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

. (page 7 of 13)
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 7 of 13)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

not entertain a very high regard for his abilities before he came here. My ob-
servation did not increase my regard for his fitness. That feeling has been grow-
ing ever since.

Q. — In what way do you believe that the Board of Regents, either acting under
the influence of President Gilman or not, failed to carry out the wishes of the
people in the management or establishment of the Agricultural Department of the

Mr. Friedenrich. — I would suggest, Mr. Chairman, that the witness present his
statement written out.

To the Chairman of the Joint Committee on the University :

Sir : When, on the eleventh instant, I had the honor of ap-
pearing before your honorable committee, in obedience to a sub-
poena, a member (Mr. Amerman) made the following statement :

" I suppose, so far as the committee is concerned, that they want to obtain any
information that it is possible to obtain in relation to the condition and manage-
ment of the University, and with which the Faculty are conversant. Without
putting any specific questions, I suppose it would be perfectly in order for you to
state anything that would throw light npon this subject."

In accordance with this courteous invitation, I beg leave to
present the subjoined considerations. At the outset, however,
it is proper for me to promise, that it is not my design to enter
into the large and complicated question of university organiza-
tion (for the framework of that is already provided for in the
Organic Act,) but merely, to offer certain general views regarding
the University's "condition and management."

And first, as to the present state of the University with rela-
tion both to the purpose contemplated by the national land
grant, which constitutes its main permanent endowment, and to
the expressed desire of the people, whose benefactions, through
legislative action, have been and still are necessary to the exis-
tence of the institution.


The purpose contemplated by the national land grant is ex-
plicitly set forth in the language of the law of Congress, which
declares that " the fund shall be applied to the endowment sup-
port and maintenance of at least one college, where the leading
object shall be, without excluding other scientific and classical
studies, and including military tactics, to teach such branches of
learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts."


True, the law, by not excluding " other scientific and literary
studies," presents an opportunity for the introduction of a gen-
eral scientific course, but it at the same time concentrates the
main force of its purpose on the industrial arts as the " leading
object " of the National Colleges.

This law dates back to 1862 ; and considering the period at
which it was framed, it is a notable instance of advanced educa-
tional views — for the noble and democratic theory of the people's
university, which shall aim at the " betterment of man's estate,"
is a modern thought, originating not in the cloister but in the
popular heart, and even yet unappreciated by the scholastic
class, who, by the very fact of their position, are expounders of
the old rather than creators of the new.

Unmistakable, however, as is the scope of the law, it, unfor-
tunately, by the generality of its terms, leaves an opening, small
indeed, yet sufficiently wide to have prompted in several instances
the attempt to pervert the essential aim of the Act by convert-
ing the National Colleges into literary and " pure science "
schools — that is to say : the non-exclusion of the general culture
studies as a secondary object has, by the obstructive ingenuity
of pedantry, been made the excuse for the exclusion of that
which, with noticeable emphasis, is declared to be the primary
object, to wit : the practical application of science to the wants
of man. I say that this looseness in the law has, in several in-
stances, been made the occasion for the kind of perversion
spoken of (I waive, for the moment, the query whether such
perversion has been attempted in the case of the University of
California ;) and this abuse of a grand intent has alarmed the
friends of popular practical education. Thus the able and ex-
haustive Report on University Education, published by Congress
in 1870, speaks of the " danger to the interests of agriculture
and the mechanic arts, when confided to men unacquainted with
and wholly unappreciative of them." " The friends of agricul-
ture," it continues, " should make sure in effecting a consolida-
tion with an institution of different character and aims (I waive,
for the moment, the query whether the late College of Califor-
nia is a case in point,) that the administration of the dual insti-
tution be confided to men of large, comprehensive and impartial
views." (Report on Education, by Dr. I. W. Hoyt, U. S. Com-
missioner, p. 152.)

But there is a yet more decisive and authoritive expression of
opinion respecting the vital object of the national grant for in-
dustrial schools, in Morrill's new Agricultural Bill, now pending
before Congress. For it is declared that this has been


rendered necessary in order to correct just the kind of abuse here
spoken of, and to insure good faith. " If," says the Act, " it
shall at any time be made to appear to the Secretary of the In-
terior, by unequivocal evidence, that any State or Territory has
not in good faith substantially complied with the provisions of
the Act named in the first section of this Act, as to the use, ob-
ject and purpose therein contemplated, he shall at once duly no-
tify the Treasurer of the United States, who shall thereafter
withhold the payment of any interest which may have accrued,
or accrue, to any colleges in such State or Territory, until such
time as the Secretary of the Interior shall be satisfied as to the
compliance with the provisions of said Act, and shall so notify
the Treasurer aforesaid." The University of California is deep-
ly interested in the success of this bill, for it would, in case it
could be shown that the institution has faithfully complied with
the provisions of this Act, in making agriculture and the me-
chanic arts the leading object, add over $30,000 per annum to
its permanent endowment. (But I waive, for the moment, the
query whether such compliance could be shown by the Board of
Regents of the University of California.)

In regard to the new bill, and the attitude which the scientific
doctrinaries hold thereto, the eleventh annual report of the
Massachusetts Agricultural College (1874) says : " Many of the
leading educators [i. e., individuals in leading educational posi-
tions,] who seem to have hitherto regarded these new institutions
with silent contempt, have become alarmed at their rising impor-
tance ; and Presidents of Universities, both old and new, ap-
peared at the Capitol in person, or by letter, to remonstrate
against the proposed action of Congress." (Here, too, I waive,
for the moment, the consideration whether the President of the
University of California was one of these " remonstrants.")


With this much of consideration of the purpose contemplated
by the national land grant for Agricultural and Mechanic Arts
Colleges, I have now to make up the correlative question : what
is the wish of the people of California touching the University,
which they are taxing themselves to sustain ?

On this head there is happily no room for doubt. The mem-
orial now before this Legislature — a memorial behind which
stands the imposing and voluminous figure of the two great
producing classes, to wit : the agriculturists and artisans of this
State — voices with no ambiguous utterance, the passionate and
irrepressible desire for a University of the people, by the people,
for the people. Says the memorial :


" Believing that the first and highest employment of men is to feed, shelter
and clothe the world, we ask that the graduates of our industrial colleges may
be peers of scholars in mental culture, and peers of laborers in manual skill and
physical development. Agriculture, in its various departments, should be so
taught and practiced in our University as to send forth scientific farmers, whose
labor and skill can utilize the soil and develope its greatest resources, while the
mechanical department should graduate learned and skilled mechanics ; and it
is the earnest desire of the agriculturists and meclianics of this State to make these
great departments of industry the leading feature of our State University."
(Memorial of California State Grange and Mechanics' Deliberative Assembly on
the State University, p. 8.)

These ringing declarations, which, to my mind, add a new-
dignity to the industrial vocation, methinks they are the voice,
as of many waters, of the People who come up to to the Capitol to
demand that their great intent be not obstructed, but carried out
— and I most respectfully leave with your committee to determine
whether this majestical array is to be waived away by the
shrunken figure of a college President disceursing scholastic
platitudes about the supposititious "failure " of the people's
glorious aspiration !


If, in this presentation of the claims which the National G-ov -
ernment, as well as the people of California, have on the Uni-
versity, I have, as is probable, obtruded on your committee facts
and views already familiar to you, it is because it has seemed to
me that they are sometimes left out of sight, and because they
are the necessary preliminary to the statement of the actual
condition of the University in relation to its fundamental aim
and purpose. This is the cardinal point in your inquiry, and I
now proceed to answer it, premising, however, that matters as
well of theory as of fact, will have to be taken into account.

As regards the past, I have stated in my testimony that pro-
bably the Board of Regents of the University has, in the mat-
ter of industrial education, acted as well as could be expected of
a body constituted as it is. According to their " lights " the
members have doubtless aimed at the best interests of the Uni-
versity. There have been, again, many obstacles to the carrying
out of the original intent of the University, such as the recent-
ness of its organization, its late change of location, etc. These
should have a due weight ; and yet, I venture to declare, not an
undue weight, for many of the State institutions, the recipients
of the National Grant for Agricultural and Industrial Colleges,
that are no older than the University of California, have already
planted things like to last, in the establishment of practical
schools, which, by their signal success, have demonstrated that
the national grant was founded in the largest wisdom.

This question, however, of what the Regents have done or


have left undone is a question apart, the answer to which may
be left to their own consciences. Meanwhile, the main, vital,
overshadowing question is, what is now the


Regarding practical education, so far as that theory, design, pur-
pose and intent, may be gathered from the published utterances
thereanent ?

On this subject the most salient and memorable exposition
was made by President Gil man in his address before the Legis-
lature. He said, after stating the scope of the University, that,
" if inquiry should show that the friends of agricultural educa-
tion, under the most favorable circumstances, were disappointed,
or that their hopes had been abandoned, California should avail
herself of this experience, and before incurring radical change
or expense, ascertain the lessons of experience elsewhere."

It will be noticed here that the failure of industrial institu-
tions is made, not declaratively, but by hypothesis. Yet, that
President Gilman wished to leave the impression that Agricul-
tural and Mechanic Arts Colleges are failures, is sufficiently evi-
denced by the fact that he proceeds to array all the supposed
" disappointments " and " abandonments of hope " by " the
friends (?) of agricultural education," citing the Agricultural
Colleges of Massachusetts, New York, Iowa, etc., as instances.
And, to reinforce this impression, a compilation of all the dis-
mal jeremiades over the supposed "failure " of these schools has
recently been made by the same hand, printed and laid on the
members' desks. (Facts in relation to Agricultural Colleges.)
I cannot refrain from saying that it is difficult to conceive any
adequate motive for this wholesale perversion of the truth. The
progress, success, and benefits of the Industrial Universities and
Colleges founded by Congress to promote agriculture and the
mechanic arts, considering the means employed, the recentness
of their establishment, and the obstructions put in their way by
the caste prejudice of the classicists and scientific schoolmen,
have been far beyond that of any other higher institutions of
learning in the country, and form, indeed the most inspiring edu-
cational fact of the nineteenth century. I need only refer you
to the last Report of the National Department of Agriculture
for information touching the progress of the colleges enjoying
the Congressional grant have. This document presents a most
gratifying exhibit of the thirty-two State Agricultural and In-
dustrial Colleges, which are attended by more than three thous-
and students, a large portion of whom are pursuing agricultural
and mechanical studies, and are under the care and instruction


of more than three hundred and fifty Professors. On this head
I respectfully refer to an admirable resume of the success of
these institutions, contained in the recently published report of
the Committee on Education in the California Legislature.
(See pp. 4 and 5.)


But, aside from the demonstrated fact of the success of these
establishments, I cannot refrain from asking that a priori rea-
son exists for supposing that they should be a failure, if under
the conduct of men hospitable to the great cause ? In various
departments of human activity it is recognized that pure science
must be brought down into contact with pi ofessional pursuits,
and it is conceded that only special schools can perform this
work. That there is a point of contact between pure mathe-
matics and the art of navigation, is made manifest by the fact
that the Federal Government sustains a Naval Academy for the
training of skilled officers in a special branch of the public ser-
vice, and a Military Academy to fit men for another service, to
wit, the profession of arms. Medicine, I believe, is not taught
in the abstract, but in theaters of anatomy and in the clinics of
the hospital ; and law schools seem to be successful just in pro-
portion as they bring the exposition of pure principles in rela-
tion with the methods of actual procedure.

Now is it to be supposed that in the exploitation of the pro-
ductive forces of nature there is no room for the practical appli-
cations of science, taught in schools in which theory is brought
in contact with practice and experiment ? Is the boasted Ba-
conian method, which makes "fruits " (that is, practical results,)
the test of sound philosophy, a mere delusion ? It is a fact
which legislators would do well to take into account, that as in
the case of about one half the whole number of the globe's in-
habitants the chief occupation is the tilling of the soil, and fur-
ther, that as in all civilized countries another large part of the
population is, in the diversified forms of mechanical industry,
engaged in the fabrication of articles useful to man, agriculture
and the mechanic arts necessarily form the real basis of a na-
tion's wealth, prosperity and happiness. If, between science and
these divine creative functions of humanity there is no connect-
ing link, and lawyers, doctors and priests alone are privileged to
draw from the upper reservoirs, then, indeed, may thoughtful
men well begin to inquire if science is not out of joint.


But on this score speculation is superseded by fact. The Na-


tional Government, acting on the faith of a great and beneficent
idea, sought in the Agricultural College bill to elevate the in-
dustrial pursuits to the rank and dignity of the so-called learned
professions. The conviction had long prevailed that our higher
institutions of learning did not confer upon these pursuits equal
advantages with the old " professions," and the idea of training
young men in the direction of these pursuits, of putting brains
into these industries, gained ground and was embodied in the
Act of 1862. And every body, but President Gilman, believes
that the experiment, wherever fairly and honestly tried, has been
a most gratifying success.


In this view, I cannot but think it lamentable that cultured
gentlemen of the Board of Regents should have come before
your honorable committee (as the testimony shows they have
done) to cast ridicule on the popular desire that the applications
of science to the great practical interests of life shall receive in
the University that consideration which the law demands. The
reasonable wish of the people, that some definite efforts shall be
made in the direction of agriculture and the mechanic arts is
met by the flippant query : " Do you wish us to teach your sons
to plow and harrow, to peg shoes, or set up steam engines ? "
Surely, in view of the weigty interest at stake, there was never
made a more melancholy use of the redutio ad absurdum.
And it is the more melancholy, from ths fact that the trium-
phant iteration of this argument shows, that in place of being a
mere piece of bandinage, it is a significant revelation of the ac-
tual attitude of these gentlemen towards the weighty modern
problem of the renovation of education into conformity with
the broad facts of American politics and sociology. What a
proof of the survival of that scholastic feudalism which regarded
the learned professions as something in which inhere dignities
and proscriptive rights, that the tiller of the soil and the " base
mechanical " should be frowned on for claiming !


These revelations of the attitude of President Gilman towards
the claims of industrial education, cast a vivid retrospective
light on a series of changes which, soon after this accession,
were made in the organization of the University — changes made,
too, without the advice or consent of the Faculty, and which, I
feel free to say, a majority of the members regard as most im-
politic, if not illegal. The nature of these changes I now pro-
ceed to indicate.


It is well known that the Organic Act provided, in the organ-
ization of the University, for the establishment of certain col-
leges, to wit : a State College of Agriculture, a State College of
Mechanic Arts, a State College of Mines, a State College of
Civil Engineering, a State College of Letters, etc. The same
Act required that the College of Agriculture should be first es-
tablished, the College of Letters being already in existence, as
an heirloom of the old College of California.

Upon this basis the University was organized, and went into
operation September, 1869. The first Register (1870) explicitly
enumerates these Colleges as the constituent members of the
University, and states that " each College confers a proper de-
gree at the end of the course." It is true that this organiza-
tion was in part an ideal one, seeing that de facto neither the
College of Mechanic Arts, nor that of Mines, nor that of Civil
Engineering, was in existence ; but the plan was at least in ac-
cordance with law — a curriculum was drawn out for each Col-
lege, and only the filling of certain chairs was requisite in order
that they might pass from the realm of the ideal into that of
the real.

The Register of 1872-3 — the first after the accession of Presi-
dent Gilman — was to the Faculty the first revelation of a com-
plete transformation in the organization of the University.
While the College of Letters remained, the four other Colleges
had, to all appearance, become disincorporate, one common cur-
riculum of science being substituted therefor, and only certain
special " scientific studies " remaining as ghostly reminences of
the College of Agriculture, College of Mechanic Arts, College,
of Mining, etc. The last official exhibit of the organ-
ization of the University in the proof-sheets of the forthcoming
Register for 1874, shows the University to consist of (1) a
"Faculty of Science," (2) a "Faculty of Letters" — Agricul-
ture, the Mechanics Arts, Mining, etc., still flitting vaguely as
" special courses " in the " Department of Science."

It is true that the change thus affected is one rather of nom-
clature than of fact, and it would be of uo special import were
there collateral assurance that the intent of the managers of the
University looked to a faithful carrying out of the law ; but,
taken in connection with the recent persistent championing of
the theory that the University should be a literary and " pure
science " school of the Connecticut type, and with the statements
that the experiment of practical education is a dismal failure,
the change of name gathers a most pregnant significance.

One of the most unfortunate results entailed by this merging


of the individuality of the " Colleges " composing the Univer-
sity, is that it takes away the reasonable ground of demand for
professors and lecturers to carry on the full carricula of said
colleges. So long as the cadre, or framework of these several
Colleges remained, the Kegents could point to vacant chairs, and
with justice ask the people for means to fill these chairs ; but as
it now is, one professor would seem to be fully adequate to the
instructional demands of any mere " special course " in the De-
partment of Science.

It may now be in place to state briefly


In the University. And on this head, it is proper to mention
that the latest Kegister is scarcely a trustworthy guide, for the
imposing display therein made is rather an ideal to be worked
up to, than an accomplished or even a possible fact. The work
actually done in the " specialty " of agriculture consists exclus-
ively of didactic exposition in the class-room, to wit : five lec-
tures per week on the subjects of agricultural chemistry, agri-
cultural botany, etc.; and as these subjects are in the hands of
an able and experienced professor, the instruction cannot be
other than valuable ; but as an " Agricultural College," this
can hardly be deemed a shining success.

In contrast with this meager performance, and as an exem-
plar of what should be done in California, the mode in which
other institutions, founded on the national grant for the estab-
lishment of agricultural and industrial colleges, have carried
out the "leading object" of the Act, is most instructive. In
the recent official printed " Statements " of the Kegents to your
committee, they say that they " beg those who are interested in
the problem (of agricultural and industrial education) to exam-
ine the catalogues, registers and reports of other State Colleges,
and not rest their opinions upon vague end inaccurate rumors,
or hostile criticisms." This suggestion is most appropriate ; for
such examination, while bringing some mortification by the con-
trast of the little we have done with the marvelous practical
success of these institutions, will afford both a spur to our efforts
and a standard for our aims.


For this purpose an examination of the registers of the Ag-
ricultural College of Massachusetts (at Amherst,) and of New
York (Cornell,) will suffice.

In the Massachusetts Agricultural College the following
Faculty appears in the specialties of agriculture :


Professor Clark, Professor of Agricultural Botany and Hor-

Professor Stockbridge, Professor of Agriculture.

Professor Goessmann, Professor of Agricultural Chemistry.

Professor Cressy, Professor of Veterinary Science.

Professor Packard, Lecturer on Useful and Injurious Insects.

Professor Dickenson, Lecturer on Rural Law.

S. T. Maynard, Gardener and Assistant Professor of Horticul-

1 2 3 4 5 7 9 10 11 12 13

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 7 of 13)