Samuel W Durant.

History of Oneida County, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers online

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its collegiate course requires four years of study in the classi-

f While in charge of the Baptists it was known as the Clinton
Seminary, and in 1844 was removed to Whitestown, where it became
the Whitestown Seminary.



cal and higher English branches. A pleasant reading-room
in connection is .supplied with all the leading periodicals of
a literary, scientific, and religious character, to which all the
young ladies have free access by paying one dollar per year.
The proximity of the seminary to the astronomical ob-
servatory, the mineralogical and geological cabinet, the
chemical laboratory, philosophical apparatus and library
of Hamilton College, is of great advantage, especially to
those engaged in the study of the natural sciences. The
average attendance at the seminary since Dr. Gallup took
charge has been about ninety.

The following are the various officers and the faculty :
Board of Trustees: Hon. Othniel S. Williams, Samuel W.
Raymond, M.D., Prof. Edward North, Gen. C. H. Smyth,
J. C. Gallup, M.D. Board of Examination ; Rev. Thomas
B. Hudson, D.D., Clinton ; Prof Germain G. Porter,
Hamilton College ; Rev. William Reese, Clinton ; Rev. I.
N. Terry, New Hartford; Rev. A. A. Watson, Clinton.
Committee of Regents' Examination : Lorenzo Rouse, Esq.,
B. F. Libby, Esq., Rev. I. L. Powell. Faculty : John C.
Gallup, A.M., M.D., Physiology, Geology, and Moral Sci-
ence; Mrs. Marilla H. Gallup, Mental Philosophy and
Criticism ; Miss Abbie S. Hervey, Latin and Natural Sci-
ences ; Mrs. Frances G. Lee, English Branches and His-
tory; Miss Adelaide H. Whitfield, Higher Mathematics
and English Branches; Miss Annie L. Wright, Latin;
Miss Fannie E. Frink, Latin and English ; M'lle. Carolina
Sandberg, French and German ; Miss Sarah L. Dartt, Vocal
and Instrumental Music; F. B. Ellinwood, Organ, Piano,
and Voice; Dwight Williams, Object Drawing and Painting.


After retiring from the " Home Cottage Seminary," Miss
Louisa M. Barker established the above institution as n
family school, fitted for fourteen boarders. Since her de-
cease it has passed into the hands of Miss Annie Chipman,
long an associate principal with Miss Barker. It is situ-
ated on College Street, in the midst of several acres of
ground, which have been beautifully laid out, and was built
expressly for the purposes of a boarding school and semi-
nary. Miss Chipman has maintained the school with a
very high degree of efficiency and success. The aim of the
institution is to combine good educational advantages with
the right kind of home influence. Particular attention is
paid to the elementary branches, the pupil being then pre-
pared to enter upon the regular course of study, which in-
cludes the usual branches of an English education. These
studies are made practical and familiar by illustrative exer-
cises, selected readings, and conversation. The class of
1877 consisted of seven members. The graduates previous
to that year numbered thirty.

Miss Chipman has associated with her as assistants Misses
Laura M. Strong, Anna P. Little, Jennie E. Criswell, A.
Belle Johnson, and Nettie Cook.

I. Mamihon Oneida Academy.
" In the biography of the missionary Kirkland via find
that as early as the year 1790 he was meditating a plan for

'•".Principally from Gridley's History of Kirkland.

the education of the Indian tribes of central New York.
In the year 1792 he had matured his scheme so far as to
include within it a system of primary schools for native
children and an academy for English youth, together with
a select number of older Indian boys from the various
tribes of the Confederacy. Three of these primary schools
were established, and continued in efficient operation for
several years. For the convenience of both parties he pro-
posed to place his academy near what was then the bound-
ary line between the white settlements and the Indian ter-
ritory. The project was well approved everywhere, but
perhaps it found its warmest friends among those intelligent
families which had recently emigrated from New England
and settled in the adjoining towns."

The Indian boys to be admitted to the academy were,
in Mr. Kirkland's words, " to be instructed in the principles
of human nature, in the history of civil society, so as to be
able to discern the difference between a state of nature and
a state of civilization, and know what it is that makes one
nation differ from another in wealth, power, and happiness ;
and in the principles of natural i-eligion, the moral precepts,
and the more plain and express doctrines of Christianity.''

The settlers in the vicinity may have somewhat doubted
the success of the academy so far as the Indians were con-
cerned, but felt sure it would be beneficial to the white

In 1792, Mr. Kirkland went to New York and Phila-
delphia to consult certain eminent oculists, — he having re-
ceived an injury to one of his eyes while riding through
the woods, — and on that journey gave his first serious
thoughts to the academy. He visited the Governor of the
State and the Regents of the University, and with their
co-operation took the first steps towards procuring a charter,
which was obtained the following year, — 1793. He was
largely aided by Alexander Hamilton and Colonel Picker-
ing, and while at Philadelphia called upon President Wash-
ington, who expressed a warm interest in the welfare of the
institution. Mr. Hamilton was one of the trustees named
in the petition for its incorporation, and after him it was
named the " Hamilton Oneida Academy." The preamble
of the original charter is as follows :

" Whcrean, Samuel Kirkland, .loniis Piatt, Eli Bristoll, Erastus Clark,
Joel Bristoll, Sewall Hopkins, James Dean, and Michael Myers, by an
instrument in writing, under their hands and seals, bearing date the
12th day of November, in the year of our Lord 1792, after stating,
among other things, that they are founders and benefactors of a cer-
tain Academy in Whitestown, contiguous to the Oneida Kiition of
Indians, in the County of Herkimer, in the State aforesaid, who have
contributed more than one-half in the value of the real and personal
property and estate collected and appointed for the use and benefit of
said Academy, did make application to us, the said Regents, that the
said Academy might be incorporated, and become subject to the visita-
tion of us and our suceessbrs, and that we would signify our approba-
tion that Alexander Hamilton, John Lansing, Egbert Benson, Dan
Bradley, Eli Bristoll, Erastus Clark, James Dean, Moses Foot, Thomas
R. Gold, Sewall Hopkins, Michael Myers, Jonas Piatt, Jedediah
Sanger, John Sargeant, Timothy Tuttle, and Samuel Wells, named
in the said application, and their successors, might be a body corporate
and politic, by the name and style of the Trustees of Hamiton Oneida
Academy. "t

The Regents duly " signified their approbation,'' and the

■)■ Jones' Annals.



charter was signed by George Clinton, Chancellor, and N.
Lawrence, Secretary.

In April, 1793, a subscription-paper was circulated for
means to build the academy. It wa.s headed by Mr. Kirk-
land with a valuable donation of land as a site foj the
institutioni The following is a copy of this subscription
list, and shows. the good will of the people, though their
means were somewhat limited :

Names of Subscribei'S.
SiUnuol Kirkland

£ s. d.

Jolin Sargeant..
Moses Foot

James Dean

Jedcdhih Sanger......

Sewall Hnpliine...
Timothy Tattle/.,

Dan Bfadley

Kli Biistoll

Italpli Kirkland

Sliejie D. Sackett

Set'li -Blair :

Deudqriis Clark

Erastns Clark

Jonas Platr... :...

Thulnad Cassdj'..'....,

Isaac Jones

Elias Kane....:

Henry Men-ill

JuTin Yonng

Jesse "Manner

Si'tihnel Laii-rf. .......

Elizur Mosely

Lorin Webb


Epbraim Blackmer...

Jii8e])h' Blackmer

lar-ai-I Green

Joel Bristbll....:.

E/.ra Hurt

Aaron Ut^nman^:! .....

Atiner Ormsby

Stephen Willafd



■ 1




Brnnson Foof;.. ..„.„.

Consider Law


Soloiniin Thompson^.
Jiilih Tiiwnsend........

Ainiia Panni'ley

Naiban Tmvnseiid....
Silas I'helps....... ......

Moses DeM^it<

Thomas Hooker

Noah Taylor..'

Nathaniel Griflln......



Ebenezer Seeley.......

Simucl Wells ;

PelSg' Havens

Thonias Hart

Ira Foot

Josepli Boynton

Ebenezer Butler

Timothy Pond, Jr....

Broome & Piatt

Steplien Ban'ett

Seth 'Ki)bert4. ...........

Amos Kellogg

Oliver Tiittle

Ellas Dewey......

Aaron ICellosg

Tht)ma.s Whitoomt)..

James Smith, Jr:

Barnabas Pond

Elijah Blodgetf.. ......

Henry Holley., ;.

Seeley Finch...........

Ja«iah Bra'rlnet* ■.^'.

Joseph Stanton

Poiiiroy Hull

Jlufns Stanton....:...

Amos Blair.

Oliver Phelps.'.

Samavl Tuttle....-

Peter'Shiith; .'. ,

Thomusli. Gold..



' 1










1 12

Other Items.

and 15 days' work. Also 300 acres of land
for the nse and benefit of the Academy,
to be loaned,! «nd the product applied
towards the support of an able instirnc-

and 1000 feet timber, 6000 feet boards, and
20 days' work. . ' ,• ■

and 2000 feet hemlock boards.

100 feet 7x9 glass, 100 acres of land, of
45th lot in the 20th township in llie
Unadillapurchnse. " i :

and ten days' labor.

6t.O feet clapboards, 1000 shingles, and 10
days' work.

400 feet timber, and 20 d.iys' work.

aTid G ilays' work. -

and G days' work.

arid 6 days' work.

and 1000 feet of boards.

and 3 days' w'ork.

and 4 days' work,
and 2000 feet clapboards,
and 2000 feet boards,
and C days' work,
ami 1000 boafdJ.

and 3 days' work.

and 6 days' woik.

and 300 ■feottmiber and 20 days' work;

and days' work.

and U days' work.

1000 nails.

200 .feet tiraliei'v20 poutids nails, and C

days' work,
and 1OO0 fi-et boiirds and C days' work.
4 days' work.

1000 feet oT libards and 3 days' work,
and G days' work.

payable in blaolvsmilh-work.






payable in grain.

payable in grain.

payable in grain.

payable in ^'■ain.
and £1 payable in timber.
and 3 days' laljor

and £3 payable in gi-aih.

and'lOOO feet boanls, aiid-20 days' work.

anil 2 days' surveying land.

200 feet timber, lliO feet boards, and 500

feet cl.'iplioirds.
and 1000 feet boards. '
300 lect of 7 X 9 Klass,
4U shinings' value iirpine boards, first mto.

and 6 days' work.

and G days' work.

and C da.vs' work,
and (i days' work.
1000 feet boards.
1000 shingles,
and G days' work,
and G days* work.

and 3 days' woi-k.
and 3 days' work,
and 3 days' work.'

£11)8 8

1000 feet clapbgt^rds, to be delivered at (he

With the means thus procured, and the aid of others
throughout the State, the building of the academy was

t Also given ."to be leased."

begun. " The place chosen for its sit© was about midway
between the present South College and the chapel. Ground
was broken and the foundation laid July 1, 1794. To give
some degree of dignity and importance to the occasion, Mr.
Kirkland, -invited the Baron de Steuben to be present, and
to officiate in the ceremony pf laying the corner-stone. The
brave old general was met on his arrival at Clinton by Cap -
lain George W. Kirklaod, a son of the Domixiie, .and at the
head of a troop of horsemen Was .escorted to the grounds of
the new academy." Two or three' daughters were in the
cavalcade, on horseback, and the venerable Oneit^a ehieftain,
Skanimdoa, then ninety yeai's of age, was also One of the
company. Mr. Kirkland was highly gratified at seeing the
corner-stone of his academy kid by one who had served
in arms with the gallant Hamilton, and whose services in
behalf Of his adopted country gave him lastitig famfe.

After the foundation of the* academy, was laid and the
frame raised, the means for carrying on the work failed,
and operations were suspended for nearly two years. The
partly finished structure was designated by some "Kirk-
land's folly." The zealous missionary, however, did not
become disheartened ,; he pressed o.thers into the work of
obtaining funds (among them Joel Bristoll)j and their suc-
cess was such that the means were secured for inclosing the
building. Early in 1798 a large room in the south end of
the second story, and two small rooms on the low«r floor,
were finished, and the two front chimneys built.. The large
room in the second story— kno^Yn as the " arched room" —
was designed and used, for a chapel. After various subse-
quent reverses the building was finally finished, with a suf-
ficient number of rooms to meet the needs of the institu-
tion. The structure Was three stories in height, ninety feet
in length, and thirty-ei;;ht in width. Mr. Kirkland had
the satisfiiction of seeing his academy opened for pupils, its
chairs of instruction filled by capable teachers, and appli-
cants for admission flocking to it from every quarter.

In order to carry out his plan of educating the Indian
youth, Mr. Kirkland, the year previous to the opening of
the scliooi, brought from Oneida several of the moat prom-
ising lads of the tribe, clotlied them in the same manner as
the white boys were dressed, committed part of them to the
care of Eli Bristoll, and kept the rest in his own family.
He sought to train them in the ways of civilization accord-
ing to his understanding, but they soon became restless
under restraint, and by the end of the first- year it was
found necessary to let them .return to their old haunts at

In 1797,f Rev. John Niles, a graduate of Yale College,
took charge of the school as its first principal. He held
this position three years, and became obliged to change his
vocation on account of failing health;' 'He acquired his
reverend title after leaving the academy, and removed to
Bath, Steuben Co. He died in 1812:

" Rev. James Murdock was associated witt; Mr. Niles
during one year of his preceptorship. Studying theology
with Rev. Dr. Norton, of Clinton, he afterwards became a
professor of languages in the University of Vermont, and

t Judge Jones says 1 794 j we give both dates, and leave the question
to those who have better faoilities for determining, correctly.



of cliurch history in Andover Theological Seminary. He
was a man of studious habits and sound learning. His
translation of Mosheim's 'Ecclesiastical History' will long
remain a faonument to his industry and exact scholarship."

Rev. Robert- Porter became principal of the academy in
September, 1801. He was also a graduate of Yale, and
had been serving for a considerable time as a home-uiission-
ary among the small settlenbetits along Black River. He
remained in the academy four yearsj' and then joined a
colony which was about to establish the town of Pratts-
burgVN. Y.

Seth Norton, brother of Rev. Dr. Norton, became prin-
cipal in the autumn of 18&5, and, except one year spent
in New Haven as tutor, he held the position until 1812,
wheti the institution was raised to the rank of a college,
and he was appointed professor of languages. " Mr. Norton
was a man of cotisiderablemetitaT force and-weight of char-
acter. His personal appearance was not pleasihg, fur his
complexion was dark, his eyes blue, his manners jerky,
and Ills speech rapid and abrupt. Yet he was a thorough
scholar, and made his pupils thorough and accurate, and he
inspired them with a love of study. He was particularly
fond of. music, and was himself a superior singer. For
many years he was the chorister of the village church.
Both the words and the music of the familiar tune ' Devon-
shire',' beginning ' Ye servants of God, your Master pro-
claim/ were composed by him. For many years he was
compelled to struggle with infirm health. He died in De-
cember, 1818, the first year of his married life. His re-
mains were deposited in the College Cemetery."*

//. Hamilton Cullcge.

Hamilton Oneida Academy closed its formal existence
Sept. 10, 1812. In order to obtain a college charter, and
a grant of $50,000 from the Legislature for its endowment,
it was found necessary to raise by subscription another
fund of $50,000. Rev. Caleb Alexander, of Fairfield, Her-
kimer County, was employed to' undertake this work, and
by his energy and skill secured in a few months a sum
which, with the estimated value of the acaderny buildings
and lands (815,000), amounted to $52,844.64. A charter
was granted May 2i, 1812. The trustees immediately
completed the uiifinLshed portions of the academy and put
the whole in good repair. They then proceeded to the
election of a faculty, choosing Rev. Azel Backus, D.D., of
Bethlehem, Conn., as President; Rev. Seth Norton, Pro-
fessor of Languages ; Josiah Noyes, M.D., Professor of
Chemistry ; and Theodore Strong, Tutor. The doors of
the college were opened for students Oct. 24, 1812, and
regular recitations commenced on the 1st of November
following. Dr. Backus was inaugurated president Dec. 3,
1812, in the Congregational Church at Clinton. He died
after four years of service, Dec. 28, 1816. His successor
was Rev. Henry Davis, D.D., an alumnus of Yale College.
Ho had been professor of languages in Union College, and
at the time of his election here was president of Middle-
bury College, and had also been recently appointed president
of Yale, to succeed the eminent Timothy Dwight. He

* Gridley's Kirkland.

however accepted the position in Hamilton College, and
was inaugurated in the fall of 1817. Dr. Davis continued
in office sixteen years. He died at Clirtton, March 7, 1852,
aged eighty-two yeari*.

Dr. Davis was succeeded in the" presidency of the college,
in the fall of 1833, by Rev. Sereho E: Dwight, D.D., a son
of Timothy Dwight. Owing to ill health he resigned his
position after two years' service. He died November 30,

Rev. Joseph Penney, D.D., of Northampton, Mass., was
elected to the presidency in the fall of 1835, and held the
position until 1839, when he resigned. He was succeeded
the saine year by Rev. Simeon North, D.D., then professor
of languages in the college. Dr. North's term of office
lasted eighteen years, and during it the affairs of the insti-
tution prospered greatly; At the time of his election to
ihe chair of ancient languages, but nine students were in
attendance, while at his resignation of the presidency there
were one hundred iind thirty-nine. At his inauguration the
treasury was almost empty ; during his term of service it waB
largely replenished, new buildifigs were erected, and'several
new professbrshijis were created.

President North was succeeded'in 1858 by Rev. Samuel
W. Fi.sher, D.D., of Cincinnati, who remained till 1866.
Rev. Skmuel Oilman Brown, D.D;, formerly a professor in
Dartmouth College, waselected to the presidency of- Ham-
ilton in 1866, and still retains the position.- During' his
administration the college has received nuinerous and valu-
able pecuniary gifts, and stands to-day oh a broaci and firm
foundation, rendering it one of the most prominent institu-
tions of learning and ciilture in the country.

Among the professors who have occupied positions i-n the
college are the following, viz.: John H. Lathrop, Simeon
North, Charles Avery, Marcus Catlin, Oren Root,' James
Hadley, John Monteith, Eleazer S. Barrows, William Kiik-
land, John Wayland, Henry Maijdeville, John Finley
Smith, Edward North, Theodore Dwight, Anson J. UpsoW,
William S. Curtis, William N. MoHarg, Christian H. P.
Peters, Ellicott Evatis, Edward Wallenstein Root,' and
Samuel D. Wilcox.

The treasurers of the college have been as follows : Eras-
tus Clark, from 1812 to 1825 ; James Deari, 1825 to 1828 ;
Othniel William.?, 1828 to 1832; Benjamin W. Dwight,
M.D., 1832 to 1850; OthhielS. Williams, LL.D., 1850
to the present time. The trustees have uniformly been men
of high repute; honorable, enterprising, and respected by
all with whom they had dealings.

From the beginning the college has received subscriptions
for its support from many sources, not the least amounts
being from the poorer classes. The town in which it is
located (Kirkland) has always been generous in its aid, and
in the raising of funds for its endowment the .several presi-
dents, professors, and treasurers, and many' of the trusteies
have taken an active part. Rev. Caleb Alexander, Prof.
Charles Avery, and Dr. North, labored perseveringly in its
behalf. In 1859, Rev. N. W. Guertner, D.D., was appointed
a special commissioner to secure a more amplfe and permanent
endowment of the college. His work has been prosecuted
with such zeal that upwards of $200,000 have been raised
for the benefit of the institution.



The South College, the Cominons' Hull (now used as the
Cabinet), and the old president's house, were built during
the administration of Dr. Backus. The Oneida Academy
Hall was removed, and the chapel, Kirkland Hall, and
Dexter Hall were erented (though the latter was not fin-
ished) during the presidency of Dr. Davis. Dexter Hall
was afterwards completed by a special subscription raised
for that purpose by President North. The Commons' Hall
was fitted up for a mineralogical and geological cabinet,
and the gymnasium, the laboratory, and the astronomical
observatory were erected during Dr. North's presidency.
During the same period the old president's house, which
stood a few rods southeast of the South College, was removed
to its present location ; additional land east of the college
buildings was purchased, and the entire grounds were laid
out in their present order. The Library Hall and the new
president's house were erected during the administration
of Dr. Brown.

Executive Cummittee, 1877-78. — Hon. Othniel S. Wil-
liams, LL.D., Rev. Philemon H. Fowler, D.D., William D.
Walcott, Esq., Rev. Samuel &. Brown, D.D., LL.D.,
Publius V. Rogers, A.M., Hon. Ellis H. Roberts, LL.D.

Faculty. — Rev. Samuel Gilman Brown, D.D., LL.D.,
president, and Walcott Professor of the Evidences of Chris-
tianity ; Charles Avery, LL.D., Professor Emeritus of
Chemistry; Rev. Nicholas Westerman Goertner, D.D.,
College Pastor; Christian Henry Frederick Peters, Ph.D.,
Litchfield Professor of Astronomy and Director of the
Litchfield Observatory ; Ellicott Evans, LL.D., Maynard
Knox, Professor of Law, History, Civil Polity, and Politi-
cal Economy; Edward North, L.H.D., Edward Robinson
Professor of the Greek Language and Literature ; Rev.
John William Mears. D.D., Albert Barnes Professor of
Intellectual and Moral Philosophy and Instructor in IModern
Languages: Albert Huntington Chester, A.M., E. M.
Childs Professor of Agricultural Chemistry, and Professor of
General Chemistry; Rev. Abel Grosvenor Hopkins, A.M.,
Benjamin Bates Professor of the Latin Language and
Literature; Chester Huntington, A.M., Professor of Natu-
ral Philosophy and Librarian ; Rev. Henry Allyn Frink,
A.M., Kingsley Professor of Logic, Rhetoric, and Elocu-
tion ; Rev. Jermain Gildersleevc Porter, A.M., Assistant
Professor of Astronomy.

The following paragraphs are clipped from the Annual
Catalogue for 1877-78 :

Astronomy. — As a means of giving more complete in-
struction in this department, aiid also for the purpose of
original observation, an astronomical observatory has been
erected on the college grounds. The astronomical profes-
sorship and the observatory have been very liberally endowed
by the Hon. Edwin C. Litchfield, LL.D., of Brooklyn.

The observatory consists of a central building, with wings
on the cast and west sides. The central building is 27
feet square, and two stories high, surmounted by a revolv-
ing tower 20 feet in diameter. The great Equatorial in
the tower, constructed by Spencer and Eaton, has an object-
glass of 13.5 inches in diameter, and a focal length of nearly
16 feet; it is provided with six positive and six negative
eye-pieces, with a ring and a filar micrometer. For solar
observations it has a prismatic polarizing eye-piece of origi-

nal construction by Robert B. ToUes, of Boston, Mass.
The declination circle of 24 inches, by means of four ver-
niers, reads to four seconds of arc ; the hour-circle of 14
inches, by means of two verniers, reads to two seconds of
time. The instrument is mounted upon a granite shaft

Online LibrarySamuel W DurantHistory of Oneida County, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers → online text (page 63 of 192)