Page:The Cambridge History of American Literature, v3.djvu/420

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and a book of practice was published as early as 1802. Courses in law were offered as early as 1773 at King's, now Columbia; at William and Mary, Yale, and Princeton before 1795. In 1793 James Kent was appointed lecturer in law at Columbia and served for three years. After twenty-five years at the bar and on the bench he returned to the academic position and delivered the series of lectures which forms the basis of American legal literature, his Commentaries on American Law.[1]

Medical education, like legal education, had been given during the colonial period chiefly by the apprentice system. Transition from this occurred through proprietary schools. While these schools persisted for the most part until the middle of the nineteenth century, yet university affiliation was found as early as 1767 at King's, now Columbia. More noted, however, was the proprietary school in Philadelphia from which the patriot physician Benjamin Rush laid the foundation of American medical literature.

The literature of science and philosophy stimulated in England and France chiefly through the quasi-public academies and in the Teutonic countries chiefly through state-controlled universities, found its chief encouragement in America through privately organized societies. The earliest of these was the famous Junto of Benjamin Franklin, organized in 1743. In 1780 this developed into the American Philosophical Society at Philadelphia. The same year the American Academy of Arts and Sciences was organized at Boston. This institution was chiefly under English influences, as the former was under French. Under the auspices of these two organizations most of the early scientific and philosophical publications of Americans were produced. Much of this literature was of very practical character, relating to agriculture, climatology, applied sciences, industry. Before 1820 eight or ten such societies were organized. After that period the number of such societies increased rapidly; but with growth in numbers came increased specialization. The development of the natural sciences brought about a less popular character of publication. Finally the literature of these societies became so technical as to fall out of the field of general educational literature.

As has been indicated, almost half a century of national

  1. See Book II, Chap. XV.