Middlebury's first Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy, Frederick Hall (1780-1843) graduated from Dartmouth College in 1803. A tutor at Middlebury College from 1805-1806, Hall was hired at twice the salary of then President Jeremiah Atwater. Before assuming the position, Hall insisted that the trustees allow him to spend two years in Europe attending universities and scientific lectures. During that sojourn, Hall acquired books, scientific apparatus, and mineral specimens that constituted the foundation of the College’s scientific resources throughout the 19th century. Most of these materials remain part of the College’s Special Collections.
Both college and community support of Hall made it clear that his value to the College was greater than that of President Atwater, and their support of his position very possibly led to Atwater’s resignation. Hall outlasted the tenure of President Henry Davis and taught into the administration of President Joshua Bates. Hall resigned from Middlebury in 1824.
Among Hall’s publications are Eulogy: on the late Solomon Metcalf Allen, professor of languages in Middlebury College: Pronounced according to appointment of the president and fellows, March 17, 1818 (1818); Statistical account of the town of Middlebury, in the state of Vermont (1821); Catalogue of minerals found in the state of Vermont and in the adjacent states, together with their localities (1824).
Hall was awarded degrees from Middlebury (1806) and Dartmouth and Harvard (1810). He received his M.D. from Castleton Medical College in 1827, and an LL.D. from Dartmouth in 1841. Hall died in 1843.