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he took in the young; the filial feeling with which he regarded the University ;- but the leading motive, and that which was the keystone of all others, was, that his refusal would deprive the University of a useful and honorable foundation. On the other hand, many considerations operated to induce a refusal, so many indeed, that, as we have seen, he had previously declined a similar position. The acceptance of this new office would, he well knew, crowd his leisure time with labor; and the removal from Salem, by breaking up his family associations, and the social circle which had gathered around him, and to which he had become greatly endeared, might materially interfere with his happiness. But after balancing all arguments, for and against the proposition, he concluded to accept it. If Mr. Dane is entitled to the honor of being the founder of this Professorship, to my father is due the honor of being the fundator perficiens, since, without his acceptance, the donation would have failed. It will, I think, also clearly appear, in the course of the future pages, that the creation of the School, the great enlargement of its funds, and the erection of the building itself, are mainly due to my father.
In consequence of my father's acceptance, Mr. Dane sent to the Corporation of the College the following letter, offering a donation of ten thousand dollars.
TO THE PRESIDENT AND FELLOWS OF THE CORPORATION OF HARVARD
Beverly, June 2nd, 1829. GENTLEMEN:
As I have a long time wished to aid and promote the law branch in the said University, and, now, by the profits of my law work, can conveniently do it, I proceed to lay the foundation of a professorship of law therein, and to provide for the appointment of a professor, and to aid in his support, in the manner following, and submit the same to your consideration.
In the first place, it shall be his duty to prepare and deliver, and to revise for publication, a course of lectures on the five following branches of Law and Equity, equally in force in all parts of our Federal Republic, namely: The Law of Nature, the Law of Nations, Commercial and Maritime Law, Federal Law and Federal Equity, in such wide extent as the same branches now are, and from time to time shall be administered in the courts of the United States, but in such cornpressed form as the professor shall deem proper; and to prepare, deliver, and revise lectures thereon as often as the said corporation shall think proper. But as the corporation may, after one course of lectures shall have been thus prepared, delivered and revised, on these branches, think it best to include in his lectures other branches of Law and Equity, that shall from time to time be in force in Massachusetts, I authorize the said corporation so to do; ever confiding in the discretion thereof, to select the State branches, the most important and the most national, that is, as much as may be branches the same in other States of the Union as in this; making lectures on this State law useful in more States than one, law clearly distinguished from that State law which is in force, and of use, in a single State only.
2d. I now appropriate ten thousand dollars, to be by me placed in the possession of the said corporation, on or before the first day of September next, as a fund forever, towards the support of the said professor, all the income whereof, and of such other moneys and funds as I may hereafter add, shall be paid over, annually or semi-annually, as the corporation may direct, to the professor for the time being; each year beginning on the first day of September.
3d. In conformity to the Constitutions of the United States, of Massachusetts, and of most of the other States, I declare that no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification of this professorship, but each person who shall be appointed professor, shall, before entering on the duties of his office, make and subscribe a declaration in the words following: “I do solemnly declare that I will, to the best of my ability, perform the duties required of me, by the statutes under which I am now appointed Professor of Law in Harvard University ;” and that no oath or other declaration shall ever be required.
4th. It is my object that a professor shall always be appointed who shall be a Counsellor at Law, at least of seven years' standing at the Bar, and to insure a suitable appointment, from time to time, of a professor learned in the branches of Law and Equity aforesaid, and especially in the said five branches, I do declare that his residence at Cambridge shall never be required as a condition of his holding the office; believing the best professors will generally be found among judges and lawyers, eminent in practice in other places conveniently situated, and who, while professors, may continue their offices and practice generally; also thinking law lectures ought to increase no faster than there is a demand for them. Clearly, their great benefit will be in publishing them.
5th. As the Hon. Joseph Story is, by study and practice, eminently qualified to teach the said branches both in Law and Equity, it is my request that he may be appointed the first professor on this foundation, if he will accept the office, and in case he shall accept the same, it is to be understood that the course of his lectures will be made to conform to his duties as one of the Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States; and further, that time shall be allowed him to complete, in manner aforesaid, a course of lectures on the said five branches, probably making four or more octavo volumes; and that all the lectures and teachings of him, and of every professor so to be appointed, shall be calculated to assist and serve in a special manner, law students and lawyers in practice, sound and useful law being the object. 6th. The number of lectures, and the manner of delivering them, I leave to the discretion of the corporation, as I do all other matters and things not contravening the rules or statutes herein contained, placing full confidence in its wisdom and judgment.
But as the present state of the law branch in the said Uni. versity, and the times of meeting of the Overseers thereof, allow less time to prepare statutes and system than is desirable, I reserve, so far as may be consistently done, liberty to put, before the first of September next, the proper rules and statutes in the case into a more technical and intelligible form, strictly preserving the substance and principles herein contained.
Your obedient servant,
This donation was accepted by the Corporation of the University, and in conformity with Mr. Dane's request, my father, on the 11th of June, was immediately elected the first Professor. The proceedings of the Corporation, in relation to the acceptance of the donation, were concurred in by the Board of Overseers, and a unanimous vote was given confirming my father's appointment.
At this time the Royall Professorship, which had been resigned by Chief Justice Parker, being still vacant, it was proposed to the Corporation that a Professor of Law should be appointed on the Royall foundation, who, in conjunction with the Dane Professor, should perform the duties of instruction. The report was accepted by the Corporation, and John H. Ashmun, Esq. of Northampton, who had been associated with Judge Howe in the charge of the Law School at that place, was appointed Royall Professor, and the appointment was concurred in by the Overseers.
On the 25th of August, 1829, Mr. Ashmun was inaugurated as Royall Professor, and my father as Dane ProfessorThe Exercises were as follows:
Introductory Prayer, by Rev. Dr. Ware.
The inaugural Discourse pronounced by my father on this occasion, is one of his most finished literary productions. It treats of the value and importance of the study of the Law, and unfolds the nature and objects of the Professorship. A subject so purely legal in its character affords, as he complains, “little scope for elegant disquisition, and almost forbids those ornaments which gratify the taste and warm the imagination of the scholar,” but it is developed with such dignity of style, and enlivened by so many glowing and vigorous passages, that attention and interest are constantly sustained.
It opens with a vindication of Jurisprudence as a science, which“ in its widest extent may be said to compass every human action, and in its minute details, to measure every human duty;" and even in its narrower view as a system of laws, “ to have strong claims on the gratitude and admiration of mankind.” Those claims it proceeds to set forth, recommending the study of the Law as the duty of the legislator, as lending a grace and finish to the learning of the scholar, and as properly forming the basis of education in a Republican