History of the University of Pennsylvania, 1740-1940

History of the University of Pennsylvania, 1740-1940

Edward Potts Cheyney
Copyright Date: 1940
Pages: 461
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  • Book Info
    History of the University of Pennsylvania, 1740-1940
    Book Description:

    Following his retirement from teaching in 1934, Edward Potts Cheyney was invited by the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania to write a history of the University in celebration of its bicentennial. Cheyney completed the project, published as the present work, in 1940. This, then, is his history of the University of Pennsylvania from its founding to its bicentennial anniversary.

    eISBN: 978-0-8122-0879-5
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
    (pp. vii-x)
    Edward P. Cheyney
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. BOOK I: EARLY TIMES:: 1740–1779
    • Chapter 1 THE CITY
      (pp. 3-16)

      Philadelphia in the middle of the eighteenth century had become, by colonial standards, a large and rich city. A careful count of houses in 1749 indicated that it possessed a population of about twelve thousand. This was increasing rapidly. Week by week, often day by day, vessels came up the river bringing immigrants from Europe and passengers from other American settlements. Some of these only passed through the city on their way to the farming regions; but, as in all cases when a city is once established, there was a steady reflux from the country into the town. Individuals, like...

    • Chapter 2 THE FOUNDATION: 1740–1755
      (pp. 17-52)

      The arrival in Philadelphia in November 1739 of George Whitefield, a young Anglican clergyman, on a preaching mission, proved to be an event of much influence upon the early stages of this development. He was the greatest of all revivalists. His energy, his zeal for the conversion of souls, his native gifts of eloquence carried him like a rushing wind through all the colonies. “In journeyings often,” like Paul, through eight years of impetuous activity he awakened and divided his own and other denominations, and stirred to spiritual concern thousands of men and women who had previously had no religious...

    • Chapter 3 THE COLONIAL COLLEGE: 1755–1779
      (pp. 53-126)

      In the tangle of warehouses, shops, and passageways that now cover the site of the colonial College at Fourth and Arch streets can still be recognized sufficient landmarks to give a sense of reality to the contemporary descriptions and sketches that have come down to us. After the original acquisition of May 1740, the purchase of additional lots to the south and north in 1750 and 1751, and extension of its property somewhat later to Arch Street, the College started its adult life in a tract extending some two hundred and eighty feet along Fourth Street and approximately two hundred...

  5. BOOK II: THE MIDDLE PERIOD:: 1779–1829
      (pp. 129-175)

      The history of this period has been much neglected and even more misunderstood. Led by their sympathy with the displaced Provost, Trustees, and Faculty, and by their interest in the colonial College, by a mistaken reading of the law of 1779, and perhaps by their own political affiliations, earlier historians of the University have treated the decade from 1779 to 1789 as a lull in its activities, and have hastened on to the anticipated but, as it proved, abortive restoration of the old Provost, Trustees, and Faculty. The career of the University of the State was, however, of much interest,...

    • Chapter 5 LOW WATER: 1791–1828
      (pp. 176-216)

      So the Trustees and Faculties of the state University and of the restored colonial College were merged into one body and began from the year 1791 a new life. No alumnus, however loyal, and no historian, however sunny, can contend that the united University in the later years of the eighteenth century and the early decades of the nineteenth was a great institution. But neither were the other American colleges and universities of the time. All institutions have their times of depression. This was not a great academic age.

      As to Pennsylvania, the whole period, from the union in 1791...

  6. BOOK III: THE RENAISSANCE:: 1829–1881
      (pp. 219-256)

      If the old saw about the darkest hour being just before the dawn has any meteorological defense, some justification may be found for the changes that took place in the University in the late twenties and the thirties. After the sudden removal of the Provost and dissolution of the Faculty in 1828, a committee of the Board of Trustees on new appointments, with Nicholas Biddle as chairman, proceeded to make a wide search for candidates for the provostship. Letters to distinguished Bostonians, among others to Edward Everett and George Ticknor, brought courteous but not very helpful replies. Harvard was looking...

      (pp. 257-282)

      The renaissance of the University, the first stirrings of which were discernible long before the middle of the century, and which became a vigorous movement after the Civil War, was a gradual development; but if a definite date for the beginning of a larger life for the University must be chosen, none probably is more defensible than the entrance into office in 1868 of Charles J. Stillé, the tenth Provost, followed closely, in 1870, by the migration of the University to its third home, in West Philadelphia. Dr. Stillé was the first Provost, barring the short and obscure incumbency of...

  7. BOOK IV: MODERN TIMES:: 1881–1940
    • Chapter 8 THE ERA OF EXPANSION
      (pp. 285-359)

      The University at last had a head. With the introduction of changes in the position of the Provost long overdue, and without which the nominee would not accept the office, a new era of efficiency and development was entered upon. The restricted position of the Provost, like that title itself, had been an anomaly from the beginning. Both reflected the supremacy of the group of generous contributors who had founded the institution and had become not only its Trustees but its rulers. The active personality of the first Provost, Dr. William Smith, preserved the colonial College from a conflict of...

    • Chapter 9 PROVOST, TRUSTEES, AND ALUMNI 1910–1930
      (pp. 360-413)

      The physician-provost and the business-man-provost having implemented the office between 1881 and 1910 with new and greater powers and achieved great results, it remained for the two scholar-provosts who successively followed them to carry on the tradition of that office till its administrative functions were so largely merged in those of the new presidency. Neither Edgar F. Smith, who was Provost from 1910 to 1920, nor Josiah H. Penniman, whose independent administration came down to June 1929, and in its modified form to June 1939, was merely a scholar. The long administrative experience of each had prepared him to a...

    • Chapter 10 UNDER A PRESIDENT: 1930–1940
      (pp. 414-434)

      As the second century of the University’s history drew toward a close it became increasingly evident that its educational progress during the past fifty years of expansion had been more rapid than the development of its administrative structure. The same distant and unorganized Board of Trustees, the same body of incongruous powers and responsibilities incumbent on the Provost, the same absence of centralized and coordinated administrative offices characterized the large and complex institution of 1900 to 1930 that had been true of the smaller and simpler institution of the latter part of the nineteenth century.

      The correction of this state...

    (pp. 435-436)
  9. INDEX
    (pp. 437-461)