Founding of Dartmouth College 

U.S. #1380 was issued for the 150th anniversary of the Dartmouth College Case.

On December 13, 1769, Dartmouth College received its charter.

The man responsible for the establishment of Dartmouth was Connecticut Congregational minister Eleazar Wheelock. Prior to opening Dartmouth, Wheelock hoped to open a school to train Native Americans to become Christian missionaries. He eventually founded Moor’s Indian Charity School in 1755, but soon needed additional funds to keep the school open.

U.S. #1854 – Alden Partridge graduated from Dartmouth in 1806.

In 1766, Wheelock sent representatives to England to raise money among the churches there to provide for his school. Among the supporters of this cause, and head of the trust, was William Legge, 2nd Earl of Dartmouth. This trip proved fruitful and Wheelock had more than enough funds for his school. However, he soon found that the school’s location in Lebanon, Connecticut, was too far away from the Native American territories.

U.S. #1852 – Sylvanus Thayer graduated from Dartmouth in 1807.

Wheelock then decided to expand the school into a college and move it to Hanover, New Hampshire. Though it was a struggle to move the school, Wheelock eventually got the support he needed and received the land for the school from New Hampshire’s Royal Governor, John Wentworth. And on December 13, 1769, he received the school’s official charter in the name of King George III. The charter established the college “for the education and instruction of Youth of the Indian Tribes in this Land in reading, writing & all parts of Learning which shall appear necessary and expedient for civilizing & Christianizing Children of Pagans as well as in all liberal Arts and Sciences and also of English Youth and any others.” The charter specifically mentioned educating Native American youth so that the new college could be connected to and spend unused funds from the Charity School.

U.S. #1526 – Robert Frost attended Dartmouth in 1896, though he never graduated.

Wheelock’s new college was named after William Legge, 2nd Earl of Dartmouth. While Dartmouth had supported Wheelock’s plans for the Native American school, he opposed the idea of the new college and never donated any money to it. However it was named after him anyway and granted its first degrees in 1771. Dartmouth was the ninth and final college established in America under colonial rule.

When Dartmouth was first founded in 1769, its charter declared it to be a private school “forever.” When the states became independent, they agreed to abide by the rights and privileges of such charters. Then in 1816, New Hampshire attempted to make Dartmouth a state university by negating its charter. The issue went all the way to the Supreme Court.

U.S. #3835 – Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss) graduated in 1925.

The Dartmouth College Case, also called Dartmouth College v. Woodward, marked a pivotal decision in the development of America’s free enterprise system and its laws concerning private property. The Supreme Court decided this case in 1819 in favor of Dartmouth College. A graduate of the college, Daniel Webster, presented the case for Dartmouth College. Historians regard Webster’s argument for the case as one of his finest. (You can read a portion of it here.) As a result of this case, states now put time limits and other provisions in charters to allow cancellation under appropriate circumstances.

Item #IC 1974V – Future Vice President Nelson Rockefeller graduated in 1930.

Today, Dartmouth is one of the highest-ranking universities in the country. Its graduates include 62 Rhodes Scholars, 113 Pulitzer Prize winners, 22 U.S. governors, 3 Nobel Prize laureates, two U.S. Supreme Court justices, and several MacArthur Genius fellows.

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  1. As a side note I believe Mount Washington, the highest peak north of the Carolinas and east of the Mississippi River, was at one time owned by Dartmouth College. And the Native Americans never climbed to the summit of Mount Washington as they beleived it to be sacred ground.

  2. The 1769 Charter of Dartmouth college proclaims that the institution is created for education of youth of Indian Tribes of this land. A native American Samson Occom first raised funds for charity school for Native Americans. But, in 200 years, only 19 Native Americans graduated However, from 1970 till now, over 1,000 Native Americans from 200 different tribes have completed graduation .Dartmouth`s motto chosen by Eleazar Wheelock was in Latin. It translates into English as A CALLING VOICE IN THE WILDERNESS . Thank you MYSTIC for a wonderful article on one of the oldest educational institutes in America.

  3. 10 years ago, India Post issued a Rs.15 denomination stamp that depicted a sandalwood
    carving and was also ingrained with the scent of sandalwood.
    13th December 2006: A commemorative postage stamp on ‘Sandalwood’
    10 years later, it smells just as nice as it did on the 1st day of issue.
    Find it & much more here:

  4. Dartmouth is my only choice for the college to attend as it offers a good environment and it has a prestigious well renowned name as Ivy League exclusive elite privileged education preparation for success.

  5. Several years ago I was flying from Boston to New York with Dr Seymour Ochsner a Dartmouth graduate, on our way back to New Orleans. The plane made a stop in New Haven, Connecticut. On our approach to New Haven I looked out and saw that we were passing over Harkness Tower of Yale University. I said ” look Seymour there is Harkness Tower”. Seymour said ” a Dartmouth graduate could never see Harkness Tower”.

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