Furthermore, there was trouble about the difference between currency and coin. The Report says: "During the two years last past there has been a gradual transmutation of this fund to the legal tender currency, but during the same time the expenses of the University have been paid in coin or its equivalent, the effect of this, for a year past, has been practically to reduce the principal one half."
Such a report would certainly stir the Legislature to action. Two days after
its receipt a joint resolution was adopted providing a committee of five from each
house "to take into consideration and report upon the report of the President of the
board of regents of Washington Territory University."(67)
No time was wasted. The Joint Committee visited the University and on Monday
January 2, 1865, rendered its report to the House of Representatives (also rendered
to the Council on January 3).
That report was severely critical. The buildings were in good repair except a
leakage in the roof of the main building; the furniture was adequate, the library
was small and of little value, the management of the University by its President had
not been "the most judicious" and the Regents should "take such steps in relation to
teachers as will promote the best interests of the school." But by far the most
critical part of the report was devoted to the questions of lands and funds. The
bookkeeping was called wholly unsatisfactory as to records and as to differences
between currency and coin. It was recommended that the Board of Regents secure a
skilled accountant and that the Board of Commissioners be abolished. It was shown
that 2808.75 acres of land had been selected beyond the total of 46,080 acres granted
by Congress. As a supplement to the report the committee submitted a bill which, if
enacted into law, would correct the conditions mentioned in their complaints.(68)
The report was adopted but, of course, such adoption did not include the passage of the
supplemental bill. In other words the Board of Commissioners was not then abolished. On January
7, 1865, the two houses assembled in Joint Convention for the election of Territorial officers
at which time three Regents were elected, one at
a time, - J.J. H. Van Bokkelen, W. H. Langford and John Collins, to take the places
of Messrs. Hubbs, Hale and Lancaster whose terms had expired.(69) This was a new method as Regents and Commissioners had previously been appointed by regularly enacted laws.
That the Board of University Commissioners had not been abolished was clearly shows in the proceedings of the Legislative Session of 1865-1866, when a report was received on January 3, 1866, signed by D. Bagley, President. It gives accounts of lands and cash. Appended to the first portion is the following: "I have personally examined and audited the account of Daniel Bagley since last settlement with the Regents of W. U., and find all correct. H. L. Yesler. In behalf of the Regents. Seattle, W. T. January 1, 1866.”
The details are not important but the close is significant: "Total coin and legal tender - $2,159.48. coin disbursements more than coin receipts - $459.00."(70)
On the next day (January 4, 1866,) the Legislature received a report from the Board of Regents signed by Frank Clark, President. It recites the financial troubles in a report from Charles C. Terry, Treasurer of the University. In President Clark’s report is the brief statement: "The action of your Hon. body has saved me the necessity of making any recommendation about the necessity of doing away with the University Commissioners."(71)
This evidently had reference to the fact that Councilor John Denny of King and Kitsap Counties had introduced on December 20, 1865, Council Bill No. 12 to amend the incorporation act of the University and to abolish the Board of University Commissioners. It was promptly referred to the committee on Education of which John Denny, author of the bill, was Chairman. The next day he reported the bill back to the Council with his Committee’s recommendation that it be passed without amendment.
That bill became a law and is published in the Laws of Washington, 1865-1866, pages 120-121, where it is stated that it passed the Council on January 3, the House on January 4 and was approved by Governor William Pickering on January 17, 1866. Between those erroneous dates there was much debate. Each house adopted amendments which sent the bill back to the other house for further consideration. On January 13 the President of the Council gave notice that he was signing Council Bill No. 12.
Three days later the Council received a report from the House that the Speaker
had signed the bill. On January 18, the Governor’s message approving the act was
During the discussions of the bill an amendment was adopted to strike out Section 5. We do not have a copy of the original draft and it may be that the stricken portion would have abolished the Board of University Commissioners, which would have justified the statement, quoted above, from the Regents’ report signed by President Frank Clark. The only other inference of justification is in the language of the law as finally passed. This increased the Board of Regents from nine to fifteen members and gave them full control over all moneys belonging to the University fund.
Those who know about the pioneer families of Washington Territory will be interested in the names of the nine who by this law were added to the six holdover Regents. They were G. a. Meigs, C. Clymer, D. T. Denny, D. R. Bigelow, C. H. Hale, G. F. Whitworth, H. K. Himes, H. Burnett and A. S. Abernethy. So large a Board with residences far apart would have been unweildly, but the law provided that five would constitute a quorum, Provision was also made for the election of two members who, with the President of the Board would constitute an executive committee. This act was an amendment to the older act of incorporation, dated January 24, 1862.
The last year of Mr. Barnard as President of the University was by no means a happy one. As already stated, he was persuaded to give up his real estate business and resume the duties as President of the University. The student body approached the vanishing point. "It is thought that when Mr. Barnard resigned, on April 13, 1866, the number in attendance was less than fifteen, and that Rev. George F. Whitworth did no teaching during the unfinished term of 1866. A primary school, however, is believed to have been conducted."(73)
That was as definite as Mr. Farrar could state it as there were no catalogues or other records published. A small advertisement in the Seattle Puget Sound Semi- Weekly is signed by President Barnard, dated April 5, but published on April 19, 1866. Between those dates the President resignation had been accepted. On May 21, the same paper carried an advertisement, signed by the new President, Rev. George F.
Whitworth, declaring that the Primary Department would be conducted by Mrs. H. Smith and that due notice would be given of the opening of other departments of the University. That notice was signed August 18, 1866, naming the opening date of the new academic year as September 10. In the meantime the news columns of the same paper announced on April 16 that the Board of Town Trustees had made arrangements to pay the common school fund into the treasury of the University in exchange for the admission of the children of Seattle into the University free of tuition charges.
The old Minute Book of the Board of Regents, pages 39-42, shows that President Barnard had been striving toward that end. On April 13, 1866, he presented a lengthy report dated April 11. He showed that the attendance of the last quarter had been seventeen - eight from Seattle, two from Dwamish River, three from White River and four from Whidbey Island. His report discusses very frankly the personal dislike of himself that was retarding a full cooperation by the Seattle School District. He followed the long report with a very brief one, tendering his resignation, which was accepted as of that date, April 13. At another meeting, three days later, Rev.George F. Whitworth was elected President.
There was no ill feeling manifested at the time of this second resignation by President Barnard. He left Seattle with a united feeling of goodwill and sympathy. This was intensified by a tragedy on May 13, 1866. His daughter Gertrude, while withdrawing a book from a stove into which it had been thrown, was fatally burned. President Barnard moved to Oakland, California, where he remained for the rest of his life, achieving success in the real estate business.
For a brief time in his administration, President Barnard had the assistance of Antoinette Josephine Baker as an instructor. She deserves to be remembered in these annals. She was related to fine New England families, on her mother’s (Dorothy True) side to that of James Russell Lowell, and on her father’s side to those of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Mary Baker Eddy. She began teaching school in Lowell, Massachusetts, at sixteen years of age. While engaged in that work, she was invited by Asa Shinn Mercer, to join his second group of so-called "Mercer Girls" and go to Puget Sound
where she could have the position as assistant in the new Territorial University of Washington, she arrived in Seattle on May 19, 1864, and began her work at once. Funds were soon exhausted and she accepted the chance to teach the school at Monticello (now Longview). On February 21, 1865, she was married to Edwin R. Huntington, of the well known pioneer family. They moved to Castle Rock. There she lived a life full of good work for schools, churches and neighbors. She helped to organize the first Presbyterian Church in Castle Rock. When she died on June 15, 1916, that church was practically filled with flowers brought by those who wished to show appreciation for so many years (78) filled with useful service.
It is not difficult to see how Rev. George F. Whitworth became attractive as a successor to President Barnard. When the Legislature increased the membership of the Board of Regents to fifteen, Mr. Whitworth was one of the new ones selected. He was evidently looked upon as one of the most effective members as he was chosen with Hiram Burnett to serve on the Executive Committee at the meeting of the Regents on April 10, 1866. At that same meeting, in compliance with the new law, the terms of the new Regents were fixed by lot. Mr. Whitworth drew the short term of one year.(74)
If it were not for that element of chance the surmise would be natural that the Regents were deliberate in designating that short term. It would have been inconvenient to have the President of the University as a legal member of the Board of Regents. That they were then thinking of him as a future President of the University is evident from the fact that he was appointed chairman of a special committee of four to draw up a statement "in the nature of By-Laws which shall prescribe the duties of the Executive Committee." That statement was set forth and adopted at an evening session on the same day. It gives power to the Executive Committee over the physical properties and educational work of the institution, but in the last paragraph the President of the University is given power to select and appoint his own assistants.
Mr. Whitworth had thus embraced his opportunity to smooth the way for the new President of the University. It is not positively known that he then expected to succeed to that office within a week but it is recorded that President Barnard resigned on April 13 and that Rev. George F. Whitworth was elected to the position
on April 16, 1866.(75)
President Barnard dated on April 5th a small advertisement including the statement: "This institution will open on the Second Monday of April.” It was published in the Seattle Puget Sound Semi-Weekly of April 19, 1866, six days after his resignation had been accepted. President Whitworth followed with a small advertisement in the same paper on May 19th saying: "The Primary Department of this Institution will open on Monday next, 21st inst., in charge of Mrs. H. Smith." It also contemplated the admission free of charge pupils of the Seattle School District and arrangements would be made later for the admittance of the advanced pupils. On August 27 he announced in that paper that the University would re-open "on the 10th of September next." That arrangement with the Seattle School District helped those very lean years. Their funds were turned into the University treasury.
Comparatively, his year, 1866-1867, was successful. There were sixty students in attendance. Six of these were from places outside of Seattle. 'This fact seems to have intensified a feeling of opposition to the University.(76)
The Legislature, which met on December 3, 1866, and adjourned on February 3,
1867, manifested a disapproval of what had been done and a determination that the work should not continue along the old lines, a law was approved on January 31, 1867, by which the Board of University Commissioners was abolished; all acts pertaining to the appointment of Regents were repealed; a new Board of five Regents was established; this Board was empowered to investigate and report to the Legislature all findings as to the institution and its land-grant funds; the five new Regents were named - B. F. Dennison, David T. Denny, Frank Mathias, Harvey K. Hines and Oliver F. Gerrish.(77)
It is well to mention also that this same Legislature provided that biennial sessions
should supplant the annual sessions that had been the custom previously.(78)
The new Board of Regents met in Seattle on March 29, 1867, organized and proceeded at once to investigate the land-grant funds. Rev. Daniel Bagley, President of the former Board of University Commissioners presented his report with books and papers and accounts. The Regents adjourned to an afternoon session and later adjourned to the next morning and that meeting was in turn adjourned to April 1. Three long
meetings were devoted almost wholly to lands and funds. Seven large pages of
closely written minutes show Mr. Bagley answering questions and seeking to explain
his books and accounts. On this point, Mr. Farrar has written:
"Now Bagley was a poor bookkeeper. Had he in the beginning purchased a fine
looking set of books, made his entries according to the most approved methods, in fine black ink, with bright red rulings, he might have stayed his pursuers. But he had done none of these things. His books were heterogeneous and soiled. Many of his important transactions had been kept upon loose leaves abstracted from his cash book. He had a habit of jotting down this and that with the expectation of mending the whole at his leisure. All together [sic] he made a weak appearance. Still, he might have escaped had he understood the management of greenback transactions."(79)
Just before the Board of Regents adjourned that grilling meeting of April 1. to June 28, 1867, they found time for some action for the University itself. President Whitworth reported that the University Boarding House "will change hands tomorrow." Thereupon Regents Denny and Mathias were appointed with President Whitworth to make an inventory of all the property and exact a receipt from the new Boarding House keeper. The President was also ordered to mark, number-and care for the books in the Library.
Although this indicates that the Regents had small interest in the academic work, the institution was expected to go on. President Whitworth published two small notices in the Seattle Gazette on April 15 and June 17, but these were soon followed by rather drastic action by the Regents. In place of minutes of a meeting on June 28, 1867, the official record shows an order of that date signed by the five Regents notifying President Whitworth that his contract was ended on that day, adding: "Much as we regret the necessity of our present action, we see no other of preserving the remnant of what should have been an ample endowment had the fund been managed with ordinary prudence."
The University was closed.
But President Whitworth’s interest in it was not ended. In a few years he had become President for a second time. In many ways he was a remarkable man among the pioneers.
George Frederick Whitworth was born in the Town of Boston, Lincolnshire, England, on March 15, 1816. The family moved to Terra [sic] Haute, Indiana, in 1832. He graduated from Hanover College in 1839. He came to the Pacific Coast in 1853 as a pioneer of Presbyterianism in the Pacific Northwest. Clarence B. Bagley has written of him: "Probably no resident of Washington has left so deep an impress upon public affairs of so wide a range. By turns he was teacher, editor, deputy surveyor, civil engineer, clerk in the Indian department, deputy collector of customs, and at all times he was active in religious, moral, temperance and educational work, not only in his own community, but throughout Washington. He was active in putting into operation the infant industries, particularly coal mining. Twice he held the presidency of the university; he served a term in Thurston County as superintendent of public instruction and in his declining years he founded an academy at Sumner in Pierce County, which later was moved to Tacoma and named Whitworth College. This institution passed through many vicissitudes and was later moved to Spokane, where it bids fair to be a school of importance."(80)
While the University remained closed, the Board of Regents held meetings on October 11 and 12 and on December 13, 1867, during which they discussed claims for payments presented by President Whitworth, further evidence by Mr. Bagley about lands and arranged to present the whole case before the approaching session of the Legislature.
That report was placed before the Legislature on December 18, 1867. It is a long one and carries a transcript of the minutes of the meetings where Mr. Bagley was so extensively grilled. It was promptly referred to a special committee consisting of Representatives Park Winans, John W. Brazee and Ira Ward, who reported on January 10, 1868, that the Regents had not thoroughly investigated Mr. Bagley*s books and accounts, saying: "It is true that Mr. Bagley has not kept his books strictly according to rule, yet your committee cannot find any place where they show an intention to cover up or mystify with intent to do wrong." They recommended that Mr. Bagley be paid $814.76 as shown by the committee’s checking
of the accounts and ^1500 for tvro years of service. They also appended a separate report entitled
"Defense of Daniel Bagley."(81)
Bills were introduced and debated to pay Mr. Bagley and to pay Regents for
their services. These bills did not reach final enactment. One bill was enacted on January 28, 1868, which simply named A. A. Denny and W. H. Robertson in place of D. T. Denny and Harvey K. Hines whose terms as Regents had expired. On the same day a Joint Resolution was passed empowering the Regents to settle the claims arising from the land transactions and to re-open the University "by lease or otherwise."(82)
In an attempt to exercise the authority thus given, the Regents inserted an advertisement in the Seattle Intelligencer of April 13, 1868, offering to lease the University for a term of years. This declared: "Propositions to lease it as a sectarian institution will not be entertained." Papers in Olympia, Portland, Salem, San Francisco and Sacramento were requested to give the advertisement six insertions and send bill to B. F. Dennison, President of the Board of Regents.
The property was given description as follows:
"The Institution embraces ten acres of ground, well cleared and fenced; the University Building proper; President’s House, Boarding House and Outbuildings, with a good supply of running water. It is pleasantly and beautifully situated in Seattle, W.T., is well suited to school purposes, and is in condition to be occupied immediately."
No satisfactory offer was received and the University remained closed for the greater part of two years.
On April 5, 1869, the Board of Regents signed a rather lengthy advertisement which ran for some time in the Seattle Intelligencer, beginning: "This Institution will be permanently re-opened on Monday, the 12th day of April, 1869, under the charge of Professor J. H. Hall, as President, assisted by such Professors and Assistant Teachers as may be required." Three other smaller advertisements appeared in the same paper under dates of August 30, 1869, August 22, 1870 and August 28, 1871. These were the announcements for those years. Terms of tuition per
session of fourteen weeks ranged from $8.00 in the Primary Department, and $15.00 in the Collegiate Department. Modem languages were introduced at differing rates of tuition - French, $7,00; German, $9.00; and Spanish, $8.00. Another new work was the Commercial Department, $60.00 for "Full Course.” Charges for board remained steadfast at $3.50 per week.
The re-opening encountered difficulties. Three denominational schools had opened in the field. Seattle had built its own school and withdrawn its pupils from the University, while the University buildings had suffered, many moveables having been carried away.
The new President was John Henry Hall, born in New York City, May 4, 1837. He
graduated from the High School there at the age of fourteen. After attending Columbia
University he transferred to Oberlin College. After graduation, he returned to New
York and taught school there for three years. He moved to Oregon in 1859 and for six
years was connected with McMinnville College. Soon after being called to Seattle, he
met with the Board of Regents. They were favorably impressed and asked him for a
report. In this he gave his views of the purpose and need of education saying in
part: "Statistics are abundant showing that the people of this country do not value
education less, but that in changing conditions of society, they prefer that system
which is best adapted to the new exigencies of life, and which will the best prepare
men to master the problems of the times in which they live."(83)
The pages in the Record of the Board of Regents are blank. No mention of President Hall is found there until January 29, 1872, when this item was entered: "Ordered that Prof. Hall be requested to continue the School until July next on the same terms as heretofore.” This made his tenure three years and one terra. The attendance during his administration was from 60 to 100, about one-third from places outside of Seattle.
In the three years of President Hall's administration the Legislature held two sessions. In the session of 1869 the Regents rendered a report, new Regents were appointed, two University bills were introduced but not enacted and the Governor included a scorching reference to the institution in his message to the Legislature.
Governor Alvar Flanders had dated his Message on September 24, 1869, and delivered it before a joint session of both houses on October 7. His drastic criticism of the University was as follows:
"The condition of the Territorial University should receive your careful attention. The history of this institution, of its management of the lands donated by Congress for the endowment of a Territorial University, is a calamity and a disgrace. Everything connected with the management of the University lands up to 1867, can be correctly described only by saying that it was characterized by gross extravagance and incompetency, if not by downright fraud. Forty-six thousand and eighty acres of land were donated by Congress for the founding of this institution. Nearly all of this land has been sold, forty-three thousand, nine hundred and twenty-eight acres, (43,928) and there is nothing at present to show for this munificent donation but a building possibly worth fifteen thousand dollars, which appears better fitted for a monument to the folly and extravagance of the persons under whose direction it was built, than the purposes for which it was intended. I would recommend that the Regents appointed by the Legislature, January 25th, 1867, be authorized to continue their investigations, and that a sufficient sum be appropriated to enable them to procure the attendance of such witnesses as they require, and to defray the other incidental and necessary expenses attending the investigation. Also to enable them to bring suits in the courts for the recovery of any moneys which they may find due the University, should they deem it expedient.
"This is in accordance with the recommendation of the select committee of your honorable body, ‘on the report of the University Regents’ made to the Council at the last session of the Legislature. This committee in their report say, ‘It is now, however, too late to remedy the errors of the past. All that remains for us, is to gather up what is left of the wreck, and ascertain what means may be still available for the purpose of carrying on the University.’
- "It is a source of profound regret that an institution designed to accomplish so much good for our Territory, has been so badly crippled and defeated of the high ends contemplated by the gift made for its endowment. Should you decide to ask Congress
for a further grant of land to aid the University, as was recommended by the select
committee before alluded to, let it be shown that a safeguard will be cast about the
gift to protect it from waste and from diversion from the true purpose for which it is
So far as can be determined that arraignment had little effect on the institution
or on the Legislature. The Regents’ brief report was placed before the Legislature
on October 24, asking for money to pay the expenses if further investigations were
desired, telling about the engaging of President Hall at $600. per year for three years
and closing as follows: “The favorable indications since the re-opening of the school
leads us to entertain the hope that it may yet be of incalculable benefit to the youth
of the country, and a credit to Washington Territory.” This was accompanied by the
University Treasurer’s reporting $68.20 as the amount of cash on hand.(85)
Instead of the appointment of University Regents by the enactment of a law, the
session of 1869 elected them in Joint Convention on October 30 at the same time that
Territorial officers were elected. The three Regents elected, each receiving a
unanimous vote, were Franklin Matthias, A. B. Young and H. A. Atkins.(86)
The Legislature in its session of 1871, gave little time or attention to the University. There was adopted one joint resolution to appoint a visiting committee comprising three members of the council and five members of the House, and one law appropriating $75.00 to pay the expenses of the visit. No report of their findings is of record.
The record for the Board of Regents for March 13, 1872, has this entry: “Communication of E. K. Hill of Ypsilanti , Mich., stating terms and conditions upon which he would take charge of and conduct the University, received, considered and agreed to. Secretary ordered to give him notice of their acceptance.”
Eugene Kincaid Hill became the new President. He had been recommended by his brother Captain Ceorge D. Hill, a Civil War veteran well remembered among Puget Sound
pioneers. The younger brother was a senior in the Michigan State Normal School, as
was his fiancé. They were married on July 2, 1872, one day after receiving their diplomas, and started for the new work in Seattle. When they arrived they were greatly
disappointed over the wilderness background. Mr. Hill was a third cousin of william Cullen Bryant. The newly married couple had built great ideas of the career so quickly opening before them. In spite of their disappointments, they went bravely to work on their tasks. They maintained the University’s three departments - preparatory, academic and collegiate.
In their first year, President Hill conducted the academic classes and taught mathematics to those of collegiate grade. Mrs. Hill conducted the preparatory department and taught the foreign languages in the higher branches. At the end of that first year, the preparatory department was closed for all below the sixth grade as Seattle had begun work in the public school.
The second year, beginning in September, 1873, brought an increased attendance.
President Hill’s enthusiasm led him beyond the institution’s means. He engaged three
additional teachers - Miss May W. Thayer, Mr. Theobolds and Miss Johns. By February,
1874, he was surprised to find the available funds had become exhausted. His term as
President ended abruptly. The classes in the University were continued for the rest
of the year by Miss Thayer and Mr. Frederick H. Whitworth, son of Rev. George F.
Whitworth. Because of his name and his subsequent prominence as an engineer a tradition
arose that Mr. Whitworth was head of the institution for that brief interim. That
tradition is silenced by this entry in the Board of Regents’ Record for March 7, 1874:
”0n motion, B. Brown, D. Bagley and E. M. Smithers were appointed a committee to
engage Miss May Thayer to conduct the school for the ensuing term.”
If the available money had not so suddenly disappeared President Hill would have
left a much better record for his administration. He was the first one to visualize
the need of coordinating the work of the common schools with that of the University
and advocated the first Territorial Teachers’ Institute. He also founded the first
literary society called "The Lyceum.”(87) He moved to California where he taught school for some sixteen years. Returning to Seattle, he taught school here until the Klondike gold rush. There he died on January 31, 1899, in a snow-covered cabin, his only companion being being, his son Olimie E. Hill. The son remained in that cabin with the
corpse of his father until rescuers reached him on April 27. This was one of the most tragic experiences in the annals of the Klondike. The heart-rending story was told in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer of September 24, 1899.
The Legislature of 1873 assembled on October 6 and three days later Governor
Elisha P. Ferry delivered before a joint session his first gubernatorial message. It was a hopeful and suggestive document. His reference to the Territorial University was as follows: "The Territory has had for a number of years, a fine, commodious University building, but owing to the very limited means at the disposal of the Board of Regents, it can hardly be said that we have a University except in name. Experience has fully demonstrated that with the present endowment it is impossible to conduct the institution on a University basis. I would therefore urgently recommend that a sufficient appropriation be made to enable the Board of Regents to establish and maintain a
course of instruction, equal at least to that provided in first-class seminaries and
The Legislature met in Joint Convention on October 28, to elect Territorial officers
The five elected as University Regents were E. M. Smithers, H. A. Atkins, J. T.
Jordan, a. a. Denny and Beriah Brown.
By a joint resolution passed on October 25, a committee was appointed to visit
the University.(89) a brief report was submitted by the joint committee on November 12. It was very different from the time when the first visitors were received by a brass band. The report says: "Upon our arrival we were unable to find any of the acting Regents of the University, but the Hon. J. J, McGilvra kindly offered to accompany us to the University buildings, and, in company with that gentleman, we proceeded to make an inspection of the premises." They complimented the work of President Hill and made a few recommendations, such as repainting the buildings.(90)
It has been shown that soon after that report, in February, 1874, President
Hill’s administration ended and Miss May W. Thayer undertook to carry on to the end of that
school year, it required courage. One writer is quoted by C. B. Bagley as
follows: "During one of these periods it became very lonely and bitterly cold in the
great empty, echoing hall. Friends advised her to give up the school. But the brave
woman, with her tiny ’university’, moved to the upper room in the house of Mr.
Thomas W. Prosch, where she continued to teach amid more congenial surroundings.”(91)
Miss Thayer was a graduate of Mount Holyoke and taught school in Massachusetts and New York before 1873 when she came to the Territorial University of Washington as an assistant to President Hill.
Rev. George F. Whitworth was about to become President of the University for the second time but he was to encounter an undignified struggle. Cn July 4, 1874, a local newspaper announced that Professor a. B. Nicholson of Kingston, New York, was to be the new President of the University. Two days later there was recorded at a meeting of the Board of Regents this terse entry by Secretary H. A. Atkins; “President stated that he had engaged a. B. Nicholson to take charge of and conduct the University for one year. The Board refused to ratify the engagement and directed the President to immediately notify Mr. Nicholson of this refusal by telegraph and that the Treasurer furnish the money necessary to pay the expense of sending such a message.” At the next meeting of the Board of Regents, on August 17, this record was made: "Proposition of Geo. F. Whitworth to conduct the University School agreed to only reducing the amount stipulated to six hundred dollars per annum.” Later at the same meeting: ”B. Brown tendered his resignation as President of the Board. Resignation accepted and on motion E. M. Smithers was elected President."
Beriah Brown was evidently displeased that his choice of a President had been rejected. It is not clear that he sent the telegram as ordered. At any rate, Mr. Nicholson arrived on the scene in August only to find that Mr. Whitworth had the position. He failed in a suit for damages. The people and the newspapers were aroused over the jangle, when the University opened under President Whitworth on September 14, 1874, there were only twenty-four students, a discouraging low ebb.
President Whitworth’s second administration, though destined to be a brief one, was more successful than his first experience. The attendance increased to a maximum
of one hundred and twenty-five, and he had the pleasure of issuing the first catalogue and the first diploma to a graduate. He began a so-called scientific course to lead
to the Bachelor of Science degree to serve those who did not wish to struggle
through the classical requirements for the Bachelor of Arts degree. It has been
shown that the University’s Incorporation Act of January 29, 1862, provided for a
Military Department. Instruction in this line was evidently delayed. Clarence B.
Bagley, in writing about President Whitworth’s second administration says:
"A military department was organized by him, also instruction, theoretical and
practical, in civil engineering was given during school hours and when he could spare
the time outside upon the campus, and during the long summer days out in the forests
and in the mountains. He taught school as he preached, because he loved humanity,
and in spite of small pay and all sorts of discouragements he left his impress upon
the affairs of the university that continued for many years after he had finally left
That first catalogue has become a very rare document, The copy in the University Library is the only one known to be in existence. It was printed in Olympia by "C. B. Bagley, Printer" and bears on the title-page: "For the year ending July 30, 1875." The Board of Regents as published embraces the well known names of E. M. Smithers, H. A. Atkins, J. T. Jordan, Rev. D. Bagley and Dr. J. c. Kellogg. The last name was a mystery until this rare catalogue was found. In the official Record of the Board there is but one very meager entry for the year 1875 by H. A. Atkins, Secretary. Initials are omitted and survivors of the several Kellogg families could not identify the "Kellogg" there recorded as Chairman of the Board.
The Board of Instructors is given as follows: Rev. Geo. F. Whitworth, A. M.,
President, History, Rhetoric, and Philosophy; F, H. Whitworth, A.B., Mathematics;
T. Hanford, A.B., Ancient Languages; Miss May W. Thayer, German, Botany, Physiology; Mrs. S. Russell, Instrumental Music; Miss Sarah Chatham, Vocal Music.
The list of students contains ninety-six names of interesting pioneer men and women while they were boys and girls. Many of the first names are "Eddie,” "Lizzie,”. "Willie," and "Nettie." Two who are best known sixty years afterward are Laurence Booth and Laurence Coleman.
 Laws of Washington, 1864-65, p. 175.
 House Journal, 1864-65, pp. 151-155.
 Ibid., p. 211.
 Ibid., 1865-66, pp. 100-103.
 Ibid., pp. 112-116.
 Council Journal, 1865-66, pp. 184, 208, 234.
 Victor J. Farrar, "History of the University” in the Washington Alumnus for March, 1921.
 Record of the Regents, 1862-1890, p. 29.
 Ibid., pp. 41-42.
 Victor J. Farrar, "History of the University" in the Washington Alumnus
for April, 1921.
 Laws of Washington, 1866-1867, pp. 114-118.
 Ibid., p. 6.
 Victor J. Farrar, "History of the University” in the Washington Alumnus for April, 1921.
 History of Seattle, Vol. I., p. 141.
 House Journal, 1867-1868, pp. 76-109, and 187-202.
 Laws of Washington, 1867-1868, pp. 73 and 204.
 Victor J. Farrar, "History of the University" in the Washington Alumnus for April, 1921.
 House Journal, 1869, pp. 23-24.
 Ibid., PP* 149-153.
 Council Journal, 1869, pp. 99-100.
 Victor J. Farrar, "History of the University" in the Washington Alumnus for May, 1921.
 Council Journal, 1873, Appendix, p. 14.
 Laws of Washington, 1873, p. 616.
 Council Journal, 1873, pp. 140-141.
 C. B. Bagley, History of Seattle, Vol. I., p. 143.
 Laws of Washington, 1875, pp. 103-104, 230-232 and 328.