The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Slavery is any system in which principles of property law are applied to people, allowing individuals to own and sell other individuals, as a de jure form of property. A slave works without remuneration. Many scholars now use the term chattel slavery to refer to this specific sense of legalised, de jure slavery. In a broader sense, the word slavery may refer to any situation in which an individual is de facto forced to work against their own will. Scholars use the more generic terms such as unfree labour or forced labour to refer to such situations. However, under slavery in broader senses of the word, slaves may have some rights and protections according to laws or customs. Slavery existed in many cultures since the time before written history. A person could capture, or purchase. Slavery was legal in most societies at some time in the past, but is now outlawed in all recognized countries; the last country to abolish slavery was Mauritania in 2007. There are an estimated 40.3 million people worldwide subject to some form of modern slavery.
The most common form of modern slave trade is referred to as human trafficking. In other areas, slavery continues through practices such as debt bondage, the most widespread form of slavery today, domestic servants kept in captivity, certain adoptions in which children are forced to work as slaves, child soldiers, forced marriage; the English word slave comes from Old French sclave, from the Medieval Latin sclavus, from the Byzantine Greek σκλάβος, which, in turn, comes from the ethnonym Slav, because in some early Medieval wars many Slavs were captured and enslaved. An older interpretation connected it to the Greek verb skyleúo'to strip a slain enemy'. There is a dispute among historians about whether terms such as unfree labourer or enslaved person, rather than "slave", should be used when describing the victims of slavery. According to those proposing a change in terminology, including Andi Cumbo-Floyd, slave perpetuates the crime of slavery in language. Other historians prefer slave because the term is familiar and shorter, or because it reflects the inhumanity of slavery, with "person" implying a degree of autonomy that slavery does not allow for.
Indenture, otherwise known as bonded labour or debt bondage, is a form of unfree labour under which a person pledges himself or herself against a loan. The services required to repay the debt, their duration, may be undefined. Debt bondage can be passed on from generation to generation, with children required to pay off their progenitors' debt, it is the most widespread form of slavery today. Debt bondage is most prevalent in South Asia. Chattel slavery called traditional slavery, is so named because people are treated as the chattel of the owner and are bought and sold as commodities. Under the chattel slave system, slave status was imposed on children of the enslaved at birth. Although it dominated many different societies throughout human history, this form of slavery has been formally abolished and is rare today; when it can be said to survive, it is not upheld by the legal system of any internationally recognized government. "Slavery" has been used to refer to a legal state of dependency to somebody else.
For example, in Persia, the situations and lives of such slaves could be better than those of common citizens. Forced labour, or unfree labour, is sometimes used to refer to when an individual is forced to work against their own will, under threat of violence or other punishment, but the generic term unfree labour is used to describe chattel slavery, as well as any other situation in which a person is obliged to work against their own will and a person's ability to work productively is under the complete control of another person; this may include institutions not classified as slavery, such as serfdom and penal labour. While some unfree labourers, such as serfs, have substantive, de jure legal or traditional rights, they have no ability to terminate the arrangements under which they work, are subject to forms of coercion and restrictions on their activities and movement outside their place of work. Human trafficking involves women and children forced into prostitution and is the fastest growing form of forced labour, with Thailand, India and Mexico having been identified as leading hotspots of commercial sexual exploitation of children.
Examples of sexual slavery in military contexts, include detention in "rape camps" or "comfort stations," "comfort women", forced "marriages" to soldiers and other practices involving the treatment of women or men as chattel and, as such, violations of the peremptory norm prohibiting slavery. In 2007, Human Rights Watch estimated that 200,000 to 300,000 children served as soldiers in current conflicts. More girls under 16 work as domestic workers than any other category of child labor sent to cities by parents living in rural poverty such as in restaveks in Haiti. Forced marriages or early marriages are considered types of slavery. Forced marriage continues to be practiced in parts of the world including some parts of Asia and Africa and in immigrant communities in the West. Sacred prostitution is where girls and women are pledged to priests or those of higher castes, such as the practice of Devadasi in South Asia or fetish slaves in West Africa. Marriage by abduction occurs in many places in the world today, with a national average of 69% of marriages in
2010 United States Census
The 2010 United States Census is the twenty-third and most recent United States national census. National Census Day, the reference day used for the census, was April 1, 2010; the census was taken via mail-in citizen self-reporting, with enumerators serving to spot-check randomly selected neighborhoods and communities. As part of a drive to increase the count's accuracy, 635,000 temporary enumerators were hired; the population of the United States was counted as 308,745,538, a 9.7% increase from the 2000 Census. This was the first census in which all states recorded a population of over half a million, as well as the first in which all 100 largest cities recorded populations of over 200,000; as required by the United States Constitution, the U. S. census has been conducted every 10 years since 1790. The 2000 U. S. Census was the previous census completed. Participation in the U. S. Census is required by law in Title 13 of the United States Code. On January 25, 2010, Census Bureau Director Robert Groves inaugurated the 2010 Census enumeration by counting World War II veteran Clifton Jackson, a resident of Noorvik, Alaska.
More than 120 million census forms were delivered by the U. S. Post Office beginning March 15, 2010; the number of forms mailed out or hand-delivered by the Census Bureau was 134 million on April 1, 2010. Although the questionnaire used April 1, 2010 as the reference date as to where a person was living, an insert dated March 15, 2010 included the following printed in bold type: "Please complete and mail back the enclosed census form today." The 2010 Census national mail participation rate was 74%. From April through July 2010, census takers visited households that did not return a form, an operation called "non-response follow-up". In December 2010, the U. S. Census Bureau delivered population information to the U. S. President for apportionment, in March 2011, complete redistricting data was delivered to states. Identifiable information will be available in 2082; the Census Bureau did not use a long form for the 2010 Census. In several previous censuses, one in six households received this long form, which asked for detailed social and economic information.
The 2010 Census used only a short form asking ten basic questions: How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment, or mobile home on April 1, 2010? Were there any additional people staying here on April 1, 2010 that you did not include in Question 1? Mark all that apply: Is this house, apartment, or mobile home – What is your telephone number? What is Person 1's name? What is Person 1's sex? What is Person 1's age and Person 1's date of birth? Is Person 1 of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin? What is Person 1's race? Does Person 1 sometimes live or stay somewhere else? The form included space to repeat all of these questions for up to twelve residents total. In contrast to the 2000 census, an Internet response option was not offered, nor was the form available for download. Detailed socioeconomic information collected during past censuses will continue to be collected through the American Community Survey; the survey provides data about communities in the United States on a 1-year or 3-year cycle, depending on the size of the community, rather than once every 10 years.
A small percentage of the population on a rotating basis will receive the survey each year, no household will receive it more than once every five years. In June 2009, the U. S. Census Bureau announced. However, the final form did not contain a separate "same-sex married couple" option; when noting the relationship between household members, same-sex couples who are married could mark their spouses as being "Husband or wife", the same response given by opposite-sex married couples. An "unmarried partner" option was available for couples; the 2010 census cost $13 billion $42 per capita. Operational costs were $5.4 billion under the $7 billion budget. In December 2010 the Government Accountability Office noted that the cost of conducting the census has doubled each decade since 1970. In a detailed 2004 report to Congress, the GAO called on the Census Bureau to address cost and design issues, at that time, had estimated the 2010 Census cost to be $11 billion. In August 2010, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced that the census operational costs came in under budget.
Locke credited the management practices of Census Bureau director Robert Groves, citing in particular the decision to buy additional advertising in locations where responses lagged, which improved the overall response rate. The agency has begun to rely more on questioning neighbors or other reliable third parties when a person could not be reached at home, which reduced the cost of follow-up visits. Census data for about 22% of U. S. househol
1940 United States Census
The Sixteenth United States Census, conducted by the Census Bureau, determined the resident population of the United States to be 132,164,569, an increase of 7.3 percent over the 1930 population of 123,202,624 people. The census date of record was April 1, 1940. A number of new questions were asked including where people were 5 years before, highest educational grade achieved, information about wages; this census introduced sampling techniques. Other innovations included a field test of the census in 1939; this was the first census in which every state had a population greater than 100,000. The 1940 census collected the following information: In addition, a sample of individuals were asked additional questions covering age at first marriage and other topics. Full documentation on the 1940 census, including census forms and a procedural history, is available from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series. Following completion of the census, the original enumeration sheets were microfilmed; as required by Title 13 of the U.
S. Code, access to identifiable information from census records was restricted for 72 years. Non-personally identifiable information Microdata from the 1940 census is available through the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series. Aggregate data for small areas, together with electronic boundary files, can be downloaded from the National Historical Geographic Information System. On April 2, 2012—72 years after the census was taken—microfilmed images of the 1940 census enumeration sheets were released to the public by the National Archives and Records Administration; the records are indexed only by enumeration district upon initial release. Official 1940 census website 1940 Census Records from the U. S. National Archives and Records Administration 1940 Federal Population Census Videos, training videos for enumerators at the U. S. National Archives Selected Historical Decennial Census Population and Housing Counts from the U. S. Census Bureau Snow, Michael S. "Why the huge interest in the 1940 Census?"
CNN. Monday April 9, 2012. 1941 U. S Census Report Contains 1940 Census results 1940 Census Questions Hosted at CensusFinder.com
Madison County, Missouri
Madison County is a county located in the Lead Belt region of the U. S. state of Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the population was 12,226, its county seat and largest city is Fredericktown. The county was organized on December 14, 1818, was named after President James Madison. Mining has been a key industry in this area with Madison County recorded as having the oldest lead mine west of the Mississippi River. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 498 square miles, of which 494 square miles is land and 3.2 square miles is water. St. Francois County Perry County Bollinger County Wayne County Iron County U. S. Route 67 Route 72 Mark Twain National Forest As of the census of 2000, there were 11,800 people, 4,711 households, 3,330 families residing in the county; the population density was 24 people per square mile. There were 5,656 housing units at an average density of 11 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 98.30% White, 0.13% Black or African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.29% Asian, 0.20% from other races, 0.83% from two or more races.
0.56% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 4,711 households out of which 31.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.40% were married couples living together, 10.10% had a female householder with no husband present, 29.30% were non-families. 25.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.30% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.93. In the county, the population was spread out with 24.60% under the age of 18, 7.90% from 18 to 24, 26.30% from 25 to 44, 23.30% from 45 to 64, 18.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 92.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.70 males. The median income for a household in the county was $30,421, the median income for a family was $37,474. Males had a median income of $27,670 versus $15,909 for females; the per capita income for the county was $15,825.
About 12.80% of families and 17.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.60% of those under age 18 and 16.20% of those age 65 or over. According to the Association of Religion Data Archives County Membership Report, Madison County is a part of the Bible Belt with evangelical Protestantism being the majority religion; the most predominant denominations among residents in Madison County who adhere to a religion are Southern Baptists, Independent/Non-Charismatic Churches, National Association of Free Will Baptists. Of adults 25 years of age and older in Madison County, 68.6% possesses a high school diploma while 7.8% holds a bachelor's degree as their highest educational attainment. Fredericktown R-I School District - Fredericktown Fredericktown Elementary School Fredericktown Intermediate School Fredericktown Middle School Fredericktown High School Marquand-Zion R-VI School District - Marquand Marquand-Zion Elementary School Marquand-Zion High School Faith Christian Academy - Fredericktown Fredericktown Branch Library Both the Republican and Democratic parties split control of the local elected offices in Madison County.
All of Madison County is a part of Missouri’s 156th District in the Missouri House of Representatives and is represented by Shelley Keeney. The 156th District includes all of Madison counties as well as most of Wayne County. All of Madison County is a part of Missouri's 27th District in the Missouri Senate and is represented by State Senator Jason Crowell. Crowell defeated Linda Sanders by a two-to-one margin, 64.24-35.76 percent in the district. The 27th Senatorial District includes all of BollingerCape Girardeau, Mississippi and Scott counties. Madison County is included in Missouri’s 8th Congressional District and is represented by Jason T. Smith in the U. S. House of Representatives. Smith won a special election on Tuesday, June 4, 2013, to finish out the remaining term of U. S. Representative Jo Ann Emerson. Emerson announced her resignation a month after being reelected with over 70 percent of the vote in the district, she resigned to become CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative. In the 2008 Missouri Presidential Preference Primary, voters in Madison County from both political parties supported candidates who finished in second place in the state at large and nationally.
Former U. S. Senator Hillary Clinton received more votes in Madison County during the 2008 primaries than any candidate from either party. Fredericktown Marquand Cobalt Junction City Cherokee Pass Mine La Motte Castor Station Millcreek Oak Grove Saco Saint Michel Zion National Register of Historic Places listings in Madison County, Missouri Digitized 1930 Plat Book of Madison County from University of Missouri Division of Special Collections and Rare Books
1890 United States Census
The Eleventh United States Census was taken beginning June 2, 1890. It determined the resident population of the United States to be 62,979,766—an increase of 25.5 percent over the 50,189,209 persons enumerated during the 1880 census. The data was tabulated by machine for the first time; the data reported that the distribution of the population had resulted in the disappearance of the American frontier. Most of the 1890 census materials were destroyed in a 1921 fire and fragments of the US census population schedule exist only for the states of Alabama, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, the District of Columbia; this was the first census in which a majority of states recorded populations of over one million, as well as the first in which multiple cities – New York as of 1880, Philadelphia – recorded populations of over one million. The census saw Chicago rank as the nation's second-most populous city, a position it would hold until 1990, in which Los Angeles would supplant it.
The 1890 census collected the following information: The 1890 census was the first to be compiled using methods invented by Herman Hollerith and was overseen by Superintendents Robert P. Porter and Carroll D. Wright. Data was entered on a machine readable medium, punched cards, tabulated by machine; the net effect of the many changes from the 1880 census: the larger population, the number of data items to be collected, the Census Bureau headcount, the volume of scheduled publications, the use of Hollerith's electromechanical tabulators, was to reduce the time required to process the census from eight years for the 1880 census to six years for the 1890 census. The total population of 62,947,714, the family, or rough, was announced after only six weeks of processing; the public reaction to this tabulation was disbelief, as it was believed that the "right answer" was at least 75,000,000. The United States census of 1890 showed a total of 248,253 Native Americans living in the United States, down from 400,764 Native Americans identified in the census of 1850.
The 1890 census announced that the frontier region of the United States no longer existed, that the Census Bureau would no longer track the westward migration of the U. S. population. Up to and including the 1880 census, the country had a frontier of settlement. By 1890, isolated bodies of settlement had broken into the unsettled area to the extent that there was hardly a frontier line; this prompted Frederick Jackson Turner to develop his Frontier Thesis. The original data for the 1890 Census is no longer available. All the population schedules were damaged in a fire in the basement of the Commerce Building in Washington, D. C. in 1921. Some 25 % of the materials were presumed another 50 % damaged by smoke and water; the damage to the records led to an outcry for a permanent National Archives. In December 1932, following standard federal record-keeping procedures, the Chief Clerk of the Bureau of the Census sent the Librarian of Congress a list of papers to be destroyed, including the original 1890 census schedules.
The Librarian was asked by the Bureau to identify any records which should be retained for historical purposes, but the Librarian did not accept the census records. Congress authorized destruction of that list of records on February 21, 1933, the surviving original 1890 census records were destroyed by government order by 1934 or 1935; the other censuses for which some information has been lost are the 1810 enumerations. Few sets of microdata from the 1890 census survive, but aggregate data for small areas, together with compatible cartographic boundary files, can be downloaded from the National Historical Geographic Information System. Mayo-Smith, Richmond, "The Eleventh Census of the United States". In: The Economic Journal, Vol. 1, p. 43 - 58 1891 U. S Census Report Contains 1890 Census results Historical US Census data from the U. S. Census Bureau website Hollerith 1890 Census Tabulator by Columbia University "The Fate of the 1890 Population Census" from the National Archives website
Rhode Island the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest state in area, the seventh least populous, the second most densely populated, it has the longest official name of any state. Rhode Island is bordered by Connecticut to the west, Massachusetts to the north and east, the Atlantic Ocean to the south via Rhode Island Sound and Block Island Sound, it shares a small maritime border with New York. Providence is most populous city in Rhode Island. On May 4, 1776, the Colony of Rhode Island was the first of the Thirteen Colonies to renounce its allegiance to the British Crown, it was the fourth among the newly independent states to ratify the Articles of Confederation on February 9, 1778; the state boycotted the 1787 convention which drew up the United States Constitution and refused to ratify it. Rhode Island's official nickname is "The Ocean State", a reference to the large bays and inlets that amount to about 14 percent of its total area.
Despite its name, most of Rhode Island is located on the mainland of the United States. Its official name is State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, derived from the merger of four Colonial settlements; the settlements of Newport and Portsmouth were situated on what is called Aquidneck Island today, but it was called Rhode Island in Colonial times. Providence Plantation was the name of the colony founded by Roger Williams in the area now known as the city of Providence; this was adjoined by the settlement of Warwick. It is unclear how the island came to be named Rhode Island, but two historical events may have been of influence: Explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano noted the presence of an island near the mouth of Narragansett Bay in 1524 which he likened to the island of Rhodes. Subsequent European explorers were unable to identify the island that Verrazzano had named, but the Pilgrims who colonized the area assumed that it was this island. Adriaen Block passed by the island during his expeditions in the 1610s, he described it in a 1625 account of his travels as "an island of reddish appearance,", "een rodlich Eylande" in 17th-century Dutch, one popular notion is that this Dutch phrase might have influenced the name Rhode Island.
The earliest documented use of the name "Rhode Island" for Aquidneck was in 1637 by Roger Williams. The name was applied to the island in 1644 with these words: "Aquethneck shall be henceforth called the Isle of Rodes or Rhode-Island." The name "Isle of Rodes" is used in a legal document as late as 1646. Dutch maps as early as 1659 call the island "Red Island". Roger Williams was a theologian, forced out of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, seeking religious and political tolerance, he and others founded Providence Plantation as a free proprietary colony. "Providence" referred to the concept of divine providence, "plantation" was an English term for a colony. "State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations" is the longest official name of any state in the Union. In recent years, the word plantation in the state's name became a contested issue, the Rhode Island General Assembly voted on June 25, 2009 to hold a general referendum determining whether "and Providence Plantations" would be dropped from the official name.
Advocates for excising plantation claimed that the word symbolized an alleged legacy of disenfranchisement for many Rhode Islanders, as well as the proliferation of slavery in the colonies and in the post-colonial United States. Rhode Island abolished slavery in 1652, but the law was not enforced and, by the early 18th century, it was "the epicenter of the North American slave trade", according to the Brown Daily Herald. Advocates for retaining the name argued that plantation was an archaic synonym for colony and bore no relation to slavery; the referendum election was held on November 2, 2010, the people voted overwhelmingly to retain the entire original name. In 1636, Roger Williams was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for his religious views, he settled at the top of Narragansett Bay on land sold or given to him by Narragansett sachem Canonicus, he named the site Providence Plantations, "having a sense of God's merciful providence unto me in my distress", it became a place of religious freedom where all were welcome.
In 1638, Anne Hutchinson, William Coddington, John Clarke, Philip Sherman, other religious dissenters settled on Aquidneck Island, purchased from the local tribes who called it Pocasset. This settlement was governed by the Portsmouth Compact; the southern part of the island became the separate settlement of Newport after disagreements among the founders. Samuel Gorton purchased lands at Shawomet in 1642 from the Narragansetts, precipitating a dispute with the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1644, Providence and Newport united for their common independence as the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, governed by an elected council and "president". Gorton received a separate charter for his settlement in 1648 which he named Warwick after his patron. Brown University was founded in 1764 as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, it was one of nine Colonial colleges granted charters before the American Revolution, but was the first college in America to accept students regardless of religious affilia