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John P


Restricting Freedom of Speech in Colleges a Usurpation of Power.

Chicago, Ill., Sept. 25, 1897.

Dear Mr. Shibley: Answering your favor I will say that freedom of thought and freedom of speech in our great institutions of learning are absolutely necessary for the preservation of our country. The moment that either is restricted, liberty begins to wither and die and the career of a nation after that time is downward. I believe that the men, who in the past gave their money to endow colleges and universities, did so for the purpose of aiding in the search for truth, and as this can only be secured by free investigation and free discussion, it is evident that when any set of trustees attempt to prevent this they are exceeding their authority. If any institution was not founded for the purpose of aiding in the discovery of the truth, then it is un-American and should be forbidden to issue diplomas of the kind they now issue. It is safe to assume that when trustees fear the effect of free discussion they feel that truth is not on the side they wish to have favored, and institutions that are run by such narrow or such bigoted men cannot become the correct standard of American education and they should be restricted in regard to the character of diplomas they are authorized to issue.

Very truly yours,
George H. Shibley, Esq.

John P.