The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor.
University of Michigan.
Page  151
Personnel of the Governing Board of the University

ACT OF 1817. — The original act establishing the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, dated August 26, 1817, stated that the president and didactors (i.e., professors), or a majority of them assembled, should have power to regulate all the concerns of the institution. They constituted its governing board, and were to be "appointed and commissioned" by the governor of the Territory. The only professors to be appointed (and these by Acting Governor Woodbridge) were Father Gabriel Richard and the Reverend John Monteith, so that until the act of April 30, 1821, creating the Board of Trustees of the University of Michigan, the institution was under the management of these two men. The board appointed under the act of reorganization did not regard the University as having been the "University of Michigan" from the beginning, but carefully observed a useful legal distinction by consistently referring to the institution of 1817-21 as the "University of Michigania" and to its successor of 1821 as the "University of Michigan" (Early Records, p. 57). The official personnel of the University of Michigania, so far as it is known, was as follows:

The Catholepistemiad or University of Michigania, 1817-21
Faculty (Board or Corporation, ex officio)
John Monteith, Professor of Universal Science and President, ex officio 1817
Gabriel Richard, Professor of Intellectual Sciences and Vice-President, ex officio 1817
John Monteith, President 1817
Gabriel Richard, Vice-President 1817
John L. Whiting, Register 1817
James Abbott, Treasurer 1820
Abraham Edwards, Treasurer 1821

The first equivalent of the present Board of Regents was known simply as the "University of Michigania" or the "University." This board, composed of President Monteith and Professor Richard acting in their corporate capacity, met on September 12, 1817, and passed several acts for the organization and management of the institution, including the establishment of the offices of register and treasurer. These offices were undoubtedly outside and subordinate to the corporation itself. A register was promptly appointed, and, together with the President, separately signed the record of each of the acts passed that day. At the same time, the "University" authorized the appointment of two boards of trustees and visitors, one for the classical academy and one for the primary school (later, schools). These boards were appointed in February, 1818. Within two months they were combined and thereafter functioned as one board. The appointments were as follows:

    Trustees and Visitors of the Classical Academy of the City of Detroit, 1818-21
  • William Brown
  • Abraham Edwards
  • Charles Larned
  • Philip Lecuyer
  • William McCaskry
  • George McDougall
  • Alexander Macomb
  • William W. Petit
  • Solomon Sibley
  • John L. Whiting
  • Andrew G. Whitney
  • Austin E. Wing
  • William Woodbridge
  • John S. Roby
    Trustees and Visitors of the First Primary School of the City of Detroit, 1818-21
  • James Abbott
  • Barnabas Campeau
  • Joseph Campeau
  • James Conner
  • Peter J. Desnoyers
  • Henry J. Hunt
  • David C. McKinstry
  • Stephen Mack
  • Oliver W. Miller
  • Benjamin Stead
  • John R. Williams
  • Oliver Williams
  • Benjamin Woodworth

Since each board was constitutionally limited to thirteen members, it seems probable that Roby, who as a member Page  152first attended an academy board meeting on April 9, shortly before the merger, was appointed to fill out the term of some other person who had resigned. As the identity of this person is unknown, all the terms are given above as extending to 1821.

On October 3, 1817, the corporation (Monteith and Richard) appropriated funds toward the "first College of Michigania," enacted that the University faculty should be the college faculty, and also planned to appoint a board of trustees and visitors for the college. This plan was never executed.

The Board of Trustees and Visitors for the Classical Academy and Primary Schools elected certain officers at various times. The records do not make clear what their functions were, nor even of what body they were officers. The list is as follows:

Officers Elected by the Board of Trustees and Visitors of the Classical Academy and Primary Schools
Andrew G. Whitney, Secretary 1818
Charles Larned, Secretary 1820
Alexander Macomb, President 1820
John L. Whiting, Secretary 1820
James Abbott, Treasurer 1820
William W. Petit, Secretary 1821

Generally, the secretary must have been secretary of the board by which he was elected, as he continued to sign the minutes of meetings of that board. An exception was John L. Whiting. It seems possible that he and James Abbott and Alexander Macomb, who were elected simultaneously, were intended by the board as officers of the University. There is definite evidence that Abraham Edwards was the last treasurer of the University in the "Michigania" period (Early Records, p. 57), but the date when he became treasurer is not given. Presumably, he was appointed by the "University"; at least we do not have any record that the Board of Trustees and Visitors of the Classical Academy and Primary Schools elected him.

The original register and the first treasurer had been appointed by the "University" (that is, by Monteith and Richard acting as a corporation or board). The functions of the register of the University, so far as they are known, were like those of a secretary of that institution. This same John L. Whiting, a member of the Board of Trustees and Visitors of the Classical Academy and Primary Schools, was the first appointee to the position of register. His not signing the board minutes in the period immediately after that body elected him secretary in 1820 may indicate that the board meant to continue him as register of the University rather than to make him its own secretary.

The existing official record does not show that the Board of Trustees and Visitors of the Classical Academy and Primary Schools had proper authority to elect men to University offices, but it does show that in at least one instance near the close of the "Michigania" period the board was uncertain as to how far its jurisdiction extended. "Doubt having been expressed," the secretary of the board was directed to obtain from the register of the University the bylaws relating to powers of the board. Later, the secretary reported that because the register was out of the Territory he had not been able to carry out this request (Early Records, p. 52). The incident at least shows unmistakably that the position of secretary of the board and that of register of the University were distinct.

Act of 1821. — On April 30, 1821, it was enacted by the governor and the judges of the Territory of Michigan that the University should be under the management, direction, and government of twenty-one trustees, one of whom, the governor of the Territory, should be a trustee of the University ex officio. It Page  153was also enacted that these trustees should continue in office during the pleasure of the legislature, and that all vacancies should be filled by the legislature. On March 1, 1831, it was enacted by the legislative council of the Territory that all vacancies should be filled by nomination from the governor, by and with the advice of this territorial council. The appointed and ex officio trustees under this act, and the officers of the board, were as follows:

The Trustees of the University of Michigan, 1821-37
Ex Officio
William Woodbridge, Acting Governor (several brief intervals) 1821-27
Lewis Cass, Governor 1822-31
James Witherell, Acting Governor (Jan.-Apr.) 1830
John T. Mason, Acting Governor (two brief intervals) 1830-31
George B. Porter, Governor 1831-34
Stevens Thomson Mason
Acting Governor (several brief intervals) 1831-34
Governor ex officio 1834-35
Governor 1835-37
John S. Horner, Acting Governor (Sept.-Nov.) 1835
John Biddle 1821-37
Nicholas Boilvin 1821-37
Daniel LeRoy 1821-37
Christian Clemens 1821
William H. Puthoff 1821-34
John Anderson 1821-37
John Hunt 1821-27
Charles Larned 1821-34
Gabriel Richard 1821-32
John R. Williams 1821-37
Solomon Sibley 1821-37
John Monteith 1821
Henry J. Hunt 1821-26
John L. Leib 1821-37
Peter J. Desnoyers 1821-37
Austin E. Wing 1821-37
William Woodbridge 1821-37
Benjamin Stead 1821
Philip Lecuyer 1821-34
William Brown 1821-37
Abraham Edwards 1822-37
Thomas Rowland 1822-37
Jonathan Kearsley 1827-37
Noah M. Wells 1827-34
James Kingsley 1827-34
L. Humphrey 1827-34
Richard Berry 1827-34
John McDonell 1835-37
John Norvell 1837
Ross T. Wilkins 1837
Officers of the Board
Lemuel Shattuck 1821
Charles C. Trowbridge 1821-35
G. Mott Williams 1836-37
Abraham Edwards 1821
James Abbott 1821-23
De Garmo Jones 1823-37

Several men on this board had served as members of the "University of Michigania" Board of Trustees and Visitors of the Classical Academy and Primary Schools of the City of Detroit, 1817-21. These (in addition to the University faculty, Monteith and Richard) were Charles Larned, John R. Williams, Solomon Sibley, Henry J. Hunt, Peter Desnoyers, Austin E. Wing, William Woodbridge, Benjamin Stead, Philip Lecuyer, William Brown, and Abraham Edwards. Within the years 1817-21 Larned had been secretary to the Board of Trustees and Visitors of the Classical Academy and Primary Schools and Edwards, treasurer of the University. Also, James Abbott had been made treasurer, either of the University or of this board. For a brief time in 1821 Edwards continued as treasurer of the reorganized Board of Trustees of the University of Michigan, although he was not then a trustee, but after he had declined reelection to the position of treasurer he was appointed a member of the board in 1821, and James Abbott succeeded him as treasurer of the University. No secretary or treasurer between 1821 and 1837 was simultaneously a trustee. Trowbridge, however, like Edwards and Abbott, served on the University governing Page  154board at a different period. He was appointed Regent in 1839. Seven members of the 1821-37 Board of Trustees likewise became members of the Board of Regents at a later date. Among these were the first two governors of the state, who were Regents ex officio, Stevens T. Mason (1837-40) and William Woodbridge (1840-41). The others were Regents by appointment — Jonathan Kearsley, John Norvell, and Ross T. Wilkins, appointed in 1837; Lewis Cass, who had formerly been governor of the Territory of Michigan, in 1843; and Austin E. Wing in 1845.

Act of 1837. — Under the act of March 18, 1837, the government of the University was vested in the Board of Regents. This body was to consist of several state officials as ex officio members, twelve appointed members, and a chancellor of the University, who should be ex officio president of the Board. (Actually, however, no president or chancellor of the University was appointed before 1852, and the short-termed, elected presidents of the faculty between 1841 and 1852 did not serve in this capacity.) The Board of Regents was nominated by the governor and was appointed by and with advice and consent of the Senate. The governor, the lieutenant governor, the judges of the Supreme Court, and the chancellor of the state were the ex officio members of the Board. The number of Supreme Court justices was increased from three to four in 1838, and in 1846 the office of chancellor of the state was abolished. Under the organic act of 1837 the list of Regents was as follows:

The Regents of the University of Michigan, 1837-52
Ex Officio
Stevens T. Mason, Governor 1837-40
Edward Mundy
Lieutenant Governor 1837-40
Acting Governor 1838
Justice of the Supreme Court 1848-51
Elon Farnsworth, Chancellor of Michigan 1837-42, 1846
William A. Fletcher, Justice of the Supreme Court 1837-42
George Morell, Justice of the Supreme Court 1837-42
Epaphroditus Ransom
Justice of the Supreme Court 1837-42, 1843-48
Governor 1848-50
Charles W. Whipple, Justice of the Supreme Court 1838-51
William Woodbridge, Governor 1840-41
James Wright Gordon
Lieutenant Governor 1840-41
Acting Governor 1841-42
Thomas J. Drake, Acting Lieutenant Governor 1841-42
John S. Barry, Governor 1842-46, 1850-51
Origen D. Richardson, Lieutenant Governor 1842-46
Alpheus Felch
Justice of the Supreme Court 1842-45
Governor 1846-47
Daniel Goodwin, Justice of the Supreme Court 1843-46
Warner Wing, Justice of the Supreme Court 1845-52
William L. Greenly
Lieutenant Governor 1846-47
Acting Governor 1847-48
George Miles, Justice of the Supreme Court 1846-50
Charles P. Bush, Acting Lieutenant Governor 1847-48
William M. Fenton, Lieutenant Governor 1848-52
Sanford M. Green, Justice of the Supreme Court 1848-52
Abner Pratt, Justice of the Supreme Court 1850-52
George Martin, Justice of the Supreme Court 1851-52
Thomas Fitzgerald 1837
Robert McClelland 1837, 1850-52
John Frederich Porter 1837-50
Michael Hoffman 1837-38
Lucius Lyon 1837-39
John Norvell 1837-39
John Johnstone Adam 1837-40
Samuel Denton 1837-40
Gideon Olin Whittemore 1837-40
Henry Rowe Schoolcraft 1837-41
Ross T. Wilkins 1837-42
Isaac Edwin Crary 1837-44
Page  155
Zina Pitcher 1837-52
Seba Murphy 1838-39
Gurdon C. Leech 1838-40
Jonathan Kearsley 1838-52
Joseph W. Brown 1839-40
Charles Christopher Trowbridge 1839-42
George Duffield 1839-48
Michael A. Patterson 1840-41
William Draper 1840-44
Daniel Hudson 1840-41
Francis John Higginson 1840-41
Samuel William Dexter 1840-41
Oliver Cromwell Comstock 1841-43
Martin Kundig 1841-45
John Owen 1841-48
George Goodman 1841-43
Andrew M. Fitch 1842-46
Elisha Crane 1842-46
William Asa Fletcher 1842-46
DeWitt Clinton Walker 1843-44
Marvin Allen 1843-52
Lewis Cass 1843-44
Robert Ransom Kellogg 1844-45
Edward Mundy 1844-48
Alexander Heman Redfield 1844-52
Minot Thayer Lane 1845-59
Austin Enoch Wing 1845-50
Charles Coffin Taylor 1846-50
Elijah Holmes Pilcher 1846-52
Elon Farnsworth 1846-52
John Guest Atterbury 1848-52
Benjamin F. Hawkins Witherell 1848-52
Justus Goodwin 1848-52
Edwin M. Cust 1849
Epaphroditus Ransom 1850-52
Gustavus Lemuel Foster 1850-52
Officers of the Board
Charles W. Whipple 1837-39
Anthony Ten Eyck 1839-45
James Valentine Campbell 1846-52
John Norton 1837-39
Henry K. Sanger 1839-41
Alexander H. Sibley 1841-44
John Johnstone Adam 1844-46, 1848-51
Digby V. Bell 1846-48
John Manly Chase 1851-52

For several years (1845-50), both Warner Wing and Austin E. Wing were members of this Board, of which no members save Elon Farnsworth continued as Regents in 1852. None of the officers was Regent during his term of office, but John J. Adam was a former Regent, and Secretary Charles W. Whipple was later a justice of the Supreme Court and hence Regent ex officio. Secretary James V. Campbell was afterwards Professor of Law in the University, and still later, a justice of the Supreme Court; before he became a justice, however, the new state constitution had gone into effect, and no longer were the justices and other state officers Regents of the University ex officio. Alpheus Felch held the Tappan professorship of law from 1879 to 1883. Under the Constitution of 1835, Fletcher, Mundy, Farnsworth, and Ransom served separate terms as Regents by appointment and Regents by virtue of public office. Oliver Comstock became superintendent of public instruction in 1843, immediately after he had been on the Board two years as a Regent by appointment. At that time the superintendents of public instruction were not ex officio members of the Board of Regents.

Constitution of 1850 and Constitution of 1908. — By the Constitution of 1850 it was provided (sec. 6, Art. XIII) that "there shall be elected in each judicial circuit (eight in number), at the time of the election of the judge of such circuit, a regent of the University, whose term of office shall be the same as that of such judge" (six years).

When the first Regents by election took office in 1852 there was an almost complete change in the personnel of the Board. In 1858 the change was complete as to the Board itself, its secretary, and its treasurer; and of the Regents who took office in 1858, only J. E. Johnson remained after 1864. The defect in organization which made possible these recurring shocks to University government was corrected by a constitutional amendment and special laws in 1862 and 1863 (Bylaws, 1883, p. 6), which afforded essential continuity in the personnel, Page  156and thus indirectly in the policy, of the Board of Regents. Specifically, section 6, Article XIII, of the constitution was changed so as to provide that eight Regents should be elected in 1863, at the time of the election of a justice of the Supreme Court; that of these, two should hold office for two years, two for four years, two for six years, and two for eight years; and that thereafter, two Regents should be elected every two years, for eight-year terms, at each regular election of a justice of the Supreme Court. The former provision that there must be a Regent from each judicial district of the state was discontinued; thereafter, although the law contained no explicit statement to this effect, Regents were to be drawn from any part of the state and to be elected by the people at large. Vacancies were to be filled, as they still are, by appointment of the governor. By the Constitution of 1908 the number of Regents was again fixed at eight, independently of the judicial circuits, the term of office remained eight years, and it was provided that there should be elected "at each regular biennial spring election two members of such board" (sec. 3, Art. XI).

Under the provisions of the Constitution of 1850, the amendment of 1862, and the Constitution of 1908, the list of Regents was as follows:

The Regents of the University of Michigan, 1852-1940
Ex Officio
Henry Philip Tappan 1852-63
Erastus Otis Haven 1863-69
Henry Simmons Frieze, President pro tem 1869-71, 1880-82
James Burrill Angell 1871-1909
Harry Burns Hutchins 1910-20
Marion LeRoy Burton 1920-25
Alfred Henry Lloyd, Acting President (Feb.-Sept.) 1925
Clarence Cook Little 1925-29
Alexander Grant Ruthven 1929-
Superintendents of Public Instruction*
Luther Lampheare Wright 1908-13
Fred Lockwood Keeler 1913-19
Thomas E. Johnson 1919-26
Wilford L. Coffey 1926-27
Webster H. Pearce 1927-33
Paul F. Voelker 1933-35
Eugene B. Elliott 1935-
Elected Regents and Those Appointed to Fill Vacancies
Michael A. Patterson 1852-58
Edward Shaw Moore 1852-58
Elon Farnsworth 1852-58
James Kingsley 1852-58
Elisha Ely 1852-54
Charles Henry Palmer 1852-58
Andrew Parsons 1852-54
William Upjohn 1852-58
Henry Horatio Northrop 1854-58
Benjamin Levi Baxter 1858-64
James Eastman Johnson 1858-70
Levi Bishop 1858-64
Donald McIntyre 1858-64
Ebenezer Lakin Brown 1858-64
Luke H. Parsons 1858-62
John VanVleck 1858
Henry Whiting 1858-64
Oliver Lyman Spaulding 1858-64
William Montague Ferry 1858-64
George Bradley 1858-64
Edward Carey Walker 1864-82
George Willard 1864-74
Thomas Dwight Gilbert 1864-76
Thomas Jefferson Joslin 1864-68
Henry C. Knight 1864-67
Alvah Sweetzer 1864
James Albert Sweezey 1864-72
Cyrus Moses Stockwell 1865-72
John Mahelm Berry Sill 1867-70
Hiram Austin Burt 1868-76
Joseph Estabrook 1870-78
Jonas Hartzel McGowan 1870-77
Claudius Buchanan Grant 1872-80
Charles Rynd 1872-80
Page  157
Andrew Climie 1874-81
Byron MacCutcheon 1876-83
Samuel Snow Walker 1876-84
Victory Phelps Collier 1877
George Duffield 1877-86
George Lewis Maltz 1878-80
James Shearer 1880-88
Ebenezer Oliver Grosvenor 1880-88
Jacob J. VanRiper 1880-86
Austin Blair 1881-90
James Frederick Joy 1882-87
Lyman Decatur Norris 1883-84
Arthur Merrill Clark 1884-92
Charles Joseph Willett 1884-92
Moses Wheelock Field 1886-89
Charles Rudolphus Whitman 1886-94
Charles Stuart Draper 1887-92
Roger Williams Butterfield 1888-1904
Charles Hebard 1888-96
Hermann Kiefer 1889-1902
William Johnson Cocker 1890-1901
Peter Napoleon Cook 1892-1900
Henry Howard 1892-94
Levi Lewis Barbour 1892-98, 1902-08
Frank Ward Fletcher 1894-1910
Henry Stewart Dean 1894-1908
George Alexander Farr 1896-1904
Charles DeWitt Lawton 1898-1906
Eli Ransom Sutton 1900-02
Arthur Hill 1901-09
Henry Westonrae Carey 1902-10
Loyal Edwin Knappen 1904-11
Peter White 1904-08
Walter Hulme Sawyer 1906-31
Junius Emery Beal 1908-40
Frank Bruce Leland 1908-24
Chase Salmon Osborn 1908-11
John Henry Grant 1909-14
William Lawrence Clements 1910-34
George Pierre Codd 1910-11
Lucius Lee Hubbard 1911-33
Benjamin Sawtell Hanchett 1911-33
Harry Conant Bulkley 1911-18
William Alfred Comstock 1913-14
Victor Michael Gore 1914-30
James Orin Murfin 1918-34, 1934-38
Ralph Stone 1924-40
Esther Marsh Cram 1929-
R. Perry Shorts 1930-34
Richard R. Smith 1931-38
Edmund C. Shields 1933-36, 1938-
Charles F. Hemans 1934-
Franklin M. Cook 1934-
David H. Crowley 1936-
John D. Lynch 1938-
Harry G. Kipke 1940-
J. Joseph Herbert 1940-
Officers of the Board
Secretaries and Stewards*
Charles Henry Palmer, Secretary 1852
Oliver Warner Moore, Secretary 1852-53
Edward Raymond Chase, Secretary 1853-54
Alexander Winchell, Secretary 1854-56
Joseph Hardcastle Vance, Steward 1855-59
John Livingston Tappan, Secretary 1856-58
Daniel Leonard Wood, Secretary 1858-64
John Hiram Burleson
Steward 1859-64
Secretary and Steward 1864-69
Henry DeWitt Bennett, Secretary and Steward 1869-83
James Henry Wade, Secretary and Steward 1883-1908
Shirley Wheeler Smith, Secretary 1908-
John Manly Chase 1852-58
Henry Woolsey Welles 1858-60
Volney Chapin 1860-64
Donald McIntyre 1864-72
John Marshall Wheeler 1872-78
William Addison Tolchard 1878-83
Harrison Soule 1883-1908
George Sumner Baker 1908-11
Robert Alexander Campbell 1911-31

The lack of a settled personnel policy as to officers of the Board during the Tappan and Haven administrations is obvious. Of all the secretaries and treasurers of the Board of Regents, Charles Henry Palmer, Secretary in 1852, was the only one to hold the office while he was serving as a regular member of the Board. Donald McIntyre, on the other hand, was following the example of John J. Adam in serving the Board as treasurer after his term as Regent had expired. The secretary from 1854 to 1856 was Professor Alexander Winchell, the only person who ever served simultaneously as a full-time member of the teaching staff and as an officer of the Board. Page  158Secretary John L. Tappan and Steward Joseph Vance, however, were librarians of the University while they were officers of the Board.

To prevent confusion it should perhaps be pointed out that Secretary D. L. Wood was Daniel Wood, not the University's well-known engineering professor of that period, DeVolson Wood; and also that the Regent George Duffield of 1877-86 was not the Regent George Duffield of 1839-48, but his son.