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The R. J. Schoolmaster.
For the Schoolmaster
ministry, the restrictions of denominational Historical Sketch of Brown University.
government rendering it humiliating, and even We are happy to present to our readers, in
difficult for young men of their persuasion to be connection with the foregoing engraving of educated in the higher institutions of learning BROWN UNIVERSITY, the following historical then in existence. For dissenting, even, from sketch, by R. A. Guild, Esq, librarian of the the prevailing sentiments of the community in University. It was first published in the Prov. matters of religious belief and practice, the miidence Journal of Sept. 1, 1857, the original nority were, in many of the states, subj
nority were, in many of the States, subject to article which forms its basis having been pre- oppressive laws, and, in too many cases, bitpared by the same author for the New Ameri- ter persecution. In 1762, the Association, at can Cyclopædia. It has been thoroughly re
the special instigation of the Rev Morgan Edvised and corrected by the author for publica-wards, a celebrated Welsh clergyman, then tion in the SCHOOLMASTER.
pastor of the First Baptist Church in PhilaMr. Guild has, we understand, for many delphia
delphia, formed the design of establishing in years past, been assiduously collecting cata- the colony of Rhode Island, “ under the logues and pamphlets of every kind, relative / chief direction of the Baptists, a College, in to the history and condition of the college. which,” says the historian Backus, “educaThese have recently been bound in a substan- tion might be promoted and superior learning tial manner, and placed upon the shelves of obtained, free from any sectarian religious the library, making upwards of thirty volumes tests." The leader selected for this important of inestimable value.
work was the Rev. James Manning, a native BROWN UNIVERSITY.
of New Jersey, and recently a graduate at ITS ORIGIN, PROGRESS AND PRESENT CONDITION.
Princeton. In July, 1763, he accordingly visIn the year 1707, the Philadelphia Associa
ited Newport, then at the height of its comtion, composed mostly of Baptist Churches inmercial prosperity, and proposed the
mercial prosperity, and proposed the subject Pennsylvania and New Jersey, was formed,
of his mission to several gentlemen of the for the purpose of promoting the welfare of] Baptist denomination, among whom were the the Baptist denomination in America. At an
Hon. Samuel Ward, Governor of the colony, early period. these churches thus associated. Hon. Josiah Lyndon, who was afterwards projected plans for the education of a suitable 1 Govern
able Governor, Col. John Gardiner, Deputy Gov
ernor, and twelve others of the same persua- and five Episcopalians. These represent the sion. They readily concurred with the pro- different denominations existing in the State posal, and at once entered upon the means ne- at the time when the charter was obtained. cessary for the accomplishment of the object. The instruction and immediate government of After various struggles and difficulties in con- the College rests forever in the President and sequence of the determined opposition and and Board of Fellows. artful maneuvering of certain gentlemen of
In the autumn of the year in which the another persuasion, whose names we gladly College was established, its instructions were pass over in silence, a charter, reflecting the commence
18 the commenced at Warren, under the direction of liberal sentiments of the people in matters of Mr. Manning, who was formally elected its religion, was obtained from the legislature in
President in September, 1765. With him was February, 1764, "for a College or Univer
associated soon after, as tutor, Mr. David sity in the English Colony of Rhode Island
Howell, also a graduate from Princeton. In and Providence Plantations, in New England
In 1767, Mr. Edwards, at whose instigation in America.” One of the provisions of this
the College was planned, and by whose indecharter is as follows:
fatigable exertions mainly the charter was se“ And furthermore it is hereby enacted and
cured, was appointed an agent to solicit condeclared, That into this liberal and catholic
tributions for the College in England and Ireinstitution shall never be admitted any relig
8 land. He embarked for the former country ious tests. But, on the contrary, all the mem
| early in the next year, and returned in 1769, bers hereof shall forever enjoy full, free, ab
and presented his account with the corporasolute and uninterrupted liberty of conscience:
tion, by which it apppeared that he had colAnd that the places of Professors, Tutors, and
lected for the College £888 (sterling) 10s. 2d. ; all other officers, the President alone except-1
whereupon it was voted, " That the thanks of ed, shall be free and open for all denonina
of this Corporation be given to Rev. Morgan tions of Protestants : Anid that youth of all
Edwards, by the Chancellor, (Stephen Hopreligious denominations shall and may be free
kins,) for his great care and attention to the ly admitted to the equal advantages, emolu
interests of this society." The original documents and honors of the College or Universi
ment containing the subscriptions thus obtainty; and shall receive a like fair, generous and
ed by Mr. Edwards, has been recently deposequal treatment, during their residence there
ited in the archives of the library of Brown in, they conducting themselves peaceably, and
University. Among the names of subscribconforming to the laws and statutes thereof.
ers, in their own handwriting, are those of And that the public teaching shall, in general,
Benjamin Franklin, then residing in London, respect the sciences; and that the sectarian
£10, and Benjamin West, £10 10s. differences of opinion shall not make any part of the public and classical instruction."
After the return of Mr. Edwards, the Rev. The government of the College is vested in Hezekiah Smith collected funds for the Cola Board of Fellows, consisting of twelve lege in South Carolina and Georgia, amounting members, of whom eight, including the Pres- in the currency of these States at that period, ident, must be Baptists; and a Board of Trus- to £2,523 8s. 2d. Subscriptions were also obtees, consisting of thirty-six members, oftained and collections taken up by the churches whom twenty-two must be Baptists, five connected with the Philadelphia Association. Friends or Quakers, four Congregationalists, Still the endowments of the College were so
scanty that the President, for some time, was President, were dressed in American manufacunable to obtain his full salary.
tures. Finally be it observed, that this class The first Commencement was held in the meet- are the first sons of that College which has exting house at Warren, September 7, 1769, when isted for more than four years ; during all seven young men took their first degree in the which time it labored under great disadvanArts. Of these, the Rev. Charles Thompson, tages, notwithstanding the warm patronage who succeeded Dr. Manning in the pastorate and encouragement of many worthy men of of the Warren Church, took the highest hon- fortune and benevolence; and it is hoped, ots, and pronounced the Valedictory Address. from the disposition which many discovered Two more of this class, says the Rev. Mr. Tus- on that day, and other favorable circumstances, tin in his dedication discourse, delivered at that these disadvantages will soon, in part, be Warren, were eminently useful Baptist minis- happily removed.” ters; one of whom, the Rev. William Rogers, ' As the place for the permanent location of D. D., was the successor of Morgan Edwards the College was still undetermined. the four as pastor of the church in Philadelphia, and towns of Warren. Providence, Newport and for many years, was Professor of Oratory and East Greenwich, in four different counties of Belles Lettres in the University of Pennsyl. I the State, all preferred their claims as being, Vania ; the other was the Rev. William Wil
" each respectively, the most eligible situation. liams, for many years pastor of a church in the com
The consequence was, that the public mind Wrentham, Mass., and who was elected to the
was greatly agitated by the contentions which Fellowship of the College in 1789. Mr. Wil
grew out of these conflicting claims. Mr. Edliams instructed many young men in the study
| wards, in referring to the subject, says :of theology, and probably prepared more
“Warren was at first agreed on as a proper young men for the College than any other man
situation, where a small wing was to be erectsince its beginning. A fourth member of this
ed in the spring of 1770, and about £800 raisclass was General James Mitchell Varnum, af
ed towards effecting it. But soon afterwards, terwards distinguished for his eloquence as a
some who were unwilling it should be there, member of Congress from the State of Rhode
and some who were unwilling it should be Island, and who was also a Brigadier General
anywhere, did so far agree as to lay aside the in the American army in the war of the Revo
said location, and propose that the county lution. ' A full and extremely interesting ac
should count of this Commencement is given in the
have the College." “ Providence Gazette and Country Journal,” printed by John Carter, September 9, 1769.
The two ablest competitors in this contest The closing part of the account is as follows:
were the towns of Providence and Newport. “ The President concluded the exercises
The latter town raised £4,000 by subscription, with prayer. The wholc was conducted with
but Providence gained the advantage by raisa propriety and solemnity suitable to the occa
ing £4,280 ; and after an earnest discussion sion. The audience (consisting of the princi
on the merits of the conflicting claims, the pal gentlemen and ladies of this Colony, and
Corporation, on the 7th of February, 1770, many from the neighboring governments,)|
decided by a vote of twenty-one to fourteen, though large and crowded, behaved with the
that the edifice be built in the town of Provi
dence, and that there the College be continued utmost decorum.
“Not only the candidates, but even the forever. Accordingly, in the May following,
the most md