Page:A History of the University of Chicago by Thomas Wakefield Goodspeed.djvu/47

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21
THE PREPARING OF THE WAY

began to appear in its classes, and to call, as the day of their graduation drew near, for theological instruction. To this call a response was first made by the organization, in 1861, of the Theological Union of Chicago, to provide facilities for the theological education of the young men connected with the University. On August 13, 1863, the preliminary organization was merged in what became the permanent and productive one, "The Baptist Theological Union, located at Chicago." The Union was first incorporated under a general law, but on February 16, 1865, was given a charter by special act of the legislature. Its object was declared to be "the founding, endowment, support, and direction of an institution for theological instruction." Some preliminary work in instruction was done by Dr. Nathaniel Colver, who also secured from W. W. Cook of Whitehall, New York, and Mial Davis and Laurence Barnes of Burlington, Vermont, a contribution of seven thousand five hundred dollars. Substantial contributions were made by the Colgates of New York and M. L. Pierce of Lafayette, Indiana, and a financial foundation was begun. In September, 1866, the trustees voted "that Rev. G. W. Northrup, D.D., professor of Ecclesiastical History in the Rochester Theological Seminary, be invited to the professorship of Systematic Theology, to enter upon full service at the close of the current Seminary year in Rochester, and the chair in the meantime to be endowed." Two months later the trustees of the University invited Dr. Northrup to assume charge of the President's chair of that institution, Dr. Burroughs to turn his attention "for an indefinite time" to the raising of funds. It was further "resolved that this tender is made to Prof. Northrup on condition that he shall continue to fill the office of President of the University until the chair of Systematic Theology in the Theological Seminary is fully endowed." Had this plan been carried out, history would have been changed. Dr. Northrup would have continued in the presidency of the University at least seventeen years, as his professorship was not endowed till 1883, and many things would have been different.

Dr. Northrup was a great executive and a great teacher. He entered upon his term of service with the Seminary (the proposed relation to the University having fallen through) in the summer of