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;}0 Bcckman Street, New York.



Trustees of Columbia College . . 5

Historical Sketch of Columbia College 7



Of the President 17


Of the Board of the College 18


Of the Course of Study 20


Of Admission . , 32


Of Attendance 24


Of Discipline ! . , 25


Of the Proficiency of Students 26


Of Academic Honors 28

Of Commencements 29

Of Vacations 31


Of the Library 31


Of Free Scholarships 32

Of Foundations 33



Of the ^»resident 35


Of the Faculty of the School of Mines 35

Of Admission 36

Of the Course of Study 37


(^f the Proficiency of Students and of Graduation 39


Of Discipline 40


Of Fees for Tuition 40


Of Commencement and Degrees 41


Of the President 42

(^f the Warden ' 43


Of the Faculty .' 43

Of Admissions 44


Of the Course of Study 45


Of Degrees 46


Providing for a School of Mkdicinb 47

Providing for a School of Political Science 48



HAMILTON FISH, LL.D., Chairman of the Board. .251 East 17th St.

SAMUEL B. RUGGLES, LL.D Westminster Hotel.

WILLIAM BETTS, LL D 132 East 30th Street.

GOUVERNEUR M. OGDEN, Treasurer, 187 Fulton, h. 9 West 10th St.

EDWARD L. BEADLE, M.D Poughkeepsie.

HORATIO POTTER, S.T.D., LL.D., D.C.L 38 East 22d Street.

LEWIS M. RUTHERFURD 175 Second Avenue.

JOHN C. JAY, M.D 9 West 47th Street.


MORGAN DIX, S.T.D 27 West 25th Street.

FREDERICK A. P. BARNARD, S.T.D., LLD., L.H.D., College Green.

SAMUEL BLATCHFORD, LL.D 12 West 22d Street.

STEPHEN P. NASH 11 West 19th Street.

JOSEPH W. HARPER. Jr 562 Fifth Avenue.

CORNELIUS R. AGNEW, M.D 266 Madison Avenue.

A. ERNEST VANDERPOEL 114 East 16th Street.

CHARLES A. SILLIMAN 258 West 21st Street.


GERARD BEEKMAN, Clerk ... .149 Broadway, h. 5 East 34th Street.

ABRAM N; little JOHN, S.T.D 170 Remsen Street, Brooklyn.

JOHN J. TOWNSEND 131 Fifth Avenue.

EDWARD MITCHELL ' 45 West 55th Street.




The establishment of a college in the city of New York was
many years in agitation before the design was carried into
effect. At length, under an act of Assembly passed in Decem-
ber, 1746, and other similar acts wliich followed, moneys were
raised by public lottery "for the encouragement of learning and
towards the founding a college" within the colony. These
moneys were, in November, 1*751, vested in trustees ; of whom,
ten in number, seven were members of the Church of England,
and some of these seven were also vestrymen of Trinity Church.

These circumstarces, together with the liberal grant of land
to the college by Trinity Church, excited apprehensions of a
design to introduce a church-establishment within the province,
and caused violent opposition to the plan, as soon as it became
known, of obtaining a royal charter for the college.

This opposition, however, being at last in a great measure sur-
mounted, the trustees in November, 1753, invited Dr. Samuel
Johnson, of Connecticut, to be President of the intended college.
Dr. Johnson consequently removed to New York in the month of
April following, and in July, 1754, commenced the instruction of
a class of students in a room of the school-house belonging to
Trinity Church; but he would not absolutely accept of the Presi-
dency until after the passing of the charter. This took place on
the 31st of October in the same year, 1754; from which period
the existence of the college is properly to be dated. The gov-
ernors of the college, named in the charter, are the archbishop


of Canterbury, and tlie first Lord commissioner for trade and
plantations, both empowered to act by proxies; the lieutenant-
governor of the province, and several other public officers; to-
gether witli the rector of Trinity Church, tlie senior minister of
the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church, the ministers of the
German Lutheran Church, of the French Church, of the Presby-
terian Congregation, and the president of the college, all
ex officio, and twenty-four of the principal gentlemen of the
city. The college was to be knoAvn by the name of Kin(i''s
College. Previously to the passing of the chartei*, a parcel of
ground to the westward of Broadway, bounded by Barclay,
Church, and Murray streets, and by the Hudson River, had been
destined by the vestry of Trinity Church as a site for the college
edifice; and, accordingly, after the charter was granted, a grant
of the land was made on the 13th of May, 1755. On a portion
of this plot, at the foot of Upper Robinson street, as it was
at first called, but afterwards Park place, the college was subse-
quently built, and there stood for one hundred and three years,
until its removal to another site, in 1857, occasioned by the de-
mands of the business of the city. The part of the land thus
granted by Trinity Church, not occupied for college purposes,
was leased, and became a very valuable endowment to the

The sources whence the funds of the institution were derived,
besides the proceeds of the lotteries above mentioned, were the
voluntary contributions of private individuals in this country,
and sums obtained by agents who were subsequently sent to
England and France. Li May, 1760, the college buildings began
to be occupied. In March, 1 763, Dr. Johnson resigned his office of
president, and the Rev. Di-. Myles Cooper, of Oxford, who had
previously been appointed Professor of Moral Philosophy, and
assistant to the president, was elected in his place. \\\ 1767 a
grant of land was obtained, under the government of Sir Henry
Moore, of twenty-four thousand acres, situated in the northern
parts of the province of New York; but by the terms of the
treaty which the State of New York concluded with Vermont
upon its erection into a separate State, this, among other grants
of land lying within its limits, was annulled, and the college


consequently lost a tract of great value, inasmuch as it con-
stituted the county town of the county in which it was situated.

In August, of the year 1767, a medical school was established
in the college.

The following account of the institution, supposed to be writ-
ten by Dr. Cooper, shows its condition previously to the war of
the Revolution :

" Since the passing of the charter, the institution hath received
great emolument by grants from his most gracious majesty
King George the Third, and by liberal contributions from many
of the nobility and gentry in the parent country; from the so-
ciety for the propagation of the Gospel in foreign parts, and
from several public-spirited gentlemen in America and else-
where. By means of these and other benefactions the governors
of the college have been enabled to extend their plan of educa-
tion almost as diffusely as any college in Europe; herein being
taught by proper masters and professors, who are chosen by the
governors and president, Divinity, Natural Law, Physic, Logic,
Ethics, Metaj)hysics, Mathematics, Natural Philosophy, Astron-
omy, Geography, History, Chronology, Rhetoric, Hebrew,
Greek, Latin, Modern Languages, the Belles -Lettres, and what-
ever else of literature may tend to accomplish the pupils as
scholars and gentlemen.

" To the college is also annexed a grammar school for the due
preparation of those who propose to complete their education
with the arts and sciences.

" All students but those in medicine are obliged to lodge and
diet in the college, unless they are particularly exempted by the
governor or president; and the edifice is surrounded by a high
fence, which also encloses a large court and garden, and a porter
constantly attends at the front gate, which is closed at ten
o'clock each evening in summer, and nine in winter; after which
hours, the names of all that come in are delivered weekly to the

"The college is situated on a dry gravelly soil, about one
hundred and fifty yards from the bank of the Hudson River,
which it overlooks; commanding, from the eminence on which
it stands, a most extensive and beautiful prospect of the oppo-


site shore and country of New Jersey, the city and island of
New York. Long Island, Staten Island, New York bay and its
islands, the Narrows, forming the mouth of the harbor, etc, etc.;
and being totally unencumbered by any adjacent buildings and
admitting the purest circulation of air from the river, and
every other quarter, has the benefit of as agreeable and healthy
a situation as can possibly be conceived.

" Visitations by the governors are quarterly; at which times
premiums of books, silver medals, etc., are adjudged to the most

"This seminary hath already produced a number of gentle-
men, who do great honor to their professions, the place of their
education, and themselves, in divinity, law, medicine, etc., etc.?
in this and various other colonies, both on the American conti-
nent and West India Islands; and the college is annually in-
creasing as well in students as reputation."

In consequence of the dispute between this and the parent
country, Dr. Cooper returned to England, and the Rev. Benja-
min Moore was appointed prmses pro tempore during the absence
of Dr. Cooper, who, however, did not return.

On the breaking out of the Revolutionary War the business
of the college was almost entirely broken up, and it was not
until after the return of peace that its affairs were again regu-
larly attended to.

In May, 1784, the college, upon its own application, was
erected into a university, and its corporate title changed from
King's College to that of Regents of the University. New
professors were appointed and a medical department was es-

The college continued under that government until April,
1787, when, finding the attempt to establish a university unsuc-
cessful, it was restored to its original position under the present
name of Columbia College.

The original charter, with necessary alterations, was con-
firmed, and the college placed under twenty-nine trustees, who
were to exercise their functions until their number should be
reduced, by death, resignation, or removal from the state, to


twenty-four, after which all vacancies in their Board were to be
filled by their own choice.

At the same time a new body was created, called by the same
name, "The Regents of the University," under which all the
seminaries of learning mentioned in the act creating it were
placed by the legislature. This boiy still exists under its origi-
nal name.

In May, 1787, Dr. Wm. Samuel Johnson, son of the first pres-
ident, was elected president of Columbia College. During the
previous vacancy of the presidential chair, the professors had
presided in turn ; and certificates were given to graduates, in
place of regular diplomas.

In the beginning of the year 1792, the medical school was
placed upon a more respectable and efficient footing than

Dr. Johnson resigned the office of president in July, 1800, and
was succeeded the year following by the Rev. Dr. Wharton,
who resigned his office at the end of about seven months.

Bishop Moore succeeded Dr. Wharton as president. His eccle-
siastical duties were such, that he was not expected to take an
active part in the business of the college, except on particular
occasions. The chief management of its concerns devolved upon
its professors.

In 1809, the requisites for entrance into college, to take effect
the following year, were very much raised, and a new course of
study and system of discipline were established.

A new amended charter was obtained from the legislature in
1810; by which the power of the college to lease its real estate
for twenty-one years was extended to sixty-three years.

Bishop Moore resigned his office as President in May, 18 II, in
order to make room for some person who might devote his whole
time and attention to the college; and in June following, a new
otiioe, styled that of provost, was created. The provost was to
supply the place of the president in his absence, and was to con-
duct the classical studies of the senior class. Shortly after this
new arrangement, the Rev. Wm. Harris was elected president,
and the Rev. John M. Mason, provost.

In consequence of the establishment of the College of Physi-


cians and Surgeons in New York, the Medical School of Colum-
bia College was, in November, 1813, discontinued.

The provost resigned his office in 1816; since which time
the college has been under the sole superintendence of a presi-

In 1814, a grant Avas made to the college by the legislature, of
.a tract of land on Manhattan Island, of about twenty acres,
which had been occupied as a botanic garden by the late Dr.
Hosack, and had been purchased of him by the state. The grant
■was accompanied by the condition that the college should be re-
moved to the tract so granted within twelve years. In 1819
this condition was repealed. At that time the lands were valued
at two hundred and fifty dollars an acre, or the whole at five
thousand dollars. These lands, in the present map of the city,
are embraced between the Fifth and Sixth Avenues, and extend
from Forty-seventh to Fifty-first street. The lapse of half a
century and the gradual growth of the city, have, of course,
greatly increased their value.

In September of 1817, steps were taken by the trustees for a
thorough repair of the old edifice, which was in a very decayed
state, and for the erection of additional buildings. Before the
end of the year 1820, the proposed alterations and additions were

At the close of the year 1827, the trustees resolved upon the
establishment of a grammar school under the superintendence
of the faculty of the college; which resolution was carried into
effect early the following year; and, in 1829, a building was
erected upon the college ground for the accommodation of schol-
ars. The school was discontinued in 1863.

In October, of the year 1829, Dr. Harris, the President of
the college, died; and, on the 9tli of December following, Wm.
A. Duer, LL.D., was elected in his room.

With a view of rendering tlie benefits of education more
generally accessible to the community, the system of instruction,
at the commencement of the year 1830, underwent very exten-
sive additions and modifications, and the time of daily attend-
ance upon the j^rofessors was materially increased. The
course of study in existence at the time of making these


additions was kept entire, and was denominated the full

Another course of instruction was established, denominated
the scientific and literary course; which latter was open to
others besides matriculated students, and to such an extent as
they might think proper to attend.

On a revision of the statutes in the year 1836, both courses of
study pursued in the college were further enlarged ; and the lit-
erary and scientific course, in particular, defined and materially
extended. And in order that this course, as well as the scientific
branches of the full course, might be conducted in the most ef-
ficient manner, the trustees appropriated the sum of ten thou-
sand dollars for the purchase of additional apparatus, as well as
for adding to the library the requisite books of reference and

The literary and scientific course, however, as distinguished
from the full course, did not appear to find favor with the public,
and upon a revision of the statutes, in the year 1843, was dis-

Among other important changes made on this same occasion
was the adoption of the German language and literature as part
of the , sub-graduate course, and the establishment of the
G-ebhard professorship thereof, upon the endowment made
by the last will and testament of Frederick Gebhard,

In April, 1842, Wm. A. Duer, LL.D., resigned his office of
president, and in the following month of August, Nathaniel F.
Moore, LL.D., was elected in his place. President Moore hav-
ing resigned his office in 1849, Charles King, LL.D., was chosen
in his place in November of that year.

In 1854, the subjects of the removal of the college, and the
expediency of establishing a system of university instruction,
were considered by the trustees, and the body of j)rofessors
having in view such a system was greatly enlarged.

In May, 185Y, the college was removed from its old position,
on Park place, to where it now stands, in East Forty-ninth street,
between Madison and Fourth avenues.

On the iVthof May, 1858, a department of law was established,


under the name of " The Law School of Columbia College," and
a Faculty of law appointed.

In 1860, by an arrangement with the Regents of the Univer-
sity, and the sanction of the legislature, a union was effected
with the College of Physicians and Surgeons, by which that
institution was adopted as the medical department of the col-

In 1863, the necessary measures were commenced for organiz-
ing a department of science; and in the following year a Facul-
ty of the School of Mines was appointed, which school is now in
successful operation. In this institution instruction is given in
five regular courses of scientific study, viz., Mining Engineering,
Civil Engineering, Metallurgy, Geology and Palseontology,
and Analytic and Applied Chemistry. Special students in
science have also been received hitherto, but will not hereafter
be admitted.

In the year 1864, Dr. King resigned the presidency of the
college, and the Rev. Frederick A. P. Barnard, S.T.D., LL.D.,
sometime Chancellor of the University of Mississippi, was chosen
to fill his place.

In 1868, as a mark of respect to the late Professors Moore
and Anthon, two prizes in Greek, of the respective value of $300
and |150, to be competed for by members of the Junior Class,
by an examination upon an entire play of JEsch^'lus, Sophocles,
or Euripides, not read in the college course, were established by
the Trustees.

In 18*71, two Fellowships in Literature and Science, ojjen upon
certain conditions to the graduating class, each of the annual
value of $500, to be held for three years, were instituted;
and, at the same time, six Scholarshij^s in Classics and Mathe-
matics were established in the Freshman and Sophomore
Classes, and the like number in the Junior Class, in Latin, in
Logic and English Literature, in History and Rhetoric, in
Chemistry, in Mechanics, and in Physics. Subsequently this
scheme was remodelled by dividing the scholarshijis in the
Sophomore and Freshman Classes, by adding in the latter class
a Scholarship in Rhetoric, by transferring from the Junior Class
to the Sophomore the Scholarship in Chemistry, and adding in


the Junior Class a Scholarship in Greek, and by so re-arrang-
ing the whole as to make fourteen instead of twelve, each of
the annual value of one hundred dollars.

In 1874, a new building for the School of Mines w<is erected
at a cost of 1150,000, and fitted up with every convenience for
the purposes of the school.

In 1879, a new building, with a frontage of two hundred feet
on Madison Avenue and a depth of about sixty feet, was erected
for the School of Arts at a cost of over |200,000.

In June, 1880, the Trustees provided for the establishment of
a School of Political Science, the purpose of which is to give a
complete general view of all the subjects both of internal and
external public polity from the threefold standpoint of History,
Law, and Philosophy. The school will be opened October 4,

At the same time provision was mide by which instruction
will hereafter be offered in the College to graduates of this and
other colleges in Greek, Latin, the Pure Mathematics, Astro-
nomy Theoretical and Practical, Methods of Research in Physics,
Methods of Research in Chemistry, Philosophy, History, Politi-
cal Economy, English Literature, the Anglo-Saxon Language
and Literature, French Literature, Spanish Literature, Italian
Literature, German Literature, the Sanskrit Language and Litera-
ture, and the Icelandic Language and Literature.

And also, as soon as satisfactory arrangements can be made
for the purpose, in the Hebrew Language and Literature, Na-
tural Theology and the Evidences of Christianity, Comparative
Philology, Natural History in its several branches, and the
Principles of the Common Law.

The lecture courses of the School of Mines in certain subjects
will likewise be open to graduate students, embracing General,
Theoretic and Applied Chemistry, Botany, Zoology, Geology,
Palaeontology, Mineralogy, and Crystallography.

The Trustees, at the same meeting, further

Hesolved, That from and after the close of the present aca-
demic year, undergraduate students, who shall have satisfac-


torily completed the regular course of sophomore study, may be
permitted to elect from among the subjects of study taught in
College such as they prefer to pursue during the remaining
years of the course, and to these elective studies may be added
German, French, Spanish, and Italian : subject to the condition
that they shall attend all the exercises in History, Political
Economy, and the English Language and Literature, belonging
*to the regular course in Arts for those years; and further, that
the studies so selected shall suffice, along with those above
specified as obligatory, to occupy at least fifteen hours per

Besolved, That students shall be entitled to receive, at the
close of the course of four years' study, on satisfactory examina-
tion and the recommendation of the Faculty, the degree of
Bachelor of Letters, Bachelor of Science, or Bachelor of Arts,
according to the character of the studies chiefly pursued by

Resolved, That the time given to Roman Antiquities in the
present scheme of undergraduate study, being two hours per
week during the freshman year, be hereafter devoted to French,
German, Italian, or Spanish, at the option of the student ; and
that the time given to Anglo-Saxon, in the same scheme, being
one hour per week during the sophomore year, be hereafter
devoted to any one of the languages above mentioned, or to
Anglo-Saxon, also at the option of the student.

Columbia College has, at the present time, a School of Arts,
a School of Mines, a School of Law, a School of Political
Science, and a School of Medicine, emjiloying a president and
one hundred professors and other instructors, and in all the
departments fifteen hundred students.

Columbia College, June, 1880.





§ 1. It shall be the duty of the President to take charge and
have care of the college generally, of its buildings, of the grounds
adjacent thereto, and of its movable property upon the same. To
see that the course of instruction and discipline prescribed by the
statutes is faithfully pursued, and to prevent and rectify all
deviations from the same.

To call meetings of the Faculty, and to give such directions
and perform such acts as shall, in his judgment, promote the in-
terests of the college, so that they do not contravene the char-
ter, the statutes, the orders of the Trustees, or the decisions of
the Board of the College.

To visit the class-rooms from time to time, and keep himself
informed of the manner in which the classes are taught.

To report to the Trustees annually, at the stated meeting in
May, and as occasion shall require, the state of the college and
the measures which may be necessary for its prosperity, and par-

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Online LibraryColumbia UniversityStatutes of Columbia college and its associated schools → online text (page 1 of 4)