Skip to Main Content

Yale History Timeline: 1701 - 1709

1701 - September 9, 1708

Circa 1700-1701

A group of ten Congregationalist ministers meet in a home in Branford, Connecticut, near New Haven, to donate books "for the founding of a College in this Colony."

1701 Spring/Summer

An undated document entitled "Proposals for Erecting an UNIVERSITY in the Renowned Colony of Connecticut" is circulated.

1701 October 9

"An act for Liberty to erect a Collegiate School ... wherein Youth may be instructed in the Arts & Sciences who thorough the blessings of Almighty God may be fitted for Publick employment both in Church & Civil State" is passed by the General Court of the Colony of Connecticut.

1701 October 16

Major James Fitch of Plainfield, one of the Governor's Assistants, offered to give a farm of 637 acres and building materials "for farther promoating, of this God pleasing worke ...." The same day the colonial Assembly of Connecticut voted "£120 in country pay, to be paid annually'' in support of the College.

1701 November 11

The Trustees met in Saybrook and voted to locate the School there, with Rev. Mr. Abraham Pierson as Rector.

1702 March

Jacob Heminway, born in East Haven in 1683, was received at the Rector's house in Killingworth (now Clinton), Connecticut, becoming the first student at the new Collegiate School.

1702 September 16

The first Commencement held in Saybrook at the house of the Rev. Thomas Buckingham, Trustee. The degree of Master of Arts ad eundem was conferred on four graduates of Harvard; Nathaniel Chauncey was awarded the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts.

1702 September 30

The first tutor appointed to assist the Rector.

1703 September 15

The degree of Bachelor of Arts first conferred for work in course.

1703 October 21

The Governor and Council granted permission to the Trustees "for the raising such a summe or summes within this Colonie by a brief or such like method as shall be needfull for procuring and upholding a tutor, and for further promoting of the said school by building or otherwise ...."


After operating temporarily in the Rector's home in Killingworth, the School moved to Saybrook.

1707 March 5

Death of Rector Abraham Pierson.

1708 September 9

The "Saybrook Platform" of ecclesiastical discipline was drawn up by Synod composed of eight Trustees, four other ministers, and four laymen.


Profile Photo
Manuscripts and Archives
Manuscripts and Archives

Yale University Library

P.O. Box 208240

New Haven, CT 06520-8240

(203) 432-1735