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Report on the Transylvania University, and lunatic asylum



Report on the Transylvania University, and lunatic asylum


Includes a statement of Transylvania University's accounts as well as reports from Rev. Horace Holley, President and Professor of Philosophy of the Mind, Robert Wickliffe, Librarian of the Law Library, Daniel Drake, Professor Meteria Medica and Medical Botany, C.S. Rafinesque, Librarian of the General Library and Keeper of the Museum, and others.


Library Collection, Filson Historical Society



Drake, Daniel
Holley, Horace
Rafinesque, Constantine S.
Wickliffe, Robert




RB 346.077 K37 No.15 1824



MR NEW, from the joint committee appointed to visit the Tran-
sylvania University, and the Lunatic Asylum at Lexington,
made the following reports :

The joint committee appointed to examine the state and condi-
tion of Transylvania University, have discharged the duty assign-
ed, and beg leave respectfully to submit the following report :
The recess from Legislation, afforded the committee and ear-
ly opportunity of repairing to Lexington, and of making those
inquiries, and that examination which were deemed of greatest
interest to the state.

The report of the trustees, marked (K) and the references to
the several sub reports, upon which that is founded, constitute
the principal sources of information which were offered to your
Committee, and furnish more ample satisfaction, than could re-
sult from an abstract. They are therefore submitted in extenso.
The documants are so full and complete in detail, that little re-
mains to be said, except that vouchers were exhibited in support
of the various items of account manidesting the receipts and
disbursements of the institution.

Since the report to the last legislature, there has occurred a
diminution in the number of Students in the University, but not
such as necessarily indicates any decline in public confidence.
The report of President Holly. indicates an extensive range
of well selected studies, and such as must generally meet the ap-
probation of an enlightened community.

The advantages resulting from college exercises, always
more immediately depend upon the Student, though skill in pro-
fessors, and well arranged and judiciously regulated course of
study, act with strong auxiliary influence. In many branches
of instruction, the committee witnessed a display of proficien-
cy, which did equal credit to the students and preceptor.

The report of professor Roche, on the classical pursuit of the
University, is highly interesting. and is frought with the most
sound and correct estimate of the value of close and intimate
acquaintance, with ancient lore. Your Committee would sug-
gest that to require even a further advance and greater skill in
Latin and Greek, to obtain admission into the regular classes
of the University, woukd in their estimation constitute no ob-
jectionto the plan of education, but would in its ultimate re-
sults be benificial to the student, without unjury to the institu-
tion. There exists in most sections of the state, schools in
which the languages, can be correctly acquired. It is proba-
bly more propitious for the morals of the child, that he should
remain during the era of youthful effervesence under the imme-
diate inspection of the parent, and were the attainments requi-
site to admission of greater extent and higher accomplishments,
there would be precluded from this institution, many whose ma-
turity of experience had not armed them with principles fixed
and conviction adequete to guard them against the facinations
of pleasure and allurements of dissipation.

By requiring a greater proficientcy in Latin and Greek than
now demanded, the higher authors in those languages might be
read, the maxims of pure disinterested patriotism, more indeli-
bly impressed, and the philosophy of language more accurately
acquired; each class might be elevated a grade, and more time
given for application to natural, moral and political study.
Your Committee congratulates the University, the Legislature,
and the State, upon the establishment of the Morrison professor-
ship of mathematical science, which the munificence of the late
Col. James Morrison, has enabled the trustees of the Univer-
sity, to add upon a foundation which will be permanent. Such
a professorship had long been a desideratum in the institution,
and whilst law and medicine, phrenology, craniology, philoso-
phy of mind, metaphysicks, in all their multiplied and evanes-
cent, ramifications, were flourishing cultivating the fancy, the
heart and the affections, too little regard, your Committee ap-
prehend, was bestowed and too low rank was assigned to the ex-
act sciences, the most necessary and most useful, in teaching
how to think, to reason, to examine the truth, to know it when
found in their application, to affairs of life and of the world.

Thomas J. Matthews, who has been selected as Morrison
professor, is a gentleman whose reputation furnishes a pledge,
that the department entrusted to his superintendence, will be
conducted so as to increase that reputation, do credit to the
choice and redound benificially to the state.

The increase of the several cabinets of specimens in the aca-
demical and medical departments, indicate the interest which
exists in their prosperity and proves their growing importance.
The libary is extensive, flourishing, apparently, well selected
and under judicious management.

The philosophy of mind can be as well studied in the acquisi-
tion of useful practical knowlegde as in efforts to reconcile the
jargon of the schools, the confusion of theories in attempts to
thread the mazes of metaphysical labyrinths, or pursue the at-
tenuated fibres of speculative abstraction.

From the observations which an intercourse with the world,
has enabled us to make, sound information and elevated maxims
of morality, blended with a cultivation of taste, for the best
models in literature, are the surest guarantees of a virtuous
heart and well regulated affections. Moral and political philo-
sophy are the basis of that charecter, which is most
in a republic.

The diminution of students in the law class may be attribu-
ted to the pressure of the times, the variation in taste or proba-
bly ot the fact, that each town contains a law school of its own,
where the science is taught and the art practically learned, or
perhaphs the number is settling down to that which may be uni-
formly anticipated for the supply of the vacancis in the profes-
sion; on this head we refer to report (L.)

It is matter of pride to witness Kentucky irradiating her sis-
ter states, with the lights of knowledge and dispensing the bles-
sings of education, to the youth of states much older in politi
cal existence than herself.

There are 155 Students in the University from 14 states.
There are 320 Students, pursuing in Transylvania University
the path of science, to usefulness and to fame. No object can be
more grateful to the legislature, than to contemplate the prosper-
ous results of that liberal and enlightened policy, which has
patronized, fostered and cherished this institution into such ma-
turity. The committee amidst the many causes which exist for
exulting at the prosperity of the University, can but regret, that
that institution should still be indebted to the United States
Bank, the sum $5775, specic- this two after the fund appro-
priated to the use of the University out of the dividends of the
Commonwealth's Bank, has been reduced to $2331 37 1-2 in
paper and after a distribution of ten per cent. upon the stock
held in the bank of Kentucky.

They recommend to the trustees of the University, the strict-
est economy, that they refrain from incurring any expenses not
indispensibly necessary to the vitality of the institution, until
that debt is extinguished and their fiscal affairs placed upon a
safer foundation.

It is also advised that the item of $9106 30 of old debts as
will be fully explained by report marked (I.) be critically inves-
tigated and scanned, so much realized as is practicable, and that
which cannot be collected, be at once credited by insolvencies,
and be no longer estimated as a fund, swelling the value of the

It appears from the report (K.) that Transylvania
University, will from its profits be perfectly enabled to support
itself for the ensuing year. The public patronage, which has
been bestowed through legislative enactments upon this institu-
tion, your committee consider has resulted in manifolf profit to
the state.

The strength of the state physically consists in vigorous yeo
manry- morality in the diffused intelligence and aggregate
virtue of its citizens. Its wealth is as effectually promoted by
reaping the harvest of its own industry, and preventing exhaus-
tion, as by an increase of productions or the direct accumula-
tion of capital. Its political safety. the permanence of its free
institutions and the full growth of its patriotism, are especially
ensured by that domicilary education, which assocrates with
the sunshine and brightness pf childhood and adolescence, the
verdure of its fields and the benignity of its laws.

The dollars that are saved and the hundreds that are gained
to the state, by the resuscitation of the Transylvania University,
though not to be disregarded by the political economist, consti-
tute but dust in the balance, when it is remembered how the mo-
ral and political influence of Kentucky has thus been extended;
and conscience tells our children, and children's children
have been and will be thus furnished the means of liberal, en-
larged public education, in the bosom of their families and the
lap of their country. No foreign manners- no habits inconge-
nial with the softest, kindest and at the same time the most re
fined and most elevated sentiment; no alienation of feeling-
no propensity inimical to the simple republicanism of the father,
is generated in the mind of that youth who grows and ripens
under the vivifying rays of his natal sun. In a moral and poli-
tical point of view, your committee deem the influence of Tran-
sylvania University of infinate importance.

The prosperity of a republic is founded on virtue- national
virtue will, nay must always be proportioned to the intelligence
of a community.

The most extended instruction - the most perfect acquire-
ment - the most exquisite refinement of the few, constitue, not
that state of information, of intelliegence, of education which the
patriot admires or the rebublican demands. Knowledge diffys-
ed through the aggregate mass of society, elevating, purifying,
refining every class, is the foundation of public virtue and the
soul of liberty. The diffusion of learning, not its accumulation
in any individual, is most to be desired. What contributes to
that diffusion so effectually as cheapness? What brings it so
entirely within the family circle as engrafting it upon our own
stock and nurturing it in our own land?

That influence of Transylvania University, is already visable
in that general eagerness for classical and liberal education,
which supports the encreased number of prepartory schools
and subordinate colleges. Its influence will continue to spread;
the bar, the pulpit, the legislative assembly and the medical science
for unnumbered years, will hail with eulogy and thanksgiving,
the enlightened epoch which gave light and life to that insti-
The medical department is flourishing in a high degree- the
state is peculiarly interested in the continued prosperity of this
establishment and your committee beg leave to refer to a letter
of Professor Drake marked M, as a part of their report.

Nothing can be more grateful to the pride of a Kentuckian
that the recollection that the land which was so lately the
haunt of the Buffaloe and the Indian, is now the seat of cultiva-
tion and of literature, of the sciences and of the arts.

Much praise is due to the President of the University for its
present prosperity- much to the citizens of Lexington for their

With many local advantages and the advantage of an old, a
wealthy and dense population, it is believed no literary institu-
tion is at this day, take it all in all, more flourishing than Tran-
sylvania University.

The committee would suggest for the consideration of the
Legislature, whether it would not be expedient to appropriate
the dividend of the branch of the Commonwealth's bank, located
in Lexington, after discharging what is now due by law to the
University, to the defraying one half the expenses of such build-
ings as are required according to Dr. Drakes latter, for the
medical institution, upon condition of the other half being paid
by subscription, provided the half paid by the state should not
exceed $4000.

The committee would do injustice to their feelings were they
not to express their highest admiration of the plan of govern-
ment, adopted for the direction of the students, as developed in
the Presidentd communication to the board of Trustees. They
do not, cannot doubt its efficacy and complete success, when ad-
dressed to the affec tions, the honor, and the pride of liberal, en-
lightened and moral agents.

R. B. NEW, Ch. H. R.


Transylvania University, Debtor.

1824, September 1, - To amount of note payable to
office of discount and deposit of the Bank of the
United States, $5,775 00
Salaried due and payable as follows, viz:
To President Holley, payable 1st Oct $735 00
Professor Bishop, do. 300 00
Professor Butler, do. 320 00
Treasureer, do. 166 00
Clerk, 24th do. 50 00 - 1,571 00
Amount claimed by Mr. John Brown for salary from
the 27th July until 11th August, 24 65
Receipts from the 1st of December, 1823
until 1st of September, 1824 viz:
From Charles Humphreys, Esq. ex'r.
of Joshua Humphreys, late Treasurer, 688 38
For tuition in college proper, 3,986 74
do. Preparatory department, 688 91
From students for fines imposed, 55 25
For fine and forfeitures, 547 70
Rents, 54 33
From Bank of the Commonwealth, part
of the Legislative donation, 3,400 00
From Bank stock, 1,716 00 - 11, 137 26
Balance in favour of the University, 94,386 69
$112,895 69

Sept. 1. - By real estate, viz: Univers-
ity lot and buildings, estimated at $50,000 00
Green river lands, estimate at 6,000 00
Three small escheated lots in Lexington,
estimated at 1,000 00
Fifty acres of land (leased) in Fayette,
recently sold for 450 00 - 57,450 00
143 shares of stock in the Bank of Kentucky, at
$90 per share, $10 on each having been receiv-
ed, 12,870 00
Libraries and apparatus, estimated at 20,000 00
Balance to be recieved from the Branch of the Bank
of the Commonwealth, of the Legislative dona-
tion, 2,331 37
Old outstanding claims, per list, 9,106 63
Disbursements from the 1st of Dec. 1823
until 1st of Sept. 1824, viz: Paid to
Professors, &c. 4,389 72
To sundries, (including $1,918 36 paid
in Bank,) 3,662 52
Interest and premiums, 2,947 80
Cash in the Treasury, 142 00 - 11,137 26
$112,895 26

The committee on the part of the Legislature having called on
the Trustees of Transylvania University for information rela-
tive to the situation of the institution generally, and more par-
ticularly as to its fiscal concerns ; in conformity with this requi-
sition, the board of Trustees appointed the undersigned commit-
tee to lay before the committee of the Legislature, the monthly
accounts and vouchers, and the general account of the Treasu-
rer, from the 1st December, 1823, until the 1st of September,
11824, which were examined by said committee, who desired a
transcript of the general account to be furnished to them, which
is stated above, including also the stock account. From which
it will be seen, that the stock of the University is as follows:
Real estate 57,450
Library, &c. 20,000
Bank stock, 12,870
Due from the Bank of the Commonwealth 2,331
Old debts, (these are of little value,) 9,106
Besides, the Morrion donation is 20,000

There yet remains due to the United States, Bank $5,775,
which will in part be discharged by the balance stated above due
from the Commonwealth's Bank. The current expenditure
for law books is evidenced by the accompanying exhibit, mar-
ked H. which we wish taken as part of this report.

The expenditure of the present year, will be as follows:
The President's salary, in Commonwealth's paper, $3,000
Professor of Mathematics, ($1,000 specie,) 2,000
Professor Roche, 1,200
Principal of the Preparatory Department, 800
Librarian, 300
Clerk, 200
Treasurer, 200
Porter, 150

The resources to meet the expenses are as follow:
Say 100 Students at $60 each, $6,000
20 Preparatory Department, 800
Morrison donation, 2,000

Balance in favor of the University, $950, to meet contingen-
cies, discounts &c. and it is believed the number of students as
usual, will be greater in December. We refer to President
Holley's report, and beg it to be recieved as part of this report.


Law Department with the Treasury in account current Dr.
1824 Jan 15. - To cash paid Leslie Combs, in part
of William T. Barry's claim, in specie, $229 00
29. - To do. paid do. for do. specie $60 22
Paid advance of two for one on 36 56 36 56 --- 96 78
April 7. - To do. paid do. for balance of Wil-
liam T. Barry's claim, viz: in specie, 16 21
Currency at two for one 163 70 --- 179 91
To cash paid W. W. Worsley in part of his account, in
currency, 111 50
July 7. - To cash paid James W. Palmer, specie, as
per voucher No. 80, 109 20
To balance in Specie, 38 45
$765 84

NOTE. - The department is indebted to B. Gratz, Esq.
in specie, about the sum of $61 00
To W. W. Worsley, balance in currency, 41 00

1824, CREDIT.

Jan. 14 - By cash recieved from Thomas Anderson for
tax on sales at Auction, for the quater ending on
31st December 1823, in specie, $229 00
29. - By cash recieved of do. for do. for ba-
lance of quarter ending 30th September
1822, viz: in specie, 23 66
Currency, 73 12 - - - 96 78
April 7. - By cash recieved of do. for do. for
quarter ending 31st March, viz: in specie, 16 21
Currency, 275 20 --- 291 41
July. - By cash from do. for do. for quarter ending
30th June, in specie, 148 65
$765 84
By balance per contra, in specie, $38 45


LEXINGTON, NOV. 11, 1824.


In your report of yesterday, we percieve in the stock
account this item: "Old debts, ~(these debts are of little value,)
$9,106." Be pleased to report the true situation of these debts,
how they were created, whether they are based on notes or book
account, and why they have been lost to the University.
T. D. CARNEAL, Ch'm.
To the Committee of Finance, T. U.
LEXINGTON, NOV. 11, 1824.
In answer of your note of this day, relative to the item of
$9,106 of old accounts, the committee state, that a very small
proportion of that sum is actually due. The present Treasurer
being directed to report the condition of the monied concerns of
the University, went over the former Treasurer's and Steward's
books, as far back as fifteen or twenty years, and trauscribed
the balances as they stood, not knowing (what was the fact) that
most of them were charges made by the former Treasurers and
Stewards, of payments made to persons to whom the University
was indebted, and in whose favor the proper credits had not been
entered. This fact was not known to the present Treasurer,
but was to many members of the board, and appaears from the
papers and proceedings of the institution; and when the Treas-
urer's report came before the board, there was an order made,
that the Treasurer and Clerk should go over the books and give
each account its proper credit. The account rendered was the
Treasurer's annual report; it having been made out including
the list of old debts, could not conveniently be changed, and
was, therefore, laid before your committee in that shape.

There is about $2,000 of old debts actually due the institution.
$1,000 of which, is a note of Paul Skidmore, deceased, late of
Louisville; the rest are old notes and open accounts of several
years' standing, but few of which are likely to be collectd. -
Some of those debts have been lost by insolvencies, and some by
removals and lapse of time.

The organisation of the institution at this time, will, in future,
prevent any like occuraence, as there is no credit now given.
Committee of Finance.

T. D. Carneal, Esq. Ch'm. &e.

To Thomas D. Carneal, Esq. Chairman of the Committee of the
General Assembly, appointed to enquire into the state of Tran-
sylvania University.
The board of Trustees of Transylvania University, to whom
the communication from the Committee of the General Assembly
was made, requesting to know the cause of the "diminution of
the number of students in the Law department, since the last
annual report," and "what measures are necessary to restore
that department to its former respectability and usefulness," re-
port: That the resignation of Professor Barry occasioned much
solicitude on the part of the Trustees of Transylvania Univer-
sity, to fill the vacancy, by appointing one of the most distin-
guished persons of the profession in the state, who would be
likely to act. Accordingly, on the 12th day of July last, Judge
Boyle was unanimously elected, and the chairman of the board
was requested to make that communication to him, which was
don; but by a mistake in addressing this letter, the information
was not given to Judge Boyle. After waiting a considerable
time for his reply, it was not until some time in August, that
Mr. Clay, a member of the board of Trustees, reported that he
had verbally informed Mr. Boyle of his appointment, who sta-
ted to him, that although he had not received any official notice
of his appointment, from the chairman, he, Mr. Clay, was re-
quested to inform the board, that he, Mr. Boyle. could not ac-
cept the appointment, as he conceived it would interfere with his
other official duties. At a meeting of the board of Trustees on
the 20th of September, the subject of filling the vacancy in the
Law department, was again discussed, without coming to any
decision. In this state of anxiety and uncertainty, and without
the knowledge or approbation of the board of Trustees, notice
was given in the public newspapers by Professor Bledsoe, dated
the 20th September, stating, "it was expected that a regular
Professor of National and Civil Law, would have been procured;
but this expectation has not been realized. The undersigned
Professor will have, therefore, to perform the entire duties of
the department, unless, as he has hopes of doing, he shall be
able to procure an assistant, competent to discharge the duties
pertaining to those branches." This publication was considered
by the Trustees as being premature, if not highly indiscreet, on
the part of Professor Bledsoe. It was inserted in two or the
papers published in Lexington, and no notice was taken of it ;
the Trustees still entertaining a hope that a suitable and perma-
nent appointment could be made, before the commencement of
the lectures. In this they were disappointed, until a few days
before the duties of the Professor were to begin. At the solici-
tation of Professor Bledsoe, the President of the University
consented to render his assistance, by undertaking the depart-
ment of "National and Civil Law and Political Economy." The
Trustees, therefore, state, that in their opinion, the "diminu-
tion" of the number of students in the Law department, has been
occasioned (among others) by the want of a sufficient number of
competent Professors in that school, and the frequent changes,
by resignation, even in that too small number. The trustees
are further of opinion, that if the number of Professors was in-
creased to three or four, and men of correct habits. possessing
the requisite attainments and industry. could be induced to ac-
cept, who would devote their time to the object of instruction,
the Law department would not only be restored " to its former
respectability and usefulness, " but would increase and become
one of the most distinguished schools in the Union. That our
state possesses men with the necessary qualifications, in an em-
inent degree, there can be no doubt ; and the Trustees have ac-
cordingly determined to organize anew, the Law school, on this
principle, at the close of the present course of lectures.
Yours respectfully.

To Thomas D. Carneal, Esq. Chairman of the Committee of the
Sir ---- I feel gratified that you have invited a communication on
the subject of an edifice for the Medical department of Transyl-
vania University. It is a matter of the utmost interest, to all
who are concerned with that branch of the institution, as Trus-
tees, Professors, Pupils, and Parents, who have some to educate
for the practice of Medicine and Surgery.
The Medical Faculty consists of six Professors and one As-
sistant, and there have been provided, for the use of the depart-
ment, a competent number of books and anatomical prepara-
tions. What remains as a desideratum, is, a suitable edifice,
detached from other buildings, for greater security from fire,
and capacious enough to afford lecture rooms for all the profes-
sors, and appropriate apartments for the Library, Museum of
Anatomical preparations, specimens of diseased parts of the bo-
dy, specimens of Minerals, specimens of Medicinal Plants and
Plants useful in the Arts, specimens of Medicines and the raw
materials out of which they are manufactured, chemical Appa-
ratus, and models of Surgical instruments and Apparel.
These various articles are scarcely less necessary to the popu-
larity, and perhaps more necessary to the perpetuity of the
school, than able Professors. To answer the ends for which
they are designed, it is indispensable, however, that they should
be collected and systematically arranged in one building ; and
that this should be the same in which the lectures are delivered.
Without this connexion, they could neither be employed by Pro-
fessors nor Pupils, in a way to render them of much utility. It
is necessary to bring them before the classes, in the respective
lecture rooms, which could not be done, unless they were be-
neath the same roof.
At the present time, one of the Professors meets his class in
a house of his own, and the remainder rent a building, which
affords them, with the Library and Anatomical and Mineralo-
gical cabincts, very imperfect accommodations, which are pecu-
liarly, and at every instant, liable to destruction by fire. The
building being one of a row of old houses, in a populous part of
the city, should any one of the range of which it is a member,
take fire, the probability is, that all the collections of the depart-
ment would be consumed, as they occupy the upper chambers.
These collection, books and specimens, have cost the state, the
town of Lexington, the Trustees of the University and the Fa-
culty, about $12,000 inspecie, and could not be replaced with-
out again raising a similar sum and sending a Professor to Eu-
rope, neither of which, in such an event, would perhaps be prac-
The value of the Medical school to Transylvania to Kentucky,
is two-fold. 1st. It places Medical instruction within the reach
of a great number of her sons, who are too poor to go abroad,
and saves to her all the money which those who might visit dis-
tant schools would disburse: 2d. It renders the whole Western
country, from the Alleghany mountains to the plains of Mis-
souri, and from the Lakes to the Gulph of Mexico, tributary to
her : and indeed, it does not stop here ; for between thirty and
forty of the students now in attendance on the Medical lectures,
are from Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia, east of the
mountains. Of our sister states, Tennessee and Ohio furnish
the greatest number, amounting, at the present time, to more
than sixty. There is, in short, not an inlet, on the entire cir-
cumference of the state, through which Medical students do not
enter : and the sum of money which they disburse, from their
ingress to their egress out of the state, is so great, as in reality
to constitute one of the elements of her prosperity.
There is no reason, moreover, why in a few years, the num-
ber of foreign pupils should not be doubled, with a correspond-
ing increase of expenditure, among us. To this object, all our
desires should be directed, and every means of accomplishing
it should be brought into requisition.
Could no other of the western states establish a similar and
rival institution, the interests and prospects of this, would less
imperiously call for the attention and patronage of the honora-
ble the General Assembly, and the sovereign people of the state
at large. This is not the case, however ; and Ohio has, already,
made the experiment in a city, which is supposed to possess some
advantages over Lexington, for such an establishment. The
first attempt was abortive ; but it is not to be presumed that the
people, either of that city or state, have entirely lost sight of such
an impartant object, and it is not difficult to foresee, that the
time is not distant, when it may be revived, with aspects that
will attract, and divide with us the patronage of the west. Now,
when Kentucky enjoys the whole, is the time to adopt efficient
measures for preserving it undivided, and making herself in the
western United States, what Pennsylvania has been in the cas-
tern, for nealy half a century.
To expect the Professors to erect an edifice, would be unrea-
sonable ; it has never been done any where. The expense would
be too great, to be met by a few persons. As soon as it was
incurred, it might be necessary for a Professor to resign and
emigrate, or he might die, or, holding his place at the will and
pleasure of the Trustees, he might be dismissed ; in either case,
losing the sum he had thus invested. In short, there is not, in
principle, any reason why such a public edifice should be erected
by the teaches, who, at this particular time, would occupy it
during the sessions of the school, more than that the honorable
members of the General Assembly and the great officers of state,
should rebuild the state-house out of their private purses, in-
stead of the public Treasury.
That the citizens of Lexington should build it, ought not to be
expected. It would be paying toom much for the benefit of its
location among them. Moreover, they have already given to
the department, $11,000 in specie, or about that sum ; and it may
be safely affirmed, that but for their public spirited efforts, the
institution would not now be in existence. In reference to it,
the state and the town, are under reciprocal obligations.
From a survey of the whole subject, it appears to me, that the
erection of such and edifice, is a legitimate object of Legislative
attention ; and I therefore beg leave,most respectfully, to re-
commend it to the honorable the General Assembly, and in the
spirit and language of a memorialist, would solicit for it, their
consideration. An appropriation, conditioned on the contribu-
tion of an additional sum, sufficient for the purpose, by the peo-
ple of Lexington, and the Professors and Officers of the Univer-
sity, is the moset equitable mode which presents itself to me at
this moment.
If my zeal and anxieties on the subject, have betrayed me into
any expression too strong for the occasion, I hope you will ex-
cuse it. The desire to put you in possession of what I wished
to say, before you should leave town to-morrow morning, to-
gether with the weight of double professional duties in the insti-
tution, at the present time, leaves me no opportunity of writing
in a premeditated style, or of correcting imperfect sentences.
I have the honor to be, respectfully,
Your friend and ob'dt serv't.
Professor Mat. Med. T. U.

To the Honorable and Reverend Board of Trustees of Transylva-
nia University.
In compliance with your request, I have the honor to
communicate to you the following report concerning the litera-
ry, scientific and moral condition of this establishment.
In consequence of the fact, that the committee of the Legis-
lature have visited us at an earlier period than has been com-
mon heretofore, the number of students, which I now return,
does not show the full amount of the classes, as they ought to
be recorded for the session. Our previous catalogues have been
made out in January, and up to that time, additions are con-
tinually made. We have good reason to believe, that the
aggregate of the present year, though somewhat differently dis-
tributed, will be equal to that of past years. There are now in
the University, 320 students: 1 Law Class, 18; 2. Medical
Class, 184, 3. Academical Classes, 95; 4. Preparatory Depart-
ment, 23.
The report of the Law Professor (A.) shows, that the Law
Class may be estimated at between 20 and 30, forthe present
The report of Professor Dudley, Dean of Medical Facul-
ty, ( B ) states, that although the number of matriculated stu-
dents in the Medical Class is now 184, there are already more
than 200 in town, attending the lectures, and that the prospect is,
of a considerable addition even to that number.
In the Academical Classes, the additions, as we judge from
experience, may be estimated at 30, before the usual time of
printing the catalogue. For the Preparatory Department, an
increase of ten may be allowed.
Of the 320 students, 155 are from 14 of our sister States, a
greater number by 10, than we have ever had before from a-
broad, Pennsylvania, 1; New-York, 1; Indiana, 2; Illinois, 2;
Missouri, 5; North-Carolina, 6; Georgia, 9; Louisiana, 12;
Virginia, 12; Ohio, 14; South-Carolina, 14; Mississippi, 15;
Alabama, 22; Tennessce, 40. Of these, 8 are in the Law
Class, and 29 in the Academical Classes.
Preparatory Schools have multiplied in Lexington and its
vicinity, and have taken many pupils, who would otherwise
have come to this department of the institution.
Reu. Horace Holley, L. L. D. President, and Professor of
the Philosophy of Mind.
Hon. Jessee Bledsoe, L. L. D. Professor of Common and Sta-
tute Law.
Benjamin Winslow Dudley, M. D. Professor of Anatomy and
Surgery, and Dean of the Medical Faculty.
Charles Caldwell, M. D. Professor of the Institutes of Medi-
cine and of Clinical Practice.
Samuel Brown, M. D. Professor of the Theory and Practice
of Medicine.
Daniel Drake, M. D. Professor of Materia Medica and Med-
ical Botany,
William Hall Richardson, M. D. Professor of Obstetrics and the
Diseases of Women and Children.
Rev. James Blythe, D. D. Professor of Chemistry.
Robert Best, A. M. Lecturer on Pharmacy.
John Roche, A. M. Professor of the Greek and Latin Langua-
Thomas Johnson Matthews, Esq. Morrison Professor of Ma-
thematics and Natural Philosopny.
Constantine Samuel Rafinesque, P. D. Professor of Natural
History and Botany, Librarian of the General Library,
Keeper of the Cabinet, and Secretary of the Academical
John Brown, A. M. Principal of the Preparatory Depar-
James Conquest Cross, M. D. Librarian of the Medical Li-
brary, and Secretary of the Medical Faculty.
Robert Wickliffe, A. B. Librarian of the Law Library.
John Hite Morton, Esq. Treasurer.
William Macbean, Esq. Clerk of the Board of Trustees.
The professorship of Civil and National Law and of Political
Economy, is vacant; but the President discharges the duties of
it for the present session. The professorship of History, Geo-
graphy and Chronology, is also vacant; but Dr. Caldwell daily
attends the classes in this department.
The following is the course of studies in the Preparatory
School and the Academical classes :
Preparatory Department, --- Sallust or Caesar, Cicero's Select
Orations. Ovids Metamorphoses, Virgil, Greek Testament, Lu-
cian's Dialogues, Dalzel's Collectanea Graeca Minora, exercises
in writing Latin, Arithmatic, Elements of Ancient and Mod-
ern Geography.
Freshmen. --- Horace begun, exercises in writing Latin, Dal-
zel's Collectanea Graeca Majora begun, Algebra and Geometry,
Review of ancient and Modern Geography, History begun,
Sophomores. --- Horace finished, Excerpta Latina begun, exer-
cises in writing Latin continued, Graeca Majora continued.
Logarithms, Trigonometry, Mensuration of Superficies and
Solids, Navigation, Adams' Roman Antiquities, History con-
tinned, Themes, Declamation.
Juniors. --- Excerpta Latina finished, Juvenal, (Selections,)
Livy, (two books) exercises in writing Latin verse, exercises in
writing Greeks, Majora finished, Surveying, Latrop on the
Globes, Conics, Cronology, Tytler's Elements of Ancient and
Modern History, Natural Philosophy and Astronomy, Chemis-
try, Themes, Declamation.
Seniors. --- Dialling, Spherical Geometry, Trigonometry, As-
tronomy, Fluxions, Anciest and Modern History, Chemistry,
Philosophical Grammar, (Murray and Tooke) Logic, (Hedge)
Rhetoric, (Blair) Philosophy of Mind including the elements of
Theology, (Brown) Ethics (Paley,) Politics and Political E-
conomy (Paley and Say) Themes, Forensics, Declamation.
In Mathematics, Day, Hutton and Legendre's Geometry, the
Trigonometry of Lacroix with Farrar's Appendix, the Flux-
ions of Lacroix, and Cavallo's Philosophy, are used.
Henry, Thompson and Bache, are the works most commoly
referred to in Chemistry.
The Books of reference in the Law Department, are found
in the Professor's report, with the exception of those used by
the President, which are Brown, Cooper's Justinia, Domat,
Vattal, and Say.
Where instruction is given by lectures, as in the Medical
School, text books, properly so called, are not commonly used,
but the most approved authors are pointed out to the student in
the course of investigation.
In the Academical Department, fifteen recitations are atten-
ded daily with the four classes : and three courses of lectures,
including one on Natural Philosoply with full experiments, are
given during the session. There are two courses of Law Lec-
tures, seven of Medicine, one of Mental Philosophy, besides the
recitations in this science, and one of Natural History. Reci-
tations are found best for the younger students, and lectures
for the older, though they are blended, in a degree, by all the
The practice of Declamation is pursued weekly for the two
upper classes. Ten students appear every Saturday before an
audience in the chapel, where their pronunciation, tone, action,
and whole manner, are subjected to faithful criticism on the
spot. The inhabitants customaily attend on these occasions,
and render them highly exciting and improving. The members
of the two lower classes declaim daily before all the students
assembled at morning prayers.
Compositions are written upon themes selected by the stu-
dents and sanctioned by a Professor ; and these, after being
read aloud by the writer, before his class are criticised by an
instructer with his pen in his hand, when all faults are marked
and corrected. Forensic debate is also cultivated by the seniors,
under the direction of the President, who pressrves order during
the discussion, and decides the questions afterwards.
Tne course of history is far better conducted now, than at
any former period in the University. The philosophy of it is
presented to the student, and general principles are drawn out
for practical untility. In natural philosophy, also, great im-
provements are made in the mode of instruction, and experi-
ments, which are indispensable, are formed by the Morrison
Professor, with great skill and success. Under the combined
efforts of this officer and the lecturer on Pharmacy who is an
excellent mechanician, our philosophical apparatus is undergo-
ing a thorough repair, and is assuming an entirely new aspect.
In the Law School, there is a Moot Court, as well as a Le-
gislative Assembly, for the benefit of the class. Practice and
facility are thus acquired in professional duty.
Six hours a day are devoted to instruction in the Preparato-
ry Department, and this school is decidedly one of the best in
our country.
Religious instruction and worship are secured on the Lord's
Day, in the Chapel of the University, by clergyment of the prin-
cipal denominations of Christians, according to a plan drawn
up last year by the President, sanctioned by the Board of Trus-
tees, and herewith submitted, in a printed pamphlet marked C.
This had had an obviously good effect, and will doubtless be con-
tinued so long as it is found to have a favourable influence on
the University. The principles of the measure are entirely
catholic, and harmonize with the genius of our free institu-
tions and the character of our people.
III. LIBRARIES, (Report D. ) Law, 430 volumes ; Medical
2,500. (B) ; Academical 2,400 ; total, 5,430 volumes. In addi-
tion to these, there are about 1000 volumes in the libraries of
two college Societies, and about 6,000 in the Town Library ;
thus making between 12,000 and 13,000 volumes to which stu-
dents in this place can have access, independently of the book-
stores and private collections. Of the books belonging to the
University, five-sixths have been obtained under the present ad-
ministration of the affars of the institution, or since the year
1818, when the Legislature took it into their more immediate
protection. Besides donations, which have been numerous,
books to the amont of $14,775 in the currency of the State,
have been placed upon our shelves. Nearly every one of our
valuable works in science and criticism, is included in this num-
ber. The libraries are kept open daily, an fire, tables and
stationary, according to the rules marked E. are provided for
the accommodation of students. In this way, the books are
rendered far more useful thean formerly.
IV. APPARATUS. In the care of the Morrison Professor,
are the following articles, as will appear from his report, F.
An Acromatic Telescope, a Sextant and Quadrant, a Solar Mi-
scroscope, a Botanical Microscope, a Magic Lantern, a Came
ra Obscura, an opera Glass, a Kaleidoscope with a convex
lens to present objects from without, an instrument for optical
deceptions, a convex Mirror, two glass Prisms, a whirling Ta-
ble, a case of Mathematical instruments, an apparatus for dem-
onstrating the Mechanical Powers, an Hydrostatic Balance, an
Hydrostatic Bellows, an Hydrostatic Paradox, an Air Pump, an
Electrial Machine, two Barometers, a pair of large Globes,
an Orrery and two Magnets.
Most of this is in a state fit for use, or will be in a few days,
as has been already intimated. The sum of $569 79 in specie,
the interest which had arisen on the Morrison Fund before a
professor was appointed (G) is now appropriated to purchase
additional instruments.
The Anatomical Museum contains about 120 specimens in
dry and wet preparations, and in wax models, many of them
very valuable, (B) Among these is a complete human figure
from Italy, made with great skill, and susceptiable of being ta-
ken to pieces, for the purpose of exhibiting the most curious and
interesting parts of our interior organization.
A catalogue of the apparatus in the Chemical Room, which
is extensive and valuable, I have not yet obtained, but shall re-
quest the Clerk of the Board to procure and hand it over to the
The Cabinet, in the care of the Professor of Natural History
and Botany, amounts (as in report D.) to 44,000 specimens, in-
cluding all kinds, plants, shells, insects, fossils, antiquities,
and curiosities. A part only of these belong to the University,
the majority being deposites by different gentlemen.
V. DISCIPLINE AND MANNERS. Graduates and gentlemen
who attend the Law and Medical classes, are presumed to be
competent to self government, and are only so far under the su-
perintendence of the Officers of the University, as to forfeit
their standing in the institution, and to have their connexion
with it dissolved, if they do not observe common decorum and
good morals. The Academical classes are under a more par-
ticular code of laws, containing sufficient provisions for all the
purposes of collegial government. (See the pamphlet and sheet
marked H. and I.) These laws are substantially enforced,
while the government is mainly moral and parental. A course
of lectures on manners and morals, which the President is in
the habit of giving every Saturday, to the students in the chap-
el, and in which he is as minute and affectionate as his parental
solicitude inspires, is found greatly to aid the influence of the
laws, and almost to supersede the use of direct authority. The
members of the Academical Faculty meet every Monday, at
the President's room, to make reports of the condition of their
departments, and to hear and decide such cases of discipline as
may arise. At these meeting, the state of the University is
considered, the rank of the students ascertained, improvements
suggested, complaints at home or abroad discussed, and all the
interests of the institution made the subjects of attention.
The conduct of the pupils is in general excellent, and fewer
punishments are required in this University, than in any of the
several eastern institutions, with which the writer of this re-
port is acquainted. A thorough experiment is now going on
with us, to ascertain how far a parental and moral influence,
perseveringly exerted in private advice and admonition, with a
direct appeal to the interests and generous affections of young
men, may supersede the necessity of an academical penal code.
Our authority however is always kept in reserve for such as
will not be governed by better motives. We are happy to find
our efforts thus dar remarkably successful. The effect of hav-
ing our young men in the good families of the place, under the
immediate and chastening operation of domestic affections and
arrangements, and of virtuous female society, instead of being
assembled at a common table in a Refectory, with the feelings
and coarse associations of barracks, is decidedly most saluta-
ry and important. It is fully believed, and respectfully, as
well as firmly asserted, that the moral and religious feelings of
no portion of the youth of our community, are more just or el-
evated, or better adapted to make useful and effective men, than
those of the young gentlemen of Transylvania University.
They not only have the opportunity to hear, in the Chapel, the
Preachers of all religious denominations in the town, and in the
Churches too, and thus to acquire liberal and well balanced o-
pinions, together with kind impressions toward the different
classes of Christians; but are also continually engaged in the in-
vestigation and illustration of the most important and purifying
truths, that literature, science, and the daliy interests of man,
can present to the human attention.
Such is the general condition of Transylvania University,
a condition which justifies the congratulations of its friends,
both in the Church and in the State, both in public and in pri-
vate life. Notwithstanding the advantages, however, which it
possesses, there are some wants, to which, we would point the
eyes of its patrons. We greatly need a fund for the support of
a Professor of History, Geography and Chronology, and of a
Professor of one of the ancient languages, to aid the present
Teacher in that department. We also want a fund to procure
many valuable books and instruments, the advantages of which
we are now obliged to forego.
Respectfully yours,
Nov. 10th, 1824.
Since the above was written, the Law Class amounts to 20


General Assembly, Kentucky, “Report on the Transylvania University, and lunatic asylum,” The Filson Historical Society Digital Projects, accessed March 3, 2024,