Letter founding the Rensselaer School by Stephen van Rensselaer, November 5, 1824       To the Revd Dr Blatchford Lansingburgh 
Dear Sir 
"             I have established a school at the north end of Troy,  
in Rensselaer County in the building usually called the Old Bank Place,  
for the purpose of instructing persons, who may choose to apply themselves,  
in the application of science to the common purposes of life.  My principal  
object is, to qualify teachers for instructing the sons and daughters of farmers  
and mechanics, by lectures or otherwise, in the application of experimental  
chemistry, philosophy and natural history, to agriculture, domestic economy,  
the arts and manufactures.  From the- trials which have been made  
by persons in my employment at Utica, Whitesborough, Rome, Auburn, and  
Geneva, during the last summer, I am inclined to believe that com  
petent instructors may be produced in the school at Troy, who will be  
highly useful to the community in the diffusion of a very useful kind of  
knowledge, with its application to the business of living. . . ."  

Founding document. Letter from Stephen Van Rensselaer to Samuel Blatchford, November 5, 1824 
(page 3 of the RPI Board of Trustees original minute book)