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MIAZ REPORT OF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE. 1883-18974
BRARY Hon. Robert Lowry, Governor and Ex-officio President of Board of
Trustees : In transmitting the accompanying reports of the work and progress of the Agricultural and Mechanical College, we congratulate, through you, the people of the State upon the fact that they have an institution occupying the front rank among the Agricultural Colleges of the country, and one of the very few that have held strictly to the purposes for which they were established. Although there are many Agricultural Colleges in name, if not in reality, it should be gratifying to all true Mississippians to know ours is classed as one of the best three, and that the management of older institutions is being reorganized and modeled after ours. As ours is strictly an agricultural State, the importance of devel. oping that interest cannot be too highly appreciated. The enthusiasm of the faculty and students on this subject, and the signs of improvement on the farms surrounding the College should convince the most skeptical of the good work being done. We hope to see the influence of the College farm extend until it reaches every part of the State.
As a means of hastening this desirable end, the instruction by the Faculty is not confined to the classroom. They go to different parts of the State, meet the farmers and discuss questions in which they are most interested. In this way the wants and difficulties of the farmers are made known, and suggestions as to the best means of overcoming them are heard from both a scientific and practical standpoint.
As an additional evidence of progress, there are young men, graduates of the College, now filling positions there, for which before its establishment, there was not a young man in the State qualified.
H. M. STREET,
PRESIDENT'S REPORT TO HON. BOARD OF TRUSTEES.
To the Honorable Board of Trustees Agricultural College of Mis
sissippi: GENTLEMEN—The Act of Congress donating public lands to the several States, which may provide colleges for the “benefit of agriculture and the mechanic arts,” requires, that there shall be an annual report made of the progress of these colleges. Two years ago, we made our first report, covering the first three years of the College, to comply with this law, and
also for the information of our Legislature, which meets biennially. We derive our main support from the State, as the interest on the “ donated land scrip fund” for the benefit of this College is only $4,928.75.
ENDOWMENT FUND FROM THE UNITED STATES. The endowment fund received from the United States amounts now to $212,150. This fund, by the terms of the State Act, February 28, 1878, was equally divided between this College and Alcorn University. This College has now $98,575, as $15,000 of the amount originally given to the College, was invested in lands for the College farm, under the provisions of the Federal Act.) Alcorn College has the balance, $113,575. Before the division, the total amount was $227,500, derived from the sales of scrip which represented 207,920 acres of public land. When this land was sold, the State took the money, and issued in lieu thereof, its bonds, running for twenty years, (from March, 1876, to 1896,) bearing five per cent. interest per annum.
LEGISLATIVE SUPPORT. By the terms of the Federal Act, donating the lands to the States, no part of the land scrip fund, or the interest derived from it, can be used directly or indirectly, under any pretense, whatever, to the purchase, erection, preservation, or repair of any building or buildings, as the income from the fund can only be used as far as it goes towards meeting other expenses. The State, by accepting the gift, incurs the obligation to provide buildings, equipments, and the additional support necessary. The State has liberallly carried out its obligations, and by appropriation has provided the necessary buildings, grounds, equipment and support.
BUILDINGS, GROUNDS, EQUIPMENT, ETC. The buildings consist of the College building (three stories)
containing a chapel, fourteen recitation rooms, a three-story dormitory building, containing one hundred and fifteen rooms, a large library room, writing room, a large room for the department of Biology and store rooms; the capacity being three hundred students, (three to a room;) a chemical laboratory, (twostory,) with large lecture room; room for sixty students to work at analysis, a combustion room, private laboratories for the professor, and store sooms; a hospital for the accommodation of sick students, with four large and four small rooms; a mess-hall and Society rooms for three hundred and fifty students, with large range for cooking, bakery, store rooms and complete mess hall outfit in the way of cooking utensils and crockery and tables; seven professors' houses; three small cottages for Secretary and Purchasing Agent, for Surgeon, and for Steward and Janitor; a farm-house for foreman and employees; a large barn with stables attached; four large cattle-sheds, for sheltering and feeding 250 head of cattle; engine house, bull and calf shelters, creamery building and fixtures (all in farm department); stable, sheds and outhouses in Horticultural Department; 1750 acres of land. The several Scientific and Academic Departments have a working equipment. The Farm Department has herds of pure bred, graded, and native cattle, mules, improved implements and machinery. The Horticultural Department has a good working outfit, -mules, commercial nursery, orchards, gardens, etc.; and a library of 2,336 volumes, only 187 that are noi United States Department Reports. An inventory just made by disinterested citizens, M. L. Jenkins and A. H. French, shows a valuation of property amounting to $203,401.84.
OBJEOT AND PURPOSE OF THE COLLEGE.
The Legislature of Mississippi, by her Act of February 28th, 1878, in carrying out the purpose of the Federal Act, prescribed in the powers given to the Board of Trustees—the establishment and maintenance of a first-class institution, at which the youth of the State may acquire a common school education, and a scientific and practical knowledge of agriculture, horticulture, and the mechanic arts, and also the proper care and growth of stock, without, however, excluding other scientific and classical studies, including military tactics. They shall regulate the course of study, rates of tuition, management of experimental farm, manner of performing labor, and the kind of labor to be per. formed by students.” The Board of Trustees have endeavored to carry out the spirit of the act, viz: “ To benefit agriculture and the mechanic arts.” Agriculture being the prevailing industry of most of the citizens of Mississippi, (there being no iron or coal beds, or mechanical pursuits amounting to much in the State) they have expended what means they had at their disposal, in trying to benefit this industry, preferring to concentrate their efforts to benefit the many, rather than scatter their energy and means, lessening tangible results. They conceived that should other studies be taught, ihan those relating to the interests to be benefited, they should be considered secondary, and rather as means to more readily comprehend the sciences which underlie agriculture and the mechanic arts. Should other studies included within the general scope of the act be taught, it should be after the main object of the act had been first reached, and ample means were at hand to expand in this general direction.
The organization of the College is primarily such as to familiarize stadents with the leading objects as set forth in the acts, viz: To educate and direct their minds and tastes to agriculture, horticulture, care and growth of stock, management of farms, manner of performing labor and the mechanic arts. To cover this ground a student must have a liberal education of a high grade, in order to comprehend the sciences, which underlie "agriculture and the mechanic arts.". The varied conditions contributing to an intelligent understanding of agriculture as a science and as an art, includes an education as broad as that needed in mastering any profession. It must be such as to enable a student readily to understand the sciences, and in acquiring theoretical knowledge, it must be coupled with industrial and practical training. Students must also be familiar with farms and labor, they must labor themselves to keep in sympathy with the interests they are being educated to benefit, and this labor must be a part of their education, and it is educational in so far as it is in illustration of studies taught in the recitation room.
GRADE OF COLLEGE, FACULTY, OFFICERS, ETC. The College is a first-class institution, affording instruction which provides a good, liberal education, coupled with a theoretical and practical knowledge of the sciences which underlie “Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts.” Also, a common school education in the preparatory department, supplemented by theoretical and practical instruction in agriculture. The class-room instruction goes hand in hand with industrial training, given by labor on the farm, in raising and cultivating all kinds of crops; breeding, caring for, and feeding pure bred, graded and native cattle for dai and beef purposes, with the creamery and butter handling, in the gardens, vineyards, orchards, small fruit culture, commercial nursery, floriculture; in handling tools, with labor-saving implements, etc., etc. The faculty consists of a President, who is the administrative and executive officer, 9 Professors, 3 Assistant Professors, a Secretary, Purchasing Agent and Instructor in Book Keeping, a Surgeon, 5 Tutors. a Drawing Instructor, a Writing Master, a Steward and Janitor, a Foreman of the Farm, and a Hospital Nurse. The salaries are: President, $2,500; 6 Professors, $2,000 each; Professor, U. S. Officer paid by the United States; i Professor, $1,250; 1 Professor, salary not fixed (Dairy Husbandry), 3 Assistant Professors, $800 oo each ; Secretary, Purchasing Agent, Book-Keeper and Instructor in BookKeeping, $1,800 oo; Surgeon, paid in fees by the students; i Tutor, $600 00; 1 Tutor, $450 00; 3 Tutors, $360 oo each : 1 Writing Master, $500 00; i Instructor in Drawing, $400 00;