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Q: oldest independent school ( Answered,   3 Comments )
Subject: oldest independent school
Category: Reference, Education and News > Education
Asked by: latoriahaven-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 09 Jul 2004 11:00 PDT
Expires: 08 Aug 2004 11:00 PDT
Question ID: 371906
I am trying to find out what the oldest independant school is in
America.  So far the oldest was in the mid 1800's and I know there
must be something earlier from the 1700's.
Subject: Re: oldest independent school
Answered By: juggler-ga on 09 Jul 2004 11:28 PDT

The Collegiate School in New York City was founded in 1628.  As such,
it is the oldest independent school in America.

"Collegiate School is the oldest independent school in the United
States. Tracing its origins to 1628, the school was established by the
Dutch West India Company and the Classis of Amsterdam, the parent
ecclesiastical body of the Dutch Reformed Church for the colonists of
New Amsterdam."

Official site:
"Collegiate is the oldest independent school in the United States. It
was founded in 1628 by the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church as a
school for children of Dutch colonists"

search strategy:
"oldest independent school"
collegiate "oldest independent" 1628

I hope this helps.
Subject: Re: oldest independent school
From: splashy-ga on 09 Jul 2004 17:32 PDT
ACTUALLY Collegiate is not really the oldest independant school.  It
claims the date (1628) of another school that had started then but
subsequently CLOSED FOR SEVERAL YEARS.  When a new school opened (with
SOME of the faculty of the original school), they falsely claimed the
old start date!

In truth, the oldest CONTINUALLY-OPERATING independant school in
America is the Trinity School in New York City, which was founded in
1709.  Hope this clarification helps!
Subject: Re: oldest independent school
From: juggler-ga on 09 Jul 2004 18:50 PDT

I can find no evidence to support your contention that Collegiate is
not the same school that started in the 1600s.  Please cite your

I checked the New York Times archive [ ].  Article
after article in the New York Times refer to Collegiate as Manhattan's
oldest independent school.

300TH YEAR MARKED BY CHURCH SCHOOL; Collegiate Institution, Oldest of
Kind in Country, Holds a Service of Thanksgiving.
New York Times. Mar 6, 1933. p. 29 

Manhattan's Oldest School
DONALD C. PLATTEN,. New York Times: Jun 19, 1961. p. 26 

There is some disagreement over whether Collegiate started in 1628,
1633, or 1638.   This controversy is mentioned in the following

COLLEGIATE SCHOOL MARKS 300TH YEAR; Oldest in City, It Celebrates in
Spite of Controversy Over Date of Founding.
New York Times  Mar 23, 1933. p. 19

Collegiate's Arithmetic Makes It Oldest School
New York Times. : May 5, 1985. p. 54

This controversy may make a difference in terms of whether the school
is older than a public school such as Boston Latin, but it doesn't
affect whether it's the oldest independent school.
Subject: Re: oldest independent school
From: juggler-ga on 09 Jul 2004 19:12 PDT
From the New York Times:

"Founded in 1709 in the Tower of the old Trinity Church, at Broadway
and Wall Street, the school is the fifth oldest in the United States
and the oldest continuous school in New York City.
The Collegiate School, at 241 West 77th Street, was founded in 1638,
but suspended operations during the Revolutionary War while Trinity
carried on."

source: TRINITY SCHOOL WILL ADMIT GIRLS; Institution Founded in 1709
Plans Change Next Fall
By GENE CURRIVAN. New York Times: Feb 12, 1971. p. 35 

Thus, while the New York Times clearly indicates that Collegiate
suspended operations during the Revolutionary War while Trinity
didn't, there's no suggestion that Collegiate is a different school
than the one founded in the 1600s.

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