History of Ontario Co., NY
Chapter XXVI pg 68 - 76
Kindly transcribed by Donna Walker Judge & Deborah Spencer
HISTORY OF HOBART COLLEGE, GENEVA, NY. (William Stevens PERRY, D.D., LL. D.,
EARLY in the present
century, the academy at Fairfield, in Herkimer county, was among the most
flourishing educational institutions in the State west of Albany.
In the year 1806, the Rev. Amos G. BALDWIN, who had just received
deacon's orders at Utica, from the hands of the Right Reverend Benjamin MOORE,
D.D., on his first visitation of western New York, began missionary labors in
Fairfield, there being at that time in the whole of the State now comprised in
the dioceses of western and central New York but two clergymen of the church.
These were the Rev. Davenport PHELPS, of Geneva, and the Rev. Jonathan
JUDD, deacon, officiating in Utica and Paris.
The conviction was forced upon the mind of the Rev. Mr. BALDWIN, in the
midst of his extended labors, that there was a "necessity of training up '
the sons of the soil ' in our institutions, in order to secure them to the
church, and provide ministers for her altars."
(Baldwin MSS., in College Archives.)
"At that time," continues Mr. BALDWIN, "the schools were
everywhere in the hands of non-Episcopalians, and we had few clergymen near the
academies which were flourishing in western New York, and there was not a
chartered college in this part of the State."
The Fairfield academy
occupied a large building erected for the double purpose of serving as a house
of worship and a school. In this
academy the worthy missionary officiated on occasional Sundays, and speedily
secured the support of a large portion of the community.
Perceiving the advantages likely to accrue to the church from the
possession of the academy, after the organization of the parish had been
effected and its prosperity assured, Mr. BALDWIN sought, in 1811, to obtain the
aid of Trinity church, New York, to sustain a clergyman at Fairfield, the
"application being grounded on the influence which the services of a
clergyman would have on the minds of the youth educated in the academy
Writing to Bishop MOORE under date of October 8, 1811, Mr. BALDWIN
proceeds: "We do feel, my
venerable diocesan, that in asking aid for the church in Fairfield, we are
pleading the cause of the church in the western district of this State.
The academy in that place is very flourishing, and were a clergyman of
learning and piety settled there, the young men educated in that seminary would
have an opportunity of becoming acquainted with the church, and the advantages
to the church would be great." (Ibid.) It was with this far-sighted vision
that the excellent Mr. BALDWIN took the initiatory steps which resulted in the
foundation of Hobart College in Geneva.
A vacancy in the
headship of the Fairfield academy occurring within a few months subsequent to
the writing of this letter, immediate measures were taken to fill the vacancy
with a clergyman of the church. Petitions
soliciting the aid of Trinity church, New York, were drawn up, and finally a
plan was digested by the indefatigable BALDWIN, which was communicated to the
Rev. Professor BOWDEN, D.D., of Columbia College, a leading clergyman of New
York, and interested in the missionary operations of the Society for the
Promotion of Religion and Learning, in that city.
The plan was as follows: "The
trustees of the academy authorize me to say that they will give the principal
thereof $550 per annum, and allow him to instruct four divinity scholars free of
charges for tuition. The other part
of the plan is that Trinity church gives to the church at Fairfield $250 per
annum, and to the clergyman that may be settled then $250, as theological
instructor in the institution, and that he divide among the divinity scholars
$50 per annum, in the proportion he may think proper." (BALDWIN MSS.)
The resolutions adopted by the trustees of the academy, the plan of
obtaining a collegiate charter was proposed, it being stipulated in the event of
securing the aid desired from Trinity church, "that the president of said
college, if a charter should be obtained, shall forever thereafter be an
The plan thus warmly
advocated by Mr. BALDWIN and the Fairfield trustee received the favorable notice
of the leading members of the corporation of Trinity church.
The rector, the Rev. Dr. BEACH, the Honorable Messrs. Robert TROUP and
Peter Augustus JAY, Thomas L. OGDEN, Esq., together with Professor BOWDEN and
Bishop HOBART, who had succeeded to the episcopate of the State, won by the
importunity of the earnest and far-sighted BALDWIN, entered heartily into the
scheme proposed, and the grant from Trinity church, by means of which Fairfield
academy was secured to the church, was obtained.
Subsequently the original grant of $500 per annum was increased to $750,
so as to provide for an assistant in the work of instruction, it being a
condition of the gift "that eight students shall always receive the whole
course of their classical and literary education, and afterwards of their
theological instruction, free of any charges or tuition."
(Thos. D. BURRALL's Report and Memoranda, 1868, p. 7.)
The Rev. Bethel JUDD was
the first principal appointed under this new arrangement, but in consequence of
his removal to Connecticut, he failed to "fulfill his contract."
The Rev. Virgil H.
BARBER subsequently entered upon the charge of the academy, being succeeded in
January, 1817, by the Rev. Daniel McDONALD, at that time rector of St. Peter's,
Auburn. With his incumbency began a
new epoch in the history of the institution founded by the labors of BALDWIN,
and shortly to be developed, on its transplanting to another site, into the free
"college planned by the Fairfield academy trustees at the time of their
first application for the aid of Trinity church, New York.
In the year 1817, the
subject of theological education, which had been brought prominently before the
church as a matter of vital importance, received the careful consideration of
the triennial general convention, and measures were taken for the establishment
of a "general theological seminary."
The following general convention, in 1820, ordered the removal of this
school from New York to New Haven, Connecticut.
In the autumn of the same year the diocesan convention of New York
proceeded to make provision for theological education, and instituted "The
Protestant Episcopal Theological Education Society in the State of New
York." (Journal of N.Y.
Diocesan Convention, 1820, p. 25.) To
this society was intrusted the power of establishing a theological school or
schools, professorships and scholarships, and, in fact, the adoption of any
measures-that might tend to the promotion of theological education.
The bishop, in his address, had indicated the policy of affording
"facilities for retired and for a public education for the ministry."
To secure this the bishop suggested that "it may be wise to make
theological endowments both in the country and in the city."
To this idea the bishop again and again recurred, and it was the strong
conviction forced upon him by his wide experience, of the necessity for the
provision of the means of theological education at various centres of population
and influence, that secured for Geneva College the bishop unvarying friendship
Before the next
convention, measures had been taken, under the auspices of the new Theological
Educational Society, with the approval of Trinity church, and at the suggestion
of the bishop, by which a "branch" of the theological schools
established in New York city was instituted at Geneva.
The vestry of Trinity on the 8th of January, 1821, resolved to transfer
the annual grant to Fairfield, the Geneva school; and, a month later, the
managers of the society definitely selected Geneva as the site of the
"branch" seminary, on condition that the inhabitants of this village
would erect a suitable building for the accommodatic of
the theological students. The same
month, under date of February 15, 1821, the following subscription paper was
circulated in the village of Geneva, viz:
"The vestry of
Trinity church, in the city of New York, having heretofore liberally endowed the
academy at Fairfield, in Montgomery county, on certain conditions, have recently
agreed to transfer the endowment to the academy established at Geneva,
(We give, as of special interest in this connection, from the originals
preserved among the papers of Hobert College, the list of "Subscriptions
to Geneva Academy, 11th January, 1813,"
and a copy of the charter of the institution, thus merged into Geneva
College, as stated in the text:
general diffusion of knowledge, in a country where the government emanates
immediately from the people, is of the utmost importance to the preservation of
liberty, and an academy having for many years been established in the village of
Geneva, and been in a considerable degree useful; and, whereas, we the
subscribers are confident its usefulness and respectability may be much promoted
by an increase of its funds, and the procuring its incorporation under the
regents of the University of the State of New York, and becoming subject to the
visitation of the said regents,---
subscribers, for the purpose of increasing the funds of the said academy,
promise severally and not jointly to pay to the trustees, hereafter to be
appointed for the said academy, for the use of the said academy, the sums
opposite our respective names, or to secure said sum by mortgage on sufficient
real estate to the said trustees and their successors forever, so that the
interest thereof shall be annually paid to the said trustess and their
successors forever, for the use of the said academy, and, in default thereof,
the real estate so mortgaged, on which said interest has not been paid, may be
sold by the said trustees or their successors, and the said sum of money, with
the interest so secured by said mortgage, retained by said trustees, with the
costs, for the use of the said academy.
B. WISNER......................................................One hundred
HORTSEN......................................................... Fifty dollars.
DOANE........................................................... One hundred
Lowthrop & Co...............................................
COOK ..................................................................... do.
D. BURRELL...................................................... Fifty dollars.
Fifty dollars on demand.
One hundred dollars.
One thousand six hundred
have been received from all except three,
not marked, agreeable to the written arrangement.
"June 24, 1822.
H. H. B., late
"The Regents of
the University of the State of New York.
"To all to whom
these presents shall or may come, greeting :
CHAPMAN, Samuel COLT, Polydore B. WISNER, John NICHOLAS, Davenport PHELPS, James
REES, H.H. BOGERT, Walter GRIEVE, Robert SOOT, F.A. De ZENG, Thomas LOTHROP,
John WOODS, William HORTSEN, David COOK, Jonathan DOANE, William TIPPETTS, Abner
COLE, Thomas D. BURRALL, R.W. STODDARD, A. DOX, by an instrument in writing,
under their hands and seals, bearing date the twelfth day of January one
thousand eight hundred and thirteen, after stating that they had contributed
more than one-half in value of the real and personal property and estate,
collected or appropriated for the use and benefit of the academy erected at the
village of Geneva, in the county of Ontario, did make application to us, the
said regents, that the said academy might be incorporated and become subject to
the visitation of us and our successors, and that the Rev. Jedediah CHAPMAN,
Polydore B. WISNER, James REES, Samuel COLT, John NICHOLAS, Herman H. BOGERT,
Robert SOOT, David COOK, Thomas LOWTHROP, Jonathan DOANE, Walter GRIEVE, William
TIPPETTS, and Frederick A. De ZING might be trustees of the said academy, by the
name of "The trustees of the Geneva academy."
"Now, know ye
that we, the said regents, having inquired into the allegations contained in the
instrument aforesaid and found the same to be true, and that a proper building
for said academy has been erected and finished and paid for, and that funds have
been obtained and well secured, producing an annual net income of at least one
hundred dollars, and conceiving the said academy calculated for the promotion of
literature, do by these presents, pursuant to the statute in such cases made and
provided, signify our approbation of the incorporation of the said Reverend
Jedediah CHAPMAN, Polydore B. WISNER, James REES, Samuel COLT, Thomas LOWTHROP,
John NICHOLAS, Herman H. BOGERT, Albert SOOT, David COOK, Jonathan DOANE, Walter
GRIEVE, William TIPPETTS, and Frederick A. DE ZENG, by the name of "The
trustees of the Geneva academy,' being the name mentioned in and by the said
request in writing, on condition that the principal or estate producing the said
income shall never be diminished or otherwise appropriated, and that the said
income shall be applied only to the maintenance or salaries of the professors or
tutors of the academy.
whereof, we have caused our common seal to be hereunto affixed, the twenty-ninth
day of March, in the year one thousand eight hundred and thirteen. 
L.S. [Signed] "Daniel D, TOMPKINS."'
of the Geneva Academy.
of New York, Secretary's Office, Recorded in Lib. Deeds
R. R., page 482, etc., the 25th day of February, 1814.
$1, paid by Mr. BOGERT
CAMPBELL, Dep. Secretary."
In the county of
Ontario, with the intent to use all practicable means to raise the academy to
the highly useful station of a college; the transfer, however, to be subject to
the reasonable condition that the inhabitants of the village of Geneva and its
vicinity shall furnish at their own expense a suitable lot of land and building
thereon. Now, we, the subscribers,
in consideration of the premises, and to secure the transfer of the said
endowment to the trustees of the Geneva academy, do hereby severally promise and
agree to and with the said trustees, to pay them the sums of money set opposite
to our names respectively, and to do and perform the several acts and
undertakings hereafter promised by us respectively, at such times in such manner
as shall be required of us by the said trustees for the purposes
To this paper were
affixed the names of Samuel COLT, James REES, F.A. DE ZENG, Abraham DOX, William
HORTSEN, J. DOX, Robert W. STODDARD, Thos. D. BURRALL, H.H. BOGART, H. DWIGHT,
Nicholas AYRAULT, David HUDSON, and others, resident in the village of Geneva.
In the month of
February, 1821, Bishop HOBART "visited the western part of the State,
induced to this journey at this unfavorable season principally with a view to
consecrate the churches at Rochester and Buffalo, and to make arrangements with
respect to the branch theological school which had been fixed at Geneva."
(Address to Convention, Journal 1821, p. 14.)
On the 25th of April the school was formally established at Geneva, under
the charge of the Rev. Daniel McDONALD, D.D., who had been the head of the
Fairfield academy, and with the co-operation and assistance of the Rev. Orin
CLARK, D.D., the able and learned rector of Trinity church, Geneva.
On the 11th of June the
branch theological school was opened in the vestry school-house belonging to
Trinity church, Geneva, and standing in the rear of the church, and nine young
men were reported as in attendance, with the prospect of a speedy increase in
In his address to the
convention of the diocese, in 1821, Bishop HOBART thus refers to the measures
which had been taken in furtherance of his plan for the promotion of theological
Episcopal Theological Education Society, established by the last convention, has
gone into operation, and the report of the trustees, which will be laid before
you, will inform you of their proceedings, and of the present state of the
schools which they have founded. The
principal theological school is placed in the city of New York, and a branch of
it in the village of Geneva, in the western part of the State.
The reasons for this arrangement, by which are secured to the candidates
for orders the advantages of a retired and of a more public education for the
ministry, having been detailed in my address to the last convention, it is
unnecessary to repeat them. It is
proper, however, to observe, that it is not designed to consider these
institutions as entirely distinct, but to afford to those students who, from
preference or from circumstances of peculiar convenience, have pursued their
studies in the branch school at Geneva, an opportunity of completing or revising
their course in the theological school in the city of New York.
By this arrangement they will enjoy the advantages which retirement
affords for diligent application, and for the formation of those serious
dispositions and habits which are essential to the ministry, as well as the
benefits resulting from the theological establishment in New York, where the
number of the clergy and the congregations of the church, and the opportunity of
more extended social intercourse, will afford to the candidates for orders
peculiar facilities for strengthening and refining their minds for obtaining
that knowledge of human nature which is so important and useful, and for
improving themselves in the performance of the various offices of the desk and
"In the city of New
York, Columbia College, which is constantly rising in reputation, affords
advantages inferior to no other institution in the Union, for the studies
preparatory to the ministry; and the corporation of Trinity church having
transferred the annuity granted to the academy at Fairfield to a similar
institution at Geneva, opportunities will be thus furnished for these
"The handsome stone
building which is erecting for the use of the academy, in which also
accommodations are to be afforded for the theological school, is situated in the
village of Geneva, immediately on the bank of the Seneca lake, commanding a view
of this extensive and beautiful sheet of water, of the cultivated shores that
confine it, and of the mountains that bound the distant prospect.
It is considered by all who have viewed it as one of the most interesting
situations which are anywhere to be found.
advantages are not less important. Geneva
is situated in the midst of a very populous, fertile, and highly cultivated
country, having a water communication of a few miles with the grand canal which
passes through the State, and being thus of easy access from the extensive
countries watered by the western lakes, and from those on the Atlantic border.
And, indulging the reasonable expectation that the academy there will, at
some future period, be advanced to the privileges of a college, we must be
forcibly struck with the immense advantages of the contiguity of our theological
school to an institution of this description.
The principal school in the city of New York, and the branch school at
Geneva, both enjoying the advantages of colleges in which there will be no
influence unfriendly to the church, will be placed under as commanding
circumstances as could well be expected." (Journal of Convention, 1821, pp.
the same convention the board of managers of the Theological Education Society
reported as follows:
the course of the last winter, several communications were received from the
vestry of the church and the academy at Fairfield, and from the rector, vestry,
and the academy at Geneva---also from the corporation of Trinity church, New
York, expressing their willingness to transfer a certain annual grant from the
institution in Fairfield to one in Geneva, should the board deem it expedient to
fix their interior school at a latter place.
On mature consideration this change was determined upon, and the western
branch of the seminary was permanently located at that village, and is styled
the ' Interior School of Geneva. '
professorships for the Interior School of Geneva are as follows:
Professorship of the Interpretation of Scripture, of Ecclesiastical History, and
of the Nature, Ministry, and Polity of the Church.
Professorship of Biblical Learning.
Professorhip of Systematic Divinity and Pastoral Theology.
soon as the funds of the society admit, the salaries of these professors will be
at least $800 per annum; and in the mean time, and while they are engaged in
other duties and receiving other emoluments, their salaries are to be fixed by
the board of managers, as circumstances may render expedient.
"The office of
librarian for the Interior School is also instituted, with the same duties as
are assigned to the librarian of the school in the city of New York.
shall be prescribed for the regulation of the two schools respectively, they are
to be governed by such rules as the professors in each, with the approbation of
the bishop, shall adopt.
"The following professors have been appointed for the seminary in
this city, viz: The Right Rev. John
Henry HOBART, Professor of Systematic Divinity and Pastoral Theology; Mr.
Clement C. MOORE, Professor of Biblical Learning, the department of
Interpretation of Scripture being added; Mr. Gulian C. VERPLANCK, Professor of
the Evidences of Revealed Religion, and of Moral Science in its Relations to
Theology; and the Rev. Benjamin T. ONDERDONK, Professor of the Nature, Ministry,
and Polity of the Church, the department of Ecclesiastical History being
annexed; and the Rev. Henry J. FELTUS is the librarian.
For the Interior School of Geneva, the following are the appointments
made by this board, viz: The Rev.
Daniel M' DONALD, Professor of the Interpretation of Scripture, Ecclesiastical
History, and the Nature, Ministry, and Polity of the Church, and librarian; the
Rev. John REED, Professor of Biblical Learning; and the Rev. Orin CLARK,
Professor of Systematic Divinity and Pastoral Theology."
From a report of the
professors in Geneva, it appears that two of them commenced their duties in June
last, that there are now ten students under their care, and that a building is
in progress which will contain thirty rooms for students and a chapel, to
"be ready for the reception of theological and classical students on the
first of May next." The report
of these professors is also added:
"Report of the
Professors of the Branch Theological School at Geneva.
the Right Rev. Bishop HOBART, president of the board of managers of the
Protestant Episcopal Theological Education Society, in the diocese of New York,
the professors in the branch theological school at Geneva respectfully report
branch theological school was opened in the vestry school-house of Trinity
church, Geneva, on the 11th day of June last, and the following young gentlemen,
intending to enter the ministry of the church, have been admitted members of the
school, viz: Marvin CADY, Richard
SALMON, William W. BOSTWICK, Orsamus H. SMITH, Burton H. HICKOX, John A. CLARK,
John GAVOTT, Thaddeus GARLICK, and Ira WHITE.
In addition to which, Henry GREGORY, Alanson BENNETT, and Seth DAVIS are
"The trustees of
Geneva academy are now erecting, in an eligible situation on the bank of Seneca
lake, a commodious stone building, (Now called "Geneva Hall," the
oldest of the college buildings), containing thirty rooms for students, besides
a convenient chapel. The building
will be ready for the reception of theological and classical students on the
first of next May.
McDONALD, Professor of Ecclesiastical
and Scripture Interpretation.
CLARK, Professor of Systematic Theology.
"The board of
managers have also directed their attention to the munificent bequest of the
late Mr. SHERRED. They have made
arrangements for appropriating it in such manner as shall most securely effect
the objects intended by the liberal donor.
Twenty thousand dollars are appropriated to the support of a
professorship in the school of the city of New York, which shall bear his name;
$10,000 to the support of a professorship in the branch interior school at
Geneva, also to bear his name. And
further (should the board of trustees approve the measure), two sums of $5000
each are appropriated to complete the establishment of the two first
professorships of $20,000 each, towards each of which $15,000 shall be paid by
any congregation or society, or individual or association of individuals, in the
city of New York, on or before the 1st of May, 1822, and two further sums of
$3000 each (should the board of trustees approve) are appropriated to complete
the establishment of the two first professorships of $10,000 each in the
interior school at Geneva, towards each of which $7000 shall be paid
by any congregation or society, or individual or association of individuals, not
resident in the city of New York, on or before the 1st of May, 1822:
the interest only of these sums to be applied to the above objects
In furtherance of the
measures already taken by the Education Society, or indicated as of importance
in their report, the convention
That the proceedings of the said society, in the establishment, under the
authority of the Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in this State, of
the seminary for theological education in this diocese, and in the organization
of two schools for this purpose, one in the city of New York, and the other at
Geneva, as detailed in the said report, be, and they are hereby, approved and
confirmed by this convention."
The convention at the
that this convention will concur in any proper plan for consolidating the
said seminary with any seminary, for the like purpose, which the general
convention may, in its wisdom, see fit to establish and permanently fix within
this diocese; all the essential provisions and regulations of the seminary now
established, under the authority of the convention of this State, being
preserved, and a just influence in the management and control of the general
institution being secured to each diocese within which contributions may be
obtained, or donations made towards its funds.
Provided, that the terms of such consolidation be approved by the bishop
of this diocese, and the clerical and lay deputies from the convention of the
church in this State to the approaching special General Convention of the
Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States; and that those terms be
submitted to, and also approved, by the trustees of the Protestant Episcopal
Theological Education Society in the State of New York, or the board of managers
acting under their authority."
special general convention was called to determine the questions arising from
the "Sherred bequest," referred to above.
This convention was held at Philadelphia, October 30, 1821, and on the 2d
of November a compromise of the conflicting interests was effected:
the general theological seminary was removed to New York, and permanently
established in that city, while the "Interior School of Geneva," by
the terms of the compromise, became a "branch" of the Geneva
Theological Seminary of the American church.
The success which had
attended the establishment of the theological school at Geneva emboldened the
friends of the church in this village to secure a college of their own.
An interesting letter from the Rev. Drs. McDONALD and CLARK, to the
bishop of the diocese, gives us the inner history of this incipient movement
towards a college and theological school combined.
We print it from the Hobart MSS. in the possession of the general
convention of the church:
"RT. REV. SIR,---We
take the liberty of stating to you the present situation of our academic school,
the difficulties which meet us, and what we suppose to be the best means of
procuring relief. We have tried the
experiment of the academy since June last, and have not found the results to
answer our expectations. Not more
than eight scholars, on an average, have attended the school, besides the
theological students. The receipts
for tuition have been only about fifty-seven dollars, leaving a deficit of about
two hundred and seventy dollars to be paid by the trustees, who have a full call
for all the funds that they can raise to finish the academy; so that unless some
plan can be devised for our relief, the academic school must be necessity cease.
The following causes tend to prevent us from having more scholars:
1. It is industriously
insinuated that this is exclusively a theological school, thus some are
prevented from attending. 2. It is also insinuated that we will receive none but language
scholars. 3. An opposition school is maintained in the village.
You can readily judge what class of religionists try to do us this harm.
To counteract the evil of these obstructions, we propose to appoint an
assistant teacher, who shall keep a regular day school for reading, spelling,
arithmetic, and writing, and admit quite young scholars.
Such a course, we think (and we have the concurrent opinion of the chief
churchmen here), would repel the insinuation that we are merely a theological
school, and must have everything Episcopal; that we refuse all English studies
below collegiate; would break up the opposition school, and, what is of great
importance, would be a nursery always at hand and under our own direction to
form somewhat of a supply of scholars for the classical department. But as this school will do no more than defray its own
expenses, and must be adopted at present for self-defense, we think it necessary
that some different division of the principal's time should be made, and a
different source be provided from which he can derive a part of his salary.
It is proposed that he should devote half of each day to the classical
department, and the other half to the theological; and that the theological
school in New York permit him to draw upon their treasurer for two hundred and
fifty dollars per annum in lieu of the same sum now charged upon the trustees of
Geneva academy. The salary will then be paid as follows:
five hundred dollars from Trinity church; two hundred and fifty from the
theological fund, and two hundred and fifty from the trustees of the Geneva
academy. Such an arrangement would
leave the academy the following annual expenses:
two hundred and fifty to the principal, two hundred and fifty to the
assistant, five hundred,---together with repairs and incidental expenses; and we
believe that the academy can do no more, certainly not at present, than meet
these demands. We, therefore, take
the liberty of suggesting to you, as president, and through you to the trustees
of the theological school, their committee of finance, or any other committee
that can take cognizance of the proposition, that they will direct the principal
of the Geneva academy, as being professor in the branch theological school, that
he devote one-half of his time to hearing theological recitations, explaining or
lecturing before the theological class, in conformity with the duties of his
office as professor, and receive from the theological fund two hundred and fifty
dollars per annum in lieu of the same sum now paid to him by the trustees of the
Geneva academy. The advantages of
devoting so much time to the theological scholars are:
We have found, by experience and observation, that our lectures should
not be before the school of unconcerned students.
If before the school, many idle remarks will be retailed by such students
as are not churchmen; for it is impossible, before the theological class, not to
call in question the opinions of others, and jealousy is much alive on such
points. The expense that devolves on theological students being
considerable, seems to demand that they should have as much of the professors'
time and attention as can well be spared. By
making the proposed arrangement, we can probably proceed one year (until the
funds are all called into action), without being very burdensome to the
theological treasury, less burdensome than if we proceed as we now are; because
the academical part does find it extremely difficult to be supported, while the
academy is unfinished and the debts unpaid.
we would remark that we conceive our plan to be a reasonable one, when it is
considered that the trustees could hardly have suspected that any expense would
have to be incurred by them during the building of the academy, save for the
building; and this remark is of more weight when it is recollected that scarcely
none but churchmen have subscribed anything, and that some persons, not
churchmen, have manifested a disposition not to pay their subscriptions,
alleging that the thing is altogether Episcopal, in which thing they claim to
have been deceived. Now we know
from what source all this springs, but still the burden lies hard on the
churchmen; they will do what they promised, and they can do no more. The academy will cost seven thousand, and the land is worth
two thousand more; nine thousand, all of which, save about five hundred, comes
of churchmen. We hope you will give
us an immediate answer, or at least your opinion of what we may safely expect,
for we must commence on some different plan from the present one, in the first
week in January next.
"We are laboring
with a project for a college here, but not having mastered any plan, we say but
little now; hereafter, and that soon, we will send you a detailed account of our
scheme. In the mean time we hope a
few of your thoughts, and those of our energetic friend, Mr. VERPLANCK, will be
turned to the subject of an Episcopal college at Geneva.
are, etc., most respectfully,
Recurring to the matter
referred to at the close of this interesting letter, the two professors were
shortly ready with their plan for Geneva College.
"RT. REV. SIR,---We
take the liberty of communicating to you our views relative to a college in this
place. The necessity of having one
west of Clinton is obvious, and some other place will soon advance pretenses to
it if we do not. We shall say
nothing to a person as well acquainted with the west as you are, relative to our
claims, founded on local circumstances. But
the necessity of our having a college is pressing.
A college gives great weight and influence to that denomination that has
it and manages it well. We could
educate more young men, and better, too, in a college than in an academy;
because it would be popular, and possessed of better discipline. Such is the charm of a diploma to a youth, that he will ever
prefer a college to an academy. Hence
some will leave us. A diploma, like
an oath in disputes, cuts off all controversy, and the possessor is admitted by
the world as competent, without further examination. But what is worthy of deep attention in ecclesiastical
concerns is this: he that goes to
college must, and thinks he must, proceed through regularly.
He that is a member of an academy thinks himself at liberty to study as
much as he pleases and no more. Hence
a college is indispensably necessary to us if we mean to have a learned clergy.
Fifty thousand dollars, exclusive of academy buildings and lot, will be
required by the regents, before they will permit
us to exercise college functions. To
obtain this sum to the satisfaction of the regents, we propose:
1st. To get the regents to
accept of the Sherred professorship as a part of the required fund (if acceded
to by the trustees of the theological school), which is $10,000.
2d. We hope Trinity church
would, in case we could obtain a charter, convert her donation into an annuity,
which would count $11,000 more. 3d.
We would hope to have another professorship here, $10,000 more, making
$31,000. We think $9000 could be
filled with subscriptions of lands, and some lands might perhaps be obtained
from the State. And $10,000, the
remainder, must be solicited through the county, secured on property, where the
principal was not paid down.
"The professors in
the theological school might be officers in the college.
Thus, the president might receive the stipend from Trinity church.
There might be a professor of divinity, as in New Haven; and the
professor of ecclesiastical history might be professor of languages and history
generally. The professor of
divinity might also be professor of logic and rhetoric.
"We press, and
think there is more need of pressure, upon this point of a college from this
consideration: Without flattery, we
think that the whole weight of the theological branch here rests upon you. Sir, you are its author and supporter. But what guaranty have we of your life, of the good will of
your successor, or of the favorable views of other States towards us after your
exertions shall have ceased by the course of nature? But if we had a college with the proper professors,
sanctioned by the trustees of the theological school, we should be safe, and
always have the means of educating young men ourselves.
Party feelings could do little mischief to a college, but might destroy a
branch theological school.
"This winter seems
to present a combination of favorable circumstances for us to apply.
Mr. VERPLANCK is in the Legislature; no application of the kind is
pending. The census is recent, by
which the importance of this western world is fresh in the minds of all; and the
west is favorable to the majority in politics.
Our friends here are decidedly for making an application this winter.
Colonel TROUP thinks there will be no difficulty in obtaining a charter.
There will probably be difficulties in obtaining the charter as we
want it. We want it to be our
own, but the property given must secure the control of it.
"We hope to hear
from you touching this point; in the mean time we shall open communication with
Mr. VERPLANCK, with whom we trust you will consult, and assist us to do so.
The legal course of procedure in the actual application is pointed out in
the statutes, but we wish to have the thing well understood by the church before
we move, that there may be unity in motion.
are, with great respect and obedience.
much obliged and dutiful presbyters,
With the bishop's
approval, and in accordance with the views so ably expressed in the letters
written by Professors McDONALD and CLARK to their diocesan on the 22d of
January, 1822, the trustees of the Geneva academy petitioned the regents of the
university for a college charter. The
petition was as follows:
To the Regents of the
University of the State of New York.
"The petition of
the trustees of the Geneva academy most respectfully sheweth:
That your petitioners, solicitous for the prosperity of the institution
with whose interests they are intrusted, and satisfied that the step they
contemplate is the only effectual means of securing the ends for which it was
established, have determined to make an effort to procure for it such endowments
as they trust may, in the estimation of your honorable body, entitle it to the
important powers and privileges of a college.
"The necessity of
such an institution in this part of the country cannot but be obvious to all who
have the least acquaintance with the extent, resources, and population of the
western counties of this State. The
simple fact that there are, in the comtemplated district of country, more than
half a million of people whose average distance from any college is more than
one hundred miles, is sufficient, it is presumed, to put this point beyond
question. Another instance of a
population of equal extent who are so far removed from the advantages of such an
institution does not, it is confidently believed, exist in the United States.
are aware of the prevalence of an opinion that the multiplication of colleges is
unfavorable to the advancement of literature and science, and that the number
already chartered is sufficient for all the purposes of public education.
But this idea is certainly incorrect, except in places where they are
located so near as to interfere with each other, and cannot apply in the case
under consideration, as Geneva is situated at such a distance from Clinton as
must preclude the apprehension of any injury to the college at that place by the
establishment of a like institution at Geneva.
"In a general view
the idea is at variance with both reason and fact.
No principle can be more obvious than that the diffusion of knowledge and
the advantages of learning will be in proportion to the facilities afforded for
acquiring them. But the fact that
the most flourishing and respectable colleges in the Union are situated in those
States whose population is far less than that of the contemplated district, is
an ample refutation of the objection.
sensible that private and local interest ought ever to yield to considerations
of public good, have been guided solely by a regard to this object in naming
Geneva as the proper place for a college in the western district, and they
assert, without fear of contradiction, that no spot more eligible in all
respects can be selected within its limits.
It possesses all the local advantages that can be desired for a literary
institution. In its position it is
central, and is easily accessible, by means of the lakes and Erie canal, to a
vast population. It is surrounded
by a country of great fertility, abundant in every production that can
contribute to the wealth and comfort of its inhabitants, and in beauty and
healthfulness is not surpassed by any place in this or any other country.
"Upon the whole,
your petitioners are confident that when your honorable body shall take into
consideration the destitute situation of this part of our State, its great and
increasing population, and the great advantages to be derived to it from a well
regulated and liberally endowed college, the only question which will present
itself to your deliberation will be whether we have a reasonable prospect of
raising funds sufficient to render such an institution useful and respectable.
As to this point, your petitioners beg leave to state that they entertain
no fears, and they would cherish the hope that what they have already done may
be viewed as a pledge of their success in the accomplishment of this important
have, as trustees of the academy, property, well secured, to the amount of
a lot, for buildings, of eight acres, valued at
which they have erected a large stone edifice, containing a chapel and rooms for
the accommodation of sixty
also receive an annuity from the corporation of Trinity church, New York, of
seven hundred and fifty dollars per annum, for the support of a principal and
assistant in the academy, which, it is expected, would be rendered permanent to
the president of the college, and which arises from a principal of not less
"In addition to
which they have encouragement of aid from other sources, from which they feel
justified in calculating with confidence upon raising funds within the term of
three years to the amount of more than fifty thousand dollars, and which shall
produce annually more than three thousand dollars.
petitioners humbly pray your honorable body to grant them college powers, to
take effect at the expiration of three years from the date of the grant,
provided your petitioners within that period shall acquire permanent funds as
your honorable body shall deem sufficient for the important objects of
petitioners will ever pray.
"By order of the
board of trustees of Geneva academy.
"James REES, "Senior Trustee. (College archives.)
The result of this
application appears in the following document on file among the college
"In pursuance of a
resolution of the regents of the University of the State of New York, passed
April 10, 1822, it is hereby certified that the regents have declared their
approbation of the plan on which it is intended to found and provide for a
college at Geneva, in the county of Ontario, and that the term of three years be
allowed for completing the same; and if at the expiration of that time it shall
appear to the satisfaction of the regents that the said plan has been executed,
and that permanent funds, producing annually the sum of four thousand dollars
or upwards, for the benefit of said institution, have been properly secured,
the said regents have further declared that the said institution shall thereupon
be incorporated as a college according to the laws of the State and the
regulations of the regents.
"In witness whereof
the seal of the said regents is hereunto affixed at the city of Albany, the 16th
day of April, 1823.
"Gideon HAWLEY, Secretary.
of three years commenced on the 10th day of April, 1822.
"G. HAWLEY, Secretary."
A hurried letter (from
the unpublished Hobart MSS, in the keeping of the general convention of the
church) from the Rev. William B. LACEY, D.D., Rector of St. Peter's, Albany, to
Bishop HOBART, gives the secret history of this step:
"Albany, April 10,
1822. "RT, REV. SIR,---The regents have this moment decided (five
against three) to grant the Geneva petition, on condition that the corporation
raise a fund that shall produce an annual income of four thousand dollars.
So I trust we shall have an Episcopal college in the State of New
A letter written the
following day by the Hon. William A. DUER to the bishop intimates that in the
case of the Ithaca petition, granted on the same terms, the pecuniary
requirement was considered as effectually precluding the possibility of the
petitioners' success. In view of
the strenuous opposition made to the Geneva project, to which the Hobart
correspondence bears ample testimony, it may be that there were hopes that a
like failure might attend both projects.
interesting letter from the bishop, which we give from the original MS,
preserved among the college files, throws further light upon the history of this
"New York, April
"MY DEAR SIR,---You
must not suppose because you have not heard from me that I have been indifferent
to the application from Geneva for a college.
The moment I heard of it I took all the measures in my power to promote
its success, and addressed letters to several of the regents, and in some cases,
I believe, with effect. You are
much indebted for the success of the application to Mr. DUER and Mr. VERPLANCK,
particularly the former, who brought in the report to the regents, and I think
it would be well for yourself and Mr. CLARK and some of the friends of the
church at Geneva to write to him a letter of thanks. It is unfortunate that Ithaca is connected with you.
But there was no help for it. They
will find it difficult, I should think, to raise four thousand dollars per
annum, and I am afraid this will be difficulty with you.
Means, however, must be devised for surmounting it.
who know how much I have thought and how much I have planned and labored for
this object, can readily conceive my gratification at seeing it thus far
accomplished,---sooner, indeed, than I could have expected.
Providence has favored us. I
am the more gratified, inasmuch as I have found it difficult to make the clergy
and others in this quarter feel as I have felt on the subject. And even now M. and W., etc., seem to care little about it.
It will give unfeigned pleasure, however, to Bishop Bowen, of South
Carolina, who recently wrote to me, expressing, as he has often done, his deep
sense of the importance of our having a college, and wishing success to the plan
in relation to Geneva. . . .
theological school is, as you may suppose, not popular with many, and it was not
an easy matter to obtain for it the arrangements which have been made. As our income will this year fall short of our expenditures,
I have been afraid to press more for Geneva than has been obtained. . . .
of the college, particularly with regard to the trustees who are to be
appointed, and other matters, will require a great deal of deliberation, as much
will depend on these measures. I
expect, God willing, to be at the westward this summer, and conclude it will be
well for me to spend some days at Geneva. . .
"Very truly and
"The Rev. Dr.
McDONALD." "J. H. HOBART.
In the report on the
state of the church, at the next general convention in 1823, it is referred to
as a matter of public congratulation to the whole church, "that there is
now a prospect of securing at Geneva, in this diocese (New York), what has so
long been a desideratum in our church---a college, to be under the management
and direction of its members."
Warmly as Bishop Hobart
had espoused the scheme of a "branch" theological seminary at Geneva,
the plan was not generally "popular," as the bishop frankly confessed,
and the next general convention in 1823 recommended to the trustees "to
reduce the expenses of the seminary by abolishing the branch school at
Geneva." (Journal of the
General Convention, 1823, p. 53.) This
could not properly be done without some equivalent; and to enable the trustees
of the general theological seminary to effect it, the trustees of the Protestant
Episcopal Society for Promoting Religion and Learning in the State of New York,
in February, 1824, agreed to advance to the trustees of the seminary eight
thousand dollars, or to secure the annual interest of that sum.
The trustees of the seminary received from the several parties concerned
at Geneva, a formal renunciation of all claims on the seminary, secured the
annual interest of eight thousand dollars at six per cent towards the endowment
of the proposed college, and in return to the Protestant Episcopal Society, gave
to its trustees four scholarships in the seminary. (Proceedings of the Trustees
of the General Theological Seminary, July 1824, pp. 7-9.)
This instrument of
renunciation we append in full, as it forms one of the important links in the
chain connecting Hobart College with the venerable Society for the Promotion of
Religion and Learning, from which it has received so many proofs of interest and
"To all to whom these presents shall come or may concern:
"We, the trustees
of the Geneva academy, the rector, churchwardens, and vestrymen of Trinity
church at Geneva, Orin CLARK, rector of the said church and professor in the
branch theological school heretofore established at Geneva, in connection with
the general theological seminary of the Protestant Episcopal church in the
United States, Daniel McDONALD, lately principal of the Geneva academy, and
professor in the same branch theological school, and Samuel COLT and William S.
DE ZENG, a committee charged with the collection of funds for the
permanent endowment of the new college at Geneva, send greeting.
a certain instrument of writing under our seals, dated the twentieth day of
July, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-four, we the
several parties above named, acting for ourselves and on behalf of all others
interested in the branch theological school above mentioned, did forever
renounce all connection between the said general seminary and branch school, and
all claims and demands by or on the part of the said branch school upon the said
general seminary, on condition that the said general seminary should cause the
sum of eight thousand dollars to be appropriated towards the permanent endowment
of the new college then proposed to be established at Geneva, or should secure
to its use and benefit the interest of that sum perpetually, in half-yearly
payments, at the rate of six per centum per annum.
the said then-proposed college has since been incorporated, and the said general
theological seminary has since caused the yearly interest of eight thousand
dollars, payable half-yearly, at the rate of six per centum per annum, to be
secured to the use and benefit of the said college by means of a grant for that
purpose made by the Protestant Episcopal Society for Promoting Religion and
Learning in the State of New York, and an appropriation of real estate
satisfactorily assuring the due payment of the said interest, which grant and
appropriation we have accepted and do accept as a full performance of the
condition above mentioned by and on the part of the said general seminary.
Now, therefore, know ye that we, the several parties above named, acting
for ourselves respectively, and for and on behalf of all other persons and
bodies corporate in any wise interested or concerned in the premises, in
consideration of the said grant and appropriation, and of the sum of one dollar
to each of us in hand, paid by the trustees of the general theological seminary
of the Protestant Episcopal church in the United States, have, and each of us
hath, ratified and confirmed, and by these presents do, and each of us doth,
fully and unconditionally ratify and confirm, the instruments of renunciation
and release hereinbefore recited and referred to.
whereof, we the trustees of the Geneva academy, and we the rector,
churchwardens, and vestrymen of Trinity church at Geneva, have caused our
respective seals to be affixed to these presents; and we the said Orin CLARK,
Daniel McDONALD, Samuel COLT, and William S. DE ZENG have to these presents
affixed our hands and seals this twenty-fourth day of June, in the year of our
Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-six.
order of the trustees of the Geneva academy.
"James REES, Chairman and Acting Clerk, [L.S.]
order of the rector, church-wardens, and vestrymen of Trinity church, Geneva.
"David HUDSON, Clerk of Vestry, [L.S.]
"Orin CLARK, [L.S.]
"Daniel McDONALD, [L.S.]
"Samuel COLT, [L.S.]
"W.S. DE ZENG, [L.S.]
and delivered in presence of
Prior to the execution
of this release, the first of a series of compromise measures by which the
college has surrendered from time to time prospective advantages or actual
rights for the purpose of meeting a pressing present want,---the charter had
been secured, though by no means without difficulty.
We transcribe from the original manuscript in the college archives the
statement of these funds, as it was presented to the regents of the university.
The funds of the college
Of the old academy fund of $1800, of which the sum of $1500 is secured by
bonds and mortgages yielding an annual interest of 7 per cent; and $300 is
secured by contracts given on the sales of the old academy lot, also yielding an
annual interest of 7 per
The donation made by the society in New York for the promotion of
religion and learning, which now yields a semi-annual interest of 6 per
A donation from Bishop HOBART out of the Startin legacy, so called, which
is secured by bonds and mortgages bearing a semi-annual interest of 7 per cent
Amount collected from various subscriptions and donations, and secured by
bonds and mortgages, about $25,000 of which is subject to a semi-annual interest
of 7 per cent, and the remainder annual interest at 7 per
Academy fund of $1800, at 7 per cent,
New York donation of $20,500, at 6 per
Startin legacy $5000, at 7 per
Amount collected from various sources, and producing 7 per cent,
In addition to the funds
which have been invested and secured, subject to interest as above, there is a
considerable amount of notes and subscriptions, including several subscriptions
for land. It has heretofore been
estimated by the committee under whose agency and direction the college funds
were obtained, that about ten thousand dollars would be realized from this
source. But it is impossible to
estimate at this time with any precision the value of these subscriptions, as
many of them are bad. (College MS. files.)
Thus the charter was
obtained, and the work, whose small beginning we have so minutely traced,
brought to that point whence a rapid progress was comparatively sure.
the 24th of May, 1825, the organization of the college under its charter was
effected, a meeting for that purpose having been called at the academy building. On motion of the Hon. John C. SPENCER, LL. D., (Subsequently
Secretary of the Navy, a life-long friend of the church and of the college of
which he was a trustee, 1825-1840.) the
proper officers were appointed, James REES, Esq., the senior trustee, being
elected chairman, and the Hon. Bowen WHITING, the secretary of the board of
trustees. Thus the new college was
fairly launched before the world.
One feature in its
proposed educational work demands our especial notice.
In a circular issued in anticipation of the full organization of the
college classes under date of March 1, 1824, the following outlines of an
"English course" are sketched, at a time, we believe, when this
feature of collegiate education was elsewhere untried, if not unthought of:
"That the blessings
of civil liberty---real blessings only when shared equally among all ranks of
people---may be extended as far as possible, and continued as long as possible,
a general diffusion of useful knowledge seems indispensably necessary.
This is so universally acknowledged by all enlightened politicians, and
is so universally received in these United States, both theoretically and
practically, that it needs no enforcement from any single institution of
learning. But there is another
light in which the diffusion of knowledge may be viewed as of the highest
importance to the community at large. It is where practical information is communicated to citizens
in all stations of life, enabling them to add pleasure to business, and extend
their exertions for the means of domestic comfort into fields of research
hitherto confined to the philosopher.
extensive application of the discoveries in chemistry to improvements in
agriculture and the various manufactures, convenient or necessary to human life,
demonstrate in the fullest manner the utility of diffusing a practical knowledge
of the arts and sciences among all ranks of citizens, rather than confine that
knowledge to the closet of the philosopher.
"For these reasons
it is proposed, should the plan receive the approbation of the honorable the
regents of the university, to institute in the Geneva College, besides the
regular course of study pursued in similar institutions, a totally distinct
course, in direct reference to the practical business of life, by which the
agriculturist, the merchant, and the mechanic may receive a practical knowledge
of what genius and experience have discovered, without passing through a tedious
course of classical studies.
"Students of certain qualifications and age shall be admitted members of the college, with all the privileges of it, to pursue a full course of the following studies under the appointed instructors:
Under the English professor they shall study the Philosophy of English
Grammar, Geography, Rhetoric, History, English Composition, Moral Philosophy,
Logic, Metaphysics, Evidences of Christianity, and shall practice public
Under the professor of mathematics they shall study Geometry,
Trigonometry, Land Surveying, theoretical and practical; Mensuration, generally;
Navigation Leveling, with reference to canals and aqueducts; Hydraulics, as
applied to machinery driven by water power; Steam Power, Natural Philosophy, and
Astronomy, with the use of Mathematical Instruments, the principles of
Architectural proportions and Bridge Building, Drawing of Plans, etc.
Under the professor of chemistry shall be studied Chemistry; the
principles of Dyeing, Bleaching, etc.; the nature and use of different Earths
and Soils; the fertilizing qualities and effects of different substances;
Mineralogy and Botany.
This course of study shall consume at least two years, and the students
shall be classed by years, as in the classical departments of the college.
Students pursuing this course shall be subject to the same number of
public examinations in every year as are the classical students, and shall
equally conform to all the by-laws of the college.
Upon the expiration of the prescribed term of study, such students in
this minor course as shall appear, upon public examination, to merit it, shall
receive from the president on commencement day, if the president be so
authorized by the honorable the regents of the university, an English diploma,
signed by the president and professors of the college, and which shall be
considered an honorary testimony of application to practical studies, as the
other diploma of the college is of classical and theoretical studies."
Thus broadly did the
founders of Geneva College lay the foundations of their educational course, perceiving
at the outset the wisdom of furnishing that parallel course of scientific
instruction which, up to the date of this circular, (The same ideas are brought
out more fully, but evidently from the same pen, in one of the earliest printed
pamphlets relating to Hobart College, viz.:
"Observations upon the Project of Establishing Geneva College."
8vo, New York, 1824, p. 8.)--in the wording and theories of which we
cannot fail to recognize the style and mental grasp of the accomplished
McDonald,---no other institution of collegiate learning had introduced.
The following year the
Rev. Jasper ADAMS, D.D., at that time president of the college in Charleston,
South Carolina, was chosen to the presidency of Geneva College.
Prior to this choice, efforts had been made in vain to secure the
services of the present Bishop of New York, the Right Rev. Horatio POTTER, D.D.;
LL.D., D.C.L. Oxon., at that time a professor in Washington (now Trinity)
College, Hartford, Connecticut. Dr.
POTTER visited Geneva, and it was only on personal and family grounds that he
quite reluctantly declined the invitation.
The venerable Rev. Dr. John REED, of Poughkeepsie, New York, was also
elected to this post, which, after deliberation, he refused, on the ground of a
lack of special adaptation to collegiate work.
Prior to the entrance of
Dr. ADAMS upon his work, the first class had been graduated at the commencement,
1826, consisting of the following gentlemen, all of whom became clergymen, and
of whom one only, the Rev. Orsamus H. SMITH, residing at Patterson, New Jersey,
is at present (1876), after the lapse of a half-century, living and engaged in
his life-work of the sacred ministry:
Henry GREGORY, B.A., subsequently M.A. and S.T.D., and a tutor and
trustee of the college.
Ulysses M. WHEELER, B.A. and M.A.
William W. BOSTWICK, B.A. and M.A.
Burton H. HICKOX, B.A.
Richard SALMON, B.A. and M.A.
Orsamus H. SMITH, B.A.
The Rev. Dr. ADAMS
delivered his inaugural in Trinity church, Geneva, at the commencement, August,
1826. A copy of this discourse was
published, (An Inaugural Discourse, delivered in Trinity Church, Geneva, NY,
August 1, 1827, by Rev. J. ADAMS, President of Geneva College.
Geneva: Printed by James
BOGERT, September, 1827. 8 vo, pp.
56.) and gives abundant proof of
the wide reading and thorough scholarship of the accomplished author. At this time, as appears from the "Catalogue of the
Trustees, Faculty, and Students of Geneva College, December 28, 1826,"
(Printed by James BOGERT, 1827. 8
vo, pp. 8.) the first of a long series of catalogues which have been issued,
with an occasional exception, annually, from 1837 to the present time, the
faculty consisted of the President, Rev. Dr. ADAMS; the Rev. Daniel McDONALD,
S.T.D., Professor of Languages; Mr. Horace WEBSTER, A.M., subsequently LL.D.,
and President of the College of the City of New York, Professor of Mathematics
and Natural Philosophy; Mr. Joseph N. FARIBAULT, Professor of the French
Language, and Mr. Henry GREGORY, A.B., Tutor.
The latter gentleman had succeeded the Rev. John S. STONE, A.B.,
subsequently D.D., and lately the head of the theological school of the
Protestant Episcopal church at Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the father of a
president of Hobart in later years. In
the senior class there were five, of which two were students of the English
course. In the junior class there
were two, both English students. The
sophomore class numbered fourteen, eight being English students; and the
freshmen class, wholly classical, numbered eight.
April, 1828, Dr. ADAMS, who had amply proved his ability as the head of the
college, and had won golden opinions from the students, accepted an invitation
to resume his position at the south, being influenced, to some extent, in this
decision by the fact that his health was not sufficient to endure the rigors of
our northern climate. The
presidency was then offered to the Rev. John Churchill RUDD, D.D., of Auburn, a
name inseparably connected with the history of the church in western New York;
but Dr. RUDD declined the post. Efforts
made to secure the place for the Rev. Dr. McDONALD, to whom the college owed
more, doubtless, than to any other man, failed, if we may believe the MS. letter
of the time, (Preserved among the Hobart MSS.) in consequence of his
uncompromising churchmanship; and finally the choice fell upon the Rev. Richard
S. MASON, D.D., an eminent scholar and a most conscientious and devoted
clergyman. His term of office
covered five eventful years, during a portion of which he fulfilled the duties
of rector of Trinity church, Geneva, the mother-church with which the college
had from the first sustained the closest relations.
Almost coincident upon the inauguration of Dr. MASON was the death of the
gifted and energetic McDONALD, a loss well-nigh irreparable.
In the same year, all too soon for the interests of the college he had
founded and nursed with infinite care and pains, the venerable Bishop of New
York entered into rest, and Geneva College, in the loss of the wise counsels and
constant support of Hobart, seemed indeed cast down and well-nigh destroyed.
Toward the close of Dr. MASON's term of office a medical school was
established in connection with the college, which subsequently attained an
honorable position among the medical institutions of the land, and was finally
transferred to the Syracuse University, a few years since, only in view of the
attraction of students to the great centres, where they could naturally secure
greater opportunities for improving in their specialty. In
1835, the needs of the college had become so pressing that the trustees sought
relief in their extremity at the hands of the Society for the Promotion of
Religion and Learning. At a meeting
of the trustees of this society, in July, 1836, further aid was granted to the
college, accompanied by the declaration, "That the intent of the grant
about to be made at Geneva College is to advance and secure the fundamental
object for which this society was established and endowed, viz: the promotion of religion and learning in the State of New
York, in connection with the interests of the Protestant Episcopal church; and
that the trustees of this society rely on the honor and good faith of the
trustees of Geneva College and their successors, that in all future time this
intent will be scrupulously observed."
were annexed to this grant. It was
required that the president should always be a communicant of the church, as he
had always been, in fact, not only a communicant but also a clergyman of
the church. There seems in this provision an evident purpose to prepare the way
for a possible necessity of intrusting the headship of the college to lay hands,
as had been so successfully tried at Columbia College. Other requirements with reference to free scholarships were
added; and on these terms the society became again the benefactor of the
sorely-straitened college. At the
same time, on the entrance upon the presidency of the Rev. Benjamin HALE, D.D.,
in 1836, on the resignation of the amiable Mason, a new epoch in the history of
Geneva College was begun.
For twenty-three years
this venerated man---whose name will ever live, in view of the patient toil, the
abundant sacrifices, and the ceaseless devotion, rendered so freely, and at the
cost of health and strength---gave himself to the arduous duties of his charge.
Order was established; harmony secured; the narrow means nursed and
augmented, often by personal gifts and the results of most generous self-denial
on the part of him who, in giving himself to the college, gave all that he was
and all he had. A life more noble
than that of Benjamin HALE cannot be conceived.
Not for himself, but for others, he labored; and when spent with the
untiring exertions of laborious years, and rejoicing at last in beholding the
fruits of his labors, he retired from the post he had filled with singular
devotion and success, throughout the length and breadth of the land, in the
sacred ministry and in every walk of life, there were intellectual sons of his
who could and did rise up to call him---their beloved instructor---blessed.
As a most valued and
honored coadjutor to the devoted Hale, there was added to the staff of
professors, at his incoming, David PRENTICE, LL.D., succeeding the Rev. Dr.
McDONALD in the chair of languages, and for eleven years, and till failing
health required a relaxation of labor, maintaining a most brilliant reputation
for high scholarship, singular devotion to his work, and unusual success in
imparting the stores of a most richly-furnished and cultivated mind.
For an even longer period, from 1831 to 1845, the college enjoyed the
efficient and valued services of General Joseph G. SWIFT, LL.D., as Professor of
Statistics and Civil Engineering. General
SWIFT, who will be remembered in military annals as the post-graduate of the
West Point Military Academy, in giving his labor to the college, could not fail
to inspire the students with admiration of a character at once so noble and so
attractive as his own, while the zeal with which he engaged in the work of his
department made him a beloved and worthy fellow-worker of Hale and his other
Our brief allusions to
the staff of professors during these early days of Geneva College would be sadly
incomplete without full recognition of the able and long-continued services of
the late president, Horace WEBSTER, LL.D., whose term of office equaled in
years, though it was not coterminous in point of time, the incumbency of Dr.
HALE. In the darkest days at Geneva
College the zeal and interest of Dr. WEBSTER knew no possibility of failure; and
it was a touching tribute to the love he bore to the college he had so
faithfully and acceptably served, and the village where he had spent so many
useful, laborious, and happy years, that after attaining the highest honors in
his walk in life in the metropolis of the State, he returned to Geneva to close
within the sound of the college and church bells his mortal career.
To these noted names should be added that of David Bates DOUGLAS, LL.D.,
ex-president of Kenyon College, and for a year professor of Mathematics and
Natural Philosophy at Geneva College. Rarely
have higher hopes been excited than by his coming to Geneva.
Rarely has there been a greater disappointment than at his sudden
decease. The name of Theodore
IRVING, LL.D., for ten years (1837-47) professor of Modern Languages, History,
and Belles Lettres, will recall his charming contributions to the romantic
history of his country in his "Conquest of Florida," while the
devotional reader will not readily forget "The Fountain of Living
Waters," in which, with transparent style and deep fervor of piety, he has
given to our religious literature a work that should not be forgotten. The name of Dr. Edward CUTBUSH, as professor of Chemistry,
Agriculture, and the Mechanic Arts, and that of a distinguished foreigner,
General Henry L. DuCoudray HOLSTEIN, as professor of Modern Languages, should be
added to the galaxy of gifted men whose names have honored, as their services
have adorned, the institution to which they gave much of their valued lives.
1836 the middle college building was erected for the use of the medical
department. In 1837 the new college
building was erected, now known as Trinity Hall.
In 1838 the State granted the college an annuity of $6000 per annum,
which was continued until 1846, when the grant was held to be inoperative by the
amendment to the constitution made in that year.
In 1841 the medical college building, to the erection of which the State
had granted the sum of $15,000, was added to the number of college edifices, and
the middle college building was appropriated to the use of the academic
department. In 1848 the small
building then used for lectures, and now known as the Philosophical Room, was
fitted up as a chapel. In 1849, the
sum of $15,000 having been raised for that purpose, chiefly in the diocese of
Western New York, the "Hobart Professorship" was established and
assigned to the department of the Classical Languages; and on the completion of
their foundation, the society for the "Promotion of Religion and
Learning" gave the college, in 1851, the interest of a similar sum for the
endowment of a professorship. (Historical notices prefixed to the
"Triennial" catalogue of 1856.)
On the 12th of May,
1848, the following minute and resolutions were adopted by the corporation of
"The vestry then considered the resolution heretofore submitted by the committee, to whom was referred the application of Geneva College, together with their report and the accompanying statement of the Bishop of Western New York; and the same having been discussed it was, therefore,
That, for the purpose of promoting religious education in connection with the
church in this State, it is expedient to endow the college at Geneva, in the
diocese of Western New York, with an annuity of $6000, to commence on the 1st of
May, 1866; such sum to be thereafter annually expended in the support of
professors and tutors, and upon terms, conditions, and provisos, and with checks
to be hereafter settled, so as to insure its application to the uses intended, provided
the college shall raise, by subscription or other grants, a sufficient sum
to insure the continuance of the institution in its late efficiency, until the
endowment of this church shall be available.
"And it was
referred to the same committee to consider and report the proper terms,
conditions, provisos, and checks aforesaid."
The cessation of the
State grant, however, created an immediate and pressing need, and application
was made to Trinity church, New York, for relief.
How that venerable corporation responded may be best inferred by the
following extract from its minutes:
"November 14, 1851.
That the promised endowment to Geneva College made by this vestry on the 12th of
May, 1848, of $6000 per annum, to commence on the 1st of May, 1866, be so
modified as to allow instead thereof $3000 per annum in perpetuity, payable
quarterly, to commence from the first day of the present college term, provided
that the trustees of Geneva College assent to such modification."
This grant was qualified
by certain conditions, which were accepted and fulfilled:
and among them was one, that the college should assume the name of the
revered HOBART, a fitting tribute to distinguished zeal and service in the work
and welfare of the college; and another, to the effect that any necessitous
young man should receive his education and lodging in the college without any
charge, thus making this institution of the church free to all.
concluded under the beloved and wise Bishop De LANCEY, was the salvation of the
college. Trinity church and Bishop
HOBART must be gratefully regarded as its founders; and the college has had
abundant proof that the parent has never forgotten, and will not forget, her
offspring. But the endowment of
$100,000, which would otherwise have been received in 1866, is by the terms of
this compromise now only $50,000, at 6 per cent, and the values of money are so
changed that, practically, even this sum is greatly diminished. It may be hoped, if not confidently anticipated, that
"Trinity" will from its abundance eventually make good its original
The retirement of Dr.
HALE, full of years and honors, was succeeded, in 1858, by the inauguration of
the Rev. Abner JACKSON, D.D., LL.D., at that time Professor in Trinity College,
During these nine years
of abundant and successful work, there were associated with President JACKSON
men of like spirit, and hardly less renown as scholars, as those who shared the
work and honors of the excellent Dr. HALE.
Foremost among these---alas ! that
he has passed away from earth---should be mentioned the late Kendric METCALF,
S.T.D., who, for nearly a quarter of a century, as professor in more than one
department, as senior professor, and from time to time acting president, and
finally, when worn out in the work, as deservedly emeritus professor,
gave to the college a life's devotion and all the varied powers of a singularly
gifted mind. Nor should the name of
Edward BOURNS, LL.D., subsequently President of Norwich University, in Vermont,
who was long a successful professor of languages here, be forgotten.
The Rev. William Dexter WILSON, D.D., LL.D., LH.D., now of Cornell
University, and Professor John TOWLER, M.A., M.D., the honored and beloved
senior professor of the present faculty, are still happily living.
Their worth and praise every graduate or friend of "HOBART"
In 1860-61, the efforts
of President Jackson to increase the endowment of the college added about
sixty-seven thousand dollars to the general funds of the institution.
The beautiful chapel, built after designs by the Messrs. UPJOHN and Son,
at the sole charge of Mr. William B. DOUGLAS, of Geneva, was consecrated on the
29th of October, 1863, by the Right Rev. Bishop De LANCEY, D.D., LL.D., D.C.L.
OXON, the life-long friend and supporter of the college.
The sermon on this interesting occasion was preached by the Rev. Morgan
DIX, S.T.D., rector of Trinity church, New York.
The Rev. Henry A. NEELY, D.D., now Bishop of Maine, was the first
incumbent of the chaplaincy. He was
succeeded by the Rev. Pelham WILLIAMS, D.D., now rector of the Church of the
Messiah, Boston, Massachusetts, and, after a lengthened interval, he in turn was
succeeded by the present incumbent, the Rev. Walter AYRAULT, D.D., an alumnus of
the college over whose religious interest he is called to preside.
On the retirement of Dr.
JACKSON from the presidency of HOBART, the Rev. James Kent STONE, D.D., son of
the first tutor of the college, the Rev. John S. STONE, D.D., was called to the
position, which he filled but a single year, but little of which, in consequence
of family affliction, he was able to spend in actual collegiate work.
The vacancy created by Dr. STONE's retirement was filled by the
appointment of the Rev. James RANKINE, D.D., rector of St. Peter's memorial
church, Geneva, and head of the De LANCEY training school.
Dr. RANKINE's incumbency extended over two years, when he was succeeded
by the Rev. Maunsell VAN RENSSELAER, D.D., late President of Deveaux College,
Suspension Bridge, New York, whose term of office was terminated early in the
present (1876) year. During the
presidency of Drs. RANKINE and VAN RENNSELAER, mainly through the exertions of
the bishop of the diocese, the Right Rev. Dr. COXE, assisted by the presidents
and the local Geneva clergy and trustees, the sum of sixty-five thousand dollars
was added to the funds of the college, while various improvements, such as the
purchase of valuable philosophical apparatus; the erection of an observatory,
and the purchase of a fine telescope, with other subsidiary appliances for the
practical study of astronomy; the fitting-up of a college reading-room; the
increase and arrangement of the college library of thirteen thousand volumes,
etc., etc., prove that the college is not standing still.
On the 11th of May the
Rev. William Stevens PERRY, D.D., LL.D., who had been elected on the 20th of the
preceding month, entered upon the presidency of the college.
On the 31st of May the newly-chosen president was unanimously elected to
the episcopate of the diocese of Iowa. The
circumstances of the diocese and of the election being such that there could be
no doubt as to the question of duty in the case, Dr. PERRY tendered his
resignation to the trustees of the college on the 21st of June, which was
accepted by the board, after the adoption of complimentary resolutions, to take
effect on his consecration to the episcopate.
A committee was empowered to nominate a new president, who will enter
upon his duties on the removal of Dr. PERRY to his future home.
At present the following
gentlemen form the faculty and lecturers of Hobart College for 1876:
The Rev. William Stevens
PERRY (Harvard College), D.D. (Trinity), LL.D. (William and Mary), President,
Trinity Professor of Christian Ethics, Startin Professor of the Evidences of
Christianity, and Acting Professor of Intellectual Philosophy; John TOWLER, M.A.
(University of Cambridge, England), M.D. (Hobart), Professor of Civil
Engineering and of Chemistry, and Acting Professor of Mathematics and Modern
Languages; Hamilton L. SMITH, M.A. (Yale College), LL.D. (Trinity), Prendergast
Professor of Astronomy and Natural Philosophy; Joseph H. McDANIELS, M.A.
(Harvard College), Professor of the Greek Language and Literature; the Rev.
George F. SIEGMUND (graduate of the Universities of Halle and Berlin, Germany),
M.A. (Hobart), Hobart Professor of the Latin Language and Literature; Charles D.
VAIL, M.A. (Hobart College), Adjunct Horace WHITE Professor of Rhetoric and
Elocution, and of the English Language and Literature; the Right Rev. Arthur
Cleveland COXE (University of New York), D.D. (Trinity), LL.D. (Kenyon),
Lecturer on English Literature and History; the Hon. Samuel A. FOOT, M.A. (Union
College), LL.D. (Hobart), Lecturer on Constitutional Law; the Rev. Walter
AYRAULT, M.A. (Hobart College), D.D. (Hobart), Chaplain and Pastor on the Swift
Foundation; Charles D. VAIL, M.A. (Hobart), Librarian.
Hobart College is the
college of the five dioceses of the State of New York.
The five bishops of these dioceses are all visitors.
Three of them have consented to serve as trustees; and the rector of
Trinity church, in New York, is also a visitor and a trustee.
church possesses in this college:
(a) Endowments, inclusive of value of buildings ($53,000), amounting to
$266,000. Total of college
(b) Income from all sources, $13,700.
(c) A corps of eminent scientific and classical professors, whose names
and college honors we have given above, all laboring to give the highest tone
and character to the scholarship of the
college, the standard of which is not surpassed by any college in the State, and
elsewhere only by the two great universities of the land.
(d) An incomparable site on the banks of the beautiful Seneca lake, in a
healthy and beautiful village, where the social and religious influences are of
the happiest kind.
(e) A historic character, shown in this sketch, which is always valuable
to an American college, and is a guaranty of perpetuity.
(f ) A community of relations and claims that never can be shared by any future institution, growing out of the common history of the five dioceses of the State of New York.
XXIX pg 76 - 82
ONTARIO FEMALE SEMINARY---THE GENEVA UNION SCHOOL---THE CANANDAIGUA ACADEMY
ONTARIO FEMALE SEMINARY. (By Edward G. TYLER)
In a history of the
educational institutions of Ontario County, the Ontario Female Seminary should
have a prominent place. This is due
to its successful career for so long a period, and to its position, in its early
years, as a pioneer in the modern movement in behalf of a higher education for
beginnings was as follows: December
8, 1824, James D. BEMIS, Nathaniel JACOBS, Walter HUBBELL, Jared WILLSON, and
Mark H. SIBLEY, gave public notice that they would make application to the
Legislature for an act incorporating the Ontario Female Seminary, which was then
being established. Land for the
seminary was deeded by Henry B. GIBSON, July 28, 1825.
March 4, 1825, notice was given for proposals to erect a building for the
use of the institution, the building to be of brick, seventy-five feet front and
fifty feet deep, two stories high, with a basement of four feet above the
ground. This was the main central
building, and furnished adequate accommodations for a very few years, until a
south wing of thirty by fifty feet was erected, for the purpose of supplying a
school-room and recitation-rooms, while the main building should be devoted
wholly to the accommodation of the boarding department.
During the first five years of its existence the institution had a
varying history, with successive changes of principals, among whom were Mr. and
Mrs. WHITTLESEY, whose name was widely associated with the Mother's Magazine.
October, 1830, Miss Hannah UPHAM and Miss Arabella SMITH, from New Hampshire,
were made principals of the institution, and from this time it began to take on
a steady growth and permanent prosperity. In
the year 1835 they assumed, by request of the trustees, full charge of the
boarding department, and the almost entire control and responsibility of the
institution. Under their wise
management the number of pupils increased, the reputation of the institution
extended, pupils from a distance multiplied, and larger accommodations for the
boarding department became requisite, until the north wing of thirty by fifty
feet, two stories high, was erected to supply the needed rooms for dormitories.
Miss UPHAM and Miss SMITH continued as associate principals until the
summer of 1842, when Miss SMITH died, and Miss UPHAM continued sole principal,
except as assisted by her nieces, until July, 1848, when she retired from the
institution, after a connection with it of eighteen years of successful
management. After resigning her
charge, she spent a few years with relatives in New England, after which she
returned to Canandaigua, and in the midst of endeared friends and associations
passed the remaining years of her life. She
died August 20, 1868, in the eightieth year of her age.
In conformity with her request, her remains were taken to the family
cemetery, at Portsmouth, NH. In
commemoration of her character and life-work, her pupils erected in her name a
rich memorial window in the new Congregational chapel at Canandaigua.
In the words of a
well-drawn biographical sketch, taken from the minutes of the University
Convocation of the State of New York, August, 1869,---
UPHAM was a woman of rare gifts. With
great strength of mind, the most thorough culture, and the acuteness of a
logician, there was combined a most delicate refinement and the sweet simplicity
of a child. As a teacher she
wonderfully impressed herself upon her pupils, or, rather, she reproduced
herself in them. She moulded their
characters and planted in their hearts seeds of spiritual life, which have
blossomed and borne fruit in countless Christian homes; and even when the
infirmities of age gathered upon her, she wore upon her brow that coronet of
tranquil joys accorded only to those whose life and being have been consecrated
to the Lord. Her ruling principle
was love. Every pupil was to her as
a child of her affections, and to fit her for Christian usefulness was her most
earnest endeavor. Her school was a
delighted family---many, very many of whose members have already with her
entered into that divine joy to which she led them."
In July, 1848, Miss
UPHAM was succeeded by Mr. and Mrs. Edward G. TYLER, who had previously been
connected as associate principals with the Young Ladies' Institute of
Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The
institution continued to prosper until the accommodations both for day and
boarding pupils became too limited, and in the summer of 1852 its capacity was
enlarged by the addition to the south wing of a two-story building, with
dimensions of forty by sixty feet, furnishing an elegant school-room and chapel,
and additional lodging-rooms. The institution thus had come to have a capacity for
accommodating a large day school and a boarding school for eighty pupils, and
twelve or fifteen teachers, together with a full complement of domestics.
In July, 1854, Mr. and
Mrs. TYLER were succeeded in the principalship by Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin
RICHARDS, then recently from the Female Collegiate Institute at Barhamville, SC.
From 1860 to 1867, Mr.
TYLER and Mr. RICHARDS were associated in the management of the institution.
From 1867 to 1875, Mr.
and Mrs. RICHARDS had entire charge of the seminary.
Thus the institution filled up and completed the half-century of its
During the later years
it encountered difficulties arising from the weakness of its financial
condition, it having never been endowed, and having started on a subscription of
about sixteen thousand dollars only, thus leaving the expense of buildings and
improvements to be provided for, chiefly by incurring a permanent indebtedness.
Also there has come upon our country recently the era of large and
richly-endowed female schools and colleges, thus drawing away patronage from the
older seminaries of more limited accommodations and humbler pretensions.
Whether, from these
causes, the Ontario Female Seminary has closed its work, or, on the other hand,
has a mission still to accomplish, its past at least is secure.
Its half-century record is made up, and its history is replete with precious and enduring memorials. Like the Troy Female Seminary, founded about the same time, it was a pioneer, leading the way in the new era of an advanced education for women. It was "the mother" of female schools and colleges over the land, and thus still lives. It has sent out hundreds of well-educated teachers, many of whom have risen to high positions in first-class seminaries and colleges for women. It has furnished many successful writers and authors. It has educated probably not less than five thousand pupils, many of whom have gone to enrich and adorn happy Christian homes in distant States, while for its own town and county and region it has done a work of inestimable value,---a work not only literary and intellectual, but also social and religious, for it ought to be recorded that the institution was earnestly Christian, but not sectarian, the different denominations being represented in its board of trustees, its corps of teachers, and its list of pupils.
THE UNION SCHOOL OF
GENEVA, now incorporated as the
Geneva Classical and Union School, is one of the first institutions of the kind
established in the State. The plan was first proposed by Mr. Francis DWIGHT, so well
known for his deep interest in the cause of education in our State, and was
submitted to Messrs. C.A. COOK, Perez HASTINGS, and Aaron YOUNG.
After long consultation the plan was proposed to the public, and a
meeting of the citizens was called. There
was for a time strong opposition to the enterprise on the part of tax-payers;
but the object was at last obtained, a large majority of the citizens voting for
it, and in time those most opposed to the plan became its warmest supporters.
For a long time this institution was taken as a model for others, and
delegations frequently came from other towns in the State to witness the
operation of the school, in order to form others on the same plan.
On the 24th day of April, 1839, Philo BRONSON, Charles S. BROTHER, and
S.D. TILLMAN, commissioners of common schools for the town of Seneca (now Geneva
and Seneca), pursuant to previous notice to each of said commissioners, met at
the office of S.D. TILLMAN, in the village of Geneva, and unanimously resolved
that the old school districts, Nos. 1 and 19, comprising the corporate bounds of
the village of Geneva, are hereby annulled, and that a new district, to be
called No. 1, be formed from the same, together with a certain tract or
territory lying north of the corporate bounds of Geneva.
On the 26th day of April, 1839, Aaron YOUNG, William W. GREENE, and S.
GREENE, trustees of old district No. 1, and Clark MORRISON and William BARKER,
trustees of the old district No. 19, consented in writing to the annulment of
the old districts and the formation of the new.
On the 11th day of May following, by order of the commissioners, a
meeting of the taxable inhabitants of the new district was held at the Mansion
House, on Seneca street, in the village of Geneva, for the purpose of electing
district officers and transacting such other business as might be deemed
necessary in the organization of the district.
At this meeting Bowen WHITING was chosen moderator, and Francis DWIGHT
clerk pro tempore. The
meeting elected as trustees of district No. 1, Bowen WHITING, Richard HOGARTH,
and Francis DWIGHT. James GILLESPIE
was chosen clerk, and Jacob MARSHALL collector.
An effort was made to raise by tax two thousand dollars to build a new
school-house, but was unsuccessful, and the meeting adjourned sine die.
A special meeting was called on the thirtieth of the same month, at the
Presbyterian lecture-room, in the village of Geneva, and a sum not exceeding
three thousand six hundred dollars was voted for purchasing a site and erecting
thereon a suitable building.
The site was purchased on Milton street, and a very commodious building
erected on it in 1839, having four rooms, accommodating about three hundred
pupils, and employing five teachers.
On the 9th day of May,
1840, at the annual meeting held at the new school-house, and presided over by
Benjamin HALE, D.D., Messrs. WHITING, HOGARTH, and DWIGHT were unanimously
Mr. Isaac SWIFT was the
first principal of this institution, and held his position, with honor to
himself and profit to the district, for thirteen years.
In 1841 the sum of six hundred dollars was voted for the purpose of
procuring a bell for the new school-house.
In 1842 the building was found insufficient, and a wing on the east of
the main building was erected.
In 1852, Mr. J.E. DEXTER
succeeded Mr. SWIFT, and in the spring of 1853 Mr. William H. VROOMAN became
connected with the school as assistant teacher, having charge of the boys of the
During the summer of
1853 a west wing was erected to the main building, and all the rooms rearranged
and newly furnished; also three branch school-houses, known as the North and
South branches, and colored school. The
main building then accommodated two grades of scholars,---seniors and juniors.
transferred from the branch schools to the junior department, and from the
junior to the senior, on passing a certain prescribed examination.
By an act passed April 15, 1853, incorporating Geneva Union school, and
authorizing a classical department, it became subject to the regents of the
University of the State of New York, and entitled to a distributive share of the
literature fund. This academic
department has enjoyed, and still enjoys, an excellent reputation.
During the year 1853,
and incorporated in the same act above referred to, the board of education was
increased from three to five members,---one to be elected annually, and to hold
his office for five years. In 1854
another branch building was erected on Lewis street, called the middle branch. In
1855, Mr. E .M. HUTCHINS was selected as principal, and in 1857 Mr. B. I.
In 1859, Mr. William H.
VROOMAN was elected principal and superintendent, and still has charge of the
schools. When Mr. VROOMAN took
charge of the schools, the board of education was composed of the following
gentlemen, viz: George B.
DUSENBERRE, Perez H. FIELD, Phineas PROUTY, James M.
SOVERHILL, and Corydon WHEAT. Messrs.
DUSENBERRE and SOVERHILL were elected members of the board in 1856, Mr. C. WHEAT
in 1857, Mr. Phineas PROUTY in 1858, and Mr. Perez H. FIELD in 1859.
In this place permit us to say that no school ever had a more acceptable,
efficient, and excellent board, and that no board of trustees was ever more
devoted to the interests of a school.
The fact that a larger
number has been in attendance each succeeding year is pleasing evidence of the
growing popularity of the school and the competency of the board of trustees to
direct in its successful management. The
Union school building, on Milton street, known as the main or academic building,
was destroyed by fire on the 17th day of December, 1868, and with it the large
and valuable library, astronomical, chemical, electrical, and philosophical
apparatus, pictures, piano, furniture, books of teachers and pupils,---all lost.
Apartments were immediately secured and furnished, and the school
reopened on the 4th of January, 1869. Union
or Dunn's Hall was occupied by the senior department, and rooms at the foot of
Castle street, owned by Mr. James M. SOVERHILL, by the junior department.
On the 16th of March, 1869, an act was passed legalizing all former acts
of the board of trustees, and, among other things, making "Geneva Classical
and Union School" the corporate name of the institution.
At an annual meeting, held in Union Hall, December 26, 1868, it was
resolved that the trustees be authorized to procure estimates and plans for
rebuilding the school-house, and submit the same on the 30th of January, 1869,
to which time the meeting adjourned. The
trustees not being prepared to report, the meeting again adjourned.
Messrs. Angus McDONALD and S.D. ROBISON were associated with the board of
trustees, and authorized to examine new sites on which to erect a house.
After several adjourned meetings, it was finally resolved, on March 20,
1869, after hearing the report of the trustees, etc., "that we proceed to
build a new school-house, and to build it on the old site, and large enough to
accommodate at least six hundred pupils, and that it be furnished with single
desks, and of the most approved styles. Mr.
A. J. WARNER was the architect who drew the plan of the building, and it was
built, furnished, and heated with steam at a cost of about thirty-eight thousand
dollars. On the 20th day of
October, 1870, the building was ready to be occupied by the school, and was
formally delivered into the hands of the pupils by the president of the board,
Mr. Corydon WHEAT. The school was
immediately graded and put in good working order.
In 1871, Mr. James M.
SOVERHILL having declined a re-election as trustee, Colonel Frederick A. PRINCE
offered the following resolution, viz:
That the thanks of the tax-payers of this school district be tendered to James
M. SOVERHILL for his long and faithful services and unswerving devotion to the
interests of its schools, extending over a period of fifteen years, as one of
The resolution passed
unanimously. Mr. Joseph S. LEWIS
was then elected trustees for five years. This
is the first and only change in the board of trustees since 1859. On the 2d day of September, 1872, the board of education met
at the office of Hon. George B. DUSENBERRE, tidings having been received that
the steamer "Metis" was lost, and that one of their number, Hon. P. H.
FIELD, was drowned, and adopted the following, viz:
That the thanks of the tax-payers of this school district be tendered to James
M. SOVERHILL for his long and faithful services and unswerving devotion to the
interests schools, extending over a period of fifteen years, as one of its
The resolution passed
unanimously. Mr. Joseph S. LEWIS
was then elected trustee for five years. This
is the first and only change in the board of trustees since 1859. On the 2d day of September, 1872, the board of education met
at the office of Hon. George B. DUSENBERRE, tidings having been received that
the steamer "Metis" was lost, and that one of their number, Hon. P. H.
FIELD, was drowned, and adopted the following, viz:
That we attend his funeral in a body; that all the public schools in the village
be closed at the time appointed for his funeral; that a copy of the memorial be
furnished the family of the deceased, and that the same be published in the
On this same day, at a
meeting of the teachers of the Geneva Classical and Union School, held at the
new school building, the following resolution was unanimously adopted:
That the teachers of Geneva Classical and Union School, in token of respect to
the memory of one who has been a zealous and steadfast friend of this
institution, attend, in a body, the funeral obsequies of the late Hon. Perez H.
"Wm. H. VROOMAN, Principal."
On the 5th day of
October, 1872, Mr. John POST, supervisor of the town, appointed George W. FIELD,
M.D., trustee of the school, in place of Hon. Perez H. FIELD, deceased. Mr. FIELD acted as trustee until the day of his death, which
occurred on the 20th of March, 1875. At
a special meeting of the trustees of Geneva Classical and Union School, held
March 22, 1875, the following preamble and resolutions were unanimously adopted:
have learned of the death of our esteemed associate, George W. FIELD, M.D.,
which occurred in the city of New York on the 20th day of March, 1875; therefore
That in his death we recognize the loss of a faithful, influential, and
cultivated associate, who has endeared himself to us by his noble acts and
unswerving fidelity to duty.
That we, in token of respect, attend his funeral in a body; that all the public
schools of the village be closed at the time appointed for the funeral; that we
extend to the relatives of the deceased our deepest sympathy; that a copy of
these resolutions be furnished the family of the deceased, and that the same be
published in the village papers.
Also the following viz:
"In the sad event of the death of George W. FIELD, M.D., one of the
trustees of Geneva Classical and Union School, the teachers of the institution,
feeling that the school has lost a faithful and efficient officer, education a
cultivated scholar, and they a genial friend, met in the school chapel, March
23, 1875, and adopted the following:
"Resolved, That we, out of respect to the memory of the deceased, attend his funeral obsequies in a body; that we tender our sympathy to the widow and relatives; that a copy of these resolutions be furnished the family of the deceased, and that the same be printed in the village papers.
"Wm. H. VROOMAN, Principal."
the 20th of April, 1875, John J. DOOLITTLE, supervisor of the town, appointed
Arthur P. ROSE, Esq., trustee in place of George W. FIELD, M.D., deceased.
the 13th of June, 1876, Mr. Arthur P. ROSE tendered his resignation as trustee
of the school.
resignation having been accepted, the supervisor, on the 18th of July, 1876,
appointed Mr. John W. SMITH trustee, in place of Arthur P. ROSE, resigned.
The changes noted in
this sketch are the only ones in the board of education during a period of
twenty years. The teachers
connected with the school are kept as long as they are found faithful and
efficient, or until they signify a desire to leave.
The board of education has ever been watchful, economical, and devoted to
the interests of the school; never conceited, fickle, hasty, jealous, selfish,
and tyrannical; never biased by politics or religion; always united and pulling
together, taking for their motto, "In union there is strength,"
"United we stand; divided we fall." Hence, the school has steadily grown and increased, and
teachers, pupils, and patrons have been benefited and made happy.
The Geneva Classical and
Union School accommodates from nine hundred to one thousand pupils, and employs
from twenty to twenty-two teachers. The
schools are all carefully classed and graded, and embrace a complete common
school and academic education.
The primary or branch
schools embrace a three-years' course; then the pupils are, on examination,
admitted to the intermediate department, where they spend another three years,
and are, on examination, admitted to the senior common school department, which
requires three years more. The
academic department has three separate divisions in its course of study, viz,
classical, mixed, English, each requiring a three-years' course. The schools are free of charge to all residing in the
district, and the best of teachers are employed.
The Geneva Classical and Union School is designated also to instruct a
normal class under the regents of the University. It has fitted many young men for college, many for teachers,
and sent abroad many more to occupy places of trust and honor.
As it was the first institution of the kind in its organization, so now
it is one of the first in moral and intellectual improvement.
OF CANANDAIGUA ACADEMY (By N.T.
CLARKE, Principal) pg 78
The history of
Canandaigua Academy is closely connected with that of the PHELPS and GORHAM
purchase, in western New York. Judge
PHELPS and Judge GORHAM, the main purchasers of this tract, were men of great
enterprise and ability. They were
also men of culture and education, and hence among their first acts was the
setting apart of a large tract of land for the purpose of an academy or
seminary, and that of a high order.
The deed of conveyance
was made January 28, 1791, reciting that "We, Nathaniel GORHAM, of
Charlestown, in the commonwealth of Massachusetts, and Oliver PHELPS, of
Suffield, in the State of Connecticut, of our own pleasure and divers
considerations moving thereunto, do give, etc., six thousand acres of land in
the county of Ontario, and State of New York, for the purpose of establishing an
academy or seminary of learning in said county, at township No. 10, in the third
range, which said township lies on the north end of Canandaigua lake, and
adjoining thereon, which land is made subject to the management and direction of
His Excellency, George CLINTON, Governor of the State of New York, and Robert
MORRIS, of the city of Philadelphia, Esqr., to us the said Nathaniel GORHAM and
Oliver PHELPS, Esqrs., to the Rev. John SMITH, of Dighton, of the commonwealth
aforesaid, and the first learned minister of the church and religion who shall
be settled in the work of the ministry at the aforesaid township No. 10, where
the proposed school of learning is to be fixed, and to his successors in the
work of the ministry, etc."
On the 12th day of
February, 1795, Oliver PHELPS, Nathaniel GORHAM, Arnold POTTER, and Nathaniel
GORHAM, Jr., applied to the regents of the University of this State for an act
of incorporation, stating, "That they are founders and benefactors of an
academy about to be erected and established at Canadaque, in the county
of Ontario, for the instruction of youth in the languages and other branches
of useful learning, and that they have contributed more than one-half in
value of the real and personal property and estate collected or appropriated for
the use and benefit of the same."
The act of incorporation was granted, bearing date March 4, 1795, with the following trustees: Nathaniel GORHAM, Oliver PHELPS, Israel CHAPIN, Nathaniel GORHAM, Jr., Thomas MORRIS, Arnold POTTER, John SMITH, Timothy HOSMER, Charles WILLIAMSON, James WADSWORTH, Oliver Leicester PHELPS, Daniel PENFIELD, Ambrose HULL, John CODDING, John WICKHAM, Moses ATWATER, Judah COLT, Israel CHAPIN, Jr., and Amos HALL. The act of incorporation bears the signatures of George CLINTON, Chancellor, and De Witt CLINTON, Secretary. In a subsequent deed, dated January 1, 1799, explanatory of the former deed of conveyance, and signed by Oliver PHELPS, it is declared that it "was the original intention and mutual agreement of Oliver PHELPS and Nathaniel GORHAM that part of the lands conveyed in the aforesaid deed should be exclusively appropriated to the purpose of promoting in the minds of the youth to be educated at said academy an ardent attachment to rational liberty and the just rights of man, and also to the purpose of assisting to raise up humble merit, depressed by poverty, to the condition of extensive usefulness to the community" ; therefore it was provided that out of the income from certain lands mentioned "there should be set apart by the said trustee and their successors yearly the sum of twenty dollars, as a premium, to be given to that youth, being a student of said academy, who shall compose, and at the yearly commencement of said academy deliver and pronounce publicly in the presence of a majority of the trustees present, the best oration on "The Transcendent Excellence of a Genuine Representative Republican Government, Effectually Securing Equal Liberty, Founded on the Rights of Man ;" and that the residue of the annual profits which shall arise from the said lands shall be exclusively applied towards educating in said academy such young men as, having bright intellects and amiable dispositions, bid fair to be useful members of the community, but, from the incompetency of their resources, are unable without assistance from the fund hereby appropriated to acquire a suitable share of literary information to enable them to do extensive good to their fellow-men." The first recorded meeting of the trustees was held July 12, 1796, at the house of Nathaniel SANBORN, inn-holder; and the first official act was to elect two trustees---Nathaniel W. HOWELL, in the place of Israel CHAPIN, and Dudley SALTONSTALL, in the place of Nathaniel GORHAM, both deceased. A committee was also appointed to solicit subscriptions for the benefit of the institution, and another to superintend the erection of a building and to employ an instructor. A subscription was accordingly opened for the new academy, and the paper bears the names of forty persons, which names, as a matter of some local interest, are here given,----
From the few records
which are preserved, it appears that a building was begun in 1796, and a school
was organized the same year, but under what teacher is not known.
In the record of the meeting held November 17, 1804, it appears that a committee was appointed to employ some suitable person to teach a grammar school in the academy.
Among the earlier
records of the board of trustees are the following:
Voted, November 17, 1804, that the board next proceed to fill the vacancy
occurred by the removal of Ambrose HULL out of the United States, he having
removed to Florida.
Voted, June 25, 1806,
that Israel CHAPIN, Moses ATWATER, and N.W. HOWELL, be a committee to dispose of
some of the most salable lands, whereof the absolute fee simple is in this
corporation, to such an amount as will finish and paint the academy.
Voted, July 30, 1810,
that John GREIG, John C. SPENCER, and Luther COLE be trustees to fill certain
vacancies then existing.
Voted, that Moses
ATWATER, Nathaniel W. HOWELL, John C. SPENCER, William WILLIAMS, and John GREIG
be a committee to superintend the instruction in said academy, with authority to
establish a system of education to be pursued therein and a code of rules and
regulations for the government thereof; to determine on the qualifications of
such as may be admitted as students, and from time to time to visit and inspect
the school, and see that the rules and regulations adopted for the goverment and
instruction thereof be enforced.
Voted, November 19,
1810, that Mr. GORHAM be a committee to see that the school be constantly
supplied with firewood for the ensuing winter.
September 7, 1811, that
the committee of repairs be authorized and requested to complete the second
story of the academy building as soon as possible; and that the school committee
be authorized to employ an assistant teacher in the academy.
December 3, 1811, that
Mr. HOWELL be authorized to pay the sum of twenty dollars to Reuben ORRIS, one
of the students of the academy, being the premium awarded to him for composing
and publicly pronouncing, at the late annual commencement of the academy, the
best oration on the transcendent excellence of republican government, in
pursuance of a limitation in the deed of conveyance executed to this corporation
by Oliver PHELPS, deceased.
May 23, 1812, that John
GREIG, John C. SPENCER, and Myron HOLLEY, be a committee to memorialize the
Legislature, stating the claims of the academy to be erected into a college.
Voted, November 19,
1810, that, on recommendation of John C. SPENCER, Nathaniel JACOB, Jr., be
employed as principal of the academy for one year at a salary of six hundred
dollars, payable quarterly.
September 15, 1813, that
the school committee be directed to engage Rev. Mr. HOWES to instruct the
academy at least for one year upon the terms agreed upon with Dr. JACOB; also
that the school committee be authorized to purchase and distribute such prizes
as they may think proper on examination and exhibition days, to be paid for out
of the funds of the institution, provided such purchases do not exceed the sum
of twenty dollars.
December 6, 1813, that
Rev. Mr. HOWES be informed that it is desirable that he should eat at the same
table with the pupils, that he take such oversight of the wood delivered at the
academy for the use of the school as may be necessary to prevent any improper
use or loss of it, and that he be at liberty to keep a fire in his lodging-room
provided he defray the expense thereof. July
18, 1814, that the thanks of the board be tendered Rev. Ezra WITTER for the
impressive and appropriate address just delivered by him in the school-room,
October 20, 1817, that
the resignation of Mr. WITTER be accepted, to take place on the first day of May
next. At the same meeting it was
voted that the building committee be authorized to procure materials and prepare
for the accommodation of a principal of the academy and of a steward, and to
contract for the erection of such a building.
Voted, April 20, 1818,
that the board secure the services of the Rev. James STEVENSON, of the city of
New York, as principal of the academy, at a salary of eight hundred dollars a
year, together with a dwelling and the use of the academy lot, and that two
hundred dollars additional be given to him in token of their regard, and to
assist him to remove his family to this place.
Voted, October 3, 1818,
that public notice be given that the academy will open for the reception of
students of Monday, the 12th of October, instant, and that the price of board
shall not exceed one dollar and seventy-five cents per week, and washing fifty
cents per dozen, the students to furnish their own beds and furniture, and their
proportion of fuel, and that the tuition be five dollars per quarter.
These records have been recited here mainly to give some idea of the
working of the academy in its early history.
From these records it would appear that a building (of wood) was erected in 1796, and so much of its lower story finished as to admit of its use for that year; that a school was opened; that during the next six or eight years the academy was completed and painted, and that the school was in the second story, the lower rooms being used by the preceptor and his family; that originally the two sexes were educated together; that among the first teachers were,---Dudley SALTONSTALL (probably), Rev. Eliphalet COLEMAN, Thomas BEALS, Rev. Mr. CHAPMAN, Rev. Mr. HOWES, Rev. Ezra WITTER, and Rev. James STEVENSON.
It is probable that
Dudley SALTONSTALL was the first teacher in the academy.
His name is cherished by our old people with great respect.
He seems to have been a genial man, much beloved by his pupils, and much
respected by the trustees, of which board he was some time a member.
He was not unlike the village schoolmaster described by Goldsmith.
man severe he was and stern to view,
he was kind, or if severe in aught
love he bore to learning was in fault."
There are no records to
show the success of the school until the accession of Mr. STEVENSON in 1818,
although there is abundant evidence of the struggle through which the academy
had to pass previous to that time, and the school was kept in operation only by
loans or by subscriptions on the part of its friends, and during the four years
of Mr. STEVENSON's administration it was not self-supporting.
The sum total of receipts for tuition, board, wood, and washing, during
the first year of Mr. STEVENSON's was one thousand three hundred and
seventy-nine dollars and eleven cents, and expenses were one thousand three
hundred and eighty-two dollars and twenty-three cents, leaving a deficit of
three dollars and twelve cents; and the last year, 1822, the sum total of all
receipts for tuition was six hundred and ninety-nine dollars and ten cents, and
Mr. STEVENSON's eight hundred dollars, showing a deficit of one hundred dollars
and ninety cents. Ichabod SPENCER,
afterwards Rev. Dr. SPENCER, of Brooklyn, succeeded Mr. STEVENSON, and was
principal for two or three years. He
was succeeded by Mr. George WILLSON, afterwards the author of Willson's
Arithmetic and Class Reader. In the
spring of 1828, Mr. Henry HOWE, a graduate of Middlebury College, Vermont, then
recently from Pompey Hill Academy, in Onondaga county, was elected principal,
and he entered at once upon his labors. Very
soon, under his efficient management, the old wooden building became too strait
to meet the demands of the school; and so in 1834-35 the building was entirely
remodeled and enlarged. It was
inclosed with brick, raised one story, and extended east and west by new and
spacious additions, taking the form it has to-day.
It was considered at the time a building of fine proportions, and well
arranged for school and family purposes; and although it has not the style and
finish of many modern school buildings, yet for beauty of location, for
arrangement and convenience of school-rooms, and apartments for the family of
the principal, it ranks among the best academies of the State; and so to its
sanitary condition, it is unsurpassed.
Up to the time of Mr.
HOWE's administration, the academy had never been self-supporting.
It had depended upon home patronage, with but few exceptions.
He came soon to see that if the school ever became prosperous, it must
command and receive patronage from abroad; hence the necessity of a well-planned
and well-conducted boarding department, and that under the charge of the
principal instead of a steward, as it had before been done.
He therefore began to
take boys from abroad into his own private family, and soon found so many
applications, that he asked of the trustees the enlargement of the academy, as
this enlargement, the building was fitted up for the accommodation of some
thirty or forty boarders, who could be in the family of the principal, and under
his immediate care. Mr. HOWE had,
in the seven or eight years that he had been in the academy, awakened a good
deal of interest in educational matters. He
had traveled through the towns lecturing upon various topics of interest,
introducing blackboards into the common schools, organizing associations of
teachers and becoming personally acquainted with them, and ascertaining the
educational needs of the schools in the vicinity; so that when the new building
was opened in 1834, it was filled to its utmost capacity almost at once.
The record of the summer
term of 1830 (the earliest found among Mr. HOWE's papers) shows an attendance of
fifty-five students, of whom twenty-six were from abroad.
Among those names, and who will be recognized by many among us, were H.
Channing BEALS, Jacob MORRIS, John Greig HOWELL, Selden MARION, Edmund CHESEBRO,
Ambrose SPENCER, Elnathan SIMMONS, George WILLSON, and others.
The attendance increased regularly, so that during the last term in the
old academy, ending April, 1833, the number in attendance was seventy-five.
On the 22d of July of that year the school was removed to the old
court-house, with an attendance of sixty-six.
On the 15th of May, 1834, the school was opened in the new academy
building, with an attendance of ninety-six, sixty-two of whom were from abroad.
In the term ending October 5, 1836, the attendance was one hundred and
fifty-nine, and the term following, one hundred and eighty-six.
My acquaintance with the
academy began in the spring of 1837. I
had heard of its good name, and having finished my second winter's school, I
found myself on the 29th of May enrolled among the students of the academy.
My name stood on the roll one hundred and thirty-two, only nine more
coming in that quarter after me. The
school year was then divided into two terms of five months each, with a month's
vacation between them, each term being divided into two quarters of eleven weeks
each. During the term in which I entered the academy there were in
the academic department one hundred and sixty-three students and forty-nine in
the primary department, making in all two hundred and twelve.
Among the young men whom I found as students were, Samuel H. TORREY,
GORHAM; Thomas S. BEALS, Thomas F. ROCHESTER, Rochester; Fernando JONES,
Chicago; Charles C. FITZHUGH, Genesee; Walter S. HUBBELL, Philip SPENCER, John
and James RANKINE, Richard CHURCH, Angelica; James G. SHEPARD; and in the
primary department were such boys as George CHENEY, Thomas B. CARR, William B.
DUNCAN, Albion ELLIS, Richard PIERSON, Edward SHEPARD, Dwight MUNGER.
The teachers I found in the academy were, Henry HOWE, principal; Horatio
N. ROBINSON, A.M., professor of Mathematics, Natural Philosophy, and Chemistry;
Samuel S. HOWE, A.M., Robert McNEIL, A. B., professors of the Greek and Latin
Languages; Louis PROVOST, teacher of the French Language; Jacob T. HOTCHKISS, A.
B., Daniel WILLIS, teachers of English Grammar, Arithmetic, Geography, and
The trustees of the
academy at this time were, Oliver PHELPS, Moses ATWATER, Nathaniel W. HOWELL,
Thomas BEALS, Evan JOHNS, John C. SPENCER, Walter HUBBELL, Francis GRANGER,
Jared WILLSON, James D. BEMIS, Thaddeus CHAPIN, Alexander DUNCAN.
From a statement of the trustees, it appears that the plan of the academy
embraced a thorough and extended course of English and mathematical study,
instruction in the Latin and Greek classics to an advanced standing of one or
two years in college, the teaching of the French language, and a department for
the education of common-school teachers.
The charges for tuition
were four dollars a quarter, and board was one dollar and sixty-four cents per
week. There was also a "Family
Organization," and Mr. HOWE took boys into his family for one hundred and
thirty-five dollars a year. The
building was arranged for five teachers, and for the accommodation of about one
hundred and fifty scholars, averaging about thirty scholars to a teacher.
The trustees believed that a school of that size, or a little less, was
the most desirable in every point of view; that it could do more thorough and
more satisfactory work than if it were much larger,---an opinion which the
subsequent history of the academy has abundantly confirmed.
Mr. HOWE continued in the charge of the academy until March, 1849, when
from failing health he resigned the principal ship, and retired upon a farm some
two miles from the village, where he remained until his death, June 6, 1865.
It is fitting that a
brief notice of Mr. HOWE should be introduced here, for to him more than to any
other one man is the academy indebted for its permanent foundation and
subsequent prosperity. Henry HOWE
was born in Shoreham, Vermont, in 1797. He
was educated at Middlebury College. After
graduating, he was tutor in the college for two years, then was principal of
Castleton Seminary, and subsequently principal of the academy at Pompey Hill, in
Onondaga county of this State. He
came to Canandaigua in the spring of 1828, to take charge of the academy here.
He found it in a very unpromising condition.
The building was small, with no conveniences for a school or family; but
with a singleness of purpose, and with great hopefulness, he entered upon the
work which, although he did not then know it, proved to be the work of his life. Under his energy the school began to show unmistakable
evidences of a real prosperity. The
number of pupils largely increased, and prejudices and opposition to a liberal
education began to give way. He
traveled through the country, as has already been stated, and by his labors
created much interest in the education of our youth.
From the first he identified himself with every improvement relating to
the village or county, and he soon had the satisfaction of seeing great numbers
of young men gathered around him for instruction. Mr. HOWE continued in charge of the academy for twenty-one
years, and then, in 1849, retired to his farm, in the management of which he
became greatly interested, and by which his health was to a good degree
But it was ere long
apparent that his best energies had been spent, just as he was most glad they
had been, in bringing the young men, only not of this community, but of many
others, to the privileges of a refined and liberal education, and who now, all
over the land, rise up and call him blessed.
I speak from a sense of personal attachment to him, which grew up in the
intercourse of teacher and pupil. He
seemed to me to become personally interested in his pupils, and to enter largely
into their sympathies and aims, and to unite, in a remarkable degree, the
qualifications of a good teacher with the kindness of parental regard.
It is true he did not amass very much of this world's goods (faithful,
earnest, self-denying teachers rarely do), but he did a noble work, and one
which will outlive his own time, and result in untold blessings to other
generations. His work was that of a
most pure and sincere Christian teacher, and his memory is fragrant with the
odor of faith and love.
Upon the resignation of
Mr. HOWE, Mr. George WILLSON and myself conducted the academy as a day school
for the spring term, when Mr. Marcius WILLSON, who had been a former student in
the academy, and at which he prepared for Union College, was elected principal,
and entered upon his labor in the fall of 1849.
During the four years of
Mr. WILLSON's administration, the course of instruction was considerably
modified by the introduction of more extended historical study, and by a great
enlargement of the department of the natural sciences.
Upon Mr. WILLSON's resignation, in 1853, I was chosen principal, which
position I accepted, and have occupied without intermission until now, having
just entered upon my twenty-fourth year of service in this relation.
During the first six years I resided in the building, and had the entire
charge of the school in all its departments; but for the last seventeen years I
have resided out of the building, and have intrusted the care of the building,
premises, and boarding department to an associate or resident principal, Mr. Wm.
M. McLAUGHLIN serving as such six years; Mr. Chas. S. HALSEY, seven years; Mr.
E.J. PECK, two years, and Mr. E.S. HALL, two years.
It does not become me to
speak very much in detail of the academy while it has been under my charge, any
further than to give some of the results of that term of service.
During this time there
have been associated with me, in the work of instruction, seventy-two teachers,
fourteen in the classical and higher English, ten in the modern languages, and
thirty-nine in the English department. The
number of students in attendance, taking the sum of the yearly rolls, during
those twenty-three years, is four thousand two hundred and one, and the whole
number since 1837, the time of my first acquaintance with the academy, is seven
thousand five hundred and seventy-five.
The average attendance
during the last twelve years of Mr. HOWE's administration was two hundred and
twenty-four; during the four years of Mr. WILLSON's was one hundred and
seventy-one, and during the term of my service is one hundred and eighty-three.
The largest attendance during Mr. HOWE's time was three hundred and
twenty in 1838, in Mr. WILLSON's was one hundred and ninety in 1850; in mine,
was two hundred and sixty-two in 1866. Of
those four thousand two hundred and one students above referred to, one thousand
nine hundred and twenty-nine were from abroad, and of the whole seven thousand
five hundred and seventy-five since 1837, three thousand five hundred and
ninety-four, or forty-six per cent of the whole, were from out of town.
Hence, it appears that the academy has had a large support from those
outside our village and town, from all sections of the country, especially from
the great West.
In these twenty-three
years two hundred and fifteen young men, or about ten a year, have gone from the
academy to college, or to higher professional schools, and of most of them it
can be said that they reflected great credit upon the academy in which their
preparatory studies were pursued. Adding
to the seven thousand five hundred and seventy-five, the whole number above
mentioned; one thousand four hundred and forty, about the number in attendance
during the first nine years of Mr. HOWE's service, makes a total of nine
thousand and fifteen. I have no
means of knowing the number of pupils during the proceding thirty-three years of
the academy, but it would be safe to say that it could not have been less than
two thousand; so that without doubt, if the records of the academy could all be
restored, there would be found upon them as yearly totals the names of over
eleven thousand pupils, making probably more than seven thousand different
individuals, of whom more than five hundred have gone from the academy to
college, or to higher professional schools.
In closing this recital
of facts we are justified in the inquiry, After this eighty years of service,
what has Canandaigua Academy accomplished? I have already referred to the number of pupils who have been
taught here, and I believe I can say, without fear of contradiction, that the
academy has maintained a reputation for sound and substantial instruction in
contradistinction to that which is superficial and showy; thoroughness in all
the departments of an English and classical course of study has been secured,
though with how much labor none but a teacher can have any adequate conception.
The tendency of the times (and it has been increasing of late) is to
haste and unsoundness in school-work. The
times are fast, and boys must be ready for business at twelve or fourteen;
hence, time is too valuable to be spent in school, and consequently many of its
better schools, including even the high schools of the cities, are made up in
their higher grades of men-children; hence the multiplication of simple
text-books, keys, and translations to make the road short and easy; and to hold
a steady hand against this tide of popular feeling has been no easy task.
The education of the day
has been fast becoming showy and demonstrative in its character. Exhibitions, parades, class-excursions to watering-places and
to Europe, class-suppers, and expensive social organizations, including ball-
and boating clubs, and the like, make up considerable of the work of many of our
schools. Extravagance of outfit in
buildings, apparatus, and furniture, with all the paraphernalia which looks to a
grand show, makes no small part of the educational policy of the day.
The same spirit shows itself, though not in so marked a degree, in our
religious work. The churches are
working very much by conventions, by mammoth sea-side and lake gatherings,
where, amid display and show, with music and banners, demonstrations are made in
behalf of the Most High. I would not wholly condemn these things, but so far as they
divert the mind from earnest individual and personal work they are an evil which
ought to be expurgated from our religious and educational systems.
In this respect our academy has been truly conservative, and nothing has
been allowed to interfere with its proper and legitimate work, and there is no
one thing which to-day affords the friends of the institution more profound
satisfaction than this feature of our academic labor.
The academy has ever
been a patriotic institution. Its
very foundations were laid in a patriotic devotion to the new government, whose
origin was coeval with its own, and a special provision was made for promoting
in the minds of the youth to be educated here an ardent attachment to national
liberty and the just rights of man; and nobly has it ever responded to the
spirit of these provisions. When
the great rebellion of 1861 broke out, the academy was first and foremost among
the schools of the State in a voluntary service to support the flag and to
preserve the integrity of the government. The
young men gathered here at that time were stirred with patriotic impulses, and
it was not in my heart to forbid them. I
readily yielded to their desire to enter the service, and so many left school
for that purpose that during a portion of one year it had scarcely any young men
left. Teachers and scholars went
together, and one class which I had formed with great satisfaction went bodily,
and left but a single member, and he remained only because he was too young to
enlist. During the years 1862 to
1863 the number of pupils was considerably lessened by the war, but in 1864 the
number was greatly increased, and in 1866 we were overwhelmed with pupils so
that we had not sufficient place for them.
Two of our teachers that year, Major C.S. ALDRICH and Lieutenant E.C.
CLARKE, and twenty-three pupils, were returned soldiers.
In our annual catalogue of 1864 there was published a "roll of
honor" containing the names of one hundred and twenty-five who had gone
into the service and who had been students in the academy during my
administration, or the ten years previous, which list did not probably include
more than half of the actual number, or the names of any who had been students
previous to 1853, who are reckoned by hundreds, and who poured out their blood
like water upon nearly every battle-field of the war.
Among those who fell in that conflict we recall the names of Henry
WILLSON, Captain Charles WHEELER, Sergeant Augustus T. WILDER, one of our
teachers, Edward CHIPMAN, Captain HERENDEEN, Frederic JEFFREY, James and Greig
MULLIGAN, and many others who gave promise of eminent usefulness, and whose
deaths show to us the cost of that sacrifice by which we preserve our national
In pursuance of a
resolution offered in the University Convocation, which meets annually in
Albany, by General Prosper M. WETMORE, of New York, a committee was appointed to
secure from the colleges and academies of the State the names and a brief
history of those who had gone into the service from their institutions.
As one of that committee I undertook the gathering of such a history of
our students; and, although it is not yet completed, I have done considerable in
collecting brief records of their military life, a labor in which I have taken a
great though a sad pleasure. I have
in this record one hundred and thirty-seven names, and I design to extend it so
as to embrace the names of all who represented us in the army during the war.
Another feature of our
academic labor which should be mentioned, is its normal labor in the education
of teachers. The preparation of
teachers for our common schools has for many years engaged the attention of the
leading educators of the State and country, and more than forty years ago
special provision was made by the Legislature of this State for this purpose.
The academy was among the first eight selected for this work, and the
appointment has been renewed almost without interruption till the present time.
In the catalogue of 1848, the principal, Mr. HOWE, reported that "a
teachers' class was first organized in the academy in 1830, and that since that
time five hundred young men have entered that department." And in the twenty-three years of my service here as principal
more than four hundred more have been members of the teachers' class; so that
during the forty years of the working of this department more than a thousand
young men have been aided in their preparation for the teachers' work.
It is proper to allude
to what it has done in the matter of gratuitous instruction. As has been stated, it was in the original plan of the
academy that provision should be made for aiding meritorious young men or lads
who, by reason of poverty, were hindered from pursuing such a course of study as
they would be glad to do, and hence the academy has always granted her tuition
to such as seem to need it and were worthy of it.
During the twenty-three years of my service as principal a considerable
number each year have thus been aided, many of whom have been the sons of poor
but patriotic men who fell or were broken down in health in the conflict of the
It would not be
inappropriate to close this brief sketch of the academy by a reference to some
of those teachers who are best remembered, and those students who subsequently
achieved a fair renown in some field of human labor.
Among the former, in addition to those already referred to, may be
mentioned Mr. Marcius WILLSON, who, as principal, succeeded Mr. HOWE in 1849.
He entered the academy in 1830 as a student, prepared for Union College,
at which he graduated, and afterwards taught in New York and New Jersey before
he assumed the charge of the academy. He
was very successful as a teacher, a man of great culture and of ripe
scholarship, the author of "Willson's Histories" and "Willson's
Readers," the most beautifully illustrated books of the kind that have
probably ever been published in this country, and from the sale of which he is
receiving a handsome income.
His present residence is
at Vineland, New Jersey, upon a plantation devoted to fruit-culture, for which
he has great taste, and in the management of which, and in literary labors, he
finds his time occupied.
Among other classical
teachers may be mentioned Alvan LOTHROP, John M. GREENE, now pastor of a
Congregational church at Lowell, Massachusetts; A.S. ZEIKE, late pastor of St.
Peter's church, of Rochester; assistant principal Wm. M. M'LAUGHLIN, since
principal of the Mexico Academy, and at present principal of an academy in
Connecticut; Mr. Chas. S. HALSEY, now principal of the High School at
Schenectady, New York.
Of the teachers in the
mathematics and the natural sciences, H.N. ROBINSON, the author of Robinson's
mathematical works, is best remembered by students thirty or forty years ago.
Later, Moses H. WELLS, now a pastor of a Congregational church in New
Hampshire, was very much beloved as a teacher and as a man.
Among those whose names
are cherished with great affection as teachers in the intermediate department
since my own connection with the academy are Frederic S. JEWELL, Daniel L.
KIEHLE, the former of whom is a clergyman of the Episcopal church, and the
latter of the Presbyterian church, in Wisconsin, Major C.S. ALDRICH, now a
merchant of Bloomington, Illinois, Lieutenant E.C. CLARKE, now of Naples, New
York, and Frank H. WISEWELL, now secretary of the New York department of
Missions of the American Sunday-School Union.
Of students, I have
already mentioned Marcius WILLSON, who entered the academy November 15, 1830,
and remained there until he completed his preparatory studies to college.
A few days later, Stephen A. DOUGLAS, from Brandon, Vermont, at the age of seventeen, became a student, and remained until the last of December, 1832, or about two years. Mrs. DOUGLAS, the mother of Stephen, was a widow, and married a Mr. GRANGER, of Manchester, in this county, and hence made that her future home, bringing her son and daughter, afterwards Mrs. Julius N. GRANGER, with her. The record shows DOUGLAS to have studied, in the two years he was in the academy, Latin grammar, Latin reader, Latin tutor, ten books of Virgil, Greek grammar, Greek reader, six Cicero's orations, algebra, etc. After leaving the academy he entered the law-office of Walter HUBBELL, Esq., where he remained until June, 1833, when (I copy from a letter of his to his former teacher, Mr. HOWE, dated Jacksonville, Illinois, January 14, 1836) "I left for Cleveland, where a few weeks after I was taken sick with bilious fever, and was confined to my bed until some time in October, when I took a boat to Cincinnati, thence to Louisville, St. Louis, and to this place, where I have since remained. Upon my arrival here I was reduced in funds to less than five dollars, and was under the necessity of teaching a common school for one quarter, at the expiration of which time I obtained a license to practice law, and opened my office in March, 1834. I pursued my profession with sufficient success to yield me a handsome support until February, 1835, when I was elected by the State Legislature to the office of State's Attorney, which station I now occupy." With Mr. DOUGLAS' subsequent history all are familiar, as he rose to a commanding position among his fellow-men, being the recognized leader of the Democratic party of the country for many years, and the candidate of that party for the presidency in 1860. Mr. DOUGLAS as a student was earnest, industrious, and thorough; more distinguished as a debater, however, than a scholar; and in the struggles of his early manhood furnishes a fair picture of the means by which, and through which, young men of purpose and ability rise to distinction and honor. As classmates of Mr. DOUGLAS may be mentioned Elbridge G. LAPHAM, of Farmington, who afterwards became a distinguished lawyer, and is now the representative in Congress, and Rollin GERMAIN, afterwards a lawyer of distinction at Black Rock. These were students in the old building. Among those a little later were Gideon GRANGER and George WILLSON, the former a graduate of Yale, and the latter of Union, whose deaths in early manhood were felt in the community as an affliction of unusual severity. Of the same time may be mentioned James RANKINE, now Rev. James RANKINE, D.D., formerly president of Hobart College, and now rector of the Memorial church of Seneca; Edmund B. HUNT, afterwards Lieutenant HUNT, of the government service, and a prominent member of the Coast Survey Corps. In later times still, and since my connection with the academy, may be mentioned Benjamin T. GUE, of Farmington, since lieutenant-governor of Iowa; William W. HOWE, son of Mr. Henry HOWE, since a member of the Supreme Bench of Missouri, and now a prominent lawyer in New Orleans; D. Fernand HENRY, now City Engineer of Detroit, who is favorably known both at home and abroad as the inventor of an apparatus for determining the amount of water discharged by rivers, etc.; Charles E. CHENEY, since the assistant bishop of the Reformed Episcopal church; George A. FORSYTH, who, during the late war, as also subsequently among the Indians, was a member of General Sheridan's staff, and who was an apt disciple of his master in all that relates to dashing and brilliant warfare. But this list will increase by hundreds if I repeat the names of but a tithe of those who have been found among the eminent and noble men of many a community in our broad land, or who are just coming into the activities of young manhood with the brightest promise for the future. It will belong to some future historian to write up the records of the academy in these later years, and with such an one I am content to leave it.
History of Ontario Co., NY
Educational Pg. 225 - 229
The village of
Canandaigua has always been noted for the excellence of its educational
institutions, and at least one of them, founded nearly 100 years ago, has
acquired a State wide reputation. Others
have also been prominent, but the Canandaigua Academy early attained a grade of
excellence that placed it among the best in the State; and that standing it has
ever since maintained. However,
before referring to this noted institution we may briefly note some of the
others which existed during the early history of the village, a number of them
being now numbered with things of the past, while a few became permanent and
have a present relation to their original character.
As early as 1792 a
school was started in the village, said to have been taught by Major WALLIS; and
in 1804 Mrs. WHALLEY opened a young ladies boarding and select school.
These are believed to have been the first schools in the village.
On the establishment of
the public school system in the State, the village of Canandaigua was divided
into three districts--Nos. 11, 12 and 13, but subsequently 11 was changed to 10,
and 12 to 11. In 1810 a brick
school-house was erected in No. 11, on the square, west of the town-house site,
and in 1812 another brick school was built in No. 10, about opposite the
Catholic church, on land obtained from Colonel ANTIS.
Objections were raised against the building on the square, to remedy
which Judge ATWATER offered favorable terms to the trustees which induced them
to buy lands opposite the old burying-ground, and on the lot they erected a
brick school-house which continued in use until the school on Greig street was
built, in 1851.
School District No. 10
was organized between 1810 and 1813, the records dating from the year last
named. Among the early teachers in
this district were Ann GOODING, ______ NEWCOMB, Joseph RYAN, Ira WESTON, Edson
CARR, B. STALL, Thomas SELLMAN and Warner BUNDAY.
A new school-house was built in the district in 1839, and enlarged in
1851. In 1870 preparations were
made for the erection of a still larger school building, but nothing was in fact
accomplished until 1875 when a one-story building was erected.
In May of this year District 10 and 11 were consolidated into a Union
School District, known as No. 11.
School District No. 13
is understood as having been organized in 1830, but no record appears earlier
than the meeting held October 10, 1832, although a school house had been erected
before that time. A new building
was erected in 1832 on Chapel street, at a cost of nearly $500.
One of the first teachers was Hiram BLANCHARD, followed by George B.
NORTHRUP, Abigail MUNGER, Bennett MUNGER, Messrs. Oakley and Haskell, Marshall
FINLEY, A. R. SIMMONS, M. L. RAWSON and others, about in the order named.
In this connection we may also state that in 1848 a school for colored
children was opened in this district, taught by O. L. CROSIER, followed by S. A.
In the Union District,
after the consolidation, the trustees at once selected a suitable location for a
large and attractive school building, one which should be an ornament to a
village long noted for the superiority of its educational institutions.
For the purpose named a committee was chosen, and in May, 1875, the
BENNETT property on the west side of Main street, opposite the court-house was
purchased at a cost of $11,000. During
the years 1875 and 1876 the High School was erected at a total cost, including
furnishing, of about $40,000. The
building has a front of 79 feet, and is 114 feet in depth, and three stories
Academy--This famous institution is one of the oldest of its class in
Western or Central New York, and has an interesting and valuable history, yet
the story of its founding and career may be briefly narrated.
The academy without doubt owes its origin to the generosity of Oliver
PHELPS and Nathaniel GORHAM, but in its establishment and erection a large
number of prominent residents of Canandaigua and vicinity had a part, and hence
are entitled to honor with the founders of the enterprise.
On the 28th of January,
1791, Nathaniel GORHAM and Oliver PHELPS, proprietors of the vast Phelps and
Gorham Purchase, conveyed to certain trustees in consideration of their
"own pleasure," all that tract of land which thenceforth became known
as the "Academy Tract," for the purpose of "establishing an
academy or seminary of learning," in the county of Ontario.
In February, 1795, application was made to the Regents of the University
for an act of incorporation, which resulted in the passage of such an act on the
4th of March following, and naming a board of trustees as follows: Nathaniel
GORHAM, Oliver PHELPS, Israel CHAPIN, Nathaniel GORHAM, jr., Thomas MORRIS,
Arnold POTTER, John SMITH, Timothy HOSMER, Charles WILLIAMSON, James WADSWORTH,
Oliver L. PHELPS, Daniel PENFIELD, Ambrose HULL, John CODDING, John WICKHAM,
Moses ATWATER, Judah COLT, Israel CHAPIN, jr., and Amos HALL.
At the first meeting of
the trustees, July 12, 1796, the name of Nathaniel W. HOWELL was substituted in
place of Israel CHAPIN, and that of Dudley SALTONSTALL in place of Nathaniel
GORHAM. At the same time a
committee was appointed to solicit and receive subscriptions for the benefit of
the proposed academy, and the result was donations of land to the extent of
6,300 acres, and cash to the amount of $4,581.
In the same year, also, the erection of the academy building was begun,
and so far proposed that school was opened in the fall, although several years
passed before it was fully completed.
The early records of the
academy were so obscure and incomplete that there cannot be given accurately the
name of the first principal or other teachers.
However, among the early instructors in various capacities there can be
recalled the names of Dudley SALTONSTALL, Eliphalet COLEMAN, Thomas BEALS, Revs.
CHAPMAN and HOWES, Rev. Ezra WITTER, and Rev. James STEVENSON.
The teacher last mentioned came to the academy in 1818, remained four
years, and was succeeded by Ichabod SPENCER, afterward a celebrated divine of
Brooklyn, NY. George WILSON
followed Mr. SPENCER, and in the spring of 1828 was succeeded by Henry HOWE,
under whose administration the institution became practically self-sustaining.
Also during Mr. HOWE's term (in 1836) the academy building was materially
repaired and enlarged; in fact, was substantially rebuilt, and so arranged as to
admit boarding students. Mr. HOWE
continued his services at the head of the institution until March, 1849, then
retiring because of failing health, and was succeeded by George WILSON and Noah
T. CLARKE, the latter becoming principal in 1858, and remaining in charge until
June, 1882, when Rev. George R. SMITH was chosen to the position.
In September, 1885, the present principal, Prof. J. Carlton NORRIS,
entered upon his duties.
The present board of
trustees of the Canandaigua Academy is as follows: Walter HUBBELL, James C.
SMITH, William GORHAM, William H. SMITH, Noah T. CLARKE, Frank H. HAMLIN, Rev.
Andrew L. FREEMAN, John D. McKECHNIE, Robert W. WALMSLEY, Charles A. RICHARDSON,
Rev. Nelson M. CALHOUN, and Rev. H. C. TOWNLEY.
The officers of the board are: James C. SMITH, president; Frank H.
HAMLIN, secretary and treasurer.
The Ontario Female
Seminary.--In 1825, through the efforts of James D. BEMIS, Nathaniel
JACOBS, Walter HUBBELL, Jared WILLSON, and Mark H. SIBLEY, this once notable
seminary was founded and established. The
building, a large two-story brick structure, was erected on the west side of
Main street, on the site now occupied by the McKECHNIE mansion.
The names of the first principals are unknown, but in 1830 Miss Hannah
UPHAM, associated with Arabella SMITH, were placed in charge, and continued, the
former until 1848, and the latter till 1842.
In July, 1848, Edward G. TYLER and wife assumed charge of the
institution, and four years later the capacity of the building was much
increased. In July, 1854, Benjamin
RICHARDS and wife succeeded to the principalship, although Mr. TYLER maintained
a connection with the seminary until 1867, at which time Mr. RICHARDS assumed
sole charge of its affairs.
favorable conditions under which it was founded and began its career, the
Ontario Female Seminary continued in existence only half a century.
The causes which precipitated its decline and final extinction were
various, and need no recital here. The
institution was founded with an honest purpose, and upon that basis was ever
conducted, but from lack of support was compelled to suspend operations.
The Granger Place
School.--In the year 1816, Gideon GRANGER, postmaster-general under
Thomas JEFFERSON, and one of the most famous early lawyers of Ontario county,
built a family mansion at Canandaigua, on the grounds used by the troops for
barracks during the War of 1812, but which were afterward tastefully laid out
and adorned with beautiful foliage trees, shrubbery and flower gardens.
The mansion here erected was maintained in all its beauty and
desirability for many years, and in 1876 fittingly became an institution of
learning, for the especial use of young ladies, and under the name above
given--The Granger Place School. It
was founded in 1876, and among its prominent patrons may be named Dr. James
Carey THOMAS, of Baltimore, Md.; Mr. and Mrs. Charles C. MORSE, and Rev. ____
and Mrs. A. H. STRONG, of Rochester; J. L. BROWNELL, of Nyack, NY; Joseph
POWELL, of Towanda; Sophia E. HOWARD, M. D., of Fairport, NY; Mrs. Gideon
GRANGER, Revs. J. H. FRANCE, S. E. EASTMAN, and Annis F. EASTMAN, of
Canandaigua; Mrs. L. A. SKINNER, of Westfield; and Mr. and Mrs. T. J. LEACH, and
Thomas B. HEERMANS, of Syracuse.
In the course of time the GRANGER property was offered for sale, and the citizens of Canandaigua, appreciating the advantages of a superior school for girls and young ladies, raised a fund to assist Miss Caroline A. COMSTOCK, Miss Harriet J. HASBROUCK, Miss Jane M. SLOCUM, Mrs. Charlotte Parmelee CROCKER, all of them cultivated and experienced instructors, in purchasing the estate and founding the school. This was in 1876, and very soon afterward the school was opened. Its object is "to develop womanly gifts and graces by the best methods; to substitute true culture in place of showy accomplishments; to impress the idea of responsibility in daily tasks, and to inculcate the sentiment that all attainment is to be sought as a means of usefulness, rather than an end sufficient in itself." The course of study occupies to preparatory, three academic, and four collegiate years.
HTML by Dianne Thomas
These electronic pages may be
printed as a link or for personal use, but is NOT
to be reproduced in any format for
profit or presentation by ANY other organization or persons.
Copyright 2006 - 2009
[NY History and Genealogy] [ALHN]