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Act of Congress, Approved Feb. 9, 1821


Act of Congress, Approved March 3, 1873

Act of Congress, Approved Jan. 2i, 1904

Compiled for the University \

under the direction of \

W. J. Maxwell.




^ r

\ > ' PAGE

Historical Sketch 3

Abbreviations 19

Board of Trustees 21

University Members of Faculties and Teaching Staff 22

Associated Colleges, Officers, Trustees and Faculties 34

National College of Pharmacy 3-4

College of Veterinary Medicine 35

Department of Arts and Sciences 37

Columbian College 37

Corcoran Scientific School 76

College of Engineering 82

lEACHERb College 86

College of Political Sciences 89

Graduate School 91

School of Medicine 107

Department of Law 150

School of Law 150

ScLiooL OF Jurisprudence and Diplomacy 252

Masters of Laws 255

Masters of Patent Law 276

Dental School 286

College of Pharmacy 297

College of Veterinary Medicine 302

Honorary Degrees 305

Geographical Index 316

Officers of the Army 349

Officers of the Navy 350

Public Health and Marine Hospital Service 350

Alphabetical Index 351



^ By CHARLES HERBERT STOCKTON, LL. D., President of the University

^ The legislative acts concerned with the establishment of the seat of govern-

nent of the District of Columbia consisted of the Act of the General Assembly

^ Df Maryland of December 22, 1788, and the Act of the General Assembly of

^ Virginia of December 3, 1789, and the Act of the Congress of the United States

Oi July 1(), 1791, accepting grants of territory conveyed in the two acts of the

General Assemblies of Maryland and Virginia just referred to.

Before the final acceptance by Congress of the grants of the two states of
Maryland and Virginia and the final determination as to the seat of the general
government, President Washington addressed Congress in 1790 in a message
treating of the subject of a system of national education. Washington was
mpressed especially with the fact that the resort for higher education as
:ollegiate education was then called, to the English universities no longer met
he needs of the new nation, and its democratic principles and society.

In his message he said: "Whether this desirable object would be best pro-
noted by offering aid to seminaries of learning already established, by the in-
stitution of a national university, or by any other expedients, will be well
worthy of a place in the deliberations of the legislature."

The Commissioners of the District of Columbia on February 18, 1795, in-
formed Washington in answer to his offer of a gift for a National University
in his life time (which was similar to w'hat he eventually left in his will),
that subject to his approval they had chosen a site in the District for a National
University. I might mention here that the par value of the fifty shares of
the Potomac Company offered by Washington as a gift for this purpose were
valued then at $22,200. The site referred to which met with Washington's
approval was the one bounded by 23d and 25th Streets and E Street N. W.,
the Potomac at that time forming the southern boundary. In after years this
site was occupied by the Naval Observatory Buildings, and is now occupied
by the Naval Medical School and its Hospital and residences near by. This
site had in the earliest days of the District been proposed as a site for a fort
and barracks and used as a camp for troops afterwards, and was known first
as Peter's Hill after the well-known and still-existing family of Peter of
Georgetown and the District, and afterwards as Camp Hill. By the filling up
of the flats of the Potomac its boundary has been extended to B Street, and
it now borders the Potomac Park and Speedway.

\t a later date, near the close of his second term, Washington, more than


ever convinced of the desirability of a national university as a means of higher
education, made his last appeal to Congress, in which he said: "Its desirable-
ness has so constantly increased with every new view that I have taken of the
subject, that I cannot omit the opportunity of, once for all, recalling your
attention to it." Among the expected advantages he suggests the following:
"The assimilation of the principles, opinions and manners of our countrymen,
by the common education of a portion of our youth from every quarter."
"The more homogeneous our citizens can be made in these particulars the
greater will be the prospect of pennanent union." As a testimony of his deep
and growing interest in this enterprise, he left at his death in December, 1799,
this bequest in his last will and testament: "I give the fifty shares which I
hold in the Potomac Company towards the endowment of a University, to be
established within the limits of the District of Columbia, under the auspices
of the General Government, if that Government should incline to extend a
fostering hand towards it."

President Jefferson having views differing from those of Washington as
to the power of Congress to provide for such general objects, commends,
nevertheless, this recommendation of Washington in his message to Congress
of December 2, 180G, urging it on their present consideration. President
Madison early in his first term of office earnestly presented the same object
in his message of December 5, 1810. He enlarges upon the reasons which
prevailed with Washington in the following words : "Such an institution,
though local in its legal character, would be universal in its beneficial effects.
By enlightening the opinions, by expanding the patriotism, and by assimilating
the principles, the sentiments, and the manners of those who might resort to
this temple of science, to be re-distributed in due time through every part of
the community, sources of jealousy and prejudice would be diminished, the
features of national character would be multiplied, and greater extent given
to social harmony. But above all, a well constituted seminary in the centre
of the nation is recommended by the consideration, that the additional in-
struction emanating from it would contribute not less to strengthen the foun-
dations than to adorn the structure of our free and happy system of gov-

At the close of the war in his message of December 5, 1815, President
Madison returns to this subject and reiterates his appeal as follows: "Such
an institution claims the patronage of Congress as a monument of their solici-
tude for the advancement of knowledge, without which the blessings of liberty
cannot be fully enjoyed, or long preserved; as a model, instructive in the
formation of other seminaries ; as a nursery of enlightened preceptors ; and
as a central resort of youth and genius from every part of their country,
diffusing on their return examples of those national feelings, those liberal
sentiments, and those congenial manners which contribute cement to oi"-
Union, and strength to the great political fabric of which that is the foundation."


From that it can be seen that the intention of Washington, Jefferson and
Madison was not to estabHsh an institution for narrow, isolated research, but
to build first of all an institution from which graduates could go to every part
of the Union prepared to engage in the ordinary professions and followings
of life. So as citizen leaders in their communities they would diffuse the
results of their enlightened education, and in this way make more homogeneous
the various nationalities of the country and assimilate by their patriotism all
sections of the country and all of the newly arrived from other communities
of the world which had been duly foresworn in their oath of allegiance and

The long entertained opinions of such men could not have been hastily
conceived, and nothing but the differing views of the national Congress as
to the power of the general government to act in the matter and the pressure
of other claims, could have led to the continued neglect of these repeated
executive recommendations. Washington's legacy of shares of the Potomac
Company had in the meantime become valueless by the failure of the Com-
pany. Jefferson, after his presidency, accomplished for his state in the Uni-
versity of Virginia what he despaired of for the nation, and since Madison's
day private enterprise has been left to meet a want which public patronage
would not assume of itself, though it has at times in a meagre way fostered
such enterprise.

While these appeals were being made in 1793, shortly after the establish-
ment of the constitutional government of the United States, a college was
established at Georgetown, in the District of Columbia, under the auspices
of the Roman Catholic Order of Jesuits, Georgetown being then a rival of
Alexandria, and near to the former residence of Bishop Carroll. This college,
now known as the Georgetown University, was established by Archbishop
Carroll, and was for the times under consideration liberally endowed. It
furnished for twenty-five years the needs of education for the residents of
Washington and the South Atlantic States of that communion. Since then
the Gonzaga College and the Catholic University have been also established
for such needs hereabouts and elsewhere.

To these institutions have been added the Columbian University, now the
George Washington University, a non-sectarian institution for white people,
while the Howard University, largely aided by the government, meets the
requirements of the colored people of African descent in this part of the
United States. Of late a post graduate institution known as the American
University, under the auspices of the Methodist denomination has been estab-
lished as a school for research and advanced scholarship.

About the year 1817, during the administration of President Monroe, the
Rev. Luther Rice, agent of the Baptist General Convention of the United
States, conceived the idea of founding a college in the City of Washington.
In 1819 a lot of ground north of Washington, the site afterwards occupied


by Columbian College, embracing nearly forty-seven acres, extending about
half a mile northwards from Boundary Street, between 14th and 15th streets,
was purchased by Mr. Rice for a sum of about $7,000. Mr. Rice reported
to the Tri-Annual Baptist Convention at their meeting in 1830 that this pur-
chase was made to be presented to that body, to promote the education of the
ministry, and ultimately for the formation of a college under the direction of
the Baptist General Convention.

Mr. Rice was formerly a missionary abroad, and seemed to be indefatigable
in his eflforts for the various causes which he undertook. A prominent cause
dear to his heart seemed to be that of education. A journal of his efforts
before the establishment of the College exists in the archives of the University.
It contains his receipts and expenditures, with a very concise account of his
wanderings, which were largely on horseback or in a wagon. The time of
the journal extends from 1815 to 1819 ; and the country visited as an itinerant
agent, collector and missionary covered New England, New York, Pennsyl-
vania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia
and North Carolina.

On October 30, 1816, Mr. Rice made the following entries in his journal,
which are quoted as characteristic of his remarks and travels : "McNeill's
Store, Moore County, North Carolina, at Brother Archibald McNeill's. Read
through a historical account of St. Helena and the manner of Napoleon's
being conveyed to it, last evening. Finished the long letter to my brother
this morning. Received donation from Brother McNeill and from his chil-
dren.— To dinner and baiting— $.50 *****

"October 31. Mountain Creek, Richmond County, N. C, at Brother
William Bostick. Finding I could not be supplied with a candle at Esq. Mar-
tin's, where I first put up last evening, I came here and finished a letter to
Brother Cheesman. Had an ill night. Wrote this morning one letter. Pro-
ceed to Fair ground 4 miles, to Hedgecock Creek 9 miles. Here are a saw-
mill and a grist-mill, — to Rockingham, 1 mile, Richmond Court House — to
Solomon's Creek 8 miles, to Stewartstown 4 miles, in all 26 miles today. A
pleasant day."

The Baptist Convention was so favorably impressed with the project of Mr.
Rice of locating an educational institution at Washington that to enable them
to embrace it in their operation they proceeded at once to adapt their constitu-
tion to the undertaking and passed resolutions accepting the proposed site.

In the meantime a charter was obtained from Congress by an act approved
by President Monroe, February 1, 1821. It gave powers to the University
trustees and faculty allowing the organization of academic and professional
schools, and granting of certificates of attainment and diplomas of graduation
in the several departments. One of the provisions of the charter was that
"Persons of every religious denomination shall be capable of being elected as
trustees ; nor shall any person, either as president, professor, tutor or pupil.


be refused admittance into said college, or be denied any of its privileges,
immunities or advantages thereof on account of his sentiments in matters of
religion." In pursuance of these provisions the several departments of the
college — preparatory, collegiate, theological, law rnd medical — were soon
organized. The main building for the college, 117 foet long by 47 wide, was
begun early in 1830, and was finished sufficiently in 1822 at a cost of $35,000
to allow of the opening of the college. The college building was at^ that time
considered to be central and about half an hour's walk from the White House,
from the Capitol, from the Smithsonian Institution, from the then National
Observatory, and generally from the public buildings in the City of Washing-
ton. The building was a brick edifice, four stories high, including the base-
ment and attic, with sufficient room to accommodate one hundred students.
In addition there were three other brick buildings, one occupied by the Presi-
dent and his family, another by the steward of the college, and the other was
used as a hall for the philosophical apparatus belonging to the college, and
also housed the preparatory department of the institution. Although most of
the funds of the college were obtained by Mr. Rice, the agent, from members
of the Baptist denomination, a number of personal donations and expressions
of interest were received from men of eminence at home and abroad : from
such men as Moses Stuart, John Ouincy Adams, John C. Calhoun, Wm. H.
Crawford and Richard Rush at home and kindred spirits, including The
Bishop of Durham, Joseph John Gurney, William Wilberforce, Lord Ashbur-
ton and others in what was then regarded as the mother country. Concerning
the institution of this college. President Monroe states : "There is good reason
to believe that the hopes of those who have so patriotically contributed to
advance it to its present stage will not be disappointed. Its commencement
will be under circumstances very favorable to its success. Its position, on
the high grounds north of the city, is remarkably healthy. The act of incor-
poration is well digested, looks to the proper objects, and grants the powers
well adapted to their attainment."

The opening of the college is thus described in the National Intelligencer
of January 15, 1822, under the heading of "Columbian College." It says:
"The inauguration of the faculty took place at the institution in College Hall,
January 9. At ten o'clock a. m. the procession formed at the house of Pro-
fessor Chase, and moved to the College Chapel. The solemnities were intro-
duced by prayer by the Rev. Burgess Allison, D. D., the Chaplain of Congress,
one of the vice-presidents of the General (Baptist) Convention; the president
of the body, the Rev. Robert B. Semple, of Virginia, not having been able to
attend. The act of incorporation passed at the last session of Congress was
read, and from the records of the trustees the elections, respectively, of the
members of the faculty. The Rev. Obadiah B. Brown, President of the Board
of Trustees, then rose and addressed the President of the College, the Rev.
Dr. William Staughton, in a few but very appropriate observations, presented


him with the keys of the edifice, and invested him with the prerogatives of
his office, and successively greeted by the proper attributes the various members
of the facuhy. * * * This was followed by an address from the Presi-
dent, the Rev. Dr. Staughton, the merits of which cannot be too highly appre-
ciated. The crowded audience, among whom were several of the heads
of the departments, and of both houses of Congress, manifestly experienced
the greatest satisfaction."

The situation of the new college on College Hill was said at the time to
afford a view which was very beautiful. Alexandria, Washington and George-
town were in full view. The Capitol, the White House and other public
buildings could be plainly seen from the windows of the rooms of the students.
The view down the Potomac in exceptional circumstances included Mount

The college opened with 39 students, which number increased until more
than 250 had been received. The library was obtained principally at first in
England and Germany, and numbered between three and four thousand vol-
umes. At the institution of the College a very interesting letter was received
from President Monroe giving expression of his personal confidence and
hope for its success. At a later date John Quincy Adams became its special
friend and patron ; assisting it with a loan of nearly $20,000 in its time of need,
of which he relinquished as a donation the sum of $7,000 ; and during his presi-
dency he frequently visited the College and watched its progress.

The Medical Department was begun in March, 1825, soon after the estab-
lishment of the College, under the conduct of Thomas Sewall, M. D., and
occupying at first a building erected by the Professors themselves, was
granted afterwards the occupancy of rooms in and the care of the United
States Infirmary, which building was consumed by fire while in use afterwards
as a military hospital during the late war, the Medical Department having then
the use of the building lately occupied by the Surgical Museum, and given by
Mr. W. W. Corcoran.

The first commencement of Columbian College was held on the loth of
December, 1824, the President of the United States, the Secretaries of State,
of War and of the Navy and leading members of both houses of Congress
being present. General LaFayette, of Revolutionary fame, then on his visit
to the United States, was present at these exercises. At a later hour a formal
address of welcome was made to General LaFayette by the President of the
College, after which the General and his suite, with the Secretary of State,
the Hon. John Quincy Adams ; the Secretary of War, the Hon. John C. Cal-
houn, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Hon. Henry Clay,
together with other distinguished citizens, dined with the Board of Trustees,
among whom was Postmaster General Meigs, and the members of the Faculty
of the College at the house of President Staughton.

The Law Department was organized in 1826, the Hon. William T. Carroll


and Mr. Justice Cranch being- its first professors. It was discontinued on
account of the financial embarrassments of the College, and was not revived
until 1865. A Theological School also was founded, but was soon after
removed to Newton, Massachusetts, where it now flourishes. The only aid
from public sources ever received for the College, or, as a matter of fact, the
University, was a grant of $25,000 in city lots, made by Congress in 1832, during
the presidency of Andrew Jackson ; the Jesuit College at Georgetown obtaining
a similar gratuity at the same time. The few lots remaining in possession of
the University are now valued at the same amount.

More serious were the financial difficulties. Though there had been many
contributions, the expenses had been heavy in the construction and equipment
of suitable buildings, and in the payment of salaries and other current expenses.
The receipts from tuition fees were entirely inadequate to meet the regular
expenses, and, with no productive endowment, an indebtedness was sure to
arise and to grow. The plans of the projectors were on a more liberal scale
than the contributions, and in 1826 the Baptist Convention withdrew its con-
nection with the College. In 1827 the Faculty resigned in a body, and the
exercises were suspended. In the spring of 1828, however, the College reopened
and from that date its progress has been steady, if at times slow. For the first
fifteen years there was indeed a constant struggle for existence rather than for
progress, and only the continued exertions and self-denying labors of Trustees
and Faculty kept the College alive.

Yet during all this time faithful and learned Professors, serving for meagre
salaries, and refusing more liberal ofifers from other institutions, imparted
instructions to students whose zeal and abilities have been proven by the
honorable stations they have since attained in the service of the Church and
the State.

Dr. Staughton resigned the presidency in 1827, and in 1828 the Rev. Stephen
Chapin, D.D., was chosen as his successor.

On the 25th of September, 1836, occurred the death of the Rev. Luther
Rice, the man to whoiriT-more than any other, the founding of the College was

In the tribute paid to his memory by the Board of Trustees it was gratefully
recognized that the College was "mainly indebted for its existence to his
generous and laborious efiforts," and that in the days of its "deepest adversity"
it had been "sustained by his unwearied and persevering assiduity more than
by any other means." It was added: "No discouragement could ever damp
his zeal, no opposition could allay his ardor for its prosperity." Resolutions
of respect for his memory were adopted and the President of the College was
requested to deliver an obituary discourse in honor of his life, character, and

President Chapin resigned in 1841, after an administration of thirteen years,
during which the College gradually escaped from the burdens of distrust and
debt, under which it was staggering when he accepted the Presidency.


In 1843, the Rev. Joel S. Bacon, D.D., became President. At this time the
College was freed from debt, though it had no endowment. Under President
Bacon the collection of a permanent endowment was commenced, and efforts
to increase that endowment have been continued during the succeeding adminis-
trations. Dr. Bacon having resigned the Presidency in 1854, the Rev. Dr.
Binney, a returned missionary from Burma was chosen to succeed him. He
engaged to hold the office for only a brief term, and gave place in 1859 to the
Rev. George W. Samson, D.D., whose difficult task it was, with the aid of his
colleagues, to carry the institution through the time and trials of the Civil War.

At the outbreak of the war the number of students in attendance was greater
than at any previous period, but most of them soon left, principally for the
South, and shortly afterwards the College buildings were occupied by the
Government for hospital purposes. The College exercises, however, were not
suspended, and the few students who continued in attendance received able
instruction in the class rooms.

The end of the Civil War brought a reunion in Columbian College as well
as in the country at large. A number of students and instructors came to the
College from the military forces of the South. Among the latter was Mr.
William L. Wilson, a previous graduate, who wore his gray uniform for some
time as instructor in the class room. Mr. Wilson became afterwards an Over-
seer of the College and a leading figure in political life both as a member of
the House of Representatives from West Virginia and as Postmaster-General
in the Cabinet of President Cleveland. He was a charming and cultivated
gentleman in all positions of life and died as President of the Washington and
Lee University in Virginia.

In 1867 the catalogue of the College showed a decided increase since the

Online LibraryAlfred Augustus WrightWho's who in the lyceum → online text (page 1 of 66)