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Harvard college in Massachusetts, was founded in 1636. There was no other college in New England till 1700, when Yale was founded. If the question is between one well endowed and amply provided institution, and several languishing on an inadequate public and private patronage-which, if several are attempted, will be apt to be their condition—it is scarcely necessary to say the decision must be for the former.”

President Brown, of Pennsylvania, was of the opinion that much depended on circumstances-the public fund, the character and number of the inhabitants, the probability of uniting in the patronage of one--people of different talents, prejudices, literary taste, and especially different moral and religious sentiments. If all these could be concentrated harmoniously, it might be best to confine their energies to one, for a time—that if all religious men were excluded, the institution would become infidel. Serious people would not send their sons to such an institution; that no amount of funds per se created a college, and that any amount of talent would not alone command success—that there must be harmony and co-operation, and he suggested “that the Legislature should, for the present, look to the formation of only one State University, to receive the ample endowments the State is able to afford; that they should, from the commencement, guard against the evils of an undue multiptication of colleges, and in order to do this, that no charter should be granted to any association, only on the condition of having procured such an amount of funds as will secure respectability by supplying able professors, and the proper college accommodations. President McIlvaine considered that with the property devoted to college education in Michigan, the State had a noble opportunity of taking and holding dignified ground on this subject: of building a breakwater against the winds and waves, by which other less independent institutions are in danger of being overwhelmed, and recommended that it be improved by having but one place of degrees in Michigan.

From these opinions and others similar, the Superintendent expressed the opinion that "the multiplication of institutions under the imposing name of universities and colleges, was to be regarded as an evil of great magnitude, as exceedingly detrimental to the interests of literature, science and the arts," and recommended that the Regents of the l'niversity be empowered to grant charters for colleges only on condition that the association applying shall have actually secured for the use of the institution the sum of two hundred thousand dollars ; that of this sum, fifty thousand, at least, should be invested in suitable buildings and other accommodations, and the balance secured so that the full amount of the interest arising therefrom should be yearly available for the support of the college, so long as it should continue in operation, reserving to the State the right of visitation, and requiring an annual report.

On the 19th of January, of this year, a petition was presented to the House of Representatives, by Hon. J. M. HOWARD, -' to incorporate the Trustees of Michigan College.” The petition was referred to a committee, of which Mr. Howard was chairman, who made a majority report, and also reported a bill to incorporate the institution. The majority of the committee did not agree in opinion with the Superintendent, or see the propriety of restricting the power in question, exclusively to the State institution. The institution proposed to be incorporated, in its inception, had contemplated a school, to be organized on the manual labor plan, and was designed ultimately as a college. Owing to financial embarrassments, the “colony scheme" was abandoned. A subscription of about eighteenthousand dollars had been raised and applied to the purchase of a farm of three hundred and seventy-five acres, near Marshall, in the county of Calhoun. In addition to this the trustees had become the owners of a landed interest on Grand River, with a mill privilege upon it, which was estimated at ten thousand dollars, and friends of the enterprise in New York had conditionally invested for the benefit of the college, five thousand dollars. Buildings were proposed to be commenced, to accommodate one hundred and fifty or two hundred students—a preparatory school opened, and a president of the college appointed, who was seeking further pecuniary aid for the institution. The val- . ue of the property owned by the trustees, the committee were assured, was not less than from $60,000 to $100,000. It was announced to be the settled determination of its founders “to establish it on a broad and liberal scale-one which would make it an ornament and honor to the State-an efficient means of diffusing the benefits of general and classical education--to open its doors for the instruction

of youth of all classes, sects and conditions, and dispense to the indigent as well as to the wealthy, the charities of an ever-wakeful benevolence—the means of solid and useful le irning, and the constant healthful influence of religious precept and example."

The following extracts from the report of the majority of the committee, substantially develope their views of the subject.

The committee cannot appreciate the force of the objection, that by granting the franchises asked for, we encourage others to make like requests. We are of opinion that in this, as well as in other matters coming before the Legislature, it is to be governed by a sound discretion, neither granting nor withholding, without sufficient reason, and keeping constantly in view the general good of community.

T'hey deem it the duty of the legislature, not only to prevent all impediments, but to afford facilities to the progress of general education; to speak in words of encouragement rather than of restraint, to those who volunteer to aid it, and not from an overweening fondness for one particular institution, or one particular system. place all others under the ban of power.

As to the fear expressed, that “to permit the establishment of this or other institutions of the kind, would distract public attention and divert patronage from the State University," the committee did not participate in it, but maintained

That an institution, under the immediate supervision and control of the government, with an endowment of one million of dollars, and all the attendant patronage, cannot be prostrated or impeded in its progress by any voluntary association, founded upon individual munificence. The true secret of the success of every such institution, is found in the enterprise, learning and capacity of those at its bead; and where these are wanting, the interests of education, like those of commerce and other branches of business, will assuredly decline."

It is also urged that by confining the power of granting diplomas to the State University, and withholding its exercise from all other institutions, the State ensures to that University, at all times. a number of students corresponding to its high literary claims, and the wealth of its endowment. We are at a loss to discover the propriety of this restrictive and exclusive principle. * * * It is certainly at war with the well known freedom of American Institutions and American character.

We claim that the ancient and time honored system of New England. now extending over almost the whole country, is more in accordance with the genius of the Amergan people than any known system of foreign nations. We are not to suppose that the settled feelings, habits and opinions of a people can be safely disregarded by their rulers, nor that they can be made to bend and quadrate to any and every innovation, which those in authority may dignify with the name of improvements. Still less

can freemen be compelled to countenance a monopoly of those ben. efits which they have been taught to regard as the gift of God.* * In our own community, there exists every variety of religious and political opinion, and so strong are men's attachments to their own particular creeds, that any legislative attempt to change or modify them by the course of instruction or otherwise; any system which seeks to make all coalesce in one set of opinions, or to inculcate indifference to all, or which erects a barrier to even the caprices of men, must necessarily prove odious and unavailiny. Whatever may be the theories of philosophers and speculatists, among the mass of mankind, religion is not supposed to exist without creed, and to use the language of another, “he is a rash man, indeed, and little conversant with human nature, and especially has he a very erro. neous estimate of the character of the people of this country, who supposes that a feeling of this kind either to be trilled with or despised; it will assuredly cause itself to be respected.

One obvious effect of the system recommended will be to drive from the State every young man wishing to obtain a degree, but unwilling from whatever cause to prosecute his studies in the University. The majority of the committee deem it unjust to individuals and the State, to conter on the State University a monopoly of college honors. It is the right of every parent and guardian, and one which we may be assured will be insisted on, to educate his child or ward in his own way; and it is furthermore the right of the student himself, that the road to literary honors should be opened to him by his own State, in a manner accordant with his own feelings and principles; and it is the correspondent duty of the State, to cherish and encourage all her sons in the way to distinction and usefulness, in order that she may reap her just share of the glory of their achieve. ments. It is made the duty of the Legislature to encourage by all suitable means, the promotion of intellectual and scientific improvements.” It is conceived that the policy proposed is in conflict with the spirit of this provision, inasmuch as it in a manner disfranchises a large portion of the community. We predict that if it be adopted as the governing rule of the Legislature, it will drive froma among us a large number of young men, seeking a liberal education, and the usual honors by which it is and ever ought to be distinguished, will engender hatred, rather than create respect for the State institution, and ultimately leave it deserted by all but its immediate government patrons-a place where the idle and curious may find gratification, but devoid of that active, vital energy, which is ever kept awake by peaceful and salutary competition.

Another, and with many a weighty objection, is the fear that the institution (proposed to be established) will be sectarian.* * * Human nature cannot, however, be changed, and religious partialities will exist as long as man is a religious animal. * * * The constitution declares “that the civil and political rights, privileges and capacities of po individual shall be diminished or enlarged on account of his opinions or belief concerning matters of religion;" and it seems unfair and extra legislative to anticipate, and use as an objection, a

*

state of facts against which the constitution requires us to close our eyes.

The majority report was signed by Hons. J. M. Howard, S. Vickery, Wm. P. Draper, and Jer. R. Smith. A minority report was made, signed by Hons. D. B. Wakefield, John Ball, and Wm. H. Montgomery. The report of the minority was in accordance generally with the views of the Superintendent. They regarded the petition referred to them as asking an infraction of a general system adopted by the State; as a precedent, drawing after it all the weight and authority necessary to give it effect and cogency in argument, in favor of further infractions, which as friends of the system established they were bound to look upon with caution and distrust. The decision upon this question was made by the Legislature in 1839, when a charter was granted, the provisions of which are stated hereafter.

THE UNIVERSITY.

The fund of this institution, at this time, was estimated by the Superintendent at one million of dollars, and the interest arising therefrom, at $70,000; yet he suggests that it will not be sufficient to put the present institution, with such a number of branches as it would be desirable to create, into immediate and successful operation. Buildings were to be erected, a library to be procured, a philosophical and chemical apparatus to be purchased, and a cabinet of natural history to be selected, besides the yearly payment of salaries, when the University should have commenced operations; and for years to come, it was suggested the University would need every dollar of the income of its fund to give it a vigorous and manly existence. To relieve the University fund, therefore, for the time being, it was recommended that the income of the salt spring lands be devoted, for a limited number of years, to support the branches. The object and importance of the BRANCHES of the University are set forth in the following extract from this year's report:

It is certainly of much consequence to the public interests that these branches be pushed forward with vigor, and be adequately sustained. They form the all-important connecting link between the primary schools and the University. They are specially intended to fit such young men for the regular classical course of the University, as wish to enter the institution; also to prepare some for the PROPESSION OF TEACHING, that the primary schools may be fully suppli

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