New York University 1831 Charter

The Charter of New York University -   Act Incorporating the University of the City of New York, Passed April 18, 1831, New York: Wm. Mercein, Printer, 240 Pearl Street, corner of Burling slipAn Act.  The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assembly: Do Enact as follows:

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§ I. The subscribers and shareholders of The University of New-York," are hereby incorporated for the purpose of promoting Literature and Science:  The corporation shall be known by the name of "The University of the City of New York," and by that name shall have perpetual succession; power to sue and be sued; to make and use a common seal, and alter the same at pleasure; to hold property, real and personal; to contract and be contracted with; and to buy and sell, and otherwise dispose of lands and chattels: But the university shall not own real estate, at one time, yielding an annual income exceeding Twenty Thousand Dollars.

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§ II. The government and estate of the university shall be conducted and managed by a Council, composed of thirty-two shareholders, and the Mayor and four members of the Common Council of the City of New-York, for the time being. The location of the university shall be in the City of New-York.

§  III. The members of the council (except the Mayor) shall be elected by the shareholders: No one religious sect shall ever have a majority of the board: The council may fill its own vacancies occurring previous to an annual election.

§ IV. One-fourth of the members elected by the shareholders, shall go out of office annually, when an election shall be held by the shareholders, to supply their places, and all other vacancies occurring the preceding year. Members going out of office, shall be re-eligible. In case the shareholders shall neglect to make such annual election, the council may supply all vacancies remaining in the board; and the persons so appointed, shall hold their offices as if chosen by the shareholders.

§ V. Shareholders to the amount of One Hundred Dollars in votes, their own right, or as proxy for other shareholders, shall be entitled to one vote for each one hundred dollars so held by them.

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§ VI. The university may continue to receive subscriptions to its funds, and future subscribers shall have all the rights and privileges of those subscribing previous to this act of incorporation.

§ VII. Eleven members shall be a quorum for the transaction of business; but no real estate shall be conveyed, nor appointments to office made, (except to supply vacancies in the council) other than by an affirmative vote of seventeen members.

§ VIII. Persons of every religious denomination shall be equally eligible to all offices and appointments.

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§ IX. The University may grant to students under its charge, diplomas or honorary testimonials, in such form as it may designate. It may also confer such literary honors, degrees and diplomas, as are usually granted by any university, college or seminary of learning in the United States.

§ X. Diplomas granted by the University, shall entitle the possessors to the immunities and privileges allowed by usage or statute, to the possessors of like diplomas from any college or seminary of learning in the State.

§ XI. No diploma shall be conferred by the University, but in conformity with the Laws of the State in force at the time of conferring the same.

§ XII. This University shall be subject to the visitation of the Regents of the University of this State, in the same manner, and to the same extent as the various colleges in this State.

§ XIII. The council shall have power to appoint its own officers, and all the officers of the university; to establish ordinances and by-laws, not contravening the Laws or Constitution of this State or of the United States; and to expel any of its members for a violation thereof.

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§ XIV. The members of the council of the university, elected by the shareholders at the last annual election, namely, Jonathan M. Wainwright, James M. Mathews, Spencer H. Cone, James Milnor, Samuel H. Cox, Jacob Brodhead, Cyrus Mason, Archibald Maclay, Morgan Lewis, Albert Gallatin, Samuel R. Betts, James Tallmadge, Henry I. Wyckoff, George Griswold, Myndert Van Schaick, Stephen Whitney, John Haggerty, Martin E. Thompson, James Lenox, Benjamin L. Swan, John S. Crary, Samuel Ward Junior, William Cooper, Fanning C .Tucker, Oliver M. Lownds, Valentine Mott, Edward Delafield, William W. Woolsey, Charles G. Troup, Gabriel P. Disossway, Charles Starr, and John Delafield, with William Seaman, Gideon Lee, Benjamin M. Brown and Thomas Jeremiah, members of the Common Council of the City of New-York, together with the Mayor of the said City, shall compose the first council under this incorporation. They shall allot themselves into four equal classes, one of which shall go out of office at each succeeding annual election.

§ XV. The legislature may at any time alter, repeal or modify this act.
State of New York, Secretary's Office} I certify the preceding to be a true copy of an original Act of the Legislature, approved by the Governor, and on file in this office.

Archid. Campbell, Deputy Secretary

Albany, April 21st, 1831

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