Beginning of West Virginia State University

Acts of the Legislature of West Virginia at its Twentieth Regular Session, commencing January 14, 1891.


AN ACT accepting the provisions of the act of congress approved August thirtieth, eighteen hundred and ninety, entitled "An act to apply a portion of the proceeds of the public lands to the more complete endowment and support of the colleges for the benefit of agriculture and the mechanic arts, established under the provisions of an act of congress approved July second, eight hundred and sixty-two," and providing for the apportionment of said endowment according to the provisions of said act.

[Passed March 4, 1891.]

WHEREAS. The congress of the United States of America, by an act approved August thirtieth, eighteen hundred and ninety, entitled "An act to apply a portion of the proceeds of the public lands to the more complete endowment and support of the colleges for the benefit of agriculture and the mechanic arts, established under the provisions of an act of congress approved July second eighteen hundred and sixty-two,." made an appropriation to each state and territory of fifteen thousand dollars for the year ending June thirtieth, eighteen hundred and ninety; and an annual increase of said appropriation thereafter for ten years by the additional sum of one thousand dollars over the preceding year, after which time the annual amount so appropriated will be twenty-five thousand dollars for the more complete endowment and maintenance of the colleges established under the act of congress last aforesaid, "to be applied only to instruction in agriculture, the mechanic arts, the English language and the various branches of mathematical, physical, natural and economic science, with special reference to their application in the industries of life, and to the facilities for such instruction," and

WHEREAS, By a proviso in said act no state can obtain the benefits thereof, where facilities are not provided fof the instruction of colored students in said branches of study, either in the same institution or in separate institutions, and the legislatures of the several states are required to make an equitable division of said annual appropriation where such separate institutions are provided, and report the same to the secretary of the Interior, and

WHEREAS, The constitution of the state of West Virginia forbids the education of white and colored youths in the same state schools, and this state having heretofore made no provision for the separate education of colored youth in agriculture and the mechanic arts; and the enumeration of the white and colored youths of this state, of school age, being about 250,000 white and 12,000 colored, it being the duty of this state to indicate a reasonable proportion of said appropriations, to be set apart annually for the instruction of the colored youth of the state, the sum of $3,000 is hereby indicated as an equitable portion of said appropriations, for five years from the date of the passage of this act, and after that time $5,000, as long as such appropriation continues; and

WHEREAS, By the terms of said act of the congress of the United States, approved August thirteeth [sic] eighteen hundred and ninety, it is necessary, in order to enable this state to share in the appropriations so made, and to be made, under the provisions of said last recited act, for the legislature to accept of the provisions of said act for and on the behalf of this state, and to make proper and suitable provisions for complying with the terms of the said act upon which this state will be ent[i]tled to her distributable share of said appropiations [sic], and to designate the institutions of learning to become the beneficiaries of said appropriations, and the officer of this state to whom the money shall be paid by the United States, for the use of said beneficiaries; therefore,

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

I. The legislature of the state of West Virginia hereby accepts for said state, the terms and provisions of the said act of the congress of the United States approved August thirtieth eighteen hundred and ninety, for the objects and purposes mentioned and declared therein, and designates the "West Virginia University" established in pursuance of the act of the congress of the United States, passed July second, eighteen hundred and sixty- two, and a subsequent act passed by said congress, on April nineteenth, eighteen hundred and sixty-four, at Morgan[t]own, in the county of Monongalia, in this state, as the beneficiary of said appropriation for the instruction of white students; and an institution to be located and provided for the purpose as hereinafter required and directed in the county of Kanawha, to be called "The West Virginia Colored Institute," for the beneficiary of said appropriation for the instruction of colored students; to be paid to each in the proportion mentioned in the preamble to this act. And the said institution, by the name of "The West Virginia Colored Institute," shall have and hold all the property, funds, rights, powers and privileges hereinafter mentioned.

2. For the government and control of said institute there shall be a board of regents, consisting of five competent, intelligent and discreet persons, not more than three of whom shall belong to the same political party, appointed from time to time as occasion may require by the governor, to be called the "Regents of the West Virginia Colored Institute," and as such board they may sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded, and have a common seal. They shall have care, custody and control of the property and funds of the institute, and may accept from any person or persons gifts of money or property for the use of said institute; and all such money and property when so received by them, shall be held in trust by them for the use and benefit of the institute, and applied thereto as the donors may have directed, and if no such direction have been given, as a majority of the regents may determine.

3. The board of regents shall from time to time establish such departments of education in literature, science, art and agriculture, not inconsistent with the terms of the several acts of congress hereinbefore referred to, as they may deem expedient, and as the funds under their control will warrant; and purchase such materials, implements and apparatus as may be requisite to the proper instruction of said colored students in all said branches of learning, as to carry out the intent and purposes of said acts of congress.

4. The said board shall establish and declare such rules, regulations and by laws, not inconsistent with the laws of the United States or of this state, as they may deem necessary for the proper organization, the tuition of the students and the good government of the institute, and the protection of the property belonging thereto. All reasonable expenses, incurred by said regents in the discharge of their duties hereby imposed upon them, shall be allowed by the governor and paid out of the treasury of the state, in like manner as other charges on the treasury are paid.

5. The treasurer of this state is hereby designated as the officer to receive, from the secretary of the treasury of the United States, the said several sums of money so to be paid to this state aforesaid, for the uses and purposes aforesaid. He shall keep an exact account of the moneys so received, and shall place to the credit of each of said beneficiaries thereof its due proportion of the same. The sums so placed to the credit of West Virginia university shall be paid out by him on the orders of the board of regents thereof, and the sum so placed to the credit of the West Virginia colored institute, shall be paid out by him on the orders of the board of regents of said institute. And said treasurer shall include in his biennial report to the governor a statement of his receipts and disbursements under the provisions of this act.

6. It shall be the duty of of [sic] the board of the school fund to proceed with all reasonable dispatch to procure the necessary quantity of farming land, not exceeding fifty acres in all, in some suitable and proper locality in the county of Kanawha, with a title thereto clear and unquestionable, and to erect the necessary buildings and make the necessary improvements thereon, for the purposes of this act, and to comply in good faith with the terms and conditions, and to carry into effect the objects and purposes, of the act of Congress in making said appropriations. . I

7. And in order to enable said board to perform the duties required of them by this act, the sum of ten thousand dollars is hereby appropriated and placed at their disposal, payable out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated; Provided, That said board may in their discretion borrow the said sum of ten thousand dollars from the "school fund," mentioned in section four of article XII of the constitution of this state, at six per cent. interest per annum, and execute the bonds of the state therefor, payable with interest as aforesaid, not more than ten years from the date thereof.

(Approved March 17, 1891.)


The foregoing act takes effect from its passage, two- thirds of the members elected to each House, by a vote taken by yeas and nays, having so directed.


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