Monday, July 12, 2010

A Light in the Wilderness

Washington College Academy was established in 1780 by Dr. Samuel Doak, a Presbyterian minister, educator and abolitionist. At the time of its founding "in the wilderness" (basically anywhere west of the Appalachians) Tennessee was not yet a state (that wouldn't occur until 1796), so the school's initial charter was granted by the state of North Carolina. Called Martin Academy at the time, it was the first institution of higher education west of the Appalachians. In 1795, the name was changed in honor of our first President, becoming the first educational institution in the US to bear his name. Known for its 'classical education', Washington College boasts a number of notable graduates including three governors, numerous legislators, and many college presidents, ministers, teachers, judges and lawyers. In 1923, the college curriculum was dropped and the institution became a college preparatory school. In recent years, the Academy has fallen on hard times and no longer operates as a college preparatory boarding school. It does, however, continue to offer a number of continuing adult education and GED classes. The 120 acre campus, located 7 miles southwest of Jonesborough, TN, is beautiful and loaded with history. Directions here. For more information, click here and here.

Pictured above: Harris Hall, one of the women's dorms.

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.
--Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918) American author and historian

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