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Hanson's Laws of Maryland 1763-1784
Volume 203, Page 307   View pdf image (33K)
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1782.                                     LAWS of MARYLAND.

                                            CHAP. VIII.
                An ACT for founding a college at Chester-town.

Preamble.     WHEREAS inhabitants for the liberal education of youth in the principles
of virtue, knowledge and useful literature, are of the highest benefit
to society, in order to raise up and perpetuate a succession of able
and honest men, for discharging the various offices and duties of the community,
both civil and religious, with usefulness and reputation, and such institutions of
learning have accordingly merited and received the attention and encouragement
of the wisest and best regulated states:  And whereas former legislatures of this
state have, according to their best abilities, laid a considerable foundation in this
good work, in sundry laws for the establishment and encouragement of county
schools, for the study of Latin, Greek, writing, and the like, intending, as their
future circumstances might permit, to engraft or raise, on the foundation of said
schools, more extensive seminaries of learning, by erecting one or more colleges,
or places of universal study, not only in the learned languages, but in philosophy,
divinity, law, physic, and other useful and ornamental arts and sciences:  And
whereas this great and laudable undertaking hath been retarded by sundry incidents
of a public nature, but chiefly by the great difficulty of fixing a situation
on either shore of this state for a seminary of universal learning, which might be
of equal benefit and convenience to the youth of both shores; and it having been
represented to this general assembly, that it would probably tend most to the immediate
advancement of literature in this state, if the inhabitants of each shore
should be left to consult their own convenience, in founding and freely endowing
a college or seminary of general learning each for themselves, under the sanction
of law; which two colleges or seminaries, if thought most conducive to the advancement
of learning, religion and good government, may afterwards, by common
consent, when duly founded and endowed, be united under one supreme legislature
and visitatorial jurisdiction, as distinct branches or members of the same
state university, notwithstanding their distance of situation:  And whereas Joseph
Nicholson, James Anderson, John Scot, William Boardly, and Peregrine Lethrbury,
Esquires, William Smith, doctor of divinity, and Benjamin Chambers,
Esquire, the present visitors of Kent county school in the town of Chester, have
represented to this general assembly, that the said school hath of late increased
greatly, by an accession of students and scholars from various parts of the eastern
shore of this state, and the neighbouring Delaware state, there being now about
one hundred and forty students and scholars in the said school, and the number
expected soon to increase to at least two hundred; and that the Latin and Greek
languages, English, French, writing, merchants accounts, and the different branches
of the mathematics, are taught in the same, under a sufficient number of able
and approved masters; that sundry of the students are preparing and desirous to
enter upon a course of philosophy, and must repair to some other state, at a very
grievous and inconvenient expence, to finish their education, unless they, the
said visitors, are enabled to enlarge the plan of the said school, by engrafting
thereon a system of liberal education in the arts and sciences, and providing necessary
books and apparatus, with an additional number of masters and professors;
and the said visitors have further expressed their assurance, that if they were made
capable in law of erecting the said school into a college or general seminary of
learning for the eastern shore, or peninsula between the bays of Chesapeake and
Delaware (maintaining the original design of the said school as a foundation not
to be violated) very considerable sums could be raised in a few years, within the
said peninsula, by free and voluntary contributions, for the establishment and support
of such seminary, and have accordingly prayed, that a law may be passed to
enable them, the said visitors, to enlarge and improve the said school into a college,
or place of universal learning, with the usual privileges:  Now this general
assembly, taking the said petition into their serious consideration, and being desirous
to encourage and promote knowledge within this state, have agreed to
Visitors to erect
the school
into a college,
    II.  And be it enacted, by the general assembly of Maryland, That the said Joseph
Nicholson, James Anderson, John Scot, William Boardly, Peregrine Lethrbury,

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Hanson's Laws of Maryland 1763-1784
Volume 203, Page 307   View pdf image (33K)
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