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THE CHIEF MASTERS ARE
William Smith, D. D. Provost of the Seminary, and Professor of Natural Philosophy; Francis Alison, D. D. Vice-Provost, and Professor of Moral Pinlosophy; Ebenezer Kinnersley, M. A. Professor of Oratory; John Beveridge, M. A. Professor of Languages; Hugh Williamson, M. A. Professor of Mathematics.
THE PRESENT TRUSTEES ARE
Richard Peters, Esq. President of the Board, by an
nual election. The Honourable James Hamilton, Esq. Lieutenant
Governor of the Province. The Honourable William Allen, Esq. Chief Justice. William Coleman, Esq. Third Judge of the Supreme
Aldermen of William Plumsted,
the City of Abraham Taylor, Esqrs.
Philadelphia William Cox, Thomas Willing,
Thus we see that this institution is placed on a most enlarged bottom, being one great collection of schools, under a general government; in which all the branches and species of education are carried on that can be conceived necessary for any community, whether in the learned professions, in merchandise, in the mechanic arts, or inferior callings. It may, therefore, be proper now to give a short sketch of the methods, by which discipline and good order are preserved, among such a variety of schools, students, and scholars.
The chief power is, by charter, lodged in twentyfour Trustees, who must all be resident not only within the province, but within five miles of the city. All matters of higher import are to be decided by their counsel and direction; and all laws are either to be made by them, or receive a final sanction from them. No student can receive the honours and ordinary degrees of the college, without a previous examination in their presence, and a mandate under
their privy-seal and the hands of a majority of them. Nor can even an honorary degree be conferred without a like mandate, under the said privy-seal and the hands of at least two thirds of the whole body; which regulations must always be a means of preventing a prostitution of those degrees and honours to the illiterate and undeserving, which should be the reward of real learning and worth.
In order to do their duty as trustees more effectually, they set apart the second Tuesday of every month, for visiting and examining the schools, con, versing and advising with the masters, encouraging the students according to their several degrees of merit, and making such regulations as may be thought necessary. All the schools have their turns of these visitations; which are truly calculated to keep up the spirit of the institution, and promote diligence, emulation and good behaviour among the scholars.
Besides these stated meetings, their president, who is chosen annually, has a power of calling other meetings on any particular occasion.
Under these trustees, the principal masters are constituted into a Faculty, or common body, with all the powers necessary for the ordinary government of the schools and good education of the youth. They are to meet, in faculty, at least once in every two weeks, and at such other times as the provost, or senior member present, shall think fit to call them, or any two members desire him so to do. At these meetings they are to inquire into the state of the schools, and see that the several parts of education be regularly carried on, and the laws of the institution
duly executed and observed. They have also power to enact temporary rules and ordinances, to be in force as laws, till the first ensuing meeting of the Trustees; before whom they are then to be laid, in order to be altered, amended or confirmed, or left probationary for a longer period, or wholly laid aside, as they shall think fit.
By this method, all laws either do, or may, take their rise from masters, who being daily present in the institution know best what regulations and orders may be wanted. At the same time, as these regulations are to receive their last sanction from the trustees and visitors, who are men of experience, influence and probity, and have children of their own to educate, we may be certain that nothing can obtain the force of a standing law, but what is found salutary and good upon trial.
By the present rules, the faculty of masters meets every Thursday noon, and all the schools are assem. bled before them that they may examine the weekly roll, and call delinquents to account. As many of the youth are too big for corporal punishment, there are small fines by the laws agreeable to the nature of the offence, and the custom of other colleges. Whatever money is thus raised from the slothful and refractory in fines, is appropriated in rewards to the diligent and obedient; so that any youth, who has once been a delinquent, may have an opportunity of getting back, by future care, what he forfeited by former neglect.
These rewards and punishment are both administred in the most public manner; and, in short, the
whole discipline is so reasonable and just, that any youth who might desire to break through the rules of this institution in his younger years, can hardly be expected to submit to the rules of civil society itself when grown up.
As to the plan of education, great care has been taken to comprehend every useful branch in it, without being burdensome, or launching into those that are unnecessary.
The principal masters are men who have severally given specimens of their skill, in those particular parts of literature which they profess. Nor is it any objection, but rather an advantage, particularly to the youth intended for business and public life, that the building is within the city. By good rules and good example, the morals of youth may be as easily preserved, in a great and well-policed city, as in a small village; if we can suppose any place to continue small where such a seminary is once founded. When I speak so, I would be understood to mean, when the youth all loilge in the houses of their parents, or in lodgings within the walls of the college; a proper number of which are now erecting, at a very considerable expense.
In this institution, there is a good apparatus for experiments in natural philosophy, done in England by the best hands, and brought over from thence, in different parcels. There is also, in the experiment room, an electrical apparatus, chiefly the invention of one of the * professors, and perhaps the completest of the kind, now in the world.
* Mr. Kinnersley.