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Hart Davis (search for this): chapter 18
ructors, with other duties exercised under the supervision of the third body, the Overseers, representing the interests of the graduates and of the public at large. He was so far moved with the statements I made to him—in July, 1821—that he desired me to reduce them to writing. I wrote him a letter of nearly twenty pages, much of which is in my printed Remarks. It is dated July 31, 1821, and at his request I made copies of it, and gave one to the President, one to Mr. Lowell, and one to Judge Davis, etc. I showed it, also, to Mr. Norton, Mr. Frisbie, and Dr. Ware, who expressed themselves strongly satisfied; the first, Mr. Norton, in a long letter, and the two last verbally. Mr. Farrar thought changes unnecessary. The Corporation, in consequence of this letter, issued a circular to all the teachers, dated September 12, 1821, containing seven pages of all possible questions, to which was afterwards added a request to each teacher to suggest anything he might desire to have done,
Alexander Hill Everett (search for this): chapter 18
Ticknor's views, and his courage and ability in presenting them. The changes introduced into the arrangements of the College, which had been supported and defended by Mr. Ticknor, were so broad that it is not matter of surprise to find them met by opposition, and that the experiment, being made by teachers unaccustomed to the system, and who had repeatedly expressed their opinion that changes were unnecessary, should prove unsuccessful. None of the professors, except Mr. Ticknor and Mr. Everett, had enjoyed the opportunities of a thorough training in a European university. Had they shared Mr. Ticknor's advantages, or partaken of his spirit, the result of the attempt at reform would unquestionably have been more satisfactory than it proved. The experiment was made unwillingly, and was soon given up. In the autumn of 1826, when a committee of the Overseers made the annual visitation of the College, the new arrangements were not found working successfully in any department bu
I am persuaded every other teacher would be equally willing to pledge himself to extra labors in such a cause. . . . . But one thing is certain. A change must take place. The discipline of College must be made more exact, and the instruction more thorough. All now is too much in the nature of a show, and abounds too much in false pretences . . . . . It is seen that we are neither an University—which we call ourselves—nor a respectable high school,—which we ought to be,—and that with Christo et Ecclesiae for our motto, the morals of great numbers of the young men who come to us are corrupted. We must therefore change, or public confidence, which is already hesitating, will entirely desert us. If we can ever have an university at Cambridge which shall lead the intellectual character of the country, it can be, I apprehend, only when the present College shall have been settled into a thorough and well-disciplined high school, where the young men of the country shall be carefully
G. B. Emerson (search for this): chapter 18
it, both because it had been discussed enough where it then was, and because some of the members of the club were not, in my estimation, the right persons to discuss it at all. It was agreed the meeting should be small, and Mr. R. Sullivan and myself were desired to call it . . . . . Nine of us therefore assembled at my house July 23, 1823. Rev. Charles Lowell, Judge Story, and Messrs. R. Sullivan and John Pickering, Overseers; Dr. James Jackson and Mr. Ticknor, present officers; Messrs. G. B. Emerson and J. G. Palfrey, former officers; and Mr. W. Sullivan, former Overseer. Mr. Prescott and Mr. Otis were kept away by having to attend a meeting of the Corporation on the same day. For the consideration of these gentlemen Mr. Ticknor had drawn up a paper, the general object and character of which are shown in the following extracts:— It is, I think, an unfortunate circumstance, that all our colleges have been so long considered merely places for obtaining a degree of Bachelo
Boston Recorder (search for this): chapter 18
their course, they will only be the first victims of the spirit of improvement. This pamphlet received strong encomiums from the newspaper press in different parts of the country; but especially emphatic among these were the expressions that came from the organs of the great religious denominations whose sympathies had long been averted from Harvard College, and whose opinions Mr. Ticknor did not share. In the interests of good learning, sectarian feeling gave way, and not only the Boston Recorder and Telegraph, but the Journal of Letters, Christianity, and Civil Affairs, published at Princeton under the auspices of the College there,—in an article written by the Rev. Mr. Bruen,— warmly commended Mr. Ticknor's views, and his courage and ability in presenting them. The changes introduced into the arrangements of the College, which had been supported and defended by Mr. Ticknor, were so broad that it is not matter of surprise to find them met by opposition, and that the experim
July 23rd, 1823 AD (search for this): chapter 18
Dr. Ware's, owing to a rain . . . . . Some one proposed to remove the discussion to another body of persons, who should be selected for the purpose, and I agreed to it, both because it had been discussed enough where it then was, and because some of the members of the club were not, in my estimation, the right persons to discuss it at all. It was agreed the meeting should be small, and Mr. R. Sullivan and myself were desired to call it . . . . . Nine of us therefore assembled at my house July 23, 1823. Rev. Charles Lowell, Judge Story, and Messrs. R. Sullivan and John Pickering, Overseers; Dr. James Jackson and Mr. Ticknor, present officers; Messrs. G. B. Emerson and J. G. Palfrey, former officers; and Mr. W. Sullivan, former Overseer. Mr. Prescott and Mr. Otis were kept away by having to attend a meeting of the Corporation on the same day. For the consideration of these gentlemen Mr. Ticknor had drawn up a paper, the general object and character of which are shown in the foll
April, 1827 AD (search for this): chapter 18
ich he did not fail to use, to exhibit in its operation the advantages of the system he had so vigorously urged. The following account of the mode in which he governed his department, and of the success which attended his course, is taken from a letter The original of this letter has not been found; but the existence of a careful copy, preserved by Mr. Ticknor to the end of his life, shows that he placed a value on it, as a true record of his views and of his work. addressed by him in April, 1827, to the President and Fellows— the Corporation—of the College:— I receive detailed reports from each of its three instructors at the end of every term, teach in their classes myself frequently, introduce changes in their modes of instruction, and, in general, look upon myself as responsible for the good management of the students under their care . . . . The object of the law was in part, if I rightly understand it, to lead to instruction by subjects rather than by books, so that, for<
July 24th, 1823 AD (search for this): chapter 18
ndition of the College. This we knew would be agreeable to Mr. Prescott and Mr. Otis, who thought the work could not be carried on without the intervention of a larger body than the Corporation, and a stronger action of public opinion than such a body could produce. It was, also, what was foreseen as probable at the meeting at Dr. Ware's, and what Mr. Norton had long thought desirable. The committee, therefore, was appointed at the regular meeting of the Overseers, held the next day, July 24, 1823. . . . . A committee of the Corporation, consisting of the President, Mr. Prescott, and Mr. Otis, was appointed, July 25, to confer with this committee of the Overseers, as had been requested by the vote of the Overseers. . . . . They had many meetings, some which lasted a whole day. If ever a subject was thoroughly discussed, they discussed this one thoroughly. When Judge Story had drawn up his report, he sent it to the President, with whom it remained above two months, and who returne
January, 1826 AD (search for this): chapter 18
application of Law 61, for divisions with reference to proficiency, which was made for only one year and to one class, and during that time very imperfectly administered, he says:— The remaining branch to which this law was applicable was French; and to this branch its application began three months later than to the other branches, because the Freshmen do not begin French till they have been three months in College, pursuing other studies. Fifty-five Freshmen entered for French, in January, 1826. Seven of them, who knew more or less of the language, were put at once into an advanced division. The remaining forty-eight, who were wholly ignorant of it, were broken into five alphabetical divisions, which after March, when their powers became known, were arranged into five divisions according to proficiency. At the end of the first term there was already a wide difference between them. At the end of the second there were about two hundred and fifty pages between them. And at the
June, 1825 AD (search for this): chapter 18
nt and non-resident,—there is a majority strongly the same way. Mr. Ticknor, and those who acted with him, had thus far addressed themselves only to the responsible official bodies having charge of the interests of the College; but when, in June, 1825, the changes they desired received the sanction of both the superior boards, it was thought proper that they should be explained and vindicated to the public. Mr. Ticknor, accordingly, at the request of Judge Story, Mr. Webster, and Mr. Prescncy. An historical statement follows, of the steps taken to bring about important changes in the College, beginning with what was attempted in 1821, and coming down to the new code of laws just sanctioned by the Corporation and Overseers in June, 1825, which he explained and vindicated. The whole movement was an effort to carry the institution through a state of transition, gradually moulding it into a broader and freer form. The immediate abolition of the system of classes, of a curriculu
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