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College of William & Mary Walking Tour
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Since 1993, this statue of the College of William & Mary’s first president, Rev. James Blair, has stood between Tyler and Blair Halls. Blair held a variety of political, educational, and religious leadership positions in Virginia after immigrating from Scotland in 1685. Blair served as president of the college for its first 50 years while maintaining his political and religious commitments. The statue was sculpted by Professor Lewis Cohen who also teaches the arts and art history on campus.

  • James Blair Statue
  • Portrait of James Blair
  • The construction of the statue in 1992

Dedicated in 1993, the James Blair statue stands in honor of the College of William & Mary’s first president, Rev. James Blair. The statue lies between Tyler Hall and Blair Hall and faces away from James Blair Dr. Artist and art historian Lewis Cohen designed and sculpted the statue.  

 

Rev. Blair served the college from its opening in 1693 to until his death 1743 – a 50-year period. In addition to his work at the college, Rev. Blair was an Anglican minister. He initially immigrated to America from Scotland in 1685 to serve as rector for a local parish. Blair continued his clerical work while overseeing the young college, eventually serving as the commissary for the Bishop of London. This position gave Blair influence over the state’s religious life. He also notably served on the council of several Virginia governors. Blair published several works over the course of his career on a variety of political, educational, and religious topics.  

Special Collections Research Center. James Blair Statue, Dedicated 1993, Tribe Trek. Accessed September 13th 2020. https://tribetrek.wm.edu/items/show/13?tour=1&index=12.

Special Collections Research Center. James Blair (1656-1743), William & Mary Libraries. September 9th 2019. Accessed September 13th 2020. https://scdbwiki.swem.wm.edu/wiki/index.php/James_Blair_(1656-1743).

Tate, Thad W. Blair, James (ca. 1655-1743), Virginia Encyclopedia. July 21st 2016. Accessed September 13th 2020. https://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Blair_James_ca_1655-1743#start_entry.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

https://scdbwiki.swem.wm.edu/wiki/index.php/James_Blair_(1656-1743)

https://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Blair_James_ca_1655-1743#start_entry

https://tribetrek.wm.edu/items/show/13?tour=1&index=12#&gid=1&pid=2