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fied, and to resist the pressure for further charters until these proved inadequate for the wants of the State. Columbia College might be regarded as providing sufficiently for the city of New York and the regions adjacent; Union College and Hamilton College for the eastern and central parts of the State, and Geneva College for the west.
Down to 1831 the Legislature had incorporated no colleges. It had left this duty to the Board of Regents, who, under the authority granted to it, had established, as conditions of incorporation, rules as to endowment and suitable equipment of the institutions. These rules had nipped many budding enterprises, and repressed into the category of academies many that aspired to the dignity of colleges. The pressure was finally brought to bear upon the Legislature, and, for the next thirty or forty years, most of the new institutions sought charters directly from the Legislature. In some cases, as in the case of the Cornell University, the circumstances were such as to justify and require legislative intervention ; but very many of the charters were sought from this source, because the requirements imposed by the Board of Regents, as to endowment, could not be complied with. The first institution to be chartered by the Legislature was the University of the city of New York, in 1831. The plan proposed was, in some respects, novel. The institution was to be a stock corporation, with shares of $100 each. It was to be governed by a Council elected by the shareholders. This Council, by the charter, was invested with corporate powers, and, as a university, was empowered to grant all degrees. It was to be subject to the visitation of the Regents. Under its university powers it established a Medical Department and a Department of Law, Madison University at Hamilton, and St. John's College at Fordham, were each chartered by the Legislature in 1846. All were granted similar powers, and made subject to the visitation of the Regents. The subsequent incorporations will be given in the statistical summary.
STATE AID to COLLEGES. — In its early history the State assisted liberally in the establishment and the support of these pioneer colleges; but the greater and more pressing demands for popular education gradually gained the ear of the Legislature and taxed the liberality of the State. The generous spirit in which the great State has treated its colleges, especially its early colleges, is worthy of being here recounted. The following summary includes the grants so far as ascertained.
In respect to the grants by lotteries, the sums realized did not always correspond to the amounts named, sometimes being in excess and sometimes falling short:
1. Columbia College:
Grants to King's College by lotteries and excise
$17,358 83,647 39,123
2. Union College :
Grants by lotteries, 1805 and 1814..
3. Hamilton College:
Grant from sales of land, 1812.....
4 Geneva College:
Grants of money, 1838–46...
5. University of the City of New York:
Annual grant for five years, 1838, $6,000.....
6. Elmira Female College, 1867..
7. Ingham University, 1861.....
Converted into approximate value in doliars according to the rates of exchange prevalling at the time
1 For which the State paid Dr. Hosack $74 268 75.
9. Fairfield Medical College:
Grant from sales of land, 1812....
10. University of Rochester, grant 1857...
Plane of Study. — It will be interesting to trace briefly the progress of the educational system which grew up in these colleges. The origin of the plan of study in our Ainerican colleges must be songht in the English and Scotch universities, from which came the educated men of the English colomes. They brought with them their ideas of organization, discipline and instruction. The studies were therefore what were common in the English and Scotch institutions of the time. These were Latin, Greek, mathematics and natural philosophy. In the earliest report from the visitors to Columbia College (1788), it is stated that “the students are regularly instructed in the Latin and Greek languages, geography, natural and moral philosophy and the mathematics.” In 1793, it is reported that Columbia College has established a “professorship of chemistry, natural history and agriculture.” We copy from the statutes of Union College for 1802 the course of study prescribed :
“The Freshman Class shall study the Latin, Greek and English langnages, arithmetic, Sheridan's Lectures on Elocution, and shall write such Latin exercises as the Faculty shall appoint.
“The Sophomore Class shall study geography, algebra, vulgar and decimal fractions, the extraction of roots, conic sections, Euclid's Elements, trigonometry, surveying, mensuration of heights and distances, navigation, logic, Blair's Lectures, and such parts of eminent anthors in the learned languages as the officers in college shall prescribe.
"The Junior Class shall study the elements of criticisin, astronomy, natural and moral philosophy, and shall perform such exercises in the higher branches of mathematics as the Faculty shall prescribe.
“The Senior Class shall study select portions of ancient and modern history, such parts of Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding as the President shall direct, Stewart's Elements of the Pluilosophy of the Human Mind, and shall review the principal studies of the preceding years, and also such portions of Virgil,
Cicero and IIorace as the President shall direct, and shall be accus toined to apply the principles of criticisın.”
Scientific studies crept into the college curriculum very slowly. Chemistry had appeared in Columbia College in 1793, but it was untimely fruit. Down to 1830, or even later, there was little or no botany, geology or mineralogy taught in the colleges. Before 1840 the great geological survey of the State of New York had been begun, and, as a result, we see in the college plans of study a recognition of the light that had dawned. Electricity and galvanisin made their appearance with the great wave which brought in the telegraph. A chemical laboratory was unknown in an American college before the time of John William Draper, and it was not till 1855, when the Laboratory of Union College was opened, and, in 1864, when the Columbia College School of Mines was organized, that New York colleges could be said to have laboratories.
The credit of initiating the elective system of studies in colleges is due to Dr. Nott, at Union College. We find, indeed, that, in 1797, it was proposed to give an option between Greek and French in that institution; but it was not till 1828 that the plan is reported to the Regents as established, of having a regular scientific course, co-ordinated throughout with the classical course, with studies which should be allowed as alternatives. The plan has continued in force since that time, and has been developed into a system of electives such as now exists in nearly all colleges.
SCHOOLS OF SCIENCE. — The great impulse given to industrial development in the State, by the building of the Eric canal and the construction of lines of railways, called in our country for a new type of education. The demand for civil and mechanical engineers brought into existence institutions and departments of instruction for teaching these branches. The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1926 by General Stephen Van Rensselaer, was the first of this class. Other institutions followed more slowly. Union College established its Department of Civil Engineering in 1815, and Columbia College its School of Mines in 1864. The rise of the system of agricultural colleges in the United States dates from an effort in the State of New York to found the People's College.
To effect this object, the bill making the grant of land to the States for establishing “ Colieges for Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts” was carried through Congress. It was passed in 1864. The portion of land coming to the State of New York was nine hundred and ninety thousand acres. This immense inheritance was wisely bestowed by
the State in such a way as to bring the best results. In 1865 Ezra Cornell made the munificent offer to the State to give to a university two hundred acres of land in Ithaca, and a money endowment of $500,000, provided the State would bestow on it the proceeds of this land grant. This offer was accepted, and the Legislature, in 1865, incorporated Cornell University, bestowing on it the proceeds of the land grant, and constituting it the State College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts.
FEMALE COLLEGES. — Female education has kept pace with other departments in New York, and to-day can point with satisfaction to five colleges deroted entirely to the education of women, and four others in which they are received on equal terms with men. The earliest efforts in the direction of a higher education for women were doubtless those of Mrs. Einma Willard at Waterford and Troy, and althouglı she never realized her plan of establishing a college for women on a broad and permanent foundation, she did much toward preparing the way for what has been since accomplished for female education. Elmira Female College, chartered in 1855, and Ingham University, chartered with college powers in 1857, were the earliest institutions authorized to confer degrees on women in this State. The State aided Elmira College with a grant of $25,000, and Inghamn University with a grant of $5,000. In 1861 Vassar College was founded with more distinct purposes and plans. It was designed to create an institution which should do for women what our regular colleges do for men. Rutgers Female College began its collegiate existence in 1867. The last of the sisterhood is Wells College, organized in 1870, which two good and liberal men, Mr. Henry Wells and Mr. E. B. Morgan, have generously endowed.
MEDICAL COLLEGES. -The laws of the State have always dealt with medical colleges as standing on a different basis from those for science and the arts. Columbia College was vested with the rights and powers of a university, and therefore could confer medical degrees. So, too, those colleges which were chartered on the same model had like powers. Under these powers Columbia College and Geneva College, and the University of the city of New York estabJished medical departments, gave medical education and conferred the degree of Doctor of Medicine. The establishment of
separate medical colleges was beguin by the incorporation, in 1807, of the College of Physicians and Surgeons in the city of New York. This was so unusual a proceeding that the Legislature passed a special act empowering the Board of Regents to grant the charter, Subse