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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Farmville in Prince Edward County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

About Hampden-Sydney College

 
 
About Hampden-Sydney College Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, April 12, 2012
1. About Hampden-Sydney College Marker
Inscription.  You are standing near the site of the original campus of Hampden-Sydney College, which stood on the knoll to your right (see artist reconstruction above). Hampden-Sydney began classes on November 10, 1775, the last college founded in Colonial America. The College has never suspended operations.

The original buildings, none of which remain, were replaced in the 1830s by Cushing Hall. The elevated location of Cushing Hall on a hill south of the original campus is the origin of the designation of the Hampden-Sydney campus as “The Hill.”

Patrick Henry and James Madison (4th President of the United States) were on the first Board of Trustees. The original charter of the College, granted by the Virginia General Assembly in 1783, is the oldest private charter in the South.

William Henry Harrison, General of the Army, Governor of the Indiana Territory, and 9th President of the United States, was a member of the Class of 1791.

Founding
Hampden-Sydney’s heritage is deeply rooted in both Colonial America and the Presbyterian Church. The College was formally organized in February
About Hampden-Sydney College Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, April 12, 2012
2. About Hampden-Sydney College Marker
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1775, when the Presbytery of Hanover, meeting at Nathaniel Venable’s office at his Slate Hill plantation nearby accepted a gift of one hundred acres for the campus, elected Trustees, and elected Samuel Stanhope Smith as the first president. Venable’s office, called “The Birthplace,” is now located on campus.

Our Name
President Smith (Princeton Class of 1769) chose the name Hampden-Sydney to symbolize his devotion to civil and religious freedom which John Hampden (1594-1643) and Algernon Sydney (1622-1683) had supported, and for which they had given their lives, in England’s two great constitutional crises of the seventeenth century. Widely recognized as hero-martyrs by American colonial patriots, their names immediately associated the College with the cause of independence.

Our Mission
Hampden-Sydney is a liberal arts college for men. Students today, as they have always done, live by the Honor Code—pledging not to lie, steal, or cheat—and to conduct themselves as gentlemen at all times and in all places.

Educational Impact
Union Theological Seminary of Virginia (now Union Presbyterian Seminary) was founded in 1822 at Hampden-Sydney. The Seminary buildings, which became part of the Hampden-Sydney campus in 1898 after the Seminary moved to Richmond, are located on the south side of the modern
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campus. Venable Hall is the principal building of the former Seminary campus.

Medical College of Virginia (now Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine) was established (1838) in Richmond as the medical department of Hampden-Sydney.

It is the tradition at Hampden-Sydney that we acknowledge each other as we go about the campus. Do not be surprised if our students greet you and do not hesitate to ask students about the College or the campus.
 
Erected by Hampden-Sydney College.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Education. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #04 James Madison, and the Former U.S. Presidents: #09 William Henry Harrison series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is February 1775.
 
Location. 37° 14.717′ N, 78° 27.614′ W. Marker is near Farmville, Virginia, in Prince Edward County. Marker is on College Road (County Route 692) 0.3 miles south of Five Forks Road (County Route 658), on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Hampden Sydney VA 23943, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Hampden-Sydney College (within shouting distance of this marker); Everett Stadium (within shouting distance of this marker); Hampden-Sydney (within shouting distance of this
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marker); Tyrus Raymond Cobb (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); September 11 Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Vietnam War Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Korean War Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Roll of Honor (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Farmville.
 
More about this marker. On the upper left is a sketch of the original campus.

On the lower left are portraits of "Early Trustees Patrick Henry and James Madison" and "President William Henry Harrison, Class of 1791". Also a photo of “The Birthplace”

On the upper right are portraits of "John Hampden (above) and Algernon Sidney symbolized the pursuit of freedom from tyranny."
 
Also see . . .
1. Hampden-Sydney College. (Submitted on April 15, 2012.)
2. Hampden-Sydney College Historic District. National Register of Historic Places (Submitted on November 11, 2021.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 11, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 15, 2012, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 514 times since then and 28 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 15, 2012, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.

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May. 26, 2022