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AN ACT TO ACCEPT THE DEVISE AND BEQUEST OF THOMAS G. CLEMSON, AND TO ESTABLISH AN AGRICULTURAL COLLEGE IN CONNECTION THEREWITH.
WHEREAS, the Honorable Thomas G. Clemson departed this life on the 6th day of April, A.D. 1888, leaving of force his last will and testament, which was duly admitted to Probate on the 20th day of April, 1888, in the office of The judge of Probate for the county of Oconee, in the State of South Carolina, wherein he devised and decreed to his executor, Richard W. Simpson, of Pendleton, South Carolina a tract of land situate, on Seneca River, in Oconee County, in said State, containing eight hundred and fourteen acres, more or less, known as the Fort Hill plantation, as well as all his other property, both real and personal, except certain legacies in the said will mentioned and provided for, all in trust to convey to the State of South Carolina, when the said State shall accept the same for the purpose of establishing and maintaining an Agricultural and Mechanical College upon the aforesaid Fort Hill plantation upon the terms and conditions of the said will; therefore,
Section 1. BE IT ENACTED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of South Carolina, now met and sitting in General Assembly, and by the authority of the same: That the State of South Carolina hereby expressly declares that it accepts the devise and bequest of Thomas G. Clemson subject to the terms and conditions set forth in said last will and testament, and the Treasurer of the State be, and he is hereby authorized and empowered to receive and securely hold the said property, both real and personal, and to execute all the necessary papers and receipts therefore as soon as the said executor shall convey and transfer the said devise and bequest to the said State.
Section 2. That upon the execution of the deed and transfer of said property to the State by the said executor in accordance with the provisions of said will, an Agricultural and Mechanical College shall be, and the same is hereby, established in connection with the aforesaid devise and bequest, to be styled "The Clemson Agricultural College of South Carolina," and to be situated at Fort Hill, in Oconee County, on the plantation so devised, in which college shall be taught all branches of study pertaining to practical and scientific agriculture and other industries connected therewith, and such other studies are not inconsistent with the terms of the said will.
Section 3. That said college shall be under the management and control of a board of thirteen trustees, composed of the seven members nominated by said will and their successors and six members to be elected by the Legislature in Joint Assembly every fourth year after the first election; said board to elect one of their number to be president, and to elect a secretary and fix his salary. They shall organize the college and put it in operation as soon as practicable after passage of this Act; shall prescribe the courses of study, shall declare the professorships, elect the professors, of whom the number shall not exceed ten, and define their duties and fix their salaries, and make all the rules and regulations for the government of the college. They may employ such superintendent, head workmen, laborers for the farm, shops and grounds as may be necessary, and fix their compensation. They shall charge each student a tuition fee of forty dollars per annum; PROVIDED, That said fee shall not be charged until the funds out of the said bequest shall be exhausted in accordance with the terms of the said will; PROVIDED, further, That indigent students shall not be required to pay said tuition fee.
Section 4. That the said Board of Trustees is hereby declared to be a body politic and corporate under the name and style of the Clemson Agricultural and Mechanical College of South Carolina. They shall have a corporate seal, which they may change at their discretion; and in their corporate name they may contract for, purchase and hold property, for the purpose of this Act, and may take any property given or conveyed by deed, devise or bequest to said college and hold the same for its use and benefit; PROVIDED, That the conditions of such gift or conveyance shall in no case be inconsistent with the purpose of this Act, and shall incur no obligations on the part of the State. They shall securely invest all funds and keep all property which may come into their possession, and may sell any of the personal property not subject to the trust and reinvest the same in such way as they may deem best for the interests of said college. They may sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded, in their corporate name, and may do all things necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act, and may make by-laws for this purpose if they deem it necessary.
Section 5. That it shall require a two-thirds vote of the Board of Trustees to authorize expenditure of any monies appropriated to the said college by the State or to authorize the sale or transfer or re-investment of any property or moneys arising from the sale of any property under the provisions of this Act.
Section 6. That for the purposes of erecting on said Fort Hill plantation, and of purchasing stock and implements therefore, and paying expenses, as herein provided, the sum of three thousand dollars be and the same is hereby, appropriated, if so much be necessary, to be paid by the State Treasurer upon the order of the Board of Trustees of said college, signed by their president and secretary: PROVIDED, That not more than fifteen hundred dollars thereof to be used in erecting buildings, fixtures or permanent improvements on said Fort Hill plantation pending litigation in respect to said property: AND PROVIDED FURTHER, That all personal property purchased with money appropriated by the State shall be taken and held by the Board of Trustees as property of the State of South Carolina, and it shall be the duty of said Board of Trustees to make to the Legislature an annual report of the college and of all farming operations and tests and experiments, and of all receipts and expenditures, with a statement of the condition of the property and funds of said college and of all receipts and expenditures of money appropriated by the State.
Section 7. That all Acts or parts of Acts inconsistent with this Act be, and the same are hereby, repealed.
Approved November the 27th, A.D. 1889.
Opinion of Chief Justice
Statutes of South Carolina, Volume XX, Pages 781 and 782.
On December 6, 1889, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Carolina handed down the following:
It having been referred to me as Chief Justice of this State, by R.W. Simpson, executor of the will of the deceased, late Thomas G. Clemson, under the provisions of said will, whether or not this State had accepted the devise and bequest therein, I have this to state:
Whereas , the General Assembly of this State, at its last session, passed an Act entitled "Act to Accept the Devise and Bequest of Thomas G. Clemson and to Establish an Agricultural College in Connection Therewith," in which it is expressly declared that the State accepts the said devise and bequest of Thomas G. Clemson, subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the last will and testament of the said Thomas G. Clemson, and, whereas, this Act was duly approved by the Governor of the State on the 27th of November, 1889.
Now it is my opinion that this concurrent action of the Legislature and Executive Department of the State has accepted said devise and bequest of the said Thomas G. Clemson, deceased, subject to the terms and conditions set forth in his last will and testament, and I so declare.
It is further my opinion that the provisions of the Act, supra, constitute Acts in the direction of practically carrying out the terms conditions of said will, and within the time limited therein.
Chief Justice of South Carolina
Last Will & Codicil of Thomas Green Clemson
Thomas G. Clemson was born in Philadelphia, PA, in July 1807, and died at Fort Hill, Oconee County, South Carolina, April 6th, 1888, leaving of force the following as his last will and testament:
State of South Carolina, County of Oconee.
Whereas, I, Thos. G. Clemson, of the county and State aforesaid, did, on the 14th day of August, 1883, execute my last will and testament wherein I sought to provide for the establishment of a scientific institution upon the Fort Hill place, and therein provided what sciences should be taught in said institution: and, whereas, I am now satisfied that my intention and purpose therein may be misunderstood as intending that no other studies or sciences should be taught in said institution than those mentioned in said will, which was not my purpose or intention. Now, desiring to make my purpose plain as well as to make some other changes in the distribution of my property, then made in said will, I do now make, publish and declare this instrument as and for my last will and testament, hereby revoking all previous wills and codicils by me made, especially the will above referred to, dated August 14th, 1883.
Feeling a great sympathy for the farmers of this State, and the difficulties with which they have to contend in their efforts to establish the business of agriculture upon a prosperous basis, and believing that there can be no permanent improvement in agriculture without a knowledge of those sciences which pertain particularly thereto, I have determined to devote the bulk of my property to the establishment of an agricultural college upon Fort Hill place.
This institution, I desire, to be under the control and management of a board of trustees, a part of whom are hereinafter appointed, and to be modeled after the Agricultural College of Mississippi as far as practicable.
My purpose is to establish an agricultural college which will afford useful information to the farmers and mechanics, therefore it should afford thorough instruction in agriculture and natural sciences connected therewith - it should combine, if practicable, physical and intellectual education, and should be a high seminary of learning in which the graduate of the common schools can commence, pursue and finish the course of studies terminating in thorough, theoretic and practical instruction in those sciences and arts which bear directly upon agriculture, but I desire to state plainly that I wish the trustees of said institution to have full authority and power to regulate all matters pertaining to said institution - to fix the course of studies, to make rules for the government of the same, and to change them, as in their judgment, experience may prove necessary, but to always bear in mind that the benefits herein sought to be bestowed are intended to benefit agricultural and mechanical industries. I trust that I do not exaggerate the importance of such an institution for developing the material resources of the State by affording to its youth the advantages of scientific culture, and that I do not overrate the intelligence of the legislature of South Carolina, ever distinguished for liberality, in assuming that such appropriations will be made as will be necessary to supplement the fund resulting from the bequest herein made.
Item 1. I therefore give and devise to my executor, hereinafter named, the aforesaid Fort Hill place, where I now reside, formerly the home of my father-in-law, John C. Calhoun, consisting of eight hundred and fourteen acres, more or less, in trust, whenever the State of South Carolina may accept said property as a donation from me, for the purpose of thereupon founding an agricultural college, in accordance with the views I have hereinbefore expressed, (of which Chief Justice of South Carolina shall be the judge), then my executor shall execute a deed of the said property to the said State, and turnover to the same all property hereinafter given as an endowment of said institution, to be held as such by the said State so long as it, in good faith, devotes said property to the purposes of the donation; provided, however, that this acceptance by the State shall be signified, and a practical carrying-out to be commenced within three year from the date of the probate of this my will. During this term of three years, or as much thereof as may elapse before the acceptance or refusal of this donation, my executor shall invest the net produce of the land and other property; such invested fund awaiting the action of the legislature, and to form a part of the endowment of said institution if accepted, or to form a part of the endowment of the college or school hereinafter provided for, should the donation not be accepted by the State.
Item 2. The following named gentlemen, seven in number, shall be seven of the Board of Trustees, to wit: R.W. Simpson, D.K. Norris, M.L. Donaldson, R.E. Bowen, B.R. Tillman, J.E. Wannamaker and J.E. Bradley, and the State, if it accepts the donation, shall never increase the Board of Trustees to a number greater than thirteen in all, nor shall the duties of said board be taken away or conferred upon any other man or body of men. The seven trustees appointed by me shall always have the right, and the power is hereby given them and their successors, which right the legislature shall never take away or abridge, to fill all vacancies which may occur in their number by death, resignation, refusal to act or otherwise. But the Legislature may provide, as it sees proper, for the appointment or election of the other six trustees, if it accepts the donation. And I do hereby request the seven trustees above named, or such of them as may be living, or may be willing to act, to meet as soon after my death as practicable, and organize, and at once to fill all vacancies that may have occurred, and to exert themselves to effectuate my purposes as herein set forth, and I hereby instruct my executor to notify them of their appointment herein as soon after my death as practicable. The name of this institution shall be the "Clemson Agricultural College of South Carolina."
Item 3. Should the three years expire without the State accepting the donation, in manner as hereinbefore provided, and if accepted, at the expiration of the three years from my death no practical beginning has been made to carry into effect the purposes of the donation, or, if before the three years expire the Legislature shall refuse to accept said donation, then the donation to the State is hereby revoked, and my executor shall execute his trust by conveying the said Fort Hill place, and the accumulated fund arising therefrom, together with all other property, real or personal, hereinafter disposed of and intended to be given to the said agricultural college, as an endowment, to the seven trustees named above, or their successors, who shall erect upon the Fort Hill place such a school or college for the youth of South Carolina as, in their judgment, will be for their best interests; provided, that said school or college shall be for the benefit of the agricultural and mechanical classes principally, and shall be free of costs to the pupils, as far as the means derived from the endowment hereinafter provide and the use of the land may permit. The trustees shall securely invest the funds hereinafter provided and given to said institution and hold them as a perpetual endowment, and shall only use the interest derived therefrom and the income of the land to support and maintain said school or college, except that the accumulated fund derived from the land, and the interest derived from the fund hereinafter given said institution, from the time of my death, and as much as five thousand dollars of the principal fund, may be used if, in the judgment of trustees, it may be necessary to erect suitable buildings for said school or college. The name of this institution shall be the "Clemson Scientific School" or "College."
Item 4. It is my desire that the dwelling house on Fort Hill shall never be torn down or altered, but shall be kept in repair, with all the articles of furniture and vesture which I hereinafter give for that purpose, and shall always be open for the inspection of visitors, but a part of the house may be used by such of the professors as the trustees may direct.
Item 5. I give and bequeath to my granddaughter, Floride Isabella Lee, all of my silver plate and table silver, also all of the family pictures, except the large picture of John C. Calhoun, now hanging in my sitting room, also any one article in my present residence which she may select as a memento of me, also my decorations, and also the sum of fifteen thousand dollars, ($15,000), to be paid to her on the day of her marriage, or when she becomes twenty-one years of age, if unmarried, provided, that if my said granddaughter should die unmarried, and before she is twenty-one years of age, then all of said property mentioned in this item shall revert to and become a part of the the residue of my estate, and become subject to the trusts and conditions of Items 1, 2 and 3 of this my will.
Item 6. I give and bequeath to my faithful housekeeper, Mrs. Jane Prince, one year's provisions for her and her daughter, and furniture and bedding, suitable to her condition, sufficient to furnish two rooms, and the sum of three thousand dollars, ($3,000), to be paid to her at the expiration of one year after the probate of this my will, and I also desire my executor to permit her to live at Fort Hill until he disposes of the property as herein directed.
Item 7. I give and bequeath to Hester Prince, the daughter of my faithful housekeeper, as aforesaid, the sum of three thousand dollars, ($3,000), to be paid to her, or such person as may be selected by her and appointed her guardian, at the expiration of one year from the probate of this my will.
Item 8. I give to my executor, James H. Rion, as a memento of my friendship, the antique entaglio Marcus Aurelius Antonius sealing which I habitually wear, and also such one of my pictures as he may select, if the same is not selected by myself.
Item 9. I give and bequeath to my executor, to be held by him subject to the trusts and conditions of Items 1, 2 and 3 of this my will, and for the purpose of adorning the Fort Hill residence as provided in Item 4 of this my will, all of my permanent furniture, relics and articles of vesture, pictures and paintings, including the large painting or picture of John C. Calhoun, now hanging in my sitting room, and not otherwise disposed of herein, and all my books.
Item 10. I direct my executor to sell, at public or private sale, as he may deem best, all the balance of my personal property upon my Fort Hill place, not herein disposed of, and to sell and convey all of my real estate lying and situate outside of the State of South Carolina, either at private or public sale, as he may deem best, and to hold the proceeds derived therefrom, together with proceeds of the personal property, herein directed to be sold, subject to the trusts and conditions of Items 1, 2 and 3 of this my will.
Item 11. All the residue and remainder of my property of every kind and description whatsoever, after paying off the legacies above provided for, together with the property which may revert to my estate, should it revert thereto, and the proceeds of all my real and personal property herein directed to be sold, and all accumulated funds derived from the Fort Hill place and interest on my investments, I give and bequeath to my executor, to be held by him subject to the trusts and conditions of Items 1, 2 and 3 of this my will.
Item 12. I nominate, constitute and appoint my friend, James H. Rion, the executor of this my will.
In witness whereof I have hereunto subscribed my name and affixed my seal before the witnesses below subscribing, this the 6th day of November, A.D. , 1886.
Thos. G. Clemson, L.S.
The above written instrument was subscribed by the said Thos. G. Clemson in our presence and acknowledged by him, to each one of us, and he, at the same time, published and declared the same to be his last will and testament, and we, at his request, and in his presence, and in the presence of each other, have signed our names as witnesses hereto.