Robert Hett Chapman was born on March 15, 1771 and passed on June 18, 1833. Mr. Chapman was a Presbyterian minister, and a missionary. He was also the second president of the University of North Carolina.
Robert Hett Chapman was born the second of three children. His father was Reverend Jedediah Chapman and his mother, Blanche Smith Chapman, and was born on March 15, 1771, in Orangedale County [now Orange County], New Jersey. Mr. Chapman married Hannah Arnett in 1797, while he served as a Presbyterian minister.
Robert graduated from Nassau Hall, now known as Princeton University, in 1789 with his Bachelors degree in Theology. Next, he earned his licenses with the Presbytery in New Jersey. Afterward he was installed as the pastor at the Presbyterian Church in Rahway, New Jersey. Mr. Chapman remained in Rahway from 1796–1799.
President of the University of North Carolina
On December 12, 1812, Mr. Chapman was elected president of The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill by the University’s Board of Trustees. Mr. Chapman contributed to UNC in many ways. For instance, he instituted a Bible study for the student body, and helped establish a local church. He did not stay long at UNC giving his letter of resignation on November 23, 1816. His session ended immediately but he was given half of a years severance pay and was still allowed to stay in the University housing.
After resigning from UNC, Mr. Chapman became a traveling minister and missionary working throughout Virginia where he was a pastor in Leesburg, Loudon and Winchester. In addition, he traveled in North Carolina ans Tennessee. Mr. Chapman died unexpectedly of an intestinal ailment in Winchester, Virginia on the June 18, 1833.
As a memorial to Mr. Chapman’s work, there is a framed silhouette hanging in the North Carolina Collection at The University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.