Copyright notice

This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

Printer-friendly page

Louisburg Male Academy

by George-Anne Willard, 2006

Franklin Male Academy. Image courtesy of Town of Louisburg.Louisburg Male Academy, known as Franklin Male Academy until the late 1820s, was chartered by the North Carolina General Assembly on 6 Jan. 1787 and rechartered on 18 Dec. 1802. Located on the east side of the original town commons of Louisburg, the academy opened to students on 1 Jan. 1805 as the first school in Franklin County.

The first advertisement for the academy indicated that students would be taught subjects that included writing, arithmetic, English grammar, geography, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, French, and philosophy. The first principal (1805-8) was Connecticut native and Yale graduate Matthew Dickinson. The principals with the longest tenures included Franklin County natives and University of North Carolina graduates John B. Bobbitt (1816-20, 1832-44) and Matthew S. Davis (1856-80). Over the years, the academy prepared numerous students for admission to the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill; in its most successful years, enrollment probably did not exceed 100 students. In 1905 the academy property was conveyed to the Louisburg graded school and in 1961 was acquired by Louisburg College. Somewhat to the northeast of its original location, the old academy building remains on Louisburg's campus.


George-Anne Willard, Louisburg College Echoes: Voices from the Formative Years, 1787-1917, with a Summary of the Expansion Years, 1917-1987 (1988).

Additional Resources:

The First Century of the First State University, DocSouth, UNC:

Louisburg College History:

Image Credit:

Franklin Male Academy. Image courtesy of Town of Louisburg. Available from (accessed November 5, 2012).

Origin - location: