Duke University Founded
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Union Institute Society
Time Period
Duke University originally began in 1838 when Methodist and Quaker families hired Brantley York as a teacher for a subscription school in Randolph County, North Carolina. When the Quakers began to focus on their own school in Guilford County, Union Institute (the name of the school at the time) began to seek assistance elsewhere. The school turned to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South and established a deal whereby the church would exchange financial support to the school for free education to their Methodist preachers. This deal was formalized in 1859 and the school changed its name to Trinity College. The motto was "Eruditio et Religio," which means "Knowledge and Religion."

The school survived in the early stages due to the support of Methodists, many of whom gained wealth through the tobacco industry. It moved to Durham in 1892 and later changed its name to Duke University in 1924.
Interactive Timeline(s)
Methodist Religious Events and People in American History
Browse Related Timeline Entries
Methodist Religious Events and People in American History
Religious Groups
Methodist/Pietist Family: Other ARDA Links


Duke University- Library of Congress, LC-DIG-csas-02539

Trinity College in 1882- Hathi Trust- from Life of Braxton Craven by Jerome Dowd

Brantley York portrait- Hathi Trust- The Autobiography of Brantley York

Duke University chapel- Wikimedia Commons

Duke University campus- Digital Commonwealth- Boston Public Library, Tichnor Brothers Postcard Collection
Web Source(s)
History of Duke University
Web Page Contributor
Benjamin T. Gurrentz
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in Sociology

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