Select Minutes of the Oberlin College Board of Trustees
Transcribed below are pages of select Board of Trustee meeting minutes (from a replacement copy of Volume 1), 1834-1877, Records of the Oberlin College Board of Trustees, Record Group 1, Oberlin College Archives. Some changes in punctuation have been made for the sake of clarity.
Jan. 1 1835 (held at Elyria, O.)
The Board of Trustees of The Oberlin Collegiate Institute met at Elyria on the 1st January 1835—
Present: Rev'd John Keep, Fred'k Hamlin, Addison Tracy, P.P. Pease, Jabez L. Burrell, N. P. Fletcher & Philo P. Stewart
The meeting was opened by praryer. Rev'd John Keep in the Chair—
Resolved, That Messrs. Waldo & Eelis be invited to in sit counsel with the Board on the subject of choosing a president & professor of mathematics for the Oberlin Collegiate Institute—
Resolved Unanimously That Rev'd Asa Mahan be and is hereby appointed to the office of President and professor of moral and intellectual Philosophy and associate professor of Theology of the Oberlin Collegiate Institute
Resolved Unanimously That the Rev'd John Morgan be and is hereby appointed professor of Mathematics & Natural Philosophy (J.H.F.) in the Oberlin Collegiate Institute
Whereas information has been received from Revd John J. Shipherd, expressing a wish that students may be received into the Institution irrespective of color— therefore
Resolved That this Board do not feel prepared till they have other and more definite information on the subject to give a pledge respecting the course they will pursue in regard to the education of the people of color: wishing that this Institution should be on the same ground in respect to the admission of students with other similar institutions of our land
Prayer was offered and the Board adjourned
February 9 1835. February 10 1835.
The Board of Trustees Met at Oberlin Feb'y 9, 1835
Present Rev'd John Keep, Revd John Keys, Fred'k Hamlin, Eliphalet Redington, Addiston Tracy, Revd Joel Talcott, N.P. Fletcher, P.P. Pease & Philo P. Stewart—
After prayer the meeting was opened— Rev'd John Keep in the chair—
A communication was presented by the chair from Rev'd J.J. Shipherd relating to Professorships— after some discussion and remarks, prayer was offered & the Board adjourned to meet tomorrow morning—
The Board met according to adjournment, the meeting was opened by prayer—
Resolved That the question in respect to the admission of students into the Seminary be in all cases left to the decision of the Faculty & to them be committed also the internal management of its concerns, provided always that they be holden amenable to the Board & not liable to censure, or interruption from the Board so long as their measures shall not infringe upon the laws or general principles of the Institution.
Resolved That if the power given to the Faculty by the above resolution shall be so used as to divert the donations made before the year 1835 from the purpose for which they were given, the donors may claim and received back their donations,—
Resolved That a professorship of Theology be now established in this Institution—
Resolved That the Rev'd Charles G. Finney of the City of New York be and is hereby elected and duly appointed professor of Theology in the Oberlin Collegiate Institute—
Resolved That with the view of the increased influence of Rev'd Finney in the Church at large he have liberty to be absent 4 or 5 months of each year when on consulting with the Faculty & with them making the arrangement so as to serve the best interests of the Institution, he shall deem it to be his duty—
Resolved That the expenses of his removal with his family to this place be defrayed from the funds of the Institution—
Resolved That the Rev'd John Morgan of Clinton New York be and hereby is duly elected & appointed professor of New Testament Literature of the history of the Christian Church in the Oberlin Collegiate Institute
Whereas there does exist in our country an excitement in respect to our colored population, and fears are entertained that on the one hand, they will be left unprovided for, as to the means of a proper education, and on the other that they will in unsuitable numbers be introduced into our Schools, and thus in effect forced into the Society of whites, & the state of public opinion is such as to regain from the Board some definite expression on the subject, therefore
Resolved That the Education of the people of color is a matter of great interest and should be encouraged in every proper way and manner & sustained in this Institution.
Resolved That in view of the importance of having Mr. Stewart's services in making stove patterns, he be released from the Steward's department for a season
Resolved That this Board highly appreciate the services and approve the management of Mr. & Mrs. Stewart while in the discharge of their arduous duties as superintendents of the Boarding department of this Institute—
By order of the Board
J. Keep President
Philo P Stewart Rec'g Sec'y