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Office of the President (Alpheus Crosby)

Identifier: A2.1.2

Scope and Contents

The records of Alpheus Crosby's tenure are primarily devoted to correspondence between Crosby and Nathaniel Ingersoll Bowditch. Bowditch was a donor to the Salem Normal School; he funded financial aid for students who couldn't afford to attend the school. Both Crosby and Bowditch took special interest in funding Charlotte Forten's attendance in the Advanced program. Crosby also corresponded with members of the Bowditch fund after Nathaniel died and left a bequest to the school.


  • 1860-1865


Biographical / Historical

Alpheus Crosby became the second Principal of the Salem Normal School on October 29, 1857. Crosby was born on October 13, 1810 in Gilmanton, NH. He was an academic prodigy and entered Dartmouth at the age of 13. He was graduated from Dartmouth in 1827. He entered Andover Theological School and received his license to preach in 1833. Rather than becoming a minister, Crosby accepted a position as chair in Greek language and literature at Dartmouth. In 1854, he was appointed as an agent to the Massachusetts Board of Education. When Richard Edwards resigned from his post as Salem Normal School Principal in 1857, Crosby was appointed. Crosby brought a strong sense of social justice to the normal school. He was committed to women's education, temperance, and abolitionism. He was also an education reformer who believed that women should get as strong a liberal arts education as men. He reformed the curriculum and raised admission standards. After the Civil War ended in 1865, Crosby resigned to become editor of The Right Way, a paper that advocated for the rights of the newly freed slaves. He was also a founder of the Salem Freedman's Aid Society. Crosby died in 1874 after a short illness.


.19 Cubic Feet

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Repository Details

Part of the Salem State University Archives and Special Collections Repository

University Archivist
352 Lafayette St.
Salem MA 01970 United States