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Another theory held that the degraded condition of poor white southerners was the result of their living in such close proximity to blacks and Native Americans. Samuel Stanhope Smith, a minister and educator who was the seventh president of Princeton College, wrote in 1810 that poor white southerners lived in "a state of absolute savagism," which caused them to resemble Indians in the color of their skin and their clothing, a belief that was endemic in the 18th and early 19th century. Smith saw them as a stumbling block in the evolution of mainstream American whites, a view that had previously been expressed by Michel-Guillaume-Jean de Crèvecoeur in his 1782 book, Letters from an American Farmer. Crèvecoeur, a French soldier-diplomat who resettled in the United States and changed his name to J. Hector St. John, considered poor white southerners to be "not . . . a very pleasing spectacle" and inferior to the prototypical American he celebrated in his book, but still hopes that the effects of progress would improve the condition of these mongrelized, untamed, half-savage drunken people who exhibit "the most hideous parts of our society. "