Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

benevolence, public and private charity, industry and economy, honesty and punctuality, sincerity, sobriety, and all social affections and generous sentiments among the people.” As far as public rulers conform to this article, they promote, in the most effectual manner, the true interest and prosperity of their country.

The establishment of Dartmouth College in the western border of the State, has proved a great benefit to the new settlements, and to the neighboring State of Vermont. During the late war, like all other seminaries of literature, it lay under discouragement; but since the peace it is in a more flourishing situation.

Its landed interest amonpts to about eighty thousand acres, of which twelve hundred lie contiguous, and are capable of the best. improvement. Twelve thousand acres are situate in Vermont. A tract of eight miles square beyond the northern line of Stuart town, was granted by the Assembly of New Hampshire in 1789, and in the act by which this grant was made, “the president and council of the State for the time being are incorporated with the trustees of the college, so far as to act with them in regard to the expenditures and application of this grant, and of all others which bave been or may be hereafter made by New Hampshire."

The revenue of the college arising from the lands, amounts to one hundred and forty pounds per annum. By contracts already made it will amount in four years to four hundred and fifty; and in twelve years to six hundred and fifty pounds. The income arising from tuition money is about six hundred pounds per annum more.

The first building erected for the accommodation of the students was a few years since burned. A lottery was granted by the State for raising the sum of seven hundred pounds, which has been applied to the erection of a new building, much more convenient than the former; it was constructed of wood, and stands in an elevated situation, about half a mile eastward of Connecticut river in the township of Hanover, commanding an extensive and pleasant prospect to the west. It is one hundred and fifty feet long, fifty fect wide, and thirty-six feet high, and contains thirty-six chambers for students. The number of students who were graduated in the first nineteen years, amounts to two hundred and fifty-two, among whom were two Indians. In the year 1790, the number of undergraduates was about one hundred and fifty.

The students are divided into four classes. The freshmen study the learned langnages, the rules of speaking and writing, and the elements of mathematics.

The sophomores attend to the languages, geography, logic, and mathematics.

The junior sophisters, beside the languages, enter on natural and moral philosophy and composition.

The senior class compose in English and Latin ; study metaphysics, the elements of natural and political law.

The principal books used by the students are Lowth's English Grammar, Perry's Dictionary, Pike's Arithmetic, Guthrie's Geography, Ward's Mathematics, Atkinson's Epitome, Hammond's Algebra, Martin's and Enfield's Natural Philosophy, Ferguson's Astronomy, Locke's Essay, Montesquieu's Spirit of Laws, and Burlemaqui's Natural and Political Law.

Besides these studies, lectures are read to the scholars in theology and ecclesiastical history.

There is an examination of each class once in the year, and those who are not found qualified for their standing are put into a lower class.

The annual commencement is held on the fourth Wednesday in August. There are two vacations, one following commencement and continuing six weeks and two days; the other beginning on the fourth Monday in February, and continuing five weeks and five days.

MASSACHUSETTS. According to the laws of this Commonwealth, every town hav. ing fifty householders or upwards, is to be provided with one or more schoolmasters, to teach children and youth to read and write, and instruct them in the English language, arithmetic, orthography, and decent behavior; and where any town has two hundred families, there is also to be a grammar school set up therein, and some discreet person, well instructed in the Latin, Greek, and English languages, procured to keep the same, and be suitably paid by the inhabitants. The penalty for neglect of schools in towns of fifty families is ten pounds-one hundred families, twenty pounds-one hundred and fifty families, thirty pounds.

These laws respecting schools are not so well regarded in many parts of the State, as the wise purposes which they were intended to answer, and the happiness of the people require.

In Boston there are seven public schools, supported wholly at the expense of the town, and in which the children of every class of citizens freely associate. In the Latin grammar school the rudiments of the Latin and Greek languages are taught, and boys qualified for the universities; into this school none are admitted till ten years of age, having been previously well instructed in English grammar. In the three English grammar schools, the children of both sexes, from seven to fourteen years of age, are instructed in spelling, accenting and reading the English language, both prose and verse, with propriety, also in English grainmar and composition, together with the rudiments of geography; in the other three the same children are taught writing and arithmetic. These schools are attended alternately, and each of them is furnished with an usher or assistant. The masters of these schools have each a salary of six bundred and fifty-six and two-thirds dollars per annum, payable quarterly.

They are all under the immediate care of a committee of twentyone citizens, for the time being, chosen annually, whose duty it is " to visit the schools at least once in three months, to examine the scholars in the various branches in which they are tanght, to devise the best methods for the instruction and government of the schools, to give such advice to the masters as they shall think expedient, and by all proper methods to excite in children a laudable ambition to excel in a virtuous, amiable deportment, and in every branch of useful knowledge.” At the anuual visitation in July, 1792, there were present four hundred and seventy girls, and seven hundred and twenty boys. Besides these there are several private schools, for instruction in the English, Latin, and French languages-in writing, arithmetic, and the higher branches of the mathematicsand also in music and dancing. Perhaps there is not a town in the world, the youth of which more fully enjoy the benefits of school education, than at Boston. And when we consider how inseparably the happiness and prosperity of America, and the existence of its present happy government, are connected with the education of children, too much credit can not be given to the enlightened citizens of this town, for the attention they have paid to this important business, and the worthy exainple they have exhibited for the imitation of others.

Next in importance to the grammar schools are the academies, in which, as well as in the grammar schools, young citizens are fitted for admission to the university.

[Mention is made of

Dummer academy, founded in 1756, opened in 1763, and incorporated in 1782.

Philips academy endowed in 1778, incorporated Oct. 1, 1780, and was then (1794) under the charge of a principal, an assistant, and a writing-master, devoted to the promotion of true piety and virtue, the instruction of youth in the English, Latin, and Greek languages; together with writing, arithmetic, practical geometry, music and oratory, logic and geography; and such other of the liberal arts and sciences, or languages, as opportunity and ability may hereafter admit, and the trustees shall direct.”

Leicester academy, incorporated in 1784.

Williamstown academy, which has a building erected in 1790, partly by a lottery, and partly by donations.

Taunton academy incorporated in 1792.
Derby School at Hingham.]

Harvard University takes its date from the year 1638. Two years before, the General Court gave four hundred pounds for the support of a public school at Newtown, which has since been called Cambridge. This year (1638) the Rev. Mr. John Harvard, a worthy minister residing in Charleston, died, and left a donation of seven hundred and seventy-nine pounds, for the use of the forementioned public school. In honor to the memory of so liberal a benefactor, the General Court, the same year, ordered that the school should take the name of Harvard College.

In 1642, the college was put upon a more respectable footing, and the governor, deputy governor, and magistrates, and the ministers of the six next adjacent towns, with the president, were erected into a corporation for the ordering and managing its concerns. It received its first charter in 1650.

Cambridge, in which the university is situated, is a pleasant village, four miles westward from Boston, containing a number of elegant seats, which are neat and well-built. The university consists of four elegant brick edifices, handsomely inclosed. They stand on a beautiful green, which spreads to the north-west, and exhibit a pleasing view.

The names of the several buildings are, Harvard Hall, Massachusetts Hall, Hollis Hall, and Holden Chapel. Harvard Hall is divided into six apartments; one of which is appropriated for the library, one for the museum, two for the philosophical apparatus; one is used for a chapel, and the other for a dining hall. The library, in 1791, consisted of upwards of thirteen thousand volumes; and is continually increasing from the interest of permanent funds, as well as from casual benefactions. The philosophical apparatus belonging to this university, cost between one thousand four hundred, and one thousand five hundred pounds sterling, and is the most elegant and complete of any in America.

Agreeable to the present constitution of Massachusetts, bis Excellency the Governor, Lieutenant-governor, the Council and Senate, the President of the University, and the ministers of the congregational churches in the towns of Boston, Charlestown, Cambridge, Watertown, Roxbury, and Dorchester, are, ex officiis, overseers of the university.

The corporation is a distinct body, consisting of seven members, in whom is vested the property of the university.

Harvard university has a President, Emeritus Professor of Divinity,-Hollisian Professor of Divinity,–Havaack Professor of Hebrew and other Oriental languages, - Hollis Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy-Hersey, Professor of Anatomy and Surgery,-Hersey Professor of the theory and practice of Physic,-Erving Professor of Chemistry and Materia Medica,-four tutors, who teach the Greek and Latin languages, logic, metaphysics, and ethics, geography, and the elements of geometry, natural philosophy, astronomy, and history; and a preceptor of the French language.

This university, as to its library, philosophical apparatus and professorships, is at present the first literary institution on the American continent. Since its first establishment, upwards of three thousand three hundred students have received honorary degrees from its successive officers; about one-third of whom have been ordained to the work of the gospel ministry. It has generally from one hundred and thirty to one hundred and sixty students.

This university is liberally endowed, and is frequently receiving donations for the establishment of new professorships. Formerly there was an annual grant made by the legislature to the president and professors, of from four to five hundred pounds, which for several years past has been discontinued.

MAINE.

The erection of a college near Casco bay was long since contemplated and determined on, and the legislature have proceeded so far in the business as to determine on the principles of such an establishment. Academies in Hallowell, Berwick, Frysburg, and Machias have been incorporated by the legislature, and endowed with handsome grants of the public lands. And it is but just to observe, that town-schools are very generally maintained in most of the towns that are able to defray the expense, and a spirit of improvement is increasing. .

RHODE ISLAND. The literature of this State is confined principally to the towns of Newport and Providence. There are some men of learning and abilities scattered through other towns. The bulk of the inhabitants in other parts of the State are involved in greater ignorance, perhaps, than in most other parts of New England.

At Providence is Rhode Island College. The charter for founding this seminary of learning was granted by the General Assembly of the State, by the name of the “Trustees and Fellows of the College or University, in the English colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations,"* in 1764, in consequence of the petition of a large number of the most respectable characters in the State. By the charter, the corporation of the college consists of two separate branches, with distinct, separate, and respective powers. The number of trustees is thirty-six, of whom twenty-two are Baptists, five of the denomination of Friends, five Episcopalians, and four Congregationalists. The same proportion of the different denomipations to continue in perpetuum. The number of fellows (inclusive of the president, who is a fellow ex officio) is twelve, of whom eight are Baptists, the others chosen indiscriminately from any denomination. The concurrence of both branches, by a majority of each, is necessary for the validity of an act, except adjudging and conferring degrees, which exclusively belongs to the fellowship as a learned faculty. The president must be a Baptist: professors and other officers of instruction are not limited to any particular denomination. There is annually a general meeting of the corporation on the first Wednesday in September, at which time the public coinmencement is held. The following extracts from a charge delivered to the graduates on that occasion in 1791, by David Howell, Esq., are introduced here, as they discover the principles inculcated in this seminary, while they proclaim the benevolent disposition of their author:

The pittance of time allotted to a collegiate education, can fuffice only to lay the foundation of learning; the superstructure must be reared by the assiduous attention of after years.

This day enlarges you into the world. Extensive fields open to your view. You have to explore the scenes, and to make an election of the character that best pleases you on the great theatre of life.

Let the rights of man ever be held sacred. A moment's reflection will con. vince you, that others' rights are as inviolable as your own; and a small degree of virtue will lead you to respect them. He that serves mankind most successfully, and with the best principles, serves his Creator most acceptably. Be cautious of bandying into parties; they regard neither the abilities nor virtues of men, but only their subserviency to present purposes; they are a snare to virtue, and a mischief to society. With this caution on your mind, you will never rerile or speak evil of whole sects, classes, or societies of men.

Forget not this precious motto: Nihil humanum a me puto alienum.' Consider every one in human shape as your brother; and 'Let charity in golden links of love connect you with the brotherhood of man.' Let your benevo

* This name to be altered when any generous benefactor arises, who by his liberal donation shall entitle himself to the bonor of giving the college a name.

« AnteriorContinuar »