The founding trustees of Dickinson College secured a charter from the legislature of Pennsylvania on Sept. 9, 1783, authorizing them to establish a college in the Borough of Carlisle for “the right education of the youth, who must succeed the aged in the important offices of society” and “to disseminate and promote the growth of useful knowledge.” As befits the first college or university established in the United States after the close of the Revolutionary War, the charter cites the conclusion of the “long and bloody contest with a great and powerful kingdom.” For the founder, Benjamin Rush, and John Dickinson, for whom the college was named, Dickinson was nothing less than a revolutionary project designed to create the educated citizenry required for the survival of the young republic.

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