REPORT, ON THE TRANSYLVANIA UNIVERSITY, AND LUNATIC ASYLUM.
MR NEW, from the joint committee appointed to visit the Transylvania University, and the Lunatic Asylum at Lexington, made the following reports :
The joint committee appointed to examine the state and condition of Transylvania University, have discharged the duty assigned, and beg leave respectfully to submit the following report : The recess from Legislation, afforded the committee and early opportunity of repairing to Lexington, and of making those inquiries, and that examination which were deemed of greatest interest to the state.
The report of the trustees, marked (K) and the references to the several sub reports, upon which that is founded, constitute the principal sources of information which were offered to your Committee, and furnish more ample satisfaction, than could result from an abstract. They are therefore submitted in extenso. The documants are so full and complete in detail, that little remains to be said, except that vouchers were exhibited in support of the various items of account manidesting the receipts and disbursements of the institution.
Since the report to the last legislature, there has occurred a diminution in the number of Students in the University, but not such as necessarily indicates any decline in public confidence. The report of President Holly. indicates an extensive range of well selected studies, and such as must generally meet the approbation of an enlightened community.
The advantages resulting from college exercises, always more immediately depend upon the Student, though skill in professors, and well arranged and judiciously regulated course of study, act with strong auxiliary influence. In many branches of instruction, the committee witnessed a display of proficiency, which did equal credit to the students and preceptor.
The report of professor Roche, on the classical pursuit of the University, is highly interesting. and is frought with the most sound and correct estimate of the value of close and intimate acquaintance, with ancient lore. Your Committee would suggest that to require even a further advance and greater skill in Latin and Greek, to obtain admission into the regular classes of the University, woukd in their estimation constitute no objectionto the plan of education, but would in its ultimate results be benificial to the student, without unjury to the institution. There exists in most sections of the state, schools in
which the languages, can be correctly acquired. It is probably more propitious for the morals of the child, that he should remain during the era of youthful effervesence under the immediate inspection of the parent, and were the attainments requisite to admission of greater extent and higher accomplishments, there would be precluded from this institution, many whose maturity of experience had not armed them with principles fixed and conviction adequete to guard them against the facinations of pleasure and allurements of dissipation.
By requiring a greater proficientcy in Latin and Greek than now demanded, the higher authors in those languages might be read, the maxims of pure disinterested patriotism, more indelibly impressed, and the philosophy of language more accurately acquired; each class might be elevated a grade, and more time given for application to natural, moral and political study. Your Committee congratulates the University, the Legislature, and the State, upon the establishment of the Morrison professorship of mathematical science, which the munificence of the late Col. James Morrison, has enabled the trustees of the University, to add upon a foundation which will be permanent. Such a professorship had long been a desideratum in the institution, and whilst law and medicine, phrenology, craniology, philosophy of mind, metaphysicks, in all their multiplied and evanescent, ramifications, were flourishing cultivating the fancy, the heart and the affections, too little regard, your Committee apprehend, was bestowed and too low rank was assigned to the exact sciences, the most necessary and most useful, in teaching how to think, to reason, to examine the truth, to know it when found in their application, to affairs of life and of the world.
Thomas J. Matthews, who has been selected as Morrison professor, is a gentleman whose reputation furnishes a pledge, that the department entrusted to his superintendence, will be conducted so as to increase that reputation, do credit to the choice and redound benificially to the state.
The increase of the several cabinets of specimens in the academical and medical departments, indicate the interest which exists in their prosperity and proves their growing importance. The libary is extensive, flourishing, apparently, well selected and under judicious management.
The philosophy of mind can be as well studied in the acquisition of useful practical knowlegde as in efforts to reconcile the jargon of the schools, the confusion of theories in attempts to thread the mazes of metaphysical labyrinths, or pursue the attenuated fibres of speculative abstraction.
From the observations which an intercourse with the world, has enabled us to make, sound information and elevated maxims of morality, blended with a cultivation of taste, for the best
models in literature, are the surest guarantees of a virtuous heart and well regulated affections. Moral and political philosophy are the basis of that charecter, which is most in a republic.
The diminution of students in the law class may be attributed to the pressure of the times, the variation in taste or probably ot the fact, that each town contains a law school of its own, where the science is taught and the art practically learned, or perhaphs the number is settling down to that which may be uniformly anticipated for the supply of the vacancis in the profession; on this head we refer to report (L.)
It is matter of pride to witness Kentucky irradiating her sister states, with the lights of knowledge and dispensing the blessings of education, to the youth of states much older in politi cal existence than herself.
There are 155 Students in the University from 14 states. There are 320 Students, pursuing in Transylvania University the path of science, to usefulness and to fame. No object can be more grateful to the legislature, than to contemplate the prosperous results of that liberal and enlightened policy, which has patronized, fostered and cherished this institution into such maturity. The committee amidst the many causes which exist for exulting at the prosperity of the University, can but regret, that that institution should still be indebted to the United States Bank, the sum $5775, specic- this two after the fund appropriated to the use of the University out of the dividends of the Commonwealth's Bank, has been reduced to $2331 37 1-2 in paper and after a distribution of ten per cent. upon the stock held in the bank of Kentucky.
They recommend to the trustees of the University, the strictest economy, that they refrain from incurring any expenses not indispensibly necessary to the vitality of the institution, until that debt is extinguished and their fiscal affairs placed upon a safer foundation.
It is also advised that the item of $9106 30 of old debts as will be fully explained by report marked (I.) be critically investigated and scanned, so much realized as is practicable, and that which cannot be collected, be at once credited by insolvencies, and be no longer estimated as a fund, swelling the value of the institution.
It appears from the report (K.) that Transylvania University, will from its profits be perfectly enabled to support itself for the ensuing year. The public patronage, which has been bestowed through legislative enactments upon this institution, your committee consider has resulted in manifolf profit to the state.
The strength of the state physically consists in vigorous yeo
manry- morality in the diffused intelligence and aggregate virtue of its citizens. Its wealth is as effectually promoted by reaping the harvest of its own industry, and preventing exhaustion, as by an increase of productions or the direct accumulation of capital. Its political safety. the permanence of its free institutions and the full growth of its patriotism, are especially ensured by that domicilary education, which assocrates with the sunshine and brightness pf childhood and adolescence, the verdure of its fields and the benignity of its laws.
The dollars that are saved and the hundreds that are gained to the state, by the resuscitation of the Transylvania University, though not to be disregarded by the political economist, constitute but dust in the balance, when it is remembered how the moral and political influence of Kentucky has thus been extended; and conscience tells our children, and children's children have been and will be thus furnished the means of liberal, enlarged public education, in the bosom of their families and the lap of their country. No foreign manners- no habits incongenial with the softest, kindest and at the same time the most re fined and most elevated sentiment; no alienation of feelingno propensity inimical to the simple republicanism of the father, is generated in the mind of that youth who grows and ripens under the vivifying rays of his natal sun. In a moral and political point of view, your committee deem the influence of Transylvania University of infinate importance.
The prosperity of a republic is founded on virtue- national virtue will, nay must always be proportioned to the intelligence of a community.
The most extended instruction - the most perfect acquirement - the most exquisite refinement of the few, constitue, not that state of information, of intelliegence, of education which the patriot admires or the rebublican demands. Knowledge diffysed through the aggregate mass of society, elevating, purifying, refining every class, is the foundation of public virtue and the soul of liberty. The diffusion of learning, not its accumulation in any individual, is most to be desired. What contributes to that diffusion so effectually as cheapness? What brings it so entirely within the family circle as engrafting it upon our own stock and nurturing it in our own land?
That influence of Transylvania University, is already visable in that general eagerness for classical and liberal education, which supports the encreased number of prepartory schools and subordinate colleges. Its influence will continue to spread; the bar, the pulpit, the legislative assembly and the medical science for unnumbered years, will hail with eulogy and thanksgiving, the enlightened epoch which gave light and life to that institution.
The medical department is flourishing in a high degree- the state is peculiarly interested in the continued prosperity of this establishment and your committee beg leave to refer to a letter of Professor Drake marked M, as a part of their report.
Nothing can be more grateful to the pride of a Kentuckian that the recollection that the land which was so lately the haunt of the Buffaloe and the Indian, is now the seat of cultivation and of literature, of the sciences and of the arts.
Much praise is due to the President of the University for its present prosperity- much to the citizens of Lexington for their co-operation.
With many local advantages and the advantage of an old, a wealthy and dense population, it is believed no literary institution is at this day, take it all in all, more flourishing than Transylvania University.
The committee would suggest for the consideration of the Legislature, whether it would not be expedient to appropriate the dividend of the branch of the Commonwealth's bank, located in Lexington, after discharging what is now due by law to the University, to the defraying one half the expenses of such buildings as are required according to Dr. Drakes latter, for the medical institution, upon condition of the other half being paid by subscription, provided the half paid by the state should not exceed $4000.
The committee would do injustice to their feelings were they not to express their highest admiration of the plan of government, adopted for the direction of the students, as developed in the Presidentd communication to the board of Trustees. They do not, cannot doubt its efficacy and complete success, when addressed to the affec tions, the honor, and the pride of liberal, enlightened and moral agents.
THO. D. CARNEAL, Ch. Sen. YOUNG EWING R. B. NEW, Ch. H. R. SILAS EVANS, P. TRIPLETT, JACOB A. SLACK,
Transylvania University, Debtor.
1824, September 1, - To amount of note payable to office of discount and deposit of the Bank of the United States, $5,775 00 Salaried due and payable as follows, viz: To President Holley, payable 1st Oct $735 00 Professor Bishop, do. 300 00 Professor Butler, do. 320 00