Opened in 1907, Hamilton room is the hub that Columbia College. Through a statue that Alexander Hamilton positioned in prior of the building, Hamilton room celebrates the tradition of an additional Founding Father.

You are watching: Columbia university hamilton hall

Special edition of The Spectatoron Hamilton opening, February 2, 1907As one orphan in St. Croix, Hamilton was acquainted with slavery in its many brutal form. The developed, at very early age, a solid distaste for the institution, as he later on referred to enslavement as a resource of instability in the brand-new republic as it interfered v America’s industrial and commercial progress. Hamilton, however, was much like his counterpart John Jay in his criticism that slavery; the work of a nascent nation, its arising ideologies, and also his ar in history trumped his anti-slavery conviction. Furthermore, Hamilton’s examine on mainland U.S. Was financed through money obtained from slavery and—again, much like Jay—he married a member the a major slaveholding new York family. Prefer the other founders, that frequently taken on the language of metaphorical slavery when referring to the British manage of America.

Despite his denial of organic Black inferiority and his support for admitting black soldiers into the Revolutionary Army, Hamilton’s priority lay v the job of developing a strong national government. The result was his silence toward the viewed injustice the slavery; black people, together he saw it, did no come before the new nation’s unity—the white man’s unity.


Hamilton’s an individual legacy is as complex as that of the building. Once Hamilton opened up in 1907, that housed the Office of the Dean and seven scholastic departments the Columbia College, which were to be under one roof because that the first time due to the fact that the University moved to Morningside Heights. Among all administrators and also professors who moved into the College’s brand-new home in 1907—listed in the Spectator’s issue on Hamilton’s opening—one have to be listed for his hidden notoriety.

List of professors ~ above the 7th floor the Hamilton, 1907 (Spectator)

William Archibald Dunning to be a professor of history and political theory at Columbia and had his office in Room 710 the Hamilton. Best known for motivating a white-supremacist institution of repair historiography called the Dunning School, the Columbia historian advocated for the return that a mechanism paralleling slavery—also well-known as Jim Crow—for the tranquil coexistence in between Black and also white gyeongju in your most organic state—that the slave and also master.

A Columbia professor who was a founder and also president the the American historic Association (AHA) and also American Political science Association (APSA), Dunning was additionally a student of Columbia. Although that was eliminated from Dartmouth College for participating in a violent crowd attack, Dunning acquired his 2nd chance at collegiate education and learning from Columbia in 1877—an chance he did not waste. Together an undergraduate, Dunning earned numerous scholarships and forged close relationships with his peers and instructors, specific his predecessor man W. Burgess—founder of the Columbia institution of Political scientific research (CSPS), which would certainly later end up being the existing Graduate college of Arts and Sciences (GSAS). Thanks to Burgess, Dunning relocated on to CSPS to earn his graduate degrees and attended the college of Berlin, where he embraced the approach of social Darwinism and the Germanic practice of scientific research in background and political science.

Under Burgess, Dunning crystallized his see on background and politics. In this sense, burgess is the de facto founder that the Dunning School, but Dunning’s influence cannot be understated. If burgess supplied the backbone of historiographical and political philosophies of the Dunning School, Dunning detailed the flesh the is that constituents. Revered for his approachability, Dunning attracted plenty of Southern students to to visit Columbia, plenty of of whom came to be a part of the Dunning School and reflected the an altering student body of the College and also University in the beforehand 20th century. Thus, the abovementioned instigator of the 1924 cross burning, john B. Rucker, have the right to be taken as the effective product that Dunning—a northern scholar—“southernizing” the north university.

Furthermore, Dunning influenced countless, for many of his students went on come teach across America. The Dunningite scholars—most that whom to be Dunning’s students in ~ Columbia—erased the nationwide memory of black color oppression and slavery v the biased archival research that just illuminated the white-Southern perspective; your students, in turn, sustained the narratives produced by Dunningites, pervading the academic sphere because that the first half the the 1900s and permeating the public sphere in the last half. Arguably, this chain that racist progression is still alive this particular day in the kind of white nationalism and institutional racism.

Dunning and his academic white-supremacy likewise inspired those that aimed to resist and re-write the Dunning school narratives. The earliest instance of such chroniclers would be W. E. B. Du Bois. In 1910, in prior of Dunning and also the AHA, Du Bois presented “Black Reconstruction and its Benefits”—what would certainly later become his seminal black color Reconstruction. Dunning praised the text, probably since he to be impressed by a black color man’s capacity to compose well.

However, Dunning is not simply significant because he was a Columbia racist. He need to be noted because his position and also influence in ~ Columbia permitted him to have an outsized affect over the scholarship and also politics that his time and also beyond.

Dean that CC Henry Coleman speaking to college student protesters during the SAS-SDS occupation of Hamilton Hall, April 23, 1968

Apart indigenous serving as the house base for Dunning in ~ Columbia, Hamilton room was one more epicenter the the 1968 protests, as it was among the five structures taken over by students and also other activists in April, 1968.

The college student protests at Columbia erupted ~ Columbia Students for a Democratic society (SDS) activists discovered financial ties between the university and the Institute because that Defense Analysis, a weapons research think tank backing American entanglement in the Vietnam War. Also addressed to be the concerns of the student Afro culture (SAS) in opposition come the building of the Morningside gym. The protests by SAS and SDS garnered assistance and energetic participation indigenous non-Columbia students and also the bordering Harlem community, leading to the college student occupation of plenty of university buildings and their eventual forced removal by the new York City Police Department.

At first, a multiracial coalition that protesters lived in the Hamilton room lobby and also held Columbia university Dean Henry S. Coleman hostage in his first-floor office. Black student activists, however, ultimately asked the white protesters to departure the building in an effort by the SAS to create independence from the SDS in the objectives and also methods. The SAS, in essence, aimed come magnify and also deter the University’s encroachment right into Harlem’s public lands through disciplined, unmoving occupation that Hamilton, conversely, the white student of SAS, together then SDS members recall, to be “ragtag, messy, arguing constantly through each other.” The SAS additionally recognized the distinct struggle for black activists to contradict popular an adverse stereotypes tying black color protesters to residential or commercial property destruction; an specifically SAS occupation in Hamilton allowed Black activists come avert potential problems with the SDS around destruction of college property.

See more: Calories In 1 Cup Chicken - Calories In 1 Cup Cooked Chicken Breast

Following the exodus that SDS protesters, the SAS declared Hamilton Hall as “Malcolm X Liberation College.” This fashionable declaration compelled Columbia to challenge the problem of race just eight days after the assassination of martin Luther King Jr. And in the midst of extensive rioting in the neighboring Harlem community.