Shaw University
Original Author: Unknown
Created: ca. 1899
Medium: Photographic print

Shaw University, Raleigh, North Carolina

In a photograph taken about 1899, students play croquet outside the medical dormitory at Shaw University, the first black college in the South. Henry Martin Tupper founded the university, originally named Raleigh Theological Institute, in Raleigh, North Carolina. A former Union soldier, Tupper went south with his wife in 1865 as a missionary of the American Baptist Home Mission Society of New York. In Raleigh, he taught the Bible to former slaves to prepare them for the ministry, but soon decided to expand his educational offerings.

Tupper purchased land for the school using $500 he had saved from his service in the military; additional financial assistance came from the Freedmen's Bureau and the New England Freedmen's Aid Society. Raleigh Theological Institute admitted its first class in January 1869 and was coeducational from the outset. In 1875 the school was incorporated as Shaw University.