Gambar halaman

few survivors of the original founders, endeavored to reanimate the work, but his days were numbered too; he died in 1868. Now, but one of the original Bishop-founders survives: the Bishop of Mississippi, Dr. Green, the present Chancellor of the University of the South. To him, and to the present Bishop of Tennessee, Dr. Quintard, properly belongs the honor, without disparagement to the other subsequent co-workers, of having attempted the re-establishment of the University. This attempt was in the form of an address of the Board of Trustees of the University of the South and appeal of its Commissioners, published at Nashville in 1867 ; and it inaugurates the second era of the institution. It met with little encouraging success under the depressing circumstances of those years. At last, during the attendance of Bishop Quintard at the Lambeth Conference in England, in 1867, a movement was inaugurated by the Rev. Francis W. Tremlett, the incumbent of St. Peter's Church, Belsize Park, London, among English churchmen, to assist in the re-establishment of the University. It secured the hearty concurrence of the late Primate of the English Church, the Archbishop of York being chairman of a committee selected to make an appeal to clergy and laity. The funds subscribed enabled the Board of Trustees on the 18th September, 1868, to formally open a junior department, “and it stands to-day a witness before the world of the unbroken unity of the Church and an enduring memorial of the Lambeth Conference.”

The last Vice-Chancellor's report gives us a brief and interesting view since that time :

“ The Junior Department of the University of the South was opened on the 18th of September, 1868. There were but nine pupils present at the opening. The chapel, with its two wings, served as a schoolroom and as recitation-rooms. There were two buildings,

Otey Hall' and 'South Wing,' capable of accommodating twenty to twenty-five students, and there was another building, “Tremlett Hall,' in progress, intended to accommodate some thirty more.

This was the entire plani' of the University, and this was chiefly the result of the money Bishop Quintard had collected in England. As private residences, there were the cottages of Major Fairbanks, of Bishop Green, of Bishop Quintard, Dr. Knight, and Mr. Tomlinson. At the depôt of the railroad, where the considerable town of Sewanee now is, there was one solitary building, the freight depôt, in which the Messrs. Tomlinson kept their store ; and there were two logcabins, nothing more. The entire population of residents may have numbered fifty or sixty souls. The forest swept up in nearly unbroken solitude to this little nucleus of civilisation. At University Site' some fragments of rocks, nearly concealed by the undergrowth, attested the place where a little less than ten years before, amidst the throng of thousands of spectators, the eloquent voice of Preston had cheered the hearts of his hearers with the bright promises of the future; and where Polk and Elliott and Otey, and that galaxy of the fathers of the Church, had united to consecrate the spot to the Christian training of coming generations.

“ Such were the aspects on the day of the opening. The following year (1869) gave visible signs of the life which began to revive in the University. About 100 students added their names to its rolls. In 1870 the number swelled to nearly 200, and in 1871 and 1872 the average of pupils was over 230.

“This influx of numbers was accompanied by a corresponding development of resident population and of material prosperity ; until now the picture, which four years ago shone with so still, sombre, and feeble a light, flashes with the life and activity of a growing and prosperous enterprise. First, additional dormitories for the students were built by the authorities of the University. Then came additional teaching rooms, and the chapel was enlarged and embellished. Aided by the liberality of Judge Gray, of Texas, a most comfortable and commodious grammar-school was built, capable of seating 130 to 140 pupils. Handsome dwellings rose on all sides within the radius of half a mile of the chapel, until now we can count by the dozen cottages, halls, and houses, whose many lights on the summer evenings gleam through the trees and turn the quiet woods into a romantic picture.

“At the village of Sewanee, where we lately had but one or two cabins, forty or fifty shops, stores, and dwellings are formed into streets, or perched upon the adjacent hills.

"To the enterprise and devotion of one gentleman much of this wondersul development is due. Mr. Hayes, a citizen of New Jersey, devoted to the Church, of ample fortune earned by his own industry, was attracted by the fame of the undertaking and by the capabilities of the place. He leased some hundred acres of land from the University, and planted it with fruit-trees and grape-vines. He brought out the machinery of a saw-mill, and has added to it other machinery for building purposes. He liberally supplied the lumber and wood-work necessary to the erection of houses, and invested his own capital wherever needed to aid and to stimulate others. He is now putting up his own dwelling on a beautiful height overlooking the great valley that stretches a thousand feet beneath to the west and north far away from the foot of the mountain, and with apparently unflagging interest he continues to prosecute the work before him. This is one of the answers vouchsafed to our early and continued prayers that Heaven might raise up a succession of benefactors to the University

To render more precise the statement of the growth of the University, let us turn now to facts and figures. Since the ist of January, 1870, twenty-four dwelling-houses have been erected within half a mile of the chapel; all of these are neat and tasteful, and some of them handsome buildings. Ten of them are of the value of $5500 and over, including their attachments of dormitories and outhouses; seven are of the average value of $3000, and the remaining seven of the average value of $2000 each. These do not include the buildings put up by the University. At and about the town of Sewanee there have been built one large stone store at a cost of $6000, and other stores, buildings, shops, and dwellings, to the number of between fisty and sixty, averaging in value, say $1000 each. Taking the aggregate of buildings, improvements, stocks of goods, machinery, etc., introduced, it is safe to assert that $200,000 of capital have been

invested here in the past three years. This is surely most encouraging. From a few scattered buildings, with a scanty population of fifty or sixty, we have grown into a town of one hundred buildings and a population of 700 or 800 residents. Where there were a handful of scholars and two or three instructors, there is now a university with nine schools fully organised, teaching 230 pupils, with a faculty numbering in all fourteen professors and teachers. The accommodations that were replete with fifty or sixty pupils have expanded into ample room for three hundred.

“Of the society thus thrown together here and charged with the personal care of these youths, it was well observed by a distinguished citizen of South Carolina, that it was only after a great social convulsion upturning the order of society that such a community as this could be collected, where so much refinement of manner and gentle breeding, coupled with moral and Christian worth, have collected together for such work. It is difficult to conceive of a community the social aspects of which could be more attractive to a man of intelligence and culture, especially to a Southern man whose heart has been bound up with the fortunes and the misfortunes of his native land.

What we most need now and it is surely a modest aspiration is a building or buildings of a permanent character to give the world assurance of our progress, and we need besides additions to our library and to our apparatus. If our friends will respond to the appeal of Bishop Quintard - or rather of the Board of Trustees,

whose messenger he is — even in the limited sums needed for these purposes, he will not have worked in vain. The future of the University is no longer doubtful; it is only a question as to its rate of progress. With the aid which the friends of the Church can give to it, without injury to themselves, its growth and expansion will be made rapid, and its sphere of usefulness correspondingly enlarged.”

We now turn to a description of the site of the University, taking the main facts from the report of the Board to whom this important subject was confided in 1857, and as corroborated by our personal experience. The selection was made with grave deliberation. At a meeting held in July, 1857, at the Lookout Mountain, a committee of location was appointed, consisting of one trustee from each diocese, whose business it was made to examine all the suggested localities. Colonel Walter Gwynn, of the Blue Ridge Railway, was requested to organise a corps of civil engineers, with instructions to examine minutely every locality which might desire to present its claims. To a meeting held in Montgomery, November, 1857, the corps of engineers reported in full. Gentlemen from these respective localities were examined minutely as to their healthfulness, accessibility, climate, water, building materials, and centrality. The trustees were heard ; it was resolved that no locality should be selected which did not receive a two-thirds vote. After a long balloting, SEWANEE was selected as combining more advantages than any locality which had been examined. This selection must be considered in connection with the objects which the Southern dioceses had in view. Any locality, therefore, which would give anything like general satisfac


tion, must occupy a central position, inclining as much as possible toward the West, where naturally lies the future growth of the Church. But it had to be central also in regard to salubrity. This limited the choice considerably, and confined it within an area extending from Atlanta, Georgia, to McMinnville, Tennessee, east and west, and from Knoxville to Huntsville, Alabama, north and south. Another point was, that for Southern boys the proper vacation of a university is the winter, when they can engage at home in out-door exercises and sports. To let them have these precious months, the university must be placed where the climate will permit them to apply themselves during the hot months of summer to their studies. Had there been within these limits a city of 50,000 to 100,000 inhabitants, combining with the refinement of large towns the facilities which cities afford for the conduct of life, and offering undoubted healthfulness, it probably would have been selected; but no such city offered itself. It was unanimously agreed that it would be preferable to create a society around the University which should receive its tone from the University, and be in a measure dependent upon the institution. That this was a wise decision is shown by the fact that probably no more delightful society can be found during the summer months than at Sewanee, even now in the very youth of this great enterprise.

Sewanee lies upon the elevated plateau of the Cumberland Mountains, about 1900 feet above the level of the ocean, possessing a climate equivalent to that of Flat Rock in North Carolina. It is above the level of all intermittent disease, and is abundantly blessed with the purest water flowing from under the sandstone capping of the Cumberland Ridge. It is covered thickly with excellent timber: oak, chestnut and walnut. It has all over the very best building stone, and can command by easy approach the limestones and marbles in which Tennessee abounds. It has coal mines at its very door ; superior coal on the University domain itself, providing fuel at very reasonable rates. There lies at its foot, connected with it by railway, one of the richest farming countries of the West. When a lowlander hears

a of a mountain location, he at once conceives of a lofty peak, covered over with rugged rocks, whose summit is to be reached by severe and toilsome labor. But this Cumberland plateau is not a series of rugged peaks, but a wide table-land, having upon its summit a level area of from two to twenty miles in width, upon which a railway runs for fifteen miles past the very doors of the University. When this summit has been reached, there spreads out before the eye an area with just enough undulation to make it picturesque, covered with large timber, with a rich underbrush of grass, and with springs of purest freestone water of great capacity, in one case of as much as one thousand gallons of water per hour. From this summit the visitor is delighted with scenes of unsurpassed beauty; with points of the mountains running in fantastic shapes into the valleys like promontories into the ocean ; with wooded slopes stretching down into the cultivated lands, and mingling the wildness of nature with the improvements of man ; with fat valleys rich with the bounties of Providence ; with an almost boundless horizon spreading away toward the far West. And these views vary at a hundred points of the University lands; for it is the peculiarity of this sandstone formation to break into gorges, and to open ụp new scenery at every turn.

The soil is capable of producing the very best vegetables, specimens of which bear comparison with any in our city markets. The surrounding farmers are doing well, and on the same plateau, twelve miles distant from the University domain, has been established since 1868 the now progressive and flourishing Swiss colony in Grundy county, Tenn. This Cumberland plateau seems to have been formed by God for the benefit and blessing of the valley of the Mississippi and the cottongrowing regions of the Southern States. Forming the eastern limit of that immense valley, stretching, with that peculiar fotmation of a sandstone table-land, for one hundred miles across the State of Tennessee, easy of access at many points, it has already become the summer resort of many distinguished Southern families of planters and merchants, who desire to recruit their families during the summer months, and are yet unwilling to be separated from their interests. The time is not distant when this whole plateau, as University Site now is, will be covered over with villas and colleges and watering-places, and will teem. with the most refined society of the South and West. This will be the place of meeting of the South and West; and Wilmington, Charleston, and Savannah will here shake hands with Mobile, New Orleans, Nashville, and Memphis, and cement the strong bond of mutual interest with the yet stronger ones of friendship and love. Sewanee is in connection by rail and telegraph with every portion of the South and West. The railway of the Sewanee Mining Company passes by the door of the University, and five miles from it, below in the valley, unites at Chowan Station (or Cowan Station) with the Chattanooga and Nashville Railway at the western end of the great tunnel which here pierces the Cumberland Mountains. All travellers from the valley of the Mississippi reach Sewanee by way of Nashville ; those from the Atlantic coast, Virginia, and North Carolina, by way of Atlanta and Chattanooga. The salubrity of the climate is beyond all question. It is free from fevers of all kinds; it is above the region of cholera. The thermometrical range in summer seldom exceeds 80°; and the winter climate is not nearly so severe as that of the Virginia and Northern colleges, to which our sons are still freely sent. One remarkable feature of this plateau is the dryness, which is evinced by the lack of lichens upon the trees, by the entire absence of moss or parasites living upon humidity, and by the freedom from decay of the fallen timber. After a tree has fallen for years, and the bark separates from it, it separates without any decay of either bark or wood. Pleurisy and pneumonia are almost unknown. But whatever may be the severity of the winter climate, it need not be encountered by the students. It is well known that October and November are two of the most delicious months upon the plateaus; and the University vacation is so arranged as to dismiss the University about the middle of December, and allowing the usual period of vacation, work is not resumed until the middle of March. So much for the location; now one word on the organisation of the University.

The Bishops of the ten Southern dioceses which originated this work, with ten clerical and twenty lay trustees, compose the Board of

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »