Lyon G. Tyler Department of History

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The Department of History at the College of William and Mary is named for Lyon Gardiner Tyler, the College's seventeenth president. The History Department was created with Professor Richard Lee Morton its first chair in 1921. The department's graduate program offers a Ph.D. in American History, as well as Master's Degree Programs in American History and Comparative History. The department is currently located in James Blair Hall.

According to Tyler, an historian, History was first taught at William and Mary in 1803. In an address by Tyler to the Alpha Chapter of the PBK Society titled "Early Courses and Professors at William and Mary College", Tyler states:

"The study of history has been long emphasized at William and Mary. As we have seen several of the pre-revolutionary professors wrote histories, but the first to whom the subject was formally assigned for class work was Hugh L. Girardin (sic Louis Hue Girardin), the friend of Jefferson and historian of Virginia, who, in 1803, was professor of "Modern Languages, History and Geography. We know nothing of the details of his lectures, but it is to be assumed that the history taught was very different from the old time religious history embraced in the curriculum of Harvard in 1646, and that of the College of New Jersey in 1756."


"Appreciating the Contribution of Early Americans to the Ideals and Culture of our Country: Professionalization of Teaching Social History Williamsburg, Virginia, 1927-1943" by Andrea Kim Foster and Professor James Horton (April 1986), "History Department" folder, University Archives Subject File Collection, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.

LD6051 .W52 T8 Tucker : an address to the Alpha Chapter of the PBK Society