New-York Central College, McGrawville

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New-York Central College, McGrawville
Active 1849–1860
Location McGraw, New York, United States

New-York Central College, McGrawville was an institution of higher learning founded by Cyrus Pitt Grosvenor and other anti-slavery Baptists in 1849 in McGraw, New York.[1] The college was notable because it educated blacks as well as whites in the time of southern slavery and northern segregation, and educated women with men at a time when few institutions of higher learning were co-educational. In addition to the African-Americans in the student body, at least two of the school's faculty were black as well. Some of the school's funding came from New York State

The school's curriculum included classical education as well as agricultural science. The Rev. Grosvenor served as the school's first President.[1]

A scandal was caused when African-American professor William G. Allen became engaged to a white student, Mary King. To escape possible violent repercussions, Allen fled to New York City where he was joined by his fiancee. This event exacerbated already lingering social and political opposition to the school. Facing bankruptcy, the school was put into the hands of wealthy activist, Gerrit Smith. A smallpox epidemic struck McGrawville in 1860. The effects of the outbreak coupled with the lingering social and political opposition, and financial difficulties caused the college to close that same year.


  1. ^ a b Passic, Frank. "Cyrus Pitt Gosvenor". Albion Historical Society Collection. Retrieved 28 November 2010. 


The New York Central College employed three Black professors: Charles L. Reason, William G. Allen, and George B. Vashon.