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the sovereignty of the people within the borders of the State, but scores of young men went out from the halls of that venerable institution into fields of culture in other States. The University of Virginia was a beacon light of letters to the whole South, and in some respects an example and model for institutions at the North. Its purpose was to strengthen “government for the people, of the people, and by the people,” through the training of its own sons to self-government. The people of Maryland very early taxed themselves in various ways on exports and imports, directly and indirectly, for the support of schools. Though independent State action was not so clearly developed as in the case of Virginia, there nevertheless existed a grand conception of a State system of education in colonial Maryland, however imperfectly realized. The Carolinas afford striking examples of early struggles for educational enlightenment. No sooner did the sovereign consciousness of these free, independent, and responsible Commonwealths awaken than the people began to vote for the higher education. North Carolina was the second State in the Union to declare boldly in her Constitution for

a State university. South Carolina fostered and aided colonial schools,

and finally declared for a State college which afterward developed into a university. In the support of State institutions the Carolinas have been zealous and constant. In Georgia, separate and isolated communities established schools of higher learning. Academies are coeval with the organization of counties. In the first Constitution (1777) it was declared that county schools should be supported by the State, and six years thereafter the Legislature gave to each county one thousand acres of land for the support of these schools. But what is more remarkable, three years before the enactment of the famous Ordinance of 1787, the Legislature of Georgia granted forty thousand acres for founding a university. Florida, too, after emerging from the influences of Spanish domination, readily accepted the principles of State education. Far short of the ideals of Southern statesmen have fallen the results of wise and generous provisions for education. But if failures have at times occurred, they may be attributed to the economic and social conditions of the country and of the communities, rather than to any lack of enthusiasm or desire to work for the highest good of the people. The leaders of every State in the Union have been mindful of the ad. vantages of education in the acquisition and maintenance of civil liberty. But let the records of the South tell their own story of this desire for knowledge, and for the support of church and State, in concise but convincing terms. There is no more convincing testimony than the financial history of southern education. Indeed, this kind of evidence is the special object of this entire monograph. The facts gathered from many and varied sources may seem hard and cold; but to a student

+ VIRGINIA. - 167

of educational history there is no chapter so eloquent and so stimulating as the story of money appropriations for sound learning, whether by private philanthropy or by a poor but patriotic people.



To the Virginia colony belongs the honor of making the fist organized attempt to found a college in America. Very early in the history of the colony plans were discussed for the establishment of a school of learning of high order, but the first decided movements were made in 1619. The King favored the project, and “had formerly issued his letters to the several bishops of the kingdom for collecting money to erect and build a college in Virginia for the training up and educating infidel children in the true knowledge of God, and accordingly there had been already paid near fifteen hundred pounds towards it and more was expected to come.” Sir Edwin Sandys, president and treasurer of the Virginia Company, had received from an unknown hand the sum of five hundred pounds sterling, to be applied by the company to educate a certain number of Indian youths in the English language and the Christian religion, and to bring them up to some trade, until twenty-one years of age, when they were to enjoy the same privileges and liberties as the native English in Virginia. Sir Edwin Sandys was an enthusiast on all subjects that pertained to the well-being of the colonists, and he was especially devoted to the cause of education. At the General Quarter Court of the company he expressed the sentiment which has since been the foundation pringiple of all our public education. “He reminded them that the maintenance of the public in all states was of no less importance even for the benefits of private men than the root and body of a tree are to its particular branches.”? By Sir Edwin's motion a grant of ten thousand acres was made for the benefit of the university, and this land was laid off and surveyed at Henrico, on the James River, below the site of Richmond. One thousand acres of this grant were to be devoted to the education of Indians, and the remainder was to lay the foundation of a seminary of learning for the English. The land was to be leased to “tenants at halves,” and the rents arising therefrom were to be applied to the support of the university. Fifty men were to be sent out as tenants in 1619, and fifty more the following year. As the average wages of one man were estimated at ten pounds per annum, it was thought that an annual revenue of five hundred pounds thus derived would furnish ample support for the school. In the spring of 1620 Mr. George Thorpe was sent over as the Company's deputy and as superintendent of the college, and three hundred acres of land were granted for his support. The sum realized from the collection by the bishops amounted to fifteen hundred pounds, and other donations increased this considerably; among the latter was a bequest of three hundred pounds from an unknown person for the conversion of Indian children. To show the faith of individuals in the immediate realization of a working university, it may be related that an anonymous friend donated “a communion cup with a cover and a case, a trencher plate for the bread, a carpet of crimson velvet, and a damask table-cloth for the use of the college.” “Thus,” says Adams, “by the combined authority of church and State, was anticipated by more than two centuries the endowment of such institutions as are now represented by the Hampton School and by the University of Virginia.” But the terrible Indian massacre of 1622 thwarted these early plans for education, and no immediate fruits were realized, “beyond the subscription of one hundred and fifty pounds, in 1621, for a preparatory or collegiate school at Charles City, and the appropriation of one thousand acres of land, with five servants and an overseer to improve the Same.”” In 1624, through the advocacy of Mr. Edward Palmer, the idea of a university was revived, and an island in the Susquehanna River was granted for the “Foundinge and maintenance of a university, and such schools in Virginia as shall there be erected, and shall be called Aca. demia Virginiensis et Oroniensis.”* Owing to the death of Mr. Palmer the movement failed, and for many years plans concerning a university were held in abeyance. Indeed, when we consider the condition of the country, in its undeveloped state, with a sparsely settled farming

*Stfth : History of Virginia, 162. * Stith, 163.

community, an unsubdued soil, and a feeble government, we must won

der that such institutions were so early proposed. And upon further consideration of the conditions necessary to the growth of a university, such as time for development of a people, government, wealth, and the cultivation of public sentiment in favor of higher education; when we consider these things, it does not seem strange that the university ideal was nearly two centuries in process of realization. Something more than money and books and teachers is required to make a successful university. Its very existence requires an advanced state of society. It is nourished by ideas which are themselves developed only in growing communities, and under social conditions which render university

* Dr. H. B. Adams: The College of William and Mary; contributions to American Educational History, No. 1.

*The College of William and Mary, 11.

*Neill: Virgina Westuta, 183 (quoted by Professor Adams, 12).

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maintenance desirable. Besides all this, there was for many years an uncertainty in the life of the Virginia colony which was not so apparent in the compact, clearly-defined New England colonies, that always knew what they wanted and labored for a definite object.


The second movement toward a system of education in Virginia was inaugurated by the Colonial Assembly in 1660, and although, in a measure, a revival of the first, it was characterized by different motives. In the former the kind patrons of the colony, with a financial interest in its welfare and with the disinterested benevolence of their church, attempted to superimpose a system of education made to order and wholly unsuited to the needs of the new colony. But in the latter case it was the movement of conscious self-development; it was advocated by practical men who had children to educate. It represented a young State looking toward the necessary shaping of its own growth.

In 1660 the Colonial Assembly of Virginia passed an act providing “that for the advance of learning, education of youth, supply of the ministry, and promotion of piety, there be land taken upon purchases for a college and free school, and that there be, with as much speed as may be convenient, housing erected thereon for entertainment of students and scholars." 1

Here, as elsewhere in the colonies, private donations and public grants went hand in hand. It was likewise ordered in the same year that the commissioners of the various county courts be authorized to take subscriptions on court days, and that they send orders to the vestrymen of all the parishes to raise money from the inhabitants for the support of the college. The Governor, members of the Council of State, and of the House of Burgesses subscribed liberally in the currency of the day to aid the new enterprise. The people also petitioned the Gorernor, Sir William Berkeley, that the King issue letters patent authorizing collections in England for the support of colleges and schools in Virginia.?

But still the "free" or Latin schools were delayed, partly because there was lack of determination on the part of the majority of the people to have them, but more especially on account of the absence of towns and thickly settled communities. The decidedly rural life and the necessary independence of each plantation which must furnish its own tutors, naturally led to habits not easily changed.

There was little common sentiment, and institutions of learning are the result of well-directed public opinion. Here we must again admit the superior local advantage of the New Englanders in their compact communes, who could quickly determine and execute their plans.

1 Statutes of Virginia, II, Hening, 25.

2 H. B. Adama, 13.


The natural outgrowth of the attempt to found free schools in Vir. ginia was the later establishment of William and Mary College. The first substantial action toward the founding of this college was taken in 1688–89, when a few persons in England subscribed the liberal sum of twenty-five hundred pounds as an endowment for higher education in Virginia. It was not, however, until 1691 that the Colonial Assembly sent the Rev. James Blair back to England to secure a charter for the proposed college. The Government granted the request for a charter, and agreed to give two thousand pounds from the aggregate of the quitrents of Virginia for building purposes.

In the charter of 1693 the English Government contributed not only the two thousand pounds from the quitrents, but also the same amount in money,

and twenty thousand acres of land, as well as a tax of one penny on every pound of tobacco exported from Virginia and Maryland, and all profits arising from the office of surveyor-general, which profits were to be under the control of the president and faculty of the college.


The Virginia House of Burgesses, by wise laws and by acts of en. dowment, preserved, protected, and enlarged the royal endowment of William and Mary. Its first act for the support of the college was passed in 1693, and provided that certain “dutyes, customs and imposts for the following goods, wares and merchandise which shall be caryed out of this their Majestie's domain,"2 shall be levied for a permanent support of the college. The articles enumerated in this act were chiefly skins and furs. This was followed by an act in 1718 wbich authorized the payment of one thousand pounds out of the fund then in the hands of the treasurer, Colonel Beverly, to William and Mary Col. lege for the benefit of the scholars of the colony.3

It was ordered by the General Assembly in May, 1726, “that the sum of two hundred pounds per annum out of the said duty of one penny upon every gallon of wine, rum, brandy, and other distilled spirits * * * is appropriated for the relief of the college." 4

In August, 1734, it was enacted that “the duty of one penny for every pound of tobacco exported into North Carolina from Virginia” should be given to the college. 5 At the same time the duty of one penny per gallon on all liquors imported was granted permanently to this college.

Having done all that seemingly lay within their power by way of taxation for the benefit of the college, the General Assembly voted that the president, masters, scholars, and students of the institution should be

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*Ibid., IV, Chap. 20, 148.
5 Ibid., IV,

429. 6 Hening, IV, 432.

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