Tag Archives: McGrawville

McGraw, New York & New York Central College

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McGraw, New York, has a long and rich history. It was the site, in 1849, of the establishment of the trailblazing New York Central College, the first college in the country to enroll students regardless of gender, color, or religious belief, and to employ black and female professors. 

Supporters of the college included Frederick Douglass, Gerritt Smith, and Horace Greely.  Among the many students and professors who went on to distinguish themselves were the sculptor Mary Edmonia Lewis, and Professor Asaph Hall, discoverer of the moons of Mars. The Edmondson sisters, black female students at the school, appear as characters in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  In addition to outstanding and wide-ranging educational opportunities, the college also served as a station on the “underground railroad,”