Liberal Kentucky, 1780-1828

By Niels Henry Sonne | Go to book overview

VII
LIBERALISM ON THE DEFENSIVE

BY 1823 the success of the Holley administration at Transylvania University was an almost universally acknowledged fact. The great increase in the student body was obvious to all. Less tangible, but equally real, was the new high plane of instruction in all departments.1 The reputation of Transylvania had become national, and students came from many states.2 With the death of Col. James Morrison, chairman of the board of trustees, the institution received a legacy which increased its wealth by more than one-third. This had been given through the personal exertions of Henry Clay, who had persuaded Morrison to leave the money to the university rather than to his own son, John Morrison Clay.3 The deposed Presbyterians, looking upon the success of the state school, and contrasting it with their own meager achievements, had much cause to feel envious. But they had greater reason to fear for the future of their Church, indissolubly united, as they thought, with Calvinistic theology. Annually many young men, often from Presbyterian homes, were being graduated, who had learned, under Holley's

____________________
1
Kentucky Reporter, Jan 9, 16, 1823. "An Old Friend" revealed in detail the subject matter of Holley's courses, and the thoroughness of his instructions, in a lengthy description of the public examinations.
2
Kentucky Reporter, Feb 3, 1823. There were 145 students from 14 states other than Kentucky at Transylvania University, in the session 1823-24 ( Judd, The Educational Contributions of Horace Holley, p. 43).
3
Lynn, Henry Clay and Transylvania University, p. 163 Kentucky Reporter, Sept 22, 1827.

-191-

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Liberal Kentucky, 1780-1828
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • I - Intellectual Viewpoints in Pioneer Kentucky 1
  • II - Early Transylvania 46
  • III - Dr. Joseph Buchanan 78
  • IV - Presbyterianism and the State 108
  • V - A Revolution at Transylvania University 135
  • VI - Horace Holley, Liberal Theologian and Educator 160
  • VII - Liberalism on the Defensive 191
  • VIII - Liberalism Defeated 242
  • Bibliography 263
  • Index 275
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