LETTER OF THE FOUNDER. 23
time to time best adapted to accomplish the general object herein defined.
But being warned by the history of such endowments that they sometimes
tend to discourage rather than promote effort and self-reliance on the part
of beneficiaries; or to inure to the advancement of learning instead of the
dissemination of it; or to become a convenience to the rich instead of a
help to those who need help; I solemnly charge my Trustees to use their
best wisdom in preventing any such defeat of the spirit of this trust; so that
my gift may continue to future generations to be a blessing to the poor.
If, at any time after the lapse of thirty-three years from the date of this
foundation, it shall appear to the judgment of three-fourths of the members
of this corporation that, by reason of a change in social conditions, or by
reason of adequate and equitable public provision for education, or by any
other sufficient reason, there is no further serious need of this Fund in the
form in which it is at first instituted, I authorize the corporation to apply
the capital of the Fund to the establishment of foundations subsidiary to
then already existing institutions of higher education, in such wise as to
make the educational advantages of such institutions more freely accessible
to poor students of the colored race.
It is my wish that this trust be administered in no partisan, sectional, or
sectarian spirit, but in the interest of a generous patriotism and an enlight¬
ened Christian faith; and that the corporation about to be formed may con¬
tinue to be constituted of men distinguished either by honorable success in
business, or by services to literature, education, religion, or the state.
I am encouraged to the execution in this charitable foundation of a long
cherished purpose, by the eminent wisdom and success that has marked the
conduct of the Peabody Education Fund in a field of operation not remote
from that contemplated by this trust. I shall commit it to your hands,
deeply conscious how insufficient is our best forecast to provide for the future
that is known only to God; but humbly hoping that the administration of
it may be so guided by divine wisdom, as to be, in its turn, an encourage¬
ment to philanthropic enterprise on the part of others, and an enduring
means of good to our beloved country and to our fellow-men.
I have the honor to be, Gentlemen,
your friend and fellow-citizen,
JOHN F. SLATER.
Norwich, Conn., March 4,1882.