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Fayetteville Academy

by Jeffrey Allen Howard, 2006

James C. Dobbin, secretary of the Navy, 1852, and graduate of Fayetteville Academy. Image courtesy of North Carolina State Archives. Fayetteville Academy was chartered in 1791 and incorporated in 1799. The school, the first in Fayetteville, was headed by Presbyterian minister David Kerr (later president of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill) and enrolled males and females. The school was located on Green Street in downtown Fayetteville until it was destroyed by fire in 1831. It reopened not far away on Hay Street, remaining there until the Civil War. Notable graduates include William Rufus King (U.S. vice president, 1852) and James C. Dobbin (secretary of the navy, 1852).

The modern Fayetteville Academy was incorporated in 1969 and opened for classes in 1970. It is an independent, college preparatory school instructing students in grades prekindergarten through 12. It has no legal charter connection to the original school but was intended by its founders to live up to that predecessor's tradition. The academy emphasizes "academics, competitive athletics, creative fine arts, and a commitment to moral values based upon Judeo-Christian heritage." In the early 2000s the school enrolled approximately 430 students, about 17 percent of whom came from military families.




Additional Resources:

James C. Dobbin, NC Highway Historical Marker I-4:

Fayetteville Academy:

The history of education in North Carolina, Issue 2 by Charles Lee Smith.

Image Credit:

James C. Dobbin, secretary of the Navy, 1852, and graduate of Fayetteville Academy. Image courtesy of North Carolina State Archives. Available from (Accessed November 7, 2012).

Origin - location: 

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