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treasurer to loan out on good security the proceeds arising from the sales of seminary lands. Five years later, the Governor was authorized to dispose of all such lands, but the price must be at least ten dollars an acre. The proceeds were to be deposited in the Bank of the State of Arkansas, to the credit of the university funds. Some difficulty seems to have been found in obtaining so much for the lands, as we find the next Legislature reducing the minimum price to six dollars an acre.3

As a distinct fund, the seminary fund disappears in 1849, when it was divided among the counties for common school purposes. Only the interest could be used ; the principal was to remain inviolate."


By the act of Congress granting land for agricultural colleges, Arkansas received one hundred and fifty thousand acres. This was accepted in 1867. In the following year the land scrip was given to Arkansas Industrial University, which was to be located in the town that held out to it the greatest inducements. Fayetteville was chosen as the site, and the university opened in 1872.

The assistance of the State has been liberal. So far there has been appropriated $257,894.33, of which sixty thousand dollars was given in 1887.


The Constitution of 1836 provided that education should be encouraged, and this was retained in the Constitution of 1865.7

In article IX, section 3, of the Constitution of 1868, we read: “The General Assembly shall establish and maintain a State university, with departments for instruction in teaching, agriculture, and the natural sciences, as soon as the public school fund will permit." Section + guaranties the inviolability of educational funds, as does also article XIV, section 2, of the Constitution of 1874.


In the earlier period the attention of Arkansas was confined to primary education, but since the establishment of the industrial university, advanced instruction has been regarded. For this purpose the State has appropriated $257,894.33.

Laws of 1833, 35.
2 Laws of 18:38, 21.
3 Laws of 1840, 95.
4 Laws of 1848–49, 62.
5 Laws of 1866-67, 85.

6 Laws of 1868, 327.
7 Report of U. S. Commissioner of Education

for 1867–68, 110.
8 Ibid., 126. Poore, Charters and Constitu-

tions, 146



It has become a settled policy among the States of the West to adopt a system of public education that includes a university. While non. State schools are not discouraged by legislative authority, there is a tendency to regard a State university as a sacred trust, essential to the public schools and to be guarded with jealous care. There is also a marked tendency in several States to keep the university near to the people; to make of it a democratic institution. For example, the University of Nebraska is governed by a board of regents, six in number, elected by the people for a term of six years. The State of Colorado has wisely adopted the same method. This gives the people an opportunity to prevent the management of the university from falling into the hands of political manipulators. The University of Nebraska is an excellent example of an institution that has been preserved from the toils of politics. It seems to have been established and maintained in the interests of the people. It is rather suggestive of the fact that with an organization of the right kind there is no necessity that any State university should be contaminated through partisan influences.

After a review of the effects of the changeable course of legislative bodies in the disposal of the public school lands, it is very gratifying to turn to the Constitution of Nebraska and find it there enacted that no public lands reserved for school purposes shall be sold for less than seven dollars per acre. Nebraska and California are among the best examples of the profitable disposal of public school lands. A wise policy seems to have dominated the management of the United States grants, while the incomes arising from them have been continually supplemented by generous appropriations by the Legislatures.

It is also notable that the Legislatures of several States are inclined to remove as far as possible the uncertainty of legislation by granting permanent endowments to universities. In this respect they are following the commendable example of Michigan, which gives one-twentieth of a mill on each taxable dollar, and Wisconsin, which gives one-eighth of a mill on each taxable dollar, for the permanent support of their respective universities. Iowa gives a fixed endowment of twenty thousand dollars per annum; Nebraska gives three-eighths of a mill on each taxable dollar for the maintenance of the university; California gives one-tenth of a mill tax for the same purpose; and Colorado gives three

fifths of a mill for the support of three institutions of higher education. These permanent incomes are supplemented by liberal appropriations for current expenses and for buildings.

In these comparatively new States, where provisions for higher education are made while they are yet Territories and with the advantages of the experience of other States in the management of universities and their endowments, there is abundant opportunity to test the principles and the practice of State education to their fullest extent.



The first Constitution of Missouri, adopted in 1820, upon the admission of that State into the Union, asserts that “The General Assembly shall take measures for the improvement of such lands as have been or hereafter may be granted by the United States to this State for the support of a seminary of learning; and that the funds accruing from such lands by rent or lease or in any other manner, or which may be obtained from any other source for the purposes aforesaid, shall be and remain a permanent fund to support a university for the promotion of literature and of the arts and sciences.” 1 This early obligation taken by the people of the State for the administration of the trust imposed by the General Government granting two townships of land to the State for the purpose of a seminary of learning was, as in many other cases on record, a long time in being fulfilled.

Nothing was done towards the organization of a college until the year 1839, when an act was passed “ to provide for the institution and support of the State university and colleges.” 2 The bill was very elaborate, authorizing the organization of a central university and a system of colleges and academies in different parts of the State designed to be general educators and supporters of the university. These colleges were to be under the visitorial power of the curators of the university. This plan proved impracticable on account of its cumbrous nature and of the insufficiency of funds to carry out the scheme. In the same year an act was passed authorizing the selection of a site for a university within two miles of the county seat of one of the seven central counties in the State, namely: Cole, Cooper, Callaway, Boone, Howard, or Saline. It was further provided that the site should contain at least fifty acres of land.


The commission appointed by the Legislature to select the site accepted the offer of the citizens of Boone County, who pledged to give $117,900 to the university provided that it be located at Columbia.

1 Constitution 1820, Art. VI, sec. 2.

2 The University of Missouri, Hough.

Prior to this act there had been established a school called Columbia College, which was merged into the university, and the college building afforded accommodations for the students until the first university building was finished. The governing body of the university is a board of curators appointed by the General Assembly.

At the second meeting of the board in 1839, the curators entered at once upon their duties of organizing the university and the erection of buildings.

TREATMENT OF THE SEMINARY LANDS. The lands which constituted the Federal endowment of the university were of very good quality, mostly situated in Jackson County. The Legislature ordered the sale of these lands in 1831, fixing the minimum price at two dollars per acre.

The result of this management yielded only the small sum of seventy thousand dollars as a permanent fund. The proceeds were invested in the stock of the Bank of the State of Missouri, and there remained un til the accumulated fund amounted to one hundred thousand dollars, in 1839. A president of the new institution was elected in 1840. For twenty-five years following the University of Missouri existed as a college of liberal arts, during which time the State of Missouri gave no assistance for its support. The legislative body did not even make good the deficit occurring through mismanagement, nor did it pay the curators except from the university funds. It had for its record the waste of a beneficent grant which would have formed a magnificent endowment had it been properly managed.

The lands were chosen and located in the most fertile part of Missouri, many of them in Jackson County, near Independence, and many of them were located in and adjoining Kansas City. “These lands, which were sacrificed are placed upon the assessment roll to-day (1885) at a valuation of three million dollars, and as every man knows that landed property in the State is not assessed at more than two-thirds of its actuaj value, they are worth at this time $4,500,000.” 1 It will be remembered that these lands were held in trust by the State for the benefit of a seminary of learning. 66 The trust was not carried out in good faith; the lands were prematurely and improvidently sold at an insufficient price, and thus the university was deprived of a large endowment fund.” 2

But it must be noted that the sale of these lands was ordered by the Legislature nine years before the university was organized, and consequently there was no one to exercise especial care over the university lands except the Legislature. “We venture the opinion that if these lands had been held in trust for ten years and until after the incorporation of the university by legislative act and then sold they would have commanded a' least from ten dollars to twenty dollars per acre, for they were the richest lands in the State and were judiciously located in one of her finest counties." 2

1 Report of Curators, 1884–85, 204.

3 Ibid.

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