Princeton, New Jersey. He was recognized by a student from his Maryland hometown, arrested and convicted of violating the fugitive slave act. Just before he was to be sent back into slavery his freedom was purchased by for $550, paid by Theodosia Prevost, a descendant of former Princeton President John Witherspoon. Johnson became a well-known character on the campus, where he spent the rest of his life selling food, candy and clothing from his wheelbarrow. Eventually, he repaid Prevost the $550 she paid for his freedom. He even contributed to the new gymnasium fund for the university. The construction was complete in 1903, but unfortunately Johnson didn't live to see it. He passed away on July 22, 1902, in Princeton, at the age of 87.