Born in January of 1811 Jonathan Blanchard Spent the early years of his life in the east where he was born and went to school. After college he attended Andover Theological Seminary in where he became involved with the anti-slavery movement. In 1836 Blanchard started work as a traveling lecturer for the Anti-Slavery Society, teaching and speaking against the evil of slavery in the state of Pennsylvania. While abolition was always a passion for Blanchard, it was not to be his life calling and by 1839 he was graduated from another seminary, the pastor at a Presbyterian church, and wed to Mary Bent who was to be his wife for over 50 years. In 1845 Jonathan accepted an invitation to be president of Knox College and presided there for 13 years until his stormy retirement in 1858. At this time he was invited to be president at 6 separate colleges and to be the pastor of many churches, yet in 1859 we see that Blanchard had made up his mind and was announced as the new president of the Illinois Institute in Wheaton Illinois. January of 1860 marked the beginning of 22 years of service at the school that was soon to be known as Wheaton College. During his tenure at Wheaton College Blanchard saw the school make tremendous growth and can be credited with getting Wheaton College through its early years. While teaching at Wheaton College, speaking in chapel, and leading the growth of the school as president, Blanchard managed to find time to travel extensively, raising large amounts of money for the school and always giving fiery orations against the evils of this world, whether they be slavery, intemperance, or secret-societies. Jonathan turned the job of president to his son Charles A. Blanchard in 1882. Though retired Blanchard did not rest as he continued his reforming efforts for 10 more years, even briefly running for U.S. president in 1884, until his death in 1892.
College Presidents >