Title Reviewed:
An Early View of the Land-Grant Colleges: Convention of Friends of Agricultural Education in 1871

Author Reviewed:
Richard A. Hatch

Gilbert C. Fite


Indiana Magazine of History, Volume 64, Issue 2, pp 161-161

Article Type:
Book Review

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An Early View of the Land-Grant Colleges: Convention of Friends of Agricultural Education in 1871. Edited by Richard A. Hatch. (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, for the Committee on the Centennial of the University of Illinois, 1967. Pp. xv, 147. Notes. $5.50.)

At a time when educational change is the order of the day, it is refreshing and informative to read what some educators were saying about education and its problems nearly one hundred years ago. An Early View of the Land-Grant Colleges is a report on the proceedings of the Convention of Friends of Agricultural Education held at Chicago in August, 1871. It was the first time that representatives of the new land-grant colleges met together to discuss their individual and mutual problems. There were twenty-nine presidents and professors of agricultural colleges and friends of agriculture at the convention. A representative of the Prairie Farmer made a record of the proceedings which otherwise might have been lost.

The formal papers and general discussions centered around a number of problems of current importance. These included the place of teaching and research in higher education, the admission of women, the role of experiment stations, the question of students working for the colleges, student responsibility for their own government, and continued relations among agricultural educators. Two of the main problems under consideration—the emphasis upon teaching and research and student self-government on the campus—sound as revelant in 1968 as they did in 1871. This book is mainly useful because it gives something of the educational flavor of the times and outlines some of the challenges facing educators in the years right after the Civil War. It is a valuable contemporary document for the history of both agricultural and general education.

University of Oklahoma

Gilbert C. Fite

Published by the Indiana University Department of History.