The plan of this Seminary was projected in July, 1832. It owes its origin to the following facts. The growing millions of the Mississippi Valley are perishing through want of well qualified ministers and teachers, and the Great Head of the Church has latterly inclined multitudes of youth to preach his gospel, and train the rising generation for his service; but his people have not yet adequately provided for their education. In view of these facts the founders of the Oberlin Institute, having waited on God for counsel, and being encouraged by the wise and good, resolved to rise and build. Having surveyed the West till prepared to select the most eligible site for this Institution, they resolved to locate it in Russia, Lorain County, Ohio, eleven miles south of Black River Port on Lake Erie. That situation is easy of access to youth from the East, who have the following inducements to go thither for education, if they design to labor in the West when qualified.
They can there acquire as thorough an education as in the East, and at far less expense; they can be much more useful during their course of study, and an acquaintance with western character, formed by personal intercourse, will better prepare them for moulding that character when they shall enter upon professional service. This Seminary thus located, is also surrounded by 100,000 inhabitants greatly needing its benefits. Its site is upon 500 acres of land given as a permanent farm by the owners of the town in which it is located; and in the midst of 5,000 acres to be occupied by a colony of the most valuable eastern families that can be obtained; some of which have already removed, and there fixed their residence, for the express purpose of sustaining this Seminary and otherwise glorifying God and doing good to men, to the extent of their ability.
The grand (but not exclusive) objects of the Oberlin Institute, are the education of gospel ministers and pious school teachers. To fit them thoroughly for their important services, they will be furnished with academic, collegiate, and theological privileges, inclusive of those peculiar to a Teacher's Seminary, like the one at Andover, Massachusetts.
Thetime of study requisite for the ministry and school teaching is not fixed, but thorough qualifications for those services must be acquired before a diploma can be obtained.
While most of the students in this Seminary will be youth, special provision will be made for those who are more advanced in life when they commence their studies.
The system of education in this Institute will provide for the body and heart as well as the intellect; for it aims at the best education of the whole man. The Manual Labor Department will receive unusual attention, being not, (as is too common) regarded as an appendage to the literary department; but systematized and incorporated with it. A variety of agricultural, horticultural, and mechanical labors will be performed by the students under circumstances most conducive to their health and support. All will be required to labor probably four hours daily .
This Institution is also to have a Female Department, on the Manual Labor Plan, for the same reasons that it is adopted in the Male Department. Housekeeping, the manufacture of wool, the culture of silk, the appropriate parts of gardening, particularly raising and fitting seeds for the market, the making of clothes, &c.; will furnish them employment suited to their sex, and conducive to their health, good habits, and support.
There will be in connection with this Seminary, Infant and Primary Departments of instruction under the general supervision of the President, that the architect who rears the superstructure may lay well the cornerstone. The primary departments will be established and sustained at the expense of the Oberlin Colony, by which the Institute is embosomed.
This work is in successful progress, and Providence permitting, the academic course of instruction will be commenced on the 1st of December next; and the higher department be opened as soon as the advance of the students shall require them.