McGill and its Story, 1821-1921

McGill and its Story, 1821-1921

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Project Gutenberg's McGill and its Story, 1821-1921, by Cyrus Macmillan This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: McGill and its Story, 1821-1921 Author: Cyrus Macmillan Release Date: March 5, 2009 [EBook #28253] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK MCGILL AND ITS STORY, 1821-1921 *** Produced by David Edwards, Marcia Brooks and the Online Distributed Proofreading Canada Team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net McGILL AND ITS STORY To List James McGill 1756-1813 Founder of McGill College McGILL AND ITS STORY 1821-1921 By CYRUS MACMILLAN AUTHOR OF “CANADIAN WONDER TALES,” ETC. LONDON: JOHN LANE NEW YORK: JOHN LANE COMPANY TORONTO: CANADIAN BRANCH THE OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS MCMXXI Copyright, 1921, by JOHN LANE TO MY McGILL COMRADES WHO FELL IN THE WAR 1914-1918 We who remain shall grow old, We shall feel the snows of cheerless winter; But you shall be forever young, With you it shall be forever spring, Where you wander through the willows Of the valley in your West. PREFACE The following pages give in general outline the century story of McGill University. They have no pretension to the title of detailed History, for it has been possible to chronicle only the circumstances which shaped the University in its infancy and the important events of its succeeding years. The story is one of struggle and disappointment, of discouragement and controversy, and of ultimate success and triumph. The men who made McGill were men of far and clear vision, of unfaltering courage and unwavering faith. They never doubted the final breaking of the clouds; they were baffled only to fight better in their forward march on behalf of national enlightenment. They believed in the future greatness of Canada, and of the place of education in moulding their country's destiny. The students of to-day who enjoy the advantages of a great seat of learning are not always conscious of the toil and the anxiety, the weariness and the fret of their College's early years; they perhaps do not always appreciate their glorious heritage and the efforts and the sacrifices of those who scorned delights and lived laborious days in order to leave that heritage behind. The author's hope is that the story of struggle herein recorded may deepen our gratitude for our privileges, and our reverence for McGill and the men who made it. It has been impossible here to enter into minute details of organization or administration or personnel. The book is a story of epochs rather than of individuals,—but epochs in which the sign posts ever pointed onward. Biographical material has, therefore, been reduced to a minimum and no attempt has been made to give names or notices of Professors, many of whom, the writer is well aware, should otherwise receive appreciative reference as among the makers of McGill. With the exception of the portrait of the present Principal, too, the photographs include of necessity only those who are already numbered with the University's past. The writer's deepest thanks are here expressed to those without whose assistance this story could not have been told. He is grateful to Professor Stephen Leacock for advice and encouragement; to the Principal, the Governors, and the Secretary of McGill, Mr. A. P. S. Glassco (Science, 1901), for permission to examine letters and minutes; to Dr. J. A. Nicholson, (Arts, 1887) for his valuable aid in locating and obtaining access to documents; to the staff of the Redpath Library, especially Miss D. A. Lomer, for their unfailing and patient help in the search for records; to Mr. J. W. Jeakins, Secretary of the Graduates' Society, and to Mr. E. Ardley of the Redpath Museum for kind assistance; to the attendants in Archives for many courtesies; to George B. Fraser, Esq., for permission to photograph prints; to the late Rev. Dr. Robert Campbell whose knowledge and memory of old Montreal was wide and vivid; and particularly to John Lane, Esq., of the Bodley Head for his personal interest and experienced advice in the preparation of this volume. Since the information concerning the ancestry of James McGill is at present meagre, I should be glad if any reader possessing information as to his ancestry and early career would communicate with me in Canada, or with my publisher, Mr. John Lane, The Bodley Head, Ltd., Vigo Street, London, England, so that this section of the book may be amplified in future editions. C. M. MCGILL UNIVERSITY, July, 1921. CONTENTS CHAPTER P AGE I. THE ROYAL INSTITUTION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF LEARNING II. THE DAWN OF MCGILL III. DELAY AND DIFFICULTY IV. THE COLLEGE OPENED V. ANXIOUS YEARS VI. THE COLLEGE IN THE FIRST MCGILL BUILDINGS VII. THE STRUGGLE FOR EXISTENCE VIII. COLLEGE LIFE IN MID-CENTURY IX. SIR WILLIAM DAWSON AND THE MAKING OF MCGILL X. HIGHER EDUCATION FOR WOMEN XI. THE LARGER MCGILL OF OUR DAY EPILOGUE APPENDIX A. (THE WILL OF JAMES MCGILL) APPENDIX B. (THE CHARTER) APPENDIX C. (THE DAWSON MEMORIAL ADDRESS) APPENDIX D. (THE PETERSON MEMORIAL ADDRESS) INDEX 15 29 44 73 102 155 184 212 221 248 256 271 277 281 291 299 301 LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS JAMES MCGILL, FOUNDER From painting attributed to Gilbert Stuart FACING P AGE Frontispiece MONTREAL IN THE DAYS OF JAMES MCGILL From a print in the collection of Sir Frederick Williams Taylor 32 THE BURNSIDE ESTATE, JAMES MCGILL'S HOME THE REV. DR. G. J. MOUNTAIN, PRINCIPAL 1823-1835 DR. A. F. HOLMES, THE FIRST DEAN OF THE MEDICAL SCHOOL Copy by R. Harris of painting destroyed in fire at Medical 42 74 86 Building. Artist unknown. THE REV. JOHN BETHUNE, ACTING PRINCIPAL 1835-1846 PLAN OF MCGILL GROUNDS PROPOSED ORIGINAL BUILDING H. B. Parry, Architect 102 118 134 180 184 212 222 232 236 THE REV. ARCHDEACON W. J. LEACH, VICE-PRINCIPAL 1846-1886 From a painting by Wyatt Eaton E. A. MEREDITH, PRINCIPAL 1846-1851 MCGILL IN 1855 SIR WILLIAM DAWSON, PRINCIPAL 1855-1893 From a painting by Wyatt Eaton WILLIAM MOLSON From a painting by John Phillips, 1861 PETER REDPATH From a painting by Robert Harris SIR WILLIAM MACDONALD SIR WILLIAM PETERSON, PRINCIPAL 1895-1919 JOHN H. R. MOLSON DEAN ALEXANDER JOHNSON, VICE-PRINCIPAL 1885-1903 PERCIVAL MOLSON LORD STRATHCONA DR. CHARLES E. MOYSE, VICE-PRINCIPAL 1903-1920 SIR ARTHUR CURRIE, PRINCIPAL 1920DR. FRANK D. ADAMS, VICE-PRINCIPAL 1920MCGILL IN 1921 238 240 244 248 252 254 258 266 268 272 The photographs from which the prints were made are the work of Norman and of the Rice Studios. THE ROYAL INSTITUTION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF LEARNING CHAPTER I [15] T HE ROYAL INSTITUTION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF LEARNING Charter under which McGill University was established, was obtained on March 31st, 1821. The century mark in the University's history has now been passed. One hundred years is