In presenting to the Baptist denomination of East Tennessee and elsewhere, the claims of this Institution, we wish to state a few facts with regard to its locality. Mossy Creek Seminary is located on a beautiful and commanding eminence within a quarter of a mile of the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad, Jefferson county, Tennessee. At the foot of the hill on which the building stands, flows the beautiful and healthy stream from which the Institution takes its name. All are convinced that if the Baptist denomination of East Tennessee ever build up an Institution of high character, they must concentrate their strength at some central point. Now in order to ascertain this, let us take a geographical survey of East Tennessee. Commencing at the Tennessee and Virginia line and running west to Cleveland; within a few miles of the Georgia line, the distance, we find, is about two hundred miles, then the central point on this line would be one hundred miles east of Cleveland and one hundred miles west of the Tennessee and Virginia line, and that point is Mossy Creek. And again, the distance from the Cumberland to the Smoky Mountains is about one hundred miles, and the central point in this line would, of course be, fifty miles from each, and that point is Mossy Creek. - Hence all must admit that Mossy Creek is the central point of East Tennessee.
Add to this the fertility of the soil of the valley known as the Mossy Creek and New Market Valley, together with the general health, industry and morality of its inhabitants, and the location is second to none in East Tennessee. The Board of Trustees have procured a good apparatus and an endowment fund of several thousand dollars. There is still an agent in the field procuring funds. – The examination, speaking and exhibition at the close of the last session, clearly evinced to the large and respectable crowd on that occasion, the great ability of the Faculty and the untiring industry and perseverance of the students. The next session will commence the second day of October next.
C. C. T.
[The Tennessee Baptist newspaper, September 23, 1854. CD edition from m/f. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
More to this story:
Following a ten-year effort of five early East Tennessee Baptists, the school was established as Mossy Creek Missionary Baptist Seminary in 1851, the school began by holding classes in a local Baptist church. Within a few years the institution became Mossy Creek Baptist College and occupied its own buildings on the site of the present campus.
In 1880, the university was named Carson College for James Harvey Carson (1801–1880), who left $15,000 of his estate to the school. For several years it existed alongside Newman College, a separate facility for the education of women named for William Cate Newman, who had donated money to the women's college. In 1889, the two colleges united as one of the first coeducational institutions in the South. The institution operated as Carson–Newman College until 2012 when the board of trustees voted to acknowledge recent organizational changes by changing the name to Carson–Newman University.
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