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be necessary to make a few remarks upon the inclosed draft. You requested me to put it into the form of a Bill, which I have done.
Sec. I. As the American Congress made the grant which is the foundation of the University, no name appeared to me more natural than American University. The sound is natural, easy, and agreeable, and no name can be more respectable. There is a Columbian College and a Washington College, etc., already in this country, but no American College. I hope the name will not be altered.
SEC. II. The number of the Board of Trustees may be thought small, but small numbers feel greater responsibility, do business with more dispatch, and, generally, better, and are less expensive than larger numbers. Dartmouth College has an excellent government, which consists only of the Presi. dent and ten Trustees. The college at New Haven had only ten, until connected with civilians. It will be best, on many accounts, to have a Vice-President. It creates no expense, as he will have no emolument, only as a Trustee, unless when he acts as President. New Jersey College has found much advantage in having a Vice-President. The Trustees ought to live near the College, and by no means without our purchase. There will be many advantages in having the President and Vice-President members of the Board, but I can not now enumerate them; they will readily occur to you.
Sec. III. The Board is the proper body for appointing all officers, and the duties of such, as Steward, Treasurer, etc.; but the duties of all concerned in the immediate Government and Instruction should be established by the laws of the University.
SEC. IV. The Board must have the power of preserving and purifying itself. The Presidents and Vice-Presidents, I believe, of all colleges, hold their offices during good behavior. Other instructors hold their office during the pleasure of the Government, unless special provision is made by the laws of the College. The power of dismissing, rusticating, and expelling students, is generally in the hands of the immediate Government of Colleges. I thought in this instance, for some special reasons, it would be best to give that power by act of incorporation to the Board in the first instance, but in such a manner that the Board can transfer it to the immediate Government of the University, and regulate it by college laws. There has been found advantage in giving the President the right of nomination; no considerable evil can follow. In many Colleges the President has the right of appointing his successor, but this I would determinately oppose. The incorporating act ought to require public commencements. They ought to be held, and, though there are some inconveniences, there are numerous and important advantages. The Colleges in New York and Philadelphia have suffered much from want of them; in the country they are of the greatest importance. There has often happened, however, absolute necessity for altering the time and place. I have therefore so framed this article as to admit of alteration.
Sec. V. The immediate Government and Instructors of the University, it is to be presumed, will always be the best judges of the mode and course of education, and of laws best adapted to the circumstances of the College. I have so constructed this section as to create, in a sense, two branches to the Government, with a kind of check on each other. With respect to every part of the incorporating act, I have aimed, as much as possible, at plain, general principles, without descending to particular regulations. But especially in the course of study and laws and rules for the immediate government of the University the incorporating act ought to do no more than place the power in the hands of the Board and Instructors, for there must be continual variation, as experience and circumstances will dictate, and to be fettered by an incorporating act might prove extremely injurious to the College. It is safe in their hands, for the Board and Instructors must always feel the highest inducements to establish the best possible regulations, and they will ever be better judges than a general court. But the importance of quarterly examinations is, in my view, so great, and is a regulation so absolutely essential, so apt to be neglected by the Government, and so often opposed and resisted by the students, that I would, by all means, insure the practice, by making it an article of incorporation.
SEC. VI. needs no comments. It is common to all similar institutions.
Sec. VII. To have the two Townships as well secured as possible to the Board, and as claims to land are liable to so many contests, I thought it would be best to be very particular in describing the title by which the University claims the improvement; and that the disposition of all the funds of the University should be unconditionally within the control of the Board, and left wholly to their discretion in applying them. Many colleges have suffered much from having their hands tied in disposing of their funds to the best advantage, and most for the interest of the Seminary. Donations for particular purposes ought to be applied to such purposes.
Sec. VIII. In all the incorporations granted by the General Court of this Commonwealth, the amount of the income of real and personal estate have been each of them limited, but to sums far beyond any probability of their ever arising. Whether other States do the same I know not. If your assembly would not be likely to make any limitation, it might be best to say nothing about it. But if they will do it I am certain that $10,000 or $50,000 can not be too high, as it must be applied to one of the most useful and important purposes to Government and to society. The sums sound large, but no one can say to what amount the income of the endowments of this University may arrive to in time. The income of Oxford and Cambridge, in England, is much greater.
Sec. IX. This will be the bugbear. You suggested the idea, though I had often thought of it before. I am in doubt whether the section is clearly and properly expressed, or sufficiently guarded to answer the purpose. But I am in much greater doubt whether it is possible to get any article of this kind inserted in the act. Sure, I am, it is an object worthy of great exertion to obtain. If those lots and their income were under the discretion of the Board, it could not fail of rendering them of incomparably more benefit than if they should be placed in the hands of the people. The Board will only be the committee for each township, and infinitely better than any committee they can choose. They will have better instructors in their schools, and under better regulations, and the income, probably, of higher amount, than if the people manage the lots themselves. And the ministerial lots may be rendered incomparably more useful. It will tend to prevent sectaries, and secure the people from continual contentions among themselves, become in time a great inducement to respectable characters to engage in the ministry, and in a much greater degree alleviate the taxes of the people. They will, also, much sooner become productive.
With regard to erecting public buildings for the University, I can not so fully express my mind to you as I could wish. At present, I should not think it best to erect any considerable public building. It will be necessary, in the first instance, to open a Latin school, for I conceive it improbable that any youth can be found in the country qualified for admission as the students of a college. Or if a Freshman class' can be formed, it must be small. A building of two stories, pretty large on the ground, in form of a school-house, may answer every purpose for some years. I feel an aversion to large buildings for the residence of students, where there are regular families in which they can reside. Chambers in colleges are too often made the secret nurseries of every vice and the cages of unclean birds. It must require time to mature plans for large buildings. I will endeavor to attend to the matter, and give my idea of Public Buildings. In the meantime, be assured that I am, with great respect, Your friend and humble serv't,
On receiving the charter and accompanying letter, General Putnam writes, August 2, 1880 :
Your letter of the 30th of June, with the draft of a charter, has been received. I am under the greatest obligations to you for the attention you have paid to the subject, and if it should not in all respects meet the approbation of our legislature, it must be of very great advantage to them in forming an opinion when the subject comes under their consideration.
I have as yet formed no project with respect to public buildings, nor, indeed, thought much of the matter. However, by the time the rents of the lands will be sufficient to erect any kind of building suitable for the purposes, support a President, tutor, etc., I expect students will not be wanting. There are several Academies in the neighboring parts of Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Kentucky, where the Latin and Greek are regularly taught, and the Muskingum Academy at Marietta is at present, and, I trust, will always in the future, be supplied with a master capable of teaching the languages, and I think it can not be long before Latin schools will be established in several other places in the Territory. Indeed, I am more apprehensive that we shall not be able in due time to erect the proper buildings and support the expense of officers, than that we shall want students, although for several years the number may be small.
As was apprehended, that section of the proposed charter of the American University which gave to its board of trustees the care of the school and ministerial lands, was not adopted by the Territorial legislature; but a separate corporation was created, whose special duty it was to lease and secure the improvement of those lands and guard them from waste.
Dr. Cutler's interest in the welfare of the settlements of the North-west was manifested, not only by his endeavors to plant the Gospel and its ordinances among them, but also in efforts to promote the cause of education. He had, when negotiating the land purchase for the Ohio Company, procured from Congress the grant of two townships for the establishment of a University. At a meeting of the agents and proprietors of the Ohio Company, held in Marietta on June 30, 1790, it was ordered, “ To fix on the two townships.which the Directors, by the Contract with Congress, are obliged to set apart for the support of a University.” And on November 9, 1791, the following committee was appointed to carry out this order, viz : Major Goodale, Major White, Elijah Backus, Captain Jonathan Devol, and Colonel Robert Oliver.
The Indian war, which commenced before the lands of the purchase were sufficiently explored to enable the directors to decide upon the proper location of the university townships, continued until the treaty of Greenville, in 1795.