On Lessons from Williams College for America

Colonel Williams' "Free School," established 1793 as Williams College

Colonel Williams’ “Free School,” established October 26, 1791 and chartered two years later as Williams College. Source: http://ephlib.wordpress.com/history-01/.

“Earth’s great lesson is written here. In it all men may read the interpretation of the founder of this college, of the meaning of America, of the motive high and true which has inspired her soldiers. Not unmindful of a desire for economic justice but scorning sordid gain, not seeking the spoils of war but a victory of righteousness, they came, subordinating the finite to the infinite, placing their trust in that which does not pass away. This precept heretofore observed must not be abandoned now. A desire for the earth and the fullness thereof must not be abandoned now. A desire for the earth and fullness thereof must not lure our people from their truer selves. Those who seek for a sign merely in a greatly increased material prosperity, however worthy that may be, disappointed through all the ages, will be disappointed now. Men find their true satisfaction in something higher, finer, nobler than all that. We sought no spoils from war; let us seek not spoil from peace. Let us remember Babylon and Carthage and that city which her people, flushed with purple pride, dared call Eternal.

“This college and her sons have turned their eyes resolutely toward the morning. Above the roar of reeking strife they hear the voice of the founder. Their actions have matched their vision. They have seen. They have heard. They have done. I thank you for receiving me into their company, so romantic, so glorious, and for enrolling me as a soldier in the legion of Colonel Ephraim Williams” — Calvin Coolidge, October 17, 1919

Final page of Ephraim Williams' last will and testament, it which he leaves the remainder of his estate to the "Support and maintenance of a free School for Ever, , provided the Said township fall with in the jurisdiction of the Province of Massachusetts bay, and provided, also that the Governour & General Court give the Said township the name of Williamstown..." Source: http://archives.williams.edu/founding/will4.php.

Final page of Ephraim Williams’ last will and testament, it which he leaves the remainder of his estate to the “Support and maintenance of a free School for Ever, provided the Said township fall with in the jurisdiction of the Province of Massachusetts bay, and provided, also that the Governour & General Court give the Said township the name of Williamstown…” Source: http://archives.williams.edu/founding/will4.php.

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