Nathaniel Smith (1759-1833)

Nathaniel Smith was the founder and president of the Sunderland Bank and served as a trustee from 1821 until 1825.  He was a member of the Prudential Committee and was by far the largest pecuniary benefactor of the College during its first ten years.

When Adam Johnson bequeathed the $4,000 that would fund the building of Johnson Chapel, his will was contested by members of the family.  It was Nathaniel Smith who helped to show that the gift was what Johnson had truly wanted, and he made Johnson Chapel a reality for the College.

At the time of his death, Mr. Smith was worth $30,000.  He had already given the College $8,000 during his lifetime.  In his will, he gave an additional $4,000.  In his eulogy, Amherst President Heman Humphrey said of Smith, "He was not in word only, but in deed and in truth, the friend of education upon the most elevated Christian principles.  Considering that he belonged to a former age, and was not himself a liberally educated man, the interest which he felt in our higher seminaries of learning was very remarkable.  He rejoiced exceedingly, in the rise and progress of all the great benevolent institutions of the day..."