Imágenes de páginas

England. We find them drawing their support chiefly from four sources: (1) private subscriptions and endowments, (2) town appropriations, (3) tuition of scholars, and (4) State grants. Notwithstanding that the in. come from all these sources was utilized, their early support was but meagre. Much to our surprise, too, we find the good people indulging in lotteries, as in case of Leicester Academy. An act of the General Court of June, 1785, granted a lottery to the trustees, not to exceed six hundred pounds; also an act of the General Court of 1791 granted to the trustees the privilege of a second lottery, which yielded $1,419.22.

There are many of these early institutions, such as the Phillips Academy, the Boston Latin School, and others, which still retain much of their original character; but the greater number of academies and grammar schools have passed into the modern high school system. By an act of the Legislature in 1826 the high schools were more thoroughly provided for, the present system being then inaugurated. The establishment of a school fund in 1834, and of a Board of Education three years later, belped to strengthen and develop the system. By the law now in force every town of five hundred inhabitants is obliged to provide for a public high school supported by taxation. Any town that neglects to comply with the law must forfeit a sum equal to twice the highest sum ever before voted for schools in that place.

Mr. Boutwell, Secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education, in his report of 1860 says: “In many of these schools better training is furnished than was given at Harvard College at the time of the adoption of the Constitution."

In 1838 there were only fourteen high schools in Massachusetts; in 1852, sixty-four; in 1856, eighty ; in 1860, one hundred and two; in 1865, one hundred and twenty; in 1868, one hundred and sixty-four; in 1866, one hundred and seventy-five; in 1871, one hundred and eighty-one; in 1873, one hundred and ninety; in 1874, two hundred and eight; in 1875, two hundred and twelve; in 1888, two hundred and thirty. This constant increase has been caused by new creation or by the absorption of the older institutions. As the older institutions gave way before the new régime, there has been needless prejudice against the former.


Among the older institutions of Massachusetts, Williams College received at first considerable assistance from the State. In the year 1750 the General Court granted to Col. Ephraim Williams, the founder of the college, “ two hundred acres of land in East Hoosac, now Adams, on condition of his erecting and keeping in repair for twenty years a grist-mill and saw-mill for the use of the settlers." Subsequently Fort Massachusetts was planted here, and Colonel Williams was appointed

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

commander of the line of forts west of the Connecticut. He was killed in 1755, but in his will he gave the greater part of his property for the support of a free school in West Hoosac, to be called after his name. Under the charge of the executors the funds increased until the year 1785, when a board of trust was incorporated on their application to establish a free school in Williamstown.

The executors paid over to this board of trust nearly eleven thousand dollars. In 1788 the trustees ordered the erection of a building, which was completed in 1790 and opened for the purpose of a school in 1791, thirty-six years after the death of the founder.

The Legislature incorporated Williams College and transferred to the trustees all the property of the free school. The enterprise well started, the Legislature began to give the growing institution needed assistance. In 1804 it granted a strip of land “of no great value, to Williams and Bowdoin Colleges, which was followed in 1805 by the grant of a township to Williams College, which sold for $4,500, and also the grant of a township in 1809, which sold for $5,000. In February, 1811, the Legislature granted, from the proceeds of the tax on banks, the sum of $3,000 annually for ten years. The Legislature continued from time to time its assistance to the college. The whole sum granted by the State previ. ous to 1860 amounted to $157,500.


[ocr errors]

The assistance given to Amherst College by the State has been comparatively small. The early life of the institution was one of vicissitudes, and its struggle for existence was opposed by Harvard College and by the citizens of the eastern part of the State as well.

A memorial was presented to the General Court as early as January :20, 1762, setting forth that there are a great number of people in the county of Hampshire and places adjacent, disposed to promote learn. ing, and by reason of their great distance from other colleges and the great expense of their education there, many of good natural genius are prevented a liberal education, and a large country filling up at the north-west of them which will send a great number of men of letters.”

But the aspirations of the men in the western part of the State were not to be realized for many years. A bill establishing an academy in the western part of the State was lost, and the subsequent charter incorporating Queens College was never granted, owing to the opposition of Harvard and its friends, although the charter was made out by the Governor of the State and had a strong following in the west.

Amherst Academy, opened in 1814, formally dedicated in the following year, and incorporated in 1816, was the nucleus of Amherst College. In 1815 the Franklin County Association of Ministers took action to. ward the founding of a college, recommending that it be established at

2 Mass. Rep., XL., appendix, 67.

'Mass. Rep., XL, appendix, 69.

Amherst; subsequently the trustees of the academy became the trustees of the college. In the meantime the General Court had granted to the academy half a township of land in Maine; the academy, however, continued its corporate existence until 1858, at which time it was changed into a high school. The college was not opened until 1821 and received its charter in 1825, although an application for the same had been made in 1823, but had been defeated by various parties.

The institution continued to grow for eleven years, until in 1836 the number of students had reached an aggregate of 259; then came a decline, and nine years thereafter there were only 118 students.

At this time a great effort was made to raise funds and put the college on a proper footing. The State came to the assistance of the college with an appropriation of twenty-five thousand dollars. Over one hundred thousand dollars were raised during the years 1846–47. The State has contributed in all the sum of $52,500, or only a third as inuch as to Williams College. The institution has, however, received generous support from its own alumni and from individual friends.


Under the act of Congress of July 2, 1862, granting public lands to the several States for the support of colleges of agriculture and the mechanic arts, the State of Massachusetts received three hundred and sixty thousand acres in land scrip. The proceeds of this gift were divided by acts of the Legislatures of 1861 and 1863, respectively, between the Massachusetts Institute of Techuology at Boston and the Massachusetts Agricultural College at Amherst; two-thirds of the endowment was devoted to the college and one-third to the institute.

Scientific education, previous to this date, had received some attention, but its support had hitherto been derived from private donations, with the exception that the State had granted one hundred thousand dollars toward the building of the Museum of Comparative Zoology.

The Massachusetts School of Agriculture was incorporated in 1856, six years before the appropriation by the General Government. The subject at this time was receiving attention in the foremost States of the Union, and was agitated by the General Government itself. But it was difficult at this time to inaugurate the new movement. For lack of means to carry on the enterprise the school was not established, and the charter was transferred in 1860 to several enterprising citizens of Springfield. After consultation with the leading agriculturists of the western part of the State, it was determined to open the college in that city, and to raise seventy-five thousand dollars for its support.

At the breaking out of the War operations were suspended, until the year 1863, when the Legislature took the affair in hand.

By an act of the Legislature approved April 23, 1863, the Agricultural College was established, and the following named persons were

Rep. Com. Educ., 1868, 249,





designated trustees of the institution: the Governor of the Common. wealth, the Secretary of the State Board of Education, the secretary of the board of agriculture, and the president of the faculty; these were to be ex officio members of the corporation, and there were also fourteen other citizens named in the act. Tbe trustees were to assume direct control in the organization and government of the college, subJéct to the approval of the Legislature.

In stating the design of the college the words of the act of Congress in the gift were quoted, viz: “the leading object shall be, without excluding other scientific and classical studies, and including military tactics, to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts,

in order to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and professions of life.”!

The college was to be located at Amherst, provided that the town would subscribe the required amount, namely, seventy-five thousand dollars. Amherst having complied witii the law in this respect, the college was duly located there in 1861. Building was at once begun, and the institution was opened for students in October, 1867. A beautiful site had been chosen, and a farm of three hundred and eighty-one acres purchased for experimental purposes.

Contrary to the design of the act, the sum of forty-one thousand dol. lars was ordered by the Legislature (April 11, 1864) to be paid for the farm out of the proceeds of the land scrip fund. This was to have been kept as a productive fund by the right interpretation of the act of Congress.

The Legislature began its assistance by an act of 1864, which voted ten thousand dollars for founding purposes. Including this and later grants the list of appropriations by the State is as follows: 1864, for founding purposes.

$10,000 1865, to aid ia establishing

10,000 1868, for building purposes

50,000 1867, for building purposes

50,000 1870, for building purposes

25,000 1871, for building purposes

50,000 1874, for current expenses

18,000 Total by the State (1874)..

213,000 In 1883 the Legislature passed an act granting ten thousand dollars annually for the support of the Agricultural College. The total amount of State appropriations up to 1888 is $569,575.

In addition to the above is to be noted the sum of $75,000, subscribed by the town of Amherst.

The value of the property of the college in 1887 was $209,643.42.

The entire productive fund of the United States grant is $219,000, and of the State grant is $141,575.35, or a total of $360,575.35, two-thirds

U. S. Statutes at Large, XII, 503. Rep. Com. Educ., 1868, 133.

of the income of which goes to the college, and one-third to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The income for the college from this source in 1887 was $9,835.35. There are various other funds, mostly scholarships, amounting to the sum of $20,605.19.'


As early as 1858–59 liberal minded gentlemen were considering the question of establishing in Massachusetts an institute of technology in connection with the Museum of Natural History. After repeated attempts of the associated institutions of Natural History Society, Horticultural Society, Society of Arts and Sciences, and others, a report was prepared by Professor William Rogers setting forth the objects and plans of an institute of technology. The report was accepted in 1860 by the committee of the associated institutions and furnished the framework on which the present institute has been built. There was a preliminary and informal organization in January, 1861, and an application was made to the Legislature for a charter and a grant of land. After this there were large private donations and contributions by legacies amounting to about three hundred and seventy thousand dollars. In 1863 the Legislature appropriated three-tenths of the proceeds of the national land grant of 1862. The following statement of the relations of the institute to the State has been furnished by good authority: “By an act of 1887 the Legislature of Massachusetts offered us $100,000 on condition of founding twenty free scholarships. We declined the offer, on the ground that twenty free scholarships meant to us a loss of $4,000 income, and that we could not rely upon getting much more than this sum annually out of the $100,000. We were not willing to be represented as having received a large gift from the State when in reality, the proposed grant would bring us no financial relief or strength, since we can have all the pupils at $200 a year whom we are able to provide for. “Upon this, the Legislature the next year made a clear grant of $100,000 upon condition of our accepting the grant of the year before on the terms stated. This we did, and all but $50,000 of the money has been paid over to us, and the twenty free scholarships have been established. Now, upon this showing, some people would say that the State had given us $200,000. We prefer to say that the State has given us $100,000, and has bought $100,000 worth of tuition from us, for the benefit of deserving young men, citizens of the commonwealth. “This is all that Massachusetts has ever given us directly in money; but many years ago, complaint having been made that the State had sold its United States land scrip at very inadequate prices, the com

*Report of Trustees, 1888, 24.

« AnteriorContinuar »