And at its first session the newly formed Cumberland Association passed the following:
"13. Voted, to appoint a committee of seven, in union with the Lincoln, and the Bowdoinham Associations to sign a petition to the Legislature of this Commonwealth, for the incorporation of an institution in the District of Maine, for the purpose of promoting literary and theological knowledge, viz.—Elders Caleb Blood, Thomas Green, Sylvanus Boardman, Benjamin Titcomb, John Haines, Ransom Norton and Deacon Thomas Beck. And that Brother Caleb Blood lay the petition before the legislature."
It is noteworthy that in these records the purpose of the proposed institution is invariably given as the promoting of "literary and theological knowledge." If the idea was simply the establishment of a theological school, why should the word "literary" be mentioned first in every case? And inasmuch as Hebron Academy had been in operation six years, the Baptists of Maine could hardly have wished to set up a second preparatory school. The inference is plain that the proposed school was to give literary instruction of collegiate grade. This purpose is more clearly manifest in the succeeding documents.
Another point worthy of our attention, which seems to have escaped the historians of the college, is that the Rev. Caleb Blood did not present the first petition to the legislature of 1812. That duty fell to the lot of Daniel Merrill, as we shall presently see.
- Minutes of the Cumberland Association, holden at the Baptist Meeting-house in North Yarmouth, October 2 and 3, 1811. Portland Printed by J. McKown, 1811. Page 6.