Williamson, Samuel

Samuel Williamson

(b.1795 d. 1882) Reverend Samuel Williamson, D.D. came to Davidson in 1839, joining the faculty as professor of mathematics and natural philosophy. Having been an outstanding scholar at the University of South Carolina and South Carolina College, Williamson became minister before accepting the Davidson professorship. Within two years of serving the college as faculty member, Williamson was elected president.

Samuel Williamson’s administration, longer than that of any other nineteenth-century Davidson president, was marked by a time of hardship for the college. The years 1841-1854 were a difficult, formative period for the college. Davidson faced great financial struggles, yet Williamson kept the college afloat with his quick-witted style, great physical energy, and love for public speaking. Recollections by former students reveal that Williamson was much loved by the students for the kindness with which he met them at every turn. During his term, he saw the construction of Eumenean and Philanthropic Literary Halls. Additionally, he ended the manual labor system.


See Archival Record…


Presidents – Works Cited

Robert Hall Morrison, Samuel Williamson, Drury Lacy, John Lycan Kirkpatrick, George Wilson McPhail, John Rennie Blake, Andrew Dousa Hepburn, Luther McKinnon, John Bunyan Shearer, Henry Louis Smith, William Joseph Martin, Jr., Walter Lee Lingle, John Rood Cunningham, David Grier Martin, Samuel Reid Spencer, Jr., John Wells Kuykendall, Robert Fredrick Vagt, Thomas Warren Ross, Sr.

Beaty, Mary D. A History of Davidson College. Davidson, N.C.: Briarpatch, 1988.

Beaty, Mary D. and Sarah Merritt. “Davidson College Time Line and the Evolution of Chambers.” Davidson Journal 1 (1987): 12-13.

Cromartie, Caroline King. The Physical Development of Davidson, North Carolina: An Historical Analysis. Davidson College Honors Thesis, 1978.

“Davidson Apoints Thomas W. Ross, Sr., As College’s Next President.” Davidson College Press Release, 29 March 2007, on the World Wide Web at: <http://www3.davidson.edu/cms/x23408.xml>

Davidson, Chalmers Gaston. “Davidson Celebrates.” Davidson Journal 1 (1987): 2-7.

Davidson, Chalmers Gaston. Mid-Point for ’28. Davidson, N.C.: Davidson College, 1953.

Fischer, Karl W. The Mystics and Beta Theta Pi. Germantown, PA: Beta Theta Pi, 1940.

Giduz, Bill. “President Vagt Announces His Plans to Retire.” Davidson College. 8 June 2006. Found on the World Wide Web at <http://www2.davidson.edu/common/templates/news/news_tmp02.asp?newsid=6550>.

“An Honored Career .” Davidson College Press Release, 29 March 2007, on the World Wide Web at: <http://www3.davidson.edu/cms/x23404.xml>

Kelley, Robert Lincoln. Davidson College: A Diagnosis and a Prescription. Lancaster, PA: Council of Church Boards of Education in the U.S.A., 1926.

Lingle, Walter L. Memories of Davidson College. Richmond, VA: John Knox, 1947.

Logan, Van Lear. “Growing Up in Davidson.” Davidson Journal 1 (1987): 20-23.

“Presidential Biography. ” Davidson College Press Release, 29 March 2007, on the World Wide Web at: <http://www3.davidson.edu/cms/x23405.xml>

Ramsey, Robert Wilson. Milestones Backward Run: The Story of Beta Theta Pi at Davidson,1858-1940. Davidson, NC: The Phi Alpha Chapter of Beta Theta Pi, 1940.

Ratliff, Charles E. Economics at Davidson: A Sesquicentennial History. Davidson, NC: Davidson College, 1987.

Scherer, John P. A Code of Civility: Antiwar Dissent at Davidson College During the Vietnam Era. Davidson College Honors Thesis, 1989.

Shames, Steven A. A Good Faith Effort: Integration at Davidson College. Davidson College Honors Thesis, 1996.

Shaw, Cornelia Rebekah. Davidson College. New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1923.

Shaw, Cornelia Rebekah, comp. War Records of Davidson College, 1917-1918. Charlotte, NC: Presbyterian Standard, 1923.

Spencer, Samuel R. The First Year. Davidson, NC: Davidson College, 1969.

Shaw, Cornelia Rebekah. Davidson College. New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1923.

“Timeline.” Davidson College Press Release, 29 March 2007, on the World Wide Web at: <http://www3.davidson.edu/cms/x23406.xml>

Author: Molly P. Gillespie & Mark Grotjohn
Date: 1998 & 29 June 2006

Cite as: Gillespie, Molly P. “Samuel Williamson ” Davidson Encyclopedia, 29 June 2006. <http://libraries.davidson.edu/archives/encyclopedia/samuel-williamson/>

Related Entries: Eumenean and Philanthropic Literary Societies, President’s House, Presidents of Davidson College

Related Links: Williamson’s Presidential Portrait

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