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1864 Incorporation

Swarthmore Stock Certificate

Rather than put under the oversight of any yearly or quarterly meeting, the College was owned by stockholders, 6,000 of whom paid $25 per share to start the college. Their efforts took legal form on April 1, 1864, when the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania authorized Swarthmore College "to establish and maintain a school and college for the purpose of importing to persons of both sexes knowledge in the various branches of science, literature, and the arts."

After the Act of Incorporation took effect in May, the founders purchased land at Westdale in Delaware County, Pa., so that students would have the advantages of "healthful country living." A farmer was hired to work the land until the school was built.