Free Will Baptists founded Hillsdale College in 1844 under the name Michigan Central College. Despite the founders’ religious beliefs, the college has always been nonsectarian, although its teachings are informed by Christianity’s moral teachings. The college assumed its present name in 1853 when it relocated to Hillsdale, Michigan.
The Free Will Baptists who founded Hillsdale were abolitionists and true feminists, so the college immediately began admitting blacks and women. E.B. Fairfield, who was Hillsdale’s president from 1848 to 1869, was one of the founders of the Republican Party, a political party dedicated to abolishing slavery in the United States.
Because of Hillsdale’s abolitionist reputation, Frederick Douglass spoke there, as did Edward Everett, who shared the stage with Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg. When the Civil War began, Hillsdale sent a higher percentage of students to the Union Army than any other college in Michigan. Sixty students gave their lives in the fight against slavery.
Read the full story from American Thinker
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