Friday, March 14, 2008


History. Fascinating.
I taught history. At Columbia, ages go.
It was still Kings College.
Of course you did.
'New Amsterdam'

One thing I'm enjoying about 'New Amsterdam' is that John is sharing information about his past lives with his colleagues and others truthfully, but they just don't believe him.

Here's what I gleaned about King's College from Wikipedia"

Columbia College is one of the prominent undergraduate colleges at Columbia University, situated on the university's main campus of Morningside Heights in the Borough of Manhattan in the City of New York. It was founded in 1754 by the Church of England as King's College, receiving a Royal Charter from King George II of Great Britain. Columbia College is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York and the fifth oldest in the United States.

Due to the American Revolution, instruction was suspended from 1776 until 1784, but by the beginning of the war, the college had already educated some of the nation’s foremost political leaders. Even at this young age, ‘’King‘s College‘’ had already educated Alexander Hamilton, who served as military aide to General George Washington, then as the first Secretary of the United States Treasury and author of most of the Federalist Papers; John Jay, the first chief justice of the United States Supreme Court; Robert Livingston, one of the five men who with Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence; and Gouverneur Morris, who authored the actual text of the United States Constitution.

With the successful completion of the American Revolutionary War in 1783, the domestic situation was stable enough for the college to resume classes in 1784. With the new nation's independence from Great Britain, the name of the institution was changed from King’s College to Columbia College, the name by which the institution continues to be known today.

So it had to be at some point between the years 1754 and 1776 when John Amsterdam taught at King's College. And it probably had to be even later than 1754 because for a time Samuel Johnson was its only teacher. In the beginning, classes were all in Latin, so it's likely John Amsterdam is fluent in that dead language.

Toby OB

1 comment:

MediumRob said...

Oh yes. He's certainly able to speak Latin. Up until the 80s, you couldn't get into Cambridge or Oxford University in the UK unless you were fluent in Latin...