Daniel Lynn Carroll

H-SC President, 1835-1838

Daniel Lynn CarrollOn 30 June 1835 Trustee Stanton nominated and vigorously supported his old friend and former ministerial colleague in Connecticut, Daniel Lynn Carroll, whom nobody else had ever met; Carroll was elected.

Carroll was the first clerical president to have a full seminary as well as college education. Born poor to Irish immigrant parents (his father was Roman Catholic) in Pennsylvania, he had been a farm-hand, iron-factory foreman, music teacher, and school teacher before entering Jefferson College (now Washington and Jefferson), where he went on to graduate, at age 23, after only three years; he went to Princeton Seminary, where Archibald Alexander rated him as one of his finest pupils.

For the third time Carroll had just resigned a pulpit (this one in Brooklyn) because of illness when, unbeknownst to him, he was elected President of Hampden-Sydney; on Alexander's advice, he accepted.

On 25 September 1835 Carroll enjoyed the first full made-to-order inauguration, at which he impressed all with a lengthy address that reflected mature academic statesmanship. Carroll was a thoroughgoing intellectual, but he also had acquired worldly tastes and social graces: he danced, read novels, drank wine, had "a keen Irish wit," and was "apt to be the life any company".  Although able and effective, he was the victim of increasingly heated theological controversy in the national Presbyterian Church and in 1838 resigned.