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A short story by Etta Belle Walker

Washington College

Title:     Washington College
Author: Etta Belle Walker [More Titles by Walker]

The Scotch-Irish were determined to have the best schools and colleges for their children. The Hanover Presbytery, which in 1776 embraced all the Presbyterian churches in Virginia, established a school which they called Liberty Hall Academy. This was built in Lexington, Virginia, with the Reverend William Graham, a native of Pennsylvania, as its first president. George Washington, in 1796, gave the school a regular endowment, the first of its kind. This is how it was made:

The Legislature of Virginia "as a testimony of their gratitude for his services," and as "a mark of their respect," presented to George Washington a certain number of shares in the Old James River Company, an industry then in progress. Unwilling to accept anything for his own benefit, he gave it to the Liberty Hall Academy.

In 1812, the Trustees of the school voted to ask the Virginia Legislature to change the name to Washington College. Many others decided to follow George Washington's fine example. A Mr. John Robinson left his whole estate to the college; the next to aid it, we are told, was the newly organized Society of the Cincinnati of Virginia.

Old records of the school throw an interesting light regarding the expenses of a student in those far-off days. The treasurer's bill for tuition, room rent, deposits and matriculation was $45 per year. Board was $7.50 a month. Laundry, fuel, candles and bed amounted to about three dollars per month. The cost of everything averaged about $140 a year.

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Etta Belle Walker's short story: Washington College