Chapter Three - The Latin School at Carlisle
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HENRY MAKINLY (he spelled his name consistently so, though others, including his children, used the more accepted form, "McKinley") must have arrived in Carlisle in the summer of 1769, and probably in response to an appeal for a teacher from Steel or Alison. On November 20, 1770, he purchased (at sheriff's sale) a house on the southeast corner of Hanover Street and Locust Alley, and that event is the best clue we have to the date of his marriage to John Steel's daughter, Elizabeth.1 Lydia, the oldest girl, was probably already married to Robert Semple. John Steel, Jr., nineteen at this time, had the law in view as a career, and it is interesting to note that George Duffield, Jr., would also choose that more worldly area of persuasion and contention. The other Steels were Margaret (named for her mother), Mary, Sarah, Robert, Andrew (aged six) and Jean. We know that the father, now a man of fifty-five, owned two fowling pieces, and so can picture him out with his sons for sport and game, a man of action ever. His bold life and his success were such as his son-in-law would now seek also.

Henry Makinly, like young John Steel, was a minister launching his American career from the springboard of an educational establishment. In Ireland, he had been ordained, March 4, 1766, as pastor of the congregation at Moville in Derry Presbytery, County Donegal—romantic names: Moville, "the plain



of the ancient tree," and Donegal, even more aptly, "the fortress of the foreigners."2 Before Makinly, impoverished Moville had had only four settled ministers since 1715, all for short terms, and he had no successor there until 1784.3 Once in America, however, he figures as a teacher, soldier and farmer, his clerical call, apparently, quite left behind. The Carlisle tax lists show him as owner of two cows in 1773; two cows, two horses in 1775. The years bring children to his knee, Henry, John, Daniel, James, Martha and Margaret.4 Daniel would have a son, Daniel, who will in time appear in the Dickinson College arena, playing a small part opposite George Duffield, grandson of the Duffield of these early days.

Makinly's work was fundamentally college preparation, although all the American schools—again, following the Scottish trend—varied their fundamental grounding in the classics with courses useful to those who would go directly into business or a profession. Many of his pupils went to Princeton; some, particularly those with medicine in mind, to the College of Philadelphia. Best known of them all was John Armstrong, Jr., the old Indian fighter's brilliant, sardonic son, who left Princeton in 1775 for a military career, earned some distinction as a staff officer and Washington's resentment as author of the "Newburgh Letters" of 1783, was Congressman, Senator, Jefferson's minister to France and Secretary of War in Madison's war cabinet. George Stevenson, aged eleven, was put to school with Makinly in 1770, to be launched six years later upon his memorable career as Revolutionary soldier, physician, trustee of Dickinson College and a founder and first President of the Board of Trustees of the University of Pittsburgh.5

Another boy, Elisha Macurdy, whose schooling must have begun about 1772, remembered a second teacher. "One of his instructors," Macurdy's careful and devout biographer informs us, "was the late Judge Creigh . . . who is recollected by many yet living, as a prominent Elder in the Presbyterian Church of Carlisle. Another, was a gentleman, who was son-in-law of the Rev. John Steel, of Carlisle, but whose name has been forgotten. Under his direction he commenced the study of the Latin language, but had not advanced far, when his studies were interrupted and the school dispersed, by the breaking out of the war of the Revolution."6



John Creigh had arrived upon this scene in 1761, bearing his certificate of membership in the church at Carmony, near Belfast, where his father and grandfather had been ruling elders.7 A survey of the streets and town lots of Carlisle was drawn by him three years later: "This Plan made Octr. 25th. A.D. MDCCLXIV by Jno. Creigh."8 It shows one of his own lots next door to "Steel's meeting house," and he would continue to invest in others. How long he continued as a teacher is not known. On May 4, 1770, he began filling the pages of his "Precedent Book" with copies of legal forms written out in his almost copperplate schoolmaster's hand.9 Here, obviously, he is looking forward to the career he was to follow in public office and legal affairs. One section, however, consists of tables of "Simple Interest," pointing to his work at the school as well as to the future. He would become, like his forebears, an elder of his church, a practical man active in community and private affairs, a trustee of the College and the sire of later College figures.

From this and other fragmentary evidence, we have a picture of the grammar school at Carlisle, Ranged on the benches in one or two rooms, we have a "Latin school," a "mathematical school" and an "English school," with Henry Makinly hearing the recitations in Latin and Greek and John Creigh leading others from simple to higher mathematics and topping these off with surveying and navigation, vital subjects for all young Americans. Handwriting, English composition and declamation also must be learned. There are probably twenty to thirty boys in all. John Steel is certainly a presence, and one much in evidence at the periodic examinations, when the Board of Visitors, those "Gentlemen of good Repute in the literary World," would foregather to taste and test the progress of learning. For many years to come, in school or college, all examinations would be oral, with questions posed not only by teachers but by official visitors and the invited public as well. As classical learning was the mark of the gentleman, so it must meet the rigors of this regular confrontation, the whole affair a town holiday and even the hoi-polloi who could not read or write alert to it. Scotland's famous pedagogue, Thomas Ruddiman (even in far-away America, Ruddiman's Rudiments had long been the most widely favored Latin grammar), always appeared for these occasions in



his grizzle wig, lightly powdered, orange-colored suit with broad gold lace on the scarlet waistcoat, and full-ruffled shirt.10 Carlisle's gentlemen of literary repute did quite as well we may be sure—long faces and careful questions, chirping answers from the scholars, then their Latin declamations; while the ladies, so beautifully dressed, so handsomely overawed, were ready with their ripples of applause.

That grant of land for a schoolhouse, March 3, 1773, stands as a point of climax in both Colonial and school affairs. Later in the year, Dr. John Ewing, once a pupil of Alison and Steel and now Professor of Mathematics with Alison at Philadelphia, went to Britain to solicit funds for their erstwhile New London Academy, now at Newark.11

"Many difficulties arise in ye course of our business," he wrote home from London, February 20, 1774. "The destruction of ye Tea at Boston and ye sending it back from Phil'a greatly retards our progress. We are almost accounted Rebels here and many say that they will not give money to those who refuse to submit to ye Parliament of Great Britain.

"Dr. Witherspoon has also wrote against, alleging that our Academy will hurt the Jersey College and that it is intended to teach other doctrines in Divinity than what are taught in his College. Although this will hurt us, yet it will not defeat our mission."12

Before he had sailed from Philadelphia, Ewing's good friend, Benjamin Rush, a loyal Princeton man but oblivious to Witherspoon's fear that a competing college might arise at Newark and unaware also of the existence of the school at Carlisle, had wished him all success, adding that he would be glad to see another academy like Newark "on or near the Susquehannah."13 Responding to his friend's enthusiasm, Ewing had written to Rush from London, hopefully, of a Presbyterian college or academy in western Pennsylvania, another in North Carolina.14

While Dr. Ewing, having found London cool to his appeals, was preparing to carry them to Scotland, the news of Parliament's Boston Port Bill had spread through America, stirring indignation everywhere. John Montgomery was chairman of the meeting at Carlisle, July 12, 1774, which condemned the mea-



sure and endorsed the call for a Continental Congress. A year later, with Washington's provincial army besieging Boston, all Cumberland was in a fervor of martial preparation, with John Steel the captain of a company once more and Montgomery on the Committee of Safety. John Creigh would be Lieutenant-Colonel of militia, no less, as of April 9, 1776, and a member of the convention which met at Carpenter's Hall, Philadelphia, in June, and voted unanimously to commit Pennsylvania to the issue of independence from Britain. Cumberland's delegation had itself taken that stand at a stormy meeting in the Carlisle town square—stormy because lawyer James Wilson had dared to brave the overwhelming majority and argue for delay. Wilson was fearful lest immediate separation might destroy the dominance of the ruling political class (as indeed it did). He was decried and rebuked for his audacity—most loudly of all by schoolmaster Henry Makinly, and Makinly was rebuked in turn by John Montgomery's Committee of Safety for the slur on Wilson's patriotism.15 On that July 4th of the Declaration, John Steel was at Lancaster, where militia delegates, officers and privates, elected their brigadiers.

The army, in this summer, was disastrously defeated around New York, with the surrender of Fort Washington by Colonel Robert Magaw of Carlisle the heaviest blow of all. All New Jersey was lost, and then, in the winter campaign of Trenton and Princeton, as suddenly regained. New regiments were being thrown together to make good the regular army's terrible losses. One of these was the Twelfth of the Pennsylvania Line, Continental Army, men mostly from the forests of the upper Susquehanna, but with one company from Carlisle, its captain Henry Makinly.

In the State Archives at Harrisburg there is a list of applicants for commissions in the Twelfth, with some names crossed off and others checked as "good," or "good man," and one of these last is Makinly's. The recruiting of a company was up to its captain, and Makinly had done well. His commission is dated October 1, 1776, and between that date and early December he had enlisted a force of full regulation strength, seventy-two in all, with First Lieutenant William Sayers, Second Lieutenant John Hay, four sergeants, four corporals, a fifer and a drum-



mer.16  Young Robert Steel was among his privates. Andrew Maclean, who had been a private with Captain John Steel, Jr., was now a sergeant with Makinly.17 Young Dr. Francis Alison, son of the Vice Provost at Philadelphia, had been appointed Surgeon of the regiment.18 On December 18, the northern contingent left Sunbury, coming down the river in boats. They may have been joined by Makinly's men at Harris's Ferry for the long cross-country march and the arrival at camp to throbbing drum and screaming fife, flags crackling in the winter wind.

Among the few things of value in Henry Makinly's estate were a watch (£4.10) and a pair of silver spurs (£2.5). Somehow, watch and spurs, time and compulsion, might symbolize the teacher and yield a concept of the soldier as well—an ambitious, adventurous, decisive man. In January, the Twelfth Pennsylvania is with Washington in northern New Jersey, facing the British lines defending New York. On February 19, Makinly is in Philadelphia with an order from his Colonel, William Cooke of Northumberland, for $3,000 cash "to be apply'd in recruiting my Battalion."19 Even so early, the ranks of the Twelfth were thinning faster than they could be refilled. A number of its best men were detached for service in the Northern Department with Daniel Morgan's famous regiment of riflemen. These backwoodsmen, crack shots every one, were the elite of the army. With such a force, Robert Magaw had swept up from Carlisle to Cambridge in the summer of 1775, and jubilantly had written home, "The hunting shirt is here like a full suit at St. James'. A Rifle man in his Dress may pass Centinels & Go about where he pleases."20 Colonel Cooke's riflemen, posted between Quibbletown and Amboy, fought at Bound Brook, Piscataway, Short Hills, Bonhamtown and in other skirmishes, with men killed and wounded and one sizeable group taken prisoner when other detachments failed to support them. The men of the Twelfth were used as shock troops at Brandywine, where John Carothers of Carlisle, lieutenant in another company, was killed; and they again met heavy losses in the debacle at Germantown.

When the army crept into camp at Valley Forge, the ranks of this and other regiments had been sadly depleted. Here our schoolmaster is briefly glimpsed again in the orderly book of General Edward Hand, January 14, 1778: "Was stolen out of



Capt. McKinley's tent on the evening of the 9th instant, a silver hilted small sword, the guard stamped D. S. the gripe twisted and plain wire—the scabbard black leather."21 In January also, Makinly was at Carlisle, where he drew rations from the commissary at the ordnance works.22 The little town was wholly given over to the preparing of materiel of war, the courthouse an arsenal where cartridges were being made, the barracks outside a manufactory and repair shop of artillery.23 Perhaps this reunion with Elizabeth, and probably also the state of affairs in his regiment, determined Makinly to give up his command. Of the formal resignation of his commission, as of his departure from his pastorate at Moville, no formal record remains, a fact into which one might, perhaps, read something of his character. On March 4, 1778, the Twelfth suffered a final indignity—its Colonel was cashiered.24 When the army broke camp on June 18, Captain Makinly was reported as having "Left the Regt.... determined to resign," and that stands as the date of his resignation.25 In July, all that remained of the Twelfth was combined with the Third Pennsylvania in a general "arrangement" of the regiments which brought companies up to strength but sent many officers into a "supernumerary" limbo. On the military side, a mood of optimism prevailed. "The general opinion here of both Whig and Tory," George Duffield wrote from Philadelphia to Captain Postlethwaite in Carlisle, "is that the English will before long evacuate N York, or leave at most only a garrison . . ."26

So much for the classicist gone to war. John Creigh fared more comfortably. He held a commission as a militia officer as early as April 29, 1776, had oversight of military prisoners (among them Andre and Despard) and on July 31, 1777, became captain of a company in Colonel John Davis's Second Battalion, Cumberland County militia.27 He is said to have been in action at Germantown in the fall of that year. On April 7, 1777, he had been appointed clerk of the Orphans' Court of Cumberland County, Register of Wills and Recorder of Deeds, offices which he resigned on February 9, 1779.28 More, in June he had been named an associate justice for the County under the new left-wing government of the state, of which he was an earnest supporter.29 Finally, at about this time he had become



an elder of the Church, an honor and responsibility he would retain until his death in 1813 at the ripe age of seventy-two.30

While Creigh in these years had laid the foundation for a full life as a substantial citizen, Makinly had come to a brief flowering and fast decline. From Colonel John Davis he bought a plantation of four hundred acres on Conodoguinet Creek. Here he had houses, lands (in diminishing acreage, by the tax lists), horses and cattle, and "a Negroe Wench" to help Elizabeth with chores and children. Here his first season was a bad one, due to the great flood of August, 1779—the worst "ever known by the oldest Liver on the Creek," as Captain Samuel Postlethwaite wrote to General William Irvine. It had destroyed the pasture for the Continental horses and reached up even to Colonel Blaine's garden. "Cape. Makinley lost all his corn & potatoes."31

In that August of the flood, too, the Reverend Captain, "John Steel, V. D. M.," as he was wont to sign the roster—Verbi Dei Minister—passes forever from this scene. Margaret Steel had died in February, and her husband had written his will in May, "being apprehensive that my present disorder will issue in death." He left a large estate, with bequests to all the coming generation, to Elizabeth Makinly £200, and £400 to her children.

Francis Alison died on November 28. By an act passed on the 27th, the liberal party controlling the Pennsylvania legislature had annulled the charter of the old College of Philadelphia, creating in its place the new University of the State of Pennsylvania, supported by an endowment of confiscated lands. Dr. William Smith, Anglican and suspected Tory, was replaced as Provost by Alison's pupil, friend and colleague, John Ewing. It was a victory for Presbyterian influence in education, as well as for the radical Constitutionalist Party, which had strong Presbyterian support.

In March, 1780, George Duffield wrote to a friend in Carlisle, inveighing against rising prices and popular indifference, "Our people are asleep, or mad, or worse—everything from abroad promises Great Britain being reduced to an absolute necessity of coming to reasonable terms in the course of the present campaign."32 Duffield, as one of the two Chaplains of



Congress, had his own record of Revolutionary service, in official circles and with the troops. He was in Carlisle from time to time in these and later years, a landowner with a circle of family and friends, a man of influence in the village still.

Carlisle must now endeavor to reestablish its grammar school. John Steel had set a standard from his years of teaching with Alison, and this too must be brought back. But the events of the war had taught John Montgomery and the other trustees a lesson. They had seen Makinly become a planter, Creigh a public official. To each, the schoolroom had been only a step to something better. Judge Creigh was now a patron of education of a rather homely sort. Makinly, who might have done better as teacher than farmer, gave his life to the struggle by the creek. He died between 1784 and 1786, and the settlement of his estate, a long-term affair administered by John Steel, Jr., left Elizabeth and the children in poverty.33 The trustees now saw the need for a teacher to whom the work was neither a sideline nor a stepping-stone. They must find a real professional with whom to start anew; and in this they succeeded admirably, acting, probably, on George Duffield's recommendation. In 1780, they brought James Ross from Philadelphia to Carlisle.

In trusteeship and administration there are ample links between Carlisle Grammar School and Dickinson College. In faculty there is this one only, yet for the purpose we could not wish a better. On September 12, 1780, Ross purchased a home in South Hanover Street—himself described in the deed as "James Ross of town of Carlisle and teacher of the Greek and Latin Languages."34 In the tax lists of 1781 and after he appears as "Schoolmaster," or "Latin Master," and then, after 1784, "Professor." He was a grave, tall man, a full six feet in height, with sandy hair and florid face, stern and dignified. He dressed formally, with glistening buckles at the knee and on his shoes, his hair long and tied with velvet ribbon in a queue. On the street he wore a military style cocked hat and carried a cane. His boys would scamper round a corner rather than meet him there, since he would have been sure to greet them in Latin and expect a response in kind. In the schoolroom, where almost all conversation was in the learned tongue, the rules of grammar and decorum alike were meticulously enforced. As in public he demanded



the respect due to a professional man, so at home he ate from silver plate and maintained every mark of that social status belonging—though so rarely accorded—to a teacher. His wife, Rosanna, may be found characterized upon her tombstone in the Old Graveyard at Carlisle, as "an amiable pious woman, an affectionate wife, a sincere friend." They had no children.35

James Ross had been born in Oxford Township, Chester County, May 18, 1744, the son of William Ross, an immigrant from Ireland. He had been educated under John Blair at the Fagg's Manor school, where he excelled in languages, though his comprehension of mathematics, along with metaphysics and moral philosophy was, in the recollection of a fellow pupil, "but slender."36 This concentration upon the one area continued through life. He knew that in a complete command of the ancient tongues he held a position of unassailable importance in the learned world. He saw, as time went on, how rare so thorough a knowledge as his own was becoming. Though its value had already been challenged, he had no reason to expect retreat from a standard so firmly fixed. His were still, and long would be, the foundation studies in American higher education. When Dickinson College employed a Professor of Mathematics who was as poor a classicist as Ross was a mathematician, an observer noted that "each regarded the other as a very ignorant man."37

An academic specialist in this day was seen as an oddity, and James Ross was regarded by the public around him as a creature of childlike, but endearing, simplicity. By the same token, this may explain his occasional displays of professional impatience and his failure to identify himself firmly with any of the smaller communities in which he lived. He was keenly aware not only of the respect, but of the remuneration, due him. Indeed, our first professor had not only a full sense of professional standing, but an immediate concern for what we now term "the economic status of the profession." We may be sure that he had come to the Carlisle school with a clear understanding as to his control over tuition fees up to a stipulated sum. At the College, he watched these matters and was not backward in bringing them to the attention of the Board of Trustees:



Permit me briefly to observe, that it affords me much satisfaction to find, that the money arising from tuition, & entrance since last meeting of your board, is fully adequate to the salary then voted me. That, if my past, & present services merit your approbation, I humbly entreat you will be pleased to grant such addition of salary as the present accession of students may easily admit, & your own good judgment may direct. Suffer me to observe, that a consciousness of services well-rewarded engages even the best of men to execute the trust reposed in them with alacrity, & unremitting punctuality.

                                                           James Ross.38

He gained his point, but when his salary began to run into arrears under financial pressures, he crisply resigned the post he had held so long. That was in 1792, and later changes of base show his insistence that his own evaluation of his services must be met. This attitude on the part of a teacher was not always well received. He was teaching in Harrisburg in 1795, where the Oracle of Dauphin announced his impending departure in a sourly contemptuous little item "being offered two pistareens and a five-penny bit more in Franklin county."39

Such inflexibility is natural to a man constantly expounding and enforcing immutable rules of grammar and constantly sharing thought and word of the noblest sages of ancient times. It is said that Ross, listening to the arguments of counsel at a trial and hearing one of them state that there is no rule without an exception, was startled into denying the assertion in an audible tone, stating that, "Nouns of the second declension in um, are always of the neuter gender."40 Here was an orderly life, but not a restricted one. He knew vast reaches of Latin poetry by heart and delighted in giving voice to them. A friend and fellow spirit of the poet Philip Freneau, he celebrated events of his own day in the stately ancient speech and rhythms. Like Freneau, he took a liberal view of national affairs. Under trustees dominated by conservative opinion here stood an admirer of Jefferson, a man to whom Andrew Jackson would shine as a Marcus Horatius or Scipio. Though the College's first president, Dr. Nisbet, was politically all to the right, his relationship with Ross was cordial. The two could talk freely to-



gether in the learned tongue and, happily, shared the same canons of Latin pronunciation. Nisbet is twice honored in Latin poems by Ross, and there is evidence that he first persuaded Ross to publish under his own name.41 The Latin master brought out a dozen texts, beginning with his Selectae e Profanis Scriptoribus Historiae. His Latin Grammar of 1802 was in print as late as 1845. In addition, there were the poems in pamphlet and broadside, newspaper and magazine.

Ross had been a teacher since the 1760's, when he was apparently at the College of Philadelphia or its grammar school.42 The master's degree awarded him by the College in 1775 was his first academic honor, to be followed by Princeton's M.A. in 1818.43 In 1823 he received the LL.D. of Allegheny College, where he had been a member of the Board of Trustees since its founding. From 1801 to 1809 he had been at Lancaster, a conspicuous figure on the faculty of Franklin College. The other years were all spent in grammar schools or academies, the last as a private teacher of Latin and Greek in Philadelphia. There he was a faithful attendant at the First Presbyterian Church where he kept, in his pew in the gallery, a little reference shelf of the sacred writings in the two ancient tongues he loved, his own immediate link to an approaching immortality.44

He had come to Carlisle in 1780 to take charge of an established institution soon to advance in importance. Its trustees were now determined to put up a building on the lot they had acquired March 3, 1773, and indeed he may well have exacted a promise from them to do so. More, they would seek a broader church support than just the one congregation; and, following the example of Newark, they would petition to be permanently incorporated under a state charter. These matters, however, waited more than a year upon the rigors and uncertainties of war. In October, 1781, the Presbytery of Donegal met at Carlisle. To the south, Washington and Rochambeau held Yorktown in siege and exciting news was expected from day to day. On October 18 the trustees, headed by Colonel John Montgomery, declared their intention of incorporating the school, asked for a committee of visitors "to examine the same at least twice a year" and for six new trustees, ministers from Gettysburg, Mercersburg, Sherman's Valley, Rocky Spring—the whole



wide boundaries of Donegal.45 One can sense enthusiasm riding high in the proposal's prompt and hearty endorsement. Even as it was being voted, men were at work at the foundations of the "latin Schoolhouse," this part of the endeavor going forward under the management of John Creigh, himself a liberal subscriber to its cost.46

By November 26, Judge Creigh's accounts itemize "2 Quarts whiskey," evidence that the work was going briskly forward into the first spate of sharp cold weather. Come spring, a like entry (April 3, 1782), "5 Quarts & 1 pint Whisky a Raising Rafter," tells us that the roof was up, or nearly so. It was a two-storey building of the native brick, about twenty feet square, fronting on Liberty Alley.47 The lot was 60 feet in width and 240 back to Pomfret Street. This gave plenty of room, and relieved the Pomfret Street neighbors of the hazards and annoyances of a schoolhouse close to their windows and kitchen gardens. There it stood, and the next step would be to secure it by charter to posterity forever. This was entrusted to Colonel Montgomery, now a member of the state legislature, by which the act of incorporation must be passed.

John Montgomery had stood upon the forefront of resistance to Britain but was in no sense a radical. Temperate and steady, he stood with James Wilson, John Dickinson and their like. As Whitfield Bell has characterized him, "Subversion of the American ruling class was no part of his program, and his unvarying attitudes toward levelling demands were contempt and anger."48 Even through his execrably labored letters one can still discern what his friend Sharp Delaney called Montgomery's "passionate honesty."49 He was a conservative in an age when conservatism still had its forward-looking affirmations, and one of these, close to church and community in his thinking, was the Latin school at Carlisle. Elected to the Assembly in this October of 1781, the Colonel was at odds with the party defending the state's radical constitution, and at odds also with most of his fellow Presbyterians, its ardent supporters. A swing to the right had brought him in, and a swing to the left would take him out a year later.

In the meantime, he was in Philadelphia ready to present his bill; and ready also, it must be inferred, to interest well-to-do gentlemen in the new foundation as a cause deserving their

financial support. This school had a building of two rooms, and space for more. Carlisle was to have an academy with a full curriculum—"on a broad bottom," in the pleasant phrase then current. So it was that he brought the subject forward one summer day in 1782 at a gathering on the porch of William Bingham, reputedly the richest man in America. It was another of the gentlemen there, however, who responded instantly and warmly to his theme, and the conversation went on for a long time, intimately between the two.

The Colonel was well acquainted with Dr. Benjamin Rush, in whose office his son, William, had served his medical apprenticeship a few years before. The Doctor was one of those men who, giving his attention to a topic, at once endow it with importance—a straight and slender, energetic figure, high forehead, aquiline nose, a long sharp chin and firm small mouth with the outjutting lower lip of a man who speaks much and with vehemence. He rarely smiled, but his large blue eyes had a captivating intensity, and sometimes an urgent benevolence, as he listened or spoke. He was a man of dignity and force, a friend to such good causes as the Colonel had in hand, an enemy of the political innovators of his time but, in his own way, an innovator himself of rare and intuitive daring. These two talked together at length there on Bingham's porch, the Doctor vigorously and relentlessly reshaping the other's simple vision of a school, invoking his religion, his patriotism, his "passionate honesty" to prove that the plea to the legislature, to the public, should not be for an academy of any sort, but for a college.

The Colonel, a reasonable man, was slow to accept this proposition. He had lived with the school for a long time. He knew its past proponents and the community it served. Perhaps also he sensed what travail would lie ahead for him in maintaining a college. To the Doctor there was no thought of that. He overturned every doubt. The community would have a greater fullness of growth and fame. Patrons of education would give more generously, investors in frontier lands as well, sure that the seeds they cast would bring a harvest of every sort of gain. But above all he was moved by the sense of victory in the air around them, of the long war won, of an emerging nation, a republic such as the world had not seen before, of the hazards of its future for which a continuing leadership must arise, informed



and ready, an intellectual aristocracy.

All this, in the Doctor's mind, burned like an inner fire. For this he had said his say in Congress and signed the Declaration, marched with the army, served the sick in camp and hospital, labored with the human wreckage after battle. For this he had been denouncing that state constitution of the "Furious Whigs," and for this in time he would take a leading part in the formation of new constitutions, state and national. To Dr. Rush the seven long years of war were only the brief beginning of the American Revolution. The great deeds lay ahead. To the modest proposal of this pious, simple backwoods soldier he had found one element of that future, at hand, alive, needing only to be transformed to meet the larger view.

Now, as ever, his mind leapt forward toward vast fulfillments. They must be achieved "by natural means," by men steadily working out the will of God. Education would be their instrument. "Civilization, human knowledge and liberty must first pervade the globe," he wrote. "They are the heralds of religion.... Christians should endeavor to cultivate the peaceful dispositions which the millennium is to introduce into the mind, and daily repeat in their prayers, 'Thy kingdom come.' "50

In this spirit, on Bingham's porch, plans for the school were abandoned, and plans for the college begun. It would be stormy from the start. Educators and clergymen would oppose, the Doctor defend, protest, attack. Tempers would rise to fever heat and peaceful dispositions disappear in the swirl of benevolence and bitterness. So also within the institution itself high and harsh emotions would live on in counteraction—the sweetness of benign John Dickinson counterpoised by the startling acerbity of Nisbet, his close friend, and the contention between faculty and trustees echoing on beyond their time. Yet to Dr. Rush, after twenty years of travail and concern, the thought of that first long talk together would still bring its renewal of tenderness and faith, turning again to Montgomery with reminder and reassurance:

Bingham's porch may wear away, but the ideas conceived on it by two of the trustees will have their full accomplishment, and Dickinson College will one day be a source of light and knowledge to the western parts of the United States.51

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