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HISTORY OF HILLSDALE COLLEGE

BY HON. JOHN C. PATTERSON, 1883

The individual defendants were the trustees of the college. This bill was filed on behalf of the stockholders of the corporation, with a prayer to restrain the trustees from selling or removing the property at Spring Arbor, and to restrain them from collecting money, and from building a college at Hillsdale. A preliminary injunction was issued, restraining the trustees according to the prayer of said bill during the pendency of the suit. On the 8th day of November, 1853, the college demurred to the bill. None of the trustees answered except Elijah Cook, who on the 19th of January, 1854, answered and disclaimed intent. The faction opposing the removal made the most of this suit. Suits for damages were threatened. Great uneasiness was caused among the trustees by the threats and pending litigation, from the fact that the charter provided, that "the trustees of said college shall be jointly and severally liable for all judgments obtained against the corporation. " The individual trustees were restrained under heavy penalties by the mandate of the court from collecting funds and from erecting the buildings already begun. Some who were not enjoined by the court made the suit a pretext for refusing to fulfill their promises. The timid faltered, the brave were cautious. and enthusiasm in the work at Hillsdale died out. Other difficulties arose. In this crisis. Dr. George W. Underwood, one of the original leaders and one of the most efficient workers in the cause at Hillsdale, one of the seven men who had pledged one thousand dollars each towards the college, and a member of the building committee, a man who had given assurances that he would endow a professorship in the institution, took offense and refused to pay the balance of his subscription.

EARLY MICHIGAN


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