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less rapid. Being a professional school, it cannot, of course, receive the wide and high development of the university; and I believe the people of the State will continue to be generous to it in this, the period of its formation; will pardon, if need be, mistakes made in the working of a school so totally unlike the old models; give to the board that controls it a large freedom of action; and now that its location seems to be settled, endeavor to make it the best, as it was the first of all the existing institutions of the list in the United States.
The history of education shows that the common school education depends upon the higher. Colleges and universities are the fountains without which there would be no supply of proper streams through union and common schools. It is not a building up, higher and higher from the primary; it is always a drawing up on the part of those who enjoy and appreciate a high education, that society is indebted to, for any great educational attain
Seeing, then, that we set up a high standard of education as preparation for a business for which public opinion demands but a meager knowledge; that we demand daily manual labor; that the influence of the larger part of teachers is to turn the attention of pupils to other schools; taking account also of the general expectation of educational men and the mited field the college occupies, the unexampled facilities Michigan affords for what is called a complete education, and the few that other colleges catalogue in their agricultural departments, the college is even now successful in respect to numbers.
The number of students is increasing gradually. Taking three years at a time since the reörganization of the college, and the numbers ran as follows: 1860-2, 185; 1863-5, 200; 1866-8, 287; 1869-71, 349; 1872-4, 395. And the present year opens with a much larger freshman class than usual, containing half as many as are in the freshman class of the university department of literature, science, and art.
DOES THE COLLEGE GRADUATE FARMERS?
Colleges are not accustomed to graduate farmers. They take a young man in the susceptible period of his boyhood, keep him from manual labor, give him for association many who regard such work as a degradation, set before him only such aims as the professions, or literature, or public life propose, and what wonder that he is educated away from the farm!
In March, 1872, the United States bureau of education issued a circular of information regarding college graduates. Of the 622 graduates of Harvard in 24 years none are put down as agriculturists. Of the 570 graduates of Wesley University for 28 years, whose occupation is known, one devotes himself to agriculture. Of the 1,772 graduates of Yale in 20 years, whose occupation is known, 61 are agriculturists. Of the 1,254 Darmouth graduates, whose occupation is known, not one is a farmer. Of all together there is less than 14 per cent.
You might think it would not be so in the West,'yet the same state of things exists here also. The Indiana State University catalogue for 1869-70, gives the occupation of 107 graduates, being the graduates from 1861 to 1869 inclusive, except 13 whose occupation was unknown. The catalogue says the students are mostly from the middle and even humbler walks of life, many of them having by their own efforts procured the means for their education. Now of these 107 graduates, whose business is known, three are farmers. Ripon College in Wisconsin publishes a list of its graduates from 1867 to 1874 inclusive, in its catalogue for 1874-5. Not one of the graduates for these eight years is a farmer.
According to the triennial catalogue of Oberlin College for 1870, 16 graduates out of 484 of the male graduates between 1837 and 1869 had become farmers. According to the same catalogue, out of 222 male graduates for 12 years, from 1858 to 1869, only four were farmers and horticulturists.
Colleges usually do not publish the occupations of their graduates. But the classes themselves often publish a paragraph of statistics, and one has only to read these as they appear annually to see how very small a proportion turn their attention to agriculture. When a graduate leaves the agricultural college he can become a farmer only if he owns or rents a farm, or hires out upon one. Scarcely any occupation requires so much capital as farming. Most of the graduates are poor. Even if the desire for a farmer's life is strong, he will very likely teach, or practice surveying, or do something which will earn him means to purchase land faster than hiring out on a farm can do.
Graduation fixes nothing. An honorable member of the House informs me that of the 24 who graduated with him in law, only four are practicing lawyers. Several other college men have told me they thought not over one-half the graduates of the professional schools practiced the professions, although to do so requires no large outlay as a farmer's business does. And yet we have all paid willing taxes to provide them an education they do not use in the prescribed line. So the graduates of the agricultural college will go into the business that seems to them best.
But it has been the design of those who manage the Agricultural College to create a bias towards, and not away from the farm; to make the whole atmosphere of the place one of respect for all kinds of work, and of a feeling of fellowship with farmers. To this end manual labor is insisted on from all, if we can speak of insisting on what students offer in excess of our requirements. To this end there is no furnishing of easier or more tasteful work to the seniors than is given to other students; the habit of work and taste for it is kept up to the end. To this same end the labor system and the instruction are planned to match each other, to illustrate each other, so that to the labor is given some of the dignity of scientific work, and to the scientific instruction labor serves as a kind of laboratory practice for instruction.
To the same end the labor, instead of being a few hours now and then like that furnished in the dissecting room, is made a daily and continuous thing, a real and productive work, for which in return it is but fair, at least in the present undeveloped state of the college, that moderate compensation should be allowed.
The result of these efforts to create a truly agricultural school appears in the fact that in place of 14 per cent of graduates going to farming, as from other colleges, 38 per cent, ór, not counting those not living and those who are still students, 42 per cent have gone to farming, fruit-raising, and the nursery business as their chief or only business. In this respect the college is doing what has never been done before,-sending men with good education in fair proportion back to work farms. If this agency is dropped, what is to supply its place? Not newspapers and clubs, for they fail to supply the underlying scientific training that is needed here and there through communities; not departments of colleges, for they will have almost no agricultural students; not the colleges themselves, for they educate all but 14 per cent of their graduates away from the farms.
What kind of farmers graduates will make remains in good part to be seen. No professional school educates a man to take at once a prominent place in the rank he enters. Farming is a business in which experience, native good judgment, and skill acquired in actual management, count for so much that graduates must be allowed time to find their proper place.
Diligent inquiry has failed to make it appear that they imbibe any habits of extravagance, or of a theorizing practice from their college course (as some have feared), in coming from a school for which the State does so much. All the graduates stand respectably in their several callings, and not a few of them stand very high.
STUDENTS IN SELECT STUDIES.
I have spoken of graduates only, merely because I have statistics regarding them. We are sometimes asked the cost of making a graduate, as if that work were the chief end of the college. But it is not. To educate young men is the chief end. We always have a body of young men who take a select course of study. These young men are amongst the oldest and most valuable of the students. We have, besides, many who come to take in regular course, the chemistry, botany, and agriculture, but who do not go through the course. The instruction imparted to them is equally valuable so far as it goes. A student who completes our sophomore, or second year, has had a year of botany and horticulture, a half-year of physical geography, a half-year of chemistry, a half-year of practice three hours a day in chemical analysis and surveying, besides a variety of other useful studies. By a half-year I mean one lesson, daily, five days a week, for one-half a school year. Our school year is the same number of weeks as at the university and at other colleges.
GRADUATES WHO ARE NOT FARMERS.
The preceding remarks refer to graduates and others who become farmers, as if the whole usefulness at the institution was to be measured by them. This is not true however. The influence of the peculiar education received here will make itself felt in whatever field of labor the graduates may enter. It is sometimes asked,
ARE THEY EMINENT?
As to this, how few are eminent in any calling!
Go through the long lists of law and medical graduates, and how many of them have attained to fame? Eminence is attained only now and then by the few who excel in talents, energy, or opportunities. Were all men eminent, none would be eminent. A college course, a professional course of study, moreover, only begins the education of any man; years of practice are required for perfection.
But the graduates of the agricultural college are here and there throughout the community, like other graduates, attending to the duties of their vocation, showing the results of their studies in their example, their conversation, their newspaper articles, essays, addresses, inciting young men around them to a desire for a higher education.
The agricultural college can point to its full share of graduates in honorable and responsible places. It is a credit to the college that Cornell University chose a graduate of ours for her Professor of Horticulture and Botany; that he bore off the first Walker prize for an essay on a subject assigned by the Boston Society of Natural History; that he was selected as one of the two directors of a scientific expedition to the valley of the Amazon. It is to our credit that another graduate has held for several years the chair of agriculture in the University of Wisconsin, with great acceptance to the farmers and educators of the State; that the Professor of Horticulture in Iowa Agricultural College is our graduate, and that he has been invited, as the papers say, by the University of California, to deliver a course of lectures before that college. A graduate of ours was chosen to superintend farming operations for the Emperor of Japan, and returning with high testimonials of regard for his services, is now the Professor of Agriculture in Kansas Agricultural College. Another graduate is the Professor of Chemistry in Kansas Agricultural College; another is Professor of Zoology and Entomology in our own College; and still another is foreman of the college gardens. All these are directly engaged in furthering agricultural affairs, and make more than 50 per cent of graduates to be directly so occupied. I know of no literary college that can point to so large a proportion of its graduates in professorships of other colleges, as the Michigan Agricultural College.
Our graduates are often called upon to use the pen, to give addresses, to serve on committees, and the like. The Western Rural has twice called in graduates as assistant editors, exclusive of work done by our Professor of Entomology, who is a graduate. The State Pomological Society's two meteorologists have been graduates, and have made annual reports. Our Professor of Entomology has served efficiently as its entomologist, and was, until the pressure of college duties made me ask him to resign, Secretary of the State Bee-keeper's Association. Other students and graduates have taken an active interest in the same association. A graduate headed one year the Orchard Committee of the State Pomological Society, and at the late meeting of this society five graduates and students had papers. The Pomological Society reports contain several articles from graduates.
This is no exhaustive catalogue,-but simply illustrations of the way our graduates are working.
One of the graduates is this winter an assistant editor of a St. Louis (Mo.) agricultural paper; another has a prize essay in an Indiana pomological report. In the various clubs and societies of the State, I find frequent mention of men whom I recognize as graduates or former students, as taking part, and I find their essays amongst those that are well re ceived. Essays of young men will be very likely to fall short, in value, of the essays of men who have had long experience in what they write about, but they show that our young men have entered ardently into this field of labor.
I think it to the credit of the college that the only clergyman among its graduates was for three years, while preaching, the president of a farmers' club whose weekly attendance averaged more than 300 members. Whatever their business, our graduates manifest a deep interest in agricultural pursuits. One graduate was invited to become foreman of our farm, another to take a professorship at a good salary in a Western State University, and both declined to leave their farms.
LOVE FOR KNOWLEDGE.
I think it a great credit to the college that it has infused into its graduates a great desire for further knowledge. We are one of the very few institutions of learning that yearly retain a portion of their graduates for further study. The University has frequently received our graduates into its schools of engineering, pharmacy, medicine, or law. Several have put themselves under the educational charge of Professors Gray, Agassiz, and others at Harvard; one went to Cornell, where he afterwards served as an instructor for a year; one took courses of instruction at Yale; one is now a student of horticulture and botany in the Bussey Institution of Harvard; another is a student in the Massachusetts School of Technology; another has entered the Royal Veterinary College of Surgeons in London, England, where our diploma was received, I am informed, in lieu of examination and matriculation; and another, now a fruit-grower, spent two years at a university in Germany. Altogether, I doubt if any college in the land can make a better showing in this awakening of enthusi asm for knowledge. There are already many who are in their homes giving spare time to entomology and other branches of study, from whom society has something to hope.
The institution has already won a good reputation in the nation. It was the first to be established of all the existing schools of this sort. Massachusetts sent each of her three presi
dents to visit it, and to copy in great part our plans. Maine copies it, and the former acting president and professor of agriculture spent some time here. A large part of the similar institutions have made personal examination of our plans, and have praised them. President White of Cornell has been twice here, and always refers to the college as one of the best. Mr. Cornell himself was here, and spoke of it in terms of high praise. President Angell, coming Into the State from Vermont, is reported in the Free Press of Nov. 16, 1871, to have said, "The Agricultural College was recognized as the best of its kind in the United States." He is said by the same paper to have added that "he had for the last five years been endeavoring to discover how best to establish an agricultural department to the institution with which he was connected, and in the time he had found out how remarkably little interest was felt in the application of science to agriculture."
Geo. Geddes of New York, whose name is familiar to agriculturists, has written to the N. Y. Tribune more than once, praising its experiments, its general management, and giving an account of his visit to it. He says, "I spent more than two weeks in the State of Michigan, and took considerable pains to inquire of doctors, ministers, and farmers as to the opinions of the people generally in regard to their Agricultural College, and in all cases was told that it was rapidly growing in public favor; and I beard nothing except in approval."
Mr. J. J. Thomas of the Country Gentleman visited the college last year, and has taken pains to express his approval of it in several papers. In his address at Adrian, he says, "The Agricultural College of the State has long stood in the front rank of the most efficient institutions of the kind in the world, and the labors of its able professors have been attended with eminent success."
The California State Grange, in a memorial to the Legislature criticising their own uni versity, says (1874): "To Michigan belongs the honor of establishing the first Agricultural College, as long ago as 1855. Never since have the objects of such an institution been more fully comprehended."
Joseph Harris, author of "Walks and Talks," visited the college, examined its general management and the experiments going on, and has always referred to the college in terms of praise. His papers and his conversation testify to the high value he set upon our experiments.
In 1871 the National Bureau of Education commissioned Mr. Gillman, then a Professor in Yale Scientific School, to visit and report on the National Schools of Science. He reports of Michigan Agricultural College that its "success had been assured for many years past.' The American Agriculturist, Country Gentleman, Prairie Farmer, Michigan Farmer, and other papers whose managers were personally acquainted more or less with it, have frequently given a word of praise, and the press in general has been for the last few years desirous of aiding it. The Detroit dailies have, since the question of location stands settled, looked upon the college as one of the important institutions of the State, in whose doings the public has an interest; and I may safely say, no agricultural college stands higher in the country than our own.
The institution has, no doubt, been costly, and the State liberal; and considering the unsettled questions of location and usefulness, very liberal. But if you leave out these considerations, and the reluctance to invest largely in a novel experiment, the appropriations have not been so large as they should have been. The sum expended looks exceedingly large in the aggregate, as did the long years of ticking and swinging backward and forward to the discontented pendulum, seen in one view.
But there is another way to look at the facts. General Ely, the Auditor General, reported to the House of Representatives Feb. 19, 1875, that "the amount drawn from the State Treasury on account of appropriations for the Agricultural College up to the close of the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 1874, is $418,977.18." At the same time, Dec. 1, the property of the State at the college was worth $209,038. Subtracting the value of the property from the total appropriation, and dividing by 18, the number of years the college has been in active operation, and the average annual expense to the State has been less than $11,664. If, before dividing, we add all that has been received (Dec. 1, 1874) from the Agricultural Interest Fund, the annual expenses will not equal $13,825. If, ́again, before dividing, you add all that has been received from the sale of swamp lands, the average annual expense will not equal $15,825. Surely no college could pretend to give scientific instruction in the various branches of agriculture, horticulture, chemistry, botany, entomology, and the other necessary branches of an agricultural college at a less annual expenditure than this, whether to a dozen students or 500.
While, therefore, in one view the State has been liberal, in another view the school has not had sufficient for a high development. The students yield practically no income, as almust nothing is required of them that does not go back to them. And while the farm has been a help, on the other hand all improvements on lands and buildings have been inven
toried, as they always are, at far less than cost. The inventoried property in Michigan would not bring it from a wilderness into its present condition. If the State could afford to give the college about two cents per each inhabitant for the years 1875 and 1876 each, in place of the 14 cent asked, improvements could go forward more rapidly.
In place of $419,000 in 18 years, Pennsylvania gave its Agricultural College $207,599 in four years; Massachusetts, $313,000 in seven years; Illinois, $235,300 in five years; and the young Iowa College has already received from the State $329,480. These sums are proportionally much greater than the appropriations made for like periods to the Michigan Agricultural College.
The appropriations for current expenses in 1873 and 1874 were intended to supplement the interest of the college fund. This was taken at Governor Baldwin's estimates, which, owing to financial troubles occurring afterwards, were several thousand dollars greater than we received. The improvements at the college were curtailed therefore to that extent. the college fund increases by the sale of lands, the appropriations to be made by the State will lessen, until at last only sums requisite for the erection and repair of buildings will be required.
I do not present the agricultural college as a piece of perfection. Probably no persons are more pained by its great lacks than the board and officers that manage it. But I present it to you as growing. It has come out of the forest, out of a surrounding of stumps and swamps, and puts on, in summer time at least, a face of beauty. Its students constantly increase in numbers, and honor it with their reverence and love. They go forth inspired with enthusiasm for scientific study, and with fixed habits of industry. Many of them carry this enthusiasm and these habits back to farms on which they live. They give labor its due honor; and we crave the hearty sympathy and counsel of the class for which we chiefly labor.
In establishing any other school of learning the officers and students would settle down to quiet work, hoping to show the results in the good education the students that leave them would exhibit. We have probably done too much the same, forgetting that while law, medicine, engineering, the classics, all have found their methods, we had also not only to invent a school, but to hold the interest of the farmers and the public who look to it, by a free publication of everything done here. In the reports for 1873 and 1874 I have put more of the reports of the departments, as made to me, than has been done before, and more still can be given hereafter, if desirable. And I hope the way will be open to the establishment of the highest degree of confidence between the college and all who are interested in its work.
From the Lansing Republican.
In response to a letter of inquiry from S. L. Kilbourne, representative in the legislature from this district, the following was written by Prof. Joseph Harris of Rochester, N. Y. It is dated at Moreton Farm, near that city, Feb. 26, 1875. Prof. Harris is an able scientific man and a good practical farmer. In England he was with Lawes & Gilbert, the celebrated agricultural experimenters. In this country he gained a high reputation as the editor of the Genesee Farmer, and he is now better known as the author of "Walks and Talks," in the American Agriculturist. Prof. Harris is not only a sound scientific man and an able writer, but he is also one of the best practical farmers in Western New York. His letter to Mr. Kilbourne is as follows:
"I have had some experience in conducting systematic agricultural experiments, both on crops and animals, and have given the subject a good deal of thought.
"When I was appointed professor of agriculture in the Cornell University I visited the Michigan Agricultural College for the purpose of examining their methods of conducting experiments. I wanted to see what they were doing and how they did it. I thought if the different agricultural colleges would work together on some general plan we need not go over the same ground or cross each other's paths. I still think it would be wise to adopt such a course. But as yet our agricultural colleges, taken as a whole, have done very little for agriculture. I am not disposed to criticise. We expected too much from them. At our fairs and agricultural meetings, if some one asked whether salt was a good manure for wheat, or ashes for corn, or plaster for grass, a dozen talking farmers would give their views, gen