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3. Big Tent (1835-1846)

Big Tent

Artist’s rendering of the Big Tent, n.d.

The Big Tent was a gift to Professor Charles G. Finney from friends in New York City, to furnish the means of holding protracted meetings through the region, in places where no suitable houses for such meetings could be found. It was one hundred feet in diameter, and had a seating capacity of three thousand. The Tent was used for the Commencement exercises in the year 1835, and for the same purpose for eight years thereafter, until 1843. During one summer it was used for Sabbath services, the students erecting it on Saturday afternoons and removing it Monday mornings. For Commencement purposes it was erected on the Campus east of Tappan Hall. The tent finally passed into the possession of the Anti-Slavery Society.

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