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Colleges of One Hundred Years Ago.


The instruction given in the American colleges in 1789 was by no means advanced. We can see how it was with Harvard from the change of curriculum effected in 1787. Up to that time the Latin and Greek provided had consisted of Virgil Cicero's Orations and the Greek Testament. By the changes made in 1787 the students were to read in Latin, Horace, Sallust and Cicero "de Oratore;" and in Greek, Xenophon and Homer. Even this was not a more advanced curriculum than that of the best preparatory schools of the present time. The study of mathematics was probably not carried much beyond geometry. Harvard, then, had 300 students and Princeton 130. A student's annual expenses at Harvard were about $200.

At that time there existed thirty-one academies, and eighteen colleges. Of the colleges, four were in New England: Dartmouth in New Hampshire, Harvard in Massachusetts, Brown in Rhode Island, Yale in Connecticut. New York had old Kings College, the name of which had since the Revolution been changed to Columbia College. New Jersey had Rutgers for the Dutch Reformed, and Princeton for the Presbyterians. In Pennsylvania there were the University of Pennsylvania and Dickinson College. Of the nine southern colleges, five were in Maryland; they were St. John's College at Annapolis, Georgetown College, now in the District of Columbia, a college at Frederick, the Washington College at Charlestown, and a Methodist college at Abingdon. Virginia had three colleges, William and Mary, Hampden Sidney College, and Washington College, which has since become Washington and Lee University. Lastly in South Carolina, was the College of Charlestown.

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