born May 1656, Banffshire, Scotland
died April 18, 1743, Williamsburg, Va. [U.S.]
James Blair 1656-1743, Church of England clergyman, missionary to colonial Virginia, and founder of the College of William and Mary, b. Scotland. At the request of the bishop of London, Blair traveled to Virginia in 1685 to revive and reform the church in the colony. He returned to England (1691) to petition for a college, which when chartered in 1693 was named William and Mary after the monarchs. Blair was made president for life. In 1694 he was appointed by the king to the Virginia council, of which he was a lifelong member (except for a brief period) and in 1740-41 president. With Henry Hartwell and Edward Chilton, Blair wrote The Present State of Virginia and the College (1727, ed. by H. D. Farish, 1940).
From: The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition | Date: 2008
Bibliography: See biography by P. Rouse (1971).
In June 1699, Virginia's General Assembly voted to move the capital of Virginia to the small, inland settlement of Middle Plantation and rename it Williamsburg in honor of the king. This vote marked the end of a decades-long effort on the part of Middle Plantation residents to promote their settlement. The men who lived there tried as early as 1677 to make Middle Plantation Virginia's capital city. It took two more decades of growth and the help of the Reverend James Blair and Governor Francis Nicholson to sway those who found Middle Plantation an unlikely site for such an important town.
Article by Jennifer Jones who is manager of the Digital History Center in the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library. Link below to full article.
In 1954 a new high school was built in Williamsburg and named in honor of the first president of William & Mary College. In length of years, James Blair High School had a short life. In 1973 James Blair High school was changed to James Blair Middle School.
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