Page:A History of the University of Chicago by Thomas Wakefield Goodspeed.djvu/36

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CHAPTER I
THE PREPARING OF THE WAY

The history of the University of Chicago cannot be made fully intelligible without a review of some of the earlier movements in Chicago and elsewhere which prepared the way for it and led to its establishment. Men of the generation preceding its birth labored and the University entered into their labors. It grew out of a soil made rich and productive by earlier institutions. Not all these men and movements, indeed, can be considered in this record. Any attempt to include in it all the men and measures that sustain some causal relation to the University would lead too far afield. But there are certain outstanding institutions and agencies, individuals and efforts which demand consideration.

Not least among the institutions was the first University of Chicago. There was such an institution, quite distinct from and antedating by thirty-four years the present University. It was established under the same religious auspices; it bore the same name; and it created throughout a wide constituency an inextinguishable desire and purpose that that name and all it stood for should not perish.

In 1856 the population of Chicago was eighty-four thousand, and the assessed valuation of property real and personal was twenty- nine million dollars. Contrary to the general impression, its people were idealists. Combined with a boundless faith in the future of the city there was a remarkable spirit of idealism and altruism which conceived and planned and executed noble schemes for the higher life of Chicago and the West. Just before this time, out of this spirit had sprung the Northwestern University. In this very year, 1856, steps were being taken for founding the Chicago Theological Seminary, and for bringing to the city what became the McCormick Theological Seminary. It was at this time that the Academy of Sciences and Hahnemann College originated. The Old Settlers Society had just been organized. In 1856 the Garrett

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