Ezra S. (Ezra Slocum) Carr.

The University of California and its relations to industrial education : as shown by Prof. Carr's reply to the grangers and mechanics; Prof. Swinton's testimony before the Legislature; the new education, by Columella; memorial to the Legislature by joint committee of the state grange and mechanics online

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Online LibraryEzra S. (Ezra Slocum) CarrThe University of California and its relations to industrial education : as shown by Prof. Carr's reply to the grangers and mechanics; Prof. Swinton's testimony before the Legislature; the new education, by Columella; memorial to the Legislature by joint committee of the state grange and mechanics → online text (page 11 of 13)
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of these institutions, both in Europe and America, that have
been successful, exposes his argument to the charge of insincer-
ity. It is in part no objection to the system, nor does it sup-
port in the smallest degree the suppositious proposition that the
" friends of agricultural education " have anywhere " abandon-
ed many of the hopes they have held and the plans tney have
tried within the last few years, and are now seeking by other
methods to reach the same result." On the contrary it is con-
clusive of the fact that they are everywhere engaged in perfect-
ing the system with which they have commenced. No system
of education ever introduced, encountered fewer difficulties in
its methods, and none in so brief a period, where experiments
have been honestly made, has been rewarded with more encour-
aging results.

The objection of President Gilman is poorly fortified by the
Board of Regents. They mistake the people as much as they
mistake their own duties in the following unsatisfactory and ar-
rogant announcement .

" They have been minutely informed of the difficulties encountered elsewhere
in the solution of this problem, of the disappointments and changes which have
occurred in other well known institutions, and of the local complaints which
have been uttered respecting the very Colleges and Universities whose example
they are urged to follow."

Do they tell the people of what these " disappointsments and
changes " and " local complaints " consist ? Oh no ! this is what
they say :

" They beg those who are interested in the problem to examine the catalogues,
registers, and reports of other State Colleges, and not rest their opinions upon
vague and inaccurate rumors of hostile criticisms."

We will not presume to say what was expected of this re-
quest, but we have complied with it to the extent of our power.
And we find that in no single instance have these institutions
encountered any difficulties, or disappointments, or changes that
were impediments to their establishment or progress. All new
enterprises require great consideration in the outset. But none
of these institutions have failed, though unlike each other in
in some important particulars, where a sincere effort has been
made to introduce them.

President White of Cornell University, speaking with refer-
ence to this feature, says :

" It may appear to some that this difference in modes of carrying out the act
in the different States was a misfortune. Far from it. I am prepared to main-
tain against all comers, that of all the good fortune which has attended the car-
rying out of the acts of 1862, this variety of plans and methods in the various
States was the best."

We should be sorry to perceive under these objections of the


President and Eegents, a covert hostility to any instruction in
agriculture and mechanics inseparable from belles lettres learn r
ing. But with the reasoning of the President, and the course
of agricultural instruction indicated, we hardly know in what
other light to consider them. They certainly are favorable to-
no course of agricultural instruction now in vogue in Europe or
America. In the former country, where they have had an ex-
perience of half a century or more and millions have been ex-
pended on these branches of education alone, where large and
flourishing institutions exist in great numbers, especially in
Germany, it is strange that there cannot be found one college
after which to mould a suitable institution for California.

Nor can we see the wisdom in awaiting the results of greater
expreience. If the educational system of Hohenheim, the roy-
al industrial schools of Saxony, the polytechnic school of Han-
over, and the colleges of agriculture and mechanics in nearly
every State in the Union furnish no exemplars, the whole sys-
tem may be safely pronounced a failure, and the sooner we fall
back into the old educational grooves and surrender all ideas of
imgrovement the better.

But is this the case. Mr. J. W. Hoyt, the United States
Commissioner to the Great Paris Exposition, who examined into ,
the cause of education in both Europe and America, speaks
most encouragingly of all the Agricultural and Polytechnic
Colleges of Europe. One nowhere gleans from any portion of
his critical and detailed analysis of them a single idea to justify
the implied inadequacy attributed to them by President Gilman.
He says however, that :

" Association between scientific and literary departments, if upon terms of
equality and fraternity, is desirable, but not otherwise. The friends of agricu-
ture should make sure therefore in effecting consolidation with any institution of
different character and aims, first that the articles of association are wisely
drawn, and what is no less important, that the administration of the new and
dual institution be confided to men of large, comprehensive and impartial views."

An admonition, which, if it would make our Agricultural and
Mechanical College of any efficiency, our people would do well
to heed !

But even President Gilman and the Board of Eegents are not
quite ready to sacrifice the colleges to their own unsupportable
predictions of failure. The endowment of '62 will pay for a
show of compliance with its requisitions. The prospect of a
further increase of their revenues of $30,000 a year, is not a
thing to be slighted, and if they do not feel like giving the peo-
ple the benefit of thorough instructions like Cornell University,
the Bussy Institution or the Massachusetts Agricultural College,


they can, at least, give them a semblance in those directions.
So, after declaring that Agricultural Colleges are not exactly
failures, the President tells us what the University should have
in order to complete its facilties for agricultural instruction.
When summarized, these recommendations consist as follows :

1. Of a Profossor of Agriculture, who when he is provided with adequate
facilitses, is free to make experiments, the benefits of which may teach the whole
State, while he gives special instruction to special agriculturists, and general in-
struction to other students.

2. Two Professorships devoted on the one hand to vegetable life, and on the
other to animal life.

3. Instruction in Natural Philosophy, Geology, Natural History, Chemistry,
analysis of soils, fertilizers and products, political economy, laws of exchange,
value and price, the use of the English language, and as many modern lan-
guages as the student pleases, history and the principles of civil rights.

Nearly all the instructions in the foregoing paragraph is in-
separable from every University curriculum in the country. Of
itself, it belongs no more to agriculture than to all the other
branches of education, and though necessary, by no means sup-
plies the places of special instruction.

4. A Museum of vegetable products.

5. A Botanical Garden with an arboretum.

6. As these enterprises mature, practical instruction to be given in the modes
of culture, and the right treatment of plants, shrubs and trees.

7. Experiments all over the State as to the conditions of growth under differ-
ent skies and soils, different fertilizers, different culture.

With such instruction as these facilities may afford, the Cal-
ifornia Agricultural College expects to send forth farmers to
cultivate our great valleys, teachers to instruct the world, and
physical scientists to investigate and make discoveries in all the
processes of culture and arts incident to farm life. The " hopes"
which President Gilman represents to have been disappointed in
the institutions of Europe, New York and New England, are
to be fully realized in this course of instruction, and all those
"objections and difficulties " which the Board of Regents well
knew, but would not divulge, are to be overcome by obtaining
for it a continuance of public favor.

Compare this instruction with that given by the eight profes-
sors and ten teachers of Cornell University, who are engaged
in the special instruction of agriculture alone. That comprises
the following subjects :

1. The Chemistry of Agriculture, including the constituents and analytical
composition of soils and of cultivated plants, the constituents and chemical
agencies of the atmosphere and of water, and the composition of manures.

2. The Geology of Agriculture, including the formation or soils, their chem-
ical, physical, and economic character, their suitability for different kinds of
crops, and the principal geological features of various "portions of the United
States as affecting the soil and productions.

3. The Physics of Agriculture, including meteorology, or the laws of climate,


and light and heat as influencing plant life.

4. The Mechanics of Agriculture, and their application to the various descrip-
tions of implements and labor required on the farm.

5. The Botany of Agriculture, including structural botany, vegetable physi-
ology, vegetable pathology, and a knowledge of crops cultivated for food and for
technical purposes.

6. The Zoology of Agriculture, including the habits, diseases, and treatment
of live stock, the anatomy of the horse, the cow, the sheep, and other farm ani-
mals, and all branches of veterinary surgery and medicine, as well as a special
•onsideration of insects injurious to vegetation.

7. The Economics of Agriculture, including the sequence of agricultural
operations, the economical divisions of labor, the rotation of crops, the imrpove-
ment of the soil by manuring, draining, and liming, farm engineering and con-
struction, general agricultural policy, and the management of landed property.

The University farm consists of nearly 300 acres. Produce
is raised upon it to feed the cattle. The most improved breeds
of farm animals are kept. Experiments are made in rotation of
crops, summer soiling, winter house feeding 'of cattle — growth
of crops suitable for that purpose, comparative merits of raised
and flat drill husbandry tested — fall and spring plowing pure —
breed and grade cattle, &c.

In practical agriculture, five hours weekly during the senior
year are devoted to technical instruction ; this time being divi-
ded between lectures, review, agricultural calculations, farm
accounts and outdoor instruction. Students are required to
visit the farm daily and take part in the work, when the Pro-
lessor in charge deems it necessary for their insruction.

Evey student is required to spend at least one vacation upon
the farm, when, if he chooses to take part in the regular opera-
tions, he will be paid according to his ability to work.

Besides the class room exercises, the student devotes as much
time as can profitably be spared for the purpose, to actual prac-
tice in the botanical, chemical and veterinary laboratories and
in the field.

In addition to this ill-practical instruction, the student is
taught in all the liberal branches of education, admitted to all
the lectures of the University, the library, and knows no dis-
tinction caste from his fellows who are pursuing the classics.

Yet this noble institution, if we are to credit President Gil-
man, has disappointed the hopes of his founders, because the
number of its students is so small. And he offers this as a rea-
son why our University should await the result of some more
fortunate experiment. In the meantime our agricultural and
mechanical students are to be fed upon such shreds and crumbs
of knowledge as at the smallest possible expense can supporta
claim to the increased but conditional endowment of Congress.
For this reason a pretentious register is published, and we are


told of teachers who have volunteered their services free of ex-
pense. For this reason experimental stations in different parts
of the State are to be established, in lieu of permanent and in-
creasing facilities at the University, and these we are told " will
do more to promote the right principles of agriculture, to in-
crease the wealth and elevate the work of the agriculturist,
than it will accomplish by teaching a thousand boys to plow."
These stations are simple agencies of the agricultural schools
of Germany, but even in their subordinate capacity, they unite
local facilities which President Gilman fails to mention. Hoyt,
who visited those connected with the ancient Universities of
Halle, Jena and Gottingen, says the experimental station —

" consists of a few acres of land — twelve to twenty — divided into small plats
for purely experimental purposes, in the midst of, or in the immediate connec-
tion with which there is a chemical and physical laboratory, and not unfrequent-
ly such accommodations for domestic animals, and such general facilities for
physiological investigation as are suggested by the problems of breeding, ordi-
nary feeding, fattening, &c."

He says, " they are destined not only to go hand in hand with the agricultu-
ral schools, but to be established in many cases independently, and where it is
neither practicable or needful to establish a school."

Even with all these facilities, with laboratories, and domestic
animals to make the experiment certain, Hoyt says, " they can-
not settle all the questions that must arise, since many of them
are limited in scope by circumstauces of locality, and can only
be determined on the very spot where they arise."

But these are not the kind of stations described by President
Gilman. Those have no laboratories or domestic animals, and
make no provision for the problems of breeding, ordinary feed-
ing, fattening, &c. They are simply " experiments as to the
conditions of growth under different skies and soils, different
fertilizers, different culture." All well enough as far as it goes,
but wanting in the thoroughness of scientific instruction, and
exactly of a piece with the remainder of the patchwork system
recommended by the President.

Such stations as those of Europe established thoroughout Cal-
ifornia, would far exceed in expense the fullest possible equip-
ment of the University, and after all was completed, and they
were in successful operation, they would only be "agencies in
the great work of agricultural education. All the other appli-
ances would be just as needful with as without them.

The merit of President Gilman 's stations would be that they
would "require very little land, and very little outlay," and we
might add, that in the form which we give them, they would
accomplish very little good. In any event, they would certain-
ly prove miserable substitutes for that thought practical and


scientific knowledge which a student would acquire either at
Cornell. Bussy or the Massachusetts Agricultural College.
They might, as the President remarks, do more for agriculture
than the science could derive from "teaching a thousand boys to
plow." And yet plowing has been thought enough of at Cor-
nell to justify the importation of "Baw plows" for the instruc-
tion of the students. The subject can hardly be disposed of by
a sneer.

Our Board of Regents inform us that the College of Agricul-
ture, which was the first established among the Colleges of arts,
"has been steadily maintained from its commencement with no
diminution of its curriculum, but with increased advantages."
How have its advantages been increased? At a meeting of the
Board of Eegents in July, 1872, Mr. Bolander, the chairman of
a special committee to report on the expedience of establishing
an experimental garden, put the following questions to the
Board :

"Shall we not test the technological value of our native vegetable products?
Have we studied our various kinds of timber as to strength and durability?
Have we studied our native vegetations, as to the fibres, resins, gums, dyes, pa-
per materials, drugs, oils, etc., it may contain? Do we know as yet any chemi-
cal educts of our plants? Do we know the yield in potash by our native grega-
rious plants? Have we examined into the yield of the iodine and bromine of our
immense masses of sea weeds? Have we made any toxicological researches of
plants so injurious to stock ?

These are questions in Chemistry, a branch which it is claim-
ed the institution is prepared, to teach. No excuse can be offer-
ed for neglecting it, yet these questions would not have been
asked by one of the Regents, if the subjects to which they refer
had ever received attention — subjects which would naturally be
among the first exercises of a class in chemical agriculture.

Mr. Bolander then proceeds to recommend that the Board of
Regents "locate immediately such portions of the University
domain as are to be devoted to Agriculture and Horticulture,
and cause the same to be accurately surveyed and mapped.

1. For an orchard specimen fruits of all kinds likely to be successfully and
profitably raised in some portion of this State, at least five acres.

2. For vineyard, mulberry, textile and oil producing plants, four acres.

3. For culinary vegetables and small fruits, two acres.

4. For the cultivation of all kinds of useful fruits and shade trees, ten acres.

5. For the cultivation of indigenous and foreign and medicinal plants, one

6. For the cultivation of all our native arborescent plants , to serve as a prac-
tical introductin to the study of Botany for the students, three acres."

He then recommends further:

1. "That an annual appropriation of $500 be made for the purchase of all kinds
of seeds of our indigenous vegetation. These seeds shall be used for exchanges
with foreign institutions of a similar nature.


2. That an annual appropriation of $500 be made for the purchase and intro-
duction of fiuit trees not existing in this State.

3. That an industrial museum be established with a phy to-chemical laborato-
ry to test the usefulness of plants.

4. That a greenhouse and a small propagating house be erected.

5. That a competent and a scientific gardener be employed to lay out the
grounds, and take charge of the entire work.

6. That the preservation, drying and packing of all kinds of fruit be made a
special subject of investigation.

7. That vinegar and wine making, silk culture distillation of volatile oil, and
paper making be taught in connection with agriculture and horticulture.

8. That it shall be the duty of the Professor of Agriculture to superintend all
operations connected with the experimental gardens, to open correspondence with
acclimatization societies and institutions of like purpose in foreign countries, and
to report annually to the Board of Regents on the progress and conditions of the
garden. These reports shall be published at once and distributed at large.

9. That the students be allowed to work a certain length of time during the
day, and be compensated therefor.

10. That the surplus of plants raised be distributed throughout the State, to
such farmers and persons who are willing to plant the same, and to report an-
nually on their condition.

11. That regular daily observations be made on climatic changes."

These recommendations were made four years after the estab-
lishment of the Agricultural College. A glance at the reports
made by other agricultural colleges, as published in the report
of the department of agriculture, will show that not one of them
was unsupplied with many — some with all these aids and forms
of instruction before the close of the third year of their exist-
ence. What kind of an Agricutural College must that be,
which, at the close of four years has made no chemical exami-
nation of our timbers and native vegetation — that is unsupplied
with seeds — has made no provision for fruit trees — has no green
house — no propagating house — no industrial museum — no gar-
dens or gardeners, to say nothing of the absence of a farm and
stock and all facilties for manual labor and practical illustratra-
tion; that in fact has never caused a survey to be made of its
agricultural domain? How much of a "diminution of its cur-
riculum'" could be made, and have it retain the name of a col-
lege of agriculture? How long can its avowed curriculum be
pursued without disclosing to the world the hollowness of its

How did the Board dispose of these recommendations of Mr.
Bolander ? They laid them temporarily on the table two years
ago, and they have never been heard of since ; but within the
past three months, since the legislative investigation, and since
it became known that government contemplated an examination
and a further conditional endowment, they have adopted three
or four of the least important of these recommendations, and
employed a gardener. But where is the experimental garden —


where the farm — where the stock — where the great practical lab-
oratories which are to illustrate the teachings of the class room ?

Have all these improvements which it seems at one time were
contemplated, been dispensed with on the recommendation of
the new President ? Are these among the " difficulties, disap-
pointments and changes which have occurred in other well
known institutions," of which the Board of Regents has been
" minutely informed ?" Is their absence to be supplied by those
" other methods to reach the same result," so oracularly alluded
to by the President ? Does the present course and scope of in-
struction, as published by the President and Regents, embrace
those other methods ?

The Board of Regents have adopted for the development of
the grounds of the University, the plan of W. H. Hall, Esq.
Mr. Hall's report accompanies the " statements " made by the
board to the Legislature. It is simply the plan of a landscape
and ornamental gardener. Convenience, utility, use, economy,
even the land and soil are subordinated to the single element of
landscape effect. Mr. Hall says :

"Though the principles of landscape composition should govern in a great
measure the arrangement of these grounds, the fact that the institution is one of
learning should be held in view in the development of every portion of the lands,
but the entire conversion of this beautiful site into a school of practical horticul-
ture and agriculture would be a needless act of vandalism. I would therefore
establish a series of botanical studies, grounds for economic botany, the culture
of fruits, berries, and farm produce; a forestry, an arboretum and other instruc-
tive features, some of which are indicated, stocked with a variety of trees and
shrubs; but I would make their arrangement subservient to principles govern-
ing the effect of the whole, and not a mere carrying out of botanical classifica-
tion. ' '

Governed by these views, Mr. Hall has devised a very beauti-
ful plan for the improvement of the University grounds. If
the institution were simply a college of letters, nothing would
be more suitable, but when we consider that it is impossible to
establish an agricultural and mechanical college here, conform-
able to the advanced views of leading educators in those sciences,
without at least one farm, without vineyards and graperies, and
barns, and workshops, and accommodations for stock of different
kinds, this elaborate ornamentation strikes us as being entirely
out of place. The student's taste for esthetics will be improved
at the expense of his taste for the more useful studies. And
when the time comes, as it surely must, that some or all of the
conveniences we have mentioned are needed, this beautiful park
will necessarily be disfigured by structures built more for use
than beauty. A plan uniting utility with ornament, in which
the former should predominate, would much better compass the


" leading " interest of the institution. As the President says of
the site, it looks directly toward the Bay, to the Golden Grate,
and to the Farallone Islands beyond ; one of the most beautiful
sites adapted to college instruction."

This grand view itself can compensate for the absence of
many of the lesser landscape beauties with which Mr. Hall pro-
poses to adorn the spot. The substantial yoemanry of Califor-
nia, who have prehaps greater interests in the success of the
institution than any other class, would be better satisfied to see
it supplied with means for ample instruction, than mere land-
scape ornamentation.

But this improvement is strikingly in harmony with the sys-
tem of agricultural instruction recommended by the President
and Board. As that does not contemplate instruction in plow-
ing and working upon the farm, so this makes no provisions for

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Online LibraryEzra S. (Ezra Slocum) CarrThe University of California and its relations to industrial education : as shown by Prof. Carr's reply to the grangers and mechanics; Prof. Swinton's testimony before the Legislature; the new education, by Columella; memorial to the Legislature by joint committee of the state grange and mechanics → online text (page 11 of 13)