Early University History
Over the course of its first 150 years, Washington University in St. Louis has made remarkable progress, growing from a college educating local men and women to an internationally known research university with students and faculty from approximately 90 countries.
You can see and read some of Washington University’s history in the documents linked below. Items range from the earliest surviving letter detailing Washington University to our Inaugural Address delivered by the Honorable Wayman Crow and William G. Eliot – and more. Please enjoy.
- 1853, Letter from Crow to Eliot is the earliest surviving letter concerning Washington University. A full transcription and further information about this document are available online.
- 1854, Charter and Constitution, Washington Institute in St. Louis the first publication from Washington University
- 1858, O’Fallon Polytechnic Institute: Its Objects and Present Condition, St. Louis. The early branch of the University was devoted to engineering and mechanical/scientific study.
- 1863, A eulogy on the late Chancellor Joseph Gibson Hoyt of Washington University, delivered at the Hall of the University, St. Louis, Jan. 20, 1863.
- 1872, Inaugural Addresses delivered before the Government and Alumni of Washington University by Honorable Wayman Crow, vice-president, and William G. Eliot, president. February 29, 1872 (Library Call no. LD 5797.5 1872)
- 1885, Report of the Deans – Concerning the Work of the Undergraduate Department.
- 1886, A Plan for the Further Development of the Polytechnic School.
- 1908, A University for the Southwest, by Chancellor David Huston. Address delivered before the Commercial Club of St. Louis.
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Explore the Collections with the links indicated above.
- Special Collections Management, Special Collections Services
- Sonya Rooney
- Job Title
- University Archivist
- Email Address
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- (314) 935-9730