GENERAL LEE'S COLLEGE by Ollinger Crenshaw


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A bland history of Washington and Lee University written by a faculty member who proceeds chronologically without much anecdotal relief. Crenshaw describes the Virginia institution's founding in 1749 as Augusta Academy, its frequent changes of name and president, and its consistently moderate Southern character. He stresses the importance of two events: the changing of the college's name to Washington Academy in 1798 (following a bequest from George Washington) and the arrival of Robert E. Lee as president in 1865. The former provided funds to enlarge college programs, the latter provided post-Civil War prestige. More interesting, however, is the college's mid-18th century stance: ""mildly pro-slavery,"" its suppression of a former president's history for forty years because of his anti-slavery views, and the one brief era of ""progressive"" education (1830-1834) when all classes were voluntary. There is special mention of the law school and of the gradual broadening of the curriculum from the standard classical education to the now standard liberal arts cum science program.

Pub Date: May 8th, 1969
Publisher: Random House