Friday, February 29, 2008

Founders' Day (Observed)

Founders' Day (Observed)
Originally uploaded by Pesky Library
The Academy celebrates its founding each March 1, the day in 1763 when Master Moody first held classes in The Little Red Schoolhouse. A little early this year, Lieutenant Governor William Dummer of the Massachusetts Bay Colony made an appearance and read from his will. He left his farm here in what was Byfield Parish along with its profits and rents for a school first named Dumm’r Charity School. Minister of the Byfield Parish Church Moses Parsons selected the first schoolmaster Samuel Moody of York, Maine on the recommendation of the Great Awakening preacher George Whitfield.

Students presented snippets of school history in The Governor’s Academy Founder’s Day Colonial Quiz for Qualifying Students Who Never Quake Answering Questions Quickly! They quickly answered questions on some of our former illustrious students including Rufus King (signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution,) Edward Preble (commander of the USS Constitution,) and Booker T. Washington, Jr. Other questions were on school history: William’s father was Jeremiah Dummer, the first American silversmith and mentor of Paul Revere who created the Academy’s seal. William Dummer freed his slaves in his will. Samuel Phillips graduated here and went on to found two academies of his own – Phillips Exeter and Phillips Andover.

A Revolutionary re-enactor's group participated and fired off salutes to William Dummer and his wife, the former Katherine Dudley. This is a wonderful celebration as it’s always good to be reminded that we are carrying through on a vision held by a remarkable man before our country was formed.

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