Transcription of Report

Report of the Committee Appointed by the Governor
and Council upon the Subject of an Agricultural College,
With the Proposition of Hon. David Culver,
In Reference Thereto and a Bill to Establish
The New Hampshire Agricultural College

Concord: Amos Hadley, State Printer. 1864.

(UA 22/13)


To the Senate and House of Representatives, of the State of New Hampshire:

The undersigned, a committee appointed by the Governor with the advice of the Council, under the provisions in section 5 of chapter 2732, of the laws of 1863, to "prepare a scheme for the establishment of a college for education in agriculture and the mechanic arts, and make a printed report thereon to the Legislature at its next June session,"


That they have given such attention to the duties assigned them, as the limited time since their appointment would allow. The liberal grant of one hundred and fifty thousand acres of the public lands made by Congress, and the acceptance of the same by the Legislature, and the subsequent action thereon, indicate the need that is felt of more liberal and practical in- struction for the great body of young- men about to engage in agricultural and mechanical pursuits and it is to be hoped that the enlightened liberality of the government, and of the friends of the laboring classes, will carry forward the present movement to a successful result. From the class of persons mostly intended to be benefited by the proposed college, it is evident that it should be so organized and conducted as to be accessible to large numbers at a moderate expense. To this end all unnecessary outlay is to be avoided, and the strictest economy would seem to be essential to its success. And it is to be hoped that such arrangements can be made that, by means of manual labor, and the income to be derived from the farm and work shop, the necessary expenses may be so moderate as to bring its advantages within the reach of many now necessarily deprived of the benefits of a collegiate course.

The colleges of New England have done their appropriate work well; and the friends of the present enterprise do not undervalue the liberal culture which has been their constant aim, and which has become nearly a necessity for those who are about to enter the learned professions. But they are not unmindful that there is a large class, which, from its circumstances and situation in life, will not avail itself of the advantages of our higher literary institutions as at present conducted. And yet this class has an important work to perform on the stage of active life. In its ranks are to be found the men who are to cultivate the soil, and invent, construct and operate the machinery with which our work shops are to be filled. And we are met with the inquiry, what can be done for the advancement of this class ? What further and better provision can be made to remove the difficulties in its path? Can the State be fairly called upon to furnish not merely the rudiments of an education in the common school, but that higher culture, which, having relation to their future employments, shall send into the active pursuits of life, a larger class of young men with minds disciplined and enlarged by a course of liberal study ? It is the conviction that something more can be done than has yet been accomplished, that gives strength to the movement in which we are engaged. And the present is a favorable time for the experiment. For the first time in our history, the State is in a position to begin the work without a serious burden upon its finances.

Although the fearful domestic struggle, in which the nation is now involved, must severely tax its best energies, and place burdens upon the community once deemed fabulous, in the shape of debts and taxes, and in the loss of a large proportion of young laboring men, yet we may well hope that the nation has a vitality which will outlive the storm. And when the darkness which obscures the present shall have passed away, it will be found that the need of a higher standard of education among the laboring classes will not be less in the future than it has been in the past.

The establishment of Agricultural Colleges in the neighboring States will necessarily limit the field from which students can be drawn; but if the new institution is established upon a basis that will enable students to enjoy its advantages at a moderate outlay, a respectable number may doubtless be attracted to it.

It is a question of importance to be determined at an early day, whether the State will establish an independent college, or connect it with some existing institution. The objects and course of study of the scientific department of Dartmouth College, are, in some respects, similar to those of the new institution; and the advantages there furnished in the way of a regular board of experienced instructors, in libraries, and in apparatus connected with the sciences, are not to be undervalued. Should the Legislature deem a connection with that institution desirable, a negotiation should at once be opened with the trustees. But your committee have not felt called upon to begin the correspondence; and whether any arrangement could be made that would not give an agricultural department a subordinate position, is deserving of serious consideration.

The State Farm connected with the House of Reformation at Manchester is centrally located, and with some additions might be made an experimental farm of moderate pretensions. If a location in the vicinity of a large town or city, is desired, this farm should not be overlooked.

The proposition of Gen. David Culver, a member of this committee, for the location of the college on his premises in Lyme, is deemed by the other members of the committee a truly noble offering; and they call your attention to the same. It is a further proof of the deep interest which intelligent men feel in this enterprise. Although the location is not so central as could be desired, it is believed to be peculiarly adapted to the purposes for which a farm is wanted. Those members of the committee who have made a personal examination of the premises, do not consider its advantages overstated in the communication from Gen. Culver. The proposition therein contained is believed to be of sufficient importance to justify its publication with this report. The committee do not however wish to anticipate your action in the matter of location. A mode of securing a suitable location has been provided for in the accompanying bill; but your wisdom may devise some more expeditious and satisfactory mode of accomplishing the object.

As the institution is to some extent an experiment, it has been thought best not to hamper the free action of the trustees with too many restrictions and provisions in the charter; but to indicate some leading features, and leave the shaping and internal management of the college to be determined as a fuller experience shall suggest. And to indicate to you more fully than we could otherwise do in the same space, the results of our examination of the subject, and as a part of "a scheme" expected of us, we have prepared the draft of a bill embodying the main features of the institution, which is herewith reported for your consideration. It is believed by your committee that this or some similar bill should become a law before the adjournment of your body; and that action should forthwith be taken to establish the college on a firm foundation.

The amount which the State will be called upon to furnish for commencing the work, must depend somewhat upon the extent to which it can avail itself of private bounty, when the location is determined. But it is obvious that before the close of the session an appropriation should be made, to meet any contingencies which may arise in the early commencement of the work. New Hampshire is not the State to endanger the educational fund committed to her, by withholding an appropriation of a few thousand dollars from her treasury. And she owes it to herself that the institution shall be second to no one of its class. While provision is made for receiving those in the early stage of their education, the higher branches taught in our best colleges should be provided for; and teachers of established ability and reputation must be secured.

Doubts have been expressed as to the value and availability of the land scrip, which must form an important part of the endowment of the college; but the committee are satisfied that, if properly managed, it may be made to yield a handsome sum in the way of an annual income. Should it be found expedient for the State to purchase an experimental farm at this time, measures should be taken for the immediate sale of a portion of the scrip.

If it should be thought desirable to disconnect the college, as much as possible, from the government of the State, a grant of corporate powers could be made directly to individuals; leaving the organization and control of the college to them, under proper limitations. There are objections to corporations, not municipal, being too nearly connected with the State authorities. But where the purpose of the corporation is not individual gain, but a great public charity, the case is some- what altered. And the history of the New Hampshire Asylum for the Insane, and the House of Reformation, show that benevolent institutions may be, in a great measure, under the control of the State, without danger to their prosperity.

The new college will, especially in its infancy, need the fostering care of the State authorities. Although its object, when fully known, will commend it to the good will of the great body of the people, it can hardly be expected to have that hold upon the sympathy of large and influential classes, which has been found so efficient in upholding many of our literary institutions. While morality and religion must hold the place which belongs to them in every Christian community, no mere denominational influence can be permitted to exercise a controlling influence over its destiny.

With these suggestions, the subject is submitted for your favorable action thereon.

Horton D. Walker,
Geo. W. Burleigh,
John Wadleigh,
Alphonzo H. Rust,
Anthony Colby,
John Preston,
William P. Wheeler,
Edward H. Brown,
David Culver,
Morris Clark.

Concord, May 24, 1864.


In the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and sixty-four.

An act to incorporate and establish the New Hampshire Agricultural College.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 Section 1. An institution of learning is hereby author-

2 ized and established in this State, under the corporate

3 name of the New Hampshire Agricultural College, for

4 the purpose of furnishing greater facilities for education;

5 and reaching, among other things, those branches of

6 learning most nearly related to agriculture and the me-

7 chanic arts; and providing, a course of study and train-

8 ing adapted to promote practical education among those

9 intending to engage in industrial pursuits.

1 Sec. 2. The government of the institution shall be

2 vested in a board of eleven Trustees, one of whom shall

3 be the President of the college, and the remaining ten

4 shall be appointed and commissioned by the Governor,

5 with the advice of the Council; and all vacancies among

6 those appointed as above, shall be filled in the same

7 manner. And they shall be so classed and commis-

8 sioned that the office of one of the ten shall become va-

9 cant each year.

1 Sec. 3. The board of Trustees shall have the general

2 control and management of the institution, and of the

3 property and funds belonging to the same; and they

4 shall see that its affairs are conducted in accordance with

5 the laws of the State, the provisions of the act of Con-

6 gress donating public lands to the several States and

7 Territories which may provide colleges for the benefit of

8 agriculture and the mechanic arts, approved July 2, 1862,

9 so far as the same are applicable, and with the by-laws

10 and regulations adopted for the government of the insti-

11 tution. They may make contracts for conducting the

12 business of the institution, make conveyances under the

13 corporate seal, may receive and hold the property and

14 funds, and may manage, control and invest the same, ex-

15 cept as is otherwise provided.

1 Sec. 4. The board of Trustees may elect a Presi-

2 of the college, who shall ex-officio, be a member of

3 the board of Trustees; a Secretary, a Treasurer, a Farm

4 Superintendent, and such professors, tutors, instructors

5 and other officers as they shall judge proper; and shall

6 determine the duties, responsibilities, tenure of office

7 and salaries of the several officers, except as herein pro-

8 vided; regulate and prescribe the course of instruction,

9 including military tactics; and make all needful provis-

10 ion for the manual labor of the students. They may es-

11 tablish, manage and control a primary department for

12 the training and instruction of those not qualified to en-

13 ter the collegiate department; and may determine the

14 manner of calling, and the times and places of holding,

15 the meetings of the board of Trustees.

1 Sec. 5. The corporation hereby established may have

2 a common seal, to be under the control of the board of

3 Trustees; may take and hold real and personal estate by

4 gift, grant, devise or otherwise; may take and hold prop-

5 erty in trust for specific purpose and according to the

6 will of the donor or grantor, if not inconsistent with

7 the objects of the institution; and shall have as full and

8 complete corporate powers, duties and liabilities as the

9 board of Trustees would have if constituted a body cor-

10 porate by a grant to them; and the corporation is to act

11 by and through the board of Trustees as provided in this

12 act.

1 Sec. 6. All the income, interest and profit derived,

2 or to be derived from the land script and lands received

3 or to be received by the State from the United States,

4 under said act of Congress, and the proceeds thereof

5 when invested, are hereby pledged and set apart forever

6 for the establishment and endowment of said institution,

7 to be used and appropriated agreeably to the provisions

8 and conditions of said act of Congress, and not other-

9 wise.

1 Sec. 7. The sum of thousand dollars is here

2 by appropriated to defray the necessary expenses of es-

3 tablishing said institution, and putting the same in oper-

4 ation as hereinafter provided; and when the location of

5 the same shall be determined upon, the Governor is au-

6 thorized to draw that sum from the treasury of the State

7 by warrant, and to pay over the same to the board of

8 Trustees, to be by them expended as herein provided, as

9 the same shall be needed.

1 Sec. 8. The following persons, to wit:

2 are hereby appointed a board of Commissioners to locate

3 said college in some suitable place in this State, they tak-

4 ing into consideration, among other things, any pecuniary

5 or other inducements offered by individuals, towns, cities

6 or other corporations. In case any vacancy shall occur

7 in said board from any cause, the same shall be filled by

8 the Governor, with the advice of the Council. Before

9 proceeding to determine the location, the Commissioners

10 shall give public notice of the time and place of meeting

11 in some newspaper printed in Concord, in this State.

12 After determining the location the Commissioners shall

13 give notice of the same in writing to the Governor, and

14 when the same shall be approved by the Governor and

15 Council, they shall thereupon certify the same to the

16 board or Trustees in writing, and the same shall be final.

17 On receiving such notice of the location, the board of

18 Trustees shall thereupon, by themselves or a committee

19 of their number appointed by them for the purpose, pro-

20 ceed to obtain and secure the necessary real estate, by

21 gift, grant or otherwise; and to prepare and put in suit-

22 able condition the necessary buildings, by erecting the

23 same or otherwise; and to obtain the necessary imple-

24 ments, furniture, farm stock, books and apparatus; and

25 to organize and put into operation the institution, and

26 maintain therein a regular course of instruction. But

27 the proposed erections and purchases shall be approved

28 by a majority of the board of Trustees, and shall be sub-

29 mitted to the governor and council, and approved by

30 them.

1 Sec. 9. The Farm Superintendent shall, under the gen

2 eral direction of the board of Trustees, have the charge

3 of any experimental farm or real estate belonging to

4 the institution, the farming tools, utensils, stock, crops

5 and provisions thereon; and shall annually, in the month

6 of May, make a full written report to the Trustees and

7 to the Governor, of his proceedings of the year preceed-

8 ing, and of the condition of the farm and property in his

9 charge; of the results of his labors, pecuniary and oth-

10 erwise, and of such other things as the Trustees shall di-

11 rect. He shall keep an accurate account of the proper-

12 ty and money which shall come into his hands, of his

13 purchases and sales, and give a summary of the same in

14 his annual report; and he shall account for and pay over

15 to the Treasurer any money in his hands, as the board of

16 Trustees shall direct.

1 Sec. 10. Before the Treasurer enters upon the duties

2 of his office, he shall give bond to the satisfaction of the

3 board of Trustees conditioned that he shall faithfully dis-

4 charge his duties, and account for all money by him re-

5 ceived as Treasurer; and annually in the month of

6 April, and as often as required, make a report of the

7 state of the treasury to the board of Trustees, and to the

8 Governor.

1 Sec. 11. The board of Trustees shall annually in the

2 month of May, prepare and furnish to the Governor for

3 the information of the Legislature, a written report of

4 their proceedings for the year, including an account of

5 the situation, prospects and wants of the college. And

6 they shall annually make and distribute the reports re-

7 quired by section 5, of said act of Congress.

1 Sec. 12. The compensation of the Commissioners for

2 locating the college shall be determined by the Gover-

3 nor and Council, and the Governor is hereby author

4 ized to draw his warrant upon the treasury of the State

5 for the amount allowed on receiving from the Commis-

6 sioners their certificate of location. The Trustees shall

7 be allowed their reasonable charges and expenses in pre-

8 paring the buildings and grounds, and putting the insti-

9 tution into operation; to be allowed by the Governor

10 and Council, and the Governor is hereby authorized to

11 draw his warrant upon the treasury of the State for the

12 amount allowed. When the college is opened for the

13 reception of students, the Trustees shall be allowed only

14 for their necessary expenses incurred in the discharge of

15 their duties:

1 Sec. 13. This act shall take effect and be in force from

2 and after its passage.


To Hon. H. D. Walker, and others, appointed by order of the
New Hampshire Legislature, of 1863, a Committee to propose
the establishment of a College for education in
Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts; and report the same to
its next session:

Gentlemen:-On reflection upon the subject in question, I have
deemed it of the highest importance to a State, to educate her
rising generations in husbandry, and the mechanic arts.

I am of the opinion that the establishment of manual labor
schools, in connection with our contemplated
agricultural college, would afford valuable advantages to all
classes of our youth, and facilities to many young
men of energy, character and perseverance, to become members or the

I believe that better success would attend an institution thus
established, by locating it in the midst of an entensive farm--in
a country place--having good roads, and facilities of access;
where practical labor and production, and experiments in
everything desirable in agriculture, horticulture, botany, and the
mechanic arts, could be conveniently attended to, and where a
water power could be employed, to aid in
practical manufacturing and mechanical labor and instruction,
to such extent as might be deemed convenient, useful and
proper for such a school.

Entertaining such views, and being, anxious to render my
fellow men and the State some service, by aiding in the promotion
of an object so desirable, I improve this opportunity to present
for your consideration, and through your committee, to the State,
the following proposition:

I am the legal owner of an extensive farm, and through the favor
of Him whom I recognize as the author of life and the dispenser
of all good, am permitted to be His steward.

The farm is pleasantly situated in Lyme, Grafton County, New
Hampshire, containing about four hundred acres in one body or
tract, of generally good land; about one third of which is in
forest, timber and heavy wood; and about two thirds of which is
under good cultivation; there are two large and three medium
sized dwelling houses upon the premises, with sundry out
buildings; there are also a saw mill, and grain thrashing mill,
on a stream that borders the southeasterly side of the farm, in
good condition upon a good water fall, which stream is the
principal feeder of a pond, or small lake, covering a surface of
two hundred and fifty to three hundred acres of deep water,
which with its outlet borders upon the south westerly side of
said farm, having a reservoir dam, and also valuable mill
privileges upon it immediately adjoining. The farm is also well
supplied with small never failing water brooks; it has a great
variety of soil; stiff clay crops out on a few acres in the
vicinity of the water falls, affording facilities for
manufacturing bricks and under grain tile, by aid of water power
in part; in addition to other manufacturing advantages, clay and
loam mixture make up a large number of acres, and a deep loam
underlaid with clay a still larger portion; a large portion of
these fields are valuable arable lands, having formerly supported
immense forests of white pine timber. some evidence of which
still remains in the form of stump fences in some portions.
There is a portion of sandy loam, and some light sandy soil,
mostly covered with a valuable young growth of white pine timber.

There is a sufficient supply of stone and granite boulders, on
the pasturage portion, to fence the same, and lay under drains and
walls when necessary.

There is also a valuable and extensive quarry of building
stone, situated upon the northwest corner of the farm, and of
convenient access.

This farm is centrally situated between the north and south line
of the State, upon its western border, in the valley of
Connecticut River, two miles from a station on the Passumpsic
Railroad, two miles north of the principal village in Lyme,
sixteen miles north of White River Junction, and fifteen miles
south of Haverhill, N. H.

In my opinion the situation is in very many respects, a desirable
one for the object in view, and presents many valuable advantages
for the location of an Agricultural College.

I estimate the value of this farm, with its buildings, and
privileges, at twenty thousand dollars.

I propose to present the farm represented in the foregoing
description, to the State of New Hampshire, for the location,
purposes and uses of an Agricultural College; together with
thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) in cash funds, to aid in the
erection of the necessary buildings, and apparatus for its
practical operation, upon the conditions that the State shall see
fit to accept the same, in trust, for such objects, and shall
associate and employ with this donation the funds received from
the United States, agreeably to the provisions of the act of
Congress of July 2, A.D., 1862, towards the endowment of the

The possession of this farm, with the funds I propose, I will
be pleased to transfer and deliver, if the proposition shall be
accepted by the State, and a board of trust appointed, organized,
and authorized to receive the same.

Respectfully submitted,

Lyme, N.H., March 15, 1864.