History of the University of Pennsylvania

Document Type


Date of this Version

January 1940


All rights reserved. Except for brief quotations used for purposes of scholarly citation, none of this work may be reproduced in any form by any means without written permission from the publisher. For information address the University of Pennsylvania Press, 3905 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-4112.

Reprinted from History of the University of Pennsylvania, 1740-1940, by Edward Potts Cheyney (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1940).


In writing this book Dr. E. W. Mumford, Secretary of the University, has given me invaluable assistance at every turn and I find it difficult to express adequately my sense of obligation and gratitude to him. I can only say that without his advice and help, generously offered and unsparingly given, I would not have begun and could not have finished the book. Other officers of the University and of the alumni societies, especially Dean Pepper, Mr. George E. Nitzsche, Recorder, Mr. C. S. Thompson, Librarian, Mr. C. J. Miel, Manager of the University Fund and Mr. Horace M. Lippincott, Editor of the Pennsylvania Gazette and General Magazine have offered and given me much help.

Colleagues in the Faculty, some of them now in retirement, responded promptly, fully, and thoughtfully to my questions about their respective departments. I collected in this way much information that it has proved impossible, unfortunately, to include in this book. I hope they will not be disappointed. Limitations of space soon asserted themselves and it became evident that a single volume could include little more than an account of the establishment and early circumstances of departments that have had a long and interesting history, and a mere mention rather than a full discussion of much that was significant. Limitations of time stood equally in the way. The two years or somewhat more that have been given to the preparation of the history did not give time to gain familiarity with such a complex body as the University has come to be, beyond the vague knowledge gained by one who has grown up with it. The volume entitled The University of Pennsylvania Today provides a partial corrective to these deficiencies, and contains much material I have with a heavy heart laid aside.

Additional Files

chapter 1.pdf (1100 kB)
Chapter 1. The City

chapter 2.pdf (2598 kB)
Chapter 2. The Foundation: 1740-1755

chapter 3.pdf (5581 kB)
Chapter 3. The Colonial College: 1755-1779

chapter 4.pdf (3490 kB)
Chapter 4. Division and Reunion

chapter 5.pdf (3063 kB)
Chapter 5. Low Water: 1791-1828

chapter 6.pdf (2818 kB)
Chapter 6. The Beginning of Expansion

chapter 7.pdf (1970 kB)
Chapter 7. The Move to West Philadelphia

chapter 8.pdf (5981 kB)
Chapter 8. The Era of Expansion

chapter 9.pdf (3953 kB)
Chapter 9. Provost, Trustees and Alumni

chapter 10.pdf (1530 kB)
Chapter 10. Under a President: 1930-1940

back.pdf (2006 kB)



Date Posted: 23 May 2008