Governor LaFayette Grover's Administration

Agricultural College Communication, 1870

Source: Appendix to Inaugural Address of Gov. LaFayette Grover to the Legislative Assembly August 31, 1870, Salem, Oregon, T. Patterson, State Printer, 1870.


August 31, 1870

To His Excellency, L.F. GROVER, Governor of Oregon:

In behalf of the Board of Trustees of Corvallis College, designated by the Legislative Assembly of Oregon at its last session as the State College of Agriculture, I submit to you the following Annual Report for the year ending June 30, 1870.

The establishment of the Agricultural College of Oregon is due to the bounty of the General Government. On the second day of July, 1862, Congress passed an Act granting public lands to the several States and Territories which might provide Colleges for the benefit of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts. Under this Act the share of the State of Oregon was 90,000 acres. The Institution was obliged by the terms of the original Act, to be in operation at a period not later than the year 1867. But a subsequent Act, approved on the 23d day of July, 1866, extended the time within which the Industrial Colleges might be established, by another period of five years. The Legislature availed itself of this privilege to the extent of one year, when the Agricultural College of Oregon was established by formal enactment, Oct. 27th, 1869.
The Act of the Legislative Assembly of Oregon, designating Corvallis College as the Agricultural College of the State, is entitled "an Act to secure the location of the lands donated by Congress to the State for an Agricultural College, and to establish such College."
The Trustees of the College met on the 31st day of October, A. D. 1868, and adopted a resolution accepting the terms and conditions prescribed in said Act of the Legislative Assembly.

In accordance with the above mentioned Act of the Legislature, the College was entitled to receive twenty-two students to be appointed by the State Senators, one student from each Senatorial District. Of this number seventeen presented certificates of appointment, and were assigned their respective places in the College classes during the first year. The Act to which allusion has been made, together with the vote of acceptance on the part of the Trustees of Corvallis College, also the names of Agricultural College Students, and course of study may be found in the Catalogue for 1868 and '69 accompanying this Report.

At the beginning of the year 1869-70 five new students were appointed to fill the vacancies, when the number was twenty -two as provided by the Legislature.

These students were faithfully instructed in all the arts, sciences and other studies, in accordance with the requirements of the Act of Congress, so far as it was possible.

It will be remembered that not one dollar was appropriated by the Legislature to inaugurate the Agricultural College. This we think is an anomaly in the history of Colleges. And as the Act of Legislature designating Corvallis College as the Agricultural College of Oregon did not make it permanent, but liable to removal by any future Legislature, even without the consent of the Trustees - for the reasons above mentioned the Board did not deem it proper to make that large expenditure of means necessary, in order to fully carry out the requirements of the Act of Congress. Nevertheless, at the commencement of the last Collegiate ear the Trustees did purchase a splendid Philosophical and Chemical Apparatus, costing in the aggregate $1,200 for the use of the College.

This has greatly facilitated the labors of the Professors in the Agricultural Department.
The students have not been instructed in Military Tactics, as this would have involved the employment of a Professor of Military Science, and the purchase of uniform and arms. Neither have they been instructed in practical Agriculture, as this would have necessitated the purchase (or rent) and the furnishing an Agricultural Farm. Instruction has been given in all the other studies pertaining to the Agricultural Department.

The effort to establish an Agricultural College for Oregon is in its incipiency, and it must be evident, to make it a success, it ought to be permanently located, and that, too, at the earliest practical moment, as any delay in this respect must result in injury to the Institution.

Nor is this al. It must be apparent tat in order to inaugurate this Institution successfully, and in accordance with the requirements of the Act of Congress, some further aid of material kind should be granted by the State. An appropriation of a few thousand dollars would enable the Trustees to place the Agricultural College upon a basis of permanent success; and it I believed that no appropriation could be made which would confer more lasting benefits upon the State at large. The utilization of science, the practical application of its truths to Agricultural and Mechanical pursuits, is the grand and beneficent object contemplated by Congress in making the grant in question.

To whatever Institution of Learning the important trust is confided, the fostering care of the Legislative Assembly will doubtless be extended to a degree commensurate with the interests involved.

Respectfully submitted,

A. E. SEARS, Pres.
B. R. BIDDLE, Sec.
By order of the Board,
Chairman of Committee

The Treasurer of the College furnishes the following statement of amounts received as Tuition from the State Treasurer:

For the year ending July 8, 1869………………..$415,121/2
For the year ending June 30, 1870……………....….960, 00

Respectfully submitted,

Treasurer Corvallis College.

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