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The beginnings of Dartmouth College and Mount Holyoke College The founding and origins of Dartmouth and Mount Holyoke Colleges By: Noor Dhadha Date Due:

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Presentation on theme: "The beginnings of Dartmouth College and Mount Holyoke College The founding and origins of Dartmouth and Mount Holyoke Colleges By: Noor Dhadha Date Due:"— Presentation transcript:

1 The beginnings of Dartmouth College and Mount Holyoke College The founding and origins of Dartmouth and Mount Holyoke Colleges By: Noor Dhadha Date Due: February 11, 2014 Word Count: 2077

2 Overview of Presentation  Origins of Mount Holyoke College  Founder and Mission  Preface to Mount Holyoke Seminary, Years 1818-1836  Early Years and Growth Under Mary Lyon, 1837 – 1849  Origins of Dartmouth College  Founding and Mission  Financial Provisions and Charter  Early Institutional Establishment  Dartmouth and the Revolutionary War, Dartmouth College vs. Woodward

3 Origins: Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, Part I Founder and Mission Founded by Mary Leon in 1837 as Mount Holyoke Female Seminary with a collegiate charter to follow in 1888, Mount Holyoke Female Seminary (later to be named Mount Holyoke College) became the first member of the Seven Sisters consortium as well as one of the nation’s first leading educational institutions for young women. Growing up in rural Buckland, Massachusetts, Leon had a rough childhood as one of six children who worked a farm in the absence of a father. After attending several academies, including Ashfield, Amherst, Byfield and Sanderson academies, she began teaching at the age of seventeen. Working as a teacher, she gained insight into the workings of the educational system and was inspired to draw up a vision of an educational institution for women that would bypass socioeconomic class and serve students from a wide range of economic backgrounds. Her mission for the institution that she was envisioning was an institution that would serve women from all backgrounds, in an effort to mold women intellectually in a moral setting. Although a devout woman, she did not particularly impose any religious affiliation upon students who were to attend Mount Holyoke Seminary. An obscure individual at the start of her life, she changed the world of higher education when she nurtured the idea that was to culminate in the creation of Mount Holyoke Seminary in 1837. Leading the school as principal (the term president only came to be used 1888 onwards), she served and lead the institution from 1837 until her death in 1849.

4 Illustration: Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, South Hadley, 1837 Illustration: Mary Lyon, Founder of Mount Holyoke Female Seminary

5 Preface and Inspiration for Mount Holyoke Seminary, 1818-1836 While Mount Holyoke Female Seminary first formally opened its doors in 1837, the vision, preparation and organization for the institution began nearly two decades before. When observing Byfield Academy and Rev. Joseph Emerson, the vision of Mount Holyoke began. Emerson, who advocated the education of women in nearly all disciplines, fused morality and biblical education with the belief that female pupils had intelligence that could and should be cultivated with manners and methods similar to the education available to boys. The emphasis placed on education and the development of character inspired Lyon as she went on to teach at Ashfield, and further onto opening an academy for girls at Derry, Massachusetts that later relocated to Ipswich to become Ipswich Female Seminary. Withdrawing from work at the Ipswich Academy, Lyon held a private parlor meeting with several wealthy men with supporting views regarding female education on September 6 th, 1834. These men, upon hearing Lyon’s propositions, formulated a committee that acted as an impromptu board of trustees until the earnest appointment of a board. In lieu of a board of trustees, these men represented the interests of Lyon and the proposed seminary. For the next year, fundraising commenced and by September 8, 1835, when the location of South Hadley was finalized, eight thousand dollars had been raised. The year 1836 saw the bulkhead of inaugural decisions—the seminary’s charter was granted on February 10 th ; the site of the campus was determined on May 19 th, and the cornerstone of the institution was laid on October 3 rd.

6 Early Years: Beginning Years Under Mary Lyon Formally opening as a chartered teaching seminary on November 8 th, 1837, Mount Holyoke Female Seminary materialized from a vision into reality. With buildings unfinished without stairs, stoves without tops, and numerous other fragmentary structures, the school began incomplete. The beginnings of Mount Holyoke, in regard to funds, required each student to complete domestic tasks in addition to a set but rigorous curriculum including Latin and Mathematics– an early precursor to the work-study programs of today. A “manual labor” school, Lyon sought to strengthen and solidify moral character of the women that were to become the future missionaries, mothers and wives of the nation. Within a eight mile radius, a circuit of educational institutions, including what today is Amherst College, were up and running, forming the beginnings of the five college consortium. The first commencement of the seminary was held alongside Amherst. The growth of the college under Mary Lyon was expansive—by the second year, there was a waiting list and in April 1939, she had persuaded the board of trustees to release funds for structural expansion of the main instructional building and dormitory wings. Work began on the structural expansion of the campus in the fall of 1840, with periodical delays. Enthusiastically encouraging spiritual growth, church attendance and biblical studies were mandatory. Student diaries recall Lyon’s enthusiasm and promotion of “social intercourse.” By 1842, the emphasis placed upon spiritual matters became apparent as over 125 graduates of the seminary had become “Christian laborers,” or missionaries. As the seminary prospered and enrollment grew past surmised estimates from the speculative years, the college’s future was secured as an establishment lauded by society and assured fiscally.

7 Origins: Founding Dartmouth, Part I Part I: Founder, Inspiration, and Mission Eleazar Wheelock, a Yale educated theologian and puritan minister, founded Dartmouth College in 1769 as an establishment that would serve to educate the Native American youth as Christian missionaries and ambassadors to the tribal nations. Born on April 22, 1711 in Connecticut, Wheelock was born to prosperous parents and later went on to attend Yale studying theology. Graduating Yale in 1733, and receiving his license to preach in 1734, he married twice and eventually turned began to turn to missionary work, particularly amongst the promotion of Christianity in Native populations upon meeting and tutoring Samson Occom. A native who had converted to Christianity in childhood, Occom and ideals of the great awakening inspired Wheelock to expand Christian outreach to the native peoples. Wishing to train Native missionaries who could convey the message of Christianity back to the tribal populations, Wheelock sought to found an institution to groom and cultivate such ambassadors—the founding of Moor’s Charity School and subsequent Dartmouth College was the result of this vision.

8 Origins: Founding Dartmouth, Part II Part II: Financial Provisions and Charter In years prior to obtaining a charter for Dartmouth College, Wheelock had founded and established the Moor’s Charity School (1754) in Lebanon, Connecticut. Upon securing approximately 12,000 pounds in aid garnered from a fundraising dash across England embarked upon by Samson Occom and Reverend Nathaniel Whitaker, a trust was established for the school. The namesake of the college, the 2 nd Earl of Dartmouth, William Legge, headed the trust from overseas in England. Looking to expand the school into a collegiate institution for both Native and English youth, Wheelock observed dwindling numbers of enrolled Native Americans and contemplated changing the location of the school to increase accessibility for tribal youths. Following the consideration of several locations—including the Berkshires, the Susquehanna river valley, and New York’s Mohawk valley—Wheelock settled on the northern Province of New Hampshire. Numerous propositions from locales were put forward to Wheelock, however, the competitive land parcels available in New Hampshire and the proximity of Hanover to the Connecticut River were alluring. With land provided by the Governor of New Hampshire, John Wentworth, the college was allotted 3300 acres in Hanover. Dartmouth was granted a charter issued in the name of King George III, on December 13 th 1769 by John Wentworth and became one of the nine colonial colleges of North America.

9 Moor’s Charity School Plaque Columbia, Connecticut Illustration: Founding of Dartmouth College (Likely Wheelock’s log “hut”- one of the first two buildings established at Dartmouth College)

10 Early Years: Institutional Establishment An unsettled land, Hanover and the future site of Dartmouth college was a wilderness. With no settlements to provide provisions that the college would require, Wheelock and several others laid out plans for a town that would be able to meet the needs of the college. In August of 1770, the first two buildings were erected—one, a home for Wheelock and his family, and the second a building containing sixteen rooms that would serve the students as both an academic and domestic building. Classes began in earnest in 1770, and Dartmouth College graduated it’s first class in 1771; a class of four men, each had spent their first three undergraduate years at Yale. The curriculum was classical and heavily religiously influenced; in the early 19 th century, however, the college was reputed as a institution with humanist leanings. Records indicate that between 1771 and 1774 six Native American men and twelve Englishmen (white sons of colonists) had graduated from Dartmouth College.

11 Early Years: Dartmouth and the Revolution, Dartmouth College vs. Woodward Dartmouth and the Revolution Dartmouth was the only of the nine colonial colleges to operate throughout the full duration of the Revolutionary War. Financially crippled, the college was barely sustained in the years following the revolution. Far removed in Hanover, the college was spared heavy revolutionary involvement and continued operations uninterrupted. Additionally, Wheelock’s amicable reputation and relation with the Indians spurred off attacks on and in vicinities close to the college, with the closest recorded Native American raid 25 miles away in Virginia. Charter Disruption: Dartmouth College vs. Woodward Three decades after the revolutionary war upon the dismissal of college president John Wheelock (1815), the charter of Dartmouth College was amended by the state of New Hampshire in the effort to alter the college from a private institution into a public institution of higher education. Encroaching “Dartmouth University” occupied the college’s Hanover campus and confiscated corporate items such as the college seal, forcing Dartmouth College faculty and students to rent out rooms in a building nearby. Both years, the students at Dartmouth College outnumbered the students of Dartmouth University; the first year of the encroachment, there were 19 Dartmouth College students and 14 Dartmouth University students. The students, faculty, board of trustees and alumni sought to deem the action of the state unconstitutional; Daniel Webster, an alumnus, brought the case to the Supreme Court who ruled in the favor of Dartmouth College in 1819. A landmark case concerning the contract clause clarified the realm of private corporations and resolved any doubts regarding private colonial charters.

12 Works Cited  A History of Dartmouth College and the Town of Hanover: Volume I (E-book-  Stow, Sarah D. Locke. History of Mount Holyoke Seminary, South Hadley, Mass., during Its First Half Century, 1837-1887. Springfield: Springfield Print., 1887. Print.    

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