When, by whom, and for what purpose was America's first college revived?
The operation of William and Mary was disrupted during the Civil War. With the number of young men committing to fight in the War, the campus was not able to continue operation. In closed in 1861 and was not able to resume operations for the duration of the conflict. The university functioned as a command center for the Confederacy and the Union at different points in the war. Under Union occupation, some of the historic buildings were burned and the campus was used as a headquarters. The college was reopened by Benjamin Ewell using his own money in 1869. It closed shortly afterward but was reopened in 1888 by the Commonwealth of Virginia. It was opened as a training center for teachers. It should also be noted that John D. Rockefeller donated large sums of money to repair the campus. Rockefeller was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, which was founded at William and Mary.
America's 1st College was originally founded by the historic first Virginia General Assembly, 31 July 1619, convened in the wooden Church on Jamestown Island. The Assembly wrote out "Petitions" requesting the Virginia Company Headquarters back in London to take specific actions. The "Fifte Petition: Please send workers able to construct the Colledge". This was over a year before the 1620 Mayflower Pilgrims sailed to "the northern parts of Virginia", settling in the area of Plimouth Rock. The 1619 college campus was to be located upriver from Jamestown, at the 1611 Citie of Henricus (just downriver from today's Richmond), and was being constructed when, on Good Friday 1622, the regional Powhatan Indians launched a suprise attack on the English settlements all along the James River, killing about 1/3 of the settlers and driving the others down river into conclaves of safety. Within a year the settlers launched a vigorous counter-attack, driving the Powhatans into the swamplands, and then resuming some construction on the colledge campus. However, next year, 1624, King James crushed the Virginia Company and declared the entire venture to now be under direct Royal control. Turmoil in England itself, including the English Civil War which at one point led to the abolition of the Monarchy, prevented any action again to build up the campus across the Atlantic over in wild Virginia for most of the rest of the 1600's. Finally, the Civil War issues were settled, and new joint-Monarchs were crowned in 1688, the vigorously Protestant King William and Queen Mary. The effort to have a Colledge in Virginia was resumed, the campus being relocated downriver at a site called "Middle Plantation" (soon to be designated as the city of Williamsburg), and renamed "Wm & Mary" in honor of new current Monarchs...the purpose being the same as the original Henricus Colledge, which is noted on a marble plaque at the Wren Building. Then, in very modern times, in 1992 (373-years after the original founding) America's 1st College was revived as "HENRICUS COLLEDGE (1619)r", purpose being "American Heritage Research and Continuing Education", focused on the "Lineage of Liberty Under Law". The name was registered in the U.S. Patent Office to Steven C. Smith, who serves as Chancellor of the Colledge still today, 2016. Website is www.firstcolledge.us. Plans are underway for the Colledge to have a 400th Anniversary Celebration in 2019.