Harper's New Monthly Magazine,  8 (1884), 813–31.

Columbia College





Education, Colleges, Universities, Botany, Botanical Gardens, Government, Evolution, Mathematics, Astronomy, Cultural Geography, Libraries, Disciplinarity

People mentioned:

Robert Adrain , John Torrey

    Emphasises the increasing importance of scientific subjects at the University of Columbia during the nineteenth century, which in the early part of the century enjoyed the 'vigorous services of Dr. David Hosack as Professor of Botany and Materia Medica', who 'wisely insisted that his students ought to be taught from the living plants, and after several almost successful attempts to induce the State Legislature to provide for a botanical garden, he himself in 1801' purchased the land for the Elgin Botanic Garden. By 1806 Hosack was 'able to publish a catalogue of about two thousand species, and in 1810 he succeeded in obtaining from the Legislature an agreement of purchase by the State'. (818) Notes that an 1810 committee of trustees' definition of 'the primary principle of all sound education [as] the evolution of faculty and the formation of habit' is 'curiously in line with scientific nomenclature as well as the best scientific thought of to-day' (818–19). Also observes that the School of Mines, founded in 1864 by Thomas Egleston, is 'a partial title for what is really a very broad school of science, with six specific courses in mining engineering, civil engineering, metallurgy, geology and palaeontology, analytical and applied chemistry, and architecture', and at present it has 'nearly three hundred students' (830).

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