Lincoln University (LU) is the United States' first degree-granting historically black university. Founded as a private university in 1854, it has been a public institution since 1972. Its main campus is located on 422 acres near the town of Oxford in southernChester County, Pennsylvania.
In 1854 Rev. John Miller Dickey, a Presbyterian minister, and his wife, Sarah Emlen Cresson, a Quaker, founded Ashmun Institute, later named Lincoln University. They named it after Jehudi Ashmun, a religious leader and social reformer. They founded the school for the education of African Americans, who had few opportunities for higher education. John Miller Dickey was the first president of the college. He encouraged some of his first students: James Ralston Amos (1826–1864), his brother Thomas Henry Amos (1825–1869), and Armistead Hutchinson Miller (1829/30-1865), to support the establishment of Liberia as a colony for African Americans.