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HISTORY OF HILLSDALE COLLEGE

BY HON. JOHN C. PATTERSON, 1883

There upon the board of trustees voted to change Others were threatening to follow, when the speaker remarked that possibly a more appropriate text for the occasion would have been "The wicked flee when no man pursueth. " This sermon sounded the key-note of Michigan Central College and Hillsdale College on that question during all the years of the existence of slavery. Local trustees, and friends of means and influence outside the denomination, were offended by this bold stand. The slavery question became an apple of discord, and caused bitterness and embarrassment among the friends of the enterprise. These differences, however, were not fatal to the cause, and it was determined to open the school the following December. What a college. It had no money, no endowment, no charter, no legal organization, no buildings, no library, no apparatus, no students. Nevertheless the announcement was made to the world that the halls of Michigan Central College, at Spring Arbor, would be opened on the 4th day of December, 1844. A few days prior to the time designated, President D. M. Graham was duly settled in a log hut on the hill near the old Indian burying-ground, in Spring Arbor. At the appointed time, school opened in an old building formerly used as a store. The building was small, wood-colored, a story and a half high, and contained two rooms, one on the first and the other on the second floor. These two rooms served as chapel, recitation rooms, reception room, library, laboratory, etc., for the institution. On the first day of school, five students, viz.: Livonia E. Benedict, Moses Benedict, Jr., George L. Cornell, Clinton B. Fiske, and Andrew J. Graham matriculated and enrolled their names on the college register. Other students came in during the term, among whom we are able to name Henry R. Cook, Stephen Mead, and Laura E. Hayes of Cook's Prairie, and Mary G. Cornell of Spring Arbor. The number of students gradually increased, some coming from the immediate vicinity of the school, other from distant Free-will Baptist, Quaker and anti-slavery families and influences.

EARLY MICHIGAN


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