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taught grammar sixteen years at Chichester in England. He is an excellent master, and his scholars have made a surprising progress
Dr. Johnson to Dr. Franklin. DEAR SIR-I now write my most thankful acknowledgments for your two kind letters of December 24 and January 8, and have received your most obliging letters of the summer before last, to which you refer me. There was one of August 23, to which I did not make a particular reply by reason of my illness at that time. In that you reasoned, I own, in a very forcible manner upon the head of duty. You argued that ability, with opportunity, manifestly pointed out duty, as though it were a voice from Heaven. This, Sir, I agree to, and therefore have always endeavored to use what little ability I have that way in the best manner I could, having never been without pupils, of one sort or other, half a year at a time, and seldom that, for thirty-eight years. And, thank God, I have the great satisfaction to see some of them in the first pulpits, not only in Connecticut, but also in Boston and New York, and others in some of the first places in the land. But I am now plainly in the decline of life, both as to activity of body and vigor of mind, and must, therefore, consider myself as being an Emeritus, and unfit for any new situation in the world, or to enter on any new business, especially at such a distance from my hitherto sphere of action and my present situation, where I have as much duty on my hands as I am capable of, and where my removal would make too great a breach to be countervailed by any good I am capable of doing elsewhere, for which I have but a small chance left for much opportunity. So that I must beg my good friends at Philadelphia to excuse me, and I pray God they may be directed to a better choice. And as Providence has so unexpectedly provided so worthy a person as Mr. Dove for your other purpose, I hope the same good Providence will pro
I vide for this. I am not personally acquainted with Mr. Winthrop, the Professor at Cambridge, but by what I have heard of him, perhaps he miglit do.
Dr. Franklin to Dr. Johnson, July 2, 1752. Our Academy, which you so kindly inquire after, goes on well Since Mr. Martin's death, the Latin and Greek school has been under the care of Mr. Allison, a Dissenting minister, well skilled in those languages and long practiced in teaching. But he refused the Rectorship, or to bave any thing to do with the government of the other schools. So that remains vacant, and obliges the Trustees to more frequent visits. We have now several young gentlemen desirous of entering on the study of Philosophy, and Lectures are to be opened this week. Mr. Allison undertakes Logic and Ethics, making your work his text to comment and lecture upon. Mr. Peters and some other gentlemen undertake the other branches, till we shall be provided with a Rector capable of the whole, who may attend wholly to the instructions of youth in the higher parts of learning as they come out fitted from the lower schools Our proprietors have lately wrote that they are extremely well pleased with the design, will take our Seminary under their patronage, give us a charter, and, as an earnest of their benevolence, Five Hundred Pounds sterling. And by our opening a charity school, in which near one hundred poor children are taught Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic, with the rudiments of religion, we have gained the general good will of all sorts of people, from whence donations and bequests. may be reasonably expected to accrue from time to time.
Dr. Johnson to President Clap. Dr. Johnson, after accepting the presidency of the new college in New York, writes to President Clap of Yale College, in reference to the denial by the latter of the privilege once accorded to the children of Episcopal parents of attending a church in which a Missionary of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel officiated, as follows: REV. AND DEAR SIR, —
* STRATFORD, February 5, 1754. I thank you for your kind congratulation on my being chosen President of their intended College at New York, and I shall desire, by all means, if I undertake it, to hold a good correspondence not only as Colleges but as Christians, supposing you and the Fellows of your College act on the same equitable, Catholic, and Christian principles as we unanimously propose to act upon, 1. e., to admit that the children of the Church may go to church when ever they have opportunity, as we think of nothing but to admit that the children of dissenting pareuts have leave to go to their meetings; nor can I see any thing like an argument in all you have said to justify the forbidding it. And I am prodigiously mistaken if you did not tell me it was an allowed and settled rule with you heretofore.
The only point in question, as I humbly conceive, is, whether there ought of right to be any such law in your College as, either in words or by necessary consequence, forbids the liberty we contend for! What we must beg leave to insist on is, That there ought not; and that it is highly injurious to forbid it; unless you can make it appear That you ever had a right to exclude the people of the Church belonging to this Colony, from having the benefit of Public education in your College, without their submitting to the hard condition of not being allowed to do what they believe in their conscience it is their indispensable duty to do, i. e., to require their children to go to church whenever they have opportunity, and at the same time, a right to accept and hold such vast benefactions from gentlemen of the Church of England, wherewith to support you in maintaining such a law in exclusion of such a liberty. Can you think those gentlemen would ever bave given such benefactions to such a purpose! And ought it not to be considered, at the same time, that the parents of these children contribute also their proportion every year to the support of the College?
Your argument in a former letter was, That it is inconsistent with the original design of the founders, which was only to provide ministers for your churches. But pray, Sir, why may not our Church also be provided for with ministers from one common College as well as your churches ? And ought not the Catholic design of the principal benefactors also in strict justice to be regarded, who, in the sense of the English law, are to be reckoned among the founders ? See Viner, on the Title FOUNDERS. What Mr. Yale's views* were,
Jeremiah Dummer, Agent of the Colony of Connecticut, writing to Gov. Saltonstall, from •Middle Temple (London), 14th April, 1719,' says: 'I heartily congratulate you upon the happy union of the Colony, in fixing the College at New Haven, after some differences which might have been attended with ill consequences. Mr. Yale is very much rejoiced at this good news, and more * than a little pleased with his being the Patron of such a seat of the Muses. Saving that he expressed at first some kind of concern, whether it was well in him, being a Churchman, to promote an Academy of Dissenters. But when we had discoursed that point freely, he appeared convinced that the business of good men is to spread religion and learning among mankind without being too
I had not opportunity of knowing, though, doubtless, they were the same that we suppose. But I was knowing to Bishop Berkeley's, which were that his great Donation should be equally for a common benefit, without respect to parties. For I was myself the principal, I may say in effect the only person in procuring that Donation, and with those generous, Catholic, and charitable views; though you (not willing, it seems that Posterity should ever know this) did not think fit to do me the justice in the History of the College (though humbly suggested), as to give me the credit of any, the least influence on bin in that affair; when the truth is, had it not been for my influence, it would never have been done, to which I was prompted by the sincere desire that it should be for a common benefit, when I could have easily procured it appropriated to the Church: But at that time Mr. Williams also pretended a mighty Catholic charitable conviction that there never was any meaning in it; it being at the very same juncture that he, with the Hampshire ministers, his father at the head of them, were, in their great charity, contriving a letter to the Bishop of London, by means of which they hoped to deprive all the Church people in these parts of their ministers, and them of their support; the same charitable aim that Mr. Hobart and his friends are pursuing at this day! And now you, Gentlemen, are so severe as to establish a law to deprive us of the benefit of a public education for our children too, unless we will let them-nay, require them to go out of our own houses to meeting, when there is a church at our doors.
Indeed, Sir, I must say this appears to me so very injurious, that I must think it my duty, in obedience to a rule of the Society, to join with my brethren in complaining of it to our superiors at home, if it be insisted upon,-which is what I abhor and dread to be brought to; and, therefore, by the love of our dear country in which we desire to live, only on a par with you, in all Christian charity), I do beseech you, Gentlemen, not to insist upon it. Tell it not in Gath! much less in the ears of our dear mother country, that any of her daugh. ters should deny any of her children leave to attend on her worship whenever they have opportunity for it. Surely you can not pretend that you are conscience-bound to make such a lawpor that it would be an infraction of liberty of conscience for it to be repealed from home, as you intimate. This would be carrying matters far indeed. But for God's sake do not be so severe to think in this manner, or to carry things to this pass! If so, let Dissenters never more complain of their heretofore persecutions or hardships in England, unless they have us tempted to think it their principle, that they only ought to be tol. erated, in order at length to be established, that they may have the sole priv. ilege of persecuting others. But I beg pardon and forbear; only I desire it may be considered, how ill such a principle would sound at this time of day, when the universal Church of England as much abhors the persecution of Dissenters as they can themselves. It may also deserve to be considered that the Government at home would probably be so far from going into the formality of repealing this law that they would declare it a nullity in itself; and not only so, but even the corporation that bath enacted it; inasmuch as it seems a principle in law that a corporation can not make a corporation, nor can one be made without his Majesty's act. See Viner, under the titles, CORPORATION and By-Laws. fondly attached to particular Tenets, about which the world never was, and never will be, agreed. Besides, if the Discipline of the Church of England be most agreeable to Scripture and primitive practice, there 's no better way to make men sensible of it than by giving them good learning.'
WILLIAM SAMUEL JOHNSON, LL.D. WILLIAM S. JOHNSON, LL.D., the son of Dr. Samuel Johnson, and who succeeded his father in 1787 as President of King's college, was born in Stratford, Coon., October 14, 1727. He was instructed by his father until he became a member of Yale college in 1741, where be graduated as Bachelor of Arts in 1744, at the age of seventeen. He continued his studies at home, adding Hebrew to the Latin and Greek, and officiating as catechist and reader in the missionary labors of his father. In 1747, he commenced reading law, residing for several months at Cambridge, and following a course marked out by a friend, William Smith, who graduated at' Yale in 1745, and became Chief Justice in Canada, having adhered to the side of the Crown in our Revolutionary struggle. In 1761 and 1765, he was chosen representative from Stafford to the Lower House of the General Assembly, and in 1765, he was appointed assistant, or member of the Upper House. In 1766, he was appointed by the General Assembly to act as special agent before the King and Lords in Council in a suit growing out of a tract of land purchased from the Mohegan Indians. He arrived in London with the title of LL.D., from the University of Oxford. He returned to Connecticut in 1771, and received the thanks of the Assembly for his faithful services.'
His residence and business in London brought him into social relations with the most eminent men of letters and official position, and he added to these advantages a tour on the continent.
Dr. Johnson was a delegate from Connecticut in the Confederate Congress of 1784, and a member of the committee, to which was referred, on the 4th of March, 1785, the bill for the sale of western lands. This committee, on the 14th of April, reported an ordinance, by which the central section of every township was reserved for the maintenance of schools, and the section immediately adjoining the same to the northward, for the support of religion. In the absence of any positive authority as to the authorship of this clause, it is not unnatural to suppose, that the member from Connecticut, whose father had written twenty-three years before (1762) to Archbishop Secker, 'that in all future grants of large tracts of land for townships, or villages, the patentees should be required to sequester a competent portion for the support of religion and schools, and whose own attention as agent in London had been called to the action of the Legislature of Connecticut in reserving portions of certain towns in Litch. field county for the support of schools and religion-should have moved in committee to secure this beneficent provision. It is a matter of record, that when this clause was under discussion, and the paragraph relating to religion stricken out against his vote, he moved to amend by inserting after the word 'schools' the following: 'and the section immediately adjoining the same to the northward, for charitable uses.' This amendment was lost.
In 1772, Dr. Johnson was appointed one of the Judges of the Superior Court of Connecticut. As the troubles with the mother country grew more serious, he favored moderation; and although patriotic, fell behind public sentiment. From November 8, 1784, to May, 1787, he was a delegate to the Confederate Congress; and in September of that year, he took his seat in the convention. which framed the Constitution of the United States; and was made senator in 1789. In 1787, he became president of Columbia college, which his father organized in 1754; resigned his position in 1800, and died November 14, 1819.
WILLIAM SMITH, D.D., AND COLLEGIATE EDUCATION,
IN PENNSYLVANIA PRIOR TO 1800.
MEMOIR.* William Smith, the first Provost of the College, Academy, and Charitable School of Philadelphia, was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, about the year 1727, and was a graduate of the university of his native city in 1747. The three years following were spent in teaching a parochial school; and in 1750 he was sent up to London, in furtherance of some plan for the better endowment of such schools. In 1751, he embarked for New York, as private tutor of two sons of Governor Morris, on Long Island, in whose family he resided for two years. While serving in this capacity he contributed to the discussion of a plan of a college for New York, a pamphlet entitled 'A General Idea of the College of Mirania,' a copy of which was sent to Dr. Franklin, who was at this time engaged in perfecting the organization of the Academy and Charitable School of Philadelphia. As the views set forth in this pamphlet received the approbation of Dr. Franklin, and were the avowed basis on which the author constituted the curriculum of the College and Academy of Philadelphia, as well as the Academy and College in Chestertown, Maryland, while under his administration from 1779 to 1789, they are of historical importance in the development of American Collegiate Education.
The Academy at Philadelphia. As early as 1744, Franklin projected the establishment of an Academy, but failing to secure the active coöperation of Dr. Peters as Rector, he postponed further action till 1749, when he issued his Proposals Relative to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania, and secured the subscription of eight hundred pounds a year for five years, by the way of endowment, and a grant of two hundred pounds, and a yearly contribution of one hundred pounds per year for the same purpose. The affairs of the institution were committed to twenty-four trustees elected by the subscribers, and the
* Abridged mainly from Dr. Stille's Memoir of Rev. William Smith, D.D., Provost of the College, Academy, and Charitable School of Philadelphia.. Pho: 1869.