Alexander H. Stephens was a career politician who served as a United States senator and representative from Georgia, both before and after the Civil War. He also served as the vice president of the Confederate States of America. This biography is drawn from a wealth of correspondence, journals, notes of conversations, letters to his brother Linton, speeches and other records of his public life.
The State of Maryland has been almost extravagantly liberal in bestowing charters on colleges and professional schools. Over forty such charters have been given by the legislature and, in many cases, the result has proved that the gift of a charter was not warranted by the stability of the institution, to which was thus granted the power of conferring degrees. In many other cases, however, the institutions have grown and flourished, and have had an honorable history. Collegiate education in Maryland did not begin until after the Revolution. In the colonial period there was no demand for it sufficient to warrant the establishment of a seat of higher learning. For this state of things there were several causes. The majority of the early settlers were planters and frontiersmen, having little need for an extended education and desiring it still less. Of the wealthier classes, some were like the fox-hunting English gentry, caring for little else than sport; and others, who did desire the advantages of a culture higher than that obtainable from a village schoolmaster or a private tutor, found it elsewhere.
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