Establishing a College at Easton
Karl Stirner Arts Trail
— City of Easton, Pennsylvania —
On Christmas Eve 1824, the Easton Centinel carried a notice calling upon residents of Northampton County "friendly to the establishment of a COLLEGE at Easton" to meet three days later at White's Hotel on Center Square. Local lawyers James Madison Porter and Joel Jones, along with Jacob Wagener, a local miller's son, led the effort to plan for a college "combining a course of practical Military Science with the course of Literature and General Science pursued in the Colleges of our Country." The founders voted to name their new college "Lafayette College" after the French hero of the Revolution Marquis de Lafayette, whom Porter had recently met in Philadelphia. The governor of Pennsylvania signed the new college's charter on March 9, 1826.
In 1832, the Rev. George Junkin agreed to move the curriculum and student body of the Manual Labor Academy of Pennsylvania from Germantown to Easton and to take up the Lafayette College charter. Classes in mathematics and the classics began that year in a rented farmhouse on the south bank of the Lehigh River. In 1832 the College acquired nine acres of land on the hill across Bushkill Creek from Easton
By 1900 enrollment stood at about 300, passed the 500 mark in 1910, and reached 1,000 during the 1920s. It more than doubled again after World War II. Today the campus comprises about 100 acres of land and more than 60 buildings, as well as various outlying properties and structures on College Hill and elsewhere. With over 2,300 students currently enrolled in over 40 different fields of study, Lafayette College stands today as one of the most academically competitive, independent, undergraduate institutions in the nation.
[Illustration captions, from top to bottom, read]
• Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette (September 6, 1757-May 20, 1834), or Lafayette, was a French aristocrat and military officer born in the province of Auvergne in south central France. Lafayette was a general in the American Revolutionary War and a leader of the Garde Nationale during the French Revolution.
• After playing a key role in the founding of Lafayette College, James Madison Porter served as President of the Board of Trustees from 1826-1852. Porter also served as Secretary of War under President John Tyler and held high positions with several railroad companies.
Erected by Karl Stirner Arts
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, Music • Education • Patriots & Patriotism • War, US Revolutionary. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #10 John Tyler, and the Pennsylvania, Easton, Karl Stirner Arts Trail series lists.
Location. 40° 41.741′ N, 75° 12.578′ W. Marker is in Easton, Pennsylvania, in Northampton County. Marker is at the intersection of 3rd Street/College Avenue and Bushkill Drive, on the right when traveling north on 3rd Street/College Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Easton PA 18042, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Confluence of Campus and Community (here, next to this marker); Lafayette College Gateway (here, next to this marker); Lafayette College Civil War Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Easton's Electric Railway (within shouting distance of this marker); Sullivan's Campaign (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Lafayette (about 700 feet away); Astronomical Observatory (approx. 0.2 miles away); The First Triangulation Station and Benchmark (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Easton.
Also see . . .
1. Lafayette College Mission and History . (Submitted on July 1, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. James Madison Porter Bio at Wikipedia. (Submitted on July 1, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Karl Stirner Arts Trail. (Submitted on July 1, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on July 1, 2019. It was originally submitted on July 1, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 97 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on July 1, 2019, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.