In 1847 John Norris resided on the south branch of the Ohio river, about one mile and a half below the town of Lawrenceburg, Indiana. He claimed to own as slaves a family consisting of David Powell, his wife Lucy, and their four children, Lewis, Samuel, George and James. He permitted the family to cultivate a piece of ground and sell the produce where they pleased, and David and the boys were often seen in Lawrenceburg selling their produce.

During the night of Saturday, Oct. 9, 1847, David and his family disappeared from Kentucky. The alarm was given next morning, Sunday, and about forty persons started in pursuit. Norris and a party in his employ hunted through Southern Indiana for about two months without success, though they found articles of clothing belonging to the fugitives at several different places. In September, 1849, Norris started with a party of eight men, and about midnight of the 27th of that month, they forcibly broke into a house about eight miles from Cassopolis, in Cass county, Michigan, occupied by Mr. Powell's family. The house was in the woods about half a mile from any other dwelling. Mr. Powell and his son Samuel were absent from home at the time. Norris and his party drew their pistols and bowie knives, and compelled the mother and her three children to rise from their beds and follow them. Some they bound with cords, and hurrying them off to their covered wagons, they started post haste for Kentucky, leaving a portion of their company at the house to prevent the other inmates from giving the alarm. Lewis, the oldest son, had but recently been married, and was forcibly separated from his wife by the brutal gang. After awhile the alarm was given, and pursuit commenced; a neighbor, Mr. Wright Maudlin, overtook them about noon, near South Bend, Indiana, about thirty miles from where they had started. This was on Friday, the 28th of September. Mr. Maudlin immediately applied to E. B. Crocker, an attorney in South Bend, stated what he knew of the circumstances, that he had no doubt the family were free, that he had known them for some time as quiet and industrious persons, and never heard any intimation that they were slaves. They had purchased a small tract of land, which they resided at the time of their abduction, and were laboring hard to pay for it.

A petition for a writ of habeas corpus was drawn up, and signed, and sworn to, by Mr. Maudlin, setting forth that Mrs. Powell and Lewis Powell (as Mr. Maudlin did not then know with certainty how many of the family had been taken) were deprived of their liberty by some person whose name was unknown, under pretense that they were fugitive slaves, averring that he verily believed they were free persons. On this petition the Hon. Elisha Egbert, Probate Judge of St. Joseph county, who was authorized by a special statute to issue and try writs of habeas corpus, ordered that writ to issue. It was issued accordingly by the clerk, and placed in the hands of Russell Day, Deputy Sheriff, for service. Mr. Day, learning that the Kentuckians were armed, called upon several citizens to accompany him in serving the writ. In the meantime the report having spread about that a party of kidnappers with their captives were in the vicinity, the whole town was aroused, and the people, in a high state of excitement, were running about, anxiously inquiring into the matter. The deputy sheriff with his company overtook the Kentuckians about one mile south of the town, where they had stopped in the bushes to feed their horses. They were all well armed, making quite a display of their weapons, and evincing at first a disposition to resist all legal proceedings. The writ was served by reading, and after considerable parley, in which they were made to understand most distinctly that they could not proceed without a fair trial of their claims, they at last consented to go back to town and proceed to trial on the writ. By this time about thirty or forty persons had arrived from town, two of whom brought guns, but no attempt to use them was made. A Mr. Frazier, with a gun in his hand, was met by Mr. Crocker, and told by him to put up his weapon, as it was no place for such things. Some of the citizens carried walking canes, but no force was used toward the Kentuckians, though the people were in a high state of excitement. Norris and his party at last drove back to town with their captives, followed by the Sheriff and the people. In the meantime a new writ of habeas corpus had been procured, directed to Mr. Norris, whose name had been ascertained, for al1 four of the captives, which was served upon him as soon as he arrived in town, the first writ having been dismissed. At the request of Norris, the deputy sheriff placed the captives in jail, until he could procure counsel. In a short time he procured the services of Messrs. Liston and Stanfield, two of the ablest lawyers in Northern Indiana, to conduct his defense. Messrs. Deavitt and Crocker appeared on behalf of the captives. Norris and his counsel appeared before the judge, who held his court in the court-house, and asked for time to enable them to prepare their defense, which was readily granted. After about an hour or more they again appeared, and made a return to the last writ of habeas corpus, sworn to by Mr. Norris.

It appearing from the return of Norris that he had not procured the certificate required by the act of Congress, the counsel for the captives, therefore, "excepted to the sufficiency of the return," as provided by the statute, distinctly stating to the judge that if this exception should be overruled they should then take issue upon the facts alleged in the return, and require Norris to prove all the facts therein. It will be noticed that the act of Congress is imperative in requiring the claimant to take the fugitives before some judge or magistrate of the State or county, "wherein such seizure or arrest shall be made," to procure the certificate.

The exception was ably argued on both sides until night, the counsel for the captives insisting that the law of '93 was the only remedy provided by Congress to recover fugitives from labor; that a claimant must strictly pursue its provisions to enable him to enforce his rights; that although by this law he had the right to seize or arrest, in the first instance, in the State where he might find the fugitive, yet, to enable him to hold his captive in another State, he must first procure a certificate in the State where the arrest was made, as provided by the law. The statute was plain in its provisions, and there was no misunderstanding it. On the other hand, it was contended that a claimant had a right to arrest any person whom he might claim as his slave, wherever he could find him, take him wherever he pleased, without any proof, certificate, warrant or process whatever; and if anyone interfered or questioned the claim, they did it at their peril. No authority whatever was introduced to sustain this position, and the judge, after a full and candid hearing, sustained the exception and ordered the captives to be discharged. The court-house was crowded with an anxious audience, listening to the argument and decision. Everything had been conducted with order and propriety, and no one, we presume, anticipated the scene which followed the announcement of the decision. The judge spoke in a very low tone of voice, so that but few could hear him. As soon, however, as he concluded, Mr. Crocker announced the decision in a loud tone of voice, that all could hear. Norris, in the meantime, had gathered his men around the captives as they were seated within the bar; and the moment the decision was announced, they seized the captives with one hand, brandished their weapons with the other, threatening to shoot the first man that interfered. This was while the judge was still sitting on the bench, and before any adjournment had been announced. Everything had been perfectly quiet up to this moment, but upon this display of force, the people rose to their feet highly excited. Some ran out and spread the alarm through town, others crowded around the Kentuckians and their captives, calling upon them to put up their weapons; but they continued brandishing them, threatening to shoot all who dared to oppose them. Mr. Liston, one of their counsel, jumped upon a table and called upon the Kentuckians to shoot all who interfered, and they would be justified in so doing. His language was most violent and abusive toward the citizens and did much to fan the excitement. The citizens were entirely unarmed, and notwithstanding the excitement, no attempt was made to rescue the captives by force. At length the Kentuckians put up their weapons, the excitement subsided, and, at the request of Norris, the Sheriff took the captives and locked them up in jail for safe keeping.

It was now discovered that while the trial was pending Norris had procured a writ under a law of the State of Indiana respecting fugitives from labor, under which he claimed to hold them, and he alleged that he was but serving this writ when he drew his weapons upon the people.

This was on Friday evening. During the evening and the next day several warrants were issued against the Kentuckians for assaults and batteries, and one for riot, predicated upon their violent proceedings in the court-house. The whole of Saturday was occupied in trying these cases, and in the riot case they voluntarily gave bail to appear at the Circuit Court, which commenced its session the next Monday. Two suits were also commenced by the Powells against Norris and his party for trespass and false imprisonment, and they were held to bail in the sum of $1,000 in each suit. One of their counsel entered himself as bail for them. On Saturday evening, the captives having been all this time in custody of the sheriff in jail, where Norris had placed them, another writ of habeas corpus was procured, returnable before the same judge at 8 o'clock on Monday morning.

In the neighborhood from whence these captives were taken, there is a large settlement of colored people, numbering, it is supposed, from 1,200 to 1,500 persons, many of whom are fugitives. As soon as it was known that Mr. Powell's wife and children had been carried off, several large parties, many of whom were armed, started in pursuit, but it was not until Saturday that they learned the direction taken. During Saturday and Sunday, numbers of these colored persons, estimated at from 75 to 200 persons, arrived at South Bend, many of them in a highly exasperated state, though they conducted themselves with great coolness and propriety under the circumstances.

On Saturday, a citizen of Michigan made affidavit before a justice of the peace in South Bend, that Norris and his party had been guilty of kidnapping in Michigan, and had fled from that State to Indiana. On this affidavit, a writ for their arrest was issued under a law of Indiana, which provides that, upon sufficient proof, a fugitive from justice may be committed to jail for one month, to await a requisition from the Governor of the State from whence he fled. This writ was placed in the hands of a constable, but was never served.

On Sunday morning Norris had a consultation with his attorneys, at which it was concluded that it would be useless to attempt to take his captives out of the county, in the face of so many armed negroes; that they would abandon all legal proceedings, and endeavor to make the friends of the captives liable in damages for their value. Mr. Crocker, having been most active in befriending the negroes, was to be entrapped into some violation of the law, if possible. To carry out this scheme, on Sunday morning, they sent for the sheriff, and formally demanded the negroes of him, though they well knew that he had been served with a writ of habeas corpus, and that he would render himself liable to a fine of $1,000 should he fail to obey the writ. He, of course, declined. They then requested him to take witnesses and call upon Mr. Crocker, and get him to agree to become responsible for not delivering them. He accordingly did so, but Mr. C. replied that he was acting as attorney, should do his duty fearlessly as such attorney, and should assume no other responsibility; that if he, the sheriff, refused to obey the writ of habeas corpus, the law should be enforced against him. This did not suit the conspirators.

During Sunday Mr. Liston called several times upon the constable, who had the writ, to arrest Norris and his party as fugitives from justice, and requested him to serve it, but he replied, that his orders were not to serve it unless they attempted to leave the town. It would seem that their object was to have Norris and his party arrested, and then offer that as an excuse for not appearing at the trial of the habeas corpus on Monday morning; but in this they were foiled, as they were at perfect liberty from Saturday night until they left town, several days after, and could have appeared at the trial had they seen proper.

During Saturday and Sunday Mr. Norris seemed very anxious to persuade the people that he was a kind and indulgent master, in order to create a favorable public opinion. In several different conversations he stated that he gave his negroes ground to cultivate for themselves, and many other privileges, that he permitted them to go to Lawrenceburg, in Indiana, whenever they pleased, to sell their garden stuff, and that they had taken advantage of this liberty to run away.

Early Monday morning Mr. Liston stated to Mr. Crocker that Norris was very anxious to prove, on the coming trial, that the negroes were his property, to satisfy the citizens. As the case stood, he could not legally introduce such testimony, for he claimed to hold them by a writ issued under a State law, which the U. S. Supreme Court had decided to be unconstitutional and void. The sheriff would be compelled in his return, to set up this writ, as his authority for holding them in custody, and an exception to the sufficiency of the return would raise the question, under which no evidence could he offered. The object of the request seems to have been to obtain a refusal to admit the testimony before the issue was made up, and then adduce that as evidence of an unwillingness to grant a fair trial. But in this they were foiled, for the request was immediately acceded to, Mr. Crocker stating that he was willing to waive all technical matters and rest the case upon the question of freedom or slavery. This, however, did not suit their designs, for, when the trial came on, Norris refused to appear, saying that he did not want the negroes, that he could make the citizens pay for them, which was all he wanted.

The sheriff in his return to the writ of habeas corpus, stated that he held the captives in custody, as the agent of Norris, under the State writ, which was set forth in full. A replication to this return was filed, sworn to by Lewis Powell, excepting to the sufficiency of the return, and alleging that they were free persons and not slaves. One of Norris' attorneys and several of his party were present at the trial, but refused to appear for Norris. The case of Prigg vs. Pennsylvania, 16th Peters' Reports, in which the U. S. Supreme Court declare that all laws passed by the States in relation to fugitives from labor are unconstitutional and void, was read to the court, and several witnesses examined in relation to the facts of the case. The court, after a full and fair hearing of the case, again ordered the captives to be discharged. The colored friends and neighbors of the captives immediately came forward, conducted them out of the court-house to a wagon, and quietly rode off home with them. On the bridge adjacent the town they halted, and made the welkin ring with their cheers for liberty. They rode off, singing the songs of freedom, rejoicing over the fortunate escape of their friends from the horrible fate of slavery. Thus ended one of the most exciting scenes ever witnessed in Northern Indiana. The grand jury refused to find an indictment against the Kentuckians for a riot, and in a few days after they quietly departed for their homes, with new views of Northern feeling on the subject of slavery.

The citizens of South Bend generally, without distinction of party, evinced the strongest feeling of sympathy for the oppressed. The trials called forth crowds to hear the arguments. The presence of the poor, trembling captives in their weak and helpless condition, surrounded by a party of armed men in a court of justice, was a practical exhibition of slavery, which needed only to be seen to stir up the deepest fountain of feeling. The Kentuckians were looked upon almost universally with loathing and abhorrence. The sight of a family thus torn from a happy home, separated from those they held most dear, with nothing but slavery, hopeless, lifelong bondage staring them in the face, made our citizens feel that nothing should be left undone to save them from such a horrid fate.

Mr. Crocker, in speaking of this event, says:
" Never shall I forget my feelings, as I stood among them in their dark cell in prison, when that mother, with streaming eyes and heaving breast, tell on her knees, and begged me to save them from slavery. Oh! what anguish tilled those hearts! Who, possessing the heart of a man, could resist such an appeal For one, I could not, and whatever cold, calculating conservatism might say, I felt then, that there is a 'higher law,' written by the finger of upon the hearts of men, speaking in resistless tones, 'Thus saith the Lord, execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor.' - Jer. xxii: 3. Never can I forget an interview I afterward had with the husband and father of this family, who came to express his feelings of gratitude for my efforts in their behalf. The best of his days had been spent toiling for others living in luxury. Said he, 'I once had a wife; she was taken from me and sold South; I have never seen her since; I know not whether she is dead or alive, and when the news came, that this, my second wife, was in the hands of the Kentuckians, I felt that I had nothing more to live for,' and he wept like a child."

Dec. 21, 1849, Norris commenced suit in the United States Circuit Court, for the District of Indiana, against Leander B. Newton, George W. Horton, Edwin B. Crocker, Solomon W. Palmer, David Jodon, William Willmington, Lot Day, Jr., Alfiable M. Lapiere, and Wright Maudlin, to recover the value of the negroes and other damages. Mr. Maudlin being a resident of Michigan, the suit was afterward dismissed as to him. The declaration filed charged the defendants with having knowingly harbored, and concealed, and aided the four negroes to escape from the plaintiff, stating them to be worth $2,500. The court commenced its session on the 3d Monday in May, 1850. The plaintiff appeared by O. H. Smith and J. A. Liston, and the defendants by Joseph G. Marshall and J. L. Jernegan, their attorneys. The defendants demurred to the declaration on the ground that the suit was founded on the act of Congress of Feb. 12, 1793, and that no reference was made to the statute in the declaration, referring to the opinion of Judge McLean, in the case of Jones vs. Vanzandt, 2 McLean's Rep., 630, where the judge says: "An exception is taken to the fourth count, that it does not conclude against the form of the statute. If an action be founded exclusively upon the statute, and cannot be maintained at common law, a reference to the statute, as showing the right of the plaintiff, it seems to me is essential. The defendant is charged with harboring the slaves of the plaintiff, who had escaped from his service in Kentucky. But the wrong charged is no legal wrong, except as it is made so by statute; and the fourth count does not refer to the statute. The statute is a public one, but it is the foundation, and the only foundation, of the plaintiff's right. It seems to me that the declaration must refer to the statute, as an essential part of the plaintiff's right," citing 1 Chitty's Pleading, 246; 1 Gallison, 257 and 261; 1 Saunders, 135 n. This decision, made by one of the judges of the U. S. Supreme Court, was precisely in point to sustain the demurrers. If the demurrers had been sustained, the plaintiff would have been compelled to amend his declaration, which would have continued the case to the next term, at his costs, amounting to about $1,000. The demurrers were most unceremoniously overruled by Judge Huntington, who was officiating at this time.

The defendants then filed their pleas, one the general issue, and six special pleas, in which the proceedings under the writs of habeas corpus were set up as a defense to the action, thus raising the great question as to the right of alleged fugitives from labor to the writ of habeas corpus. The plaintiff moved to reject these special pleas, and as the question was an important one, the argument was deferred until Judge McLean should arrive from Washington City.

In arguing the motion the counsel for the plaintiff took the bold ground that a person arrested as a fugitive slave had no right to the writ of habeas corpus, even though the master had made no proof of his claim, or obtained a certificate under the act of Congress; and that all who assisted in procuring, with the officer that served, and the judge that tried the writ, were trespassers and liable to the plaintiff in damages. On the other hand it was contended that it was a sacred writ, secured by the express terms of the Constitution of the United States, and of the State of Indiana, and the laws of the land and that all persons, without distinction, were entitled to its benefits. Judge McLean decided the motion, without expressing his opinion upon these points, upon a mere technical objection, that the pleas amounted to the general issue, and he therefore rejected them.

The case at last came to trial. The jury was duly empaneled. In the preceding pages is substantially set forth the evidence as it was given to the jury. The following is the amount claimed: Lucy, 40 years of age, $500; Lewis, 20, $800; George, 16, $750; James, 14, $700; plaintiff's expenses at South Bend, $165.80.

The charge to the jury by Judge McLean favored the claim of the alleged owner of the slaves, and the jury brought in a verdict against the defendants and assessed the damages at $2,856. March 29, 1855, the United States marshal sold a quantity of real estate owned by some of the parties in the suit to satisfy it.

Between the spring and fan terms of the Circuit Court, in 1850, the plaintiff commenced 12 suits, against 15 defendants, to recover in each suit the penalty of $500 under the act of 1793. The counsel for the plaintiff gave it out that they intended to commence about 25 additional suits, for the penalty; and if successful in them all, they would have recovered judgments to the amount of about $15,000 to $20,000. On the 18th day of September, 1850, the new fugitive law was passed by Congress, punishing the same offenses by fine not exceeding $1,000, and imprisonment not exceeding six months. At the November term, 1850, the defendants appeared and filed demurrers to the declarations.

Jernegan and Niles, for defendants, insisted on the following points in support of the demurrer. 1. The act respecting fugitives from labor, adopted Sept. 18, 1850, inflicts a greater punishment than the law of 1793, for the same offenses; 2. A new statute, imposing a new penalty, repeals the prior law by implication-citing 4 Burrows, 2026; 5 Pick., 168; 21 Pick., 313; 9 New Hampshire, 59; 2 Dana, 330, 344; 3. Such repeal puts an end to all suits, whether pending at the time, or commenced after the passage of the Dew law, unless there be a saying clause, which there is not in the law of 1850-citing 3 Burrows, 1456; 5 Cranch, 280; 4 Yeates, 392; 5 Randolph, 657; 1 Wash. O. U., 85; 4 Alabama, 487; 3, Howard, 534; 16 Peters, 362; 18 Maine, 109j 26 Maine, 452; 1 New Hampshire, 61.

O. H. Smith for plaintiff insisted on the following in reply: 1. The act of 1850 applies only to offenses occurring after its passage. 2. The penalties of the latter act are cumulative. Adding new penalties by law will not operate as a repeal of a prior law, unless there is a repealing clause, which there is not in this case citing 1 Cowper, 297; 9 Bacon's Abridgment, Bouvier's Edition, 226. 3. The plaintiff had a vested right to the penalty of $500, which the act of Congress has not taken away. 4. The act of 1850 is an "amendment and supplementary" to the act of 1793, by its express terms.

J. A. Liston, for plaintiff, insisted that the two acts were not inconsistent with, or repugnant to each other; that they merely adopt different modes of recovering fugitives, imposing different penalties on those who violate the provisions of either; that a claimant can now pursue the remedy prescribed by the act of 1793, and if a person interfere with him in violation of that law, he can recover the penalty of $500; but if he should elect to proceed under the law of 1850, a person violating that law would be punished by fine and imprisonment.

The question was fully argued, occupying two entire days, and the court took the matter under advisement, until the spring term; and at the May term, 1851, the court decided in favor of the defendants, but as the plaintiff was desirous of having the points decided by the United States Supreme Court, the court, pro forma, certified to a difference of opinion, which is the only way the question can be carried up to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the lower court. More than a quarter of a century has passed since the exciting events narrated formed a topic of the day. The drama of 1849 has become history. Of the actors, several have passed away, while others remain to glory in the triumph of their cause, to see the last vestige of slavery swept away, and all men equal before the constitution and laws of their country. History of St. Joseph County, Indiana
Chicago, Chas. C. Chapman & Co.
published in 1880
History of Saint Joseph County


UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME

Very Rev. Edward Sorin, the founder of the university, was born at Ahuille, near Laval, France, in the year 1814. In 1840, he attached himself to the Congregation of the Holy Cross, a religious society then recently formed at Maus, near Paris. The objects proposed to be accomplished by this young society were the instruction of youth and the preaching of missions to the people and to both of these ends Father Sorin at once devoted his life.

In furtherance of this object, and believing that in this country was a vast field for future usefulness, Father Sorin, with six other brothers of St. Joseph, sailed for New York in the summer of 1841, landing in that city on the 13th of September, the eve of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Father Sorin, the next day, in writing of this remarkable coincidence, says: "Our good God permitted me to land yesterday evening, the eve of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. With what happiness did I salute and embrace this dear land of America, and what increase of consolation to land on the eve of so beautiful a day! * * * What joy for a poor priest of the Holy Cross to be able to say his first mass in America on the feast of the Exaltation of that sacred symbol! What a delicious day it is here! how beautiful is the American sky! Ah, yes! my Father, here is the portion of my inheritance; here will I dwell all the days of my life."

Notre Dame du Lac was purchased in 1830 by Rev. Theodore Bodin, the first priest ever ordained in the United States. It was then known by the Indians and the few settlers around it as Ste. Marie des Lacs, and was made by Father Bodin the center of quite a range of missions, and the residence of the priest who attended the scattering population of Northern Indiana and Southern Michigan. Father Bodin having purchased the land and established the little log church as a central point, did not leave this part of the country without attending to the wants of the Indians who then dwelt in Northern Indiana, many of whom were Catholics, and the rest converted by himself and his successors.

On the 26th day of November, 1842, Father Sorin viewed for the first time the scene of his future labors - his life work. The ground was covered with snow; the branches of the trees drooped under the weight of the snow; the evergreens, even the rail fences and the stumps that thickly studded the ten-acre lot, were rendered fairy-like with snow; snow, cold, pure, beautifying snow lay thick and heavy all around, and as the rays of the setting sun, struggling through the winter clouds, cast their magic light over the wide expanse of snow-covered land, the young priest consecrated it anew to the Virgin :Mother of God, to whom, in his great love for her, all his undertakings, great or smal1, were always lovingly submitted. With Father Sarin came seven Brothers of the Order - Francis Xavier, Gatien, Patrick, William, Basil, Pierre and Francis, all of whom have gone to their long rest except Brother Francis Xavier.

Notre Dame is on a farm originally of over 600 acres, lying on the right bank of the St. Joseph river, in St. Joseph county, Indiana, about two miles from the railroad station at South Bend, on the Michigan Southern & Lake Shore railroad, which connects Chicago with Toledo and Detroit; and also a branch of the Michigan Central & Grand Trunk railways. At the time Father Sorin arrived here only ten acres of the ground had been cleared, the rest being covered with forest trees and thick underbrush, except some hundred or more that were covered by the water of the lakelets from which the establishment took its name. The only house on the premises was one built of logs, in the old style of log-cabin-forty feet by twenty-four. The ground floor was the residence of the priest, while the upper story was the only church or chapel for the Catholics of South Bend and vicinity. A small frame house clinging to this sturdy log one, was occupied by the family of a man who acted as interpreter between the Indians and whites when occasion required.

To fulfill the terms of the contract with the bishop, entered into by Father Sorin, it was determined, notwithstanding all apparent lack of means, to proceed as soon as possible, to the erection of the college building. The name of the place was now changed from St. Mary's to Notre Dame du Lac, Our Lady of the Lake, a name which has been insensibly shortened to Notre Dame. On the 28th day of August, 1843, the corner stone of the first college edifiee of Notre Dame was laid with appropriate ceremonies. Before winter the building was under roof, and during the next spring it was completed. In June the few students who were in attendance were removed from the farm house, and in August, 1844, the first commencement exercises took place. Previous to this a charter had been obtained from the State, through the instrumentality of Hon. John D. Defrees, then a member of the Legislature, with all the rights and privileges of a university.

During the year 1844 the Manual Labor School was also organized and received a charter from the State Legislature. Besides Father Sorin, the chief personages of this early time were Fathers Cointet and Granger, the latter of whom arrived in 1844. Father Sorin was the first president of the institution, continuing in office from 1844 to 1865. Father Granger was the first vice-president, and Father Cointet the second. To them, therefore, must be chiefly ascribed the first shaping of the distinctive character which Notre Dame early began to assume. During the administration of Father Sorin the foundations of Notre Dame were deeply and solidly laid. Save the bare land, and the sympathy of the benevolent and charitable, the young community had in the beginning actually no means, except the blessing of heaven, their own feeble strength, and, after a time, the tuition of a few students, which for many years was a very small sum indeed. But faith and industry did not go unrewarded. Little by little every year was an improvement upon the last. Slowly, very slowly, the number of students crept up from one to one hundred. These spread over the country became the best advertisement. As if each took another by the hand, there were soon two hundred entrances; then three, four, five, even six hundred, until the halls were over-flowing. With this increase, every thing else increased. The faculty, which once consisted of Father Sorin, Father Granger and Father Cointet, advanced in numbers from year to year, until it now consists of nearly forty members. The courses of study at the same time widened in completeness and increased in number, until at Notre Dame, according to the saying of a well-known patron of learning, "Anyone may learn anything," whether in science, in the arts, or in business, as well as .in theology, law and medicine. Buildings have arisen on every hand, until their appearance is rather that of a town than of a college. The first college edifice, except the farm house, was the central part of the old college building, and was 36 feet deep by 80 front, and four stories high. This continued unchanged until 1853, when two wings, 40 by 60, were added. It was now thought there would be room enough for at .least a generation. But the error of this anticipation was discovered in a very few years, and in 1865, under the energetic presidency of Father Dillon, the old col1ege building was, in the course of two months, transformed into an imposing structure, 160 feet in length, 80 feet in width, and six stories in height, surmounted by a colossal statue of Notre Dame. May 31, 1866, the new building was dedicated, and the statue blessed by Archbishop Spalding, assisted by five bishops, and a very great number of priests, in presence of the largest concourse of people ever gathered at Notre Dame. April 23, 1879 the university was destroyed by fire. The main college building, the Infirmary, Music Hall, St. Francisí Home and the Minims' Play Hall were burned to the ground. The fire originated from a tinner's furnace which some workmen were using on the roof of the main building. They left the roof for a short time, and while they were absent the fire started. About one-fourth of the original cost of the buildings was destroyed. The insurance was $45,000, and with this money and with the aid of the friends of Notre Dame throughout the country, the community went to work to clear away the rubbish and to lay the foundations of new buildings.

The style of architecture adopted for the main building is modern Gothic. It presents a frontage of 224 feet by 155 in depth, somewhat cruciform in shape, or like the letter E with an extended center. A projection or wing on each side, directly connected with the main building, will make the total frontage 320 feet. The height of the main building is four stories with basement; the height of the east and west wings, each three stories with basement. From the ground to the pedestal of the statue above the dome is 170 feet. The dome is unusually lofty, extending 80 feet above the roof. A rotunda 30 feet in diameter at the base passes from the foundations up through the building, supporting the dome, and giving light, air and ventilation to the whole building. This rotunda, surmounted as it is by the glorious dome, and crowned by a statue over all, is entirely self-supporting, and constitutes perhaps the finest feature of its kind to be seen in any educational institution in this or any other country.

The study halls are located, as in the old building, in the east and west sides, on the principal floor. They are most spacious and beautiful rooms, 77 feet in length, 41 in width, and 15 feet clear in height, well lighted on three sides with large windows. The entrance to the study halls is from the south, as before, and also from a corridor 16 feet in width extending from each study hall to the rotunda in the center.

In nothing perhaps is the superiority of the new building to the old more manifest than in the class rooms, both as to location and size. Twelve of them are situated on the same floor as the study halls, thus ensuring convenience to students and professors, and doing away with much of the noise that attended the march of heavy classes up and down stairs. The average dimensions of the class rooms are 26 feet in length, 16 in width, and 15 feet clear in height. The commercial class-room adjoins the senior study hall, on the south side of the building, and is 44 feet in length by 20 feet in width. All class-rooms are lighted by two large windows, five south windows lighting the fine commercial class-room.

The floors above are divided in a similar manner to those below. The dormitories are directly over the study rooms, are of the same lofty height, and are lighted in like manner with large and numerous windows.

Particular attention has been given to the subject of ventilation, flues for this purpose running through every story from basement to roof, with openings from study halls, class-rooms, dormitories, etc., thus securing pure and health-giving air in every room.

The destruction of the old college has drawn special attention to the protection of the new building from all possible danger from fire. The walls are of solid brick and stone; the trimming and ornamentation of the exterior are of fine cut stone and galvanized iron, and all the roofs and cornices are covered with slate. Then, in addition to the ordinary stairways, there are fire escapes on every floor, so that should fire ever again occur, there will be the most ample means of escape from every story and every room of the whole building. As a still further protection from fire, and also for convenience and beauty in lighting the building, gas has been introduced instead of coal oil.

The principal entrance to the college is from the south, facing the main avenue, as in the old college, by a large and handsome porch approached by an extra large and inviting flight of steps. At the right of entrance are the president's room and parlor and vice-president's room and parlor. On the left of the entrance, looking out in front, is the main parlor, 40 by 42 feet: In the rear of the main parlor is a smaller parlor, with octagonal front, connecting parlor with toilet room.

The projecting wings are in themselves no insignificant buildings, being each forty-two feet front, and but one story lower than the main building. The west wing is devoted exclusively to libraries and museums, the east wing to the laboratory and the sciences in general.

The Music Hall is the name given to a large and imposing structure on the east and front of the college building, three stories in height, with a total length of one hundred and seventy-five feet. In width it varies from a maximum of ninety feet to a minimum of forty-five.

The apparatus for heating, lighting and ventilating the buildings are all of the most approved character, and embrace the latest improvements; and these, together with the corresponding sanitary appointments, have engaged the special attention of the architect. The walls are heavy, and thus make the building not only strong, but also warm. The windows are large and numerous, and thus afford abundance of light, and also ventilation if needed. The building is heated by steam and lighted by gas.

In connection with the church and college, a word may be said of the bells for which Notre Dame is famous. The original bell at Notre Dame is that clear, sweet-toned one that now rings out so pleasantly from St. Mary's Academy. The second bell was one of 2,400 pounds, which, becoming cracked, was taken down and succeeded by the present great bell. This bell, with its rich musical tones, and its magnificent volume of sound, has a national reputation, being the largest in the United States, as it is one of the finest in the world. Its weight is 13,000 pounds, and it was manufactured in France. The names of all donors are cast upon the bell. The church also possesses a chime of 23 bells, the finest and largest but one in the country. They were solemnly blessed in 1856 by Archbishop Purcell, and Bishop Henni, of Milwaukee. With its be1ls, its noble organ, and its well-trained choir, it need not be said that nowhere in America are the solemn and beautiful services of the church celebrated with more splendor than at Notre Dame.

The growth of Notre Dame has been truly wonderful. From the small beginning already spoken of, it has grown to be one of the most noted educational institutions in the country. Year by year an addition was made, an improvement introduced, from the first English class organized by Father Shaw, to the present classes of rhetoric and literature, from the first Latin class called by Father Cointet, to the present numerous classes of Latin, Greek, and ancient literature; from the first logic class assembled by Father Granger, to the present classes of philosophy and theology; from the first arithmetic class formed by Brother Gatien, to the present commercial department, and the varions classes in the physical and natural sciences.

The war drew off great numbers from Notre Dame to the hospital and to the field. No less than seven priests went as chaplains in the army, - Fathers Corby, Cooney, Carrier, Gillen, James Dillon, Leveque and Bourget; of whom the last three, from exposure, contracted diseases which ended in death. The period since the war has been one of continual prosperity, even during the hard times between the years 1873 and 1879. It was ushered in by the building of a new college edifice, and by the establishment of the Ave Maria, a widely known religious journal. The Ave Maria was founded, and edited for the first two years by Father Sorin. It was afterward conducted by Father Gillespie until his untimely death in 1874. Father Gillespie also began the publication of the Scholastic, the college paper, conducted under his supervision by the students. To no one indeed is Notre Dame more indebted for the cultivation and encouragement of literary studies than to Father Gillespie, her first graduate.

The year 1851 was one of great importance to Notre Dame; it was the year that the railroad was completed to South Bend, and the postoffice was established at Notre Dame. The wings of the college were added to the main building in 1853, and the college steadily prospered until 1854. The cholera had ravaged many parts of the United States, and the danger passed away, when in the summer of 1854, many of the inmates of Notre Dame were attacked with a disease akin to it. Among the first attacked was Father Cointet; his health had been completely shattered by a residence in New Orleans, but had greatly improved since returning North, yet not sufficiently to resist the attack of the disease, and in the month of August he passed away. Many other deaths occurred, and the fate of the college seemed hung in the balance. Soon the clouds passed away and all was bright again.

The discipline of Notre Dame has justly met the approbation of all the friends of the institution. At the beginning the main features were the same as now, for as in regard to discipline, as in everything else connected with the institution, Father Sorin gave the impulse and direction. Yet some changes have been made, and they began in the first years. It was natural that the whole system of French college discipline should at first be introduced, but the founder of Notre Dame quickly seized the peculiarities of young America as distinguished from young France. The most powerful human cause of Father Sorin's remarkable success was his quick perception of the manners and ideas of his adopted country, and the happy facility with which he not only to them, but actually made them part and parcel of himself; and, while he retained all the qualities of the Catholic priest and French gentleman, he laid aside the prejudices of the foreigner, and seemed to take possession of the spirit of the country with his oath on becoming a citizen.

If the presidency of Father Sorin was a time of struggle and of triumph, and that of Father Dillon one of great business activity, that of Father Corby was one of earnest devotion to learning, during which the standard of education was materially elevated at Notre Dame. During this time the societies of the college, in which so much of its life centers, showed a marked increase of activity. To Father Granger the religious societies owe everything; the literary and dramatic societies are almost equally indebted to Father Gillespie and Lemonnier and Prof. Lyons. During the first administration of Father Corby, the association of the Alumni was formed; and in 1869 Notre Dame celebrated, with much rejoicing, her silver jubilee.

In the summer of 1872 there convened at Notre Dame an assembly, which, from its unique character, merits special remark. There, for the first time since the discovery of America, a general chapter of a religious order was held in the New World. At this chapter were present not only representatives from the United States and the Dominion of Canada, but also from France, Algiers, the East Indies, and even from Rome itself, where these meetings are usually held, and which in this instance had given special permission to hold the chapter at Notre Dame, as a peculiar mark of favor to the United States, and perhaps also as a compliment to Father Sorin, the only American general of a religious order. It was at this chapter that the gifted Father Lemonnier was selected as president and local superior at Notre Dame. It would seem that his presidency came to add grace and beauty to what was already so laboriously and substantially constructed. There was hardly a science or an art in which he was not well versed; and as Johnson said of Goldsmith, there was nothing which he touched which he did not beautify. Under him all the sciences and the arts flourished, and Notre Dame became indeed a university.

Of the presidents of Notre Dame, Father Lemonnier has gone to a better world, as Father Dillon went before him; Father Corby, after laying the foundation of a new Notre Dame at Watertown, Wisconsin, has again assumed control of the institution; and Father Sorin himself, now Superior General of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, remains still blessed with health and strength, though venerable with years. Of the companions of his youth, who laid with him the foundation of Notre Dame, but three remain. Father Granger, now provincial of the Holy Cross in the United States, the venerable Brother Vincent, and Brother Francis, the sexton.

The present officers of the university are, Very Rev. William Corby, C. S.C., President; Rev. Thomas E. Wa1sh, C. S. C., Vice President and Director of Studies; Roy. Patrick W. Condon, C. S.C., Prefect of Discipline; Very Rev. Alexis Granger, C. S. C., Prefect of Religion; Rev. Timothy Maher, C. S. C., Secretary; Brother Celestine, C. S. C., Assistant Secretary. These officers are assisted by an able faculty of about forty professors and instructors.

General Faculty: Rev. William Corby, President; Rev. Thos. E. Walsh, Vice-President and Director of Studies; Rev. Patrick W. Condon, Prefect of Discipline.

Professors: Rev. William Corby, Evidences of Christianity; Rev. Thos. E. Walsh, Latin Language and Literature; Rev. John A. O'Connell, Moral Philosophy; Rev. John A. Zahm, Physical Sciences, and Curator of the Museum; Rev. Christopher Kelly, Logic and Mental Philosophy; Rev. Nicholas Stoffel, Greek Language and Literature; Rev. A. M. Kirsch, Natural Sciences, and Assistant Curator of Museum; Rev. J. Scherer, German; Rev. P. Kollop, French; Rev. Louis Neyron, Human Anatomy and Physiology; .Joseph A. Lyons, Latin and English; Wm. Ivers, Mathematics; Timothy E. Howard, English Literature; Arthur J. Stace, Astronomy and Civil Engineering; Lucius G. Tong, Law and Bookkeeping; James F. Edwards, History, and Librarian of the Lemonnier Library; John Coleman, Latin and Mathematics.

With the above are a large corps of assistant professors and instructors, not only in the foregoing branches, but also in the fine arts. The general faculty is divided into five special faculties, namely, on arts, science, commerce, law and civil engineering. There are also numerous well-sustained literary, art, scientific and religious societies in the university.

History of St. Joseph County, Indiana
Chicago, Chas. C. Chapman & Co.
published in 1880
History of Saint Joseph County


SAINT MARY'S ACADEMY

One of the most important objects of interest in the history of St. Joseph county, is Saint Mary's Academy, conducted by the Sisters of the Holy Cross. Although the order of the Holy Cross was founded at Notre Dame in 1842, and although the Sisters of the Holy Cross were established at Bertrand, Michigan, as early as 1845, yet Saint Mary's did not occupy its present charming site until 1855. Nature seems to have selected and laid out the spot for the religious and educational purposes to which it is now consecrated. A table-land of 110 acres on the high bank of the St. Joseph river, with sunny openings between the groves of native forest trees, presented itself to the eyes of those who had in view an institution of learning to which all coming generations would bring its daughters, and where they would not only find a home during the trying years of school life, but from which they would carry the germs of those noble womanly graces which must be the guerdon of the future glory of our republic. With that untiring energy which marks an earnest purpose the building at Bertrand was removed to the banks of the St. Joseph and made the nucleus of the wooden buildings which until 1859 were nestled among these groves. The present substantial brick academy, with its spacious and airy halls, its and recitation rooms, library and museum, music halls and studio, its well ventilated dormitories and refectories, is still only the beginning of good things to come. When the whole plan is carried out the present St. Mary's will be found to occupy only the third of the St. Mary's which stands in the far-seeing- eyes of its founders.

But even as we now see it, after 20 years of industry, and conscientious labor, how richly has the efforts of the Sisters been rewarded. The stranger finds on his first visit to St, Mary's, an unexpected charm in this spot, so removed from all the busy turmoil of the day and age, and yet full to overflowing, with all the most sacred interests to humanity. Meeting here seclusion without solitude, simplicity without rusticity, he sees the very place suited to carry out his own ideas of education; while for those who have spent years among these scenes of peaceful beauty, no description of St. Mary's can ever convey an adequate idea of its charms for the eye, the heart and the imagination. The young girl coming from some secluded homestead of some Western town or territory, loses none of her simplicity under this open sky, among these quiet groves, or along the varied path which follows along the winding high bank which overlooks the river and the meadows and the distant town; while the young girl from the city becomes acquainted with nature without losing the wholesome restraints of society, and even finds gracefulness of manner considered a subject of just emulation. The innocent cheerfulness, the happy buoyancy of spirits, which it is so difficult to preserve for the young in the atmosphere of towns and cities, is the natural result of the outdoor lite at St. Mary's. Exercise comes as a matter of course, and brings pleasure, instead of its being an irksome necessity, as it is so often under less favorable conditions, since nature has done for St. Mary's what no industry or invention on the part of the Sisters could ever supply.

But as spring, summer and autumn must yield several months every year to winter, care has been taken to provide agreeable exercise for seniors, juniors and minims within doors, whenever the grounds or piazzas cannot be used. Lessons in dancing are given weekly, and the holidays and recreation days offer opportunities for "assemblies," at which the Superiors are always present.

Situated two miles from the pleasant city of South Bend, the young city and the college and academy have grown up together, and have proved mutual helps and encouragements. An exchange of courtesies have always marked the intercourse between these two institutions and the city of South Bend. Among her citizens are many whose names will always be remembered with pleasure and gratitude by the Sisters of the Holy Cross at St. Mary's, and the growth of each may well be a matter of just pride and congratulation to the other. Like South Bend, St, Mary's owes much of her material prosperity to the ready access given to the different parts of the country by the Michigan Southern & Lake Shore railroad. This road has been an old and long-tried friend to St. Mary's; while the Michigan Central now claims a place in her regard, on account of the branch road lately built in such a way as to put St. Mary's in direct communication with its extensive line of travel.

One mile east of St. Mary's rise the beautiful dome and spires of Notre Dame, the first home of the Order of the Holy Cross in America, and still the fountain head as well as faithful coadjutor. The interest of the Very Rev. Superior General in the welfare of St. Mary's has never slackened since the academy was removed from Bertrand to its present site; and this personal interest of the Superior General, who has watched over its growth, is shared by the Very Rev. Provincial at Notre Dame, by the president and all the professors at the university. There is a community of interests between the two institutions which secures many privileges to the students of both. Professors from Notre Dame take pleasure in repeating their lectures for the benefit of the pupils of St. Mary's, and the Scholastic, published weekly at Notre Dame, is devoted to the educational interests of both institutions. These mutual advantages, and the short distance from the university to the academy (one mile), with a regular mode of conveyance to both places from South Bend, resolve many a family problem as to a place of education for sons and daughters. To the convenience of the parent, who can visit both at one time, is added the satisfaction of knowing that the youthful members of the family are near each other, especially when coming from great distances.

History of St. Joseph County, Indiana
Chicago, Chas. C. Chapman & Co.
published in 1880
History of Saint Joseph County


NORTHERN INDIANA COLLEGE

The Northern Indiana College was founded in 1861, by an association of gentlemen residing at and in the vicinity of South Bend. They organized under an act of the General Assembly, entitled "An act for the incorporation of high schools, academies and colleges." The institution was for the accommodation of both male and female students. The first Board of Trustees was composed of the following named gentlemen: Schuyler Colfax, William Miller, John H. Harper, John Brownfield, Asbury Clark, George .F. Layton, Francis R. Tutt, John W. Chess and Elisha Egbert. A college building was erected at the west end of Washington street, one mile from the court-house. It was easy of access, healthy, and afforded a fine view of the city and surrounding country. From its inception, it had many difficulties to contend with, principally of a financial character. On this account the edifice was not completed until the fall of 1866. The building was of brick 50x90 feet, and four stories high, including basement. The front was ornamented by a central and cylindrical tower, rising to an altitude of nearly one hundred feet, and connected with every floor in the building. The interior arrangement was well adapted to the purposes for which it was intended, and the whole edifice finished in a workmanlike manner.

On Thursday, Jan. 10, 1867, the dedication of the college to the cause of Christian education took place. The dedicatory sermon was preached by Rev. T. M. Eddy, of Chicago, the sermon being founded upon Proverbs xxix: 18," Where there is no vision, the people perish."

The school was duly opened, lingered a few years, became involved, the school closed, the building passed into other hands, and the Northern Indiana College was of the past.

History of St. Joseph County, Indiana
Chicago, Chas. C. Chapman & Co.
published in 1880
History of Saint Joseph County


Deb Murray