Cumberland College (Princeton, Kentucky)

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For other institutions called "Cumberland College," see Cumberland College (disambiguation).

Cumberland College in Williamsburg, Kentucky was founded in 1826 and operated until 1861. It was the first college founded by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and was the first American institution to accept female students, starting in 1826. Presidents included Franceway Ranna Cossitt, Richard Beard, Milton Bird, and others. In 1843, the General Assembly of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church withdrew support from Cumberland College in Princeton and attempted to move the institution to Lebanon, Tennessee. However, according to the charter granted to the college by the Kentucky General Assembly, this move was not legal. The resulting institution in Lebanon was, therefore, an entirely different college (Cumberland University as of 1842) despite protestations to the contrary.

Notable alumni[edit]


  • Gore, Matthew H., A History of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Kentucky to 1988 (Memphis, Tennessee: 2000).
  • Gore, Matthew H., A Brief History of Cumberland College 1825-1861 (Ellendale, Tennessee: 2010). ISBN 978-0-557-62837-7