Penn in the Age of Franklin
Guided tour of the web site:
1740 - Trust formed to establish a Charity School in Philadelphia at Fourth and Arch Streets
1749 - Franklin publishes his Proposals and organizes the Academy of Philadelphia
1750 - The Trustees of the Academy buy the building of the proposed Charity School and formalize the institutional structure of the Academy and Charitable School
1751 - The Academy and Charity School opens in the reconstructed New Building
1751 - The Academy enjoys a flourishing enrollment from the time of its first years
1753 - William Smith publishes his College of Mirania in New York. Franklin invites him to Philadelphia to visit the Academy and meet with the Trustees. Smith responds with interest in the opportunities offered by the Academy
1754 - Trustees hire William Smith as Provost. Smith is ordained as a priest in the Church of England. Smith immediately re-organizes the curriculum of the Academy
1755 - College of Philadelphia is chartered with Reverend William Smith at its head; Smith forces Franklin from the presidency of the Trustees, but Franklin remains a member of the board
1757 - First college class graduated
1756-63 - During the Seven Years War, Smith publishes partisan religious and political pamphlets on public policy issues
1762 - Smith conducts a capital campaign in England with assistance from the Penn family proprietors of Pennsylvania and the Church of England
1764 - Trustees agreed to accept the proceeds of Smith's fundraising on condition that a majority of the Board always be members of the Church of England
1765 - Penn establishes the first School of Medicine in British North America. Medical faculty issue class tickets for admission to their well attended lectures
1766-75 - Penn's annual commencements are great celebrations of the learning acquired by the graduating students
1775 - Continental Congress meet in College Hall
1777 - Penn closed on account of the Revolutionary War
1779 - Revolutionary government of Pennsylvania declares Penn's colonial charter unlawful and substitute a new charter, new Board of Trustees, a new Provost and a new name -- University of the State of Pennsylvania -- in its place. Reverend William Ewing, a Presbyterian clergyman, is named the new Provost
1784 - While Franklin is in Paris, King Louis XVI donates books to the University Library
1785 - Franklin returns to Philadelphia and is elected President of the Trustees of the University of the State of Pennsylvania
1789 - The Pennsylvania legislature reinstates the College of Philadelphia, with its former Trustees and former Provost. Philadelphia now has two institutions of higher education
1790 - Franklin dies and is eulogized by the College of Philadelphia and the American Philosophical Society
1790 - Trustees of the College elect James Wilson the first Professor of Law
1791 - By an act of the state legislature, the University of the State of Pennsylvania and the College of Philadelphia are united in the University of Pennsylvania. Ewing is retained as Provost despite an extended protest by Smith
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