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Proceedings at the inauguration of Frederick A. P. Barnard ... as president of Columbia college online

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401 Broadway, corner of Walker Street.




At the stated meeting of the Trustees of Columbia
College, in March, a. d. 1864, the President of the Col-
lege, Charles King, LL. D., tendered to the Board his
resignation of the office which he held, in the follow-
ing letter: —

Columbia College, President's Room,
2d February, 1864.

Dear Sir, — In pursuance of the purpose announced by
me yesterday at the meeting of the Trustees, I hereby ten-
der my resignation of the office of President of Columbia
College, to take effect at a period not. later than the next
Commencement, at the close of the month of June, or at
any earlier date that may possibly be deemed advantageous
for the College.

I am admonished by advancing years of the need of re-
pose, and feel that the daily responsibilities and cares of the
Presidency are becoming too burdensome.

In thus taking leave of a position which for the period of
fifteen years I have occupied with great personal satisfaction
and pride, I beg to express to you, and to the gentlemen of
the Board, my high appreciation of the courtesy and consid-
eration which have ever marked their personal and official
relations with me, and to assure them and you of the con-
stant regard and respect of

Your obd't hbl. se^v't,


PresH Col Coll.
The Hon. H. Fish,
Chairman Board of T'rustees of Col. Coll


Upon the reading of this letter, the Trustees
passed the following resolution: —

Resolved^ That the resignation of President King be ac-
cepted, to take effect at the end of the present term, at the
close of Commencement ; and that a committee of three per-
sons be appointed to report appropriate resolutions.

Bishop Potter, Mr. Bradford, and Mr. Ruggles were
appointed the committee.

At a meeting of the Trustees held April 4th, Bishop
Potter, from the committee appointed to prepare reso-
lutions, in consequence of the resignation of Presi-
dent King, reported as follows: —

The committee appointed to report appropriate resolutions
for the adoption of this Board, on occasion of the resignation
of President King, beg leave respectfully to offer, for the con-
sideration of tlie Trustees, the following preamble and resolu-
tions :

Whereas our esteemed associate of many years, Charles
King, LL. D., has tendered to this Board the resignation of
his office as President of Columbia College, assigning as rea-
son for the step that he is admonished by the advance of
years of the need of repose, and feels that the daily respon-
sibilities and cares of the Presidency are becoming burden-
some ;

And whereas this Board has felt that a resignation so
tendered, after many years of faithful service, could not be
properly declined, and has accordingly accepted the same,
ordering that it shall take effect at the end of the present
collegiate term, the latest day named in the communication
of the President ;

And whereas the presidential term of Dr. King has been
distinguished by the removal of Columbia College to its pi'es-
ent superior site, by much development and expansion of its
educational system, and by very considerable enlargement of


its means and appliances for instruction, an increase in the
number of students, and a consequent augmentation of its
importance and influence ;

And whereas the bearing of the retiring President in his
ofiicial relations with this Board has ever been marked by
courtesy and kindness, by a frank, generous, elevated, and
genial spirit, which engaged personal regard while it con-
tributed to the pleasantness of our intercourse :

TJierefore^ Resolved^ That the Trustees of Columbia Col-
lege contemplate with much sensibility the approaching re-
tirement of President King from a position that he has so
long filled with untiring zeal and eminent ability, and that
they unite in tendering him a unanimous expression of their
respect and warm personal regard, and of their grateful sense
of the earnestness with which he has labored to promote the
best interests of the institution under his charge.

Resolved, That the Trustees of Columbia College heart-
ily tender to their retiring President their best wishes for his
future health and happiness, earnestly praying that he may
be long spared to consult and labor with them for the pro-
motion of the best interests of education and learning;.

Resolved, That a copy of these preambles and resolutions,
attested by the Chairman and Clerk of this Board, be com-
municated to President King.

The preambles and resolutions were adopted.

At a meeting of the Trustees held on the 18th
of May, it was resolved to proceed to the election
of a President of the College. A ballot having been
duly taken, it was found that the Rev. Frederick
A. P. Barnard, S. T. D., LL. D., was elected. Dr. Bar-
nard accepted the office in the following letter : —


Washington, D. C, May 20, '64.
William Beits, Esq.,

Clerk of the Board of Trustees of Columbia College,
New York City.

Sir, — Your letter of the 18th inst., officially informing
me that I have been elected to the Presidency of Columbia
College, has been received.

I accept the position with a deep sense of the honor done
me by the Board in conferring it, and with the hope that
by an earnest devotion to the important duties which it in-
volves, I may be so happy as, in some degree, to promote the
interests of the Institution, and, through it, of the cause of
education in the country.

It will give me pleasure to confer with the Committee to
which you allude.

I have the honor to be,

Very respectfully,

Your ob't serv't,


On the 6tli of June the Trustees adopted the fol-
lowing resolutions, presented by the Committee of
Arrangements which had been previously appointed,
consisting of the Kev. Benjamin I. Haight, S. T. D.,
William Betts, LL. D., Henry J. Anderson, M. D., Ed-
ward Jones, Esq., and the Rev. Morgan Dix, S. T. D. :

Ordered, That the President of the College be requested
and authorized, at the close of the exercises on the ensuing
Commencement-day, in the name and behalf of the Board
of Trustees, to announce to the assembled College that the
Reverend Frederick A. P. Barnard, S. T. D., LL. D., has
been duly elected President of Columbia College, and that
he will enter upon the duties of his office from and after
that hour ; and that his formal inauguration will take place
on the first day of the Fall Session, Monday, October 3d ;
and further,


Ordered^ That tlie President then deliver into the hands of
the President elect the keys of the College.

Ordered^ That a*copy of the foregoing order be given to
the President, as the warrant of the action requested of him
by the Board.

On Commencement-day, Wednesday, June 29th,
at the close of the usual exercises. President King
delivered the following


The hour has now come when I am to take my final leave,
as President of the College, of the members of the Board of
Trustees, of my long-time associates of the Faculty, and of
you, my young friends, graduates and sub-graduates of the

After a service of fifteen years, and arrived at an age
which demands relaxation and repose, the Trustees have
been pleased to accept my resignation, and to appoint Rev.
Frederick A. P. Barnard my successor, whom it will be
my pleasure to introduce to you here. I do not renounce
associations and duties which have been so attractive to me
without many feelings of regi-et, — a regret, however, soft-
ened by the memories I shall carry with me of the har-
mony and kindness of our past intercourse, and by the hope
that I may, in the future, still hold a friendly place in your

To you, gentlemen of the Board of Trustees, I render my
thanks for the readiness and confidence with which you have
supported me in the performance of my duties. Of you, my
honored associates of the Faculty, I may now say what be-
fore might not have seemed quite allowable, that with such a
corps of teachers there is little excuse for any shortcoming
on the part of students, and less for any on the part of the
President, whose duties their zeal and intelligence so much
lighten. While of you, graduates and sub-graduates of the
College, I may declare, as the result of all my experience,


that to no man, in my judgment, can be confided a duty
more honorable, more self-rewarding, or more enviable, than
that of assisting to form and to train such natures to knowl-
edge, honor, and truth.

It is not, indeed, all sunshine. The path is not always
plain and clear of difficulties ; for here, as elsewhere, the
frailties of our imperfect humanity play their part, just as
well with teachers as with learners ; but after all deductions,
the relations of the President of this College to its pupils
must be one of noble aspirations and inspirations, I say of
this College, because of this I can judge, and because I re-
gard our system, in which the refinements, the restraints,
and the affections of home are so admirably combined with
the instructions and discipline of this College, as affording to
generous natures and well-ordered dispositions the best op-
portunities for good education.

To the class that now goes forth I bid a cordial God-speed !
They are the last whom it will be my fortune to avouch to
the world as well-deserving ; and I may say, in all truth,
that no one of the classes that have preceded them in my
day was more deserving. In the battle of life upon which
they are about to enter, they will quit themselves manfully
and skilfully, — I hope, too, for each and all, successfully.

In separating myself from the College I shall not, and
could not if I would, separate myself from interest in the
welfare of those with whom I have there been associated ;
and I shall ever watch with some personal solicitude the
pi-ogress of our alumni, and rejoice with the joy of friend-
ship in wdiatever may honor them, and through them the
generous institution from which they proceed. All hail,
then, my young friends, and farewell !

And now, Sir, to you who are to succeed to the high office
which I am about to leave, let me offer my most cordial con-
gratulations. Familiar as you are with the duties of chief
officer of a University, it would be at once presumptuous and
unnecessary for me to advert in any manner to the nature of
those duties. Success elsewhere is the sure guaranty of sue-


cess here. I may be permitted, however, to bear my testi-
mony to the excellence of the material with which you will
have to deal, and the expression of my conviction, that, with
such acknowledged abilities, attainments, and experience as
you will bring to the fashioning of this material, there can be
only good results.

I therefore now resign my office into your hands, present-
ing to you the charter, statutes, and by-laws of the College,
and in the name and by the authority of the Trustees I salute
you as President of Columbia College, and as such I present
you to the students and to this goodly assembly.


I accept, Mr. President, with unfeigned diffidence, the
weighty responsibility, which, after a protracted period of
honorable and successful service, you have chosen to lay
aside, and which the Board of Trustees of Columbia College
have seen fit to confide to me as your successor. Though
by your long and faithful labors in the educational field yoa
have fairly earned your title to repose, I feel assured that
you will be followed in your retirement by the sincerest re-
grets of all the friends of Columbia College, and by their
most fervent wishes and prayers for your continued welfare.

Suitably to fill the place which you have left vacant, I feel
to be an undertaking at once difficult and delicate. Should
the success attend me which your kindness has prompted
you to predict, it will be principally, without doubt, because
I shall enjoy the counsel and cooperation of the able and dis-
tinguished colleagues by whom you have been surrounded,
as well as the support and encouragement of an enlightened
Board of Trustees, who watch over the interests of this noble
institution with a vigilance which never slumbers, and a zeal
which never tires.

Nor do I count it as among the least, by any means, of
the encouragements which the prospect before me presents,
that I shall here meet a band of youthful aspirants after


knowledge, animated by elevated and generous sentiments,
distinguished for gentlemanly demeanor, and imbued with
the ennobling love of letters.

Under such circumstances, and favored by such advan-
tages, I trust that Columbia College may continue to be,
what she has ever hitherto been, a nursery of sound learn-
ing, and a school of thorough intellectual training. I trust
that she may continue to foster, no less assiduously than here-
tofore, the love of that noble literature of antiquity, which
has ever been esteemed the indispensable basis of finished
scholarship ; and that she may, at the same time, open wide
the way to those rich treasures of science which the tireless
spirit of modern investigation has wrung from nature by the
direct interrogation of the glorious works of God. I trust
that, while firmly holding fast that which is good of the ac-
cumulated learning of the past, she may show herself equally
alive to the splendor of the intellectual triumphs which dis-
tinguish and illustrate the present; and may even take rank
as a positive participant in those grand movements of prog-
ress by which the boundaries of human knowledge are ex-
tended, and the human race itself lifted to a higher level in
the scale of being.

To secure the fulfilment of these anticipations, my most
earnest efforts shall be unceasingly directed. And the known
and well-tested abilities of the gentlemen who will be asso-
ciated with me in my labors, furnish a secure guaranty against
any possibility of failure which might be a consequence of my
own conscious deficiencies.

Perhaps it may be permitted me here to add, that, in mak-
ing this city my residence, I do not feel that I come altogether
as a stranger. It was here that my active life began, and
though since that day I have wandered far and tarried long,
my heart has never wandered from the scenes made dear to
it by early associations ; and in returning at length to this
my starting-point, I feel like one who has found a long-lost

But I trespass too far upon the patience of this assembly.


already tried by the protracted though interesting exercises
of the day. Permit me, therefore, to conclude by offering
to you, Mr. President, to the gentlemen of the Board of
Trustees, to the gentlemen of the Faculty, to the alumni
and undergraduates of the College, and to you, citizens of
this great metropolis, whom I claim the privilege of hence-
forth addressing as my fellow-citizens, my most respectful

On Monday, October Sd, a. d. 1864, being the
One Hundred and Tenth Year of the Foundation
of Columbia College, which day had been appointed
for the Inauguration of Dr. Barnard, as the Tenth
President of the College,* the Trustees received the
Faculties of Arts, Law, and Medicine, and the Pro-
fessors of the School of Mines, together with the
Alumni and the Invited Guests, in the Library,
whence, at twelve o'clock, they went in procession
to the Chapel, under the direction of Professor Peck,
LL. D., and A. I. Van Duzer, A. M., Secretary of the
Alumni Association, who had been requested by the
Committee of Arrangements to act as Marshals, in
the following


1. Chairman of the Board of Trustees and President Elect.

2. Ex-Presidents of Columbia College, and Emeritus Professor

of the Evidences.

3. Trustees of the College, headed by the Committee of Arrange-


4. Representatives of the United States, State, and City Govern-


5. Regents of the University of the State of New York.

6. Rector, Church Wardens, and Vestrymen of Trinity Church

(as the first and munificent patrons of the College).

* See Note at the end of this nan-ative.


7. Chaplain of the College.

8. Faculty of Arts and Librarian.

9. Faculty of Medicine.

10. Faculty of Law.

11. Other Professors.

12. President and Officers of the Alumni Association.

13. Presidents of other Colleges.

14. Officers of other Colleges.

15. Alumni of Columbia College.

16. The Clergy.

17. Officers and Representatives of Literary, Scientific, and Art


18. Other Invited Guests.

19. Students.

In the Chapel, the Chairman of the Board of Trus-
tees, with the President Elect, Ex-Presidents Moore
and King, the Trustees, and the President of the
Alumni Association, with a number of the senior
Alumni and invited guests, took their places on the
platform, in front of which were arranged the mem-
bers of the several Faculties. After a Voluntary on
the Organ, by William H. Walter, Esq., the Organist
of the College, the Chaplain of the College, the Rev.
Cornelius R. Duffie, A.M., said appropriate prayers
from the Book of Common Prayer, read a Lesson
from the Holy Scriptures, and offered the following
Prayer, suitable to the occasion: —


O Almighty God, " in whom we live and move and have
our being," we desire that " all our works " may be " begun,
continued, and ended in Thee," that so we may in all things
"glorify Thy Holy Name." We therefore come before Thee
to-day to offer our prayers unto Thee in behalf of this our
College, at the commencement of a new era in its history,


and especially in behalf of him who now enters on his re-
sponsible duties as its newly appointed head.

O Fountain of all grace and blessing, do Thou bestow
upon him the spirit of wisdom and of strength ; of wisdom
to devise, of strength to carry into good effect, whatever may
be for the interest and prosperity of this Institution, and for
the temporal and eternal benefit of the youth intrusted to its
training. Do Thou bless and further all his endeavors for
the promotion of the honor and usefulness of this College, as
an instrument of " sound learning and Christian education."
Lead all who are connected with it, whether as Trustees,
Professors, or Students, to hearty cooperation with him in all
plans and efforts for the enlargement of its powers for good ;
and especially to the Pupils give the disposition to yield all
respect and subordination to the lawful authority of its head,
and avail themselves to the utmost, by diligence, docility, and
obedience, of the advantages here afforded them ; that so, by
the cherishing care of this our College, they may be fitted for
usefulness in their generation here; and, having served Thee
faithfully on earth, may be admitted to endless happiness
hereafter, " in Thy light to see light," and to advance from
knowledge to knowledge, and from glory to glory, through
eternal ao;es. All which we ask through the merits and me-
diation of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.

The President elect was then Inducted into Office
by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, the Hon.
Hamilton Fish, LL.D., receiving from his hands the
Keys of the College and the Charter, and took his
seat in the President's Chair.

An Address to the President from the Professors
in the several Faculties was then presented and
read by Professor Nairne ; and an Address from
the Alumni, by Dr. Anderson, President of the Asso-


The President then delivered his Inaugural Dis-

The following Hymn, written for the occasion by
William Betts, LL.D., a member of the Class of 1820,
was then sung with great spirit by the congrega-
tion : —


Spirit of the upper sky !
Thou, whose all-pervading eye
Pierceth through Infinity,

Look upon our work to-day ;
Let thy form, celestial Dove,
Hover o'er us from above,
Filling every heart with love,

While we lowly bend and pray.

Grant us purity of soul
Evil passions to control.
Let thy bright effulgence roll

Light on this thy servant's heart ;
Grant him grace his work to do.
Grant him to be just and true.
With earth's knowledge e'er in view,

Heavenly wisdom to impart.

The Exercises in the Chapel were closed by the
Benediction, pronounced by the Reverend President.

Subsequently, the President and Trustees received
the Professors, the Alumni, and the invited guests at
the President's House.



The following is a List of the Presidents of Columbia Col-
lege from its foundation : —

1. Samuel Johnson, S. T. D., LL. D., a. d. 1754 to 1763.

2. Myles Cooper, S. T. D., LL. D., a. d. 1763 to 1775.

A. D. 1776 to 1784. College closed.
A. D. 1784 to 1787. No President.

3. William Samuel Johnson, LL. D., a. d. 1787 to 1800.

4. Charles Wharton, S.T.D., a. d. 1801 to 1801. Re-

5. Benjamin Moore, S. T. D., a. d. 1801 to 1811. Re-

6. Wilham Harris, S. T. D., a. d. 1811 to 1829. Died.

7. William Alexander Duer, LL. D., a. d. 1829 to 1842.

8. Nathaniel F. Moore, LL. D., a. d. 1842 to 1849. Re-

9. Charles King, LL. D., a. d. 1849 to 1864. Resigned.

10. Frederick A. P. Barnard, S. T. D., LL. D., a. d. 1864.*

/^ From A. D. 1811 to 1816, the Rev. John M. Mason,
S .T. D., was Provost.

* Dr. Barnard was graduated at Yale College, in the class of 1828,
and was a Tutor in that College, A. d. 1880-31. He was elected a Pro-
fessor in the University of Alabama, in 1837, where he remained seven-
teen years, filling successively the chairs of Mathematics and Natural
Philosophy, and of Chemistry and Natural History. In 1854 he was
chosen Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy in the Univer-
sity of Mississippi, of which Institution he became the President in 1856
and the Chancellor in 1861, filling also the chair of Physics and Astron-
omy. The degree of LL. D. was conferred upon him by Y''ale College,
and that of S. T. D. by the University of Mississippi.







Doctor Barnard : — The corporate authorities of this
ancient institution, by a deliberate vote, and with a cordial
unanimity, have called you to the Presidency of the College,
made vacant by the resignation of its late amiable and ac-
complished occupant. We are assembled for the pur])osc of
completing your induction into office, by the delivery to you
of the keys of the College, and a copy of its charter, as the
symbols of the office committed to you.

In the discharge of your duties, you will have as your
assistants a Faculty well tried, and of approved ability, learn-
ing, and success in the several departments of science and
of arts. You will have the cordial support and sympathy
of the corporate authorities of the College, in every measure
tending to promote its interests, and the cause of education
and of learning.

We commit to your care a generous band of ingenuous
youths, — objects of interest, affection, and pride in the pres-
ent, of deep and earnest hope in the future, — preparing
for the stern contest of life, and soon to become busy actors in

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Online LibraryColumbia UniversityProceedings at the inauguration of Frederick A. P. Barnard ... as president of Columbia college → online text (page 1 of 8)