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THE GREAT STRUGGLE ENDED.
Agricultural College- A Short Synopsis of the Closing Debate
in the Senate.
[From the Missouri Statesman, February 25, 1870.] WE publish below a summary of the closing debate on the Agricultural College bill. It has been a severe struggle running through three or four years of legislation. The friends of concentration, under the lead of Honorable J. S. Rollins, have finally won the victory. It is a great triumph. It unites two great literary and scientific institutions in Missouri which without it would both have been failures. It insures the future success of the State University, and gathers around it a powerful educational influence which will make it, for all time, the center of our State educational system. It plants at last, after so many years of toil, anxiety, and effort, our University upon a firm and solid foundation. It may have its seasons of adversity still, growing out of bad management, or occasional political or sectarian interference, but it cannot be shaken or permanently injured. It must become one of the great educational lights of the Mississippi Valley. We repeat, it has been a great contest; it is over, and let all unite now in making the institution a success, an honor and a blessing to the State and country. In both branches of the General Assembly, Major Rollins, running through the long years of contest, has been the active, enthusiastic, and eloquent champion of the measure. Whilst other friends have labored zealously, he was the author, and has been the steady and unflinching advocate, who insured our triumph; and it is to be regretted that the exhaustive and powerful speeches made by him, both in the Senate and House of Representatives, during the pendency of the various bills, have not been preserved for the want of a Legislative reporter.
FEBRUARY 10, 1870. Senator Birch called up Senate bill No. 16, in relation to the Agricultural College.
The Secretary read the House amendments to the bill.
Senator Filler moved to lay the bill over informally, and that the amendments be printed.
Senator ROLLINS: While there are a great many amendments, the larger portion of them are wholly immaterial. There are really only three or four amendments - one is in relation to a mining school in the Southeast.
Second. That agricultural lands leased may be taxed for State and county purposes.
Third. In relation to the settlement of the lands, giving the settlers the preference in the purchase of them.
Fourth. The striking out of the twenty-fifth section in relation to Lincoln Institute.
I trust there will be no delay.
Senator CAVENDER: I should like to look at these amendments, and judge of them myself.
Senator Filler: The Senator from Boone has had ample opportunity to judge of this bill, but I have not. I will be willing to take it up within four hours after the printed amendments are laid upon my desk.
Senator HARBINE: I do not think delay is necessary. Let us settle this strife - come to some conclusion in relation to this matter. I am prepared to concede something to the House. I am not averse to putting over to some definite time, but I do oppose laying it over informally. I therefore amend by moving that it be made the special order for Tuesday next, at II o'clock.
Senator FILLER: I accept the amendment.
Senator MORRISON: I do not see what good it will do to postpone this bill. The amendments, I think, are perfectly understood by the Senate.
Senator HARBINE: I withdraw my proposition.
Senator BRUERE: I confess that I am entirely taken by surprise. Only a few days ago the Senator from Boone urged that the Constitution would not permit the establishment of this school at any other place than the State University. To-day, I understand him that he desires a portion of this grant to go to a School of Mines. I am not prepared for so sudden a change. I want time to consider these propositions. We want time to prepare our plan of battle.
Senator Rollins: My argument was that the State University should have established a Department of Agriculture therein, according to the express terms of the Constitution. I have been earnestly urging the policy of concentrating these funds in connection with the University. They would be more beneficial then to the people of the State. But it is apparent that such a bill cannot be passed; I therefore yield, and take the next best measure, and that is to provide for a School of Mines as a branch of the University, to be located in the mineral district of southeast Missouri.
Senator BRUERE: Am I to understand the Senator that on the same principle the Agricultural College may be located in any part of the State, so long as it is made a department of the State University ?
Senator Rollins: The Senator from St. Charles is to understand me as insisting upon the Legislature establishing a Department of Agriculture in connection with the University, as the Constitution commands, and who but the Senator from St. Charles would place this department in a distant part of the State, or anywhere else indeed except in immediate connection with the University, where the two institutions would be strengthened by their proximity, and secure to both the greatest usefulness and prosperity ?
Senator BUCKLAND: I presume that these amendments are very simple, but I have not seen the original bill, and I want time to look it over.
Senator Rollins: We have nothing to do with the original bill. We have to deal only with the amendments, which the Senator says he understands.
Senator Evans: I have begged that these amendments be printed ever since they passed the House. Could I have got hold of them, I would have been willing to have them printed at my own expense, but there seems to be a determination to keep them in the dark.
The motion to make it the special order for Tuesday next was lost.
Senator Evans moved to make it the special order for to-morrow at two o'clock.
The first amendment, establishing a “School of Mines and Metallurgy," was agreed to.
Senator Graham objected to the second reading of the second amendment.
Senator Bruere offered an amendment to the third amendment in relation to the division of the fund between the Agricultural College, the School of Mines, and Lincoln Institute, giving eight-thirteenths to the Agricultural College, four-thirteenths to the School of Mines, and one-thirteenth Lincoln Institute.
Senator BRUERE: I offer this amendment in justice to a large number of the population of our State. We provided for Lincoln Institute in the Senate bill. This provision was stricken out. I desire to know why it was done.
Senator Rollins: This question has been fully discussed in the House, and they decided there to do away with this provision. There is no disposition on the part of any friend of this bill to do injustice to any one on the subject of education. The original bill provided for an Agricultural and Mechanical College in connection with Lincoln Institute, by giving to it one'thirteenth part of this congressional grant of lands. But the intelligent and educated portion of the colored race in our State say that they do not want it
for any such purpose. They told us in language not to be misunderstood a few nights since in this Capitol that they wanted provision made for a Normal School, designed to educate colored teachers for the education of the colored children of the State. This is true wisdom. They understand their own wants better than we do. A bill drawn up by one of them has already been presented in the other House, making an annual appropriation for a Normal School. It will pass the House, and I am ready to support it here. But you cannot take a part of this congressional land grant to establish a Normal School for white or black. To do so would be a violation of the law of Congress and a perversion of the fund, and it would be so declared by the courts whenever the question was tested.
Senator BRUERE: This provision passed the Senate last winter and the House now asks us to recede from our position. The object is not for a Normal School, but it is made in conformity with the provisions of the grant for a School of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts.
Senator HARBINE: The question is not whether we shall recede from the position we took last winter, but whether we shall go a step further. We made two divisions of the fund. The house struck out the provision for the colored school, and established in their amendment a School of Mines. We have voted on their proposition, and accepted. The Senator seeks now to incorporate a third provision. Divide this fund to so great an extent and we shall have several puny, sickly institutions. Let us keep this fund together and build up a great institution that will be a pride to the State. Why not help the school at Kirksville or Sedalia ? They have as much right to aid as Lincoln Institute. They all need it, but if we divide the fund we will have nothing of value to the State.
Senator GRAHAM: These gentlemen incorporated this provision last winter that they might pass this bill; this winter they turn upon it. Last winter they rejected the proposition for a School of Mines; this winter, the House having passed it, they are very much in favor of it. They claim that this onethirteenth will do the colored people no good. If the whole is worth anything, this one-thirteenth will very much benefit these people who so much need it.
Senator Rollins: The Senator from Jackson is not as bright as he is usually. I have just explained why I assent to a School of Mines and why I am opposed to giving a part of this congressional fund to Lincoln Institute. Can the Senator from Jackson neither see nor hear? The colored people want a Normal School, and I am in favor of giving it to them; but you cannot touch this fund for any such purpose.
Senator GRAHAM: This bill proposes to take the lands of South Missouri and endow a school in North Missouri, and at the same time they agitate the question of dividing the State. I think it is time that Senators begin to think about this voting away the last dollar of South Missouri.
Senator Rollins: The Senator from Jackson now attempts to raise a new issue. He lugs into this debate the question of dividing the State. What has this to do with the Agricultural and Mechanical College question? Sir, who starts this question of dividing the State ? A parcel of boys who want to soar the eagle and hear themselves talk. I am utterly opposed now and forever to anything of the kind. I want to live and die in a big State and in a big country. I am for the union of the people on the north and south side of our great river now and forever. It is too late in the day for me to become an advocate for secession, either of my State or of my country. Sir, it would grieve me almost to death to part with my most amiable and good-tempered friend, the Senator from Jackson. God deliver me from so great a calamity!
The amendment to the third amendment was lost. Ayes, 12; noes, 17.
On motion of Senator Reed, further proceedings under the call were dispensed with.
Senator Ridgely moved that the Senate take a recess until to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock. Lost.
Senator Evans moved to adjourn. Lost.
Senator RIDGELY: I was in hopes of having some light thrown upon this subject by the friends of the bill. I want to know how this trade of a colored Agricultural School for a School of Mines was made.
Senator RolliNS: Like the Senator from Jackson, the Senator from St. Louis (Mr. Ridgely) is also blind. But I understand very well that he wants to defeat this measure. He has been trying it for years, and he still aims at it. He pretends not to understand it. Sir, whose fault is this? I have been making an effort for years to get a single ray of light into his head on this subject, but it seems I have failed and still fail. “ The light shineth upon the darkness, but the darkness comprehendeth it not." Sir, I repeat, whose fault is
I this? I can pour upon the Senator a flood of information, but I cannot give to him understanding. That is the gift of God.
Senator Ridgely: I cannot see how so flimsy a bait has caught so many, not only here, but in the other House. I am not opposed to a School of Mines, but I do object to its being managed by Boone County. We have seen fruits of its management for many years past.
Senator Rollins: The Senator assails the management of the University. Sir, let him come on with his facts. I am ready to meet him on that subject. But it is the management of Boone County to which he objects. Ah, yes! “That's what's the matter.” The Senator may yet perish of Boone County on the brain !