William Henry Purnell

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"William Purnell" redirects here. For the World War II admiral, see William R. Purnell.

William Henry Purnell (1826–1902) was the Comptroller of Maryland from 1856–1861.[1]

In 1846, Purnell had received a degree from Delaware College (now the University of Delaware). Prior to his election as comptroller Purnell practice law.

Purnell was elected to office as a member of the Know-Nothing Party. He was reelected in 1860, but later quit office to take an appointment as post master of Baltimore and then served as a Union Army officer in the United States Civil War. Purnell had raised a military unit for the Union cause, known as Purnell's Legion, in Worcester County, Maryland. Purnell resigned from the military, holding the rank of colonel, in February 1862 and resumed the position of post master of Baltimore. This resignation was endorsed by Major General John Adams Dix.[2]

In 1870,[3] Purnell became the president of Delaware College. He was the first president of the institution after its revival as a Land Grant College.[4] Purnell was a strong supporter of co-education[5] but after a fifteen-year trial, Delaware College stopped accepting female students by a vote of the board on June 24, 1885.[6] At the same meeting, the board accepted Purnells resignation as college president.[7]

Purnell married Margaret Neill Martin. They were the parents of ten children.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "William Henry Purnell (1826-1902)". Spotlight on the Comptroller of Maryland. State of Maryland, Treasury Department, Office of the Comptroller. Retrieved 2011-01-29. After serving as a trial lawyer, Purnell's career as Comptroller was notable for the disputed 1861 election. Purnell won the election with "riots and frauds" in Baltimore, but resigned to serve as a postmaster and then a Union general early in the Civil War. Prevented from entering post-war politics, he became a college president in Delaware and then in Frederick and New Windsor, Maryland. 
  2. ^ Roger D. Hunt. Colonel in Blue: Union Army Colonels in the Civil War, The Mid-Atlantic States. (Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books, 2007) p. 277
  3. ^ Munroe, John A. (1986). "Chapter 5: A Coeducational Land-Grant College". The University of Delaware: A History. Newark, Delaware: University of Delaware Press. pp. 121–155. Retrieved 2011-01-29. Although the college was not to reopen until September 1870, Purnell was inaugurated as president in the preceding July on the occasion of what was planned to be an annual alumni reunion. In his address he called the Morrill Act the best and wisest statute Congress ever passed. 
  4. ^ "UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE". The State of Delaware, The Official Website of the First State. Delaware Public Archives. 2009-12-22. Retrieved 2011-01-29. the legislature adopted Delaware College as the official recipient of land grant funds; authorized the sale of scrip or land warrants, and proceeds of which were to be invested in interest bearing bonds; directed the Treasurer to pay the interest from such investments to the treasurer of the board of trustees; and directed the board of trustees to establish a course of study that would “carry out the intent of the act of Congress.” 
  5. ^ Hoffecker, Carol E. (1994). "Chapter 1: The Beginnings". Beneath thy guiding hand: A history of women at the University of Delaware. Newark, Delaware: University of Delaware Press. Retrieved 2011-01-29. The chief advocate for co-education at Delaware College was the president, William Henry Purnell. A native of Maryland's Eastern Shore, Purnell had graduated from Delaware College in 1846 
  6. ^ Munroe, John A. (1986). "Chapter 5: A Coeducational Land-Grant College". The University of Delaware: A History. Newark, Delaware: University of Delaware Press. pp. 153–155. Retrieved 2011-01-29. Purnell personally retained his popularity among the students. What Bush's committee concluded is not known. It reported, finally, to a board meeting on June 24, but the report does not survive. At the same time the board received a note from Purnell dated June 20, asking that his resignation be accepted--and it was, though in doing so the trustees declared that Purnell was a man of character "without stain or reproach, respected and loved by all who know him." They then proceeded to tear his favorite program to pieces, though by no means unanimously. By a vote of 13 to 8 they abolished coeducation, agreeing only to allow those women already in college to complete their studies for a degree. 
  7. ^ Hoffecker, Carol E. (1994). "Chapter 1: The Beginnings". Beneath thy guiding hand: A history of women at the University of Delaware. Newark, Delaware: University of Delaware Press. Retrieved 2011-01-29. On June 24, 1885, by a majority vote of thirteen to eight, the board adopted the following: "Resolved: That the system of co-education in Delaware College be, and is hereby abolished; provided that all students already matriculated may at their option finish their collegiate course." At this same meeting, in what must have been a closely related matter, the board accepted the resignation of William H. Purnell as president. 

External links[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.udel.edu/udaily/2016/nov/president111815.html