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1800-1860: Education: Chronology

1800-1860: Education: Chronology




  • The Massachusetts legislature gives local school districts the power to levy taxes.


  • Cane Ridge revivals in Kentucky initiate the Second Great Awakening.
  • Moravian missionaries enter the lands of the Cherokees.


  • Cherokee chiefs urge Moravians to open a school.


  • Moravians found a school at Spring Place, Georgia.



  • The New York Free School Society is organized.



  • Miami University is founded in Oxford, Ohio.


  • Emma Hart Willard organizes Middlebury Female Seminary in Vermont.


  • Gov. Pablo Vicente Sola urges that schools be established in California pueblos and presidios.


  • The Indiana constitution directs the legislature to establish a system of free education and recommends the establishment of township schools and a state university.


  • Transylvania University establishes a medical college in Kentucky.
  • Plans leading to the founding of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor are introduced to the state legislature.


  • Thomas Jefferson receives a legislative charter to establish the University of Virginia.
  • The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions establishes a school in the Cherokee nation.
  • The Pennsylvania legislature provides for public schools.



  • Indiana University is founded in Bloomington.
  • The University of Alabama is chartered.


  • The Ohio legislature establishes school districts.
  • A medical department is founded at the University of Cincinnati.


  • The Indiana legislature establishes school districts.
  • Robert Owen purchases New Harmony, Indiana.



  • The New York Free School Society becomes the Public School Society.
  • Frances Wright establishes the Nashoba community in Tennessee.
  • Case Western Reserve University is founded in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Episcopalians found Kenyon College in Ohio.


  • Indiana University is founded in Bloomington.


  • Baptists found Georgetown College in Kentucky.


  • The American Sunday School Union plans a campaign in the Mississippi River valley.
  • A medical department is founded at Miami University in Ohio.


  • The Western Literary Institute and College of Professional Teachers is organized in Ohio.
  • The University of Alabama is founded in Tuscaloosa.


  • Lyman Beecher moves to Cincinnati as president of Lane Seminary.
  • Jesuits found St. Louis University in Missouri.


  • Catharine Beecher establishes the Western Female Institute in Cincinnati.
  • Oberlin Collegiate Institute is founded in Ohio.


  • An antislavery controversy engulfs Lane Seminary in Cincinnati.
  • Presbyterians found Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana.
  • Tulane University is founded in New Orleans.
  • The University of the Ozarks is founded in Clarksville, Arkansas.
  • William E. P. Hartnell opens a school for boys in Monterey, California.


  • Lane rebels enroll at Oberlin Collegiate Institute.
  • Lyman Beecher publishes Plea for the West.
  • Catharine Beecher publishes An Essay on the Education of Female Teachers.
  • Congregationalists found Illinois College in Jacksonville.


  • The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions sends Marcus and Narcissa Whitman to the Oregon country.


  • Horace Mann is appointed secretary of the Massachusetts State Board of Education.
  • Bacon College (present-day University of Kentucky) is founded in Georgetown.
  • Catholics found St. Marys College in Kentucky.
  • Methodists found Asbury College (present-day DePauw University) in Green-castle, Indiana.
  • Calvin Stowe writes Report on Elementary Instruction in Europe for the Ohio legislature.
  • State Superintendent of Public Instruction John D. Pierce writes a model school law in Michigan.


  • The state of Missouri passes school legislation.
  • The University of Missouri is founded in Columbia.


  • Catholic bishop John Joseph Hughes, protesting the use of the King James Bible and the Protestant message of New York public schools, requests public funding for Catholic schools.
  • Cincinnati, Ohio, provides bilingual education for children of German immigrants.


  • Catharine Beecher publishes Treatise on Domestic Economy.
  • The U.S. Congress provides federal land grants to states in order to fund education.


  • The New York legislature denies public funds to sectarian schools.
  • Catholics found the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.
  • Methodists found Ohio Wesleyan University.


  • The Society for the Promotion of Collegiate and Theological Education in the West is founded in New York.
  • The Sisters of Mercy enter the United States.



  • Lutherans found Wittenberg College in Springfield, Ohio.
  • Baptists found Baylor University in Waco, Texas.


  • The Iowa constitution establishes free public education.
  • Olive Mann Isbell opens a school for children of settlers from the East in Santa Clara and then Monterey, California.


  • The State Reform School for Boys is founded in Westborough, Massachusetts.
  • Catharine Beechers Central Committee for Promoting Female Education sends female missionary teachers to the West.
  • The State University of Iowa is founded in Iowa City.
  • Missionaries Marcus and Narcissa Whitman are murdered in Oregon by Cayuse Indians.



  • Roberts v. City of Boston protests segregation in Boston public schools.
  • The United Brethren found Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio.
  • The city of San Francisco establishes free public schools.


  • Lutherans found Capital University in Columbus, Ohio.
  • The Disciples of Christ found Butler University in Indianapolis.
  • Quakers found Earlham College in Indiana.
  • The University of Utah is founded in Salt Lake City.
  • Oregon State University is founded in Corvallis.


  • German Reformed church members found Heidelberg College in Ohio.
  • Northwestern University is founded in Evanston, Illinois.
  • Universalists found Lombard College in Galesburg, Illinois.
  • The University of Minnesota is founded in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
  • Methodists found the College of the Pacific in Santa Clara, California, which later moved to Stockton.
  • The Sisters of Notre Dame establish a boarding school for girls in San Jose, California.
  • The California legislature provides school districts and apportions school funds to counties.


  • Antioch College is founded in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
  • The Indiana legislature establishes free public education.
  • Anna Peck founds Rockford Seminary for women in Illinois.
  • Catharine Beecher founds Milwaukee Female College in Wisconsin.


  • Catharine Beecher lobbies for free normal schools.
  • Louisiana State Seminary of Learning is founded in Alexandria.
  • Unitarians found Washington University in St. Louis.
  • Lindenwood College for women is founded in St. Charles, Missouri.
  • Charles Loring Brace becomes urban missionary with the Childrens Aid Society.
  • John Swett becomes principal of Rincon Grammar School in San Francisco.


  • The Ohio legislature establishes free public education.
  • Congregationalists found Pacific University in Oregon.


  • The Illinois legislature establishes free public education.
  • Michigan State University is founded in East Lansing.
  • California College (present-day University of California, Berkeley) is founded in Oakland.
  • Jesuits found Santa Clara College in California.
  • Sacramento City Council allows tax funds to support separate education for African American children.


  • Auburn University is founded in Alabama.


  • Illinois State Normal University is established in Normal, Illinois.
  • The Ohio Reform School for boys is founded.
  • Margarethe Meyer Schurz opens the first private kindergarten in America in Watertown, Wisconsin.
  • The Childrens Aid Society sends city boys to Western states.


  • The Minnesota constitution establishes free public eduction.
  • Episcopalians found the University of the South in Tennessee.
  • Iowa State University is founded in Ames.


  • Catholics found St. Ignatius College in San Francisco.


  • Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College is founded in Baton Rouge.

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