"The subscribers severally promise to pay the sums annexed to our respective names to John Tayler in trust to be paid by him to the trustees of any college which may be founded in the city of Albany, the payment of one half of the said sums to be made whenever the regents of the university of the state of New York shall by an instrument under their common seal approve of the plan on which and the funds with which it is intended to found and provide the same college. And the remaining half in six months thereafter, to the said John Tayler, having given security to the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the city of Albany, for the payment of the subscription money to such trustees, or refunding to us petition of John Glenn and other managers of an academy at Schenectady, Report, That by an investigation they find that the commissioners appointed by law to hold treaties wilh the Oneida Indians respecting their lands, have guaranteed said lands to them and their posterity forever, for their own use and cultivation, and that if it would not be derogatory to the interest of the state, the prayer of the petitioners ought to be granted. Thereupon, Resolved, that it would be derogatory to the interests of the state to grant the prayer of the petitioners."
The sums which we respectively subscribe if the college should not be founded in three years from the date hereof. 24th December, 1794:.
Stephen Van Rensselaer, £500
Several applications having been made, at first to the legislature, and after the institution of the Board of Regents to that body, for the incorporation of a college at Schenectady, a meeting was held at Albany, Dec. 16, 1794, for the purpose of uniting upon a plan-that might be best calculated to secure the desired object. At this meeting the name of the institution and the outline of its organization were agreed upon, and the names of those who were to form its first board of trustees were selected.
A subscription headed by Abraham Oodthout, dated Jan. 7, 1795, obtained £1,390, among 231 subscribers,* and on the 8th of February, 1795, the Regents created Robert Yates, Abraham Yates Jr., Abraham Ten Broeck, John Glen, Isaac Vrooman, Joseph C. Yates, James Shuter, Nicholas Veder, Goldsbrow Banyar, John V. Henry, George Merchant, Stephen Van Rensselaer, James Condiet, Jacobus V. C. Romeyn, James Cochran, John Frey, D. Christopher Pick, and their associates a body corporate by the name of the Trustees of Union College in the Town of Schenectady.
* This subscription list is published in the " First Semicentennial Anniversary of Union College," 1845, page 172. The appendix of the book cited contains the application and charter, with other interesting details of the origin of the institution.
first posted: 12/20/08; updated 11/9/11