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AMERICAN LITERARY, SCIENTIFIC, AND MILITARY ACADEMY.
AT NORWICH, VERMONT.
THE AMERICAN LITERARY, SCIENTIFIC, AND MILITARY ACADEMY, at Norwich, Vermont, was opened on the 4th of September, 1820, by Capt. Alden Partridge, and continued under his personal superintendence and instruction, assisted by several professors, until April 1st, 1825, when it was discontinued at Norwich, and reopened at Middletown, Connecticut. The catalogue of the officers and cadets published August, 1821, contains a prospectus from which we make extracts to exhibit the aims of that school and of this particular class of institutions at that date.
TERMS OF ADMISSION. The requisite qnalifications for becoming members of the Institution are the following, viz: That the candidate be of good moral character, that he be able to read and spell correctly, to write a fair, legible hand, and work the ground rules of arithmetic.
COURSE OF INSTRUCTION. Young gentlemen destined for a college education, can be prepared at this seminary for admission into any college or university in the country, either as freshmen, or one or two years in advance, and in the mean time will be enabled to acquire a good military and practical scientific education. Young gentlemen also, destined for the navy, can here be instructed in the scientific part of their profession, and at the same time, obtain a correct knowledge of fortification, and of military operations generally, on land, which it is believed they would find bighly useful in future life. Parents and guardians who are desirous of placing their sons or wards at this seminary, are requested to state whether they wish them to go throngh with the full course of education; and if not, to specify, particularly, those branches to which they desire them to attend, and also to mention their ages.
The course of Latin, Greek, Hebrew, French, and English languages, Arithmetic, the construction and use of Logarithms, Algebra, Geometry, Plane and Spherical Trigonometry, Planometry, Stereometry, Monstration of heights and distances by Trigonometry, and also Geometrically, practical Geometry generally, including particularly Surveying and Leveling, Conic Sections, the use of the Barometer, with its application to measuring the altitudes of mountains and other eminences, Mechanics, Hydrostatics, Hydraulics, the elements of Chemistry and Electricity, Optics, Astronomy, Navigation, Geography, including the use of Maps and the Globes ; Composition, Logic, History, Ethics, the elements of Natural and Political Law, the Law of Nations, Military Law, the Constitution of the United States, and of the states severally, Metaphysics ; Agricnlture, Permanent and Field Fortification, Field Engineering generally, the construction of Marine Batteries, Artillery duty, the principles of Gunnery, a complete conrse of Military Tactics, the attack and defense of fortified places, Castrametation, ancient Fortification, the ancient modes of attacking and defending fortified places, the ancient Tactics, particularly those of the Greeks and Romans, with a description of the organization and discipline of the phalanx and Keeping, Music, Fencing, Military Drawing, Topography, Civil Engineering, including the construction of Roads, Canals, Locks, and Bridges ; Architecture.
The Hebrew and French languages, Fencing and Music will not be considered as comprised in the regular course of education, and consequently those who attend to them will be charged separately.
MILITARY EXERCISE, AND DUTIES. The students will be regularly and correctly instructed in the elementary school of the soldier, and also in those of the company and battalion; they will likewise be tarlight the regular formation of military parades, the turning off, mounting, and relieving guards and sentinels; the duties of officers of the guard, officers of the day, and adjutants; the making out correctly the different descriptions of inilitary reports; in fine, all the duties incident to the field or garrison. The military exercises and duties will be so arranged as not to occupy any of tho time that would otherwise be devoted to study; they will be attended to at those hours of the day which are generally passed by students in idleness, or devoted to useless amusements, for which they will be made a pleasing and healthful substitute. Practical scientific operations will be frequently attended to, which will conduce equally to health and improvement.
The students will be required to sleep on matrasses, or straw-beds; no featherbeds will be allowed in the establishment.
For the purpose of giving to the students a military appearance, when engaged on military duty, and also on a principle of economy, they are reqnired to wear a uniform dress, a description of which is hereunto annexed. In prescribing a dress, it has been endeavored to combine as far as possible, cheapness and a neat military appearance, with such a form as, while it leaves the student the free and unrestrained use of his limbs, will at the same time encumber him the least possible. The discipline will be strict, but correct; and particular attention will be given to the full development and due cultivation of all those liberal, manly, noble and independent sentiments which ought to characterize every American, whether citizen or soldier. The strictest attention will be gi i to the health manners and morals of the students. They will be continually under the personal inspection of the superintendent, who will bestow upon them all that care and attention which it is believed their parents, under similar circumstances, would bestow.
MILITARY LECTURES. For the accommodation of gentlemen, (particularly of those holding commissions in the volunteer corps and militia,) who may not wish to go through with a regular course of military studies and instruction, and also for the purpose of diffusing military science more generally, Capt. Partridge will deliver annually at the before-mentioned seminary, three courses of public lectures; the first course to coinmence on the second Monday in May, the second course on the second Monday in July, and the third course on the first Monday in October, annually. These lectures will embrace the following branches of military science and instruction, viz. :
1st. Permanent and field fortification, the construction of field works generally, and also of marinę batteries.
2d. The attack and defense of fortified places,
3d. The use of artillery, with a general exposition of the principles of gunnery.
4th, Military Tactics.
5th. Garrison and field service of troops, embracing particularly their police and rules for turning off, mounting and relieving guards and sentinels, and also for guard duty, likewise castrametation.
6th. General rules for the attack and defense of a province or country embracing an exposition of the principles of base lines of operation.
7th. Rules for the inspection and review of troops.
8th. A summary of ancient fortification, and also of the ancient modes of attacking and defending fortified places.
9th. A summary of the ancient tactics, particularly those of the Greeks and Romans.
10th. A description of some of the most celebrated battles and sieges, both of ancient and modern times, for the purpose of practically illustrating the principles explained in the lectures. In order to render the lectures on fortification perfectly intelligible, plans will be prepared, on which the several parts of a work will be clearly and distinctly exhibited
Particular attention will be given to a full explanation of all the technical terms used in fortification, as well as in the other departments of military science. A full course will comprise about twenty lectures; five to be delivered in cach week until the course be finished. The terms for attending a course will be ten dollars. Gentlemen subscribing for two courses, will be allowed ever after to attend gratis. All those attending the lectures, will be entitled, during the time of such attendance, to practical military instruction, and also to the privilege of the reading-room, without any additional charge.
On the 1st of April, 18-25, Capt. Partridge was induced by liberal overtures from citizens of Middletown, Conn., to leave his institution at Norwich, and remove to Middletown, Conn., and reopen it in that city. Before doing so he published a card in which he exhibits the progress and results of his labors at Norwich. This seminary was opened at Norwich, in the state of Vermont, on the 4th of
tembe er, 1820, under my immediate direction and superintendence; and although the plan was now and untried, besides containing principles, which were by many considered discordant with each other, viz., the connecting of mental improvement with a regular course of bodily exercise, and the full development of the physical powers, the whole conducted under a military system of discipline; still its snccess has exceeded, rather than fallen short, of my most sanguine expectations.
The following extract from a recent report of the adjutant of the institution, compiled from the rolls and other anthentio documents, will enable the public to form their conclusions, from facts on this subiect.
1st. The total number of cadets who have joined the institution, since its organization, is 480.
2d. The numbers from the respective states, and other sections hereafter mentioned, are as follows, viz. :From Maine,
28 From South Carolina,
District of Columbia, 2
Lower Canada, %
Havana, Island Cuba, i
Island Scio, Greece, ' 1 North Carolina, 3dly. Of the above number, twenty are commissioned and warrant officers of the U. S. Navy, viz., 4 lieutenants, 1 assistant-surgeon, and 15 midshipmen.
4thly. Ont of the whole, 441 have been engaged in the study of the Mathematies, and out of this number 145 have completed a full course of “Hutton's Mathematier." Of these, 80 have, in addition, attended to practical Mathematics, 56 have continued their course throngh the study of Philosophy, and others are now fast progressing in the accomplishment of those higher branches also.
5thly. The whole number who have studied the Greek and Latin languages, is about 1:50. Of these, 25 have advanced far towards completing a course, although none have gone entirely through. Of those not included in the last-mentioned number, many have fitted for college, or progressed still farther, and many are progressing. What is here considered a course, is the same which is laid down in the prospectus, which conld be scarcely completed in the period since the establishment of the institution.
6thly. The number of those who have attended to the French language, is about 130. Twenty have become well acquainted with the language-30 are very well advanced, and many of the remainder have made respectable progress.
7thly. About ten or twelve of those who have been, or are now members of the institution, have devoted considerable time and instruction of the militia or volunteer corps, in this and various other sections of the country, and many of them are still engaged in that useful employment.
Of those who have been, or are now, engaged in the study of the Latin and Greek languages, I flatter myself there are several who would not suffer by a comparison with any of the same degree of advancement at our older and most approved seminaries; and as a school of practical science, I have little hesitation in asserting, that it is second to none in our country. In confirmation of this assertion, I would obserre, that since the establishment of the seminary, my pupils, in addition to their nsual exercises in practical geometry, and many operations of minor consequence, have executed, in a very handsome manner, a profile of the country, exhibiting the perpendicnlar altitudes of all the prominent points, above tide water, as determined by acthal observation, from the summit of Manchester mountain, in the state of Vermont, to the summit of mount Washington, the highest elevation of the White Mountains, in the state of New Hampshire. a distance of 165 miles. They have also executed a similar profile from Norwich In Whitehall, in the state of New York, a distance of sixty-eight miles, and have further executed a trigonometrical survey of the country around Norwich, for a distance in some directions, of about twenty miles. This survey was commenced, and has been prosecuted, in such a manner as to serve as a basis for any further operations that may be thought necessary. A handsome topographical plan of this survey is finished.
In the department of French, it is believed, the pupils have made as rapid progress as at any seminary in our country, and in Mineralogy, Botany, &c., alThough but recently commenced, there appears to be much zeal, and a corresponding improvement, amongst the classes which have attended, and those still attending, numbering about sixty.
Music and fencing have been attended by a large proportion of the members, and with a progress highly creditable to them.
The military exercises and duties are common to all the cadets, and it is believed very fuw have left the seminary, who were not competent to instruct from the elementary drill of the soldier, to embrace the school of the battalion, and who, in addition, did not possess a very competent knowledge of the principles of the grand tactics, of the elements of permanent and field fortification, of the principles of gunnery, &c. The beneficial effects of the regular system of exercise and active duty, to which my pupils are snbject, upon their health, has been fully equal to my expectations. But one death has happened at the institution, since its commencement, and this was a youth who had just entered his name on the rolls, but was attacked by a prevailing epidemic, of which he died, before commencing his studies or regular duties. Several who joined the seminary feeble and debilitated, have in a short time been entirely restored to vigorous health. Indeed, such has been the result, I believe, without a single exception. That a youth may, by means of a regular system of exercise, preserve all his bodily activity and vigor, and at the same time apply himself most assiduously to study, I have never had any doubts ; but if I had, the facts developed since the establishment of this seminary, would have dispelled them. Many of my
d those the closest applicants to study, walk with facility forty miles per day. In the summer of 1823, several of them lett Norwich at day-break in the morning, walked to the summit of Ascutney mountain, and returned to Norwich about 9 o'clock in the evening of the same day--the whole distance fortysix miles; which, considering the fatigue and difficulty of ascending and descending the mountain, (upwards of 3,000 feet high,) may reasonably be estimated as equivalent to sixty miles on the usual roads of the country. They continued their regular studies and other duties the following day. In September, 1823, a party of nearly thirty accompanied me on a pedestrian tour to the summit of Manchester mountain, in the state of Vermont, a large portion of whom traveled 150 miles in four days, and on the fourth day one of the party, a youth of sixteen years of age, walked by my side forty-five miles. On a recent excursion to the summit of the most elevated of the White Mountains, with a party of fifty of my pupils, a large portion of them, on the last day, walked forty-two miles. Belonging to this party, was a youth of but twelve years of age, who walked the whole distance, (160 miles,) carrying his knapsack, with clothes, &c., and returned in perfect health.
Since the latter part of June, 1821, the cadets, as a military corps, have executed, under iny personal command, six military marches, amounting, in the aggregate, to 637 miles. Different detachments from the corps have also, within the same time, in addition to several of minor importance, performed, under my personal direction, four pedestrian excursions, for practical scientific purposes, amounting in the aggregate to 684 miles, and which, added to the former, gives 637X684=1321 miles. To this may be added an excursion to the White Mountains, whole distance 170 miles, by a party which I did not accompany, and which will make the total distance traveled in those marches and excursions, 1491 miles,
The foregoing facts are stated for the purpose of illustrating and confirming the correctness of the opinion I have so often advanced in my lectures on education, relative to the practicability, and even facility, of combining the full development and perfection of the physical powers of youth, with a due cultivation and improvement of the mental faculties. Whether a young man, who enters on the grand theater of active life, with a mind and body equally vigorous and improved, who, while he has a head to conceive, possesses also an arm to execute, will or will not possess advantages in the discharge of the various duties he may be called upon to perform, over one, who has grown to the age of manhood, puny and debilitated, destitute of physical energy, and incapable of bodily exertion, I shall leave to the sound discretion of the American people to decide.
As it respects the effect of the system on the morals of youth, I would observe, that I feel confident no one has left the institution worse than he joined it, and that I flatter myself, several have, in this respect, been improved. Next after the influence of religion, I consider habits of industry and economy as constitut
ing the surest basis of morals amongst youth. To instill these into the minds of my pupils, ever has, and ever will be, a leading object; and I consequently shall imperatively require the strictest adherence to all the regulations bearing on those points, by all concerned. I would therefore beg leave to assure the parents, guardians, and relatives of my pupils, that the regulations prohibiting the cadets being furnished with money, otherwise than by the superintendent, or by his express perinission, is to be taken in its literal meaning, (without exception,) and must be adhered to under all circumstances; and that any deviation from it will be followed by immediate dismission. I would much prefer that the great body of my pupils should enter young, and grow up under my system. The mind and body are then more susceptible of improvement, than at a more advanced period. Few, if any, vicious habits have then been formed, and the morals, under a strict and regular discipline, may easily be preserved. It is my fixed determination pot, knowingly, to admit any young man of confirmed vicious or dissipated habits into the institution. I would accordingly recommend to parents and guardians not to send me any of this description; for if they should gain admission, and did not immediately reform, (which seldom occurs when the habits
it would only eventuate in their dismission, and consequent disgrace. It is much easier to prevent a youth from acquiring bad habits, than to correct them after they are acquired. If parents and guardians will send me their sons and wards free from habits of dissipation, immorality, and vice, I will guarantee, as far as human agency will authorize, that they shall be preserved free from such habits, while they remain under my care. Every reqnisite means will be used to correct the foibles and faults incidental to youth-to accomplish this object no pains will be spared. With their foibles I will bear as much as any person, but with their vices I will make no compromise. For the purpose of enabling me the more readily and the more certainly to accomplish this important object, I must request parents and guardians, if their sons or wards have foibles or faults, frankly to state them to me. On this subject there should be no reserve; as, with such information, I should know much better what course to pursue with them.
The favorable view taken of the aims, progress, and results of the scientific and military training provided by Capt. Partridge in his Academy at Norwich, was amply justified by the success of his pupils at Middletown, as practical men in various departments of business and public life.
On account of the condition on which he held a portion of his property at Norwich, Capt. Partridge was obliged to maintain there a literary institution, after his removal to Middletown. When he discontinued his labors at the latter place, and not succeeding in his plans for establishing a scientific and military school in the neighborhood of New York, he returned to Norwich, and in 1832, made preparation to reëstablish his Academy on its old basis, and with enlarged premises. With this view he erected the building known as the North Barracks, which were occupied for two years by Rev. Amasa Buck, for the purposes of a Methodist school, known as the Franklin Seminary.
In the spring of 1834, a number of gentlemen associated to establish at Norwich, not an academic, but a collegiate institution, after Capt. Partridge's views and in the autumn of that year, obtained from the Legislature of Vermont, a charter by which the petitioners were constituted a Board of Trustees of an in. stitution by the name of the Norwich University. The charter further provides " that the said Board shall be required to furnish at said institution constantly a course of Military instruction, both theoretical and practical, and also in Civil Engineering, and the practical sciences generally; and the President of said institution, with the consent of the Trustees, shall have power to give and confer all such diplomas, degrees, honors, or licenses, as are usually given or conferred in Colleges or Universities, at their discretion; providel, however, that in so doing they shall have respect to the morals and merits of the candidate alone."