Edwin L. (Edwin Luther) Green.

A history of the University of South Carolina online

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are given, intermediate and junior, with 50 in the latter
class. There were no graduates from this college.

From a letter written in April, 1881, by President Miles
to the editor of The News and Courier we find that the college
had opposition from the denominational colleges in the State.
These had for seven years been enjoying the privilege of
educating the youths of South Carolina, as many as did not
go to other States. They now feared the opposition of the
college at Columbia. Of this opposition President Miles
wrote that he hoped that it was exaggerated, for the view
that the other colleges would be injured was erroneous; he
wished for as many colleges and schools as possible and a
generous rivalry in stimulating the youth to desire and
pursue that higher education without which a people must
inevitably retrograde not only in intelligence but in material
progress. "No !" he cries, "let us educate educate in com-
mon schools, in private schools, in high schools, in normal
schools, in colleges, in universities everywhere educate!"
A cry that the college at Columbia would be "an aristocratic
institution," "the rich man's college" had also been heard.

Two professors of this college have survived the flight of
years : Dr. William B. Burney, professor of chemistry in the
University, and Maj. Benjamin Sloan, who retired in 1908
from the presidency. The latter has written thus of Presi-
dent Miles and of the meetings of the faculty : "I loved and
admired Mr. Miles greatly. He was, out and out, a thorough
gentleman a typical Admirable Crichton and a ripe
scholar, and with it all a manly man. In regard to this last
characteristic the relation of one event in his life is con-
vincing. Shortly after being graduated from the College
of Charleston, having studied law, the young man began a
practice in that profession in Charleston. Scarcely had he
opened his office when a terrible scourge of yellow fever fell
upon the city of Norfolk, Va. The dreaded 'Vomito' visited

102 /.\; :*<>:',' *|STDiOf .op THE UNIVERSITY

every family in the city, high and low. Nurses were needed
in every quarter of the city, and although no appeal was
made for outside help, Mr. Miles voluntarily driven by the
mere knowledge of the dire necessity of the stricken city
closed his office, went to Norfolk, and served as a nurse
wherever needed, unrewarded pecuniarily, until the scourge
was lifted. Was not that the work of a manly man?

"After this event he served with wonderful efficiency as
mayor of the city of Charleston, and again he served his city
and the State in the national house of representatives. At
the time of the opening of the Agricultural and Mechanical
College in the buildings of the old South Carolina College
he was living in affluence at the old ' Sweet Springs/ Va.
The choice of the board of trustees for a president, after a
diligent and anxious search for the best man, fell upon Mr.
Miles. The choice was made unsolicited by him ; but under,
with him, the perennial desire to give service he came and
during his short term of office he did, I am sure, give service
of the highest and most valuable character. His very
presence, his high character, and his scholarly talks were an
education for those of us, students and professors, who
enjoyed the honor of being associated with him at that time.
Mr. Miles left the college, in order to take charge of valuable
sugar plantations that had been unexpectedly bequeathed
to his daughters.

"I remember with keen pleasure the delights of our faculty
meetings during Mr. Miles' presidency. There were but four
of us, you know Mr. Miles, Dr. Woodrow, Dr. Burney and
myself. We met once a week in Mr. Miles' classroom, the
room afterward occupied by Dr. Joynes (left side of lowest
floor of Harper college). Each one of these meetings was
just an opportunity for the most delightful 'causerie,' to
which I listened with sheer delight."

The class of 1846 held a reunion December 7, 1880, at
which a resolution was adopted looking to the formation of
an alumni association of the South Carolina college and
university. In accordance with this resolution a meeting
of the alumni was called for the 6th of the following


December. Leroy F. Youmans was invited to deliver an
address in the hall of the house of representatives. The
meeting was held, a large number of alumni being present
and the association was formed. A memorial to the legisla-
ture was drafted praying for the establishment of a strong
State institution in place of the present weak agricultural
and mechanical college. Two weeks after this meeting the
legislature granted an appropriation of $10,0(10 for the sup-
port of additional chairs.

With this sum the board of trustees proceeded to reor-
ganize the branch of the university in Columbia, la
February, 1882, five chairs were agreed on; a tutorship was
added; advertisement for professors was made through the
papers. The offices of "foreman of the farm^ and "foreman
of mechanics" were established. When the trustees met in
May they elected E. L. Patton to the chair of Ancient
Languages, Edward S. Joynes to the chair of Modern
Languages, John M. McBryde to that of Agriculture and
Horticulture, R. Means Davis to the chair of Political
Economy, History and Constitutional Law, J W, Alexander
to the chair of Mental and Moral Philosophy Physics was
added to the chair of Mathematics. A meeting of the new
faculty was called for July to consider the revision of the

The following sketch is from the pen of Dr. Edward &.
Joynes, one of the newly elected professors: "In 1880,"
writes the professor, "was held in Spartanburg the first
teachers' institute under the reconstructed State government.
Hugh S. Thompson, afterward governor, was State superin-
tendent. I had been intimately connected in Virginia with
Dr. Thomas Sears, the first general agent of the Peabody
board, and through him had also been actively engaged in
institute work in Tennessee. Consequently, when consulted
by Mr. Thompson about the organization of an institute In
South Carolina, Dr. Sears recommended him tD employ
my services and this is how I first came to South Carolina
in July, 1880. Here I first met Davis, my future colleague.
In 1881 the like service was repeated at Greenville. In 1882


the South Carolina College was opened, having been two
years an agricultural and mechanical college. Mr. Thompson
was a member of the board of trustees and through him
and in consequence of my services in the teachers' institutes,
I was called to the chair of Modern Languages and English.
I may add that disturbed and depressing conditions at the
University of Tennessee assured my acceptance at that time.
Governor Hagood was then deeply interested in the improve-
ment of the agricultural department of the South Carolina
College. Through Mr. Thompson he had come into corre-
spondence with me (I had met him at Greenville), and
through me with Professor McBryde. The result was that
McBryde was made professor of Agriculture and Botany,
and we came together to Columbia in July, 1882. I felt
that I could also claim to have given him, or rather to have
restored him to South Carolina, which was his native State.
We were summoned from Knoxville, where a summer school
was in progress, to attend the first meeting of the new

"With this organization (as described above) our first
faculty meeting was held. Some general rules were adopted,
and a committee was appointed to draw up courses of study.
Of this committee Dr. Woodrow was chairman, and it met
by invitation in his parlor. I do not now recall all the other
members, though I was one. To the first report Dr. McBryde
took exception, and on his motion other measures were
adopted, giving greater prominence to agriculture and other
kindred science studies. The courses, as finally adopted,
are found in the catalogues of that day and seemed to give
great satisfaction."

Very shortly after this faculty meeting President Miles
resigned and in August the presidency was offered to
Dr. James H. Carlisle.



MCBRYDE, 1882-1888.

Dr. James H. Carlisle declined to accept the presidency of
the South Carolina College, tendered him in August, 1882,
on the resignation of President Miles. When the faculty
met in September preparatory to the opening, it had to elect
a chairman. "Dr. Woodrow," writes Dr. Edward S. Joynes,
"would have been unanimously elected, but he had declined
to accept, and by a narrow majority the choice fell upon
Professor McBryde. His election was felt to be an experi-
ment; but it proved to be a most happy chance. At once
his administrative ability was shown in his attention to
details in preparing for the opening of the session, and soon
his exceptional fitness for the work became apparent to all."
Professor McBryde continued to act as chairman till the
following May, when the trustees elected him by a unani-
mous vote to the presidency. Then "began," in the words
of Dr. Joynes, "that administration which proved to be so
notably and so memorably successful covering, till 1891,
one of the most interesting epochs in the history of all the

Shortly after the opening of the session Hon. Robert W.
Barnwell died at the age of 81. At this time he was per-
forming the duties of librarian, having been appointed to
the position in 1877. Mr. Barnwell came to the college as
its president in 1835, when it was very much reduced in
numbers and influence because of Dr. Thomas Cooper.
Under his guidance the institution grew rapidly, so that
new dormitories, professors' houses and the library were
erected. After six years his health required his resignation.
At the organization of the university in 1866 he became
professor of Political Economy and History and chairman


of the faculty. His services to the college and the university
deserve most grateful remembrance.

Nathaniel Barnwell, his son, was elected to succeed him.
He was accidentally killed while hunting not long after his
election. He was succeeded by his sister, Miss Eliza Barn-

During the session of the legislature Professor McBryde
delivered an address before that body on "Agricultural Edu-
cation," in which he explained to the legislators what the
college was to do for the people of South Carolina in the
interest of agriculture. "The science of agriculture/' he
said, "embraces the principles which have been drawn by
induction from the observed facts and processes of the best
farm practice." This necessarily called for a body of
well trained observers, not chemists, nor biologists, nor
physicists, nor still less theorists, but agriculturists. The
appropriation for the college was increased by half, which
led to a widening of its curriculum. At the next meeting
of the board, February 14, 1883, sub-collegiate courses of
one year in mathematics, Latin, Greek, English and history
were provided, a temporary expedient, which continued
until 1887. Provision was made for a teachers' normal
course. Commencement day was changed from June to
December, on the third Wednesday, at the close of the fall
term. In this the trustees were going back to the custom
of the old South Carolina college. However, the graduates
of 1883 did not receive diplomas till the following June:
the society celebration, the alumni banquet and the com-
mencement ball took place in December (17th-19th). Since
this time commencement exercises have taken place in June.

The South Carolina College, as reorganized in the year
1883, had (a) regular courses of four years for a degree,
(b) special courses of two years for a certificate and (c)
elective courses, subject to consent of the faculty. Regu-
lar courses were divided into (1) science courses general
science, engineering, agriculture leading to the degree of
bachelor of science (B. S.) ; (2) literature courses classical
and Latin leading to the degree of bachelor of arts (B. A.).


Practical agriculture, practical surveying, practical English
studies and teachers' course (no pedagogy), comprised the
special courses for certificates. Post-graduate work was
offered leading to the degree of master of arts ( M. A. ) , civil
engineering ( C. E. ) and mining engineering ( M. E. ) . Certifi-
cates were also conferred on those students who finished in
addition to the regular course an approved special or post-
graduate course in any department. Students who attained
the grade of "distinction" received "honors;" those of the
grade of "proficiency" received "appointments." The B. S.
degree was dropped after one year.

The scholarships given to the South Carolina college, but
lost during the war, were renewed by the trustees and known
by the names of their founders. They, however, now carried
only remission of fees. In June, 1886, another scholarship,
the Rion, was established in honor of Col. James H. Rion,
who, with Judge Charles H. Simonton, was most active in
reopening the university in 1880 and continued on the board
of trustees to work for the college with the love of a most
loyal alumnus. These two republished in 1885 at their own
expense 5,000 copies of Dr. James H. ThornwelFs famous
letter of 30 years before to Governor Manning on public

About 30 acres of land immediately adjoining the campus
were provided by the trustees for an experimental farm;
later 40 more were added. Large plantings of several hun-
dred varieties of fruit trees had been made in the fall of
1882 and a green house was erected near the president's
house which remained in use until removed by President

Services in the chapel on Sunday morning were required
of all students (November 29, 1883) ; two years later the
requirement was modified to compulsory attendance on some
church in the city. The chaplain could hold services at his

A "school of medicine and pharmacy" and a "school of
law" were added to the departments of the college in 1884.


A beginning of the first school was made by the formation
of a two-year course for which a certificate was given.

Col. Joseph Daniel Pope was elected to the chair of law;
he and the president formed a special faculty for the con-
sideration of all matters relating to this school. Professor
Pope was given the fees arising from tuition and a small
fixed salary; later this professorship was made co-ordinate
with the others. Special provisions were to be made for
short courses of lectures by leading members of the bar.
Professor Pope conducted this work by himself till 1900,
when an assistant, M. Herndon Moore, was elected to
relieve him of part of the teaching.

The trustees at this time (May 7, 1884,) also took steps
to restore the chapel outside the walls, now the gymnasium,
so that it could be used for its original purpose. As noth-
ing was accomplished, permission was obtained the follow-
ing year from the legislature to sell the building, which,
however, was never done. In 1888 it was remodeled into
the science hall.

President McBryde's report to the trustees in May, 1885,
recommended a slight advance in the standard of admission.
A board of visitors was for the first time in many years
appointed to attend the final examinations and report on
the work as they saw it and to make recommendations.
During the latter part of this year Messrs. Simonton and
Rion republished at their own expense the letter of Dr.
Thornwell referred to above. They did this because oppo-
sition to the State college on the part of the denominational
institutions had become very strong. In his "History of
Higher Education in South Carolina," p. 187, Dr. Colyer
Meri wether has the following paragraph :

"The sectarian schools believed that they were injured by
this feature (free tuition) of the State college and a demand
was made for tuition to be charged. The argument was
advanced that it was unfair that sects should be taxed for
both their own schools and the State college, and, further,
that the power of taxation should not be used by the State
to damage the denominational colleges.


"The cry was taken up in the State and made an issue in
local politics in some counties. Those counties under the
shadow of a denominational school elected candidates
opposed to the State University. The matter was finally
brought to a vote in the legislature, on a motion to strike
out the appropriation for the University, and the opponents
of the University were badly routed. They now fell back
on the free tuition feature. The clause of the law relating
to the matter seemed to leave it with the trustees whether
they would charge tuition or not. The sectaries contended
that the law was mandatory and required tuition to be
charged. To quiet agitation and put the matter to rest, the
legislature fixed the tuition at $40. And so after a trial
of only three years, in which it had worked so well, the
State again violated Thomas Cooper's principle of a free

This tuition charge was fixed by the legislature of 1885.
Any applicant standing in need of such assistance could
obtain remission of the tuition fee. At the present time
only a small proportion, outside the law school, of the
students at the University pay tuition. The names of all
students who secure free tuition are published and laid
before the legislature. Opposition from the denominational
schools had decreased, as it was seen that they were not
hurt by the State school, in fact, helped. There is abundant
work for all, and even then many young men are not reached.

Several tutorships were added for the coming session of
'86-'87, and a professor of Mechanical Engineering (detailed
by the navy department) and a professor of Agriculture and
Mineralogy were elected; but the number of students, 213,
for 1885-'86 was not kept up the two following years ; on the
contrary, the number diminished by 20 each session. Prepar-
ations were made for the establishment of an experimental
station and the securing of an experimental farm, under
the provisions of the Hatch bill.

Permission was given by the legislature to sell the lot
owned by the college on the northeast corner of Richardson
(Main) and Medium (College) streets. This, it is under-


stood, was the source from which money was obtained to
erect the infirmary on College street, completed in the spring
of 1888.

President McBryde called the attention of the board of
trustees at their November, 1885, meeting to the legal status
of the South Carolina College. He was of the opinion that
the acts of 1878 and 1879, by which the branch of the Uni-
versity at Columbia, known as the South Carolina College
of Agriculture and Mechanics, was established, did not give
the authority for establishing the South Carolina College,
and that the college had been operating without a charter.
The question was referred to a committee consisting of
Messrs. Simonton, Hutson and Rion, who reported at length
that in their opinion the South Carolina College had been
legally established, although there had been a change of

All the diplomas of the class of 1861, which was gradu-
ated, although the members had about a month previous to
commencement gone home and enlisted, had never been dis-
tributed. The trustees directed, February 8, 1886, that those
still in the library should be sent to such of their owners
as were alive, or to their families.

At the beginning of 1887 students were no longer received
into the sub-freshman class.

Miss Eliza W. Barnwell died January 29, 1888. Great
sorrow was expressed for the loss of one who was "per-
sonally devoted to the institution and always capable and
conscientious in the discharge of her official duties."
John G. Barnwell succeeded to the position of librarian.

President McBryde gave notice in May that he intended
to offer his resignation at the end of the customary period
of notice. His ill health compelled him to be absent from
many faculty meetings. The board consulted over the loss
and adopted a resolution expressive of its great regret and
the belief that his resigning would be an incalculable loss.
Before the meeting in June such pressure had been brought
to bear on Dr. McBryde that he withdrew his resignation,
to the great rejoicing of the entire college.


At the June meeting of the trustees, J. N. Lipscomb
offered a resolution, "That it is the opinion of this board of
trustees that the educational interests of South Carolina
would be subserved and promoted by the elevation and
expansion of the State university, so as to establish and
include colleges of literature, law, agriculture and others

"In furtherance of this plan we recommend the concen-
tration of all funds available, or that can be appropriated

A plan for the establishment of the experiment station
and for the organization of the University of South Caro-
lina was presented at the next meeting of the board of
trustees in December. It was finally adopted with modifi-
cations on May 9, 1888. The University of South Carolina
opened its doors for students on the 2nd day of October.

In 1886 a movement was begun by the farmers for a sepa-
rate agricultural college; but this threatened danger really
left the institution in a stronger position. One of the most
pronounced advocates of a separate agricultural college was
B. R. Tillman of Edgefield.

The attendance during the six years, 1882-1888, averaged
191; the largest number enrolled was 213 for the session of
1885-86. Bachelor of science (B. S.) was dropped from the
list of degrees in 1883; there were 11 graduates this year,
all with the degree of B. S. Thereafter the undergraduate
courses were all completed with the degree of B. A. This
degree was conferred on 88 graduates. Thirty-three men
received certificates for completing the shorter two-year
courses. In 1888 two C. E.'s were conferred; nine M. A.'s
were won from J884 to 1888 ; the total number of post-grad-
uate students was 51. In the law school 26 diplomas were
given during three years ( ? 85-'88). Six honorary degrees of
LL. D. and two of D. D. were conferred. The sub-freshman
class of the first year (>82->83) numbered 33, after which
the number decreased to nine in the last year of its existence


The faculty of this second South Carolina College was
made up of the following professors: John M. McBryde,
LL. D., president and professor of Agriculture and Botany
(later professor of Botany) ; James Woodrow, M. D., D. D.,
LL. D., professor of Natural Philosophy and Geology; Ben-
jamin Sloan, professor of Pure and Applied Mathematics;
Wm. B. Burney, Ph. D., professor of Chemistry and Min-
eralogy; Rev. Edmund L. Patton, LL. D., professor of
Ancient Languages; Edward S. Joynes, M. A., LL. D., pro-
fessor of Modern Languages and English; Rev. William J.
Alexander, M. A., chaplain and professor of Moral Phil-
osophy and English Literature; R. Means Davis, LL. B.,
professor of History and Political Science; Joseph Daniel
Pope, professor of law; G. W. McElroy (U. S. N.), professor
of Mechanical Engineering (1885- ? 88) ; R. H. Loughridge,
Ph. D., assistant professor of Agriculture (1885-1890). A
system of tutorships, answering the purpose of fellowships,
were established in 1883, which were open only to gradu-
ates proposing to pursue post-graduate studies. They were
at first four in number, later six; the salary was for most
of the time |250.

These six years of the South Carolina College are regarded
as among the most brilliant in the history of the institution.
Many of the most prominent living alumni belong to the
classes that graduated from 1882 to 1888, or during the three
years of the University of South Carolina under Dr.
McBryde (1888-1891).




In accordance with the provisions of the resolution offered
by Hon. J. N. Lipscomb the legislature appropriated in the
following December the sum of $34,500 for the schools in
the South Carolina University at Columbia and also changed
the act creating the University to permit of the establish-
ment for white students only in the city of Columbia of
a post-graduate department or a university department
proper, a college of agriculture and mechanic arts, a college
of liberal arts and sciences, a college of pharmacy, a normal

Online LibraryEdwin L. (Edwin Luther) GreenA history of the University of South Carolina → online text (page 9 of 38)