Presbytery Minutes – March 1839

Concord Presbytery Records, 1836-1846, v.4
Meeting: Sugar Creek Church, March 11, 1839, p. 93-110
Back to Presbytery Minutes | Original


[p. 93 Sugar Creek Church 11 March 1839]

On motion resolved that the business of Davidson College be taken up
Resolved that this Presbytery accept the Charter granted to Davidson College by the Legislature of this State.
Resolved that the Trustees of Davidson College take immediate and effectual measures to secure a good and legal title to the Lands heretofore purchased from Wm Lee Davidson, Esq., for the use of said College
The following articles of a Constitution for the government of Davidson College were presented by a committee previously appointed for that purpose and after full examination article by article were unanimously adopted.
Constitution of Davidson College
Sect I Of the Board of Trustees
Art. 1st A Board of Trustees consisting of 48 members shall be chosen by the Presbyteries of Concord, Bethel and Morganton, and other Presbyteries that may hereafter be united with them in patronizing Davidson College — the Pres of Bethel electing 12. — The Pres of Morganton 12 and the Pres of Concord (for the present) the remaining 24. The term of office of one fourth of whom shall expire at the end of one year, of another fourth at the end of two years, of another at the end of three years; and of the other at the end of four years’ subject however to reelection; and the Presbyteries shall fill

[p. 94]
the vacancies as they occur by the expiration of the term of office; electing each class for four years.
The Presbyteries shall fill all vacancies in the Board occasioned by death or otherwise a the first stated sessions after such vacancies occur.
Sect.2nd None shall be eligible to the office of a trustee but such as are members in full communion in the Presbyterian Church.
Sect. 3 The Board of Trustees shall meet twice each year at the semi-annual examinations, and oftener on their own adjournments; or whenever deemed necessary; 12 of whom shall be a quorum, to transact business.
Sect. 4 The Board shall choose out of their own number a President, two or more vice Presidents and a Secretary: — in the absence of the President and vice Presidents, the senior member present shall preside.
Sect. 5 The President of the Board, or in the event of his death or absence, the first vice President shall at the request of any 3 members expressed to him in writing, call a Special Meeting of the Board by a circular letter addressed to each member (of the Board) in which letter notice shall be given not only of the place and time of meeting; but also the business intended to be transacted at the called meeting and this letter shall be sent at least 2 weeks before the time of said meeting.
Sect. 6 of the Secretary of the Board
The secretary of the Board shall keep an accurate record of all their proceedings; and conduct the correspondence of the Board.

[p. 95]
Sec. 7th Every meeting of the Board shall be opened and closed with prayer.
Sec. 8 The Board shall lay before the Presbyteries annually at their fall sessions, a faithful detail of the state of the Institution.
Sec. 9th The Board shall inaugurate the President, Professors and Tutors of the Institution, and shall direct what forms shall be used, and what services shall be performed an such occasions.
Sect. 10th At the close of each term, an examination of all the Students shall be held in the presence of the Board, or a committee whether the examination shall be sustained or not.
Sect. 11th The Board of Trustees shall be the court of final appeal in all cases of discipline; and they alone shall have the power of expelling a Student from this institution.

Art II of the Professors
Sect. 1st When the Institution shall be completely organized there shall be
1st A Preparatory Classical Teacher
2nd A Teacher’s department, and
3rd not fewer than three Professors, viz.
1st A Professor of Moral Philosophy, Logick Rhetorick and the evidences of Christianity who shall be the president and pastor of the Institution and have the supervision of the Manual Labor Departments
II A Professor of Mathematicks, Natural Philosophy and Chemistry
III A Professor on Ancient Languages

[p. 96]
Sect. 2nd The President, Professors and Tutors shall be elected by the Presbyteries aforesaid in the following order viz When in the opinion of the Board of Trustees it shall be necessary to elect said officers the Board shall invite a constitutional meeting of the several Presbyteries patronizing the College to be held at a time and place designated by the Board where as Presbyteries they shall proceed to the election of such officer or officers in such a way as shall be mutually agreed on and it shall require a majority of the votes of all the Presbyteries so convened to elect such officer (See proposed alternative page 181, 200 & 214)
Sec 3. No Person shall be inducted into the office of Teacher or Professor unless he be a member of the Presbyterian Church in full communion.
Sect 4 The Teachers and Professors shall on their inauguration enter into the following obligations, viz.
“I do sincerely believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the word of God —- They only infallible rule of faith and practice.
“I do sincerely receive & adopt the Confession of the Presbyterian Church in the U. S. A. as faithfully exhibiting the doctrines taught in the Holy Scriptures.
“I do sincerely approve and adopt the form of Government and discipline of the Presbyterian Church in these United States, & I do solemnly engage not to teach any thing that is opposed to any doctrine contained in the Confession of Faith; nor to oppose any of the fundamental principles of the Presbyterian

[p. 97]
Church Government while I continue a Professor or Teacher in this Institution.
Sect. 5 Each Professor shall receive a Salary of one thousand dollars annually; which sum however may be modified by the Presbyteries at their regular Sessions.
The Presbyteries shall appoint the Tutors on the recommendation of the Board of Trustees and fix their Salaries.
Sect. 6th Any Professor intending to resign his office shall give six months notice of such intention to the Board of Trustees unless they shall release him from this obligation.
Sect. 7 The Professors of the Institution shall be a Faculty who meet on their own adjournment, or whenever convened by the President; and it shall be the duty of the Faculty to arrange the Classes, make rules of order and decorum; and exercise discipline in every case except that of final expulsion.
Sec. 8 Each Professor shall have an equal vote in the decisions of the faculty.

Sec 9th If in the opinion of any of the Presbyteries united in the management of the College or in the opinion of the Board of Trustees any cause should exist, rendering it expedient that any one of the Professors or Tutors should be removed from office either of the Presbyteries at the suggestion of any three members or of the Board of Trustees shall institute before them an inquiry on the same, and if the

[p. 98]
cause be found sufficient the Presbyteries shall have the power to remove such professor or Tutor from office.

Art III Of the Course of Studies
1st of the Teachers Department
The Teachers Department shall embrace the following branches, viz
1st Reading 2 Writing 3 Common Arthematick and Surveying 4 English Grammer 5 Geography & 6 the most improved methods of teaching common schools
2nd The Preparatory School embracing
1st The Latin Language. Adam’s Latin grammar, Hoopers Prosody Caesars Commentaries 4 Books and Virgil — the whole
2 The Greek Language Volpys Greek Grammar Greek Testament John Acts English Grammar Arithematic and Geography

College Proper
Freshman Class
First Term
1st Latin Sallust 2 Greaca Minora
3 Days Algebra

Second Term
1. Cicero’s Select orations
2. Graeca Majora Historical parts
3. Days Algebra Complete
Sophomore Class
1. Livy 2 Graeca Majora 1st vol completed
3 Euclid’s Elements of Geometry
Second Term
1 Horace through the odes
2 Graeca Majora 2n volume
3. Plane Trigonometry

[p. 99]
Junior Class
First Term
1 Horace completed 2. Graeca Majora 2n vol. 3. Conick Sections
Second Term
1. Tacitus 2n Homer Iliad 3 Spherical Trigonometry

Senior Class
First Term
1 Juvenal 2. Homer’s Iliad 3. Natural Philosophy and Chemistry 4. Mental and Moral Philosophy
Second Term
1st Astronomy 2 Logick 3. Rhetorick 4. Political Class Book

Art IV of Manual Labor
Sect 1st Each Student who enters this Institution shall perform manual Labor either agricultural or mechanical in the manner and to the extent determined by the Board of Trustees
Sec 2nd There shall be a Steward whose duty it shall be to manage the farm and Boarding house and direct the Students during their labor hours.
The Salary of the Steward shall be paid by the Board of Trustees.

[p. 100]
Sec 3 Mechanicks shall be introduced into the institution to such extent and in such way at the Board of Trustees shall judge proper
Sec 4 Each Student shall receive for this labor such compensation as shall be allowed by the Board of Trustees
Sec 5 The proceeds of the labor of the Students shall belong to the Institution, and shall be disposed of by the Board of Trustees in such way as they may deem most for the advantage of the Institution

Article V of the Religious Instructin
Sec. 1st Morning and evening prayers shall be held in the Chapel by the Professors in rotation; and all the Students shall be required to attend
Sec 2 There shall be preaching to the Students in the Chapel at least twice on each Sabbath by the professors who are ministers in rotation
Sec 3 There shall be Bible Classes embracing all the Students of the Institution, conducted by the Professors in such way as they shall deem most proper

Art VI Of the Students
Sec 1st No Student shall be admitted into this Institution under 12 years of age
Sec 2 Every Student when admitted into the Institution shall be required to produce satisfactory testimonials of his good moral character
Sec 3 Every Student on entering this Institution shall be required to sign the following pledge viz I heartily subscribe to the laws of this Institution, and promise

[p. 101]
obedience to the same; and submissions to all the wholesome admonitions of the Professors and Trustees so long as I remain a Student of the Institution
Sec 4 No Student shall play any game of hazard whilst a member of the Institution
Sec 5 No Student shall absent himself from the Institution without permission of some member of the Faculty
Sec 6 The use of ardent Spirits, profane swearing and immorality of every sort is forbidden by the laws of this Institution
Sec 7th All the Students shall strictly conform to such arrangements of Study, labor and recreation; as the Faculty and Superintendent shall make
Sec 8 No Student shall advance to the studies of a higher Class, until he has completed those prior to it to the Satisfaction of the Faculty
Sec 9 All the Students entered for a full course shall be required to declame and exhibit compositions at such times as the Faculty may determine
Sec 10. Should it become necessary to expel a Student all the other students are forbidden any intercourse with him on pain of the highest displeasure of the Faculty and Board of Trustees.
Sect.11th The Faculty shall read to the Students their bye-laws (including the provisions of this Constitution) so far as it relates to the conduct of the Students)

[p. 102]
at least once every Session

Article VII. of the Vacations
There shall be two vacations in each year of 4 weeks each. one commencing on the 1st day of August and the other on the 1st of February

Article VIII.
This constitution shall not be altered or amended, except by the concurrent votes to two thirds of the members of the Presbyteries adopting it which may be present at any regular meeting of said presbyteries; notice having been given one Session previous.

Ordered that the Stated Clerk transcribe the constitution of Davidson College on the Book of Presbyterial records; and that he be compensated for the same.
On motion Presbytery proceeded to vote for a part of the officers of Davidson College, and The Revd Robt H. Morrison D. D. was chosen President

[p. 103]
and the Revd Patrick J. Sparrow Professor of Ancient Languages, and Mr. Mortimer D. Johnston Tutor
On motion Presbytery proceeded by ballot to vote for a Professor of Mathematicks and Natural Philosophy in Davidson College and the Revd William Phillips A. M. of Chapel Hill was declared to be elected by this Presbytery.

[p. 104]
The Revd Messrs J. Williamson, A. Y. Lockridge & J. M.H. Adams were appointed a committee to nominate additional Trustees for Davidson College

[p. 105]
The said Committee reported the names of Revd Messrs A. Y. Lockridge, S. L. Watson, and S. Williamson and their report was accepted and adopted.
The following is the classification of the Board of Trustees of D. College, as to their term of office
Ist Class to serve four years
Revd John Robinson D.D., Gen. Ephraim Davidson, Thomas D. Cowan, Revd. Robt H. Morrison, D. D., Revd John Williamson, & Doct Joseph W. Ross.

IInd Class to serve three years
Wm Lee Davidson, Charles W. Harris, Revd. Walter S. Pharr, Robt Potts, James M J. Adams, David A. Caldwell

IIIrd Class to serve two years
Wm B. Wood, Dr. Moses W. Alexander, Dr. D.C. Mebane, Samuel L. Watson & Revd Henry N. Pharr, John M. Wilson

IVth class to serve one year
Revd. Patrick J. Sparrow, James G. Torrence, Charles L. Torrence, A. Y. Lockridge, James W. Osborn & Samuel Williamson

Resolved that the Presbyteries of Morganton and Bethel be requested to send up to the President of

[p. 106]
the Board of Trustees of Davidson College as soon as practicable the result of their action on the following items viz 1st Their decision as the to acceptance of the Charter
2nd As to the adopting of the constitution
3 Their note for a person to fill the Professorship of Mathematicks & Natural Philosophy

[p. 110, 12 March 1839]

Resolved that the salary of the President of Davidson College and also that of the Professors of Ancient Languages and of Mathematicks & Natural Philosophy be fixed at twelve hundred dollars per annum.
Resolved that ministers and agents in congregations be directed to make all prudent exertions to have all the funds due on subscriptions to Davidson College collected immediately and forwarded to the Treasurer.

Back to Presbytery Minutes | Transcript


Sorry, comments are closed for this post.