Status: Complete


Mr. P. B. Fogg laid before the Board an Act of the General
Assembly of the State of Tennessee, to wit:

An Act to amend the Act of January 6, 1859, chapter 29, of
the Private Laws, entitled “An Act to establish the University of
the South.” (Vide Appendix.)

It was read by the Secretary and on motion of Mr. Fairbanks,
accepted as an amendment of the charter.

A letter from H. C. Seymour, relation to the donation of certain
lands adjoining the tract belonging to the University, was laid, by
the President, before the Board, and read by the Secretary.

On motion of Mr. G. S. Yerger it was referred to a Special
Committee; whereupon the Chair appointed on this committee
Messrs. G. S. Yerger, F. B. Fogg, and G. R. Fairbanks.

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Polk, Chairman of the Committee to prepare a
Constitution and Code of Statutes, presented the following report:

The Committee appointed to draft a Constitution and Code of
Statutes for the organization and government of the University of
the South, beg leave to report:

That, impressed with the importance of the duty assigned them,
they have proceeded to its discharge with caution and mature delib-
eration. In founding an institution of such magnitude, embracing
a scope of action and influence so extensive, and taking in such a
wide range of subjects of instruction, we should have been inex-
cusable if we had not availed ourselves of the experience of those
who had preceded us in the same field.

Our first work, therefore, was to obtain possession of the pro-
grammes and examine the working machinery of the most eminent
institutions of learning in our own country and in Europe. In the
accomplishment of this purpose, so far as Europe was concerned,
we take pleasure in saying that we have had the most liberal co-
operation and aid of our national government. In reply to our
request, the President of the United States put us in communi-
cation, through our foreign embassies, with the highest sources of
information in England, France, and the German States, and
facilitated our obtaining all the information we desired.

By this means, all the most important and valuable publications
of those States on the subject of education in the highest walks of
human learning and its widest range of topic, were placed at our
disposal. To these were added the systems adopted and passed
in the best institutions in our own country. From a careful in-
vestigation and comparison of the mass of material, which was


increased by memoirs, more or less full, furnished by private
individuals in this country and Europe, and from a personal in-
spection and examination, by members of the committee, of the
practical working of the most distinguished American Colleges and
Universities, the committee have obtained the views which they
have wrought into the Constitution and Statutes they herewith

It will be perceived that the plan of organization they offer fol-
lows entirely no existing system. It is eclectic. It embraces
features which are found in the most distinguished Universities of
Europe, features which, while they form parts of systems otherwise
widely different, combine harmoniously, and form an aggregate of
all that a University, in its largest sense, should be expected to

The work of the committee has been one of great labor, and they
have felt it to be one of great responsibility. They have endeav-
ered to bring to its performance all the information and all the abil-
ity they could command. They believe that, in view of the large
amount of resources to which they have had access, whether
printed, written, or oral, and the time and care they have devoted
to their consideration, they can, with confidence, present to the
Board the accompanying plan of organization and government,
and recommend its adoption.

HENRY C. LAY, Arkansas;
DAVID PISE, Tennessee;
FRANCIS B. FOGG, Tennessee.

NEW ORLEANS, February 8th, 1860.

The Constitution, on being read, was ordered to be printed and
made the order of the day for tomorrow. (Vide Appendix.)

The board adjourned, to meet at 10 o’clock to-morrow morning.

- - - - - - - -


NEW ORLEANS, February 9th, 1860

The Board met pursuant to adjournment, and prayers were of-
fered by the Rt. Rev. President.

Notes and Questions

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P. 166: "...In reply to our
request, the President of the United States put us in communi-
cation, through our foreign embassies, with the highest sources of
information in England, France, and the German States, and
facilitated our obtaining all the information we desired...." By this statement, we see again that despite the looming Civil War, the Founders continued to show loyalty and cooperation with what would become the Union, with no hint of secessionist tendencies. This passage, and many others, shows that the Founders were not establishing the "University of the South" out of opposition to "the North" (despite certain "Lost Cause" apologists after the War), but were open to ideas and cooperation with universities and government entities throughout the United States and Europe.