Henry Philip Tappan


Henry Philip Tappan

Infobox Person
name = Henry Philip Tappan


birth_date = April 18, 1805
birth_place = Rhinebeck, New York
death_date = November 15, 1881
death_place = Vevey, Switzerland
resting_place =
resting_coordinates =
nationality = USA
title = 1st President of the University of Michigan
predecessor = "office abolished in 1821, previously held by" John Monteith
successor = Erastus Otis Haven
religion = Dutch Reformed, Presbyterian
spouse = Julia Livingston
children = John L. Tappan
parents =

Henry Philip Tappan (April 18, 1805, Rhinebeck, New York–November 15, 1881, Vevey, Switzerland) was an American philosopher, educator and academic administrator. He is officially considered the first president of the University of Michigan, although he is arguably not the first man to have held the office.The University of Michigan was established by the Michigan state constitution in 1837, and was governed directly by a Board of Regents until the office of President of the University was created by a constitutional convention in 1850. The modern University of Michigan now traces its founding date to 1817, when its precursor the University of Michigania was established, but the president of that institution, Rev. John Monteith, has never been officially considered to be a president of the University of Michigan. harv|Bentley Historical Library|2004]

A pioneer in the transformation of American university curricula, he was instrumental in fashioning the University of Michigan as a prototype for American research universities, and has been called the "John the Baptist of the age of the American university."harvnb|Wilbee|1967 cited in harvnb|Marsden|1994|p=103] His academic career was ultimately cut short by personality clashes with the university's Board of Regents, and he finished his life in self-imposed exile in Europe.

Biography

Early life

Henry Philip Tappan was born on April 18, 1805 in the village of Rhinebeck, New York.harvnb|Shaw|1920|p=45] His father was of Huguenot descent and his mother of Dutch descent. He attended Union College and studied under its president, Eliphalet Nott, graduating in 1825. He graduated from Auburn Theological Seminaryharvnb|Marsden|1994|p=106] two years later and planned a career in ministry. He became associate pastor at the Dutch Reformed church in Schenectady, New York for one year, and was then pastor at the Congregational church in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.harvnb|Hinsdale|1906|p=217] He married Julia Livingston on April 7, 1828.

A throat afflictionharvnb|Moore|1915|p=482] prompted him to leave for a trip to the West Indies, and upon his return he joined the faculty of the University of the City of New York (now NYU) as a professor of philosophy.harvnb|Hinsdale|1906|p=41]

Philosophical Writings

Tappan embarked on writing a series of philosophical treatisesharvnb|Tappan|1840, harvnb|Tappan|1841, harvnb|Tappan|1844] that began to influence thinking in Europe. He received a Doctor of Divinity degree from Union College in 1845. He toured Europe between 1849 and 1851 and became increasingly convinced of the superiority of the "German model" (or Prussian model, as it was known at the time) of public education, in which a complete system of primary schools, secondary schools, and a university are all administered by the state and supported with tax dollars.

The German model had first gained widespread attention through the 1835 publication of Sarah Austin's English translation of Victor Cousin's "Report on the State of Public Instruction in Prussia", originally prepared for the French Minister of Public Instruction and Ecclesiastical Affairs in 1831. This model stood in direct contrast to the prevailing state of higher education in the U.S., where virtually all institutions of higher learning were privately run with no official connection to any public school system, which were themselves rare.harvnb|Hinsdale|1906|p=16]

Principally due to the Cousin report's influence on two men, John Davis Pierce and Isaac Edwin Crary, the basic tenets of the German education model had made their way into the Michigan Constitution of 1836,harvnb|State of Michigan|1836] which officially chartered the University of Michigan and was the first state constitution in the U.S. to truly embrace the German model.harvnb|Hinsdale|1906|p=17] The specific implementation outlined therein, however, proved unwieldy in practice, and for some time the Board of Regents made little progress in implementing the vision for the university, even postponing indefinitely the appointment of a Chancellor in favor of a rotating roster of professors who performed the day-to-day administrative duties.harvnb|Hinsdale|1906|pp=35-37]

President of the University of Michigan

In 1850, the state of Michigan adopted a new state constitutionharvnb|State of Michigan|1850] that created the office of President of the University of Michigan and directed the newly-elected Board of Regents to select someone for the office. They sent a representative to the East to solicit recommendations, and former Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft recommended Henry Tappan. Despite this recommendation, the regents first elected Henry Barnard of Connecticut,harvnb|Board of Regents|1852a|p=517] who declined the offer.harvnb|Board of Regents|1852b] Although John Hiram Lathrop (then Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison) was also considered for the job following Barnard's refusal, Tappan was unanimously elected on August 12, 1852.harvnb|Board of Regents|1852c|p=521] His starting salary was $1,500 per year.

Tappan was also a strong proponent of the German model of university curriculum, which emphasized research, laboratory study, elective courses, and the increased importance of science and engineering, rather than the "British model" of recitation in a core classical arts curriculum that typified most major American universities of the time. Shortly after his arrival, Michigan became the second university in the country (after Harvard) to issue Bachelor of Science degrees.harvnb|Shaw|1920|p=47]

Tappan received a Doctor of Laws degree from Columbia College in 1854.

Removal as President

Despite the success of the flourishing university, Tappan's aristocratic bearing and perceived tendency to magnify his own importance did not sit well with the new regents who had been elected in 1858, many of whom came from rural areas and were without advanced education—only two of the ten members were college graduates themselves. One regent, Donald McIntyre, a strict prohibitionist, disapproved of Tappan's serving wine at dinner. Another, Ebenezer Lakin Brown, had a particular dislike for Tappan's lofty airs, and at the board's June 25, 1863 meeting, he introduced a resolution removing Tappan as president. It passed unanimously, after which the regents also fired Tappan's son John as university librarian and appointed Erastus Otis Haven as the new president.

Upon his removal, Tappan remarked, "This matter belongs to history; the pen of history is held by Almighty Justice, and I fear not the record it will make of my conduct, whether public or private, in relation to the affairs of the University."harvnb|Utley|Cutcheon|1906|pp=252-255] He immediately left Michigan and moved his family to Europe, residing in Berlin, Paris, Bonn, Frankfort, Basel, and Geneva.harvnb|Hinsdale|1906|p=218]

Tappan's firing was unpopular with students and the broader community, as it came with no warning, at a time when the university was more successful than ever, for no wrongdoing other than personal friction with the regents, and from a board whose terms in office were all expiring (save one) in just a few months and who were due to be replaced with new regents (already elected) who had expressed a desire to form a better working relationship with Tappan.harvnb|Shaw|1920|p=54] Henry Barnard, by then the editor of "The American Journal of Education", called the dismissal an "act of savage, unmitigated barbarism" in light of Tappan's work being "without a precedent in the educational history of the country."harvnb|Moore|1915|p=491] At the suggestion of his supporters, Tappan himself wrote a lengthy response to his dismissal, generally praising the first Board of Regents and excoriating the second as incompetent, and also singling out certain faculty members for criticism.harvnb|Tappan|1864]

When the new Board of Regents took office in 1864, the flood of support for Tappan led them to consider re-hiring him, but in the end they felt it would be disruptive to the university, in light of Tappan's subsequent response.harvnb|Board of Regents|1864]

Later Years

In 1874 and 1875 the Board of Regents passed resolutions commending Tappan's service to the university and inviting him to return to Ann Arbor to be honored; the latter expressly withdrew "any censure express or implied in the resolutions which severed his connection" to the university.harvnb|Board of Regents|1875] Tappan, who had moved to Europe after his firing, expressed a desire to return, but twice deferred accepting the invitation, citing first his ageharvnb|Tappan|1874] and then the health of his daughter.harvnb|Tappan|1879]

He never returned to Michigan and died in his villa in Vevey, Switzerland on November 15, 1881, where he is buried overlooking Lake Geneva.

Commemoration

* The Tappan Professorship of Law was created in 1879, with former Michigan governor Alpheus Felch the first to hold it.harvnb|Board of Regents|1879]
* Tappan Hall, the oldest extant classroom building on the University of Michigan campus, was finished in 1894. It currently houses the History of Art Department and the Fine Art Library. [Citation|title=University of Michigan History & Traditions|url=http://www.umich.edu/pres/history/markers/tappan.html|accessdate=2007-08-24]

Works

* Citation
last = Tappan
first = Henry P.
year = 1839
title = A Review of Edwards's "Inquiry Into the Freedom of the Will."
url = http://books.google.com/books?id=gP82AAAAMAAJ
publisher = John S. Taylor
publication-place = New York

* Citation
last = Tappan
first = Henry P.
year = 1840
title = The Doctrine of the Will, Determined by an Appeal to Consciousness
publisher = Wiley and Putnam
publication-place = New York

* Citation
last = Tappan
first = Henry P.
year = 1841
title = The Doctrine of the Will, Applied to Moral Agency and Responsibility
publisher = Wiley and Putnam
isbn = 0790501627

* Citation
last = Tappan
first = Henry P.
year = 1844
title = Elements of Logic: Together with an Introductory View of Philosophy in General, and a Preliminary View of the Reason
publisher = Wiley and Putnam
publication-place = New York

* Citation
last = Tappan
first = Henry P.
year = 1851
publisher = George P. Putnam
publication-place= New York
title = University Education
url = http://books.google.com/books?id=CO0TAAAAIAAJ

* Citation
last = Tappan
first = Henry P.
year = 1852a
title = A Discourse
url = http://books.google.com/books?id=-DOnVBZyzL4C
publisher = Advertiser Power Presses
publication-place = Detroit
(Inaugural speech)
* Citation
last = Tappan
first = Henry P.
year = 1852b
title = A Step from the New World to the Old, and Back Again: With Thoughts on the Good and Evil in Both
url = http://books.google.com/books?id=f83pNEY__FAC
publisher = D. Appleton
publication-place = New York

* Citation
last = Tappan
first = Henry P.
year = 1855a
title = The Growth of Cities: A Discourse Delivered Before the New York Geographical Society
url = http://books.google.com/books?id=5nMXv24CY-EC
publisher = R. Craighead
publication-place = New York

* Citation
last = Tappan
first = Henry P.
year = 1855b
title = The Progress of Educational Development: A Discourse Delivered Before the Literary Societies of the University of Michigan
url = http://books.google.com/books?id=V6IAAAAAYAAJ
publisher = E.B. Pond
publication-place = Ann Arbor, MI

* Citation
last = Tappan
first = Henry P.
year = 1856
edition = 2nd (revised)
title = Elements of Logic: Together with an Introductory View of Philosophy in General, and a Preliminary View of the Reason
url = http://books.google.com/books?id=VnYBAAAAYAAJ
publisher = D. Appleton
publication-place = New York

* Citation
last = Tappan
first = Henry P.
year = 1857
title = Public Education: An Address; Delivered in the Hall of the House of Representatives, in the Capitol at Lansing
url = http://books.google.com/books?id=cx6I2dCLyuMC
publisher = H. Barns
publication-place = Detroit

* Citation
last = Tappan
first = Henry P.
year = 1865
title = A discourse on the death of Abraham Lincoln ... delivered Tuesday, May 2, 1865, in the Dorotheen-Church, Berlin
publisher = G. Lange
publication-place = Berlin
oclc = 3838520

Notes

References

* Citation
last = Bentley Historical Library
year = 2004
title = Presidents of the University of Michigan
url = http://bentley.umich.edu/bhl/uarphome/umpresid.htm
accessdate = 2007-08-23

* Citation
last = Board of Regents
year = 1852a
title = Proceedings of the Board of Regents (1837-1864)
contribution = Proceedings of June 22, 1852
contribution-url = http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=umregproc;cc=umregproc;q1=Barnard;rgn=full%20text;idno=acw7513.1837.001;didno=ACW7513.1837.001;view=image;seq=522;page=root;size=s;frm=frameset
pages = 516-517
publisher = University of Michigan

* Citation
last = Board of Regents
year = 1852b
title = Proceedings of the Board of Regents (1837-1864)
contribution = Proceedings of July 17, 1852
contribution-url = http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=umregproc;cc=umregproc;q1=Barnard;rgn=full%20text;idno=ACW7513.1837.001;didno=ACW7513.1837.001;view=image;seq=00000524
pages = 518
publisher = University of Michigan

* Citation
last = Board of Regents
year = 1852c
title = Proceedings of the Board of Regents (1837-1864)
contribution = Proceedings of August 12, 1852
contribution-url = http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=umregproc;cc=umregproc;q1=Tappan;rgn=full%20text;idno=ACW7513.1837.001;didno=ACW7513.1837.001;view=image;seq=00000527
pages = 521
publisher = University of Michigan

* Citation
last = Board of Regents
year = 1864
title = Proceedings of the Board of Regents (1864-1870)
contribution = Proceedings of February 18, 1864
contribution-url = http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=umregproc&cc=umregproc&idno=acw7513.1864.001&frm=frameset&view=image&seq=21
pages = 21-24
publisher = University of Michigan

* Citation
last = Board of Regents
year = 1875
title = Proceedings of the Board of Regents (1870-1876)
contribution = Proceedings of June 30, 1875
contribution-url = http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=umregproc;cc=umregproc;idno=acw7513.1870.001;seq=00000459
pages = 451
publisher = University of Michigan

* Citation
last = Board of Regents
year = 1879
title = Proceedings of the Board of Regents (1876-1881)
contribution = Proceedings of July 25, 1879
contribution-url = http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=umregproc;cc=umregproc;idno=acw7513.1876.001;seq=430;page=root;view=image;size=s;frm=frameset
pages = 401
publisher = University of Michigan

* Citation
last = Hinsdale
first = Burke A.
year = 1906
title = History of the University of Michigan
editor-last = Demmon
editor-first = Isaac
publisher = University of Michigan
url = http://books.google.com/books?id=z6sWAAAAIAAJ
accessdate = 2007-08-16

* Citation
last = Marsden
first = George M.
author-link = George Marsden
publication-date = 1994
publisher = Oxford University Press
publication-place= New York
accessdate = 2007-08-14
url = http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0195106504/
isbn = 0-19-507046-1
title = The Soul of the American University: From Protestant Establishment to Established Nonbelief

* Citation
last = Moore
first = Charles
year = 1915
title = History of Michigan
url = http://books.google.com/books?id=l9KhKGAKpjcC
accessdate = 2007-08-24
publisher = Lewis Publishing
publication-place = Chicago

* Citation
last = Shaw
first = Wilfred
title = The University of Michigan
year = 1920
publisher = Harcourt, Brace and Howe
publication-place = New York
url = http://books.google.com/books?id=WH4IAAAAMAAJ

* Citation
last = State of Michigan
year = 1836
title = Constitution of Michigan of 1836
url = http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Michigan_Constitution_of_1836
accessdate = 2007-08-28

* Citation
last = State of Michigan
year = 1850
title = Constitution of Michigan of 1850
url = http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Michigan_Constitution_of_1850
accessdate = 2007-08-24

* Citation
last = Tappan
first = Henry P.
year = 1864
contribution = Review by Rev. Dr. H. P. Tappan: Historic Statement of my Connection with the University
place = Berlin
title = Proceedings of the Board of Regents (1837-1864)
pages = 1119-1166
publisher = University of Michigan
publication-place = Ann Arbor, MI
contribution-url = http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=umregproc;cc=umregproc;idno=acw7513.1837.001;seq=1125;page=root;view=image;size=s;frm=frameset;

* Citation
last = Tappan
first = Henry P.
year = 1874
contribution = Letter to James B. Angell
date = November 12, 1874
place = Basel, Switzerland
title = Proceedings of the Board of Regents (1870-1876)
pages = 411
publisher = University of Michigan
publication-place = Ann Arbor, MI
contribution-url=http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=umregproc;cc=umregproc;idno=acw7513.1870.001;seq=00000419

* Citation
last = Tappan
first = Henry P.
year = 1879
contribution = Letter to James B. Angell
date = August 30, 1879
place = Basel, Switzerland
title = Proceedings of the Board of Regents (1876-1881)
pages = 433-434
publisher = University of Michigan
publication-place = Ann Arbor, MI
contribution-url=http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=umregproc;cc=umregproc;idno=acw7513.1876.001;seq=462;page=root;view=image;size=s;frm=frameset

* Citation
last = Utley
first = Henry M.
last2 = Cutcheon
first2 = Byron M.
author2-link = Byron M. Cutcheon
year = 1906
title = Michigan as a Province, Territory and State: The Twenty-sixth Member of the Federal Union
url = http://books.google.com/books?id=lTDFwxkbbfcC
publisher = Publishing Society of Michigan

Further reading

* Citation
last = Cousin
first = Victor
authorlink = Victor Cousin
last2 = Austin
first2 = Sarah
authorlink2 = Sarah Austin
year = 1835
title = Report on the State of Public Instruction in Prussia; Addressed to the Count De Montalivet. With Plans of School Houses.
publisher = Wiley & Long
publication-place = New York
oclc = 2648924

* Citation
last = Frieze
first = Henry S.
authorlink = Henry Simmons Frieze
title = A Memorial Discourse on the Life and Services of Rev. Henry Philip Tappan
year = 1882
publisher = University of Michigan
oclc = 13253076

* Citation
last = Perry
first = Charles M.
year = 1933
title = Henry Philip Tappan, Philosopher and University President
publisher = University of Michigan Press
oclc = 5463783

* Citation
last = Wilbee
first = Victor R.
title = The Religious Dimensons of Three Presidencies in a State University: Presidents Tappan, Haven, and Angell at the University of Michigan
publisher = PhD Thesis, University of Michigan
year = 1967

-s-vac
last = Rev. John Monteith
reason = Office abolished in 1821
s-ttl
title=President of the University of Michigan
years=1852–1863


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