John Young (1763-1803)

President Charles Nisbet's Commencement Address in 1787, Transcribed by John Young

John Young was born on September 4, 1763 in York County, Pennsylvania. Little is known of his early life prior to his enrollment in Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. As a member of the Class of 1788, Young studied under President Charles Nisbet and took fastidious notes. Because of Young's attentiveness, transcripts of Nisbet's lectures on theology, philosophy, and metaphysics survive and are housed in the College's Archives and Special Collections.

After receiving his bachelor's degree in 1788, Young remained at Dickinson to continue his studies in theology with Nisbet, as did several of his classmates. Although he did not earn any advanced degree, Young was licensed to preach by the Philadelphia Presbytery in 1791, and the following year he became the pastor at churches in Timber Ridge and Old Providence, Virginia. His pastorship in Virginia lasted for seven years; he relocated to Greencastle, Pennsylvania in 1799. There he preached until his death in 1803. In 1802, Young became a trustee of Dickinson College.

Young married Mary Fullerton and the couple had at least one son, John Clarke Young, who graduated from Dickinson in 1823 and went on to become president of Centre College in Kentucky. John Young died on July 24, 1803, less than a month before his son John was born.

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Dickinson College Archives
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