Page:A History of the University of Chicago by Thomas Wakefield Goodspeed.djvu/44

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18
A HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO

before. Three endowments amounting to forty-one thousand five hundred dollars and an unknown amount contributed for scholarships had been absorbed in current expense and building disbursements.

But this financial story is very far from being the whole of the history of the first University of Chicago. It had an interesting and fruitful educational career. The charter of the University, said to have been written by Senator Douglas, certainly approved by him, named twenty men, a majority of them being members of Baptist churches, as the first trustees, and provided that "a majority of the trustees and the President of the University shall forever be of the same religious denomination as the majority of this corporation." It then stated that otherwise than this, "no religious test or particular religious profession shall ever be held as a requisite for admission to any department of the University, or for election to any professorship, or other place of honor or emolument in it, but the same shall be open alike to persons of any religious faith or profession." The University was conducted throughout its history in a most liberal spirit, being universally recognized as a Christian, but not at all as a sectarian, institution. Many of the most distinguished citizens of Chicago were members of its Board of Trustees and deeply interested in its welfare.

Stephen A. Douglas was president of the Board of Trustees till his death in 1861. William B. Ogden succeeded him and remained president until his death sixteen years later. Dr. Burroughs, the first president of the University, continued in that office until December 30, 1873. He was later appointed chancellor and filled that position until 1877. On the resignation of the presidency by Dr. Burroughs, the Hon. James R. Doolittle, lawyer, judge, senator, who had been a trustee for seventeen years, was made acting-president ad interim, serving until Dr. Lemuel Moss was elected president in July, 1874. Dr. Moss was an able man, but he continued in office only one year. In December, 1875, Alonzo Abernethy was elected president and entered upon his duties in September, 1876. Mr. Abernethy was an alumnus of the University, of the class of 1866, had been elected to the legislature of his state, Iowa, before his graduation, and at the time of his election