Oberlin College Is Established (Great Events from History: North American Series)
Article abstract: The nation’s first coeducational institution of higher education and a center of theological training.
Summary of Event
In 1825, the celebrated Presbyterian revivalist Charles G. Finney appeared in Utica, New York, where he recruited twenty-two-year-old Theodore Weld into his “holy band” of evangelists. Weld, who enrolled in the Oneida Institute in Whitesboro, New York, to prepare for the ministry, also became an exponent of emancipation. Weld’s devotion to the antislavery movement was inspired by his close friend, Charles Stuart, a Utica schoolteacher and member of Finney’s holy band, who was an avid opponent of slavery.
In 1830, Weld met Arthur and Lewis Tappan, New York City merchants and philanthropists, who were financing Finney’s revival movement. Weld sought to persuade them to establish a theological seminary for preparing Finney’s converts for the ministry. In 1831, Arthur Tappan agreed to Weld’s suggestion and asked him to find a suitable site for the proposed seminary. Weld selected the already established Lane Theological Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio, which Tappan pledged to endow. He also helped in appointing well-respected scholars to its faculty. Most of the students who enrolled in the school were Finney’s converts. The Lane Seminary instantly became a center of debate on the slavery question, as Weld’s students demanded immediate emancipation.
(The entire section is 1325 words.)
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