McDonough College, report to the board of education, 1851

From: The Annual report of the board of Education of the Presbyterian Church (1851), p. 25. Online


McDonough College is situated in the “Military Tract,” between the rivers Illinois and Mississippi, one of the richest districts of country probably on the globe. Its future influence must be great, and its history thus far augurs well in behalf of the sagacity, enterprise, and perseverance of those whom Providence has called to engage in this good work.

“McDonough College is located in Macomb, McDonough County, Illinois, in the centre of the finest portion of that State. It is entirely under the control of the Presbytery of Schuyler, with a charter giving equal privileges to any other Presbytery or Presbyteries, Synod or Synods, that may choose to unite with them. They have commenced operations with a good substantial brick building, 60 feet long, 40 wide, and two stories high, delightfully situated in the town of Macomb, on a four acre lot, which cost about four thousand dollars, and is entirely out of debt. The Institution has been in operation near two years, under the care of Rev. R. Harris, A. M., Professor, with two assistants. During the last year the number of students ranged from 75 to 80, of a mixed character, all in the early part of their course yet, but it is expected that a regular Freshman class will be organized at the beginning of the college year, next November. At the last meeting of the Board the Rev. W. F. Ferguson, A.M., was elected President and General Agent, and is expected to enter upon his duties at the beginning of the winter session. Additional Professors and Assistants will be added, as fast as the wants of the Institution require, until there shall be a full Faculty. The charter is full and liberal as could be desired, and it is intended to make the course of instruction as full and as thorough as in the best Institutions of the country. It is intended especially for the training of young men for the gospel ministry to supply the wide destitutions of our country, and send the gospel to heathen lands; it will be, therefore, thoroughly Presbyterian in its whole spirit, the Bible will be regularly used, and the Shorter Catechism taught to all whose parents and guardians do not object.”

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