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In 1809 the Legislature granted a township of land in what is now the State of Maine for the support of the professorship in natural history.

But the largest grant of the Legislature was made by an act of 1814, which provided that ten-sixteenths' of the bank tax, amounting to ten thousand dollars, should be paid annually to the college for a term of ten years, yielding in all the sum of one hundred thousand dollars.


Upon taking the professorship of zoology in the scientific school of Harvard, Professor Agassiz found that there were no collections for illustration, and no funds set apart for the purchase of the same. Professor Agassiz provided specimens at his own expense, which he afterward sold to the school in 1852. Six years later, Mr. Francis E. Gray left by will the sum of fifty thousand dollars for maintaining a Museum of Comparative Zoology.?

In 1859, at the recommendation of Governor Banks, the Legislature voted to aid the museum to the extent of one hundred thousand dollars, while private donations continued. The State appropriated ten thousand dollars in 1863 to publish an Illustrated Catalogue of the Museum, and five years later the Legislature passed an act granting the sum of twenty-five thousand dollars a year for three years, provided that a similar sum should be raised each year by subscription.

In 1874 it was determined to raise an “Agassiz Memorial Fund;" two hundred and sixty thousand dollars were soon subscribed, and the State added to the amount the sum of fifty thousand dollars.

In regard to the Museum of Comparative Zoology, the whole property of which was transferred to the president and fellows of Harvard College, we find that the State has contributed to its aid the amount of two hundred and thirty-five thousand dollars.

Until the establishment of the National Museum and the Smithsonian Institution, this institution was without a rival in the United States; and "as to the illustration of natural science the one collection in the United States that has an acknowledged rank throughout the world, is the one fostered by the wise and careful bounty of the State of Massachusetts at Cambridge.o3


The whole amount of grants made by the Legislature of Massachusetts to Harvard College from the date of its founding until 1786, the principal part of which was expended in the erection of buildings and the payment of salaries to the president and the professors, was in sterling

1 Laws of Massachusetts, IV, 388.
2 Mass Rep., XL, 62, appendix.
3 President White in Am. Jour. Soc. Sci., VII, 304.

£5,556 128 8d, and in lawful currency £27,330 98 64d, respectively equal to $24,696.14 and $91,101.51.

The records of the first half-century of the existence of the college, that is from 1636 to 1686, show that the court granted only £550 sterling and £2,870 currency, exclusive of the ferry grant, and during the same time the donations of individuals amounted to £5,091 sterling and £4,640 currency. During this period the ferry paid, as it is estimated, about £50 per annum, or the total sum of £2,300 in currency.

Approximating a general summary, we have as follows:

Aid by the Legislature.
Grants from 1636 to 1786
West Boston Bridge Company at £200 per annum
Charles River Bridge Company at £300 per annum
Museum of Comparative Zoölogy
Raised by lotteries (about)
Bank tax from 1814 to 1824..

$115, 797,73


10,000.00 235,000.00

69,000.00 100,000.00

Total amount of money grants
Total amount of land grants (about)

549, 793, 73 46,000.00

Private donations.

The amount of private donations during the period from 1638 to 1848 is estimated at

$1,228,069.74 In addition to this, real estate, granted by the city of Cambridge between the years 1638 and 1641, amounted to....

4,857 acres. It is seen that in the earlier part of the existence of the college, as in the more recent times, the private donations were always greater than the public grants.

“Let not,” says Quincy, “ these statements lead to the conclusion that the degree of patronage extended by the General Court was of little worth, or is intended to be undervalued. Notwithstanding the deficiency in direct donatives the college is largely indebted to them for the actual prosperity to which, during the period in question, it attained." 3

Harvard has apparently attained a position where it no longer needs the aid and supervision of the State, receiving, as it does, support from magnificent individual endowments; but the aid of the State in supporting the institution when struggling as the foremost college in a new country can not be easily over estimated in its importance.


Perhaps a close classification would exclude the academies and high schools of Massachusetts from the range of higher education; but these schools have borne such an intimate relation with all the interests of higher education that they ought not to be passed unnoticed. Considered historically, it is quite impossible to draw a line defining higher education by the names that institutions bear. The terms “univer

Mass. Rep., XL, 49, appendix.
Ibid., 44.

3 History of Harvard, I, 41.



sity,” “college,” “academy,” “grammar school,” and “high school” are misleading in regard to the past as well as to the present. While the modern classification of public schools as “superior,” “secondary,” and “primary” is gaining uniformity, yet it is difficult to reduce all of the early schools to this gradation. The school system of colonial Massachusetts comprised common schools, academies, and a university. But this term “common” frequently signified a school open to the admission of all classes, and the academies were frequently called grammar schools, while the academies propen, bore much the same relation to the university that the modern college does to the modern university. The term “free school” also signified a school “free” or open to all comers, although tuition was frequently charged. The earliest school laws made it a duty of the towns to provide “free schools,” supported in part by taxation in the towns where they were located and in part by the tuition of the pupils. Rev. Charles Hammond, in his excellent paper on “New England Academies and Classical Schools,” offers the opinion that the early designation of the term “free,” as applied to grammar schools and academies, had respect neither to cost or privileges, but to the nature and tendency of learning in its effect on the mind of the student and on the state of society. The schools were “free” because the education in them was liberal." As to their nature and aims and their respective courses of study, the ancient grammar School is to be considered as equivalent to the modern high school, and the old academy as approximating the position of the modern college. In the year 1642 the General Court passed an act relating to family education, and imposing fines upon parents who neglected the proper 'instruction of their children. The court also, in the same year, enlarged upon this idea by a brief educational code, which shows the solemnity with which they viewed the subject of education: “It being the chief project of that old deluder, Satan, to keep men from the knowledge of the Scriptures as in former times keeping them in an unknown tongue, so in these latter times, by persuading from the use of tongues so at least that the true sense of the original might be clouded and corrupted with the false glosses of deceivers, and to the end that learning may not be buried in the grave of our forefathers, in church and commonwealth, the Lord assisting our endeavors: “It is therefore ordered by this court and authority thereof that every township within this jurisdiction, after the Lord hath increased them to the number of fifty house-holders, shall then forthwith appoint one within their town to teach all such children as shall resort to him to write and read, whose wages shall be paid either by the parents or masters of such children, or by the inhabitants in general by way of supply as the major part of those who order the prudentials of the town shall appoint, provided that those who send their children be not oppressed by paying much more than they can have them taught for in other towns. “And it is further enacted, that when any town shall increase to the number of one hundred families as house-holders they shall set up a grammar school, the masters thereof being able to instruct youths so far as they may be fitted for the university; and if any town neglect the performance thereof above one year, then every such town shall pay five pounds per annum to the next such school till they shall perform this order.” The last' clause has been the fundamental law for the organization

* Report of the Commissioner of Education, 1868, 412.

of the system of high schools and academies. The revised statutes of

Massachusetts still provide that high schools shall be established in every town having five hundred inhabitants, and may be established in any town by the vote of the people; the said schools are to be supported by local taxation. Many of the early grammar schools were of very excellent grade, suf. ficient to prepare students for Harvard College. Mather” says of them: “When scholars had so far profited at the grammar schools that they could read any classical author into English and readily make and speak true Latin, and write it in verse as well as in prose, and perfectly decline the paradigms of nouns and verbs in the Greek tongue, they were judged capable of admission to Harvard College.” These grammar schools for a long time supplied the demands of the people for training schools for the university. But in towns where they were not required by law, and in country places, academies sprang up to supply the needs of the people. The academies were usually aided by the State by way of land endowments or by appropriations. A joint committee of both houses reporting before the Massachusetts Legislature, February 27, 1797, fully stated the position of academies

at large, and recommended that the State authorize certain grants of

land to academies about to be formed. The court accepted the report of the committee and ordered the grants of land as recommended. The grants were “to be made to trustees of any association within the respective counties mentioned where there was no academy at present instituted, who shall first make application to the General Court.” It was provided that a sum be secured for the use of said institution, and that the situation selected for the academy be approved by the Legislature. In the general report of the committee it was urged that every portion of the Commonwealth ought to be entitled to these appropriations “in aid of private donations;” that no academy should be established near one already existing; that the institutions should first be secured with funds and private endowments, and that the lands so granted should be in aid of the permanent fund.

* Massachusetts Records, II, 203. * Magnalia, Vol. II, Book IV, 4.


The committee further report that there are already fifteen academies, besides the Derby School, but that the academy at Marblehead will probably serve only the purposes of a town school. The colleges already chartered would serve the purposes of academies, and including these it was proposed that there should be one academy for every twenty-five thousand inhabitants. “Of the fifteen academies already incorporated, seven have had grants of State lands, that at Fryeburg fifteen thousand acres, and the other six, at Machias, Hallowell, Ber. wick, Marblehead, Taunton, and Leicester, one township each.” It was recommended in the future that one-half of a township, instead of a whole one, be granted to each academy. Of the eight academies not endowed by the Commonwealth, nearly all were endowed either by towns or by individuals; but four, at Port. land, Westfield, New Salem, and Plymouth, were to be each endowed with a half of a township. The report of the committee adopted by the General Court shows conclusively that the Commonwealth, recognizing private endowments, proposed to supplement their work, and that the school system at this date was in the hands of the Legislature. In another report of a similar committee, dated March 3, 1859, Hon. Charles W. Upham, chairman, after reciting the above report, concludes: “The following principles appear to have been established as determining the relations of academies to the Commonwealth. They were to be regarded as in many respects and to a considerable extent public schools; as a part of an organized system of universal education; as opening the way of all the people to a higher order of instruction than the common schools can supply, and as a complement to them, towns, as well as the Commonwealth, were to share with individuals the character of founders or legal visitors of them. They were to be distributed as nearly as might be so as to accommodate the different districts or localities of the State according to a measure of population, that is, twenty-five thousand individuals. In this way they were to be placed within the reach of the whole people, and their advantages secured as equally and as effectively as possible, for the common benefit.” These early academies were carried on with varying success. One of the earliest academies in the province of Massachusetts was that of Byfield, taught for nineteen years by the celebrated Master Moody, and here were prepared for Harvard many students who afterward became eminent men. It was the success of this institution that led to the founding of the famous Phillips Academies at Andover and Exeter and that at Leicester. The schools were modeled as nearly as possible after the “English great public schools,” such as Harrow, Rugby, and Eton. They did not succeed in always furnishing a uniformly good curriculum, and in obtaining the heavy endowments that characterized the schools of

* Report 1868, 432.

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