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College Archives

Franklin and Marshall College Founding Documents Online

Franklin College

Mr. Frederick Kuhl's (Treasurer) Account of Franklin College in the Borough of Lancaster (List of paid subscribers), ca. 1787

One of only two original documents owned by the College mentioning Benjamin Franklin's financial support for Franklin College, this account or list of paid subscribers clearly states Franklin's 200 pound contribution.

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"An Act to Incorporate and endow the German College and Charity School in the borough and county of Lancaster in this state" (Franklin College Charter) - 1787

Printed text of the 1787 charter or act of the state legislature establishing Franklin College. The original record is in the state archives. The College Archives retains two handwritten, certified copies, the earliest dating from 1818. This published version dates from 1912.

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Sample page from 1818 handwritten copy of charter

Order of procession and public worship to be observed in the dedication of Franklin College, in the borough and county of Lancaster = Ordnung welche in Absicht der Procession und öffentlichen Gottesdienstes bey der Einweihung der Franklinischen Deutschen Hohe Schule in der Stadt und Graffschaft Lancaster, zu beobachten. Philadelphia:Printed by Melchior Steiner, 1787

This printed broadside in both English and German was the program used for the formal opening of Franklin College on June 6, 1787. While Franklin did not attend the dedication, he appears to have received copies of the program and passed one on to the Frenchman Abbe Morellet who commented on the "toleration in practice" on the ecumenical religious services held in Lancaster.

English version

German version

A List of Scholars who have entered into the English School, Franklin College. Anno Domini 1787

List of the first students in the English school of Franklin College 1787-1788 opened on July 18, 1787. Among the students listed are those of the Jewish Gratz family and children of the Lancaster portrait artist Jacob Eichholtz.

Full document

Benjamin Rush letter to Mrs. Richard Stockton, June 19, 1787

Rush's letter to his mother-in-law is the best first-person account existing that describes the dedication ceremonies for Franklin College held on June 6, 1787.

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Transcription and commentary

by L.H. Butterfield A letter by Dr. Benjamin Rush, describing the consecration of the German college at Lancaster in June, 1787. Printed, with an introd. and notes, from a newly discovered manuscript, now in the Fackenthal library at Franklin and Marshall college. Lancaster: Franklin and Marshall College, 1945.

Marshall College

"An Act to Incorporate the Marshall College at Mercersburg" (Marshall College Charter) - 1836

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Franklin & Marshall College

An Act to unite and consolidate Marshall College, now at Mercersburg, with Franklin College, now at Lancaster, under the name of "Franklin and Marshall College," a corporation, to be located in the city of Lancaster, or its immediate vicinity (Franklin and Marshall College Charter) - 1850

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1853 handwritten copy of charter

Deed for first 10 acres of land Jacob Griel to Franklin and Marshall College, 1853

Formal opening of Franklin and Marshall College in the city of Lancaster, June 7, 1853: together with addresses/ delivered on the occasion by A.L. Hayes, J.W. Nevin, and Alonzo Potter. Lancaster, Pa.: Published by order of the Board of Trustees, 1853.

Pamphlet containing addresses delivered at the opening of the merged Franklin and Marshall Colleges.

Dedication of Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pa., May 16th, 1856. Introductory by E.V. Gerhart ... Address by Emlen Franklin, esq. Chambersburg, Pa.: M. Kieffer & co., 1856.

Pamphlet containing addresses delivered on the occasion of the opening of the new College Building (Old Main).

All items posted here are intended for non-commercial, scholarly research purposes only and are copyright of Franklin and Marshall College. Permission may be required for use.

mrl 10/17/12


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