Skip to main content

Full text of "History of Amherst College during its first half century, 1821-1871"

See other formats










Amlierst College 





Williston Professor of the Greek Language and Literature. 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1873, by 

In the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington. 





Jtlumm af J-mberst 








THIS History was a part of the plan for the Semi-Centennial 
Celebration, and was at first intended to be in readiness for 
that occasion. The action of the Alumni and of the Trustees 
on the subject is narrated at the opening of the chapter touch- 
ing the Jubilee, and may be found at page 595. The failure 
of the author's health rendered it necessary for him to defer 
the work for some time, and seek recuperation ; and although 
by rest, with change of scene, this object was at length suc- 
cessfully accomplished, yet between the necessity of carefully 
guarding what was thus gained, and the daily occupation of 
College duties, he has been able to devote only a short time, 
two or three hours a day at most, to this extra labor. After 
the work of preparation was substantially done, unexpected 
delays, which need not be detailed, arose in regard to the pub- 

Prepared at the request of the Alumni and dedicated to them, 
the History has been written with constant reference to them 
as its most sympathizing and probably most numerous readers. 
Some of the best parts of it have been contributed by the 
Alumni themselves. A circular was sent to each Alumnus, 
at the outset, requesting him to " photograph for the author's 
use the College as it was in his day, his own class, any indi- 
vidual whether officer or student, any scene or event as it ap- 
peared to his eye." In response to this invitation, numerous 


letters were received, especially from the Alumni of the earlier 
classes, and the contents have been freely used, in whole or in 
part, in form or in substance, as seemed best. The unity and 
perchance the dignity of history may thus have been somewhat 
sacrificed. But more than was thus lost, has been gained in 
variety and life-like reality, in anecdote and dramatic interest, 
in the twofold and so more impartial and complete view of 
College life thus presented from the standing point of the stu- 
dent as well as the professor. All who sent such responses will 
please accept my thanks, and if any of them wonder why I have 
not made more direct or more extended use of their contribu- 
tions, the dimensions to which the History has already grown, 
may suggest a sufficient explanation. 

It is doubtless generally understood, although a few of my 
correspondents seem to have been mistaken on this point, that 
this is a History of the College and not of its graduates. At my 
instance and the request of the Faculty, Prof. Crowell and Prof. 
Montague have just commenced the collection of materials for 
the latter, which will be published as soon as the work can be 
prepared and a sufficient number of subscribers has been ob- 
tained. In writing the History of the College, I have thought 
it proper to relate the early periods with especial fullness, and 
also to dwell upon the lives of the founders, the fathers and the 
benefactors of the Institution, for the obvious reason that the 
actors and witnesses of these events are fast passing away and 
the sources of information will soon be dried up. The death, 
since I began to write, of two or three persons to whom I have 
been indebted for facts of great interest and importance, of which 
they were the sole repositories, has demonstrated the wisdom of 
this course. I set out with the purpose of writing biographical 
sketches only of the deceased. But as I advanced, I found it 
impossible to adhere to this purpose without doing injustice, 
relatively at least, both to the living and the dead. This change 


of plan will doubtless be observed by my readers, and the rea- 
son, not to say necessity for it, will justify, I hope, the liberty 
which I have taken in writing so fully and so freely of living 
Trustees, living officers and living benefactors. 

The illustrations are more numerous than were originally 
contemplated, and are a clear addition to what was promised in 
the prospectus. They have been prepared with great care and 
expense, and will, we are sure, add 'much to the value and in- 
terest of the volume. We only regret that likenesses of many 
other officers and benefactors could not be included. The en- 
graving of President Moore is taken from a portrait in the Col- 
lege Library; that of President Humphrey from a portrait in 
the possession of Mrs. James Humphrey of Brooklyn. The 
others are all taken from photographs of the originals. 

For the biographical sketch beginning on page 575 and the 
accompanying portrait, I disclaim all responsibility. I found 
in the letters of loving and grateful pupils not a few intima- 
tions that the author would hold no unimportant place in the 
History, if it were impartially written. But I gave no heed nor 
credence to these suggestions. At length, however, as I was 
drawing near to the close of the work, the Alumni Committee 
having previously spied out the land, a surprise party took pos- 
session of my house and filled those pages with such matter as 
they saw fit. 

While the book is a History of Amherst College, written at 
the request of the Alumni and particularly for their reading, 
it is, at the same time, naturally and almost necessarily, more or 
less, a history also of Amherst and the neighboring towns, of 
Hampshire County and the Valley of the Connecticut, espe- 
cially as they were in those early times when Amherst College 
was the spontaneous outgrowth of such a soil and such a people, 
and it is hoped that such a history will be read with interest and 
profit by many who are not the graduates of this Institution. 


In conclusion my thanks are due, and are most cordially given, 
to the Alumni who first opened to me this grateful opportunity 
of identifying myself with the history of Alma Mater, to their 
Committee who have rendered me every assistance in their 
power, to the Trustees and Faculty who have aided and encour- 
aged me at every stage of the work, to the publishers who have 
spared neither pains nor expense to bring out the book and the 
illustrations in a style worthy of the College and creditable to 
Western Massachusetts, and above all to the kind Providence 
that has preserved my life and enabled me to complete a work 
which others who might have done it better, began but did not 
live to finish. 

AMHEEST COLLEGE, December 26, 1872. 

P. S. Just as the work of electrotyping this History was 
almost finished and that of printing was about to begin, the plates 
were destroyed in the great Springfield fire. They have been 
re-cast with all possible despatch, and now the book goes forth 
to its readers unchanged yet renewed, to be prized none the 
less, I trust, because risen like the fabled Phrenix from its own 
ashes. If the faith and patience of subscribers have been sorely 
taxed, those of the author have been more severely tried by this 
delay. But the publishers have been the chief sufferers. And 
they deserve, what I hope they will receive, not only the sym- 
pathy but the substantial support and remuneration of the 
alumni and friends of the College for the indomitable energy 
and perseverance with which they have done over again their 
entire work and reproduced the History in all its original beauty 
of form. 

AMHEBST COLLEGE, May 1, 1873. 









HERST IN 1818, 40 

























OF His ASSOCIATES, ................ 280 

PRESIDENCY OF DR. HITCHCOCK, ............. 313 



ASSOCIATES, .................... 355 

THE PRESIDENCY OF DR. STEARNS, ............ 388 




THE PRESENT TRUSTEES, ................ 501 


URERS, ...................... 518 

BENEFACTORS OF THE COLLEGE, ............. 541 




THE WAR, ...................... 579 



RESS, ....................... 603 


SUBSCRIPTION CHARTER, ETC., ............. 649 



THE want of a College in the valley of the Connecticut was 
felt previous to the Revolution, and sixty years before the 
establishment of the Collegiate Institution at Amherst, thirty 
years before the incorporation of Williams College, measures 
were taken for the founding of such an Institution in Hamp- 
shire County. Some of the inhabitants of that County pre- 
sented to the General Court, January 20, 1762, a memorial 
showing that " there are a great number of people in this County 
of Hampshire, and places adjacent, disposed to promote learn- 
ing, and by reason of their great distance from the Colleges and 
the great expense of their education there, many of good 
natural genius are prevented a liberal education, and a large 
country filling up at the north-west of them which will send a 
great number of men of letters." " They therefore pray for an 
act of the government constituting a Corporation with power 
to receive moneys and improve them for setting up a Seminary 
for learning, and that a charter may be granted to the Corpora- 
tion for the said Seminary endowing it with power to manage 
all the affairs relative to the same, and confer the honors of learn- 
ing upon the students of the same when qualified therefor." 

A bill was accordingly brought in for establishing "an Acad- 
emy in the western parts of this Province," which passed 
to be engrossed but was finally lost. But Francis Bernard, 
"Governor of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay," made 
out a charter incorporating Israel Williams and eleven others 
" a body politic by the name of the President and Fellows of 
Queen's College." This charter bears the date of February 


27, 1762. The proposed College was to be in Northampton, 
Hatfield or Hadley. It was to be on a footing with Harvard 
College in regard to means of instruction, though some of its 
officers were to have different names, and it was proposed to 
withhold from it the power of conferring degrees. It met with 
opposition from the eastern part of the Province, scarcely less 
strenuous than that which Amherst College encountered half a 
century later. The Board of Overseers of Harvard College, 
as soon as they heard of it, appointed a committee to wait imme- 
diately on the Governor and request him not to grant the said 
charter, another committee to draw up and present a " fuller 
statement of reasons against founding a College or Collegiate 
School in Hampshire County," l and a third " to guard against 
the influence of any application at home [that is, in England,] 
by the Hampshire petitioners, for a charter from home or else- 
where." Such a pressure was brought to bear upon the Gov- 
ernor that he promised not to give out the charter until the 
next session of the Legislature. He desired the corporators, 
however, to take a copy of the charter, and organize the body 
so far as to be in readiness to act as soon as the charter 
should receive the necessary confirmation. Accordingly the 
Corporation met March 17, 1762, at the house of Rev. John 
Hooker, in Northampton, and adjourned to meet again on the 
18th of May, in Hadley, at the house of Rev. Samuel Hopkins. 2 
But two causes seem to have operated effectually to prevent 
further action. Sympathy for Harvard College, much increased 
by a fire which consumed its library and philosophical apparatus, 
withstood the establishment of another College in the Province. 
And the excitement which preceded the American Revolution 

1 This remonstrance and statement of reasons occupies eleven pages in the Ap- 
pendix of Pierce's History of Harvard College. Many of the reasons are the same 
which were urged against the establishment of Amherst College. Religious preju- 
dices were also enlisted, for Governor Bernard was suspected of a design to favor 
Episcopacy in the proposed Institution. See Pierce's History of Harvard College. 
p. 281. 

2 The project seems to have proceeded so far that in Hatfield a building was 
erected or designated as " Queen's College," and students were in preparation for 
entering the College. This old gambrel-roofed school-house has been seen by 
persons now living who have heard it called " Queen's College " by Dr. Lyman 


soon absorbed the public attention. Thus it is that "coming 
events cast their shadows before," and history repeats itself in 
the origin of institutions as well as in the rise of states and 
the progress of nations. For who can fail to see in the incor- 
poration of this Institution so early in the centre of Hampshire 
County and in the arguments and influences that were brought 
to bear against it, a foreshadowing of the origin and early 
history of Amherst College. 

In their strong desire thus early to have a College of their 
own, the good people of old Hampshire, or which was then 
the same thing, of Western Massachusetts, showed themselves 
to be the genuine offspring of the first settlers on the Massachu- 
setts Bay, who founded Harvard College in the wilderness less 
than twenty years after the first landing on these shores. Edu- 
cated for the most part in old Cambridge, and deeply impressed 
with the inseparable connection between sound learning and 
pure religion, the early colonists of New England could not rest 
till they could see the walls and breathe the atmosphere of a 
Cambridge here. Animated by strong Christian faith and hope, 
and excited by the experience of persecution in the Old World, 
they were further quickened by the invigorating and stimulating 
atmosphere of New England. " For here," so Rev. John Hig- 
ginson, the first minister of Salem, wrote home to his friends 
after he had been a few months in this country, " here is an 
extraordinary cleer and dry aire that is of a most healing nature 
to all such as are of a cold, melancholy, flegmatick, rheumatick 
temper of body. . . . And therefore I think it a wise course 
for all cold complections to come to take physick in New Eng- 
land, for a sup of New England aire is better than a whole 
draught of Old England's ale." 

The air of Western Massachusetts is even more dry and stim- 
ulating than that of the sea-shore, and the people have always 
been even more remarkable for their mental activity, and their 
universal thirst for education, than their fellow-citizens in the 
eastern part of the Commonwealth. " Old Hampshire County, 
extending originally from the uncertain eastern line of New 
York, on the west, into the present territory of Worcester 
County, on the east, and occupying throughout that distance 


the entire width of the Massachusetts patent, was, at first, in 
almost everything but the name, a colony of itself. The settle- 
ments were planted in the wilderness, and the waste of woods 
that lay between them and the seat of authority of the Massa- 
chusetts Bay was hardly less to be dreaded or easier of passage, 
than the waste of waters that interposed between the Bay and 
the Mother Country. Its interests have been developed by 
themselves. Its institutions, habits, and customs, have sprung 
out of its own peculiar wants, circumstances and spirit, and the 
history of Western Massachusetts is but the history of the old 
Mother Country and her children." l 

" No county in the State," says Dr. Dwight, " has uniformly 
discovered so firm an adherence to good order and good govern- 
ment, or a higher regard to learning, morals, and religion. As a 
body, the inhabitants possess that middle state of property, which 
so long and so often has been termed golden ; few are poor, and 
few are rich. They are almost independent in this high sense, 
that they live in houses and on lands which are their own, and 
which they hold in fee simple. The number of persons in a 
family in the County of Hampshire, exceeds that in the eastern 
counties, and marriages are more universal. Since these jour- 
neys were made, this noble county, after having existed as a fine 
doric column of industry, good order, morals, learning, and re- 
ligion, in Massachusetts, for more than a century, was by an 
unwise Legislature, broken into three parts." 2 

The valley of the Connecticut, from the time of its first settle- 
ment by the whites, has had a population and a history as pe- 
culiar as its soil, climate, surface, and natural scenery. Dear to 
the natives as the " Quonecticut," or " Long River," in whose 
waters they delighted to ply their light bark canoes, and to fish 
for the bass, salmon, and- shad, and on whose banks they built 
their most beautiful villages, and raised their richest fields of 
corn, this "famous river," or "little Nilus," as Cotton Mather 
quaintly calls it, began to attract settlers almost immediately 
after the first towns were planted about Massachusetts Bay. 

1 Holland's History of Western Massachusetts. 

2 Dr. Dwight's Travels in New England and New York, Vol. II., pp. 269-273. 
I have taken the liberty to abridge somewhat, the language of Dr. Dwight. 


And this beautiful river is interwoven with the whole character, 
history, and associations of the people whom it has attracted, 
and whose character it has formed, even as it wanders to and 
fro through the broad valley, shaping the picturesque outlines, 
forming the intervales, and enriching the meadows by its annual 
overflow. President Dwight in those travels to which we have 
already alluded, lingers in the valley of the Connecticut, devot- 
ing several letters to a description of its physical features, and 
the characteristics of its inhabitants, and dwells with peculiar 
fondness on the variety and richness of the landscape, the rare 
beauty of the villages, and the remarkable industry, intelligence, 
virtue, and piety of the people. The breadth of the " inter- 
vales," the meandering of the stream, the graceful curving of 
the banks fringed with shrubs and trees, the terraced outlines 
and gentle undulations of the meadows, " interspersed in par- 
allelograms," and " not divided by enclosures," making them to 
appear not as artificially fruitful, but as a field of nature, origi- 
nally furnished by the hand of the Creator, with all its beauties, 
with large and thrifty orchards in many places, and everywhere 
forest trees standing singly, of great height and graceful figure ; 
all these characteristic features which have been so enthusiastic- 
ally admired by residents and visitors from foreign lands at the 
present day, are noted and appreciated by this distinguished 
traveler, scholar, and divine of a former generation. Perhaps, 
then, the writer will not be charged with partiality or extrava- 
gance when he says, that although he has seen the Old World 
pretty thoroughly, from Windsor Park and Richmond Hill to 
the plain of Damascus, he has nowhere found such wide and 
varied fields of vegetable mosaic as stretch out, for instance, from 
the base of Mount Holyoke, nor anywhere shade trees of any 
kind that can be compared for mingled gracefulness and magnifi- 
cence with the elms that adorn the streets in either of the towns 
that were contemplated as the possible site of " Queen's College." 
The beauty of New England villages is universally recognized, 
whether by visitors from other sections, or travelers from foreign 
lands. Dr. Dwight finds this beauty in its highest perfection in 
the towns on or near the Connecticut River, and expatiates with 
much satisfaction on the plan of the villages, as it is there car- 


ried out, and the excellence of the social, intellectual, and moral 
results as they are there realized. The selection of the site, not 
like a village or large town in the Middle States, where trade, 
commerce or manufactures demand, but wherever beauty or con- 
venience, pleasure or moral uses may invite the bringing of the 
whole farming population into the village, to live side by side 
with the merchants, mechanics, and professional men, clustering 
around the church or churches, and the school-houses, as a nu- 
cleus and common centre, the distribution of the town plat into 
lots containing from two to ten acres, and the erection of the 
house, usually of wood painted white, and of ample dimensions, 
" at the bottom of the court-yard," with the singularly broad 
street in front, and the out buildings, the garden, orchard, and 
home-lot succeeding each other at convenient distances in the 
rear ; these are the characteristic features which have made the 
rural villages of the Connecticut famous the world over, for 
beauty and convenience. And these are partly the cause and 
partly the effect of the industry, thrift, intelligence, good order, 
good morals and religion, which are remarked by Dr. D wight and 
observed by so many other travelers, as characteristic of the peo- 
ple in the valley of the Connecticut. Such villages with such 
schools and churches, and such society, would naturally and 
inevitably blossom out into a College in due season, and isolated 
as they were in their early history, would surely seek a College 
in their neighborhood, that their schools and churches might 
find a sure supply of well educated teachers and preachers, and 
their children might grow up under its elevating and inspiring 

The historical associations of this portion of the Connecticut 
Valley, here deserve a passing notice. There is scarcely a 
town in the valley whose soil was not sprinkled with blood in 
the early wars with the Indians. In King Philip's War, Hadley 
was the head-quarters of the English troops in the river cam- 
paign. Detachments were also stationed in garrisons at North- 
ampton, Hatfield, Deerfield, and Northfield. A hot engagement 
took place near the base of Sugar-loaf Mountain, in which the 
Indians lost twenty-six killed, and the English ten. A company 
sent to convoy provisions from Hadley to the garrison at North- 


field, fell into an ambuscade within two miles of their destination, 
and of thirty-seven men who engaged in the expedition, only 
sixteen returned to tell of the disaster. Hatfield \vas attacked 
by seven or eight hundred savages and bravely and successfully 
defended. Springfield was invaded by Philip's warriors when 
its garrison had been chiefly drawn off to the defence of other 
towns, and burned to the ground ; and its inhabitants, left house- 
less and penniless, were so disheartened that they came near 
abandoning the settlement. And South Deerfield is memorable 
as the scene of the most terrible massacre of the whites by the 
Indians, recorded in the annals of New England. Capt. La- 
throp was detached from Hadley with eighty young men, " the 
very flower of the County of Essex," and a large number of 
teams, to bring off the grain which was stacked in large quanti- 
ties on the Deerfield meadows. They had threshed and loaded 
the grain, and had advanced on their return, as they thought, 
beyond the reach of danger, when, as they were crossing a 
sluggish stream which flowed through a swamp, and the team- 
sters, if not some of the soldiers, also, were eagerly plucking 
the grapes which hung in ripe and tempting clusters from the 
overhanging trees, the savage foe discharged a murderous fire 
upon them from behind every bush and tree, and then bursting 
from their hiding places, pursued the work of destruction, 
slaughtering the fleeing, and butchering the wounded, until 
ninety men, soldiers arid teamsters, lay weltering in their own 
blood. But while they were still engaged in massacring the 
living . and stripping the dead, they, in turn, were suddenly 
attacked by Capt. Moseley with his little band of heroes from 
the garrison at Deerfield, and ninety-six of them were slain in 
swift retaliation for the dreadful massacre which has conferred 
on its scene the befitting name of " Bloody Brook." A suita- 
ble monument, erected in 1835, marks the spot, and the oration 
then and there pronounced by the prince of our American pane- 
gyrical orators and listened to with so much interest by so many 
of the officers and students of Amherst College, will probably 
live as long as the monument itself will last, to commemorate 
the sufferings and sacrifices by which our fathers won this valley 
to civilization, learning and religion. 


The next campaign of King Philip's War, that of 1766, was 
remarkable for the great slaughter of the Indians by Capt. 
Turner, near the Falls in the Connecticut, which have ever since 
borne his name, and the subsequent disastrous retreat of his 
men, and the fall of their commander. In the same year occur- 
red also that attack upon Hadley, in which seven hundred Indians 
came upon the town early in the morning, and had already broken 
through the palisades and were spreading alarm and terror among 
the whole population, when suddenly a mysterious stranger, of 
remarkable form, and long flowing hair and beard, appeared 
among the affrighted villagers, rallied the soldiers, routed the 
enemy and put them to flight, and then disappeared as mysteri- 
ously as he had manifested himself unto them. The people then 
regarded him as an angel of God sent for their deliverance. They 
afterwards learned that their guardian angel was Goffe, " the 
regicide," and that Whalley, his father-in-law and fellow exile, 
resided at the same time in the family of the minister, Mr. Russell, 
and, with Goffe, had been there for nearly twelve years. 

In the wars which bear the names of King William and Queen 
Anne, Old Deerfield became famous for those sieges and cap- 
tivities which have ever since been as familiar to New England 
children as nursery tales ; almost as familiar as the catechism, 
and the New England Primer. The story of the captive, Eunice 
Williams, who became a savage and refused to return to civilized 
life, is quite a romance, and the question, " Have we a Bourbon 
among us," which has excited such a romantic interest in our 
own day, and which seemed likely enough at one time to grow 
into historical importance, is connected with a descendant of this 
" Deerfield Captive." 

There are comparatively few monuments of the " Revolution- 
ary War " in the valley of the Connecticut. The scene of that 
conflict lay chiefly on the sea-coast. Yet the people of .Western 
Massachusetts were not a whit behind their fellow-citizens in 
Boston and vicinity in offering first unarmed and then armed 
resistance to the encroachments of the Mother Country. There 
is scarcely a town in old Hampshire County whose records do 
not contain strong resolutions of sympathy and succor for their 
suffering brethren who had to bear the brunt of the struggle, 


or record the appointment of Committees of Vigilance and 
Public Safety, and the choice of delegates to act in concert with 
those of other towns in a Congress of the County, the Province, 
or the United Colonies. And when the war opened and as it 
progressed, we find them sending out men, arms and supplies 
year after year, with a liberality altogether beyond their wealth 
and population, till their resources were exhausted, and pouring 
out their treasure and their blood like water, for the common 
cause. A Congress of Committees from the several towns in 
the old County of Hampshire met in Northampton on the 22d 
and 23d of September, 1774, and passed with great unanimity 
resolutions that had in them the ring of resistance to the Stamp 
Act and to Taxation without Representation, and helped ' to 
prepare the way for the Declaration of Independence. When 
the news of the battle of Lexington reached Greenfield, the 
people of the town assembled " instanter," and the next morn- 
ing a volunteer company was on the march for the scene of 
action. Springfield, at first a' recruiting post and rendezvous for 
soldiers, was afterwards fixed upon as a depot for military stores 
and a place for repairing arms, manufacturing cartridges, and at 
length casting a few cannon, and in the " barn " which was used 
for these purposes in the war of the Revolution, we see the 
germ of the National Armory which during our late war fur- 
nished arms on so magnificent a scale for an army of a million 
of men and thereby saved " the Great Republic." " The late 
Gen. Mattoon of Amherst, one of Hampshire's bravest and most 
energetic spirits in the Revolution, used to tell of an order 
that he received from Gen. Gates to proceed to Springfield, and 
convey a number of cannon from that point to the field of 
operations in New York. The General rode from Amherst to 
Springfield on Sunday, and with a small body of men accom- 
plished the task, and ' these cannon told at Saratoga.' " 1 In 
the lectures which Prof. Fiske used to deliver on American his- 
tory, when he came to the lecture on the battle of Saratoga, he 
sometimes sent for the then aged and blind General to illustrate 
the lecture, which he did, both by lively anecdotes and by his 
living presence. 

1 Holland's History of Western Massachusetts, Vol. I, p. 227. 


Accident has attached to this section more than its due share 
of credit in another and less honorable history, viz., that of " the 
Shays Rebellion." Shays who happened to give his name to a 
movement which he did not originate and was incapable of lead- 
ing, chanced to be a resident of Pelham when the discontent 
arising from a depreciated currency and the partly real and partly 
fancied sufferings of the people, together with the demoralization 
consequent upon the Revolutionary War, broke out into insur- 
rection against the government. To prevent the collection of 
debts and then to screen themselves from deserved punishment, 
the rebels who were only the offscouring of the army and never 
represented the real sentiments of the people, interrupted the 
sessions of the Courts repeatedly in Worcester and Berkshire, 
as well as Hampshire County. But gathering courage at length 
to attack the arsenal at Springfield, they were routed, and the 
division under Shays fled through Hadley and Amherst to 
Pelham where they soon scattered, the followers seeking their 
homes, and the leaders taking refuge in the neighboring States 
till, through the clemency of the government, they were all 
allowed to return under a general amnesty. Overruled for good, 
the Shays Rebellion strengthened the State government which 
it threatened to subvert, and was one of the causes or occasions 
that led to our present federal constitution. 

Among the great and good men who have shed lustre on 
the old County of Hampshire, one name towers above all others 
not only in influence and reputation at home, but ranks among 
the brightest ornaments of mankind. Jonathan Edwards wrote 
most of those great works which have perpetuated his fame and 
influence at Stockbridge, and his body rests at Princeton, N. J., 
where he died in the prime of life as he was just entering upon 
the presidency of Nassau Hall College. But before he left 
Northampton h3 had already stamped his impress upon that 
'and the neighboring towns, changed the religious character and 
history of New England, and originated influences without which 
Amherst College would have been quite another institution from 
what it now is. His name, once cast out as evil, is now honored 
above all others at Northampton, and strangers who visit the 
place, are pointed to the church which bears his name, admire 


the magnificent elms which he is said to have planted, and even 
seek out the spot in the cemetery where a slab, inscribed to his 
memory, stands by the side of those which mark the graves of 
his daughter Jerusha, and David Brainerd to whom she was 

Among many other illustrious names which have adorned the 
history of this section, it will not be deemed invidious to men- 
tion those of Col. John Stoddard, Maj. Joseph Hawley, and 
Gov. Caleb Strong, of Northampton, Dr. Joseph Lyman, of 
Hatfield, and Judge Simeon Strong, and Gen. Ebenezer Mat- 
toon, of Amherst. 

But there were foundations for a College in the Connecticut 
Valley laid earlier than its earliest wars, and deeper than any 
events that were transacted on its surface. Long before the 
valley had any human inhabitants, there were " foot-prints on 
the sands of time," not so easily effaced as those of heroes, 
statesmen or divines, which hardened into stone, were to consti- 
tute the ichnological cabinets at Amherst ; there were antiqui- 
ties, histories, literatures, sciences, in comparison with which 
those of Greece and Rome are recent, written in the solid rocks 
in characters which a Hitchcock would begin to decipher, and 
other geologists would continue to read, which would make the 
Connecticut Valley beyond any portion of the Old World, a 
classic, almost a holy land to savans of every country through 
succeeding generations. For these foot-prints exist at Turner's 
Falls, at the base of Mount Tom and Mount Holyoke, in the 
Portland quarries and in the sandstone all through this valley, in 
unrivaled perfection and in such inexhaustible supplies as are 
found nowhere else. 

Such are some of the characteristics of the soil out of which 
Amherst College sprung, and into which it has struck its roots ; 
such some of the surroundings that impress themselves on the 
mind and character of its students ; and such the associations 
clustering about it, which, even to casual visitors and strangers, 
constitute some of its incidental attractions. 



THE first associated action on record, looking towards the 
establishment of a College at Amherst, was at a meeting of the 
Franklin County Association of ministers, held in Shelburne, in 
1815. This was six years before the College came into exist- 
ence, and was prior even to the incorporation of Amherst 
Academy, out of which the College grew. The record reads as 
follows: "Shelburne, May 10, 1815. At a meeting of the 
Franklin Association, holden at the house of Rev. Theophilus 
Packard, were present Revs. Messrs. Samuel Taggart, Josiah 
Spaulding, Jonathan Grout, Joseph Field, Theophilus Packard, 
Thomas A. Wood, Moses Miller, Alvan Sanderson, Josiah W. 
Cannon. The following questions were proposed by Brother 
Packard for the opinion of this body, viz. : 1. Whether a Col- 
lege would be likely to flourish in some central town of Old 
Hampshire County, and be promotive of knowledge and virtue in 
the State. 2. What town thus centrally situated, all circum- 
stances considered, appeared to them most eligible for such an 
institution? The body, on mature deliberation, were of the 
opinion that knowledge and virtue might be greatly subserved 
by a literary institution .situated in that important section of the 
Commonwealth. They were also unanimously agreed that, all 
things considered, the town of Amherst appeared to them the 
most eligible place for locating it." 1 

Several things are particularly worthy of notice in this trans- 
action. In the first place, the first associated action, and, so far 

1 See Historical Discourse of Rev. Theophilus Packard, at the Centennial of 


as appears, the first impulse and movement towards the estab- 
lishment of a College in Amherst, was not in Amherst nor even 
in Hampshire County, but in Franklin, and that not at a meeting 
in the valley of the Connecticut, but among the mountains west 
of the valley, where so many great and good men and measures 
have had their origin. This fact effectually disposes of the 
charges so often reiterated by the enemies of the College in 
former years, that it had its origin in sectional prejudices and 
local interests. 

In the second place we see clearly and positively what were 
the considerations which influenced the first movers in the enter- 
prise. Overlooking all local preferences and all personal inter- 
ests they inquire only whether a College in some central part of 
old Hampshire County would be likely to flourish and to promote 
knowledge and virtue, and then what town, all things considered, 
would be the most eligible situation. And in answer to these 
questions, they fix unanimously upon a town which was in another 
county and in no way represented in the Franklin Association. 

In the third place, the "Brother" who proposed the questions 
was a Trustee of Williams College. The brethren who were so 
*' unanimously agreed " in the result of their deliberations, were 
its friends, and the place in which they held their meeting, and 
the towns and churches which they represented, were all, so far 
as mere local and personal considerations were concerned, in 
sympathy with it, so that there is no room for a suspicion even 
that they were influenced by hostility to that Institution. Indeed 
the most remarkable aspect of the whole transaction is that they 
were able to rise so far above all local and personal considera- 
tions, and consider the question solely in its bearing on the 
advancement of learning and religion in the community. 

Besides Rev. Theophilus Packard who was the prime mover 
in this first associated action, several other of the earliest and 
most efficient friends of Amherst College were residents of 
Franklin County. Rev. James Taylor of Sunderland was a 
member of the Corporation as it was first chosen and organized, 
a constant attendant of all its meetings so long as he lived, a 
wise counsellor and a firm supporter of the College in all the 
trials of the first eleven years of its existence. Col. Rufus 


Graves, its indefatigable agent, and Nathaniel Smith, its most 
liberal' donor in those early days, were both members of Mr. 
Taylor's church, born in Sunderlaiid and residing there when 
the establishment of such an Institution first began to be 
agitated. Dea. Elisha Billings of Conway, an educated man 
of great zeal, wisdom and influence, threw them all into this 
enterprise, and contributed largely to its success. These three 
laymen who were all connected by blood or marriage, as well as 
kindred spirits in religious faith and zeal, often visited at each 
other's houses, particularly at the house of Dea. Billings in 
Conway, and Rev. Mr. Taylor and Rev. Mr. Packard not un- 
frequently visited with them. And " The College," at first 
strongly desired and then more distinctly contemplated and 
planned for, was the principal topic of their conversations and 
the object of their most fervent prayers for years before it 
came into actual existence. As foreign missions in America had 
their origin in the prayers of a few students at " the hay- 
stack " near Williams College, so Amherst College perhaps origi- 
nated in the prayers of this little circle of intelligent and de- 
voted Christians in Franklin County; and if the whole secret 
were known, cultivated, earnest, praying women would perhaps 
be found to have had quite as much to do with cherishing it in its 
germ as praying men. Mrs. Smith, who was a sister of Col. 
Graves, was like him in religious zeal, and faith, and prayer ; 
and Mrs. Billings, who was a daughter of Rev. John Storrs, of 
Mansfield, Conn., was so captivated with the history of the 
Francke Institution, at Halle, which was founded wholly in 
faith and prayer, 1 that she circulated among her friends, a 
little book containing that history, until it was entirely worn 

1 Like George Miiller's Orphan School, at Bristol, England, which was suggested 
by that at Halle; for George Miiller came from that part of Germany, and was 
early familiar with Francke's Institution. More's Charity School, at Mansfield, 
Conn., which afterwards grew into Dartmouth College, may also have exerted some 
influence on the origin of Amherst College, for Mrs. Billings was from Mansfield ; 
her mother was a More, and she is remembered to have spoken often with great 
interest of the More Charity School, together with Francke's Institution. I have 
these facts from Mrs. Russell, wife of Rev. E. Russell, D. D., of Randolph, and 
daughter of Dea. Billings. See also Dr. Hitchcock's Reminiscences of Araherst 
College, p. 7. 


Here the question naturally arises, why these friends of learn- 
ing and religion in Franklin County, should have preferred 
Hampshire County to their own, and why they should have 
selected Amherst rather than other towns in Hampshire County, 
as the site of such an Institution. In answer to these questions 
it should be observed in the first place, that Hampshire is the 
central county in Western Massachusetts, and in that part of 
the valley of the Connecticut which belongs to Massachusetts, 
and Ainherst is one of the most central towns in Hampshire 
County. Northampton was the shire town of the old county 
of Hampshire, when it comprehended the whole of Western 
Massachusetts, and, together with the neighboring towns, took a 
leading part in the early civil, political, and religious history of 
this part of the Commonwealth. The distinguished men who 
have given character and reputation to Western Massachusetts, 
and some of whose names have been recorded in the last chap- 
ter, were in large proportion residents of the central towns in 
Hampshire County. Hampshire County has long been the ban- 
ner county of the State in its educational and religious history ; 
statistics show that it exceeds any other county in the propor- 
tion, both of its College students and church members ; l and 
whether as cause or effect, or more likely both cause and effect 
of this, it is now equally distinguished for the number and char- 
acter of its higher educational Institutions. 

Amherst Academy, although it was not incorporated until 
1816, commenced operations in 1814, and was formally dedi- 
cated in 1815, the same year in which the Franklin Association 
so unanimously recommended Amherst as the most favorable 
situation for a College ; and the enterprise of the citizens of 
Amherst in raising the funds, the enthusiastic interest in its in- 
auguration manifested in bonfires, ringing of bells and a general 
illumination, and the eclat and success with which it went into 
operation, doubtless excited the attention if not the admiration 

1 In 1832, old Hampshire County with a population of sixty thousand had one 
hundred and twenty students in College, which was twice as many in proportion as 
the average of the State. It was then computed that if the whole State sent young 
men to College in the same proportion, she would have twelve hundred students 
instead of six hundred, and the United States one hundred thousand instead of 
six thousand. 


of neighboring towns. Previous to the existence of the Acad- 
emy, also, Amherst had been distinguished by the superiority of 
its public and private schools. Such men as Judge Strong, Gen. 
Mattoon, Dr. Parsons, Dr. Coleman, Dr. Cutler, Noah Webster 
and Samuel Fowler Dickinson formed society and elevated the 
tone of public sentiment. In 1798, there were eleven students 
from Amherst at one time in College eight in Williams and 
three in other Colleges. In eleven years from 1792, Amherst 
furnished twelve graduates of Williams and Dartmouth, six from 
each ; and in the twelve years preceding the charter of the 
College, eighteen young men from this town were graduated at 
Williams, Dartmouth, Yale and Midcllebury. Even before the 
establishment of the College, Amherst, considering its compar- 
ative newness and small population, might well claim to be the 
banner town of the banner county in education. 

Dr. Dwight visited Amherst in 1803, ascended the tower of 
the church then standing on the site of the Woods Cabinet and 
Observatory, and was greatly struck with the beauty and pic- 
turesqueness of the scenery which have been admired and loved 
by so many generations of College students. " The position," 
he says, " is a very eligible one, commanding a great multitude 
of the fine objects which are visible from the summit of Mount 
Holyoke. This amphitheatre is about twenty-four miles in length 
and about fifteen in breadth. The mountains by which it is en- 
circled and the varieties of scenery with which its area is filled 
up, form one of the most impressive and delightful objects which 

can be seen in this country A handsomer piece of ground 

"[than the township of Amherst,] composed of hills and valleys, 
is rarely seen, more elegant slopes never. The lines by which 
they are limited, are formed by an exquisite hand, and with an 
ease and grace which art can not surpass." l 

Yet Amherst was undervalued and neglected by the earlier 
settlers, who settled all around it, and even took possession of 
the surrounding hills in preference to its rich alluvial bottoms. 
Ihose lands which are now among our choicest meadows and 
best farms, were then considered as marsh, unreclaimed and irre- 
claimable^The east part of the town was for many years 

1 D wight's Travels, Vol. II., p. 360. 

AMHEEST IN 1800. 29 

kno\vn as "Foote-Folly-Swamp," and Hadley Swamp was a not 
imfrequent designation for the whole territory. All the neigh- 
boring towns Hadley, Sunderland, South Hadley, Granby, Pel- 
ham and Shutesbury had been incorporated while Amherst still 
remained a precinct, or at most a district. Amherst was origi- 
nally a part of Hadley. It was called " the third precinct " of 
Hadley till 1754, the " second precinct " till 1759, and was not 
incorporated as a town till 1775. In 1810, the population waa 
1,469; in 1820, it was 1,917. 

At the center, the two principal streets, running the one north 
and south l and the other east and west, were both originally laid 
out, as in Hadley, forty rods wide, that is, more than twice the 
width of the present West street in Hadley, and afterwards re- 
duced to less than twenty rods at the widest. Thus the houses 
at the center were all originally built fronting on a wide common 
which \vas subsequently enclosed and became a part of the front 
yards of some of the ancient houses, though as new houses 
were built, they were usually built nearer the narrowed street. 
The lawn in front of the old Strong house in Amity street, for 
example, was once a part of the broad street or common, and 
shows the width of the original street. The old Dr. Cowles 
house represents in like manner the change in Pleasant street. 
At the commencement of the present century, Judge Strong 
owned all the land at and near the north-west and north-east 
corners of the two main streets, as far north as the Dr. Cowles 
house and the Dr. Coleman house 2 which then stood near the 
cemetery, and as far east as the Dr. Cutler house which then, 
stood on the brow of Sunset Hill, now Mrs. Jones'. Gen. Ze- 
bina Montague owned the south-east corner, and Dr. Parsons 
the whole south-west angle except the corner which was occu- 
pied then as it has been ever since by the hotel. In 1815, when 

1 As far south as Mill Valley. 

2 So called from Dr. Seth Coleman, a distinguished physician, who died Septem- 
ber 9, 1815, aged seventy-six. See funeral sermon preached by Rev. Nathan Per- 
kins of East Amherst, and published by request. Dr. Seth Coleman was the father 
of Rev. Lyman Coleman, D. D., some time principal of Amherst Academy and In- 
structor in Amherst College, the author of the well-known works on the Constitu- 
tion and History of the Early Christian Church, and now Professor in Lafayette 


the College began to be talked of there were still not more than 
twenty-five houses in the entire village. Three of these were 
gambrel-roofed houses the then aristocratic style viz., those 
of Judge Strong and Dr. Parsons, and the hotel, the last, how- 
ever, only one story, and then kept by Elijah Boltwood. Of 
these the Judge Strong house, now Mrs. Emerson's, is the 
only remaining specimen. Between the hotel and the Parsons 
house, 1 there was no building except a school-house near the 
site of the present tin-shop, which was used sometimes for a dis- 
trict school, and sometimes for a select school. There was no 
sidewalk, and the road (for a street it could hardly be called, 
although it was the main road leading to " the meeting-house,") 
was often so muddy as to be impassable. Prof. Snell remem- 
bers being obliged more than once, by reason of the mud, to 
betake himself to the Virginia fence that run its zigzags along- 
side this road, which was then nearly as crooked as the fence 
itself. The common was partly swamp and partly pasture 
ground, grown up to white birch, on which each family was 
allowed by annual vote of the town to pasture a cow so many 
weeks every season. On the east side there was a goose-pond, 
skirted with alders, and alive and vocal with large flocks of 

The corner diagonal to the hotel, now the site of Phenix Row, 
was then occupied by the house and store of H. Wright Strong. 
Till about this time this was the only store in town, and there 
was no such thing as a drug store, or carpenter's or blacksmith's 
shop in existence. At the east end of what is now Phenix Row 
was the house which was owned and occupied by Noah Webster 
for ten years from 1812 till 1822. This house was destroyed by 
fire in 1838. The orchard which Mr. Webster planted and 
cherished (now Foster Cook's,) is still perhaps the best orchard 
in town. Samuel Fowler Dickinson had recently erected the 
house now owned by his son, the first brick house in the vil- 
lage. The road between Mr. Webster's and Mr. Dickinson's 
then took a zigzag course towards the present residence of Mr. 
Sweetser, to avoid a marsh in which in old times cattle were 
not unfrequently mired. The causeway of Main street now 

1 Then situated where the Library now is. 


crosses the center of that swamp, and the village church is built 
on its margin. 

A boy was sent one morning on an errand from Dr. Parsons' 
to Esq. Dickinson's. As soon as he came upon the road lead- 
ing from Pelham to Northampton, he began to pick up silver 
dollars. On his return he went on down the same road, as far, as 
Dr. Cutler's, still picking up silver dollars. When he reached 
home, he counted out sixty silver dollars. At evening, Dea. 
Rankin of Pelham came in and claimed the money. He had 
set out in the morning, with the hard money in his saddle-bags, 
to pay for a yoke of oxen in Northampton. The saddle-bags, 
worn through, began to leak at Esq. Dickinson's, and by the 
time he reached Dr. Cutler's they were emptied of their con- 
tents, so that the deacon arrived at Northampton without any 
means of paying for his oxen. The boy passed over the road 
some hours later and picked up almost every dollar of the 
money. He is still living, and bears the name of David Par- 
sons. The story illustrates two characteristics of the good old 
times in Amherst first, how little passing there was in the 
streets, and secondly, the possession and common use of silver 
money. It was an intermediate period between the age of mod- 
ern " greenbacks " and the old " Continental currency." There 
was at this time only a weekly stage to Boston. It was not till 
some time after the College was established, that this was ex- 
changed for a tri-weekly, which was then counted a great 
advance. 1 

When Esq. Dickinson erected his brick house, he removed 
the wood house which he had previously occupied on the same 
site, to Pleasant street where it still stands, a small old-fashioned 
two-story house, a little north of the blacksmith shop. The 
old Whiting house, between Pleasant street and North street, 
now owned by Mr. Ayers, is also one of the antiquities of Am- 
herst. And the grand old elm which overshadows it like a 
protecting forest, if it were only gifted with speech like some 

1 A lady to whom I am much indebted for this sketch of Amherst as it was, remem- 
bers that the first ice-house, and also the first bathing apartment in Amherst, was 
built in 1816 ; the first Congress water was brought here in 1817, and the first cook- 
ing stove in 1819. As late as 1824, there was not an organ or piano in Amherst. 


trees of the mythical ages, could tell tales older and more im- 
pressive than all the history that has been gathered from the 
oldest inhabitants. There is no finer specimen of " the Amer- 
ican tree" "the tree of liberty" in the valley of the Con- 
necticut, and of course none anywhere else in the country or the 

There are two houses on the east side of the common which 
existed at the time of which we are speaking, and still remain 
quite unchanged the Warner house and the Merrill house. 
And we must not forget to mention an institution, quite charac- 
teristic of the good old times, which once stood on the back side 
of the Merrill lot, but which has passed from the knowledge of 
the present generation though some traces of it have been 
brought to light in recent excavations. We refer to a distillery 
the first, though by no means the last, in this region which 
used up some three thousand barrels of cider every year, turning 
it into cider-brandy, and used up as effectually some of the old 
settlers. Their children, who are still on the stage, recount some 
first lessons learned there, which, with the help of later lessons 
of a counter tendency, have made them ever since the sturdy 
friends of temperance. In the construction of Prof. Seelye's 
fish-pond lately, the aqueduct of logs which brought water into 
the distillery was discovered, and found to be still, after three- 
quarters of a century, in a state of perfect preservation. College 
street now runs along near the brow of this distillery ravine, 
and several of the Professors' houses occupy the very ground 
which used to be covered with barrels of cider and cider-brandy. 
Fact significant not only of change but of improvement ! The 
world does move ; and it moves in the right direction towards 
temperance, intelligence, virtue and piety. 

A majority of the people of Amherst were in favor of the 
Revolution, chose a Committee of Correspondence in 1774 who 
wrote a spirited and outspoken letter of encouragement to the 
people of Boston, and a few days before the Declaration of In- 
dependence, voted to support Congress in such a declaration, 
pledging to that support their lives and fortunes. In 1777 they 
censured Rev. Mr. Parsons for lukewarmness in the cause. In 
common with the majority of the neighboring towns, Amherst 


was strongly opposed to the war of 1812, and made a public 
declaration of its opposition. 

Araherst was the birthplace of Silas Wright, Governor of 
New York and a prominent candidate for the Presidency at 
the time of his death. Gideon Lee, the wealthy and noble 
Mayor of New York city, and Chester Ashley, United States 
Senator from Arkansas, were also born here. Besides Simeon 
Strong, usually known as " Judge Strong," Judge of the Su- 
preme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, who died in office in 
1805, Amherst has given to the bench his son Solomon Strong, 
State Senator in Massachusetts four years, Member of Congress 
two terms, and Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, and 
Daniel Kellogg, Judge of the Supreme Court of Vermont. 
Among its lawyers Osrnyn Baker, Edward Dickinson and 
Charles Delano have been members of Congress. Of the min- 
isters born here, we may mention Dr. David Parsons, thirty- 
seven years pastor of the First Church in Amherst, Dr. Daniel 
Kellogg, almost fifty years pastor of the Congregational Church in 
Framingham, Austin Dickinson, editor of The National Preacher ^ 
and originator of several philanthropic and Christian enterprises, 
and Rev. Dr. Nelson, lately of St. Louis, now of Lane Theolog- 
ical Seminary. The father of Henry Lyman, " the Martyr of 
Sumatra," removed here for the education of his son, and con- 
tinued to live here until his death, and the family made this 
their home till the children were educated and settled else- 
where. The house at the foot of Mount Pleasant, now Mr. 
Fearing's, was long known as " the Lyman house." It may also 
be associated with Gov. Wright, for it was built by his maternal 
grandfather. Mount Pleasant itself, where, in 1830, were gath- 
ered more than a hundred boys in that " Classical Institution," 
which, founded by a graduate of the Class of '26, fitted for Col- 
lege Mr. Beecher, and some other distinguished pupils, and 
which Mr. Choate, in arguing here a famous reference in regard 
to it, so fitly styled " the jewel on the brow of Amherst," was 
then an unbroken forest famous only for the chestnuts which 
attracted the boys and the squirrels in flocks to the harvest. 
3 ; .~ 



AMHERST ACADEMY was the mother of Amherst College. 
The Trustees of the Academy were also Trustees of the Col- 
lege, and the records of the Academy were the records of the 
College during the first four years of its existence. Some ac- 
count of the Academy must, therefore, precede the history of 
the College. The founding and erecting of Amherst Academy, 
kept pace with the origin and progress of the last war with 
Great Britain. The subscription was started in 1812, when 
that war was declared ; the Academy went into operation in 
December, 1814, the same year and the same month in which 
the peace was signed ; and it was fully dedicated with illumina- 
tions and public rejoicings in 1815, when the return of peace 
was known and hailed with joy in this country, especially in 
New England. This synchronism is worthy of note, not as a 
mere accidental coincidence, but as illustrating the energy, reso- 
lution, and self-sacrificing spirit of the men who could raise 
such a sum of money and found such an Institution at the very 
time when the industry and enterprise of New England were 
oppressed as never before nor since, by a war which was pecu- 
liarly hostile to their industrial interests. The charter was not 
obtained, however, till 1816, having been delayed by opposition 
in Amherst, and in the neighboring towns, of the same kind 
and partly from the very same sources as that which the College 
encountered in later years. 

The subscription was started by Samuel Fowler Dickinson, 
and Hezekiah Wright Strong, Esquires, the same men to whom, 
beyond any other citizens of Amherst, the College afterwards 
owed its origin. Calvin Merrill of the village, and Justus Wil- 


liams of South Amherst, were also quite active in raising funds 
and rearing the building. Dr. Parsons gave the land on which 
the building was erected, lent all his influence to the raising of 
the money, and was the first, and, until the establishment of the 
College, the only President of its Board of Trustees, and, to say 
the least, one of its principal fathers and founders. The Trustees 
named in the act of incorporation were David Parsons, Na- 
than Perkins, Samuel F. Dickinson, Hezekiah W. Strong, 
Noah Webster, John Woodbridge, James Taylor, Nathaniel 
Smith, Josiah Dwight, Rufus Graves, Winthrop Bailey, Expe- 
rience Porter, and Elijah Gridley. In common with other 
incorporated institutions of the kind, the Academy received 
from the Legislature of the State, the grant of half a town- 
ship of land in the district of Maine, on condition that the in- 
habitants of the town should raise a sum of money which was 
deemed its equivalent, viz : three thousand dollars. 

During the first ten or twelve years or more of its existence 
the Academy was open to both sexes. The principal male 
teachers during this period, in their chronological order, were 
Francis Bascom, Joseph Estabrook, John L. Parkhurst, Gerard 
Hallock, Zenas Clapp, David Green, and Ebenezer S. Snell. 
Three of these were afterwards connected with the College as 
tutors or professors, one became the well-known editor and pro- 
prietor of The Journal of Commerce, and another an honored 
secretary of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign 
Missions. The lady teachers were Lucy Douglas, afterwards 
Mrs. James Fowler of Westfield, Orra White, afterwards Mrs. 
Dr. Hitchcock, Mary Ann Field, afterwards Mrs. Henry Mer- 
rill, Sarah S. Strong, 1 daughter of H. W. Strong, now Mrs. 
McConihe of Troy, and Hannah Shepard, sister of Prof. Shep- 
ard, afterwards Mrs. Judge Terry of Hartford. 

" Under the government and instruction of such superior 
teachers," I quote the language of a competent eye-witness, 
" the Academy obtained a reputation second to none in the 

1 To this lady who became a teacher in the Academy at the age of sixteen, and a 
teacher of remarkable brilliancy, I am indebted for many facts in the early his> 
tory of Amherst Academy, which but for her extraordinary memory must have 
perished with the fire that consumed the Records in 1838. 


State, and indeed the ladies' department was in advance of the 
same department in other institutions, as might be shown by a 
simple comparison of the studies pursued and text-books in 
use by the young ladies. Among these may be specified Chem- 
istry, which was then just beginning to be studied in schools 
outside of Colleges, but was taught in Amherst Academy with 
lectures and experiments by Prof. Graves who had been lec- 
turer on Chemistry in Dartmouth College, Rhetoric, Logic, 
History, Paley's Moral Philosophy, Play fair's Euclid, Stewart's 
Philosophy, Enfield's Natural Philosophy, Herschell's Astron- 
omy with the calculation and projection of eclipses, Latin, 
French, etc. On Wednesday afternoons all the scholars were 
assembled in the upper hall for reviews, declamations, composi- 
tions and exercises in reading in which both gentlemen and 
ladies participated. Spectators were admitted and were often 
present in large numbers, among whom Dr. Parsons and Mr. 
Webster, President and Vice-Presideiit of the Board of Trust- 
ees, might usually be seen, and often the lawyers, physicians, 
and other educated men of the place. Not unfrequently gen- 
tlemen from out of town were present, as for instance, Dr. Pack- 
ard, who early became a Trustee, and was much interested in 
the prosperity of the Institution. Once a year, at the close of 
the fall term in October, the old meeting-house was fitted up 
with a stage and strange to tell in the staid town of Amherst 
where dancing was tabooed and cards never dared show them- 
selves, reverend divines went with lawyers and doctors, and all 
classes of their people to the house of God to witness a theatri- 
cal exhibition ! " 

The following sketch by one who was an Alumnus both of 
the Academy and the College, (Rev. Nahum Gould of the Class 
of '25) while affording a glimpse of the former, reveals one 
secret, perhaps more than one, of the origin and prosperity of 
the latter : 

" I came to Amherst in the spring of 1819 and studied in 
preparation for College under the direction of Joseph Esta- 
brook and Gerard Hallock. The principal's salary was $800 
per annum, and Miss Sarah Strong's $20 a month. I found the 
piety of the students far in advance of my own. Perhaps 


there never was a people that took such deep interest in the 
welfare of students. None need leave on account of pecuniary 
embarrassments. Tuition was free to any pious student who 
was preparing for the gospel ministry. Board was one dollar a 
week, and if this could not be afforded, there were families 
ready to take students for little services which they might ren- 
der in their leisure hours. Their liberality was spoken of 
through the land, and it was an inducement to persons of lim- 
ited means, preparing for the ministry, to come to Amherst. 
To such the church prayer meeting in the village was a school 
as well as a place for devotion. Daniel A. Clark, the pastor, 
was greatly beloved by the students. Noah Webster resided 
here preparing his dictionary. He took an interest in the 
Academy and opened his doors for an occasional reception, 
which we prized very highly. Col. Graves was a successful 
agent for the Academy and a help to the students. Mr. Esta- 
brook was well qualified for his station. Mr. Hallock was a 
scholar and a gentleman. It was a pleasant task to manage a 
school where there were so many pious students seeking qualifi- 
cations for usefulness, who felt that they were in the right place 
and were establishing a Christian character of high standing." 
It is not surprising that such a school, under such auspices 
and influences, with such a standard of scholarship and Christian 
culture, flourished. It opened with more students than any 
other Academy in Western Massachusetts. It soon attracted 
pupils from every part of New England. It had at one time 
ninety pupils in the ladies' department, and quite as many, usually 
more, in the gentlemen's. It was the Williston Seminary and 
the Mount Holyoke of that day united. The founder of Mount 
Holyoke Seminary was a member of Amherst Academy in 1821. 
Her teacher, the lady principal, thus describes her : " The 
number of young ladies that term was ninety-two. Some had 
been teachers. They were of all ages, from nine to thirty-two, 
and from all parts of Massachusetts and the adjoining States. 
Among these pupils was one whose name is now famous in 
history. Then uncultivated in mind and manners, of large 
physique, twenty-three or twenty-four years of age, and receiv- 
ing her first impulse in education. She commenced with gram- 


mar and geography, and soon advanced to rhetoric and logic. 
Having a comprehensive mind and being very assiduous in her 
studies, she improved rapidly. Her name was Mary Lyon." 

The number of useful men whose names are " written in 
heaven," and not unknown on earth, who fitted for College and 
for business during this period in the history of Arnherst, was 
very great. And the reputation and success of the classical 
department became so remarkable, that partly to give fuller 
scope and perfection to this department, and partly to avoid 
some difficulties and some scandals which at length arose from 
educating the two sexes together, the female department was 
abolished, and the Academy, thus entered on the second period, 
and in some respects a new one in its history, in which it was 
mainly distinguished as a school, preparatory for College. 

During this second period, Elijah Paine, Solomon Maxwell, 
Story Hebard, Robert E. Pattisou, William P. Paine, William 
Thompson, Simeon Colton, William S. Tyler, Evangelinus Soph- 
ocles, Ebenezer Burgess, George C. Partridge, Nahum Gale, 
and Lyman Coleman, were among the principal or assistant 
teachers. At this time, there were usually from seventy-five 
to one hundred students in the classical department, and in 
the first year of Mr. Colton's administration, the writer, who 
was his assistant, well remembers that we sent about thirty to 
College, the larger part of whom entered at Amherst. Prior to 
the existence of Williston Seminary, and during the depression 
of Phillips Academy at Andover, in the declining years of 
Principal Adams, if not still earlier, Amherst Academy, without 
dispute, held the first position among the Academies of Massa- 

But the subsequent prosperity of Phillips Academy, the es- 
tablishment of Williston Seminary and the rise of Normal 
schools and High schools in all the large towns gradually drew 
off their students and thus their support from Amherst, and 
other comparatively unendowed Academies, till one after an- 
other of them became extinct. And although the Academy 
at Amherst sustained itself longer and better than many others, 
although it returned to the admission of both sexes in order to 
increase the number of students, and although it was under the 


government and instruction of some quite superior teachers who 
have since become distinguished educators, yet it became more 
and more a merely local institution for the children of the town, 
and was at length superseded by our excellent High school. The 
building which was a large three story edifice of brick occupying 
one of the most beautiful sites in the centre of the village, and 
which was hallowed in the memory of so many hundreds and thou- 
sands, as not only the place where they received their education, 
but also as the place where the first meetings for prayer and 
conference in the village, and all the social religious meetings of 
the village church, were held for many years, this venerable 
and sacred edifice was taken down in the summer of 1868, 
to make way for the Grammar school, west of the hotel, which 
now occupies the site. Amherst Academy did a great and 
good work in and of itself for which many who were educated 
there and not a few who were spiritually "born there," will 
bless God forever. But the best work which it did and which, 
it is believed, will perpetuate its memory and its influence, was 
the founding of Amherst College. 



IN view of the elevated literary and Christian character of 
Amherst Academy, and its extraordinary success as described in 
the foregoing chapter, it is not surprising that its founders soon 
felt themselves called upon to make higher and larger provision 
for educational purposes. At the annual meeting of the Board 
of Trustees, on the 18th of November, 1817, a project formed 
by Rufus Graves, Esq., was adopted for increasing the useful- 
ness of the Academy, by raising a fund for the gratuitous in- 
struction of "indigent young men of promising talents and 
hopeful piety, who shall manifest a desire to obtain a liberal 
education with a sole view to the Christian ministry." 

" Taking into consideration the local situation of this Acad- 
emy, its growing success and flattering prospects, the following 
resolution with preamble, was unanimously adopted." 

The preamble recites at considerable length, the high moral 
and Christian, as well as literary and scientific purposes, for 
which the Academy was founded, and the success, beyond the 
most sanguine expectation, which, in pursuance of these objects, 
and under the guidance of a propitious Providence, it had 
already achieved. It insists also, in detail, upon the advan- 
tages of the location, "in an elevated and healthy situation, in 
the centre of an extensive and wealthy population of good 
moral habits, where the means of living are as cheap and as 
easily obtained as in any part of this Commonwealth, and com- 
pletely insulated from any institution embracing similar prin- 

1 95 

Influenced by such considerations, " encouraged by the past 


and animated by the prospects of the future, humbly and devot- 
edly "relying on the Divine assistance in all their 'endeavors to 
promote the cause of truth, and train up the rising generation 
in science and virtue," the Trustees " do humbly resolve as an 
important object of this Board, to establish in this Institution 
for the principles aforesaid, a professorship of languages with a 
permanent salary equal to the importance and dignity of such 
an office, and that Rufus Graves, Joshua Crosby, John Fiske, 
Nathaniel Smith and Samuel F. Dickinson, be a committee to 
solicit donations, contributions, grants and bequests, to establish 
a fund for that and other benevolent objects of the Institution." 

The committee entered with zeal and alacrity upon the effort 
to raise money for the endowment of such a professorship, and 
prosecuted it for several months. Their ardent and indefatiga- 
ble chairman, Col. Graves, went to Boston and other large 
towns, and labored day and night to accomplish the object. 
But " they found," in the language of Mr. Webster's narrative 
of the proceedings, "that the establishment of a single profess- 
orship was too limited an object to induce men to subscribe. 
To engage public patronage, it was found necessary to form a 
plan for the education of young men for the ministry on a more 
extensive scale." 

These considerations determined the committee to enlarge 
their plan, and to aim not merely at the endowment of a pro- 
fessorship in the Academy, but at the raising of a fund which 
should be the basis of a separate Institution of a higher grade. 
They accordingly framed and reported a " constitution and sys- 
tem of by-laws for raising and managing a permanent Charity 
Fund as the basis of an Institution in Amherst, in the county 
of Hampshire, for the classical education of indigent young 
men of piety and talents, for the Christian ministry." The 
Board of Trustees at their meeting on the 18th of August, 1818, 
unanimously accepted this report, approved the doings of the 
committee, and authorized them to take such measures and com- 
municate with such persons and corporations as they might 
judge expedient. 

The fund which was thus inaugurated, became the corner- 
stone of the Charity Institution and " the sheet-anchor " of 


the College so it was often called by the Professors and friends 
of the College amid the storms which it afterwards encountered. 
And no document sheds so much light on the motives of the 
founders of the Institution as this constitution of the Charity 
Fund. It therefore merits careful consideration. 

The instrument was drawn by " Rufus Graves, Esq.," as Mr. 
Webster habitually styles him better known to the pub- 
lic as " Col. Graves." The preamble is as follows : " Taking 
into consideration the deplorable condition of a large portion 
of our race who are enveloped in the most profound ignorance, 
and superstition and gross idolatry ; and many of them in a 
savage state without a written language ; together with vast 
multitudes in Christian countries of which our own affords a 
lamentable specimen, who are dispersed over extensive territo- 
ries, as sheep without a shepherd ; impressed with a most fer- 
vent commiseration for our destitute brethren, and urged by the 
command of our Divine Saviour to preach the gospel to every 
creature ; we have resolved to consecrate to the Author of all 
good, for the honor of his name and the benefit of our race, a 
portion of the treasure or inheritance which he has been pleased 
to entrust to our stewardship, in the firm belief that ' it is more 
blessed to give than to receive.' " 

" Under the conviction that the education of pious young 
men of the finest talents in the community is the most sure 
method of relieving our brethren by civilizing and evangelizing 
the world, and that a classical institution judiciously located and 
richly endowed with a large and increasing charitable fund, in 
co-operation with theological seminaries and education societies, 
will be the most eligible way of effecting it Therefore " etc. 

Then follows the making and ratifying of the constitution 
and system of by-laws for the raising and managing of the fund. 
The constitution is drawn up in due form as a legal document, 1 
with much minuteness of detail, and with every possible safe- 
guard against the loss or perversion of the fund, or the neglect' 

1 Col. Graves consulted Jeremiah Mason and Daniel Webster as to the legal char- 
acter of the constitution, and they both said it was a legal instrument, binding in 
law on the subscribers; and so it was decided by the Supreme Court, when, for the 
sake of testing it, one of the subscribers refused to pay. 


of duty on the part of those who are charged with the care and 
management of it. The first article fixes the location of the In- 
stitution at Amherst, and provides for the incorporation of Wil- 
liams College with it, should it continue to be thought expe- 
dient, to remove that Institution to the county of Hampshire, 
and to locate it in the town of Amherst. The second article 
contains a promise of the subscribers to pay the sums annexed 
to their names for the purpose of raising a permanent fund, to 
the amount of at least fifty thousand dollars, as the basis of a 
fund for the proposed Institution, provided that, in case the sums 
subscribed in the course of one year shall not amount to the full 
sum of fifty thousand dollars, then the whole, or any part, shall 
be void according to the will of any subscriber on giving three 
months' notice. The third provides that five-sixths of the inter- 
est of the fund shall be forever appropriated to the classical ed- 
ucation in the Institution of indigent pious young men for the 
ministry, and the other sixth shall be added to the principal for 
its perpetual increase, while the principal itself shall be secured 
intangible and perpetually augmenting. Article fourth directs 
that the property of the fund shall be secured by real estate or 
invested in funds of Massachusetts, or the United States, or some 
other safe public stocks. Article fifth vests the management 
and appropriation of the fund, according to the provisions of the 
constitution and by-laws, in the Trustees of Amherst Academy, 
until the contemplated classical Institution is established and 
incorporated, and then in the Board of Trustees of said Institu- 
tion and their successors forever. Article sixth provides for the 
appointment of a Board of Overseers of the fund, a skillful 
Financier and an Auditor. Article seventh requires the Trustees 
to appoint a Financier who shall be sworn to the faithful discharge 
of his duty, under sufficient bonds, and subject to be removed 
at their discretion. This Financier, however, shall not be their 
own Treasurer, that is, the Treasurer of the Institution, who 
shall be ineligible to that office. This article also prescribes the 
duties of the Trustees in regard to the fund, such as examining 
candidates for its charities, keeping a correct record of the 
amount of the fund, the manner in which it is invested and se- 
cured, their receipts and disbursements from it, and all their 


proceedings in reference to it. Article eighth prescribes mi- 
nutely the duties of the Financier in receiving and investing 
moneys, managing and guarding the fund, paying over the inter- 
est, as provided in article third, into the treasury of the Institu- 
tion, taking triplicate receipts, one to keep for his own security, 
one to deposit with the Secretary of the Board of Trustees, and 
the third with the Auditor ; keeping an accurate account of the 
whole fund and every part of it, and reporting the same annu- 
ally to the Board of Trustees. The ninth article provides that 
the Financier shall be paid from the avails of the fund a rea- 
sonable sum for his services and responsibility. The tenth pre- 
scribes the manner in which the Overseers of the Fund shall be 
appointed and perpetuated, viz.: the four highest subscribers 
to the fund shall appoint each of them one, and the other three 
shall be elected by a majority of the votes of the other sub- 
scribers who may assemble for that purpose. Then the Board 
shall perpetuate their existence as such by filling their own va- 
cancies. In case the Board shall at any future time become 
extinct, the Governor and Council of this Commonwealth are 
expressly authorized to appoint a new Board. Article eleventh 
provides for the appointment of an Auditor by the Board of 
Overseers, and prescribes at great length the duties of that 
Board. They are required to visit the Institution at its annual 
Commencement, to receive and examine the reports of the Trust- 
ees and the Auditor, and to inspect the records, files and vouch- 
ers of the Trustees and the Financier, and in view of all the 
facts, to decide whether the fund has been skillfully managed, 
and its avails faithfully applied according to the will of the do- 
nors. "The sacred nature of the trust reposed in the said 
Board of Overseers, as the representatives of the rights of the 
dead as well as the living, urges upon them the imperious duty 
of investigating every subject relative to their important trust." 
In case of any alleged breach of trust or questions of rights and 
powers that may arise between the Board of Trustees and the 
Board of Overseers, it is provided that the question shall be sub- 
mitted to the Honorable Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court 
of Massachusetts, whose decision shall be final, and shall be 
entered on the records of both Boards. The Board of Over- 


seers are required to keep a record of all their proceedings, and 
also to receive and preserve manuscript copies of the records 
and copies of the files of the Board of Trustees, that the whole 
of the records of the Institution may be safely preserved in the 
archives of both Boards. Article twelfth prescribes the duties 
of the Auditor. Article thirteenth provides for the amendment 
of the constitution and system of b}*-laws by the concurrent 
action of the Board of Trustees and the Board of Overseers, 
" so, however, as not to deviate from the original object of civil- 
izing and evangelizing the world by the classical education of 
indigent young men of piety and talents," "nor without the 
majority of two-thirds of the members of the said Board of 
Trustees, and five-sevenths of the said Board of Overseers." 

Article fourteenth reads as follows : " In order to prevent the 
loss or destruction of this constitution by any wicked design, by 1 
fire, or by the ravages of time, it shall be the duty of the Trust- 
ees of said Institution, as soon as the aforesaid sum of fifty 
thousand dollars shall be hereunto subscribed, to cause triplicate 
copies of the same, together with the names of the subscribers 
and the sum subscribed annexed to each name, to be taken fairly 
written on vellum, one of which to be preserved in the archives 
of said Institution, one in the archives of said Board of Over- 
seers, and the other in the archives of this Commonwealth. 
And in case of the loss or destruction of either of said copies, 
its deficiency shall be immediately supplied by an attested copy 
from one of the others." 

In reviewing this important document, we can not but be im- 
pressed with the conviction that its authors were men not only 
of warm hearts and high religious aims, but of large views, en- 
lightened minds, far-seeing intellects and conscientious purposes, 
capable of adapting means to ends, and expecting to accomplish 
the grandest results only by wise plans and corresponding exer- 
tions men who felt that they were laying foundations for the 
glory of God and the good of mankind in future ages, and re- 
solved to prevent, so far as human foresight could, the removal 
of a single stone from those foundations, intent especially on 
guarding the corner-stone against the possibility of disturbance. 
That they were also men of fervid zeal, strong faith, moral 


courage and holy boldness, no one has ever denied. If any 
proof were necessary, it would be found even to demonstration 
in the very fact that they dared to undertake such an enterprise 
in that age, and not only undertook, but achieved it. It was 
another thing to raise a permanent fund of fifty thousand dol- 
lars for a literary institution in that day from what it is in our 
day. It would be easier to raise half a million or a million now. 
It is a common affair now. Then, nothing of the kind had ever 
been attempted. It was an original idea, and a grand one, and 
a bold one. It seemed like audacity and presumption. But its 
grandeur and boldness were among the chief secrets of success. 
The professorship in an Academy failed because it was too small 
to attract and inspire. The Charity Fund and the College were 
born of the boldness which, in brave and believing souls, sprung 
from that failure, and which knew no such word as fail. 

In order to secure the approval and co-operation of the 
Christian community to an extent commensurate with the mag- 
nitude of the undertaking, the Trustees of Amherst Academy, 
at a meeting held on the 10th of September, 1818, resolved to 
call a Convention of " the Congregational and Presbyterian 
clergy of the several parishes in the counties of Hampshire, 
Franklin and Hampden and the western section of the county 
of Worcester, with their delegates, together with one delegate 
from each vacant parish, and the subscribers to the fund." In 
the circular calling the Convention, the committee, consisting of 
Noah Webster, John Fiske and Rufus Graves, speak of the 
magnitude of the object, viz. : the establishment of a charitable 
institution for the purpose of educating pious, indigent young 
men for the gospel ministry in all the branches of literature and 
science usually taught in Colleges, and the importance of the 
union of all good men in combined and vigorous exertions to mul- 
tiply the number of well-educated ministers, to supply mission- 
aries, and to furnish with pastors destitute churches and people 
in our own extended republic. With this end in view, they say, 
the Trustees have formed a constitution for a Charitable Fund 
to be the basis of such an Institution in the town of Amherst, 
and have already made such progress in procuring donations as 
to afford most animating encouragement of success. 


On the 29th of September, 1818, in accordance with this 
invitation, the Convention met in the church in the west parish 
of Amherst. Thirty-seven towns 1 were represented, sixteen 
in Hampshire County, thirteen in Franklin, four in Hampden 
and four in Worcester. Most of the parishes were repre- 
sented by both a pastor and a lay delegate. Thirty-six clergy- 
men and thirty-two laymen composed the Convention. Among 
them were Rev. David Parsons, D. D., Rev. Payson Williston, 
Rev. Joshua Crosby, Rev. John Woodbridge, Rev. Joseph Ly- 
man, D. D., Rev. Vinson Gould, Rev. Dan Huntington, Rev. 
James Taylor, Rev. Theophilus Packard, Rev. John Keep, 2 
Rev. T. M. Cooley, Rev. Simeon Colton, Rev. John Fiske, 
Rev. Thomas Snell, H. Wright Strong, Esq., Col. Henry 
Dwight, Col. Joseph Billings, Dr. William Hooker, Hon. 
Joseph Lyman, George Grennell, Jr., Esq., and Roger Leavitt, 
Esq. Rev. Joseph Lyman, D. D., of Hatfield, was chosen Pres- 
ident, and Col. Joseph Billings, of Hatfield, and George Gren- 
nell, Jr., Esq., of Greenfield, Secretaries. The constitution and 
by-laws of the proposed Institution were read, and, after some 
discussion, the whole subject was referred to a committee of 
twelve. In the afternoon, a sermon was delivered before the 
Convention by Dr. Lyman. The next morning, September 30th, 
the committee presented their report. They express in strong 
language their approval of the constitution, as the fruit of much 
judicious reflection, and guarding as a legal instrument in the 
most satisfactory and effectual manner, the faithful and appro- 
priate application of the property consecrated by the donors. 
They have no hesitation in recommending Hampshire County as 
one of the most eligible situations for such an Institution, being 
in the central part of Massachusetts, in the heart of New Eng- 
land, and almost equally distant from six other Colleges, in an 
extensive section of country, salubrious, fertile and populous, 
where industry and moral order, together with a disposition to 
cultivate science and literature, habitually prevail ; where mim's- 

1 Forty parishes, two parishes being represented in each of the following towns : 
Amherst in Hampshire, Greenfield in Franklin, and Granville in Hampden 
; 2 Afterwards one of the founders and fathers of Oberlin College. 


ters and churches are generally united and harmonious, and 
where the numerous streams of charity and benevolence afford 
ample assurance that an Institution of this description would be 
cordially embraced, extensively patronized and liberally sup- 
ported. In regard to the particular town in Hampshire County, 
while they thought favorably of Amherst, the committee were 
of the opinion that it would be expedient to leave that question 
to the decision of a disinterested committee appointed by the 
Convention. Accordingly they reported a series of resolutions, 
cordially approving the object of a religious and classical Insti- 
tution on a charitable foundation ; recommending also in con- 
nection with it, the establishment of a College possessing all 
the advantages of other Colleges in the Commonwealth, and that 
such preparations and arrangements be made as will accommo- 
date students at the Institution as soon as possible ; but leaving 
the location to be determined by a committee, only adding, that 
in whatever place it may be established, it is expected that the 
people of that place will show themselves worthy of such a 
privilege by affording liberal aid towards the erection of College 

The preamble of the report, expressing the general views of 
the committee, was promptly accepted by the Convention. But 
on those points in the resolutions which touched the location 
of the Institution, an animated debate arose and continued 
through the morning and afternoon sessions. Able arguments 
and eloquent appeals were made for and against fixing the site 
definitely at Amherst. Local feelings and interests doubtless 
influenced the speakers more or less on both sides of the ques- 
tion. The most violent opposition came from some of the 
churches and parishes in the immediate vicinity of Amherst. 
Several delegates from the west side of the river, including 
those from Northampton, contended ably and earnestly in favor 
of locating the Institution at Northampton. The discussion was 
carried from the Convention to the families where the members 
were entertained, and there are still living those who well re- 
member that the excitement ran so high as to disturb their sleep 
long after the hour of midnight. The people of Amherst were 
deeply moved. The house was filled with anxious spectators. 


Business was almost suspended. The Academy 'took a recess, 
and teachers and pupils hung with breathless interest on the de- 
bate. " Until noon of the second day of the Convention," I 
use the language of one who was then a student in the Academy 
and an eye-witness, 1 " the weight of argument was in favor of 
Northampton, and things looked blue for a location in Amherst. 
The Trustees watched the progress of the debate with great 
anxiety, and were doubtful of the result of the vote, which was 
to be taken in the afternoon. Capt. Calvin Merrill, one of the 
Trustees, a man of clear and discerning mind and good judg- 
ment, but of few words, said to me at noon of that day, that he 
feared the result of the vote about to be taken, but, says he, ' I 
have just seen Esq. Dickinson,' (who had up to this time re- 
mained silent,) ' and he has promised to come in this afternoon, 
and make one of his best arguments in favor of locating in Am- 
herst.' Esq. Dickinson fulfilled his promise, taking his position 
in the aisle of the old church, and truly and faithfully laid him- 
self out, in one of the most powerful and telling speeches which 
were made on this occasion, gaining the full attention of the 
whole Convention, and no doubt greatly influencing many in 
their vote. After which, George Grennell, Esq., who was Secre- 
tary of the Convention, left his seat, taking his place in the aisle, 
and also delivered a very powerful and effective speech, still 
keeping the full attention of the Convention. These two 
speeches produced a new and different feeling throughout the 
house : and the result, when the vote was taken, was in favor 
of Amherst as a location for the College." The argument of Mr. 
Grennell, delegate from the " Poll Parish in Greenfield," was 
particularly convincing, and is said not only to have carried the 
suffrages of the Convention, but to have brought him before the 
public in so favorable a light as to have had not a little influence 
in preparing the way for his election to Congress. Rev. Timothy 
M. Cooley of Granville, in Hampden County, afterwards so famous 
as a teacher of rusticated students, is said to have spoken ably 
and earnestly in favor of a Collegiate Institution at Amherst. 
The delegations from a distance, and those who were least in- 
fluenced by local considerations, generally adopted this view. It 

i D. W. Norton, Esq., of Suffield, Conn. 


received the sanction of by far the greater part of the Conven- 
tion. The resolutions were so amended as to fix the location at 
Amherst, and then were passed by a large majority of votes. 

The enterprise was now fairly launched, and the raising of 
money was prosecuted with such zeal and success, that at the 
annual meeting of the Trustees of Amherst Academy, November 
17, 1818, the Secretary, Col. Graves, reported that the subscrip- 
tion to the Charitable Fund, together with the value of the six 
acres of land given by Col. Elijah Dickinson for the site of the 
buildings, amounted to twenty-five thousand and five hundred 
dollars. And at a special meeting in July, 1818, a committee 
appointed to examine the subscription, reported that the money 
and other property amounted, at a fair estimate, to fifty-one 
thousand four hundred and four dollars, thus making more than 
the sum proposed in less than the time allowed by the consti- 




As early as 1815, six years before the opening of Amherst 
College, the question of removing Williams College to some 
more central part of Massachusetts was agitated among its 
friends and in its Board of Trustees. At that time Williams 
College had two buildings and fifty-eight students, with two 
professors and two tutors. The library contained fourteen 
hundred volumes. The funds were reduced and the income fell 
short of the expenditures. Many of the friends and supporters 
of the College were fully persuaded that it could not be sus- 
tained in its present location. The chief ground of this per- 
suasion was the extreme difficulty of access to it. 

" It is difficult at this day," says the late Governor Emory 
Washburn, who entered in 1815, " to make one understand the 
perfect isolation of the spot during my residence in College. 
Nothing in the form of a stage-coach or vehicle for public 
communication ever entered the town. Once a week a soli- 
tary messenger, generally on horseback, came over the Florida 
Mountain, bringing our newspapers and letters from Boston and 
the eastern part of the State. Once a week a Mr. Green came 
up from the south, generally in a one-horse wagon, bringing 
the county newspapers printed at Stockbridge and Pittsfield. 
And by similar modes, and at like intervals, we heard from Troy 
and Albany." .... "It was scarcely less difficult to reach the 
place by private than by public conveyance, except by one's own 
means of transit. My home was near the center of the State, 1 

1 Leicester. 


and, as iny resources were too limited to make use of a private 
conveyance, I was compelled to rely -upon stage and chance. 
My route was by stage to Pittsfield, and thence by a providen- 
tial team or carriage the remainder of my journey. I have often 
smiled as I have recalled with what persevering assiduity I way- 
laid every man who passed by the hotel, in order to find some 
one who would consent to take as a passenger a luckless wight 
in pursuit of an education under such difficulties. I think I am 
warranted in saying that I made that passage in every form and 
shape of team and vehicle, generally a loaded one, which the 
ingenuity of man had, up to that time, ever constructed. My 
bones ache at the mere recollection. 

" Those who came from ' Parson Hallock's ' and other localities 
upon and over the mountain, between there and the Connecticut 
River, were generally fortunate enough to find their way singly 
by means of one-horse wagons, or in larger groups in some capa- 
cious farm- wagon fitted and furnished for the occasion." l 

After reading this graphic description by a distinguished 
alumnus, given for the express purpose of enabling the readers 
of the History of the College " to understand the question of its 
removal in its true light," no one will be surprised that the ques- 
tion of removal to some more accessible part of the State was 
agitated among its Trustees, Faculty and students, as well as 
among its patrons and friends. 

At the same meeting of the Board of Trustees at which Prof. 
Moore was elected President of Williams' College, May 2, 1815, 
Dr. Packard of Shelburne introduced the following motion : 
" That a committee of six persons be appointed to take into 
consideration the removal of the College to some other part of 
the Commonwealth, to make all necessary inquiries which have 
a bearing on the subject, and report at the next meeting." The 
motion was adopted, and at the next meeting of the Board in 

1 See GOT. Emory Washburn's Introduction to the History of Williams College. 
Prof. Snell gave a similar account of his experience in going to and from Wil- 
liamstown. Ordinarily his father, who was one of the Trustees, carried him over 
in his chaise. But he never thought of going home to North Brookfield oftener 
than once a year. And then the way in which the students piled their baggage, into 
some huge lumber-wagon and then " footed it " themselves over the mountains to 
Cummington, Pittsfield, or some other place on a stage-route, was vastly amusing. 


September, the committee reported, that " a removal of Williams 
College from Williamstown is inexpedient at the present time, 
and under existing circumstances." 

But the question of removal thus raised in the Board of 
Trustees and thus negatived only "at the present time and under 
existing circumstances," continued to be agitated. The Frank- 
lin County Association of Congregational ministers had already 
become impressed with the conviction that " a College in some 
central town in old Hampshire County would be likely to flour- 
ish and would be promotive of knowledge and virtue in the 
State," and at their meeting in Shelburne, May 10, 1815, they 
voted unanimously that the town of Amherst appeared to them 
to be the most eligible place for locating such an Institution. 1 
President Moore was from the first decidedly and avowedly in 
favor of the removal. When he was invited to the presidency, 
" it was represented to him by one who spoke in behalf of the 
Trustees, that it would without doubt be removed ; and that the 
only question was in which of several towns named the Institu- 
tion should be located." 2 The College did indeed prosper under 
his personal popularity and his wise administration, notwithstand- 
ing all its external disadvantages. Students accompanied him 
from Dartmouth and from Worcester County where he had been 
settled in the ministry ; in three years from 1815 to 1818, the 
number increased from fifty-eight to ninety-one ; and this in- 
crease, which was chiefly if not wholly, due to his personal influ- 
ence, has been unjustly and ungenerously used as an argument 
against him. But it only suggested to him how much greater 
and better a work he might hope to do for education and relig- 
ion, under more advantageous circumstances. 

In September, 1818, the Convention of delegates from the 
central counties of Massachusetts of which we have narrated 
the history in the previous chapter, met in Amherst, and recom- 
mended " the establishment of a College in connection with the 
Charitable Institution there," and " that such preparations and 
arrangements be made as will accommodate students at the In- 
stitution as soon as possible." At a special meeting of the Board 

' l See Chapter II. 

2 See Gov. Washburn's Introduction to the History of Williams College. 


of Trustees of Amherst Academy, October 26, 1818, the Rev. 
John Fiske, Noah Webster, Esq., and Nathaniel Smith, Esq., 
were appointed a committee to confer with the Board of 
Trustees of Williams College at their session to be held in 
Williamstown on the second Tuesday of November, to com- 
municate to them the result of that Convention, and to make 
suitable statements and explanations respecting it. In pursu- 
ance of this appointment the committee repaired to Williams- 
town and presented to the Board of Trustees of Williams Col- 
lege, at their meeting on the 10th of November, a copy of the 
proceedings and resolutions of the Convention, and also made 
such verbal communications as they supposed to be useful and 
proper. To these communications no answer was given. But 
at this meeting, the Board of Trustees resolved that it was ex- 
pedient to remove the College on certain conditions. President 
Moore advocated the removal, and even expressed his purpose 
to resign the office of President unless it could be effected, inas- 
much as when he accepted the presidency, he had no idea that 
the College was to remain at Williamstown, but was authorized 
to expect that it would be removed to Hampshire County. Nine 
out of twelve of the Trustees voted for the resolutions, which 
were as follows : 

" Resolved, that it is expedient to remove Williams College 
to some more central part of the State whenever sufficient funds 
can be obtained to defray the necessary expenses incurred and 
the losses sustained by removal, and to secure the prosperity of 
the College, and when a fair prospect shall be presented of ob- 
taining for the Institution the united support and patronage of 
the friends of literature and religion in the western part of the 
Commonwealth, and when the General Court shall give their 
assent to the measure, 

" Resolved, that in order to guide the Trustees in determining 
to which place the College shall be removed and to produce 
harmony and union, the following gentlemen, viz. : Hon. James 
Kent, Chancellor of the State of New York, Hon. Nathaniel 
Smith, Judge of the Supreme Court of Connecticut, and the 
Rev. Seth Payson, D. D., of Rindge, N. H., be a committee to 
visit the towns in Hampshire County and determine the place 


to which the . College shall be removed ; the Trustees pledging 
themselves to abide by their decision, provided the requisite 
sum be raised." 

In view of these resolutions, the Trustees of Amherst Acad- 
emy, at their annual meeting, November 17, 1818, appointed 
Noah Webster, Esq., the Rev. John Fiske, the Rev. Edwards 
Whipple, the Rev. Joshua Crosby, and Nathaniel Smith, Esq., to 
be a committee, to wait upon the committee appointed to locate 
Williams College, to represent to them the claims of the town 
of Amherst to be the seat of the College. In May, 1819, the 
locating committee visited several towns in Franklin and Hamp- 
shire Counties, and among others the town of Amherst. And 
the committee of the Trustees of Amherst Academy waited 
upon them at their meeting in Northampton, and laid before 
them a carefully prepared written statement of the claims and 
advantages of Amherst. In regard to the point to which para- 
mount importance had all along been attached, viz., a central 
and accessible situation for the College, the committee say: 
" The territory to be particularly accommodated by this College 
comprehends the counties of Berkshire, Hampshire, Hampden, 
Franklin and Worcester. Many persons in Middlesex and Nor- 
folk Counties also take a particular interest in this Institution. 
The hill in the center of the west road in Amherst on which the 
church stands, is within about two miles of the geographical cen- 
ter of this territory, taking Pittsfield on the west and Worcester 
on the east as the two extremes. It is equally central between 
the limits of the Commonwealth on the north and south. In 
addition to this fact, it may be observed that it is almost equally 
distant from the University of Cambridge, the College in Provi- 
dence and the College in New Haven, the distance from each 
being about eighty-five miles. It is a hundred miles from Union 
College in Schenectady, and from Dartmouth College in Han- 
over, and a greater distance from Middlebury College." They 
also add that " the roads leading to and from this town are as 
good as any roads in the country." They further insist on the 
elevation, salubrity and beauty of the site, comprehending 
" thirty towns in three counties within a single view, from 
twenty-seven of which it is said that the church in the first par- 


ish in Amherst may be seen." Much stress is laid on the fact 
that Amherst is likely always to remain chiefly an agricultural 
town of limited population, where students will be remote from 
the corrupting influences of great manufacturing and commer- 
cial cities, where habits of economy and simplicity will prevail, 
and where the expenses of education will be comparatively 
small ; and it is instructive to observe the standard of expense 
implied in the following argument : " Great numbers of men can 
afford two hundred or two hundred and fifty dollars a year, who 
can not afford four or five hundred." 

The committee conclude their argument by a resume of the 
advantages which would result from uniting the Charitable Fund 
of fifty thousand dollars with Williams College. 

" The foregoing," says Mr. Webster, " were the most material 
arguments and statements presented to the locating committee 
in favor of removing the College to Amherst. The commit- 
tee, however," he candidly and calmly adds, " were unanimous 
in naming Northampton as the most suitable place for the In- 

At their annual meeting in November, 1818, the Trustees of 
Arnherst Academy had appointed a committee to solicit sub- 
scriptions to the Charity Fund, and also for the, foundation and 
support of a College, to be connected with the same as recom- 
mended by the Convention. But in consequence of the proceed- 
ings of the corporation of Williams College in resolving to re- 
move that Institution, the Trustees of Amherst Academy sus- 
pended further measures in relation to the foundation of the 
College till the result of those proceedings should be known. 

In June, 1819, the Trustees of Williams College published a 
printed address to the public, assigning their reasons for propo- 
sing to remove that Institution, and soliciting donations to increase 
the funds and promote its prosperity in the proposed location at 
Northampton. In this address they say, that since its establish- 
ment in 1793 other Colleges have sprung up about it and almost 
wholly withdrawn the patronage it formerly received from the 
North and the West, and that owing to the want of support, 
the funds have become so reduced that the income falls short of 
the expenditures. They also express their high approval of the 


object of the Charitable Institution at Amherst and their partic- 
ular desire that it should be united with the College at North- 
ampton. A copy of this address was sent to the Trustees of 
Amherst Academy enclosed in a letter from President Moore, 
dated July 6, 1819. Under date of August 18, 1819, the Trus- 
tees of Amherst Academy returned an answer in which they say, 
that " in their opinion a union between the College and the Char- 
itable Institution would be conducive to the interests of litera- 
ture, science and religion in the western section of Massachu- 
setts," that " the constitution of the Charity Fund opened the door 
for that union," and " if a plan of union could be devised not 
incompatible with that constitution, it would meet their most 
cordial approbation." 

In November, 1819, the Trustees of Williams College voted 
to petition the Legislature for permission to remove the College 
to Northampton. To this application, Mr. Webster says, " the 
Trustees of Amherst Academy made no opposition and took no 
measures to defeat it." In February, 1820, the petition was laid 
before the Legislature. The committee from both Houses, to 
whom it was referred, after a careful examination of the whole 
subject, reported that it was neither lawful nor expedient to re- 
move the College, and the Legislature, taking the same view, re- 
jected the petition. The Trustees of Amherst Academy, who 
had been quietly awaiting the issue of the application, judged 
that the way was now open for them to proceed with their orig- 
inal design according to the advice of the Convention, and at 
their meeting in March, 1820, they took measures for collecting 
the subscriptions to the Charity Fund, raising additional subscrip- 
tions, erecting a suitable building, and opening the Institution as 
soon as possible for the reception of students. Thus the long 
and exciting discussion touching the removal of Williams College 
and the location of a College in some more central town of old 
Hampshire County, at length came to an end, and the contend- 
ing parties now directed all their energies to building up the In- 
stitutions of their choice. 

Few questions have agitated the good people of Western 
Massachusetts more generally or more deeply than this ; and it 
sheds light and lustre on the character of the people that for 


many generations it was such questions the locating and build- 
ing of colleges, school-houses, and churches questions pertain- 
ing to education and religion, that always stirred them to the 
lowest depths. It is amusing and instructive to look over the 
files of newspapers of that day. They are full of this contro- 
versy. During the five years through which the war lasted, the 
local newspapers at Pittsfield, Northampton and Greenfield, kept 
up a running fire continually, communication answering commu- 
nication, and editorial meeting editorial, and scarcely a number 
appearing without something on this engrossing subject. The 
city press, particularly the religious papers in Boston and New 
York, entered warmly into the discussion, and as if there was 
not room in the periodical press, pamphlet after pamphlet was 
circulated through the community. In the characteristic man- 
ner and spirit of New England, the warfare was carried into the 
pulpit, churches took sides in the controversy, associations of 
ministers recorded their sentiments, and conventions 1 gave forth 
utterances for or against the removal, for or against each partic- 
ular location. At length the question entered the arena of poli- 
tics, and candidates for the Legislature were asked how they 
would vote in regard to the site of the College. 2 

At Williamstown, of course, the excitement ran high. The 
people of the town sent in a spirited remonstrance against the re- 
moval of the College, and certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, 
holding President Moore largely responsible, vented their resent- 
ment against him by shaving and cutting off the tail of his horse. 
And the good President drove his horse down to Amherst in 
that condition, saying he did not see why the folly of a few 
rowdies should deprive him of the use of the animal, and it did 
not hurt his feelings any more than it hurt the feelings of the 

1 At a Convention held in Northampton, July 28, 1819, to further the removal of 
Williams College to that place, Dr. Moore presided, and Dr. Nelson was the Secre- 
tary; and Dr. Snell, Dr. Humphrey, Dr. Woodbridge, Mr. Gould, Mr. Thomas 
Shepard and Mr. John Keep were appointed members of a committee to raise 
funds for this purpose all afterwards among the Trustees, Faculty or zealous 
friends of Amherst College. 

2 In their candidacy for the Senate, Gen. Knox was understood to be in favor of 
the removal of Williams College, and Mr. D wight opposed to it. See Hampshire 
Gazette, January 5, 1819. 


horse. An alumnus of Williams who was a member of the Col- 
lege at the time, remembers seeing on a wall devoted to carica- 
tures in one of the College halls, a picture of the College on 
wheels, with a large number of students harnessed to it, and Dr. 
Packard's well-known form and features, mounted on his old 
horse, inspiring and leading them as they set off shouting and 
hurrahing with their face towards the mountains. 1 

These little incidents show that Dr. Packard and President 
Moore were regarded as especially active and influential in the 
effort for the union of Williams College with the Institution at 
Amherst. Doubtless they were so. They never sought to con- 
ceal the fact, nor to shift the responsibility. Fully persuaded in 
their own minds, that the interests of education and true religion 
demanded the establishment of a College in some central town 
of old Hampshire County, they labored openly and earnestly to 
persuade others. They were equally sincere and undisguised in 
their conviction that there could not be two colleges in Western 
Massachusetts, and that Williams College could not prosper in 
its present location. Facts have since shown that they were 
mistaken in this conviction. But no one who looks at the facts 
as they then were, will wonder that they cherished it, and cher- 
ishing it they could not be true to themselves or to the cause 
which lay nearest their hearts, without acting as they did. At 
the most they can only be charged with an error in judgment. 

The warmest friends and supporters of Williams College who 
knew the man, acquit Dr. Moore so far at least as his motives 
were concerned. Gov. Washburn, an alumnus and a Trustee, 
says : " Conflicting opinions have been entertained respecting his 
efforts to have the College removed ; and though it was an un- 
fortunate measure both for the College and himself, I am unwill- 
ing to ascribe his conduct to any improper motives." 2 Rev. Dr. 
Brigham, Secretary of the American Bible Society, in whose 
Senior year the removal of Williams College was the absorbing 
theme, says : " The President and the students who resided east 

1 Mr. Durfee in his History of Williams College says : " Only a few of the stu- 
dents were in favor of retaining it in Williamstown." The facts narrated in the 
text indicate at least strong party feeling against removal. 

2 History of Williams College, p. 19. 


of the mountains, were for removal. I, as a Berkshire man, was 
of course, averse to the measure. But while many censured the 
President for the leading part which he took, I was never in- 
clined to question the goodness of his intentions." ] 

Neither Dr. Moore nor the Trustees of Amherst Academy can 
be charged with the responsibility of originating the movement 
for the removal of Williams College. Thus much is demon- 
strated by the simple fact that the movement originated among 
the Trustees of Williams College themselves before Dr. Moore 
was appointed President of that College, and before the Trust- 
ees of Amherst Academy had made them any proposition or com- 
munication on the subject. " No proposal of the kind ever went 
from Amherst or was even thought of, till after the Trustees of 
that College were so effectually convinced of the importance of 
having it removed to a more favorable situation as to appoint a 
respectable committee out of their own number to make the 
necessary inquiries on the subject. The subject of removal, as 
was proper, originated with them, and their committee was ap- 
pointed, before the person (Dr. Moore) who has since thought 
it his duty to accept the presidency of this Institution (Amherst), 
was made President of that College" (Williams). Sucji is 
President Moore's own vindication of himself and the Trustees 
of Amherst, in an " Appeal to the Public " written in March, 
1823, only about three months before his death. And so far as 
he is concerned, certainly the vindication is complete. 

The Joint Committee of the Legislature say in their report : 
" In conclusion, the committee pray leave to state that they do 
most highly appreciate and most profoundly respect the motives 
of the petitioners ; these are unquestionably founded in a truly 
honorable and elevated desire to extend the usefulness of this 
respectable College in promoting learning, virtue, piety and re- 
ligion." "Father Hallock"of Plainfield, an Israelite indeed, 
in whom there was no guile, whose family school was the chief 
feeder of Williams College, who sent twelve out of thirteen 
students admitted at one Commencement and had forty of his 
pupils there at one time, one in almost every room, and about 
half of the entire number of students, never withdrew his con- 

1 History of Williams College, p. 143. 


fidence, intimacy and affection from President Moore or Dr. 
Packard, but, though residing on the mountains, co-operated with 
them in their efforts to establish a College in the Connecticut 
Valley, and in his poverty subscribed to the Charity Fund and 
other contributions in aid of Amherst College. 

Whether one College would have been better than two for 
Western Massachusetts, and if there was to be but one, whether 
that one should have been at Williamstown, Northampton or 
Amherst,' are questions which we are not now called to answer. 
But that these good men had the best interests of learning and 
religion at heart and were foreseeing and far-seeing beyond most 
men in their generation w,e have no doubt. They certainly 
did not overestimate the importance of a College in Hampshire 
County, and their wise plans and persevering efforts have re- 
sulted, under the overruling providence of God, in the upbuild- 
ing of two Colleges, each of which has far exceeded not only the 
one which then existed, but the most sanguine hopes of the 
founders of either, in its prosperity and usefulness. 





No sooner was it settled by the action of the Legislature, that 
Williams College would not be removed to Northampton, than the 
Trustees of Amherst Academy entered in earnest upon the work 
which had now clearly devolved upon them. Accordingly on 
the 15th of March, 1820, they resolved, " That this Board con- 
sider it their duty to proceed directly to carry into effect the 
provisions of the constitution for the classical education of indi- 
gent and pious young men, and the Financier is hereby directed 
to proceed with as little delay as possible to effect a settlement 
with subscribers, to procure notes and obligations for the whole 
amount of the subscriptions, and also to solicit further subscrip- 
tions from benevolent persons in aid of this great charity, and 
for erecting the necessary buildings." 

At a meeting of the Board of Trustees, May 10, 1820, it was 
voted, " that Samuel F. Dickinson, H. W. Strong, and Nathaniel 
Smith, Esquires, Dr. Rufus Cowles and Lieut. Enos Baker be a 
committee to secure a good and sufficient title to the ten acres 
of land conditionally conveyed to the Trustees of this Academy 
as the site of said Institution by the late Col. Elijah Dickinson, 
and for the special benefit of the Charity Fund ; to digest a plan 
of a suitable building for said Institution ; to procure subscrip- 
tions, donations or contributions for defraying the expense 
thereof ; to prepare the ground and erect the same, as soon as 
the necessary means can be furnished, the location to be made 
with the advice and consent of the Prudential Committee." At 
this meeting it was further resolved, " that great and combined 



exertions of the Christian public are necessary to give due effect 
to the Charitable Institution ; " and Rev. Joshua Crosby, Jona- 
than Grout, James Taj^lor, Edwards Whipple, John Fiske and 
Joseph Vaill were appointed agents to make application for 
additional funds, and for contributions to aid in erecting suita- 
ble buildings for the accommodation of students. 

The committee proceeded at once to execute the trust com- 
mitted to them, secured a title to the land, marked out the 
ground for the site of a building one hundred feet long, thirty 
feet wide and four stories high, and invited the inhabitants of 
Amherst friendly to the object to contribute labor and materials 
with provisions for the workmen. With this request, the inhab- 
itants of Amherst friendly to the Institution, together with some 
from Pelham and Leverett and a few from Belchertown and 
Hadley, cheerfully complied. Occasional contributions were 
also received from more distant towns, even on the mountains. 
The stone for the foundation was brought chiefly from Pelham 
by gratuitous labor, and provisions for the workmen were fur- 
nished by voluntary contributions. Donations of lime, sand, 
lumber, materials of all kinds, flowed in from every quarter. 
Teams for hauling and men for handling, and tending, and 
unskilled labor of every sort, were provided in abundance. 
Whatever could be contributed gratuitously, was furnished with- 
out money and without price. The people not only contributed 
in kind but turned out in person and sometimes camped on the 
ground and labored day and night, for they had a mind to work 
like the Jews in building their temple, and they felt that they too 
were building the Lord's house. The horse-sheds which run 
along the whole line, east of the church, and west of the land 
devoted to the College, were removed. The old Virginia fence 
disappeared. Plow and scraper, pick-axe, hoe and shovel, 
were all put in requisition together to level the ground for the 
building, and dig the trenches for the walls. It was a busy 

1 The same gentleman, a native of Pelham, who has recently endowed the 
scholarship of the first class the Class of 1822, more than fifty years ago brought 
the first load of stone upon the ground, as a free-will offering. " That gentleman 
was x Wells Southworth. Esq., of New Haven, Conn. Those granite blocks are now 
in the foundations of the old South College." Prof. SnelFs address at the semi- 


and stirring scene such as the quiet town of Amherst had 
never before witnessed, and which the old men and aged 
women of the town who participated in it when they were 
boys and girls, were never weary of relating. The foundations 
were speedily laid. On the 9th of August they were nearly 
completed and ready for the laying of the corner-stone. The 
walls went up, if possible, still more rapidly. We doubt if there 
has been anything like it in modern times. Certainly we have 
never seen nor read of a parallel. The story, as told by eye- 
witnesses and actors, is almost incredible. " Notwithstanding," 
says Mr. Webster, a man who was not given to exaggeration, 
"notwithstanding the building committee had no funds for 
erecting the building, not even a cent, except what were to be 
derived from gratuities in labor, materials and provisions, yet 
they prosecuted the work with untiring diligence. Repeatedly 
during the progress of the work, their means were exhausted, 
and they were obliged to notify the President of the Board 1 that 
they could proceed no further. On these occasions the Presi- 
dent called together the Trustees, or a number of them, who, 
by subscriptions of their own, and by renewed solicitation for 
voluntary contributions, enabled the committee to prosecute 
the work. And such were the exertions of the Board, the 
committee and the friends of the Institution that on the nine- 
tieth day from the laying of the corner-stone, the roof timbers 
were erected on the building." " I heard it stated by several 
individuals," says Rev. E. A. Beach of the Class of '24, " that 
there was seldom a greater amount of material on hand than 
would last the workmen a week, sometimes not even so much 
as that. On one occasion, in the afternoon the last hod of 
mortar was deposited on the scaffold, and there was not a peck 
of lime with which to make more. The workmen were about 
to pack up their tools to go to another job, when Col. Graves 
came upon the ground, and entreated and finally persuaded 
them to wait till morning. As they were returning to their 
quarters for the night, a strange team was seen coming through 
the village from the north. It proved to be a wagon loaded 

1 Immediately after the laying of the corner-stone, Rev. Dr. Parsons resigned the 
presidency, and Noah Webster, Esq., was elected in his place. 


with lime sent some twenty-five miles by a man not a sub- 
scriber, but a friend to the cause, who having lime to spare, 
and believing that it would be acceptable to those who had 
charge of the building, had, unsolicited and uninformed of 
their necessities, despatched a load from such a distance to 
meet such an emergency ! This is only one among many in- 
stances in which Providence seemed to interpose to remove 
obstacles to the progress of the work." 

" It seemed," exclaims President Humphrey, "it seemed more 
like magic than the work of the craftsmen ! Only a few weeks 
ago, the timber was in the forest, the brick in the clay, and the 
stone in the quarry ! " 

The College well was dug at the same time and in very much 
the same way that well from which so many generations of 
students have since drank health and refreshment, and which is 
usually one of the first things that an Amherst alumnus seeks 
when he revisits his Alma Mater. And " when the roof and 
chimneys were completed, the bills unpaid and unprovided for 
were less than thirteen hundred dollars." 

Here the work was suspended for the winter. But it was re- 
sumed in the spring, and then the interior of the building was 
finished by similar means, and with almost equal dispatch. In 
order to procure additional means for this and other purposes, 
at a meeting of the Trustees in February, 1821, a committee 
of four persons, Rev. Messrs. Porter, Clark, Whipple and Vaill 
were appointed as agents " to make application to evangelical 
associations to combine their efforts to carry into effect the 
designs of this Institution, to form societies and to invite 
the aid of societies already formed for charitable purposes, 
and in short to procure donations for enlarging the funds and 
maintaining the professorships." By the middle of June the 
building was so nearly completed that the Trustees made ar- 
rangements for its dedication in connection with the inaugu- 
ration of the President and Professors, and the opening of 
the College in September. And before the end of Septem- 
ber, not only was the edifice finished, but about half of the 
room's were furnished for the reception of students, through 
the agency of churches and benevolent individuals, especially 


of the ladies in different towns in Hampshire and the adjoining 

We must now go back to give some account of the exercises 
at the laying of the corner-stone, the appointment of officers of 
the College, and other measures preliminary to the dedication 
and the opening. 

The "following is the order of exercises at the laying of the 
corner-stone substantially as it was given to the public shortly 
after the occasion : " On the 9th of August, 1820, the Board of 
Trustees of Amherst Academy, together with the subscribers 
to the fund then present, a number of the neighboring clergy 
and the preceptors and students of the Academy, preceded by 
the building committee and the workmen, moved in procession 
from the Academy to the ground of the Charity Institution. 
The Throne of Grace was then addressed by Rev. Mr. Crosby 
of Enfield, and the ceremony of laying the corner-stone was 
performed by the Rev. Dr. Parsons, President of the Board, in 
presence of a numerous concourse of spectators ; after which an 
address was delivered by Noah Webster, Esq., Vice-President 
of the Board. The assembly then proceeded to the church where 
an appropriate introductory prayer was made by the Rev. Mr. 
Porter of Belchertown, a sermon delivered by the Rev. Daniel 
A. Clark of Amherst, and the exercises concluded with prayer 
by the Rev. Mr. Grout of Hawley. The performances of the 
day were interesting, and graced with excellent music. 

On the same day, at a meeting of the subscribers to the fund, 
having been duly notified, the Rev. Nathaniel Howe of Hopkin- 
ton being chosen Moderator, and the Rev. Moses Miller of Heath, 
Secretary, the meeting was opened with prayer by the Modera- 
tor, and the following gentlemen were then elected Overseers of 
the Fund, namely : Henry Gray, Esq., of Boston, Gen. Salem 
Towne, Jr., of Charlton, Rev. Theophilus Packard of Shelburne, 
Rev. Thomas Snell of North Brookfield, Rev. Luther Sheldon 
of Easton, Rev. Heman Humphrey of Pittsfield, and H. Wright 
Strong, Esq. of Amherst. 

The Board of Trustees of Amherst Academy at this time, 
who acted as Trustees of the Charity Fund, was composed of 
the following members : Rev. David Parsons, President ; Noah 


Webster, Esq , Vice-President ; Rev. James Taylor, Rev. Joshua 
Crosby, Rev. Daniel A. Clark, Nathaniel Smith, Esq., Samuel 
F. Dickinson, Esq., and Rufus Graves, Esq. After the public 
exercises of this occasion, Dr. Parsons resigned his seat in the 
Board, and Noah Webster, Esq., was elected President of the 

By request of the Trustees the address of Mr. Webster and 
the sermon of Mr. Clark were both printed and published. In 
reading them, no thought strikes us so forcibly as the philan- 
thropic, Christian and missionary spirit of the founders. "Too 
long," says Mr. Webster, " have men been engaged in the bar- 
barous work of multiplying the miseries of human life. Too 
long have their exertions and resources been devoted to war and 
plunder, to the destruction of lives and property, to the ravage 
of cities, to the unnatural, the monstrous employment of en- 
slaving and degrading their own species. Blessed be our lot ! 
We live to see a new era in the history of man an era when 
reason and religion begin to resume their sway, and to impress 
the heavenly truth that the appropriate business of men is to 
imitate the Saviour, to serve their God and bless their fellow- 
men With what satisfaction will the sons of its bene- 
factors hereafter hear it related, that a missionary educated by 
their father's charity, has planted a church on the burning sands 
of Africa or in the cheerless wilds of Siberia that he has been 
the instrument of converting a family, a province, perhaps a 
kingdom of Pagans and bringing them within the pale of the 
Christian church ! " 

" It is an Institution," says Mr. Clark, " in some respects like 
no other that ever rose ; designed to bestow gratis a liberal edu- 
cation upon those who will enter the gospel ministry, but who 
are too indigent to defray the expense of their own induction. 
It has been founded and must rise by charity. And any man 
who shall bring a beam or a rock, who shall lay a stone or drive 
a nail, from love to the kingdom of Christ, shall not fail of his 
reward. I believe this Institution will collect about it the friends 
of the Lord Jesus, will be fed by their philanthropy and watered 
by their prayers, and will yet become a fountain pouring forth 
its streams to fertilize the boundless wastes of a miserable world. 


In vision I see it among the first Institutions of our land, the 
younger sister and the best friend of our theological seminaries, 
the center of our education societies, the solace of poverty, the 
joy of the destitute, and the hope and the salvation of perishing 

. The very title of this sermon, viz : "A Plea for a Miserable 
World," strikes the key-note of this charitable enterprise, and 
history herself, looking back after the lapse of half a century, 
can hardly describe the actual result more exactly than in those 
very words of faith and hope and almost prophetic vision which 
Rev. Daniel A. Clark uttered at the laying of the corner-stone. 

The connection between the Charitable Institution at Amherst, 
and those education societies which had sprung up a little earlier 
and were born of the same missionary spirit, could not but be 
very intimate and productive of most important results. As 
early as September, 1820, a committee of the Trustees were 
directed to correspond with the American Education Society on 
the subject of the terms on which the Board might co-operate 
with that society in the education of their beneficiaries. At a 
meeting of the Board in November, 1820, the Trustees passed 
a vote authorizing the Prudential Committee to receive into 
the Academy as beneficiaries from education societies or else- 
where, charity students, not exceeding twenty. In June, 1821, 
they voted that persons wishing to avail themselves of the 
Charity Fund as beneficiaries, should be under the patronage of 
some education society or other respectable association which 
should furnish to each beneficiary a part of his support, amount- 
ing at least, to one dollar a week, for which he was to be furnished 
with board and tuition. They required also, that every applicant 
should produce to the examining committee, satisfactory evi- 
dence of his indigence, piety and promising talents. 

As the constitution required that the Charity Fund should 
forever be kept separate from the other funds of the Institution, 
and under another financier, at a meeting November 8, 1820, 
the Trustees appointed Jonn Leland, Esq., as their agent to 
receive all donations made for the benefit of the Charity Institu- 
tion, other than those made to the permanent fund. For this 
office which he held fourteen years, Mr. Leland never received 


a salary of more than three hundred dollars. At the same time 
the commissioner of the Charity Fund received only two hun- 
dred dollars per annum, for his services. It will be seen that 
the Institution commenced on a basis of economy, in reference 
both to its officers and its students, which corresponded with its 
charitable object. 

At a meeting of the Trustees of Amherst Academy on the 
8th of May, 1821, it was " Voted unanimously that the Rev. 
Zephaniah Swift Moore be, and he is hereby elected President 
of the Charity Institution in this town. 

" Voted that the permanent salary of the President of this 
Institution for his services as President and Professor of Theol- 
ogy and Moral Philosophy be* twelve hundred dollars, and that 
he is entitled to the usual perquisites." 

At the same time the Trustees resolved to build a house for 
the President, provided they could procure sufficient donations 
of money, materials and labor. They also decided that the first 
term of study in the Institution should commence on the third 
Wednesday of September. It is worthy of record that at this 
meeting they passed a vote prohibiting the students from drink- 
ing ardent spirits or wine, or any liquor of which ardent spirits 
or wine should be the principal ingredient, at any inn, tavern or 
shop, or keeping ardent spirits or wine in their rooms, or at any 
time indulging in the use of them. Thus early was temperance 
as well as economy established as one of the characteristic and 
fundamental principles of the Institution. It is an interesting 
coincidence, that at this meeting in May when President Moore 
was elected to the presidency, the Rev. Heman Humphrey of 
Pittsfield, who was destined to succeed him in the office, 
preached in accordance with a previous appointment, " a very 
appropriate and useful sermon," for which he received "an ad- 
dress of thanks " by vote of the Trustees. 

In his letter of acceptance, dated Williamstown, June 12, 1821, 
President Moore says : " Previous to receiving any notice of 
your appointment I had made up my mind to resign my office in 
this College next Commencement. Providence had clearly made 
it consistent with my duty to leave then, if not sooner. I have 
ascertained, so far as I have had opportunity, the opinion of 


those who are the friends of evangelical truth with respect to 
the necessity, prospects and usefulness of such an Institution 
as that contemplated at Amherst. I have much reason to be- 
lieve there is extensively an agreement on this subject. In my 
own opinion, no subject has higher claims on the charity and be- 
nevolent efforts of the Christian community than the education 
of pious young men for the gospel ministry. Their classical ed- 
ucation should be thorough, and I should be wholly averse to 
becoming united with any institution which proposes to give a 
classical education inferior to that given in any of the Colleges 
in New England. On this subject I am assured your opinion l 
is the same as my own, and that you are determined that the 
course of study in the Institution to which you have invited me 
shall not be inferior to that in the Colleges in New England. I 
am also assured that you will make provision for the admission 
of those who are not indigent, and who may wish to obtain a 
classical education in the Institution." 

That the Trustees were in perfect unison with the President 
in regard to these vital points to which he attached so much im- 
portance, they showed by voting in their meeting on the thir- 
teenth day of June that the preparatory studies or qualifica- 
tions of candidates for admission to the Collegiate Institution and 
the course of studies to be pursued during the four years of 
membership, should be the same as those established in Yale 
College. And that the public might not be left in doubt on 
these points, the President of the Board soon after gave public 
notice in the newspapers, that " Young men who expect to de- 
fray the expenses of their education, will be admitted into the 
Collegiate Institution on terms essentially the same as those pre- 
scribed for admission into other Colleges in New England." 2 

At the same session, the Trustees elected the Rev. Gamaliel 
S. Olds to be Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy 
in the Collegiate Charity Institution, and Joseph Estabrook to 
be Professor of the Greek and Latin Languages, and voted that 
the President and Professors elect should be inaugurated and the 
College edifice dedicated with suitable religious services on the 

1 The letter is addressed to the President and Trustees of Amherst Academy. 

2 In Boston Recorder, July 21, 1821. 


Tuesday next preceding the third Wednesday of September, 
and that Prof. Stuart of Audover be invited to preach the dedi- 
cation sermon. 

On the 6th of August, 1821, the Rev. Jonas King was elected 
to be Professor of Oriental Languages in the Collegiate Institu- 
tion. Mr. King soon after went to Greece, and never accepted 
the appointment. His name, however, appeared on the cata- 
logue through the greater part of the first decade in the history 
of the College. 

At the time appointed, viz., on the 18th of September, 1821, 
the exercises of dedication and of inauguration were held in 
the parish church. After introductory remarks by Noah Web- 
ster, Esq., President of the Board, in which he recognized the 
peculiar propriety " that an undertaking having for its special 
object the promotion of the religion of Christ, should be com- 
mended to the favor and protection of the great Head of the 
Church," and its buildings and funds solemnly dedicated to his 
service, a dedicatory prayer was offered by the Rev. Mr. Crosby 
of Enfield, and a sermon was preached by the Rev. Dr. Leland 
of Charleston, S. C., 1 from the text: "On this rock will I build 
my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." 
President Moore and Prof. Estabrook, 2 having publicly sig- 
nified their acceptance and their assent to the Confession of 
Faith 3 which had been prepared for the occasion, were then 
solemnly inducted into their respective offices by the President 
of the Board, with promises of hearty co-operation and support 
by the Trustees, and earnest prayers for ' ; the guidance and pro- 
tection of the great Head of the Church, to whose service this 
Institution is consecrated." A brief address was then delivered 
by each of them, and the concluding prayer was offered by the 
Rev. Mr. Snell of North Brookfield. At the close of the exer- 

1 " For special reasons, Prof. Stuart declined to preach on the occasion." Dr. 
Leland " was on a visit to his father, then resident in Amherst." Dr. Webster's 

2 Prof.Olds had signified his acceptance, but was not present at the inauguration. 
8 Of this Confession of Faith I find no record, except that it was reported to the 

Trustees by a committee appointed for the purpose immediately previous to the 
exercises of inauguration. The committee consisted of the Rev. Zephaniah S. 
Moore, the Rev. Thomas Snell, and the Rev. Daniel A. Clark. 


cises a collection was made for the benefit of the Institution ; 
and the corner-stone of the President's house was laid with the 
usual ceremonies. 

The next day, September 19, the College was opened and 
organized, by the examination and admission of forty-seven 
students, some into each of the four regular classes l " a larger 
number, I believe," says Dr. Humphrey, " than ever had been 
matriculated on the first day of opening any new College. It 
was a day of great rejoicings. What had God wrought ! " 

1 Of this number fifteen followed Dr. Moore from Williams College, a little less than 
one-third of the whole number at Amherst, and a little less than one-fifth of the 
whole number in the three classes to which they belonged in Williams College. 



FIRST things, whether they are the first in the history of the 
world, or only the first in a country, or a town, or an institution, 
besides their intrinsic value, have a relative interest and impor- 
tance, which justify, and perhaps require the historian to dwell 
upon them at greater length. 

The first College edifice, as we have seen in the foregoing 
chapter, was the present South College. Although it was erected 
so rapidly and finished and furnished to so great an extent by 
voluntary contributions of labor and material, it was one of the 
best built, and is to this day one of the best preserved and most 
substantial of all the buildings on the grounds. The rooms 
were originally large, square, single rooms, without any bed- 
rooms, and served the double purpose of a dormitory and a 
study. A full quarter of a century elapsed before bed-rooms 
were placed in the South College. Some of these rooms, be- 
sides serving as sleeping-rooms and studies for their, occupants, 
were also of necessity, used for a time as recitation-rooms for 
the classes. Thus the room of Field and Snell, the two Seniors 
who for some time constituted the Senior class it was the room 
in the south-west corner of the fourth story was the Senior 
recitation-room, and there President Moore daily met and in- 
structed his first Senior class. Four chairs constituted the whole 
furniture and apparatus of this first recitation-room. The Col- 
lege library, which at this time was all contained in a single case 
scarcely six feet wide, was at first placed in the north entry of 
the same building the old South College. 

Morning and evening prayers were at first attended in the 


old village " ineeting-house " which then occupied the site of the 
Observatory and Octagonal Cabinet, and was considered one of 
the best church edifices in Hampshire County. In the same 
venerable sanctuary, sitting for the most part in the broad gal- 
leries, the Faculty and students worshipped on the Sabbath with 
the people of the parish, and often admired and rejoiced, but 
oftener feared and trembled under the powerful preaching of the 
pastor, Rev. Daniel A. Clark. Pindar Field, a member of the 
first College class, was the founder and first superintendent of 
the first Sabbath-school in Amherst. And it may not be amiss to 
add here, although it is in anticipation of its proper place in pur 
history, that during the first ten or fifteen years, tutors in Col- 
lege were most frequently superintendents of the village Sab- 
bath-schools, and many of the teachers were College students. 
Tutors Burt, Worcester, Clark (Joseph S ,) Perkins, Tyler 
(W. S.,) and Burgess were all superintendents before 1835. 
Edwards A. Beach, of the Class of '24, was for a year or two, 
leader of the choir and teacher of music in the village church, 
and he tells us, that he " boarded round " among the good peo- 
ple for a part of his pay. The relations between the students 
and the families in the village were in the highest degree confi- 
dential and affectionate, and the letters which the author has 
received from the alumni of those halcyon days, although the 
writers have already reached their threescore years and ten, still 
read very much like love-letters. 

The bell of the old parish meeting-house continued to sum- 
mon the students to all their exercises till ere long one was pre- 
sented to the College. A coarse, clumsy, wooden tower or frame 
was erected between the College and the meeting-house to re- 
ceive this first College bell. This tower, then one of the most 
remarkable objects on College hill, became the butt of ridicule 
and was at length capsized by the students, and the bell was 
finally transferred to the new chapel. 

The growing popularity and prosperity of the Institution soon 
made it manifest that it would require more ample accommoda- 
tions. In the summer of 1822, the President's house l was com- 
pleted. About the same time a second College edifice was com- 

1 The house now owned by Mr. M. B. Allen. 


menced, and a subscription of thirty thousand dollars was opened 
to pay debts already contracted, to finish the new building and 
to defray other necessary expenses. At the opening of the 
second term of the second collegiate year hi the winter of 
1822-3, this edifice, the present North College, was already 
completed and occupied for the first time. The rooms were not 
all filled, however, and, for some time, unoccupied rooms were 
rented to students of the Academy. Still " no room was fur- 
nished with a carpet, only one with blinds, and not half a 
dozen were painted." Such is the testimony of an eye-witness, l 
who joined the College at this time. 

The two corner rooms in the south entry and fourth story of 
this new building, being left without any partition between 
themselves or between them and the adjoining entry, were now 
converted into a hall which served at once for a chapel and 
a lecture-room, where lectures on the physical sciences fol- 
lowed the morning and evening devotions, thus uniting learning 
and religion according to the original design of the Institution, 
but where the worship was sometimes disturbed by too free a 
mixture of acids and gases. The two middle rooms adjoin- 
ing this hall were also appropriated to public uses, one of 
them becoming the place where the library was now deposited, 
and the other the first cabinet for chemical and philosophical 

A semi-official notice in The Boston Recorder, dated October 
1, 1821, announces that "a College Library is begun, and now 
contains nearly seven hundred volumes. A philosophical appa- 
ratus is provided for, and it is expected will be procured the 
coming winter." 

The first lectures in chemistry were given by Col. Graves 
(who had been a lecturer in the same department previously, at 
Dartmouth College). These lectures were delivered in a pri- 
vate room used as a lecture-room in the old South College. It 
was quite an enlargement and sign of progress when Prof. Eaton 
began to lecture to all the classes together in the new hall in the 
new North College. 

An incident, related by Rev. Nahum Gould of the Class of 

1 Dr. A. Chapin, now of Winchester, Mass. 


1825, occurred at this time, and well illustrates the character 
of the officers and students, and their relations to one another. 

"Never could there be greater confidence between teacher 
and student. At the close of Prof. Eaton's first lecture, he 
said to President Moore, ' I must gather up my apparatus and 
tests, as you have no lock on the door to secure them.' ' Oh, 
no,' replied the President, ' no one will meddle with anything, 
I will be responsible.' The next morning the Doctor called on 
the President, exclaiming almost with an air of triumph, ' Well, 
Mr. President, your honest boys turn out as I expected.' ' Why, 
Prof. Eaton, have you lost anything from the table ? ' ' Yes, 
my phosphorus is gone. You put too much confidence in your 
boys. I never before left my apparatus so exposed.' At even- 
ing prayers, the President said, ' Young gentlemen, you. may be 
seated.' He then related what had passed between Prof. Eaton 
and himself, and declared his great disappointment at the result. 
' And now,' he said, ' we must put a lock upon that door, and 
every time you see that lock, you will be reminded of your poor 
depraved human nature.' 

" When we were dismissed, one of the students, drawing a bow 
at a venture, said to , ' Why did you take that phos- 
phorus ? ' ' Well, I wanted to experiment,' was the reluctant 
reply. ' But how do you know I took it ? it was but a little 
piece. But what would you do?' 'Do! I would go to the 
President's room and confess, immediately.' The young man 
was at the President's door almost as soon as he arrived there 
himself, suitable reparation was made, and the circumstance in 
the end only strengthened the bond of mutual confidence which 
united the Faculty and the students to one another." ' 

The first " Catalogue of the Faculty and Students of the Col- 
legiate Institution, Amherst, Mass.," was issued in March, 1822, 
that is, about six months after the opening. It was a single 
sheet, about twelve by fourteen inches in size, and printed only 
on one side, like a hand-bill. In this, as in many other things, 
Amherst followed the example of Williams College, whose cata- 
logue, issued in 1795, according to Dr. Robbins, the antiquarian, 
was the first catalogue of the members of a College published 
in this country. The Faculty, as their names and titles were 


printed on this catalogue, consisted of Rev. Zephaniah Swift 
Moore, D. D., President and Professor of Divinity; Rev. Gama- 
liel S. Olds, A. M., Professor of Mathematics and Natural Phi- 
losophy ; Joseph Estabrook, A. M., Professor of Languages and 
Librarian ; Rev. Jonas King, A. M., Professor of Oriental Liter- 
ature ; and Lucius Field, A. B., Tutor. But the Professor of 
Oriental Languages was never installed, and the instruction was 
all given by the President with two Professors and one Tutor. 
The President was not only the sole teacher of the Senior class, 
but gave instruction also to the Sophomores. The number of 
students had now increased from forty -seven to fifty-nine, viz. : 
three Seniors, six Juniors, nineteen Sophomores and thirty-one 
Freshmen. But dissatisfied with this hand-bill, they issued in 
the same month of the same year (March, 1822,) the same cat- 
alogue of names, in the form of a pamphlet of eight pages, which 
contained, besides the names of the Faculty and students, the re- 
quirements for admission to the Freshman class, an outline of the 
course of study, and a statement of the number of volumes in 
the libraries of the Institution and of the literary societies. 
This form was adopted by Williams College in October, 1822, 
for their catalogue of 1822-3, and has since been the standard 
form in both Institutions. 

The requisites for admission into the Freshman class are ability 
to construe and parse Virgil, Cicero's Select Orations, Sallust, the 
Greek Testament, Dalzel's Collectanea Graeca Minora, a knowl- 
edge of the Latin and Greek Grammars, and Vulgar Arithmetic. 

COUKSE OF STUDY. First Year. Livy, five books, Adams' 
Roman Antiquities, Arithmetic, Webster's Philosophical and 
Practical Grammar, Graeca Majora, the historical parts, Day's 
Algebra, Morse's Geography, large abridgment, and Erving on 

Second Year. Playfair's Euclid, Horace, expurgated edition, 
Day's Mathematics, Parts II., III. and IV., Conic Sections and 
Spheric Geometry, Cicero de Officiis, de Senectute and de 
Amicitia, Graeca Majora, Jamieson's Rhetoric, and Hedge's 

Third Year. Spheric Trigonometry, Graeca Majora finished, 


Enfield's Philosophy, Cicero de Oratore, Tacitus, five books, 
Tytler's History, Paley's Evidences, Fluxions and Chemistry. 

Fourth Year. Stewart's Philosophy of Mind, Blair's Rhet- 
oric, Locke Abridged, Paley's Natural Theology, Anatomy, But- 
ler's Analogy, Paley's Moral Philosophy, Edwards on the Will, 
Vattel's Law of Nations, and Vincent on the Catechism. 

Each of the classes has once a week, for a part of the year, a 
critical recitation in the Greek Testament. All the classes have 
weekly exercises in speaking and composition. Library belong- 
ing to the Institution, nine hundred volumes. Society libraries, 
about four hundred volumes. This catalogue was printed by 
Thomas W. Shepard & Co., Northampton. 

The annual catalogue for the second year, printed by Denio & 
Phelps, at Greenfield, in October, 1822, was a pamphlet of 
twelve pages, and in addition to the matter contained in that of 
the previous year, comprised the names of the Overseers of the 
Fund, a brief calendar and a statement of the term bills and 
other necessary expenses. The Overseers of the Fund, whose 
names appear on the catalogue, are Henry Gray, Esq., of Boston, 
Hon. Salem Towne, Jr., of Charleton, H. Wright Strong, Esq., 
of Amherst, Rev. Samuel Osgood of Springfield, Rev. Theophi- 
lus Packard of Shelburne, Rev. Thomas Snell of Brookfield, 
and Rev. Luther Sheldon of Easton. The Faculty is the same 
as in the previous catalogue, except that the names of William 
S. Burt, A. B., and Elijah L. Coe, A. B., appear as Tutors. 
They were both graduates of Union College. The number of 
students had now increased to ninety-eight, viz : " Senior Soph- 
isters," five ; " Junior Sophisters," twenty-one ; Sophomores, 
thirty-two ; and Freshmen, forty. The students' rooms are also 
registered, N. standing for North College, and S.-for South Col- 
lege on the catalogue. 

The term bills, comprising tuition, room-rent, etc., are from 
ten to eleven dollars a term. Beneficiaries do not pay any term 
bills. Board is from one dollar to one dollar twenty-five cents 
a week. Wood is from one dollar fifty cents to two dollars a 
cord. Washing, from tw r elve to twenty cents a week. "Mo- 
tives of economy and of convenience," writes Dr. Chapin of the 
Class of '25, " influenced the first classes of students, very largely, 


in coming to Amherst. We all made our own fires and took the 
entire care of our rooms ; most of us sawed our own wood. My 
College course cost me eight hundred dollars, which was a me- 
dium average, I should think. The College grounds were rough 
and unadorned, and during all of my course had little done to im- 
prove them. Each spring we had our " chip day," when the 
students in mass turned out to scrape and clear up the grounds 
near the buildings." 

" The grounds," says another alumnus who entered the first 
Freshman class, 1 " were then in their natural state, without 
walks, or trees, or shrubbery. Of libraries, cabinets, etc., we 
had little but the name, and, in fact, hardly that. There were 
a few articles of philosophical and chemical apparatus, and only 
a few. 2 We had a regular course of lectures on Botany, and 
one on Chemistry. There were, I think, some lectures on Nat- 
ural Philosophy, and a few occasional lectures on other sub- 

The two literary societies, the Alexandrian and the Athenian, 
were organized soon after the opening of the Institution. The 
members of College were all allotted to the two societies in 
alphabetical order, the two Seniors, Pindar Field and Ebenezer 
S. Snell, placing themselves or being placed at the head, the 
former of the Athenian and the latter of the Alexandrian So- 
ciety, and then reading off the names of the members of the 
lower classes alternately to the one or the other in the order of 
the catalogue. Mr. Field was chosen the first President of the 
Athenian Society, and Mr. Snell the first President of the Alex- 
andrian. The first meetings of the societies were held in No. 3 
and No. 6 in the north entry of South College. In April, 1822, 
the students in their poverty raised a small contribution, and 
sent Mr. Field to Hartford to purchase a few books which were 
the beginning of a library for the two societies, for they were 
then not rival but affiliated societies and had their library in 

*R. A. Coffin, Class of 25. 

2 " A thermometer and a barometer, donated by the manufacturer, Mr. Thomas 
Kendall of New Lebanon, N. Y., were nil that I saw for several weeks. I was my- 
self the bearer of those articles, and delivered them to Dr. Moore." Rev. E. A. 
Beach, Class of '24. 


common. "We felt proud of our library," writes Mr. Field, 
" when its books were duly arranged for the first time on the 
new shelves ; and it had cost less than a hundred dollars." 

" As my only classmate at this time was not a professor of 
religion," says Mr. Field, " the responsibility of forming a Theo- 
logical Society 1 was thrown upon me. In all our infant meas- 
ures, we mainly followed the example we had in Williams Col- 
lege, as a great portion of the then upper classes were from that 

Prof. Charles U. Shepard of the Class of '25 has contributed 
the following graphic sketch of men and things at Amherst in 
those early days : " I remember that I was the youngest of my 
class. Most of my fellows were mature youths who did not 
appear to me youths at all, seniors in character and manlike in 
purpose, with an air which seemed to tell of years of yearning 
for the ministry, and of a brave struggle with the poverty which 
had kept them from their goal. They seized their late oppor- 
tunity with eagerness, they were in general patient, painstaking 
and earnest students. 

" The Institution was formed for just such pupils. Its primary 
object was to fit young men for a clerical career ; and one of its 
foremost recommendations was the cheapness of education and 
of living. For a dollar and a half a week we obtained fare, 
which, if I remember right, was substantial and wholesome. 
The farmers were glad of a home market for their productions, 
and their families made small charge for the preparation of our 
food, the Collegian then being a novelty in the village, and his 
society considered a pleasure. The orchards were far better 
than now ; the finest of peaches grew in abundance. The Col- 
lege grounds gave us all the chestnuts we wanted, and the 
hickory groves furnished boundless supplies of walnuts. If we 
craved other drink than that afforded by the unrivaled College 
well, we could go to the cider mills and fill our buckets. In the 
winter, too, there was shooting or other hunting, witness the 
hound of one of our early students, a grandson of Gen. Greene 
of Rhode Island. This animal, when game was scarce, ran 
wild himself, and was chased by his master, who on one such 

1 Afterwards called the Society of Inquiry. 


occasion, in pursuing him from house to house through the East 
street, bolted unceremoniously into the presence of the ven- 
erable Gen. Mattoon, with a breathless, ' Have you seen my 
dog ? ' In reply to which the stone-blind veteran thundered a 
military, ' No ! ' 

"Amherst as it was then, would be a strange place to the 
residents in Amherst of nowadays. The good clergymen who 
petitioned for its prosperity in ' College prayers,' delighted to 
call it ' a city set upon a hill ; ' but they would have described 
its fashion with -quite as much exactness, had they put forward 
its claims to celestial notice as ' a village in the woods.' Some- 
thing more than a score of houses, widely separated from each 
other by prosperous farms, constituted Amherst centre. Along 
two roads running north and south, were scattered small farm- 
houses with here and there a cross-road, blacksmith's shop or 
school-house by way of suburb. The East street, however, 
formed even then a pretty cluster of houses, and had its meeting- 
house with a far comelier tower than it boasts at the present day. 

" But the fine dwellings, public or private, of that early time 
had their features, whether tasteful or the reverse, greatly con- 
cealed by the wide prevalence of trees. Primal forests touched 
the rear of the College buildings ; they filled up with a sea of 
waving branches, the great interval between the village and 
Hadley ; towards the south, they prevailed gloriously, send- 
ing their green Avaves around the base and up the sides of 
Mt. Holyoke ; to the east, they overspread the Pelham slope ; 
and they fairly inundated vast tracts northward clear away to 
the lofty hills of Sunderland and Deerfield. It was a sublime 
deluge, which, alas ! has only too much subsided in our day. 

" With such surroundings, what now were our interior ad- 
vantages? Whatever we may have represented them to out- 
siders, whatever we may have persuaded ourselves concerning 
them, they were, in my day, extremely meagre. The teachers 
were few, and, in general, were not distinguished in their de- 
partments. Our library did not surpass the scholarly range of 
a country clergyman in fair circumstances. Apparatus and col- 
lections were unknown in our first year, and they had made but 
feeble beginnings before our graduation. The only lectures 


which I remember were the two annual courses of Prof. Amos 
Eaton, in his day a distinguished botanist and geologist. 

" In Dr. Moore, a gentleman of suave manners, of true Chris- 
tian dignity and of singular judgment in managing youth, we 
had an admirable President. I venture to suspect that he was 
the only College President in the United States, who, from the 
beginning, personally subscribed for the somewhat expensive 
numbers of the Journal of the Royal Institution, of London. 
From this source and others similar, he appears to have gained 
a prevision of the importance of the modern sciences in educa- 
tion ; and to him mainly, are we indebted for the early foothold 
which they gained in the Institution ; to him, at all events, we 
owed the presence of Prof. Eaton. Rarely has College lecturer 
been more faithfully and enthusiastically listened to than Prof. 
Eaton, in his courses on Chemistry and Botany, together with 
his abridged course on Zoology. To supply the place of a text- 
book on the last mentioned branch, he furnished us a highly 
useful printed syllabus, drawn mainly from the great work of 
Cuvier, then wholly inaccessible to us. Prof. Eaton was such 
an educator as even now can seldom be found in Colleges. Full 
of information, acquainted with the broader generalizations of 
science, distinguished by a commanding and a fluent, clear, vig- 
orous diction, devoid of the impertinences of egotism and van- 
ity, his utterances were like the voice of nature." 

After some appreciative notice of the instructions, character 
and influence of President Humphrey towards the close of his 
College course, Prof. Shepard concludes : " Such were our chief 
advantages as I now recollect them. At the time we rated them 
highly ; few left Amherst for other Colleges. Nor do I know 
that any have since regretted connecting themselves with the 
infant Institution. There were doubtless deficiencies to be 
regretted. In the larger and older universities, we might have 
found better teachers and richer stores of libraries and collec- 
tions, but in some unknown way, perhaps in the enthusiasm 
of comparatively solitary effort, compensation was made ; and 
on the whole, we may doubt whether higher life success would 
have attended us, had we launched from other ports." 

The students of Amherst in those early days, were compara- 


tively free from exciting and distracting circumstances. There 
were then here no cattle-shows or horse-races, no menageries, 
circuses, or even concerts of music. They had no " Greek Let- 
ter " societies, no class day, and no class elections, and class pol- 
itics to divide and distract them. They came here to study, 
and they had nothing else to do. They felt that their advan- 
tages were inferior to those of older and richer Institutions, but 
for that very reason, they felt that they must make themselves. 

The " Exercises at the first Anniversary of the Collegiate 
Charity Institution at Amherst," were held in the old " Meet- 
ing-house " on the 28th of August, 1822. After sacred music 
and prayer by the President, a salutatory in Latin was pro- 
nounced by Ebenezer S. Snell. His classmate, Pindar Field, 
delivered the concluding oration in English. There was no 
valedictory. The members of the Junior class, then six in 
number, helped them to fill up the program with a colloquy, 
two dialogues, and several orations. A poem was also deliv- 
ered by Mr. Gerard H. Hallock who was then Principal of Am- 
herst Academy. As the Institution had no charter, and no au- 
thority to confer degrees, testimonials in Latin that they had 
honorably completed the usual College course, were given to two 
members of the Senior class. 1 The exercises were then closed 
with sacred music and prayer. The subjects of the two dia- 
logues were " Turkish Oppression," and " The Gospel carried 
to India." The last which was written by Pindar Field and 
acted by the two Seniors with the help of one of the Juniors, 
was an intentional argument and appeal in favor of Foreign and 
Domestic Missions. 

The first revival of religion occurred in the spring term of 
1823, about a year and a half after the opening of the Institu- 
tion. The number of students was now over a hundred. The 
President's house was completed. Two College edifices crowned 
the "Consecrated Eminence." And a subscription of thirty 
thousand dollars was being successfully and rapidly raised to de- 
fray the expenses. The external prosperity of the Institution 
exceeded the most sanguine hopes of its founders. But this was 

1 The third Senior, Ezra Fairchild, left before the close of the year in conse- 
quence of sickness in his family, and did not receive his Bachelor's degree till 1852. 


not enough. It was not for this purpose that they founded it. 
Material and even literary prosperity was in their estimation of 
little worth in comparison with religious growth and spiritual prog- 
ress. It was not enough that the students of the new Institution 
should be scholars. They desired also and above all things that 
they should be true Christians. In order to this they must, in 
the view of the founders, experience the regenerating and sanc- 
tifying influences of the Holy Spirit. And these they expected 
to see manifested ordinarily and chiefly in seasons of unusual re- 
ligious interest, which their fathers had called awakenings, and 
which they usually denominated revivals. Thus believing in 
revivals of religion as the gift of God and the work of the Holy 
Spirit, though not without the co-operation of human agency, 
the Faculty and Christian students of the Amherst Collegiate 
Institution, in common with the Trustees and other holy men 
who founded it, longed and labored and prayed from the begin- 
ning above all things else for the special presence of the Holy 
Spirit with convincing, converting and sanctifying power. And 
when in the spring of the second collegiate year personal relig- 
ion became the all-engrossing interest of nearly all the students, 
and before the close of the term the greater part of those who 
had hitherto lived without prayer and without God, began a new 
life, they rejoiced in it as the consummation of their hopes and 
the crowning benediction of Heaven on their plans and labors. 

The whole year and a half preceding had been a gradual 
preparation for this revival. " In our first year of College life," 
says Mr. Field, " the pious members of the different classes en- 
joyed great familiarity with each other, and shared largely each 
other's confidence. We spent whole days in fasting and prayer 
frequently." Some of the students passed the winter vacation 
in towns in the vicinity where there was unusual religious inter- 
est and returned to College to breathe their own spirit of zeal 
and earnestness into their classmates and fellow -students. The 
annual concert of prayer for Colleges was held for the first 
time in February, 1823. This was observed in the Institution 
and was a day of deep and solemn interest. " President Moore's 
address to the students on this occasion was peculiarly appro- 
priate and useful. His affectionate appeal to those who thought 


religion unmanly and prayer degrading, was like a nail driven 
by the Master of assemblies. ' Was Daniel ever more noble 
than when he prayed in defiance of King Darius' threats ? ' 
The pious students were among the most important instruments 
in carrying forward the work. During a part of the time the 
President was in feeble health, and one of the few other in- 
structors was laid aside by sickness. In these circumstances 
one of the students with the permission of the Faculty, went 
to Connecticut to obtain the assistance of Rev. Dr. Beecher in 
promoting the revival. But being absent for similar service in 
Boston, his inability to come was turned to account by leading 
the pious students to a more full and prayerful reliance upon 
God. Abundant prayer was offered in College in various cir- 
cles, and also by many earnest friends of the College, and par- 
ents of unconverted students in many places. Several minis- 
ters from abroad came and held meetings in College, among 
whom were Rev. Experience Porter, Rev. Alexander Phenix, 
Rev. Joshua N. Danforth and Rev. Theophilus Packard. So 
extensive was the religious influence at the time that on one 
occasion all the impenitent students attended a meeting of in- 
quiry." * 

" They held early morning prayer-meetings, and would some- 
times even in study hours, go into each others' rooms and spend 
a few moments in prayer, often for an unconverted room-mate. 
At no time in the day perhaps could a person go into an entry 
and pass up to the fourth story without hearing the voice of 
prayer from some room. The work of God's grace seemed to 
go right through the College. Every mind seemed solemnized; 
none were careless. The results have appeared in the churches 
and the missionary field, foreign and domestic, ever since." 2 

" The seriousness was somewhat sudden in its commencement, 
and it extended rapidly. It soon became so pervading that all 
the irreligious, except one, were said to be under conviction. 
Prayer-meetings were held at nine o'clock in the evening in each 
entry, also at other times and in other places. Inquiry meetings 
were held by the officers of the College, in which Tutors Burt 

1 Manuscript Letter of Rev. Theophilus Packard, Class of '23. 

2 Rev. Justin Marsh, Class of '24. Manuscript letter. 


and Coe were especially interested. Prof. Olds was sick, and 
Prof. King was in Greece. As a result of the revival twenty- 
three conversions were counted, leaving only thirteen without a 
personal faith and hope in Christ. During the revival we found 
the sympathy, kindness, advice and active service of President 
Moore of inestimable value, and, I think, he must have had his 
faith in the wisdom of his removal to Amherst strengthened by 
this early manifested blessing. I have a catalogue in which the 
names of the converts are marked as follows : Seniors, David O. 
Allen, Theophilus Packard ; Juniors, Bela B. Edwards, Austin 
Richards; Sophomores, J. M. C. Bartley, George Burt, John 
Kelley, A. J. Leavenworth, William Parsons, D. H. Stark- 
weather, Elijah D. Strong, Horatio Waldo, Joel Wyman ; Fresh- 
men, Fred. Bridgman, A. Chapin, Enoch Colby, Joseph Goff, 
C. P. Grosvenor, Levi Pomeroy, Levi Pratt, Charles L. Strong, 
and H. C. Towner. 

" Rev. Edward Hitchcock, then pastor in Conway, preached 
a sermon at the close of the term and of the revival. Oh, how 
we wept as we listened ! " l This sermon, founded on Prov. 5 : 
12, 13, and entitled " Retrospection," was published at the re- 
quest of the students, with the following prefatory note : " The 
existence of a powerful and interesting revival of religion in 
Amherst Collegiate Institution gave occasion for the following 
sermon. It is yielded to the request of the members of that 
Institution for its publication, not on account of its literature or 
its theology, but in the humble hope that, by the blessing of God, 
it may subserve the cause of experimental piety, by promoting 
the important work of Retrospection." 

The results of this revival will be fully revealed only in the 
light of another world. But some of them are sufficiently mani- 
fest. Besides the conversion of the larger part of the uncon- 
verted and nearly one-quarter of all the members of the Insti- 
tution, and the increased sanctification, Christian activity and 
usefulness of those who were before church members, it con- 
firmed the faith, hope and courage of the founders, and gave the 
Institution a direction and a character, which it has never lost. 
Frequent revivals of religion have ever since been a character- 
1 Manuscript letter of Dr. A. Chapin, Class of '26. 


istic of Amherst College. Such young men of superior talents 
and elevated scholarship as David O. Allen 1 and Bela B. Ed- 
wards were brought not only into the church and the ministry, 
but into the missionary work and the chair of theological instruc- 
tion, to both of which Amherst has ever since contributed an 
unusually large proportion of her sons. The influence extended 
to those who were not reckoned as converts. Thus Edward 
Jones, the colored student of the Class of '26, who was counted 
among the unconverted at the close of the revival, soon after 
his graduation went out as a missionary to Sierra Leone, and 
became one of the leading educators of that African State. A 
powerful revival existed in the Academy and the village church 
simultaneously with that in the College, whether as effect or 
cause, I do not know; probably it was in part both effect and 
cause of the religious interest in the Collegiate Institution. 
Finally this revival encouraged the hearts and strengthened the 
hands of the teachers and pupils and friends of the Institution, 
and thus prepared them to endure with more Christian fortitude, 
patience and faith the severe trial which was soon to come upon 
them, like an eclipse, nay, it seemed like a setting, of the sun at 

We have seen that President Moore was suffering from ill- 
health more or less of the time during the revival in the spring 
term. The amount of labor which he had been performing for 
nearly two years, together with the responsibility and anxiety 
that pressed upon him, was enough to break down the most vig- 
orous constitution. In addition to his appropriate duties as 
President and as Chairman of the Board of Trustees, he heard all 
the recitations of the Senior, and in part those of the Sophomore 
class, performed several journeys to Boston to promote the in- 
terests of the Institution, and solicited in a number of places 
pecuniary aid in its behalf. The revival, while it gladdened his 
heart beyond measure, greatly added to his labors and responsi- 
bilities. His constitution, naturally strong, was overtaxed by 
such accumulated labors and anxieties, and had begun to give 

1 Author of "India, Ancient and Modern." He was the first missionary among 
the graduates of Amherst College, and it is a suggestive fact, that he was a convert 
in the first revival. 


way perceptibly, before the attack of disease which terminated 
his life. 

On Wednesday, the 25th of June, he was seized with a bilious 
colic. From the first, the attack was violent, and excited fears 
of a fatal termination. "During his short sickness," we quote 
the language of a loving and beloved pupil, one of the converts 
in the recent revival, 1 "the College was literally a place of 
tears. Prayer was offered unto God unceasingly for him. We 
have never seen more heartfelt sorrow, than was depicted in the 
countenances of nearly a hundred young men, all of whom loved 
him as their own father. But while they were filled with anx- 
iety and grief, Dr. Moore was looking with calmness and joy 
upon the prospects which were opening before him. While 
flesh and heart were failing him, Christ was the strength of his 
heart arid the anchor of his soul. And when his voice failed 
and his eyes were closing in death, he could still whisper, 'GoD 
is my hope, my shield, and my exceeding great reward.' " 

He died on Monday, the 29th of June, 1823, in the fifty- 
third year of his age. The funeral solemnities were attended on 
the Wednesday following, in the presence of a great concourse 
of people from Amherst and the surrounding region. An appro- 
priate sermon was preached by Rev. Dr. Snell, of North Brook- 
field. As they returned from committing his remains to the 
ground, in the cemetery where they now rest beneath a monu- 
ment erected by the Trustees, the guardians and teachers, the 
students and friends of the Institution all felt for the moment 
that its hopes were buried in the grave of its first President ; 
for who could take his place arid carry on the work which he 
had so well begun, but which had proved too heavy a burden 
even for him to bear. So profound was the sympathy of the 
Senior class with their beloved President, that they were reluc- 
tant to take any part in Commencement Exercises at which he 
could not preside. And so dark, in their view, was the cloud 
which rested on the infant seminary, that, reduced almost to 
despair, they were on the point of closing their connection with 
it and graduating at some other Institution. Accordingly at the 
close of the funeral services, the class appeared before the Board 

1 Prof. Bela B. Edwards in the Quarterly Register, Vol. V., p. 183. 


of Trustees, and asked to be released from all participation in 
any Commencement Exercises, and from all further connection 
with the College. 1 But at the urgent solicitation of the Board, 
they consented to stand in their lot. Theophilus Packard deliv- 
ered the Salutatory Oration, David O. Allen the Philosophical, 
Hiram Smith a Greek Oration, and Elijah Paine the Valedictory. 2 
The Junior class supplemented their performances with a Dis- 
putation, a Poem, three Dialogues, and twelve Orations, as they 
when Juniors, had supplemented the Commencement Exercises 
of their predecessors the previous year. The exercises occupied 
the whole day, with a morning and an evening session. They 
received the usual Latin "Testimonial" from the Vice-President 
of the Board of Trustees, Rev. Joshua Crosby, who presided, no 
President having yet been appointed, and whom they honored 
for his services as Chaplain in the Revolutionary War, though 
they complained that " he had never studied Latin." They 
have never since regretted their perseverance in spite of all un- 
toward circumstances, even to the end, in consequence of which 
they have not only been reckoned as Alumni of Amherst Col- 
lege, but counted among its heroes who stood by it in the day 
of adversity, and constituted its second class. David O. Allen 
of this class, claimed to be the oldest graduate of Amherst, hav- 
ing received the degree of A. B. the first of any one, on this 
wise. While teaching school in Leominster, in the winter vaca- 
tion of his Senior year, he applied for the situation of Principal 
of Groton Academy, then a flourishing Institution and got the 
appointment. But after obtaining it, he found that a by-law of 
the Academy required the Principal to be a graduate of a College. 
Amherst, having no charter, could, at this time, confer no degrees. 
What was to be done ! He went to President Moore with his 
trouble. After much consultation, President Moore gave him 
testimonials to the President of Union College. Mr. Allen 
went there privately, joined the Senior class, passed the Senior 
examination, and returned with a diploma in his pocket, while 

1 Manuscript letter of Rev. Theophilus Packard. 

2 David Howard whose name appears on the Triennial, spent his Senior year 
chiefly at Yale College, and was not present to be graduated with his class. He 
received his degree of A. B. in 1854. 


as yet, his classmates were scarcely aware of his absence. After 
completing his course at Amherst, he taught the Academy at 
Groton, paid up his debts, earned money in advance for his 
theological education at Andover, and afterwards became one 
of the most honored of our American missionaries, and the 
author of the well-known work on " Ancient and Modern 



ZEPHANIAH SWIFT MOORE was born November 20, 1770, at 
Palmer, then a comparatively small and obscure town in old 
Hampshire County. His parents, Judah and Mary Moore, were 
in the middle walks of life, and much esteemed for their integ- 
rity and piety. When he was seven or eight years of age, he 
removed with his father to Wilmington, Vt., where he worked 
on a farm till he was about eighteen. His early advantages, 
even for a common school education, were quite limited. But 
he early manifested an inquisitive mind and a great thirst for 
knowledge ; and his parents, humble as their circumstances 
were, were induced to help him in obtaining a College educa- 
tion. Having pursued his preparatory studies at Bennington, 
Vt., he entered Dartmouth College in his nineteenth year, and 
graduated in 1793, delivering for his part at the Commencement 
a philosophical oration on " The Causes and General Phenomena 
of Earthquakes," which was received with great approbation, 
and thus showing in his choice of a subject that taste for the 
natural sciences which, as we have seen, he cherished in the 
early students of Amherst College. 

The late Col. Thompson of Amherst, who then resided in 
Wilmington, Vt, claimed some credit for Dr. Moore's being "lib- 
erally educated," and used to tell how " Leftenant Moore" con- 
sulted him what he should do with his son. The son was very 
earnest to go to College, but the father thought it scarcely pos- 
sible to send him. " Let him go if he wants to," said Col. 
Thompson, "you'll get along with it and find no trouble." 
Four years later, meeting the father as he was going to Hanover 


to see his son graduate, the Colonel said to him : " Well, how 
do you come out?- as well as I said you would?" "Oh," he 
replied, " when I've sold my old oxen, I guess I shall be able to 
pay all the bills." The self-denial and sacrifices with which his 
own education was secured were preparing the young man to 
sympathize with other young men in similar struggles, and thus 
qualifying him to become the President of an Institution where 
so many of that class were to be educated. 

On leaving College, he took charge of an Academy at Lon- 
donderry, N. H., and discharged the duties of the office for one 
year with universal acceptance. He then repaired to Somers, 
Conn., and commenced the study of theology under the direc- 
tion of the Rev. Dr. Backus, and having gone through the usual 
course of preparation for the ministry, was licensed to preach 
by a committee of the Association of Tolland County, February 
3, 1796. After preaching to rare acceptance in various places, 
and having received several invitations to a permanent settle- 
ment, he accepted a call from the church and congregation in 
Leicester, Mass. Here his labors were highly acceptable and 
useful. Very considerable additions were made to the church, 
about thirty at one time near the close of his ministry, and the 
spirit and power of religion became increasingly visible. His 
influence upon the schools, and upon the people generally, was 
salutary. He was an active Trustee, and for some time Princi- 
pal of Leicester Academy. At the same time he was greatly 
esteemed as a man and a preacher by all the -neighboring 

Having been pastor of the church in Leicester eleven years, 
in October, 1811, he accepted the appointment of Professor of 
Languages in Dartmouth College, where he remained four years, 
sustaining the administration of the government at a period of 
difficulty 'and embarrassment in the history of the College, en- 
joying the reputation of a philologist and philosopher, perhaps, 
rather than an exact and elegant scholar in his department, and 
making his influence felt in favor of order, good morals, and 
religion in the Institution and in the community. The Trustees 
showed the estimation in which he was held, by conferring on 
him, soon after he left, the degree of Doctor of Divinity. 


In 1815 he was elected to the Presidency of Williams Col- 
lege, then vacant by the resignation of Dr. Fitch. He accepted 
the appointment and was inducted into office at the Commence- 
ment in September of that year. He had now found a congenial 
element and his appropriate sphere. His bland manners set the 
trembling candidate for admission to the Freshman class in- 
stantly at ease in his presence. 1 His kind and sympathizing 
heart made every student feel that he had in the President a 
personal friend. At the same time, his firmness in the adminis- 
tration of the government convinced even the Sophomores that 
they had found their master and must obey the laws. 2 The 
effect was soon seen in the good order, the gentlemanly deport- 
ment and the studious habits of the young men, a gradual 
though not rapid increase of numbers, and the growing pros- 
perity of the College. u His connection with the College was 
attended by some circumstances of peculiar embarrassment in 
consequence of an effort on the part of the Trustees to remove 
the College to Northampton or some other town in Hampshire 
County. The measure failed in consequence of the refusal of 
the Legislature to notice it. Dr. Moore, however, decidedly 
favored it from the beginning, but in a manner that reflected 
not in the least upon his Christian integrity and honor." 3 

His too brief connection with the Collegiate Institution at 
Amherst and his too early death are already familiar to our 
readers. Of his importance to this Institution and the invalu- 
able services which he rendered to it in its early struggles for 
existence, none was more competent to testify, and no one has 
done it with more truth and eloquence than Ins successor in the 
Presidency. " If we estimate the length of life by what a man 
actually accomplishes for the best good of his kind," says Dr. 
Humphrey in his Inaugural Address, " we shall see that Dr. 
Moore, though taken away in the high meridian of his useful- 
ness, was 'old and full of days.' To say nothing here of the 

1 See the letter of Dr. Emerson Davis, in Sprague's Annals of the American 
Pulpit, Vol. IL p. 393. 

2 See in Sprague's Annals Dr. Emmons' graphic account of the interviews be- 
tween the President and his first Sophomore class, who attempted to break down 
the new regulations, Vol. II., p. 394. 

8 Sprague's Annals, Vol. IL, p. 393. 


ability with which he filled other important stations, and of the 
good which he did in them all, the services rendered by him to 
this Institution, within less than the short space of two years, 
were sufficient to entitle him to the gratitude of thousands now 
living, and of far greater numbers who are yet to be born. 
Broad and deep are the foundations which he assisted in laying 
upon this consecrated hill. Strong was his own arm, freely was 
it offered for the great work, and powerful was the impulse 
which his presence and ever-cheering voice gave to the waken- 
ing energies of benevolence around him. But highly as his 
various plans and counsels and labors are now appreciated, fu- 
ture generations in walking over this ground, with the early 
history of the College before them, will, there is little reason to 
doubt, place him still higher among its distinguished benefactors. 
It will then appear, what and how much he did to give shape 
and character to an Institution which, we believe, is destined to 
live and bless the church in all coming ages." 

" By nature a great man, by grace a good man, and in the 
providence of God a useful man, a correct thinker and a lucid 
writer, a sound theologian, instructive preacher and greatly 
beloved pastor, a wise counselor and sympathizing friend, a 
friend and father especially to all the young men of the infant 
College in which he was at the same time a winning teacher 
and a firm presiding officer, Dr. Moore filled every station he 
occupied with propriety and raised the reputation of every lit- 
erary institution with which he became connected." Such, in 
brief, is the character sketched of him by one who knew him 
intimately both in the pastorate and in the presidency, and who 
was incapable of exaggeration. 1 

Dr. Moore was a man of medium stature, but commanding 
presence, weighing some two hundred and forty pounds, yet 
without any appearance of obesity, neat in his dress, retaining 
the use of short breeches and long hose which were particu- 
larly becoming to his person ; and in his manners there was a 
union of suavity with dignity, rare anywhere, especially in per- 
sons bred in the country, which marked him as a gentleman 
of the old school, one of nature's noblemen, and which, while 

1 Dr. Thomas Snell of North Brookfield in his funeral sermon. 


it attracted the love of his pupils, invariably commanded also 
their respect. 

His corpulence gave additional pertinence and force to a story 
which the early students were fond of telling, illustrative of 
the quiet dignity and felicity with which he administered re- 
proof. T., a wild, frolicsome and noisy student one day came 
jumping and hallooing through the halls and down the stair- 
ways just as Dr. Moore was entering the outer door, and was 
very near running over the Doctor. " T.," said the President 
with perfect self-possession and serenity, " you should remem- 
ber that two bodies can not occupy the same space at one and 
the same time." 

He reposed great confidence in the honesty and good inten- 
tions of the students and was especially slow to impeach their 
veracity. The same student of whom the above anecdote is 
related, tried the President's patience in a great many ways, 
among others by going out of town without leave. Once, when 
the President charged him with this offence, he denied it. There 
was scarcely room for a doubt that he was guilty of falsehood. 
But taking him at his word, the President said : " I am glad to 
find that you did not go ; I could not believe that you would do 
such a thing." The student went away ashamed of his false- 
hood, and declared to his fellows that he would never lie again 
to Dr. Moore. 

A vein of pleasantry ran through Dr. Moore's dignity, and 
his habitual serenity was often suffused with smiles. When he 
arrived at Amherst with his shaved and shorn horse, and some 
of the good people expressed their indignation at the outrage, 
he said: " I have nothing to^say about the treatment I have re- 
ceived at Williamstown, but my horse can tell his own tale.'''' 

Habitually courteous himself, he expected and received cour- 
tesy from every student. " No student could pass him without 
lifting his hat with a smile. The Doctor would always set the 
example, and if the first lifting of his own hat did not lead the 
student to raise his hat, the President would raise his the second 
time. I never saw the man who so commanded my love and, 
veneration. If I wanted a school for the vacation, I had only 
to notify him of my need, and the application was answered. 


He was sure always to know how we succeeded in teaching and 
what reputation we earned." l 

Letters from those who graduated under him abound in illus- 
trations of his personal kindness to them, sympathizing with 
them, counseling them, loaning them money and otherwise re- 
lieving their wants ; and he always did these acts of kindness 
in so kind and winning a way as to double their value. The 
writers all seem to feel that no other President ever was so 
courteous and kind none so highly honored and beloved. And 
" when it was told in College that Dr. Moore could not live " 
we borrow the language of one of these letters "a deep 
electrical throb of anguish ran through all the classes. How can 
he be spared was the agonizing cry of every one we met. 
Who can fill his place ? Who can do as he has done ? Who 
can have the confidence of the community and the love of the 
students as he had ? " 

Dr. Moore was 'too constantly occupied with the immediate 
duties of active life to write very much for the public. A few 
discourses delivered on special occasions, and published by re- 
quest, remain to attest his style of thinking and writing. Among 
these are an oration at Worcester on the 5th of July, 1802 ; a 
sermon at the ordination of Rev. Simeon Colton in 1811 ; the 
Massachusetts Election Sermon in 1818; an address to the pub- 
lic in regard to Ainherst College in 1823 ; and a sermon deliv- 
ered at several ordinations, and printed after the ordination of 
Rev. Dorus Clark, in 1823. These discourses show a logical and 
reflective cast of mind, methodical arrangement, clearness of style 
and illustration free from any attempt at artificial embellishment. 
The sermons indicate a marked fondness for exegetical inquiries 
and philosophical investigations combined with profound rever- 
ence for the Scriptures and a hearty reception of the character- 
istic doctrines of evangelical religion. In a long note attached to 
his latest ordination sermon, he discusses Dr. Thomas Brown's 
doctrine of Cause and Effect, with an independence, clearness 
and justness which prove him to have been no mean metaphysi- 
cian. " In preaching he had very little action ; and yet there 
was an impressiveness in his manner that fixed the attention of 

1 Manuscript letter of Rev. Nahum Gould, Class of '26. 


his hearers. In the more animated parts of his discourse, his 
utterance became more rapid, and the sound of his voice shrill 
and tremulous, showing that he felt deeply the force of the 
sentiments he uttered." 

Shortly after his settlement at Leicester, he was married to a 
daughter of Thomas Drury of Auburn, (then Ward,) Mass. 
A detention by the accidental lameness of his horse, while on a 
visit to his sister at Sutton, led to his acquaintance with his wife 
and his settlement in Leicester. His friendship with Mr. Adams, 
Principal of Leicester Academy, and afterwards Professor in 
Dartmouth College, prepared the way for his professorship in 
Dartmouth. His success in that office elevated him to the presi- 
dency of Williams College. And from the presidency at Wil- 
liamstown he passed naturally, almost in spite of himself, to be 
the first President and so one of the founders of the Institution 
at Amherst. " All this, as he used playfully to contend, was to 
be traced to what he regarded at the time as anything but a 
fortunate accident." ! 

Dr. Moore left no children. He bequeathed his property, val- 
ued at some six thousand dollars, to his wife for her use while 
she lived, and after her death three-fifths of it to the Institution 
for the foundation of scholarships, three of which, bearing his 
name and worth about one hundred and forty dollars a year each, 
now help to support three students nominated by the Brookfield 
Association of Congregational Ministers. According to the pro- 
visions of his will, two-sixths of the annual interest of his legacy 
are to be added to the principal, so as to make it, like the Charity 
Fund, an increasing fund forever. As the fund accumulates, the 
number of beneficiaries is to be /increased from time to time. 2 

Mrs. Moore long survived him, living to advanced years, and 

1 Gov. Washburn in Sprague's Annals, Vol. V., p. 897. 

2 If the Institution should not be incorporated, the principal of Dr. Moore's leg- 
acy was to be held by the Brookfield Association, and the interest to be applied as 
above. If the Institution should ever become extinct, or should not give a thorough 
course of classical education like the other colleges of New England, the fund was to 
be given to the Brookfield Association for a library for the use of that Association 
forever. These provisions phow two things : the value which Pr Moore set upon 
classical education, and his uncertainty whether the Institution would be incorpo- 
rated or even perpetuated. 



through all those years nursing his estate with the most scrupu- 
lous assiduity for the benefit of the College, which she loved for 
its own sake as well as for the memory of her husband. She 
died November 5, 1857, aged eighty-six years. Her remains 
lie beside those of her husband beneath an appropriate marble 
monument erected to his memory by the Trustees. The Latin 
inscription on this monument is a just and discriminating tribute 
to the character of .the first President of Amherst College. 




Ille homo 

Ingenioque scientia atque pietate sincera praeclarus ac merito ; 

Gravitate quoque insigni quura se demittens; 

Ammo et consilio certus sed tamen mitissiinus 

Semperque facilitate permagna ; 

Modestus, placabilis, 

Misericordia et fructibus bonis plenus, 

Non dijudicans, non siniulatus ; 

Discipulis suis 

Veneratus quasi illis pater dilectusque ; 
Maximo omnium desiderio 




Aetatis Suae 


As the two Professors, Olds and Estabrook, came into the 
Faculty with Dr. Moore, and left it as soon as the College was 
fully organized under the charter in the administration of his suc- 
cessor, this is the place for some brief biographical notice of them. 

Gamaliel Smith Olds was born February 11, 1777, in that 
part of Granville, Mass., which is now Tolland. He was grad- 
uated at Williams College in 1801, Tutor there for several years, 
and Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy from 1806 
to 1808. Having studied theology, partly with Dr. West at 
Stockbridge, and partly in the Theological Seminary at Andover, 
he was ordained colleague pastor with Dr. Newton at Green- 
field, where he remained three years. From 1819 to 1821, he 


was Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy in 'the 
University of Vermont. From 1821 to 1825 he was Professor 
of the same branches in Amherst College, and during several 
years subsequently he held the same office in the University of 
Georgia. Returning to the North, he resided for some time at 
Saratoga Springs, at Onondaga, and other places in the State of 
New York, and in the autumn of 1841, removed to Circleville, 
Ohio, where he spent the remainder of his days. His death 
was the result of a distressing casualty. He had just started 
on his return from Bloomfield, a town about twelve miles from 
Circleville, whither he went to supply two vacant churches, 
when his horse took fright and threw him down a precipitous 
bank ; and he was so injured by the fall, that, after lingering 
eleven days in great pain, he died June 13, 1848, at the age of 

He was a man of strong mind, a good classical scholar, and 
master of the whole field of Mathematics, rapid in his reason- 
ings, concise in his expressions, and expecting his pupil to see 
clearly what he comprehended at a glance, he had the habit of 
saying, perhaps when the pupil had scarcely caught a glimpse of 
the idea, "see it?" "see it?" It is not strange, it was almost 
a matter of course, that these words should be caught up by 
the students as a kind of by-word and applied as a character- 
istic name to their popular Professor. He was an able teacher 
and an impressive preacher. But during his connection with 
Amherst College, his health was often such that he was laid 
aside from his duties. He was also sensitive to the extreme, 
and in the opinion of some naturally ambitious. These traits 
of character brought his connection with one College after 
another to a sudden close, and embittered the latter years of 
his life. He was once appointed to a Professorship in Mid- 
dlebury College, but in consequence of some disagreement 
between himself and some of the officers of the College, he 
never entered upon the duties of the office. He wrote, and by 
advice of the Franklin Association, published a " Statement of 
Facts " in the case. This was in 1818. During the absence of 
President Moore in Boston and also in his last sickness, Prof. 
Olds had instructed the Senior class and performed some other 


duties usually discharged by the President, and on the death of 
the latter, being the oldest Professor and in the actual perform- 
ance of his duties, very naturally took his place, and perhaps as- 
pired and expected to succeed to his office. This awakened jeal- 
ousy and excited opposition which led to a decision of the Trust- 
ees that the Vice-President of the Corporation, Rev. Mr. Crosb}^, 
should be the acting President of the College, till the vacancy 
should be filled by the election of a successor. This in turn 
made sport among the students, particularly as the Vice-Presi- 
dent " had never received a public education, nor spent an hour 
as a student in any College. Thus things jumbled along till 
Commencement, the Vice-President attending chapel exercises 
and sitting in Dr. Moore's study, and part of the time having 
one of the members of the Faculty present to tell him what to 
do when a student called on him with a question or request. 
He also presided at Commencement and made many blunders, 
miscalling the names of the performers, etc. He miscalled my 
name, and I waited to have it corrected before I took the plat- 
form. Prof. Olds bore all this with a Christian spirit, doing what 
he could to make the occasion go off respectably for the sake of 
the students and the Institution. This done he demanded an 
investigation before the Board of Trustees. This was granted, 
and the meeting was held in the hall of Boltwood's Hotel. . The 
result was a triumphant vindication of the Professor from the 
accusations brought against him." l 

But things did not go smoothly under the administration of 
Dr. Humphrey, and at the reorganization of the Faculty under 
the charter, Professors Fiske and Peck took the place of Prof. 
Olds in the Faculty. 

Besides his Inaugural Oration at Williams College, 1806, 
Prof. Olds published the substance of eight sermons on Episco- 
pacy and Presbyterian Parity, 1815. " His last years were years 
of active and earnest service in the ministry of the gospel, and 
when he died, the public papers in the region in which he had 
resided, bore honorable testimony to his character, his usefulness 
and fidelity." 2 

J Rev. Edwards A. Beach, Class of '24. 

3 Prof. Chester Dewey, in Sprague's Annals, Vol. II., p. 688. 


Joseph Estabrook was born in Lebanon, N. H., December 8, 
1792. He was graduated at Dartmouth College, in 1815, and 
took his second degree both at Dartmouth and Williams in 1818. 
He first intended to be a minister, and commenced the study of 
Theology at Princeton. But owing to a bronchial affection, he 
soon left the Seminary, and turned his attention to teaching. 
From 1817 to 1820, he was Principal of Amherst Acadera}-, 
and from 1821 to 1824 Professor of the Latin and Greek Lan- 
guages and Librarian in Amherst College. He is said to have 
been one of the most popular and successful of all the Princi- 
pals of Amherst Academy. In the College he does not seem to 
have been so acceptable. Judging from the letters of alumni 
who were under his instructions, we should infer, that he made 
no very deep or strong impression on his pupils either as a man, 
a scholar or a teacher, for. they make little or no allusion to 
him. He is remembered in town for his elegant ruffle shirt, his 
fine suwarrow boots, and the great quantities of snuff which, 
tradition says, he carried in his coat pocket. He was a good 
shot as was demonstrated by the fact preserved by the memory 
of some of the older inhabitants that on his way to "meeting" 
one Fast day, seeing a flock of pigeons flying high overhead, he 
snatched a gun from the hand of a fowler, and brought down a 
bird from his flight. A far more marvelous yet well authenti- 
cated story is told of him, which not only illustrates his own 
life and times, but bears on the great principles of Psychology 
and Theology. There was a lottery to aid in the building of 
the Northampton bridge. The young men of Amherst were 
eagerly rushing in for a chance at the prizes. But Mr. Estabrook 
had little money to spare and' none to waste on uncertainties. 
As his mind dwelt on the subject by day, however, he dreamed 
one night that he had bought a ticket of a certain number and 
drawn a prize of five thousand dollars. He went over to North- 
ampton, found that ticket unsold, bought it, and actually drew a 
prize of five thousand dollars, one thousand of which he gave 
to Amherst College. 

Compelled to seek a southern climate on account of his throat, 
he left Amherst in 1824, and became the successful proprietor 
and the popular principal of a school for young ladies, first in 


Staunton, Va., and then in Knoxville, -Tenn. His success in 
the latter, led to his appointment to the presidency of the Uni- 
versity of East Tennessee, which he organized anew and con- 
ducted for several years with several Professors, educated at 
Amherst, and which under his administration enjoyed a degree 
of prosperity, such as it never before nor since experienced. 
He resigned this position at the close of the summer term in 
1847, having been thirteen years at the head of the University, 
and for about thirty years engaged in teaching. 

On his retirement from the University, he removed to Ander- 
son County, Tenn., about twenty-five miles from Knoxville, and 
engaged in the difficult and hazardous enterprise of boring for 
salt water and manufacturing salt. After a large outlay of 
capital, the conquest of many obstacles and the devotion of 
some seven years' time, when his plans were apparently just on 
the eve of a successful realization, he was prostrated by an 
attack of disease and in a few days removed from among the 
living. He died on Friday, May 18, 1855, having completed 
the sixty-second year of his age. 

Prof. Amos Eaton, who lectured on Chemistry and some 
branches of Natural History, and helped to give a scientific bent 
to some of the early graduates and to the College itself, was a 
remarkable character, and led an eventful life. Born in 1776, 
an apprenticed blacksmith in 1791; in 1799 a graduate of Wil- 
liams College, afterwards a student of law, and admitted to the 
bar under Alexander Hamilton ; imprisoned a little while for an 
act which, it is generally conceded, involved no moral obliquity, 
and soon released by act of the Governor; a student of the 
Natural Sciences at Yale College, and a lecturer on the same in 
Williams College, and in Albany by invitation of De Witt Clin- 
ton; Geological Surveyor of the country adjacent to the Erie 
Canal, from 1820 to 1826 ; Professor of Botany, Chemistry and 
Natural Philosophy in the medical school at Castleton, Vt., and 
subsequently, for many years, Principal of the Rensselaer Insti- 
tute at Troy, N. Y., thus emerging from obscurity and reproach 
and passing through a singular variety of occupations and vicissi- 
tudes of life, he rose to a distinguished rank and reputation, 
scarcely second to any at that early period, as an educator, a 


lecturer and a pioneer in the natural sciences. His geological 
survey was far in advance of anything of the kind which pre- 
ceded it. His manual of botany passed through many editions, 
taking the title of American Botany in the eighth, and was for 
years the standard work in that science. He also published an 
Index to the Geology of the Northern States, and contributed 
numerous papers for Silliman's Journal. He died at Troy, N. Y., 
May 10, 1842, at the age of sixty-five. 

The Tutors under the presidency of Dr. Moore, Lucius Field, 
William S. Burt, Elijah L. Coe and Zenas Clapp, are mentioned 
with respect in letters of the early alumni, particularly for their 
Christian character and influence. 

Lucius Field was born in Northfield, August 21, 1796 ; grad- 
uated at Williams in 1821, and at Andover in 1825 ; settled 
pastor at Tyringham, Mass., in 1833, and after supplying several 
other churches at different times, died at Northfield, June 1, 
1839, aged forty-two. He came to Amherst with President 
Moore directly after his graduation, and was Tutor only the first 

William Skinner Burt was a native of South Wilbraham ; grad- 
uated at Union College in 1818, and spent the remainder of his 
life in teaching at Belchertown, Amherst, Monson, Newburg, 
N. Y., and Ithaca, N. Y., where he died in 1855. He was an 
able and popular teacher, and fitted many for College, among 
whom were Dr. Bridgman of the Class of '26, and Dr. Russell of 
the Class of '29. He was a teacher and a superintendent of the 
Sabbath-school in Amherst, and some of the good people of the 
village remember him as the, instrument of the conversion of 
every member of his class. 

Elijah Lansing Coe graduated at Union College in 1822, and 
came immediately to Amherst ; was Tutor here from 1822 till 
1823. His active usefulness in the first revival is gratefully re- 
corded by some of the early alumni. 

Zenas Clapp was born at Deerfield, January 30, 1796; grad- 
uated at Dartmouth in 1821 ; was Tutor in Amherst, 1823-4 ; 
studied theology at Auburn; taught in several Academies in 
Massachusetts and New York, and died in Florida, January 29, 
1837, aged forty-one. 



AT the laying of the corner-stone of the first College edifice, 
the Rev. Dr. Parsons presided as President of the Trustees of 
Amherst Academy. At the close of the exercises he resigned, 
and Noah Webster, Esq., was chosen President in his place. 
He was already more than seventy-one, and had resigned his 
pastorate about a year previous. He gave the land on which 
Amherst Academy was built, procured also a bell for its use at 
his own expense, was President of its Board of Trustees from 
its foundation till the laying of the corner-stone of South Col- 
lege, and contributed to its prosperity by his property, his time 
and presence, and his personal service in all ways that lay within 
his power. He was a liberal subscriber to the Charity Fund, 1 and 
when extraordinary exertions were necessary to complete the 
sum of fifty thousand dollars within the time, he and a few other 
citizens of Amherst signed an obligation making themselves lia- 
ble to the amount of fifteen thousand dollars. In the same 
spirit, even after he had resigned both the pastorate and the 
presidency of the Board of Trustees, so long as he lived he 
lived for the College, and was ready to put his shoulders to the 
wheel in every emergency. The counsels and contributions of 
Dr. Parsons worked in beautiful harmony with the prayers and 
active agency of Col. Graves ; and the study of the former, hot 
less than the closet of the latter, was one of the deep and hid- 
den sources from which the College sprung. The prime movers 
of the enterprise Graves, Dickinson, Strong, Smith came 
often to that study, especially when days were dark and friends 
seemed few, and they always went away enlightened, encouraged, 

1 His subscription was six hundred dollars. 


strengthened in the work of building a College, a whole College, 
and nothing less than a College A COLLEGE FOB CHRIST. 

David Parsons was born at Amherst, January 28, 1749 ; gradu- 
ated at Harvard College in 1771 ; was licensed to preach about 
the year 1775, and after having preached with much acceptance 
in several places, but in consequence of feeble health having 
concluded to relinquish the ministry and engage in mercantile 
business, in 1782 he was induced, by much urgency of the peo- 
ple, to accept the pastoral office in his native place as his fa- 
ther's successor. 1 In 1788 he preached the annual election ser- 
mon before the Legislature of Massachusetts. In 1795 he was 
elected Professor of Divinity in Yale College, but declined the 
appointment. In 1800 he received the degree of Doctor of Di- 
vinity from Brown University. During the latter part of his 
ministry there were several revivals of religion in his parish 
especially one in 1816, which resulted in an addition to his church 
of more than a hundred members, and probably had no unim- 
portant bearing on the founding and the character of Amherst 
College. After a ministry of nearly thirty-seven years, he was 
dismissed, at his own request, on the let of September, 1819. 
He died suddenly while on a visit to his friends at Wethersfield, 
Conn., May 18, 1823, a little more than a mouth previous to the 
death of President Moore. Both of these able and excellent 
men longed to see the College chartered, and then they would 
have been ready to say, " Now lettest thou thy servant depart 
in peace ; " but they died almost two years before the consum- 
mation which they so devoutly wished. Both of them, shortly 
before their death, visited Gol. Graves on what they supposed 
to be his dying bed, but in the mj'sterious providence of God 
they were appointed to a speedy death, while he recovered and 
lived to see his beloved College in the spring-tide of its early 

The widow of Dr. Parsons, Mrs. Harriet Parsons, a daughter 
of Ezekiel Williams, of Wethersfield, lived known and highly 
esteemed by many students of Amherst College, for more than 
a quarter of a century, and died June 5, 1850, aged eighty-six. 

1 Rev. David Parsons, the father of Dr. Parsons, was the first pastor of the church. 
He preached five years as a candidate, and was pastor forty years. 


Two of Dr. Parsons' sermons were published, the election ser- 
mon in 1788, and a sermon at the ordination of J. L. Pomeroy 
in 1795. 

Being a good scholar, he was in the habit of receiving into 
his family, students who were suspended from Harvard College, 
and his instruction and discipline proved highly satisfactory to 
the College authorities. When Amherst College came into ex- 
istence, he still continued to receive into his family, students as 
boarders for a small compensation, or none at all if they were 
too poor to pay for their board ; and they were charmed by his 
instructive and entertaining conversation and the cultivation of 
his wife and children. "Most .of the time," says an alumnus of 
the first class, " I boarded in the family of Dr. Parsons. The 
father and mother were both then alive and the children all at 
home. It was a good, intelligent, cultivated family. The Doc- 
tor had many peculiarities and was unique in his expressions. 
Not unfrequently he would keep the whole table, family and 
boarders in a roar of laughter." 

Dr. Parsons' facetious turn and social attractions were famous 
in his dajr, and not a few of his witticisms still linger in the 
memory of those who knew him. Wit and drollery seem to 
have been spontaneous and quite beyond his control, never dis- 
turbing, it is said, the due solemnity of the pulpit, but often 
flashing out irresistibly in such close connection with serious 
things that the wit was enhanced by the incongruity. As he 
was returning once in a mood of unusual tenderness from the 
funeral of a near and dear friend, a brother in the ministry 
seized the occasion to remonstrate with him on his .want of the 
seriousness becoming his sacred profession. "I know it all, 
brother," was the immediate response, " and it has been my bur- 
den through life ; but I suppose after all, that grace does not 
cure squint eyes." 

It was customary in the good old times at the meetings of the 
Hampshire Association, as at other ministerial meetings, to fur- 
nish spirituous liquors for the entertainment of the ministers. 
Soon after the commencement of the temperance reformation, 
this practice was discontinued. The Association met at the 
house of Dr. Parsons in Amherst when the change was intro- 


duced. The motion was made by the Doctor himself. He was 
as ready for the reform as any of them. But he loved a joke as 
well as he loved the cause of temperance, so he moved that they 
have one more good drink, and then banish the article forever 
from their meetings. The resolution was adopted, they had a 
merry time over the last drink such at least is the tradition 
and thus they inaugurated the reign of total abstinence. Some 
of our readers may be surprised to find such a specimen of min- 
isterial character among the founders of Amherst College. But 
this genial man and genuine humorist was the first President of 
the Board of Trustees, and was among the most zealous and 
earnest advocates of the union of a high standard of scholarship 
with the highest type of evangelical religion. 

Dr. Noah Webster was President of the Board of Trustees 
after the laying of the first corner-stone till after the inaugura- 
tion of Dr. Moore, when he resigned and Dr. Moore was chosen 
President of the Board in his stead. Mr. Webster's wisdom 
and prudence were of great service in guiding the early steps 
of the infant Institution, while, at the same time, his reputation 
for learning and integrity contributed not a little to give it char- 
acter before the public. 

The name of Noah Webster is known wherever the English 
language is spoken, and we need not dwell upon the events of 
his life. A native of West Hartford ; an alumnus of Yale Col- 
lege of the Class of '78; admitted to the bar in 1781; engaged 
in teaching, compiling school-books, writing essays on political 
and literary subjects, and delivering lectures and publishing dis- 
sertations on the English language till 1789 ; then a lawyer in 
Hartford till 1793 ; editor of a daily and semi-weekly paper, 
afterwards the Commercial Advertiser and the New York Specta- 
tor, till 1798, about the beginning of the present century, he be- 
gan to devote himself entirely to literary and philological pursuits 
in New Haven, Conn. In 1812, finding his resources inadequate 
to the support of his family, he removed to Amherst, where he 
spent ten of the most laborious and fruitful years of his life* on 
his great life-work, the American Dictionary. His spelling- 
book had been published long before, having first appeared in 
1783, and so great was the success of this, the first book of the 


kind published in the United States, that during the twenty 
years in which he was employed on the Dictionary, the entire 
support of his family was derived from the profits of this work 
at a premium for copyright of less than one cent per copy. 

Student and scholar as he was, Mr. Webster was still, as he 
always had been, deeply interested in popular education and 
public affairs, and was highly esteemed by the people of Am- 
herst. He was often moderator at town meetings. In 1814 he 
was chosen a member of the Legislature, receiving ninety-nine 
out of a hundred votes, and he was the Representative of Am- 
herst in the General Court three years out of six between 1814 
and 1819. In 1816 he received a large majority of the votes of 
Amherst as candidate for Representative to Congress. In 1818, 
he delivered in Northampton the first address before the Hamp- 
shire, Hampden and Franklin Agricultural Society of which he 
was at the same time the Vice-President. In 1819, ''Samuel F. 
Dickinson, Esq., Noah Webster, Esq., and Lieut, Enos Dickin- 
son were chosen a committee to confer with the Rev. Daniel A. 
Clark, on settling in the ministry." l 

Mr. Webster was a favorite with the intelligent farmers of 
Amherst and the vicinity, with whom he conversed familiarly 
on subjects pertaining to their occupation ; and in haying time, 
he might be seen himself spreading and raking the hay, while 
not unfrequently his daughters, who afterwards married kings 
and became queens in cultivated society, shared with him this 
rural exercise and recreation. His wife and daughters also often 
joined him in his walks, which were his usual exercise. History 
or poetry presents few more beautiful scenes than this scholar 
and sage in the domestic circle. He opened his house often 
every term, it is said to students as well as residents of the 
town. The influence of so genial and so accomplished a family 
was as great as it was happy in the Academy, in the College, 
and in the community. As, in his writings, Mr. Webster in- 
structed all and corrupted none, so his personal influence per- 
vaded all classes of society only to purify and exalt. He gave 
much of his time, which was more valuable than money, to the 

1 Church Eecords. Most of the foregoing facts are taken from the records of the 


Academy and the College. He wrote many of the early docu- 
ments pertaining to both these Institutions ; and while they show 
the pure taste, good sense and well-balanced mind of Mr. Web- 
ster, it is interesting to observe how fully this distinguished 
philologist sympathized with the most puritanical of the found- 
ers in their religious faith and the fervor of their Christian 
spirit. Webster's Spelling Book is probably the most powerful 
educator of the masses that America has ever produced. His 
Dictionar3 r is, perhaps, beyond any other uninspired book, the 
constant companion, friend and counselor of the educated and 
educating classes. Add to these the. College of which he was 
one of the founders, and which is likely to outlive both the oth- 
ers, and he may well be envied who was able to open so many 
and such fountains of good influence. A conservative in poli- 
tics, a progressive in education, a radical reformer in language, 
and a Puritan in religion, he was a power in his age and country, 
making himself felt as an original and independent thinker, in 
almost every sphere of human thought, and adorning what- 
ever he touched by the purity of his taste, the grace of his man- 
ners and the elevation of his character. The evening of his 
days was serene and tranquil, and his death befitting the close 
of such a life. He died at New Haven on the 28th of May, 
1843, in the eighty-fifth year of his age, leaving as his dying 
testimony, " I know in whom I have believed, and that He is 
able to keep what I have committed to Him till that day." 

Among those early friends of Amherst College whose connec- 
tion with the Board of Trustees ceased not long after the death 
of President Moore, and whose biography should, therefore, be 
sketched with that of the first President, we may name Rev. 
Daniel A. Clark, Dr. Rufus Cowles, and Dea. Elisha Billings. 

Daniel A. Clark was born in Rahway, N. J., March 1, 1779. 
Wild and wayard in his youth, a sermon of Rev. David Austin 
was the means of his conversion and the commencement of a 
radical change in his life. In 1808 he graduated at Princeton, 
with a high reputation for scholarship. He studied theology at 
Andover whither he went from Newark with Rev. Dr. Griffin, 
and joined the third class formed in the Institution. He was 
settled in the ministry several times at Weymouth, Mass., 


Southbury, Conn., Amherst, Mass , Bennington, Vt., and Adams, 
N. Y., and preached with great effect in several cities, as at 
Portland, Me., Utica and Troy, N. Y., and Charleston, S. C. 
His pastorates were all of short duration. That at Amherst 
lasted about six years, and this was two years longer than any 
of his other settlements. In the fourth year of his settlement 
in Amherst, charges of various kinds were made against him, 
some of them seriously affecting not only his ministerial but his 
Christian character, and in February, 1824, a council was con- 
vened to consider and decide upon them. The church stood by 
the pastor and remonstrated against his dismission. " The coun- 
cil was one of the ablest and most imposing we have ever wit- 
nessed. There were thronged assemblies and eloquent advo- 
cates and venerable judges." 1 The result was that the pastor 
was acquitted of the several charges, and cordially recommended 
to the churches as an able and faithful minister. Mr. Clark re- 
mained at Amherst some two years after the council, still sus- 
taining the relation of pastor and continuing in the discharge of 
his ministerial duties. But his situation was in many respects 
an undesirable one, and he was quite willing to avail himself of 
the first opportunity which occurred for leaving it. Accordingly, 
in the spring of 1826, he asked a dismission from the church in 
Amherst, and accepted a call from the Congregational Church 
in Bennington, Vt. 

The brief continuance of all his pastorates seems to prove 
some want of fitness for the pastoral relation. Wicked men 
were doubtless offended by the boldness, pungency and power 
with which he preached the doctrines of the cross. But he gave 
offence also by his rough and careless manners, and his unmin- 
isterial deportment out of the pulpit. One of his good deacons 
who loved and admired his preaching, used long after to say in 
his homespun style of illustration, that Mr. Clark reminded him 
of one of his cows, the best cow in many respects that he ever 
had, which gave a large pailful of excellent milk, but not un- 
frequently kicked it all over before she had done. 

Shortly before his departure from Amherst, Mr. Clark prepared 
and published his first volume of sermons " Conference Ser- 

1 Rev. George Shepard, D. D., of the Class of '26. 


mons," " to be used in religious meetings, where there is not 
present a gospel minister." This was in 1826. It was the first 
volume that ever issued from the Amherst press. It had a w r ide 
circulation, and exerted a prodigious power. The writer well 
remembers, how it was welcomed by the deacons of the church in 
his native place in north-eastern Pennsylvania, how the sermons 
were read in " deacons' meetings," and how even under such dis- 
advantages they stirred the people like the voice of a trumpet. 

While residing with his children in the city of New York, he 
prepared for the press three volumes of sermons which were 
published in 1835 and 1836. In 1846, the " complete works " 
of Mr. Clark were published in two volumes, together with a 
biographical sketch and an estimate of his powers as a preacher, 
by Rev. George Shepard, D. D., Professor of Sacred Rhetoric 
in Bangor Theological Seminary. Prof. Shepard estimates his 
power as a preacher very high. " Mr. Clark's person, voice and 
entire manner were in perfect keeping with his style ; a large 
masculine frame, a voice harsh, strong, capable of great volume, 
though not very flexible, an action for the most part ungraceful 
but significant and natural, a countenance bearing bold, strongly- 
marked features at every opening of which the waked and work- 
ing passions looked intensely out ; then thoughts and sentences 
such as we find in these volumes coming forth, all together gave 
the idea of huge, gigantic power. We were reminded often 
of some great ordnance, throwing terribly its heavy shots." 
Prof. Shepard had the advantage of hearing the sermons from 
the lips of the preacher himself. But no one can read his 
"Church Safe," 1 preached before the Consociation at Water- 
town, or his " Plea for a Miserable World," delivered at the lay- 
ing of the corner-stone at Amherst, or any of several sermons 
printed in the National Preacher, or indeed any one of the ser- 
mons in his complete works, without admitting the essential 
justice of this estimate, without feeling not only that Mr. Clark 
was one of the most powerful preachers, but that his sermons 
are among the most remarkable sermons that our country has 

1 It was the reading of this sermon at an evening meeting, that led to his call by 
the church in Amherst. 


Mr. Clark entered with characteristic zeal and earnestness 
into the work of laying the foundations of Amherst College, 
pleaded its cause in the pulpit and with his pen, and spent some 
time in traveling and collecting funds for its permanent estab- 
lishment. He died in great tranquillity March 3, 1840, of an 
ossification of the arteries of the brain. 

Rufus Cowles was born in Amherst, December 16, 1767 ; 
graduated at Dartmouth College in 1792 ; practiced medicine in 
New Salem and Amherst for several years, and then was en- 
gaged in mercantile business in the latter place till the time of 
his death which occurred November 22, 1837, at the age of sev- 
enty. He had a large landed property in Amherst, and sub- 
scribed to the Charity Fund a tract of land in Maine which was 
.estimated at three thousand dollars. Some of the early alumni 
remember him as among the first to meet students on their ar- 
rival in town and give them a cordial welcome, assuring them 
that Amherst was a remarkably healthy place, as was demon- 
strated by the fact that he had not lost a patient for so many 
years ! His connection with the Board of Trustees ceased with 
the obtaining of the charter in 1825. 

Elisha Billings was born in Sunderland, October 1, 1749. He 
held a high rank as a scholar in Yale College where he was 
graduated in 1772, and delivered the valedictory oration at Com- 
mencement. After suitable preparatory studies he was licensed 
to preach the gospel in 1775. But soon after he commenced 
preaching, his health failed, and he spent the remainder of his 
life as a highly respected farmer in Conway, at the same time 
taking a leading part in the church of which he was a member 
and an officer, and making his influence felt in the educational 
and religious institutions of the county. He was a Director 
of the Hampshire Education and Missionary Societies, and a 
Trustee of Sanderson Academy and Amherst College. Dr. 
Hitchcock who was for some years his pastor, says : " His clear 
views of religious doctrines and inflexible adherence to the faith 
of the Puritans made him the steadfast friend of every effort to 
defend and propagate the gospel of Christ. His support of the 
new Institution was no halting, lukewarm advocacy. Rarely 
was his seat vacant at the meetings of the Board and his fervent 


prayers and wise and encouraging counsels were most efficient 
elements of final success. He had not abundant means, but 
did what he could as to pecuniary aid. Indeed so liberal were 
his benefactions as exceedingly to embarrass his widow and 
children. But they, too, endowed with the same spirit, strug- 
gled through their pecuniary embarrassments. When the effort 
was being made to raise fifty thousand dollars to start the Col- 
lege, Mrs. Billings circulated the life of Franke so widely that 
the copy was worn out. She believed and so did all the men 
and women who founded Amherst College, that the principles 
adopted and acted upon by Franke as to trust in God and the 
power of prayer, were scriptural ; and such essentially, let it 
always be remembered, were the principles on which Amherst 
College was founded. The type of the piety of its originators 
was that of Spener and Franke in early times and of Muller 
in our own times." l 

Deacon Billings died at Conway, August 9, 1825, about two 
weeks before the first annual meeting of the Trustees under 
the charter. He lived to see the College in which he felt so 
much interest incorporated, but never attended a meeting after 
the incorporation. His excellent wife, Mary (Storrs) Billings, 
daughter of Rev. John Storrs of Southold, Long Island, sister 
of Rev. Richard Storrs, of Longmeadow, and aunt of Rev. 
Richard Salter Storrs of Braintree, survived him many years 
and died in Conway, July 4, 1856, aged eighty-six years. 

The three working men above all others among the founders 
of Amherst College, were Col. Rufus Graves, Hon. Samuel 
Fowler Dickinson and Hezekiah Wright Strong, Esq. And of 
these, Col. Graves was emphatically the agent of the Institution 
in its early years. 

Rufus Graves was born in Sunderland, September 27, 1758. 
He was a graduate of Dartmouth College of the Class of '91. 
Under the administration of John Adams (1797-1801) he re- 
ceived a commission as Colonel of a regiment which was raised 
in this section when fears were entertained of a French war, 
and thus obtained the military title by which he has ever since 
been usually known. In 1812 he was lecturer on chemistry in 

1 Reminiscences of Amherst College, p. 7. 


the College where he was graduated. But experiments in chem- 
istry were not his only nor his most brilliant experiments. For 
several years of his life, during which he lived for the most 
part in Leverett, he was chiefly remarkable for bold and grand 
schemes of business, which were too large for his resources, and 
so turned out failures. He tried his hand at sheep-farming, at 
fruit-growing, at a tannery in Leverett, and a tide-mill in Bos- 
ton, with the same result. He planted the best orchard in Frank- 
lin County, but it did not pay the expense. He had the best 
flock of fine-wool Merino sheep, the best herd of cows, and the 
best stock of the best breed of pigs in this part of the Connec- 
ticut Valley. But his experiments all cost more than they came 
to, and pecuniarily the result was a failure. 

The writer has been unable to ascertain just when he came 
to Amherst. The church records under date of November 14, 
1817, contain this entry : " Received Rufus Graves and wife to 
communion by letter." He was for some years a deacon in the 
village church. His first residence in Amherst was in the second 
story of the Academy building, where he boarded a large num- 
ber of the students, while at the same time he lectured to them 
on chemistry in an extemporized laboratory in the basement. 
Subsequently he built the house near by, now owned by Mr. J. 
S. Adams. Col. Graves was the first lecturer on chemistry in 
the Amherst Collegiate Institution. This was in the first year 
of its existence. His lectures were delivered in a private room 
in the old South College, which was not only an earlier but a 
humbler and ruder laboratory than even the upper room or hall 
in the North College that was afterwards used in rotation for 
morning and evening prayers and for lectures on the physical 
sciences. And from anecdotes which have been transmitted, we 
infer that the lectures were as homely and primitive as the ap- 
paratus and the laboratory. He was deeply interested in the 
religious welfare of the students, and took an active and leading 
part in the prayer-meetings of the Academy and the village 
church, which were all then held in the lower room of the Acad- 
emy building. He often opened his own house for private and 
special meetings for prayer. The writer attended one or two 
meetings of this sort when he was a member of College, and he 


well remembers the faith and fervor with which he prayed. He 
always prayed many who knew him have remarked it as if he 
were talking with God face to face. None doubted that he daily 
walked with God. Faith and works, prayer to God and impor- 
tunity with men, went hand in hand in his labors for the estab- 
lishment of the College. 

He entered into this work with all his heart and labored in it 
for years with all his might ; for now he had found an object 
great enough for his enterprise, and at the same time good 
enough for his benevolence, and the fervor of his piety now con- 
spired with the ardor of his temperament and the hopefulness 
of his natural disposition to set him all on fire in the under- 

It will be remembered that the first project was merely an en- 
largement of Amherst Academy by the endowment of a profess- 
orship of languages. This plan was projected by Col. Graves. 
The resolutions were drawn up by him, and, at his motion, unan- 
imously adopted by the Trustees of the Academy, and he was ap- 
pointed their agent to carry them into execution. He spent many 
months, chiefly in Boston and vicinity, in soliciting donations for 
this object, but with little success. Returning home at length, 
discouraged though not in despair, he was convinced by Esq. 
Dickinson that his object was too small to awaken public inter- 
est, and that if he would succeed, he must found a College. 
Col. Graves was not slow to entertain an idea so suited to his 
own cast of mind. He embraced it eagerly. He drew up the 
constitution and by-laws as the basis not only of a Charity Fund, 
but of a charitable Collegiate Institution. This plan was adop- 
ted by the Trustees with equal unanimity and still greater en- 
thusiasm. Committees were appointed to guide and aid in so- 
liciting donations. Indeed it was understood that they were to 
be a committee of the whole for the purpose of raising money. 
But Col. Graves was still the principal agent. He devoted his 
whole time and strength to the work. He went to every part 
of the State, buttonholing wealthy and benevolent individuals, 
and not a few who were not wealthy nor benevolent, inviting, 
entreating, and if necessary almost commanding and constraining 
them to subscribe sums varying from ten to a thousand dollars ; 


arid in about a year from the commencement the subscription 
of fifty thousand dollars was completed. The subscription of 
thirty thousand dollars, which soon followed, was.a work of still 
greater difficulty, because the ground had already been pretty 
thoroughly burnt over, and it was necessary to raise it in smaller 
sums. Subscriptions were taken from mite societies and chil- 
dren's societies, and many of these did not exceed five cents, 
while very few of them exceeded five dollars. In this subscrip- 
tion, too, Col. Graves was still an everywhere-present and uni- 
formly successful agent. When the subscriptions were filled, 
there still remained the scarcely less laborious task of collecting 
them. This also devolved more or less on the same indefatiga- 
ble agent. Col. Graves was also eminently active and success- 
ful in soliciting donations in money and in kind for erecting 
all the early buildings. Regarding the silver and the gold, 
the stone and the brick, the corn and the provisions as the 
Lord's, and Amherst College as unquestionably the Lord's Insti- 
tution, he was often in the habit of going to good people every- 
where and saying, the Lord hath need of this or that, and 
usually it was forthcoming immediately. Thus he traversed 
the State from year to year, visiting many portions of it repeat- 
edly, till he became as well known to ministers and Christians 
generally as any veteran agent or district secretary of our own 
day ; * and twenty-five years ago there was scarcely a town in 
which racy anecdotes were not told of his sayings and doings, 
seasoned with lively descriptions of his peculiar person and man- 
ners. Sometimes he would return from these excursions with 
very little money for the College and none for himself, with 
worn-out shoes and coat out at the elbows, to find his family 
suffering for the conveniences if not the necessaries of life, but 
with inexhaustible faith and hope and patience, after patching 
up himself and the homestead, and having refreshed his own 
spirit and all around him by prayer, he would start out again on 
another expedition. In short, he had Amherst College on the 

1 Col. Graves' horse was almost as well known in this vicinity as the Colonel 
himself, and even after he had passed into the hands of another owner, he was as 
persistent in calling at every door as his old master was in levying a contribution 
on every individual. 


brain, and some of his cooler neighbors really believed he was 
beside himself. Calling one day on Simeon Strong, Esq., son 
of Judge Strong, who was thought to be going down to the 
grave with an incurable disease, he found him in what appeared 
to him a state of morbid, almost preternatural cheerfulness ; and 
meeting Dr. Cutler shortly after, he asked him if Esq. Strong 
was not deranged, or at least losing the balance of his faculties. 
The Doctor went almost immediately to call on his patient ; and 
scarcely had he passed the ordinary compliments of the sick 
room, when Esq. Strong said : " I have just received a visit 
from Col. Graves ; and Doctor, don't you think he is losing his 
balance ? It seems to me he is deranged he talks and thinks 
of nothing but Amherst College." Though near neighbors, 
their temperaments were so diametrically opposite, that each 
pronounced the other crazy. 

There is much more than a picture of the imagination in the 
following lively sketch by an early graduate. 1 "I see an old 
man, poor and humble, but yet a kind of ironsides who consid- 
ered that in the midst of wide-spread defection from the faith 
of the fathers, there should be a College erected to the Lord a 
kind of Puritan, Calvanistic College for the education of the 
Lord's anointed and the upholding of His kingdom, and that this 
should be done in the heart of Massachusetts ; I see him on a 
sort of crusade among the faithful, homely clergy and laymen of 
the Connecticut Valley, urging upon them to build a College to 
the Lord, and that Amherst must be the place for its erection. 
I see the foundations of the College laid amid the prayers and 
tears and praises and contributions of the poor and humble who 
felt that it was the Lord's work. > I see the relays of men coming 
in from the towns about to work up by their daily labor the con- 
tributions of materials which other towns had made to the com- 
mon cause. I see the loads of provisions sent in by the pious 
farmers and inhabitants, far and near, for the support of the 
bands of workmen, who, in giving the labor of their hands, 
gave their all. I see old Dea. Graves Prof. Graves traveling 
about in Hadley and Hatfield and Sunderland and Whately, 
and Belchertown and Enfield and other towns, and telling the 

i Hon. A. B. Ely, Class of '36. 


people that the Lord is in want of supplies, and asking if they 
could not spare a barrel of beef or a barrel of pork for those 
who were building a College for the Lord. And then, when 
money was wanted, Dea. Graves was the man tq scour the coun- 
try and replenish the treasury of the Lord. Then comes that 
most characteristic and most remarkable scene, when upon a re- 
turn of the good Deacon from an unsuccessful begging excur- 
sion, a meeting is called to hear his report. A chairman is 
chosen and the question is put, " Well, Dea. Graves, what suc- 
cess ? How much money have you raised ? the Deacon rising 
solemnly says, 'Not one cent. Brethren, let us pray.' This last 
exclamation should be the motto of the College forever. It is, 
in itself, an epitome of the whole early history and mission of 
Amherst College. Poverty and prayer ! Labor and faith ! The 
mission of the College is to educate for the Lord the poor and 
the pious, and to vindicate and champion the honest old New 
England Primer faith of our fathers." 

Mrs. Graves, a daughter of Dea. Graves of Leverett, was a 
woman of rare excellence, who heartily sympathized with her 
husband in his religious faith and co-operated with him in his 
self-denying work, while she did what she could to check his 
tendency to extremes. His children too, labored with their own 
hands to meet the necessities of the family while at the same 
time they availed themselves of the opportunities which Amherst 
afforded for education. His oldest son is a Christian physician 
in Northern New York. Another son, Rev. F. W. Graves of 
the Class of '25, was an able and eloquent preacher, especially 
in revivals, and died in 1864, after having turned many to right- 
eousness. His daughters married ministers, home missionaries, 
pioneers, like their father, in the work of education and religion. 
Following his children in their westward course, Col. Graves 
left Amherst in 1834, and took up his residence in Portsmouth, 
Ohio, where he died February 12, 1845, after an illness of a few 
da,ys at the age of eighty-six. He had been married fifty years. 
Next to the Bible, the favorite reading of his old age was the 
Missionary Herald which he read through every month as long 
as he was able to read at all. 

Samuel Fowler Dickinson was born in Amherst, October 9, 


1775. His father Nathan Dickinson, was a farmer in East 
Amherst. His mother, Esther Fowler, was from Westchester, 
Conn. Samuel Fowler was the youngest son. He fitted for 
College with Judge Strong of Amherst, entered Dartmouth Col- 
lege at sixteen, and graduated in 1795 at the age o'f twenty. 
Though the youngest of his class he received the second ap- 
pointment the Salutatory Oration in Latin. 

After leaving College he taught one year in the Academy at 
New Salem. About this time he had a severe sickness, which 
was the means of his conversion. He soon united with the 
West Parish Church and at twenty-one he was chosen one of 
its deacons an office which he held nearly forty years. Think- 
ing to enter the ministry he began the study of theology with 
an older brother, Rev. Timothy Dickinson of Holliston, Mass. 
But finding that he needed a more active life, he turned his 
attention to the legal profession. Returning to Araherst, he 
completed the usual term of study in the office of Judge Strong, 
and afterwards established a law office of his own in his native 

For fifteen years, from 1804 to 1818 inclusive, he was town 
clerk of Amherst. He was frequently employed as the agent 
and advocate of the town in litigated questions. In 1827, he 
was chosen Representative of the town in the General Court. 
He was subsequently a member of the Massachusetts Senate. 

Being an educated man and an officer in the church, he was 
of course a leader in religious movements and ecclesiastical 

He was ranked among the best lawyers perhaps he was the 
very best lawyer in Hampshire" County, and might doubtless 
have had a seat on the bench, if he had continued in the prac- 
tice of his profession. But he was gradually drawn off into 
business for which he had a natural fondness ; and he was still 
more deeply enlisted in the educational enterprises, to which he 
was strongly impelled at once by his cultivated mind, his rare 
public spirit, and his high moral and religious earnestness. 
Having a large family of his own to educate and at the same 
time having at heart the general welfare, he, with a few others, 
established the Academy at Amherst, erected the building, fur- 


nished it with apparatus and other endowments, liberal for those 
times, sought far and near the ablest teachers that could be 
found, and spared neither time nor money to make it the best 
institution of the kind in the Commonwealth. Young men 
also who were in straitened circumstances and making earnest 
effort to get an education, were sure to receive from him en- 
couragement and assistance. When the removal of Williams 
College began to be talked of, he at once entered into the plan 
with all the energy of his nature. Among the Trustees of that 
Institution who felt the necessity of its removal were his class- 
mate, Dr. Snell, and his college friend, Dr. Packard. He agreed 
with them and many others that an Institution more central 
than Harvard or Williams was needed, where the sons of evan- 
gelical Christians could be educated in good learning and at 
the same time in the faith of their fathers, and where those 
whose means were limited, might be educated at less expense, 
and, if necessary, be aided in their preparation for the gospel 
ministry. The conversion of the world often pressed heavily 
on his mind. He saw in the Institution contemplated at Am- 
herst, one of the agencies that would surely hasten that prom- 
ised event, and he felt that in rearing and sustaining it, he 
was as certainly fulfilling the command to "preach the gospel 
to every creature," as if he had himself gone in person to the 

The enlargement of the plan from a mere Professorship in 
Amherst Academy into a separate Collegiate Institution was 
expressly owing to Mr. Dickinson's suggestion and influence. 
Nor was the successful execution of the plan less dependent on 
his steadfastness and perseverance, on the self-sacrificing devo- 
tion of his time, property and personal service. If Col. Graves 
was the locomotive, Esq. Dickinson was the engineer of the 
train. If Col. Graves was the hand, Esq. Dickinson was the 
head in the founding and rearing of Amherst College. It is 
doubtful if the College would ever have been built without 
them both. It is -quite certain that Esq. Dickinson could LO 
more have been spared than Col. Graves. 

" A few will still remember how a few ministers l came 

1 The passage in the text is quoted from one of these ministers. 


together often for prayer and consultation as to how the object 
could be accomplished. Nearly a whole week sometimes, would 
be thus spent. When it was decided to go forward and there 
were funds enough collected to begin the foundations of the 
first building, and the corner-stone was laid, the effort was only 
begun As the work proceeded and they had used up all their 
available means, then he (Mr. Dickinson,) would pledge his pri- 
vate property to the bank to obtain money that the work might 
go on. And when there was no money to pay for the teams to 
draw the brick or men to drive them, his own horses were sent 
for days and weeks till in one season two or three of them fell 
by the wayside. Sometimes his own laborers were sent to drive 
his horses, and in an emergency he went himself, rather than 
that the work should cease." At the same time, he boarded 
more or less of the workmen, and sometimes paid their wages 
out of his own pocket, while his wife and daughters toiled to 
board them With all the zeal and efforts of numerous friends 
and benefactors, the work would often have stopped, had he 
not pledged his property till the money could be raised. His 
own means at last began to fail. His business which was so 
large as to require all his time and care, suffered from his devo- 
tion to the public. He became embarrassed and at length actu- 
ally poor. And in his poverty he had the additional grief of 
feeling that his services were forgotten, like the poor wise man 
in the proverb who " by his wisdom delivered the city, yet no 
man remembered that same poor man." 

When Lane Seminary went into operation he was offered a 
situation as Steward, with the oversight and general manage- 
ment of the grounds. He accepted it, and remained at Cincin- 
nati endeavoring to bring order out of confusion and impart 
something of New England comfort and thrift to what was then 
western life. Having received the offer of a similar situation in 
connection with the Western Reserve College with the promise 
of a better support, he removed to Hudson, Ohio. After a year 
of great labor and many discouragements, he died at Hudson, 
April 22, 1838, at the age of sixty-two, in the full possession of 
his faculties and in the precious hope of rest and reward in 
heaven. His body was removed by the filial piety of one of his 


sons and buried in the cemetery at Amherst, where he now lies 
by the side of the wife of his youth, amid the graves of his 
relatives and friends, and within sight of the College which he 
so loved and cherished and to which he devoted so many years 
of his life. 

Hezekiah Wright Strong continued to hold the office of Over- 
seer of the Charity Fund until 1846, and according to the usual 
plan of this work, the sketch of his life belongs properly to a 
later period in the history. But he was so intimately associated 
with Col. Graves and Esq. Dickinson, and so manifestly de- 
serves to rank with them among " the first three " working 
founders of Amherst College, that I shall anticipate and briefly 
sketch his life here. He was the son of Hon. Simeon Strong, 
Judge of the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of Massa- 
chusetts, and was born in Amherst, December 24, 1768. He 
studied law in his father's office, and commenced the practice 
of his profession in Deerfield. But he returned to Amherst in 
season to be one of the founders of Amherst Academy, of which 
he sometimes playfully remarks that he was the father, and 
thus the grandfather if he was not also the father of Amherst 
College. When the removal of Williams College began to be 
agitated, he made up his mind, in common with others here and 
elsewhere, that it must come to Amherst. And with an ardor 
and promptness in carrying his thoughts into execution which 
was characteristic of the man, he went up to " the meeting- 
house hill," examined the ground and selected that place for 
the site of the College. He then called on Col. Graves and re- 
quested him to look it over with him, and there, one moonlight 
night, those two men measured the ground and marked the spot 
for the first building. Thus Amherst College had " a local hab- 
itation," for the first time, perhaps, in the mind of Mr. Strong, 
and he and Col. Graves set the first stake for " the School of the 
Prophets." And then those three zealous, earnest, enthusiastic, 
not to say visionary Christian men, Mr. Strong, Col. Graves arid 
Esq. Dickinson, went to their pastor and other ministers, to 
their brethren in the church and their neighbors generally, 
saying in the language of the sons of the prophets to Elisha, 
let us go unto that sacred hill, and let us take every man a 


beam and let us make there a place for the sons of the prophets 
where they may dwell. And they did so. And thus that sub- 
stantial building of brick and mortar went up very much in the 
same way and almost as rapidly as that rude and primitive dwell- 
ing for Elisha and his pupils went up on the banks of the Jor- 
dan. 1 Which of these three men originated the idea of vol- 
untary contributions of labor and material for the erection of 
this building, or whether it sprung up simultaneously in the 
minds of many, and which of the three labored the most assid- 
uously in raising the Charity Fund and made the greatest sacri- 
fices in the early establishment of the College, is a question 
which has been much discussed but need not be answered. 
They all did what they could. They all devoted their time, 
sacrificed their property, and impoverished their families, not 
perhaps directly, but indirectly in their zeal and enthusiasm 
for the College. 

Mr. Strong had a natural fondness for new schemes. The 
first ice-house and the first bathing-house in Amherst were built 
by him. The first Congress water that was brought to Amherst 
was introduced by him. A two-horse team, with empty barrels, 
was sent to Ballston and Saratoga, the barrels were filled from 
the springs and the water brought to Amherst where it was bot- 
tled for sale. But the demand was far from being equal to the 
supply. He was in advance of his age. This may be said of not 
a few of the founders of Amherst College. Mr. Webster ad- 
vocated many a political and social reform or new measures in 
anticipation of his contemporaries. And Rev. Daniel A. Clark, 
Hon. S. F. Dickinson, Col. Rufus Graves and H. Wright Strong, 
Esq., were all similarly constituted were all full of new ideas 
and enterprises were all men of ardent temperament and strong 
faith, and thus fitted to be pioneers of reform and progress. 
Otherwise they never would have founded Amherst College. 

Mr. Strong cultivated the primitive grace of hospitality, and 
opened his house most freely for the entertainment of strangers 
as well as for the reception of neighbors and friends. Two of 
his sons were educated in Amherst College in the Class of '25. 

HI. Kings 6 : 1-8. This passage was the text of Rev. Daniel A. Clark's ser- 
mon at the laying of the corner-stone. 


One of these, Henry Wright Strong, entered when he was only 
ten years and eight months old, and graduated when he was 
fourteen. He was afterwards one of the brightest ornaments 
of the bar at Troy, N. Y., and a member of the New York Sen- 
ate. Through the influence of Hon. Samuel C. Allen, Mr. 
Strong obtained the appointment of Postmaster in Amherst, 
and with the support of his son-in-law, Mr. McConihe of Troy, 
held it through several successive administrations. We can 
scarcely refrain from noticing how many of the founders of the 
College received their reward for their services to the cause of 
education in the prosperity and filial piety of their well-educated 
children. Mr. Strong died at Troy, N. Y., October 7, 1848, at 
the age of eighty. 

There is a rugged romance in the lives of some of these early 
founders of Amherst College, which, if drawn out into particu- 
lars, would form an instructive and moving tale. Or rather here 
is an unwritten history of toils and sufferings, self-denials and 
sacrifices for the public good which is worthy of a place in the 
Book of Heroes and Martyrs. Nay, their lives, if written, would 
read not a little like the lives of those Old Testament saints 
whom the apostle enrolls as examples of faith in the eleventh 
chapter of his epistle to the Hebrews not perfect any more 
than they were, unsymmetrical perhaps and unfinished as they 
were, rugged and rough, it may be, like some of the old prophets 
and judges, but, like them, strong in faith and therefore valiant 
in fight, mighty in endurance, heroic in good deeds, almost 
prophetic in their confident anticipation of a triumphant issue 
to their apparently hopeless undertaking. Nor was this spirit 
confined to the leaders. It pervaded the rank and file. It in- 
spired the men, women and children of Amherst. Not that we 
suppose they were all influenced solely by Christian motives; 
perhaps none of them were free from the influence of local con- 
siderations and personal interests. But they were all ready to 
deny themselves and sacrifice the present for the future, the 
lower for the higher good. And very many of all ages and both 
sexes, we doubt not, devoted their time and toil and property 
and reputation to the work in the very spirit of missionaries, 
for the defence of the truth, for the propagation of a pure faith, 


for the conversion of the world, and for the honor of their Divine 
Redeemer. Time would fail me to enumerate those who were 
never Trustees or Overseers of the Fund, and who never re- 
ceived any public recognition of their services. There was Col. 
Elijah Dickinson, who gave the land on which the earliest Col- 
lege buildings were all erected, but who died before the corner- 
stone of one was laid. There was John Eastman, 1 who gave a 
thousand dollars to the Charity Fund, and five hundred to the 
thirty thousand dollars subscription, when his whole estate did 
not exceed ten or twelve thousand dollars. There were John 
Leland, Calvin Merrill, Jarib White, 2 and Joseph Church, Jr., 
who joined with Dr. Parsons, H. Wright Strong and Samuel F. 
Dickinson in signing the subsidiary bond and thus made them- 
selves responsible jointly and severally for the sum of fifteen 
thousand dollars. We give these only as specimens. From 
these learn the rest. Their names are all written in heaven. 

" Before a stroke was struck which led to the founding and 
establishment of Amherst College," says President Humphrey 3 
" God had been raising up and qualifying agents altogether 
unconsciously to themselves, to take the lead in the enterprise. 
And in looking over the whole ground I have no hesitation in 
putting the name of Rufus Graves first. He was an educated 
man of a remarkably sanguine temperament. He poured his 
whole soul into whatever he undertook, and made light of ob- 
stacles which in the very beginning would have discouraged any 
other man. As he proceeded in circulating the subscription, it 
absorbed his whole mind. It became a perfect passion with him. 
It may almost be said that he thought and talked of nothing 
else. So entirely was he devoted to this one object, that for 
weeks, when he was abroad, he forgot that he had a family at 
home to care for. In this arduous service, he spent , 4 and 

1 Father of Rev. O. Eastman, Secretary of American Tract Society, of Rev. John 
Eastman, and of Rev. David Eastman of the Class of '35. 

2 Father of Mrs. President Hitchcock. 

8 In a manuscript which he prepared at the request of the Trustees to aid in 
furnishing materials for a history. 

4 The amount of time is left blank in the manuscript. It was a little less than a 
year after the adoption of the constitution, that this subscription was completed. 
It was a year and eight months, however, which Col. Graves had devoted to the 
effort of raising funds, from the first. 


succeeded at last in raising the subscription with a responsible 
guarantee to fifty thousand dollars. This, it was believed, no 
other man could have done. And without this fund Amherst 
College never could have been built or got a charter. 

" But he never could have originated and successfully prose- 
cuted the enterprise without the checks and balances of cooler 
heads. Such men also God had raised up to carry forward the 
undertaking. They were men of faith and prayer. They were 
such men as Noah Webster, Samuel F. Dickinson, Nathaniel 
Smith, Rev John Fiske, Rev. Thomas Snell, Rev. Joshua Crosby, 
Rev. Theophilus Packard, John Leland all good men and true 
with others of like precious faith. 1 I have (with common 
consent I believe) placed Col. Graves at the head of the list. 
And from all the information I can get, Mr. Dickinson is enti- 
tled to stand next as his intimate adviser and helper. Although 
ardent, enterprising and hopeful himself in an eminent degree, 
he was such a cool and reliable adviser as Col. Graves needed, 
and he was untiring in his personal services as well as liberal in 
his contributions." 

1 We shall pay our tribute to these men each in due season. 



PRESIDENT MOORE died in June, 1823. In July of the same 
year, Rev. Heraan Humphrey was chosen to the presidency. 
His ministry of ten years in Fairfield, Conn., had been eminently 
useful and successful. He had now been nearly six years pas- 
tor of the church in Pittsfield, Mass. His labors in both these 
places had been blessed with revivals of religion of great power. 
He was already recognized as a pioneer and leader in the cause 
of temperance. He was a zealous champion of orthodoxy, evan- 
gelical religion, Christian missions, and of all the distinctive 
principles of the founders of Amherst College. In recognition 
of his high standing as an able divine and an efficient pastor, 
he had just received the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity 
from Middlebury College. Although a Berkshire pastor, and 
a Trustee of Williams College, he felt the force of the rea- 
sons for its removal, 1 and when that plan was defeated by the 
action of the Legislature, he could not but sympathize with the 
high purpose and auspicious beginning of the Institution at Am- 
herst. There were ample reasons for his appointment. What 
were the arguments for or against his acceptance ? He speaks 
of this as " the most trying crisis of his pastoral life." 

He was ardently attached to his people. They were equally 
attached to him. To go, was to leave the pastoral office in one 
of the largest and most desirable congregations in the State. 

1 In the convention at Northampton, of which Dr. Moore was President, and Dr. 
Nelson, Secretary, Dr. Humphrey was appointed the member for Berkshire, of a 
committee to raise funds for the removal of Williams College and its establishment 
at Northampton. 


As pastor, he was eminently successful ; could he hope to be 
equally successful as President ? The Institution to which he 
was united, had no permanent foundation, except in the hearts 
and the prayers of its friends. Yet he could not look with in- 
difference on their efforts and sacrifices to promote a cause which 
lay so near his own heart. His parishioners smiled when they 
first heard of his invitation to Amherst ; when they learned that 
he was considering it, they remonstrated ; when he proposed a 
council of his brethren to aid him in deciding the question of 
duty, they declined to unite with him in calling it. He was 
obliged to call it without their co-operation or consent. The 
council advised him to accept the presidency. The congregation 
reluctantly consented, and the pastoral bond was dissolved. 
" Nothing now remained but to make arrangements for my re- 
moval, and to take those sad farewells which cost me more 
anguish of soul than anything in my long life, except the loss 
of children." 1 

On the 15th of October, 1823, Dr. Humphrey was inducted 
into the presidency. It marks a characteristic of the Institution, 
perhaps also of the age, that a sermon was preached on the oc- 
casion. The preacher was Rev. Richard Salter Storrs, of Brain- 
tree, Mass. " It was a discourse of scope, adaptation, eloquence 
and power ; in all respects of such engrossing interest, as to make 
it no easy task for the speaker who should come after him. The 
wise Sophomores entertained serious doubts whether the Presi- 
dent could sustain himself in his inaugural. But this feeling soon 
subsided, and we were relieved of all our sophomoric fears and 
anxieties, as the President elect with a master's hand, opened 
the great subject of education education physical, mental, 
and moral, holding his audience in unbroken stillness for per- 
haps an hour and a half. If we were captivated by the eloquent 
preacher, we were not less impressed with the teachings and 
philosophy of the man who was to guide our feet in the paths 
of literature, science, and heavenly wisdom. That discourse 
established in our minds, his fitness for the position ; at once he 
seized upon our confidence and esteem." 2 

1 See Memorial Sketches of Heman Humphrey and Sophia Porter Humphrey. 

2 Manuscript letter of Hon. Lincoln Clark, of the Class of '25. 


Cool and impartial criticism, after the lapse of almost half a 
century, can not but justify the admiration which President 
Humphrey's inaugural inspired in the minds of those who heard 
it. Perhaps nothing has ever proceeded from his pen which 
illustrates more perfectly, the strong common sense, the prac- 
tical wisdom, the sharp and clear Saxon style, the vigor of 
thought, fervor of passion and boldness, coupled sometimes with 
marvelous felicity of expression, and the healthy, hearty, robust 
tone of body, soul and spirit, which the Christian public for so 
many years admired and loved in Dr. Humphrey. 1 

The self-distrust and anxiety with which he entered this un- 
tried and difficult field of labor are well drawn in the opening 
sentences. " It is a deeply afflictive and mysterious dispensa- 
tion of Providence which has so lately bereaved this infant 
Seminary of its head, and by which I am now brought with 
inexperienced and trembling steps to its threshold. If prayer 
offered to God without ceasing for Dr. Moore on his sick bed 
could have prolonged his invaluable life ; if professional assiduity 
could have warded off the fatal stroke ; or if agonized affection 
could have shielded him in her embrace, he had not died and 
left this favorite child of his adoption, to an early and perilous 

The following lively paragraph will show the drift of his 
ideas on physical education. " If you would see the son of 
your prayers and hopes blooming with health and rejoicing daily 
in the full and sparkling tide of youthful buoyancy, if you wish 
him to be strong and athletic, careless of fatigue ; if you would 
fit him for hard labor and safe exposure to winter and summer ; 
or if you would prepare him to sit down twelve hours in a day 
with Euclid, Enfield and Newton, and still preserve his health, 
you must lay the foundation accordingly, you must begin with 
him early, must teach him self-denial and gradually subject him 
to such hardships as will help to consolidate his frame and give 
increasing energ}*- to all his physical powers. His diet must be 
simple, his apparel must not be too warm, nor his bed too soft. 

1 The writer will be pardoned for adding, that he has a special and personal rea- 
son for an affectionate remembrance of this inaugural, since it was the reading of it 
in a distant State, that brought him to Amherst College. 


As good soil is commonly so much cheaper and better for chil- 
dren than medicine, beware of too much restriction in the man- 
agement of your darling boy. Let him in choosing his play, 
follow the suggestions of nature. Be not discomposed at the 
sight of his sand hills in the road, his snow forts in February 
and his mud dams in April, nor when you chance to look out in 
the midst of an August shower and see him wading and sailing 
arid sporting along with the water-fowl. If you would make 
him hardy and fearless, let him go abroad as often as he pleases 
in his early boyhood and amuse himself by the hour together in 
smoothing and twirling the hoary locks of winter. Instead of 
keeping him shut up all day with a stove and graduating his 
sleeping room by Fahrenheit, let him face the keen edge of the 
nortli wind when the mercury is below cypher, and instead of 
minding a little shivering and complaining when he returns, 
cheer up his spirits and send him out again." 

There is nothing more robust and racy than that in Mr. Beecher 
or any of the apostles of muscular Christianity in our day. 

On the second division of his discourse, Mental Education, he 
says : " That then must obviously be the best system of mental 
education which does most to develop and strengthen the intel- 
lectual powers, and which pours into the mind the richest streams 
of science and literature. The object of teaching should never 
be to excuse the student from thinking and reasoning, but to 
learn him how to think and reason. You can never make your 
son or your pupil a scholar by drawing his diagrams, measuring 
his angles, finding out his equations and translating his Majora. 
No, he must do all these things for himself. It is his own appli- 
cation that is to give him distinction. It is climbing the hill of 
science by dint of effort and perseverance, and not being carried 
up on other men's shoulders." 

In this view, he proceeds to make some very judicious re- 
marks upon the possibility of excessive simplification of text- 
books, abridgment of processes, teaching by lectures, itinerant 
lecturing and other labor-saving expedients, while at the same 
time he justly appreciates and describes with glowing eloquence 
the rapid and splendid conquests of general science, which shed 
such a glory upon the age. 


We can not withhold a sentence or two on the last division, 
Moral Education. " I do not merely say that this branch is in- 
dispensable, for in a sense it is everything. . . . Without the fear 
of God nothing can be secure for one moment. Without the 
control of moral and religious principles, education is a drawn 
and polished sword in the hands of a gigantic maniac. In his 
madness he may fall upon its point or bathe it in the blood of the 
innocent. . . . Every system of education should have reference 
to two worlds, but chiefly to the future, because the present is 
only the infancy of being, and the longest life bears no propor- 
tion to endless duration. . . . May a worm like one of us then 
aspire to the honor and happiness of guiding immortals to 
heaven? Who would exchange such a privilege for the dia- 
dems of all the Csesars?" 

The number of students at the time of Dr. Humphrey's ac- 
cession to the presidency was nineteen Seniors, twenty-nine 
Juniors, forty-one Sophomores, and thirty-seven Freshmen 
total, one hundred and twenty-six, of whom, we learn from 
the cover of the inaugural address, ninety-eight were hopefully 
pious. The Faculty, at the commencement of the new admin- 
istration, consisted of the same persons who were thus associated 
with President Moore, with the addition of Samuel M. Worces- 
ter as Tutor. On the catalogue of the next year, published in 
November, 1824, we find the name of Rev. Nathan W. Fiske in 
place of Joseph Estabrook, as Professor of the Latin and Greek 
Languages ; Samuel M. Worcester, Teacher of Languages and 
Librarian; and Jacob Abbott, Tutor all names familiar after- 
wards as Professors under the charter. The new President 
seems to have made no change in the studies of the Senior 
class, except that Locke disappears from the list and Vincent's 
Catechism is definitely announced for every Saturday a place 
which it continued to occupy through Dr. Humphrey's entire 
presidency. Instruction is also offered in the Hebrew, French 
and German Languages, to such as wish it, for a reasonable com- 
pensation. The President is still the sole teacher of the Senior 
class. He instructed them in Rhetoric, Logic, Natural Theology, 
the Evidences of Christianity, Intellectual and Moral Philoso- 
phy and Political Economy. He also presided at the weekly 


declamations in the chapel, and criticised the compositions of 
one or more of the classes. He preached on the Sabbath, occa- 
sionally, in the village church, so long as the students worshiped 
there ; and when a separate organization was deemed advisable, 
he became the pastor of the College church and preached every 
Sabbath to the congregation. He also sustained (from the first, 
I believe,) a weekly religious lecture, on Thursday evening. 
He early drew up the first code of written and printed "Laws 
of the Collegiate Charity Institution," the original of which is 
still preserved in his own handwriting, and labored to introduce 
more perfect order and system into the still imperfectly organ- 
ized seminary. At the same time, he was compelled to take the 
lead in a perpetual struggle for raising funds and obtaining a 

Under such circumstances, it is not surprising that Dr. Hum- 
phrey did not at once command the highest respect and venera- 
tion of the students in the chair of instruction. Accustomed 
to love and almost worship his predecessor, they very naturally 
drew comparisons to his disadvantage. Dr. Moore had been a 
teacher for the larger part of his life. Dr. Humphrey had no 
experience in the government or the instruction of a College. 
His strength at this time was in the pulpit and the pastoral office. 
The students also contrasted his plain manners, his distance and 
reserve, with the courtly air and winning address of his prede- 
cessor. Hence, while he enjoyed their respect as a man, their 
confidence as a Christian, and their admiration as an eloquent 
preacher ; as a teacher and a president he was not popular with 
his earlier classes. " We received some remarkable instruction," 
writes a member of the first class that was taught by him and 
graduated under him ; " mainly concerning ethics and the eveiy- 
day aff.iirs of life, from President Humphrey. We were, how- 
ever, much less benefitted by his teachings than succeeding 
classes, for the reasons that he was not yet .experienced as a 
College lecturer, and that he was obliged to be often absent in 
soliciting aid for the Institution, and in struggling to extort a 
charter from a recusant Legislature. As a preacher and pastor 
we were well pleased with him. His character and deportment 
harmonized with the doctrines he inculcated. His fairness, 


charity and sincerity were beautiful. His pulpit ministrations 
were, of course, specially valuable for those who subsequently 
became clergymen. Upon these young men he impressed the 
stamp of his own ministerial style so distinctly, that it was 
rarely obliterated by any succeeding influence of theological 
seminaries. Thus Dr. Humphrey has shone with a reflected 
light through an entire generation of zealous pastors and able 
preachers." l 

Influenced by the religious character and reputation of the 
College, pious parents who had wild and wayward sons, were 
already beginning to send them in considerable numbers to Am- 
herst, in the hope of their reformation. These young men, like 
the youthful Saul of Tarsus, very naturally felt themselves in 
duty bound, to recalcitrate against these very moral and Chris- 
tian influences, and were, perhaps, peculiarly ready to practice 
on the Faculty such pranks and jokes as are the especial delight 
of Sophomores in College. A joke of this kind perpetrated 
about this time upon Dr. Humphrey, has already taken its place 
as a classic among the most famous of College stories, and de- 
serves to be narrated here, not only as illustrative of his character 
and administration, but because it proved a turning-point in his 
reputation. Perhaps it should be told for another reason, also, 
viz : that it may be told correctly ; for I have before me, at least, 
half a dozen versions of the story, all from eye-witnesses, yet, 
like the testimony of the eye-witnesses to the event seen by Sir 
Walter Raleigh, from the window of his prison, no two of them 
alike in their details. The Doctor's recollection is more likely 
to be correct, than that of the students, and the story can not 
be better told than in his own words : 

" Two rooms in the old College had been thrown together 
for a temporary chapel, with a small, rough desk at one end, in 
which it was thought a good joke, I suppose, only to try ones 
metal, and see whether it would ring or not. Accordingly one 
morning as I came into prayers, I found the chair preoccupied 
by a goose. She looked rather shabby to be sure, nevertheless 
it was a veritable goose. Strange as it may seem, she did not 
salute me with so much as a hiss for my unceremonious intru- 

i Prof. C. U. Shepard, Class of '24. 


sion. It might be because I did not offer to take the chair. 
As anybody might venture to stand a few moments, even in 
such a presence, I carefully drew the chair up behind me as 
close as I safely could, went through the exercises, and the stu- 
dents retired in the usual orderly manner ; not more than two 
or three, I believe, having noticed anything uncommon. In the 
course of the day it was reported that as soon as they found out 
what had happened, they were highly excited and proposed 
calling a College meeting, to express their indignation that such 
an insult had been offered by one of their number. The hour 
of evening prayers came, and at the close of the usual exer- 
cises, I asked the young gentlemen to be seated a moment. I 
then stated what I had heard, and thanked them for the kind 
interest they had taken in the matter, told them it was just 
what I should expect from gentlemen of such high and honor- 
able feelings, but begged them not to give themselves the least 
trouble in the premises. ' You know,' I said, ' that the Trus- 
tees have just been here to organize a College Faculty. Their 
intention was to provide competent instructors in all the depart- 
ments, so as to meet the capacity of every student. But it 
seems that one student was overlooked, and I am sure they will 
be glad to learn that he has promptly supplied the deficiency, 
by choosing a goose for his tutor. Par noUle fratrum.' ' 

The effect may well be imagined. It is thus told by one of 
the students : " As the boys went down the stairs after morning 
prayers, there was first the whisper, then the mirthful interro- 
gation, and then the loud shout. * Did you see the gander, the 
gander in the Old Prex's chair ? ' ' Hurrah for the gander ! ' 
4 A gander for President ! ' Presidential stock which was not 
above par before, went down that morning to a very low 

" But at evening prayers the tables were turned. The Presi- 
dent's 'Par nobile fratrum,' with its accompanying bow of 
dismissal, was instantly followed by a -round of applause. And 
such shouts of derision as the boys raised while they went down 
those three flights of stairs, crying, ' Who is brother to the 
goose ? ' ' Who is brother to the goose ? ' The question was 
never answered. But from that hour presidential stock went 


up to a high figure, and never descended while I had any per- 
sonal acquaintance with Amherst College." l 

" As the students passed out of the chapel," writes another 
student, "there was a general inspection of outer garments, 
especially among a certain class of the students who were pre- 
disposed to fun and mischief, to see if feathers or at least down, 
might not betray the unlucky wight who had inducted the new 
tutor into office and who had now found his proper place as 
brother to the goose." 2 

But while the President was thus working his way into the 
respect and affections of the students, the necessity for a charter 
was growing more and more imperative, for one class after an- 
other was advancing towards the close of their curriculum, and 
finding that there was no prospect of their receiving a diploma, 
they grew dissatisfied, and it was with increasing difficulty that 
they were persuaded to continue and complete their course when 
there was so little chance that they would ever be able to receive 
a diploma. "We must now go back a little, and trace the efforts 
to obtain a charter from their beginning. 

The first application to the Legislature of Massachusetts for 
a charter was made in the winter session of 1823. The peti- 
tion of President Moore that the " Institution in Amherst for 
giving a classical education to pious young men, may be incor- 
porated," 3 was referred to a Joint Committee of the two Houses 
on the 17th and 18th of January. The friends of the College, 
including President Moore, appeared before the committee, and 
after presenting their claims for a charter, modestly asked or 
proposed that the question be referred to the next General 
Court, and the committee having 'agreed to report according 
to this request, they returned to Amherst not doubting that 
such a reference, almost always granted as a matter of cour- 
tesy, would as usual be granted to them. On the 25th of Jan- 
uary, the committee reported according to expectation, that the 
petition be referred to the next General Court. But so far 
from being treated with the usual courtesy, the report was not 

1 Rev. T. R. Cressey, Class of '28. 2 Rev. Asa Billiard, Class of '28. 

8 Such is the language of the journal of the Legislature. I have been unable to 
find a copy of the petition either printed or writteu. 


accepted, and the petition was unceremoniously rejected by both 
Houses, nearly all the members voting against it, including the 
representative from Amherst. 1 

Such uncourteous and unreasonable opposition only increased 
the number and zeal of the friends of the College. Nothing 
daunted, they resolved to renew their application for a charter 
at the very next session. Accordingly in June, 1823, a petition 
was presented by Rev. Dr. Moore, Hon. John Hooker and others 
of the Trustees of Amherst Academy, representing that the said 
Trustees had been intrusted with the funds of the Collegiate In- 
stitution at Amherst, stating the character and progress of the In- 
stitution, and requesting that they might be invested with such 
corporate powers as are usually given to the Trustees of Colleges. 

At the same session of the Legislature a memorial was pre- 
sented from the subscribers of the Charity Fund, representing 
that they had associated together for the purpose of founding 
an Institution on principles of charity and benevolence for the 
instruction of youth in all the branches of literature and science 
usually taught in Colleges, stating that they had committed the 
management of their fund to the Trustees of Amherst Acad- 
emy under whose direction the Institution had prospered beyond 
their most sanguine expectations, and praying that the request 
of said Trustees to be invested with corporate powers, might be 
granted. The petition and memorial were referred to a Joint 
Committee from both Houses of the Legislature. Of this com- 
mittee consisting of seven members, six agreed in a report in 
favor of the petitioners having leave to bring in a bill. 

In the remarks of Hon. Sherman Leland, chairman of this 
committee, in presenting this report to the Senate, it is stated, 
that the allegations of the petitioners have been substantially 
supported, that the Trustees of Amherst College have indeed 
received in trust, a subscription of a permanent fund of fifty 

1 An old feud between the East and West Parishes, originating in party politics 
and personal animosities, extended its influence to the College. The Amlierst 
representative in the winter session of 1823 was a member of the East Parish, 
and a "Democrat." The next two years the town was represented by a member 
of the West Parish, who voted for the charter. In this quarrel which has long 
since ceased, the East street was familiarly called Sodom, and the West, Mount 


thousand dollars of which forty-four thousand dollars has al- 
ready been secured by actual payment or by notes or bonds to 
the satisfaction of the Overseers ; that a new subscription has 
been commenced, payable on condition that thirty thousand dol- 
lars shall be subscribed, by the 28th of June, which, judging 
from the advanced state of the subscription, will unquestionably 
be done ; that after deducting a debt of about fifteen thousand 
dollars incurred for buildings, library and apparatus, the monied 
funds may be estimated at about sixty-five thousand dollars, and 
the buildings and other property at thirty thousand dollars, 
making the whole amount of property belonging to the Institu- 
tion ninety-five thousand dollars ; and that the income of these 
monied funds will pay the bills of a large number of pious and 
indigent young men, which income, together with the College' 
bills of others who are not charity students, and whose whole 
expense at Amherst need not exceed one hundred dollars a year, 
will be sufficient to support a competent number of able in- 
structors. On such a showing, the Trustees and donors and the 
friends of the Institution demand an act of incorporation not 
merely as a favor but as their right. In answer to the objection 
that if this College is chartered, its prosperity may injure the 
other Colleges of the State, Mr. Leland argues that there will 
always be a sufficient number of gentlemen of opulence who 
will choose to send their sons to Cambridge, while if students 
from the middling walks of life can be educated at Amherst at 
one-third the expense of an education at Cambridge, it will be 
so much clear gain to the Commonwealth ; and in regard to 
Williams College, it is sufficient to say that its numbers are not 
yet diminished, while the two Institutions now contain more 
than double the number that were in the habit of going to Wil- 
liamstown before the Institution at Amherst was established. 

After listening to these remarks of the chairman of the Joint 
Committee, without further discussion, the Senate voted on 
Monday, June 9th, to refer the consideration of the report to 
the next session of the same General Court, 1 and on Tuesday 
the 10th, the House of Representatives concurred with the 

1 At this time, the Massachusetts Legislature held two annual sessions, the sura- 
mer session commencing in Maj, and the winter session commencing in January. 


Senate in so referring it. Just fifteen days after, President 
Moore sickened, and, after an illness of only four days, died, 
his death being hastened, no doubt, if not caused by repeated 
disappointments and delays in the incorporation of the College, 
and his toils and cares now devolved on his successor. 

Both parties now made good use of the intervening time to 
prepare for the approaching conflict. The Trustees of Williams 
College prepared and presented a remonstrance against the in- 
corporation of Amherst as an encroachment on the territory, an 
invasion of the rights and injurious to the prosperity of the In- 
stitution under their care. No remonstrance came from Harvard, 
and the newspapers of that day remark upon the contrast to the 
disadvantage of Williams ; but the friends and supporters of. 
Harvard were for the most part unfriendly to the chartering of 
another College in the State, and used their influence against it 
as zealously, and for a time as effectually, as they had opposed 
the chartering of Queen's College in the same section in 1760. 
Brown University at this time had nearly a hundred students 
from Massachusetts ; and its patrons very naturally looked with 
a jealous eye upon the growth and prosperity of Amherst as 
prejudicial to their favorite Institution. l Local feeling carried 
not a few of the neighboring towns, and no small portion of the 
inhabitants of Amherst itself, in opposition to the College in the 
days of its early weakness. 2 And to complete the catalogue of 
opposing powers, last not least, the same theological prejudice and 
passion which opposed and for some time defeated the incorpora- 
tion of the Theological Seminary at Andover and of the Amer- 
ican Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions were now 
arrayed against Amherst College, and with the same result. 

To counteract so far as possible all these opposing influences, 
a committee of the Trustees prepared a statement which was 

1 " One of the most severe and satirical speeches against Amherst in the Legisla- 
ture, was spoken as a declamation at Brown, and heard with shouts of laughter by 
the students, to the no small amusement and gratification of the President and 
Professors." One of these Professors afterwards sent his son to Amherst, who, in 
the language of that son, " would as soon have cut off his right hand as to have 
sent a son to Amherst a few years previous." 

2 "During the year in which the first building was erected, I was fitting for Col- 
lege at the Academy in Hadley, and there I heard good people speak of it as a 
' Monument of Amherst Folly.' " Hon. Lincoln Clark, Class of '25. 


widely circulated, both in the form of a pamphlet and through the 
newspaper press. It contains, among other documents, a cer- 
tificate of the Treasurer, John Leland, Jr., that (in addition to 
the sum of fifty thousand dollars previously subscribed for a 
permanent fund, and in addition to many generous donations in 
materials, work and money towards the erection of College 
buildings and a President's house) the proposed subscription of 
thirty thousand dollars, which was commenced the 28th of June, 
1822, was actually completed, according to the conditions, in one 
year from that date. It announces also, that since the last 
session of the Legislature, the venerable Dr. Moore has left to 
the Institution a residuary legacy which is valued at about 
five thousand dollars, and Mr. Adam Johnson has also bequeathed 
to it about five thousand dollars. It gives a table showing the 
distance of Amherst from other Colleges, and its central situa- 
tion in regard to Western Massachusetts, and especially in the 
old County of Hampshire, " which, according to the catalogues 
of 1823, furnishes one hundred and twenty-nine College stu- 
dents, only eight of whom are at Harvard, and nineteen at Wil- 
liams/' It also states that a mail-stage, running between Hart- 
ford, and Hanover, N. H., passes by the College every day of the 
week except Sunday, and another running between Boston and 
Albany, passes by the College four times a week, which regula- 
tion commenced the first of January instant, (1824.) From an 
examination of the catalogues for 1823 of Colleges in which 
New England students are educated, it is shown that out of five 
hundred and sixty-nine students furnished by Massachusetts, 
three hundred and six (a considerable majority) choose to go to 
other Institutions rather than Harvard or Williams, and that 
fifty-eight more go out of the State than come into it for an 
education, whereas one hundred and forty-eight more go into 
the State of Connecticut than go out of it, and while Rhode 
Island furnishes only forty-two students to other Colleges, 
Brown University in that State contains one hundred and fifty- 
four students, ninety-four of whom are from Massachusetts 
all of which, in the opinion of the committee, is a plain demon- 
stration that the honor, the interest and the public opinion of the 
State call for another incorporated College. 


On Wednesday, the 21st of January, 1824, according to the 
vote of reference passed at the summer session, the report of 
the Joint Committee in favor of granting a charter, came up in 
the Senate, and it was debated during the greater part of three 
days by twelve of the ablest members. The first day the char- 
ter was earnestly advocated by five senators, and as earnestly 
opposed by three. The second day, the friends of the charter 
had the field all to themselves, and three senators occupied with 
their arguments nearly the whole time usually given to debate. 
On the third day, the oppcsers rallied, and two senators spoke 
in opposition, and Hon. Mr. Leland, the chairman of the com- 
mittee, who had spoken also on each of the two preceding days, 
now concluded the argument in favor of an act of incorporation. 
The longest and one of the ablest speeches in behalf of the 
College, was made by Hon. Samuel Hubbard, 1 of Boston. He 
says that the objections against the charter, so far as he has 
learned, are four, all founded on local or petty considerations. 
1, That another College is not needed. 2, That Williams Col- 
lege will be injured. 3, That it is inexpedient to multiply Col- 
leges. 4, That the petitioners will ask for money. In answer 
to the first objection, he argues that there is a great want of 
men of education and piety and morals ; and that this want is 
felt by the good people of the Commonwealth, is proved by 
their voluntary contributions to the Institution at Amherst. 
" There is seldom an instance of a College being founded like 
this, by the voluntary contributions of thousands. Out of the 
fifty Colleges in England, there is not one but what was founded 
by an individual, except Christ College, in Oxford." In answer 
to the second objection, he points to the fact that the number of 
students at Williams College has increased from an average of 
sixty or seventy, to one hundred and eighteen, and that of Am- 
herst being one hundred and twenty-six, the two Institutions 
contain more than three times the previous average at Williams. 
In reply to the third objection, he insists, as many other sena- 
tors did, that small Colleges are better than large ones, and two 
hundred students can be governed and instructed much better 
than four hundred. In answer to the fourth objection, several 

1 Afterwards Judge Hubbard of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts. 


preceding speakers had argued that granting the charter did not 
involve the necessity or the duty of giving money ; but Mr. 
Hubbard said, " What if it does ? Such grants do not impov- 
erish the State. The liberal grants which have been made to 
Harvard and Williams, are the highest honor of the State, and 
have redounded to the good of the people." 

Meeting boldly and on high ground the prejudice against Am- 
herst as an Orthodox Institution, Mr. Hubbard declares, that 
" all that is great and good in our land, sprung from Orthodoxy. 
The spirit of Orthodoxy animated the Pilgrims whom we de- 
light to honor as our forefathers. It has founded all our Col- 
leges and is founded on a Rock." 

More than one of the speakers reminded the Senate that Am- 
herst represented not only the Orthodoxy, but the yeomanry of 
Massachusetts, and they must be prepared to give an account 
of their votes to the mass of the people. " If we refuse a char- 
ter," said Hon. Mr. Fiske, " how are we when we leave this hall, 
how are we to face the mass of population who are interested 
in this College ? They will say, ' you incorporate theatres, you 
incorporate hotels, you have incorporated a riding school. Are 
you more accommodating to such institutions than to those 
which are designed to promote the great interests of literature, 
science, and religion ? ' ' 

" By refusing a charter," says Hon. Mr. Leland, " the great 
body of country citizens are wantonly deprived of the privilege 
of a College. Something more than the feelings of Orthodoxy 
will be awakened. The people will feel that there is a disposi- 
tion on the part of Government to maintain an aristocratic mo- 
nopoly. And rely upon it, your next election will bring persons 
here who will acknowledge the rights of the people." 

The vote was at length taken, on Friday, January 23d, and 
the question being on the acceptance of the report, giving leave 
to bring in a bill, twenty -two out of thirty-seven voted in the 

On Tuesday, January 27th, the subject was taken up in the 
House of Representatives, and debated with much earnestness 
on that and the three following days, and then postponed till 
the next week. On Tuesday, February 3d, it was resumed, and 


further discussed, and the question being taken, on concurring 
with the Senate, it was decided in the negative by a majority of 
nineteen votes out of one hundred and ninety-nine. 

" So," says the editor of the Boston Telegraph, (Gerard Hal- 
lock,) "the House declined to incorporate the College. Al- 
though the result is not such as the numerous friends of the 
College could have wished, it is certainly no discouraging cir- 
cumstance that so great a change has taken place in the views of 
the Legislature on the subject, and especially in the views of the 
community. Let the same spirit go on for a few months longer, 
and the Institution at Amherst will be, what it doubtless ought 
to be, a chartered College." 

Grieved, but not disheartened by this result, the guardians 
and friends of the College resolved to renew the application and 
began at once the preparations for a third campaign. The first 
campaign document was an announcement of their intention to 
apply again to the Legislature for a charter, together with a 
concise statement of the reasons why such a petition ought to 
be granted. This document, signed by President Humphrey 
and bearing date, March 12, 1824, was published in more than 
thirty newspapers in all parts of the Commonwealth. And 
such was the sympathy manifested by the press, and such also, 
the increase in the number of students, that a conundrum, started 
by the G-reenfield Gazette, went the rounds of the newspapers : 
" Why are the friends of Amherst College, like the Hebrews in 
Egypt ? Because the more they are oppressed, the more they 
multiply and prosper." 

The petition of the Trustees was backed by a petition of the 
founders and proprietors which was signed by about four-fifths 
of the subscribers to the Chanty Fund. And these were further 
supported by more than thirty petitions from as many different 
towns, and signed by more than five hundred subscribers to other 
funds. In the Senate, the petition was promptly referred to a 
committee of three, to be joined by the House. In the House 
an attempt was made to prevent even a reference. But after 
considerable discussion, this was almost unanimously voted down, 
and a committee of four members was joined to that already ap- 
pointed by the Senate, and all the petitions, together with a re- 


monstrance from Williams College, were referred to this Joint 

On Monday, May 31st, President Humphrey appeared before 
the Joint Committee, and, in the presence of a crowd of specta- 
tors, pleaded the cause of the petitioners in a speech which was 
as entertaining as it was unanswerable, and which Hon. Lewis 
Strong of Northampton, a competent and impartial judge, pro- 
nounced to be probably the ablest speech which was made in 
the State House during that session of that Legislature. On 
the following day, after an examination of witnesses, Homer 
Bartlett, Esq., of Williamstown, appeared on the part of the 
opposition and spoke against the incorporation, and was followed 
by Hon. Mr. Davis, Solicitor-General of the State, in an able 
and eloquent plea in favor of granting the charter. On Thurs- 
day, the committee reported that the petitioners have leave to 
bring in a bill. This report was brought before the Senate the 
same day, and accepted without any opposition. On Friday, 
the subject was taken up in the House, and after considerable 
debate, assigned to eleven o'clock on Tuesday of the ensuing 
week. Thus the consideration of the matter was put off to 
within five days of the close of the session. When it came up 
again on Tuesday, a desperate effort was made to secure first 
an indefinite postponement, and then a reference to the next 
session. Both these motions having been negatived by a large 
majority, the House adjourned to four o'clock P. M., when an 
animated and earnest discussion ensued, which continued till 
a late hour in the evening, and was resumed at nine o'clock 
the next morning. 1 " It was strenuously argued in opposi- 
tion, chiefly by members from Berkshire and our own neigh- 
borhood, that a third College was not wanted in Massachusetts; 
that according to our own showing, we had not funds to sustain 
a College ; that nothing like the amount presented on paper 
would ever be realized ; and that there was reason to believe 

1 One of the ablest advocates of the claims of the College, in this debate, was 
Bradford Sumner, Esq., of Boston, who was, I believe, a partner of Judge Hub- 
bard, in the law. On the other side, Rev. Mr. Mason, of Northfield, a rum-selling 
and pugnacious Unitarian minister, read a speech an hour long, which was full of 
scorn about "Orthodoxy," "hopeful piety," "evangelizing the world," etc., etc. 


that many of the subscriptions had been obtained by false rep- 
resentations." 1 

Under the influence of such suggestions a resolution was 
brought forward to refer the report of the Joint Committee, and 
all the papers relating to the subject, to a committee of five 
members with power to send for persons and papers, to sit at 
such time and place as they should deem expedient, and to in- 
quire in substance, 1st, what reliable funds the Institution had ; 
2d, what means had been resorted to by the petitioners, or by 
persons acting in their behalf, to procure subscriptions, and 3d, 
what methods had been adopted to obtain students ; this com- 
mittee to report to the House at its next session. After a warm 
discussion which lasted for three days, and when nearly sixty 
of the members had already gone to their homes, on the 10th 
of June, 1824, this resolution was adopted by a vote of 109 to 
89, and the Committee of Investigation was appointed. 

The committee, nominated by the chair, " were all intelligent, 
fair-minded men, but not one of them sympathized with us in 
our well-known Orthodox religious opinions. This, we thought, 
might unintentionally on their part, operate against us. But in 
the end it proved for our advantage." 2 

It was confidently predicted by many that " this search-war- 
rant would settle the question against the College by showing 
that the pecuniary basis on which it rested was fictitious." But 
its friends kept up good courage. " The tide of public opinion," 
they said 3 "has already begun to set strongly in our favor, and 
ere long, we venture to say, it will not be in power of mounds 
and dikes to withstand it. 

Per varies casus, per tot discrimina rerum 

Tendiinus in Latium : 

Durate, et vosmet rebus servate secundis." 

The Investigating Committee having given notice that they 
would meet at Boltwood's Hotel in Amherst on Monday the 
4th of October, that was to be the scene of the next act in the 
drama, and this part of the story can not be better told than in 
the language of Dr. Humphrey, who was the chief actor in it. 

1 Dr. Humphrey's Historical Sketches. 2 Ibid. 8 Boston Telegraph, June 17, 1824. 


"Our next business was to prepare for the investigation. We 
never claimed to have any endowment, except a subscription of 
fifty thousand dollars as a permanent fund to help educate pious 
young men for the ministry ; and although this was a bona fide 
subscription, a large part of which had been paid, it was not in 
the best condition to abide the searching inquisition of the Leg- 
islative Committee. As none of the subscribers were holden 
unless the sum was made up to fifty thousand dollars, several 
individuals were obliged, after all the papers were returned, to 
guarantee the deficiency, which amounted to about fifteen thou- 
sand dollars. This guarantee they made in good faith, but as 
they had already subscribed very liberally it was understood 
that they must be relieved as soon as other subscriptions could 
be obtained. Besides this it was known that some of the sub- 
scribers to the fund refused to pay, alleging that they were de- 
ceived by the agents who circulated the papers. It was deemed 
essential by the Trustees that the fifteen thousand dollars should 
be lifted from the shoulders of the warrantors before the com- 
mittee came upon the ground, and this was no easy task. The 
question was, where, after having turned every stone, we could 
look for so much money and in so short a time. At the request 
of the Trustees I went to Boston, laid the case before a select 
meeting of our friends, and in a few days obtained about half 
the sum which was needed. The rest was made up by the 
Trustees, Faculty and other friends in Amherst and vicinity. 1 

" The Investigating Committee notified us of the time when 
we might expect them. Two or three weeks before the time, 
an agent from Williams College called upon our Treasurer with 
an order from the chairman of the Investigating Committee 
to submit our subscription list to his inspection, and thus vir- 
tually to aid him in preparing for the prosecution ! The de- 
mand was referred by the Treasurer to our Prudential Commit- 
tee. Upon consultation they could not see by what right or 
authority our papers were thus prematurely demanded. They 
accordingly directed me to return substantially this answer : 
that we had been notified of the appointment of the Legislative 

1 Some of the old subscribers took pretty large shares in this new stock : Dr. 
Humphrey himself subscribed five hundred dollars. 


Committee and their intention to come to Amherst and look 
into our condition, that we believed the committee had not au- 
thorized their chairman to demand any of our papers in advance 
of their meeting for any purpose, least of all for the purpose of 
inspection by one who was not a member of the committee, and 
that at the proper time and place all should be put into the 
committee's hands. Baffled in this application for the means of 
looking up our subscribers to testify against us, the agent was 
left to find them as best he could, and to do him justice, he was 
very successful, as appeared when he brought them personally, 
and by their affidavits, before the committee. The investiga- 
tion commenced on the 4th of October, 1824, and continued till 
the 19th. In their report the committee say that the Trustees 
appeared before them with counsel, and afforded every facility 
in investigating the affairs of the Institution, and discovered 
the utmost readiness to lay before them all the transactions of 
the Board and its agents ; and that three distinguished gentle- 
men appeared as counsel for the remonstrants against the peti- 
tion for a charter, and gave great aid to the committee in con- 
ducting the investigation. 1 

" Rarely has there been a more thorough and searching in- 
vestigation. All our books and papers were brought out and 
laid upon the table. Nothing was withheld. Every subscrip- 
tion, note and obligation was carefully examined, and hardly 
anything passed without being protested by the able counsel 
against us. Our principal agent in obtaining the subscriptions 
(Col. Graves) was present and closely questioned. A lawyer 
who had been employed to look up testimony against us, was 
there with the affidavits which he had industriously collected, 
and, at his request, a large number of subpoenas were sent out 
to bring in dissatisfied subscribers. The trial lasted a fortnight. 
The room was crowded from day to day with anxious listeners. 

1 Hon. W. W. Ellsworth, son-in-law of Noah Webster, afterwards Governor and 
then Chief Justice of Connecticut, aided by Messrs. Billings of Hatfield and Bolt- 
wood of Amherst, was the counsel for the Trustees. On the part of the remon- 
strants appeared Messrs. Dewey (afterwards Judge Dewey of Northampton,) Bartlett 
of Williamstown, Willard of Springfield, and Conkey of Amherst. The Investi- 
gating Committee consisted of Messrs. Phelps of Hadley, Sprague of Salem, Lin- 
coln of "Worcester, Webster of Boston and Smith of Milton. 


Were we to live or die ? Were we to have a charter, or to be 
forever shut out from the sisterhood of Colleges? That was 
the question, and it caused many sleepless nights in Amherst. 
Whatever might be the result, we cheerfully acknowledged that 
the committee had conducted the investigation with exemplary 
patience and perfect fairness. When the papers were all dis- 
posed of, the case was ably summed up by the counsel, and the 
committee adjourned. 

" Many incidents occurred in the progress of the investigation 
which kept up the interest, and some of which were very amus- 
ing, but I have room for only two. Among our subscriptions 
there was a very long list, amounting to several hundred dollars, 
of sums under one dollar, and not a few of these by females and 
children under age. On these, it was obvious at a glance, there 
might be very considerable loss. This advantage against us could 
not escape gentlemen so astute as our learned opponents. It 
was reported, and I believe it was true, that they sat up nearly 
all night drawing off names and figuring, so as to be ready for 
the morning. Getting an inkling of what they were about, three 
of our Trustees drew up an obligation, assuming the whole 
amount, whatever it might be, and had it in readiness to meet 
the expected report. 1 The morning came ; the session was 
opened ; the parties were present ; the gentlemen who had 
taken so much pains to astound the committee by their discov- 
ery were just about laying it on the table, when the obligation 
assuming the whole amount was laid on the table by one of the 
subscribers. I leave the reader to imagine the scene of disap- 
pointment on the one side and of suppressed cheering on the 
other. It turned out to be a fair money operation in our favor. 

" The other incident was still more amusing. When the notes 
came up to pass the ordeal of inquiry and protest, one of a 
hundred dollars was produced from a gentleman in Danvers. 
' Who is this Mr. P. ? ' demanded one of the lawyers. * Who 
knows anything about his responsibility.' ' Will you let me look 
at that note, sir?' said Mr. S. V. S. Wilder, one of our Trust- 
tees. After looking at it for a moment, taking a package of 

1 A copy of this obligation is still preserved. The names of the Trustees affixed 
are J. E. Trask, Nathaniel Smith and John Fiske. 


bank-bills from his pocket he said: 'Mr. Chairman, I will cash 
that note,' and laid down the money. It was not long before 
another note was protested in the same way. ' Let me look at 
it,' said Mr. Wilder. ' I will cash it sir,' and he laid another 
bank-bill upon the table. By-and-by a third note was objected 
to. ' I will cash it, sir,' said Mr. Wilder, and was handing over 
the money when the chairman interposed : ' Sir, we did not 
come here to raise money for Amherst College,' and declined 
receiving it. How long Mr. Wilder's package would have held 
out I do not know, but the scene produced a lively sensation all 
around the board, and very few protests were offered after- 

" The appointment of this commission proved a real windfall 
to the Institution. It gave the Trustees opportunity publicly to 
vindicate themselves against the aspersions which had been in- 
dustriously cast upon them, and it constrained them to place the 
Charity Fund on a sure foundation. The investigation to be sure, 
cost us some time and trouble ; but it was worth more to us than 
a new subscription of ten thousand dollars." l 

In the progress of the investigation, the committee, at the re- 
quest of the opposing counsel, summoned a number of sub- 
scribers who refused to pay, to appear and give their reasons. 
Their excuse was that when they subscribed, they were assured 
by the agents that there was no doubt Williams College would 
be removed to Amherst, and as it was not removed, they did 
not consider themselves bound to pay. Affidavits to the same 
effect were also presented. The object of all this was to prove 
that subscriptions were obtained by false pretenses. To make 
the most of this argument, a pamphlet was immediately pre- 
pared and brought out for circulation, containing the testimony 
and affidavits before the committee, together with a number of 
letters from other subscribers who declined payment for the 
same or similar reasons. When the General Court met in Jan- 
uary, the Representatives found this pamphlet in all their seats, 
forestalling, as it were, the report of the Investigating Commit- 

1 In these quotations from Dr. Humphrey, I have followed indiscriminately his 
Historical Sketches and his address in 1853, according as the one or the other was 
the more full and graphic. 

BEPOBT. 149 

tee. How it came there, every man was left to judge for him- 
self, in view of all the circumstances. It was never denied that 
it proceeded from the same source as the opposition before the 
committee. l 

On the 8th of January, 1825, the question was called up in 
the House, and the report of the Investigating Committee was 
presented and read. On the first subject referred to them, viz., 
the amount of funds and the security on which they rest, the 
committee state that the funds of the Institution consist of vol- 
untary subscriptions and donations, principally for the fifty thou- 
sand dollar Charity Fund, and the thirty thousand dollar fund. 
Of the fifty thousand dollar subscription, they found about forty 
thousand dollars cash in hand, loans and notes well secured, some 
six or seven thousand dollars in College grounds or lands unsold, 
and nearly six thousand dollars still resting on the original sub- 
scriptions, most of which the subscribers are unable or refuse to 
pay. Of the thirty thousand dollar subscription they report over 
sixteen thousand dollars unpaid. But " this fund was payable in 
five equal annual installments, only two of which have yet fallen 
due. The amount of the liquidated debt of the Institution is 
seventeen thousand eight hundred and eighty-five dollars. The 
unliquidated debt is estimated at one thousand dollars." 

On the second point, viz., the means resorted to for obtaining 
subscriptions, the committee exonerate the Trustees and their 
agents of the charge of misrepresentation in regard to the re- 
moval of Williams College, and say: "There appears to have 
been nothing to show that the Trustees or persons employed in 
the government of the Institution have resorted to any improper 
or unusual means in obtaining subscriptions." 

On the third point, the committee are equally explicit in say- 
ing that they do not find that any unusual or improper measures 
have been adopted for obtaining students. 2 

1 This pamphlet is still in existence. It is lively and piquant reading, especially 
that part of it which relates to the subscriptions of women and children : " Two 
hundred and six females ! Mostly married women and infants. Many infants not 
females. Many of twelve and a-half cents, some ten cents ! one of two cents, 
all payable annually for five years ! " 

2 The enemies of President Moore charged him with exerting an undue and even 
an underhanded influence in drawing students from Williams to Amherst. In a 


In conclusion, the committee say : " The refusal of the Leg- 
islature to grant a College charter to Amherst will not, it is 
believed, prevent its progress. Whenever there is an opinion 
in the community that any portion of citizens are persecuted 
(whether this opinion is well or ill-grounded) the public sym- 
pathies are directed to them ; and instead of sinking under op- 
position they almost invariably flourish and gain new strength 
from opposition. Your committee are therefore of opinion that 
any further delay to the incorporation of Amherst Institution 
would very much increase the excitement which exists in the 
community on this subject, and have a tendency to interrupt 
those harmonious feelings which now prevail and prevent that 
union of action so essential to the just influence of the State." 

Precisely what the committee meant by these last words may 
perhaps admit of some doubt. Probably, however, it is a euphe- 
mistic way of saying that they feared the effect of further delay 
on party politics it might, perhaps, turn the scale against the 
party now with difficulty maintaining the ascendency therefore 
they recommended the incorporation of the Institution at Am- 
herst ! Not a very elevated reason for a simple act of justice to 
the College and the increasing number of intelligent and worthy 
citizens who were its friends ! But it was better to do it for a 
poor reason than not to do it at all, just as it was better to do it 
late than never. And it was high time for them to do it on 
political grounds if they would not for better reasons ; for it was 
fast becoming a political question and threatened to revolution- 
ize the politics of the State. Some of the friends of Amherst, 
after the refusal of their charter in the winter session of 1823, 
ignoring party distinctions, had voted for candidates known to 
be friendly to the College, and the balance being nearly even be- 
tween the Federal and the Republican parties, they turned the 

testimony which was laid before the Committee of Investigation, signed by all the 
members of the Senior class who came from Williams, they resent this charge 
against their lamented President with great indignation, and declare that " if he 
ever expressed apparently sincere regret for anything, it was when we asked dis- 
missions from that College. He remonstrated on the ground of injury to that Insti- 
tution, till we were half dissuaded from our purpose." The original of this petition 
is preserved and deserves to be framed and perpetuated, not so much in vindication 
of Amherst College as for the lustre it reflects on the character of the first President. 


scale against Harrison Gray Otis, the candidate of the former, 
and in favor of William T. Eustis, the candidate of the lat- 
ter for Governor. 1 On the same principle they secured the re- 
election of Gov. Eustis in 1824. The same process might ere 
long have changed the political complexion of the Legislature. 

After repeated consideration and adjournment, with protracted 
and earnest debate day after day in the House, the question of 
accepting the report of the committee and giving leave to bring 
in a bill was at length brought to a vote on the 28th of January, 
and the yeas and nays being ordered, it was decided in the affirm- 
ative by a vote of one hundred and fourteen to ninety-five. 
The next day, January 29th, the Senate concurred with the 
House. And on the 21st of February, 1825, the bill, having 
been variously amended, passed to be enacted in both branches 
of the Legislature, and having received the signature of the 
Lieutenant Governor, Marcus Morton, 2 on the same day, became 
a law. Thus, after a delay of three years and a half from the 
opening, and a struggle of more than two years from the time 
of the first petition, the Institution at Amherst received a charter 
and was admitted to a name as well as a place among the Col- 
leges of Massachusetts. 

The charter confers upon the corporation, the rights and priv- 
ileges usually granted to the Trustees of such Institutions. Two 
or three provisions only are peculiar, and as such worthy of no- 
tice. The charter provides that the number of Trustees shall 
never be greater than seventeen, and that the five vacancies 
which shall first happen in the Board, shall be filled as they 
occur by the joint ballots of the Legislature in convention of 
both Houses ; and whenever any person so chosen by the Leg- 
islature shall cease to be a member of the corporation, his place 
shall be filled in like manner and so on forever. This provision, 

1 In 1822, Mr. Eustis, the candidate of the Republican party was. defeated by a 
majority of 7,125 votes ; in 1823 he was elected by a majority of 4,232 votes. Mr. 
Otii is said to have met Mr. Eustis soon after the election and remarked to him : 
" They say, Mr. Eustis, that you are becoming Orthodox lately." " I do not know 
how that is, your Excellency," replied Mr. Eustis, " at any rate, I believe in the 
doctrine of Election." 

2 Gov. Eustis died in office about two weeks previous. Lieutenant Governor 
Morton was one of the Trustees named in the charter which it thus devolved on 
him to sign. 


quite unprecedented in the history of Massachusetts charters, 
was not in the bill, as first reported, but was introduced as an 
amendment in the course of the discussion. It was as illiberal 
as it was unprecedented. It should be remembered, however, to 
the credit of subsequent Legislatures, that they have usually 
appointed to such vacancies according to the nomination or the 
known wishes of the corporation, and in no instance filled them 
with persons obnoxious to the Faculty and friends of the Insti- 

It is expressly provided in the last section of the charter, that 
the granting of it shall never be considered as any pledge on the 
part of government, that pecuniary aid shall hereafter be granted 
to the College. This provision was accepted by the friends 
of the College, perhaps suggested by them, in the hope of dis- 
arming or diminishing the opposition, knowing as they did, that 
whatever might be the provisions of the charter, each subse- 
quent Legislature would be governed by its own judgment on 
the question of granting pecuniary aid. 

The same section provides also, especially, that the Legislature 
of the Commonwealth may appoint and establish Overseers or 
Visitors of the College with all necessary powers for the better 
aid, preservation and government of it. This reserved right 
the Legislature has never yet seen fit to exercise. 

The seventh section reserves to the Legislature full power to 
unite Williams and Amherst Colleges into one University at 
Amherst, in case it should hereafter appear to the Legislature 
needful and expedient, provided also, that the President and 
Trustees of Williams College should agree so to do. This sec- 
tion of the charter was passed with considerable amendments 
and additions, as compared with the original bill. 1 

The petition for a charter was signed by the President and 
Secretary as directed at a meeting of the Trustees of Amherst 
Academy, and asked that they, the said Trustees, without nam- 
ing them, might be incorporated as Trustees of Amherst Col- 
lege. And the original bill, as reported in 1823 and summarily 
rejected by both Houses, granted incorporation to the Trustees 

1 The amendments and additions may be seen by comparing the two forms re- 
printed in the Appendix. 


of the Academy according to the petition. A printed copy of 
a bill reported at some later stage of the proceedings (which 
has come into my hands,) omits three of these original Trustees, 
viz : Rufus Graves, Esq., Rufus Cowles, M. D., and Rev. Daniel 
A. Clark. The act of incorporation, as passed in 1825, strikes 
out the names of three more of the old Trustees, viz : Nathaniel 
Smith, Esq., Rev. Experience Porter, and Rev. John Fiske, and 
includes the names of eight new men, viz : Hon. William Gray, 
Hon. Marcus Morton, Rev. Joseph Lyman, D. D., Hon. Jonathan 
Leavitt, Rev. Alfred Ely, Hon. Lewis Strong, Rev. Francis Way- 
land, and Hon. Elihu Lyman. The reasons for all these changes 
are not definitely known to the writer, nor has he been able to 
ascertain from documents or from the Journals of the Legisla- 
ture, the precise time or manner in which it was effected. It 
will not be difficult, however, for the reader to divine the motive 
for the exclusion of the old Trustees when he observes that the 
persons excluded were among the active agents in the founding 
of the College, and as such, particularly obnoxious to its ene- 
mies. Those sections of the bill above mentioned, which differ 
from the charter, may be seen and compared with the charter 
itself, in the Appendix. 

The Trustees named in the charter, although they were not 
all of them the men who would have been chosen by the friends 
of the College as most deserving of the honor, were doubtless 
the best they could get from the Legislature, and were, on the 
whole, quite satisfactory to the Institution. Nine of the seven- 
teen had been Trustees of Amherst Academy, and so had had 
the management of the affairs of the Charity Institution pre- 
vious to the act of incorporation. The majority of the new 
Trustees continued to be members of the Board only a short 
time, and by their resignation gradually opened the way for the 
re-instating of some of the original members. One of them, and 
only one, Rev. Alfred Ely, stood by the College through its sub- 
sequent trials and struggles, and became indissolubly associated 
with- its history. 

It was a glad day for Amherst when the charter was secured. 
President Humphrey and his associates, who had remained in 
Boston watching with intense anxiety the progress of the bill, 


returned home with light hearts. The messenger who first 
brought the news, was taken from the stage and carried to the 
hotel by the citizens. The hotel, the College buildings and the 
houses of the citizens were illuminated ; and the village and the 
College alike were a scene of universal rejoicing. 

On the 13th of April, the Trustees under the charter held 
their first meeting in Amherst, organized the Board and ap- 
pointed the Faculty. The first annual meeting of the Board 
under the charter was held on the 22d of August, 1825, which 
was the Monday preceding Commencement. At this meeting 
a code of laws was established for the government of the Col- 
lege, 1 a system of by-laws adopted to regulate the proceedings 
of the Trustees and their officers, and the organization of the 
Faculty was changed by the establishment of new professor- 
ships and completed by the choice of additional Professors. 
The salary of the President was fixed at twelve hundred dol- 
lars with the usual perquisites. The salaries of the Professors as 
they were voted at the first meeting of the Board, varied from 
eight hundred dollars to six hundred dollars. At the annual 
meeting, those which had been voted at six hundred dollars 
were raised to seven hundred dollars. 2 Rev. Edward Hitchcock 
was chosen Professor of Chemistry and Natural History, with a 
salary of seven hundred dollars and the privilege of being ex- 
cused for one year from performing such duties of a Professor 
as he might be unable to perform " on account of his want of 
full health." Mr. Jacob Abbott was appointed Professor of 
Mathematics and Natural Philosophy, with a salary of eight 
hundred dollars, " one hundred of which, however, are to be ap- 
propriated by him annually, with the advice of the other mem- 
bers of the Faculty, towards making repairs and additions to the 
philosophical apparatus." Mr. Ebenezer S. Snell was chosen 
Tutor in Mathematics with a salary of four hundred dollars. 

It was now voted to confer the degree of Bachelor of Arts 

1 These laws w-ere essentially the same which had been previously established for 
the government of the Charity Institution. They seem to have been drawn up by 
Dr. Humphrey, in whose handwriting the original copy still exists. 

2 At the annual meeting in 1827, it was voted that the Professors receive each a 
salary of eight hundred dollars : and the Professors have ever since all received the 
same salary. 


on " any young gentlemen who have previously received testi- 
monials of their College course in this College." The same 
degree was then voted to be conferred on twenty-two 1 young 
gentlemen of the Senior class who had been recommended by 
the Faculty. This class the Class of '25 was the first class 
that entered Freshmen and completed the course, and being the 
first to receive the degree of A. B., under the charter, were con- 
gratulated by the President on being " the first legitimate sons 
of the College." This raised in their minds the natural but 
rather funny question, " What was the legal status of preced- 
ing classes." They were, however, generous enough to allow 
that no stain rested on their predecessors. 2 But they were well 
come up with in this bantering. Some members of the previous 
classes, being present, said, "At the conclusion of our curric- 
ulum we all received testimonials that we were worthy of a di- 
ploma, which is more than ever was or ever can be said of some 
of you." 

The seal which was affixed to these diplomas, was procured 
by the President and Professors to whom that duty was assigned 
by the Trustees at their first meeting, and being approved and 
adopted by them at their first annual meeting, it has remained 
ever since the corporate seal of the College. The device is a 
sun and a Bible illuminating a globe by their united radiance, 
with the motto underneath : Terras Irradient. Around the 
whole run the words: SIGILL. COLL. AMHEEST. MASS. Nov. 

This chapter containing the public history of the struggle for 
the charter, long as it is, would still be incomplete without an 
additional section, bringing to light some hidden and secret 
springs of action and influence. I have endeavored to do jus- 
tice in the foregoing pages to the Presidents who so nobly rep- 
resented the Institution in this trying emergency, to the Trust- 
ees and other friends, who, with their money, influence or per- 
sonal service, bravely defended it whenever and wherever it 

1 In 1850, the Trustees conferred the degree of A. B., on three others who had 
been members of this class through the greater part of the course without com- 
pleting it, thus making twenty -five as the sum total on the Triennial Catalogue. 

2 Letter of Hon. Lincoln Clark. 


was assailed, and to the wise and good men, friends of justice, 
learning and religion, who in the face of opposition and obloquy 
eloquently advocated its cause before the committee and the 
two Houses of the Legislature. But honor to whom honor is 
due requires me to perpetuate the memory of one whose name 
does not appear either on the journals of the Legislature, or in 
the records of the College, of whom I find no mention in any 
printed or written document pertaining to the history of Am- 
herst during this period, who yet bore a part in these proceed- 
ings scarcely second to any other, who sat behind the scenes 
touching the springs of action and guiding the affairs to a suc- 
cessful issue during these three eventful years, and then went 
away to inaugurate other enterprises of a similar kind without 
waiting for any reward or any public appreciation of his ser- 
vices. I refer to Rev. Austin Dickinson. 

Born in Amherst, February 15, 1791, graduated with honor at 
Dartmouth in 1813, studying law for a time in the office of 
Samuel Fowler Dickinson, Esq., and then studying Theology at 
Princeton, and with Dr. Perkins of West Hartford, Conn., li- 
censed to preach by the North Association of Hartford County 
in 1819, traveling two or three years for his health in the south- 
western States, and, while thus traveling and recruiting, found- 
ing a Theological Seminary in Tennessee and a religious news- 
paper in Richmond, Va., Mr. Dickinson returned to his native 
place in June, 1822, just in season to start the subscription for 
thirty thousand dollars. He had been a boarder in the fam- 
ily of Prof. Moore, when he was a student of Dartmouth Col- 
lege. Now in the library of President Moore, he drew up the 
subscription paper which was to relieve the embarrassments of 
Amherst. With the help of his brother, Rev. Baxter Dickinson, 
and others, he soon raised three tnousand dollars in the town 
which had already contributed apparently to the full extent of 
its ability, and then took a leading part in obtaining subscriptions 
abroad, till, at the end of the year, in June, 1823, the subscrip- 
tion was completed. When it became necessary to raise another 
subscription of fifteen thousand dollars in order to relieve the 
guarantors and put the Charity Fund in such a condition that it 
would bear the scrutiny of the Committee of Investigation, next 


to President Humphrey, Mr. Dickinson was still the principal 
agent. In short, for two or three years he was a beggar for 
the College, scarcely less persistent and indefatigable than Col. 
Graves had been before him. " When it became clear," I here 
use the words of Rev. Oman Eastman, secretary of the Ameri- 
can Tract Society, who was his townsman, kinsman and intimate 
friend, " When it became clear that the Federal party to which 
most of the best friends of Amherst College were allied, would 
never give the College a charter, he agitated the plan of chang- 
ing their votes to the Repiiblican party, and was the master spirit 
in the campaign which defeated the election of Harrison Gray 
Otis and secured the election of William T. Eustis for Governor, 
and Levi Lincoln for Lieutenant Governor in 1823. After their 
nomination, he visited Mr. Eustis and Mr. Lincoln, and was as- 
sured by them that if elected, they would give their influence 
in favor of the charter. He visited the Professors at Andover, 
and prominent ministers and influential laymen in different parts 
of the State to secure their co-operation. He wrote many let- 
ters to individuals and many stirring articles for the press ; in 
short, he was the efficient agent in touching the chords that vi- 
brated through the State and secured the desired result. 

"After the death of Dr. Moore, the most important thing for 
the College was to secure the right man for his successor. Mr. 
Dickinson's mind was fixed upon Dr. Humphrey. But there 
were great obstacles in the way of obtaining him. He was at 
Pittsfield, in the center of Berkshire County from which the 
strongest opposition to the College came. He was the pastor 
of a large and united church who were much attached to 
him. The prejudice against Amherst College was intense in 
many quarters. As an indication of public feeling, when the 
announcement of President Moore's death came to Andover, the 
late Rev. Prof. Gibbs said in the hearing of the writer, ' The 
question is whether they can get a successor ? ' Dr. Bacon re- 
sponded, ' The question is whether they ought to have a suc- 
cessor ? ' The writer replied with some warmth : ' Neither of 
these is any question at all there is no doubt that they can get a 
good man, and they ought to have the best man that can be 


" Mr. Dickinson went to Pittsfield and laid the matter before 
Dr. Humphrey, and probably had more influence than all other 
men in securing his acceptance of the presidency. Mr. Dickin- 
son was also instrumental in securing for the College, the ser- 
vices of Professors Fiske, Worcester and Abbott. 

" In the final appeal for the charter, Mr. Dickinson was ex- 
ceedingly useful in obtaining the right men for the committee, 
in securing the efficient advocacy of Judge Hubbard in the 
Senate and John Davis before the committee of the House, and 
in bringing a strong expression of public sentiment through the 
press to bear upon the final vote in the Legislature. He was, 
in the best sense of that now well-understood term, a ' lobby 
member ' of the Legislature, at the same time that he was the 
anonymous correspondent of not a few especially of the country 

No sooner was the charter secured, than Mr. Dickinson disap- 
peared or rather withdrew from behind the scenes, and devoted 
himself first to the founding and publishing of the National 
Preacher, which for forty years placed the printed sermons of 
the ablest preachers in the United States within the reach of 
destitute churches and brought their influence to bear upon the 
Christian public, and subsequently inducing the secular news- 
papers, which were then closed against religious matter, to open 
their columns to religious intelligence, thus inaugurating one of 
the most remarkable and one of the most beneficent revolutions 
in the history of our newspaper press. 

Mr. Dickinson died in New York, on the 14th of August, 
1849, in the fifty-ninth year of his age. His body was brought 
to Amherst for interment ; and a monument erected to his mem- 
ory by his friends and the friends of the College, stands not far 
from that of President Moore in the cemetery. He was one of 
those rare men who love to do their work out of sight, but who 
there, far from the public gaze, lay broad and deep " the foun- 
dations of many generations." 

In further illustration and confirmation of what we have said 
of Mr. Dickinson, we subjoin the following letter of Prof. Ab- 
bott, who was a member of the Faculty when the charter was 
obtained. It was written November 2, 1871, and addressed to 


Rev. O. Eastman : " I remember Mr. Dickinson as in personal 
appearance the most grave and austere man I ever knew, with 
no thought and no word of interest for anything light or trifling, 
but wholly engrossed at all times in his deep-laid plans and 
schemes for the advancement of the College and to bring public 
opinion in Massachusetts up to the point of authorizing the Leg- 
islature to grant a charter. I think it was generally understood 
at Amherst, during the time that I was connected with the Col- 
lege and while the question of its legal establishment was pend- 
ing, that he was the main and indeed almost the sole reliance of 
its friends for all the plans formed and measures adopted to pro- 
mote the success of this undertaking. It was supposed, and I 
have no doubt, with truth, that the Trustees, who were generally 
men engaged in the active pursuits of life and consequently 
much occupied with their own affairs, were accustomed to look 
to him and to be guided by his judgment in respect to all the 
measures that were adopted, whether for raising funds, procur- 
ing officers of instruction, or for enlightening the public senti- 
ments of the State with reference to obtaining a charter. 

" He had, however, so far as I know, no formal or official con- 
nection of any kind with the College, and so quiet and unosten- 
tatious was his action in all these proceedings, and so entirely 
was his interest in the work confined to a desire to have it ac- 
complish, without any wish to secure to himself the honor or 
the consideration due to him who was the means of accomplish- 
ing it, that I am not at all surprised to learn that his name does 
not appear upon the College records of those days. And yet, I 
believe that every one who was conversant with the proceedings 
through which the College was established, would agree with 
me in saying, if some future generation should ever conceive 
the idea of erecting a statue to commemorate the founder of the 
College, the man most deserving the honor would be Austin 
Dickinson." l 

1 Since the text was written, Mr. Eastman has contributed a very interesting ar- 
ticle on the " Services of Rev. Austin Dickinson to Amherst College," to the col- 
umns of the Congregational Quarterly, April, 1872. 



THE year which began in September, 1825, was the first en- 
tire collegiate year of Amherst College. With this year our 
History enters on a new epoch. The new organization of the 
Faculty dates from this time, since not only the new officers 
now commenced the duties of their office, but those who had 
been members of the Faculty before had hitherto served the 
College for their old salaries and in their old departments. The 
Faculty at this time was constituted as follows: Rev. Heman 
Humphrey, D. D., President, Professor of Mental and Moral 
Philosophy and Professor of Divinity; Rev. Edward Hitchcock, 
A. M., Professor of Chemistry and Natural History ; Rev. Jonas 
King, A. M., Professor of Oriental Literature ; Rev. Nathan W. 
Fiske, A. M., Professor of the Greek Language and Literature, 
and Professor of Belles-Lettres ; Rev. Solomon Peck, A. M., 
Professor of the Hebrew and Latin Languages and Literature ; 
Samuel M. Worcester, A. M., Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory ; 
Jacob Abbott, A. M., Professor of Mathematics and Natural 
Philosophy ; Ebenezer S. Snell, A. M., Tutor of Mathematics. 1 
The first catalogue which bears the names of this Faculty, was 
printed in October, 1825, by Carter & Adams names now as 
familiar to almost all the graduates of Amherst College as any 

1 This is the Faculty as constituted at the first annual meeting of the Trustees. 
It appears from the records that at the meeting for organization in April previous, 
Rev. Jasper Adams was appointed Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy, 
and Mr. Jacob Abbott, Associate Professor of Mathematics and Professor of Chem- 
istry. Mr. Adams seems not to have accepted, and at the annual meeting Mr. Ab- 
bott was appointed in his place. At the same time a Professorship of Chemistry 
and Natural History and a Tutorship of Mathematics were established and filled by 
the choice of Mr. Hitchcock and Mr. Snell. 


of the Presidents or Professors. They established the first press 
in the town in 1825, and the catalogues which had hitherto been 
printed abroad were henceforth printed in Amherst. 

On the catalogue for 1825, John Leland, Esq., appears as 
Treasurer, and Rufus Graves as Financier. In 1826 the consti- 
tution of the Charity Fund was so altered by the concurrent 
action of the Board of Trustees and the Board of Overseers in 
the manner provided for in Article 13, that the office of Finan- 
cier of that fund and that of Treasurer of the College, could 
be united in one person ; and from 1826 John Leland was both 
Treasurer and Financier till 1833, when Lucius Boltwood was 
appointed Financier and John Leland retained the office of 

Rev. Joshua Crosby was chosen Vice-President of the Corpo- 
ration at the same time that Dr. Humphrey was chosen Presi- 
dent, viz., at the first organization of the Board, and he contin- 
ued to hold that office till his decease in 1838. The office seems 
gradually to have gone into disuse, and Mr. Crosby was the last 
incumbent. He had held the same office in the Board of Trust- 
ees of Amherst Academy. 

From one hundred and twenty-six, in 1823, the number of 
students increased, the next year, to one hundred and thirty-six ; 
in 1825 it rose to one hundred and fifty-two, and from that time 
it went on increasing pretty regularly, with a slight ebb in 1830 
and 1831, for a period of eleven years, till rising to its spring- 
tide in 1836, it reached an aggregate of two hundred and fifty- 
nine. For two years Amherst ranked above Harvard in the 
number of students, and was second only to Yale. Thus was 
the sentiment of the Committee of Investigation confirmed, that 
Institutions almost always flourish under persecution whether 
apparent or real, and gain new strength from opposition. 

If we inquire into the causes of this rapid and extraordinary 
growth of the College, the most obvious, and, for a time, the 
most powerful, was unquestionably the violent opposition which 
it encountered. This brought it into immediate notice in Massa- 
chusetts. This soon made it known and conspicuous through 
the whole country. This enlisted the sympathy and support 
not only of those who held the same religious faith, but of all 


who love fair play and hate even the appearance of persecu- 
tion. Local feeling, sectional jealousy, the envy of neighboring 
towns and of parishes in the same town, the interest of rival 
Institutions, sectarian zeal and party spirit, hostility to Ortho- 
doxy and hatred of evangelical religion, all united to oppose the 
founding, the incorporation and the endowment of the College ; 
and the result was only to multiply its friends, increase the num- 
ber of students, and swell the tide which bore it on to victory 
and prosperity. 

This period of rapid growth to the College was also the period 
when the reaction against Unitarianism was at its height, when 
zeal for Orthodoxy and evangelical piety was fresh and strong, 
when revivals of religion were bringing } 7 oung men in great 
numbers into the churches, Colleges and theological seminaries, 
when home and foreign missions were calling for an extraordi- 
nary increase in the number of ministers, and education societies 
were furnishing new facilities for the education of poor and pious 
young men for the ministry, and the recently established concert 
of prayer for Colleges was directing the attention of the churches 
in an unprecedented degree to these Institutions when, in short, 
evangelical Christians of all denominations, were awakened as 
they never had been before to prayer and effort for the salvation 
of lost men and the conversion of a perishing world. As the 
latest and fullest representative of this movement, Amherst Col- 
lege was borne on the hearts of ministers and Christians with 
extraordinary zeal and earnestness, and that more in proportion 
as they were more zealous and active in their sympathy with the 
cause which it represented. 

The College was still more deeply rooted in the sympathies 
and the confidence of the Christian community by reason of its 
marked religious character and positive religious influence. The 
President, Professors and Tutors, were all men of strong reli- 
gious faith, hope and zeal, experimental and real Christians, who 
felt, as Dr. Humphrey insisted in his inaugural, that education 
should have reference to two worlds, but chiefly to the future, 
and that moral education, spiritual training, Christian character 
and influence in such an Institution, is not only indispensable 
it is everything. A large majority of the students from the first 


were in full sympathy with their teachers in this view, and ready 
to co-operate heartily with them in securing this end. And the 
greater part of those students who entered without a personal 
hope in Christ, were converted in the frequent and powerful re- 
vivals of religion with which the College was blessed from the 
beginning, and which reached every class, sometimes almost 
every member of the class, with their salutary influence. Before 
the close of the period now under our riotice, missionaries edu- 
cated in Amherst, were laboring in most of the new States and 
Territories, and in every quarter of the globe, and one of these 
had fallen a martyr on the Island of Sumatra. Very many par- 
ents who were not themselves church members, chose to send 
their sons to such an Institution. 

At the same time it must be confessed, or rather gratefully 
acknowledged, that the Charity Fund, by the ample pecuniary 
aid which it afforded to indigent and pious young men, drew a 
large number of students, and those of the very best sort, many 
of whom were alike distinguished for character and scholarship. 

The literary advantages, though of course inferior in many 
respects to those of the older and richer colleges, were not with- 
out their attractive features. In 1825, the library was small 
and far from select, and the apparatus for the illustration of 
the Sciences was still more rudimentary and imperfect. But 
through the zeal and enterprise of the Professors, they were 
constantly increasing, and thus becoming relatively large. And 
in 1831, Prof. Hovey purchased in London and Paris philo- 
sophical and chemical apparatus and books to the amount of 
eight thousand dollars, the books consisting mostly of standard 
works in the various departments of literature, those works 
which are most valuable and indispensable in a college library, 
and the apparatus for the illustration of the Physical Sciences 
and for accurate observations in Astronomy, being so superior 
to any that could then be found in other American colleges as 
to attract the visits of their Professors and the admiration of 
scientific men. 

The Professors were young, inexperienced and comparatively 
unknown in the world of letters. But they were growing older, 
gaining wisdom and experience, and acquiring a reputation as 


savans and scholars. And their very youth, with the enterprise 
and progressive spirit for which they were remarkable, was at- 
tractive to young men. It was among the arguments which 
drew the writer, who was then a young man, and several of his 
classmates and fellow-students from Hamilton College to Am- 
herst. In short, it must be admitted that " Young America," 
so far as there was any in those comparatively staid and stable 
times, was drawn to Amherst, somewhat as it is now to Cornell 
University, although there was no lowering of the standard of 
admission and scholarship, still less any relaxation of moral re- 
straints and religious influences. It was regarded as pre-emi- 
nently the live College and the progressive Institution of New 
England. President Humphrey had now risen above the acci- 
dental unpopularity of his first years and reigned in the confi- 
dence and affections of all the students. Prof. Hitchcock was 
already known through the State which he had explored geo- 
logically to a great extent while a pastor in Conway, and 
whether in or out of College, he was known only to be loved. 
Prof. Fiske was not long in developing those characteristics and 
habits of mind which made him later so accurate a scholar, so 
acute a metaphysician and so distinguished a teacher. Prof. 
Peck was admired for his polished translation of the Latin clas- 
sics, and esteemed as a gentleman and a Christian. Prof. Wor- 
cester was a fluent speaker, a faithful critic and an interesting 
lecturer, especially on the history of English and American or- 
ators. Prof. Abbott made science easy, clear and attractive in 
the lecture room, as he afterwards did morals and religion in his 
books, and was quite popular till his thoughts and studies be- 
gan to be divided between teaching and writing for the people. 
Prof. Hovey, who succeeded -Prof. Abbott, was the best scholar 
in his class at Yale, and a man of broad and high culture. But 
ill-health prevented him from making his mark upon the Col- 
lege, and led to an early resignation. Tutor Snell was esteemed 
a good mathematician and an excellent teacher, although his ex- 
cessive modesty hindered a just appreciation of his worth, and 
too long delayed his appointment to the Professorship of Natu- 
ral Philosophy. 

These general views, derived from the author's own recollec- 


tions of the College in the period under review, he is happy to 
corroborate by the following just and genial sketch furnished by 
a contemporary whose praise for learning and missionary service 
is in all the churches : l " Ours was the first class which en- 
tered after the College charter was granted. The Institution 
was pervaded by the principles and aims of its pious founders. 
I think a considerable majority of my class were hopefully pious 
when we entered, and others were led to Christ during our Col- 
lege course, so that at the close there were only four out of forty 
who were not hopefulty pious. I have never ceased to regard 
it as one of the kind and gracious dispensations of Providence 
towards me that at the early age of fifteen I was thrown among 
classmates and fellow-students who were so generally serious 
and earnest men. 

"One result of such men being gathered to pursue their 
studies there, was the entire absence of that abuse of new 
comers which has so often disgraced our Colleges. I do not 
remember that a single member of my class was insulted or 
maltreated during our first year. 

" I have not at hand a Triennial Catalogue, but a glance at 
one would show that a large proportion of my fellow-students 
were preparing for the gospel ministry. Bridgman, one of the 
first missionaries to China, was still a member of College when 
I entered. So were Boggs, Tucker and Hebard, and perhaps 
others. Also of those who have been highly useful laborers in 
the ministry in our own land, R. E. Pattison, Artemas and Asa 
Bullard, Edward P. Humphrey, and others. Of my own class, 
Bliss, Lyman, Parker, Perkins and myself, have been permitted 
to engage in the foreign missionary service, and all but Lyman, 
(whose untimely death, perhaps, did as much for the cause as 
would a long and active life,) are still, I believe, in active ser- 
vice. Of the class which next succeeded us, five engaged in 
missionary service, two of whom are still among our esteemed 
fellow-laborers in Turkey, B. Schneider and P. O. Powers. 

" Dr. Humphrey, our President, was a plain man, very practi- 
cal, with good common sense, and exemplary piety. He had the 
unvarying respect and confidence of my class, and I think of all 

1 Rev. Elias Riggs, D. D., of the Class of '29. 


my contemporaries. So bad all our teachers, Hitchcock, Fiske, 
Peck, Worcester, Abbott, Edwards and Snell. 

" We had several Greeks pursuing their studies there in our 
time. One of them, my classmate, Petrokokino, was for several 
years a translator for our mission. Karavelles taught for a 
time in one of our schools, and was subsequently a judge in 
Athens. Paspati is one of the best physicians now practicing 
in this city (Constantinople.) The two Rallis are merchants, 
one, I believe, in Odessa, the other in England. 1 

"My own missionary life has been largely devoted to the 
translation of the Scriptures. While in Greece, I had the priv- 
ilege of aiding for a short season in the Modern-Greek transla- 
tion. While at Smyrna, I prepared and edited, with aid from 
competent Armenians, the entire Bible in their language, and I 
am now permitted to do the same for the Bulgarians in their 
language, which is a dialect of the Slavic." 

The Tutors of this period doubtless contributed their full 
share towards the popularity and growth of the Institution for 
many of them were men of rare talents and attainments, and 
not a 'few of them have risen to eminence in subsequent life. 
After Ebenezer S. Snell and Bela B. Edwards, whose names 
have already been mentioned, came in order Joseph S. Clark, 
William P. Paine, Story Hebard, Ezekiel Russell, H. B. Hack- 
ett, Justin Perkins, W. S. Tyler, Timothy Dwight, Edward P. 
Humphrey, Ebenezer Burgess, Elbridge Bradbury, Thatcher 
Thayer, W. H. Tyler, Charles Clapp, S. B. Ingram, Calvin E. 
Park, Amos Bullard, George C. Partridge and Charles B. Ad- 
ams. Of these twenty-one tutors, seventeen became ordained 
ministers, nine doctors of divinity, three doctors of law, three 
professors in college, three professors in theological seminaries, 

1 Paspati has contributed to philology some valuable papers on the language of 
the Gypsies. Karavelles and another Greek, educated at Mount Pleasant, were the 
first to greet the writer of this History on his landing at the Island of Syra, where 
the former now has charge of the telegraphic office. Some of these Greeks were 
aided in obtaining their education by Arthur Tappan, under the influence of Dr. 
King. " On one of our visits to Northampton," says his daughter, " father took 
grandfather, mother and myself in his carriage to Amherst College, to call on Pres- 
ident Humphrey. During the call, Dr. Humphrey sent for a number of Greek stu- 
dents to come to the parlor to speak with father who had helped them in getting an 
education." Memoir of Arthur Tappan. 


four foreign missionaries, one secretary of the Massachusetts 
Home Missionary Society, and one the founder of one of the 
leading female seminaries of New England. Several of them 
are well-known as editors and authors of books in literature, 
science or theology. Three of them have been honored, faith- 
ful and useful Trustees of Amherst College. 

Eleven of the twenty-one are still living. They are all either 
teachers or preachers, and as equally divided as an odd number 
can be, between the two professions all respected and beloved 
by pupils and people now as when they were Tutors, and some 
occupying high places of honor and influence. 

Of the ten who have finished their course, Bela B. Edwards 
had left the tutorship before I entered College. But the savor 
of his learning and piety still lingered in the Institution ; offi- 
cers and students still spoke of him with affection, almost with 
veneration. Joseph S. Clark was Tutor when I was a Junior in 
College. Of course I never met him in the recitation room, but 
I have a fresh and pleasant recollection of his constant attend- 
ance at the Sabbath morning prayer-meetings of the students, 
of the uniform fervor of his piety, and the attractiveness of his 
consistent, steadfast Christian life. 

Story Hebard was teaching French and Latin in College 
while I was teaching Mathematics and English branches in Am- 
herst Academy. Then we went to Andover together, riding 
in the same stage-coach, and roomed together on the lower floor 
of Bartlett Hall, till I returned to a tutorship in Amherst, and 
he went on with his theological studies. Respected as a Tutor, 
beloved by classmates and friends, he was dear to me as a brother. 
Never was there a more unselfish person, rarely a more faultless 
character or a more blameless life. Almost literally he never 
said that aught of the things which he possessed was his own ; 
if ever man did, he loved his neighbor as himself. His spirit 
was too gentle and good for earth ; his body was too frail and 
delicate for the hardships of missionary life. He died in 1841, 
at the age of thirty-nine, in the Turkish Mission. 

Justin Perkins, Ebenezer Burgess and Timothy Dwight'Were 
my fellow-tutors and fellow-boarders at Prof. Hitchcock's, whose 
family for several years furnished a delightful home for almost 


all the Tutors. There we discussed literature, science and re- 
ligion with each other and the Professor. There, at one time, 
we canvassed principles, plans and methods of education with 
Miss Lyon when she was laying the foundations of Mount 
Holyoke Seminary. There, at another, we sat at the feet of 
Dr. Eli Smith as he discoursed of the Holy Land and the Turk- 
ish Mission. Perkins taught Rhetoric, Logic and Languages 
with indefatigable industry, exemplary faithfulness and perfect 
propriety ; already we could see in him (such was the gravity 
of his deportment, such the maturity and balance of his judg- 
ment,) the founder and father of the mission among the Nesto- 
rians, and (such was his linguistic lore) the future translator of 
the Scriptures into modern Syriac. Burgess came after him, but 
was almost totally unlike him. An inquirer into all that was 
new and a worshiper of all that was true, eagerly seeking for 
discoveries in the material and the spiritual universe, and fully 
believing that there were more things in heaven and earth than 
any existing science or philosophy ever dreamed of, he knew 
well how to awaken thought and inquiry in the minds of his pu- 
pils, but he was not master of the art of expression or commu- 
nication. We could hardly expect that such a man would spend 
all his days in the missionary field the seeds of the " Lowell 
Lectures " and the " Antiquity of Man " were already planted 
in him, and they could not fail to germinate. D wight, with a 
marvelous gift of expression, had also a genius for Mathematics, 
and laid the students and teachers of that day under everlasting 
obligations by his simplification and abbreviation of those end- 
less algebraic formulas in Button's Conic Sections. He too had 
devoted himself to the work of missions; but he died within 
two or three years after the expiration of his tutorship, with- 
out setting foot on missionary ground. Perkins and Burgess 
both died in 1869. I had fondly hoped to enjoy much more of 
their society. It would have been a melancholy satisfaction at 
least to have seen them in their last hours and followed them to 
their graves. But I was then a traveler in foreign lands ; " auget 
maestitiam quod satiari vultu, complexu non contigit ; pauciori- 
bus lacrimis compositus es, et novissima in luce desideravere 
aliquid oculi tui." 


"W. H. Tyler, Charles Clapp and S. B. Ingram filled up the 
interval between my tutorship and my professorship. Of the 
first, a brother may be pardoned for recording the verdict of all 
who ever enjoyed his instructions, that he was for two years in 
Amherst College what he was for eleven years in the Institution 
founded by him in Pittsfield, " a model teacher." The second 
left behind him in College the reputation of a fine scholar (he 
was the valedictorian of the Class of '32,) and the third, of a 
thoughtful, truthful man, and an earnest Christian. 

On my return as a permanent oflBcer in 1836, Prof. Snell's 
house succeeded to Prof. Hitchcock's as the home of the Tutors 
and the bachelor Professor. A rare group of choice and con- 
genial spirits it was that gathered around that table, and, having 
satisfied their bodily wants, remained almost daily after dinner 
or supper for " the feast of reason and the flow of soul." Two 
Professors and three Tutors, as unlike in our tastes as we were 
in the branches which we taught, we ate and drank, we talked 
and read, we disputed and bantered and laughed and sung ; and 
thin and sober as some of us naturally were, we all grew hale 
and hearty in the process. Of that charming "symposium," 
whether reason or humor, science or song ruled the hour, were 
we asked to name him who was the center and the soul, before 
all others, scarcely excepting our 'genial host himself, with one 
consent we should speak the name of Amos Bullard. The ripest 
scholar, the rarest thinker, the keenest wit and the sincerest 
Christian of the whole circle ! And is it for this reason that he 
is the only one of the five whom the Heavenly Father has taken 
to himself? " The good die first." He died in 1850, at the age 
of forty-four, heaven having begun in his soul before he closed 
his eyes on earthly scenes. 

In 1835, two years before the close of our period, Jonathan 
B. Condit and Edwards A. Park became Professors, both of 
whom are now widely known and highly honored Professors in 
theological seminaries. The former was connected with the 
College only three years, and the latter rendered the service of 
only one year and one term. At the resignation of Prof. Park, 
in 1836, Prof. Fiske was transferred from the Latin and Greek 
chair to that of Intellectual and Moral Philosophy, and W. S. 


Tyler was chosen Professor of the Latin, Greek and Hebrew 
Languages and Literature. 

The number of students was increased for a year or two by 
the introduction of a new course of study running parallel to 
the old. "At the annual meeting of the Board of Trustees, 
August 21, 1826, the Faculty presented a detailed report of the 
state of the Seminary and the course of instruction, together 
with some general remarks upon the inadequacy of the prevail- 
ing systems of classical education in this country to meet the 
wants and demands of an enlightened public. The Trustees 
were so much interested in this report, particularly that part 
which touches upon the subject of modifications and improve- 
ments, that they appointed a committee consisting of the Presi- 
dent, the Hon. Lewis Strong and the Hon. Samuel Howe, to 
publish extracts from it at such time and in such a way as they 
might think best calculated to elicit inquiry, to subserve the 
great interests of the College, and to promote the general cause 
of education. At the same meeting the Trustees passed a re- 
solve, requesting the Faculty to draw up a specific plan of im- 
provement upon the basis of their report, and present it for con- 
sideration at a future meeting of the Board." 

At a special meeting of the Board, December 6, 1826, called 
for this express purpose, the* Faculty reported their " specific 
plan " and after much discussion and some amendment the re- 
port was ordered to be printed, and was unanimously adopted 
by the Board so far forth as " to express their cordial approba- 
tion of the general plan, and their design of incorporating the 
new course substantially, as drawn out by the Faculty with the 
existing four years' system." 

This " parallel or equivalent course " as recommended by the 
Faculty in their second report was to differ from the old 1, In 
the prominence which will be given to English literature. 2, In 
the substitution of the modern for the ancient languages, par- 
ticularly the French and Spanish, and should room be found 
hereafter, German or Italian, or both, with particular attention 
to the literature in these rich and popular languages. 3, In Me- 
chanical Philosophy, by multiplying and varjdng the experiments 
so as to render the science more familiar and attractive. 4, In 


Chemistry and other kindred branches of Physical Science, by 
showing their application' to the more useful arts and trades, to 
the cultivation of the soil, and to domestic economy. 5, In a 
course of familiar lectures upon curious and labor-saving ma- 
chines, upon bridges, locks and aqueducts, and upon the differ- 
ent orders of Architecture with models for illustration. 6, In 
Natural History, by devoting more time to those branches which 
are now taught, and introducing others into the course. 7, In 
Modern History, especially the history of the Puritans, in con- 
nection with the civil and ecclesiastical history of our own coun- 
try. 8, In the elements of Civil and Political Law, embracing 
the careful study of the American Constitutions, to which may 
be added Drawing and Civil Engineering. 

Ancient History, Geography, Grammar, Rhetoric and Oratory, 
Mathematics, Natural, Intellectual and Moral Philosophy, Anat- 
omy, Political Economy and Theology, according to the plan, 
were to be common to both courses. The requirements for ad- 
mission were also to be the same for both courses, not excepting 
the present amount of Latin and Greek. And the Faculty stren- 
uously insisted that the new course should be fully " equivalent " 
to the old, that it should fill up as many years, should be carried 
on by as able instructors, should take as wide and elevated a 
range, should require as great an amount of hard study or mental 
discipline, and should be rewarded by the same academic honors. 

Besides the new parallel or equivalent course, the Faculty 
earnestly recommend a new department for systematic instruc- 
tion in the science of education, and they further suggest a de- 
partment of theoretical and practical mechanics. 

While the Trustees unanimously approve of the general plan, 
and declare their purpose to incorporate the new course with 
the old system, they also express their intention "to add the 
department of education as soon as they can obtain the neces- 
sary means. The mechanic department they deem of less imme- 
diate consequence, but as worthy of a fair trial whenever the 
funds of the College will permit." 1 

1 See a pamphlet issued by the Committee of the Trustees, entitled " The sub- 
stance of two reports of the Faculty of Amherst College to the Board of Trustees, 
with the doings of the Board thereon. Carter and Adams, 1827." 


Not long after the meeting of the Board in December, 1826, 
the Faculty drew up a plan of the studies, arranged in parallel 
columns wherever the two courses differed, and published it, to- 
gether with other matter usually contained in the annual cata- 
logue, under the title, " Outline' of the System of Instruction 
recently adopted in the College at Amherst, Mass., 1827." In 
this paper, they say : " In consequence of the demand which 
is at the present time made by a large portion of the public 
for the means of an elevated and liberal education without the 
necessity of devoting so much time to the study of the Ancient 
Languages, the Trustees have authorized the establishment of 
two parallel courses of study, in one of which Ancient, and in 
the other, Modern Languages and Literature receive particular 
attention. In other respects, the courses coincide, correspond- 
ing with the system generally adopted in the colleges of New 
England. In studies in which they coincide, both divisions will 
receive instruction in company, and they will graduate together 
at the termination of the four years' course. This system is ex- 
pected to go into operation at the commencement of the ensu- 
ing collegiate year." 1 

At the commencement of the ensuing year, (1827-8) the 
whole number of students rose from one hundred and seveniy 2 
to two hundred and nine, and the Freshman class, which the 
previous year contained fifty-one, now numbered sixty-seven, of 
whom eighteen are set down on the catalogue as students " in 
Modern Languages." So far forth the experiment promised well. 
In regard to the number of students, it was at least a fair begin- 
ning. But now commenced the difficulties in the execution of 
the plan. These were found to be far greater than the Trustees 
or the Faculty had anticipated. The teacher of Modern Lan- 
guages, a native of France, was not very successful in teaching, 
and was quite incapable of maintaining order in his class, so 
that the Faculty were compelled to appoint one of the Profess- 
ors to preside at his recitations. The Professors and Tutors on 

1 1 find in the records of the Faculty at this time, [1827-8] a plan for a fifth year 
of study to be added to the curriculum. It never appears to have gone beyond the 
records, and is mentioned here only to illustrate the large plans and enterprising 
spirit of the Faculty at this period. 

2 On the catalogue of the preceding year. 


whom it devolved to give the additional instruction, although 
willing, as they declared in their report, " to take upon them- 
selves additional burdens," had their hands full already with 
other duties, and found unexpected difficulties in organizing and 
conducting the new course of studios. The College was not 
sufficiently manned for the work it had undertaken, and was too 
poor to furnish an adequate Faculty. Truth also probably re- 
quires the statement that the new course, which was the favorite 
scheme of one of the Professors, was never very heartily adopted 
by the rest of the Faculty who, therefore, worked in and for it 
with far less courage and enthusiasm than they did in the studies 
of the old curriculum. Moreover they discovered as the year 
advanced, that the new plan was not received by the public 
with so much favor as had been expected, that they had proba- 
bly overestimated the popular demand for the Modern Lan- 
guages and the Physical Sciences in collegiate education. The 
students of the new course were not slow to perceive all these 
facts. They soon discovered the fact, whatever might be the 
cause, that they were not obtaining an education which was in 
reality equivalent to that obtained by other students. 

The next year, 1828, the Freshman class fell back to fifty- 
two, just about the number of two years before ; and of these 
so few wished, or particularly cared to join the new course, 
that there was no division organized in the Modern Languages. 
Those who had entered the previous year, gradually fell back 
into the regular course. The catalogue for the 3 r ear 1828-9, 
retains no trace of the new plan, except the parallel columns, 
of the old and new courses of studies. At their annual meet- 
ing in 1829, the Trustees voted to dispense with the parallel 
course in admitting students hereafter, and made French one of 
the regular studies. At the same meeting, the Professor who 
was the father of the scheme, resigned his professorship. Thus 
not a vestige of the experiment remained, except that the class 
with which it was introduced, graduated in 1831 the largest 
class (with one exception) that has ever left the Institution. 
Thus ended the first attempt to introduce the Modern Languages 
and the Physical Sciences as an equivalent for the time-honored 
system of classical culture in our American colleges. The plan 


as it was presented in the reports of the Faculty, was exceed- 
ingly attractive and promising, quite as much so as any of the 
numerous similar schemes by which it has been succeeded, and 
it was recommended by quite as convincing and indeed, to a great 
extent, the very same arguments. It is no discredit to the men 
who devised it, and, under such unfavorable circumstances, ex- 
ecuted it to the best of their ability. Essentially the same ex- 
periment, intensified by the omission of the Mathematics as well 
as the Ancient Classics, is now being tried in older and younger, 
and far richer institutions, with men and means in abundance, 
with what result, time must determine. 

With so large a number of students, and that number con- 
stantly and rapidly increasing, the officers of the College soon 
found the place too strait for them, and began very naturally to 
look about for more ample accommodations. The most imme- 
diate and pressing want was felt to be that of a more convenient 
and suitable place of worship. " When I entered upon my office, 
in 1823," says President Humphrey, " the students worshiped on 
the Sabbath in the old parish meeting-house on the hill. I soon 
found that the young men of the society felt themselves crowded 
by the students, and there were increasing symptoms from Sab- 
bath to Sabbath qf collision and disturbance. I accordingly told 
the Trustees that I thought it would be safest and best for us to 
withdraw and worship by ourselves in one of the College build- 
ings till a chapel could be built for permanent occupancy. They 
authorized us to do so, and I have never doubted the expediency 
of the change oh this and even more important grounds." l 

The chief reason which the venerable ex-President in his His- 
torical Sketches proceeds to urge in favor of a separate congre- 
gation and place of worship for students, is the greater appro- 
priateness, directness and impressiveness of the preaching which 
can thus be addressed to them. On this subject there has been 
and is, so far as I know, but one opinion in the Faculty of Am- 
herst College. The experience of half a century has only con- 
firmed and established the views expressed by Dr. Humphrey, 
that it is a great loss of moral power to preach to students scat- 
tered among a large mixed congregation. 

1 Historical Sketches in Manuscript. 


But the old chapel, laboratory and lecture room, and room 
for every other 1 use, in the upper story of North College, could 
not long accommodate the growing number of students, even 
for morning and evening prayers, still less the congregation for 
Sabbath worship. The subject of a new chapel came before the 
Board of Trustees at their first meeting under the charter. 
They were encouraged to consider the subject and form some 
plans in respect to it, by a legacy of some four thousand dollars 
or more which Adam Johnson of Pelham had left to the College 
for the express purpose of erecting such a building. But his 
will had been disallowed -by the Judge of Probate, and an ap- 
peal from his decision was now pending in the Supreme Court. 
At this time, therefore, they only voted, that in case the will 
should be established, the Prudential Committee be instructed to 
proceed with all convenient despatch in the erection of a chapel 
building. They furthermore authorized that committee to bor- 
row any further sum of money which they might deem requisite 
for that purpose, not exceeding six thousand dollars. " At the 
annual meeting in August, 1825, the call for a chapel and other 
public accommodations had become too urgent to be postponed 
without sacrificing the interests of the College. In this emer- 
gency, the Trustees could not hesitate. They saw but one 
course, and they promptly empowered the Prudential Com- 
mittee to contract for the erection of a chapel building," 1 and 
also a third College edifice, if they deemed it expedient ; at the 
same time authorizing them to borrow such sums of money, as 
might be necessary therefor, of the Charity Fund, of banks, or 
of individuals. 

The work on the chapel was commenced early in the spring 
of 1826, and so far completed in the course of the season that 
on the 28th of February, 1827, it was dedicated. Dr. Humphrey 
preached the dedication sermon. His text was : " Hitherto hath 
the Lord helped us." " Five years ago," he says, " there was 
one building for the accommodation of between fifty and sixty 
students ; four years ago there were between ninety and a hun- 
dred young men here ; one year ago, there were a hundred and 
fifty ; and now there are a hundred and seventy. It is scarcely 

1 Dr. Humphrey's dedication sermon. 


two years since the Seminary was chartered, and yet I believe 
that in the number of under-graduates it now holds the third or 
fourth rank in the long list of American Colleges ! God forbid 
that this statement should excite any but grateful emotions. It 
is meet that we should carefully look over this ground to-da} r , 
that the inscription may be indelibly engraved on our hearts 
' Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.' ' Meanwhile the decision 
of the Judge of Probate had been reversed, and the will of 
Adam Johnson l established by the Supreme Court. 

At the annual meeting of the Board in August, 1828, it was 
voted that in testimony of their grateful remembrance of his mu- 
nificent donation, the apartment occupied as a chapel should for- 
ever be called Johnson Chapel, and that the President be re- 
quested to have the words, " Johnson Chapel," inserted in large 
arid distinct characters over the middle door or principal en- 
trance of the apartment. This inscription placed over the door 
of the chapel proper, in 1829, disappeared after a time, being car- 
ried off by students in some of their pranks, and was replaced at 
the instance of the writer shortly before the semi-centennial. It 
now stands over the arch near the foot of the stairs in the lower 
hall. In 1846 a suitable monument was erected over the grave 
of Mr. Johnson by direction of the Trustees and at the expense 
of the College. 

Besides the chapel proper, which has ever since been used for 
morning and evening prayers, as well as for the worship of the 
Sabbath, the chapel building contained originally four recitation 
rooms, a room for philosophical apparatus, and a cabinet for 
minerals on the lower floor, two recitation rooms on the second 
floor, a library room on the third floor, and a laboratory in the 

1 Much handle was made of this will in the speeches of the opposition in the Leg- 
islature. And I have before me a pamphlet written in the same spirit by a brother 
of the testator, entitled, " The Last Will and Testament of Thomas Johnson, of 
Greenfield, County of Franklin, in favor of the Trustees of Amherst College," in 
which he (the brother) bequeathes to the said Trustees nothing but woes and male- 
dictions. It must be admitted that Adam Johnson was not such a man as would 
have been likely to be among the founders of Amherst College. The desire of a 
childless old man to perpetuate his name seems to have been his chief inducement 
to make the bequest, and his motive was doubtless skillfully pressed by Col. Graves 
and Esq. Dickinson. But the verdict of the Supreme Court exculpates them from 
the charge of any improper or undue influence. 


basement. These recitation rooms were named after the depart- 
ments to which they were appropriated, for example, the Greek, 
Latin, Mathematical and Tablet rooms l on the first floor, and 
the Rhetorical and Theological rooms on the second, and they 
were far in advance of the recitation rooms of the older col- 
leges in size, beauty, and convenience. The College library 
was soon removed from the fourth story of North College to 
the room intended for it in the third story of the chapel, and 
the room not being half filled by it, the remaining half, viz., 
the shelves on either side of the door, were for some time set 
apart respectively for the libraries of the Alexandrian and 
Athenian societies. When better accommodations were fur- 
nished many years later for the Mineral Cabinet, the recitation 
rooms of Prof. Mather and Prof. Seelye took the place of the 
Tablet room, the old Cabinet, and a part of the adjoining entry, 
and the Rhetorical and Theological rooms gave place to the 
small chapel. And when Williston Hall provided ample apart- 
ments for the Chemical department, the old Laboratory, so long 
the scene of Prof. Hitchcock's brilliant experiments and corus- 
cations of genius, was given up to storage and other necessary 
but comparatively ignoble uses. 

At the annual meeting of the Trustees in August, 1827, it was 
voted that the Prudential Committee be directed to take imme- 
diate measures for erecting another College building for the ac- 
commodation of the students, similar to those already erected, 
and cause the same to be completed as soon as may be, provided 
that in their judgment a suitable site for such building can be 

The site was soon selected, and before the commencement of 
another collegiate year, the building was completed so as to be 
occupied by students for the year 1828-9. This new dormitory 
was better adapted to promote the health, comfort and conven- 
ience of students, especially in its well-lighted and ventilated 
bed-rooms, and its ample closets, than either of the older build- 
ings, and was perhaps a better dormitory, as being built on a 
better plan, than any that then existed in any other college. It 
had, however, the disadvantage of running east and west, in- 

1 So called because the walls were covered with blackboards. 


stead of north and south, so that the rooms on the north side 
were never visited by the sun, and no such rooms are fit to be 
inhabited. Still it was for many years the favorite dormitory, 
and its rooms were the first choice of members of the upper 
classes, not a few of whom, on their return to Amherst, will 
look in vain for the North College of their day 1 as the center of 
some of their most sacred associations. In the winter of 1857, 
it was destroyed by fire, and its site is now occupied by Willis- 
ton Hall. 

It was in connection with the site of North College, that the 
process of grading the College grounds began, which, during so 
many years in the poverty of the College, was carried forward 
by the hands of the students, sometimes by individuals work- 
ing out of study hours, and sometimes by a whole class volun- 
teering to devote a half-day or a whole day to the work. . Or 
if the process began earlier, we now find it receiving a special 
and grateful recognition on the records of the Trustees, who, 
at their annual meeting in August, 1827, "having noticed with 
much satisfaction the improvements made in the College grounds* 
and hearing that these were effected principally by the volun- 
tary labors of the students," passed a vote expressing the 
"pleasure they felt in view of these self-denying and benev- 
olent exertions to add to the beauty and convenience of the 
Institution." The same enterprise and public spirit also gave 
birth soon after to the gymnasium in the grove, the bathing es- 
tablishment at the well, and the College band, which, for many 
years, furnished music at exhibitions, Commencements and other 
public occasions. 

During the summer term of 1828, the students with the ap- 
probation of the Faculty, organized a sort of interior govern- 
ment, supplementary to that of the Faculty, and designed to se- 
cure more perfect order and quietness in the Institution. A 
legislative body, called the House of Students, enacted laws for 
the protection of the buildings, for the security of the grounds, 
for the better observance of study hours, etc., etc. Then a 
court, with a regularly organized bench, bar, and constabulary, 

iFrom 1828 to 1857, this was called North College, and the present North was 
called Middle College during the same period. 


enforced the execution of the laws, tried offenders in due form 
and process, and inflicted the penalties affixed to their violation. 
The plan worked smoothly and usefully for about two years, but 
at length a certain class of students grew restive under the re- 
straints and penalties which were imposed ; for 

None e'er felt the halter draw, 
With good opinion of the law. 

And in 1830, after a most animated, and on one side quite im- 
passioned discussion in the whole body of the students, a small 
majority of votes was obtained against it, and the system was 

When the Chapel and North College were finished, the Trust- 
ees found themselves deeply in debt. Indeed the College came 
into existence as a chartered Institution with a debt of eight- 
een thousand dollars, the greater part of which, however, was 
" liquidated " by the thirty thousand dollar subscription. The 
erection of the Chapel added some eleven thousand dollars to 
the burden. 1 North College cost ten thousand dollars more. 
The purchase of the lot of land belonging to the estate of Dr. 
Parsons, on which the President's house, and the library now 
stand, and the share taken in the new village church that the 
College might have a place to hold its Commencements, swelled 
the sum still higher. 

An effort was made to meet this indebtedness at the time by 
private subscriptions and donations. 2 But the amount raised in 
this way, was not even sufficient to pay the bills for North 
College. For the remaining and now constantly increasing in- 
debtedness, no resource seemed to be left but an appeal to the 
Legislature. The first application to the Legislature for pecun- 
iary aid was made in the winter session of 1827. The peti- 
tion signed by President Humphrey, in behalf of the Trustees, 
sets forth the pressing necessities of the Institution, and how 
they have arisen, asks nothing more than the means of defray- 

1 The building cost fifteen thousand dollars, four thousand of which was contrib- 
uted by the Johnson legacy. 

2 It was in this effort that Eev. Mr. Vaill was first appointed agent of the Col- 
lege with a salary of eight hundred dollars, viz., at the annual meeting of the 
Trustees in August, 1829. 


ing the expenses already incurred for the accommodation of its 
increasing number of pupils, and such further aids and facilities 
for the communication of knowledge as are indispensable to its 
continued prosperity, and urges no claim except the unparal- 
leled private munificence and individual efforts by which it has 
been sustained, and the duty devolved upon the Legislature by 
the constitution, and cheerfully discharged by them in reference 
to the other Colleges of the State, to foster institutions of learn- 
ing established by their authority, and governed in no small 
measure by Trustees of their own choice. This petition was 
referred to a Committee of both Houses, who gave the petition- 
ers a patient hearing, and manifested a willingness on their part 
to aid the College, but " they found the state of the public 
finances incompatible with such aid," and hence felt constrained 
to make an unfavorable report. This report was accepted by 
both Houses, and there the matter rested for four years. 

In the winter session of 1831, the Trustees came before the 
General Court again with substantially the same petition, made 
more urgent by increasing necessities, but only to meet with 
substantially the same result. The committee, consisting of 
Messrs. Gray and Lincoln of Worcester, from' the Senate, and 
Messrs. Baylie of Taunton, Marston of Newburyport, and Wil- 
liams of Northampton, from the House, recognize the necessities 
of the Institution, as also its merits and success. Indeed they 
make an admirable argument in favor of a grant, but with a non 
sequitur, which surprises the reader, they concluded with a rec- 
ommendation that for the present, at least, the grant shall be 
withheld. The last two sentences of their report, read as fol- 
lows : " The degree of public estimation which the College en- 
joys is evidenced by the unexampled success which has attended 
the exertions of its officers, and which has placed it, as regards 
the number of its pupils, in the third rank among the Colleges 
of the United States. Your committee are not unmindful of the 
obligation which the constitution imposes on the Legislature to 
cherish and foster seminaries of learning, and if the present state 
of the treasury would justify it, they would not hesitate to rec- 
ommend that a liberal endowment should be granted to Am- 
herst ; but under existing circumstances it is their opinion that 


the further consideration of the petition of Amherst College for 
pecuniary aid, be referred to the first session of the next Gen- 
eral Court." This report met the prompt acceptance of the 
Senate, and, on the same day, the concurrence of the House. 

At the first session of the next General Court, which com- 
menced in May, 1841, the petition of the Trustees, and the re- 
port of the committee of the last Legislature were referred to a 
Joint Committee, consisting of Messrs. Lincoln and Brooks of 
the Senate, and Messrs. Huntington of Salem, Bowman of New 
Braintree and Hayes of South Hadley of the House, who were 
unanimously of the opinion that the public interest requires that 
pecuniary aid be afforded to Amherst College, and submitted a 
resolve for that purpose. The resolve gives the College fifty 
thousand dollars in semi-annual installments of two thousand 
five hundred dollars each. But owing to the shortness of the 
summer session, the subject was again postponed. 

The State being now in funds, it was not doubted that a grant 
would be obtained as soon as the General Court could have time 
to act deliberately upon the subject. Accordingly a new peti- 
tion was drawn up by authority of the Trustees and presented 
in January, 1832. It was referred to a highly respectable com- 
mittee, who adopted substantially the favorable report of pre- 
vious committees, and unanimously submitted the same resolve. 

When their report came before the House for discussion in 
Committee of the Whole, the College was attacked with great 
acrimony on the one hand, and defended with distinguished mag- 
nanimity and ability on the other. Mr. Brooks of Bernards- 
ton and Mr. Fuller of Boston, were particularly violent and 
bitter in their opposition. Mr. Foster of Brimfield, Mr. Buck- 
ingham of Boston, Mr. Bliss of Springfield, and Mr. Calhoun of 
Springfield, who was a Trustee and who was then Speaker of the 
House, spoke ably and eloquently in the defence. Mr. Fuller re- 
newed his assault, and continued his slander and vituperation till 
after the usual hour of adjournment. Mr. Calhoun rose again 
and in a brief reply repeUed the charges, and re-asserted the 
strong claims of the College to public patronage. Mr. Bliss 
moved that the committee rise, as he wished to answer the 
member from Boston. Mr. Phillips of Salem hoped the indul- 


gence would be granted, and intimated that he also should be 
glad to address the committee. But the majority were deter- 
mined to take the question on the spot. They did take it. It 
went against the College with " fearful odds," and on motion of 
Mr. Sturgis of Boston the whole subject was indefinitely post- 
poned. Thus, after a suspense of five years, during which they 
had obtained the favorable reports of four successive commit- 
tees of the Legislature, were the hopes of the Trustees blasted 
in a moment, and the debts of the College returned upon them 
with a weight which it was impossible any longer to sustain. 

After this result no time was lost in calling a special meeting 
of the Trustees, to consider what was to be done in this critical 
emergency. The Board met on the 6th of March. It was an 
anxious day, and direction was sought of Him who had hitherto 
succored the College in all its perils. Letters full of hope and 
encouragement were read from influential friends in different 
parts of the State, urging them without delay to appeal to the 
public for the aid which the Legislature had so ungraciously re- 
fused. They accordingly resolved to make an immediate appeal 
to the friends of the College, asking for fifty thousand dollars as 
the least sum which would relieve it from debt and future em- 
barrassment. A committee of their own body, consisting of the 
President, Hon. Samuel Lathrop and Hon. William B. Banister, 
was appointed to publish the appeal, and President Humphrey, 
Prof. Fiske, Rev. Mr. Vaill, Rev. Sylvester Holmes of New 
Bedford, Rev. Mr. Hitchcock of Randolph, and Rev. Richard 
S. Storrs of Braintree, were appointed agents to solicit sub- 

In their appeal to the public, the committee say to the friends 
and patrons of the College : " It rests with you to decide whether 
it shall live or die. With an empty treasury, exhausted credit, 
a debt of more than thirty-five thousand dollars, and no means 
of paying a dollar of the interest as it accrues at the rate of more 
than forty dollars a month, it can not long survive." The whole 
history of the efforts to obtain pecuniary aid from the Legislature 
with their results was also related in this pamphlet, and it was 
calculated to make a strong impression. But the most effective 
part of the whole appeal was the extracts which were quoted 


from the speeches of Mr. Brooks and Mr. Fuller in opposition 
to the bill. The following gems ought to be preserved as speci- 
mens : " Mr. Brooks of Bernardston said he did not think Col- 
leges were needed. There were more lawyers than could get 
a living honestly ; and they had to get a living somehow or other. 
There were doctors to be found in every street of every village, 
with their little saddle-bags ; and they must have a living out 
of the public. There were too many clergymen who, finding 
no places where they could be settled, went about the country 
begging for funds and getting up rag-bag and tag-rag societies. 
He did. not wish to see any more sent about the country, like a 
roaring lion, seeking whom they may devour." l 

" Mr. Fuller of Boston said : I hope, sir, these pious pillars 
of Amherst College have not been guilty of what is technically 
called suppressio veri a suppression of the truth. I hope they 
have not reached that degree of piety which leads its possessors 
to practice pious fraud to accomplish a good end. 

" Mr. Speaker, I hold in my hand a sermon purporting to have 
been preached by Heman Humphrey, President of Amherst 
College. It was published soon after the incorporation of the 
College, and contains at the close, a list of the students in the 
classes. The whole number is one hundred and twenty-six ; 
and at the bottom are written these significant words, ' hopefully 
pious, ninety-eight.' Of the balance, twenty-eight, nothing is 
said no designation is given to them. It needs no inspiration 
in these days of sectarian watchfulness, to understand that those 
unfortunate twenty-eight are among the ' hopelessly damnable.' 
Sir, has it come to this ? Shall the government of a College, 
professing to rest upon the broad basis of the public good, intro- 
duce such distinctions within their walls, and divide their stu- 
dents into two classes, the one 'hopeful' and the other ' hopeless ' 
as to their spiritual concerns ? How must they feel who are not 
among the elect? Such a College must be a school of rank 
hypocrisy rather than a place of liberal science and good learn- 

1 " Mr. Brooks is a doctor, a Universalist preacher and so forth." Note in the 

2 This Mr. Fuller seems to have been an active opposer of the charter in the Leg- 


The appeal met with a prompt and hearty response. The 
people of Amherst put their shoulders again to the wheel and 
raised three thousand dollars they had given little short of 
twenty thousand dollars in money before. President Humphrey 
visited Boston the first week in April, and in a few days had 
raised a subscription of seven thousand dollars there. A sub- 
scription was started spontaneously among the Amherst Alumni 
at Andover fifty-seven out of one hundred and fifty-three stu- 
dents at Andover at this time were alumni of Amherst and 
they in their poverty subscribed from ten to twenty-five dollars 
apiece. No agent was necessary. Mr. Fuller, as the writer 
well remembers, was agent enough, and his speech was better 
than any that President Humphrey himself could have made 
in behalf of the College. 

The Boston Recorder, in whose columns we find no mention 
of Amherst College during the three years previous, has an edi- 
torial or a communication in behalf of the College in almost every 
issue for several months in 1832, publishing it as a settled point 
that Amherst will receive no aid from the State for one genera- 
tion, declaring the chief reason for the refusal of aid by the 
Legislature to be the avowedly orthodox and religious character 
of the Institution, and calling upon the friends of evangelical 
religion to come to its relief and support it as a strictly religious 
object, and urging in proof that it is so, the facts that all the 
permanent officers but one had from the first been licensed 
preachers, that of two hundred and seventy graduates two hun- 
dred and seven were pious, and that more than one-third of the 
theological students at Andover Seminary were from Amherst 
College. Under the influence of such arguments and appeals, 
evangelical Christians through the State rallied to its support 
with such cordial good will that we find them congratulating 
each other and the College on the rejection of its petition by the 
Legislature. At the Commencement in August it was announced 
that thirty thousand dollars had been subscribed. It was feared 

islature of that day. In replying to his speech at this time, Mr. Thayer of Brain- 
tree says, that under the influence of Mr. Fuller, years ago, he had voted against 
the charter ; but he had visited Amherst since, and had been led to change his 
mind by what he had seeft with his own eyes. 


that the remaining twenty thousand dollars would come with 
great difficulty. But the work went bravely on to its comple- 
tion. And on the last day of the year, December 31, 1832, the 
news being received that the whole sum was made up and the 
subscription was complete, the students expressed their joy in 
the evening by ringing the bells and an illumination of the Col- 
lege buildings, thus celebrating with the beginning of a new 
year, what they believed to be a new era in the history of the 

u The labor of procuring funds was greater than that of pro- 
curing a charter. It was especially an irksome work, and one 
for which Dr. Humphrey thought himself poorly fitted. One 
of the family traditions, however, shows that he had some of 
the requisites of a solicitor. On one of his journeys to Boston 
in the stage-coach of the day, the vehicle stopped at a village 
to take up a lady. The rain was falling, the coach was filled. 
The driver, opening the door, asked if any passenger would re- 
sign his seat for one ' on the deck,' in favor of the lady. No 
one moved for a moment. The next instant, Dr. Humphrey 
was on the ground, and the lady in his place. Some time after- 
wards when this village was canvassed for subscriptions to the 
College, the husband of the lady was called upon. He looked 
at the subscription list, subscribed a handsome sum, and re- 
turned it saying, ' I do not know much about Amherst College, 
but I know its President is a gentleman.' " 

" The incessant toil which marked these years, told severely 
even upon his robust constitution. His health was nearly 
broken, when, in the winter of 1834-5, some friends of the Col- 
lege proposed to defray the expenses of a few months' travel in 
Europe for the restoration of his flagging energies." 1 The 
Trustees cheerfully voted him leave of absence. He sailed for 
Liverpool in the spring of 1835, and was absent over Commence- 
ment. Rev. Dr. Packard instructed the Senior Class in Moral 
Philosophy, and aided the Faculty in the preaching and the re- 
ligious services of the Chapel during the summer term. Prof. 
Hitchcock acted as Vice-President and Chairman of the Faculty, 
preached the Baccalaureate sermon, and presided at the Com- 

1 Memorial Sketches of Dr. and Mrs. Humphrey, by his son. 


mencement exercises. A series of letters, written by Dr. Hum- 
phrey during this journey, and running over with his character- 
istic humor and good sense, was printed in the New York Ob- 
server, and had a wide circulation. He returned late in the 
autumn with recuperated health and enlarged resources to re- 
sume his College duties, and to make his influence felt more 
widely than ever in the community. But he ceased from this 
time to instruct the Senior class in Intellectual and Moral Philos- 
ophy. A Professorship in this department had been instituted 
for the purpose of relieving the President from those excessive 
labors, which, together with the unavoidable responsibilities of 
his office, and the peculiar anxieties growing out of the pecu- 
niary condition of the College, were manifestly undermining 
his health. The Professor entered on his duties during the ab- 
sence of Dr. Humphrey in Europe. And since his inaugura- 
tion, the Professorship of Intellectual and Moral Philosophy 
has ceased to be connected with the Presidency. It was an 
important, it may almost be called a radical change. So far as 
that most important department is concerned, it was undoubt- 
edly an advance. Intellectual and Moral Philosophy, not less 
than Mathematics, or Physics, is quite enough to task the en- 
ergies and occupy the time of any Professor. Perhaps the 
change was indispensable, being at once the unavoidable effect 
of the growth of the College, and the necessary condition of its 
continued progress. But it contained the seeds of a revolution 
quite unforeseen by the actors in it. And like other revolu- 
tions, it involved incidental dangers, evils and sacrifices. The 
President, who would be all that Dr. D wight was in Yale Col- 
lege, or all that Dr. Humphrey was in the first twelve years of 
his connection with Amherst College, must be the principal 
teacher of the Senior class. The President, who would com- 
mand the highest veneration and affection of the students, must 
be more than a police officer, or administrator of the govern- 
ment and discipline of the College he must be the acknowl- 
edged intellectual, moral and spiritual, as well as official head of 
the Institution. 

During the presidency of Dr. Moore, and the first ten years 
of Dr. Humphrey's administration, the old-fashioned system 


continued unchanged, according to which morning prayers and 
the morning recitation were not only held before breakfast, but 
were held at hours varying from month to month, sometimes 
changing almost from week to week, according to the season of 
the year, so as to bring the recitation at the earliest hour at 
which it could well be heard by daylight. The breakfast hour 
was thus very late in midwinter, and yet the light in cloudy 
weather was often very imperfect for the morning recitation. In 
1833, by vote of the Faculty, the bell for morning prayers was 
fixed at a quarter before five in summer and a quarter before six 
in winter. And this was done at the request of the students, a 
large majority of whom petitioned for the change. This fact is 
worthy of note, as illustrating the character and spirit of the 
students at the time. And the arrangement of recitations and 
study hours, which was thus introduced, and which continued for 
many years, was, in some respects, preferable to either that which 
preceded, or any which has followed it. The student's working 
day was thus divided into three nearly equal parts, in each of 
which two or three hours were set apart for study, and each 
period of study-hours was followed immediately by a recitation. 
Recitations at intervening and irregular hours were carefully 
avoided, and in order to avoid them, the Tutors, and to some 
extent the Professors did not confine themselves to one depart- 
ment, but heard different divisions of the same class at the same 
hour, in the morning, perhaps in Greek, at noon in Latin, and 
in the afternoon in Mathematics. The standard of instruction 
and of scholarship has doubtless been elevated by the present 
system, which assigns to every instructor his special department. 
But it is attended with the incidental disadvantage of necessitat- 
ing recitations at almost every hour of the day, and thus break- 
ing up the regular succession of study-hours and recitations, des- 
troying, in fact, the very existence of uniform study-hours for 
all Colleges. One who has seen and experienced the advantages 
of both, while on the whole he prefers the new, may be par- 
doned for casting back a look of regret on some of the conven- 
iences and felicities of the old arrangement. 

The observance of study-hours was enforced with much strict- 
ness by College pains and penalties, among which fines were 


perhaps the most frequent. This was the day when fines were 
in vogue in all the Colleges, and when in Amherst College the 
system rose to its highest, (or sunk to its lowest,) pitch of per- 
fection. Fines were imposed for exercise or bathing in study- 
hours, for playing on a musical instrument, for firing a gun near 
the College buildings, for attending the village church without 
permission. In short, fines seem to have been the sovereign 
remedy for all the ills that College was heir to. The records 
of the Faculty in these days preserve the memory of fines im- 
posed on students who now adorn some of the highest places at 
the bar, on the bench, and in the pulpit, to say nothing of the 
medical profession. This much at least may be said to the credit 
of the Faculty, that they were impartial in their administration ; 
for we find a vote recorded imposing a fine of fifty cents a week 
on any member of the Faculty who should fail to visit every 
week the rooms of the students assigned him for such parochial 
visitation ! But Prof. Fiske entered his protest, and the vote 
was soon rescinded. 1 

At the annual meeting of the Trustees in 1832, a change in 
the vacations, which had been discussed at the two preceding 
annual meetings, was adopted, and went into effect the next 
collegiate year. The vacations had hitherto been four weeks 
from the fourth Wednesday of August, (Commencement,) six 
weeks from the fourth Wednesday of December, and three 
weeks from the second Wednesday of May. They were now 
changed to six weeks from the fourth Wednesday of August, 
two weeks from the second Wednesday of January, and four 
weeks from the first Wednesday of May. . The most important 
feature of the change was that the long vacation which had 
hitherto been in the winter, was henceforth to be in the autumn. 
The new arrangement was ideally better, perhaps, both for offi- 
cers and students, inasmuch as the autumn is the pleasanter 
season for recreation, and the winter more suitable and conven- 
ient for study. But it was quite unsuitable and inconvenient 
for that large class of students who had been accustomed to 
help themselves by teaching in the winter. The Trustees pro- 
vided that they might still be allowed to teach twelve weeks of 

i Faculty record, third term, 1829-30. 


each College year, including either of the three vacations, and 
it was hoped that they might find select schools in the fall as re- 
munerative as common schools in the winter. But the experi- 
ment proved unsuccessful, and after a trial of eight years, in 1840 
the College returned to a modified and improved plan, of which, 
however, the essential principle was a long winter vacation. 

At their annual meeting in 1833, the Trustees voted to relin- 
quish the old practice of having a forenoon and afternoon ses- 
sion at Commencement, separated by the corporation dinner; 
and at the Commencement in 1834 the new system of one ses- 
sion was introduced, which has ever since continued, to the en- 
tire satisfaction of all concerned. 

In consequence of some sickness in the President's family, 
the impression prevailed that the President's house, which was 
built for Dr. Moore in 1821, was damp and unhealthy. At a 
special meeting of the Board in October, 1833, the Trustees re- 
quested the Prudential Committee to ascertain how much of 
the recent fifty thousand dollar subscription would remain after 
the payment of the College debts, and in case there should 
prove to be a sufficient balance, they authorized the committee 
to make immediate arrangements for the erection of a new house, 
at an expense not exceeding five thousand dollars. On investi- 
gation, the Prudential Committee estimated that after discharg- 
ing all debts there would be a balance in the treasury of about 
four thousand dollars, which, with the sum realized by the sale 
of the old house, would be sufficient to cover the expense of 
the new. They accordingly sold the old house for two thousand 
five hundred dollars, and commenced the erection of a new one 
on land recently purchased of the Parsons' estate directly oppo- 
site the College edifices ; and "during 1834 and 1835 the house 
was built, not by contract, but by days' works, and the conse- 
quence was that when the bills were all in, they amounted to 
about nine thousand dollars." l 

At the annual meeting of the Trustees in 1834, they voted to 

1 Reminiscences of Amherst College, pp. 68-9. Dr. Hitchcock not only com- 
plains of the amount of the bills for which, during Dr. Humphrey's absence in 
Europe, no one was willing to be responsible ; but he declares his preference for 
the old house, especially in regard to its location. 


appoint a special agent for the immediate collection of the bal- 
ance of the fifty thousand dollar subscription, and directed the 
Prudential Committee " to proceed with all convenient dispatch 
to erect an additional College hall, provided they can procure 
funds for the purpose by donation, or by loan upon the security 
of a pledge of the building to be erected and its income, for the 
repayment." During the years 1835 and 1836, the process of 
grading the grounds in front of the existing edifices and prepar- 
ing a site for a new hall at the south end of the row, was com- 
menced and carried forward at an expense of two or three thou- 
sand dollars. But the hall was not erected, doubtless for the 
very good reason that the funds could not be obtained ; and the 
site was reserved for the erection of the Appleton Cabinet under 
more auspicious circumstances. 

At the same meeting of the Board (1834), the tuition was 
raised one dollar a term. At the annual meeting in 1836, there 
was a further addition of one dollar a term, thus making the 
tuition at this time eleven dollars a term and thirty-three dol- 
lars a year. At the same time the salaries of the Professors 
were increased from eight hundred dollars to one thousand and 
a corresponding increase was made in the salary of the Presi- 
dent. The Tutors' salaries remained as they had been for a few 
years previous, viz., four hundred and fifty dollars. The last 
votes at this meeting, one or two of mere form excepted, were 
as follows : " Voted that the Prudential Committee be directed, 
in view of the urgent necessities of the College, to apply to the 
Legislature of this Commonwealth at their next session for pe- 
cuniary aid. 

" Voted that should the application to the Legislature fail of 
success, or should it be deemed by the committee inexpedient to 
make such application, the Prudential Committee be further au- 
thorized to adopt any such measures as may by them be deemed 
expedient for procuring aid from such other sources as may seem 
to promise the desired relief." 

The number of students at the close of the period now under 
review, that is, in 1836, was large nearly as large as it has been 
at any time since, and the College was in a highly prosperous 
state. Yet the discerning reader can hardly fail to have discov- 


ered in our narrative of this very period seeds of trouble which 
will be seen springing up and bearing fruit in our subsequent 

The following picture of Prof. Fiske in the character of a so- 
liciting agent belongs to this period, and will be read with inter- 
est : " My father was in the field ' over the hill,' ' the six acre 
lot,' plowing with one yoke of oxen and 'old Sorrel.' Two gen- 
tlemen in dark broadcloth come in sight on the brow of the field. 
They meet the very reverent farmer. It was his pastor, ' Mr. 
Snell,' and an extremely gentle man in air and manner. That 
trim, blue surtout and spectacles, and that polished accent, were 
Prof. N. W. Fiske's. Amherst College was in distress. This 
gentleman had come to solicit aid for it ; and the minister left 
his study to guide and help him. Well do I remember the mes- 
sage to my mother in the house, ' Tell her it is in the big pocket- 
book, and she'll know the bill, for it's the largest one in the 
pocket-book.' The boy that was driving the oxen then first be- 
gan to think about ' going to College,' if such men came from 
College, and father cares so much as that for it. The next Sab- 
bath Prof. Fiske preached from ' O Israel, thou hast destroyed 
thyself.' He had one watchful hearer. Such nicety of word 
and manner held fast the plow-boy who had seen him from hat 
to boots in our field two days before." 

That North Brookfield plow-boy entered College in 1835, and 
is now a Doctor of Divinity and a stirring preacher in the great 

Among the many distinguished visitors, who were at this time 
attracted to Amherst by the rare beauty of the situation and the 
singular prosperity of the College, Daniel Webster visited the 
Institution. I was then a student ; and I shall never forget, nor 
will any one who was then a member of College ever forget the 
brief address which he made to the officers and students who 
gathered in the Library to see him and do him honor. His felici- 
tous allusion to the bow of Ulysses, especially, sent an arrow 
into more than one youthful bosom, and gave a new charm to 
the study of the classics. 



IT was in 1825, shortly after the grant of the charter, that 
the first measures were taken for the establishment of a separate 
College church. The origin of this movement and the motives 
of the original members are thus stated in the church records : 

" It having appeared to many of the pious friends of Amherst 
College, that the existence of a church in that Seminary would 
tend in a high degree to promote the great object which its 
founders and benefactors had chiefly in view, viz., to advance 
the kingdom of Christ the Redeemer, by training many pious 
youth for the gospel ministry, several of the students also hav- 
ing expressed their desire to be formed into a church specially 
connected with the College, and the officers of the Faculty hav- 
ing signified their approbation of such a measure, the subject of 
founding a church was laid before the Trustees at their special 
meeting in April, 1825, by the President. The Trustees, there- 
fore, passed the following resolution, viz., that Rev. Heman 
Humphrey, D. D., Rev. Joshua Crosby, and Rev. James Taylor, 
be a committee to consider the expediency of establishing a 
College Church in this Institution, and to proceed to form one 
should they deem it expedient. 

" The above named committee assembled at Amherst on the 
7th of March, 1826, and after deliberation on the subject re- 
ferred to their wisdom and discretion, they resolved themselves 
into an Ecclesiastical Council. 

" The council then voted to proceed to form a church in Am- 
herst College on the principles of the Congregational platform, 
of such persons desiring it as should upon examination be 
judged by them to be entitled to the privileges of church mem- 


bership and should be able heartily to assent to the following 
articles of faith and covenant: 

" We believe 

" That there is but one living and true God, and that the 
Scriptures of the Old and New Testament were written under 
his infallible guidance, and constitute the only perfect rule of 
faith and practice. 

" That the one God exists in three persons, Father, Son and 
Holy Ghost, the same in substance, equal in power and glory. 

" That God created all things for his own holy pleasure and 
honor, and directs all events according to Jhis own benevolent, 
eternal and immutable purposes. 

" That the first man was formed upright and holy, but by dis- 
obedience involved both himself and his whole posterity in the 
entire loss of the Divine image and the Divine favor. 

" That the atonement by Jesus Christ, who was the Son man- 
ifest in the flesh, has opened a way for the restoration and sal- 
vation of all men on the condition of repentance towards God, 
and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. 

" That genuine repentance and sincere faith and all right af- 
fections proceed from the Holy Ghost, who, through the re- 
vealed word, and according to the gracious pleasure of God, 
renews the heart in righteousness and true holiness. 

"That all who thus repent and believe, being justified by 
faith, will be saved only on account of Christ the Mediator and 
Redeemer, and will continue in holiness and enjoy the blessed- 
ness of heaven forever. 

"While all who die without repentance, will at the day of 
judgment be condemned for their own sins, and will remain in 
impenitence and justly suffer everlasting punishment. 

" We enter into solemn covenant with Jehovah and with this 

" To God our Creator, Redeemer and Sacrificer, we sacredly 
devote ourselves and ours without reserve and forever. 

" And we solemnly engage as partakers of the same hope and 

joy, to maintain the discipline and observe the ordinances of 

Christ, promising to seek always the peace and purity of this 

church, that all its members in holy love and harmony may 



enjoy the fellowship of the Lord Jesus, watching, reproving, 
exhorting and comforting each other for mutual edification, and 
looking for that blessed hope, the glorious appearing of the great 
God, even our Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us 
that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto him- 
self, a peculiar people, zealous of good works." l 

Thirty-one persons, all students, and members of each of the 
four classes, were then " examined by the council, and having 
publicly assented to the preceding articles and covenant, after 
an appropriate address by Dr. Humphrey, were solemnly consti- 
tuted the ' Church of Christ in Amherst College.' The church 
was then commended in prayer to the covenanted blessings of 
the one God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost." 

The style of the church is worthy of notice. Although formed 
on the principles of the Congregational platform, it has never 
assumed any denominational name, but has always been styled 
" the Church of Christ in Amherst College." 

A sentence or two from the address of Dr. Humphrey will 
show the high hopes and the deep interest with which he con- 
templated the establishment of the College church. 

" You will permit me to congratulate the friends of the Re- 
deemer and of the College upon the transactions of this solemn 
and interesting occasion. The Institution is now at length fully 
organized. The church is established, which, we trust, will never 
be moved, on whose ample records the names of unborn thou- 
sands will be enrolled, in answer to whose prayers, tens of thou- 
sands will be brought into the kingdom of Christ, and by the 
instrumentality of whose sons the gospel will be carried to the 
ends of the earth." 

At a meeting of the church, May 7, 1826, Rev. Heman Hum- 
phrey, D. D., was chosen Moderator, and Reuben Tinker, Scribe, 
and at a meeting, July 7, regulations were adopted for the ad- 
mission of members, according to which all candidates, includ- 
ing such as shall bring letters from other churches, shall be ex- 
amined by a committee consisting of the Moderator and such 

1 It has always been understood that the confession and covenant were drawn up 
by Prof. Fiske. The clearness, conciseness, comprehensiveness, and consistency 
of the articles, certainly correspond with this traditional authorship. 


number of the brethren as the church may determine, and all 
such examinations of candidates shall be in a meeting of the 
church, so that any member of the church may also have the op- 
portunity to propose any inquiry, and that the candidate may 
then and there give his assent to the confession of faith and 
covenant. It was not till the 26th of October, that any mem- 
bers other than students were admitted to the College church, 
when Mrs. Humphrey was received by letter from the church at 
Pittsfield, Professor and Mrs. Hitchcock from the church in Con- 
way, Prof. Fiske from Dartmouth College, and Professors Wor- 
cester and Abbott from the church in the Theological Seminary 
at Andover. At a meeting in November, the church resolved to 
meet for religious exercises once in two weeks, on Saturday even- 
ing, and that at each meeting some subject or question, selected 
by the Moderator, and announced at the previous meeting, should 
be discussed. How long this arrangement continued, does not 
appear from the records. As early as 1829, such meetings had 
ceased to be held regularly, although Saturday evening long 
continued to be the evening for special meetings of the College 
church, and of professors of religion in seasons of religious in- 
terest. And no member of the church, or professor of religion 
who ever attended one of these meetings, will ever forget the 
wise fatherly counsels and the tender brotherly expostulations 
and entreaties of Dr. Humphrey on such occasions. 

The church remained almost a year without a pastor, Dr. 
Humphrey acting meanwhile as permanent Moderator. In Feb- 
ruary, 1827, after careful consideration and conference with the 
Trustees by committees, the church, with the full approval of 
the Trustees and the Faculty, resolved that it was expedient to 
complete its organization by the election and installation of a 
pastor, and by a unanimous vote they chose Dr. Humphrey for 
their first pastor. The installation took place on the 28th of 
February, 1827, in connection with the dedication of the new- 
College chapel. The churches represented in the Council were 
the First, Second and Third churches in Amherst, and the 
churches in Hadley, Northampton, Sunderland, Enfield, New 
Braintree, Shelburne, North Brookfield and Springfield. In the 
order of exercises, portions of the Scripture were read by Mr. 


Washburn of Ainherst ; the introductory prayer was offered by 
Dr. Woodbridge of Hadley ; the sermon, having particular refer- 
ence to the dedication of the chapel, was preached by Dr. 
Humphrey; the installing prayer was offered by Mr. Crosby of 
Enfield ; the charge to the pastor was given by Mr. Fiske of 
New Braintree; the fellowship of the churches was expressed 
by Mr. Snell of North Brookfield ; and the concluding prayer 
was offered by Mr. Chapin of South Amherst. 

The pulpit of the new chapel was occupied by the pastor 
every other Sabbath, and by the other clerical members of the 
Faculty in rotation on each alternate Sabbath ; and at their first 
meeting after the opening of the chapel, the Trustees appropri- 
ated two hundred dollars, that is, five dollars a Sabbath, as the 
compensation for this service. This appropriation was renewed 
at each annual meeting for fifteen or twenty years. The sum 
was at length doubled, and since that time ten dollars a Sabbath 
has been the remuneration for the supply of the College pulpit, 
or, as the Trustees would perhaps prefer to put it, their recog- 
nition of the service. 

The usual religious meetings of the week at this time, besides 
the public services of the Sabbath, were the religious lecture on 
Thursday evening, conducted by the President and the preach- 
ing Professors in rotation, the meetings of the several classes 
by themselves on Friday evening, the meetings of the church, 
and sometimes of all the professors of religion on Saturday 
evening, and the prayer -meeting for all the students, during the 
hour immediately preceding public worship Sabbath morning. 

It should also be noticed that it was in 1827 that the plan was 
introduced of a weekly Bible exercise in each of the classes. 
The historical parts of the Bible were assigned to the Fresh- 
man class, the prophetical parts to the Sophomores, the doc- 
trinal parts to the Juniors, and the Seniors studied the As- 
sembly's Catechism with the President. The instruction of 
the lower classes was so apportioned among the Professors and 
Tutors that the whole Faculty, with rare exceptions, took more 
or less part in these biblical exercises. And the Bible lesson, 
instead of being put on Monday morning as it often is in schools, 
was assigned to Thursday afternoon, for the express purpose of 

THE REVIVAL OP 1827. 197 

bringing it alongside of the Thursday evening lecture, and 
thus breaking up, if possible, the current of secular labors and 
worldly thoughts by the introduction of sacred studies and re- 
ligious influences into the very middle of the week. 

In his letter accepting the invitation of the church to become 
their pastor, Dr Humphrey said : " Let it be our united and 
fervent prayer to God, brethren, that he will prepare us all for 
the contemplated solemnities, that he will enable me to be faith- 
ful as a spiritual guide and overseer, that he will pour out his 
Spirit upon the church so recently established in this Seminary, 
and make it the pillar and ground of the truth here, that its 
light may be seen and its example be felt by every member of 
College, that great additions may be made to it from every suc- 
cessive class of such as shall be saved, and that it may shine 
brighter and brighter upon this consecrated eminence from gen- 
eration to generation." 

Scarcely had all these arrangements for a thoroughly Christian 
teaching and influence been consummated, when, doubtless in 
answer to prayer asked by the pastor and offered not only in 
the church and the College but by pious parents and the friends 
of sanctified learning in every part of the country, the Spirit 
was poured out in copious effusions, and the new pastor, the new 
church and the new chapel all received a fresh consecration ; 
scarcely were these various, ample and appropriate channels for 
the truth and the Spirit of God opened, when they were filled 
with Divine influences ; scarcely had they brought all their 
tithes into the storehouse when the windows of heaven were 
opened, and a blessing was poured down that there was scarcely 
room enough to receive it. 

The following narrative of this first revival under the pastor- 
ate and presidency of Dr. Humphrey, was communicated by him 
to the Christian public under date of May 15, 1827 : 

" As our spring term has just closed under circumstances of 
peculiar interest, we feel constrained by a sense of gratitude to 
declare what God has done for us and to acquaint the friends of 
Zion with the present religious state of this College. Four years 
ago, and less than two years after its first organization, the In- 
stitution was favored with a remarkable season of ' refreshing 


from the presence of the Lord.' Since that time, although a 
majority of the students have always been professedly pious, 
there have been but few conversions till within the last few 

" A year ago the church was partially revived and a little cloud 
seemed for a few days to be hovering over the Seminary ; but 
it soon disappeared. This year the last Thursday of February 
was observed in the usual manner as a day of fasting and prayer 
for the outpouring of God's Spirit upon Colleges. The follow- 
ing week our new chapel was dedicated, and a pastor was set 
over our infant church. Both these occasions were marked with 
uncommon interest and solemnity, and our hopes were a little 
revived, but they were not sustained by any apparent increase 
of right feeling. As the term advanced, some few, I believe, 
went up more than ' seven times' to look for the harbinger of a 
spiritual shower, before they could discover anything. At length, 
when many thought it too late for a revival, as vacation was so 
near, by the blessing of God upon some special efforts to rouse 
professors from their slumbers, they began to open their eyes 
and to tremble. This was not far from the middle of April. 
Searchings of heart soon became deep and distressing. Mairy 
were ready to give up hopes which they had cherished for years, 
and it was impossible for us long to doubt that a revival was be- 
gun in the church. 

" In the meantime, there was a noise and shaking among the 
dry bones. The impenitent began to be serious, to be alarmed, 
to ask, ' What shall we do to be saved ? ' and then to rejoice in 
hope. By the 20th of April, five or six in the Freshman class 
appeared to have a new song put into their mouths, and from 
that time the work advanced with surprising rapidity and power. 
Convictions were in general short, and, in many cases, extremely 
pungent. Of the thirty in College who perhaps gave some evi- 
dence of faith and repentance, and who are beginning to cherish 
hope, twenty at least are supposed to have experienced relief in 
the space of a single week. ' It is the Lord's doings, and mar- 
velous in our eyes.' 

"As this gracious visitation seemed to demand a public ac- 
knowledgment to the great Head of the Church, before we sep- 


arated at the close of the term, a religious service was appointed 
as the last exercise, and a very appropriate and impressive dis- 
course was delivered in the chapel by the Rev. Dr. Woodbridge 
of Hadley." 

To this narrative written at the time by the pastor, we sub- 
join recollections by several who were students at the time that 
it may be seen also from their point of view. 

" The most remarkable and important event of our College 
course, was the revival of 1827. I was away from College on 
account of ill-health at the time it commenced. In my absence 
of three weeks, not out of town, I was visited by two of my 
classmates who came to talk with me in relation to my duty to be- 
come a Christian. And when I returned to College, the still- 
ness and seriousness pervading the whole Institution made every 
day seem like the Sabbath in its most strict observance. The 
meetings for prayer among the students, held by classes, or the 
occupants of entries, or other divisions, and the more general 
meetings conducted by the Faculty, were so frequent, solemn, 
earnest, and pervaded by the evident presence of God, that I could 
not but be strongly impressed. Two or three, or it may be four, 
of the forty in the class, (1828) did not seem to be much moved, 
all the rest were manifestly. I think it was not more than three 
weeks after my return to the class, before the close of the term. 
But the whole College was so influenced in that time that 
through the rest of the year it had an entirely different aspect 
from any time before. Our class, then Juniors, was very essen- 
tially changed in character. Two who had been decidedly skep- 
tical, Kidder and Winn, became decided and earnest Christians. 
Humphrey, the President's oldest son, had been altogether irre- 
ligious, wild and negligent of all study except in the rhetorical 
department and general literature. He became, for the rest of 
his College course, correct in his conduct, serious and earnest as 
a Christian, diligent and faithful as a student. The change as 
to interest in religious things, was also marked in other cases, 
such as Fuller, Hunt, 1 Lothrop 2 and Spotswood. 3 I think eleven 

1 Rev. Daniel Hunt of Pomfret, Conn. 

2 Hon. E. H. Lothrop of Michigan. 

3 Rev. J. B. Spotswood, D. D. of Virginia. 


of the class united with the College church or other churches 
as the result of this revival. Among them were some of the 
foremost men of the class. 

" Of the class before us, (1827) I suppose McClure * was the 
most remarkable instance of conversion, I mean publicly the 
most remarkable. Perhaps the conversion of Timothy D wight, 2 
really the first scholar of the class, may have been as interest- 
ing to those who knew him well. In the class after us, (1829) 
the most marked and externally wonderful change was in Henry 
Lyman who was afterwards the martyr missionary with Muuson 
killed by the Battas of Sumatra. Lyman had been one of the 
worst, of the boldest in wickedness, apparently defying the 
authority of God ; but when he came under the power of God's 
truth and Spirit, he became as ardent and bold for Christ as 
before he had been in opposition to all good." 3 

" An incident illustrative of strong faith in prayer, was this : 
In the south entry of South College there were a number of 
our most godly young men, while the majority were impeni- 
tent. After mature deliberation, the former resolved to hold a 
daily prayer-meeting of one hour for the conversion of the un- 
converted in that entry. The meetings were sustained with 
vigor and strong faith, the Holy Spirit wrought powerfully in 
their midst, and only a few weeks passed away before every 
student in the south entry of the old South College was con- 
verted to Christ." 4 

" The students made frequent calls on each other to converse 
upon the greatest of all subjects, the welfare of souls, and usu- 
ally joined in prayer before they separated. The meetings of 
literary societies were turned to prayer-meetings, and frequently 
the instructors united with their classes in prayer in their reci- 
tation rooms. Meetings were well attended and very solemn, 
particularly those which were held Sabbath mornings at half 

1 Rev. A. W. McClure, D. D., late Secretary of American and Foreign Christian 

2 Tutor and Missionary. 

8 Letter of Rev. A. Tobey, D. D., Class of '28. For Mr. Lyman's account of 
his own conversion and other incidents of this revival, see his journal and letters 
in the memoir by his sister, Miss Hannah Lyman, Principal of Vassar College. 

4 Rev. T. R. Cressey, Class of '28. 


past nine o'clock. At these meetings, as well as others, the im- 
penitent were warned and urged to accept the Savior by those 
who had formerly been their companions in sin. It was a deeply 
affecting scene to witness the love of Christ proclaimed from 
lips so lately addicted to profanity. Anxious meetings were 
held two evenings in a week, and there are few of the impeni- 
tent that have not attended them. Many of the subjects of 
this work have been those who were farthest from God and all 
good, not only unbelieving, but wild and reckless. 

" About nine-tenths of the Senior and Sophomore classes are 
now the hopeful subjects of renewing grace. The probable 
number of those who have indulged hopes, is about forty, in- 
cluding six or eight who had formerly professed religion but 
who now felt that they had been deceived. The most promi- 
nent characteristics of this revival have been great heart-search- 
ings among professing Christians, deep and frequent convictions 
of sin, and trembling hopes." * 

A very full and interesting narrative of this revival forms the 
principal part of one of the chapters in Prof. Abbott's " Corner- 
Stone." 2 From this and indeed from the recollections of other 
eye-witnesses, it appears that before the revival, irreligion, skep- 
ticism, open infidelity, blasphemy even, and ridicule of sacred 
things had become exceedingly bold. The year previous, some 
six or eight of the most bold, hardened and notorious enemies 
of religion, after trying in vain to break up meetings of the 
pious students by banded and brow-beating intrusions, resolved 
to have a meeting of their own from which every friend of reli- 
gion should be excluded. One of the officers was invited to 
conduct the meeting. 

" The officer addressed them faithfully and plainly, urging 
their duty and their sins upon their consideration, while they 
sat still, in respectful but heartless silence ; looking intently 
upon him with an expression of countenance which seemed to 
say, ' Here we all are, move us if you can.' And they con- 

1 Rev. William A. Hyde, Class of '29, from a narrative contributed by him at the 
time to the Religious Intelligencer at New Haven. 

2 Corner-Stone, p. 364. The letters of Mr. McClure, printed by Prof. Abbott, and 
indeed the whole narrative, should be read by those who would gain an adequate 
conception of the miracles of grace in this revival. 


quered. They went home unmoved. They continued to as- 
semble for several weeks, inviting the officers in succession to 
be present, and at last the few who remained conducted the 
meetings themselves, with burlesque sermons and mock prayers, 
and closed the series at last, as I have been informed, by bring- 
ing in an ignorant black man whose presence and assistance 
completed the victory they had gained over influences from 

" This year, (1827,) an attempt was made to repeat those 
transactions, but with a very different result. A Tutor l was 
invited to hold the meeting. A Hebrew Bible was waggishly 
placed on the stand. After opening the meeting with prayer, 
he entered into a defence of the Holy Scriptures from external 
and internal evidence which he maintained in the most convin- 
cing manner, and then on the strength of this authority, he 
urged its promises and denunciations upon them as sinners. 
The effect was very powerful. Several retired deeply impressed, 
and all were made more serious and better prepared to be influ- 
enced by the truth." After several days of anxious inquiry, 
under the wise guidance of the pastor the young man at whose 
room and by whose invitation the meeting was held, was led to 
the Savior and sat clothed and in his right mind at his feet. 
That young man was afterwards Rev. A. W. McClure, D. D., 
the eloquent and able preacher, author, editor and secretary. 
The leader of the banded opposition the previous year also now 
became as bold and zealous in the advocacy of truth and piety 
as he had been of irreligion. This was Henry Lyman, the mis- 
sionary and martyr of Sumatra. " There were many other cases 
as marked and striking as these. Out of the whole number 
of those who had been irreligious at its commencement, about 
one-half professed to have given themselves up to God, but as to 
the talent and power of opposition, and open enmity the vice, 
the profaneness, the dissipation the revival took the whole, 
with one or tyvo exceptions, it took the whole. And when, a 
few weeks afterwards, the time arrived for those thus changed 
to make a public profession of religion, it was a striking specta- 
cle to see them standing in a crowd in the broad aisle of the 

1 Tutor B. B. Edwards. 


College chapel, purified, sanctified, and in the presence of all 
their fellow-students renouncing sin and solemnly consecrating 
themselves to God. Some years have since elapsed, and they 
are in his service now. I have their names before me, and I do 
not know of one who does not continue faithful to his Master 

With the caution and prudence which Dr. Humphrey always 
carefully observed in such matters, the converts of this revival 
were not received immediately into the church, but were in- 
structed by the pastor somewhat like the catechumens in the 
early Christian church, and edified in the faith, hope and love of 
the gospel for several months before they made a public profes- 
sion of their attachment to the Lord Jesus. Hitherto the Fac- 
ulty and pious students of the College had united with the vil- 
lage church in the celebration of the Lord's Supper. On the 
19th of August, 1827, this sacrament was administered for the 
first time in the College chapel, and it was a eucharist indeed, a 
festival of thanksgiving and praise, made doubly joyful by the 
number and character of those who now for the first time par- 
ticipated in the feast. Twenty students, converts of the revival, 
from all the different classes, joined themselves to the church at 
this communion. One or two had joined earlier and others 
united with the church in College or elsewhere at subsequent 
communions. We have not space for the names, and some of 
them would be unknown to most of our readers. But to one 
who knows their subsequent history, it is delightful to look 
over the list and see, how all without exception have adorned 
their profession, how nearly all have been able and faithful min- 
isters of the gospel, while not a few have been distinguished as 
preachers, teachers and missionaries at home or in foreign lands. 
If the tree is known by its fruit, certainly this revival (and the 
same is true of many others that have succeeded it), was a good 
tree whose fruit enriched the College, refreshed the churches 
and was for the healing of the nations. 

The following extract illustrates how the converts began at 
once to co-operate with those who had prayed and labored for 
their conversion, in missionary efforts for the instruction of the 
ignorant, the care of the neglected and the salvation of the lost. 


" Soon after I entered College, in 1825, I was walking on the 
road to Pelham, and on the plain east of East street, I saw a 
number of families of colored people. I inquired if they would 
like a meeting at one of their houses Sabbath afternoon. The 
proposal was welcomed, the meeting was holden, and from that 
time a meeting, with a Sabbath-school, was sustained during my 
College course. Henry Lyman, after his conversion, assisted me 
in these meetings. Sometimes there were as many as seventy 
or more colored people at those meetings. How much good was 
accomplished or what has become of the meetings or the colored 
people, I do not know." J That was the beginning of a mission- 
ary enterprise which, with occasional interruptions, has been 
ever since sustained by the students of Amherst College, and 
which under the fostering care chiefly of the ladies of the Col- 
lege church, has grown into the church and congregation that 
now worship in Zion chapel on the west side of the College 

The next year, viz., during the latter part of the spring term 
of 1828, another season of revival was enjoyed, " highly inter- 
esting," (in the language of the church record, which is in the 
handwriting of Prof. Fiske,) " although not so rapid or power- 
ful as that of 1827. There seemed to be less of self-scrutiny 
in the members of the church and professors of religion, and 
less of importunity in prayer. But the Holy Spirit manifestly 
descended, and it was supposed that about fourteen members of 
College experienced his regenerating influences." 

" There were two revivals during my College course " writes 
Rev. Asa Bullard " in 1827 and 1828. I think it was the lat- 
ter, and only a few weeks before the close of the term, that Dr. 
Humphrey was all ready one Saturday to start for his former 
home in Pittsfield, when some students called on him and told 
him there were signs of seriousness in the College. Dr. Hum- 
phrey turned out his horse and gave up his visit. At evening 
prayers he stopped the pious students and gave them a most 
solemn exhortation to earnest prayer and faithful labor for a re- 
vival. The Holy Spirit was evidently present. Sabbath day 
several were hopefully converted, and for a day or two conver- 

1 Rev. E. D. Eldredge, Class of '29. 

REVIVAL OF 1828. 205 

sions were constantly occurring; when all at once the work 
seemed to stop. Monday morning the President again stopped 
the pious students at prayers, and in the most solemn and deeply 
anxious manner, said : ' Something is wrong.' Never shall I 
forget that day, and many will probably remember while they 
live that ' Judgment-like Monday.' The students were gathered 
everywhere in little clusters, as solemn as if some great calamity 
had just fallen upon us. Soon the College was one great house 
of prayer. In every entry and from many a room could be heard 
the voice of the most earnest, agonizing supplication. From 
that hour the work went on. Those who were bowed down 
under conviction of sin found relief, and there were conversions 
almost every day till the close of the term." 

At a meeting of the church on Saturday evening, July 5, 
1828, " in preparation for the Lord's Supper to be .kept on the 
approaching Sabbath, July 6," " the pastor stated to the church 
that the furniture for the ordinance of the supper was a joint 
present from the pastor and Professors Hitchcock, Fiske, Wor- 
cester and Abbott." 

The next Saturday evening, July 12, the first case of disci- 
pline was brought before the church by the pastor at the in- 
stance of members of the church who "declared themselves 
much grieved by the deportment of brother , particu- 
larly his indulgence of anger and use of profane language." 
The discipline was conducted according to the method and 
spirit of the gospel, with faithful admonitions and much for- 
bearance on the part of the pastor and the church, to a success- 
ful issue. The offending brother made a written acknowledg- 
ment, expressing his sorrow and asking forgiveness, and "it 
being read in his presence, the church voted their acceptance 
of the same and their continuance of Christian charity and 

On Sunday, July 13, " the first baptism in the church occur- 
red (in the case of the children of members) in the baptism of 
the infant son of Prof. Hitchcock, named Edward." 

At the celebration of the Lord's Supper, November 2, 1828, 
Mrs. Harriet V. Abbott and Horatio B. Hackett, with others, 
made a public profession of their faith in Christ; and March 1, 


1829, " Mr. Ebenezer Strong Snell and Mrs. Sabra C. Snell were 
admitted by profession." 

In the course of the same year, we find records of the earli- 
est appointments of delegates to attend ecclesiastical councils 
with the pastor, viz., April 14, of Prof. Worcester for the dis- 
mission of Rev. Mr. Chapin at South Amherst ; in June, of Prof. 
Hitchcock, for his installation at Westhampton ; and October 4, 
of Prof. Hitchcock, for the ordaining of Mr. Elijah C. Bridg- 
man, missionary to China, at Belchertown. The ordination of 
Mr. Bridgman took place on the 6th of October, and President 
Humphrey preached the sermon. 

In the spring term of 1830, a friend of temperance, (after- 
wards ascertained to be Mr. John Tappan of Boston,) offered a 
premium of four hundred dollars for the best essays on the sub- 
ject of temperance to be delivered at the four ensuing Commence- 
ments, and to be awarded one hundred dollars each year by the 
then Senior, Junior, Sophomore and Freshman classes, on the 
condition of there being a universal agreement of the students to 
abstain from the use of wine, spirits and tobacco for the whole 
College course. The condition was not fully accepted by the 
students, that was more than could be expected of any Col- 
lege ; but the proposal led to the formation of the Antivenenian 
Society in August, 1830, on the basis of a pledge of total absti- 
nence from ardent spirits, wine, opium and tobacco, as articles 
of luxury or diet, which pledge was signed by all the officers 
and a large majority of the students. Essays were written and 
read, and liberal premiums were given, the first of which was 
awarded to Lewis Sabin of the Class of '31. So far from with- 
holding or reducing the sum originally offered, Mr. Tappan gave 
five hundred dollars to the College, which was made the occasion 
of collecting the three or four thousand dollars expended by Prof. 
Hovey in the purchase of books, the most important early addition 
to the College library. Thus originated the College Temperance 
Society, which still lives and embraces the larger part of the offi- 
cers and students in its membership, of which the President of 
the College has always been the President, and Professors Hitch- 
cock the elder, Tyler and Hitchcock the younger, the succes- 
sive Secretaries, and whose roll of heroes and martyrs, now long 


enough to reach across a good-sized lecture room, and growing 
larger every year, has been exhibited by the President, or the 
Secretary, or both together, to each successive class of Fresh- 
men soon after their entrance, and has received the signature of 
a majority, usually a large majority, of every class for more than 
forty years. We are not so credulous as to believe that this 
pledge has been faithfully kept by all the signers. But the 
greater part have kept it, and it has been a safeguard to many 
students, and a blessing to the College. 1 

This temperance movement, thus early originated, was a con- 
necting link chronologically, doubtless also in the chain of cause 
and effect, between the revivals of 1827 and 1828, and that of 
1831. Without the revivals of 1827 and 1828, the students 
certainly could not have been brought up to a stand in the cause 
of temperance so far in advance of the age. 2 And without the 
temperance reform in 1830, the revival in 1831 would probably 
have been less powerful than it was, perhaps would not have 

The revival of 1831 occurred in the spring term, like all those 
which had preceded it, but it began earlier in the term than 
those of 1827 and 1828. The concert of prayer for Colleges, 
the last Thursday of February prepared the way for it. The 
sickness and sudden death of a member of the Senior class 
produced a deep and solemn impression. The seriousness be- 
gan in that class, and among its leading scholars, not a few 
of whom were then without hope in Christ. Deeply convinced 
of the vanity of the highest worldly good, and of the folly 
and criminality of an irreligious life, these leading men, one 
after another, renounced the world and consecrated themselves 
to the service of their Redeemer. Thus the influence spread 
silently and gradually through the class, and from the Senior 
class, by a law as natural as that by which water runs down 
hill, it flowed through the College. At the communion in 

1 The pledge to total abstinence from intoxicating drinks is now separate from 
the others, and is taken by many who do not pledge themselves to abstain from 

2 Total abstinence from ardent spirits was then the advanced position assumed by 
the friends of temperance. The inclusion of wine, opium and tobacco in the pledge 
was a radical innovation. 


May, seven, l and at that in August, nineteen members of Col- 
lege, twenty five in all, were gathered into the College church 
as the fruits of this rich harvest season. How many joined 
other churches, I do not know ; but according to the best of 
my recollection, between thirty and forty were reckoned as con- 
verts. Among those who joined the College church and began 
a new life at this time from the two upper classes, it may be 
proper to name, as known to the public, Jonathan Brace, Eben- 
ezer Burgess, Orlow M. Dorman, James Garvin, Chester Lord, 
Thatcher Thayer, Wellington H. Tyler and George Waters of 
the Class of '31, and Samuel Hopkins and Henry Morris of the 
Class of '32. The reader will pardon a personal allusion to the 
beloved brother whose name occurs in the above list. His 
work as an educator of young ladies was done, and well done, 
in less than a dozen years, and he is now, I trust, in heaven. 
He owed to Araherst College not only his education and his 
power to teach, but his new birth and Christian life. Early one 
morning he came to my room in the Academy where I was then 
teaching, full of sorrow for sin and anxiety for his soul. I con- 
versed and prayed with him, giving him the best counsel I could 
from my limited experience, and at the same time advising him to 
call on Dr. Humphrey and take counsel with him. But without 
waiting for him to do so, I went immediately to Dr. Humphrey and 
acquainted him with the facts. It was the first case of anxious 
inquiry, and the President was taken a little by surprise. It was, 
however, a glad surprise. He started up as if he had received some 
good news, which at the same time called for immediate action : 
he said, we must be up and doing. He sought an interview 
with the first inquirer, and my brother was soon rejoicing in 
hope, cheerful and joyful as a little child. The President, whose 
ear was always open to the first sound of " a going in the tops 
of the mulberry trees," now girded himself instantly for the 
battle, and summoned his colleagues also, and his younger 
brethren to buckle on their armor. Among the special means 
which were used for the furtherance of this good work, my mind 
dwells with chief interest on the services which were held on 
Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings for the preaching of 

1 Including Story Hebard, Tutor, afterwards missionary. 

REVIVAL OF 1831. 209 

the word of God and the way of salvation. Dr. Humphrey 
preached more frequently than any one else. The sinfulness of 
man and the sovereignty of God, the deceitfulness of the human 
heart, and the subtle devices of Satan, were among his favorite 
topics. And the word of God in his hands was quick and pow- 
erful, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the 
dividing asunder of soul and spirit. Prof. Hitchcock came next 
with his awakening, alarming and convincing " revival sermons " 
which he began to preach in revivals in Conway, and which he 
preached with increasing power to so many successive genera- 
tions of College students. Prof. Fiske preached less frequently, 
but with a clearness of statement, a discrimination of character 
and doctrine, and a cogency of argument which left no ground 
for the unbeliever or disbeliever to stand upon, for the impeni- 
tent sinner no place to hide his head. Never before, perhaps 
never since, have I heard preaching which made God appear so 
great and good, man so insignificant, so criminal, so inexcusable 
in his disobedience and neglect of so great salvation. Night 
after night the old " Rhetorical Room " was crowded with young 
men of all classes and characters, in every stage of religious 
and irreligious thought and feeling, listening with all the acute- 
ness of their cultivated minds, and all the warmth of their 
quickened emotions, listening, not a few of them, as for their 
lives to the preaching of the law of God, and the gospel of 
Christ. And morning after morning the hearts of the preach- 
ers and pious hearers were rejoiced by the good tidings of class- 
mates and friends that were singing the new song, that were 
entering upon the new life. 

" I presume I utter a sentiment very generally entertained " 
so writes a member of the Class of '31, who has been greatly 
useful both as a pastor and as a teacher, " when I say that 
during my ministry I have esteemed the revivals in which I 
have been allowed to take part, as pure and truly beneficial very 
much in proportion to their likeness to those which I witnessed 
in College, and if I have ever succeeded in conducting a revival 
so as to have any good results, I trace the fact to what I learned 
in College." 

With good reason did Prof. Fiske, after recording the names 


of those who joined the church by profession in the summer 
term of 1831, close the record by speaking of them as " the 
fruits of the revival by which the church and College was 
blessed the last term, and for which it is hoped, that many 
churches will have occasion to be thankful." 

The village church was blessed with a revival of great power 
and interest the same year. Four members of the church, 1 
most of them officers had been praying for it many months 
previous, holding meetings for this express purpose at their 
houses in rotation attended by themselves alone till at length at 
their instance the pastor, Rev. Mr. Washburn, appointed an 
inquiry meeting, and to his surprise found it full of anxious 
inquirers. The pastor entered into the work with all his might, 
and there was a great ingathering. It was the last work the 
good man did ; when it was done, he was ripe for heaven and 
ready to depart. College students who were teachers in the 
village Sabbath-school, were greatly useful in promoting it, if 
not the means of its commencement, and among them Moody 
Harrington of the Class of '31 did a work which if he had never 
done anything else, would entitle him to a place among those 
who are wise and turn many to righteousness. None who heard 
him can forget the power and pathos with which he spoke once 
at the Sabbath-school concert, and how the whole crowded as- 
sembly were stirred to feeling and action as he pressed home 
upon them the question, " Why do we sit still ?" And he spoke 
often with scarcely less power in the religious meetings of the 
students. 2 

The year 1831 was a year of revivals in the churches. And 
wherever the students of Amherst College went wherever the 
alumni of Amherst were settled in the ministry, they labored to 
promote those revivals in the spirit which they had imbibed in 
similar scenes in their Alma and with the wisdom which they 
had learned from the instructions and example of their beloved 
teachers. " I have enjoyed nine or ten precious revivals in my 

1 Dea. Leland, Dea. Mack, Dea. Flagg and Mr. Lyman (father of Henry). Miss 
Hannah Lyman, of Vassar College, was one of the converts. 

2 Mr. Beecher is accustomed to speak of Mr. Harrington as almost his spiritual 
father to whom he owed more religiously, than to any other man in College. Mr. 
Harrington afterwards married the daughter of Gen. Mack. 

REVIVAL OF 1835. 211 

ministry, and they are the very brightest spots in my life." 
Thus writes an alumnus to whom I am indebted for some of the 
most valuable materials of the foregoing history. Scores, prob- 
ably hundreds of the alumni, could bear similar testimony. 
They learned to believe in revivals, to love them and to labor 
successfully in them, while they were members of College. 

In the five years beginning with 1827 and ending with 1831, 
there were three revivals. Three years now succeeded without 
what is technically called a revival, although more than once 
during the interval the church was revived, and during each of 
these years there were occasional conversions, and additions to 
the church by profession at almost every communion. At 
length in 1835 when no class remaining in College had wit- 
nessed one of these favored seasons, the Institution was again 
blessed by a special outpouring of the Spirit. An account of 
it was given to the public through the Boston Recorder by Prof. 
Hitchcock, the pastor, Dr. Humphrey, being absent in Europe 
for the benefit of his health. From this account we give some 

" At the commencement of the spring teem, it was evident 
that some Christians had begun to set their faces unto the Lord 
God to seek by prayer and supplication, with fasting and sack- 
cloth and ashes for a revival of religion. God had been rebuk- 
ing us repeatedly by removing on account of ill health and for 
other causes, one and another of the permanent officers of the 
Institution, and it became necessary for the President also to 
leave for a season on a voyage to Europe for the recovery of 
his exhausted energies. And Satan too seized upon this time 
of trial and violently attempted to revive his work. But 
although he adopted measures which, in this community, were 
emphatically new, such as disturbing religious meetings by fire- 
works, 1 he succeeded in enlisting but very few on his side ; and 
when the faithfnl execution of the laws had removed these from 
the Institution, the power of God's Spirit became decidedly man- 

1 Sometimes called the Gunpowder Plot. A train of powder laid under the back 
seat from door to door of the old Mathematical Room was exploded during a re- 
ligious meeting. The author of the plot was immediately detected and expelled. 
The meeting adjourned to another room, and was finished with increased solemnity. 


ifest, and the work went steadily forward to the very last day 
of the term, a period of six or eight weeks. The number of 
those who were destitute of a hope at the commencement, did 
not exceed fifty. Not less than one third of these professed to 
have yielded their hearts to God. But it was clear that the 
work was the most thorough among professed Christians, several 
of whom were brought under deep convictions, and yielded at 
length their hearts anew (some of them probably for the first 
time) to the Savior. 

" We have made it a rule not to interfere at such a season 
with the regular College exercises, except in an extreme case. 
We adhered to this rule in this instance, except some seasons 
devoted to fasting and prayer." Among other special means of 
which Prof. Hitchcock speaks as having proved useful, were 
" meetings of ten or twelve professing Christians, in which every 
individual was urged to express his feelings ;" " a number of 
individuals on a certain day visiting all the professors of religion, 
with the resolution not to leave them till they had solemnly 
promised to renew their consecration ;" or " for an officer during 
the day to visit all the members of a class, converse with them 
on the subject of personal religion, and affectionately invite them 
to a meeting which he would conduct in the evening." 

In conformity with their former practice, the Faculty, at 
the close of the term, entered the following resolve upon their 
records : " Whereas it has pleased God to visit us during the 
past term with a precious revival of religion, whereby many 
have been quickened and some hopefully converted, therefore 
resolved, that we desire to leave this record of the fact as a 
testimony of their deep indebtedness to that sovereign mercy 
of a covenant-keeping God, and of their obligation to labor with 
new courage and zeal in his service." 

A few extracts from the recollections of those who were 
students at the time, contain some additional details of much 
interest : 

" I have ever loved to recall the incidents of the revival of 
1835. It was a precious season. To a certain little band of 
students, whose names I could perhaps give, it was especially 
welcome. Day after day and night after night, they had been 


praying, both together and apart, in secret places, for just such 
a blessing. In some instances they spent, perhaps unwisely, but 
with the best intentions, a large part of the night together in 
wrestling with God, and sometimes even weeping together, lest 
something should be in the way of the descent of the Spirit 
during that season. On one occasion, when the result seemed 
to human view in considerable doubt, they joined hands, and, 
upon their knees, at dead of night, in a room in the old North 
College, entered into a solemn covenant with God and with one 
another, each praying in his turn, that they would not, God 
helping them, give it up, but would plead and labor till the 
blessing came. And when the blessing came, and they found 
such men as Clark, 1 Peabody, Humphrey and Smith of my own 
class, and others in other classes, anxious and inquiring or re- 
joicing in new found hope, they felt like mounting on wings and 
praising God DAY AND NIGHT forever." 2 

The record of the church reads thus: "Clinton Clark, J. B. 
Greenough, John Humphrey, William A. Peabody, G. P. Smith, 
Lycortas L. Brewer, Alexander H. Bullock, Thomas P. Green, 
L. A. Hayward, David S. Oliphant, Isaac Titcomb, Frederic 
Dickinson, and Daniel W. Poor, were received by profession. 
These are among the fruits of a most interesting revival of 
religion during the closing six weeks of the term." 

The following extract from a letter of Rev. W. H. Beaman 
of the Class of '37, will illustrate the feeling with which this 
and other similar seasons of religious interest are remembered 
to this day by great numbers of the alumni : " The mention 
of these seasons calls up many precious memories. That of 
1835, was deep and pervading. The truth fell from the lips of 
Humphrey, Hitchcock and Fiske, with great power, searching the 

1 Rev. Clinton Clark, Valedictorian of the Class of '35 of which Peabody was 
the Salutatorian, and Tutor from '37 to '41. I have before me very interesting 
and instructing narratives of the conversion of Peabody and Humphrey, the former 
by Rev. Leander Thompson of the Class of '35, the latter by Rev. William Hunt- 
ting of the same class. The former was printed in the Boston Recorder soon after 
the death of Prof. Puabody in 1850. But I have not room for the narratives. In 
the Humphrey here mentioned, the reader will recognize Rev. John Humphrey, son 
of President Humphrey, pastor of the churches in Charlestown and Binghamton, 
and Professor elect of Moral Philosophy and Theology in Hamilton College. 

2 Rev. Leander Thompson. 


hearts of Christians as well as others. Some who had been ex- 
emplary professors of religion gave up their hopes, and for days 
were in despair then the light entered, and they were advanced 
to a higher standard of living. How vividly I recall as if it were 
yesterday, the sound of prayer in the dormitories, recitation 
rooms and groves, the walks and talks of fellow-Christians, of 
Christians with their unconverted classmates and other fellow- 
students ! With what fresh interest were the Bible, Bunyan, 
Baxter and J. B. Taylor perused ! How sacred was the very air 
of College, and all its surroundings ! How we inhaled the very 
atmosphere of heaven and had foretastes of its blessedness ! " 

The reader can not but have remarked the difference between 
the converts in the different revivals of this period. Many of 
the converts in each and all of them were the most gifted and 
influential men in College. But in 1827, these gifted and influ- 
ential men, previous to their conversion, were, most of them, 
wild, wayward, negligent of study, some of them dissipated 
and violently opposed to religion. In 1835, on the contrary, 
and to a great extent in 1831, the prominent converts had pre- 
viously been studious, amiable, faithful, leading scholars and 
exemplary in their whole deportment. Yet all alike felt their 
need of a new heart and a new spirit. All alike believed that 
when they were converted, they began a higher and better life. 
They not only believed this at the time in the flush of excite- 
ment, but they continued to cherish the conviction ever after,, 
And they proved not only the sincerity of their conviction, but 
the reality of the change by their pure, holy, godly lives. Now 
is not the united testimony of such witnesses so various, so 
intelligent, so honest and capable is it not sufficient of itself 
to vindicate revivals and conversions from the contempt which 
many cast upon them who know nothing of them by their own 
observation and experience ? Does it not go far to demonstrate 
the doctrine which has always been held by the Faculty and the 
great majority of the students of Amherst College, that such 
revivals are the work of God and are among the richest blessings 
which the Institution has ever experienced ? 



BEFORE we proceed to complete the history of President 
Humphrey's administration, we must pause a little to notice 
some of the Trustees and friends of the College whose connec- 
tion with it ceased during the period which we have been pass- 
ing in review. Six of these, Rev. Joshua Crosby, Rev. James 
Taylor, Nathaniel Smith, Esq., Rev. Experience Porter, Israel 
E. Trask, Esq., and Hon. John Hooker, were Trustees of Am- 
herst Academy, and so Trustees of the Collegiate Institution 
from its beginning in 1821. 

Rev. Joshua Crosby was born in Harwich, Mass., in April, 
1761. Left in straitened circumstances by the loss of his father 
at sea when he was quite young, Joshua lived with different 
relatives, till, at length, to escape the tyranny of an uncle, at 
the age of fifteen he enlisted in the Revolutionary army in June, 
1776, and continued in active service about five and a half 
years, till near the close of 1781. For a few months he was on 
board of a privateer. Some time after leaving the army, while 
learning the blacksmith's trade in Hardwick, he became a sub- 
ject of a powerful revival of religion, and manifested so much 
zeal, and excelled so much in speaking that he was soon called 
upon to take a leading part in the meetings. A strong desire 
to preach the gospel now took possession of him, and notwith- 
standing obstacles that seemed almost insurmountable, in 1785 
he commenced fitting for College. After two or three years of 
preparatory study, partly in school and* partly under private 
tuition, he entered Brown University and remained there two 


years, 1 when under the pressure of pecuniary embarrassment, 
at the recommendation of the President, he left, and after a 
brief period of theological study, commenced preaching. On 
the 2d of December, 1789, he was ordained pastor of the church 
in South Greenwich, (now Enfield,) which office he continued 
to hold, (the latter part of the time with a colleague,) for al- 
most fifty years. He died, still senior pastor at Enfield, Sep- 
tember 24, 1838, at the age of seventy-seven. He was consid- 
ered remarkable for his gifts in prayer, and in extemporaneous 
speaking he probably had no equal in the Association. He was 
an active and faithful pastor, and was always much interested 
in the schools of Enfield and Greenwich. 

His zeal for maintaining and defending the faith of the Pil- 
grim Fathers moved him to take a deep and active interest in 
the establishment of Amherst College. He was a member of 
the Board of Trustees from the opening in 1821 till his death 
in 1838. For many years, perhaps until his death, he held the 
office of Vice-President of the Corporation, and subsequent to 
the death of President Moore, he was, for a while, acting Presi- 
dent of the Institution. The records of the Trustees show 
that he was often placed on committees of great responsibility 
and importance. His wisdom and firmness were relied on in 
difficult emergencies, and he expended much time and toil in 
raising money to supply the necessities of the College. 

Mr. Crosby's political convictions were very decided, and 
during the administrations of Jefferson and Madison, his ser- 
mons on the state of the country were sometimes so severe on 
the national government as to drive some of his Democratic 
parishioners from the meeting-house. He had a marked predi- 
lection for military affairs, and held a chaplaincy in the militia 
during a large part of his ministerial life. When the militia 
were called out in 1814 for the defence of Boston, he accom- 
panied the Hampshire County troops, and such was the impres- 
sion made on officers and soldiers by his person and military 
knowledge, that on the resignation of Gen. Mattoon, (in conse- 

1 It will be seen from this that the students in 1823 were mistaken when they 
objected to Mr. Crosby that he was ignorant of Latin, and had never been to Col- 


quence of the loss of his eye-sight) there was considerable talk 
of raising the chaplain to the rank of adjutant-general of the 
Massachusetts militia. In person, he was remarkably well- 
formed, having great muscular power, with a fine countenance 
and commanding presence ; and in his gait and bearing, he car- 
ried through life unmistakable evidence of his early military 
training. Tradition says that in the army, and for some time 
subsequent, he was a champion wrestler. After the settlement 
of a colleague, he represented the town one year in the Massa- 
chusetts Legislature. He was well fitted by his character and 
antecedents to fight the battles in the early history of Amherst 
College, of which he deserves to be ranked as one of the 
founders. l 

Rev. James Taylor, son of Col. James Taylor, was born in 
Westfield in 1783. He graduated at Williams College in 1804 ; 
studied theology with Rev. John Taylor of Deerfield, whose 
eldest daughter he married, and was settled in Sunderland, July 
22, 1807, where after a ministry of nearly twenty-five years he 
died, still pastor of the church, October 11, 1831, aged 48. 
The church prospered greatly under his ministry, and enjoyed 
several powerful revivals of religion. That of 1816 is particu- 
larly memorable, and it was in the midst of the great revival of 
1831 in which large numbers were added to the church, that he 
ceased from his earthly labors. 

He was a zealous advocate of the temperance reformation 
from its commencement, and carried the principle and practice 
of total abstinence from intoxicating drinks so far that he re- 
fused to take them as a medicine in his last sickness. A warm 
friend of missions, he preached a sermon before the Hampshire 
Missionary Society in 1818, which was published. 

As a member of the Franklin Association, and from his ac- 
quaintance and intimacy with Col. Graves, he became early and 
deeply interested in the founding of Amherst College. He and 
Col. Graves, and Esq. Smith had doubtless often prayed and ta- 
ken counsel together ori the subject, before a stone was laid. 
And his prayers and labor for it, ceased only with his life. He 
was a Trustee during a little more than the first decade, and 

1 1 am indebted to Hon. J. B. Woods of Enfield for the materials of this sketch. 


lived to see the Seminary grow from a feeble Institution of 
charity into one of the largest Colleges in the land. The last 
year of his life was a year of the right hand of the Most High 
in the College, as well as in his own church, and he rejoiced in 
the spiritual prosperity of the former scarcely less than of the 
latter. Mrs. Taylor died on the day of her husband's 1 burial, 
leaving a large family of children. 

With great decision of character and firmness of purpose, 
Mr. Taylor united a remarkably genial and joyful spirit. Hu- 
morous himself, " he laughed all over," (so an aged parishioner 
described it) at the pleasantries of others. " His preaching was 
clear, forcible and instructive. In person he was of middling 
hight and rather corpulent, with a full countenance, indicative 
both of kindness and a prompt, active and decided spirit." 2 

Nathaniel Smith, Esq., was born in Sunderland, August 4, 
1759. His early education was only such as could be obtained 
in the public schools of a country town in those days. An 
enterprising but prudent and successful business man, he was 
the founder of the Sunderland Bank, and its President for some 
time after it was removed to Amherst. He was for forty-six 
years an active and exemplary member of the church in his 
native place, and " soon after the death of Rev. Mr. Taylor, and 
in view of the feeble and desponding state of his bereaved peo- 
ple, Mr. Smith gave the society three thousand dollars to help 
constitute a permanent fund for the support of the gospel in 
Sunderland." 3 He made himself and wife life-members of most 
of the charitable societies which sprung up so rapidly in the lat- 
ter part of his life, contributed largely to their support as long 
as he lived, and left liberal bequests to the National Bible, Tract, 
Foreign and Home Missionary Societies. He was, by far, the 
largest pecuniary benefactor of Amherst College during the 
first decennary of its existence. And as Dr. Humphrey re- 
marks, considering that he belonged to a former age and was 
not himself a liberally educated man, this was very remarkable. 
" As nearly as can be ascertained, Mr. Smith whose property, 

1 A malignant typhoid fever was widely prevalent and very fatal in Sunderland 
in the fall of 1831. 

2 Packard's History of Churches and Ministers in Franklin County. 
8 Dr. Humphrey's sermon at Mr. Smith's funeral. 


it is presumed, never exceeded thirty thousand dollars, had con- 
tributed about eight thousand dollars to the College before his 
death, and his will contained a legacy of four thousand dollars 
more. But it is not these princely donations (and more than 
princely they were, considering his circumstances,) it is not these 
merely, or chiefly, which will endear his memory to the wise and 
good. It is the evidence that his whole soul was embarked in 
the enterprise of building up a new College as a Christian enter- 
prise, and that he was actuated by a supreme regard to the glory 
of God in the salvation of a dying world. Never shall I for- 
get how, from time to time, when all hearts were faint I was 
prompted almost instinctively to look to him as under Provi- 
dence the father of the Institution how affectionately he 
always received me how patiently he listened to my state- 
ments how unshaken was his confidence that 'the Lord would 
provide,' and how much encouraged and refreshed I returned 
to my work, after uniting with him and his eminently pious 
wife in commending all the great interests of education and re- 
ligion to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all 
that we ask or think." l 

Mr. Smith's wife, it will be remembered was a sister of Col. 
Graves, and his mother was a Billings of Conway, and natives 
of Conway are still living who well remember how Col. Graves 
and Esq. Smith used to bring up sometimes their wives and 
sometimes their minister, Rev. Mr. Taylor, to talk over and pray 
over the interests of the College with Deacon and Mrs. Billings 
of Conway, and perhaps Dr. Packard of Shelburne. 

" Who," says Dr. Humphrey, " was the largest contributor to 
that Charity Fund which was the soul of the infant Institution ? 
Who gave his most anxious thoughts, his time, his prayers to 
the Seminary when it was weak and ready to die ? Whose 
name stands first on that subscription, which when this child 
was scourged and driven away by its mother for daring to ask 
for bread whose name, I say, stands on that subscription which 
was to settle the question of life or death in a few months ? To 
whom, in one word, is Amherst College so much indebted for 
pecuniary aid as to Nathaniel Smith ? " 

!Note to Dr. Humphrey's sermon. 


Nor did lie rob or wrong other objects in order to give to the 
church in Sunderland, to benevolent societies, and to Amherst 
College. He is still remembered in Sunderland as " the poor 
man's treasurer, the widow's friend and a father to the father- 
less." And some of the good old people there can still see him 
in memory and imagination, tall, portly, (for he was over six 
feet high and weighed more than two hundred pounds,) tower- 
ing above all the people, the most conspicuous person, as he was 
also the most constant attendant, in the church and the prayer- 
meeting, and " that noble and venerable form all radiant with a 
warm heart and a great soul." 

Esq. Smith held many public trusts, in the gift of the town, 
in the magistracy of the county, and in the General Court of the 
Commonwealth, and discharged them with enlightened practi- 
cal wisdom and unbending integrity. Yet this amiable and ex- 
cellent man, so loved and honored at home and abroad, so 
trusted in the church and the State, the largest pecuniary 
benefactor of the College and one of its wisest counselors, was 
abused by the tongues and the pens of its enemies in the Leg- 
islature, and with two others, (Rev. Messrs. Fiske of New 
Braintree, and Porter of Belchertown) excluded by the ac- 
tion of the Legislature itself from a place in the corporation ! 
After an exclusion of three years, however, the Legislature 
of 1828 did what they could to make reparation for this egre- 
gious wrong by re-electing him to fill a vacancy. 1 Thus it 
happened, that in the annual and triennial catalogues of the 
College, the name of Nathaniel Smith disappears in 1825 and 
re-appears in 1828. Mr. Smith and his pastor, Mr. Taylor, were 
both among the original corporators named in the charter of 
Amherst Academy. And the name of the former is entered 
on the records as present at the opening of every meeting of 
the Board until his death. During all this time he was a 
member of the Prudential Committee, and acted a prominent 
part, especially in all the financial and business affairs of the 

Mr. Smith died February 25, 1833 in the seventy-fourth year 
of his age. On the 28th, President Humphrey preached his 

1 In place of Dr. Lyman, of Hatfield. 


funeral sermon entitled " the Good Arirnathean," from Luke 
23:50. On the 19th of March, Mrs. Smith, "not less vener- 
ated and beloved by all who knew her, as a mother in Israel," 
followed him to the grave. Their tombstones are among the 
plainest and most unpretending in the cemetery at Sunderland. 
Their memorial is on high. And they will not soon be forgotten 
by the friends of learning and religion and the friends of Am- 
herst College. Self-distrustful, "he was found oftener in the 
valley of humiliation than on the mount." Her Christian life 
was all sunshine and her death triumphant. They had no 
children. But they have left a name better than of sons and 

Rev. Experience Porter was a native of Lebanon, N. H., and 
the son of Dea. Nathaniel Porter of that place. He graduated 
at Dartmouth College in 1803, and on leaving Colleg'e was ap- 
pointed Tutor in Middlebury College, where he remained one 
year. Having studied " Divinity " with Rev. Asahel Hooker of 
Goshen, Conn., he was ordained pastor of the church in Win- 
chester, N. H., November 12, 1807. On the llth of March, 
1812, he was installed pastor of the church in Belchertown. 
On account of ill-health he was dismissed by a mutual council 
March 9, 1825, and died at Lebanon, N. H., August 25, 1828, 
at the age of forty-six. " During Mr. Porter's connection with 
this people, there were two revivals of religion. The first com- 
menced in 1812 and continued about one year. During the 
year 1813, there were one hundred and seven persons united 
with the church upon a public profession of their faith. The 
next commenced in the fall of 1818 and continued about the 
same length of time. Before the close of 1819, there were two 
hundred and eight persons added to the church as the fruit of 
this revival " l The additions to the church by this one revival 
amounted to more than one-twelfth of the entire population of 
the town. " The church was greatly increased, strengthened 
and refreshed," says the judicious historian of the town, " the 
friends of Zion will ever rejoice in the blessed fruits of that 
religious revival." Such revivals were among the causes to 
which Amherst College owes its origin and inspiration to such 

1 Hon. Mark Doolittle, History of Belchertown, p. 57. 


revivals it was largely indebted for its early Trustees, Faculty 
and students. 

Mr. Porter was one of the original Trustees named in the 
charter of Amherst Acadenry. He was among the most active, 
zealous and faithful members of the Board in all those trying 
times which preceded the obtaining of the College charter. He 
was not among the members named in that charter, and it is 
generally understood that in common with Col. Graves, Esq. 
Smith and Dr. Fiske he had, by his energy and boldness in the 
service of the College, rendered himself obnoxious to some of 
the leading members of the Legislature. And he did not live 
long enough to be elected as Esq. Smith and Dr. Fiske were, 
to fill the earliest vacancies in the gift of the corporation. 

Mr. Porter possessed strong powers of mind, wrote with great 
rapidity, spoke with ease, boldness and strength, and forcibly 
impressed upon the hearts of others the great truths of the 
gospel which were deeply impressed on his own. He died in 
faith, with an unshaken trust of a blessed immortality. 1 

Israel Elliot Trask was the eldest son of Dr. Israel and Sarah 
(Lawrence) Trask, and was born at Brimfield, Mass., March 18, 
1773. While engaged in the study of law at Richmond, Va., 
during the spring of 1794, the insurrection in Western Pennsyl- 
vania took place ; occasioned by the unpopularity of the excise 
laws passed by Congress. When the militia of Virginia and the 
neighboring States were ordered out by the President, and under 
Gen. Lee marched to the insurgent district, Mr. Trask volun- 
teered, and when at the close of the expedition the troops were 
disbanded, he returned to New England and finished his law 
studies in the office of Judge Jacobs of Windsor, Vt. He then 
entered the United States Army with the rank of Captain. He 
resigned his commission in 1801, and was about sailing for France 
in company with some College friends, to enlist in the French 
army; but while in New York, Gen. Alexander Hamilton, to 
whom he had letters, strongly advised him to give up his project 
and go to Natchez, in the then Territory of Mississippi, and com- 
mence the practice of law. In pursuance of this advice he went 
to Natchez in the year 1801, and entered into partnership with 

1 History of Belchertowii. 


Harding, the Attorney-General. About two years after his arrival 
at Natchez he was married to Elizabeth Carter, daughter of Jesse 
Carter, a planter at Second Creek, near Natchez, and settled on 
a plantation in that neighborhood. At the time that Louisiana 
was purchased from France, in 1803, by the United States, he 
.was sent by the Governor of the Territory (Claiborne) to attend 
to the negotiations with the French authorities, for the trans- 
fer of the new Territory. And when Gov. Claiborne went on 
with the United States troops to take possession, Col. Trask ac- 
companied him as his Aid. He opened a law office in New Or- 
leans (the first by an American), but after a short residence his 
health failed and he returned to plantation life. About 1812 he 
disposed of his plantations in Mississippi and Louisiana and re- 
turned to Brimfield, Mass. During his residence in Brimfield 
he interested himself in the manufacture of cotton cloth, and 
built one of the first factories for that purpose in "Western Massa- 
chusetts. He was elected for several successive years to the 
State Legislature, and was a member of the convention for 
revising the State Constitution in 1820; serving on the Judi- 
ciary Committee. In the spring of 1821 he removed to Spring- 
field, Mass. After his removal to Springfield, the state of his 
health and his business affairs requiring him to pass his winters 
at the South, prevented him from taking any part in public 
affairs. His death took place at the plantation of his brother, 
near Woodville, Miss., November 25, 1835, in the sixty-third 
year of his age. 

He became a member of the Congregational church in Brim- 
field, of which Rev. Mr. Vaill was pastor. At the time of his 
death he was a member of the First Church in Springfield, then 
under the pastorate of Rev. Dr. Osgood. He took an active in- 
terest in the benevolent and religious enterprises of the day to 
which he was a liberal contributor. 

The records show his presence and active participation in busi- 
ness, as a member of important committees, especially on finan- 
cial matters, at all the meetings of the Corporation from the 
organization in 1825 till his death in 1835, with a single excep- 
tion. In 1831 he wrote a letter tendering his resignation. But 
instead of accepting the resignation, the Trustees requested 


President Humphrey to confer with him on the subject and urge 
his continuance in office ; and at the next annual meeting in 
1832, we find him present, and elected a member of the Pru- 
dential Committee in the place of Nathaniel Smith, deceased. 
The amount of Mr. Trask's donations to the College is un- 
known. We find his name on the first subscription paper, that 
to the Charity Fund, for five hundred dollars, and " it is known 
that there was an outstanding subscription of three hundred 
dollars to the College, which matured after his death in Novem- 
ber and was paid by his executors." Doubtless he was a liberal 
donor to the College in all its great emergencies during the first 
fifteen years of its history. 

Hon. John Hooker was the son of Rev. John Hooker of North- 
ampton, the immediate successor of Jonathan Edwards in the 
pastorate of the church in that town. He was born in 1761, 
graduated at Yale College in 1782, and studied law in the office 
of Col. John Worthington of Springfield, who was his uncle, 
and one of the most eminent lawyers in this part of the State. 
After his admission to the bar, he settled in the practice of his 
profession in Springfield. He was for a time Chief Justice of 
the Court of Common Pleas, then a court whose jurisdiction 
was limited to the county or judicial district. Upon the di- 
vision of the old County of Hampshire in 1812, he was ap- 
pointed Judge of Probate in the new County of Hampden, and 
held that office tiU his death in 1829. 

He was for many years one of the deacons of the First Church 
in Springfield, and bore a very prominent and influential part in 
all religious and benevolent movements of the town, the county 
and the commonwealth. l 

He was one of the founders, or original corporators of the 
American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. " He 


was a man of excellent sense and great practical wisdom. His 
judgment was greatly confided in by men of different creeds 
and different political parties. He possessed the most unyield- 
ing integrity, and no one ever thought to move him a hair's 
breadth from the line of his honest convictions." 2 

Such members of the corporation as Mr. Hooker, illustrate 

1 Hon. Henry Morris. 2 Memorial Volume of A. B. C. F. M., p. 124. 


one of the many ways in which Amherst College was linked in 
its origin to the cause of foreign missions. 

He was a constant attendant of the meetings of the Board, 
and his wisdom, integrity and weight of character contributed 
an element of great value to the infant College. 

Rev. Jonathan Going, D. D., of Worcester, appears on the 
catalogue of the College as Trustee from 1823 to 1831. But I 
find no trace of his presence at the meetings of the corporation, 
except at the annual meeting in 1826. And at the annual meet- 
ing in 1832, he resigned his seat in the* Board. His biography 
is given in the sixth volume of Dr. Sprague's Annals of the 
American Pulpit. 

Rev. Francis Wayland, D. D., of Providence is named among 
the corporators in the charter, being one of the new members 
introduced by the Legislature. He was present at the' organi- 
zation and first meeting of the Board under the charter in April, 
1825, but does not appear to have attended any subsequent 
meeting of the corporation, and at the annual meeting in 1829 
he resigned his trust. His life and labors hold a conspicuous 
place in the history of education and religion during the greater 
part of the last half century. 

The appointment of Dr. Going a.nd Dr. Wayland seems to 
have been accorded to the Baptists, in return for their sympathy 
and support in obtaining the charter, and together with the ap- 
pointment of a Baptist Professor about the same time, was 
doubtless expected to draw students from that denomination. 
The plan, however, was not very successful, and it was soon re- 

The new Trustees introduced in the Board by the Legisla- 
ture in the act of incorporation, were Hon. William Gray, Hon. 
Marcus Morton, Rev. Joseph Lyman, D. D., Hon. Jonathan 
Leavitt, Rev. Alfred Ely, Hon. Lewis Strong, Rev. Francis Way- 
land, Jr., and Elihu Lyman, Esq. 1 Rev. Alfred Ely continued 
a member of the corporation till 1854, and his life will be 
sketched at a later period in this History. We have already re- 
ferred to Rev. Francis Wayland in connection with Dr. Going. 

1 The order of the names and titles are here given as they are recorded in the 



Hon. William Gray of Boston, Lieutenant-Governor of the 
Commonwealth in 1810 and 1811, whose name appears next 
after that of President Humphrey in the act of incorporation, 
died November 3, 1825, and never took his seat in the Board. 
He was the only Unitarian among the new members of the 
Board. Although he had never manifested much interest in the 
College, his appointment, probably, was not obnoxious to its 
friends, for it is a well-known tradition among the elderly peo- 
ple of Amherst that Col. Graves early cherished the hope not 
only of liberal donation's from him, but also of his conversion, 
and employed for some weeks, if not months, the means which 
he deemed suitable to both these ends with characteristic zeal 
and perseverance, but without any success. Six or eight years 
later, S. V. S. Wilder, Esq., whose connection with him as his 
business agent in Europe gave him access to Gov. Gray, made 
another attempt to enlist his wealth in behalf of the College 
with the same result. There were some rather striking inci- 
dental circumstances connected with this last effort, and the 
story as told in Mr. Wilder's slightly grandiloquent language 
is .too good to be lost. 1 

" Being appointed one of the Trustees of Amherst College, 
President Humphrey and the Trustees knowing my intimacy 

with the rich merchant, Mr. , and a new College being 

wanted with a chapel, the expense of erecting which would 
amount to some thirty thousand dollars, and after in vain en- 
deavoring to obtain a grant from the State Legislature of Mas- 
sachusetts, I was deputied by the Faculty and Trustees to wait 

on Mr. , and inform him that on condition that he would 

make a grant to the College of thirty thousand dollars, I was 
authorized to assure him that Amherst College should assume 
his name, and that in the contemplated new College, two rooms 
should be appropriated in one of the best halls of said building, 
and being completely furnished, would be set apart for the ex- 
clusive accommodation of one of his descendants, who was to 
be furnished with board, fuel, lights, tuition and clothing from 
year to year gratuitously to the end of time. Thus authorized, 

1 See Records from the Life of S. V. S. Wilder, published by the American Tract 


I went to Boston, and, as it happened in the providence of God, 

I met Mr. on the Exchange, and was invited by him, 

with Peter C. Brooks, to dinner the same day. After dinner, 

when Mr. Brooks had left, finding myself alone with Mr. , 

I unfolded to him the object of my mission, and expatiated on 
*the advantages which, in this changing world, his descendants 
might derive from this precautionary investment, whether they 
should ever become beneficiaries or not. 

" ' Your descendants, sir,' said I, ' hundreds of years after you 
shall be sleeping in the dust, will have the proud satisfaction of 
casting their eyes from time to time on an Institution bearing 
the endeared name of their munificent ancestor ; and it may 
perhaps exert a salutary influence on their character and con- 
duct through each succeeding generation.' 

" ' Ah,' said Mr. , * a little vanity in all this, Mr. Wilder ; 

and I believe my property must take its legitimate course, con- 
scious that I shall leave property sufficient to save my descend- 
ants, for at least two or three succeeding generations, from be- 
ing under the necessity of having recourse to beneficiary aid to 
obtain an education.' 

" I replied, ' I hoped his calculations and predictions might 
prove correct ; but that such had been, so far as my experience 
extended, the unforeseen mutations of this sublunary world, 
that, without distrusting the goodness of a benign Providence, I 
considered a prudent foresight in providing against future con- 
tingencies as regards the welfare of those whom he had been 
instrumental of introducing into this wilderness world, as not 
only commendable, but highly judicious ; and I hoped that he 
might find grace to take this important matter under wise con- 
sideration that in pleading this cause of Amherst College, I 
felt that I was pleading to a more powerful degree, the present, 
future and eternal interests of his yet unborn posterity.' 

"'Mr. Wilder,' said he, 'my mind is made up. It needs no 
further consideration. My property must take its legitimate 

" 'This, sir,' I replied, ' being your final decision, I bid you a 
final farewell.' 

" Thus ended my last interview with Mr. , to whose 


property I had been instrumental, during my commercial rela- 
tionship with him, of adding upwards of one hundred thousand 
dollars. Years rolled on. Only seven years had elapsed after 
the tomb had closed on the mortal remains of that man, whose 
mountain, in his own estimation, seemed to stand so strong at 
my last interview, when two gentlemen entered my office in 
Wall street, and addressing me said : ' Sir, we believe you are a 
Trustee of Amherst College, and we have called to solicit your 
aid and to enlist your influence in admitting as a beneficiary to 

that Institution a grandson of j^our late friend, Mr. of 

Boston.' Judge of my amazement and of the conflicting emo- 
tions which agitated me on hearing this announcement. I re- 
quested the gentlemen to repeat their declaration, in order that 
I might give credence to the hearing of my ears. They then 

stated that the young man in question was the son of , 

who, by his extravagance and irregularities, spent all the patri- 
mony left him by his wealthy father ; that his mother had died 
of a broken heart, leaving eleven or twelve children, among 
whom was the young man in whose behalf they now sought my 
patronage, and whose miserable father was a mere wreck. 

" I was reluctantly compelled to say to said gentlemen, that 
none were admitted to Amherst College as beneficiaries on the 
income of fifty thousand dollars, except pious young men pre- 
paring for the gospel ministry ; and as this young man had not 
this in view, my intervention arid influence in his behalf could 
be of no avail. 

" On these gentlemen retiring from my office, I was left with 
a sorrowful heart, reflecting on the mutability of all earthly cal- 
culations, yet consoled with the cheering thought that the wise 
designs of God will, through all, be accomplished. 

" Little did my venerable friend or myself, at the time of our 
last interview, foresee that ere ten short years should have 
elapsed my own personal influence would be solicited to obtain 
the admission of one of his grandsons into that very Institution 
whose interests I was then advocating by endeavoring, though 
in vain, to induce this man of wealth to aid in its endowment, 
and, at the same time, secure to one of his descendants a colle- 
giate education down to the end of time." 


Hon. Marcus Morton of Tauntou, whose name immediately 
follows that of Hon. William Gray in the charter, and whose 
signature is attached to the charter as acting Governor, is 
continued on the catalogue till 1837, when his name is dropped, 
and the following note is found on the records of the corpo- 
* ration : " Voted, that Hon. Marcus Morton, having never at- 
tended a meeting of this Board and having never rendered 
any excuse therefor, has by such absence vacated his seat at 
this Board, and the same is hereby declared to be vacated." 
Mr. Morton had the reputation of being one of the best Judges 
of the Supreme Court ; and the fact that he was for many years 
the only Orthodox judge on that bench, together with the fact 
that he was the only Democratic Governor that the old Bay 
State has had for almost half a century, and that he was elected 
to this office by a majority of one vote, these facts have given 
him a rare notoriety in the civil and religious history of Massa- 

Rev. Joseph Lyman, D. D., of Hatfield, was made a member 
of the Board of Trustees by the Legislature in the act of in- 
corporation, and his name appears on the catalogue from that 
time till the date of his death, that is, from 1825 to 1828. But 
he seems never to have attended the meetings of the Board, nor 
to have taken an active part in promoting the prosperity of the 
College. This is sufficiently explained, however, by the fact, 
that he was laid aside from all active effort for the last two 
years of his life by the cancerous humor which caused his death. 
It will be remembered that Dr. Lyman was the President of the 
Convention in 1818, which ratified the establishment of the 
Collegiate Institution at Amherst, although he was himself in 
favor of its location at Northampton. Born in Lebanon, Conn., 
in 1749, graduated at Yale College in 1767, Tutor there in 
1770-71, ordained and installed pastor of the church in Hat- 
field in 1772, and continuing in that relation, (with a colleague 
during his last two years) until his death in 1828, Dr. Lyman 
was a leader in the ecclesiastical, and scarcely less in the politi- 
cal affairs of Massachusetts. He was an original member of the 
American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, and in 
1823, and several subsequent years, he was its President. " He 


had qualities that would have graced the head of a nation, and 
especially the head of an army." 1 

Hon. Jonathan Leavitt was a native of "Walpole, N. H. He 
was born February 27, 1764. He was a graduate of Yale Col- 
lege in the Class of 1785. Having studied law with Judge 
Chauncy of New Haven, and then with Judge -Ellsworth of 
Windsor, Conn., to whom he was related, he commenced the 
practice of his profession in Greenfield, where he spent the re- 
mainder of his life. He was an active member of the Congrega- 
tional church in Greenfield, and a zealous defender of the evan- 
gelical faith with his pen as well as by his tongue and his per- 
sonal influence. His " Letter from a Trinitarian to a Unitarian," 
and his " Gospel Message," were circulated as tracts through 
the community. Prevented by feeble health from attending 
many meetings of the Board of Trustees, he resigned his trust 
in 1829, and died on the 1st of May, 1830. 

Hon. Lewis Strong was the son of Caleb Strong of North- 
ampton, who was Governor of Massachusetts from 1800 to 1807, 
and again from 1812 to 1815. His mother was the daughter of 
Rev. John Hooker of Northampton, and sister of Hon. John 
Hooker of Springfield. He was born in Northampton June 9, 
1785, and graduated at Harvard College in 1803, in the same 
class with Prof. Farrar, Dr. Payson of Portland, and Dr. "Wil- 
lard of Deerfield. He studied law with his uncle, Judge 
Hooker of Springfield, and continued the practice of his pro- 
fession in Northampton for some thirty years, but relinquished 
it about twenty-five years before his death on account of severe 
suffering from asthma. Chief Justice Parsons said of him," he 
is the strongest lawyer in all the western counties," and Hon. 
Isaac C. Bates remarked that he " wished he had Mr. Strong's 
head on his shoulders." 

In 1812, Mr. Strong became a member of the church in 
Northampton, of which, in 1661, his ancestor, Elder John 
Strong, was one of the seven founders. He was elected deacon 
of the First Church in 1831, and resigned the office in 1858, 
when he removed his connection to the Edwards Church. He 
was a member of the church for more than half a century. 

1 Memorial Volume of A. B. C. F. M. See also Sprague's Annals. 


Though one of the most able and influential men of the 
county in all public affairs, he shrunk from official position. 
Once only did he represent his county in the Senate of Massa- 
chusetts ; once he delivered an oration in Northampton on the 
anniversary of the nation's independence. 

Present at the organization of the Trustees of Amherst Col- 
lege in 1825, he attended every meeting of the Board, annual 
or special, till his resignation in 1833. During all this period 
he was also a member of the Prudential Committee, whose 
duties must have occupied much of his time, and he was con- 
tinually placed on the most responsible committees that were 
raised from year to year, such as those on by-laws for the gov- 
ernment of the College, rules for the action of the Board, re- 
vising the College laws, providing additional edifices, petition- 
ing the Legislature for pecuniary aid, etc. After eight years of 
arduous and faithful service he resigned his trust, and the fol- 
lowing vote of thanks was entered on the records: " Resolved 
that the thanks of this Board be presented to the Hon. Lewis 
Strong for his long and faithful services in behalf of the Col- 
lege, and for the efficient aid he has rendered it in times of its 
embarrassment and distress." 

Few have realized more fully the ideal of an upright, accom- 
plished, Christian gentleman, lawyer, trustee, citizen, neighbor, 
and friend, than Hon. Lewis Strong of Northampton. He died 
on Saturday, October 25, 1863, at the age of seventy-eight, 
universally honored and lamented. 

Hon. Elihu Lyman of Enfield, was born at Northfield, Sep- 
tember 25, 1782, graduated at Dartmouth College in 1803, com- 
menced the practice of law in Greenfield in 1807, was High 
Sheriff of Franklin County from 1811 to 1815, and in 1826 a 
member of the Massachusetts Senate. He died in Boston while 
the Legislature was in session, February 11, 1826, aged forty- 

He was present at the organization of the Board, and at its 
first annual meeting, at both which sessions he was placed on 
important committees. He died before the second annual meet- 
ing. A gentleman of high standing, fine person, courtly man- 
ner, and varied experience in public affairs, he was much la- 


mented by the friends of the College and by the community. 
He was a member of Rev. Mr. Crosby's church in Enfield at 
the time of his death. 

According to the charter the first five vacancies that should 
occur in the Board of Trustees, were to be filled by the Legis- 
lature. The first five appointments under the charter were 
Hon. Samuel C. Allen, Hon. James Fowler, Hon. Samuel Howe, 
Hon. Levi Lincoln, and Nathaniel Smith, Esq. With the ex- 
ception of Esq. Smith, they were all Unitarians. 

The name of Mr. Lincoln appears on the catalogue only one 
year, 18289, and the only reference to him on the records of 
the corporation is a letter of apology for not attending the an- 
nual meeting of the Board at the Commencement in 1828. He 
was, however, a friend of the College, and when he was Gov- 
ernor of the Commonwealth in 1830, he gave Prof. Hitchcock 
the appointment of State Geologist of Massachusetts. 

Hon. Samuel Howe was present at the annual meeting of the 
Board at the Commencement of 1826, and also at the special 
meeting in December of the same year, and at the former he 
was chosen a member of the Prudential Committee for the year, 
and also placed on several special committees, to whom some 
of the most important matters were referred ; among the rest, 
that of the Parallel Course of Study recommended by the Fac- 
ulty. After 1826, his name disappears from the records. Judge 
Howe was born in Belchertown, June 20, 1785, and gradu- 
ated at Williams College in 1804. In 1822 he was appointed 
Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, which office he held till 
his death. He died in Boston in 1828, at the age of forty-two. 
During his trusteeship and the greater part of his judgeship, 
he was also Professor or teacher in the Law School at North- 

Hon. James Fowler was a member of the corporation twelve 
years, being chosen by the Legislature in 1826, and resigning 
his trust in 1838. He was born January 4, 1789 ; was a grad- 
uate of Yale College in the Class of 1807 ; studied law under 
Judge Reeves at Litchfield one year, and was admitted to the 
bar in 1810, but never practiced the profession, having devoted 
himself from choice rather to agricultural pursuits. Mr. Fowler 


served the Commonwealth for many years in both branches of 
the Legislature and in the Governor's Council, being a member 
of one or the other of these bodies eveiy year from 1820 to 
1830. At the age of more than fourscore years, he is still liv- 
ing at Westfield, and enjoying in a high degree the respect of 
the community as a man of honor, integrity, public spirit and 
"philanthropy. His relations to the Trustees were always mutu- 
ally pleasant, and he doubtless contributed by his practical wis- 
dom and weight of character to the strength and efficiency of 
the Board. 

Hon. Samuel C. Allen of Northfield, was born in 1772, and a 
graduate of Dartmouth College in the Class of 1794. He com - 
menced his public life as a minister in Northfield in 1795, but 
soon withdrew from that profession and engaged in the study 
and then in the pratice of law. He was a member of Con- 
gress twelve years, from 1817 to 1829. On the 7th of February, 
1826, he was chosen a Trustee of Amherst College by the Leg- 
islature to fill one of the first vacancies that occurred in the 
corporation and continued a member until his death. He died 
at Northfield, February 8, 1842, at the age of seventy. 

In 1833 he delivered a course of lectures on Political Econ- 
omy to the Senior class for which he received the thanks of the 
Board. He manifested a good degree of interest in the College 
and rendered faithful and valuable service to it for sixteen years. 
The contrast between his feelings and relation to the Institution 
and those of the representative of Northfield in the General 
Court who was one of the most violent opponents of the charter 
in 1825, 1 marks the change in public sentiment, especially in the 
denomination to which both of them belonged. 

Hon. Samuel Lathrop of West Springfield was a member of 
the Board of Trustees eleven years, having been chosen by the 
Legislature in 1829, and resigned his trust in 1840. He was 
born in West Springfield on the 1st of May, 1772, and was a 
graduate of Yale College in the Class of 1792. For eight years 
following December, 1819, he was a member of Congress. He 
was subsequently a member of the Massachusetts Senate. Dur- 
ing several of his last years, he was afflicted with bodily infirm- 

1 Rev. Mr. Mason, see p. 143. 


ity which obliged him to withdraw altogether from public life 
and from professional service. He had a large frame, command- 
ing appearance and dignified manners, and was highly esteemed 
in all his public and private relations. He was for many years a 
member of the church in West Springfield of which his highly- 
honored father, the venerable Dr. Joseph Lathrop, and his son- 
in-law, Rev. Dr. Sprague now of Albany, were pastors, and 
exerted a controlling influence in the parish. He died on the 
llth of July, 1846, in the seventy-fifth year of his age. 1 

During the period now under review, (the first half of Presi- 
dent Humphrey's administration,) four Professors, viz., Messrs. 
Worcester, Hovey, Peck and Park, terminated their connection 
with the College, and all by resignation, for the purpose of en- 
tering other spheres of usefulness. 

Samuel Melancthon Worcester was the son of Rev. Dr. Samuel 
Worcester, the first Secretary of the American Board. He was 
born in Fitchburg, September 4, 1801, but while yet an infant 
removed to Salem with his father who was settled there as pas- 
tor of the Tabernacle Church, April 20, 1803. He was a mem- 
ber of Phillips Academy, Andover, in 1818, and a graduate of 
Harvard College in the Class of '22, delivering an English 
oration at Commencement. In the autumn of 1822 he became 
a member of the Theological Seminary at Andover and there 
first made a public profession of religion. In September, 1823, 
he entered upon the duties of an assistant teacher in Phillips 
Academy, but after two weeks' service received and accepted 
the appointment to a tutorship in the Collegiate Institution at 
Amherst. In August, 1824, he was appointed teacher of Lan- 
guages and Librarian, and in the spring of 1825, at the organiza- 
tion under the charter, he was chosen Professor of Rhetoric and 
Oratory in Amherst College. In August of the same year, he 
was licensed to preach by the Hampshire Association. In De- 
cember, 1827, in company with Tutor Bela B. Edwards, he 
undertook the editorial charge of the New England Enquirer 
a newspaper enterprise in Amherst which sprung up about the 

1 Mr. Lathrop is put down on the Triennial as retiring from his trust in 1834. 
He seems never to have been present after that date. But he did not resign his 
trust till 1840. 


same time with " the Parallel Course," and even more short-lived 
than that experiment. " In May following," says Mr. Worces- 
ter, " the whole burden came upon me, and was sustained 
until December, 1828, when the paper expired, much to my sat- 
isfaction. During most of my editorship I preached regularly 
every Sabbath, at Granby." 

A law having passed the Legislature subjecting students to 
taxation, in the spring of 1829 the members of College saw fit 
to use the co-ordinate right of suffrage, and with the help of 
the better part of the citizens, elected Prof. Worcester a mem- 
ber of the House of Representatives. Those who were stu- 
dents at that time can not but remember Avith lively interest, 
the exciting scenes of this and a few subsequent elections, 
especially those held in East street, in which they marched to 
the polls in battle array, and holding the balance of power, chose 
whom they would for town officers. But the excitement and 
strife of such elections, together with the difficulty of collect- 
ing taxes of the students who came off victorious in many a 
ludicrous skirmish with the tax-gatherer, soon led to a repeal of 
the law. While a member of the Legislature, our Professor of 
Rhetoric found a congenial and worthy theme for his eloquence 
in defending with his tongue and his pen the cause of the Chero- 
kees against the Georgians. 

In the spring of 1831, the officers and students were called 
to s} r mpathize with the Professor in the loss of his only son, a 
child of rare promise, bearing his own name and then almost 
five years of age, whose remains they followed as sincere 
mourners to the grave. 

On the 4th of January, 1832, Prof. Worcester was ordained as 
an Evangelist, with particular reference to the wants of the 
people at Hadley Mills, (now North Hadley,) where he preached 
regularly from April, 1830, to March, 1833, and where his labors 
were blessed with a revival of religion and considerable addi- 
tions to that then infant church. 

Mr. Worcester was Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory in Am- 
herst College nine years from 1825 to 1834, and pastor of the 
Tabernacle Church in Salem from 1834 to 1860, thus occupying 
the pulpit of his honored father for more than a quarter of a 


century. Dismissed from his pastoral charge in January, 1860, in 
consequence of ill health, but recovering his health by rest, he 
continued to preach most of the time in different places, and 
the last two years of his life he was a member of the Legisla- 
ture, first a member of the Senate from Essex County, and then 
of the House of Representatives, from the cit}^ of Salem. He 
died in Salem, August 16, 1866, aged sixty-five. 

Prof. Worcester was a man of indefatigable industry, un- 
wearied patience and conscientious devotion to his calling. He 
spared no pains in the improvement of his own mind and resour- 
ces, none in guiding and assisting the students, whether in gen- 
eral culture or in the studies of his department. A remarkably 
retentive memory, and pretty extensive reading, made him a 
full man. Nature and art conspired to make him a ready and 
fluent man. By precept and by example, in the lecture-room 
and in the pulpit, and, as occasion offered, on the platform, he 
magnified his office as Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory. He 
criticised wisely, patiently and faithfully the compositions and 
declamations of us students, and we students, in turn, criticised 
his public performances and laughed at, perhaps- mimicked his 
personal peculiarities. He had a habit of twisting his whiskers 
between his fingers and at the same time exhaling his breath in 
a kind of explosive puff which none of his pupils will ever for- 
get. But deeper far in the memory of their hearts they can not 
but cherish the remembrance of his kindness and faithfulness as 
an instructor, the wisdom and eloquence of his lectures, espe- 
cially those on English and American Orators, and the sin- 
cerity and earnestness of his discourses from the pulpit and of 
his exhortations as one of their religious teachers. 

Mr. Worcester was a learned and able Professor, but he was 
still better adapted and qualified for the work to which his heart 
also inclined, that of the ministry. And in that work while he 
was always an acceptable and edifying, and sometimes an inspir- 
ing preacher, yet his great strength lay, perhaps, in his charac- 
ter and influence, his life and labors as a pastor, by which he 
left his impress broad and deep and luminous on every family 
and every individual in his great congregation. At the time of 
his death, he was in the public service as a member of the Mas- 


sachusetts Legislature, of which he was the oldest member; 
and the freshest recollection, as well as one of the most sacred 
which he left upon the hearts of his acquaintances and friends, 
was that of his wise, firm, patriotic and Christian devotion to 
the country during those last five or six years of his life, in 
which Tier life was in imminent peril. 

Sylvester Hovey was the son of Sylvester Hovey, Esq., of 
Mansfield, Conn. His mother was the daughter of Rev. John 
Storrs of Southold, L. I., and after the death of her first hus- 
band, became the wife of Dea. Elisha Billings of Conway. Mr. 
Hovey was born at Mansfield, June 17, 1797. He was a grad- 
uate of Yale College of the Class of '19, and a Tutor there for 
four years. On the expiration of his tutorship, he took charge 
of the department of Rhetoric and Oratory another year dur- 
ing the absence of Prof. Goodrich in Europe. From- 1827 to 
1829, he was Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy 
in Williams College, and held the same office in Amherst Col- 
lege from 1829 to 1833. In 1831, he left his department in the 
hands of Prof. Snell, and for the purpose of health and general 
improvement made the tour of Europe. He spent a year and 
a half abroad, passing portions of the time in Italy, Germany, 
England, and the last half year in Paris, where he listened to 
the courses of lectures on Natural Philosophy and Astronomy 
by M. Arago, in the Royal Observatory of France. Con- 
strained by feeble health to relinquish his professorship, he re- 
tired to Hartford, Conn., where he died, May 6, 1840. " Prof. 
Hovey was marked for the symmetry and beauty of his mental 
development and culture. As a scholar he was accurate and 
profound. He received the first appointment on his graduation at 
Yale, and never ceased to cultivate and enrich his own mind while 
in subsequent years he devoted himself to the education of others. 
His attainments were varied, but peculiarly extensive in the 
departments of Natural Philosophy and Mathematical Science. 
At the same time, his mind was highly enriched and polished 
by the pursuits of elegant literature. In his rambles for health 
he became also a student of nature. The number and beauty 
of the specimens in his private cabinet of shells which he col- 
lected during a two winters' residence in the West India Islands, 


in search of health, and which he bequeathed to the College, bear 
ample testimony to the industry, zeal and success with which 
he devoted himself to such pursuits." l With more physical 
stamina, Prof. Hovey would have adorned almost any professor- 
ship. Before leaving Williams, he was invited to the presi- 
dency of Western Reserve College ; as he tendered his resigna- 
tion, President Griffin and some of the Trustees, with tears, 
assured him that if he had remained, it was their intention that 
he should be President of Williams College. But feeble health 
compelled him to be absent much of the time while he was nom- 
inally connected with Amherst; and the most vivid remembrance 
which his pupils associate with him, is his suffering and theirs, 
while, with trembling hands and throbbing nerves, he attempted 
an unsuccessful experiment with some delicate piece of appa- 
ratus. Curiously enough during all this time, and for a year or 
two after Prof. Hovey's resignation, the Trustees were afraid to 
commit the department to one who has proved on trial the most 
successful experimenter and the most lucid and methodical 
teacher in that department that Amherst or perhaps any other 
College ever had. While traveling and resting in Europe for 
his health, in 1832, Prof. Hovey rendered a valuable incidental 
service to the College by his judicious purchase of some eight 
thousand dollars' worth of books and philosophical and chemical 
apparatus, which quite dazzled the eyes of officers and students, 
and almost constituted a new era in the history of the Institu- 
tion. The collections of shells and minerals which he made in 
the West Indies, and which he 'bequeathed to the College, con- 
stituted a scarcely less important addition to the Cabinets of 
Mineralogy and Conchology. 

Professors Peck and Park are still living, and others must 
write their history. 

Rev. Solomon Peck was Professor of Latin and Hebrew from 
the reorganization of the Faculty in 1825 till 1832. The writer 
well remembers his tall and erect form, his dignified and cour- 
teous manner, his half-hour recitations and elegant translations of 
passages in the Latin Classics, and the chaste, classical style of 
his sermons as he took his turn with the President and the other 

i Rev. E. Russell, D. D. 


Professors in the College pulpit. Others will remember, per- 
haps, still more vividly the nice balance of duty to his Congre- 
gational wife and his Baptist conscience with which he waited 
without to accompany her home after the communion, and the 
zeal and success with which he labored to build up the Baptist 
%church in Amherst, of which he was the founder. After leav- 
ing Amherst, he was, for a short time, Professor in Brown Uni- 
versity, and then for many years the able and faithful Secretary 
of the American Baptist Missionary Union. 

Rev. Edwards A. Park, then colleague pastor with Rev. Dr. 
Storrs in Braintree, was elected " Professor of Moral Philosophy 
and Hebrew Literature, with a salary of eight hundred dollars," 
at an adjourned meeting of the corporation, " convened at the 
house of Elijah Boltwood in Amherst, on Tuesday, the loth of 
October, A. D. 1833." The state of his eyes, however, forbade 
his entering upon the duties of the office for nearly two years. 
In the summer of 1835, in the absence of President Humphrey 
on a foreign tour, he commenced^ his labor, as Professor of In- 
tellectual and Moral Philosophy, the title and the work of his 
professorship having been changed to suit the Professor and at 
the same time to meet the existing wants of the College. In 
the summer of 1836 he accepted a professorship in the Theolog- 
ical Seminary at Andover, and at the commencement of that 
year he terminated his connection with the College, after a 
service of one year and one term. During this period he in- 
structed the Senior class in Intellectual and Moral Philosophy, 
Butler's Analogy and Political Economy, and the Junior class 
once a week in the Biblical Exercise. He also taught the 
Seniors Rhetoric until Prof. Condit entered upon the duties 
of his office in the fall of 1835. Readers of this History need 
not be told that during this brief period the students of 
Amherst were charmed by the same genius and eloquence 
which have since made Prof. Park the most inspiring and 
fascinating of teachers to so many classes at Andover, and 
"the Judas sermon" and "the Peter sermon" were then 
heard in the College chapel and the neighboring churches 
with perhaps even greater wonder and delight than have been 
excited by the ordination, convention, and other occasional ser- 


mons which have since been delivered from so many of the 
pulpits of New England. 

The year 1835 was marked by the resignation and retirement 
from the active service of the College of one who had been its 
Treasurer and to a great extent its Collector from the beginning, 
and whom all the students of this first decade and a half will 
associate with the thrice-yearly payment of their College bills, l 
Hon. John Leland, who was at the same time one of the most 
faithful friends and benefactors of the Institution. He was born 
in Peru, Mass., in 1807, and was the son of Rev. John Leland 
of that place, one of those wise, devoted and useful ministers 
so common then in country parishes, and especially in our hill 
towns, who were passing rich on two hundred dollars a year, 
and who enriched their parishes and their families temporally 
and spiritually by their wisdom, virtue and piety. In 1820 Mr. 
Leland removed from Peru to Amherst, and at their meeting in 
November of that year the Trustees of Amherst Academy ap- 
pointed him " their agent to receive all donations made for the 
benefit of the Charity Institution other than those made to the 
permanent fund." From that time till 1826 he was the Treas- 
urer of the Institution, while Col. Graves was the Financier, as 
he was then called, who had the charge of the Charity Fund. 
From 1826 till 1833 he was both Treasurer and Financier. In 
1833 the Trustees separated the two offices, and chose Lucius 
Boltwood Financier, while they re-elected John Leland Treas- 
urer. This place he continued to hold till the Commencement 
of 1835, when he resigned his office. On accepting the resigna- 
tion the Trustees voted "that the thanks of the Board be pre- 
sented to the Hon. John Leland for his long and faithful service 
as Treasurer, and for the lively interest which he has ever taken 
in the prosperity of this Institution." 

Soon after his resignation Mr. Leland removed to Roxbury. 
He remained there, however, only a few years, and then returned 
to spend the remainder of his days under the shadow of the 
College, to the planting and nourishing of which he had devoted 
the better portion of his active life. He early became a mem- 
ber of the church, and was a deacon of the village church in 

1 Hence familiarly known among the students as " Deacon Term-bill." 


Amherst fifteen years before his removal to Roxbury, 'and fifteen 
3 r ears after his return. 1 He was a Senator from the county of 
Hampshire in the Legislature of Massachusetts for the years 
1833 and 1834, and a Representative from the town of Amherst 
in 1847. 

: Chosen Treasurer at the first meeting of the Trustees for or- 
ganization under the charter, he was at the same time chosen 
agent to collect the thirty thousand dollar subscription. How 
much labor and vexation this must have cost him", the reader can 
form some conception by inspecting any page of his books, a 
specimen of which may be seen in the Appendix. The small 
sums of which much of it was made up by contributions from 
cent and mite societies of women and children, was a fruitful 
theme of ridicule in the Legislature. Till 1829 he was not only 
Treasurer and Financier but also a member of the Prudential 
Committee, inspector of buildings, grounds and repairs, the 
working member of building committees, and in fact, general 
agent in all the fiscal and out-door concerns of the College. 
His salary as Treasurer was never more than three hundred dol- 
lars. As Financier he received an addition of only two hundred 
dollars. At the same time he was continually making himself 
personally responsible for borrowed money to large amounts. 
"I am assured," says Dr. Hitchcock, "that during most of his 
term of office he was holden to creditors for College debts to an 
amount sometimes nearly equal to his whole property." 2 Be- 
sides thus almost giving his time, toil and credit to the College 
for fifteen years, he gave it more money than has been given by 
any other person resident in Amherst. 3 Dea. Leland deserves a 
high place among the faithful servants and generous benefactors 
of Amherst College. He died in Amherst, February 18, 1864, 
at the age of seventy-one. 

1 Chosen May 5, 1820 ; re-elected June 29, 1838, and resigned on account of old 
age, May 24, 1853. 

2 Reminiscences of Amherst College, p. 8. 

8 He was one of the seven signers of the bond for fifteen thousand dollars, to 
make up the deficit of the charity fund, and he subscribed one thousand dollars on 
the paper which completed the fund and released the bond-holders. 



THE largest aggregate number of students that Amherst Col- 
lege enrolled on its catalogue at any time previous to 1870-71, 
was in the collegiate year 1836-7, when the number was two 
hundred and fifty-nine. The next year, 1837-8, it had fallen to 
two hundred and six, and it continued to decrease regularly till 
in 1845-6, it was reduced to one hundred and eighteen, less than 
half the number nine years before. 

The number entering College began to diminish some three 
years earlier. The largest number of students ever admitted to 
the College was in 1833-4, when there were eighty-five Fresh- 
men, and the whole number of admissions was one hundred and 
six. The next year, 1834-5, there were seventy Freshmen, and 
the whole number of admissions was ninety-nine. From this 
time, the number entering College continued to decrease, till in 
1843-4, the Freshmen numbered only thirty-two, and the whole 
number of new members was only forty-two. 

Some of the causes which produced this remarkable decline, 
are sufficiently obvious. In the first place it was doubtless to 
some extent a natural reaction from the equally remarkable and 
almost equally rapid increase of numbers in the previous his- 
tory of the College. As the tide of prosperity had risen very 
fast and high, so it sank with corresponding rapidity to a pro- 
portionally low ebb. The growth had been unprecedented, 
abnormal and not altogether healthy. The causes which pro- 
duced it, were in part temporary, and so far forth the effect 
could not be enduring. These causes had not indeed ceased to 
operate, but they had lost in a measure their pristine power. 


The first alarm, excited by the defection of Harvard College, 
and the churches in that section, had in a measure subsided. 
Zeal for Orthodoxy and evangelical piety was no longer at a 
white heat. The passion for missions and the education of min- 
isters had somewhat cooled. Revivals were less frequent in the 
churches. The revivals which marked the twenty years be- 
tween 1815 and 1835, had given birth to the College, and nour- 
ished it with a copious supply of young men recently converted 
and full of zeal for the work of the ministry and of missions. 
As revivals grew less frequent and powerful, one of the prin- 
cipal sources of the prosperity of Amherst College began to 

The growth of the Institution had unavoidably changed some- 
what its relations to the community around it. The people of 
the village were still friendly to the College, but they had ceased 
to regard it as their own offspring or foster-child they could 
no longer welcome and cherish its two hundred and fifty stu- 
dents as pets or wards in their own families ; the halcyon days 
of primitive and almost pastoral simplicity when their apple- 
orchards and walnut-groves, their parlors and firesides, their 
homes and hearts were open to the members of the College gen- 
erally, almost as if they were their own sons, had gone never to 
return. Board was perhaps fifty per cent, higher than it was 
at the opening of the College. The influx of wealthy students 
by changing the tastes and habits of the community, had in- 
creased in a still greater percentage the incidental and unneces- 
sary expenses. The term-bills, including tuition and room-rent, 
which, at the first, were only ten or eleven dollars per term, 
had now risen to seventeen dollars, and the maximum of neces- 
sary College expenses, including board, fuel and lights, which in 
1834 was stated in the , catalogue at ninety-six dollars a year, 
was estimated in 1837 at one hundred and fifty dollars. This 
was still considerably less than at Harvard or Yale, but the dif- 
ference was less than it formerly was, and the expenses at Am- 
herst were now greater than they were at some of the other 
New England Colleges. Relatively the economy of an educa- 
tion at Amherst was considerably less than it had been, and 
economy is no small argument, especially with the class of stu- 


dents who flocked to Amherst in crowds in the earlier years of 
its history. 

A still more important change had gradually come over the 
relations between the students and the Faculty. The circum- 
stances under which the College originated, made its officers 
and students more like one great family, than they were in the 
older and larger Institutions, more so probably than they were 
in any other College. The government was truly a paternal 
government, and the students cherished a remarkably filial spirit 
towards the President and Professors. But when Amherst came 
soon to be the largest College in New England, with a single 
exception, when it contained more than two hundred and fifty 
students of all characters and habits, from all ranks and classes 
of the community, and from all parts of the United States, it 
was no longer practicable to maintain so familiar and confiden- 
tial a relation, it was no longer possible to administer the 
government in the same paternal way, it was no longer pos- 
sible that the students should cherish just the same filial feel- 
ing and spirit towards the Faculty. The men who composed 
the Faculty might be the same, it was the same President and 
the same leading older Professors, under whose auspices the 
College had attained so soon to so large a growth, that were 
now administering the government and giving the instruction ; 
yet they could not but draw the reins a little tighter, they 
could not exercise the same personal supervision, the same 
fatherly watch and care over two hundred students which they 
had extended to one hundred. It was not the same students, 
they were not of the same age, class and condition in life ; upon 
an average they were younger and richer and less.religious when 
they entered now than they were ten or fifteen years earlier in 
the history of the College ; but even if they had been the very 
same individual students, they could not come so near to their 
officers, or stand in the same. near and confidential relations, or 
cherish quite the same feelings of personal regard and aifec- 
tion, as when they were fewer in number and were in some 
sense joint-founders of the Institution. There are evils, diffi- 
culties and dangers inevitably connected with a large College 
as there are with a large boarding school, which almost pre- 


elude the possibility of its realizing the idea of a College, or 
doing in the best way its whole and proper work ; and among 
these the wall of separation which rises up between the Faculty 
and the students is not the least. 

Accidental circumstances about this time contributed to widen 
the breach. One of these was the anti-slavery excitement. This 
affected Amherst more than it did most of the Eastern Colleges ; 
for while it had an unusual number of Southern students be- 
tween 1830 and 1840, 1 it had also a larger proportion than most 
of the colleges, of that class of students who were strongly, 
and some of them violently opposed to slavery. It was during 
this decennary, as our readers will remember that the anti- 
slavery excitement, which temporarily subsided after the Mis- 
souri compromise, broke out with fresh violence and agitated 
the whole country. The Liberator, started in Boston by Wil- 
liam Lloyd Garrison for the express purpose of agitating this 
question, was established in 1831, the New England Anti- 
Slavery Society (afterwards the Massachusetts) in 1832, the 
American Anti-Slavery Society in 1833. In 1834, George 
Thompson came over from England and his clarion-like voice 
rung through the land, and in 1835 Mr. Garrison was dragged 
through the streets of Boston by an infuriated mob and saved 
from a violent death only by incarceration in the city jail. Such 
exciting scenes could not but deeply move the feelings of young 
men in our Colleges and professional schools. When news- 
papers, tracts and books, lectures, public meetings, and organ- 
ized societies were doing their utmost to agitate the public mind, 
it would be strange if young men in college did not discuss the 
subject, debate it in their classes and literary societies, take 
sides on it, and, if permitted, form societies for the express pur- 
pose of influencing public sentiment. The Theological Semi- 
nary at Andover was much agitated at this time, and the excite- 
ment was greatly increased by the vehement denunciations and 
impassioned eloquence of George Thompson. It was in 1834, 

1 Among these were Benjamin M. Palmer of South Carolina and Stewart Robin- 
son of Virginia, who became so conspicuous in the history of the late war. Mr. 
Palmer was a member of the Class of '35, but graduated prematurely in his Junior 
year. Mr. Robinson graduated with honor in the Class of '36. 


that Lane Seminary was convulsed by " the Anti-Slavery Im- 
broglio," as Dr. Beecher called it, to such a degree that the 
students went off almost in a body and built up a Theological 
Department at Oberlin. It was under such circumstances that 
a Colonization Society and an Anti Slavery Society were formed 
among the students at Amherst, the latter in the summer of 
1833, and the former a short time previous, perhaps not more 
than two or three weeks. Thus the College was divided as it 
were into two hostile camps, and the war raged as fiercely be- 
tween these opposing forces in their classic halls as that between 
the Greeks and Trojans of which the young men read in the 
Iliad, and it lasted quite as long before it fully came to an end. 
The Faculty seeing that fellow-students, and even Christian 
brethren were thus set in hostile array against each other, feel- 
ing that the College was not founded to be a school of moral 
or political reform, and fearing that its reputation, as well as 
its peace and prosperity might thus be endangered, at length 
interposed, and endeavored to persuade the members of both 
societies to dissolve their organizations. The members of the 
Colonization Society complied with this request. The members 
of the Anti-Slavery Society returned answer that they could 
not conscientiously dissolve the Society by their own act, begged 
the privilege of at least holding the monthly concert of prayer 
for the slave, and if they must needs disband, prayed the Fac- 
ulty to do the work themselves. 

This Society had now grown in a little more than a year from 
the original eight members to a membership of seventy-eight, 
nearly one-third of the whole number of students in College. 
" Of this number," I quote from a history of these transactions 
in manuscript prepared at my request by a leading member, 1 " all 
but six were professors of religion. Thirty of the number had 
consecrated themselves to the missionary work in foreign lands, 
and twenty to the work of home missions in the West. The 
first recognized agency that led several of these young men to 
decide upon the missionary service, were these investigations 
and discussions in reference to the condition of the two mil- 
lions or more of slaves in the United States. Their discussions 

1 Kev. Leander Thompson. 


and other exercises of their regular meetings were in the main 
dignified and eminently Christian, though always earnest 'and 
animated. Their concerts of prayer were among the tenderest 
and most useful seasons of religious devotion they had during 
their connection with College. 

" In October, 1834, the Society were summoned to meet Dr. 
Humphrey in a body in the Theological room. Very fully and 
kindly the President then stated his feelings, assuring the ' young 
gentlemen' to their amazement, that the Society was alienating 
Christian brethren, retarding and otherwise injuring the cause 
of religion in College, and threatening in many ways the pros- 
perity of the Institution. In view of these considerations pre- 
sented with evident honesty, he called upon the Society at once 
and entirely to disband, hold no more meetings, have no more 
discussions and, if possible, keep peace with all on this exciting 

"As soon as possible the Society was called together for 
prayer and deliberation. Again and again and with a calmness 
.which astonished themselves, they discussed the propriety of 
acceding to the President's demand; but the more they dis- 
cussed and prayed and thought, the more fixed were they all in 
the conviction that they could not, as Christians and as men, take 
upon themselves the responsibility of disbanding their Society 
and ignoring the great question of the times, touching a subject 
of such vital importance both to the slave and to the country, to 
the progress and the triumphs of the gospel of love in our land. 

" Accordingly a committee was appointed to prepare a memo- 
rial on the subject as a reply to Dr. Humphrey's appeal. The 
memorial was prepared, read in a very full meeting, and, with- 
out a dissenting voice, adopted and sent to the Faculty." 

This memorial, of which the original draft is preserved, speaks 
with the greatest respect and even tenderness of the Faculty, 
acknowledging the purity of their motives and the love of their 
hearts, and saying, " we would gladly comply with your request 
if we could do it consistently with the dictates of our con- 
sciences and the wants and woes of perishing millions," but at 
the same time adding the unanimous resolution of the Society, 
"that we can not conscientiously disband and relinauish the 


right of inquiring into, discussing and praying over the suffer- 
ings and woes of more than two millions of our population." 

They conclude with begging the privilege at least of being 
permitted to hold as a Society their usual monthly concert of 
prayer, and praying that if they must be disbanded, the Faculty 
would do the work themselves by a direct and positive com- 
mand, which they pledge themselves not to resist. 

Feeling that this " very respectful memorial " was " entitled 
to serious and deliberate consideration," and reluctant to resort 
to extreme measures if they could possibly avoid it, the Faculty, 
after some weeks' delay, made another communication to the 
Society, in which they consent to " let the Association remain 
for the present under the following regulations : 1. To meet as 
a Society, if you see fit, once a month as you have been accus- 
tomed to, chiefly for prayer, and to hold no other meetings. 

" 2. To receive such new members at your option as may wish 
to join you without solicitation. 

" 3. It is understood that discussions and formal addresses 
before the Society will hereafter be entirely discontinued. 

" 4. It is understood that neither the Society nor individual 
members of it will correspond with editors of newspapers or 
other persons, so as to bring it in any way before the public." 

At the same time the Faculty disclaim any intention to inter- 
fere in any degree with the private opinions of the members of 
the Society on the subject of slavery, or with the avowal of 
them as individuals as freely as on any other subject, nor with 
the bringing of the great question of slavery forward for de- 
bate in the regular order of College exercises by either party, 
provided it can be discussed with that perfect good feeling 
which is essential in such a community. 

This communication seems to have been received by the mem- 
bers of the Society with mingled emotions of surprise and dis- 
pleasure " too deep for appropriate outward expression. A few 
of the more ardent and impulsive spirits soon gave vent to their 
indignation and declared themselves ready to leave the College. 
But they were held in check by the large and more prudent 
majority, who strongly advised the Society to yield a passive sub- 
mission and leave the result to the developments of the future." 


The excitement extended also beyond the ranks of the So- 
ciety, and so strongly roused the minds of many without that 
they besieged the door of the Secretary's room in his absence 
and bursting it open found the constitution and subscribed their 
names to the list of members. In the same spirit of resistance 
to what they deemed an exercise of undue and arbitrary author- 
ity, " some person or persons unknown to the Society and its 
officers," purloined from the Secretary's room a copy of the me- 
morial to the Faculty, and sent it for publication to the editors 
of one or more anti-slavery papers, thus extending the arena of 
discussion, criticism and excitement from the College through 
the community. 

After discussing the subject at two meetings, the Society re- 
turned a written response to the communication of the Faculty, 
in which, while they gratefully acknowledge the high tone of 
Christian feeling and affectionate interest in their welfare evinced 
throughout that document, they yet declare their unanimous 
conviction that their duty as men and as Christians forbids their 
compliance with the conditions of existence submitted in it. 

This communication was laid before the Faculty at their meet- 
ing, February 16, 1835. They voted that they could not con- 
sistently alter or annul the conditions, and the next day Presi- 
dent Humphrey communicated the result in writing to the So- 
ciety. "We fully accord," he says, "with the opinion recently 
expressed by the whole body of students in the Andover Theo- 
logical Seminary, that in the present agitated state of the public 
mind, it is inexpedient to keep up any organization under the 
name of anti-slavery, colonization or the like, in our literary and 
theological institutions. This, we believe, is coming to be more 
and more the settled judgment of the enlightened and pious 
friends of these Institutions throughout the country. Indeed, 
we are not aware that any such Society as yours now exists in 
any respectable College but our own in the land. 

" You inform us that ' on due and careful deliberation,' you 
can not comply with 'the conditions of existence' specified in 
our last communication. Now, as we, on our part, can not con- 
sistently with our sense of duty, modify or annul those condi- 
tions, the case is perfectly plain. You would not ask us to vio- 


late our trust or our consciences. As you can not comply, your 
Society must cease to exist, just as the Colonization Society has 
done already." 

After receiving this communication, the Society held one long, 
spirited and somewhat excited meeting, and then bowing in 
silence and sorrow to the authority of the government, the So- 
ciety ceased to exist. During that same term, the spring term 
of 1835, the Faculty and students labored together and rejoiced 
together in the religious revival whose history we have narrated 
in a previous chapter ; and none labored more faithfully to pro- 
mote it, none rejoiced more heartily in its blessed fruits (so all 
will agree, even those who differed most from them in this ex- 
citing controversy,) than many of the young men who had been 
members of this Anti-Slavery Society. 

After such stringent and decisive action in suppressing the 
Society, we should hardly expect to see it revived and reorgan- 
ized with substantially the same constitution and with the ex- 
press permission of the Faculty. Yet such was the fact. In 
less than two years from the suppression, viz., November 23, 
1836, we find them granting permission to the anti-slavery men 
to hold a monthly concert. And in less than three years, that 
is, in December, 1837, we read on the records votes granting 4 
" the request of the petitioners for an Anti-Slavery Society in 
College," and approving the constitution as presented by the 
petitioners. This change of policy was doubtless the result 
partly of a change of circumstances and partly of a change of 
feelings in the minds of the Faculty. The first outburst of pas- 
sion and excitement in the community had in a measure sub- 
sided, and the subject might now be discussed, it was thought, 
with less danger to the peace and the prosperity of the Institu- 
tion. Moreover, an event had occurred meanwhile in College, 
which turned the tide of sympathy and feeling strongly in favor 
of the anti-slavery cause. Ever since the Society had been in 
existence, students from the South, " the chivalry," as they were 
quite willing to be called, had from time to time shaken their 
fists and canes in the faces of the members and threatened them 
with personal violence. At length, on the morning of Com- 
mencement, the fourth Wednesday of August, 1835, as the stu- 


dents were going out from prayers in the chapel, a scene took 
place which was the antecedent and anticipation of that which 
was afterwards enacted in the Capitol at Washington in the 
person of Senator Sumner, and with similar results on a smaller 
scale. Robert C. McNairy of Nashville, Tenn., who had just at- 
tained to the dignity of a Sophomore, celebrated his elevation 
to that exalted dignity by severely beating a member of the 
class above him, John L. Ashley, of Bradford, N. H., with a 
heavy cane. The offender was speedily arraigned before a mag- 
istrate in the village. His fellow-students from the same sec- 
tion, and others who sympathized with them, thronged the room 
and overawed the Justice, and the offender was let off with a 
fine of five dollars. The next term the Faculty investigated 
the case and expelled him from the College. The following 
record will show the light in which they viewed the affair : 

" Whereas Robert McNairy, then a member of the Sophomore 
class, in this College, did on the morning of last Commence- 
ment and immediately after prayers in the chapel, violently at- 
tack and cruelly beat a fellow-student, with a heavy cane, thus 
maiming his person, if not putting his life in jeopardy, and 
whereas this gross violation of the laws was aggravated by the 
time when and the place where the assault was made, therefore, 

" Voted 1, That our duty to the College as a public Insti- 
tution and to the members of it entitled to our protection, as far 
as it is in our power to give it, require in this case the highest 
College penalty. 

" Voted 2, That the aforesaid Robert McNairy be, and he is 
hereby expelled" 

It can not be doubted that the anti-slavery excitement im- 
paired somewhat the confidence and' affection of a large portion 
of the students, (and those the most ardent and earnest students 
of the College) for the Faculty, and especially alienated some 
of the most zealous of them from the President, who was the 
organ of communication, and was regarded as the author of the 
policy that was pursued. 1 

1 The anti-slavery men of this period were under the impression, right or wrong, 
that the sympathies, of Prof. Hitchcock were with them, although the act of sup- 
pression was communicated expressly as " the unanimous vote of the Faculty." 


But the opposition to the system of distinctive and honorary 
appointments in College, which sprung up about the same time, 
lasted longer and was still more unfortunate in its influence. 
As early as 1834, the Junior class, under the influence of the 
dissatisfaction attendant as usual on the appointments for the 
Junior Exhibition, petitioned the Trustees at their annual meet- 
ing to abolish the system. Upon this petition, the Trustees voted, 
" That we think it inexpedient to make any alteration at present 
on the subject of said communication, but we recommend that 
the Faculty correspond with the other Colleges on this subject 
and obtain such information as may be communicated for such 
improvement hereafter as occasion may require." At their an- 
nual meeting in 1836, a petition was again presented, signed by 
nearly, if not quite, all the members of the three upper classes, 
asking for the abolition " of the present system of appoint- 
ments in this Institution," and suggesting instead, that "such a 
division and arrangement be made that all may have parts as- 
signed them, and alike enjoy the benefits arising from such per- 
formances," or that " each of the three Literary Societies in 
College should be permitted to have an annual exhibition." ! 
The action of the Trustees upon this petition is thus entered on 
their records : " A petition having been presented to this Board 
signed by numerous members of Amherst College, praying for 
the abolition of the system of appointments adopted in this 
College, Voted, that this Board deem it inexpedient to make 
any change at present in the system provided for by the College 
laws on this subject." 

Meanwhile the Faculty began to be besieged by petitions 
from individual students asking to be excused from performing 
the parts assigned them on the ground of conscientious opposi- 
tion to the system of honorary distinctions. And for a time 
the Faculty granted these requests. At length it became ap- 
parent that there was, if not a conspiracy, a set purpose on the 
part of many students, some of them perhaps really conscien- 

1 This petition is preserved in the College Library. It is an immense document 
some five feet long and a foot and a half wide, bearing in bold and large hand the 
autograph signatures of men now distinguished in every walk of life, and remind- 
ii;g the reader in more ways than one of the original Declaration of Independence. 


tious, but others manifestly only disappointed in their own ap- 
pointments, or otherwise disaffected, to break down the system, 
and that if they would have any exhibitions or Commence- 
ments, they must insist upon the performance of the parts as- 
signed for public occasions with the same firmness and on the 
same principles as they required the recitation of lessons or the 
performance of any other assigned duty. They therefore de- 
clined to excuse appointees simply on the ground of conscien- 
tious scruples without the assignment of some other reasons. 
Among those who were excused in the summer of 1835 was 
William O. Gorham of Enfield, who had been appointed one of 
the Prize Speakers 1 from the Freshmen, and having requested to 
be excused " on grounds of conscience," his request was granted. 
Two years later, the same student received an appointment for 
the Junior Exhibition. Instead of performing the part assigned 
him, he sent in the following paper to the Faculty : 

" To the Faculty of Amherst College, Sirs : I entered College 
with feelings and views utterly opposed to the present system 
of appointments in this Institution. I have ever heartily des- 
pised and contemned the principle, and a more intimate ac- 
quaintance with it since I have been here, has rendered its ef- 
fects more odious to my sense of justice. With either I can and 
do have no sympathy. As I can not give countenance to this 
system in heart nor in tongue, I certainly will not in deed. I 
beg, therefore, to be freed from my appointment at the coming 
Exhibition and all further annoyance from this source. 


This paper came before the Faculty at their meeting June 16, 
1837, and it was " Voted, that Gorham's case be referred to the 
President." The President had an interview with him and 
dealt very faithfully, perhaps somewhat severely with him, 2 

1 There had been considerable trouble and excitement for some time in regard to 
the manner of appointing Prize Speakers, as well as in regard to the persons ap- 

2 If the President's language was severe, ("and he said he excoriated him,) the 
language of the young man, as he reported it to his classmates and friends, was 
" abusive." 


setting before him the sentiments, the spirit and the language 
of the paper, in the clear light of that strong common sense and 
in the strenuous use of that plain Saxon English of which he 
was the perfect master. But the only result was to widen the 
breach, to exasperate the feelings of the young man, and to 
rouse and perhaps ruffle a little the spirit of the President. 
This result was reported to the Faculty at their weekly meeting 
June 23d, and they voted to require of him a written acknowl- 
edgment under penalty, if he refused, of being removed from 
College. The acknowledgment which he was required to sign, 
was in the following language : 

" In presenting this paper (his previous communication) to 
the Faculty, I did not intend any disrespect to them or resist- 
ance to the laws of College, but on serious reflection I am con- 
vinced that the language was highly improper and not only so, 
but expressed my determination to disobey the laws of College. 
This I believe was wrong, and I do hereby declare my deep 
regret for so doing." 

Gorham refusing to sign this acknowledgment, some of his 
classmates attempted to mediate between him and the Faculty 
and obtain some modification of the language of the confession. 
The Faculty voted that he " have liberty to present an acknowl- 
edgment in different language, provided it should be essentially 
equivalent to that written by the Faculty." 

Accordingly he presented a paper, prepared by his classmates 
and signed by himself, as follows : 

" In presenting the above paper to the Faculty I did not 
intend any disrespect or resistance to the laws of College. I 
supposed I had a perfect right to accept or decline the honor 
conferred on me. I have since learned that they regard the 
appointments as obligatory upon those who receive them, and a 
refusal as an infringement upon the laws. So construed the 
language was disrespectful to the Faculty and expressed a de- 
termination to disobey one of the laws of College. Had such 
been my intention, I confess, it would have been utterly wrong, 
and it is with deep regret I find my language capable of so 
odious a construction." 

This paper was not satisfactory to the Faculty, chiefly because 


in view of their action in repeated instances during the previous 
year it must have been generally known in College that they 
regarded the appointments as obligatory and not to be accepted 
or declined at the option of the student, and, therefore, they 
could not regard the confession offered by Gorham as in his 
case either truthful or ingenuous, and he was accordingly re- 
moved from College. The entire class, with a single excep- 
tion, 1 now rallied to the support of their classmate and joined 
issue with the Faculty by passing the following resolution and 
sending to Gorham's friends a letter to the same effect. 

" Resolved by the Junior class, June 24, 1837, that in our 
opinion William O. Gorham has made every concession which 
duty and justice require, and in refusing to concede more, we 
heartily approve of his principles." 

The next morning this resolution was found written or 'painted 
on the wall in front of the chapel, where it was read by all the 
students as they went in to morning prayers. The Faculty 
were soon called together to consult in this emergency. They 
felt deeply that it was a solemn crisis for themselves and for 
the College. They began their consultation by asking counsel 
of God in prayer. After much anxious deliberation they came 
to the conclusion that such action by a class in College was sub- 
versive of all government, and that the}' must meet the issue 
with firmness or resign the helm into the hands of students. 
They therefore " voted to require a confession of all the mem- 
bers of the Junior class who have taken measures inconsistent 
with their obligations to obey the laws of College, in the case 
of William O. Gorham." The confession is in the following 
words : 

" It being an acknowledged principle that no student who is 
permitted to enjoy the privileges of a public literary Institu- 
tion, and who has promised obedience to its laws, has a right to 
do any thing to weaken the hands of its Faculty or in any 
way to nullify any of their disciplinary acts, I deeply regret 

1 David N. Coburn of Thompson, Ct., now Rev. Mr. Coburn of Monson, Mass. 
At least one other member of the Class, I believe, was not at College at the time 
and took no part in these transactions, viz., Edward Blodgett of Amherst, now Rev. 
Mr. Blodgett of Greenwich. 


that in reference to the late case of William O. Gorham, I did 
without due consideration, vote for a resolution and sign a 
paper which tended to both these results ; and I hereby prom- 
ise to abstain from all similar interference in the government of 
Amherst College." 

The class hesitated and delayed, and it seemed for a time, as 
if the whole class would refuse to sign the paper and be sent 
away. But by the interposition of friends of Gorham who were 
also friends of the College, 1 he was induced to sign the confes- 
sion required of him with a trifling verbal alteration, and then 
his classmates promptly followed suit and signed the acknowl- 
edgment and promise required of them. 

Thus have I endeavored to give a full, fair and unvarnished 
statement of the facts in this unhappy affair. I have made it 
almost without note or comment, believing that my readers will 
prefer to make their own comments and draw their own conclu- 
sions. It would be easy, perhaps, for any of us to say what we 
would do now in such a case as this, or that of the Anti-Slavery 
excitement. Doubtless we should open the doors wide to the 
discussion of slavery or any similar question, and let the wind 
How through. Probably we should let a class not only have 
their own opinions in regard to a case of discipline, but express 
them, if they choose, to the friends of the person disciplined. 
But it is not so easy to say what we would have done, or what 
the Faculty would or should have done under all the circum- 
stances as they existed then. In the state of the public mind 
as it then was, and with the views of College government which 
then prevailed, probably almost any Faculty would have taken 
the course that was taken at Amherst. 2 On the other hand 
justice requires the additional remark, that under the same cir- 

1 Dr. Timothy J. Gridley of Amherst, and Mr. Leonard Woods of Enfield. The 
latter had aided Gorham previously in his education. Gorham received aid also 
from the charity fund of the College. 

2 The writer can speak the more frankly and impartially on the subject, because 
he was not here at the time of the Anti-Slavery excitement, and at the time of the 
Gorham excitement, having just entered upon his professorship, he did not feel 
competent or called to take a leading part. He was only able, as lie remembers 
with satisfaction, to render some service in the way of removing Rome mutual mis- 
understandings, and thus prevent the whole class from going off in a body. 


cumstauces, almost any class would probably have acted in es- 
sentially the same way as the Class of '38. Certainly no class 
ever had a better reputation for good order, obedience to law, 
and faithfulness in study, than they had prior to this excite- 
ment. Indeed they suspected the Faculty, unjustly of course, 
of presuming upon this very characteristic to treat them with 
more severity and trample them under foot. Doubtless there 
were errors and mistakes on both sides, and it was an unfor- 
tunate affair for all concerned. The young man has gone wan- 
dering and flaming like a comet through the world, pretty much 
as he did through College. The members of the class felt the 
sting through the remainder of their course, and wear the scar 
to this day. They are loyal sons of their mother, but many of 
them have never ceased to feel that they were treated unjustly 
and unwisely by the government. The class above them sym- 
pathized and suffered more or less with them, and the most bril- 
liant man and scholar in it, who fanned the flame of prejudice 
and passion, not to say of insubordination and rebellion by his 
eloquence in the debates of the class-room, and was censured 
for it, never recovered from the twist which he then received, 1 
and even in the pulpit ran a career as melancholy in its issue as 
it was brilliant in its beginning. 

A member of that class thus graphically describes the excite- 
ment and lays bare some of its secret springs : " The vexed 
question of College appointments, a complaint which seems to 
have become periodically chronic, took an epidemic form in the 
years 1835-6-7. A society was organized in College, pledged 
not to perform parts assigned them at Junior Exhibitions and 
Commencements, on the ground that the system being morally 
wrong, they could not conscientiously do so As the prov- 
ince of conscience has different limits in different minds, the 
circumstances attending the urging of this plea, became some- 
times somewhat amusing. I once asked a classmate whether he 
should accept an appointment at the coming Commencement. 
He said he was undecided. If he had an oration, he thought 

1 How far the twist may have been in the grain, and how far owing to circum- 
stances in both these cases, the writer can not say. Probably there was something 

of both. 



he should ; otherwise not. I do not suppose that all consciences 
were equally elastic, but the cause of conscientious scruples 
was losing ground, and the leaders of the movement seemed to 
feel that unless Sumter were bombarded, the ardor of coadjutors 
would cool. Accordingly an appointment for Junior Exhibition 
was declined by one, who if he has not by his act rendered his 
name immortal, has at least given it ' a bad pre-eminence,' who, 
in a note couched in terms at least unnecessarily offensive, and 
in an interview with the President, used language which I have 
elsewhere characterized as abusive. 1 I so characterize it, having 
heard him relate to classmates what he had just said to the 
President, and witnessed the animus with which the 'Good! 
good ! ' was uttered as the most offensive expressions were re- 
peated, his auditors, with the exception of myself, being in 

sympathy with the before-mentioned organization I have 

never witnessed so intense excitement. It seemed as though 
Alecto and her imps were almost visibly present. Many of the 
class above them were infected, and received the same prescrip- 
tion, (an apology.) Some of them yielded as soon as they had 
time for cool reflection. One classmate, after signing the re- 
quired apology, said to me, ' I do not see how I could ever have 
regarded the requirement as unreasonable. Not half enough has 
been required. I have done wrong and shall never feel at ease 
until I have made a fuller confession.' He accordingly sought 
an interview with the President to make such a confession as 
would relieve him of his burden. . . . Returning to their friends, 
they (the disaffected students,) infused into the whole commu- 
nity something of their own bitterness of feeling towards a 
College, which up to that time, had been steadily strengthening 
its hold upon the public confidence and steadily gaining in num- 
bers. It was the severest blow the College has ever received, a 
blow from whose effects she can not be said even now to have 
fully recovered." 2 

1 In another part of his letter, the writer mentions this incident to illustrate the 
magnanimity of President Humphrey who insisted that the language addressed to 
him should not be taken into consideration in the discipline, because it was ad- 
dressed to him not officially, but as an individual. 

2 Prof. C. C. Bayley, Class of '37. 


The effect on the College was immediately disastrous. From 
this time class after class went out with more or less of the 
spirit of disaffection, and spread it through the community. 
Year after year too many of the graduates went forth not to in- 
vite and attract students, but to turn them away by reporting 
that the government was arbitrary, the President stern, severe, 
unsympathizing, unprogressive, and even in his dotage, (though 
as Dr. Hitchcock remarks, 1 his subsequent history shows that he 
was as well qualified, physically, intellectually and spiritually as 
he had ever been for the place,) and the Professors, some of them 
at least, incapable, unpopular and unfit for the office, (although 
the work of instruction was never more ably or faithfully, never 
80 assiduously and laboriously performed as at this very time.) 

The President was the self-same man under whose wise and 
able administration the College had risen to such unexampled 
prosperity. The Professors were, for the most part, the same men 
under whose government and instruction the Institution had pre- 
viously prospered, who, when the tide turned afterwards, were as 
popular as it often falls to the lot of faithful Professors to be, and 
whose lives have become identified with the history of the Col- 
lege. It is not necessary to mention their names. The Tutors 
of this period were some of the best scholars that have ever 
been graduated here. Not a few of them have since become 
distinguished as educators, authors, men of science, eloquent 
preachers and able jurists. Six of them have been Professors 
in this and other Institutions, viz., Charles B. Adams, Thomas 
P. Field, John Humphrey, William A. Peabody, Roswell D. 
Hitchcock and George B. Jewett. It was during this period 
that the Graeca Majora was dropped from the curriculum, and 
Homer, Demosthenes, and the Tragic poets began to be read 
continuously as entire books instead of extracts, and the Greek 
and Latin languages were for the first time taught analytically 
in their relation to each other and their cognate tongues and 
in the light of comparative philology. At this time, to wit, in 
1837-8, the whole system of monitorial duties, excuses for ab- 
sence, marks for merit and demerit, the merit roll, reports to 
parents, punishment of delinquents and honorary appointments, 

1 Reminiscences of Amherst College, p. 124. 


was revised, reformed, methodized, made at once more just and 
more efficient, and those principles and rules established which, 
not without amendment of course, but substantially, have regu- 
lated the practice of the College in this important matter ever 
since. A circular letter was also prepared and sent to the 
parents of Freshmen and other new students, which explained 
the temptations and dangers of College life, invited the co-oper- 
ation of parents and friends, and thus contributed much towards 
a better understanding among all the parties concerned in the 
education and training of the College. Such a letter continued 
to be sent with good effect for many years after the emergency 
out of which it sprung had passed away. About the same 
time, a course of general lectures in the chapel on study, read- 
ing, literature and College life, was inaugurated, in which all 
the Faculty in rotation bore a part, and which proved highly ac- 
ceptable as well as useful to the students. In short, necessity 
proved the mother of invention and sharpened the wits of the 
Faculty to discover and apply many new ways and means of 
promoting the welfare of the students, and, if possible, the 
prosperity of the College. These efforts, it is believed, were 
appreciated by the under-graduates, and they were quite con- 
tented and satisfied with the government and instruction of the 
College. But the spirit of disaffection was still spreading among 
the alumni, infecting some of the older as well as the younger 
graduates, and extending through the community; and the 
number of students still continued to decrease. 

A more thorough system of term and annual examinations was 
introduced, which were attended by distinguished scholars, friends 
and patrons from abroad, at the invitation of the Faculty ; and 
these examining committees often published most flattering re- 
ports of the internal condition of the College. But they were 
sometimes overdone, and it may be doubted whether they did 
not do more harm than good. The number of students still 
continued to diminish. 

At the call of a committee appointed by the Amherst alumni 
at Andover, in 1841, a large number of graduates convened at 
Amherst at the Commencement in 1842 and formed a Society 
of the Alumni, which still exists and has rendered invaluable 


service to the College. Measures were taken at this first meet- 
ing for establishing and helping to raise an endowment for an 
alumni professorship, and resolutions were passed expressing 
" sympathy with the founders and friends of Amherst College 
in the present embarrassed state of its affairs," " confidence in 
the wisdom and energy of the Board of Trustees," and " pledging 
earnest co-operation in all appropriate ways for its relief." But 
it was rather a stormy meeting a squally and threatening one, 
at least painful in many of its aspects to the Trustees and 
Faculty, the general agent and the best friends of the Institu- 
tion, and boding ill quite as much as good in its future history. 

At length the feeling of discontent and dissatisfaction began 
to find expression through the press. The causes of the decline 
of the College were discussed in newspapers and pamphlets, 
and writers who were confessedly graduates and professedly 
friends of the Institution, published to the world that the 
alumni were dissatisfied with the management of the College, 
and it never would prosper without a thorough reform, not to 
say a complete revolution. Those were dark days for Amherst 
College days of cruel trial and suffering for its officers. The 
trial of living on a half-salary a few years later was nothing in 
comparison. Some of them carried the sting of it to their dying 
day, and it still lingers in the memory of the survivors. 

If the College had been rich and independent, it might have 
borne this trial. Indeed if the College had been independent, 
it would have been saved the greater part of the trial, for com- 
plaints would then have been in a great measure silenced, and 
disaffection nipped in the bud. But " the destruction of the 
poor is their poverty." Poverty increased the disaffection 
itself as well as sharpened the sting of it, and the disaffection, 
by diminishing the number of students, increased the poverty 
of the College. For it had not at this time a single dollar of 
endowment, 1 and no College, however large or prosperous, re- 
ceives for tuition one-half of what it costs. The two subscrip- 
tions which had already been raised, the one of thirty thousand 
and the other of fifty thousand dollars, were immediately 
exhausted in the payment of debts and other unavoidable 

1 The Charity Fund went wholly for the support of beneficiaries. 


expenses. The College was, therefore, actually running in debt 
at the time of its largest prosperity, and the debt went on in- 
creasing as the number of students continued to diminish, till 
the outgoes exceeded the income by fully four thousand dollars 
a year. 

Application was made to the Legislature for pecuniary .aid in 
three successive years, viz., 1837, 1838 and 1839. In each in- 
stance, a Joint Committee of both Houses reported strongly in 
favor of the College, and recommended in 1837 a grant of twenty- 
five thousand dollars in ten annual installments, in 1838 a grant 
of fifty thousand dollars, and in 1839 a reference to the next 
Legislature on the ground that there were then no funds in the 
treasury. The report in 1837, by Hon. Myron Lawrence of 
Belchertown, then a member of the Senate and the next year 
President of the same body, was particularly able and cordial. 
The following passages are worthy of notice and record : "Their 
present buildings will accommodate one hundred and eighty stu- 
dents, and they are in want of another building to accommodate 
sixty more. It is indispensable to the best good of the students 
as well as to the reputation of the College and the correct ad- 
ministration of its affairs, that all its inmates should reside un- 
der the immediate care and oversight of the Faculty. 

" Before the establishment of this Institution, great numbers 
of young men went out of the Commonwealth for education. 
In 1824 there were in the several New England Colleges, out 
of this State, two hundred and twenty-seven scholars belonging 
to Massachusetts. In 1830, the number was reduced to one 
hundred and thirty-five. At the former period there were fifty- 
eight more went out of the State than came into it, and at the 
latter, fourteen more came in than went out. This Institution 
has been the chief instrument in producing these results. 

" Massachusetts is pre-eminent among her sister States for her 
munificent bequests to literary institutions. To Harvard Uni- 
versity she has given three hundred thousand dollars ; to Wil- 
liams College, fifty-six thousand dollars ; to Bowdoin College, 
seventy thousand dollars ; to Academies six hundred and thirty 
thousand dollars ; to other institutions, twelve thousand dollars ; 
to common schools one million dollars, making in all the gener- 


ous sum of two million and seventy thousand dollars. Amherst 
College, with its high claims to legislative bounty and its abun- 
dant evidence of eminent usefulness, stands alone in solitary 

" This College is of great service to the surrounding country 
inasmuch as it furnished from one hundred to one hundred and 
fifty teachers of common schools during the winter. 

" In its act of incorporation, the Legislature reserve the right 
to control it, and also to choose five out of seventeen Trustees 
and supply the vacancies of these five as often as they shall oc- 
cur forever." In the report of 1837, the debt of the College is 
estimated at ten thousand dollars ; in that of 1838 at fifteen thou- 
sand dollars ; and in that of 1839 at twelve thousand dollars ! 

In 1837 and 1838 the bill failed, both years in the House, be- 
ing rejected in the latter year by a vote of 154 nays to 132 ayes. 
It is worthy of note as illustrating the change of public senti- 
ment in Hampshire County in comparison with former Legisla- 
tures, that only one negative vote was now cast in the whole 
county. In 1839 the petition was referred to the next Legis- 
lature as recommended by the committee. 

Despairing of aid from the State, the Trustees soon conceived 
the project of raising one hundred thousand dollars by private 
subscription. This was thought to be the smallest sum that 
would relieve the College of existing embarrassments and leave 
a balance for endowments sufficient to make the income equal 
to expenditures. Rev. William Tyler, of South Hadley Falls, 
was first appointed an agent for obtaining subscriptions, and by 
his labors at different times during the years 1839 and 1840, 
some four or five thousand dollars were raised, chiefly in Am- 
herst. At the annual meeting of the Trustees in the latter year, 
it being thought that the shortening of the winter vacation had 
operated unfavorably by keeping away that class of students 
who were necessitated to help themselves by teaching, the va- 
cations were changed back again to six weeks in the winter, 
two in the spring, and four in the summer, the Commencement, 
however, being placed on the fourth Thursday of July instead 
of the fourth Wednesday of August. But the number of stu- 
dents still continued to diminish. 


In 1841 the eyes of all turned to Rev. Joseph Vaill, who had 
already proved himself a firm support and a successful agent of 
the College in more than one emergency, as the only person who 
could successfully perform the herculean labor of raising the 
money which was indispensable to its very existence. The debts 
of the College had now reached an aggregate of fifteen thousand 
dollars, and were increasing at the rate of three or four thousand 
dollars every year. Mr. Vaill well knew, although not so well 
as he did afterwards, the disaffection that was spreading among 
the alumni, the complaints that were circulating through the 
community, and the almost insurmountable obstacles that stood 
in the way of the success of the enterprise. He had just returned 
from Portland to his former people in Brimfield with the pur- 
pose of spending the remainder of his da}"s where he was first 
settled in the ministry. But he could not hesitate when the 
very existence of the College of which he had been a Trustee 
from the beginning, was trembling in the balance. He accepted 
the ofrbe of general agent to which he had been invited by the 
Trustees at their annual meeting in 1841, with the same salary 
as the Professors, was dismissed from his pastoral charge, re- 
moved to Amherst, and for nearly four years devoted himself to 
unwearied labors and plans for the external affairs and especially 
the pecuniary interests of the College. In August, 1845, he 
was able to report subscriptions, conditional and unconditional, 
to the amount of sixty-seven thousand dollars, of which over 
fifty-one thousand dollars had been collected by himself and 
paid into the treasury. 1 By reckoning in ten thousand dollars, 
given during this time by David Sears, eleven thousand dollars 
known by him to have been bequeathed by will to the College 
during the same time, and fifteen thousand dollars which he had 
the written assurance of an individual's "full intention " to pay 
for the founding of a professorship, the sum of one hundred 

1 Three years after the close of his agency, in August, 1848, Dr. Vaill reported 
four thousand four hundred and thirty-three dollars more as collected by himself, 
(making an aggregate of nearly fifty l six thousand dollars collected by himself,) 
three thousand seven hundred and seventy-six dollars besides the principal of the 
Sears' fund as having come directly into the treasury meanwhile, and two thousand 
three hundred and forty-nine dollars of the balance as probably good and collectible 


thousand dollars was made up, and this statement was so far 
satisfactory to the subscribers that the majority of those whose 
subscriptions had been conditioned on the raising of the entire 
sum of one hundred thousand dollars, now made them uncon- 

But deduct from the fifty-one thousand dollars which had 
been actually paid into the treasury by Mr. Vaill at the close 
of his agency in 1845, the debt which was reported to the Legisla- 
ture as fifteen thousand dollars in 1838, 1 the excess of the outgoes 
above the income in the interval of seven years at the rate of 
three or four thousand dollars a year, and the salary and ex- 
penses of the agent, which exceeded four thousand dollars, and 
it will be seen that very little remained for endowments or even 
to counterbalance a future excess of expenses. And yet the 
annual expenses far exceeded the annual income, and the num- 
ber of students still continued to diminish. Things could not 
long go on in this way. To raise money by subscription was 
only to throw it into a bottomless morass which must after all 
before long swallow up the Institution. This was palpable to 
all eyes, and was uttered from the lips of many. The Trustees 
felt it. They chose a Standing Committee of Retrenchment. 
They reduced the number of Tutors, formerly four, to one. 
With their consent, they deducted one hundred dollars each 
from the salary of the President and the general agent, and two 
hundred from that of each of the Professors. But all this was 
quite inadequate. The College still continued to flounder and 
sink deeper in the mire. The general agent at length saw that 
the only adequate remedy was to bring the expenses within the 
revenue ; and he laid before the Faculty the suggestion with an 
outline of the plan, which was adopted by them and ere long 
turned the tide in the opposite direction. 

But before this remedy was tried or, perhaps, thought of, the 
clamor had become loud and distinct among the alumni and in 
the community for changes in the Faculty and a change of ad- 
ministration. The first officer who was sacrificed was Prof. 
Fowler, a gentleman of much learning and many accomplish- 

1 Twelve thousand dollars in 1839, No one seems to have known just what it 


merts, but "unpopular" and, as the students said who certainly 
had the means of testing his capacity in this respect, unable to 
maintain order in his lectures, recitations and rhetorical exercises. 
Under the double pressure of the clamor of graduates and the 
complaints of under-graduates, he resigned his professorship to 
the Trustees at a special meeting in December, 1842. l 

But this did not appease the clamor or meet the emergency. 
A more shining mark was aimed at. A more costly sacrifice 
was demanded. And at a special meeting of the corporation in 
Worcester, in January, 1844, with the Trustees all present, under 
the pressure of the emergency, and doubtless in anticipation of 
the event, President Humphrey tendered his resignation, to take 
effect whenever his successor should be ready to enter upon the 

The magnanimity of the spirit in which Dr. Humphrey met 
this trying emergency will be seen from the letter in which he 
tendered his resignation, which was entered upon the records of 
the meeting, and which we here copy entire. 

" To the Reverend and Honorable Board of Trustees of Amherst 
College, Gentlemen : I avail myself of the opportunity which 
your special meeting affords, to resign the office of President 
which I have so long held, into your hands, the resignation to 
take effect as soon as a successor can be brought in to fill my 

" It is now almost twenty-one years since, in compliance with 
your call, I tore myself away from a beloved pastoral charge 
and assumed the labors and responsibilities of the office, which, 
though often invited to relinquish for other fields of labor, I have 
not felt at liberty to resign till now. 

" Permit me, gentlemen, in closing this brief communieation, 
to tender you my sincere thanks for the generous partiality with 
which you have looked upon my imperfect endeavors to ad- 
vance the literary and religious interests of the College, and 
for the unwavering confidence with which you have always sus- 

1 The resignation to take effect at the end of the collegiate year. The Trustees 
accepted the resignation on these terms, passed a vote of " entire confidence in his 
fidelity, assiduity and urbanity in the discharge of his duties," and voted to allow 
him the half of a year's salary in addition to the stated annual salary. 


tained me in the discharge of my duties. This confidence, let 
me assure you, has, on my part, been warmly reciprocated and 
will be gratefully remembered. 

" We have consulted, and toiled, and prayed together for its 
prosperity under the smiles of heaven, though often brought to 
a stand by its pecuniary embarrassments ; and I can not allow 
myself to doubt that, under your wise and energetic administra- 
tion, it will rise from its present depression, and, in generations 
to come, more than realize to the church, to the commonwealth, 
and to the perishing heathen, the richest benedictions so fer- 
vently supplicated by its pious founders. It was a noble enter- 
prise. It has been eminently blessed, and it will be blessed, 
provided the Divine favor is not forfeited by the unbelief and 
abandonment of its friends ; ' Unto the upright there ariseth 
light in darkness.' 

" Allow me in conclusion to assure you, gentlemen, that 
wherever my lot may be cast during the short remnant of my 
life, you will have my sympathies and best wishes in the guard- 
ianship of the beloved Institution with which I have been so 
long connected, and whose prosperity lies nearer my heart than 
I can find language to express. 

" With high considerations of esteem and affection, I am, 
gentlemen, your obedient servant, HEMAN HUMPHREY." 

The Trustees, constrained by a felt necessity and doubtless 
with sorrowing hearts, accepted the resignation, and through a 
committee consisting of Mr. Calhoun, Dr. Nelson and Dr. Alden, 
returned the following answer: 

" Resolved, as the unanimous sense of this Board that Dr. 
Humphrey retires from the Presidency of the College with our 
sincere respect and affection which have been steadily increas- 
ing from the commencement of our mutual intercourse ; that we 
express to him our gratitude for his invaluable services as the 
head of this Institution, our highest regard for his character as 
a successful teacher, a faithful pastor and a single-hearted Chris- 
tian ; that our prayers will accompany him, that his rich intel- 
lectual resources and his humble piety may still be devoted for 
years to come, as they have been for years past, to the welfare 


of his fellow-men ; and that we invoke upon him the continued 
favor and blessing of heaven. 

" Resolved, that one thousand dollars be presented to Dr. 
Humphrey on his retirement in addition to -his regular salary." 

The first gleam of sunshine from without which had rested 
upon the College for several years, dawned upon it in the dark- 
ness and sorrow of this meeting at Worcester in the donation 
of ten thousand dollars by Hon. David Sears of Boston, which 
was the beginning of his munificent " Foundation of Literature 
and Benevolence," and not only the largest donation, but the 
first donation of any considerable magnitude that had ever been 
given at once by a single individual. 

But the College was not yet lifted out of the mire. That was 
to be the result of many years- of wise and patient self-denial 
and labor. Two vacancies in the Faculty had at length been 
created. Now began the more difficult task of filling them. At 
the same meeting in Worcester at which they had accepted the 
resignation of Dr. Humphrey, the Trustees chose Prof. E. A. 
Park of Andover, President, and re-appointed Rev. J. B. Condit 
of Portland, Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory, together with 
the pastoral charge 6f the College church. But both of these 
gentlemen declined their appointments. At the next annual 
meeting in August, 1844, the Trustees chose Rev. Prof. George 
Shepard of Bangor, President, and Rev. Jonathan Leavitt of 
Providence, Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory, together with 
the pastoral charge of the College church. Prof. Shepard de- 
clined the presidency. Rev. Mr. Leavitt so far accepted the 
Professorship as to call a council to consider the question of his 
dismission ; but the council declined to dismiss him simply be- 
cause he did not press it, and it was generally understood that 
he did not press it because on visiting Amherst his heart failed 
him in view of the difficulties which beset the College. 

At this meeting, Hon. William B. Banister and Hon. Alfred 
D. Foster resigned their places as members of the Board. Henry 
Edwards, Esq., of Boston was elected in the place of Mr. Ban- 
ister. At the urgent request of the Board, Mr. Foster con- 
sented to withdraw his resignation. But a correspondence 
with Rev. Mr. Vaill about this time, and his conversations at 


a later day with Prof. Hitchcock show that he had little hope 
that the College could be maintained as anything more than an 

At a special meeting of the corporation in Amherst in No- 
vember, Rev. Aaron Warner was elected Professor of Rhetoric 
and Oratory, with a salary of one thousand dollars. 

At another special meeting at Amherst in December, the Pro- 
fessors laid before the Trustees the proposition, suggested prob- 
ably by Mr. Vaill, that they would accept the income of the Col- 
lege, be the same more or less, in place of their salaries, and pay 
out of it also all the necessary running expenses of the College, 
on condition that they be allowed to regulate these expenses and 
run the College, and with the understanding that the agency 
for the solicitation of funds should cease, and with the expecta- 
tion that Prof. Hitchcock would be appointed President.' The 
Trustees accepted the proposition of the Faculty as modified 
and set forth by themselves, and on this basis, they elected Rev. 
Edward Hitchcock, LL.D., President and Professor of Natural 
Theology and Geology. In order to provide for the partial va- 
cancy thus created in Prof. Hitchcock's department, they at the 
same time elected Prof. Charles U. Shepard of New Haven, 
Professor of Chemistry and Natural History, " to take effect 
provided Prof. Hitchcock accepts the Presidency." 

These appointments were all accepted, and on the 14th of 
April, 1845, the President elect was inducted into his office, the 
retiring President, at the request of the Trustees, performing 
the ceremony of induction and in due form handing over the 
keys to his successor, the former having previously delivered a 
farewell address, and the latter following with his inaugural. 
It would have been the personal preference of Dr. Humphrey 
to continue in office till Commencement, and thus at the close 
of the year and amid the concourse of alumni and friends usu- 
ally convened on that occasion, to take leave of his " beloved 
College" and her sons, so many of whom loved and honored 
him as a father. But it was thought by friends of the "new 
departure" that the delay might embarrass the financial ar- 
rangement, and perhaps affect unfavorably the incoming class. 
And with characteristic magnanimity and self-abnegation, he 


hastened to put off the robes of office and with his own hands 
to put them upon his successor. In his farewell address he 
says : " The period having arrived, when, by the conditions of 
my resignation, I am to retire from the responsible post which I 
have occupied for twenty-two years, it was my wish silently to 
withdraw with many thanksgivings to God for his smiles upon 
the Institution, with which I have been so long connected, and 
fervent supplications for its future prosperity. But having been 
kindly and somewhat earnestly requested by the Standing Com- 
mittee of the Board, to prepare an address for the present oc- 
casion, I have allowed myself to be overruled, I hope not for 
the first time, by a sense of public duty. It has been a maxim 
with me, for more than forty years, that every man is bound to 
avail himself of all such opportunities for doing good as Provi- 
dence may afford him, with but a subordinate regard to his own 
personal feelings or convenience." He then proceeds to narrate 
concisely the history of the College from the beginning, espe- 
cially its religious history, insisting with great earnestness and 
eloquence as he did in his inaugural, on a truly Christian edu- 
cation in truly Christian Colleges as the hope of the country, 
the church and the world, and closes with devout aspirations, 
with almost apostolic benedictions on the College and its be- 
loved church, its honored Trustees and guardians, his respected 
and beloved associates in the immediate government and in- 
struction, the beloved youth over whose morals, health and 
education it had been his endeavor to watch with paternal so- 
licitude, and the esteemed friend and brother to whom he re- 
signed the chair, and with whom he had been so long and so 
happily associated. There is an almost tragic pathos and sub- 
limity in these valedictory words and last acts in the public life 
of this great and good man. Few scenes in history, or the drama 
even, have in them more of the moral sublime. The sympa- 
thizing spectators hardly knew whether to weep over the sad 
necessities which environed the close of his administration or 
to admire and rejoice in the moral grandeur and Christian her- 
oism of the man. And the feelings of the writer in narrating 
these events have been somewhat the same as those with which 
the disciples of Socrates listened to his last conversations, as 


Plato describes them, in the Phaedon, " feelings not of pity, for 
they thought him more to be envied than pitied, nor yet of 
pleasure, such as they usually experienced when listening to his 
philosophical discourses, but a wonderful sort of emotion, a 
strange mixture of pleasure and grief, and a singular union and 
succession of smiles and tears." 



IN his farewell address which is largely taken up with the 
religious history of the College, President Humphrey says : 
" About the last of March, 1827, the chapel was opened for 
public worship which has been regularly attended in term time 
on the Sabbath ever since. The sacrament of the Lord's sup- 
per has also been steadily administered once in two months. 
Soon after we became a separate congregation the following ar- 
rangement was made for the supply of the pulpit. It was agreed 
that the pastor should preach half of the time, and that the al- 
ternate Sabbaths should be taken by the Professors, all of whom 
were then preachers, in turn. It is now eighteen years since 
this plan was adopted, and there has been no change. The 
Professors, during all this time, have, with a single exception, 
been preachers as well as scientific and literary instructors. 
They have, I am happy to say, cheerfully fallen into the ar- 
rangement, which I consider a very desirable one, both as it re- 
spects themselves and their influence upon the College. Two 
sermons on the Sabbath were all that the Trustees required ; 
but as the Faculty Avere soon convinced that the religious inter- 
ests of the College demanded something more, they established 
a weekly lecture, which has been about as regularly kept up on 
Thursday evening as the public exercises on the Sabbath. For 
several years I preached every alternate Thursday evening. But 
as this, added to my other labors, was too much for my health, 
my brethren of the Faculty very kindly came in and relieved me 
by taking their turns in regular rotation. The Faculty them- 
selves have always felt it to be no less their duty than their 
privilege to attend the stated evening lecture, and after its close 


have made it their practice to retire immediately to one of their 
rooms and spend an hour together in prayer and consultation 
upon the religious state and interests of the College. The classes 
have also been assigned by agreement to different members of 
the Faculty who have been charged with the duty of exercising 
^a sort of pastoral care over their respective divisions. The 
monthly concert of prayer for the conversion of the world is 
regularly attended, and professors of religion are often called 
together for exhortation and prayer." 

In answer to the question, what has been the success of these 
endeavors ? the President says : " The whole number of gradu- 
ates is seven hundred and sixty-five, a much larger number 
than the triennial catalogue of any other New England College 
shows within the first quarter of a century. The whole num- 
ber of beneficiaries who have been aided from the Charity 
Fund up to this time including those who from sickness and 
other causes, have not graduated, is five hundred and one. The 
amount of interest paid into the College treasury by the com- 
missioner of this fund is thirty-nine thousand eight hundred and 
ninety-six dollars and sixty-one cents. 

" Amherst College has been blessed with seven special reviv- 
als of religion. The first of these times of refreshing from the 
presence of the Lord, began in February, 1823, and continued 
nearly up to the time of Dr. Moore's death. The second re- 
vival took place in the spring of 1827. the third about the mid- 
dle of spring term in 1828, the fourth in the spring of 1831, the 
fifth in the months of March and April, 1835, the sixth in the 
spring term of 1839, the seventh and last in the summer of 
1842. By comparing these dates it will be seen that no class 
has ever yet graduated without passing through at least one 
season of spiritual refreshing. All these revivals might be called 
general, as they changed the whole face of things throughout 
the College, though some were more powerful than others- 
Never can any of these be forgotten by those who witnessed 
them. Many devoted servants of Christ who are now preach- 
ing the gospel, scattered over this broad land and upon foreign 
shores will, I doubt not, look back from a happy eternity to this 
Institution as their spiritual birthplace." 


In the spring of 1837-8, one of those revivals in the church 
occurred which have been even more frequent than what Dr. 
Humphrey calls " general revivals," and which have sometimes 
been quite as efficacious in renewing the joy and the strength of 
Christians, and increasing their subsequent usefulness. Of this 
season, one who was then a member of the Senior class l writes : 
" I remember it well, and must say that rarely have I known a 
time when I felt as if heaven came so near to my soul. God be 
praised for that season ! I have not the statistics, but I carry 
the impressions, and hope never to lose them until they give 
place to the raptures of a brighter day." The following account 
of the revival in 1839 is condensed from a narrative communi- 
cated by Dr. Humphrey to the Boston Recorder : 

" At the opening of the collegiate year, one hundred and 
eleven of the one hundred and eighty students on the cata- 
logue were professors of religion. The concert of prayer on 
the last Thursday of February was a solemn day, especially 
in the church. We met and spent an hour and a half in 
prayer and exhortation in the forenoon, and in the afternoon 
had a very impressive sermon upon the worth of the soul, 
from the Rev. J. Mitchell of Northampton. After that the 
interest seemed rather to decline than increase for two or 
three weeks. At length two individuals very unexpectedly 
came out on the same day and expressed their solemn deter- 
mination as well to their careless companions as to their Chris- 
tian classmates not to neglect their souls any longer. This pro- 
duced a general and powerful sensation throughout College. 
Our meetings began to be crowded, and within one week eleven 
or twelve were found to be indulging some hope that they had 
' passed from death unto life.' This was the first week in April, 
after which the work advanced, though not so rapidly, till the 
end of the term. The whole number of hopeful conversions is 
twenty, or, perhaps, a little over just about one-fourth part of 
all who were living ' without hope and without God ' when the 
revival began. 

" This is the fifth revival which has been enjoyed here since 
the winter of 1829. Its blessings to the hundred young men 

1 Rev. J. A. McKinstry, Class of '38. 

REVIVAL OF 1839. 275 

who are looking forward to the ministry are incalculable. Dur- 
ing the progress of the work, the pious students have devoted 
as much of several days as their studies would permit to private 
fasting and prayer. Not a single recitation has been omitted. 
Besides the regular ministrations of the Sabbath, we have had 
'preaching three evenings in a week." 

The following entry appears in the church records for August 
25, 1839: " Received J. H. Bancroft, Joseph A. Rosseel, James 
D. Trask, David R. Arnell, Daniel T. Fiske and Francis J. 
Morse by profession. These were part of the fruits of an inter- 
esting although not very general revival in College at the close 
of the last spring term." The first name in this list is that of 
a young man whose superior talents and scholarship united with 
rare personal and social qualities and remarkable refinement, 
made him a great favorite in the class (1839) and the College. 
The writer will never forget the thrill with which he heard one 
evening that this young man and another member of the Senior 
class were " sitting at the feet of Jesus." This was the begin- 
ning of the revival, and the antecedent if not the instrumental 
cause of a score of other conversions. And when he was cut 
off by an early death just as he was beginning to preach the 
gospel with rare promise of great usefulness, his friends could 
not but rejoice the more heartily that his example in College 
had won so many to Christ. A College friend l writes : "Of 
the Senior class at that time, Bancroft especially seemed to me 
to receive the kingdom of God like a little child. I shall never 
forget how he wept on the bosom of a seatmate at evening 
prayers, nor how his countenance soon brightened like sunshine 
after rain." 

This unusual religious interest was followed, as usual, by an 
increase of interest in the cause of missions, which was also 
promoted by the ordination of Mr. H. J. Van Lennep of the 
Class of '37 as an evangelist and missionary at Amherst soon 
after. The council was called by the College church. The or- 
dination took place on the day before Commencement (August 
27, 1839). The sermon was delivered by Rev. Dr. Hawes of 
Hartford, and the charge by Rev. Thatcher Thayer then of 

1 Rev. C. G. Goddard, Class of '41. 


South Dennis ; and " the exercises were highly interesting to a 
large assembly." 1 

The following communication from an alumnus, 2 contains 
some facts in the history of missionary organizations in Am- 
herst College, which were new to the writer of these pages and 
may be curious and perhaps instructive to the reader. " I have 
authentic information in regard to a secret missionary society, 
organized the 14th of July, 1828, and holding its last meeting, 
without any design as to the coincidence, the 14th of July, 1841, 
just thirteen years from its organization. William Arms and 
Elias Riggs were the committee who drafted the constitution. 
Justin Perkins was the first President, and Elias Riggs the first 
Secretary. It took the name of * Friends.' Its object was to 
excite and perpetuate a missionary spirit in the hearts of its 
members and their associates, and to become acquainted with 
the wants of the world and their duty personally in reference 
to those wants. Its meetings held privately, were sometimes 
Saturday night, sometimes Sabbath morning immediately after 
prayers, and sometimes Sabbath evening one hour before prayers. 
Some correspondence was had with similar societies in other in- 
stitutions and with missionaries, in the field. A concert of prayer 
was agreed upon by its members in connection with other asso- 
ciations between the hours of nine and ten o'clock Sabbath eve- 
ning. This was in November, 1834. 

" On the roll of its members appear the names of Justin Per- 
kins, Elias Riggs, William Arms, James L Merrick, Benjamin 
Schneider, Oliver P. Powers, Henry Lyman, Benjamin W. Par- 
ker, Ebenezer Burgess, Leander Thompson, George B. Rowell, 
Henry J. Van Lennep, William Walker, Samuel A. Taylor, Ed- 
win E. Bliss, Joel S. Everett, James G. Bridgeman. All of these 
names are now familiar in the annals of missions. 

"After an existence of thirteen years the organization of 
4 Friends ' ceased to exist, because of doubts as to the propriety 
of an early decision and a pledge to be a missionary. During 
the thirteen years of its existence, the names of twenty-nine 
graduates are marked as foreign missionaries on the triennial, 

1 Church records in the handwriting of Prof. Fiske, Scribe. 

2 Rev. R. P. Wells, Class of '42. 


and but seventeen of these were members of the Society, and 
these seventeen are the only persons out of ninety members 
who carried out into action the resolution formed in the ardor 
of youth and under the impulse of zealous young associates. 
One of the pillars of the Society having thus failed, the whole 
^superstructure fell with it." 

- " The Missionary Band," so called, was organized a few years 
later, and continues to the present time. It has done good in 
the way of exciting an intelligent interest in the cause of mis- 
sions, and has doubtless been the means of making some good 
missionaries. But facts similar to' those mentioned above have 
raised in many minds the same question as to the duty and expe- 
diency of a decision in College. " There was a society in Col- 
lege," writes Rev. George Washburn of the Class of '55, "called 
the Missionary Band, I think, made up of those who had de- 
termined to go out as foreign missionaries. I was again and 
again urged to join it, but refused on the ground that the time 
had not come when I could fairly decide the question of my field 
of labor. I think there were five members of my class in this 
Missionary Band. Not one of them became a foreign mission- 
ary. I am the only representative of my class abroad. 1 So far 
the result certainly seems to prove the truth of my conclusion." 

The general revivals in Amherst College have all occurred in 
the spring term, with the single exception of that of 1842, which 
occurred in the summer term, the season of the year which, for 
obvious reasons, is the most unfavorable to religious interest in 

Under date of November 6, 1842, the church records contain 
the following entry : " The Lord's Supper celebrated. Richard 
S. S. Dickinson was received by letter ; and Lucius M. Boltwood, 
Zephaniah M. Humphrey, Thaddeus Wilson, Edward W. Osgood, 
George H. Newhall, Charles Temple, Josiah Tyler, Ann Eliza- 
beth Vaill, Mary Hitchcock, Catherine Hitchcock, Emily E. 
Fowler and Mary Humphrey, by profession : most of these be- 
ing the fruits of a deeply interesting revival with which it 
pleased God to visit the College during the last summer." 

1 Mr. Washburn went out as a missionary of the A. B. C. F. M., though he is now 
a Professor in Robert College, and in the absence of Dr. Hamlin acting President. 


The following recollections of this event will be read with in- 
terest: "It was a season of marked power in the hold it gained 
upon the whole body of students. It resulted in the apparent 
conversion of many hard subjects. But none of these endured, 
and the only fruits of the work which proved abiding, were 
among the children of pious parents." l 

" It was in the summer of '42, I think, that a great revival 
occurred in College, where many of the ' hardest cases ' were 
converted, some of them relapsing in the vacation that immedi- 
ately followed. I well recollect a hardened blasphemer so 
changed as to read the penitential Psalms with tears, confessing 
that he never before knew the joy of sorrow, of humility and 
self-denial." ' 

" The interest in religion, always lively at Amherst, culmi- 
nated every few years in a revival. We had one our Freshman 
year, the great event of that year, and of life to many. It 
brought out new powers in our preachers and in our associates. 
Newhall was the most deeply affected of any of us by this mode 
of religious fervor. It lasted through his life. He always after- 
wards talked straight at every one about his soul, and was not 
to be put off. He could not spare time to eat. He was one of 
our most elegant scholars in languages, no mathematician, a co- 
pious and graceful writer and pleader. He kept a journal and 
wrote many letters. After he graduated, he made a revival 
wherever he went, and worked himself out at last. His me- 
moirs would be an interesting religious biography." 3 

The change in some of the members of the church was scarcely 
less marked than in those who were converted. And the genu- 
ineness and thoroughness of this change have been attested in 
not a few instances by their greater Christian activity and use- 
fulness not only in College but in their subsequent lives. 

Dr. Humphrey was as usual in the liveliest sympathy with 
this revival. Indeed he seemed to have renewed his youth, as 
he saw one after another of his beloved pupils beginning a new 
spiritual life, and he labored and prayed, exhorted and preached 

1 Rev. D. H. Temple, Class of '43. 

2 Prof. H. W. Parker, Class of '43. 

8 Prof. F. A. March, Class of '45. Mr. Newhall died in 1853 at the age of 27. 

REVIVAL OF 1842. 279 

in season and out of season as if he foresaw and felt that it 
might be his last opportunity of engaging in such labors of love 
and joy in College. I shall never forget how as we drew near 
the 4th of July and feared that it might interrupt and possibly 
terminate the good work, he invited all who wanted to meet 
him in the " Rhetorical Room," (then our "small chapel ") for a 
,, religious" service before morning prayers, which then, at that 
season of the year, were at five o'clock, and then and there he 
preached the way of life and salvation to us, 

" as never sure to preach again, 
And as a dying man to dying men." 



HEMAN HUMPHREY was born in "West Simsbury, now Can- 
ton, Hartford County, Conn., March 26, 1779. His father was 
a farmer in humble circumstances, but a man of good sense, un- 
blemished moral character and more than ordinary taste for read- 
ing. His mother, Hannah (Brown) Humphrey, was a woman 
of uncommon mental capacity and exemplary piety, and did 
what she could for the education of her children, fourteen in 
number, in the spelling-book, the Bible and the catechism of 
other books, the worthy couple " had not half a dozen on the 
shelf." The first seminary into which Heman was introduced 
was a barn, where he had a dim recollection of acting in an in- 
fant dialogue for the entertainment of visitors. His subsequent 
school-houses were little better than a barn, and his teachers 
were as rude and imperfect as the places in which he was taught. 
Thus going to school in the winter, if perchance there was any 
school, and working on his father's farm the rest of the year, he 
" finished " his education at the age of seventeen. The best 
part of his education, however, he got for himself from a small 
parish library, many of whose volumes, chiefly histories, he read 
in the long winter evenings by the light of pine torches or of 
the kitchen fire. From his seventeenth year he " worked out " 
on the farms of wealthier neighbors every summer and taught 
school every winter till he was twenty-five. Meanwhile, how- 
ever, he was converted, and encouraged by his pastor to study 
for the ministry. Of his conversion, he says : " If I was then 
born again, I was born a Calvinist, not of flesh, nor of blood, 
nor of the will of men, but of God who hath mercy on whom 



he will have mercy. I then fully embraced the doctrines of 
the Shorter Catechism, and from this platform I have never 
swerved." After only six months of uninterrupted study, dur- 
ing which he made all his preparation in Greek and much of his 
preparation in Latin and Mathematics, he entered the Junior 
class in Yale College, where he graduated in 1805, receiving an 
oration for his appointment, and having " paid all the expenses 
of his own education except that some of his clothes were fur- 
nished by his mother." Thus was he fitted to preside over a 
College so many of whose students were to go through a simi- 
lar experience. 

Having studied divinity six months with Rev. Mr. Hooker of 
Goshen, Conn., and having been licensed in October, 1806, by 
the Litchfield North Association, after preaching three months 
as a candidate, he received a unanimous call from the church 
and society at Fairfield to become their pastor. Before accept- 
ing the call, to avoid occasions of future discord, he persuaded 
the church to adopt a fuller and more orthodox confession of 
faith, and to terminate in a satisfactory manner the half-way 
covenant system of membership. He was ordained March 16, 
1807, and his ministry in Fairfield continued about ten years. 
After two or three years of wise and faithful preparatory work, 
his labors were blessed with a revival of religion of great power, 
which " was a new thing in Fairfield and marvelous in their eyes, 
which greatly strengthened the church and changed the face of 
things in many of the leading families." Here also he took the 
lead in the temperance reformation, not only in the town but in 
the county, preaching sermons on the principle of total absti- 
nence in advance of other ministers, helping to banish the use of 
ardent spirits from meetings of the Association, and, as chairman 
of a committee, preparing an address to the churches which was 
full of the arguments and appeals that had been urged upon his 
own people from the pulpit in Fairfield. 

In September, 1817, he received a call from the Congrega- 
tional church in Pittsfield, Mass., to become their pastor ; and 
the society having concurred in the invitation and agreed " to 
grant him the sum of nine hundred dollars as his stated salary 
so long as he should continue to be their minister," he accepted 


the call and was installed in November. His first work here 
was the reuniting into one of two Congregational churches 
which had separated in a political quarrel. Under his wise and 
winning influence the reunion was entirely successful and the 
harmony complete. " Many anecdotes of his skill and prudence 
in winning the disaffected or the indifferent are still related Jjy 
his parishioners. One of those oftenest repeated is that of his 
conquering the heart of a farmer who had steadily refused to 
attend the Sabbath services, by visiting him in his harvest-field, 
and, without a word of professional exhortation, engaging him 
in conversation upon farming and then taking his ' cradle ' and 
cutting a swath of grain as if he had been used only to a farm- 
er's life all his days." l 

The most remarkable event of his. ministry in Pittsfield was 
the great revival in 1820 and 1821, rendered more remarkable 
by the fact that up to that time no general revival of religion 
had ever been known in the town. The awakening began in 
the spring of 1820, continued through the summer, and in the 
autumn about forty were gathered into the church as the spirit- 
ual harvest. In May of the following year, (1821,) Rev. Asahel 
Nettleton, the evangelist, came to visit Mr. Humphrey for the 
purpose of rest from his exhausting labors. But being persuaded 
to deliver an evening lecture, he saw such signs of encouragement 
that his rest was at an end. This was the beginning of a renewed 
awakening which continued all summer, pervaded all classes, 
extended to every part of the town, and changed the face of the 
whole community. " On the first Sabbath of November the 
harvest was gathered in, and a glorious harvest it was. Be- 
tween eighty and ninety, the rich and the poor, the high and the 
low, stood up together in the long broad aisle and before angels 
and men avouched the Lord to be their God and were received 
into the church." An attempt on the part of some young men 
to break up a religious service on the 4th of July by firing 

1 1 am indebted for this anecdote and many of the materials of this biographical 
sketch to " Memorial Sketches of Heman and Sophia Humphrey," by Rev. Drs. 
Z. M. Humphrey and Henry Neill, for the use of the family. I have also appro- 
priated freely the language of this book, especially in its citations from the letters 
and journals of Dr. Humphrey. 


crackers at the door of the church, marching with fife and drum 
under the windows, and at length a regular cannonade on the 
common, was turned with great skill by the preacher (Mr. 
Humphrey himself), to the illustration- and enforcement of the 
theme of his discourse, greatly increased the solemnity of the 
meeting and added not a little to the depth and power of the 
revival. These experiences together with the example and 
influence of Mr. Nettleton were fast preparing Mr. Humphrey 
for his work as a preacher and leader in revivals in Amherst 

Dr. Humphrey's presidency of which we have written the his- 
tory in the foregoing pages, beginning in the autumn of 1823, 
and ending in the spring of 1845, extended over almost a quar- 
ter of a century, almost one-half of the entire existence of the 
Institution. He found it the Charitable Collegiate Institution 
at Amherst ; he made it Amherst College. He found it the 
youngest and smallest of the New England Colleges ; he made 
it second only to Yale in numbers, and foremost of all in the 
work for which it was founded, that of educating young men 
to be ministers and missionaries. He lived to see four hundred 
and thirty of those who had graduated under his eye, ministers 
of the gospel, more than one hundred, pastors in Massachu- 
setts, and thirty-nine missionaries in foreign lands. It was un- 
der his presidency that the church was organized, separate wor- 
ship instituted, the chapel built, the pulpit made a power, and 
no inconsiderable power, in the work of education, temperance, 
revivals and missions established as characteristic features of 
the College ; and the religion of Christ recognized as the fun- 
damental law of its being and the supreme rule of its every- 
day life. Dr. Humphrey also left the stamp of his character 
and influence scarcely less visible, scarcely less permanent on the 
intellectual training of the College, not so much indeed in the 
curriculum and College laws, the rules of discipline and means 
of study and methods of teaching which have been greatly modi- 
fied, but in the manner of thinking and reasoning, the style of 
writing and speaking, the tone of morals and manners and if I 
may so speak the domestic, social and civil life of the Institution, 
which bear the unmistakable seal of Dr. Humphrey's healthy, 


hearty, robust, common sense and practical wisdom, united with 
high moral and Christian principle. The administration of Pres- 
ident 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 and obtained oju* 
charter and laws when precedents were established, principles 
settled, habits formed, and that character fixed, which our Col- 
lege 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 and loved, our Zion not only "length- 
ened her cords and / strengthened her stakes," but laid the foun- 
dations, to some extent the literary and still more the moral and 
religious " foundations of many generations." 

The first year after his resignation of the presidency, Dr. 
Humphrey fixed his residence with his son-in-law, Rev. Henry 
Neill at Hatfield, and occupied his time largely in revival labors 
and in the supply of vacant congregations in the neighborhood. 
But hallowed memories and beloved friends not a few of them 
his own spiritual children soon drew him to Pittsfield where 
he spent the remainder of his days, still ministering in innumer- 
able ways to the people of his former charge, still supplying 
vacant pulpits and assisting his brethren in extraordinary labors, 
still by sermons and lectures stirring up the churches to renewed 
efforts in the cause of temperance, philanthropy and Christian 
missions, still guiding by his wisdom and gracing by his presence 
the anniversaries of the great benevolent societies, still instruct- 
ing and delighting the religious public, now and then with a new 
book, but much more frequently with articles just as fresh and 
fascinating as ever in the newspapers. He never relinquished 
his regular habits, never forsook his study. There from nine 
o'clock in the morning till the bell struck for dinner he spent 
the hours in writing sometimes a chapter of a book, sometimes 
a communication from " The Old Man of the Mountains," some- 
times a letter to a friend, or a few pages of a sermon or auto- 
biographical reminiscence. He never ceased to love Amherst 
College. Again and again he was present at Commencement ; 
and the alumni will never forget the addresses, full of wise pa- 


ternal counsels as well as instructive and delightful recollections 
of College life which he gave them at their annual reunions. 
The evening of his life was as tranquil and sunny as its mid-day 
was rough and stormy. His last public effort was a sermon 
which, at the request of the clergymen of Pittsfield, he deliv- 
ered at a Union Meeting on the day of National Fasting and 
Prayer, January 4, 1861. The occasion the outbreak of the 
Southern rebellion roused him like an old war-horse who snuffs 
the battle from afar. He wrote with a force of argument, with 
a fervor of eloquence, with a religious and patriotic fire not in- 
ferior to that which great occasions called forth from him in his 
best days. He spoke in clarion notes that thrilled and astonished 
the whole assembly. The discourse was published by request 
of Gov. Briggs and other leading citizens of Pittsfield, and must 
strike every one who reads it as it did all who heard it, as a 
most " remarkable discourse to have been prepared and delivered 
by a man standing on the edge of his eighty-third year." J 

As he drew consciously near to death, he was at first, as might 
have been expected from his temperament aud his religious 
views, solemn, then peaceful, and at length joyful, at times 
even full of triumph as if he already heard the music and saw 
the glories of the upper world. He died at Pittsfield, April 3, 
1861, in the eighty-third year of his age. An immense congre- 
gation crowded the church at his funeral. Rev. Dr. Todd 
preached a highly appreciative funeral sermon. As the people, 
mourners all, passed around through the aisles to take a last 
look of their friend and father, Gov. Briggs came and stood by 
the representatives of the College, Prof. Snell and myself, and 
talked long, lovingly and reverently of "the great and good 
man," for he insisted that Dr. Humphrey was not only good 
but great, asking with an earnestness approaching to indigna- 
tion, " Who is entitled to that epithet if not a man of so much 
magnanimity, and so much wisdom." His body rests in one of 
the most beautiful spots in the Pittsfield cemetery beneath a 
broad, square and massive monument of granite, than which 
nothing more appropriate could have been selected to express 
his character. 

1 An article in The Independent as cited in " Memorial Sketches." 


Of medium height, well-developed frame and strong constitu- 
tion, with black hair, dark, mild eye and a well-balanced bilious 
temperament, he was a healthy, robust, well-proportioned man 
in body, mind and heart. There was nothing morbid about him, 
in his physical, mental or moral constitution. His strength lay 
very much in the symmetry of his character and the perfect 
balance of all his powers and faculties. This made him a man 
of practical wisdom and judgment. Dr. Todd says of him : " A 
rare thing it is to find a man who has lived more than fourscore 
years always in action who has said and done so few unwise 
things as President Humphrey. It is an original gift. Those 
who have gone to him for counsel, those who have acted with 
him on committees or in ecclesiastical councils, those who have 
wrestled with him in deep discussions in ministerial meetings, 
those who have sat under him as an instructor or pastor, have 
all, without dissent, accorded to him the appellation of ' a wise 
man.' On all moral questions his instincts were quick and 

He had a lively fancy, enjoyed a joke, indulged in genial and 
playful conversation, and a vein of humor and pleasantry often 
illumines his writings. But strong common sense and deep 
moral earnestness are his most marked and unfailing character- 
istics. His integrity and honesty in business transactions was 
proverbial. He once purchased a horse of a man who, while 
accepting the price offered, told him that the horse was worth 
ten dollars more. After trying the animal, Dr. Humphrey was 
satisfied that the dealer was right in his estimate, and returning, 
insisted upon his accepting the extra sum. Few men have lived 
so nearly up to the standard of the golden rule. His unselfish- 
ness was conspicuous in all his private and public relations. At 
the same time his humility and meekness were equaled only by 
his magnanimity. This last word has been used repeatedly of 
Dr. Humphrey. No other word expresses so fully his character. 
I have never heard the epithet applied so often or so justly to 
any other man. Always magnanimous, in his later years, es- 
pecially in his frequent visits to Amherst, he was pronounced 
by all who saw him as magnanimity impersonated. 

That Dr. Humphrey was a wise pastor and a powerful preacher, 


need not be said to any one who is acquainted either with his 
history or his writings. His ordinary sermons were plain, simple, 
direct, searching, applying the word of God, especially his law, 
directly to the hearts and consciences of his hearers. His occa- 
sional discourses rose with the occasion, often to the highest 
pitch of argumentative and impassioned eloquence. His style, 
robust, manly and bold, was chiefly marked by its fitness and 
transparent clearness. His well-chosen words and compact sen- 
tences, cut like a Damascus blade, and not unfrequently from 
hilt to point, the sword was flashing with diamonds. 

Dr. Humphrey wrote much for the press. From the time 
when he went abroad and ceased to teach the Senior class Men- 
tal and Moral Philosophy, he was in almost constant communi- 
cation with the religious newspapers, especially the New York 
Observer. He wrote also for the religious reviews and monthly 
periodicals. His earlier papers of this kind appeared in The 
Panoplist and The Christian Spectator. He gave to the public 
some twenty-five or thirty sermons and addresses on various 
special occasions, and left, besides, published works to the 
amount of eleven volumes. Among the former, the most cele- 
brated was his " Parallel Between Intemperance and the Slave 
Trade," which although leveled directly at intemperance, was a 
scarcely less formidable indictment of slavery. Of the latter, the 
" Tour in France, Great Britain and Belgium," in two volumes, 
has had the widest circulation. Dr. Humphrey's accurate ob- 
servation, practical wisdom and racy style all appear to advan- 
tage in his published travels. 

Dr. Humphrey was not an acute metaphysician nor learned 
in the History of Philosophy. Hence he was not distinguished 
as a teacher of Mental Science. But his strong common sense 
and his right moral feeling saw right through the sophistries of 
Paley's Moral Philosophy, and his classes enjoyed a rare treat in 
seeing him demolish the whole fabric and build up a better system 
on the ruins. His talks on the Catechism every Saturday were 
also interesting and instructive. Nowhere, however, did his wis- 
dom and moral greatness shine so brightly as in his counsels to 
young men ; and, with the exception perhaps of some of his ser- 
mons and addresses, his familiar conversations with the Freshmen 


at the beginning of their course and his truly parental advice to 
the Seniors just before their graduation, will linger the longest 
in the memories of his admiring and loving pupils. His warn- 
ings and admonitions to professors of religion at the opening of 
a revival, his advice to anxious inquirers, and his instruction to 
young converts were also marked by the same excellences. J 
little less distance, reserve and apparent coldness of manner, a 
little more of sympathy and personal magnetism would have 
added greatly to Dr. Humphrey's popularity and enthroned 
him in the affections of all his pupils. But his wisdom and 
weight of character greatly overbalanced all defects; and the 
earlier graduates after the first year or two of his presidency, 
and all his later pupils who knew him and saw him without 
prejudice, will never cease to venerate him as a father and a 
sage and to rank him among the wisest and best of men. 

The portrait of Dr. Humphrey which hangs in the College 
Library, was placed there by the alumni shortly after his resig- 
nation. It was voted at the annual meeting of the Society of 
Alumni, and the expense was paid by the spontaneous contri- 
butions of nearly two hundred graduates, none of whom was 
allowed to give more than one dollar. 

Numerous letters from alumni which lie before me furnish 
ample proof of what has just been said of Dr. Humphrey. 
They abound also in anecdotes illustrative of his wa}^ of dealing 
with students. I can not withhold an extract or two. 

" President Humphrey's Freshman Lectures were a great 
treat. It had been the fashion in the classes just before us l to 
abuse the Doctor. That was not our fashion. We liked him 
and admired him. He was ageing a little ; his fingers were un- 
steady in picking up the lots. But for talks like these Fresh- 
man Lectures, he must have been just perfectly ripe and mellow. 
It was delightful to hear him preach. The peculiar shrewdness 
of his remarks on character and the wisdom of his maxims of 
conduct were so set off by perfect Socratic, or Baconian, or 
Solomonian illustrations that they produced the effect of strokes 
of wit. I remember well how his reproving eye one Sabbath 
morning brought me to the consciousness that I had been 

1 The writer, Prof. F. A. March, was of the Class of '45, his last Senior class. 


smiling out in meeting. I suppose they were unch archly smiles, 
but he hit things so pat. In the Freshman Lectures, he had 
free scope for his wit and wisdom. He described and advised 
about habits of eating, drinking, sleeping, bathing, care of rooms, 
dress, hats, canes, he didn't like canes, nor wearing hats in his 
study, nor dogs, nor horses for students. He advised us about 
methods of study, and methods of meeting Sophomores and Pro- 
fessors and the like. We were called up to these lectures from 
the games of the campus, and the time was taken from our 
hours of exercise. We often left with regret our foot-ball com- 
bat with the Sophomores. But we liked the lectures and the 
Doctor notwithstanding. We had little intercourse with him 
out of the lecture-room. He was always busy, and looked on 
his visitors as I have since seen Wall street lawyers in full 
practice. His look meant business ; kindly but a little frosty. 
He grew on us, however, and his lectures afterwards on Moral 
Philosophy and the Bible completed the impression of our ear- 
lier years. We were the last class to hear his course and we 
all felt when we parted with him on his retirement, that he 
carried full sheaves with him." 

Apropos of Prof. March's remark above about canes, the fol- 
lowing story is told of the Class of '42 who carried extravagantly 
large canes and bore them to the recitation-room sometimes 
creating much disturbance by their clatter and occasional fall. 
The class finally adopted the method of stacking the canes dur- 
ing the hour in one corner of the room. It happened once that 
a single cane fell down. The President eyed it sharply for a 
time as if it were a war-club portending blood, and then and 
there deputed one of the gravest and most muscular men in the 
class to carry it and put it in position with the rest. This done, 
"there is one more," said the President, pointing to a huge poker 
well blackened by the fire, which stood near the stove, " put that 
with its fellows." When that also was done, he said, " there 
now the circle is complete," and then commenced the recitation. 
The canes never made their appearance again in the President's 
recitation-room. A truly Socratic homeliness and shrewdness 
often gave point to his reproofs. At the same time there was a 
commanding dignity and decision with which no student ever 


dared to trifle. I well remember once seeing him come suddenly 
upon a cluster of noisy and rowdy students, seizing one of the 
stoutest of them by the shoulder and shaking him thoroughly 
with the significant hint, " Here ! we must have less noise, or 
we will have fewer students." 

One day when the excitement of " the rebellion " was at its 
highest pitch, he went into a meeting of one of the classes, put 
aside the chairman, (now a distinguished judge on the bench,) 
took the chair himself, gave them some wholesome parental ad- 
vice, and then sent them to their rooms, very much as Oliver 
Cromwell dismissed his parliament. 

His wit and wisdom often took the form of apophthegms. 
More wise and pithy sayings of Dr. Humphrey are probably 
remembered by the alumni to-day than of any other man who 
has ever been President or Professor in Amherst College. 
And no wonder, for he used to read the Proverbs of Solo- 
mon every year to the students, and he advised his pupils to 
read the Sermon on the Mount every month. " It has some- 
how happened," says an alumnus, 1 " that I have had occasion 
to refer to the opinions of Dr. Humphrey in matters of Natu- 
ral Science and the sayings of Dr. Humphrey in matters of 
common sense oftener than to the instructions of all my other 

"When I recall the image of Prof. Fiske," says the same 
alumnus, " the cheerful, kindly feeling apparent in his counte- 
nance seems to be especially associated with his lips ; that of 
Prof. Hitchcock with his eyes ; but that of Dr. Humphrey, 
while it illumines the whole countenance, finds its chief expres- 
sion in that tooth which is so eager to perform its service that it 
can not stand back with the rest, but leans forward, and, when- 
ever the lips move, peeps out and delivers its message. Could 
I obtain a likeness of Dr. Humphrey which did full justice to 
that tooth, I should esteem it a treasure. . . . The general senti- 
ment in regard to him found expression in the words of Dr. 
Huntington, then a student : ' That good man whose instruc- 
tions are most highly valued by the Seniors who share them 
oftenest and are most capable of appreciating them.'" 2 

i Prof. C. C. Bayley, Class of '37. 2 Ibid. 


After somewhat copious descriptions of the Professors named 
above, some of which may perhaps find place elsewhere, the 
same alumnus proceeds to photograph some of the other Col- 
lege officers of his day, thus : " Tutor Burgess as good in intel- 
lect and heart as ungainly in appearance ; Tutor Perkins whose 
polished scholarship gave promise of what he has since become ; 
Tutor Dwight, abusing his fine mental acumen by trying to say 
things smart and witty ; Tutors Humphrey, 1 ' chips of the old 
block,' but hardly giving promise of ever equalling the block ; 
Tutor Tyler inparting such an interest to our recitations in 
mathematics that it seemed to us that he never could succeed 
in anything else ; Prof. Worcester, kind, courteous, faithful, 
Avith an inexhaustible fund of illustration and of anecdote, but 
not exactly filling a chair than which there is not another in Col- 
lege so hard to fill ; Prof. Condit, who and Prof. Worcester were 
nearly the complements of each other ; Prof. Snell, in his time 
without a rival each of these would furnish material for a 

Shall I add pen and ink sketches of President Humphrey and 
his colleagues of the Faculty, by a graduate of a class half a 
dozen years later: 2 "Of our teachers I can say, that we were 
all impressed by the stealing good sense and the courtesy of 
President Humphrey, the quiet character and exact knowledge 
of Prof. Snell, the penetrating mind of Prof. Fiske, and his 
searching sermons, at times awful in power, the great good- 
ness and simplicity, and enthusiasm of Professor, afterwards 
President Hitchcock, the (excuse me) geniality and learning of 
Prof. Tyler and his rich copiousness of discourse, the courtly 
manners and rotund utterances of Prof. Fowler, the scholar- 
ship of the Tutors, and especially the moral worth of Messrs. 
Stearns and Clinton Clark and the (then) mysterious tran- 
scendentalism as well as literary refinement of Tutor R. D. 

Prof. Fiske was a Professor under President Hitchcock, and 
continued to give instruction for a year and one term after Dr. 
Humphrey retired from the presidency. But his work was 
done under the presidency of Dr. Humphrey, and was so im- 

i Edward and John. 2 Prof. H. W. Parker, Class of '43. 


portant an element in its history that a brief sketch of his life 
must here be given. 

Nathan W. Fiske was born in Weston, Mass., April 17, 1798. 
Up to the age of nine, he showed more of mechanical taste and 
genius than fondness for books. In September, 1813, at the 
age of fifteen, he entered Dartmouth College. In a powerful 
revival in his Sophomore year, after a severe struggle which 
ended in his full submission, not only to the law and govern- 
ment of God, but also to the Orthodox faith, he began a Chris- 
tian life and at the same time entered upon a new era of dili- 
gence and success in study. In 1817, he graduated with high 
rank in the same class with President Marsh, and the mission- 
aries Goodell and Temple. In 1818 he returned to a tutorship 
in his Alma, in which he was associated with Rufus Choate. In 
1820, he entered the Theological Seminary at Andover, where 
he remained three years, and " distinguished himself by his in- 
dustry, by his success in the department of sacred exegesis, by 
his thoroughness in the study of didactic theology, and by his 
exemplary Christian deportment." 1 On the 25th of September, 
1823, Messrs. Fiske and Warner, afterwards associates in the 
Faculty of Amherst College, were ordained together as evangel- 
ists at the Tabernacle Church in Salem, and both of them labored 
for a season as home missionaries, at the South. Before leaving 
Savannah, Mr. Fiske was appointed Professor of Mathematics 
and Natural Philosophy in Middlebury. Soon after, he was in- 
vited to supply the pulpit in Concord, N. H., during the session 
of the Legislature, and about the same time asked by letter if 
he would not become a missionary of the American Board to 
China or Palestine. He declined both these calls the profes- 
sorship because he doubted the propriety of turning aside from 
the ministry, and the missionary appointment because he seemed 
to himself wholly unsuited to the work of a foreign missionary. 
In the summer of 1824, he was elected Professor of Languages 
and Rhetoric in Amherst College. After much hesitation in 
regard to his duty, he accepted the Professorship of Languages, 
declining that of Rhetoric, because, besides his " utter dislike 
of the duties of instruction in Rhetoric, it would be utterly im- 

1 Dr. Humphrey's Life and Writings of Prof. Fiske. 


possible for any man to fill both departments." From 1825 to 
1833, he was Professor of the Greek Language and Literature 
and of Belles-Lettres ; from 1833 to 1836 Professor again of 
Greek and Latin; and from 1836 to 1847 Professor of Intel- 
lectual and Moral Philosophy. He taught History also for some 
years, in connection with Belles-Lettres. His lectures on the 
battles of the American Revolution, illustrated by large and ex- 
cellent drawings on canvas, and exhibiting an accurate knowl- 
edge of their minutest details, were heard with great interest 
by the students, and repeated with moderate success as popular 
lectures in a few of the neighboring towns. 

Prof. Fiske's chief literary labor for the public was his edition 
of Eschenburg's Manual of Classical Literature. This book was 
commenced in the fall of 1834, and first published in April, 
1836, carefully revised and reprinted in a second and third 
edition, and in 1843 it was stereotyped with such revision and 
additions as to make it substantially a new book, like the golden 
branch of Aeneas, adorning the tree with treasures not its own : 

" Fronde virere nova quod non sua seminat arbor." 

Few classical text-books in this country have been so generally 
adopted as this manual, or retained their place so long in the 
College curriculum. 

Scarcely had he finished this work, when his house which had 
been early visited with repeated afflictions in the loss of young 
children, was quite darkened by the death of his beloved wife. 
Soon it was found that his own lungs were suffering from sym- 
pathy with the disease which had carried her off, and this "dis- 
ease of the lungs, greatly aggravated by the sorrow of his heart 
and the loneliness of his home, ere long necessitated the use of 
decided measures to save his life. In the midsummer of 1846, 
the physician advised a release from all College labors, and a 
voyage. Fearing the effect of his absence on the College in its 
present critical state, he felt it his duty to remain with the hope 
of being able to carry on his department, at least through the 
first term of the next year. 

" But the very first week of labor," we quote from his journal, 
" demonstrated the necessity of immediate suspension. I yes- 


terday (September 26) held my last exercise with ray class. 
I have a strong impression that it is the last exercise I shall 
ever hold in this College. Twenty-two years have elapsed 
since I entered upon the duties of Professor, twenty-two 
classes of young men have, during this time, been more or 
less under my instruction, including over seven hundred that 
have actually graduated here, besides a large number that 
were here only a part of the course. Most gracious Redeemer, 
may thy atoning blood be applied, and all my sins of omis- 
sion and commission in relatipn to these numerous pupils be 

On the 5th of November, 1846, he sailed from New York 
with Rev. Eli Smith for a companion and Beirut for his destina- 
tion. His journal and letters to his colleagues and other friends 
show that he enjoyed with the keen relish of a classical scholar 
and a cultivated taste every step of his voyage up the Mediterra- 
nean, stopping two or three days at Gibraltar, spending a week 
at Malta, rising at the earliest dawn and driving furiously to 
catch a glimpse of the ruins of Athens while the steamer lay 
three hours at the Piraeus ; touching at Rhodes, landing at 
Smyrna, coasting along the shores of Troy, seeing the sun rise 
and disclose a sight of unimagined splendor as he rounded 
Seraglio Point and entered the Golden Horn at Constanti- 
nople. On the 12th of January, 1847, he arrived at Beirut, 
where he remained about three months observing the customs 
and character of the people, collecting geological and botanical 
specimens for the College and greatly enjoying the society of 
the missionary brethren on that interesting field. The journey 
which he took with Mr. Whiting from Abeih by way of Sidon 
and Jaffa to Jerusalem, delighted Prof. Fiske beyond even his 
visits to classic scenes, and this sacred interest culminated in 
the enthusiasm with which he saw everything in and around the 
Holy City. But he was now to go up higher and behold the 
brighter glories of the New Jerusalem. His disease never re- 
laxed its hold on his vital organs. It was aggravated by an 
attack of ague and fever at Beirut, and perhaps hastened by 
over-exertion in his travels through Palestine, and his sight- 
seeing at Jerusalem. He set out at the appointed time on his 


return to Beirut, but at the end of one day's journey was 
obliged to go back to Jerusalem where, in spite of the wise and 
kind ministries of Dr. and Mrs. McGowan and other English 
missionaries, he died on Thursday, the 27th of May, 1847, just 
as the day was dawning upon the sacred city, and uttering as 
his last words, " Yes I joy in the Lord of my salvation." His 
body was laid to rest on Mount Zion beside two lamented mis~ 
sionaries and within a few yards of the sepulchre of David. A 
solitary olive tree grows within the little walled enclosure, and 
the spot is marked by a simple slab with a Latin inscription, fur- 
nished by the College, which attests the merit of him who sleeps 
beneath it and the affection of those far away who erected the 

The death of Prof. Fiske was deeply lamented by the Faculty, 
students and alumni of the College, and their sorrow at their 
own loss was enhanced by the regret in regard to him that he 
could not have lived enough longer at least to share in the pros- 
perity that was now beginning to flow into the Institution which 
he so loved and for which he had so toiled and prayed. A let- 
ter was written by one of his colleagues informing him of the 
grant by the Legislature and the large donations of Mr. Willis- 
ton the latter was just what he predicted but the intelligence 
did not reach him on earth; perhaps it was among the good 
news that greeted him on his arrival in the better land. 

A narrative of his journey up to Jerusalem and his death 
there, written by his fellow-traveler, Mr. Whiting, was read by 
Prof. Tyler in the College chapel, Commencement morning, to 
a large assembly of alumni and other friends, mourners all for 
their own loss and the loss to the College which it was little 
able to bear. The Society of Alumni, at their meeting, put on 
record a just and feeling testimony to his character, scholar- 
ship and devotion to Alma Mater in her seasons of depres- 
sion and trial, voted to procure a portrait for the College 
library, which, like President Humphrey's, was paid for chiefly 
in subscriptions not exceeding one dollar each, and expressed a 
" desire that in due time some worthy tribute to his memory 
might be given to the world with a judicious selection from 
his excellent writings." The Trustees and the Faculty united 


in requesting Dr. Humphrey to prepare and deliver an eulogy. 
It was delivered before the Faculty and the students and 
other friends in February, 1848, on the day previous to the 
College Fast. And in 1850 a volume was published by J. S. 
& C. Adams, containing a fuller memoir by Dr. Humphrey, 
thirteen selected sermons, an address at the Theological Sem- 
inary in East Windsor and a lecture on the " Unity of History 
and Providence." 

Prof. Fiske was an accurate and refined scholar, a deep thinker, 
a clear reasoner, a powerful preacher, a patient and thorough 
teacher, an acute metaphysician and a profound theologian whom 
God did and man did not make a Doctor of Divinity. He was 
not a popular preacher. But no man has ever preached to the 
understanding, the conscience or the hearts of students in Am- 
herst College with such overwhelming power as Prof. Fiske, 
especially in times of unusual seriousness and deep religious 

As a teacher, he was generally liked by the better sort of 
students and very much disliked by those who cared more 
for their ease and pleasure than they did for their lessons. 
Rogues and rowdies counted him their worst enemy. As a 
general fact, he was liked by Juniors more than by Sopho- 
mores, and by Seniors better than either ; and individual stu- 
dents, not exactly loved, perhaps, but honored and valued him 
just about in proportion to their love of learning, truth and 

The learning of Prof. Fiske was exact rather than compre- 
hensive. He was too clear, discriminating and positive in 
his opinions both in theology and philosophy, to be a uni- 
versal reader or even a patient and impartial student of either 
of these departments. But what he did know he knew thor- 
oughly what he believed he believed with all his mind and 
might what he loved he loved with all his heart, and there- 
fore could teach with rare skill and power. Faith in the 
providence of God and in the gospel of Christ was the con- 
trolling principle of his life. To please and honor God, his 
Maker, Redeemer and Sanctifier, was the chief end of every 
labor; and when the work was done, he ascribed to him all 


the wisdom of the process and all the success of the result. 
" I desire to express my gratitude to God," says this truly 
Christian scholar in his reflections on completing the final 
revision of his Manual of Classical Literature, " for his kind 
providence in preserving my life and enabling me to get this 
work into a shape more satisfactory than it before had. I 
pray him to forgive every sinful thought and feeling he has 
seen in me in connection with this work, as well as my other 
numerous offenses. I thank him for often, disposing me to 
seek his blessing during my labors upon it, and I humbly 
implore his future blessing upon it that it may be made an 
instrument and help in promoting useful knowledge, and that 
it may never in a single instance be the occasion of error or 
sin to one of my fellow-creatures." The posthumous volume, 
edited and prepared with a memoir by Dr. Humphrey, and 
entitled " The Life and Writings of Prof. Fiske," is a book of 
no ordinary worth which ought to, and in an age less prolific 
of ephemeral productions would, perpetuate not only the mem- 
ory but the influence of this truly extraordinary man. The 
memoir is appreciative, instructive, inspiring. The discourses, 
chiefly sermons, are clear, strong, analytical, logical and at the 
same time "terribly earnest" like those of President Edwards, 
flashing conviction upon the conscience like the Mosaic law, 
threatening retribution like the old prophets, radiant also with 
Christian truth and the doctrines of the gospel, but somewhat 
deficient in the mellow light of the Christian graces, faith, hope, 
love and joy. 

Reminiscences of the wit and wisdom of Prof. Fiske and of his 
adventures with mischievous students abound in the memory of 
his colleagues and in the letters of alumni which lie before me. 

With all his affection and reverence for his colleague, Prof. 
Hitchcock, he often indulged in pleasantries at the expense of 
his dietetic notions and his geological theories. Some patches 

O O 

of plaster, put upon the walls of his recitation room, having 
frozen one night, exhibited in the morning a kind of frost-work 
forms and figures which bore a striking resemblance to the foot- 
marks recently placed in the geological cabinet. " Behold," said 
Prof. Fiske to his class, " Prof. Hitchcock's bird-tracks." 


" Prof. Fiske once asked me," writes an alumnus of the class 
of '37, 1 " what sent me from the shadow of his Alma Mater in 
New Hampshire down to Amherst. I told him that as potent 
an influence as any was Prof. Hitchcock's ' Dyspepsy Fore- 
stalled and Resisted.' He laughed and said, ' I will tell Prof. 
Hitchcock, for it is the only good I have ever known result from 
that production.' 

" Prof. Fiske heard our class in Greek during the first part of 
Freshman year. At one of our first recitations to him, a class- 
mate had translated a passage as I thought very creditably. 
Prof. Fiske asked him, ' How did you translate &/?' He replied 
promptly, ' That can not be translated.' ' Ah ! well, how did 
you translate ys r ? ' ' The same is true of that,' and so on, with, I 
think, five particles in the same sentence, which the student at 
length justified himself in not translating by referring to the 
authority of his teacher in the Academy. ' So then,' said the 
Professor, ' you find the Greek language lumbered down with a 
large amount of useless matter, do you ? ' Prof. Fiske then re- 
ferred to a sentence in a past lesson in which the same particle 
occurred, and then another ; and so on until we were all made 
to feel the force of the particle if it was not to be translated. 
He was, I think, the best teacher of Languages, without excep- 
tion, from whom I ever received instruction." 

It was this nice analysis and discrimination of the Greek par- 
ticles that gave Prof. Fiske the sobriquet of Kai-yaQ by which he 
was familiarly known among the students. He was also not 
unfrequently called by the name by which Aristotle was known 
in the school of Plato, viz., Intellect or Nov$, and for the same 
double reason, viz., the smallness of his bodily frame and the 
acuteness and vigor of his mind. 

" I shall never forget his preaching," continues Prof. Bayley, 
"nor the distinctness with which that feeble voice, but just 
above a whisper, was heard in the remotest corner of the chapel, 
while the most verdant Freshman would almost suppress his 
breath lest his breathing should become audible in the general 
stillness ; and I remember how the clock, which ordinarily kept 
quiet, occasioning no disturbance, would take advantage of 

i Prof. C. C. Bayley. 


such times and repeat its ' Forever, never, never, forever ' with 
an energy which seemed to indicate that it never expected 
another so favorable an opportunity." 

His kindness, as well as faithfulness, in administering reproof 
to individual students is illustrated by the following instance : 
" I had been seen looking on when a student who had been sus- 
pended for a season, was cheered as the stage drove off with 
him. Prof. Fiske was appointed to ask me if I cheered with 
the rest. I said I had not, and he at once replied that as a Col- 
lege officer he was satisfied. ' But,' said he, ' I was your father's 
friend, and I think I am your friend. I owe your father a debt 
of gratitude I can never repay, for to his kind and faithful 
words while I was in College, I owe under God my having been 
brought to Christ. And now let me, as your friend and your 
father's friend ask, would it not have been better if you had not 
been seen even as a looker-on ? Did not your presence give 
countenance to the unlawful proceedings ? ' I was won by his 
frank kindness, and acknowledged that it would have been bet- 
ter had I kept entirely away from the scene. With deep grati- 
tude do I recall the incident and thank God for the lesson then 
impressed on me to avoid the very appearance of evil." 1 

The History of Amherst College can not be truly and faith- 
fully written without some mention of Mrs. Humphrey, Mrs. 
Hitchcock, Mrs. Fiske, and other noble women who were not 
only helpmeets of the officers, but mothers to the students, 
especially students in indigent circumstances, and foster-mothers 
of the Institution. Nor ought we to pass over in silence Mrs. 
Dickinson, Mrs. Montague, Mrs. Merrill, Mrs. Strong, and 
others in the very beginning of our history who ministered to 
the men that laid the foundations and erected the first building, 
and then joined with the forementioned ladies in ministering to 
the necessities of the poor young men who were preparing to 
preach the gospel. These, and other ladies of Amherst, early 
organized a Sewing Society for the express purpose of sewing, 
knitting and mending for this class of students. In an age 

1 Kev. Daniel H. Temple, Class of '43. There is a biography of Prof. Fiske in 
Sprague's Annals of the American Pulpit, to which President Hitchcock and Rev. 
A. A. Wood of the Class of '31 have contributed their recollections. 


when students were not too proud to wear mended and home- 
made garments, they made not a few articles of wearing ap- 
parel, and very often mended garments when it would have 
been easier to make new ones. An Amherst lady now living 
remembers hearing Mrs. Humphrey say of a coat which she had 
in hand for repairs : "I have already given this coat new lining, 
new facing and new sleeves', and now it has come back again to 
have all the rest of it made new." Whether the ladies discussed 
the question of identity over this old coat, as the Athenians did 
over the sacred ship which for so many ages went to Delos, we 
have not learned. Not unfrequently in such cases the more 
practical question, " What is to be done with the old coat," was 
solved by giving the poor student a coat that had been some- 
what worn by the President or one of the Professors. 

Mrs. Fiske was for several years the ruling spirit of these cir- 
cles. With all her delicacy of health and refinement of taste, 
there was no garment so poor or so filthy, that she would not 
put it through. Or if perchance the clothes that came in, were 
past mending or cleansing, she knew how to give the students 
the hint without giving offense. When other ladies were per- 
plexed with such cases and perchance quite reduced to despair, 
Mrs. Humphrey would say, "Mrs. Fiske can manage it." The 
latter had made herself so much the mistress of all the mys- 
teries of mending and making, that she was once asked if 
she had not learned the tailor's trade in her youth. In tell- 
ing this story to one of the ladies of the present Faculty 
long after, Mrs. Fiske said, " she was never so proud in her 
life." Yet she had been brought up in luxury and refine- 
ment, was accustomed to the best society in Boston, could 
tell a story as well as Miss Edgeworth or Mrs. Hannah More, 
and left behind her volumes of notes and letters to her 
friends that would hnve done honor to the pen of Lady Mary 
Wortley Montague. Mrs. Humphrey was a model housekeeper 
and, with a large family to be supported on a small salary, must 
have been often severely tasked to make both ends meet. But 
her ministries to the poor and the sick, the dying and the dead, 
were unceasing. At the same time, she was every inch a queen 
in every sphere, domestic, social, secular or religious, in which 


she mcrved. The Martha and Mary of the Gospels were harmo- 
niously united in her. Mrs. Humphrey survived her husband 
several years, and died at Pittsfield, December 13, 1868, in her 
eighty-fourth year. Mrs. Fiske died in middle age, February 
21, 1844, passing over the river by so quick and easy a step, and 
preceding him by so brief an interval, that she seemed to be all 
the while standing on the other bank, waiting to welcome him 
to their heavenly home. Scarcely had she left us for the better 
land, when she was followed by another lady of similar accom- 
plishments, Mrs. Fowler, the daughter of Noah Webster, who 
in her youth had adorned the society of Amherst and who, 
returning in middle life and with delicate health, remained with 
us only long enough to win the admiration and love of all 
by her rare virtues and graces. 

" Amherst was fortunate," writes an alumnus from whom we 
have already quoted, "in its instructors and not less in the five 
Faculty matrons whose intelligence, sweet dignity and even 
motherly influence were felt by all who were in College long 
enough to come under that influence. My personal relations 
brought me more into the society of that rare and saintly 
woman, Mrs. Fowler. The occasional tea-drinkings at the Pro- 
fessors' houses were always pleasant, free, improving to us and 
evinced, as I now understand, a painstaking interest in the stu- 
dents even to the degree of much self-denial." 

There is still another class of women who are cherished 
in affectionate remembrance by the alumni and who ought not 
to be overlooked in this History. Lest there should not be a 
more convenient opportunity I advert to them here. I refer to 
those whose occupation and whose delight also it has been to 
make a home for successive generations of students. There are 
those who have taken boarders only as a means of making-money 
or gaining a subsistence. But there have always been others, 
most of them widows, many of them " widows indeed," who have 
cared for their boarders as if they were their own sons, and 
whom their boarders, in turn, will always remember with not a 
little of the honor, affection and esteem which they bear to their 
own mothers. Some of these, like Mrs. Montague and Mrs. 

1 Prof. H. W. Parker. 


Merrill, whom we have already mentioned, were here when the 
College was founded, and having boarded successive classes of 
the earlier students in whose persons they ever after felt that 
they had " entertained angels unawares," have long since de- 
parted to their reward. Others, like Mrs. Ferry l and Mrs. Lin- 
nell not to name any who are still engaged in this good work 
have continued almost to the present day, and the Christian 
homes which they have furnished to scores and hundreds of 
students are still remembered, by them at least, among the 
institutions of Amherst. 

'Owing to the peculiar difficulty of the place or to the pecu- 
liar mobility and sensitiveness of the incumbents (for Professors 
of Rhetoric and Oratory, like poets and musicians, have gener- 
ally been an irritabile genus^), the tenure of office has upon an 
average been shorter in this department than in any other. It 
had four incumbents during the administration of President 
Humphrey. Prof. Worcester held it nine years ; Prof. Condit, 
three ; Prof. Fowler five ; and Prof. Warner, nine. The last 
entered upon the office only a short time before Dr. Humphrey 
left the presidency, and his term of office falls for the most 
part under the administration of President Hitchcock. Of the 
first, we have given a biographical sketch in a former chapter. 
The other two still live to fill and adorn other stations, and 
their biography must be written by those who come after us. 
A few words only can here be said of them in their connection 
with Amherst College. 

Rev. Jonathan B. Coudit was chosen Professor of Rhetoric 
and Oratory at the annual meeting of the corporation in August, 
1835, and entered upon the duties of the office at the beginning 
of the next collegiate year while Dr. Humphrey was traveling in 
Europe. He brought with him a high reputation for scholarship 
in the College of New Jersey at Princeton, and for pulpit elo- 
quence from his pastorate at Longmeadow, Mass. Perhaps the 
remembrance of his preaching is more vivid than that of his 
teaching, in the minds of those whom he taught in College. 
Perhaps he was made for a pastor or a professor in a Theologi- 

1 Mrs. Ferry kept College boarders thirty-six years and boarded nearly two hun- 
dred of our graduates. 


cal Seminary rather than a Professor in College. And it was, 
in part at least, his preference of another sphere of labor, that 
brought his connection with the College to so early a termina- 
tion. Still he was highly esteemed by the students as a gentle- 
man of cultivated manners and refined taste. He left his im- 
press pretty distinctly on the elocution of the classes that came 
under his training. He was himself a good model in public speak- 
ing, and as such was always heard with interest in the pulpit, 
and on special occasions. With better health and more physical 
courage to encounter difficulties, he might perhaps have remained 
many years and rendered lasting service in one of its most im- 
portant departments. But the growing pecuniary embarrass- 
ments and disciplinary troubles of the College, conspiring with 
the preference of a first love for the pulpit, inclined him to listen 
to an invitation from one of the churches in Portland, Me., to 
become its pastor. His labors in College ceased with the winter 
term of 1837-8, and that accomplished gentleman, writer and 
speaker, afterwards one of the brightest ornaments of the bar and 
of Congress, James Humphrey, son of the President, supplied 
the vacancy temporarily till the appointment of Prof. Fowler. 

Rev. William C. Fowler was the head of this department 
from 1838 till 1843. He was appointed Professor of Rhetoric 
and Oratory, like his predecessor. But in the annual catalogue 
for 1839-40, his name appears, (without any corresponding 
vote to authorize it on the records of the corporation) as Pro- 
fessor of Rhetoric and Oratory and English Literature. At 
Middlebury College, from which he came to Amherst, he was 
Professor of Chemistry and Natural History. A graduate of 
Yale, where he was Tutor for four years, and a man of wide 
and varied learning, he was perhaps almost equally fitted for 
any of the departments of College instruction. It was easy and 
natural for him to superadd English Literature to Rhetoric and 
Oratory ; and in fact he magnified this new sphere of labor in 
which he has since won reputation as an author. At the same 
time, he gave more thorough and analytic instruction than had 
been previously given in the elements of Vocal Utterance, Or- 
thoepy and Elocution. Indeed he carried his drill in the ex- 
plosive system so far that it came near exploding the College 


and the Professor himself. Some of the classes were particularly 
fond of applauding his own rehearsals, and more than one grad- 
uate has recorded his recollections of one occasion when finding 
it difficult to repress this vociferous applause, he told them they 
might applaud once more to their heart's content, and then it 
must cease forever. The students improved their last opportu- 
nity till it seemed as if they would raise the roof with their 
cheers, and stamp out the floor beneath their heels. President 
Humphrey, who was hearing a recitation in the next room, en- 
dured this as long as he could, and then set out to stop it, 
taking it for granted that the students were having a good time 
in one of their own class-meetings. On opening the door, what 
was his surprise to find the Professor in his chair, calm and 
smiling amid the commotion, like Neptune amid the war and 
uproar of the elements, though not equally potent to allay the 
storm. Fortunately the appearance of the President was enough 
to arrest the proceeding, and he retired without saying a word. 
It was not long after this that a note was sent in to the President 
at a Faculty meeting announcing that the students were circu- 
lating and signing a petition for the removal of Prof. Fowler. 
The business before the Faculty was perplexing and troublesome 
enough, and they were quite astounded as well as surprised 
when the President read the note aloud, remarking that the ele- 
ments were all in commotion within the College, as well as 
round about it. Prof. Fowler fell on evil times, and it certainly 
was not all his fault that he was not equal to the emergency. 
In many things he rendered valuable service to the College. He 
superintended some of the most important improvements on the 
College grounds. He wrote the circular letter to parents which 
was sent to them for so many years with good results, and intro- 
duced some of the best features of a new merit roll and system 
of discipline. He inaugurated a more systematic study of Eng- 
lish Literature and encouraged general reading, particularly the 
reading of history. But he had too exalted notions of the dignity 
and authority of a College officer. And he was never quite in 
sympathy with the rest of the Faculty in regard to temperance, 
never quite up to their standard in some other things that were 
deemed characteristic of the Institution. Perhaps, like the phi- 


losophers of Athens, he leaned generally to the opposition. While 
he was in Amherst he was known as a "Whig in politics, and as 
such was sent as a Representative to the General Court. Proba- 
bly he would say he has remained a Whig, an old Whig, ever 
since. But the Democratic party chose him a member of the 
Senate in Connecticut, and during and since the war both his 
votes and his writings have shown decided Southern proclivities, 
and an ultra-conservative steadfastness in maintaining " the con- 
stitution as it is." 

Prof. Fowler's book entitled " The English language in its 
Elements and Forms," written in Amherst, although chiefly af- 
ter his resignation, and published by Harper & Brothers, is a 
work of much research which is well adapted for a text-book, 
has been widely used in Colleges and schools, and has contrib- 
uted much to the study of the mother tongue in our country. 
Common fame ascribes to him also the authorship of a pamphlet 
entitled "Causes of the Growth and Decline of Amherst Col- 
lege," which like Gibbon's famous chapter on the growth of 
Christianity, while it assigns true causes so far as they go, yet 
so exaggerates those which he assigns, and suppresses others 
that it leaves the impression of falsehood. 

The Tutors of this period, as we have said in a previous chap- 
ter, were some of the ablest men and best scholars that have 
ever sustained this relation to Amherst College. The entire 
list as it appears on the last triennial, is as follows : Rev. Thomas 
Power Field, D. D., Professor Rhetoric, Oratory and English 
Literature ; Rev. Clinton Clark ; Rev. John Humphrey, Pro- 
fessor Moral Philosophy arid Theology, Hamilton College ; Rev. 
William Augustus Peabody, Professor Latin and Modern Lan- 
guages and Literature ; Rev. Jesse George Davis Stearns ; Rev. 
Roswell Dwight Hitchcock, D. D., Professor Natural and Re- 
vealed Religion, Bowdoin College, and Professor of Ecclesiastical 
History, Union Theological Seminary ; Charles Ellery Wash- 
burn, M. D. ; Thomas Spencer Miller ; Rev. George Baker Jew- 
ett, D. D., Professor Latin and Modern Languages and Litera- 
ture ; Hon. Henry Martyn Spofford, Judge Supreme Court, 
Louisiana ; Rev. Rowland Ayres, Overseer of Charity Fund. 

One characteristic feature of this list will strike every reader : 


they are all ministers but three, the great majority of our Tu- 
tors have become ministers, and of those three, one would have 
been a minister had he lived to accomplish his purpose. Of the 
remaining two, one became a lawyer and the other a physician. 

Five of the eleven have deceased. Clinton Clark, Tutor 
from 1837 to 1844 the longest tutorship in the history of the 
College was the valedictorian of his class, and began his 
Christian life the same year in which he closed his College 
course, in the revival of 1835. Without any of those qualities 
which dazzle the public eye, he had those substantial excel- 
lences of mind and heart, together with the accurate scholar- 
ship and indefatigable industry, which made him a highly re- 
spected and useful teacher of four successive classes. The re- 
mainder of his life -he spent in preaching the gospel. He died 
suddenly of heart disease, at Middlebury, Conn., September 23, 
1871, aged fifty-nine. 

His classmate and fellow-tutor for two years, John Humphrey, 
was well fitted to be associated with him, for he had the com- 
pensating qualities in which Clark did not excel. He indulged 
in reverie, and saw by intuition rather than mastered by toil 
and study, and shone in the tutorship with the same graces of 
taste and imagination fascinated students with the same per- 
sonal attractions and the same magnetic influence by which he 
afterwards won the heart of every man, woman and child in his 
large parishes in Charlestown and Binghamton. He died in 
1854, in his thirty-eighth year, in the very prime of his life and 
usefulness, just as he was about to enter upon a professorship 
which he was peculiarly fitted to adorn in Hamilton College; 
and the' volume of his " Sermons with a Memoir," edited and 
published by his Brother, Hon. James Humphrey, of Brook- 
lyn, N. Y., is a beautiful memorial of those two noble sons 
both, alas ! too short-lived of an illustrious father. 

William A. Peabody died in 1850 a Professor in Amherst 
College, and a biographical sketch of him will be given in 
the history of that period. He was Tutor from 1838 to 1840, 
and brought to the tutorship more enthusiasm for classical 
studies and more of that analytic method of studying and teach- 
ing the languages which distinguishes modern philology, than 


perhaps any Tutor that had gone before him, wherein, how- 
ever, he was well followed and sustained by those who came 
after him. 

The three Tutors to whom we have alluded were all from 
one class the Class of '35; In Charles E. Washburn, the Class 
of '37 gave to the College a Tutor as genial and popular as he 
was scholarly and faithful, to the medical and surgical pro- 
fession a distinguished ornament, and to the country a loyal and 
patriotic defender who sacrificed his life in her service. 

Thomas Spencer Miller, his colleague in the tutorship, was 
born a mathematician as Washburn was born a linguist; and 
like his younger brother, the late lamented Prof. Miller of 
the Massachusetts Agricultural College, he inspired his pu- 
pils with his own earnestness alike, whether he taught them 
on the blackboard, surveyed the fields and roads with them, 
or pointed them to the Lamb of God that taketh away the 
sins of the world. But like that young Liverpool preacher 
whose name would almost seem to have been given him in 
some mysterious anticipation of his brief career, and whose 
footsteps he would fain have followed in the ministry, he 
was suddenly removed in the morning of life, when he had 
scarcely yet begun his life-work. 

Three or four Trustees whose connection with the College 
terminated in the latter part of Dr. Humphrey's presidency, 
must here receive some notice. 

One of these, Mr. Wilder, was a remarkable man in his day, 
and lived quite an eventful life. Born in Lancaster, Mass., May 
20, 1780, and passing his boyhood and early youth as a clerk in 
a store first in his native town, then in Gardner, and finally in 
Charlestown, and at length going into mercantile business for 
himself in Boston, he gained such a reputation for integrity, 
capacity and manly independence that William Gray, the mer- 
chant prince of Salem, afterwards Lieutenant-Governor of Mas- 
sachusetts, made him the principal agent for the transaction of 
his business in Europe. The story of his introduction to Mr. 
Gray and the brilliant operation by which he carried him cap- 
tive, is nearly as romantic and imposing as that which we have 
narrated in a former chapter of his triumph over the Legislative 


Committee at Amherst. The story which Mr. Sidney E. Morse 
of the New York Observer gave to the public a few years since 
of Mr. Wilder's being " the first healthy patient " who ever re- 
ceived vaccination for the small-pox in this country, is also 
equally characteristic. When the operation was generally re- 
garded as so doubtful and dangerous to health and life that no 
patients were found willing to submit to it, Mr. Wilder, then 
a clerk at Charlestown, about twenty years old, relying on the 
evidence received from Europe, promptly stripped up his sleeve 
and received vaccination. In the twenty years which intervened 
between 1803 and 1823, Mr. Wilder crossed the ocean sixteen 
times, residing most of the time in Paris, making immense pur- 
chases of silks and other French goods on most advantageous 
terms for different American and English houses, and finally 
carrying on a successful business for a firm in which he was 
himself a partner. During this time he was eye-witness to many 
stirring and strange scenes in Paris, in some of which he bore 
a conspicuous part. He represented the United States at the 
marriage of the Emperor Napoleon, the Embassador being sick 
and unable to be present. He has given a graphic sketch of 
what he saw when the Allies entered Paris with their victori- 
ous armies. He even formed a plan for the escape of the Em- 
peror on one of his (Mr. W's) vessels to America, offering him 
a shelter at his own residence in Bolton. But Mr. Wilder was 
more deeply interested in other transactions which attracted 
comparatively little public attention. His apartments in the 
Rue de Petit Carreau were the birthplace of the Paris Bible, 
Tract and Missionary Societies. " There young Prof. Jonas King 
often came while pursuing the study of Arabic with the Baron 
de Sacy, the celebrated linguist. . . . There was often heard the 
voice of prayer and praise accompanying this blessed gospel 
by many a faithful servant of Christ from America, England, 
Switzerland or France itself." 1 

Returning to his native land in 1823, he became the first Presi- 
dent of the American Tract Society at its organization in 1825. 
He sustained also the most intimate and responsible relations to 
the American Bible Society, the American Board of Foreign 

1 Memoir of S. V. S. Wilder, published by the American Tract Society. 

S. V. S. WILDER, ESQ. 309 

Missions, the American Home Missionary Society, the American 
Education Society and the American and Foreign Christian 
Union, to all of whose funds he was a liberal contributor and 
sometimes a speaker at their anniversaries. 

Elected a Trustee of Amherst College in 1823, Mr. Wilder 
rendered most effective service by his personal influence and 
indirectly by his purse in obtaining the charter. A constant at- 
tendant of the meetings of the Board for almost twenty years, 
he spared neither time nor money in serving the College. In 
many instances when the Institution was embarrassed for want 
of funds, he became personally responsible for large sums for 
its relief. Meeting at length with reverses in business which 
stripped him of the larger part of his property, he resigned his 
place as a member of the corporation, saying that he could not 
continue to hold the position when he was no longer able to 
contribute as he had been wont to the pecuniary necessities of 
the Institution. 1 For the same reason he resigned about the 
same time the presidency of the Tract Society, and more than 
twenty other offices in various kindred institutions. 

He died at Elizabeth, N. J., March 3, 1865, at the age of 
nearly eighty-five. Mr. Wilder was imposing in person and 
manners. He knew how to do acts of almost royal munificence 
in a royal way. Perhaps he sometimes overacted so as to border 
on theatrical display. But few men have made their influence 
felt so powerfully in promoting temperance, truth and evangeli- 
cal religion as Mr. Wilder did in private, not less than public 
life, at home as well as abroad, at Ware, at Bolton, in New 
York and in Elizabeth, and wherever his lot was cast. Several 
tracts and books perpetuate the history of his successful and 
almost romantic labors of love in various spheres of action. 

Hon. Samuel C. Allen was elected a member of the Corpora- 
tion by the Legislature, February 21, 1826, and continued to 
hold the office till his death in 1842. He was born in Bernards- 
ton, January 5, 1772, graduated at Dartmouth in 1794, and 

1 Dr. Humphrey's letter in response to Mr. Wilder's letter of resignation is a 
touching expression of the extreme regret of the Trustees to part with one who 
had been with them " in six troubles, yea in seven," and grateful " acknowledgments 
for all he had done to build up and sustain this struggling Institution." See 
Memoir of Mr. Wilder, p. 286. 


was s'ettled as the third pastor of the First Congregational 
Church in Northfield, November 25, 1795. After a ministry of 
about two years, he was dismissed January 30, 1798, relinquished 
the ministry and practiced law in Greenfield and Northfield. 
He was a representative in Congress twelve years, and held va- 
rious other civil offices. In 1832-3, he volunteered to give a 
short course of lectures on Political Economy to the Senior 
class, for which he received the thanks of the Trustees, and 
which were heard with interest by some of the Faculty as well 
as by the students. He was a warm advocate of Free Trade, 
which was the doctrine of the text-book then used in College, 
as well as of the Democratic party to which Mr. Allen belonged. 

" At the time of Mr. Allen's ministry in Northfield, the Con- 
gregational denomination had not been divided into Orthodox 
and Unitarians, and he was then considered Orthodox, though 
he afterwards became a Unitarian." 1 He died in Northfield, 
February 8, 1842, aged seventyr The American Almanac for 
1843, says of him : " Mr. Allen was a man of active habits and 
vigorous intellect, and his opinions had great weight in the part 
of the country to which he belonged." 

Hon. William B. Banister was elected a member of the Corpo- 
ration, at the annual meeting of the Board in 1830, in place of 
Hon. Eliphalet Williams, who declined the appointment. He 
was born at Brookfield, November 8, 1773, fitted for College at 
Westfield Academy, was one term a member of Harvard Col- 
lege, but then transferred his relation to Dartmouth, where he 
graduated in 1797. He began the practice of law in Newbury, 
Vt., in 1800, removed to Newburyport, Mass., in 1807, and 
shortly after relinquished his profession and went into mercan- 
tile business. In 1810, he was elected a member of the Massa- 
chusetts Legislature, and from 1810 to 1819 was several times a 
member of the House, and several times a member of the Sen- 
ate. He was for thirty-three years a member, and for twenty 
years a deacon of the church in Newburyport, of which Dr. 
Spring was formerly pastor; and during most of these years 
either a teacher or superintendent of the Sabbath School. 

1 History of Churches and Ministers in Franklin County, by Rev. Theophilus 


A warm friend of Christian education, Mr. Banister was for 
many years a member of the School Committee and a Trustee 
of the Putnam Free School in Newburyport, a member of the 
Board of Trustees and of the Board of Visitors of the Theo- 
logical Seminary at Andover from 1827 till 1843, when he went 
out of office by age, and a Trustee of Amherst College from 
1830 to 1844. He was a wise counselor and efficient helper of 
the College in the period of its greatest pecuniary embarrass- 
ment. In 1839, he was a member of the Committee in whose 
name the circular was sent out which proved so effective, in con- 
nection with other agencies, in obtaining funds from the public 
when repeated applications to the Legislature had proved ut- 
terly unavailing. 

Like Mr. Wilder, Mr. Banister was a warm friend and patron 
of all the leading benevolent societies, and in his will made 
large bequests to such institutions. He died at Newburyport, 
July 1, 1853, aged seventy-nine. He married for his second 
wife a daughter of Moses Brown, one of the principal founders 
of Andover Seminary. His third wife, Miss Zilpah P. Grant, 
the distinguished Principal of the Seminary at Ipswich, still 
lives at the old family mansion in Newburyport. 

Rev. John Brown, D. D., was a Trustee from 1833 till his 
death in 1839, and during most of this period was a member of 
the Prudential Committee and one of the most active and use- 
ful members of .the Board. He was born in Brooklyn, Conn., 
on the 4th of July, 1786, graduated at Dartmouth College in 
1809, studied theology the next two years at Andover Semi- 
nary then in its infancy, and was Tutor the next two years in 
the College where he was educated. On the 8th of December, 
1813, he was ordained and installed pastor of the Presbyterian 
Church in Cazenovia, where he labored with great fidelity and 
success about fifteen years. The degree of Doctor of Divinity 
was conferred on him by Union College in 1827. In 1829, 
he succeeded the Rev. Dr. Skinner in the pastorate of the Pine 
Street Church, Boston, but finding himself not at home and not 
adapted to a city charge, he accepted a call from the church in 
Hadley, where he was installed on the 2d of March, 1831, and 
where he spent the remainder of his days, greatly esteemed for 


his solid and enduring qualities as a minister and as a man, 
much beloved by those especially who knew him at home in the 
bosom of his beautiful and lovely family. After a ministry 
of eight years at Hadley, he died there of consumption, March 
22, 1839, aged fifty-three. The disease which terminated his 
own life had carried off a large number of brothers in their 
prime, and now, within a short period, it swept away almost his 
entire family of accomplished daughters. Eight at least of his 
family, including himself and wife, lie side by side in the Had- 
ley cemetery, and most of them died in the course of two or 
three years. 

Dr. Humphrey, who preached his funeral sermon and fur- 
nished a sketch of him for Sprague's Annals, says of him: " Dr. 
Brown was one of that class of ministers who had more talent 
and merit than some others of higher attractions and wider 
celebrity. He was one of those whom God has generally most 
highly honored by multiplying the seals of their ministry, and 
who will shine as the brightness of the firmament and as the 
stars forever." 

We can not review the history of Amherst College at this 
period without a feeling of sympathy and sorrow for those 
members, whether of the Corporation or of the Faculty, whose 
connection with the Institution came to a close while it was in 
a state of so much embarrassment and depression, just as we 
can not but sympathize with Moses in sacred history in that he 
came to the very borders of Canaan, but was not permitted to 
enter. Some of them had glimpses and visions of the land 
of promise. Dr. Humphrey never doubted that the College 
would see better days. Prof. Fiske prophesied not only the 
coming relief, but the source from which it was to come. His 
last words to his friend and colleague, President Hitchcock, 
were : " Amherst College will be relieved ; Mr. Williston will 
give it fifty thousand dollars, and you will put his name upon 
it." But even he came only to the borders, without being per- 
mitted to enter the promised land. 



THE presidency of Dr. Hitchcock opened with auspicious 
omens. The donation of Hon. David Sears, made the previous 
year (1844), was now just beginning to manifest its benignant 
influence, and being the first large gift by an individual donor 
for the purpose of an endowment, gave promise of other dona- 
tions for like purposes. On the very day of the new President's 
inauguration, Hon. Samuel Williston of Easthampton, by a do- 
nation of twenty thousand dollars, founded the Williston Pro- 
fessorship of Rhetoric and Oratory. The plan for preventing 
any further increase of the debt which was formed before the 
retirement of President Humphrey, but was conditioned on the 
election of Dr. Hitchcock to the presidency, having received 
the sanction of the Trustees and the written assent and co-op- 
eration of all the Professors, went into effect at the commence- 
ment of the new administration. According to this plan, the 
income of the College, administered and appropriated by the 
permanent officers themselves with all the wisdom and economy 
of which they were masters, after deducting all the necessary 
current expenses, was divided among them as their salary and 
means of support. This, while it ensured economy and inspired 
courage at home, enlisted sympathy and restored confidence 
abroad ; and a series of measures followed which, during the 
less than ten years of Dr. Hitchcock's presidency, extinguished 
the debt, added an Astronomical Observatory, a Library and 
two Cabinets of Natural History to the public buildings, secured 
the permanent endowment of four professorships, together with 
valuable books and immense scientific collections, and doubled 
the number of under-graduates. 


These remarkable results, however, were not to be reached 
at once, nor without a previous season of trial and struggle, of 
disappointment and discouragement. The immediate increase 
of numbers which was anticipated from a change of administra- 
tion and in the hope of which Dr. Humphrey was rather pressed 
to retire one term earlier than was agreeable to himself, was not 
realized. On the contrary, the year 1845-6, which was the first 
collegiate year of the new presidency, opened with the same 
number of Freshmen as the previous year, and with an aggre- 
gate of one hundred and eighteen students instead of one hun- 
dred and twenty-one. In 1846-7, the aggregate was only one 
hundred and twenty, and there was an increase of only one in 
the Freshman class. Meanwhile there was no further addition 
to the funds, and the President was receiving for his salary at 
the rate of five hundred and fifty dollars, and each Professor at 
the rate of four hundred and forty dollars a year. One at least 
of the Trustees (one of the wisest and most honored, though 
not the most hopeful and courageous) was still doubtful whether 
it would not be wiser to turn the College into an Academy (for 
a good Academy was better than a poor College); and what was 
still more discouraging and even alarming, some of the most in- 
fluential students were so doubtful of the perpetuity of the In- 
stitution that nothing but the personal solicitation of the Presi- 
dent induced them to stay and graduate. No wonder, if under 
such circumstances, the President and Professors were some- 
times desponding, and the very lights sometimes seemed to burn 
blue at our Faculty meetings ! 

It was during this period of discouragement and depression 
that the three Literary Societies were dissolved, and two new 
ones organized in their stead. While there were from two 
hundred to two hundred and fifty students in College, and 
while there was a lively interest felt in the Literary Societies, 
three Societies could be well sustained. But the Literary So- 
cieties had long been altogether secondary in interest to the 
" Greek Letter Fraternities," which had in fact drawn their 
very life-blood out of them. And now when the number of 
students had fallen off one-half, the alternative seemed to be a 
less number of Societies, or the extinction of them altogether. 


There was also doubtless, a conviction, of long standing and 
widely prevalent among the students, that two Societies in Col- 
lege, like two parties in the State, were the natural order, and 
the current of Society feeling and interest would flow smoothly 
in Amherst, only when as in most other Colleges, there were but 
two Literary Societies. The question of having two Societies 
instead of three, began to be discussed in the Societies as early 
as the spring of 1843, but the majority were then decidedly 
against the change. In April, 1846, the sentiment had so far 
changed with changing circumstances, that committees were ap- 
pointed by all the Societies, to consider the expediency of a re- 
organization, and the best method of consummating it. The 
Alexandrian and Athenian Societies were in favor of the plan 
and took immediate measures for carrying it into execution. It 
was not till June that the Social Union, and then perhaps under 
the pressure of circumstances that seemed to render it neces- 
sary, voted to come into the arrangement. After paying their 
debts by a sale of furniture and books, the Societies brought 
the remainder of their property into a common stock, " each 
contributing an amount equal to that of the poorest Society," 
and early in July they were dissolved. The common stock of 
books and other property, was then divided into two equal 
portions. The students of the College were also divided, by 
an impartial allotment, into two equal bodies which were or- 
ganized into two new Societies. For several years the two 
new organizations bore the names of Academic and Eclectic. 
But in the spring of 1853, for the convenience of associated 
action in the choice of the annual orator, in occasional pub- 
lic debates and some other matters of common interest, they 
united in a third organization comprising the members of 
both, which they called the Social Union; and then the two 
Societies resumed the names Alexandrian and Athenian, by 
which the two primitive Societies of the College had been dis- 

I find on the records no traces of any action of the Trustees 
or the Faculty for or against these changes in the Societies. I 
do not think the question was referred to either of these bodies 
for advice or sanction. Doubtless, however, the members of 


the Faculty and more or less of the Corporation also, were 
consulted as individuals, and doubtless, they general!}' con- 
curred in the same opinion with the members of the Socie- 
ties, that under the circumstances, the organization was ex- 
pedient and necessary. And, even now, with the maximum 
number of two hundred and fifty students again, probably 
there is not an officer or student in the College who would vote 
for a return to the old system of three instead of two Literary 

The breaking up of those old associations which are among 
the most cherished and sacred memories of the older Alumni, 
is a great trial to them, and thus a serious loss and misfortune 
to the College. But they would have been scarcely less mor- 
tified and afflicted if they had come back here to find the 
old Alexandrian, Athenian or Social Union existing indeed in 
name, and in uninterrupted succession, but no longer the same 
Society which stirred their blood and commanded their sac- 
rifices. A radical change has come over the old Literary Socie- 
ties in all the Colleges, leaving them little else than a name. 
Revolution or extinction seemed to be the alternative before 
the Literary Societies of Amherst at this critical period in their 

We now resume the general history of the College. 

Being in Cambridge at the inauguration of President Everett 
in January, 1846, Dr. Hitchcock improved the opportunity to 
call on Mr. Sears, in the hope of inducing him to erect a build- 
ing for scientific purposes, which was greatly needed. But he 
met with so little encouragement, that he told Hon. Josiah B. 
Woods of Enfield, with whom he fell in on his return, that he 
had made up his mind to two things : 1, To go back to Amherst 
and labor on fqr the College, as long as he could keep soul and 
body together ; and 2, Never to ask anybody for another dollar ! 
Mr. Woods told him that he was quite too much disheartened, arid 
that he thought he could raise the whole or a part of the money 
needed for the erection of such a building. Thus did hope and 
relief spring from the very bosom of despair ; for this was the 
beginning of the effort which resulted in the rearing on "Meet- 
ing-house Hill," of the Woods Cabinet and Lawrence Observa- 


tory. And the scientific reputation of Dr. Hitchcock, together 
with his self-sacrificing labors, and the self-denial of his col- 
leagues, was the very fulcrum and standing-place (the nov ar<a of 
Archimedes) by means of which Mr. Woods raised , the money. 
He went to Hon. Abbott Lawrence, and other men of like char- 
acter and standing in Boston and Lowell, and told them it was 
a shame for such a man as Dr. Hitchcock who stood at the very 
head of American savants, to toil and starve in Amherst. They 
were at first inclined to doubt whether Mr. Woods had not over- 
rated Dr. Hitchcock's rank and reputation among men of sci- 
ence. But he quoted the authority of Mr. Lyell, whom he had 
heard say that the Doctor knew more of geology and could tell 
it better than any other man he had met on this side of the At- 
lantic. " If you still doubt it, however," said Mr. Woods, " I 
will bring him down here, and you shall see for yourselves." It 
was with great difficulty that Dr. Hitchcock was induced to 
show himself under such circumstances. But he went down ; 
these gentlemen saw him, and were charmed alike by his 
wisdom and his modesty. Hon. Abbott Lawrence subscribed 
one thousand dollars ; the balance of the money was soon 
forthcoming; and by the removal of prejudice and the en- 
lightening of the public mind in influential circles in and 
around Boston, the way was prepared for obtaining a grant 
from the Legislature. 

Meanwhile, however, the President in his despondency and 
almost despair had discovered another and still richer mine. He 
gives the following account of it himself in his Valedictory Ad- 
dress : " Our experiment had stopped the downward course 
of the College and turned to some extent the prejudices of the 
public into sympathy for us. Still we could make no improve- 
ments; our debts pressed heavily upon us ; we found it difficult 
to eke out our deficient salaries ; and though our numbers slowly 
increased, the College seemed to my dejected spirits to be sink- 
ing deeper and deeper into the mire, and I became at length en- 
tirely satisfied that Providence did not at least intend to make 
use of my instrumentality to bring it relief. Oh, how little did 
I suspect how near that relief was, and how simply and easily 
God would alter the whole aspect of things ! Indeed when the 


change came, it seemed to me as obviously his 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 be- 
cause electricity was conveying great thoughts through them. 
Oh, no, let the glory of this change be now and ever ascribed 
to special Divine Providence. 

" In the discouraging circumstances in which I was then 
placed, I came to the conclusion that I must resign my place. 
Yet I felt apprehension that in the condition of our funds no 
one worthy the place would feel justified in assuming it. I 
therefore determined to make an effort to get a professorship 
endowed. And where was it more natural for me to look than 
to one who only a short time before had cheered us by the en- 
dowment of a professorship. 

" It had become so common a remark among the officers of 
Amherst College, that if any respectable friend should give us 
fifty thousand dollars, we should attach his name to it, that I 
felt sure it would be done ; and I recollected, too, the last words 
of Prof. Fiske, when he left us : ' Amherst College will be re- 
lieved ; Mr. Williston, I think, will give it fifty thousand dol- 
lars, and you will put his name upon it.' I felt justified, there- 
fore, in saying to him, that if his circumstances would allow 
him to come to our aid in this exigency by founding another 
professorship, I did not doubt this result was to follow. He 
gave me to understand, that in his will a professorship was al- 
ready endowed, and that he would make it available at once, if 
greatly needed. Nay, he offered to endow the half of another 
professorship provided some one else would add the other half. 
But as to attaching his name to the College, he felt unwilling 
that I should attempt to fulfill that promise, certainly during 
his life. 

" The half professorship thus offered, was soon made a whole 
one by Samuel A. Hitchcock, Esq., of Brimfield. And, oh! 
what a load did these benefactions take from my mind ! For 
several years, each returning Commencement had seemed to 
me more like a funeral than a joyful anniversary, for I saw 
not how the downward progress of the College was to be 


arrested. But now, with the addition of thirty thousand dol- 
lars to our funds, I began to hope that we might be saved. 
But the kindness of Providence had other developments in 
store for us. 

u These events occurred in the winter of 1846, * while the 
Legislature of Massachusetts was in session. We had often ap- 
pealed to them unsuccessfully for help ; and I feared, that when 
the generous benefactions of individuals should be made public, 
we should seek in vain in that quarter for the aid which should 
in justice be given us. I therefore requested permission of the 
Trustees, by letter, to make one more application to the Gov- 
ernment. They allowed me to do it, and the result was a 
donation from the State of twenty-five thousand dollars. The 
passage of the resolve met with less opposition than on former 
occasions. Perhaps the following incident, communicated to 
me by a member of the Legislature, may appear to the Chris- 
tian to be connected with this fact. 

" The bill for aiding Ainherst College came up on Saturday, 
and met with strong and able opposition, so that its friends 
trembled for its fate. On Saturday evening, a few members of 
the Legislature were in the habit of meeting for prayer. That 
evening the bill for aiding the College, formed the burden of 
conversation and of supplication, and each one agreed to make 
it the subject of private prayer on the Sabbath. Monday came, 
the bill was read ; but to the amazement of these praj- ing men, 
opposition had almost disappeared, and with a few remarks it 
was passed. How could they, how can we, avoid the convic- 
tion that prayer was the grand agency that smoothed the 
troubled waters, and gave the College the victory, after so many 
years of bitter opposition and defeat ! " It is hardly necessary 
to add, what Dr. Hitchcock believed as fully and insisted on as 
strenuously as any of us, that prayer, in this case, was accom- 
panied by exertion, and faith by works ; and " by works faith 
was made perfect." In proof of this, we have only to notice 
the rare, and not accidental, number of distinguished graduates 
and other friends of the College, who were at that time mem- 

1 The writer must mean 1846-7. It was in 1847 that the grant was voted by 
the Legislature. 


bers of tlie Legislature. Hon. William B. Calhoun was Presi- 
dent of the Senate. Among the Senators, most of whom were 
friendly, it is not invidious to name Jonathan C. Perkins, an 
alumnus, and Joseph A very, one of the founders and Trustees 
of Mount Holyoke Seminary, as especial friends. In running 
the eye over a list of the members of the House of Rep- 
resentatives, we notice the names of Henry Edwards of Bos- 
ton, Otis P. Lord of Salem, Alexander H. Bullock of Wor- 
cester, John Leland of Amherst, John Clary of Conway, Henry 
Morris of Springfield, and Ensign H. Kellogg of Pittsfield. 
Mr. Woods, who watched the bill pretty closely, says that 
to no one in the Senate was the College more indebted than to 
Hon. C. B. Rising, one of the Senators from Hampshire County, 
who, when it was proposed unceremoniously to reject the 
petition, rose and spoke manfully and ably in defence of the 

In 1847, Hon. David Sears also made an addition, large, lib- 
eral and unique, to the Sears Foundation of Literature and 
Benevolence. By what considerations he was influenced, may 
be seen from his letter, which was read at the dedication of 
the Woods Cabinet and the celebration which was connected 
with it : " While the benefactors of the College are thus hon- 
ored," says he, "the Faculty of the College should come in for 
their share of gratitude. I have been a silent, but not inatten- 
tive observer of them. I have been informed of their devotion 
to their literary labors, of their self-denials, of their volun- 
tary surrender of a part of their moderate salaries, reserv- 
ing only enough for a bare subsistence, to relieve the College 
in its necessity. Such disinterested zeal stands out brightly, 
and merits an honorable record." 

While money was thus flowing in from individual donors and 
from the Treasury of the State, Prof. Adams presented to 
the College his great Zoological collection, and Prof. Shepard 
offered to deposit his splendid cabinet as soon as a fire-proof 
building could be erected suitable to receive it. 

" See now," says Dr. Hitchcock as he reviews this period in 
his Reminiscences, "see how altered was the condition of the 
College! More than one hundred thousand dollars had flowed 


in upon it in endowments and buildings in a little more thaii two 
years, as follows: 

Williston Professorship of Rhetoric and Oratory, .... $20,000 

Graves Professorship of the Greek Language and Literature, 20,000 

Hitchcock Professorship of Natural Theology and Geology, . 22,000 

Donation from the State, 25,000 

Sears Foundation, 12,000 

The Woods Cabinet and Observatory, 9,000 


" Along with the pecuniary aid there came also a rich profu- 
sion of specimens, either presented or on deposit, whose value is 
poorly expressed in money. If only half their present value 
we must add from thirty-five to forty thousand dollars to the 
above sum. Was it enthusiasm in me to speak of the change as 
follows : 

" Our debts were canceled and available funds enough left to 
enable us to go on with economy from year to year and with 
increased means of instruction. The incubus that had so long 
rested upon us, was removed ; the cord that had well-nigh 
throttled us, was cut asunder, and the depletion of our life- 
blood was arrested. Those only who have passed through such 
a season of discouragement and weakness, can realize with 
what gratitude to God and our benefactors we went on with 
our work. 

" The great additions to our funds, made in the latter part of 
1846 and the first part of 1847, were not made public till after 
a special meeting of the Trustees, which took place July 6, 
1847. This was the most delightful Trustee meeting I had 
ever attended. Those venerable men, Drs. Fiske, Packard, 
Vaill, Ely, Ide, William B. Calhoun, and John Tappan, George 
Grennell, Alfred Foster, Samuel Williston, Linus Child, David 
Mack, Ebenezer Alden and Henry Edwards, whom Dr. Hum- 
phrey and myself had so often met with a discouraging story 
of debt and an empty treasury, were now for the first time to 
be told of God's wonderful goodness in turning our captivity 
and answering their long-continued and earnest prayers. They 
were to have a little respite before they died, from the incessant 

demands upon their beneficence and labors with which they had 


ever been met. It was a matter of high gratification to see how 
happy they were in their subsequent visits to Amherst, to see, 
how everything was altered for the better as the fruit of their 
long toil, and sacrifice, and prayers." 

The chief business of this meeting of the Trustees was the 
appropriation of the newly received grants and donations, and 
the naming of the new buildings and professorships. The first 
appropriation was for the payment of the debt, then amounting 
to twelve thousand four hundred and sixty -five dollars, for this 
was the sore and heavy burden, and Mr. Sears had wisely made 
it a condition of his donations that the College must pay its 
debts before it could receive the full benefit of his foundation. 
The debt was paid partly from the funds of the College and 
partly from the grant of the State. The remainder of the 
twenty-five thousand dollars granted by the State, was appro- 
priated to the endowment of the Massachusetts Professorship of 
Chemistry and Natural History. The term bills were reduced 
from forty-eight to forty -two dollars a year, and it was voted to 
remit the full amount of the regular term bills to indigent stu- 
dents preparing for the Christian ministry. The new Cabinet 
received the name of Hon. Josiah B. Woods, and ths Observa- 
tory that of Hon. Abbott Lawrence. The Professorship of Nat- 
ural Theology and Geology, endowed by Hon. Samuel Williston 
and Samuel A. Hitchcock, Esq., was named from the latter ; the 
Professorship of Greek and Hebrew, endowed by Mr. Williston, 
was named the Graves Professorship, with a double reference 
to the maiden name of Mrs. Williston and to Col Graves, one 
of the founders ; and a new Professorship of Latin and French, 
temporarily endowed, was called the Moore Professorship, in 
honor of the first President. Arrangements were also made 
for making up in full the deficient salaries of the President 
and Professors, and the sum of twelve hundred dollars was 
appropriated for repairs and placing blinds upon the College 

No man ever knew better than Dr. Hitchcock how to make 
the most of any success in the way of public impression. The 
placing of blinds upon the windows of the dormitory buildings 
was a stroke of policy for impression on the students, equal to 


Napoleon's gilding the dome of the Invalides for dazzling the 
eyes of the Parisians, although under very different circumstan- 
ces. Not less suited to please students was his policy of making 
to them the first formal and public announcement of all these 
donations and the action of the Trustees. The scene is thus 
described in the Reminiscences : " The meeting closed in the 
afternoon, and as the students were yet ignorant of the whole 
matter of which I knew they felt a deep interest, I took the op- 
portunity at evening prayers to read the votes, and I shall never 
forget the scene that followed. At first they did not seem to 
comprehend the matter, and they gave no demonstration of their 
feelings especially as two of the Trustees were present. But as 
the successive announcements came out, they could not restrain 
their feelings and began to clap, and by the time the last vote 
was read, the clapping was tremendous, and when they were 
dismissed and had reached the outer door of the Chapel, they 
stopped and the cheering was long and loud." 

At the annual meeting of the Trustees in August, 1847, they 
appointed " a committee to consider in what manner we should 
testify our gratitude to God and our benefactors, in view of re- 
cent favors to the College." They reported, that " at such time 
as the President and Professors shall regard as suitable, a public 
meeting be held in Amherst, with an invitation to the friends 
and benefactors of the College to be present, and that Hon. 
William B. Calhoun be requested to deliver an address on the 
occasion." The meeting was deferred till June 28, 1848, in or- 
der to connect with it the dedication of the new Cabinet and 
Observatory, which would not be finished and filled with speci- 
mens at an earlier date. The occasion was one of deep interest. 
The President's address of welcome was in the same strain of 
wonder and gratitude to God and our benefactors which we 
have seen in the foregoing pages. Mr. Calhoun in his address 
of commemoration and dedication said : " The waning fortunes 
of this Institution have for years brought to our hearts gloom, 
despondency, almost despair. Heaven again beams upon us 
with blessings. To heaven let us not cease to offer the incense 
of thanksgiving. We render our thankfulness and gratitude 
to all our benefactors. We leave behind us the night of, gloom 


through which we have passed. We receive the College into 
the fellowship of new and animated hopes. The massive struct- 
ures upon which are inscribed the names of the generous do- 
nors, rising up in the midst of this landscape, these hills and 
valleys of unsurpassed grandeur and beauty, are now dedicated 
to the cause of science and truth. Long, ever may they stand 
thus dedicated. Here may science remain tributary to virtue, 
freedom, religion. Here may there be inscribed on all these 
walls and in every heart, Christo et Ecclesiae" 

In response to the call and remarks of President Hitchcock, 
brief addresses were made by Gov. Armstrong, Mr. Woods, Mr. 
Williston, Prof. Silliman, Prof. Shepard, Prof. Redfield, and 
President Wheeler, and letters were read from ex-President 
Humphrey, Prof. B. B. Edwards, Mr. Sears, Mr. Lawrence, Mr. 
Gerard Hallock and others. It was a day of great rejoicing, and 
in the name of all who participated in this festival of joy and 
gratitude, in the name especially of the generous donors whose 
benefactions were thus celebrated, and whose names are in- 
scribed upon those walls and tablets, the writer of this History 
here enters his public protest against any hasty or needless re- 
moval of these buildings. Dedicated to science and religion, 
and inscribed with the names of the generous donors, we can 
not but say with the distinguished orator of the day, "Long, 
ever may they stand thus dedicated, and thus inscribed." 

At the dedication of the Observatory, President Hitchcock 
remarked: "We should be very faithless and ungrateful to 
doubt that the same Providence which has done so much for us 
the past year, will send us a fitting telescope if it is best for us to 
have one, and send it, too, just at the right time." In his Vale- 
dictory Address, he was able to say: " This prediction, through 
the liberality of Hon. Rufus Bullock, has been fulfilled ; and a 
noble telescope has just been placed in yonder dome which, 
through the great skill and indefatigable industry of Alvan 
Clark, Esq., who has constructed it, is one of the finest instru- 
ments of its size that ever graced an observatory. In the hands 
of Mr. Clark, it has already introduced to the astronomic world 
two new double stars never before recognized one of which is 
probably binary." 


After the first three years of his administration, having already- 
succeeded beyond his most sanguine hopes in relieving the Col- 
lege from debt, and established it on a solid pecuniary founda- 
tion, while at the same time he saw it increasing in numbers, 
and enjoying a literary and religious prosperity corresponding 
with its financial condition, President Hitchcock might well have 
said, " Now lettest Thou thy servant depart in peace." He now 
began to press upon the Trustees a wish to retire from the pres- 
idency. But instead of listening to his suggestion, they pressed 
him to recuperate his health and spirits by a tour in Europe, and 
in the spring of 1850, he and Mrs. Hitchcock reluctantly set out 
on their journey. He traveled through Great Britain, France, 
Belgium, Switzerland, and a portion of Germany ; explored the 
Geology of these countries, examined the Agricultural Schools, 
in the discharge of a commission unexpectedly received from 
the government of Massachusetts ; visited and studied the scien- 
tific collections, the galleries and museums ; observed with equal 
interest the natural features, and the moral and religious aspects 
of the countries ; attended the meeting of the British Associa- 
tion for the advancement of science at Edinburg, and the Peace 
Congress at Frankfort-on-the-Main, and returned home " hav- 
ing been absent one hundred and fifty-eight days, and traveled 
ten thousand six hundred and forty-seven miles," (these details 
are characteristic,) and having expended for himself and wife 
less than two hundred dollars over and above what he received 
from the Government and from individuals with whom he trav- 
eled or fell in, and who insisted on defraying portions of his 
expenses. On reaching Amherst, he was received at the en- 
trance of the town by the students who gave him an enthusi- 
astic welcome, and in the evening expressed their joy by an 
illumination of the College buildings. 

In the postscript of a letter of Prof. B. B. Edwards, which 
was read at the dedication of the Cabinet, he says : " When 
your new building for the Library is completed fire-proof a 
fine specimen of architecture, and filled with twenty thousand 
new books, as I presume it will be, I will promise, without fail, 
to be present. Please inform me of the time of its dedication." 
It was more than two years after this was written, before even 


the first step was taken towards raising money for a Library 
building. Yet even then the building already existed in the 
faith and hope of Prof. Edwards, and his love and zeal and 
efforts were among the chief means of its actual existence a few 
years later in a material, form and style of architecture corre- 
sponding to his sanguine anticipations. 

Encouraged by the Sears foundation, a portion of whose income 
was restricted to the purchase of books, by a liberal donation 
from George Merriam, Esq., of Springfield, and by an informal 
meeting of a few friends of the College in Salem, (Judges Per- 
kins and Huntington, and Richard P. Waters, Esq.,) Prof. Ed- 
wards brought the subject before the Trustees at their annual 
meeting in 1850, and they authorized an immediate effort to 
procure means for erecting a Library, and increasing the num- 
ber of books. Prof. Edwards was chairman of the committee on 
whom this duty was devolved. The work of raising the money 
was commenced by Prof. Tyler who started a subscription 
(where subscriptions in behalf of the College have most fre- 
quently taken their start) in the town of Amherst. Three thou- 
sand dollars were raised on the spot before any effort was made 
elsewhere. Another thousand was raised in the vicinity, chiefly 
in the neighboring churches. Mr. Merriam had already given 
his pledge of fifteen hundred dollars. Mr. Williston, who in 
this as in all the other efforts in behalf of the College, was the 
largest benefactor, stood ready with a donation of three thou- 
sand dollars. But the larger and more difficult part of the work 
was done by Mr. George B. Jewett who, when he commenced 
it, was a teacher of a private school in Salem, but soon after 
was made Professor of Latin and Modern Languages. Among 
the largest subscriptions out of Amherst, were those of David 
Sears and Jonathan Phillips of Boston. When the sum of fif- 
teen thousand dollars was procured, ten thousand was devoted 
to the building, and the remainder to the purchase of books. 
The building was planned by the same architect as the Cabinet 
and Observatory, (Mr. Sykes.) It was begun in 1852, and fin- 
ished in 1853. Prof. Edwards, alas, did not live to see it com- 
pleted. His friend, Prof. Park, had the melancholy satisfaction 
of delivering an address at the dedication. The erection of this 



building introduced a new era in the architecture on the College 
hill. Hitherto brick had been the sole material. The Library, 
according to the suggestion of Prof. Edwards, was of stone, thus 
inaugurating what might be called the age of granite. And it 
was scarcely less a new epoch in regard to the new books that 
were placed on the shelves, and the new facilities which were 
iiuw afforded for reading and study. 

At a special meeting of the Trustees at Amherst, October 
11, 1852, they established a Scientific Department, designed to 
meet the wants of graduates who wish to pursue particular 
branches of science and literature beyond the regular four 
years' course, and of other young men who desire to study 
some subjects without joining the regular classes. This depart- 
ment grew naturally out of the rich and extensive Cabinets and 
the valuable Laboratory which the College possessed, together 
with the rare cluster of Scientific Professors gathered here under 
the auspices and guidance of a Scientific President. As adopted 
by the corporation and published in the Catalogue for 1852-3, 
the department comprised nine branches which were to be taught 
chiefly by the regular Professors of the ordinary College course, 
(although two or three other gentlemen resident in the town 
were called in to supplement deficiencies,) as follows : 1, Geol- 
ogy by the President ; 2, Mathematics, Natural Philosophy and 
Engineering by Prof. Snell ; 3, Chemistry by Prof. Clark; 4, 
Agriculture by Rev. J. A. Nash; 5, Mineralogy by Prof. Shep- 
ard ; 6, Zoology by Prof. Adams ; 7, Botany, without any 
special Professor ; 8, Psychology and History of Philosophy by 
Prof. Haven ; 9, Philology by Professors Tyler and Jewett, and 
English Literature by Prof. Warner. The Department was to 
be entirely independent of the regular College course, but stu- 
dents were to be allowed to attend any of the regular courses 
of lectures. 

The plan went into operation in January, 1853. In 1853-4, 
there were twelve scientific students ; in 1854-5, there were 
seventeen ; in 1855-6, there were none reported, and in 1857-8, 
the plan drops out of the Catalogue. In the triennial only seven 
men are recorded as having so completed the course as to re- 
ceive the degree of Bachelor of Science. 


This experiment differed from that of the " Parallel Course " 
twenty "years previous, in that the Scientific Department was 
entirely independent of the regular College course instead of 
being parallel and incorporated with it, and not professing to be 
an equivalent for it, did not confer the same academic degree. 
But it came to nearly the same issue, and that partly, if not 
chiefly, for the same reasons. The work of instruction was de- 
volved almost entirely on the Professors in the regular course 
who already had as many duties and responsibilities on their 
hands as they could faithfully and successfully discharge. More 
money and more men were requisite to make it a success, and 
even with these the older Institutions in or near the large cities 
have the advantage over Amherst in regard to purely scientific, 
as also in regard to professional education. The practical lesson 
of these experiments seems to be, let Amherst adhere to her 
original and proper work, the educational work of a New Eng- 
land Christian College. 

At the annual meeting of the Trustees in August, 1853, 
President Hitchcock offered to make a donation to the College 
of his collection of fossil foot-marks, valued by Prof. Shepard 
at thirty-five hundred dollars, on condition that the friends of 
the College would raise five or six hundred dollars for the in- 
crease of the collection, and the Trustees would make the neces- 
sary arrangements for the permanent exhibition of it in the Geo- 
logical Cabinet. Before the offer was made, the first condition 
had already been met through the agency of Dr. Hitchcock him- 
self. Of course the Trustees were not slow to comply with the 
second condition, and thus the Doctor's private Ichnological Cab- 
inet became the property of the College, just as his Mineralogical 
and Geological Cabinets had been given to the College, fifteen 
years previous on very similar conditions. These Cabinets are 
now of inestimable value, especially the Ichnological, which is, 
perhaps, the choicest and richest of the kind in the world, and so, 
besides attracting thousands of ordinary visitors every year, has 
made Amherst a kind of Mecca to geologists and savants of all 
nations. It would have been easy, and perhaps perfectly right 
for Dr. Hitchcock to have kept it in his own hands, increasing 
it constantly by purchase and exchange, and leaving it as his 



private property. But that was not his way. It was charac- 
teristic of him rather to give it to the College without imposing 
any other conditions, except such as would make it more valua- 
ble and useful. 

At the same time Mr. Edward Hitchcock, Jr., presented to 
the College his collection of Indian relics, the fruit of half a 
dozen years' industry, and then consisting of seven hundred and 
twenty-one specimens, stipulating only that the collection should 
be placed in suitable cases, and should never be merged with any 
other collection. Thus was the foundation laid for the Gilbert 
Museum of Indian Relics. 

At the same meeting of the Trustees, Dr. Clark, Mr. Child, 
Dr. Vaill, Dr. Alden and Mr. Edwards were appointed a com- 
mittee to inquire into the state and condition of the College in 
pursuance of the recommendations of the President at the close 
of his annual report. At a special meeting of the Board at Am- 
herst, November 21, 1853, that committee, after much prelimi- 
nary investigation and consultation with the Professors, the 
Treasurer, and others on the ground, made an extended written 
report, which was unanimously adopted by the Trustees, and 
entered on their records. After expressing their conviction re- 
sulting from careful investigation, that the College is in a pros- 
perous and progressive state, and that its patrons and guardians 
have just cause of congratulation and encouragement, they pro- 
ceed to suggest a few particulars in which there is room for im- 
provement. Among these suggestions, carefully guarded and 
kindly expressed, but deemed very desirable, are a more vigilant 
and effective supervision by the Faculty of the students at their 
rooms, and on the grounds, and without abating in the least the 
paternal element in the government, a more rigid enforcement 
of the College laws, and more promptness in removing those 
who can not be governed by moral suasion. " If the present ad- 
ministration of the College can be improved in any particular," 
says the committee, " it is believed to be in this." After some 
half a dozen other recommendations, among which are the in- 
crease of the salaries of the Professors to one thousand dol- 
lars, and that of the President to twelve hundred, and the 
setting apart of a recitation room to each of the Profess- 


ors, with a special appropriation for illustrating and adorning 
the walls of the Greek room, the first step in a process which 
has resulted in making the classical recitation-rooms among the 
most attractive rooms in the College the committee conclude 
their report as follows : " The rank which Amherst College now 
holds among the great educational agencies of our land, im- 
poses on the Board of Trustees, responsibilities which they can 
neither relinquish, nor slightly discharge, without compromising 
interests the most solemn and momentous ; and so far as these 
responsibilities have in time past been transferred to the Faculty 
as was very properly done to some extent during a period of 
depression, when, to save it from sinking, they generously con- 
sented to remain at their post, and to take the College into their 
hands for the scanty compensation which its income would af- 
ford the committee think the time has now come for the Trus- 
tees to resume the entire responsibility of its management, and 
thus relieve the Faculty of all burdens not specifically devolved 
on them by the laws of the College." 

Whether this meeting of the Trustees hastened at all the res- 
ignation of the President is not known. Probably it did not, 
although the report of the Committee which the Trustees 
adopted as their own, reflected somewhat on the administration 
in a characteristic and vital point. But it doubtless led to the 
resignation of Prof. Warner who, "not so much under the pres- 
sure of experience as under the experience of a pressure," re- 
signed his office at this time. In accepting his resignation, the 
Trustees " tendered him the assurance of their sincere respect 
in view of the uniform courtesy which has marked his inter- 
course with them during the whole period of his connection 
with the College and the deep interest he has uniformly taken 
in its welfare." At the same meeting, they elected Rev. Thomas 
P. Field, then of Troy, N. Y., to fill the vacancy. 

Three days after this meeting of the corporation, President 
Hitchcock addressed a letter " to the Hon. Nathan Appleton 
and other executors of the will of the late Hon. Samuel Apple- 
ton," rehearsing the donation and growth of the zoological col- 
lections of Prof. Adams, describing the history and value of his 
own collection of fossil foot-marks which he further enforced 


by the testimonies of Dr. Gould and Prof. Agassiz, explaining 
the inconvenience, the utter inadequacy and also the insecurity 
of the rooms in which these collections were now deposited, 
and modestly inquiring whether the erection of a suitable build- 
ing to receive and protect them all, would not come within the 
scope of the liberal bequest of two hundred thousand dollars 
which Mr. Appleton left for the purposes of literature, science 
and benevolence. For an entire year Dr. Hitchcock received 
no answer to this letter, and he had relinquished all hope that it 
would meet with any response. 

Meanwhile his health and spirits, somewhat recruited by his 
foreign tour, had relapsed to such a degree that he felt he could 
no longer endure the burden of the presidency, and must insist 
on being relieved. With this view, he summoned a special 
meeting of the Trustees in Boston on the llth of July, 1854, 
and there resigned his office, into their hands, assigning as his 
only reason " the inadequacy of his health to sustain the labors, 
especially those pertaining to the government of the Institution." 
It was voted " that the resignation of President Hitchcock be 
accepted, to take effect when a successor can be appointed, 
and that his services be retained in the Professorship of Natu- 
ral Theology and Geology." At the annual meeting of the 
Board, August 7, 1854, Rev. William A. Stearns was cl^osen 
President and Professor of Moral Philosophy and Christian 
Theology. On Tuesday evening, November- 21, 1854, Dr. 
Stearns was installed Pastor of the College Church by an Ec- 
clesiastical Council of which Rev. Dr. Vaill was the Moderator 
and Rev. Dr. Blagden, Scribe. The sermon was preached by 
Rev. Dr. Leavitt of Providence. Dr. Hitchcock gave the charge 
to the Pastor. The Right Hand of Fellowship was presented 
by Rev. Mr. Paine of Holden, and an address made to the Col- 
lege by Rev. Dr. J. S. Clark of Boston. On Wednesday, No- 
vember 22, the Inaugural services were held in the village 
church. After singing by the College Choir and prayer by Rev. 
Dr. Clark, an historical address was delivered by the retiring 
President, including the ceremony of giving the College seal, 
charter, etc., as an act of induction to his successor, and closing 
with the announcement of a donation of ten thousand dol- 


lars to the College from the Trustees of the late Samuel Apple- 
ton, for the erection of a Cabinet of Natural History. Dr. 
Hitchcock had relinquished all hope of such a donation. He 
had written his farewell address in this state of mind. After 
describing the rich zoological collections of Prof. Adams with 
the testimonies of Prof. Agassiz and Dr. Gould to their uneqnaled 
scientific value, he had written : " Yet this fine collection is 
spread into three apartments and is imminently exposed to fire. 
To secure a new building to receive it, with the still more ex- 
posed collection of fossil foot-marks, has long been with me an 
object of strong desire and effort ; and it is among the deepest of 
my regrets on leaving the presidency, that it remains unaccom- 

" Thus had I written," he continues in the address as he 
delivered it, " thus had I written only a few days ago, and 
thus had I expected to leave this subject, to-day. But a kind 
Providence has ordered otherwise. Last evening a letter was 
received, announcing the gratifying intelligence that the Trus- 
tees under the will of the late Hon. Samuel Appleton of Boston, 
had appropriated, only ten days ago, ten thousand dollars of the 
sum left by him for scientific and benevolent purposes to the 
erection of another cabinet the Appleton Zoological Cabinet by 
the side of the Woods Cabinet on yonder hill." Thus he, who 
in his experiments in the Chemical Laboratory, was always 
expecting to fail, but never did fail, was now successful beyond 
his most sanguine expectations, for as usual he had asked for 
the smallest sum that could possibly answer the purpose, and 
he received nearly twice as much as he asked ; and the close of 
his administration was marked, like its beginning, by donations 
that surprised himself scarcely less than they delighted the 
friends of the Institution. 

Dr. Hitchcock's " address was followed by a few beautiful and 
appropriate remarks from Col. A. H. Bullock of Worcester, com- 
municating the doings of the Trustees in reference to the afore- 
said donation. Mr. Bullock's remarks on the reception of this 
gift were received with universal and hearty applause. Two or 
three degrees were conferred by the retiring President, among 
others one on Alvan Clark, Esq., of Cambridge, maker of the 


magnificent telescope recently presented to the College by Rufus 
Bullock, Esq., of Royalston, Mass. After a few minutes' recess, 
a Latin Oration of a congratulatory character was delivered, 
according to appointment, by Hasket Derby, a member of the 
Senior class. The closing exercise was the Inaugural Address 
by the new President." l 

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, vineyards and oliveyards 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. Dr. Hitchcock had seen and suffered the effects of that 
process some of the most impressive pages in his " Reminis- 
cences " 2 are those in which he describes the Sisyphean labor 
which it imposed, and the fatal consequences to which it led ; 
and he adopted at- the outset the rule to which he rigidly ad- 
hered, and which he earnestly recommended to all public insti- 
tutions, to erect no buildings and make no improvements until 
the funds were actually obtained. 

It was the end of general subscriptions to meet current expen- 
ses. It was the beginning of endowments by large donations 
from individuals. 3 It was the beginning of grants by the State. 
It was the age of growth and expansion in cabinets, collections, 
and materials for the illustration of the physical sciences. Our 
Archaeological Museums also owe their origin to this adminis- 
tration. At the same time, and this fact deserves the attention 
of those who may have supposed that Dr. Hitchcock was a one- 
sided President, and gave the Institution growth and impulse 
only in one direction it was the period in which the Library 

1 See Discourses and Addresses at the Installation and Inauguration of the Rev. 
William A. Stearns, D. D., as President of Amherst College, and Pastor of the 
College Church. 

2 See pp. 122-4; 138-42. 

3 Mr. Sears' first donation was made before the close of Dr. Humphrey's presi- 
dency. But it came unsought, and was only such an exception as proves the rule. 


building was erected, and new books were placed on the shelves 
of such a kind, and to such an extent as to make it almost a new 

Last, not least, it inaugurated the reign of comparative peace. 
From the commencement of Dr. Hitchcock's presidency, there 
was less of hostility abroad than there had ever been before, 
and more than for many years previous, of peace, quietness, 
contentment and satisfaction at home. . This was partly the re- 
sult of a change of times and circumstances, and partly of a 
more paternal, perhaps we might say fraternal, administration 
suited to the times. "While he was true and faithful to the 
Faculty and government under his predecessor, and bore with 
the spirit of a martyr the opprobrium and harm of measures and 
methods of discipline which he did not approve, it was no secret 
that he preferred a more conciliatory policy. During his own 
presidency, the majority of the Faculty were often inclined to a 
more rigid discipline. And the Trustees, as we have seen, were 
unanimously of the opinion, that if the administration could be 
improved in any particular, it was by greater firmness and strict- 
ness in the enforcement of the laws. Yet President Hitchcock 
continued to the last to believe in, and rely on moral suasion, 
and personal, social and Christian influence, as the sceptre of 
his power. Perhaps he had no more faith than his colleagues 
in the good sense, right disposition and honorable purpose of 
the students, nor in the goodness of human nature generally; 
for he was a firm believer in the doctrine of total depravity. 
But he certainly had less faith in the efficacy of the rod, either 
in family or College government. He could give as many rea- 
sons as Plutarch for " delay in the punishment of the wicked," 
and not the least among these was, that therein he imitated the 
patience and forbearance of the Deity. 

He magnified the civilizing and refining influence of the fam- 
ily upon students. He did not believe in the dormitory sys- 
tem. 1 If he had been called to establish a new Institution, he 
would have had no dormitories. Having dormitories in Amherst 
College, he did all he could to counterbalance their evil influ- 
ence. To this end, as well as for the increase of personal ac- 

1 Cf. Reminiscences of Amherst College, p. 143. 


quaintance and influence, he introduced the custom of inviting 
the Freshmen, soon after entering College, to meet the families 
of the Faculty and others from the village, at his own house ; 
and although the Sophomores sometimes surprised and grieved 
the good man by improving the opportunity to enter their rooms 
and turn them topsy-turvy, and perhaps pile up their beds in 
his own front yard, yet he never gave up his faith in the "Fresh- 
man Levee," nor in the influence of cultivated Christian fami- 
lies in town over College students. In accordance with this 
same general idea, the Senior Levee, which under the presidency 
of Dr. Humphrey, was only a collation at the President's house 
at noon, immediately after the close of the Senior examination, 
was at once changed by Dr. Hitchcock into a social party in the 

The Professors and Tutors who were associated with Dr. 
Hitchcock in the government and instruction, were, for the most 
part, one with him in aim and spirit some added much to the 
lustre of his presidency ; and were he to write the history of his 
own administration, he would ascribe a large share of its suc- 
cess to their hearty and able co-operation. Aaron Warner, 
Nathan W. Fiske, Ebenezer S. Snell, Charles U. Shepard, Wil- 
liam S. Tyler, Charles B. Adams, Henry B. Smith, Wm. A. Pea- 
body, Joseph Haven, George B. Jewett, William S. Clark, and 
Thomas P. Field, make up the entire list of the Professors, who 
at different times composed his Faculty. The list of the Tutors 
comprises Rowland Ayres, David Torrey, Lewis Green, Marshall 
Henshaw, Francis A. March, Albert Tolman, Leonard Hum- 
phrey, William Rowland, Henry L. Edwards, William C. Dick- 
inson, John M. Emerson, Samuel Fiske, George Rowland and 
John E. Sanford with Lyman Coleman, Jabez B. Lyman, In- 
structors William B. Calhoun, James L. Merrick and John A. 
Nash, nominally Lecturers or Instructors, and Lucius M. Bolt- 
wood, Librarian. The larger part of these are still living three 
of them still connected with the College the rest, for the most 
part, working and shining in the departments of education, let- 
ters, theology and religion elsewhere. 

I find in one of my numerous letters from alumni, a confes- 
sion of unconscious misjudgment of some of these Tutors, and 


consequent unintentional injustice to them, which is doubtless 
more or less applicable to others, if not to all Tutors, especially 
since the introduction of the Greek Letter Societies, into the 
College, and is worthy of being put on record, as illustrating 
how differently students in College look at their instructors from 
the views which the same students will take of the same instruc- 
tors in after life. The writer of the letter is Professor, and just 
now acting President of Robert College, near Constantinople : 

"We were very sure," he says, "that the Tutors, and , 

marked up their own Society men, and that we outside suffered 
in proportion. I felt sure of it myself, in regard to one Tutor, 
and was probably the means of preventing the class from giving 
him a parting present. But, when I was in Amherst the other 
day, I looked up my marks (in the College Registr} 7 -,) and I am 
certain that my suspicions were utterly unfounded. If any- 
thing, both these Tutors marked me higher than I deserved. 
Nor could I discover any signs of partiality in their marking 

The same letter contains another illustration of the different 
light in which the same person views the same thing in and out 
of College : " Our class, all through Sophomore year, had a 
most unenviable reputation for abusing Freshmen. . . . One of 
the men engaged in one of these affairs, went to sleep the next 
day in the class, and when we went out, Prof. Jewett requested 
us not to disturb him, so he slept on until the Professor's next 
class came in ! It was a presumptive proof against him, which 
was well followed up, and he and others were sent away from 
College for a time. These difficulties brought up many ques- 
tions of College honor hard to solve. I never had a hand in 
any of these affairs, but I accidentally saw and recognized the 
men engaged in the last one mentioned. President Hitchcock 
in some way learned this fact, and called on me to reveal their 
names. I refused, and I think the class almost unanimously ap- 
proved my refusal. It was wrong. I ought, when put in this 
position, to have told what I knew, but the Faculty did not put 
it in such a light as to convince us. I am strongly inclined to 
feel that all such cases should be handed over to the law, to be 
dealt with by the courts. This would set the students right as 


to the real bearing of the case. Witnesses would not hesitate 
to testify then, when under oath." 

Rev. Aaron Warner was appointed Professor of Rhetoric and 
Oratory shortly before the close of Dr. Humphrey's presidency, 
and resigned his professorship shortly before President Hitch- 
cock's resignation. His professorship was, therefore, of about 
the same duration with Dr. Hitchcock's presidency, viz. : nine 
years, and for the most part synchronous with it. He had been 
an honored and useful pastor at Medford, and highly esteemed 
for his practical wisdom, good sense and Christian spirit, as 
a member of the Prudential Committee of the American Board 
of Commissioners for Foreign Missions in Boston. He had had 
some experience in a kindred department as Professor of Sacred 
Rhetoric in the Theological Seminary at Gilmanton, of which 
he was one of the founders and pillars. Coming to Amherst in 
the meridian of his life and reputation, he trained the lower 
classes thoroughly in articulation, orthoepy and the elements of 
elocution ; he criticised wisely and well the compositions of the 
upper classes ; he taught the Seniors in Rhetoric and English 
Literature faithfully and fairly but without much of the vital 
force and enthusiasm which students prize so highly in a teacher ; 
he was heard and understood rather than felt as a power in the 
pulpit, for his sermons were remarkable for brevity, variety and 
perspicuity rather than richness of thought, force of reasoning 
or felicity of diction ; in the absence of President Hitchcock in 
Europe, he presided and preached the Baccalaureate Sermon to 
the satisfaction of the College and the community ; in short, as 
a man, a gentleman and a Christian he was admired and loved 
by officers and students as he still is by all who know him ; but 
he did not quite sustain and advance his department so as to 
keep pace with the growth and progress of the College ; and he 
became a victim partly to a department which has sacrificed so 
many of its incumbents, and partly to a spasm of virtuous en- 
ergy on the part of the Trustees in one of their meetings, in 
which, as we have seen, they endeavored to make amends for 
past remissness, real or imagined, by screwing up all the Faculty 
and blowing up one of the Professors. As an Ex-Professor he 
has won universal admiration by his prudence, courtesy and 


generosity, and his portrait placed in the Library by some of his 
pupils soon after his resignation, will perpetuate the benignant 
features and the blessed memory of one of the best men that 
was ever a Professor in Amherst College. 

Rev. Prof. Henry B. Smith was here only three years (1847-50,) 
before he was called to Union Theological Seminary in New York, 
where he has become so widely known as a leader in the Presby- 
terian Church, and one of the brightest ornaments of American 
Theology and Ecclesiastical History. With a simplicity and pu- 
rity of character equaled only by his learning and power, he ex- 
erted an influence as great as it was good in the Professor's chair, 
in the pulpit, in the government of the College, in the commu- 
nity and the vicinity ; and he went away leaving a friend in every 
pupil in every person with whom he was intimately associated. 

The other Professors, named above, who are still among the 
living, continued to hold office under President Hitchcock's suc- 
cessor, and will find further mention in the history of his admin- 

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 Profes- 
sors all departed in advance of their honored and beloved Presi- 
dent. One of these was the ripe scholar and veteran Professor, 
whose biography has been already sketched, who, almost at the 
beginning of this presidency, went up from the city where our 
Lord was crucified to walk the streets of the New Jerusalem. 
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 discov- 
ery, though he had already achieved more for his favorite stud- 
ies than many a savant accomplishes in a long life. l 

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. 

1 Prof. C. B. Adams. 


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 literature of the 
old Romans, when he was suddenly stricken down by the 
destroyer. l 

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 labors of a second year ; but suddenly, in the midst of 
health and activity, he fell in the street his heart had ceased 
to beat " he was not, for God took him." 

John M. Emerson lived to middle life, and lived to good pur- 
pose ; for he had demonstrated 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 orna- 
ment, 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 Spottsylvania, one of many noble sons whom our 
mother has given to the service of the country, of liberty and 
of mankind. 

Of these, and such as these, was the Faculty composed that 
aided and advanced the administration of Dr. Hitchcock. But 
most of them, as we have said, still live live to adorn the Pul- 
pit, the Senate, the Professor's and the Speaker's chair and it 
remains for those who come after us, and outlive them, to give 
their character and write their history. 

The following letter, written by one who graduated near the 
close of Dr. Hitchcock's presidency, brings out some of the char- 
acteristic features of the then College times, and exhibits them 
from a student's point of view. We give it almost entire, as a 
sort of epilogue to this portion of our history. 

1 Prof. William A. Peabody. 


HARPOOT, TURKEY, March 26, 1869. 

When I went to Amherst, in the autumn of 1848, the College 
had passed its crisis, and had entered upon a prosperous career. 
During the time of my connection with the College, there was 
nothing of special interest that I now remember nothing extra- 
ordinary. It does not, therefore, seem to me that our honored 
historian can derive any help from any thing which I can com- 
municate, and it is only the urgency of the committee that impels 
me to write. 

Of the college officers, no one probably was, in our day, so 
revered as a father, so beloved as that "man of God," Dr. 
Hitchcock, at that time, President. 

Our class that of '52 had the discernment to see that, not- 
withstanding his sometimes blunt, manner, the students had no 
warmer friend among the Faculty none more devoted to their 
good, none especially more interested in their spiritual improve- 
ment, than Prof. Tyler. No member of the Faculty was more 
popular with the class as a whole than he. There was no family 
in which we felt so much at home as in his. 

The Philosophical lectures of Prof. Snell were very popular. 
His experiments were almost always sure to succeed Even his 
jokes, which were well understood to be stereotyped, and to be 
handed down from class to class, were racy and enjoyable, and 
gave a relish to the lectures. During one of his exercises with 
the Class of '50 in reply to some remark of the class, he perpe- 
trated some witticism not written down in his lectures, and as if 
surprised at it, he involuntarily, and in the manner of soliloquy 
said, " That's new." This last remark, of course, " brought 
down the house." 

This recalls some amusing scenes in the class-room. When 
S. of our class was under examination in Zoology, he was asked, 
"What is the peculiarity of the opossum?" D. whispered to 
him, " It has a pouch." S. spoke up, very bravely, " It has a 
paunch, Sir." 

I was always much impressed by the intimacy of the College 
relation. There were rival interests, and clans ; yet it was one 
community, one family. Anything affecting the interests of the 
College, or the community as such, was sure to rouse every man. 


A village rowdy one day insulted one of the students I think he 
kicked him and although the student was one of the least pop- 
ular men in College, the whole College was in a blaze. Every 
man felt that in the person of that student, he himself had re- 
ceived a kick. 

This bond of sympathy was still more apparent during the revi- 
val in March, 1850. As soon as the awakening began, and the 
inquiry, " What must I do to be saved," was heard, there was 
the hush and stillness of death. For a few days, the most hard- 
ened men in College were subdued and thoughtful. The whole 
aspect of the College was changed at once, with almost the sud- 
denness of an electric flash. I do not believe that there was one 
person in the whole College who for a time was not profoundly 
moved. There was no sound of laughing or loud talking. There 
were no heavy footsteps in the halls, no noise, no tumult ; but 
the awful stillness and solemnity of those who stood face to face 
with the realities of eternity. Interest so intense can not, of 
course, be long maintained. Every one decided the question 
very quickly, and gradually College life resumed its wonted chan- 
nel. Rarely is a scene of more thrilling interest enjoyed upon 
earth than a revival in College. 

The most prominent associations and reminiscences of every 
alumnus are doubtless with his own class. We thought that 
our class that of '52 was a remarkably good one ! Very 
few classes, I apprehend, had a more genuine class spirit. 
Soon after we entered, a committee was despatched to Spring- 
field to procure class caps, as a sort of badge of the class, 
not of the outlandish kinds which are frequently seen, but 
a neat and sensible head-dress which could be worn any- 
where without attracting a crowd of small boys. The con- 
trolling influence in the class was a moral one. The class at 
least the influential majority took strong ground against rowdy- 
ism, especially that brutal and cowardly sort which consists in 
injuring the rooms or the persons and property of students, par- 
ticularly the Freshmen ; and this not only while as Freshmen, 
we were subjected to a good deal of that sort of experience, but 
especially on entering the Sophomore year, when a meeting of the 
class was held and strong resolutions adopted against it, and when 


the leading men of the class boldly avowed their determination to 
expose any member of the class whom they should detect in do- 
ing anything of the kind, beyond the little tricks and jokes that 
in a college community are considered harmless. It was decided 
that a little hydropathic treatment was sometimes not wholl} r 
objectionable, especially when a Freshman had an excess of 
starch. But the breaking of windows and doors, and the like, 
was declared to be unmanly, and against the honor of the class, 
and not at all to be allowed. According to my remembrance 
the spirit of rowdyism was made unpopular from that time. 

Our Professors kindly gave us a day occasionally for excur- 
sions, which we enjoyed exceedingly. One of the most memo- 
rable was to the summit of Mount Holyoke. One Monday morn- 
ing of our Senior year, a member of our class received word, 
in a clandestine way, that the young ladies of the Seminary at 
South Hadley, with their teachers were to make an excursion to 
the mountain that very day, and would not object to meeting some 
of their College " cousins." The young ladies were not informed 
of the excursion until after supper, Saturday evening, so that the 
intelligence might not reach Amherst ; but some " bird of the 
air " brought the word, a class meeting was called, the consent 
of the Faculty obtained. Nothing was sard to the Professors, of 
course, about the expected visit of the young ladies there, and in 
about an hour we were en route to Mount Holyoke, where the 
day was very pleasantly spent, and where, I believe, there was 
scarcely anything exceptionable said or done. We had the im- 
pression that the ladies enjoyed it, even better than we did ! 

Early in the first term of our Junior year, we were, one day. 
assembled for our recitation in Greek, and as our Professor did 
not come, we remained for a little chat, when a motion was made 
and carried that a committee be appointed to collect and retain, 
till the vacation, all the razors in the class. The wearing of 
beards was not so common then as now. Another committee was 
chosen to draw up a constitution, and the class was formed into 
an anti-shaving society called Philopogonia. During the term, 
the society had a public celebration in one of the village halls, at 
which an oration and a poem were delivered, and the occasion 
was a decided success. This anti-shaving scheme caused a good 


deal of innocent fun in the College during that term, and gave 
the Juniors a good deal of eclat. All the members of the class, 
except some of the youngest, were fully bewhiskered ; but at the 
close of the term the razors were distributed, and we were our- 
selves again. 

" Class-day " is now, I believe, a well-established arrangement. 
This was instituted by the Class of '52. If the custom had 
ever been established, it had long been unobserved. Of this I 
am not informed. We had an oration and a poem in the even- 
ing, after which the class in a body greeted each Professor with 
a serenade and an address, and then we had a class supper a 
very rational and enjoyable occasion throughout. 

There were some very noble souls in our class. They are 
making their mark in the world. There were none more genial, 
and more worthy than Benjamin and Root the first two schol- 
ars in the class, who were called home to their rest before they 
were permitted to enter upon their life work. They were not 
mere scholars, studying for an appointment, but men of noble pur- 
pose, large hearts and superior endowments, who seemed destined 
to a career of no ordinary importance. Two men could scarcely 
differ more widely than they, and yet both were greatly beloved 
by their fellows. Benjamin was a poor boy. He was " self- 
made." He was exceedingly sensitive and modest, yet sparkling 
with a quiet humor ; and more than all, a Christian of deep expe- 
rience. He had a great head, set upon a small, frail body, and it 
was the laboratory of many a fine thought, expressed often with 
exquisite grace and beauty. Root had a fine form. He was 
athletic, active, very impulsive and enthusiastic, yet restrained 
by Christian principle, ready to dare and do great things, and he 
had the power of imparting enthusiasm to others, which fitted 
him to be a leader. He was looking forward to the law, and 
Benjamin to the Christian ministry. There can be little doubt 
that each would have been eminent in his profession if life had 
been spared. H. N. BARNTTM, 

Class of '52. 



" THE religious bearings and uses of education paramount to 
all others," was the main theme of Dr. Hitchcock's Inaugural 
Address. After a rapid survey of the entire and vast circle of 
human learning, he thus expresses the result : " Is not every 
mind forced irresistibly to the conclusion that every branch was 
originally linked by a golden chain to the throne of God ; and 
that the noblest use to which they can be consecrated and for 
which they were destined, is to illustrate his perfections and 
to display his glory." With such a view of the chief end of 
education, he could not content himself with making all litera- 
ture and science tributary to religion in the lecture-room he 
could not but summon himself and his associates to direct efforts 
for promoting Christian piety as the highest end and aim of a 
Christian College. 

In common with his predecessors in the presidency and his as- 
sociates in the Faculty, Dr. Hitchcock believed that revivals of 
religion at special seasons, and those of frequent occurrence, 
were hi harmony with the economy of nature and Providence, 
and that periodical revivals were especially in harmony with 
College life, in which everything is periodical. His labors as a 
pastor had been blessed with revivals. In all the revivals which 
Amherst College had experienced except the first, he had been 
present, and he participated in the labors connected with the 
first, and at the request of Dr. Moore preached a sermon at its 
close. One of the revivals under the presidency of his prede- 
cessor took place during the absence of Dr. Humphrey in Eu- 
rope, and the responsible management of it devolved on Prof. 


Hitchcock. And when he came into the presidency, no object 
lay nearer his heart than a revival of religion which should 
quicken the Christian activity of the church and bring those 
that were without into the fold of Christ. 

In addition to the faithful preaching on the Sabbath, the 
Thursday evening lecture, the class prayer-meetings and all 
the other means which had been previously used, he now insti- 
tuted a meeting for prayer and religious conference at his own 
house, which, besides uniting the hearts of Christians to each 
other and their pastor, proved one of the most effective instru- 
mentalities of reviving religion in the College. " I had always 
felt it to be desirable," he says, " that a meeting where some- 
what more familiar relations could be established between the 
pastor and his flock would be desirable,- and accordingly when I 
assumed the presidency, I privately informed one or two mem- 
bers of the Senior class that every Monday evening, at a certain 
hour, my study would be open to any members of College who 
might like to spend a half hour (to which time I should rigidly 
limit the meeting) in prayer and religious conference. I told 
them that I should generally call on them for prayers and that I 
would then make familiar remarks upon some practical question, 
proposed at the preceding meeting, and would be glad also to 
hear their remarks. I sat at my study table, and the room was 
usually so closel}" packed that we could not even kneel in prayer. 
It seemed like a great family at morning or evening prayers, 
conversing upon experimental religion, and I do not doubt that 
the home feeling this produced, had much to do with the inter- 
est which the meeting seemed to excite. At the season of the 
year when the annual Fast for Colleges occurs, I directed my 
questions to subjects adapted to prepare Christians for a special 
work of grace. In times of revival the numbers increased so 
much as to drive us out of my study, and my family used every 
week to fill one of the large parlors of the President's house 
with seats. But when the meetings were so manifestly blessed 
of God, I did not dare to transfer the meeting to one of the 
public rooms in College, lest its peculiar attractions should be 
destroyed. I rejoice that I did not ; for in subsequent years, by 
letters from graduates, I found that probably no other religious 


effort which I ever made was so blessed of God as this. Some- 
times thrilling incidents occurred in the meetings ; and some- 
times the prayers made by my young brethren had an unction, 
an eloquence and a power which I have never heard elsewhere, 
and whose impression remains upon my memory to this day." 1 
The good President has not exaggerated the influence of that 
Monday evening prayer-meeting. Its stirring and solemn scenes 
were impressed not more vividly or indelibly on his mind than 
they were on the minds of the students who attended them, and 
scarcely a letter have I received from an alumnus relating to the 
religious history of this period, which does not make more or 
less reference to that meeting. 

Less than a year after Dr. Hitchcock's accession, during the 
first winter term of his presidency, the College was blessed with 
a very interesting revival of religion ; and it was in large meas- 
ure the fruit of those well-directed questions and wise measures 
connected with the first College Fast, which have just been nar- 
rated. By comparing dates, the reader will see that this was a 
time of much discouragement and depression in the financial 
condition of the College; and this season of spiritual refresh- 
ing, while it greatly cheered the hearts of the President and Pro- 
fessors under these discouragements, was the prophet and fore- 
runner of the outward prosperity that soon followed. 

The following narrative of this revival of 1846, is from the 
pen of one who, then a member of the Se'nior class, was deeply 
interested in it, and whose own labors in the ministry have often 
been blessed with similar revivals: 2 " For several weeks of the 
winter term, a meeting had been held in the President's study 
on Monday evening, to offer special prayer for the baptism of 
the Holy Spirit. It was not largely attended at first, only the 
more active and earnest Christians of the College being present; 
but as the holy fire kindled and spread, the number increased, 
until the room became crowded with quickened and earnest 
souls, whose prayers were increasingly fervent and believing 
week by week. As yet professors of religion only, had come 
in. One evening we noticed among us a member of the Fresh- 

1 Reminiscences of Amherst College, pp. 167-8. 

2 Rev. George E. Fisher, Class of '46. 

REVIVAL OF 1846. 347 

man class, who was not a Christian. We looked upon his pres- 
ence as an unmistakable indication that God had begun to an- 
swer our prayers. The meeting went on. Faith and hope were 
greatly strengthened. All hearts were poured out in prayer more 
fervently than ever. The last prayer was offered, the last word 
spoken, and we were about to turn away, when this young man 
arose and asked us to stay for a moment. I remember distinctly 
just where he stood and how he appeared, when he said : ' My 
friends, the Spirit of God has been striving with me many days. 
I have resisted his strivings. I have resolved and sought to 
banish my convictions, but I can not succeed. I feel myself to 
be a sinner, most guilty and unworthy. I want your prayers 
that I may be brought to Christ.' 

" In an instant the place became a Bochim. ' Let us pray,' 
said the President. All bent upon their knees, and all hearts 
were as one in the pleadings that went up before the mercy-seat. 
A day or two only passed, before this young man came out in- 
to the light of a new life, and began an earnest work for Christ, 
which he continued throughout his College course, and has now 
been prosecuting for many years as a missionary to China. Rev. 
Charles Hartwell was the first convert of that revival. 

" From that time the work went rapidly forward, bringing 
into the kingdom many members of each of the two lower class- 
es, and a few from the Junior class. Nearly all of my class were 
already Christians by profession or in hope. 

" I remember several cases of great interest. Among them 
was that of ' Dunn Brown.' l I see him now, bowed under the 
burden of his guilt, his countenance a picture of utmost agony, 
and of very despair, seemingly about sinking into the earth, or 
even into the bottomless pit. I saw him, one evening in par- 
ticular, in the old rhetorical room, during a sermon of Prof. 
Fiske's, from the words : ' And they considered not in their hearts 
that I remember all their wickedness.' I never knew a case in 
which ' law- work ' was more thoroughly done than in his. It 
went on with him in the same manner for two or three days, 
when the storm passed over, the sunshine came, all was serene 
and peaceful, and he became one of the happiest and most cheer- 

1 The well-known nom de plume of Samuel Fisk, Class of '48. 


ful of Christians, living for Christ while he lived, and at length 
sweetly falling asleep in him. 

" I have mentioned a sermon of Prof. Fiske. It did seem to 
me at that time, that I had never listened to a sermon of such 
power, and my memories of it to-day are much the same with 
my impressions of it then.^ All the preaching of all the Pro- 
fessors was good, but I think it no disparagement to that of 
any of the others, when I say that Prof. Fiske's preaching was 
most pungent and powerful of all. In the earlier stages of the 
revival, his health was so feeble, that he could do almost noth- 
ing publicly, yet his interest in the beginning and progress of 
the work was intense. I remember going early into his recita- 
tion one morning, and finding him there alone. He at once in- 
quired into the state of the work, and on my mentioning many 
hopeful indications, and giving him some incidents of interest, 
his eyes filled with tears, and he went on to tell in tremulous 
tones, what a sorrow it was to him 'to be denied the privilege 
of active participation in the work, at the same time expressing 
his joy that the Lord could carry it forward without his help. 
But before the work ceased, he was permitted to share in it 
actively and efficiently." 

In regard to the preaching, it should be remarked, that Presi- 
dent Hitchcock did not feel able to preach half of the time, as 
his predecessor had done, and so he and his clerical colleagues 
in the Faculty, preached in rotation on the Sabbath, at the 
Thursday evening lecture, and, in times of unusual religious in- 
terest, on Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday evenings. They also 
took turns with him in presiding at the monthly Missionary 
Concert, and other occasional meetings, and the older Professors 
aided the President in inquiry meetings and other special meet- 
ings in revivals. Visits of the officers to the students at their 
rooms, for the sake of conversation on personal religion, were 
perhaps more frequent at this period than they ever were before 
or after, and were often attended with obvious good results. 
The writer remembers seasons of conversation and prayer of 
great interest in this revival, the scene of which was at the pri- 
vate rooms of individual students. 

But while the President and Professors were deeply inter- 


ested in the religious welfare of the students, and put forth 
united efforts to promote it, Dr. Hitchcock was strongly im- 
pressed with the conviction that other agencies and influences, 
particularly those of pious parents, relatives and friends, were 
quite as powerful as any exerted in College ; and towards the 
close of the revival in 1846, he addressed a letter of inquiry to 
several of the parents and friends of those hopefully converted. 
Specimens of the answers may be seen in his " Reminiscences," 
(pp. 170-7), and they reveal a remarkable correspondence, not 
to say a mysterious sympathy between the religious exercises of 
the converts and those of their parents and friends, which make 
an interesting chapter on the power of prayer, and the philos- 
ophy of revivals of religion. 

The following entries occur in the Church Record, the last 
of the kind, and indeed with a single exception the last of 
any kind, in the hand-writing of the lamented Prof. Fiske : 

" April 12, 1846. Received by letter, Julius H. Seelye, Ed- 
ward Y. Garrett, Horace Taylor, John Laurens Spencer; by 
profession, William Cowper Dickinson, Samuel Mark Fletcher, 
Charles Vinal Spear, John Hawkes, Jr. 

" June 14. Received by letter, Rev. Jonas Colburn and Mrs. 
Mary B. Colburn ; by profession, John W. Belcher, William S. 
Clark, Samuel Fisk, Francis Holmes, Francis A. Howe, Robert 
D. Miller, Thomas Morong, Henry J. Patrick, Hanson L. Read, 
Edwin Clapp, John L. Emerson, Charles Hartwell, James B. 
Kimball, William B. Colburn, Evarts Cornelius Tyler, Felicia 
H. Emerson and Frances J. Emerson ; most of these being the 
fruits of an interesting revival of religion during the last spring. 

" June 16. By request of the Pastor, the Clerk prepared by 
examination, the following statistical statement to the general 
Association of Massachusetts : ' The whole number of members 
of this Church is sixty ; of these forty-four are students, and 
sixteen are members of the several families of the teachers and 
others that attend public worship on the Sabbath at the College 
Chapel. The removals since June 1, 1845, are eighteen, all by 
letters of dismission to other churches ; the additions since that 
date are by letter fourteen, and by profession twenty-seven." 

It will be seen from the above that less than half of the en- 


tire number of professors of religion in College belonged at this 
time to the College Church. This has always been true (with 
a varying percentage), much to the regret of the President and 
Professors arid in spite of all their exertions. The entire num- 
ber of converts in a revival never join the College Church, al- 
though a majority have usually done so. 

One of the converts in this revival, a good scholar then and 
a faithful minister now, writes : l " For the precious, sacred, sav- 
ing influences that were thrown about me then, I can never be 
grateful enough. I knew but little of the word of God, before 
my conversion, but I have found that I became well established 
in the Pauline, Augustinian, Edwardian Theology before I left 
the College, though I never saw the Assembly's Catechism till 
after I entered the Theological Seminary. Dr. Hitchcock was 
my lean ideal of a Christian man and scholar, before I had a 
Christian hope and when I was half inclined to skepticism. His 
daily life was enough to meet all my arguments against Christi- 

In the winter and spring of 1850, there wa^ another general 
revival. The following narrative is condensed from minutes 
taken at the time by one,' 2 then a member of the Senior class, 
whose share in its labors and blessings will be remembered by all 
who participated in it. 

" There was unusual religious feeling in the fall term (1849-50) 
especially at the close ; and Christians left with a disposition to 
pray much for a revival. A daily prayer-meeting had been es- 
tablished that term, which was soon recommenced in the winter. 
An extra Sabbath evening prayer-meeting of all the classes was 
also held, continued from the fall term. The officers of the 
College commenced the term with desires to secure a revival, 
and their preaching, especially Thursday evening, was intended 
to bear on that point. And many of the prayers in the Presi- 
dent's Monday evening social religious meeting indicated the 
same desire on the part of some of the students. 

" Feeling gradually increased each week up to the middle of 
the term. As numbers returned from teaching, the interest 
deepened. Some students spent hours daily in prayer and re- 

1 Rev. R. D. Miller, Class of '48. 2 Rev. David T. Packard, Class of '50. 

REVIVAL OF 1850. 351 

ligious duties as a preparation to work for God in the revival. 
'"We expected much from the College Fast; to it we looked as 
our only hope. The day came with all its solemnity, and more 
solemn than ever ; for Prof. Peabody, our new, beloved teacher, 
lay dead in our midst. Tidings of the death of some former 
students tended further to arouse us. For a few days all seemed 
unavailing, and we feared there would be no good result. One 
student, however, was deeply serious (D. P. H.) ; his feeling 
was increased by the death of the Professor ; and the day after 
the funeral (March 2) at meeting, he asked the prayers of his 
class. Sunday he obtained hope. Rev. E. G. Swift, then of 
Northampton, preached that day, and with much power, espe- 
cially his sermon, ' Under the law.' Rev. E. Bliss, the mission- 
ary, preached the next Sabbath, March 10, the feeling increas- 
ing meanwhile amid unceasing efforts, most pointed appeals and 
fervent prayers. Then for a week, there was an awful sus- 
pense, much holding back and great discouragement, till we 
now were on the point of saying we hardly dared hope for any- 
thing more. Just then, March 16, one who had been serious 
(J. E. S.) indulged hope, and others soon followed, one, two, 
three and four a day for weeks with few interruptions. 

"Sunday, March 17, a sermon by Prof. Smith, 'Almost per- 
suaded to be a Christian,' had a mighty effect. There was 
preaching in the Rhetorical Room, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday 
and Friday evenings, except that Tuesday was sometimes 
changed to a Conference. The Monday evening meeting at 
Dr. Hitchcock's, was changed to two an Inquiry meeting, and 
one for other persons, conducted by Prof. Tyler or Prof. Smith. 
The Inquiry meeting increased from ten to forty. The whole 
number of hopeful conversions among the students was thirty- 
one, and several individuals in the families, worshiping in the 
Chapel. At the opening of the term, ten in th*e Senior class 
were unconverted : of these, six indulged hope, a much larger 
proportion in the Freshman class ; in the Sophomore and Junior 
classes, a smaller number. Most of the conversions were dur- 
ing the last half of March. 

" The whole work was very still, with little outward mani- 
festation of feeling. Hopes feeble at first, grew brighter and 


brighter daily. Converts held out well. One convert, who 
held the first place in scholarship and influence in the Junior 
class, 1 remarked that he thought a man could not have one 
right or noble feeling till he loved Christ. A member of the 
Senior class, who had not accepted the Orthodox view of a 
change of heart, and the need of salvation by Christ, was led 
to renounce his self-righteousness, to feel his sinfulness, and 
trust in Christ for pardon ; and the very points in which he 
had been the farthest from the truth before, were the points 
of which he now thought and spoke with the most love and 

"A member of the Freshman class had once indulged hope 
and gone back, and in College was one of the most hardened 
opposers. He seldom attended meeting. He and a company of 
associates like himself, tried a game of cards to see whose lot it 
should be first to become a Christian. The lot fell on him. It 
set him to thinking. After a long conviction and many strug- 
gles, he embraced the truth and joined the church. 

" Another convert in the same class, was the only one in the 
revival to renounce his hope and fall back into darkness before 
the end of that term. But he was a chosen vessel, and has 
for many years been an able and useful preacher of the gospel, 
within sight of his boyhood's home, and of our Alma Mater. 2 
How some Christians in that class, did work for their fellows ! 
They are working still. The workers then are the workers 
now. Some are earnest pastors. One of them is a Professor 
in the College. 3 

" Of the converts of this revival, a portion are preachers of 
the gospel, in different States ; several are eminent in the law, 
and are good men ; some are Christian preachers, and others ac- 
tive members of the church in other honorable spheres. The 
revival neve* will be forgotten by any who were in it, for the 
still, calm and deep power which made some do what before 
they could not find it in their hearts to do." 

Including seven from the families of the Faculty, there were 

1 Two of those who at this time professed their faith in Christ, were Valedicto- 
rians of their classes. 

2 Rev. J. M. Green, Class of '53. 8 Prof. CrowelL 


thirty-three persons who, together, presented themselves at the 
altar, almost filling the broad aisle, all in the bloom of youth, 
and who now, for the first time, dedicated themselves, by their 
own voluntary consecration, to the service of their Maker, Re- 
deemer and Sanctifier. This was on the 23d day of June, 1850 
a day long to be remembered, not only by the persons them- 
selves, and their youthful companions, not only by the numerous 
families whom they represented, and to whom it caused great 
joy, but doubtless to be remembered forever, as a day when 
there was joy in the presence of the angels of God, and of the 
redeemed in heaven. 

Of the one hundred and seventy-nine members of College at 
this time, one hundred and six were professors of religion at the 
beginning of the revival, so that about one-half of those who 
were not reckoned among the people of God at the beginning, 
were numbered with them at its close. 

The year 1853 is reckoned among our seasons of spiritual har- 
vest, although the religious interest was not so general or so 
deep, nor the ingathering so abundant as in some other revivals. 

And lest the emphasis which we have given to these seasons 
of revival should be misinterpreted, it should be here remarked, 
that the records of the church show what will also be remem- 
bered by alumni, and others who have worshiped with us, that 
at this period, as at others in our religious history, there were 
additions to the church by profession every year, and at almost 
every communion. Thus at the communion in April, 1849, 
just about a year before the great revival of 1850 eight per- 
sons, among the leading scholars and men of influence in their 
respective classes, three of them now distinguished educators in 
New England, made a public profession of their faith in Christ. 
At the communion, next preceding, in February, 1849, one per- 
son, then a member of the Sophomore class, stood up alone, 
and avouched the Lord to be his God thenceforth and forever. 
And these sentences of a letter written in September, 1870, 
from the shores of the Mediterranean, show what most im- 
pressed him on entering College, and what kind of influences 
brought him from a wilderness of error and unbelief, into the 
fold of Christ : " First impressions are lasting. And my first 


impressions of Amherst College have never left me. T arrived 
at the College about the middle of the fall term, in 1848. We, 
(H. and myself,) had come from Ohio by the way of Lake Erie 
and the Canal, and had seen not a little of rough and profane 
society on our journey. What we witnessed on entering the 
College, was such a contrast to all this, and indeed to all that 
we had been accustomed to in our own previous observation and 
experience, that it seemed as if we had passed into another 
world ! The solemn, cheerful and intellectual air of the Presi- 
dent and Professors at morning and evening prayers, and the 
religious tone, not of voice, but of heart and life, in the major- 
ity of the students, led me into a new train of thought, gave 
me new views, and made me ere long a new man." The Fresh- 
man, who was thus led to be a believer in Christ, the Sopho- 
more who thus stood up alone to declare himself on the Lord's 
side, is now the President of the Syrian College at Beirut, 
where he is leading on the combined assault of learning and 
the religion of Jesus Christ against Mohammedanism in its 
strongholds. In the same letter, he adds his testimony also to 
the power and genuineness of the revivals of religion in Am- 
herst College. " These revivals," he says, " stamped upon my 
mind the conviction that Amherst College believed in the reality 
of the religion of Christ. There was no diminution of the usual 
amount of study; hence the excitement for there was great 
excitement was rational, the hea*rt and the intellect moved on 
together. Twenty years have proved that those who then em- 
braced the truth, were sincere ; for they are found, many of 
them, to-day, in various parts of the world, spending their ma- 
turer years in preaching Christ." 

May such evermore be the impression on the minds of those 
who enter, and such the history of those who leave Amherst 
College ! And that it may be so, let frequent revivals of relig- 
ion be cherished and enjoyed by officers and students, and also 
additions be made to the church every year, and at every com- 
munion besides; even as thousands were sometimes gathered 
into the primitive church in a single day, while the Lord also 
added to the church daily, of such as would be saved. 

c O<*S~GL^I^L/ t 



DR. HITCHCOCK'S " Reminiscences of Amherst College " is at 
the sazae time an autobiography, almost the last production of 
his pen, and so fresh, so graphic, so truthful and unconscious 
that no one who can read it will care to read any other. The 
writer of this History has also given to the public a delineation 
of his life and character in the sermon which was delivered at 
his funeral. An extended biography will not, therefore, be ex- 
pected or attempted here. At the same time, some of the lead- 
ing facts of his life and the characteristics of the man should be 
set down to complete the history of his administration. 

The principal facts in a synoptical form and in chronological 
order are as follows: He was born in Deerfield, Franklin County, 
Mass., May 24, 1793 ; was principal of the academy in his native 
place from 1815 to 1818 ; was ordained pastor of the Congrega- 
tional Church in Conway, June 21, 1821, and dismissed in Octo- 
ber, 1825; elected Professor of Chemistry and Natural History 
in Amherst College, August 23, 1825 ; appointed State Geolo- 
gist of Massachusetts, June 26, 1830, and of the First District 
of New York, June 13, 1836 ; received the degree of Doctor of 
Laws from Harvard University, in 1840; was chosen President 
of Amherst College and Professor of Natural Theology and 
Geology, December 16, 1844 ; received the degree of Doctor of 
Divinity from Middlebury College, in 1846 ; was appointed 
commissioner of the State government to examine the agricul- 
tural schools of Europe, May 23, 1850; delivered his address 
on retiring from the presidency, November 22, 1854; was ap- 


pointed to complete the Geological Survey of the State of Ver- 
mont, in April, 1857 ; and continued to lecture, in the depart- 
ment of Geology and Natural Theology, with some assistance 
from his sons, till 1864, when he was called to higher honors 
and nobler services in heaven. 

His father, Justin Hitchcock, was a man of strong mind, 
sterling sense and steadfast piety, a hatter by trade, a soldier in 
the Revolutionary War, and a deacon in the Congregational 
Church. His mother, a Hoyt, was a woman of active mind 
and marked character, but subject to nervous debility and de- 
pression of spirits. The son, it need not. be said, united in him- 
self the characteristics of both his parents, the intellectual 
and moral stamina of the one and the acute, nervous sensibility 
of the other. 

His boyhood was spent in working on a farm, with a turn 
occasionally at carpentering and surveying. Obliged to labor 
through the day, he studied books and the stars by night. He 
set out to prepare himself for an advanced standing in Harvard 
University ; but a fit of sickness so weakened his eyes, already 
injured by night study and over-exertion, that he was obliged 
to relinquish a college education. 

He began early, though not precociously, to write much, at 
first for his own improvement, then for the press. A manu- 
script volume of three hundred pages is preserved which he 
began in 1813, at the age of twenty, and which, in a single 
year, he had filled nearly full with essays, poems, letters and 
addresses on scientific, political, moral and religious subjects. 
His first publication was a dramatic poem, of five hundred lines, 
which was first acted before the rural population of his na- 
tive place, and then in obedience to their call printed in 1815. 
His next appearance before the public was in quite another 
capacity, that of a mathematician and astronomer, wherein he 
corrected the errors of the Nautical Almanac, and received 
at length the reluctant thanks and acknowledgment of the 
editor. This was in 1817 and 1818, while he was Principal of 
Deerfield Academy. It was at this same period that he expe- 
rienced (partly under the influence of the young lady who 
was his assistant teacher, and who afterwards became his wife) 


that radical change in his religious belief and in his whole 
character, which gave a new and unexpected direction to 
his subsequent life. Following the drift of the church in 
Deerfield, he had embraced the Unitarian creed, and regarded 
Orthodoxy with mingled hatred and contempt. But led by 
the mysterious Providence and abounding grace of God, he 
first submitted his heart and will to the practical claims of the 
gospel, and was thus prepared at length cordially to embrace 
not only the Orthodox, but the Calvinistic creed. 

During his brief pastorate in Conway, of about four years, 
there were two general revivals of religion, and many were 
added to the church. His sermons at this time were short, sel- 
dom over thirty minutes, clear, forcible, considerably exegetical 
and sufficiently doctrinal, but always eminently practical and 
spiritual. Most of them were afterwards heard with great 
pleasure and profit by many generations of College students, 
for it was not until he became President that he wrote many 
new sermons. There was great variety in his preaching. He 
once preached a sermon from the word " Selah," as a text, of 
which the doctrine was, " Stop and think." While his theol- 
ogy was of the old school, he was practically a new measure 
man. He had a profound veneration for Mr. Nettleton, and in 
efforts to promote revivals trod in his footsteps, or rather 
showed a similar wisdom in the use of a variety of suitable 

During his pastorate in Conway, he found exercise and rec- 
reation in making a scientific survey of the western coun- 
ties of Massachusetts. This was the beginning of that life 
among the rocks and mountains, which was ever after a de- 
light and almost a passion. Like the giant in classical my- 
thology, whenever he could plant his foot on the bosom of 
Mother Earth, he was in his element, it was his strength, 
his health, his life. This was also the origin of the geological 
survey of the entire State, which was afterwards made by the 
government, at his suggestion, and which has the honor of 
originating that series of scientific surveys which have since 
done so much to develop the mineral and agricultural resources 
of our country. 


The way was thus prepared for his appointment to be the 
first Professor of Chemistry and Natural History in Amherst 
College. The boy in Deerfield was father to the man in Am- 
herst, and the Amherst scientific collections had their germs and 
roots among the rocks and hills of Con way. After some study 
and practice in the laboratory of Prof. Silliman, at New Ha- 
ven, he entered upon the duties of his office. For many years 
he was the sole Professor in all the departments of Natural His- 
tory. He lectured and instructed in Chemistry, Botany, Mineral- 
ogy, Geology, Zoology, Anatomy and Physiology, Natural Theol- 
ogy ; and sometimes to fill a temporary vacancy he was the 
most suitable person the College could depute to teach also Nat- 
ural Philosophy and Astronomy. It was when he was teach- 
ing Enfield's Natural Philosophy to the Class of '30 (I well re- 
member, and the class will probably remember it with me), 
that a member of the class, the oldest and most venerable mem- 
ber, who had been annoyed by a classmate sitting behind him 
till he could no longer endure it, rose in his seat, turned delib- 
erately around, and struck the offender on the side of his head 
with that huge quarto volume, thus beating into him more phi- 
losophy than he ever learned before. The blow rang through 
the room and provoked the suppressed applause of the class, 
but never called forth a word of reproof or remonstrance 
from our wise and patient Professor. For a short time there 
was an awful pause, and then the recitation went on as if 
nothing had happened. Prof. Hitchcock was too easy and 
too indulgent to be a prime teacher. But Amherst College 
never had a more inspiring lecturer, and it may be doubted 
whether the general, consistent and comprehensive view of 
all the branches of Chemistry and Natural History which he 
gave to his classes, did not meet the wants of College stu- 
dents did not subserve the purposes of College education 
better than the fuller and more specific courses of two or 
three or half a dozen savants or special lecturers would have 
done in his place. 

For two or three years in and near 1830 his mind, his 
heart, his tongue and his pen were given to the subject of tem- 
perance, so far as they could be without interfering with the 


more immediate duties of his professorship ; and the result was 
the establishment of the Anti-venenian Society in College, and 
the publication of several books, tracts, articles and essays 
among the rest a prize essay which have identified his name 
with the history of the temperance reformation scarcely less 
than with the advancement of science. 

No sooner was this work accomplished than he entered with 
all his soul upon the series of geological explorations and sci- 
entific surveys which occupied all the time he could spare from 
the College for the greater part of ten years. He did but one 
great work at a time. But he was never afraid of having too 
many smaller irons in the fire. 

The history of his presidency has been given in previous 
chapters. Its value to the Institution can not be overestimated. 
His weight of character and his wise policy we have said it 
publicly before l and we wish to repeat it and put it on record 
his weight of character and his wise policy saved the College, 
Having accomplished the object for which he accepted the office, 
he resigned the command with far greater satisfaction than he 
took it, and fell back again into the ranks rose again let us 
rather say, for so he viewed it, to those unclouded heights of 
science and religion on which he had before delighted to stand, 
but which now appeared to him more beautiful than ever as 
he looked back upon the region of clouds and storm through 
which he had passed. At the request of the Trustees he re- 
tained the professorship of Natural Theology and Geology. 
According to his, own proposal, he received only half the usual 
salary of a Professor. He held this professorship almost the 
same length of time as he had occupied the presidential chair, 
between nine and ten years. For some years he lectured on his 
favorite themes with his characteristic ardor bordering on en- 
thusiasm. He delivered lectures before lyceums and addresses 
on public occasions. He revised his principal works and pub- 
lished new ones. The second edition of his Religion of Geol- 
ogy, considerably enlarged, was issued in 1859, the thirty-first 
edition of his Elementary Geology, re-written, appeared in 1860, 

1 See Historical Address at the Semi-centennial. 


and the third edition of the " Phenomena of the Seasons," with 
additions, in 1861. In 1859, the Faculty and students presented 
him with a beautiful service of silver plate which gratified him 
much as an expression of the gratitude and affection of those 
whom he had so tenderly loved and so faithfully served. The 
same year he was brought to the borders of the grave. Phy- 
sicians and friends despaired of his life. If he had died then, the 
world would have said, it was a completed life. But not so 
heavenly wisdom. Before heaven could say to him " Servant of 
God, well done," he must live on through five more years of 
suffering, years of dying they almost seemed to him, still writing 
and publishing, still, like the aged Athenian sage, learning 
many things, still interpreting nature and studying his own 
frame so fearfully and wonderfully made, still lecturing to his 
classes even after he was too feeble to go to them and therefore 
invited them to come to him, still making large and choice col- 
lections for his cabinets, still caring and planning for his beloved 
College, still toiling to enlarge the boundaries of science, still 
watching with jealousy his own heart, the spiritual condition of 
the College, and the interests of evangelical religion all the 
while battling heroically with death and " him that has the 
power of death," and nobly illustrating the triumph of mind 
over matter, of faith and philosophy over all the powers of 
darkness even in the last extremity. All his life-time he had 
been more or less subject to bondage through constitutional 
depression and fear of death. But he died leaning his head 
on the Cross of Christ almost visibly present by his side, and 
wondering at the riches of redeeming and sustaining grace. 
At the' time of his death which was on the 27th of Feb- 
ruary, 1864, he had not quite reached the age of seventy- 
one. On the 2d of March, a great congregation, consisting 
of the Faculty and students, Trustees and alumni of the Col- 
lege, scientific men and clergymen from every part of the 
State, together with great numbers of people of all classes 
from Amherst and the neighboring towns, assembled in the 
village church to attend his funeral and thence followed the 
body to its last resting-place in the cemetery. The spot 
is now marked by a plain granite obelisk bearing, together 


with the dates of his birth and death, this simple and truthful 
inscription : 











But his best and most enduring monument is in his work in 
the College which he restored, and in the influence which he ex- 
erted upon the church and the world by his tongue and his pen, 
and through the life and character of his three or four thousand 
pupils. Nor can the history of Mount Holyoke Seminary, any 
more than that of Amherst College, be written without large 
reference to Dr. Hitchcock, of whose family Miss Lyon was a 
member, when she was laying broad and deep her plans for 
founding it, and whose tongue and pen were among the chief 
organs for communicating those plans to the public. These two 
Institutions will perpetuate his name and his influence so long 
as they faithfully represent that idea science and religion 
which was the motto of his life. 

Dr. Hitchcock was a prolific writer. He has left in his 
"Reminiscences" a record of the titles and dates of twenty- 
four volumes, thirty-five pamphlets, (sermons, etc.,) ninety-four 
papers in the journals, and eighty newspaper articles, two hun- 
dred and thirty-three in all, and making up a sum total of over 
eight thousand printed pages. Writing for the press was a 
luxury to him in health, a solace under depression of spirits, 
and a resource in his declining years. " Realizing how few, 
if any of these productions will survive the present genera- 
tion," and persuaded that " if any of them do, it will be owing 
to their connection with Christianity," he says, " the work 
which I did aim to make of permanent value, Providence 
never allowed me to write. I mean a treatise on Natural 
Theology. All that I have written was but the scaffolding 


and a few of the braces and pins of the edifice I had hoped to 

Dr. Hitchcock was a large man. His frame was large, his 
mind was large, his heart was large. He was largely endowed 
with all the powers and faculties proper to man, which, accord- 
ing to the best definition we have ever seen of that much abused 
word, constitutes real genius. It were not easy to say, whether 
observation or reflection, perception or memory, reason or imag- 
ination was his predominant faculty. He had more faith than 
most men in new discoveries. This believing disposition some- 
times welcomed a premature announcement or a fabrication, like 
the celebrated moon-hoax ; but it expected great things, at- 
tempted great things and achieved great things for science. It 
wrought miracles in the scientific world. 

Wit and humor were not wanting in him, as, according to 
Coleridge, genius never is destitute of those qualities. Now 
and then a publication of his is overflowing with facetiousness 
and fun, like the Zoological Temperance Convention in South 
Africa. Only a short time before his death, he called my atten- 
tion to a huge boulder of pure copper, which lay in his sick- 
room, and invited me to put it in my pocket and carry it home 
with me. 

There was almost a ludicrous side to the extreme sensitive- 
ness of his nature, and the suffering often apparently unneces- 
sary, yet always dreadfully real to him, which it caused him. 
I shall never forget the notes which he jotted down from hour 
to hour, and sent back from Halifax, on his voyage to England. 
The colors in which he paints his sufferings grow darker and 
darker every hour, till at length he calls on his children to be 
thankful that they would never have the means to take a voy- 
age to Europe. 

But it was the crowning beauty of his character and life, that 
so much greatness was accompanied with such unaffected mod- 
esty and humility ; such simplicity in language, style and man- 
ners ; such a constant exemplification of the lowlier and so- 
called lesser virtues. He was temperate in all things ; he prac- 
ticed economy as a Christian duty ; he was scrupulously honest 
in the most trivial matters ; he insisted on conducting business 


according to the golden rule. Finally, it was the highest glory 
and the chief joy of this great and good man, that he was an 
humble, penitent, believing and adoring disciple of Christ. His 
lectures and teachings, wherever they might begin, were sure 
to end as the Bible ends, at the throne of God and the Lamb. 
His greatest book, " The Religion of Geology," is the type of 
his writings and of his life. The following commemorative 
minute, entered on the records of the Trustees, is worthy of 
preservation in this History, not only as a just tribute to the 
memory of Dr. Hitchcock, but also as an illustration of the 
light in which he was seen by such men as Hon. William B. 
Calhoun, who prepared it, and others who were most intimately 
associated with him : 

*' The memorial of the great and good is always found in the 
results of their labors for the benefit of those among whom 
they lived and labored. Guided by this rule, the late Presi- 
dent Hitchcock is seen everywhere around us. Though dead, 
truly he yet speaketh. Nowhere can we look, without his mark 
standing prominently out. And so will it be, while Amherst 
College shall continue to be known among men. Often as she 
may change her external dress, there will always remain from 
generation to generation the foot-prints and the head-prints 
of Edward Hitchcock. He stands connected with the early 
struggles of the College. He is known and seen in every effort 
that was made, from whatever quarter, to give it standing and 
character before the public and amongst its fellows, and to get 
rid of all attempts to throw odium upon its origin, or to misrep- 
resent its true purposes and honorable aspirations. 

" In the cause of Natural Science, Dr. Hitchcock was devoted, 
earnest and thoroughly armed. In bringing science to a full 
and constant recognition of God, and of that religion which 
came from God, as it was the joy of his heart, so did it success- 
fully and nobly concentrate all his great powers of thought, ob- 
servation, reflection and discriminating analysis. 

" We, his associates, and in our department co-laborers, take 
delight in recalling the numberless graces of his character, and 
gladly would we descant upon them at large. But we desire 
simply to plant here upon the Records of the Trustees this 


hearty and full-souled memorial. ' Primus inter pares ' will find 
no ungrateful response in any heart that has ever been animated 
with love and reverence for Amherst College." 

This minute is followed by a vote, that " the Collection of 
foot-prints in possession of the College be called the Hitchcock 
Ichnological Cabinet, in honor of our late lamented President, 
Edward Hitchcock." The portrait bust which fitly adorns this 
Cabinet, the fruit of Prof. Mather's exertions and of Milrnore's 
genius, was contributed by alumni and other friends of Dr. 
Hitchcock, and is the best remaining representation of his noble 
form and features. 

Few men have owed so much to their wives as Dr. Hitch- 
cock owed to his. She led him to Christ; she taught him how 
to live. Going down into the dark valley just before him, she 
taught him how to die. She alone made life desirable or endur- 
able to him. If she had gone down to the grave a quarter of a 
century sooner than she did, it could not have been long before 
he would have followed her. The even flow of her spirits al- 
ways balanced the unevenness of his. Her equanimity was the 
balance-wheel and her good sense the regulator of his domestic 
and social life. Her pencil illustrated all his books, 1 and hung 
the walls of his lecture-rooms with diagrams. She opened her 
parlors for Freshman and Senior levees, and set the example 
which was followed by other ladies of the Faculty, of a recep- 
tion, to which students of all classes might come once a fort- 
night without invitation, and spend an evening in social improve- 
ment and enjoyment with the families of the College and the vil- 
lage. At the same time, her cultured simplicity and tasteful 
economy in dress and style of living and in the entertainment 
of company exerted an influence which has not yet entirely 
ceased to be felt in the College and the community. The Col- 
lege was indebted to the rare self-denial and Christian sympathy 
of Mrs. Hitchcock scarcely less than to the wisdom and fervor 
of her husband for the Monday evening prayer-meetings to 
which the whole house was thrown open, and which left such 

1 "For the two hundred and thirty -two plates and eleven hundred and thirty-four 
wood-cuts in my works, I have been mainly indebted to the pencil and patience of 
my beloved wife." "Reminiscences," p. 392. 


a benediction behind them. To her, also, with the hearty co- 
operation of the other ladies, the College chapel owed its first 
renovation, early in Dr. Hitchcock's presidency. Never did a 
husband pay a more graceful compliment to a wife than Dr. 
Jlitchcock paid to Mrs. Hitchcock, in dedicating to her his 
greatest work, and never did a wife better deserve such a com- 
pliment. Well might he say, in his last work: "How provi- 
dential that such a wife should be given me ; " and all the 
friends of Amherst College may well rejoice with him in the 
same kind Providence. 

That three Professors should have died in office during the 
nine years of Dr. Hitchcock's presidency, is a fact without a 
parallel in the history of the College. We have already given 
a biographical sketch of Prof. Fiske. This is the place for 
som* notice of the life and character of Professors Peabody and 

Rev. Prof. William Augustus Peabody was born in Salem, 
Mass., December 6, 1816, was graduated with the second appoint- 
ment in the Class of '35, was an eminently popular and success- 
ful Tutor from 1838 to 1840, was married to a daughter of Rev. 
Dr. Codman of Dorchester in 1846, and settled in the ministry 
over the Congregational Church in East Randolph for several 
years, till greatly to the regret of his people, he was dismissed 
in December, 1849, that he might become Professor of Latin in 
the College where he was educated. He entered upon his new 
duties in the winter term of 1849-50, with characteristic ardor, 
and with promise of abundant usefulness. He had heard his 
classes only about six weeks. He had preached with great ac- 
ceptance, two or three times in the College chapel. He was 
just beginning to make himself useful, honored and beloved 
as a teacher and preacher, as a neighbor and friend, when he 
was attacked with scarlet fever, and after a sickness of only a 
few days, died on the 27th of February, 1850, at the age of 
thirty-nine. Seldom has an event occurred which so deeply 
moved the College, and so excited the sympathies of the entire 
community. Its effect in deepening and extending the religious 
interest among the students, has been already mentioned. His 
own religious life began in the revival of 1835, and ended, nay, 


began anew, was multiplied and perpetuated in that of 1850. 
His fine person and agreeable manners, his generous impulses 
and warm affections, his high attainments and higher aspira- 
tions as a scholar, and his sincere, graceful and growing piety, 
will long be remembered by his colleagues and his pupils, short 
as his connection was with Amherst College. 

Prof. Charles Baker Adams was born in Dorchester, Mass., 
January 11, 1814. Having fitted for College at Phillips Acad- 
emy, Andover, he entered Yale College in October, 1830, and in 
the second year of his course came to Amherst, where he grad- 
uated with the highest honors in the Class of '34. In Octo- 
ber, 1834, he became a member o*f the Theological Seminary at 
Andover. But his heart was in the physical sciences. His 
Bachelor's and his Master's oration were both on these sciences, 
the one on their use, and the other on their relative importance. 
In June, 1836, he left his theological studies to assist Prof. 
Hitchcock in a geological survey of the State of New York. 1 
The year 1836-7, he spent as a Tutor in Amherst College. In 
September, 1838, he accepted an appointment as Professor of 
Chemistry and Natural History in Middlebury College, which 
office he discharged with characteristic zeal and signal ability 
for nine years, during which time he also made an able and sat- 
isfactory geological survey of the State of Vermont, publishing 
annual reports, collecting several complete series of the rocks, 
shells and soils, and thus laying the foundations of his cabinets, 
while, at the same time, he developed the unknown economical 
resources of the State. 

In August, 1847, he was appointed Professor of Astronomy 
and Geology, and Curator of the cabinet in Amherst College, 
which office he held five years, discharging its duties with inde- 
fatigable zeal, increasing acceptance and growing reputation till 
he fell victim to his ruling passion. Led, partly by the state of 
his health and partly for the sake of scientific explorations and 
collections, to visit the tropical climates, he spent the winters of 
1844-5 and 1848-9 in Jamaica, and 1850-1 at Panama. In 

1 This survey was relinquished by Dr. Hitchcock on account of his health. The 
wind and weather were adverse when he commenced it, and in a fit of despondency, 
he threw up his commission. 


December, 1852, he visited St. Thomas for similar purposes ; but 
he had scarcely reached the island and entered with his usual 
enthusiasm upon his researches, when he was attacked by the 
prevailing yellow fever, and died on the 19th of January, 1853. 
In conjunction with Prof. Alonzo Gray of Brooklyn, he had just 
completed an elementary work on Geology. He had studied 
thoroughly the mollusks of the seas and shores which he visited, 
and partly published the results in monographs and scientific 
journals. A new field, that of Zoological Geography, was open- 
ing before his original and comprehensive mind, with bright 
and irresistible attractions. He was with us only five years. 
He was scarcely forty at the time of his death. But those who 
saw the rapidity with which his plans widened, and the results 
of his labors increased during the last few years of his life, could 
not But feel that he was arrested on the very threshold of new 
and vast discoveries, which would have greatly enlarged the 
boundaries of science, and shed a far brighter lustre on his own 
name and that of the Institution with which he was connected. 

The Zoological Cabinet of Amherst College is not his only, 
but it is his sufficient monument. Prof. Agassiz said of it, " I 
do not know in the whole country a Conchological collection of 
equal value ;" and Dr. Gould testified that, " as a scientific col- 
lection, it is not equalled in some respects, by any other collec- 
tion in the world." There are, doubtless, larger collections, but 
a collection so perfectly classified and arranged, labeled and ex- 
hibited to the eye, and all the work of one man, with no resources 
but his genius and his own unconquerable will, and that man cut 
down almost at the commencement of his labors such a cabi- 
net, we venture to say, the world does not contain. 

The history of science furnishes few more remarkable instan- 
ces of great intellectual power, impelled by an ardor bordering 
on enthusiasm, and yet guided by a judgment approaching to 
scientific intuition, and of a comprehensive discipline acquired 
by the impartial study and mastery of all the branches of a lib- 
eral education, and then concentrated, like the rays that fall 
upon a parabolic mirror, in a single focal point of the in tensest 
light and heat. He was an intense thinker. He Avas an intense 
worker. At the same time his thinking and working were sub- 


jected to the most rigid, undeviating, unbending system and 
method. He seldom smiled, and almost never laughed. From 
his external appearance, you would judge him incapable of wit 
or humor. Yet ever and anon a flash of dry wit broke from 
those marble lips which moved the hearers to laughter, and the 
more irresistibly, because it produced not the slightest change 
in the countenance of the speaker. A student was once recit- 
ing to him with little or no knowledge of his lesson. Question 
after question was asked, and answered wrong. To each answer 
the Professor responded, "Not correct." "Well, then," said 
the student, in a tone of some impatience, " I don't know any- 
thing about it." " Quite correct," was the instant response of 
the Professor. 

A student once undertook to put a practical joke upon him in 
the class, by bringing in a bug gotten up for the purpose, and 
asking him what genus it belonged to. " The genus Humbug," 
was the ready answer. 

His speech and outward action were indicative of impertur- 
bable calmness, nay of the coldness of pure intellect without a 
spark of passion or emotion. But beneath that cold exterior 
like the perpetual and unchanging snow and ice of Hecla, there 
was a soul of fire a volcanic intensity of thought and feeling 
and action which nothing could chill and nothing withstand 
which made him a man of irresistible power. The impression 
produced on the College by the news of Prof. Adams' death, is 
thus briefly and incidentally described in a letter by a member 
of the Class of '55: l "In January, Converse died, and his death 
cast a gloom over the class. He was young and rather a pet in 
the class. The same month came the news of the death of 
Prof. Adams who was much respected though little known by 
the students. The sermons preached in the Chapel the follow- 
ing Sunday by Prof. Haven deepened the impression made by 
the news. It was a dark, rainy, gloomy day. The Chapel was 
draped in black. It seemed as though everything was mourning." 

Nine Trustees terminated their connection with the College 
by death or resignation during the presidency of Dr. Hitchcock. 

Rev. Theophilus Packard, D. D., was, as we have related in a 

1 Rev. George Washburn of liobert College, Constantinople. 


former chapter, the mover of the resolution iu the Franklin 
Association of Congregational Ministers which first publicly rec- 
ommended Arnherst as the most eligible site for a new College 
in Hampshire County. From that day to the day of his death, 
for more than forty years, he was among the most unwavering 
friends and the wisest counselors of the Institution, and during 
nearly all these years he was a member either of the Board of 
Overseers of the Charity Fund or of the Board of Trustees. 
He was born in North Bridge water, Mass., March 4, 1769, but 
removed with his father's family to Cummington when he was 
five years old. He worked on a farm till he was twenty-one, 
and expected to be a farmer until, soon after his conversion and 
connection with the church, he was moved to prepare for the 
ministry. He entered Dartmouth College in 1792 and gradua- 
ted iif 1796 with one of the first honors of his class. He studied 
Theology under Rev. Dr. Burton of Thetford, Vt., then quite 
famous as the author of the " Taste Scheme " of Divinity, of 
which Mr. Packard became a zealous advocate. On the 20th 
of February, 1799, he was ordained pastor of the Church in 
Shelburne of which he was sole pastor for almost thirty years, 
colleague with his son, Theophilus, nearly fourteen years, and 
nominal pastor without salary or service thirteen years longer 
until his death. In 1830 and again in 1839 both among the 
years in which his son was his colleague he represented the 
town of Shelburne in the Massachusetts Legislature. 

He was a member of the Board of Trustees of Williams Col- 
lege from 1810 to 1825, and in 1824, notwithstanding all the 
censure and ill-will which he incurred by his efforts for the re- 
moval of the College, that Board conferred on him the degree 
of Doctor of Divinity. 

From 1821 to 1835, Dr. Packard was a member of the Board 
of Overseers of the Charity Fund of Amherst College. In 
1832 he was elected a member of the Board of Trustees, and in 
1854, oppressed by the burden of fourscore and five years, he 
resigned his trust at the same time that his friend Dr. Hitchcock 
retired from the presidency. He died September 17, 1855, and 
Dr. Hitchcock preached his funeral sermon on the 19th in the 
presence of a large assemblage of Ministers and Christians con- 


vened at Shelburne to attend the Franklin County Church Con- 
ference and Benevolent Anniversaries. In this sermon, which 
was published, Dr. Hitchcock says : " For forty-five years he 
scarcely ever failed of being present at the Commencement of 
one or the other of these Institutions (Williams or Amherst). 
Of the latter he was one of the earliest, most active and most 
efficient founders and promoters. When it was necessary to 
incur odium and reproach to sustain and advance its interests, 
he was always among those who stood in the front rank to meet 
the brunt of the conflict." 

In the absence of President Humphrey in Europe, Dr. Pack- 
ard spent most of the summer term in Amherst, occupying 
the Chapel pulpit in his place, and giving more or less instruc- 
tion to the Senior class. He had a metaphysical cast of mind, 
and loved to discuss the philosophical principles that underlie 
theology. Socrates himself never delighted more in familiar 
conversations with his pupils and his friends on high moral and 
practical themes, and the Shelburne sage scarcely fell behind the 
Athenian philosopher in the skill with which he conducted the 
method of question and answer, beginning with " points nearly 
self-evident, and advancing step by step until in the result you 
must yield the point, or contradict your first admission." l At 
a period when there were few academies, and no theological 
seminaries, his house was at once an academy and a theological 
seminary. He fitted many for College, and instructed thirty- 
one students in theology, all of whom became preachers of the 
gospel. At the same time, he was a popular preacher. When- 
ever, on public occasions, such as " four days' meetings," as 
they were then called, he preached without a manuscript, then 
he illustrated the Saviour and the great salvation with wonder- 
ful clearness and force, and sometimes rose to a high pitch of 
argumentative yet fervid eloquence. He preached on one such 
occasion before the students and the people in the village 
church in Amherst, and the writer will never forget the winning 
and persuasive words with which he recommended the Great 
Physician to his hearers, all of whom he represented as sick 

1 Cf. letter of Rev. Thomas Shepard, D. D., in Sprague's Annals, which contains 
a highly appreciative biography of Dr. Packard. 

DR. ELY. 371 

unto death with the fever, the leprosy, the plague of sin. Dr. 
Packard published five sermons, two of which were on the Di- 
vinity of Christ, and one was delivered before the Hampshire 
Missionary Society. 

Rev. Alfred Ely, D. D., was one of the original Trustees 
named in the charter, and incorporated by the Legislature, 
in 1825. He continued a member of the Board twenty-nine 
years and resigned his place in 1854, at the last annual meeting 
at which President Hitchcock presided. . He was born in West 
Springfield, November 8, 1778. For several years he was a 
clerk, first in an apothecary's shop, in Springfield, and then in a 
commission store, in Hartford. Here he became a member of 
Dr. Strong's church, and at his suggestion, when he was twenty- 
one, with only fifteen dollars in his pocket, "all his earthly 
substance," he commenced fitting for College. Led by the 
pecuniary assistance which he could there receive, he entered 
the Junior class at the College of New Jersey (Princeton) in 
1802, and there graduated with honor in 1804, with such class- 
mates as Theodore Frelinghuysen, Samuel X. Southard, and 
Dr. N. S. Prime. Immediately after his graduation, he was 
elected Tutor in the College, which office he held for one year, 
at the same time pursuing theological studies under the Pro- 
fessor of Divinity. After studying four months more with 
Dr. Lathrop, of West Springfield, he was licensed to preach 
February 12, 1806, by the Hampshire Association, and on 
the 17th day of December, in the same year, he was ordained 
pastor of the church in Monson. His salary was five hun- 
dred dollars. He preached twenty-one Sabbaths, before receiv- 
ing his call, and he continued pastor sixty years, although for 
twenty-four of these years he had a colleague, and for several 
years he was too aged and infirm to perform any ministerial ser- 
vice. For more than thirty years there was a constant series 
of revivals under his ministry. He was often called to attend 
councils and other public meetings, and often invited to preach 
at ordinations, and before benevolent societies. Nineteen of 
these sermons were printed. In 1834, he received the honorary 
degree of Doctor of Divinity from the College at which he was 
graduated. In 1840, he Avas elected a corporate member of the 


American Board of Foreign Missions, and continued to be a 
member till his death. " With the exception of only a few 
years he presided over the Board of Trustees of Monson Acad- 
emy, which office he filled with singular ability; and to his 
counsels and faithful and untiring labors this most valuable seat 
of learning was indebted under God for most of its usefulness 
and prosperit}^." l 

" He was a steadfast and efficient friend of Amherst College. 
He was one of those men whom we always expected to see at 
our anniversaries, and other public occasions, and whose pres- 
ence and countenance always gave us new courage ; for we felt 
confident that God would sustain an Institution for which such 
men would honestly and ardently labor and pray." 2 

A Puritan gentleman of the old school and of the most be- 
nignant type, he long graced the Commencement stage at Am- 
herst ; he adorned society and fostered learning still longer at 
Monson ; he lived to preach two sermons 3 on the fiftieth anni- 
versary of his settlement ; he lived ten years after that, still 
honored and belo-ved among his own people, a beautiful speci- 
men of a serene and happy old age, but he passed away sud- 
denly at length in the eighty-fourth year of his age, his funeral 
sermon being preached by his neighbor, friend and colleague in 
the Board of Trustees, Rev. Dr. Vaill of Palmer, on the 9th 
day of July, 1866. 

John Tappan, Esq., was a member of the Corporation twenty 
years, having been elected in 1834, and resigning his trust, at 
the same time with Dr. Ely, at the last annual meeting (in 
1854) at which Dr. Hitchcock presided. He was born in North- 
ampton, July 26, 1781, and the sixth child, in a family of ten, 
all of whom lived honorably, and only one of whom died under 
seventy-four years of age. His father, Benjamin Tappan, was for 
many years a goldsmith, and then a merchant in Northampton ; 
and it was the boast of his children, that when all the mer- 
chants around him sold ardent spirits, he always refused to do 
so. Mr. John Tappan went to Boston, in October, 1799, and 

1 Funeral Sermon by Rev. Dr. Vaill. 2 " Reminiscences of Amherst College." 
3 These sermons were published at the request of his people. One of them 
was the identical sermon which he had preached fifty years previous. 

MR. TAPPAN. 373 

became a clerk in the wholesale importing house of Small & 
Salisbury. In 1803 he became a partner in the firm, at the age 
of twenty-two ; and twenty-two years later, having acquired a 
competency, he retired from business. 

On his return from England, in the spring of 1805, the ves- 
sel struck an iceberg, and sunk with twenty-seven persons on 
board. The remainder of the passengers and crew succeeded 
in getting into the boats, and, after three days' exposure on the 
sea, met a homeward bound ship, which took them up, and 
brought them safely to land, more or less injured, however, by 
frost, exposure and fatigue. This narrow escape, with its at- 
tendant circumstances, made so strong an impression upon him, 
that it proved the means of a radical change in his religious char- 
acter and life. Leaving the old Federal Street Society, of which 
Rev."William E. Channing was the pastor, he became one of the 
founders of the Union Church in Essex Street, first under the 
care of Rev. Samuel Green, and afterwards of Rev. Nehemiah 
Adams, and thenceforth devoted his property, influence and life to 
the cause of evangelical religion and Christian benevolence. He 
was one of the founders, and for twenty-three years Treasurer 
of the Massachusetts Bible Society. For more than forty years 
he was either the Treasurer or the President of the American 
Tract Society of Boston. At the time of his death, he was the 
oldest corporate member of the American Board of Commis- 
sioners for Foreign Missions, in which he was also, for nearly 
thirty years, a member of the Prudential Committee. He was 
one of the original founders of the American Temperance Soci- 
ety. The shipwreck which gave a new direction to his whole 
life, was occasioned by the first mate being drunk on deck in 
command of the ship, and from that time he not only ab- 
stained from the use of intoxicating drinks himself, but did 
all in his power to promote temperance. When Mr. Cheever 
was to be tried for libel as the author of " Deacon Giles' Dis- 
tillery," Mr. Tappan contributed largely toward the cost of 
the defense. Like his friend, Dr. Hitchcock, he adhered to the 
principle and practice of total abstinence at times and places 
where they were unpopular, and courteously declined to taste 
intoxicating drinks when the great and the good almost uni- 


versally used them at public dinners during the anniversaries in 

His interest in the cause of temperance, was the occasion of 
his interest in Amherst College, and of his connection with it 
as a member of the Board of Trustees. In 1829, he offered a 
premium for the best essay on alcoholic and narcotic substances. 
The premium was awarded to an essay by Prof. Hitchcock, 
which was published under the direction of the American Tem- 
perance Society, in 1829, and in 1880 incorporated as one of the 
chapters of Prof. Hitchcock's book entitled " Dyspepsy Fore- 
stalled and Resisted." His agency in originating the Anti- 
veneriian Society in 1829-30, has been narrated in the history 
of that period. 

His generous gifts to the College at the inauguration of this 
Society were the beginning of a succession of donations which 
continued through all the darkest periods in the history of the 
College and ended only with the life of the benefactor. In 
1845, he came again to the relief of the Library and of the offi- 
cers and students, almost famishing for mental food, with a dona- 
tion of a thousand dollars. Again when the subscription was 
started for the new Library building and books, he was one of 
the most cheerful subscribers. Again and again did he contrib- 
ute to the zoological and other collections in sums varying from 
fifty dollars to five hundred. In short, for forty years he was 
one of the standing and unfailing resources of the College in 
every emergency. He rarely gave very large sums. But he 
seldom if ever failed to give something. And he gave with 
such readiness and cheerfulness, that it has often been remarked 
of him, he seemed not only to know and feel but to act as if he 
knew and felt that "it is more blessed to give than to -receive." 
His direct and indirect assistance to Dr. and Mrs. Hitchcock in 
their European tour enabled them to extend their travels and 
return without feeling the expense. In his declining years, he 
expressed his threefold interest in Amherst College, in the Chris- 
tian education of young men and in the memory of a beloved pas- 
tor, by endowing in the College the Samuel Green Professorship 
of the Pastoral Charge and of Biblical Theology, showing his 
modesty not only in giving it the name of another but even re- 


fusing to allow the name of the donor to be mentioned during 
his life. In his later years, he was greatly interested in the cir- 
culation of good books. Prayer for Colleges, Life of Knill, Life 
of John Vine Hall, Life of Havelock, Life of Frelinghuysen, His- 
tory of the American Board and I know not how many other 
books of the kind, he distributed gratuitously among the officers 
and students of Colleges, and cast them into all the fountains 
of influence. 

Nor were these public charities at the expense of his duty to 
needy and worthy objects nearer home. He was ever distribut- 
ing to the necessities of the poor. For almost fifty years, almost 
to the day of his death, he took pleasure in laying out money 
for the improvement and embellishment of his native place. 
And in his will, he remembered as he had always done during his 
life,*all who had any reasonable expectation or just claim to such 
remembrance. In short, justice and generosity joined hands in 
his character and life, and there have been few men who could 
so truly adopt the language of the ancient patriarch : " When 
the ear heard me, then it blessed me ; and when the eye saw 
me, it gave witness to me, because I delivered the poor that 
cried and the fatherless and him that had none to help him. 
The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me, 
and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy." Mr. Tappan 
was naturally serious, reserved, almost severe. But in his last 
years, he became cheerful and playful as a child, while at the 
same time his senses and faculties were not in the least impaired. 
He had to remind nearly all his visitors that he was not deaf. 
And bent and bowed as he was by the infirmities of age the last 
time I saw him, he rose from his easy chair for the express pur- 
pose of showing me how perfectly he had " the Grecian Bend ! " 

Mr. Tappan died in Boston, March 25, 1871, wanting only a 
few weeks of ninety years of age. Rev. Mr. Parsons, pastor of the 
Union Church, and Rev. Drs. Anderson, and Kirk all took part in 
the funeral services, and amid a large number who came to honor 
the memory of this distinguished Christian philanthropist, Prof. 
Snell very fitly represented the College of which he had been so 
frequent and so liberal a benefactor. His more celebrated broth- 
er, Arthur, although he was only five years younger than John, 


looked up to him as a father, and used to say, " to him I owe, 
under Providence, all I am and have been for this world." 
Arthur's income was for many years much larger than John's ; 
but when the former succumbed to the great financial pressure 
in 1837, the latter expressed his fraternal love as well as his 
Christian benevolence by paying some of his brother's generous 
subscriptions to charitable and philanthropic objects. 

Hon. Samuel Turell Armstrong was a member of the Corpora- 
tion sixteen years, from 1834 to 1850. He was born in Dorches- 
ter, April 29, 1784. He lost his father in early life, and soon 
after that event, was placed as an apprentice in the office of 
Manning & Loring, then among the most celebrated book- 
printers in Boston. At the expiration of his apprenticeship, he 
began business in State street, in connection with Joshua Belcher, 
and published a weekly periodical called The Emerald. This 
partnership was not of long continuance. Mr. Armstrong then 
set up a printing-office in Charlestown, and printed The Pan- 
oplist, a monthly periodical, devoted to foreign missions and 
evangelical religion, which was the forerunner of The Mission- 
ary Herald and The Spirit of the Pilgrims. In 1811, he removed 
to Boston, where he continued the publication of The Panoplist, 
and published large editions of many popular religious works. 
Among the larger works issued from his press, was Scott's Fam- 
ily Bible. Thus was laid the foundation of a career of well- 
earned prosperity and usefulness, which has seldom had a paral- 
lel in the history of Boston printers and booksellers. He retired 
from active business, when comparatively a young man, with a 
property worth over one hundred thousand dollars. 

Mr. Armstrong served the city of Boston once or twice as 
a Representative in the Legislature, and was once chosen Sen- 
ator for the county of Suffolk. He was Lieutenant-Governor of 
Massachusetts, a number of years in the administrations of Levi 
Lincoln and John Davis, and was acting Governor ten months 
in the year 1835, Gov. Davis having been chosen Senator in 
Congress. The next year, 1836, he was elected Mayor of Bos- 
ton, but thereafter declined a re-election. 

Gov. Armstrong stood up firmly for Orthodoxy and evangel- 
ical piety in Boston, at a time when nearly all the public men 


were Unitarians, and was an officer and leader of the American 
Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, and other similar 
Societies during all the later period of his life. He was for 
many years a deacon in the Old South Church, and Superin- 
tendent of their Sabbath School. 

On the 26th of March, 1850, he attended a business meeting 
of the Prudential Committee of the American Board in his usual 
health. Returning home about seven o'clock in the evening, he 
sat down in his parlor, and without a premonitory symptom, ex- 
pired. He was within one month of sixty-six years of age. 

Gov. Armstrong was a pretty faithful attendant at the meet- 
ings of the Trustees, and was placed on important committees 
in which his business experience and his acquaintance with af- 
fairs enabled him to render valuable service. His name stands 
nextTto that of President Humphrey, and with those of Messrs. 
Grennell, Banister and Calhoun, on the circular which, in 1839, 
was addressed to the public, appealing for pecuniary aid (the 
one hundred thousand dollar subscription.) He left a consider- 
able legacy to the College, subject, however, to the final disposal 
of his wife. He married the sister of the late Dr. William J. 
Walker, from whose munificence Amherst has recently received 
such large endowments. Mrs. Armstrong is still living and 
inherits much of her brother's eccentricities. 

Hon. David Mack was a member of the Board of Trustees, 
from 1836 to 1854. He was born in Middlefield, Mass., in Feb- 
ruary, 1778. He fitted for College at Windsor Hill, where 
Roger Sherman was his fellow-student; but his eyes failed him, 
and he was compelled to relinquish a public education. For 
twenty years he was a merchant in his native place. In 1834 
he removed to Amherst. 

He was several times Representative from Middlefield, in the 
General Court, and once a member of the Massachusetts Senate 
from Hampshire County. He was also a member of the Gov- 
ernor's Council. In 1812, he commanded for some months the 
militia in Boston, and thus acquired the title of General, by 
which he was usually known. For many years he was the 
senior deacon of the church in Amherst. 

Elected a member of the Board of Trustees shortly after his 


removal to Amherst., he continued a member till, after eighteen 
years of faithful service, his connection was dissolved by death. 
During nearty all these years, he was a member also of the Pru- 
dential Committee, and of building and other working commit- 
tees generally. Being a resident in town he was always present 
at the meetings and constantly charged with special duties and 
responsibilities in relation to the College. At the same time he 
was always ready to contribute liberally to its pecuniary neces- 
sities according to his means. 

Gen. Mack died September 6, 1854, aged seventy six. "He 
was a man of great decision of character and a devoted Chris- 
tian, liberal in his benefactions, and never shrank from any duty 
he could perform or pecuniary sacrifice he could make." 1 

The father of Gen. Mack " a truly Christian patriarch who 
left to his numerous descendants and to society the fragrant 
memory of a life of ninety-four years consecrated to piety and 
usefulness" was the subject of that well-known and highly in- 
structive tract, entitled " The Faithful Steward." No one could 
see him for once and converse with him on the most casual sub- 
ject without feeling that he was a genuine descendant and rep- 
resentative of the Pilgrim Fathers of New England. And 
those who knew him most intimately, knew that he was just 
what he seemed, a living impersonation of their characteristic 
virtues. Gen. Mack himself was the worthy son of that worthy 

Hon. Alfred Dwight Foster was elected to a place among the 
Trustees of Amherst College at their annual meeting in 1837 
and resigned his seat at the annual meeting in 1852, having been 
a member of the Board fifteen years. He was born at Brook- 
field, July 26, 1800. His ancestors had been, for at least two 
generations, distinguished in the civil history of Massachusetts. 
His early education he pursued partly under his father's direc- 
tion in his native place, and partly in Leicester Academy. At 
the age of fifteen he entered Harvard University and was grad- 
uated with honor in 1819. Admitted to the bar in 1822, he 
practiced law in Brookfield one year, and in Worcester two 
years, after which he relinquished his profession for other 

1 Dr. Hitchcock's "Reminiscences," p. 15. 

HON. A. D. FOSTER. 379 

pursuits. From that time till his death, he was almost con- 
stantly employed in places of public trust and responsibility. 
He was a member of the House of Representatives three years 
in succession, beginning with 1831, a member of the Governor's 
Council in 1842, and again in 1844 and 1845, and a Senator 
from Worcester County in 1848. At the same time he was ren- 
dering invaluable service to the State in those great charities, 
the Lunatic Hospital at Worcester and the Reform School in 
Westboro, of the former of which he was an original Trustee, 
and the Treasurer for fourteen years, and of the latter Chair- 
man of the Commissioners for erecting the buildings and organ- 
izing the Institution. For many years he was on the School 
Committee in Worcester, and he was one of the Trustees of 
Leicester Academy from 1833 till within a year or two of his 

In 1882, he united with the Central Church in Worcester, 
and when greater facilities for public worship were necessary, 
he gave his counsel and influence " his hand and purse and 
heart " to the enterprise of organizing and building up the 
Union Church and Society in that city. From his election to 
the Trusteeship in Amherst College, in 1837 till 1843, Mr. Foster 
was present at all the meetings of the Board, and the commit- 
tees on which he was placed show how much they relied on his 
wise counsels in perplexing questions and difficult emergencies. 
In 1844 he tendered his resignation, because he could not send 
his own sou to Amherst, and doubted the propriety of retaining 
his place under such circumstances. But the Trustees unani- 
mously requested him to withdraw his resignation, and he yielded 
to their solicitations. He stood by the College through its dark- 
est hours of embarrassment and depression, although his faith in 
the possibility of sustaining it, at one time, was so shaken that he 
suggested the expediency of changing it to an Academy. The 
writer gratefully remembers the delicacy and courtesy, as well 
as wisdom and prudence of Mr. Foster's intercourse with the 
Faculty, when as Chairman of the Committee of the Trustees he 
conferred with them touching their assumption of the pecuniary 
responsibilities of the College at the commencement of Dr. 
Hitchcock's presidency. Dr. Hitchcock, in his " Reminiscences," 


alludes to his " nice sense of propriety," testifies to his conscien- 
tious support of the College during its season of deepest depres- 
sion, and speaks of him as an " active member of the Board and 
a judicious counselor." 

Mr. Foster was, for many years, a corporate member of the 
A. B. C. F. M., an officer of the American Antiquarian Society, 
and an active and valuable member of the Massachusetts Board 
of Education. He died August 10, 1872, in the midst of life 
and usefulness, greatly lamented, beloved and admired, as a rare 
example of an upright, philanthropic, public-spirited, cultivated, 
refined and accomplished Christian gentleman. 

Rev. John Nelson, D. D., was born in Hopkinton, in 1786. 
In 1798 he removed with his parents to Worcester, where, at 
the age of fifteen, he became a member of the First Church. 
In 1804. at the age of eighteen, he entered the Sophomore class 
in Williams College, where he graduated in 1807. In 1809-10, 
he was Tutor in the College at which he was educated. After 
spending a few months in theological study with his pastor, Dr. 
Austin of Worcester, he was licensed to preach, in March, 1811, 
and March 4, 1812, he was ordained pastor of the church in 
Leicester, where he was the immediate successor of Dr Moore. 
In 1843 he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity, 
from his Alma Mater. 

Dr. Nelson was Trustee of Williams College seven years, be- 
tween 1826 and 1833, and of Amherst College nine years, be- 
tween 1839 and 1848. But his tastes have led him to withdraw 
from public life, and devote himself to his pastoral charge where 
his labors have been greatly blessed, and to Leicester Academy, 
of which, for many years, he was one of the chief pillars. He 
has had two colleagues, but has continued to write sermons and 
preach a part of the day most of the time. He has published 
several occasional sermons, not a few articles in the magazines 
and papers, a little volume called " Evening," a larger one with 
the title, " Gatherings from a Pastor's Drawer," and a semi-cen- 
tennial historical discourse. 1 He celebrated his golden wedding 
May 4, 1862, of which an interesting account, in a beautiful 
little volume, was given to the public. This worthy and vener- 

1 See Durfee's Biographical Annals of Williams College. 


able couple are still living, " in their happy home on Leicester 
Hill," (so he writes in a letter just received, December, 1871,) 
near the close of the sixtieth year of his ministry and of their 
married life, " not having changed, nor wished to change his 
place." l 

Rev. Prof. Bela Bates Edwards had the honor of being the 
first alumnus of Amherst College, who was chosen to be one of 
its Trustees. His life and character have been delineated by 
Prof. Park with such exhaustive fullness and faithfulness, and 
such loving sympathy, that our readers will scarcely desire any 
other biography. 2 The principal facts of his life may be briefly 
set down as follows : He was born at Southampton, Mass., 
on the 4th of July, 1802; prepared for College at Hopkins 
Academy, Hadley, and with Father Hallock of Plainfield, en- 
tered Williams College in 1820, and having remained there one 
year followed President Moore to Amherst, where he graduated 
in 1824 ; was converted during his Junior year in College, but 
did not make a public profession till three years later; entered 
the Theological Seminary at Andover, in November, 1825 ; was 
Tutor in Amherst College from 1822 to 1828; was Assistant 
Secretary of the American Education Society at Andover, while 
at the same time, he completed his theological studies in the 
Seminary, from 1828 to 1830 ; held the same office in Boston, 
in connection with editorial and literary labors, from 1830 to 
1836 ; was licensed to preach by the Suffolk South Association, 
in 1831; was Professor first of Hebrew, and then of Biblical 
Literature, at Andover, from 1836 to 1852; received the degree 
of Doctor of Divinity from Dartmouth College in 1844 ; traveled 
for his health in the Southern States and in Europe from Octo- 
ber, 1845, till May, 1847 ; went to the South again in the au- 
tumn of 1851 ; and died at Athens, Ga., April 20, 1852, want- 
ing a few months of being fifty years of age. 

1 Dr. Nelson died on Wednesday, December 6, 1871, only a day or two after the 
above was written. 

2 The Life and Services of Prof. B. B. Edwards. A discourse delivered in the 
Chapel of Andover Theological Seminary, June 25, 1852, by Edwards A. Park. 
Published in the Bibliotheca Sacra for October, 1852, also in a pamphlet form. 
There is also a Life of Prof. Edwards in Sprague's Annals, with letters from Dr. 
Cheever and Prof. Haekett. 


I shall not review his early life and education, his contribu- 
tions to American literature or his services in the cause of bib- 
lical learning and theological education. I shall not dwell upon 
his highly cultivated mind or his elegant taste, his great learn- 
ing or his greater modesty, his truth-loving accuracy or his Taci- 
tus-like eloquence, the purity of his heart or the beauty of his 
life, or the rare combination of excellences, usually deemed in- 
compatible, that were reconciled and made real in his character. 
I shall only allude to what he was and what he did for Amherst 

He gave his College, in the first place, the example of a diligent, 
faithful and successful student. Among the best scholars in a 
class which has furnished three distinguished Professors and its 
full share of excellent men in other departments of useful labor, 
he exemplified his impartial devotion at once to literature, sci- 
ence and Christianity in the choice of his subjects at Commence- 
ment discoursing in an Oration at the close of his Junior year 
(assigned him in consequence of the small number in the Senior 
Class) on " The Decline of the Roman Empire in Connection 
with Christianity," and in a Philosophical Oration when he 
graduated, on " Originality of Mind as affected by the Study of 
Natural Philo'sophy." After three years' absence, he returned 
in 1827 to deliver a Master's Oration, the subject of which was 
" The Diffusion of Knowledge in New England." At the same 
time he entered on a tutorship which he h'eld for two years, 
discharging its duties with such diversified capabilities and such 
comprehensive wisdom as to elevate the moral and religious 
tone x not less than the standard of scholarship among the stu- 
dents. And from that time till his death, whoever else might 
waver, he was a fast friend of the College ; whoever else might 
fail, he was a firm pillar. 

His visits to his Alma Mater were frequent, now as an exam- 
ining committee, now to deliver an address, now to organize a 
society of alumni, now to preside over its meetings. Still more 
frequently was he consulted by letter or by committee ; and his 
advice, constantly asked and freely but modestly given, was a 

1 He was the Tutor to whom Mr. Abbott alludes in the tenth chapter of his Cor- 
ner Stone. See page 202 of this History. 


guide and a support to the College in many of its most trying 
emergencies. The officers of the College also found in him a 
faithful friend and wise counselor, whether in their private la- 
bors and trials or in their public literary undertakings. Gladly 
would the Corporation and the Faculty have linked his life still 
more directly with that of the Institution. They solicited his 
services, at different times, both as a Professor and as President. 
But his heart and hands were too fully enlisted in another 
sphere of duty. All that he could give and do consistently with 
this paramount obligation, was cheerfully given, was heartily 
done. He became a Trustee. He attended punctually the 
Commencements and the meetings of the Board. He devoted 
himself with especial zeal and earnestness to the increase of the 
Library and the erection of a new Library building ; he subscribed 
freely, too freely for his means, to the Library fund ; he issued 
circulars and wrote letters in its behalf, till he could write no 
more his last, addressed to President Hitchcock, was never fin- 
ished, and remains an affecting memorial of his zeal in the en- 

Seven printed sermons and addresses, six books, two or three 
volumes of translations, and thirty-one volumes of periodical lit- 
erature attest his industry, enterprise, learning and taste. "For 
twenty-three years he was employed in superintending our peri- 
odical literature, and with the aid of several associates, he has 
left thirty-one octavo volumes as the monuments of his enter- 
prise and industry in this onerous department. What man, living 
or dead, has ever expended so much labor upon our higher quar- 
terlies ? A labor, how severe ! and equally thankless." ] Two 
volumes of his smaller pieces, essays, sermons, addresses, etc., 
have been edited by Prof. Park, with a memoir, and published 
since the death of Prof. Edwards. But these literary treasures, 
as beautiful in form as they are rich in matter, are poor in com- 
parison with the greater works in literature, in art, and in exegesis 
which he had projected, for which he had collected ample mate- 
rials, and which he would doubtless have executed if he had 
been permitted to reach the full period of human life. Prof. 
Edwards sprang from the same old Welsh family which counts 

J Prof. Park's Commemoration Discourse. 


Jonathan Edwards among its descendants ; and it is not extrav- 
agant to say that he has shed a new and peculiar lustre on a 
name which had before been raised almost to the highest point 
of human distinction. 

Rev. John Fiske, D. D., was a member of the Board of Trust- 
ees of Amherst Academy who laid the foundations of Amherst 
College and managed its affairs from 1821 to 1825. As such his 
name appears on the list of those who asked to be incorporated 
as Trustees of the College. But because he was too rigid a 
Puritan to suit the taste of the opposition, or because he had, by 
his zeal and earnestness in behalf of the College, rendered him- 
self especially obnoxious to their displeasure, he, together with 
Nathaniel Smith, Esq., and Rev. Experience Porter, was ex- 
cluded by the Legislature from the Corporation, and three other 
names were substituted in their place. On the resignation of 
Rev. Francis Wayland, the Trustees turned the tables and 
elected Rev. John Fiske a member of the Board in his stead ; 
and he continued in the office till the time of his death, in all 
thirty years. 

He was born at Warwick, Mass., October 26, 1770, graduated 
at Dartmouth College in 1791, studied Theology under the di- 
rection of Rev. Dr. Lyman' of Hatfield, and was licensed to 
preach and at the same time ordained as an evangelist at Had- 
ley, May 6, 1794. On the 26th of August, 1796, he was in- 
stalled pastor of the church in New Braintree, which relation he 
continued to sustain during the remainder of his life. 

He found the church at New Braintree in a very depressed 
state, and there were no additions to it during the first two years 
of his ministry. But from that time there were several added 
each year till 1809, when there commenced an interesting revi- 
val which continued between two and three years, and increased 
greatly both the moral and the numerical strength of the church. 
In 1818-19, another and still more powerful revival occurred, 
the result of which was an addition to the church of more than 
ninety persons of all ages and conditions. l There were several 
other interesting revivals during his ministry, by which and by 
the blessing of heaven on his wise and faithful labors the church 

1 Sprague's Annals, Vol. II., p. 367. 

KEY. DR. FISKE. 385 

was much enlarged, and the tone of Christian feeling and be- 
nevolent effort was greatly quickened and elevated. 

An earnest friend of education at home and abroad, he 
watched over the schools in the town with a sort of parental 
interest, often visiting them and doing all in his power to elevate 
the standard of qualification in the teachers. He was one of 
the earliest and warmest friends of Amherst College, and oppo- 
sition and persecution only bound him more closely to its inter- 
ests. When pecuniary embarrassments threatened its very ex- 
istence, he entered the field more than once as a voluntary 
agent for soliciting subscriptions. " Some of my earliest recol- 
lections," writes his daughter, "are of conversations between 
him arid other Trustees of Amherst Academy about the feasi- 
bility^of removing Williams College, which seemed to be dying, 
away off among the mountains. Many long talks lasting till 
past midnight were held in our little sitting-room by such men 
as Mr, Packard of Shelburne, Mr. Porter of Belchertown, Mr. N. 
Smith of Sunderland, Mr. Dickinson, Mr. Webster, Col. Graves 
and others. What can be done, was the question. My mother 
(a wise woman) used to sit by and say : ' Your plan is a good 
one it is a pretty air-castle. Where will you get the fifty 
thousand dollars to start with ? ' And to my childish mind, the 
sum seemed too enormous to hope for, although I had become 
intensely interested in the object. Several of the ministers 
agreed to give a hundred dollars apiece for a nucleus a sum 
that pinched the families of those who had but five hundred a 
3'ear, as I ivdl knoiv. Then they went to begging in earnest. 
My father often started on an exchange Friday morning and re- 
turned the next Tuesday night, making a circuit of thirty or 
forty miles, visiting the good and worthy in the churches, repre- 
senting the cause and getting subscriptions of five, ten, fifty and 
a hundred dollars. My father often said in the latter part of his 
life that if he ever did any good in the world, it was at Amherst. 
He lived to see it prosper, and attended every Commencement 
while he lived." 

Dr. Hitchcock says of him in his " Reminiscences," " Dr. Fiske 
was a man of strong intellect and admirable judgment, conjoined 
with piety of the true Puritan stamp. He was just the man to 



stand by the Institution while passing through an exigency. 
For having once settled his course by the chart of duty and put 
his hand to the helm, none of the cross currents of popular fa- 
vor or popular frowns could change it by the smallest rhumb. 
No plea of conflicting duties or important business at home or of 
poor health, by which not a few men excuse themselves from 
meetings where unpleasant and trying responsibilities must be 
assumed, ever kept him away from the meetings of the Board. 
Amherst College never had a wiser counselor or a more consistent 
and devoted friend than Dr. John Fiske." It was, therefore, an 
honor due alike to his character, his attainments and his services 
when, in 1844, the College conferred upon him the degree of 
Doctor of Divinity. 

Dr. Fiske continued sole pastor of the church in New Braintree 
until the 22d of June, 1853, when Mr. James T. Hyde was or- 
dained as his colleague. From that time he continued to preach 
occasionally but usually in the neighboring towns whose min- 
isters he was fond of visiting, till about the close of the sum- 
mer of 1854 when he performed his last service in the pulpit. 
During the next winter, he failed gradually. In March, he was 
taken suddenly ill with congestion of the lungs. A few hours 
before his death, he joined with his children and friends in sing- 
ing " Rock of Ages." He died on the 15th of March, 1855, in 
the eighty-fifth year of his age and the sixty-first of his ministry. 
His funeral sermon was preached by his friend and neighbor, Dr. 
Snell of North Brookfield. 

His successor in the pastoral office gives an attractive picture 
of Dr. Fiske when he was already more than fourscore years 
of age. "In person tall and well-proportioned, with large and 
regular features and but slightly bended form ; with eyes still 
bright and voice still strong and clear ; with slow but solid foot- 
step ; generally reading, writing, singing, or talking, when he was 
not riding or sleeping, he seemed when I first saw him, to be 
about as vigorous as he was venerable. With a serene and intel- 
ligent countenance, with mild and dignified manners, with an ac- 
tive and well-balanced mind discriminating in judgment, skill- 
ful in management ; cautious and yet determined in action in 
conversation at once inquisitive and instructive deeply inter- 


ested in the practical affairs of men and with as deep an insight 
into their character and motives, he made his presence to be felt 
by all around him, without even attempting to exert an influence 
or make an impression. . . . After a ministry of fifty-eight years 
and nearly five months among the same people, in a pleasant 
and retired home with a large family, 

' And that which should accompany old age, 
As honor, love, obedience, troops of friends,' 

enjoying and being enjoyed by his friends to the end, praising 
God for his goodness, and feeling more deeply than he could ex- 
press his own unworthiness, he fell asleep in confident hope of 
the mercy of God through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 

1 Letter in Sprague's Annals, Vol. II., p. 368. 



WE have now reached a period whose principal actors are still 
living, and whose history can be impartially and intelligently 
written only by those who come after us. All that we shall at- 
tempt will be to sketch as briefly as possible some of its leading- 
events and some of its marked characteristics. 

Rev. President William Augustus Stearns, the representative 
of this period, was born in Bedford, Mass., March 17, 1805. His 
father, (Rev. Samuel Stearns of Bedford,) and both his grand- 
fathers were ministers of the gospel. His brothers are well 
known as distinguished teachers and preachers. He was pre- 
pared for College at Phillips Academy, Andover, and graduated 
with honor at Cambridge, in 1827, with such classmates as 
Prof. Felton and Rev. Dr. Sweetser. He went through the 
full course of theological study at Andover, in the same class 
with Dr. Brainerd of Philadelphia, Dr. Joseph S. Clark, Presi- 
dent Labaree, Prof. Owen, and Prof. Park the Class of '31. 
After teaching a short time at Duxbury, he was ordained Decem- 
ber 14, 1831, pastor of the Church at Cambridgeport, where he 
remained almost twenty-three years, honored and beloved by all 
his people as an able preacher and wise pastor, identified with 
the public schools of Cambridge, and greatly interested in the 
University, and sustaining influential relations to the cause 
of education and religion in Boston and vicinity. This brief 
general statement will suffice to show how different President 
Stearns' antecedents were from those of either of his predeces- 
sors, and how these, together with the breadth and balance of 
his character and his culture, qualified him to supplement and 
complete their work. 


The reluctance with which he tore himself away from his peo- 
ple and the hesitation and anxiety with which he undertook the 
presidency of Amherst College, will be seen in the following 
extracts from his letter to the committee of the corporation : l 
" No prudent man could think of entering upon an office of so 
much importance especially in recollection of the honored men, 
who have heretofore so nobly filled it, and the expectations of 
the community in reference to its incumbents, in connection 
with the labor and responsibility it involves without hesitation 
and distrust. But in the present case, other circumstances led 
me to question long and seriously the expediency of my accept- 
ing a position which, though highly honorable, and in many re- 
spects inviting, must always be one of anxiety and toil. I knew 
that, in complying with the wishes of the corporation, I must 
submit to a great sacrifice of personal feeling, to say nothing of 
worldly advantage, both present and in reference to future years. 
I must leave a people among whom I have labored in the gospel 
nearly three-and twenty years, and who, so far as I have any 
knowledge, are, without a dissentient voice, well satisfied with 
my ministrations. I must leave a Society now highly prosper- 
ous, and as a situation for any pastor who understands it, hardly 
second to any other in the country. I must leave a delightful 
home, built under my own directions, and whose ample shade 
and fruit-trees and shrubbery were set out, and have been cher- 
ished by my own hand. I must tear away my family from their 
most cherished friendships, and my children from the schools 
which I really think are the best in the world. But I will not 
trouble you with the trial of feeling which I have passed through. 
Other, and I think, higher considerations have gained the ascend- 
ency. Divine direction has been earnestly sought, and I have 
a pleasing consciousness of acting in the case, under the direct- 
ing influence of an overruling Power. I have accordingly come 
to a result which, a few weeks ago, I could hardly have consid- 
ered among the possibilities, viz : to accept the office you have 
conferred upon me, and to attempt the high duties it involves. 

1 This letter is copied in the Records. The Committee were Rev. Joseph S. 
Clarke, D. D., (Dr. Stearns' classmate,) Hon. Linus Child, and Henry Edwards, 


I do this relying on that cordial sympathy and co-operation on 
the part of the Trustees and honored Professors of the College 
which, I have been assured, will be truly accorded to me, and 
without which I could indulge no hope of success. It gives me 
pleasure, in this connection, to believe that I shall be assisted 
in my untried labor by the experience of the amiable and dis- 
tinguished gentleman, who has so long and acceptably presided 
over the College, and whom I shall never cease to respect and 

The Inauguration, of which we have already given an account, 
took place on Wednesday, the 22d of November, 1854. After 
some graceful allusions to the origin and early history, the found- 
ers and former Presidents of Amherst College, of which, though 
not an alumnus, he expresses the highest appreciation, and asks 
to be accepted as a true son though by adoption, the Inaugural 
Address proceeds to define the end or aim of education, which is 
to produce in the person educated the highest style of man, and 
then to discuss the most essential ways and means, physical, in- 
tellectual, moral and religious, by which that end or aim is to be 
accomplished. We shall see further on, how not a few of the 
ideas which the President thus developed in his Inaugural, have 
been realized under his administration. The key-note of the 
address is contained in the concluding sentences : " Young gen- 
tlemen, your highest attainment is the attainment of right rela- 
tions towards God, and a concordance with the other harmonies 
of the universe. There is one great CENTRAL LIFE whose pul- 
sations are beating through all created worlds. When in addi- 
tion to a profound and brilliant scholarship, attended with high 
moral and social excellence, and wise physical self-control, you 
come into sympathy with this great LIFE, so that your spirit 
answers to that Spirit, as the pulsations of the wrist keep time 
with those that are throbbing in your heart, then will you be 
truly educated, then will you have reached the highest order of 

In the evening after the inauguration the students expressed 
their good will to the new President and their expectation of a 
prosperous and happy presidency by an illumination of the Col- 
lege edifices. " Welcome to President Stearns " was blazoned in 


letters of brilliant light across the entire front of Middle (now 
North) and South Colleges, and as he stood in front of the 
Octagonal Cabinet, admiring the brilliant spectacle, they gath- 
ered spontaneously around him, extemporized an address of wel- 
come through a member of the Senior class, and drew from him 
a ready and hearty response. 

The following extract from a letter written by an alumnus of 
the Class of '61, ] reflects the buoyant, hopeful and kindly feel- 
ing of the students in the opening years of the new adminis- 
tration and exhibits some of the characteristic features of the 
period: "The Class of '61 entered at a time when the whole 
College was alive with the energy of a new start and growth. 
North College had just been burned down, find the lost building 
was to be replaced by a beautiful edifice to be erected by the 
munificence of the Hon. Samuel Williston. The Literary So- 
cieties were elated with the thought of having new and spa- 
cious rooms for their meetings and their libraries. The lovers of 
Chemistr}' were to have every needed facility for practice, which 
were to be so improved that more than half the students of sev- 
eral classes of their own free choice took Practical Chemistry. 
East College was to be erected to meet the growing wants of 
the Institution, and better still, one of the finest gymnasiums of 
the country and a new system of gymnastic exercises adopted 
that would save the health of numbers who would not exercise 
unless required by the authority of the Faculty. The whole 
atmosphere of the College indicated unusual executive ability in 
all concerned in its management. There was redoubled effort 
on the part of the Professors to raise the standard of schol- 
arship. The examinations were conducted by a new method 
more searching than ever before. Every precaution was used to 
ascertain the exact merits of every scholar. The most impartial 
methods and means were resorted to in order to determine the 
improvement made in each study. It was during our course 
that written examinations were instituted with most marked and 
beneficial results. And prizes were offered in almost all the de- 
partments. Instead of a few competing for the prizes in decla- 
mation, nearly every member of the class stood his trial 2 for the 

1 Rev. J. A. Leach, now of Keene, N. H. 2 In a hearing before the Faculty. 


privilege of competing. I doubt if there was ever before, in the 
history of the College, a time when such untiring efforts were 
made in every respect for the good of the students." 

It will be remembered that one pleasant incident of the exer- 
cises of inauguration day was the announcement of a liberal 
donation from the estate of Mr. Appleton, for the erection of a 
Zoological and Ichnological Museum. Dr. Hitchcock had made 
the request a year previous, and had given up all expectation 
that it would be granted. There is reason to believe that con- 
fidence in the wisdom of the new President conspired with 
admiration for the genius and science of his predecessor in se- 
curing the donation. However that may be, the time of the an- 
nouncement was not accidental, and the donation, while it formed 
a brilliant and appropriate finale to the retiring administration, 
furnished also an auspicious omen for the incoming presidency. 
Nor did the omen prove fallacious. The Appleton gift was only 
the beginning of a succession of donations and bequests, which 
amount in the aggregate to nearly eight hundred thousand dol- 
lars, and which mark the presidency of Dr. Stearns beyond even 
that of Dr. Hitchcock, as the period of large and liberal founda- 
tions. The following is a list of the principal donations of this 
period, arranged as nearly as possible in chronological order. It 
is given, not only in justice to the donors, but also as showing 
the purpose of the donations and thus illustrating this portion 
of our history : 

Donation for the Appleton Cabinet, 1854 $10,000 

Donation for the Sweetser Lecture Room, 1855, 1,000 

Donation for the Nineveh Gallery, 1 1857 967 

Subscriptions for East College, 1857, seq. , 5,000 

Donation for Williston Hall, 1857, 16,000 

Hitchcock Scholarships, 1858 10,000 

Legacy of Dr. and Mrs. Moore, 1858, 9,175 

Legacy of Asahel Adams, 1858, 4,500 

Subscriptions for the Gymnasium, 1859, . 3,550 

Donation of Messrs. J. C. Baldwin and A. Lilly, 1859, 4,000 

Subscriptions of Alumni for the Library, 1859, seq., 7,000 

Amount carried forward, $71,192 

1 Building and contents cost $1,167, of which only $200 was paid out of the 
College Treasury. 


Amount brought forward, $71,192 

Legacy of Jonathan Phillips, 1 1860 6,500 

Grants by the Legislature, 1861-3, 27,500 

Walker Professorship of Mathematics and Astronomy, 1861, . . . 25,000 

Walker Instructorships, etc., 1862, 10,000 

Walker Prizes, 1862-3, 2,000 

Legacy of Richard Bond for General Treasury, 1863, 4,000 

Donation of David Sears for Library Building, J 1863, 8,000 

Walker Building Fund, (Dr. Walker and others,) 1 1864, .... 140,000 

Donation for College Church, (W. F. Stearns,) 1 1864, 46,000 

Samuel Green Professorship, 1864, 25,000 

Walker Legacy, 1866, 144,976 

Donation of George H. Gilbert for Books, 1 1866, 7,000 

Legacy of Dr. Barrett for Gymnasium, 1870, 5,000 

Mr. Williston for Instruction in English Literature, 1869-70-71, . 3,000 

Donation of Mr. Williston at Semi-Centennial, 1871, 50,000 

Donation of Mr. Howe, Chime of Bells and Scholarship, 1871, . . 5,000 

Increase of Charity Fund, 2 10,000 

Increase of Stimson Fund, 8,000 

Mr. Hitchcock to increase his Professorship and Scholarships, 1869, 20,000 

Recent Scholarships, 3 35,000 

Prizes not mentioned above, 3 12,000 

Increase of Collections in Natural History, 4 8.000 

Illustrations and Ornaments in Classical Recitation Rooms, . . . 2,500 

Bust of Dr. Hitchcock and other Ornamental Statuary, .... 1,500 

Hallock Park, 1868 2,000 

Mr. Hitchcock for Scholarships and Kindred Purposes, 1872, . . 100,000 

Total $779,168 

The larger part of these donations it will be seen, were made 
during and after the war, and thus they illustrate a general char- 
acteristic of this period in the history of our country. No other 
period can compare with it in the munificence of its public char- 
ities ; and there is no other form of public charity, for which 
wealthy and benevolent men have given more freely or more 
abundantly than for the endowment of institutions of learning. 

1 With income added. 2 Added to the principal. 3 Principal not all paid in. 

* Estimated at $12 : 000 by the curator (Prof. E. Hitchcock,) but about $4,000 was 
paid out of State grants already mentioned out of the College treasury. Among 
these contributions are the megatherium, by Joshua Bates, Esq., of London, ($500;) 
the skeleton and skin of the gorilla, by Rev. William Walker of the Gaboon mission, 
(then worth in the market $2,000;) and some $600 to Dr. E. Hitchcock, Jr., for 
specimens in Comparative Osteology. 


They have given spontaneously hundreds of thousands and mil- 
lions where in earlier periods they could scarcely have been per- 
suaded to give hundreds and thousands. The comparative ease 
with which this large amount was obtained, illustrates that great 
doctrine of Scripture and fact of universal observation, that to 
him that hath shall be given, and he shall have more abundantly. 
Only a small fraction of this amount was raised by subscription. 
The larger part of it came unsolicited. Much of it came from 
old friends and former benefactors of the College The bequest 
of President Moore was made in the years of its infancy and 
poverty, and came in at this time because Mrs. Moore so long 
outlived her husband came in with increase, because she nursed 
it so assiduously by economy and good management. Jonathan 
Phillips, Esq., had been a subscriber to the Library fund, and 
had contributed to the expenses of President Hitchcock when 
traveling in Europe. Moses H. Baldwin, Esq., one of the con- 
tributors to the Walker Building Fund, had before been a sub- 
scriber for the Library, and was a personal friend of the Professor 
who began the raising of that subscription. Mr. Sears and Mr. 
Gilbert had both given before to the treasury of the College. 
Mr. Tappan and Mr. Williston began to give before the close of 
Dr. Humphrey's presidency, and from that time were always 
giving and always ready to give in every emergency. 

Even the Legislature turned a comparatively willing ear to 
our petition, and twice more opened (though not very wide and 
that apparently for the last time), the treasury of the Common- 
wealth to supply the wants of Amherst College. The aid from 
the State in 1859 was granted the more readily doubtless because 
other Institutions shared in it, and some of them more largely 
than Amherst College. The bill became a law April 2, 1859. 
It provided, that after a certain sum had been received into the 
State treasury from the sale of the Back Bay lands, one-half of 
the proceeds of subsequent sales should be added to the Massa- 
chusetts School Fund, and the other half appropriated in cer- 
tain proportions, as it accrued, to five Institutions of learning in 
the Commonwealth, until the Museum of Comparative Zoology 
should have received an amount not exceeding one hundred 
thousand dollars ; Tufts College, fifty thousand dollars ; and 


Williams College, Amherst College and the Wesleyan Academy 
at Wilbraham, twenty-five thousand dollars each. No part of 
these appropriations was to be paid, however, until satisfactory 
evidence had been furnished by each Institution, that it had 
raised an equal sum by subscription, or otherwise, from some 
other source. It was further provided in the bill, that each of the 
three Colleges should establish three free Scholarships. These 
conditions were promptly complied with on the part of Amherst 
College, and the first installment of six thousand dollars and a 
little more was paid over in September, 1861, and the remainder 
of the twenty-five thousand dollars in September, 1863. On 
the 27th of April, 1863, after repeated solicitations by Dr. 
Hitchcock in person, the Legislature made another special grant 
of two thousand five hundred dollars to the Department of Nat- 
uraHHistory. Here endeth the history of grants from the State 
in aid of Amherst College. Two appropriations of twenty -five 
thousand dollars each and one of two thousand five hundred 
dollars scarcely a third part of what the State has granted to 
Williams and not a tithe of the donations to Harvard ! 

Of all the donations and bequests that have ever come to 
Amherst College those of Dr. Walker were the most surprising, 
because they came from so unforeseen and unexpected a source. 
A graduate of Harvard, and a resident of one of those cities in 
the vicinity of Cambridge whose property seems to be almost the 
birthright and inheritance of that University, Dr. Walker wished 
and intended to endow the medical department of his Alma Ma- 
ter. Not finding her sufficiently facile and pliant to his wishes, 
he turned his attention to the other Colleges, and began to give 
to them with a liberality which was fitted and doubtless intended 
to show the authorities at Cambridge how much they had lost. 
One of these Colleges was soon dropped from the list of his bene- 
ficiaries for a similar reason. President Stearns had the discern- 
ment to see the substantial excellence of Dr. Walker's ideas, and 
the wisdom, instead of opposing or questioning, to humor and 
guide his plans, and thus to enlist him more and more zealously 
in the service of the College. The result was that the Doctor 
gave Amherst at different times and for different purposes one 
hundred thousand dollars in his life-time, drew in forty thousand 


dollars from other sources by making that the condition of his 
own donations, and left ii^ his will a legacy which, with the in- 
come accruing, has already realized nearly one hundred and fifty 
thousand dollars. The condition just alluded to seemed at the 
time not only unfortunate, but impracticable and appalling. But 
thanks to the wisdom of President Stearns and the benevolence 
of the friends chiefly old and tried friends of the College, the 
forty thousand dollars was raised. Mr. Williston, Mr. Hitchcock 
and James Smith, Esq., of Philadelphia, gave ten thousand dollars 
apiece, and Messrs. Hardy, Edwards, Alden, Baldwin and others 
made up the remaining ten thousand dollars, thus exhibiting 
a generosity the more praiseworthy and thankworthy because 
their charities were to be merged in a " Walker Building Fund," 
and their own preferences were sacrificed for so great an interest 
of the Institution. 

The presidency of Dr. Stearns is emphatically the period of 
scholarships and prizes. Aside from the distribution of the in- 
come of the Charity Fund, which really constituted so many 
Ministerial Scholarships (and they are now actually called by 
that name), there was not a single Scholarship in existence at 
the commencement of his administration. Eleazar Porter, Esq., 
of Hadley, has the honor of establishing the first Scholarship in 
Amherst College. This was in 1857. The last catalogue shows 
more than fifty Scholarships 1 in the gift of the College varying 
in annual income from forty to three hundred dollars each, and 
distributing each year over four thousand dollars among the stu- 
dents ; several others (Class Scholarships) are announced as 
partly established by the Alumni, and the income of the last mu- 
nificent donation of a hundred thousand dollars, is to go for 
Scholarships so far as it is needed for that purpose. 

The only prizes that existed prior to the present administra- 
tion were those for elocution, and these had usually been merely 
nominal, and were paid out of the College treasury. The first 
regular prizes given by an individual for successive years were 
given by Joseph Sweetser, Esq., a former resident of Arnherst, 
but then residing in New York City. These were given under 

1 Over and above the Ministerial Scholarships, by which the income of the Charity 
Fund is distributed. 


the presidency of Dr. Hitchcock. In 1857, Hon. Alpheus Hardy 
of Boston established the Hardy Prizes for improvement in Ex- 
temporaneous Speaking ; and now we have a thousand dollars 
distributed every year as prizes for excellence in nearly all of 
the several departments. 

Of the twelve College edifices that now stand on the College 
hill, six have been added during the presidency of Dr. Stearns. 
And the style and character of these, as compared with the ear- 
lier buildings, is more remarkable than their number. There 
has been a constant progress in costliness and elegance. The 
last three have been built of stone, the Pelham or Monson gran- 
ite, and the last two, at least, in a plan and style of architecture 
worthy of a material that is at once so rich and so enduring. 
Th^ new College Church alone, when it is finished, will have 
cost as much as the whole five edifices that have come down 
from previous administrations ; and Walker Hall cost as much 
as all the other buildings on College hill together, exclusive of 
the College Church. It is scarcely exaggeration to say, that 
President Stearns found the College brick, and will leave it 

The first building erected after the accession of President 
Stearns, was the Appleton Cabinet. This was built in 1855. 
The Building Committee consisted of Prof. Hitchcock, Mr. Wil- 
liston and Prof. Clark, and Mr. Sykes was the architect the 
same under whose direction the Woods Cabinet and the Library 
had been built. It was the preference of Dr. Hitchcock that 
this edifice should be placed on the west side of the Woods 
Cabinet, where the danger from fire would have been less, and 
where it would have been in convenient contiguity with the 
geological specimens. The Building Committee acceded to the 
views and wishes of Dr. Hitchcock, and at first located it there. 
But their opinion was overruled by that of the Prudential Com- 
mittee, on the ground that the appearance would be unsightly. 
Mr. Luke Sweetser, who, for thirty-one years has been a resi- 
dent member of the Prudential Committee, remonstrated with 
special earnestness against that location, and in order to remove 
the chief argument in its favor, volunteered to put up a lecture- 
room as an appendage to the Woods Cabinet, if it could be done 


for a thousand dollars. This view prevailed ; the Appleton 
Cabinet was placed on the south wing of the dormitories, thus 
taking the place of a new South College, which had long been 
contemplated to balance the old North College, and to complete 
the row ; and the geological lecture-room was at the same time 
attached to the Woods Cabinet. Mr. Sweetser declined having 
his name affixed to it. 

In 1857 the Woods Cabinet received another appendage in 
the Nineveh Gallery, which was erected by Enos Dickinson, 
Esq., of South Amherst, on " the site of the old church, where 
for thirty years he had attended meeting, where he was baptised 
and made a profession of religion," and of which he remarked 
to Dr. Hitchcock, " that if he should desire to leave his name 
anywhere on earth that would be the spot." * " The building 
cost five hundred and sixty-seven dollars. It is a small room, 
but it is probably as large as that in the palace of Nimroud, 
from which the sculptured slabs were taken." The contents 
cost some six hundred dollars, 2 their money value is at least as 
many thousands their value to the College as educators and 
as memorials, is beyond calculation. The sculptured slabs, six in 
number, from the palace of Sardanapalus, the seals, cylinders 
and bricks from Nineveh and Babylon, the coins of gold, silver 
and copper, a thousand in number, mostly ancient, and com- 
mencing with those of Alexander the Great, were all procured 
and sent at great labor and expense by Dr. Henry Lobdell, mis- 
sionary to Assyria, of the Class of '49, who, in December, 1854, 
made his sixth visit to Nimroud, in order to dispatch the sculp- 
tures, and who died at Mosul, the site of ancient Nineveh, on 
the 25th day of March, 1855. For the gallery and its contents 
the College is indebted ultimately and entirely to the agency of 
Dr. Hitchcock, who encouraged Dr. Lobdell to send the speci- 
mens, raised the money to pay all the expenses, superintended 
the whole business, and in short manifested scarcely less interest 
in these foot-prints of former generations of men, than in the 
ichnolites of the pre-Adamic earth in his own cabinet. 

1 "Keminiscences" of Amherst College. 

2 Of which, however, only two hundred dollars was paid out of the College 


The next public buildings were the result of a calamity which, 
as not unfrequently happens, proved a blessing in disguise. One 
cold and stormy night in the winter of 1857, when the north- 
west wind blew almost a hurricane and the thermometer was 
many degrees below zero, the old North College caught fire in a 
student's room. The occupants of the room and nearly all the 
occupants of the building were in attendance on the meetings 
of the Literary Societies in the Middle and South Colleges. 
Before they could give or get the alarm, the fire had progressed 
so far as to forbid even the attempt to extinguish it. All efforts 
were directed towards saving the other buildings. Had the 
wind been in the north or north-east, this would have been im- 
possible. Being in the north-west the flames and burning frag- 
ments were for the most part driven to the eastward ; otherwise 
in spite of all exertions, Middle College must have taken fire, 
and to all human appearance, the Chapel, the South College and 
the newly erected Appleton Cabinet would all have been swept 
away by the conflagration. By midnight or a little later, North 
College with no small portion of its contents the furniture and 
books of students had gone up in a whirlwind of flame or had 
been reduced to ashes. Such was the uproar of the elements 
that night, that the writer in his own house in the edge of the 
village, not half a mile away, heard no alarm and knew nothing 
of the calamity till, early the next morning, he was summoned 
to a Faculty meeting called for consultation in the emergency. 
When he arrived on the ground, nothing remained but the black- 
ened brick walls enclosing a heap of smoking ruins. " A pho- 
tograph 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 catastrophes and one of 
the greatest blessings the College ever experienced." 1 No in- 
considerable part of this blessing, in the estimation of our good 
President, seems to be the getting rid of old North College 
" the most unsightly and most uncomfortable structure in the 
range." I can not quite sympathize with him in that feeling. 
Unsightly it certainly was, but I spent in it two of the most 
comfortable and happy years of my life. It was the only Col- 

1 President Stearns' Address of Welcome at the Semi-centennial. 


lege edifice in which I ever occupied a room as a student ; and 
to me as to many of the earliest occupants, its rooms and halls 
and walls were all sacred and beautiful. But the fire was an 
undoubted blessing in that it enlisted the sympathy of friends, 
and ere long gave us two better buildings in its stead. The ap- 
peal of the Faculty in behalf of the students, some of whom 
had lost everything but what they had on their persons, met 
with so prompt and hearty a response that ere long we issued a 
card saying that no more was needed. And scarcely had the 
ruins ceased to smoke, when with characteristic promptness as 
well as generosity Mr. Williston, that unfailing friend of the 
College, volunteered to erect on the site a new edifice containing 
a Chemical Laboratory, rooms for the Libraries and the meetings 
of the two Literary Societies, and an Alumni Hall, if the Trus- 
tees would engage, with the insurance and additional subscrip- 
tions to replace the lost dormitory. This condition which, like 
Dr. Walker's in regard to Walker Hall, was, of course, intended 
only to double the benefaction, was accepted by the Trustees, 
and the new buildings were both erected in 1857, the same year 
in which the old dormitory was burnt. Both edifices were built 
under the general direction of Mr. Williston, Mr. Charles E. 
Parkes of Boston being the architect, and Prof. Clark and Mr. 
Luke Sweetser being associated with the former as building com- 
mittee in the erection of East College. Thus, to express in 
Dr. Stearns' own language the " great blessing " which resulted 
from the " great catastrophe," " two new buildings sprang up 
from the ashes of the old, one of them Williston Hall, so comely 
in appearance, so convenient in arrangement, so generously be- 
stowed and so full of invitation to the returning 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." l 

The dedication of the two buildings, delayed for several 
reasons, took place on the 19th of May, 1858. The Trustees 
held a special meeting on the occasion. Mr. Williston and 
Mr. Sweetser reported the results of their labors, and formally 
delivered the buildings into the hands of the Trustees. Presi- 

1 Address of Welcome. 



dent Stearns, on the part of the Trustees, made a suitable re- 
sponse. Prayer was offered by Rev. Dr. Vaill ; and Rev. Henry 
Ward Beecher delivered an address, in which, as fitly as elo- 
quently, he discoursed on Institutions as a means of perpetuat- 
ing influence. 

The next building was the Gymnasium. This was commenced 
in the autumn of 1859, and completed in the summer of 1860. 
Hon. J. B. Woods, Prof. W. S. Clark, Hon. S. Williston and the 
President, were appointed a committee, with full powers to col- 
lect funds, procure plans, select a site, and erect the building. 
"Subscriptions were obtained by Prof. W. S.Clark, Prof. W. 
S. Tyler, and some others, to the amount of about five thousand 
dollars. For the other five thousand dollars the College resorted 
again to borrowing." l The building was planned by the same 
architect as Williston Hall and East College Mr. Charles E. 
Parkes of Boston. President Hitchcock says : " It is massive 
in appearance, without much architectural beauty, though in 
conformity with architectural rules." To the eye of the writer, 
it is one of the most beautiful buildings on the College campus. 
It has the beauty of fitness and the beauty, rare in our day, of 
a severe simplicity. The builders had the good sense and good 
taste to return to the use of stone, * instead of brick, in which their 
example has been followed in all subsequent buildings, and will 
be followed, we trust, in all coming time. Upon the completion 
of the building, the name of " Barrett Gymnasium " was given 
to it, from Dr. Benjamin Barrett of Northampton, who had con- 
tributed liberally towards its erection. Dr. Barrett afterwards 
put in at his own expense a gallery at the west end, for the con- 
venience of spectators, and contributed more or less each year 
while he lived, for repairing the building, improving the appara- 
tus and ornamenting the grounds. And at his death, in 1869, 
he left in his will a legacy of five thousand dollars, the income 
of which is to be annually expended for similar purposes. 

The principal of the Walker building fund (one hundred 

1 Dr. Hitchcock's " Reminiscences." The Trustees had already borrowed five 
thousand dollars to supplement the subscriptions for East College. 

2 The same that was used in the Library building, viz., the Pelham gneiss or 



thousand dollars) was filled up in 1864. At a special meeting 
of the Trustees in November, 1866, they appointed a Building 
Committee of their own number. This committee consisted of 
President Stearns, Hon. Samuel Williston, Hon. Alpheus Hardy, 
Hon. Edward B. Gillett, and Samuel Bowles, Esq. 1 The corner- 
stone of the building was laid on the 10th of June, 1868 ; and 
it was not till the 20th of October, 1870, that Walker Hall was 
opened with appropriate ceremonies. Thus, more than six years 
had elapsed since the money was raised, and more than seven, 
almost eight years since Dr. Walker made his first offering of 
twenty thousand dollars, (in January, 1863,) before the edifice 
was completed and set apart for its scientific uses ; tarn diu Roma 
condebatur. But it was right and wise to take a long time in 
building a structure that was expected to endure a long while. 
There was an intrinsic difficulty in uniting and harmonizing so 
many diverse interests. The whole department of Mathematics 
and Astronomy, the recitations, lectures and apparatus of the 
Professor of Natural Philosophy, the Shepard Cabinet of Min- 
eralogy, and rooms for the Trustees, the President and the 
Treasurer, were all to be brought beneath one roof, and what 
seemed for a time quite impracticable, nearly all these rooms 
must needs be, where all the living rooms of a house in this cli- 
mate ought to be, on the south side. When these conflicting 
interests were all reconciled, there still remained the scarcely 
less difficult question of a convenient and beautiful location. 
For the College campus, though sightly, is far from being site-ful; 
and a site satisfactory to all concerned, and suitable for such a 
building, was found at length, only by the purchase and annex- 
ation of three or four additional acres on the north side. 

Several architects and landscape-gardeners were consulted in 
the settlement of these vexed questions. More than one archi- 
tect also presented plans for the building. The plan which best 
satisfied the parties chiefly concerned, and indeed the only plan 

1 A committee, consisting of the President, Prof. Snell, Prof. Seelye, Hon. S. 
Williston and Hon. A. Hardy, was appointed at a special meeting of the Board in 
Boston, in January, 1863, to procure plans and estimates. But a building that 
should cost only forty thousand dollars was then contemplated. The plan was 
afterwards enlarged to meet the enlarging views and the increasing liberality of 
Dr. Walker. 



which solved the almost insoluble difficulties of the problem and 
united beauty with convenience, was that of George Hathorne, 
of New York. This plan was adopted, and he became the archi- 
tect of the building. The contract for the masonry was given 
to Richard H. Ponsonby, and that for the carpenter work to 
C. W. Lessey. The immediate oversight was entrusted to Wil- 
liam A. Dickinson, Esq., of Amherst. The laying of the corner- 
stone with due form and ceremony was on the forenoon of Class 
Day, June 10, 1868. Hon. Edward Dickinson presided and in- 
troduced the services. Prayer was offered by Rev. Dr. Vaill. 
The stone was placed with appropriate ceremonies by the Senior 
class who had desired to honor their Class Day by this act and 
had selected a committee of their number for the purpose. A 
hymn was sung by the College Choir. A paper was read by 
President Stearns, making some statements respecting the char- 
acter and design of the building, together with notices of Dr. 
Walker and the principal donors. After a few extemporaneous 
remarks by Hon. Alpheus Hardy and Prof. Snell, the exercises 
were concluded by singing the doxology and the pronouncing 
of the benediction. 

After an interval of two years and four months, on the 
20th of October, 1870, the formal opening of Walker Hall took 
place. The order of exercises was as follows : In College Hall, 
1, Music by the Orchestra ; 2, Introductory Prayer by Rev. Mr. 
Dwight of Hadley ; 3, Address by President Stearns ; 4, Com- 
mencement Hymn, " Let children hear the mighty deeds," etc. 
In Walker Hall, 1, Music by the Band ; 2, Statement by W. A. 
Dickinson, Esq. ; 3, Prayer of the Opening by Rev. Dr. Paine 
of Holden ; 4, Statement by Prof. Snell ; 5, Speeches by mem- 
bers of the Board of Trustees and by gentlemen from abroad ; 
6, " Old Hundred," by the audience. 

The address of President Stearns, although written under the 
pressure of an emergency created by the failure of others on 
whom he relied to perform this service, was an able and eloquent 
presentation of his well-considered views on the education de- 
manded by the times, which, notwithstanding the floods of rain 
that had drowned out the procession, was heard with great in- 
terest by a highly respectable audience, and which, with the 


endorsement of the Trustees as " sound and able," has been given 
to the public. The programme of exercises in Walker Hall was 
cut short by " darkening clouds and premature evening." But 
the interesting statements chiefly historical, by Mr. Dickinson 
and Prof. Snell, and the appropriate and felicitous remarks of 
Prof. Roswell D. Hitchcock of the Union Theological Seminary, 
were sufficient ; and further speech-making by " members of the 
Board of Trustees and gentlemen from abroad " was unnecessar} r . 

Walker Hall is a happy conception happily executed. It em- 
bodies an idea and gives a local habitation to a department. It 
is a fit temple of science. With an exterior worthy of a palace, 
it installs, not to say enthrones, mathematics and physics in 
rooms and halls " fit for the crowned truth to dwell in ; " and the 
bringing beneath the same roof of rooms also for the President, 
the Trustees and the archives of the College, suggests the idea 
which Dr. Walker doubtless cherished, that these sciences are 
entitled to a leading place and a controlling influence in a system 
of public education. The opening of Walker Hall removed the 
last vestige of scientific instruction from the old chapel building 
where all the departments dwelt together for so many years, and 
left literature and philosophy the sole occupants. Two things 
are illustrated by this part of our history, first the progress of 
division of labor in the College, and secondly the growth of the 
Institution in all its departments. 

The original donation of thirtj r thousand dollars for the Col- 
lege Church was made in 1864. Seven or eight years have 
elapsed, and the edifice is still unfinished. The delay has been 
partly to give time for the increase of the building fund, and 
partly owing to the difficulty of fixing the location, but chiefly, 
as in the case of Walker Hall, with the intention of building 
well rather than building quickly. 

The question of location long occasioned much perplexity. 
Opinions differed widely on the subject. The lot west of the 
street, and south of the President's house, had many and warm 
advocates. Others recommended a site on the north line of the 
College grounds, and fronting northwards, about half way be- 
tween the President's house and Walker Hall. Some suggested 
a corresponding position on the south line and fronting south- 


ward, in the rear of the Appleton Cabinet. Others still con- 
tended strenuously for some central situation near the College 
grove as fitly symbolizing the central relation of Christianity and 
the Church to literature and the sciences. Perhaps all regretted 
that East College had preoccupied the very best site in the 
whole campus, and not a few advised its immediate removal, 
and the erection of the College Church on the same spot. Thus 
like a wavering needle drawn in opposite directions by various 
magnets, the church seemed to change front and position at dif- 
ferent times towards all points of the compass. But it settled 
at length towards the rising sun. The unanimous verdict of 
the most distinguished architects decided the question in favor 
of the present site, just in the rear of East College but necessi- 
tating^ at some time the removal of that building. " It might 
seem," says President Stearns in his address at the laying of the 
corner-stone " it might seem to our old graduates and to others 
who have not studied the case, an unexpected and singular move- 
ment, to pass over, as we have done, into what was regarded here- 
tofore as the back-yard of our College grounds, and crowd the 
new edifice into the very mouth of the dormitory which has for 
some years crowned the knoll. But looking from East College, 
destined some time or other to be removed, let me say to each 
one who doubts the propriety of the location, circumspice. Think 
of a pleasant Sabbath morning, as our young men and families 
of many generations of the future, throng to the house of prayer 
and see the beauty of the Lord spread over the mountains and 
the intervale before us and the quiet homes nestling within it, 
and tell me, will not nature furnish inspirations to praise. If we 
need further reason, it may be expressed in the brief words of 
Mr. Williston, who has often surprised me with the breadth and 
wisdom of his views on such subjects. When the advice of the 
best architectural and gardening skill in the country had been ob- 
tained, and reasons set forth, and the final question was put to 
that gentleman, shall we plan the building for present conven- 
ience or for a hundred years to come, his immediate response 
was 'five hundred years to come.'" The committee to whom 
by vote of the Trustees in 1869 the whole subject was referred, 
consisted of the President, William F. Stearns, Esq., Messrs. 


Williston, Hardy and Gillett, and Mr. W. A. Dickinson. Wil- 
liam Appleton Potter, Esq., of New York, was the architect. 
The- Church was erected under the personal oversight and direct 
superintendence of President Stearns, to whose watchful eye 
and excellent taste, scarcely less than to the art and science of 
the architect, the building owes its perfection. 

' The corner-stone was laid on the 22d of September, 1870, 
with the following order of exercises: Preliminary Statement 
by the President; Introductory Prayer by Prof. Tyler; Address 
by Rev. Christopher Gushing of Boston ; placing of the Stone by 
the Senior class (Class of '71) ; Hymn, " Christ is our Corner- 
stone ;" Prayer by Rev. Mr. Jenkins of Ainherst ; Doxology ; 

The following passages from the President's Preliminary State- 
ment should be put on record as showing his views and those of 
the donor, William F. Stearns, Esq., in regard to this edifice : 
" We have assembled to place the corner-stone of an edifice, 
which, in accordance with the great idea of the College, ' the 
highest education and all for Christ,' is to be, when completed 
and dedicated, the College Church. In pursuing this principle 
which has always actuated some of us, a desire has long existed, 
since we have public worship together, to hold the religious ser- 
vices of the Sabbath, as other churches do, in a retired, consecra- 
ted Sabbath home, from which all the studies and distractions of 
the week should be excluded, and where the suggestions of the 
place should assist us to gather in our thoughts and, in the enjoy- 
ment of sacred silence, to confer with God. 

" Some of the views of the donor in furnishing the means for 
the College Church were thus expressed to the Trustees at the 
time they were given, and in the same spirit they were grate- 
fully accepted by them. 1, The Church is to be used by the 
College for strictly religious observances, especially for Chris- 
tian worship and preaching, and for no other purpose. 2, The 
preacher shall always profess his full and earnest belief in the 
religion of the Old and New Testaments as a supernatural revela- 
tion from God, and in Jesus Christ as the Divine and only Savior, 
' who was crucified for our sins and raised again for our justifi- 
cation,' and generally for substance of doctrine in the evangeli- 


cal system or gospel of Christ as understood by the projectors 
and founders of the College. 3, The preacher in the pulpit, and 
in all the exercises of this Church, shall exhibit that sobriety, 
dignity, and reverence of manner and expression which becomes 
the sacredness of the place, and is in keeping with those solemn 
emotions which true Christians are supposed to experience. 

" We have spoken of this new edifice as the College Church. 
We call it Church instead of Chapel, because we would distin- 
guish it from the old Chapel opposite to us, and are not willing 
to do this by the use of any mere human name, and because, 
while the word chapel, from the Latin capella, has no Christian 
significance in its etymology but means only a short cloak, hood 
or cowl and was first used, it is said, to designate the tent in 
which St. Martin's hat or cowl was preserved, the word church 
firicls its origin and its meaning in the Christian epithet KvQiaxoz, 
belonging to the Lord, and which, while it is a proper designa- 
tion alike for an assembly of believers and for the consecrated 
place in which they worship, is just as appropriate for a small 
building as for a large one." 

Rev. Mr. Gushing in his appropriate and instructive address, 
spoke of the American College, as not merely an educational 
institution, but having a distinctively religious character, founded 
originally for Christ and the Church and intended primarily to 
educate me'n for the gospel ministry. But this primary idea 
and intention of the College, he insisted, was endangered by the 
secularizing and materialistic spirit of the age which would pa- 
ganize the public schools, and make the College a University 
from which that element only should be excluded, viz. religion, 
which was originally its very life and breath. The statistics of 
the New England Colleges during the last half century show a 
great relative decline in the number of graduates who enter the 
ministry. Indeed while the number of graduates of the last 
decade (1855-65) is nearly double that of the first (1815-25,) 
the number of ministers in the last is but a slight absolute in- 
crease over that of the first, although the demand for ministers 
is greatly augmented. " These facts," he concludes, " demand 
our serious and prayerful consideration. They show the impor- 
tance of maintaining the old American College system and the 


importance of the College Church as a means of grace to the stu- 
dents and as the means of furnishing ministers of the gospel." 

The College Church, not less than Walker Hall, embodies an 
idea and a department. A new department, as we shall see fur- 
ther on, was founded the same year in which funds were set 
apart for building the church. The College Church represents 
this department, gives it as it were a body and a form, and ex- 
presses the idea, not only of a place set apart expressly for the 
Sabbath worship and service, but also of a professorship whose 
undivided energies should be sacredly devoted to the religious 
welfare of the College. Combining in its architectural plan and 
style the beautiful and the useful of successive ages, it represents 
the religion of the College as uniting all that is true and good 
in the past history of the Church with whatsoever things are 
pure and lovely in our own age ; and being unquestionably the 
brightest architectural jewel on the brow of College hill, it fitly 
expresses the paramount excellence and importance of the relig- 
ion of Christ in College education. 

After the close of the Avar, several unsuccessful efforts were 
made to secure a suitable memorial for those students who had 
sacrificed their lives for their country. A public hall adorned 
with relics and trophies of the war, a lecture room and Profess- 
orship of History, a monument on the grounds, a monumental 
group of statues and tablets within doors all these were con- 
templated, some of them voted by the alumni and attempted, 
but all, for different reasons, proved unsatisfactory, or at least 
unsuccessful. This difficult question found at length an un- 
expected and most satisfactory solution in connection with the 
College Church. A chime of bells of unsurpassed excellence, 
placed in the tower by George Howe, Esq., of Boston, whose 
own son, a graduate of Amherst, fell a sacrifice to the war, an- 
swers the double purpose, to use the language of President 
Stearns, of " throwing out upon the breezes the sweet invita- 
tions of Christian psalmody to worship on the Lord's day, and 
of commemorating in patriotic and soothing melodies on appro- 
priate occasions, the nobleness of our sons and brothers who 
honored the College, while they shed their blood for Christ and 
dear native land." 


Before any provision was made or expected for a new church, 
the rooms in the old chapel building had become so deformed 
and dilapidated, that thorough repairs were absolutely neces- 
sary. These repairs were made gradually, under the superin- 
tendence of W. A. Dickinson, Esq. They cost nearly as much 
as the original building. But they gave us possession of rooms 
far surpassing the original ones in convenience and elegance. 
The form of the rooms underwent little or no change. But 
they were entirely refitted, frescoed and furnished, and the reci- 
tation rooms, beginning with the Greek room, No. 1, and extend- 
ing gradually to the others, being adorned with maps and charts, 
photographs and engravings, bronzes and marbles illustrative of 
Greek and Roman art and antiquities, became teachers, no long- 
er of rudeness and slovenliness, but of order, truth and beauty. 
White the Chapel proper was undergoing repairs, Alumni Hall 
served for a time as our place of worship. 

When the Village Church had completed their new and costly 
churcli edifice in 1867, the Trustees purchased the old edifice 
in which they already owned a share, in consideration of its an- 
nual use for Commencements, thoroughly remodeled and repair- 
ed it externally, and internally thus divesting it in a great meas- 
ure of its " astonishing " ugliness, and so acquired one of the 
most convenient and useful buildings on the College grounds. 
It pays already one-half the annual interest of its cost in rents 
for foreign uses ; the other half the College can well afford, if 
necessary, for its own use in Commencements, exhibitions, public 
lectures, written examinations, and the annual meetings of the 
alumni. By superseding Alumni Hall for these last purposes, 
(for written examinations, as well as alumni reunions,) it sets 
that room free for the use to which it is admirably adapted, of a 
gallery of Art and Archaeology which we are now endeavoring 
to inaugurate. 

While the College has thus been erecting or acquiring these 
convenient and beautiful buildings, a corresponding improvement 
has been going on pari passu in the College grounds. Mr. Wil- 
liston, Dr. Barrett, Mr. Hayden and others made donations for 
this purpose. Appropriations were voted from time to time from 
the College treasury. Early under the presidency of Dr. Stearns, 


the ground was located and carefully prepared for cricket and 
base ball. Soon after, the College garden was instituted, which, 
planted and nourished under the direction of the Professor of 
Botany, presided over by " Sabrina," and guarded and cherished 
by the good sense and good taste of the students, has become 
one of the civilizing and refining institutions of Amherst College. 
The annexation of a part of the Boltwood farm, and the grad- 
ing of the site of Walker Hall, involved great changes in the 
College grounds and became the occasion of the greatest im- 
provement that has been made in them, by providing new drives 
and walks, furnishing more convenient access and entrance, and 
opening to visitors more inviting views of the buildings, with 
charming vistas of the eastern hills in the background. 

In 1868, Leavitt Hallock, Esq., having purchased together 
with the farm of which it was a part, the grove formerly known 
as Baker's Grove, near which the students for a time had their 
ball ground, and having adorned it with drives and walks, gave 
it in trust to the College on the single condition that the Trustees 
should preserve, improve and keep it forever as a public park. 
The Trustees gratefully accepted the donation and gave it the 
name of Hallock Park. It contains some seven acres of ancient 
and venerable oaks and pines such as can scarcely be found any- 
where else in Western Massachusetts. A valuable property in 
itself, it is an invaluable acquisition to the town and the College, 
and reflects equal honor on the taste and the liberality of the 

If now we turn our attention to the departments of instruc- 
tion, we shall find 'that they have kept even pace with these im- 
provements in the buildings and grounds. Since the accession 
of Dr. Stearns to the presidency, three new departments have 
been established, represented severally by the three most recent 
buildings, viz. : the department of Hygiene and Physical Educa- 
tion, by the Gymnasium ; that of Mathematics and Astronomy by 
Walker Hall ; and that of Biblical History and Interpretation 
and the Pastoral Care, by the College Church. 

Physical education was a prominent topic in the Inaugural 
Address of President Stearns. After insisting on the natural 
connection between bodily disarrangement on the one hand and 


intellectual inferiority as well as moral perversity on the other, 
and contrasting the perfection of physical form, health and 
strength developed by the palestra and the gymnasium in ancient 
systems of education with the partial deformity, the languid 
step, stooping shoulders, cadaverous countenances and physical 
degeneracy induced by neglect of bodily training in modern 
times he says : " Physical education is not the leading business 
of college life, though were I able, like Alfred or Charlemagne, 
to plan an educational system anew, I would seriously consider 
the expediency of introducing regular drills in gymnastic and 
calisthenic exercises." The idea, thus early conceived and ex- 
pressed, grew in the President's mind with every year's experi- 
ence, till it became a new department. In each successive an- 
nual report to the Trustees he called their attention with in- 
creasing earnestness to the failing health and waning strength 
and in some instances the premature death of students, espe- 
cially in the spring of the year, as in his opinion wholly unneces- 
sary. In his report for 1859, he says : " If a moderate amount 
of physical exercise could be secured as a general thing to every 
student daily, I have a deep conviction founded on close obser- 
vation and experience, that not only would lives and health be 
preserved, but animation and cheerfulness, and a higher order 
of efficient study and intellectual life would be secured. It will 
be for the consideration of this Board, whether, for the encour- 
agement of this sort of exercise, the time has not come when 
efficient measures should be taken for the erection of a gynma- 


sium, and the procuring of" its proper appointments." The 
Trustees accordingly chose a committee consisting of the Presi- 
dent, Dr. Nathan Allen, Henry Edwards, Esq., and Hon. Alexan- 
der H. Bullock, who reported at once in favor of an immediate 
effort for erecting a gymnasium. The building was completed, 
as we have seen, in 1860. At the same time, the Trustees, at 
their annual meeting, in August, 1 860, voted to establish a de- 
partment of Physical Culture in the College, and elected John 
W. Hooker, M. D., of New Haven, Conn., the first Professor in 
the department. Dr. Hooker was an excellent gymnast and did 
much to inaugurate the new system and inspire the students with 
interest in it. But owing to ill-health and other causes, his con- 


nection with the College ceased after a few months. During the 
interregnum in the spring of 1861, taking advantage of the ex- 
citement which preceded the war, Col. Luke Lyman of North- 
ampton was employed to give instruction and training to students 
in military tactics and exercises. 

At the annual meeting of the Trustees, in August, 1861, Dr. 
Edward Hitchcock, Jr., a graduate of the College, and of the 
Medical School of Harvard University, was appointed Professor 
in this department. And to his science, skill, patience, and rare 
tact in managing students, under the wise and efficient direction 
and co-operation of President Stearns, we are indebted for the 
remarkable success in Amherst College of a department which, 
almost everywhere else has proved a failure. The characteris- 
tic and essential features to which it owes its success are two. 
In the first place, the gymnasium is only part and parcel, or 
if you please, the head and front, of a department of Anatomy, 
Physiology and Physical Culture, which is committed to an ed- 
ucated physician and man of science, who is specially charged 
with the health of the students, as other Professors are charged 
with the several branches of mental education. In the second 
place, unless excused by the Professor for special reasons, every 
student is required to exercise under the Professor in the gymna- 
sium half an hour daily for four days in the week, just as much as 
he is required to attend the recitations and lectures in any other 
department. One other characteristic has contributed largely 
to the popularity and success of Dr. Hitchcock's management 
of gymnastic exercises. He knows how to intermingle recrea- 
tion and amusement with the severer drill of the gymnasium, 
maintaining military order and discipline during a portion of 
each half hour, and then allowing them to break up into sections 
or squads and take such exercise and recreation as they choose, 
so that the classes come to the gymnasium with much of the 
same relish and zest with which they go to the ball ground, and 
go through a part of their exercises, as well as leave them, often 
with laughter and shouts. 

A Committee of the Class of '65, the first class that enjoyed 
this physical training through their entire course say : " We 
have found the required attendance a part of the system not 


at all objectionable, and what at first in the exercise was a little 
embarrassing or unpleasant, soon became a positive pleasure. 
The simultaneous participation of every person in the same exer- 
cises has contributed a lively zest to them, when otherwise they 
would have proved dull and uninteresting. These exercises have 
been so varied in character as to be adapted both to the strongest 
and the weakest student, conducing alike to health, strength and 
grace of action. The half hour required for exercise has proved 
the golden mean between length and brevity of time for this 
purpose, and has never been considered lost by us, as our health 
at the close of our College course testifies to the inestimable 
value of this training. We are confident if this matter of ex- 
ercise had been left a voluntary thing, many of our class who 
are npw strong and healthy, would have yielded to the dis- 
eases incident to student life, while others who were weak and 
slender boys on entering College, are now strong and vigorous 

Four years later, the Class of '69, on the eve of their grad- 
uation, adopted unanimously the following Resolutions : 

" Resolved, that the daily required exercise, as at present con- 
ducted by Prof. Edward Hitchcock, by the happy union of pleas- 
ure and exercise, is exactly suited to our needs, giving us strength 
and vigor for our other duties and developing a more manly 

" Resolved, that we convey to the friends of the gymnasium 
our hearty thanks for its foundation and support." 

The attractiveness of the exercises in the gymnasium to the 
public is seen in the number of visitors. " From September, 
1866, to the close of the College year in July, 1867, there were 
present at these exercises five thousand nine hundred and fifty- 
eight persons as visitors, and from September, 1867, to July 10, 
1868, the number was four thousand seven hundred and ninety- 
eight, more than one-fourth of whom were ladies ; and the av- 
erage number of visitors present attach exercise was over ten 
for both years." * In his Report for 1869-70, the Professor reck- 
ons the yearly average of visitors as four thousand seven hundred 

1 See " Physical Culture in Amherst College," a pamphlet by Dr. Nathan Allen, 
published at the request of the Trustees, 1869. 


and eighty-seven. The prize exhibitions which occur once or 
twice a year, always draw crowds of spectators. 

In summing up the results of the experiment in 1869, Dr. 
Allen, to whose professional knowledge and constant supervision 
as one of the Trustees, this department owes more than to any 
one else, except President Stearns and Prof. Hitchcock, tes- 
tifies to a decided improvement in the countenances and general 
physique of the students, in the use of their limbs and physical 
movements generally, in their cheerfulness and buoyancy of 
spirits, in their sanitary condition and in their vital statistics, 
besides many incidental advantages, such as elevating the stand- 
ard of scholarship, preventing vicious and irregular habits, and 
aiding the government and discipline of the Institution. 

The following just and noble sentiments of Prof. Owen of 
the British Museum, printed and hung upon the walls as the 
" Motto of the Barrett Gymnasium," are worthy to be put on 
record as illustrating the principles and spirit of the founders : 

" Such are the dominating powers with which we, and we 
alone, are gifted ! I say gifted, for the surpassing organization 
was no work of ours. It is He that hath made us ; not we our- 
selves. This frame is a temporary trust, for the uses of which 
we are responsible to the Maker. 

" Oh ! you who possess it in the supple vigor of lusty youth, 
think well what it is that He has committed to your keeping. 
Waste not its energies ; dull them not by sloth ; spoil them not 
by pleasures! The supreme work of creation has been accom- 
plished that you might possess a body the soul erect of all 
animal bodies the most free, and for what ? for the service of 
the soul. 

" Strive to realize the conditions of the possession of this 
wondrous structure. Think what it may become, the Temple 
of the Holy Spirit ! Defile it not. Seek, rather, to adorn it 
with all meek and becoming gifts, with that fair furniture, moral 
and intellectual, which it is your inestimable privilege to acquire 
through the teachings and examples and ministrations of this 
Seat of Sound Learning and Religious Education." 

The department of Mathematics, and Astronomy, including 
the professorship, the instructorships and the prize scholarships, 


was not only founded by Dr. Walker, but shaped to meet his 
views, and carefully defined in the terms and conditions of the 
several endowments. The documents in which the founder de- 
fines his views and wishes, and which constitute the statutes of 
the foundation, are spread out at length on the records of the 
Trustees, where they fill twelve entire, closely written folio 
pages. The first document which accompanied the endowment 
of the Walker professorship of Mathematics and Astronomy in 
1861, contains a minute description of the ends for which and 
the ways in which, in the opinion of the founder, Mathematics 
should be taught, under the heads of Arithmetic, Geometry, 
Algebra and Trigonometry. It is an interesting and highly 
characteristic document, showing positive opinions, a clear head 
and jwst ideas of .Mathematical studies. With a good sense, 
however, which is as characteristic as his positive opinions, the 
Doctor provides for such modifications of his methods as future 
experience may prove to be desirable : " It is not desirable," he 
says, " to limit a plan of instruction to the results of present ex- 
perience. That all acknowledged improvements may be adopted, 
but at the same time, they may be well considered, the Faculty 
shall be at liberty to make such changes in the plan of instruction 
herein marked out, as shall meet the approval in writing of Rev. 
Thomas Hill, D. D., the Presidents and Professors of Mathematics 
of Amherst, Tufts, Williams 1 and Harvard Colleges, the Presi- 
dent of the Boston Society of Natural History, and the Professor 
of Engineering at the Lawrence Scientific School, or of a major- 
ity of them it being the wish of the donor, that accurate and 
thorough instruction and drilling in the elementary branches 
should be insisted upon, whatever changes may be made." 

The following paragraph is also characteristic : " In teaching, 
younger persons are to be preferred as teachers of younger 
classes, but no teacher or tutor is to be employed who is not 
chosen for his merits, and whose merits have not been proved 
by rigid examination 2 to consist in part of precise and accurate 

1 Williams and Tufts Colleges shared with Amherst in this donation. 

2 It is understood that the unwillingness of the Corporation to subject present 
incumbents to examination, gave offence to Dr. Walker, and turned him aside from 
his plan of endowing the Medical Department of Harvard University. 


knowledge of the fundamental truths of Geometry, Arithme- 
tic, Algebra and Trigonometry, and in part of the ability to 
perform the elementary operations of Mathematics with rapidity 
and correctness'." 

In accordance with this provision, William C. Esty, of the 
Class of '60, was chosen Instructor in 1862, and in 1863 Pro- 
fessor of Mathematics and Astronomy. His trial for the pro- 
fessorship, was the calculation of the orbits of the satellites of 
Jupiter a work which had never before been done, and which 
occupied him for two years. The examination was by Prof. 
Pierce of Harvard College, by whom also the subject had been 
assigned or rather suggested for the choice of Mr. Esty. 

The second Walker document accompanied the foundation of 
the Walker Instructorship in 1863. It provides for the appoint- 
ment by the Trustees of some recent graduate of superior schol- 
arship and promise, as a special Instructor or Tutor, to give in- 
struction to select divisions of the Sophomore and Freshman 
classes. The characteristic features of this foundation are : 1, 
Small divisions, each consisting of not more than ten or twelve 
students it being the desire of the founder " to confine the 
benefits of this donation to those only who contribute on their 
part diligence and natural talent for mathematical studies," and 
his object being not so much that the students in these divisions 
shall be pressed into new and extended courses of mathemat- 
ical study, as that by thorough instruction and explanation, and 
persistent drilling and training with frequent reviews, repeti- 
tions and recitations, they shall become perfect masters of the 
text-books and subjects which shall be studied by their class- 
mates not connected with these divisions. 2, " To these divis- 
ions may be admitted such University students as may satisfy 
the College Faculty of their eminent qualifications to benefit by 
such instruction, who submit to all the laws and regulations of 
the College for the time being, and pay such tuition fees as the 
College may think reasonable." 3, " As it is a part of my ob- 
ject to encourage meritorious effort and success among the stu- 
dents in this study, no Instructor shall be employed longer than 
three years, but another shall be chosen to take his place from 
those graduates who have availed themselves of the benefits of 


this provision and are esteemed by the Trustees of the College 
as most deserving." 

In 1864 a third document was presented by the founder, enu- 
merating the several donations he had made, modifying the de- 
tails of the second document in some respects, to meet the views 
of the President and the Professor of Mathematics, without, 
however, altering the fundamental principles, and settling defin- 
itively the terms and conditions of the whole foundation. 

It will be seen that the plan of instruction in Mathematics, 
known among us as the Walker system, incidentally involves 
some peculiar features which are a departure from the old and 
established college system. In the first place, it divides each 
class, not numerically or alphabetically, but according to the math- 
ematical tastes and attainments of the members. In the second 
place, it assigns the select divisions containing all the best mathe- 
maticians, to the Instructor, and leaves the remainder to the care 
and instruction of the Professor. This may be a pleasant ar- 
rangement for the Instructor, but it is hard on the Professor. 
And it would seem that the select divisions also would ordi- 
narily get better instruction from the Professor than from the 
Instructor. The statutes as finally fixed, however, allow of 
some exceptions and relaxations in this part of the system. The 
effect of the system on the whole class, and its bearing on the 
principles and results of college education, constitute the most 
vital question. On the one hand it is a great loss, almost a 
calamity, to a class to have all the best scholars in any depart- 
ment taken out of it. It is like taking all the salts out of an 
effervescing fountain. On the other hand, the best scholars are 
doubtless kept back more or less by the old system of numerical 
divisions. On the whole, the Walker system is perhaps particu- 
larly adapted to the mathematical department. It has certainly 
worked well, in making some better mathematicians than we 
otherwise should have made, although I must think, it has at 
the same time lowered somewhat the general standard of mathe- 
matical discipline and attainment. The Professors in the other 
departments, I am sure, would be reluctant to be subjected 
to all its rules and regulations. Messrs. William B. Graves of 
the Class of '62, Thomas D. Biscoe of '63, and John K. Richard- 


son of '69, have successively filled the office of Walker Instruc- 
tor in Mathematics, in such a manner as to meet fully the high 
demands of the founder. The first two are now Professors in 
western colleges the last is the present incumbent. 

The same year in which the funds were given for the College 
Church (1864), another gentleman, without any knowledge of 
that donation, offered to the Trustees, in a letter to the Presi- 
dent, the sum of twenty thousand dollars as a foundation for a 
Professorship of the Pastoral Care. The same gentleman had 
previously had some correspondence with Dr. Hitchcock as well 
as with Dr. Stearns on the same subject. At their annual meet- 
ing in July, 1864, the Trustees gratefulty accepted the founda- 
tion and appointed the President and Dr. Vaill a Committee to 
confer with the donor, and prepare proper statutes and plans for 
the Pastorate. At a special meeting of the Board in November, 
1866, the statutes, as approved by the donor, were reported and 
adopted by the Trustees. They provide that the Professor shall 
be designated as the " Samuel Green Professor of Biblical His- 
tory and Interpretation and of the Pastoral Care ; " and that he 
shall be the Pastor or Associate Pastor of the College Church. 
His duties shall be to preach on the Sabbath such portion of the 
time as the Trustees may think most conducive to the well being 
of the College ; to be responsible in connection with and under 
the direction of the President for the proper conducting of all 
other religious meetings in the College, provided, however, that 
in the management of this work as well as in the preaching on 
the Sabbath, such assistance may be expected from other Pro- 
fessors as shall help to secure the wisest and most powerful 
Christian influence upon the whole Institution ; to organize and 
conduct, or superintend the conducting of Bible classes; to seek 
out young men as they come to College, and exert a personal 
religious influence of Christian friendship upon them; and to 
give such instruction in Biblical History and Interpretation as 
the Trustees may direct. " Should time allow, he shall give ten 
or twelve lectures to each class successively once in their College 
course, on the subject of great examples of character, selecting 
the examples from the Sacred Scriptures or from the worthies 
of the Christian church It shall be among the leading 


objects of these lectures to induce a large portion of the pious 
students to devote themselves to the work of the gospel min- 
istry "When from time to time, these lectures have been 

delivered to eight successive classes, they shall either be pub- 
lished by approval of the Trustees or a full manuscript copy of 
them shall be deposited by the Professor in the Library for the 
use of the College, and new lectures shall be prepared by him. 
Finally, his special work shall be ' the care of souls,' in the per- 
formance of which, besides preaching, attending religious meet- 
ings, etc., he shall hold himself accessible at stated times to such 
students as may be disposed to come to him for instruction, and 
he shall endeavor to converse with others, as time and opportu- 
nity may allow, in reference to their plans for life, their religious 
experiences and difficulties, their spiritual condition and pros- 
pects, seeking first of all to bring them into an inward knowl- 
edge of the truth as it is in Jesus and building them up on the 
foundations of the gospel into the most symmetrical, powerful 
and earnest Christian character. In doing this, as in all his 
work, he shall endeavor not to exclude, but to encourage and 
make effectual the religious influence arid cooperation of the 
Faculty towards the same result, regarding himself as especially 
responsible for the promotion of the religious life of a College 
pre-eminently consecrated from the beginning to CHRIST." 

For special reasons the statutes permit the Trustees to elect 
Dr. Stearns the first Professor on the foundation and thus for the 
present to connect the professorship with the presidency. But 
it is expressly provided, that, " after the death or resignation of 
the office by President Stearns, a new Professor, having no 
official connection with the College, shall be appointed, and from 
time to time, as the office is vacant ; and if for twelve consecutive 
months no one is appointed, or if he denies the supreme divinity 
of the Lord Jesus Christ and the efficacy of his atonement, the 
entire endowment shall revert to the lawful heirs of the donor." 

Professorships of the Pastoral Charge, separate from the pres- 
idency or some other department of instruction, have rarely 
proved successful. There does not, however, seem to be any 
necessary and absolute reason why the right man, under wise 
statutes and favorable circumstances, might not make such a 


professorship a success. Certainly if any department requires 
the undivided and utmost energies of one man wisely and zeal- 
ously devoted to it, it is that of religious instruction and influ- 
ence. And if such a professorship can be made a success any- 
where, it can be under the wise and well-guarded statutes above 
described and with the hearty co-operation of the President, 
Professors and pious students of Amherst College. At any rate, 
let the first Professor (separate from the presidency) be selected 
with great care, and let the experiment be fairly tried. 

The fund was allowed to accumulate till the principal amount- 
ed to twenty-five thousand dollars, when President Stearns was 
chosen the first Professor. The clerical Professors still continue 
to preach in rotation with him ; and it is the understanding that 
whenever the professorship shall be separated from the presi- 
dency, the President and Professors will still continue to preach 
half of the time on the Sabbath, and to assist as heretofore in 
other religious meetings. 

During his life, the founder of this professorship was not will- 
ing to have his name mentioned. But since his decease there 
is no objection to the announcement that the founder was that 
life-long friend of Amherst College and of every good cause, 
John Tappan, Esq., of Boston. And he named the foundation 
the Samuel Green Professorship in memory of his beloved 
pastor, the first pastor of the Union Church, Essex street, Bos- 
ton, and afterwards one of the honored Secretaries of the Amer- 
ican Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. 

While new departments of instruction have thus been spring- 
ing up in the College, the old departments have not remained 
stationary. All the branches of the physical sciences are not 
only supported now on the Walker foundations, but have derived 
fresh life and strength from the new and rich soil into which 
they have been transplanted. From the statement which Prof. 
Snell made at the opening of Walker Hall, and which I hope to 
give entire elsewhere, it appears that " the average appropriation 
to the department of Natural Philosophy from 1828 to 1869 has 
been about sixty-five dollars per year a sum which could hardly 
be expected to do more than keep the apparatus in tolerable 
repair." " Now that the collection is to occupy a spacious and 



handsome apartment," he proceeds to say, " I trust the Walker 
funds will avail to replace many cheap-looking instruments by 
more comely and fitting ones, as well as to add a number of oth- 
ers which I have for some time wished to procure, but which 
the former room was not large enough to accommodate, nor the 
resources of the department sufficient to purchase." 

The hopes and wishes of the veteran Professor have not been 
disappointed. In 1869, the Trustees voted that Prof. Snell have 
liberty to draw on the Walker Legacy Fund for an amount not ex- 
ceeding three thousand dollars to be expended within tw r o years 
for the purchase of apparatus. Thus after many long years of 
hope deferred and personal toil and skill to make apparatus out 
of nothing, and with no place to put it in when it was made, he 
enjoys the satisfaction, not only of having a beautiful and conven- 
ient ro'ton with suitable shelves and cases for the deposit of the 
old apparatus, but .also of seeing new and choice instruments, 
works of art as well as illustrations of science, frequently arriving 
with which he may exhibit new and beautiful experiments. His 
lectures, always admirable, have grown more and more perfect 
with advancing years, expanding rooms and increasing resources ; 
and one of the pleasantest aspects of Walker Hall to his col- 
leagues and his pupils as they revisit their Alma Mater from year 
to year now, is that there they see Prof. Snell at length reap- 
ing the fruit of his labors, and his Cabinet and lectures fur- 
nished with suitable accommodations. 

The department of Chemistry, like the department of Math- 
ematics and Physics, has migrated during the presidency of Dr. 
Stearns, leaving the basement of the old chapel which in 1827 
seemed so ample and magnificent and was in fact in advance of 
the laboratories in other and older Colleges, and finding new 
quarters on the first floor of Williston Hall, fitted and furnished, 
by the wealth and liberality of Mr. Williston, to satisfy the de- 
mands of Prof. Clark, young, ambitious and fresh from the labo- 
ratories of Europe. Provided with an excellent working as well 
as lecturing Laboratory, conducted by scientific and enthusiastic 
Professors, with the co-operation sometimes of able assistants 
and the constant sympathy of an appreciating and progressive 
President, this department has expanded with its accommoda- 


tions and appliances, has been allowed more time and opportu- 
nity under the presidency of Dr. Stearns than was afforded it 
under his scientific predecessor, has given increasing attention 
to Analytic and Organic Chemistry, and, in short, has endeav- 
ored not without success to keep pace with the rapid progress 
of Chemistry and the kindred sciences. From 1854 to 1856, 
Prof. 'Clark was aided in Analytic and Applied Chemistry by the 
rare talents, taste and science of Dr. John W. Mallet, a gradu- 
ate of Trinity College, Dublin, and of the University of Got- 
tingen. Dr. Newton S. Manross, another of Mr. Clark's fellow- 
students in Prof. Wohler's Laboratory at Gottingen and a Doctor 
of Philosophy of that University, gave excellent instruction here 
in this and the related sciences, in 1861-2, the first year in which 
Prof. Clark was absent as an officer in the war of the Rebellion. 
In 1867 Prof. Clark resigned his professorship in order to accept 
the presidency of the Massachusetts Agricultural College, and 
after a year's interregnum in which Mr. J. H. Eaton, of the 
Class of '65, lectured with marked success, in 1868 Prof. E. 
P. Harris of the Class of '55, then Professor at Beloit College, 
was appointed in his place. In 1869, this department at the 
same time with that of Physics, struck its roots into the Walker 
Legacy Fund, and Prof. Harris was authorized, with the advice 
and approbation of the Prudential Committee, to expend a sum 
not exceeding fifteen hundred dollars in refitting and refurnish- 
ing the Laboratory. And now during the two terms of each 
year which are given to Chemistry, not only whole classes are 
faithfully instructed in the general principles of the science, by 
lectures which they are required to attend, but the Laboratory 
proper is filled to its utmost capacity with elective students en- 
gaged in analytic experiments. 

Botany has, for the most part, been taught, as in former 
years, by the Professor of Chemistry. Indeed Prof. Clark bore 
the title of Professor of Chemistry, Botany and Zoology from 
1854 till 1858. In 1858, Prof. Tuckerman was appointed Pro- 
fessor of Botany, which title he has borne ever since. Only a 
few classes, however, enjoyed his instructions in this science in 
consequence of an increasing difficulty of hearing, which ren- 
dered it inconvenient and disagreeable for him to teach classes. 


For the same reason, however, he has only devoted himself with 
less interruption and more enthusiasm to one branch of botani- 
cal science, viz., the Lichens, in which he reigns almost sole 
monarch among American savants and is now publishing to the 
world the results of his long and patient microscopic studies of 
specimens which he has gathered in person or by proxy from all 
the mountains and glens of the western continent. " Tucker- 
man Glen " in the White Mountains was discovered by him in 
these explorations, and will be a lasting monument of his devotion 
to this science. Besides his contributions to science, this gen- 
tleman has also rendered a valuable service to the College by 
the course of learned lectures on Oriental History which he 
has given to so many successive Senior classes, while his large 
and choice private library, more rich in literature than it is even 
in science, has been free for consultation and use alike by officers 
and students. 

Since the retirement of Prof. Tuckerman from the direct in- 
struction of the classes, the department of Botany, though with- 
out the title, has reverted to the Professor of Chemistry. Prof. 
Clark inspired his classes with not a little of his own enthusi- 
asm not only in the lectures but in botanical collections and ex- 
cursions. And Prof. Harris, without professing Botany, teaches 
it with the thoroughness and earnestness with which he pursues 
whatever he undertakes. 

On retiring from the presidency, Dr. Hitchcock expressed to 
the Trustees his willingness to retain the Professorship of Nat- 
ural Theology and Geology, giving at least twenty lectures and 
from twenty-five to thirty recitations in Geology ; twenty-five 
lectures and ten or twelve recitations in Anatomy and Physi- 
ology ; twenty-five recitations in Butler's Analogy, an,d from ten 
to twenty lectures in Natural Theology ; being released from 
the government and police of the College and from attending 
Faculty meetings ; preaching and officiating at prayers in his 
turn with the other Professors ; and receiving as his salary 
six hundred dollars one-half the sum received by the other 
Professors. This proposition was thankfully accepted by the 
Trustees ; and Prof. Hitchcock returned with the freshness of 
a first love to his lectures and recitations, to geological excur- 


sions, explorations, and naming of mountains, to the collection 
and classification of specimens and the development and per- 
fection especially of his favorite branches, Ichnology and Nat- 
ural Theology. It was with enthusiastic delight that he saw 
the Appleton Cabinet completed, and the first floor filled with 
classified and labeled foot-marks in which the eye of his science 
and imagination could see the gigantic birds, saurians and batra- 
chians of the primeval world marching down the geologic ages, 
and the second floor filling with shells of mollusks, casts of the 
megatherium, skeletons and skins of the gorilla and other ani- 
mals, and stuffed or preserved specimens of the animal creation 
in regular gradation from the lowest to the highest orders of the 
animal kingdom. In 1858, Mr. Charles H. Hitchcock of the 
Class of '56, was appointed Lecturer on Zoology and Curator of 
the Cabinet. In 1860, as Dr. Hitchcock's health declined, an 
addition was made to his salary that he might employ such as- 
sistance as he might think needful and expedient, and from that 
time, his son relieved him by performing more and more of his 
duties until his death in 1864. With him the department died 
also. It was made for him, and he for it, and the Trustees 
have never been able to find any one to fill his place, although 
they have sought anxiously for suitable candidates. Mean- 
while the instruction in Geology has been given sometimes 
by Prof. Edward Hitchcock, Jr., sometimes by Prof! Shepard ; 
the lectures on Natural Theology as related to G-eology no one 
has attempted to give. In 1870, Mr. Benjamin K. Emerson, 
a graduate of the Class of '65 and a Doctor of Philosophy of 
the University of Gottingen, was appointed Instructor in Geol- 
ogy, and during the year and a half which has since passed 
away, he has not only taught Geology and the sciences insepa- 
rable from it by lectures and recitations with signal ability, but 
has entirely rearranged and relabeled the Geological Cabinet to 
meet the present demands of that progressive science. It is 
understood that, with the consent of the founder, the Hitchcock 
Professorship will henceforth be that of Geology and the related 
sciences ; and Mr. Emerson will be the Professor. 1 Meanwhile 

1 P. S. At a meeting of the Trustees in Boston, February 7, 1872, the title of the 
Hitchcock Professorship was changed from that of Geology and Natural Theology 


Natural Theology is provided for by ample instructions from the 
President and the Professor of Mental and Moral Philosophy, as 
well as by the able and popular lectures of Dr. Burr on this 
special subject. 

In 1863, finding that the expenses of the College were ex- 
ceeding the income, the Faculty volunteered to dispense with 
the services of a salaried Librarian and Curator of the Cabinet, 
and by performing without pay these and other duties, to re- 
duce the annual expenditures. Prof. Seelye took charge of the 
Library. Prof. E. Hitchcock, Jr., became Curator of the Cab- 
inet. The clerical members of the Faculty dispensed with the 
small stipend for preaching which they had been accustomed to 
receive almost from the beginning of the service in the chapel, 
some one else performed the Registrar's duties 1 without pay, 
and each officer undertook some extra work in this division 
of labor. After a year or two when the crisis was passed, this 
arrangement for the most part ceased. But from that day to 
this, the curatorship of the Zoological and Ichnological Cab- 
inet has remained in the hands of Prof. Hitchcock. Nor has he 
made it a sinecure office, but in a double sense it has been a 
labor of love. With the special assistance of Mr. A. B. Kit- 
tredge of the Class of '69, in 1869-70 he revised and relabeled 
the Ichnological Collections. In the same and succeeding years, 
he has made a special effort to increase our collections in Natural 
History by sending circulars to graduates and friends of the Col- 
lege and inviting them to replenish the Cabinet. By these and 
similar means, the Zoological collections have been continually, 
sometimes rapidly increasing, until there is already some diffi- 
culty in finding room to receive them. Meanwhile the unique 
collection of Indian Relics has grown under his fostering care 
and the munificence of the gentleman whose name it bears, into 
the Gilbert Museum, one of the richest and choicest museums of 
Aboriginal remains in the country. 

The history of our Scientific departments in this period would 
be incomplete, if we should not include in it some reference to 

to that of Geology and Zoology ; and Benjamin K. Emerson was elected to the pro- 
1 Making out the rank and keeping the record of each student's standing. 


the Massachusetts Agricultural College, which is the daughter of 
Arnherst College and the natural outgrowth of our Departments 
of Physical Science. President Hitchcock was, to say the least, 
one of the god-fathers of the Institution. His Geological Sur- 
veys of the State, his Report on the Agricultural Schools of 
Europe, the Professorship of Agriculture which existed for a 
short time as a branch of the Department of Science in Amherst 
College, * were all preparatory steps towards its establishment. 
In one of her wills which was superseded, Miss Sophia Smith of 
Hatfield provided an endowment for a Department or School 
of Agriculture in Amherst College. Prof. Clark's agency in 
the location of the Agricultural College in Amherst was still 
more immediate and effective. Indeed to his influence as a 
member of the Legislature, his exertions in raising the money on 
which the location was conditioned, and his wisdom and energy 
as the first President, the Massachusetts Agricultural College 
owes its prosperity and success, if not its very existence. The 
people of Amherst, with their usual foresight and public spirit, 
first by individual subscription, but finally by a town tax, raised 
fifty thousand dollars for the purchase of a farm and the erection 
of buildings. The Trustees of Amherst College, as individuals, 
led by their President, and aided by one or two other friends of 
the Institution, became responsible for twenty-five thousand 
dollars more. By vote of the Trustees, the Library, the Cab- 
inets, the Lectures and the chapel services of the College were 
all made accessible to the officers and students of the new Institu- 
tion. The Professors and Instructors of Amherst College have 
from the first lectured and taught more or less in the Agricultu- 
ral College. In short although the two Institutions have differ- 
ent Corporations and Faculties and there is no organic connec- 
tion between them, the Massachusetts Agricultural College is 
indebted for what it is to-day and promises to be in the future, 
beyond all question and almost beyond calculation, to what it 
has received directly or indirectly from Amherst and Amherst 
College. How much benefit Amherst College has derived in 
turn and will derive from the Agricultural College is not so 

1 Rev. J. A. Nash was nominally Professor of Agriculture from 1852 to 1856. 
The appointment however was little more than nominal. 



clear. In many respects, doubtless, the benefit will be mutual. 
At least, the two Institutions unite to make Amherst one of the 
chief educational centers of the Old Bay State. 

The Mathematics and the Ancient Languages have both been 
compelled to yield, these last few years, to the demands of the 
age and give up some of the time which they formerly occupied 
to the Physical Sciences and the Modern Languages. In this 
respect the Greek and Latin classics have lost ground relatively 
and absolutely, for this loss of time in College is not fully made 
up by longer or better preparation in the Academies and High 
Schools. At the same time, these studies have had to stem the 
tide, or resist the pressure of the popular sentiment in favor of 
what are called more practical and useful studies, which, like the 
materialism and skepticism of the age of which indeed it is part 
and parcel, fills the newspapers, magazines and novels of the 
day, possesses the minds of the masses, and, like an atmosphere, 
surrounds and, in spite of ever} T thing, more or less rushes into 
our institutions of learning. The ancient classics, it must be 
acknowledged, have thus lost caste and standing with a minority 
of the students of Amherst. Yet there are no studies which 
are more highly appreciated or more zealously prosecuted by the 
majority ; and there never has been a time when the major part 
of each successive class have been more enthusiastic and suc- 
cessful students of the classics, nor when we have been able to 
make a few so good classical scholars, as in the last decade of 
our history. While insisting as strenuously as ever on a thor- 
ough drill and mastery of the grammar and lexicography of the 
Languages by the Freshmen, we have been able, with the admi- 
rable helps that now exist, to study both Ancient and Modern 
Languages more in the light of Comparative Philology, and at 
the same time to read the classics more in their relations to His- 
tory and Philosophy and as a means of higher culture in what 
are justly called " the Humanities." There was a time, perhaps, 
some twenty years ago, when we gave up too much time to the 
analysis of words and, in order to this, gave out excessively short 
lessons. More recently we have inclined, at least during a por- 
tion of each term or year, to go more rapidly over a wider range 
of classical reading with the purpose of imbuing our classes 


more fully with the taste, sentiment and spirit of the Greek and 
Roman authors. 

Two changes have been introduced within the last fifteen 
years, which affect especially this department, and which, with- 
out question, have been both marks and means of progress. 
They were introduced by the Greek Professor. The one is 
the introduction into the recitation rooms, not only of maps 
and charts, but of photographs, engravings, casts, models of an- 
cient edifices, copies of ancient statuary in marble, bronze and 
terra cotta, busts of authors and the great men of antiquity in 
short, all such sensible illustrations as will lend to classical 
studies something of the reality and vividness which specimens 
and experiments give to the Physical Sciences, and will help stu- 
dents to reproduce men and things as they were in olden times. 
As a means of securing this end still more perfectly, we are now 
making an effort to inaugurate in Alumni Hall a Gallery of Art 
and Museum of Archaeology, which will be to the literary de- 
partments of instruction in the College what the collections in 
the Cabinets are to the scientific. 

The other sign and means of progress is a higher grade of in- 
struction in the lower classes secured by more permanence and 
more division of labor in the instructors of those classes. For- 
merly in this as in other Colleges, the two lower classes were 
taught almost entirely by Tutors who took the tutorship for a 
year or two only as a pleasant way of earning a little money, or 
gaining a little additional culture and reputation, and only as a 
stepping-stone to a profession or some other pursuit in life. Un- 
der these circumstances, young men coming from our best pre- 
paratory schools where they had enjoyed the instructions of able 
and learned men who had devoted their lives to the work, could 
not but feel that in this respect they were taking a downward in- 
stead of an upward step when they entered College. Some sug- 
gestions on this subject " made by the President and more fully 
developed by Prof. Tyler and the Examining Committee in their 
several Reports " received the special attention of the Board at 
their annual meeting in 1857, and, approved by them, were grad- 
ually incorporated into the system of instruction. The Tutors l 

1 The last Tutor so called was in 1865. 


gradually gave place to Instructors who remained several years 
and instructed only in one department; and some of these 
Instructors were at length made Professors. Mr. Richard H. 
Mather, of the Class of '57, was Instructor in Greek from 
1859 to 1862, Assistant or Associate Professor from 1862 to 
1868, and now he has the title of Professor of Greek and Ger- 
man. For many years now the instruction in Greek has all been 
given by Professors, and all by Prof. Tyler and Prof. Mather. 
To the scholarly attainments of the latter, his personal and pro- 
fessional enthusiasm, his skill and patience in drilling the Fresh- 
men, and his inspiring lectures on the Greek Drama, the depart- 
ment is much indebted for its success. At the same time the 
College owes not a little to Prof. Mather for his teaching and 
lectures in the German language and literature, for his zeal and 
success in raising scholarships and funds for the Museum of Art, 
and for his services in his turn in the pulpit, not to add, for de- 
clining the calls which his popularity in other pulpits has so 
often brought within his reach. 

The instruction in Modern Languages, also, is now given en- 
tirely by Professors; the German, by Prof. Mather, who has 
taught German more or less in connection with Greek almost 
from the first ; and the Romanic Languages, French, Italian and 
Spanish, by Prof. Montague, who was Tutor one year, 1857-8, 
Instructor from 1858 to 1864, and Professor from 1864 to the 
present time. This suggests another change in the department 
of Modern Languages, which is an improvement no less impor- 
tant than the greater permanence of the teachers in it. In all 
the earlier history of the College, French was usually taught by 
native Frenchmen or at any rate by foreigners who knew of 
course their native tongue but did not know how to teach it to 
Americans, nor how to keep order and discipline in a class of Col- 
lege students nor, as a general fact, anything else which students 
in College need to learn. For the last twenty years or more, 
Modern Languages have been taught here almost entirely by 
Americans, graduates of the College, who know the Languages 
sufficiently, who have learned them in the same way that their pu- 
pils must learn them, and who can teach, at least, the grammar and 
the literature far more perfectly than foreigners can be expected 


to do. Meanwhile this department has grown and expanded so 
as to meet in part at least the popular demand. For a few years 
at the beginning of our history, no provision was made for teach- 
ing Modern Languages. Before the close of the first decade, 
French began to be taught. German was introduced about the 
end of . the first quarter of a century. 1 For some years after this, 
the student could study only one of these languages, making 
his option between them, and the language of his choice he 
could study only for a single term, the last term of Sophomore 
year. Now the students are all required to study French, making 
a beginning the third term of Freshman year, and having more 
or less instruction in it each term of Sophomore year, after 
which there are three terms in which they can take French, 
German, Italian or Spanish as an elective study. Prof. Mon- 
tague has rendered an important service to the College by plan- 
ning and organizing as well as training and drilling this depart- 
ment, and by an organizing and calculating facult} 7 " which has 
kept the Registrar's books, so vitally concerning the rank of the 
students and the peace and prosperity of the Institution, with 
singular accuracy, and introduced order and method, tempered 
by convenience and courtesy, into all the arrangements and ap- 
pliances of the Library. 

Prof. George B. Jewett resigned the Professorship of Latin 
and Modern Languages in 1855, before the expiration of the first 
year of Dr. Stearns' presidency, having held the office only four 
years. He taught the Latin with the accuracy of a scholar and 
a severe critic, imparted new life and interest to the study of 
Modern Languages, and as a member of the Library Committee 
rendered valuable service in the selection and purchase of books 
and the cataloguing and orderly arrangement of the Library. 
A growing interest in preaching and a desire for the work of 
the ministry, somewhat quickened, it may be, by some friction in 
matters pertaining to the Library, led him in 1855 to accept a 
call to the pastoral office in Nashua, N. H. 

1 Rev. Lyman Colt-man was the first teacher of German here, and the first also 
who bore the title of Instructor. He was Instructor here from 1844 to 1846. He 
was afterwards connected with Princeton College, and is now Professor in Lafayette 
College. He was much esteemed here for his learning and for his genial spirit. 


At the annual meeting of the Trustees in 1856, Mr. Lyman 
R. "Williston, of the Class of '50, was chosen Professor in this 
department, with liberty to continue his studies another year in 
Germany. But before the expiration of the year, a change in 
his religious views and opinions made him feel that he could not 
honestly accept ; and he declined the appointment. 

At the next annual meeting of the Board in 1857, they elected 
Rev. Daniel W. Poor, D. D., of the Class of '37, then of New- 
ark, N. J., Professor of Latin and Modern Languages. But he 
yielded to the remonstrances of his people and never accepted 
the appointment. The professorship thus remained vacant three 
years, from 1855 to 1858. But the department suffered no se- 
rious detriment, the duties of the office being ably performed 
during the interval by Mr. George Rowland * with the title of 

At the annual meeting of the Trustees in 1858, Mr. Edward 
Payson Crowell, who had been Tutor since 1855, was chosen 
Professor of the Latin Language and Literature and Instructor 
in German. Prof. Crowell has now filled the office of Professor 
of Latin 2 thirteen years with a reputation growing every year 
for learning, humor and capacity to teach ; while he is thus 
elevating the department, he is at the same time becoming 
known to the public as a scholar and an editor of Latin authors. 
Besides Mr. Rowland and Mr. Montague already mentioned, of 
whom the former w T as Professor in all but the name in the in- 
terval between Prof. Jewett and Prof. Crowell, and the latter 
was Instructor in Latin prior to his appointment to the Pro- 
fessorship of Modern Languages, Charles M. Lamson of the 
Class of '64, Henry M. Tyler of '65, and Henry B. Richard- 
son of '69 have rendered excellent service as instructors in 
this department, some of them assisting Prof. Crowell in the 
preparation of text books as well as in the instruction of 

Subject to change as usual, the Rhetorical Department has had 
three different incumbents since Dr. Stearns entered upon the 
presidency. Rev. Thomas P. Field, of the Class of '34, was 

1 Now Principal of the High School in Chicago. 

2 He ceased to be Instructor in German in 1864. 


chosen Professor in this department at a special meeting of the 
Trustees held in Amherst, November 21, 1853, just a year pre- 
vious to the ordination and inauguration of President Stearns, 
and in the spring of 1856 he resigned the professorship having 
held it only a little over two years. The want of a suitable house 
for his family to live in was the occasion of his leaving. The 
Trustees at their special meeting in January, 1856, voted to 
rent or build a house, and expressed a strong desire for his con- 
tinuance in the office. But he had already committed himself to 
the church at New London, and it was now too late. The Trus- 
tees and the Faculty had good reason for wishing to retain Prof. 
Field. His rare good sense and genial spirit, his refinement of 
taste and manners, his extensive and thorough acquaintance with 
English literature and his high and just appreciation of the old 
English classics, qualified him well for a professorship in Col- 
lege, and especially for the Professorship of Rhetoric and Eng- 
lish Literature. These accomplishments had made his general 
influence felt when he was a Tutor, and would have made it 
still more powerful and benignant if he had remained and iden- 
tified himself with the College. It is a fact worthy of incidental 
mention, unintentional of course on the part of the appointing 
power, yet somewhat remarkable, that Prof. Field is the only 
alumnus that has ever held this professorship. 

Mr. James G. Vose, a graduate of Yale, of the Class of '51, 
was chosen Professor in this department at the annual meeting 
of the Trustees in August, 1856, and his resignation was ac- 
cepted by the Board at a special meeting in Boston in March, 
1865. With many of the same qualifications for the office as 
his predecessor, and continuing to hold it between eight and nine 
years longer than any who had preceded him except Prof. 
Worcester and Prof. Warner, Prof. Vose grew every year in 
the respect and affection of the students, endeared himself 
greatly to his colleagues in the Faculty, and was impressing him- 
self more and more on the style of thinking and writing in the 
College. No one can look carefully and discriminately over 
the Schedules of Commencements and exhibitions without see- 
ing his influence in the choice of subjects and the expression 
of the titles of the pieces, while he occupied this important 


chair. Ordained as an Evangelist not long after he became 
Professor, ] by a Council convened by invitation of the College 
church, he preached with increasing frequency and interest in 
other churches, and feeling more and more the infelicities of 
college life and the attractions of the ministry and the pastoral 
office, he yielded at length to this growing preference; and the 
College lost a good Professor, but Providence and Rhode Island 
gained perhaps a better Bishop whose wisdom and spirit and in- 
fluence in the churches prove him to be in the true apostolical 

At the same special meeting in Boston, March 8, 1865, at 
which the} 7 accepted the resignation of Prof. Vose, the Trustees 
" made unanimous choice of Rev. L. Clark Seelye as Williston 
Professor of Rhetoric," whereby Springfield lost a Congrega- 
tional -Bishop greatly honored and beloved, but the College 
gained a Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory and English Litera- 
ture who, although he came with the avowed expectation of 
staying only a few years and then resuming the ministry, is 
proving himself more and more the right man in the right place, 
is resisting attractive calls to the pastoral office and devoting 
himself most assiduously to the study of English Literature in 
its very sources and to the duties of his office, is preaching 
powerfully by the life as well as the lip, during the week as well 
as on the Sabbath to two or three hundred young men, and 
seems to be taking root in a College where if he only has the 
grace of perseverance, he may in due time make thousands bet- 
ter teachers and preachers, authors, savants and scholars for his 
influence over them. In order to relieve the burdens of the 
Professor and at the same time to meet the growing demands of 
the department, an Instructor in English and in Elocution was 
appointed in 1868, his salary being paid for several years by Mr. 
Williston. The instruction of the lower classes in spelling and 
punctuation and in the analysis of English authors, in the same 
manner as the Greek and Latin classics, were among the branches 
thus provided for. The examination of candidates for admission 
in the rudiments of the English language is a part of the system, 
and in some classes nearly half of the candidates would be con- 

1 He was ordained in 1857. He had previously preached only as a licentiate. 


ditioned on spelling. But I apprehend it proves somewhat 
like the labors of Sisyphus for there is no labor more hope- 
less or more thankless than the effort to repair by subsequent 
instruction such defects in early elementary education. Yet ifc 
seems almost indispensable to do what can be done at this late 
stage to save young men from the mortification, perchance the 
serious injury which they must otherwise experience. Many 
years ago a graduate, in other respects well qualified for the 
place, lost a professorship in this Institution in consequence of 
the bad spelling of his letters in the correspondence on the sub- 
ject. Mr. Charles M. Lamson of the Class of '64, Mr. E. H. Bar- 
low of '66, Mr. Elihu Root of '67, and Mr. Robert M. Woods of 
'69, have filled the Instructorship in this department for one year 
each. With the exception of Mr. Lamson, they have all ren- 
dered assistance also to Prof. Hitchcock in the gymnasium, thus 
relieving the Professors in two departments which at certain 
points are somewhat closely related to each other, and both of 
which involve labors almost without end. 

The Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory has received the as- 
sistance also of a more experienced elocutionist for a limited 
portion of each year, particularly in training the speakers for 
the exercises of Commencement week. Mr. J. P. Lane, of 
the Class of '57, began to render this service while a student at 
the Theological Seminary in Andover, and continued to render 
it for some years after his settlement in the ministry in Whately, 
much to the satisfaction of the Faculty and the profit of the 
students. Rev. J. W. Churchill, of Andover Seminary, now 
spends some weeks here every year as Lecturer and Teacher 
of Elocution ; and it is not the fault of the Professor and his 
aids, nor of the College, if the students are not accomplished in 
this most important department. 

Next to the department of Rhetoric and Oratory, the Profess- 
orship of Mental and Moral Philosophy is that in which there 
has been the least permanence. Yet on the whole, the term of 
office in this department has been increasing. With the ex- 
ception of Prof. Fiske who held the office eleven years, there has 
been a steady progression in this respect, Prof. Park having held 
it only a little more than one year, Prof. Smith three years, and 


Prof. Haven eight years, while the present incumbent has nearly 
completed fourteen years. 

Prof. Haven's term of office was almost equally divided be- 
tween the presidency of Dr. Hitchcock and that of Dr. Stearns. 
He taught the Scotch philosophy the philosophy of Sir William 
Hamilton with a logical clearness and force worthy of the sys- 
tem, and with a felicity of illustration and a vein of humor that 
were all his own. The text-books in Mental and Moral Philos- 
ophy which he wrote while he was here, have been widely used 
in schools and colleges and are well known to the public. A dili- 
gent student, a good scholar, an acceptable teacher, a popular 
preacher, a lucid writer and a ready platform speaker, 1 he held a 
position in the College and the community which might well have 
satisfied the ambition of anyone. But no sooner had he written 
and published on the whole range of subjects which he taught, 
than growing weary of the routine, he sought a new field of study 
and instruction, and accepted the Professorship of Theology in 
the new Theological Seminary at Chicago. 

Rev. Julius H. Seelye was chosen Professor in this department 
at the annual meeting of the Trustees in August, 1858. Believ- 
ing the transcendental philosophy as represented by Dr. Hickok 
to be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, he 
carries it with him as a personal presence, diffuses it around him 
as an atmosphere and breathes it as an element of life and power 
into all of his classes. At the same time accepting the religion of 
Christ as a revelation from God for men, and Christ himself as 
Immanuel God with us God manifested in the flesh he holds 
up that religion as truth without any mixture of error, that life 
as perfection without any mixture of frailty, and makes his pu- 
pils feel that to become Christian philosophers, Christian schol- 
ars, Christian ministers, Christian men, is the highest aspiration 
of which their nature is capable. As unlike his predecessor in 
his method of teaching as in his philosophy, Prof. Seelye has pub- 

1 Prof. Haven's platform and after-dinner speeches used to abound in humor and 
pleasantry. Called on for an after-dinner speech as President of the Alumni at the 
first Commencement at which President Stearns presided, after many pleasant and 
complimentary allusions, he closed by saying, " After all I do not see how a ship is 
to get on Steam foremost." " There is no danger," promptly replied Dr. Stearns 
" when we are so near the Haven." 


lished nothing in mental or moral science. He delivers few writ- 
ten lectures. Not confining himself to any written or printed 
form, he is himself the living lecture, the living text-book. 
Reading everything, and remembering everything that he reads, 
he communicates the results in a living form to his pupils. Em- 
bodying in himself all that he would teach, he infuses himself 
into those who are under his instruction. To this end beside the 
recitation hour, he sets apart an hour, sometimes hours, daily for 
conversation with students, counting no amount of time lost 
which he can spend in moulding them by his influence. In short 
born and trained to be an educator, like Socrates, teaching is his 
business, teaching is his vocation, teaching is his mission. His 
method of teaching is the Socratic method, and if we have a Soc- 
rates living and moving among us in our day, it is Prof. Seelye. 
He has been tempted by calls without number to churches, to the 
presidency of other Colleges and to professorships in Theological 
Seminaries, but a higher call made him deaf to all these solicita- 
tions, and he still remains a teacher in our Athens. Long may 
he hear and heed the same Divine monition. 

The following list of Tutors will complete the catalogue of 
those who have been associated in the government and instruc- 
tion of the College under the presidency of Dr. Stearns: George 
N. Webber, Reuben M. Benjamin, Edward P. Crowell, John M. 
Greene, Edwin Dimock, Edmund M. Pease, William L. Montague, 
Asa S. Fisk, Henry S. Kelsey, Lyman S. Rowland, John Avery, 
Nathaniel Mighill, Elijah Harmon, and Thomas D. Biscoe. In 
1865 the title became extinct, or rather gave place to that of In- 
structor. Seven of these gentlemen have since been Professors 
in this or other Colleges. Two of them are licensed preachers, 
one a lawyer and one a physician. 

With the trifling exception of a choice between French and 
German in the third term of Sophomore year, there were no op- 
tional studies prior to the presidency of Dr. Stearns. In 1859-60, 
" annuals " having now taken the place of the " Senior Examin- 
ation " on the whole course, " elective studies in the several de- 
partments " took the place of reviews preparatory to that exam- 
ination in the third term of Senior year. Since that time they 
have been introduced gradually into the studies of the Junior 


year. They are still confined to the last two years of the course, 
and further limited to certain terms of those two years and to 
certain studies of those terms. Indeed all the Senior studies, 
distinctively so called, and all the properly Junior studies, to a 
certain extent, are required, and the optionals come in only when 
time can be spared or saved from these required studies, in order 
to afford students an opportunity to pursue a favorite branch 
further to such an extent as is compatible with the general dis- 
cipline and culture which are deemed essential to the idea of 
College education. Besides the option between some of the less 
important modern languages, there are in fact only four terms 
in the entire four years, viz. : two in the Junior and two in the 
Senior year, in which optionals are allowed, and then only one 
of the three daily studies of each class is optional and that some- 
times oTily for a part of the term. So that only a small fraction 
of the entire course, not more than one-twentieth certainly, is 
now given to elective studies not enough surely to alarm the 
most conservative alumnus or friend of education. The whole 
system is as yet only an experiment. The details are not settled. 
The principle only is established. Probably as we can gain time 
by a higher standard of examination for admission, and by better 
methods of teaching, more scope will be given to optional courses 
of study which will allow each student to prosecute to some ex- 
tent special branches and enable the College to send out some 
superior scholars in all the departments. But there is no dis- 
position in any of the present Faculty to make the College an 
American University (sit venia verbo !) or to sacrifice any of 
the humanities or the disciplinary studies which constitute the 
essential characteristics of the American College. 

The views of the President on this subject, published with the 
sanction of the Trustees and representing in the main doubtless 
the sentiments of the Faculty, are thus expressed in his Address 
at the opening of Walker Hall : " In the latter part of a College 
curriculum, when the foundations of intellectual manhood have 
been broadly laid, optional courses, carefully arranged and adapted 
to the mental needs and aptitudes of students, and capable of such 
combinations as would allow of long-continued attention to spe- 
cial branches, might secure to many still further scientific oppor- 


tunities ; while others would enjoy special advantages in the re- 
maining departments. I say, optional courses, instead of random 
choices in heterogeneous studies. In this way, discipline and 
training would go on, and preparation for professional schools be 
secured; Avhile the joy of successful study would be increased, 
and the first steps in the direction of some life-long scholarship 
would be taken." 

The address from which the above passage is extracted is a 
plea for Science for Modern Science, for such an address the 
occasion required. But it was, at the same time, a generous, 
hearty and able defence of Mathematics, of Ancient and Mod- 
ern Languages, of English Literature, of History and Mental 
and Moral Philosophy, of all the old and time-honored studies 
Avhich link the scholar to the human race and the ages, with all 
the additions and improvements suggested by modern wisdom 
and experience. To the question, how shall we find time for 
the new studies, he answers : by requiring a better preparation 
for College, by admitting carefully-arranged optional courses, 
but above all by improved methods of teaching and study. He 
concludes the discussion as follows : 

" As the subjects which we have now considered are under- 
going public discussion, I am anxious that the doctrine of this 
discourse may not be misapprehended. It goes for the old Col- 
lege with all possible improvements which are improvements ; 
especially for the more thorough, and for a portion of the stu- 
dents, more extensive courses in the modern sciences ; but it 
would leave the old College, the American College still without 
being Europeanized on the one hand or degraded into an inor- 
ganic mass-school of ' knowledges ' on the other. It takes no 
ground against Universities, historic or recent, but would con- 
found none of them with the College as the word has been un- 
derstood for two hundred years. It approves of professional 
schools when circumstances will allow of them, scientific and 
other schools round about the College, organic with it, if you 
please, giving life to it and receiving life from it, in the one- 
ness of a many-membered University. It would leave Amherst 
College the center of an inland educational community, with an 
Agricultural College, a Williston Seminary, a Holyoke Seminary, 


and a Ladies' College soon to be established (though at present 
in separate organizations) round about it, capable itself of being 
developed in the direction of as many professional and other col- 
lateral schools as the needs of the public may demand and the 
munificence of the public will endow; but itself the old Col- 
lege still, with its teaching Professors, its daily recitations, its 
square-block, red-brick, time-honored dormitories (though im- 
proved) and its parental, careful supervision and moral influen- 
ces, the same old College for that broad, high, roundabout cul- 
ture which has made so many scholars, world-teachers and Chris- 
tian noblemen, for God and mankind." 

Thus conservative and at the same time progressive in his 
ideas of the College curriculum, he presides in the Board of 
Trustees and the Faculty and administers the government of 
the Institution with the same even balance, uniting dignity with 
unfailing courtesy and kindness, tempering justice and firmness 
with gentleness and parental love, calm however stormy the 
elements may be around him, yet alive to every breath of feel- 
ing, impulse or aspiration in young men, ruling in the hearts of 
all connected with the College and guiding its affairs with a wis- 
dom that seldom errs, and a patience and faith that never fail. 

As " Professor of Moral and Christian Science," President 
Stearns, during the greater part of his presidency has taught 
the Senior class Butler's Analogy, and lectured on the Hebrew 
Theocracy and its Records, with particular reference to the ar- 
guments and objections of modern skeptics. More recently, hav- 
ing become Professor also of Biblical History and Interpretation, 
he has adopted a more modern text-book, and by way of supple- 
menting its defects and imperfections, extended the range of his 
oral and written lectures. For a few years, he also instructed 
the Seniors in Constitutional Law. With this exception, his 
teaching has been confined to a single term the second term 
of the Senior year. This is less instruction than was given by 
any of his predecessors very much less than used to be given 
by President Moore and President Humphrey, or any of the 
earlier Presidents of New England Colleges, and less, I must 
think, than is theoretically desirable, not to say indispensable to 
a President's largest, highest and best influence over the stu- 


dents. But we have only to look at the other work which he 
has done in raising funds and erecting buildings, in administer- 
ing the discipline, and looking after the necessities of poor stu- 
dents, in the pastoral care and the representation of the College 
before the public in all the countless and endless details of 
business that now devolve on the President of any great and 
growing College and we see not only a justification of this un- 
desirable fact, but a necessity for it. And in the success and 
perfection with which all this work has been done ; in the rare 
felicity, free from outbreaks and almost from friction with which 
the internal government and discipline, (never before so fully 
conducted by the President and never before conducted so 
well), has been administered ; in the steadily increasing number 
of students (since the war) till it had reached at the Semi-cen- 
tennial a larger aggregate than at any former period ; and in the 
general growth, prosperity and reputation of the Institution 
in all these we see a proof of the wisdom and excellence of the 
administration. " Yes," we repeat the language of the Historical 
Address at the Semi-centennial, " the same wise and kind Prov- 
idence 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 needed to supplement his work, to preserve, balance 
and polish all that was worth preserving in the old, and, adding 
much that was new, to carry on the work towards perfection. 
And the younger members of the Faculty are in unison with 
the President and the older Professors in regard to the prin- 
ciples and measures of College government, the general system 
and method of physical and mental education, and the para- 
mount necessity of moral and spiritual culture above all the 
highest attainments in literature and science, while at the same 
time they bring to the accomplishment of these common ends a 
measure of enthusiasm, a breadth of culture and a wealth of 
learning which could hardly be expected of their older col- 
leagues. I say this, not because it is necessary, but because it 
is just. We who have been connected with the College dur- 
ing 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 satisfaction as now. 
And while we look with the love and complacency of a father 
upon all our children of a patriarch upon all our tribes, and are 
perhaps too ready to assert more than our proper share in the 
reputation of the great and good men we have educated, sayirg 
to them as the aged Phoenix did to the godlike Achilles : 

" All illustrious as thou art I made thee such ; " 
Kal GS roaovrov tdqxa faoig ertieuttX ' 

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

But this administration has not yet come to a close. Long 
may it be before its history can be fully written. Long may 
President Stearns live to preside over the College and to see 
the fruits of his wise and faithful labors ! " 



THE Inaugural of President Stearns gives utterance to senti- 
ments of orthodoxy and earnest piety with a clearness and force 
which show that he does not in this respect fall below the stand- 
ard of his predecessors. " The highest style of man," he says in 
the concluding paragraph of this address, " can not be produced 
without religion. In unrenewed minds there is a total deficiency 
of that element which constitutes the crowning glory of man, his 
inward, spiritual life. It is the result of a spiritual birth, and its 
consequence is a new spiritual existence. It is as much superior 
to mere reason as reason is to mere animal life. It is supernat- 
ural and makes the subjects of it sons of God. It was lost by the 
apostasy and can be restored only through Christ. Let it first 
be secured in him, and then developed in all the beautiful pro- 
portions of his fullness. Without it the Scriptures speak truly 
of man when they say, he is dead. The highest attribute of 
humanity, that which links him to the Divine, is extinct within 

" This branch of our subject has much to do with education in a 
Christian College. We are to aim at producing the highest possi- 
ble order of men. They must therefore be men mighty in God, 
actuated by the purest religious motives, laboriously beneficent 
men, self-denying men, having something of that grandeur of 
spirit which was so overpowering in the old prophets, united with 
that irresistible might of lowliness which shone in the apostle 
John. It is to be our aim that they should go forth anointed with 
the Holy Ghost, as it were, under a new dispensation of devot- 
edness to Christ, that by them his universal reign may be hast- 
ened on." 


After speaking of the purpose for which Amherst College was 
founded to be a school of and f