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  • 1866 Incorporation Act
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State of New York, document no. 302 of Senate. Introduced by unanimous consent by Mr. Low—read twice and referred to the committee on charitable and religious societies—reported favorably from said committee, and committed to the committee of the whole. This act established and incorporated Drew Theological Seminary of the Methodist Episcopal Church. It reads:

The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assembly, do enact as follows:
Section 1. Daniel Drew, Enist L. Fancher, Benj. F. Manierre, Thomas Schuyler, —– Root, Henry J. Baker, Charles C. North, —– Ockershauser, Edmond S. Janes, Charles B. Sing, Morris D. C. Crawford, Archibald Foss, Daniel Curry, D. Brown, Leonard M. Vincent, Wm. H. Ferris, and their associates in office, as herein provided for, are hereby constituted a body corporate by the name of the “Drew Theological Seminary of the Methodist Episcopal Church,” and by that name shall have perpetual succession, the right to sue and be sued, the right to contract and be contracted with, and to make and use a common seal and to alter the same at pleasure, and may acquire, have, hold, possess, use and enjoy, upon the trust, and for the uses and purposes of said corporation, by purchase, gift, grant, devise or bequest, any real estate or personal property subject to the provisions of an act entitled “An act relating to wills,” passed April thirteenth, eighteen hundred and sixty, except in the case of Daniel Drew, herein named; and may let, lease, sell, grant, alien and convey any of said real estate or personal property, subject, however, to the limitations herein contained, and shall possess, enjoy and exercise all the rights, powers, privileges and duties hereby conferred or imposed, in fully carrying into effect and promoting the interests of the objects, intents and purposes of this act, as herein defined.

Section 2. The objects and purposes of the said corporation are hereby declared to be the establishment, maintenance and support, within the county of Putnam and state of New York, of a Theological seminary and theological instruction and education therein, in promotion of the doctrine, tenets and discipline of the Methodist Episcopal church under the direction and supervision of the general conference of the Methodist Episcopal church in the United States.

Section 3. The government of the said corporation and the management of its property, business and affairs, are hereby vested in a board or trustees, consisting of seventeen persons, constituted as follows: eight ministers of the Methodist denomination, eight laymen, and the president of the faculty of instruction, all of whom shall be residents of the state of New York, and members in good standing of the Methodist Episcopal church; a majority of such trustees shall constitute a quorum of said board, competent to act at any regular or adjourned meeting thereof, and the said trustees as such shall constitute the said corporation.

Section 4. All persons first herein named shall be and act as trustees of the said corporation, until there successors are elected as herein provided; and at the first meeting of said trustees, they shall class said board into two classes, numbered one and two, and proceed to determine by lot which of said trustees other than said president of the faculty, shall fill said classes respectively, and each class shall contain four ministers and four laymen, and the terms of office of the trustees in class number one shall expire on the first day of July, A.D. 1868, and of those in class number two, on the first day of July, A.D. 1872; and at any regular session of meeting of the said general conference preceding the expiration of the terms of office of any of said trustees, as aforesaid, the said general conference may elect eight trustees, of whom four shall be ministers and four laymen, to succeed those trustees whose terms are about to expire, to hold office as such trustees eight years and until their successors are elected; and the trustees thus elected shall succeed to all the rights, powers and privileges, and shall perform all the duties herein conferred or imposed upon their immediate predecessors as trustees under the trusts created under this act, and shall at the expiration of their respective terms of office, surrender all their rights, powers, privileges, and prerogatives as said corporation as well as trustees, to their successors; and any vacancy occurring from any cause in said office shall be filled by the remaining of the said trustees in such manner as shall be provided by the said general conference, to hold until its next regular session.

Session 5. The said board of trustees shall annually reorganize by the election from their number of a president, secretary and treasurer, and shall have power to adopt and enforce a constitution and such by-laws, rules and regulations, not inconsistent with the constitution or laws of this state, as it may deem advisable for the government of the business and affairs of said corporation, and for the regulation of the action of the said board, its officers and agents, in the discharge of its and their duties in fully executing and carrying into effect the objects, intents and purposes of this act; but the acts of the said trustees as such shall be subject at all times and subordinate to the directions and instructions of said general conference relative thereto; and no contract requiring an expenditure greater than ten thousand dollars, and no sale, conveyance or transfer of any property of greater value than the sum of five thousand dollars shall be made, except by permission first obtained from said general conference or from the supreme court of the second judicial district.

Section 6. A faculty and professorships in theology may be established by said corporation, and scholarships may from time to time be founded in connection therewith, and the board of trustees of said corporation may confer on graduates of said seminary, honorary degrees in theology; and may also exercise the prerogative of a university by conferring honorary degrees in theology upon clergymen; and the property of said corporation, real and personal, shall be exempt from assessment and from taxation.

Section 7. Daniel Drew, of the city of New York, herein named, by deed of trust or by title in fee simple, and for a nominal consideration in the sum of one dollar or by both, may convey unto the corporation hereby created, any property, real or personal, and limit and designate the particular uses and purposes to which the same may be applied, and may also by his last will and testament or otherwise, give, grant, devise and bequeath unto the said corporation, any portion of his estate, real or personal, any existing act or statute to the contrary notwithstanding.

Section 8. This act shall take effect immediately. Senate, No. 302 (I. 452, G.O. 529.)

Courtesy of the Drew University Archives

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