|Chapter 27 Herman Merills Johnson 1860-1868. Death in Victory|
ON THE RESIGNATION of Collins in 1860, Herman Merrills Johnson was chosen from the Faculty to succeed him, the first man to be so selected, though Davidson had served as Acting Principal for five years. Born in 1815 in New York state, Johnson graduated from Wesleyan University in 1839, was Professor of Ancient Languages in St. Charles College, Missouri, 1839-1842, in Augusta College, Kentucky, 1842-1844, and in Ohio Wesleyan, 1844-1850. He then came to Dickinson College as Professor of English Literature. It was not uncommon for college men to change departments of college work, as Johnson did when he came to Dickinson. Indeed, men were frequently changed from one department to another through all the earlier years of Dickinson College, and Johnson himself later taught moral philosophy and Biblical literature, thus covering most of the circle of college subjects, save only mathematics and the natural sciences. Johnson was a man of scholarly tastes, languages being his special love, and he found some time for authorship in spite of his manifold duties. His last remaining son recently sent to the college library the remnants of his father's private library, and both the character of the books sent and the evidence of use they bore gave testimony to his tastes. Latin, Greek, Hebrew, French, Spanish, and Italian were in the collection, and all had been used.
Other Presidents had their troubles, generally financial, and Johnson had these in abundance. He also had the Civil War, and that at once during his first year. Dickinson was a border college, with many students from the South, and all but four of these promptly left on the outbreak of the war in April, 1861. An old autograph album of the time, belonging to Francis B. Sellers of the Class of 1861, and now
in the possession of his son and namesake, contains the farewell words of some of these southern boys as they left college:
If I wear the "Phi Kap" badge, don't shoot me, Frank. Yours fraternally, H. Kennedy Weber, Baltimore.
May prosperity attend your paths both now, and in the future. Your friend of "Fort Miller Home Guards." Geo. Thos. Tyler.
Tomorrow I will leave for the "Sunny South." Farewell. Truly yours, Geo. R. Garner, Chaptico, St. Marys Co., Md.
Though I am a secessionalist, yet I am your friend. May prosperity attend you in all you do, except in making war upon the South. Yours fraternally, Cyrus Gault, Jr., Baltimore, Md.
May friendship bind us with its golden chain, and take the clasp to heaven. Thos. A. McCauls, Abbeville, South Carolina.
Some left without any very clear idea of the course they were to take, but they saw that things were happening and they proposed to have a part in them. One such, not many years since, wrote from Illinois a humorous letter about his leaving. He said that he and a companion first put up in the Carlisle square some sort of improvised Confederate flag, and then hurried off on foot to Hagerstown, his home. His record at the College showed that he had been an officer in the Union Army, and when asked whether it was a mistake, he answered in the negative; an uncle of his at home had shown him the error of his ways, and he had entered the Union Army, becoming a captain. The southern students at once left to aid the South, others to join the Union Army, and those who remained were restless and uncertain. They asked that the College close at once in April, 1861, though to what purpose it is hard to see. Of course, there was no thought of any such thing on the part of the college authorities, but the fact that the young men seriously raised the question shows their state of mind.
The Finance Committee of the Board was clothed with authority to act for the Board between its meetings, and on April 29, 1861, the records of the Committee show,
The President having brought before the Finance Committee the deranged condition of the studies of the Institution, and the desire of the students to adjourn the session, it is
"Resolved, that we see no necessity for or propriety in adjourning the session of the College, but only injury to the Institution and to the students by so doing. We therefore earnestly urge upon the students the propriety of pursuing their studies as usual, and guarding themselves against all undue excitement from any cause whatever.
"Resolved, that ... if they are desirous of being hereafter serviceable to their country, the present is the most important period in their lives to prepare for future usefulness."
Those engaged in college education on the entrance of the United States into the World War will see that the experiences of 1861 had an almost exact parallel in 1917. The student reaction was the same, the faculty advice the same, and in 1917 it was backed by Secretary of War Baker of President Wilson's Cabinet, who said that young men could best serve their country by remaining in college till called to service by the Government. This sane word of his carried weight, and steadied young men in danger of acting under the influence of "undue excitement."
The College opening in the fall of 1861, after the beginning of the war, showed a sharp decline in college students, more than one-third less than the years before. For the North, at least, the Civil War was fought and won by young men, and many of those who would otherwise have gone to college entered her armies, so that college rolls were lessened during the war and for some time afterward.
Lincoln's first call for troops was for a service of ninety days only, and two regiments of Philadelphia troops were sent to the Carlisle barracks in August, 1861, to be mustered out at the end of their brief service. This brought the war yet closer to the College. Some of their sick were cared for in East College as a hospital, and on the opening of College were transferred to private homes. One of them died in the home of Jacob Rheem, a trustee of the College.
Another event of the war, outstanding for the College, was, in the fall of 1862, the occasion of Lee's invasion of Maryland and the threat of his further invasion of the North. In his next report for the Board in 1863, President Johnson
says of this, "About twenty of our students ... rushed to arms in the common defense of country [doubtless as home guards].... As soon as it was apparent that the threatened danger was averted [after the battle of Antietam], I applied to Governor Curtin [Pennsylvania's war governor, of the Dickinson Law Class of 1837], who courteously consented to the release of students from the ranks." These students were absent from College only one week. This invasion of Lee and the battle of Antietam occurred at the opening of the college year. The close of the same college year found Lee again threatening invasion, which culminated at Gettysburg just after the college commencement. On June 23, 1863, the day for the annual trustee meeting, only two trustees appeared, but seven answered roll-call the following day, not enough for a quorum. These seven trustees, however, met with the Finance Committee, and the necessary business of that year was transacted by that Committee instead of the Board. The year following, 1864, the Board adopted the 1863 actions of the Committee and ordered them entered on the trustee minutes as their own.
Two days after this joint Board-Committee meeting in 1863, Confederate soldiers were in Carlisle. In view of this near approach of the Southern Army, Johnson was justified in his strong words of praise of the restraint and poise of the students who remained in the College and completed their examinations. He said in his report:
The alarm came just as we ... were ready to enter on the annual examinations.... The students remained quietly at their posts. The examinations proceeded in regular order; no appointed exercise had been omitted, nothing changed; and all the while the community around us had been a prey to the intensest agitation. We think that ... their composure ... displays the higher qualities of the philosopher. We feel that such young men can be trusted wherever duty shall call.
Thirteen young men were graduated, but there were no formal commencement exercises. They were called together in the Chapel, given their diplomas with the blessing of the College, and dismissed. So closed the college year 1862-1863.
Stirring times were just ahead of both town and College. On Friday, the day following the usual commencement day, the Confederates entered Carlisle from the west and were in undisputed control for some days. They then withdrew in the direction of Gettysburg. Contrary to the fears, even the expectations of the people of the town, this occupation was generally without outrage, or damage of any kind. Supplies were taken as needed, of course, but in general the occupation was above reproach.
Interesting stories of this occupation were in circulation for many years. Some of the officers had been stationed Carlisle before the war and had enjoyed its social life. One of these officers attempted to renew these associations at the home of General Edward M. Biddle. When he had knocked at the door, Mrs. Biddle, with proper caution, asked from an upper window "Who is there?" and on being answered, asked again "Do you come as a friend?" "Always a friend to this house" was the reply. Whereupon, with true Spartan spirit., she replied "There are no friends to this house who are not also friends to their Country." The associations were not renewed.
Shortly after the withdrawal of the Confederates, a detachment of Union troops appeared under General William F. Smith, and while they were feasting at the square on the good things furnished by the townspeople, Fitzhugh Lee approached the town from the east, but was recalled, to keep in closer touch with the main Confederate body.
This second Confederate approach to the town resulted in the shelling of the town in an attempt to drive out General Smith's Union troops. Little damage was done, though there are yet markers on several walls of the town, "July 1, 1863," indicating places hit by shells. One of these markers on High Street is on the one-time home of J. Herman Bosler, Class of 1854. On a post-war visit of General Lee to Carlisle, he called at Mr. Bosler's office, when Mr. Bosler told him that he had left his visiting-card at his house in 1863, pointing to the marker on his house across the street.
One might expect the local papers of the time to give full accounts of the happenings to both town and College during these stirring days. Strange to say, however, they do not even mention the College. They were too much concerned about the town and its fate to refer to the College. Fortunately, a recent letter from Conway Hillman, the son of Professor Hillman of the College, gives the story of the invasion. Young Hillman at the time of the invasion was only seven years of age, but he doubtless saw much at the time and later heard the story many times at home and in the town, and as his letter emphasizes the college relationship, extracts from it follow:
There were two incursions of the rebels. First in late June, when they occupied the town without opposition, encamped in the campus, used East College for a hospital, and under orders from their superior officers put Old West under guard. Many of the officers were old Dickinson men and jealously guarded Old West, using it for their headquarters. The men "barbecued" their requisitioned cattle on the campus. One barbecue frame was made at a point in the front campus about where the northeast corner of Bosler Hall is now. Another was directly north of the center of Old West about halfway to Louther Street.... It was rumored that a dead rebel was buried near this latter frame, but a search by Dave Thompson and me failed to locate the body, probably because we were not allowed to dig deep enough.
They left the town after requisitioning 300 wagon-loads of dry goods, boots and shoes, and groceries. The wagons were collected from the farmers of the valley. No further harm was done.
The shelling of the town came rather unexpectedly. The union troops were pushing up the Valley, and some artillery and a regiment or so of infantry under General "Baldy" Smith had entered the town and were deployed on the square, being fed and "coffeed" by the citizens, when their pickets were driven in by Stuart's cavalry, who were escorting a regiment and some artillery to the main body who were at Gettysburg. Coffee and grub were dropped, guns gotten into position in the square and set up to sweep the side streets. A demand for surrender was declined and one-half hour given to non-combatants to leave the town. Old Polly McGuiness, afterwards Mrs. Woods, who was making coffee for the soldiers, slapped General Smith on the back and said "Don't do it, General, don't do it as long as one brick remains on another." The rebels set fire to all the town east of the Letort spring, the "Garrison" gas works; and the houses along the streets were manned by sharp shooters, and Smith
was ready to repel a charge. About 300 shells were fired into the town. My recollections are that there are three or four markers placed, "July 1, 1863," where shells hit.
One hit South College just below the telescope, tearing thru the roof, beam after beam, and finally denting on a 4 x 8 a perfect impress of the fuse holder. Fortunately, it was a fuse shell and did not explode, being smothered by the impact with the 4 x 8. Father salvaged this shell and presented it to the College, together with invaluable letters from Benjamin Rush to Dickinson, when he was in Carlisle in 1900. Another shell hit the three windows of the old Dr. Johnson's recitation room in East College, exploded, tore out several cubic yards of stone work, wrecked the woodwork; recitation benches, desks and tables being in one confused mass. Three shells entered the old Thorne house, corner Bedford & Main (opposite the jail), one exploding in Mrs. Thorne's bedroom just after she had left the room and taken refuge in the cellar. The home was afterwards occupied by Congressman Beltzhoover. I do not know who has it now, or if it is in existence. We boys used to pick up pieces of shell for years after the battle. Several shells hit the columns of the court house, whose cupola was a target.
Hurry-up orders from headquarters of both armies to get across the mountain quick to Gettysburg halted the battle.... Both sets of men started for the big fight; the Union, reaching Mt. Holly Gap first, passed thru followed by the rebels. "No fighting on the way" being the strict orders on each side, exchanges of tobacco and coffee were freely made between "Johnny Reb" and "Yank" as the detachments would often be within hailing distance....
Cellars were in demand during the shelling. One shell went thru the fence at Beetem's Lumber Yard, just north of Judge E. M. Biddle's house, which shell I recovered, father unloaded, and it is now in the possession of my brother, W. G. Hillman, in East Orange, N. J. The home guards were called out to police the field of Gettysburg and father never got over the sight of the dead along the route of Pickett's charge.
Mr. Hillman's statement that Confederate officers protected the college property has had wide currency among Dickinsonians, and is probably true. Dr. Himes, Professor for thirty-one years, used to tell a story too good to be omitted, and yet almost too strange to be true. It came to him from Charles F. Deems of the Class of 1839, a distinguished educator and divine. On the outbreak of the Rebellion, Deems was President of Greensboro College, North Carolina. As Deems said "Goodby and good luck" to a colonel friend, he told him to take good care of his old
college home in Carlisle, if he ever got there. That colonel later camped on the Dickinson campus!
Another reason for sparing college property was the fact that many officers had been at the Carlisle Barracks through the years, and felt well disposed to the place, as in the Biddle incident already given. Others had been students at the College, as many of the college students had been from the South.
Johnson had his war troubles, and they might seem enough for one man , but equally with his predecessors he had to struggle for the resources on which the College might live. The trustees knew of the financial needs, and probably their knowledge of his business ability, after his ten years of service as Professor, led them to select him as President. He was a scholar, but also a man of affairs, able to plan for the material interests of the College as well as to write books. He may not have originated the scholarship plans of the trustees nine years before, but more than all others he gathered facts for the Board, on which they based their scholarship drive. The troubles it brought to the College are not chargeable to Johnson, but to the time of putting it into operation. Had this been delayed another year or two, it might have yielded more satisfactorily. Whatever his ability to manage affairs, it was all needed to keep the College alive. With his back to the wall, fighting for the life of the College, he showed calm courage as he met each successive blow.
His first report of 1861 showed a deficit of over $2,000, and there was a note in the bank for $4,300 to cover deficits of previous years. Much more than these sums, however, was due the College as interest on western loans, part of which they were never to get, but on which in their distress they would fain rely. Additional bank loans were asked to tide over the difficulty, but banks were suspicious, and refused.
Johnson negotiated with the Conferences to take all the debts of the College as their own investments, so that the
College would have only these Boards as its creditors. They agreed, but mortgages on the college property had to be given; and, for the purpose of legal authorization of such a mortgage, a special meeting of the Board was held in Philadelphia in December 1861, the first meeting in that city since the original meetings for organization in September, 1783. At this meeting, arrangements were perfected whereby $12,000 was secured to pay off all debts to others than the Conference societies. In this way there was temporary relief, but no small part of the invested funds was thus made unproductive.
In 1862 there was a deficit of $2,100, and two years later one of $3,025, with the instructors unpaid in that amount, having received only about one-fourth of their salarie's for the year. Their salaries had been increased from $1,000 to $1,200 during Collins' time, and now, because of depreciated war currency, another increase to $1,500 was made. It was clear that the College was in great difficulty, and in 1865, one year after the increase of salaries, the Board took the drastic action that in future the remainder of available college funds, after other bills were paid, should be divided pro rata among the members of the Faculty, and that this should be accepted as settlement in full of their salary claims. There was to be nothing above stated salaries, in case there should be a surplus; they could lose, but not gain; and they stood to lose.
In 1866, the year following this action, the Treasurer reported the amounts yet due the Professors as he had done in previous years. The Board, however, stood by their previous action; and, to avoid any future misunderstanding on the subject, required each member of the Faculty to sign formal acceptance of the regulation. All of them did so Johnson, Hillman, Stayman, Bowman, Himes, and Cheston of the Grammar School. This period of the closing years of the Civil War seems to have been hard on other colleges, as well. The faculty of Lafayette was on practically the same basis of pay to take what was left after the payment of
other claims and their President Cattell had to raise the "prodigious sum" of $30,000 within a year in order that Lafayette might continue to function. At the end of eleven months he had only $10,000, but then found Pardee of Hazleton, and that family name bulks large in all the later history of Lafayette.
On the strength of the above arrangement that "no future debt can arise because said Professors have agreed to receive for their full pay the net receipts of the College, should the same fall short of their stated salaries," the Dickinson Board again sought and secured from the conference boards on mortgage $5,660, the sum necessary to meet all its obligations.
When conditions seemed darkest, light broke. The Centenary of American Methodism in 1866 was made the occasion of both religious celebration and grateful giving. The then patronizing Conferences united in making the College the recipient of most of these gifts within their borders, and very substantial additions were made to its funds. After visiting the Conferences in 1866, Johnson estimated that they would add $200,000 to the college funds, and so reported to the Board. This estimate was too high, dictated apparently by his hopes rather than sober judgment. However, in 1867, Johnson could report to the Board that centenary contributions to the College were about $100,000 above expenses. The invested funds now approached $160,000, not counting conference loans of $31,600 to the College, which were in effect unproductive. The centenary offerings had thus more than doubled the funds of the College. Professors' salaries for the previous year had been cut nearly 25 per cent, but the outlook for the future seemed bright. Johnson's report of 1867 was full of cheer, as he spoke of the "new hope and firmer purpose inspired by the events of the year." The Board's Committee on Finance also saw "the beginning of a new and more prosperous life for the Institution." This was Johnson's last report, for before the date of another report, "he
was not, for God took him." He had seen the land of promise from Nebo, but was not to enter it.
In the eight years of his presidency, he came into official touch with a large number of men in his own Faculty, or of men later to be associated with the Faculty, and to have much to do with the development of the College. Of the faculty members in 1860, when he became President, Marshall soon left to go to Leeds as Consul, and later to hold high political office; in 1865 Boswell withdrew to enter on a successful business career; and Wilson died after eleven years of service. Four new men entered the Faculty during Johnson's presidency. All of them remained for years and some of these made valuable contribution to the College. One of these was Samuel D. Hillman, Professor of Mathematics, who served the College well and faithfully in his department, as well as in various other ways. He was secretary of the Board of Trustees, Treasurer of the College, and Acting President on the sudden death of President Johnson in 1868. John K. Stayman took charge of Marshall's work when he left in the middle of Johnson's first year, and was elected by the Board in June, 1861, following. He remained with the College until 1874. In 1865 came Shadrack L. Bowman for a service of six years. In 1850 Judge Reed died, and the Law School was discontinued, but revived in 1862 under the tutelage of the then President Judge, James H. Graham, a graduate of the College, Class of 1827. An outstanding man coming during these years was Charles Francis Himes, who succeeded Wilson in the Faculty in 1865. He had graduated from the College in 1855, taught some years, and spent two years in study in Germany. He had made preparation for his work much beyond that of most college instructors of the time, and at once entered on a fine career of thirty-one years of successful teaching. His live and growing department became an inspiration and a stimulus to other departments. He was a very able man and devoted his life largely to the College.
Before Himes came there had been a laboratory, in name
only, in the basement of South College, and never more than $100 per year had been granted for scientific supplies. Under Himes came great changes. The college library had occupied the first floor of South College but was moved to the second floor; and the Scientific Department, laboratory, and lecture-room took over the first floor thus vacated. This arrangement continued till the erection of the Scientific Building in 1884. To the old pittance of $100 granted annually for scientific supplies were added laboratory fees from all who took laboratory work. Bishop Matthew Simpson, of the Board which developed the plan, was sympathetic in every way, and Himes thus secured one of the earliest of small modern college laboratories. His laboratory work grew so that help was needed, and this was furnished by one of the students, whose reward was freedom from laboratory fee and the distinction of the appointment. Thus came "Dutchy's Devil," so well known by the students of Himes' generation, the first of laboratory assistants, now so common. This laboratory work was elective, a possible substitute for Hebrew and the classics. It was a sort of picket-line attack upon the rigidity of the old fossilized college course, the same for all. Himes was versatile, and served the College in many ways Secretary of the Faculty and of the Board of Trustees, and Treasurer of the College for many years; and when there was a change of Presidents, 1888-1889, he was Acting President for nine months, being then seriously considered for the presidency.
During Johnson's time, several men, later to be closely associated with the College, played some little part in its history. In 1865 James A. McCauley, later to be President, was elected to the chair of Greek, but after some months declined, and his declination opened the way for Shadrach L. Bowman. McCauley was also alumni orator at one of the commencements, and in 1867 received an honorary D.D. A year earlier the same degree had been conferred upon Henry M. Harman, afterward to be Professor of Greek and Hebrew.
Johnson died suddenly, after only a brief illness, April 5,
1868, in his home in Carlisle. Professor Hillman was directed by the Finance Committee to serve as President pro tem. for the remainder of the year. In his June report to the trustees, Hillman stated that considerable improvements to the college property, long overdue, had been made, and suggested other needed extensive improvements. Before any action was had, a detailed report on college finances was made by W. H. Miller, a prominent Carlisle lawyer and member of the local Finance Committee. This report showed funds in care of Conferences actually invested, $132,957.83; in scholarship funds, $2,133.99; in care of the Board, $18,749.73; special funds for Scientific Department, $1,500 a total of $155,341.55. Against this were liens of $5,337.50, leaving net productive funds of $150,004.05. It was estimated that from the revenues of the next year,1868-1869, they could pay the Professors the remainder of salaries they had failed to receive of recent years, $2,161.29, meet the expenses of the year, and still have a surplus.*
This endowment of $150,000 seems small today, especially as tuition was largely by scholarships, and the main student revenue was from room-rents and incidental fees. The budget for twenty years, however, had ranged from $8,000 to $12,000; and the income from invested funds could now be estimated at such a figure as to make the probable income for the next year at least $15,000, and possibly more. This seemed really wealth to them, and to warrant some advance.
Johnson, as already said, did not live to share in the improved fortunes of the College, though the considerable repairs reported by Hillman as already made, indicated that he had acted with greater freedom during his last year. The borough, too, opened North College Street, necessitating change in the location of the fence west of the campus and a great deal of grading, 500 loads of fill being required to
*One item of their estimated income would surprise people even in middle life. It was a premium on the gold they would receive in interest on their United States bonds. Government bonds were payable, principal and interest, in gold and gold commanded a premium till the resumption of specie payments, January 1, 1879. The premium they estimated at $1,200 for the year. Will such a situation recur in these days?
bring the walk up to grade. [This large amount of fill lends color to the theory that there was originally a natural watercourse from Mooreland, running in a northeasterly direction back of West College, crossing Louther Street about north of the latter, and so on through the northern part of Carlisle to the Letort. The depression in the present campus, even after much filling southwest of West College, also favors this view.]
Considerable had been done in the way of improvement before the commencement of 1868, and the Board was urged to make other changes. These they authorized by resolution, but very cautiously, mindful of their recent financial straits. They made plans for improvements to the extent of $10,000, but only on condition that the money be secured before the changes were made. No money was raised for the purpose, and nothing came of their plans. One feature of the proposed change is interesting, as it throws light on the original plans of West College. They thought that there should be erected "a piazza and steps on the north side of West College, as was designed when the College was originally built." They decided also that there should be an "iron fence in front of the campus, and water closets attached to each building, with proper sewage leading from the same." With the last everyone would agree, but there is probably general satisfaction that the stone wall was not replaced by an iron fence.
It is hard to reconcile the financial settlement made by the Board with the estate of Johnson the second month after his death with those made in the cases of Emory and Caldwell twenty years before. In these they had been generous, granting Emory at least salary for a full year when he gave no service, but with Johnson, apparently, the reverse. When Johnson died there was due him $219.53 on salary, and had he lived to the close of the year there would have been due him $461.54 additional. A little over nine years before his death, Johnson had borrowed $130 from the Belles Lettres Society, giving a note for the same, payable with interest.
This amounted to $201.75 at the time of his death. The Board voted that they were trustees of the literary societies, and, as such, obliged to collect this debt. They, therefore, voted to pay the debt to the Society, and give Johnson's administrator the balance due after such payment, $17.78; and this, they decided, settled all legal claims against them. This above was in accordance with one of two recommendations of a committee on the subject. The second recommendation of the committee stated that the salary to the close of the year would have been $461.54 in addition, and "Therefore, Resolved, That the Treasurer be directed to pay to Mrs. Johnson, the widow of the deceased, the sum of $461.54 for her own use and benefit, the same being intended as a present from the Board to said widow, and not to be liable for any debts due by said deceased." This second resolution of their committee the Board indefinitely postponed, and the first resolution was their only action. The following year, however, they were forced to take further action, on the presentation of a claim from Mrs. Johnson for the back salary her husband had not received, because of college deficits. The Board's answer to this claim was a résumé of previous actions of the Board and the action of her husband accepting the plan, which gave him the salary promised only in case funds were available to pay it. So the matter closed.
There may have been some reason for this almost harsh action of the Board. In 1867, the Board had passed a resolution to reorganize the Faculty of the College, but at a subsequent session voted to postpone action. No causes for the suggested need of reorganization appear in the record. There was evidently some restlessness. Later trustee action suggests that the discipline of Johnson's time was not satisfactory.
In 1869, at the close of Dashiell's first year, the Board expressed pleasure that Dashiell and the Faculty had "revived and executed rules of discipline in regard to the conduct of students, and this Board takes the opportunity
to express its determination to sustain the President and Faculty in maintaining good order in the College." Johnson may have been a poor disciplinarian, but even a good one with his other duties might have faltered at times. The apparently hard settlement is puzzling, at any rate. The Board may have been hard, even cruel, to the long-suffering Johnson, but he was laid to rest in Carlisle's historic "Old Graveyard" with the celebrities of her early history. A few years later the alumni of the College erected a ten-foot shaft of Italian marble over his grave, with the inscription "Eminent in scholarship and devoted to the interests of education. In grateful recognition of a teacher." Many years later the remains of the wife, who had wrought and suffered with him, were brought to Carlisle, and from the old college chapel were borne to their place of rest by the side of him who had gone before.
Some of Johnson's children made their way to useful, even distinguished position. The first honorary degree given a woman by the College went to Johnson's only daughter, Mary Johnson Dillon, of St. Louis. This was particularly in recognition of a book written by her, a portrayal of the beautiful social life of Carlisle, and especially of the college circle, during the days of her own girlhood and her father's presidency. Dickinsonians yet living recognize the picture as true to the life of their own time, and even for some years following her father's death. The town, as in the earlier days of the College, had still a notable social life, and the smaller college faculty circle of a few families, carefully picked for their culture and character, and all practically of similar Christian purpose, made a background for a picture almost idyllic in character. The book, "In Old Bellaire," is the best portrayal extant of the Carlisle life about the time of the Civil War.