Columbia University.

An account of the celebration of the first semi-centennial anniversary of the incorporation of Columbia college online

. (page 1 of 4)
Online LibraryColumbia UniversityAn account of the celebration of the first semi-centennial anniversary of the incorporation of Columbia college → online text (page 1 of 4)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


ro;:^5:;cg^c?^^^pgggo gs g gQC £ g3g^ag



LIBRARY OF CONGRESS,^



Chap. ■ WU \7^bb_ j

Shelf -...^ - vf:o:{-.



Pt UNJTED STATES OF AMERICA. ^)

im. rift



t>.



AN ACCOUNT



CELEBRATION



FIRST SEMI-CENTENNIAL ANNIVERSARY

OF THE INCORPORATION Ot*

COLUMBIA COLLEGE,

BY THE LEGISLATURE OF NEW- YORK ;
WITH THE

ORATION AND POEM

DELIVERED ON THE OCCASION.



" Aotiquam exquirite Matrem.''



NEW-YORK :
G. & C. CARVILL & CO,

1837.






AN ACCOUNT, &:c.



On the thirty-first of October, 1754, a royal charter
passed the great seal of England for incorporating
"King's College in the city of New- York;" from
which period the existence of the present College is
properly to be dated. But in the course of the revo-
lutionary war, the institution was almost entirely bro-
ken up, and it was several years subsequent to the
peace before it was fully restored.

In May, 1784, all the public seminaries of learning
in the state were, by an act of the legislature, placed
under the government of a corporate body, styled " the
Regents of the University," who immediately pro-
ceeded to regulate the affairs of this, the only College
then existing in the state, the name of which was, by
the same act, changed to " Columbia College."

This arrangement, however, was mejely temporary,
the College continuing under the immediate superin-
tendence of the Regents no longer than until the thir-
teenth of April, 1787, on which day the legislature
passed an act, restoring and confirming the original
charter, with such alterations as the change of govern-



ment, and other intervening circumstances, had ren-
dered necessary and proper. It was the fiftieth Anni-
versary of this event that was celebrated on the thir-
teenth of April, 1837, in pursuance of the proceedings
and resolutions which follow, viz. :

At a meeting of the students of Columbia College,
held on Saturday, October 29th, 1836, in the chapel of
that institution, to take into consideration the propriety
of celebrating the semi-centennial Anniversary of Alma
Mater, Jesse A. Spencer was elected President, John
I. Tucker and Benjamin T. Kissam, Vice-Presidents,
and Samuel Blatchford, Secretary.

The object of the meeting being duly stated, it was
moved that a committee of eight be appointed, (con-
sisting of two from each class,) to draw up and bring
before this meeting such resolutions, as may best ex-
press its sentiments with regard to the proposed mea-
sure.
Whereupon the following gentlemen were appointed :

Senior Class.

Nathaniel W. Chittenden,
Henry P. Fessenden.

Junior Class.
Mancer M. Backus,
George T. Strong.

The committee, having retired, returned, and offered
the following preamble and resolutions, which were
unanimously adopted.

Whe?-eas, on the thirteenth day of April next, fifty
years will have elapsed since the state of New- York
conferred on this College the title and privileges of a
free and literary institution — privileges which can only
be enjoyed under a liberal and enlightened govern-



Sop7io7?iore Class.
G. Anthon,
W. Green.

Freshman Class.

L. Hoyt,

W. Romaine.



ment, and which can be merited only so long as the
recipient of them continues to repay with commensu-
rate benefits :

Whereas, during that short period, this institution
has included among her foster-children those, whose
intellectual attainments, sustained by a high moral tone
of character, have been made the ardent promoters of
the public weal and of national respect:

And ivhe?-eas, the measure is due to the talents, the
efficiency, and the reputation of the Trustees and
Faculty of this College, as well as to our own feelings of
veneration and attachment to Ahna Mater :

Resolved, That in a semi-centennial Anniversary of
Columbia College we see a measure due alike to the
sacred cause of literature and of freedom; since
she has ever been among the foremost in developing
the intellect of our country — fostering its early days,
and strengthening its maturer years ; thus intimately
blending her own history with the progress of the libe-
ral principles and sound knowledge of the land.

Resolved, That we deem this celebration due to the
high character of this institution itself, which has num-
bered among its sons a Hamilton, a Jay, and a Clinton —
men the most conspicuous for moral and intellectual
elevation ; that we perceive in the contemplated mea-
sure one that will tend directly to make our Alma
Mater more widely known, and establish more fixedly
her claims to the profound respect and veneration of
all ; that will give increased action, if possible, to her
every movement, cause her to be fully and rightly ap-
preciated, and finally place her more firmly- upon that
lofty station, to which her long standing, and the wis-
dom, talents, and learning of her President and Profes-
sors so eminently entitle her.



Resolved, That we consider the proposed Anniver-
sary as an event having peculiar reference to the nu-
merous and distinguished body of Alwnni of this Col-
lege ; in that it will draw them together from afar and
near, and awaken in their bosoms all the better feel-
ings of our nature ; and that, closely united by the
electric chain of a common love, they will surround
their venerable Alma Mate?', and do her such honour as
the highest merit can deserve, or the warmest feelings
of gratitude prompt.

Resolved, therefore, and in conclusion, That we will,
by and with the approval and co-operation of the Fa-
culty, hold, on the thirteenth day of April, in the year
of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-
seven, the first semi-centennial Anniversary of Colum-
bia College.

It was then moved that a standing committee of
twelve be appointed, consisting of three from each
iclass ; upon which committee shall devolve the general
management of the necessary steps in the proposed
celebration, and who shall be instructed by the present
meeting to convene an assembly of all the students at
such time or times as the progress of affairs may re-
quire, and then and there to make such a report of pro-
ceedings as the circumstances of the case shall dictate.

The following gentlemen were accordingly appoint-
ed:



Senior Class.

Nathaniel W. Chittenden,
J. Mc Mullen, Jr.,
H. P. Fessenden.



Junior Class.

Mancer M. Backus,
George T. Strong,
E. Anthony.



Sophomore Class.

W. Green,
J. R. Brown,
P. K. Paulding.



Freshman Class.

L. Hoyt,

O. Hoffman, Jr.,

J. W. Depeyster.



The meeting then adjourned.

Jesse A. Spencer, President.

John L Tucker, } ^T^ n • ? .
Tj ' T* ir / Vice-rresiaents.

riENJ N. 1 . KiSSAM, 5

Samuel Blatchford, Secretary.



New- York, November 4:th, 1836.
To THE Faculty of Columbia College: —

Gentlemen, — Enclosed is a copy of the resolutions
unanimously adopted by the students belonging to this
institution, at a full meeting, held on Saturday, October
29th, 1836, to take into consideration the propriety of
celebrating the semi-centennial Anniversary of Alma
Mater.

These resolutions are herewith respectfully sub-
mitted for your approval ; and, that due speed may be
had, it is earnestly solicited that your decision be made
known at as early a day as possible.

N. W. Chittenden,
Chairman of the Standing Committee.



Col Coll., November 5th, 1836.
Sir,

Your communication, as chairman of the standing
committee, appointed at a general meeting of the



students of this College, held to take into consider-'
ation the propriety of holding a semi-centennial Anni-
versary of the College, has, in compliance with your
request, been laid before the Faculty, together with the
resolutions which it enclosed.

It gives me great pleasure to inform you, that those
resolutions have met the entire approbation of the Fa-
culty, and that I am authorized to assure you of their
prompt and cheerful co-operation in carrying them
into effect. Permit me, also, to add my personal assu-
rance of the satisfaction it wdll afford me to assist you,,
from time to time, with my advice, upon such points as
you may require it.

I remain,
Your obedient serv^t.,

W. A. DUER,

Pres't. Col Coll.
Mr. N. W. Chittenden, Chairman, &;c.



At a stated meeting of the Board of Columbia CollegCj,
held on the 5th day of November, 1836, Present — the
President ; Professors McVickar, Anthon, Renwick, and
Anderson. A communication was received from a com-
mittee appointed by a meeting of the students, held, by
permission of the President, in the chapel, on Saturday
last, enclosing certain resolutions relating to the cele-
bration of the semi-centennial Anniversary of the in-
corporation of the College, and submitted to the board
for their approbation — whereupon,

Resolved, That the board approve of the object of



said resolutions, and will co-operate, as requested, in
carrying tliem into effect.

Extract from the minutes.

Robert G. Vermilye, A. M.,

Secretary to the Board.



New- York, November 11th, 1836.

To THE Executive Committee of the Society of
Alumni of Colusibia College :

Gentlemen, — Herewith are respectfully submitted
for your consideration, the proceedings of the Students
of Columbia College, on the proposed measure of hold-
ing a semi-centennial A nniversary of Alma Mater.
N, W. Chittenden,
Chair7?ian of the Standing Committee.



November 23^?, 1836.
My Dear Sir,

As secretary of the committee appointed by the
Alumni for the purpose of celebrating the first semi-
centennial Anniversary of Alma Mater, I enclose to
you a copy of the proceedings of the executive com-
mittee of the Alumni Association, and also a copy of
the minutes of a meeting of the Alumni, held, with re-
ference to this design, on November 26th.

Accept my assurance that the Alumni are disposed
to do every thing in their power to accomplish the de-
2



10

sign, in a manner as creditable to themselves and to
you, as it will be to the College.

I have the honour of being,
Yours, truly,

G. W. HiLLYER,

Secretary of Committee of Alumni.
Nath. W. Chittenden, Esq.



At a meeting of the standing committee of the Alum-
ni, on November 23d, 1836, the proceedings of the
Students and Faculty of the College, relative to a
semi-centennial Celebration, were read, and it was
thereupon

Resolved, That a meeting of the Alumni be called
for Saturday, November 25th, at 1^ P. M., in the Pre-
sident's room, to take this subject into consideration.

(Signed,) T. R. Green, Secretary.



Extract from the minutes of the Special Meeting, so called.

On motion, it was

Resolved, That we heartily approve of the design of
celebrating the semi-centenniary of Columbia College.

Resolved, That a committee of 29 be appointed to
confer with the students on the proposed celebration,
with full power to co-operate with them in carrying
the same into effect.



11



Resolved, That the following gentlemen constitute
such committee :



Gen. E. W. Laight,
Egbert Benson,
Dr. James R. Manly,
James J. Watson,
Dr. John W. Francis,
Rev, Mr. Forbes,
Samuel Guilford,
Hamilton Morton,
Peter J. Townsend,
William Walton,
Robert J. Dillon,
Samuel Ward, Jr.,
Edward Slosson,
William Heard,

Giles M.



Hon. G. C. Verplanck,
Prof James Renwick,
Sylvanus Miller,
Timothy R. Green,
Dr. Samuel W. Moore,
William Inglis,
Matthew C. Patterson,
Hamilton Fish,
Rev. Isaac Ferris,
Beverly Robinson, Jr.,
Henry J. Ruggles,
Henry Nicoll,
William J. Johnson,
Isaac C. Delaplaine,
Hillyer.



And, finally.

Resolved, That Mr. G. M. Hillyer be secretary of
the said committee, and call a meeting of the same on
Wednesday, November 30th, 1836.



(Signed,)



T. R. Green, Secretary.



At a meeting of the committee, held in accordance
with the last resolution, a sub-committee of nine was
appointed, with full power to carry the design, thus
approved by the Alumni, into effect.



12

The following gentlemen were, on motion, appointed
such committee :

Hon. G. C. Verplanck, Timothy R. Green,

Chairman. Henry Nicoll,

Rev. Mr. Forbes, Robert J. Dillon,

Dr. James R. Manly, Edward Slosson, .

James J. Watson, Giles M. Hillyer.

Giles M. Hillyer, Secretary.



New- York, Decernher bth, 1836.

To THE Board of Trustees of Columbia College :

Gentlemen, — It is proposed to celebrate the semi-
centennial Anniversary of Alma Mater. Certain steps
have been taken in regard to the contemplated mea-
sure. All these are herewith most respectfully sub-
mitted for your sanction and furtherance.

N. W. Chittenden,
Chairman of the Standing Comrnittee,
on the part of the Students of Col. Coll.



At a stated meeting of the Trustees of Columbia
College, on Monday, the 5th of December, 1836 —

A communication was received from a committee of
the students, in relation to celebrating a semi-centen-
nial Anniversary of the College. Whereupon,

Resolved, That this board do highly approve of the
said object, and that a committee be appointed, on the
part of this board, to carry it into effect.

Resolved, That Mr. Jay, (the chairman,) President



13

Duer, Mr. Hoflfman, the Rev. Dr. Knox, and Mr. King,
be the said committee.

Extract from the minutes.

Clement C. Moore, Clerk.
December Qth, 1836.



At a joint meeting of the committees appointed by
the Trustees, Alumni, and Students, in relation to the
first semi-centennial Anniversary of Columbia College,
held in the President's room, on Saturday, January
14th, 1837, Peter A. Jay, LL. D., was called to the
chair, and Giles M. Hillyer, A. B., appointed Secretary.
On motion of G. C. Verplanck, LL. D., it was

Resolved, unanimously, That the first semi-centen-
nial Anniversary of our Alma Mater be celebrated by
an Oration and a Poem, or Odes appropriate to the
occasion, the Orator and Poets to be selected from the
number of her Alumni ; that the College building be
illuminated in the evening, and that the hall, library,
and chapel, be fitted up, and thrown open for the re-
ception of the Trustees, the Faculty, the Alumni, the
Students, and their respective families, with such others
,as may be invited by the President, including stran-
gers of distinction, the literati, members of learned
associations, &c.

Resolved, That a committee of arrangements be ap-
pointed, consisting of President Duer and Mr. Charles
King, on the part of the Trustees ; Messrs. Gulian C.
Verplanck, James J. Watson, and Giles M. Hillyer,
on the part of the Alumni, and Messrs. Nathaniel W.
Chittenden and M. M. Backus, on the part of the Stu-



14

dents, with full power to carry the above objects into
effect, and to invite the attendance of two or more of
the clerical Alumni to assist in the religious ceremo-
nies of the day.

Peter A. Jay, Chairman.
G. M. HiLLYER, Secretary.



At a meeting of the Committee appointed to make
arrangements for the celebration of the first semi-
centennial Anniversary of Columbia College, held on
the 18th of January, 1837 — President Duer in the
chair —

Resolved, That the Reverend Manton Eastburn, D. D.,
be requested to deliver the Oration on the ensuing
Anniversary.

Resolved, That William Betts, A. M., be requested
to compose and recite a Poem on the same occasion.

Resolved, That Professor Anthon be requested to fur-
nish a Greek Ode, William C. Russel, A. M., a Latin
Ode, and William Duer, A. B., an English Ode, in cele-
bration of the day.

Resolved, That the Right Rev. Bishop Onderdonk,
of Pennsylvania, the Right Rev. Bishop Kemper, the
Rev. PhiHp Milledoler, D. D., and the Rev. PhiHp F.
Mayer, D. D., be requested to participate in the reli-
gious solemnities of the day.

W. A. Duer, Chairman.

G. M. Hill YE R, Secretary.

Mem. Answers were subsequently received to the
applications severally made to the right reverend
gentlemen above named, expressing their approbation



15

of the proposed celebration, and regretting that their
episcopal duties would prevent their presence and co-
operation on the occasion.



In accordance with these arrangements, a proces-
sion was formed on the College Green, at 10 o'clock,
A. M., on the 13th of April, consisting, besides the Trus-
tees, Faculty, Almmii, and Students of the College, of
the public bodies and functionaries residing in the city ;
the Regents of the University of the state ; represent-
atives of the city in congress, and in the state legisla-
ture ; executive and judicial officers of the state and
of the United States ; foreign ministers, consuls, and
other strangers of distinction ; the reverend the
clergy ; members of the various literary societies and
scientific institutions ; presidents and professors of
other colleges and seminaries ; principals of academies
and classical schools, and teachers of the grammar
school of Columbia College, &c. &c., which pro-
ceeded to St. John's Chapel, in Hudson Square.

The solemnities of the day were there commenced
with an Introductory Prayer by the Reverend Philip
F. Mayer, D. D., Pastor of the German Lutheran
Church in Philadelphia, and a graduate of the College
of the year 1799. The Anthem of " Non nobis Domine"
was then performed by a select choir, under the direc-
tion of Mr. Robert G. Page, director of the choir in
the Church of the Ascension, in the city of New- York ;
after which the Oration, which follows this narrative,
was delivered by the Reverend Manton Eastburn,
D. D., Rector of the Church of the Ascension, and a
graduate of the College of the year 1817.



16

Tlie Oration was succeeded by Mozart's requiem of
*' Rex tremendce, majestatis et henedictus^ by the choir.
The subjoined Poem, written for the occasion, was
then recited by its author, WiUiam Betts, A. M., coun-
sellor at law, and a graduate of the College of the year
1820, which was followed by the anthem of " Te Deum
Laudamus!'

In pursuance of a resolution of the Board of Trus-
tees, the honorary degree of Master of Arts was then
conferred by the President of the College, upon Fitz
Green Halleck, William CuUen Bryant, and Charles
Fenno Hoffman, all of the city of New- York ; the ho-
norary degree of Doctor in Divinity, upon the Right
Reverend Samuel A. McCoskrey, Bishop of the Pro-
testant Episcopal Church in the diocese of Michigan ;
the Reverend Samuel A. Van Vranken, Pastor of the
Reformed Dutch Church in Poughkeepsie ; the Reve-
rend Philip F. Mayer, A. M. ; the Reverend Wil-
liam R. Whittingham, A. M., St. Marks, Professor in
the General Theological Seminary of the Protestant
Episcopal Church in the United States ; the Reverend
Thomas H. Taylor, Rector of Grace Church in the
city of New- York ; the Reverend Samuel Seabury,
A. M., of New- York, and the Reverend John Bethune,
Rector of Christ Church, Montreal, Lower Canada ;
and the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws, upon
David B. Ogden, John Duer, and George Griffin, of the
city of New- York, and upon his Excellency Peter D.
Vroom, Governor of the State of New-Jersey, and
a graduate of the College of the year 1808.

The ceremonies of the morning were concluded
by a Valedictory Prayer and Benediction from the
Reverend Phihp Milledoler, D. D., President of Rut-



17

gers College, New- Jersey, and a graduate of Columbia
College of the year 1793.

In the evening the College hall and library, having
been illuminated and appropriately decorated, were
thrown open for the reception, by the President, of the
Trustees, Faculty, Alumni and Students, with other
friends to the institution, who assembled in great num-
bers in honour of the occasion.



At a meeting of the joint committees of the Trus-
tees, Alumni^ and Students of Columbia College, ap-
pointed for the purpose of making all necessary and
proper arrangements for celebrating the first semi-
centennial Anniversary of the incorporation of the
said College by the state of New- York, held on the
20th day of April, A. D. 1837 — Peter A. Jay, Esquire,
in the chair —

On motion.

Resolved, unanimoushj, That the thanks of this com-
mittee be presented to the Rev. MantonEastburn, D. D.,
for the Oration delivered by him at their request,
at the late celebration of the semi-centennial Anniver-
sary of the restoration of his Alma Mater ; and that he
be requested to furnish a copy thereof for publication.

On motion.

Resolved, unanimously, That the thanks of this com-
mittee be presented to William Betts, A. M., for
the Poem delivered by him at their request, at the late
celebration of the semi-centennial Anniversary of the
restoration of his Alma Mater', and that he be re-
quested to furnish a copy thereof for publication.

On motion.

Resolved, unaniniously , That the thanks of this com-
3



18

mittee be presented to the Rev. Philip F. Mayer, D. D.,

for the service rendered his Alma Mater, in offer-
ing up the Introductory Prayer at the late semi-cen-
tennial Anniversary of her restoration.

On motion,

Resolved, unanhnously, That the thanks of this com-
mittee be presented to the Rev. Philip Milledoler, D. D.,
for the service rendered his Alma Mater, in offering
up the Valedictory Prayer, and pronouncing the Bene-
diction, at the late semi-centennial Anniversary of her
restoration.

On motion,

Resolved, unanimously. That the thanks of this com-
mittee be presented to Charles Anthon, LL. D., Jay
Professor of the Latin and Greek languages in Colum-
bia College, for the Greek Ode written by him in
celebration of the first semi-centennial Anniversary of
his Alma Mater; and that he be requested to furnish
a copy thereof for publication.

On motion.

Resolved, unanimously, That the thanks of this com-
mittee be presented to William C. Russell, A. M., for
the Latin Ode written by him in celebration of the
first semi-centennial Anniversary of his Alma Mater ;
and that he be requested to furnish a copy thereof for
publication.

On motion,

Resolved, unanimously, That the thanks of this com-
mittee be presented to William Duer, A. B., for the
English Ode written by him in celebration of the first
semi-centennial Anniversary of his Alma Mater ; and
that he be requested to furnish a copy thereof for pub-
lication. A true copy.

Attest. G. M. Hilly ER, Secretary.



ORATION.



/

BY MAN TON EAST BURN, D. D,

RECTOR OF THE CHURCH OF THE ASCENSION, NBW-VOUK,



ORATION.



In stepping aside, on the present animating occasion^
from a path of arduous professional duty, for the pur-
pose of executing the part which has been assigned
me, it is not without the unfeigned conviction, that this
noble theme would have found, in many others of my
fellow-graduates, advocates more competent to do it
justice. In one qualification for the task, however, let
me be permitted to say that I will yield to none ; and
that is, a heart glowing with filial affection for our an-
cient and common mother. Among those visions of
the past, which float before me amidst the present
realities of life, the most "benignly pensive" is the re-
membrance of days, when, beneath the spreading syca-
mores that overshadow that venerated pile, I used to
stand in a circle of youthful associates, knit together
wath the bands of sincere and sacred friendship. I
never pass by the scene of these early joys, that they
do not recur to me with all the warmth and freshness
of their living beauty. I still love to look at those
trees ; and rejoice to behold in them the magnificent



22

and speaking emblems of the durability of her, to
whom we are this day assembled to pay the debt of
gratitude and love. Do we not now feel, that, like
them, she shall long stand ;— surviving the blasts of pre-
judice ; inviting beneath her ample shade the youth of
this great metropolis ; and majestically presiding over
the early studies of those, who, in after days, are to
exemplify in the senate, at the bar, in the pulpit, and
in the several walks of professional, literary, scientific,
and commercial pursuit , the incalculable blessings of
a sound and polished education ?

The day that has now dawned upon us completes
the period of half a century, since our beloved Col-
lege, lying in the desertion and ruin consequent upon
the revolutionary struggle, was placed by the govern-
ment of our State upon a permanent basis of strength-
Amidst the joy of our present anniversary, it is impos-
sible not to turn, with feelings of singular interest, to
that contrasted condition in which the legislative rulers
found our Alma Mater, when they first extended
towards her the hand of friendship. When the tocsin
of war sounded, the youth who were gathered within
this peaceful sanctuary of letters were scattered in
various directions ; and the very building under whose


1 3 4

Online LibraryColumbia UniversityAn account of the celebration of the first semi-centennial anniversary of the incorporation of Columbia college → online text (page 1 of 4)