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tion. It is fast becoming the rallying point for every great interest of the country and the world.
(8) With its varied culture and elegance of manners, it is also the most democratic of cities. Men and women of worth and genius, whose modest means and humble abode would limit them in some other cities to the more lowly associations, are here made welcome in the costly palace of the cultured and opulent.
(9) The multitude of religious, charitable, and philanthropic organizations in active operation, with less than the average proportion of the haunts of vice, make it a comparatively safe place for advanced students whose ambition would lead them to Washington as a high seat of learning
(10) For all these reasons—for what Washington is, embraces, and represents—there is no place like it in America for the culture and sure growth of a love of country. The students here gathered from every quarter, and here taught, not alone by the university, but likewise taught and molded by the spirit and patriotic influences of the city itself, would in time return to their thousands of homes more ardent patriots, the better qualified to serve their country, the more resolute in purpose to protect it from perils of every nature and to promote its highest welfare.
Thirdly, Washington has already an aggregation of facilities and opportunities in the way of legislative bodies, courts of every class, scientific bureaus, and like organizations, as well as libraries, museums, art collections, laboratories, workshops, and other sources of help available to a greater or less extent, such as is hardly surpassed by any in even the Old World. Behold the inventory of them: In the Treasury Department of the United States
The Office of the Coast and Geodetic Survey.
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
The several military bureaus.
The Naval Observatory.
In the Department of the Interior
The Patent Office.
The Census Office.
The Botanical Division, with the gardens and grounds.
The Agricultural Museum.
The Smithsonian Institution.
Courts, District, Circuit, and Supreme.
The Columbian University, with its professional department of
law and department of medicine.
Of local institutions and establishments--Continued.
The Columbia Hospital for Women.
The Providence Hospital.
The Philosophical Society of Washington.
The National Geographical Society.
Already the total valuation of the collections, literary and scientific, belonging to the Government and available for purposes of instruction, is over $30,000,000; the aggregate expenditures for the care and use of them in the work of the Government, nearly $4,000,000 annually. And the collections are rapidly growing.
The Congressional Library, already the largest in the New World, having long since outgrown its present accommodations, is soon to be put in possession of the finest library building on the face of the earth and will then rapidly advance to its proper rank by the side of those great collections at London and Paris.
The Smithsonian Institution, having relations of exchange with every government, institution, and society of importance in the world, is prepared to offer to the University, when established, unparalleled advantages in the departments of natural history and the arts.
Fourth. We have at Washington, in all departments of the Government, nearly a thousand experts in a great number of classes or branches of service, from the shops in the navy-yard to the Supreme Court itself; the whole body of them constituting the most important cluster of men of genius and rare attainments in the world. Hundreds of these men could serve a great university, either as lecturers and instructors, or by furtherance of its scientific work in some other way; thus greatly aiding it, while also adding something to their very moderate regular incomes, and gaining new inspiration for a still better service in their usual rounds, if not, indeed, for the supreme work of new discovery. For a great and powerful nation to allow all these vast and varied resources to remain indefinitely without the fullest possible use in the interest of science and learning, while at the same time multitudes of its citizens are suffering irreparable loss for want of them, is incomprehensible. It is certainly the worst economy conceivable and seems hardly less than criminal.
Fifth. Washington is becoming not only the most beautiful large city in America, as well as one of the most healthful, and also a favorite place of residence for people of talent, culture, and fortune; it is also to be the seat of many institutions of learning; adding to the universities already there, with the several law and other professional schools, which have made it an important educational center, great institutions of the university rank for the Catholic and Methodist churches, and probably for yet other religious bodies. Plant there, in the midst of all these, a national university, with its great central faculties of art, letters, science, and philosophy, its high departments of the mathematical and physical sciences, of applied chemistry, of mining and metallurgy, of civil and mechanical engineering, of topographical and hydrographical engineering, of architecture, of geology and mineralogy, of the biological sciences, of agriculture, of sanitation, of medicine, of jurisprudence, of education, of commerce, of the social and political sciences, with its superior schools of every other sort, bringing into relations with it the navy and military schools as well, and there will also come the great theological schools of every denomination, each with its independent control, yet each borrowing from the university in many departments, and in turn strengthening it by augmentation of numbers consecrated to high aims, and giving to it that increased invigoration which comes of the attrition of intellectual forces.
Sixth. Since Washington is the seat of government for the nation, it is for the interest of good government that the representatives of the people who concentrate there should have the benefit of such an atmosphere and of such personal contact as would be afforded by a university city. Larger information, broader views, and loftier aims would be theirs, even the ablest and best of them, by reason of the influences that would envelop them even as the earth is enveloped in its own ocean of ether.
Seventh. The presence of a great university in the national capital would have a direct influence on the character of the people's repre. sentation in Congress; encouraging men of the highest type, of highest culture, and of purest aspirations to seek these positions of so great importance to the country and to the cause of good government everywhere, and yet from which some may now shrink because of the sacrifices involved.
Last of all, the presence of a great national university at the seat of government, with all it involves of opportunity, intellectual association, social refinement, and moral dignity, would tend to insure to the United States such representation from foreign courts as would yet further improve the tone of the national capital, while in an important manner adding to the influence of our country in all matters of diplomatic intercourse and in the satisfactory adjustment of international questions.
SUMMARY OF EFFORTS IN THE PAST.
A summary of the notable efforts hitherto made in behalf of a national university would probably surprise even those most familiar with the history of education. While it can hardly be doubted that others than those herein noted have been made, it is nevertheless true that great care has been taken to make the memorandum complete, and to present the steps known to have been taken in due chronological order, beginning with the few important words to that end in Gen. Washington's headquarters at Cambridge, and ending with the resolutions recently adopted by the Human Freedom League in old Independence Hall, and by the General Committee of Three Hundred charged with the duty of arranging for a Pan-Republic Congress, to be held in 1893.
Passing such known efforts in simple review, we note:
I. The suggestion of Samuel Blodget, afterwards author of the first formal American work on political economy, in the presence of Gen. Washington, Gen. Greene, and Maj. William Blodget, in Washington's military camp at Cambridge, in October, 1775—a suggestion made in answer to remarks upon the damage the militia were doing to the colleges in which they were quartered, and in the following words:
Well, to make amends for these injuries, I hope after our war we shall erect a noble national university at which the youth of all the world may be proud to receive instructions. 1
II. The important words of Gen. Washington in response to the foregoing, namely:
Young man, you are a prophet, inspired to speak what I am confident will one day be realized.
III. The yet more memorable remark of Washington after the Revolutionary war, the permanent location of the national capital, and a most careful consideration of the university interest, to wit:
While the work of establishing a national university may be properly deferred until Congress is comfortably accommodated and the city has so far grown as to be prepared for it, the enterprise must not be forgotten; and I trust that I have not omitted to take such measures as will at all events secure the entire object in time. (Referring to his intended bequest.)
IV. The strenuous efforts of James Madison and Charles C. Pickering, doubtless with the earnest encouragement of Washington, and with
1 Samuel Blodget's “Economica,” p. 22.