Elizabeth Martha Farrand.

History of the University of Michigan online

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^ecei-ccJ JAN 4 1893 . 189
Accessions No. 14Q "2. 5~. Class No.

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Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1884, by
Elizabeth M. Farrand, in the office of the Libra-
rian of Congress, at Washington.



Preface : V

Chap. I. Introductory to 1835 7

Chap. II. 1835-1837 15

Chap. III. 1837-1841 , 26

Chap. IV. 1841-1845 40

Chap. V. 1845-1851 60

Chap. VI. 1852-1863, (Dr. Tappan's Administration) 90

Chap. VII. 1863-1869, (Dr. Haven's Administration) 161

Chap. VIII. 1869-1871, (Prof. Frieze's Administration) 200

Chap. IX. 1871-1883, (Dr. Angell's Administration) 217


This book has been written for those who have been, or
are, or shall be connected with the University of Michigan.

The attempt has been made to collect from many doc^
innents into one volume the story of the University, to
put into a convenient and accessible shape what has been
already written, and to gather also something from its
traditional history, placing upon record what has hitherto
remained only in memories which are now fast fading.

It is greatly to be regretted that the men who were
students of the University in its early days have given us
no reminiscences of their college life, of its duties, its cus*
toms, its hardships, and its pleasures so different from
those of modern college life.

The author of this book is much indebted to some of
the early graduates, and especially to Dr. George Pray, of
the class of 1845, for assistance rendered; from them alone
has it been possible to gather any knowledge of the cus-
toms of their time. By them alone, however, can the sub-
ject be adequately treated.

The suggestion is offered that the classes which left the
institution before the days of college papers and of class
histories, should each have its historian, and that a deter-
mined effort should be made to collect reminiscences of
college life in Ann Arbor.

The University is not too young to number among her
children, white-haired men. Many of the instructors and
many of the students, who taught and studied here in the
days when the number of instructors and students was
very small, are silenced by death. Yet in 1884 no class
fails to respond to the roll-call. There is then a reason-
able expectation that something less fleeting than words


spoken at the banquet table will be contributed by the old
students towards the history of their Alma Mater.

For many years after the opening of the University the
Ann Arbor papers contained very little local news, and it
is only recently that they have contained a "University
column." So important an event as the location of tin*
institution at Ann Arbor received but slight notice; one
column was devoted to an account of the exercises of the
first commencement, but others are barely mentioned.
Great events, like the troubles of 1849 and 1850, the ques-
tion of the admission of women about 1858, the appoint-
ment of Dr. Tappan and the attacks upon him, had some
space given to them, but on smaller matters the silence is
very profound.

Even the college journals of later days fail to furnish
materials sufficient for a history of the period to which
they belong. In them events are described by eye-wit-
nesses, but also very often for eye-witnesses, and the
accounts lack the detail which is desired by other readers.

Xone the less unsatisfactory are the records kept by
the Board of Regents and by the Faculty. They are for
the most part, records of resolutions alone. In 1852, at
that period so important in the history of the University,
the following record w r as made of one of the meetings of
the Board :

''After some discussion the members came to a unan-
imous conclusion as to the course they ought to pursue in
regard to the presidency of the University," and adjourned.
It is only in the memories of men that the University ha>
a vivid and living history.

The author of the present volume has endeavored to be
accurate in statement while treating succinctly the most
important events in the history ot the University of
Michigan. She dares to hope that her book will meet a
want which has been felt for several years. That it will
also excite a disposition for tale telling among the whole
body of the alumni is her earnest wish.
ANN ARBOR, July, 1884.




In the years between 1780 and 1783 the states of
Virginia, New York and Massachusetts ceded to
the United States government those lands, situated
north of the Ohio and east of the Mississippi rivers,
to which they had claim, and which were known as
the Northwest Territory. Connecticut, a little later,
made a like cession. This act of the states placed
in the hands of the general government a large
tract of unsettled and unsurveyed country, subject
to its legislation.

The ordinance of 1787, providing for its occupa^
tion and government, promises that religion, mor-
ality and knowledge shall be fostered. In the same
year a large sale of lands was made to the New
England Ohio Company, and to this company was
given two townships for the endowment of a uni-

The grant of land to the Ohio company availed
little save to establish a habit of Congressional legis-
lation in favor of education, and for this reason
alone, it must ever stand as introductory to the his-
tory of education in Michigan.

In 1800 that portion of the Northwest Territory


now comprised in the states of Illinois, Indiana and
Michigan, was formed, for purposes of government,
into the Indiana Territory, and, in 1804, to each of
its three divisions was granted one township of
land, for a seminary of learning. Michigan, in the
following year having been organized into a terri-
tory, was entitled to its one township of this land.

Legislation for the endowment of schools ante-
dated by several years the time when there was
need for them or a possibility of establishing them,
The grant, however, was not forgotten, and the need
and the possibility grew with the numbers of the
people. Early in 1817 the Detroit Gazette, the
one weekly newspaper published in the Territory,
contained many articles on the subject of education,
giving voice to the feeling of some of the -people
and influencing that of others.

At this time Michigan contained less than 7000
inhabitants in all its territory. They were settled
chiefly at Detroit and at trading posts and missions
on the lake shore.

7 It was the governor and judges of this thinly
settled region who adopted on the 26th of August,
1817, one of the most curious acts for which Michi-
gan has ever been responsible. "An act to esta-
blish the Catholepisterniad, or University of Michi-
ii;mia" is said to be the work of the Hon. Augustus
B. "Woodward, one of the judges of the Territory.
He was a man who originated much good legisla-
tion for Michigan, but one whose eccentricity bor-
dered sometimes closely upon aberration. He was
facetious; but we are not allowed to think that this


act Avas other than the product of his serious, sobei*
deliberation and judgment, It in as follows;

** Be it enacted by the Governor and Judges of the Territory
of Michigan, That there shall be in the said Territory a
Catholepistemiad or University, denominated the Cathole-
pistemiad or University of Michigania. The Catholepis-
temiad or University of Michigania shall he composed of
thirteen didaxum or professorships; first, a didaxia or pro-
fessorship of eatholepistemia, the didactor or professor of
which shall be president of the institution; second, a di-
daxia, or professorship of anthropoglossica or literature,
embracing all the epistemum or sciences relative to lan-
guage; third, a didaxia or professorship of mathematica,
or mathematics; fourth, a didaxia or professorship of
physiognostica, or natural history; fifth, a didaxia or pro-
fessorship of physiosophica or natural philosophy; sixth,
a didaxia or professorship of astronomia, or astronomy ;
seventh, a didaxia or professorship of chymia, or chemis-
try; eighth, a didaxia or professorship of iatuca, or medi-
cal sciences; ninth, a didaxia or professorship of cecono-
niia, or economical sciences; tenth, a didaxia or profes-
sorship of ethica, or ethical sciences; eleventh, a didaxia
or professorship of polemitactica, or military sciences;
twelfth, a didaxia or professorship of diegetica, or histori-
cal sciences; thirteenth, a didaxia or professorship of en-
noeica, or intellectual sciences, embracing all the epis-
temum or sciences relative to the minds of animals, to the
human mind, to spiritual existence, to the Deity, and to
religion, the didactor or professor of which shall be vice-
president of the institution. The didactors or professors
shall be appointed and commissioned by the governor.
There shall be paid from the Treasury of Michigan, in
quarterly payments, to the President of the institution,
and to each didactor or professor, an annual salary to
be from time to time ascertained by law. More than one
didaxia or professorship may be conferred upon the same
person. The President and didactors or professors, or a


majority of them assembled, shall have power to regulate
all the concerns of the institution, to enact laws for that
purpose, to sue, to be sued, to acquire, to hold, and to
alien property, real, mixed, and personal, to make, to use,
and alter a seal, to establish colleges, academies, schools,
libraries, museums, athenaeums, botanic gardens, labora-
tories, and other useful, literary and scientific institutions,
consonant to the laws of the United States of America,
and of Michigan, and to appoint officers, instructors, and
instructrices in, among and throughout the various coun-
ties, cities, towns, townships, and other geographical divi-
sions of Michigan."

The act proceeds to increase the public taxes fif-
teen per cent, and appropriate that amount to the
use of the University, to authorize four lotteries for
the benefit of the institution, and to fix an honor-
arium for the courses of instruction.

"The honorarium for a course of lectures shall not
exceed fifteen dollars; for classical instruction, ten dollars
a quarter; for ordinary instruction, six dollars a quarter.
If the judges of the court of any county or a majority of
them shall certify that the parent or guardian of any
person has not adequate means to defray the expenses of
a suitable instruction, and that the same ought to be a
public charge, the honorarium shall be paid from the
treasury of Michigan."

This document is signed by William Woodbridge,
Acting Governor; A. B. Woodward, Presiding
Judge of the Supreme Court; and John Griffin,
one of the Judges of the Territory of Michigan.

Early in September, 1817, two professors were
appointed, John Monteith, the Protestant clergy-
man of Detroit, and Gabriel Richard, the Catholic
bishop of Michigan. The former was president


and held also six professorships, and the latter held
the remaining six. The salary for each professorship
was $12.50 a year.

They proceeded at once to establish a primary
school and a classical school in Detroit, and to erect
a building for their accommodation. A subscrip-
tion to the amount of about $6,000 was raised in
Detroit, about $3,000 of which was paid before
1821 when the Catholepistemiad was succeeded by
the " University of Michigan." In October, 1817,
the officers of the University of Michigania enacted
a statute establishing in Detroit the " First College
of Michigania," which had no existence except in
name. The primary and classical schools estab-
lished in Detroit were the only branches of the

By the treaty of Fort Meigs, September 29th,
1817, formed by General Cass with the Indians of the
North-west, three sections of land were reserved for
the " College of Detroit." The officers of the Cath-
olepistemiad did not locate the land, and the claim
passed in 1821 into the hands of the " Trustees of
the University of Michigan," by whom the three
sections were selected and sold for $5,000 or more.

The Act of August 26th, 1817, was repealed
April 30th, 1821, and a new act passed for the
establishment, at Detroit, of the University of Michi-
gan. It was placed under the management of twenty-
one trustees who were named in the act, and of
whom the governor was always to be one. Vacan-
cies in the Board of Trustees were to be filled by
the vote of the legislature.


The Trustees of the University of Michigan suc-
ceeded to all property and all rights held by the
officers 6f the Catholepistemiad. They assumed
control of the township of land granted by Con-
gress, of the three sections of land granted by
the treaty of Fort Meigs, and also of the debts of
the old corporation. The primary or Lancasterian
school, established under the Catholepistemiad wa*
continued for a few years and was supported by the
tuition fees. The classical school received support
from the new Trustees till about 1827, when it als< >
became dependent upon fees for its support.

The most important duties of the Trustees had
relation to the property of the institution. In 1823
they obtained from the governor and judges of
the Territory a deed of the lot upon which their
school building was located, and which was known
as the "Academy lot," and, became many years
later the subject of litigation. In 1824 they lo-
cated the lands granted by the treaty of Fort Meigs,
and sold them at various times between the years
1825 and 1836, and applied the money so obtained
to the payment of the debts of the old corporation,
to the support of the classical school, and to other
expenses incurred during their own administration.
Before the first sale was made there was an indebt-
edness of nearly $3,000 to be provided for. The
lands sold brought from $2.50 to $6.00 per acre.

At the second meeting of the Trustees they began
to consider the location of the college township
granted by Congress in 1804. It was discovered by
the committee appointed that it was impossible t


locate one entire township of good land in the dis-
trict specified in the grant, A committee was ap-
pointed to memorialize Congress, and, as a result,
an act was passed, May 20th, 1826, giving to the
Territory of Michigan for a t( seminary of learning"
two townships of land, with permission to locate
them in detached portions.

August 1st, 1826, Austin E, Wing and Dr. Wil-
liam Brown were appointed a committee to examine
the country and report upon the location of the two
townships. On May 11, 1827, the same committee
were instructed to " locate such tracts at the mouth
of Swan Creek, on the Miami river* in this Terri-
tory as may seem to them expedient." They located
916 acres on land now covered by the city of To-
ledo, then described as river lots 1, 2, 7, 8, 9 and 10,
accepting them for two sections or 1280 acres. In
1828 William Oliver of Ohio wished to exchange
for lots 1 and 2 lots 3 and 4 and other land amount-
ing in all to 767^ acres. The exchange was recom-
mended by Austin E. Wing, one of the committee
who had located the land, and had the sanction of
Governor Cass, but was opposed by Major Kears-
ley, Dr. Brown and Mr. Desnoyer, and was effected
only in 1831. It is said that at the time of the ex-
change lots 1 and 2 possessed five times the value
of the lands for which they were exchanged. In
1834 the 767i acres, including lots 3 and 4, were
sold to Major Oliver for $5,000, the sale receiving
the assent of all the Trustees with the exception of
General John E. Williams and Mr. Peter J. Des-

*Maumee river.


noyer. The lands at that time were worth a miu-li
larger sum, even, according to the estimate of some
persons, fifteen or twenty times that for which they
were sold. It was necessary to obtain the permis-
sion -of Congress to make the sale, but that was
easily done. At about the same time another ap-
plication for the purchase of land was received and
was met with the reply that the " Trustees have no
power to sell." Lots 7, 8, 9 and 10 were held till a
later day, and were sold about 1849 or 1850 for from
*19 to $24 an acre.

The locating committee continued their work un-
til, in 1836, forty-nine sections had been located.

On the 18th of May, 1837, the Board of Trustees,
appointed April 30th, 1821, closed their work for
the institution, and the "Board of Regents of the
University of Michigan " were their successors.
By a decision of the Supreme Court, in 1856, the
corporations of 1817 and 1821 were declared iden-
tical with the Board of Regents of 1837.




In the month of May, 1835, by a Convention held
in Detroit, a State constitution was formed, in the
October following it was ratified by the people of
the Territory, and in January, 1837, Michigan was
admitted into the Union. The years 1835, 1836
and 1837 comprise a period of great import in the
educational history of the state. That we can speak
proudly of our Michigan school system is largely
due to the bent which that system received in the

The early settlers of Michigan were an intelli-
gent people; many of them were educated men.
The establishment of schools was everywhere con-
sidered imperative, while yet the poverty and hard-
ship of pioneer life was the portion of all. The
population of the state numbered less than 100,000
persons when our school system had its origin.

General Isaac E. Crary, Michigan's first repre-
sentative in Congress, and the Eev. John D. Pierce,
a missionary pastor, were the ones chiefly con-
cerned in shaping the action of the Convention in
regard to education. General Crary and Mr. Pierce
were graduates of eastern colleges. In 1834 and
1835 they were residents of Marshall, and held
together frequent discussions upon the concerns


of the state and the work of the coming convention
to which General Crary was a dolo^ato, (Cousin's
report on the Prussian system of public instruction
had come into their hands and some* of the provis-
ions of that system seemed to them to be admirably
adapted to educational purposes in this country;
particularly were they impressed with the advan-
tages to be gained by placing at the head of tin-
educational matters of the state an officer who, like
the Minister of Public Instruction in Prussia,
should have the supervision of all the schools and
bring them into a systematic and harmonious rela-

General Crary, as has been said, was a delegate
to the Convention, There he was made chairman
of the committee on education. This committee
reported and the convention adopted an article on
education of which the first and fifth sections con-
cern the University:

I. " The Governor shall nominate, and by and with the
advice and consent of the Legislature, in joint vote, shall
appoint a Superintendent of Public Instruction, who shall
hold his office for two years, and whose duties shall 1>-
prescribed by law."

V. " The Legislature shall take measures for the pro-
tection, improvement or other disposition of such lands
as have been or may hereafter be reserved or granted by
the United States to this state for the support of a univer-
sity; and the funds accruing from the rents or sale of such
lands, or from any other source for the purpose aforesaid,
shall be and remain a permanent fund for the support of
said university, with such branches as the public conven-
ience may hereafter demand for the promotion of litera-
ture, the sciences and arts, and as may be authori/ed by


the terms of such grant; and it shall be the duty of the
Legislature, as soon as may be, to provide effectual means
for the improvement and permanent security of the funds
of said university."

The ordinance of admission, submitted to Con-
gress by the Convention, contains the following ar-
ticle, which, also, may be considered the work of
General Crary:

" That the seventy-two sections of land set apart and
reserved for the use and support of a University by an
act of Congress approved May 20th, 1826, entitled : * An
act concerning a seminary of learning in the Territory of
Michigan,' are hereby granted and conveyed to the State,
to be appropriated solely to the use and support of such
University, in such manner as the Legislature may pre-

By this ordinance, the university lands were
made available; they could now be sold, and a fund
established ; the original Congressional grant pro-
vided only for leasing them and thus rendered them
nearly useless.

In 1835, Michigan, anticipating her entrance into
the Union, formed a government and elected Ste-
vens T. Mason Governor. On July 26, 1836, Gov-
ernor Mason, at the request, or, by the advice of
General Crary, appointed Mr. Pierce Superinten-
dent of Public Instruction, " the first that ever held
the office in this country under a state government."
Mr. Pierce was at this time thirty-nine years of age;
he was a graduate from Brown University and from
Princeton Theological Seminary, and had been
since 1831 a home missionary in Michigan. He
had paid considerable attention to educational mat-


ters, and was certainly the one man in the Statt 1
who was fitted for the office of superintendent. His
first duty was to prepare and submit to the Legis-
lature, on January 1st, 1837, a plan for the organi-
zation of schools, a plan for a university, and a
statement of the condition of the university and
school lands, giving also his views of the disposi-
tion to be made of these lands.

An able report was prepared and submitted, and
the part relating to the organization of a university
was substantially embodied in an act passed March
18th, 1837, of which the following is a copy :

"An act to provide for the organization and government of

the University of Michigan:

SEC. 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Re-
presentatives of the State of Michigan, That there shall
be established in this state an institution under the name
and style of * The University of Michigan.'

SEC. 2. The object of the University shall be to provide
the inhabitants of the state with the means of acquiring
a thorough knowledge of the various branches of litera-
ture, science and the arts.

s ]:<. 3. The government of the University shall be
vested in a board of regents, to consist of twelve membei >
and a chancellor, who shall be ex-orticio president thereof;
which board shall be nominated by the governor, and
appointed by and with the advice and consent of the senate.

SBC. 4. The governor, lieutenant-governor, judges of
the supreme court and chancellor of the state, shall be
ex-officio members of said board. A secretary shall be
appointed by said board, whose duty it shall be to record
all the proceedings of the board, and carefully preserve a 1 I
its books and papers.

8BC. 5. The regents appointed by the third section of
this act, shall, on their first meeting, be divided by the


secretary into four classes of. three each, to be numbered
one, two, three and four; and of four ballots, so to be num-
bered, the class which shall draw number one shall con-
tinue in office one year; number two, two years; number
three, three years; and number four, four years.

SEC. 6. The regents to be appointed pursuant to the
third section of this act, and their successors in office,
shall constitute a body corporate, with the name and title
of the " Kegents of the University of Michigan; " with the
right as such of suing and being sued, of making and
using a common seal and altering the same at pleasure.

SEC. 7. The regents shall have power, and it shall be
their duty, to enact laws for the government of the uni-
versity; to appoint the prescribed number of professors,
and the requisite number of tutors; also to determine the
amount of their respective salaries; and also to appoint a
steward and fix the amount of his salary.

SEC. 8. The uni\ 7 ersity shall consist of three depart-

1. The department of literature, science and the arts.

2. The department of law.

3. The department of medicine.

In the several departments there shall be established

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Online LibraryElizabeth Martha FarrandHistory of the University of Michigan → online text (page 1 of 19)