Project Canterbury

















Transcribed by Wayne Kempton
Archivist and Historiographer of the Diocese of New York, 2011


September 17th, 1828.
SIR,—At a meeting of the Board of Trustees, held this day, it was, on motion of Mr. Rawle, seconded by Mr. Binney,
Resolved unanimously, That the thanks of the Board be transmitted to the Provost for his excellent Inaugural Address, delivered this morning, which the Board heard with entire approbation; and that he be requested to furnish the Secretary with a copy for publication.
From the Minutes.
JOS. REED, Secretary.
Provost of the University of Pennsylvania.

PHILADELPHIA, September 18th, 1828.
DEAR SIR,—In compliance with the very flattering request of the Board of Trustees, I send to you my Inaugural Address.
Trusting that the publication of it may serve to promote the interests of the University, by extending more widely a knowledge of the new and elevated footing on which, in regard to its instructions, arrangement, and discipline, the wisdom of the Board has placed the Collegiate Department of the Institution,
I remain, very truly, yours, &c.
Secretary of the Board of Trustees.


The Trustees, the Faculty, the Students, and the Friends of the University of Pennsylvania:

THE circumstances under which we meet at the present period are, in every view that can be taken of them, peculiarly interesting to us all.

To you, Gentlemen of the Board of Trustees, the occasion is one of interest, since it is the opening of that new course of exertion in behalf of the University of Pennsylvania, on which the earnest expectation of an interested community, as well as your own equally earnest desires, are fixed, as the means of its future elevation; and since, by the recent measures of your Board, you stand pledged to the public on the responsibility of your word, honour, reputation, and stewardship, to throw the entire weight of your extended and powerful influence into the scale of the institution of which you are the constituted guardians.

To us, my brethren of the Faculty, the present circumstances are interesting, almost beyond the power of an estimate. [5/6] For, whether the view be just or unjust, a scrutinizing public invariably associates the prosperity or decline of a literary institution with the character, diligence and talents, of those who conduct its government and its instructions; and they cannot be deterred from regarding, nor from pronouncing, the measure of the former the certain standard of the latter. To us, then, the present occasion marks the commencement of a career of labour in which not merely our personal and domestic interests, but, to a wide extent, our character and standing with the public, are deeply implicated.

To you young gentlemen, the Students of the University, our present meeting is one of interest, because it is the beginning of a system of instruction and discipline, in some respects new, under the tuition and control of a faculty who are in some degree strangers to you; but who, nevertheless, will cheerfully pledge a paternal interest in your welfare, and their utmost energy in the effort to expand your minds, enlarge your acquirements, and implant the seeds of that knowledge which must be the foundation of your future eminence, respectability, and happiness, in the world.

To the friends of the University, under which term I trust may be included not only the respectable audience whom I now address, but the great majority of the community within the limits of Philadelphia, the present meeting may be pronounced interesting in the extreme. An institution which was originally called into life for your accommodation; and which, however it may retain a nominal, can have no efficient and profitable existence without your patronage and favour, is, we trust, on the eve of resuscitation; [6/7] and, at this moment, comes forward to ask at your hands, not only a candid interpretation of the measures of its Governors, but a favourable estimate of its present claims; and your countenance to the united exertions of its Trustees and Faculty, to render it, in respect of its future discipline and instructions, as worthy of your support, as it is, in regard to its location, deserving of your favour. Every individual among us, who now sustains, or who shall ever sustain, the endearing and tender relations of a parent, must respond from his inmost soul to the present effort to revive a college, where his sons may attain an adequate collegiate education without encountering the increased expenses, and the moral perils, of an estrangement from the delights, associations, and counsels, of the parental roof.

It will strike you at once, that as respects the individual who addresses you on this occasion in a new capacity, the present circumstances are of a kind calculated to impress him deeply. I stand before you the incumbent of a station wholly unsolicited; the distinction of which is fully equalled by its difficulties; and in which the responsibility to the Board who have honoured me with the appointment, to the Faculty with whom I am called to act, to the youth who shall become the alumni of the Institution, and to the parents who may commit their offspring to its care, is, and is felt to be, of the deepest and most solemn kind. To this office, if I bring no large amount of the peculiar experience, which belongs to it, I may venture to say that I do bring the most cordial interest, the purpose of entire devotion, and the strongest convictions of its high responsibility. Such as my talents, information, and experience are, they shall be unsparingly bestowed upon its duties. I should shrink, however, [7/8] from the station, were it not that I trust to be sustained by the wisdom, zeal, and experience of a most enlightened and influential Board of Trustees—by the talent, established characters, and tried capacities, of the able and learned Faculty with whom I am associated—by the favourable views of this distinguished community—and, especially, by the favour, guidance, and blessing of Him, on whom, neither on this, nor on any other occasion, would I omit to acknowledge my dependence.

The very brief period which has elapsed between the date of my appointment and the present moment, added to the burden of the preparatory arrangements of the new system, necessarily precludes my attempting at this time, anything more than a rapid sketch of the benefits of a Collegiate Education; a brief development of the system of instruction and discipline adopted in the University; and the exhibition of some of those claims which it is conceived that an Institution located in this city has upon the fostering encouragement of the public.

In displaying the benefits of a collegiate education, it may be stated as one of its principal advantages, that, collegiate studies invigorate the mind.

That curious machine which the all wise and omnipotent Creator has placed within our frames, unlike the workmanship of human hands, is strengthened and improved the more it is employed. Its etherial materials do not wear out and break, and thus stop its progress, like the yielding substances around us, which use or accident deteriorate, render useless, or destroy. The mind is strengthened by use. The studies [8/9] therefore which are best adapted to exercise its utmost powers, are at the same time best calculated to stimulate them. Of this character are the studies pursued in a collegiate course, and which are usually arranged under the four comprehensive departments of the Languages, Moral Philosophy, Natural Philosophy, and Mathematics. They extort from the student the application of memory, judgment, discrimination, attention, and the faculty of reasoning. The mind is drawn out as it were from its recesses of ignorance and inactivity. It is made to work—to apply all its powers —collect, compare, and digest the subjects on which it is fixed. Some branches of the course may exert the invigorating influence more powerfully than others; but there is not one of them that fails to exert it to a degree. Their united influence is forcible indeed: and it is as impossible to prosecute these studies without adding vigour to the mental powers, as to engage in a system of corporeal exercise without strengthening the body. Collegiate studies are the gymnastics of the intellect.

These studies are also calculated to expand the mind. Unlike material vessels, the more you crowd into the mind the more capacious it becomes. It opens under the influence of study, as the flower unfolds its leaves to the invigorating rays of the sun. But it differs from the flower in the extent of its expanding property. In the latter, when its leaf is wholly unclosed, and its brilliant bosom unveiled to the king of day, it has reached the limit of its display—its beauties are fully seen. But in the mind, there is no reaching the confines of its powers of improvement. They widen, and lengthen, and deepen, with every step of progress. The [9/10] farther you advance, the more boundless is the prospect: the deeper you penetrate, the more unfathomable seems the abyss: the loftier the flight, the more distant appears the brilliant canopy which encloses its exertions.

Now it is the effect of collegiate studies to further this progressive improvement of the mind; to remove the obstacles which cramp it; to dispel the ignorance and timidity which hinder its expansion. A host of new ideas are admitted: new combinations of thought arise: more extended views crowd out the narrow conceptions of ignorance: the secret causes of the phenomena of nature are unfolded. A multitude of visible appearances on which before it had looked with the common astonishment of ignorance as inexplicable, are now unveiled to its apprehension. The connexions of argument are traced, and the dependencies of reasoning discerned. The beauties of authors once read with no other associations but those of a task, are perceived and felt. The mind looks in upon itself, learns whence the thoughts arise, and how they may be reduced to the order of continuous and connected expression. The hidden treasures of its vernacular tongue are brought forth to its view, acquired and relished; and the delighted youth begins to read not merely with his eye, but with his understanding. It is not meant that collegiate studies complete the furniture of the mind, nor that they carry it to the extremity of information on the several topics which they embrace. They are designed rather to open to the student the avenues of knowledge on various subjects, by disclosing its principles and mode of application; to remove the difficulties which lie in such abundance at their entrance; and to furnish [10/11] him with a chart and compass by which he may traverse any branch of the great sea of knowledge with safety, profit, and delight.

With the expanding effect of collegiate studies on the mind, there is connected a pleasure which yields in force to none but those deep emotions of delight which flow from the religion of the cross, and which are occasionally allotted to a long-tried, consistent, and solid piety. I refer to that indescribable feeling of satisfaction which accompanies the acquisition of knowledge. Sometimes the emotion is felt when the mind is in the act of receiving any of those new combinations of thought to which it was before a stranger. Sometimes the feeling is experienced when the ingenuous youth, with every faculty stretched into eager attention, is listening to the expositions of his instructor unfolding to him the secret cause of some obvious phenomena as long familiar to his eye as inexplicable to his mind. Sometimes this pleasure is tasted when, after a laborious and almost desponding investigation of some intricate point of science, the right apprehension of it suddenly flashes on the mind with the rapidity of lightning, and with a thrill of satisfaction, of which those only who have experienced it can form an adequate conception. It is a mingled emotion of surprise, self-gratulation, and delight, constituting an intellectual pleasure of the highest kind, and is now referred to as an incidental proof of the expanding influence of collegiate studies, since it is a pleasure which can arise from no other cause but the expanding operation of study on the mind.

Collegiate studies give method and precision to the mental operations; and this constitutes another most beneficial [11/12] effect produced by them on the minds and habits of the young.

In the first openings of the human mind all its operations are vague, desultory, and unconnected. It flutters about from one topic to another, but scarcely dwelling upon any one long enough to inhale its substantial benefits. To fix its attention and subdue its volatility; to give permanency to the evanescent impressions which are made upon it; to shut out the influence of diverting and interrupting objects; and to train it to that power of abstraction which is essential to the due acquisition of knowledge—these constitute a work of which every parent and every teacher has felt the necessity and the difficulty, and the prosecution of which is as vexatious and burdensome to them as the performance of it is essential to the successful education of the child. The power of fully concentrating the mind is indeed one of the most difficult, and one of the latest acquisitions that is made by men. To thousands who attempt the search, it is a jewel never found. And yet in almost every department of human occupation, it is an acquisition of most commanding importance. It involves discrimination, judgment, the power of abstraction, and that subjection of the understanding to the will, which the most rigid discipline only can accomplish. Without it no man can excel in any profession in which eminence depends upon the labours of the mind. Without it, the lawyer would become bewildered, the physician a trifler with human sufferings and human life, the philosopher a dreamer, the merchant confounded by the complications of his business, and the divine lost amidst the opposing systems, views, translations, and expositions, through which he must pass on his way to religious truth. In short, the [12/13] mind unpossessed of this power of concentration, in the midst of its pursuits, most resembles the surface of the sea covered by the wreck and fragments of the Trojan fleet! [* “Arma virum, tabulaeq: et Troia gaza per undas.”]

Now, it is the tendency of collegiate studies to exercise the mind with a view to the remedy of this striking evil. They compel the student to fix his attention. They force him to practice this concentration of mind. They impart precision to his views, and method to his conceptions. They exercise his powers of discrimination, taste, and judgment. They constrain him to think—to think connectedly and deeply. This is particularly the effect of mathematical studies, whilst it flows, more or less from almost every branch of his collegiate pursuits. If these studies be engaged in with zeal and industry, the result will be inevitable. It is only by this constant exercise on subjects which cannot be pursued without more or less abstraction, that the mind can be trained to a steady application of its powers. Such subjects wage an unceasing war with mental volatility. And he who has once encountered the demonstrations of Euclid, or the problems of the higher mathematics, or even become thoroughly versed in the principles of any single science, well knows that to gather up the lubricious particles of mercury between the fingers, is as hopeful an attempt as to prosecute these studies effectually with a confused or unconcentrated mind. Collegiate studies may be considered as constituting the mental training of the intellectual soldier, without which it is as unlikely that he should prosecute his future contests with prejudice, sophistry, and ignorance successfully, as that the raw recruit, unpractised [13/14] in the tactics which he is called to exercise, should be able to contend with the steady discipline and skilful evolutions of the veteran.

It would occupy us too long to dwell, even in the cursory manner in which I have touched the preceding topics, on all the benefits of a collegiate education. Besides their stimulating and expanding influence, and the effect they produce in teaching the mind the full and efficient use of its various powers, these studies furnish a source of subsequent satisfaction in whatever situation the individual may be placed, by storing his mind with principles, facts, conclusions, and truths, on which it may feed with profit and delight, in defiance of the ills of fortune; or to which he may recur as the future means of repairing secular losses, and re-establishing himself in the world on a footing of support, if not of independence. The treasures which may be here acquired, unlike the fleeting possessions of the world, have a stamp of permanence upon them. The well furnished youth, when he quits the placid groves of learning, may be compelled to betake himself to pursuits in a great degree foreign to the particular studies in which he was here engaged, and in which but a limited portion of the knowledge here obtained, can be turned to effectual use. But whatever be his occupation, he carries with him, not barely a consciousness of the acquisitions, but that beneficial influence which they have already exerted upon his mind, views, and habits, and that general knowledge of them, which both disposes and qualifies him to apply them, if not to any secular uses, at least to the promotion of his mental pleasures. It has often happened, also, that a collegiate education has been the resource of misfortune in its day of anguish. When the ebbing tide of human [14/15] affairs has left the once prosperous individual, like a stranded vessel, forlorn, bereft, surrounded by a flock of distressed dependents, and every obvious mean of subsistence carried off by the remorseless wave, in casting about his desponding thoughts for some medium of support, he is brought to the necessity of making an application of his knowledge. He begins to clear away the rubbish, which, through indolence, or from not feeling the necessity of exertion, he had allowed to collect around his mind, and soon discovers to his delight the solid but neglected materials of a foundation which was laid under the auspices of a college; and on this he erects that edifice of maintenance, perhaps of wealth, which in the days of youth and prosperity, no pressure required him to build.

It should not be forgotten, that the studies here pursued are calculated to produce an elevated tone of mind, and to infuse a portion of their own dignity into the views and habits of the learner. The associations into which the youth is introduced, are those of the most distinguished men of every age. He discourses with philosophers, whose names have long been synonymous with literary fame. He imbibes the sentiments of poets and historians, who, for centuries, have been the theme of admiration to the world. He enters into the mysteries of science, in the company of men who have penetrated to the inmost recesses of its various departments. He listens to the thunders of that eloquence, which, from the stern lips of a Demosthenes, waked the slumbering energies of Greece; or from the more polished tongue of Cicero, arrested, for a time, that decay into which foreign luxury and an unwieldy dominion were hurrying the majestic republic that claimed the limits of the known world as the [15/16] boundaries of its empire. The opinions and views which he inhales from such associates, are of the loftiest and most comprehensive kind. It would be in opposition to all analogy and all experience to imagine that such associations will not elevate and dignify his character, enlarge and liberalize his mind, and stamp his intellectual habits with some ennobling as well as permanent impressions. He cannot breathe in such an atmosphere, without imbibing a portion of its elevated spirit or its sterling vigour.

It will be seen at once, that if collegiate studies produce the effects which have been now enumerated—if they stimulate, expand, ennoble, and inform the mind, and give precision and method to its operations, they must obviously be calculated to prepare the individual who submits to this discipline, for the pursuit of any professional engagement on which his eye may be fixed: for of which of the professions can it with any truth be said, that it needs not, in the acquisition or the practice of it, the mental energy, expansion, elevation, and precision to which I have referred. Collegiate attainments are the foundation on which the edifice of future professional knowledge is to be reared; and its symmetry, strength, and durability, will be in exact proportion to the character of this ground-work on which it is to rest. If this be feeble, disproportioned, carelessly constructed, or of bad materials, it cannot serve for any other than a defective, insecure, unstable building. And even if the youthful student is not destined for either of the learned professions, the mental training which he undergoes in college, and the knowledge which he here acquires will not be thrown away. They will aid him in whatever occupation he may choose to engage. They will not be lost to him in the fields of agriculture, [16/17] at the marts of commerce, on the mountain wave, or in the tented field.

It will not be deemed necessary to cite the authority of names in attestation of the benefits of collegiate education. In general, it will be found that, in modern times, the most distinguished names in every branch of learning have been once inscribed upon the records of a college. And among the comparatively few exceptions that may be discovered, where native talent has broken forth by its innate elasticity, and in despite of all obstacles reached in triumph the summit of distinction, the want of collegiate training, and of the collegiate attainments, has been, in general, strongly felt and deeply deplored. To us, it must ever be an argument of overwhelming force, upon this subject, that the Father of American Philosophers, the venerable Franklin, the indomitable vigour of whose mind raised him, unaided by any collegiate advantages, to the highest rank in the scientific as in the political history of his country, was among the founders of the collegiate institution with which we are connected.

In explaining the course of instruction, and the nature of the discipline adopted in the University, I may remark, that in respect to the amount and the character of the studies to be pursued in the College, she need not shrink from a comparison with any of her sister institutions. The published statement (a) of the course evinces it to be, in respect of classical and scientific knowledge, as full and comprehensive as, in the present state of learning, and in any portion of our country, has been deemed requisite for a collegiate education. By a recent determination of the Board, the collegiate year has been divided into three terms, (b) at the end of each of [17/18] which public examinations of the classes will be held, when the parents and guardians of the youth entrusted to the college, will be able to form some judgment of the efficiency of our exertions, and of the progress of their offspring and wards. The important branches of elocution and English composition, are to be made subjects of study and practice during the whole four years of the collegiate course: and the graduates of this institution are not to be allowed to leave it entirely ignorant of that immoveable foundation on which the truth of our divine religion is built. The evidences of Christianity will hereafter constitute a branch in the course of their instruction.

The manner in which these several subjects will be taught, and the extent to which they will be attained, must depend upon the efficiency, and zeal of the professors, and the capacity and diligence of the student. For the exertions of the former, you have not merely the authority of an explicit engagement, but the guarantee of their reputation and interest, which are staked to a wide extent upon the success of the collegiate department of the University. In regard to the assiduity of the students, so far as it depends upon the faculty, the same pledge exists on our part to foster it where it is found, to excite where it is dormant, and to infuse it where it is wanting. But as no power is reposed with us to change the nature of that capacity with which any student may be endowed by his Creator, we are not to be held answerable for the ignorance or dulness which results from such a cause. It will be our duty to encourage the timid, to rouse the heavy, to excite the indolent, and to fix the volatile, as well as to guide the prompt and to aid the assiduous. And when this duty has been faithfully performed, we must commit the [18/19] result to Him, who, while he commands us to labour, himself retains, the entire control of our success.

The discipline of a college is the most difficult, and, at the same time, the most material part of its economy. The youth of our charge, while they strenuously assert the claim to be treated as men, are apt very often to conduct themselves like boys. To curb the volatility of youth with the rein of decision and judgment, to induce the student to respect others by making him respect himself, to destroy the temptations to folly by a full occupation of the time, to combine in our intercourse with the young men the firmness of the governor, and the dignity of the teacher, with the affability of the associate and the interest of the friend—these are the principles of that government which it is proposed to establish. The cords of discipline are to be tightened. A close adherence to the rules of the college in respect to diligence, attention, and deportment, will be exacted of every individual; and exacted, too, not from the mere desire of rigour, but from a much higher principle—from the conscientious conviction that we owe it to the young men themselves, to the parents and guardians who shall entrust them to our care, and to the character of the University, to pursue in regard to these points a temperate but decided and undeviating course.

In calling your attention to the claims of the University, I can do but little more than barely state the grounds on which they rest. They are founded on the advantages which the institution affords for the attainment of education; and on its being an institution belonging to our city, and more or less connected with its character and reputation. [19/20] For efficient and permanent patronage, our eyes must be ever fixed upon the distinguished community among whom we are placed. In the list of the advantages which it offers, I do not hesitate to name the following as eminently worthy of consideration with every parent and every guardian within the limits of our city.

It is an institution as broad in its principles, and as comprehensive in its course of instruction, as any college within our common country.

It furnishes an opportunity of educating your sons with the least possible expense.

It presents the advantage of connecting your own superintendence of their morals, with the attainment of a full collegiate education.

It affords to you a frequent opportunity of witnessing and judging of their progress.

It supplies to them the benefit, and to you the satisfaction, of a constant mutual intercourse.

It presents no obstruction to the maintenance and cultivation of those dignified and embellished manners, which, at a distance from home, and in the rough circle of mere male associates, are so often wrecked on the shoals of uncouthness and vulgarity.

It uncloses none of the avenues to those commotions and difficulties which grow out of the almost prying supervision which in distant colleges is absolutely needful.

In short, it leaves them, in regard to morals, health, intellect, and accomplishments, under the watchful inspection of that eye, which, of all others, looks with the deepest interest and most untiring devotion, to their temporal and eternal welfare.

[22] It becomes not the Faculty, with whom I am connected, to claim, as a body, an equality with the instructors of other institutions: but, in behalf of some of my associates, (c) I may venture to refer to that distinction which has been already won by them on the arena of education, and placed them in their respective departments on an eminence that challenges, to say the least, the fullest confidence of this community. Elected to the several offices we hold by the voice of gentlemen, who, both as parents and as members of the same community, have as high a stake in this institution as yourselves, we ask, on the authority of the confidence which they have reposed in us, a favourable estimate of our fitness to undertake the instruction of your offspring, and the supply of those materials on, which our workmanship is to be tested. Without a degree of patronage that shall enable us to exercise such talent and aptitude for our present stations as we may possess, it must be obvious that capacity and zeal will avail us nothing. We regard it as a decided and gratifying earnest of that confidence which we hope to merit, that the number of those newly admitted to the College, already exceeds the number with which it was committed to our hands. [* When the College opened, twenty-one of its former students returned. The number newly admitted is thirty-nine, making a total of sixty.] At a moment when we are just placing on our limbs the armour of battle, it does not become us to express nor to indulge the boastful feelings of those, who, having triumphed in the contest, are permitted to unclasp the helmet and the buckler, to repose in the arms of conquest. We are aware of the difficulties of the undertaking in which we are enlisted; and, whilst we engage in it with humility, we see not the red and lowering sky which betokens an adverse result, [22/23] but are rather buoyed with the hopes that public confidence will not be wanting in our characters, nor public patronage be withheld from our efforts, nor public benefit fail to accrue from our labours.

To you, young gentlemen, who are the subjects of our present charge, it is proper that I should address a few words of counsel. Let it be your endeavour fully to appreciate the advantage allotted to you in having a collegiate education placed within your reach. It is a privilege which many have sighed for, which comparatively few enjoy, and which may be made the source of happiness, distinction, and profit to yourselves, and of unspeakable gratification to your parents and friends. If your career be marked by diligence and assiduity, and by the spirit of order and decorum, it will issue in the results which I have named. The meritorious student will be honoured. But if, neglectful of your privileges and duties, and in defiance of the authority and counsels of your instructors, you should waste your time, disregard your studies, and violate the statutes of the college, the stern requisitions of discipline will demand that the cord which unites you to this institution should be severed—severed to the discredit of your own characters, and at the expense of an amount of parental grief and anguish, which it is difficult for you to estimate. The highest thrill of satisfaction that penetrates the bosom of the parent is felt, when he witnesses distinctions bestowed upon his offspring, won by their mental and their moral efforts. His deepest feeling of distress is tasted, when he sees them discredited by unworthy conduct, or disgraced by voluntary ignorance and indolence. The intercourse to be maintained between yourselves and the Faculty, will be marked, on our part, by [22/23] kindness, affection, and courtesy; but, at the same time, by the firm determination to exact from you that respect which is due to our stations, and which it is honourable in you to manifest; and that diligent attention to your collegiate studies and duties which we should be unfaithful to you, to your parents, and to ourselves not to require. The Board of Trustees have placed in our hands a larger amount of authority in the discipline of the College, than has hitherto been entrusted to the Faculty of Arts. While this augments our power, it increases also our responsibility; and presents an additional motive for the prudent and temperate, but firm, administration of the collegiate government. From all who shall unite themselves to this institution a solemn promise is exacted that they will be obedient to its statutes, respect its Faculty, avoid all combinations to resist its authority, and pursue their studies with assiduity and zeal. Let me express the hope, that neither the letter nor the spirit of this engagement will be violated by you; that the recent elevation of the college system will be accompanied by a corresponding elevation of the character, feelings, and habits of its students; and that the career which we have now commenced together, may, in its result, redound to your honour and profit, to our credit and satisfaction, and to the permanent and solid welfare of the University of Pennsylvania. (d)




[25] The requisitions for entrance into the Freshman Class, are as follows:—"Every applicant shall have read Virgil, Sallust, and the Odes of Horace, in the Latin; the New Testament, Lucian's Dialogues, Xenophon's Cyropedia, and the Graeca Minora of Dalzel, in the Greek language; and learned quantity and scanning in each. He shall also have been taught Arithmetic, including fractions, and the extraction of roots; English Grammar, and the Elements of Modern Geography."

The course of instruction in the Collegiate Department of the University will be as follows, viz.


With the Assistant Professor of Moral Philosophy.—Cicero's Orations. English Grammar reviewed. Themes. Roman and Grecian Antiquities. English Composition. Declamation.

With the Professor of Languages.—Horace, (Odes reviewed, and satires.) Epictetus. Graeca Majora, Vol. I. Greek exercises.

With the Professor of Mathematics—Arithmetic reviewed. Algebra, to quadratic equations inclusive. Euclid's Elements of Geometry.


With the Assistant Professor of Moral Philosophy.—History and Geography, ancient and modern. Rhetoric. Criticism. Elocution. English Composition. Declamation.

With the Professor of Languages.—Cicero, (de officiis et de oratore.) Terence. Horace, (Epistles and Art of Poetry.) Graeca Majora, Vol. I. completed. Homer's Iliad. Latin and Greek Exercises.

With the Professor of Mathematics.—Elements of Algebra and Geometry completed. Application of Algebra to Geometry. Plain Trigonometry, (the demonstrations analytically.) Surveying and Mensuration. Spherical Geometry and Trigonometry.

With the Professor of Natural Philosophy.—Mineralogy and Geology. Natural Philosophy commenced.


[26] With the Assistant Professor of Moral Philosophy.—Logic. General Grammar. Moral Philosophy. English Composition. Forensic discussions.

With the Professor of Languages.—Juvenal. Perseus. Livy. Graeca Majora, Vol. II.

With the Professor of Mathematics.—Perspective Geography, including the use of Globes and construction of Maps and Charts. Higher Algebra. Analytical Geometry including Conic Sections. Differential Calculus, (Fluxions.)

With the Professor of Natural Philosophy.—Natural Philosophy completed. Chemistry.


With the Professor of Languages.—Longinus. Former authors reviewed or completed.

With the Professor of Mathematics.—Integral Calculus. Analytical Dynamics with the application to Physical Astronomy.

With the Professor of Natural Philosophy.—Astronomy. Courses of Natural Philosophy and Chemistry—a second time.

With the Provost.—Evidences of Natural and Revealed Religion. Metaphysics. Natural and Political Law. Elocution. Composition. Forensic discussions.

(b) The first term of the Collegiate year will commence on the 15th day of September, and end on the 22d day of December.

The second term will commence on the 7th day of January, and end on the 15th day of April.

The third term will commence on the 1st day of May, and end on the last day of July; on which day the public commencement will be held, unless it be Sunday, in which case the commencement will take place the preceding Saturday.

When the terms commence on Sunday, the exercises of the College will begin on the Monday after. When the terms end on Sunday, the duties of the College will terminate the preceding Saturday.

(c) Dr. Robert Adrain, Professor of Mathematics, and the Rev. Dr. Samuel B. Wylie, Professor of Languages; the former of whom was, at different periods, a distinguished instructor in Columbia College, New York, and Rutgers College, New Brunswick, New Jersey; and is well known as ranking with the most profound mathematicians in the country; and the latter was for many years at the head of one of the first classical schools in the city of Philadelphia, equally distinguished for the extent of [26/27] his classical attainments, and for his success both as a disciplinarian and an instructor.

Alexander Dallas Bache, Esq. was eminently successful as assistant Professor of Natural Philosophy in the Military Academy at West Point.

(d) The ensuing brief History of the University, is collected from the interesting Discourse of Dr. George B. Wood, pronounced in 1826, before the Philomathean Society—a society connected with the University, under the management of the under graduates, the design of which is to promote their improvement in elocution, composition, and forensic discussions.

The subject of the adoption of an extended and liberal system of instruction, suited to the wants of a numerous and mixed people, had frequently engaged the attention of a few individuals, among whom our great Franklin, ever prominent in works of public usefulness, was one of the most conspicuous. Their sentiments having been communicated to several others, excited considerable interest; and the plan of an academy was at length drawn up by Franklin, and submitted to the approval of those who appeared to be concerned for the success of the project. Twenty-four of the most respectable, and influential citizens, without regard to difference of religious opinion, or of professional pursuit, associated themselves together under the title of "Trustees of the Academy of Philadelphia." The scheme was now laid before the public, and its patronage requested. Such was the spirit of the people, and so obvious the promised advantages, that an adequate sum was speedily subscribed; and in the commencement of the year 1750, the academy went into operation. Three schools, one for the Latin, one for the mathematics, and one for the English tongue, were immediately opened; two charity schools were soon added; and so flourishing was the condition of the institution, and so fair its prospects of permanent success, that the trustees determined to apply for a charter of incorporation, which, in the year 1753, they obtained from the proprietary government. The prosperity which continued to attend the undertaking, soon induced them to expand their views beyond the limits of a simple academy. In the year 1755, the charter, at their request, was so altered, as to confer upon them the right of granting degrees, of appointing professors, and of assuming, in all other respects, the character of a collegiate body. They now took the title of "Trustees of the College, Academy, and Charity School of Philadelphia." The Rev. Dr. William Smith, the first provost, was a man of distinguished abilities and of no mean reputation as a writer. The degree of doctor in divinity, conferred upon him by the University of Oxford, and subsequently by the learned faculties of Aberdeen and Dublin, evinces the esteem in which his station, talents, and exertions, were held in Europe. The vice-provost, the Rev. Dr. Allison, had long been favourably known [27/28] in the province as a private teacher. Dr. Kinnersley, the professor of English and oratory, was the associate of Franklin in his investigations into the subject of electricity, and the merit of several discoveries in this science is claimed for him by his contemporaries. The professor of languages was reputed to be inferior, as a classical scholar, to none on the Continent.

"The pecuniary resources upon which the trustees relied, were wholly independent of legislative assistance. To the private contributions of the citizens, by which they had originally been enabled to commence their operations, were subsequently added grants of land and money by the proprietaries, and subscriptions to a considerable amount, obtained by the personal application of the provost, from the friends of learning in England. The funds derived from these sources, united with the proceeds of the school itself, were sufficient to maintain it in a prosperous state, till the breaking out of the revolutionary contest. The storm which swept away so many political institutions, and changed, in some measure, the face of civil society, could not be expected to leave untouched an establishment, the influence of which, if properly exerted, might bear so strongly upon the welfare of the country. A provision of the charter demanded from the officers of the college before entering upon their duties, an oath of allegiance to the king of Great Britain; and it was suspected that the inclinations of some of the most influential among them were but too well in accordance with the obligation of their oath. Accordingly, in the year 1779, it was recommended by the executive council, that the affairs of the college should be made the subject of examination by the legislature; that whatever in its charter or management should be found incompatible with the new order of things, should be abrogated, and the whole remodelled, so as at once to preserve the original objects of the founders, and religiously to guard the best interests of the community. The sentiments of the assembly were in perfect agreement with those of the council; and a law was enacted, by which it was hoped they might attain the end proposed. The oath of allegiance in the former charter was transferred to the commonwealth; all the offices of the institution were declared vacant; a new board of trustees was appointed; and the old appellation of College, Academy, and Charity School of Philadelphia, was exchanged for the more highly sounding title of University of Pennsylvania. To show that they were actuated by no hostility to knowledge itself, they not only vested in the new trustees the property of which the college was before possessed, but granted to the university a very considerable endowment out of the forfeited estates. However arbitrary the proceeding might be considered, it accorded with the predominant feeling of the times; and the party who felt themselves aggrieved having used expostulation in vain, were compelled to yield for the present, and appeal for redress to a period of less political excitement. The [28/29] new trustees proceeded immediately to the organization of the institution, The Rev. Dr. John Ewing, a member of the board, was appointed to the provostship, and carried into that office a character of great moral excellence, united with extensive acquirements and indefatigable industry. At the same time, the celebrated Rittenhouse was chosen vice-provost and professor of astronomy.

"But the success of the university did not correspond with the lofty pretensions of its title. Whether the unsettled condition of the country, consequent upon a long war, was unfavourable to the cultivation of learning; whether the dissatisfaction with which many respectable citizens regarded the late measure of the legislature, had turned the current of patronage towards the neighbouring colleges; or whatever cause may have operated, certain it is, that the new school was seldom crowded with students, and its commencement seldom graced with a numerous band of graduates.

"It could not be expected that the trustees and faculty of the old college, should acquiesce quietly in what they conceived to be an arbitrary violation of their rights. Many respectable citizens shared in their sentiments and feelings; memorials representing their case, were, on several occasions, presented to the legislature; and the tumult of party spirit having at length sufficiently subsided to allow the voice of justice to be heard, in the year 1789, a law was enacted declaring the abrogation of their charter an unconstitutional act, and restoring to them the possession of their estates, and the full exercise of their former privileges.

"The new school, however, retained its charter, and the property with which the legislature had endowed it. There were now, therefore, in Philadelphia, two distinct establishments, each having its own board of trustees, and its own faculty. The college and academy were revived under the superintendence of their former provost; and the university continued in operation with no other change than such as necessarily resulted from the late decision.

"From the experience or anticipation of an adverse result, the schools of Philadelphia had been but a short time in operation, when the wish was expressed by both parties, of increasing their strength by a union of interests. Accordingly, in the year 1791, the university and college, in a joint petition to the legislature, requested such alterations in the act of incorporation as might be necessary for this purpose. A design so obviously beneficial, could not fail to meet with approval; and the necessary enactments having been obtained, a union on just and satisfactory terms was effected. An equal number of trustees from each institution formed a new board, of which the governor of the state was ex officio president; and which, by the unrestricted right of supplying vacancies, was rendered independent of any other control than such as resulted from its obligation to consult the best interest of the seminary entrusted to its charge. In the arrangement of the professorships, the same regard was paid to the claims of the respective parties; and the new faculties in the arts and in [29/30] medicine, possessed the united strength of those from which they were formed. The more comprehensive title of University of Pennsylvania absorbed, of course, that of the College and Academy, which, after an interrupted duration of nearly forty years, with a fame which the success of numerous graduates had spread over the continent, was now finally extinguished.

"Soon after the union of the schools, the edifice which had been erected by the State of Pennsylvania as a residence for the President of the United States, but declined on constitutional grounds by Mr. Adams, who then filled the office, was purchased by the trustees, and applied to the purposes of the university.

"Thus newly organized and located, the institution has remained to the present time without a rival in the city. Dr. Ewing continued to preside over it till the period of his death, in 1802, since which time his place has been successively occupied by Mr. M'Dowell, the Rev. Dr. Andrews, the Rev. Dr. Beasley, and the present provost."

The following gentlemen compose the Board of Trustees:

President of the Board.
JOSEPH REED, Secretary & Treasurer.

[31] Professors in the Collegiate Department.

The Rev. WILLIAM H. DE LANCEY, D. D. Provost, and Professor of Moral Philosophy.

ROBERT ADRAIN, L. L. D. Vice Provost, and Professor of Mathematics.

The Rev. SAMUEL B. WYLIE, D. D. Professor of Languages.

ALEXANDER DALLAS BACHE, Esq. Professor of Natural Philosophy and Chemistry.

The Rev. EDWARD RUTLEDGE, A. M. Assistant Professor of Moral Philosophy.


Professors in the Medical Department.

PHILIP SYNG PHYSICK, M. D. Professor of Anatomy.

NATHANIEL CHAPMAN, M. D. of the Institutes and Practice of Physic, and of the Clinical Medicine.

WILLIAM GIBSON, M. D. of Surgery.

JOHN REDMAN COXE, M. D. of Materia Medica and Pharmacy.

ROBERT HARE, M. D. of Chemistry.

THOMAS C. JAMES, M. D. of Midwifery.

WILLIAM E. HORNER, M. D. Adjunct Professor of Anatomy.

WILLIAM P. DEWEES, Adjunct Professor of Midwifery.

SAMUEL JACKSON, Assistant to the Professor of the Institutes and Practice of Physic, and of the Clinical Medicine.


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