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forward to engage at close quarters; but the Creeks retreated in the direction of the concealed bowmen. Again the Cherokee queen was in the thickest of the fray, and soon fell from her horse, pierced by many bristling arrows. The wail of lament "Oncowah, Oncowah !" rising from the field of carnage, disheartened the Cherokees and they in turn sullenly retreated to the north, tenderly carrying their fallen queen with them. If she had survived the battle it is difficult to say what would have been the result.*
* Extracts from "The Early History of Jackson County, Georgia,” etc., by J. G. N. Wilson. Edited and published by W. E. White, 1914.
Four GREAT INSTITUTIONS OF LEARNING ESTABLISHED DURING THE MID
THIRTIES-JOSIAH PENFIELD, IN 1829, BEQUEATHES AN EDUCATIONAL FUND TO THE GEORGIA BAPTIST CONVENTION_STARTS MERCER UNIVERSITY_FIRST LOCATED AT PENFIELD, THEN REMOVED TO MACONJESSE MERCER'S BENEFACTIONS—OGLETHORPE UNIVERSITY IS FOUNDED BY THE PRESBYTERIANS IN 1835 AT MIDWAY, NEAR MILLEDGEVILLE, SIDNEY LANIER'S ALMA MATER— DR. SAMUEL K. TALMAGE ITS FIRST PRESIDENT-ENFEEBLED BY THE WAR, OGLETHORPE UNIVERSITY SUSPENDS IN 1872, BUT THE INSTITUTION IS REVIVED IN ATLANTA IN 1912 —THE SPLENDID WORK OF DR. THORNWELL JACOBS—EMORY COLLEGE Is FOUNDED BY THE METHODISTS IN 1836 AT OXFORD—Dr. IGNATIUS A. FEW ITS FIRST PRESIDENT—THE FRUITFUL CAREER OF THIS INSTITUTION, WHICH IN 1914 BECOMES EMORY UNIVERSITY-MR. ASA G. CANDLER'S MAGNIFICENT GIFT—WESLEYAN FEMALE COLLEGE IS CHARTERED IN 1836—THE FIRST INSTITUTION TO CONFER A DIPLOMA UPON A WOMAN-HISTORY OF THIS MOTHER SCHOOL OF HIGHER EDUCATION
During the mid-thirties four great institutions of learning were established in Georgia. The first of these was Mercer University. Originally located at Penfield, a small village seven miles to the north of Greensboro, it was founded by the great Jesse Mercer, one of the pioneers of the Baptist Church in Georgia, and was chartered as Mercer 'Institute, a name by which it was known until 1837. But the genesis of this institution is of sufficient interest to admit of fuller particulars.
In 1829, when the Georgia Baptist Convention met at Milledgeville, it was announced to the body that Josiah Penfield, of Savannah, a deacon in the church, had bequeathed to the convention the sum of $2,500 as a fund for education, provided an equal amount should be raised. The following committee was named to suggest a plan of action. in regard to the matter: Thomas Stocks, Thomas Cooper, H. O. Wyer and J. H. T. Kilpatrick. They made a report at once, suggesting that the requisite sum be subscribed; and accordingly, within fifteen minutes, the amount of money necessary to secure the gift was pledged in bona fide notes, given to Dr. Adiel Sherwood, clerk and treasurer of the Georgia Baptist Convention. The loyal pioneer Baptists, whose generosity helped to lay the foundations of Mercer, are numerated below, together with the amounts subscribed:
. $250 Armstead Richardson...
200 James Davis..
I. L. Brooks...
$100 James Armstrong.
:$ 50 100 100 50 50 150
50 100 150 10
Due authority having been given, a committee purchased from James Rudd, a tract of land, seven miles to the north of Greensboro containing 450 acres. Dr. Billington M. Sanders, then a young man just entering upon the work of the ministry, but well educated and well equipped, was engaged to act as principal. Under him the wilderness was cleared, temporary quarters were provided, and, on the second Monday in January, 1833, a manual school at Penfield was formally opened. Associated with Dr. Sanders, the first corps of instructors were: Iro 0. McDaniel, J. F. Hillyer, J. W. Attaway, W. D. Cowdry, A. Williams and S. P. Sanford. John Lumpkin, the father of Governor Wilson Lumpkin, was a member of the executive committee under whose oversight the school was established.
Penfield was the name given to the locality in honor of Josiah Penfield, from whose estate came the original bequest; but the school itself was named for Jesse Mercer, then the most influential Baptist divine in Georgia. Mr. Mercer, throughout his long life, constantly befriended the institution and at his death it became the principal beneficiary under his will. At the start, it was quite an unpretentious affair. In the course of time there developed around it an important town; but with the building of the Georgia Railroad Penfield began to yield prestige to Greensboro, a town on the main line, settled by an enterprising community of well-to-do planters.
However, the institute prospered. The students were required to perform a definite amount of work each day, for which they were paid at the rate of six cents per hour. They were also put through a course of study which was somewhat exacting. Doctor Sanders remained at the head of the school for six years. He was most successful in organizing the work upon solid foundations, partly because of his experimental acquaintance with agriculture and partly because of his exceptional qualifications as a disciplinarian. But he was none too sanguine at first in regard to the educational outlook in Georgia. He was somewhat apprehensive of failure, due to certain adverse conditions which he feared could not be successfully overcome. To illustrate his attitude, it was found that before the school could be organized an additional sum of $1,500 was needed. Doctor Sanders was asked, among others, to be one of thirty to raise this amount. He replied to the effect that he was willing to be the thirtieth man to contribute, a statement which either implied some doubt in regard to the ultimate outcome, or else an anxiety on the part of Doctor Sanders to make the Baptists of Georgia exert themselves.
But the sum was raised. Moreover, this wise and good man was placed at the head of the school. Under him, the command to halt was never once sounded. The institution moved steadily forward, but after six years, he relinquished the helm. Possibly for the reason that his successors were men of books, who knew comparatively little of practical agriculture, there followed a laxity in the management of affairs. Dissatisfaction arose, and in the course of time the manual school feature was abandoned.
In 1837, the name of the school was changed from Mercer Institute to Mercer University; a charter was obtained from the Legislature; and a fund of $100,000 was raised among the Georgia Baptists with which to give it a permanent and substantial endowment. The first graduating exercises were held in the summer of 1841, when diplomas were awarded to three young men. Richard Malcolm Johnston, who became one of the foremost educators and authors of his day; Benjamin F. Thorpe, afterwards an eminent divine; and Dr. A. R. Wellborn, a successful practitioner of medicine, received degrees on this occasion. In 1840 the Theological Department was added; and Dr. Adiel Sherwood was put at the head of the newly organized school of the prophets. The name of this stalwart and sturdy old pioneer is still fragrant in the annals of Georgia.
At the outbreak of the Civil war, the senior classmen at Penfield entered the Confederate army almost to a man, and there were few better soldiers. Though the college did not formally suspend until 1865, it maintained an existence which was purely nominal. Most of the trustees were at the front. Widespread demoralization prevailed. So, after the invasion of the state by Sherman, the faculty with great reluctance closed the doors. Professors Sanford and Willet, the two senior members of the faculty, opened a school in the college building and held a quasi-commencement, but the lamp of learning could not be rescued from extinction. It flickered dimly, amid the ruins, enough to reveal the chaotic conditions; and then expired in darkness.
For seven years after the war there came a break in the academic life of Mercer. The work of rehabilitation was slow, due to the utter prostration of the state, during the period of Reconstruction. Finally, when the institution again arose, it was upon the heights of Macon, where it today stands. Prior to the war two separate efforts were made by Griffin to secure Mercer, but without success. The various presidents of Mercer University, in the order of service, have been as follows: Rev. Billington M. Sanders, Prin- Rev. H. H. Tucker, D.D. cipal and President.
Rev. Archibald J. Battle, D.D. Rev. Otis Smith.
Rev. G. A. Nunnally, D.D. Rev. John L. Dagg, D.D.
Pinckney D. Pollock, LL.D. Rev. Nathaniel M. Crawford, D.D. Rev. S. Y. Jameson, D.D.
Some of these executive heads have been amongst the most eminent theologians and educators of the South.
Dr. Patrick H. Mell, afterwards Chancellor of the University of Georgia ; Dr. Shaler G. Hillyer, Prof. William G. Woodfin, and others, also taught for a while at Mercer. Perhaps the most distinguished laymen who have occupied chairs in the institution were Prof. S. P. Sanford and Prof. J. E. Willet. The former headed the department of mathematics. The latter taught the natural sciences. Both were identified with the institution for something like fifty years and both were men of broad scholarship. The text-books on mathematics compiled by Professor Sanford are still extensively used.
Two and a half miles to the west of Milledgeville there flourished before the Civil war an institution of learning on whose alumni rolls the name of Sidney Lanier blazes like a star of the first magnitude, and from which a recent chief executive of Georgia, Joseph M. Brown, received his diploma—Oglethorpe University. This was one of the first of Georgia's schools to receive a charter. It was located at a place called Midway, after the famous settlement on the Georgia coast. During the brief quarter of a century in which it flourished it made a record, the influence of which will be felt to the end of time; but at the outbreak of the Civil war Oglethorpe went to the front. Professors, students, and alumni-all enlisted. No institution made greater contributions to the Confederate army in proportion to its numerical strength; and with the Conquered Banner at Appomattox it went down to rise no more—at least upon the hills of the Oconee.
The story of how the institution came into existence may be briefly told. For years there existed under the fostering care of the Educational Board of Georgia two manual labor schools: the Midway Seminary and the Gwinnett Institute; and when the dissolution of the board necessitated a division of interest, the trustees of Midway Seminary, in the spring of 1835, tendered the school to Hopewell Presby. tery, believing that ecclesiastical supervision might yield better results. The offer was accepted, and a committee appointed to report on the expediency of elevating the school to college rank. As chairman of the committee, Hon. Eugenius A. Nisbet, afterwards judge of the Supreme Court of Georgia, submitted a report in which strong grounds were taken in favor of an institution of the proposed character to be under the exclusive government and control of the Presbyterian Church. The report met with unanimous adoption. Accordingly, a board of trustees consisting of twenty-four members, was appointed by Presbytery to take charge of Oglethorpe University, the name by which the new school was to be known. The first meeting of the board was held at Milledgeville, on October 21, 1835, and within two months thereafter a charter was procured from the General Assembly of Georgia."
* Chartered, December 21, 1835, the original trustees of Oglethorpe University
Thomas Goulding, S. S. Davis, S. J. Cassels, S. K. Talmadge, J. C. Patterson, H. S. Pratt, Robert Quarterman, Charles W. Howard, C. C. Jones, Joseph H. Lumpkin, Washington Poe, Eugenius A. Nisbet, William W. Holt, B. E. Hand, Richard K. Hines, Samuel Rockwell, John A. Cuthbert, Tomlinson Fort, J. Billups, Charles C. Mills, Charles P. Gordon, John H. Howard, Thomas B. King and Adam L. Alex. ander. (Prince's Digest, pp. 877-879.)