Alexander Hamilton Papers

New York Assembly. Remarks on an Act to Institute an University Within This State, [24 March 1787]

New York Assembly. Remarks on an
Act to Institute an University Within This State

[New York, March 24, 1787]

Col. Hamilton hoped the house would not recommit the bill.1 There was no doubt he said but the legislature possessed the right to give this power. There were frequent examples of the kind in Great Britain, where this power has been granted. No disadvantage he said could arise from it; on the contrary, many would be the benefits. He therefore wished the bill might be finished—as no doubt existed with him, of the power and the propriety of the legislature granting those privileges which were mentioned in the bill.2

The [New York] Daily Advertiser, March 28, 1787.

1The bill was “An act to institute an University within this State,” which was read a third time. Before a vote was taken on this bill, there was a debate over the provision giving the Regents of the University the power to grant charters of incorporation. John Lansing, Jr., of Albany County objected to giving the Regents this power, for he argued that it should reside only in the legislature. For H’s earlier interest in this bill, see “New York Assembly. Report on the Petition of Isaac Gouverneur, Junior,” February 14, 1787.

2The bill was recommitted to committee. The act, however, gave the Regents the power to incorporate colleges (Laws of the State of New York, I description begins Laws of the State of New York Passed at the Sessions of the Legislature Held in the Years 1777, 1778, 1779, 1780, 1781, 1782, 1783 and 1784 Inclusive, being the First Seven Sessions (Albany, 1886). description ends I, 526).

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