June 23, 1868
Matthew Vassar died as he addressed the Board of Trustees. "At 11 A.M. the Board convened, and, immediately after the organization of the meeting, Mr. Vassar proceeded to read his customary address. As his tone was somewhat feeble, and he read sitting, the members of the Board gathered closer around him and listened in profound silence. Suddenly, when he had almost finished, his voice faltered and ceased, the paper dropped from his hand upon the table by which he sat, his head fell back upon the chair and so he was gone! Without a struggle or sign of pain, his spirit had passed away; and after the lapse of a few moments, during which the machinery of life seemed gently running down, his body rested in its last repose.
"When, an hour later, the trustees reassembled to listen to the closing paragraph of the address, it was found to have an almost prophetic interest:
"'And now, gentlemen, on closing these remarks, I would humbly and solemnly implore the Divine Goodness to continue His smiles and favor on your institution, and to bestow on all hearts connected therewith His love and blessing, having peculiarly protected us by His providence through all our college trials for three consecutive years, without a single death in our Board, or serious illness or death of one of the pupils within the college walls. Wishing you, gentlemen, a continuance of health and happiness, I bid you a cordial and final farewell. Thanking you kindly for your official attentions and services, and not expecting, from my advanced years and increasing infirmities, to meet with you officially again, I implore the Divine Goodness to guide and direct you aright in all your councils.'" John Howard Raymond, Life and Letters of John Howard Raymond, Edited by his Eldest Daughter