Hopewell Academy by Dean Ashton

We are thrilled to add another neglected publication to the site — A completely unknown, 539-page manuscript from 1960, Hopewell Academy (Forerunner of Brown University) and the Lives of Outstanding Graduates, by Dean Henderson Ashton (1900 – 1960).

The book covers the genesis of the Hopewell Academy in the Hopewell Baptist Church in 1747, the work of Isaac Eaton in forming the school, the legacy and graduates of the school, and James Manning’s development of Brown University.

== Read Hopewell Academy (1960) (PDF) ==

Dean Ashton is the author of Be It Ever So Humble, The Story of Hopewell, New Jersey, and its Servicemen During World War II, published in 1947, a fascinating encounter with the experiences of Hopewell people in the armed forces during World War II, as well as home life around the town.  

Ashton was a journalist, and his book resulted from his work during the war writing Hopewell News, a newsletter of hometown news for service members around the world. He continued this effort for three years and fifty issues, and eventually reached a distribution of over 500 copies per issue (see separate post).

We now have scanned and posted Ashton’s typewritten manuscript for Hopewell Academy, completed before his untimely death in 1960. Unfortunately, Ashton’s research notes for this work have not survived, but this document does include his handwritten index, plus an added table of contents. The manuscript was passed on by Ashton’s sons to Jim Davidson, who kindly has provided it to share on this site.

(The Hopewell Public Library and Hopewell Museum have copies of Be It Ever So Humble, and bound copies of the full set of issues of Hopewell News.)

Table of Contents

(with chapter summaries extracted from initial paragraphs)

Chapter I 1
A spirit of discontent hovered over the Baptist church at Hopewell during early 1747
Chapter II 22
Hopewell was a challenging opportunity for Isaac Eaton
Chapter III 35
the Hopewell countryside was sparsely settled
Chapter IV 53
As a minority religion, Baptists were viewed as dissenters or “irregulars” in most of the colonies
Chapter V 85
Isaac Eaton’ s family, as well as his style of preaching
Chapter VI 89
What sort of a preacher was Isaac Eaton?
Chapter VII / John Gano 133
John Gano of Hopewell was preaching without first obtaining proper authorization
Chapter VIII / The Bold Venture – Hopewell Academy 169
Isaac Eaton was preparing a preparatory school for training young men for the Baptist ministry
Chapter IX / The Student Body 191
a roster of approximately forty-five students of Hopewell Academy baa been compiled
Chapter X / Finances 211
financial worries in connection with Hopewell Academy
Chapter XI 237
the Presbyterian College at Prince-town (Princeton), known as the College of New Jersey
Chapter XII / The “Electric Fire” Man 266
Professor Ebenezer Kinnersley proposed visit to Hopewell caused considerable apprehension
Chapter XIII – The ‘Young Parsons’ Take Charge 283
the Philadelphia Baptist Association
Chapter XIV / The Tailor Makes Trouble 296
A pair of breeches and a casual remark prompts a special meeting
Chapter XV / The Enthusiastic Hobbs 305
John and Elizabeth Hobbs provide hearty support for the Baptist educational cause
Chapter XVI / Holidays and Recreation 314
Isaac Eaton on observing Christmas and New Year’s Eve, and the use of intoxicating liquor
Chapter XVII / Dealings With Indians 329
Isaac Eaton enjoyed friendly relations with his Indian neighbors and Chief Waaghechaaghe
Chapter XVIII / Eaton As a Doctor 352
Isaac Eaton frequently was called upon to render assistance as a medical practitioner
Chapter XIX / Students’ Careers 368
“Isaac Eaton’ s boys”–the young men that he taught and inspired and then went on their way
Chapter XX / A Greater Goal 403
in 1767 the Academy ceased to exist, after eleven years’ devotion to a cause / Morgan Edwards
Chapter XXI / The Charter Fight 413
James Manning set out at the age of twenty four to round a college
Chapter XXII / The College Becomes A Reality 437
James Manning’s development of the Baptist college project
Chapter XXIII / David Howell 482
David Howell, as professor, college official, lawyer, attorney general, Congressman, and judge
Chapter XXIV / Baptist Apostle in New England 495
Hezekiah Smith decided to make a missionary tour in the South
Chapter XXV / The Great Is Fallen 513
Events in the story of Isaac Eaton’s life
Chapter XXVI / The Measure or the Man 528
appraising the life work of Isaac Eaton is beset with thorny problems

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