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THE FIRST AGRICULTURAL COLLEGES

. The demand for scientific and technical education did not cease as the years passed by, but grew louder and louder with the development of the country. The history of the agitation in New York may be taken as an illustration. In 1819 there was published anonymously at Albany a pamphlet on “the necessity of establishing an agricultural college,” which has been commonly attributed to that active and intelligent man, Simeon De Witt, surveyor-general of New York. He proposed the establishment of an institution to be called the agricultural college of the state of New York, to be endowed by the state and conducted under state authority. The transactions of the New York agricultural society for 1822 contain allusions to the same subjects, and the matter was never allowed to drop entirely out of sight. About 1825 a private agricultural college or school was undertaken in Columbia county. This was the period (1830 to 1850) of the agitation for the so-called “manual labor schools,” and many of the schools of the time took that form. The Oneida institute was one of the first of these schools, and it is said to have had a course of instruction in practical agriculture. These were not manual training schools or technical schools in the modern sense, but schools having farms attached where the students could support themselves by manual labor while pursuing their studies. This plan, which found much popular favor for a time and led to the establishment of numerous schools, was soon found to be impracticable and abandoned. The demand for agricultural education in New York grew steadily, and by 1838 petitions bearing six thousand signatures were presented to the legislature demanding state aid in behalf of agricultural schools. The committee to whom the petitions were referred deplored in strong language “that there is no school, no seminary, no department of any school in which the science of agriculture is taught,” and recommended very strongly the establishment of a school of agriculture. No action was taken at this time, but the matter came up in a different form at each succeeding session of the legislature, and appears to have grown steadily in favor. The State agricultural society helped greatly to advance the interests of the cause, and in 1844 appointed a committee of which Governor Seward, Lieutenant-Governor Dickinson, and James S. Wadsworth, were members, to promote “the introduction of agricultural studies in the schools of the state,” and also “for the purpose of selecting books for family and school libraries.” It was resolved at the same time, “That this society regards the establishment of an agricultural institute and pattern farm in this state, where shall be taught thoroughly and alike the science, the practice, and the profits of good husbandry, as an object of great importance.” This committee co-operated with the association of school superintendents, with the result that that body adopted, in June, 1844, a resolution drawn by Professor Potter, of Union college, setting forth the opinion that “the time has arrived when the elements and scientific principles of agriculture should be taught in all schools.” Still the state took no action. Numerous private agricultural schools were established however. Governor Hamilton Fish first recommended, in January, 1849, in his annual message to the legislature, the establishment of a state agricultural college. During the following session of the legislature Professor Johnson, the great agricultural chemist of Scotland, was invited to Albany and delivered a course of lectures under the auspices of the New York agricultural society. The same year this society established a chemical laboratory at Albany for the analysis of manures, fertilizers, etc. Still nothing was done about the school. Professor William H. Brewer, from whose writings many of these facts have been derived, thus described the first industrial college established in New York: “In 1850 Mr. John Delafield, a graduate of Columbia college, where he may have received instruction from Professor Mitchell, was living on one of the best farms of the state, in the town of Fayette, Seneca county. He was at one time president of the New York state agricultural society, and originated and carried out an agricultural survey of Seneca county. He took a deep interest in the cause of agricultural education, and owing to his action and energy on April 15, 1853, the state passed an act establishing an agricultural college. This act created a board of ten trustees, of which Mr. Delafield was president, but appropriated no money. The college was to be located on Mr. Delafield's farm in the town of Fayette, but as he died October 22 of the same year nothing more was done about building a college there.” The Rev. Amos Brown, principal of Ovid academy, situated fifteen miles south of Fayette, who was to become later the chief assistant of Senator Morrill in securing the passage of the land-grant act establishing agricultural colleges, appears to have gotten his inspiration and information from Mr. Delafield. At least when the school at Fayette failed, Mr. Brown conceived the idea of having the charter of the agricultural college transferred to his academy at Ovid. He secured an act for this purpose from the general assembly in 1856, which provided a loan by the state of $40,000. The citizens of Fayette and vicinity had in the meantime subscribed about $50,000. The board of trustees was organized, buildings were erected, and the college was formally opened as the New York state agricultural college in the fall of 1860, with M. R. Patrick as president of the college. The affairs of the institution appear to have been poorly managed, however, as it was found to be too heavily in debt to begin active operations. When the civil war broke out President Patrick went off with the army, and the college was closed never again to be opened. Amos Brown afterwards became president of the People's college near Havana, New York, and after the passage of the Morrill act in 1862 secured an act from the legislature of New York giving the whole of its share of the land-grant to this college. But that institution failed to comply with the conditions of the law, and the land-grant of the state of New York was turned over to Cornell university, which thus became the agricultural college of the state. This narrative has been introduced to show the growth of the idea which led to the establishment of Cornell university, probably our greatest agricultural institution. The first agricultural college to be actually established and put in operation was that of the state of Michigan. Article 13, section I 1 of the constitution of the state of Michigan adopted in 1850, says: “The legislature shall encourage the promotion of intellectual, scientific, and agricultural improvement; and shall as soon as practicable, provide for the establishment of an agricultural school.” This was the first state constitution to provide for the establishment of an agricultural school. It is noteworthy, also, that it was the first one to provide that all instruction in the district schools should be conducted in the English language. The act establishing the state agricultural college of Michigan was passed on February 12, 1855. The college was located upon a farm of some 500 acres, situated about four miles east of the city of Lansing; buildings were erected, and the college was formally opened in May, 1847. The legislature of Maryland incorporated the next agricultural college in 1856, which was, however, in part a private institution. Some five hundred citizens of Maryland, and of the District of Columbia, together with a few from adjacent states, subscribed to a certain amount of stock, which the legislature required should be provided. The stockholders elected a board of trustees, and this body located the college upon the estate of Charles B. Calvert, situated in Prince George county, about nine miles east of the city of Washington. The institution was opened for students in September, 1859, when Professor Joseph Henry of the Smithsonian institution, delivered a handsome oration. Marshall P. Wilder first urged the importance of establishing an agricultural college in Massachusetts, in an address before the Norfolk agricultural society made in 1849. The state senate of Massachusetts passed a bill in 1850 establishing such a school, but it failed in the house. A committee was appointed to investigate the matter, and they sent Professor Hitchcock to the continent of Europe to visit agricultural schools. His report was transmitted to the legislature by the governor in the following year, with the result that the Massachusetts board of agriculture was established in 1852. Mr. Wilder kept up the agitation, however, and finally in 1856 succeeded in obtaining from the legislature a charter of the Massachusetts school of agriculture. The Massachusetts agricultural college was not regularly opened, however, until 1867. The general assembly of the state of Pennsylvania incorporated the Farmers' high school, now the State college, in 1854. The act provided that people of different sections of the state might offer land and property and thereby secure its location in their midst. Funds for building and equipment were provided from the state treasury. The State agricultural society made certain donations, and the college was opened for students in the winter of 1859. These were the leading agricultural schools established before the passage of the land-grant act in 1862. Closely related to these agricultural schools were the scientific schools established at Yale and Harvard between 1840 and 1850, in response to the same demand for a new education. John P. Norton was appointed professor of agricultural chemistry, vegetable and animal physiology at Yale college, New Haven, Connecticut, in 1846. Thus was begun the Sheffield scientific school, which was more of an agricultural institution than any of the other schools of that time. Professor Norton began his lectures in 1847, and for some years wrote voluminously for agricultural journals. He also prepared and published his first work, The Elements of agriculture. Among his first students in the course in agricultural chemistry was the distinguished Professor W. H. Brewer, of the Sheffield scientific school at Yale. The Lawrence scientific school at Harvard, established about

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