1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Dartmouth College

For works with similar titles, see Dartmouth College.

DARTMOUTH COLLEGE, an American institution of higher education, in Hanover, New Hampshire. It is Congregational in its affiliations, but is actually non-sectarian. The college is open only to men except during the summer session, when women also are admitted. Dartmouth embraces, in addition to the original college, incorporated in 1769, a medical school, dating from the establishment of a professorship of medicine in the college in 1798; the Thayer school of civil engineering, established in 1867 by the bequest of Gen. Sylvanus Thayer; and the Amos Tuck school of administration and finance, established in 1900 by Edward Tuck—a remarkable feature, as it was the first, and, until the establishment at Harvard of a similar graduate school, the only commercial school in the country whose work is largely post-graduate. The Chandler school of science and the arts was founded by Abiel Chandler in 1851, in connexion with Dartmouth, and was incorporated into the collegiate department in 1893 as the Chandler scientific course in the college. From 1866 to 1893 the New Hampshire college of agriculture and the mechanic arts, now at Durham, was connected with Dartmouth. The medical school offers a four years’ course, and each of the other two professional schools a two years’ course, the first year of which may, under certain conditions, be counted as the senior year of the undergraduate department. The college has a beautiful campus or “yard”; a library of more than 100,000 volumes, housed in Wilson Hall (1885); instruction halls, residence halls—Thornton and Wentworth (1828), Hallgarten (1874), Richardson (1897), and Fayerweather (1900); a gymnasium (Bissell Hall, built in 1867); an athletic field, known as Alumni Oval; Bartlett Hall (1890–1891), the house of the College Young Men’s Christian Association; Rollins Chapel (1885); College Hall (1901), a social headquarters; an astronomical and meteorological observatory (Shattuck Observatory, 1854); the Mary Hitchcock hospital (1893), associated with the medical college; museums (especially the Butterfield Museum); Culver Hall (1871), the chemical laboratory; and Wilder Hall (1899), the physical laboratory. The college in 1908 had 100 officers of administration and instruction and 1219 students. It is maintained chiefly by the proceeds of a productive endowment fund amounting to $2,700,000 and by tuition fees ($125 a year for each student). The government is entrusted to a board of twelve trustees, five of whom are elected upon the nomination of the alumni.

Dartmouth is the outgrowth of Moor’s Indian charity school, founded by Eleazer Wheelock (1711–1779) about 1750 at Lebanon, Connecticut; this school was named in 1755 in honour of Joshua Moor, who in this year gave to it lands and buildings. In 1765 Samson Occom (c. 1723–1792), an Indian preacher and former student of the school, visited England and Scotland in its behalf and raised £10,000, whereupon plans were made for enlargement and for a change of site to Hanover. In 1769 the school was incorporated by a charter granted by George III. as Dartmouth College, being named after the earl of Dartmouth, president of the trustees of the funds raised in Great Britain. The first college building, Dartmouth Hall (closely resembling Nassau Hall at Princetown and the University Hall of Brown University), was built in 1784–1791 and is still standing, as are the typical college church, built in 1796 and enlarged in 1877 and 1889, and Moor Hall, the second building for Moor’s charity school, since 1852 called the Chandler building. During the War of Independence the support from Great Britain was mostly withdrawn. In 1815 President John Wheelock (1754–1817), who had succeeded his father in 1779, and was a Presbyterian and a Republican, was removed by the majority of the board of trustees, who were Congregationalists and Federalists, and Francis Brown was chosen in his place. Wheelock, upon his appeal to the legislature, was reinstated at the head of a new corporation, called Dartmouth University. The state courts upheld the legislature and the “University,” but in 1819 after the famous argument of Daniel Webster (q.v.) in behalf of the “College” board of trustees as against the “University” board before the United States Supreme Court, that body decided that the private trust created by the charter of 1769 was inviolable, and Dr Francis Brown and the old “College” board took possession of the institution’s property. This was one of the most important decisions ever made by the United States Supreme Court.

See Frederick Chase, A History of Dartmouth College and the Town of Hanover (Cambridge, 1891). For the Dartmouth College Case see Shirley, The Dartmouth College Causes (St Louis, Missouri, 1879); Kent, Commentaries on American Law (vol. i. Boston, 1884); and Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution (vol. ii., Boston, 1891).