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me, we regarded less than we should the permanent endowment of our academic schools. I mean such an endowment as would give a permanent annual income sufficient to carry the institution through all temporary adversities that may overtake it in the progress of years. This enables the trustees to retain an efficient corps of teachers and maintain the usual grade of instruction, and when prosperity returns no changes will be required to meet that fortunate exigency. There are no people within the pale of civilization who practice expediency so much as the Americans in accomplishing proper objects and achieving just results. This may be the mighty lever that has brought the country to its present elevated position; but are the foundations sufficiently strong and adamantine to sustain us in that position? The truths of science can only be reached by keeping on the right tract and within its orbit; and who can lead and direct the neophite save the accomplished master, the experienced teacher and guide 1
Caleb Alexander was a native of Northfield, Massachusetts, who graduated at Yale College, and having been admitted to the ministry, settled as pastor over the church at Mendon. He came into Western New York as a missionary in 1801, and I am enabled through the kindness of one of his descendants to consult his journal, from which I have made some extracts:
"August 10, 1801. Having received my commission from the Rev. Nathaniel Emmons, D. D., President of the Massachusetts Missionary Society, having obtained the consent of my church and congregation and committed myself and family to the direction and disposal of God, I began my missionary tour to the people in the western parts of the state of New York."
He visited various localities on the North river, in Saratoga, Schenectady, Albany, Schoharie, Otsego, Madison, Oneida, Cayuga, Onondaga, Ontario and Herkimer counties, and finally reached Norway, in this county, November 10, 1801, and remained until 23d, visiting and preaching at Fairfield, Norway and Salisbury. At this period Mr. Alexander says, that Fairfield contained 2065, Salisbury, 1694 souls, and the whole county, 14,503.
While at Fairfield and Norway, on this occasion, he made arrangements for opening a school at the former place. A frame building was erected, and in May, 1802, he returned from Massachusetts with his family, and commenced in good earnest to lay the foundation of an institution which gave birth to the Academy. During the whole period of his engagement at the head of the Fairfield Academy, he preached alternately at Fairfield, Norway, Salisbury and at other places in the northern part of the county.
He left Fairfield in 1812, and took charge of the academy at Onondaga Hollow, where he remained engaged in teaching and preaching, giving a portion of his attention to farming, until he was called home to give an account of his stewardship, at the venerable age of 73 years.
Mr. Alexander was the author of several educational works, and among them were his Latin and English Grammars, which were of high repute in their day, although he sold the copy right of the "Grammatical Elements, or a Comprehensive Theory of English Grammar," &c., to Isaiah Thomas and Ebenezer T. Andrews, of Boston, in 1793, for $ 133'33. His education was as thorough and complete as could well be obtained in this country at the time he graduated, and he evinced no lack of energy and application in subjecting his acquirements to the severe test of writing out an elementary treatise on the English language.
The present trustees of this institution are Charles Willard, Sidenis Teal, David W. Cole, James Mather, William B. Porter, Roswell D. Brown, George Pierce, James Seaman, Thomas A. Rice, Richard R. Smith, Henry Tillinghast, Lorenzo Carryl, Jeremiah Cory, Varnum S. Kenyon, Ezra Graves, William Lamberson, Parley Arnold, Horace Ford, Jeremiah Smith, Alden S. Gage, William Mather, George W. Philips, Asa Chatfield and John Green. Jeremiah Smith, president of the board of trustees, Jarius Mather, secretary.
The Academy at Little Falls in the county of Herkimer, was incorporated by the regents of the university of this state, October 17, 1844.
The trustees named in the charter were, Nathaniel S. Benton, Arphaxed Loo mis, Frederick Lansing, George H. Fetter, William C. Craine, David Petrie, Henry Heath, Martin W. Priest, Harry Burrell, Richard N. Casler, Albert G. Story, Zenas C. Priest, Thomas Burch, Nathan Brown, Soloman Petrie, Stephen W. Brown, Henry Eysaman and William Ingham.
The whole value of academic property, consisting of lots, buildings, furniture, library and apparatus, as appears from the first annual report of the trustees made December 8th, 1845, was $14,849-38.
Merritt G. McKoon, Esq. A. M., opened the school, as principal teacher, and the same has been continued to the present time, under the direction of different instructors.
The citizens of the town and surrounding country exhibited a generous liberality in donating funds towards the erection of the splendid stone edifice occupied as the academic building.
The present trustees of this institution are, Nathaniel S. Benton, Arphaxed Loomis, Harry Burrell, Martin W. Priest, Albert G. Story, Thomas Burch, Zenas C. Priest, John Beardslee, Seth M. Richmond, James Feeter, William J. Skinner, William Ingham and Philo Reed.
The academy at Herkimer was incorporated in 1838 or 1839, and was subject to the visitation of the regents of the university. It flourished a few years and was finally abandoned for want of patronage.
This school, as is well known, was located in one of our most pleasant villages, containing a population, able of itself to form the nucleus of a very liberal support, but owing to some serious difficulty, originating with some of the faculty, the school unfortunately failed to command the public confidence.
West Winjield Jlcademy.
Incorporated by the regents of the university, February 14th, 1851.
^ The trustees named in the charter are, William Stuart, Alonzo Wood, James M. Rose, Walter Palmer, Joseph Harding, Joel Wadsworth, Rufus Wheeler, Zenas Eldred, J. L. Moore, David R. Carrier, Ira Walker, Samuel Smith, H. D. Kellogg, Orange Holmes,Newton Wilcox, William McLoughlin, Levi S. Knight, Alvah Barker, Hiram Brown, L. G. Holmes, T. W. Morgan and N. M. Morgan.
The present value of the academic buildings, library and apparatus, at the date of the application, was stated at $3,200. The location of this institution in an elevatedand healthful district of country, easy of access, and being surrounded by a vigorous and wealthy population, must make it an inviting spot for youth to pursue academic studies, and it should not fail, as it seems to me it need not, to become highly useful and influential in disseminating classical instruction over a wide and extended territory. The academy, thus far, gives promise of much usefulness.
Religious Aspects Of The County.
I shall not add one word to what has been said in the introductory chapter, in reference to the small show now made in this important and interesting branch of our local history. If the extracts from the two missionary journals, here presented to the reader, contain truthful views of our condition, more than fifty years since, we must know our situation in this respect has changed, and we doubt not for the better. Reliable data to show these facts are beyond my reach. There is, or has been, an organized Bible society in the county. Unfortunately, its records and proceedings can not be obtained, to exhibit its operations and prospects.
The state census of 1855, affords materials for the following brief table of statistics respecting the religious aspects of the county. The United States census tables of 1850, give as the whole number of churches in the county, 54. The Methodists have only 8, and the Presbyterian only 2 in those tables. I notice this because I have learned not to confide implicitly in statistical evidence of this character. Differences like these can not easily be reconciled or accounted for:
Churches. bers. Churches, hers.
Baptists, 12 713 Methodist Episcopal, 28 1430
Catholics 2 744 Presbyterian, 10 345
Congregational, 1 72 Protestant Methodist 2 50
Dutch Reformed, 6 498 Universalist 7 141
Episcopal, 3 74 Union Churches, 9 275
Free Will Baptists, 3 152 Whitfield Calvinists 1 5
Lutheran, 4 94
Presenting an aggregate of 88 churches and 4,593 church members, or persons attached to the several churches, and conforming to the rituals in discipline, government and doctrine. This, then, I apprehend, does not embrace among the Protestant congregations, at any rate, the whole number of persons attending religious services in those congregations. The above number is only one in four of the adult population of the county, and one in eight and fourtenths of the whole number of inhabitants. A beggarly account of empty pews, when we assume, as we should, that the capacity of the churches is equal to seating the whole population of the county.
The Rev. Caleb Alexander having performed a missionary tour to the western parts of this state in 1801, by the directions of the Massachusetts missionary society, I have transcribed such portions from the original journal as are of local interest:
November, 1801. — Tuesday, 10.—Rode east 11 miles, to Norway, dined at Lieut. Smith's, in the morning delivered a sermon on Rom., vii, 7,8," The carnal mind is enmity against