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Mercer University Presidents

Nathaniel Macon Crawford 1854-1856, 1858-1866

  • Supported the creation of a military company on campus in 1861
  • Ensured that classes continued throughout the Civil War and that the university survived
  • By necessity, reduced the faculty to three in 1862
  • Raised professors' salaries to $3,000 in 1864 during a period of inflation
  • Found it impossible to pay the faculty in 1866 at the close of the war
  • Provided boarding for eleven students in his home in 1860-1861
  • Quick bio: (1811-1871); A.M. and D.D.; spouse: Anne Katherine Lazar (c.1840)


Letter from Crawford to B. P. Oneal, father of a prospective student/boarder, July 21, 1863:

"Board next term will probably be thirty four dollars (perhaps 40) a month, exclusive of lights, washing &c. It was down last term but money was lost by it. Our people have to buy every thing & the common necessaries of life are so high that those who have boarded will have either to raise the price or close their houses."

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