Beautiful certificate from the People's College - New York 1853
This historic document has an ornate border around it with a vignette of a blacksmith with a hammer on his side with a train the the background. This item has the signatures of the President, D.C, McCallum Treasurer, Tracy Morgan and Secretary, H. Howard and is over 163 years old.
On the twelfth of April, 1853, Hon. WASHINGTON HUNT, Mr. HORACE GREELEY, and twenty-two other stalwart, well-tried, honest friends of the People, were constituted by the Legislature a body corporate, under the name of "The People's College," for the purpose of promoting Literature, Science, Arts, and Agriculture.
See the New York Times article dated April 1853 regarding the college.
This Institution, of which a brief account here follows, was incorporated by an Act of the Legislature of the State of New York, April 13th, 1854, and was located at the village of Havana, in Schuyler county, N. Y., January 8th, 1857.
This will be spacious and imposing. Its length will be 320 feet, and its width 52 feet. It will be four stories high, with a basement. At either end will be a wing 206 feet long, 52 feet wide, and four stories high.
From the centre will be a wing projecting rereward 68 feet; 64 feet wide, and three stories high. The building will be surmounted by a cupola of an octagonal form, 36 feet in diameter and extending upwards 50 feet from the apex of the roof. A cupola is also to be placed on each of the end wings. The basement walls of the structure are to be of stone; the remaining portion of the walls are to be of brick.
This building will contain a chapel of a capacity to seat thirteen hundred persons; 16 lecture rooms; 47 rooms for the president, professors, secretary, treasurer, &c, and 220 chambers for students, each being arranged for the accommodation of two persons. It will also contain a culinary department, and rooms for the steward, servants, &c. The estimated cost of it, when finished, is $ 175,000,
Plan Of The College.
It is the intention of the Trustees to make this Institution not only the best so far as practical knowledge is concerned, but to afford opportunities to all who may desire them, for obtaining as thorough a knowledge of all that pertains to science or literature, as any other institution in the world. The People's College is to be eminently
an educational Institution, and, as such, it will seek the attainment of its purpose by means which experience has proved to be the most appropriate. The Creator has subjected the human mind to laws, and its faculties must be developed and refined, not only by systematic practice, but by both systematic and definite practice. And, for the information some who of may have been solicitous on the subject, it is here added, that, in this College there will be taught, as means of mental discipline, full courses of study in pure and mixed Mathematics, in the ancient and modern Languages, Geography, History, Astronomy, Mechanics, Esthetics, Mental and Moral Philosophy and the Bible. As Lord Bacon has said, the Trustees of this College believe, that " The sole cause and root of almost every defect in the sciences is, whilst we falsely admire and extol the powers of the human mind, we do not search for its real helps."
This College will be distinguished from others by giving prominence to studies, suited to qualify its graduates for discharging the practical duties of life, and to means of elevating labor.
The College is situated on a farm of 200 acres, adjoining the village of Havana, and within a few hundred rods of the centre of the village, in the near vicinity of churches, post-office, stores, hotels, &c, and suitable work-shops are to be attached. Here, then, the student who determines to become a farmer or a mechanic, may study agri-« culture by laboring on the farm under the direction of a practical scientific farmer, from two to four hours of each of five days in every week, or may pursue the business of his choice, under a practical mechanic, for the same number of hours; and devote the remaining portion of each day to such branches of study as are most essentially necessary to the future business of his life; or to the common and higher branches of a literary course.
With the aid of machinery and material, it is believed, that students in the mechanical department may not only become better mechanics in the same term of apprenticeship, than at our shops as now conducted, and obtain the education so essential to their future success in life, but that they may, from the avails of their labor, defray a large proportion, if not all, the expenses incurred in the course ; obtaining thus the satisfaction to know, that they have worked their way through college, got a trade, and have been graduated independent men. And the same remarks, with no modification in the principle, will apply to students in the agricultural department.
Here, likewise, persons of mature life, and such as do not desire to pursue a regular course of study in the college, either the more extended or an abbreviated course, may resort to secure the advantages of the regular courses of Lectures on Agricultural Chemistry, Geology, Mechanics, and the Sciences generally (providing the means of doing it, if they choose, by working on the farm or in the shops), and become familiar with those branches of science most essential in their respective avocations.
Motives Which Have Prompted To The Organization Of The Institution.
a. The belief that moneys which will be expended on this Institution, would not, without its existence, be used to promote the cause of learning, and that many of the youth who will be educated here would never find a place within other college walls.
b. The fact that the important work to be done in this country, to sustain our various institutions, political, civil, domestic and religious, and to advance civilization, is to educate the people.
c. The belief that a modification of the college system of this country is required, to adapt it more perfectly to the wants of the time.
When Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, Brown, Princeton, Bowdoin, and the other older Colleges of the country were established, it was for a state of society different from our own. Within the last half century the wealth of this nation has greatly increased. The field of the sciences has been much enlarged, and knowledge has been much augmented. What was theoretical is now made practical : all which manifestly combine to make mental discipline and scientific research, that might formerly be accounted of little advantage, necessary to the successful performance of the duties and business of life.
d. The complete success of Seminaries established in European countries for the promotion of the sciences and useful arts, on plans similar to that of the People's College.
e. Institutions of this character, it is perceived, generally established, would perfect our common school system, by affording All an opportunity of continuing their education while learning a trade or pursuing agriculture ; thus remedying the great evil which now compels a large proportion of our vouth to discontinue their scientific and literary education at the age of twelve or fourteen years, in order to become farmers or mechanics.
This College is located on a farm in the country, removed from the corrupting influences of large cities. The Society will be composed of the Professors in • the various departments and their families, together with the families of such as may locate in the immediate vicinity, for the, purpose of educating their children, and the people of Havana, a village of about fifteen hundred inhabitants. Students will, therefore, be surrounded by a healthful moral influence and restraint, and every effort, suggested by Revelation, a knowledge of the human mind, and experience, will be made to give them a high-toned moral training.
By a law of nature, it is made necessary that the young should have regular daily exercise, in a pure and healthful atmosphere, to properly develop the human system, and to establish such a strong and vigorous constitution as will enable them to endure excessive physical or mental labor, without permanently injuring health. This important branch of education is, from the necessity of the case, almost entirely omitted in our Colleges and higher Seminaries, and the result is, that many of the most diligent students graduate with an enfeebled constitution or broken health. To remedy this great defect, to elevate labor, and enable the poor to avail themselves of advantages heretofore chiefly enjoyed by the wealthy, our charter requires students and teachers to devote two hours each, of five days in every week, to bona fide labor, in some branch of productive industry.
Progress Of The Work.
The College was organized on the 12th day of August, 1857, when the Rev. Amos Brown was chosen President. Funds have been subscribed to such an amount as to insure the rapid completion of the college edifice (the foundation walls of which are laid), and the speedy collection at Havana of the full College Faculty. The College, it is expected, will be in successful operation by the expiration of one year from next September. It is, however, an undertaking necessarily requiring large outlays of money, and there is much to be done to complete it The edifice will be costly, then shops are to be built, machinery, apparatus, library, cabinets, etc., to be supplied; and especially provision is to be made to sustain the College Faculty, which must be large, and, to answer the designs of the Institution, be composed of none but thoroughly educated and efficient men.
Situation And Access.
Havana is situated at the head of Seneca Lake, on the Chemung Railroad, which connects the villages of Elmira and Canandaigua. The Chemung Canal also passes through the place. The site is uncommonly picturesque and pleasing, as well as convenient of access from all parts of the country.
Passing now from this brief exposition of our purposes and plans, we solicit from all, who may read, a careful examination of our Charter; and if convinced that our plans are practicable, and, when carried out, will stimulate to a more general effort to obtain the advantages of mental discipline and useful knowledge, and will afford to many the benefits of an education, who, but for the College, could never obtain them, we ask them, as philanthropists, to lend their influence and " material aid" to complete the work ; for, if such an Institution is desirable, why shall it not be, at once, built and endowed ?
The People of the Stale of New York, represented in Senate and Assembly, do enact as follows:
D. C. McCallum, Washington Hunt, George J. Pumpelly, J. R. Speed, S. S. Post, F. Price, David Reese, Gurdon Evans, Horace Greeley, James H. Snell, A. W. Jackson, Harrison Howard, William Morgan, T. Lindsley, A. I. Wynkoop, W. C. Rhodes, H. W. Smaller, James M. Ellis, Jamin P. Backus, William H. Banks, J. J. De Forest, J. G. Russell, Oliver G. Steele, Robert Green, and their associates, present or future, are hereby constituted a body corporate, by the name of " The People's College," for the purpose of promoting literature, science, arts and agriculture.