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Horace Holley
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Horace Holley: Transylvania University and the Making of Liberal Education in the Early American Republic

James P. Cousins


The life of Horace Holley (1781–1827) recalls a time of intellectual promise in the American republic. The New England–born, Yale-educated, Unitarian minister was an unlikely choice for the presidency of Transylvania University in Kentucky, the first college west of the Allegheny Mountains. Kentucky’s religious leaders questioned his orthodoxy; elected officials doubted his abilities; others simply found him arrogant and elitist. As president, however, Holley ushered in a period of sustained educational and cultural growth. Transylvania blossomed under his oversight and received national atten ... More

Keywords: Horace Holley, Transylvania University, history of education, history of Kentucky, early republic, higher education, Yale University, Unitarian, history of science, U.S. history

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780813168579
Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2017 DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813168579.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

James P. Cousins, author
Western Michigan University