Educational Institutions in the Early Republic
[Copyright Hal Morris 1997 - may be but not in large quantities
or for profit]
Literary, Scientific, and Military Academy
In Norwich VT. Now Norwich University.
Welles studied there 1824-25. Founded and initially run by Capt.
Alden Partridge, who had been fired as superintendent of West
Point, for overbearing, and at the same time sloppy, administration
and running the school as a "sort of aid society for hungry Partridges
and impecunious friends."
In the year Welles attended, the heavily promoted school's enrollment
went from 162 to 400. Meanwhile, Welles found the atmosphere rowdy and
overcrowded, the courses in the catalogue mostly nonexistent, and the library
poor and grossly misrepresented. (Source: Niven,
p17-19; and Shepard, Pedlar's
The American Lyceum
An organization for bringing lecturers on all sorts of knowledge to
cities and towns around America.
Described in Abbott's
Founded (around 1820?) "to check the progress of errors which are propagated
from Cambridge (i.e. Harvard)", according to Noah
Andover Theological Seminary
Boston Latin School
Prep school which served many prominent men.
Boston Mechanics' Institute
Located in Brunswick, ME.
'20: Jacob Abbott
John Russwurm - "probably the first person of acknowledged African descent
to finish an American college course" (source: DAB
on Russwurm). A "friend and classmate" of Hawthorne (Source: Prince
Among Slaves, p167).
Gorham Dummer Abbot - Active in education of women.
Smith Prentiss, student from 1824-27, under Rev.
William Allen, D.D.
Located in Providence, RI,
where several of the earliest buildings can still be seen.
First commencement - 1769, graduating seven students.
Formerly Rhode Island College - renamed in 1804 in recognition of a
$5000 endowment by Nicholas Brown. Founded, initially as an interdenominational
college, in keeping with Rhode Island's history of religious tolerence.
Jason Manning, a Baptist minister - first professor and first president,
until he died in 1791
Jonathan Maxcy, acting
president and president from 1791-1802.
A rather thorough, and nicely illustrated, history of the school can be
found at: http://www.brown.edu/webmaster/history.html
1787 - Jonathan Maxcy,
who just four years later, at the age of 24, was elected president pro
tempore, upon the death of president Jason Manning.
1800 - Virgil Maxcy.
Cambridgeport - the Port
A co-ed secondary school, attended by Margaret
Fuller and her brother Eugene.
Columbia (New York)
The future actor James
Hackett attended for 1 year at age 15 (1815?).
Attended by Sam Ward
from 1829 (age 15) - ? "At that time [it] drowsed in Park Place, a quiet
backwater running from the park towards the Hudson River. Sam described
it as 'a kind of Sleepy Hollow in the heart of old New York, where, on
a lovely lawn, stood the houses of the president and the faculty, flanking
on either side the plain central building in their midst'" Ward went on
to say that it was governed by mostly Espicopalian trustees "as free from
receptivity to innovations, or even ameliorations, as the Admiralty of
Great Britain or the Naval Construction Board at Washington." He also characterized
the lessons as easy, requiring only two hours a day.
Also figured in the Dartmouth College Case, of the early 1820s, one of
Webster's early successes, which helped establish the binding nature of
contracts, even in the case of one party being a state.
Episcopal Academy of Connecticut
In Cheshire, CT, about 15 miles
north of New Haven. Described by Glenn Weaver in Ct Historical Soc. Bulletin,
Jan., 1962, as "America's First 'Junior College'".
For two years (1818-20?) the extraordinary William Smyth assisted
Reuben Nason there, before entering Bowdoin as a Junior.
Benjamin Sanborn (Bowdoin 1822) fitted for college there,
and there he wrenched his knee in wresting becoming lame for life.
Hartford Female Seminary
Founded in 1823 by Catharine
Beecher, it was very successful, and became a model of what female
education could be. Angelina Grimke
visited the seminary in 1831 and considered attending, but did not. Delia
Bacon, an ill-fated protege of Beecher, did attend.
Sara Payson Willis Parton ("Fanny Fern") attended at the same time
when Harriet Beecher was attending, and later teaching.
Harvard University and Theological Seminary
Harvard was the first center of higher learning in the United States.
It is located in Cambridge MA, just across the Charles River from Boston.
The first class was started in 1628, and nine of these graduated in 1642.
The growing liberal climate of Harvard reached a point at which conservative
Congregationalists became outraged. In 1805, the Unitarian Henry Ware (senior)
became Professor of Theology at Harvard, and this soon lead to the establishment
of Andover as a bastion of orthodoxy.
Some of the more famous presidents of Harvard were Increase Mather,
Josiah Quincy, and Edward Everett (the two latter were distinguished by
being, at times, congressmen; Quincy was Mayor of Boston, and Everett was
governor of Massachusetts and Minister to Great Britain).
Harvard was, more than anything, a school for Congregationalist ministers
until well into the 19th century.
Harvard trained ministers, such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, who left the
ministry, and others, like Theodore Parker, who did not, formed the nucleus
of the Transcendentalist movement.
Harvard Divinity School Graduates:
Headed by Edward Beecher from
1831 - ?. It became a hotbed of controversy after the killing of Lovejoy
in Alton, IL, which was partly a
response to an abolitionist meeting held in that town, of which Beecher
had a leading role. Beecher also wrote a famous condemnation of Lovejoy's
Illinois college, after that, was polarized, with much heated abolitionist
activity, so much so that the father of William
Herndon, a student there at the time, is supposed to have pulled him
out of the school to prevent Herndon's becoming a "damned abolitionist
puppy" (a doubtful story; see David Donald, Lincoln's
Lane Theological Seminary
A brief synopsis of the fouding of Lane is in Fletcher,
History of Oberlin p50ff. Ebenezer Lane and a brother,
Andrew, two Maine natives who has spent the past few years getting rich
in New Orleans, put up a gift of $4000 in October 1828; the school was
chartered in February 1829. The donors wanted Lane to be founded
on Manual Labor principles. The following September they had their
first teacher, and "3 or 4 students; Winter of 30/31 it was "in animated
suspension" with 2 "students" (one of them said to be Horace Bushnell!?)
and no professor. Its real life began when Lyman Beecher was appointed
Professor of Theology, and Arthur Tappan was thereby pursuaded to pledge
$20,000 to its support. Beecher arrived in the winter of 1832-33.
Within the next couple of years, the college went through a crisis when
Theodore Weld, for some years already a powerful propagandist for Manual
Labor Schools and against slavery, came (nominally at least) to study.
The seminary was soon turned into an extreme anti-slavery bastion to a
degree that set the set the trustees and the students at serious odds.
The students forbidden to continue to agitate antislavery, nearly all left,
and migrated en masse, to the then barely functioning Oberlin College,
taking with them the financial backing of the Tappans.
Mount Bethel (S.Carolina)
Mount Vernon School
A "pioneer institution" for educating young women, founded
by Jacob Abbott.
on Jacob Abbott.
New Jersey, College of
and Theological Seminary
In Oberlin, Ohio, about 33
miles southeast of Cleveland.
Had a primary and a secondary school and a "college department" when,
in 1834, it absorbed most of the Lane rebels to form a theological seminary.
The theological seminary was financed by Arthur
Tappan, under the condition (which was accepted) that Charles Grandison
Finney be professor of theology, and that there be freedom of speech, and
acceptance of "colored students" on equal terms with whites.
source: Thomas, Weld
Located in the middle of Oneida County, NY,
"just east of Whitesboro, about 4 miles from Utica, NY"
which places it right on the Erie Canal, about 20 miles east of Lake Oneida
Portland Academy, Portland
Many graduates of Bowdoin
College went here first, including Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (who
went on to Bowdoin in 1821).
Jacob Abbott taught
there in 1820-21.
The Port School (xref)
University of Philadelphia
Phillips Academy (later: Phillips Andover)
Prep. school in Andover, MA,
about 20 miles north of Boston. Founded in 1778 by John and Samuel
Phillips (principally the latter).
Attended by Theodore Weld about
1819-20, but eyestrain led him to drop out.
Phillips Exeter Academy
Founded as a Presbyterian school(?) Known in early years as the "College
of New Jersey".
Some early Presidents:
Jonathan Dickenson, thru 2nd half of 1748. The first president; conducted
it in his parsonage in Elizabeth, NJ. His term ended by his death. (Source:
Article on Aaron Burr)
Aaron Burr (1847-57) - Son-in-law of Jonathan Edwards and father of the
better known Aaron Burr, which makes the latter a descendent of two presidents
of this college. Burr, like Dickenson, conducted the school out of his
parsonage until the completion of Nassau Hall in Fall 1756, when he and
seventy Students proceded to the town of Princeton. He died almost exactly
a year later. (Source: DAB,
Article on Aaron Burr)
Jonathan Edwards, for a month,
in Feb.-March 1758 (Lyman Beecher
and, I presume others in the Early Republic period always called him "President
Edwards"). (Source: Miller,
1768 - 1792, who had been something of a radical in Scottish politics and
emprisoned for it (1745-6), was invited to America for the purpose of becoming
Pres. of this college. A signer of the Declaration of Independence, and
inspirer of the young James
Madison. He slso "introduced into American thought the Scottish Common
Sense philosophy of Thomas Reid and Dugald Stewart, which dominated the
nation's thought for a century." (Source: p530, Sandoz,
Princeton Theological Seminary:
Rhode Island College
Round Hill School
"a school well known for its strict but kindly discipline, its thorough
instruction on the plan of the German gymnasium, and the vigorous
outdoor life and manly spirit it fostered" (DAB,
IV-273). Run by George
Bancroft and J.G.
Cogswell, it was here that Samuel
Ward and his brothers got their pre-college education in the late 1820s
and early 30s.
Picture of school: p117, Tharp,
Appletons of Beacon Hill
South Carolina College
Columbia, SC. From 1820 -
taught chemistry, mineralogy, and political economy there, and served as
president of the college for most of that period.
President: Jonathan Maxcy,
President: Thomas Cooper
Elisha Hammond, father
of James Henry Hammond.
Professor of languages, 1805-6 or 7. Supplier (of food, etc.) from 1815-?.
Robert Henry, lectured in logic and moral philosophy, metaphysics, belle-lettres
at various times. Briefly acting president at retirement of Thomas Cooper,
president from 1842-45.
Troy Female Seminary
Troy New York (after 1895, known as the Emma Willard School).
Union College (Schenectady,
Union Theological Seminary
In New York City(?) Founded in 1836 by New School Presbyterians.
Prentiss taught there after 1871, following his career as a minister.
In Waterville Maine.
mater of Elijah Lovejoy.
Western Reserve College
A center, in the 1830s, or anti-slavery radicalism.
William and Mary
Gave George Wythe
the first chair of law in an American college in 1779. Bruce Baird is researching
the thesis that in some way, the student culture at William and Mary was
largely responsible for southern dueling madness.
Located in New Haven, CT.;
the 3rd institution of higher learning established in (what would become)
the United States. Begun in the very early 1700s. A center of controversy
in the Presbyterian church from around 1820, due to the "New Haven Theology"
of, among others, Nathaniel Taylor.
Silliman, an important early teacher of science, graduated, and later
Young Ladies' Academy
p181, JER 97-2: Established by John Poor sometime betw 1780 and 1787.
Had 100 students in 1787. Cofounded by Benjamin Rush, and sometimes referred
to as his school. It was non-denominational. Source: JER-97-2.
An old classic; very thorough though I've seen 1 or 2 references to inaccuracies.
What's this doing here?
Antislavery Alliance of Gerrit Smith and Beriah Green