Petition to the General Court of Massachusetts from the Trustees of the Free School, May 23,1792

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The University of Cambridge will always be considered as the Parent of the other two,1 and from there will derive an additional degree of Luster and Renown. We hope that it is a laudable wish we indulge of seeing Massachusetts the Athens of the United States of America, to which young Gentlemen from any part of the Union may resort for instruction in all the branches of useful and polite Literature, & we cannot entertain the least doubt but that the object of our present Memorial perfectlycoincides with the object of such wish.

Your Memorialists therefore humbly pray your Honors, that the Free School in Williamstown may be incorporated into a College by the name of Williams Hall, and that the nurturing liberal hand of the Legislature maybe extended to it by a Grant of lands in the easterly part of the Commonwealth, or in such other way as to your Honors may seem fit, and as in duty bound will pray.

  • William Williams
  • Woodbridge Little
  • John Bacon
  • Seth Swift
  • Daniel Collins
  • Israel Jones
  • David Noble

1 In addition to Harvard, the trustees are presumably referring to Bowdoin College. Although Bowdoin did not receive its charter until 1794, efforts to acquire it began in 1788.

Source: Trustee records, Williams College Archives and Special Collections.