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of one of the Congregational churches in Boston. Besides; the constitution provides, that “the ministers of the Congregational churches” in the six towns, and not Congregational ministers, are entitled to a seat.
After hearing the communication of Dr. Griffin, Doctors Porter and Morse, being a majority of the committee, decided to report in his favor. But Mr. Quincy, when, as chairman of the committee. he presented their report, declared his own dissent from it. Upon this, the board of overseers appointed a day to hear Dr. Griffin in support of his claim, and gave him notice to attend. Dr. Griffin accordingly appeared before the board, during the session of the legislature in the winter, and, in defence of his right, adduced the college charter, and the state constitution; showed that Park-street church was a Congregational church; and that he was actually its pastor. The argument was triumphant. There was not a pin or splinter to hang a doubt, upon. Long before he ended his argument, Mr. Quincy arose and walked the room, apparently uneasy, as if he had found himself upon the wrong side of the question. When Dr. Griffin had ended, having made his right completely evident, Mr. Quincy moved an adjournment, and the board of overseers, instead of ingenuously admitting what was proved to be the right of a brother member, without the shadow of an excuse, adjourned. And this was the last that was heard of the subject."*
Near the close of the winter session of 1814, and before the overseers came together again, the legislature passed an act, reviving, with some alterations, the act of 1810; and thus the board remains constituted, to the present day. By this act of 1814, all the existing clerical members, except Dr. Griffin, were taken into the new board. He alone was excluded.
It can hardly be supposed that President Quincy should have entirely forgotten the above transaction; or if it were forgotten, that he should not have been reminded of it by the records of the overseers. His probable motives for omitting to notice it, we leave to the judgment of our readers.
Decisive evidence was furnished, within a few years, that the law of 1814, like that of 1810, was not satisfactory to a great majority of the people of Massachusetts. In December, 1820, a convention of delegates was assernbled, for the purpose of revising the constitution of the state. It was proposed by this convention to incorporate the provisions of the act of 1814 into the constitution, so as to put it out of the power of any future legislature to change them. But this proposition was rejected by the people, by a majority of almost three to one.
* See Cooke's Reply to the Christian Examiner, p. 33.
President Quincy goes into an account of the excess of expenditures at college, beyond the income, during the presidency of Dr. Kirkland; of the anxiety and alarm which were thereby occasioned; of the appointment of a committee (of which the Hon. Nathaniel Bowditch was chairman) to examine accounts; of the employing of an auditor (Benjamin R. Nichols, Esq.) to assist the committee; and of the rigid examination, extending in some instances over a period of seventeen years, to which “the accounts of every officer” were subjected. He admits that “ some irregularities had occurred;" that “some errors were rectified ;” and that there had been more or less of expenditure which was “ questionable in point of authority;" but insists that all “ had been evidently applied with an honest intent, to advance the interest and promote the progress of the institution.” He states that, almost immediately upon this examination,“ the Hon. John Davis took the opportunity to resign the office of treasurer;" that shortly after, President Kirkland found it necessary to resign; and that, as “ there was an unliquidated account existing between him and the corporation,” (or in other words, as he owed the corporation, and had nothing to pay, it was "voted that two thousand dollars be allowed to the president, in full of such account.” pp. 362–371.
All this is very coincident with, though far less particular than, the account which Dr. Bowditch used to give of the matter, during the latter part of his life, in conversation with his friends.* From him it appears that Dr. Kirkland was accustomed, whenever he wanted money, to draw orders on the college treasurer or steward, whether authorized so to do by the corporation, or not. These orders were generally, if not always, answered, until large sums had been expended, and very serious encroachment had been made on the college funds. The overseers, it seems, became first alarmed, and appointed a committee to examine the treasurer's accounts. Upon this, the treasurer resigned his office, and a committee of the corporation, (that re
* Dr. Bowditch did something more than converse on the subject. He prepared a manuscript volume of about 150 pages, entitled “ Scraps of College History,” which he freely showed to his friends, and which, at one time, he intended to publish.
ferred to above, of which Dr. Bowditch was chairman,) was appointed, with instructions to examine his books and accounts during the whole term of his continuance in office, a period of seventeen years. This committee, finding the papers submitted to them in so much disorder that they despaired of being able, with their other engagements, to do any thing with them personally, secured the services of Mr. Nichols, as an assistant or auditor. He was occupied in the business the greater part of a year, and charged for his services 3000 dollars; which sum he said the treasurer ought to pay, and which it is believed he did pay.
In adjusting these accounts, according to Dr. Bowditch, (who is our principal authority for the facts here stated,) there was much difficulty and uncertainty. Numerous mistakes and errors were discovered, and the usual guides in such cases were, to a great extent, wanting. After allowing all President Kirkland's unauthorized orders, and his accounts current, and jumping at conclusions where they could be reached in no other way, a result was at length formed, and the president was found indebted to the college in the sum of about 2000 dollars. And this was the sum given up to him," in consideration of his long and faithful services;”-a measure, by the way, in which Dr. Bow. ditch did not think it his duty to concur.
We have never yet seen a delineation of the character of Dr. Kirkland neither in the fulsome panegyrics of his friends, nor the sweeping denunciations of his enemies—which seemed to us to do him justice. That he was highly gifted, in point of natural endowments, and that his knowledge of men and things acquired more from observation and conversation than from books—was extraordinary, there can be no doubt. In his disposition, he was affable, free, generous, and unsuspecting. He had an exquisite vein of humor in his constitution, which, joined with refinement of manners, and a rich fund of anecdote, made hiin one of the most agreeable associates. At the same time, he was easy, indolent, soinewhat given to appetite, careless to a fault in the use of money, and apparently very little under the influence of deep religious principle. In some of the reviews attributed to him, which were published in the Monthly Anthology, he showed himself capable even of scoffing at serious, experimental religion.* One of the eulogists of Dr. Kirkland no
* See particularly a Review of the Memoirs of Dr. Whee. lock, in the Anthology for May, 1811, p. 336. Also a Review
tices, among other excellent qualities, his ability“ to conceal his religious impressions.” Another speaks of his habit, while a settled minister, of “bringing into the pulpit a number of old sermons, and constructing from their pages a new sermon as he went along, turning the leaves backwards and forwards, and connecting them together by the thread of his extemporaneous discourse."
We do not believe that he ever intended to squander a farthing of the college funds; or that he expended a cent for his own personal benefit, which it was not his purpose to replace. But of all men he was least qualified to be trusted extensively, almost irresponsibly (as he was with the disposition of college property. In the language of his friend, the late Hon. John Lowel : “ He had nothing of that worldly wisdom, so necessary to pecuniary thrift. His own money had been poured out like water, when any claims had been made on his benevolence or sympathy.” By his profuse expenditure of the moneys of college, upon buildings and ornaments, officers and students, he made himself exceedingly popular, at the same time that he brought the institution into circumstances of extreme embarrassment. And had not his course been arrested by the vigilance, firmness, and perseverance of a Bowditch, it is not unlikely that utter bankruptcy must, in a little time, have ensued.
The CLAIMS OF THE PEOPLE OF MASSACHUSETTS ON HARVARD
Harvard University has not unfrequently been spoken of as an institution of the state ; as belonging to the state—the whole state; and as bound to dispense its favors and privileges, with an impartial hand, to all. Still, it is probable that but few of the inhabitants of Massachusetts are aware to what an extent, and with what an emphasis, this is true. The public are under great obligations to President Quincy for furnishing the materials on which to form a judgment respecting this matter.
of the Autobiography of Dr. Hopkins, in Vol. III. p. 153. Speak. ing of Dr. Hopkins' account of his own religious experience, the writer says: “A reader unaccustomed to the kind of exers cises here detailed might imagine that he had been perusing the journal of a valetudinarian, or listening to the reveries of a love-sick maid!”
Harvard University, in the first place, was founded by the state. President Quincy denies this, regarding Mr. Harvard, and not the state, as its proper founder. Vol. I. p. 39. But it should be recollected, that the institntion was founded, by a legislative act, and four hundred pounds were raised to make provision for it, nearly two years before Mr. Harvard's death. He bequeathed his property, not for the purpose of founding a college, but of helping to endow one, which had already a legal, corporate existence.*
But, secondly, Harvard University belongs to the state, because of the long continued and munificent patronage which the state has bestowed upon it. For one hundred and fifty years after the commencement of the college, its president was constantly supported by the state. By vote of the legislature, his salary was raised as regularly, from year to year, as was that of the governor, or any other of the state officers. And for many of these years, the salaries of the professors, or a considerable part of them, were raised in the same way. For the support of college affairs, between the years 1636 and 1686, there was actually paid out of the treasury of the state, not less than thirty-eight thousand pounds.
In addition to this, large sums were expended from time to time, and at various times, for the erection of buildings. The original grant of four hundred pounds was intended, as the phraseology of the vote implies, to be expended in the erection of a college building. In 1720, Massachusetts Hall was completed, at an expense to the state of three thousand five hundred pounds. In 1725, one thousand pounds were granted, to aid in providing a house for President Wadsworth. In 1763, Hollis Hall was erected, and cost the state four thousand eight hundred pounds. The very next year, Harvard Hall, having been destroyed by fire, was rebuilt by the state, at an expense of twentythree thousand dollars. At the same time, one hundred pounds were granted, for the purpose of supplying the college with a water engine. In 1804, Stoughton Hall was erected, and in 1813, Holworthy Hall, both of which cost the state 47,400 dol
*“ The first gift of the revenues,” says Blackstone, " is the foundation; and he who gives them is in law the founder.” 1 Com. 480. 10 Co. 33. The state then, or the colony, to which the state has succeeded, was properly the founder of Harvard College.