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EXTRACTS FROM THE CATALOGUE FOE 1863.
OBJECTS OF THE INSTITUTION.
The State Agricultural College proposes—
1st. To impart a knowledge of Science, and its application to the arts of life. Especially are those Sciences which relate to Agriculture and kindred arts, such as Chemistry, Botany, Zoology, and Animal Physiology, prosecuted to a much greater extent than in institutions where the study of their practical applications is not pursued. The instruction given in the Lecture room is illustrated and enforced by the actual and prolonged study of plants and animals, and of the various practices and experiments of the farm and garden. Students will be taught to distinguish clearly between those principles and settled rules of agriculture, in accordance with which they may safely proceed, and those theories or practices which are either exploded, or are as yet the proper objects of experiment and discussion only, but whose too hasty adoption has led to repeated failures, and to the discredit of science.
2d. To afford its students the privilege of daily manual labor. As this labor is to some degree remunerated, it might seem intended only to lessen the expenses of the student, Its first use, however, is educational, being planned, and varied for the illustration of the principles of science. The preservation of health, and of a taste for the pursuit of Agriculture, are two other important objects. It is well known that students who pursue a College course very seldom thereafter engage in any industrial pursuit. Four or six years of study without labor, wholly removed from sympathy with the laboring world, at that period of life when habits and tastes are rapidly formed, will almost inevitably produce a disinclination, if not inability, to perform the work and duties of the farm. But to accomplish the objects of the Institution, it is evident that its students must not, in acquiring a scientific education, lose either the ability or the disposition to labor on the farm. If the farmer then is to be educated, he must be educated on the farm itself; and it is due to this large class of our population that facilities for improvement, second to none other in the State, be afforded them.
It is believed that the three hours' work which every student is required to perform on the farm or in the garden, "besides serving to render him familiar with the use of implements and the principles of agriculture, is sufficient also to preserve habits of manual labor, and to foster a taste for agricultural pursuits. It has been found, in the past, sufficient to keep the student interested in every department of farm and horticultural work; and the daily labor of each one being performed at one time, does not occupy him longer than is requisite for preserving health and a robust constitution.
3d. To prosecute experiments for the promotion of agriculture. Agriculture is the creature of experiments. Very few farmers possess facilities for carrying on experiments accurately, and to define results. From a lack of general acquaintance with the laws of Nature, their experiments generally, unless guided by scientific men, are comparatively valueless for the determination of vexed questions of practice, and the establishment of general principles. An extensive Laboratory, and other means at hand, enable the Institution to enter on a series of experiments, to be prosecuted systematically and continuously from year to year. As the students themselves at a proper stage of advancement, participate in conducting these experiments, they will go forth from the Institution qualified to make and record observations for the use of science.
4th. The organic law of the College, as well as the act of Congress donating lands for Agricultural Colleges, contemplates a course of instruction in the military art, and in the applications of science to the various arts of life. Instruction to a limited extent, is already given in military field operations, Hygiene, &c. Aside from, this, the practical applications of science are at present pursued mostly in directions desirable to the farmer—as surveying, leveling, laying out of grounds, mechanics, as applied to implements, buildings, stockbreeding, &c.
5th. To afford the means of a general education to the farming class. This the Agricultural College endeavors to supply. The labor system preserves the student's health, and the habits and love of wholesome work. The professional part of the course gives him an insight into the nature of the objects and forces with which he has* to deal. Added to this are the branches of study which help to make an intelligent and useful citizen, which cultivate his taste, and enable him to give expression to his knowledge and opinions.
The State Agricultural College occupies a pleasant and healthy location, about three miles east from Lansing, the capital of the State. The buildings stand upon a slight eminence, among forest trees which have been purposely retained. The grounds have been skillfully laid out, and tastefully adorned by art. It is designed to make this one of the most attractive places in the west, that it may exert an influence in educating the taste of the student, while it provides the material for illustrating the principles of Science.
The State Agricultural College is now in a condition, by mea,ns of the munificent Congressional endowment, so wisely set apart for its support, to become at no distant day, a selfsustaining Institution.
The buildings have cost about $60,000.
The farm in immediate connection with the College, contains 6*76 acres, the value of which cannot be placed at less than $15,000. In addition to this, the Michigan Legislature has Tested in the College about 6,000 acres of swamp lands adjoining or in the vicinity of the farm. These lands are believed to be worth, at present, at least $30,000, -and their value will rapidly increase.
An act of Congress, approved July 2, 1862, donated to each State, public lands to the amount of 30,000 acres for each of its Senators and Eepresentatives in Congress, according to the census of I860, for "the endowment, support and maintenance. of at least one College, where the leading object shall be, without excluding other scientific and classical studies, aud including military tactics, to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts."
The Legislature at its last session accepted this grant, and bestowed it upon the Agricultural College. By its provisions the College receives 240,000 acres of land. If the average value be placed at $1 25 per acre, and this is believed to be low, it gives $300,000. The endowment, therefore, aside from the farm and buildings, cannot be placed at less than $330,000. At 1 per cent, interest, this will give an annual income of $23,100.
Candidates for admission into the Preparatory Class must be not less than fourteen years of age, and must sustain a satisfactory examination in Arithmetic, Geography, Grammar, Reading, Spelling and Penmanship.
Candidates for admission into the Freshman Class, or for any advanced standing, must sustain an examination in all the previous studies of the course.
Students are admitted at any time on passing the required examinations; but it is greatly preferred that all candidates present themselves for examination on the first day of the term, or at the semi-yearly examination near the middle of the term.
DEPARTMENTS OF INSTRUCTION.
Elementary Chemistry.—The imponderable agents—Heat, Light and Electricity; chemical affinity, and the laws of chemical combination; elementary substances—their properties and combinations; application.of chemistry to the arts and manufactures; organic chemistry.
Analytical Chemistry.—General analysis; analysis of soils; analysis of minerals; use of the blow-pipe; analysis of manures; analysis of plants; alkalimetry and acidimetry.
Agricultural Chemistry.—Formation and composition of soils; the relations of air and moisture to vegetable growth; connection of heat, light and electricity, with growth of plants; nature and sotlrce of food of plants; chemical changes attending vegetable growth; chemistry of the various processes of the farm, as plowing, fallowing, draining, &c; preparation, preserving, and composting of manures; artificial manures. Methods of improving soils by chemical means: 1st, by mineral manures; 2d, by vegetable manures; 8d, by animal manures; 4th, by indirect methods; rotation of crops; chemical composition of the various crops—their nutritive and fattening qualities; the chemistry of the dairy.
The instruction in Chemistry is imparted both by lectures and text books. Daily reviews and examinations serve to fix more thoroughly on the student's mind the facts and principles involved.
Practical Agriculture.—In addition to the instruction afforded by the Professors of Chemistry, Botany, &c, and by the Superintendent of the Farm, in conducting the labor of students, a course of lectures is given on the selection and laying out of farms, planning of farm buildings, on clearing, fencing, modes of culture, and the various manual operations of practical farming.
Botany.—From the length of time devoted to this study, and the facilities afforded for illustration, it is believed a fuller CDurse is given in it here than at any other institution in the country. The student is first thoroughly grounded in Structural and Physiological Botany, and then takes up Systematic Botany; his studies are illustrated by living and dried specimens,