UIHistories Project: A History of the University of Illinois by Kalev Leetaru
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Repository: UIHistories Project: Board of Trustees Minutes - 1874 [PAGE 82]

Caption: Board of Trustees Minutes - 1874
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Report of the

like Champaign county, if it refuses to pay these solemn obligations, will be marked by all the other counties of the State; and if a State should refuse to meet its obligations, it would be marked, as Mississippi has for years been marked, by all the States in the Union; and if t h e United States of America should refuse to meet its obligations, it would be marked by all the nations of the world—and justly so too. Suppose you do—what then? If the interest on these bonds is not met, or some provision made by the county, this institution must necessarily, about the 1st of next May, close its doors; and I fear if it closes its doors, then, they will be closed forever. I am not prepared to recommend to the Legislature an appropriation of $11,500 to meet the payment of this interest; and, unless the Legislature does come to the support of the institution, it must necessarily close its doors in May for the want of funds. Suppose you go further, and avoid payment of the bonds in the end; the matter is taken into the courts—one, two or three years elapse before the matter is ended. Long before that time the grass will grow all over the walks around the institution; long before that time, you will not see a single student walking up and down our streets; you will not have a single professor of this institution living in your midst; The Illinois Industrial University, located at Champaign, will be among the things that were ; never to be resurrected by the State of Illinois. If you should ultimately avoid payment of these bonds, then by the terms of the contract and the nature of the case, by the conditions upon which the endowment was given to the State, it becomes the duty of the State to make that endowment good to raise by taxation, $115,000 and the interest thereon, which the people of -Champaign county solemnly promised to pay Do you think when that time comes the Legislature of Illinois will have any great liking or desire to levy such a tax for Champaign county 1 Do you think they will be willing ? to put their hands in the pockets of the people, and take this amount out of their taxes, and turn it over for your benefit and your good ? | No. | My impression is, that they will locate the institution among a people who will appreciate the gifts and honors of the State. Now, I am a friend of Industrial Universities; I am a friend of the Illinois Industrial University; I am a friend, I think, of the people of Champaign county. I wish to aid in the support of this Industrial University. I wish to help the good people of Champaign county, but, if tiiej- won't help themselves, what can they expect of me ? What can they expect from me U What can you expect from anybody ? I could not, consistently, as the Executive of this State, recommend to the Legislature an appropriation to meet the payment of this interest, much less to make an appropriation of $150,000 to help you out of this difficulty. All I could recommend, would be for them to make good the endowment, and then leave it to the wisdom and conscience of the Legislature to put their money where they pleased. But, 1 have hopes, and I am going to say it, not only here, but officially—that the good people of Champaign county do not approve of their board of supervisors. I have hopes, and I am going to say it here, and say it officially, that when the people of Champaign county have a chance at the ballot-box, they will repudiate that action and stand by their solemn pledges. Now I wish to say to my good friends who have taken an opposite course in the board of supervisors, I don't ask you to come down — I don't want you to come down. If you think you are in the right, stand