In reply to your inquiry, it affords me pleasure to state that I deem the Educational enterprise in behalf of which you are laboring, one that, if successfully carried into operation upon the basis and plan proposed, will and materially in promoting the mental, moral, and physical well being of those who may be trained under its auspices, and thus impart a healthy and vigorous tone to the community in which their lot may hereafter be cast, and over which some portion of them will be destined to exercise a guiding and controlling influence.
I have journied quite extensively in different sections of Kansas Territory and have repeatedly with renewed gratification, visited Manhattan. I am free to say that not anywhere in the whole region traversed do I know of a more beautiful and eligible spot than the one selected for the site of your Institution; and the adjoining tract has marked advantages which especially adapt it for the purposes of an experimental, agricultural farm, which wisely
is to be made a prominent feature of the establishment. –The God of Nature has done much in the region referred to for the physical health and comfort of man; and if man does but his duty in providing for the educational culture of the generations who are to succeed the one now occupying the field of action, that region will indeed be blest.
From my personal acquaintance with some of the corporators, and from the assurances given me in regard to others, I feel persuaded that no partisan bias or sectanian influence will be permitted to exercise a control over the Institution, either in the selection of its officers, the choice of text books, the mode of imparting instruction, or in any other wise; the time intent and determination being to found an Institution for Education in its broadest, most liberal, and enlightened sense, embracing the widest range of the Arts and Sciences, having for its aim the increase of man’s rational happiness, and the enlargement of his sphere of usefulness.
Were it necessary, and did my duties admit, it would be satisfactory to give my views on this subject more in detail, but it is not requisite, nor are circumstances favorable for it.
What is well understood, as Common School Education deserves and should receive the first attention of every community, the branches taught at Academies and Colleges should afterwards received [ne?] encouragement and support. It is gratifying to know that the initiatory steps, for giving vitality to the former, were taken at the commencement of the Free State efforts in the Territory; and among the first acts of the first settlers was that of appropriating buildings for schools and for religious services.
To aid in introducing the most approved System a son of Massachusetts, a gentleman distinguished for his beneficence, has liberally donated Twelve Thousand Dollars.
Does he stand alone in his enlightened views, so numificently characterized? Have we not reason to believe that he is the representative man of a large class in New England, and the sister States, who are ready, when called upon, to imitate the noble example of their associate?
Trusting that such is the case, and that you will find, when the appeal is properly made, many of them prompt not only to say, but to do
God speed for the work which you have in charge, is the sincere wish of
Yours very truly
Thomas H. Webb
Isaac T. Goodnow Esq.