Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History

Contents:

Show Summary
Religion

IV. THE CHARTER OF BROWN UNIVERSITY, FEBRUARY, 1764

Clauses Relating to Administration and Religion

"Whereas institutions for liberal education are highly beneficial to society, by forming the rising generation to virtue, knowledge, and useful literature; and thus preserving in the community a succession of men duly qualified for discharging the offices of life with usefulness and reputation, they have therefore justly merited and received the attention and encouragement of every wise and well-regulated State: and whereas a public school or seminary, erected for that purpose within this Colony, to which the youth may freely resort for education in the vernacular and learned languages, and in the liberal arts and sciences, would be for the general advantage and honor of the government: . . .

"NOW, THEREFORE, KNOW YE, That being willing to encourage and patronize such an honorable and useful institution, we, the said Governor and Company, in General Assembly convened, do, for ourselves and our successors, in and by virtue of the power and authority within the jurisdiction of this Colony, to us by the Royal Charter granted and committed, enact, grant, constitute, ordain and declare, and it is hereby enacted, granted, constituted, ordained and declared, that the Hon. Stephen Hopkins . . . or so many of them as shall, within twelve months from the date hereof, accept of this trust, and qualify themselves as hereinafter directed, and their successors, shall be forever hereafter one body corporate & politic, in fact and name, to be known in law by the name of TRUSTEES AND FELLOWS OF THE COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY IN THE ENGLISH COLONY OF RHODE ISLAND AND PROVIDENCE PLAN TATIONS, IN NEW ENGLAND, IN AMERICA; the Trustees and Fellows, at any time hereafter, giving such more particular name to the College, in honor of the greatest and most distinguished benefactor, or otherwise, as they shall think proper; . . .

"And furthermore, by the authority aforesaid, it is hereby enacted, ordained and declared, That it is now, and at all times hereafter shall continue to be, the unalterable constitution of this College or University, that the Corporation thereof shall consist of two branches, to wit: That of the Trustees, and that of the Fellowship, with distinct, separate and respective powers: And that the number of the Trustees shall and may be thirty-six; of which twenty-two shall forever be elected of the denomination called Baptists, or Antipaedobaptists; five shall forever be elected of the denomination called Friends or Quakers; four shall forever be elected of the denomination called Congregationalists, and five shall forever be elected of the denomination called Episcopalians: And that the succession in this branch shall be forever chosen and filled up from the respective denominations in this proportion, and according to these numbers; which are hereby fixed, and shall remain to perpetuity immutably the same. . . . And that the number of the Fellows, inclusive of the President (who shall always be a Fellow) shall and may be twelve; of which, eight shall be forever elected of the denomination called Baptists, or Antipaedobaptists; and the rest indifferently of any or all denominations. . . .

"And furthermore, it is declared and ordained, That the succession in both branches shall at all times hereafter be filled up and supplied according to these numbers, and this established and invariable proportion, from the respective denominations, by the separate election of both branches of this Corporation, which shall at all times sit and act by separate and distinct powers: And in general, in order to the validity and consummation of all acts, there shall be in the exercise of their respective, separate and distinct powers, the joint concurrence of the Trustees and Fellows, by their respective majorities, except in adjudging and conferring the academical degrees, which shall forever belong, exclusively, to the Fellowship, as a learned Faculty.

"And furthermore, it is constituted, that the instruction and immediate government of the College shall forever be and rest in the President and Fellows or Fellowship.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"And, in case any President, Trustee or Fellow, shall see cause to change his religious denomination, the Corporation is hereby empowered to declare his or their place or places vacant, and may proceed to fill up it or them accordingly, as before directed, otherwise each Trustee and Fellow, not an officer of instruction, shall continue in his office during life, or until resignation. And further, in case either of the religious denominations should decline taking a part in this catholic, comprehensive and liberal institution, the Trustees and Fellows shall and may complete their number, by electing from their respective denominations, always preserving their respective proportions herein before prescribed and determined: And all elections shall be by ballot, or written suffrage: . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"And furthermore, it is hereby enacted and declared That into this liberal and catholic institution shall never be admitted any religious tests: But, on the contrary all the members hereof shall forever enjoy full, free, absolute and uninterrupted liberty of conscience: And that the places of Professors, Tutors, and all other officers, the President alone excepted, shall be free and open for all denominations of Protestants: And that youth of all religious denominations shall and may be freely admitted to the equal advantages, emoluments and honors of the College or University, and shall receive a like fair, generous and equal treatment, during their residence therein, they conducting themselves peaceably, and conforming to the laws and statutes thereof. And that the public teaching shall, in general, respect the sciences; and that the sectarian differences of opinions, shall not make any part of the public and classical instruction, although all religious controversies may be studied freely, examined and explained, by the President, Professors and Tutors, in a personal, separate and distinct manner, to the youth of any or each denomination: And above all, a constant regard be paid to, and effectual care taken of, the morals of the College.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"And furthermore, for the greater encouragement of this seminary of learning, and that the same may be amply endowed and enfranchised with the same privileges, dignities and immunities, enjoyed by the American colleges, and European universities, we do grant, enact, ordain and declare, and it is hereby granted, enacted, ordained and declared, That the College estate, the estates, persons and families of the President and Professors, for the time being, lying and being within the Colony, with the persons of the tutors and students, during their residence at the College, shall be freed and exempted from all taxes, serving on juries, and menial services: And that the persons aforesaid shall be exempted from bearing arms, impresses and military services, except in case of an invasion."

Text—Reuben Guild: History of Brown University, with Illustrative Documents, pp. 132–138.

Contents:

Related Resources

None available for this document.

Download Options


Title: Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History

Select an option:

*Note: A download may not start for up to 60 seconds.

Email Options


Title: Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History

Select an option:

Email addres:

*Note: It may take up to 60 seconds for for the email to be generated.

Chicago: "Clauses Relating to Administration and Religion," Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History in Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History 288–290. Original Sources, accessed September 21, 2018, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DLZCEHCEGVT1LAI.

MLA: . "Clauses Relating to Administration and Religion." Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History, in Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History, pp. 288–290. Original Sources. 21 Sep. 2018. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DLZCEHCEGVT1LAI.

Harvard: , 'Clauses Relating to Administration and Religion' in Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History. cited in , Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History, pp.288–290. Original Sources, retrieved 21 September 2018, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DLZCEHCEGVT1LAI.