Governing BoardRegents.html

Act of 1837. — Under the act of March 18, 1837, the government of the University was vested in the Board of Regents. This body was to consist of several state officials as ex officio members, twelve appointed members, and a chancellor of the University, who should be ex officio president of the Board. (Actually, however, no president or chancellor of the University was appointed before 1852, and the short-termed, elected presidents of the faculty between 1841 and 1852 did not serve in this capacity.) The Board of Regents was nominated by the governor and was appointed by and with advice and consent of the Senate. The governor, the lieutenant governor, the judges of the Supreme Court, and the chancellor of the state were the ex officio members of the Board. The number of Supreme Court justices was increased from three to four in 1838, and in 1846 the office of chancellor of the state was abolished. Under the organic act of 1837 the list of Regents was as follows:

The Regents of the University of Michigan, 1837-1852

Ex Officio

Stevens T. Mason, Governor1837-1840

Edward Mundy

Lieutenant Governor1837-1840

Acting Governor1838

Justice of the Supreme Court1848-1851

Elon Farnsworth1837-1842

     Chancellor of Michigan            & 1846

William A. Fletcher1837-1842

     Justice of the Supreme Court

George Morell1837-1842

     Justice of the Supreme Court

Apaphroditus Ransom

     Justice of the Supreme Court1837-1842



Charles W. Whipple1838-1851

     Justice of the Supreme Court

William Woodbridge1840-1841


James Wright Gordon

     Lieutenant Governor1840-1841

     Acting Governor1841-1842

Thomas J Drake1841-1842

     Acting Lieutenant Governor

John S. Barry1842-1856


Origen D. Richardson1842-1846

     Lieutenant Governor

Alpheus Felch

     Justice of the Supreme Court1842-1845


Daniel Goodwin

     Justice of the Supreme Court1843-1846

Warner Wind

     Justice of the Supreme Court1845-1852

William L. Greenly

     Lieutenant Governor1846-1847

    Acting Governor1847-1848

George Miles

    Justice of the Supreme Court1846-1850

Charles P. Bush

     Acting Lieutenant Governor1847-1848

William M. Fenton

     Lieutenant Governor1848-1852

Sanford M. Green

     Justice of the Supreme Court1848-1852

Abner Pratt

     Justice of the Supreme Court1850-1852

George Martin

     Justice of the Supreme Court1851-1852


Thomas Fitzgerald1837

Robert McClelland1837, 1850-1852

John Frederich Porter1837-1850

Michael Hoffman1837-1838

Lucius Lyon1837-1839

John Norvell1837-1840

John Johnstone Adam1837-1840

Samuel Denton1837-1840

Gideon Olin Whittemore1837-1840

Henry Rowe Schoolcraft1837-1841

Ross T. Wilkins1837-1842

Isaac Edwin Crary1837-1844

Zina Pitcher1837-1850

Seba Murphy1838-1839

Gurdon C. Leech1838-1840

Jonathan Kearsley1838-1852

Joseph W. Brown1839-1840

Charles Christopher Trowbridge1839-1842

George Duffield1839-1848

Michael A. Paterson1840-1841

William Draper1840-1944

Daniel Hudson1840-1841

Francis John Higginson1840-1841

Samuel William Dexter1840-1841

Oliver Cromwell Comsock1841-1843

Martin Kundig1841-1845

John Owen1841-1848

George Goodman1841-1843

Andrew M. Fitch1842-1846

Elisha Crane1842-1846

William Asas Fletcher1842-1846

DeWitt Clinton Walker1843-1844

Marvin Allen1843-1852

Lewis Cass1843-1844

Robert Ransom Kellogg1844-1845

Edward Mundy1844-1848

Alexander Heman Redfield1844-1852

Minot Thayer Lane1845-1859

Austin Enoch Wing1845-1850

Charles Coffin Taylor1846-1850

Elijah Holmes Pilcher1846-1852

Elon Farnsworth1846-1852

John Guest Atterbury1848-1852

Benjamin F. Hawkins Witherell1848-1852

Justin Goodwin1848-1852

Edwin M. Cust1849

Epaphroditus Ransom1850-1952

Gustavus Lemuel Foster1850-1852


Charles W Whipple1837-1839

Anthony Ten Eyck1839-1845

James Valentine Campbell1846-1852


John Norton1837-1839

Henry K. Sanger1839-1841

Alexander H. Sibley1841-1844

John Johnstone Adam1844-1846


Digby V. Bell1846-1848

John Manly Chase1851-1852

For several years (1845-50), both Warner Wing and Austin E. Wing were members of this Board, of which no members save Elon Farnsworth continued as Regents in 1852. None of the officers was Regent during his term of office, but John J. Adam was a former Regent, and Secretary Charles W. Whipple was later a justice of the Supreme Court and hence Regent ex officio. Secretary James V. Campbell was afterwards Professor of Law in the University, and still later, a justice of the Supreme Court; before he became a justice, however, the new state constitution had gone into effect, and no longer were the justices and other state officers Regents of the University ex officio. Alpheus Felch held the Tappan professorship of law from 1879 to 1883. Under the Constitution of 1835, Fletcher, Mundy, Farnsworth, and Ransom served separate terms as Regents by appointment and Regents by virtue of public office. Oliver Comstock became superintendent of public instruction in 1843, immediately after he had been on the Board two years as a Regent by appointment. At that time the superintendents of public instruction were not ex officio members of the Board of Regents.


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Personnel of the Governing Board

The University of Michigan

Act of 1837