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dollars, making the total income to the university arising from two townships of land about seven thousand four hundred dollars perannum.

During recent years the Legislature has sought to do justice to the Ohio University, the oldest college of the State, by appropriatons to supplement its small income. In 1881, twenty thousand dollars were voted for repairs on the buildings;- in 1883, ten thousand dollars 2 to assist in the completion of the building; and again, in 1885, four thousand nine hundred dollars for current expenses. The university has received assistance at different times by appropriations from the Legislature amounting in all to about fifty-five thousand dollars.


The third seminary township granted to the State of Ohio in the contract of the Federal Government with John Cleves Symmes, was selected in Butler County, and is now known as Oxford. Immediately after this grant was confirmed by law,5 in 1792, commissioners were appointed to locate the lands. After the location nothing was done toward the founding of a university until 1809, when the Miami University was chartered 6 and the seminary township granted to it as a permanent endowment. The terms for the disposal of the lands were exceedingly favorable to the new institution. They were divided into tracts containing not over one hundred and sixty acres, which were to be rented for ninety-nine years to the highest bidder, provided that no lease should be based on a valuation of less than two dollars per acre. The lessees were to pay an annual rent of six per centum on the first bid, and the lands were to be subjected to re-valuation every fifteen years. But in the following year the Legislature repealed that portion of the former act requiring a re-valuation every fifteen years. By this action the Legislature gave a blow to the university from which it never recovered. Could a wise policy have prevailed instead of the short-sighted haste to build a university in the wilderness, Miami University would doubtless be a flourishing institution at the present time. The Legislature tried to aid the university, but the entire assistance given amounted to about thirty thousand dollars.8.

The university was not opened until 1824, while the lands were all taken as early as 1810. The valuation of the lands represents ninetythree thousand dollars, which yields an income of five thousand six hundred dollars. With this meager allowance the university continued its struggle for existence until 1873, when its doors were closed.

To revive an institution for which the State was in a great measure responsible, the Legislature in 1885 appropriated twenty thousand dol


1 Laws of Ohio, 1881, 68.
2 Ibid., 1883, 158.
3Ibid., 1885, 193.
4 Letter from President W. H. Scott,

6 United States Statutes, I. 266.
6 Laws of Ohio, VII, 184.
7 Ibid., VIII, 95.
8 Letter from Pres. W. H. Scott, Colum-

of Columbus, 1888.

bus, July 31, 1888.

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lars for repairs to the buildings of Miami University. Other gifts have been made by the State. At present the university is in operation, having a productive fund of sixty-two thousand dollars, which yields an annual income of nine thousand five hundred dollars.?

It is generally conceded by all candid judgment on the subject that the management of the Ohio Seminary lands has been a failure, although the first plan for their management was well formed. It is not easy to explain the causes in a few words. Perhaps the haste to realize funds at once for carrying on the universities, the pressure brought to bear by the lessees and other interested parties, and the fact that the attention of the people was directed to the support of other institutions of learning, may be enumerated as the chief causes of the wild legislation and bad management of the funds.



Under the grant of 1862 Ohio received, in land scrip, six hundred and thirty thousand acres. By an act 3 of April, 1865, the Legislature authorized the sale of the land scripat a minimum price of eighty cents per acre. Subsequently the minimum price was fixed at fifty-three cents per

The lands were soon sold, and brought the sum of $340,906.80, or an average of about ninety-four and one-half cents per acre. This amount was increased by interest on its investment until the opening of the college, in 1870, when it amounted to over four hundred thousand dollars, and in 1876 to five hundred thousand dollars.

In the year 1878 an act was passed by the Legislature reorganizing the university, under the name of the “Ohio State University. It was located near Columbus, in Franklin County. The citizens of Columbus and of Franklin County gave three hundred thousand dollars for the erection of buildings. Another fund of about twenty-eight thousand dollars was contributed by the railroad companies and citizens combined.

Certain lands reserved by the compact of the United States and the Ohio Company, known as the Virginia military district, contained some remnants, which were donated to the State by the Federal Government in 1871. These lands in the following year were in turn donated by the State to the university at Columbus. They yielded upward of twenty thousand dollars. The funds of the institution have been constantly increasing. The last Report of the Commissioner of Education shows value of buildings, grounds, etc., to be eight hundred and fifty thousand dollars; the amount of productive funds to be $537,841, and the income on productive funds to be $32,270.

1 Laws of Ohio, 1885, 193. 2 Report of the Commissioner of Education, 1886-89, 701. 3 Laws of Ohio, LXII, 189. 4 Ibid. • Revised Statutes of Ohio (1886), Vol. III, Supplement, Title 37, p. 765.

The State has been generous in its aid to the institution by making needed appropriations and otherwise encouraging the growing university. The following is a list of the appropriations granted since its organization:


$5, 150.90 1885...

$25,500.00 15,800.00 1886

19,600.00 8,500.00 1887.

1,350.00 1888..

25, 335.00
22, 150.00 Total......... $175,085.90
10, 450.00

Other items swell the entire appropriation by the State to $179,535.90.

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The first Territorial Assembly of Indiana adopted measures for the establishment of a university. We have here one of the many

instances on record of the attempts to place the crown of the public school system” before the establishment of the system upon which it was to rest. However, it was not the intention of the early legislators to neg. lect the public common schools, seminaries and intermediate schools, as the sequel will show. It was to secure the Congressional seminary land grant and to obtain through the means of a university support to sec. ondary and primary schools that a seminary of learning was to be planted in the wilderness. But it took over half a century to mature the plans of the early legislators.

The organization of the Indiana Territory took place in 1800, and four years thereafter. Congress passed an act which provided among other things for the disposition of the public lands within the Territory. The act of Congress of 1804 divided the Territory into three land districts, viz, Kaskaskia, Detroit, and Vincennes, which later formed essentially the respective States of Illinois, Michigan, and Indiana.

The fifth section of the said act, after designating what land shall be reserved for public schools, states that there shall be set apart “an entire township in each of the three described tracts of country, or dis. tricts to be located by the Secretary of the Treasury for the use of a

Letter from Pres. W. H. Scott, November 29, 1888.

seminary of learning.It was not until October 10, 1806, that the township of land falling within Vincennes Territory was located, according to law, by Albert Gallatin, the Secretary of the Treasury. The lands were chosen in Gibson County, and the university was located in the borough of Vincennes.


The General Assembly at its first sitting (1806) passed an act incorporating the Vincennes University. A somewhat lengthy preamble sets forth the views of these early legislators on the importance of education.

The preamble commences as follows: "Whereas, The independence, happiness, and energy of every republic depends (under the influence of the destinies of Heaven) upon the wisdom, virtue, talents, and energy of its citizens and rulers; and whereas, science, literature, and the liberal arts contribute in an eminent degree to improve those qualities and acquirements."3 Proceeding from this the article continues to advocate learning as the support of “liberty” and rational” religion; and “philosophy, and literature” as the best means of furnishing "pleasant occupation;" and the diffusion of knowledge as requisite for a magistrate and elector.” Then follows the body of the act, establishing a university, under the control of a board of trustees, who were given power to make laws for its control in accordance with the laws of the Territory and of the United States. The trustees were to appoint a president of the university, and not exceeding four professors, for the instruction of youth in Latin, Greek, French, and the English languages, mathematics, natural philosophy, logic, rhetoric, and the law of nature and of nations."

It was further enacted that the departments of theology, law, and physics might be established, and whenever the funds of the university permitted, all students were to be educated gratis in all or any of the branches they might require. “No particular tenets of religion” were to be taught in the university.

Among other things provided for in this act was the raising of funds, not exceeding two thousand dollars, by means of a lottery, “to be conducted by five discreet persons chosen by the trustees;” also, a clause was inserted providing for the teaching of the children of the Indians, who were to be instructed, clothed, and fed while in attendance.

It was further enacted “that the said trustees, as soon as in their opinion the funds of the said institution will admit, are hereby required to establish an institution for the education of females,” etc.

Thus was established the first university in the new Territory, but it was only established by law; it was not yet built. Time must first see the failure of the exalted plans of the founders, the doors of a struggling institution closed before a university could be developed.

U. S. Statutes, II, 277.

2 Woodburn's History of Higher Education in Indiana, MS. for circular of Information, Bureau of Education,

3 Woodburn, MS.

It was not until the year 1810 that the university was formally opened for instruction, and then it was only allowed to teach the elementary branches until the university should gain strength. Even then the university must start with the private school of Rev. Samuel Scott as a nucleus.

In 1807 the trustees were legally authorized to sell a quantity of land, not exceeding four thousand acres, of the seminary township, and to rent the remainder “ to the best advantages for the use of said university.” The trustees soon sold four thousand one hundred and thirtysix acres, and rented parts of the remainder. With the proceeds, about six thousand dollars, the first building was erected. Although the school was in existence from this date until 1825, neither the State nor Territory gave it aid. The trustees allowed their organization to become illegal through lack of attention, and the State withdrew its care.

In 1822 the State passed an act virtually confiscating the lands of the university, and devoted them to the support of the State seminary established at Bloomington. In consequence of this act the institution was suspended in the following year, and afterward re-opened under the name of the Knox County Institute.

In 1824 the Legislature declared that the Vincennes University "had expired through the negligence of its members."

“ This act of 1822 recited the fact that the trustees of the Vincennes University had sold portions of such lands, and had negligently permitted the corporation to die without having executed deeds to purchasers,' and the act provided for the sale of the seminary township, in Gibson County, and for the use of the money as a productive fund for tbe benefit of the State seminary previously established at Bloomington. 3

Proceeding upon the assumption that the lands granted to Vincennes University still belonged to the State, the Legislature passed acts in 1825 and 18274 which authorized the sale of the seminary townships in Gibson and Monroe Counties.5

It was further provided that it shall be the duty of the Treasurer of the State to pay quarter-yearly to the president of the board of trustees of the State seminary, to the order of said president, * * * any interest of money in his hands that may have heretofore accrued, or that may hereafter accrue, from the sales of the seminary townships aforesaid.96 However, no greater sums should be paid in tbis manner than the amount of the yearly expenses for salaries in the seminary.

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1 Cf. Knight, 124–5.
2 Knight, 126.
3 Woodburn, MS.
4 Laws of 1827, chap. 100, p. 95.

5 Three sections near the seminary

were reserved. 6 Laws of 1827, chap. 100, p. 98.

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