Two members of the Council of New England Churchmen: (Left) The Honorable Charles Marsh of Woodstock, VT, who was elected the first KUA trustee (1812-1824) and the second Board Chair (1819-1824) and (Right) The Rev. Timothy Dwight, President of Yale College. Left: Governor John Taylor Gilman of Exeter, NH, signed the [Kimball] Union Academy Charter on June 16, 1813.


Left: The first page from an 1813 copy of the Charter. Right: An enlargement from a section of page two of the Charter showing the well-known words, “poor and pious young men….”

On October 21, 1812, Daniel Kimball joined a council of churchmen at the Forbes House in Windsor, Vermont. Their purpose was to establish a Theological Seminary, and, as the founding document (the Charter) later stated, “To assist in the education of poor and pious young men for the gospel ministry; and such others as may be admitted by the trustees, subject to pay tuition.” Yale President Timothy Dwight, who had traveled a long distance from Connecticut, “presented an elaborate argument” stating the importance of a liberally educated ministry “even for the purpose of multiplying ministers.” The Council accepted his modern ideas and, instead of a seminary, an academy was born and named Union Academy in honor of this union of churches.

Daniel Kimball of Meriden, NH, then stood up and said, as he had “been blessed with a liberal fortune, but with no natural heir to inherit it” he would pledge “$6000 for immediate use, and the bulk of his property at his decease.” His generous offer was “gratefully accepted” and the Council determined the Academy’s location to be in Meriden, just as Daniel and Hannah “Madam” Kimball had wished it to be. According to Dr. Frost’s diary, Daniel and Hannah had long desired a school in Meriden and their desire had now been fulfilled.

Do you know why the first Academy building was built on the Hilltop in Meriden?

Answer to last week’s question: According to the Kimball Union Alumni Bulletin 1946, although remaining keenly interested in KUA, Asa Burton “…resigned to take up the Presidency of the Board of Trustees of the newly formed Thetford Academy in his own parish” of Thetford, Vermont.

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