O. O. Howard to Frederick Douglass, May 19, 1891






NEW YORK CITY, May 19, 1891.


While I was President of the Howard University in the District of Columbia, I subscribed ten thousand dollars for the foundation of the law department of that institution. The trustees have wisely used this sum, with accrued interest, to purchase a lot fronting on Judiciary square in the City of Washington. There is at present upon this lot a small building, in which the sessions of the law school have been held; but, within the present scholastic year, the attendance of young colored men from the South upon this department has been so great that the present quarters are totally inadequate to accommodate the students. The trustees of the University have no funds which they are authorized to use in extending or improving this building, though the size of the lot is adequate for this improvement. Congress has made no provision in this direction.

Recently the attendance upon the law department has greatly increased. This is easily accounted for in the fact that students prepared in the various academic institutions of the Southern States, finding themselves excluded from the law schools of those states, desire to come to Washington, as offering to them the only opportunity to be fitted for the legal profession.

In view of this pressing emergency, I heartily concur with the trustees in commending this subject to the benevolent attention of all interested in wise efforts for the education of this class of our community.

An expenditure of something like five thousand dollars, according to the estimate of practical builders, will prepare the law building for the reception of the students at the October ter; and the work can be completed by that time, if the means are provided.

Contributions may be given to Professor Hart in person or forwarded to his address, viz., Wm. H. H. Hart, Esq., Law School, Howard University, No. 420 Fifth Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., who has been authorized by the authorities of the University to solicit and receive such funds on behalf of the Board of Trustees.

(Signed), O.O. HOWARD, Maj. Gen. U.S. Army.

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