The First Morrill Act, also known as the "Land Grant Act"
becomes law. It donates public lands to states, the sale of which will be used
for the "endowment, support, and maintenance of at least one college where
the leading object shall be, without excluding other scientific and classical
studies and including military tactics, to teach such branches of learning as
are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts, in order to promote the
liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the several
pursuits and professions in life" (Sass, 2005).
End of the Civil War.
The 13th amendment abolishes slavery in the U.S.
By the end of the Civil War in the United States of America there were
4.4 million people of African descent breathing on the soils of the almost
century old country. However, only twenty-eight of these millions had received
baccalaureate degrees (Drewry 33).
The rationale for not educating blacks rested on two flawed logics. The
first explanation was that blacks were intellectually inferior. Secondly, many
oppositionists felt that educated blacks would compete with the whites
economically, politically, and in sexual spheres (Roebuck 23). Nonetheless,
many blacks did seek admission to northern white universities, they were
assumingly denied. Often laws, usually in the South, prevented blacks not only
from attending school, but from also learning to read and write. By 1835, most
southern states passed laws making it illegal to teach an enslaved person the
such fundamentals (Williams 20).
After the Civil War, blacks yearned to take full advantage of being free citizens of the United States. Therefore,
they sought out education,
religion, and property. Through these avenues, they felt that they would gain
personal respect, economic security, and racial progress (Roebuck 25).
An institution of higher learning for African Americans (Negroes), was
founded December 1, 1865, when a theological class was formed in the old Guion
Hotel where the State Museum now stands. This class was formed by
Dr. Henry Martin Tupper (Founder and First President of Shaw University) who
was honorably discharged from the Union Army after serving for three years as a
private and as a chaplain.
Shortly after the formation of the theological class, Dr. Tupper saw the
need for expansion of his activities. With $500, which he had saved while in
the Army, he purchased a lot and there erected a two-storied wooden structure.
The Raleigh Institute, as it was called, was one of the largest structures of
its kind in the city.
In 1866 on March 1, the first class for colored women was formed and has
served both sexes since that time. Meanwhile, another building had been erected
for the purpose of housing the girls who were seeking educational advantages at
Shaw Collegiate Institute. (Shaw University, 2008)
Edward Waters College
The oldest private institution of higher education in the state of
Florida, was founded in 1866 specifically to educate newly freed slaves.
Edward Waters College was initially named “Brown Theological Institute”
by Rev. William G. Steward, the first AME pastor in the state. The school
experienced some financial difficulties and was forced to close for nearly a
decade. By 1893 the school’s name was changed to Edward Waters College in honor
of the third bishop of the AME church. Through the years, the College has
withstood the test. After being destroyed by fire in 1901, the College
acquired the current site in 1904 and began to rebuild Edward Waters
College. The school was first accredited as a junior college in 1955
under President William B. Stewart and by 1960, the College had restored its
four-year curriculum. In 1979, the Commission on Colleges of the
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) accredited the College as a
four-year institution and the College still remains accredited by SACS. (Edward
Waters College, 2008)
Was established in 1866 by the Freedman's Aid Society of the Methodist
Episcopal Church. The school accepted adults of all ages, as well as children,
for instruction in elementary subjects.
In 1882, the name was changed to Rust University. The name is a tribute
to Richard S. Rust of Cincinnati, OH, Secretary of the Freedman's Aid Society.
In 1915, the name was changed to Rust College. Rust College is the oldest HBCU
in the state of Mississippi. (HBCUnetwork.com, 2008)
Was founded in 1867 by former slaves William Savery, Thomas Tarrant, and
other freedmen from across the state who upheld the education of our children
and youth as vital to the preservation of our liberties, and true religion as
the foundation of all real virtue. It was the first college opened to blacks in
the state of Alabama. (Petersons.com, 2008)
In November 1866, shortly after the end of the Civil War, members of the
First Congregational Society of Washington considered establishing a
theological seminary for the education of African-American clergymen. Within a
few weeks, the concept expanded to include a provision for establishing a
University. Within two years, the University consisted of the colleges of
Liberal Arts and Medicine. The new institution was named for General Oliver O.
Howard, a Civil War hero who was both a founder of the University and, at the
same time, commissioner of the Freedman’s Bureau.
The University charter as enacted by Congress and subsequently approved
by President Andrew Johnson on March 2, 1867, designated Howard University as
“a University for the education of youth in the liberal arts and sciences.” The
Freedmen’s Bureau provided most of the early financial support of the
University. In 1879, Congress approved a special appropriation for the
University. The charter was amended in 1928 to authorize an annual federal
appropriation for construction, development, improvement and maintenance of the
University. (Howard University, 2008)
Was founded in 1867 as "Augusta Institute" in the basement of
Springfield Baptist Church in Augusta, GA. Augusta Institute was founded by the
Rev. William Jefferson White, an Augusta Baptist minister and cabinetmaker,
with the support of Richard C. Coulter, a former slave from Augusta, GA., and
the Rev. Edmund Turney, organizer of the National Theological Institute for
educating freedmen in Washington, D.C.
In 1855, the institution relocated to the West End of Atlanta, on a Civil
War historic site at which confederate soldiers staged a determined resistance
to Union forces during the famous siege of Atlanta.
During this era, Atlanta Baptist College was named Morehouse College in
honor of Henry L. Morehouse, the corresponding secretary of the Atlanta Baptist
Home Mission Society. (HBCUnetwork.com, 2008)
Fayetteville State University:
Seven visionary Black citizens of Fayetteville, North Carolina pay
$140.00 for two lots on Gillespie Street and form among themselves a
self-perpetuating Board of Trustees to maintain the property for the education
of Black youth.
Fayetteville State University was founded as the Howard School by seven
African-American men. It is one of the oldest teacher education institutions in
the south. (HBCUnetwork.com, 2008)
Barely six months after the end of the Civil War, and just two years
after the Emancipation Proclamation, three men — John Ogden, the Reverend
Erastus Milo Cravath, and the Reverend Edward P. Smith — established the Fisk
School in Nashville, named in honor of General Clinton B. Fisk of the Tennessee
Freedmen's Bureau, who provided the new institution with facilities in former
Union Army barracks near the present site of Nashville's Union Station. In these
facilities Fisk convened its first classes on January 9, 1866. The first
students ranged in age from seven to seventy, but shared common experiences of
slavery and poverty — and an extraordinary thirst for learning.
The work of Fisk's founders was sponsored by the American Missionary
Association — later part of the United Church of Christ, with which Fisk
retains an affiliation today. Ogden, Cravath, and Smith, along with others in
their movement, shared a dream of an educational institution that would be open
to all, regardless of race, and that would measure itself by "the highest
standards, not of Negro education, but of American education at its best."
Their dream was incorporated as Fisk University on August 22, 1867. (Fisk
Founded on the Virginia Peninsula by Brigadier General Samuel Chapman
Armstrong, the 29 year-old son of missionary parents. Hampton became an oasis
of opportunity for the thousands of newly freed people gathered behind Union
lines. With the aid of the American Missionary Association, the school was
established to train selected young men and young women to "go out to
teach and lead their people," and to build a viable industrial system on the
strength of self-sufficiency, intelligent labor and solid moral character.
In 1878, Hampton established a formal education program for Native
Americans, beginning the Institute's lasting commitment to serving a
In the early days, support for the Institute came from the Freedman's
Bureau, Northern philanthropists and religious groups with the first classroom
building erected in 1870. The first baccalaureate degrees were awarded in 1922.
Two years later, the school's name was changed to Hampton Institute, reflecting
college-level accreditation. In 1984, Hampton's Board of Trustees formally
adopted a university structure and changed the name to Hampton University,
which today represents the unparalleled standard of excellence in American
higher education. (historichamptonroads.com, 2006)