The high schools were abolished by an indiscreet act of the Legislature in 1879, but re-instated in the following year. The maximum State allowance for each town was fixed by the law of restitution at two hundred and fifty dollars, and the total annual appropriation at twentysix thousand dollars. In 1880 there were eighty-six towns reported as receiving State aid, and in 1886 the number had increased to one hundred and sixty towns. During the period from 1880 to 1886 the amount expended by the State was $121,243.39. Besides this amount small appropriations were made at different times to seminaries and academies.


This institution owes its existence and support chiefly to the Baptists, under whose control it now is. -

The first Baptist association in the district of Maine was formed at Bowdoinham in 1787. At a meeting of this association held at Livermore in 1810, it was proposed “to establish an institution in the district of Maine for the purpose of promoting literary and theological knowledge.” Steps were taken toward organization, and the Governor of Massachusetts signed the act of incorporation of the “Maine Literary and Theological Institution.” The General Court endowed the institution with a township of land fifteen miles above Bangor, in the unbroken wilderness, and enacted that the school should be located in the said township. Subsequent legislation enabled the corporators to locate the institution at Waterville.

The school was opened in 1818, and the first State Legislature in 1820 created it a college.

Besides the grant of a township of land by Massachusetts, the State of Maine endowed the college with two half-townships. For the first seven years after it was chartered as a college the State granted an annuity” of one thousand dollars, and subsequently other annuities, making the total benefactions of the State fourteen thousand five hundred dollars. In 1821 the name was changed to Waterville College by the Legislature, and again that of Colby University was adopted by the trustees January 3, 1861."


An act to establish the Maine State College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts was passed by the Legislature February 25, 1865." This act provided for the complete organization of the college, and among other things created a board of trustees, with power to choose a site for the college and to make general laws for its control, and provided for a liberal course of instruction, including military tactics, and for free tuition to resident students of the State. The land scrip" of the Federal grant, amounting to 210,000 acres, had already been accepted, and in the following years (1866) 193,600 acres were sold at a little more than fifty-three cents per acre, which yielded one hundred and two thousand seven hundred and fifty-nine dollars, and when invested in State securities, made a fund of one hundred and four thousand five hundred dollars. The remainder of the land was subsequently sold, swelling the permanent fund to the amount of one hundred and thirty-one thousand three hundred dollars, yielding in 1886 an income of seven thousand four hundred and thirty-eight dollars.” In 1866 the trustees chose the site for the institution at Orono, a village situated seven miles from the city of Bangor. Upon condition of its location at this place the citizens of Bangor donated the site and contributed the sum of fourteen thousand dollars," and the citizens of Orono raised by taxation the sum of eleven thousand dollars” for the purchase of an experimental farm. Two years later the Legislature granted the sum of ten thousand dollars for the purpose of purchasing apparatus and erecting buildings. This would seem like a favorable beginning for the new institution, and the subsequent appropriations by the State show that there was no lack of interest in the Agricultural College. The Legislature made appropriations from time to time according to the apparent needs of the institution. A few of the more important will be cited. An act of March 12, 1869, appropriated" the sum of twenty-eight thousand dollars for building and general purposes; this was followed in 1870 by an appropriation" for similar purposes of twenty-two thousand dollars, including that part of the twenty-eight thousand dollars already drawn. Again in 1872" there was voted the sum of eighteen thousand dollars, for general purposes; and two years thereafter twelve thousand and five hundred dollars." At this time (1875) a very peculiar act of the Legislature was passed,

'Laws, 1880, chap. 224, sec. 1.

*The following facts concerning Colby University are taken from President Small's excellent paper in the New England Magazine for August, 1888.

*Laws of Maine, 1813, II, 856.

*To be paid from the proceeds of the bank tax.

* Laws of Maine, II, 854, 861.

*Maine Laws, 1865, chap. 523, p. 529.

soliciting proposals from the various denominations and organizations

to take the school and sustain it according to the original plan. It seems that it was thought at this time that the successful conduct of the college by the State was impracticable. Possibly it was like the legislation of 1879, which abolished the free high schools as an economical measure. At any rate, the Agricultural College remained in the

Report of the Commissioner of Education for 1867–68, 299.

5 Ibid, 1870. *Report of State Superintendent of schools for 1886. 6 Ibid, 1872, p. 22. *Laws of Maine (Resolves) 1868, 203. 7 Ibid, 1874, p. 179.

“Ibid, 1869, 24.


hands of the State, and so continues. In 1876 eight thousand dollars Were appropriated' for expenses and debts, and in the following year, for outstanding indebtedness, instruction, and building purposes, $15,218.” Not succeeding in shifting the responsibility of the college upon others, the Legislature renewed its efforts for the successful management of the institution. Again, in 1880 three thousand dollars were voted for the payment of liabilities, and in 1881 the sum of three thousand five hundred dollars was voted for contingent expenses and instruction. The last appropriation” that we have to record was made in 1885, for that year and the following, of the amount of $12,400. f Other minor appropriations were made for different objects, among which was the payment of the traveling expenses of the visiting committee, appointed by the Legislature. The total amount appropriated by the Legislature to the end of the fiscal year of 1888 is $247,218. The value of the property, including land, libraries, buildings, stock, etc., is $165,000; the permanent fund is $131,300, which yields an annual income of $7,438.


An act of the Legislature of the province of Maine, approved in 1794, incorporated the above-named institution. The management of the college was placed under a board of trustees, with full powers of control. Subsequently the number was changed and their powers more closely defined. That the institution might not want for proper support, it was further enacted, “That the clear rents, issues, and profits of all the estate, real and personal, of which the said corporation shall be seized or possessed, shall be appropriated to the endowment of the said college, in such manner as will most effectually promote virtue, piety, and the knowledge of such of the languages and the useful and liberal arts and sciences as shall hereafter be directed from time to time by said corporation.” Five townships of land, each six miles square, were granted to the college for its endowment and vested in the trustees, provided that fifteen families be settled in each of the said townships within a period of twelve years, and provided further that three lots containing three hundred and twenty acres each be reserved, one for the first settled minister, one for the use of the ministry, and one for the support of schools within the township where it is located. These townships were to be laid out and assigned from any of the unappropriated lands belonging to the commonwealth of the district of Maine.

The first money endowment was instituted by a general law of Massachusetts, approved February 24, 1814, which reads as follows: “Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court now assembled, That the tax which the president, directors and company of the Massachusetts Bank are and shall be liable to pay to the commonwealth, shall be and hereby is granted to and appropriated as follows, viz.: ten-sixteenths parts thereof to the president and fellows of Harvard College; three-sixteenths parts thereof to the president and trustees of Williams College; and three-sixteenths thereof to the presi. dent and trustees of Bowdoin College.” The author has no means of knowing the amount of money received from this grant, except that Harvard received ten thousand and Williams three thousand, and at the same rate Bowdoin would have received three thousand per annum, or the sum of thirty thousand dollars. One other thing that would lead us to suppose that this is the amount received, is that in 1820 a law was enacted” granting to Bowdoin College, or the presi. dent, trustees, and overseers, the sum of three thousand dollars per annum for seven years, beginning with the fourteenth day of February, 1824, the sum to be paid out of moneys arising from the tax on certain banks not otherwise appropriated. This was a continuance of the general act of Massachusetts, and was to be null and void at such time when the said tax yielded less than four thousand dollars per annum. In each of the above acts one-fourth of the grants was to be devoted to defraying the expenses of indigent students in attendence at the college. UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT. 125

"Laws of Maine (Resolves) 1876, p. 123.
*Ibid., 1877, p. 211.

*Ibid., 1885, 260.
*Laws of Maine, II, 846, et seq.

The exact amount realized from the sale of land grants can not be ascertained. “The townships chosen are now known as Dixmont, Sebec, Guilford, Foxcroft, and Abbot. Foxcroft was sold in 1800 for seven thousand nine hundred and forty dollars; Sebec apparently brought upwards of eleven thousand dollars in 1803, and Dixmont is said to have been sold for twenty thousand dollars.”

In 1820 the medical department of Bowdoin was created by an act of the Legislature, and the school placed under the direction of the president, trustees, and overseers of Bowdoin College. In order to carry out the organization of the new school, to purchase books, plates, and apparatus, the Legislature granted the sum of one thousand five hundred dollars.”


The total grants by the Legislature to the colleges of Maine are as follows: Bowdoin, five townships of land.

Money appropriations --------------------------------------- ... - - - - - - $52,500 Bates College, Waterville, money appropriations --------------------------- 14,000 Agricultural and Mechanical College -------------------------------------- 247, 218 Total.-------------------------------------------------------------. 313,718

* Laws of Massachusetts, IV, 388.

* Laws of Maine, II, 854. * Letter from Professor Little, of Bowdoin, December 27, 1888. * Laws of Maine, II, 856.

[ocr errors]


| THE FIRST schools.

The first schools of Vermont existed before any legislative enactment was made by the State for the control of education. The systems which had existed in other parts of New England obtained here, and the town schools, similar to those in New Hampshire, were especially in vogue before and after the separation of Vermont from that province. Schools were supported and controlled by the communities in which they were situated, although the central legislative authority sanctioned by law as early as 1782 these local institutions. Even in the Constitution of 1793 the responsibility is thrown upon the local au. thorities, as it declares that “a competent number of schools ought to be maintained in each town for the convenient instruction of youth and one or more grammar Schools to be incorporated and properly supported in each county.”

In 1794 the towns were authorized to support schools by a local tax, and at the same time a general law” was passed to aid such schools by a landed endowment. The law provided that the lands heretofore granted by the British Government to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts should be granted for the purposes of education to the respective towns wherein they lay, to be keased for the support of schools, the leases to extend “as long as water runs or wood grows.” Likewise certain glebe lands were in the same year confirmed for the support of religious worship; subsequently the law was repealed, in 1805, and the lands were appropriated to schools.” It was not until 1797 that the Legislature assumed any direct control of the town

schools, which it did by enacting that each town should support a

School or schools, and that any town failing to comply with the law should forfeit its right to its proportion of the general tax." But the chief action of the State in educational affairs was directed toward the maintenance of a State university.


The State took a decided course in regard to the supervision and Support of higher education. At the time of the organization of the State government, in 1798,” the University of Vermont was endowed with lands which proved subsequently to amount to twenty-nine thousand acres. In 1791 the university was organized; the preamble of the act of incorporation shows forth the spirit and intent of the found

* Chap. II, sec. 41; A Revision of the Frame of Government of 1786. * Laws of Vermont (1808), I, 227.

* Ibid., 234.
“Report of the Commissioner of Education for 1876, 391.
*Address by Hon. Justin Morrill, 8.

« ForrigeFortsett »