Image of William Barton Rogers to Henry Rogers William Barton Rogers to Henry Rogers
Letter, William Barton Rogers to Henry Rogers, 1846

March 13, 1846

“...such a nucleus-school would, with the growth of this active and knowledge-seeking community...soon overtop the universities of the land....”  William Barton Rogers

Everyone in the Rogers family was an enthusiast of education. Patrick Rogers and his three sons were all teachers and founders of various 19th century educational ventures. It is not surprising therefore, that Henry Darwin Rogers would be excited by an 1846 conversation with Boston industrialist John Lowell about Lowell’s concept for a new model of higher education. Immediately, Henry urged his 41 year-old brother William Barton Rogers, professor of natural history at the University of Virginia, to put his plan for a “school of practical science” on paper. Boston, it seemed to Henry, might be just the place for his brother William to realize his dream. This letter describes what is considered the original plan for MIT.

William Barton Rogers papers, MIT Institute Archives and Special Collections

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