University of the South Papers Series A, No1





which shall on the whole best combine the advantages we deem important to unite in a locality for that purpose. To discuss and fix upon a point, it was deemed proper by the meeting just held, to appoint a committee from each State; and it was made the duty of that committee, to collect certain facts conected with certain localities thought eligible, and to report thereon at an adjourned meeting to be held at Montgomery, on the 25th of November next.

In order that the Committee may discharge the duty assigned it with becoming satisfaction to itself and those it represents, it has thought proper, in a matter involving the expenditures of large sume of money, and the success of an institution which may be considered in a sense to be national, to invoke the aid of science in the determination of the question it wishes solved.

I am requested by the Committee to communicate with you as a gentleman of attainments, character, and general reputation eminently qualifying you to discharge this trust, and to ascertain whether you would undertake it. What we wish is, to have satisfactory answers to the iterragatories contained in the accompanying list.

The points which to be examined are such as the authorities of the towns of Knoxville, Chattanooga, and McMinnville, Tennessee; Atlanta, Georgia; and Huntsville, Alabama, may indicate near their respective corporate limits.

Provision will, of course, be made for satisfactory renumeration of your professional services, while engaged in this work. We earnestlt trust that the magnitude and importance of the enterprise, and the pervading interest felt throughout the South in its being fixed at the proper place, will warrant your turning aside from your ususal pursuits long enough to perform the service I have indicated.

You will perceive the time at your disposal is, from this, to (say) the 15th November next.

You will oblige me by allowing me to have your answer at your earliest leisure.

I am respectfully, your obedient servant, LEONIDAS POLK Chairman of the Locating Committee.

P.S. Any assistance, you may think expedient to require, may be furnished by yourself, at the expense of the Committee. we should prefer that taken from a distance.

Last edit over 5 years ago by Lane




A communication in writing, marked B, from a committee of citizens, setting forth the advantages of that locality generally and specially.

Also a verbal communication through the Hon. C. C. Clay, who appeared before the Committee as a delegate from Huntsville, to the effect that the citizens of that place authorized him to pledge to the Board of Trustees $100,000, as a subscription in money in the University should be placed there.



From the Sewanee Coal Mining Company, and those favorable to the site on Cumberland Mountain, near the tunnel.

1st. A communication in writing from Samuel F. Tracy, President of Sewanee Mining Company, offering to donate,

I. 5,000 acres of land, if so much should be required, for University purposes. If the University should not require so much for its purposes, and should wish to sell any part of it, then one half the proceeds of the portion sold should inure to the benefit of the party donating it.

II. To grant to the University the privilege to cut Pine timber on their other property, after the exhaustion of the Pines on the lands donated, to the amount of 1,000,000 feet, board measure.

III. To transport over their Railroad up the mountain, 20,000 tons of stone or other building material, or freight, free of charge.

IV. To give to the University 2,000 tons of coal within ten years.

The deed to the lands to be given on condition that active operations on the buildings be begun in eighteen months; the Company reserving the mineral rights on the lands, and 800 feet of land on either side of their road.

2nd. A letter from Dr. Wallace Estill, stating that he was authorized to say by Mr. Gray, a wealthy citizen of Franklin county, that he had a 5,000 acre tract of land adjoining that offered by the Sewanee Company, which he would donate to the University if necessary.

3rd. A letter from Dr. Estill, stating "that himself and two other gentlemen own a large tract of mountain land, covering pretty much the entire track of the Sewanee railroad, on the side of the


mountain, along which are valuable quarries of sand and limestone, on which also there is exellent timber for building, all of which is at the service of the University."

In this communication Dr. Estill says, "with regard to the health of the location spoken of, there can be no sort of doubt."

4th. A letter from M. Hill, who states that he has a familiar acquaintance with the lands offered by the Sewanee Mining Company, that he has been employed for nine years in investigating land titles on the mountain, and that "if the beautiful natural locality at the place offered be sufficient to induce you to place the University there, you ought not to hesitate to go forward with the work." Marked C.



1st. A communication addressed to the Bishop of Tennessee, recommending Ben Lomond as a suitable location for the University, and signed by a number of leading citizens of Nashviile.

2nd. A proposition from a committee of citizens of McMinnville, representing the authorities of that town, offering a subscription by solvent persons of $40,000, 2,000 acres of land on and around Ben Lomond, and a turnpike road from the Railroad Depot to the top of the mountain, on condition the University is place in that vicinity. These are marked D.



1. A communication from the Mayor of Chattanooga, commending that region to the attention of the committee as a location, and covering a resolution of the common council, voting $50,000 in bonds of the city as a subscription, with an indefinite amount of land, provided that neighborhood should be selected as a site.

2d. A reply to the enquiries propounded by the Committee, by the Mayor of Chattanooga. Marked C.



Of the Donations from Cleveland, Tennessee, to the Southern University, Provided it is Located in that Vicinity.

1st. The Citizens propose to donate for the site Twelve Hundred

Last edit over 5 years ago by Lane



Acres of Land, as shown by a map in the possession of Col Barney.

2d. A. J. White, Esq., offers the free use of his Marble Quarry. This quarry is three-fourths of a mile from the great Spring, and is easily accessible, and inexhaustible--specimens of the marble are here to be seen.

3d. Thomas H. Callaway offers his mineral interest in Eighteen Thousand Acres of Land, being one-half, which land is fully shown and described in C. A. Proctor's map, (the State Assayer.) John B. Tipton, who owns the other half, refused fifty thousand dollars for his interest, and I do not believe that he would take One Hundred Thousand Dollars. Professor Currey, author of "Geology in Tennessee," reports favorably of its indications for Copper and other valuable minerals.

4th. A. Fitzgerald offers his interest in one of two properties-the instituiton to take choice--being one-fourth of the "Johnston property," in Towns County, Georgia, or one-fourth of the "Cherry Log property," in the vicinity of Duck Town, both believed to be very valuable copper mines.

5th. Thomas H. Callaway and A. Fitzgerald offer $10,000 each, making $20,000, in the Stock of the Southern Copper Mining Company now being formed, (when said Company shall be organized) free from any demands for working the mines--$100,000 in cash being set apart by the Company as their working capital.




We have the following from the Rev. Mr. Johnson:

MONTGOMERY, NOV. 26th, 1857.

To the Board of Trustees of the Southern University, assembled in this place, the Chairman of the Committee appointed by the Mayor, under a resolution of the citizens of Atlanta, respectfully reports:

First, That all the members of the Committee, with the exception of the Hon. Bolling Baker, who was called abroad by business, were in attendance, on the Committee of Location, during the last week, but have now returned to their business, not finding it convenient to remain longer.

Secondly, That the citizens of Atlanta, at a public meeting assembled on the night of the 18th inst., recommended to the Mayor


and Council of Atlanta to offer to the Board, for the use of the proposed University as a donation, one thousand acres of land. The Chairman would add, that the citizens of Atlanta rely chiefly on the advantages of the healthfulness, geographical position, accessibility, water, temperature, building materials, abundance and cheapness of provisions and fuel, beauty of scenery, and high character of a very large portion of its citizens, as set forth in their circular, as the principal considerations which they expect to influence the Board in favor of the site they propose.

Very respectuflly submitted, by


Besides the above, communications in writing have been received from the following localities, setting forth their claims as suitable sites for the University, to-wit:

Greenville, Athens, Tullahoma, Franklin, and White's Creek Springs, Tennessee; Gordon Springs, Dalton and Griffin, Georgia; Jacksonville, Alabama; and Corinth, Mississippi. All of which are respectfullly submitted.

Communications in writing have also been received from President Carnes, of Burritt College, and Dr. Cartwright, of New Orleans, advocating the top of the Cumberland Plateau as a suitable location for the University, chiefly on the score of health.

These last complete the list of communications submitted to the committee, and as a whole present, it is believed, a fair exhibit of the facts connected with localities brought to our notice, and their claims upon our attention as suitable sites for the proposed Institution. While it is not pretended that all the places which lie in the general range of country indicated by the Board, as that within which it is desirable to place the University, and which might be suitable for our purposes, have been explored, yet it is believed that the claims of such as are on the whole most eligible, have been here presented.

The report of the Commission, it will be perceived, restricts itself to the consideration of facts purely physical. It was not expected to deal with those of a social or moral character, or to discuss localities in those relations.

It was sought simply as an auxiliary to aid us in the investigations assigned us, and like all other information, is of force, only so far as the capacity and character of the commission, and its opportunities for exact information, will authorize.

This report, with the other communications now submitted, has

Last edit over 5 years ago by Lane



received the careful consideration of the committee, and is believed to embody, together with facts known to the members of the Board generally, all the considerations necessary to an enlightened decision of the question now before us.

As the work assigned your committee, was simply to collect information on the subject of the location of the proposed University and to digest and arrange it for the Board, in submitting the above, we feel we have discharged the duty assigned us, and to the best of our ability. Commending our enterprise to the protection and blessing of Him who can alone deliver us from all "error, ignorance, pride and prejudice." In behalf of the Committee,

Montgomery, Ala , Nov. 26, 1857. LEONIDAS POLK, Ch'm.




To the Right Reverend Leonidas Polk, Chairman of the Committee on the Location of the Southern University:

RIGHT REV. SIR:--In discharge of the responsible duties of "Commissioner of the Locating Committee of the Board of Trustees of the Southern University, for fixing certain facts in regard to certain Localities presented as eligible sites for that institution," I organized a party of Engineers, consisting of Mr. James L. Randolph, and Mr. Theodore S. Garnett, of Virginia, and Mr. Charles R. Barney, of Maryland; and on the 14th of September we set out from this place for Knoxville, which point other professional engagements, requiring my attention, designated as the place of commencement.

I would state here that I did not consider it my duty to select sites for examination at the localities indicated by the Committee, but only to examine such as might be pointed out by the Mayors, or duly appointed Committees, of the several towns in the vicinity of which the examinations were to be made. In accordance with this view of my duty, I called on the Mayor of the City of Knoxville; this gentleman, although zealously and heartily enlisted in the


great project of a Southern University, as there had been no funds provided by her citizens to defray the expenses, did not feel himself authorized to designate any sites; consequently no professional examination was made in the vicinity of Knoxville, where there are sites which would compare very favorably with those in the neighborhood of some of the towns embraced in this report.

From Knoxville we proceeded to Huntsville, making that the next point of investigation, with the view, as had been previously agreed upon, of an interview with yourself. After my conference with you, having ascertained that the necessary aid could be procured in each neighborhood, I determined to confide mainly to Mr. Barney the investigations designated in your printed circular of interrogations.

Mr. Randolph, owing to a bilious attack, was compelled to leave the party at Chattanooga, and Mr. Garnett returned with me from Huntsville to South Carolina.

In our interview at Huntsville, it was decided to add Sewanee Mountain to the list of "localities presenting eligible sites for the University." The answers to the questions propounded embrace a site on this mountain, on the lands of the Sewanee Coal Company; the other answers refer to Huntsville, McMinnville, Cleveland and Atlanta. As no funds were provided by the citizens, for the surveys and instrumental observations necessary to a proper presentation of the Lookout Mountain, the only site designated near Chattanooga, the enquiries directed to be made were not entered upon at this locality.

I now have the honor to submit, for your consideration, answers to questions propounded by the Committee on Location, for the several localities above mentioned; they have been prepared from facts furnished by gentlemen at each place, and from surveys and instrumental observations, made under my direction, by Mr. Barney, who has evinced throughout the deepest interest in the subject, and deserves much credit for the fidelity, zeal and industry with which he has pursued the investigations. I also append the plots made by him, of the several sites, together with a communication from a committee at Huntsville, being the only one of this sort received from any quarter.

I beg leave to say that the information required by the Committee on Location, was, in my opinion, most wisely considered, and the facts most judiciously elicited by the succinct series of questions propounded.

Last edit over 5 years ago by Lane



I regret that I could not have had more time to devote to the subject; but I feel satisfied from a careful examinationof the notes and investigations which have been made, that the Committee have before them as complete and full information in regard to each site, as could have been obtained within the time allowed. The duty assigned to me was very properly restricted to the collection of facts. I deem it, however, not incompatible with, nor at all transcending my province, to say I feel confident, when the Committee come to examine and digest the facts submitted, in view of the great objects contemplated, they will find that at least one of "the Localities selected as presenting an eligible site for the University" combines as many of the important pre-requisites as could be reasonable expected. It is not my purpose, and even if this were a fitting occasion, time would not admit of my entering upon a subject of such magnitude and importance,--of such weighty consideration,--of such grandeur in conception, and of such vast results in the future, that the warmest advocates, after an elaborate exposition of the subject, might well exclaim, "the half was not told": such is my appreciation of the value of the Institution you propose to establish, and such must be the estimate placed upon it by every one who has bestowed any thought upon the great and important subject of thorough education, and the lamentable lack of it in our country which arises not from indisposition, but from the want of a University, such as you propose to establish; it will be thorough, and stamp the seal of knowledge, both upon the head and in the heart, and not on parchment. In conclusion, I desire to express the most earnest hope, that an object so eminently worthy of the besty exertions, may meet with a ready response from every heart, and that the whole South will unite as one man in establishing in our midst a University worthy of the name--one which will shed its beneficent light on all classes of our community, and spread its benign influences over our whole country. I am, Right Rev. Sir, very respoectfuly, your obedient servant, WALTER GWYNN, Anderson, S,.C. Nov 17, 1857 Civil Engineer.


ENQUIRIES To be Answered by the Commission Appointed by the Committee on Location of the Proposed Southern University.

1. What is the elevation of the site indicated above the surrounding country, and above the sea: 2. What extent of surface can be had a the elevation? and of that, what proportion is available for our purposes? 3. Are there any subordinate elevations which may be advantageously used, in connection with the highest elevation, for building or agricultural purposes? 4. What is the nature of the soil of the sites indicated? and of that of the surrounding country for fifteen or twenty miles at least? 5. What is the nature and extent of the timber on those sites, and its availability for building purposes? 6. At what rate could it be delivered? 7. Is there an abundance of stone for building material accessibile? and of what nature? 8. At what prices can it be delivered at the sites indicated? 9. At what rate can lime and sand be delivered at the same sites? 10. Can an adequate supply of water be obtaine? and how? 11. Is there soil adapted to making brick? and at what rate could they be delivered at the respective sites? 12. Is coal accessible ? and of what nature and quality? 13. At what price per ton can it probably be delieverd at the respective sites? 14. What is the range of the thermometer, barometer, and hydrometer, during the year, at the elevation of the sites indicated? 15. What are the facilities of access to the town our depot nearest these respective sites, from the States of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, and Tennessee. 16. What is the easiet grade at which a road--railroad or turnpike--can be constructed from these towns or depots to the respective sites? And at what expense per mile severally? 17. Is there a river or other stream contiguous to these respect

Last edit over 5 years ago by speek
Displaying pages 31 - 35 of 154 in total