Coy F. Cross is a professional historian employed by the U.S. Air
Force, as 9th Reconnaissance Wing Historian.
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Justin Smith Morrill
Father of the Land-Grant Colleges
Justin Smith Morrill: Almost every land-grant college or university
in the United States has a building named for him; but are his
contributions truly recognized and understood? Here is the first
biography on this renowned statesman in six decades. Representative
and then senator from Vermont, Morrill began his tenure in Congress
in 1855 and served continuously for forty-three years. His thirty-
years in the upper chamber alone earned him the title "Father of
Senate." Coy F. Cross reveals a complex and influential political
figure who, as chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, and then
the Senate Finance Committee, influenced American economic policy
nearly fifty years.
achievements are the pieces of legislation that bear his name: the
Morrill land-grant college acts of 1862 and 1890. His legacy,
inspired by the Jeffersonian ideal of an educated electorate,
revolutionized American higher education. Prior to this legislation,
colleges and universities were open primarily to affluent white men
and studies were limited largely to medicine, theology, and
philosophy. Morrill's land-grant acts eventually opened American
higher education to the working class, women, minorities, and
immigrants. Since 1862, more than 20 million people have graduated
from the 104 land-grant colleges and universities spawned by his
grand vision. In this long-overdue study, Cross shows the "Father
Land-Grant Colleges" to be one of America's formative nineteenth-
century political figures.
Michigan State University Press Sesquicentennial Books
Notes, photos, bibliography, index
245 pp., 6.00" x 9.00", 1998