Chapter Eight - The Duffield Years
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THOSE twelve new trustees elected on May 8, 1820, were all successful men living within a day's ride of Carlisle—ministers, lawyers, merchants, members of the legislature, a Member of Congress. The name of the Rev. George Duffield heads the list. Duffield, at twenty-six, was the youngest of them all, a little man, sharply intelligent, warmly emotional, afire with a personal concern for souls and causes. It may be assumed that he had been active in the reopening of the College, and may even have initiated it. He would be a constant, pervasive influence through these last ten years of the Presbyterian affiliation—rarely self-assertive, yet a power simply by virtue of his readiness with ideas, his willingness to work. He seems to have been aware that an inconspicuous leadership meets less resistance; and, indeed, as his own ruling place became obvious, opposition did arise. Three Presbyterian divines would now succeed one another in the Principal's chair, each of less capacity than the one before, and the decline of their influence would be matched by the increase of Duffield's. This is a Duffield era.

Duffield bore no title on the Board. All his varied influence in College and town was exerted simply as pastor of the Presbyterian Church. He stood in the pulpit from which John Steel had controlled the old Latin school. This was a vindication of his grandfather, the George Duffield whom Steel had so sternly opposed. From this pulpit, Nisbet and Davidson had spoken for the College. He must have seen, surely, the hand of Providence



in his rise to this eminence. He had been born in neighboring Lancaster County, July 4, 1794, son of George Duffield, Comptroller General of Pennsylvania. After taking the University of Pennsylvania's degree in 1811, he had moved on through the full four-year course at the theological seminary of the Associate Reformed Church in New York, under its founder, John Mitchell Mason, "the prince of American preachers and expounders of the Scriptures." He was licensed to preach in the Presbyterian ministry, April 20, 1815, and passing through Carlisle on his way to attend to some business of his father's, he had found himself among his grandfather's friends and relatives of a former day.1 He was invited to preach, and charmed all. The Carlisle congregation, which had been divided upon whether or not to issue a call to Henry Rowan Wilson, then had united upon Duffield, and he had been formally installed on September 25, 1816.

Thus had John Steel's flock come under the sway of the namesake and spiritual heir of his ancient enemy. It was a triumph at last for New Side, since this young George Duffield leaned toward the view that sin might be banished and salvation attained, simply by acceptance of Christ as master in preference to all worldly things. As he went on in parish work, the seminary's sharp doctrinal definitions were blurred and the direct up-building of God's kingdom on earth and enlisting souls for paradise became his paramount concern. In America, since his grandfather's time and before, the winds of religion had been blowing in this direction. The Methodists had built an impressive power upon their simple formula of "saving grace," and an organization easy to enter but firm in surveillance. It was not possible for Presbyterians now to look down on the Wesleyans as Nisbet had done. Duffield would meet the competition head-on, startling the Carlisle gentry with his Sunday school (their first), his Bible classes, prayer meetings and a hard line of "abstinence from worldly and sinful amusements." He distributed books by the dozen, tracts everywhere, a finger always on the pulse of holiness.2 Now, after four years in Carlisle, the revived college was added to his curacy.

The new Board had been chosen with an eye to political as well as divine favor. Andrew Boden, Carlisle lawyer and Member



of Congress was one. Isaiah Graham, Carlisle tanner and self-made man, a judge and state senator, was another. Jacob Alter, a Quaker of French descent, had been twenty-two years in the legislature. The Board was now a bloc based on local interests rather than Rush's state-wide pattern. Four of the new men were ministers, with Duffield and John Moodey of Shippensburg in the lead, the one small and quick, the other large and benign. A fifth and sixth were elected on March 21, 1821: William Radcliffe De Witt of New York, now at the Presbyterian church in Harrisburg, and John S. Ebaugh of the Reformed Church, Carlisle. De Witt, another product of Mason's seminary, became a close ally of Duffield. Ebaugh represented a hope that a theological seminary of his denomination, Calvinist also, might be set up on the Dickinson campus. Judge Hamilton of the old Board had died in 1819, but his son reported these new developments to Thomas Cooper, now President of South Carolina College and at last no longer troubled by what he chose to call "the inveteracy of the odium theologicum. "

"I am glad to learn," Dr. Cooper replied, "that the college at Carlisle is likely to be resuscitated, but I fear, that with so many bigots among your trustees, and under compleat clerical guidance, it will have but a feeble existence."3

It was now up to this new Board to choose a principal, a man whose name and fame would restore all that the College had lost. They knew that, with the right man and a good salary scale, all the other faculty places could be filled well. The name of the redoubtable John Mitchell Mason was put before them at once. But perhaps in the knowledge that Dr. Mason had suffered a mild stroke the year before, they elected James Patriot Wilson. Wilson, as he had done in 1809, declined. Then the vote went to Dr. John Brodhead Romeyn of New York, Presbyterian cleric, friend and associate of Mason. He also declined, but Mason himself, elected on August 9,1821, accepted the charge as an escape from the intense activity which had worn him down in body and mind. "It will employ me usefully in a work to which I find myself adequate, but which will not oppress me."4

To New Yorkers especially, Mason was "the great theological thunderbolt of the times."5 He had graduated at Columbia in 1789, finished his studies at the University of Edinburgh,



returning to found, in 1804, the seminary of the Associate Reformed Church, forerunner of the Union Theological Seminary. In his classroom, from his pulpit, through his Christian Magazine and his travels abroad, he had become a power. With Dwight and Green, he was a general in the great reaction against "infidelity." In 1800 he had stood up against the election of Jefferson, declaring a man who refused to believe in the Deluge or that God ever had a Chosen People unfit for the Presidency.6 Yet within the boundaries of Biblical revelation, Mason was broad-minded, ecumenical, an enemy of pomp and pretense, a champion of individual freedom in studying and propounding the sacred texts.7

He had been a trustee of Columbia, 1795 to 1811, and Provost from 1811 to 1816, seeking this last position much as Ashbel Green had at Princeton. Like Green, he was less successful with college than seminary, but he came to Dickinson with his high repute as an academic figure intact.8 With the gifts from the community topped on February 20, 1821, by a state grant of $6,000, a sense of confident prosperity awaited him at Carlisle, where workmen were repairing and painting the building all through that summer. A salary of $2,000 had been voted for him, setting a scale upon which he could readily summon a competent faculty. Tuition charges had been upped to match.9 This was to be quality education. An inquiry from Mason had brought the trustees' first statement on tenure: "That the Principal and Professors hold their appointments during good behaviour."10 He seems not to have suspected that he might have a trustee committee every moment at his elbow, but so eminent an educator, with former students on the Board, could hardly fear this. In December, 1821, he arrived, a tall, heavy-set man with high forehead and deep blue eyes. He had still, past and threatening illness notwithstanding, a look of energy and daring—he sat his horse, it has been said, "like the commander of an army."11

In his inaugural address, January 15, 1822, he appealed to the "delicate, noble sensibility" of the students: "If you shall bear us out in our hopes respecting you, then shall our efforts be animated, our labours sweetened, our success cheering: and Dickinson College revive from her desolations, a phoenix of



renewed life, and spreading her lustre over your county, your state, your country, be a source of mild and enduring glory in ages to come."12 He had with him a faculty of three to share this hope. Henry Vethake had the chair of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy, and would teach chemistry also till another could be found. Vethake, a portly, fresh-faced young man of thirty, had taught at Rutgers and Princeton, and had been attracted to Dickinson probably both by the salary offer and to escape the riot and turmoil prevalent under the rule of Ashbel Green. He was a professional educator with a distinguished career before him as teacher, author and college president.13 Alexander McClelland, Professor of Belles Lettres and the Philosophy of the Mind, was a Presbyterian minister, a former student of the Associate Reformed seminary in whom Mason had recognized potential as a teacher. He was a small man with a strong, resonant voice, lecturing enthusiastically, with a flow of anecdotal humor which his ministerial colleagues deplored. Yet his anecdotes were to the point, often touched on well-known contemporaries, and surely held attention and awakened interest. He cited also Plato, Descartes, Newton, Locke, along with the leading Scottish philosopher Thomas Reid and his pupil Dugald Stewart. He turned constantly to the poets for illustration.14 He would strike back sarcastically at the vague or superficial, and, like Mason, he encouraged independent thinking. With his start at Dickinson, he would remain a teacher for the rest of his life. Also from New York came John C. Slack, teacher of classical languages, "a young man of talents and repute," who had charge of the Grammar School.15

It remained only to find a classicist for the College. The original choice, John Burns, a Scot and an experienced teacher, had failed to agree with the trustees as to salary and returned to New York.16 It would help, in seeking state bounty, not to have a solidly Presbyterian faculty, and a young Episcopal minister, educated in Philadelphia, was called to this post from the academy he had been conducting in his native county of Maryland.17 The Rev. Joseph Spencer arrived in February, 1822, and in June became Rector of St. John's Church on the square—a pleasant, mild-tempered person whom the Church would remember with the gratitude due him also from the College.18 At



college, his part would be to live in the building and supervise student life, a task to which his courtesy and gentleness were not wholly adequate.

The courses of the new regime were topped off by Mason with the traditional Moral Philosophy for Seniors, and another, Truth and Evidences of Divine Revelation.19 A student body of about one hundred had soon been recruited. As Yale had been Atwater's model, so now we find admission requirements and a curriculum similar to Columbia's, with commencement in July, followed by vacation until September.20 The issuance of a regular printed report twice a year to parents and guardians was begun.21 The new curriculum and code of regulations submitted by Mason to the trustees was passed and ordered printed in February, 1822. A new catalogue was printed. John Bannister Gibson, for the trustees' financial campaign, had pointed out the wisdom of appealing for a specific objective. "Additional buildings" became the choice, and was taken to the public and, once again, to the legislature.22 A loan was authorized for the purchase of books, a mineralogical collection, chemical and other scientific apparatus.23

And, of course, there must be a commencement with all the attendant fanfare. It was held on June 26, 1822. In procession from the College to the Presbyterian church on the square came the Grammar School pupils, the students of the four classes, the faculty, the trustees, and Dr. Mason with two high officials of the state government, James Duncan, Auditor General, and Andrew Gregg, Secretary of the Commonwealth. Only two degrees could be awarded, one to James Hall Mason, the Principal's son; but eight other boys, including James' brother, Erskine, delivered orations. One can only imagine what consternation may have followed the trustees' "General order," hurriedly issued on that gala day, "prohibiting all Bands of music or professional singers (i.e. those who sing for hire) all Balls and dances and all dinners and suppers" which had been planned to mark the event.24

The tenure of John Mitchell Mason, launched so auspiciously, was to have rough, sad going, all in all. The trustees, in a front-page newspaper announcement in January, had promised the community that "Everything like PARTY POLITICS



will be carefully excluded"—yet the Union Philosophicals, in one of their first "public exhibitions," extolled Napoleon Bonaparte and recited "the oration of General Harper on the murdered Lingan," bringing down the wrath of the Carlisle Gazette and throwing the trustees into a dither of prohibitory resolutions.25 With this, we find the American Volunteer printing the veiled threats of "Lex Talionis" against "The holy crew of Dickinson College," and promising a retribution from which "their smooth and oily tongues shall not screen them."26 With all this Mason was ill prepared to deal. Early in 1822 he had suffered a broken hip in a fall from his horse, and had barely recovered by commencement.

That summer was one of drought, failure of crops and then a typhus epidemic. Mason's young alumnus son, James, who had been teaching in the Grammar School died of the fever, November 6, 1822. College and town alike were stirred by the tragedy. Revivalists were always alert to catch and prolong the tense emotions of the funereal hour, but Mason at first would have none of that. He disapproved on principle of graveside eulogies. Yet when the student pallbearers lifted the coffin to bear it away he had cried out to them in anguish, "Young men! Tread lightly—ye bear a temple of the Holy Ghost!" and then begged an old friend who had come from New York to "say something which God may bless to his young friends."27

Dr. McCartee did so at the grave, and George Duffield carried on from there the work of revival. The story is told statistically in the number of additions "by profession" to the Duffield congregation: in 1822, 17; in 1823, 109; in 1824, 24.28 For Dickinson, it was the first notable example of a culmination eagerly sought, year after year, in American colleges; and, indeed, it left its mark in Dickinson history. Eighteen students entered the ministry, not all impelled by the tragedy alone, but looking back to it as a basis of their dedication. One was George Washington Bethune, who would gain note also as a litterateur. He had come from Columbia for his Senior year at Dickinson, Class of 1823. He was a grandson of the Presbyterian philanthropist and saint, Isabella Graham, who had been a parishioner of Witherspoon in Scotland and of Mason in New York. George's sister, Isabella Graham Bethune, was now the young



wife and helpmeet of George Duffield. John Miller Dickey, Class of 1824, who tells of the revival in his diary, went on to become an antislavery leader, founder and president of the trustees of Lincoln University.29 His classmate, Daniel McKinley of Carlisle, would win his way from great poverty through college and seminary in answer to the ministerial call. Daniel, grandson of Henry Makinly of the Colonial school, "a young man of unexceptionable character," had been voted a full tuition scholarship by the trustees before the reopening of the College, the first instance of such recognition.30

It had become a feature of American life, this revival spirit, this unburdening of sin, embracing of salvation in a welter of self-exposure, joy and tears; and within the little world of campus life it was an ardently sought convulsion. Its curious affinity with the new political trend has been remarked—equally democratic, alike in their all-embracing appeals to faith.31 As in politics, the spiritual fervor had the devil with it too, the rowdy and rebellious. On the night of May 27, 1823, two Dickinson students climaxed the revival season with a roaring blast of gun-powder which set the College building on fire.32 Duffield's "Cumberland County Bible Society" had on campus his "Auxilliary Bible Society of Dickinson College," and his "Young Men's Missionary Society" was organized in the fall.33 But while Erskine Mason, Daniel McKinley, George Bethune and the others were carrying their banners here, less pious youths had become boisterously critical of the fare offered by the college steward, and by fall this protest had an organization of its own. An inner circle of Union Philosophical, "The Turkey Club," undertook to provide in better fashion for the inner man. One clause in its constitution (that the turkey must be honestly come by) stands as evidence of the prevailing spirit of righteousness. The Turkey Club maintained a precarious existence through that winter, ending apparently when its secrets were betrayed by Matthew Spencer, the professor's younger brother.34 With the warmth and fairness of all young men, whether holy or profane, U.P. also met in support of Greek independence and raised $50 for the cause.35

In the meantime, as Dr. Mason's health declined, the trustees became watchful and authoritative; the teachers resentful.



There was a direct clash in March of 1823, when rules for the Grammar School were enacted without faculty consultation and in disregard of the newly published regulations which gave the faculty control of all discipline, expulsion alone excepted.36 The reply to the teachers' protest was that the Board had acted "in strict conformity with certain inalienable powers and authority vested in them by the charter."37

A year later, Dr. Mason resigned, delaying his return to New York only to be present at commencement, June 29, 1824, where he offered a prayer. Henry Rowan Wilson delivered the commencement sermon. The lion of the day, however, was His Excellency, the Governor of the state, John Andrew Shulze accompanied by the Surveyor General, Gabriel Hiester. Solemnly attentive, they heard the Latin salutatory, the English salutatory, young McCoskry's oration "On Virtue as the Principle of a Republican Government," the "Dialogue on Colleges," and the "Conference" on the conspiracy of the crowned heads of Europe against the rights and liberties of mankind.38 In the previous year a bill to appropriate $9,000 for the College had narrowly failed of passage, and the continuation of state support was much in the minds of all.39

Internal unanimity, on the other hand, was fragile. On June 8, the Board had returned the commencement date to the fall and passed other new regulations, topping them off by electing McClelland Principal at a salary of $1,600. Professor McClelland, whose use of wit and irony in class has been noted, and begun to manifest a sharpness of temper, out of class as well as in. He agreed to serve only pro tem, and on July 27 the Rev. William Neill of Philadelphia was chosen.40 The call came as a complete surprise to Neill, who suppressed a first impulse to decline, and would soon regret, his acceptance. He had held a comfortable pastorate in the city for eight years, and on his arrival at Carlisle in September, "found things in rather a low and unpromising state."41 For almost two months following his formal installation on November 9, 1824, he was ill, depressed by the change much as Nisbet had been.42

The new Principal was a Princeton graduate of 1803, lean of face and body, tall, dignified and gentle. Sidney George Fisher, who takes a deprecating view in most of his diary char-



acterizations, describes him as "a worthy man, learned, I suppose, according to the ordinary use of the word, but of no great force of mind or character. He was very kind to me at college."43 His regular teaching load was lighter than the others'—bringing Seniors Natural Theology and Evidences of Christianity—but he filled in as an assistant elsewhere constantly.44 It was a type of classroom service which won him more gratitude than respect.

The Duffield family, meanwhile, had moved from "Happy Retreat," Colonel Montgomery's old home out on the Shippensburg road, to the larger house near the College where Dr. Mason had been living. It stood back from the street among trees, at the center of what was to be famous later as the Mooreland deer park, and is now the "Benjamin Rush Campus."45 Not far away, on High Street facing the college, stood the German Reformed Church, a plain, square brick building, soon to become a focal point of interest in the educational picture. It had been built in Atwater's time, financed in part by "The German Presbyterian and German Lutheran Churches Lottery in the Borough of Carlisle."46 The German Reformed synod had long been debating establishment of a theological seminary, and in 1820 had been invited to make it an adjunct of Dickinson College. On September 9, 1824, the invitation was more explicitly renewed, and in terms of manifest eagerness.47 The College would provide the Seminary's professor with a home, in return for his acting as its "Professor of History and German Literature." Seminarians might take appropriate College courses and have full use of its Library. Should the Seminary plan a building, the College would grant title to a part of its campus. The offer was accepted. The new institution assembled on March 11, 1825, with five students, a library of a hundred volumes and a capital of $300.48 Its professor, Dr. Lewis Mayer, was formally installed on April 6 in ceremonies in the College chapel.49

After Nisbet's course in theology and Cooper's in law, this began a third venture into professional and graduate training. Some months later, the Lutherans would be invited to bring in their proposed seminary.50 It would locate at Gettysburg instead, although its head, Samuel Simon Schmucker, later became a member of the Dickinson Board, where the German



Reformed interests were already well represented. In 1823, and again in 1827, the College was invited to join in medical programs.51 Similar offers came to other colleges of this day: medical men solved the difficulties of obtaining a charter by sending their students to the related institution for their diplomas—sometimes their only appearance there. Both offers were rejected, though both had respectable sponsors and one included a Dickinson professor, John W. Vethake, the medical studies in this case to have been pursued in Baltimore.52 One is left in doubt as to whether the trustees rightly disapproved of such tenuous connections, or whether they acted in the spirit of Duffield's plea to a student who had gone on into medical study: "Do not allow your mind to be polluted and your heart to be debauched by the investigations of science."53

As for the Seminary, it was soon involved in smouldering contentions of its own. Lewis Mayer, with his blonde hair curling freely over his high forehead, his lean, sensitive face, long nose, deep-set eyes and thin, tight lips, was a man of great learning, inflexibly severe in its application. He was liberal for his time: "Theology as a science ought to be progressive, but its progress ought to be in harmony with itself and its past."54 Here was the antithesis of the Seminary's next most influential figure, the Rev. John S. Ebaugh, pastor of the Carlisle congregation and a Dickinson trustee since August, 1821. Ebaugh, with his "good round honest German face and gay open countenance," and his old-fashioned plain thinking, had worked tirelessly for this cause and continued to do so.55 Yet his temperament and Mayer's would come in time to open war.

Meanwhile, the college boys ridiculed and teased the seminarians. To get them out of the College building, Ebaugh raised money and built a new church at High and Pitt Streets, so that the old one could be divided into classrooms. He had the Seminary incorporated by the state to give it independence and permanence but its large board of trustees, like that of the College, was dominated by a local group, and Mayer found them intolerable.56

On October 7, 1826, Mayer resigned his Dickinson professorship. He had been expected also to teach German, but the course was not required and probably few boys, if any, elected



it. In these years, modern languages—French, Spanish, Italian—were taught on a fee basis by Jacob Frederick Huber, a member of the German Reformed Church, an earnest man of Swiss descent who was to have the unique distinction in academic history of retrogression in rank, from full professor to instructor.57 The Seminary's second year brought an increase of students, then a dropping off. Financial success, achieved by the hard work of Ebaugh and others, brought, as so often occurs, new elements of dissension; and in 1829 Mayer, bitter against all around him, arbitrarily moved with his students to York, a way-station on their progress to Lancaster.58

On January 14, 1825, with the prospect of the Seminary's coming before them, a special meeting of the trustees had approved a plan for general development, of which one feature, at least, has historic significance. The proposal had been the work of the Executive Committee: Judge John Reed, Chairman, Duffield, Knox, Hendel and William N. Irvine. The faculty had been consulted. Duffield presented the plan to the Board. Its first provision is the unusual one:

To create a species of stock of which there shall be an indefinite number of shares, each share to be valued at fifty dollars, and to entitle the purchaser to the privilege of educating a young man for the space of two years at Dickinson College free from all charge for tuition, provided application be made for said benefit within ten years from the date of the certificate. The money raised by the sale of these shares to constitute a fund the interest of which shall be applied to the support of the professors.

Here is the germ of that scholarship certificate plan which twenty and thirty years later would sweep many colleges into a brief and heady expansion, to be followed by years of regret.

The new plan also embraced the erection of new buildings, expansion of the Library, apparatus and mineralogical collection, and the endowment of professorships, all this to be accomplished by gifts and bequests. A subscription paper outlining the whole was ordered printed, and President Neill was authorized to open the campaign. We have no record of sales of shares of stock. However, one notable result was the bequest by ironmaster Robert Coleman of $1,140 in bank stock and interest, re-



ceived on February 15, 1827.59 And a year before that, "by dint of hard pleading and perseverance," as Neill put it, and no doubt helped along by the broad appeal, the state had finally granted a continuing income.60

The Act of February 13, 1826, providing an annual income of $3,000 for five years, made the College in effect a state institution, with all the rights, privileges, hazards and headaches thereunto appertaining. Included was an amendment of the charter: not more than one-third of the forty trustees could be clerics. Two clerical trustees, one of them Ashbel Green, were therefore asked to resign. Also, the trustees must submit annual financial reports—and, as they well knew, be prepared for a critical examination of them.

One can see how students and curriculum had had a part in bringing matters to this culmination. We see almost all of the four classes present in the Senate chamber at Harrisburg, guests of the state for the official reception for General Lafayette in February, 1825. Samuel McCoskry, Class of 1824, later an Episcopal bishop, came forward to declare that the old General's life had been lived "in obedience to the manly dictates of a noble and generous heart," and Lafayette returned to the boys his "most affectionate and friendly thanks."61 On August 30, 1826, the trustees approved two faculty recommendations. The first, which would certainly have had weight with politicians of the Jacksonian era, permitted students to take a course free of Greek and Latin, denying them "academical degrees or honors," but promising "a certificate . . . of their proficiency & attainments."62 With the second came an admission which would have pleased Dr. Rush, that in dormitory life "the young men become coarse & rude, & awkward by being penned up together for years." At their parents' option, therefore, they might again live with town families.63 These changes were fully publicized, along with a summary of admissions requirements and the studies of each class—a curriculum in which we see the gradual relaxation of classical language standards prevalent throughout American education.64

Student discipline remained a vital concern of trustees and faculty, vital also to public relations, and, at the same time, the issue on which they were most at odds. From the American



Volunteer of September 14, 1826, we learn that Dr. Rush's idea of a student uniform had been revived. The editorial disapproval of its "gaudy and useless ornaments" probably reflects that of the town. Infractions of the rules were plenty, for the Duffield moral standard was no more safe in Carlisle than Atwater's had been. This town, where a company of players or a dancing master could always enjoy a run, offered temptations which Duffield—over the votes of a few Episcopal colleagues—sought to curb.65 Dancing and parties were forbidden, but town families, including those of some of the trustees, were enjoying both and were not averse to inviting students. As for the faculty, the burden of the rising tide of disorder fell first on poor Spencer, the classicist who lived in the building and had the whole duty of keeping order there. He was one of those who can mete out punishment without inspiring respect. In 1825, anonymous letters were warning him of "something foul about," of an "impending storm" and even "a severe flagellation."66 Three years later, raids upon his rooms and the destruction of his clothing had brought him nearly to nervous prostration, and he gave notice that he must live elsewhere as the others did.67

The trustees then reverted to Atwater's plan of engaging tutors, but to this faculty promptly objected that a tutor would be an abecedarian, probably less able to deal with mischief than Spencer, and that such an expense would further delay what was most needed—the appointment of a professor of chemistry and natural history.68 Here they carried their point, bringing in John Knox Finley, M.D., as lecturer in chemistry in November, 1827; yet when the establishment of a full professorship came up in May they were barely able to get the place for Finley, rather than another of whom they disapproved. Neill wrote a strong letter on the subject, adding, acidly, "In prescribing the course of instruction to be given, the Faculty request that care may be taken not to interfere with other departments of college study."69 One can now taste the sharpening acerbity of faculty-trustee communications. By the statutes of 1826, examinations should "be conducted by the faculty in the presence of the examining committee."70 Yet the faculty minutes, which are largely concerned with examinations and special conditions imposed upon individual students unable to meet required stand-



ards, also note the absence or laggard attendance of trustees.71 

"The government of the College," those statutes declare, "is essentially vested in the Faculty. 2. It shall be administered as nearly as possible, after the manner of a well regulated family. 3. Private advice, affectionate entreaty, and frequent admonitions shall always precede the more stern measures of public admonition, and exclusion from the institution, except when offences are flagrant and publicly committed."72 So far so good, had not the trustees constantly intervened, fearful that faculty leniency might lead to more sin or faculty severity arouse the wrath of influential parents, and eager always to assert their own authority. Repeatedly, they reaffirmed the teachers' prerogative only to violate it.

There was a juridical obsession throughout the little community. Each student society had its "court." That of Belles Lettres was a committee of three, levying fines for non-attendance and sitting in judgment on more serious breaches of order. Here, in fact, was student government, operating effectively within a limited range. Their minutes show earnestness, maturity, pride in a coherent and smoothly functioning organization, in a growing library and in an intellectual program whose periodic "exhibitions" must command public respect. All this, to be sure, was maintained by emulation of the rival society with its duplicate program. Yet in favorable circumstances these young men (younger than the students of today) could manage their own lives well. With trustees and faculty themselves rivals in imposing "discipline," the circumstances were not favorable. Disorder was spreading everywhere. On February 24, 1827, Thomas E. Buchanan appealed to the Society from a decision of Belles Lettres court—pleading for acquittal but, if condemned, determined to "support myself with the consciousness of having acted in strict conformity to what I deem right." Faced with this:

The court resign with pleasure the arduous duties which have been imposed upon them. They have watched with trembling anxiety the spirit of tumultuousness which of late has shown itself in this Hall.  But may we not hope that the members of our society will take a decided stand against every thing like anarchy and confussion? Order & proper respect to the chair are indispensible to our very existence—

when these are sufficiently impressed on every mind our beloved society may rise superior and set at defiance the hand that would cloud its rising glory.73

By August, Thomas was in deeper trouble yet. Faculty and trustees alike had found him guilty of sundry "outrages," including the destruction of Professor Spencer's boots. Two others, William Maclay Lyon and John Norris, were also before these bars of justice for "card-playing in the College edifice, . . . profane and obscene language, . . . riotous behavior.74 The faculty recommended that Buchanan be expelled, and imposed a sentence of dismissal on the other two—only to learn that the trustees had already come to a conclusion according to their own concept of "a well regulated family." Their idea had been to expose the culprits to the full terrors of the law by haling them before a justice of the peace. If contrition resulted, the Board would then be ready with what a twentieth-century president of the College called "executive clemency." It recalls a disciplinary practice of the Revolutionary armies, a pardon at the gallows' foot. Buchanan fled the town. With Lyon and Norris it worked. But when both reappeared in class, fully restored, a sharp protest came from faculty to trustees, echoed and reechoed in hard words and soft.75

Small wonder that the students felt more than ever the urge to manage their own affairs. By the end of the year both societies were cherishing wild hopes of independent charters of incorporation, with buildings owned by themselves. By January, 1828, they had prepared their petitions to the legislature. They sent them in March, with what result can be imagined. The trustees took advantage of their enthusiasm to make these buildings part of their program, offering to pay two-thirds of the cost if the students could raise the rest.76

It was student initiative that built the "ball alley," the first evidence of a much-needed athletic program, at this time. It became popular at once, though the faculty found themselves hard put to it to limit the activity to students, and students in good standing only. When Johnston Moore, a student in trouble for window-breaking, refused "with foul and profane language" to leave the place, he was suspended. In this verdict the trustees



(in a chastened spirit after the Lyon-Norris case) agreed, though the boy came of a wealthy local family.77

Spencer had fled the scene. Most boys were boarding in town, and the office of steward, once lucrative, was no longer so.78 The final departure of this official was spurred on by the threats of the "Invisibles:"

Sworn by all—a warning voice from the Invisibles. Beware, beware, unfortunate man—thy doom is fixed, and death awaits thee. It is decreed by the Invisibles that you shall be secretly, horribly, and cruelly slain! Your body is doomed to be exposed to the fowls of the air, and devoured by the beasts of the field, and your soul doomed to everlasting perdition, if, within one week, and no more, you do not leave the college, and no longer pollute the sight of gentlemen with your hated physiognomy. If you dare to divulge this letter you shall be strangled instantly; therefore take the warning voice, death—devoted man! Depart and live!

                                     A Warning Voice.79

Chapel in the cold light of dawn began the round of classes; then evening chapel; then mischief running wild through the night. In the dark hours of November 24, 1828, the janitor was driven out. The trustees consoled themselves with the fact that they had been trying to get rid of him anyway.80 But, left unprotected, the building suffered heavy damage in the next affair, a riotous December night marking the final collapse of the spirit of sanctity which had come in with the revival of five years before.81

Ironically, in these post-revival years, charges of overt sectarianism were brought against the College authorities. Unsympathetic taxpayers probably realized that this was the best calculated way to alienate state support. It began a few months after the Act of February, 1826, when Mr. Duffield, by detective work of his own, felt that he had discovered the author of one of those "incendiary and diabolical" anonymous letters to the steward, and had sought to awaken remorse in his suspect by pleading for his soul. This the boy's father interpreted as proselytizing, and the Lancaster Gazette of January 16, 1827, drew a dark conclusion from the story: "That institution has leant to monkishism for years, and if it has sunk into a school for religious intolerance and persecution the sooner it is levelled



with the dust the better."82 Election campaigns were spiced with similar insinuations, and the broth was kept a-bubble by Presbyterian suspicions that the Episcopalians on the Board planned a coup d'etat. Here the Episcopalians began to drop out.83 On November 19, 1827, Edward James, Benjamin Stiles, Alexander Mahon and Redmond Conyng lam resigned in a body. All, like Conyngham, were men of "lettered tastes and liberal feelings," and ready to support the College on such terms only.84 The state Senate, taking note of the rumors, called for an investigation to determine whether the annuity should be withdrawn, and the Board of Trustees, December 11, 1827, invited it.85 The ordeal, so familiar to later state colleges and universities, was then awaited with the usual well-founded apprehension. Most significant is the action of the faculty at its meeting of January 22, 1828, appointing Professor McClelland as its representative and instructing him "to use all fair means to secure a decision, in relation to the Faculty, distinct from that which may be had, in regard to the Board of Trustees."86 The Senate committee's report, March 25, 1828, found no evidence of bad faith and recommended that the subsidy continue, yet the mere fact that an investigation had been held tended to keep suspicions on the prowl.87

The trustees now move forward into a dream world of solution-by-buildings. There would be a dormitory, a commons, the two society halls.88 We find initiative in academic matters coming—and rather tartly—from the faculty.89 The rule, by a resolution of Duffield's,90 that faculty must submit its minutes regularly to trustee examination, and then that near-successful move to replace Dr. Finley, had brought the professors to a mood of open exasperation. All this sets the stage in perfect fashion for the entrance of Mrs. Anne Royall of Washington, her skirts swishing boldly along, bright eyes under the bonnet seeing all.

Mrs. Royall had written a novel, The Tennesseean, but was best known for her Black Book, or A Continuation of Travels in the United States. Her works of local description combine sharp and accurate observation with much humor and one overriding bias. All those sordid deeds and motives which religious people then imputed to "infidels," she applied to the religionists them-



selves. Presbyterians ("blue skins") were her particular aversion. She also reversed their charge of a plot to overthrow our governnent: "It is useless to repeat a fact too well known, that these Presbyterians, glutted with women and money, have become not only beastly wicked, but are in every part of the U. S. aiming to overturn our government and establish the reign of terror."91 Small wonder that Neill and the others fled or hid from her. She caught only the long-suffering Spencer, whom she found "afraid to speak above his breath." However, he invited her to visit his class. "He is a gentleman of young appearance, tall and slender, dark complexion, oval face, soft blue eyes, and of mild and engaging manners."92 She was four days in Carlisle, where she found "more churches, more old maids, and more wickedness . . . than any town of the same population in the United States. It leaves Pittsburgh and Newburyport far behind."93 At the end, a deputation of about thirty students called at her rooms—"sprightly and entertaining, and bestowed on me all the honor a going at Dickinson."94

From Anne Royall we learn that the College was affectionately known in Carlisle as "Old Mother Dickinson," and that Mr. Duffield bore the soubriquet of "Pope." But Pope Duffield, who had seemed to cringe when he saw her in his congregation, had now another enemy who troubled him more, a fellow member of the College trustees. The precise theology Duffield had brought with him from seminary had yielded to the warm personal approach of a revivalist, a deviation highly offensive to his fellow trustee and distant relative, George Armstrong Lyon. Mr. Lyon, lawyer, bank president, president of the trustees of Duffield's church, was a son of one of the patentees of 1773 and a man as rigid in principle as ever John Steel had been. From his lean and deeply-lined face, gray hair curling at top and sides and lantern jaw below, his small eyes watched Mr. Duffield's every move at meetings, and at home his fine script filled page after page with evidence of heresy.95

With College affairs become a patchwork of cross purposes, once, at least, we find Board and faculty in unison. General Gabriel Hiester, a state official, had sought and obtained election as a trustee solely in order to rebuke the teachers, who had refused to sign his son's diploma. Young Augustus Otto Hiester,



it seems, had alluded critically to the faculty in his commencement oration of 1828. The General's motion lost, ten to one—"singular and pitiable displays of character," was the comment he got from George Duffield.96 Yet so tender were feelings everywhere that when, in January, 1829, a student read in class a mock-serious review of the nursery rhyme, "Cock Robin," and McClelland derided it as abounding "more in threadbare conceits than in genuine attic humour," hurt feelings rolled from students to Principal to trustees.97 The trustees, condemning the faculty's "system of discipline, if system it can properly be called," dealt in their own ways with mounting disorder.98 At last, on August 1, 1829, they launched an investigation of teaching loads, methods and competence, with a reduction of salaries in view.99 Here Dr. Neill, at odds with McClelland since the "Cock Robin" affair, resigned.100

As for the future, all their turgid effort had produced nothing but the state subsidy. Vethake was leaving, Finley too. They elected McClelland Principal, but he refused the honor, then resigned. Spencer would go in a few months. Again, Carlisle was asking, "What can the matter be?" The trustees would respond with their eighty-three page Narrative, authorized in May, 1830, and published in the fall. It would be countered promptly by Henry Vethake's Reply, printed at Princeton, where he was then teaching. The Reply attributes past failures and their inevitable continuance simply to operative procedures "unconnected with the particular individuals to whom, as Trustees or faculty, the administration of the college is confided." In Vethake's concise and sensible view, the faculty's lack of ultimate power in discipline necessitated the constant presence and vigilance of a quorum of trustees who, as he wrote, "can hardly avoid being seized with a spirit of legislation," and he cited the year 1826 when "no less than forty meetings" had been held. With no regular faculty representation they would act often on "inaccurate and prejudiced statements of some one of their number." He cited also a propensity of college governing boards which will reappear from time to time in this history until well into the twentieth century: "When the trustees transact their business entirely apart from the Faculty, they will often be disposed to make a mystery of their proceedings to the latter, and thus



impair that mutual confidence, which it is important should always exist between the two bodies."101

In a hopeful vein, at the commencement of September 23, 1829, it was announced that Philip Lindsley, one of the truly great educators of the day, had been elected Principal—though he had not accepted, and would not.102 Duffield had not been altogether happy with the Lindsley choice, but then Nathan Sidney Smith Beman, preacher and teacher in his wing of Presbyterianism, also declined. At this, Duffield, putting warmth of Christian feeling above all else, brought in the name of his university classmate and Dickinson's former Grammar School master, Samuel Blanchard How—a man who "depends on God alone."103 How was elected, to be formally installed March 30, 1830.

Vethake's departure made a drop in enrollment certain. Junior John Weidman wrote home on Christmas day that only ten students remained—"Dickinson has burnt unsteadily and has been entirely blown out."104 Yet at that last commencement there had been, besides the name of Lindsley, one other ray of hope. "The Alumni Association of Dickinson College" appears, and is permitted by the trustees, mirabile dictu, to entertain the graduating class at dinner.105 It had appointed a committee—Richard Rush, the Doctor's distinguished son; James Buchanan, now in Congress; and William Price, '15—to seek help from others.106 Williams College had formed such an association in 1821 and Columbia in 1825, and Princeton's, founded in 1826, was at this very time conducting an active campaign which would meet successfully a desperate need for funds. Dickinson had long had some of this element of strength in the two societies' "Graduate Members," those nearby often in active association, and those at a distance retaining their interest and loyalty. At the next commencement, 1830, the Association sponsored an oration by Price, followed by a debate between two lawyers, Benjamin Patton and Judge John Reed, on the proposition, "Would it be expedient for the United States to establish a national university?"107 But a year later only How was there to address the group, pleading for support.108

How's leadership would be much on a par with that of his friend Atwater, now again in touch with him from New Haven.



Soon after his coming, the campus ball alley was removed.109 A new edition of the statutes, more stringent than the last, was compiled and printed, to be sold to all entering students at 12½¢. At least, by the spring of 1830, How had a working faculty on campus, with himself as "Professor of the Moral Sciences," and another Presbyterian minister, Alexander W. McFarlane, as "Professor of the Exact Sciences."110 This last department embraced "Mathematicks and Natural Philosophy, demonstrative," while young Henry Darwin Rogers, aged twenty-two, supported it as "Professor of the Natural Sciences," that is, "Chymestry, Natural History and Experimental Philosophy." The fourth addition was, like Rogers, a young career teacher, Charles Dexter Cleveland, "Professor of Languages."111 With no one in the fields of history or literature, Cleveland would enter these on his own initiative within the wide scope of Greek and Latin.

Behind that sense of concern for their institution which the Dickinson College trustees had been manifesting with such grim zeal, there had been, throughout these years, in America, Britain and Europe, a rising concern with education as a whole. It brought, as would the population explosion of the 1950's, an interest in techniques of mass instruction—teaching machines—the Lancastrian system of making pupils the subalterns of a single master.112 Joseph Lancaster's coming to America in 1818 had stimulated interest, bringing a Lancastrian school to Carlisle soon after.113 Dickinson's Grammar School, after a shuffling life in a rented building so shabby "that it tempts the boys to commit violence upon it," had been given to the master on a fee basis in 1829.114 six months later, in March, 1830, it reopened as Henry Duffield's "Carlisle Institute" in the old Seminary building opposite the College, with an ambitious program for boys from seven to fourteen.115 Another boys' school, "The Old College Seminary," was operating under capable teachers in Liberty Alley, where Nisbet had taught. 116

With public education, that dream of Rush and so many others, becoming an accomplished fact, educational theory aroused fresh interest everywhere. In 1806, Dr. William Maclure had brought to Philadelphia an assistant of the Swiss innovator, Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi. Pestalozzi's reforms—a bond of un-



derstanding and sympathy between teacher and pupil, the presentation of facts from a basis of the child's own observation and experience with no intrusion of meaningless rules and tables—would not be widely accepted in America until after the Civil War. Though a few, among them Horace Mann and Henry Barnard, were promoting them in the 1820's and 1830's, our theologically oriented professors had small regard for new modes of exposition or for transforming the classroom into a place of mutual understanding, comfort and joy. On the college level, these new notions pointed toward more courses and some freedom in course election. This would be expensive, and would inevitably mean a weakening of the traditional emphasis on Latin and Greek. In New Haven warm discussion of this issue brought forth the famous Yale Report on the Classics, written by President Jeremiah Day in 1827 and published in 1828—a forceful and tremendously influential defense of the established curriculum. If the old learning did not meet all practical needs, it was still the best "mental discipline." After that tough grind, the young man could readily pick up what interested him more. Classical learning marked the gentleman. More, it marked the school as standing in the mainstream of timeless Christian erudition.

Here and there some deviation occurred, but most colleges, like Princeton, rallied promptly behind the "Yale Plan." The Presbyterian schools were having too much trouble with their "Pelagian Controversy" to give this matter front place. Where Old Side and New Side had once engaged, now Old School was trumpeting its forces out against New School's promise of the soul's regeneration by confession and good works. In Carlisle, Lyon of Old School, supported from afar by Ashbel Green, leads the attack on New School's Duffield.117 Duffield, entrenched and tightly organized, fights on two fronts: Lyon on his right, and on his left those so-successful rivals in the field of emotional religion, the Methodists.118

When it came to the attention of the Dickinson College trustees that the youngest member of their faculty was a Pestalozzian, supporting an alien faith by the spoken and written word, a formal resolution made clear that his resignation would be accepted.119 They might have read a lesson—but apparently



did not—in the character of the students who chose to depart with him at the end of the session.120 Henry Darwin Rogers was a friend of Henry Vethake, and would go on to a career in teaching and in science even more influential and distinguished than the older man's. From August, 1830, until he left Carlisle the following July, he published a magazine, The Messenger of Useful Knowledge, with the influential amateur of science, James Hamilton, Jr., as his backer and collaborator. It combined original articles with "a register of news and events" in the learned world. It was Rogers who, in the lead article of the December number, had daringly stated that Americans, though aware of the paramount importance of education, "have not yet ascertained what education must be, to be judicious and to answer our wants.... The wordy learning of our schools imparts unfortunately almost no information that a youth can apply when he issues upon engagements of manhood."121 From this he had gone on to extol "that unsophisticated philosopher of nature," Pestalozzi.

The Principal (or President, since the old title was by now used only when legal formality required it) was grateful for the advice of his Professor of Languages on how to replace Rogers. In an unguarded moment, How had confessed to Cleveland that the University of Pennsylvania in his day had been little better than an academy, and that his teaching experience had been on the school level only.122 He was grateful for guidance, and the other only too eager to give it. Cleveland was a young fellow of much charm—a calm, open countenance with an abundance of curling hair almost shoulder length. He had graduated from Dartmouth College in 1827, older than most students, but with a warm dedication to scholarship and teaching, and to an idealism embracine international peace and the abolition of slavery.123 At Dartmouth, he had written a text on Grecian Antiquities, and at Dickinson rewrote and republished it.124 Later in life, as author and educator, he would join his friend Rogers as a member of the American Philosophical Society, a rare honor for a humanist. Cleveland was now openly promoting the example of the New England colleges, but from a different viewpoint than Atwater's. In August, 1830, he brought his case to the trustees, pointing out also the advantages of giving a college



president ex officio status on the Board. How himself pressed this point, which the trustees mulled over distastefully and tabled.125 Cleveland had obtained architectural drawings, giving a flutter of substance to the dreamed-of new building.126 At his persuasion, the master's degree was made subject to the delivery of an oration as evidence of progress.127 With the initial advantage of being on the scene before McFarlane or Rogers, Cleveland had found himself in a power-behind-the-throne situation, cheered by How's grateful "Sir, I depend upon you," and "Sir, without you I would leave the institution."128

Yet the Carlisle trustees were no more friendly to Dartmouth as a model than to Yale, and by February, 1831, How was keeping a little book in which he noted down all the sins of Cleveland, brought to him by the watchful McFarlane.129 Blissfully unaware of this, Cleveland had given his heart to Alison Nisbet McCoskry, the old Doctor's granddaughter. They were married immediately after the spring examinations, March 29, 1831, by Mr. Duffield, and set out for a honeymoon tour, going first to Baltimore where the groom had taught before coming to Carlisle, then to the New England colleges. They would stop at Yale to interview Dr. Silliman's assistant, Charles U. Shepard, the man whom How had agreed would make an excellent replacement for Rogers.130

An incident during the examinations might have given a hint of trouble. McFarlane, having put the Freshmen through their paces in algebra, had given his colleagues the usual opportunity for questions. How asked a few. Then Cleveland called on one youth for "the reason" of the solution he had worked out on the blackboard. "This he could not do. I therefore went with him from statement to statement, sometimes telling him and sometimes drawing out his own mind by questions, till we came to the final result." Here McFarlane blurted out an angry, "It is the same thing!"131 Cleveland, as they must have realized then, had simply given the others a demonstration of the Pestalozzian method. When he returned a month later, it would be to learn that the honeymoon with How, also, had ended.

How, ignoring the negotiations with Shepard, had persuaded the trustees to appoint Lemuel Gregory Olmstead, a pleasant youth from neighboring Perry County, who had taken the



course at the new Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute but had not yet earned a bachelor's degree.132 More, and worse: in Baltimore, Cleveland had discussed Dickinson affairs with Dr. William Nevins, Judge Alexander Nisbet's pastor and a man of much influence in Presbyterian affairs. Nevins, emphasizing his personal friendship for George Duffield, was disturbed by the prevalent belief that Duffield "governed the College, and governed it only for sectarian purposes." Duffield should be persuaded in a friendly spirit to resign. All this, brought by Cleveland to How "in the strictest confidence," was taken by How to the pastor, and in a less amicable light.133

Once more, animosity filled the institutional veins; once more, paralysis was setting in. Now Cleveland (academically worth all the others put together, though perhaps a little too keenly aware of the fact), was at swords' points with How and McFarlane, leaving Olmstead an embarrassed neutral. Only Cleveland had the respect and affection of the students. He held them so, pleasantly confident, oblivious of the others' problems with discipline. To the young men who must spend four years with a faculty so small, such a presence was the College's one redeeming feature, and sensing the outcome, they began to drift away. Meanwhile Cleveland, assigned the chore of Librarian, had taken it up with his wonted earnestness, reclassifying and recataloguing the whole, and adding new books partly at his own expense. Students had been assessed a fee for the use of a library inferior to the holdings of their own societies. Now they would have some return for it. Cleveland's report of September 27, 1831, marks the opening of the Library's first reference room, and a general collection directly serving the curriculum.134 One is reminded of the work of Bertram H. Davis in 1953 to 1957 to expand the Library's frontiers; but Cleveland's work was given a shorter term, as How, on September 26, came to the trustees with his little book and its charges of dereliction in inspecting and disciplining the students.135

By this time the student body had shrunk to five Seniors, no Juniors, seven Sophomores and eleven Freshmen.136 Some action was imperative, and two trustees Judge Frederick Watts and the Rev. John Moodey, had a plan ready, supported also by How. Classics would be taught in the first two years only. Up-



perclassmen would take only mathematics, with natural and moral philosophy. Boys could enter as Juniors, thus bypassing Latin and Greek entirely.137 From experience with the certificate students, they could gauge how popular this would be certain to attract young men seeking practical rather than "literary" preparation. Here was a bold flouting of the Yale Report, and a generous yielding to what was then known as "the spirit of the age." The plan had a modern, pioneering aspect; yet there was no supporting program to redeem the loss of academic respectability in what, for most students, would be a return to the two-year college course. It was probably true, as Cleveland suspected, that he was to be replaced by How in a down-grading of the classical program.138

A trustee committee brought the proposal to the faculty on September 30, but by that time faculty and trustees alike were involved in so intricate a pattern of controversy that no progress was possible. George Duffield was opposing the new curriculum, having no doubt that it would bring students, and none that it would "bring the College down to a mere academy."139 The proposal that he be asked to resign had had, interestingly, the effect of strengthening his friendship with Cleveland. They had stood together ever since in the steamy winds of others' hostility. The Presbyterian, The Expositor, the Carlisle papers are spotted with shadowy insinuations against McFarlane and Duffield, followed by recriminations and denials.140 It had been a high year for Duffield: 108 additions to his flock "by profession," as against 8 the year before and 17 in the next. All through it he had been writing a book, and by fall must have been reading proof on its six hundred pages, for the volume appeared in the first weeks of 1832—awaited by the hostile Mr. Lyon, voracious and ready to spring.

Duffield on Regeneration (its binder's title) is a work now difficult to conceive as dangerous or controversial.141 The author's dedication "To the members of his charge," however, apologizing for errors imbibed in theological school and now "REPUDIATED," was confession enow of deviance. Presbytery placed the book, rather than the writer, on trial for heresy in a long, indeterminate wrangle reflecting the larger church division.142 Lyon, with some seventy families, broke away to



found the Second Church, a return to the rival congregations of Colonial days. Duffield would stay on the scene only till the trial was ended, leaving in 1835.

The Dickinson trustees, meanwhile, waded through McFarlane's complaints against Cleveland and Cleveland's rebuttals, wrangled heavily, gave the enraged McFarlane a grudging vote of confidence and then, on February 18, 1832, wearily called a halt: "That as this Board believe they will be compelled by circumstances to suspend the operations of the College at the end of the present session, they therefore deem it inexpedient to investigate the charges preferred against Professor Cleveland."

The students faced the crisis with emotions in shining contrast to the defeatism of the Board. Belles Lettres took inventory of its beloved library (2,607 volumes, with recent purchases listed: Buffon in five volumes, Percy's Reliques in three, the six volumes of William Beloe's Anecdotes of Literature and Scarce Books and Burlamaqui's Principles of Natural Law) and elected five resident alumni as interim librarians, so that:

. . . the books may be preserved from damage and loss. Where is the member of the Belles Lettres society who does not feel an inward regard for her name and interest and a longing desire to protect that which has been and, if preserved, will ever be the source of her honour; will point out to posterity the remnant of a body which stood and shone as long as Dickinson College remained in existence. It is the anxious desire of the Librarians that the Belles Lettres society may not remain in name and recollection only, but that it may rise again in full splendor and adorn the Institution to which it belongs.143

More than anything else, it would be the alumni of the student societies who would maintain continuity with the past. The trustees did act to keep the Grammar School open, giving another graduate member of Belles Lettres the Rev. Daniel McKinley, permission to live in the "College Edifice" as caretaker and to conduct a "classical school" there—a reversion of sorts to the names and status of 1773.144 McKinley, soon to be called as pastor of the new Second Presbyterian Church, would be prompt in enrolling the next President of the College, Methodist John Price Durbin, as an honorary member of Belles Let-



tres, and other society men were equally forward in maintaining the rights and dignities of the past.

As for the public at large, the reaction to the closing of the College was one of shocked surprise, reflected well in the brief comment of Niles' Weekly Register:

Dickinson College, which has been the peculiar object of state patronage, and had the advantage of location in the beautiful village of Carlisle, in the center of Pennsylvania, has ceased operations. Reason—too much sectarianism, and too little true piety.145



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