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HISTORY OF HILLSDALE COLLEGE

BY HON. JOHN C. PATTERSON, 1883

This cause would secure influence from other schools desiring to acquire power to confer degrees. The friends of the enterprise now turned their attention toward securing friends and influence in the legislature to be elected in 1854. Hillsdale selected Dr. Alonzo Cressy to take the matter in hand. He was nominated and elected to the State senate in that interest. Daniel Dunakin was nominated and elected to the house of representatives from Calhoun county for the same purpose. A general college law was agitated throughout the State, and was made a special subject of discussion by the friends of the enterprise and the members of the denomination so deeply interested. The board of trustees still clinging to corporate existence under their old charter, on the 19th day of December, 1854, resolved to use all honorable means to procure the passage of a general college law by the legislature at its coming session. Under the State constitution of 1850, educational corporations were required to be organized under general laws, and special charters were prohibited. A general law was the only hope. The institution at Spring Arbor and the Free-will Baptist denomination had long been identified with the anti-slavery cause. When the republican party was organized upon an anti-slavery platform at Jackson in 1854, the great mass of the denomination found themselves in full sympathy with its principles. The party took the same ground that the denomination had for a long time been advocating, and in 1854 it received almost the unanimous support of the Free-will Baptist voters in the State. The election of a republican governor and legislature in Michigan in 1854 was fortunate for the college without a charter.

EARLY MICHIGAN


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