It’s 1815. Let’s move the Williams campus to Amherst or Northampton.

This almost happened. On May 8 of 1815, the Rev. Dr. Teophilus Packard, of Shelburne introduced a motion to the Board of Trustees of Williams College that “the institution and its prospects abandon the unfortunate location of Williamstown and relocate to some site like Amherst or Northampton, near the middle of the State.” The debate was ferocious, with towns such Stockbridge offering sums as large as $13,000 for the privilege of locating the College in their backyard. The motion ultimately (and obviously) did not carry, and led swiftly to the appointment of Zepaniah Swift Moore of Dartmouth College as President of Williams. President Moore would have none of that and Williams is still in Williamstown.

 

 

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