Imágenes de páginas


ported by private donations. The entire State aid given to Union Col. lege amounted to $358,111. -


The third college in New York, that of Hamilton, located at Clinton, received material assistance from the State. It had its origin in an academy chartered under the name of Hamilton-Oneida, on January 31, 1793, at the village of Clinton. The academy was opened in 1799 for the admission of students. After a successful period of growth for a term of 12 years it was transformed into a college, under a charter granted by the Regents, May 26, 1812. By an act" of the Legislature of June 19, of the same year, the college was endowed with the sum of fifty thousand dollars in bonds, secured on the unsold lands of the Oneida Reservation. The general lottery act of 1814 gave to Hamilton College the sum of forty thousand dollars. In 1836 the State made an annual appropriation of three thousand dollars, which ceased under the provisions of the new Constitution of 1846. The total State aid amounted to only one hundred and twenty thousand dollars, but the permanent funds of the college in 1881 amounted to $269,332.56. The University of the City of New York received a grant of six thousaud dollars per annum from 1838 to 1843, and other institutions have received special appropriations; but the history of these institutions must be omitted here. A general summary of the grants will be given at the close of this part of the subject.


The nearest approach to a State institution of superior instruction found in New York is furnished by Cornell University. The Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, Speaker of the Assembly, and Superintendent of Public Instruction are in virtue of their respective offices members of the board of trustees. Bon. Ezra Cornell agreed to give five hundred thousand dollars, for the "foundation of the university, provided that the proceeds of the Agricultural Land Grant should remain undi. vided, and be devoted to said university for the purpose of instruction in the mechanical arts and agriculture.

New York State received 990,000 acres in land scrip from the United States grant of 1862, part of which was sold foreighty-five cents per acre. Land scrip went down, and by an act of the Legislature of April 10, 1866, the Compooller was authorized to sell the land to the trustees of Cornell to jo or to any person giving good security, for not less than thirty cents per acre. Mr. Cornell bought the remaining portion, and agreed to payinto the State treasury the net proceeds of these lands, the sum to be held as the Cornell Endowment Fund, and to be used exclusively for the support of the university.” The profits of this investIment will amount at least to two millions of dollars.

iChap. 237, Laws of 1812, * Chap. 481, Laws of 1866,

[ocr errors]

State botanist.

By the laws of 1865, which were amended in 1872, and again in 1887,3 Cornell University is obliged to receive from each Assembly district one student annually, to whom is given free instruction in all branches in the four-years' course. This act gives free tuition continually to five hundred and twelve students. The privilege is determined on a basis of superior scholarship, and is determined by competitive examinations conducted by the Department of Public Instruction.

The State has done very little for the support of Cornell University; the chief benefactors are Ezra Cornell and the Federal Government. Stimulated by these magnificent gifts, private donations have poured in for the support of this great institution, which in purpose and design is a complete State University.

THE STATE MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY. The regents of the University of New York were created by an act of the Legislature in 1845, trustees of the Cabinet of Natural History. By an act passed in 1870 the name was formally changed to the New York State Museum of Natural History. The board has the power to appoint the scientific staff, consisting of a director and his assistants, a State entomologist, and a State botanist. The Museum is a means of increasing scientific knowledge in the State. It received its first impulse through the State Geological Survey, and the attempt which grew out of this survey to form a collection of the natural productions of New York. By an act of the Legislature of November, 1840, the old State Hall at Albany was set apart for the reception of the collections." They were put in charge of the regents. The Legislature also appropriated two thousand dollars for fitting up the building and the cases. In 1857 a new building replaced the old one, to meet the demands of the growing collection.

A new interest was awakened in the Museum by the discovery of the mastodon at Cohoes in 1866, and the Legislature in the next session granted five thousand dollars for the purchase of the Gould collection of shells, of sixty thousand specimens, representing six thousand species.

In 1870 a law was passed making an annual appropriation of ten thousand dollars for the support of the director and three assistants, as well as for current expenses. Also the sum of one thousand five By an act passed in 1881 the sum of two thousand dollars was appropriated for the annual salary of a State entomologist.

The Legislature by an act of 1883 directed that the State Hall, as rapidly as it was vacated by the State officers, should be set apart for the use of the Museum, and in the same act increased the annual ap

Chap. 585, Laws of 1865.
Chap. 634, Laws of 1872.

3 Chap. 291, Laws of 1887.
* Chap. 245, Laws of 1840, 192.



propriation to fifteen thousand dollars. It also provided for the publication of scientific papers, and the remaining unpublished volumes of the Natural History of the State, directing funds to be appropriated annually for five years to these purposes. The removal of the Museum to the State Hall has only been partly effected. The delay in the completion of the new capitol has interfered with the removal of the State officers, and the additions to the number of officers and boards begin to make it doubtful if the State Hall can ever be vacated.

An institution like the State Museum furnishes a strong support for higher scientific education.


The acadamies of New York, although now properly classified as institutions of secondary instruction, have borne such intimate relations to higher education in the past that they should not be passed by unnoticed. Here, as elsewhere, we are confronted with the indefinite terms of “academies” and “seminaries of learning,” embracing, as they do, historically-all grades of instruction from that of an ordinary grammar school to that of a moderate collegiate course. But as the appropriations have largely been made on the returns of classical education the system of academic education is entitled to our attention to that extent. - After the reorganization of the school laws, at the close of the Rev. olutionary War, the newly constituted board of regents, in 1787, provided for the establishment of two academies, those of Clinton at East Hampton and Erasmus Hall at Flatbush. These were reported in 1788 as being in a flourishing condition. Subsequently others were added to the list of newly incorporated academies, until in 1792 there were ten of these academies. They had received but meagre support from their land endowments, and it was not until 1792 that the first di. rect appropriation" of moneys was made by the Legislature for the support of academies, and a provision made for its distribution among the academies of the State by the board of regents. The act of April 11, 1792, that provided for a donation to Columbia College, also appropriated the sum of one thousand five hundred pounds ($3,750) annually for a term of five years, to be distributed at the discretion of the regents among the several academies of the State.” These funds were appropriated at first according to the number of pupils in attendance at the respective schools. Finally in 1818 a rule was adopted distributing the funds according to the number of students . studying the classics or the higher branches of learning, reserving onefifth of the entire amount for special distribution to over-needy institutions according as the regents might deem proper. This policy was pursued until the revised statutes of 1829 provided that the money should

Hist. Rec., 444. * Chapter 79, Laws of 1782.

be equally divided among the eight senatorial districts of the State, and distributed as before. This remained a law until the adoption of the new Constitution in 1846, which provided for a return to the old method. There was no well-organized plan for determining the basis of apportionment until 1866, when examinations were instituted, certificates issued, and reports to the regents made accordingly. In 1870 the answer papers of these examinations were made returnable at the office of the regents, and were there subject to review and revision, . The law of 1873 provides, among other things, that “no money shall be paid to any School under the control of a religious or denominational sect or society.” The academies, under the protection of wise laws, increased rapidly in number and efficiency. In 1820 there were forty-eight academies to which charters had been granted, although only thirty reported for the apportionment. Besides the regular distribution of funds by the regents, amounting in the aggregate to about two millions of dollars, the Legislature has made at least sixty special grants of land and money for the benefit of academies. It is impossible within the scope of this work to give the specific grants of land or enter into the details of the separate acts of the Legislature. At least fifty thousand dollars have been granted from time to time to academies in need of immediate assistance, while it is difficult to estimate the money value of the numerous special land grants that have been made by the Legislature. The amount of appropriation varied from year to year until 1830; then it was uniform till 1834, being ten thousand dollars annually. * From 1835 to 1838 it was twelve thousand dollars per annum, and from 1839 to 1887 it has been forty thousand dollars per annum. By an act passed in 1887 the sum of sixty thousand dollars was added to the annual appropriation to academies, making the total appropriation from that time at the rate of one hundred thousand dollars annually. Of this amount twelve thousand dollars is taken from the income of the Literature Fund and twenty-eight thousand dollars from the United States Deposit Fund, and sixty thousand dollars from the General Fund. The State also has appropriated three thousand dollars annually from 1835 to 1883, and six thousand dollars annually since 1884 to be granted by the regents to the academies under their visitation for the purchase of books and apparatus, on the condition that the academies should raise an equal sum from sources independent of their school property. From the excess of applications over the sum appropriated the regents have limited the applications to one hundred and fifty dollars each, and restricted them to alternate years. The regents also have promoted the maintenance of classes in the academies under their visitation for instruction of common school

[ocr errors]




teachers. This system was begun in 1834, and the appropriations sustaining it were derived from the United States Deposit Fund. The sum now appropriated is thirty thousand dollars annually, but the part of this sum actually paid out by the regents depends on the amount of service rendered. The academies are paid one dollar for the instruction of each scholar for each week. The classes are limited to twentyfive members, and continue from ten to thirteen weeks. An inspector is employed, who spends his whole time in visiting and caring for these classes. He is paid from the fund appropriated by the Legislature for the support of these classes.

The total amount of money distributed by the board of regents for academies from 1793 to 1884, inclusive, has been $1,996,738.18, and to 1888 at least $2,156,738.18.


The act of the Legislature of 1787 created a board of regents, whose specific duties were to care for Columbia College, and to incorporate and supervise such other colleges and academies as they might think proper. However, they were soon at the head of the entire educational department, and were advocating the establishment of a system of common schools, academies, and colleges. It was finally considered that the regents had to supervise only higher education, and to support literary and scientific institutions.

The University of the State of New York is far from being a fiction, although the regents have not chartered all of the educational institu. tions of the State or entered into the internal supervision of the colleges and academies belonging to the University; nevertheless, by general superintendence and especially by the control of incorporation they have added unity and strength to the schools of the State. Perhaps their greatest service has been in fixing the standard of requirements for incorporating colleges and academies, and bringing academies to a higher grade, by making the appropriations depend either upon the number of pupils, or the number of students pursuing classical studies and the higher branches of learning, and determining the latter by an examination test.

Early in the history of the board of regents, academies and colleges were not granted charters unless a certain amount of property had been secured, and there were good indications that the proposed institutions would receive sufficient support.



“ It was resolved on March 23, 1801, that in future no academy ought. to be incorporated unless it appeared to the satisfaction of the regents that a proper building for the purpose had been erected, finished, and

880-No. 1-10

« AnteriorContinuar »