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This act of incorporation named fourteen gentlemen, and provided for the election of eleven others, which twenty-five should constitute the Board of Trustees of Norwich University. The first meeting of the Trustees was held at Norwich, Vt., January, 1835. The vacancies in the Board were then filled, and the first members of the Faculty were elected, viz. :-ALDEN PARTRIDGE, "President and Professor of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy, History, Science of Government, Political Economy, and Military Science and Tactics;" TRUMAN B. Ransom, Vice-President, and Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy, Mathematics, Theoretical and Practical, and Civil Engineering; M. NORAS, Professor of Ancient and Modern Languages; and FRANKLIN MARSH and I. M. HORR, assistants in the English Department. These gentlemen were authorized to form a course of study and laws for the government of the institution.
In May, 1835, the University was opened under the auspices and in the buildings owned by Capt. Partridge, with a full course of literary, scientific, and military studies. Among those enumerated in the first prospectus were Military Law, Military Drawing, Civil and Military Engineering. “Military Science being considered an important appendage to the education of every American youth is taught theoretically in all departments of the University. The military exercises are attended 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." "The discipline will be strict, but correct; in principle, military. It will be a great and leading object to instill into the minds of students liberality of sentiment and principles of honorable integrity and attachment to our republican institutions. Everything of a sectarian character in religion will be entirely excluded and all literary honors will be conferred in accordance with scholarship and moral worth alone."
At the close of the academic year, 1835-6, (August 18, 1836,) the first An. nual Commepcement took place, and the class of 1836 then graduated, consisted of one person, Alonzo Jackman, now Brigadier-General in Vermont, and Professor of Mathematics, Military Science, etc., at the University. Professor Ran. som, entered the United States Navy about this time, and Mr. Jackman was appointed to till the vacant Professorship. Soon after this, Rev. Zerah Colburn, succeeded Professor Noras. August 17, 1837, the second Annual Commencement was held, and Hon. George McDuffie, of South Carolina, delivered the address; the next year Robert Rantoul, Jr., of Massachusetts, was the orator; in 1839, John Wentworth, of Illinois, and Thomas H. Seymour, of Connecticut, were speakers; and in 1840, Benjamin F. Hallett, of Boston. The catalogues of each of these years show that the number of students, or cadets, averaged a little less than a hundred, and in all the catalogues, the regulations for the Police of the Cadets' Quarters were given in full. They provided for all the military duties of the students, for the wearing of uniform, etc., etc.
In July, 1840, the Corps of the University under the command of Captain Partridge, performed a military march across the State to Fort Ticonderoga. They were just a week on the excursion, and in that time, they marched nearly a hundred and fifty miles on foot, about twenty-five miles per day. Notwithstanding the excessive warmth of the day, and the exposure to the air of the night, with no other covering than the soldiers' blanket, the Cadets all returned in good health and spirits.
During the year 1843, several changes took place in the University. From
the time Mr. Ransom resigned the Vice-Presidency, until May, 1843, that office was filled by Hon. Aaron Loveland. Mr. Ransom returned at this time, and was again made Vice-President, and Professor of 'Civil and Military Engineering, etc. The buildings and land used up to this time, were the property of Capt. Partridge. During May, arrangements were made for the purchase of this property by the University, but some misunderstanding occurred before this was done, and in November, President Partridge resigned, and took from the armory all the arms and accoutrements, attempted to revive his old Academy in another part of the village, and finally, when the University could not purchase his property at his prices, obliged the students to remove from the buildings. On his resignation, Truman B. Ransom was chosen President, and for the two years the institution was carried on in other buildings in the town. The Legislature was applied to, and appropriated a hundred stand of arms, sets of accoutrements, etc., for the use of the students. At last an arrangement was made with Capt. Partridge, for the purchase of his property, and the University returned to its old quarters. The number of students was small during these difficulties, but the military department was always active, a good military education was given, and men wore graduated who now hold responsible places in the military service of the United States among the Federal troops.
In May, 1847, President Ransom, then Major-General of the Vermont Militia, resigned his place at the University, accepted that of Colonel of the “New England regiment," ninth infantry, and went with that body to Mexico. September 13th of the same year, he was shot while gallantly leading the charge of his regiment upon the fortifications of Chapultepec. When Gen. Ransom left, Prof. James D. Butler was appointed President, pro lem., and in January, 1848, Gen. Henry S. Wheaton, of Massachusetts, was elected President, and served as such till August, 1849; he was succeeded in September, 1850, by Rev. Edward Bourns, LL. D., who still (1863,) holds that office.
Soon after 1850, the opposition to anything of a military education became very strong, the number of Cadets at this institution diminished, and the tone of the prospectus changed to suit the public. “The discipline is military in principle and form. The Cadets are under military organization, they dress in uniform, are regularly drilled with arms. But they are not made lovers of war! They are not found to adopt the profession of arms more than others of the same age, however educated; oftentimes the harmless practice of handling arms at this age, is found to satisfy the craving for the use of them, and these young men settle down into the ranks of peace more easily and more contentedly than those that have had no such training. The drill is an agreeable exercise. The system of discipline is strict, though not oppressive, its sole object is to preserve order and promote study." "The object is not to make soldiers, but to strengthen the body.” During these years (from 1850 to 1860,) the prospects of the University were not bright. It was at once engaged in lawsuits, and troubled with debt and opposition. In 1853, it was proposed to move the University to Montpelier, but the project was tinally abandoned, the last of the old Academy property was bought, the buildings were repaired and the institution freed from debt. Previous to 1850, the finances were in a very confused state. When the charter was obtained, land to the value of fifteen hundred dollars was brought and deeded to the University. The sale of this, and subscriptions from Trustees end citizens of Norwich, produced enough to purchase the North Barracks, The money received of students for tnition was always, and is still, all used for paying the salaries of the instructors. The room-rents scarcely paid the rent and repairs of the South Barracks, and the University ran slightly into debt. The State, in 1853-4, gave the institution about thirteen hundred dollars of an unappropriated school fund, and enough more was raised by friends of the University to purchase the South Barracks, and pay off old debts, and put all the buildings in good repair. For several years it was obliged to struggle against a load of popular prejudice on account of its military feature, but since 1861, it has brushed up its uniform, and its Military Department no longer seeks to hido itself. No such semi-apologies for the military training of its students appear in its catalogues and prospectus for 1861 and 1862.
"The Norwich University differs from most colleges in two respects. These are its double system of study, consisting in an Academic and a Scientific course; and its department of Military Science. The Academic course conprises those studies usually pursued in other colleges; the Scientific embraces Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Belles-Lettres, Surveying, and Engineering. Four years are required to complete the former, and three, the latter course of study. Students are also allowed to take a partial course in either department. The students of all departments are regarded as equals.
"The feature, however, which more than any other distinguishes Norwich University from other Collegiate institutions. is the department of Military Science and Tactics.
“Agreeably to the provisions of its charter, the students are all under Military discipline-are called Cadets—dress in uniform, and are instructed in Infantry, Rifle, and Artillery Drill, Bayonet Exercise, Fortification, Reconnoissance, Castrametation, Guard and Out-Post duty, &c., &c. All the arms and equipments necessary for drills are furnished by the State of Vermont. * * *
“The military feature of this institution is one which should particularly commend it to the notice, and patronage of the public at this time. The want of men skilled in Military Science and Tactics, to take command of volunteer forces, and discipline them into effective soldiers, has been severely felt in organizing the present army of the United States. The reverses with which it has met are, without doubt, owing largely to this cause. To guard against this defect in the future, it is now generally felt that young men should be educated thoroughly in every department of Military Science. In times of peace this knowledge would not incapacitate men for nor interfere with any other business ;-wbile in times of war, it would become invaluable to the country in training an army for efficient service."
The following persons constituted the Faculty in 1862. Rev. EDWARD BOURNS, LL. D., President, and Professor of Moral Sciences, Ancient Languages, and Literature; ALONZO JACKMAN, A. M., Brigadier-General Vermont Volunteer Militia, Professor of Mathematics, Natural Philosophy, Military Science, and Tactics; Thomas R. CROSBY, M. D., Professor of Anatomy, Physiology, and Natural History; CLINTON S. AVERILL, A. M., Acting Professor of Natural Sciences; GEORGE BAILLARD, Professor of Modern Languages, and Linear and Architectural Drawing; SAMUEL W. SHATTUCK, B. S., Tutor in Mathematics and Military Tactics; Alonzo JACKMAN, A, M., Librarian.
MISS CAROLINE PLUMMER.
(Compiled from a "Memoir of the Plummer Family,” by Hon. D. A. White.]
of thirty-Fi and at $12,773, studio
Miss CAROLINE Plummer, one of the largest benefactors of education, science, and christian morality, in the annals of female beneificence, was born in Salem, Mass., on the 13th of January, 1780. Her father, Dr. Joshua Plummer, was a native of Gloucester, who, after graduating at Harvard College in 1773, studied and practiced medicine there until 1785, and at Salem until his early death in 1791, at the age of thirty-five. Her mother, Olive Lyman, was the daughter of Rev. Jsaac Lyman of York, and aunt of Theodore Lyman, the liberal benefactor of the State Reform School at Westboro, Mass. Left, by the death of her husband, with a family of seven children dependent on her care, Mrs. Plummer by her own energy, with the faithful and affectionate co-operation of the older boys as they grew able to assist her, managed by continuing for a time the apothecary shop of her husband, and by taking in a few boarders, to give them all a good education, and fit them to adorn the highest walks of social life. Her home was the loved resort of her children, and made charming by an unobtrusive exhibition of genuine domestic and social virtues, and a richly cultivated understanding. Her daughter Caroline was eminently distinguished by intellectual gifts and graces, and her power of conversation. Judge White, who made the acquaintance of Miss Plummer in 1803, remarks that her social distinction was the natural result of her fine endowments and the social influences under which she had lived and been educated. Her education, taking the word in its broadest sense, though simple, was of a high order. Her only school teachers were Mrs. and Miss Higginson, who were among the best and most truly refined women of that day in New England. Of a similar character were her associates at her mother's table and fireside, and in the various families where she was a privileged visitor and inmate. When with her grandparents at York, she must have had substantial literary instruction and been under influences conducive to the high moral principles for which she was ever remarkable. In her character and attainments she strikingly resembled her grandmother Lyman, who was educated
by one of the ablest divines of the country, and who added to a gentle dignity and winning sweetness of character, the attractions of a highly cultivated mind. She had cultivated the same familiarity with the British poets, extended to an intimate acquaintance with English literature generally. In Salem her friends and companions were of the choicest character. From infancy to maturity, indeed, she appeared to have known no other. Dr. and Mrs. Bowditch, whose house and whose hearts were always open to receive her, were her sincere and steadfast friends. With them she was most intimately confidential. Dr. Bowditch was at all times her wise counselor as well as dear friend, and his influence was as valuable to her as it was great. No one better understood her whole character, or held it in higher esteem. In the last interview I ever had with Dr. B.-a few days before his death,-he spoke with much feeling of several of his Salem friends, and in relation to Miss Plummer I well remember the emphatic manner in which he said, "On every point of integrity and honor Caroline Plummer is as true as the needle to the pole.”
Miss Plummer was nowhere happier than in Salem, and the period to which we have referred, about 1804, was perhaps the happiest of her life. With no anxious cares for her brothers—whose prospects were flattering—and surrounded by admiring friends, whom she loved, she could freely enjoy the richest pleasures of social life. The society of Salem at that time was adapted to her taste and habits, and she was remarkably adapted to that. Salem still retained much of its old character of combined economy, simplicity and intelligence. Social parties were managed with a view to rational enjoyment, not for display of any kind,-free from needless ceremony, and rarely so large as to interfere with the main purpose. Conversation and friendly intercourse were relied on for the chief entertainment. Caroline Plummer's expected presence was a sufficient attraction to all who loved such an entertainment, which she was so sure to afford. Yet she did not talk with apparent design to entertain-certainly not to set off her powers, of which she seemed unconscious; and this absence of all pretension added to the charm of her society. Her rich thoughts and sentiments flowed out spontaneously in appropriate language, often enlivened with genuine wit and humor. Her literary attainments, which were considerable, did not hang as ornaments on her mind to be displayed occasionally, but were so blended with her native good sense and the results of her own experience and observation, that they appeared alike natural and graceful ;—and, what is perhaps a rarer excellence, her conversation was characterized by a