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Moore, Zephaniah Swift, 1770-1823



  • Existence: 1770 - 1823

Zephaniah Swift Moore was born in Palmer, Massachusetts on November 20, 1770. After attending Clio Hall preparatory school in Bennington, Vermont, he attended Dartmouth College, graduating in 1793. After graduation, he taught at Dartmouth for three years before entering the ministry of the Congregational Church. He served as a Congregational minister in Leicester, Massachusetts from 1798 to 1811. In 1811, he was appointed professor of languages (Latin, Greek and Hebrew) at Dartmouth where he taught until 1815, when he became the second president of Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. During his tenure at Williams, he favored moving the then-struggling college to Hampshire County in Western Massachusetts, possibly to join with the preparatory school Amherst Academy. Despite support for the move by the Williams Board of Trustees, local opposition prompted the state legislature to declare the move “unlawful.” As a result, Moore resigned as president and helped found Amherst College in Amherst, serving as its first president from 1821 until his death on June 30, 1823. When he left Williams, 40 students followed him, initiating a long-standing rivalry between the two colleges.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Zephaniah Moore letters

Identifier: MS-952
Overview Zephaniah Swift Moore (1770-1823), professor and president of Williams College. Dartmouth College Class of 1793. The collection consists of correspondence with the Dartmouth College Board of Trustees, documenting his tenure as professor of languages at Dartmouth College and as president of Williams College.