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entitled to participate in the very interesting weekly debates of the Polytechnic Association and the Farmers' Club. The objects of the Institute being to disseminate useful information, rather than to promote its own aggrandizement, its operations are not confined to the circumscribed limits of its own members; and it is to be regretted that a co-ordinate committee of the Institute has recommended so great a retrenchment in its expenses as to preclude the advantages herein set forth. However, the visits of strangers are cordially invited; they will always receive the polite attention of the competent Librarian, who will at all times impart such information as is calculated to make their visits pleasant and instructive.
Believing that the winter of our discontent will soon be made glorious summer by the revival of those employments which tend to peace and prosperity, which are elevating and ennobling, onward and upward, diffusing light and knowledge in all their course, and never ceasing until the Institute shall have accomplished the great objects for which it was chartered. All of which is respectfully submitted.
DEATH OF PROFESSOR JAMES RENWICK, LL.D., CORRES
PONDING SECRETARY OF THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE.
A special meeting of the American Institute was held on Friday, January 16, 1863, at its rooms in the Cooper Union Building, at 2 o'clock, P. M., the president of the Institute (Wm. Hall) in the chair.
Mr. JIREH BULL.-I rise to perform a melancholy duty; the graves of Bunting, Reese and Meigs are fresh in our memories ; we are now called to add another to the list of those who have been identified with the toils, the prosperity and the success of this Institute.
James Renwick, our corresponding secretary, died at his residence, No. 21 Fifth avenue, in this city, surrounded by his family, on Monday evening, January 12, aged seventy-one years. The immediate cause of his death was disease of the lungs. His illness was not of long duration, and it was hoped until quite recently that he would be able to resume those duties which he had so satisfactorily discharged, not only as our corresponding secretary, but also as an efficient member of the standing committee of manufactures, science and arts; but the Great Disposer of Events has otherwise ordered.
Professor Renwick became a member of this Institute on the 10th day of May, 1841. He was elected its president in the year 1859. By his courteous intercourse with its members, he won their esteem, confidence and regard. His name is not unknown to fame in this country, nor elsewhere wherever science is appreciated.
He was born in the year 1792, and was graduated in Columbia College in 1807. In 1817, at the early age of twenty-five years, he was elected professor of chemistry in that institution, which position he occupied till the year 1854, though he did not devote the whole of his time to the laboratory. During the Presidency of Mr. Van Buren, he was selected by him as one of the commissioners to explore the northeastern boundary line between the United States and the British provinces, which resulted in the treaty made by the lamented Webster and Lord Ashburton in the
As an author he was not less celebrated. His biography of Robert Fulton and David Rittenhouse were among his earliest efforts, nor did he neglect to write the memoirs of De Witt Clinton, while his own favorite study enabled him to publish text books on chemistry and philosophy which were very generally adopted for the use of schools.
Under these circumstances it seems proper that the members of this Institute should unite in a testimonial to perpetuate his memory. Therefore, be it
Resolved, That the members of the American Institute have heard with great grief of the death of James Renwick, LL. D., our corresponding secretary; that we mingle our mournful expressions in the loss which this afflictive dispensation of Divine Providence has produced in this community; and that, as a token of respect to his memory, the officers and members of the Institute now present will attend the funeral ceremonies to be performed this afternoon.
Resolved, That we offer our condolence to the bereaved family of our deceased member, and direct that a copy of the foregoing be transmitted to them by the recording secretary.
And be it further Resolved, That the proceedings in full be entered in the minutes of the Institute.
On motion of Vice-President D. S. Gregory,
JOHN W. CHAMBERS,
Acting Recording Secretary. At the stated monthly meeting of the Institute, held on Thursday, the 5th day of February, Mr. Wm. Hibbard, Vice-President of the Institute, rose and made some remarks in relation to the decease of our late corresponding secretary, and offered the following resolution, which was unanimously adopted.
Resolved, That the Rev. Dr. Campbell be requested to prepare and pronounce an eulogy to the memory and worth of our late president and still later corresponding secretary, Professor James Renwick, at our next stated meeting, or as soon thereafter as may suit his convenience.
At the stated monthly meeting in March, the Rev. Dr. Campbell delivered the following EULOGIUM OCCASIONED BY THE DEATH OF THE LATE CORRESPONDING
SECRETARY, PROFESSOR JAMES RENWICK, LL. D. The American Institute has again sustained the loss of an honored member and a valued officer. James Renwick, Esq., LL. D., was, the 12th of January last, called away from the scenes and activi.
ties of life, and from the office that he so honorably filled in this Institute, at the ripe age of nearly seventy-one years. Such an event naturally awakens a tender interest in all that distinguished him as a valued member of this Institute, a gentleman and a scholar, and excites a desire to perpetuate his name in the archives of an Institute that he so efficiently aided and adorned.
James Renwick, lately corresponding secretary of the American Institute, was born in Liverpool, England, on Thursday, the 30th of May, 1792. His father was a merchant of high respectability in the city of New York. He went on business to Scotland, and there married Miss Jeffrey, the daughter of a Scottish clergyman. After spending some years in Britain he returned to New York, our corresponding secretary being two years old. Mr. Renwick was educated in this city, and at a very early age showed a decided love for literary pursuits. At the early age of eleven years he entered Columbia College, and at the age of fifteen he graduated at the head of his class. At the age of twenty-one, in compliance with the dying request of Dr. Kemp, the eminent man who had been his preceptor, he took charge of his class, and carried the young men forward in their studies until they graduated with honor to themselves and their youthful teacher.
In 1817, then in his twenty-fifth year, he was appointed a trustee in Columbia College. This post of honor he held for three years, and resigned it only when he was appointed to fill the chair of natural philosophy and chemistry. To these branches were added geology and mineralogy, and for a long time he also taught the sublime science of astronomy. Mr. Renwick's close application to study, aided by a most retentive memory, enabled him not only to keep up with, but often to be in advance of the times, in those most difficult branches of human learning.
In 1838 he was appointed one of the commissioners for the survey of the northeastern boundary line; and it is well known to his private friends that his letters to an old and influential friend in England had much to do with the subsequent visit of Lord Ashburton to this country, and the friendly settlement of the question pending between the two governments. Many years before that he had made a barometrical survey of the Morris canal. In addition to all his scientific attainments, he was a fine classical scholar and a profound theologian. His knowledge, too, of painting and architecture was thorough. In point of fact, there was scarcely any branch of human knowledge with which he was not perfectly conversant. Such was the man over whose loss we now mourn.
The friends of James Renwick, the whole country, and especially the American Institute, may well feel that his death is no common
event. During a long life he stood prominently forward among the literary and scientific men of his day, and numbered among his intimate literary friends Irving, Cooper, and many other bright ornaments of American literature and science. The removal of such a man is an event of special interest to the community of which he was so long a useful and prominent member.
His contributions to science, and the aid and encouragement that he so long gave to the American Institute, make his death no ordinary event. He has passed away, but although the sun of life has gone down and the grave has closed over all that was mortal of James Renwick, his example and his works are left as a legacy to his friends and co-workers in the cause of science. Although we claim not for him a rivalship with a Newton or a Laplace, nevertheless he attained an honorable place armong the scientific men of his day. His contributions to science, at least many of them, will probably remain a secret, yet he has contributed many valuable articles that may be found in the American Quarterly, published in this city.
Many of his leisure hours were employed to fill the fountain of scientific knowledge that is sending forth its streams to bless the world. How largely has human toil and suffering been mitigated by the labors of the student of science, and how largely have human comforts been increased by them. Little, too little, do men around the dwelling of the patient and unobtrusive student in the wide field of science, know their indebtedness to the man who is industriously exploring it or laboring to spread abroad its already collected stores. Many who now reap the rich results of a Fulton's discovery of the steam engine, never reflect upon the nights and days that his mighty mind labored, before his creative intellect brought to perfection and laid the noble trophy of his genius before the world. Its vast, its beautiful combinations, culminating in such a power to bless the world, lie far beyond the reach of common observation. It is the person whose mind has been enlightened by scientific knowledge, that can follow the workings of such a mind, or rightly appreciate the triumphs of such a genius. To carry men up to such a point, and to open such a rich field of intellectual wealth and enjoyment, was one of the constant efforts of the late lamented Prof. Renwick. His time and the resources of his mind, that many years of patient study had made rich in scientific knowledge, he not only with a free will, but with a peculiar pleasure, gave to advance the noble purpose of the clubs connected with this Institute. The
The energy of youth, that years were naturally making less powerful, seemed to be kindled anew, when he spoke of the purposes of these clubs, especially the Polytechnic. He hailed it as one of those powerful agencies that would foster and keep alive the ardor with which he desired to see young