Page images


The powers, rights, and property of the trustees of Indiana College were vested in the trustees of Indiana University. The sciences of law and medicine were added to the course of study, and the university was placed under the control of twenty-one trustees. The law school was organized in 1840 and continued until 1877, when it was abolished ; a school of medicine was never established. The board of trustees was reduced to nine members in 1841,2

By laws passed in 1852 and 1855, respectively, the Governor of the State, the Lieutenant-Governor, Judges of the Supreme Court, Speaker of the House, and Superintendent of Public Instruction were made ex officio members of the board of trustees, consisting regularly of eight members.

From the time of the organization of the seminary through its changes into Indiana College and finally to Indiana University, even to the year 1867, the institution had been subject to State control, but had received no aid from the State treasury. It is true that a law was enacted by the Legislature in 1828 for the purpose of raising revenue by local taxation for the Gibson County Seminary. By this act fifty per cent. was levied on the State and county revenue on all persons and property within the town of Princeton; twenty-five per cent. on all persons and property not within said town, but within a distance of two miles;"3 twelve and one-half per cent. within a distance of two to four miles; and eight per cent. on persons and property within the county and not including the foregoing lists. It was a State institution in creation and control, but still a Federal institution in its support.

But a new era dawned upon the university at this time. By an act 4 of March 8, 1867, the Legislature, in order to supplement the meagre endowment of the university, made an annual appropriation of eight thousand dollars. Soon afterward eight thousand dollars additional was voted to meet the indebtedness of the institution.

In 1873 the annual endowment5 was increased by the sum of fifteen thousand dollars, making the permanent annual endowment twenty. * three thousand dollars.

The most notable advance in the legal history of the university, and the one which will do more than any other to result in the fulfilment of the ideas of the founders of the institution, is found in the “Act to provide a fund for the permanent endowment of the Indiana University," approved March 8, 1883. By this act, the passage of which was secured largely by the efforts of the alumni, it was provided that "there shall be assessed and collected, as State revenues are assessed and collected, in the year 1883 and in each of the succeeding twelve years, the sum of one-half of one per cent. on each hundred dollars of taxable property in the State, which money when collected and paid into the


1 Laws of Indiana, 1838, chap. 1021,

3 Laws of Indiana, 1828, chap. 83, p. 120.
4 Ibid., 1867, chap. vi, p. 20.
5 Ibid., 1873, chap. v, p. 17.

p. 294.

2 Woodburn, MS.

State treasury in each of the years named in this act shall be placed to the credit of a fund known as the Permanent Endowment Fund of the Indiana University. It is estimated that this tax will give a fund in twelve years of more than seven hundred thousand dollars.




Besides those already mentioned the Legislature of Indiana has made special appropriations to the university at Bloomington as follows: In 1873, for building purposes,” ten thousand dollars ; in 1873, for contingent expenses, twelve thousand dollars; in 1874, for building purposes, ten thousand dollars; in 1874, for contingent expenses, twelve thousand dollars. In 1885 the sum of thirty thousand dollars was granted for the purpose of erecting buildings destroyed by fire. For the latter purpose two colleges were erected by Monroe County.




This institution was first organized under the name of the Indiana Agricultural College, located at La Fayette, in accordance with the stipulations of the Congressional grant of 1862. Indiana's share of the grant was 390,000 acres in land scrip, which yielded a fund from sales of $212,238.50; this had increased to the sum of $265,000 in 1876, according to Mr. Smart,4 and amounted in 1885 to $340,000, yielding an annual income of $17,000.5

Hon. John Purdue, a citizen of La Fayette, gave as an endowment to the college one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, and its name was subsequently changed to Purdue University. On condition that it should be located in Tippecanoe County said county gave to the University the sum of fifty thousand dollars. To carry out its part of the contract the State, by the General Assembly, devoted eighty tbousand dollars for buildings and grounds.

The total value of the funds, productive and unproductive, amounted to $650,000 in 1883.7

The State has made the following special appropriations for its support: 1873.- Improvements..

8 $60,000 1875,-For two years

20,000 1877.-For two years

19,500 1879.-For two years

9,000 1881.-For two years

40,000 1885. -For four years...

988,000 1885.-For improvements..


[ocr errors]



• $249,000


Quoted in Woodburn's History of Higher

Education in Indiana. ? Laws of Indiana, 1873, pp. 8, 9. 3 Ibid., 1885, chap. 32, p. 65. * Schools of Indiana, 155.

6 State Report, 1882–83
7 Ibid.
8 Laws of Indiana, 1873,chap. IV, p. 16.
9 Ibid., 1885, chap. X, p. 10.
10 Letter from President J. H. Smart,

January 18, 1889.

6 Ibid.


The seminaries of Indiana would fall, according to modern classification, within the grade of secondary schools; but as a support and beginning of higher education in early times they deserve a passing notice. Elsewhere in this paper the constitutional provisions relative to the public school system have been cited as authorizing “seminaries” of learning in the several counties. This was followed by a law, approved in 1824, authorizing the establishment of seminaries in each county in the State. In the following year county seminaries and district schools began to be built by means of public revenue, supplemented by contri. butions of materials and labor levied as a tax on individuals. 1 The fre. quent incorporation of seminaries seemed to indicate that the system would be a success.

By an act of the Legislature passed in 1827 seminaries were incor. porated in Wayne, Franklin, Henry, Rush, Randolph, Allen, Vigo, Daviess, Madison, Hamilton, and Sullivan Counties.? By subsequent acts of the same year a seminary was incorporated in each of the following counties,3 viz: Washington, Harrison, Knox, Fayette, and Clark.

Yet the system did not succeed, although by 1837 the General Assembly had incorporated twenty-six by special legislation, and many more under a general law.

However, in 1852, after the reorganization of the school system under its present form, the Legislature ordered the sale of all the property, real and personal, constituting the county seminaries, and the placing of the net proceeds to the credit of the common school fund.4


Although the system of public schools was not established until 1852, the permanent fund of the same has grown to enormous proportions, and has been derived principally from the following sources:

(1) The sale of the township sixteenth sections granted for common schools, as in other States.

(2) In 1834 a fund of eighty thousand dollars was derived from a tax of twelve and one-half per cent. on each share of bank stock.

(3) The Legislature provided by the same act that the State bank should be established, and authorized a loan of $1,300,000; eight hundred thousand dollars of this was to pay for the stock in the bank, and five hundred thousand dollars to be loaned to individuals. A sinking fund was established to pay the loan, including the expenses and the interest; the remainder of the loan was ordered to be turned into a permanent fund for the purpose of common school education. This has increased the common school fund about $5,500,000.1

1 State Report, 1884, 11; one of the early school taxes in Indiana was levied in the form of days' work; every citizen in the district was obliged to furnish so many days work or its equivalent in materials.

2 Statutes of Indiana, 1827, chap. 94, pp. 87–99.
3 Laws of 1827, chaps. 95, 96, 97, 98, 99.
4Smart, 40.
o Ibid., 38.

(4) The surplus revenue fund of 1836 was devoted to the cause of education, and yielded the sum of $862,254 to Indiana's share; $573,502.96 were set apart to augment the common school fund.

(5) The proceeds of the sales of swamp lands of the 1850 grant were devoted to the common school fund.

(6) All salt springs in Indiana Territory, granted to the Territory by act of Congress in 1816, were devoted to the school fund. From this source eighty-five thousand dollars were realized.

(7) Sales of the county seminary lands were returned to common school fund.

(8) The contingent fund, yielded from escheats, fines, etc.

The fund has continued to increase from time to time until it now amounts to nearly nine millions ($8,799,191). Nearly the entire fund was devoted to common schools.


Indiana University, Bloomington.

Annual grant, 1867–73, $8,000
Annual grant, 1873–89, $23,000
Special appropriation
One-half of one per cent. tax on each $100 of taxable property in the State

for a term of twelve years, 1883-95, estimated

$48,000 374, 000 82,000


[blocks in formation]

No direct efforts were made by the State of Illinois to encourage higher education until the year 1867. The action taken then was in compliance with the conditions of the act of Congress donating public lands to the several States for the purpose of establishing colleges for the benefit of agriculture and the mechanic arts. The attitude of the State during the first fifty years of its existence was, on the whole, one of indifference to the interests of higher education. Not only did the State withhold the funds which the Federal Government appropriated for the establishment of a college and seminary of learning, but for a number of years made use of them for other purposes, thus in a sense antagonizing the interests of higher education."

1 Smart, 39.

2 Ibid., 9.


In 1804 Congress, as we have seen in a previous chapter, established three land districts in the Territory of Indiana (Vincennes, Kaskaskia, and Detroit). In each of these land districts a certain section in every township was set apart for school purposes, and also one township in each land district for the use of a seminary of learning. In 1809 the Kaskaskia district became known as the Territory of Illinois, retaining the same rights and privileges as under the former government. The act admitting Illinois into the Union in 1818 confirmed the appropriations made for the Territory, and in addition gave a second townsbip for the support of a seminary of learning. This additional appropriation of a township was made in such terms as to permit the State to select the land in choice, detached tracts. Thus better lands were obtained for higher education than could have been selected under the old requirement.

Still another provision of this act of Congress especially favored the promotion of higher education in Illinois. Instead of granting 5 per cent. of the proceeds derived from the sale of public lands for building roads, as had always been done, the act set apart only 2 per cent. for that purpose and 3 per cent. for the encouragement of learning, of which a sixth part should be exclusively bestowed upon a college or university. 4 The principal object of this provision was that immediate aid might be given to schools and to a college, which at that time were provided for only by the sale of waste lands. 5

But so far as the establishment of a college was concerned, no steps were taken in that direction until the year 1833. In that year a bill to incorporate an institution under the name of Illinois University, and to endow it with the college and seminary funds, was introduced into the State Legislature, but was defeated. The cause of the failure of the bill was, as appeared at the time, due to the jealousy which it aroused among other colleges then in existence but not incorporated, which feared that they would be completely overshadowed by a well endowed State university. No doubt the opposition thus aroused helped to defeat the bill, but in the light of the accompanying legislation a more potent cause was the absence of the college and seminary fund. The funds had


1 W. L. Pillsbury: Early Education in Illinois ; Illinois School Report for 1885–86, CXII. ? Pillsbury: Ill. Sch. Rep., 1885–86, cv.

Poore, 438. 4 Ibid., 438. 6 Annals of the 15th Congress, April 4, 1848. 6 Pillsbury: Ill. Sch. Rep., 1885–86, cxii.

« PreviousContinue »