Chapter Nine - A Methodist New Dawn
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"Too much sectarianism, and too little true piety"—a sharp rebuke, coming at a time when public awareness of educational needs had been sharply revived. The early 1830's were a season of school and college founding. Now the leading provision in the will of Stephen Girard had just become known: a fabulously endowed institution which promised to become a model for all others. The public school systems would soon be an accomplished fact, with their promise of better stabilized college preparation than ever before. Jacksonian democracy was transforming American society along bluntly practical lines, and with it an era of imaginative and ardent reform movements was coming in—forces to which the colleges would respond gingerly, while endeavoring to stand as rocks of intellectual probity among the flowing tides.

For Dickinson College the answer would now be an avowed sectarianism, and piety in due proportion. At special session on March 12, 1833, the trustees discussed an enquiry from the Rev. Edwin Dorsey of the Baltimore Annual Conference of the Methodist Church as to their willingness to retire in favor of Methodist control and a program of expansion and endowment They pronounced it "worthy of consideration. "

Methodism had mushroomed in America since its first small meetings in New York in 1766. Methodists had rooted themselves in the cities and swept out through the countryside everywhere, setting the frontier aflame for holiness. Nisbet had



watched their progress in Carlisle with a sharply contemptuous eye. They had a kinship with New Side Presbyterianism, but this was all-the-way and inordinately successful. They combined a doctrine of unusual ease and warmth with a remarkably tight and effective organization. From bishop to class leader to member, each with his tender or burning recollection of "conversion," they were a united brotherhood, and "Brother" or "Sister" their common form of address. Their itinerant ministry reached out through the thinly settled lands. Their clergy's regular changes of location kept the spirit of inspiration fresh, as did their modest educational standard. They lived to shake down the heavenly fire, and left theological hair-splitting to their rivals.

Yet by 1830 they had education itself as a major issue of their own—warm inspiration against cold book—learning, a "God-made" against a "man-made" ministry. They were growing in numbers and social status, and the desirability of educational institutions of their own could not be denied, though any proposal of a theological school would still have met overwhelming opposition. That would not come until the founding of Drew University in 1867. This prevailing hostility put the intellectuals of the Church upon their mettle. They were determined to succeed and eager to win the respect of educators everywhere. The Baltimore Conference, central and strong, controlling a vast area from central Pennsylvania down into Virginia, had before it the example of the New England Methodists, who had taken over the buildings of Captain Alden Partridge's military school to found Wesleyan University in 1831. By June, 1833, the time of Wesleyan's first commencement, Baltimore had been joined by the powerful Philadelphia Conference in the Dickinson venture. With the growth of the Church, conference divisions would divide responsibility for the College—New Jersey separated from Philadelphia in 1836, Newark from New Jersey in 1857, and from Baltimore came East Baltimore, 1857, and Central Pennsylvania, 1868—but with the two original conferences still holding their endowment funds in trust. That same year, 1833, Pittsburgh Conference was taking over Allegheny College, also formerly Presbyterian. It all had the inevitablity of a rising tide.



The old Board was as ready to yield to events as it had formerly been to turn the burden over to the state. The seats of the half dozen who refused to resign were declared vacant as the Methodist majority moved in.1 The old regime held its last meeting on June 6, 1833, and the new one its first on June 7. On that day, John Price Durbin was elected to head the new administration. An amendment to the charter was initiated to give the presidency of the Board to the Principal of the College. Durbin would be the institution's first actual chief executive, formulating policy for Board approval and carrying it out.2 He was also one of those churchmen in Dickinson's history who saw the office as a step to higher ranges of ecclesiastical service.

Durbin was then thirty-two years of age, a Kentuckian of poor background, yet one whose conversion and call to the itineracy had been acts of deliberation rather than of the endemic emotional ecstasy. He was self-educated in classics, literature and science, but had taken a degree at Cincinnati College in 1825. For the next six years he was Professor of Languages at Augusta College in Kentucky. In 1831, he had a choice between the professorship of Natural Science at Wesleyan and the chaplaincy of the United States Senate. He chose the Senate.3 The General Conference of 1832 elected him editor of the Christian Advocate and Journal and other publications. From this vantage point he supported the educational movement as giving Methodists a larger access to the professions, supporting both Dickinson and Wesleyan and even, in a final editorial of July 18, 1834, the idea of a theological seminary.4

Among the first acts of the new Board were building repairs, grading and planting the campus with trees and shrubs, property insurance and inventory.5 More importantly, it provided for the immediate continuance of the Grammar School, and accepted the offer of Judge John Reed of Carlisle to establish a "law department." Reed had been a student in the Class of 1806, and a trustee from 1821 to 1828. "I would not contemplate," he wrote in his proposal June 8, 1833, "more than a nominal connection with the College." But since there was no other law school in the state, and his own new home would adjoin the campus, he could foresee a relationship of mutual advantage.6 So indeed it would become. His first student was



enrolled April 1, 1834, and the College would confer its first degrees of Bachelor of Laws two years later.7

By Durbin's arrival, April, 1834, the Grammar School had grown to nearly forty pupils, laboring over Caesar, Cicero, the Greek reader and New Testament and an assistant must be found for Mr. Dobb.8 Thus primary and professional training preceded the College itself, which the conferences had resolved not to open until $45,000 had been raised. In May, word of an accounting of $48,000 in subscriptions came through, and the second Wednesday of September was set for formal opening.9

Avowed sectarian control would now remove the old charge of Dickinson's being covertly so controlled; while at the same time, as at Wesleyan and almost all other denominational schools, students of other faiths would be welcomed—as would, in careful proportion, faculty and trustees. The trustees of the new Board were primarily clergy and laymen of the two conferences, men who would speak for education and whose voices would carry weight in General and Annual Conference, in the crowded city churches, in the country circuits, down to that last unit of about a dozen souls, class and class leader. Persuasion would not be easy, yet an organization such as any modern development officer might envy was there. The first list of trustees included in their minutes, June 7, 1833, is headed by two names obviously so placed for their importance. The first is John Emory, a graduate of Washington College, a man of unusual ability who had turned from the law to the ministry and had been elected a bishop the year before. The second is John McLean, a rugged, self-educated newspaperman, lawyer and politician, who had refused a cabinet post under Jackson rather than agree to political dismissals. Jackson had responded by making him a Supreme Court Justice in 1829. Even so early, he was spoken of as a presidential possibility. Under Dickinson's Chief Justice Taney, Dickinson's McLean wrote the dissenting opinion in the Dred Scott case.

The Baltimore group included Dr. Samuel Baker of the College of Medicine, a fashionable practitioner,10 and Thomas Emerson Bond, physician and editor, a man of great influence in the growth of the Church. Others were Bond's close friend the Rev. Alfred Griffith, whose sermons were described as



"heavy artillery," ponderously declaimed from under shaggy brows, lightened with flashes of humor; preachers Stephen George Roszel, aging now, but a powerful influence in General Conference, and John Davis, tall and commanding "a prince in Israel."11 Roszel at that first meeting nominated Daniel Webster for membership, no doubt mindful of the Dartmouth case and Webster's championship of the independence of college trustees under their charter, but the name lost by nine votes.

Philadelphia had strength of the same sort—old-line Methodists like Samuel Harvey, merchant and banker, and younger men of education and refinement. Harvey had watched and recorded the earliest growth of the American church and came to Carlisle ready to give this new enterprise the Midas touch of his personal success. The Rev. Pennell Coombe had also an interest in finance, as did another clergyman, Charles Pitman with his large head and sunken eyes, a dark, earnest, melancholy man. The Rev. Joseph Lybrand, with a florid face under dark hair and a "well-regulated cheerfulness," came (as the description would imply) from a well-to-do Philadelphia family.12 John Miller Keagy, the brilliant physician and educator, author and disciple of Pestalozzi was there. He would be appointed to the College faculty two years later, just before his death. James Barton Longacre, the painter and engraver was another new trustee, as was the scholarly Englishman, Joseph Holdich, who would resign after two years to accept a professorship at Wesleyan. Holdich, nearsighted, would long be remembered by the Wesleyan boys for having tipped his tall hat to the President's cow as he crossed the campus, with a "Good morning, Madam."13

Carlisle was best represented by men of the old families and of other churches, elected, one may suspect, with an eye to a continuance of the state subsidies. William MacFunn Biddle would be an active member of the Board from 1833 until his death in 1855. When Charles Bingham Penrose presented his resignation, June 7, 1833, he was immediately elected Secretary of the Board. Penrose, who had married Biddle's daughter, Valeria, was a successful politician, a genial, attractive man of thirty-five, his bald crown surrounded by a bushy halo of yellow curls.14 He was a trustee of the new Second Presbyterian



Church. Charles McClure of the Class of 1824 (and Turkey Club), an Episcopalian, would soon be elected to the state legislature, and would serve in Congress after that.15 Frederick Watts, who collaborated with Penrose in the publication of law reports and stands as founder of the Pennsylvania State University, would be reelected a Dickinson trustee in 1841.

This new Board met only once a year, at commencement.  Later, there would be a midwinter meeting also. Its executive committee, varying in title, powers and activity, would be present in the intervals. At Dickinson as at Wesleyan, the trustees were independent and self-perpetuating under their charter. Churchmen of seventy-five and a hundred years later would bemoan the failure of those of 1833 to initiate a charter change giving the Methodist conferences direct control of Board membership. Why they did not is obvious. They were a minority in a predominantly anti-intellectual denomination. The majority looked askance at higher education. Strong pressures to introduce elements of the trade school were exerted. These trustees had to deny any intention of setting up an educational standard for the ministry, though some cherished a hope that their program would lead in that direction. The two "patronizing conferences" took their own guarded view of the situation. Each would hold the endowment funds it raised for the College under conference-elected trustees, and they took up the old practice of sending "visitors" as official liaisons with the campus, where they continued to appear at commencement until 1925.16

From the first, the conferences would be watching the College with a sensitivity to the doubts and misgivings which have always confronted educators in one form or another. The two conferences subdivided, and conference representation on the Board became a matter of jealous concern. So also did loyalty to the Church. This could include acceptance of any favorite doctrine or practice, and we glimpse frequently the old-line clergy's distrust of soft-living intellectuals—of colleges and academies as "the high places of the devil."17 In 1846 the New Jersey Conference, an offshoot from Philadelphia, demanded that students kneel rather than stand at prayer, and that faculty set the example. Faculty "respectfully" refused.18 Baltimore took Durbin roundly to task for countenancing the reading of



novels.19 In all of this Durbin was well supported by his facultv. but the age of the College gave him an additional element of stability—"a network of custom and tradition more intractable, as more exacting and imperious, than written codes."20

The new sectarianism, Durbin had found, interested Carlisle more than any other feature of the reopening, and he brought the matter out in his inaugural address. "What religious requisitions will be made upon the students?" Only College chapel, he declared, and Sunday attendance at any church of their own choosing. "They will be received as Christian youth . . . and it will be the duty of this ancient and venerable institution to see that they lose not this character."21

His audience was listening to a rather small, angular, shrill-voiced man, with sandy hair over a receding forehead and sleepy hazel eyes which could become lustrous and commanding when aroused.22 Durbin's renown as a preacher was based on what, in the religious jargon of the day, was called "the sudden change."  Prosaic, thoughtful, informative, he would skillfully lay a foundation and then suddenly surge forward with it in a torrent of warmth and fervor.23 Some students thought him a poseur, but Sidney George Fisher's estimate at their meeting in 1838, "a damned pompous fanatical Methodist & prig" is jaundiced to say the least. Even Fisher glimpsed in Durbin and his surroundings a refinement he would not have expected to find in a Methodist minister's home.24

Durbin, keeping the initiative, held both trustees and faculty to his will.25 He would influence the town through his work at the College and with the new public school system.26 He appears in 1840 on the executive committee of the National Convention for the Promotion of Education in the United States presided over by Alexander Dallas Bache, the new head of Girard.27 That he was not elected a delegate to General Conference that year was attributed to his forwardness as an educator.28 The organization would never realize that the religious life of a college must be exploratory, creative, combative, exciting a loyalty only to its ideals, if it would escape the contempt a tacit subservience deserves. Durbin's faculty breathed life and advance into orthodoxy—a function not rediscovered at



Dickinson until the 1960's—and the spirit of inquiry touched the classroom as well.

The method of instruction in the College is by regular and careful recitation, accompanied with free and unrestrained enquiry and conversation on any or all points directly or collaterally involved in the subject. The students know that they are at liberty to make free enquiries or to propose and discuss any questions. They are encouraged to it. This process while it enables the instructor to satisfy himself of the knowledge of the students in reference to the particular subject calls into action his intellectual powers and accustoms him to think and investigate, while the communication with the Professor directs his thoughts and stimulates his investigation. Thus the true object of a collegiate education is obtained, viz. to develop and discipline the powers of the man. The books used in instruction are subject to change, but generally are the same as those used in the best colleges.

So Durbin informed his trustees, July 20, 1836. His own classroom was, as one student described it, "a place of pleasure," so ready was he to move from lecture to discussion, encouraging challenge and debate, even letting the young men believe they had lured him away from the routine of presentation and recital.29 He was teaching as "Professor of Moral Science." The usual presidential course, "Moral Philosophy," was intended as a summation of all previous learning and its application to contemporary life. Content and approach were left very much to personal choice, and the altered title suggests Durbin's bias.

At the outset, Durbin had only two colleagues besides Judge Reed and the three men who were then handling the larger body of Grammar School pupils. That ever-central place in Latin and Greek had been taken by John Emory's son, Robert. Robert, just turned twenty-one, had graduated at the head of his class at Columbia in 1831. In that year his father had been elected President of Randolph-Macon and he its Professor of Languages.30 The father became a bishop instead, while Robert, before coming to Dickinson, had been studying law under Reverdy Johnson in Baltimore. His students now saw a dark-haired young man peering at them through spectacles, an exacting teacher, always precise, a perfectionist, yet with a sweet



voice, a dignified charm and that remote intensity which so often characterized the young consumptive.31 In Emory's classes a student called upon to recite must sit in a chair apart from the others, not led on by questions but merely directed to speak upon the subject—a situation in which success and failure were equally conspicuous. The practice encouraged sound preparation. President Herman Merrills Johnson followed it, and we see it in the 1890's, vestigial and ineffective, in the classroom of Emory's student, Dr. Henry Martyn Harman.32 Emory left after five years for a tour of duty in the ministry, then returned to assume the acting presidency and presidency of the College.

At the outset, too, this faculty had only one experienced professional teacher, Merritt Caldwell. He was a native of Maine, and had been Principal of the Maine Wesleyan Seminary from 1828 to 1834. The appointment may be traced to trustee Thomas Sewall, another New Englander, a graduate of the Seminary, a man of refinement and scholarly tastes.33 Durbin turned to Caldwell for advice, and received sound, dispassionate counsel. Caldwell's publications include a Conjugation of the English Verb, A Practical Manual of Elocution, a volume of Christian biography and a study of the psychological principles of Christian perfection. His commencement address of 1835 refutes the prevalent doctrine of separate "powers of the mind," calls for more widespread "female education" and attacks the insistent utilitarianism of the times.34 He had come to Carlisle at the age of twenty-eight, he and his wife Rosamond living in West College, where their son, later a Dickinson alumnus, was born. Here was a confident, unruffled figure in the milieu which Joseph Spencer had found so difficult—a face framed in dark brown hair and side whiskers, with calmly observant eyes behind the steel-rimmed spectacles. He was a successful but not a popular teacher, patient, impersonal, always strict and fair within the rules. When the students who had been directed to step forward for recitation, first bowing to the professor, chose instead to rush up and prostrate themselves, kissing the floor at his feet, we see Caldwell, unmoved, noting down the minus marks in his book as he nods to them to proceed.35 He did laugh at the dramatization of Thomas Campbell's poetic dialogue between the Wizard and Lochiel, Chief of the Came-



roes, when Lochiel, at the climactic, "Down, soothless insulter!" stamped his foot so hard that the stage all but collapsed. "Well, Spottswood, you ought to be emphatic just where you were, but don't you think that your emphasis was a little too pronounced?"36

Caldwell, like Emory, was tubercular. In 1841 he was too ill for a full schedule, but he recovered and lived another seven years. Moncure Conway learned from him "the importance of weighed words, exact statement, and tones sympathetic with the sense. His criticism of our compositions, or of our accentuation in reading, was uttered with such sweetness that the effect was always encouragement."37 And Conway always remembered his announcement in class that there would be "no more Monday morning recitations, as he was going away." They learned of his death soon after.38

Within three years, college enrollment had risen from thirteen Freshmen and five Sophomores to over a hundred, and the first Seniors of the new regime graduated in 1837. That level was maintained till the Civil War years, while the crowded grammar school population was allowed to drop to a lower figure. These developments brought new faculty to the College, and began the practice of using recent graduates of high standing, such as Thomas Bowman or John Zug, as instructors for a year or two m the preparatory work.

With Keagy dying of consumption before he could take over his duties as "Professor of Chemistry and Experimental Philosophy," a new man of indubitable health and vigor was found in the state of Maine. William Henry Allen, a twenty-six-year-old Bowdoin alumnus who had attended Caldwell's academy at Readfield, and had been teaching Latin and Greek. He wrote frankly that he could teach the sciences acceptably (though not "to equal my predecessor until after long experience"). He would do so for ten years, following with three in English literature.39 "Bully" Allen, sturdy, round-faced, bald, was immensely popular and effective. Dr. Richard A. F. Penrose of the Class of 1846, looking back from his chair in Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, thought his lectures "the clearest and most philosophical I have ever listened to. They possessed also a quality not common in lectures on such subjects,



which I might designate by the word 'adhesiveness,' that is, the student somehow could not forget them; and hence it was that the graduates of Dickinson knew more about these sciences than any of the other young men of their day."40 In Caldwell's illness, Allen took over rhetoric and logic, which were being taught from Archibishop Whately's texts, and carried his students enthusiastically beyond Whately.41 "Corpus," as they also called him because it suited that ruddy rotundity, took his Methodist background lightly and was more ready than anyone else to assure them that good novels were "always worth reading."42 When in 1849 the telegram came informing him of his election as President of Girard College, he and Mrs. Allen invited them all in to "have an oyster," an evening of warm congratulations, refreshments and cigars.43

"Bully" had turned over his work in the sciences to young Spencer Fullerton Baird, an alumnus of 1840. Baird would leave a year after Allen to join Joseph Henry in setting up the new Smithsonian Institution. He was the youngest of this young faculty, and was, as young Conway saw him, "the beloved professor and the ideal student .... All that was finest in the forms he explained to us seemed to be represented in the man."44 He had prepared himself with the study of medicine and languages and with exhaustive reading; he stood high with other naturalists, among them Audubon, whom he assisted in the identification of the birds he was painting.45 Baird was still the passionate boy collector and had come to the College with a wealth of materials, demonstrating his value by working for a year without pay. Suddenly, the Museum became as large as and more used than the Library. He made field trips a part of the regular course—a startling innovation in the higher education of that day.

Baird was the faculty's only non-Methodist—actually a member of no church. He and Allen, close and congenial, cared little how the College's religious sponsorship might fare. Their colleagues John McClintock and George R. Crooks were on the other hand profoundly concerned and would profoundly influence the Church's new intellectualism. McClintock, a Philadelphian, arrived in 1836, a year after his graduation from the University of Pennsylvania at the age of twenty-two. A decade



before, Joseph Holdich, his pastor, had recognized the boy's unusual promise. At Dickinson he would teach mathematics for four years, then Greek and Latin until 1848. In appearance he was the teacher and scholar only, though he was soon to have notoriety as a man of action. He was short and slender, with a small body and a large head, its features delicate, youthful and engaging. As Professor Allen put it, "McClintock had a head as large as Daniel Webster's poised on a body half his size." His carriage and manner were always graceful, frank and easy. His swiftness of thought and warmly sympathetic responses made him, to some, "the most magnetic and inspiring" of the faculty.46 "If there is such a thing as a universal genius," Durbin said, "Mack is one."47 There was a genuine idealism here, with a radiance long remembered. Crooks, younger, and a classmate of Baird, saw McClintock as an Apollo, "amazing us by the energy with which he quickens our minds." Crooks, after a stint as assistant in the Grammar School, taught classics in the College for two years and left in the same year as McClintock, whose biographer he eventually became. The two collaborated on a wide range of works and ended their careers at Drew, McClintock as President, Crooks as Professor of Church History.

The revived Dickinson had assembled a faculty which Moncure Conway saw in retrospect as unsurpassed in any American college. The national importance of seven of this small group is attested by their inclusion in the Dictionary of American Biography: Durbin, Keagy, Allen, Baird, McClintock and Crooks. One only was palpably a failure, Thomas Emory Sudler, teacher of mathematics from 1840 until he was eased out in 1851. "Colonel Sudler" to colleagues, "Jimmy Sudler" to students, could flash through to mathematical solutions with as much skill—and as little comprehension on the part of his audience—as a prestidigitator. He would swing into class in his blue military cloak, and watch like a hawk to be sure that the lad at the blackboard got no surreptitious help—"Every gentleman must stand on his own bottom."48

This faculty was a tight unit, meeting formally once a week (largely on disciplinary matters), and as regularly if less formally for intellectual discussion. We see Durbin, Emory and Allen fascinated by Caldwell's solid defense and McClintock's light-



ning thrusts at "that great crux philosophica, the human will," as expounded in the new treatise by Professor Upham of Bowdoin.49 Caldwell, senior educator, held forth among them and in public on educational progress, and lured them as well into the new borderlands of psychology, phrenology and mesmerism.50 He was a stern advocate of temperance, recognized by all as a vital social reform, though the medicinal value of alcohol was not denied, and was sometimes invoked by a student in trouble. Faculty, like the students, were not wholly free of the vices of smoking and chewing. The professors, young men all, joined in walks, horseback rides, fishing and shooting, would meet again in "soirees" and suppers often with a cheerful crowd of college boys, and girls from the young ladies' academy.

The influence of the state of Maine upon this scene appears once more in the Carlisle Female Seminary, an attendant feature of the new Dickinson, whose preceptresses, the Misses Phoebe and Sarah Paine and Mrs. B. H. H. Stevens, had come from the Maine Wesleyan Seminary. Its curriculum included all the "common English studies," along with botany, chemistry, astronomy, mental, moral and natural philosophy, the French, Spanish and Italian languages, music and drawing.51 This liberal program gave the College faculty an additional source of income, and sometimes brought the girls into college classes, with Allen's, again, the most popular—"What student of that day will ever forget our electrical circles there? How tenderly we took in ours the soft, white hands of the blushing maidens! How tightly we held them, trembling when the shocks from the battery waxed heavy, and the fair ones wriggled and twisted and struggled in vain to get free, squealing as only girls can squeal!"52 The Female Seminary was incorporated in 1838 under seven trustees, of whom Durbin was the only Methodist, though it had strong Methodist endorsement.53 It would be for many years a crowning feature of the schools clustering about the College—by 1843 fifteen of them, with about eight hundred pupils.54  Among these the old Grammar School shone for a while as "Dickinson Institute," intended no doubt to give it equal status with the New Jersey Conference's Pennington Seminary of 1837 and the other academies from which boys were coming. Thin, sharp-chinned Levi Scott, later a bishop,



catalogued the growing library of the Oratorical Society, the Institute's equivalent of Belles Lettres and Union Philosophical;55 Here one must credit also the enthusiasm of John McClintock, Librarian of the College from 1840 to 1848.

McClintock, from his first arrival in 1836, found college life wholly congenial and predicted that its regularity would be "very serviceable to my health."

The order is as follows:—First bell, half past five A.M.; prayers, six A.M.—breakfast immediately after prayers; recitations, nine, ten, eleven, or nine, ten A.M. and four P.M., or ten, eleven A.M., and four P.M., never exceeding three recitations a day. The students generally are moral, studious, and well-behaved, and many of them are pious. Evening prayers at five P.M.—tea immediately after prayer. Last bell, nine P.M. Thus the bells are—First, half past five A.M., second, six A.M.; third, eight A.M.; fourth, nine A.M.; fifth, ten A.M.; sixth, eleven A.M.; seventh, twelve M. (dinner); eighth, two P.M.; ninth, three P.M.; tenth, four P.M.; and five, seven, eight and nine P.M.

On Sabbath, after breakfast, two classes meet at eight o'clock; preaching, eleven; dinner, half past twelve; Bible class, . . . three; preaching, half past six, as usual. On Tuesday evening we have a social meeting for literary conversation, etc. On Wednesday, Faculty meeting; Thursday, preaching; Friday, prayer-meeting; Saturday, debate; so that the days and evenings are pretty well filled up.56

The old German Reformed Church building, facing West College from across High Street, had been purchased from schoolmaster Henry Duffield in 1835, refurbished as "Dickinson Institute," and made a part of this little world under the rule of the College bell. Burned in December of the next year, it was promptly rebuilt in better style. This was South College, complementing the rambling, shambling North College of 1822, on the other side of West. Meanwhile, the long, tall walls of East College were rising, four sections four storeys high with fire walls between, the fourth section at the east end designed to be the home of the President. Otherwise, it was a typical college dormitory of the time, strikingly similar to Princeton's East College, completed two years earlier.

But Yale was now Dickinson's model of academic respectability, as it was for Princeton and others throughout the land.57 The Dickinson Statutes of 1834 are merely a revision of those of 1830, but the edition of 1836 is patterned directly on The



Laws of Yale College. The marked difference is only in Yale's section on "Crimes and Misdemeanors" with its hilarious reflection of student life in New Haven, as against Dickinson's "On the Deportment of Students" which reflects Methodism's larger flow of redemption and grace, and a new faculty's hopefulness. Deportment at Dickinson would soon be approaching Yale's. "Old East" was finished and filled with students in January, 1837—fresh paint, brightly carpeted floors, three rooms for each two students, two for sleeping and a third where "chum and I" could study.58 Yet only a few weeks later the first desecration had occurred.

Faculty minutes for the time are lacking, and scattered notes on the disciplinary cases of March, 1837, present a confused picture—Purnell driving a stick into the door of Mr. Roszel, Grammar School master, a strange business of Wright's having found money hidden under Professor Caldwell's carpet, but more palpably guilty of noise and disrespect—Waters and Owens also up for noise. Dreadful to relate, there had been "whooping" in East College attic, and logs of wood rolled recklessly down the stairs with damage and din, greeted from below by young voices raised in the song,

I've oftentimes been told

That ye. British sailors bold ....

Only so much of the lyric was noted down in the tight, shocked script. No more was needed. Professor Caldwell moved that Wright, Waters and Purnell be dismissed forthwith, Owens suspended for the rest of the year. After discussion, the severity of this proposal was somewhat modified. Three of the culprits disappear from the Dickinson scene. John Armstrong Wright, who was to become a dedicated trustee, regained status by making a full apology.59

Soon after, some vengeful student pen labored out a touching tribute to Caldwell, forged the signature of John Price Durbin at its close and dispatched it to the Christian Advocate and Journal which, mirabile dictu, printed the whole, filling a half column of the huge sheet. Professor Caldwell was dead, his last moments before his "soul departed to the land of spirits" feelingly described. And finally, "It became my painful duty to



address the weeping and afflicted assembly at the grave, when I discoursed on the words, 'Well done, good and faithful servant.'"60

A year later, looking forward to graduation, John Wright had chosen the career, engineering, in which he would attain eminence. "It is the wish of my friends, of Prof. McClintock, Durbin & Allen & I think it will suit my turn of mind."61 He saw the College as flourishing, Belles Lettres "in the height of her glory"—better than "the Unions."62 Belles Lettres minutes show the society at this time using its "Court of Inquiry" as an instrument of student self-government, yet with a leniency unlikely to attract faculty approval. Wright, on January 25, 1837, had been fined only 25¢ for intoxication and "unnecessary noise." On January 4, for "frequent intoxication," Freshman Henry W. Nabb had been fined $1 and ordered to sign the pledge. On appeal, a week later, the pledge was remitted and the fine increased by 50c. Faculty frequently resorted to the signing of pledges, and in the case of John Quarles of the Class of 1850, bright and popular Secretary of Belles Lettres, accepted the pledge of a group of his friends to stand with him on the straight and narrow. It was given, alas, in vain. "Squabbles," repeatedly guilty of "criminal conversation" with "girls of dissolute character," and in East College, no less, did not graduate.63

To enter the Freshman Class at Dickinson (or Yale) a boy must be at least fourteen years of age.64 As Judge Reed put forward from the first, they should be entering, not graduating, at eighteen.65 Up to fourteen or fifteen the influences of piety tended to prevail. McClintock found his small brother, aged ten, in the Grammar School, "getting a little too religious: for half the time when I go to my room in College I find some half a dozen youngsters holding a prayer meeting, and it incommodes me not a little."66 But later, the forbidden delights and excitements would appear—disruptive classroom tricks (as early as January, 1840 it had been discovered that pepper sprinkled on the stove top in winter made the atmosphere almost unendurable, especially for a teacher with weak lungs or throat), card-playing, alcohol and the girls sure to be found at night on the dark streets of a garrison town. The faculty, to protect the



virtuous, were kept busy with surprise visits to dormitory rooms and the back rooms of taverns, and with sifting the evidence on which suspensions or dismissals would depend. As in the Presbyterian regime, room-visiting was a duty which the faculty abhorred and inclined to leave to the President, with his larger salary and greater responsibility.

Riots and rebellions continued to enliven the scene. In the spring of 1843, a hundred students armed with pistols, knives and clubs held the campus wall against the "Carlisle Infantry," until other soldiers arrived from the post and raised the siege.67 Rebellion against faculty authority had appeared early, and would continue. "The young gentlemen," President Durbin reported to his trustees in 1839, "took a resolution which left the Faculty no alternative but to yield to their peremptory demand in a question of administration of discipline, or to send them home if they did not yield."68 They had been sent home.

Only the societies could raise student objections and maintain dialogue in terms of academic courtesy. At the start of the Methodist regime they had opposed any invasion of ancient practices, and would continue to meet issues in this fashion.69 Yet faculty was far more apprehensive of organized opposition than appreciative of the value of independence. The Statutes made clear that society property belonged, in fact, to the Board, and that meetings were held under faculty authority and only at authorized (never nocturnal) hours. The students, aware of the value of their libraries, their public "exibitions" and their invited speakers, all at a considerable cost borne by themselves, still yearned for true autonomy in buildings, or a building, of their own. By 1840, class loyalty was vying with loyalty to the society.70 The fraternities would follow. Yet these teachers did maintain a friendly rapport with their students, benign and more lenient than their predecessors. How else could the young naturalist Baird, Class of 1840, capable of trudging sixty miles in a day with pack on back, have been excused from early morning chapel because of "palpitation of the heart? "71

Similarly, what is gained in class depends far more on the character of the teachers than on a published curriculum. Comparing the Statutes of 1828 and 1834, one does see an advance in standard and goals. The quality of the new is supported also



by the Grammar School schedules, where a thorough foundation for the college years was being laid. The new Board in its first scheme, approved September 25, 1833 and published at once in the Carlisle and other papers, promised professorships of (1) "Intellectual and Moral Philosophy," embracing both "Political Economy" and "Evidences of Natural and Revealed Religion" (Butler's Analogy); (2) "Exact Sciences," that is, mathematics; (3) "Natural Sciences," including chemistry, mineralogy, geology, botany, physiology; (4) Greek and Latin, the languages, literature and "antiquities"; (5) "Belles Lettres," English literature, with rhetoric and elocution; and (6) French, Spanish, Italian and German.72

The modern languages were taught at first on a fee basis as formerly, but with no regular professor until 1846. They were being offered, the Statutes of 1834 inform us significantly, "to meet the demands of the age, and enable the institution to offer every facility to a complete education." Durbin's vein of caution and respect for respectability were hostile to "the spirit of age." Emory, succeeding him as President, would find the faculty more ready to accept experimental changes.

In Methodist thinking, the fine arts rated only a milder condemnation than works of fiction, but music was another matter. Here there was a tradition stemming from the Wesleys themselves, a source of inspiration and unity, though to have an organ or piano in church was still unusual. Durbin proposed a regular course in Music in 1837, and a teacher was engaged for those who "voluntarily associate for this purpose. "73 Four years later, Edward L. Walker appears in the catalogues as Professor of Music, holding that post until 1847.74

Anatomy and physiology were taught on a fee basis, 1842 to 1844, by Dr. James McClintock, John's older brother, and efforts were made to continue what was, in effect, a pre-medical course.75 John McClintock, at the same time, was making an effort to launch a pre-ministerial course on Sunday afternoons in the Chapel, he lecturing on the Pauline writings and Durbin on the Old Testament.76 The course has a note in the catalogues from 1841 to 1843. Judge Reed's law school, the while, may well have had a sounder, if less insistent, appeal than the ministry to young men seeking careers. Certainly then, as in



later years, the Law School was a strengthening and maturing influence.

As Durbin was aware and Emory would soon learn, special courses and electives evoke the perennial problem of where to find the money. This had been a first concern of the Methodist trustees, knowing as they did the low income level of their constituency, as well as the hostility of most of it to higher education. Carlisle, grown to a lovely country town of four thousand inhabitants, was grateful, as it had been before, for the revival of the College, and a trustee resolution of June 8, 1833, had welcomed the "spirit of mutual friendship." From this good beginning the two parties settled into the mutual exacerbations of town and gown. Methodists had long been partial to the" manual labor system" in education, by which students worked to support the school, not a little like prisoners at labor. It had prevailed at Cokesbury College, derided by Nisbet. Both Wesleyan and Dickinson perforce made gestures and broke promises in its behalf.77 Its false economy had been demonstrated at the Maine Wesleyan Seminary.78 It was thought degrading by professional educators, which may have been one reason why the constituency approved it. It was an even more unwelcome idea to the tradespeople of Carlisle, who preferred college students as customers rather than competitors. Years later, after giving a few poor students rooms in which to work at their trades, the College would respond to town complaint and forbid the practice.79 Durbin experienced all the sensitivity of a college president to local feeling. When he turned for advice to Caldwell vacationing in Maine, it was given in terms he scarce dared follow:

You know I have always been more indifferent to the feelings which the good people of Carlisle might please to indulge toward the college than you have. We ought to do right & then ' go ahead;" if they love us, well; if not, well. I don't think our college would go down if all the borough east of West Street should be swept away by some flood, or if all the people east of that street should die of the cholera . . . .80

In the last year of Durbin's administration the College, by order of the borough, built pavements along the West and High Street



sides of the campus, an insistence upon conformity with the requirements imposed on all residents to be repeated in later generations, and with chronic ill feeling on both sides.81

That initial $45,000 was to have come from collections in the churches and among the laity and from the sale of scholarships. On payment of $500 to the conference fund, the donor received a certificate entitling him and his heirs forever to send one student to Dickinson College.82 A minister who raised $100 could send one minister's son.83 In addition to the itineracy and other preachers, agents were employed to solicit. College sessions began at last in a spirit of jubilation, yet the drive, over the top on paper, had actually far from achieved its goal. Agents signed up subscribers readily, but were slow in collecting cash.84 Scholarships were sold without proper record. They were given for both cash and kind.85 Durbin hoped to launch his Music Department with a $350 piano which had been given in part payment for a $500 perpetual scholarship, but the trustees voted to try, at least, to get the money.86 Many purchasers elected to pay only what would be the interest on $500 until they could afford the principal, and sums were coming in undesignated as to whether they were interest or principal.87 By Durbin's first commencement, 1837, they had in cold truth received less than $20,000 of the stipulated endowment.88

A month later, auguring future prosperity, the Cumberland Valley Railroad's first train smoked and rattled into the village at the market house and square. Yet already the panic of 1837 had brought the smouldering presence of hard times, to last for a decade more. Durbin's report of 1843 shows the combined funds at only $41,793, and income from every source barely meeting the annual expenses of over $9,000. Writing, pleading, collecting in churches and camp meetings, he and his professors still might not have weathered it but for state aid. The new Board, not without effort and delay, was able to get the final $3,000 installment of the grant of 1826, and—pleading that the College now "bears more directly on the great middling class from whence our common schools must derive their teachers"

became one of the schools to which $1,000 a year was granted 1839 to 1843.89

This new willingness of the state to support the College



despite its sectarian bias emphasized the insecurity of church support, and we see faculty looking elsewhere. Emory resigned in July, 1840, to enter ministerial work. McClintock, replacing him in languages, was replaced in mathematics by Sudler. Durbin, at the same time, asked and was granted a six-month leave to visit Europe. Then, in May, 1841, he stood for election as secretary of the Missionary Society, an important church office which he would hold later, from 1850 to 1872. He was defeated by one vote only, friends of the College opposing his leaving it.90 He had done well as a money-raiser, and there was still a debt of $15,000 borrowed from the conferences to build East College and rebuild South.

The trip to Europe was made in 1842 and 1843, with Emory brought back as Acting President. Durbin was allotted $1,000 to purchase books and apparatus abroad. He was, quite obviously, following the example of President Wilbur Fisk of Wesleyan, who had crossed the ocean in 1835, returning with scientific apparatus and specimens and then bringing out a popular book on the tour.91 Durbin would write two similar books of travel, published by his son-in-law's firm, Harper and Brothers.92 He would be welcomed back to Carlisle with a procession, speeches, an illumination of the College buildings.93 Yet faculty morale had been low since before his departure.94 He lingered two more years and then resigned to reenter church work.95

Caldwell, to whom the acting presidency would have come by seniority, was grateful for Emory's return. Both were slowly dying of consumption. Now, for two years, there would be an Emory administration characterized by that stern inner vitality. Faculty by-laws were adopted at once to remedy past laxity: faculty would meet every Friday evening and attend all prayers. No class would be dismissed until the ringing of the bell, and none omitted without prior notice to the President. That ever-unpopular chore of visiting student rooms would be a scheduled duty of each, once a week, "the President to visit them all."96 The rampant drinking and card-playing declined under this watchfulness. In 1847, Emory could report not a single dismissal for discipline—not even Charles Wesley Carrigan, who had had liquor in tavern and in his room, but whose fellow students



had intereceded for him in thirty-six lines of melodious appeal, "Forgive that Erring Youth":

Deep is the anguish of his heart!

     O add not to its wo,
Lest black despair should o'er his mind
     Its fatal influence throw.97

Examinations in the new regime continued to be oral and open to the public by invitation. Finals in 1837 ran for five afternoons, one for each professor, from two o'clock to five. Durbin had set the example of writing questions on slips, to be passed out, giving each student time for consideration before he would be called upon to speak. Samples, on Butler's Analogy:

Why can we not conclude death will be the destruction of the living powers—"from the reason of the thing"—nor from the analogy of nature? Explain.

State & illustrate the argument in favor of the moral govt of God, founded upon the "necessary tendencies of virtue."

Apply these principles to the temptations of the Christian and of Christ—& show how the latter was "without sin." (Not in the author but in our conversations.)98

With the written questions, alas, we have our first records of cheating. McClintock's slips were obtained from "his beautiful sister, Annie," and Sudler's filched at dinner time from inside his tall hat.99

After Durbin's return from abroad, Allen introduced a new grading system which continued for many years. Class performance and general deportment were figured together in a plus and minus record.100 Following a student request of 1845, the sums were announced at the end of the year. The top student of 1846 had a score of 5,657, and the lowest, 1,004.101 Ultimate standing was dramatized in the commencement program: the Valedictorian in first place, then the opening Salutatory, the "Philosophical Oration" coming third and the other addresses arranged in order of standing—each mercifully short and blessedly interspersed with music by the military or some other band.

College catalogues and trustee pronouncements do not al-



ways tell us precisely what was being learned in class. In his first report as Acting President,— Emory gave in more dependable detail a description of the work of the year just passed. In a summary, it appears that  


with Emory, studied William Smellie's Philosophy of        

     Natural History (Boston, 1838).  

Caldwell led them through a course in English grammar     

     and composition, probably from his own text, and a   

     basic course in geometry. 

With McClintock, they read Sallust's Conspiracy of 

     Catiline, Horace's odes, Xenophon's Cyropaedia

     studied Charles Anthon's Latin Prosody, "Grecian 

     antiquities" and Greek exercises from Sophocles. 

Sudler confronted them with "decimal fractions and 

     algebra to its highest branches."


Emory introduced the class to Thomas Hartwell Home's 

     Introduction to the Study of the Bible, and lectured on 

     ecclesiastical history. 

Caldwell carried his English grammar course into 

     elocution, completed the study of geometry and went 

     on to Charles Davies' text on plane trigonometry.

Allen took the class through Lord Woodhouselee's 

     (Tytler's) popular two-volume Universal History from 

     the Creation of the World to the Beginning of the 

     Eighteenth Century (Boston, 1838, but also to be had 

     in a Harper set of six volumes, 1839).

McClintock's young classicists had taken up Cicero's De 

     Oratorio, more Horace, with Theophrastus, Xenophon 

     and Euripides.

Sudler was laboring along in trigonometry, and one 

     wonders whether Caldwell's math class may not have 

     been intended to make up for his colleague's poor 


Juniors. Emory, in the presidential course usually 

     reserved for Seniors, used the work of a great 

     American educator and contemporary, Francis 

     Wayland's Moral Science. This was reinforced by 

     Archbishop Richard Whately's Elements of Logic, with 

     declamation every Saturday, and by

Caldwell's work with Wayland's Political Economy and 

     Whately's Elements of Rhetoric, and a written 

     composition every three weeks.

Allen taught French grammar and reading (he had 

     confessed him-

     self inadequate with the spoken language), 

     beginning with new texts by Alexander G. Collot and 

     Arsene Napoleon Girault. The Juniors attended his 

     science class for Seniors. McClintock had reached the 

     Medea of Euripides, Sophocles' Oedipus Tyrannus

     lectured on the Greek drama, and filled in with Cicero, 

     Juvenal and Perseus.

Sudler's classroom, in turn, was threading the mazes of 

     analytical geometry, spherical trigonometry, surveying 

     and differential calculus.

Seniors. Emory, in addition to Bishop Butler's Analogy of 

     Religion, Natural and Revealed, so long to be a staple 

     and a terror to Dickinson Seniors, took them through 

     Caleb Sprague Henry's Epitome of the History of 

     Philosophy, a translation (with additions) from the 

     French of Bautain recently published in two volumes of 

     "Harper's Family Library." This fare was punctuated, 

    as was his work with the Juniors, by Saturday speeches 

     and debates.

Caldwell introduced them to Upham's Mental Philosophy

     for a modern view, and then to William Paley's 

     Evidences of Christianity, a complement to the work 

     with Butler. He delivered also a short lecture course 

     on the history of the English language.

Allen's texts were William Augustus Norton's Elementary 

     Treatise on Astronomy (Philadelphia, 1839), John 

     Johnston's Manual of Chemistry (Philadelphia, 1839, a 

     popular text by a Methodist author), Sir David 

     Brewster's Treatise on Optics (Philadelphia, 1835) and 

     John Lee Comstock's Elements of Mineralogy 

     (Boston, 1827), with lectures twice a week on heat, 

     electricity, mechanics, pneumatics, hydrostatics, 

     chemistry and other aspects of "natural science." 

     Like Durbin, he had class discussions of a "colloquial 

     form, in which points which had been too hastily 

     passed over while the experiments were in progress,   

     were more fully and familiarly explained. l regard 

     these conversations as the most profitable as well as 

     the most pleasant exercises which the Seniors have 

     had in my department."102 Going afield as the others 

     so often did, he worked into all this a course based on 

     James Bayard's Brief Exposition of the Constitution 

     of the United States (Philadelphia, 1834).

McClintock was now leading the way through the 

     Prometheus Bound of Aeschylus, Tacitus' Germania 

     and Agricola and Terence's Andria.

Sudler, at his peak, led the class through analytical 

     mechanics and "Civil Engineering embracing the 

     theory of Mathematics applied

     to practical problems," the use of mathematical 

     instruments, with lectures on the principles and history 

     of mathematics.

As President, Emory obtained trustee approval of an improved modern language program, with a first appearance of electives. Juniors could choose between Greek or German; Seniors, mathematics or French.104 Charles E. Blumenthal joined the faculty as "Professor of Modern Languages and Hebrew," teaching at first on a fee basis, and without a graduation requirement in his subjects.105 Yet the change was popular with the more serious students, who had their eyes already on study in Germany and travel in Europe.106 Wesleyan University had had from the beginning a "Literary and Scientific Course" leading to the Bachelor of Science degree.107 This concession to "the spirit of the age" appears briefly under the same heading in the Dickinson catalogue of 1846-47. In line with earlier Dickinson practice, however, it had only three years' duration and led only to "a certificate of proficiency under the seal of the College."108 It seems to have been a compromise between Durbin's condemnation of partial courses,109 Emory's more progressive view, and a respect for the older conservative traditions of the College.

One of Emory's proposals of 1846 is a credit to his leadership only in that he was able to impose it on a reluctant faculty. He integrated Grammar School and College, bringing all classes together in the main building and spreading the teaching loads to include both. Crooks, Principal of the School, was a brilliant young fellow, well able to sustain the post of Adjunct Professor of Languages, and he foresaw that the College faculty, Baird particularly, would do well with the younger boys. Their salaries would be duly increased. The real saving would be in space.110 The College Library, rearranged and catalogued by Emory and McClintock back in 1837, was moved into South, along with the natural science lecture room and laboratory and Baird's large and rapidly expanding Museum.111 Thus Emory met space needs which the trustees had refused to grant Durbin at their 1845 meeting. The Board had put Durbin off by raising the vision of an entirely new building housing laboratory, Museum, the society halls and all the libraries. Emory hoped to



achieve this too. The societies were clamoring for larger halls, and were ready to appeal to their graduate members (the only alumni organization of the time). At the 1847 meeting he proposed that the societies raise $6,OOO for their share, and the conferences at least $4,000 more.112 He was eager to launch a broad drive for funds.113 Yet in 1847 he was only reimbursed the $300 he had spent to refurbish old North College with those workshops for poor students which were to alarm the town and then be used for dormitory and other purposes.114 And even as he advanced his plans and hopes he must needs ask for a possible leave of absence because of failing health.

It had been an exhausting year for the President, topped off by a sudden catastrophe of fury, bloodshed and death only five weeks before commencement and the trustees' meeting. "The McClintock Riot" brought the College for the first time face to face with the issue of slavery in its most hideous aspect. It brought human values, with which College and Church should be so deeply concerned, into the balance with property values, also of such urgent concern to both. We now see Dickinson's most brilliant professor standing out for the moral issue, and the President doing his best to bring money and morality into an accommodation.

Money and morality—the murder of Lovejoy, the gag rule in Congress, had been followed closely by the Panic of 1837. With the years of hard times, as so often occurs, intellectual and religious idealism simmered and surged. In 1844 the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, had separated itself from the main body upon the issue of slavery. Durbin, heading the Philadelphia delegation in that famous General Conference, had brought forward a "Plan for the Removal of Slavery" by indemnification of owners and colonization in Africa, but withheld it from publication until it appeared in the Christian Advocate of February 10, 1847. The end of the Mexican War and the rise of the Free Soil Party had then brought the battle into national politics. "A Southern Methodist" approved the "Plan," while "A Virginian" raised reasonable doubts as to the feasibility of transporting to Africa five million Negroes, Americans for generations and, as experience had taught, unwilling emigrants.115

President Olin of Wesleyan and others of the northern confer-



ences, though predominantly antislavery, were even less ready than Durbin to act.116

Not so McClintock. He was reading law and watching Congress, alert for the attack. Close after Durbin's came his own articles in the Advocate, "Slavery, No. I" of February 24, followed by II, III and IV—bold, clear condemnation, scornful and provocative.117 Judas had sold his Master for the price of a slave. Slave-money was the price of blood. Slavery, root of the ruin of republican Rome, had been brought to republican America and "thrown upon the spotless shoulders of Christianity"118

The Advocate, under a storm of protest, balked at the fifth article, observing primly that "we ourselves differ with him, toto c[o]elo, in respect to the good which he supposes has been done by the abolition societies."119 McClintock's first book, a Latin text in collaboration with Crooks had just been published. He had offers from the University of Pennsylvania, from a church, from Harper's for an editorship. He knew he would be considered for the presidency of Dickinson should Emory fail to go on, and was prepared to decline it as he would later decline the presidencies of Wesleyan, Alleghany and Troy. In a mood of great issues and a widening career, he was looking beyond the schoolroom, beyond Carlisle, when, on a calm day in early summer, June 2, 1847, the little town began to buzz with the affair of James Kennedy and Howard Hollingsworth. They had come up from Maryland in pursuit of runaway slaves and were now at the courthouse with their prisoners, Lloyd Brown had his ten-year-old daughter Ann, and Hester, wife of a Carlisle man, George Norman. As McClintock would soon become acutely aware, the "aristocracy" and the "rabble" of Carlisle were hotly proslavery, a feeling not shared by "the substantial middle class."120 Black citizens had the aid of such men as Jacob Rheem, later a trustee of the College, and lawyer Samuel Dunlap Adair in forcing Kennedy to answer for the manner of the capture he had made and the legality of holding his prisoners in the county jail. This had filled Judge Samuel Hepburn's courtroom with excited spectators, black and white.

Meanwhile McClintock, stepping into the post office, met the ebullient Charles Wesley Carrigan and learned what was hap-



peeing. George Sanderson, Postmaster and printer, confirmed it. The student no doubt expected a strong reaction from this professor. It came. McClintock denounced the seizure as illegal under a new state act against slave hunting in Pennsylvania, passed March 3, 1847. He brushed aside Carrigan's suggestion that federal law would nullify that of the state. Together they hurried to the courthouse, where Judge Hepburn was himself making haste to settle the matter in Kennedy's favor. Kennedy had a carriage waiting for his prisoners at the door. As the two came in, Mr. Thorn, the hot-tempered and occasionally hard-swearing Episcopal minister, told them of doubts that Hester and the little girl were slaves at all. McClintock, hearing the Judge order the three to be delivered to their master, came forward indignantly to present the fact of the new law. His Honor denied knowledge of it. McClintock promised at once to bring his own copy, and then, as Carrigan remembered, "pressing hurriedly to the dock, in an excited manner," told the prisoners that under the law they were free to go where they chose.121

McClintock was not present when the three, aided by their friends, made a break for liberty at the door. Shouts were raised; stones flew. Kennedy, dashing in pursuit, was knocked down and trampled, suffering injuries from which he died soon after. When McClintock returned with his document, his only part in the melee was to warn off a white man threatening a black woman with a club. Back at the College, however, he found an excitement almost as great as that in town. The students were shocked by the thought of an abolitionist in their midst. Those from the South were packing to leave. Next day they held a meeting on the stone steps and in the Chapel, with Edwin Webster, later a lawyer and Congressman, presiding. "We were all stormy until the door opened and the face of McClintock was seen, serene as if about to take his seat in the recitation room. " Young Moncure Conway never forgot the transformation wrought by "the calm moral force of that address in the Chapel, the perfect repose of the man resting on simple truth."122 A resolution of approval was passed, echoed by one from the faculty praising their resistance to popular clamor and loyalty to the College.123



With the press aroused, with shocked and angry letters pouring in, a typical college-president circumspection overcame any finer feeling in President Emory. He could, of course, honestly clear McClintock of any violent action or illegal intent: " . . . the reports are grossly false, & may be traced to some of our most corrupt citizens. The Professor's presence on the occasion was purely accidental & he is incapable (whatever his views about slavery) of any illegal interference with a master's rights."124 But when he faced his trustees on July 7 it was with a careful oral statement "on the subject of slavery and abolition," to which McClintock, serving as secretary, must have listened with mixed feelings. The Board, however, heard it with satisfaction and resolved that he "commit the same to writing for publication."

That summer, during vacation, McClintock would be brought to trial before Judge Hepburn for "inciting to riot." He would be acquitted over an abundance of perjured testimony, faring somewhat better than his Negro co-defendants. "The truth of the case," he confided to his diary, "was that my human and Christian sympathies were openly exhibited on the side of the poor blacks—and this gave mortal offense to the slaveholders and their confreres downtown.''125 His Advocate articles, no less, along with his willingness to advise the Judge, had helped to make him an unwelcome presence.

The year that followed, with Allen as Acting President, was difficult. Emory was in London to attend the Evangelical Alliance, returning by way of Havana to Baltimore where he died, May 18, 1848. Caldwell, teaching but little through the year, died in Maine on June 6. Early in the year; evoking the authority of the Board's executive committee, Allen had called a halt to faculty absences and irregularly scheduled classes. Professors must provide substitutes at their own expense.126 Conversely, at year's end he urged the trustees to authorize the treasurer to borrow, so that faculty might be freed from doing so on personal security. He recommended also returning the Grammar School to South College under its own teachers (Library and Museum remaining there also) and strengthening Baird's department to meet his "reputation as a Naturalist and skill as a teacher." Blumenthal's also must be reinforced: "In the present



state of education the department of Modern Languages is very important, and a knowledge of French and German almost indispensable."127

As to the presidency, there was no thought of electing Allen, an educator, to an office tacitly open only to a clergyman. By late June there were a dozen candidates in view, led by Stephen Montfort Vail, Principal of the New Jersey Conference Seminary, and Herman Merrills Johnson, professor and Acting President at Ohio Wesleyan.128 A week before the election it had narrowed down to two, Joseph Holdich and Jesse Truesdell Peck. Holdich wrote to Allen that he would accept if it were "a cordial election."129 It was not. Peck won by two votes.

McClintock, resigning from the faculty, was elected to the Board of Trustees. Thus Dickinson retained a figure of recognized eminence, within the pale of a safely conservative majority. McClintock was accepting the editorship of the Methodist Quarterly Review, a position which would become, in his hands, a far greater influence in the intellectual advance of the Church than a college presidency could have been. His wife had written in January, "Some of the trustees say John must be President next year, but we are not very much inclined to anything of that kind." Students, she reported then, were crowding the College, even from the South—"riots and all."130 John, on his part, was not only disinclined but felt that his convictions on slavery unfitted him: "I might become an incendiary . . . I am too impulsive, too unsteady, to be made a model for young men."131 Emory's success in recapturing the southern constituency had tarnished McClintock's standing elsewhere and brought out the problems he would have had in Emory's place.132

But the students of that long-remembered year of the riot had seen the force of an open commitment to truth. Young Conway would go out upon that "earthward pilgrimage" of a long and memorable life. John Fletcher Hurst, scholar and churchman, as a flaxen-haired, boyish-looking student in the Class of 1854, would lead the U. P. debate on the resolution "That the interests of the United States would be conserved by the abolition of slavery," and win it.133 In the College, lethargy, equivocation, that mental paralysis imposed upon so many



by this overwhelming issue, could not again be a safe, unchallenged, respectable surrogate for truth.




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