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FROM l82I TO 1891 









THE first edition of this history appeared shortly 
after the celebration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of 
the college, and was entitled " History of Amherst 
College during its First Half Century, 1821-1871." 
The present new edition has been written and revised 
with particular reference to two objects, viz: first, 
the continuation of the history so as to include the 
close of Dr. Stearns' presidency and the entire ad- 
ministration of President Seelye, thus making it a 
history of Amherst under its first five presidents ; and 
second, at the same time to abridge the work and make 
it a smaller and less costly volume, which should be 
within the means of every graduate. In thus abridg- 
ing it, I have been under the necessity of omitting 
the biographical sketches of the founders and bene- 
factors, the trustees and faculty, and the personal 
contributions of alumni of the college, which were a 
characteristic feature of the first edition and gave it 
variety, lifelike reality, and dramatic interest. But 
whatever it may have thus lost in variety and in- 
dividuality, we trust it has gained in fulness and 
completeness as a history of the college. 

My first thought was to write a separate book on 
the religious history of the college. I might thus 


have made both the literary and the religious history, 
especially the latter, somewhat fuller and more satis- 
factory in some particulars. But this separation 
would have put asunder what God joined together. 
A history of Amherst College without its religious 
history would hardly have deserved the name. More- 
over, at the age of fourscore years and four it were 
unsafe to presume so much on the future. So I have 
devoted my last two chapters to the religious history 
of the college, and especially to that characteristic 
feature, its revivals, leaving unsaid, for brevity's 
sake, not a few things which I would gladly have 
written of the measures, methods, and every-day re- 
ligious life of the college. 

Our readers will be pleased to find several pages of 
the book occupied by a contribution from a favorite 
alumnus and almost lifelong trustee of the college, 
who knows its history and men and measures, and 
who, as the golden-mouthed orator of the Brooklyn 
pulpit, has such a marvellous and magic power of tell- 
ing his story. If any of them question the taste of 
the author in permitting a complimentary biographi- 
cal sketch of himself to be prefixed to his own book, 
there are two things to be said about it. In the first 
place, "laudari a viro laudato" is an honor which 
any man may justly prize. And in the second place, 
the responsibility rests, not on the author, but on the 
publisher, who insisted on the insertion of such a 
sketch, partly, I flatter myself, out of sincere friend- 
ship and affection for his old teacher, and partly, I 
ween, in order to give wings to the publication, 
wherein I admire his wisdom and wish him all the 
success which he has so well earned by his unwearied 


efforts to bring out the book in a form and style 
worthy of the college of which he is an enterprising, 
loyal alumnus. 

It has been my singularly happy lot to be person- 
ally acquainted with all of the five presidents, except 
the first, the history of whose administrations I have 
here written, to be associated with them in the 
faculty, and to be honored with their confidence and 
personal friendship. And I beg leave to present 
them to my readers in this preface, as the Grecian 
Helen introduced the heroes of Greece and the con- 
querors of Troy in that inimitable preface, the Third 
Book of the Iliad : 

President Moore, portly and courtly, winning and 
wise, laying wisely and well the corner-stone of the 
great edifice that was to be reared, but nothing more, 
contending manfully and heroically against the com- 
bined forces of local prejudice, rival institutions, and 
sectarian zeal, but falling in the struggle before his 
beloved college had even been recognized as a college 
by a charter from the legislature, dying like Moses 
on Pisgah, in sight only of the promised land. 

President Humphrey, stalwart, strenuous, and 
strong, the honored and beloved pastor, the revival 
preacher, the champion of temperance and home and 
foreign missions, the very impersonation of common 
sense, practical wisdom, and Christian principle; 
laying broad and deep the foundations, giving the 
college its distinctive and paramount religious char- 
acter, rejoicing in a growth and prosperity so rapid 
that it seemed miraculous, second only to Yale in 
the number of its students, but overtaken almost as 
suddenly by a reaction that was as inevitable as it 


was disastrous, and in his retirement evincing a 
magnanimity more grand than any success. 

President Hitchcock, the man of genius and im- 
agination, the Christian scientist who saw "the cross 
in nature and nature in the cross," the great com- 
moner, whose face was as familiar to all the farmers 
of Massachusetts as his horse, his geological wagon, 
and his chest of tools, who imparted to the college 
his own scientific spirit and reputation; who enlisted 
Woods, Lawrence, and Williston in its behalf, paid 
off its debts and gave it its first scientific buildings 
and its first permanent endowments, and, when he 
had thus put the enemy to rout and secured the vic- 
tory, fell back into the ranks and served as a com- 
mon soldier to the end of his life. 

President Stearns, the Christian gentleman, of 
general culture, refined tastes, polished manners, and 
perfect balance in all his powers and faculties, a 
graduate of the ancient and venerable university of 
Cambridge, for many years pastor of a church in the 
near vicinity of Boston, and bringing with him a 
happy union of the principles of his Puritan ancestry 
with the dignified and courteous manners of those 
cities, capturing by his patience and tact Dr. Walker, 
Samuel A. Hitchcock, and David Sears, and intro- 
ducing the era of new buildings and large endow- 
ments, while at the same time he put a finishing and 
polishing touch upon everything, and left, as his 
motto for the college, "the highest attainments in 
every branch of literature, science, and art, and all 
for Christ;" and President Seelye, the Christian 
philosopher, statesman, and educator, himself the 
largest pattern of a man, physical, intellectual, moral. 


and religious, and by precept and example, in the 
classroom and the pulpit, by personal influence and 
public administration, impressing that pattern upon 
his students, teaching them as his greatest and best 
lesson perhaps the art of governing, controlling, and 
educating themselves, and every one making the 
most of the best there is in him for the highest and 
noblest ends. 

Such is the royal line of succession, such the more 
than princely inheritance, into which our sixth pres- 
ident, Dr. Gates, has recently entered. We welcome 
him to great expectations, great opportunities, great 
advantages, and still greater labors and responsibili- 
ties. Our hope, our expectation, our prayer is that, 
conserving all that is good in the past and appropri- 
ating all that is best in the present and future, Am- 
herst, under his wise administration and with the 
blessing of Heaven, may rise to an unexampled height 
of prosperity and glory. And when the time shall 
come for his administration to pass into history, may 
he and his colleagues find a worthier, wiser, better 
historian to record the facts and perpetuate the mem- 
ory of the actors. 



INSTANCES can never cease to be remarkable, if only 
for their rareness, in which a distinguished teacher, 
having been associated with one institution of learn- 
ing for sixty years, is permitted at the end of that 
prolonged service to write the history of the institu- 
tion, with the assured accuracy of an eye-witness, yet 
also with the easy force and vivacity of one still in 
his youth. This has been, however, the unusual 
privilege of the honored scholar and the eminent 
teacher by whom this admirable history of Amherst 
college has been prepared. 

Having been graduated with honor at the college 
in 1830, and having served in it as tutor for the two 
years from 1832 to 1834, he was appointed its Pro- 
fessor of Greek and Latin in 1836 the professorship 
being changed eleven years after into that of the 
Greek language and literature. This professorship 
he held continuously until two years since, when he 
resigned it to get larger leisure for general studies 
and literary labors ; and one fruit of this recent in- 
terval of comparative leisure appears in the comple- 
tion of this detailed and comprehensive narrative 
of the inception of the college and of its subsequent 


The exceptional qualifications of Professor Tyler 
for this particular work will be instantly recognized 
by those who know him, and who are themselves in 
any measure acquainted with that progress of the 
college which he so affectionately traces. Himself 
educated in it, and the second of its graduates to be 
appointed to the chair of a professor, he has been 
personally familiar with each stage in its advance, 
while he has always represented, at least as fully as 
have any of the men from time to time associated 
with him, its special moral, literary, and educational 
tone. He has borne his large share of the burdens 
which came with its former years of poverty and 
weakness. He has rejoiced in the succeeding pros- 
perities, to which he had himself effectively contrib- 
uted. He has lived to see it firmly established 
among those notable institutions for the higher edu- 
cation which the country cherishes with gladness 
and honor; and it is fitting that he should now bring 
to completeness his long, zealous, successful work on 
its behalf by making this enduring record of what 
he has seen of it, and of what it has become. The 
only special limitation to be feared in his survey is 
that to which his modesty may constrain him, in pre- 
venting him from giving a sufficient account of what 
he himself has been in the college, and of what it 
owes to his spirit and his labor. But many will be 
able from personal recollections to supply such de- 
fects , and they will not honor him the less for any 
omissions in this direction which they may find. 

It was the happy fortune of the writer of this Note 
to be a member of the sophomore class at Amherst 
in 1836, when Professor Tyler first came to his chair; 


and, in common with those who had leadership in 
the class, he was thenceforth personally conversant 
with the work of the new teacher until the " Com- 
mencement" of 1839. He felt, as did the others, the 
strong impulse which was brought by the then young 
professor not only into the department of classical 
studies, but into the entire life of the College. It 
was an impulse to faithful work, to vigorous think- 
ing, to investigation of subjects quite outside of cus- 
tomary text-books, to direct and energetic forms of 
expression. It was an impulse, especially, toward a 
deepened and an invigorated moral and religious tone, 
in the classes which successively felt its force. Some 
of the sermons then preached by the Professor are 
still remembered, in outline at least, by those who 
heard them ; and the vital impressions left by them 
have never faded. Above all, his keen personal in- 
terest in his pupils, his watchfulness over them, the 
excellent sense and practical wisdom which marked 
his terse and witty counsels, the manly and com- 
manding frankness with which he exhorted, encour- 
aged, or rebuked, as either was needed, left remem- 
brances not to be effaced or forgotten. 

The relation of the faculty to the students in 
American colleges was at that time more nearly a 
paternal relation than it has been in late years, or 
is likely ever again to become. Possibly this was 
still more marked at Amherst than commonly else- 
where. The college community there was never a 
large one, embracing at most not more than two hun- 
dred and fifty students and teachers. The average 
age of those entering college was undoubtedly less 
than at present. The modern scheme of elective 


studies was wholly unknown; and the emulation in 
athletic exercise between classes and colleges, which 
now fastens such eager attention, was then as much a 
thing of the future as were telephones or typewriters. 
The governing aspiration of leading minds in the col- 
lege was for success in studies, for enlarged thought- 
power, for a more facile and vigorous literary skill, 
and for ease and energy in debate. 

The aim of those to whom were committed the 
various offices of instruction and discipline was there- 
fore largely a moral aim not solely, or chiefly, to give 
particulars of knowledge in science, philosophy, or 
good letters, but to do this in constant subordination 
to the virile training of mental power, with the 
building up of symmetrical and strong character. As 
President Stearns indicated, I think, in his inaugural 
discourse of forty years since, the accepted purpose 
of the college was to produce the highest manhood 
among those who came under its tuition ; and every 
teacher was expected, and was inspired, to do his 
best work for those set under him through personal 
contact not only instructing them on themes and 
by text-books, but imparting from himself an imme- 
diate intellectual and moral vigor. 

It is of course not possible to carry on this plan in 
the larger institutions, where the students are now 
numbered by thousands, each one being relatively 
more mature than before; where each is at liberty, 
within limitations, to select his own lines of study, 
and of course his own instructors ; and where achieve- 
ments on the ball-ground or on the boat-course are 
those which stir surpassing enthusiasms. Perhaps 
the earlier scheme was too narrow in comparison, 


and failed to put a just emphasis on important mat- 
ters. But it had its own merits, and is still affec- 
tionately remembered by those who recall it, even 
while universities are becoming encyclopedic in 
character, and have it for their controlling purpose 
to give information on all sorts of subjects, with only 
slight occasional relations between the teachers and 
the taught. The distinct personal and moral effects 
of the earlier plan were certainly in some respects 
more significant than those now contemplated. Class- 
fellowship under it became more intimate and more 
animating than it now can be. There was a common 
inspiriting college-life, which affected more or less 
each one brought within its range ; while still the in- 
dividuality of students was not destroyed or limited 
was only, in fact, cherished and re-enforced by this 
prevailing but unseen force. 

It used to be thought, in some quarters, that the 
only or the chief design at Amherst was to train 
ministers for Congregational churches; yet in the 
particular class to which allusion has been made were 
those who after graduation became Episcopal clergy- 
men, one of whom has been for twenty-five years an 
honored Bishop in that communion. Another mem- 
ber of it became a very distinguished Roman Catho- 
lic priest and professor of theology, and now has a 
place of honor and power in the Catholic University 
at Washington. The two sons of another, himself 
becoming a merchant, have since been graduated at 
Oxford University, and are both at this time mem- 
bers of the British Parliament ; while others of the 
class have been eminent as lawyers, journalists, 
physicians, medical professors, or in other depart- 


ments of civil life or educational work. In the class 
which was in the senior year while this was in the 
freshman, such a fitness for various future work was 
still more strongly marked. It was small in number, 
only thirty-eight being graduated in it: yet of its 
members two became eminent as judges of the su- 
preme courts in Vermont and in New York; two 
were speakers of the House of Representatives in 
Massachusetts, one of them becoming Governor of 
the State ; others were medical authors and professors 
of high repute, and two were as brilliant and distin- 
guished professors in theological seminaries, at the 
East and the West, as the half-century has known. 
There was certainly no rubbing down of the human 
material in their time in college to a particular form 
or color. On the other hand, whatever was central 
and characteristic in individual tendency and power 
was but brought out more fully by the moulding and 
impenetrating influence which pervaded the institu- 

Under this general plan of education, none can any- 
where have wrought more patiently, more faithfully, 
or, on the whole, with more signal success, than did 
Professor Tyler and those associated with him. Of 
the group of those assembled in the faculty at that 
earlier time, he alone remains to see the college in 
its present conditions; and it can imply no invidious 
comparison to speak of his work as representative of 
that which was truest and best in the work of all. 
While careful and critical in the details of scholar- 
ship, and by no means unduly tolerant of failure in 
these, especially when the failure had resulted from 
indolence or heedless inattention, his principal aim 


was, as was that of his associates, to make capable, 
robust, high-principled men, alive to truth, responsive 
to duty, ready for good work of whatever sort, able to 
endure hardness as he was himself, with a certain 
strong passion for usefulness in the world, and not 
afraid of what men might devise while they were 
seeking direction from on high. If a lad of fifteen 
or sixteen years, finding himself suddenly in strange 
surroundings, failed to discern the larger opportu- 
nities thus opened before him, the professor was 
prompt and earnest in pointing them out and press- 
ing him to improve them. The sluggish were stirred, 
while those of keener aspiration were encouraged and 
rewarded. If any one brought a persistently evil 
force into the community, remonstrance and persua- 
sion, when found ineffectual, were followed by speedy 
and final removal. The distinctly incapable, whom 
neither incitement could urge, nor sarcasm sting, nor 
special assistances set permanently forward, had leave 
to retire to other pursuits ; while of the most brilliant 
and promising men punctuality, obedience and dili- 
gence were required, as surely as of the dull. The 
supervision was quiet and not obstrusive, but it was 
constant, personal, efficient; and the impulses pro- 
ceeding from it were inevitably afterward distributed 
afar not only in pulpits, courts, and counting-rooms, 
or in chairs of instruction in the older States, but 
along the frontiers, and on remote and dangerous 
missionary fields. The effects of such watchful, 
kindly, and intelligent discipline have been really a 
nobler memorial to those by whom it then was ex- 
ercised than would have been any surpassing fineness 
of scholarship in an elect few whom they had in- 


stmcted, or any rare and famous achievement in 
scientific invention or research. 

Of the history of the institution, as sketched in 
this volume by an experienced and an accurate pen, 
it is of course no part of the office of this Introduc- 
tion to give even a summary. But one thing must 
be noted, in justice alike to the living and the dead. 
Almost every American college has had its special 
heroic period, when means were scanty while aims 
were high, and when narrowness of resources with 
meagerness of equipment combined to lay oppressive 
burdens on the heart and hope of those laboring in 
it to accomplish great ends. In the older institu- 
tions, such periods came in what is now their distant 
past. In those more recent they have come in the 
experience of men still living, by whom the stress of 
them is still vividly remembered, one might almost 
say is still painfully felt. At Amherst the time of 
the heaviest burdens was no doubt in the two decades 
between 1836 and 1856, and it seemed now and then 
as if the college itself must sink under the strain. 
Humanly speaking, only the faith and the steadfast 
fortitude of those then holding office in it sustained 
its life, and enabled it to come up from the bogs and 
out from the shadows with fresh hope and a renovated 
strength. The history of those years may be glanced 
at in this volume ; but the reserve of the author has 
no doubt imposed restraint on his pen, and the full 
story can hardly be written while he is among us. 

There was nothing unnatural in the crisis, severe 
as it was. The college had been founded without 
wealthy patrons, by many people of moderate means 
subscribing small sums, in the midst of a frugal agri- 


cultural district, when its remoteness from centers of 
population and power was vastly greater than it since 
has been. It had been founded especially to furnish 
education to those not rich in this world's goods, and 
founded in the impulse of a fervent and expectant 
evangelical faith, which knew little of what was 
needed for the complete equipment of a college, but 
which felt itself to have all the promises on its side, 
and which took small account of the difficulties that 
must come difficulties only to be augmented by the 
increasing repute of the institution. So it was as 
certain as is the operation of any natural law that 
times of sore struggle and poverty must be encoun- 
tered, before it could attain a position of comparative 
security and ease. It has not yet reached that, so far 
as to be beyond the need of the constant aid of its 
alumni, its friends, and of all who honor it for its 
work's sake. But the period of its desperate strait 
is over. Its funds and its equipment are not now 
wholly inadequate to its work. Its buildings, libra- 
ries, collections of art, and general apparatus are 
not undeserving of respectful regard when matched 
against those of older institutions. It has a distin- 
guished and numerous faculty, and the prospect 
before it was never larger or brighter than at present. 
The lovely natural amphitheater in one of whose foci 
it fortunately stands, between responsive ranges 
of sentinel hills, and with the unsurpassed western 
outlook which it always commands, seems to offer 
the parable and the physical prophecy of its sure 
foundations, and of the still expanding influence to 
go forth from it in centuries to come. As Mr. Web- 
ster is reported to have said of Dartmouth College at 


the close of his great argument on its behalf before 
the Supreme Court in Washington, in 1818: " It is a 
small college, but," as he added, "there are those 
who love it!" May their number always increase, 
and their labor in its service be crowned with ever 
richer results ! 

However long the college may continue, however 
far its influence may reach, and howsoever rich it 
may become, in accumulating funds, in a generously 
enlarged physical equipment, in the men who as 
teachers give it grace and renown, in the fame 
which shall draw to it students from afar, it may 
safely be predicted that none will ever have done 
more to determine its character, to invigorate its life, 
or to give tone to its widening influence, than did 
those who were early associated in it as teachers and 
guides; and it may with equal assurance be added 
that of all those thus associated none will be remem- 
bered with a more affectionate honor than will be 
given to him who came to the college in his young 
manhood, who faithfully wrought in it till fulness of 
years gave him right to retire, and who now becomes, 
with the assent of all, its most fitting historian. 

He has nothing either tragical or splendid to re- 
late in this volume. His story moves along common 
levels of life and experience, appealing to the mem- 
ory in some, but not at all to the general imagination. 
The story is set forth with an engaging sincerity, 
to which any impulse of literary ambition would be 
utterly foreign. It does not aspire to attract multi- 
tudes of readers, or to take a place among brilliant 
and famous histories of the time. Yet an old-time 
pupil, following attentively its reflective and stimu- 


lating pages, remembering the strong personality 
behind them, and indulging a reminiscent mood, 
may not be criticised if now and then he catches in 
his thought a self-repeating echo of ancient words, 
once familiar, describing that great master of his- 
torians whom the author of the narrative before us 
long ago studied with enthusiasm, and whom he has 
delighted to help many others fairly to interpret: 

" Qui ita creber est rerum frequentia, ut verborum 
prope numerum sententiarum numero consequatur; 
ita porro verbis aptus, et pressus, ut nescias, utrum 
res oratione, an verba sententiis illustrentur. " 


BROOKLYN, N. Y. , Nov. 27, 1894. 

^.SH LiUfl^l/jy^^ 

OF s 




The Queen's College Project First Associated Action in 
Regard to Amherst College Amherst Academy the 
Mother of Amherst College The Charity Fund- 
Question of the Removal of Williams College, . . i 


Erection of the First College Edifice Inauguration of the 
President and Professors and Opening of the College, . 16 


The First Presidency First Catalogue and Course of Study 
The Literary Societies Early Amherst Death of 
President Moore, 27 


President Humphrey's Administration, from 1823 to 1825 
Struggle for the Charter Legislative Investigation 
Final Success Seal of the College, . . .41 


A Period of Rapid Growth, 1825-36 First Scientific Course 
The Chapel Building Unsuccessful Appeals to the 
Legislature Hours and Fines The President's 
House, .......... 62 




Period of Reaction and Decline Resignation of President 

Humphrey 86 


Presidency of Dr. Hitchcock The Faculty Manage the 
Finances First Foundations for Professorships New 
Buildings Restored Prosperity Dr. Hitchcock's 
Character, 109 


The Presidency of Dr. Stearns Scholarships and Prizes 
New Buildings The College Church The Beginning 
of the System for Physical Education The Walker 
and other Professorships Optional Courses, . .139 


The Civil War Record of Amherst 's Heroes The Com- 
memorative Chime of Bells The Semi-Centennial 
Celebration, 181 


Difficulties in Selecting President Stearns* Successor 
Professor Seelye's Election Successful Opening of 
His Administration Additions % to the Faculty The 
Administration of President Seelye Inauguration of 
the u Amherst System" Remarkable Prosperity of the 
College, 198 


The Burning of Walker Hall The Buildings Erected 
during the Administration The "Amherst System" 
Amherst College Reaches its Highest Prosperity 
Resignation of President Seelye, .... 225 




Athletics Gymnasium Exercises and "the Doctor" In- 
tercollegiate Games College Societies The Greek- 
Letter Fraternities, . . . ' . . . .252 


Religious History of Amherst Earlier Colleges and Uni- 
versities, Founded from Religious Motives Decline 
of Religious Spirit Colleges for Education of Minis- 
ters Revivals at Amherst from 1823 to 1853, . . 266 


Religious History Continued Seven Revivals in the First 
Twelve Years of President Stearns' Administration 
In the Remaining Years Two In President Seelye's 
Two Change in the Form and Manner, Not in the 
Spirit Cause of the Change Remedy, . . .280 

APPENDIX, , 293 


Portrait of Dr. W. S. Tyler, .... Frontispiece 


Amherst Academy, 4 

First Congregational Meeting-house and Parsonage in 

1788, 10 

Amherst College in 1821, .... .18 

Portrait of President Moore, . . . . . . 27 - 

Amherst College in 1824, 34 

Portrait of President Humphrey, 41 

The Chapel and Dormitories, . . . . . .70 

The President's House, 83 

Portrait of President Hitchcock, 109 

The Barrett Gymnasium, . . . . . . . 117 

Woods Cabinet and Observatory, ..... 117 

Portrait of President Stearns, 139 

Appleton Cabinet, 146 

Williston Hall, 149 

The College Church .155 

College Hall, 159 

The Common, Looking toward Amherst College, . . 175 
Portrait of President Seelye, . . ... .198 

The Mather Art Collection, 220 

Walker Hall, . .225 

The Henry T. Morgan Library, 229 

The Pratt Gymnasium, 231 

The Chemical and Physical Laboratory Building, . . 233 
Map of Amherst College Athletic Grounds, . . . 253 

The Grand Stand on Pratt Field, 255 

View from the College Library, 275 

Map of Amherst College Grounds, 293 





THE want of a college in the valley of the Connec- 
ticut was felt previous to the Revolution. Sixty 
years before the establishment of the Charity Insti- 
tution at Amherst, and thirty years before the incor- 
poration of Williams College, measures were taken . 
for founding an educational institution in Hampshire 
County. Some of the inhabitants of that county pre- 
sented to the General Court, January 20, 1762, a 
memorial asking for a charter for this purpose, and a 
bill was brought in, which, though passed to be en- 
grossed, was finally defeated. 

But shortly after, Francis Bernard, by virtue of his 
position as " Governor of the Province of Massachu- 
setts 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 Col- 
lege." This charter bears the date of February 26, 


1762, and the proposed college was to be in North- 
ampton, Hatfield, or Hadley. 

Nothing further ever came of this commendable 
act of Governor Bernard. Sympathy for Harvard 
College, at the time suffering from the loss by fire of 
its library and philosophical apparatus, opposed the 
establishment of another like institution in the prov- 
ince, and the exciting times preceding the Revolu- 
tionary War soon absorbed public attention to the 
exclusion of other more peaceful. matters. 

It was not, therefore, until a number of years later 
that Williams College was founded, and still later 
that we find on record the first associated action 
looking toward the establishment of a college at Am- 
herst. It 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 ex- 
istence, and one year after the opening of Amherst 
Academy, out of which the college grew. The as- 
sociation, on mature deliberation, were of the opin- 
ion that knowledge and virtue might be greatly sub- 
served by an advanced literary institution situated in 
their important section of the Commonwealth. They 
were unanimousl) 7 * agreed that, all things considered, 
the town of Amherst appeared to them the most 
eligible place for locating it. 

This decision is particularly worthy of notice be- 
cause it was reached at a meeting held, not in Hamp- 
shire County or even in the Connecticut Valley, but 
among the mountains west of the valley, in which so 
many great and good men have had their origin. In- 
deed many of the members of the association rep- 
resented churches which were very friendly to 


Williams College, and one of the most prominent par- 
ticipators in the discussion in favor of Amherst was 
himself a trustee of Williams College. 

Rev. Theophilus Packard, who was the prime 
mover in this first associated action, and several 
others of the earliest and most efficient friends of 
Amherst College, were residents of Franklin County. 
Rev. James Taylor of Sunderland became a member 
of the corporation as it was first chosen and organ- 
ized, and was a constant attendant of all its meet- 
ings 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 Sun- 
derland and residing there when the establishment of 
such an institution first began to be agitated. Dea- 
con Elisha Billings of Conway, an educated man of 
great zeal, wisdom and influence, threw himself into 
the enterprise, and contributed largely to its success, 
as will be seen very clearly a little later. 

Amherst Academy was the mother of Amherst 
College. The trustees of the academy became also 
trustees of the college, and the records of the acad- 
emy are the records of the college during the 
first four years of its existence. 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 illuminations and public rejoicings 
in 1815, when the return of peace was known and 
hailed with joy in this country, especially in New 
England. The charter was not obtained, however, 
till 1816, having been delayed by opposition in Am- 
herst, 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. 

It opened with more students than any other acad- 
emy in Western Massachusetts, and soon attracted 
pupils from every part of New England. It had at 
one time ninety pupils in the young women's depart- 
ment, and quite as many, usually more, in the young 
men's. It was the Williston Seminary and the Mount 
Holyoke of that day united. Mary Lyon, the founder 
of Mount Holyoke Seminary, was a member of Am- 
herst Academy in 1821. There were usually from 
seventy-five to one hundred students in the classical 
department, and in the first year of Simeon 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 Massachusetts. 

But the subsequent prosperity of Phillips Academy, 
the establishment 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 un- 
endowed academies, till one after another of them 



became extinct. 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 per- 
petuate its memory and its influence, was the found- 
ing of Amherst College. 

In view of the elevated literary and Christian char- 
acter of Amherst Academy, and its extraordinary 
success as already described, 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 1 8th of November, 1817, a project formed by 
Rufus Graves, Esq. , was adopted for increasing the 
usefulness of the academy, by raising a fund for the 
gratuitous instruction of " indigent young men of 
promising talents and hopeful piety, who shall mani- 
fest a desire to obtain a liberal education with a sole 
view to the Christian ministry." 

A committee appointed for the purpose entered 
with zeal and alacrity upon the effort to raise money 
for the endowment of a professorship of languages, 
and prosecuted it for several months. Their ardent 
and indefatigable chairman, Colonel 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 pro- 
fessorship 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 en- 
dowment of a professorship in the academy, but at 
the raising of a fund which should be the basis of a 
separate institution of a higher grade. They accord- 
ingly framed and reported a " constitution and system 
of by-laws for raising and managing a permanent 
charity fund as the basis of an institution in Am- 
herst, in the county of Hampshire, for the classical 
education of indigent ) r oung men of piety and talents 
for the Christian ministry." The board of trustees 
at their meeting on the i8th of August, 1818, unani- 
mously accepted this report, approved the doings of 
the committee, and authorized them to take such 
measures and communicate 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 as it was often called 
by the professors and friends of the college amid 
the storms which it afterward encountered. 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 considera- 

The constitution is drawn up in due form as a legal 
document, l with much minuteness of detail, and with 

1 Colonel Graves consulted Jeremiah Mason and Daniel 
Webster as to the legal character 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. 


every possible safeguard against the loss or perver- 
sion of the fund, or the neglect of duty on the part 
of those who are charged with the care and manage- 
ment of it. The first article fixes the location of the 
Institution at Amherst, and provides for the incor- 
poration of Williams College with it, should it con- 
tinue to be thought expedient to remove that insti- 
tution 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 interest of the fund shall be 
forever appropriated to the classical education in the 
institution of indigent pious young men for the min- 
istry, and the other sixth shall be added to the prin- 
cipal for its perpetual increase, while the principal 
itself shall be secured intact and perpetually aug- 
menting. 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, accord- 
ing to the provisions of the constitution and by-laws, 
in the trustees of Amherst Academy, until the con- 
templated classical institution is established and in- 
corporated, and then in the board of trustees of said 


institution and their successors forever. Article 
sixth provides for the appointment of a board of 
overseers of the fund, a skilful financier, and an au- 
ditor. Article seventh requires the trustees to ap- 
point 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 secured, their receipts and 
disbursements from it, and all their proceedings in 
reference to it. Article eighth prescribes minutely 
the duties of the financier in receiving and investing 
moneys, managing and guarding the fund, paying 
over the interest, as provided in article third, into 
the treasury of the Institution, taking triplicate re- 
ceipts, one to keep for his own security, one to de- 
posit with the secretary of the board of trustees, and 
the third with the auditor; keeping an accurate ac- 
count of the whole fund and every part of it, and re- 
porting the same annually to the board of trustees. 
The ninth article provides that the financier shall be 
paid from the avails of the fund a reasonable 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 subscribers who 


may assemble for that purpose. Then the board 
shall perpetuate their existence as such by filling 
their own vacancies. 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 over- 
seers, and prescribes at great length the duties of 
that board. They are required to visit the institu- 
tion at its annual commencement, to receive and ex- 
amine the reports of the trustees and the auditor, and 
to inspect the records, files and vouchers of the trus- 
tees and the financier, and in view of all the facts, to 
decide whether the fund has been skilfully managed, 
and its avails faithfully applied according to the will 
of the donors. Article twelfth prescribes the duties 
of the auditor. Article thirteenth provides for the 
amendment of the constitution and system of by-laws 
by the concurrent action of the board of trustees and 
the board of overseers, " so, however, as not to de- 
viate from the original object of civilizing and evan- 
gelizing the world by the classical education of indi- 
gent 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 fire, or by the ravages of time, 
it shall be the duty of the trustees 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 subscrib- 


ers 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 overseers, 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 order to secure the approval and co-operation of 
the Christian community to an extent commensurate 
with the magnitude of the undertaking, the trustees 
of Amherst Academy, at a meeting held on the loth 
of September, 1818, resolved to call a convention of 
" the Congregational and Presbyterian clergy of the 
several parishes in the counties of Hampshire, Frank- 
lin, 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. " 

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 
were represented, sixteen in Hampshire County, 
thirteen in Franklin, four in Hampden and four in 
Worcester. Most of the parishes were represented 
by both a pastor and a lay delegate. Thirty-six 
clergymen and thirty-two laymen composed the con- 
vention. The constitution and by-laws of the pro- 
posed institution were read, and, after some discus- 
sion, 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 30, 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 instru- 
ment, in the most satisfactory and effectual manner, 
the faithful and appropriate application of the prop- 
erty consecrated by the donors. They had no hesi- 
tation in recommending Hampshire County as one of 
the most eligible situations for such an institution. 
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. 
The preamble of this report, expressing the gen- 
eral views of the committee, was promptly accepted 
by the convention. But on those points in the reso- 
lutions 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 fix- 
ing the site definitely at Amherst. Local feelings 
and interests doubtless influenced the speakers more 
or less on both sides of the question. The most vio- 
lent opposition came from some of the churches and 
parishes in the immediate vicinity of Amherst. Sev- 
eral delegates from the west side of the river, includ- 
ing those from Northampton, contended ably and 
earnestly in favor of locating the institution at North- 
ampton. The discussion was carried from the con- 
vention to the families where the members were 
entertained, and there are still living those who well 
remember that the excitement ran so high as to dis- 
turb 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 debate. " 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 North- 
ampton, and things looked blue for a location in 
Amherst. In the afternoon, Samuel Fowler Dickin- 
son, taking his position in the aisle of the old church, 
laid himself 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 votes. 
After which, George Grennell, who was secretary 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 conven- 
tion. These two speeches produced a new and dif- 
ferent feeling throughout the house, and the result, 
when the vote was taken, was in favor of Amherst as 
a location for the institution." 

The enterprise was thus fairly launched, and the 
raising of money was prosecuted with such zeal and 
success that, at a special meeting of the trustees of 
Amherst Academy, in July, 1819, a committee ap- 
pointed 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 constitution. 

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


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 hun- 
dred volumes. The funds were reduced and the in- 
come fell short of the expenditures. Many of the 
friends and supporters of the college were fully per- 
suaded that it could not be sustained in its present 
location. The chief ground of this persuasion was 
the extreme difficulty of access to it. 

At the same meeting of the board of trustees at 
which Professor Moore was elected president of Wil- 
liams 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 
Common wealth, 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 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, " con- 
tinued to be agitated. And at a meeting on the loth 
of November, 1818, influenced more or less doubtless 
lay the action of the Franklin County Association of 
Congregational Ministers, and the Convention of 


Congregational and Presbyterian Ministers in Am- 
herst, 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, inasmuch as when he 
accepted the presidency he had no idea that the 
college was to remain at Williamstown, but was au- 
thorized to expect that it would be removed to Hamp- 
shire 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 when- 
ever sufficient funds can be obtained to defray the 
necessary expenses incurred and the losses sustained 
by removal, and to secure the prosperity of the col- 
lege, and when a fair prospect shall be presented of 
obtaining 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. " 

In November, 1819, the trustees of Williams Col- 
lege voted to petition the Legislature for permission 
to remove the college to Northampton. To this ap- 
plication, 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 remove the 
college, and the Legislature, taking the same view, 
rejected 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 original design ac- 
cording to the advice of the convention, and at their 
meeting in March, 1820, they took measures for col- 
lecting the subscriptions to the charity fund, raising 
additional subscriptions, erecting a suitable build- 
ing, and opening the institution as soon as possible 
for the reception of students. Thus the long and ex- 
citing 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 contending parties now di- 
rected all their energies to building up the institu- 
tions of their choice. 

Few questions have agitated the good people of 
Western Massachusetts more generally or more deeply 
than this. Whether one college would have been bet- 
ter 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 
we have no doubt. They certainly did not overesti- 
mate the importance of a college in Hampshire 
County, and their wise plans and persevering efforts 
have resulted, under the overruling providence of 
God, in the upbuilding of two colleges, each of which 
has far exceeded not only the one which then ex- 
isted, but the most sanguine hopes of the founders 
of either, in its prosperity and usefulness. 



AT a meeting of the board of trustees of Amherst 
Academy, May 10, 1820, it was voted "that Samuel 
F. Dickinson, H. W. Strong, and Nathaniel Smith, 
Esquires, Dr. Rufus Cowles, and Lieut. Enos Ba- 
ker 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 in- 
stitution 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 subscriptions, 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 ad- 
vice and consent of the prudential committee." At 
this meeting it was further resolved " that great and 
combined exertions of the Christian public are neces- 
sary to give due effect to the Charity Institution ;" 
and Joshua Crosby, Jonathan Grout, James Taylor, 
Edwards Whipple, John Fiske, and Joseph Vaill were 
appointed agents to make application for additional 
funds, and for contributions to aid in erecting suit- 
able buildings for the accommodation of students. 



The committee proceeded at once to execute the 
trust committed to them, secured a title to the land, 
marked out the ground for the site of a building, the 
present South College, one hundred feet long, thirty 
feet wide and four stories high, and invited the hi' 
habitants of Amherst friendly to the object to con- 
tribute labor and materials, with provisions for the 
workmen. With this request, the inhabitants of Am- 
herst friendly to the institution, together with some 
from Pelham and Leverett and a few from Belcher- 
town 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 gra- 
tuitous labor, 1 and provisions for the workmen were 
furnished 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 without 
money and without price. The people not only con- 
tributed in kind but turned out in person, and some- 
times 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 

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 
Wells Southworth, Esq. , of New Haven, Conn. Those gran- 
ite blocks are now in the foundations of the old South College." 
Professor Snell's address at the Semi-Centennial. 


were building the Lord's house. The horse-sheds 
which then ran 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 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 par- 
ticipated in it when they were boys and girls, were 
never weary of relating. The foundations were 
speedily laid. On the pth 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 
or read of a parallel. The story, as told by eye- 
witnesses and actors, is almost incredible. " Not- 
withstanding," says Noah Webster, 1 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 pro- 
visions, 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 that they 
could proceed no further. On these occasions the 
president called together the trustees, or a number 

1 Mr. Webster removed in 1812 from New Haven to Amherst, 
where he spent ten of the most laborious and fruitful years of 
his life on his great life-work, the American Dictionary. 


of them, who, by subscriptions of their own, and by 
renewed solicitation for voluntary contributions, en- 
abled 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 ninetieth 
day from the laying of the corner-stone, the roof 
timbers were erected on the building." 

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

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 drunk 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 un- 
provided for were less than thirteen hundred dollars." 
Here the work was suspended for the winter. But 
it was resumed in the spring, and then the interior 
of the building was finished by similar means, and 
with almost equal dispatch. 

By the middle of June the building was so nearly 
completed that the trustees made arrangements for 
its dedication in connection with the inauguration of 
the president and professors, and the opening of the 
institution in September. And before the end of 
September, not only was the edifice finished, but 
about half of the rooms were furnished for the recep- 
tion 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 ap- 
pointment of officers of the institution, and other 
measures preliminary to the dedication and the 

The following is the order of exercises at the lay- 
ing 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, pre- 
ceded 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 per- 
formed by the Rev. Dr. Parsons, president of the 
board, in presence of a numerous concourse of spec- 
tators ; after which an address was delivered by Noah 
Webster, Esq. , vice-president of the board. The as- 
sembly then proceeded to the church, where an ap- 
propriate introductory prayer was made by the Rev. 
Mr. Porter of Belchertown, a sermon delivered by 
the Rev. Daniel A. Clark of Amherst, and the ex- 
ercises 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, they having been duly notified, the Rev. 
Nathaniel Howe of Hopkinton being chosen moder- 


ator, and the Rev. Moses Miller of Heath, secretary, 
the meeting was opened with prayer by the moder- 
ator, 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, vice-president; 
Rev. James Taylor, Rev. Joshua Crosby, Rev. Daniel 
A. Clark, Nathaniel Smith, Esq., Samuel F. Dickin- 
son, and Rufus Graves. After the public exercises 
of this occasion, Dr. Parsons resigned his seat in the 
board, and Noah Webster was elected president of 
the board. 

By request of the trustees the address of Mr. Web- 
ster and the sermon of Mr. Clark were both printed 
and published. In reading them, no thought strikes 
us so forcibly as the philanthropic, Christian, and 
missionary spirit of the founders. 

The connection between the Charity 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 was 
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 edu- 


cation 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 elsewhere, 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 so- 
ciety or other respectable association which should 
furnish to each beneficiary a part of his support, 
amounting 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 evidence 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 
John Leland as their agent to receive all donations 
made for the benefit of the Charity Institution, other 
than those made to the permanent fund. For this 
office, which he held fourteen years, Mr. Lei and never 
received a salary of more than three hundred dollars. 
At the same time the commissioner of the charity 
fund received only two hundred 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 theology 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 drinking ardent spirits or wine, or any liquor 
of which ardent spirits or wine should be the princi- 
pal ingredient, at any inn, tavern, or shop, or keep- 
ing 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 ap- 
pointment "a very appropriate and useful sermon," 
for which he received " an address of thanks" by vote 
of the trustees. 

In his letter of acceptance, dated Williamstown, 
June 12, 1821, President Moore insists that the classi- 
cal education of the students shall be thorough. " I 
should be wholly averse," he says, "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 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." 

That the trustees were in perfect unison with the 
president in regard to these vital points to which he 
attached so much importance, they showed by voting 
in their meeting on the thirteenth day of June that 
the preparatory studies or qualifications of candidates 
for admission to the Charity Institution, and the 
course of studies to be pursued during the four years 
of membership, should be the same as those estab- 
lished 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 news- 
papers, that " Young men who expect to defray the 
expenses of their education, will be admitted into the 
collegiate institution on terms essentially the same 
as those prescribed for admission into other colleges 
in New England/' 

At the same session, the trustees elected the Rev. 
Gamaliel S. Olds to be professor of mathematics and 
natural philosophy, and Joseph Estabrook to be pro- 
fessor of the Greek and Latin languages, and voted 
that the president and professors elect should be in- 
augurated and the college edifice dedicated with 
suitable religious services on the Tuesday next pre- 
ceding the third Wednesday of September, and that 
Professor Stuart of Andover be invited to preach 
the dedication sermon. 


At the time appointed, the i8th of September, 
1821, the exercises of dedication and of inauguration 
were held in the parish church. After introductory re- 
marks by Noah Webster, Esq. , president of the board, 
in which he recognized the peculiar propriety " that 
an undertaking having for its special object the pro- 
motion of the religion of Christ should be commended 
to the favor and protection of the great Head of the 
Church," and its buildings and funds solemnly dedi- 
cated 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 Professor Estabrook, 2 having 
publicly signified 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 protection of the great Head of the Church, to 
whose service this institution is consecrated." A 
brief address was then delivered by each of them, 

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

2 Professor 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. 


and the concluding prayer was offered by the Rev. 
Mr. Snell of North Brookfield. At the close of the 
exercises 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 ad- 
mission of forty-seven students, some into each of the 
four regular classes. 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. This was "a larger number, I believe," 
says Dr. Humphrey, " than ever had been matricu- 
lated on the first day of opening any new college. 
It was a day of great rejoicings. What had God 






FIRST things, whether they are the first in the his- 
tory 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 importance which 
justify and perhaps require the historian to dwell 
upon them at greater length. 

The first edifice of the Charity Institution, 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 build- 
ings on the grounds. The rooms were originally 
large, square, single rooms, without any bedrooms, 
and served the double purpose of a dormitory and a 
study. A full quarter of a century elapsed before 
bed-rooms were placed in South College. Some of 
the rooms, besides 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 Pindar Field and Ebenezer S. Snell, 
the two seniors who for some time constituted the 
senior class it was the room in the southwest corner 



of the fourth story was the senior recitation-room, 
and there President Moore daily met and instructed 
his first senior class. Four chairs constituted the 
whole furniture and apparatus of this first recitation- 
room. The library, which at this time was all con- 
tained 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 "meeting-house," which then occu- 
pied the site of the observatory, and was considered 
one of the best church edifices in Hampshire County. 
The relations between the students and the families 
in the village were in the highest degree confidential 
and affectionate, and the letters which the author has 
received from the alumni of those halcyon days, al- 
though the writers have already reached their three- 
score years and ten, still read very much like love- 

The bell of the old parish meeting-house continued 
to summon the students to all their exercises till, ere 
long, one was presented to the college. A coarse, 
clumsy, wooden tower or frame was erected between 
the college and the meeting-house to receive this first 
college bell. This tower, then one of the most re- 
markable 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 in- 
stitution soon made it manifest that it would require 
more ample accommodations. In the summer of 
1822, the president's house, now owned and occupied 
by the Psi Upsilon Society, was completed. About 


the same time a second edifice was commenced, 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 colle- 
giate year in the winter of 1822-23, 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 furnished with a carpet, only 
one with blinds, and not half a dozen were painted." 

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 followed the 
morning and evening devotions, thus uniting learn- 
ing and religion according to the original design of 
the institution, but where the worship was some- 
times disturbed by too free a mixture of acids and 
gases. The two middle rooms adjoining this hall 
were also appropriated to public uses, one of them 
becoming the place where the library was now de- 
posited, and the other the first cabinet for chemical 
and philosophical apparatus. 

A semi-official notice in "The Boston Recorder," 
dated October i, 1821, announces that "a college 
library is begun, and now contains nearly seven 
hundred volumes. A philosophical apparatus is pro- 
vided for, and it is expected will be procured the 
coming winter." 


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

The first " Catalogue of the Faculty and Students 
of the Collegiate 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 Wil- 
liams College, whose catalogue, issued in 1795, ac- 
cording 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. Gamaliel S. Olds, 
A.M., professor of mathematics and natural philos- 
ophy; Joseph Estabrook, A.M., professor of lan- 
guages and librarian; Rev. Jonas King, A.M., 
professor of oriental literature; and Lucius Field, 
A. B., tutor. But the professor of oriental lan- 
guages 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 catalogue of 
names, in the form of a pamphlet of eight pages, 
which contained, besides the names of the faculty 
and students, the requirements 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 so- 

The requisites for admission into the freshman 
class were the ability to construe and parse Virgil, 
Cicero's Select Orations, Sallust, the Greek Testa- 
ment, Dalzel's Collectanea Graeca Minora, a knowl- 
edge of the Latin and Greek Grammars, and Vulgar 

Course of Study. First Year. Livy, five books, 
Adam's Roman Antiquities, Arithmetic, Webster's 
Philosophical and Practical Grammar, Graeca Ma- 
jora, the historical parts, Day's Algebra, Morse's 
Geography, large abridgment, and Erving on Com- 

Second Year. Playfair's Euclid, Horace, expur- 
gated 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 Ma- 
jora finished, Enfield's Philosophy, Cicero de Ora- 
tore, Tacitus, five books, Tytler's History, Paley's 

Evidences, Fluxions and Chemistr 





Fourth Year. Stewart's Philosophy of Mind, 
Blair's Rhetoric, Locke abridged, Paley's Natural 
Theology, Anatomy, Butler's Analogy, Paley's 
Moral Philosophy, Edwards on the Will, Vattel's 
Law of Nations, and Vincent on the Catechism. 

Each of the classes had once a week, for a part of 
the year, a critical recitation in the Greek Testa- 
ment. All the classes had weekly exercises in 
speaking and composition. The library belonging 
to the institution contained nine hundred volumes, 
and 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 Octo- 
ber, 1822, was a pamphlet of twelve pages, and in 
addition to the matter contained in that of the pre- 
vious 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 over- 
seers 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 Spring- 
field, Rev. Theophilus Packard of Shelburne, Rev. 
Thomas Snell of Brookfield, and Rev. Luther Shel- 
don of Easton. The faculty is the same as in the 
previous catalogue, except that the names of Wil- 
liam S. Burt, A.B., and Elijah L. Coe, A.B., appear 
as tutors. They were both graduates of Union Col- 
lege. The number of students had now increased to 
ninety-eight, viz: 'senior sophisters," 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 College, on the catalogue. 

The term bills, comprising tuition, and room -rent, 
were from ten to eleven dollars a term. Beneficiaries 
did not pay any term bills. Board was from one 
dollar to one dollar twenty-five cents a week, 
wood from one dollar fifty cents to two dollars a 
cord, and washing from twelve to twenty cents a 
week. "Motives of economy and of convenience/' 
writes Dr. Chapin of the class of '26, "influenced 
the first class 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 medium average, I should 
think. The college grounds were rough and un- 
adorned, and during all of my course had little done 
to improve 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 two literary societies, the Alexandrian and 
the Athenian, were organized soon after the opening 
of the institution. The members of the 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 Society, and then reading off the 
names of the members of the lower classes alter- 
nately 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 Alexandrian. 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, 
less than $100, 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 common. 

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 : 

" 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/ Something 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 concealed 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; toward the south they prevailed gloriously, 
sending their green waves around the base and tip 
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 Sun- 
derland and Deerfield. It was a sublime deluge, 
which, alas! has only too much subsided in our day." 

After some appreciative notice of the instructions, 
character, and influence of Presidents Moore and 
Humphrey, and the chemical and botanical lectures 
of Prof. Amos Eaton, Professor 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 collections, 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 
comparatively free from exciting and distracting cir- 
cumstances. There were then here no cattle-shows 
or horse-races, no menageries, circuses, or even con- 
certs of music. They had no " Greek Letter" socie- 
ties, no class day, and no class elections and class 
politics to divide and distract them. They came 
here to study, and they had nothing else to do. They 


felt that their advantages were inferior to those of 
older and richer institutions, but for that very rea- 
son 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 "meeting-house" on the 28th of August, 
1822. After sacred music, and prayer by the presi- 
dent, a salutatory in Latin was pronounced by Eben- 
ezer S. Snell. His classmate, Pindar Field, deliv- 
ered 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 pro- 
gram with a colloquy, two dialogues, and several 
orations. A poem was also delivered by Gerard H. 
Hallock, who was then principal of Amherst Acad- 
emy. 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 the two members of the senior 
class. The exercises were then closed with sacred 
music and prayer. The subjects of the two dialogues 
were "Turkish Oppression," and "The Gospel Car- 
ried to India." The last, which was written by Pin- 
dar 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 open- 
ing of the institution. The number of students was 
now over a hundred. The president's house was 
completed. Two edifices crowned the " consecrated 
eminence," and a subscription of thirty thousand 
dollars was being successfully and rapidly raised to 


defray the expenses. The prosperity of the institu- 
tion exceeded the most sanguine hopes of its found- 
ers. But at this time President Moore was suffering 
from ill-health. 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 vigorous consti- 
tution. 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 jour- 
neys to Boston to promote the interests of the insti- 
tution, 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 responsibilities. His constitution, naturally 
strong, was overtaxed by such accumulated labors 
and anxieties, and had begun to give way percepti- 
bly 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 Prof. B. B. Edwards, a loving and beloved pupil, 
one of the converts in the recent revival, " 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 anxiety and grief, Dr. Moore 
was looking with calmness and joy upon the pros- 


pects which were opening before him. While flesh 
and heart were failing him, Christ was the strength 
of his heart and 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 2pth 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 appropriate sermon 
was preached by Rev. Dr. Snell, of North Brookfield. 

" 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, in- 
structive preacher, and greatly beloved pastor, a wise 
counsellor and sympathizing friend, a friend and fath- 
er especially to all the young men of the infant col- 
lege 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 literary institution with which 
he became connected.' 1 Such, in brief, is the char- 
acter of the first president of Amherst College as it 
was briefly sketched in the funeral sermon by Dr. 
Snell, who knew him intimately both in the pastorate 
and in the presidency, and who was incapable of 

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 semi- 


nary, 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 of trustees, and asked to be released 
from all participation in any commencement exer- 
cises, and from all further connection with the col- 
lege; but, at the urgent solicitation of the board, 
they consented to stand in their lot. They never re- 
gretted their perseverance in spite of all untoward 
circumstances, even to the end, in consequence of 
which they have not only been reckoned as alumni 
of Amherst College, but counted among its heroes 
who stood by it in the day of adversity, and consti- 
tuted its second class. David O. Allen, of this class, 
claimed to be the oldest graduate of Amherst, having 
received the degree of A. B. the first of any one, on 
this wise : While teaching school in Leominster, in 
the winter vacation 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 testi- 
monials 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 as yet his classmates 
were scarcely aware of his absence. After complet- 
ing his course at Amherst, he taught the academy 


at Groton, paid up his debts, earned money in ad- 
vance for his theological education at Andover, and 
afterward became one of the most honored of our 
American missionaries, and the author of the well- 
known work on "Ancient and Modern India." 



Xf es 




IN July, 1823, Rev. Heman Humphrey was chosen 
to the presidency. His ministry of ten years in 
Fairfield, Connecticut, had been eminently useful 
and successful. He had now been nearly six years 
pastor of the church in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. His 
labors in both these places had been blessed with re- 
vivals 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 ortho- 
doxy, evangelical religion, Christian missions, and 
of all the distinctive principles of the founders of 
Amherst College. In recognition of his high stand- 
ing 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 reasons for its removal, 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 insti- 
tution at Amherst. 

On the i5th of October, 1823, Dr. Humphrey was 
inducted into the presidency. It marks a character- 
istic of the institution, perhaps also of the age, that a 



sermon was preached on the occasion. The preacher 
was Rev. Richard Salter Storrs, of Braintree, Massa- 
chusetts. " It was a discourse of scope, adaptation, 
eloquence, and power ; in all respects of such engross- 
ing interest as to make it no easy task for the 
speaker who should come after him. The wise 
sophomores entertained serious doubts whether the 
president could sustain himself in his inaugural. 
But this feeling soon subsided, and we were relieved 
of all our sophomoric fears and anxieties, as the presi- 
dent-elect, with a master's hand, opened the great 
subject of education education physical, mental, and 
moral, holding his audience in unbroken stillness for 
perhaps 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 estab- 
lished in our minds his fitness for the position ; at 
once he seized upon our confidence and esteem. " 1 

Cool and impartial criticism, after the lapse of 
almost half a century, can but justify the admira- 
tion 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 marvellous felicity of expres- 
sion, and the healthy, hearty, robust tone of body, 

1 Manuscript letter of Hon. Lincoln Clark, of the class of 


soul, and spirit, which the Christian public for so 
many years admired and loved in Dr. Humphrey. 1 

The number of students at the time of Dr. Hum- 
phrey's accession 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 ad- 
ministration, consisted of the same persons who were 
thus associated with President Moore, with the addi- 
tion of Samuel M. Worcester as tutor. On the cata- 
logue 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 afterwards 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 Cate- 
chism is definitely announced for every Saturday a 
place which it continued to occupy through Dr. 
Humphrey's entire presidency. Instruction was also 
offered in the Hebrew, French and German lan- 
guages, to such as wished it, for a reasonable com- 
pensation. The president was still the sole teacher 
of the senior class. He instructed them in rhetoric, 
logic, natural theology, the evidences of Chris- 

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


tianity, intellectual and moral philosophy, and polit- 
ical economy. He also presided at the weekly dec- 
lamations in the chapel, and criticised the composi- 
tions of one or more of the classes. He preached on 
the Sabbath, occasionally, in the village church so 
long as the students worshipped there; and when a 
separate organization was deemed advisable, he be- 
came the pastor of the college church and preached 
every Sabbath to the congregation. He also sus- 
tained from the first, I believe a weekly religious 
lecture on Thursday evenings. 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 organized seminary. At the same 
time he was compelled to take the lead in a per- 
petual struggle for raising funds and obtaining a 

Under such circumstances it is not surprising that 
Dr. Humphrey did not at once command the highest 
respect and veneration of the students in the chair of 
instruction. Accustomed to love and almost worship 
his predecessor, they very naturally drew compari- 
sons to his disadvantage. Dr. Moore had been a 
teacher for the larger part of his life. Dr. Hum- 
phrey 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 stu- 
dents also contrasted his plain manners, his distance 
and reserve, with the courtly air and winning address 
of his predecessor. 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 

A joke perpetrated about this time has taken its 
place as a classic among the most famous of Amherst 
stories, and deserves to be narrated here, not only as 
illustrative of Dr. Humphrey's character and admin- 
istration, but because it proved a turning-point in 
his reputation. The story cannot be better told than 
in his own words : " 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 un- 
ceremonious intrusion. It might be because I did 
not offer to take the chair. As anybody might ven- 
ture 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 
students 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, and as soon as they found out what had 
happened, they were highly excited and proposed 
calling a college meeting to express their indigna- 
tion 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 exercises 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 honorable feelings, but begged them 


not to give themselves the least trouble in the prem- 
ises. 'You know/ I said, 'that the trustees have just 
been here to organize a college faculty. Their in- 
tention was to provide competent instructors in all 
the departments, so as to meet the capacity of every 
student. But it seems that one student was over- 
looked, 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 nobile fratrum.' " The 
effect may well be imagined. 

Rev. T. R. Cressey, of the class of 1828, writes: 
44 The president's 'Par nobile fratrum, ' with its accom- 
panying 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 personal acquaintance with Amherst 

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 petition of President Moore was referred to a 
joint committee of the two houses on the i7th and 
i8th of January. On the 25th of January the com- 
mittee reported that the petition be referred to 
the next General Court. But so far from being re- 
ferred with the usual courtesy, the report was not 
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 ses- 
sion. Accordingly in June, 1823, a petition was 
presented by Rev. Dr. Moore, Hon. John Hooker 
and others of the trustees of Amherst Academy, 
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 presented from the subscribers of the charity 
fund, praying that the request of the 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 committee, consisting of seven members, six 
agreed in a report in favor of the petitioners having 
leave to bring in a bill. 

After listening to remarks by the chairman of the 
joint committee in favor of their report, without 
further discussion, the Senate voted on Monday, June 
9th, to refer the consideration of the report to the 

1 An old feud between the East and West Parishes, originat- 
ing in party politics and personal animosities, extended its 
influence to the college. The Amherst 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 the East Street was familiarly called "Sodom," 
and the West " Mount Zion. " 


next session of the same General Court, 1 and on 
Tuesday the loth, the House of Representatives 
concurred with the Senate in so referring it. Just 
fifteen days after, President Moore sickened, and, 
after an illness of only four days, died, his death be- 
ing 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. 

On Wednesday, the 2ist of January, 1824, accord- 
ing 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 longest and one 
of the ablest speeches in behalf of the college was 
made by Hon. Samuel Hubbard, of Boston. He said 
that the objections against the charter, so far as he 
had learned, were four, all founded on local or petty 
considerations : First, that another college was not 
needed. Second, that Williams College would be 
injured. Third, that it was inexpedient to multiply 
colleges. Fourth, that the petitioners would ask 
for money. In answer to the first objection, he ar- 
gued that there was a great want of men of educa- 
tion and piety and morals ; and that this want was 
felt by the good people of the Commonwealth, as 
proved by their voluntary contributions to the insti- 
tution at Amherst. " There is seldom an instance 
of a college being founded like this, by the voluntary 

1 At this time, the Massachusetts Legislature held two an- 
nual sessions, the summer session commencing in May, and 
the winter session commencing in January. 




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 pointed to the 
fact that the number of students at Williams College 
had increased from an average of sixty or seventy to 
one hundred and eighteen, and that of Amherst be- 
ing one hundred and twenty-six, the two institutions 
contained more than three times the previous average 
at Williams. In reply to the third objection, he in- 
sisted, as many other senators 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 
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 impoverish 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 Amherst as an orthodox institution, Mr. 
Hubbard declared that " all that is great and good 
in our land sprang from orthodoxy. This spirit of 
orthodoxy animated the Pilgrims whom we delight 
to honor as our forefathers. It has founded all our 
colleges and is founded on a rock." 

More than one of the speakers reminded the Senate 
that Amherst 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 charter," 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 in- 
corporate theaters, you incorporate hotels, you have 
incorporated a riding-school. Are you more accom- 
modating to such institutions than to those which are 
designed to promote the great interests of literature, 
science, and religion?' " 

"By refusing a charter," said Hon. Mr. Leland, 
" the great body of country citizens are wantonly de- 
prived of the privilege of a college. Something 
more than the feelings of orthodoxy will be awak- 
ened. The people will feel that there is a disposition 
on the part of Government to maintain an aristocratic 
monopoly. 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 affirmative. 

On Tuesday, January 27th, the subject was taken 
up in the House of Representatives, and debated 
with much earnestness on that and the three follow- 
ing days and then postponed till the next week. On 
Tuesday, February 3d, it was resumed, and further 
discussed, and the question being taken on concur- 
ring with the Senate, it was decided in the negative 
by a majority of nineteen votes out of one hundred 
and ninety-nine. 

"So, "said the editor of the "Boston Telegraph" 
(Gerard Hallock), " the House declined to incorporate 
the college. Although the result is not such as the 


numerous friends of the college could have wished, 
it is certainly no discouraging circumstance 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 

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 peti- 
tion 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 con- 
undrum, started by the " Greenfield 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 peti- 
tion of the founders and proprietors which was 
signed by about four-fifths of the subscribers to the 
charity fund. And these were further supported by 
more than thirty petitions from as many different 
towns, and signed by more than five hundred sub- 
scribers 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 con- 
siderable discussion this was almost unanimously 
voted down, and a committee of four members was 
joined to that already appointed by the Senate, and 
all the petitions, together with a remonstrance from 
Williams College, were referred to this joint com- 

On Monday, May 3ist, President Humphrey ap- 
peared before the joint committee, and, in the pres- 
ence of a crowd of spectators, 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, pronounced to be probably the ablest speech 
which was made in the State House during that ses- 
sion of the 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 Thursday, 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 consid- 
eration 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 in the afternoon, 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 opposition, chiefly by members from Berk- 
shire and our own neighborhood, that a third college 
was not wanted in Massachusetts; that according to 
our own showing, we had not funds to sustain a col- 
lege; that nothing like the amount presented on 
paper would ever be realized; and that there was 
reason to believe that many of the subscriptions had 
been obtained by false representations." 3 

Under the influence of such suggestions a resolu- 
tion 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, first, what reliable funds the in- 
stitution had ; second, what means had been resorted 
to by the petitioners, or by persons acting in their 
behalf, to procure subscriptions, and, third, what 

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 Hubbard, 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," 
and "evangelizing the world." 

2 Dr. Humphrey's Historical Sketches. 


methods had been adopted to obtain students; this 
committee 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 loth of June, 1824, this 
resolution was adopted by a vote of one hundred and 
nine to eighty-nine, and the committee of investi- 
gation 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 re- 
ligious opinions. This, we thought, might, uninten- 
tionally on their part, operate against us. But in 
the end it proved for our advantage. " l 

The investigating committee having given notice 
that they would meet at Boltwood's Hotel in Am- 
herst, 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 lan- 
guage of Dr. Humphrey, who was the chief actor 
in it. 

" Rarely has there been a more thorough and 
searching investigation. All our books and papers 
were brought out and laid upon the table. Nothing 
was withheld. Every subscription, note, and obliga- 
tion was carefully examined, and hardly anything 
passed without being protested by the able counsel 
against us. Colonel Graves, our principal agent 
in obtaining the subscriptions, was present and close- 
ly questioned. A lawyer who had been employed 
to look up testimony against us was there with the 
affidavits which he had industriously collected, and, 

1 Dr. Humphrey's Historical Sketches. 


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. 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 cheer- 
fully acknowledged that the committee had con- 
ducted the investigation with exemplary patience 
and perfect fairness. When the papers were all dis- 
posed of, the case was ably summed up by the coun- 
sel, and the committee adjourned. 

" Many incidents occurred in the progress of the 
investigation which kept up the interest, and some 
of which were very amusing, 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 ink- 
ling 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 ses- 

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


sion was opened; the parties were present; the 
gentlemen who had taken so much pains to astound 
the committee by their discovery 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 disappointment 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 in- 
quiry and protest, one of a hundred dollars was pro- 
duced 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 trustees. After looking at it for 
a moment, taking a package of 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 afterwards. 

"The appointment of this commission proved a 
real windfall to the institution. It gave the trus- 


tees opportunity publicly to vindicate themselves 
against the aspersions which had been industriously 
cast upon them, and it constrained them to place 
the charity fund on a sure foundation. The in- 
vestigation, 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 

On the 8th of January, 1825, the question was 
called up in the House, and the report of the inves- 
tigating committee was presented and read. After 
reporting the results of their investigations in the 
matters of fact referred to them, wherein they for the 
most part exonerate the trustees, officers, and agents of 
the institution of the charges against them, the com- 
mittee said in conclusion : " 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 sympathies are di- 
rected to them ; and instead of sinking under opposi- 
tion they almost invariably flourish and gain new 
strength from opposition. Your committee are 
therefore of opinion that any further delay to the in- 
corporation of the Amherst institution would very 
much increase the excitement which exists in the com- 
munity on this subject, and have a tendency to in- 
terrupt those harmonious feelings which now prevail 
and prevent that union of action so essential to the 
just influence of the State." 

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



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 affirmative 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 2ist 
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, on the 
same day, became a law. Thus, after a delay of 
three years and a half from the opening, and a strug- 
gle of more than two years from the time of the first 
petition, the institution at Amh erst received a charter 
and was admitted to a name as well as a place among 
the colleges of Massachusetts. 

The charter conferred upon the corporation the 
rights and privileges usually granted to the trustees 
of such institutions. Two or three provisions only 
were peculiar, and as such worthy of notice. 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 when- 
ever any person so chosen by the Legislature shall 
cease to be a member of the corporation, his place 
shall be filled in like manner, and so on forever. 
This provision, 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, how- 
ever, to the credit of subsequent Legislatures, that 
they usually appointed to such vacancies according to 
the nomination or the known wishes of the corpora- 
tion, and in no instance filled them with persons ob- 
noxious to the faculty and friends of the institution, 
and in 1874, the Legislature passed an act provid- 
ing that the five trustees heretofore chosen by the 
Legislature shall hereafter be chosen by the gradu- 
ates, subject to such rules, as may be adopted by the 
board of trustees and the alumni association. Ac- 
cording to these rules, these trustees are chosen one 
every year and hold office for five years, thus provid- 
ing for the continual infusion of fresh blood from the 
alumni into the corporation. 

It was a glad day for Amherst when the charter 
was secured. President Humphrey and his asso- 
ciates, 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 car- 
ried to the hotel by the citizens. The hotel, the col- 
lege buildings, and the houses of the citizens were 
illuminated, and the village and the college alike 
were a scene of universal rejoicing. 

On the 1 3th of April, the trustees under the charter 
held their first meeting in Amherst, organized the 
board and appointed the faculty. The first annual 
meeting of the board under the charter was held on 
the 22d of August, 1825, which was the Monday pre- 
ceding 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 professorships and completed 
by the choice of additional professors. The salary 
of the president was fixed at twelve hundred dollars 
with the usual perquisites. The salaries of the pro- 
fessors, as they were voted at the first meeting of the 
board, varied from eight hundred dollars to six hun- 
dred 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 his- 
tory, with a salary of seven hundred dollars and the 
privilege of being excused for one year from per- 
forming 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 appropriated by him annually, 
with the advice of the other members of the faculty, 
toward making repairs and additions to the philo- 
sophical apparatus." Mr. Ebenezer S. Snell was 

1 These laws were essentially the same which had been pre- 
viously established for the government of the Charity Institu- 
tion. 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 pro- 
fessors receive each a salary of eight hundred dollars : and, 
as a rule, the professors have ever since all received the same 


chosen tutor in mathematics with a salary of four 
hundred dollars. 

It was now voted to confer the degree of Bachelor 
of Arts on " any young gentlemen who have previ- 
ously received testimonials of their college course in 
this college. " The same degree was then voted to 
be conferred on twenty-two young gentlemen of the 
senior class (1825) who had been recommended by the 

The seal which was affixed to the 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. 




THE year which began in September, 1825, was the 
first entire 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 mem- 
bers of the faculty before had hitherto served the col- 
lege for their old salaries and in their old depart- 
ments. The faculty at this time was constituted as 
follows: Rev. Heman Humphrey, D.D., president, 
professor of mental and moral philosophy and pro- 
fessor 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; Sam- 
uel M. Worcester, A.M., professor of rhetoric and 
oratory; Jacob Abbott, A.M., professor of mathe- 
matics and natural philosophy; Ebenezer S. Snell, 
A.M., tutor of mathematics. The first catalogue 
which bears the names of this faculty was printed 



in October, 1825, by Carter & Adams, who established 
the first printing-press in the town in 1825. The 
catalogues, which had hitherto been printed abroad, 
were henceforth printed in Amherst. 

On the catalogue for 1825, John Leland, Esq., ap- 
pears as treasurer, and Rufus Graves as financier. 
In 1826 the constitution of the charity fund was so 
altered by the concurrent action of the board of trus- 
tees and the board of overseers in the manner pro- 
vided for in article 13, that the office of financier 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 treasurer. 

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 hun- 
dred and fifty-two, and from that time it went on in- 
creasing 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 senti- 
ment of the committee of investigation confirmed, 
that institutions almost always flourish under per- 
secution whether apparent or real, and gain new 
strength from opposition. 

If we inquire into the causes of this rapid and ex- 
traordinary growth of the college, the most obvious, 
and, for a time, the most powerful, was unquestion- 
ably the violent opposition which it encountered. 


This brought it into immediate notice in Massachu- 
setts. This soon made it known and conspicuous 
through the whole country. This enlisted the sym- 
pathy 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 persecution. 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 orthodoxy and hatred of evangelical re- 
ligion, all united to oppose the founding, the incor- 
poration, and the endowment of the college; and the 
result was only to multiply its friends, increase the 
number of students, and swell the tide which bore it 
on to victory and prosperity. 

In 1835, t wo years before the close of our period, 
Jonathan B. Condit and Edwards A. Park became 
professors. The former was connected with the col- 
lege only three years, and the latter rendered the 
service of only one ) r ear and one term. At the re- 
signation of Professor Park, in 1836, Professor 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. 

This "parallel or equivalent course," as recom- 
mended by the faculty, differed from the old, first, 
in the prominence which was to be given to English 
literature ; second, in the substitution of the modern 
for the ancient languages, particularly 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; 
third, in mechanical philosophy, by multiplying and 
varying the experiments so as to render the science 
more familiar and attractive; fourth, 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; fifth, in a course of familiar lectures 
upon curious and labor-saving machines, upon 
bridges, locks, and aqueducts, and upon the different 
orders of architecture, with models for illustration ; 
sixth, in natural history, by devoting more time to 
those branches which are now taught, and introduc- 
ing others into the course; seventh, in modern 
history, especially the history of the Puritans, in 
connection with the civil and ecclesiastical history of 
our own country; eighth, 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, anatomy, political economy and 
theology, according to the plan, were to be common 
to both courses. The requirements for admission 
were also to be the same for both courses, not ex- 
cepting the present amount of Latin and Greek, 
and the faculty strenuously 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 ele- 


vated a range, should require as great an amount of 
hard study or mental discipline, and should be re- 
warded by the same academic honors. 

Besides the new parallel or equivalent course, the 
faculty earnestly recommended a new department for 
systematic instruction in the science of education, 
and they further suggested a department of theoreti- 
cal and practical mechanics. 

At a meeting of the board in December, 1826, 
they adopted the new system substantially as recom- 
mended by the faculty, and not long after the 
faculty drew up a plan of the studies, arranged in 
parallel columns wherever the two courses differed, 
and published it, together with other matter usually 
contained in the annual catalogue, and announced 
that this system was expected to go into operation at 
the beginning of the next ensuing collegiate year. 

At the commencement of that year (1827-28) 
the whole number of students rose from one hun- 
dred and seventy to two hundred and nine, and the 
freshman class, which the previous year contained 
fifty-one, now numbered sixty-seven, of whom eigh- 
teen 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 beginning. But now com- 
menced the difficulties in the execution of the plan. 
These were found to be far greater than the trus- 
tees or the faculty had anticipated. The teacher of 
modern languages, 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 professors to 


preside at his recitations. The professors and tutors 
on whom it devolved to give the additional instruc- 
tion, although willing, as they declared in their re- 
port, "to take upon themselves additional burdens," 
had their hands full already with other duties, and 
found unexpected difficulties in organizing and con- 
ducting the new course of studies. The college was 
not sufficiently manned for the work it had under- 
taken, and was too poor to furnish an adequate 
faculty. Truth also probably requires the state- 
ment 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 ex- 
pected, that they had probably overestimated the 
popular demand for the modern languages and the 
physical sciences in collegiate education. The stu- 
dents 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 be- 
fore; and of these so few wished, or particularly 
cared, to join the new course, that there was no divi- 
sion organized in the modern languages. Those 
who had entered the previous year, gradually fell 
back into the regular course. The catalogue for the 


year 1828-29 retains no trace of the new plan, ex- 
cept the parallel columns of the old and new courses 
of studies. At their annual meeting 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 experi- 
ment remained, except that the class with which it 
was introduced graduated in 1831 the largest class 
that had ever left the institution. Thus ended the 
first attempt to introduce the modern languages and 
the physical sciences as an equivalent of the time- 
honored system of classical culture in our American 
colleges. The plan, as it was presented in the reports 
of the faculty, was exceedingly attractive and prom- 
ising, and with ampler means and under more favor- 
able circumstances might probably have been sus- 
tained and thus anticipated by half a century much of 
the success which now attends our elective courses. 

With so large a number of students, and that num- 
ber constantly 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 immediate and 
pressing want was felt to be that of a more conven- 
ient and suitable place of worship. " When I entered 
upon my office, in 1823," says President Humphrey, 
"the students worshipped 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 Sabbath to Sabbath of 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 buildings till a chapel 
could be built for permanent occupancy. They au- 
thorized us to do so, and I have never doubted the 
expediency of the change on this and even more im- 
portant grounds." l 

The chief reason which the venerable ex-president 
in his " Historical Sketches" proceeds to urge in favor 
of a separate congregation and place of worship for 
students, is the greater appropriateness, directness, 
and impressiveness of the preaching which can thus 
be addressed to them. He deemed it a great loss of 
moral power to preach to students scattered among 
a large mixed congregation. 

But the old chapel, laboratory, and lecture-room, 
and room for every other 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 Sab- 
bath worship. The subject of a new chapel came 
before the board of trustees at their first meeting 
under the charter. They were encouraged to con- 
sider 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 col- 
lege for the express purpose of erecting such a build- 
ing. But his will had been disallowed by the Judge 
of Probate, and an appeal from his decision was now 
pending in the Supreme Court. At this time, there- 
fore, they only voted that in case the will should be 

1 Historical Sketches in manuscript. 


established, the prudential committee be instructed 
to proceed with all convenient dispatch in the erec- 
tion of a chapel building. They furthermore au- 
thorized that committee to borrow 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 in- 
terests of the college. In this emergency the trus- 
tees could not hesitate. They saw but one course, 
and they promptly empowered the prudential com- 
mittee to contract for the erection of a chapel build- 
ing," 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 indi- 

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 accommoda- 
tion of between fifty and sixty students ; four years 
ago there were between ninety and a hundred young 
men here ; one year ago, there were a hundred and 
fifty ; and now there are a hundred and seventy. It 
is scarcely two years since the seminary was char- 
tered, and yet I believe that in the number of under- 

1 Dr. Humphrey's dedication sermon. 






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 emo- 
tions. It is meet that we should carefully look over 
this ground to-day, that the inscription may be indeli- 
bly engraved on our hearts * Hitherto hath the Lord 
helped us.' " 

Meanwhile the decision of the Judge of Pro- 
bate had been reversed, and the will of Adam 
Jolmson established by the Supreme Court and, 
at the annual meeting of the board in August, 
1828, it was voted that in testimony of their grateful 
remembrance of his munificent donation, the apart- 
ment occupied as a chapel should forever be called 
Johnson Chapel, and that the President be requested 
to have the words, "Johnson Chapel, " inserted in 
large and distinct characters over the middle door 
or principal entrance of the apartment. 

Besides the chapel proper, the chapel building 
contained originally four recitation -rooms, a room 
for philosophical apparatus, and a cabinet for miner- 
als on the lower floor, two recitation-rooms on the 
second floor, a library room on the third floor, and a 
laboratory in the basement. These recitation-rooms 
were named after the departments to which they 
were appropriated, for example, the Greek, Latin, 
mathematical or tablet l rooms 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 colleges in size, beauty, and convenience. 
The college library was soon removed from the 

1 So called because the walls were covered with blackboards. 


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 bet- 
ter accommodations were furnished many years later 
for the mineral cabinet, the recitation-rooms l of Prof. 
R. H. Mather and Prof. J. H. 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 for the chemical department, 
the old laboratory, so long the scene of Professor 
Hitchcock's brilliant experiments and coruscations of 
genius, was given up to storage and other neces- 
sary 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 immediate measures for erecting 
another college building for the accommodation 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 obtained. 

The site was soon selected, and before the com- 
mencement of another collegiate year, the building 
was completed so as to be occupied by students for 

1 Now occupied by Professor Richardson and Professor Mon- 
tague. Professor Cowles now occupies the old mathematical 
room, so long the scene of Professor Snell's recitations and 
lectures. The lower story of the chapel building is now devot- 
ed entirely to ancient and modern languages (1894) . 


the year 1828-29. 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 other buildings, and was perhaps a bet- 
ter 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, 
instead 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, look 
in vain for the North College of their day * as the 
centre of some of their most sacred associations. In 
the winter of 1857 it was destroyed by fire, and its 
site is now occupied by Williston Hall. 

It was in connection with the site of North Col- 
lege 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 working out 
of study hours, and sometimes by a whole class vol- 
unteering 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 

1 From 1828 to 1857, this was called North College, and the 
present North was called Middle College during the same 


college grounds, and hearing that these were effected 
principally by the voluntary labors of the students," 
passed a vote expressing the " pleasure they felt in 
view of these self-denying and benevolent exertions 
to add to the beauty and convenience of the institu- 
tion." The same enterprise and public spirit also 
gave birth soon after to a gymnasium in the grove, a 
bathing establishment at the well, and a college band, 
which, for many years, furnished music at exhibi- 
tions, commencements, and other public occasions. 

During the summer term of 1828, the students, with 
the approbation of the faculty, organized a sort of 
interior government, supplementary to that of the 
faculty, and designed to secure 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, 
and similar matters. Then a court, with a regularly 
organized bench, bar, and constabulary, 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 use- 
fully for about two years, but at length a certain 
class of students grew restive under the restraints 
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 impassioned, discussion in the whole body 
of the students, a small majority of votes was ob- 
tained against it, and the system was abolished. 


Our readers will see in the House of Students an an- 
ticipation of the later College Senate. 

When the Chapel and North College were finished, 
the trustees found themselves deeply in debt. In- 
deed the college came into existence as a chartered 
institution with a debt of eighteen 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 com- 
mencements, 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 indebt- 
edness, no resource seemed to be left but an appeal 
to the Legislature. The first application to the 
Legislature for pecuniary aid was made in the win- 
ter session of 1827. The petition signed by Presi- 
dent Humphrey, in behalf of the trustees, sets forth 
the pressing necessities of the institution, and how 
they had arisen, asks nothing more than the means 

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

2 It was in this effort that Rev. Mr. Vaill was first appointed 
agent of the college with a salary of eight hundred dollars, 
viz., at the annual meeting of the trustees in August, 1829. 


of defraying the expenses already incurred for the 
accommodation of its increasing number of pupils, 
and such further aids and facilities for the communi- 
cation of knowledge as are indispensable to its con- 
tinued prosperit)", and urges no claim except the un- 
paralleled private munificence and individual efforts 
by which it has been sustained, and the duty de- 
volved upon the Legislature by the constitution, 
and cheerfully discharged by them in reference to 
the other colleges of the state, to foster institutions 
of learning established by their authority, and gov- 
erned in no small measure by trustees of their own 
choice. This petition was referred to a committee of 
both houses, who gave the petitioners a patient hear- 
ing, 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 re- 
port 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 Newbury- 
port, and Williams of Northampton, from the House, 
recognized the necessities of the institution, as also 
its merits and success. Indeed they made an admir- 
able argument in favor of a grant, but, with a non 
sequitur which surprises the reader, they concluded 
with a recommendation that for the present, at least, 


the grant shall be withheld The last two sentences 
of their report read as follows- "The degree of 
public estimation which the college enjoys is evi- 
denced 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 cher- 
ish and foster seminaries of learning, and if the 
present state of the treasury would justify it, they 
would not hesitate to recommend that a liberal en- 
dowment should be granted to Amherst ; 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 General 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 
commenced in May, 1831, the petition of the trustees 
and the report of the committee of the last Legisla- 
ture 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 
required that pecuniary aid be afforded to Amherst 
College, and submitted a resolve for that purpose. 
The resolve gave the college fifty thousand dollars 
in semi-annual instalments 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 Gen- 
eral Court could have time to act deliberately upon 
the subject. Accordingly a new petition was drawn 
up by authority of the trustees and presented in 
January, 1832. It was referred to a highly respecta- 
ble committee, who adopted substantially the favor- 
able report of previous committees, and unanimously 
submitted the same resolve. 

When their report came before the House for dis- 
cussion in committee of the whole, the college was 
attacked with great acrimony on the one hand, and 
defended with distinguished magnanimity and ability 
on the other. 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 elo- 
quently in the defence. Others desired to be heard 
on the same side. But the majority was impatient 
for "the question." The vote was taken. It went 
against the college with "fearful odds," and on mo- 
tion of Mr. Sturgis of Boston the whole subject was 
indefinitely postponed. Thus, after a suspense of 
five ) r ears, during which they had obtained the fa- 
vorable reports of four successive committees 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 spe- 
cial 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 influen- 
tial 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 im- 
mediate appeal to the friends of the college, asking 
for fifty thousand dollars as the least sum which 
would relieve it from debt and future embarrassment. 
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, Professor Fiske, Rev. Joseph 
Vaill, Rev. Sylvester Holmes of New Bedford, Rev. 
Calvin Hitchcock of Randolph, and Rev. Richard S. 
Storrs of Braintree, were appointed agents to solicit 

The appeal met with a prompt and hearty re- 
sponse. 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 vis- 
ited Boston the first week in April, and in a few days 
had raised a subscription of seven thousand dollars 
there. A subscription was started spontaneously 
among the Amherst alumni at Andover fifty-seven 
out of one hundred and fifty-three students at An- 
dover at this time were alumni of Amherst and 
they in their poverty subscribed from ten to twenty- 
five dollars apiece. 

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 that the remaining twenty thousand dol- 
lars would come with great difficulty, but the 
work went bravely on to its completion, 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 ex- 
pressed their joy in the evening by ringing the bells 
and an illumination of the college buildings, thus 
celebrating with the beginning of a new year what 
they believed to be a new era in the history of the 

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 morn- 
ing prayers was fixed at a quarter before five in sum- 
mer and a quarter before six in winter. And this 
was done at the request of the students, a large ma- 
jority 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 arrange- 
ment of recitations and study hours, which was thus 
introduced, and which continued for many years, was, 
in some respects, preferable either to that which pre- 
ceded, or to 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 them- 
selves to one department, but heard different divi- 
sions 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 observance of study-hours was enforced with 
much strictness 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 sank to its lowest) pitch of 
perfection. Fines were imposed for exercise or bath- 
ing in study-hours, for playing on a musical instru- 
ment, 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 the college was heir to. The 
records of the faculty in these days preserve the 
memory of fines imposed 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 pro- 


fession. 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 pa- 
rochial visitation! But Professor Fiske entered his 
protest, and this vote was soon rescinded. 

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 hence- 
forth to be in the autumn. The new arrangement 
was ideally better, perhaps, both for officers and 
students, inasmuch as the autumn is the pleasanter 
season for recreation, and the winter more suitable 
and convenient for study. But it was quite unsuit- 
able and inconvenient for that large class of students 
who had been accustomed to help themselves by 
teaching in the winter. The trustees provided that 
they might still be allowed to teach twelve weeks of 
each college year, including either of the three va- 
cations, and it was hoped that they might find select 


schools in the fall as remunerative as common 
schools in the winter. But the experiment 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. This plan was gradually 
superseded by the present arrangement, which pro- 
vides for a vacation of ten weeks in the summer. 

At their annual meeting in 1833, the trustees 
voted to relinquish the old practice of having a fore- 
noon and afternoon session at commencement, sepa- 
rated by the corporation dinner, and at the com- 
mencement in 1834 the new system of one session 
was introduced, which has ever since continued, to 
the entire 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, trie Trustees requested the 
prudential committee to ascertain how much of the 
recent fifty thousand dollar subscription would re- 
main 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 
investigation, the prudential committee estimated 
that after discharging all debts there would be a bal- 
ance 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 opposite the college 
edifices; and "during 1834 and 1835 the house was 
built, not by contract, but by day's work, and the 
consequence was that when the bills were all in 
they amounted to about nine thousand dollars." 1 

At the annual meeting of the trustees in 1834, 
they voted to appoint a special agent for the imme- 
diate collection of the balance 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 grad- 
ing the grounds in front of the existing edifices and 
preparing a site for a new hall at the south end of 
the row was commenced and carried forward at an 
expense of two or three thousand 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 tui- 
tion was raised one dollar a term. At the annual 

1 Reminiscences of Amherst College, pp. 58, 59. Dr. Hitch- 
cock not only complains of the amount of the bills for which, 
during Dr. Humphrey's absence in Europe, no one was will- 
ing to be responsible, but he declares his preference for the 
old house, especially in regard to its location. The old house 
is now owned and occupied by the Psi Upsilon Society. 


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 dollars a year. 
At the same timej:he salaries of the professors were 
increased from eight hundred dollars to one thou- 
sand, and a corresponding increase was made in the 
salary of the president. The tutors' salaries re- 
mained as they had been for a few years previous, 
viz., four hundred and fifty dollars. The last votes 
at the meeting, one or two of mere form excepted, 
were as follows: "Voted, that the prudential com- 
mittee be directed, in view of the urgent necessities 
of the college, to apply to the Legislature of this 
Commonwealth at their next session for pecuniary 
aid. Voted, that should the application to the Leg- 
islature fail of success, or should it be deemed by 
the committee inexpedient to make such application, 
the prudential committee be further authorized 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, and the 
college was in a highly prosperous state. The 
faculty was strong and popular, the standard of 
scholarship, culture, and conduct was high, and not 
a few of the most distinguished names on our general 
catalogue are names of men who were graduated 
during these years. 




THE largest aggregate number of students that 
Amherst College enrolled on its catalogue at any 
time previous to 1870-71 was in the collegiate year 
1836-37, when the number was two hundred and fifty- 
nine. The next year, 1837-38, it had fallen to two 
hundred and six, and so it continued to decrease regu- 
larly, till in 1845-46 it was reduced to one hundred 
and eighteen, less than half the number nine years 

The number entering college began to diminish 
some three years earlier. The largest number was 
in 1833-34, when there were eighty-five freshmen, 
and the whole number of admissions was one hun- 
dred and six. The next year, 1834-35, there were 
seventy freshmen, and the whole number of admis- 
sions was ninety-nine. From this time, the number 
entering college continued to decrease, till in 1843-44 
the freshmen numbered only thirty-two, and the 
whole number of new members was only forty-two. 

Some of the causes which produced this remarka- 
ble decline are sufficiently obvious. In the first 
place it was doubtless to some extent a natural reac- 
tion from the equally remarkable and almost equally 
rapid increase of numbers in the previous history of 



the college. As the tide of prosperity had risen 
very fast and high, so it sank with corresponding 
rapidity to a proportionally low ebb. The growth 
had been unprecedented, abnormal, and not alto- 
gether healthy. The causes which produced 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 edu- 
cation of ministers had somewhat cooled. Revivals 
were less frequent in the churches. The revivals 
which marked the twenty years between 1815 and 
1835 had given birth to the college, and nourished 
it with a copious supply of young men recently con- 
verted and full of zeal for the work of the ministry 
and of missions. As revivals grew less frequent and 
powerful, one of the principal sources of the pros- 
perity of Amherst College began to fail. 

The growth of the institution had unavoidably 
changed somewhat its relations to the community 
around it. The people of the village were still 
friendly to the college, but they had ceased to re- 
gard it as their own offspring or foster-child; they 
could no longer welcome and cherish its two hundred 
and fifty students 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 generally, 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 increased in a still greater percentage the inci- 
dental and unnecessary 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 nec- 
essary 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 con- 
siderably less than at Harvard or Yale, but the dif- 
ference was less than it formerly was, and the ex- 
penses at Amherst were now greater than they were 
at some of the other New England colleges. Rela- 
tively the economy of an education 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 ear- 
lier years of its history. 

A still more important change had gradually come 
over the relations between the students and the 
faculty. The circumstances under which the col- 
lege 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 cher- 
ished a remarkably filial spirit toward the president 
and professors. But when Amherst came soon to 


be the largest college in New England, with a sin- 
gle exception, when it contained more than two hun- 
dred 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 confidential 
relations, it was no longer possible to administer the 
government in the same paternal way, it was no 
longer possible that the students should cherish just 
the same filial feeling and spirit toward the faculty. 
The men who composed the faculty might be the 
same, it was the same president and the same lead- 
ing older professors, under whose auspices the col- 
lege 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. They were 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, nor stand in the same 
near and confidential relations, nor cherish quite the 
same feelings of personal regard and affection, as 
when they were fewer in number and were in some 
sense joint-founders of the institution. There are 
evils, difficulties, and dangers inevitably connected 
with a large college, as there are with a large board- 


ing school, which almost preclude the possibility of 
its realizing the ideal 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 contrib- 
uted 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 
between 1830 and 1840,* it had also a larger propor- 
tion than most of the colleges of that class of stu- 
dents 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 
Missouri Compromise, broke out with fresh violence 
and agitated the whole country. The "Liberator, 11 
started in Boston by William Lloyd Garrison for the 
express purpose of agitating this question, was es- 
tablished in 1831; the New England Anti-Slavery 
Society (afterwards the Massachusetts) in 1832, and 
the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1833. In 1834, 
George Thompson came over from England and his 
clarion-like voice rang 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. 

1 Among these were Benjamin M. Palmer of South Carolina 
and Stewart Robinson 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. 


Such exciting scenes could not but deeply move the 
feelings of young men in our colleges and profes- 
sional schools. It was under such circumstances 
that a colonization society and an anti-slavery so- 
ciety 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 between 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 fac- 
ulty seeing that fellow-students, and even Christian 
brethren, were thus set in hostile array against each 
other, feeling 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 pros- 
perity might thus be endangered, at length inter- 
posed, 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 so- 
ciety returned answer that they could not conscien- 
tiously 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 dis- 
band, prayed the faculty to do the work them- 
selves. The faculty consented to their holding the 
monthly concert of prayer and the continued exis- 
tence of the anti-slavery society on certain condi- 
tions, but after protracted deliberation and discus- 
sion the members of the society decided that they 


could not conscientiously either disband the society 
or comply with the conditions for its continued ex- 
istence. It only remained for the president, in be- 
half of the faculty, to say to them: "As you can- 
not comply with the conditions, your society must 
cease to exist." 

It cannot be doubted that the anti-slavery excite- 
ment impaired somewhat the confidence and affec- 
tion 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 

But the opposition to the system of distinctive and 
honorary appointments in college, which sprang 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 dissatis- 
faction attendant as usual on the appointments for 
the junior exhibition, petitioned the trustees at 
their annual meeting 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 

1 The an ti- slavery men of this period were under the im- 
pression, right or wrong, that the sympathies of Professor 
Hitchcock were with them, although the act of suppression 
was communicated expressly as "the unanimous vote of the 


occasion may require." At their annual 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 pres- 
ent system of appointments in this institution," and 
suggesting, instead, that "such a division and ar- 
rangement be made that all may have parts assigned 
them, and alike enjoy the benefits arising from such 
performances," or that "each of the three literary 
societies in college should be permitted to have an 
annual exhibition." 1 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 appoint- 
ments 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 ex- 
cused from performing the parts assigned them on 
the ground of conscientious opposition to the system 
of honorary distinctions, and for a time the fac- 
ulty granted these requests. At length it became 
apparent that there was, if not a conspiracy, a set 
purpose on the part of many students, some of them 

1 This petition is preserved in the college librar)'. 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- 
ing the reader in more ways than one of the original Declara- 
tion of Independence. 


perhaps really conscientious, but others manifestly 
only disappointed in their own appointments, 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 assigned for public occasions with the same firm- 
ness and on the same principles as they required the 
recitation of lessons or the performance of any other 
assigned duty. They therefore declined to excuse ap- 
pointees simply on the ground of conscientious scru- 
ples without the assignment of some other reasons. 

Among those who were excused in the summer of 
1835 was one who had been appointed one of the 
prize speakers from the freshmen, and having re- 
quested to be excused "on grounds of conscience," 
his request was granted. Two years later, the same 
student received an appointment for the junior ex- 
hibition. Instead of performing the part assigned 
him, he sent in a paper to the faculty, in which he 
not only refused to perform, but expressed his refusal 
in disrespectful language, and .after an ineffectual 
effort by the president to obtain a retraction, the 
faculty voted to require of him a written acknowl- 
edgment, under penalty, if he refused, of being re- 
moved from college. 

The student refused to make the required acknowl- 
edgment, and was accordingly removed from college. 

The entire class, with a single exception, 1 now 

1 David N. Coburn of Thompson, Conn., later Rev. Mr. 
Coburn of Monson, Massachusetts. At least one other mem- 
ber 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. 


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 writ- 
ten 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 them- 
selves and for the college. They began their consul- 
tation by asking counsel of God in prayer. After 
much anxious deliberation they came to the conclu- 
sion that such action by a class in college was sub- 
versive of all government, and that they must meet 
the issue with firmness or resign the helm into the 
hands of students. They therefore " voted to re- 
quire a confession of all the members of the junior 
class who have taken measures inconsistent with their 
obligations to obey the laws of college." The con- 
fession is in the following words: 

" It being an acknowledged principle that no stu- 
dent who is permitted to enjoy the privileges of a 
public literary institution, and who has promised 
obedience to its laws, has a right to do anything to 
weaken the hands of its faculty or in any way to 
nullify any of their disciplinary acts, I deeply regret 
that I did, without due consideration, vote for areso- 


lution and sign a paper which tended to both these 
results; and I hereby promise to abstain from all 
similar interference in the government of Amherst 

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 Gorham's friends, who were also friends of the 
college, he was induced to sign the confession re- 
quired of him with a trifling verbal alteration, and 
then his classmates promptly followed suit and 
signed the acknowledgment and promise required 
of them. 

But the effect on the college was immediately dis- 
astrous. 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 invite 
and attract students, but to turn them away by re- 
porting that the government was arbitrary, the 
president stern, severe, unsympathizing, unprogres- 
sive, and even in his dotage, although, as Dr. Hitch- 
cock 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, un- 
popular, and unfit for the office, although the work 
of instruction was never more ably or faithfully, 
never so assiduously and laboriously performed as 
at this very time. 

The president was the self-same man under whose 

1 Reminiscences of Amherst College, p. 124. 


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 after- 
wards, were as popular as it often falls to the lot of 
faithful professors to be, and whose lives have be- 
come identified with the history of the college. 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. Pea- 
body, 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 
1837-38, the whole system of monitorial duties, ex- 
cuses for absence, marks for merit and demerit, the 
merit roll, reports to parents, punishment of de- 
linquents and honorary appointments, was revised, 
reformed, methodized, made at once more just and 
more efficient, and those principles and rules estab- 
lished which, not without amendment of course, but 
substantially, have regulated the practice of the 


college in this important matter ever since. A cir- 
cular letter was also prepared and sent to the parents 
of freshmen and other new students, which ex- 
plained the temptations and dangers of college life, 
invited the co-operation of parents and friends, and 
thus contributed much towards a better understand- 
ing 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 sprang had passed away. 
About the same time, a course of general lectures in 
the chapel on study, reading, 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 sharp- 
ened 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 appreci- 
ated by the undergraduates, and they were quite 
contented and satisfied with the government and in- 
struction of the college. But the spirit of disaffec- 
tion 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. 

At length the feeling of discontent and dissatis- 
faction began to find expression through the press. 
The causes of the decline of the college were dis- 
cussed 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 manage- 
ment of the college, and it never would prosper with- 
out a thorough reform, not to say a complete revolu- 
tion. 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 complaints would then 
have been in a great measure silenced, and disaffec- 
tion nipped in the bud. But " the destruction of the 
poor is their poverty." Poverty increased the disaf- 
fection 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 subscriptions which had already been raised, 
the one of thirty thousand and the other fifty thou- 
sand dollars, were" immediately exhausted in the 
payment of debts and other unavoidable expenses. 
The college was, therefore, actually running in debt 
at the time of its largest prosperity, and the debt 
went on increasing as the number of students con- 
tinued to diminish, till the outgoes exceeded the in- 
come by fully four thousand dollars a year. 

1 The Charity Fund went wholly for the support of benefi- 


Application was made to the Legislature for pecun- 
iary aid in three successive years, viz., 1837, 1838, 
and 1839. In each instance 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 instalments, 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. 

In 1837 and 1838 the bill failed, both years in the 
House, being rejected in the latter year by a vote 
of 154 nays to 132 yeas. It is worthy of note, as 
illustrating the change of public sentiment in Hamp- 
shire 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 Legislature as recommended by the com- 

Despairing of aid from the state, the trustees soon 
conceived the project of raising one hundred thou- 
sand 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 in- 
come 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 
Amherst. 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 neces- 

u JN x v XJ.TI i / 


sitated to help themselves by teaching, the vacations 
were changed back again to six weeks in the winter, 
two in the spring, and four in the summer, the Com- 
mencement, however, being placed on the fourth 
Thursday of July instead of the fourth Wednesday of 
August. But the number of students 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 success- 
fully perform the herculean labor of raising the money 
which was indispensable to its very existence. He 
accepted the office 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, removed to Am- 
herst, 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. By reckoning in ten thou- 
sand 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 thousand dollars was made up, and 
this statement was so far satisfactory to the subscrib- 


ers 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 

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 Legislature as fifteen 
thousand dollars in 1838,* 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 expenses of the agent, which exceeded 
four thousand dollars, and it will be seen that very 
little remained for endowments or even to counter- 
balance a future excess of expenses. And yet the 
annual expenses far exceeded the annual income, 
and the number of students still continued to dimin- 
ish. 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 com- 
mittee of retrenchment. They reduced the number 
of tutors, formerly four, to one. With their con- 
sent, 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 ade- 

1 Twelve thousand dollars in 1839. No one seems to have 
known just what it was. 


quate remedy was to bring the expenses within the 
revenue ; and he laid before the faculty the sugges- 
tion, with an outline of the plan, which was adopted 
by them and ere long turned the tide in the opposite 

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 administration. The 
first officer who was sacrificed was Professor Fowler, 
a gentleman of much learning and many accom- 
plishments, 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 undergraduates, he resigned 
his professorship to the trustees, at a special meet- 
ing in December, 1842. 

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 an- 
ticipation of the event, President Humphrey, in a 
letter which shows his rare magnanimity and self- 
sacrificing devotion to the " beloved institution with 
which he had been so long connected," tendered his 
resignation, to take effect whenever his successor 
should be ready to enter upon the office. 

The trustees, constrained by a felt necessity and 
doubtless with sorrowing hearts, accepted the resig- 


nation, 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 increasing from the commence- 
ment 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 Christian ; that our prayers will 
accompany him, that his rich intellectual 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 darkness and sorrow of this meeting at 
Worcester, in the donation of ten thousand dollars by 
Hon. David Sears of Boston, which was the begin- 
ning 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 indi- 

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 reappointed 
Rev. J. B. Condi t, of Portland, professor of rhetoric 
and oratory, together with the pastoral charge of 
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. Professor Shepard 
declined the presidency. Rev. Mr. Leavitt so far 
accepted the professorship as to call a council to con- 
sider the question of his dismission; but the council 
declined to dismiss him simply because 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 

At this meeting, Hon. William B. Banister and 
Hon. Alfred D. Foster resigned their places as mem- 
bers of the board. Henry Edwards, Esq., of Boston 
was elected in the place of Mr. Banister. At the 
urgent request of the board, Mr. Foster consented 
to withdraw his resignation. But a correspondence 
with Rev. Mr. Vaill about this time, and his conver- 
sations at a later day with Professor Hitchcock, show 
that he had little hope that the college could be 
maintained as anything more than an academy. 

At a special meeting of the corporation in Amherst 


in November, Rev. Aaron Warner was elected pro- 
fessor of rhetoric and oratory, with a salary of one 
thousand dollars. 

At another special meeting at Amherst in Decem- 
ber, the professors laid before the trustees the propo- 
sition, suggested probably by Mr. Vaill, that they 
would accept the income of the college, 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 regu- 
late these expenses and run the college, and with the 
understanding that the agency for the solicitation of 
funds should cease, and with the expectation that 
Professor 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 Professor Hitchcock's depart- 
ment, they at the same time elected Prof. Charles 
U. Shepard, of New Haven, professor of chemistry 
and natural history, "to take effect provided Pro- 
fessor Hitchcock accepts the presidency." 

These appointments were all accepted, and on the 
1 4th of April, 1845, the president-elect was inducted 
into his office, the retiring president, at the request 
of the trustees, performing the ceremony of induc- 
tion 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 prefer- 
ence of Dr. Humphrey to continue in office till com- 


mencement, and thus at the close of the year and 
amid the concourse of alumni and friends usually 
convened on that occasion, to take leave of his " be- 
loved 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 arrangement, 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 ar- 
rived, 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 si- 
lently to withdraw with many thanksgivings to 
God for his smiles upon the institution with which 
I have been so long connected, and fervent supplica- 
tions for its future prosperity. But having been 
kindly and somewhat earnestly requested, by the 
standing committee of the board, to prepare an ad- 
dress for the present occasion, 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 him- 
self 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, especially its 
religious history, insisting with great earnestness 
and eloquence, as he did in his inaugural, on a 
truly Christian education in truly Christian col- 


leges 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 beloved 
church, its honored trustees and guardians, his re- 
spected and beloved associates in the immediate gov- 
ernment and instruction, the beloved youth over 
whose morals, health, and education it had been his 
endeavor to watch with paternal solicitude, and the 
esteemed friend and brother to whom he resigned the 
chair, and with whom he had been so long and so 
happily associated. There is an almost tragic 
pathos and sublimity 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 
sympathizing 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 heroism 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 





THE presidency of Dr. Hitchcock opened with au- 
spicious omens. The donation of Hon. David Sears, 
made the previous year (1844), was now just begin- 
ning to manifest its benignant influence, and, being 
the first large gift by an individual donor for the pur- 
pose 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 donation of twenty thousand dol- 
lars, founded the Williston professorship 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 condi- 
tioned on the election of Dr. Hitchcock to the presi- 
dency, having received the sanction of the trustees 
and the written assent and co-operation of all the 
professors, went into effect at the commencement of 
the new administration. According to this plan, the 
income of the college, administered and appropri- 
ated by the permanent officers themselves with all 
the wisdom and economy of which they were mas- 
ters, after deducting all the necessary current ex- 



penses, 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 endow- 
ment of four professorships, together with valuable 
books and immense scientific collections, and doub- 
led the number of undergraduates. 

These remarkable results, however, were not to be 
reached at once, nor without a previous season of 
trial and struggle, of disappointment and discourage- 
ment. The immediate increase of numbers which 
was anticipated from a change of administration 
was not realized. On the contrary, the year 1845-46, 
which was the first collegiate year of the new presi- 
dency, opened with the same number of freshmen as 
the previous year, and with an aggregate of one 
hundred and eighteen students instead of one hun- 
dred and twenty-one. In 1846-47, the aggregate was 
only one hundred and twenty, and there was an in- 
crease of only one in the freshman class. Mean- 
while 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 pro- 
fessor 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 influential students were so doubt- 
ful of the perpetuity of the institution that nothing 
but the personal solicitation of the president in- 
duced them to stay and graduate. No wonder if, 
under such circumstances, the president and profes- 
sors were sometimes desponding, and the very lights 
sometimes seemed to burn blue at our faculty 
meetings ! 

We now resume the general history of the college. 

Being in Cambridge at the inauguration of Presi- 
dent Everett in January, 1846, Dr. Hitchcock im- 
proved the opportunity to call on Mr. Sears, in the 
hope of inducing him to erect a building for scien- 
tific 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: i. To go back to Amherst and labor on for 
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, and 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 "Meeting-house Hill" of the 
Woods Cabinet and Lawrence Observatory. And 
the scientific reputation of Dr. Hitchcock, together 
with his self-sacrificing labors, and the self-denial of 
his colleagues, was the very fulcrum and standing 


place (the TTOU <rr<5 of Archimedes) by means of which 
Mr. Woods raised the money. He went to Hon. 
Abbott Lawrence, and other men of like character 
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 overrated 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 Atlantic. " If 
you still doubt it, however," said Mr. Woods, " I will 
bring him down here, and you shall see for your- 
selves." It was with great difficulty that Dr. Hitch- 
cock was induced to show himself under such cir- 
cumstances. 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 enlightening of the public mind in influen- 
tial circles in and around Boston, the way was pre- 
pared for obtaining a grant from the Legislature. 

Meanwhile, however, the president in his despon- 
dency and almost despair had discovered another 
and still richer mine. He gives the following ac- 
count of it himself in his valedictory address: 

" 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 there- 
fore determined to make an effort to get a professor- 
ship 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 endowment of a professorship? 

u 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 Pro- 
fessor Fiske when he left us: * Amherst College will 
be relieved ; Mr. Williston, I think, will give it fifty 
thousand dollars, and you will put his name upon 
it.' I felt justified, therefore, in saying to him, 
that if his circumstances would allow him to come 
to our aid in this exigency by founding another pro- 
fessorship, I did not doubt this result was to follow. 
He gave me to understand that in his will a pro- 
fessorship was already 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 prom- 
ise, 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 benefac- 
tions 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 dollars to our funds, I began to hope that 
we might be saved. But the kindness of Providence 
had other developments in store for us. 

"These events occurred in the winter of 1846,* 
while the Legislature of Massachusetts was in session. 
We had often appealed to them unsuccessfully for 
help; and I feared that, when the generous benefac- 
tions 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 government. 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 for- 
mer occasions. Perhaps the following incident, 
communicated to me by a member of the Legisla- 
ture, may appear to the Christian to be connected 
with this fact : 

" The bill for aiding Amherst 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 conversa- 
tion 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 amaze- 
ment of these praying men, opposition had almost 
disappeared, and with a few remarks it was passed. 
How could they, how can we, avoid the conviction 

1 The writer must mean 1846-47. It was in 1847 that the 
grant was voted by the Legislature. 


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 accompanied 
by exertion, and faith by works ; and " by work 
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 members of the 
Legislature. Hon. Wiliam 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 Avery, 
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 Represen- 
tatives, we notice the names of Henry Edwards of 
Boston, Otis P. Lord of Salem, Alexander H. Bul- 
lock of Worcester, 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, said that to no one 
in the Senate was the college more indebted than to 
Hon. C. B. Rising, one of the senators from Hamp- 
shire County, who, when it was proposed uncere- 
moniously to reject the petition, rose and spoke 
manfully and ably in defense of the institution. 

In 1847, Hon. David Sears also made an addition, 
large, liberal, and unique, to the Sears Foundation 
of Literature and Benevolence. By what considera- 
tions he was influenced may be seen from his letter, 


which was read at the dedication of the Woods Cab- 
inet and the celebration which was connected with 
it : " While the benefactors of the college are thus 
honored," says he, "the faculty of the college 
should come in for their share of gratitude. I have 
been a silent, but not inattentive observer of them. 
I have been informed of their devotion to their liter- 
ary labors, of their self-denials, of their voluntary 
surrender of a part of their moderate salaries, re- 
serving only enough for a bare subsistence, to re- 
lieve the college in its necessity. Such disinterested 
zeal stands out brightly, and merits an honorable 

While money was thus flowing in from individual 
donors and from the treasury of the state, Professor 
Adams presented to the college his great zoological 
collection, and Professor Shepard offered to deposit 
his splendid cabinet as soon as a fireproof 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 hun- 
dred thousand dollars had flowed in upon it in endow- 
ments and buildings in a little more than 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 profusion 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 cancelled and available 
funds enough left to enable us to go on with economy 
from year to year and with increased means of in- 
struction. The incubus that had so long rested upon 
us was removed; the cord that had well-nigh throt- 
tled 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 fund, made in the lat- 
ter part of 1846 and the first part of 1847, were not 
made public till after a special meeting of the trus- 
tees, 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. Humphrey 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 cap- 
tivity and answering their long-continued and ear- 
nest prayers. They were to have a little respite, be- 
fore 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 appropriated to the endowment of the Massa- 
chusetts professorship of chemistry and natural his- 
tory. 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 
students preparing for the Christian ministry. The 
new cabinet received the name of Hon. Josiah B. 
Woods, and the observatory that of Hon. Abbott 
Lawrence. The professorship of natural 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 Colonel 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. Ar- 
rangements were made for making tip in full the defi- 
cient salaries of the president and professors, and the 
sum of twelve hundred dollars was appropriated for 
repairs and placing blinds upon the college edifices. 

No man ever knew better than Dr. Hitchcock how 
to make the most of any success in the way of public 
impressions. The placing of blinds upon the win- 
dows of the dormitory buildings was a stroke of pol- 
icy 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 
circumstances. 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 de- 
scribed in the Reminiscences : " The meeting closed 
in the afternoon, and as the students were yet igno- 
rant of the whole matter in which I knew they felt a 
deep interest, I took the opportunity 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 demon- 
stration of their feelings, especially as two of the 
trustees were present. But as the successive an- 
nouncements 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 recent 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 invita- 
tion to the friends and benefactors of the college to 
be present, and that Hon. William B. Calhoun be re- 
quested to deliver an address on the occasion." The 
meeting was deferred till June 28, 1848, in order to 
connect with it the dedication of the new cabinet and 
observatory, which would not be finished and filled 
with specimens at an earlier date. The occasion was 
one of deep interest. The president's address of wel- 
come 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 com- 
memoration and dedication said : " The waning for- 
tunes 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 col- 
lege into the fellowship of new and animated hopes. 
The massive structures upon which are inscribed the 
names of the generous donors, rising up in the midst 
of this landscape, these hills and valleys of unsur- 
passed 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 Ecclesice." 

In response to the call and remarks of President 
Hitchcock, brief addresses were made by Governor 
Armstrong, Mr. Woods, Mr. Williston, Professor 
Silliman, Professor Shepard, Professor 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 inscribed upon those walls and 
tablets, the writer of this history here enters his pub- 
lic protest against any hasty or needless removal 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 
valedictory 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 instruments of its size that ever graced an 
observatory. In the hands of Mr. Clark it has al- 
ready 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 college from debt, and estab- 
lished it on a solid pecuniary foundation, while at 
the same time he saw it increasing in numbers, and 
enjoying a literary and religious prosperity corre- 
sponding 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 
presidency. But instead of listening to his sugges- 
tion, 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 travelled through Great Britain, France, 
Belgium, Switzerland, and a portion of Germany; 
explored the geology of those countries, examined 
the agricultural schools, in the discharge of a com- 
mission unexpectedly received from the government 
of Massachusetts; visited and studied the scientific 
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 Association for the Ad- 
vancement of Science at Edinburgh, and the Peace 
Congress at Frankfort-on-the-Main, and returned 
home, " having been absent one hundred and fifty- 
eight days, and travelled ten thousand six hundred 


and forty-seven miles" (these details are character- 
istic), and having expended for himself and wife less 
than two hundred dollars over and above what he re- 
ceived from the government and from individuals 
with whom he travelled, or fell in, and who insisted 
on defraying portions of his expenses. On reaching 
Amherst, he was received at the entrance of the town 
by the students, who gave him an enthusiastic wel- 
come, and in the evening expressed their joy by an 
illumination of the college buildings. 

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 Perkins and 
Huntington, and Richard P. Waters, Esq.), Professor 
Edwards 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 number of books. Pro- 
fessor Edwards was chairman of the committee on 
whom this duty was devolved. The work of raising 
the money was commenced by Professor Tyler, who 
started a subscription (where subscriptions in behalf 
of the college have most frequently taken their start) 
in the town of Amherst. Three thousand dollars were 
raised on the spot before any effort was made else- 
where. Another thousand was raised in the vicinity, 
chiefly in the neighboring churches. Mr. Merriam 
had already given his pledge of fifteen hundred dol- 
lars. Mr. Williston, who, in this as in all the other 
efforts in behalf of the college, was the largest bene- 
factor, stood ready with a donation of three thousand 


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 sub- 
scriptions out of Amherst were those of David Sears 
and Jonathan Phillips of Boston. When the sum of 
fifteen 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 finished in 
1853. Professor Edwards, alas, did not live to see it 
completed. His friend, Professor Park, had the 
melancholy satisfaction of delivering an address at the 
dedication. The erection of this building, which now 
contains only the reading room, the committee room, 
and the working rooms of the present library, intro- 
duced a new era in the architecture on the college 
hill. Hitherto brick had been the sole material. The 
library, according to the suggestion of Professor 
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 now afforded for reading and study. 

At a special meeting of the trustees at Amherst, 
October n, 1852, they established a scientific de- 
partment, 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 


department grew naturally out of the rich and ex- 
tensive cabinets and the valuable laboratory which 
the college possessed, together with the rare cluster 
of scientific professors gathered here under the au- 
spices and guidance of a scientific president. As 
adopted by the corporation and published in the 
catalogue for 1852-53, 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: i. Geology by the President; 2. Mathe- 
matics, Natural Philosophy, and Engineering by 
Professor Snell; 3. Chemistry by Professor Clark; 
4. Agriculture by Rev. J. A. Nash; 5. Mineralogy 
by Professor Shepard; 6. Zoology by Professor 
Adams; 7. Botany, without any special professor; 
8. Psychology and History of Philosophy by Professor 
Haven ; 9. Philology by Professors Tyler and Jewett, 
and English Literature by Professor Warner. The 
department was to be entirely independent of the 
regular college course, but students were to be 
allowed to attend any of the regular courses of lec- 

The plan went into operation in January, 1853. 
In 1853-54, there were twelve scientific students; in 
1854-55, there were seventeen ; in 1855-56, there were 
none reported, and in 1857-58, 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 incor- 
porated 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 in- 
struction was devolved almost entirely on the profes- 
sors 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 suc- 
cess, and even with these the older institutions in or 
near the large cities have the advantage over Am- 
herst 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 England 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 Professor 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 necessary arrangements for the permanent exhi- 
bition of it in the geological cabinet. Before the 
offer was made, the first condition had already been 
met through the agency of Dr. Hitchcock himself. 
Of course the trustees were not slow to comply with 
the second condition, and thus the Doctor's private 
ichnological cabinet became the property of the 
college, just as his mineralogical and geological cab- 


inets had been given to the college, fifteen years pre- 
viously, on very similar conditions. These cabinets 
are now of inestimable value, especially the ichno- 
logical, 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 characteristic of 
him rather to give it to the college, without imposing 
any other conditions, except such as would make it 
more valuable and useful. 

At the same time Mr. Edward Hitchcock, Jr., pre- 
sented 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 speci- 
mens, 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 a special meeting of the trustees at Amherst, 
November 21, 1853, Professor Aaron Warner resigned 
the professorship of rhetoric and oratory, and Rev. 
Thomas P. Field, then pastor of a Presbyterian church 
in Troy, N. Y., was elected 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 Appleton," rehearsing the donation and 
growth of the zoological collections of Professor 


Adams, describing the history and value of his own 
collection of fossil foot-marks, which he further en- 
forced by the testimonies of Dr. Gould and Professor 
Agassiz, explaining the inconvenience, the utter in- 
adequacy, and also the insecurity of the rooms in 
which these collections were now deposited, and 
modestly inquiring whether the erection of a suitable 
building 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 re- 
cruited 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 nth 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 Hitch- 
cock be accepted, to take effect when a successor can 
be appointed, and that his services be retained in the 
professorship of natural theology and geology." 
At the annual meeting of the board, August 7, 1854, 
Rev. William A. Stearns was chosen president and 
professor of moral philosophy and Christian theo- 
logy. On Tuesday evening, November 21, 1854, 
Dr. Stearns was installed pastor of the college 


church by an ecclesiastical 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 fellow- 
ship was presented by Rev. Mr. Paine of Holden, 
and an address made to the college by Rev. Dr. J. 
S. Clark of Boston. On Wednesday, November 22d, 
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 
dollars to the college from the trustees of the late 
Samuel Appleton, 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 describ- 
ing the rich zoological collections of Professor Adams 
with the testimonies of Professor Agassiz and Dr. 
Gould to their unequalled 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 exposed 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 unaccomplished." 

"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 sub- 


ject to-day. But a kind Providence has ordered 
otherwise. Last evening a letter was received, an- 
nouncing the gratifying intelligence that the trus- 
tees under the will of the late Hon. Samuel Apple- 
ton of Boston had appropriated, only ten days ago, 
ten thousand dollars of the sum left by him for sci- 
entific 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 small- 
est 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 

Dr. Hitchcock's address was followed by a few 
beautiful and appropriate remarks from Col. A. H. 
Bullock of Worcester, communicating the doings of 
the trustees in reference to the aforesaid 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 re- 
cently presented to the college by Rufus Bullock, 
Esq., of Royalston, Mass. After a few minutes' re- 
cess, 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. 1 

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 olive-yards that we planted not. 
It is not difficult to discern the distinctive features 
of this portion of our history. It was in many re- 
spects 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 " Reminiscences" 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 
adhered, and which he earnestly recommended to all 
public institutions, to erect no buildings and make 
no improvements until the funds were actually ob- 

It was the end of general subscriptions to meet 
current expenses. It was the beginning of endow- 
ments by large donations from individuals. 3 It was 
the beginning of grants by the state. It was the age 

1 See Discourses and Addresses at the Installation and In- 
auguration of the Rev. William A. Stearns, D.D., as Presi- 
dent of Amherst College, and Pastor of the College Church. 

2 See pp. 122-24, 138-42. 

3 Mr. Sears' first donation was made before the close of Dr. 
Humphrey's presidency. But it came unsought, and was only 
such an exception as proves the rule. 




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 administration. At the same time and this 
fact deserves the attention of those who may have 
supposed that Dr. Hitchcock was a one-sided presi- 
dent, and gave the institution growth and impulse 
only in one direction it was the period in which 
the library 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 library. 

Last, not least, it inaugurated the reign of compar- 
ative peace. From the commencement of Dr. Hitch- 
cock's presidency, there was less of hostility abroad 
than there had ever been before, and more than for 
many years previous of peace, quietness, content- 
ment, and satisfaction at home. This was partly the 
result of a change of time 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 govern- 
ment 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 dis- 
cipline. And the trustees were unanimously of 
the opinion that, if the administration could be im- 
proved in any particular, it was by greater firmness 
and strictness 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 pur- 
pose of the students, or 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 
reasons 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 family upon students. He did not believe in 
the dormitory system. 1 If he had been called to 
establish a new institution, he would have had no 
dormitories. Having dormitories in Amherst Col- 
lege, he did all he could to counterbalance their evil 
influence. To this end, as well as for the increase of 
personal acquaintance and influence, he introduced 
the custom of inviting the freshmen, soon after enter- 
ing college, to meet the families of the faculty and 
others from the village, at his own house; and al- 
though 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 "freshman levee," 
or in the influence of cultivated Christian families 
in town over college students. In accordance with 
this same general idea, the senior levee, which un- 
der the presidency of Dr. Humphrey was only a col- 

1 Cf. Reminiscences of Amherst College, p. 143. 


lation 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 instruc- 
tion 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 success to their hearty and able co-operation. 
Aaron Warner, Nathan W. Fiske, Ebenezer S. Snell, 
Charles U. Shepard, William S. Tyler, Charles B. 
Adams, Henry B. Smith, William A. Peabody, Joseph 
Haven, George B. Jewett, William S. Clark, and 
Thomas P. Field, make up the entire list of the pro- 
fessors 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 Howland, Henry L. Edwards, Wil- 
liam C. Dickinson, John M. Emerson, Samuel Fiske, 
George Howland, and John E. Sanford with Lyman 
Coleman, Jabez B. Lyman, instructors; William B. 
Calhoun, James L. Merrick, and John A. Nash, 
nominally lecturers or instructors, and Lucius M. 
Boltwood, librarian. 

Three of these professors died, still in office, dur- 
ing the presidency of Dr. Hitchcock. One of them 
was the ripe scholar and veteran professor who, al- 
most at the beginning of that presidency, went up 
from the city where our Lord was crucified to walk 
the streets of the New Jerusalem. Professor Fiske 


was an accurate and refined scholar, a deep thinker 
and clever 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 
reason, the conscience, and the hearts of students in 
Amherst College with such overwhelming power as 
Professor Fiske, especially in times of deep religious 
interest. Another who seemed born for a collector 
and classifier of all facts in natural history, the youth- 
ful Aristotle of our lyceum, went to the West Indies 
partly for his health, but chiefly to enlarge his scien- 
tific collections, and there fell a sacrifice to his zeal 
for science when he had only just commenced his 
career of discovery, though he had already achieved 
more for his favorite studies than many a savant 
accomplishes in a long life. 1 

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 de- 
stroyer. 2 

The value of Dr. Hitchcock's presidency to the 
institution can not be overestimated. His weight of 
character and his wise policy saved the college. Hav- 
ing 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 

1 Prof. C. B. Adams. 

2 Prof. William A. Peabody. 


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 retained the professorship of nat- 
urar 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 presi- 
dential chair, between nine and ten years. For some 
years he lectured on his favorite themes with his 
characteristic ardor bordering on enthusiasm. He 
delivered lectures before lyceums and addresses on 
public occasions. He revised his principal works 
and published new ones. The second edition of his 
"Religion of Geology," considerably enlarged, was 
issued in 1859 ; the thirty-first edition of his " Elemen- 
tary Geology," re-written, appeared in 1860, 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 expres- 
sion 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. 
Physicians 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. Be- 
fore 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 Athe- 


man 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 collections for his cabinets, still caring and 
planning for his beloved college, still toiling to en- 
large 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 phil- 
osophy 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 de- 
pression 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 February, 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 college, 
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 inscrip- 









But his best and most enduring monument is in 
his work in the college which he restored, and in 
the influence which he exerted 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. 








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 preach- 
ers. He was prepared for college at Phillips Academy, 
Andover, and graduated with honor at Cambridge, in 
1827, with such classmates as Professor Pel ton 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, President Labaree, Professor Owen, and 
Professor Park the class of '31. After teaching a 
short time at Duxbury, he was ordained December 
14, 1831, pastor of the church at Cambridgeport, 
where he remained almost twenty-three years, hon- 
ored and beloved by all his people as an able preacher 
and wise pastor, identified with the public schools of 
Cambridge, and greatly interested in Harvard Uni- 
versity, 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's antecedents were from 
those of either of his predecessors, and how these, 
together with the breadth and balance of his char- 
acter and his culture, qualified him to supplement 
and complete their work. 

The inauguration of President Stearns, of which we 
have already given an account, took place on Wednes- 
day, the 22d of November, 1854. After some grace- 
ful allusions to the origin and early history, the 
founders and former presidents of Amherst College, 
of which he expressed the highest appreciation 
though he himself was not an alumnus, and of which 
he asked 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, physi- 
cal, intellectual, moral, and religious, by which that 
end is to be accomplished. We shall see further on 
how no'' a few of the ideas which the president thus 
developed in his inaugural were realized under his 
administration. The key-note of the address is con- 
tained in the concluding sentences: "Young gentle- 
men, your highest attainment is the attainment of 
right relations toward God, and a concordance with the 
other harmonies of the universe. There is one great 
Central Life whose pulsations are beating through all 
created worlds. When in addition to a profound and 
brilliant scholarship, attended with high moral and 
social excellence, and wise physical self-control, yon 
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 man." 

In the evening after the inauguration the students 
expressed their good will to the new president and 
their expectation of a prosperous and happy presi- 
dency by an illumination of the college edifices. 
"Welcome to President Stearns" was blazoned in let- 
ters of brilliant light across the entire front of Middle 
(now North) and South Colleges, and as he stood in 
front of Woods Cabinet, admiring the brilliant specta- 
cle, they gathered spontaneously around him, extem- 
porized an address of welcome through a member of 
the senior class, and drew from him a ready and hearty 

It will be remembered that one pleasant incident 
of the exercises of inauguration day was the an- 
nouncement of a liberal donation from the estate of 
Hon. Samuel Appleton, for the erection of a zoologi- 
cal and ichnological museum. President 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 confidence in the wisdom of 
the new president conspired with admiration for the 
genius and science of his predecessor in securing 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 auspi- 
cious omen for the incoming presidency. Nor did the 
omen prove fallacious. The Appleton gift was only 
the beginning of a succession of donations and be- 
quests, which amount in the aggregate to nearly eight 


hundred thousand dollars, and which mark the presi- 
dency of Dr. Stearns beyond even that of Dr. Hitch- 
cock, as the period of large and liberal foundations. 

Even the Legislature turned a comparatively will- 
ing ear to our petitions, and twice more opened, 
though not very wide and apparently for the last 
time, the treasury of the Commonwealth to supply 
the wants of Amherst College. The aid from the 
state in 1859 was granted the more readily doubt- 
less because other institutions shared in it, and some 
of them more largely than Amherst College. The 
bill which became a law April 2, 1859, provided, 
that after a certain sum had been received into the 
state treasury from the sale of the Back Bay lands in 
Boston, one-half of the proceeds of subsequent sales 
should be added to the Massachusetts school fund, 
and the other half appropriated in certain propor- 
tions, as it accrued, to five institutions of learning in 
the Commonwealth, until the Museum of Compara- 
tive Zoology should have received an amount not ex- 
ceeding one hundred thousand dollars ; Tufts College, 
fifty thousand dollars; and Williams College, Am- 
herst College, and the Wesleyan Academy at Wilbra- 
ham, twenty-five thousand dollars each. No part of 
these appropriations was to be paid, however, until 
satisfactory evidence had been furnished by each in- 
stitution that it had raised an equal sum by subscrip- 
tion, 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 instalment 
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 2yth of April, 1863, after repeated solicita- 
tions by Dr. Hitchcock in person, the Legislature 
made another special grant of two thousand five hun- 
dred dollars to the department of natural history. 
Here ends 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 its donations to Harvard! 

Of all the donations and bequests that have ever 
come to Amherst College those of Dr. W. J. 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 uni- 
versity, Dr. Walker wished and intended to endow 
the medical department of his alma mater. Not 
finding her sufficiently facile and pliant to his wishes, 
he turned his attention to 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 discernment to see the substantial excellence of 
Dr. Walker's ideas, and he had the wisdom to humor 
and guide his plans, instead of opposing or question- 
ing them, and thus to enlist him more and more 
zealously in the service of the college. The result 


was that he 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 in his will a legacy, the 
annual income of which has averaged more than six 
thousand dollars. The condition just alluded to 
seemed at the time not only unfortunate, but imprac- 
ticable 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. Messrs. Samuel Wil- 
liston, Samuel A. Hitchcock, and' James Smith, of 
Philadelphia, gave ten thousand dollars apiece, and 
Messrs. Alpheus Hardy, Henry Edwards, Ebenezer 
Alden, Moses H. 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 insti- 

The presidency of Dr. Stearns is emphatically the 
period of scholarships and prizes. Aside from the 
distribution of the income of the charity fund, 
which really constituted so many ministerial scholar- 
ships and is now actually called by that name, there 
was not a single scholarship in existence at the be- 
ginning of his administration. Eleazar Porter, Esq., 
of Hadley, has the honor of having established the 
first scholarship in Amherst College. This was in 
1857. Before the close of the administration there 
were more than fifty scholarships over and above 


those from the charity fund in the gift of the college, 
varying in annual income from forty to three hun- 
dred dollars each, and distributing each year over 
four thousand dollars among the students. 

The only prizes that existed prior to the adminis- 
tration of President Stearns were those for elocution, 
and these had usually been merely nominal, and 
were paid out of the college treasury. The first reg- 
ular prizes given by an individual for successive years 
were given by J. H. Sweetser, Esq., a former resi- 
dent of Amherst then residing in New York city. 
These were given under the presidency of Dr. Hitch- 
cock. In 1857 Hon. Alpheus Hardy of Boston estab- 
lished the Hardy prizes for improvement in extem- 
poraneous speaking; and now we have some two 
thousand dollars distributed every year as prizes for 
excellence in nearly all of the several departments. 

Of the twelve college edifices that stood on College 
Hill at the time of his death, six were added during 
the presidency of Dr. Stearns. And the style and 
character of these, as compared with the earlier 
buildings, is more remarkable than their number. 
The last three were built of stone, the Pelham or 
Monson granite, 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. The new college 
church alone cost as much as the whole five edifices 
that came 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 an exaggeration to say that 
President Stearns found the college brick, and left 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. Edward Hitchcock, Mr. Samuel Williston, 
and Prof. William S. Clark, and Mr. H. A. 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 com- 
mittee acceded to his views and wishes, and at first 
located it there, but their opinion was overruled by 
that of the Prudential Committee, on the ground 
that the appearance would be unsightly. Mr. Luke 
Sweetser, who for many years has been a resident 
member of the prudential committee, remonstrated 
with special earnestness against that location, and, in 
order to remove the chief argument in its favor, vol- 
unteered to put up a lecture-room as an appendage 
to the Woods Cabinet, if it could be done for a thou- 
sand dollars. This view prevailed, and the Appleton 
Cabinet was placed on the south wing of the dormi- 
tories, thus taking the place of a new South College, 
which had long been contemplated to balance the old 
North College, then on the site of Williston Hall, 
and the geological lecture-room was at the same time 
attached to the Woods Cabinet. Mr. Sweetser de- 
clined having his name affixed to it. 

In 1857 the Woods Cabinet received another ap- 
pendage 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 baptized 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." 1 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. Their money value is at 
least as many thousands, and their value to the col- 
lege as educators and as memorials is beyond calcu- 
lation. The sculptured slabs, six in number, some 
of which now adorn the entrance to the college 
library, came from the palace of Sardanapalus ; the 
seals, cylinders, and bricks from Nineveh and Baby- 
lon ; the coins of gold, silver, and copper, a thousand 
in number, mostly ancient, and commencing with 
those of Alexander the Great, were all procured and 
sent at great labor and expense by Dr. Henry Lob- 
dell, missionary to Assyria, of the class of '49, who, 
in December, 1854, made his sixth visit to Nimroud 
in order to dispatch the sculptures, 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. Lob- 
dell to send the specimens, raised the money to pay 
all the expenses, superintended the whole business, 
and in short manifested scarcely less interest in these 
footprints of former generations of men, than in the 
ichnolites of the pre-Adamic earth in his own cabinet. 

1 "Reminiscences of Amherst 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 northwest 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 toward saving the other 
buildings. Had the wind been in the north or north- 
east, this would have been impossible. Being in the 
northwest the flames and burning fragments 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, 
South College, and the newly-erected Appleton Cab- 
inet would all have been swept away by the con- 
flagration. By midnight or a little later, North Col- 
lege 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 noth- 
ing of the calamity till, early the next morning, he 
was summoned to a faculty meeting called for con- 
sultation in the emergency. When he arrived on the 
ground, nothing remained but the blackened brick 
walls enclosing a heap of smoking ruins. 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 appeal of the faculty in 
behalf of the students, some of whom had lost every- 
thing 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, vol- 
unteered 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 trustees would engage, with the 
insurance and additional subscriptions, to replace 
the lost dormitory on another site. This condition, 
which, like Dr. Walker's in regard to Walker Hall, 
was, of course, intended only to double the benefac- 
tion, was accepted by the trustees, and the new build- 
ings 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 Professor Clark and Mr. Luke Sweetser being 
associated with the former as building committee 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 represented 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 i9th 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. President Stearns, on 
the part of the trustees, made a suitable response. 
Prayer was offered by Rev. Dr. Vaill, and Rev. 
Henry Ward Beecher delivered an address, in which, 
as fitly as eloquently, he discoursed on institutions 
as a means of perpetuating influence. 

The next building was the gymnasium, now aban- 
doned for a more modern building. This was com- 
menced in the autumn of 1859, and completed in the 
summer of 1860. Hon. J. B. Woods, Prof. W. S. 
Clark, Hon. Samuel 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." 2 The building was planned by the 
same architect as Williston Hall and East College, 
Mr. Charles E. Parkes of Boston. President Hitch- 
cock says: "It is massive in appearance, without 

1 Address of Welcome. 

2 Dr. Hitchcock's "Reminiscences." The trustees had al- 
ready borrowed five thousand dollars to supplement the sub- 
scriptions for East College. 


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 col- 
lege 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, 1 instead of brick, in which their 
example has been followed in 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 contrib- 
uted liberally toward its erection. Dr. Barrett after- 
ward put in at his own expense a gallery at the west 
end, for the convenience of spectators, and contrib- 
uted more or less each year while he lived, for re- 
pairing the building, improving the apparatus, 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 ex- 
pended for similar purposes. 

The principal of the Walker building fund, one 
hundred thousand dollars, was filled up in 1864, and 
at a special meeting of the trustees in November, 
1866, they appointed a building committee of their 
own number. This committee consisted of Presi- 
dent Stearns, Hon. Samuel Williston, Hon. Alpheus 
Hardy, Hon. Edward B. Gillett, and Samuel Bowles, 
Esq. 8 The corner-stone of the building was laid on 

1 The same that was used in the library building, viz. , the 
Pelham gneiss or granite. 

2 A committee, consisting of the president, Professor Snell, 
Professor Seelye, Hon. S. Williston, and Hon. A. Hardy, was 



the loth of June, 1868; and it was not till the 2oth 
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 conde- 
batur. 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 astron- 
omy, the recitations, lectures, and apparatus of the 
professor of natural philosophy, the Shepard Cabinet 
of Mineralogy, and rooms for the trustees, the presi- 
dent, and the treasurer, were all to be brought be- 
neath one roof, and what seemed for a time quite im- 
practicable, nearly all these rooms must needs be, 
where all the living rooms of a house in this climate 
ought to be, on the south side. When these conflict- 
ing interests were all reconciled there still remained 
the scarcely less difficult question of a convenient 
and beautiful location. The college campus, though 
sightly, is far from being " siteful ;" and a site satis- 
factory to all concerned, and suitable for such a 
building, was found at length only by the purchase 
and annexation of three or four additional acres on 
the north side. 

appointed at a special meeting of the board in Boston, in 
January, 1863, to procure plans and estimates. But a build- 
ing that should cost only forty thousand dollars was then con- 
templated. The plan was afterward enlarged to meet the 
enlarging views and the increasing liberality of Dr. Walker. 


Several architects and landscape-gardeners were 
consulted in the settlement of these vexed questions. 
More than one architect also presented plans for the 
building. The plan which best satisfied the parties 
chiefly concerned, and indeed the only plan 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 architect 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 William A. Dickinson, Esq., of Amherst. The 
laying of the corner-stone with due form and cere- 
mony took place 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 respect- 
ing the character and design of the building, to- 
gether with notices of Dr. Walker and the principal 
donors. After a few extemporaneous remarks by 
Hori. Alpheus Hardy and Professor Snell, the exer- 
cises were concluded by singing the doxology and 
the pronouncing of the benediction. 

After an interval of two years and four months, 
on the 2oth of October, 1870, the formal opening of 
Walker Hall took place. The order of exercises was 
as follows: In College Hall Music by the orches- 


tra; Introductory prayer by Rev. Mr. Dwight of 
Hadley; Address by President Stearns; Commence- 
ment hymn, "Let children hear the mighty deeds." 
In Walker Hall Music by the band ; Statement by 
W. A. Dickinson, Esq. ; Prayer by Rev. Dr. Paine 
of Holden ; Statement by Professor Snell ; Speeches 
by members of the board of trustees and by gentle- 
men from abroad; "Old Hundred," by the audience. 

The opening of Walker Hall removed the last ves- 
tige 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 don at; on of thirty thousand dollars 
for the college church was made in 1864. Seven or 
eight years elapsed before the edifice was finished. 
The delay was 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, and opinions differed widely on the sub- 
ject. The unanimous verdict of the most distin- 
guished architects decided the question in favor of 
the present site, just in the rear of East College, but 
necessitating at some time the removal of that build- 
ing. "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 singu- 
lar movement, to pass over, as we have done, into 
what was regarded heretofore 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 Sab- 
bath 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 obtained, 
and reasons set forth, and the final question was put 
to that gentleman, Shall we plan the building for 
present convenience 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, con- 
sisted of President Stearns, William F. Stearns, Esq., 
Messrs. Williston, Hardy, and Gillett, and Mr. W. 
A. Dickinson. William A. Potter, Esq., of New 
York, was the architect. The church was erected 
under the personal oversight and direct superintend- 
ence 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 per- 

The corner-stone was laid on the 22d of September, 
1870, with the following order of exercises: Prelim- 
inary Statement by the President; Introductory 
prayer by Prof. W. S. Tyler ; Address by Rev. Chris- 
topher Gushing, of Boston ; Placing of the stone by 
the senior class (Class of '71); Hymn, "Christ is 
our Corner-Stone ;" Prayer by Rev. J. L. Jenkins, 
of Amherst ; Doxology ; Benediction. 

The following passages from the president's pre- 
liminary statement should be put on record as show- 
ing 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 col- 
lege, 'the highest education and all for Christ,' is to 
be, when completed and dedicated, the college 
church. In pursuing this principle which has al- 
ways actuated some of us, a desire has long existed, 
since we have public worship together, to hold the 
religious services of the Sabbath, as other churches 
do, in a retired, consecrated 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 enjoyment of sacred silence to confer with 

" 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 gratefully accepted by them. 
i. The church is to be used by the college for strictly 


religious observances, especially for Christian wor- 
ship and preaching, and for no other purpose. 2. 
The preacher shall always profess his full and ear- 
nest belief in the religion of the Old and New Testa- 
ments as a supernatural revelation from God, and in 
Jesus Christ as the divine and only Saviour, 'who 
was crucified for our sins and raised again for our 
justification/ and generally for substance of doctrine 
in the evangelical system or gospel of Christ as un- 
derstood by the projectors and founders of the col- 
lege. 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." 

The college church, not less than Walker Hall, 
embodies an idea and a department. A new depart- 
ment, as we shall see further on, was founded the 
same year in which funds were set apart tor building 
the church. The college church represents this de- 
partment, gives it as it were a body and a form, and 
expresses the idea, not only of a place set apart ex- 
pressly 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 im- 
portance of the religion of Christ in college education. 

After the close of the war, several unsuccessful ef- 
forts 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 professorship 
of history, a monument on the grounds, a monumen- 
tal group of statues and tablets within doors, all 
these were contemplated, 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 unexpected and 
most satisfactory solution in connection with the col- 
lege church. A chime of bells of unsurpassed excel- 
lence, placed in the tower by George Howe, Esq., of 
Boston, whose own son, a graduate of Amherst, fell 
a sacrifice to the war, answers the double purpose, 
to use the language of President Stearns, of " throw- 
ing out upon the breezes the sweet invitation of 
Christian psalmody to worship on the Lord's day, 
and of commemorating in patriotic and soothing 
melodies, on appropriate occasions, the nobleness of 
our sons and brothers who honored the college, while 
they shed their blood for Christ and dear native 

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 thor- 
ough repairs were absolutely necessary. These re- 
pairs were made gradually, under the superintend- 
ence 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 
recitation rooms, beginning with the Greek room, 
and extending 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 longer of 
rudeness and slovenliness, but of order, truth, and 
beauty. While the chapel proper was undergoing 
repairs, the present Art room, in Williston Hall, 
served as our place of worship. 

When the village church had completed their new 
and costly church edifice on Main Street in 1867, the 
trustees purchased the old edifice in which they al- 
ready owned a share, in consideration of its annual 
use for commencements, thoroughly remodelled and 
repaired it externally and internally, thus divesting 
it in a great measure of its " astonishing" ugliness, 
and so acquired College Hall, one of the most con- 
venient and useful buildings on the college grounds. 

While the college had thus been erecting or acquir- 
ing these convenient and beautiful buildings, a cor- 
responding improvement had been going vnparipassu 
in the college grounds. Mr. Williston, Dr. Barrett, 
Mr. Hayden, and others made donations for this pur- 
pose. Appropriations were voted from time to time 
from the college treasury. Early under the presi- 
dency of Dr. Stearns, the ground south of the grove 
was carefully prepared for cricket and base-ball. 
The annexation of a part of the Boltwood farm, and 
the grading about Walker Hall and the college 


church, involved great changes in the college grounds 
and became the occasion of the greatest improve- 
ment 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, between 
Pratt and Blake fields, and near which the students 
for a time had a 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 pre- 
serve, 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 anywhere else in 
western Massachusetts. 

If now we turn our attention to the departments of 
instruction, we shall find that they kept even pace 
with these improvements in the buildings and 
grounds. During the presidency of Dr. Stearns, three 
new departments were established, represented sev- 
erally by the three then most recent buildings, viz. : 
the department of hygiene and physical education, 
by the Barrett 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 in- 


sisting on the natural connection between bodily dis- 
arrangement on the one hand and intellectual infe- 
riority as well as moral perversity on the other, and 
contrasting the perfection of physical form, health, 
and strength developed by the palastra and the gym- 
nasium in ancient systems of educationjtvith the par- 
tial 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 lead- 
ing business of college life, though were I able, like 
Alfred or Charlemagne, to plan an educational sys- 
tem anew, I would seriously consider the expediency 
of introducing regular drills in gymnastic and calis- 
thenic exercises." The idea, thus early conceived 
and expressed, grew in the president's mind with 
every year's experience, till it became a new de- 
partment. In each successive annual report to the 
trustees he called their attention with increasing 
earnestness to the failing health and waning strength 
and in some instances the premature death of stu- 
dents, especially in the spring of the year, as in his 
opinion wholly unnecessary. 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 ob- 
servation and experience, that not only would lives 
and health be preserved, but animation and cheerful- 
ness, and a higher order of efficient study and intel- 
lectual life would be secured. It will be for the con- 
sideration of this board, whether, for the encourage- 
ment of this sort of exercise, the time has not come 
when efficient measures should be taken for the erec- 


tion of a gymnasium, and the procuring of its proper 
appointments." The trustees accordingly chose a 
committee, consisting of the president, Dr. Nathan 
Allen, Henry Edwards, Esq., and Hon. Alexander 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, 1860, voted to establish a department of 
physical culture in the college, and elected John W. 
Hooker, M.D., of New Haven, Conn., the first pro- 
fessor in the department. Dr. Hooker was an excel- 
lent 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 connec- 
tion with the college ceased after a few months. 
During the interregnum in the spring of 1861, taking 
advantage of the excitement which preceded the war, 
Col. Luke Lyman of Northampton was employed to 
give instruction and training to students in military 
tactics and exercises. 

At the annual meeting of the trustees, in August, 
1 86 1, Dr. Edward Hitchcock, Jr., a graduate of the 
college, and of the Medical School of Harvard Uni- 
versity, 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 cooperation 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 characteristic 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 educated 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 educa- 
tion. In the second place, unless excused by the 
professor for special reasons, every student is re- 
quired 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 recita- 
tions and lectures in any other department. One 
other characteristic has contributed largely to the 
popularity and success of Dr. Hitchcock's manage- 
ment of gymnastic exercises. He knows how to in- 
termingle recreation 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. 

The attractiveness of the exercises in the gymna- 
sium to the public was and still is seen in the num- 
ber of visitors. "From September, 1866, to the 
close of the college year in July, 1867, there were 
present at these exercises five thousand nine hun- 
dred 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 aver- 
age number of visitors present at each exercise was 
over ten for both years." l In his report for 1869-70, 
the professor reckons the yearly average of visitors 
as four thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven. 
It is probable that the number is still larger now. 
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 Professor Hitchcock, testifies 
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 sani- 
tary condition and in their vital statistics, besides 
many incidental advantages, such as elevating the 
standard of scholarship, preventing vicious and 
irregular habits, and aiding the government and dis- 
cipline of the institution. 

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 
defines his views and wishes, and which constitute 
the statutes of the foundation, are spread out at 

1 See "Physical Culture in Amherst College," a pamphlet by 
Dr. Nathan Allen, published at the request of the trustees, 


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 
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 trigo- 

In accordance with these views, William C. Esty, 
of the class of '60, was chosen instructor in 1862, 
and in 1863 professor of mathematics and astron- 
omy. His trial for the professorship was the calcu- 
lation 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 Professor Pierce, of Harvard College, by whom 
also the subject had been assigned or rather sug- 
gested for the choice of Mr. Esty. 

The Walker instructorship was founded in 1863. 
It provides for the appointment by the trustees of 
some recent graduate of superior scholarship 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: i. Small divisions, each consist- 
ing of not more than ten or twelve students; 2. No 
instructor to be employed longer than three years, 
but another to be chosen to take his place from those 
graduates who have availed themselves of the bene- 
fits of this provision and are esteemed by the trus- 
tees of the college as most deserving. 

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 trus- 
tees, in a letter to the president, the sum of twenty 
thousand dollars as a foundation for a professorship 
of the pastoral care. The same gentleman had pre- 
viously had some correspondence with Dr. Hitch- 
cock as well as with Dr. Stearns on the same subject. 
At their annual meeting in July, 1864, the trustees 
gratefully accepted the foundation 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 History 
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 col- 
lege, 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 profes- 
sors as shall help to secure the wisest and most pow- 
erful Christian influence upon the whole institution ; 
to organize and conduct, or superintend the conduct- 
ing of, Bible classes; to seek out young men as they 
come to college, and exert a personal religious influ- 
ence of Christian friendship upon them ; and to give 


such instruction in Biblical history and interpreta- 
tion as the trustees may direct. 

During his life, the founder of this professorship 
was not willing to have his name mentioned. But 
since his decease there is no objection to the an- 
nouncement 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, Boston, 
and afterwards one of the honored secretaries 
of the American Board of Commissioners for 
Foreign Missions. 

While jiew departments of instruction were thus 
springing up in the college, the old departments 
were not stationary. All the branches of the physi- 
cal sciences were not only supported now on the 
Walker foundations, but derived fresh life and 
strength from the new and rich soil into which they 
were transplanted. 

In 1869, the trustees voted that Professor Snell 
have liberty to draw on the Walker Legacy Fund for 
an amount not exceeding three thousand dollars, to 
be expended within two years for the purchase of 
apparatus. Thus after many long years of hope 
deferred and personal toil and skill to make appar- 
atus out of nothing, and with no place to put it in 
when it was made, he enjoyed the satisfaction, not 
only of having a beautiful and convenient room with 
suitable shelves and cases for the deposit of the old 
apparatus, -but also of seeing new and choice instru- 
ments, works of art as well as illustrations of sci- 



ence, frequently arriving wherewith to exhibit his 
new and beautiful experiments. 

The department of chemistry, like the department 
of mathematics and physics, 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 labor- 
atories 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 demands of Professor Clark, 
young, ambitious, and fresh from the laboratories of 
Europe. Provided with an excellent working as 
well as lecturing laboratory, conducted by scientific 
and enthusiastic professors, with the cooperation 
sometimes of able assistants and the constant sym- 
pathy of an appreciating and progressive president, 
this department expanded with its accommodations 
and appliances, was allowed more time and oppor- 
tunity under the presidency of Dr. Stearns than was 
afforded it even under his scientific predecessor, 
gave increasing attention to analytic and organic 
chemistry and work in the laboratory, and, in short, 
endeavored not without success to keep pace with 
the rapid progress of chemistry and the kindred sci- 
ences. From 1854 to 1856 Professor Clark was 
aided in analytic and applied chemistry by the rare 
talents, taste, and science of Dr. John W. Mallet, a 
graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, and of the Uni- 
versity of Gottingen. Dr. Newton S. Manross, 
another of Mr. Clark's fellow-students in Professor 
Wohler's laboratory at Gottingen and a doctor of 
philosophy of that university, gave excellent instruc- 


tion here in this and the related sciences in 1861-62, 
the first year in which Professor Clark was absent as 
an officer in the War of the Rebellion, and, following 
his beloved professor to the war, lost his life in the 
battle at Antietam. In 1867 Professor Clark re- 
signed his professorship in order to accept the presi- 
dency 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 suc- 
cess, 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 Professor Harris was 
authorized, with the advice and approbation of the 
prudential committee, to expend a sum not exceed- 
ing fifteen hundred dollars in refitting and refur- 
nishing the laboratory. And thereafter not only 
whole classes were faithfully instructed in the gen- 
eral principles of the science by his able lectures, 
but under his inspiring guidance the laboratory 
proper has been filled to its utmost capacity with 
enthusiastic elective students engaged in analytic 

Botany has continued to be taught, as in former 
years, by the professor of chemistry. Indeed Pro- 
fessor Clark bore the title of " Professor of Chemis- 
try, Botany, and Zoology" from 1854 till 1858. In 
1858, Professor Tuckerman was appointed professor 
of botany. Only a few classes, however, enjoyed his 
instructions in this science, in consequence of an in- 
creasing difficulty of hearing, which rendered it in- 
convenient and disagreeable for him to teach classes. 


For the same reason, however, he only devoted him- 
self with less interruption and more enthusiasm to 
one branch of botanical science, viz., the lichens, in 
which he long reigned almost sole monarch among 
American savants and published to the world the 
results of his long and patient microscopic studies of 
specimens which he gathered in person or by proxy 
from all the mountains and glens of the western con- 
tinent. "Tuckerman Glen" in the White Mountains 
was discovered by him in these explorations, and 
will be a lasting monument of his devotion to this 

On retiring from the presidency, Dr. Hitchcock 
expressed to the trustees his willingness to retain 
the professorship of natural 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; 
and 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 Professor Hitchcock 
returned with the freshness of a first love to his 
lectures and recitations, to geological excursions, ex- 
plorations, and naming of mountains, to the collec- 
tion and classification of specimens and the devel- 
opment and perfection especially of his favorite 
branches, ichnology and natural 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 batrachians 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 animals, and stuffed or preserved speci- 
mens 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. Hitch- 
cock's health declined, an addition was made to his 
salary that he might employ such assistance 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. 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 geology, 
and at a meeting of the trustees in Boston, Febru- 
ary 7, 1872, the title of the Hitchcock Professorship 
was changed from that of Geology and Natural The- 
ology to that of Geology and Zoology; and Benja- 
min K. Emerson was elected to the professorship. 
Meanwhile natural theology was provided for by 
ample instructions from the president and the pro- 
fessor of mental and moral philosoph) r , as well as by 
the able and popular lectures of Dr. Burr on this 
special subject. 

Mathematics and the ancient languages have both 


been compelled to yield, these last few years, to the 
demands of the age and give tip some of the time 
which they formerly occupied to the physical sci- 
ences and the modern languages. Yet there never 
has been a time when the major part of each succes- 
sive class has been more enthusiastic and successful 
as students of the classics, nor when we have been 
able to make a few so good classical scholars. While 
insisting as strenuously as ever on a thorough drill 
and mastery of the grammar and lexicography of the 
languages by the freshmen, we have been able, with 
the admirable 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 history and 
philosophy and as a means of higher culture in what 
are justly called "the humanities/' 

Two changes have been introduced which affect 
especially this department, and which, without ques- 
tion, 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, engrav- 
ings, casts, models of ancient edifices, copies of an- 
cient 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 vivid- 
ness which specimens and experiments give to the 
physical sciences, and will help students to repro- 
duce men and things as they were in olden times. 
The other sign and means of progress is a higher 
grade of instruction in the lower classes secured by 


more permanence and more division of labor among 
the instructors of those classes. Formerly in this as 
in other colleges, the two lower classes were taught 
almost entirely by tutors. For many years now the 
instruction in Greek and Latin has all been given by 

Subject to change as other departments, the de- 
partment of rhetoric had three different incumbents 
during the presidency of Dr. Stearns. Rev. Thomas 
P. Field, of the class of '34, was 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 Presi- 
dent Stearns, and in the spring of 1856 he resigned 
the professorship, having held it only a little over 
two years. 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 English literature. 

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 accepted 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 pre- 
ceded him except Professor Worcester and Professor 
Warner Professor Vose grew every year in the re- 
spect and affection of the students, endeared himself 


greatly to his colleagues in the faculty, and was im- 
pressing himself 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 seeing 
his influence in the choice of subjects and the ex- 
pression of the titles of the pieces while he occupied 
this important chair. Ordained as an evangelist not 
long after he became professor, 1 by a council con- 
vened by invitation of the college church, he 
preached with increasing frequency and interest in 
other churches, and feeling more and more the infe- 
licities of college life and the attractions of the min- 
istry 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 
influence in the churches prove him to be in the true 
apostolical succession. 

At the same special meeting in Boston, March 8, 
1865, at which they accepted the resignation of Pro- 
fessor 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 literature who, although he came with the 
avowed expectation of staying only a few years and 
then resuming the ministry, proved himself more 
and more the right man in the right place, until in 
1873, he accepted a place for which he was perhaps 

1 He was ordained in 1857. He had previously preached 
only as a licentiate. 


still better adapted, the presidency of Smith College 
in Northampton. 

With the trifling exception of a choice between 
French and German in the third term of sophomore 
year, there were no optional 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 departments" took the place of reviews pre- 
paratory to that examination in the third term of 
senior year. Since that time they have been intro- 
duced gradually into the studies of the junior year. 
They are still confined for the most part to the last 
two years of the course. There is no disposition 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. 

Conservative and at the same time progressive in 
his ideas of the college curriculum, President Stearns 
presided in the Board of Trustees and the faculty 
and administered 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 might be around him, 
yet alive to every breath of feeling, impulse, or as- 
piration in young men, ruling in the hearts of all 
connected with the college, and guiding its affairs 
with a wisdom that seldom erred, and a patience and 
faith that never failed. 

As "Professor of Moral and Christian Science," 


President Stearns, during the greater part of his 
presidency, taught the senior class Butler's Anal- 
ogy, and lectured on the Hebrew theocracy and its 
records, with particular reference to the arguments 
and objections of modern skeptics. Having become 
professor also of Biblical history and interpretation, 
he adopted a more modern text-book, and by way of 
supplementing its defects and imperfections, ex- 
tended the range of his oral and written lectures. 
For a few years, he also instructed the seniors in 
constitutional law. With this exception, his teach- 
ing was 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 Presi- 
dent Humphrey, or any of the earlier presidents of 
New England colleges. But we have only to look 
at the other work which he did in raising funds and 
erecting buildings, in administering the discipline, 
and looking after the necessities of poor students, 
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 undesirable fact, 
but a necessity for it. And in the success and per- 
fection, with which all this work was 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) was 
administered ; in the steadily increasing number of 
students (since the war) till it had reached at the 


semi-centennial a larger aggregate than at any for- 
mer 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 ad- 

On Thursday, June 8, 1876, Dr. Stearns died, still 
in office (the only president of Amherst College that 
has died in office except the first), having held the 
office a greater number of years than any other ex- 
cept the second, who was president about the same 
length of time. 1 The closing scenes of his life are 
narrated in the following extracts from the com- 
memorative discourse by the author of this history. 
The last year was doubtless the most fruitful year 
of his long and useful life. The last spring term 
saw his prayers answered and his labors blessed in 
what he considered, and we also felt, to be the great- 
est and best of all the revivals that had crowned his 
college work, if not the greatest and best in the whole 
history of the college. The last Sunday that he 
officiated and at the last sacrament which he admin- 
istered, he received to the communion the largest 
number of young men that he had ever admitted at 
one time to the college church, the richest harvest 
of new-born souls that he had gathered into the 
garner of the Lord. The last time that he met the 
students was at morning prayers where he had so 
often interceded for them with their Heavenly 
Father, like Abraham, the friend of God, like Is- 
rael, the prince of God, and in much of the spirit as 

1 Dr. Moore was president a little over two years ; Dr. Hum- 
phrey, twenty-two; Dr. Hitchcock, nine; Dr. Stearns, twenty- 
two; Dr. Seelye, fourteen. 


well as in the name and for the sake of the Son of 
God Himself. This time, however, as he rose to 
offer prayer he grew faint and fell into the arms of 
his colleagues, but soon recovering, he walked to 
his home, supported on either side by some of the 
students. His family felt no immediate alarm. 
His friends who called in the course of the day saw 
no signs of speedy death. He kept about the house 
through the day, suffering some pretty sharp pains 
at times in his back and shoulders, but talking with 
his usual cheerfulness and playfulness, listening to 
the reading of a book, reading himself in the news- 
paper, and apparently apprehending no immediate 
danger. He was walking about the room five min- 
utes before his death ; he had just taken up a news- 
paper when suddenly he laid it down, remarking that 
he felt a strange sinking, dropped upon the sofa, 
and before the family could gather about him, he 
was gone. He had lived so near the heavenly gates 
it is no wonder that at a single step he entered and 
was with the shining ones. It was an ideal death to 
crown an almost ideal life. All who knew him 
could but exclaim, "Let me die the death of the 
righteous, and let my last end be like his." He 
himself had often expressed a wish, if agreeable to 
the will of God, thus to die. It was not a death, it 
was only a departure from the line of battle to the 
trophy, from the contest to the crown. Nay, call 
it rather a translation. He walked with God and 
was not, for God took him. Nothing else was 
wanted to round out to the full so beautiful, useful, 
honored, and happy a life. True, he had other 
thoughts and plans. He had written his resignation 


of the presidency it was to be contemporaneous 
with the graduation of his youngest son and he was 
to retain for the present the pastorate and the Sam- 
uel Green professorship of Biblical interpretation. 
But he had lived more than his three-score years 
and ten and filled them full with sound and heroic 
service, and the Master gave him a full and free dis- 
charge, bidding him rest from his labors and enter 
at once upon his honors and rewards, saying with 
almost audible voice: 

"Servant of God, well done ! 

Rest from thy loved employ ; 
The battle fought, the victory won, 
Enter thy Master's joy." 

On Tuesday of the next week the funeral service 
was held in the College Church. Only one week 
from the next Sabbath was the beginning of Com- 
mencement week. With characteristic promptness 
and yet may we not believe by a special provi- 
dence? he had finished the preparation of his bacca- 
laureate sermon on his birthday, the lyth of March, 
and presented it to Mrs. Stearns as a surprise gift 
and birthday present. At the request of the faculty 
and family this was read by President Seelye of 
Smith College. The text was in Deut. xxviii. i, 
15. It was a centennial discourse (1876) and a 
strong appeal addressed to the reason, the con- 
sciences, and the hearts of the young men, espe- 
cially the graduating class, and urging them with 
more than usual fervor and power to the faithful 
discharge of their civil, social, and political, as well 
as religious, duties. Eloquent and impressive in 
itself, under these circumstances it was a voice from 


the grave and the spirit world, nay, a voice from 
heaven and God, which those who heard it, and es- 
pecially the members of the graduating class, will 
never forget. The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper 
in the afternoon of the same day, when the graduat- 
ing class commune with their pastor, with each 
other, and with their Christian brothers for the last 
time, was a season of rare sacredness and solemnity 
and made still more interesting by the admission to 
the church of converts of the recent revival. Com- 
mencement week seemed more like a prolonged fu- 
neral than like the usual festival. The president's 
chair stood vacant and wreathed in mourning; a 
dirge introduced the exercises, and oh, how we 
missed his voice in the opening and closing prayers, 
his presence in all the exercises! The richest 
legacy which he has left to his family, the college, 
and the community, is his character and life a char- 
acter which was confessed by all who knew him to 
be a more convincing argument for Christianity than 
whole volumes of " evidences," a life which was felt 
by all who saw it to be more winning and persua- 
sive than the most eloquent sermon, and a mem- 
ory at once more precious and more imperishable 
than foundations or buildings of marble and granite. 
Amherst College will be rich and sure to accomplish 
its mission so long as men like President Stearns 
and Professor Snell continue to be its presidents and 
professors, and so long as trustees, faculty, and stu- 
dents cherish their memory and feel, as they cannot 
but feel, their hallowed influence. 



Two events of peculiar interest and importance, 
for which we have found no place in the foregoing 
pages, belong to the history of President Stearns 's 
administration, namely, the Civil War and the Semi- 
centennial Celebration. To these we must now de- 
vote a short chapter before proceeding to the subse- 
quent history. 

No class of men, as statistics prove, contributed to 
the grand army which saved the Union and the na- 
tion in the Civil War in so large proportion to their 
numbers, and none contributed an element of such 
military value and moral power, as the graduates 
and under-graduates of our colleges. Several of 
the colleges in the Middle and Western States were 
closed for a longer or shorter period during the war; 
and the Eastern colleges felt scarcely less the deple- 
tion of their numbers and the diminution of their 
strength. It is sufficient honor for Amherst not to 
have fallen behind her sisters in devotion to the 
cause it is her pride and glory to have borne her 
full share in the burdens and sacrifices, if not in the 
honors and rewards, of this patriotic and heroic ser- 



At the first outbreak of hostilities, before the war 
had actually commenced, with the ardor characteris- 
tic of youth and college life, the under-graduates of 
Amherst volunteered their services and offered a 
company to the governor. On that dark and porten- 
tous Sunday in April, 1861, which followed the fall 
of Fort Sumter, and the attack of the mob upon the 
Massachusetts regiments passing through Baltimore 
on their way to Washington, when other troops from 
Massachusetts and New York, forbidden to pass by 
that thoroughfare, were making their way slowly by 
way of Annapolis, and when it was feared that the 
rebels might already have seized upon the capital, 
the writer of this history preached in the College 
Chapel on themes suited to the circumstances, and 
in a strain intended to inspire courage, heroism, and 
self-sacrificing devotion. And while the professor 
was preaching, or at least as soon as he had done, 
the students were already practising what he 
preached. They drew up a form of enlistment which 
some fifty or sixty of them subscribed, and in which 
they offered themselves to the military service of the 
country in this emergency, deeming it a Christian 
duty not unbecoming the Lord's day to enlist in 
such a war, and adopting as their own the sentiment 
which they so much admired in their ancient clas- 
sics: Duke et decorum est pro f atria mori. The presi- 
dent's son was the first to put his name to this paper; 
a son of one of the professors was the next to enter 
the lists. The governor declined to accept the prof- 
fered service, at the same time intimating that the 
day might come when duty would call them to the 
sacrifice. The immediate peril soon passed by, and 


a general military drill tinder a competent military 
officer ' took the place of the proposed company of 
volunteers. But both the young men specially 
alluded to above afterwards enlisted, and one of 
them was among the earliest sacrifices which our 
college offered on the altar of the country. Many 
of the other volunteers, I know not just how many, 
found their way into the army, some before and 
some after their graduation. Seventy-eight names 
are recorded on the roll of under-graduates who 
served in the army or navy of the United States in 
the course of the war. Our classes, which had been 
steadily increasing in numbers for several years, 
were now so reduced that some of them seemed al- 
most like the thinned ranks of an army after a battle. 
One of the professors set the example of volunteering 
early in the war, and it was followed by one other 
officer of the college and by many of the students. 
Prof. William S. Clark, commissioned as major of 
the Twenty-first Regiment of Massachusetts Volun- 
teers, August 21, 1 86 1, and promoted rapidly to the 
rank of lieutenant-colonel and colonel, fought in most 
of the principal battles of the first two years of the 
war till his regiment was reduced to the merest skele- 
ton. His friend, Dr. N. S. Manross, who for one 
year filled the vacancy in the faculty occasioned by 
his absence, at the end of the year followed him to the 
war, and at the very opening of his first battle, the 
battle of Antietam, he fell as he was leading on his 
company to the conflict. Thus two of the officers of 
college went directly from the chair of the professor 

'Col. Luke Lyman, of Northampton, afterwards colonel 
of the Twenty-seventh Regiment. 



to the tent and the field of battle. Two other mem- 
bers of the faculty were represented in the army by 
sons who were also sons of the college. Three sons 
of the lamented Professor Adams enlisted, two of 
whom early lost their lives in the service. Add to 
these connecting links the almost four-score students 
who left their classes, most of them for the purpose 
of entering the army, and many more who engaged 
in the service immediately after their graduation, 
and it will be readily seen how many bonds of sym- 
pathy and interest were thus established between the 
college and the camps and battle-fields during the 
war. Every mail was expected with anxious inter- 
est. The newspapers were watched, especially after 
every battle, and the lists of the killed and wounded 
were examined with trembling solicitude. In some 
instances false alarms were thus communicated, occa- 
sioning much distress or anxiety at the time, but 
followed by speedy relief, and attended perhaps with 
not a little amusement. Colonel Clark was reported 
first as captured and then as killed in the battle of 
Chantilly. A telegraphic dispatch was even sent to 
the army giving directions for sending on his body. 
But the colonel soon answered it himself, saying that 
he still had need of it for his own use, and a few 
days later he presented himself in person at the door 
of one of the professors with whom Mrs. Clark was 
passing a few days, and ringing the bell, inquired if 
the Widow Clark was there ! l 

1 Colonel Clark denied having returned this answer, I be- 
lieve. But he would have been very likely to return such an 
answer ; if not true to the letter, it bears internal evidence of 


Sometimes the sad intelligence, conveyed by 
newspaper, letter, or telegraph conveyed perhaps 
through the medium of a friend and broken as kindly 
and tenderly as possible to the afflicted individual or 
the bereaved family was too soon confirmed by the 
arrival of the lifeless body. Then followed the 
funeral service, the great congregation in the chapel 
or the church, the prayers and dirges, the address or 
commemorative discourse, and the long procession 
of students and citizens, mourners all, to the place 
of burial. Amherst was witness to not a few such 
scenes in the course of the war. 

The " Roll of the Graduates and Under-Graduates 
of Amherst College who served in the Army or Navy 
of the United States during the War of the Rebel- 
lion," printed in 1871, records the names and in brief 
the services of two hundred and forty-seven men, of 
whom seventy-eight were under-graduates and one 
hundred and sixty-nine were graduates. When the 
semi-centennial catalogue was issued in 1872, the 
number of graduates, then more fully ascertained, 
had grown to one hundred and ninety-five. Among 
these were six former tutors of the college. Two of 
these sacrificed their lives in the service. 1 Of the 
two hundred and forty-seven names on the roll, 
ninety-five, or nearly thirty-nine per cent of the 
whole, enlisted as privates. Some of them were im- 
mediately elected to some office and received com- 
missions. The greater part of the others were pro- 

1 Dr. Charles Ellery Washburn of the class of '38, tutor in 
1841 and 1842 ; and Rev. Samuel Fisk of the class of '48, tutor 
from 1852 to 1855, author of "Dunn Brown Abroad," and 
" Dunn Brown in the Army. " 


moted to one grade or another, and generally to 
successive grades, as the reward of meritorious con- 
duct or faithful service. Amherst furnished in all 
thirty-five chaplains, some of whom were pastors of 
some of the largest and best churches in the city or 
the country, and not a few sacrificed their health and 
periled their lives in the service. 

The college furnished thirty or more surgeons to 
the war. 

Passing from chaplains and surgeons to other 
officers, we find on inspecting the roll and noting 
their rank at the close of their service, three briga- 
dier-generals (two of them major-generals by brevet), 
nine colonels, twelve lieutenant-colonels, nine majors, 
twenty-five captains, seventeen first lieutenants, sev- 
enteen second lieutenants, nineteen sergeants, five 
corporals, besides a few ensigns, color-bearers, and 
several adjutants, quartermasters and paymasters of 
different ranks. Not a very brilliant show of supe- 
rior officers in comparison with some of the less 
clerical colleges of the East, or some of the more 
belligerent institutions of the West, but showing a 
proportionate number of promotions far beyond the 
average among soldiers drawn from the community 
generally, and thus illustrating forcibly the value of 
the higher education in the military service. Never 
before nor since, not even in the Prussian army in 
the late Franco-German war, were there so many 
bayonets that could read, and so many shoulder-straps 
that could think, as there were in the army of the 
United States that put down the great rebellion; and 
to this element of intellectual and moral power no 
other communities contributed so largely as the col- 


leges, and among the colleges none more than Am- 

Thirteen of our soldiers were confined in rebel 
prisons, some of them dragged in succession through 
two, three, or four of those places of more than fiend- 
ish torture, and two of them welcomed death as a 
blessed deliverance from the starvation, insults, and 
cruelties, worse than death, to which such prisoners 
were subjected. 

The classes that graduated soon after the opening 
of the war, as might have been expected, furnished 
the largest number of recruits for the service. In 
this respect '62 is the banner class, thirty of its 
members having gone to the war; '61 and '63 each 
sent twenty-three; '64 furnished fifteen; and '65 
twenty-one for the service. The class of '65 lost the 
largest number; six of its members died in the ser- 
vice, four of whom died of mortal wounds received 
on the field of battle; '63 lost four men, three of 
whom were killed in battle; '64 lost the same num- 
ber. The other classes above named lost one or two 
men each upon an average. 

The graduates of the older classes were, of course, 
all above the military age, and could not be expected 
to furnish many soldiers. But not a few of them, as 
we learn from our correspondence, made up for the 
deficiency by sending their sons to the service. The 
oldest graduate whose name appears on our roll was 
Rev. Timothy Robinson Cressey of the class of '28, 
who went himself as chaplain of the Second Regi- 
ment of Minnesota Volunteers, and took with him 
five sons into the service. 

" In all," he writes, " we served fifteen years in the 


war, were in twenty different battles, and all returned 
in safety without the loss of a life or a limb. All 
still live, and four of us are preaching Christ crucified, 
in four different States, Minnesota, Michigan, Illi- 
nois, and Iowa." 

Rev. William A. Hyde of the next class ('29) 
writes : " I had four sons in the war two of them in 
nearly all the war. One of them suffered 4 deaths 
oft' in rebel prisons for about ten months. He saw 
Libby, Danville, Andersonville, and Florence in that 

Rev. Benjamin Schneider, D.D., of the next class 
('30), the veteran missionary at Aintab in Western 
Turkey, and the venerable father and bishop of all 
the Protestant churches in that section, had three 
sons and a son-in-law in different stages of educa- 
tion in this country, one of them, William Tyler 
Schneider, a member of Amherst College, all of 
whom went to the war, three in the army and one in 
the navy; and his oldest son, James, a young man of 
rare promise who was preparing to rejoin his father 
in the missionary work, and who entered the army 
in the spirit of a missionary, lost his life in the service. 

The names of all under-graduates who lost their 
lives in the service were, by vote of the trustees, 
enrolled among the graduates of their respective 
classes. Special favor and indulgence were extended 
freely, when asked, to all under-graduates who served 
in the army, and returned to college. 

Through the wisdom of President Stearns and the 
liberality of his friend, the late George Howe, Esq., 
of Boston, the college rejoices in a monument such 
as exists nowhere else to commemorate the fallen 


heroes of the war, viz., a memorial chime of bells 
placed in the tower of the College Church, which 
began to give forth their music at the Semi-Centen- 
nial Celebration, and which, in all coming time, 
while they fitly introduce the services of the Sabbath 
and accompany the exercises of our literary festivals, 
and grace all occasions of special interest, will always 
be associated with the heroic lives and martyr-like 
deaths of our brave soldiers, and, by perpetuating 
their memories, stimulate future generations of stu- 
dents to follow their example. Among the fallen 
whose memory will thus be perpetuated is a son of 
the liberal donor, Sidney Walker Howe, of the class 
of '59, who was killed in the battle of Williamsburg, 
May 5, 1862, only a few months after he entered the 
service. The gun captured in the battle of New- 
bern, and bearing the names of those who fell in that 
battle, stands in the vestibule of the Art Museum. 
Thus coming generations will be reminded of the 
virtues and sacrifices of our brethren who lost their 
lives in the War of the Great Rebellion. And so 
long as a single classmate or college-mate shall sur- 
vive, we will enshrine him in the memory of our 
hearts. And often as we meet at our annual re- 
unions and call the rolls of our respective classes, 
when their names are called, their surviving class- 
mates will respond for them : " Dead on the field of 
battle"" Died for their fatherland." 

The war closed in 1865, leaving the college sadly 
depleted in numbers, and with many mourners. But 
in the years immediately following under the care 
of President Stearns new life came to take the place 
of that which was lost, the classes gradually filled up, 


and the happy prosperity of former times was re- 
newed and increased, as we have described in the 
preceding chapter concerning President Stearns's 

One event of importance, however, immediately 
following the sixties remains to be named the Semi- 
centennial Celebration. 

The alumni and friends of a college whose founda- 
tions were laid in a religious faith and consecration 
so nearly akin to those of the patriarchs and proph- 
ets of olden times might well keep the fiftieth anni- 
versary of its opening as a "jubilee." 

The first steps towards associated action were taken 
by Prof. Roswell D. Hitchcock of New York city. 
He brought the subject before the alumni at their 
annual meeting, July 8, 1868, and at his motion the 
following resolutions were adopted : 

" Whereas our Alma Mater in three years from 
now will have completed her first half-century; 

" Resolved, That the trustees of the college be re- 
quested to make provision for the celebration of that 

"Resolved, That Prof. William S. Tyler, D.D., be 
requested to prepare a history of Amherst College, 
which shall be ready for delivery at Commencement, 
1871, and that he be requested also to address the 
alumni on that occasion. 

" Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed 
to confer with the trustees and with Professor Tyler, 
and to act as a committee of arrangements for our 
approaching semi-centennial." 

In accordance with this last resolution, Prof. R. 


D. Hitchcock, W. A. Dickinson, Esq., and Prof. 
R. H. Mather were appointed such a committee, to 
whom, at the annual meeting of the alumni, July 13, 
1870, Professors Edward Hitchcock and J. H. Seelye 
were added. 

At the annual meeting of the board, July 9, 1868, 
the foregoing action was approved by the trustees, 
and the prudential committee was authorized to 
confer with the committee of the alumni. 

At the annual meeting of the trustees, July 13, 
1870, a special committee, censisting of the president 
and Doctors Paine, Sabin, and Storrs, was appointed 
to make arrangements, conjointly with the committee 
of the alumni, for the celebration of the jubilee of 
the college in 1871. 

There was some discussion and some difference of 
opinion among the alumni and friends of the college 
as to the proper time for the celebration. As the 
first Commencement was held in 1822, the Com- 
mencement in 1871 would be not the fiftieth but the 
forty-ninth anniversary of that day, and it seemed to 
some, at first thought, that the celebration should 
be at the fiftieth Commencement, which would be in 
1872. But it was the opening of the college to re- 
ceive students, and not its first Commencement, which 
its friends desired to celebrate, and as it was agreed 
that Commencement week would be the most suitable 
and convenient time for the celebration, the conclu- 
sion was quite unanimously reached that the Com- 
mencement of 1871, although it would occur some 
two months earlier than the exact anniversary of the 
opening, should be the time. 

Not a few of the alumni reached Amherst the Sat- 


urday previous to Commencement, and remained till 
Friday or Saturday of the next week, that they might 
have time to recall old recollections and keep a week 
of jubilee. The exercises of the week were opened 
as usual on Sunday by the Sacrament of the Lord's 
Supper in the Chapel in the morning, and the bacca- 
laureate sermon in College Hall in the afternoon. 
President Stearns very appropriately took for the 
text of his baccalaureate, Leviticus xxv. 10, "Thou 
shalt hallow the fiftieth year," and discoursed on the 
religious history and characteristics of the college, 
paying at the same time a feeling and generous 
tribute to the men, especially the members of the 
faculty, who, through poverty and reproach, had 
stood by it in its dark and trying hour. 

Monday and Tuesday were devoted as usual to the 
prize exhibitions and declamations, and to the ex- 
ercises of Class-day, the out-of doo'r performances of 
the latter, however, being nearly drowned out by 
copious showers which were to purify the air for the 
next day. 

Wednesday from early morning to a late hour in 
the evening was given up to the jubilee. The day 
dawned auspiciously, and continued clear and bright, 
yet cool and comfortable even to its close. It seemed 
made it doubtless was made for the occasion. In 
the exercises of the morning, Hon. Samuel Williston, 
the generous benefactor of the college, fitly presided. 
The exercises were opened with prayer by Rev. E. P. 
Humphrey, D.D., of Louisville, Ky., of the class of 
'28, and the eldest son of the second president. The 
assembly then joined in singing the doxology, 
"Praise God from whom all blessings flow," 


after which followed the address of welcome by Presi- 
dent Stearns, and the historical discourse by Professor 

In the afternoon, Hon. A. H. Bullock of the class 
of '36, presided, and addresses were' made by the 
presiding officer, by Professor Snell, '22, Dr. Edward 
P. Humphrey, '28, Rev. H. N. Barnum, 1 '52, Rev. 
H. W. Beecher, '34, Prof. E. A. Park, Prof. R. D. 
Hitchcock, '36, and Waldo Hutchins, Esq., '42. 

The addresses, both of the forenoon and afternoon, 
besides being printed in full at the time in The 
Springfield Republican, have been published in the form 
of a pamphlet, and, having been sent to the alumni 
generally, have doubtless been read by most of thQ 
readers of this history. It is therefore quite unnec- 
essary that they should be made the subject of analy- 
sis or remark. A letter from Dr. R. S. Storrs, of the 
class of '39, which was read by Henry Ward Beecher, 
is also contained in this pamphlet, together with the 
addresses of Prof. H. B. Hackett, '30, Bishop Hunt- 
ington, '39, Hon. H. S. Stockbridge, '45, Willard 
Merrill, Esq., '54, and George C. Clarke, Esq., '58, 
which were not delivered for lack of time. 

The exercises were held beneath a spacious tent 
which was spread under the shadow of the trees in 
the grove where the students of Amherst, through 
all their generations, have found exercise and recrea- 
tion, have walked and talked, have sat and conversed 
or meditated, and where every object that met the 
eye, whether in the grove or on the grounds, or in 
the distance, called up old memories, revived hal- 
lowed associations, and spoke with scarcely less power 

1 Of the Turkish Mission. 


than the speakers, to their minds and hearts. The 
audience was large and the tent well filled in the 
morning. In the afternoon, it was full to overflow- 
ing, and it was calculated that there were at least 
three thousand persons in it, besides many who stood 
around the open sides, or sat in their own carriages 
on the grounds. 

Nearly seven hundred of the alumni were present, 
that is, almost one-half of the whole number of living 
graduates a number two or three times larger than 
had ever before attended Commencement, and " a 
larger proportion, probably, than ever assembled at 
any American college." Every class was repre- 
sented. One-third of the first class ('22) was present 
one-half of its living members. That half was 
Professor Snell. He lamented in his address the 
absence of the other half, which he modestly and 
playfully declared to be "the first half, the oldest 
half, the greatest half, and the best half" the Rev. 
Pindar Field. All the surviving members of the 
second class ('23) were present, viz. : Rev. The- 
ophilus Packard and Rev. Hiram Smith, both from 
the far West; '24, '26, and '27, were each represented 
by three persons, about one-third of the surviving 
members, and these came from almost as many differ- 
ent States and belonged to nearly as many different 
occupations as there were persons. The class of '25 
was the only class except that of Professor Snell, of 
which there was but a single representative present, 
and he came from Conway in obedience to a tele- 
graphic dispatch sent by some zealous brother 
alumnus that every class might be represented. Six 
out of seventeen survivors represented '28, '29 was 


represented by five out of nineteen, '30 by ten out of 
sixteen, '31 by fifteen out of thirty -seven, and '32 
by nine out of twenty-three. So much for the first 
decade. In the second decade ('32-' 42), the largest 
number present was from '39, viz., sixteen out 
of thirty-seven living members; and the largest 
proportion was from '36, viz., thirteen out of 
twenty-eight. The average attendance from the 
classes of this decade exceeded thirty-five per cent 
of the living members. In the third decade the per- 
centage was but little more than twenty-five. In the 
fourth decade it ran up nearly to fifty per cent, and 
in the last period, as might have been expected, it 
rose to considerably more than half the living mem- 
bers. The largest number from any one class was 
from '69, who by special request granted by special 
favor of the trustees, received their second degree in 
1871, and who were represented by thirty- three mem- 
bers. Next to '69 stood '65, being represented by 
twenty-nine members. These facts, which may per- 
haps be reckoned among the " curiosities of the jubi- 
lee," have been gathered from the cards which were 
hung, one for each class, in the reception room in 
Walker Hall, and to which the names of the alumni 
were transferred as fast as they registered them, so 
that each alumnus might know who of his class were 
present, and where they were to be found. These 
cards or scrolls (for they are more than a foot 
square) have been preserved, and will be among the 
curiosities of literature in coming ages. The original 
register in which the alumni entered their names 
as they arrived may also be seen in the library, and 
is an autograph book of rare and unique interest. 


The alumni came from every part of our own 
country and from every quarter of the globe. Class- 
mates and friends who boarded together, perhaps 
roomed together, perhaps sat side by side for four 
years, but who had not seen each other for ten, 
twenty, thirty, forty, almost fifty years, met as 
strangers, gazed in each other's faces, heard each 
other's voices, and perhaps did not discover a trace 
of the features or even the tones once so familiar, or 
did perhaps catch a ray, and at length, with the help 
maybe of a hint or allusion from a bystander, began 
to conjecture the person; but when the discovery 
was made, they rushed into each other's embrace. 
Many such scenes of bewilderment marked these 
meetings and greetings in which the language was 
often little more than a strange mixture of laughter 
and tears. Wednesday evening was given up to a 
reunion in College Hall, and much of the night was 
spent in class meetings of such deep and thrilling 
interest as only they who have been present at such 
meetings know, and even they cannot fully tell. 

They seem to have gone away pleased with them- 
selves and each other, proud of their mother, loving 
their brothers^ feeling that they had a good time, 
and fully persuaded that whoever should keep the 
centennial jubilee of the college in 1921 would have 
a still better time and find a great deal more to ad- 
mire and rejoice in. 

Several of the classes left behind them class schol- 
arships as an expression of their gratitude and filial 
devotion. The plan as originated by Prof. R. D. 
Hitchcock contemplated at least one by each class. 
His own class set the example by establishing 


three. 1 The catalogue issued in the fall of 1871, 
next after the jubilee, announces fifty scholarships 
in all, of which about half were not on the previous 
catalogue, 2 and several other class scholarships as 
established in part. When the harvest is all gathered 
in, perhaps the result will be not less than fifty 
scholarships of one thousand dollars each, which, 
with Mr. Williston's donation, will make up the 
handsome sum of one hundred thousand dollars of 
free-will offerings resulting directly or indirectly 
from the jubilee. 

1 Including that established by Governor Bullock. 

2 Several of these are not class scholarships. 





THERE were several novel and important features 
in the accession of Professor Seelye to the presidency. 
He was the first and only alumnus of the college who 
has attained to that distinction. He was the first 
professor on the literary and philosophical side of the 
faculty to be elevated to that office. But aside from 
these incidental novelties a new question arose for 
the first time in connection with his nomination and 
election. In the appointment of his predecessors it 
was taken for granted, as a matter of course, that the 
president of Amherst College must be a clergyman 
that he was to be the head of the college in its 
spiritual interests as well as in literature and science, 
and that he must be chosen with primary reference 
to his Christian character and his influence in the 
religious education of the students. When Professor 
Seelye was elected, there was a minority of the trus- 
tees, and perhaps a majority of the faculty, who were 
at first in favor of the appointment of a distinguished 



layman, who might give dignity to the office and 
bring reputation to the college. And this movement 
was prevented from being successful and becoming 
an accomplished fact by circumstances so remarkable 
that I cannot but regard them as special providences 
deserving to be recorded by the historian of the col- 
lege among the magnalia of its early history. 

I have therefore taken not a little pains to ascer- 
tain the facts from original and authentic sources, 
and put them on record till such times as they can 
be incorporated with the history of the college with- 
out injury to the feelings of any of the actors, which 
will probably not be until not only myself but they 
also have passed off the stage. Meanwhile the fol- 
lowing general statements may perhaps be recorded 
without impropriety in this history. 

In justice to those who favored such a departure 
from the precedents and traditions not only of Am- 
herst, but of all our older colleges, it should be re- 
marked that the recent establishment of a professor- 
ship of the pastoral care, whose incumbent should be 
the pastor of the College Church, or associate pastor 
with the president, doubtless seemed to them to ren- 
der it less important that the president should be a 
clergyman and one who would be especially inter- 
ested in the Christian education of the students. 

President Stearns died suddenly, as we have nar- 
rated in a preceding chapter, on Thursday, June 8, 
1876. He had fully determined to resign the presi- 
dency at the approaching Commencement, and had 
already written his resignation. He wished, how- 
ever, and expected, to retain for the present the pas- 
torate and the Samuel Green professorship of Biblical 


interpretation. This was the more natural and proper 
because the founder of the professorship had ex- 
pressly provided in his will that Dr. Stearns should 
perform the duties of the office and have the income 
of the fund during his life. Only one week prior to 
his death he had an interview with his friend, Hon. 
Alpheus Hardy, in Boston, in which he disclosed to 
him his plan and purpose, and desired him to com- 
municate the same to the trustees at their approach- 
ing meeting and carry the measure through the 
board, adding that it was with this view that he had 
induced the trustees not to accept Mr. Hardy's resig- 
nation of his trusteeship tendered the year previous, 
and there was no other member of the board to whom 
he could so freely and fully confide a matter of so 
great importance. Mr. Hardy accepted the trust in 
the same spirit of confidence and friendship in which 
it had been committed to him, and then asked Presi- 
dent Stearns if, in view of the trust thus reposed and 
thus undertaken, he would be willing further to make 
known to him his views in regard to the question 
who should be his successor in the presidency. Presi- 
dent Stearns then expressed himself with great 
frankness to his friend, and gave him the names of 
three men, all clergymen and all alumni of the college, 
either of whom he thought would fill the place well, 
and one of whom he hoped might succeed him in the 
presidential office. One of those names was that of 
Professor Seelye. Just a week after that interview 
Mr. Hardy took up a newspaper in New York, and 
read of the sudden death of President Stearns. 

At the annual meeting of the trustees, June 27, 
1876- only three weeks after the death of the presi- 


dent a committee was appointed to take into con- 
sideration the presidential vacancy and report at a 
meeting to be held in Boston not later than the first 
week in August. This committee found themselves 
beset with difficulties. They differed among them- 
selves, both as to the general question whether the 
president should be a clergyman, and in their per- 
sonal preferences in regard to the most suitable can- 
didate for the office; and this difference of wishes 
and feelings in the committee represented or reflected 
a corresponding difference in the whole board. The 
members of the faculty were officially consulted, and 
it was found that they were about equally divided, 
half of them favoring strongly the appointment of 
Professor Seelye, and the other half preferring some 
other candidate, the scientific professors, as a general 
fact, being unfavorable, and those in the departments 
of literature and history favorable to the appoint- 
ment of Professor Seelye. Besides their fear that 
he would not do justice to science in the presidency, 
there were personal and general grounds of opposi- 
tion both in the faculty and in the Board of Trustees. 
He would not be popular with the students. He 
could not sympathize with young men. He would 
be autocratic, overbearing, and severe in the admin- 
istration of the government. He would not be, he 
could not be expected to be, impartial in his relations 
to the faculty. In short, it was a pity to spoil a good 
professor in order to make a poor president. 

Political prejudices also came in to aggravate the 
difficulty. Professor Seelye was at this time a mem- 
ber of Congress, having been elected in 1874 over 
the nominees of both the great parties by the inde- 


pendent votes of republicans and democrats. He 
had already served through the first session of the 
Forty-fourth Congress with distinguished success, and 
was bound in honor to represent his constituents in 
the coming second session, and what further political 
possibilities, probabilities, temptations, and aspira- 
tions might lie before him in the future no one could 
tell. He had been suspected at one time, very un- 
justly, of aspiring to supersede Dr. Stearns in the 
presidency of the college. Now perhaps he would be 
tempted to aspire to the presidency of the United 
States. There was a strange fascination in the at- 
mosphere of Washington which it was not easy for 
those who had once breathed it to resist. Professor 
Seelye would of course be solicited to be a candidate 
for a second term in the House of Representatives, 1 
and would naturally desire re-election, and this might 
open the way to the- Senate, to a place in the Cabinet, 
to no one knew what honors. Under such circum- 
stances it was not at all likely that he would accept 
the presidency of the college, if it was offered him. 
After much discussion, at the close of a long^ session 
which came perilously near to ending without any- 
thing being done, the committee at length agreed 
to open a correspondence with him and offer him the 
nomination on certain conditions. The correspond- 
ence was opened, but it only multiplied and aggra- 
vated the difficulties. The office of representative 

1 If this question of the Amherst presidency had come up 
three or four months later, if, for instance, President Stearns 
had died in September, instead of in June, President Seelye 
would in all probability have been committed to a continuance 
in political life, and would have been lost to the college. 


in Congress had come to him unsought and uncondi- 
tioned ; why should he submit to any conditions 
now? No pledges were required of him then; why 
should they be asked of him now? 

The whole thing wore too much the aspect of a 
bargain, and a bargain for a place was to him an un- 
speakable abhorrence. He had never in his life 
lifted a hand or paid a penny for a place, and it 
would be soon enough for him to say whether he 
would accept the presidency of Amherst College 
when it was freely and fully offered to him. In tlie 
course of the correspondence, which was prolonged 
and some of it spicy, it became apparent that while 
the professor had little taste or inclination for poli- 
tics, he had a positive dislike and disinclination to 
many of the peculiar and perfunctory duties of a 
college president, which nothing but a manifest call 
of Providence and an imperative sense of duty could 
induce him to undertake. 

But I have already gone more into the details of 
this transaction than I intended, perhaps more than 
was prudent or necessary. Suffice it to say, that the 
committee was at length led, it is needless to say 
how, to offer him a unanimous call ; tlie professor 
was led to see, it is not necessary to say under what 
influences, that it was a call of duty and of God ; and 
at a meeting of the board held in Boston on the 28th of 
July, 1876, the trustees by a unanimous vote elected 
him president and professor of mental and moral phil- 
osophy in Amherst College. And it is now quite un- 
necessary to tell in detail how completely experience 
has falsified the fears and forebodings of those who op- 
posed the election of Professor Seelye to the presi- 


dency. It was feared that he would be partial to 
literature and philosophy, and unfriendly to science. 
One of the first acts of his administration was to take 
measures for the purchase by the college of the 
Shepard cabinet and to raise by his own personal 
efforts the large sum of money by which it was pro- 
cured. This was soon followed by the inauguration 
of the department of biology and the Stone endow- 
ment. It was feared that he would be partial to his 
particular friends in the faculty, and harbor resent- 
ment against those who opposed his election. So far 
from that, the language of the Tyrian queen would 
seem to have been his motto: 

Tros Tyriusque mihi nullo discrimine agetur. 

It was said that he would be dictatorial and severe 
in his administration of the government, unsympa- 
thizing and so unpopular with the students. " The 
New System" of self-government at Amherst, which 
is the admiration of Amherst students and the envy 
or the model of other colleges, is the best and the 
sufficient answer to this allegation. Indeed they 
who feared any such thing of President Seelye could 
have known little of Professor Seelye's devotion of 
time, talents, attainments, and personal services to 
individual students. This grand secret of his power 
and usefulness as a teacher had only a freer scope 
and wider sway and higher appreciation when he 
became president. They had more reason who ap- 
prehended that his sovereign contempt and scorn for 
everything unworthy of a man and a scholar might 
make him impatient of the follies and imperfections 
of students. But responsibility brings patience and 


forbearance, and this fear proved to be utterly 
groundless. It was said that he would have neither 
talent nor disposition to raise money for the college. 
The Shepard cabinet, the Parmly Billings professor- 
ship of hygiene and physical education, the Chester 
W. Chapin endowment of the presidency, the Stone 
professorship of biology, the Marquand instructorship 
in elocution, the Winkley professorship of history, 
the rebuilding of Walker Hall after the conflagra- 
tion, the Pratt gymnasium, the Henry T. Morgan 
library, the munificent donation of Mr. D. Willis 
James for the general purposes of the college coming 
into the treasury after his resignation, but given out 
of special regard to him, and hence named the Seelye 
Fund all these and other gifts of which a more defi- 
nite statement will be given on a subsequent page, 
rise up before us and testify how utterly without 
foundation, and diametrically opposite to the truth, 
this prediction was. True, several of these gifts, 
perhaps most of them, were not solicited, but the 
witness they bear is only the more unequivocal and 
the more eloquent because the gifts were the spon- 
taneous expression of the confidence and good will 
of the donors. 

In short, I believe that the same wise and kind 
Providence that has raised up his predecessors, all 
excellent men, and each with gifts and graces suited 
to the exigency, made President Seelye, and educated 
him, and sanctified him, and by all his antecedents 
prepared him, in the first place to be a great and 
rare educator, and then to be president of Amherst 
College and guide it in the accomplishment of its 
great work ; and so God did not permit His plan and 


purpose to be thwarted by the disinclination of the 
candidate himself, by the doubts and mistakes of 
good men and friends of the college, or by outside 
temptations, however strong, to other spheres of 

President Seelye's election took place, as we have 
already said, in July, 1876, and he entered upon the 
duties of the office in September at the beginning of 
the next collegiate year. But in accordance with his 
understanding with the trustees he completed his 
term of service in Congress by sitting through its 
second session, leaving the acting presidency mean- 
while in the hands of Prof. W. S. Tyler ; and he was 
not inaugurated until the close of his first year. The 
inauguration took place at Commencement, June 27, 
1877. The public exercises consisted of prayer by 
Rev. Edmund K. Alden, D.D., of Boston, the address 
on the part of the trustees and the delivery of the seal 
and the keys of the college by Rev. Prof. Roswell D. 
Hitchcock of Union Theological Seminary in New 
York, and the inaugural address of President Seelye. 
Dr. Hitchcock spoke with characteristic felicity, begin- 
ning as follows: "The whole college bids you wel- 
come to its highest seat, trustees, alumni, teachers 
and students are all united and earnest in the persua- 
sion of your eminent fitness for the new position, 
united and earnest also in the expectation of your emi- 
nent success. You are no stranger here, and nothing 
is strange to you. Made president of the college after 
eighteen years of constant and conspicuous service 
in one of its departments of instruction, the element 
of novelty is almost wholly wanting. Retaining the 
chair in which you have earned your fame, you now 


merely add to its familiar duties that general over- 
sight of the institution with which you must be al- 
most equally familiar. 

" You are also well across the threshold of the new 
office. The class that graduates to-morrow carries 
with it the memory of your first presidential year. 
And neither you nor we have anything to ask for but 
a repetition of the year's record for many and many 
a year to come. 

" The college is happy and proud to be led at last 
by one of its own alumni. Your four predecessors 
were all providential men. The four administra- 
tions lie in our history like so many geological de- 
posits. The future need not contradict nor criticise 
the past, but a robust vitality instinctively asserts 
itself in better and better forms. We salute you, 
therefore, at once as the fifth and as the first of. our 
Amherst presidents." 

The inaugural address is equally characteristic. 
Its subject is " The Relations of Learning and Relig- 
ion." It begins with stating the fact, that "Am- 
herst College was founded by Christian people and 
for a Christian purpose. . . . From President Moore, 
in whose saintly zeal the earliest students of the 
college found both instruction and inspiration, to 
President Stearns, whose purity and faith surrounded 
his presence like a halo, ennobling him and enlight- 
ening and elevating all who had contact with him, 
the controlling purpose of the college has been to 
provide the highest possible educational advantages, 
and to penetrate these with a living faith in the 
Lord Jesus Christ, and a supreme devotion to His 
kingdom. And in all this Amherst College is not 


peculiar. Other institutions of learning have been 
founded and carried forward with the same purpose. 
The schools of the Christian world trace their actual 
historical origin to the Christian church." 

The middle and main staple of the address is the 
author's philosophy of the subject, which is briefly 
this: There is no inherent law of progress in human 
nature. Over by far the larger portion of the globe, 
and by far the larger portion of mankind, retrogres- 
sion reigns instead of progress, and this is true as 
we look back through all ages. So far as records of 
history go, no nation ever originated its own prog- 
ress. No savage has ever civilized himself. The 
lamp which lightens one nation in its progress has 
always been lighted by a lamp behind it. Civiliza- 
tion comes to a people not from itself, but from an- 
other, not from within but from without, not from 
below but from above, not from the many and bad 
but from the few and the wise and the good, ulti- 
mately from heaven and Christ and God. In the 
history of human knowledge science is always pre- 
ceded and quickened by art, yet art does not sponta- 
neously originate. While the mother of science, she 
herself is the child of religion. Architecture, sculp- 
ture, painting, poetry, music, it was a religious im- 
pulse which gave to all these their first inspiration. 
There is no high art, there is never a great genius, 
uninspired by some sort of a religious sentiment and 
impulse. As the seed whose growth shall fill the 
fields with plenty and also the earth with beauty, 
slumbers in the earth in darkness, and with no signs 
of life till the warmth of the sun comes nigh, so all 
the thoughts of men, with whatever capabilities of 


art and science endowed, lie dormant in the soul till 
some divine communication stirs the soul with the 
sense of its accountability and its sin and kindles it 
with a longing for the favor of its God. 

And the conclusion of the whole matter is this: 
" A Christian college, if it is to be in the long run 
truly successful in the advancement of learning, will 
have the Christian name written not alone upon its 
seal and its first records, but graven in its life as in- 
effaceably as was the name of Phidias on Athene's 
shield. It will seek for Christian teachers and only 
these men in whom -are seen the dignity and purity 
and grace of Christ's disciples, and whose lips instruct 
while their lives inspire. It will order all its studies 
and its discipline that its pupils, through the deep and 
permanent impulse of a life by the faith of the Son 
of God, may be led to the largest thoughts and 
kindled to the highest aims with an energy undying, 
and an enthusiasm which does not fade. It will not 
be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ nor remiss in 
preaching that gospel to its students, 'till they all 
come in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge 
of the Son of God unto a perfect man. ' " 

With such views of the relation of learning and 
religion, and fully believing, as he did, that the presi- 
dent of a college should be its religious as well as its 
secular head, it is not surprising that he chose to be 
the pastor of the College Church. He was installed 
in the pastoral office in June, 1877, even before he 
was inaugurated in the presidency, an ecclesiastical 
council, consisting mainly of the pastors and dele- 
gates of the neighboring churches, being invited by 
the College Church to assist in the installation ser- 

E LiB 




vices, and a sermon being preached by Rev. Dr. R. S. 
Storrs of Brooklyn, a graduate of the college, and a 
member of its Board of Trustees. At the same time, 
magnifying the pulpit and the pastoral office as an 
educating power, and feeling that there was work 
enough in that line to task the energies of more than 
one man, and that work could not be fully done with- 
out some one being charged with the special respon- 
sibility of it, he welcomed an associate pastor in the 
Samuel Green professor of Biblical history and 
interpretation and pastoral care. According to the 
will of the founder of this professorship, it will be 
remembered, its incumbent must be either pastor or 
associate pastor of the College Church, and, while it 
was expressly provided that Dr. Stearns should hold 
the professorship together with the presidency, it 
was required that after him the two offices should be 
separated, and during the presidency of Dr. Seelye 
he continued to be the pastor of the church, and the 
Samuel Green professor was the associate pastor. 1 
Besides the president and the professor of the pas- 
toral care, several other professors who were clergy- 
men occupied the college pulpit in turn, as they had 
been accustomed to do from the beginning, thus se- 
curing that variety which is so attractive to young 
men, and at the same time enlisting the professors 
directly in ministering to the spiritual welfare as 

1 Experience at length convinced President Seelye that the 
professor of the "pastoral care" ought to be the pastor of the 
College Church, and in one of his later annual reports to the 
trustees he states to them this conviction, saying that while 
personally he should prefer to be himself the pastor, the pas- 
toral office was essential to the free and full discharge of the 
duties of the Samuel Green professorship. 


well as the intellectual culture of the students. This 
arrangement may not be as acceptable to students as 
that which now prevails of inviting popular preachers 
from abroad to occupy the pulpit several Sundays 
every year. But it had its counterbalancing advan- 
tages. While providing a good measure of variety 
it did not minister to mere curiosity and love of 
novelty, and it did secure in a greater degree unity 
of instruction and impression, adaptation to the pre- 
vailing and changing wants of the audience, and 
concentration of the whole power and influence of 
the faculty upon the Christian character and life of 
the college. President Seelye believed in the forma- 
tion of character and the education and training of 
the whole man as the chief end of the college, in the 
pulpit as a great power in such education, and in 
ministers as by their own training, character, and 
life an educating guild, class, or profession. He had 
no sympathy with the now prevailing and growing 
prejudice against clerical presidents and professors, 
still less with the clamor and outcry among college 
students against so-called compulsory attendance 
upon church and chapel Cervices. Much as he en- 
joyed teaching his favorite philosophy to the senior 
class, he delighted still more in preaching the word 
of God and the gospel of Christ to the whole college. 
And he preached usually without notes, but never 
without much thought and prayer, the great central 
truths of Christianity with a depth of thought, a 
breadth of learning, a power of reasoning, a wealth of 
expression, and a fervor of feeling which lifted his 
hearers quite above themselves and the world into the 
very presence of God and of things unseen and eternal. 


The first incumbent of the Samuel Green professor- 
ship and the office of associate pastor with President 
vSeelye was Rev. Thomas P. Field, who entered upon 
the duties of the office in 1878. Dr. Field had gained 
a wide experience and won an enviable reputation 
both in college and in the pastoral office, having been 
both a tutor and the professor of rhetoric and oratory 
in Amherst, and pastor of churches successively in 
Danvers, Mass., Troy, N. Y., and New London, 
Conn. By his attractive person, sympathetic nature, 
courteous manners, high scholarship, wide and varied 
culture, and his success as a teacher and a preacher, 
he was admirably fitted for the place. But to borrow 
his own language in his brief history of Amherst 
College written for the bureau of education, " as no 
more preaching was required of him than of the 
other preaching professors, as the president continued 
to be the pastor of the College Church, and as there 
were difficulties in the way of pastoral visitation not 
found in other parishes, the first incumbent of the 
professorship was a professor rather than a pastor. 
He gave instruction in the Hebrew language and 
literature, gave some lectures on Biblical history and 
on examples of Christian character, and taught classes 
in natural theology and the evidences of Christianity, 
devoting as many hours to such instruction as the 
other professors did in their departments. This did 
not seem to be precisely the original object of the 
professorship, but came as near to accomplishing the 
same as appeared to be practicable under the cir- 
cumstances, with the continual consciousness, how- 
ever, on the part of the incumbent that something 
better might be attempted and done. With that 


feeling he resigned the professorship in 1886, and 
after a few months Rev. George S. Burroughs, of 
New Britain, Conn., was appointed." With superior 
talents, fine scholarship, courteous manners, an ami- 
able spirit, Christian zeal, and a heartfelt desire for 
the temporal and eternal welfare of the students, Dr. 
Burroughs labored with rare fidelity, earnestness, 
and enthusiasm as pastor, preacher, and teacher, and 
accomplished much for the upbuilding of the College 
Church and the advancement of Christian learning. 
His success as a Bible teacher in inspiring even irre- 
ligious students with enthusiasm in the study of the 
Scriptures was remarkable. In the pulpit and the 
work of the pastor he found it more difficult to real- 
ize his high ideals, and when, in 1892, he was invited 
to the presidency of Wabash College, the conscious- 
ness of this difficulty perhaps conspired with the 
attractions of the new sphere of usefulness in induc- 
ing him to accept the call. 

President Seelye was wise and happy in his choice 
of new professors. His first question in regard to 
a candidate was not, Is he popular, has he a high 
reputation and a great name, is he already distin- 
guished as a scholar and a teacher? but, What sort of 
a man is he, is he a real, true, and complete man? 
He must be a Christian of course, for " the Christian 
is the highest style of man." He must be a scholar, 
for how can he teach what he does not know? He 
must be apt to teach, for teaching, not discovery or 
original research, is the business of the college pro- 
fessor. It is well that he should be a discoverer, 
with a mind open to receive the truth, all truths 
whether new or old, although the man who knows 


the most, and has made the greatest discoveries, is 
not always the best teacher. But first of all, and 
above all, he must be a man, and full of a noble am- 
bition to make others men, for to make men is the 
chief end of a college education. Or if, as the old 
Greek philosopher said of his countryman, the candi- 
date is not yet a full-grown man, he must give prom- 
ise of becoming such, and of being able, by precept 
and example, to make others such as he himself 
aspires and promises to be. Hence President Seelye 
sought his professors chiefly not among those who 
had done their work and won their reputation in 
other institutions, but among the graduates of Am- 
herst, whom he personally knew and upon whom he 
had placed his own shaping hand, and let them grow 
under his own eye and influence from instructors to 
assistant professors, and from assistants to associates 
and heads of departments. Accordingly there was 
a time in his administration when the writer of this 
history could speak of all the faculty as having been 
his pupils, and the president could have said to his 
ablest professors, as the aged Phoenix did to the hero 
of the Iliad: 

"Great as them art, my lessons made thee brave. 
A child I took thee, but a hero gave." 

By taking its teachers, for the most part, from the 
ranks of its own graduates, and paying, as a rule and 
a principle, the same salary to all regular professors 
after due trial and full approval, Amherst has escaped 
envyings and jealousies, divisions and contentions 
in the faculty, and secured a substantial unity, a 
fraternal sympathy, a hearty cooperation, and a stead- 
fast adherence to the ideals of the college, which 


have contributed not a little to its peace and pros- 

Elihu Root, professor of mathematics and natural 
philosophy; Anson D. Morse, professor of history; 
Henry B. Richardson, professor of German ; John 
M. Tyler, professor of biology;. Charles E. Garman, 
professor of mental and moral philosophy ; David P. 
Todd, professor of astronomy; John F. Genung, pro- 
fessor of rhetoric ; Henry A. Frink, professor of ora- 
tory ; William L. Cowles, professor of Latin all these 
were inaugurated in their professorships under the 
administration and on the recommendation of Presi- 
dent Seelye. All but two of them are graduates of 
Amherst. Only one of them had been a professor in 
another college. All but one were men who, after 
having pursued studies preliminary to their pro- 
fessorships at home and abroad, began their teach- 
ing in Amherst, gained their experience and their 
reputation in Amherst, have been identified with 
Amherst in their own education and their education 
of others. All superior scholars, all consistent and 
devoted Christians, all students, workers, teachers, 
educators making a business of teaching and magni- 
fying education as the highest calling, some of them 
known also as authors of text- books, writers for the 
magazines, and lecturers in the cause of university 
extension, they have all been a success, an honor to 
the college and an ornament to their profession. 

President Seelye himself continued to teach for 
some years after his elevation to the presidency, in 
the department of intellectual and moral philosophy 
which he had so adorned as a professor. Finding 
his labors too exhausting, and seeing in Mr. Garman 


a philosopher of his own school and a teacher after 
his own heart, he at first divided the work of teach- 
ing the senior class equally with him, and ere long 
resigned it entirely into his hands. And he has been 
heard to say that, by introducing the spiritual phil- 
osophy into the college, and leaving the department 
in the hands of such a teacher, he has conferred a 
greater benefit on the institution than all his other 
services. And Prof. W. B. Smith, of Union Theo- 
logical Seminar} 7 , gave the sanction of his great name 
to this high estimate of the value of this department 
as it exists in Amherst College. 

President Seelye has always insisted that the 
strength of a college lies, not in magnificent build- 
ings, elegant grounds, large endowments, or a large 
number of students, but in the high character and 
able and faithful work of its faculty. Hence his 
great care in the choice of professors, the weighty 
responsibility which he devolved on every teacher 
for the good order and high scholarship of his classes, 
and the kind sympathy and cordial support which he 
gave to every teacher in the faithful discharge of his 
duties. And the whole faculty in return, the older 
members as well as the younger men, were united 
as one man in love and loyalty to their president, 
sustained him in harmonious and happy faculty 
meetings, and stood by him, shoulder to shoulder, in 
the execution of measures which he perhaps had 
originated and they had approved. 

Three professors of sterling worth died in office 
during the presidency of Dr. Seelye Ebenezer 
Strong Snell, Elihu Root, and Richard Henry 


Professor Snell was altogether a unique personage 
in the history of Amherst College, and deserves a 
fuller portraiture than can be given in this history. 
We can only refer those who wish for an outline sketch 
of his life and character to our original work. Here 
it must suffice to say that he was born in North 
Brookfield, Mass., October 17, 1801, and died Sep- 
tember 1 8, 1876, and was therefore a little short of 
seventy-five at the time of his death ; that he was the 
first student that was admitted and among the first 
that were graduated at the college, and the first tutor 
and the first professor among the alumni, and gave 
it more than fifty years of study and labor and care 
and painstaking, of the ablest instructions and the 
best services that have ever been given to Amherst 
or any other college; that, as professor of mathema- 
tics and natural philosophy, for exactness, clearness, 
and method in teaching, and skill as an experimental 
lecturer, he cannot be surpassed; that, by his own 
mechanical ingenuity and handicraft and his pro- 
gressive mastery of the science, with a comparatively 
trifling expenditure of money by the college, he kept 
his cabinet abreast of the most costly apparatus of 
the richest colleges in the land, while, at the same 
time, he invented and constructed not a few machines 
illustrative of mechanics and physics which were not 
then to be found in any of them ; that a vein of quiet 
humor and a felicitous turn of expression conspired 
with his modesty, simplicity, and kindness to make 
him one of the most genial of companions and col- 
leagues, as well as one of the most admired and be- 
loved of teachers, while his pupils felt the constant 
presence and power of something better than any 


teaching, lecturing, or preaching in his true, pure, 
and exemplary Christian life. 

Elihu Root, who succeeded Professor Snell in the 
professorship of mathematics and natural philosophy, 
was born in Belchertown, September 14, 1845, and 
died in his native place, December 3, 1880. He was 
only thirty-five at the time of his death, and had been 
only four years professor of mathematics and natural 
philosophy ; and one of these years he was only as- 
sistant professor. But he had distinguished himself 
before his appointment by his high rank as a scholar 
in Williston Seminary, by winning several prizes in 
college and delivering the valedictory oration at his 
graduation, by his success as a teacher at Williston, 
and as an instructor at Amherst, by five years of 
successful study of philosophy and physics at Gottin- 
gen, Leipsic, and Berlin in Germany, and not least 
perhaps by his able thesis on dielectric polarization 
when he received the degree of Ph.D. at Berlin. 
And it is not easy to say whether he was more ad- 
mired in college for his profound knowledge of 
physics and mathematics, or more beloved for his 
pure, beautiful, and noble character and life. But, 
alas, his bodily health and strength were not equal 
to his aspirations, and exertions and, like a flower 
nipped in the bud, he was cut down in the very begin- 
ning of his life-work. 

"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." 

Professor Root was succeeded by Dr. Marshall 
Henshaw, not, however, with the title of professor 


of mathematics and natural philosophy, but only as 
lecturer in that department. He was graduated at 
Amherst with high honor in the same class with 
Prof. Francis A. March, the class of 1845. He had 
been a successful and highly honored professor of 
mathematics and natural philosophy in Rutgers Col- 
lege under President Frelinghuysen. He had been 
the principal of Williston Seminary fourteen years, 
teaching the senior class on the classical side in Latin 
and Greek, and lecturing to the seniors on the Eng- 
lish side in physics with singular ability and success, 
and raising the seminary to a height of prosperity 
and renown which it has never before or since 
reached. In his annual report to the trustees in 
1883, after Dr. Henshaw had, by the experience of 
two years, proved his rare ability and skill both as a 
teacher and a lecturer, President Seelye recommended 
that he should be appointed professor of natural phi- 
losophy, saying, " He has all of Professor Snell's 
remarkable skill and ease in the handling of his ap- 
paratus in the lecture room, and a more extensive 
knowledge of the latest developments of the science 
of physics than Professor Snell in his later life was 
able to maintain; and while he does not equal Pro- 
fessor Root, as very few do, in the highest attain- 
ments of science, he 'exceeds him in clearness and 
interest and force as a lecturer." But the trustees 
did not make the appointment, the professorship of 
natural philosophy was not filled during President 
Seelye's administration, and Dr. 1 Henshaw contin- 

1 Dr. Henshaw received the degree of Ph.D. from the Uni- 
versity of New York in 1863, and that of D.D. from Amherst 
in 1872. 


ued to do the work of a professor under the title of 
lecturer till, in 1890, increasing bodily infirmities led 
him to resign. 

Richard Henry Mather was born in Binghamton, 
N. Y., February 12, 1835. The blood of some of the 
best families of New England the Mathers, the 
Masons, the Whitings, the Edwardses flowed in his 
veins. He was graduated with highest honors both 
at Williston Seminary and at Amherst College, de- 
livering the salutatory oration at the former and the 
valedictory at the latter at his graduation. To the 
discipline of the preparatory school and the college, 
he added the culture derived from repeated travel 
and study in foreign lands study in Germany and 
Athens, travel at different times in Italy, Greece, 
Egypt, and Palestine. An accomplished scholar, an 
inspiring teacher, an eloquent preacher, a skilful 
man of affairs, a delightful companion, neighbor, 
and friend, with a personality that charmed all who 
knew him or met him, and made them his friends and 
the friends of the college, he loved Amherst more than 
he loved himself, gave it thirty-one years of able, 
faithful, and devoted service, subordinated to it all his 
personal ends, consecrated to it all his gifts, graces, 
and attainments, procured for it donations, endow- 
ments, and educational appliances. The Mather Art 
Collection was his gift as well as his monument. He 
raised all the money and made all the purchases for 
the singularly rich and choice selection. The rare 
architectural perfection of the new library building 
was largely due to his excellent taste, sound judg- 
ment, and remarkable business efficiency in superin- 
tending the enlargement. The John R. Newton 




professorship of Greek was the gift of one whom he 
had attached to himself and to the college by his 
preaching and his personal attractions. But his most 
precious and enduring memorial was in the minds, 
and hearts, and life, and character of his numerous 
pupils. He taught them not merely the language, 
archaeology, and art of the Greeks, not merel) r their 
poetry, and history, and philosophy, but their litera- 
ture, and life, and morals, and religion. Nay, every 
lecture and recitation was a lesson in " the humani- 
ties," in human nature and human life, in the art of 
living, and living well. Hence he was a power in 
the government of the college, as well as in its edu- 
cation. President Seelye loved him and leaned upon 
him, and it was a sad hour and a sore trial to the 
good president when, on returning from a voyage to 
Europe for his own health, his first news was the 
death of his friend and brother, and his first public 
service was in officiating at his funeral. It was an 
irreparable loss to the college, a profound grief to 
troops of friends, and a sore disappointment to him- 
self. He had spent the previous year in travel and 
study, partly in Germany, but chiefly in Greece and 
the island of Sicily, amid the monuments of Grecian 
architecture and sculpture and the scenes of Grecian 
life, and returned enriched with new materials for 
his work, inspired with new enthusiasm for his call- 
ing, fondly hoping, fully expecting to begin a new 
epoch, and that the most fruitful and brilliant in his 
life. Alas, he came back to suffer in a prolonged and 
painful sickness, to die a lingering and living death. 
But in that sickness and death he taught us lessons of 
resignation, fortitude, patience, and faith more im- 


pressive and more sacred than he could have taught 
in all the lectures and sermons of a long life. 

We cannot conclude these sketches of the Amherst 
faculty under the administration of President Seelye 
without alluding to the somewhat tragical but truly 
heroic element which Professor Crowell has con- 
tributed to our history in his blindness. A distin- 
guished graduate of Phillips Academ}% Andover, in 
1849, and of Amherst College in 1853; teacher of 
Latin and Greek in Williston Seminary from 1853 to 
1855 ; tutor in Amherst College in 1855-1856 ; student 
of theology at Andover in 1856 to 1858; professor of 
Latin and instructor in German at Amherst from 1858 
to 1864, professor of the Latin language and literature 
from 1864 to the present time, and dean of the faculty 
since 1880, he has given to the college more years of 
able, faithful, and acceptable service than any other 
professor, except Professors Snell and Tyler, and his 
name now stands, next to that of the president, at 
the head of all the active members of the faculty. 
Meanwhile he has been representative in the Massa- 
chusetts legislature one year, and for very many 
years the compiler of the triennial catalogue and 
the obituary records of the college. He prepared also 
the " Roll of Members of Amherst College serving in 
the Army and Navy of the United States during the 
Rebellion," wrote the "History of the Town of Es- 
sex," and edited school editions of "Cicero de Sen- 
ectuteet Amicitia," " Cicero de Officiis," "Cicero de 
Oratore," the " Andria and Adelphi of Terence," and 
"Selections from the Latin Poets." In 1885 Pro- 
fessor Crowell, after prolonged and acute suffering, 
lost the sight of both his eyes. Yet he has not only 


continued his instructions with unabated ability and 
success, but is now preparing new and improved 
editions of his classical text-books which give no 
evidence of impaired vision, enters new fields of 
study and teaching such as law and patristic Latin, 
keeps himself and his department fully abreast of 
the learning and spirit of the times, and, what is 
perhaps most wonderful of all, maintains his cheer- 
fulness, humor, and buoyancy of spirits, and mingles 
in society and walks the streets, guided, of course, 
by the same eye and hand of wife, or daughter, or 
colleague, which have helped him in his literary 
labors, with an erect attitude and a quick and firm 
step which suggest to a stranger no thought that he 
is bereft of sight. Well might the trustees, at their 
annual meeting in 1886, express to Professor Crowell 
by vote, and put it on record in their minutes, " their 
gratification that he has been able to resume and 
carry forward so successfully through the year the 
duties of his department," a resolution which has been 
more than justified every year of the seven years that 
have since intervened. 

The college is indebted to President Seelye for the 
selection and appointment of a model librarian in 
the person of Mr. William I. Fletcher, who is perfect 
master of his art and profession, and knows how to 
teach it both by precept and example, who has ren- 
dered a service of inestimable value to all libraries 
and all colleges by preparing and printing an index 
of general literature corresponding to Poole's index 
of periodicals, who has made himself useful and agree- 
able not only to his own guild and college, but to the 
college church, the town of Amherst, and the cause 


of education and religion generally, and yet seems to 
be always at his desk, always at the service of every 
officer and every student, and always able and will- 
ing to assist every reader, so far as it can be done by 
books, in his investigations. 

OF y 





WHILE the character and work of the faculty was 
foremost and uppermost in the thought and care 
of President Seelye, he was not inattentive to the 
buildings, the grounds, the funds, the campus, the 
curriculum, the scholarship and deportment of 
the students, the general administration of the col- 
lege. The first necessity for special attention to the 
buildings was occasioned by a great calamity which 
befell the college. The fact is thus recorded by Rev. 
Dr. Dwight, secretary of the Board of Trustees, on 
the first page of the second volume of their records : 
" On the night of the 29th of March, 1882, fire broke 
out in Walker Hall, the most costly and beautiful 
edifice of Amherst College ; and all its very valuable 
contents were destroyed, with the exception of such 
as were secured in its vault. Among other articles 
that were lost was the second volume of the records 
of the Board of Trustees, containing the minutes of 
their meetings from the Commencement of 1868 to 
the Commencement of 1881. Of these minutes all 
that are now extant are a few scattered portions of 
the original drafts, accidentally saved by the secre- 



tary, which, fragmentary as they are, it has been 
thought advisable to preserve." 

On a subsequent page the secretary says : " Of the 
meetings of the board in the years 1876-77-78 no 
"record remains. " Of the meetings of the board in the 
other years recorded in the book that was burned, 
the diligence and skill of the secretary have given us 
a record which, like other records from his hand, is 
a model of accuracy and elegance, and which, frag- 
mentary as it appeared to him, seemed to us to be 
very complete. 

Would that some superhuman wisdom and power 
might have restored to us with equal completeness 
the other treasures that were destroyed by the fire! 
But alas, outside of the safe nothing was preserved. 
Not a person could enter the burning building. From 
the moment when the fire was discovered, probably 
almost from the moment the building took fire, the 
interior from roof to basement was wrapped in one 
universal sheet of flame. The mathematical diagrams 
of Professor Esty, the astronomical calculations of 
Professor Todd the work of years, the official 
papers and private studies of President Seelye, the 
apparatus of Professor Snell, much of it the invention 
of his own brain and the work of his own hand, all 
went up in flame and smoke. The minerals of Pro- 
fessor Shepard a collection of gems, a cabinet of 
singular beauty and priceless worth even these min- 
erals, strange to tell, were reduced to ashes ; scarcely 
a trace of them could be found in the debris after 
long and diligent search. It was vacation. The 
faculty were mostly out of town. The writer of this 
history was in Plainfield, N. J. He read the news 


in the morning paper, and, for a time, it seemed 
almost as if Amherst College itself had gone up. 
Walker Hall had cost as much as all the other build- 
ings put together. President Seelye was in Bethel, 
Conn. He was at first almost overwhelmed by the 
intelligence. The calamity was the harder to bear, 
because the property was insured for less than half 
its value the building for only $35,000, when it cost 
$TOO,OOO; the contents for only $15,000, though Pro- 
fessor Shepard valued his collection alone at $75,000, 
and the college had actually paid $40,000 for it. It 
cost $10, ooo to replace Professor Snell's apparatus, 
though much of it could not be replaced in the esti- 
mation of the professor and the college. Still in one 
week the president had procured from a single friend 
of the college a subscription, which, together with 
the $50,000 insurance, enabled him to restore the 
building. At a special meeting of the Board of 
Trustees held in Boston, May 2, 1882, it was voted 
that Walker Hall be rebuilt at the earliest date prac- 
ticable, and that the president, the treasurer, Pro- 
fessor Mather, and Mr. A. L. Williston be the build- 
ing committee. The two lower stories were rebuilt 
substantially on the same plan, and devoted to the 
same uses as before. The mineralogical collection, 
which before occupied the third story, having been 
so largely destroyed, and there being an urgent 
necessity for more recitation rooms, that story was 
chiefly devoted to that purpose, and was reconstructed 
on an entirely different plan and in a different style 
of architecture. The whole edifice was rebuilt in 
accordance with the vote of the trustees, "at the 
earliest date practicable," but with more solid ma- 


terials and more perfect finish than that which pre- 
ceded it, and as nearly fire-proof as possible, seem- 
ingly regardless of cost, but with supreme regard at 
once to permanence and elegance. And before an- 
other year came round, Walker Hall stood again on 
its old site, more than ever the archives, the treasury, 
the capitol, the acropolis of Amherst College. Be- 
sides the lesson of trust in God in the darkest hour 
which the history of this calamity teaches us, it 
should have taught us, we trust it has taught us, two 
lessons of worldly wisdom: i. To beware of, or at 
any rate handle with more care, those inflammable 
materials which are so often used to paint and varnish 
floors, and which are generally believed to have been 
the cause of this fire. 2. College buildings, build- 
ings generally which are built with charity funds, 
should always be insured for their real value. 1 

On the 1 2th of March, 1888, six years after the 
burning of Walker Hall, on the night of the famous 
blizzard, fire broke out in the block down town in 
which Mr. Edward Dickinson had his office through 
all the years in which he was treasurer of Amherst Col- 
lege, and which was at this time occupied by his son 
and successor in the office, Mr. W. A. Dickinson, and 
destroyed all his books and papers, except the con- 
tents of two safes. These books, pamphlets, and 
papers were rich in materials for the history both of 
the town and the college, and Mr. Dickinson was at 
this very time engaged in classifying and arranging 
them in due order to be preserved for the use of the 

1 At the same special meeting in which they voted to rebuild 
Walker Hall, the trustees of Amherst voted that the insurance 
on the college buildings be increased to $300,000. 



future historian. The college suffered no pecuniary 
loss by their destruction, for papers of pecuniary 
value were in the safe. But as materials for history 
this collection probably surpassed in value any other 
in the town, and the town and college sympathized 
with Mr. Dickinson deeply in the loss. The college, 
however, has this compensation: The destruction 
of the office down town necessitated the removal of 
the treasurer's office to Walker Hall, where it is near 
the office of the president and the room in which the 
trustees and the faculty hold their meetings, and 
where it is convenient of access to all the members 
of the college. 

At the same special meeting of the Board of Trus- 
tees at which it was voted to rebuild Walker Hall it 
was also voted to proceed with the enlargement of 
the library building; the same gentlemen were ap- 
pointed the building committee, the two buildings 
were in process of construction pari passu at the same 
time and were completed in the course of the same 
year, and it may be doubted which of the two is the 
more remarkable for architectural beauty and adapta- 
tion to the use for which it was intended. The en- 
largement of the library building, or the erection of 
a new one, had become a necessity. Not only were 
the shelves of the old building already full, but stacks 
of books encumbered and filled the floor which was 
intended for a reading-room. It was doubtless easier 
to plan for an entirely new building. But that would 
cost more money, and would leave the old building, 
which had many conveniences and attractive associa- 
tions, useless and forsaken. And thanks to the wis- 
dom of the building committee and the skill of the 


architect, Mr. Francis R. Allen, who is a graduate 
of the college, a plan was conceived which utilized 
the old building, provided amply for present and 
future enlargement, presented an exterior of great 
architectural beauty and symmetry, and furnished 
one of the best, most convenient, and most useful 
library biiildings that can be found in this or any 
other country. The first story of the old edifice was 
retained for the working-rooms of the librarian and 
his assistants ; the second story and main body of it 
was given up entirely to the reading and consulting 
room, with tables and chairs for readers and writers 
occupying the floor, and shelves on the walls for a 
working library, and books illustrative of the several 
departments of instruction and the daily studies of 
the students, while the general library and the mass 
of the books was provided for by the addition in the 
rear of a crystal palace containing seven stories of 
fire-proof stacks of shelves in which every book is 
within reach of a person standing on the floor, and 
tables and chairs are furnished in every story for the 
convenience of readers and writers. Finally, to give 
architectural unity and beauty to the whole structure, 
a vestibule or portico is prefixed which constitutes 
the entrance to the building, contains an ornamental 
stairway to the upper stories, and is itself adorned 
in the lowe A story by the Nineveh sculptures let into 
the walls. The students are allowed free access not 
only to the reading-room, but, with the permission 
and under the guidance of the librarian and his as- 
sistant, they are admitted to the free use of the gen- 
eral library for the pursuit of special studies; and 
they do not abuse the privilege. Perhaps there is 



no one thing in which the growth and progress of 
the college is more strikingly manifest than in the 
extent to which faculty and students, with the help 
of our accomplished librarian, use the college library, 
and make it useful in the work of education. And 
it is pleasant to be able to add that, while the library 
is so much more used and useful than it was in the 
earlier years of our college history, the friends of the 
college are endowing it with more ample means of 
usefulness. Among other gifts, too numerous to 
mention, the following deserve especial notice: A 
gift of $5,000 made by David Sears of Boston in 1864 
toward the erection of a new or the enlargement of 
the old library building, which, by the accumulation 
of interest and the addition of other contributions, 
had grown in 1881 to $25,000; the bequest of $5,000 
by Dr. Ebenezer Alden of Randolph, who from 1841 
to 1874 was a wise and faithful trustee of the college 
and watched the library with ceaseless vigilance, 
and bequeathed this sum expressly toward its proper 
care and administration; the bequest of $50,000 by 
Joel Giles of Boston as a permanent fund for the in- 
crease of the library ; and the munificent legacy of 
over $80,000 by Henry T. Morgan, which, with a wis- 
dom as remarkable as his liberality, he gave without 
limitation to be expended at the discretion of the 
trustees, and which could in no other way be so 
suitably commemorated as by giving his name to the 
library building. 

The first action in regard to a new gymnasium was 

taken in the same fruitful and happy special meeting 

of the trustees in Boston in May, 1882, in which the 

rebuilding of Walker Hall and the enlargement of 



the library building had their origin. At this meet- 
ing it was voted that "the library building commit- 
tee, together with Dr. Hitchcock and Mr. Charles 
M. Pratt, be a committee to select plans and recom- 
mend measures for the erection of a new gymnasium, 
and to report at Commencement. " And at the annual 
meeting at Commencement, it was voted " that the 
committee heretofore appointed to superintend the 
construction of a new gymnasium be empowered to 
go forward with its erection, it being understood 
that the expense of its erection will be defrayed by 
Mr. Charles M. Pratt, of Brooklyn, and that the edi- 
fice, when built, be known as the Pratt Gymnasium." 
So many difficulties and delays, however, arose in 
regard to the site, the grading, the construction, and 
the heating of the building, that it was not finished 
until the autumn of 1884. But when it was finished 
and furnished, it was admired as one of the most 
perfect buildings of its kind and for its purpose that 
can anywhere be found, and it has been used with 
great satisfaction not only as the headquarters of the 
department of gymnastics and hygiene where Dr. 
Hitchcock reigns supreme, but as the trys ting-pi ace 
where the trustees, faculty, alumni, and guests and 
friends of the college gather from year to year for 
their Commencement dinners; and what will perhaps 
be still more fresh in the memory of some of the 
alumni, the place where, as under-graduates, they 
met the under-graduates of Smith and Mount Hoi- 
yoke in their so-called promenades. 

The history of the building enterprises of President 
Seelye's administration would be incomplete without 
some allusion to two or three others which he recom- 

j"^ ^-^'^l^rlS^^r^^P 

" ^\-^< .% " 


<rj*J$^ ^;^ 


mended again and again to the action or the considera- 
tion of the trustees, but was unable to carry into execu- 
tion, e.g., the addition of a biological laboratory and 
a larger lecture room to the Appleton cabinet, which 
he recommended in 1886 and again in 1887, but which 
was not completed till 1891 under the administration 
of his successor; the reconstruction of the Barrett 
Gymnasium, and its adaptation for a mineralogical 
cabinet, which he urged year after year, but which re- 
mains still unaccomplished; and the erection of anew 
chemical laboratory commensurate with the growth of 
the college and the wants of the department, to which 
he adverts over and over again as an imperative neces- 
sity, but which waited the Fayerweather bequest for 
pecuniary means and the energy of President Gates 
for its accomplishment. This generous bequest, 
from which the college has received $70,000, and 
would have received more if the intentions of the 
testator had been faithfully executed, has enabled 
the trustees to erect a magnificent scientific building, 
or rather two buildings, the one for chemistry and 
the other for physics, which together with the en- 
largement of the scientific .apparatus, the increase of 
the teaching forces, and the changes in the curriculum 
and in the requirements for admission in these depart- 
ments, and perhaps also the renovation of North and 
South Colleges, have brought in a larger number of 
students than the college has ever had before. But 
these things do not come within the scope of the 
present history. 

Gifts and bequests to the college were numerous 
and generous under President Seelye's administra- 
tion more numerous and generous some years than 


in any other year of its history. Thus in 1882 he 
enumerates eight or ten gifts, bequests, and promis- 
sory notes, some large and some small, amount- 
ing in all to $270,000, which the college had re- 
ceived during the past six months; and in 1884 
nearly as many more actual payments, amounting to 
$150,000. The sum total of donations and bequests 
during the administration of President Seelye ex- 
ceeded even that of President Stearns and amounted 
to more than $800,000.* 

Meanwhile the college grounds were enlarged 
without expense to the college, by the purchase of 
several acres on its eastern front, and graded and laid 
out in walks and drives and building sites according 
to a plan furnished by Mr. F. L. Olmsted, which 
gives the whole campus a beauty corresponding with 
the unsurpassed beauty of its surroundings. 

All this extension of grounds, enlargement of 
buildings, and increase of funds was only the shadow 
and shell of a corresponding growth in the faculty, 
the curriculum, the course of instruction, and the 
general administration. " Education," says the presi- 
dent in his annual report to the trustees in 1886, "is 
not by buildings, or apparatus, or books, but by the 
living teacher, and he can do only a small part of 
his work upon classes, but must be brought closely 
into contact with individual pupils. This involves 
small sections and therefore, with a large number of 
students, many teachers. To increase our number 
of teachers, even faster than our number of students 

1 At the close of this volume a more detailed statement may 
be found. 


has increased, 1 has been of late what I have no doubt 
is the wise policy of the college. Ten years ago, 
when I entered upon the presidency, the faculty num- 
bered seventeen members; now they are twenty-six. 
The professorships of German, biology, and logic, 
the associate professorships of mental and moral phil- 
osophy, of astronomy, of rhetoric, and of Latin, have 
all been established in the last decade. Ten years 
ago we had four teachers in Latin and Greek ; now we 
have six. Ten years ago there were but two teachers 
in the English department; now there are three. 
There were then but three teachers in the depart- 
ments of mathematics, physics, and astronomy; now 
there are four. Three teachers then gave all the in- 
struction in the natural sciences, where four are now 
employed. A new teacher has been added in phil- 
osophy, and also one in political economy. This 
increase in the number of teachers has permitted a 
larger subdivision of the classes, and has made possi- 
ble a great increase in elective studies. Ten years 
ago hardly any optional work could be taken, while 
now the major part of the studies for junior and 
senior years are elective. And yet we are making 
haste slowly with these elective studies. We insist 
that a student shall not be encouraged to make his 
college course professional. Breadth and not atten- 
uated length is what we are endeavoring to secure." 

The president's care for the health and efficiency 
of his faculty and his supreme reliance on them as 

1 In 1888 he reports the average number of students for the 
last twelve years as 339, while the average for the previous 
twelve years was 267 quite an increase, but not a percentage 
of increase equal to that in the number of teachers. 


the strength of the college are emphasized by fre- 
quent appeals for increased salaries, and repeated 
recommendations of a rule whereby, after seven years 
of able and faithful service, every professor should 
be allowed a year's absence on half salary for rest or 
improvement by travel and study. Such a rule has 
never been formally enacted in Amherst College. 
But the same result has been secured, in part at least, 
by the readiness of the trustees to grant such leave 
of absence, when it is asked ; and many of the pro- 
fessors have gained a new lease of life and health, 
and new resources for teaching, by a year or part of 
a year of absence. 

The great increase of elective studies above men- 
tioned was only one of a series or succession of chang- 
es gradually introduced under this administration, all 
tending towards a larger liberty among the students, 
a happier relation and heartier cooperation between 
them and the faculty, and a larger measure of self- 
government and self-education in every department 
of the college. Thus students were admitted to col- 
lege without examination on certificates from such 
preparatory schools as had proved themselves worthy 
of such confidence by sending us such students, and 
only such, as were well prepared. And the process 
of sifting out the unworthy and incompetent was 
carried on through the first term and the first year 
under the eyes of the faculty themselves, and by the 
hands of those who had the immediate instruction 
and government of the freshman class. This was 
felt to be due both to the preparatory schools and the 
college, just and fair to the candidates, and it was 
found to be satisfactory in its results to all concerned. 


A corresponding change was made in the examina- 
tions of the college course. Amherst had already led 
the way in dispensing with biennials and senior ex- 
aminations in the whole curriculum, which all the 
colleges now know to have been a sham and a plague. 
And now she introduced the system of " examination 
reviews," that is, a review, say, once in every two 
or three weeks, on a particular subject or part of a 
subject as the case may be, with the understanding 
that the review is also to be marked as an examina- 
tion, to be followed, at the discretion of the professor, 
by an examination of some kind on the work of the 
term. For example, in the study of Homer, at the 
completion of a book, we would have an examination 
review of the book, and at the close of the term, per- 
haps, a written examination or reading at sight of 
the work of the term. This practice gave rise to the 
rumor, which went abroad, that Amherst had given 
up all examinations, whereas the method in fact se- 
cured the maximum of the benefits of frequent ex- 
aminations and reviews with the minimum of cram- 
ming, cribbing, and mere memorizing which are 
ordinarily attendant upon examinations. 

A change in the marking system accompanied the 
change in regard to examinations. Some of the 
teachers had been accustomed to mark every recita- 
tion, while others had marked no recitations. It now 
became the rule to mark examination reviews and 
not recitations. And instead of attempting to fix 
the rank of every individual student by minute divi- 
sions on a scale of a hundred as formerly, five grades 
of scholarship were established and degrees were 
conferred upon the graduating classes according to 


their grades. If a student was found to be in the 
first or lowest grade, he was not considered as a can- 
didate for a degree, though he might receive a cer- 
tificate stating the facts in regard to his standing; if 
he appeared in the second grade the degree of A.B. 
was conferred upon him rite; if in the third, cum laude; 
if in the fourth, magna cum laude; while if he reached 
the fifth grade he received the degree summa cum 
laude. The advantages of this course, as stated to the 
trustees by the president, are that it properly dis- 
criminates between those who, though passing over 
the same course of study, have done it with great 
differences of merit and of scholarship, and that it 
furnishes a healthy incentive to the best work with- 
out exciting an excessive spirit of emulation. 

The new system of administration, of which the 
above is a part, is so original and peculiar that it is 
known as the Amherst System, and, in justice to 
President Seelye, who is its author, we state the system 
and the reasons for its introduction in his own words. 
In his annual report to the trustees in 1881 he says: 

" The year has been marked by some significant 
changes. At its beginning I proposed to the faculty 
a new scheme of college administration to obviate 
some difficulties long apparent in the relations of 
faculty and students. These difficulties have been 
largely due, I judge, to the fact that the system of 
college administration in our country remains essen- 
tially the same as it was a hundred and fifty years 
ago, while during this time the age of our students 
has been slowly but steadily advancing until it aver- 
ages now some three or perhaps four years more than 
it did a century and a half since. The college, as 


originally established and as subsequently continued, 
stood, in theory, as in loco parentis to the student, but 
the student was considered not as a youthful son to 
be brought into confidential and affectionate com- 
munion with his parent, but as a child, probably 
wayward and certainly incapable of self-direction, 
and to be guided and restrained by the constant con- 
trol of parental authority. This was probably very 
well suited to a condition and time when, as was true 
in some of our prominent colleges, a student could 
graduate having completed the whole course at thir- 
teen, and when a salutary discipline was found in 
corporal punishment ; but it is a very untoward sys- 
tem to maintain over a body of young men old enough 
to possess the rights and incur the obligations of self- 
government. Scores of our students are legal voters 
in our civil elections. Having had for some time a 
growing conviction that this system of college man- 
agement needed now some radical modifications, it 
seemed best to make a trial of these. The first aim 
was the point of view from which the relations of 
the faculty and the students could be correctly ap- 
prehended. It was quite clear that these relations had 
ceased to be those of parent and child. They were 
more nearly those of older and younger brothers, in 
which the older is a helper and guide to the younger, 
and controls him through his own acceptance of rules 
which he sees to be right rather than his submission 
to authority in matters whose Tightness he does not 
see. Rules are, of course, indispensable, but it makes 
a wide difference whether these rules come as an 
enactment which the authority of the faculty is to 
maintain, or whether they shall be accepted by the 


student in an agreement which his own free choice 
is interested to fulfil. The attempt was therefore 
made to formulate a system of administrative rules 
which should simply express what every student 
would recognize as true and obligatory, and whose 
force in constraining reluctant wills should lie not in 
any punishment inflicted by the faculty, but in what a 
student should see from the nature of the case if these 
rules should be disregarded. ... It would certainly 
be better for the student at the age he has now 
reached, and in the immediate preparation he is mak- 
ing for the responsibilities of manhood, if he could 
be led to feel the necessity of self-government. It 
would be better also for the faculty to feel that their 
influence over the student was not to be supported 
by any machinery or outward appliances, but could 
only be maintained by their own power of individual 

" The system after having been thoroughly consid- 
ered received the hearty approval of the faculty, and 
was unanimously adopted. . . . The result has been 
better than any one ventured to anticipate. It is, I 
believe, the unanimous conviction of the faculty that 
they have never known a year when so much honest 
work has been done in the college, and with so 
healthy results, as in the year now closed. The at- 
tendance upon college exercises has surprised us all. 
It was a part of the system that excuses for absence 
from recitations or lectures should no longer be ren- 
dered. The students were informed that absences 
from these exercises, whatever their cause, are ab- 
sences all the same, indicative of a certain lack in 
the work regularly and properly required, which ex- 


cuses, however justifiable, could not change in the 
least, and for which, therefore, they were wholly ir- 
relevant. The college prescribing a certain course of 
study and giving a certain diploma at its close, it was 
said to the students that this diploma should obviously 
express nothing more and nothing less than the exact 
facts in the case, and therefore, if the course prescribed 
had not been fairly and fully followed, it would be 
wrong to give a diploma testifying to the contrary. 

" Lest the system should seem too rigorous or too 
little flexible, it was deemed best to allow a certain 
latitude of absences which a student might take 
without interfering with his standing, and this was 
fixed at one-tenth of the whole number of exercises 
in a given department for a given term. The result 
of this was in one point somewhat unexpected and 
not altogether satisfactory. It was found that the 
students were very economical in the use of these 
absences, carefully avoiding in some cases the least 
expenditure of them till the close of the term, when 
in many instances they took them all together, thus re- 
ducing the length of their term by so much as the per- 
mission would allow. The faculty felt that, undesir- 
able as this was, it was the less of two evils, and that, 
if a student were to take his absences at all, it would 
be better for him to do this in a lump than to string 
them along at irregular times during the term. The 
students have been told upon this point that the 
faculty, though giving this limited latitude of ab- 
sences, deem it unwise for the student to take it in 
any case when it can be avoided, and that they will 
take pains that their instruction shall be as valuable 
at the end as during any part* of the term. During 


the term just ended the attendance continued much 
better to the close than during either of the two 
preceding terms." 

The rules of administration under this system are 
few and simple, in striking contrast with the in- 
numerable specifications of transgressions and pen- 
alties in the " College Laws" of former days, and are 
substantially contained in this single paragraph : " A 
student whose recommendations have been approved 
and whose examinations have shown him capable of 
admission to Amherst College, is received as a gen- 
tleman, and, as such, is trusted to conduct himself in 
truthfulness and uprightness, in kindness and re- 
spect, in diligence and sobriety, in obedience to law 
and maintenance of order and regard for Christian 
institutions as becomes a member of a Christian col- 
lege. The privileges of the college are granted only 
to those who are believed to be worthy of this trust, 
and are forfeited whenever this trust is falsified. 

" On his admission the student signs a promise so 
to conduct himself, and, failing to do so, thereby 
breaks his contract and severs himself from his con- 
nection with the college. In deciding the question 
whether students have thus broken their contract 
and severed themselves from the college, the faculty 
judged it wise to associate with themselves, in the 
immediate government of the college, a body chosen 
by the students themselves, to which questions of 
college order and decorum are referred, and whose 
decisions, if approved by the president, are binding 
on the college. This body is called the College Sen- 
ate, and consists of four seniors, three juniors, two 
sophomores, and one -freshman, chosen by their re- 


spective classes. 1 At the meetings of the senate, 
which are held regularly once a month, the president 
of the college presides. This movement towards self- 
government has been thus far justified by its results." 

So said the faculty in the annual catalogue issued 
at the close of the first year after its introduction. 
And the same verdict is repeated in every annual 
catalogue from that year to the present time. In his 
annual report for 1882, President Seelye says: "The 
results of the new system of administration, of which 
I made a detailed report to the trustees one year ago, 
have been, during the year now closing, most satis- 
factory. The faculty recently made a careful exam- 
ination of these results and were unanimous in their 
judgment that the workings of the system have been 
favorable both as respects the regularity of attendance 
and the standard of scholarship. The system has 
attracted a wide attention, and we find that some 
colleges, by which it was at first sharply criticised, 
are beginning to adopt some of its more important 

The next year he speaks still more positively and 
particularly of the results of the system in Amherst, 
and its adoption in some of its features by other 
colleges : " The demeanor of the students has been 
well-nigh unexceptionable. We have had no hazing, 
none of the old-time college pranks or disturbances, 
none of the unseemly disorders in the village which 
have sometimes prevailed with us and are not infre- 

1 This feature of the " Amherst System" has been suspended 
by the resignation of the members of the Senate. It is be- 
lieved, however, that sooner or later it will be restored, not as 
an essential but a desirable part of the system. 


quent in college towns. Our students have done their 
work during the year with remarkable diligence and 
decorum. The new system of administration meets, 
after the third year of its trial, the same favor among 
the faculty and the students which has been accorded 
it from the first. We all feel that it has greatly pro- 
moted kindliness of feeling and of intercourse be- 
tween the faculty and the students and among the 
students themselves, that it has raised the standard 
of manliness and manly conduct through the college, 
that the grade of scholarship and the regularity of 
attendance have both been increased, and that there 
has been a manifest uplifting of the whole tone of 
the college. We do not regard the system as any 
longer an experiment." 

It is quite unnecessary that the writer should add 
his testimony to that of the president. His report is 
aot merely the partial attestation of the author of the 
system to the work of his own hands ; it is the unani- 
mous verdict of all the faculty and all the students. 
I have never yet seen the teacher or the student who 
would wish to return to the old system. The new 
system is imperfect, of course, like all the works of 
men. It admits of, and doubtless will receive, modi- 
fication and improvement as the result of longer ex- 
perience. It needs careful watching and wisdom in 
its execution. But the old system of permits and 
penalties, of excuses and evasions, of government 
without representation, of stepmotherly prohibitions 
and stepfatherly punishments, of mutual distrust and 
suspicion, of separate interests and hostile plans and 
purposes, has gone in Amherst, and has gone or is 
going in other colleges, never to return. The day 


of common interests and mutual confidence and 
hearty cooperation, the day of representation of the 
alumni in the Board of Trustees, and of under- 
graduates in the faculty, the day of larger liberty 
and more self-government, the day of elective studies 
and manly development and practical preparation for 
the duties of citizenship under free institutions, has 
come in Amherst and is coming coming to stay in 
all our colleges, and we may thank President Seelye 
for hastening its dawn. The faculty of Amherst 
never did a wiser thing than when, early in his ad- 
ministration, they committed the immediate govern- 
ment of the college largely, we might almost say 
entirely, into his hands. He took council with his 
faculty, considered their wishes, and profited by their 
wisdom and experience. He associated a represen- 
tative body of the students with himself in deciding 
questions of college order, deportment, and decorum. 
But he held the reins in his own hands, and his ad- 
ministration proved or illustrated two maxims in the 
science of government: that executive government 
is best administered by one head, and that that gov- 
ernment is best which governs the least. Radical as 
the changes were which he introduced, he ruled with 
great moderation, and great peace and prosperity 
were the results to the college. Gentleness tempered 
by firmness characterized his administration and 
shaped it to suit the character of individual students. 
His patience saved many a wayward student, his gen- 
tleness made many an unpromising student good and 
great. His firmness never feared or hesitated, when it 
became necessary to say to the individual student or 
the whole college, Thus far shalt thou go and no far- 


ther. He knew every student personally, recognized 
him wherever he met him, and called him by name, 
in most cases by his Christian name, as if he were a 
younger brother. Socratic in his method of teach- 
ing, he was Socratic also in his personal influence 
and his strong personal hold on young men. This 
took a good deal of time, but it was time well spent. 
His time belonged to the college, and was given 
without sparing and without grudging to the service 
of the faculty and the students. He made it a rule 
never to be out of town in term time unless he was 
constrained to be absent by manifest duty or impera- 
tive necessity. He taught less and less in the class- 
room. When he entered upon the presidential office, 
he insisted on retaining the professorship of philoso- 
phy as a proper adjunct of the presidency and a 
channel of the greatest and best educational influ- 
ence. But experience taught him that the work of 
this most important professorship and the burdens of 
the presidency of a modern college, and the duties 
of the office as he understood them, were more than 
any one man could carry, and when he found a man 
after his own heart to teach philosophy he first trans- 
ferred to him one-half of the senior class, alternating 
the divisions with him every other day, and then 
handed over to him the instruction of the whole class 
and the responsibility of the department. This left 
him only the " question box" one hour every week, 
an exercise which he continued as long as he con- 
tinued to be president, teaching the class how to ask 
questions as well as how to answer them, and dis- 
cussing with them subjects of the greatest moment 
in literature, science, and art, in politics, ethics, and 


religion, with so much learning and power that, 
through the week, they looked forward to that hour 
with an interest which attended no other college ex- 
ercise. His knowledge of books was as wide and 
profound as his knowledge of men and things. It 
was said of the old Greek philosopher Carneades, that 
he could repeat from memory the contents of any 
book in the libraries as accurately and freely as if he 
were reading from the book itself. Very similar to 
this was the confidence which faculty and students 
reposed in President Seelye 's knowledge of books. 
But he made very little direct use of books, in teach- 
ing. He first absorbed the books, text-books, and 
books of illustration, into himself, and then impressed 
himself upon his pupils. In Raphael's School of 
Athens, a knot of youthful philosophers had sent one 
of their number for a book ; but meanwhile Socrates 
had solved the question, and now we see them wav- 
ing away the returning messenger, and pointing to 
Socrates, as much as to say, Behold, he is the book! 
At the time of his election to the presidency, Dr. 
Seelye had a strong desire to write books on some 
parts of church history and philosophy which had 
not been treated to his satisfaction, and this was one 
reason why he hesitated about accepting the presi- 
dency. But he sacrificed this very natural and worthy 
ambition. He accepted the presidency and devoted 
his life to the work of an educator. Like the great 
Athenian philosopher and educator, he wrote his 
books in the minds and hearts, the characters and 
lives, of his students, where they will live forever. 

Dr. Seelye had translated and published Schweg- 
ler's " History of Philosophy" while he was pastor of 


the church in Schenectady. He revised and edited 
Hickok's "Mental Science" and "Moral Science" 
while he was professor, and rewrote the " Moral 
Science" during his presidency. That remarkable 
little volume, " The Way, the Truth, and the Life- 
Lectures to Educated Hindus," which, within the 
compass of a hundred pages, contains so much of the 
sum and substance of the Gospel, and not the evidence 
only but the very essence of Christianity, was written 
at Bombay after the lectures were delivered, at the 
request of those who heard them, and issued from 
the press in Bombay at the expense of one who was 
himself an eminent Brahmin scholar. This was in 
1873, two or three years prior to his entrance upon 
the presidential office. This was followed, soon after 
his return from India, by another "small book on 
a great subject," " Christian Missions," which was first 
delivered as lectures in several of our principal theo- 
logical seminaries, and then printed in a volume. 
His speeches in Congress were always listened to 
with marked attention and profound respect, although 
they were too independent of party always to com- 
mand the majority of votes. He usually acted with 
the Republicans, but in the famous contested elec- 
tion he stood almost alone in the Republican ranks 
in voting against seating Mr. Hayes in the presiden- 
tial chair. As a member of the Committee on Indian 
Affairs he was a stalwart champion of Indian rights, 
and his speeches on this subject adorn the congres- 
sional records. His occasional addresses, such as his 
election sermon before the governor, council, and 
legislature of Massachusetts, his sermon before the 
American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Mis- 


sions at Minneapolis, his annual address as president 
for several years of the American Home Missionary 
Society, and his baccalaureate sermons were printed 
and published in various forms, and deserve to be 
reprinted for their permanent value as profound dis- 
cussions of the great principles which underlie gov- 
ernment, society, education, and religion. The same 
may be said of the numerous articles which he was 
in the habit of writing during his whole life for the 
reviews, magazines, and newspapers on the great 
questions of the times, such, for example, as these: 
"The Electoral Commission," "Counting the Elec- 
toral Votes," "The Moral Character in Politics," 
" The Need of a Better Political Education," " Dyna- 
mite as a Factor in Civilization," "The Gospel to be 
Preached First in Our Great Cities," "The Currency 
Question," "Christian Union," "Should the State 
Teach Religion?" "The Sabbath Question," "The 
Bible in Schools," "Prohibitory Laws and Personal 
Liberty," "Punishment, its Meaning and Ground," 
"The Recognition of God in the Constitution," 
"Growth through Obedience," "Our Place in His- 
tory." These and the like vital questions always 
interested him profoundly, and he always discussed 
them, whether with the tongue or the pen, in the 
threefold light of universal history, a profound spirit- 
ual philosophy, and an earnest, enlightened, evangeli- 
cal Christianity. And he was usually inclined in 
theory and in practice to adopt the most advanced, 
the broadest and deepest, the most profoundly spirit- 
ual and intensely evangelical views of these great 
questions, so much so that he sometimes seemed to 
be unpractical, and by some persons was thought an 


extremist, although he retained the confidence of his 
fellow Christians in practical matters so fully that 
they placed him at the head of their great missionary 
agencies, and when they wished to formulate a new 
creed for the denomination in which they could all 
unite, he was made chairman of the " Creed Com- 
mission/' and is understood to have drafted the form. 
Plato has the reputation of being an extremist 
and is doubtless open to the charge of carrying 
his political and ethical philosophy to extravagant 
lengths. President Seelye was a philosopher of the 
Platonic school, and his doctrines, his sentiments, 
his style even is shaped, colored, tinged at least by 
that of Plato. But he called no man master. He 
could say with Aristotle, and even more justly than 
he: Amicus Socrates, amicus Plato, magis tamen arnica 
veritas; and to President Seelye, Jesus Christ was 
emphatically and alone the Truth, the Way, and the 

We were accustomed to speak and to think of Dr. 
Seelye through all his earlier life as the healthiest, 
heartiest, strongest, most robust man in the faculty, 
the very ideal of a large, strong, healthy man in 
every particular, physically, intellectually, morally, 
and spiritually. On the 5th of March, 1881, Mrs. 
Seelye was taken from him, and he never seemed to 
recover fully from the shock. A part of himself was 
taken up to the better world, and so tender was the 
tie, so indissoluble the union, so perfect the oneness 
of the present with the future life, that he could 
never think of marrying again. 

In the winter of 1885 he was himself sick with a 
severe attack of erysipelas which brought him to the 


very borders of the grave. Subsequently to this, a 
disease of the nervous system, largely hereditary, 
and partly the result of overwork, care, and responsi- 
bility, gradually developed itself, increasing slowly 
from year to year till at length it interfered not only 
with his comfort but his ability to discharge the 
duties of his office. He consulted the ablest physi- 
cians in his own country ; he went abroad twice for 
medical advice and rest and change, but to no pur- 
pose, till at length his friends and the friends of the 
college yielded reluctantly to his conviction of the 
necessities of the case, and he tendered his resigna- 
tion. The college ought to have had the service of 
at least four more of the best years of his life before 
reaching the limit of threescore years and ten. But 
he bowed serenely, cheerfully to the will of God, 
cooperated heartily with the trustees in the selection 
and inauguration of his successor, and placed the 
keys of the college in his hands with those noble 
words: "Truth and freedom truth coming from 
whatever direction and freedom knowing no bounds 
but those the truth has set have ever been the light 
and the life of this college, and we do not doubt, from 
your work and worth, from your open eye and open 
heart, that they will continue to be the glory and the 
strength of your entire administration. " The present 
administration inherits the good will and the bene- 
diction of that which preceded it, and may the bless- 
ing go down through many generations of wise and 
good presidents, the worthy heirs to such an inherit- 
ance, till time shall be no more. 





THE college is indebted to President Stearns, as 
we have seen in the chapter on his administration, 
for the introduction of the system of gymnastics and 
physical education for which it has since become so 
highly distinguished, and for the erection of the 
Barrett gymnasium by which it was in his day so 
well and worthily represented. But the department 
of hygiene and physical culture has since had a 
growth and development, of which no one at that 
time could have had a conception, and which is fitly 
represented by the Pratt gymnasium and the Pratt 
field of athletics, the Pratt gymnasium having cost 
over $60,000, the Pratt field more than $35,000, and 
the whole plant of the department, including build- 
ings, grounds, apparatus and endowments, mounting 
up to the magnificent sum of $i77,ooo. 1 

The Amherst system of required exercise in the 
gymnasium of all the classes, half an hour daily four 
days in a week, under the direction and control of an 
experienced physician, has been maintained substan- 
tially as it was instituted in 1860, with only such 

1 This includes the Parmly Billings professorship of $50,000, 
founded by Hon. Frederick Billings in memory of his son. 






changes as the wisdom and experience, let me rather 
say the tact and genius, of Dr. Edward Hitchcock 
have devised, and the growing pecuniary resources 
of the department have enabled him to accomplish, 
for its enlargement and improvement from year to 
year. With all the extension and multiplication of 
optional studies, these exercises have never been 
made elective. If anything is "compulsory" in 
Amherst, it is the gymnastic exercise just as much 
so as attendance on any lectures or recitations, quite 
as '* compulsory" as morning prayers or church ser- 
vices, and not less imperative, unless excused by the 
professor in special cases, than breakfast, dinner, 
and supper. During the fall and winter terms and 
a part of the spring term, every class is obliged, four 
days in a week, to go through a dumb-bell drill 
that was learned at the beginning of the course. 1 
Being done with piano accompaniment, these exer- 
cises are not monotonous, especially as no two of 
them are alike, and as each is composed of a large 
variety of movements. Every spring there is held 
in the gymnasium a prize exhibition, at which the 
three lower classes compete in marching and dumb- 
bell drilling, for a prize. This causes the class ex- 
ercises to be conducted during the last part of the 
winter with a marked degree of energy, steadiness, 
and punctuality. The principal interest has been 
created by the rivalry between the classes, especially 
the junior and sophomore, to have the larger number 
of points and win the prize of $100. In addition to 

1 For some of these details, I am indebted to a magazine ar- 
ticle recently published with the approval of the Department. 


these class exercises, the department stimulates an in- 
terest in athletics by holding every fall an out-of-door 
athletic meet and every winter a heavy gymnastic 
exercise. At both events the individual prize-win- 
ners are given medals, and the class scoring the 
largest number of points at the former receives a 
barrel of cider, which is disposed of with many cere- 
monies, and at the latter has its numerals placed on 
one of the banners hanging on the walls of the gym- 
nasium. Does not the success of these contests 
among our own students prove the practicability of 
finding at home exercise and recreation that are al- 
together wholesome and sufficiently exciting, and 
yet free from the temptations and dangers, the ex- 
penses and excesses that are inseparable from inter- 
collegiate games and the visits of masses of college 
students to other colleges and our large cities? 

But these intercollegiate games are just now all 
the fashion and the passion of the times, and Am- 
herst is swept along with the tide. For a short time, 
from 1869 to 1875, the boating "craze" prevailed, 
and in 1872 the Amherstcrew won the intercollegiate 
race over a three-mile course at Springfield against 
the crews of Harvard, the Massachusetts Agricul- 
tural College, Bowdoin, Williams, and Yale. But 
the distance of the college from the river forbade 
the necessary practice, gradually damped the ardor 
of the crew, and after a few years they withdrew 
from the contests. 

Since 1875 the chief interest has centred in the 
intercollegiate ball games, baseball in the spring 
and early summer, and football in the autumn. 
Amherst has played with each of the New England 





colleges, belonged to different leagues, and con- 
tended with varying alternations of successes and re- 
verses, sometimes, though rarely, defeating Harvard 
and Yale, bearing off her full share of honors in her 
contests with other colleges, and generally, I be- 
lieve, though not without some exceptions, sustaining 
a good reputation with the public, not only as ath- 
letes but as gentlemen. Amherst is a member of 
the American Intercollegiate Athletic Association, 
at the meeting of which in 1890 her representatives 
took two first prizes and one second, and also of the 
New England Association, in which Amherst won the 
championship in 1888 and 1890. It is only quite 
recently that she has entered the lists in lawn ten- 
nis, and she has not gained distinction in that line, 
although one of her sons, Mr. C. A. Chase, as the 
result of his practice in Amherst, has, since his 
graduation, won several trophies, including that of 
the championship of the West. 

The effect of the system of physical education on 
the health, strength and general appearance of the 
students is proved by the physical tests and actual 
measurements of the department, and indeed it is 
visible and palpable to the senses of the casual ob- 
server. Statistics kept by the department for the 
last thirty years show a sensible diminution in the 
percentage of sickness and deaths, and a palpable 
increase in the average strength of students as meas- 
ured by the most approved strength-tests. And 
any one who has been familiarly acquainted with the 
college for half a century cannot but be struck with 
the manifest improvement in \hz physique of the stu- 
dents. I cannot accept without many grains of al- 


lowance the graphic characterization of the typical 
college student of the last generation by President 
Walker, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 
in his oration before the Phi Beta Kappa society of 
Harvard University at a recent commencement. 
"The college hero of those days," he says, "was 
apt to be a young man of towering forehead, from 
which the hair was carefully brushed backwards and 
upwards to give the full effect to his remarkable 
phrenological development. His cheeks were pale ; 
his digestion pretty certain to be bad. He was self- 
conscious, introspective, and indulged in moods, as 
became a child of genius. He had yearnings and 
aspirations; and not infrequently mistook physical 
lassitude for intellectuality, and the gnawings of dys- 
pepsia for spiritual cravings. He would have 
greatly distrusted his mission and his calling had he 
found himself at any time playing ball. He went 
through moral crises and mental fermentations which 
to him seemed tremendous. From the gloomy re- 
cesses of his ill-kept and unventilated room, he peri- 
odically came forth to astound his fellow-students 
with poor imitations of Coleridge, De Quincey and 
Carlyle, or of Goethe in translation." 

Now this is, of course, overdrawn and exagger- 
ated. If the orator did not intend to exaggerate 
when he wrote it, he would probably acknowledge 
now that it was at least high colored. It savors of 
that rhetoric or fine writing which he so much dis- 
parages and decries as " the be-all and end-all of 
the college training of those days," but which, in 
its legitimate use and best form, so highly adorns 
this oration. It is drawn, we must think, less from 


memory than from imagination, which, quite as 
much as memory, is "the mother of the Muses," the 
maker of science as well as literature and art, and 
without which General Walker himself could not 
have made such a splendid success of the institute 
over which he presides. But we fully agree with 
him when he says that the improvement wrought in 
the physique of our college students by the introduc- 
tion of gymnastic exercises does not need to be 
shown statistically: it is manifest to the eye of the 
most casual observer. And we heartily approve of 
the strong plea which he makes in behalf of a well- 
regulated system of physical education in our col- 
leges, while we admire his wise and discriminating 
suggestions in regard to the regulation, restriction, 
improvement, and perfection of intercollegiate ath- 
letics. I agree entirely with President Walker, 
of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, when 
he says that college athletics wonderfully light up 
the life of our people ; that they stimulate an inter- 
est in gymnastics among those students who do not 
engage in competitive contests, and also throughout 
the general community ; that they call for more than 
mere strength and swiftness they demand also 
courage, coolness, steadiness of nerve, quickness of 
apprehension, resourcefulness, self-knowledge, self- 
reliance, ability to work with others, power of 
combination, co-operation, obedience to orders, 
subordination of selfish impulses, and something 
akin to patriotism and public spirit. And as an 
indispensable means for the attainment of these 
ends, he urges that regard for fair play, that respect 
for the rights of an opponent, that deference to the 


decisions of the umpire, which are so conspicuous in 
English athletics; the complete abolition of the un- 
sportsmanlike system of organized cheering by great 
bodies of collegians grouped together for the pur- 
pose ; the training of audiences as well as students to 
appreciate the finer points, to applaud good work by 
whomsoever done, and to be as virtuous as a Greek 
chorus, and the cooperation of alumni to give wis- 
dom, weight and temper to the action of undergrad- 
uates; and last, not least, perhaps hardest of all, the 
education of faculties to avoid petty dictation on the 
one hand, and to sustain the claims of scholarship 
and enforce the right discipline of college on the 

A good step toward the realization of these ideals 
in Amherst was taken in 1870, when the Amherst 
athletic board was organized, consisting of three 
members of the faculty, one of whom shall be the 
professor of hygiene and physical education, three 
alumni of the college, Mr. F. B. Pratt, donor of the 
new field, and three undergraduates namely, the 
presidents of the baseball, football and athletic 
associations. Recently, delegates from various 
football associations have been in session to revise 
the rules of that game and provide remedies and 
checks against some of its worst and most brutal 
features, and to make it less dangerous without mak- 
ing it less lively and interesting. Meanwhile the 
newspaper press is crying aloud for reform. And 
the president of our oldest and greatest university, 
while testifying to the advantages which have re- 
sulted from the great development of athletic sports 
within the past twenty-five years, protests against 


the overtraining and overstraining, the danger of 
serious bodily injuries, the extravagant expenditure 
of time and money, the excessive excitement of in- 
terest and feeling, and the morbid craving for popu- 
lar applause and perchance pecuniary profit, which 
are attendant especially upon the intercollegiate 
football games at the present time, and suggests sev- 
eral changes which would at least diminish the ex- 
isting evils, such for example as these: that there 
should be no freshman intercollegiate matches; no 
games to be played on any but college fields, be- 
longing to one of the competitors, in college towns; 
no professional student or player should take part in 
any intercollegiate contests; no football to be played 
until the rules are so amended as to diminish the 
number and the violence of the collisions between 
the players and to provide for the enforcement of the 
rules; and intercollegiate contests in anyone sport 
should not take place oftener than every other year. 

If some such changes as these could, with one con- 
sent, be introduced, it would seem that the evils at- 
tendant upon the games might be avoided without 
abolishing the games themselves. And thus at 
length the ideal which President Walker suggests 
in concluding his oration might perhaps be realized, 
art may be elevated to a far higher and nobler 
place than it has hitherto reached in the thoughts 
and affections of our people, and the vision of the 
Apollo may rise to the view of thousands in this 
fair land as once erst it rose before the thronging 
multitudes of Olympia. 

The history of physical education in Amherst can- 
not be written without reference to the man who has 


been the making of it from the beginning, and who, 
thanks to the kind Providence that has preserved 
him through all these years, is still the head and 
front, the spirit and soul and body of the depart- 
ment. Amherst graduates cannot think of their col- 
lege gymnastics and athletics without being re- 
minded of Dr. Hitchcock; gymnastics without him 
would be like Hamlet's play with Hamlet's part left 
out. Dr. Hitchcock is at once the mainspring and 
the regulator of the class exercises. Dr. Hitchcock 
takes the gauge of every individual student and 
tells him how to secure a sound mind in a sound body. 
Dr. Hitchcock, by his measurements, has contributed 
largely toward making gymnastics a science and an 
art. Dr. Hitchcock, by his personal presence at in- 
tercollegiate games, has done much to guard the 
health and life of the players, the morals and man- 
ners of all our students. Is any one sick, he sends 
for " the Doctor. " Does any one sham sickness, " the 
Doctor " is sure to find him out. Is any one morbid 
or morally diseased, " the Doctor" can furnish the 
diagnosis and prescribe the remedy. Is the college 
in a disorderly or unhealthy state, socially or spirit- 
ually, no one is so sure to know it or so wise to cure 
it as " the Doctor. " u The Doctor's" eye and hand are 
on every wheel and band and cog of the college ma- 
chine, to keep it in place and in motion and perform- 
ing its proper part. " The Doctor" there is only 
one " Doctor" (" Doc" for short) in the vocabulary 
of Amherst students " the Doctor" is always pres- 
ent at morning prayers and the weekly prayer meet- 
ing, and no one takes part, his own or perchance 
another's, in these services more happily or more ac- 


ceptably than he. No member of the faculty is 
invited so frequently to local alumni associations. 
No one is welcomed so heartily, no one is seen or 
heard with so much pleasure, no one anywhere can 
make a more apt, pat, witty, or happy after-dinner 
speech than Dr. Hitchcock. In short, "the Doctor" 
is an omnipresent spirit of health and life, of cheer- 
fulness and happiness, of good sense and good will, 
of all that is good and gracious in every place and 
everything that concerns the college with which he 
has so long been connected. Long live Dr. Hitch- 
cock ! O king, live forever ! 

The history of -our college societies during the first 
half century of the institution is written in the 
first edition of this history, in President Hitch- 
cock's " Reminiscences of Amherst College," and 
still more fully in Mr. Cutting's " Student Life in 
Amherst," and those who wish to read it in detail 
must go to those sources. But these societies have 
had such a development and attained such promi- 
nence and influence during the last twenty years, 
that I cannot conclude this history without a brief 
sketch of their growth and progress. 

The two literary societies, Alexandria and Athe- 
nae, which, from the very beginning, divided the stu- 
dents almost equally between them and exerted an 
influence on the taste and style of writing and speak- 
ing of their members scarcely second to that of the 
professors, and which, I ventured to hope, would live 
as long as the college itself, have not realized that 
hope. They have become extinct ; their libraries in 
which the members took so much pride and pleas- 
ure have been merged in the college library, and 


their archives are preserved only in the archives of 
the college. The Society of Inquiry also, which, 
beginning with the opening term of the college, 
counted in the roll of its members the leading min- 
isters and missionaries of more than fifty classes, and 
provided the commencement with an almost uninter- 
rupted succession of annual addresses from distin- 
guished orators and divines for more than half a cen- 
tury this venerable society still exists and bears the 
name of the "Hitchcock Society of Inquiry," but it 
has dropped its distinctive character, and become 
one of nearly a dozen societies, chiefly Greek letter 
societies, for literary culture or general social im- 
provement and enjoyment. The Greek letter so- 
cieties have increased in number and influence, till 
almost all the students belong to them. The fol- 
lowing is a list of the names of the fraternities, with 
the dates of the Amherst Chapters in the order of 
their establishment: 

Alpha Delta Phi 1837 

Psi Upsilon . . . . . . 1841 

Delta Kappa Epsilon ..... 1846 

Delta Upsilon 1847 

Phi Beta Kappa 1853 

Chi Psi 1864 

Chi Phi 1873 

Beta Theta Pi 1883 

Theta Delta Chi 1885 

Phi Delta Theta 1888 

Phi Gamma Delta 1894 

Five of these societies, it will be seen, have been 
introduced at Amherst within the last twenty years. 

These fraternities are a connecting link between 
the colleges and universities of our country, a 


bond of union between the States, and a medium of 
mutual acquaintance and intercommunion between 
educated and educating men, with many of the ad- 
vantages and some of the dangers and evils attendant 
upon Masonic lodges and other secret societies. 
The chapter houses, which some of them rent and 
others own, having bought or built them for them- 
selves, draw kindred spirits together, give them a 
home in college for which they care and in which 
they feel a pleasure and a pride, and exert an influ- 
ence at once powerful and salutary in the govern- 
ment, education, and social culture of undergraduate 
students, while they furnish also a rendezvous and 
a hospitable reception to graduates when they re- 
visit their alma mater. A band of brothers feeling 
a lively interest in the reputation of their chapter 
and in the character and conduct of all its members, 
by their social gatherings, their literary exercises, 
their mutual personal influence, and above all by the 
watch and care of the older and wiser over the 
younger, less mature, and perhaps less studious 
members, they guard the morals, correct the faults, 
stimulate the ambition, cultivate the manners and 
the taste, elevate the scholarship, in a word form the 
character and fashion the life of the membership, 
and thus contribute no unimportant element to the 
order, decorum, scholarship, and culture of the 
whole college. In fact, they act an important part 
in that system of self-government and training for 
the duties of citizenship in a free country in which 
Ainherst is taking the lead among American col- 
leges. President Seelye relied much on their co- 
operation and influence in his administration. In 



his annual report to the trustees in 1887, he says: 
" Besides other helps toward the good work of the 
college, important service is rendered by the soci- 
eties and the society houses. No one now familiar 
with the college doubts, so far as I know, the good 
secured through the Greek letter societies as found 
among us. They are certainly well managed. Their 
houses are well kept, and furnish pleasant and not 
expensive houses to the students occupying them. 
The rivalry among them is wholesome, kept, as it 
certainly seems to be, within excessive limits. The 
tone of the college is such that loose ways in a soci- 
ety or its members will be a reproach, and college 
sentiment, so long as it is reputable itself, will keep 
them reputable." A distinguished classmate of 
President Seelye, the Honorable Wm. G. Ham- 
mond, lately chancellor of the law department in 
Iowa University, and now dean of the law school in 
Washington University, Missouri, in a recent ad- 
dress at a convention at Amherst of one of these 
societies, suggested the possibility and desirable- 
ness of a further development of them into some- 
thing like the colleges in the English universities. 
Of course, such societies, like everything else in 
this imperfect world, are liable to perversion and 
abuse. The purest stream may be polluted, and then 
it will breed sickness and death instead of life and 
health. Like our whole system of self-government, 
they need watching, lest they become nurseries of 
indolence, ease, pleasure, extravagance, dissipation, 
vice, instead of the opposite virtues. Their charac- 
ter and influence will depend very much on the char- 
acter of the college in which they are established. 


In Amherst their influence has been and is unques- 
tionably favorable to good morals, order, decorum, 
gentlemanly deportment, and scholarly attainments. 
Nothing else would be tolerated, if for no other rea- 
son, because anything else would be unpopular in 
the college, and so fatal to the reputation and pros- 
perity of the society. It is not denied that the soci- 
eties add somewhat to the expenses of their mem- 
bers, but not largely : any large expenditure is extra, 
and is provided for by voluntary contributions of 
alumni and members that are able to make them. 
It is acknowledged that there is in some of the soci- 
eties too much fondness for promenades, dances, and 
other amusements, especially in the winter term, 
the Congregational Lent, which is the most appro- 
priate and favorable season for religious interest. 
But drinking and carousing are not tolerated in the 
society houses ; prayer meetings and pastoral visits 
are welcomed, and there is no better place than 
these houses for the propagation of religious influ- 
ences. It may not be easy to sanctify and appropri- 
ate college athletics and college societies and make 
the most of the best there is in them, but it is an ob- 
ject well worthy of the most patient and persevering 
effort, for, if the effort is successful, they will be 
among the most potent influences for good in the 
college of the future. 




FROM 1823 TO 1853. 

OUR readers are familiar with the fact that Har- 
vard, Yale, Oxford, Cambridge, all our older colleges 
and universities, were founded by religious men, 
from Christian motives, and largely for the educa- 
tion of ministers of the Gospel. But in the latter 
part of the eighteenth century religion and morality 
suffered a sad decline. After the American and 
French Revolutions, the dams and dikes seemed to 
be swept away, and irreligion, immorality, scepti- 
cism, and infidelity came in like a flood. The col- 
leges were of course deeply affected by the prevailing 
spirit of unbelief and impiety. In Yale College, 
only eleven undergraduates are known to have been 
professors of religion in 1795 ; about four years later, 
the number was reduced to four or five, and at one 
communion only a single undergraduate was present. 
A graduate of the class of 1783 remembered only 
three professors of religion in the class of 1782, and 
only three or four in several of the other classes. In 
the darkest time, just at the close of the century, 
there was only about one church member to a class. 



In Harvard College the facts were much the same. 
And the state of things in the churches was no better. 
A young man who belonged to the church in that 
day was a phenomenon almost a miracle. 

But in the nineteenth century a new era began in 
the religious history of churches and colleges an 
era of revivals and conversions, of home and foreign 
missions, of active, earnest, and aggressive piety in 
ministers and Christians, of prayer for colleges, a 
great increase in the number of graduates from the 
older colleges entering the ministry and the work 
of missions, and the establishment, especially in the 
West, of new colleges, we might perhaps say a new 
species of Christian colleges, by the united and spon- 
taneous efforts of evangelical Christians with more 
express reference to a general revival of religion and 
the conversion of the world. Amherst was among 
the first of these colleges. It was born of the spirit 
of revivals and missions. It is not strange, there- 
fore, that its religious history has been largely a 
history of revivals, and our readers will not think it 
strange if revivals constitute the principal theme of 
this chapter. A few words, however, must first be 
said in regard to the origin of the College Church. 

During the first four years, the college attended 
church with the people of the village in the old meet- 
ing-house, which then stood at the top of the hill 
over against the site of the present college building, 
very nearly on the spot where the Woods cabinet and 
Lawrence observatory are now situated. 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 move- 


ment 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 pro- 
mote the great object which its founders and bene- 
factors had chiefly in view, viz., to advance the 
kingdom of Christ the Redeemer, by training many 
pious youths for the gospel ministry ; several of the 
students also having expressed their desire to be 
formed into a church specially connected with the 
college, and the officers of the college having signi- 
fied their approbation of such measure, the subject 
of founding a church was laid before the trustees at 
their special meeting in April, 1825, by the presi- 
dent. The trustees, therefore, passed the following 
resolutions, viz. : That Rev. Heman Humphrey, 
D.D., Rev. Joshua Crosby, and Rev. James Taylor 
be a committee to consider the expediency of estab- 
lishing a college church in this institution, and 
to proceed to form one if they should deem it 

" The above-named committee assembled at Am- 
herst, on the seventh of March. 1826, and after de- 
liberation on the subject referred to their wisdom 
and discretion, they resolved themselves into an ec- 
clesiastical council. 

" The council then voted to proceed to form a church 
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 membership, and should be able heartily to 
assent to the following articles of faith and covenant." 


Then follow the creed and covenant, which are in 
substance the same with those of Orthodox Congre- 
gational churches generally in New England at that 

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 preced- 
ing articles and covenant, after an appropriate ad- 
dress by Dr. Humphrey, were solemnly constituted 
the Church of Christ in Amherst College. The 
Church was then commended in prayer to the cov- 
enanted blessings of the one God, the Father, Son, 
and Holy Ghost." 

The style of the church is worthy of notice. Al- 
though founded upon the principles of the Congrega- 
tional platform, it has never assumed any denomina- 
tional name, but has alwa} y s been styled " The Church 
of Christ in Amherst College." The form for ad- 
mission of members to the church was so changed 
under the presidency and pastorate of Dr. Stearns, 
that members have since been received on their as- 
sent to the Apostles' creed and acceptance of the 
doctrines of Christianity as generally held by our 
Congregational churches. The covenant remains 
unchanged to this day, and Dr. Burroughs introduced 
the practice of receiving into covenant and fellowship 
with the college church students who wished to com- 
mune with us without being dismissed from their 
churches at home. Many have thus entered into 
covenant with the church, on the basis of letters of 
recommendation, without dismission, from Presby- 
terian, Baptist, Methodist, and other churches, not 
excepting in a few instances even the Catholic 


Church. This practice brought them into more in- 
timate and responsible relations to one another and 
the members of the college church, and made our 
communion Sabbaths seasons of wider and deeper 

The church remained almost a year without a pas- 
tor, Dr. Humphrey acting meanwhile as permanent 
moderator. In February, 1827, after careful con- 
sideration and conference with the trustees by com- 
mittees, the church, with the full approval of the 
trustees and the faculty, resolved that it was ex- 
pedient to complete its organization by the election 
and installation of a pastor, and by a unanimous vote 
they chose Dr. Humphrey their first pastor. The 
installation took place on the 24th of February, 1827, 
in connection with the dedication of the new college 

The first revival occurred in the spring term of 
1823, about a year and a half after the opening of the 
college. The whole } T ear and a half preceding had 
been a gradual preparation for it. The religious 
students spent whole days in fasting and prayer. 
The annual concert of prayer for colleges was held 
for the first time in February, 1823. This was ob- 
served in the college and was a day of deep and sol- 
emn interest. President Moore's address to the stu- 
dents on this occasion was peculiarly appropriate and 
happy. His 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." 1 "They held early morning 
prayer meetings, and would sometimes, even in study 
hours, go into each others' rooms and spend a few 
moments in prayer. At no time in the day perhaps 
could a person go into an entry or pass into the 
fourth story without hearing the voice of prayer from 
some room." * 

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. At the result of the revival 
twenty-three conversions were counted, leaving only 
thirteen without a personal faith and hope in Christ. 3 
Among the converts in this first revival were, in the 
senior class, Rev. David O. Allen, the first missionary 
among the Amherst graduates, and Theophilus Pack- 
ard, the first president, and for many years, of the 
Amherst Alumni Association, and in the junior class 
.Rev. Bela B. Edwards, the distinguished professor 
of biblical literature in Andover -Theological Semi- 
nary, and Rev. Austin Richards, D. D., who received 
the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity from Dart- 
mouth and was for thirty years pastor of the church 
in Nashua, N. H. Besides the conversion of the 
larger part of the unconverted, nearly one-quarter of 
all the members of the college, the influence ex- 
tended to those who were not reckoned as converts. 
Thus Edward Jones, the colored student of the class 
of 1826, who was counted among the unconverted at 
the close of the revival, soon after his graduation 

1 Manuscript letter of Rev. Theophilus Packard, class of '23. 
2 Rev. Justin Marsh, class of '24, manuscript letter. 
3 Manuscript letter of Dr. A. Chapin, class of '26. 


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, 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. 

The next revival, the first under the presidency 
and pastorate of Dr. Humphrey, was in 1827, of which 
we take the following brief narrative from a com- 
munication to the Christian public, under date of 
May 15, 1827, by the president himself: 

" 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 following week our new chapel was dedicated, 
and a pastor was set over our infant church. Both 
these occasions were marked with uncommon inter- 
est and solemnity. At length there was a 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 2oth 
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 evidence of faith and 
repentance and who are beginning to cherish hope, 
twenty at least are supposed to have experienced re- 
lief in the space of a single week. 'It is the Lord's 


doings and marvellous in our eyes. ' As this gracious 
visitation seemed to demand a public acknowledg- 
ment to the great Head of the Church, before we 
separated at the close of the term, a religious service 
was appointed as the last exercise, and a very appro- 
priate and impressive discourse was delivered in the 
chapel by the Rev. Dr. Woodbridge, of Hadley." 

The following extract from a letter of Rev. A. 
Tobey, D.D., of the class of '28, will show the light 
in which this revival was viewed by the students : 

" The whole college was so influenced, that through 
the first of the year it had an entirely different aspect. 
Our class, then juniors, was essentially changed in 
character. Two who had been decidedly sceptical, 
Kidder and Winn, became decided and earnest Chris- 
tians. Humphrey, 1 the president's oldest son, had 
been altogether irreligious, wild and negligent of all 
study, except in the rhetorical department and gen- 
eral literature. He became, for the rest of his course, 
correct in his conduct, serious and earnest as a Chris- 
tian, diligent and faithful as a student. The change 
as to interest in religious things was also marked in 
other cases, such as Fuller, Hunt, 2 Lothrop, 3 and 
Spotswood. 4 Among those who joined the church as 
the fruit of this revival were some of the foremost 
men of the class. 

! Rev. E. P. Humphrey, D.D., professor and president in 
Danville Theological Seminary. 

2 Rev. Daniel Hunt of Pomfret, Conn. 

3 Hon. E. H. Lothrop, Speaker of Michigan House of 

4 Rev. J. B. Spotswood, D.D., long pastor of Presbyterian 
Church in New Castle, Del. 


"Of the class before us (1827), I suppose McClure, 1 
was the most remarkable instance of conversion. I 
mean publicly the most remarkable. Perhaps the 
conversion of Timothy Dwight, 2 really the first 
scholar in his class, may have been as interesting 
to those who knew him well. In the class after us 
(1829), the most marked and externally wonderful 
change was in Henry Lyman, 3 who was afterward 
the martyr missionary, with Munson, killed by the 
Battahs of Sumatra. Lyman had been one of the 
worst, of 'the boldest in wickedness, apparently defy- 
ing the authority of God ; but when he came under 
the pressure of God's truth and spirit, he became as 
ardent and bold for Christ as he had before been in 
opposition to all good. " 

A very full and interesting narrative of this revival 
forms the principal part of one of the chapters in 
Prof. Jacob Abbott's " Corner-Stone. " 

The next year, viz., during the latter part of the 
spring term of 1828, another season of revival was 
enjoyed, '* highly interesting (in the language of the 
church record, which is in the handwriting of Profes- 
sor Fiske), although not so rapid or powerful as that 
of 1827. But the Holy Spirit manifestly descended, 
and it was supposed that about fourteen members 
of college experienced his regenerating influences." 

The revival of 1831 occurred in the spring, like all 

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

2 Timothy Dwight, tutor and missionary, died in 1838. 

3 For Mr. Ly man's account of his own conversion and 
other incidents of this revival, see his journal and letters in 
the memoirs by his sister, Miss Hannah Lyman, principal of 
Vassar College. 




those which 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 sudden sickness and 
death of a member of the senior class produced a 
deep and solemn impression. The seriousness began 
in that class and among its leading members, 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 irre- 
ligious life, these leading men, one after another, re- 
nounced the world and consecrated themselves to the 
service of their Redeemer. Thus the influence spread 
silently and gradually through and from the senior 
class, by a law as natural as that by which water 
runs down hill, and flowed through the college. At 
the communion in May, seven, and at that in August, 
nineteen, members of the college, twenty-six 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 my best 
recollection, between thirty and forty were reckoned 
as converts. The village church was blessed at the 
same time with a revival of great power and interest. 
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 the three 
years there were occasional conversions and additions 
to the church by confession at almost every com- 
munion. At length, in 1835, when no class remain- 
ing in college had witnessed one of these favored 

OF THE * >, 




seasons, the institution was again blessed by a copious 
outpouring of the Spirit, which was gratefully ac- 
knowledged, as was usual in those days, in the rec- 
ords of the faculty and of the church, and as the result 
of which thirteen were added to the church before 
the close of the term, among whom were Clinton 
Clark, valedictorian of the class of '35, afterward 
tutor; William A. Peabody, salutatorian of the same 
class, afterward professor; John Humphrey, George 
P. Smith, Alexander H. Bullock, and Daniel W. Poor. 

There were revivals also in the spring term of 1839 
and in the summer of 1842, this last being the only 
one in the whole history of the college which oc- 
curred in any other than the spring term. 

In his farewell address, which is largely taken up 
with the religious history of the college, President 
Humphrey says: " Amherst College has been blessed 
with seven special revivals of religion. 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." And in this 
connection he gratefully acknowledges his obligation 
to the professors, all of whom, with a single excep- 
tion, were preachers, for preaching in rotation with 
himself on the Sabbath and in the stated evening lec- 
tures. "The faculty," he says, "have always felt it 
to be no less their duty than their privilege to attend 
the stated evening lectures, and after its close they 
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. " 


Less than a year after Dr. Hitchcock's accession 
to the presidency, during his first winter term, there 
was an interesting revival, which brought into the 
College Church many members of the two lower 
classes, and a few from the junior class; nearly all 
the senior class were, already Christians. Among 
the additions to the church we cannot but notice the 
names of William C. Dickinson, Charles Vinal Spear, 
John W. Belcher, William S. Clark, Samuel Fisk, 
Francis S. Howe, Thomas Morong, Henry J. Patrick, 
and Charles H. Hartwell. And among the means 
which were employed, besides plain and pointed 
preaching on the Sabbath and at the Thursday even- 
ing lecture, there were special services, usually 
preaching on Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday evenings; 
and in this preaching Professor Fiske is remembered 
as preaching with overwhelming power, and the more 
remembered, because it was his last work, as the 
entry in the church records of this addition is the 
last of the kind, and indeed, with a single exception, 
the last of any kind that is preserved in the hand- 
writing of that honored and lamented professor. It 
should be added, that President Hitchcock opened 
his own house on Monday evenings for a meeting, 
partly for inquiry and partly of conference on ques- 
tions of practical piety and personal religion, to which 
all students were invited, which first filled the study 
and at length crowded the large double parlors, and 
which had a great influence on the origin and prog- 
ress of the religious interest. 

In the winter and spring of 1850, there was another 
general revival, in which there were over thirty 
" hopeful conversions" among the students, and which 


made no small addition to the numbers and the 
strength of the church. Including some from the 
families of the faculty, there were thirty-three per- 
sons who together presented themselves at the altar, 
almost filling the broad aisle of the chapel, all in the 
bloom of youth, and who now for the first time dedi- 
cated themselves by their voluntary consecration to 
the service of their Maker, Redeemer and Sanctifier. 

The year 1853 is reckoned among our seasons of 
spiritual harvest, although the religious interest was 
not so deep or so general, 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 that there were at this period additions 
to the church by confession 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 persons among the leading scholars and 
men of influence in their respective classes, three of 
them since distinguished educators in New England, 
made a public profession of their faith in Christ. At 
the communion next preceding, in February, 1849, 
one person, then a member of the sophomore class, 
stood up alone and avouched the Lord to be his God 
thenceforth and forever. And these sentences from 
a letter written in September, 1870, from the shores 
of the Mediterranean, show what most impressed 
this young man on entering college and what kind 
of influences brought him from a wilderness of error 
and unbelief into the fold of Christ : " First impres- 
sions are lasting. And my first impression of Am- 


herst College has never left me. We (H. and myself) 
had come from Ohio by the way of Lake Erie and the 
Canal, and seen not a little of rough and profane so- 
ciety on the way. What we witnessed on entering 
the college was such a contrast to all this and indeed 
to all we had been accustomed to in our own previ- 
ous observation and experience, that it seemed as if 
we had passed into another world. The solemn, 
cheerful, and intellectual air of the president and 
professors at morning and evening prayers, and the 
religious tone, not of voice but of heart and life, in 
the majority of the students led me into a new train 
of thought, gave me new views, and made me ere 
long a new man." 

The freshman who was thus led to be a believer 
in Christ, the sophomore who thus stood up alone to 
declare himself on the Lord's side, is now the presi- 
dent of the Syrian College in Beirut, who is leading 
on the combined assault of learning and the religion 
of Christ Jesus against Mohammedanism in its strong- 
holds. In the same letter he adds his testimony also 
to the power and genuineness of revivals in Amherst 
College. "These revivals," he says, "stamped upon 
my mind the conviction that Amherst College be- 
lieved 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 heart and the intellect moved on 
together. Twenty years have proven that those 
who then embraced the truth were sincere; for they 
are found many of them to-day, in various parts of 
the world, spending their maturer years in preaching 






DURING the first twelve years of Dr. Stearns* presi- 
dency there were seven seasons of special religious 
interest, thus averaging more than one for every two 
years. At no time during this period was there an 
interval of more than two years without such a sea- 
son, and in one instance two successive years were 
thus blessed. 

The years 1855, 1857, 1858, 1860, 1862, 1864, and 
1866, have usually been reckoned as years of revival, 
although there was no very broad line of demarca- 
tion between some of these years and some of those 
that have not been so reckoned ; for there was not 
one of these latter years in which there was not some 
quickening in the winter term, and I believe none in 
which there were not in the course of the year some 
hopeful conversions. 

Of the revival in 1855, as of those a few years 
earlier, we have the testimony of a college president 
in the Levant, who was a member of the senior class 



at that time. 1 We have space only for a, few sen- 

"We had some noon class meetings which will 
never be forgotten by those who attended them, when 
we wept and prayed together until it seemed we were 
bound together by such cords of love and sympathy as 
unite saints and angels in heaven. This may seem 
a strong expression. It was exactly what we felt, 
and no one who has not been in a college revival can 
realize the truth of it. There can be nothing like it 
out of college. 

" The genuineness of this feeling was manifested 
when we came to the usually exciting class elec- 
tions. Our meeting was free from any exhibition of 
selfishness or party feeling. Class Day lasted from 
eight o'clock one day until half-past six the next day. 
It commenced with a social prayer meeting and closed 
at morning prayers when we all came into the chapel, 
and the president gave us his blessing. 

"When we entered college, out of sixty-three in 
our class only twenty-two were Christians. When 
we graduated, out of fifty-four, forty-eight were pro- 
fessors of religion. In all there were twenty-four 
conversions in our class during our college course." 

Several of the best scholars and leading men in 
the senior class, at the beginning of the year, were 
not only without hope in Christ, but opposed to evan- 
gelical and personal religion. One of these excited 
great interest. The writer of this history had re- 
peated interviews with him, and followed up personal 

*Rev. George Washburn, President of Robert College, in 
a letter based on a journal kept at that time. 


conversation with written appeals. Never have I 
seen such bitterness of feeling, coupled with such ac- 
knowledged and utter wretchedness. He cursed the 
day of his birth, and was almost ready to curse his 
best friends, the name, sacred in the history of mis- 
sions, which he bore, the parents that gave him birth, 
and the God who made him for a life of sin and mis- 
ery. Like Saul of Tarsus, he breathed out threaten- 
ings and slaughter against the church. But like Saul 
of Tarsus it was at length said of him " Behold, he 
prayeth." The next morning his whole appearance, 
as well as character and spirit, was changed. From 
that time he labored to build up what he before 
sought to destroy. Three years later this Saul of 
Tarsus was with us, an officer of college, a co-laborei 
in the revival of 1858 a very Paul the Apostle in 
the boldness, force of reasoning, and fervor of elo- 
quence with which he prayed men to be reconciled 
to God. And now he is one of the most able, earnest 
and useful among the pastors in our Congregational 

The revival of 1858 exceeded in power and interest 
any other in the period now under review, if not any 
other in the whole history of the college. We have 
space only to record the results as they were given 
to the public by President Stearns not long after the 
event : 

" Nearly three-quarters of our number were previ- 
ously professors of religion, about twenty of them 
having taken their stand publicly on the side of 
Christ some months before. Of the remainder be- 
tween forty and fifty have been hopefully converted 
during the term, leaving less than twenty in the 


whole college undecided. Of the senior class but 
three or four remain who have not commenced the 
Christian life; of the junior class, but one, and he an 
inquirer; of the sophomore class, four or five; of the 
freshmen, nine or ten. The reformation of character 
and manners was not less remarkable than the re- 
newal of hearts." 

The ) T ear 1866 was a memorable year in the relig- 
ious history of the college, exceeding even 1858 in 
the number of those who began a new Christian life, 
and hardly surpassed by it in the deep interest of the 
scenes and events of the revival, though differing 
much from that season in the apparently spontaneous 
beginning and quiet progress of the work. 

Since 1866 revivals have been less frequent and 
less powerful in Amherst, as also in other colleges 
and churches, than they had been in the previous 
half-century. But in the last spring term of the last 
year of his life, as we have already said in a previous 
chapter, the prayers of President Stearns were an- 
swered and his labors were blessed in what he con- 
sidered, and we also felt to be, perhaps the greatest 
and best of all the revivals that had crowned his 
college work and one of the greatest and best in the 
whole history of the college. On the last Sunday 
that he officiated, and at the last sacrament of the 
supper that he administered, he received to the com- 
munion the largest number of young men that he had 
ever admitted at one time to the college church, thus 
setting the seal to his testimony to the reality and 
worth of revivals of religion and bringing to a fitting 
close the work of a long, useful, and happy life. 

In 1878, the second year of President Seelye's ad- 


ministration, the records of the college church show 
the admission of twenty-seven members by profession 
at one communion, and of three members at each of 
three subsequent communions. Four years later, in 
1882, there was a season of especial religious interest, 
which he thus gratefully acknowledges in his annual 
report to the trustees : 

" We have had many blessings during the year, 
the chief of which has been a deep and pervasive re- 
ligious revival during the winter term, whose power 
has been seen with only blessed results through the 
year. Without any undue excitement and without 
any interruption to our college work, the whole col- 
lege has been evidently lifted thereby to a higher 
plane of both moral and religious action." 

It appears from the records of the church that six- 
teen persons were admitted to its membership as the 
immediate result of this revival, and nearly as many 
more at other communions in the course of the year. 
In none of his subsequent reports does President Seel- 
ye speak of anything that he calls a revival, and as it 
has already been said that revivals were less fre- 
quent in the last half of President Stearns' adminis- 
tration, so we must acknowledge that they were less 
frequent and less powerful under the administration 
of President Seelye. There were times of refreshing 
and rejoicing every year in connection with the day 
of prayer for colleges. The church was revived and 
strengthened, and additions were made from time to 
time to its members as well as its strength. But 
there were not such seasons of universal thoughtful- 
ness and seriousness, of anxiety and deep conviction 
of sin on the part of the irreligious, of earnest and 


importunate prayer among Christians, of numerous 
conversions and great rejoicings as are technically 
called revivals. And a corresponding change had 
taken place also in the churches. The time was 
when, in our Congregational and Presbyterian 
churches, it was expected that the children and youth 
in Christian families would grow up out of the church 
and without personal religion. And when they came 
into the church it would be only after a long period 
of deep distress and conviction of sin, followed by 
marvellous light and peace and joy. Such angular 
and spasmodic conversions, as they have been some- 
times called, would, of course, cause wonder and joy 
in the congregation, and spreading through the com- 
munity would bring large numbers into the church, 
until they came to be regarded as the chief if not 
the indispensable means of its growth and prosper- 
ity. Indeed, there were times when conversions that 
were not attended by such feeling and excitement 
were looked on with suspicion as hardly genuine. 
These views have gradually changed and at length 
passed away. Under the influence of Christian nur- 
ture and training the children of Christian parents 
are now expected to grow up as Christians, to enter 
the church in early youth or childhood, and it is 
deemed a matter of little moment whether they know 
the time when they began the Christian life. Of 
course, in such churches with such views revivals 
have greatly changed their character, or ceased to 
exist. In Christian families the very materials are 
wanting for such revivals, for those spasmodic con- 
versions do not occur, and there will be revivals only 
in the etymological and strictly proper sense of the 


word, as a renewal and quickening or a development 
and manifestation of the Christian life in the church, 
together with the bringing in of those who have 
never been in the fold of Christ or, as prodigal sons, 
have wandered away from it. Such a change as we 
have imperfectly described has gradually come over 
our Christian colleges. In the earlier years of the 
history of Amherst, such young men as Bela B. Ed- 
wards, Alexander McClure, Henry Lyman, Edward 
P. Humphrey, Jonathan Brace, Ebenezer Burgess, 
Asa S. Fiske, Charles Hart well, etc., came to college 
from Christian families but without hope in Christ, 
without personal piety, some of them bitterly hostile 
to evangelical and experimental religion, and con- 
tinued so until almost the close of their college 
course. And when in their senior year it was an- 
nounced that, perhaps after prolonged darkness and 
distress or violent opposition, they had been con- 
verted and come out positive and strong on the Lord's 
side, of course it produced a prodigious impression, 
and large numbers followed in their footsteps. But 
the same men coming to college in these days would 
in all probability have come as members of the 
church, and although their influence would have been 
great for good, they could not have been the means 
of so powerful an impression, and the very materials 
for such a revival would be wanting. 

A large proportion of those who come to Amherst 
from Christian families in these days come as mem- 
bers of Christian churches. Indeed, there has been 
slow and gradual increase in the percentage of church 
members at their entrance, almost from the begin- 
ning. The percentage of -church members in the 


class of '86 at their entrance was 54; in the class of 
'87 it was 50; in the class of '88 it was 68; in the 
class of '89 it was 67. This large percentage of 
church members at their entrance, together with an 
increasing number of students who come from fam- 
ilies that are not religious as the college grows older 
and larger, is probably the principal cause of the 
change which we have noted in regard to revivals. 

It is a change of form and manner rather than of 
principle and spirit. Then there was more of excite- 
ment and intensity of feeling; now there is more of 
Christian work and associated action. Then revivals 
and conversions were more matters of observation 
and remark; now they excite less attention, won- 
der and admiration ; while there is perhaps more 
consistency, steadfastness and perseverance, certainly 
there never was a time when the whole college, the 
trustees, the faculty, and the great body of the stu- 
dents were more decidedly and positively Christian 
in their faith and practice; strong in faith, rich in 
good works, steadfast and immovable, always abound- 
ing in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as they know 
that their labor is not in vain in the Lord. 

There are other causes at work, which are unfa- 
vorable to revivals, such as the growth of the college, 
the increasing number of the faculty and the stu- 
dents, the number and variety of elective studies, 
which make the faculty and students no longer 
the unit they once were in their instruction and their 
moral and religious influence, the weakening to some 
extent, though by no means so much as in the larger 
universities, of the tie which unites classmates to 
each other and once made it easy to propagate relig- 


ious interest through classes all these are adverse 

There are two causes, which, although they are 
good and useful in themselves, tend to impair the 
feeling of personal responsibility which the faculty 
of Amherst College used to feel for the religious 
character of the students. The faculty used to have 
charge of the Thursday evening meeting and of the 
special meetings on other evenings in times of re- 
vival. But this responsibility is now divided be- 
tween a few of the professors and the Christian stu- 
dents, especially the members of the Young Men's 
Christian Association. Moreover, a large proportion 
of the faculty used to take their turn in preaching in 
the college pulpit. This duty is now devolved on 
the pastor or associate pastor and the distinguished 
preachers from abroad, who are invited to occupy the 
pulpit from time to time. Of course, there are great 
advantages in both these arrangements. But they 
have also their incidental dangers and temptations, 
especially to shirk responsibility for the religious 
education of the students. 

There are other temptations and dangers for which 
we cannot shake off the responsibility. The grand 
central doctrines of Christianity, the law and the gos- 
pel, the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, atone- 
ment and redemption, the exceeding sinfulness of sin, 
and the great salvation are not preached now in church 
and college with the simplicity, pungency, and power 
which made them so potent in the revivals in the 
first half of the present century, and which still make 
them powerful in the hands of such evangelists as 
Mr. Mills and Mr. Moody. The applications of 


Christianity to society, government, and the common 
affairs of this life have never been urged from the 
pulpit with so much clearness and force as they now 
are, and organizations are multiplied for carrying 
the gospel to the masses of the poor, sinning and 
suffering in our own land and to the perishing mil- 
lions of heathendom. And this is well. We are 
proud of our Beecher and our Parkhurst and our more 
recent and less famous graduates who are the pastors 
of institutional churches, who preach the gospel to 
the poor, who live the gospel in the vilest and most 
wretched parts of our great cities, as Christ came into 
our sinful and miserable world to seek and to save 
that which was lost. We admire their patriotism 
and charity and philanthropy. We honor their self- 
sacrifice and moral courage and martyr spirit and 
heroic deeds which speak louder than words. But 
are we not in danger of forgetting that all men are 
lost, that this is a lost world, that there is another 
world of righteous and eternal retribution, that or- 
ganizations are only machines which cannot save 
souls, and that men must be converted, sanctified, 
and saved as individuals, not as communities or na- 
tions? Is there not still greater danger that the 
pressure of business and pleasure on the churches 
and of study and amusement in the colleges will drive 
out sober thought and serious attention to personal 
religion. In those times of great and blessed re- 
vivals, there was one term set apart and consecrated 
especially to the religious interest of the colleges. 
The winter term, in itself peculiarly adapted to such 
use, was the appointed season for the day of prayer 
for colleges, and was widely, we might say generally, 


devoted to that service, both in the colleges and the 
churches, and that was the season in which almost 
all those glorious revivals occurred which so glad- 
dened the hearts of Christian parents and strength- 
ened the hands of ministers and missionaries through 
the land and the world. But now foot-ball has taken 
possession of the first term, and base-ball of the third 
term, and the junior promenade and the like social 
pleasures, and concerts and lecture courses, are en- 
croaching on the second term, and no time is left for 
special attention to that which is the chief concern of 
individual students and the vital interest of the whole 
college. Must this be so? Ought it to be so? We 
freely admit that we cannot expect just such revivals 
as were the joy and strength of the college in its first 
half-century. But why may we not have a portion 
at least of the winter term as a longer day of prayer, 
like a more spiritual and better Lent, consecrated 
and set apart, not to cease from study, but from or- 
dinary recreations and amusements, to stop and think 
on higher and better themes, to pray and labor for 
those things which it chiefly concerns us to know and 
to do, to give to spiritual truths and eternal realities 
the place and weight to which in their nature they 
are manifestly entitled? 

According to our last general catalogue (in 1892- 
93), there were 3,428 alumni of Amherst, of whom 
1,164 have been ordained clergymen and 120 foreign 
missionaries. These statistics show that more than 
one-third of the entire number of Amherst graduates 
have been ordained clergymen. The percentage 
of ministers, however, during the fifty years in- 
cluded in this history (1840 to 1889 inclusive), has 


been gradually diminishing. In the first quarter 
century of that period (1840 to 1864), it was 32 per 
cent; in the second quarter (1866 to 1889 inclusive), 
it was 17 per cent; and in the last five years of that 
period (1885 to 1889), about 15 per cent of graduates 
and non-graduates entered the ministry. 1 

This was to be expected in a college which was 
founded expressly for the education of ministers, but 
which has grown to dimensions altogether exceeding 
the highest expectations of the founders. In one 
point of view, of course, it is to be regretted ; in an- 
other, it is a matter of rejoicing. We cannot but 
regret that more of our graduates do not become 
ministers; we cannot but rejoice that so many of 
them are Christian laymen, workers for Christ in 
business, in the professions, in all the common walks 
of life. Would God, they were all either the one or 
the other, and in our day we can hardly tell for which 
the demand is the more imperative. 

Doubtless the Master would say : " These ought ye 
to have done and not to leave the other undone." 
Must we always go from one extreme to another? 
Why may we not be more like the primitive church, 
into which large numbers were gathered on a single 
day, and yet the Lord continued to add to them daily 

1 Our readers who have read the article of Professor Pea- 
body in The Forum for September, 1894, will see that the per- 
centage of Amherst graduates entering the ministry in his 
last period is considerably less. But his last period is the last 
five years up to date, while that in our text is the last five years 
of President Seelye's administration. At Amherst a good 
many graduates enter the ministry after several years of 
teaching or other ways of raising money. 


of such as were being saved? But while we thus 
recognize the fact that there are diversities of opera- 
tions but the same Spirit, we need above all a deep 
feeling of our entire dependence on that Spirit for 
his regenerating, sanctifying, and saving power and 
presence. " Ye shall receive power, after that the 
Holy Ghost is come upon you, and ye shall be wit- 
nesses unto me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and 
in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." 




The establishment of Amherst College was made 
possible by a subscription known as the Charity 
Fund, amounting to $52,244. When the first build- 
ing, South College, was erected, inhabitants of Am- 
herst, Pelham, Leverett, Belchertown, Hadley, and 
even more distant towns, gave stone, lime, sand, 
lumber, and other materials, also labor, provisions 
for the workmen, and the use of teams and tools. 
Much of the furniture for the rooms was obtained in 
this way ; and there were also some gifts of money 
especially for the erection of this building. 


The chief donation of this period is known as the 
Thirty Thousand Dollar Subscription. There were 
various small gifts of money and articles, including a 
bell, several pieces of apparatus, and books for the 




Bequest of Adam Johnson for a chapel $4,000 

Subscription of 1832 50,000 

John Tappan, for essays on temperance 500 

Subscription used for buying books about 3, 500 

Subscription of 1840 to 1845 ; this includes $10,000 of 
the Sears Foundation, $15,000 to be given for a 
professorship, and $11,000 known to be set down 
in wills of persons then still living 100,000 



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 

Subscription for the Library Building and for books. 15,000 

Appleton Zoological Cabinet 10,000 


Here should be mentioned, also, Professor Adams' Zoolog- 
ical Collection, Professor Shepard's Cabinet of Minerals, Pres- 
ident Hitchcock's Ichnological Cabinet, and the collection of 
Indian relics given by Edward Hitchcock, Jr. 


Donation for the Sweetser Lecture-Room, 1855 $1,000 

Donation for the Nineveh Gallery,* 1857 967 

Subscriptions for East College, 1857, seq 5,ooo 

Donation for Williston Hall, 1857 16,000 

Hitchcock Scholarships, 1858 10,000 

* Building and contents cost $1,167, f which only $200 was 
paid out of the College Treasury. 


Legacy of Dr. and Mrs. Moore, 1858 ................ $9, 175 

Legacy of Asahel Adams, 1858 ..................... 4, 500 

Subscriptions for the Gymnasium, 1859 ............. 3,55o 

Donation of Messrs. J. C. Baldwin and A. Lilly, 1859. 4,000 

Subscriptions of Alumni for the Library, 1859, seq. . 7,000 

Legacy of Jonathan Phillips,* 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,* 1863. 8,000 

Walker Building Fund (Dr. Walker and others) , * 1 864. 140, ooo 

Donation for College Church (W. F. Stearns), 1864.* 46,000 

Samuel Green Professorship, 1864 .................. 25,000 

Walker Legacy, 1866 .............................. 144,976 

Donation of George H. Gilbert for books,* 1866 ..... 7,000 

Legacy of Dr. Barrett for Gymnasium, 1870 ......... 5, ooo 

Mr. Williston for Instruction in English Literature, 

1869-71 ........................................ 3,ooo 

Donation of Mr. Williston at Semi-Centennial, 1871. 50,000 
Donation of Mr. Howe, Chime of Bells and Scholar- 

ship, -1871 ...................................... 5,000 

Increase of Charity Fund f ......................... 10,000 

Increase of Stimson Fund .......................... 8,000 

Mr. Hitchcock to increase his Professorship and 

Scholarships, 1.869 ............................. 20,000 

Recent Scholarships ............................... 35, ooo 

Prizes not mentioned above ........................ 12,000 

Increase of Collections in Natural History J ......... 8,000 

Illustrations and Ornaments in Classical Recitation- 

Rooms ......................................... 2, 500 

Bust of Dr. Hitchcock and other Ornamental Statuary i, 500 

Hallock Park, 1868 ................................. 2,000 

Mr. Hitchcock, for Scholarships and Kindred Pur- 

poses, 1872 .................................... 100,000 

Total .................................. $769, 168 

* With income added. f Added to the principal. 

\ Estimated at $12,000 by the curator (Prof. E. Hitchcock), 
but about $4,000 was paid for some of them out of State 
grants already mentioned. Among the donations 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). 
Some $600 was paid to Dr. E. Hitchcock, Jr., for specimens 
in Comparative Osteology. 



Subscriptions to pay Shepard note : 

Mrs. Samuel Williston $2,500.00 

E. H. Sawyer 2,000.00 

W. W. Scarborough 2,000.00 

F. Gilbert 250.00 

A. L. Williston 2,000.00 

John C. Parsons 400.00 

S. B. Chittenden 2,000.00 

James B. Jermain 2,000.00 

Harding, Gray & Dewey 100.00 

William Whiting 5,000.00 

James Y. Yates 500.00 

John A. Burnham 3,000.00 

Anonymous 2,000.00 

E. A. Goodnow 1,000.00 


Collected by Professor Mather for the Mather 

Collection of Art : 

J. H. Southworth $2, 500.00 

G. H. Whitcomb 250.00 

Roland Mather 100.00 

Mrs. Charlotte A. Johnson 50.00 

James H. Welles' Estate 276.42 


Lucius J. Knowles, legacy for Art Collection 5,000.00 

Subscription for addition to the Library building : 

Aaron Bagg $500.00 

James Y. Yates 250.00 

W. W. Scarborough 2,000.00 

W. O. Grover 1,000.00 

James B. Jermain 8,000.00 

John A. Burnham 2,000.00 


Dr. Eben Alden for care of Library . . 5,000.00 

Joel Giles for books for Library 50,595.00 

C. M. Pratt toward Gymnasium 35,275.00 

Toward furnishing Gymnasium : 

Frederick Billings $5,000.00 

W. W. Scarborough 1,000.00 



For new Mineralogical Cabinet : 

John A. Burnham $5,000.00 

W. W. Scarborough 2,000.00 


Jonathan Brace legacy $2,000.00 

William Reed legacy ($5,000 was re- 
ceived in 1858) 5,000.00 

Asa Otis legacy 25,000.00 

Williston legacy 28,615.48 

Mrs. V. G. Stone Professorship 50,000.00 

Henry Winkley 50,000.00 

Frederick Billings 50,000.00 

D. Willis James Fund 100,000.00 

Seelye Fund, given by D. W. James. . 100,000.00 

Winkley Legacy 30,000.00 

Mrs. Chester W. Chapin 50,000.00 

H. T. Morgan's bequest 80,556.72 

Dr. William J. Walker's estate 11,357.89 

Frederick Marquand and his estate. .. 15,000.00 

Frederick Billings, for general use... 5,000.00 

Welles Southworth gift 5,000.00 

Class of 1880 Fund, for general use 365.00 

Latin Prize Fund 2, 524.93 

Class of 1878 Latin Prize Fund 200.00 

Parmly Billings Senior Latin Prize 

Fund 1,100.00 

Chemical Fund of 1861 1,010.96 

Thomas McGraw, for apparatus for 

astronomical department 150.00 

L. Hamilton McCormick, for new 

clock in chapel 650.00 


Chemical Laboratory Building Fund : 

E. A. Strong $1,400.00 

J. E. Sanford 500.00 

D. Willis James 10,000.00 

J. S. Brayton 500.00 

H. D. Hyde 2, 500.00 

E. W. Peet loo.oo 

G. H. Whitcomb 5,000.00 

20, ooo . oo 

E. W. Bond, toward rebuilding Walker 

Hall i, ooo. oo 

Gift of Robt. M. Woods and sister 5,630.66 

Pratt Athletic Field and grand stand, 

with grading and furnishings, by 

F. B. Pratt 25,446. 57 


Scholarships : 

James S. Seymour $5,000.00 

Quincy Tufts 2,000.00 

Mrs. S. P. Miller 1,000.00 

Class oi 7 1856 1,000.00 

Dolly Coleman Blake 842. n 

Class of 1858 1,000.00 

Class of 1869 1,000.00 

David and G. Henry Whitcomb. . . 12,000.00 

Moses Day 5,000.00 

Rev. Henry S. Green 1,000.00 

Class of 1865 1,008.31 

Class of 1845 987.98 

Classes of 1829, 1835, 1838, 1866, 

1867, and 1870 502.26 

Class of 1862 (Henry Gridley 

Scholarship) 2,000.00 

Mrs. Valeria G. Stone 25,000.00 

Mrs. Alice T. March (Thomas Hall 

Scholarship) 1,000.00 

Lucius J. Knowles 3,000.00 

Charles Thayer Reed 2, 500.00 

$65 , 840. 66 

Grand total $826, 398. 60 










Total of 






















1824-25. . . . 

















































1831-32. . . . 































































1840-41. . . . 







1841-42. . . . 



































1846-47. . . . 














1848-49. . . . 






































































* Special and graduate students are not included. 



YEAR (Continued} .* 







Total of 








1859-60. . . . 






































































1869-70. . . . 







1870-71. . . . 





























































9 2 















































































1890-91 .... 







1891-92. . . . 







1892-93. . . . 





















* Special and graduate students are not included. 





bo 45 

o a 

3 S 

73 S 

T3 Pn 




s a' 


bflrt'g rt 

.5 "'So of 

J^j CO r I CO 

w S 


o o o o o 

o o o o o 

o o o o o 

* o" o ^> o 




g C 
C ^> 
O T3 


: Jg'i f 2]*S 














A. A. $... . 








*. Y 








A. K. E 








A. T 








X. * 








X. 4> 








B. 9. n 








e. A. x 








4>. A. e 








4>. T. A. (Established 1893) . . 



Total in fraternities.. 








Non-society men 








Total in college 









1821 to 1833 

$10 to (i>n* 

1864 to 1868 


1833 to 1834 


1868 to 1871 


1834 to 1836 


1871 to 1875 


1836 to 1847 


1875 to 1886 


1847 to 18^^ 


1886 to 


1855 to 1864 


*This included room-rent, lights, etc., and varied accord- 
ing to the room occupied. 

f Beginning with 1833, the tuition fee paid for nothing but 


ABBOTT, Jacob, tutor, 43; pro- 
fessor, 60; mentioned, 62, 274 

Absences, allowance, 241 

Academy, turning the college 
into, considered, no 

Adams, Charles B., tutor, 97; 
Professor, gives his zoological 
collection, 116; death, 135; his 
sons in the Civil War, 184; 
mentioned, 125, 134 

Admission, requisites in 1822, 31; 
by certificate, 236 

Alden, Dr. Ebenezer, gift, 144; 
gift for the library, 231; men- 
tioned, 104, 117 

Alden, Rev. Edmund K., D.D., 
mentioned, 206 

Alexandrian Society, organized, 
33; library, 32, 34, 72; end, 261 

Allen, Rev. David O., claim to 
be first graduate, 39; men- 
tioned, 271 

Allen, Francis R., architect of 
library, 230 

Allen, Dr. Nathan, mentioned, 
162; quoted, 163, 164 

Alumni, subscription by those at 
Andover, 79; criticise the col- 
lege publicly, 98; number, 290 

American Education Society, 
mentioned, 21 

Amherst, town, aid of inhabi- 
tants, 17; relations with the 
college, 87; starting place for 
subscriptions, 123 

Academy, rise and ca- 
reer, 3-5 ; its trustees plan the 
Charity Institution, 6; call a 

convention to consider their 
plan, 10; do not oppose re- 
moval of Williams College, 14; 
mentioned, 36, 47 

Amherst System described, 238- 

Anti-slavery excitement, 90-92; 
societies of students, 91 

Appleton Zoological Cabinet, 
donation obtained, 127, 129; 
erected, 146 

Appointments for exhibitions, 
dissatisfaction with, 92-96 

Athenian Society, organized, 33; 
library, 32, 34, 72; end, 261 

Athletic Board, 258 

contests, 254; value and 

needs, 257, 258 

Ayres, Rowland, tutor, 134 

BAKER, Lieut. Enos, mentioned, 

Baldwin, Moses H., gift, 144 

Band, college, 74 

Banister, Hon. William B., men- 
tioned, 79, 105 

Barnum, Rev. H. N., mentioned, 


Bartlett, Homer, mentioned, 52 
Barrett Gymnasium, built, 150 
Barrett, Dr. Benjamin, gifts and 

bequest to gymnasium, 151; 

gift for improving grounds, 159 
Baseball ground laid out, 159 
Bathing establishment, provided 

by students, 74 
Beecher, Rev. Henry Ward, 

mentioned, 150, 193, 289 



Belcher, John W., mentioned, 


Bell and Tower, 28 
Bernard, Gov. Francis, charters 

Queen's College, I 
Billings, Dea. Elisha, mentioned, 


Billings, Parmly, professorship, 
252 n. 

Blodgett, Rev. Edward, mention- 
ed, 94 n. 

Boltwood, Lucius, mentioned, 63 

Boltwood, Lucius M., librarian, 


Bowles, Samuel, mentioned, 151 

Brace, Jonathan, mentioned, 286 

Buildings, first stone, 124; in Dr. 
Stearns' presidency, 145 

Bullock, Hon. Alexander H. t 
presides at the Semi-Centennial 
Celebration, 193; establishes a 
scholarship, 197 ;/. ; mentioned, 
130, 162, 276 

Bullock, Hon. Rufus, gives a 
telescope, 121, 130 

Burgess, Ebenezer, mentioned, 

Burr, Dr., lectures on natural 
theology, 171 

Burroughs, Rev. George S., 
D.D., appointed to the Samuel 
Green professorship, 213; be- 
comes president of Wabash 
College, 213; mentioned, 269 

Burt, William S., mentioned, 32 

CALHOUN, Hon. William B., ad- 
dress of commemoration, 120; 
lecturer, 134; mentioned, 104, 
H5, H7 

Catalogue, first, 30; reissued, 31; 
for 1822-23, 32; for 1824-25, 
43; for 1825-26, 62 

Chapel, considered, 69; built, 70; 
cost, 75 n.\ renovated, 158 

Chapin, Dr. Alonzo, quoted, 33, 

Charity Fund, devoted to bene- 
ficiaries, 99 n. 

Charity Institution, founded, 6; 

constitution, 6; convention to 
consider the project, 10; loca- 
tion decided, 10, n ; subscrip- 
tion raised, 12; further meas- 
ures taken, 15; committee on 
site and building appointed, 
16; building erected, 17-19; 
corner-stone laid, 20; relations 
with education societies, 21; 
first president elected, 22; 
course of study to be thorough, 
23; dedication and inaugura- 
tion exercises, 25; opened for 
students, 26; first catalogue, 
30; first anniversary exercises, 

Charter, first application to Leg- 
islature, 46; second applica- 
tion, 47-51; third application, 
5 I ~5^; granted, 58; peculiar 
provisions, 58; organization of 
trustees under, 59 

Chemistry, apparatus provided, 
29; first lectures, 30; depart- 
ment removed to Williston 
Hall, 1 68; receives a grant from 
the Walker Legacy Fund, 169; 
new laboratory, 233 

Child, Linus, mentioned, 171 

Chip day, 33 

Church, college, building erected, 
154-58; preachers in, 210; es- 
tablishment, 267-69; member- 
ship, 269; first pastor installed, 

Church, W T est Parish, withdrawal 
of college from, 68 

Civil War, enlistments of profes- 
sors and students, 183; grad- 
uates and undergraduates who 
served in, 185; number of offi- 
cers, 1 86; deaths in the service, 
187; undergraduates who died 
in the service enrolled as grad- 
uates, 188 

Clark, Alvan, mentioned, 121, 

Clark, Clinton, mentioned, 276 

Clark, Rev. Daniel A., men- 
tioned, 20, 21, 25 n. 



Clark, Hon. Lincoln, quoted, 42 
Clark, Prof. William 8., sub- 
scription to build gymnasium, 
150; resigns, 160; service in 
the Civil War, 169, 183; re- 
ported killed, 184; mentioned, 
125, 134, 146, 150, 168, 169, 

Clarke, George C., mentioned, 193 
Classical department, changes, 


Coburn, Rev. David N., men- 
tioned, 94 . 

Coe, Elijah L., mentioned, 32 

Coleman, Lyman, instructor, 134 

College Hall purchased, 159 

Collegiate Charity Institution. 
See Charity Institution. 

Colton, Simeon, mentioned, 4 

Commencement, afternoon ses- 
sion abolished, 83; time 
changed, 101 

Condit, Rev. Jonathan B., ap- 
pointed professor, 64; men- 
tioned, 105 

Connecticut valley, college want- 
ed in, i, 15 

Course of study in 1822, 31; in 
1824-25, 43; parallel course, 
64-68; in 1837-38, 97 

Cowles, Dr. Rufus, mentioned, 

Cowles, Prof. William L., men- 
tioned, 72 n., 215 

Cressey, Rev. Timothy Robin- 
son, and his sons in the Civil 
War, 187; quoted, 46 

Crew, wins intercollegiate race, 

Crosby, Rev. Joshua, mentioned, 

16, 20, 21, 25, 268 
Crowell, Prof. E. P., his labors 

for the college, 222 

DEBT of the college, 99, 102, 117, 


Degree of A. B., grades, 238 
Derby, Hasket, mentioned, 130 
Dickinson, Hon. Edward, men- 
tioned, 153, 228 

Dickinson, Col. Elijah, men- 
tioned, 16 

Dickinson, Enos, gives the Nine- 
veh Gallery, 146 

Dickinson, Samuel Fowler, men- 
tioned, 12, 16, 21 

Dickinson, William A., mention- 
ed, 153, 154, 155, 158, 191, 
227, 228, 229, 232 

Dickinson, William C., tutor, 
134; mentioned, 277 

Donations, meeting for com- 
memorating, 120; list, 293-98 

Dwight, Timothy, mentioned, 

Dwight, Rev. Dr., quoted, 225, 

EAST and West Parishes, feud, 
47 n. 

East College erected, 149 

Eaton, Prof. Amos, mentioned, 
30, 35 

Eaton, J. H., instructor in 
chemistry, 169 

Edwards, Prof. Bela B., chair- 
man of committee on library 
building, 123; death, 124; 
mentioned, 121, 271, 286; 
quoted, 37 

Edwards, Henry, gift, 144; 
mentioned, 105, 117, 162 

Edwards, Henry L., tutor, 134 

Elective studies, 175, 235 

Ely, Rev. Alfred, D.D., men- 
tioned, 117 

Emerson, Benjamin K., ap- 
pointed instructor in geology, 
171; appointed professor, 171 

Emerson, John M., tutor, 134 

Estabrook, Joseph, elected pro- 
fessor, 24; inaugurated, 25; 
librarian, 30 

Esty, William C., appointed in- 
structor, 165; professor, 165; 
mentioned, 226 

Examinations, system changed, 

Exercise, required, 252; effect, 



Expenses of students, 33, 84, 88, 

FACULTY, fine provided for, 82 ; 
assume financial management, 
106, 109; benefited by David 
Sears, 116; increase, 285; leave 
of absence, 236 
Field, Lucius, tutor, 30 
Fayerweather bequest, 233 
Field, Rev. Pindar, first presi- 
dent of the Athenian Society, 
33; graduation, 36; mentioned, 
27, 34, 194 

Field, Rev. Thomas P., tutor, 
97; professor, 127; resigns, 
173; Samuel Green professor, 
212; resigns, 213; mentioned, 


Fines, 81, 82 

Fisk, Rev. Samuel, death in the 
Civil War, 185; mentioned, 


Fiske, Asa S., mentioned, 286 

Fiske, Rev. John, D.D., men- 
tioned, 16, 55, 117 

Fiske, Rev. Nathan W., Pro- 
fessor of Latin and Greek, 
43; transferred to chair of 
philosophy, 64; character, 134; 
mentioned, 62, 79, 82, 134, 
277; quoted, 113, 274 

Fiske, Samuel, tutor, 134 

Fletcher, William I., services as 
librarian, 223 

Foster, Hon. Alfred D., men- 
tioned, 105, 117 

Fowler, Prof. William C., resig- 
nation, 103 

Franklin County Association of 
Ministers, suggests a college at 
Amherst, 2 

Fraternities, Greek letter, when 
established, 262; influence, 
262-65; number of members, 

Freshman levee, 133 

Frink, Prof. Henry A., mention- 
ed, 215 

Fuller, Edward J., mentioned, 2 73 

GARMAN, Prof. Charles E., men- 
tioned, 215 

General Court, See Legislature, 

Genung, Prof. John F., mention- 
ed, 215 

Gifts in President Stearns' ad- 
ministration, 141; in President 
Seelye's administration, 233 

Gilbert Museum, beginning, 127 

Giles, Joel, gift for the library, 231 

Gillett, Hon. Edward B., men- 
tioned, 151, 155 

Goose joke, 45 

Gorham, William O. , case of, 

Government, system revised, 97; 
the Amherst System, 239-41; 
its success, 243-45 

Graves, Col. Rufus, labors to ex- 
tend the usefulness of Amherst 
Academy, 5; financier, 63; 
mentioned, 3, 21, 30, 54, 118 

Graves Professorship, 116, 118 

Gray, Henry, mentioned, 21, 32 

Green, Lewis, tutor, 134 

Green, Samuel, Professorship 
founded, 166; provision that it 
be held by Dr. Stearns, 200; 
the professor associate pastor, 
210; views of President Seelye 
on, 210 n. 

Grennell, George, mentioned, 12, 

Grounds, grading, 73; extensive 
improvements, 159, 234 

Grout, Rev. Jonathan, mention- 
ed, 16, 20 

Gun captured at Newbern, 189 

Gymnasium, provided by stu- 
dents, 74; building provided, 
150; Pratt Gymnasium built, 

HACKETT, Prof. H. B., men- 
tioned, 195 

Hallock, Gerard H., mentioned, 
36, 50, 121 . 

Hallock, Leavitt, gives Hallock 
Park, 160 



Hammond, Hon. William G., 
mentioned, 264 

Hampshire County, memorial of 
1762, I 

Hardy, Hon. Alpheus, gift, 
144; establishes prizes, 145; 
mentioned, 151, 153, 155, 

Harris, E. P., appointed profes- 
sor of chemistry, 169 

Hartwell, Charles H., mention- 
ed, 277, 286 

Harvard College, mentioned, 2, 
49, 63, 87, 267 

Hathorne, George, architect of 
Walker Hall, 153 

Haven, Prof. Joseph, mentioned, 
125, 134 

Hayden, gift for improving 
grounds, 159 

Henshaw, Dr. Marshall, tutor, 
134; lecturer, 218; recommend- 
ed by President Seelye, 219; 
resigns, 220 

Hitchcock, Rev. Calvin, men- 
tioned, 79 

Hitchcock, Charles H., appointed 
lecturer on zoology, 171 

Hitchcock, Rev. Edward, D.D., 
appointed professor, 60; elect- 
ed president, 106; solicits a 
building from Mr. Sears, in; 
his scientific standing benefits 
the college, in; mode of an- 
nouncing donations, 119; pro- 
poses to resign, 122; sent to 
Europe, 122; gives his collec- 
tion of fossil footmarks, 126; 
applies for part of Samuel Ap- 
pleton's educational bequest, 
127; resigns the presidency, 
128; value of his labors, 131, 
135; his conciliatory policy, 
132; books, 136; death, 137; 
labors for Mount Holyoke 
Seminary, 138; his part in the 
Nineveh gallery, 147; opens 
his house for religious confer- 
ence, 277; mentioned, 62, 72, 
84, 92 n., 105, 146, 170; 

quoted, 96, 112-15, 116-18, 
119, 121, 129, 147, 150 

Hitchcock, Edward, M.D., gives 
his collection of Indian relics, 
127;. appointed professor of 
physical culture, 162; services 
and popularity, 259-61; men- 
tioned, 191, 232, 253 

Hitchcock, Rev. Roswell D., 
D.D., tutor, 97; suggests the 
Semi-Centennial Celebration, 
190; proposes class scholar- 
ships, 196; address to Presi- 
dent Seelye on his inaugura- 
tion, 206; mentioned, 193 

Hitchcock, Samuel A., joins in 
founding a professorship, 113, 
116, 1 18; gives $10,000, 144 

Hitchcock Professorship, title 
changed to Geology and Zool- 
ogy, 171 

Holmes, Rev. Sylvester, men- 
tioned, 79 

Hooker, Hon. John, mentioned, 


Hooker, John W., M.D., ap- 
pointed professor of physical 
culture, 162 

House of students, 74 

Howe, Francis S., mentioned, 

Howe, George, gives chime of 
bells, 158, 188 

Howe, Rev. Nathaniel, mention- 
ed, 20 

Howe, Sidney Walker, death in 
the Civil War, 189 

Howland, George, tutor, 134 

Howland, William, tutor, 134 

Hubbard, Hon. Samuel, speech 
in favor of incorporation, 48 

Humphrey, Rev. Edward P., 
D.D., mentioned, 192, 193, 
273, 286 

Humphrey, Rev. Heman, D.D., 
elected president, 41; in- 
augural address, 42; labors, 
43; compared with President 
Moore, 44; goose joke, 45; 
speech for incorporation, 52; 



criticised by alumni, g6; re- 
signs, 103; inaugurates his suc- 
cessor, 106; farewell address, 
107; mentioned, 21, 23, 35, 121; 
quoted, 19, 26, 45, 53, 54-57, 
68, 70, 107, 272, 276 
Humphrey, John, tutor, 97; 

mentioned, 276 

Humphrey, Leonard, tutor, 134 
Hunt, Rev. Daniel, mentioned, 

Huntington, Bishop, mentioned, 


Hutchins, Waldo, mentioned, 193 
Hyde, Rev. William A., his 

sons in the Civil War, 188 

IDE. Rev. Jacob, D.D., men- 
tioned, 117 

Insurance on college buildings 
227, 228 

Investigation by committee of 
the Massachusetts House of 
Representatives, 53-57 

JEWETT, George B., tutor, 97; 
obtains subscriptions for li- 
brary building, 124; professor, 
124; mentioned, 125, 134 

Johnson, Adam, mentioned, 69; 
will established, 71 

Jones, Edward, mentioned, 271 

KIDDER, Corbin, mentioned, 273 
King, Rev. Jonas, mentioned, 
30, 62 

LATHROP, Hon. Samuel, men- 
tioned, 79 

Lawrence, Hon. Abbott, gift, 
112; mentioned, 121 

Laws for the college adopted, 
60; modern substitute, 242 

Leavitt, Rev. Jonathan, offered 
a professorship, 105 

Legislature, Massachusetts, peti- 
tioned for aid, 75, 76, 78, 100, 
114; grants $25,000, 114; 
other gifts, 142 

Leland, John, college treasurer, 

63; mentioned, 22, 115; speech 
on incorporation, 50 

Leland, Rev. Dr., mentioned, 

Library, first accommodations, 
28; removed to North College, 
29; number of volumes in 
1822, 32; removed to chapel 
building, 71; erection of build- 
ing, 123; enlarged, 229; use 
of books, 230; gifts for, 231 

Lothrop, Hon. E. H., men- 
tioned, 273 

Lobdell, Dr. Henry, procures 
Assyrian collection, 147 

Lyman, Henry, mentioned, 274, 

Lyman, Jabez B., instructor, 134 

Lyman, Col. Luke, appointed in- 
structor in military drill, 162 

Lyman, Rev. Dr., mentioned, 

Lyon, Mary, mentioned, 4, 138 

McCLURE, Rev. Alexander W., 

D.D., mentioned, 274, 286 
Mack, David, mentioned, 117 
Mallet, Dr. John W., instructor 

in chemistry, 168 
Manross, Dr. Newton S., in- 
structor in science, 168; death 
in the Civil War, 169, 183 
March, Francis A., tutor, 134; 

mentioned, 219 
Marking system changed, 237 
Marsh, Rev. Justin, quoted, 271 
Mason, Jeremiah, mentioned, 6;/. 
Massachusetts Professorship (the) 

founded, 118 

Mathematics and astronomy, de- 
partment founded, 164 
Mather, Prof. Richard Henry, 
death, 216; his life and labors, 
220; mentioned, 72, 191, 227, 
229, 232 

Mather Art Collection, 220 
Memorial bells, 158 
Merriam, George, gift, 123 
Merrick, James L., lecturer, 134 
Merrill, Willard, mentioned, 193 



Middle College, 73 n. 

Military drill introduced, 162, 

Miller, Rev. Moses, mentioned, 


Ministry, percentage of gradu- 
ates in, 290 

Modern language course, stu- 
dents in, 66 

Montague, Prof. W. L., men- 
tioned, 72 n. 

Moore, Rev. Zephaniah Swift, 
advocates removal of Williams 
College, 14; elected president 
of the Charity Institution, 2; 
accepts the presidency, 23; in- 
augurated, 25; labors for the 
college, 37; death, 38, 48; 
grief of senior class, 38; pro- 
fessorship named after him, 
1 19; mentioned, 13, 39, 47 

Morgan, Henry T., bequest, 231 

Morong, Thomas, mentioned, 

Morse, Prof. Anson D., men- 
tioned, 215 

Morton, Marcus, mentioned, 58 

Mount Zion, 47 n. 

NASH, Rev. John A., lecturer, 

134; mentioned, 125 
Nelson, Rev. Dr., mentioned, 104 
Newton, John R., professorship, 


Nineveh Gallery, given, 146 
North College, old, built, 29; 

burnt, 148; new, built, 72; 

cost, 75; renovated, 233 
Norton, D. W., mentioned, 12 n. 

OBSERVATORY, Lawrence, in, 
116, 118 

Olds, Rev. Gamaliel S., elected 
professor, 24; mentioned, 25 n. 

Olmsted, F. L., plans college 
grounds, 234 

Osgood, Rev. Samuel, mention- 
ed, 32 

PACKARD, Rev. Theophilus, 

D.D., mentioned, 3, 13, 21, 
32, 117 

Packard, Rev. Theophilus ('23), 
mentioned, 194, 271; quoted, 

Paine, Dr., mentioned, 191 

Palmer, Benjamin M., mentioned, 
90 n. 

Parallel course, 64-68 

Park, Rev. Edwards A., profes- 
sor, 64; offered the presidency, 
105; mentioned, 124, 193 

Parkes, Charles E., architect of 
college buildings, 149, 150 

Parkhurst, Rev. C. H., men- 
tioned, 289 

Parsons, Dr. David, mentioned, 
20, 21, 75 

Patrick, Henry J., mentioned, 

Peabody, William A., tutor, 97; 
professor, 135; death, 135; 
mentioned, 134, 276, 291 n. 

Peck, Rev. Solomon, mentioned, 

Peirce, Prof. Benjamin, men- 
tioned, 165 

Phillips, Jonathan, gift for the 
library, 124 

Physical culture department, 160- 

Physics, new laboratory, 233 

Poor, Daniel W., mentioned, 276 

Porter, Eleazar, establishes first 
scholarship, 144 

Potter, William A., architect of 
college church, 154 

Pratt, Charles M., gives the Pratt 
Gymnasium, 232 

Pratt, F. B., mentioned, 258 

Prayer by friends in State legis- 
lature, 114 

Prayers, college, held in old meet- 
ing-house, 28; in scientific lec- 
ture-room, 29; hour changed, 

President's house, first, corner- 
stone laid, 26; finished, 28; 
second, built, 83 

Prizes, 145, 253 



Psi Upsilon Society, mentioned, 
28, 84 n., 302 

QUEEN'S College, charter for, I 
Question box, 246 

REDFIELD, Prof., mentioned, 121 

Religion, first revival, 36; Am- 
herst's orthodoxy defended, 49; 
religious support of the college 
wanes, 87; new era in the nine- 
teenth century, 267; revivals, 
270, 272, 274, 275, 276, 277, 
278, 280, 282, 283, 284; new 
mode of life, 285; increased 
percentage of church-members 
at entrance, 286; influences 
unfavorable to revivals, 285-90 

Resources, early, 35 

Richards, Rev. Austin, D.D., 
mentioned, 271 

Richardson, Prof. Henry B., 
mentioned, 72 ., 215 

Rising, Hon. C. B., mentioned, 


Robinson, Stewart, mentioned, 
90 n. 

Root, Prof. Elihu, death, 216; 
his achievements, 218; men- 
tioned, 215 

SABINE, Rev. Dr., mentioned, 

Salaries of professors, 60 and n. , 
85; reduced, 102; dependent on 
income of college, 106, 109; in 
1846-47, no 

Sanford, John E., tutor, 134 

Schneider, Rev. Benjamin*, D.D., 
his sons in the Civil War, 188 

Scholarships, first established, 
144; established at the Semi- 
centennial Celebration, 196 

Scientific apparatus provided, 29 

department founded, 124; 

reasons for failure, 125 

Seal of the college, 61 

Sears, Hon. David, gift, 101, 
104, 109; additional gift, 115; 
condition of his foundation, 

118; gifts for the library, 124; 
231; mentioned, 121 

Sears Foundation of Literature 
and Benevolence, begun, 104; 
increased, 115, 116; part for 
books, 123 

Seelye, Julius H., D.D., peculiar 
features of his accession to the 
presidency, 198-203, 247; ser- 
vice in Congress, 201, 206, 
248; character of his adminis- 
tration, 204; inauguration, 206; 
inaugural address, 207-9; m " 
stalled pastor of the college 
church, 209; his religious in- 
struction, 21 1 ; mode of choos- 
ing professors, 213; his teach- 
ing of philosophy, 215; attitude 
toward the faculty, 216; mode 
of governing the college, 245; 
gives up professorship of phil- 
osophy, 246; use of books, 
247; writings, 247-49; failing 
health, 250; resigns, 251; men- 
tioned, 72, 151 n., 191; quoted, 
234, 238, 243, 264 

Seelye, Mrs. J. H., death, 250 

Seelye, Rev. L. Clark, appointed 
professor, 174 

Semi-Centennial Celebration, re- 
solutions of alumni, 190; com- 
mittees appointed, 191; exer- 
cises, 192; addresses published, 
193; alumni present, 194 

Senate, College, 242; suspension, 
243 n. 

Senior levee, 133 

Sheldon, Luther, mentioned, 21, 

Shepard, Charles U., professor, 
106; offers his mineralogical 
cabinet, 116; mentioned, 121, 
125, 126, 134; quoted, 34, 35 

Shepard, Rev. George, offered 
the presidency, 105 

Shepard minerals, burned, 226; 
valuation, 227 

Silliman, Prof. Benjamin, men- 
tioned, 121 

Smith, George P., mentioned, 276 


Smith, Prof. Henry B., men- 
tioned, 134 

Smith, Rev. Hiram, mentioned, 

Smith, James, gives $10,000, 144 

Smith, Nathaniel, mentioned. 
3, 16, 21, 55 

Smith, Prof. W. B., mentioned, 

Snell, Prof. Ebenezer Strong, 
first president of the Alexan- 
drian Society, 33; graduation, 
36; appointed tutor, 60; 
granted $3,000 for apparatus, 
167; death, 216; his life work, 
217; mentioned, 27, 62, 72 n., 
125, 134, 151 ., 153, 154, 
193, 226, 227; quoted, 17 

Snell, Rev. Thomas, D.D., 
mentioned, 21, 25 ., 26, 32; 
quoted, 38 

Societies, students', history and 
influence, 261-65; statistics, 

Society of Inquiry, character 
changed, 262 

Sodom, 47 n. 

South College, erection, 17-19; 
its rooms, 27; renovated, 233 

Southworth, Wells, mentioned, 
17 . 

Spear, Charles Vinals, mentioned, 

Spotswood, Rev. J. B., D.D., 
mentioned, 273 

Stearns, Rev. William Augustus, 
appointed president, 128; his 
inaugural address, 131, 140; 
life, 139; his administration, 
1 7 5~7 75 death, 177; last days, 
177-79; funeral, 179-80; his 
preparations for resigning the 
presidency, 200; last revival, 
283; quoted, 149, 154, 156, 
161, 282 

Stearns, William F., gives the 
College Church, 156; men- 
tioned, 155 

Stockbridge, Hon. H. S., men- 
tioned, 193 

Storrs, Rev. Richard Salter, 
D.D., mentioned, 42, 79, 191, 
193, 210 

Strong, H. Wright, mentioned, 
16, 21, 32 

Strong, Hon. Lewis, mentioned, 

Stuart, Prof., mentioned, 24, 
25 n. 

Students, free from distractions 
in early years, 35; numbers, 26, 
63, 70, 85, 86; work on the 
grounds, 33, 73; self-govern- 
ment, 74; celebrate completion 
of the subscription of 1832, 
80; relations with faculty, 88- 
98; welcome home to Presi- 
dent Hitchcock, 123; welcome 
President Stearns, 141; lay cor- 
ner-stone of Walker Hall, 153; 
of College Church, 156; offer a 
company for the Civil War, 

Subscription of 1832, 79 

Subscription of $100,000 raised, 

Sumner, Hon. Bradford, men- 
tioned, 53 n. 

Sweetser, J. H., gives prizes, 145 

Sweetser, Luke, gives a geological 
lecture-room, 146; mentioned, 
149, 150 

Sykes, H. A., architect of college 
buildings, 146 

TAPPAN, Dr. John, 117 

Tappan, John, founds the Sam- 
uel Green professorship, 167 

Taylor, Rev. James, mentioned, 
3, 16, 21, 268 

Tobey, Rev. A., D.D., quoted, 


Todd, Prof. David P., men- 
tioned, 215, 226 
Tolman, Albert, tutor, 134 
Torrey, David, tutor, 134 
Towne, Gen. Salem, Jr., men- 
tioned, 21, 32 

Trask, J. E., mentioned, 55 
Treasurer's office burned out, 



228 ; removed to Walker Hall, 

Tuckerman, Edward, appointed 
professor of botany, 169 

Tyler, Prof. John M., men- 
tioned, 215 

Tyler, Rev. William, mentioned, 

Tyler, Rev. William S., D.D., 
college service, ix-xi, xiv; ap- 
pointed professor of Latin, 
Greek, and Hebrew, 64; starts 
subscription for library build- 
ing-, 123; subscribes to build 
gymnasium, 150; requested to 
prepare a history of Amherst 
College, 190; acting president, 
206; mentioned, 4, 43, 125, 
134, 156, 182, 193, 222 

VACATIONS changed, 82,100 
Vaill, Rev. Joseph, agent, 75, 
101; mentioned, 16, 79, 105, 
106, 117, 129, 150. 153 
Vose, James G., appointed pro- 
fessor, 173; became a bishop, 

WALKER, Francis A., quoted, 
256, 259 

Walker, Dr. W. J., gifts and 
bequest, 143; founder of de- 
partment of mathematics and 
astronomy, 164 

Walker Hall, built, 151-53; 
burned, 225; rebuilt, 227 

Walker Instructorship, 165 

Walker Legacy Fund, 167, 169 

Warner, Rev. Aaron, appointed 
professor, 106; resigns, 127; 
mentioned, 125, 134 

Washburn, Dr. Charles Ellery, 
death in the Civil War, 185 

Washburn, Rev. George, quoted, 

Webster, Daniel, mentioned, 6 n. 

Webster, Noah, mentioned, 18, 
n.j 20, 21, 25; quoted, 5, 14, 
18, 25 n. 

Well, college, 19 

W T heeler, President, mentioned, 

Whipple, Edwards, mentioned, 

Wilder, S. V. S., mentioned, 56 

Williams, Israel, mentioned, I 

Williams College, union with the 
Charity Institution provided 
for, 7; removal considered, 13- 
15; remonstrates against incor- 
poration of Amherst, 52; men- 
tioned, i, 2, 3, 26, 30, 48, 49 

Williston, A. L., mentioned, 227, 
229, 232 

Williston, Hon. Samuel, founds 
Williston professorship, 109; 
founds a second professorship 
and half a third, 113, 116; gift 
for library building, 123; gives 
$10,000, 144; gives Williston 
Hall, 149; gift for improving 
grounds, 159; presides at the 
Semi-Centennial Celebration, 
192; donation in 1871, 197; 
mentioned, 117, 121, 146, 150, 

151, 155 
Wines and liquors prohibited to 

students, 23 
Winn, Washington H., men- 

tioned, 273 
Woodbridge, Rev. Dr., quoted, 

Woods, Hon. Josiah B., raises 

money for buildings, in; men- 

tioned, 115, 121, 150 
Woods Cabinet, in, 118 
Worcester, Samuel M., tutor, 43; 

librarian, 43; professor, 62 

YALE College, mentioned, 24, 63, 

Young Men's Christian Associa- 

tion, mentioned, 288 



CHUSETTS, prepared and published by FREDERICK II. 
HITCHCOCK. Revised Edition, 1894. 200 pp., 70 Illustra- 
tions. $1.10. 



The Hartford Revolt Settlement of Hadley A Glimpse at 
Early Amherst A Town at Last Wars and Rumors of Wars. 

The Beauty of an August Day Characteristic Flowers and 
Birds Literature of the Valley Its Geology A Few Historical 


View from Holyoke Charming Hadley The " Meadow City" 
Blood-Stained Deerfield Other Attractive Places. 


Its Situation Material Conditions Glimpses Along the Streets 
of the Village North Amherst The "City" East Street 
South Amherst. 


A Glance at Its History The College of the Present The 
Summer School of Languages A Tour of the College Buildings 
The Greek-Letter Fraternities Their Houses. 


Historical Notes Present Conditions The Experiment Stations 
A Glance at the Buildings. 

The features of that delightful locality have been well set forth with pen and 
picture. The work has no list of " prominent men " or other similar features that 
characterize handbooks published for advertising purposes. There are 75 beauti- 
ful illustrations in process work. Springfield Republican. 

The vicinity of Amherst is of interest to every New Englander, as many 
events of historical interest are connected with that part of Massachusetts, and 
for this reason the handsomely bound and printed volume just issued will be 
welcome. Newton Graphic. 

A handsomely illustrated book descriptive of the quaint college town of 
Amherst. It goes beyond the mere guide-book not only in the excellence of the 
illustrations but in the trustworthy historical sketch which constitutes its first 
chapter. Public Opinion. 

Sent post-paid on receipt of price by the publisher ^ 





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