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JULY 12, 1871. 








At the annual meeting of the Alumni of Amherst College, 
July 8, 1868, the following resolutions were adopted: — 

" Whereas, Our Alma Mater, in three years from now, will have completed her 
first half century, therefore, 

"Resolved, That the Trustees of the College be requested to make provision for 
the celebration of that event. 

'■'■Resolved, That Professor William S. Tyler, D. D., be requested to prepare a his- 
tory of Amherst College, which shall be ready for delivery at Commencement, -1871, 
and that he be requested also to address the Alumni on that occasion. 

'^Resolved, That a Committee of three be appointed to confer with the Trustees 
and with Professor Tyler, and to act as a Committee of Arrangements for our ap- 
proaching semi-centennial." 

In accordance with this last resolution, Professor R. D. Hitch- 
cock, W. A. Dickinson, Esq., and Professor R. H. Mather,- were 
appointed such a Committee, to whom, at the annual meeting of 
the Alumni, July 13, 1870, Professors Edward Hitchcock and 
J. H. Seelye were added. 

At the annual meeting of the Board of Trustees, July 9, 1868, 
the foregoing action was approved and the Prudential Committee 
was authorized to confer with the Committee of the Alumni. 

At the annual meeting of the Trustees, July 13, 1870, a 
special Committee, consisting of the President, Doctors Sabin, 


Storrs and Paine, and Mr. Gillett, was appointed to make ar- 
rangements conjointly with the Committee of the Alumni for 
the celebration of the jubilee of the College in 1871. 

After repeated meetings of the Committee of the Alumni by 
themselves, and conjointly with the. Committee of the Trustees, 
the time and manner of the celebration were fixed as follows : 
The forenoon of Wednesday, July 12th, was assigned for the 
Address of Welcome by President Stearns, and the Historical 
Address by Professor Tyler. The afternoon of the same day 
was assigned for the Jubilee Meeting of the Alumni, while the 
evening was set apart for a social reunion of the Alumni and 
friends of the College. 

The day came and passed auspiciously. The people of Am- 
herst opened their hearts and homes with an unstinted welcome. 
Nearly seven hundred of the Alumni were present, represent- 
ing every class, and coming from every quarter of the globe. 
A large tent for the public meetings was spread near the College 
grove, within which there were at least three thousand persons, 
besides many who stood around the open sides, or sat in their 
own carriages on the ground. 

At the meeting of Wednesday forenoon, Hon. Samuel Wil- 
liston fitly presided. 

Rev. E. P. Humphrey of Louisville, Ky., led the assembly in 
the following prayer : 

" O Lord, thou hast been our dwelling-place in all generations. 
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst 
formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to ever- 
lasting, thou art God. For a thousand years in thy sight are 
but as yesterday when it is past. 

" We thank thee, O God, that we are permitted to come here 
and now into thy presence, to call thee Our Father, and to ad- 
dress thee in prayer. We would begin with the petition which 


we are unworthy to offer, but which we would venture to urge, 
and be bold while we urge it, that thou wouldst forgive our many- 
sins, for the sake of thy dear son our dear Saviour, and that 
thou wouldst bestow upon us the gift of the divine and eternal 
Spirit, to renew and sanctify our natures, and to prepare us for 
the rest that remaineth for the people of God. 

"We would call upon our souls and all that is within us, to 
praise thee for the loving kindness in which we are assembled 
here. We thank thee now for what our eyes see and our ears hear, 
this day, of the favor which God Our Father has shown unto his 
servants who have labored at the foundations and in the up- 
building of this school of learning. We thank thee for the faith, 
for the courage, for the endurance, for the boldness, for the pa- 
tience of those holy men who have gone before us in these many 
and mighty labors for the glory of God, and for the spread of 
the everlasting gospel throughout the world. For the liberality 
and zeal of those now living, who have entered into the labors 
here of those that have entered into the joy of the Lord, we 
thank thee. Bless all those to whom the affairs of this College 
are entrusted — the President, the legal Guardians, the Instruct- 
ors and the Pupils. May they be taught of God. 

" Bless us, thine unworthy servants, also, who received our 
training in this place for the spheres in which it has pleased 
thee to put us, in the Church, in the State and in human society. 
Help us in our lives and duties. May we show our gratitude to 
thee for what we have learned here, by employing ourselves with 
increasing diligence and growing love in the service of the Re- 
deemer. And when we recall the names, and persons and 
gifts and graces of our classmates and fellow-students who have 
rested from their labors and have entered into the society of the 
saints made perfect — may we follow them as they followed Christ. 

"Assist us, O Lord, as we proceed in these services. Guide 


us and guard us and keep us as we sit together here, and rejoice 
together in the divine goodness. And as we hear the story of 
His blessed Providence, and his Almighty power and grace and 
mercy towards this Institution, through the age now closing upon 
us, may our hearts be lifted up in praise to God for the past, and 
in faith in his promises for the time to come. Great God ! bless 
this College — bless it now, bless it evermore, and make it an en- 
during blessing. Help us to praise thee — help us to trust in thy 
mercy. May we attain unto the resurrection of the dead, and 
unto life everlasting. May we receive the crown of life ; so 
that we may come into the presence of our Redeemer and cast 
each of us his crown at the feet of him that weareth many 

"We ask all and offer all in the name of the Lord Jesus 
Christ, to whom with thee and the Holy Spirit we ascribe praise 
and dominion and power, forever. Amen." 

The assembly then joined in singing the Doxology, 

" Praise God from whom all blessings flow," 

after which followed the Address of Welcome by President 
Steams, and the Historical Discourse by Professor Tyler. 



Standing in the midst of this great congregation, still gather- 
ing together from far and from near for commemorations peculiar 
to scholars in the old mansion home of their literary birth and 
nurture, it is my privilege to express the gladness of the dear 
old mother as she throws the warm arm of affection around her 
great family of sons, and binds them again proudly and fondly 
to her heart. 

Alumni of Amherst, mater alma, as she presents herself be- 
fore you in matronly health and beauty on this fifty-year golden 
wedding day of her espousals to all good learning and the 
motherhood of scholars, would look you all in the face, one by 
one, and altogether, and say from the depths of heart, welcome, 
welcome back again ! 

Alumni of Amherst, we welcome you this morning to the old 
College Hill, a spot once so familiar and never since forgotten ; to 
all you can recollect, to all you can enjoy. You come to us, many 
of you, after long and perhaps wearisome days of absence. You 
come from the midst of those life works and life struggles, which 
you could only anticipate when in college, but which now are seri- 
ous realities to your experience. Let no thoughts of pulpit, or bar, 
or high places of state, or toils of teaching, or cares of business, 
or remembered sorrows, or hardships at hand, distract your at- 
tention from the duties and pleasures of the hour. We give the 
day to memory, to seeing, to enjoying. Memorials of the past 


may bring many things to mind, and views of the present furnish 
occasions for rejoicings. The old buildings, many of them, are 
here, and there are new ones which some of you have never in- 
spected. There is Old South College, known by you all as the 
oldest college in the group, whose corner-stone was put down in 
singular faith, when almost nothing human justified the expec- 
tation that the top stone would ever be brought forth. There it 
stands, in the dignity of its time-honored plainness, solid, sub- 
stantial, unfearing as its fathers who built it, and there you may 
see perhaps, to-night, what fifty classes have seen before you, all 
the windows of its many windowed-sides, finely set in their red 
brick frames, luminous and sparkling with the down-going sun, 
giving promise of glory all over it, as morrow after morrow re- 
turns upon it. And there stands the twin brother of it, what we 
now call North College, a second memorial of faith and works, 
perfecting each other. Some of you may find the apartments of 
these old dormitories which you used to occupy, and as you see 
in some of the closets, the mysteries of which you had better 
not inspect too minutely, the etchings and sketchings of more 
than one generation, you may learn that the sentiments and aspi- 
rations of students are essentially the same, as they were in your 
own college days. Step gently now about the room, for should 
you startle the echoes of all the voices, which have been heard 
therein from holiest psalm to jolliest song, you might be scared 
from your proprieties, and driven prematurely away. 

And now the Old Chapel, built when the College was struggling 
for its charter, and embodying something of the idea — just be- 
hold it, from its western front, — meekly looking up, bravely 
looking out, patiently waiting for whatever may betide, there it 
stands between those two old dormitories like Moses between 
Aaron and Hur, the day that he fought the Amalekites. And 
the brave old tower, which the winds have rocked and swayed 


and shaken in many a tempest howling around it, but could 
never throw down, and the same old clock, which has been 
throbbing and striking and measuring out times for two thousand 
college lives, and the old bell or its successor, which has startled 
so many reluctant students from unfinished dreams, and rushed 
them, it is said, in olden times — some of you may remember 
them — half-dressed, and not half-awake, up the snow-covered 
hill before daylight, to the morning devotions, as they called it, 
and then to the tender mercies of unbreakfasted teachers, search- 
ing for knowledge where under such circumstances it was not 
likely to be found. But enter the building. Some of its apart- 
ments, though full of unsorted associations, strangely mixed up 
together, are yet redolent with the sweet blessedness which be- 
longs to our religion, while most of them could tell stories of 
lesson-saying, some of which we might not care to remember. 
But, says the returning graduate of years back, " Oh, how 
changed, — nothing as it used to be." In the renovation of this 
old building a single room, just for your sake, has been left 
unimproved. There, under the guidance of the only class- 
mate of one of you, the kindly tutor of some of you, the able 
professor of most all of you, hundreds, of students have been 
introduced into the mysteries, the pleasures, and the despairs of 
the mathematics. You must see it — that well used old room, 
with its paper-hangings and its antique fittings, and the huge, 
long bench for apparatus, and the good professor behind it pour- 
ing light over the eyeballs of the seeing and the blind. We can 
not welcome you, to what used to be called the Old North Col- 
lege, in the medieval period of our college history. That great 
building, the largest, the most unsightly and most uncomfort- 
able structure in the range, with wood and chips, and many 
other irregularities, under the snow around it, on a fearful night 
of snow-storm and hurricane, the thermometer many degrees 


below zero, somehow caught fire, and ascended in a whirlwind 
of smoke and flame to be dissipated in the heavens. So rapid 
and terrible was the conflagration, bursting out everywhere, 
raging like wrath which could not be appeased, that in three or 
four hours, all the rooms of the building and all the timbers, 
and boards and plastering and sheathing and roofing and walls 
of it, with every living thing it contained, or which any one 
had ever imagined it contained— all was destroyed, the students 
only excepted. I seem to see them now, those frightened 
men, some without hats, some without boots, some with beds 
on their'shoulders, some wrapped in great white blankets, as 
they rushed like ghosts through the storm. A photograph of 
the broken, blackened walls, taken some days after, now hangs 
in the lower west room of the library, and is the only memorial 
of one of the greatest catastrophies and one of the greatest bless- 
ings the College ever experienced. Two new buildings sprung 
up immediately from the ashes of the old, one of them, Williston 
Hall, so comely in appearance, so convenient in arrangement, 
so generously bestowed, and so full of invitation to the re- 
turning graduate as he comes up from the village to the college 
grounds ; the other. East College, which the prophets represent 
as destined to be taken down and rebuilt, or moved bodily to 
another spot. 

We will not be betrayed into an enumeration or description 
of all the college structures which you behold around you. But 
as you go your rounds, you will wish just for a few moments to 
notice the gymnasium and the power of systematic physical 
training upon the young men who daily enjoy it. And close 
by is the new church, not yet completed, with its tower of 
chiming bells, chiming not only for worship on Lord's day, but 
chiming for our lamented braves who fell in the war, and the 
memorial room consecrated to the service of Christian patriot- 


ism, just beneath them, and the audience chamber of the Sab- 
bath, where the students of many generations, free from the 
associations, and distractions of the week, can hear — 

The old, old story of unseen things above, 
Of Jesus and his glory, of Jesus and his love. 

The greatest and most expensive of all our buildings is 
Walker Hall. You have heard of that old book, — " The Won- 
der-working Providence of Zion's Saviour in New England." 
There is hardly anything more wonderful in it than what Dr. 
Walker, a descendant of the author of it, has done for Amherst 
College. You must also look in .upon the library and observe 
its overcrowded shelves and hear the grand old authors crying 
for room, and perhaps you can induce somebody to furnish 
means for its enlargement. Of course you will visit or revisit 
the ' cabinets ; seme of them wonderful, some of them beauti- 
ful, all of them valuable, and for which Amherst College has 
been justly distinguished. We welcome you to the remem- 
brance of the literary and other college societies, to the inspira- 
tions and exhilarations, the associates and the scenes of those 
dear old times, which will rush in upon. you. Nor will you for- 
get the society with its protracted and warlike appellation, which 
the department of hygiene and physical training has so assid- 
uously cultivated for the promotion of health, sanity, scholar- 
ship and virtue. I know not whether the anti-veneneans are 
present in force, but I know that the great roll which contains 
the honored names of temperance men from the beginning has 
been sacredly preserved, and can be unfolded in its glory when- 
ever you request it. Let successive classes make additions to 
it of men who have power to pledge, and the greater power to 
keep the pledge, till, when it may be unrolled some centuries 
hence, the parchment shall be too long for the town of Amherst 
or the county of Hampshire to contain it. 


We welcome you to this old college homestead, marked out for 
it by the predestinating God who appointed the bounds of men's 
habitations before the foundations of the world. People say we 
bragof our scenery ! Why not ? Is there anything more beautiful ? 
The Holyoke range — how it rises like the walls of an immense 
cathedral wrought out by the genius of incomparable architec- 
ture, lifting its serrated summits to the firmament, supporting 
the great blue dome which arches over us and rests upon it and 
the mountains round about it. And the silvery Connecticut, 
winding through intervales of surpassing loveliness, and Mount 
Tom, giant brother of grea.t Holyoke, which the Almighty 
Worldbuilder in the far back times rent from it, that his beauti- 
ful waters, softly and sweetly flowing, might go through. And 
the Pelham hills on the other side, animated with game, crowned 
with pines, fragrant with wild flowers in autumn. Some of 
you will be thinking of the venerable Dr. Hitchcock in connec- 
tion with these mountains. You remember how he loved them, 
regarding them somehow as his own, and exercising dominion 
over them ; and how they acknowledged his supremacy ; and 
how, like Adam, next morning after creation, they came to him, 
or he went to them, and gave them names. The classes spe- 
cially concerned will never forget those new paths so suddenly 
extemporized over Holyoke and Norwottuck, and the greetings 
of celestials on the South Hadley side, nor the conflict of names 
between the Indian classic, Metawampe, and honest old Mount 
Toby — the College and the president on one side, and the good 
people of Sunderland in town meeting, resentful, on the other, 
and the resolutions that were passed by the contesting parties, 
— the whole affair constituting one of the most amusing pas- 
sages in the history of the College — is it not all written in the 
book of Dr. Hitchcock's reminiscences .'' Nor will you forget 
the botany of Amherst, its ferns, and lichens, and flowers of 


every hue and every season, and the little garden which always 
blossoms in its innocence at the wrong time, and the Nubian 
Jungfrau which adorns it, and which, if not superior to criti- 
cism, is the best we can, do. And the ornithology, every 
winged fowl after its kind, and especially the ancient crows on 
the Northampton road. " They live," it is said, " a hundred 
years." Some of them who were bravely cawing when Mr. 
Beecher used to chase them through the swamps and could not 
catch them, or when Professor Snell, then a stripling — God bless 
him, rehearsing in the woods the first commencement saluta- 
tory, bowed himself in the presence of these venerable abo- 
rigines and said, " Salutate omnes !" Some of them, ovantes in 
gutture corvi — cawing then, may be cawing still. 

We welcome you also to the memory of representative men 
who represented the College before the public in days gone by, 
— its first president, Dr. Moore, the accomplished classical 
scholar, the kindly Christian gentleman, well known by six 
classes, though only two years in office, and loved by them all. 
With singular bravery of spirit, he undertook the founding of 
a College in the center of the commonwealth, and with faith 
and energy in the midst of discouragement, achieved what he 
undertook. Overworked and over-anxious he fell too suddenly, 
like the ox in the furrow, though not till, the first plowing was 
conipleted and the sowing was well begun. Heman Humphrey 
took up the work. Twenty-three classes will remember him. 
Possessing the finest qualities of our New England ministry, it 
would have been difficult, if not impossible, to find another in 
all the ministry who could have been substituted for him. His 
position involved labor without sympathy, and endurance with- 
out commendation. He must be strong, though all around 
were weak, and furnish courage for many when there was no 
courage but in himself. With duties laborious, perplexing, em- 


barrassing, with opposition from, large portions of the public, and 
disheartening suggestions from many friends, that remarkable 
man, always working, always trusting, never pretending, wrought 
at the foundations of the College and above them, with an as- 
siduity and perseverance never since surpassed. The vener- 
able and kindly countenance, the resolved expression and 
majestic bearing, sobriety of manner, largeness of heart, — 
the man and his virtues will come to the recollection of many 
to-day. For myself, knowing what I do of his official position 
and the manner in which he sustained it, I am disposed to bow 
low and reverently in the presence of his memory, and in the 
view of the twenty-three years of his great working, say em- 
phatically, " Servant of God, well done." Coming generations 
even more than ourselves, will acknowledge Heman Humphrey 
as chief of the chiefest in our earlier history. But there is no 
man so completely identified with Amherst College and promi- 
nent in the representation of it as its third president, Edward 
Hitchcock. Honored by all these classes, that benignant coun- 
tenance, that large strong frame, the child-like sympathies and 
sensitive shrinkings, the faith that inspired great undertakings, 
and the lion-like courage, which, through misgivings of weak- 
ness, carried them forward to success, and that oft repeated 
prayer of his, that we might join at the last with the hundred 
and forty and four thousand in the great anthem above, will all 
be remembered. The embodiment of science for the Connec- 
ticut valley ; the foremost Christian geologist of his times ; the 
friend and father of successive classes of students, his grave 
still fresh with reverential tears, his foot-marks not confined to 
cabinets, but over all these grounds, his name will never cease 
to blossom on these hills and in the valley of the Connecticut 
so long as Amherst College shall endure. 

Nor will you forget the good and distinguished men, who 


were associated with the first three presidents, nor those who 
have taken up their work, and with all the powers that they 
possess, have been carrying it forward, hoping that One at least 
will recognize good endeavors and approve. Nor will any 
of you wish to pass by the hosts of our ascended. Some went 
as the yellow corn is gathered, when fully ripe, some like green 
ears, with their promise broken off, but let us be satisfied, for 
had they not finished the work which was given them to do .-' 
Those stars of the triennial ! How they come out more and 
more thickly like a summer's night, — but as crowns of com- 
pleted lives, thank God, they are stars of honor. 

And the clangor of arms will be heard in your thoughts. You 
will remember the time when the drum-beat resounded, day and 
night, all over our states, and the everlasting tramp of our sol- 
diery shook the land. Graduates and undergraduates, our 
beautiful boys in the silence of the night-watches, heard the 
bleeding country call them, and like a child when the mother 
cries, they could not be restrained. In the pride of young 
manhood, they went out,- — resolve in the eye, glory in the soul, 
— and returned, many of them, no more. The time and the 
occasion forbid the flowing of too many tears, but perhaps the 
Mendelssohns will find opportunity out under the shades to 
offer up to them some tender requiem of remembrance and 
gratitude, and the chimes at twilight throw out a psalm or two 
upon the air, just to tell them how we loved them. 

We welcome you to these dear old college grounds. They 
have undergone changes, — so have the grounds of all the ad- 
vanced colleges, — which have made improvement. In conse- 
quence of the construction of new buildings, and the perversity 
of public demands, we can not make so beautiful a show as we 
could wish, at the moment. But if the earth about us still re- 
fuseth to be quiet, this is not because there are earthquakes be- 


neath it, or convulsions threaten it, but, hopefully, because a 
new earth of permanence and beauty is expected to spring 
from it. 

We welcome you, now, in conclusion, to our own homes and 
hearts ; to the homes of our fellow-citizens, who have gener- 
ously thrown open their doors to receive you ; to a renewal of 
fellowship with us and with each other ; to the memory of the 
many things you enjoyed and the few things you suffered in 
your college course ; to the opening up of the past with story 
and sympathy and song ; to the hearing of good speeches, some 
well considered and weighty, some sparkling and extempore, no 
one forgetting that " brevity is the soul of wit," and that even 
" linked sweetness long drawn out," on an occasion like this, is 
intolerable. We wish to make you happy, as when children 
come home to Thanksgiving. And if, in the crowd and rush of 
the day, our arrangements should seem inadequate, no one will 
be so sorry as Alma Mater, that a single son should feel neg- 
lected. Welcome, then, once more, welcome to our jubilant _ 
festivity, and welcome to inspirations rising up to a working 
enthusiasm for the future of the College ; and, with strong 
prayers to the Almighty, welcome to a jubilant launching of 
the old ship on her second half-century voyage, to return again 
when the hundred year clock shall strike one, loaded with 
treasures of good deeds accomplished, and hailed on its landing 
with the jubilee psalms of thousands of consecrated scholars, 
and the grateful Amens of the whole earth. 



Mr. President, Brothers of the Alumni, Trustees and Friends 
of Amherst College : 

Fifty years ago on the i8th of September next, the South 
College and the Fifty Thousand Dollar Charity Fund, which 
were all that then existed of Amherst College, were solemnly 
dedicated to the service of God and " The great Head of the 
Church." At the same time, President Moore and Professor Es- 
tabrook, having pubHcly assented to a confession of faith pre- 
pared for the purpose, were inaugurated into their respective 
offices. There were two other Professors elect, Rev. Gamaliel S. 
Olds and Rev. Jonas King ; but Professor Olds was unavoidably 
absent, and Mr. King soon after went as a missionary to Greece, 
and never accepted the Professorship. The exercises of this 
occasion were held in the Old Parish Meeting-house, which 
stood on the site then, and ever since known as Meeting-house 
Hill. Noah Webster, Esq., presided as President of the Trus- 
tees of Amherst Academy, under whose auspices the College 
commenced its existence. The incumbents were appropriately 
charged with their sacred trust by the President of the Board, 
and they, in turn, delivered brief inaugural addresses. Prayers 
were oifered by Rev, Mr. Crosby of Enfield, Vice-President of 
the Board, and Rev. Mr. Snell, pastor of the church in North 
Brookfield. A sermon was preached by Rev. Dr. Leland of 
3 •• 


Charleston, S. C, Professor Stuart of Andover Theological 
Seminary, who had been appointed to preach on the occasion, 
and Rev. Mr, Osgood of Springfield, his substitute, having both 
failed to fulfil their appointments. The text was, " On this 
rock will I build my church, and the gates of hell shall not pre- 
vail against it." At the close of the exercises, the corner-stone 
of the president's house was laid with appropriate ceremonies. 
The next day, September 19, 1821, forty-seven students were 
examined and admitted, some to each of the four classes. The 
first student who was admitted to the institution, and the only 
one who was admitted on the forenoon of that day, entered the 
senior class. He is now our oldest, and, it is no flattery to add, 
our most loved and honored Professor. Well may he look back 
to that day, and as modestly and gratefully as truly say, " Magna 
pars fui," — nay, so far as students were concerned, he was for 
some hours the whole of Amherst College. Fortunate man, 
whose life as a scholar and an educator thus runs parallel with 
the life of the College, and who, for one year of imperfect 
training, has requited his alma mater with almost fifty years of 
the clearest and most exact, and, in many respects, the wisest 
and best instruction, that has ever been given within these 


All who took any part in the first day's exercises have long 
since ceased to mingle with earthly scenes,* and the building in 
which the services were held, has given place to others. All 
the officers and a majority of the students who participated in 
the examinations of the second day, are starred on our cata- 
logue, and, we trust, shine as stars in the heavenly sphere. But 
the institution which then commenced its existence, and whose 
fiftieth anniversary we are now convened to celebrate, lives, and 
will live, (we trust in the faithfulness of a covenant-keeping 

* Since the delivery of this address I have learned that Dr. Leland is still living. 


God,) through thousands of generations of officers and students 
who fear Him and keep His commandments. 

In comparison with the long and ever increasingly prosperous 
future, which, we hope, awaits our beloved College, the half 
century that has elapsed is but a day, and a day of small things. 
Relatively, also, to older institutions, which reckon their dura- 
tion not by years or decades of years, but by centuries and 
ages, a semi-centennial seems scarcely worthy of celebration. As 
the traveler in the old world visits Oxford, for example, founded 
(or revived, antiquarians are not agreed which,) by the good 
King Alfred a thousand years ago, and walks through the gates, 
quadrangles, cloisters and libraries of its numerous colleges 
and halls, which have been accumulating their educational re- 
sources and their sacred memories of great men ever since the 
university was founded, and sits down to meditate under the 
shadow of the trees where Wickliffe and Wolsey and More and 
Raleigh, Hampden and Hale and Locke and Blackstone have 
perchance sat before him, and successive generations of yet 
earlier scholars aind distinguished men, who studied there cen- 
turies before the discovery even of the continent in which we 
live — in the view of such a traveler our College and the half 
century of its existence dwindle and sink into comparative in- 
significance. As he passes on to Rome, whence the nations of 
modern Europe and America all derived their civilization, and 
visits Athens, whence the Romans received their literature and 
science, and the moderns their art and culture, — as he goes up 
to Jerusalem, whose mission it was to teach the world religion, 
and especially, when he comes to Egypt, where Romans, Greeks 
and Jews all went to school in the primitive ages — where forty 
centuries looked down from the pyramids upon the army of 
Napoleon, and where some Egyptologists imagine that a hun- 
dred centuries look down upon them — in such a presence, he 


may be pardoned if he begins to feel that a half-century cele- 
bration is not only a small affair, but an absurdity and almost 
an impertinence. But in Egypt, the earth is as silent and fixed 
as the heavens, and society as unchanging as nature herself; 
and a half century perchance effects greater social and educa- 
tional changes in our country than are brought about there in 
the lapse of ages. 

Even England is slow and immovable in comparison with 
America, for, as the first minister of Salem, Rev. John Higgin- 
son, said, "A sup of New England aire is better than a whole 
draught of Old England's ale," and we build colleges and other 
institutions as we do houses, doing in a few days what would 
there be the work of months or years, and finishing (so far as 
we finish anything) in a few years, what would there be the 
growth of centuries. But this activity of the new world is re- 
acting upon the old world, and introducing the^'e at length an 
element of change, reform and progress, in place of the old im- 
mutability. A century has not yet elapsed since the founda- 
tions of our federal government were laid. Yet our revolution 
is one of the principal causes that have revolutionized Europe, 
reaching to Rome, to Athens, to Egypt, nay, even to China and 

And although it is only half a century since Amherst Col- 
lege was opened for the reception of students, its influence in 
education and religion is already felt, not only through the 
United States, but in every quarter of the globe. It is not, then, 
arrogance and presumption — it is simple justice, nay, it is a 
sacred duty that we should assemble, as we have to-day, from 
every part of our land and every part of the world, to honor 
the memory of those who have laid these foundations, and, at 
the same time, to revive the sacred recollections and associa- 
tions of our own residence within these walls. 


. It is not easy to measure or comprehend the changes that 
have passed over our country and the world during the last 
half century. Fifty years ago, the population of these United 
States was between nine and ten millions. Now it is nearly 
forty millions, having almost quadrupled during the half cen- 
tury. Then there were twenty-four states ; now there are 
thirty-seven. Fifty-one years ago, Missouri, the first state 
which lies wholly west of the Mississippi, was received into the 
Union. Now there is a strenuous effort to remove the capital 
to St. Louis, and even that is hundreds of miles east of the 
center. Then we had a million and a half of slaves. Now 
slaves can not breathe the air of the United States, and the in- 
fluence of this stupendous revolution in our country has sealed 
the doom of slavery in South America and the West India 
islands, and of serfdom in Russia and every part of the old world. 
Then we had but recently closed an ineffectual war with Great 
Britain, leaving the questions in dispute just as they were before 
the war began. The recently ratified treaty of Washington, 
by the acceptance of American principles of international law, 
.and by the reference of all minor differences to arbitration, has 
not only re-established amicable relations between Great Britain 
and the United States without an appeal to arms, but inaugu- 
rated a new era in the history of nations — the era of friendly 
arbitration instead of bloody and cruel war — the era, it is hoped, 
of peace on earth and good will among men, destined, ere long, 
to become universal. 

Just half a century ago, the first Napoleon, then a prisoner at 
St. Helena, uttered that remarkable prophecy, " In fifty years 
Europe will be either Republican or Cossack." This prediction 
has not been fulfilled either in the letter or in the bitterness of 
his disappointed and sarcastic spirit. But Europe is now gov- 
erned by the voice of the people, whatever may be the form 


of the government or the title of the rulers ; and Russia, the 
friend and ally of the United States, and Prussia, the great 
Protestant power of Europe, divide the hegemony, the virtual 
sovereignty between them ; while the Catholic powers, France, 
Spain and Italy, instead of establishing a Latin empire in 
America, are fain to settle disputed questions of government 
and policy by the American principle of popular suffrage. 
Fifty years ago the sovereigns of the miscalled Holy Alliance 
were lording it over Europe, and disposing of cities and nations 
as they pleased, in the interest of despotism. Now a Holy 
Alliance of peoples and nationalities, constituted by nature and 
the providence of God, dispose of kings and emperors at their 
sovereign will in behalf of liberty and humanity. In 1825, at 
the semi-centennial celebration of the battle of Bunker Hill, 
•Lafayette said, "Bunker Hill and the holy resistance to tyranny 
have already enfranchised the American hemisphere ; the next 
half-century jubilee toast shall be to enfranchised Europe " 
There is time enough between this and 1875 for this prophecy, 
already so nearly fulfilled, to be fully accomplished. 

Half a century ago, there was not a mile of railway for the 
transportation of passengers and merchandise anywhere in ex- 
istence. Now there are fifty thousand miles of railway in the 
United States, which have cost two thousand millions of dol- 
lars, whose annual earnings exceed four hundred millions — 
more than the whole valuation of the country fifty years ago. 
The older alumni will hardly need to be reminded of their 
long rides, early and late, perhaps till midnight, in the old stage- 
coach to Boston, or Hartford, or Albany, perchance to far 
greater distances. Nor will the later graduates soon forget 
their hair-breadth escapes and break-neck experiences in the 
same lumbering vehicle between Amherst and Palmer, Brook- 
field or Northampton. In one instance, I well remember, a 


tipsy driver upset the whole dignity of the College, and over- 
turned the Government, Trustees, President and all, in driving 
down the hill this side of Belchertown. 

The Pacific railroad is the modern wonder of the world. It 
has reversed the currents of travel and trade, and reduced im- 
mensely the circumference of the globe. Formerly the shortest 
way from New York to Canton was via London ; now the 
quickest route from London to Canton is via New York. Then, 
without steamships or telegraphs, passengers and news were from 
twenty to sixty days in crossing the ocean, according to the 
wind and weather. Now passengers cross in little more than a 
week, while intelligence is transmitted almost instantaneously, 
and the same news from every part of the world is read the same 
day, perchance the same hour and moment, on both sides of 
the Atlantic. 

Fifty years ago, men talked and wrote of the power of the press 
very much as we do now. But the daily newspapers in Boston, 
New York and Philadelphia were then quite content with a cir- 
culation of two thousand copies — three or four thousand was 
their highest aspiration. No one of the monthly and weekly 
magazines, which are now expected with so much interest by al- 
most the whole population, was then in existence. And if the 
men and women of that day had been told that the time would 
ever come when a newspaper would strike off a hundred thou- 
sand copies in a single morning, or a magazine would have a cir- 
culation of half a million, they would have pronounced the man 
insane who ventured to utter such a prediction. Our review 
literature began with the North American in 181 5, and our re- 
ligious newspapers with the Boston Recorder in 1816, — just 
about the time Amherst Academy came into existence, and only 
five years before the foundation of Amherst College. They 
read books in those days, especially one book, the Bible, Now 


the masses scarcely read anything but magazines and news- 
papers. Then there was such a thing as privacy and retire- 
ment. Now everybody does everything in the sight of the 
whole civilized world. 

When Amherst College was founded, there was neither gas- 
light nor petroleum. Gas-light was first introduced into Bos- 
ton in 1822, and the students of Amherst continued to read 
their Greek text and trace their mathematical diagrams in the 
light of an oil-lamp, or in the darkness of a tallow candle, 
through more than three-fifths of the half century, till, by human 
skill and the providence of God, oil gushed out of the rock, and 
there was both physical and intellectual light. 

The educational institutions of the country were then in their 
infancy, imperfectly manned, poorly furnished, and scarcely at 
all endowed, as little developed comparatively as the facilities. 
for light and locomotion. In 182 1, Yale College had five pro- 
fessors and six tutors ; Harvard, in her academical department, 
had scarcely more. Four hundred pounds — eight hundred at 
most — was the sum which Harvard received from the benefactor 
whose name it bears. Yale College received five hundred pounds 
from Governor Yale. Lord Dartmouth gave only fifty guineas 
to Dartmouth College. The day had not yet come when wealthy 
and benevolent men would give a hundred thousand dollars, or 
a quarter or a half million, and that to institutions not bearing 
the name of the donor. College buildings were then all after 
one pattern — whether it resembled more the barrack or the 
prison, it were not easy to say ; and the course of study was 
stereotyped, one and the same in all the colleges, and almost the 
same which had existed for several generations. Greek, Latin 
and mathematics, six times a week, with a little natural philoso- 
phy at the end, and perhaps a little rhetoric and logic in the 
middle, was the curriculum for the first three years, and mental- 


and moral philosophy, with a sprinkling of theology and politi- 
cal economy, was the course for the fourth year. The Graeca 
Minora was the Greek required for entering, and the Graeca 
Majora was the Greek studied after admission in every New 
England college, and I doubt not in every college in the United 
States. Chemistry, mineralogy, geology, zoology, paleontology, 
and the other ologies had not yet begun to distract the minds of 
students; and laboratories, museums, cabinets, collections in nat- 
ural history, were to be the growth of the next half century. The 
ideaof a university with studies wholly elective, for boys fresh from 
the farm and the shop, or, at best, just out of the high school and 
the academy, had not yet dawned upon the darkened minds of 
presidents and professors, or even of the most progressive soph- 
omores and freshmen. High schools were comparatively few 
even in Massachusetts. Academies were springing up rapidly 
in the larger towns, and theological seminaries were just coming 
into existence. Young men had hitherto fitted for college, and 
studied divinity chiefly under the instruction of such pastors as 
Dr. Backus and Dr. Hooker of Connecticut, and Father Hallock 
of Plainfield, Dr. Morse of Charlestown, and Dr. Emmons of 
Franklin, in Massachusetts. 

But the decade of years which preceded the founding of our 
College was a period of great political, mental, moral and relig- 
ious activity. It was during this period that the Spanish popu- 
lations of Mexico and South America threw off the yoke of the 
mother country, and declared their independence. The repub- 
lics of Mexico, Columbia and Peru all commenced their separate 
political existence in 1821. The Greek revolution also broke 
out the same year in which our College was opened; and 
within ten or twelve years, there were young Greeks from more 
than one of the fabled birthplaces of Homer in nearly all our 
College classes. These political revolutions, inaugurating a new 


era in both hemispheres (in the hopes at least of young and ar- 
dent minds), and opening a new and vast field of enterprise to 
the friends of liberty, humanity, learning and religion, were at- 
tended by corresponding movements in the moral and religious 
world. It was during this same decade that Bible societies 
sprang up all over Europe, and most of our great missionary 
societies in America, together with other kindred associations, 
had their origin. The American Board of Commissioners for 
Foreign Missions was established in 1810, the American Edu- 
cation Society in 1815, and the American Bible Society in 1816. 
It was not till 1826 that the American Home Missionary Society 
and the American Temperance Society came into existence. 
The theological seminary at Andover was established in 1808, 
the seminary at Princeton in 1812, and that at Auburn in 18 19. 
The Yale Divinity School will celebrate its semi-centennial next 

The twenty years between 181 5 and 1835, are often spoken 
of as distinguished above any period of equal length in modern 
times, for the frequency,, purity and power of the revivals of 
religion which then prevailed ; and of the years in this distin- 
guished period, with -the exception of 1831, 1821, the year in 
which our College was founded, was perhaps, beyond all others, 
emphatically a year of the right hand of the Most High. The 
wars of Napoleon had now come to an end, and the nations 
were at rest and at peace. Our own war with Great Britain — 
always to be known, I trust, as our "last war" with the mother 
country — had also ceased, and the Christian community now 
awoke to a new spiritual life, and consecrated their energies and 
resources afresh to the service of the Prince of Peace. It was 
then just two hundred years after the landing on Plymouth 
Rock. The second century in the history of the Pilgrim fa- 
thers and their descendants, was fitly closed by that period of 


Christian activity and fruitfulness — was fitly crowned by that 
remarkable outpouring of the Spirit on the churches of New 
England. On the 22d of December, previous to the founding 
of our College, Daniel Webster delivered the oration on Fore- 
fathers' Day. It was a great occasion, worthy of the distin- 
guished orator, and well improved by him in expatiating on the 
unforeseen and already far-reaching influence of that little Pil-. 
grim band. But the 22d of December, 1870, the last anniversary- 
preceding our semi-centennial, when Robert C. Winthrop ad- 
dressed the New England Society, when the first quarter of the 
first millennium since the landing of the Pilgrims was consum- 
mated, was a still grander occasion, and registered a far wider 
and more rapid extension of their principles and spirit. The 
past year has been fitly celebrated as a year of jubilee by the 
sons of New England in every part of the world. And the Col- 
lege whose existence has been comprised between these two 
great epochs, whose birth-year synchronizes with the former, 
and its semi-centennial with the latter, has, we believe, borne its 
humble indeed, yet active and proper part in the propagation of 
the same principles, and rejoices to keep the same year of jubilee. 
Charged, by the kindness of the Alumni, with the double duty 
of writing the history of the College, and of delivering an his- 
torical address at its semi-centennial celebration, my chief diffi- 
culty to-day lies in the selection of topics for this occasion. To 
avoid encroaching on the volume which is soon to be given to 
the press, and at the same time to restrict myself within the 
limits proper to this hour, I have thought it best, with the ad- 
vice and concurrence also of your committee, to construct this 
address chiefly of "chips from the workshop" of the history. 
At the same time, I think you will see clearly enough that they 
are "chips from the old block," and so they may serve for 
"specimens" of the history as well. 


As earth and man must conspire, under the guiding hand of 
Providence, to produce a race or a nation, so an institution that 
lives, \s born of the age, the place, the people and the provi- 
dence of God. Such a College as ours clearly could never have 
come into existence in any other country than the United 
States, nor in any other of the United States than Massachu- 
setts, nor anywhere else in Massachusetts but in the valley of 
tfie Connecticut, and old Hampshire County. The foundations 
for Amherst College were laid when this goodly valley was 
formed, and yonder beautiful river was sent winding like a silver 
thread through the vegetable mosaic of those matchless mead- 
ows — when those mountains were reared which compass it 
about like the mountains round about Jerusalem, and this con- 
secrated eminence was elevated which was destined to become 
the Mount Zion, whither our tribes go up to their yearly festi- 
vals — nay, when the sandstone which underlies the valley, was 
made, with its broad and manifold pages written all over with 
those ancient characters which our Hitchcock was to decipher, 
and our professors and students were to read and fetudy through 
untold generations. And some of fhe sources of its intellectual 
and moral life were provided when this changeful and stimulat- 
ing climate was created, which ranges at different seasons 
through all the temperatures from the torrid to the frigid zone, 
and when the peculiar atmosphere and light of this valley were 
so attempered and so adjusted to this site, as to give us these 
magnificent sunsets, different indeed, but not inferior to those 
of Italy and Greece. With still greater truth and emphasis the 
College may be said to have been the natural outgrowth of the 
peculiar intellectual, moral and religious characteristics of the 
people among whom it has taken root. President Dwight, in 
his Travels through New England and New York, finds in the 
inhabitants of the towns and villages of the Connecticut valley 


a style of building and living, a style of thinking, speaking and 
acting quite their own, which he ascribes partly to their origin 
and early isolation from the other colonies, and partly to the soil, 
climate, surface and other physical features of the country. He 
gives them credit for industry and thrift, for general intelligence, 
virtue and piety, and for an equahty of social condition and cul- 
ture beyond the average, even of New England. The- county 
of Hampshire was long ago recognized as the banner county in 
the numbev of its educated men, and the proportion of its 
church members. It is only the legitimate offspring of such a 
population, the natural and indigenous growth, as it were, of the 
soil, that we see when we behold Amherst College, Williston 
Seminary, Mount Holyoke Seminary, the Massachusetts Agri- 
cultural College, and the two Smith Colleges (already located 
and soon to be built at Northampton), springing up one after 
another, all in the same county, in a single half century, (like 
the Academy, the Lyceum, and those other immortal schools 
which sprung from the soil of Attica), and distinguishing this as 
the banner county of the State and the nation in the number 
and character of its educational institutions. 

There was a project for establishing a College in Northamp- 
ton, Hadley, or Hatfield, several years previous to the Revolu- 
tion. A charter was issued by the Colonial Governor, Stephen 
Bernard, constituting Israel Billings and eleven others a corpo- 
ration under the name of "The President and Fellows of 
Queen's College." The corporation held two or three meetings, 
and a beginning was perhaps made in the instruction of a few 
students. But the opposition of the friends of Harvard College 
arrested its progress, and the Revolution soon diverted the 
attention of the people to more exciting scenes. The first defi- 
nite and public proposition for the establishment of a College 
at Amherst, so far as we can learn, was made in the Franklin 


Association of Congregational ministers, assembled at the house 
of Rev. Theophilus Packard in Shelburne, May lO, 1815, when, in 
answer to a question proposed by Brother Packard, it was unani- 
mously resolved by that body, that "in their opinion, knowledge 
and virtue might be greatly subserved by a literary institution 
situated in some central town of old Hampshire County," and 
they were also "unanimously agreed. that, all things considered, 
the town of Amherst appeared to them the most eligible place 
for locating it." This first associated action, it will be observed, 
took place six years previous to the opening of Amherst Col- 
lege, and it took place, not in Hampshire, but Franklin County, 
and not even in the Connecticut valley, but among the moun- 
tains almost half-way from Amherst to Williamstown. Mr. 
Packard was a trustee of Williams College, and the ministers 
of Franklin Association were among the best friends and pat- 
rons of that institution. Yet, rising above all personal attach- 
ments and local preferences, with a single eye to the best 
method of promoting "knowledgeand virtue," they unanimously 
recommend the establishment of a College in the valley of the 
Connecticut and in the center of Hampshire County. 

The project for removing Williams College to some central 
town in Hampshire County, preceded any efforts or plans for 
founding Amherst College ; it originated with the friends of 
WilHams, it received the votes of nine out of twelve of the 
trustees of that institution, and was zealously prosecuted by 
them as the best way of advancing its prosperity, and perhaps 
the only means of perpetuating its existence, till, at length, the 
Legislature of Massachusetts put an end to the project, by 
refusing the permission which they asked for its removal. 

Amherst Academy was the mother of Amherst College, its 
founders were the founders of the College also, and the trustees 
of the former were the trustees of the latter during those four 


eventful years in which it was struggling to obtain a separate 
charter. This Academy was opened to receive students in Decem- 
ber, 1 8 14, and under the instruction of superior teachers, guided 
by enhghtened trustees, and fostered by a sympathizing commu- 
nity, it rose immediately to the first rank among the academies 
of the State, and continued for many years to exert a leading 
educational and Christian influence. Not content with this, the 
trustees, at the suggestion of "Rufus Graves, Esq.," made an 
effort in the fall of 18 17 to "increase the usefulness of the Acad- 
emy" by raising a fund for the endowment of a Professorship 
of Languages in it, and the gratuitous education of young men 
for the Christian ministry. But even the indefatigable Colonel 
Graves found it impossible to raise money for this object. 
Nothing daunted by this failure, the trustees only enlarged their 
plan, struck for a College instead of an Academy, and set out to 
raise a charity fund, not of ten thousand, but of fifty thousand 
dollars. At their meeting on the 1 8th of August, 1 8 1 8, they unani- 
mously accepted as the basis of such an institution, the consti- 
tution and by-laws reported by Colonel Graves, under which 
that charity fund was raised, and has ever since been adminis- 
tered, which has proved, indeed, the sheet-anchor of Amherst 
College. On the 29th day of September, 1818, a convention of 
thirty-six clergymen and thirty-two laymen, representing thirty- 
seven towns and forty parishes in Hampshire, Hampden and 
Franklin Counties, and the western section of Worcester 
County, met in Amherst at the call of the trustees, and after 
much animated discussion, especially touching the location, 
by a very large majority sanctioned their plan and proceedings. 
One speech is said to have exerted a controlling influence in 
securing this result. It was the maiden speech of George Gren- 
nell, secretary of the convention, afterwards for ten years mem- 
ber of Congress, and more than twenty years trustee of Am- 
herst College. 


The fifty thousand dollars charity fund was raised in less 
than a single year. After considerable delay in efforts to 
unite Williams College and the Institution at Amherst, the 
first building, the old South College, was commenced. The 
corner-stone was laid August 9, 1820, an address being de- 
livered on the occasion by Noah Webster, and a characteristic 
sermon, entitled "A Plea for a Miserable World," by Rev. Dan- 
iel A. Clark, then pastor of the First Church and Society in Am- 
herst. The walls went up and the roof was ready for shingling 
in ninety days. Before the next autumn, the interior was fin- 
ished and a part of the rooms furnished for the reception of 
students ; and on the i8th of September, 1821, the College was 
opened with the ceremonies of dedication and inauguration, as 
already stated, and the examination of students for the several 
classes. Thus old Massachusetts, who before held Harvard 
College in her right hand, and Williams in her left, now had a 
College near her geographical heart, and near it was also to the 
hearts of her orthodox, evangelical, Christian people. Animated 
by the spirit of the revivals that were then prevailing, and the 
missions which they were then organizing, inspired by a jealous 
love for the truth which, as they believed, was then assailed at a 
vital point, and by an earnest desire for the salvation of perish- 
ing men, they felt deeply the need of a College more advantage- 
ously situated than Williams, to fill the place which Harvard 
had lost in their confidence and affections, to be the radiating 
point of a truly Christian education and influence, and espe- 
cially to educate pastors for their churches, ministers for the new 
settlements, and missionaries for the great and growing field 
both at home and in foreign lands. Such were the motives 
that moved the ministers of Franklin Association and others of 
like character in Hampshire, Hampden and Worcester Counties 
— Packard and Taylor, and Porter and Crosby, and Fiske and 


Snell, and Vaill and Keep — to pray and labor for the establish- 
ment of Amherst College. Such were the considerations which, 
when presented by these ministers, and more directly by Colonel 
Graves and other agents, stirred up intelligent Christian laymen 
in every part of Massachusetts, irrespective of local preferences, 
to give so promptly and liberally to the charity fund. 

And this, I verily believe, was the strongest motive which 
impelled the Christian men and women of Amherst to give so 
much of their time and toil and money — the product of their 
farms, the growth of their forests, the labor of their hands, and 
contributions of every kind to the erection of the College build- 
ings. For the people of Amherst were, after all, the real found- 
ers of Amherst College. They were by far the largest and 
most liberal contributors to the charity fund. And such a 
foundation was then a new and unprecedented, a bold and vast 
undertaking. To raise fifty thousand dollars then for such 
a purpose, was a more difficult and daring enterprise than 
it would be now to raise half a million. They also took upon 
themselves the chief burden of putting up the first edifice. 
They gave the land, and prepared the site, and laid the founda- 
tions and furnished the materials, and put their hands in every 
possible way to the work. They paid and fed the masons and 
carpenters — the first men in Amherst tended them, if neces- 
sary, in person, and their wives and daughters ministered to 
them with their own hands. They may almost be said to have 
camped on the ground, and considering the opposition which 
they encountered, to have "labored with the sword in one hand, 
and the implement of the builder in the other, for the people 
had a mind to work ; and none of them put off their clothes, 
saving that every one put them off for washing," and not a few 
of them might also have said : we have mortgaged our lands, 
vineyards and houses, that the work might go forward without 


interruption to its accomplishment. In short, if the scene ever 
had any precedent or parallel, it was in the rebuilding of the 
walls of Jerusalem by the Jews, as recorded in the Book of Ne- 
hemiah — a passage, by the way, which our good President 
Humphrey used to read in the chapel at evening prayers, when- 
ever the burden of building the College grew very heavy, or 
there was a fresh outbreak of opposition from " Geshem, Tobiah 
and Sanballat." And here let me bear this public testimony 
to the good people of Amherst, that from the first breaking 
of the ground on College Hill, nay, from the first opening 
of the subscription, to this day, there has never been an emer- 
gency in the history of the College, in which they have not been 
the first to put their shoulders to the wheel, and the last to 
withdraw^ from bearing the heavy burden. 

The time would fail me to mention even the names of the 
noble, heroic Christian men and women of Amherst, who thus 
labored in laying the foundations of this Institution. Yet there 
are a few to whom universal suffrage would assign the pre-emi- 
nence, and to whose character and services }ustice demands 
that we pay a passing tribute on this occasion. The name 
of one of these springs to our lips at the bare mention of the 
charity fund ; at the very thought of it we see him, tall, slen- 
der, plainly clad, his head sprinkled already with the frosts of 
years, leaving but a scanty provision for his wife and children, 
setting out on his pilgrimage of begging, not for himself, not 
even for the College or the Church, but "for the Lord," going 
from house to house in Amherst, till, at length, his old horse re- 
fused to be driven past any door, and then extending his 
circuits from town to town, not only through that famous " cir- 
cle of fifty miles around, of which Amherst was the center," but 
in almost every county of the old Bay State. Born in Sunder- 
land in 1758, he was already more than sixty years of age. But 


he was one of those men who never grow old. A graduate of 
Dartmouth in the class of 1791, in 1812 a lecturer on chemistry 
in the College where he was educated, as he afterward was for a 
short time in the Academy and in the College of which he 
helped to lay the foundations, a bold but not very successful 
experimenter in fancy farming in Leverett, in building a tide- 
mill in Boston, and in selling patent milking machines in 
Franklin County, at length taking up his residence in the sec- 
ond story of the Academy building, he devoted several years of 
his life to the scarcely less doubtful, though finally successful, 
experiment of founding and building up Amherst College. He 
wrote the constitution and by-laws of the charity fund. He 
did more than any one else toward raising the money. He was 
the first Secretary of the Board of Trustees, and the first lecturer 
on chemistry, in a private room then used for lectures and reci- 
tations in the old South College. He lived on for several years 
after he had done his work here, and died in 1846 at Ports- 
mouth, Ohio, at the age of four score years and six. Ardent 
almost to enthusiasm, more remarkable for zeal than for pru- 
dence, enterprising and versatile, a colonel in the militia, an 
officer in the church, a man of prayer, full of faith and of the 
Holy Ghost, a loving and beloved disciple who leaned on the 
bosom of his Lord, and took counsel with Him first of all in 
every emergency, Rufus Graves, Esq., as Mr. Webster always 
calls him. Colonel Graves, as he is known to the community, 
was fitted by nature, education and grace to be beyond any 
other man a pioneer in the enterprise of raising money, and be- 
ing also without business, and devoting his whole time for 
so many years to the work, to him by common consent is gen- 
erally assigned the first place among the founders of Amherst 

Without the indefatigable agency and impulsive power of 


some such man as Colonel Graves, it is probable that Amherst 
College would never have come into existence. But it is quite 
certain that the College never could have been founded wholly 
by such men as he. A vessel must not only have sails but 
ballast, before it can safely launch out into the broad ocean. 
Our ubiquitous and persistent agent abroad had a no less un- 
wearied and devoted coadjutor at home, who possessed property, 
influence, and some traits of character in which the former was 
deficient. A native of Amherst, an alumnus of Dartmouth, 
where, though the youngest member, he was the second scholar 
in his class, a student of law in the office of Judge Strong, one 
of the ablest members of the bar of Hampshire County, who 
might have had a seat on the bench if he had not chosen to 
turn aside and engage in business, a deacon in the church from 
the age of twenty-one, town clerk for fourteen years, a member 
at different times of both branches of the Legislature, Samuel 
Fowler Dickinson, Esq., devoted wisdom and experience, pro- 
fessional influence and personal service, time, toil and money 
without stint, to the founding and building up, first of Amherst 
Academy and then of Amherst College, till he sacrificed his 
profession, his business, and at length his property, to these 
great educational and public interests. The enlargement of 
the plan from a mere professorship in the Academy to the 
founding of a College, is believed to have originated with him ; 
it certainly received from him the most intelligent advocacy and 
the most effective support. It is known that the work on the 
College buildings would have stopped many times for want of 
means, if he had not obtained money from the bank on his per- 
sonal credit, and also turned in his own teams and men, and 
sometimes taken hold of the work with his own hands. It is 
one of those sad events, incident to the imperfection of all 
human enterprises, that this large-minded, large-hearted, public- 


spirited, self-sacrificing man, who had done so much for the 
College and the public, felt at length that his services were not 
appreciated, and went away, with inextinguishable zeal and 
benevolence, to render similar services in his old age to Lane 
Seminary and Western Reserve College. He died at Hudson, 
Ohio, in 1838, at the age of 62. But his remains rest in yonder 
cemetery, in full view of the beloved College of which history 
will justly recognize him as one of the principal founders ; and 
if his spirit is permitted to revisit the scene of his earthly cares 
and toils, and to participate with us in these jubilee services, 
with what supreme satisfaction, wonder and joy must he look 
upon the unimagined results of his labors and sacrifices ! 

With Colonel Graves and Esquire Dickinson was associated 
a third co-worker, who, in character and condition, was a sort of 
medium between them. The son of a Judge of the Supreme 
Court of Massachusetts, whose ancestral dwelling is one of the 
celebrities of Amherst, a lawyer by education and profession, 
not less self-sacrificing and public-spirited than Esquire Dick- 
inson, scarcely less enthusiastic and visionary than Colonel 
Graves, Hezekiah Wright Strong was not behind either in 
devotion to the public good. Indeed, he was one of those 
men who are always in advance of their neighbors and their 
age, and always trying experiments, of which others sooner 
or later reap the chief benefits. To his almost quixotic enter- 
prise, Amherst was indebted for its first ice-house, its first 
bathing-house, and (queer enough, but not more queer than 
characteristic,) the first importation 'of a wagon-load of Con- 
gress water! which, in a small country town, of course, did 
not turn out a brilliant speculation. To his zeal and personal 
agency, Amherst Academy largely owed its existence. Claim- 
ing to be the father of the Academy, he sometimes playfully 
remarked that he was thus the grandfather of the College. He 


also claimed the credit of having selected the site for the first 
College edifice, and set the first stake on the grounds. Which 
of these three men originated the idea of voluntary contribu- 
tions of labor and materials for the first building, or whether it 
sprang up simultaneously in the minds of many, and which 
made the greatest sacrifices in the early establishment of the 
College, are questions which have been discussed, but need not 
be answered. They all did what they could, and all deserve 
honorable remembrance together as "the first three" among 
the Amherst founders. 

There was a fourth who contributed more than either of the 
three to give character and reputation to the new enterprise, 
perhaps also to guide and guard the incipient measures. Noah 
Webster came to Amherst in 1812, attracted at once by the 
quiet beauty of the place and the economy of living here. He 
had already published his American Spelling-Book, and the en- 
tire support of his family during his ten years' residence in 
Amherst and his twenty years' labor on the American Diction- 
ary, was derived from the profits of this work, at a copyright of 
less than one cent on a' copy. Scholar and student as he was. 
Dr. Webster identified himself with the people among whom 
he dwelt, was often moderator in town meetings and chairman 
of church committees, represented the town three years in the 
General Court, and received the votes of his townsmen as a 
candidate for Congress, contributed much, with the help of his 
accomplished wife and daughters, to the elevation and refine- 
ment of society, and lent all his influence to the planting and 
growth of the Academy and the College, both of which 
originated while he was a resident of Amherst. He was Vice- 
President of the Board of Trustees till Dr. Parsons resigned 
the presidency at the laying of the corner-stone of the first 
College edifice, and President of the Board thereafter till, at the 


opening of the College, he resigned to make room for the elec- 
tion of President Moore to that office. Soon after this he 
removed to New Haven. This distinguished philologist and 
educator, whose spelling-book has done more to form the char- 
acter of the masses than any other book in the English lan- 
guage except the Bible, and whose dictionary is more than any 
other the standard of that language wherever it is spoken, was, 
as his addresses show, a humble and earnest Christian, in full 
sympathy with the orthodox creed and missionary spirit of the 
other founders ; and we may well be proud to associate his 
name with the early history of our College. 

Nathaniel Smith of Sunderland was the largest pecuniary 
benefactor of the College, under the first two Presidents. In- 
deed, this successful banker, this wise counselor, this devoted 
friend of education, religion, missions and every good cause, 
was more than any other man the Samuel Williston of Amherst 
in those early days ; and it is difficult to see how the College 
could have been established or sustained through many a trying 
emergency, without his (for the time) princely liberality. He 
had the honor of being omitted, nay, excluded (that is not too 
strong a word,) excluded from the Corporation by the Legisla- 
ture which gave the charter, and restored to the position, 
which, according to every rule of justice and right, belonged to 
him, by the Legislature three years later. How much Presi- 
dent Humphrey leaned upon this tall, stalwart man, who was 
one of Nature's noblemen, may be seen from the sermon, 
entitled "The Good Arimathean," which he preached at his 

We would gladly linger at these fountains. Two other 
names must receive a passing mention — Rev. Dr. David Par- 
sons, the first President of the Board, whose preaching, during 
a pastorate of forty years, did so much to educate the people of 


Amherst and prepare them for the arduous enterprise of found- 
ing a Christian College, and Rev. Daniel A. Clark, his successor 
in the pastoral office, whose powerful sermons not only moved 
the first generation of students while they were here, but became 
the model after which many of them preached the Gospel 
in subsequent years. But we must hasten on to the more imme- 
diate actors. 

The first President was remarkably fitted for the work which 
he was providentially raised up to accomplish. Born in Palmer, 
Mass., and brought up in Wilmington, Vt., he learned by early 
experience to sympathize with the sons of farmers and of the 
laboring classes. After graduating at Dartmouth, teaching a 
short time in the Academy at Londonderry, N. H., and study- 
ing theology with Dr. Backus, in Somers, Ct., he was eleven 
years pastor of the church in Leicester, Mass., four years Pro- 
fessor of Languages in Dartmouth College, and six years Presi- 
dent of Williams. Entire success in each of these spheres 
of duty qualified him for and elevated him to the next, and he 
brought to the presidency at Amherst the wisdom and ex- 
perience which he had accumulated in them all. As a man, 
President Moore was remarkably winning and attractive. He 
weighed over, two hundred pounds, yet without any appearance 
of obesity. A gentleman of the old school, retaining the use 
of short breeches and long hose, which were particularly be- 
coming to his person, and exhibiting in his manner a rare union 
of suavity with dignity, he won his way immediately to the 
hearts of all his pupils, while at the same time he invariably 
commanded their profound respect and obedience. None of us 
can look upon his portrait, which hangs in our library, without 
being reminded of the language of Tacitus in his Life of Agri- 
cola: "decentior quam sublimior fuit ; nihil metus in vultu, 
gratia oris supererat ; bonum virum facile crederes, magnum 


libenter." While he entered most cordially into the religious 
views and plans of the founders and the characteristic spirit of 
" the Collegiate Institution at Amherst," he insisted, as a con- 
dition to his acceptance of the presidency, that "the classical 
education of the students should be thorough," and "the course 
of study should not be inferior to that in the Colleges in New- 
England." At the same time he was in advance of the age in 
his appreciation of the modern physical sciences, and thus early 
gave to individual students, if not to the College, something of 
that bent by which it has ever since been distinguished. In 
addition to his appropriate duties as President, and as Chairman 
of the Board of Trustees, Doctor Moore heard all the recita- 
tions of the Senior class, and in part those of the Sophomore. 
A precious revival of religion in the spring term of his second 
year, while it gladdened his heart beyond measure, as it did also 
those of the friends of the infant seminary, added greatly to his 
labors and responsibilities. At the same time he was soliciting 
money to meet the pecuniary necessities of the Institution, and 
pressing its claims for a charter upon a reluctant, and to a great 
extent, hostile Legislature. The failure of the second applica- 
tion to the General Court at its spring session, superadded 
to such overwhelming labors, cares and anxieties, was too much 
for him to bear. An attack of acute disease, a few days after 
his return from Boston, soon overpowered his exhausted system, 
and he died on Monday, the 30th of June, 1823, in the fifty- 
third year of his age. Every student felt that he had lost 
a father. To many, in and out of the College, the death of its 
President, under such circumstances, seemed to be a death-blow 
to the Institution. The Senior class asked to be excused from 
performing their parts at the ensuing Commencement, and see- 
ing no reasonable prospect of ever being able to obtain a 
diploma here, they began to look about for other places of grad- 


nation. But courage revived, faith and hope triumphed, and 
so far from dying, the infant seminary soon entered on a new 
and higher stage of its existence. 

The Faculty, as first organized under President Moore, 
consisted of two Professors and two Tutors. Th)e Professor 
of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy, Rev. Gamaliel S, 
Olds, a graduate of Williams College, was a man of strong 
mind, a good classical scholar, and master of the whole field 
of mathematics. But there was in him an element of over- 
sensitiveness, not to say of personal ambition and insubordina- 
tion, which had already cut short his connection with two 
or three other Colleges, and his relation to Amherst College 
ceased with the organization of the Faculty anew under the 
charter in 1825. The Professor of Greek and Latin, Mr. 
Joseph Estabrook, an alumnus of Dartmouth, won an enviable 
reputation as Principal of Amherst Academy during the three 
years which preceded the opening of the College, but, if we 
may judge from the silence of the letters of alumni, does not 
seem to have made a very strong impression on the College 
students. Being subject to a bronchial affection, he resigned 
his professorship in 1824, and was afterward President for thir- 
teen years of the University of East Tennessee. Lucius Field, 
a graduate of Williams, was the first Tutor. He was also the 
first superintendent of the first Sabbath-school in Amherst. 
Tutor Burt, a graduate of Union, is mentioned with respect in 
the letters of early alumni, is still spoken of in town as the in- 
strument of the conversion of every member of his class in the 
Sabbath-school, and is gratefully remembered by many whom 
he fitted for College in Belchertown, Monson, Hadley, and 
Ithica, New York. The students of those early days jjossessed 
in large measure the same spirit which animated the founders 
of the College. Otherwise they never would have come here 


for their education. Even now I can not help wondering that 
they did come. They could not go far in any direction without 
meeting those who would fain dissuade them from coming, 
by every argument which wit and wisdom could devise, espe- 
cially by that argument which it is most difficult for young men 
to withstand, ridicule and sarcasm. A venerable clergyman 
met one of these early students when he was a member of the 
academy, and, pointing to the first edifice (then in process 
of erection), said, " They are putting up that building only to be 
a habitation for the moles and the bats." An honored teacher 
in a neighboring academy, said to the same young man about 
the same time: "When Amherst College is started, I suppose 
they will grind out ministers as fast as they do corn at the grist- 
mill." That young man entered Amherst College, notwith- 
standing, and went through that grist-mill, and came out as 
good a minister as any church need ever desire, and I believe he 
is here to-day to rejoice in results which have falsified all such 
sinister prophecies, and turned enemies to friends. 

These early students were conscious that their literary and 
scientific advantages were not of the highest order. But they 
made the best use of all they had. Most of them came here 
for no other purpose but to gain knowledge and discipline, that 
they might be useful. The largest part of them were Christian 
young men, who studied with the highest and holiest motives. 
And they found no small compensation for their inferior advan- 
tages in their freedom from distracting scenes. They had 
neither concerts nor lectures, cattle shows nor Jim Crows 
to tempt them from their lessons. Nor did they study in the 
dazzle and glare of universal publicity, with the eyes of the 
world staring at them, and lines of magnetic communication 
connecting their brain and nervous system with the ends of the 
earth. And they made good scholars — great and good men. 


In proof of this we have only to mention the names of David 
O. Allen, Elijah Paine, Bela B. Edwards, George Shepard, John 
Taylor Jones, Henry W. Strong, Elijah C. Bridgman, and Arte- 
mas Billiard, among the illustrious dead (to say nothing of the 
distinguished living) who began, at least, and some of them fin- 
ished their course under President Moore. They loved their 
College, and almost worshiped their President. Their relations 
to the good people of the town were even more intimate and 
endearing than those of students now-a-days ; perhaps some of 
the young men who hear me will hardly believe this. They 
worshiped with them in the church, sung with them in the 
choir, taught in their Sabbath and day schools, and not only the 
school-master, but the singing-master and leader of the choir 
sometimes "boarded round" for a part of his pay. And in 
these earliest times the precedent was established of entering 
into still more endearing and enduring relations. Whether 
"Confidence Lot" and "Lovers' Grove" received their signifi- 
cant names at this time, or at a still earlier period, is a question 
in antiquities which I have not been able to solve. Certain 
it is — judging from the letters of alumni which read amazingly 
like love-letters^certain it is that those were halcyon days.- It 
was the romantic if not also the heroic age of our College. 
Perhaps some of my hearers will suspect that it was the mythi- 
cal age in our hit^tory.- 

The second President introduces us to what our Professor of 
Ecclesiastical History, in a speech at one of our alumni meet- 
ings, called the mediaeval period. He was not less admirably 
fitted than his predecessor to meet the emergencies of the time 
and the place, and to accomplish the work which now needed 
to be done for the College. The Institution was still an infant 
of less than two years old when it was bereaved of its first 
President. It had no charter. Its hold on life was precarious. 


Two plain and rude dormitories constituted the homestead, and 
the charity fund, much of which as yet existed only on pa- 
per, was its sole inheritance. The $30,000 subscription was 
completed just before the death of President Moore, But it 
was payable in five annual instalments, and at every stage of its 
collection was more than balanced by debts. There was no 
church organization, no chapel for morning and evening prayers 
or the worship of the Sabbath. Such a thing as an observatory, 
a cabinet or a library building had never even been thought of 
A handful of books, chiefly contributed by the neighboring minis- 
ters, went by the name of a library ; a few pieces of second- 
hand apparatus, given by friends or picked up where they could 
be bought the cheapest, then represented all our present collec- 
tions ; a few extemporized benches, arranged around a rude, 
extemporized desk, served for chapel, lecture-room and place of 
general convocation, and all these were crowded together in one 
end of the fourth story of the new North College. In short, it 
was the "Collegiate Institution of Amherst." Amherst Col- 
lege was yet to be created. This was the work which devolved 
on Dr. Humphrey. And with the blessing of God he accom- 
plished it. 

The son of a Connecticut farmer in humble circumstances, 
he worked out on a farm every summer, and, after his own brief 
school-boy days were ended, taught school every winter till he 
was twenty-five. After only six months of uninterrupted 
study, during which he made all his preparation in Greek and 
much of his preparation in Latin and mathematics, he entered 
the Junior class of Yale College, where he "paid all the ex- 
penses of his own education, except that some of his clothes were 
furnished by his mother;" and yet he received an oration for 
his graduating appointment at Commencement. Thus was he 
fitted to . preside over a College so many of whose students 


were to go through a similar experience. Thus, also, he ac- 
quired the stalwart frame and robust health of body, mind and 
heart which enabled him to sustain the heavy burden, as well as 
the firm self-reliance, the strong common sense, the quick 
faculty of observation, the knowledge of men and things, and 
the sympathy with the masses, which were among the main 
secrets of his strength. A pastorate of ten years in Fair- 
field, Conn., and of six years in Pittsfield, Mass., during which, 
besides being the wise, faithful, successful, honored and beloved 
shepherd of his own flock, he was a leader in revivals, reforma- 
tions, missions and every other form of public charity and be- 
nevolence, qualified him to be the President of a College so 
large a proportion of whose graduates in his day were to be 
ministers, and at the same time rooted him in the confidence 
and affections of the churches, whose sympathy and support 
were to be his chief reliance in laying broader and deeper the 
foundations of the Institution. 

President Humphrey accepted the office, against the remon- 
strances of his people and his personal inclination, from an im- 
perative sense of duty, and came to Amherst to assume its 
responsibilities with fear and anxiety. But his inaugural ad- 
dress was like the sound of a trumpet, inspiring the founders of 
the College with new courage, rallying the hesitating to its 
support, enlisting the sympathy of the friends of learning 
wedded to religion, and attracting students from afar. Hardly 
had he commenced the work of government and instruction be- 
fore he was summoned to his first great battle — that of the 
Charter. We have not time to tell the story ; nor need we. It 
has been often told. It was not so much a battle as a war. 
Sectional prejudices, local envy and jealousy, rival educational 
interests, hatred of orthodoxy, and hostility to evangelical re- 
ligion, were all arrayed against the College. Twice already had 


its friends been defeated, nay, routed in the unequal conflict. 
The first President had just fallen in the midst of the fight. 
The second, like his predecessor, had not only to lead the forces, 
but to fight with one hand, and, at the same time, build with the 
other. But he was fully equal to the crisis. His appeals to the 
people, through the press, were clear, cogent, unanswerable. 
His speech before the joint committee of the two Houses, in 
the winter of 1824, was pronounced by candid and competent 
judges the ablest that was made in Boston during that session 
of the Legislature. Twice more were they beaten, but each 
time by a smaller majority. One more such gain would assure 
a victory. As a last resource of strategy, the enemies of the 
College moved a committee of investigation, and carried their 
point. But they soon wished they had not. The committee 
visited Amherst, searched everything to the bottom, but soon 
came to the conclusion that they were only collecting money, 
and making capital for the College ; they therefore went back, 
and, as a matter of policy, recommended the granting of a char- 
ter, and their recommendation received the sanction of both 
branches of the Legislature. Thus, after a delay of three years 
and a half from the opening, and more than two years from the 
time of the first petition, the Institution obtained a charter, and 
Amherst was admitted to a name as well as a place among the 
colleges of Massachusetts. The charter was signed by Lieu- 
tenant-Governor Marcus Morton, then acting Governor in plac# 
of William T. Eustis, who had deceased a short time previous. 
Governor Eustis and Lieutenant-Governor Morton were the 
candidates of the Democratic party, elected by Federalist votes 
cast by friends of Amherst College, to whom party ties were 
less sacred than justice, learning and religion. The rival can- 
didate for the gubernatorial office met Governor Eustis shortly 
after his election, and knowing how the political scales had been 


turned, said to him, " I understand your excellency is becoming 
orthodox." " I am not so sure of that," replied the Governor 
elect, "but at any rate, I believe in the doctrine of election." 
The charter dates from the 21st of February, 1825, and the seal 
of the College represents the sun and an open Bible illuminat- 
ing the globe, while underneath is written the motto : " Terras 
irradient." God speed the fulfillment of the prophecy. 

Meanwhile, the College Church had been organized, and a 
separate service instituted for worship on the Sabbath. The 
College Chapel was dedicated in February, 1827, and in 1828, 
the new North College was erected. Then followed the second 
great battle, which was more protracted and fierce than the 
first. The application to the Legislature for pecuniary aid met 
with more violent opposition, and called forth more bitter vitu- 
peration, than the petition for a charter. After five years of 
delay and suspense, of postponement and evasion, during which 
four successive committees had reported in favor of the College, 
the question was at length brought to a decisive issue, and the 
application was rejected, or which was the same thing, indefi- 
nitely postponed by a large majority. But the defeat was worth 
more than a victory. The money which the committees pro- 
posed, but the Legislature refused to grant, was raised by pri- 
vate subscription. And what neither officers nor students, 
funds nor friends, could have done for the College, was accom- 
*;[Dlished for it by the intemperate zeal of its enemies. In less 
than five years after it was chartered, it numbered more than 
two hundred students, and at the end of ten years, two hundred 
and fifty, thus ranking in this respect second only to Yale. 

The able and excellent Faculty whom President Humphrey 
gathered about him, contributed their full share to this result. 
The Faculty of Amherst College, as it appears on the catalogue 
of 1825, and as it was first fully organized under the charter. 


consisted of Rev Heman Humphrey, Rev. Edward Hitchcock, 
Rev. Nathan W. Fiske, Rev. Solomon Peck, Samuel M. Worces- 
ter, Jacob Abbot, and Ebenezer S. Snell. Of these seven per- 
sons, four have finished their course, and may, therefore, be 
spoken of without flattery or prejudice. And what one of them 
can ever be forgotten or dissevered from the history of Amherst 
College.'' Humphrey, wise, strong, unselfish, magnanimous, 
the very impersonation of robust common sense, perfect sincer- 
ity, stainless honor and unswerving Christian principle — Hitch- 
cock, genius, science and enthusiasm sanctified and inspired by 
religion — Fiske, the accurate scholar, the acute metaphysician, 
the powerful preacher, whom God did, and man did not, make a 
Doctor of Divinity — and Worcester, with his varied reading 
and unbounded memory and inexhaustible affluence of diction, 
made apparently for a professor of rhetoric and oratory, yet so 
fond of the work of the ministry that he relinquished his pro- 
fessorship for the pastoral office — each exactly fitted for his 
place, and all uniting as one man in unwearied labors for the 
prosperity of the College and the advancement of Christian ed- 
ucation. Of the six others who. came into the Faculty at differ- 
ent times under the presidency of Dr. Humphrey, one only 
has departed this life — the lamented Hovey, of whom it may be 
confidently said, that if his bodily health and strength had 
equaled his talents, virtues and accomplishments, his would 
have been one of the most honored and beloved names in the 
history of Amherst College. Of the survivors, only two are 
still connected with the Faculty. One of us has been a pro- 
fessor forty-two years, the other thirty-five, long enough already 
to be counted among the antiquities of the College. If we 
should continue much longer, we shall probably be classed with 
the fossils of the antediluvian age. The rest — Professors Ab- 
bott and Peck of .the original Faculty, and Professors Clark, 


Condit, Fowler and Warner who came in later — live to adorn 
other stations, and to show how skillful Amherst has been in 
finding and forming professors for theological seminaries — how 
excellent a school the Faculty of Amherst has been for training 
authors, scholars, secretaries, and in the original and proper 
sense of the term, doctors of divinity. Connected with the 
College but a few years at most, they of course contributed less 
to form the character of the Institution'. But they added lustre 
to the administration of President Humphrey, made their mark 
on at least two or three classes, and grateful memories of their 
life and teaching here are rooted in the hearts of not a few who 
are gathered within these walls to-day. 

' The Tutors, too — those afflicted and persecuted souls who, 
through much tribulation, at length enter into rest and inherit 
the promises — Bela B. Edwards, Joseph S. Clark, William P. 
Paine, Story Hebard, Ezekiel Russell, PI. B. Hackett, Justin 
Perkins, W. S. Tyler, Timothy Dwight, Edward P. Humphrey, 
Ebenezer Burgess, Elbridge Bradbury, Thatcher Thayer, Wel- 
lington H. Tyler, Charles Clapp, S. Boltwood Ingram, Calvin 
E. Park, ^Amos Bullard, George C. Partridge, C. B. Adams, 
Thomas P. Field, Clinton Clark, John Humphrey, William A. 
Peabody, J. G. D. Stearns, Roswell D. Hitchcock, Charles E. 
Washburn, Thomas S. Miller, George B. Jewett, H. .M. Spof- 
ford, Rowland Ayres— what hallowed names are these in the 
memory of some of our hearts — what places of honor do many 
of them now hold in literature, science, theology and religion — 
and how much higher do many of them (too many, alas ! for us 
and our dear mother's joy, for almost half of them have re- 
ceived their crown,) how much higher do many of them shine 
among those that have turned many to righteousness ! 

As these were not only tutors but alumni, they may serve 
also as specimens of the men and the scholars that were edu- 


cated here, even in this mediaeval period of our history. And 
I should call up names scarcely less honored, memories no less 
sacred at least to classmates and friends, should I venture to 
speak of others, not tutors, one or more in every class, who, 
some very early, and all too early, have finished the work of life 
— A. W. McClure, Reuben Tinker, Isaac Bliss, Henry Lyman, 
James L. Merrick, Moody Harrington, James Humphrey, Sim- 
eon Shurtleff, Hosea D. Humphrey, Alonzo Gray, Eli Thurs- 
ton, William B. Homer, Alexander Montgomery, Johnathan B. 
Marshall, James H. Bancroft, Joel E. Everett, Henry M. Bridg- 
man, R. S. Storrs Dickinson, and others still, living as well as 
dead, quite too numerous to mention. 

A member of the class that graduated just at the close of 
the first decade of years, in a letter, has characterized that dec- 
ade as the age of experiments. It was then that the experi- 
ment of the parallel course, substituting the physical sciences 
and the modern languages for the ancient classics, was tried 
and failed, vanishing when the class with which it was inaugu- 
rated, had scarcely yet finished their course, and leaving "not a 
rack behind," except the wisdom to those who tried it, and the 
warning to others, which were contained in the experience. 
Then, too, the students, with the consent of the Faculty, were 
organized into a body politic, with legislative and judiciary de- 
partments, and tried the experiment of self-government in in- 
ternal affairs and social relations, till, after some useful and 
many amusing experiences, that class of students described in 
the two lines of Hudibras : — 

" For none e'er felt the halter draw, 
With good opinion of the law," 

finding it a little too much of an " imperium in imperio," rose 
in rebellion and overthrew the government. The old gym- 
nasium — the gymnasium in the grove, with its swings, parallel 


bars, wooden horses and stadia for running and jumping — 
originated at this time ; and many will perhaps agree with our 
Anglo-Saxon Professor, of the class of '45, that 'the old grove 
as we then used it, was better than the biggest stone gym- 

The decade which began with the College charter, ending of 
course with 1835, was the period of rapid growth and enlarge- 
ment. We have already spoken of the rapid increase of stu- 
dents. The two Professors and two Tutors that Dr. Humphrey 
found when he first came here, grew under his administration 
into a Faculty of ten or twelve, of whom five or six were regu- 
lar Professors, four were Tutors, and the rest were special in- 
structors, or occasional lecturers, the auxiliaries, Uvoi as the old 
Greeks would call them, not much to be depended on, yet some 
of them, as Dr. Post and Hon. William B. Calhoun, gave us 
some very excellent lectures. At the same time, valuable ad- 
ditions were made by purchases in Europe to the library, phil- 
osophical apparatus and other material of education to corres- 
pond with the growing number of students. This same decade 
was the golden age of the literary societies when they had not 
yet had their life-blood sucked out of them by a swarm of 
Greek letter fraternities — when the Social Union, although she 
entered the course only in Sophomore year, as it were, (do my 
hearers understand the figure .-•) and though she always had the 
credit of being a little sophomorical in her relations to the gov- 
ernment, waked up the Alexandrian and Athenian Societies to 
a generous rivalry, the fruit of which was seen in full meetings 
and eloquent debates, as well as growing libraries, and when at 
the invitation of the literary societies every Commencement, 
such orators as Gov. Everett of Massachusetts and Gov. Mc- 
Dowell of Virginia pronounced those model orations which 
stirred the young men to a noble emulation as Thucydides 


was stirred by the rehearsals of Herodotus at the Olympic 
games — as the youthful Themistocles was excited when he — 

— " rustling heard in every breeze 
The laurels of Miltiades." 

The Antivenenian Society also came into existence at this 
time, and began that long and still lengthening roll of honor 
which has received the signatures of so large a proportion of 
the officers and students ever since, which President Hitchcock, 
then Professor, used to unroll with so much satisfaction before 
the wondering eyes of the Freshmen, and which he esteemed as 
almost a second charter of the rights, liberties and privileges of 
Amherst College. 

We are indebted to John Tappan of Boston for the existence 
of this society, and vice versa, we are in part indebted to this 
society for the continued favor and life-long friendship of that 
enlightened Christian philanthropist, who began his benefac- 
tions to the College at a time of great prosperity, and never 
withdrew them in the darkest hour of adversity, and whose re- 
peated donations to the library enlarged the minds and refreshed 
the spirits of officers and students, at seasons when they were 
almost starving for intellectual nourishment. 

It was under the administration of President Humphrey that 
revivals of religion, of which there had been only one before 
his accession, were of such frequent and regular occurrence, 
were so labored for every year, and looked for at least once in 
four years, that it becarrie a sort of law that no class had gradu- 
ated, and none must be allowed to graduate without enjoying at 
least pne such feast of ingathering. I^eginning with 1827 and 
ending with 183 1, there were three revivals in five years, and as 
the fruit of them, the ungodly and profane became pure in their 
hearts and lips and lives, the indolent and dissipated were made 
scholars, some who seemed to have as little intellect as scholar- 


ship, developed surprising talents, and others whose genius and 
wit made them the recognized leaders of their classes, although 
they were devoid of religious principle, received a new direc- 
tion, and went out to exert a commanding Christian influence 
in the church and in the state, at home and in foreign lands. 

In short, the administration of President Humphrey, scarcely 
less than that of his predecessor, was our book of Genesis, in 
which many of our organizations, usages and characteristic 
traits had their origin, and at the same time our Exodus when 
we went up out of Egypt, obtained our charter and our laws, 
among the rest those College laws which were then as minute 
and specific, and, in the opinion of some students, as mysterious 
and severe as the laws of Moses that were given to the Israel- 
ites in the wilderness. It was the period when precedents were 
established, principles settled, habits formed, and that character 
fixed which our College still retains, and doubtless will retain 
more or less in all coming time — when, in the favorite language 
of the President, whom we so much honored, our Zion not only 
"lengthened her cords and strengthened her stakes," but laid 
the foundations, to some extent the literary, but still more the 
moral and religious " foundations for many generations." 

But the spring-tide of prosperity which ran so high for many 
years, was at length naturally and inevitably followed by an 
ebb. The causey which had produced so unprecedented a 
growth, and a growth, it must be confessed, which was not al- 
together natural and healthy, ceased to operate, or lost in a 
measure their pristine power. The fervor of a first love and 
zeal for orthodoxy and evangelical piety had somewhat cooled. 
The passion for missions and the education of ministers was 
perhaps abated. Revivals became less frequent in the churches. 
The number of students now began to diminish. Meanwhile 
the debt, unavoidably contracted for the erection of buildings 


in the day of prosperity, and annually increased by the current 
expenses and the payment of interest, was rapidly accumulat- 
ing. Subscriptions were again resorted to, and through the 
strenuous and persevering exertions of our accomplished agent, 
Rev. Mr. Vaill, a considerable sum was raised — nominally a 
hundred thousand dollars. But it is an inherent infelicity of 
subscriptions in small sums from all classes of individuals, that 
while there is the strongest temptation to swell the amount on 
paper and in the public estimation, an immense percentage is . 
always lost in the collection. The earlier subscriptions to the 
funds of the College were worth more to it than the same amount 
would have been, if given in large donations or granted by the 
Legislature ; for every subscriber was a friend and patron, hav- 
ing an . investment in the Institution. But the people grew 
weary at length of perpetual solicitations, and then the process 
made more enemies than friends. The poverty and opposition 
theory in the college, like the persecution theory in the church, 
is very true and very good within certain limits. But beyond 
those limits it is the reverse of the truth. The blood of the 
martyrs is the seed of the church. But the massacre of St. 
Bartholomew drowned and almost extinguished the French 
Protestants. Poverty and opposition nourished and strength- 
ened Amherst College for the first fifteen years, but in the next 
ten years the same causes brought it to the verge of ruin. The 
debt was not canceled. The numbers continued to decrease. 
Disaff'ection sprung up in some of the classes, went forth 
with the graduates, and spread through the community. Em- 
barrassments of every kind, nearly all, however, more or less 
connected with pecuniary difficulties, thickened and pressed 
harder and heavier upon the College, till the Trustees, who, by 
the blessing of God, had seen the Institution carried safely 
through its early trials, began seriously to fear that they might 
live to see it desolate and forsaken. 


Professor Hitchcock was just the man for this emergency. 
Identified with the College in almost its entire previous history, 
idolized by the students and trusted by the alumni, enjoying 
the confidence of the Christian community, known personally 
by his geological explorations in every town of the State, and 
honored as a man of science by the savants of Europe as well 
as throughout his own country, his personal reputation and his 
wise policy, fl repeat it, and I mean just what I say,) Ins 
personal reputation and his tvise policy saved the College. 
The first thing was to stop the leak that threatened to sink the 
ship, and at the same time to cease from asking pecuniary aid 
of the public, already weary of such solicitations. At his sug- 
gestion, with the consent of the Trustees, the President and 
Professors resolved to stay, at all events, the further increase of 
the debt by farming the revenues themselves, and receiving for 
their support the net income, however much it might fall below 
their regular salaries and the necessary expenses. This self- 
denying effort awakened public sympathy, and a series of 
measures was commenced, which, during the ten years of Doctor 
Hitchcock's presidency, extinguished the debt, added an astro- 
nomical observatory, a library, and two cabinets of natural 
history to the public buildings, secured the permanent endow- 
ment of four professorshijos, together with valuable funds for 
the purchase of books and immense scientific collections, and 
doubled the number of under-graduates. 

We have no time for the details, scarcely even for an allusion 
to our benefactors. One towers far above the rest, and indeed 
above all the pecuniary benefactors of the College, in the num- 
ber, variety and timeliness of his gifts, and in the relative value, 
though he is exceeded by one in the absolute sum of his dona- 
tions. It is quite unnecessary to mention the name of Samuel 
Williston, who, if he did not save the College from extinction. 


established it for the first time on a solid and enduring founda- 
tion. To him Cicero's claim for everlasting remembrance as 
the preserver and second founder of Rome, applies in all the 
cogency of the argument, in all the beauty and significance of 
the language: "Si non minus nobis jucundi atque illustres 
sunt ii dies quibus conservamur quam illi quibus nascimur, .... 
profecto quoniam ilium qui banc urbem condidit, ad Deos ira- 
mortales benevolentia famaque sustulimus, esse apud vos pos- 
terosque vestros in honore debebit qui eandem banc urbem con- 
ditam amplificatamque servavit." The founders of Amherst 
College were many ; but one man, pecuniarily speaking, rescued 
it, preserved it, planted it anew on broader and deeper founda- 
tions, and has stood by it ever since to support and adorn it, 
even though his contributions might bear the names of others. 
His latest benefaction has just been announced. It is a birth- 
day present to our mother — the handsome and appropriate gift of 
fifty thousand dollars on her fiftieth anniversary — one thousand 
dollars for every year of her life ! Her children gratefully ac- 
knowledge the gift, and with one voice unite with her in the 
prayer, God save the king — long live Samuel Williston! 

But we must not fail to mention others who came to the relief 
and support of the College during this administration — Samuel 
A. Hitchcock, who, in completing the endowment of the Hitch- 
cock professorship, only commenced the series of liberal dona- 
tions which he has since extended and enlarged ; Josiah B.Woods, 
whose Cabinet was the first visible step upward under the new 
regimen, in the improvement of the College buildings and 
grounds, (long may that Cabinet escape the profane hands that 
would level it with the chasm which now yawns by its side!) 
and whose representation of the scientific merits of Dr. Hitch- 
cock and the self-denial of his colleagues, not only won the 
friendship of Abbot Lawrence and other benefactors, but pre- 


pared the way for the conquest of the Legislature and the first 
grant they ever made to Amherst College ; David Sears, whose 
"Foundation of Literature and Benevolence" has so long been 
the chief fountain of supply and increase to our library, and 
which, by the perpetual addition of one-half of the annual inter- 
est to the principal, is destined in future ages to become one 
of our richest as well as most beneficent foundations ; Jona- 
than Phillips, whose donations to the library, next to those of 
David Sears, have brightened the eyes and gladdened the 
hearts of officers and students ; George Merriam, who headed 
our subscription for the new library building with a generous 
donation ; George C. Shepard, who was the largest subscriber 
in the effort of the alumni to replenish the building with books ; 
Samuel Appleton, whose Ichnological Cabinet has made indelible 
his "foot-marks on the sands of time ;" Charles U. Shepard and 
C. B. Adams, whose collections can not be estimated in money, 
and are of more value than the buildings in which they are de- 
posited. We can not dwell on any of them, still less can we 
stop to magnify the consummate generalship, the weight of 
character and the personal influence by which those large ac- 
cessions to the material of education were secured. Nor would 
Dr. Hitchcock himself allow us so to do. For with a modesty 
and Christian humility as remarkable as his wisdom, this great 
and good man regarded himself in all these measures as only 
the instrument of Divine Providence. And in his address on 
retiring from the presidency, he says: "It seemed to me as 
obviously God's work, as if I had seen the sun and moon stand 
still, or the dead start out of their graves; and it appeared as 
absurd for me to boast of my agency in the work, as for the 
wires of the telegraph to feel proud because electricity was con- 
veying great thoughts through them. Oh, no, let the glory of 
this change be now and ever ascribed to a special Divine 


If Dr. Humphrey was our Moses, the giver of our laws and 
institutions, Dr. Hitchcock was our Joshua, who led us into the 
promised land, conquered our enemies by making them friends, 
and gave us secure and permanent possession of houses that we 
did not build, and vineyards and olive yards that we planted 
not. It is not difficult to discern the distinctive features of this 
portion of our history. It was in many respects a new era, 
and that in no small measure the result of a new policy. It 
was the end — forever let us hope — of living beyond our means 
and running in debt. It was the end of general subscriptions 
to meet current expenses. It was the beginning of endow- 
ments by large donations from individuals. It was the be- 
ginning (and to all appearance nearly the end) of grants by the 
State. It was the age of growth and expansion in cabinets, col- 
lections and materials for the illustration of the physical sciences. 
At the same time, it was the period in which the foundations of 
our library were laid — the building and we might almost say 
the books. Last, not least, it inaugurated the reign of compar- 
ative peace. From its commencement, there was less of hostil- 
ity abroad than there had ever been before, and more than for 
many years previous of peace, quietness, contentment and satis- 
faction at home. This was partly the result of a change of 
times and circumstances, and partly of a more paternal, perhaps 
we might say fraternal administration suited to the times. Yet 
there was no compromise with error or sin — no lowering of the 
standard of orthodoxy, evangelical piety, or any of the distinct- 
ive principles of the original founders. Temperance, revivals, 
missions, education of ministers, were still as conspicuous as ever 
on our banners. 

The Professors and Tutors who were associated with Dr. 
Hitchcock in the government and instruction, were, for the 
most part, one with him in spirit ; some of them added much to 


the lustre of his presidency, and were h& to write the history of 
his own administration, he would ascribe a large share of its 
success to their hearty and able co-operation. But the larger 
part of them are still living — only three of them now connected 
with the College — the rest, for the most part, working and 
shining in the departments of education, letters, theology and 
religion elsewhere. Aaron Warner, Thomas P. Field, Henry 
B. Smith, Joseph Haven, George B. Jewett, David Torrey, 
Lewis Green, Marshall Henshaw, Francis A. March, Albert 
Tolman, William Howland, Henry L. Edwards, William C. 
Dickinson, George Howland, John Sanford, George N. Webber, 
— these are names now well-known to the public as well as fa- 
miliar to the ears and dear to the hearts of many of us, and 
they represent not only the Faculty, but, for the most part, the 
alumni also, of this period. But it remains for those who come 
after us and outlive them, to give their character and write their 

Six of Dr. Hitchcock's colleagues in the Faculty— three Pro- 
fessors and three Tutors — have gone to participate with him in 
the honors and rewards of faithful service. The three Pro- 
fessors all departed in advance of their honored and beloved 
President. One, a ripe scholar and veteran Professor, went up 
from the city where our Lord was crucified, to walk the streets 
of the New Jerusalem. His body rests beneath an olive-tree 
on Mount Zion, and methinks his spirit looks down with sacred 
joy upon the prosperity of his beloved College, for which he 
labored and prayed and hoped to the end, but died just before 
the tide of success began to return into the old channels. 
Another, who seemed born for a collector and classifier of all 
facts in natural history, the youthful Aristotle of our Lyceum, 
went to the West Indies, partly for his health, but chiefly to 
enlarge his scientific collections, and there fell a sacrifice to his 


zeal for science when he had only just commenced his career 
of discovery, though he had already achieved more than many 
a savant accomplishes in a long life. 

" Oh, what a noble heart was here undone, 
When Science's self destroyed her favorite son ! 
Yes, she too much indulged thy fond pursuit ; 
She sowed the seeds, but death has reaped the fruit ! " 

A third, scholarly and refined, full of hope and promise, had 
just entered his professorship, and just begun to inspire 
his class with his own enthusiasm for the language and 
the literature of the old Romans, when he was suddenly 
stricken down by the destroyer ; and yet his death, awakening 
the thoughts and touching the hearts of his pupils, became to 
not a few of them a means of spiritual and eternal life. ^The 
religious hfe of William A. Peabody began in the revival of 
1835, and ended, nay, began anew, was multiplied and perpetu- 
ated with that of 1850. 

Of the three Tutors, Leonard Humphrey had made the mark 
of a fine scholar and a gentle Christian spirit on his pupils for 
one year, and was recruiting himself in vacation with his friends . 
for the labor of a second year ; but suddenly, in the midst of 
health and activity, he fell to the ground — his heart had ceased 
to beat — "he was not, for God took him." John M. Emerson 
lived to middle hfe, and lived to good purpose -; for he had dem- 
onstrated to the conviction of all who knew him that an honest, 
cultivated Christian lawyer can live and succeed in New York ; 
when, in the very prime of his life and promise, the bar of that 
city was robbed of so rare an ornament, and at the same time 
a widowed mother in Amherst bereft of her only son. Samuel 
Fisk had left his tutorship, had written his letters from foreign 
parts, all flashing with wit and genius, and by a few years of 
able and faithful service in the ministry, had already rooted 


himself in the hearts of an affectionate people, when the clarion 
of war summoned him to the tented field, and he fell in the 
battle of Spotsylvania, one of many noble sons whom our 
mother has given to the service of the country, of liberty and 
of mankind. 

When Dr. Hitchcock retired from the presidency to resume 
his favorite scientific pursuits, the College was already placed 
on a solid basis. What remained to be done was to enlarge 
those foundations, of course, and build the superstructure higher 
so as to keep pace with the progress of the age, but chiefly to 
impart unity, completeness and finish to the work, to introduce 
more of order and beauty into the buildings and the grounds, 
to give the students a wider, more impartial and more symmet- 
rical culture, — in short, to develop and apply a little more of the 
aesthetic element in the architecture, horticulture, and education 
of this " consecrated, eminence," without detracting one iota 
from its sacredness, without removing a single element of solid 
and substantial excellence. How well this conscious want of 
the Institution has been met, I need not say, for you can see 
with your own eyes. " Si monumenta quaeris, circumspice." 
Look at the Barrett gymnasium, Williston Hall, the Walker 
building and the College church. They are not only models of 
architectural beauty and fitness, each for its own use and place, 
but they are the outward signs and symbols of a higher art and 
culture that have been introduced into all the departments of 
education. The finished and furnished lecture -rooms, even in 
the old chapel, are indexes of progress in the same direction. 
Most of you will feel more at home in the old " Mathematical 
room" which we have left just as it was made in 1827, on pur- 
pose that you might visit it and bring up the memory of olden 
times. But as you go from that to the new Greek and Latin 
and Philosophical rooms, and even to the large and small chapels. 



we think, you will all acknowledge that the new is better. And if 
you would be assured that the new culture and refinement which 
these improvements indicate, have not been purchased at the 
expense of the discipline, virtue and Christian piety of the good 
old times, see a pledge in the very constitution of the Faculty, 
one of whose members has been connected with the College 
under all its successive administrations, and another under all 
but the first — this certainly does not look like a passion for 
change. Read a proof of the same thing in the wisely balanced 
system of ancient literature and modern science, of required 
and elective courses of study, put forth by the President, with 
the approbation of the Professors and the sanction of the 
Trustees, at the opening of Walker Hall. Take, as a further 
exponent, that significant and characteristic expression in the 
first sentence of the President's preliminary statement at the 
placing of the corner-stone of the College church: "The high- 
est education, and all for Christ," which has become the motto 
of his administration. And see a more conclusive demonstra- 
tion of the same fact in the mathematicians and scholars, 
as well as masters of modern science, literature and art that 
have been lately educated here, and the Christian teachers and 
preachers, recent graduates, who are to be found not only in 
every section of our own rapidly extending territory, but who are 
going forth from us every year to officer the Colleges and sup- 
ply the missionary stations in distant lands. Yes, the same wise 
and kind Providence which has watched over the College from 
the beginning, and raised up the men that were needed for 
every emergency, when President Hitchcock resigned, provided 
just the leader that was wanted to supplement his work, to pre- 
serve, balance and polish the substance of all that was old, and 
adding much that was new, to carry on the work to perfection. 
And the younger members of the Faculty are in unison with the 


President and the older members in regard to the principles 
and measures of College government, the general system and 
method of physical and mental education, and the paramount 
necessity of moral and spiritual culture above all the highest 
attainments of literature and science, while, at the same time, 
they bring to the accomplishment of these common ends a 
measure of zeal and enthusiasm, a breadth of culture and a 
wealth of learning which could hardly be expected of their 
older colleagues. I say this, not because it is necessary, but 
because it is just. We who have been connected with the 
Faculty during the larger part of the half century, so far from 
feeling that the old was better, can truly and heartily say that 
the Faculty has never been constituted so entirely to our satis- 
faction as now. And while we look with the love and compla- 
cency of a father upon all our children, the older as well as the 
younger, and are perhaps too ready to assert more than our 
proper share in the reputation of the great and good men we 
have educated, saying to them as the aged Phoenix did to the 
godlike Achilles : — 

"All illustrious as thou art, I made thee such ; " 
Kaj ce ToaovTov i'&rjKa deoiQ kTtedKek' 'AjiA/ley ; 

yet we must be allowed to cherish a little preference for the 
children of our riper years, especially our youngest, our Benja- 
mins, who are to graduate to-morrow ; even as the Germans, 
however large their families may become, always say: "das 
neueste, das beste" — the last is the best. 

But this administration has not yet come to a close, and 
therefore is not yet a proper subject of history. Long may it be 
before its history can be written. Long may President Stearns 
live to serve the College and to see the fruits of his wise and- 
faithful labors. 

Of all the remarkable providences by which friends and ben- 


efactors, presidents and professors, men and means, have always 
been raised up to meet the necessities of the College, not the 
least remarkable, certainly, is that which secured to it the dona- 
tions and bequests of Dr. Walker; and of all the achievements 
of generalship or diplomacy which illustrate our annals, none is 
more brilliant than that by which the Doctor was taken captive 
and guided with easy rein and cautious hand till the prize was 
secured. Born in Charlestown, educated at Cambridge, having 
no geographical, social, educational or religious affinity with 
Amherst, he was, notwithstanding, led by unforeseen circum- 
stances and wise influences to become its largest pecuniary bene- 
factor, and to establish here foundations which, through the eye 
and the ear, by beautiful halls, learned professors and liberal 
scholarships, will educate noble youth in untold numbers till 
distant ages. 

We are indebted for the College Church to the son of our 
President, a young man whose enterprise and diplomatic skill, 
while enriching himself and gathering means to enrich Am- 
herst, at the same time opened a new channel for the commerce 
between India and England. Of unsurpassed beauty both in 
itself and in its situation, this building is destined to become — 
I v^ill not say a new center for a new cluster of edifices 
crowning and encompassing the eastern brow of College Hill, 
as the old Chapel is the arx of the cluster on the western cita- 
del — but, I will say, another focus of the ellipse or quadrangle 
of edifices that will one day, doubtless, enclose, and perhaps 
fill, the entire College campus, and that, too, probably, enlarged 
beyond even its now extended area. 

While thus paying a deserved tribute to the memory of those 
who have given us our funds, we ought not to pass without 
mention those who have kept these funds for fifty years "with- 
out losing a dollar." I believe I have the best financial author- 


ity in the Board of Trust for this statement in regard to the 
present Treasurer, and, I am sure, it is equally true of his pred- 
ecessor in office. Deacon Leland (Deacon Termbill we stu- 
dents used sometimes irreverently to call him — for a very good 
reason, the College Treasurer is not so much in favor with the 
students as he is with the Professors ;) Deacon Leland, who was 
Treasurer of the College for the first fifteen years on a salary 
of two hundred and fifty dollars, nevermore than three hundred 
dollars, and was also much of the time Commissioner of the 
Charity Fund, member of the Prudential Committee, working 
member of building committees, inspector of buildings and 
grounds, collector of subscriptions, and general agent ; Deacon 
Leland, I say, probably devoted more time to the external 
affairs of 'the College, and certainly gave it more money out of 
his own pocket than was ever given by any other citizen of Am- 
herst, and well deserves a name and a place among the found- 
ers. Lucius Boltwood, thirty-one years Commissioner of the 
Charity Fund, and thirty-six years Secretary of the Corpora- 
tion, still lives, and is present with us to-day, to commemorate, 
in the eightieth year of his age, that opening of this Institution 
on which he looked with such hopeful, yet anxious interest, fifty 
years ago, the only resident of our village now living who was 
in business or a profession here when the College was founded. 
The alumni delight to honor him as a faithful servant of the 
College, and the sole representative of a generation that has 
passed away. 

May the present incumbents of these two offices, the Treas- 
urer and the Commissioner, live as long as their predecessors 
have. We have no doubt they will leave an equally good 
record of able and faithful services to be recorded by the 
historian of the next half century. 

Alumni brothers, we are here to-day to celebrate the fiftieth 


anniversary of our mother's birth. We find her still in the 
bloom of youth, with every indication of more than usual health 
and happiness. She was never before in so comfortable cir- 
cumstances ; never before enjoyed so fully the love of her sons, 
the confidence and good-will of the whole community. She 
has more students this year than she has ever had ; to-morrow 
she will send out, with her blessing, the largest class (one only 
excepted) that she has ever graduated. It was the largest, 
without exception, (I may say aside to the older children of our 
family,) till, in consequence of a higher standard, several mem- 
bers of the class were "graduated prematurely" at the end of 
the fall term. And we are here from every section of the 
country — from every quarter of the globe we are here to 
felicitate her, and to rejoice with her in all the auspicious cir- 
cumstances of so happy an occasion. We come bringing our 
birthday presents, some more, some less, for we have not all 
been equally prosperous ; none of them very large, for wealth is 
not the inheritance or the boast of our family, yet none the less 
acceptable to our Alma Mater as the expression of her chil- 
dren's love, and welcome also as the means of educating more 
such noble sons in coming years. But, more than all that they 
bring with them, she prizes her sons themselves. These are 
the jewels which she wears on her brow to day — these the 
gems she carries in her hands and treasures in her heart. 

The alumni of Amherst adorn every profession. The rever- 
end clergy outnumber, and perhaps outshine, the other pro- 
fessions, for the education of ministers was the primary object 
for which the College was founded, and it has not proved false 
to the intention of its founders. But our young lawyers and 
physicians are rapidly rising to the same high rank in New 
York and Boston which our preachers have so long and so con- 
spicuously held in Brooklyn, and more recently taken in other 


cities. Literature, also, and science, and theology, count Am- 
herst graduates among their brightest ornaments. They have 
carried their knowledge and culture with them into the high 
places of agriculture and manufactures, engineering and ma- 
chinery, commerce and business of every kind. The periodical 
press owns their sway from Andover to San Francisco, in the 
valley of the Connecticut and on the banks of the Hudson. 
Next to religion, education is perhaps the sphere in which our 
College has especially ruled; and her sons are to be found at 
the head of Academies and High Schools without number, from 
the farthest East to the far West, and officering Colleges, from 
the Massachusetts Agricultural College in Amherst to the 
Syrian College in Beyrut and the Robert College in Constanti- 
nople ; from the oldest Theological Seminaries in this country 
to the most recent schools for the education of native preach- 
ers and teachers in Turkey, India, China and Japan. They 
have not often sought distinction in political and public life, 
but promotion has sometimes sought them, and they have hon- 
ored and adorned the gubernatorial office in Massachusetts, 
and the Speaker's chair in the Congress of the United States ; 
they have filled and illustrated some of the highest stations, 
legislative, executive and judicial, in the state and the nation. 

And when the great rebellion aimed a deadly blow at the na- 
tional existence, graduates of Amherst, side by side with those 
of other Colleges, bared their own breasts to receive the blow, 
enlisted in the ranks, raised companies and regiments, marched 
at the head of divisions, rushed into the imminent deadly 
breach, fell in storming intrenchments, were killed on the field 
of battle, died in hospitals and prisons, poured out their blood 
like water for their country and mankind. The older graduates 
not only went themselves, but sent their sons to the fight. A 
member of the class of '29 writes: "I had four sons in the war, 



two of them in nearly the whole of it. One of them, for about 
ten months, suffered deaths oft in rebel prisons. He saw Libby, 
Danville, Andersonville and Florence in that time." This is 
only a specimen. Ex uno disce omnes. 

The under-graduates outstripped the graduates in their patri- 
otic zeal and devotion. On that dark Sunday after the first 
disastrous battle, when it was feared that the Capital might 
already have fallen into the hands of the rebels, they formed a 
volunteer company, drew up articles of enlistment, and offered 
their services to the Governor, deeming it a Christian duty, not 
unbecoming .the Lord's day, to enlist in such a war, and at the 
same time adopting as their own the sentiment which they so 
much admired in their ancient classics: "Dulce et decorum est 
pro patria mori." The President's son was the first to put his 
name to this paper ; a son of one of the Professors was the 
next to enter the lists. The former was one of the earliest sac- 
rifices which our College offered on the altar of the country. 
He fell in the battle of Newbern just within the intrenchments, 
beckoning his men on to victory. One of our Professors com- 
manded the regiment to which he belonged ; and one of the 
enemy's field-pieces near which he fell, presented by the com- 
manding General to the College, now stands in the vestibule of 
the library to commemorate the bravery of our brothers in that 
struggle and to animate those who come after us with a like 
spirit of self-sacrificing devotion. Scores of under-graduates 
thus relinquished the toga for the sword, till our classes, reduced 
in numbers, seemed almost like the thinned ranks of an army 
after a great battle. The "Roll" which Professor Crowell has 
prepared with so much labor and care, contains the names of 
two hundred and forty-seven graduates and under-graduates who 
served in the army or navy during the war; and thirty-four of 
these directly or indirectly sacrificed their lives in the service. 


" Dead on the field of battle," is the response which we hear 
from the lips of their comrades as we call the roll to-day. They 
need not the chime of memorial bells in yonder church to per- 
petuate the memory of their brave deeds and heroic sacrifices. 
No, brothers, we will enshrine you in the memory of our hearts ; 
louder and longer than the peal of bells shall your virtues sound 
through the ages, and your example will stir those who come 
after you to do and dare, to suffer, and if need be, to die in the 
cause of liberty, humanity and religion. Nor will those more 
numerous and not less noble sons be forgotten, who, not in the 
same manner, but in the same spirit of heroes- and martyrs, 
have toiled and suffered and died on the great moral and 
spiritual battle-fields of the church and the world. We can 
not boast of the long line of Presidents and Governors and 
Cabinet Officers and Ambassadors to foreign courts that have 
marched down the generations and centuries in the history of 
older Institutions. But wherever there has been any great 
battle to be fought, any prolonged and desperate war to be 
waged, any hard work to be done at home or abroad, in civilized 
or savage lands, for truth and justice, for liberty and humanity, 
for learning and religion — there the sons of Amherst are sure to 
be found, doing the hardest of the work, leading in the hottest 
of the fight, the true working-men in the great field of the 
world, brave soldiers in the service of the Son of Man and the 
Son of God. Such hitherto has been the history of Amherst 
College — such be her fame and glory in all coming ages. 

These funds that have been raised with so much difficulty, 
are valuable. These collections which have been gathered with 
so much labor and science, are precious. These rooms and 
halls where we have studied and prayed, these groves and 
grounds where we have walked and talked, are all hallowed by 
sacred associations, and will only grow more sacred as we visit 


them from one decennary to another as long as we live. But 
these are not Amherst College, any more than these frail and 
decaying bodies are ourselves. Sooner or later the funds will 
all be dissipated, the collections will be scattered, the walls will 
crumble and disappear, and this consecrated eminence, with all 
the material beauty and glory that crown it and encompass it 
on every side, will change and pass away. But the men that 
have taught and studied here, the educators and the educated, 
the presidents and professors and students, are immortal. The 
lessons of wisdom and duty that have been inculcated and learned 
here, the characters that have been formed, the work that has 
been done, the victories that have been achieved, and the moral 
and spiritual results that have been accomplished — these are 
our history ; these have been inwrought into our minds and 
hearts, and through us into the minds and hearts of others ; 
these have been incorporated with the history of mankind and 
the kingdom of God, and they will be eternal. These will be a 
part of that universal history of education and redemption 
which the wise and good will read and recount to each other in 
the jubilees of heaven, and which teachers and pupils will study 
together and see in lights ever new and ever fresh, as they sit 
at the feet of the Great Teacher, "in whom are hid all the 
treasures of wisdom and knowledge." 

■After the close of Professor Tyler's discourse, the Society of 
Alumni was called to order by Hon. A. B. Ely, President, for 
the transaction of the customary business. 

In the afternoon, at two o'clock, the assembly gathered again 
under the tent, and were addressed by Hon. A. H. Bullock, 
who had been chosen to preside. Professor Snell, Rev. Dr. E. P. 
Humphrey, Rev. H. N. Barnum, Rev. H. W. Beecher, Professor 
Park, Professor R. D. Hitchcock and Waldo Hutchins, Esq. 


The speeches expected from Professor H. B. Hackett, Bishop 
Huntington, Hon. H. S. Stockbridge, George Clark, Esq., and 
Willard Merrill, Esq., the delivery of which was prevented, 
from lack of time, have been prepared, and are herewith pre- 




Fellow -students, Alumni of Amherst : I take the chair which 
has been assigned to me by your partiaHty, rather felicitating 
myself in the custom which limits with a stern propriety the 
remarks of the presiding officer, and throws the silver gate of 
speech wide open only to the assembly. Our Alma Mater is just 
now passing the threshold of one of the notable historic stages 
you are here to witness and commemorate, and everything you 
please is in order — except silence. Nor is it within my author- 
ity to impose any limitations upon the strings of your harpsi- 
chords. Your strain may be Doric, yEolian, robust, tender, 
serious, comic, as you prefer ; remindful of a student-lamp, or 
of moonlight among the fields and groves, of a four years' 
wrestle for a college honor, or of dalliance with the purest car- 
nation in the cheeks of the village — all as you please, save only 
that it is of Amherst you are to speak. Let us then hail this 
hour without any reserve. The weightier duties of the day 
have already been performed by the historian, in the delivery of 
his comprehensive and elaborate address. He has won the 
battle for the College by his heavy artillery, and we may vote 
ourselves a sort of light-horse squadron, whose part it is to ap- 
propriate the victory and carry away the plunder, 


For myself, it is but few words I would say. I have no pas- 
sion to tear to tatters in behalf of the occasion, no conception 
beyond my little capacity of utterance, no historical sweep 
which overcomes or confuses me. I am here only to utter the 
testimony of a witness, the experience of a son, and the proph- 
ecy of one who foresees the glory of the coming day. I came 
here a Freshman of sixteen, thirty-nine years ago, exercising my 
own volition in coming, and I can now look you in the face and 
declare that from that day to this I have never for one moment 
regretted the choice I made. I have grown up with this Col- 
lege, never having seen any reason to abate my respect or at- 
tachment, and if I could live a thousand years there would be 
one son who should make the periodical visit of filial piety to 
her halls. But though I can not add to the length of my days, 
I rejoice that the duration of hers is assured. The types of her 
immortality are impressed upon our sight. This Institution 
was planted amid the grandeurs and beauties of our own 
Switzerland, which can not pass away save with the globe itself. 
This Institution was founded in the broad beliefs of the Chris- 
tian world, which are imperishable. This Institution has de- 
veloped and will continue to develop in the light of those humani- 
ties which survive individualities and generations, and belong 
to the eternal years of God. It holds a place among the cer- 
tainties of our land. It is in fraternal accord with all the Col- 
leges of every State and of every faith ; it takes as a magnet to 
every improvement, from whatever quarter it may come, and is 
receptive to every inspiration of science or art, as the world is 
to-day and shall be afterwards ; it seats the rich and the poor at 
the same table of a common study and love ; it estimates every 
man coming within its influence by the dignity of his divine 
relations, and espouses the duty of his education as a trust to 
be executed in the highest responsibility of which human na- 


ture is capable. Around such an Institution endowments and 
supports will rally with increasing measure, still augmenting 
numbers of young men will seek its benefits, and its expansion 
and embellishment is among the sure events of the future. It 
is a result of the labors of the builders that can not decay, 
because they builded on the chief corner-stone. 

I doubt if any other of the American colleges, in its first fifty 
years, has educated so many men, or contributed so largely to 
the culture and manliness of the people, to the grace and de- 
fense of the State. Its infancy was a brief one, and it rose at 
once to the proportions of vigorous manhood. When I came 
here, only eleven years after it had conferred its first degrees, I 
found in my own class rising of seventy, and in the Institution 
more than two hundred members. It was even then a growth, 
" past the gristle and hardened into the bone." When I cast a 
look backward to those who thronged the lecture rooms of that 
day, in whose ranks a discerning teacher might well think he 


A little bench of heedless bishops here, 

And there a chancellor in embryo; — 

for we now know that such were here, — and when I now look 
abroad upon what they have accomplished in all the fields of the 
public service, of original thought and useful art, of liberty and 
law, of religion and justice, of eloquence and mercy in all lands, and 
summon their faces before me, some now present but more ab- 
sent, the living and the dead, and count up their names and their 
fame, I feel justified in pronouncing that period, which was the 
youth of the College, good as the golden age of any college. 
During these past fifty years the students here have had both 
the advantage and disadvantage of a new and young institution, 
— for in such a condition there is undoubtedly both a gain and 
a loss. The loss is of the long and gentle train of associated 


traditions, which in an ancient university passes from one gen- 
eration of students to another, bearing the influence of accu- 
mulated fellowships, examples and cultures, and enriching the 
atmosphere of the modern time with the mellow light of the 
old. At Eton, at Oxford, at Cambridge on both sides of the 
ocean, these are sources of inspiration to the successive throngs 
of student life. So the nations of the old world have inspir- 
ing histories of a thousand years to guide and elevate the later 
generations by inherited lessons and admonitions. But as a 
new nation strikes boldly out in the marches of civilization, 
free of the superstitions and errors of the former, and bears 
onward the standard of progress and humanity to higher eleva- 
tions than had been attained by the preceding, in somewhat 
similar manner and spirit the younger schools of learning may 
perhaps mount upward with steps lightened of the shackles of 
prescriptive custom, abuse and fallacy, and reach forward toward 
the prizes with less of the obstruction of rote and bias and 
prejudice. A young College is apt to be earnest in its work. 
So we have found ours to be. Our corps of Professors have 
been men of hard work, and the classes in every year of the 
course have received from them in person direct and constant 
instruction. I challenge your concurrence in the declaration 
that there has been as little nonsense and folly taught here as 
in any seminary of all our American Sion. We have sought 
to retain the classical inspirations of the past, and to make 
them tributary to the necessities of the solemn, living world. 
And now, at the close of such a first half century, we are willing 
that our College should be judged. By her origin and life, by 
her motive and purpose, by her efforts and achievement, by her 
sons who have borne her name into every part of the globe, 
such as they all have been, and such as they are who survive to 
speak her praise, we are willing that our Alma Mater should be 


You will agree with me in a moment of indulgence in pleas- 
ing personal memories. There is to many of you, as there is to 
me, the grateful recollection of having enjoyed the familiar confi- 
dence of the second and the third President of Amherst, both not 
long since ascended to their rest. The names of Heman Hum- 
phrey and Edward Hitchcock have an enduring place in the public 
annals, but their shrine is in the hearts of nearly two thousand 
students they taught. Of the former of these I desire to say, 
as a simple act of justice to his memory, that he filled the most 
important office in the most critical stage of the Institution, 
with a judgment and discretion that warrants me in calling him 
our foremost benefactor. A remarkably good teacher he was, 
also, a philosopher of profound thought, an orator sometimes 
attaining a brilliant eloquence. Another good he conferred. 
Out of this College he gave his own sons to the country, who 
have impressed the pulpit, the forum, the national councils, with 
a culture even broader than his own. I shall revere his mem- 
ory through life. Of President Hitchcock still less need be 
said to-day, as the trumpet of fame has blown more widely his 
name. In him there was singular genius. How exquisitely 
his sensitive organization was strung — how delicate his percep- 
tion was of all poetic and beautiful things — how he rose from the 
details of his science, of which he was master, into generaliza- 
tion and rhapsody upon its universal relations — how simple and 
modest in every sphere, ever self-distrustful and never self-satis- 
fied — how kind, obliging, deferential to young men, we all re- 
member, as we remember in equal degree of no one beside. He 
is a central figure in any grouping which our imagination may 
array under this canopy, — standing among us in that imperial 
form so long and so well known to all persons here, so disguis- 
ing the benevolence and gentleness of his nature behind those 
glasses of intense green that he seemed inaccessible, "but to 


those men that sought him, sweet as summer." His name car- 
ried that of the College to the remotest part of the Union. 
The Trustees of Amherst, the inhabitants of this village, are 
incapable of a just and full appreciation of the common debt 
they owe to him. And of the living — not even the great deli- 
cacy of such speech shall deter me from selecting, for special 
mention to your ears. Professors Snell and Tyler, who have 
been connected with duty here through the lapse of forty years. 
They have made their mark upon the age, which neither forget- 
fulness of pupils nor length of time shall ever erase. Every 
generous impulse of my youth had dried away from my heart, 
if I had forgotten to ask you to bestow upon them your grate- 
ful plaudits. Nor would any personal allusions be adequate or 
just which should not specially point to the able and accom- 
plished gentleman who now presides over the College, — his ad- 
ministration illustrated alike by the spirit of a scholar and the 
talent of an executive officer. I hope that it may be many 
more years that his various attainments, agreeable manners and 
firm hold of the helm shall be continued to the school he has 
with so much cordiality and devotion adopted. And those pat- 
rons — Williston, Walker, Hitchcock, many, many others — if you 
seek their monument, look around ! 

It is not for me in these words of salutation, which must not 
cut you off from your opportunity for speech — it is not for me 
to enter upon any detail of the future wants of the Institution, 
of what may be most essential or most expedient of policies or 
ways or means for keeping even march with the advancements 
of this era. I avoid debate upon the curriculum, past, present 
and future. I say only one thing, touching the whole matter ; — 
WE MUST ALL ACCEPT THE SITUATION. ■ Our first half century is 
now behind us. We now diverge froni the past to the future. Then 
we must keep time with the music and the tramp of the future. 


It is worse than unavailing to hide, or complain, or sulk in these 
rapid days, which after all are the best days mankind have ever 
seen. Steam, stationary and locomotive, the electric currents 
coursing over land, under seas and through our own sensations, 
the hidden riches of the earth disgorged as never before to fa- 
cilitate and intensify the agencies and activities of human life, 
all the useful and aesthetic arts, all the social and casuistic prob- 
lems which agitate and quicken the mind ; — these impose upon 
you and upon me, and especially upon the custodians of the 
Colleges, a responsibility which demands the combined wisdom 
of age and youth. Age alone will hesitate and falter ; youth 
left to itself might go astray. Both, in rarest combination and 
harmony, are needed. I have no fears that any of the questions 
of scientific and practical courses of study, often treated as 
coming into conflict with the classical, will result either in disas- 
ter to our career or in confusion to our senses ; for it is already 
as well settled that the two must prosper together under equal 
endowment and encouragement, as it is settled that there has 
been a grand, sublime world in the past, and that there is a more 
beneficent and magnificent world in the present. That ques- 
tion will take care of itself The more real questions which 
concern this epoch relate to the organic and elemental rights 
and duties of the constituent members of society. And at 
this moment, when men and parties are talking of new de- 
partures in other fields of action, there comes before us in the 
pathway of our Institution of education something that can not 
be turned aside, that may as well be confronted, whether it be a 
substance or a spectre. I would treat it as a substance. I al- 
lude- to the question of the admission of the two sexes to an 
equality of privilege and benefit in the higher seminaries of 
learning throughout New England. Theory and argument ap- 
pear to preponderate in favor of the proposition, and to be sup- 


ported by whatever semblance of natural right there is to be 
found in such a case as that. The test of experience alone is 
partially wanting — but I think we have usually found that expe- 
rience is somewhat accommodating to theory, and follows grace- 
fully in the train of argument and truth. For one, I am in 
favor of closing the debate and taking the question, so far as 
we here are concerned with it. I am cordially in favor of 
making the experiment of admitting our friends heretofore ex- 
cluded, to the privileges of the classes, if they shall desire it, 
and shall establish the usual qualifications. Nor, in my judg- 
ment, is it at all improbable that the class-rooms would be 
greatly improved by the new accession. Some one, writing of 
Raphael, said that his pencil melted whenever it approached 
a woman or an angel. I am not able to see why such influences 
may not profitably be transfused through the austere forms of the 
collegiate recitation room. At all events, I have sealed my 
opinion. And as the committee of arrangements have very 
properly been drumming through all the classes of fifty years 
standing or less in quest of the establishment of scholarship 
funds, as a fit memorial tribute to the occasion, I have sent in 
to my associates of the Board -of Trustees my humble offering 
of a scholarship endowment, with the condition that its benefits 
shall be appropriated to a woman upon the basis of equal 
fitness in the examination. In that direction it is offered — and 
may Heaven grant it a blessing. 

My fellow-students, the occasion is for much serious reflec- 
tion as well as social rejoicing. We have many departed and 
beloved to lament; but the moving procession in life will not 
stay in mourning. We pay the passing tribute at every grave 
of a classmate, and resume our walk in the paths of the living. 
In those paths we, in our turn, soon shall fall, and may fondly 
hope for only the same momentary honors. This age is so 


crowded with men, with thick coming events, with engineries 
and forces in ceaseless motion, that the individual person is lost 
sight of when he ceases to act. Yet in all this scene of mod- 
ern life, each one of us still retains his individuality and respon- 
sibility. Each one of us will still hold to the last his own circle 
of taste and affection. And in the waning years, let it be one 
of our aims and one of our consolations to keep bright the 
golden cincture that binds us to this home of our youth. I like 
the custom at Harvard of having a message of remembrance at 
every recurring anniversary from its oldest living alumnus. 
The college and the son can never part in life. If it be possible 
that the last days of the scholar shall become dreary, then, even 
then, he may draw solace and cheerfulness from this dwelling 
of his boyhood, from this association of his Alma Mater with 
himself. As he descends along the vale, and other associations 
give way, he may still address to her his invocation and hope : — 

"Be thou the rainbow to the storms of life ! 
The evening beam that smiles the clouds away, 
And tints to morrow with prophetic ray !" 




Mr. President and Brothers, AliLinni of Amherst College: As 
I am one of the oldest of Amherst's sons, and have always staid 
here at the homestead, it may not be out of place for me to join 
the worthy President of our College, and say to you, old and 
young, one and all, — Welcome to the old home. 

I take it for granted that you are all good men and true, and 
are faithfully performing some creditable life-work ; but if there 
is among you all some prodigal son returning to receive the 
maternal blessing on this occasion, I do not think the elder son 
will take offense and refuse to meet him, even if our loving 
parent should order the fatted calf to be killed for the poor 
fellow. No, we are glad to see all the boys ; I will not say 
good, and bad, hut good, and better, and best. For if you con- 
ducted yourself well when in College, of course we are glad to 
greet you as you come back again ; if you did not, we will pre- 
sume that you have made the improvement which there was 
room for. I say then to every son of our Alma Mater, welcome 
home on this happy semi-centennial. 

If we use the civil reckoning of time, Amherst College is not 
quite fifty years old. Strictly, her birthday does not occur till 
the 19th of September. But, according to the Ci^//^^^ calendar, 
in which the year begins and ends with Commencement, a cal- 
endar which we are obliged to employ instead of the Gregorian, 
she is fifty years old this week. Well, then, on Wednesday, 


fifty years ago to-day, a number of young men presented them- 
selves at the door of Amherst College, which had never been 
opened for any one to enter, and asked to be admitted. I was 
one of those young men, — and / asked admission to Senior 
standing. The door was opened, and we were received ; and my 
turn came first by about half a day. For I had closed my 
Junior year at. Williams College, and had passed my examina- 
tions in the presence of Dr. Moore, who was President there, 
and had just been inaugurated President here ; and on his rec- 
ommendation I was admitted at once, while all other applicants 
were obliged to wait till their examinations were closed before 
they could enter. At evening our College could number nearly 
sixty members, arranged in four classes, as shown in the first 
"Catalogue of the Collegiate Institution" at Amherst. Then I 
lacked a few days of being twenty years old Nozv, I am almost 
three-score years and ten. This occasion tells me, as my friends 
are often telling me, that I am an old man, and I am becoming 
quite accustomed to the appellation. I suppose I ought to feel 
some infirmities ; but here is just where I fail. I am not con- 
scious of any infirmities, except the numerous ones which have 
always attended me. It may be supposed that I am mature enough 
to put on spectacles ; but I do not yet see clearly any good 
reason for doing so. And as to a cane, I have had any num- 
ber of canes presented to me. The gift I always accept, but I 
never take the Jiint. It is possible, however, that the sopho- 
moric weakness may yet fall upon me, and that I shall appear 
abroad with all my canes at once. I perform my College work 
with as much ease and interest as I ever did. And, really, I 
feel some solicitude lest I shall not know when to resign, unless 
some one tells me. 

I have to meet almost all the graduates of this College as my 
former pupils. The interesting relation of pupil and teacher, 


which you and I once sustained toward each other, has ceased, 
never to be renewed. But the effects of this relationship, 
whether good or evil, will never cease. I wish I could have 
done my work better for you than I did. I ask you to overlook 
my deficiencies ; my faults I pray you to forgive. 

Permit me to say a word respecting the gentleman who has 
recently endowed the scholarship of the first class, — the 
class of 1822. The gentleman is Wells South worth, Esq., of 
New Haven, Conn. There is another first thing which he 
did for Amherst College. When it was proposed to the citi- 
zens of Amherst and neighboring towns to bring in their per- 
sonal offerings of material and labor for a College building, Mr. 
Southworth, then a young man living in Pelham, went home, 
yoked up his father's oxen, and brought upon this hill a load of 
Pelham granite, — the very first load of material which was col- 
lected here for the erection of a College edifice. Those granite 
blocks are now in the foundations of the old South College. 
And now the same gentleman has laid another foundation 
stone, whose present nominal value is one thousand dollars, but 
whose real worth in the centuries to come it is beyond our 
, power to estimate. 

I did hope I might have the pleasure of introducing to you 
the other half of the living members of the class of 1822. That 
other half is the first half, the oldest half, the greatest half, and 
the best half I refer to the Rev. Pindar Field of Hamilton, 
N. Y He has lately sent word that, on account of illness, he 
cannot be present. I regret very much that you are not to 
hear a few words from him. 

I close with the salutations with which I began, — a sincere 
and hearty welcome from the brothers at home to the brothers 
who have come in from abroad, on this our mother's fiftieth 



Mr. Chairman and Fellow- Students : Your Committee of 
Arrangements have requested me to respond for the adminis- 
tration of our second President. This duty would have been 
more gracefully discharged by another alumnus. But I do not 
feel at liberty to refuse the office, although hedged about with 
many limitations of delicacy and propriety. These limitations, 
however, are somewhat reduced by the fact that we may be said 
to occupy, to-day, towards President Humphrey's term of ser- 
vice the relation of posterity. He was inaugurated in October, 
1823 — forty-eight years ago ; and he retired from office in April, 
1845, twenty-six years ago. That is the measure of time. But 
according to the wider measure of progress in society and of the 
changes wrought by many and great revolutions, in. peace and 
war, we are removed to a period very remote from that presi- 
dency. Longer as well as 

" Better fifty years of Europe, than a cycle of Cathay." 

In this circumstance, I find an apology, at least, for responding 
to the call now made upon me. 

It requires the effort of a mind that can recall not only, but 
can recreate the past, to set before us the year 1823. At that 
time the railroad, the steamship, the magnetic telegraph, and 
the gold mines of California were among the undiscovered 
forces of our material civilization. The marvels of machinery, 
which have imparted a prodigious impulse to the manufacturing 


industry of the country, were then unknown. The beginning 
of Dr. Humphrey's administration carries us back to the latter 
days of primitive times, when the vigorous old was ready to 
bring forth the more vigorous new. The old Puritan customs 
and traditions were still in vogue. The proverbs and maxims 
of the seventeenth century were current, and were quoted in 
the old-time accent and pronunciation. The Sabbath day was 
remembered to keep it holy. Thanksgivings, and fast-days, 
and town-meetings, and general trainings,- and election days, 
and the shorter catechism, and doctrinal sermons running into 
the second hour, and the primeval F'ederal and Democratic 
parties held their own. We had no city in Massachusetts ; it 
was the town of Boston. The roads leading thither from the 
west, climbed all the hill-tops from the Taconics to the sea. 
• Highways they were, along which we toiled through the live- 
long day, leaving l-;oston a little after midnight, and reaching 
Northampton or Springfield a little before bed-time. J5ut our 
journey was marked off and relieved by the dear old meeting- 
houses, posted on all the dividing ridges, by a sort of uncon- 
scious response to the piety of the ancient tribes, who erected 
altars at the headsprings of their rivers. The College was the 
product of that period ; so, also, was its second President. 

But we must take another step. Nothing is better known 
respecting the hard-working farmers of that day, than their 
desire to send their sons to College. Mr. Curtis, in his life 
of Daniel Webster, informs us that Captain Webster mortgaged 
his farm to educate his son Daniel, and then that he gave all 
that he had left to educate his son Ezekiel. Mr. Curtis might 
have added that similar parental sacrifices have been made 
a thousand times in those regions. A large proportion of the 
students of this College — I speak now of its first quarter cen- 
tury — were drawn from the farm-houses of these old hill towns. 


and were educated here by the toils and sacrifices of the father 
and the mother — and I might add the sisters and brothers,-^ 
working hard and long. When those came to Amherst in their 
homespun, they found here a President who knew all about the 
life of a penniless boy. He was himself the son of a small 
farmer, one of eleven children. This son labored on his fa- 
ther's farm till he was nearly grown. Then for about seven 
years, he served in summer as "hired man" on the farms of his 
neighbors, and in the winter he taught their children in the 
district schools. At the age of twenty-five he entered the 
Junior class in Yale College, supporting himself while there by 
waiting in the commons, and by teaching school ; graduating 
honorably with his class, having paid all his College bills 
from the fruits of his own labor and economy, and leaving 
New Haven — such is the tradition — with nearly a hundred dol- 
lars in his pocket. This was the manner of man to whom our 
plain farmers and laboring people sent their sons when they 
sent them here, a man who knew more than they did about 
early poverty and the way to meet it ; a man who had stood on 
every plank of the steep, arduous stairway that leads to Mr. 
Webster's upper story. 

But we must go deeper than that. We must not lose sight 
of the fact that the College was established avowedly and un- 
doubtedly for the purpose of educating men for the ministry 
of the gospel. It opened its doors from the beginning to every 
youth who sought a classical education, but its first and leading 
purpose was to raise up a company of men who should go 
into all the world, preaching the gospel. In 1823 they needed 
a President who was in the fullest accord with the enterprises in 
which the people of God, in and out of New England, were then 
engaging. In Dr. Humphrey, the Church recognized one of 
the founders of the American Bible Society"; a supporter, from 


the beginning, of the American Board of Foreign Missions ; 
as far back as 1811, an advocate of total abstinence as the in- 
fallible cure of intemperance ; and as early as 18 18, a friend 
of colonization, as the best remedy then proposed for African 
slavery. In him, also, what v^^e call the "revival spirit," was a 
living power. His experience in several illustrious works of grace 
in Berkshire — works which changed the face of society there — 
gave him preparation to labor in the powerful revivals of 
religion which occurred here during his administration. They 
were six in number. They were so distributed through his 
terra of service, that every class during its course of study, 
witnessed at least one of these displays of saving mercy. So 
genuine and enduring were their results, that a large majority 
of the students entered on the religious life, and of the seven 
hundred and ninety-five who were graduated* by President 
Humphrey, four hundred and thirty became ministers of the 

Our second President was in lively sympathy with the prog- 
ress of society. He was a man of both the old and the new, 
not clinging to error because it was old, nor afraid of the true 
because it, was new. It ought to be mentioned, that as far 
back as 1828, an elective course of study was established here, 
very similar to the scientific department now so common in 
other Colleges. The course proposed here differed from those 
now adopted, mainly in the fact that the elective course ter- 
minated in the bachelor's degree. It was abandoned here, 
partly for the want of funds, and partly, perhaps, because the 
public was not quite ready for it. But it was the beginning of 
that method of education, and owed its origin to the sagacity 
and enterprise of our second President and his associates. 

For the rest, the College called into its service in him, a man 
of vigorous physical constitution, matured, not broken, by the 


hardships of early years, of a sound common sense, and of a re- 
markable directness of purpose. With what courage and success 
he fought out your early battles with penury and discontent, with 
loud detraction and faint praise, with hot enemies and cold friends, 
let the old men around me tell you. Through it all he was calm, 
resolute, hopeful, full of mother wit, not in the habit of being 
baffled or put down, not easily scared or hurt ; and, above all, be- 
lieving in God. They say he was somewhat stern at times, in his 
methods of discipline. But so was his master, Timothy Dwight, 
and so were his contemporaries, Jeremiah Day, Edward Dorr 
Griffin, John Thornton Kirkland, and Josiah Quincy. Perhaps, 
also, the boy-nature of that generation was less self-willed and 
unruly than the boy-nature of this softer and gentler age ! But it 
must be said that he left to the College no injurious custom or 
precedent or tradition — not one. And further, it is to be said that 
neither by word or act, not even by a hasty word or an imjDulsive 
act, whether in anger or merriment, did this man leave upon 
any one of his thousand pupils an impression derogatory to the 
honor or integrity or manners of a Christian gentleman. 

It is a well-known tradition that Massachusetts has sought 
tranquillity under liberty by the sword. But for the perfection and 
perpetuity of that tranquillity she is indebted to the pious labors 
of such men as Moore and Humphrey and Hitchcock and 
Stearns, and their associates here, and their contemporaries in 
the colleges and churches of Massachusetts. I speak in the 
presence of the leading citizens of the Commonwealth, her schol- 
ars and jurists and clergymen and statesmen, — in the presence of 
our distinguished Chairman, who has already adorned the Chair 
of State, and he touches nothing that he does not adorn. In 
this superb presence I repeat the sentiment uttered by our second 
President when he retired from office, "My hope for the colleges, 
for my country and the church, is in God." 



Six weeks ago, when I came to Constantinople, on my long 
journey from beyond the Euphrates, I found a good number 
of the sons of Amherst at the annual meeting of the Western 
Turkey Mission. The day before I left they held an informal 
meeting, at which they commissioned me to bear to their 
Alma Mater and to ihe alumni, their most cordial and affec- 
tionate greetings, and to assure them of their continued interest 
in the College, and of their prayers for her success. 

The representatives of this College, who are laboring in the 
Turkish Empire, are so numerous and doing so important 
a work in the regeneration of the country as to justify a brief 
mention of some of them. 

The oldest class represented is that of '29, by Dr. Riggs. 
You know we live near the seat of the ancient Babel, and so 
have a good many of the languages represented there. Dr. 
Riggs is more or less familiar with most of the languages 
of Western Asia and of Europe, and whenever it becomes 
necessary for him to learn a new language, he makes about as 
little of it as some of us do in learning a new tune. His great 
work has been the translation of the Scriptures. He has given 
the Bible to the Armenians in the modern language, in a style 
so pure and clear as to dignify the language of common life 
and overcome the prejudices of the people against it, and 
secure its use in literature in the future — thus doing for the 


Armenians just what Luther did for the Germans. This same 
work he has just done for the milKons of Bulgarians in Euro- 
pean Turkey. The last page of the Bulgarian Bible was 
printed while I was in Constantinople this time — the comple- 
tion of a great work. Dr. Riggs has also aided somewhat 
in the translation and revision of the Scriptures in the Turkish 
language, and during the coming year he will probably assist in 
preparing the New Testament in Koordish for the press. In 
addition to all this, and to a good deal of general missionary 
work, he has done more for the hymnology of the Armenians 
than any other man — having translated a large number of the 
most beautiful of our own matchless hymns, preserving almost 
all the delicacy of the original. He has done a great work — 
one upon which any man might look with satisfaction. 

The class of '30 has two representatives. The Pope falsely 
claims to be the successor of Peter, but we have a genuine 
successor of the Apostle Paul in Mr. Powers, who is laboring 
at Antioch. In addition to his ordinary missionary work, he 
has put a good many hymns into the Turkish, and now, 
by vote of his mission, he is to revise the Turkish HyriinBook. 

Dr. Schneider, of the same class, after having gathered the 
largest congregation and the largest church in Turkey, at 
Aintab, is now laboring in Broosa. He has acquired the Turk- 
ish language so as to be able to use it with all the fluency and 
elegance of an educated Turk, and so far as my observation 
goes, he is the most eloquent preacher in Turkey. 

In Constantinople we have the two brothers Bliss. Dr. 
Edwin of '37, though in poor health, sends out his weekly 
Messenger freighted with moral, religious and scientific instruc- 
tion, to .thousands of readers in both the Armenian and Turk- 
ish languages, and its corner of political intelligence is the 
standard in any doubtful matter, among men of all classes, 


Christian and Turk, because they distrust their own papers, 
but they know that the " Avedaper" will not lie. 

His brother Isaac of '44, the agent of the American Bible 
Society, is a man of irrepressible energy. He has given an 
impulse to the Bible work which is felt from the Nile to the 
Danube and Black Sea, and from the Bosphorus to the Caspian. 
He is now superintending the erection of a Bible House in 
Constantinople — the gift of American Christians to the East — 
which is to be a center of light and blessed influence for all 
that part of the world. 

From my own class — '52, Allen, my own associate at Harpoot, 
is laying foundations on the Euphrates and Tigris, and, as 
Principal of the Theological Seminary, he is helping to raise 
up a large corps of native preachers and pastors. 

At Beirut, Bliss of the same class, is President of the Col- 
lege, and he is laboring with might and main to prepare edu- 
cated men for the one hundred and twenty millions who speak 
the Arabic. In this he is aided by Lewis and Porter of later 

So, too, on the Bosphorus, Washburn of '55 is associated 
with Dr. Hamlin in the care of Robert College, and is educat- 
ing representatives of the various races and languages "in that 
region. Grosvenor of '6^ assists him in this work. 

Then there are Clarke and Locke in Bulgaria, Bartlett at 
Cesarea, Hitchcock at Constantinople, and Cole at Erzroom — 
all good men and true, and all doing a work which is to abide. 

The "Eastern Question" has been several times settled, but 
like Banquo's ghost, it "will not down." The Sultan and his 
ministers plan, the protecting powers in Europe instruct their 
ambassadors and hold conferences and fix up affairs,. but like 
the sword of Damocles, the Eastern Question ominously 
hangs over Turkey and all Europe, threatening the peace 


of all. But more potent than princes and statesmen is that 
band of quiet Christian laborers who are introducing the 
Gospel leaven. This is the leaven which is to leaven the lump. 
The Gospel brings education and civilization in its train, and 
prepares men for freedom, and the Eastern Question will never 
receive a permanent settlement till the missionary problem is 
wrought out. 

This is recognized by Christian Englishmen. When I came 
to London a few days ago, I was almost overwhelmed by the 
attentions of great and good men, simply because I was a mis- 
sionary from Turkey. When I consented, on two occasions, 
to speak in public, the bare announcement that I was an 
American and a missionary, drew out from the audience enthu- 
siastic applause. After one of my addresses, I was followed 
by Lord Shaftsbury, who, after pronouncing one of his extrava- 
gant encomiums upon American missionaries, appealed to 
Englishmen, in the light of the new treaty, to join Americans 
in the great work of the world's redemption. He said: "Now 
that mercy and truth have met together and righteousness and 
peace have kissed each other, it behooves America and Eng- 
land, the two great Protestant nations, having one faith and 
one language, to join hands in every noble enterprise, and 
to hasten the day when all shall yield allegiance to the Savior." 

In speaking of our own Alumni, I would not forget the rep- 
resentatives of the many other Colleges who are laboring with 
equal fidehty; but as the sons of Amherst constitute about 
one-fourth of the whole missionary force in the Turkish Em- 
pire, they are, taken together, more prominent than any others. 
And here, as I call to mind the toils and tears and sacrifices 
by which this College has been brought to its present position, 
I confidently affirm that if it had done nothing more in the 
world than what it has done, is doing, and is bound. to do for 


Turkey, it is an ample return. Her sons are regenerating the 
Empire. Tliey are founding a Christian kingdom which shall 
stand till the trump shall sound. They are restoring Christi- 
anity in the land of its birth — where Christ suffered and where 
apostles labored and preached. The kingdom of God is 
coming, perhaps not "with observation," but it is surely coming 
and is yet to prevail. The same is also true of other lands 
besides Turkey. In every country where missionaries have 
gone, you will find the sons of Amherst among them. 

And now, we wish to pledge this College anew to this work. 
We need, for the different fields, twenty or thirty of the very 
best of the Alumni of the last fifteen years — not those who 
have failed in the pastorate — if such there be — but men of the 
best talent, most varied culture and greatest energy, who have 
succeeded in life and proved their ability. This College is the 
Lord's. It was founded for Him. I rejoice in all the evidences 
which I see of its prosperity, but prosperity is apt to beget world- 
liness. Better far the trials and discouragements of thirty 
years ago, if prosperity is to separate her from Christ. Better 
that our brethren should be hewers of wood and drawers of 
water for the Temple which Christ is building, than mere selfish 
worldlings in Senate or presidential halls. For he who strikes a 
blow for Christ does a work which is to abide. You who hold these 
interests in charge, have a difficult task to resist the encroach- 
ments of the world and of unbelief, but we who stand upon 
the outposts expect to be strengthened from here, and we urge 
you to be faithful. Amherst has no more loyal sons than her 
missionary children. We pledge you our sympathy and our 
prayers. We have little else to give. Our constant prayer is 
that the blessing of God may daily rest upon you and upon the 
College. God bless our Alma Mater. May her future be even 
more conspicuous for Christian service than the past. 



Before I speak for myself, let me protest at this unmannerly 
way the Chairman has of dropping, as he says, from one class 
to another. Beginning some fifteen years before me, they 
were not very smart then, and by the time you get to my class 
I shall be a natural born fool. I shall attempt, however, to 
maintain my equanimity by not listening to him, especially 
to those heretical sentiments he advanced on woman education. 

I hold in my hand a letter which represents a gentleman, one 
whom I should not love, better if he had sucked at the same 
breast, one who has served his apprenticeship as a scholar, 
who has been invoked, I believe, to take up servitude in 
the Faculty, but declined, who has not hesitated to give 
his best strength and time to aid the Trustees, — I mean one of 
the most brilliant scholars, and one of the best men we have in 
America, I mean Richard Salter Storrs. His long and severe 
labors so far undermined his health that his people sent him 
abroad to rest from a year to a year and a half. I will read 
a few sentences- and then a line or two which refers to this 
occasion.* The rest is a love letter to Dr. Stearns. 

Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen : All of my life long I have 
been moved to take the weaker side. I have heard the old 
Presidents praised, not a bit too much ; and I have heard 
sundry members of the Faculty praised, and not a particle too 

* The letter is appended. 


much ; and I have heard Amherst praised almost ad nauseam. 
But since I appealed to that principle, I have not heard a word 
as yet, of what we poor fellows have to say who were in the 
College, and under these Professors and Presidents. Why, 
when I look to my own misery, I cannot conceive of any other 
to equal it, unless it was the teachers that had to do with me. 
First came that universal and mysterious trembling with which 
I approached the hour of examination. What examination 
meant, I did not know. But I thought I would be transfixed 
or translated, — at any rate, the translation was what I most 
dreaded. That ordeal was safely passed, and I came very 
speedily under the hands of Professor Peck. The name is not 
a just and proper expression of the containing quantities. 
What I suffered in being made a ripe and ready Latin scholar, 
nobody can imagine but him. His health failed soon after. 
Since that time he has improved, and he is here to-day, looking 
as young as I am. I think that nowhere were the steps of am- 
bitious youth spurred and guided with greater alacrity than 
mine. In my study of Greek, under Professor Fiske, I felt that 
every special hair of his head was a spur, and I had the benefit 
of them all. That has always seemed to me the reason why I ex- 
celled in that more than in any other department of the College, 
unless it was in mathematics. One thing I am certain, that Pro- 
fessor Snell never made so many original demonstrations as 
I did. He would only demonstrate Euclid when it was all in a 
book ; I liked to do things originally, and I did. There is one 
thing that I can say, that he strove to be a pure and upright 
man, but the feeling of envy was not wanting in those days in his 
bosom. One thing I know, and that is, toward the close of my 
course in his department, — whether it was from jealousy or not, 
he very seldom called me up, and I finished my course in a 
manner that surprised every one. In the earlier period of my 


College life the Faculty never approached me, either to know 
what my wishes or thoughts were in respect to an appointment, 
and that course which was deemed judicious at that time was 
persistently carried out to the end, and when I left town I was 
allowed to leave without any greater weight than the ordinary 
sheep-skin which nature and Colleges endow men with. 

I went to the far West, and you may suppose I never forgot 
Amherst. I remember those College days and nights which 
I spent here. No one searched the sides of the mountains 
more effectually than I ; if there is any one better acquainted 
with the paths and the ravines of the mountains, I should like 
to see him ; or if any one could tell better where the moss was 
the greenest, I should like to see him, too. I learned much of 
Dr. Humphrey, for I saw a man, and after all, the sight of 
manhood wrought out is better than any theory in a book. His 
shadow fell upon me, and I have been a braver man and a 
patient man ever since. I respect him almost as much as I re- 
spect my father. I owe a great deal to Dr. Hitchcock ; I can 
not say how much he got from me ; I boarded in his family. I 
had often noticed that when I was talking to him, sometimes 
he looked very sober — he was thinking about something. I 
derived much from him, a man most swift of thought and most 
slow and hesitating of speech. But when his lips gave permis- 
sion to speak, they were kind words and dropped as gold and 
silver into the minds of those round about him ; I received 
much from him. I received much from Professor Snell, though 
he did not believe it. The fact is, I squeezed the honey out of 
the honeycomb, and left the comb behind. 

There was many a morning when the bell rung in the winter 
for prayers that I did not hear the first bell, and heard the sec- 
ond only in time to shoot into a part of my garments and rush 
with a cloak into the chapel. But in the summer mornings I 


often not only heard the first bell ring, but I was in the tower 
above watching for the sunrise. I have noticed Dr. Storrs 
talks about the sunsets, but never about the sunrises. I used 
to sit and see the sun rise, and a more magnificent sight I 
never knew. I saw and trembled. Like a strong man the sun 
came forth out of his sleeping tent, while the valley was 
silvered over with an ocean of fog. He arose higher and 
higher, shedding his beams gradually around, and illuminating 
the hills with his glorious rays. I came' down from my watch- 
tower, on those occasions, feeling, T suppose, very much as 
a bottle of champagne when it is very full of sparkl'e, but can 
not get out. Through the mountains, through the vales, 
through all the things that grow upon them, through all those 
living things in nature, there are influences which instruct and 
guide us in the wisdom and power of the Creator. Amherst, 
to me, has ever been a model college, because, more than Har- 
vard, more than New Haven, perhaps more than Williamstown, 
— I will not say quite, as it might seem an ungenerous rivalry, — 
more than almost any other college, God has planted it where 
man who has eyes to see, and ears to hear, and a mind to 
instruct, can profit. There is more to be learned outside of 
its college doors than outside of the doors of any other college 
in the land. 

I am glad that the Trustees, at their latest session, have 
voted to establish a new professorship in Amherst of history 
and political economy. This is, until the endowment can 
be secured to support a full Professor, to be served as best 
it may be. I think that when it is understood by the friends 
of Amherst that this professorship is much needed to bring 
Amherst up to many other colleges, the pleas for an ample 
endowment will soon be responded to, and before we come 
here another year, we hope to have the gratifying intelli- 


gence that the professorship is estabhshed and provided with 
an able instructor. 

The Governor has alluded to another matter which I wish to 
say one single word about, and that to discriminate rather than 
to advocate. There has been an application on the part of two 
young ladies to be admitted to instruction in this College, if 
they are competent to pass the ordinary examination. That 
matter is under advisement at present by the Board of Trus- 
tees. It is very desirable that vague rumors should not go 
abroad on this subject, and that the questions now under con- 
sideration have no connection with those under the general 
designation of the woman question or the suffrage question. 
There is nothing of that kind in connection with this matter. 
It may pass, or it may not pass. Many of the most advanced 
thinkers on the subject of woman's rights would see their 
theories practically tried, but however that may be, we have 
nothing to do with it. It may be best, or it may not be best 
that woman should have the right to vote. I for one think it 
would be for her benefit, but others, wise men and most excel- 
lent, are just as positive on the other side. There is no new 
question proposed. The question whether women shall have 
the right to the highest education which it is possible to gain 
in America, has been settled, and that long ago. If there is 
one thing in which America stands pre-eminent, it is this: We 
believe that women should be educated according to the 
measure of her desire and capacity. Unrebukcd, women col- 
leges have been established, besides academies and seminaries, 
and when the question arises as to whether women can have 
the benefit of a collegiate course, it is met in this way, that we 
have already more colleges than we have need of. Why should 
we put two schools to do the work of one.'* Are women so 
much like men that they need but one church, one catechism. 


one minister ; alike in almost everything, and yet so different 
that they need two sets of instructors, one for men, and one for 
women in ordinary matters of education ? Why, in all the 
States we are erecting new academies and colleges a hundred 
years ahead of our pecuniary means. Why should we be 
doubling the cost of education? Why, if Amherst used the 
power to instruct these advanced scholars among women, who 
wish to be teachers and professors, and laborers in the highest 
fields of science ; if Amherst had the liberality to do it, would 
it be necessary to put half a million dollars into a woman's 
school at Northampton, and another five hundred thousand to 
make it good for anything ? This is like a man spending every 
cent of money in building his factory, and yet without a cent 
to pay for an engine to run it. 

We have plenty of colleges, if only used in a legitimate man- 
ner. It is a question of economy. In New England tve all 
understand the worth of an economic article, — it is a "heap 
sight cheaper" to educate women with men. I know that there 
are other considerations in the matter. It is said, I am aware, 
that women do not want it. If they do not, there is no 
trouble. If the women can not bear the experiences of a colle- 
giate course, then they will go away. This is what men do 
when they can not sustain it, and by and by, when it is under- 
stood that it is not the mere glance of the eye, the exquisite 
curl, but that life opens to them a fair chance to take on the 
whole armor of education, the opportunity will be seized upon. 
I believe it will react on the health of the community. If a 
woman is strong enough to take care of a baby for eighteen 
months, and then eighteen months again, and eighteen months 
afterwards, and then again eighteen months, and then to take 
care of seventeen children ranging all the way tip, with a 
husband to look after, in addition, with the boys to send to col- 


lege, and the girls to watch over, she does more than any stu- 
dent can do. There are no nobler spheres than those of the 
household, but if woman can take care of them, she has got 
strength enough to get an education. She can stand the college 
if she can stand the nursery. It is said that it may interfere with 
the student's attention to studies. It may, but not among the 
young ladies. No woman will ever undertake a college course 
unless she has made up her mind to go through. A great 
many men come here as a mere matter of routine -just because 
the parental bow shot them here. I like a spirit of fanaticism 
on this question. I have a son I want to have come, here next 
year. He evidently does not care much about it, but I am 
bound to have him come. A woman who determines to be 
highly educated in the sciences and classics should be ap- 
plauded and helped on. 

I know it is settled that women are different from men. Of 
course they are. I know it is said that they can not do every- 
thing that man can do. I do not want them to. If you plant 
a rose tree and lilacs in the same ground, the plants and flowers 
will bear their respective flowers and foliage. So from a colle- 
giate course a woman will take that which assimilates with her 
own nature, and will be a woman still, and not a womanish 
man. I was brought up in my sister's school at Hartford. 
That accounts for my womanish ways. But it is all outside, for 
I am inside, a man. A woman would make a womanish use of 
this education, and that is what I want to see, a woman's own 
influence brought to bear in art and literature ; it is to make 
her more woman, and with her power will still be womanly 
pure. Highly developed in culture her refining influences will 
be richer and more heavenly. 

Amherst is for a universal education. If a man be black, 
and is fully prepared, or a woman, and is fully qualified, its 


doors will open to them. Amherst should lead in this march 
of progress, and if she does, it will not be the first time that 
she has led in progress and philanthropy. Amherst will do her 
duty, because she is sent to accomplish a great work, a work 
which is just and right. 



Mr. President, and Brethren of the Alnmni : — A little more 
than a year ago, your Historian and I were in Egypt together. 
We had been up to the First Cataract, and had got back nearly 
to Cairo. Our boat, the " Ibis," was drifting lazily down the 
Nile. The Pyramids were in sight again. We were soon to part 
company, he heading for Rome and I for Sinai. We had engaged 
to draw up some sort of a Circular for this Amherst Jubilee. 
It was not an easy thing to do. We had been too long among 
antiquities that were antiquities. Cambyses had come to seem 
nearer to us than Christopher Columbus used to. With all 
those "forty centuries" looking down upon us, this little half 
century of a New England college seemed hardly worth cele- 

Now that we are back again where nothing is old but the 
continent itself, half centuries are of some account. At any 
rate, this one of ours is all we can have at present, and we must 
make the most of it. In some respects, it is such a half cen- 
tury as the world has never seen before. Indeed, this whole 
nineteenth century has a very pronounced character ; resem- 
bling the fifteenth, but going far beyond it, in the same general 
career of invention and discovery. With improved telescopes, 
we have reconstructed the Solar System. Our own globe has 
been probed and peeled by science as one may peel an onion 
to the core. Steam and electricity have turned things end for 


end, and inside out. Railways are almost everywhere on the 
land, and steamboats on the water. Mountains, deserts, and 
seas, which used to be good boundaries, are now but little bet- 
ter than rivers. Once it required a miracle to make iron swim ; 
now it not only swims itself, but floats a good part of the com- 
merce of the world. Not long ago we waited ten days for our 
letters from Liverpool ; now we get "telegrams," (a new word, 
by the by,) ahead of time itself. With all our fast habits, the 
average length of human life is growing steadily greater ; so 
much better care is taken of us by the doctors. And although 
modern life insurance companies can not keep us from dying, 
the honestly managed ones, may keep the wolf from the door 
when we are gone. 

These things, and the like of these, are what we have been 
about now for some time back. They are not to be despised. 
But I think we had better not be too boastful of them. They 
are not the Kingdom of God, by a great deal. If they point 
that way, it is not of themselves, but of that grand Providence 
which overmasters every thing. Essentially, they are all of one 
type — materialistic ; born of materialism, and breeding mate- 
rialism. Something finer than we have yet seen, may come of 
them, or in spite of them, by and by ; must come, if we are 
to hold our own. It was Asiatic wealth which made an end of 
the Greeks, and afterwards of the Romans. It is money that 
is hurting us ; money too quickly got, crude, undigested meney, 
which breaks out in sores upon the body social and politic. 
We have been growing ricn too rapidly. Almost every body 
seems determined, at all events, not to be poor. Reputation 
itself is getting to be valued for what it will fetch in the market. 
This greed of gain is in the air. Our boys and girls all catch 
it. When we say a man is " well off," we mean that he has a 
large income. If ever a people needed spiritual tonics and an- 


tidotes, safeguards, light-houses, anchors, bulwarks, and muni- 
tions, we are that people. There is no danger of our being too 
often told that man shall not live by bread alone. The common 
school may do something for us in stemming this heavy tide ; and 
the pulpit may do much. But without the higher culture, rep- 
resented and aimed at by the college, we are certain to go under. 
And what do we mean by "college" .-' I, for one; mean the 
old-fashioned American college, which takes boys and drills 
them, drills them severely, in Latin, Greek, and Mathematics. 
Other studies must come in, such as Logic, Metaphysics, Ethics, 
History, Political Economy, the Modern Languages, and the 
Natural Sciences ; but Latin, Greek, and the pure Mathematics 
are simply indispensable. There is no such thing as scholar- 
ship without them, whatever else there may be. They should 
no more be optional studies in college, than reading, writing, 
and arithmetic are optional studies in the common school. 
Bright boys are none the brighter for being inexact, poor schol- 
ars ; and dull boys are none the duller for being exact, good 
scholars. Well-informed our students ought to be, wide-awake 
to what is going on in the world ; but the first and the last 
necessity, is mental discipline. Without it, the human mind is 
not to be trusted. Its action is liable to be as wild as the cuts 
and thrusts of a fencer who has never been taught the art of 
fencing. That classical and mathematical studies are not prac- 
tical, is one of the shallowest and most pestilent assertions ever 
made English statesmanship is commonly thought to be rather 
practical ; and we all know how English statesmen are trained 
at Oxford and Cambridge. As for our American statesman- 
ship, it^ blunders and crudities would certainly be fewer, if only 
our statesmen were better scholars. Daniel Webster's genius, 
as he said of it himself, was a genius for hard work. I wish 
we had more of it, in college and everywhere else. 


Just now we are trying our hand at universities ; and over- 
doing the business, I think. " Go to, let us have a university," 
reminds me of the cry at Babel. Universities, it would be well 
for us to remember, are not made, they grow. This broader 
culture, now so much talked of, which has no exact, deep, 
solid culture underlying it, is a statue without a pedestal, 
a house -upon the sand. Harvard and Yale are rapidly devel- 
oping into universities, or rather they are becoming univer- 
sities, as well as colleges. And for New England, these 
two will be enough. Our other colleges had better stay 
essentially as they are ; aiming ever higher and higher, to be 
sure, but always in the same general direction. If already the 
curriculum is wider, and the standard higher than it was, it is 
because our academies are better. Much of what is done in 
college, in Latin, Greek, and the Mathematics, is still altogether 
too elementary. But till we have more academies like those at 
Exeter, Andover, and Easthampton, there is really no help for 
it. The college must take such scholars as it can get, and do 
the best it may for them. Trained men are what we want, and 
there; is no short and easy way of training them. It is drill, 
drill, drill, that makes the scholar and the man. Provision may 
be made for limited and special courses of instruction which 
exclude the disciplinary studies, but the college proper should 
remain intact. Nothing should be yielded to the outcry, now 
so loud, against the dead languages. 

We Amherst men are not ashamed of our history so far. Our 
Alma Mater has now some 1,500 living Alumni, scattered all 
over the United States, and almost all over the world. Half of 
these are clergymen, every tenth man of whom is a Foreign 
Missionary. The other learned professions are of course not 
so largely represented. We have rather more than a hundred 
physicians, and nearly twice that number of lawyers. MOre 


than tw.o hundred of our Alumni are teachers, a large part of 
them in institutions of the higher grades. This last item 
speaks well for the solidity and thoroughn-ess of the training 
here. With a fair proportion of conspicuous and brilliant men, 
our graduates, in general, are rather of the plain, sober, and 
useful type ; enlisted for service, and working or fighting, as 
the need may be. Their motto might well be : 

Dextra tenet calamum, strictum tenet altera ferrum. 

A great deal of hard work has been* done by our Alumni; 
work at the very foundations of Church and State. Nor was cour- 
age wanting when the institutions of the country had to be saved 
by civil war. Nearly two hundred of the sons of Amherst im- 
perilled, and twenty-six of them gave up their lives in the conflict. 

So much for the past. To-day we embalm and bury it. Now 
for the future. What mistakes have been made during the first 
half century, ought not to be repeated during the next half. 
And what has been laboriously and wisely settled, should not 
be unsettled rashly. This College has its own traditions, not 
to be set aside by anybody. For one thing, its religious and 
moral tone has made it many friends. Boys have been sent 
here for moral safety, and have found it. If ever there was 
any narrowness, or undue pressure, in this regard, provoking 
resistance, nothing of this sort can be complained of now. 
This College is as liberal as any other. Many things may be 
changed as time wears on, but not this capital feature of our 
history, that this is a Christian College. 

We are now exhorted to a " new departure " in admitting 
women to our classes. I will not debate the question here. 
But when "golden opportunities" are spoken of, we had better 

All that glisters is not gold ; 
Often have you heard that told. 


I have been requested to say a word about our class schol- 
arships. Two years ago we resolved, if possible, to get a schol- 
arship for every class that has left these halls. The fifty schol- 
arships are not all secured yet, but from present appearances I 
am sure they will be soon. Some of the earlier classes have 
been provided for by gentlemen outside of us ; Mr. Wells 
Southworth of New Haven, for example, adopting the class of 
1822, and Mr. A. J. Johnson of New York the class of 1823. 
Who will immortalize himself by adopting Bela B. Edwards's 
class of 1824.'' My own class of 1836 is now at work upon its 
third scholarship, and may possibly have a fourth. Several 
other classes report their scholarships completed. Some of 
the later classes, paying by installments, will require more time. 
But we shall get our fifty scholarships ; and fifty years hence 
we shall have at least fifty more of them. And there is no 
calculating the good they will do. 

But I am taking more than my share of the time, and must 
make way for others. You and I, Mr. President, were very 
fortunate in our generation. We had in our class some good 
scholars, who were likewise right good fellows, besides some 
good fellows who were not quite so good scholars. And we 
had a right good time of it all the way through. In our Senior 
year we were particularly favored. One Professor was all our 
own. We were the first and the last here in Amherst to ad- 
mire the flashing of that keen blade, which has since been 
waving over wider fields. I would not like to be thought re- 
vengeful ; but I was called up every day or two all that year, 
and now I must retaliate by calling up our honored instructor 
of five and thirty years ago. Professor Park of Andover. 



Mr. President, and Gentlemen of the Alumni : — I certainly did 
not expect to be called out with such flattering words as those 
which have been just uttered ; and you probably will not ex- 
pect to hear anything from me, — for I do not think of anything, 
— worthy of your attention. I love to recall the memories of 
the Class of '36. It is true that I devoted one summer to the 
Class of '35, but I devoted an entire year to the Class of '36, 
and that was the only class to which I did give a full year's in- 
struction ; and therefore I am prepared to say that, so far as 
my personal knowledge extends, the Class of '36 is the worth- 
iest which was ever graduated at the college. In the Historical 
Address, to which we listened with so much interest this morn- 
ing, it was implied that the best classes of the college are those 
which have left it most recently. It is a beautiful statement ; 
but how can it ho. proved that the class of the "Benjamins," is 
superior to its elder brothers .-' It is a poetical idea; but we 
are now inquiring for the sober prose. That address was his- 
torical ; let us then appeal to history. In the classes which 
have most recently left the College, where is the learned Judge, 
the accomplished Governor of Massachusetts, the Doctor of 
Divinity, the erudite Professor in the Theological Seminary } 
The Judge, the Governor, the Doctor, the Professor, are in the 
Class of '36. This is the naked fact. 

The careful scholar who instructed us so pleasantly in the 


morning, either said or implied, that certain Professors who re- 
mained but a short time in the Institution, did not exert a per- 
manent influence upon it. I am one of those Professors ; and 
I challenge Professor Tyler io prove that I have exerted no 
permanent influence here. When I left the College I urged the 
Trustees to transfer Prof Fiske to the chair which I vacated, 
and to place Prof Tyler in the chair of Prof Fiske ; and now, 
after Prof Tyler has labored with such eminent success in his' 
office for thirty-five years, how can he prove that I, who first 
named him for the office, have exerted no permanent influence 
on the Institution ? 

He uttered many words of merited enconium on Dr. Stearns, 
to whose influence is to be ascribed the erection of some fine 
edifices which adorn these grounds. Now I am able to demon- 
strate, that after I had refused to accept the Presidency of the 
Institution, I was the first man who named Dr. Stearns for the 
office ; I visited some of the Trustees and made a journey to 
Amherst, for the purpose of recommending his appointment ; 
and when I look at these new buildings, one of them so majes- 
tic, and one so beautiful, I am moved to exclaim : " They are 
the result of my declining to take an office in the College." 
How then can it be proved that after having reared these edi- 
fices by not coming to the Institution, I have exerted no per- 
manent influence upon it .-* 

The historian of the morning made various remarks which 
started in my mind long trains of recollection. He said, or 
implied, that in the early years of the College not much atten- 
tion was given to aesthetic culture. He will admit that this 
want of attention must have been the fault of the student. 
Thirty-six years ago I stood on the tower of the old chapel in 
company with Mr. George Bancroft and Miss Harriet Mar- 
tineau. That lady admiring the graceful curvature of the dis- 


tant hills, the romantic form of the nearer mountains, the 
beautiful valley through which is the river, winding at its own 
sweet will, exclaimed : " This is a, school of the Fine Arts." In 
this school, some men of exquisite taste had been already edu- 
cated. One of them. Prof B. B. Edwards, may be fitly named 
at this hour of our reminiscences. He entered the first Soph- 
omore Class of the College ; was one of the earliest tutors ; 
was the first Alumnus ever chosen to be a Trustee of the Insti- 
tution ; he was noted for his delicate sense of the beautiful as 
well as for the general refinement of his character ; and he 
often said, that he learned the principles of taste from the wood- 
lands and meadows, the trees and flowers, the hills and groves, 
which make the scenery of Amherst so instructive, as well as 
delightful. He once made the remark, — and as I listened to 
the new chiming bells upon the new chapel-tower this morning, 
I recalled his almost prophetic utterance — that "nothing would 
become Amherst so well as a chime of bells, and no place would 
be so appropriate for a chime of bells as a tower of Amherst 
College." He did not live to experience the realization of his 
dream ; but no one would rejoice more than he, to notice that 
art is now adding her charms to those of nature, and both are 
combining to make this scene the joy of the whole earth. 

Miss Martineau, as she surveyed the grounds nearest the 
chapel, remarked that "time would be necessary to give them 
the grace and finish which belong to Oxford, Cambridge, and 
other of the English schools." But that time is coming. The 
men who will stand here at the next Semi-centennial will see 
velvet lawns and serpentine walks around these buildings ; and 
it will be said of Amherst, as it has been said of Addison's 
walk in Oxford : " No one treading these grounds can avoid be- 
ing a poet." At the Centennial celebration of the College, when 
the princely benefactor of this Institution, the friend in the 


hour of its need, shall have been numbered with his fathers, a 
statue of bronze will be raised to his honor among the venera- 
ble trees which will then shade these walks ; for he is the man 
who, in the first place, had the enterprise and the industry to 
amass a fortune ; in the second place, had the prudence and 
the sagacity to keep a fortune ; in the third place, had the pat- 
riotism and the philanthropy to give a fortune away. An Alum- 
nus of this Institution, in a recent speech at the unveiling of 
Washington Irving's statue in New York, said that similar 
statues would be erected to ministers of the Gospel, if the time 
should ever come when any of them would be both good and 
handsome. At the next Semi-centennial, numerous marble 
busts of the Alumni will adorn these halls ; and among them 
will be seen a life-like statue of the Alumnus who uttered that 
prophecy; for he has the three titles to the honor; he is a 
clergyman, and good, and handsome ; and men will love to gaze 
at the image of the man who has just described to us the man- 
ner of his studying the mathematics with Professor Snell. 

It is not, however, by its aesthetic culture, that Amherst has 
been chiefly distinguished ; it is by its hard work. At the 
present day there are great improvements in the method of 
education ; but there can be no improvement which will dis- 
pense with the personal toil of the pupil. Some usages of the 
schools have become antiquated ; but severe labor can never 
go out of date. Even a poet who is born, not made, must 
superadd industry to his inheritance, or he is born to " waste 
his sweetness on the desert air." I remember an incident which 
occurred at the commencement of this College, thirty-six years 
ago ; and I now allude to it as illustrating the fact, that no kind 
of excellence is attained without care. Mr. Edward Everett was 
delivering the Oration before the Literary Societies. *Near the 
close of his Oration, he uttered the following sentence : " Be- 


Fore the admiring student of nature has realized all the won- 
ders of the elder world, thus, as it were, re-created by sci- 
ence, another delightful instructress, with her microscope in 
her hand, bids him sit down and learn at last to know the uni- 
verse in which he lives ; and contemplate the limbs, the mo- 
tions, the circulations of races of animals, disporting in their 
tempestuous ocean, — a drop of water!' I have now read the 
sentence ; you have listened to it without excitement ; you still 
appear to be calm and serene. 'But when it was uttered by 
Mr. Everett, the audience was convulsed with emotion. Young 
men and old men were moved with wonder as well as delight. 
What was the secret of this power 1 The secret lay in the 
naturalness of Mr. Everett's thoroughly studied elocution ; in 
the artlessness of his rhetorical art. As he uttered those mem- 
orable words, " a drop of water" he turned around ; saw, as if 
for the first time, a glass of water on the table at his side ; he 
put his finger into the glass, as if the thought of doing so had 
just occurred to him ; he raised his finger with the drop of 
water suspended from it ; we gazed at the drop ; it was a globe, 
teeming with inhabitants ; the globe fell upon the platform ; 
and while those myriads of inhabitants, as good by nature as 
ourselves, were taking their last gasp, the spectators, lettered 
and unlettered, laymen and divines, were tumultuous in their 
applause. We all supposed that this dramatic elocution was un- 
premeditated. I have since heard that several weeks before 
the oration was delivered, the pains-taking author of it wrote 
a letter, inquiring whether it would be proper to introduce such 
an unusual gesture in an address to such an audience as that of 
the literati of Amherst College. The effectiveness of that one 
sentence explains the fact that as mere readers, we can form no 
conception of the power which was felt by the hearers, of the 
great speeches uttered by the Grecian and Roman orators. I 


do not mean to imply that I approve, for I do not approve, of 
such excessive solicitude about the inimitice of oratory ; but I 
believe in the lesson which it suggests, and which has been the 
first, second and third lesson taught in this college, that all elo- 
quence, and all kinds of excellence, even the poetical, are the 
result of industry. It is the industry of the Alumni of Am- 
herst which has made them marked men in all parts of the 
globe. The fruits of their toil are seen in the Christian Mis- 
sions of Asia and Africa. Much has been said this afternoon 
in regard to the education of women. I think that the grad- 
uates of Amherst, so many of whom have been distinguished 
for practical sense, have done a signal work in advancing this 
education. I do not believe that the Mount Holyoke Semi- 
nary, — and that is a school which has exerted a healthful in- 
fluence in behalf of woman's rights — would have ever been 
what it is now, had it not received the efficient aid of President 
Hitchcock, Prof. Tyler, Prof. B. B. Edwards, and other Alumni 
and officers of this Institution. I must think that the college 
which has been recently endowed by Miss Sophia Smith, and 
which is soon to grace the already beautiful town of North- 
ampton, will contribute much to the true honor of women, and 
will make hundreds of them, without the aid of the Supreme 
Court of Massachusetts, real Justices of the Peace. But that 
college would probably never have been devised, had it not 
beep for an Alumnus of this Institution. He was laboring 
peacefully in one of the charming villages on the banks of the 
Connecticut ; and there, in his modest and quiet way, he set in 
motion a train of influences which will soon give a new college, 
and an attractive ornament to the State of Massachusetts. I 
have been looking around this audience in the hope of seeing 
that real working man here ; but I do not detect him. If I 
knew that he was present, I would call his name. I will not 


expose an absent man, however ; and will only say that, al- 
though I have praised my own humility, — and there is no virtue 
of which I am so proud as I am of my humility, — in declining 
an office in Amherst College, and thus erecting these costly 
buildings, yet, long after my name shall have faded away and 
dropped like a sere and yellow leaf from the remembrance of 
men, the name of that man will still be Green. 

I shall not speak on the question which has been proposed 
this afternoon in regard to admitting women into the regular 
classes of your Alma Mater ; but as this is the time for col- 
lege reminiscences, I will repeat a saying of President Hum- 
phrey, who has been fitly extolled this afternoon as a wise and 
sound man. There was one student connected with the Institu- 
tion who neglected his studies, — I must presume there was only 
one, — and, at a meeting of the Faculty, there was a prolonged 
discussion in regard to the cause of his remissness. One Profes- 
sor thought that the young man was troubled with the head- 
ache ; another thought that he had a fever ; still another 
thought that he was burdened with pecuniary embarrassment. 
At length the President uttered, with a pause after almost 
every syllable, these suggestive words : " I have reason to be- 
lieve that the remissness of the young man is owing to a shock 
which he has received from a gal — vanic battery." 



Mr. President, and my Brother Alumni : — I understand I am 
to do justice to the occasion, because I was so fortunate as to 
marry one of Dr. Webster's grand-daughters. Now, under the 
circumstances of this case, I am inclined to follow very much 
the resolution which I noticed recently introduced into the 
Nebraska constitutional convention, by one of its most able 
members, providing that hereafter women shall take the place 
of men in all the occupations of life, and that the word "male" 
shall be stricken out of the constitution, and "female" inserted. 
I must say that I fully agree in this proposition, but I am sorry 
to be compelled to add that my wife, with whom I have just had 
conference, tells me that in her day, Amherst College did not 
permit women to be educated within its walls — that she does 
not feel competent to speak upon this occasion, and calls upon 
me to be her substitute.' She wishes me to add that at the 
centennial anniversary she hopes that her great-great-grand- 
daughter may be permitted to make an address upon that oc- 
casion. I suppose you all know where I stand on this ques- 
tion. I suppose you will throw me on the side of opening the 
doors wide open for all who desire to come within its walls, and 
receive the best education that can be obtained. 

But I am expected to say som-ething of Noah Webster, and 
of his early connection with this college. He came here in 
1812, and at that time there was no school of a higher grade 


than the common district school held in a small room, where 
the boys and girls were educated together. That was the 
school Amherst enjoyed in that day. He came here with a 
mind seeking more leisure to follow his favorite pursuit, and 
live with greater economy, having a large family dependent 
upon him for support. After a while the educated men of this 
vicinity met in his parlor for consultation upon the educational 
interest of this section of the country, and the result was the 
establishment of Amherst academy, which proved a great suc- 
cess. About that time the question was agitated of the re^ 
moval of Williams College. It was considered by many friends 
of education to be in a too remote section of the State, and it was 
believed that the interests of education would be greatly sub- 
served by its removal to a more central location. Dr. Webster 
went into it with all the ardor and zeal characteristic of him. 
He believed that Williams College would be better if removed 
to the center of the State. But we have reason to bless God 
that this agitation of the subject, although it did not result in 
the removal of Williams College, was the means of establish- 
ing Amherst College. 

I hold in my hands a passage of three or four lines, which 
strikingly illustrates the anxiety of our ancestors in the matter 
of education : "After God had carried us safe to New England, 
and we had builded our homes, provided the means of livelihood 
for our families, reared a convenient place for God's worship, 
and settled civil government, one of the next things we long 
for and look for is to advance learning and to perpetuate it to 
posterity, dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches 
when our present ministry shall be in the dust." It was the 
spirit of this noble sentiment that governed Dr. Webster and 
actuated him in giving his services with those other noble men 
who founded Amherst College. Could he have been spared to 


be with us to-day, and see these noble buildings, these mon- 
uments of Christian liberality and philanthropy, how would 
his heart throb with joy, and what an earnest prayer of thank- 
fulness woiild he send up to the Giver of all good gifts. I 
remember in the fall of 1841 he attended college prayers one 
evening in company with President Humphrey, and made a few 
remarks to the students, I can recall distinctly, as though it 
were to-day, his erect and dignified form. With solemn voice, 
tremulous with age and emotion, he gave utterance to his 
thoughts. He spoke of this college, of the necessities which 
brought it into being, of .the interest he had taken in watching 
over its growth, of its struggles in its infancy, and of his firm 
belief in its continued growth and prosperity. As he stood 
there in the autumn twilight he seemed like the patriarch and 
prophet of old, giving us his parting benediction. 

If republican principles are to be fostered, if the people are 
to be distinguished by their love of intelligence, order and re- 
ligion, then must we see to it that their nurseries of learning 
planted upon the hill-tops and in the valleys of our country 
are liberally, yea, generously supported. Why, imagine if you 
can for one moment all our colleges and all our educational in- 
stitutions blotted out } What a strangeness would come over the 
land and what a feeling of despair would seize upon the people. 
As long as we know of their existence and feel their beneficial 
influence, we experience the same feeling of safety and of re- 
hef as does the midnight mariner when amidst the darkness 
and the storm he sees afar out across the waste of waters the 
beacon light which warns him of the dangers that lie in his 
pathway, and which guide him to the haven of safety. 

Somewhat more than a year ago to-day I was in the old city 
of Mecklenburg, in Prussia, and while there I passed the cathe- 
dral, one of the noble Gothic edifices in Northern Germany. 


I heard the sound of music within its walls. I went in, and 
there I saw arrayed in martial line and order thousands of 
young Prussian soldiers, each of them bearing an earnest, in- 
telligent and honest countenance. As the organ pealed forth, 
accompanied by a full choir of manly- voices, these young sol- 
diers advanced, column by column, to the altar, and there re- 
ceived, in a solemn and reverential manner, the sacrament of 
the Lord's Supper. Six weeks later, I was in the French city 
of Strasbourg, on the day on which war was declared by France 
against Prussia. I saw there thousands of French soldiers, 
martial-looking men, eager for the fray, breathing vengeance 
against Prussia, and jubilant in the idea of speedy victory. I 
saw on one side, an intelligent and God-fearing people ; upon 
the other side, an uneducated, self-reliant soldier, and could the 
result be doubtful ? Was it not what would have been ex- 
pected .-' Intelligence, virtue and education behind the needle- 
gun ; ignorance, infidelity and sensuality behind the chassepot. 
Prussia to-day takes rank among the foremost nations of Eu- 
rope, and France, with all her traditional glory, all her love of 
country, sinks to the position of a second-rate power. Her 
loss of prestige to-day, will inure to her greatness and glory in 
the future. 

Let those who are building up the republic see to it that it is 
built upon intelligence, virtue and religion, the only sure and safe 
guaranties for a free and happy republic. 



I FEEL, Mr. President, that I might justly ask to be excused 
from attempting to say anything on this occasion, certainly as 
a representative of the class of 1830; for this class has been 
amply and admirably represented by the orator and historian 
to whom we listened in the forenoon. For myself, I am proud 
as a member of the class of 1830, to claim him as one of our 
number. It is not every Professor who understands Greek, 
that understands English as well. We who knew Professor 
Tyler at the beginning, are not surprised at such versatility in 
him. The discourse which we heard from him, so elaborate, 
instructive, and eloquent, simply shows that as he began, so he 
has gone on, nobly fulfilling the bright promise of his college 

Goldsmith used to say that when at the university he made 
but a poor a figure in the mathematics, but could turn an ode 
of Homer into English equal to the best of them. Our Tyler 
was good in everything; he could produce a sensation in conic 
sections, or the calculus, as well as in Horace or Homer. He: 
learned to good purpose in those days the old poet's dictum, 
as good for actual life as for the mimic stage, — 

" Ad imum 
Qualis ab incepto processerit et sibi constet." 

The learned orator, therefore, stands before us to-day justly 
crowned with the laurels which he wears. I hope the heresy, 


rebuked by such an example, that dull and idle boys make the 
smartest men, will never find its way into Amherst College. 

The older brothers of the College rejoice most heartily with 
their younger brothers in the manifold prosperity of the College 
as we see it to-day, at the end of these first fifty years. J5ut as 
I listened to the orator's account of the difficulties and trials 
which the friends and first teachers of the College had to en- 
counter forty years ago, — the period of my connection with it, — 
I felt that I might justly characterize that period, at least, as the 
heroic age in the history of the College. The age is heroic that 
produces heroic men ; and- it was these early trials of courage, 
faith, disinterestedness, which gave us such characters as those of 
Heman Humphrey, Edward Hitchcock, Nathan W. Fiske, 
and others. I account it one of my greatest obligations to the 
College, that it gave me the benefit of the example and the 
teachings of such men. ' I can truthfully say that my remem- 
brance of their disinterestedness, fidelity and self-denial has 
ever been among the best inspirations of my life. 

I have followed the history of my class-mates — about forty 
of us — with some care. Several of them, of whose usefulness 
and success we had reason to entertain 'the best hopes, died 
early. The one of these first taken was the youngest of our 
number. We who knew them, have not forgotten them. We 
linger longest at • the graves, in which have been buried " the 
hopes of unaccomplished years." Of the rest, I know enough 
to say that they have all been in their various spheres upright, 
earnest, useful men. No one of them has yet dishonored the 
College, or brought a stain upon his own personal reputation. 
Four of them have been missionaries of the cross in foreign 
lands. Schneider discoursed to us at our commencement, (pos- 
sibly the Junior exhibition) on the felicity of benevolence^ and 
having now tried his theory for nearly forty years, still lives to 


testify by word and deed that the way to be happy is to be un- 
selfish. The record of his labors and successes in Asia Minor 
reads like a page from the Acts of the Apostles. 

It is a cause of regret to me — I feel it keenly to-day — that I 
have been since my graduation so seldom present at the com- 
mencements of the College. I have been leading all this time 
since I left here, a somewhat vagrant, academic life. During 
all these years, I have been, without a single year's exception, 
cooped up within college walls, either as a pupil in professional 
schools, or as a teacher in colleges and seminaries. I have 
thus formed, of course, new literary attachments and responsi- 
bihties, more or less engrossing ; but I can truly say, as I come 
back again to-day from these wanderings to the o\^ Alma Mater 
— for old assuredly she must be, when so many sons rise up with 
hoary heads to do her homage — I can truly say to-day to this 
dear mother of us all : * 

" My heart untraveled fondly turns to thee." 

Of this I am confident. No one can rejoice more heartily 
than I do, in the bright auguries which introduce this second 
Semi-centennial of Amherst College, 



Where the family circle is so full, Mr. President, and where 
every mother's son has the same claim to be heard, we must go 
as directly as we can to the principal matters in mind. 

Among the honorable points in the history of this College, 
I am struck first with this. It is a natural product of the soil 
that supports it. Standing in the very heart of New England, 
it owns and represents its place. Its life is New England life, 
through and through. P""rom the first breath of its infancy, 
fifty years ago, it has never tasted a whiff of any other than 
New England air. Rooted in this Massachusetts eirth, be- 
tween the ledges of rocky hills and the alluvial river-meadows, 
the mingled Puritanic strength and philanthropic sweetness 
of the juices of the mountain and the valley seem to have gone 
into it^ blood. It is not a transplanted stock. Not an exotic 
hue or outlandish feature can be seen on its face. Its energies, 
endurance, successes, its etlios, as an Athenian might say, its 
virtue, as we, its children, may certainly say, and its blemishes, 
if it has them, belong to the ground that has grown it, and the 
climate that has ripened it. If foreign ideas have ever arrived 
and dismounted at this door, it has fared with them a good deal 
as it did with the polite and amiable French master that came, 
in the summer of '36, to teach our class, when we were sopho- 
mores, the French pronunciation. There were two windows, 
and they always happened to be open, on the north side of the 


recitation room, and from the moment the roll was called a 
silent process of waste began on that end of the seats, till, 
somehow, when the hour was up, through the doorway, along 

with the unobservant and smiling tutor, only 


Three "angels issued where " threescore " went in." 

After the war with England was over, the thrifty farmers, the 
prosperous traders and the orthodox ministers in this part of the 
country, wanted a college to train their sons, not quite so far west 
as Williams, and not quite so far toward Plato as Cambridge. 
Without many educational theories or much noise they arose 
and built, somewhat as their Hebrew prototypes did, building 
with one hand, while they held not a sword or spear, exactly, 
but the plow or the pnming-hook, into which Peace had beaten 
them, with the other, " from the rising of the morning till the 
stars appeared." He that "sounded the trumpet," too, was by 
them. It was not the trumpet of their own liberality or destiny, 
— American ears have since become more familiar with these 
notes, — but of the promises of God to patient toil. Thus Am- 
herst College had its legitimate birth and beginning. It was 
not so much a manufacture after a pattern as a growth out of 
a vital seed. Its fathers and its sons were autoclithonoi, — chil- 
dren of the land. The New England tree yielded after its kind. 
The common mind, by the operation of a common sense, created 
it, but with uncommon forecast and resolution. The State was 
slow to help it, but the people had their way, because they made 
the way. It was set as a crown on this hill-top, in the midst of 
a beauty as bright and fair as any that the beauty-loving eyes of 
Greek students could find between Mounts Athos and Olympus. 
It came to be what it is, — a kind of indigenous republican 
Acropolis of letters, — a living, literary and religious power. 

Natural beginnings do not always insure a worthy career. It 


seems to me to be another of the fine characters marking this 
history, that the institution has followed the laws of honest 
health in its half century of practical progress. As it was not 
fashioned by programme or pet scheme, it has been the victim 
of no educational speculation or sentimental hobby-rider at any 
period. Look at the list of its presidents, not long, to be sure, 
but clean and estimable. Neither they nor its professors, least 
of all its trustees, have been visionary persons, ambitious of 
sudden celebrity, blowers of bubbles, casters-up of short roads 
or royal roads, or over-broad roads to learning. It is something 
to say of any seminary in these loud times, that it never solicited 
patronage on self-assertion, or relied on other certificates than 
the men it moulded. In the morbid modern appetite for new 
measures, it seems sometimes to be a positive recommendation 
to confidence in a thing, that it was never heard of before. I 
can think of no one of these faithful instructors and disciplin- 
arians, from the first, who has coveted any factitious distinc- 
tion, who has made a sham of his chair, or who has not put his 
best strength conscientiously into the doing of his term's labor. 
I think all of them would heartily indorse that definition of 
genius which calls it a transcendent capacity for taking pains. 
One of them, that modest mathematician yonder, quiet and ac- 
curate watcher of the clock-work of earth and sky for half a 
hundred years, who has been at once the contemporary and the 
benefactor of everything that the college ever was or did, and 
who, if anybody, is the real living hero of this day, never, I 
warrant you, had a night's sleep hurt by dreams of* revolution- 
izing the diagram of the heavens or reconstructing the weather. 
They that become prophets and priests of nature do not patron- 
ize her, but sit at her feet. It is a part of the vocation of our 
thorough-bred students to correct, if they can, the popular im- 
patience for immediate results ; to show this eager age that 


mere "dash" without drill is a dash into rout and ruin ; and 
that, while the maxim of "head-quarters in the saddle and no 
base of supplies" may do well enough for sham fighters at a 
village muster, it will never make very short work of our long 
war with ignorance and error. But there are qualities of a dif- 
ferent order. These teachers of ours, we all know, have not 
been in bondage to the old any more than wild adventurers af- 
ter the new. Staying at their posts, in the several departments, 
whatever light has glimmered anywhere, through archaeology or 
invention, they have welcomed. Under this wakeful regimen, 
the standard of scholarship has been constantly rising; the cur- 
riculum has been enlarged ; the intellectual supply has been 
deeper and wider all the while. Apparatus, cabinets, two of 
them not surpassed in any of the universities, the buildings, the 
examination papers, the commencements, tell their own story 
better than our laudatory tongues can tell it. The College has 
kept itself in quick sympathy with the pulse of the people, in 
the national agonies and sacrifices, in war and peace, in the 
general instincts of patriotism, in the interests of industry and 
charity. I remember one of the college halls was thrown open 
once for a cattle-show address before the county agricultural 
society. The martyr scroll of fallen soldiers shines as splen- 
didly before your eyes to-day as the early heroism of Greece 
did in the eloquence and marble of its Attic orators and later 
sculptors. Would these new structures, so solid and costly, 
have ever been reared, if the givers, men of business and calcu- 
lation, had not been sure that there was a cordial response in 
this staff of scholars to every genuine impulse of humanity in 
the community around it? They are the visible answer, as 
I take it, uttered in stone and iron, of earnestness in the men 
of action to earnestness in the men of thought. Thought and 
action have been finding out that they are not alien forces, not 


jealous competitors, but that each is strong and free only as it 
acknowledges its brother, and as both move side by side. A 
conviction of this deep-seated concord is wrought, it seems to 
me, into the whole cultus and spirit of this nursery of thinking 
brains and rpanly men. Most of all ought we to render un- 
ceasing homage to these teachers, for a lesson as grand as any 
in the books. In the dark days of an exhausted treasury, com- 
plete poverty and threatened death, with a self-denial as uncom- 
plaining as it was unassuming, they took up the burden of 
unrequited labor, ran the bold venture of a livelihood without a 
salary, and by going half way to' starvation, saved the cause. 
None of us can feel a relish so keen as theirs in the joy of this 
jubilee. The success that we are witnessing, then, is not a trick 
or an accident. It has been honestly earned. 

Hitherto, in most American colleges, the idea of moral disci- 
pline under academic law has been united with that of the im- 
partation of knowledge and the training of the intellectual 
powers. A legal regulation and restraint have been considered 
indispensable to the teaching function and the order of the col- 
legiate community. Undergraduates have been held as boys 
rather than men. Their immaturity has subjected them to a 
government of specific, local rules The administration of an au- 
thority like that, lying in an undefined region between the family, 
where love is more than law, and the civil court, where law is more 
than love, proves, as everybody who has tried it knows, to be 
one of exceeding delicacy and perplexity. Periodical rebellions 
and chronic irritations have abundantly illustrated the difficulty. 
Weak sympathies in unreasonable parents, on the one side, and 
official vanity or arbitrary passion in college officers on the 
other, complicate it still further. All this is changing. An 
advance of studies carries forward the average age of the mem- 
bers of the classes. The university plan being approximated 


more and more, self-respect and self-direction take the place of 
coercion. The students are supposed to be gentlemen, who, if 
they are matriculated at all, remain for the elected purpose of 
taking advantage of the instruction, with some inbred scholarly 
principles. Down to this period, however, every class graduated 
here has been four years subject to a faculty law. What is the 
record ? Having been born myself two years before the college 
was, and the spot I always call home lying only a league away 
from it, I take leave to say, — naming it as our third point of 
honor, — that this vexing discipline has been conducted, not for 
any little quadrennial epoch merely, but all along, with even 
wisdom and singular fidelity. I am not speaking of that dry 
kind of success which barely succeeds in keeping the peace, 
or in holding a sullen discontent under suppression and calling 
it peace. That is the barren regularity of a scene half prison- 
house and half grave-yard, not the rich, sweet order of a har- 
vest field, where a life of affection leaps in every intellectual 
pore and organ. I mean much more than that. I believe it 
has been the uniform feeling of the administrators of this great 
trust, that every youth coming or sent here, had not only a mind 
to be stocked and a memory to be quickened, but a forming 
manhood to be made pure, vigorous and firm. I believe that 
very few of these alumni have been able to retain a fair doubt 
that their instructors were their personal friends, sincerely seek- 
ing their highest good. I believe no class ever took its degrees 
without an almost universal sense of gratitude and esteem for 
its temporary masters. There has been occasional friction, but 
as little of it as the nature of the case, human nature, and col- 
"lege nature allow. Rebellion songs, sung out or muttered, have 
not entered much into the music of our march. Whether the 
intellectual stimulus of high heads and the contagion of superb 
scholarship have always acted on the student's enthusiasm or 


not, he has known himself to be in hands wise and true. So 
much of the temper of Dr. Arnold of Rugby has, on the whole 
prevailed, that even the culprit, stung with a sense of being 
misunderstood and over-punished, has not finally questioned the 
right conscience and Godward mind of his punisher. Whatever 
benefits may be expected hereafter to accompany the substitu- 
tion of self-control for supervision and obedience, there must be 
a real loss in the severance of these generous and wholesome 
relations of confidence and loyalty. Character is forever the 
commanding and comprehensive fact among men. Life is the 
end as well as the test of learning. And, therefore, there never 
will be, I hope, as I think there never has been, a time when a 
young man will be taken in and dealt with here under" the horri- 
ble imposture that he is a piece of mental mechanism, or a lu- 
crative tributary to the college revenue, or reputation, and not a 
son of the Lord. Almighty, — a spiritual creature to whom the 
Infinite Spirit has given understanding. 

^ So we are brought, Mr President, to our last and loftiest 
challenge of the public good-will, growing out of our half-cen- 
tury's history. The college has not subordinated faith to knowl- 
edge, or sacrificed knowledge, — absurd immolation ! — to faith. 
It has not committed itself to either one of those destructive 
falsehoods, that revelation has anything to fear from thorough 
science, or that science can ultimate and complete itself without 
revelation. Here, my brothers, you may perhaps think it not 
unfit if I speak with the more emphasis than most of you would, 
for the very reason of my standing, in a manner, separate from 
the particular religious system that prevails with you. That 
question is not at issue now. This institution was founded, has 
lived, grown and borne fruit, in the faith of Christ, the head of 
the race and lord of the kingdom of the mind Nay, it has 
lived, very largely, for the express purpose of extending that 


faith, by educated preachers and missionaries, training them, as 
the mother of Chrysostom said she trained her son, to conquer 
a classical heathenism by the weapons of classical learning. If 
it has any clearer title to consideration among civilized men, 
seeing on what Corner-stone all civilization rests, or one deserv- 
ing to be more celebrated at this celebration, I, for one, do not 
know what it is. No personal distinction has given Amherst a 
wider or better fame than that of our distinguished geologist 
and naturalist. Professor and President Hitchcock, who has vin- 
dicated the harmony between the verities in the structure of the 
globe and the verities of the Bible. Whether it shall finally 
turn out that his methods are those on which Christian schools 
will mostly rely or not, may be questionable; but that they con- 
tain enough of both fact and logic to refute all that has been 
brought to disturb that harmony, it is quite safe to say. Mate- 
rialism, in the new French and English school, is not by any 
means the last word of science on that subject, nor is positive- 
ism a new word iri the history of negations. Mr. Farrar has 
shown in his Bampton lectures, that there is a manifest recur- 
rence in the various shapes of unbelief, and that, in kind, all the 
modern forms of neology came into being in the primitive age, 
where they were met and broken by the apologists of the primi- 
tive church. There is a reassuring and comforting effect, sug- 
gesting that the objections are limited, from that periodicity in 
the movements of doubt, but more still in this simple, undenia- 
ble proposition ; that if science means to be thorough it must 
take all the states and conditions of men's experience into its 
purview as matters of fact, explaining them and disposing of 
them, and the moment it does that, it confronts a spiritual na- 
ture with spiritual phenomena, — a whole class of facts which no 
philosophy has as yet so much as pretended to account and pro- 
vide for independently of religion. Half-knowledge is at pres- 


ent the adversary, — the prolific breeder of self-conceit and so of 
denials of the faith once for all delivered. God in nature and 
God in the Book is one God. We have only to know better 
both nature and the Bopk, by the help of Christian colleges like 
this, to see and confess it, with joyful adoration, and to find the 
battle with Atheism, and with its less audacious and less con- 
sistent sister-witch. Pantheism, growing lighter. Forward, then, 
brethren, let us say to ourselves, and to one another! 

If the college has not a roll-call of many generations, so 
much the larger share of its responsible life is in the future ; 
and of that future we are among the builders. Let this stir and 
sober us. What is there to bar the way against a steady ex- 
pansion yet to come, as healthful and irresistible as that which 
has been, till, call it university or not, all that makes up the sub- 
stantial education of the nineteenth century man, before the 
century itself is done, shall be here combined and organized.-' 
Our traditions may be slight : but our business is to take care 
what traditions we help make for those that come after us, by 
large thought, reverent manners, noble living. In the Divine 
Commonwealth the fiftieth year was one of liberation and Sab- 
batic rest. One prayer is rising for our Alma Mater, I am sure, 
from all hearts, in this re-gathering, that she may have long life 
in the liberty of Christ and in the peace of a heavenly law ; that 
her sons may be a brotherhood of scholars, thinkers, believ- 
ers, workmen with a wide look and ready hand reaching 
towards this world's service, and yet ever bending humbly be- 
fore God, as if nature herself were a sanctuary, learning were a 
kind of litany, life were worship, and the Savior's cross an 
inspiring signal never out of their sight. 



Mr. President : — I join most heartily in the congratulations 
that are befitting an anniversary like this. I congratulate the 
Trustees, the Faculty, the Alumni, all the friends of this beloved 
Institution, whether ga'thered here to-day or detained elsewhere. 
Nor are my felicitations upon that which happeneth unto all — 
the noble and the ignoble alike, the mere flight of time. If that 
were all and there was no grateful record of worthy accom- 
plishment to which to point, the occasion were one for humilia- 
tion, and condolence only. 

But such is not our case. Whether we regard the growth of 
our Alma Mater as an institution of learning, — the progress 
made, and the power acquired ; or, the honorable positions attained 
by her Alumni, and the blessings carried to the world by the 
brave, manly work which they have done, there is much for 
wtiich we are called upon to thank God, and from which we 
may take courage. 

To the record of the past of the Institution we have listened 
as it has been read to us by our chosen chronicler. To that 
record I shall not presume to attempt to add a line. Its present 
he can see, who, having eyes, looks around to-day. Its future 
is known only to Him who, from the beginning sees the end ; 
and whatever of cherished hopes or aspirations we may express, 
it is not folly to heed the admonition of the great humorist : 

" Don't never prophesy unless yo knoju." 


That unknown future we are called upon in courage, built on 
faith, to meet as may become men ; to prepare for it as if we 
could command destiny ; and to act in the earnest belief that 

"The fault is not in our stars 
But in ourselves, if we are underlings." 

It is this .great problem, — the future of our Alma Mater — 
which this occasion naturally suggests, and to which all our 
thoughts are drawn. Here, perhaps, to some extent, may have 
arisen the contest which is wider than our country, and as old 
at least as the days of Rehoboam, between the spirit of change 
and that of conservatism ; and the clamor of the new for the 
place occupied by the old, if it has not already entered, can not 
long be excluded from these halls. 

It is true that the interests and guidance of the Institution 
have been confided to some of our most honored Alumni, and 
others, their worthy compeers, who had acquired good repute . 
for wisdom before they were called to assume this charge, and 
who have been enriched by wide observation, and large experi- 
ence since ; but it would be modesty without precedent elsewhere 
if ive did not assume that Alumni, in mass meeting assembled, 
could instruct their ignorance ; it would be strange if we could 
forget that though age and experience do not always bring 
wisdom, youth and inexperience always do ; and our earlier 
would sadly shame our more advanced (not to say our more ma- 
ture) years, if having, as undergraduates, guided and managed 
the Faculty, we can not, as Alumni, guide and manage the 

We are not oificious then, when, gathering from our wide dis- 
persions, and turning from the varied avocations which engross 
our years, we supplement their crude projects with the treasures 
of our well-considered suggestions ; and we say to them, as was 


so often said to us, — adapting to the Institution's future the 
maxim given for personal guidance, — the first grand prerequisite 
of success is a distinct and definite purpose and aim. 

In modern times — for person or institution — the Abrahamic 
journey, with an a quo, but no ad quem, is a very long one. 

The great thought to which Alumni rise so easily, but which 
is such a stone of stumbling to Trustees, is, all knowledge 
FOR ALL HUMANiTV. All that is askcd of Trustees is the trifling 
task of providing ways and means, of devising in detail, and 
putting in working order the machinery which shall effect this 
result. In other words, we, with every American college, would 
be a grand university; not on the English plan, where a con- 
vention of colleges and halls, with curricula each substantially 
a copy of the other, united by a corporate bond, constitutes 
a university, but on the grander plan of the American popular 
idea of a university, to wit : an institution where the broadest 
foundation of general, classical and mathematical culture shall 
be crowned with the most accurate and detailed specialistic ajid 
professional trainings, and the graduate comes forth a Minerva 
in pedigree and equipment, an Apollo in grace 

It is easy enough to order a school of general culture which 
shall be a foundation for all professional pursuits It is easy 
enough to order a professional school which shall furnish special 
training for any profession. The ordering of a course of study 
which shall furnish fit preparation for every profession, and 
every scientific and artistic pursuit, and at the same time relieve 
the votary of any one from a waste of labor and of time upon 
those things which are peculiar to any other, is a problem not 
quite so easy of solution. Yet this is the problem for the solu- 
tion of which there is no little popular demand. 

Some of us are not prepared to admit that the boys of to-day 
can make very much larger acquisition by dint of hard work in 


a course of four years than was made by some of the boys 
a quarter or half a century ago. Nor do we feel certain that 
any very valuable discipline or attainment can be poured into 
the mind through any funnel yet invented. 

If it be true then that the world's work is to be done by 
specialists, and the college of the future is to be the nursery in 
which they shall be reared, it must be that the college change 
its form, or rather, that colleges cluster, not with parallel courses 
of study, but with aims clearly differing and defined, and courses 
entirely distinct ; that round the nucleus of our Alma Mater, 
with its literary, humanizing influences, shall gather the schools 
of real, practical professional work (of which cluster the noble 
institutions already planted on its right by the good old Com- 
monwealth of Massachusetts is but the avant-courier, the first- 
born of the coming brotherhood) and that this cluster shall be 
made to work harmoniously, each in its allotted sphere, under a 
common supervision. 

To carry on a work of such magnitude, a munificence of en- 
dowment is required such as we have yet hardly ventured to 
imagine. Yale, the object in the past of so many rich benefac- 
tions, has through one of her most ardent friends, just an- 
nounced her present pressing, imperative need of eight hundred 
thousand dollars to enable her to meet the demands made upon 
her to-day. 

The accumulations here are yet less than there ; the de- 
mands now are quite as great, and with every step' of progress 
■the vista widens. 

It is unjust as it is idle to join in these demands, or to en- 
courage them, unless we are ready in some manner to contrib- 
ute substantial aid and comfort to those who bear the burden of 
supplying the demand. We have no rigjtit to add to their bur- 
den, already a most oppressive and embarrassing one, while we 


ourselves will not touch it with one of our fingers; to do that, 
for example, which shall render necessary a professorship of 
Platonic affections, with the material changes necessarily con- 
nected therewith, and yet furnish the institution no new or 
additional resources. Too many adherent parasites may exhaust 
the vitality of the parent stock and draw it, with them, to a 
common death. 

But we are not prophets of evil. Proud of the past, we are 
hopeful and confident of the future. As our Alma Mater in 
the past has been equal to all the reasonable demands and wise 
requirements of the times, so may her future be. For her, 
though not for us, there is a fountain of youth, and we can not 
doubt that she will continue to furnish what the world most ur- 
gently needs, if not what it most clamorously asks for. With 
clustering colleges under a common head, or with varied depart- 
ments known together as one college, here shall be the homcof 
the broadest, and most thorough classical liberal culture, and 
the most accurate special training for all practical life ; the home 
at once of catholicity and speciality, a school which the world 
can not afford to let die ; so that when another fifty years is told, 
they who gather to celebrate its centennial anniversary, whether 
many or few, and whether the list of names upon its catalogue 
is long or short, may congratulate each other and proudly boast 
to the world that it has ever been the school of Christian 



Mr. President and Brethren of the Alum^ii: — I want to give 
you an extract from Caesar's commentaries. I would give it to 
you in the original, but I fear my Latin would be lame, and I 
am confident the most of you would not understand it whether 
lame or not. I ani equally afraid my translation would be open 
to criticism should I attempt one, so Iw ill give you the sub- 
stance of a passage, as I recollect it. 

All Gaul is divided into three parts and is inhabited by three 
different tribes, of which the most rude and barbarous are those 
who live farthest from the civilization and refinement of our 

There is a tradition in New England, cherished most by 
those who have been least away from the old homestead, that 
of the various parts into which this broad land of ours is di- 
vided, the most rude and barbarous are those that are farthest 
from the civilization and refinement of New England, and under 
the inspiration of this tradition they are accustomed to regard 
the North-West as a wild, uncultivated waste, and its inhabitants 
as a rude, unlettered, migratory and gassy people, with their 
chief boast and their chief encampment — Chicago! And a very 
learned Doctor of Divinity to illustrate what he considered the 
migratory and boastful character of a portion of this people, re- 
cently said in a public place and to a large audience, that in his 

travels in Europe he met more people from Illinois than from 


any other portion of the country, and in every instance upon 
the ends of their trunks was Illinois, and on the ends of their 
tongues was — Cldcago! 

But, brethren of the Alumni, we meet here to-day as children 
of a common Alma Mater, a widely scattered brotherhood, I 
trust A^e are united as one man in our zeal for the fair fame and 
continued prosperity of Amherst College. When the honored 
President of the College, and the distinguished Professor of 
Mental Philosophy, in the fall of 1869, came *to the meeting 
of the Amherst Alumni of the North- West at Chicago, and 
when in the fall of 1870, we were visited in the same place by 
that distinguished and venerable man, whom we all love to 
honor. Professor Snell, I believe that at our annual festival in 
honor of Alma Mater, they found men as loyal and earnest in 
their devotion to learning and religion, as can be found in New 
England. And why not? During the formative period of our 
lives we all received the impress of the same kindly, elevating 
and inspiriting influences; the same Alma Mater. with a steady 
hand, checked, guided and controlled us all; the same zeal for 
sound learning and thorough discipline, and the same Christian 
spirit at all times controlled the Faculty and were thrown about 
and infused within the students. 

And here I wish to enter my protest against a notion some- 
what prevalent at the present day, and which many suppose to 
exist, particularly at the North- West. It is said that many of 
our colleges devote too much time to the study of the ancient 
languages and mathematics and too little to science. It is 
claimed that the young man graduating from college should 
have his mind richly stored with the facts that will meet him in 
practical life. To this I have no objection, so far as knowledge 
is the result of a course of study involving the highest disci- 
pline, but to sacrifice in any respect discipline for knowledge, is 


giving the greater for the less, and is a sad mistake The main 
things with the ancient athlete were the suppleness of Hmb re- 
sulting from discipline, and the fixed purpose to run the race 
successfully. So with the young man stepping from scholastic 
to practical life, from the hand of his trainer to the open arena, 
the main question is not how much does he know, but rather, 
what facility has he acquired in the rapid, accurate and success- 
ful use of his mind, and with what spirit of high resolve does he 
enter the arena. When the class in Greek recites to Professor 
Tyler, and the student has pronounced and translated till the 
Professor says " pause there," I doubt not the class will receive 
the same instruction in substance to-day, that you and I re- 
ceived fifteen, twenty or thirty years ago. Far otherwise is it in 
science. The instruction given and the theories advanced in 
science to-day have but slight kinship with what we were taught 
to believe twenty years ago. And the difference in scientific 
instruction is not so much in the fact that recent investigations 
have given more advanced ideas based on old fundamental prin- 
ciples, as it is that what we were taught to regard as funda- 
mental and established have been swept away, and new founda- 
tions have been laid, to be in their turn ruthlessly torn up; new 
theories are constantly battling with the old, and one wing of 
the scientific host is ever sapping and mining in the vain effort 
to unsettle the deep foundations of the word of God, and one of 
the great questions to-day agitating the scientific world is 
whether the Bible account of the origin of man is true, or 
whether man is a derivative monkey. I would not be under- 
stood as being opposed to science or scientific instruction and 
pursuits ; far from it. I would encourage and foster them in 
due proportion, but regarding the college curriculum mainly as 
preparatory and disciplinary. I would give the sciences a sub- 
ordinate position, and unhesitatingly maintain the ancient Ian- 


guages and mathematics in all the prominence of past times. 
And when scientific men seek to overthrow the Bible, the 
revealed will of God, by setting up in opposition to it the so- 
called indisputable* facts and deductions of science, I love to 
remember that the strand of time through all the ages of the 
past has ever been covered with the wrecks of what they have 
called the unquestionable facts and the established deductions 
of science. And this must be so, for in the nature of the case, 
all that the past has developed or sought to establish must yield 
itself to the analysis of the last discovery and deduction, and so 
on in an interminable series. But the word of God was given 
to us not by piece-meal and in detached portions, but it was 
" once delivered to the Saints," aye, once for all, and it must and 
will stand as the fundamental law of the universe until the dis- 
cords and uncertainties of time merge into the harmonies and 
certainties of eternity. 

The presence of so goodly a number of the Alumni of the 
North-West, in obedience to the summons of our Alma Mater 
to join with the great family gathering in the golden jubilee at 
the old hearthstone, testifies that we are one with you, brethren 
of the East, in our devotion to Amherst College. 

We have not come from an adjoining town or a neighboring > 
parish, with the old horse and family carriage. The Amherst 
Alumni of the North-West, with head-quarters at Chicago, are 
scattered over a broad territory, and when we meet, there or 
here, it is at some sacrifice. Our altar-fires are kept burning 
brightly, but it is at some cost. From our churches, offices and 
counting-rooms for hundreds of miles around, we came to head- 
quarters and taking our drawing-rooms and hotels on wheels, 
linked to a flaming chariot of fire, we have leaped the chasm of 
a thousand miles intervening between the chief city of the 
North-West and this mountain-bound, scholastic, beautiful jewel 


of a New England village, and we are with you to-day in shout- 
ing the praises of Alma Mater. And I wish to say to our 
Eastern friends of the Alumni, that while there are differences 
and diversities in the different parts of the country an(>in the 
inhabitants of the various sections, still there is a great simi- 
larity in their general wants and necessities. What the North- 
West wants, aye, what the Nation wants to-day, is thought, not 
encyclopaedias ; men of thorough discipline, rather than men of 
mere learning. Our broad and sparsely settled States are to be 
filled with the teeming millions of the coming time, and our cry 
to the old institutions of learning at the East is, at all hazards 
preserve in the college course the studies most conducive to 
discipline ; give us young men, (may I not say young women 
also ?) yes, give us young men and young women who have 
learned how to think ; men and women fitted to control because 
they have been themselves controlled : fitted to command be- 
cause they have been taught to obey : men and women in whom 
are harmoniously blended the sternness of the most rigid 
thought, with the meekness of the spirit of the Gospel. Then 
shall we have men and women who can master facts as they 
meet them, and can grapple successfully with the living issues 
of practical life. 

Some of you, my brethren, are bowed with years and the 
honors the world has thrust upon you — some are erect, elastic 
and full of the fire of youth, and some are rejoicing in the 
strength and success of middle life. But we all feel young to- 
day, for we have been living over our boyish days again, and we 
shall return to our homes with hearts warmer, pulses stronger, 
and aims higher than ever before. I know not how fully my 
experience may accord with yours, but engrossed with the cares 
and labors of my profession, I have been unable to prosecute 
the studies I pursued in College, and the definite facts that 


I learned have been largely forgotten. I suspect I should^make 
an awkward appearance in a recitation room, and I know I could 
not pass an examination for admission to the next freshman 
class without much preparatory study. And yet I never have, 
nor do I to-day, count my college course as a failure or the time 
spent here as lost. On the contrary, all in my present experi- 
ence that I cherish most sacredly had their beginnings in college 
days. Slight though it may be, still whatever of refined taste, 
of thirst for learning, of intellectual culture, of mental disci- 
pline, of high ambition, or of love to God have blessed my life, 
I owe, under God, to Amherst College. And in this glad hour 
of jubilee, I can join heartily with the warmest friend of the 
College in the hope that the achievements of the past fifty years 
may not satisfy our ambition, but that through all the coming 
years of our Republic, Amherst College may stand in the very 
front, doing valiant service for sound learning and an evangelical 



Mr. President and Crentlemen of the Alumni: — It is to the 
accident of my being this year at the head of the Western As- 
sociation of Alumni that I have the honor of this call. Many 
of you know something of this Association, and how each year 
the Amherst men living'in the West gather together in a social 
reunion, to talk over college days, to meet classmates and 
friends, and to keep alive the love of old Amherst. We were 
perhaps the first in the West to establish these Alumni gather- 
ings, and now all the colleges have their yearly reunions. But 
none are more largely attended, or more enthusiastic, or more 
successful than those of Amherst graduates. It is a pleasant 
thought that a thousand miles away from this college home in 
the new West which was a terra incognita in the boyhood days 
of many here, the children of Amherst should gather yearly to 
celebrate the praises of the Alma Mater. 

I remember to have heard the late Joshua Giddings say that 
in the early part of his political life he was in one of the depart- 
ments at Washington, when the news was brought of a fight and 
massacre at Chicago. No one connected with the department 
had ever heard the name before, or had the sHghtest idea of its 
location. There was a great hunting through maps, but no 
such settlement could be discovered. The party then adjourned 
to the war department, but found as great ignorance there. For- 
tunately, however, a new mihtary map of the frontier ports dis- 


played on closer examination, against a small river and fort on 
Lake Michigan, the, till then unknown name, " Chicago." This 
could not have been far from the year we to-day celebrate, of 
the birth of this foster mother of ours. I imagine if, at th^ 
ceremonies that may have attended that first birth celebration, 
some one should have been called to respond for Chicago, that 
there would have been as great astonishment and as little 
knowledge of its whereabouts as Joshua Giddings found at 
Washington. Doubtless, the audience would have looked with 
some expectation to see a red-skinned chief in feathers and war 
paint appear as the representative of the unknown settlement 
whose name proclaimed its probable inhabitants, yet to-day, 
after but fifty years, when some, perhap's, who stood on this spot 
on that inauguration day are mingling with us in celebrating 
this semi-centennial, among the most honored salutations is one 
to "Chicago," and the response comes from a score or more 
lawyers, preachers, merchants and teachers, claiming Chicago as 
their home and dear old Amherst as their Alma Mater. 

If there is any ignorance now of the greatness of Chicago, it 
must be because its citizens, everywhere famed for modesty, so 
rarely, when abroad, mention its name or spread its praises. 

It is often said that in these times we make history fast. But 
it seems to me we make geography faster. Take the maps 
of your childhood and see what you find in them west of the 
Alleghanies, and especially west of the Mississippi, — the great 
Indian territory, where now are the States of Kansas and Ne- 
braska, and beyond, the vast trail of undivided country marked 
with the startling name, "The Great American Desert." Did 
you ever think you would traverse that trackless waste .-* And 
yet, doubtless there are some with us here who have crossed 
that fearful desert, not on camels backs, through miles of burn- 
ing sand, but seated luxuriously in palace cars, driven over the 


iron rails of civilization — whisked past flourishing villages and 
towns, catching glimpses of churches, and schools and semin- 
aries, to .come here bringing birthday gifts in their hands and 
never-parting love in their hearts, to the old mother who fostered 
so tenderly their boyhood days, and I imagine that none of all 
her sons come with more eager longing to see the dear old place 
again, with a more filial devotion to the home and foster-mother 
of their youth, than those of us who went away from this beau- 
tiful home among the mountains, to live on the broad, flat prai- 
ries of the West. They say, you know, that the Swiss are the 
most patriotic and home-loving people of the world, and away 
from their native mountains, sometimes die of home-sickness. 
Whether mountains create patriotism, and why those who have 
lived among them seem to love their country most tenderly, to 
leave it with the most regret, to pine for it most earnestly, and to 
return to it most eagerly, are questions not to be discussed 
here. But if it is true that those sons among the hills love the 
home of their childhood with greatest affection, — it is equally 
true that those sons who, leaving their native hill-sides, spend 
the years of manhood on the flat plains, where neither mountain 
nor hill rises to break the dead monotony, but where there is 
seen but the uninviting level of the boundless plain, do long 
most home-sickly for the dear old hills that, as Ruskin says, 
"feed and gnaw and strengthen" the silent waves of the blue 
mountains lifted toward heaven in a stillness of perpetual mercy. 
I think I speak the hearts of many when I say, that when, in 
my western home, my thoughts go back to my old college home, 
and I call to memory the scenes of my college life, and the 
associations of college days, I do not think first or chiefly of 
these walls of brick, nor of classmates or teachers, but first and 
always, with never-failing love and tender recollection of those 
beautiful mountains in the south, of Holyoke and Tom and No- 


notuck, of the sunny slopes of Pelham, over which you and 
I have so often watched the clouds casting their swift morning 
shadows, — of the range of western hills, looking toward which, 
we have so often gazed with delight at the glorious splendor of 
an Amherst sunset, the sky ablaze with gold, and those hills lit 
up with a glory of light and color'we can never forget. 

What a teacher has been this glorious scenery of Amherst ! 
Giving all honor to faithful professors — there has been through 
all these years a silent but most effective instructor in Nature 
herself, instilling into the hearts and hands of the men privil- 
eged to study here, lessons of beauty that have transformed 
their character as much as the lessons in mathematics or classics 
have cultivated the mind Could any thoughtful man, with 
a mind alive to beauty, pass daily along the winding walk on 
the top of our college hill, and witness the beautiful landscape 
spread out before him, — the semi-circular sweep of the Holyoke 
range, the silvery billows of the Connecticut encircling the 
mountains, the varied hues of the carpet-Hke meadows, the 
white villages nestlmg in the hills, the ever changing colors in 
the Pelham slopes, — could he witness all these scenes, and not 
grow to be a better and a wiser man, with a larger heart and a 
more beautiful character ? 

One of our most eloquent Alumni once said that in his col- 
lege days he used to roam almost daily over these hills, and he 
thought he knew every pine cone on the wooded hights. How 
much of the passionate yet tender love of nature that breathes 
through all his words, and that makes those who listen to him, 
love the grass and flowers and trees with a wonderful new love 
unknown before — how much of this he owes to his four years of 
Amherst life, I know not, but I think he would confess that the 
chief inspiration came during his college days. And to most of 
us nature was not altogether mute ; we had a grand old teacher, 


who spent his life in turning over the rocky leaves of nature's 
book and tracing with reverent hand and eye the record God 
had written there. He never feared that he should find in the 
words the Almighty had written in the rocks, a contradiction of 
the truths He had given in His word, and while He taught us 
all to search and study the mysterious characters written in 
nature's book, he turned our eyes with reverence to the Creator, 
whose words are always truth, and, to quote from a classmate's 
song : — 

That reverend sage, who loved to trace 

Creation through the rocks ; 
And on the rocky ages place 

His academic blocks. 
O, the grandest man of men, good sirs ! 

In the days when we were boys, 
Held royal reign, sir, heart and brain, 

In the days when we were boys. 

Keep on, O faithful instructors of our lessons of poetry and 
philosophy, of history and mathematics and classics, but fail not 
to teach your pupils to read the lessons written in the petals of 
flowers, the rocky ledges of your iron shores, the gems gathered 
from the depths of earth, and the mysterious metals dropped 
from the starry world. Then shall you send forth men, not 
only with minds matured and cultivated by intelligent efforts, 
but with hearts elevated and filled with beauty, to ennoble and 
purify and bless the world in which they are to mingle. 




. "Baths of Lucca," June 23, 1871. 
My Dear Dr. Stearns: — It is as charming and brilliant a 
morning in this delightful Italian valley as June ever brings to 
you on the Connecticut ; the air full of temperate warmth, the 
vast and vivid blue arch above unspotted by a cloud, the luxuri- 
ant hills and the swift and shining emerald river rejoicrng 
together in the perfect splendor of the universal sunshine. As 
I sit by the window, after breakfast, and look upon the land- 
scape which recent rains have washed and refreshed, and which 
the sun is now transfiguring, my thoughts go back to the simi- 
lar mornings which I have rejoiced in, in other days, on the Am- 
herst hills ; and I find myself wondering whether this 23d of 
June is — or is to be, when it reaches you — as lovely and glorious 
on your side of the water, as it is on this ; and whether your 
distant western horizon will be radinat to-night with as superb 
a simset as those which used often to entrance our eyes between 
1835 and 1839. And'so I am reminded still further that two or 
three weeks hence you will be celebrating the fiftieth anniver- 
sary of the College, whose eighteenth anniversary was one of. 
the memorable days of my life. 

If this should reach you, as I hardly suppose that it will, be- 
fore your Commencement, will you be kind enough to present 
for me to the members of the Board, and to the gentlemen of 


the Faculty, my greetings and congratulations on the occasion 
so full of interest to them all, and the assurance of my warm 
personal regard. And if there should be anywhere an unoccu- 
pied crevice in the series of the exercises at the meeting of the 
Alumni, where a distant voice may for an instant make itself 
heard, without interruption to those on the ground, will you 
present my "hail" and "God-speed" to all, the graduates, with 
the assurance that a college like ours, fresh, vigorous, liberal, 
evangelical, wide in its range, high in its aims, and quickening 
in its spiritual force, never looks so noble, or so bright and rich 
in its promises of good, as when one looks back to it from un- 
der the dense though lifting shadows that still brood over Italy. 
I set it beside the college of the Propaganda, which lately 
fronted me for six weeks at Rome, or beside the other wholly 
secularized institutes in the same city, where learning is irre- 
ligious, and science atheistic — and I see that our whole dis- 
tinctive, prophetic, American civilization, in which the future of 
the world is involved, has its germs and its guaranties in just 
such institutions. God long preserve, and still enlarge them, 
till the earth is full of their light and power ! 

R. S. Storrs, Jr. 


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