Religious Beliefs of Students

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This is an incomplete compilation of some of the religious beliefs of students at the College of William and Mary.

19th Century

1865-1866 session: one Catholic and two Disciples of Christ students, while all others were Episcopalians, Baptists, or Methodists.

It is unclear who was the first Jewish student at William and Mary.

Throughout the 1870s, students were overwhelmingly Episcopalians, Baptists, or Methodists with a few scattered Presbyterians and Disciples of Christ "enrolled from time to time." There were also two Catholics, one "Christian," and the sole Jewish student, Zach Hofheimer of Norfolk attended the College for two sessions from 1869 to 1871.(Godson, et al., The College of William and Mary: A History,p. 394)

Samuel Myers (1790-1829) attended William and Mary in 1808-1809. He was a lawyer in Norfolk and Pensacola, Florida, and the son of Moses Myers. There are two collections of papers from the Myers family in the Special Collections Research Center and one includes correspondence with Jewish merchants in Richmond and other cities (see Meyers Papers and Samuel Meyers Papers).

20th Century

A 1932 list of students and their faiths indicates that there were 95 "Hebrew" students. ("Religious Preferences," University Archives Subject File Collection) See also Godson, et al., notes p. 725.

The Gibbons Club was organized in the early 20th century for Catholic students as there was not yet a Catholic Church in Williamsburg. It was replaced in the 1940s by the Newman Club.

References

Material in the Special Collections Research Center


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To search for further material, visit the Special Collections Research Center's Search Tool List for an overview of the Special Collections Database, W&M Digital Archive, Flat Hat-William & Mary News-Alumni Gazette index, card catalogs, and other tools available to help you find material of interest in the Swem Library's Special Collections Research Center.

Questions? Contact the Special Collections Research Center at spcoll@wm.edu or 757-221-3090, or visit the Special Collections Research Center in the Earl Gregg Swem Library at the College of William and Mary.

A Note About The Contents Of This Wiki
The information available in this wiki is the best available from known documents and sources at the time it was written. Unfortunately, many of the early original records of the College of William and Mary were destroyed by fires, military occupation, and the normal effects of time. The information available here is the best available from known documents and sources at the time it was written. Information in this wiki is not complete as new information continues to be uncovered in the Swem Library's Special Collections Research Center and elsewhere. Researchers are strongly encouraged to use the Special Collections search tools for their research as the information contained in this wiki is by no means comprehensive.