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classes-distributed, as nearly as may be, so as to accommodate the demand for such instruction. Each academy appointed is authorized to organize a class of not less than ten nor more than twenty-five members. The instruction is to continue at least ten weeks. As a condition for enjoying the benefits of this class the candidate must have passed the Regents' preliminary examination either before entering the class or as a requisite of graduation from it. A curriculum of instruction is prescribed, and a final examination is held. To those who pass this examination the Regents grant a testimonial of proficiency, which when indorsed by the school commissioner becomes a license to teach in the common schools of his district. For this service the State pays at the rate of one dollar per week for the instruction of each scholar. The law above quoted authorized the Regents to take measures to supervise the classes, and under this authority they have appointed an inspector who gives his entire time to the case and visitation of the classes. The following table exhibits the statistics of these classes for the past three years:
Number of classes instructed..
Number of academies.
Number of academic scholars.
SUMMARY STATEMENTS. The following tables present some important facts in regard to the academical institutions under the care of the Board of Regents:
1. STATISTICS OF ATTENDANCE.
1,336 $15, 836
2. PROPERTY OF INCORPORATED ACADEMIES.
Number of schools...
Value of libraries and apparatus.
IN THE YEARS.
Number of schools
237 235 255 252 $1,058,776 $1,035,229 $1,195,084 $1,254,990 $1,359, 945 1,013,780 1,020,586 1,146,451 1,235,016
HISTORICAL AND STATISTICAL RECORD OF THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK.
By FRANKLIN B. HOUGH, M. D., Ph. D.
ORGANIZATION OF THE BOARD OF REGENTS.
Before noticing the organization of a Board of Regents, in 1784, it may be proper to refer back to proceedings had at an earlier period, in the establishment of a college in New York, which, with the exception of a few years of interruption during the Revolutionary War, has been continued to the present time, and since its reorganization, under the name of "Columbia College."
We find as early as 1703 an allusion to an intention of founding a college upon a part of the "King's Farm" in New York city.1 It was thought of again in 1729, but nothing effectual was done until December 6, 1746, when an act was passed by the General Assembly of the Colony, for raising the sum of £2,250 by a public lottery, for the encouragement of learning, and toward founding a College. Other acts followed, and toward the end of 1751, the moneys raised, amounting to £3,443 18s. were vested in trustees. Of these, two belonged to the Dutch Reformed Church, one to the Presbyterian, and seven to the Church of England. After further delays, and much discussion as to the plan and control of the proposed College, a charter was granted on the 31st day of October, 1754, under the name of "King's College."
The trustees of the fund had in November, 1753, invited Dr. Samuel Johnson to accept the presidency of the intended College. He removed to New York in April, 1754, and in July following commenced a school. The College was not properly organized until the 7th of May, 1755, when formal proceedings were had, and the
1 Moore's Historical Sketch of Columbia College, page 6. Pratt's Annals of Public Education in New York (Regents' Convocation, 1873), page 169.
2 These acts are given at length in Pratt's Annals of Education above cited.
charter delivered to the Governors of the College. This charter named as Governors, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the first Lord Commissioner for Trade and Plantations, who might act by proxy, the Lieutenant-Governor, the eldest Councillor of the Province, the Judges of the Supreme Court of Judicature, the Secretary, the Attorney-General, the Speaker of the General Assembly, the Treasurer, the Mayor of New York city, the Rector of Trinity Church, the Senior Minister of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church, the Ministers of the Ancient Lutheran Church, of the French Church, and of the Presbyterian Church, the President of the College, and twenty-four citizens of New York city.
On the 13th of May, 1755, a piece of land on the west side of Broadway, bounded east by Church street, and running between Barclay and Murray streets, a breadth of four hundred and forty feet to the Hudson river, was conveyed by the corporation of Trinity Church to the Governors of the College. Upon the upper part of this plat, at the foot of what was formerly called upper Robinson street, and afterward Park Place, the College was built, and there the institution remained for more than a century. A part not occupied was leased, and became a valuable endowment to the College.
It is sufficient in this connection to remark, that the College continued in operation until April, 1776, when the building was taken for a military hospital and its students dispersed.
About four months after the city of New York had been evacuated by British troops, a part of the Governors of King's College addressed the following petition to the State Legislature then in session in New York city:
"To the Honorable the Legislature of the State of New York, the petition of the Subscribers, Governors of the College, commonly called King's College, humbly sheweth:
"That the greater part of the Governors of the said college have, since the commencement of the late war, died out or departed from this State, whereby a sufficient number of Governors cannot be convened for the carrying on of the business of the said College agreeably to its charter; that many parts of the said charter are inconsistent with that liberality and that civil and religious freedom which our present happy Constitution points out, and that an alteration of that charter in such points as well as an extension of the privileges of the said College so as to render it the mother of an University to be established within this State, would tend to diffuse knowledge and extend literature throughout the State.
"Your petitioners, therefore, influenced by these motives, humbly
submit the said charter to the revision and correction of the LegisTature, so as to render it more adequate to these important ends, humbly hoping that your honorable body will confirm to the corporation of King's College such estate as was particularly appropriated to its use.
NEW YORK, 24th March, 1784."
It will be noticed that several of these persons were influential members of the State Government. Clinton was Governor; Scott was Secretary of State; Bancker was State Treasurer; Benson was Attorney-General, and Duane a State Senator and Mayor of the city of New York. The others were all men of influence and prominent in public affairs.
At the beginning of that session of the Legislature, Governor Clinton, in his message, had made the following reference to the subject of education, as a subject deserving of attention by that body:
"Neglect of the education of youth is among the evils consequent on war. Perhaps there is scarce any thing more worthy your attention than the revival and encouragement of Seminaries of Learning, and nothing by which we can more satisfactorily express our gratitude to the Supreme Being for His past favors, since Piety and Virtue are generally the offspring of an enlightened understanding."
In Assembly, Mr. Clark, of Orange, two days after, from the Committee of the Whole House on the speech of his Excellency, reported a resolution for the appointment of a committee to prepare a bill for the establishment of seminaries and schools, and it was done accordingly. Similar proceedings were had in the Senate very soon after, and thus the subject was brought before the Legislature in both Houses, near the beginning of that session, about two months before the petition from a part of the Governors of King's College had been presented.