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It is necessary to state that the money value of all of the early grants to the several schools cannot be determined with exactness, and if it were possible to make an exact estimate the result would be only comparative, as the value of money in early times was really many times greater than at present.

It is believed that the above statement carries with it the force of an historic estimate, as it shows fully the attitude of Virginia towards higher education, and to what extent the State lent her support to advanced learning.

The following extract from Mr. J. A. Megilary, Secretary of the Board of Education of the State of Virginia, shows what the State is doing at the present time for education :

I have to say that the following statement shows the appropriations made at the last session of the General As mbly for the support of the several State educational institutions named, for the fiscal year ending September 3, 1888: Deaf, dumb, and blind institution 1

$35,000 Medical College of Virginia ($3,500 for repairs, etc., $1,500 for support)

5,000 University of Virginia ($5,000 for repairs, $20,000 for support)....

35,000 Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute ($10,000 for buildings, $10,000 for support) .......

20,000 State Female Normal School1

10,000 Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College (repairs, $2,000; barracks, $10,000)...

12, 000 Virginia Military Institute

30,000 In addition to these appropriations the State pays interest on bonds of the State held by the several State educational institutions amounting to about fifty thousand dollars per annum; and to other than State educational institutions, interest on State bonds amounting to about forty thousand dollars per annum.

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Public aid to higher education in West Virginia began with the Con. gressional land grant for agricultural coileges. In the act accepting this the Legislature provided that the proceeds of the land sales should be invested in bonds of the United States, bearing at least five per cent. interest, and directed that the college should be established within five years.

In 1866 the trustees of Monongalia Academy tendered to the State all the property of the academy, estimated at fifty-one thousand dollars, on condition that the agricultural college should be located at or near Morgantown. To these terms the Legislature agreed, and a law was passed for the establishment of the college.3 In 1868 the name of the institution was changed from West Virginia Agricultural College to

1 Not within the scope of this paper: 2 Laws of 1863, 55. > Laws of 1867, 12. - Report of the Commissioner of Education for 1867–68, 207.

West Virginia University. In addition to the fund arising from the land sales, now about ninety thousand dollars,? ten thousand dollars were granted for an endowment in 1868, and an equal amount in 1871. Including the appropriation for 1887, twenty-one thousand dollars, the State has granted the university $278,926.90.

As these figures indicate, the attitude of West Virginia toward the higher education has been favorable and her support liberal.



There was a proposal in the Legislature of Maryland in the year 1671 to establish a school or college. A bill was framed and passed in the Upper House of the Assembly, entitled "An act for the founding and erecting of a school or college within this province for the education of youth in learning and virtue." The Lower House returned the bill to the Upper with certain amendments attached, which were not accepted by that body, and hence the bill never became a law.

Nothing more was done by Maryland for the next twenty years toward the establishment of schools within her borders. At the expiration of this time Governor Nichols prepared a plan for a free school (i. e., a liberal or Latin school). He communicated his plan to the Assembly in his message of 1694. The proposed school was to be organized and controlled by the Legislature, but its financial support was to be derived from subscriptions. The Governor himself offered a liberal donation, and requested the members of the Assembly to give as they felt able. Thereupon, the members of the House of Burgesses subscribed forty-five thousand pounds of tobacco in behalf of the new enterprise.

In the same year (1694) the Assembly passed an act for the maintenance of free schools in the province by laying a tax on furs, beef, bacon, and other exports of the colony. From this time, for thirty years, nearly the entire support of the free schools was derived from the taxation of exports and imports.

A law was at this time also passed for the encouragement of learning, embodying in its sections provision for the support of schools, but it was repealed two years later, in 1696. At this date a petitionary act was passed by the General Assembly of Maryland, praying for the establishment of a free school or schools.5

1 Laws, extra session of 1868, 71.
2 Report of the Commissioner of Education for 1886–87,670.
3 Ibid., 661.
4 Archives of Maryland, edited by Dr. William Hand Browne. -
6 Jaws of 1696, chap. 17.



This act provided for the founding of a school at “Anne-Arundel town,” or Severn, later Annapolis, to be called King William's school, and its purpose was the education of youth in “Latin, Greek, and writing.” The school was to consist of one master, one usher, one writing teacher, and one hundred scholars. It was to be under the control of a board of trustees empowered to hold lands valued at fifteen hundred pounds sterling, and to hold gifts and other property in trust. These trustees were, moreover, authorized to raise one hundred and twenty pounds sterling annually for the payment of the master's salary and for other expenses. The trustees were created a body politic, to comprise not less than eighteen nor more than twenty members, who had authority to make such laws and regulations as seemed necessary for the control of the school, provided they were in accordance with the laws governing the province.

The school was to be supported by donations, and as soon as these amounted to one hundred and twenty pounds in excess of what was required to support the school at Severn, a second one, similar to the first, was to be established at Oxford, a neighboring county seat. This was the foundation of the county school system of Maryland. The institution at Severn received but little encouragement, although some donations were made, the chief of which was the gift of a house and lot in the city of Annapolis from Governor Nichols in the year 1715.”


General dissatisfaction as to school management brought about a general educational reform and alteration of existing school laws in 1723. An act of the Assembly in this year provided for the establishment of at least one school in each county,” and created a board of seven visitors for each school, who were to control the same. This board was further empowered to purchase for each county school one hundred acres of land, and this land was to be used partly for building-sites and partly for the support of the master. The funds on hand, as well as those obtained by taxation, were to be distributed equally among the twelve counties, later among the thirteen counties, and subsequently applied by the several boards of visitors to the direct needs of the schools.

The schools themselves were modelled after the plan of King William's School at Annapolis, and included the study of Latin and Greek in their course. The Assembly, by the same act," together with other acts,” provided for the support of the free county schools. By these provisions of the Legislature the following duties were laid on exports: on dried beef or bacon, twelve pence per pound; on pork or beef undried, twelve pence per barrel. On imported goods, for sale by nonresidents, were laid the following duties: pork per barrel, one shilling; pitch per barrel, one shilling; tar per barrel, six pence. A tax of twenty shillings per poll was also levied on all negroes' imported by land or water, and on “all Irish” servants being papists;” and there was an additional tax on all negroes exported by land or water to the extent of forty shillings in currency per poll. The proceeds of all fines, licenses, forfeitures, and escheated estates also augmented the general school fund. Notwithstanding this apparently well-established system the county schools did not flourish. In some counties their support was not suf. ficient, and in others they failed for lack of well-directed effort. Never. theless they made a beginning, and laid the foundation for a better system. A plan for founding a college at Annapolis to educate the youth of the province was presented in 1732 for the consideration of the Governor and General Assembly. Instruction in theology, medicine, and the higher branches was included in the scope of instruction, but, as the plan was not accepted, the proposed college was not founded.

* Laws of 1696, chap. 17, secs. 2 and 3. “Ibid., chap. 11. * Laws of 1715, chap. IV, sec. 2. * Laws of 1704, chap. 27; Laws of 1763, *Laws of 1723, chap. 19. " chap. 28.


For nearly a hundred years the one system of education within Maryland's borders was that of the county schools, some of which furnished only moderate advantages. But in 1782 there was a change for the better; the visitors of Kent County, representing that their county school at Chestertown was in a flourishing condition, petitioned the Legislature for the enlargement of the school into a college. Accordingly the , Assembly passed a law, at the session of 1782, founding a college at Chestertown to be known as Washington College.

This was the beginning of a new era in education, and led to a sys. tem which, if it had been thoroughly carried out, would have early given educational renown to the State of Maryland. The preamble of the act instituting Washington College begins as follows:

“Whereas, Institutions for the liberal education of youth in the principles of virtue, knowledge, and useful literature, are the highest benefit to society, in order to raise up and perpetuate a succession of able and honest men for discharging the various offices and duties of the community, both civil and religious, with usefulness and reputation, and such institutions of learning have accordingly merited and received the attention and encouragement of the wisest and best regulated states; and whereas, former Legislatures of this State have, according to their best abilities, laid a considerable foundation in this good work in sundry laws for the establishment and encouragement of county schools

| Laws of 1717, chap. 10. “Laws of 1728, chap. 8.

ST. JoHN's CollBGE. . - 185

for the study of Latin, Greek, and writing and the like, intending, as their future circumstances might permit, to engraft or raise on the foundation of said schools more extensive seminaries of learning by erecting one or more colleges or places of universal study, not only in the learned languages, but in philosophy, divinity, law, physic, and other useful and ornamental sciences, etc., etc.” Then follows an act of incorporation, creating a board of visitors or trustees, with the power to make rules for the government of the college, and the laws and regulations made by this body were furthermore to be laid before the Assembly for revision when the members so required. The General Assembly was not only generous in founding the institution, but provided also for its future support. Large sums of money had been given by the citizens of the Eastern Shore toward this object, “and the Legislature having heretofore unanimously resolved that such exertions for the public good merited the approbation of the Legislature, and ought to receive the public encouragement and assistance,” it was enacted by the General Assembly that one thousand two hundred and fifty pounds per annum should be paid from the public treasury for the support of Washington College. In order to raise this special fund, all the public receipts from the granting of marriage licenses, ordinary licenses, fines, licenses for the sale of spirituous liquors, licenses for hawkers, and fines for breaking the Sabbath were to be paid into the general fund for supporting the college.


The founding of this college was similar to that of Washington Col lege. The same reasons existed for its establishment, and like views concerning it were expressed by the legislators. It was urged that King William's School was insufficient to meet the demands for education at that time, and that the West Shore, as well as the Eastern Shore, was in great need of an institution of higher grade. The General Assembly granted a charter to St. John's College in 1784,” the act of the grant being almost identical with that of Washington College. The

Legislature granted four acres for college grounds and buildings, and

authorized a committee to take subscriptions for the institution. As in the case of Washington College, the Legislature provided for the permanent support of this institution. This is an extract from the act: “And to provide a permanent fund for the further encouragement and establishment of said college on the Western Shore, Be it enacted, That the sum of £1,750 ($4,666.66) current money be annually and forever hereafter given and granted as a donation by the public to the use of said college on the Western Shore, to be applied by the visitors and governors of the said college for the payment of salaries to the principal, professors and tutors of the said college.” "

Laws of 1782, Chap. VIII. * Laws of 1784, chap. 37. - * Laws of 1784, chap. 37, sec. 19.

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