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XVII. AN AMERICAN UNIVERSITY,

BY AN ALABAMAN.

Much has been said, within a year or two past, in regard to “An American University." Elaborate and able addresses have been delivered at college and society anniversaries, calling attention to the subject, and presenting such views as were calculated to awaken in its behalf a profound and general interest. Yet, for reasons which it will not be difficult to point out, these views have failed to reach the ear of the American people. Indeed, they seem scarcely to have gone beyond the circles to which they were immediately addressed. Two or three of the most palpable causes of this result, it may be worth while to mention.

Sectional politics have weaned men, in a great measure, from the charm of the American political ideal. The watchword Union no longer rallies them. If you convince an assembly of men, in the North, or in the South, of the importance of any move, to the true interests of the American Republic, they do not take up the conviction, as once they would have done, and carry it through city, town and country. It drops into their hearts like a sadly remembered tune, in which they have neither courage nor voice to join. They have lost confidence in the perpetuity of the Republic as a unit, and they feel that whatever is expended upon it, as such, is so much wasted.

Another cause may be found in the fact, that the American people can not easily be made to feel the need of an American University. You may convince the scholars of it, but to convince the moneyholders and the voters is quite another conquest, not so speedily achieved. Upon them, the true University idea has scarcely ever dawned. The college in which they, or their sons, or their neighbors' sons, were educated, is, in their estimation, the repository of all knowledge. It is barely possible to convince them that such institutions as the Virginia University, Yale College, and Harvard University with its excellent Lawrence School, though unsurpassed in their kind, are limited in their scope, and fall far short of filling up the measure of the country's demands. Our patriotic democrats are slow to believe that England, and France, and Germany, and Italy, and Russia, furnish better facilities than America can boast, for the thorough instruction of men in Science and the Arts. Point them to the hundreds of young men that annually cross the Atlantic in search of purer springs and larger streams of knowledge, and they will tell you

that ""Tis distance lends enchantment." They will quote to you the opinion of some "great man" in their neighborhood, which he delivered on a fourth of July occasion, or in an electioneering harangue, to the effect that "no country could boast of an educated people so truly as the United States." An American University seems to them, therefore, wholly uncalled for.

A third cause, and which is almost a part of the second, is that the means employed, as yet, are totally inadequate to the end proposed. That end is the enlistment of the United States of America in the enterprise of founding a great National University. This can only be accomplished through the million. A people is to be enlightened in regard to a thing which they can not comprehend, but which, by possibility, they may be made to apprehend sufficiently to lead to action. What grander labor ever awaited performance? It is to be done, if at all, through the instrumentality of American scholars. They are fully alive to its importance, but they contemplate, with aching hearts, the difficulty of the task.

In alluding to the insufficiency of the means already employed, not disparagement of those efforts is intended. It was well to assemble scholars from different sections of the country and imbue their minds with the spirit of the great movement. But why stop here? If this much was worth doing, it was certainly important to follow it up with still more expansive measures. Do we deprecate too great haste? Let us remember that persistent, unremitting and multifarious effort, so far from vindicating thoughtless haste, is the exponent of the wisest patience.

Here then, we may rehearse, in brief, the three chief reasons why the idea of An American University, so timely and beneficent in its conception, and so respectably enunciated to the world, seems to have fallen immediately into oblivion.

1. A want of confidence in the permanency of the Federal Union. 2. A lack of ability on the part of the people to discern the need of such an institution.

3. The inadequacy of the means hitherto employed in its promotion. A few words more upon each of these points may not be amiss.

The want of faith in the stability of our Republic is not universal. There are many who think they see, in the successive triumphs of conservatism over blind zeal, the evidence of growing strength in the foundations of the government. But a fact still more encouraging is, that there is nowhere a complete destitution of confidence. The gloomiest croakers, North or South, are not without misgivings as to the fulfillment of their sad prophecies. Extremists on both sides feel that possibly the country may outride the storms that conflicting interests and conflicting opinions have brought upon it. But, that the

general confidence has been shaken, there is no question. This fact, though it may operate against the establishment of a National University, is really a very good reason in its favor. To regulate our action with reference to dissolution, would certainly be very unwise, unless we desire to precipitate the event. On the other hand, it would greatly augment the cohesive power of the Union, to engage in a vast and weighty enterprise, in which all the States should equally interest themselves, and the success of which should depend upon the permanency of the confederation.

It has been a common remark among statesmen, in these troublous. times, that “a war with a foreign power would greatly tend to strengthen the Union.” So it would; but no one thinks of incurring the disgrace of courting a difficulty for this purpose. The double price of injustice and the inevitable calamities of war, is too great to be paid for any good. But a peaceful project, looking impartially to the general welfare, and enlisting the sympathy of all sections, would, without the concomitant evil, bring the same inestimable good. It is no part of our purpose at this time to show that the establishment of an American University would be an enterprise of sufficient magnitude and merit to avert the political disasters which threaten us; but there can not be a reasonable doubt that it would prove an immense conservative power.

In regard to the second difficulty-the inability of the people to discern the need of such an institution—it is only necessary to our purpose to make the single remark, that the masses of the people are often convinced of the beneficence of measures, which they can not, by any means, comprehend. This brings the proposition under discussion, within the range of possibilities, where it meets with the third difficulty mentioned—the inadequacy of the means thus far brought under tribute.

Learned Professors are not in the habit of addressing the million, in advocacy of the projects which they set on foot. Generally they have to deal with subjects that only concern their profession-such as the internal policy of schools--the excellencies or defects of different systems of discipline or of instruction—the merits or demerits of books—and various other topics equally removed from the field of popular interest. It is their habit, accordingly, to confine themselves, in the advancement of their opinions, to Educational Conventions, Meetings of Associations, Anniversaries of Literary Institutions, and the like. If they write, it is for Journals that are read by hardly any one but scholars. In popular assemblies they are seldom seen; and, when seen, generally silent. With the newspaper-the great lever of civilization—they have little to do, and often but little sym

pathy. It is manifest, then, that if they are to institute, and conduct to successful issues, a vast enterprise, involving the persuasion of the whole American people, under circumstances peculiarly unfavorable, they must consent to transcend the scholarly limits. They must bring into requisition the most diffusive and popular instrumentalities—must speak through broad channels that lead to the nation's heart.

The more effectually to accomplish this, suppose a convention of scholars were to be called, for the definite purpose of considering this one subject—the call numerously signed by distinguished gentlemen . of every State. And, still further, suppose that this convention, upon assembling, were to appoint an efficient committee in each State, whose business should be to communicate with the leading men in regard to the University enterprise, and to talk with the people through their own press. Is it not evident that, in this way, a power would be engaged, prodigious and direct, which, in so noble a cause, would be almost irresistible ?

We are in pressing need of an American University: we can have one, if we will : let us use the requisite means. We have excellent colleges-let them be sustained. We have excellent State Universities, (so called)—let the States rally to their support. But the more these are multiplied and patronized, the louder and more urgent is the demand for a National University.

In order to be National it should be located upon common ground. Under existing circumstances it would be wholly impracticable in New York, or Alabama, or anywhere, outside the District of Columbia. The Smithsonian Institute, and the National Observatory, form a worthy nucleus. If each State would appropriate two hundred thousand dollars toward an endowment, a fund would thus be created, of more than six millions, upon the strength of which a very respectable beginning could be made. Its permanent nationality would seem to require, that each State be equally represented, both in the fund and in the management.

These last remarks are designed merely as hints to our Northern brethren—"straws, to show them which way the wind blows.” And it may not be amiss to add, that a Great Southern University is already spoken of; the establishment of which would defeat forever the project herein considered. It would doubtless be followed (if not preceded) by a Great Northern University—and then a Great Western University. These would be three grand centres of attraction and influence, tending rather to destroy than cement the Union. To avert such a consequence, let the plan of an American University be matured without unnecessary delay. Sectional enterprises can not long be held in abeyance. Shall we hear a response from the North ? XVIII. TRANSYLVANIA UNIVERSITY AND STATE NORMAL SCHOOL,

AT LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY.

[In answer to inquiries respecting the organization of the State Normal School, for the training of teachers for the Common Schools of Kentucky, as one of the Schools or Departments of the Transylvania University, we have received from Rev. Lewis W. Green, D. D., an address delivered by him on the occasion of his inauguration as President of the University and Normal School, on the 18th of November, 1856. From this address, and the statement appended, we give the following exposition of the nature and organization of the Normal School, and its relation to the University.-EDITOR.]

By an Act of the General Assembly of Kentucky, in 1855–56, the sum of $12,000 was appropriated annually to establish “a school for teachers" in connection with the University at Lexington, and for this purpose an Act was passed to reorganize the Transylvania University.

“ MORRISON COLLEGE" was, formerly, the name of the Literary Department of an institution, to which were attached two professional schools— Law and Medical-all included under the general charter and title of Transylvania University.

The buildings, grounds, endowments, and other properties of Morrison College, have been transferred to a Board of Trustees, appointed by the Legislature, and consisting of the Governor and other principal officers of State, together with the members of the former Board, in conformity with an act entitled "An act to reorganize Transylvania University, and establish a School for Teachers.” The design of this act, as distinctly given in the preamble to the bill, is to secure “the successful execution of a plan combining every advantage of a Normal School with those which can be derived from general University instruction.” In accordance with the purpose and the requirements of this act, the Institution has been reorganized, so as to include five distinct schools, embracing,

1st. The School of Moral Science, including all the branches usually embraced in that department,-intellectual, moral, and social.

2d. The School of Physical Science, with a like extent of meaning, including chemistry, natural philosophy, astronomy, and other cognate sciences.

3d. The School of Mathematics, which sufficiently defines itself.

4th. The School of Ancient Languages, including the Greek and Latin languages, and literature.

5th. The School for Teachers, including the theory and practice, the science, and the art of teaching.

The relation of the School to the University is precisely the same, in

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