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HISTORY OF HILLSDALE COLLEGE

BY HON. JOHN C. PATTERSON, 1883

The friends of the institution and the denomination had claims upon the new party in power. They demanded a new departure in the policy of the State with reference to granting college charters. Other denominational schools heartily supported the measure. Our present college law was introduced in the legislature of 1855. The measure was opposed by the friends of the State university, but the bill was passed by the legislature, and being approved by the Governor, became a law on the 19th day of February, 1855. With the change of parties and of administration in our State government, came a change of policy in granting college charters. The general college law of our State, under which our numerous denominational colleges have been incorporated was introduced and passed to meet the peculiar wants of Hillsdale College. The history of that law is simply a chapter in the history of Hillsdale College. The board of trustees held their last meeting under the old charter on the 3d day of January, 1855. At this meeting the announcement was made to the board that the suit brought in the circuit court for the county of Jackson, in chancery, on the relation of the Attorney General against Michigan Central College, and the trustees individually, had been argued, and that Hon. David Johnson, the circuit judge, had decided that there were no stockholders of the corporation to be protected by a court of equity, and had dismissed the bill and thereby dissolved the injunction issued against the defendants. Thus one by one the obstacles were removed. The friends of the college took courage and worked on with renewed zeal. A call was published in the local and denomination papers for a meeting, to take the requisite steps to incorporate the college under the new law. This meeting convened at the Presbyterian church in Hillsdale, on the 22d day of March, 1855. Judge Joel McCollum was elected chairman, and Prof. Charles H. Churchill secretary of the meeting.

EARLY MICHIGAN


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