Nathan Lord

Nathan Lord (November 28, 1793 September 9, 1870) was a U.S. Congregational clergyman and educator who served as president of Dartmouth College for more than three decades.

Nathan Lord
6th President of Dartmouth College
In office
Preceded byBennet Tyler
Succeeded byAsa Dodge Smith
Personal details
Born(1793-11-28)November 28, 1793
Berwick, Maine
DiedSeptember 9, 1870(1870-09-09) (aged 77)
Hanover, New Hampshire

He graduated from Bowdoin College in 1809, attended Andover Theological Seminary. He served as president of Dartmouth College from 1828 to 1863. Lord was able to bring the college out of debt, improve the overall curriculum, and raise admission levels.

He was a founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society,[1]:264 and in 1833 was its Vice President.[2] But his views on slavery changed dramatically; he came to see it as "not a moral evil", but "an ordinance of...God",[3]:30 which "providentially found a settlement in this country".[3]:26 These views and his opposition to the Civil War,[4] which he blamed on abolitionists,[2]brought a storm of controversy, earning him the enmity of several members of the Dartmouth Board of Trustees, including Amos Tuck (1835), a founding member of the Republican Party and close friend of Abraham Lincoln. Matters came to a head in 1863 when the Trustees were deadlocked on awarding an honorary degree to President Lincoln, and Lord broke the tie by voting against it. The Trustees issued a statement: "Neither the trustees nor the Faculty coincide with the president of the College in the views which he has published, touching slavery and the war; and it has been our hope that the College would not be judged a partisan institution by reason of such publications."[2] Lord tendered his resignation.

He continued as an active member of the Dartmouth College community, in Hanover, New Hampshire, until his death in 1870.


  1. Irvine, Russell W.; Dunkerton, Donna Zani (Winter 1998). "The Noyes Academy, 1834-35: The Road to the Oberlin Collegiate Institute and the Higher Education of African-Americans in the Nineteenth Century". Western Journal of Black Studies. 22 (4). pp. 260–273 via Ebscohost.
  2. Lawhon, Samuel W. (October 10, 2016). "A History of Opposition". =Dartmouth Review. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  3. Lord, Nathan (1854). A letter of inquiry to ministers of the gospel of all denominations, on slavery. By a Northern Presbyter. Boston: Fetridge and Company.
  4. John Scales, "Biographical Sketches of the Class of 1863, Dartmouth College" p 39
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