COLLEGES AND ACADEMIES.
In 1754 King’s College was incorporated in N. Y. City by patent, and libe¬
rally endowed by a lottery and grants of land. At the commencement
of the Revolution it was the only incorporated educational institution in
the colony. In 1784 its name was changed to Columbia College; and
in connection with it an extensive scheme of education was devised, in
(which the college was to be the center of the system, and subordinate
I branches were to be established in different parts of the State,—the
whole to be under the control of a board denominated “Regents of the
University.” This board was to consist of the principal State officers,
two persons from each co., and one chosen by each religious denomi¬
nation. The number of the Regents was afterward increased by add¬
ing 33 others, 20 of whom resided in N. Y. City. This whole scheme
was found to be impracticable; and by act of April 13,1787, it was superseded by a system which
has continued without essential change to the present time.1 By this act the Governor, Lieut.-Gov-
ernor, and 19 persons therein named were constituted
Resents of tlie University, and required to visit and inspect all colleges and academies,
and report their condition, annually. They might appoint presidents of colleges and principals
of academies for one year, in case of vacancy, and incorporate new colleges and academies, pro¬
viding the revenue of the latter should not exceed the value of 4,000 bushels of wheat annually. In
1842 the Secretary of State, and in 1854 the Superintendent of Public Instruction, were made ex
officio members of the Board of Regents. Vacancies are filled by the Legislature in the same manner
that U. S. Senators are appointed; and Regents hold their office during life, unless they resign or
forfeit their place by removal from the State, by accepting the office of trustee in an incorporated
college or academy, or by accepting a civil office the duties of which are incompatible with their
duties as Regents:2 but the members maybe removed by concurrent resolution of the Senate and
Assembly.® They receive no pay. Under a special act of 1791, the Regents appoint the faculty
of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the City of N. Y. and confer degrees upon its gradu¬
ates.2 . They confer the honorary degree.of M.D. upon four persons annually, upon recommendar
tion of the State Medical Society, and may grant any honorary degree. They have exercised
this right by conferring the degree of LL.D. upon 12 persons since their first organization.5
In 1821 they were authorized to incorporate Lancasterian and select schools.3 In 1844 the Regents
were made trustees of the State Library, and, with the Superintendent of Schools, were charged
with the supervision of the State Normal School. In 1845 they were made trustees of the State
Cabinet of Natural History, and in 1856 were intrusted with what remained of the publication of
the colonial history. Their secretary and the Secretary of State are commissioners to superintend
the completion of the publication of the natural history of the State.
The Regents annually apportion $40,000 of the income of the Literature Fund4 among academies,
in proportion to the number of students pursuing the classics or the higher English branches;
Catskill, Lancaster School Soc., March 14,1817. Repealed April
Hudson, Lancaster Soc., April 15,1817.
Schenectady, Lancaster School Soc., Nov. 12,1816.
Poughkeepsie, Lancaster School Soc.
t This fund originated with certain tracts of land reserved for
literature, and was largely increased by four lotteries, granted
April 3,1801, by which $100,000 were to be raised for the joint
benefit of academies and common schools, but chiefly for the
latter. In 1816, the avails of the Crumhorn Mountain Tract,
amounting to $10,416, were given from the general fund to aca¬
demies and common schools; and in 1819 the arrears of quit-
rents, amounting to $53,380, were also thus equally divided. In
1827, $150,000 was given to this fund by the Legislature; and on
the 17 th of April, 1838, the sum of $28,000 was set apart annually,
from the income of the U. S. Deposit Fund, for distribution
among academies. The sum previously applied for this purposo
was $12,000 annually; and since 1834 a small part of the income,
aside from this, has been applied, from time to time, to the pur¬
chase of apparatus.
This fund was managed by the Regents until, by act of Jau.
25,1832, it was transferred to the Comptroller for investment,- ■
the Legislature appropriating the proceeds annually, and the
Regents designating the scale of apportionment.
The principal of the fund amounted, Sept. 30,1858, to $269,952
.12, aside from the U. S. Deposit Fund, and was invested chiefly
in stocks and Comptroller’s bonds.
This power has never been exercised by the Legislature.
* A similar power existed with regard to the Western College
of Physicians and Surgeons at Fairfield, during its existence.
This right has been exercised four times, viz.:—
Select School at Henrietta, Monroe co., July 2, 1827.
Lewiston High School Academy, Niagara co., April 16, 1828.
Fabius S»lect School, Onondaga co., Feb. 27, 1841.
Hunter Classical School, Greene co., June 23, 1851.
Lancasterian schools were incorporated by special acts, as
Albany, Lancaster School Soc., May 26,1812.