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should be admitted with or without payment of tuition, or payment of room-rent and tuition.
The last Legislature reserved the Swamp Lands in the four adjacent townships for the use of the College. They embrace six thousand nine hundred and sixty-one acres. The central tract of two thousand acres, more or less, at an average distance of three and a half miles from the College, is capable of the highest cultivation, and by thorough drainage, may be rendered invaluable to the College. There are lands of a similar description in various portions of the State, paying a net interest on a valuation of more than $100 per acre. If the Institution could avail itself of two thousand acres of land of such inexhaustible fertility, for securing hay, corn, root crops, stock, animal food, &c., at a future time the number of students might be increased to the maximum that one corps of Professors could instruct. Eight hundred students would hardly require a more thoroughly organized and comprehensive corps of Professors, or more illustrative appliances, libraries, laboratories, &c., than two hundred. If the central tract of the land should be sacredly devoted to the uses and objects indicated, the remainder, when the most judicious time for sale should arrive, would afford a large fund for drainage. Some of the tracts are already valuable, far beyond the minimum price set upon any public lands, State or National.
It is true that student labor in Term time cannot be bestowed on the lands in question; but the great advantages of capital, where one dollar invested in drainage will educe five dollars in value in the fat and fertile soil ; the facilities afforded over wide and smooth areas, and through an unimpeded surface, for practical trials, and profitable use of labor-saving machinery; the vast advantages of bringing home the stock and the coarse feed of every kind, to be fed on the Home Farm; and the inviting field opened, which can no otherwise be obtained, of
raising various breeds of stock in abundant quantities; all these advantages remain, although the tract is not accessible to the daily labor of the students.
If the Institution is practicable for ten students, it is for a thousand. If demanded at all by the necessities of the State, and the youthful population, it appeals with irresistable force to public sympathy. The argument is overwhelming, or it is futile. There is no middle ground. We have now, or shall have, before we have finished discussing the question, 800,000 people in the State of Michigan. Taking the census of 1850 as a criterion, 16 per cent. of any large community are between the ages of 16 and 22; Michigan has therefore 128,000 between those ages. Onehalf of this number may be females. Of the 64,000 males not 1,000 enjoy the advantages of education beyond the Common Schools. Much as we boast of Common Schools, they are often meagre and unsatisfactory, sometimes a farce, and rarely afford a systematic and thorough training, even in their limited sphere. They afford no such education as this age imperatively demands. Reading, writing and ciphering, imperfectly taught, will hardly enable men to comprehend those mysterious and pregnant relations of the elements, which modern science unfolds, and a knowledge of which is of daily practical use in the humblest callings of life. Allow 1,000, allow fourteen times that number, to be in enjoyment of superior facilities of education, an absurd presumption, and there will remain 50,000 young men destitute of all means of education, beyond the mere rudiments taught in the Common Schools. Quadruple all the accommodations of all the Colleges and Seminaries of the State, throw wide open their doors, and you have not accommodated a tithe of the young men of the State clamoring for education. I think these positions are true, or we are driven to the alternative to admit, that the people are unfit for education, and that it is a boon to be conferred on the few.
Any attempt, therefore, to secure extended facilities, and especially to afford the student a chance to aid himself, is an approximation towards noble relief. Any Legislative act that sets aside, as sacred, land costing the State nothing, and which may enable this Institution, if it proves successful, to enlarge widely the sphere of its influence and usefulness, cannot prove unwise. It cannot be wrong. It may prove an act of statesmanlike wisdom and keen sagacity.
The Institution continues to attract intense interest in other States. It should be a subject of honorable pride in Michigan, that her example in taking the lead in a great movement, indicative of educational progress, is so generally applauded, and in fact imitated. The organic act of her Institution is almost literally copied by the Legisla latures of our youngest sisters, Iowa and Minnesota. The question of establishing similar Colleges is agitated alike in Alabama and South Carolina, in Wisconsin and Massachusetts. In their due time, a new order of Institutions is being created. It remains for Michigan to retain the lead in this natural and inevitable movement, or abandon it. In this view of the facts, it is worth the grave attention of the Legislature, to consider, whether, if any portion of the princely inheritance of Swamp Lands is legitimately devoted to purposes of education, an adequate and permanent endowment cannot be secured for the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan, such an endowment as shall place its success beyond cavil or controversy, and render it the grandest as it is the first Institution of the kind on the Continent.
A Joint Resolution passed the last Legislature, instruct ing our Senators, and [requesting our Representatives in Congress to promote the passage of a bill granting an endowment of land to this Institution. By earnest and united co-operation of friends in and out of Congress, by concert of action between influential Congressmen, State Legisla
tures, Agricultural Societies, and Periodicals, a bill introduced by Mr. MORRILL, of Vermont, granting lands for the creation of Colleges designed to promote "Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts," passed the House of Representatives at the last session of Congress by a majority of five votes. It is now before the Senate. It is suggested that a similar Resolution to that of the last Legislature be promptly passed, whatever may be the fate of the bill before the Senate. The bill in question would appropriate 120,000 acres of land to the State of Michigan, ten per cent. of which may be applied 'to purchase of farms, but none for the construction of buildings; the proceeds to be invested in National or] State stocks, and the income thereafter applied to perpetual support of the objects designated. Although such a boon (would ultimately prove so invaluable, and afford so permanent and reliable a fund, yet it can afford no relief to immediate necessities. Legislation, more or less generous on the part of the State, is therefore none the less indispensable.
With great respect,
Yours, &c., &c.,
JOSEPH R. WILLIAMS.
To the Board of Education of the State of Michigan:
I herewith present a Report of the moneys received into, and paid from, the Treasury of the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan, from the 26th of May to the 1st of Dec. 1858, inclusive.
I entered upon my duties as Treasurer of the College the 26th of May. There was then in the Treasury the sum of....
I have paid Warrants to the am't of....$8,690 08
I have cash on hand,...