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presided over by the Chancellor. The business is the consideration of topics relating to the organization and adıninistration of the institutions comprised in the University, and of questions relating to the general interests of education. The sessions extend through three days, and at the final session the honorary degrees granted by the Board are conferred by the Chancellor. The papers and discussions of the Convocation are printed with the annual report of the Regents to the Legislature. A large amount of valuable pedagogic literature is the result of these convocations.
STATE LIBRARY. — The Regents, in 1844, were constituted the Trustees of the State Library. In this capacity they are charged with the administration of the laws and the enactment of regulations as to its management. Their care also extends to the historical documents belonging to the State, and to the papers and docu. ments left by the Legislature. They serve as the agents of the State for the distribution of law reports and legislative documents among the States and Territories, and the public libraries and institutions entitled by law to receive them. They are also the Trustces of certain law libraries established at Syracuse, Rochester, Brooklyn and Buffalo. The special supervision of the State Library is intrusted to a Standing Committee of the Regents. The Staff of Librarians is appointed by the Board.
State Museum. — The Regents were, by an act of 1815, created the Trustees of the State Museum of Natural History. vision of it is intrusted to a Standing Committee. The scientific staff is appointed by the Board, and consists of a Director and assistants, and of the State Entomologist and the State Botanist. The Legislature makes an appropriation each year for the support of the Museum, which is expended under the supervision of the Standing Committee. The Trustees make to the Legislature each year a report on the Museum, to which is appended the reports of the Director and of the Entomologist and Botanist.
Normal SCHOOL AT ALBANY. - The law authorizing the establishment of this institution was passed in 1814, and provides that it be placed under the joint management of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Regents of the University. An Executive Committee, appointed by the Board of Regents on the nomination of the Superintendent, has the immediate supervision.
BOUNDARIES OF THE STATE. — By direction of the Legislature, the Board has conducted an extended investigation into the condition of the boundaries of the State. Valuable reports embodying the his.
tory of these boundaries have been made to the Legislature, and for several years the work of restoring the monuments of the lines be. tween New York and its neighbors has been in progress, under the charge of Commissioners appointed on the part of New York by the Board from its own members.
PUBLICATIONS. — Some of the publications of the Board of Regents have a standard educational value. The annual reports of the Board to the Legislature contain a vast amount of information as to the colleges and academies in the State and as to the general history of education. The manual of the Regents, issued first as “ Instructions," is a collection of all the laws, ordinances and instructions relating to the institutions under their care. The Regents, as Trustees of the State Library, present annual reports to the Legislature which contain a statement, in detail, of the annual additions. They have also issued at various times catalogues of the books in the different departments of the library. The annual report of the Regents, as Trustees of the State Museum, besides the statements as to the condition and progress of the Museum, contain a large amount of valnable scientific material. Several special volumes have also at various times been issued by the Board.
Personal History. - The personal history of the Board of Regents would contain many matters of interest. During its extended existence an unusual number of distinguished men have been connected with it. Leaving out of account the Governors and Lieutenant-Governors and others, who have been ex-officio Regents, there have been one hundred and twenty-six Regents chosen by the Legislature. Of these, forty-three resigned, fifty-two died in office, ten vacated their places by removal or otherwise, and nineteen are now in office. The longest terin of office was that of Gulian C. Verplanck, who served from 1826 to 1870, a period of forty-four years. Matthew Clarkson served thirty-nine years, and Simeon De Witt thirty-seven years.
By far the longest connection with the Board, however, was that of Gideon Hawley, who acted as Secretary of the Board from 1814 to 1841, and then, after an interval of only a few months, having been elected a Regent, served till his death in 1870. This constituted a total of fifty-six years; and they were years full of useful and active service. When only a young man, in 1813, he was appointed to the office, then first created, of Superintendent of Common Schools, and he has been justly called the father of the common-school system of the State." He was soon after, in March, 1814, appointed Sec
retary of the Regents of the University. His official career extended through the formative period of the educational system of the State, and much of the good work done must be justly attributed to him. Nr. IIawley's character for integrity and purity, and his great administrative ability, gave to his opinions decisive weight in all deliberations, and, for a long time before his death, he was looked upon by his associates in the Board as “a living epitome of its history, its progress, its labors and its influence.”
The lists given below show the officers of the Board from its organization in 1784 to 1881. The carly Chancellors of the Board were in each case the Governor for the time being. Thus, George Clinton, who was Governor at the time of the organization of the first Board, was chosen Chancellor, and so continued through his successive terms. Then John Jay, his successor as Governor, was chosen Chancellor. This continued until the time when Gorernor Tompkins was elected Vice-President of the United States and Lieutenant-Governor John Tayler, as acting-governor, was chosen Chancellor. Being also a Regent by election, he continued to hold the office after his official term as Lientenant-Governor expired. From that time the office of Chancellor has been disconnected from the office of Governor. The longest period was the Chancellorship of John V. L. Pruyn, who held it nearly sixteen years.
CHANCELLORS OF THE UNIVERSITY. GEORGE CLINTON
1784 STEPHEN VAN RENSSELAER.. 1835 JOHN JAY.... 1796 JAMES KING...
1839 GEORGE CLINTON. 1802 PETER WENDELL...
1812 MORGAN LEWIS. 1805 GERRIT Y. LANSING.
1819 DANIEL D. TOMPKINS. 1808 JOHN V. L. PRUYN..
1862 JOHN TAYLER
1817 ERASTUS C. BENEDICT.... 1878 SIMEON DE WITT,. 1829 HENRY R. PIERSON...
1881 VICE-CHANCELLORS OF THE UNIVERSITY. PIERRE VAN CORTLANDT.... 1784 DANIEL S. DICKINSON........ 1843 JOHN JAY..... 1787 JOIN GREIG.......
1815 JOHN RODGERS..
1790 GULIAN C. VERPLANCK...... 1858 JOHN TAYLER.. 1814 ERASTUS CORNING.....
... 1870 SIMEON DE WITT.
1817 ERASTUS C. BENEDICT. 1872 ELISHA JENKINS.. 1829 HENRY R. PIERSON..
1878 LUTHER BRADISH.. 1842 GEORGE W. CLINTON.
1881 SECRETARIES OF THE BOARD. ROBERT HARPUR....
1784 FRANCIS BLOODGOOD.... 1798 RICHARD HARRISON. 1787 GIDEON HAWLEY..
1814 NATHANIEL LAWRENCE. 1790 THEODORIC ROMEYN BECK... 1841 DE WITT CLINTON.. ... 1794 SAMUEL B. WOOLWORTH.... 1853 DAVID S. JONES.... 1797 DAVID MURRAY......
ASSISTANT SECRETARY, DANIEL J. PRATT, 1866 - 1884.
2. The Colleges of New York. The earliest efforts for the establishment of a college within the bounds of New York were made in the city of New York, and resulted finally in the founding of King's College. It was for a long time a reproach, which some of the inhabitants felt very deeply,
that, whereas Massachusetts had founded a college at Cambridge in 16961656, and Connecticut a college at New Haven in 1701, New York,
which was richer and more prosperous than either, had made no serious movement in this direction before 1746. The reason for this backwardness may probably be found in the fact that the population of New York was of a more mixed character, and that a much smaller proportion of men of liberal education was to be found among its people than in New England. It was said that in 1746 there were in the province, outside of the clergy, only thirteen men who had taken a degree, and for many years there were but two. But, in 1746, a movement was begun by the passage of an act by the Colonial Legislature for holding a lottery, under which the sum of £2,250 was raised toward founding a college. Other sums were raised from subsequent lotteries, and by the appropriation of excise money, and from private benefactions. Trinity Church, which had received the valuable grant of the “King's Farm” for the support of institutions of religion and education, made over a part of this grant to the Trustees of the college. In 1754 the charter of incorporation was granted, and the institution began its career. During the troubles of the Revolution the college was suspended, its property in part sacrificed, and its Faculty and Trustees scattered. Hence, at the close of the war, it was necessary to begin almost anew. In the acts passed for the establishment of the University of New York, in 1784 and 1787, provision was made for re-incorporating the college and restoring all the rights and immunities secured to it in its original charter. As the subsequent college charters in the State usually conferred "all the rights and privileges enjoyed by Columbia College,” it may be useful to enumerate briefly the provisions of its charter.
1. The number of Trustees is fixed at twenty-four, with power, in case of vacancy, to elect successors. 2. All the property of the old corporation (1754) is vested in the new, and it is empowered to take over the buildings, grounds and equipments before held by the Governors of Kings' College. 3. The Board of Trustees is empowered to appoint a President, to hold his office during good behavior,
and to appoint Professors and Tutors, to hold office during the pleasure of the Trustees. 4. The Board of Trustees is empowered to make ordinances for the government of the college. 5. The Board of Trustees is empowered to grant such degrees “as are usually granted by any or either of the universities of England.”
The next step in founding colleges in the State was taken in 1793, when Union College was chartered by the Regents of the University. The first application for this college was made in 1792, but it was denied on the ground that sufficient funds had not been procured. Again, in 1794, the Academy at Schenectady applied to be erected into a college, under the provisions of the act of 1787, but this was denied on the ground that its literary and financial condition did not warrant it. Finally, in 1795, a proposition, satisfactory to the Regents, was made and a charter was granted, with provisions similar to those of Columbia College. Full university powers were given to “grant all such degrees as are known to and usually granted by any university or college in Europe."
Following this, many other applications for college charters were made, but most were denied on the ground of insufficient funds. The Board of Regents pursued a conservative policy, and resisted the imprudent zeal of those who desired to fill the State with weak colleges. In 1795 an application for a college at Albany was denied. The same fate awaited the applications, in 1802, for a college in Cayuga or Onondaga county; in 1804 for a college at Kingston and from the Kingston Academy to confer degrees; in 1809 for a college at Fairfield , in 1811 for a college at Kingston, and for Hamilton-Oneida Academy to be made a college, and many others in subsequent years. Several charters for colleges were granted, but upon terms as to funds, buildings, etc., which were never complied with, and hence failed. The next college to secure a sufficient foothold to justify a charter was Hamilton College. The application was granted on condition that funds to the amount of $50,000, exclusive of investments in buildings, should be received. This was accomplished in 1812, and a charter, in all respects similar to that of Union College, was granted. Following this came, in 1822, an application to bestow on Geneva Academy a college charter; this was granted on condition that in three years adequate buildings and funds, yielding an annual revenue of $4,000, should be received. This was accomplished so far that, in 1824, a fund of $60,000 was reported and the charter was granted. With these institutions established, the Board of Regents were disposed to rest satis