ERIC Number: ED394436
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Oberlin College and the Decision To Admit Black Students.
Waite, Cally L.
The decision to open Oberlin College (Ohio) to black students in 1835, two years after its founding, is discussed. The decision challenged both laws and common perceptions of blacks, and was a milestone in black educational history. Two crucial factors in the decision are identified: Oberlin's founding principles and its economic future. The college was established by two New England Congregationalist ministers, who envisioned an ideal community in which the education of teachers and ministers was an important element. Both colonists and students were recruited, for the survival of the community and the college. In particular, one of the founders urged the trustees to resolve to admit students regardless of color and recruited a group of students and two faculty involved in an anti-slavery controversy at a Cincinnati seminary. This group brought with it the financial support of a New York abolitionist. Despite strong opposition in the Oberlin colony, a warmly worded and persuasive open letter to the congregation and extended discussion of the religious and financial issues resulted in a decision by the trustees to accept black students. The college's covenant and the founder's open letter are appended. (Contains 27 references.) (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Abolitionism; Nineteenth Century History; Oberlin College OH
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, April 8-12, 1996).