Tennessees Early School
~ 1806 ~
An Act to establish a College in West Tennessee.
Whereas provision has been made for the application of funds to the benefit of
two colleges, one in East and one in West Tennessee, by an act of the congress of the
United States, passed the eighteenth day of April, in the present year, entitled, 'An
act to authorise the state of Tennessee to issue grants and perfect titles to certain lands
therein described, and to settle the claims to the vacant and unappropriated lands
within the same ' And whereas the trustees of the Davidson academy have
petitioned this general assembly that the funds and property, both real and personal, of
academy, may be united with, and merge in those of the said college. Therefore:
SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of
Tennessee, That a college be established on the square reserved for the Davidson
Academy, by the trustees thereof, which shall be known and distinguished by the name
of Cumberland College.
SEC. 2. Be it enacted, That Thomas B. Craighead, James Winchester,
Samuel P. Black, Moses Fisk, Robert C. Foster, David M'Gavock, Robert Whyte, Joseph
Coleman, Robert Searcy, William Dickson, David Hume, John Dickison, Joel Lewis,
Abram Maury, senior, William P. Anderson, Duncan Stuart, Thomas Johnson, John K.
Wynne and Nicholas T. Perkins, shall be, and they are hereby constituted a body politic
and corporate, to be known by the name of the Trustees of Cumberland College, as
aforesaid, and by that name shall have perpetual succession and a common seal.
SEC. 3. Be it enacted, That the said trustees and their successors, by the
name aforesaid, shall, and may be capable in law, to have, receive, and enjoy, to them
and their successors, lands, tenements, and hereditaments, of any kind or value, in fee,
or for life, or years; and personal property of every kind whatsoever, and also all sums
of money of any amount whatsoever, which may be granted or bequeathed to them for
the purpose of building, erecting, endowing and supporting the said college.
SEC. 4. Be it enacted, That the president of the said college, and three of
the said trustees, shall have full power to call occasional meetings of the board,
whenever it shall appear to them necessary; and that al all stated meetings, the
president of the board of trustees aforesaid, and eleven of the trustees, shall be the
number to constitute a
quorum, and to fill up by ballot any vacancies that may occur in the said trustees,
during the recess of the general assembly; which said appointment may be confirmed or
otherwise, by any succeeding legislature; and the president and nine of the trustees
shall be the number to constitute an occasional meeting for the transaction of all
ordinary business; and the said trustees, or two thirds of them, being regularly
convened, shall be capable of doing or transacting all the business and concerns of the
said college, but more particularly of electing all the customary and necessary officers of
the said institution, of fixing their several salaries, of removing any of them for neglect
or misconduct in office; of prescribing the course of studies to be pursued by the
students, and in general, of framing and enacting all such ordinances and bye laws as
shall appear to them necessary for the good government of the said college: Provided,
the same be not repugnant to the laws of this state, nor of the United States.
SEC. 5. Be it enacted, That the head of the said college shall be stiled 'The
President.' and the masters thereof shall be stiled 'The Professors.' but professors, while
they remain such, shall never be capable of holding the office of trustee; and the
president and professors, or a majority of them, shall be stiled 'The Faculty of the
College;' which faculty shall have the power of conferring degrees of bachelor and
master of arts; of enforcing the ordinances and bye laws adopted by the trustees for the
government of the pupils, by rewarding or censuring them, and finally, by suspending
such of them, as after repeated admonitions, shall continue disobedient or refractory,
until a determination of a quorum of trustees can be had; and the said trustees, by the
name aforesaid, may sue or be sure, plead and be impleaded, in any court of law or
equity; and may grant, bargain, sell, or assign any lands, tenements, hereditaments,
goods or chattels, and to act and do all things, whatsoever, for the benefit of the said
college, in as ample a manner as any person or body politic
or corporate can or may by law.
SEC. 6. Be it enacted, That one moiety of the proceeds of the sales of one
hundred thousand acres of land, as described in the twenty third section of an act,
entitled, 'An act for the appointment of a register of the land office, and providing
for the sale of the lands south of French Broad and Holston, agreeably to the
constitution of this state, and the provisions of the act of congress therein referred
to,' together with all the property real and personal of what kind soever of
Davidson Academy (agreeably to the petition of the trustees of said academy herein
before referred to) be, and they are hereby vested in the board of trustees created by this
act, in trust for the sole use, benefit and support of said Cumberland College forever.
And all acts establishing or granting a charter to said Davidson Academy, and
constituting said board of trustees thereof, are hereby repealed, except so far as will
authorise the collection of the debts due to
SEC. 7. Be it enacted, That until a president of the said college shall be
elected, and shall have entered upon the duties of his office, and also, in all cases of a
vacancy, or the absence of the president, the said trustees shall appoint one of their
members to preside in their meetings, and all the acts of the trustees, while acting under
circumstances, shall be considered in law as the acts of the board, as fully and
completely as when the president of the college shall be in office and preside.
SEC. 8. Be it enacted, That it shall be the duty of the first person named
as trustee in this act, to fix the time for holding the first meeting of the said board,
which shall be in the town of Nashville, of which he shall give notice in writing to each
member, at least ten days previous to such meeting; and all subsequent meetings of the
said board shall be in the said town of Nashville.
SEC. 9. Be it enacted, That all property real and personal, by this act
appropriated and made over for the use and benefit of said college, and all property of
what kind soever, that may hereafter be given to said college by donation, bequest, or
otherwise, is hereby declared free and clear of any taxation whatever.
SEC. 10. Be it enacted, That it shall be the duty of the present board of
trustees of the Davidson Academy, to execute deeds of conveyance for lots by them
sold, adjoining the town of Nashville, agreeably to the existing laws which where in
force at the time of such sale; and thing in this act to the contrary notwithstanding.
SEC. 11. Be it enacted, That the president, professors, and teachers of the
different colleges and academies in this state, shall be, and are hereby exempted from
SEC. 12. Be it enacted, That all students, after arriving to the years of
eighteen, shall be enrolled as a militia company, and be governed by the militia laws in
this state, under the command of officers to be chosen by themselves; and no person or
persons shall be appointed officers, nor enrolled in said company, but students at said
college; nor shall they be compelled to attend militia musters at any other place than at
SEC. 13. Be it enacted, That this act shall be deemed a public act, and as
such shall be judicially taken notice of without special pleading, in all the courts of law
and equity within this state.
Robert C. Foster,
Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Speaker of the Senate.
September 11th, 1806
Our first source for this paper is Messages of the Governors of Tennessee,
1796-1821 (Volume One), Published by The Tennessee Historical
Commission, 1952. They claim that their source was the Acts of Tennessee,
This paper was typed for TNGenWeb Project by Jo Roe Carpenter. We thank her for her
good work and sharing spirit. This paper was coded in HTML
by Fred Smoot. This page is © Copyrighted by TNGenNet Inc, 1999.