[Note: the "Asylum" or "Institution" for the Deaf and Dumb would later become the Kentucky School for the Deaf. Centre's Trustees administered the school until 1870. In 1826 the federal government granted the Trustees one township of land in Florida. In 1836 the trustees received a second land grant in Arkansas. It was the Trustees responsibility to survey and sell the land to provide funds to help support the institution.]
January 12, 1848
The Board met at Mr. Charles Henderson's. Present Joseph McDowell, James Hopkins, Alexander Sneed, Charles Caldwell, Robert Johnstone, John Berryman, Charles Henderson, John Ford, Joshua Bell, William Craig, Robert Grundy. Rev. Stuart Robinson and Mr. Peter R. Dunn, appointed as Trustees at the last meeting of Synod, having appeared and qualified, took their seats.
The Secretary laid before the Board certain resolutions offered at the last meeting of Synod and referred for action to the next meeting, a copy of these resolutions having been sent to the Board by order of Synod.
The following resolution was adopted. Inasmuch as a committee of Synod appointed in reference to the matter of the foregoing resolutions is now in session, and the Board has been convened to meet this committee, therefore resolved that the committee of Synod be invited to meet with the Board for the purpose of conferring on the matters touched on in the resolutions of Synod.
Messrs. Bell and Henderson were appointed a committee to enquire into the facts touching the contract between the Board and William Bridges, and to report the facts to the Board.
The committee of Synod having appeared and made a statement to the Board of particular points towards which their investigations were specially directed, the Board appointed Messrs. Bell, Hopkins, Craig, and Grundy a committee to examine, in conjunction with the committee of Synod, the Treasurer's report.
It was moved that the resolutions proposed to Synod and the one passed be spread when the minutes of the Board, together with the letter of the chairman of the committee of Synod to the Secretary of the Board. While this motion was pending the Board adjourned.
January 13, 1848
The Board met at Mr. Henderson's. Present the same members as yesterday.
The motion pending at the time of adjournment yesterday was passed.
The following is a copy of the resolutions passed as well as those proposed at the meeting of Synod - (for these resolutions see the close of the record of January 13, 1848, the present session of the Board commencing on the page ahead).
In view of the resolution passed at the last meeting of Synod, expressing regret that the Trustees failed to appoint a committee of examination, as well as failed to transmit to Synod the report of the Treasurer, resolved that the Secretary communicate
to Synod the fact that, through inadvertency arising from a pressure of business at its previous meeting, the Board had omitted to appoint a committee of examination; that the Board had at its subsequent meeting directed the Secretary to explain to Synod the cause of their failure to appoint the committee; and that the Secretary was prevented from fulfilling this direction by his providential detention from the last meeting of Synod.
Resolved further that the Secretary be directed to communicate to the Synod the fact that no member of the Board, nor any of its officers, had ever been notified of any resolutions of Synod requesting the Board to report annually in any way to Synod, and that the Board having now been informed of the existence of such resolution will cheerfully comply with it.
The Board having had under consideration the various resolutions proposed at the last meeting of Synod and deferred, do adopt the following resolutions:
Resolved that Messrs. Robertson, Johnstone, and Craig, having been put in possession of the views of the different members present by a full conference on the subject, be appointed a committee to draft the opinion of the Board with their reasons therefore, in regard to the expediency of the connection of the President of the College with the Presbyterian congregation in Danville.
Resolved that while the Board fully concur in the opinion that the expenditure of the College should be kept within the income, they would most respectfully suggest that in case of an insufficient income the number of professors should be diminished, rather than a reduction be made in the salary of the professors, as the latter course would seem to require from the professors a guaranty for the productiveness of funds over which they have no control.
Resolved that Messrs. Jacobs, Barbour, Young, and Hopkins be appointed in behalf of the Board to furnish the Synod of Kentucky with all the information now to be obtained in regard to the funds of Centre College from its commencement up to the year 1831; also all the information now to be obtained in regard to the finances from that year up to the appointment of the present Treasurer; also a detailed statement of the accounts of the present Treasurer from the period of his appointment.
Resolved that in answer to the resolution touching the contingent expenses and implying that they have been too large, the Board would respectfully explain that from 1st January 1843 to lst January 1844, the contingent expenses were $460.48, as stated by the Treasurer, which this Board do not regard as extravagant, as clearly
appears from the items furnished, the chief of which are: $50 for Treasurer's salary; $63 for wood and $25 for barometer; $191 for fencing; $20 for periodicals for library; $31.50 for wood, with many smaller items. The contingent expenses from 1st January 1844 to 1st January 1845 were $295.24, which clearly are not too much, as most of the items stated above regularly recurring will show. The contingent expenses from January lst 1845 to January lst 1846, besides smaller items mentioned above, included $1,400, an old debt paid to the Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb; $115 paid to Rev. J. Matthews as agent for raising funds; $75 for share of Refectory stock; $40 for a strip of land; $150 servants hire of preceding year and $125 servants hire for the current year; $45 Secretary's salary for two years; $87.50 and $22 for fencing. When the extraordinary expenditures of this year are subtracted, it leaves the contingent expenses proper little more than those of former years and by no means excessive. It is proper to say that the contingent expenses are here made up from January to January, while the ordinary reports heretofore made by the Treasurer have been from one fall meeting of the Board to another. In review of the above exhibit in submit it to the Synod, neither with a due regard
to the want and necessities of the College, the $657 interest upon the professors' salaries, referred to in one of the resolutions, could have been paid out of the amount expended for contingent purposes during the three years particularly referred to in the resolutions offered to Synod.
The following resolution was offered and after considerable discussion and modification was passed.
Inasmuch as some members of the Board have doubts as to the competency of the Board to make permanent appointments at the meetings in June and July last, in consequence of the numbers then present, resolved that the appointments of professors William M. Scott [professor of Greek and Latin] and George C. Schaeffer [professor of physics and chemistry], made respectively at the meetings in June and July, be confirmed and these professors be continued in office.
Mr. Scott was then nominated as permanent Professor of Languages, and the yeas and nays being called for, the vote stood as follows: yeas - Grundy, Craig, Dunn, Ford, Robertson, Bell, Henderson, Barclay, Sneed, Berryman, Hopkins, Johnstone, Caldwell, McDowell; nays - none.
Mr. Schaeffer was then nominated as permanent professor, and the yeas and nays being called for the vote stood as follows: yeas - Craig, Ford, Henderson, Barclay, Bell, Sneed, Berryman, Hopkins, Johnstone, Caldwell, McDowell; nays - Grundy, Dunn, Robertson.
Resolved unanimously that the Board
appoint Mr. Schaeffer pro tem Professor of the Natural Sciences.
Resolved that the President communicate to Mr. Schaeffer the facts of the case in regard to his nomination and election, and inform him that the sole ground of the nays on the vote for his permanent appointment was his religious opinions. A motion was made to reconsider the resolutions touching the appointments of the Professors - and after some discussion the motion was carried, and the following resolutions were offered and adopted in the room of the resolutions that had been reconsidered.
Whereas in the opinion of various members of the Board, the election of Mr. Scott to the professorship of languages could not be a permanent appointment owing to the fact that but eleven members were present at the election, resolved that the Board now proceed to elect a permanent Professor of Languages.
Resolved, as the understanding of the Board, that according to the charter a vote of two thirds of the Trustees is required to appoint a permanent professor. The election was then entered upon, and Mr. Scott received the unanimous vote of the fourteen members present.
Mr. Schaeffer was nominated as permanent Professor of the Natural Sciences, and the consideration of the nomination was postponed to the regular meeting at the Commencement in June.
The secretary was directed to communicate the action of the Board on the resolutions presented to Synod, to the chairman of the Synod's committee.
John C. Young, Secretary
The following are copies of the papers directed, in the previous minutes of the Board, to be spread upon the minutes as exhibiting the grounds of the Board's action in the resolutions adopted.
October 27, 1847
To the Board of Trustees of Centre College
As Stated Clerk of the Synod of Kentucky it is my duty to furnish the Board of Trustees with official information of all the action of Synod respecting the College.
At the late sessions of Synod in Henderson, Kentucky, the following persons were appointed Trustees, viz. Rev. Stuart Johnson for two years; Rev. Robert C. Grundy, Rev. John H. Brown, James M. Preston, Esq., John S. Berryman, Peter R. Dunn, John R. Ford for three years
The following resolution was adopted. Resolved that the Synod regrets that the Board of Trustees of Centre College failed to appoint a committee of their number to meet with the visitors, and to attend with them on the examinations of the students, and to unite with them in a report, both to the Synod and to the Board of Trustees, and further that the Synod has no report from the Board on the Treasurer.
The following series of resolutions was also introduced and made the order of the day for 3 o'clock of the second day of the next meeting of Synod.
- The Board of Trustees of Centre College are requested to cause reports from their Treasurer and Financial Agent to be made annually to this Synod, and to cause these reports to enter into such details as will enable the Synod to understand precisely the whole state of the accounts of the College; that the Treasurer be requested to keep his accounts in such a manner that the stated income and stated expenses may be kept distinct from the contingent expenses of the College.
- The Synod is of opinion that the expenses of the College ought to be kept by the Trustees rigidly within its income, the more especially as the income of the College from the students fees and permanent funds appears, as far as the Synod is informed, to have amounted to a sum amply sufficient for the ordinary expenses of the institution.
- The Synod is of opinion that the contingent expenses of the College ought to be reduced to a scale of economy corresponding with the necessities of the College, and the Trustees are requested to cause detailed statements of the contingent account to be made annually to Synod.
- The Synod regrets that under the circumstances the sum charged as interest on professors salaries which for the last three years reported to this body amounts to $657, was not paid out of the very large sum used during those years for contingent expenses, the nature of which has not been explained.
- It is the opinion of Synod that the interests of the College require that no member of the Faculty shall engage statedly in
[Page 191]employment which would prevent him from devoting all his time to the service of the institution, and the Synod thinks it is the more reasonably to be expected that none of them should do so as the salaries paid to them are ample.
- The Synod reiterates the expression of its deep sense of the importance of the College, and of the solemn duty of the Presbyterian Church in Kentucky to sustain it and extend its means of usefulness, and that while one means of doing its duty in the premises is to proceed with the further endowment of the institution, another equally important one is to secure the wise and economical management of the actual resources of the institution, and to that end they are clearly of opinion that the ordinary expenses must be kept within the ordinary income; that if this cannot be done by curtailing the contingent expenses, it must be done by a temporary reduction of the salaries of the members of the Faculty until the annual deficit reported to Synod is made up out of the ordinary income.
- A certified copy of this minute will be sent by the Stated Clerk of Synod to the Board of Trustees of Centre College.
It was then ordered that a committee of five be appointed to whom the management and condition of Centre College, as presented in these resolutions, shall be referred, and who shall report it at the next meeting of Synod.
The following committee was then appointed by ballot to examine into the affairs of Centre College, viz. Robert J. Breckinridge, W. C. Matthews, E. H. Hopkins, M. Hardin, and W. W. Hill.
True extracts from the records and documents of the Synod of Kentucky.
S. S. McRoberts, Stated Clerk of the Synod of Kentucky
Danville November 17, 1847
Rev. and Dear Sir
The committee appointed by the Synod of Kentucky to make examinations into the condition of Centre College, according to the official communication already made to you as secretary of the Board of Trustees of the College by the Stated Clerk of the Synod, will meet in this place on the morning of the 12th of next January. I address you this note to inform you of that fact in your double capacity of president of the College and Secretary of the Board of Trustees, and to desire, in behalf of the committee and as its chairman, that you would communicate the fact to the College Faculty, as their head, and to the Board of Trustees, as their secretary, so that both bodies may be duly notified, and may take such action respectively as they may consider necessary.
If no regular meeting of the Board of Trustees should occur before the 12th of January, I respectfully suggest that if there is any lawful mode in which it can be done, and the matter appears to you of sufficient importance to justify a call of the Board of Trustees, they be requested to convene on the day appointed by the committee to meet in this place; my own opinion being that the convenience of all parties, and the successful and satisfactory prosecution of a business in which all are deeply interested, would be decidedly promoted by a concurrent meeting of the Trustees of the College and the committee of the Synod;
and my fear being that the committee may find it very difficult to meet a second time in this place.
I beg leave to refer you to two notes which I have this day written, the one to the Treasurer and the other to the Financial Agent of the College, that you may see some of the points to which the committee will desire to direct attention.
The records of the Board of Trustees or the papers in the hands of their Secretary will, it is to be presumed, afford a clear history of the finances of the College from the beginning, and an exact account of their present condition. As you are, I believe, already aware, it is mainly the financial condition of the College to which the attention of Synod was directed, and in regard to which it is extremely important that precise and full information should be laid before that body. It is therefore on this account that I beg to call your attention as Secretary of the Board of Trustees to this aspect of the subject as presented by its minutes.
Though mainly it was not entirely to the financial condition of the College that the attention of Synod was directed, I therefore beg to say to you, as President of the College and as Secretary of the Board of Trustees, that the opinion of the Faculty of the College and that of the Board of Trustees is desired upon the question raised in that one of the resolutions now depending before the Synod, which proposes that no member of the Faculty should devote his time and labors to any employment that would materially interfere with the duties and obligations they all owe to the College itself. In other words, and taking the case as it actually stands, in order to settle a general rule and a fixed
principle, the opinion of those two bodies is desired whether or not the interests of the College require the separation of the presidency of the institution and the charge of the Presbyterian congregation of Danville. The Synod, I guess, has a right to know the opinions of those two bodies on this point, and I presume their opinions would weigh greatly with the Synod.
I beg leave to say that if a detailed statement could be made up out of the minutes of the College Faculty, or those of the Board of Trustees, or possibly from the accounts of the Treasurer, of the number of students and the number of graduates, you [blank space] the beginning of the College, it would be of great value and importance; or if a complete list could not be made, then one that would be as complete as possible - say from five years to five years - or the like, so as to embrace a fair statement of the conditions of the College at it highest and lowest points under every one of its successive Presidents.
The Committee of Synod will, of course, be greatly obliged to you for any information you can afford them and any aid you can give them in the extensive and somewhat indefinite examination which the Synod requires at their hands.
Very truly, your friend and brother, Robert J. Breckinridge
Rev. Dr. Young, President of Centre College, and Secretary of the Board of Trustees
June 28, 1848
The Board met at Mr. Charles Henderson's. Present Joseph McDowell, William Craig, Charles Henderson, John Ford, John Barclay, Charles Caldwell.
The following thirty four young gentlemen, members of the present Senior class, were recommended by the Faculty for the degree of A.B.: James R. Brown, John A. Crawford, James M. Crook, Robert P. Davidson, George B. Fleece, William P. Fleece, William M. Fleming, Joseph W. Fore, Leonidas Frierson, Theodore Frierson, George O. Graves, Edward H. Green, John U. Green, James S. Hall, Thomas P. Hughes, Alexander F. Hume, William C. Jackson, William D. Irvin, George L. Kalb, John G. Keenon, James M. Mayes, George W. Malambre, Nathan C. McDill, Edmund H. Munger, Robert Vance Moore, Thomas Sanders, Henry Sanford, Alexander H. Sneed, Thomas H. Swope, William C. Swope, Samuel B. Todd, Clement B. White, George Vest, George O. Yeiser.
The Board also conferred the degree of A.B. on Matthew Scott, Jr., of Lexington, formerly a member of Centre College.
The degree of A.M. was conferred on the following members of the class that graduated in 1845: Robert L. Breck, William C. Anderson, William L. Green, Aaron B. Knight, Joel K. Lyle, David K. Newell, James B. Patrick, Robert C. Sneed, Samuel D. Ward, as also on Richard M. Mosley of the class of 1844.
Adjourned till 4 o'clock
4 o'clock June 28, 1848
Present as in the morning with the addition of Brown and Robinson. The committee
appointed by the Board to examine into the finances of the College and report to Synod reported that they had discharged the duty as far as was deemed necessary.
The Treasurer's annual report was received and referred to the Secretary and Financial Agent to audit.
Resolved that hereafter the Secretary and Financial Agent be a committee to audit the Treasurer's account annually before the meeting of the Board at Commencement.
Mr. Jacobs made a statement of the settlement made by him with Mrs. Romeo Lewis. The Board directed the Financial Agent and Mr. Bell to make such arrangements as to secure the results of this settlement.
Messrs. Barclay, Bell, and Barbour were appointed a committee to examination for the Asylum. Mr. Jacobs was authorized to purchase apparatus for the Asylum not exceeding $50 dollars in amount.
The Board directed Mr. Barbour to release a mortgage in Florida held in his name for the benefit of the Asylum on the property of Mr. Rutgers.
Robinson, Jacobs, and Brown were appointed a committee to make investigation in reference to the best mode of investing the funds of the Board, and report the result.
Bell and Henderson were not prepared to report on
the case of Bridge's contract.
A communication from Rev. Joseph Brown was received complaining of the action of the Board as having injured him, and requesting such a statement to be published as might free his character from unjust imputations. Robinson and Young were appointed a committee to draft such a statement and submit it to the Board.
Mr. Robinson, in behalf of the committee appointed to draw up the views of the Board in reference to the dissolution of the connections between the President of the College and the Presbyterian Church in Danville, read a report, which was adopted, and directed to be communicated to Synod.
Adjourned to 8:30 tomorrow.
June 29, 1848
The Board met at the President's house. Present same as yesterday.
The President was directed to ascertain whether the services of Mr. Nourse of Bardstown could be secured to the College, and to engage him as a teacher for the next session for a compensation of $300 per annum.
Resolved that the salary of the vacant professorship ought to be $1,200 per annum. Messrs. Robinson, Brown, and Young were appointed a committee to inquire for the names of persons capable of filling the vacant professorship.
Resolved that the Board will meet at 3 o'clock in the afternoon of the first Tuesday after the election in August to consider the propriety of filling the vacant professorship.
John C. Young, Secretary
August 15, 1848
The Board met. Present Joseph McDowell, Joshua Bell, James Hopkins, John Berryman, Charles Henderson, Charles Caldwell, Robert Johnstone, John Brown, John Barclay, Daniel Price, Alexander Sneed, William Craig, John Ford.
Bell and Henderson reported the fact which they were appointed to inquire into touching tr. of the Board with Mr. William Bridges. The Board, thereupon, continued the committee with instructions to close the business on such terms as they shall deem best.
On a communication from Mr. George C. Schaeffer [professor of physics and chemistry] recommending the purchase of the geological survey of New York, the Board ordered that the work should be purchased.
Mr. Young reported that he had not been able to secure the services of Mr. Nourse on the terms proposed by the Board.
After some conversation on the condition of the funds of the College, it was resolved that the Board will not make any appointment to fill the vacant professorship in consequence of an apprehension that the funds of the College may not enable the Board to meet the additional expenses consequent upon such an appointment.
The President was directed to procure the services of some assistant or assistants to hear part of the recitations of the Freshman class, the compensation for these services to be at the rate of $200 per annum.
John C. Young, Secretary
December 19, 1848
The Board met in the College. Present William Craig, John Ford, Stuart Robinson, Joshua Bell, John Berryman, Daniel Price, Edward Humphrey, John Brown. Rev. William L. Breckinridge and John Montgomery having been appointed as Trustees by Synod, and duly qualified took their seats.
The late Chairman, not at present being a member of the Board, it was moved and carried that Mr. Daniel Price take the Chair.
A communication from Mr. James Graham was read by the Secretary containing a statement of the fact that he had left his situation in the Grammar School and removed to Paducah,
and proposing to the Board to settle his accounts. The Board referred the settlement of Mr. Graham's accounts to the Secretary and Treasurer, on such basis as had been usual in former settlements with the teachers.
Resolved that a committee be appointed to make arrangements for the instruction of the Grammar School during the present session, and that this committee be directed to enquire into the expediency and practicability of making a change in the relations between the Grammar School and College, and to report to the Board at its next meeting whether any such change is desirable and practicable, and if so the nature of such change, and also to consider and report whether any change in the organization or arrangements of the school appears to be desirable. The Faculty of the College, together with Dr. Craig and Mr. Bell, were appointed as the committee in the Grammar School.
It was moved that the Board petition the Legislature for such a change of the charter as will give to Synod the power of electing all the instructors connected with the institution. After considerable discussion it was decided by yeas and nays as follows: yeas - Breckinridge and Robertson - 2; nays - Craig, Berryman, Price, Bell, Humphrey, Brown, Montgomery, Ford - 8.
Resolved that Humphrey,
Montgomery, and Brown be a committee to draw up a paper exhibiting the ground of the Board's action on the above resolution, and lay it before the Synod at its next meeting.Evening session of Board in President's study
Present as before.
Resolved that the uncollected subscriptions to the theological seminary or professorship of theology be placed in the hands of the Financial Agent for the purpose of collection and reinvestment - Messrs. Humphrey and Breckinridge dissenting.
Resolved that the Financial Agent be directed to settle with the executor or administrator of the late Treasurer, James Barbour, and so invest the funds in the hands of said administrator, so that the interest now accumulated, as well as the principal, may yield increase.
Resolved that Messrs. Ormond Beatty and William M. Scott be a committee of repairs for the College, and that they be directed to have a new fence put round the grounds and such other changes made as they may deem necessary.
Resolved that the Secretary of the Asylum be requested to transcribe, or cause to be transcribed, into a separate book all the past minutes of the Board which relate to the
affairs of the Asylum, and that hereafter the minutes of the College and the Asylum be kept in separate books by the respective secretaries.
Resolved that the Chairman, or in case of his inability to act or a vacancy in the office, the secretary, is empowered to call a meeting at the request of any three members.
Dr. William Craig was elected permanent Chairman of the Board.
The Board adjourned to meet at 3 o'clock in the College on the Thursday previous to the last Thursday in June next.