Page:A History of the University of Chicago by Thomas Wakefield Goodspeed.djvu/30

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6
A HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO

interest of that plan the board contained a large number who by proximity of residence and for other reasons were specially interested in Columbian.

The Chicago interest to which my studies had fully committed me, as against both Washington and New York, was therefore faced by a board the majority of whose members were inclined to favor the development of Coliunbian University at Washington. I read my paper to the board and advocated Chicago with such resources as were at my command. Dr. Welling, its president, urged upon the board, as the first duty of Baptists, the development of Columbian. Dr. Harper and others, but especially Dr. Harper, came strongly to the support of Chicago, urging in addition to my plea the high probability of success at Chicago, on account of the interest which Mr. Rockefeller had expressed to him about two months before at Vassar and on various later occasions. It is certainly most creditable to the disinterestedness of those whose hearts and whose interests were with Coliunbian at Washington that in the end they voted unanimously to adopt the policy which I had formulated, and the resolutions, which I had drawn up in advance, committing the society to the attempt to found the proposed institution at Chicago, and instructing the secretary to use every means at his command to forward the enterprise. At the same time, and by the same resolutions, the board expressed its preference for a location within the city of Chicago, rather than in a suburb. The Chicago enterprise, reinforced by the known approval of Mr. Rockefeller and by this adoption as a policy by the Executive Board of the Education Society, was now strong enough to command the interest of Chicago Baptists and of the denomination at large. Consideration of the claims of Columbian, urged by Dr. Welling, was with his consent postponed. I then hoped and believed that this postponement would be permanent, and so in the sequel it proved to be. The City of Washington was not, is not, and I think is not likely to become a suitable place for a seat of learning. I cannot but think that the Catholics and the Methodists have made a mistake, as the Baptists did, in attempting to found a national university at Washington. The population of the city is made up for the most part of government clerks, with no fixed tenure of office. There