Robert Duncan (c.1768-1807)

Valedictory Address from the First Commencement by Robert Duncan (First Page)

Robert Duncan was born c1768, the son of Carlisle attorney Stephen Duncan. The elder Duncan was a founding trustee of both the Carlisle Grammar School and Dickinson College; Robert presumably attended the grammar school before enrolling in Dickinson College. As a member of the first graduating class of the College, Duncan delivered the first valedictory address at Commencement on September 26, 1787. This speech was transcribed by fellow Dickinsonian John Young of the Class of 1788.

After graduation, Duncan studied law, most likely with his father, and had been admitted to the bar in Cumberland County by 1790. His brother, Thomas, was a very successful attorney as well, and in June 1804, the two of them purchased one-half of the Kittanning Manor in Armstrong County. The Duncans paid $8,000 for their 2300 acres. Soon after, Robert moved his family to the estate, which had been renamed Appleby. When Robert Duncan died on April 5, 1807 at the age of 39, he left his half of the lands to his wife Ellen (Ellenor) and their daughter Mary.

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Dickinson College Archives
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