Dalhousie was founded as the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia George Ramsay, 9th Earl of Dalhousie desired a non-denominational college in Halifax. Financing largely came from customs duties collected by a previous Lieutenant Governor, John Coape Sherbrooke, during the War of 1812 occupation of Castine, Maine;[a] Sherbrooke invested GBP£7,000 as an initial endowment and reserved £3,000 for the physical construction of the college. The college was established in 1818, though it faltered shortly after as Ramsay left Halifax to serve as the Governor General of British North America. The school was structured upon the principles of the University of Edinburgh, where lectures were open to all, regardless of religion or nationality. The University of Edinburgh was located near Ramsay's home in Scotland. In 1821 Dalhousie College was officially incorporated by the Nova Scotia House of Assembly under the 1821 Act of Incorporation. The college did not hold its first class until 1838; operation of the college was intermittent and no degrees were awarded. In 1841 an Act of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly conferred university powers on Dalhousie.
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