Imagens das páginas

“The plan,” says the venerable Gov. Woodbridge, late Senator in Congress from Michigan, in a letter to this department, “in its application to the Western Country,' had doubtless been predetermined, though of course not authoritatively disclosed before the treaty of peace, and before the cessions from the States. After these events, and when the title of the General Government was no longer disputed. a more definite form was given to it. The application of the one thirty-sixth part of each surveyed township for the support of common schools within such township, first appears in a formal ordinunce of the old Congress of May, 1785. All subsequent acts of general legislation, both before and after the adoption of the constitution, affirm the plan, and indicate a scrupulous adherence to the principles of it, as indeed every sentiment of common honesty, as well as sound public policy, required. The United States were deeply in debt, and it was an enquiry of the greatest solicitude among all public men in those days, by what possible means that debt could be paid. After the treaty of peace, and especially after the cessions from the States, the immense public domain, which, without further doubt, was then by common consent, admitted to be subject to the disposition of the United States, was regarded as one certain, and perhaps the most productive, of all the means, applicable to that object, in their power. In these circumstances it was expedient to adopt a system which should hold out strong inducements to purchasers, in order to realize any revenue from its sale. Such policy was also enforced, by the consideration that no adequate protection could be given to the then frontier States, until extended settlements in that western country should have tirst dislodged trom it permanently, the hostile savages. Influenced by such considerations, the old Congress passed its ordinance of 1785. This was in fact, an invitation to all the world to buy; and among other inducements held out, it was therein promised to all who should go out and settle there, that one thirty-sixth part of the whole country should be applied forever, as a fund for the advancement of EDUCATION. It contained a promise to all who should buy there--it amounted to a solemn covenant with each purchaser and settler in every township, that he and his posterity forever, should in all future time, in common with the other settlers in the township, be entitled to the usufruct of that fund, as a means of educating his children. What an inducement was this with the father of a family, to go out and settle there!”

In 1787 the ordinance was passed, establishing rules and regulations for the government of the Territory. The provisions of the prior ordinance were respected; and it was further declared that “Religion, Morality and KNOWLEDGE, being necessary to good government, and the happiness of mankind, SCHOOLS, and the means of Education shall forever be encouraged."

The negotiations which led to the first appropriations for University purposes in the Northwest Territory were commenced in the

year 1786 by the Ohio company, and concluded the following year by a contract for the purchase of one and a half millions of acres of the public lands. In this contract, in addition to a reservation for schools and religious purposes, was a provision for the grant of two entire townships as an endowment for a l'niversity. These two townships were selected together at Athens, in Ohio, and the University located upon them. The year after, John Cleves Symmes, of New Jersey, and his associates, made application for the purchase of another large tract of land, which comprehended what is now Cincinnati. In this contract provision was also made, besides every section 16 for school and every section 29 for religious purposes, for an appropriation of one entire township for a University. It was a condition of the contract between the government and the purchasers of the tract that within seven years from the completion of the survey, unless Indian irruptions rendered it impracticable, they should lay off the whole contract at their own expense, into townships and fractional parts of townships and divide the same into lots according to the land ordinance of 1785. Lot numbered 16 in each township, or fractional part of a township, was given perpetually for the purposes of EDUCATION. Lot No. 29 in each township was granted perpetually for the purposes of RELIGION. Lots No. 8, 11 and 26, were reserved for the future disposition of Congress. One entire township was granted perpetually for the purpose of an acad- . emy or college.

In 1788 the quantity of land first applied for by Judge Symmes, was reduced by a subsequent contract, to one million of acres and the right to a college township thereby lost.

The provisions for seminaries of learning and for the other new States and Territories, are found in an act of Congress of 1804, one entire township being reserved for that purpose. In this act provision is made for such a reservation in that portion of the Western Territory which is now Michigan.

In 1817 the administration of the territorial government being vested in a Governor and Judges, the following law which may be viewed as a curiosity in the history of education, both on account of its peculiarity of language and the means provided for its support, was adopted. It was, however, no unusual thing at that early day,

and is not so now, in many of the States, to provide for the establishment of literary institutions, schools and colleges, and for benerolent and religious enterprises and purposes, by the organization of lotteries. The law was adopted and published from the laws of the seven original States mentioned in the last clause, by reason of a provision of the Ordinance of 1787, that the laws which the Governor and Judges made and published, both civil and criminal, were to be so taken, and suited to the circumstances of the Territory, and reported to and sanctioned by Congress, until the people were entitled to the organization of a General Assembly. AN ACT to establish the Catholepistemind, or University of Michi

gania. Be it enacted by the Governor and the Judges of the Territory of Michigan, That there shall be in the said Territory a Catholepistemiad, or University, denominated the Catholepistemiad or University of Mich. igania. The Catholepistemiad or University of Michigania shall be composed of thirteen Didaxum, or Professorships; first, a Didaxia, or Professorship of Catholepistemia, or universal science, the Didactor or professor of which shall be President of the Institution; second, a Didaxia or professorship of Anthropoglossica. or literature embracing all the Epistemum or sciences relative to language; third, a Diduxia or professorship of Mathematica, or Mathematics; fourth, a Didaxia or professorship of Physiognostica or Natural History; fifth, a Didaxia or professorship of Physiosophica or Natural Philosophy; sixth, a Didaxia or professorship of Astronomia or Astron. omy; seventh, a Didaxia or professorship of Chymia, or Chemistry; eigh.b, a Didaxia or professorship latuc , or Medieal Sciences; ninth, a Didaxia or professorship of economia, or economical sciences; tenth, a Didaxia or professorship of Ethica, or Ethical Sciences; eleventh, a Didaxia or professorship of Polemitactica, or Military Sciences; twelfth, a Didaxia or professorship of Diegetics, or Historical Sciences, and thirteenth, a Didaxia or professorship of Ennceica, or Intellectual Sciences, embracing all the Epistemum or sciences relative to the minds of animals, to the human mind, to spiritual existence, to the Deity, and to Religion; the Didactor or professor of which shall be Vice President of the Institution. The Didactors or professors shall be appointed and commissioned by the Governor. There shall be paid from the Treasury of Michigan, in quarterly payments, to the President of the Institution, and to each Didactor or Professor, an annual salary to be from time to time ascertained by law. More than one Didaxia or professorship may be conferred upon the same person. The President and Didactors, or professors, or a majority of them assembled, shall have power to regulate all the concerns of the Ivstitution to enact laws for that purpose, to sue, to be sued, to acquire, to hold and to aliene property, real, mixed and personal, to make, to use and to alter a seal, to estab

lish colleges, academies, schools, libraries, musæums, atheneums, Bo. tanic gardens, labaratories, and other useful literary and scientific institutions, consonant to the laws of the United States of America, and of Michigan, and to appoint officers, instructors and instructri. in. among and throughout the various counties, cities, towns, townships, and other geographical divisions of Michigan. Their name and style as & corporation, shall be "The Catholepistemiad or University of Michigania." To every subordinate instructor and instruxtrix, appointed by the Catholepistemiad or University, there shall be paid from the treasury of Michigan, in quarterly payments, an annual salary, to be, from time to time, ascertained by law. The existing public taxes are hereby increased fifteen per cent.; and from the proceeds of the present, and of all future public taxes fifteen per cent. are appropriated for the benefit of the Catholepistemiad or University. The Treasurer of Michigan shall keep a separate account of the University fund. The Catholepistemiad or University may prepare and draw four suecessive lotteries, deducting from the prizes in the same fifteen per cent. for the benefit of the Institution. The proceeds of the preceding sources of revenue, and of all subsequent, shall be applied, in the first instance, to the acquisition of suitable lands and buildings, and books, libraries and apparatus, and afterwards to such purposes as shall be, from time to time, by law directed. The Honorarium for a course of lectures, shall not exceed fifteen dollars: for classical instruction, ten dollars a quarter, and for ordinary instruction, six dollars a quarter. If the Judges of the court of any county, or a majority of them, shall certify that the parent or guardian of any person has not adequate means to defray the expense of suitable instruction, and that the same ought to be a public charge, the honorarium shall be paid from the Treasury of Michigan. An annual report of the state, concerns, and transactions of the Institution, shall be laid before the legislative power for the time being. This law or any part of it, may be repealed by the legislative power, for the time being. Made, adopted and published from the laws of seven of the original States, to wit: the States of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, as far as necessary and suitable to the circumstances of Michigan, at Detroit, on Tuesday the twenty-sixth day of August, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventeen.

WILLIAM WOODBRIDGE, Secretary of Michigan, and at present acting Governor thereof.

A. B. WOODWARD, Presiding Judge of the Supreme Court of the Territory of Michigan.

JOHN GRIFFIN, One of the Judges of the Territory of Michigan. I hereby certify the above and foregoing to be a true copy of the original, now of record in the office of the Secretary of State, on pages 52 and 53 of the Executive Records of Michigan.

R. R. GIBSON, Deputy Secretary of State.

In the same year that this territorial law was enacted and published, three sections of land were granted to the "College of Detroit by the treaty made at Fort Meigs. For the purposes of a seminary of learning therefore, there were at this time two sources of revenue; that derived from the grant of one township and that derived from the treaty.

In 1818, the first sales of public lands were made in Michigan. The Secretary of the Treasury had not then located the college townships. In 1819 Gov. Woodbridge was sent from the Territory as the first delegate in Congress, and gave his attention to the subject with a view to cause the location. The result of his examination was a conviction that in consequence of the rapid sales then making there did not remain within the district designated by the law of 1804, any one entire township of good lands upon which the location could be made. The session was too far advanced to secure the passage of a law to remedy the evil, and in 1820 Gov. W. resigned his seat in Congress.

In 1821, an act was promulgated and adopted by the Governor and Judges, establishing a UNIVERSITY "for the purpose of educating youth.” It was to be placed under the management, direction and government of twenty-one trustees, of whom the Governor of the Territory was always to be one, by virtue of his office. The first trustees named in the act were the Governor, John Biddle, Nicholas Bolvin, Daniel Le Roy, Christian Clemens, William H. Puthuff, John Anderson, John Hunt, Charles Larned, Gabriel Richard, John R. Williams, Solomon Sibley, John Monteith, Henry J. Hunt, John L. Leib, Peter J. Desnoyers, Austin E. Wing, William Woodbridge, Benjamin Stead, Philip Lecuyer and William Brown.

Section five of this act provided that the trustees might from time to time ESTABLISH SUCH COLLEGES, ACADEMIES AND SCHOOLS depending upon the University, as they might think proper; made it the duty of the trustees to visit and inspect such colleges, academies and schools, to examine into the state and system of education and discipline therein, and to make a yearly report; to ordain rules for the government of the institution not inconsistent with the laws of the United Sta'es or of the Territory, and to appoint a president and professors and to remove them at pleasurc. A president was to be

« AnteriorContinuar »