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Home North Carolina Wake County City of Raleigh Historical Markers St. Augustine's College

St. Augustine's College

Edenton Street at Tarboro Road, Raleigh, NC, USA

Latitude & Longitude: 35° 46' 49.8684", -78° 37' 20.0604"
  North Carolina State Historical Marker
    North Carolina State
Historical Marker
    Marker Text:
"Founded in 1867 by the Episcopal Church as a normal school for freedmen. Since 1928 a four-year college. 4 blocks N."
     Saint Augustine’s College was chartered in 1867 and began its work on January 1, 1868. Episcopal Bishop Thomas Atkinson pressed for the creation of St. Augustine’s Normal School and Collegiate Institute “for the purpose of educating teachers for the colored people of the state of North Carolina and elsewhere in the United States.” Bishop Atkinson said, “Such a school seems altogether indispensable to the effectual accomplishment of the good work on which the Church has entered,” meaning the work with freedmen.

     J. Brinton Smith, who had come to North Carolina from New Jersey in 1866 to work with the Freedmen’s Commission, was hired as the school’s first principal. On his death in 1872, he was succeeded by John E. C. Smedes. The principal’s residence was located in the center of present Blount Street at its junction with North Street, facing southward. When Blount was extended, the house, also known as the Polk or Rayner House, was moved.

     St. Augustine’s began to offer junior college courses in the early 1920s and in 1928 gained four-year college status. Despite persistent financial difficulties, St. Augustine’s ten years later “had become and remained the country’s major college for blacks sponsored by and supported by the Episcopal Church.”

Cecil D. Halliburton, A History of St. Augustine’s College, 1867-1937 (1937)
Lawrence F. London and Sarah M. Lemmon, eds., The Episcopal Church in North Carolina, 1701-1959 (1987)
Saint Augustine’s College website: http://www.st-aug.edu

St. Augustine's College Historical Marker Location Map, Raleigh, North Carolina