Williams, Ephraim

Williams, Ephraim,

1715–55, American soldier, founder of Williams CollegeWilliams College,
at Williamstown, Mass.; coeducational; chartered 1785, opened as a free school 1791, became a college 1793, named for Ephraim Williams. The Williams campus, noted for its fine old buildings, includes West College (1790), the Van Rensselaer Manor House (moved
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, b. Newton, Mass. After several years as a sailor, he lived in Massachusetts and took part in defending the frontier against Native Americans. He was a captain in King George's War. In recognition of his service he was given command of the Massachusetts posts W of the Connecticut River and 200 acres (80.9 hectares) of land in Massachusetts, where Adams and Williamstown now stand. Made a colonel in 1755, Williams was killed leading troops of Sir William Johnson's command in the first action of the battle of Lake George in the French and Indian War. His will directed that his property be used for establishing a free school. Out of the academy thus founded at Williamstown, Williams College developed.
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