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The University of Delaware: A History

Chapter 1 Notes


1. Francis Alison to Ezra Stiles, December 12, 1767, Extracts from the Itineraries and Other Miscellanies of Ezra Stiles, ed. Franklin B. Dexter (New Haven, Conn., 1916), 431.

2. Thomas C. Pears, Jr., "This American Wilderness: A Study of Some of the Main Currents in Colonial American Presbyterianism," L. P. Stone Foundation Lectures, Princeton Theological Seminary, 1942 (typed copies in University of Delaware Archives, hereafter referred to as University Archives), 168; Elizabeth A. Ingersoll, "Francis Alison, American Philosophe, 1705-1779" (Ph.D. diss., University of Delaware, 1974), 33; J. T. D. Hall (University of Edinburgh) to author, June 17, 1980. Several writers claim that Alison studied at Glasgow, and it is possible he did postgraduate work there in theology, but there is no record of it. He did receive an honorary D.D. at Glasgow in 1756, in absentia. See Pears, "This American Wilderness," 12; Ingersoll, "Francis Alison," 34-35. On Alison and his school, see also Douglas Sloan, The Scottish Enlightenment and the American College Ideal (New York, 1971), 72-99.

3. Pears, "This American Wilderness," 13-14; Milton Flower, John Dickinson, Conservative Revolutionary (Charlottesville, Va., 1983), 5; William B. Sprague, Annals of the American Pulpit (New York, 1858), 3:73.

4. Ingersoll, "Francis Alison," 36-37; Sprague, Annals, 3:73.

5. Thomas C. Pears, Jr., "Colonial Education among Presbyterians," Journal of the Presbyterian Historical Society 30 (1952): 122.

6. George Whitefield's Journals (1737-1741), (Gainesville, Fla., reprint, 1969), 424.

7. Records of the Presbyterian Church in America, 1706-1788, ed. Guy S. Klett (Philadelphia, 1976), 157; George H. Ryden, "The Relationof the Newark Academy of Delaware to the Presbyterian Church and to Higher Education in the American Colonies," Delaware Notes 9 (1935): 10-12.

8. Records of the Presbyterian Church, 163-67, 169; Ryden, "Relation of Newark Academy," 12-13; Thomas C. Pears, Jr., "Francis Alison, Colonial Educator," Delaware Notes 17 (1944): 11-12.

9. John M. Coleman, Thomas McKean, Forgotten Leader of the Revolution (Rockaway, N.J., 1975), 13.

10. Alison to Stiles, October 22, 1773, in Pears, "Alison, Colonial Educator," 21.

11. Robert McKean became an Anglican minister and a physician, first president of the New Jersey Medical Society; Thomas became a congressman from Delaware and chief justice and governor of Pennsylvania; George Read, a senator and chief justice of Delaware, was a signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution; James Smith was a signer of the Declaration of Independence (as was Thomas McKean also); Hugh Williamson, physician and historian, was a member of the Constitutional Convention; John Ewing became provost of the University of Pennsylvania; John Cochran was director-general of hospitals during the Revolution; James Latta and Matthew Wilson became ministers, and Wilson was also a physician, teacher, and frequent contributor to journals; Paul Jackson is said to have succeeded Alison as master of the Latin school in the Academy of Philadelphia. Thomas C. Pears, Jr., "Ten Little Irish Lads," University News 11 (June 1943): 5, 9.

12. Pears, "Alison, Colonial Educator," 12.

13. Records of the Presbyterian Church, 197-98.

14. Pears, "This American Wilderness," 32.

15. Records of the Presbyterian Church, 198.

16. Pennsylvania Journal, April 19, 1780.

17. Autobiography of Benjamin Rush, ed. George W. Corner (Princeton, N.J., 1948), 289; [Robert Patterson], "Life of John Ewing," The Port Folio, 3d ser., 1 (1813): 215.

18. Pennsylvania Journal, April 19, 1780.

19. Coleman, Thomas MeKean, 17.

20. Pennsylvania Journal, April 19, 1780.

21. Matthew Wilson to Hugh Glasford, Robert Wallace, and Alexander McBeath, November 21, 1780, in Harold Hancock, "Matthew Wilson and Delaware College," University News 30 (Fall 1964): 7.

22. Rush, Autobiography, 294.

23. Pennsylvania Journal, April 19, 1780.

24. Whitefield's Journals, 424.

25. Stiles to Franklin, September 22, 1755, in Papers of Benjamin Franklin, ed. Leonard W. Labaree (New Haven, Conn., 1961-) 6:192; Pennsylvania Journal, April 19, 1780; diplomas from Yale and Glasgow at Presbyterian Historical Society (copies in University Archives); John Maclean, History of the College of New Jersey (Philadelphia, 1877), 1:30.

26. Records of the Presbyterian Church, 213. Alison also corresponded in 1746 with his friend Professor Francis Hutchinson, of Glasgow, about establishing a degree-granting institution. George H. Ryden, "The Newark Academy of Delaware in Colonial Days," Pennsylvania History 2 (1935): 208.

27. Records of the Presbyterian Church, 212-13.

28. Ibid., 149, 152; Pears, "Alison, Colonial Educator,"13.

29. Records of the Presbyterian Church, 212-13, 219.

30. Ibid., 221.

31. Ryden, "Relation of Newark Academy," 17; Thomas H. Montgomery, A History of the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, 1900), 142; J. Edwin Hendricks, Charles Thomson and the Making of a New Nation, 1729-1824 (Rutherford, N.J., 1979), 7.

32. Montgomery, History, 162; Franklin to Samuel Johnson, December 24, 1751, in Franklin, Papers, 4:222.

33. Matthew Wilson to unknown, April 1, 1783, Historical Society of Pennsylvania (photostat in University Archives); Robert P. Dubois, Discourse on the Origin and History of the Presbyterian Church and Congregation of New London (Philadelphia, 1845), 16.

34. William D. Mackey, White Clay Creek Presbyterian Church (Wilmington, 1876), 18; J.H. Johns, A History of the Rock Presbyterian Church in Cecil County, Maryland (Oxford, Pa., 1872), 8; Records of the Presbyterian Church, 170.

35. Dubois, Presbyterian Church of New London, 14.

36. George Morgan, "The Colonial Origins of Newark Academy...,Delaware Notes 8 (1934): 22.

37. Matthew Wilson to unknown, April 1, 1783, Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Records of the Presbyterian Church, 240.

38. Records of the Presbyterian Church, 240.

39. Thomas Nanes to Alexander McDowell, July 15, 1754, McDowell Papers, copies in University Archives.

40. Richard Webster, A History of the Presbyterian Church in America (Philadelphia, 1857), 620.

41. Records of the Presbyterian Church, 24, 252; Ingersoll, "Francis Alison," 513-14; William H. Conner, "Famous Academy Set Up in Three States," Wilmington Sunday Morning Star, July 31 and August 7, 1949.

42. Johns, Rock Presbyterian Church, 8.

43. Pennsylvania Gazette, May 30, 1754.

44. Records of the Presbyterian Church, 360. A memorandum book of McDowell's listing churches where he preached is blank for 1760, in McDowell Papers; Records of the New Castle Presbytery, 1759-73, Presbyterian Historical Society, Philadelphia, 8, 15, 18, 24.

45. Egbert G. Handy and James L. Vallandigham, Jr., Newark, Delaware, Past and Present (Newark, 1882), 6, 8-10; James Norris McDowell to H. Clay Reed, June 25, 1943, in McDowell Papers microfilm, Morris Library.

46. Sprague, Annals of the American Pulpit, 3: 257; Ann Dexter Gordon, "The College of Philadelphia, 1749-1759: Impact of an Institution" (Ph.D. diss., University of Wisconsin, 1976), 298, 299.

47. Ingersoll, "Francis Alison," 514; Pennsylvania Journal, February 3, 1777; Gordon, "The College of Philadelphia," 127.

48. "Alexander Hutcheson," folder in Academy of Newark Papers, University Archives.

49. Samuel Purviance, Jr., to Ezra Stiles, December 13, 1766, in Stiles, Extracts, 559.

50. Ingersoll, "Francis Alison," 514.

51. Dubois, Presbyterian Church of New London, 19; Alfred Nevin, ed., Encyclopedia of the Presbyterian Church in the Unitsd States of America (Philadelphia, 1884), 742; George E. Jones, Lower Brandywine and Its Pastors (Wilmington, 1876), 23; The Literary Diary of Ezra Stiles, Franklin B. Dexter, ed. (New York, 1901), 2:552; Montgomery, History of University of Pennsylvania, 468-69; Thomas Burrs, "Reverend Thomas Read and the Newark, Delaware, Academy," University Archives.

52. Matthew Wilson to Alexander McDowell, May 9, 1767, in McDowell Papers, University Archives.

53. J. Thomas Scharf, History of Delaware, 1607-1888 (Philadelphia, 1888), 2:955.

54. Samuel Purviance, Jr., to Ezra Stiles, December 13, 1766, in Stiles, Extracts, 559.

55. F. Alison to Ezra Stiles, October 30 1766, in ibid., 428; Beverly McAnear, "The Charter of the Academy of Newark," Delaware History 4 (1950): 150.

56. Varnum L. Collins, President Witherspoon, a Biography (Princeton, 1925), 1:76-77; F. Alison to Ezra Stiles, December 4, 1766, in Stiles, Extracts, 429-31; Ryden, "Relation of Newark Academy," 23-24.

57. Archibald Wallace to John Witherspoon, February 6, 1767, in L. H. Butterfield, John Witherspoon Comes to America (Princeton, N.J., 1953), 25.

58. B. Rush to Witherspoon, April 23, 1767, in ibid., 36-37

59. Alexander Mackie, Facile Princeps: The Story of the Beginning of Life Insurance in America (Philadelphia, 1956); John Devotion to Ezra Stiles, September 17, 1767, in Stiles, Extracts, 466-68; F. Alison to Stiles, December 12, 1767, in ibid., 431-32.

60. Samuel Purviance, Jr., to Ezra Stiles, November 1, 1766, in Stiles, Extracts, 558.

61. Conner, "Famous Academy"; F. Alison to Ezra Stiles, May 7, 1768, in Stiles, Extracts, 433. Alison can hardly have meant the "local" trustees of the building, for they were not "men of note for learning."

62. McAnear, "Charter of Academy of Newark," 151; David Hosack, "A Biographical Memoir of Hugh Williamson," Collections of the New-York Historical Society 3 (1821): 135.

63. John Wallace to Archibald Wallace, December 4, 1766, in Butterfield, Witherspoon, 18-19.

64. William Allen to Thomas Penn, October 8, 1767, Penn Papers, Official, 10: 116, 118 (microfilm reel 9).

65. Thomas Penn to William Allen, April 16, 1768, ibid., Letterbooks, 9:244 (microfilm reel 3).

66. Allen to Penn, October 12, 1768, ibid., Official, 10:176 (microfilm reel 9).

67. Thomas Penn to John Penn [May 12, 1769], ibid., Letterbooks, 10:4 (microfilm reel 3).

68. F. Alison to Stiles, May 1, 1768, in Stiles, Extracts, 433.

69. Charter in Academy Papers, University Archives; McAnear, "Charter of Academy of Newark," 151-52; McAnear, "College Founding in the American Colonies, 1745-1775," Mississippi Valley Historical Review 42 (1955-56): 28; Ryden, "The Newark Academy," 212-13.

70. Newark Academy Receipt Book, 1773-1776, University Archives; Pennsylvania Gazette, January 10, 1771. By 1773 Thomson was both secretary and treasurer.

71. Pennsylvania Gazette, January 10, 1771; Handy and Vallandigham, Newark, 13.

72. McDowell Papers, microfilm in Morris Library.

73. Deed to Academy lot, March 21, 1770, copy in University Archives; Dudley Lunt, "The Farmers Bank--An Assurance Company," Delaware History 8 (1958): 63; petition of March 15, 1780, Legislative Papers, Delaware State Archives, copy in University Archives; Laws of Delaware (New Castle, 1797), 1:518-22.

74. Deed to Academy lot. Cf. Laws of Delaware, 1:271-74.

75. Webster, History of Presbyterian Church, 468; Alexander McDowell to Francis Alison, September 30, 1771, in Simon Gratz Collection, Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

76. Records of the Presbyterian Church, 491.

77. Pennsylvania Packet, October 11, 1773; Beverly McAnear, "The Raising of Funds by the Colonial Colleges," Mississippi Valley Historical Review 38 (1951-52): 596; Jane N. Garrett, "The Delaware College Lotteries, 1818-45," Delaware History 7 (1957): 301.

78. Scharf, History of Delaware, 2:944; Webster, History of Presbyterian Church, 374; Account of the Trustees with Thomas McKean, 1773-1775, University Archives; New Castle County deeds of February 17, 1774, and March 26, 1777, microfilm in University Archives.

79. Robert McMordie to Alexander McDowell, Marsh Creek [Va.?], October 11, 1773, copy in McDowell Papers, University Archives.

80. Josiah Smith, Jr., to Hugh Williamson, February 12, 1772; to James Caldwell, March 24, 1772; to Patrick Alison, February 20, 1773; to John Ewing, May 22, 1773, in Josiah Smith, Jr., Letterbook, Southern Historical Collection, Chapel Hill, N.C.; William Smith to Benjamin Franklin, May 16, 1772, in Franklin, Papers, 19:146.

81. Hugh Williamson, "Account of Expenses on Voyage to Jamaica made to Solicit Benefactions for the Academy of New Ark," Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

82. Whitfield J. Bell, Jr., John Morgan, Continental Doctor (Philadelphia, 1965), 159-63; McAnear, "Raising of Funds," 609-10; Hosack, "Williamson," 142. The College of New Jersey (Princeton) also planned a mission to the West Indies, but its agent died in Barbados. Ashbel Green, The Life of the Rev. John Witherspoon (reprinted, Princeton, N.J., 1973), 142-43.

83. Alison to Stiles, October 22, 1773, in Pears, "Alison, Colonial, Educator," 21-22.

84. Stiles, Literary Diary, 1:423.

85. Ryden, "Relation of Newark Academy," 31; Calendar of Home Office Papers...1773-1775 (London, 1899), 184; Acts of the Privy Council of England, James Munro, ed., Colonial Series, 6 (1912; reprinted, London, 1966), item 924, p. 554; John Ewing to wife, February 20, 1774, in Ewing Letters, University of Pennsylvania.

86. Dated February 4, 1774 (photostat in University Archives from Historical Society of Pennsylvania); certificate of October 29, 1773, Misc. Papers, Three Lower Counties, Delaware, 1655-1805, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 294; memorial of trustees, October 19, 1773, University Archives on permanent loan from Historical Society of Delaware; Ryden, "Relation of Newark Academy," 30, 32, 34; McAnear, "Raising of Funds," 602-4.

87. Ewing to wife, July 5, 1774, in Ewing Papers, University of Pennsylvania; Hugh Williamson to Benjamin Rush, July 14, 1774, Rush MSS., v. 43, no. 16, Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Butterfield, Witherspoon, 95; Leonard J. Trinterud, The Forming of an American Tradition: A Reexamination of Colonial Presbyterianism (Philadelphia, 1972), 126.

88. Ewing to wife, [April] 1774; April 18, 1774; and May 3, 1775, in Ewing Papers; minutes of Dundee Presbytery, September 8, 1774 (kindness of Ian Flett, Archives and Record Centre, Dundee).

89. Minutes of Montrose Town Council, September 28, 1774 (kindness of J. Richardson, Angus District Council, Forfar); J. T. D. Hall to author, Edinburgh, June 17, 1980; Ryden, "Relation of Newark Academy," 38.

90. Ewing to wife, May 3, 1775, in Ewing Papers.

91. Lacy E. Lee Ewing, Dr. John Ewing and Some of His Noted Connections (Philadelphia, 1930), 34; Ewing to wife [before Apr. 18] 1774, and July 9, 1715, Ewing Papers.

92. Ewing to wife, July 9, 1775, in Ewing Papers.

93. Calendar of Home Office Papers...1773-1775, 410, 428.
94. Ryden, "Newark Academy in Colonial Days," 38; J. F. Jameson, "St. Eustatius in the American Revolution," American Historical Review 8 (1903): 688-89; Lord Stormont to Lord Weymouth, August 14, 1776, in Benjamin Stevens, Facsimiles of Manuscripts in European Archives Relating to America, 1773-1783 (London, 1889-95), item 1346; Album Promotorium (Utrecht, 1936), 177 (kindness of D. Koen, archivist of Utrecht Province).

95. Diary of James Hutchinson, American Philosophical Society (brought to this author's attention by Mrs. Marie Barrett); Hosack, "Williamson," 154.

96. McAnear, "Raising of Funds," 606n, 610; Ryden, "Relation of Newark Academy," 38-39. Morgan Edwards is thought to have raised only $900 for his Rhode Island College in 1767-68; Baptists, however, probably had less money than Presbyterians. Thomas R. McKibbens, Jr., and Kenneth L. Smith, The Life and Works of Morgan Edwards (New York, 1980), 198.

97. Robert McMordie to Alexander McDowell, December 11, 1773, in McDowell Papers; University of Pennsylvania, Biographical Catalogue of the Matriculates of the College (Philadelphia, 1894), 18.

98. Francis Alison to Alexander McDowell, June 12, 1775, in McDowell Papers.

99. Diploma of Archibald Alexander described in unidentified clipping in William D. Lewis collection called Delaware University Archives, University Archives, item 1895-3.

100. "A Dialogue," in McDowell Papers.

101. McAnear, "Charter of Academy of Newark," 156.

102. Pennsylvania Packet, October 9, 1775; Pennsylvania Gazette, October 11, 1775.

103. Pennsylvania Packet, November 1, 1773; Pennsylvania Gazette, November 3, 1773.

104. Pennsylvania Gazette, November 3, 1773.

105. McAnear, "Charter of Academy of Newark," 156.

106. In The Medical Works of Edward Miller, M.D., ed. Samuel Miller (New York, 1814), xii.

107. Ewing to his wife, July 5, 1774, in Ewing Papers.

108. Pennsylvania Packet, October 24, 1774.

109. Ibid., October 9, 1775; Pennsylvania Gazette, October 11, 1775; diploma of Archibald Alexander described in unidentified clipping in Lewis, Delaware University Archives, item 1895-3.

110. Newark Academy Receipt Book, 1773-76 (copy in University Archives from original in John McKinly Papers, Historical Society of Delaware).

111. McKean to Rodney, April 7, 1777, in Harold B. Hancock, ed., "Letters to and from Caesar Rodney," Delaware History 12 (1966): 75.

112. Ryden, "Relation of Newark Academy," 39-40.

113. Handy and Vallandigham, Newark, 35.

114. Robert Davidson to Board of Trustees, June 3, 1783, in Gratz Collection, Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

115. Scharf, History of Delaware, 1:244.

116. Ryden, "The Newark Academy in Colonial Days," 223; petition from some trustees to General Assembly, January 1781, Legislative Papers, Delaware State Archives.

117. Davidson to Board of Trustees, June 3, 1783, in Gratz Collection.

118. Coleman, McKean, 217.

119. Ryden, "Relation of Newark Academy," 40; Benjamin Rush to John Montgomery, June 27, 1783, L.H. Butterfield, ed., Letters of Benjamin Rush (Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society, 30) (Princeton, N.J., 1951), 1:301; Scharf, History of Delaware, 2:944.

120. Matthew Wilson to unknown, Lewes, April 7, 1783, Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

121. Wilson to Hugh Glasford, Robert Wallace, and Alexander McBeath, November 21, 1780, in Hancock, "Matthew Wilson and Delaware College," 7.

122. McAnear, "Charter of Academy of Newark," 155-56; McAnear, "College Founding," 43.

123. University of Pennsylvania, Biographical Catalogue of the Matriculates of the College, 18-19.

124. Elizabeth I. Nybakken, "New Light on the Old Side: Irish Influences in Colonial Presbyterianism," Journal of American History 68 (March 1982): 830.

125. Sprague, Annals of the American Pulpit, 3:73.

126. Matthew Wilson to Hugh Glasford, Robert Wallace, and Alexander McBeath, November 21, 1780, in Hancock, "Matthew Wilson and Delaware College," 7.