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U.S. Congress. Senate Committee to
establish the teniversity of the
MARCH 10, 1896.-Submitted by Mr. KYLE, from the Committee to Establish
the University of the United States, and ordered to be printed.
REPORT OF COMMITTEE.
The Committee to Establish the University of the United States, to whom was referred the bill (S. 1202) to establish the University of the United States, have had the same under careful consideration for several sessions, and have heard advocates both for and against the measure.
To those giving a thought to the unparalleled progress of nations in this close of the nineteenth century there would seem to be no question as to the need of such an institution in the United States as is contemplated in this bill. The spirit of the age calls for deeper penetration into the sciences and arts, and demands better equipped men. Why should not the United States, the cradle of liberty and the leader of enlightened Christendom, contribute her share to the advancement of mankind? Why should we borrow modern educational methods from Europe, and patronize foreign institutions? Why should we not build here an institution which would stir the pride and patriotism of American students, and furnish facilities unequaled in the world for the extension of knowledge?
The more we know of Washington the broader appears to have been his conception of a great nation and great institutions. Besides giving us a wise Constitution and laws, he planned a beautiful city, with wide streets and avenues, with parks and boulevards, rivaling the finest cities of Europe. He saw here the seat of government of a mighty nation, equipped with political and scientific departments and to utilize these in the promotion of advanced learning he conceived the proposed national university. He talked and wrote about it for years, and at his death bequeathed $25,000 as a first endowment, placing the institution in effect under the fostering care of Congress. Opponents have sought to belittle Washington's idea of a university, contending that he thought of nothing but an institution for political science, or at most but an ordinary undergraduate college. His thoughts were higher than this. His published words are clear and unmistakable. Harvard College, founded almost a hundred years before he was born, Yale College, founded early in the century, and other colleges, South and North, were doing splendid work when this university was proposed.
Washington spoke of them as seminaries of learning, and to this end endowed the University of Virginia. But in discussing the question of a national university he stated in the address to Congress, 1790, in a letter to the Commissioners of the District of Columbia, 1791, and in