Oakland College


Oakland College

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Oakland College, located in Claiborne County, was established in 1830, mainly through the efforts of the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Chamberlain. It was under the care of the Mississippi Presbytery.  Dr. Chamberlain was the first president.  It opened May 14th as a mere grammar school, with three pupils; but at the end of the session there were sixty-five, two of whom were sophomores and five freshmen.  Mr. John Chamberlain gave instruction in mathematics and English.  In 1831 a charter was obtained, as the institution of learning, under the care of the Mississippi Presbytery.  The first commencement was held in 1813, and Mr. James M. Smiley, afterward vice chancellor of the state, received an A. B., being the first man to take a degree at any institution in this state.  The principal object of Oakland col­lege was to educate young men for the ministry.  Dr. John Ker, son of the Rev. David Ker, secretly denoted the sum of $25,000 for the endowment of a theological professorship; and in 1837 the Rev. Zebulon Butler was made temporary professor.  In a short time the Rev. S. Beach Jones, of New Jersey, was elected to that chair.  This professorship was continued only until 1841, but during that time many young men entered, by its aid, not only the Presby­terian ministry, but also that of other denominations.  In 1839 the college was transferred to the synod of Mississippi, under which management it remained until the year 1871.  At this time the college was very prosperous. It owned two hundred and fifty acres of land; there were three professors' houses, fifteen cottages, a main building of three stories in the course of erection, an apparatus which had cost $1,500, a library of one thousand volumes, two socie­ties' libraries of three thousand volumes more, and an endowment subscription of $100,000.  Improvements were made from time to time, until it became one of the handsomest and most equipped institutions of its period in the South.  In September, 1851, Dr. Chamberlain was killed.  The Rev. R. L. Stanton, D. D., succeeded him.  The faculty at this time was composed of five members; one thousand youths had attended the different sessions, and of them one hundred and twenty had graduated. The Rev. James Purviance followed Dr. Stanton as president; and he, in turn, was followed in 1800 by the Rev. William L. Breck­inridge, of Kentucky. The Civil war soon terminated his service. After the cessation of hostilities the institution resumed it labors.  The Rev. Joseph Calvin, D. D., was made president, but he soon died, and on that event the doors of the college were virtually closed.  In 1871, because of the destruction of its resources through the calamities of war, the property of the college was sold to the state, which used it for the establishment of the Alcorn uni­versity for colored youths.  The funds remaining after the payment of debts were transferred by the synod to the presbytery of Mississippi for the establishment of an institution of learn­ing; and thereupon, in 1877, the presbytery established the Chamberlain-Hunt academy, at Port Gibson.  Incorporated in 1877, it was named after Dr. Chamberlain and David Hunt, one of the most generous founders of Oakland college. The first session was that of I879.  The buildings are mainly of brick, and are large and well arranged.  The library has about two thousand volumes.  The endowment is about $40,000.   In the academic department are taught Latin, Greek, French, English, English literature, natural sciences, bookkeeping, history, and mathematics as far as, and including trigonometry and surveying.   Prof. W. C. Guthrie, A. B., of Washington and Lee, is principal, and has been from the beginning. There are four other teachers, and an annual attendance of about one hundred and twenty pupils.

Source:  Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Mississippi, Embracing an Authentic and Comprehensive Account of the Chief Events in the History of the State and a Record of the Lives of Many of the Most Worthy and Illustrious Families and Individuals.  Chicago:  Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1891. 


Oakland College Curriculum

contributed by Charles Dawkins from the original document in the MS Department of Archives & History, Jackson, MS


Oakland College Alumni 1833 - 1855

Class of 1833
James M. Smylie, AM

Class of 1835
Fielding T. Conger
Isaac R. Conger
John S. Smith, A. M.
John A. Smylie, A. M.

Class of 1836
John W. Buie, AM
George G. Noland, AM
Samuel M. Montgomery, A. M.

Class of 1837
Henry M McDonald, A. M.
Wm. S. Patterson, A. M.

Class of 1838
Cowles G. Meade
Benj. F. McGill
James A. McGill
James A. McGill
Dan. McNair, A. M.
Alex M. Smylie

Class of 1839
G. Marlin Davis, A. M.
Jas. R. Galtney, A. M.
Richmond McInnis, A. M.
Calvin S. Routh
Bryant D. Thomas

Class of 1840
Jas. C. Fovy
Abijah Hunt, A. M.
Joseph Noland, A. M.
Samuel R. Walker, A. M.

Class of 1841
Wm. E. Buie, AM
Jas. M. Knight
Ivy F. Thompson AM

Class of 1842
N. P. Chamberlain
Jackson N. Cowart
Wm. L. Harper

Class of 1843
Thos. B. Gallard
Geo. S. Gayden
Avery Noland
Joshua T. Russell
Ivison G. Gayden
Wm. S. Hyland
John Taylor

Class of 1844
E. L. Beaumont
Henry Beaumont
Wm. P. Briscoe
Fred J. Chambliss
Halloway Huff
David Ker
Thos. D. King
John A. McGill
Thos. W. Scott

Class of 1845
Duncan Beaumont
Wm. A. Bisland
Wm. E. T. Griffith
John Ker
Wm. H. McAlpine
Duncan McCall
John W. Seymour
Wm. H. Slaughter
Benj. Wayne

Class of 1846
Douglass S. Bisland
John R. Bisland
John Bondurant
Smith C. Daniell
George McAlpine
Frederick Stanton

Class of 1847
James Alexander
Henry Hughes
Geo. H. Limerick
Oliver Limerick
Wm. A. Patterson
David S. Snodgrass
James A. Wood

Class of 1848
Peter Alexander
Wm. S. Balfour
Dan S. Cameron
Wm. E. Green
Revere W. Gurley
Geo. F. Hunt
Jas. Jefferies
Wm. W. Lang
W. L. F. Lang
A. J. Laughridge
W. B. Prince
John W. Snodgrass
Geo. R. Snodgrass
Sigmund Uhfelder

Class of 1849
Claiborne C. Briscoe
Joseph W. Cooper
Wm. H. Garretson
Loamin Granberry
J. Melchor Hoffa
Thos. R. Markham
Robt. Price
Wm. E. Ross
Henry Clay Snodgrass

Class of 1850
John W. Balfour
Robt. T. Duncan
John Evans
Hiram B. Granberry
Edward Moseley
Leigh R. Steele

Class of 1851
James Bogan
John Chamberlain
Wm. S. Crawford
Caleb W. Dobith? (part missing)
Geo. R. Fearn
Theo. A. Lipscomb
Fabius H. Sleeper
Elias J. Van Court
John Q. Moore
Hilary Moseley
Jeff D. Montgomery
John H. New
John H. Newman
Simeon B. Newman
J. Floyd Walton
Alex Y. Walton

Class of 1852
Jas. W. Collier
Benj. C. Edwards
Wm. J. Gillespie
Wm. T. Glasscock
J. Dunbar McCaleb
Saml. S. Montgomery
Wm. W. Montgomery
Claudius Pintard
William T. Plumb
Rufus Shoemaker
Samuel Montgomery

Thos. F. Adams
David A. Buckner
John B. Darden
Wm. H. Donoho
John Henderson
John r. Hurchinson
Elias B. Inslee
Wm. McCaleb
Arthur Moseley
Robt. W. Payne
Robt. Pipes
Chas. A. Pipes
Geo. E. Selser
James D. Smith
Richard H. Truly
Jeff Whitney

Class of 1854
James A. Barlow
Dudley W. Jones
Chas. P. Neilson

Class of 1855
James A. Beck
E. K. McAlpine
J. J. Davenport
P. K. Montgomery
L. D. Pace

Whole no. of alumni 151
Professions of Alumni
Ministers of the Gospel 24
Lawyers 30
Planters 23
Doctors of Medicine 12
Merchants 5
Civil Engineers 2
Teachers 1
Uncertain 54



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