Founded by the enlisted men and officers of the Civil War’s 62nd and 65th Colored Infantries, Lincoln Institute was formally established on January 14, 1866. Richard Baxter Foster, a former first lieutenant in the 62nd Infantry, was named first principal of Lincoln Institute. From 1870-1880, W. B. Payne, Rev. Henry Smith, Samuel T. Mitchell, and A. C. Clayton served as principals. In 1880, Inman E. Page was named the 1st President of Lincoln Institute. In 1921, the Missouri Legislature passed a bill introduced by Walthall M. Moore, the first black American to serve in that body, which changed the name from Lincoln Institute to Lincoln University and created a Board of Curators to govern the University.
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