Dickinson College History

    Entries drawn from collection & document descriptions

Plan of Education for Dickinson College - RG 1/1, 3.2.8

The papers of the Board of Trustees of Dickinson College, 1783-1833, include correspondence, reports, financial statements, printed materials, and legal documents, and have been arranged into seven series.


Collection Inventory: RG 1-001.pdf

Stock receipt, 1857 (Box 1, folder 4)

This collection contains materials documenting the personal and business lives of George W. Bowman (1809-1887) and his son Harry Leader Bowman (1848-1915). It also documents the death of George's wife and Harry's mother, Ann Leader Bowman (1813-...

Collection Inventory: mc2008.03.pdf

Image of Carlyle Reede Earp Scrapbook

Carlyle Reede Earp attended Conway Hall from 1908 to 1910 and graduated from Dickinson College in 1914. While at Dickinson, he was a member of the Union Philosophical Society, the YMCA, the track team, and the student volunteer band.  Earp served...

Collection Inventory: sb2018.01.pdf

Letter in Box 1, Folder 7
1836-2001; bulk, 1852-1880

The Education Fund played a critical role in the success of Dickinson College, especially during the mid-nineteenth century. For thirty years, Dickinson was entirely dependent upon the interest from the Education Fund to support its operations....

Collection Inventory: mc2016.01.pdf

Scrapbook, pages 42-43 (Box 1)

M. Margaret Eslinger graduated from Dickinson College in 1923.  This scrapbook contains a variety of items from her time at Dickinson College and as a graduate student at Ohio State University between 1919 and 1925. Materials include letters,...

Collection Inventory: mc2013.06.pdf

William Wilcox Edel, 1946

These records contain materials related to the termination of Dr. Laurent R. LaVallee, assistant professor of economics.  In 1956, the Dickinson Board of Trustees voted unanimously to dismiss LaVallee as a result of his failure to answer...

Allegheny Democrat - September 30, 1834

The Dickinsoniana Newspaper Collection consists of various newspapers acquired by the Library over the years. These items feature articles which concern mainly Dickinson College: happenings on campus, curriculum offerings, and doings of famous...


Collection Inventory: Dickinsoniana - Subject Index

Charter of Dickinson College
September 9, 1783

The charter establishing Dickinson College, approved in the minutes of the Trustees of the College, September 9, 1783.

Location: RG 1/1 - 3.1.1

Subject: Dickinson College Administration, Dickinson College History, Education

Format: Meeting Minutes

Time Period: 1780-1799

Letter from Charles Nisbet to John Dickinson
December 18, 1784

Dickinson College President Charles Nisbet writes to John Dickinson lamenting the "divisions that distract" the United States. He also acknowledges the honor bestowed upon him by Dickinson and the trustees of Dickinson College. Transcript...

"Plan of Education for Dickinson College," by Benjamin Rush

Benjamin Rush writes the "Plan of Education for Dickinson College" in 1785, which outlines the necessary curriculum that the College should follow. Transcript included.

Letters from John Dickinson to Benjamin Rush

John Dickinson writes ten letters to Benjamin Rush on a number of different topics, including the administrative affairs of Dickinson College, the state of political affairs in the United States, political philosophy, and the death of Dickinson's...

"An Address to the First Graduates of Dickinson College," by Charles Nisbet
September 26, 1787

President Charles Nisbet delivered this address to the first graduating class of Dickinson College at commencement on September 26, 1787. John Young, a member of the Class of 1788, transcribed the address. Transcript included.

Location: SC Vault Nisbet 37

Subject: Dickinson College Events, Dickinson College History, Education

Format: Speeches and Sermons

Time Period: 1780-1799

Valedictory Address from the First Commencement by Robert Duncan
September 26, 1787

Robert Duncan (Class of 1787) delivered this valedictory address at the first commencement of Dickinson College, which was held on September 26, 1787. John Young, a member of the Class of 1788, transcribed the address.

Location: SC Vault Nisbet 37

Subject: Dickinson College Events, Dickinson College History, Education

Format: Speeches and Sermons

Time Period: 1780-1799

Letter from William Bingham to William Irvine
February 26, 1789

Continental Congress delegate William Bingham writes to William Irvine, discussing the funding and future of Dickinson College. Irvine serves on Dickinson's Board of Trustees. Transcript included.

Letter from Ralph Bowie to John Montgomery
January 17, 1804

Ralph Bowie writes to John Montgomery, the President of the Board of Trustees of Dickinson College, in an attempt to settle Dr. Charles Nisbet's claims against the College. Transcript included.

"A Sketch of the Rise, Progress, and Present State of Dickinson College in Carlisle," by Anonymous
March 1811

An anonymous author writes this essay on the history of Dickinson College, which is published in The Port Folio, vol. 5 (March 1811): 239-246. This essay is published with B. Tanner's engraving of West College, which was created from a...

Biographical Manuscript of Thomas Cooper
September 21, 1811

A biographical manuscript of Judge Thomas Cooper, a lecturer at Dickinson College, entitled "Extract of a letter from a gentleman in Carlisle." Composed for the Baltimore Federal Gazette, this manuscript details the judge's pious...

Letter from Charles Penrose to George Wolf
September 6, 1834

Charles B. Penrose, the Secretary of the Board of Trustees, invites Pennsylvania Governor George Wolf to attend the reopening of Dickinson College on September 10, 1834. Transcript included.

"Salutatory Oration: Extent of the Duty of Obedience," by George Coffey
July 9, 1840

George Alexander Coffey prepared this oration, entitled "Salutatory Oration: Extent of the Duty of Obedience," for the commencement ceremonies held July 9, 1840. Authoring an original speech was among the graduation requirements for Dickinson...

Letter from James Buchanan to John McClintock
July 21, 1842

Senator James Buchanan asks Dickinson College Professor John McClintock to thank the Board of Trustees for granting him an honorary Doctor of Laws. "I feel conscious that I do not deserve so distinguished a literary honor," Buchanan notes....

"Rev. Charles Nisbet, D. D., First President of Dickinson College," by Charles Collins
December 1853

Rev. Charles Collins, the eleventh president of Dickinson College, writes this short biography of Rev. Charles Nisbet, the first president of the College, in 1853.

Charles Collins, "Rev. Charles Nisbet, D. D., First President of Dickinson...

Letter from Albert Slape to James Munroe
February 4, 1856

Albert Slape writes to James Munroe with news of the dismissal of four students on the charge of tarring Professor Henry Otis Tiffany's blackboard. Slape mentions that the dismissal of the students resulted in a "rebellion of the students." Slape...

"Dickinson College," by Charles Collins
August 1856

President Charles Collins writes this short history of Dickinson College in 1856.

Charles Collins, "Dickinson College," The Ladies' Repository 16 (August 1856): 449-453.

Letter from Thomas M. Griffith to His Siblings
July 3, 1863

Thomas Miller Griffith writes to his brother and sister and describes the scenes in Carlisle as the Confederates occupied and shelled the town in the days before the Battle of Gettysburg. As the Confederates first approached Carlisle in late June...

Letter from John K. Stayman to Edgar E. Hastings
August 13, 1863

John Keagy Stayman questions Edgar E. Hastings as to when the draft will be lifted from Cumberland County, as he is “considered by Uncle Sam a ‘first class man’.” He also asks whether or not Dickinson College is still being used as a hospital,...


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