Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

lished—“a fit illustration of American freedom and of American aspi. rations for the progress of the race.”

LIV. The action of the National Educational Association at the meeting above mentioned, in unanimously adopting the following resolution, offered by Superintendent Andrew J. Rickoff, of Ohio, namely:

Resolved, That, in the opinion of this assaciation, a great American university is a leading waut of American education, and that, in order to contribute to the early establishment of such an institution, the president of this association, acting in concert with the president of the National Superintendents' Association, is hereby requested to appoint a committee consisting of one member from each of the States, and of which Dr. J. W. Hoyt, of Wisconsin, shall be chairman, to take the whole matter under consideration, and to make such report thereon at the next annual convention of said association as shall seem to be demanded by the interests of the couutry.

Also by the appointment, as members of said national committee, of the following persons:

Dr. John W. Hoyt, Madison, Wis., chairman; Hon. N. B. Cloud, Montgomery, Ala.; Hon. Thomas Smith, Little Rock, Ark.; Prof. W. P. Blake, San Francisco, Cal.; Hon. B. G. Northrup, New Haven, Conn.; Prof. L. Coleman, Wilmington, Del.; Hon. T. C. Chase, Tallahassee, Fla.; Hon. Newton Bateman, Springfield, Ill.; Hon. B. C. Hobbs, Indianapolis, Ind.; Hon. S. S. Kissell, Des Moines, Iowa; Hon. P. McVicker, Topeka, Kans.; Hon. Z. T. Smith, Frankfort, Ky.; Hon. T. W. Conway, New Orleans, La.; Hon. Warren Johnson, Augusta, Me.; Hon. M. A. Newell, Baltimore, Md.; Hon. Joseph White, Boston, Mass.; Hon. O. Hosford, Lansing, Mich.; Prof. W.F. Phelps, Winona, Minn.; President Daniel Read, Columbia, Mo.; Prof. J. M. McKinsey, Peru, Nebr.; Hon. A. N. Fisher, Carson City, Nev.; Hon. Thomas Hardy, Concord, N. H.; Hon. C.S. Apgar, Trenton, N. J.; Hon. J. W. Bulkley, Brooklyn, N. Y.; Hon. S. S. Ashley, Raleigh, N. C.; Prof. A. J. Rickoff, Cleveland, Ohio; Rev. Geo. H. Atkinson, Portland, Oregon; Hon. J. P. Wickersham, Harrisburg, Pa.; Hon. T. W. Bicknell, Providence, R. I.; Hon. J. K. Jillson, Charleston, S. C.; Rev. C. T. P. Barcroft, Lookout Mountain, Tenn.; Hon. J. S. Adams, Montpelier, Vt.; Hon. W. H. Ruffin, Richmond, Va.; Prof. Z. Richards, Washington, D. C.

LV. The efforts of Dr. William B. Wedgewood, Thomas C. Connelly, , John L. Roberts, William H. Chase, S. S. Baker, A. C. Richard, James M. Fuston, encouraged by many citizens of Washington, including especially Dr. C. C. Cox, Prof. Zalmon Richards, Dr. Tullio de SuzzaraVerdi, and Justice Arthur MacArthur, who, on April 14, 1871, procured a charter for the incorporation of a national university, under which at first a law school and afterwards a medical school were opened, with the expectation of making them permanent departments of the university when it should become an established fact. (Both of these professional schools are still in operation, under lead of Chancellor Arthur MacArthur; but they are without endowment, and are only kept alive by voluntary sacrifices on the part of their faculties.]

LVI. The publication by John W. Hoyt, in 1870, of his work on the Progress of University Education, the same being an enlarge

1 Proceedings Nat. Ed. Ass'n., 1869, p. 23.

ment of the Address above-mentioned, and embracing: (1) The University of the Past; (2) The University of the Present; and (3) The University of the Future. From the closing pages of this work the following extract is made:

If, now, the conclusions reached upon the several questions involved be correct and a full and free discussion of them is cordially invited-may we not assume that the university of the future ought to be, and is destined to be, not only a higher but a more comprehensive institution than the highest and most complete of those now in existence—an institution high enough to embrace the utmost limits of actual intellectual achievement and broad enough to include every real profession-an institution fulfilling as has never yet been done its three-fold office of giving the highest instruction in every department and alone conferring the highest degrees therein; of extending the boundaries of human knowledge by means of research and investigation, and of exerting a constantly stimulating influence upon every class of schools of lower grade?

The realization of this high ideal will cost large sums of noney. Its foundation must be reckoned by millions, its professors by hundreds, and its means of illustration and experiment be extensive in every department. But the results upon our whole system of education and upon the intellectual progress of the people would be beyond calculation.'

LVII. The unanimous adoption by the National Educational Associ. ation, at its annual meeting at Cleveland, Ohio, in August, 1870, of the, preliminary report of its committee on a national university, from which report the following passages are quoted:2

Notwithstanding the many and various uses heretofore made of the term university, it may be assumed, without fear of successful contradiction, that the leading offices of a true university are these:

(1) To provide the best possible facilities for the highest and most profound culture in every department of learning.

(2) To provide the means of a thorough preparation for all such pursuits in life as, being based upon established scientific and philosophical principles, are entitled to rank as professions.

(3) To exert a stimulating and elevating influence upon every subordinate class and grade of educational institutions by holding up before the multitude of their pupils the standard of the highest scholarship, and by preparing for their administrative and instructional work officers and teachers of a higher grade of qualification than would be otherwise possible.

(4) To enlarge the boundaries of human knowledge, by means of the researches and investigations of its professors and fellows, as well as by the researches and investigations of other advanced minds, encouraged to greater activity and led to greater achievements by the influence of the university example.

In so far as any institution, whatever its name or fame, fails in the fulfilment of this general mission, by so much does it fall short of the standard of a true university.

And, again: Such a university in America would at once become a power, influential alike in furthering and directing our material development, in elevating the character of the lower educational institutions of the country, and in awakening and sustaining higher conceptions of both individual and national culture, thus helping, by a happy

University Progress, p. 79.

S. Mis. 222 -5

2 Proceedings of Nat. Ed. Ass'n, 1869, pp. 97-100.

*

*

means.

combination of our own more than Roman energy and religious faith with the grace and refinement of the Greek civilization, to become a nation fully worthy of the future that awaits the United States.

It would do vastly more than this. It would supply to all lands a most important need of the times—a university placed under the benign influence of free civil and religious institutions, and sublimely dedicated to the diffusion and advancement of knowledge. Students of high aspirations, and even ripe scholars of genius, would eventually flock to its halls from every quarter of the globe, adding to the intellectual wealth of the nation should they remain, or bearing with them scions from the tree of liberty for planting in their native lands. And thus America, already the most marvelous theater of material activities, would early become the world's recognized center of intellectual culture as well as of moral and political power.

When a few years since the men of work asked help of the nation for the endowment of schools for the benefit of agriculture and the mechanic arts the Government, with a liberal hand, gave for this noble object 10,000,000 acres of the public domain, to which the individual States and great-hearted men have added no less liberal

How much more, then, proportionally, will our statesmen in council and liberal patriots yield for the founding and maintenance of one great central institution, to be established in the interest of every profession and of all classes of schools, of a profound and universal culture, of a more perfect intellectual and social development of the whole body of the nation, in the interest of liberty and universal man!

Finally: In the opinion of your committee, the attention of the association has not been called to this subject a moment too soon. The trial of its political institutions through which the American nation has just passed; the manner in which the necessity for education as the only guaranty for the perpetuity of these institutions has just been burned into the national consciousness; the pressing demand made by our material and social condition for the best educational facilities the world can furnish, and the fast accumulating evidence that America is surely destined to a glorious leadersbip in the grand march of the nations—all these constitute an appeal to action which it were criminal to disregard. The necessity is great. The country and the times are ripe for the undertaking.

LVIII. The address of Gen. John Eaton, jr., National Commissioner of Education, before the National Teacher's Association, at Cleveland, August 19, 1870, wherein he said:

Next, as regards the District of Columbia. Here especially in the city of Washington, there should be a model system of education and scientific training for our youth, complete in its buildings, apparatus, and grounds, and in its opportunities for research in letters, science, and art. Where else than at the seat of Government could there more fitly be the crowning university of the land, where every qualified youth could freely pursue any branch of study or experiment desired. The Republic of Switzerland has already set us the example in its federal university. Thus would be realized the ideal dream of the Father of his Country."

LIX. The action of the National Educational Association, at its annual meeting of 1871, held at St. Louis

(1) In unanimously adopting the second report of the aforesaid committee on a national university; which report, among other things, contained the following:

Your committee are also gratified to be able to report a general concurrence, on the

· Proceedings of Nat. Ed. Ass’n, 1869, p. 113.

*

part of the many eminent men who have expressed their views upon the subject, in those large and liberal ideas of university education which only are adequate to the growing and already pressing demands of our country and times.

It was not deemed important in submitting onr first report, nor is it necessary in this, to mark the details of what the institution should be. * It may be proper, however, to state in general terms :

(1) That it should be broad enough to embrace every department of science, literature, and the arts, and every real profession.

(2) That it should be high enough to supplement the highest existing institutions of the country, and to embrace within its field of instruction the utmost limits of human knowledge.

(3) That, in the interest of truth and justice, it should guarantee equal privileges to all duly qualified applicants for admission to the courses of instruction, and equal rights, as well as the largest freedom, to all earnest investigators in that vast domain which lies outside the limits of acknowledged science.

(4) That it should be so constituted and established as to command the hearty support of the American people, regardless of section, party, or creed.

(5) That its material resources should be vast enough to enablo it not only to furnish, and that either freely or at nominal cost, the best instruction the world can afford, but also to provide the best known facilities for the work of scientific investigation, together with endowed fellowships and honorary fellowships, open respectively to the most meritorious graduates and to such investigators, whether native or foreign, as, being candidates therefor, shall have distinguished themselves most in the advancement of knowledge.

(6) That it should be so coördinated in plan with the other institutions of the country as not only in no way to conflict with them, but on the contrary, to become at once a potent agency for their improvement and the means of creating a complete, harmonious, and efficient system of American education.

The idea of a national university, then, is as old as the nation, has had the fullest sanction of the wisest and best men of succeeding generations, and is in perfect harmony with the policy and practice of the Government."

(2) The action of the National Educational Association, at the aforesaid St. Louis meeting of 1871, in creating, as proposed by its said national university committee, a new and permanent committee, “to be charged with the duty of further conducting the enterprise to a successful issue, whether by means of conferences and correspondence, or through the agency of a special convention;" the said permanent committee thus created being constituted as follows, to wit:

Dr. John W. Hoyt, of Wisconsin, chairman; ex-President Thomas Hill, Massachusetts; Mr. E. L. Godkin, New York; Hon. W. P. Wickersham, State superintendent of public instruction, Pennsylvania; Dr. Barnas Sears, Virginia; Col. D. F. Boyd, president University of Louisiana, Louisiana; Dr. Daniel Read, president University of Missouri, Missouri; Dr. W. F. Phelps, president State Normal School, Winona, Minn.; ex-Governor A. C. Gibbs, Oregon; Hon. Newton Bateman, State superintendent of public instruction, Illinois; with the following ex officio members : The president of the National Educational Association; the National Commissioner of Education; the president of the National Academy of Sciences; the president of the National Association for the Advancement of Science, and the president of the American Social Science Association.2

*

LX. The preparation, by the aforesaid permanent committee on a national university, in January, 1872, of a bill to be offered to Con

Proceedings Nat. Ed. Assn., 1870, pp. 97-100.

? Id., 1871, pp. 37–41.

gress, and in sending the same to leading citizens in all parts of the country, accompanied by the following request:

DEAR SIR: This draft of a bill to incorporate a national university is merely tentative, and is respectfully submitted to you for criticisms and suggestions, which please forward to the undersigned

as early as practicable.

*

LXI. The valuable assistance of Senator Charles Sumner, who gave much time to this subject, especially in 1872–73, who aided in maturing the bill of the National Educational Association, and whose interest was so great that he seriously talked of making a systematic effort to secure the founding of the proposed university as the closing labor of his life.

LXII. The preparation, by Dr. O. W. Wight, of a bill to establish a national university for the purpose of elevating the standard of education in the Republic and promoting the intellectual welfare of the people, and the introduction of said bill (S. 859) on March 25, 1872, by Senator Timothy O. Howe.

LXIII. The coöperation of Senators J. W. Patterson, Timothy 0. Howe, Mathew H. Carpenter, John J. Ingalls, W. B. Allison, L. Q. C. Lamar, and James H. Garland, Professors Joseph Henry, Spencer F. Baird, and Louis Agassiz, and others, with the National University Committee, in the preparation of the bill finally introduced in both Houses of Congress (S. 1128 and H. R. 2839) on May 20, 1872, by Senator Frederick A. Sawyer and Hon. Legrand W. Perce.

LXIV. The unanimous report of the Committee on Education and Labor of the House of Representatives on the bill above referred to; said committee consisting of Messrs. Legrand W. Perce, of Mississippi, chairman; George F. Hoar, of Massachusetts; Washington Townsend, of Pennsylvania; Roderick F. Butler, of Tennessee; Mark H. Dunnell, of Minnesota; Robert B. Elliott, of South Carolina; John B. Storm, of Pennsylvania; T. McIntyre, of Georgia; Hosea W. Parker, of New Hampshire; the report, submitted March 3, 1873, being in part as follows:

It is unnecessary to frame an argument to show the special importance of university culture in a country like ours, where the administration of public affairs, the molding of our political institutions, and hence the destinies of the Republic, are intrusted to representatives chosen by the people; where, moreover, as nowhere else, there must constantly arise new problems demanding the sure light of science, material, social, and political, for their solution. It is not enough that the American Republic be distinguished by the universality of common education; it should be no less distinguished by the prevalence of thorough culture.

This need of the university has been felt and strongly expressed by many of the most distinguished citizens in all periods of our history. It was repeatedly declared by the framers of our national Constitution, and urged in the messages of the early Presidents; and although some of the colleges then in existence have largely increased their pecuniary foundations and enlarged their plans correspondingly, scientific

* * *

« ForrigeFortsett »