Eleutherian College, founded in 1848 as Eleutherian Institute, was the first college in the U.S. state of Indiana to admit students without regard to race or sex. Its surviving main building is now a public museum and has been declared a National Historic Landmark.Its name comes from the Greek word eleutheros which means "free". It is located in the unincorporated community of Lancaster in Jefferson County.HistoryThe college was founded by members of the Neil's Creek Abolitionist Baptist Church, with much of the organizing done by the extended Hoyt-Whipple family. Lyman Hoyt was married to Asenath Whipple Hoyt, the niece of William Whipple, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Asenath’s sister, Lucy Whipple Nelson, was a strong abolitionist and encouraged Lyman and Asenath to move to Lancaster, Indiana. Walter Hoyt, Lyman's brother, and their brother Benajah soon followed. In the 1830s-1860s, Lancaster was the center of a burgeoning abolitionist community, largely centered on the Neil's Creek Abolitionist Baptist Church. The Hoyts soon became involved in the Neil's Creek Church. Lyman Hoyt became a well-known "conductor" on the Underground Railroad, and provided shelter and supplies to runaway slaves. The Hoyts helped to establish the Eleutherian College in 1848, following the advice of Thomas Craven of Oxford, Ohio, an early advocate of an integrated educational system. In 1856 the college built a stone school house which still stands on a hill in Lancaster. Plan to visit Historic Eleutherian College during your Madison vacation using our convenient Madison online trip itinerary builder .
Historic Eleutherian College Reviews
A clear jewel from our past! What a great place to visit! I recommend stopping by when you're in the area. They are working magic on new restorations and are always pleased to show folks around. more »
This building is a testimony of a time come and gone, along with people who were "ahead of their time," but still resonates with things that remain important to our society, even today: things like... more »
This beautiful historic building is slowly and carefully being restored to it's original glory. The history behind this site is important. It was one of the first colleges to accept students regardless of race or gender. It is moving to learn this history and unsettling. Definitely take a tour if it is available.
Very nice,well kept, lots of history
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