University of the South [Gasette?], Septr 23, 185[9?]
A Correspondent of the New York _Journal_of_Commerce_, writing from Se wanee, Cumberland Plateau, Tennes see, writes interestingly concerning this pleasant and eligble site of the proposed "University of the South:" It is but very recently that this part of the country has come under the no tice of tourists. Prior to the construc tion of the Nashville and Chattanooga Rail Road, it was _terra_incognita_,[;?] but now, thanks to the facilities of the iron rail, it is becoming one of the Fashion able resorts of the southern country.
The watering place, _par_excellence_, is Beersheba Springs, which are daily becoming popular--less for the virtue of the waters than for the pure moun tain air, and even temperature, which is so bracing and pleasant to those whose home is in the low cotton lands.
The Cumberland range differs, I be lieve from any other mountain range in this country, in the character of its for mation. It is an elevated plain from five to forty miles in width, and when, once on the mountain, you see only a gently undulating region around you without a rock or peak in sight. The idea is well expressed by the remark of a writer, that it seemed as though this was the true level, and that the valleys below had been scooped out. Pleasant shady roads, a generous growth or tim ber, a meadow-like grassy surgace, ches nuts, oaks, pines, and elm and hickory, give it a beautiful verdure.
Much attention is now being directed to this locality, on account of its selec tion as the site of the proposed Universi ty of the South, under the auspices of the ten most Southern Dioceses of the Episcopal Church. Instead of wasting their means in local Institutions, they have wisely united in a powerfull effort to establish what as yet is unknown to this country--a true University, on a scale as extensive as any in Europe.
The Cumberland Plateau has been selected as its site, on account of its elevation and salubrity, and a princely domain of 10,000 acres has been secured for the institution, traversed by the rail way of the Sewanee Mining Company.
The whole of their domain is beauti ful and picturesque, affording every va riety of scenery, from the quiet, shady nook, the purling stream and the spark ling spring, to the extensive views and tremendous chasms and cliffs along the crest of the mountain. Imaging the Cattskill Mountain House to be on the margin of a plateau of miles in width, and over a hundred in length and you will have an idea of some of the views on the University site. More than a hundred springs, some of them chalybeate and some freestone, have been discoverred bursting from under the sandstone cap which overlays that part of the plateau. This principal spring, formerly called Rainy Spring[,?] is now appropriately
named after the projector of the Univer sity, "Bishop Popes" Spring.
There seems now no question but what the magnificent plan will be car ried out according to the conception of its founders. More than $400,000, dollars have already been secured for its endowment during the last twelve months, and this from probably not over one hundred persons. A more general canvass will be made during the ensuing year, and it is expected that not less than one hundred million of dollars will be secured.
Operations will be actively commenc ed towards the buildings early in the ensuing year. It is a part of the sys tem that the interest of the funds raised shall alone be used--thus keeping its constantly increasing principal intact, so that when it goes into operation it will have the income of its whole capi tal to further its developements and se cure its success.
The plan seems very popular with al[l?] classes at the South, it is by no means consiidered as restricted to the religious body under whose patronage it is crea ted, but as a great institntion designed to benefit the whole South and to raise the standard of education throughout the whole country.
It is a part of the object to encourage the establishment of summer residences for the planters of the South, where they can bring their families and ser vants and pass the hot season with all the advantages of a temperate cli mate and with the pleasant association of a literary and highly cultivated soci ety; while the advantages of proximity to the libraries and lecture halls of th[e?] University will be an additional attrac[t-?] ion.