The Centennial History of Tufts College, 1952

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Tufts and Oxford and Edinburgh

Tufts and Oxford and Edinburgh


The first president of Tufts College was Hosea Ballou II, a man of wide learning in the ancient and modern languages and in


history. Before becoming president of the college he had been given an honorary Doctor's degree by Harvard. He was also an Overseer of Harvard. After his appointment as president Dr. Ballou spent a year traveling and studying in the universities of England, Scotland, and the Continent. Many of the methods of instruction which he initiated in the new institution were based upon his vivid impressions of education as it was at that time conducted at Oxford and especially at Edinburgh. Dr. Ballou's extensive library, containing rare books in many languages, still is kept as a unit and has an honored place at Tufts.


President Ballou died in 1861 and was succeeded by Alonzo A. Miner, a member of a distinguished New England family. He served as president until 1875. Although not himself a college graduate, Dr. Miner received honorary Doctor's degrees from Harvard and from Tufts. His presidency was marked by many advances. Goddard Seminary in Barre, Vermont, also named for Thomas A. Goddard of Charlestown; Westbrook Seminary near Portland, Maine; and Dean Academy, endowed by Dr. Oliver Dean of Franklin, Massachusetts, were either established or specially nurtured as preparatory schools for Tufts by President Miner. Dr. Dean, as well as Mr. Goddard, was a generous benefactor not only of the school that bore his name but also of Tufts. Dean Hall, one of the older dormitories of Tufts, is named in his honor. These private schools developed by Dr. Miner played an important part in the early history of Tufts. Today applicants for Tufts are about equally divided between those whose college preparation has been secured in public and in private secondary schools.

Dr. Miner, like many of the early leaders of Tufts, was active in pre-Civil War days in the antislavery movement. The mansion of


Major Stearns which once stood on part of the campus was a station in the so-called underground railroad by means of which fugitive slaves from the South were helped to escape to Canada. Stearns Village, the present Tufts married veterans' housing center, is named for Major Stearns who bequeathed the land on which it stands to the college.