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Howard Coflege 

by members of the Faculty of Howeurd 
College, under the editorial supervision 
of President John C. Dawson 




Sixty Years of Howard College, 1842-1903 

- Mitchell Bennett Garrett, Ph.D. 




Entered as second-class matter, December 27. 1908. at the Post Office at Birming- 
ham, Ala., under the Act of July 19. 1894 



I. Alabama in the Thirties 1 

II. The Manual Labor Institute "t 

III. The Founding of Howard College 18 

IV. The First Eight Years as a College 30 

V. The Midnight Fire 43 

VI. "Thou Phoenix Fair'" 51 

VII. The Ante-Bellum Endowment 60 

VIII. War and Reconstruction "^^ 

IX. The Administration of Colonel Murfee 89 

X. The Removal and its Aftermath 105 

XI. Buildings and Debts 131 

XII. Student Activities — 

1. Literary Societies 150 

2. Student Publications 15^ 

3. Greek Letter Fraternities 160 

4. College -Sports 163 

Junk, 1922 

The Brochures on the Eve of the Elections to the States General 

1-30 Mitchell Bennett Garrett 

The Rise of Alabama 30-41 James Albert Hendricks 

Jones Very 42-60 - Percy Pratt Burns 

Shakespeare and the Troy Story 67-131 French Haynes 

The Little Flower of Encouragement in the Poetic Contests of 

The College of Rhetoric at Toulouse 133-138 John C. Dawson 

October, 1933 

Public Health As a Gauge of Civilization Carey P. McCord 

Bibliography of Alabama Authors Caroline P. Engsfeldt 

Second Edition (revised and enlarged) June, 1933. 






By Mitchell Bennett Garrett, Ph.D.* 


Alabama in the Thirties 

*Dr. Garrett resigned from Howard College in June, 1927. to accept position as Professor 
of Modern European History at the University of North Carolina. 

In 1830 the population of Alabama consisted of 190,406 whites, 
119,121 negroes and an uncounted number of Indians. The whites and 
the negroes had come in from Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, 
North Carolina and Virginia, and had settled in the fertile Valley of the 
Tennessee and in the so-called Black Belt, leaving the mineral region in 
the north central part of the State comparatively unpopulated. Madison 
was the foremost county, having nearly twice as many inhabitants as any 
other. Limestone and Lawrence came next. Greene and Dallas led the 
counties of the Black Belt, with Tuscaloosa and Montgomery close be- 
hind. In the Western part of the State, the Choctaws had not yet ceded 
Sumter county ; in the north-west, the Chickasaws still held a part of 
Franklin ; in the north-east, the Cherokees occupied the counties of De- 
Kaib, Cherokee and Marshall ; while east of the Coosa river, the vast 
region which is embraced in the present counties of Calhoun, Cleburne, 
Clay, Randolph, Coosa, Chambers, Elmore, Tallapoosa, Lee, Macon, 
Russell, Bullock and Barbour, was still occupied by the warlike Creeks. 

But the tenure of the Indians was well-nigh ended. By a series of 
treaties negotiated with the Federal Government in the early thirties, 
the tribes one by one ceded their lands in Alabama for new land beyond 
the Mississippi. The ceded lands were at once divided up into counties, 
immigrants rushed in, and by 1840 the population of the State had in- 
creased to 590,756. 

An idea of what life was like in the Black Belt in the early thirties 
may be had from the following conversation with an old settler: "I 
came to Perry county in 1832 with Anderson \\'est. who was speculat- 
ing in negroes, and brought a drove with him at the time. Passing 
through the Creek Indians, we camped at Mt. Meggs, west of Montgom- 

2 Howard College Bulletin 

ery. Farmers were picking cotton and clearing land, — ^the axes were 
cutting until midnight, and an hour before day next morning. Camped 
near Marion on Saturday night. Negroes were cutting timber all night 
until sunrise Sunday. Marion was thronged with people on Sunday, 
talking about cotton and 'niggers.' Every man we met either wanted to 
buy a 'nigger' or to take a drink. Visited the section of the country 
between Marion and Hamburg, and west towards Greensboro. I had 
never seen negroes worked so hard or so poorly fed. One and a half 
pounds of meat and a peck of corn was the weekly allowance. Steel 
hand mills were used for grinding corn, and they were going all night. 
Many parched their corn and ate it. It looked to me as if the Devil had 
a clean bill of sale to all this country. But I caught the cotton and 
'nigger' fever, and bought a negro next year, and the Yankees liberated 
ninety-two that I had collected." 

As the majority of the first settlers of Alabama came from the 
older Southern States, they naturally brought with them the educational 
systems that there obtained. These systems produced private schools 
and academies, which were organized, conducted and supported inde- 
pendently of any State action. The most expected from the State was 
incorporation. This gave the trustees a legal existence and endowed 
them with full powers to conduct their business. No report to a State 
authority was at any time required ; no supervision or inspection under 
public conduct was to be exercised. The State was content to give the 
schools official life and then let each work out its own salvation. 

The school houses of those days beggared description — rude pine- 
pole cabins, with split logs benches without backs. Desks and black- 
boards were not used, but were subsequently introduced by young edu- 
cators from the North. Pupils wrote with quill pens, on porous paper 
without lines ; — only the advanced pupils had copy books. A plank 
nailed against the house served as a writing desk. Pupils were required 
to look on the book at all times during school hours, whether they under- 
stood a word of it or not. Little boys were perched on benches without 
backs so high that their feet could not touch the floor. 

The school books in use were : The Testament, the American 
Reader, Murray's Grammar, Smiley 's Arithmetic, and last, but by no 
means least, Webster's blue backed Spelling Book. Spelling was the 
principal study. Pupils were not only required to spell the lesson for the 
day, but to commit it to memory. Friday afternoons were devoted to 
"match spelling," when the school, divided into two classes, "tried to 
spell each other down." After the spelling book was mastered, pupils 

Howard College Studies 3 

were permitted to have a slate and a copy book and learn to read. One 
thing at the time was the rule. 

Grammar and arithmetic were senior studies, and pupils pursuing 
them were permitted to "cipher" out of doors under a tree. These out- 
door cipherers at times assisted the master in capturing some rebellious 
youth who, having vanquished the teacher in a scuffle in the school 
house, hoped to escape a whipping by a hasty flight through the woods. 

Geography was not embraced in the curriculum proper. The man- 
ner of teaching it was as follows : The master formed his school in line 
and, marching inside or outside the house, he sang the States, capitals 
and rivers to some tune improvised by himself. After the same manner 
the multiplication table was also taught. 

The teacher had his "Articles" and "Rules" — the former for the 
patrons, the latter as a guide in governing his school. The patrons as- 
sembled on the day of opening ; the "Rules" were read and, if approved, 
the patrons signed the "Articles." A teacher's qualifications were judged 
by his "Rules," and the pedagogues of this period attempted to excel 
each other in the multiplicity of these useless, nonsensical regulations. 
The "Rules" were read Monday mornings, and the penalty for infrac- 
tion was in every case a whipping. Thus, if Billy Jones inserted a pin 
into the leg of Skeeter Smith, the old master, with the dignity of a 
judge, would say : "William, you have broken rule number nineteen of 
this school. Please step forward," and a hickory withe, four feet long, 
.would make the dust fly from Billy's trousers. Parents estimated their 
sons' progress at school by the number of whippings they received. If 
at any time the boy thrashed the teacher, the fond father was never so 
elated, and usually boasted of it in a quiet way to his neighbors, as 
evidencing his son's early physical development. 

It was necessary to bar out a teacher to secure a holiday. If there 
should be a pond or brook nearby, the master received at least one 
ducking during the session. If the pupils were unable to do this, the 
patrons assembled some Friday afternoon to lend a helping hand. In 
1840 a teacher not far from Marion, Alabama, was ducked by the 
patrons of the school until he was nearly drowned. He was carried to 
a deep hole in a creek and pitched in, and as fast as he crawled out he 
was thrown in again. This "fun" was kept up till the poor fellow, 
overcome with exhaustion, sank in a drowning condition, and with 
difficulty was dragged ashore and revived. Now all this was "just done 
in fun" — not a particle of malice in the affair, for the patrons were 
friends and neighbors of the teacher. 

4 Hoivard College Bulletin 

Jesse Nave of Marion once gave to a party of ladies at Shelby 
Springs the following account of his "graduating exercises :" "I studied 
Smiley 's Arithmetic, Murray's Grammar and Webster's Spelling Book. 
I went through the spelling book sixty-four times, and memorized the 
entire book, from b-a, ba, to the boy in the apple tree. On examination 
day, in place of an oration, I repeated the book from memory, while the 
neighbors, seated around, followed me through the long columns of this 
interesting publication. My father gave me, as a reward for scholarly 
attainments, a red morocco hat." 

Of supposedly higher grade than the academies, though not easily 
distinguishable from them, were a few seminaries and colleges sup- 
ported by religious denominations. In 1830 La Grange College was 
founded in North Alabama by the Methodists, and conducted upon 
what has been called the "monastic" plan, which required a healthful 
site far from the haunts of men. But it had no endowment and little 
or no local patronage; the most strenuous efforts of the Conference 
failed to sustain it ; and it was finally removed to Florence and became 
the progenitor of the Florence Normal School. Also in 1830 Spring 
Hill, or St. Joseph's College, was founded at Mobile by the Jesuit 
Fathers. Chartered in 183G by the Legislature of Alabama, with all 
the rights and privileges of a university, and empowered to confer de- 
grees, it was destined to become the oldest and best known institution in 
the State. In 1833 the Presbyterians established a Manual Labor Insti- 
tute for boys at Marion and the Alabama Female Institute as a boarding 
school for girls at Tuscaloosa. The former became defunct in 1842 
but the latter existed till 1870. Not to be outdone by other denomina- 
tions, the Baptists, in 1836, established a Manual Labor Institute for 
boys at Greensboro and the Alabama Athenaeum for girls at Tuscaloosa. 
The former, as we shall see, came to an end the next year, but the 
latter lasted till 1845. In 1836, too, the Marion Female Seminary was 
founded by citizens of various denominations ; the Baptist constituency, 
however, becoming dissatisfied with the arrangement, withdrew from 
the combination and founded the Judson Female Institute at Marion in 
1838. All these institutions here mentioned, and a few others besides, 
were little more than academies with the co-educational feature elim- 
inated. It was not thought quite proper in those days to educate adol- 
escent girls and boys together in the same school. 

Separate and distinct from the academies, and denominational sem- 
inaries and colleges, was the University of Alabama. The buildings of 
this institution were ready for use early in 1831, and in April of that 
year Dr. Alva Woods, native of Vermont, Baptist minister and graduate 

Hozvard College Studies 5 

of Harvard, was inaugurated president. Three professors and one tutor 
were also appointed. Fifty-two students entered the first day, and the 
number rose to nearly a hundred during the term. This fine prospect 
of a useful career was soon marred, however, by the disorderly be- 
havior of the students who, before five years were out, forced the resig- 
nation of the entire faculty and brought about the temporary closing of 
the school. 

Over the greater part of Alabama in the thirties there were no 
class distinctions. The State was too young for that. In the wilderness 
classes had fused, and the successful men were often those who had 
never been heard of in the older States. This does not mean that at 
Huntsville, Montgomery, Greensboro and Mobile there were not the 
beginnings of an aristocracy based on wealth, education and family 
descent ; but these were small spots on the map, and there were no heart- 
burnings over social inequalities. The line between the slaveholder and 
the non-slaveholder was not sharply drawn. All alike were engaged in 
subduing the forest, tilling the rich virgin soil, and bettering their finan- 
cial condition. 

The period covering approximately the five years ending in 183T 
has been given the undying appellation of "Flush Times in Alabama" by 
Joseph G. Baldwin, an early settler. Of this period he wrote: "That 
golden era when shin-plasters were the sole currency ; when bank bills 
were as thick 'as Autumn leaves in Vallombrosa;' and credit was a 
franchise ;" when to present a bill for collection was an insult ! 

Many causes contributed to bring about these inflated conditions, 
the result of which could only end in disaster. At that period there was 
a general atmosphere of unrest throughout the entire country. The 
population of every section was in a state of flux. The ambition to 
better their condition not only obtained among young men, but also 
animated men of families, who were prompted by the feeling that a 
change merited a better outlook for their children. Many men, too, 
had been failures in their old homes, and change was necessary for 
them if they were ever to accomplish anything in life. The removal 
of the Indians and the consequent enlargement of the public domain 
stimulated migration to Alabama, so that new communities sprang up 
almost overnight. The land was virgin and productive; bountiful har- 
vest rewarded even limited labor ; and good prices were paid for all 

A State bank had been established in ]8'23, and from 1833 to 1836 
branches were located in Montgomery, Mobile and Huntsville. These 

6 Howard College Bulletin 

institutions were intended to furnish money to the people, and the ap- 
parent profits were employed to meet the expenses of the State; but 
the bank management, dependent upon legislative favor, became in- 
volved in the politics of the day. When the crash came the banks sus- 
pended specie payments, and all classes of business stagnated. Farmers 
could not meet their obligations to the retailers. The wholesale mer- 
chants were helpless. Both farmers and merchants were without means 
to repay their loans to the banks. Paper money was uniformly refused, 
and in consequence commodities sold at greatly reduced prices because 
of the limited specie in circulation. Thousands of good men were 
ruined, and hundreds emigrated to newer States. 

It was during these flush times, when bank bills were as thick as 
autumn leaves and credit was a franchise, that the Baptists made their 
first essay at founding a school in Alabama. 

Howard College Studies 7 

The Manual Labor Institute 

The genesis of Baptist schools in Alabama can not be satisfactorily 
explained apart from the great missionary movement which arose among 
the American Baptists in the early years of the nineteenth century. In 
1813 Luther Rice returned from India and began to arouse his new 
brethren to a consciousness of their world mission. The next year the 
General Baptist Convention was organized at Philadelphia, and Rice 
was appointed as its financial agent. During the next three or four 
years he traveled extensively in all the States of the Union, North and 
South, in an effort to awaken the Baptists to the importance of the new 
enterprise. But he often met with opposition and hostility, and he be- 
carhe convinced that the greatest enemy to foreign missions and denom- 
inational progress was ignorance. It seemed to him, and to many others 
also, that the most effective way to promote the cause of missions was 
to found schools for the education of Baptist leaders. So the appeal 
went forth to found schools. 

When the question of a Baptist school in Alabama was first agi- 
tated, manual labor institutions were being tried out all over the United 
States and seemed to be working well. Such a plan of education had 
this great advantage, that no endowment was necessary for the support 
of the school. Once the farm was bought and paid for, and the neces- 
sary buildings and equipment provided, the school would be self-sup- 
porting. The students would study their books and recite their lessons 
in the forenoon and labor on the farm in the afternoon. From the 
products of the farm the members of the student body and the faculty 
would be fed, and from the sale of the surplus products would arise a 
profit sufficient to pay for the instruction and the administration of the 
school. In addition to this advantage, there was another almost as im- 
portant. Physical culture would go hand in hand with literary culture 
and serve the same purpose as athletics do today. In the minds of our 
fathers the thought was always present that boys hardened by labor on 
the farm would be better fitted to endure the stress and strain incidental 
to missionary life; that is, they would become, as it were, hardened 
soldiers of Christ. 

Given a fertile soil for the farm and a convenient market for the 
surplus products, there seemed to be no good economic reason why such 
an enterprise might not succeed. Accordingly, the Alabama Baptist 
State Convention, at its annual session in 1832, appointed Compiere, 

8 Howard College Bulletin 

Travis and A. J. Holcombe a committee to prepare resolutions on the 
subject of "a Seminary of learning in the State of Alabama, on the 
Manual Labor Plan, for the education of indigent young men called to 
the ministry." This committee reported to the Convention at its next 
annual session, August, 1833 : 

"That in their opinion the cause of science and religion im- 
periously demands such an Institution ; and that from the expression 
of public sentiment on the subject, it can be carried effectually into 
operation without delay. They would therefore recommend, that 
the Convention appoint a committee of five persons, whose duty 
it shall be to draft petitions, and appoint agents to circulate them 
for subscribers through the various parts of the State; to receive 
subscriptions, or donations; to examine such places as they may 
deem suitable for a site ; to nominate suitable Trustees ; and to ob- 
tain every possible information on the subject, and to report the 
same to a meeting of the Board, to be held in the Baptist church, in 
the town of Tuscaloosa, on Friday before the fourth Sabbath in 
November next; and that said committee, in conjunction with the 
Board, select a suitable site, and elect Trustees ; and that the com- 
mittee aforesaid use their exertions to have an act passed at the 
next Legislature vesting the Trustees with full corporate author- 

Whereupon the Convention, concurring fully in the views ex- 
pressed in the above report, elected the following persons a committee, 
with authority to carry into execution the several objects therein ex- 
pressed : A. G. McCraw, Joseph Ryan, Robert S. Foster, T. W. Cox, 
and Hosea Holcombe. In this action of the Convention was laid the 
foundation of the Manual Labor Institute, the first educational enter- 
prise of the Alabama Baptists. 

The meeting of the Board in November proved a failure, and the 
question of location was left undetermined. At the call of the presi- 
dent a quorum subsequently met in March, 1834, and appointed George 
Tucker and Hosea Holcombe agents to solicit subscriptions, and the last 
Friday in June as the time for the selection of a site. On the day ap- 
pointed quite a number of places presented their claims. Those of 
Greensboro and Marion were the most prominent, the friends of each 
town offering a bonus of $3,600 for the location. Since the Presby- 
terians had already located a Manual Labor Institute near Marion, it 
was deemed impractical to locate another in the same neighborhood. So 

Howard College Studies 9 

Greensboro was preferred. The Trustees accordingly selected as a site, 
and bought of Mr. James Hutchens for $6,390, a tract of 355 acres 
lying one mile east of the town, to be paid for in three annual install- 
ments. About 300 acres of the land were in a state of cultivation. 

To the Convention which met in Salem church near Greensboro, 
in November, 1834, the agents reported subscriptions amounting in the 
aggregate to about $7,000. Collections were soon made on these sub- 
scriptions, and in due time the Trustees paid Mr. Hutchens $3,130, the 
first installment on the land. At the same Convention, by recommenda- 
tion of a special committee, the plan of the school was enlarged by the 
addition of a Literary to the hitherto exclusively contemplated Theolog- 
ical Department. 

"It is believed by your committee," says the report, "that the 
Principal of the school should be the Professor of Theology, and 
that no person should be selected until one eminently qualified can 
be procured. It is also believed that a Theological class can be made 
up so soon as that department can possibly be ready to go into 

"Your committee believe it to be of much importance that the 
Literary Department should go into operation early in the coming 
year. They therefore suggest to the Convention the propriety of 
selecting teachers who will be prepared to teach so soon as buildings 
can be erected for the reception of students. In the selection of 
such teachers your committee believe it to be of much importance 
that one should be procured who has had some experience in teach- 
ing at a Manual Labor Institution, for the obvious reason of avoid- 
ing the mistakes necessarily connected with inexperience and for 
the purpose of putting the Manual Labor Plan into immediate and 
successful operation. 

"It is believed by your committee that a Professor of Lan- 
guages and a Professor of Mathematics could find immediate em- 
ployment, and that if the students become too numerous for these 
professors to attend to English Literature, then one should be se- 
lected exclusively for that purpose. Your committee consider it of 
much importance that a suitable Superintendent be procured to 
manage the Farm, and to board the Students, and that such person, 
if possible, be one who is acquainted with the business." 

10 Howard College Bulletin 

By resolution of the Convention, Daniel P. Bestor (1) was request- 
ed to deliver lectures on Theology until a permanent professor could be 

At the annual session of the Convention in November, 1835, the 
Trustees of the Manual Labor Institution made the following report : 

"Shortly after your last meeting, a contract was made to clear 
the campus for the Institution, at forty dollars, which was done in 
due time. 

"In January, all the cleared land on the premises, (supposed 
to be about 200 acres) was rented at four dollars per acre. The 
dwelling house was also rented a part of the year, say seven months, 
at $13.50 per month. 

"In March, a contract was made for the erection of six dormi- 
tories, consisting of two rooms each, which will accommodate near 
fifty students. The sum to be paid for them, is two thousand seven 
hundred dollars. A house on the premises has been repaired and 
fitted for a dining room, and also furnished with tables and seats, 
at an expense of two hundred and forty dollars, 

"An engagement has been made with Brother W, L. Willi- 
ford, late Professor in Jackson College, Tennessee, to under- 
take [?], as Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy, for 
a salary of one thousand dollars and the use of 20 acres of land for 
cultivate. [Footnote: 'Brother Williford has arrived with his 
family, and is now on the premises.'] 

"Brother Bestor has been chosen Professor of Theology — no 
salary stipulated — and requested to enter the Institution so soon as 
his present engagements shall have expired; but has not agreed to 
accept the appointment. 

"Mr. James Packer has been chosen Steward and Farmer, 
with a stipulation of five hundred dollars salary, (all provisions, 
etc., being furnished by the Trustees). He has accepted the ap- 
pointment and will probably arrive here about the first of January 

"A contract has lately been made for building a Professor's 
house, which will cost about one thousand four hundred dollars, 
and will probably be completed about the first of March next." 

(1) Daniel Perrin Bestor was born in Suffield, Connecticut, in February, 1797. After 
a thorough classical preparation, he went to Lexington, Kentucky, when a very young man 
and studied law. But under the preaching of the celebrated Dr. Fishback he was converted 
and began to preach at the age of twenty-two. He came to North Alabama about 1821, 
settled at L,aGrange, established LaFayette Academy for young ladies, and was the pastor 
of several churches. In 1833 he removed to Greensboro and established another female acad- 
emy which at once sprang into wide popularity. Preacher, teacher and planter, he was at this 
time one of the most prominent Baptist leaders in the State. 

Howard College Studies 11 

The Convention was well pleased with the report and, before the 
end of the session, adopted the following resolution : 

"Whi;rEas, We are informed that Brother Bestor anticipates 
making a tour through the northern States, during the next year, 

"Therefore, Resolved, That we recommend to the Board of 
Trustees of the Manual Labor Institution, to put into his hands the 
means necessary to procure a Chemical and Philosophical apparatus, 
and to defray all attendant expenses." 

As an incentive, perhaps, to the students who would, from neces- 
sity, perform manual labor in the contemplated school, and to allow 
the example of the superiors to yield their most wholesome results, it 
was recommended by resolution — 

"That the Convention recommend to the Trustees of the 
Manual Labor Institute, to make such provisions in their rules for 
the government of the Institution, that it shall be the duty of the 
professors to lead their respective classes in the performance of 

Just whether or not the Trustees made such a regulation, the scanty 
records of the time do not state. 

Instruction began on the third Monday in January, 1836, with thirty 
students in attendance. Before the end of the year, the number had 
increased to fifty. On February 15, the Alabama Sentinel, of Greens- 
boro, began to carry from week to week the following announcement : 

"Greene County Institute 

of Literature and Industry 

Is now in successful operation, and is open for the reception 
of a few more students. The price of board is one hundred dollars 
for the scholastic year. The tuition is thirty-two. The labor per- 
formed by each student, provided he works eleven hours per week, 
will amount to thirty-seven dollars, which deducted from the 
amount of board and tuition, leaves ninety-five dollars as the an- 
nual expense of each student ; or the price of board is ten dollars 
per month, the price of labor is eight cents an hour, eighty-eight 
cents a week and three dollars seventy-five cents per month, which, 
subtracted from ten, leaves six dollars thirty cents as the cost of 

13 Howard College Bulletin 

board per month. There is connected with this Institution a lit- 
erary society for the improvement of students in public speaking. 

A considerable sum has been subscribed by the students to ob- 
tain for themselves a library, and this amount has been increased 
by several honorary members. There is an instructor in the An- 
cient Languages; and Professor Williford, after an experience of 
more than twenty years, has gained just celebrity in teaching that 
most abstruse science, the Mathematics. With these prospects, it 
is believed the most ardent expectation of the friends and patrons 
of the Institution will be realized; since it is the determination of 
the instructors to spare no exertions to facilitate the progress of 
the students in useful literature. The course of instruction is sim- 
ilar to that of other Universities, but provision is also made for 
those who wish to pursue a scientific course of English Literature. 
Contingent expenses will be made known to those who offer for 

M. B. Clement, Secretary." 

Greensboro, Ala., Feb. 15, 1836. 
This is, for various reasons, an interesting and enlightening docu- 
ment. In the first place, one would never suspect from reading the an- 
nouncement that this was a Baptist school. The secret is revealed only 
incidentally by the names of Williford and Clement, who were known 
to be Baptists. In the second place, it may be noted that only the Liter- 
ary Department was in operation; the Theological Department for the 
benefit of indigent young men called to the ministry had not yet been 
organized. Thirdly, since the students could spare money for the pur- 
chase of a library for their library society, we would infer that they 
were, not all indigent young men, obliged to work their way through 
school, but were sons of planters, probably, with considerable means at 
their disposal. Evidently, then, the manual labor feature of the school 
was not designed primarily to afford the students an opportunity for 
self-help but as a disciplinary measure — to give the students physical 
exercise and to teach the sons of planters how to labor with their hands. 
The paltry sum of eighty-eight cents a week which a student might earn 
on the farm could hardly have been a powerful incentive to labor, for it 
would pay only one-third of his board bill and none of his tuition. Of 
course the profits of the farm, if indeed there should be any profits, 
would benefit the students indirectly by making it possible for the 
school authorities to reduce the cost of board and tuition ; but how could 

Howard College Studies 13 

a student be expected to appreciate this fact and to labor, not for himself 
directly, but for the benefit of the school community as a whole of 
which he was only a part? To supply the proper incentive, the pro- 
fessors would indeed have "to lead their respective classes in the per- 
formance of labor" and resort extensively to moral suasion besides. 

The instructional staff was composed of Professors W. L. Willi- 
ford, M. B. Clement and F. C. Lowry. Professor Williford had been 
imported from Tennessee because of his reputed experience with manual 
labor institutions. "Although he was a most excellent man," wrote the 
beloved old Hosea Holcombe two years later, "he was not in favour of 
the Manual Labor Plan; which circumstance proved detrimental to its 
progress." Thus the Trustees, in their anxiety for the prosperity and 
advancement of their institution, had committed the indiscretion of se- 
lecting for their principal teacher a man who had little faith in the suc- 
cess of their project. The other two professors were Baptist ministers 
of no great prominence. 

By a stretch of our historical imagination, we can now picture to 
ourselves this first Baptist school in Alabama. On the campus were 
six little wooden dormitories, each with two rooms and a chimney be- 
tween. In the midst of this group of buildings was the old farm house 
now fitted up as a recitation hall. Nearby was the barn now used as a 
dining hall. Professor Williford and his family occupied a dwelling 
house recently constructed and hardly yet finished. In the early morn- 
ing fifteen or twenty dormitory students might be seen going to break- 
fast in the dining hall where a negro cook and a negro waiter supplied 
the food. Toward eight o'clock. Professors Clement and Lowry and the 
day students came in from Greensboro a mile away, and the instruction 
of the day began. There was an intermission for lunch, and at two or 
three in the afternoon school was out. Professors Clement and Lowry 
and the day students now returned to town ; but Professor Williford, 
laying aside his books on "that most abstruse science, the Mathematics," 
undertook the lead the dormitory students to the farm for two hours of 
manual labor. A hateful task ! Even Professor Williford was heard to 
complain of it, and among the students each afternoon there was of 
course a long list of invalids. 

But when the Convention met in November, 1836, the Trustees 
reported — 

"We feel highly gratified to have it in our power to state that 
the institution under our control is, at this time, in a flourishing 
condition, and presents flattering prospects of future usefulness to 

14 Howard College Bulletin 

the community. It has not yet, as you know, been in operation 
twelve months and may be justly regarded as in its infancy, and 
will require time as well as industry on the part of those under 
whose fostering care it is placed, to acquire a character abroad, 
especially one like this that is supported by private munificence. 
It has increased the present session from thirty to fifty students. 
It will no doubt be a source of high gratification to you to be in- 
formed that harmony and good order have prevailed in the institu- 
tion, and that the students perform the tour of labor assigned them 
with cheerfulness. They have raised on the farm this year about 
seven hundred bushels of corn and about one hundred and fifty 
bushels of potatoes. 

"In forming a judgment in respect to the result of labor, due 
regard should be had to the number and size of the students, many 
of whom were small. Since our last report a professor's house 
which was then under contract) and an additional dormitory have 
been completed together with some small items which need not be 
mentioned here 

"In conclusion, we beg leave to acknowledge, in humble grati- 
tude to Almighty God, the signal display of His divine power in 
our Institution. Seven of our students have been constrained to 
yield to all the conquering power of divine grace and have been 
the happy subject of its renovating power, and have since been 
added to the church by Baptism." 

The Convention was well pleased with the progress of its infant 
institution, and appropriated $200 for the purchase of a school library 
and endorsed a plan for raising $50,000 as a permanent endowment. 
The plan of endowment was for the subscriber to pay the interest an- 
nually on the amount of his subscription, and at the end of ten years 
to pay the principal, which was to be retained and the interest only ex- 

Meanwhile, brethren in the Convention were asking what provision 
was being made for "the benefit of indigent young men called to the 
ministry." This original purpose of the school, as Hosea Holcombe 
mournfully writes, "was rather lost sight of." Accordingly a special 
committee on the question was appointed, and reported the next day : 

"Whereas much inquiry is made by many of our brethren re- 
specting the use the Convention will make of its Institution, your 
committee recommend the adoption of the following resolutions : 

Howard College Studies 15 

"Resolved, 1st. That the primary objects of the Convention 
in relation to the Institution was the improvement of the ministry 
of our denomination, by affording to our young ministers, who do 
not possess the means necessary for their own improvement, such 
aid as may be in our power, which persons shall be distinguished by 
the term beneficiaries. 

"Resolved, 2d. That as a prerequisite to admission as bene- 
ficiaries, the applicants shall be members of some regular Baptist 
church and licensed by her to preach the Gospel ; shall present from 
their churches vouchers f o good moral character ; shall undergo an 
examination by the Board of Directors relative to a change of 
grace and a call to the ministry, and shall make it appear that they 
have not the means to support themselves while pursuing their 

"Resolved, 3d. That the beneficiaries shall pursue such 
studies as they and the Board may think best, and preach as much 
as practicable. 

"Resolved, 4th. That should a beneficiary become immoral, in 
the judgment of the Faculty, he shall appear at a meeting of the 
Faculty and Trustees ; and should he not give satisfaction, the Fac- 
ulty and Trustees shall have power to dismiss him from the bene- 
fits of the Institution." 

The adoption of these resolutions put the Convention on record as 
still favoring ministerial education, but it did little more. The estab- 
lishment of the Theological Department would have to await the result 
of the endowment campaign and the experiment of the manual labor 
feature of the school. How long would it be before the profits of the 
farm would warrant the admission of a few free boarders to the dining 

The school year ended in November, and there followed two 
months of vacation. In January, 1837, the second scholastic year began. 
This turned out to be a year of great financial stringency — the cele- 
brated panic of 1837, and subscriptions to the Manual Labor Institute 
could not be paid by the subscribers. The school was heavily in debt 
for its running expenses; and in April, just as the season arrived for 
planting another crop, an unfortunate dissension arose among the pro- 
fessors and the school was temporarily closed. The Trustees made an 
heroic attempt to pay off the indebtedness, which now amounted to 
$6,000 or $7,000, and to set the school on its feet again ; but. owing to 
the financial stringency, none of the subscriptions could be collected. 

16 Hozvard College Bulletin 

In the quaint language of Hosea Holcombe : "Times had been, and re- 
cently too, when everything, with regard to pecuniary matters, appeared 
to prosper and to flourish; — but now the pressure was great." Cred- 
itors sued the Trustees for considerable sums and were likely to sue 
in other cases. So the Convention, when it met in December, 1837, or- 
dered the property sold as soon as possible. Ninety-five acres of the 
land were bought by Daniel P. Bestor, and the rest went to other pur- 
chasers. From the proceeds of the sale the Convention paid off all in- 
debtedness and had $2,000 left over. This was made the nucleus of a 
fund for the assistance of indigent young preachers who needed books 
and private instruction. 

For three or four years after the fiasco at Greensboro, the Conven- 
tion did the best it could with the resources at its disposal. In 1838 it 
appointed Jesse Hartwell, James H. DeVotie, William C. Crane, Daniel 
P. Bestor and A. G. McCraw as a Board of Education, 

"whose duty it shall be to receive application from any young 
minister who may desire to receive instruction; to place him under 
the private tuition of some minister of our denomination, to whom 
he may have access, and who may be willing and competent to in- 
struct him ; and to appropriate to his use the funds of the Conven- 
tion, intended for education purposes, which are now in the Treas- 
ury, or may hereafter be collected, according as his necessities may 

"That when a competent instructor cannot be obtained for a 
worthy applicant, the Board shall have power to purchase suitable 
books for his use and study." 

In 1839 the committee on education reported to the Convention 
"that from documents forwarded by the Board of Education, it appears 
that two individuals have received aid during the past year, and various 
others have been supplied with books, either as a loan or a donation. 
Your committee would propose the following resolutions : 

"Resolved, 1st. That the sum of $100 be expended for books, 
which together with those on hand, shall be loaned or presented to 
our ministers, at their own discretion. 

"Resolved, 2d. That the Board of Education be instructed to 
receive as many beneficiaries as can be maintained by the funds on 
hand for this object, and that the Treasurer be ordered to hold said 
funds subject to the order of the Board 

Howard College Studies 17 

"Each beneficiary shall be required, at least once in each half 
year, to obtain from his teacher and forward to the Board a report 
of his progress in study, and of his general conduct." 
But of course such sporadic assistance was meant only to be 

temporary. In 1840 the committee on education recommended to the 

Convention — 

"That the Board of Education be requested to enquire relative 
to the most suitable plan and place for the establishment and loca- 
tion of a Theological school, and to report to the Convention at its 
next annual meeting." 

The scene now shifts to Marion. But before we go, let us note 
in passing, that the school established by the Baptist Convention at 
Greensboro was not a bona fide Manual Labor Institute for ministerial 
students. Though Hosea Holcombe and others desired it to be such, — 
a sort of School of Prophets like that which existed for a time at High 
Hills of Santee in South Carolina, — the plan was modified, largely by 
the influence of Daniel P. Bestor, and the school was made first of all 
a Literary Institution, to which a Theological department was later to 
be added. Since the enterprise failed before the Theological depart- 
ment was added, there were never, in all probability, any ministerial 
students in this Manual Labor Institute at Greensboro. 

18 Howard College Bulletin 


The Founding of Howard College 

In 1841 Marion was a pleasant village of some twelve hundred in- 
habitants. The leading citizen of the place was Gen. E. D. King, who 
had come to Alabama when it was still a Territory and begun life in a 
log cabin. From a poor man and a pioneer, he soon became the pro- 
prietor of broad acres, the lord of many slaves, and the richest man in 
Perry county. "Calm and self-reliant, endowed with an iron will and 
an unconquerable energy, simple and transparent, always guided by 
sound judgment, direct and going straight to the mark," as a contem- 
porary characterizes him, he was destined to become the keystone of 
the arch which supported Baptist education in Alabama. By his side 
stood Milo P. Jewett. Born in the North, Rev. M. P. Jewett was trav- 
eling in his own conveyance through the South, in 1838, seeking a good 
location for establishing a girls' school. At Tuscaloosa he met Gen. 
King and followed him to Marion, to become the founder and first 
principal of the Judson Female Institute. The new pastor of the 
Marion Baptist church was James H. DeVotie. Born in Oneida county, 
New York, in 1813 ; baptized at Savannah, Georgia, in 1831, he after- 
wards attended the Furman Theological Seminary, then located at High 
Hills of Santee, Sumter District, South Carolina. He was ordained by 
Jesse Hartwell and Joseph B. Cook in 1833 and came to Alabama two 
years later. After serving the church at Montgomery for one year and 
the church at Tuscaloosa for four years, he came to Marion, where he 
remained for fourteen years. 

One afternoon, early in 1841, these three gentlemen met in one of 
the lower front rooms of the new Judson building for a few minutes 
of friendly conversation. During the conversation Gen. King, looking 
through one of the front windows, called the attention of his compan- 
ions to a lot situated at the terminus of the street directly in front of 
them, and remarked: "There is the very place for a male college." 
Acting on the suggestion thus thrown out. Rev. James H. DeVotie pro- 
ceeded shortly afterwards to raise funds for the purchase of the lot 
mentioned, with the old building upon it — the same old building in 
which the Judson had commenced its career of usefulness. Soon the 
necessary funds were raised, the purchase was made, and the property 
passed into the hands of the Baptists of Marion. 

In November, 1841, the Baptist State Convention met at Talladega, 
which was then a small frontier town. The session was thinly attended. 

Hoicard College Studies 19 

We note the absence of the President, Jesse Hartwcll, and of the two 
Vice Presidents, Hosea Holcombe and J. Ryan. We note the absence 
also of other prominent leaders, such as Daniel P. Bestor, A. G. Mc- 
Craw and J. L. Dagg. Among those present were S. Henderson, A. J. 
Holcombe, William C. Crane, S. Lindsley, T. Chilton, W. P. Chilton, 
J. F. Henderson, A. W. Chambliss, J. H. DeVotie, F. N. Tarrant and 
B. P. Curry. Thomas Chilton, of Talladega, was elected President 
and two men of no special prominence were elected Vice Presidents. 
At the appropriate time in the session. Rev. James H. DeVotie offered 
to make the Convention a present of the property which the Baptists of 
Marion had recently purchased, on condition, however, that a male col- 
lege be established at Marion under the patronage of the Convention. 
This proposition was referred to the committee on education consisting 
of James H. DeVotie, chairman ; Dr. William Carey Crane, of Mont- 
gomery, and Dr. A. W. Chambliss. The report of this committee, 
drafted by Crane and DeVotie, caused a spirited debate in the Conven- 
tion. Some of the members thinking its recommendations rather strong, 
it was recommitted, modified, and adopted as follows: 

1. The establishment of a Theological Institution, connected 
with the college hereinafter established. 

2. The expediency and importance of establishing and endow- 
ing a university or college of a high character. 

3. The appointment of an agent or agents to raise $100,000 
for the endowment of four professorships, and $50,000 for build- 
ings and apparatus. 

4. That these sums be raised by subscriptions, the interest 
payable annually and the principal secured by notes or sealed bonds, 
payable within five years or in cash on hand. 

5. That all indigent young men of approved talents and piety, 
who shall have been licensed by regular Baptist churches in Ala- 
bama to preach the Gospel, have their tuition in both the Literary 
and Theological Departments gratis. 

6. That the location be at Marion, Perry County, and that 
the Convention accept the building and lot offered by the brethren 
of Marion. 

7. That a board of thirteen trustees be appointed to control 
said institution, to whom all subscriptions shall be made payable 
and by whom, when they shall have become a corporate body, all 
property belonging to the institution shall be held. 

20 Hozvard College Bulletin 

8. That the college shall begin operations as soon as $50,000 
of permanent fund shall be secured, but no debt beyond the amount 
actually secured by subscriptions shall be contracted. 

9. That should the Trustees deem it expedient a classical 
school may be opened in said building and continued until the $50,- 
000 shall have been raised, provided no expense to the Convention 
be incurred. (1) 

After the adoption of the report, the Convention, on motion of Dr. 
A. W. Chambliss, united in solemn prayer, invoking the blessings of 
God on this great enterprise. 

It was indeed a great enterprise, one for which the fears more than 
balanced the hopes. Daniel P. Bestor, a trustee and warm supporter of 
the school, on being invited to remove to Marion, replied : "I learn 
from your letters that the wind work of your school is well done. I 
will come when the $50,000 is ready, and I think about a thousand years 
before that time ; but I hope you will go ahead." 

And go ahead they did. However the name may have origin- 
ated, (3) Howard College was chartered by the General Assembly of 
Alabama on December 29, 1841, and empowered to confer academic 
honors and degrees. At the suggestion of Rev. Milo P. Jewett, the 
Trustees invited Mr. Samuel Sterling Sherman, then tutor in the Uni- 
versity of Alabama, to come to Marion and assume charge of the 
classical school which should serve as a nucleus of the proposed college. 

Mr. Sherman was then twenty-six years old. Born in Vermont of 
a long line of New England ancestors, he passed his early years on his 
father's farm, with such educational advantages as the district school 
afforded. At the age of nineteen, he entered Middlebury College, which 
was then a struggling institution without endowment but with a com- 
petent faculty. As in other colleges of the period, Latin and Greek and 
Mathematics were the principal studies, to which were added in the 
junior and senior years Moral Philosophy taught by the venerable presi- 
dent and Natural Philosophy, which included many subjects now classed 
as distinct sciences. But the studies of the college were such and so 
arranged that an industrious student could teach a district school three 

(1) Unfortunately I have been able to examine only a mutilated copy of the Minutes of 
the Alabama Baptist State Convention for 1841. The above recommendations have been pieced 
together from the following sources: An "Alabama Baptist History," compiled by Benj. B. 
Davis, Secretary of the Convention, from Hosea Holcombe's History of the Alabama Baptists 
and the Minutes of the Convention. The compiler says in an introductory note that he uses 
almost the exact words of his sources. And a contribution by James H. .DeVotie to the 
Alabama Baptist, June 9, 1887. Since both authorities are in substantial agreement, I feel 
confident that the phraseology here given is an almost exact reproduction of the original. 

(2) Tradition has it that Howard College was named after John Howard, an English 
prison reformer, who died on January 20, 1790, and who was probably a Baptist. Just who 
gave the college this name cannot now be ascertained, but it is a safe guess, I think, that the 
nominator was Milo P. Jewett. 


Hozvard College Studies 21 

months, the usual length of the winter school, and not fall behind his 
classes. Young Sherman took advantage of this arrangement to earn 
the greater part of his expenses while in college. When he graduated in 
1838, he felt that teaching was the only vocation for which he was in 
any degree qualified, and so he determined to teach — at least, for a few 

Health prompted him to seek a warmer climate. On mentioning 
his wishes to one of his professors, the latter said that he had some ac- 
quaintance with Dr. Basil Manly, an eminent Baptist minister of Charles- 
ton, and would kindly inquire of him if there was an opening for a 
teacher in that city. Meantime, Dr. Manly had been elected President 
of the University of Alabama and had removed to Tuscaloosa ; but the 
letter was forwarded, and the Doctor replied promptly that a competent 
teacher would do well in Tuscaloosa, and invited Sherman to come there 
at once. This he decided to do. 

After many adventures by land and sea, he reached Tuscaloosa 
about six weeks after leaving his home in Vermont. Dr. Manly re- 
ceived him with much kindness and introduced him to Governor Bagby 
and to Chief Justice Collier. All three assured him that a good school 
preparatory to the University was much needed and offered him their 
names as references. He acted upon their suggestion and issued notice 
that he would open a private school on January 1, 1839, limiting the 
number of pupils to twenty, and charging $100 per session of ten 
months. The proposed number of pupils soon applied, but in the mean- 
time the Trustees of the University held their annual meeting, and he 
was re-elected tutor and accepted, a decision that he never had occasion 
course Dr. Manly was responsible for this unexpected honor, but the 
salary was only $1,000 a year, half as much as he expected to make 
from his private school. So he declined the appointment. A couple of 
days later Dr. Manly called and advised him to accept the tutorship, 
giving as his reasons that the duties were light, never more than two 
recitations a day, and affording ample time for self-improvement. By 
discharging the duties of librarian, which were only nominal, he could 
add another hundred dollars to his salary. So he changed his mind, 
was re-elected tutor and accepted, a decision that he never had occasion 
to regret. Through his friendship with the president and other mem- 
bers of the faculty, and his semi-official position in the University, he 
had access to the best society of the city, which was then the capital of 
the State and its principal seat of learning. 

22 Howard College Bulletin 

Accepting the invitation to Marion, he found the prospects, on his 
arrival there, far from encouraging. Not a dollar had been contributed 
or even promised to the school. There was provided, however, the old 
frame building which the Baptists of Marion had recently purchased. 
There was also, in print, at the office of the local newspaper, a flaming 
announcement that "Howard University" would soon open for the re- 
ception of students in the spacious building lately occupied by the Jud- 
son Female Institute. He did not like the outlook and felt discouraged ; 
but the resident trustees and friends of the enterprise assured him that 
the denomination was ripe for the harvest, that agents would soon be 
in the field to collect funds for buildings and endowment, and that in the 
meantime he would certainly have a large and remunerative private 
school. He did not attach much importance to all this, but having put 
his hand to the plow he resolved not to look back. So he went to the 
printing office and substituted for the flaming announcement the modest 
notice that the Howard English and Classical School was about to open 
for the reception of pupils. 

The school opened as announced on January 3, 1843, with nine boys 
in attendance. 

In the possession of Howard College today is the old registration 
book containing, in Mr. Sherman's handwriting, the names of the boys 
who matriculated from week to week and year to year. Under date of 
January 3, 1842, the following names were entered: John T. Barron, 
Thomas Booth, William Miller, Thomas A. Cravens, William D. King, 
William Blassengame, S. E. Goree, Thomas J. Anderson, and T. A. J. 
Oliver. These are the famous nine. Eight of them were from Marion 
and one, Thomas J. Anderson, was from Montgomery. The first men- 
tioned on the list was the son of Mrs. Julia A. Barron, a wealthy widow, 
known for her liberality to the Judson Institute and now to the Howard 
school. William D. King had as his "Parent or Guardian" Gen. E. D. 
King — probably son and father. As eight of the boys were listed as 
taking the "English and Classical Course," we would infer that they 
were not very small boys — probably fourteen to sixteen years old. Be- 
fore the end of the first week, two more boys entered and were given 
the "English-Classical Course." During the second week three more 
entered ; but they do not seem to have been so well prepared, for one 
was given the "English-Science Course" and the other two were classi- 
fied as "Preparatory." The last two were, in all probability, small 
boys. A note after the name of one of them reads : "A little truant — 
came only three days." All told, there were thirty-one entrants during 

Howard College Studies 23 

the first session, which dosed at the end of June, 18-12. Twenty-one 
were from Marion and the rest were from elsewhere — from such places 
as Mulberry, Centreville, Greene county, Selma, Nachitoches, Wilcox 
county, etc. The boy from Centreville was dubbed "So dull he couldn't 
learn— and left May 16." Nine of the thirty-one were in the Prepara- 
tory class ; seven classified as English-Science ; fourteen as English- 
Classical, and one as Common English. A note gives this information: 
"S. S. Sherman — only teacher — except during the last two or three 
weeks, when he employed S. Lindsley to assist." 

The tuition for the first term did not pay Sherman's board bill. 
But on September 1, 1842, the second term opened more favorably — 
twenty-five pupils the first day, and Rev. Solon Lindsley was retained 
on the teaching force. By the end of September, there were forty-two 
pupils, and by the end of the scholastic year, June, 1843, there were 
seventy-seven. This increase of prosperity was due in part at least to 
the failure of the Manual Labor Institute which the Presbyterians had 
established a couple of miles from town. Mr. Sherman was able not 
only to secure some of the pupils of the defunct school but also to rent, 
and ultimately to purchase, its scientific apparatus. Then he collected 
a library for his school by rolling a wheelbarrow from house to house in 
Marion and asking for books. 

By this time Professor Sherman was becoming better acquainted 
with the situation and gaining courage. He found that the Baptist 
denomination in Alabama was really large and wealthy, and that there 
had long been a feeling among the more intelligent that a better educated 
ministry was much needed. Believing that something could be done in 
this direction, he proposed to the Board of Trustees that an effort be 
made to endow a chair of Theology. He knew that for several years 
to come there would be little demand for instruction in Theology, but in 
the meantime such a professor could render valuable service by teaching 
in the Literary Department. The Trustees promptly adopted his sug- 
gestion and reported to the Convention, which met in November, 1842, 
the following plan for the endowment of such a chair : 

1. That there be established, in connection with the Institu- 
tion now in operation, a PROFESSORSHIP OF THEOLOGY, 
for the purpose of giving instruction to pious young men zvho bring 
evidence of their call to the ministry from the churches to zvhich 
they belong. 

2. That said Professorship be supported by the proceeds of 
an independent fund of Twenty Thousand Dollars, which shall be 
called the Permanent Theological Fund. 

34 Hozvard College Bulletin 

3. That the sum of Fifteen Thousand Dollars be raised for 
the purpose of erecting a suitable building, purchasing apparatus, 

4. That the said funds be raised on the foUovv^ing plan, viz: 
All subscriptions under One Hundred Dollars to be payable on or 
before the first of January, 1844, and to be applied to building and 
other purposes. All subscriptions of One Hundred Dollars and 
over be applied to the Permanent Theological Fund, and made 
payable on or before the first day of January, 1848, with annual 
interest from the first day of January, 1843. 

5. That no subscription to the Permanent Theological Fund 
be obligatory, until the sum of Twenty Thousand Dollars is sub- 
scribed to the same. 

6. That one or more Agents be appointed, who shall enter 
upon his or their duties immediately after the adjournment of the 
Baptist State Convention. 

7. That said Agents be required to close all subscriptions 
by Note or sealed Bond, at the time of taking the same." 

In an address drafted by the Convention and distributed among 
the ministers of the State, the following statement was made : 

"The Theological School is now attempted. It is to be an 
organization distinct in its operations and funds from Howard 

Rev. James H. DeVotie took the field, on December 1, 1842, as 
the financial agent of the College to raise the proposed endowment. 
When the Convention met in November, 1843, the Trustees reported 
the following amounts raised : Permanent Theological Fund, $19,- 
403.69; building and other purposes, $960. Proceeding, the Trustees 
said : 

"In expectation that the proposed fund would soon be com- 
plete, your Board deemed it advisable to take such steps as would 
secure the services of a professor with as little delay as necessary. 
After corresponding with several brethren, Rev. J. L. Dagg, of 
Tuscaloosa, was elected, but declined the appointment. The Rev. 
Jesse Hartwell was subsequently elected by a unanimous vote of 
the Board. He has accepted, and is expected to enter upon the 
duties of his professorship at the beginning of the ensuing year. The 
number of Theological students will probably be small at first. 
Several have applied for admission, and have been invited to enter 
with the promise of pecuniary assistance from friends in Marion. 

Howard College Studies 25 

"Your Board would suggest the propriety of appointing a 
committee to examine applicants as to their religious experience 
and call to the ministry ; also, to receive funds contributed for their 
support, and disburse the same agreeably to such regulations and 
provisions as the Convention, in its wisdom, may ordain. 

"The first object of your Board being to complete the Per- 
manent Fund, but little effort has yet been made for a building. 
The present house has been so far repaired as to render it com- 
fortable, though less spacious than is needed. A dwelling house, 
situated near the premises, has accordingly been rented for the 
current year. The Board has also under consideration the pur- 
chase of a lot adjoining the one now occupied. The site is thought 
peculiarly favorable ; and the house now on it will be of service 
until such time as their means will justify them in attempting one 
on a larger plan." 

The Trustees also announced that they had assumed the responsi- 
bility of paying fixed salaries to the teaching force. The two pro- 
fessors, literary and theological, were each to receive $1,500 a year, and 
the preparatory teacher, $T50. As assistant in the preparatory depart- 
ment, the Rev. A. A. Connella had been employed for half-time teach- 
ing at a salary of $375. The name of the school was now, in the fall 
of 1843, changed to the Howard Literary and Theological Institute. 
The library of 324 volumes of miscellaneous works, which belonged to 
the defunct Manual Labor Institute at Greensboro, was now added to 
the Howard library, making a total of about a thousand volumes. 

The new Professor of Theology, Rev. Jesse Hartwell, arrived in 
Marion on January 1, 1844. He was a Northern man. Born in Alassa- 
chusetts, educated at Brown University in Rhode Island, he had slowly 
drifted southward, preaching and teaching, a veritable pioneer in noble 
enterprises. In 1828 the Furman Theological Institution was estab- 
lished by the Baptist Convention of South Carolina at High Hills of 
Santee, and Jesse Hartwell was one of its first professors, building the 
first house at his own expense. Six years he labored in this position, 
having for pupils such men as James H. DeVotie, W. H. Mcintosh, 
Edward Lathrop, W. J. Hard, H. A. Duncan, George Kempton and 
others. In 183G he arrived in Alabama and acted for a short time as 
agent for the Foreign Mission Board. In 1837 he took charge of the 
Carlowville church and preached occasionally in Montgomery. In 
1839 he was elected President of the Baptist State Convention and pre- 
sided over its deliberations for several vears. While resident in Marion 

26 Howard College Bulletin 

as Professor of Theology, he acted as President of the Board of Do- 
mestic Missions and contributed weekly to the columns of the Alabama 
Baptist. In 1848 he removed to Arkansas and later to Louisiana, still 
pioneering in noble enterprises. 

"Dr. Hartwell was not a brilliant man," wrote Rev. E. B. Teague 
in 1859, "but a man of sound abilities, great industry and application, 
and became one of the ablest linguists and theologians in the South. . . . 
When in the Alabama Convention, it was desired to pour out our hearts 
for some signal mark of the divine favor, we almost invariably called 
upon Brother Hartwell to be our mouth-piece at the throne of grace; 
and none who heard him will forget how humbly, fervently, rapturously, 
he performed that service. He was a man of prayer, and rose to an 
eloquence and a power, in that exercise, far above himself." 

When Dr. Hartwell entered upon his duties in the Howard Insti- 
tute, he found four young men waiting to begin their study of Theology. 
These were Samuel C. Johnson, of Conecuh county; Valentine Van- 
Hoose and Azor VanHoose, of Pontotoc county, Mississippi ; and H. 
B. Mathis, of Tuscaloosa. But their attainments were not such as to 
render it advisable for them to begin this subject. So they were dis- 
tributed among the classes of the Literary Department. Before the 
year was out, three others entered, — Powhatan E. Collins, of Mobile; 
Matthew Bishop, of Talladega; and J. J. Bradford, of Sumter county 
— and were likewise distributed among the literary classes. These were, 
so far as known, the first ministerial students to enter a Baptist school 
in Alabama. 

The ease with which the Professorship of Theology had been en- 
dowed encouraged the Trustees to attempt greater things, and it was 
resolved to begin the endowment of the college proper. But only a few 
subscriptions had been obtained, when the large frame building which 
had sheltered the institution hitherto was consumed by fire and all ef- 
forts to raise the endowment were immediately suspended. The fire oc- 
curred on May 10, 1844 — fortunately at midday, and citizens promptly 
joined the students in saving nearly all the more valuable contents. The 
library and most of the apparatus were removed to places of safety ; the 
frailer part of the chemical apparatus alone was destroyed. In what 
manner the fire originated is not known, there having been none in the 
building for several weeks previous. 

On the day following the fire, a public meeting of the citizens of 
Marion was held, the strongest sympathy was expressed by all denom- 
inations and parties, and a subscription of more than $8,000 was made. 

Howard College Studies 27 

The ladies of Marion undertook to repair the loss of the chemical ap- 
paratus by the work of their own hands, and a successful fair realized 
enough for the purpose. Within a short time the Trustees purchased a 
lot adjacent to the former premises, and exactly facing the Judson In- 
stitute, and let a contract for the erection thereon of a larger and better 
building. When the question of location arose, Gen. E. D. King, who 
exerted great influence by reason of his great wealth and force of char- 
acter, said : "The boys' school must stand face to face with the girls' 
school, with no obstruction between." And this was resolved upon. 
The street was to lead from the front gate of the front yard of the Jud- 
son directly to the front gate of the front yard of the Howard. The 
distance between the two schools was three city blocks. 

But the Baptists of the State did not respond to the ardor of the 
citizens of Marion. For lack of money the dimensions of the original 
plan of the proposed new building had to be reduced, and two years 
elapsed before the building was completed. Meanwhile, classes were 
held in the Baptist church and a dwelling house nearby, which was 
rented for the purpose, and the students were cared for in the homes 
of the citizens. 

At the close of the scholastic year 1844-45, while the Howard In- 
stitute was still housed in temporary quarters. Professor Sherman is- 
sued his first annual catalogue. It shows that there were in attendance 
during the year 114 students, of whom 47 were in the preparatory 
Department. The following were ministerial students : P. E. Collins, 
of Mobile ; Samuel C. Johnson, of Conecuh county ; H. B. Mathis, of 
Tuscaloosa; J. A. Collins, of St. Clair county; W, R. Meador, of 
Sumter county ; A. O. Blackwood, of Perry county ; and Joseph Mit- 
chell, of Bibb county. The faculty consisted of Samuel S. Sherman, 
M. A., Professor of Natural Philosophy ; Rev. Jesse Hartwell, M. A., 
Professor of Theology ; Rev. Solon Lindsley, M. A., Principal of the 
Preparatory Department ; and Monsieur Pierre Rate, Teacher of Mod- 
ern Languages. But Rev. Solon Lindsley was not actively on the 
teaching force this year. He was given a leave of absence and sent out 
by the Trustees as financial agent for the school, and Rev. O. Rockwell 
temporarily took his place in the school room. During the first five 
months of the year, Mr. P. Murrat, a student registered from Perry 
county, served as assistant in the Preparatory Department, and during 
the second five months Mr. William L. Moseley. a student from Ca- 
haba, relieved Murrat. 

Nothing of particular importance occurred during the academic 
year 1845-46. Rev. Solon Lindsley, who returned from his agency to 

28 Howard College Bulletin 

resume his teaching as head of the Preparatory Department, was per- 
manently succeeded at the end of the first term by R. S. Lewis. W. 
L. Moseley remained as assistant throughout the year. 

By this time the number of students in the higher classes had 
largely increased ; the course of studies had been extended until it in- 
cluded all the usual college curriculum, and it seemed advisable to or- 
ganize regular college classes. Accordingly, the Trustees, early in July, 
1846, passed the following resolutions: 

"Resolved, That the Faculty be requested to prepare and 
present to the Board before the beginning of the ensuing term, the 
schedule of a complete course of collegiate studies, embracing the 
usual period of four years, and classified accordingly. 

"Resolved, That, as there are now in the institution students 
of the requisite stages of advancement to constitute three regular 
classes, namely, Freshman, Sophomore and Junior, said classes be 
organized at the beginning of the next term. 

"Resolved, That immediate efforts be made to obtain means 
for the support of an additional instructor, and that agents now 
employed, and those hereafter appointed, be directed to use every 
exertion to secure the amount necessary for the above purposes. 

"Resolved, That the Faculty be requested to prepare and 
present to the Board, at their earliest convenience, a code of laws, 
embracing such general rules and regulations as will be necessary 
for the government of the institution, and the successful manage- 
ment of all its interests." 

This plan was carried out, and thenceforth the institution assumed 
the name and privileges conferred by its charter, Howard College. 

When college opened in September, 1846, the new building was 
ready for occupancy. It was a large brick structure four stories high, 
including the basement, which was half a storey above ground. The 
basement and first floor contained a chapel and rooms of convenient 
size for laboratory, library, recitations and professors' offices. On the 
two top floors were rooms used by students as dormitories. As there 
were no fire-escapes other than the stairways inside the building, one 
shudders as he thinks of the terrible possibility of a midnight fire. 

To the Faculty was now added A. B. Goodhue. Born in New 
Boston, New Hampshire, and married to a lady who was born in Han- 
cock, New Hampshire, Professor Goodhue came to Claiborne, Ala- 
bama, in 1845, and taught for one year in the Claiborne Academy. 
Coming to Howard in October, 1846, he was destined to serve the col- 

Hozcard College Studies 39 

lege through the dark period of civil war and reconstruction and, after 
a long absence, to return in 1893 and to die in its service. 

When the Convention met at Marion in November, 1846, it for- 
mally dedicated the new college building and passed the following reso- 
lution : 

"Whereas, the Convention cordially approves of the course 
pursued by the Board of Trustees of Howard College in their 
laudable efforts to elevate the literary character of the institution 
— therefore, 

"Resolved, That this body make vigorous efforts to raise, dur- 
ing the next five years, the sum of One Hundred Thousand Dol- 
lars for the purpose of more amply endowing the College and 
placing it at once upon a permanent and honorable foundation." 

30 Hotvard College Bulletin 


The First Eight Years as a College 

Howard assumed the status of a college in the fall of 1846. At the 
end of the academic year, the Trustees formally appointed Professor 
Sherman President. He had hitherto discharged the duties of that po- 
sition without the formal title, and the succeess of his labors induced 
the hope that the institution would continue to grow under his direc- 
tion. Measured by standards of the present day, Howard was not yet a 
great institution; but in that day and generation Howard suffered very 
little by comparison with the University of Alabama. 

Some notion of the standard of scholarship maintained at the time 
may be had from a glance at the following transcription from the cata- 
logue of 1848-49 : 

"The following text books are used in this institution, prepara- 
tory to the regular classes : Bullion's English Grammar ; Olney's 
Geography ; Davies' Arithmetic and Algebra ; Willard's History of 
the United States ; Ruschenburger's Series of First Books in Nat- 
ural History ; Andrews and Stoddard's Latin Grammar ; Arnold's 
First and Second Latin Books ; Andrews' Latin Reader ; Anthon's 
Caesar, Sallust and Virgil; Sophocles' Greek Grammar; Anthon's 
Greek Reader ; the Greek Testament. 

Freshman Class 

First Term. — Algebra, (Davies' Bourdon) ; Latin, (Odes of 
Horace;) Greek, (Xenophon's Anabasis;) Ancient Geography, 

Second Term. — Geometry commenced, (Davies' Legendre;) 
Latin, (Epistles and Satires of Horace;) Greek, (Gr. Majora;) 
Ancient Geography, ( Mitchell ; ) Exercises in Latin Composition, 

Sophomore Class 

First Term. — Geometry finished, (Davies' Legendre;) Trigo- 
nometr}^ plain and spherical, (Davies';) Latin, (Folsom's Livy;) 
Greek, Homer's Iliad;) Greek and Roman Antiquities, (Bojesen;) 
Exercises in Latin Composition ; French commenced. 

Second Term. — Mensuration, (Davies;) Surveying, (Davies;) 
Analytical Geometry, (Davies;) Differential and Integral Calcu- 
lus, (Davies;) Latin, (Terence;) Greek, (Gr. Majora;) Logis, 
(Hedge;) French, (Charles XII or Telemachus.) 

Hoivard College Studies 31 

Junior Class 

First Term. — Mechanics, Hydrostatics and Pneumatics, (Olm- 
sted;) Chemistry commenced, (Draper;) Greek, (OEdipus, Tyran- 
nus or Medea;) Rhetoric. (Newman;) French, Racine.) 

Second Term. — Electricity, Magnetism and Optics, (Olm- 
sted;) Chemistry finished, (Draper;) Agricultural Chemistry, 
(Gray;) Latin, (Juvenal;) French, (Racine;) Histor}-, (Lord.) 

Senior Class 

First Term. — Geology, (Hitchcock;) Astronomy, (Olmsted;) 
Mineralog\% (Dana;) Moral Science, (Wayland;) Greek, (Plato;) 
French, (Moliere.) 

Second Term. — Political Economy, (Wayland;) Intellectual 
Philosophy, (Opham;) Latin, (Cicero de Oratore;) Philosophy of 
Rhetoric, (Campbell;) Butler's Analogy. 

The English and Scientific Course 
embraces three years, and is classified as follows: 

First Year 

First Term. — English Grammar and Arithmetic reviewed, 
Natural Philosophy and Algebra. 

Second Term. — Natural Philosophy, Physiology, Geometry, 
History, and French or Latin. 

Second Year 

First Term. — Geometry. Trigonometry, Chemistr)% Rhetoric, 
and French or Latin. 

Second Term. — Surveying, Navigation, Analytical Geometry, 
Chemistry, Logis, French or Latin. 

Third Year 

First Term. — Moral Science, Geology, Astronomy, Mineral- 
ogy, French. 

Second Term. — Political Economy, Intellectual Philosophy, 
Philosophy of Rhetoric, Evidences of Christianity, Constitution of 
the United States. 

The studies of the Scientific Course are pursued as far as 
practicable in connection with the regular classes. 

Lectures are delivered on Natural Sciences, accompanied with 

33 Howard College Bulletin 

Students having the ministry in view are permitted to study 
Hebrew instead of French, in the regular course. 

The Bible will be used in future as a regular text-book in all 
the classes, and a weekly exercise in the original or in the English 
version will be required of every student." 

On July 27, 1848, the college held its first annual commencement, 
when the degree of Bachelor of Arts was conferred upon four young 
men who had completed the classical course, and the degree of Bachelor 
of Science was conferred upon three others who had completed the 
scientific course, which did not include Latin and Greek. We know 
the names of these first alumni of Howard College: John T. Barron, 
Thomas Booth, William S. Blassingame, William L. Moseley, Henry 
W. Nave, Milton M. Weissinger, and Singleton A. Williams; but we 
do not know their individual degrees. The early catalogues of this pe- 
riod, some of which are still available, give only the names of the grad- 
uates, and there is no other official record in existence. Apparently it 
was though enough just to graduate; the degree received was a matter 
of no great consequence. 

At this commencement, Rev. Jesse Hartwell tendered his resigna- 
tion as Professor of Theology, to take effect, apparently, at the end of 
December of that year ; and Rev. T. F. Curtis, pastor of Dr. Basil 
Manly's church at Tuscaloosa, was elected to that chair. The new in- 
cumbent was a scholarly Englishman, author of "The Progress of Bap- 
tist Principles in the East Hundred Years." While professor in How- 
ard he wrote articles for the Alabama Baptist on ministerial education 
and pretty soon engaged the Rev. Mr. Stickney, Episcopal clergyman of 
Marion, in a prolonged and acrid religious controversy through the col- 
umns of the South Western Baptist. He was remembered by Dr. E. B. 
Teague, in 1900, as the freshest, most original and fertile preacher of 
that day. He died in Boston, relapsing, however, in his later life from 
the evangelical faith. 

Other changes and shifts in the faculty were made at this com- 
mencement, so that the list now reads as follows : Samuel S. Sherman, 
A. M., President and Professor of Chemistry ; Rev. T. F. Curtis, A. M., 
Professor of Theology and Moral Science; A. B. Goodhue, A. M., 
Professor of Mathematics; Robert S. Lewis, A. M., Professor of Lan- 
guages; William L. Moseley, A. B., Tutor; and W. H. Mason, Teacher; 
of the Preparatory Department. At the end of the next year, the last] 

Hoivard College Studies 33 

mentioned was replaced by J. A. Melcher, A. B., and the tutorship of 
Mr. Moseley disappeared without a substitute. (1) 

Under Rev. T. F. Curtis, who assumed the duties of his professor- 
ship early in January, 1849, the course of study offered to the minis- 
terial students was as follows : 

"First Year 

First Term. — English Grammar reviewed, Natural Philoso- 
phy, Algebra, and Greek commenced. 

Second Term. — Geometry, Chemistry, Greek Testament, Prin- 
ciples of Interpretation, Introduction to the Old and New Testa- 
ment, and Harmony of the Gospels. 

Second Year 

First Term. — Geometry, Trigonometry, Rhetoric, and System- 
atic Theology: 1. Natural Religion; 2. Evidences of Revealed 

Second Term. — Logic, Intellectual Philosophy, and Systematic 
Theology continued: 1. The Trinity; 2. The Purposes of God 
— Election, etc. ; 3. Moral Accountability, Natural and Moral 
Ability; 4. Man as a Sinner, The Fall, Depravity; 5. Salvation 
by Grace — the Covenant of Redemption, Atonement, Regenera- 
tion, Justification by Faith, Perseverance of the Saints ; 6. Resur- 
rection — Future Rewards and Punishments ; 7. The Church — 
Baptism, Communion, Officers and Discipline of the Church. 

Third Year 

First Term. — Moral Science, Astronomy, Ecclesiastical His- 
tory, Preparation of Plans, Criticisms of Sermons. 

Second Term. — Philosophy of Rhetoric, Evidences of Chris- 
tianity, Ecclesiastical History, Criticism of Sermons continued, and 
Pastoral Duties." 
The literary studies in the early part of this Course were varied to 

suit the capacities of Theological students, who were welcomed to all 

the advantages the college in any stage of literary advancement, free of 

all charge for instruction. 

A glimpse of the Theological Department during Professor Cur- 

tis's first term of service may be had from the following extract from 

the Alabama Baptist Advocate of March 2, 1849 : 

(1) During the academic year 1848-49, the classes at the Judson in Chemistry, Natural 
Philosophy and Physiology attended lectures at the Howard. 

34 Howard College Bulletin 

"It will be gratifying to our brethren to learn that there are 
at present in the Howard College six promising young men prose- 
cuting the study of Theology preparatory to the sacred ministry. 
These are almost altogether under the supervision of Rev. T. F. 
Curtis, than whom no man is better qualified to receive a trust so 
important. To say nothing of the orthodoxy of Professor Curtis 
or of his extensive literary and theological attainments, his profound 
modesty — almost to a fault, his exceeding delicacy of thought and 
expression, and most of all his deep, consistent and unostentatious 
piety befit him in a most admirable degree for the high and re- 
sponsible office to which he has been called, of guiding the studies 
and forming the manners of those who are ere long to go forth as 
ambassadors of Christ and to mingle in the most delicate relations 
of life. We cannot resist the temptation to report in this place 
a little incident which fell under our observation a few evenings 
since — illustrative of the course pursued in the instructions of his 
Theological Class. Having been frequently invited to witness some 
of the exercises of this class, in which above all others we always 
feel the deepest interest, we made it convenient to call at the recita- 
tion room about the time when we supposed they would be engaged 
in their stated Biblical exercises. As we softly approached the 
door, we were delighted to find the professor at the head of his 
class engaged in a low and almost secret prayer to the Father of 
light for the guidance and assistance of His Holy Spirit. Imme- 
diately the conviction fixed itself upon our thoughts, if this be the 
uniform course of this class, we shall not wonder if they come 
forth at length sound theologians and soul stirring Christians." ('') 
The editorial "we" in this instance was evidently Dr. A. W. Cham- 
bliss, editor and owner of the Alabama Baptist Advocate. What he wit- 
nessed was a recitation of the class in Systematic Theology. Professor 
Curtis taught two other classes, not connected with the Theological De- 
partment, namely. Rhetoric and Moral Science. 

The collegiate year was a session of ten months, divided into two 
terms of five months each. The first term began on the first Monday 
in October and the second on the first day of March. Except a week 
during the Christmas holidays, there was but one vacation — August and 
September. Previous to the Christmas holidays and again at the end 
of the session in July, every student was required to undergo a thorough 

(2) The six ministerial students registered for 1848-49 were: James S. Abbott, of Perry 
county; James M. Boyles, of Monroe county; Andrew J. Lambert, of Monroe county; Peter L. 
Shamburger, of Wilcox County; Mark H. Tallioferro, of Tennessee; and Washington Wilkes, 
of Barbour county. 

Howard College Studies 35 

examination on the studies of the preceding term and perform such 
other duties as the faculty might assign. 

These examinations were all oral and were taken in the presence 
of visitors invited in for the occasion. When they occurred in connec- 
tion with the commencement exercises, the occasion was especially gala. 
In the South Western Baptist for July 30, 1851, we read: 

"The annual Examination of the students of Howard College 
commenced on Thursday the 17th inst. 

"The first day was occupied with the exercises of the Prepara- 
tory Department under the charge of Mr. Melcher. The lads ac- 
quitted themselves with great credit in all their performances. A 
large class in Geography attracted particular attention. Most of 
the members of this class drew very accurate and handsome maps 
upon the blackboard, with an ease and rapidity of execution which 
showed that they had been thoroughly instructed in the use of chalk 
and board. Atlases of their own drawing were also passed to the 
spectators. Some of these were executed with great beauty and 
fidelity. This method of teaching Geography and impressing upon 
the youthful mind the situation, boundaries, and prominent features 
of different countries is decidedly superior to all others and ought 
to be more generally adopted. In fact, the blackboard is the most 
useful article of apparatus that was ever introduced into the school- 
room, and we were glad to see no less than four large ones in pretty 
constant use. 

The Rhetorical exercises for the juvenile performers were also 
highly creditable. A class of the smallest rehearsed a piece or two 
in concert with fine effect. Why were so few of the parents pres- 
ent? Mr. Melcher retains charge of this department another year, 
and a more laborious and faithful teacher it would be hard to find. 
On Friday the advanced Preparatory and Irregular classes were 
examined, including several classes in Latin, Greek, Algebra, Nat- 
ural Philosophy, etc. 

The regular college classes were examined on Monday, Tues- 
day and Wednesday following, also the Theological classes in 
Church History and Systematic Theolog>'. Competent judges pro- 
nounce these examinations fully equal if not superior to any they 
have ever witnessed in the institution. 

On Tuesday night several of the young gentlemen delivered 
select speeches in the Town Hall. The performances are highly 
spoken of by those who were present. The exhibition of the Junior 

36 Howard College Bulletin 

Class, on Wednesday night, has elicited much commendation. Most 
of the members of this class are quite young in appearance, but 
their orations indicated well disciplined and mature minds. An 
appropriate and graceful delivery of valuable thoughts neatly and 
logically expressed, rendered the exercises of the class exceedingly 
interesting and secured the closest attention of a very large and 
intelligent audience. The following is the Programme: 

Exhibition of the Junior Class of Howard College, 
July 23, 1851. 

Oration. — "The Influence of National Melody," by George W. 

Oration. — "Electricity," by Powhatan Lockett. 

Oration. — "Science," by Charles O. Jones. 

Oration. — "Romance," by George W. Lockhart. 

Oration.— "The Fall of Grenada," by William D. Lee. 

Oration. — "The Moral, the Sovereign Power," by Richard A. Mon- 

The Commencement Exercises were held in the Town Hall on 
the 24th. A procession, consisting of the Faculty and Students 
was formed at the College at 9 :30 o'clock, under direction of Rob- 
ert T. Goree, Esq., and two assistant marshals. The following is 
the order of the exercises : 

Fourth Annual Commencement of Howard College, 
Marion, July 24, 1851. 

Oration. — "The Tendencies of Modern Science," by James S. Ab- 
bott, Perry county. 

Oration. — "Diversity of Opinions in Religion," by Washington 
Wilkes, Barbour county. 


Howard College Studies 37 


Master's Oration, by John T. Barron, M. D. 
Address and Degrees Conferred. 


at the conclusion of the President's Address, he con- 
ferred the degrees of Bachelor of Arts upon Mr. James S. Abbott, 
and the degree of Master of Arts, in course, upon John T. Barron, 
M. D., of Marion ; William S. Blassingame, Esq., of Autauga coun- 
ty; Singleton A. Williams, of Montgomery, and Milton M. Weissin- 
ger, of Marion, members of the first class o! Graduates. 

They were also the first on whom the Institution has conferred 
this degree. 

The honorary degree of Master of Arts was also conferred on 
the Rev. Rufus C. Burleson, President elect of Baylor University. 
Certificates of having completed the Theological course were 
conferred on Messrs. James S. Abbott and Washington Wilkes, ac- 
companied with appropriate remarks on their duties and responsi- 
bilities as to ministers, by the Professor of Theology. 

Music was furnished at both the Junior Exhibition and the 
Commencement by the young ladies of the Judson Institute, under 
direction of Professor Wurm." 

This may be taken as an account of a typical week of examinations 
and commencement exercises, though no mention was made here of the 
annual address before the two literary societies and the levee, or recep- 
tion, usually held at the college on the evening of the last day. The 
levee held at the close of commencement, 1850, was attended by "some 
five or six hundred persons. Students and faculty, trustees and pa- 
trons, parents and children, brothers and sisters, citizens and strangers, 
were co-mingled in pleasing harmony, all apparently happy in each 
other's society and happiness." 

The semi-sessional examinations, held just before Christmas, were 
of course less gala occasions, though they were attended by visitors and 
closed with declamations in the college chapel. During the year an 
occasional Friday afternoon was devoted to a public "exhibition", when 
students made speeches and read original compositions. 

At the commencement of 1851, Rev. T. F. Curtis tendered his res- 
ignation as Professor of Theology, to take effect on the first day of 
January, 1852. The Rev. Henry Talbird, of Montgomery, was elected 

38 Howard College Bulletin 

as his successor. Professor Robert S. Lewis also retired from his chair, 
that of Ancient Languages, and was succeeded by Professor A. B, 
Goodhue, who was transferred to that position from the chair of Mathe- 
matics. Rev. Russel Holman was elected Professor of Mathematics 
and entered upon his duties in October, 1851. 

In their report to the Convention in November, 1851, the Trustees 
complained of the want of a good library. "As yet", they said, "no 
money has been expended in the purchase of books. Other wants which 
could not be postponed have been so numerous and urgent that this 
has not received its share of attention. About 1,000 volumes collected 
from various sources (most of them contributed by friends in Marion 
and Greensboro) compose the entire library. These, even if well se- 
lected, would be entirely inadequate to the wants of a college. * * * 
Within the last year the students belonging to the two Literary Societies 
made a commendable effort to procure libraries of their own. With 
funds contributed by themselves and their friends, they have obtained 
about 600 volumes each. As most of these have been selected with care, 
they form a very valuable beginning." But the complaint of the Trus- 
tees was without results. Sixty years later, alas, the library of Howard 
College was no larger. 

On January 1, 1853, Rev. Henry Talbird entered upon his duties as 
Professor of Theology. Born on Hilton Head Island, Beaufort District, 
South Carolina, he was now in his forty-first year. His family were 
among the earliest settlers and most prominent citizens of the State. He 
was educated at Hamilton Literary and Theological Institution, now 
Colgate University, New York, graduating therefrom in 1841. Coming 
straightway to Alabama, he was pastor of the church at Tuscaloosa for 
one year and of the church at Montgomery for nine years. In after 
years President Sherman thus characterized him: "Dr. Talbird pos- 
sessed a strong and well balanced mind ; was never visionary and rarely 
enthusiastic. His mental processes sometimes seemed a little slow, for 
he was always deliberate, undertaking nothing from impulse and doing 
nothing by halves. He was more philosophical than imaginative. In 
the pulpit he appealed to the reason rather than to the emotions of his 
hearers." Shortly after coming to the Howard, he married Mrs. Grif- 
fin, wealthy widow and sister of Mrs. Julia Barron, and thus become 
closely identified with the best families of Marion. 

With the coming of Professor Talbird, the relationship between 
Howard College and the Baptist State Convention became peculiarly 

Howard College Studies 39 

close. Dr. Talbird was President of the Convention from 1852 to 1855, 
inclusive, and again in 1860 and 1861. Professor A. B. Goodhue was 
Clerk from 1854 to 1866. 

The advent of Professor Talbird, however, was closely followed by 
the departure of President Sherman. "FeeUng", says the latter, "that 
I had discharged my duty to the Howard and that an increasing family 
had higher claims upon me, I quietly purchased a school property known 
as 'Brownwood', near LaGrange, Ga., and much to the surprise of all 
interested, in June, 1852, resigned the presidency of the College." The 
Trustees accepted his resignation with sincere regret and, after mature 
and prayerful deliberation, unanimously elected Professor Talbird to 
the office thus vacated. Thus the Presidency of the College and the 
Professorship of Theology became united in the same individual. Presi- 
dent Sherman officiated for the last time on Commencement Day, 1852, 
and stepped down and out. That afternoon a public meeting of the 
citizens of Marion was held in the Town Hall, where speeches were 
made in high commendation of his services to the college and, as a sub- 
stantial assurance of the confidence and esteem in which he was held 
by the public, he was given a tea service of solid silver. He was des- 
tined to return three years later as Principal of the Judson Institute. 
On the eve of the Civil War he left Alabama and took up his residence 
for a time in Milwaukee, far from war's alarums, and then settled per- 
manently in Chicago, where he died on November 22, 191-4, lacking two 
days of being ninety-nine years old. 

The resignation of President Sherman left the chair of Natural 
Sciences vacant. To that position the Trustees elected Noah K. Davis, 
stepson of Dr. J. L. Dagg and a young man of great promise. 

Noah Knowles Davis, son of Noah and Mary Young Davis, was 
born in Philadelphia, Pa., on May 15, 1830. His father died when he 
was yet an infant. His mother married Rev. John L. Dagg, then a 
pastor in the city, and the family shortly afterwards removed to Tus- 
caloosa, Ala., where Dr. Dagg served for a time as Principal of the 
Alabama Athenaeum. In 1843 Dr. Dagg became President of Mercer 
University, then located at Pen field, Ga. Here young Davis graduated 
in 1849 with high honor. He then spent some time in Philadelphia, 
his native city, in the study of Chemistry, supporting himself by teach- 
ing, by service in an architect's office, and by editing two books, the 
"Model Architect" and the "Carpenter's Guide". He was Professor 
of Natural Science in Delaware College when he was invited to come 
to Howard in 1852. 

40 Howard College Bulletin 

"The above arrangement had hardly been completed", say the Trus- 
tees in their report to the Convention in 1853, "before your board were 
called upon to fill another vacancy in the faculty. In consequence of 
the state of his health, Professor Holman was compelled to resign his 
professorship, and although your Board regretted the loss of his valu- 
able services to the College, they felt it to be due to him to accept his 
resignation. They have, however, found it difficult to fill his place; 
for, while several persons could be found who were fitted for the De- 
partment of Language, no one could be obtained who was capable and 
willing to take the Department of Mathematics. Your Board were 
relieved from this embarrassment by Professor Goodhue. From choice 
he had been transferred from the Department of Mathematics to that 
of Languages ; but as soon as he became aware of the difficulty of the 
Board, he with the spirit of self-sacrifice which has marked his conduct 
in all his connection with the College, immediately consented to resume 
his duties as Professor of Mathematics." The Board then appointed to 
the vacant position Professor Leander Brown, who was reputed to be an 
experienced and accomplished teacher of languages, both ancient and 
modern. Richard A. Montague, a recent graduate of the college, was 
also added to the faculty in the position of tutor. The Preparatory 
Department remained under the direction of Mr. Melcher, assisted by 
Dr. Graham, 

"The Faculty of the College", continue the Trustees in the same 
report, "is now more completely organized than at any former period. 
They can now give instruction in the French and Spanish languages ; 
and, without materially abridging the course of instruction in the An- 
cient Languages, they will have it in their power to appropriate more 
time to the study of Natural Science and Civil Engineering. The appli- 
cation of Chemistry to Agricultural pursuits is becoming a very impor- 
tant branch of a liberal education, and the faculty have devised a plan 
by which they can, without expense to the board, give practical illus- 
trations of all that is known in this Department of Chemistry. Thus, 
any young gentleman who desires to prepare himself to become a com- 
plete and thorough farmer may find helps in this Institution which 
can be found in no other College in the South with which the Board 
is acquainted." 

"During the session", the Trutees continue, "the College was vis- 
ited by a gracious revival, and twelve of its students, upon profession of 
faith in Christ, were received into the fellowship of the Baptist church — 
two others connected themselves with the Methodist brethren. It has 


Howard College Studies 41 

been the privilege of your Board, on several occasions, to make men- 
tion of these precious seasons, as occurring in the Howard, and they 
are convinced that they are brought about mainly through the instru- 
mentality of the Theological students. Thus these young brethren, while 
pursuing studies which exclude them from the active duties of the min- 
istry, have exhibited the spirit of their calling, and have been made a 
blessing to their young associates." 

On August 5, 1853, the South Western Baptist thus describes the 
equipment of the college : 

"The Department of Mathematics is supplied with a good 
Theodolite, Compass, Chain, Levelling Staves, etc. In Surveying, 
the student is familiarized with the use of Instruments and Field 

The Philosophical Apparatus is complete, and comprises all 
that is requisite for illustration. Throughout the course of Natural 
Philosophy pursued by the Senior Class, experiments are performed 
in connection with the daily recitation in the text-books. 

The Astronomical Apparatus consists of a good Telescope, Or- 
rery, Globes, Circle, Transit, and all other such instruments as are 
useful to the student of the Elements of Astronomy, and they are 
freely used throughout the course. 

The Chemical Department possesses ample means for ex- 
hibiting all the experiments indicated in the text-book. In addition, 
many others are performed illustrating the higher branches of the 
science. Agricultural Chemistry receives a large share of attention, 
and no pains are spared to give the student a clear insight into the 
truths upon which this important branch of Chemical Science is 
based. Mineralogy is taught in connection with Chemistry ; and the 
Senior Class is introduced to the science of Botany by a series of 
familiar lectures. 

The Cabinet contains a number of minerals and geological spec- 
imens. These are quite sufficient for the purpose of instruction, 
l)ut as a larger collection is desirable, contributions are solicited." 

43 Howard College Bulletin 


The Midnight Fire 

In the fall of 1854, the college opened with brighter prospects than 
ever before. The number of students was larger, and most of them 
were older and better prepared than usual for college work. But the 
hopes of the professors, students and friends of the college were des- 
tined to be blasted in a moment. On the night of October 15, the 
startling cry of fire was heard about the hour of midnight, and it was 
soon discovered that the college building was on fire. Prompt efforts 
were made to do what might be done, but the flames had progressed too 
far to be stayed by any human agency. Not only were the spectators 
unable to do anything toward extinguishing the fire, but they were soon 
horror-stricken to see the students crowding to the windows with 
scorched hands and faces, doomed, either to an awful death by the 
flames, which were already approaching them, or to take the scarcely 
less dreadful alternative of leaping from the windows. 

The story of this dreadful night may best be told by the actors and 
spectators in the tragedy, who wrote letter after letter to the South 
Western Baptist for publication : 

"With deep sorrow of heart," wrote Joseph Walker on the 
morning of the fire, "I inform the readers of the Baptist of the 
sad calamity which has befallen this community and the Baptists 
of Alabama. Between 12 and 1 o'clock this morning, the cry of 
fire rang out through our town. It was soon ascertained that the 
building doomed to destruction was our own beloved College. So 
rapid were the flames in their progress that scarcely anything could 
be saved, and Books, Apparatus and Laboratory, together with all 
things pertaining to the edifice, save the College notes, now lie a 
heap of smouldering ruins. The pecuniary loss can not be less than 
fifteen or twenty thousand dollars. Dr. Talbird's individual loss is 
from four to five thousand dollars. 

But this is not the least nor the worst of the disaster. Would 
that it were. 

Two of the Professors, with some eighteen of the students, 
sustained more or less personal injury. The flames burst forth at 
an hour of the night when the occupants of the College building 
had retired to rest, and no way of egress was allowed them but to 
leap from the windows, which they did, from the second, third, and 
fourth stories of the house. Consequently, some were taken from 

Howard College Studies 43 

the places where they had fallen, with fractured limbs, and several 
were fearfully burned. Young Hunter, a son of Judge Chilton, 
Anderson Talbert, and the younger Cleveland are among the sever- 
est sufferers, though it is hoped that all will recover. A faithful 
servant of President Talbird, who attended at the College, died this 
morning from his burns. 

The cause of the fire is unknown. Circumstances strongly in- 
dicate it as the work of an incendiary, but I must doubt, till con- 
vinced to the contrary, that any person could have been so recklessly 
depraved as to commit so great a crime. The fire, by the testimony 
of all the students, originated on the stairs of the hall on the first 
floor, and, ascending upward, cut off all egress by the main en- 
trance. None were aware of its existence till waked by the smoke 
or ignition of their bed clothes. No fire had been used in any of 
the rooms this season, and at the place of its origin, it could not 
easily have been kindled either by accident of a lighted candle or 
cigar. At nine o'clock President Talbird, as was his custom, passed 
through the building to see that all was right, and he saw no signs 
of fire. A committee has been appointed to ascertain, if possible, 
the cause of this great misfortune, who will report in due time 
Thus I have endeavored to give you the facts of this sad event. 

A meeting of the citizens was convened in the Baptist Church 
this morning at 11 o'clock, and the first business they did was to 
appoint a committee to detail suitable persons to attend to and nurse 
the sick. Every young man has the benefit of medical aid, and is 
doubtless as well cared for as he could be at home. The parents of 
the injured were promptly telegraphed and written to. It has been 
found, too, that the condition of most of the wounded is not as bad 
as at first supposed. 

The next business to which the citizens gave attention was to 
open a subscription for the re-erection of the Howard College. 
About six thousand dollars were subscribed on the spot, when the 
meeting adjourned to re-assemble at 7 o'clock in the evening. 

Arrangements are to be made for the conducting of the Col- 
lege exercises till the contemplated building for the purpose shall 
have been erected." (') 

(1) South Western Baptist, October 19, 1854. 

44 Howard College Bulletin 

On October 17, Joseph Walker again wrote to the same paper: 

"The fire is now supposed to have been produced by spontan- 
eous combustion. Doubtless this was its origin. The building had 
been recently painted and several oil kegs had been placed in a closet 
under the stairs in the hall into which some old clothes had been 
thrown, and it is agreed on all hands that the fire originated at that 
point ; it can be accounted for only in this way. 

The recitations are to be resumed tomorrow in the basement 
of the Baptist church, and in the Town Hall, and the Howard build- 
ing is to be replaced with the greatest possible despatch. Eight 
thousand dollars have been subscribed by the citizens of Marion, 
which will be raised to at least ten or twelve thousand, and $2,200 
were pledged by individuals of the Cahaba Association, as soon as 
the intelligence of the calamity reached them. The aim is to have 
better buildings than heretofore, costing, probably, $20,000 or 
more, and they will he built." {') 
On October 18 : 

"The Committee appointed to prepare a statement of facts re- 
specting the burning of the building of Howard College, on the 
night of the 15th inst., and the prospects of its re-erection, and to 
investigate the origin of the fire, submit the following: 

The conflagration occurred about midnight. When the fire 
was first discovered by the students, the passages and stairways of 
the building were impossible on account of the flames and smoke, 
and they were driven to attempt an escape by leaping hurriedly 
from the windows. One life had been lost, that of the College 
servant, who died on the following day of injuries received from 
the fire during his efforts to awake the students to a knowledge of 
their perilous condition. 

Six students received injuries from burns by leaping from 
windows of the building which for a time rendered their cases pre- 
carious, but they are now believed to be out of danger. 

One Professor, the Tutor and ten students received injuries 
from the same causes, which, though serious, are such that they 
will speedily recover. 

The remaining seven students in the building were all slightly 
hurt, but are now able to resume their duties. 

The friends of all the injured were promptly informed of their 
situation, and parents and guardians receiving no such information, 
may feel assured that the safety of their sons and wards. 

(2) South Western Baptist, October 26, 1854. 

Howard College Studies 45 

The building is a total loss. All the Chemical and Philosoph- 
ical Apparatus, the Cabinet, the Libraries of the College and the 
Literary Societies, the private Libraries of the President and Pro- 
fessors are utterly destroyed. 

The notes given for the endowment of the College and the 
papers relating to its monetary affairs were all saved, but so great 
was the demand for aid to save life and relieve the sufferers, that 
no effort could be made to rescue property of minor importance. 

The fire appears to have originated either about the staircase 
of the basement or that of the first story of the building, the one 
staircase being immediately over the other, but from what cause 
the committee are unable, after the most thorough investigation they 
could give the subject, to come to any conclusion. 

The exercises of the Institution are to be resumed at once, the 
Trustees having made suitable arrangements for that purpose. 

This great loss will be speedily repaired. Large subscriptions 
for rebuilding the College have already been made in Marion and 
vicinity and there is no doubt but that the amount will, in a short 
time, be grea'tly increased. 

J. H. LEE 

Marion, Oct. 18, 1854." (') 
A vivid description of the disaster was given by one of the Theo- 
logical students who was in the burning building. Writing to the 
South Western Baptist on October 23, he says : 

"I was the only theological student rooming in the building. 
My room was in the third story, twenty-five feet from the ground, 
a corner room having two windows. I and my roommate retired 
at 9 o'clock, and both were soon asleep. But a quarter before 13 
o'clock I was awakened, not by any friendly hands, but my suffoca- 
tion. And then quickly rising, I flew to my door, to see if the 
stairs were clear, but finding them enveloped in flames, I shut the 
door, not. however, without burning away the best portion of my 
hair. The door now being shut, for it was open at first, the heated 
air with which the room was filled, was soon dispersed by the cur- 
rent of cool air passing thruogh the windows, and the room was 
pleasant enough. 

(3) South Western Baptist, October 26, 1854. 

46 Howard College Bulletin 

By this time my roommate had waked, though his reason left 
him the moment he arose. He raved from one side of the room to 
the other, over chairs, etc., not knowing what he was doing, and 
made two attempts to jump out at one of the windows, but I ar- 
rested him both times, and remonstrated with him thus : 'Thomas' 
(for that was his name) 'you must not do so; we are about to be 
lost, but I can save you.' Upon this he was calm — ^made an effort 
to throw out his trunk, but failed, and I threw it out, and mine also. 
I then ordered a negro to remove the trunks from below, as they 
would have been in the way of falling. He did so. I then told 
him to put a plank in the window below mine. This being done, I 
seated myself firmly in my window, holding fast to it with my left 
hand, and with my right hand, suspended my roommate on the 
plank, and the negro drew it slowly at the bottom, and my friend 
slid safely to the ground unhurt 

I now saw my friend safe, .... but as for me, I was yet in 
the burning room. But I continued to watch, work and pray — 
dressed, ran to one of my windows and saw four dead men, as I 
supposed, my fellow students, who had jumped from the rooms 
above. I then ran to the other window, and saw three in like con- 
dition, all serving to augment my fear, as I soon expected to ex- 
perience the same. In this dread moment, as I was sitting in my 
window waiting for help, fearing the awful flames behind, which 
the good door kept off, but now was red with heat, and dreading 
the great distance before me, a kind friend passed — Prof. Davis, of 
the college, and said : 'Wright, do not jump ; I will save you,' and 
passed on. I then ran and threw out my bed, and my roommate, 
who had not left me, doubled it in good form. But this time my 
good professor passed again. I asked if he had a ladder, but under- 
standing him in the negative, for I could not hear for the fire, I 
soon suspended myself from the window, and dropped face toward 
the wall, on my bed below and only sprained my ankle badly. I 
was the last one that jumped from the building. 

Such was my escape. I thank God for His mercy and saving 
power, and the good ladies of Marion for their kindness and atten- 
tion to me and to my fellow students. 

Marion, October 33, 1854." 

In November, 1854, the Rev. A. C. Dayton, Corresponding Secre- 
tary of the Southern Bible Board at Nashville, passed through Marion, 

Howard College Studies 47 

and wrote for the Tennessee Baptist the following story, which was re- 
printed in the South Western Baptist, February 8, 1855 : 

"The most mournfully interesting object to one visiting Marion 
Alabama, at this time is the crumbling and blackened ruins which 
tell of the recent destruction of our denominational College build- 
ing. It was of brick, four stories high, and although it was not 
nearly large enough for the purpose for which it was employed, 
was nevertheless an imposing and valuable edifice. 

The origin of the fire is yet a mystery. The probable con- 
jecture seems to be that it was caused by spontaneous combustion 
of some cloths which had been used about the painting recently 
done, and which were saturated with linseed oil and paint, and 
thrown in a pile in a closet under the stairs. Experiments made for 
the purpose have proved that under certain circumstances such 
cloths will spontaneously take fire. 

The President, Mr. Talbird, passed through the building at 
half-past nine and found all things well. About eleven a light was 
seen in the basement story by a physician that chanced to be pass- 
ing, but it did not excite in his mind a suspicion of an incipient con- 
flagration, though doubtless the lower stairs were then beginning to 
blaze, for in half an hour, when the alarm of fire was given, and 
the citizens rushed to the place, they found the stairs already con- 
sumed ; and the only way of escape for the twenty-eight persons 
who had suddenly been roused from sleep was by leaping from the 
third and fourth stories to the ground. 

Ladders were sent for and procured, but before they came, 
nearly all had been driven to the dreadful alternative to perish in 
the flames or leap to the earth. When it was thought that all were 
out, inquiry was made and one was missing. Young Mr. Talbert 
was still in the burning house, and who could dare attempt his 
rescue? A youth whose name (if I do not forget) was Shof in- 
worth, and Professor Davis, a young man who bids fair by his 
great mental endowments and generous aspirations to stand among 
the great men of his country, rushed up a ladder to the window of 
his room. They entered, and the sudden jar caused the sash to 
close behind them. A fearful thrill of horror froze the hearts of 
those who from below witnessed the good deed. Few doubted but 
that they were lost. Some wrung their hands in silent anguish. 
Some groaned and shrieked aloud. Some stood and gazed with big 
tears streaming down their faces, unable for an instant to turn 

48 Hozvard College Bulletin 

away their eyes from that window which held them hke a spell. 
It was not long, for though the room was so darkened by the suffo- 
cating smoke that nothing could be seen, yet providentially when the 
poor youth had fainted he fell beneath the window from which he 
had been trying to escape ; and, as Professor Davis entered the room 
he stepped upon the body, and so discovered where he was. Taking 
him up like an infant in his strong arms, he placed his heel against 
the window sash, which had so unceremoniously shut them in, and 
sent it shivering among the crowd below; then handing out his 
precious burthen to Tutor Montague and another who had come up 
the ladder to his aid they all reached the ground in safety. But the 
poor youth expired in a few days of terrible suffering. His death 
was not occasioned by his external burns, but from injury to his 
lungs, occasioned by breathing the suffocating vapors so long before 
his rescue. Of the twenty-four who leaped to the ground, only a 
few were seriously injured; and all are likely to recover. 

They were all, however, in a most pitiable condition. Not one 
had time to secure a single article of property or even to put on his 
clothes. Suddenly started from their sleep at midnight, they found 
the floor hot and ready to cave in beneath their feet. Their first 
impulse was to rush to the staircase ; but it was here at the bottom 
of the stairway that the fire had begun, and the steps being com- 
posed of resinous pine and dry as tinder, burned with tremendous 
fury — ^the flames rushing up the open space left for stairs, from 
one story to another as up the flue of a chimney. Here therefore 
then was no hope, they rushed back again to their rooms — their 
hands and feet and faces already blistered and peeling from the in- 
tensity of the heat, and with the energy of despair forced open the 
windows and leaped to the ground. 

Thinking these facts might interest your many readers, as they 
have done myself, I tell them as they were related to me during 
my late visit to Marion to attend the session of the Alabama Con- 

Since the Rev. A. C. Dayton was only a visitor in the town, a month 
after the occurrence described, he must be excused for his failure to 
remember accurately the names of the actors in the tragedy. A more 
trustworthy account of the rescue of young Talbert was given by the 
Trustees in their report to the Convention in November, 1854 : 

"After the interchange of a few hasty words, the students de- 
termined to leap from the giddy heights where they stood, rather 


Hozvard College Studies 49 

than fall sacrifices to the merciless element which was raging be- 
hind them. All but four did take the fearful leap, and astonishing 
to relate, though many of them jumped from the windows of the 
fourth story of the building, not one was killed. A ladder was 
fortunately brought, by the thoughtfulness of a citizen of Marion, 
by which Mr. Montague, one of the teachers, and three students 
were rescued from the dreadful death with which they were threat- 
ened. It was then discovered that Mr. A. H. Talbert, one of the 
students, was still in the fourth story of the burning building, and 
his death seemed inevitable. He was not seen at the windows, but 
it was known that he was in the building. Three noble spirits. 
Prof. N. K. Davis, Augustus Stollenwerk, and Mr. Washburn, im- 
mediately volunteered to imperil their own lives to rescue him. He 
was found by them, insensible on the floor of a room in the fourth 
story, and amid smoke, fire and falling timbers, was taken up, and 
by heroic daring and great physical energy, he was carried down 

and saved from immediate death Hopes were for some time 

entertained that he would recover, but the great Disposer of events 

had decreed otherwise." The young man died in a few days. 

Mr. Montague, the tutor, was so badly injured by inhaling fumes 

before his escape from the building, being detained by his efforts to 

learn that the students were all out, that his health gradually failed and 

he at length died from consumption of the lungs. 

After leaping from the windows, some of the young men were 
able to crawl away from the burning building a little distance ; others 
were dragged away out of danger and left, for a time, lying along the 
sidewalks writhing and groaning with pain, like wounded soldiers on the 
field of battle. As soon as possible, however, with the kindness and 
hospitality characteristic of the good people of Marion, they were taken 
up and tenderly cared for until they were able to return to their college 

The real hero of the fire was the faithful slave, Harry. When told 
to escape while he could, he replied, "Not till I wake up the boys," and 
he immediately started on his errand of mercy, rapping and calling 
loudly at every door. When the last room on the upper floor was 
reached, the flames were upon him ; he could not return by the stairs, 
but jumped from the hall window and was fatally injured. He was 
buried in the public cemetery at Marion, and over his grave was erected, 
by the joint contribution of the officers and students of the College and 
ihe members of the Alabama Baj^tist vState Convention, a neat and hand- 
some obelisk, bearing the following inscriptions : 


50 Hoivard College Bulletin 


Servant of H. Talbird, D. D., President of Howard College, who 
lost his life from injuries received while rousing the students at the 
burning of the College building on the night of Oct. 15th, 1854. Aged 
23 years. 

As a grateful tribute to his fidelity, and to commemorate a noble 
act, this monument has been erected by the students of Howard College 
and the Alabama Baptist Convention, 

He was employed as waiter (*) in the College, and when alarmed by 
the flames at midnight, and warned to escape for his life, replied, "I 
must wake the boys first," and thus saved their lives at the cost of 
his own. 

A consistent member of the Baptist Church he illustrated the char- 
acter of the Christian servant, faithful unto death, 

(4) That is, janitor and general utility man. There was no dining hall connected with 
the college. 

Howard College Studies 51 

"Thou Phoenix Fair" 

When the Convention met in November, 1854, just one month after 
the fire, the Trustees reported that about $20,000 had already been sub- 
scribed to rebuild the College, that steps had been taken to secure a more 
eligible site, and that new buildings would soon be under contract. The 
site eventually selected was within the corporate limits of Marion but 
more than half a mile from the center of town, on a lot donated by Dr. 
John T. Barron, son of Mrs. Julia Barron and member of the first 
graduating class of the College. Here the new Howard was to rise 
again. Phoenix-like, out of the ashes of misfortune. 

The buildings for the new campus were designed by Professor 
Noah K. Davis, who had seen service in an architect's office and had 
edited two books on architecture. Facing a quadrangle from opposite 
sides were to be two barrack-like, brick dormitories, two stories high, 
and at one end of the quadrangle the administration building, also of 
brick and two stories high, consisting of Chapel, Library, President's 
Office, Halls for the Literary Societies, and the Chemical Department. 
This arrangement of building was, of course, copied from that of other 
educational institutions of the day and deserves no praise for originality, 
but it was something to have a professor on the faculty who could do 
as much. 

By May, 1855, six months after the fire, the Trustees were able 
to report that a contract had been let for the construction of a dormitory 
and the administration building, and that the former would be com- 
pleted by the beginning of the next school year and the latter as soon 
thereafter as practicable. Meanwhile instruction was being carried on 
in buildings temporarily employed for the purpose. 

In July, Professor Leander Brown declined a re-election to the 
professorship of languages, and Professor D. G. Sherman was ap- 
pointed to fill the vacanc)^ In other respects the faculty remained un- 

At the same time, the Trustees announced the separation of the 
Preparatory Department from the college proper, giving as reasons for 
their action that the preparatory department had "fallen short of de- 
fraying its expenses" and that, since it was patronized almost exclusive- 
ly by the people of Marion, it should not be supported by funds con- 
tributed by the Baptists of the State. The department would continue to 
function, however, under the direction of Mr. Mclchcr in a building 
separate and distinct from the college buildings. 

53 Howard College Bulletin 

During the summer, Professor Davis, with some $3,000 raised by 
private subscription, made a trip to the North and East, where he placed 
orders for the manufacture and importation of scientific apparatus of 
various sorts. On his return in the fall, he announced that Howard 
was going to have the best equipped laboratory of any college in the 
country "with perhaps the single exception of Cambridge." 

When the Convention met at LaFayette, in April, 1856, the Trustees 
reported : 

"No institution of equal age and advantages can be found in 
our country which has taken a higher stand in the department of 
instruction, or in which that instruction is more thoroughly given. 
In the languages, the students are well trained and are progressing 
with great rapidity. The Professor of Mathematics has succeeded 
in advancing his classes in those difficult branches with a thorough- 
ness and rapidity which has both surprised and gratified your 
Board. Thus the Freshman Class will, in a few days, have com- 
pleted, in a highly creditable manner, the whole of Algebra and 
Geometry; and the Sophomore class, the entire course of pure 
mathematics. In the department of Natural Sciences — if any- 
where — it might have been expected that an institution so recently 
organized would fail in efficiency. Such, however, is not the fact. 
Immediately after the destruction of the college building, with the 
entire Philosophical Apparatus, the citizens of Marion, by private 
subscription, presented a fund to the college to supply the latter. 
This fund was increased to something over $3,000 by friends not 
residents of Marion. A complete Chemical Apparatus has been 
purchased, and a Philosophical Apparatus, being in quality of the 
first class and superior to that destroyed. In order that the Con- 
vention may form some idea of the facilities possessed by the col- 
lege for imparting instruction in these branches, we invite your at- 
tention to the subjoined extract from a report of the Professor of 
Natural Sciences : 

'During the present session, now six months gone, there have 
been exhibited to the classes studying these branches : In Mechanics 
thirty distinct experiments ; in Hydrostatics ten ; in Pneumatics 
forty-eight ; in Optics there have been few illustrations, chiefly be- 
cause the room designed for and adapted to such experiments is not 
yet finished. The powerful Solar Microscope has not yet arrived, 
but is expected daily. The no less powerful compound Microscope 
is on hand. In Electricity and Magnetism one hundred and twenty- 

Howard College Studies 53 

one experiments have been exhibited — subject not yet completed. 
In Heat, and the remaining Physics connected with Chemistry, six- 
ty. Chemistry proper, the class has been first entered upon. Only 
six or seven of the elements have been discussed. Up to the pres- 
ent time the experiments number only eighty-one ; making in all, 
thus far in the session, three hundred and fifty distinct experi- 
ments. When the entire apparatus is received, and the rooms de- 
signed for this department, now in process of erection, are finished, 
nearly twice as many illustrative experiments will be exhibited.' 

The college is in possession of all the necessary appliances for giv- 
ing instruction in Astronomy except a Telescope. The ladies of 
Marion have presented the college with $460 to purchase an instru- 
ment, but at least double this amount is requisite, and the instru- 
ment has not yet been ordered. The cabinet contains a good suit of 
Geographical and Mineralogical specimens. 

The Board have done all in their power to provide suitable 
accommodations for the college in buildings. One dormitory 123 
feet long and 50 feet wide has been so nearly completed as to be 
fit for occupancy. The main college building is now in process of 
erection. The work has been delayed by the severity of the winter, 
and the building will not be finished before September, 1856. It 
will be ready for occupancy by the opening of the next session. It 
will contain a Chapel, Philosophical and Society Halls, Library, 
Cabinet and Recitation rooms. Before the close of another year, 
the college will greatly need a second dormitory building." 
On May 21, 1857, Professor Davis was able to report through the 
columns of the South Western Baptist that the big Telescope had ar- 

"This instrument was presented to the College by the Ladies' 
Benevolent Society of Marion. It is one of the many valuable gifts 
with which this society has enriched our apparatus. The cost was 

It was manufactured by Alvan Clark and Sons, of Cambridge. 
Mass. Mr. Clark has won for himself the reputation of a first class 
artist among scientific men. His Telescopes compare favorably 
with those of the l)est European manufactures, and one which he 
made for an eminent English observer has been pronounced "un- 
surpassed if not unequaled.' With his own instruments he has 
discovered at least seven double stars, a valuable contribution to 

54 Howard College Bulletin 

astronomical science. Three of these were discovered with an in- 
strument smaller than ours. Amherst, Williams and other Colleges 
have been supplied with Telescopes from this factory, and one has 
been sent to Canada. I was recommended to secure Mr. Clark's 
services for our College by Mr. Wm. C. Bond of the Cambridge 
Observatory, whose discoveries rank him as one of the first astron- 
omers of the age. The result, so far as can at present be judged, 
is most happy. 

Our Telescope is a refractor, having a clear aperture of 6 
inches, and a focal length of 8 ft. 5^ inches. It is mounted equa- 
torially on a cast iron stand weighing 300 lbs. A driving clock is 
attached by which the instrument is made to follow the motions of 
a star or other object. The machinery is beautifully finished. The 
declination circle is 10 inches in diameter and reads by verniers to 
30 sec. of arc. The right ascension circle is 8 inches in diameter 
and reads to 2 sec. of time. As to the quality of the glass of the 
instrument, it is impossible finally to judge until a series of observa- 
tions have been made. Mr. Clark pronounced it (and his state- 
ment may be fully relied on) 'the most perfect thing imaginable.' 

There are but eight Colleges in the United States, out of some 
two hundred, that can claim the title of having larger Telescopes 
than ours. There may be a few others, but the statement cannot be 
far from correct 

It is to be regretted that this elegant instrument cannot be at 
once mounted for the benefit of our present graduating class. It 
must be mounted permanently, and will require a separate building 
for its reception, with a revolving dome, etc. It is the intention of 
our Board of Trustees to erect this observatory as soon as they can 
command the means. I fear it will not be completed till fall. 

The possession of so large a Telescope, it will be observed, 
places us, in this particular, in the front rank of Colleges in the 

Our fine Chemical and Philosophical Apparatus continues to 
receive accessions. In this also we claim a place in the front rank, 
A superior Sextant, by Grunow, is on its way 

Marion, May 6. N. K. DAVIS." 

But, notwithstanding the excellence of the instructional force and 
of the scientific equipment, the college was greatly in need of a library. 
The ladies of Montgomery and Mobile had made small contributions 

Howard College Studies 55 

for the purchase of books, but no efficient measures had been taken 
since the fire to supply this acknowledged want. Since the Trustees 
were hard pressed for funds to erect buildings and to increase the en- 
dowment, the only hope was that some enlightened, generous patron of 
learning would step forward and supply a portion at least of the money 
needed to meet the pressing demand for books. At length this patron 
was found in the person of Col. Edmund King, of Montevallo. In 
April, 1857, he made the generuos offer of $500 for the purchase of a 
library, provided the amount of $5,000 could be secured for that pur- 
pose by April 14, 1858. The Rev. William S. Barton immediately in- 
terested himself in the matter and set out to raise the money. By No- 
vember, 185T, he had notes and pledges to the amount of about $10,000. 
The Trustees gratefully accepted these subscriptions and resolved, so 
soon as collections could be made, to make an immediate expenditure 
of $5,000 for the purchase of books that were most needed and with 
the other $5,000 to create a fund, of which only the interest would be 
annually expended on books. How much money was actually collected 
on these subscriptions, however, and how much was expended for the 
purpose designated remains a matter of speculation. The Trustees in 
their subsequent reports never answered these questions. 

At the annual meeting of the Board of Trustees in July, 1858, the . 
members of the Faculty were all unanimously re-appointed to fill their 
respective chairs, and all signified their intention to retain their places 
in the college ; but a few weeks later Professor Noah K. Davis requested 
to be releabcd from his engagement, as he desired to enter another field 
of labor which offered more ample salary. The Trustees were fully 
aware of the value of his services to the college, but felt compelled, 
though they did it with extreme reluctance, to accept his resignation. Dr. 
N. Friend was appointed to the vacant chair. 

By the resignation of Noah K. Davis, the college lost its most 
accomplished professor. He went to Montgomery to accept the edi- 
torial department of the Alabama Educational Journal, which was just 
then being launched, and to become principal of a private school ; but 
exactly one year later he returned to Marion to take Samuel S. Sher- 
man's place as Principal of the Judson Institute and to guide that insti- 
tution with the greatest success through the trying period of the Civil 
War. In 1868 he accepted the presidency of Bethel College, Russell- 
ville, Ky., and in 18T3 he was elected to the chair of Moral Science in 
the University of Virginia, where he spent his declining years. Besides 
articles in reviews, he published in 1880 an important book entitled "The 
Theory of Thought, a Treatise on Deductive Logic." 

56 Howard College Bulletin 

As the indications at the Howard were now all in favor of a con- 
siderable increase in the number of students, and as it was desirable to 
have the services of at least two tutors, the Trustees decided to increase 
the number of instructors from five to seven. Accordingly they ap- 
pointed Mr. W. C. Ward, A. B., and Mr. W. A. Parker, A. B., to 
tutorships respectively in Mathematics and Languages. Both were grad- 
uates of the University of Alabama and excellent scholars, but their con- 
nection with the college ceased three years later when Fort Sumter was 
attacked. They entered the army as soldiers of the Confederacy. After 
the war, Capt. Ward returned to Alabama to become an eminent lawyer, 
Baptist, statesman, and president of the Board of Trustees, where we 
shall find him later guiding the destinies of Howard College through 
very trying times. 

When the school year opened in October, 1858, all three of the col- 
lege buildings were so nearly completed as to be fit for occupancy. The 
scientific apparatus had been well-nigh completed by the purchase, with 
money raised by the ladies of Marion, of a complete cabinet of minerals. 
The original charter had been amended by enlarging the powers and 
privileges of the college and increasing the number of trustees from 
fifteen to twenty-five. The endowment had been increased by notes 
and subscriptions to $171,265.68, and financial agents were still actively 
in the field. Thus the college was reaching an important milestone on 
the road to expansion and success. 

In the Minutes of the Baptist State Convention for November, 
1858, the College ran a page advertisement, which reads as follows. 

Marion, Alabama. 

H. Talbird, D. D., 

President, and Professor of Theology and Moral Science. 
A. B. Goodhue, A. M., 

Professor of Mathematics, pure and mixed. 
D. G. Sherman, A. M., 

Professor of the Latin Language and Literature. 
R. A. Montague, A. M., 

Professor of the Greek Language and Literature. 
N. Friend, M. D., 

Professor of the Natural Sciences. 
W. A. Parker, A. B., Tutor. 
W. C. Ward, A. B., Tutor. 

Howard College Studies 57 

Course of Study 

There are three courses of study pursued, the Classical, the 
Scientific and the Theological. The Classical course, embracing 
four years, is as complete and thorough as in any College in the 
country. The Scientific course embraces three years, omitting the 
Greek and the Classical course. The Theological course is varied to 
suit the wants of Students in the Department. 


Candidates for admission to the Freshman Class are examined 
in Caesar, Virgil, Cicero's Select Orations, the Greek Reader, and 
Davies' Elementary Algebra through Equations of the first degree 
or their equivalent. 


The College has an excellent Apparatus, new and commodious 
buildings, and in short offers all the usual facilities for acquiring a 
collegiate education. 


Tuition per term of 4^/^ months $25.00 

Incidentals per term of 4^ months 3.00 

Students rooming in the college are charged for room and 

servant hire per month 2.00 

Washing per month 1.50 

Board per month 12.00 

The expense of wood and lights varies with the season. To 
Theological Students Tuition and Room Rent are free. 

Students are forbidden to contract debts in the town of Ma- 
rion, except under the express permission of Parents or Guardians. 
To aid in enforcing this important regulation. Parents and Guar- 
dians are earnestly requested not to pay such debts. 

The next session commences on the first day of October and 
closes on the 25th of June. 

President, Board of Trustees. 
J. F. COCKE, Secy. 

The character of the student body and faculty was thus appraised 
by the Committee on Education in a rejxort to the Convention in No- 
vember, 1858: 

58 Howard College Bulletin 

"It is gratifying to state that while the interests of other insti- 
tutions have suffered materially from the disorderly conduct of 
their pupils, the history of Howard College during the period of 
sixteen years is not stained by a single serious disturbance. This 
fact speaks volumes in its favor, and reflects credit alike on the 
students, its faculty, and the citizens of Marion. Your Committee 
cannot but express the conviction that this uniform good conduct 
is attributable mainly to the prudence, wisdom, and decision with 
which the internal regulations of the College have been managed. 
While the discipline has been firm, and the bearing of the faculty 
dignified, yet kindness has formed a component element of that 
discipline, and the dignity has not been too reserved or aristocratic 
to prevent familiar intercourse. Thus the students have respected 
and obeyed the laws of the institution, influenced in a great degree 
by the personal attachment and affection for their teachers. In Dr. 
Talbird they have found not only an efficient, erudite, and digni- 
fied President, but a kind-hearted, affable gentleman, a prudent 
and faithful counsellor, a warm, devoted, personal friend. Other 
members of the faculty possess these qualities in a scarcely less de- 
gree, and to this, pre-eminently, is owing the absence of these tur- 
bulent and painful scenes which too frequently occur at other seats 
of learning. Other causes might be named, as the religious in- 
fluence of the Theological students, and the healthy tone of morals 
which pervades the town of Marion. Taken together, they have 
surrounded Howard College with ramparts of more than adaman- 
tine strength, so that he who enters in may peacefully pursue his 
studies, gathering moral and mental power, and leave his Alma 
Mater with a vigorous intellect, a sound mind, and a pure heart." 
During the year ending in June, 1859, the College enjoyed a degree 
of prosperity never attained in any former period of its history. The 
whole number of names entered on its register was 99, all names of full- 
fledged college students. At commencement, twelve promising young 
men received the honors of graduation, and in the public exercises ac- 
quitted themselves in a manner highly creditable to the institution. Dur- 
ing the summer the ladies of Marion raised between $1,200 and $1,400, 
to be expended in fencing and beautifying the college grounds. 

Dr. N. Friend, Professor of Chemistry and Natural History, de- 
clined re-appointment for another year because his salary did not seem 
adequate to his wants. After an interval, the Trustees appointed Ed 
Quin Thornton to the place. The new incumbent was a graduate of the 

Howard College Studies 59 

University of Alabama in the class of 1853. For two years after grad- 
uation, he was associated with the eminent State geologist and Univer- 
sity professor, Michael Tuomey, in the preparation of the great work on 
"The Geology of the State of Alabama," to which Thornton contributed 
many valuable chapters over his own signature. He then spent two 
years studying in Europe, returning in July, 1858, to become a pro- 
fessor for one year in the Alabama Central Female College at Tusca- 
loosa. Hardly had he come to Howard College than he laid down his 
books and became a soldier of the Confederacy, serving on the staff of 
Major General H. D. Clayton, of Perry county. After the war, Pro- 
fessor Thornton returned to the College, where we shall meet him 
again, "the most genial, popular and scholarly professor in Alabama," 
as the Marion Commonwealth styled him in 1872. 

The other professors accepted re-appointment, but Professor Rich- 
ard A. Montague was destined to teach only one year more. Injured by 
inhalation of fumes when the college was destroyed by fire, he was 
afterwards subject to hemorrhages of the lungs, and prostration of 
health in 1860 forced him from his position. He was an excellent in- 
structor and an enthusiastic educator — one of those men whose loss to 
an institution of learning can never be repaired. 

The last important act of the Board of Trustees, before the storms 
of war broke over the institution, was to establish a second professor- 
ship of Theology. The number of Theological students had been in- 
creasing and the administrative duties of Dr. Talbird were becoming 
more exacting. Clearly another professor was needed in the Theolog- 
ical Department who could devote his entire time to instruction. In 
1859 Mr. Jere H. Brown, wealthy planter of Sumter county, gave his 
note for $25,000 as an endowment for the new chair, and the Trustees, 
as a token of their gratitude, appointed Mr. Brown's pastor. Rev. T. 
W. Tobey, as the new professor, who entered upon his duties in the 
fall of 1859. 

In the spring of 1861 the college consisted of seven professors and 
sixty-two students. The three college buildings had been completed 
and equipped, and the college grounds, under the supervision of Pro- 
fessor Goodhue, had been carefully graded and fenced. The endow- 
ment in reliable notes and pledges was estimated at $210,000. 

On April 12, 1861, just before dawn, Confederate batteries opened 
fire on Fort Sumter. 

60 Howard College Bulletin 

The Ante-Bellum Endowment 

In June, 1902, the late Dr. W. B. Crumpton said to the Baptist 
State Convention at Decatur : "I hear the brethren talk of the endow- 
ment that was lost during the War. That was a paper endowment 
only. Men signed notes without an expectation of ever paying them, 
only the interest. The negro property of the South was carried away — 
that carried with it our endowment." How accurately Dr. Crumpton 
described the situation, the present chapter will disclose. 

The Convention at Talladega in 1841 resolved, as we have seen, 
to appoint agents to raise $100,000 for the endowment of four pro- 
fessorships in the proposed college. A year later, however, the Board 
of Directors reported : "The pecuniary embarrassments of the times 
have prevented the College Agent from accomplishing any of the de- 
signs contemplated at your last meeting." In consequence, the Con- 
vention voted to postpone for the time being all attempts to raise an en- 
dowment for the college proper and to endow, instead, a chair of 
Theology ; for it was found easier to raise money for this purpose than 
for the other. 

The plan of campaign was to take subscriptions payable on or be- 
fore January 1, 1848, with annual interest from January 1, 1843. Rev. 
James H. DeVotie, the Marion pastor, took the field at once, and when 
the Convention held its annual session in 1843, the Trustees reported 
$19,403.69 raised by subscriptions to the Theological Fund. A little 
cash had also been raised, but in the reported figures no distinction was 
made between cash and written pledges. 

The ease with which this had been done encouraged the Convention 
to keep an agent in the field with a view to raising the Theological En- 
dowment to $25,000, if possible ; but the amount was never destined to 
rise much above $20,000. 

Encouraged in 1846 by the completion of the new college building 
and the elevation of Howard to the status of a college, the Convention 
resolved to make vigorous efforts, during the next five years, to raise 
$100,000 for the endowment of the college proper, and left the Trustees 
free to formulate the plan of campaign. After canvassing the possibil- 
ities of the situation, the Trustees adopted the so-called Scholarship 
Plan and sent Dr. A. W. Chambliss into the field to raise the subscrip- 

Howard College Studies 61 

The plan was as follows : 

1. "Any individual, or association of individuals, subscribing 
$1,000 payable on or before January 1, 1852, and paying 8% an- 
nual interest on the same from January 1, 1847, shall be entitled to 
a permanent scholarship in Howard College, and to an additional 
scholarship for each additional $1,000 thus subscribed. 

2. Any individual, or association of individuals, subscribing 
$500, principal and interest payable as aforesaid, shall be entitled 
to the tuition of one pupil through an entire course, preparatory and 
collegiate; or to eight years tuition at the option of the subscribed. 

3. Any minister of the Gospel subscribing $500, principal and 
interest payable as aforesaid, shall, in consideration of his calling 
and the sacrifices he is often required to make, be entitled to a per- 
manent scholarship." 

Dr. Chambliss took the field in January, 1847, and the Trustees 
reported to the Convention in November that nearly $19,000 had been 
raised in accordance with the plan. But during the next Conventional 
year, the agent raised only $9,800. Then Dr. Chambliss resigned, and 
no suitable agent could be induced to take the field during the year end- 
ing in November, 1849. "Few new subscriptions have been obtained," 
the Trustees reported, "and many that have fallen due, as well as the 
interest on others, are uncollected. The effect is severely felt by the 
Board The financial condition is essentially the same as de- 
tailed in the last annual report." 

"Almost in despair," as was stated in the South Western Baptist, 
the Trustees now determined to modify the Scholarship Plan, to read as 
follows : 

1. "Any person, or persons, subscribing $500 shall be enti- 
tled to a permanent scholarship; that is, to tuition of one pupil in 

2. Any minister of the Gospel, or any church for a minister, 
subscribing $350 shall be entitled to a perpetual scholarship. 

3. Any person, or persons, subscribing $100 shall be entitled 
to a single scholarship ; that is, to the tuition of one particular in- 
dividual through the regular collegiate course of four years, or to 
tuition any equivalent number of years in any department of the 

4. All subscriptions, unless paid in cash, shall be made by 
notes payable when the plan of this endowment matures. Before 
the privileges of single scholarships can be enjoyed, the principal 

62 Howard College Bulletin 

must be paid into the Treasury ; but in cases of permanent scholar- 
ships, students may be admitted on payment of the annual interest. 

5. The Treasurer shall issue certificates on the payment of 
subscription, and these shall not be transferable except in perma- 
nent scholarships. 

6. Students admitted on the scholarship basis shall be subject 
to the same discipline and regulations as other students, and there 
shall be no substitution in case of expulsion, dismission, or with- 
drawal (except in permanent scholarships), and no money shall be 
refunded in any case. 

7. The obligations and privileges of subscriptions in pursu- 
ance of this plan shall take effect on October 1, 1850. 

8. Nothing contained in the above shall be so construed as to 
affect in any manner subscriptions already made, until the sum of 
$50,000 shall have been subscribed on this basis ; when all former 
subscribers to the Literary Fund shall be entitled to the same ad- 
vantages as the new, to-wit : Those who have paid $100 to a single 
scholarship ; $200 to two ; $500 to a permanent scholarship, etc. ; 
except that any individual who has already subscribed $100 or more 
to the Literary Fund may, by increasing this amount to $500, be 
entitled to a permanent scholarship." 

At the annual session of the Convention, held at Marion in 1850, 
there was a larger delegation than had ever before been assembled, and 
the contributions sent up for various benevolent objects were more than 
double those of the preceding year. A spirit of enthusiasm and optimism 
prevailed. When the Trustees made their report, they were requested 
by the Convention to appoint three agents at whatever salary was neces- 
sary and complete the endowment of $100,000 according to the plan 
proposed. And, the enthusiasm mounting high, it was resolved to raise, 
in addition, the sum of $35,000 for the permanent endowment of the 
presidency of the institution. The business of the Convention was then 
suspended for half an hour and the sum of $14,050 was pledged in sup- 
port of the resolution. 

But hopes, alas, sometimes turn to ashes in the mouth. In 1851 
the Trustees reported to the Convention tfiat they had found an in- 
superable obstacle in the difficulty of procuring an agent. They had 
not been able to secure the continued services of any one. Brother De- 
Votie had made such effort as his other engagements would permit, 
mostly in the vicinity of Marion; Brother Holman had spent a few 
weeks in soliciting funds in other parts of the State, and this was about 

Hoivard College Studies 63 

all the Board had been able to accomplish toward the endowment of the 

presidency. The entire amount which had been raised for this specific 

purpose was $17,000. 

The Treasurer of the Board of Trustees made his report for 1851 

as follows : 


Literary Fund (Principal and interest due Oct. 1) $23,093 

Endowment of Presidency (drawing interest from Oct. 1) 17,500 
Theol. Fund (Principal and interest from Oct. 1) 23,100 

Total $63,693 


Salaries of Professors, October 1 $ 3,450 

Other debts 771 

Total $ 3,331 

Balance above liabilities $60,471 

Here, as elsewhere in these financial statements, no distinction was 
drawn between written pledges and cash on hand ; between the principal 
which was not to be expended and the interest which might be used for 
current expenses ; between what had been collected and what remained 
uncollected. How far, therefore, the assets were only promises to pay 
can not now be determined. 

After this year the fund raised as an endowment of the presidency 
was merged with the literary fund, and we hear no more about it as a 
separate item. In 1853 the Trustees reported : 

"Your Board have not found it possible to secure the services 
of an efficient agent, and in consequence but few new subscrip- 
tions have been obtained. Of the notes already obtained, many 
have fallen due which remain uncollected, and the interest on oth- 
ers have been accumulating for two. three, and even four years. 
The existence of this state of things in the financial department 
of the college will not be surprising to the Convention, if its mem- 
bers will reflect on the difficulties with which the Board have had 
to contend. The persons who have given notes to the fund of the 
college are residing at points in the state distant from each other, 
and the amount to be collected from each one is not sufficient to 
warrant the employment of special agents. It is true, however, 
that most of these individuals have been called on by some person 

64 Hozvard College Bulletin 

in behalf of the college. On such occasions they have not by them 
the means of paying their notes, or the interest due on them; and 
when they have the money in hand, either from indifference or 
some other cause, they fail to transmit it to the Treasurer of the 

This has been very severely felt by your Board, and during the 
year several things have combined to increase the embarrassment of 
their position. Four members of the faculty in rapid succession 
resigned their places, and it became necessary that their salaries 
should be immediately paid. The only alternative was to use any 
amounts which could be collected, whether of principal or interest, 
in the liquidation of these claims. By adopting this plan, the debts 
of the college have been nearly all paid off ; but in consequence 
there has occurred a slight diminution in the permanent fund, as 
will be seen from the financial report. In addition, the college is 
sustaining very serious loss from the reverses which are constantly 
occurring in the pecuniary condition of those who have contributed 
by their notes to the fund. This gradual exhaustion of the principal 
of the fund must continue, unless the notes can be collected and the 
money placed within the control of the Board. 

The financial condition of the college is as follows : 

Due Oct. 1st, 1851, Theological Fund, prin. and int $33,093.85 

Literary Fund, principal and interest 36,813.47 

Total $5 9,906.33 

There is a point upon which the Board are anxious to obtain 
the advice and direction of the Convention. Several persons who 
formerly gave these notes for the endowment of the college are 
now refusing to pay them — principal or interest. There is no plea of 
inability, but a simple unwillingness to comply with their written 
octnracts. The notes must therefore remain as useless paper in 
the hands of the Treasurer, unless resort be had to legal measures. 
Your Board ask the direction of the Convention as to the manner 
in which they shall proceed, and the moral influence of your author- 
ity in carrying out your wishes." 

In reply to the request for "advice and direction," the Convention 
passed the following resolutions : 

Resolved, That the Convention instruct the Trustees of How- 
ard College to collect all monies due the institution ; and where this 
cannot be done without distressing the givers of the notes, they be 

Hozvard College Studies 65 

required to pay punctually the interest on their notes and give some 
sufficient security for the ultimate payment of the principal. 

Resolved, That in case of refusal to pay, the Trustees are 
hereby required to enforce payment by resort to the courts of law, 
at their discretion. 

The difficulty of procuring an efficient field agent was solved by 
a formal and unanimous request of the Convention that "our beloved 
Brother D. P. Bestor go forth as the advocate of the college, with a 
view of both completing the endowment of the Literary department and 
adding the endowment of another Chair of Theology." Brother Bestor 
demurred but eventually agreed to comply with the request. We would 
now expect something to be done, but let us not be too sanguine. 

Beginning with October 28, 1853, the South Western Baptist de- 
voted a long article each week to the college endowment. In the article 
for November 11, the following explanation is made: 

"The Literary Fund has resulted from the sale of scholar- 
ships. Under the present modified plan, a subscription of $500 
gives title to a permanent scholarship, and $100 to your years' tui- 
tion. Upon this system, the Fund once amounted to $40,000, but 
the necessary expenses of the institution exceeding the income have 
reduced it to $36,000, at which it now stands. Of this, $17,500 is 
the endowment of the presidency of the college; but in disburse- 
ments the distinction has not been maintained. Other small amounts 
have been collected and expended for apparatus, buildings, etc. 

Both the Theological and Literary Funds exist in the form of 
notes upon the subscribers, bearing legal interest. As much of this 
interest as can be collected annually constitutes the income. There 
has always been great difficulty and expense attending this collec- 
tion ; and, as the notes are now payable, it is eminently desirable 
that the principals should be collected and invested in a more se- 
cure and convenient form The income from the tuition fees, 

if all the students were paying scholars, would amount to $4:, 000 
annually, but some are beneficiaries, and one-half of the remainder 
are in possession of scholarships. The amount is thus reduced to 
$2,000, which, with the interest of the endowment, makes a total 

income of $fi,000 The salaries alone for the session of 1852- 

53 amounted to $fi.300. Other expenses bring the total up to $7,- 
000 per annum. Deficit $L000. This must be paid from the prin- 
cipal of the endowment," 

66 Howard College Bulletin 

In November, 1853, when the Convention met, the Trustees re- 
ported that the financial condition of the college was not materially dif- 
ferent from what it had been the preceding year. "Your Board," they 
said, "have accomplished but little in collecting the notes given for the 
endowment of the college which have fallen due. They have not forgot- 
ten the direction of the Convention, at its last session, as touching this 
point. It will be remembered, however, that Rev. D. P. Bestor was ap- 
pointed general agent, by your body, with the understanding that he 
would labor to complete at once the endowment of the college. It was 
thought that any co-ercive measures adopted by your Board for the col- 
lection of the college notes might have an unfortunate bearing on the 
agency. They have therefore deferred all action in the matter." No- 
where in the minutes of the session is it stated what the agent's report 
was, but it is safe to assume that little was done for the endowment. 
The Rev. Daniel P. Bestor had failed, as the eminent Dr. Chambliss 
had done before him. Who would be the next eminent Baptist leader 
to assume the role of Heracles and attempt to slay the many-headed 
Hydra of denominational indifference? 

The Trustees now had no concrete plan of further procedure to 
propose, and that task devolved upon the committee on education. After 
explaining how of necessity the principal of the endowment fund was 
being drawn upon to pay current expenses, how "by a constant reaction 
of interest upon principal and principal upon interest," the whole fund 
was rapidly melting away, the committee asked with emphasis, ''Shall 
Howard College live or die?" Then it proposed the two plans which 
follow ; 

"The first plan .... is this : Let the Convention resolve to 
raise annually $5,000 or $10,000, until the fund shall be completed : 
let the ministry in the bounds of each Association in connection 
with this body pledge themselves to devote a portion of their time 
each year to this matter ; let each pastor try to raise at least as 
much as one dollar from each member of his church or churches ; 
and let the Board of Trustees immediately issue a short Circular, 
setting forth these facts, addressing a copy of it to every pastor in 
the State, known to be favorable to the cause. This plan, if it 
could be made to work, would enlist the energies of the entire de- 
nomination, a desideratum which the most active agent could not 

accomplish, besides the saving of the salaries of agents 

The second plan is to employ some competent agent for five 
years, with a suitable salary, who shall canvass the entire State 

Hozvard College Studies 67 

and earnestly solicit the brethren to relieve the institution. We 
say that such an agent ought to be appointed for five years for two 
reasons : First, we could scarcely hope that the fund could be com- 
pleted in less than that time. At least $50,000 more is needed to 
place the college on such a foundation as is desired and essential to 
its prosperity; and the most flattering success would not authorize 
us to hope that that amount could be raised short of five years. 
Secondly, the man who is to assume such an undertaking must be 
taken from a permanent and responsible position for which he is 
so eminently qualified that he can be spared only for this service. 
And unless some guarantee of this kind is furnished, we cannot 
hope to command the services of such a man." 

After interesting addresses from a number of brethren, the Con- 
vention voted to combine both of the plans suggested and to appoint an 
agent to carry them into effect. Whereupon Rev. Sam'l Henderson 
was unanimously elected agent and his salary fixed at $1,600 a year, to 
be raised by private subscription. A subscription was opened there and 
then in the Convention hall, and several hundred dollars were sub- 
scribed for the purpose. But after a short time for consideration, 
Brother Henderson declined the appointment. 

When the Trustees made their next annual report, November, 
1854, they made the complaint, which had now become chronic, that no 
efficient agent could be procured to solicit new subscriptions or to col- 
lect the old ones. 

"The last annual report," they said, "shows that the Theolog- 
ical and Literary funds amounted to $58,855.80. It may now be 
set down at several hundred dollars less. But these sums are mere- 
ly nominal. A careful examination of the books and inquiry into 
the condition of the subscribers to the different funds have devel- 
oped the fact that but little over $40,000 of the entire funds of the 
college can now be regarded as available. The annual interest on 
the portion of this amount which pays interest, and the tuition from 
students who are not receiving the benefit of scholarships and are 
not beneficiaries, will not pay the current expenses of the college. 
.... How shall the annual deficit be met? Shall the principal 
continue to be used, and thus the chances for the permanent endow- 
ment of the college be annually diminished, the diminution increas- 
ing in amount with the time this system shall be followed ? These 
are questions which the Board of Trustees submit to the Conven- 
tion and ask solutions at the present session." 

68 Howard College Bulletin 

The Convention referred these thorny questions to the committee 
on education, which in due time recommended (1) that an efficient 
agent be put in the field to raise funds sufficient to place the Literary 
fund beyond the sinking process and (2) to raise funds for the endow- 
ment of an additional professorship of Theology. "Funds for Theolog- 
ical education," said the committee, "can be more readily obtained than 
for any other cause, and thus the general interest of the college be pro- 
moted." These recommendations were, of course, adopted. 

Is it true that the darkest hour is always just before the dawn? 
Whatever be the answer to this question, the dawn of a better day was 
breaking for Howard College. At the adjourned meeting of the Con- 
vention in April, 1856, the Trustees reported : "During the year 1855 
the Rev. James H. Devotie filled the office of Financial Secretary of 
the College and discharged its duties with distinguished success. He 
secured contributions amounting in all to about $40,000 — one-half foi 
the erection of the building, the other for the increase of the endow- 
ment fund. The Board regret that they could not induce him to con- 
tinue in his office another year. They are happy, however, to state that 
they have secured the services of the Rev. Washington Wilkes (a re- 
cent graduate of the college), who has entered upon his work with great 

enthusiasm and with encouraging prospects of success The 

present financial condition of the college is as follows : 

Theological Fund $20,000.50 

Literary Fund 59,628.21 

Total $79,628.71 

A year later the total had reached $95,528.21. 

During the year 1857, Rev. Z. G. Henderson and Mr. John C. 
Foster, two recent graduates of the college, entered the field as financial 
agents and raised about $50,000 in notes and pledges for the endowment 

In January, 1858, Rev. William S. Barton, who had distinguished 
himself the year before by raising $10,000 in notes and pledges for the 
library fund, set out with great zeal and energy to raise $100,000 for 
the endowment fund by March 1, 1860. He took notes and pledges 
with the understanding that none of them would be binding on the giver 
unless the $100,000 was raised by the date specified. 

In November, 1858, the Trustees made the following financial 
report : 

Howard College Studies 69 

Theological Fund . $20,400.00 

Endowment Fund (principal) 89,000.00 

Endowment Fund (interest) 14,865.68 

Amount reported by Rev. W. S. Barton, agent, as raised 

in notes and pledges the present year 47,000.00 

Total $1 71,265.68 

"The pledges reported by the agent are of course not legal in- 
struments, but it is presumed the amounts will for the most part be 

Your Board regret to be compelled to state that but little 
progress has been made in collecting that portion of the fund which 
is now due. This, however, is attributable to circumstances beyond 
their control. At the commencement of the year they elected 
Brother W. W. Pascal to the office of Treasurer, but severe per- 
sonal illness and family bereavements constrained him to resign 
the office. The Hon. J. F. Cocke was appointed in his place, and 
at once entered upon the duties of his office. Unfortunately he 
found these duties to be incompatible with his private business ar- 
rangements, and he too resigned his place. But so thoroughly con- 
vinced are your Board of the necessity of collecting the funds of 
the college, that they at once sought a suitable person to fill the 
place which Brother Cocke's resignation had vacated. They con- 
gratulate the Convention on being able to state that Brother R. 
Lide, of Carlowville, has consented to enter upon this important 
but delicate work." 

Continuing, the Trustees then explained that they had been con- 
strained to draw upon the endowment fund for money to pay for the 
erection of the second college dormitory. 

In 1859, Mr. Jere H. Brown, a wealthy planter of Sumter county, 
who had already been sustaining a dozen or more beneficiaries in the 
college, made the munificent pledge of $25,000 for the endowment of a 
second chair of Theology, on condition that the Rev. W. S. Barton 
raise the remainder of the $100,000 by March 1, 1860. But in conse- 
quence of protracted ill-health, Brother Barton accomplished little dur- 
ing the year. 

When the Trustees reported to the Convention in November, the 
status of the endowment was as follows : 

70 Howard College Bulletin 

Literary Endowment, Prin. and Int $100,418.13 

Of this, bad and doubtful 11,348,93 

Indebtedness (say) $7,000.00 18,348.93 

Leaving reliable Lit. Fund $ 83,169.30 

Theological Endowment 30,400.00 

Total $103,569.30 

Lit. Endowment, conditional $ 38,875.00 

Theol. Endwoment, conditional 35,000.00 63,875.00 

Certificates of Railroad Stock, estimated value $ 3,500.00 

Grand total $169,944.30 

The Board stated plainly that "$38,635 must be made between this 
and the first of March, 1860, to render all the notes binding." 

Thus the ante-bellum endowment reached its peak at $310,000. 
How much of this was in cash and how much in mere promises to 
pay cash, cannot now be determined. In 1884 the Board of Trustees 
threw this light on the matter: "Parties giving their notes bearing 8% 
interest for $500 received a certificate of scholarship in perpetuo. There 
was at the same time a tacit understanding, if not a positive agreement, 
that so long as interest on these notes was paid, the principal would not 
be called for. Hence but a small proportion of the endowment was paid 
in, until during the war, when a large proportion of the notes were 
taken up with Confederate money." Five years earlier the Trustees 
had said : "These scholarships constituted by far the larger part of the 
endowment. The amounts collected in money and paid into the Treasury 
before the war, were subsequently invested in Confederate bonds. A 
large proportion of the notes were redeemed in Confederate money 
which is still on hand. At the close of the war a large number of notes 
remained uncollected, and the payment of these was almost universally 
resisted. Hence the amounts received were so limited, and the disaffec- 
tion incurred was so great, that further endeavor to collect them was 

Such is the story of the ante-bellum endowment, as told by the men 
who handled the notes and the money. To the historian who reads the 
records today, it would seem that, before the war, no distinction was 
drawn between principal and interest, but that, as fast as cash came in, 
whether as payment of principal or of interest, it was invested at once 
in buildings or apparatus or paid out for current expenses. The only 

Hozvard College Studies ' 71 

thing that looks like an investment for the sake of income is the item 
listed as "certificates of R. R. Stock." 

Meantime, Brother Barton's health became seriously impaired, and 
he was so unfortunate, while in this feeble state, as to break his leg. In 
consequence, the Trustees began to indulge in serious apprehension of 
failure to raise the $100,000 by March 1, 1860. As a last resort, they 
requested President Talbird to make an appeal in person to the liberal- 
ity of the denomination. The response to his appeal was liberal and by 
February 1 he had raised an additional sum of $30,000. This left nearly 
$8,000 to be supplied. From the inclemency of the weather, the roads 
were now rendered impassible, and nothing more could be done. In 
this emergency, President Talbird gave his own bona fide note for the 
deficiency, with the understanding that he should be allowed at some 
subsequent time to raise the amount. Thus ended the last drive for 
the ante-bellum endowment. 

In November, 1860, the status of the endowment was as follows : 

Literay Endowment, principal and interest $175,350.20 

Of this, bad and doubtful $11,350.40 

Indebtedness, say 3,000.00 14,250.40 

Leaving reliable Literary Fund 161,099.80 

Theological Endowment 45,400.00 

Total reliable endowment $206,499.80 

Certificates of R. R. Stock 3,500.00 

Grand total $209,999.80 

73 Howard College Bulletin 

War and Ri:construction 

Those of us who remember what happened to our schools and col- 
leges in April, 1917, can easily realize what happened in April, 1861, 
when Lincoln issued his call for seventy-five thousand men to coerce 
the South. At Howard the two tutors, W. C. Ward and W. A. Parker, 
laid aside their books and joined volunteer companies before the end of 
April, and were followed by many students. Professor Ed Quin Thorn- 
ton was soon to follow, and before Commencement President Talbird 
had become Captain Talbird of the "Independent Volunteers," a com- 
pany composed of Howard students and boys of the vicinity, and before 
the middle of July he had "gone to Virginia to meet the Northern Van- 
dals." But Captain Talbird found upon trial that he could not endure 
the fatigues of military life and, while in camp near Manassas Junction, 
August 15, he resigned his command and returned to Marion. He had 
not enjoyed one day of good health while in Virginia. 

Meantime the Trustees of the college had resolved to restore the 
preparatory department and to introduce military drill, at the beginning 
of the next session. In September, the Treasurer of the Board was 
authorized to receive coupon bonds of the -Confederate States in pay- 
ment of the principal of all subscriptions or debts due the college. 

Instruction was resumed on October 1, 1861, with the following 
faculty: Talbird, Goodhue, Sherman, and Tobey, The enrollment of 
students for the entire scholastic year reached 68, of whom, it is safe to 
say, the majority were sub-Freshmen. Dr. Talbird gave daily instruc- 
tion in military tactics until the spring of 1863, when he raised a regi- 
ment and entered the service again as Colonel. 

To save expense, the Trustees, at their annual meeting in July, 
1863, vacated the Brown Professorship of Theology and reduced the 
salaries of Professors Goodhue and Sherman, the only remaining mem- 
bers of the faculty. This they called "getting on a war basis." Pro- 
fessor Tobey was at once commissioned by the Board of Domestic Mis- 
sions as missionary to the Army of Mississippi. During the summer 
Col. Talbird's regiment was stationed at Tuscaloosa to guard some Fed- 
eral prisoners and to protect the city ; at the end of the year it rendered 
effective service in the battles at Murfreesboro. 

Professors Goodhue and Sherman opened college at the usual date 
in the fall of 1863. In November they had 41 students, viz : 1 Junior, 
6 Sophomores, 10 Freshmen, and 34 sub-Freshmen, Before the schol- 
astic year closed they had enrolled 56. 

Howard College Studies 73 

When the Baptist Convention met in November, 18G3, the Trustees 
reported : 

"That about the 20th of May last application was made by 
the Medical Director of this Military Department for the tempor- 
ary use of the two dormitory buildings for hospital purposes, which 
was granted, and consequently the college exercises were soon 
afterwards suspended. There being a strong probability that the 
buildings would be held by the Government for an indefinite pe- 
riod, your Board, at its last annual meeting, resolved to retain but 
one member of the Faculty, and made it his duty to take charge of 
the main building, with its contents, library, apparatus, cabinet, fur- 
niture, etc., to protect them from injury, and also to afford instruc- 
tion to such students as might apply for it. He has a school of 
about twenty boys, one-half of whom are pursuing the studies of 
the Freshman and Sophomore classes. 

The rent of the building paid by the Government and the tui- 
tion of those who have not scholarships more than cover the salary 
of Professor Goodhue and the expense of insurance on the prop- 
erty. The college is free from debt." 

During the scholastic year 1863-04, Professor Goodhue enrolled 
27 boys in his school, of whom 24 were from Marion. 

In the summer of 1864, the Trustees resolved that the usual 
school should not open in the fall, but that Howard College should 
offer gratuitous instruction exclusively to disabled Confederate sol- 
diers. Those who were convalescent in the dormitory buildings would 
be given a course of education calculated to fit them for business and 
usefulness in life. Accordingly, the soldiers' school opened in October, 

1864, with Professor A. B. Goodhue as teacher, assisted by his son, 
D. P. Goodhue, who had been detailed from military service, at the in- 
stance of Col. Talbird, for this purpose. About 125 soldiers availed 
themselves of the opportunities thus offered, and the school continued 
for about five months. 

Then came the end of the war. In the spring of 1865, Alabama 
was overrun by Federal forces and Marion, as well as other important 
points, was occupied. Federal troops occupied the college buildings and. 
against the earnest and repeated protest of the Trustees, one of the 
dormitories was appropriated to the use of the freed negroes. Pro- 
fessor Goodhue ceased to give instruction, and from March to June, 

1865, Howard College as an institution of learning closed its doors. I'or 
many months the college property was under libel for confiscation by the 
United States Government ; but it was, of course, subsequently relieved. 

74 Howard College Bulletin 

Gloomy was the prospect faced by the Trustees in the summer of 
1865. Many of the subscribers had paid their notes during the war in 
Confederate securities, which were now valueless. Whether the unpaid 
notes were worth the paper they were written oh, only time could tell. 
Meanwhile the Trustees were legally obligated to honor scholarship cer- 
tificates — how many were afloat nobody seemed to know — as soon as 
college should re-open in the fall. 

After a free interchange of views, the Trustees resolved to open 
the college in the fall of 1865 at the usual time, October 1 — not relying, 
however, upon the endowment for support ; but to make the institution 
as far as possible self-supporting, to depend upon the voluntary contri- 
butions of its friends to meet any deficiencies in the income derived 
from tuition. To this end, holders of scholarships were requested to 
waive their privileges, at least for the time being. The amount of sal- 
aries for which the Trustees pledges themselves was $4,200. To meet 
this obligation, it was estimated that 50 paying students would be 

Rev. Henry Talbird was requested to resume his duties as presi- 
dent of the institution, but he declined to do so, preferring to devote 
his entire time thenceforth to pastoral work. So the college opened 
at the time appointed with only a remnant of its former faculty : Pro- 
fessor A. B. Goodhue, Professor E. Q. Thornton, and Tutor D. P. 
Goodhue. During the entire scholastic year, the total enrollment reached 
only 41. 

"What shall we do ?" asked the Trustees of the Convention in No- 
vember, 1865. "We do not propose, just now, to attempt to re-endow 
the college, but rather to prepare ourselves for it at the earliest prac- 
ticable moment. If the friends of Howard College would, by voluntary 
contribution, for the next two years, put it in the power of the Board to 

sustain a President at a salary of $ , who should give as much of 

his time as could be spared from other duties, to securing that part of 
the endowment fund which has not been absolutely lost, reviving the 
hopes of the people and taking advantage of opportunities as they arise, 
to renewed effort, we believe that a brighter day dawns upon this 
institution ; and with the return of prosperity to the country, would 
come back the former days, with increased honor and usefulness. In 
an emergency as great as this, the Prophet cried : 'Stand still, and see 
the salvation of the Lord.' " 

The man who presided over the Baptist Convention in November, 
1865, was the Hon. J. L. M. Curry, of Talladega — lawyer, statesman. 

Hozvard Collecic Studies 75 

soldier, politician and preacher. Casting a significant glance in his 
direction, the Rev. Sam'l R. Freeman, chairman of the committee on 
education, said : "Let us select from our brethren a man highly en- 
dowed by nature and cultivation for the presidency of Howard College. 
Let him be commissioned to go among the Baptists of the State and 
spend one year, and if need be, two yeafs, in the work of resuscitating 
the endowment and stimulating the enterprise and liberality of our 
brethren in behalf of this important institution. It needs no lamp of 
Diogenes to find this man. He is already among us. Let us lay violent 
hands upon him, and let us say to him : 'Here, our brother, is the task 
we commit to your hands. We lay upon you the onus and the honor 
of rescuing this important instrumentality of usefulness to man and to 
the glory of God from the dust. In the name of our God and our cause, 
we call you to this trust, and we pledge ourselves to sustain you.' Let 
the Trustees be requested to raise, by voluntary subscription, the sum of 
$ , for one year, as the President's salary." 

The result of all this maneuvering and negotiations was the elec- 
tion of the Hon. J. L. M. Curry as president of Howard College at an 
annual salary of $5,000 in currency or $3,500 in gold, to be raised by 
private subscription. This was a large salary for the time, but the presi- 
dent-elect was one of the ablest and most prominent men in the State. 

Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry was born in Lincoln County, Georgia, 
on June 5, 1825. He graduated from the University of Georgia in 1843 
and from the Harvard Law School in 1845. On leaving Harvard, he 
located in Talladega, Alabama, as the law partner of Andrew W. Bowie, 
whose sister he soon afterwards married. But Mr. Curry's inclina- 
tions were not legal and he early entered politics as a Democrat. 
With a great talent for oratory and strong personal magnetism, he 
made a wide reputation very quickly and was elected to the State Legis- 
lature in 1847, to which honor he was again elected in 1853 and 1855. 
In 1857 he was elected to Congress and re-elected in 1859, and was one 
of the Alabama delegation that walked out of Congress when the State 
seceded. He sat in the first Confederate Congress and distinguished 
himself as an orator and secessionist. Upon the adjournment of this 
Congress, he joined the army as Lieutenant Colonel of the Fifth Ala- 
bama Cavalry and surrendered with this regiment in 18G5. 

After the war Colonel Curry became a Baptist minister and 
preached frequently, though never accepting the pastoral care of a 
church. Throughout the years of his public service he had been active 
in Christian work, and it now seemed eminently appropriate to his breth- 

76 Howard College Bulletin 

ren in Alabama that he should assume the leadership in Christian educa- 
tion. Dignified in demeanor, faultless in manner, with extensive learn- 
ing and unquestioned ability, and with a wide acquaintanceship through- 
out the State, he seemed just the man to pull Howard College from the 
Slough of Despond and to preside over its future destinies. 

Col. Curry accepted the presidency at the salary mentioned, and 
removed in December, 1865, to Marion, taking with him his son. Manly, 
then a boy eight or nine years old, whose sister, Susie, a young lady of 
fifteen, had already entered the Judson Institute. His wife had died on 
the 8th of the preceding April. 

He entered upon his duties in January, 1866. Of this year's work 
he afterwards wrote : "Most of my time, after a little teaching in 
Moral and Mental Science and Political Economy, was given to travel 
through the States and to public addresses in behalf of the college and 
general education. * * * During the year I visited Selma, Montgom- 
ery, Tuskegee, Jacksonville, Talladega, Mobile, Gainesville and Missis- 

But President Curry did little toward the resuscitation of Howard 
College, for the simple reason that little could be done. The ante-bellum 
social and economic system in the South was breaking up, and years 
would be required for readjustment. During the summer of 1865, the 
negroes showed a disposition to remain on the plantations and gather the 
crops ; but influenced by their new-found friends from the North, they 
soon wandered away, interpreting their freedom as a license to indulge in 
idleness and vagrancy. In the autumn the rumor gained currency among 
them that on New Year's Day the United States Government would 
give each freedom "forty acres and a mule." Accordingly, many re- 
fused to contract for farm labor during the coming year. In conse- 
quence, crops failed and credit was paralyzed by reason of the disor- 
ganization of labor through emancipation. Since the war had already 
exhausted the fields and swept away the banks, insurance companies, 
and every other institution which lent money to the community, the 
average Southerner was hard put to it for wherewithal to eke out a 
bare existence. This added to the political turmoil of the times, made 
the support and endowment of colleges precarious, if not impossible, for 
many years to come. 

In the fall of 1866, instruction began at Howard College at the 
usual date. The following were the members of the faculty : 

Rev. J. L. M. Curry, President and Professor of Mental and 
Moral Science. 

Hozvard College Studies 77 

A. B. Goodhue, A.M., Professor of Mathematics and Physics. 
E. O. Thornton, A.M., Professor Chemisary and Modern 

I. B. Vaiden, A.M., Professor of Ancient Languages. 
The last mentioned on the list had just succeeded D. P. Goodhue. Born 
in Virginia on September 11, 1820, Major Vaiden, as he was for some 
reason called, was residing at Uniontown. Alabama, when he was called 
to the Howard. He was destined the following year to be made the 
Principal of the Preparatory Department and to remain such for several 

It was announced, when college opened, that, in order to meet the 
wants of the times, students, for the time being, would be admitted to 
pursue a partial, irregular, or even a preparatory course of study. 
This was a euphonious way of saying that there would be no entrance 
requirements at all. 

When the Baptist Convention met in November, 1866, the Trus- 
tees reported : 

"The unsettled condition of the country, and the failure of 

the crops foreshadowed early in the season, forbade any attempt 

on the part of the President to raise money. In the opinion of 

many among our wisest and most experienced business men, the 

effort to do so would be prejudicial to the interest of the college. 

His efforts have, therefore, been to prepare the way for this work 

when the time shall come." 

On February 28, 1867, President Curry entered into correspon- 
dence with Mr. Robert C. Winthrop, with reference to the Peabody do- 
nation, a gift of $3,000,000, by which Mr. George Peabody, of Massa- 
chusetts, established what became known later as the Peabody Educa- 
tion Fund. About the middle of March, President Curry, with proper 
credentials and resolutions of confidence from his Board of Trustees, 
set out for Richmond and Baltimore, for the purpose of securing, if 
possible, some part of the Peabody fund. But in April he was back in 
Marion without any fruitful results to show for his pains. 

On June 25, 1867. he married Mary Wortham Thomas, and four 
days later sailed for Europe. In October, he was elected to the chair 
of History and Literature in Richmond College, the leading Baptist 
institution in Virginia. On April 21. 1868. he resigned the presidency 
of Howard College and a week later removed to Richmond, never again 
to be a resident of Alabama. 

To say that the Baptists of Alabama were disappointed in Dr. 
Curry's administration of the college, is not to state the case correctly. 

78 Hoiuard College Bulletin 

There was a great disappointment, it is true, but this was due to the 
delay in the return of prosperity. When the war closed, the South was 
willing to let bygones be bygones and to get busy again with the produc- 
tion of wealth ; but the demoralization of the negroes through the 
agents of the Freedman's Bureau, the political turmoil due to the 
machinations of carpetbaggers and scalawags, and the scarcely credible 
determination of a radical Congress to raise the negro to the social 
level of the white man — all these things entered in to paralyze credit 
and to interfere with the production of wealth. Neither J. L. M. 
Curry nor any other Southern man could have resuscitated Howard 
College at that time. 

In November, 1867, just before Dr. Curry resigned the presidency, 
the Trustees made another gloomy report to the Convention. 

"The unparalleled prostration of the financial affairs of the 
country has fallen with peculiar severity upon the college. In 
our reports of 1865-66, we have stated the difficulty of reaching 
any definite conclusion as to the amount of the endowment upon 
which we could rely, arising from the fact that it consisted of 
notes of individuals scattered over a large part of the State, many 
of whom, it might be presumed, were unable to meet their obli- 
gations. The Board have realized the importance of obtaining at 
least some approximate idea of what remains of this fund. * * * 
Yet they have felt greatly emberrassed as to the manner in which 
they should attempt to reach this desirable end. * * * At their 
last annual meeting, a change of policy was adopted, which, if 
successful, would relieve the college of the burden of an accumu- 
lating debt, and still preserve the institution to the denomination 
and the public. The plan was, first to connect with the college 
a preparatory department, to be under the supervision of one of 
the faculty. Second, the president and two professors should de- 
vote themselves to the regular college classes : the number of in- 
structors to be increased if necessary. The professors were to re- 
ceive as compensation all the tuition fees, paying all necessary ex- 
penses, giving instruction to such as might claim the right of schol- 
arships and to candidates for the ministry. Third, the president's 
salary to be secured by by voluntary contribution. * * * The re- 
sults have not been favorable. The number of students is not suf- 
ficient to sustain the teachers ; and as we could not keep our part of 
the previous contract with them, we cannot hold them to theirs. 
Unless the Convention shall devise some better plan, we see no al- 

Howard College Studies 79 

ternative but to suspend operations as a college. * * * The in- 
debtedness of the college is : For the salaries due to the professors, 
$8,900; to D. R. Lide, $483.37; to Phister and White, $382.05. Of 
the president's salary (for nearly all of which pledges were made) 
for the two years now terminated, of $5,000 per annum, fixed by 

the Convention, there has been collected in all " 

Whereupon the Convention did the only thing it could do — it is- 
sued an address — 

"To the Baptists of Alabama: 
"Brethren :— 

"If there ever was a time when the highest interest of our 
people, the honor and the efficiency for good of our denomination, 
and the glory of our blessed Master, demanded of you an extra- 
ordinary exertion in promoting our denominational interest, now 
is the time. * * * If you cannot give much, give something. 
Do not wait to be called on by an agent, but send up your con- 
tributions by registered letter, containing $80, $15, $10, $5, or 
even $1, as God has prospered you." 

But the results of this appeal were meager. Dr. Curry went away 
with several hundred dollars still owing to him on his salary. The 
other professors took what they could get, and drew their economic 
belts a little closer around their stomachs. 

With the departure of Dr. Curry, the hope of realizing anything 
on the endowment was well-nigh abandoned. It was buried along with 
the ante-bellum prosperity of the South ; but the ghost of it, in the 
form of old scholarship certificates, could not easily be laid, and con- 
tinued to walk the earth, causing annoyance and embarrassment for 
years to come. 

In July, 1868, the Trustees elected Professor Ed. Quin Thornton 
president of the college, offered him the use of the buildings, appa- 
ratus and other property free of rent, and the privilege of selecting his 
own faculty, on condition that he keep the property in repair and make 
the college self-sustaining. He accepted the appointment upon the 
condition that the Trustees would become responsible for the tuition 
of forty students over the first sixty ; that is to say, he would take the 
risk of obtaining sixty, if the deficit should be made good by the Trus- 
tees between that number and a hundred — the number necessary to 
make the college self-sustaining. The Trustees, perforce, agreed, and 
the college opened in the fall of 1868 with the following faculty: 

E. Q. Thornton, A.M., President, and Professor of Chemis- 
try, Natural History and Modern Languages. 

80 Howard College Bulletin 

A. B. Goodhue, A. M., Professor of Mathematics and Greek. 
D. G. Sherman, A.M., Professor of Latin Language and 

I. B. Vaiden, A.M., Principal of the Preparatory Department. 
J. H. Hendon, Assistant in the Preparatory Department. 
Professor D. G. Sherman, who now comes back after an absence 
of five years, was ncft destined to serve again. He died about the 
time college opened and his place was left vacant during the rest of the 
academic year. 

In their annual report to the Convention in November, 1868, the 
Trustees said : 

"We are endeavoring to make the college self-sustaining ; but 
to do so, two things are essential : First, the system of scholar- 
ships must be abolished. To almost every application for the sur- 
render of this privilege, the response has been favorable. Still, 
there are a few who claim it, and, when claimed, it is not dis- 
puted; but it must be evident that, without an endowment, and 
dependent upon tuition for support, many such demands would 
close its doors. Second, the friends of the college must increase 
its patronage. * * * This can be done, both directly and indi- 
rectly, by sending their sons and wards to it, and by using their 
influence to induce others to do so." 
Then the Trustees stated that the college was due Professor A. B. 
Goodhue $4,330.06 ; Professor Thornton $1,206.43 ; Professor Vaiden, 
$1,762.50, and Rev. J. L. M. Curry, balance on note, $922.71. 

Since the number of students during the presidency of Professor 
Thornton rose to 116, it is to be presumed that the college was almost, 
if not quite, self-sustaining. 

From the old catalogue for the year 1868-69, we learn what intel- 
lectual pabulum was offered to the students in the college courses. Any 
boy of good moral character could enter the Preparatory Department, 
but candidates for admission to the Freshman Class were required to 
sustain a creditable examination in the Common English Branches, 
Latin and Greek Grammars, Caesar, Virgil, Sallust or Cicero's Ora- 
tions, the Greek Reader, and Davies' Elementary Algebra to simple 

There were still two courses of study — the Classical and the Scien- 
tific. Students taking the Classical Course had all their work pre- 
scribed for them. To the Freshmen was offered the following pabu- 
lum: The Odes, Epistles and Satires of Horace; three books of 

Howard College Studies 81 

Xenophon's Anabasis ; Herodotus and Thucydides ; Mitchell's Ancient 
Geography, and Arnold's Latin Prose Composition. At the end of this 
formidable menu, albeit inclosed in brackets, was appended the cryptic 
words Gr. Majora. In Mathematics, Robinson's text-books on Alge- 
bra and Geometry; in English, which seems to have been under the 
direction of no particular professor. Freshmen were required to prac- 
tice composition and declamation "throughout the year", which means 
probably that they had "speaking" on Friday afternoons. 

In the Sophomore year, students were required to read Lincoln's 
Lioz (whatever that was), Tacitus, Terence, Homer's Iliad, Zenophon's 
Cyropaedia, Demosthenes, Bojesen's Grecian and Roman Antiquities, 
and to study Knapp's French Grammar and De Fiva's French Reader ; 
German was optional. In Mathematics, they were required to complete 
Robinson's text-books on Trigonometry, plane and spherical, mensura- 
tion of surfaces and solids, surveying and navigation, measurements 
of heights and distances. Analytical Geometry, and Calculus, both dif- 
ferential and integral. In English they were to study Pinneo's Eng- 
lish Grammar, but "throughout the year" they were still required to 
practice composition and declamation. 

Juniors had to read Sophocles and Euripides, Juvenal, Cicero's 
De Officiio, and to study De Fiva's Classic Reader and Corinne; Ger- 
man was optional. In lieu of Mathematics, they took subjects in the 
Department of Natural Philosophy under President Thornton. Here 
they had "lectures" on Hydrostatics, Pneumatics, Accoustics, Optics, 
Heat, Electricity and Magnetism, and Metorology (sic). Though 
these were "lecture courses", the students had to buy text-books by 
Jackson and Brocklesby. Under President Thornton, too, were re- 
quired courses on General Chemistry and Agricultural Chemistry, for 
which text-books had to be bought. In English, Juniors had to study 
Whatley's Rhetoric and Logic, and practice composition and declama- 
tion "throughout the year". 

In the Senior year, there was no room, in all conscience, for Latin 
and Greek and Mathematics ; but Seniors took courses in Zoology 
(Agassiz and Gould, and lectures), Minerology (Dana's Handbook, 
and lectures), Geology (Dana's Handbook, and lectures), Botany 
(Gray's Handbook, and Astronomy (Olmstead, and lectures). In ad- 
dition to these, they had to study Wayland's text-books on Political 
Economy, Moral Science, and Intellectual Philosophy, and Campbell's 
Philosophy of Rhetoric. Throughout the year they also had to prac- 
tice declamation, but in their case the declamation must be original. 
Why not, forsooth? 

82 Howard College Bulletin 

The Scientific Course was the same as the above except that no 
Greek was required ; but in lieu thereof the Seniors had to study the 
Constitution of the United States. Whether they found in the study 
of this document a justification for the doctrine of States' Rights 
can not for a moment be doubted. 

Though there had been no mihtary disciphne on the campus since 
1862, the students were nevertheless subject to a regular schedule of 
daily duties. Thus we read in the catalogue : 

"The Bell will be rung at dawn to rise and dress, and at sun- 
rise for recitation and study, to which one hour will be devoted 
before breakfast. The hours of study, recitations and recreation 
during the remainder of the day will be regulated with reference 
to strict economy of time. 

"Monthly reports showing the standing of students in their 
classes and the number of absences from prayers, recitations, and 
rooms during study hours, together with other regularities, will 
be sent to parents or guardians." 

Since there was at this time no dining hall on the campus, and 
many of the students and professors lived in town, these recitations 
before breakfast must have been an acid test of their enthusiasm for 

At the close of the session of 1868-69, Professor Thornton re- 
signed the presidency, preferring to devote his energies exclusively to 
teaching. Thereupon the Board of Trustees, "with flattering unani- 
mity", selected as president the Rev. S. R. Freeman, a graduate of the 
college and "a gentleman distinguished for his practical wisdom, and 
his sound scholarly and theological attainments". With him were se- 
lected the following faculty: Ed. Quin Thornton, Professor of Natu- 
ral Philosophy, Chemistry, Natural History and Modern Languages; 
Thomas J. Dill, Professor of the Latin and Greek Languages and 
Literature; John H. Jones, Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy; 
L B. Vaiden, Professor and Principal of the Preparatory Department. 
The salary of President Freeman was to be $2,000, raised by private 
subscription. The salaries of the other professors were to be paid 
from the tuition fees. The old scholarship certificates were still to be 
honored, but with increasingly bad grace. 

Rev. Samuel R. Freeman, the new president, was a native of Ten- 
nessee. Ordained minister of the Gospel at the age of twenty-five, 
he came to Howard College for an education. In addition to poverty, 
he suffered from an affliction of the eyes, one of which he ultimately 

Howard College Studies 83 

lost, and the other was a source of trouble to him until the close of his 
life. After leaving college, he became pastor of Hopewell church, in 
the eastern part of Perry county, from which he was called to the 
presidency of Howard College. 

He was a man of considerable ability. The simplicity of his dress 
and manners, coupled with his rugged eloquence, made him a great fa- 
vorite with the people. It was not difficult for him to enter into cor- 
dial and pleasant relations with the preachers of the denomination. As 
an agent of the college he was tactful, and as a preacher or speaker 
he was forceful. His beaming face and rugged eloquence were soon to 
awake interest in all parts of the State. 

It will be noticed that Professor A. B. Goodhue, who had been 
connected with the college since 1846, has disappeared from the fac- 
ulty. He resigned from the Howard and went over to the Judson 
where he remained for two years, teaching mathematics to the young 
ladies. In January, 1873, he and his family removed from Marion to 
Oxford, Alabama, where he took charge of a boys' school. In 1880 
he went to Gadsden to become principal of the high school of that place. 

Thomas J. Dill, who now entered the faculty as Professor of Latin 
and Greek, was destined to render the college a long and distinguished 
service. When he resigned in 1900, from age and infirmity, there were 
hundreds of old Howard boys to rise and call him blessed. 

Thomas John Dill was born on November 8, 1925, on Edisto Is- 
land, a broad and rich delta land, some thirty miles below Charleston, 
South Carolina. His father, Joseph Mason Dill, was a planter-physi- 
cian of the old school, broadly educated, and with a home surrounded 
by the best culture of the times. Young Thomas received his early 
education at the Academy of Christopher Cotes in Charleston. At the 
age of sixteen, he was ready to enter the sophomore class of the Uni- 
versity of South Carolina, at Columbia. When he was only nineteen, 
he graduated from the University with the degree of A. B. — second 
honor man in a class of sixty. For four years thereafter he taught in 
the local academy at Edisto. In 1849 he followed a colony of Charles- 
tonians and Edistonians, composed of Lees, Lockwoods, Lides, Young- 
bloods, and Alisons, to Dallas county, Alabama, where they had formed 
the village of Carlowville. Here the young professor opened an acad- 
emy for boys which he successfully conducted for twenty years. 

During the first years of his career as a teacher, he had great con- 
fidence in the educating power of the hickory switch, and he cultivated 
a vigorous muscle for laying it on. Later in life, however, he changed 

84 Howard College Bulletin 

his method and instituted a system of rewards instead of punishments. 
This he found to be the better way. The appeal was to the boy's ambi- 
tion, and developed a sense of honor and self-respect. He had a de- 
gree of tact in the management of his boys, and he often relieved the 
tedium of the class room with sallies of ready wit and humor. 

Professor Dill's task in Howard College was to teach Latin and 
Greek, which he did in his own original way. With a genius for phi- 
lology and the fine points of syntax, he made the dry bones to live 
and the dead roots to bring forth life. In his class room many a young 
man caught his first inspiration for the study of language. 

Early in his career as a college professor, Mercer University con- 
ferred upon him the degree of LL.D., and this honor he wore with 
credit. (^) 

At the first faculty meeting in the fall of 1869, Professor Dill 
was made secretary of that body and, in the methodical manner char- 
acteristic of him, he kept accurate minutes of the faculty meetings for 
a year or two. These records are exceedingly interesting today by rea- 
son of the glimpse they give us of the inside v/orkings of the college. 
Here are a few extracts : 
Sept. 23rd, 1869. 

The faculty of Howard College met together at the call of 
the president, in one of the recitation rooms of the North College, 
at 10 a. m. All the members of the faculty were present ; namely, 
the President, Sam'l R. Freeman, and Professors E. Q. Thornton, 
Thos. J. Dill, Jno. H. Jones, and I. B. Vaiden. 

After making a few remarks appropriate to the occasion, the 
President offered up a prayer to Almighty God, that his blessings 
v/ould accompany the labors in which they were about to engage. 
Professor Dill was then requested to act as secretary. 

The President opened the discussion of business by proposing 
as the order of exercises in the College proper, the following pro- 
gramme : 

Chapel Exercises at sunrise, the hour varying with the seasons 
of the year, immediately followed by recitation hour. The remain- 
ing hours of the day to be apportioned as follows : 

Study Hours— 9 to 11 A. M.— 2 to 4 P. M.— 7 to 9^4 P. M. 

Recitation Hours — 11 A. M. to 12 — 4 to 5 P. M. 

The arrangement in regard to the Chapel Exercises and morn- 
ing recitation shall be considered as applying to Saturday also. 
After some discussion the above schedule was adopted unani- 

(}) Tn the Howard College Bulletin (Summer Issue, August, 1911), appears a biographi- 
cal sketch of Dr. Dill, by bis son, the Rev. J. S. Dill, from which I have freely drawn. In 
the same publication are two appreciative articles by two of Dr. Dill's former students, Dr. 
John R. Sampey and Dr. W. A. Hobson. 

Howard College Studies 85 

Prof. Jones then proposed that a change should be made in 
the course of studies in the Department of Mathematics. His 
reasons for the change were given and were approved of by the 
faculty. Prof. Dill also requested some change in the Department 
of Ancient Languages. This change was also explained to the 
faculty and met with their approbation. Profs. Jones and Dill 
were appointed a committee to wait upon the Board of Trustees, 
and to request that they would sanction these changes. 

There being no other business before the meeting Prof. 
Vaiden proposed an adjournment to meet again on Thursday, the 
30th inst., at 9 a. m. 

THOS. J. DILL, Sec. 
October 11th, 1869. 

The faculty came together this day at the appointed hour. 
Excuses rendered by students for absences during the past week, 
either from their rooms or from the college exercises, were read 
and approved of. There being no other business to be considered 
they adjourned to the next regular meeting. 
November 15th, 1869. 

The faculty met today at the usual hour. Profs. Thornton. 
Dill and Jones being present. Prof. Jones reported that, in con- 
sequence of the sickness of Horace, he had been compelled to 
engage the services of another freedman during the past week. 
He was authorized to make the best terms he could to satify the 
said freedman. Excuses rendered for the past week were con- 
sidered and disposed of. The faculty then adjourned, 
November 20th, 1869. 

The faculty met together at the call of the president. It was 
proposed that the number of demerits imposed for absences, and 
tardiness in attending upon college exercises shall be as follows : 

Absence from recitation 3 

Absence from worship 3 

Absence from building 3 

Absence from room 1 

Tardiness 1 

Also that the number of demerits given to each student during 
the month shall be taken from the maximum (100), to determine 
his deportment, and that the scholarship and dei)ortment shall count 
equally in determining general averages. This arrangement being 
satisfactory to all, was adojited. Prof. Jones i^roposed that writ- 
ten exercises at examination count twice as much as oral ; agreed 
to ; also, that the examination and term standing count equally ; 
this rule also was adopted. It was also decided that the secretary 
keep a demerit roll, from which, on Tuesday evening of each 
week, he shall read out in Chapel the number of demerits imposed 
on each student for the preceding week. Adjourned to the next 
regular meetinir. 

86 Howard College Bulletin 

December 20th, 1869. 

The members of the faculty came together at the usual hour. 
Excuses rendered for absences during the past week were read and 
disposed of. The secretary was instructed to read out in the 
Chapel the names of the following students, being those appointed 
to deliver original speeches at the close of the term : Thos. White, 
Elbert M. Vay, Thaddeus Jones, Wm. H. England, and Walter 
Jones. Professors Thornton, Dill and Jones were instructed to 
select each three students from his class in declamation to prepare 
extracts for the public exercises on the same occasion. It was also 
decided that the college exercises be suspended from Thursday 
evening until the first Monday in January. 
May 16th, 1870. 

The faculty convened today at the usual hour * * * the fol- 
lowing resolution was then proposed and unanimously carried : 

Resolved, That the parents or guardians of the following gen- 
tlemen be informed that they habitually neglect their college duties, 
and that their attention be called to Page 11, Art. 12 of the College 
Laws making it the duty of the faculty to dismiss such students 
from college ; 

Resolved, That the Secretary be required to carry out the 
above instructions. 

Names of students included in the above: (Ten boys resident 
in Marion and one from Camden, Wilcox county. Probably small 
boys in the Preparatory Department.) 

The academic year ending in June, 1870, was regarded as being 
fairly successful. There were in attendance 184 students, of whom 
nine were studying for the ministry under the direction of President 
Freeman. Early in the session the Trustees provided a Mess Hall on 
the campus where students, by forming a Mess Club, might obtain board 
at actual cost. Fifteen students availed themselves of this opportunity 
and boarded themselves at an average cost of $7.38 a month for each 
individual. The Trustees, seeing the success of the plan, promised to 
increase the accommodations for the next session. 

When the fall session opened on October 3, 1870, George D. Ban- 
croft, A. M., had succeeded John H. Jones as Professor of Mathematics. 
At the end of October, Professor Dill reported the registration of 108 
students, distributed as follows : 

In Preparatory Department 40 

In College pursuing irregular course 20 

Sub-Freshman Class 13 

Freshman Class 1 6 

Sophomore Class 1 7 

Junior Class 2 68 

Total 108 

Howard College Studies 87 

Theological Students, 5. 

From Perry County 62 

From other Counties 46 

The following are extracts from the minutes of the faculty meet- 
ings, showing that boys will be boys even in a church school : 

November 1st, 1870. 

The faculty had a special meeting at the call of the President 
to consider the cases of Messrs. Crenshaw, Caf fey and Richardson, 
charged with disorderly conduct in the South Building. The case 
of Mr. Crenshaw was disposed of first. Mr. C. was not only 
charged with disturbing the quiet of the building, as were the 
others, but also with carrying firearms, drawing a pistol on one 
of the students, and using profane language. Having before been 
reported for carrying firearms, and having been admonished in 
regard to this violation of the College Laws, Mr. C. was dismissed 
privately, and his father was notified of the decision of the faculty. 
The other cases were postponed for the next day. 

November 2, 1870. 

The faculty met today pursuant to adjournment to consider 
the cases of Messrs. Caf fey and Richardson. It was decided that 
these gentlemen be privately admonished by the President, and 
that three demerits be imposed upon each. 

November 7, 1870. 

The faculty met today at 12 m. to consider the case of Messrs. 
Weaver and Richardson reported for fighting. Since the col- 
lision appeared to be not premeditated by either, and since these 
gentlemen pledged themselves to avoid the recurrence of such an 
event, they were privately admonished by the President, and no 
further notice taken of the case. 

January 6, 1871. 

A call meeting of the faculty of Howard College was held this 
day, at which the following matters were discussed and acted 
upon : 

Prof. Dill proposed that, whereas we consider the Literary 
Societies an important adjunct to our institution, and we believe 
that recitations on Saturday mornings interfere with the successful 
working of these Societies, therefore : — 

Resolved, That, from this time, the recitations at that hour be 

After some discussion the resolution was unanimously 

Prof. Thornton then proposed the following resolution : 

Resolved, That the students shall on the last Friday in each 
month declaim before the faculty and students in the Chapel, each 
member of the faculty rating the proficiency of every student, and 
that the selections for the public exercises at the close of the ses- 
sion shall be determined by these awards. 

88 Howard College Bulletin 

President Freeman resigned in June, 1871, and removed to Texas, 
where he died the next year. He was succeeded by Col. James T. 
Murfree, who brought to the presidency of the college a high reputa- 
tion as an organizer, disciplinarian and instructor. The dark period of 
reconstruction was now slowly coming to a close, the negroes were 
gradually adjusting themselves to their changed condition, and the po- 
litical adventurers in State and county government were preparing to 
pack their grips and depart. The advent of Col. Murfee marks the 
beginning of an era in the history of Howard College. 

Howard College Studies 89 


The Administration of Colonel Murfee 

James Thomas Murfee was born on September 13, 1833, at Mur- 
fee's Depot, Southhampton county, Virginia. He graduated from the 
Virginia Military Institute at Lexington in 1853, as a Civil Engineer, 
without a single demerit and with the highest honors of his class. After 
graduation he taught for one year at Madison College, Uniontown, 
Pennsylvania, and for two years in Lynchburg College in Virginia. In 
1860 he was called to the University of Alabama as Professor of ]\Iath- 
ematics and Commandant of Cadets. At the outbreak of hostilities he 
gave up his chair of Mathematics and devoted his entire time to military 

On the night of April 3, 1865, a brigade of Federal cavalry under 
the command of General Croxton, having come down the west side of 
the Warrior river, reached the bridge at Tuscaloosa about ten o'clock. 
The guards at the bridge were few in number and, after an ineffectual 
resistance, retreated and allowed the enemy to cross and occupy the 
city. When news of this reached the University, the long roll was 
beaten and every boy responded to the call. Under the command of 
Colonel Murfee and President Garland, the cadets were marched in all 
haste to the scene of hostilities. At the top of the long hillside road 
leading to the bridge took place a short and quick encounter. After 
firing one or two volleys, the cadets mached back to the University in 
good order. Here they destroyed a large quantity of ammunition and 
then took up the line of march for Marion, Alabama, where they were 
disbanded a few days later. The war was over. 

In June, 1866, the Trustees of the University took measures for 
the speedy reconstruction fo the University buildings, and appointed 
Colonel Murfee architect and superintendent of the enterprise. Here 
he labored for three or four years, until the Carpetbag-Scalawag crowd 
of politicians got control of the University and forced all self-respect- 
ing gentlemen to retire. 

After severing his connection with the University, Col. Murfee 
seriously considered the possibility of entering the business world as a 
manufacturer of commercial fertilizers ; but that old longing to be of 
service to young men would not down, and when he was offered the 
presidency of Howard College in the summer of 1871, he did not hesi- 
tate, though the remuneration offered was very meager. His reward 
was to come in after-years, when he saw his "boys" occupying high 

90 Howard College Bulletin 

positions of trust and responsibility and pointing to him as their great 
model and inspirer. "All his old pupils," writes Dr. John R. Sampey, 
Sr., who was one of them, "carry in memory the erect form, the 
searching, flashing eye, and the penetrating voice of the great teacher. 
In his bearing there was the directness and crispness of the soldier, 
coupled with the courtesy of the cultivated scholar and gentleman. If 
he entered a group or passed along the street, all eyes were attracted 
to him by that subtle telepathy which announces the presence of a 
great personality. In the class room, as on the parade ground, all 
recognized his leadership, and waited for the expression of his will. 
His well-built frame and broad brow were but an index to his keen 
and massive mind and his vigorous moral manhood." 

Such was Col. Murfee, — a man of high ideals, a devout Chris- 
tian, and a Southern gentleman of the planter class. On his arrival at 
Marion, he found an atmosphere which he ' understood and liked. His 
magnetic touch was to awaken Howard College, slumbering like all 
others from the effects of the war. 

From the first day of his arrival. Col. Murfee charmed and sur- 
prised the citizens of Marion. He announced his intention to introduce 
a new system of college organization, "the counterpart of which has 
not been seen in this country." There would be new features in disci- 
pline, in methods of instruction, in moral culture, and in practical edu- 
cation. The Marion Commonwealth of August 24, 1871, characterized 
him as "emphatically a live man" and proceeded to say : 

"We had the pleasure last Monday of a short conversation 
with Col. Murfee, the President-elect, upon the plan, the prospects, 
the future government, etc., of the Howard. He gave us an in- 
sight into the system of instruction which he proposes to adopt. 
We were well pleased with his ideas in the main. He proposes to 
avoid large classes, a nuisance common to colleges, and which too 
often converts college instruction into a mere farce — a burlesque 
upon education. This he will do by dividing the classes into sec- 
tions to recite daily, and require every boy to recite a son tour. 
We have not unfrequently heard of boys going whole weeks with- 
out a recitation, where the classes are large. Under the proposed 
plan, there can be no such injustice to the student, and outrage 
upon parents. 

He intends that the students in the English branches shall he 
thorough. An English course is all that many of our young men 
will be able to take, on account of their honest poverty, but it is 
the foundation of all education in this country, and owing to the 


Howard College Studies 91 

necessitous circumstances by which Southern youth is trammeled, 
it assumes additional and untold importance. He will require the 
pupil to compose regularly and frequently, submitting his composi- 
tion to the most searching criticism by the professor and by his 
classmates. This is another new feature and a decidedly better 
one than the old habit of making the professor the sole critic, who 
made the criticisms in pencil mark on the margin of the composi- 
tion and handed it back to the boy to be torn up by him before he 
fairly left the recitation room. There will be daily exercises on 
the blackboard, the pupil extemporaneously embodying in his own 
language the sentiments, or ideas, contained in any piece that the 
professor may read in his hearing before sending him to the 
board. This will give the pupil command of language, it will 
quicken all the energies of his mind, and will especially cultivate 
the analytical faculties and powers, by forcing him to comprehend 
the idea and reasoning of the author and arrange all methodically 
in his own mind, in an instant. In Philosophy and Chemistry the 
pupil, instead of the professor, will lecture, experiment and illus- 
trate. The advantage of this over the old custom of putting it 
all upon the professor, and depriving the student of the highest ad- 
vantages to be derived from the study of these sciences, is unques- 
tionable and needs no comment. And so throughout there will be 
practical application of everything taught. In Mathematics, orig- 
inal problems will be insisted upon, and every possible test applied 
which will, or can, prove the thorough comprehension of the sub- 
ject. But best of all Col. Murfee intends to have perfect disci- 
pline by enforcing the rules and regulations of the college rigidly. 
This is the great want of our college. If positively required, most 
boys will study, and if they study they must learn. 

Col. Murfee, accustomed to military discipline, will apply a 

system of school tactics to his pupils which must educate them 

into strong minded, active, useful men. Parents, then, who send 

to Howard will have the gratifying assurance that their children 

will not go there to contract loose habits from the loose discipline 

maintained, as is too often the case, in high schools and colleges." 

The college opened in the fall of 1871 with a faculty of ten, the 

longest list In the previous history of the institution. Col. Murfee, 

who was Professor of Mental Science, Architecture, and Engineering, 

and Professors Thornton, Dill, Bancroft and Vaiden, who continued to 

occupy their respective chairs, there were five students on the teaching 

93 Howard College Bulletin 

force with the rank of assistant professors,. On November 2, 1871, 
the Marion Commonwealth informed the pubhc that "the professors 
labor in the class room five or six hours per day, besides keeping care- 
ful supervision of the students at night." 

In conscious imitation of Washington and Lee University, Col. 
Murfee divided the course of study into ten distinct schools, to-wit: 
Latin, Greek, Modern Languages, English, Moral Science and Theol- 
ogy, Mathematics, Chemistry and Geology, Natural Philosophy and 
Applied Mathematics, Civil Engineering, and Business. The student 
might select the schools he would attend ; but he was required to have 
at least fifteen recitations a week, unless, for good cause shown, he was 
allowed less than fifteen. 

As a means of grading the scholarship of students, the following 
plan was adopted: (1) "Certificates of Distinction" were given for 
distinguished attainments in any class within any of the schools; (2) 
"Certificates of Proficiency" were conferred as evidences of satis- 
factory attainments in any of the schools; (3) "Certificates of Distin- 
guished Proficiency" were conferred as evidences of distinguished 
attainments in any of the schools; (4) a Certificate, with the title of 
"Distinguished Undergraduate," was conferred upon any student who 
might make distinguished attainments in any three schools within one 
session. These certificates were actually conferred at Commencement 
each year, and may be said to correspond roughly to the grades of D, 
C, B, and A commonly used in colleges and universities of the present 

The college now offered the following degrees: (1) Bachelor of 
Philosophy (B. P.). Required: Certificates of proficiency in English, 
Moral Philosophy and Rhetoric, History and Literature, French and 
German, and the Junior course of Mathematics. Elective : Chemistry 
or Physics, Astronomy or Geology or Physiology. Latin or Greek 
could be substituted for either of the Modern Languages. (2) Bach- 
elor of Science (B. S.). Required: Certificates of Proficiency in 
Mathematics, Applied Mathematics and Astronomy, Physics, Chemis- 
try, Ethics and Evidences of Christianity. Elective : Geology or 
Physiology, French and German or English. (3) Bachelor of Arts 
(A. B.). Required: Certificates of Proficiency in Latin, Greek, 
Mathematics, Moral Philosophy. Elective : Moral Philosophy and 
Rhetoric or History and Literature, English or one Modern Language, 
Chemistry or Physics, Astronomy or Geology or Physiology. (4) 
Master of Arts (M.A.). To attain this degree the student had to have 

Howard College Studies 93 

certificates of Proficiency in Latin, Greek, English, Moral Philosophy, 
History, Mathematics, Chemistry, Natural Philosophy, Modern Lan- 
guages and English Literature or Applied Mathematics ; and certificates 
of Distinguished Proficiency in at least seven entire schools, and have 
passed a satisfactory review examintaion on all subjects included. (5) 
Civil Engineering (C. E.). The requirements for this degree were 
certificates of Proficiency in Mathematics, Applied Mathematics in- 
cluding Astronomy, Chemistry, Geology, Natural Philosophy including 
Analytical Mechanics, French, English, and plans and reports upon as- 
signed subjects. For each of the above degrees a suitable essay or 
oration had to be furnished, which might be read on Commencement 
Day, if required. 

The custom was now introduced of offering at Commencement a 
gold medal for the best declaimer among the Sophomores and a similar 
medal for the best orator among the Juniors, while the Senior who had 
attained the highest degree of general scholarship was chosen by the 
faculty to deliver the Valedictory Oration at the close of the Commence- 
ment exercises. 

On June 6, 1872, just before his first Commencement, the Marion 
Conimonzvealth thus comments on "the present genial, scholarly and 
irrepressibly active President" : 

"Col. Murfee seems to have as many hands as old Briareus 
is reported to have had, and as many heads as hands, if we may 
judge from the numerous ways in which he employs his energy to 
build up, refit and beautify the Howard, its building and grounds. 
He is now engaged in painting the roof so as to preserve the slat- 
ing and prevent damage from leaking. He is at the same time 
building a new, neat and more commodious Mess Hall, painting 
the railings around the campus, planting shade trees, and sowing 
grass over the bleak and sterile soil. All the while he relaxes none 
of his rules of government and discipline, but everywhere present 
himself guiding, directing, encouraging and pushing ahead. In a 
few years the Howard grounds will be as beautiful and as attractive 
as a park. Such improvement and such transformation as he is 
fast making in every feature, phase and department of the college, 
will make it in a short time the leading institution in the land." 
Of all the Colonel's innovations, however, the one that attracted 
the most attention and produced the greatest psychological effect upon 
both students and citizens was the requirement that the boys wear uni- 
forms when off the campus and on public occasions. Military drill was 

94 Howard College Bulletin 

not introduced until 1876 ; but such uniforms ! "The buttons," com- 
ments the Marion Commonwealth, "bear a most beautiful and suitable 
device — a cross and crown irradiating a halo of light and glory, with 
'Howard College' in prominent letters around the button. The whole 
costume is in elegant taste and adds wonderfully to the appearance of 
the young gentlemen." How the Judson girls must have opened their 
eyes in admiration ! 

Beginning with 1872, Col. Murfee made a canvass each summer 
for students in different parts of Alabama and Mississippi. Wherever 
he went, he pressed home the argument that Howard College had cer- 
tain points of genuine merit and superiority, to-wit: (1) Its able and 
experienced faculty; (2) the exceeding cheapness of tuition, board, etc., 
and uniform, — the cost for a whole session of nine months being only 
$275; (3) its system of class instruction, by which every student, from 
the youngest to the oldest, was reached in every recitation; (4) its plan 
of rewards and punishment, encouraging emulation and a generous ri- 
valry among good students, and stimulating wholesomely and effectually 
the idle and indifferent; (5) its kind but firm and inflexible, semi- 
military discipline, from which there was no escape but in a faithful, 
manly discharge of scholastic duties, and which perforce develops every- 
thing in the hoy that goes to make up the man. 

And so the years passed in well-nigh uneventful succession. To 
the local public Howard College became "Col. Murfee's school ;" his 
personality permeated the campus ; his "rules" and his "methods" were 
well known and accepted by everybody. When the boys wrote their 
orations and literary essays, they took the result of their effort to the 
Colonel for his criticism and suggestion. The young ministers met the 
Colonel once a week and preached before him a composite sermon. 
One would take the "introduction," one the "proposition," one the 
"first subdivision," one the "second subdivision," etc., one the "con- 
clusion," one the "application to the saved," and one the "application to 
the sinner." The Colonel would listen and give the most illuminating 
and analytical criticisms. At the Chapel exercises the Colonel discussed 
moral and religious questions, brought out the difference between moral 
courage and brute force, and had a way of making his talks stick. 
Naturally the boys came to admire, reverence and fear the Colonel, 
and the tone of the student body in the matter of honesty and morality 
was kept at a pretty high level. 

The year 1876 was the Centennial of the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence. Col. Murfee celebrated it by making several important 
changes in his faculty and curriculum. W. D. Fonville, who had gradu- 

Howard College Studies 95 

ated from the Howard as Valedictorian of the class of '73 took the 
place of George D. Bancroft as Professor of Mathematics. A School 
of Law was added under Judge Powhatan Lockett, of the class of '52, 
as Professor. There was also to be a Commercial School in which Col. 
Murfee was to teach the Art and Science of Accounts ; Professor Dill, 
Penmanship ; and Professor Fonville, Mathematics. A School of Mili- 
tary Art and Science was also established, with Col. Murfee as Professor 
of Strategy and Military Fortifications, and Lieutenant Colonel W. D. 
Fonville Commandant of Cadets and instructor in Tactics. The mili- 
tary school, however, was nothing more than an hour's drill on the 
campus in the late afternoon. 

The Baptist State Convention undertook to celebrate the Centennial 
by raising an endowment of $100,000 for the college. The plan of op- 
eration was simplicity itself. A General Agent and a Central Com- 
mittee, sub-agents and sub-committees, etc., were to be appointed and 
every Baptist in the State was to be approached and asked for $1 as a 
donation to the endowment. The result of the drive is thus described 
by the late Dr. W. B. Crumpton : "It was supposed, of course, that 
many of the wealthy would give their hundreds and thousands, and 
thus make up for the many thousands who we knew would never give 
a cent. The Agent, noble man of God that he was, our lamented 
Brother J. J. D. Renfroe, started out on horseback. To his utter con- 
fusion he discovered in a few days that the rich brethren were tickled 
to death over the idea of getting off with the payment of one dollar. 
Some became generous and gave a dollar each for all their posterity. I 
remember a brother from whom we expected $500 or $L000, rising in 
the meeting after Renfroe's sermon and saying with much enthusiasm 
that we might put him down for $13 — one dollar each for himself, his 
wife, his children and his grandchildren, though some of them were not 
members of the church." 

This was the "inglorious failure of '76." Not enough money was 
collected to pay the expenses of the campaign. 

The Howard was now left in the position of a private school, 
obliged to support itself from tuition fees. In order that they might 
conduct the institution on strictly business principles and give value 
received, the Trustees declared all the old scholarship certificates can- 
celed. Whereupon a certain Matthew Turner, resident near Talladega, 
Alabama, and reported to have been a Methodist preacher, brought suit 
against the corporation to recover damages for the alleged breach of 
an agreement evidenced by a certificate of permanent scholarship issued 

96 Howard College Bulletin 

by the said corporation. It was shown that the said Turner had sub- 
scribed to the endowment fund of Howard College in December, 1859, ' 
executing his five promissory notes, each payable to the Trustees of 
Howard College, in the sum of one hundred dollars. These notes had 
been taken up and discharged — three of the five by the payment of the 
full amount due on them, in Confederate currency, upon the 23rd of 
January, 1863, when the certificate was dated and delivered. The Trus- 
tees contested the suit on the ground that Confederate currency not 
being legal tender in 1876 could not be so considered in 1863 and that 
the Treasurer of the Board was not authorized to accept it as such. 
The case dragged on in the courts for eight years, going to the supreme 
court twice, with the result, as we shall see, that verdict and judgment 
v/ere rendered in favor of Turner for $640. 

On May 13, 1878, the Marion Commonwealth tells us how the 
Judson girls, in a beautiful ceremony, presented to the Howard cadets 
a beautiful banner. "It is made of blue and white silk. On the blue 
side at the top, in gilt letters, is the word 'Howard,' and at the bottom 
the words 'Cadet Corps.' Between them is a large cross and crown, the 
coat of arms of Howard College. The banner hangs from a solid brass 
rod, and its sides are fringed with gold tassel work. Two large tassels 
hang from its corners. Three cheers were then given by the corps for 
the faculty and students of the Judson Female Institute, and wheeling 
into line, they marched on the lawn, proud of the banner which floated 
above them, and thankful to the young ladies for their considerate and 
surely highly appreciated kindness." 

"Military is all the go among us now," wrote a student for publica- 
tion in the local paper. "Some of the cadets love it so well that they 
practise marching up and down the principal walks of the campus for 
an hour or two on Saturdays," But, as every old Howard boy knows, 
this "marching up and down" was not voluntary ; it was extra duty 
imposed on the unfortunate student for violation of some of the Col- 
onel's rules. The proud occasion for marching came on Commencement 
Day, with the Cadet Corps, headed by the Colonel and the Board of 
Trustees, marched, into the Chapel and stacked arms in front of the 
stage, while the audience admired "their manly bearing which reflects 
great credit upon our college." 

In 1879 the Trustees reported: "The money received from pa- 
tronage and other sources, in the use of the most rigid economy, has 
defrayed the current expenses of the college and added over $6,000 to 
the property, in the building of a commodious Dining Hall, buying 
furniture and bedding for the dormitories, and paying a balance of 

Hozvard College Studies 97 

$1,000 due on the President's Mansion, and reduced the old debt to 

$2,600. This is now about the indebtedness of the institution 

The session just closed has been one of the most successful since the 

war We do not appear today asking of you a donation of 

money, but we do ask for your influence and patronage." 

For this measurable degree of succees Col. Murfee alone was not 
due the credit. Behind him stood two sturdy Trustees and stalwart 
Baptists, Dr. W. \V. Wilkerson and Mr. J. B. Lovelace. They had the 
financial ability and the skill necessary to manipulate the meager econo- 
omic resources, and for nearly two decades they were the chief directors 
amid the rocks and shoals of that stormy period. But for their interest 
and skill it is doubtful if the college could have survived. 

Meantime several faculty changes were taking place, which should 
here be mentioned. In June. 1877, Ed. Quin Thornton, the senior 
professor in point of length of service, resigned to accept the professor- 
ship of Natural Science in the new A. & ]\I. College at Auburn, Ala- 
bama, where he died suddenly on May 20, 1878. His place at Howard 
was taken by J. M. Dill, son of Professor T. J. Dill ; but he served only 
two years and was succeeded by W. R. Boggs, Jr., of Virginia. In 
1877 also L. R. Gwaltney, D. D., was appointed Professor of English 
Literature, but after a service of two years he resigned and his profes- 
sorship disappeared with him. In 1878 Professor \V. D. Fonville was 
superseded by Lewis T. Gwathmey, A. M., as Professor of Mathe- 
matics and Modern Languages, and during the same year the School of 
Law disappeared and with it Judge Powhatan Lockett. In 1879 Profes- 
sor I. B. Vaiden was superseded by M. W. Hand, A. B., as Principal 
of the Preparatory Department. Major Vaiden left Howard to estab- 
lish in Marion a private school for boys, which flourished until his 
sudden death in January, 1886. In 1880 \V. G. Hix superseded M. 
W. Hand and was in turn superseded the next year by H. P. McCor- 
mick. In 1881 A. F. Redd superseded W. R. Boggs and A. D. Smith 
superseded Lewis T. Gwathmey. These frequent changes in the fac- 
ulty are indications that the policy of economy practiced by the Presi- 
dent and Trustees was reducing salaries to the margin of subsistence, 
especially for men with families ; but with the coming of Redd and 
Smith a certain degree of stability was attained. 

When the military feature was introduced in 1876. Col. Murfee 
became the Superintendent and Professor W. D. Fonville the Com- 
mandant. The resignation of the latter in 1878 left Col. Murfee hold- 
ing both of these military offices; but the opportune resignation of 

98 Howard College Bulletin 

Professor J. M. Dill opened the way next year for the appointment of 
another Commandant, and Col. W. R. Boggs, of Virginia, the son of 
a distinguished father, was called in to take the place. After Col. Boggs 
came Col. Redd. 

Like Col. Murfee himself, A. F. Redd was a graduate of the 
Virginia Military Institute, and after graduation he served there as an 
instructor. Then he prepared himself for the ministry at the Southern 
Baptist Theological Seminary at Louisville. Afterwards he filled the 
chair of Chemistry in the University of North Carolina for five years, 
and was called thence to Howard College. He was a brilliant man and 
served the college well for six years. In 1887 he resigned to become a 
planter near Marion. Ultimately he became mentally unbalanced, and 
died in the insane asylum at Tuscaloosa. 

A. D. Smith was born on June 30, 1854, on a farm near Marietta, 
Georgia. After attending the schools of his neighborhood, and a cer- 
tain degree of self-instruction, he went to the University of Georgia on, 
a scholarship and entered the sophomore class. He graduated in three 
years with the degree of Civil Engineering. Being in need of imme- 
diate funds, he decided to teach — at least for a while. He was principal 
of an academy at Smyrna for a year, principal of another academy at 
Quitman for two years, then in the Means School in Atlanta. While 
he was teaching in the last named place. Col. Murfee asked President 
Mell, of the University of Georgia, to recommend a good man for the 
chair of Mathematics in Howard College, as Professor Gwathmey was 
ill of typhoid fever and not expected to recover. The good man recom- 
mended was A. D. Smith. "Capt. Smith," wrote Dr. Mell, "is a first 
class mathematician, and a first class man in every respect. Since his 
graduation he has had, for a number of years, experience as a successful 
teacher. He is a man of fine personal appearance and weight of char- 
acter, and withal a military expert. Any institution obtaining his 
service would gain a prize." Professor Smith accepted the position and 
arrived at Marion just as the college was opening for the fall session of 
1881. A year later he married the accomplished daughter of Dr. Mell, 
the man who had recommended him so enthusiastically for the profes- 
sorship. Professor and Mrs. A. D. Smith became thoroughly identified 
with Howard College and served it many years. We shall meet them 
again in the course of this story. 

H. P. McCormick was a Virginian, a graduate of Richmond Col- 
lege, and a minister of the Gospel. He was principal of the prepara- 
tory department in Howard College for the year 1881-82, and then re- 

Howard College Studies 99 

signed to enter the ministry ; but two years later he was back in his old 
position, only to resign again after a year's service to enter the South- 
ern Baptist Seminary at Louisville. Later he went to Mexico as a mis- 
sionary. While at Marion he was a very popular young professor. 

A glimpse of the military feature of the college in the spring of 
1880 may be had from the following extract from the Alabama Baptist : 

"We visited Howard College last week and found all as busy 
as usual. The recitations for the day were over, but the cadet 
corps had gone out on drill, in which they spend one hour every 
afternoon. This department of the college is unusually thorough, 
including both artillery and infantry tactics taught theoretically 
and practically. Week before last the students displayed their 
efficiency in a sham battle, which of course was full of adventure 
and amusing incidents. Last week they were having experience in 
camp life, doing duty in the field, marching like an army, carrying 
their shelter tents on their backs, pitching and striking encamp- 
ments, etc While the military feature of the college is 

very thorough, it is not allowed to interfere wnth studies. No 
military duty is done, except during one hour at the close of the 
afternoon recitations." 
In July, 1881, the Trustees reported: 

"For years past, w^e have been compelled to burden you with 
a report of the indebtedness of the college, created on the faith of 
the old endowment. But now, thanks to an all-wise Providence, 
we are able to report that this indebtedness has been discharged. 
Not only are we able to report that the college is out of debt, but 
while this was being done, the current expenses were met, and some 
$8,000 or $10,000 in new property was added to the institution. 
This has been accomplished by observing the strictest economy, 
and by the fidelity of your Board and of the Faculty. Especially 
has the burden rested upon the Faculty who have faithfully and 
uncomplainingly worked on reduced salaries. This we should not 
expect or desire to do longer." 

In the early eighties, the joint Commencements of the Howard and 
the Judson were brilliant social and intellectual occasions at Marion ; 
visitors from different parts of the State were present, and a good 
time was had by all. The following was the program for the Howard 
Commencement of 1882 : 

100 Howard College Bulletin 

Week Preceding Commencement 

Examinations from 8 to 12 a. m. daily. 

Wednesday, June 7th — Junior Exhibition, at 8 p. m., College 

Friday, June 9th — Address before the Literary Societies, 10 a. m., 
College Chapel, by Col. Eli S. Shorter. 

Saturday morning, June 10th — Freshman Prize Declamation Con- 

Commencement Week 

Sunday, June 11th — Commencement Sermon, 11 a. m.. Baptist 
Church, by Rev. E. J. Forrester. 

Monday, June 12th — Sophomore Prize Declamation, 10 a. m., Col- 
lege Chapel. 

Tuesday, June 13th — Meeting of the Board of Trustees, 8 a. m.. 
Review of Howard Cadet Corps, College Parade 
Grounds, 5 :30 p. m. 

Wednesday, June 14th — Commencement Exercises, 10 a. m. ; Bac- 
calaureate Address by Rev. E. T. Winkler, D. D. ; Alumni 
Address, 8 p. m.. Court House ; Alumni Banquet, 9 p. m., 
at College. 

On June 14, the Marion Standard carried the following comment: 
"Rev. E. J. Forrester preached the Howard and the Judson Commence- 
ment sermon Sunday, to a very large and intelligent audience. The 
Cadets in their bright uniforms, to the number of about 70, and the 
Judson girls, numbering 101, all dressed in pure white, made a beau- 
tiful and imposing sight. We noticed quite a large number of strangers 
in the audience." 

In the Franklin Advocate for June, 1885, the following occurs: 

"On Monday morning, June 8, a large audience assembled in 
the College Chapel to hear the Sophomore prize declamation of 
twenty young men, whose bright faces and satisfied manners in- 
spired the audience at once with the idea that they were masters 
of the task before them. Mr. T. M. Hurt, of Marion, opened up 
with a stirring piece that confirmed the impression already made. 
Mr. A. L. Smith, of Autauga county, followed with the 'Last 
Charge of Ney.' We can but bespeak a great future for Mr. 
Smith. We have not space to comment on each one, but amone 
those who seemed to receive the highest applause from the audi- 
ence were: 'Our Duty to the Republic,' by A. S. J. McNath, of 
Montevallo; 'Death of Leonidas,' by S. Reese, of Marion; 'The 
Last Day of Herculaneum,' by J. W. McCollum. of Dallas county. 
Mr. McCollum enters very largely into the spirit of what he de- 

Howard College Studies 101 

claims and commands the very best attention of his auditors. We 
might very appropriately add that he was the fortunate man to 
wear off the laurels in the Franklin Society Prize Declamation 
'Parrhasius and the Captive,' by T. H. Gunn, of Decatur, was ele- 
gantly delivered. Mr. J. M. Kailin acquitted himself nobly on 
'The Closing Year,' and Mr. J. M. Thomas gave us the 'Hunter's 
Last Ride' in such a lucid manner that we almost saw horse and 
rider sink beneath the fiery billows of burning prairie. The speech 
on 'Vindication,' by E. W. Brock, of Choctaw county, bore off the 
medal. We need not add that his piece was well delivered. Messrs. 
S. V. Woodfin, of Marion, and L. L. Hays, of Jackson county, 
acquitted themselves nobly. After the Declamation was over, the la- 
dies of the audience requested Mr. L. E. Thomas, of Marion, La., 
to favor them with 'Rubenstein,' which he did in such a manner 
that everybody shouted applause loud and prolonged." 
What happened on the evening of June 8 is thus described in the 
same publication : 

"With hearts throbbing with eager expectancy, the Howard 
boys wended their way to the Judson on the night of the 8th, with 
hopes of seeing their 'Judson girls' the first time during the ses- 
sion, and we did see them ; but, as is the case with all earth's pleas- 
ures, we didn't see them long enough. Well, when we reached the 
chapel hall, at about 8 o'clock, there was already assembled a 
goodly crowd, but they kept on coming, and, before the intro- 
ductory exercises were over, the hall, though quite spacious, was 

filled The President of the Institution then invited the 

audience into the art rooms adjoining, which were most richly 
dressed in life-like paintings of every character. Indeed it was a 
splendid display, but we of the Howard (we guess we speak for 
all the boys when we speak for ourself) sought first those living 
pictures that the Faculty have been working on so faithfully, and 
if they could claim these as their display, surely the highest pin- 
nacle of renown would only slander their merits. But nature has 
done the lovely work here, and they have only guarded its treas- 
ures, and for the manner in which they have done this all praise 
would not be sufficient. We might write this paper full of praises 
of the music, art, with the Kindergarten work, and everything that 
goes to make life a thing of happiness surrounded by beauties, but 
'twould no more do it justice than does the feeble expression, 'We 
give them 100 and a credit of 10 for extra work.' " 

102 Howard College Bulletin 

By 1883-84 the number of ministerial students in Howard College 
had increased to 15 or 20. They pursued the same studies and were 
subject to the same discipline as the lay students. Although they 
paid no tuition fees as a general rule, they were required to live in the 
dormitories and to take their meals at the Mess Hall, from which the 
college reaped a small profit. Once a week they were met as a group, 
outside the regular recitation periods, by Col. Murfee and Col. Redd 
and given instruction in sermonizing. This was all the theological train- 
ing that they received. Being for the greater part indigent young men, 
they had to look to the denomination for financial support. 

In 1883 the Convention created a Ministerial Board of Education 
and assigned to it the task of devising means for the care of these 
young men and for increasing their number. During the ensuing year 
this Board exerted itself in a mild way to arouse interest on the subject 
of ministerial education by distributing circulars, by correspondence and 
by publishing articles in the Alabama Baptist, but not much was accom- 
plished. At the next Convention, that of 1884, the personnel of the 
Board was changed, and seven men were appointed on it who were 
expected to bring things to pass. Though not chairman, the most active 
member of the new Board was Dr. D. I. Purser, who had come to 
Birmingham from Mississippi in April, 1883, as pastor of the First 
Baptist Church. What he wanted was the organization of the group of 
ministerial students at Howard College under the supervision and con- 
trol of the Ministerial Board. 

Before college opened in the fall of 1884, Dr. Purser went down 
to Marion and asked Col. Murfee to give the ministerial students a cer- 
tain amount of recognition, that is, to favor them as ministerial students 
— exempt them from military drill, etc. To this end they should be al- 
lowed to live as a special group in a house off the campus. Such an 
arrangement would relieve the young ministers from the expense of 
buying military uniforms, and give the Ministerial Board an oppor- 
tunity to keep a careful check on accounts and possibly to reduce the 
cost of board and room rent for the young brethren. 

This proposition did not please Col. Murfee, and he said so. "Let 
the young brethren stay here in the dormitories," he said, "just as they 
have been doing, and they will be treated exactly right; but they must 
do the things that are here to do." The majority of the local Trustees 
supported the Colonel in the matter, but Judge Porter King, son of 
Gen. E. D. King, an influential trustee, supported the contention of 
Dr. Purser, and, after considerable feeling had been stirred up on the 

Howard College Studies 103 

question, a separate house was rented and the ministerial students moved 
off the campus in 1884. Rev. A. C. Davidson, the local pastor, was en- 
gaged to give instruction to these young ministers as often as his duties 
as pastor would allow. During the year they were also favored with 
lectures by such eminent Baptist preachers as J. J. D. Renfroe, Samuel 
Henderson, W. B. Crumpton, John P. Shaffer, and T. M. Bailey. In 
July, 1885, the ]\Iinisterial Board suggested that, as soon as it could be 
done, a competent minister be made a member of the Howard faculty, 
whose duty it should be, as far as practicable, to give instruction to the 
ministerial students. 

All this seemed to many to be an uncalled-for interference with the 
internal administration of the college and a usurpation of authority 
which properly belonged to the Board of Trustees. Although it was 
not aired much on the floor of the Convention, the question was fought 
out in committee meetings and elsewhere, with the result that in July, 
1886, the Ministerial Board resigned en masse, the ministerial club 
house, after an existence of two years, was given up and the furniture 
sold, and the ministerial students were required to return to the college 
dormitories. Another Alinisterial Board was appointed and its juris- 
diction specifically limited, "so far as their work pertains to Howard 
College, to the raising of funds and the examining and recommending 
of candidates, and arranging with the authorities of Howard College 
for them to secure the benefits of ministerial education." 

Thus Col. Murfee and the local trustees won their point at last, 
but at the cost of alienating a small group of influential and determined 

Of more importance, however, than the quibble over the control of 
ministerial students was the sale of the Howard College property. For 
eight years, and at consideraljle expense, under the advice and with the 
able assistance of such eminent attorneys as John F. Vary of Marion, 
who gave his services gratuitously, Judge W. M. Brooks of Selma, and 
ex-Governor Thomas H. Watts of Montgomery, the Trustees had re- 
sisted the claim of Matthew Turner in the scholarship case mentioned 
on another page. But to no avail. On April 5, 1884, Howard College 
was sold by the sheriff to satisfy the execution in favor of Turner. 
Acting entirely in the capacity of private citizens, two individuals bid 
the property in ; but these two individuals, in their public capacity, 
chanced to be two sturdy Trustees of Howard College, namely, Dr. W. 
W. Wilkerson and Mr. J. B. Lovelace, men who for nearly two de- 
cades had stood valiantly by the coik'ge and refused to lose hope when 

104 Howard College Bulletin 

others despaired. They now had full and unencumbered title to the 
property, with no ancient debts to worry over. In 1886, with the 
public spirit and unselfish purpose, characteristic of them, they dedi- 
cated the property to the Baptist State Convention, which meant that 
that particular property could never again be mortgaged or sold for 
debt or used for other than educational purposes. In return for their 
outlay of money, the donors asked for and received nothing except the 
thanks of the Convention. The Baptists of Alabama were free now to 
endow the college without any fear that old scholarships or other in- 
debtedness would come to light and sweep the endowment away. 

Col. Murfee had now been President of Howard College for fif- 
teen years, and had established an enviable record for efficiency in ad- 
ministration and for moral influence in the community. Encumbered 
with debt in 1871, the college had become, through his wise manage- 
ment and that of the local Trustees, free from debt and self-sustaining. 
By his "rules" and "methods" the quality of instruction had been great- 
ly improved and made equal, if not superior, to that in any other insti- 
tution in the State. He took young men as he found them and lifted 
their thoughts to higher things and to nobler aspirations. At Marion, 
among citizens and students, his was a name to conjure with. But by 
1883, a date which happens to synchronize with the arrival of Dr. D. I. 
Purser in Birmingham, it is easy to detect certain notes of dissatisfac- 
tion with the administration and especially with the imperceptible 
growth of Howard College. In August, 1883, an agitation was started 
through the columns of the Alabama Baptist for the re-establishment 
of the chair of Theology; Dr. E. B. Teague was mentioned as a man 
well fitted for the position ; and the discussion was kept up during much 
of 1884; but the sentiment of the leaders of the denomination was so 
divided that favorable action was never taken. At the same time the 
Ministerial Board was created, which, as we have just seen, tried to 
modify the internal administration of the college. At the same time, 
too, there was a growing sentiment in favor of making another at- 
tempt to raise an endowment, but in certain quarters the conviction was 
expressed that no endowment campaign could ever be successful so 
long as the college remained under the control of "the old crowd" at 
Marion. These notes of dissatisfaction, scarcely articulate at first, 
were soon blended into considerable chorus for the removal of the 
college elsewhere. Fundamentally it was the dissatisfaction of the new 
industrial South with the manners and methods of the old agricultural 
South. The center of power and influence was shifting from the 
Black Belt to the hitherto undeveloped mineral regions of the State. 

Howard College Studies 105 

The Removal and Its Aftermath 

The question of endowment began to be systematically agitated 
during the latter half of 1885. The strong argument was used that 
Auburn and the University were offering free tuition, and the Meth- 
odist university at Greensboro was in the process of being endowed. If 
Howard College was to survive, it must follow suit. 

The opening gun of the campaign was fired by the venerable Sam 
Henderson, who had sat in the Convention of 1841 and was intimately 
acquainted with the struggles of the college from its infancy. Writing 
in the Alabama Baptist, on August 27, 1885, he said : 

"What can be done for Howard College? Shall we let it drift 
and take its chances to live or die without any endowment? Or 
shall we abandon the present location, and seek one where we can 
hope to build it up under happier auspices ? But few, we presume, 
are in favor of the latter alternative, but even that would be better 
than for it to remain as it is. Every sensible man must know. 
with but little reflection, that as things now are, it cannot compete 
with other institutions in the State which are largely endowed, 
and otherwise thoroughly equipped, and with faculties of a dozen 
or fifteen able professors. In competing for patronage, it is simply 
impossible for half a dozen professors to do the work of fifteen 
in the long run no matter how thorough their work. And even if 
this could be realized in fact, the public would be slow to believe 
it. We have been reiterating this for ten years at our Convention, 
and time only serves to deepen the impression. Either we must 
put the college on a firm basis, or it will be overshadowed by the 
endowed institutions of the State." 

The same writer returned to the charge on September 17 with a 
suggestion as to how the thing was possible, and this was followed on 
October 1 by an article from the pen of Rev. Z. D. Roby, of Opelika, 
who suggested a definite plan of campaign. On October 15 a letter 
appeared from Rev. B. F. Riley, of Livingston, urging that the cam- 
paign begin. Then Rev. Joseph Shackleford, in North Alabama, and 
others joined in the chorus. By the time the Convention met in July, 
188G, a strong sentiment in favor of an endowment campaign had thus 
been aroused among the leaders of the denomination. 

The Convention of 188(1 met in Birmingham, a community some 
fifteen years old, which at that time was booming and aspiring to be 

106 Howard College Bulletin 

ere long the Pittsburg of the South. At the appointed time in the ses- 
sion the Trustees of Howard College made their report, of which the 
following is a summary: 108 students in attendance; 14 ministerial. 
"The professors spend six hours a day in the class-room, besides in- 
specting the buildings at night and early morning. All this labor is per- 
formed cheerfully and with interest. In this way the college is getting 
an amount of services from each professor, such as is assigned to two or 

more teachers in most institutions it prevents the mind of the 

teacher from becoming engrossed in outside matters We be- 
lieve the time has come for an effort to be made looking to the endow- 
ment of your college." 

The report of the Trustees was referred to a committee, of which 
Dr. G. A. Nunnally was chairman. In due time the committee made 
its report, commending "this effort at endowment to the support and 
liberality of all Baptist churches in the State." As fast as the clerk 
could record names and amounts, $6,600 was subscribed by the brethren 
present. The appointment of a financial agent to take the field was 
freely discussed, and perhaps something would have become of the 
movement had not a suggestion been sprung from another source. 

At the Saturday afternoon session of the Convention, Rev. E. B. 
Teague, of Wilsonville, known and respected by the brethren for his 
age, scholarship and wisdom, was heard to say: "You must bring the 
Howard to Birmingham. You cannot endow it where it is." At the 
Monday night session he offered the following resolution: 

"That a committee of five be appointed by the President of 
the Convention, with R. H. Sterrett as chairman, and requested to 
confer with the Elyton and Avondale Land Companies and with 
citizens of the city of Birmingham, or either of them, or any other 
land company, or the citizens of any other city within the State 
who may claim to bid for the location, to ascertain whether they 
may be disposed to make any gift or grant to the Baptist Conven- 
tion of the State, looking to the location of a college, provided the 
Convention shall be prepared to place such buildings on any lot or 
lots donated as shall be in keeping with the style and property of 
the city, and to man the college with a corp of instruction of high 
order, and to ascertain whatever other facts may be useful to the 
prospective establishment of such college at such points, and to re- 
port to the next meeting of the Convention." 

Speaking to the resolution. Dr. Teague said he had thought for 
some time that much would be gained by the removal of Howard Col- 

Howard College Studies 107 

lege to Birmingham, a live, stirring city. He favored putting the stu- 
dents to board in private houses rather than in dormitories, and thought 
this a favorable time to get a valuable grant of land and money. 

Dr. M. B. Wharton, of Montgomery, favored the resolution, sug- 
gesting, however, that Montgomery would be a good location, and would 
make a bid for the college. Much was to be gained by having it in a 
larger place than it then was. 

Dr. J. M. Robertson, of Tennessee, favored Birmingham as a good 
point, and spoke of the valuable gifts which might be expected from 
that city. 

Judge Porter King, of Marion, saw no reason why the college 
should be removed. He thought the health of Marion and the moral 
influence of Marion should be prime considerations. 

Dr. J. B. Hawthorne, of Atlanta, and C. C. Huckabee, of Marion, 
endorsed what Judge King said. A motion to table the resolution was 
then made and carried by the narrow margin of 35 to 36. 

On Tuesday morning, Dr. B. F. Riley, of Livingston, moved that 
the resolution be taken from the table. The question of the location of 
Howard College, he said, would not down, and he thought that a com- 
mittee should be appointed to make a full report to the next meeting of 
the Convention, and let the question be determined. Otherwise the 
question would remain unsettled, and would be agitated from year to 
year to the detriment of the college. His motion was carried, and the 
resolution was again placed before the Convention. 

Dr. J. E. Chambliss opposed the appointment of the committee, 
and thought that many things were to be considered more important 
than the amount of money to be gained by a change in location. Dr. 
M. B. Wharton favored the appointment of the committee, and ex- 
pressed the opinion that large cities had many advantages. Rev. B. H. 
Crumpton, though preferring the cotton belt — as his home was there — 
for the location of the college, and though very much attached to Ma- 
rion, thought the committee should be appointed to inquire into the 
matter and report all the facts for the decision of the question the next 
year. Dr. Z. D. Roby thought likewise. Dr. Sam Henderson stated 
that he was on the committee which reported in favor of the removal of 
the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary to Louisville, and had never 
regretted the action. He favored a large city for the location of tlie 
Howard. Dr. J. M. Frost favored the appointment of the committee, 
thinking that a larger town than Marion might offer superior advan- 
tages. Dr. B. Manly, of Louisville, expressed the desire that the Con- 

108 Howard College Bulletin 

vention might remain united and that the college might be strengthened 
in the hearts of the denomination. 

The resolution was adopted and the chair announced as the com- 
mittee, R. H. Sterrett, chairman; E. B. Teague, Porter King, J. E. 
Chambliss, and H. S. D. Mallory. The committee went to work at 
once, and before the final adjournment. Col. Sterrett stated to that 
body that several citizens had promised sums of money to aid the en- 
terprise, many promising as much as $500. Dr. Caldwell, President of 
the Elyton Land Company, said that the land for the buildings and 
grounds would be given. Wealthy men were heard to say upon the 
street cars that the corporations to which they belonged could be counted 
on to give $25,000 for the removal of the college to Birmingham. "Now 
that shows what we are willing to do," exclaimed a Birmingham Bap- 
tist ; "that's the way we do things here ; we never do them by halves." 
On July 25, three days after the adjournment of the Convention 
the Birmingham Sunday Chronicle said editorially : 

"Birmingham wants Howard College and Howard College 
needs Birmingham. 

A new era is upon us and Birmingham is the center of new 
thought in the South. In the long ago it was considered neces- 
sary to isolate the student and also to isolate the school. Men re- 
tired to study. The scholars were a different class of men from 
those who did the business of the world. The scholar was not a 
business man and the business man was not a scholar. All that 
has changed Now, the theory is to give a utilitarian edu- 
cation to fit a man to live among his fellow men. Howard College 
is a college of the present age. Birmingham is a city of today. The 
two seem to be made for each other. It has been as now located in 
a remote village in the prairie section of the State. It would at 
once assume the dimensions and dignity of a great university if 
removed to this city. Our railroad facilities, central position, 
healthful climate, and our cosmopolitan population make this city 
the most desirable location in the State for the college. Here its 
students would meet the men who are doing something. They 
would be among the men with whom they would spend their future 

lives Birmingham will give a location and cash to the 


Dr. D. I. Purser, pastor of the First Church, began an active can- 
vass of the city for pledges to the proposed college, taking down the 
names of the subscribers and the amounts pledged on loose sheets of 

Howard College Studies 109 

paper, old envelopes, and anything else that happened to be convenient. 
At the end of the year Dr. J. J. D. Renfroe and Dr. E. B. Teague 
joined him in the promotion of the enterprise, the former as pastor of 
the Southside Church and the latter as pastor at East Lake, an enter- 
prising suburb six miles out of town. In all circles of the Magic City 
the removal project was discussed, and plans were made for the estab- 
lishment of an immense college, with magnificent buildings and a hand- 
some endowment to begin with. 

Delegates coming home from the Convention of course transferred 
the contest to the Baptist churches throughout the State, where it be- 
came the prevailing topic for the next twelve months. Naturally 
enough, denominational sentiment was divided on the question. The 
secular press of the State became involved and was divided also, region 
against region, as the papers chanced to be published in Northern or 
Southern Alabama. Scarcely was it noticed that Dr. G. A. Nunally 
had been appointed financial agent by the College Trustees and was in 
the field to raise the endowment according to the original plan. He 
soon found the churches so disturbed by the agitation of the removal 
question that he devoted only a part of the year to the work, and re- 
turned to his pastorate at Eufaula. Everything respecting the future 
of the college turned upon the action to be taken by the next Convention 
which was to meet at Union Springs in July, 1887. 

Meantime, Howard College opened at Marion on October 6, 188G, 
with seventy-five matriculates and with the prospect of a hundred be- 
fore the end of the session. During the same year the University had 
200 students and Auburn 185. These figures were to be quoted in the 
Convention as an argument in favor of removal. 

As the day for the next meeting of the Convention drew near, 
feeling became intense, especially at Marion. At the Alumni Banquet, 
in June, 1887, Dr. L. R. Gwaltney, of Shorter College, Rome, Ga., said 
that the removal project seemed to him nothing better than treason. 
This sentiment was heartily applauded, and was re-echoed in the 
speeches of Dr. J. B. Hawthorne, of Atlanta, Col. McKleroy and others 
who were present. 

The late Dr. W. B. Crumpton, in a private conversation, gave the 
writer the following story: "I got a letter from Ben Riley (he was 
pastor at Livingston) telling me that the Birmingham people were going 
in force to the Convention at Union Springs ; that they were going to 
write all over the State and get men favorable to the removal project 
to come as delegates. I called Col. Murfee, Jesse Lovelace, Dr. Wilker- 

110 Howard College Bulletin 

son and Judge Porter King together. We discussed it and decided that 
we could go over to the Convention just as we always had done, without 
doing anything at all — just let the thing go and depend upon the 
justice of our cause to win. The delegates from Birmingham were 
there. You never saw a finer set of fellows in your life. All of them 
had rented stove-pipe hats and long "Jim swingers" for the cocasion, 
and looked like princes. They talked about the great things they were 
going to do. Those poor Baptists who had been bearing the burdens of 
Howard for years had never heard of such things. Purser told of a 
private park that was going to be established there at East Lake, right 
out in front of where Professor Eagles' house now stands, extending 
over the pike, and surrounded by buildings, none of which should cost 
less than $25,000. When they met at the Convention, they saw that 
they would have to cut off debate somehow or other; so they arranged 
with M. B. Wharton, pastor of the First Church of Montgomery, that 
at the proper time he would call the previous question. When they had 
made three or four speeches on that side and maybe one on Marion's 
side, Wharton called the previous question. Wharton was very much 
ashamed of it afterwards." 

"The Convention met," wrote Dr. B. F. Riley six or seven years 
later (Ben Riley, as Dr. Crumpton called him). "Nothing was dis- 
cussed but the college. The State was overwhelmingly represented. 
Birmingham had an immense delegation present. They bore assurances 
of a royal endowment. They invested the future of Howard College 
with the prophetic hues derived from the rosy speculation so rife in the 
Magic City. The promises were in hundreds of thousands of dollars. 
The Convention was fascinated by the dazzling offers made. The 
promises were without limit. It was manifest that the college would 
not aid Birmingham, but Birmingham was longing for an object upon 
which to bestow its munificent offerings. The college was depressed. 
It had been writhing beneath its misfortune through many eventful de- 
cades. Why should it longer do so, when a royal welcome awaited it at 
Birmingham? The vision was as charming as the dream of a caliph. 
The soberest elements of the Convention were aroused." 

On the afternoon of the first day of the session, Friday, July 15, 
the Trustees made their report to the Convention : 

"The number of students in attendance at Howard College 
during the past session was 103. Of these 24 were preparing for 
the ministry. This is the largest number of Theological students 
that has been in attendance during any one session For the 

Howard College Studies 111 

first time in years, we have to report that the income of the college 
has not been sufficient to defray current expenses. The agitation 
of the removal question has so much shaken the confidence of 
many in the perpetuity of the college that many parents and guar- 
dians have been unwilling to enter their sons and wards while this 

question is pending We have now to report a deficit for 

the year of $1,632.29. This amount the Board of Trustees had to 
borrow by giving a lien on the President's house and some other 
property. We ask you at this session to raise this amount to re- 
lieve the incumbrance thus created 

It is no longer necessary to report to you the superior char- 
acter of training and mental culture imparted at Howard College, 
for it has made its impress through its graduates all over the land, 
and it is generally conceded to be the equal of any institution of the 
same high grade. So true is this that whatever may have been 
said, no one has yet undertaken to criticise adversely its work, at 
least for the past fifteen years. On the contrary, commendations of 
it throughout this State and by distinguished educators of colleges 
and universities of other States, are too numerous to mention. If 
we would retain this distinction, and make it what it should be, 
the question of removal must be at once definitely settled, the en- 
dowment move pushed forward, and it must receive the warm sup- 
port of the denomination in patronage and otherwise as it de- 

Dr. Nunnally's report as financial agent showed that he had col- 
lected subscriptions in notes to the amount of $14,000 on permanent en- 
dowment, and his cash receipts amounted to $2,173.97. 
No discussion followed. 

On Saturday morning, July 16, R. H. Sterrett, chairman of the 
committee appointed at the last meeting of the Convention, read the fol- 
lowing report on the location of a college: 

"That the following offers have been made to the Convention 
as donations for the establishment of a Baptist college : 

I. The Bessemer Land and Improvement Company : A choice 
block of ground in Bessemer, Ala., on the A. G. S. R. R., about 
twelve miles west of Birmingham, estimated in value at $10,000. 
and a cash subscription of $10,000. The college to be located in 

II. The North Birmingham Land Company — If buildings 
are erected, and the character of the school established be such as 
is set forth in the said resolutions, to donate to the Convention, as 
a site for the college, twelve acres of land, situated near the 

112 Howard College Bulletin 

Georgia Pacific Railroad, and near the dummy line and near the 
park of the Company, and about three miles north of the city of 
Birmingham, Ala., estimated in value by the donors at $4,000 per 

To this is added the offer of the Lakeside Land Company, to 
establish in or near Birmingham, a Baptist university of high 
order, twenty acres of their land valued by the Company at $500 
per acre, and the subscriptions in money from the citizens of Bir- 
mingham, provided said college is located within six miles of said 
city, the sum of $20,000, making in all, in land and money, an esti- 
mated value of $78,000. 

in. The East Lake Land Company, a donation of sixty acres 
of land at East Lake, a new town, near Ruhama Baptist Church, 
near the dummy line, and near the lake of the Company, and about 
six miles east of Birmingham, in Jones' Valley, for the location 
of a Baptist college thereon, the gift being to the Baptists of Ala- 
bama on condition that they open a school by October 1st, next, 
and that the sum of $50,000 be expended on buildings, within 
eighteen months from date of acceptance. This property is esti- 
mated by those acquainted with its location and value at $85,000. 

To this is added the following donations : 

The Walker Land Company, a donation of fifteen acres of 
land to the Baptists of Alabama for the location of a college on 
condition that the college be located either on the lands of the East 
Lake Land Company, or the adjoining lands of this Company, and 
that the school be opened by October 1st, 1887, and that the sum of 
$50,000 be expended on the college buildings within eighteen 
months from the date of acceptance of such donation. This prop- 
erty is estimated in value by those acquainted with its location and 
value at $15,000. It is situated near the dummy line between 
Woodlawn and East Lake, and is about five miles east of Bir- 
mingham. Also subscriptions from the citizens of East Lake in 
land estimated by those acquainted with its location and value at 

Also the offer of the Lakeside Land Company, in order to 
establish in or near Birmingham a Baptist university of high order, 
twenty acres of its land valued by the company at $500 per acre. 
Also subscriptions from the citizens of Woodlawn in land and 
money estimated by those acquainted with the location of the land 
at $10,000, and the subscriptions in money from the citizens of 
Birmingham, provided said college is located within six miles of 
said city, the sum of $20,000, making a total in land and money 
of an estimated sum of $170,075. 

The foregoing bids are herewith delivered to the Conven- 

Thereupon, the following resolutions were submitted by Rev. M. 

"Resolved, That we gratefully accept the proposition of the 
East Lake Land Company and citizens of Birmingham wherein 

Howard College Studies 113 

they propose to donate $170,075 in real estate and money for the 
removal, establishment and endowment of what is known as 'How- 
ard College,' said institution to be owned, controlled and fostered 
by the Baptist Convention of the State of Alabama, provided that 
the offer made shall be found, upon investigation, to be substan- 
tially what it is represented to be in the report of the committee 
appointed at the last Convention. 

Resolved, That a Prudential Committee, composed of Jon- 
athan Haralson, Samuel Henderson, J. M. Frost, G. A. Loftin, G. 
A. Nunnally, B. F. Riley, Z. D. Roby, J. A. Howard, L. W. Law- 
ler, W. C. Cleveland, J. P. Shaffer, M. B. Wharton and T. G. 
Bush, be appointed to visit Birmingham during the present month 
for the purpose of ascertaining the value of the offer made, with 
full power to act in approving or rejecting the same, and in case 
of approval, the said committee shall arrange for the opening of 
the institution there on October 1st next with the faculty as at 
present constituted at Marion. The Committee shall report the 
result of their labors through the Alabama Baptist and other lead- 
ing papers. 

Resolved, That in case the Committee decide favorably as to 
the proposition made it, it be instructed to apply to the next Legis- 
lature for such amendments to the charter of Howard College as 
may be necessary. 

Hon. T. G. Bush offered a proviso as follows: 
"Provided further, that if the Committee decide that the in- 
ducements, in accordance with the instructions, are sufficient to 
justify the removal of Howard College, they shall be authorized to 
entertain a proposition from the same or any other place offering 
equal inducements and advantages and act upon them." 
These resolutions and the proviso were discussed by J. C. Wright, 
T. G. Bush, D. I. Purser, W. E. Lloyd, B. H. Crumpton, J. P. Hub- 
bard, J. A. Howard, E. A. Stone, G. A. Lofton, J. O. Hixson, G. T. 
Lee, F. C. Plaster, when the hour of adjournment having arrived, on 
motion, further consideration was suspended until three o'clock. 

At the afternoon session the following communication from Rev. 
E. T. Smyth was read : 

"Dear Brethren: — If in the wisdom of the Convention it is 
decided to remove Howard College from Marion to some other 
point in the State, it is thought that Anniston furnishes more ad- 
vantages and fewer objections for the location of the college than 
any other point in the vState ; and as an inducement for its location 
in Anniston, provided it is resolved to remove it, I am authorized 
to offer $15,000 in money and twenty acres of land in the cor- 
porate limits of the city, less than one-half mile from the center 
of the city and beautifully located. This land can be sold for 
$2,000 per acre at the present time. This offer is an absolute gift, 
with the privilege of selling whatever is not needed for the college 
and other necessary buildings. Ten acres of this land can be sold 

114 Howard College Bulletin 

for $20,000. This amount, added to the $15,000 in money, would 
f u -nish buildings worth $35,000, located on a plot of ten acres of 
land beautifully located in the city. 

In addition to this, one hundred acres of land can be procured 
as an endowment for the college by gift within three miles of the 
city. This land is beautifully located, and would be very valuable 
to the college as the nucleus of an endowment. 

We respectfully suggest that if it is resolved to remove the 
college that a committee be appointed representing every part of 
the State, no member of the committee to be from the communities 
bidding for the college, to visit the communities bidding for the 
college and thiroughly investigate, first, the location and value of 
the gifts to the college ; secondly, the water and health of the loca- 
tion and surroundings ; thirdly, the morals of the city ; and fourthly, 
the accessibility and probabilities of local patronage." 

The discussion was then resumed and participated in by C. Smith, 
A. B. Johnston, C. C. Huckabee, B. H. Crumpton, L. W. Lawler, when 
the Convention adjourned for the afternoon with the subject still 

At the evening session, the speeches, by motion, were limited to 
ten minutes, and the discussion v/as continued by L. W. Lawler, M. B. 
Wharton, E. B. Teague, J. P. Hubbard, when the resolutions as stated 
above were adopted. 

The nature of the discussion is thus described by Dr. B. F. Riley, 
who was present and heard what was said : "The first question was, 
'Shall the college be removed?' Several considerations were urged 
against Marion. The college had not flourished there for years. It 
being an old town, many of its best and wealthiest citizens had removed 
to more thrifty centers. Students from North Alabama could not be 
induced to come so far south. The tendency of all colleges was toward 
the centers of population and influence. It was a town located in the 
Black Belt, and invested by an immense population of negroes. All 
efforts to expel the drinking saloons from Marion had been in vain. 
These considerations were vigorously and efficaciously pressed by 
those favoring the removal of the college. 

"In the whirl of excitement which prevailed, the Convention failed 
to weigh with deliberation the offers made, and listened to the rosy sug- 
gestions and hints which came thick and fast. From these it was in- 
ferred and assumed that Birmingham would erect the buildings of the 
college, when the stipulations provided that others should do so. It 
was further assumed and boldly proclaimed that the contributions would 
vastly exceed those already made. Rev. D. I. Purser stated in a brief 
speech that he had never seen such readiness to subscribe as was mani- 

Hotvard College Studies 115 

fested on the part of the people of Birmingham, and he beheved that 
the amount could have been easily doubled had the canvass been prose- 
cuted a little further. This was emphatically endorsed by Dr. Renfroe. 
Dr. Henderson believed that the city of Birmingham would promptly 
erect the buildings, and eventually endow the college. Capt. A. B. 
Johnston warned the Convention against precipitate action, and though 
a citizen of Birmingham, he insisted that the values named were ficti- 
tious. The Convention was swept by the storm of excitement such as 
it has rarely experienced. The tide of discussion surged to and fro, 
and finally a vote was reached." 

The vote for removal was unofficially stated as 113 to 58. At the 
Monday afternoon session, Col. C. C. Huckabee, of Anniston, but for- 
merly of Marion, in a feeling and telling speech, made a motion as rep- 
resenting the minority, to make the action of the Convention in remov- 
ing Howard College unanimous. His motion was carried amid great 
enthusiasm and good feeling. At the same afternoon session, a com- 
mittee, consisting of H. S. D. Mallory, H. A. Haralson and J. M. Frost, 
was appointed by the Convention to meet and confer with Dr. Wilker- 
son and Mr. Lovelace to make surrender and transfer of the college 
property at Marion which they had a year before dedicated to the Con- 
vention, thereby recognizing their legal right to the property. 

The Prudential Committee, it will be recalled, had less than two 
weeks to decide on a location for the college. Before leaving Union 
Springs the thirteen members composing the committee held their first 
meeting and organized by the election of M. B. Wharton as chairman 
and B. F. Riley as secretary. By appointment they met again in the 
parlor of the Wilson House, in Birmingham, on July 26. The follow- 
ing morning they visited East Lake to investigate the property offered 
by the East Lake Land Company. There they were met by Robert 
Jemison, president of the company, and conducted over the property. 
At midday they were given a sumptuous repast by the ladies and citi- 
zens of the place, under the shade trees in front of the old Ruhama 
church. After describing the festive scene, the reporter for the Weekly 
Iron Age thus continues: "The site tendered by President Jemison 
embraces the old Ruhama Academy, with ten acres of beautiful land 
admirably adapted for a campus, and adjacent fifty-three acres more, 
worth, if the college is located on the ten acres, $3,000 per acre. That 
whole-souled, big-bodied Baptist and bold real estate man. Billy \'ann, 
arose in meeting and in stentorian tones offered out of his own plethoric 
pocket $53,000 cash for the fifty-three acres ; but a knowing member 

116 Howard College Bulletin 

of the *P. C replied that Brother Vann would have to ante up that 
much more." 

Having put themselves in possession of all information possible 
concerning the lands at East Lake, their location and estimated value, 
and examined the subscriptions offered, the committee repaired to An- 
niston, where they were likewise royally entertained and conducted over 
the property there. A day thus spent in the beautiful mountain town 
gave the committee ample time to reflect upon the merits of each place. 
At the close of the day the sentiment of the committee was tested and, 
by a vote of ten to three, East Lake was chosen as the future location of 
Howard College. A sub-committee was then appointed, composed in 
part of prominent brethren of Birmingham and in part of members of 
the Prudential Committee, to secure the deeds to the property donated 
and collect cash subscriptions, secure notes for the deferred payments, to 
erect temporary buildings for the use of the faculty and students, to su- 
perintend the removal of the college property from Marion, and to make 
all necessary arrangements for the opening of the college on October 1. 
Then the Prudential Committee adjourned to meet again on October 4, 
at the college, to hear the report of the sub-committee. 

On being notified of their retention, all the members of the faculty 
signified their intention to remove with the college — except Col. Murfee. 

"Col. J. T. Murfee, President of Howard College," we read in the 
Marion Standard of July 27, "has decided not to go with the college to 
Birmingham, but will remain in Marion. The Howard College build- 
ings here have been turned over to him for educational purposes, and he 
will employ an able faculty and open on October 1 a school of high or- 
der, to be known as the Marion Military Institute. The same distinctive 
feature of mental and moral training introduced by him and employed 
in Howard College for sixteen years will be continued. His name at 
the head is a guarantee that the work will be thorough and practical. 
This Marion Military Institute will be an academy, like those so cele- 
brated in Virginia and the other older States, and for which there is 
now arising a demand in Alabama. They differ from the mixed high 
schools throughout the country. They employ instructors of the same 
grade as those of the best colleges. They have made pupils only, and 
have a large teaching force in proportion to the number of pupils. 
They have a full college course of studies as far as through the Junior 
Class " 

The Alabama Baptist for August 18 carried the following an- 
nouncement : 

Howard College Studies 117 

Marion Military Institute 

In Old Howard Buildings 

Marion, Ala., Aug. 5, '87 
To My Old Student Friends : 

These halls so dear to us all have been turned over to me for 
educational purposes ; and I shall continue in them the same system 
of discipline and methods of instruction which I introduced in 

I shall aim to train other young men as you were trained, and 
to make them like you in character, popularity and usefulness. The 
memory of your good deeds shall be preserved, and your worthy 
examples held up as models for your successors. 

The hearts of the good people of Marion will ever be with 
you ; and we hope you may often be inclined to revisit the old 
college home — the scenes amid which you developed those elements 
of character which have been the foundation of your success and 
happiness. You will find here open doors and a warm welcome — 
in the town and at the school. 

Whenever an opportunity occurs, I shall rejoice to assist in 
extending your influence and promoting your welfare. 

Ever Your Friend, 

Before the end of August, Col. Murfee had secured the services 
of William Garrott Brown, first honor man of the class of '86, to assist 
him in the Military Institute. Brown was a Marion boy, at that time 
eighteen years old. He was destined a few years later to make a fine 
record as graduate student and instructor in Harvard University, and to 
become an author of considerable note. He died in October, 1913. 
Howard College still puts him high on her list of distinguished grad- 

Marion Military Institute opened on October 1, 1888, with more 
students than were expected, and W. H. Caffey, of the class of '87, 
was added to the teaching force and given the command of the Cadet 
Corps. At the close of the session, in June, 1888, the Commencement 
exercises were declared equal to those of previous years. Thus the M. 
M. I. started on its career of usefulness. 

The feeling at Marion and in South Alabama over the removal of 
the college may best be illustrated by a few excerpts from local news- 
papers. Thus the Marion Standard of July 20, 1887, has this to say: 
"A great act of injustice has been done the Baptists of Ma- 
rion, who have so long and so faithfully worked to sustain the col- 
lege, when the Baptists of North Alabama were doing nothing. 

In discussing the removal of the college we are informed that 

118 Howard College Bulletin 

Dr. Wharton, of Montgomery, slandered Marion outrageously, 
making us out a town of drunkards and a very immoral community 

A minister of the Gospel should not allow his zeal to 

cause him to misrepresent one of the most temperate, moral and 
refined towns in the South. If another school is established in 
its place, Marion will not be injured a particle by the removal of 
Howard College." 
A week later the same paper continues : 

"The removal of Howard College from this place, instead of 
being a calamity as some seem to regard it, will prove a blessing in 
disguise. The buildings and all of their fixtures still remain and, 
as private property of two of our best citizens, will be put to a good 
use. We prophesy that Dr. Wharton in his slanderous speech 
against Marion will find that he overshot his mark and that he has 
aroused a bitter feeling that cannot be removed." 
Again, a week later : 

"The location of Howard College has been decided upon, and 
its location will not be at all satisfactory to South Alabama. We 
are informed that a new school will be opened in the old college 
buildings, and we hope that every friend of the new institution will 
put his shoulder to the wheel to make it a success." 
During the first week of August, the Montgomery Dispatch : 

"It is hoped the Howard in its new location and under new 
auspices will maintain its high standing among the colleges of the 
country, and that in all respects the results will justify the change 
that has been made ; but ill feelings have been engendered among 
friends, and for a time, at least, it will not have the earnest and 
cordial support of some who have heretofore labored most zealously 
and unceasingly, in season and out of season, in its behalf. It is 
not to be credited that any improper influence was brought to bear 
to determine its new location. The Christian character of the 
gentlemen selected by the Convention to make the location forbids 
any imputation upon their integrity or good faith. That such 
charges have been made has significance only as indicating bad 
temper, disappointment, dissatisfaction and resentment. To the 
extent these prevail, the prospects of the college are clouded ; but 
the causes that alienate the affections of old friends will operate 
to secure the attachment of others, and, mayhap, the loss of one 
will be the gaining of a dozen 

It saddens one to see a great school, or other institution, church 

Howard College Studies 119 

or state, theological or political, sold to the highest bidder; for in 
such a sale, no matter how conscientiously conducted, it can hardly 
happen that too much weight is not given to the pecuniary consid- 
eration, which, after all, and no matter how important, ought to be 
subordinate to considerations concerning the moral and physical 
well-being of those for whose benefit it is instituted and estab- 
lished, and who are to occupy and use it." 

Probably this excerpt from the Pollard Standard Gauge best sums 
up the prevailing sentiment in temperate language: 

"The removal of Howard College from Marion to Birming- 
ham does not meet with the approval of a large majority of its 

patrons or admirers in this section of the State 

Howard College may go to Birmingham, but the glory of its 
past will still hover around Marion." 

As may be seen from these excerpts, there was a general feeling 
in South Alabama that a great act of injustice had been done. Apropos 
of this situation, the late Dr. W. B. Crumpton, who was resident at 
Marion at the time of the removal, said to the writer in a private con- 
versation : "If it had not been for the level-headed Christian men at 
Marion, there would have been a split in the denomination. But Col. 
Murfee, Jesse Lovelace and Dr. Wilkerson, three of the greatest men 
we ever had, said, 'No, no,' and so I, and a great many others, began to 
agitate the question of supporting the college in its new location and did 
all we could. For a while, though, it looked like South Alabama was 
going to secede. When the Convention was going to meet at Selma, 
in July, 1889, D. I. Purser had conducted himself in such a way that a 
great many people were hard on him. He was an enthusiastic fellow, 
though, hale-fellow-well-met with everybody, a good talker and good 
campaigner. The question was raised, 'What are we going to do?' 
We had the second day over at the Judson. Came back to Selma that 
night, and the Howard question was up. Purser made his speech and 
his appeal, and I don't know who else talked, but, anyhow, he raised 
$14,000, and nearly all of it was from South Alabama. That settled it. 
There has never been any more talk of secession." 

Meanwhile Howard College had been removed to ICast Lake. Hav- 
ing received notification of the choice of location made by the Pruden- 
tial Committee, the Trustees of the College met for organization, on 
August 10, 1887. in the lecture room of the First Church, Birmingham. 
In the absence of the president, Dr. W. W. Wilkerson, Capt. W. C. 
Ward, an eminent lawyer and stalwart Baptist recently come to the city, 
was called to the chair, and Col. R. H. Sterrett was appointed secretary. 

120 Howard College Bulletin 

All of the old faculty were formally elected as members of the new 
faculty, except Col. Murfee, who had resigned. Dr. Thomas J. Dill, 
Professor of Latin and Greek, was made dean of the faculty pro tern. 
Professor Robert Judson Waldrop, Principal of the Ruhama Academy, 
was now added to the faculty, and the degree of A. B. conferred upon 
him by the Trustees. The necsesary arrangements were made for the 
erection of suitable temporary buildings upon the grounds at East Lake 
and for the opening of the college on October 1 ; and an executive 
committee, consisting of W. C. Ward, R. H. Sterrett, Rev. J. J. D. Ren- 
f roe, and Dr. Dill, was appointed to transact for the Trustees such busi- 
ness as might be necessary in organizing the college. Rev. D. L Purser 
and N. F. Miles were appointed as a committee to collect the subscrip- 
tions given in Jefferson county to the college. Professor R. J. Wal- 
drop, Rev. D. L Purser, H. H. Brown, W. H. Wood, and Dr. Dill 
were appointed as a building committee. The executive committee was 
authorized to issue circulars, advertise through the press, and make all 
necessary arrangements for board, room rent, etc., for the students. 
On motion the Board then adjourned to meet again with the Prudential 
Committee at the college on October 4. 

The first task of the Trustees was to secure deeds to the property 
donated. To their chagrin, they found that the lots fronting on Under- 
wood Avenue had not been included in the donation, and the best that 
could be done for the time being was to take an option on these lots. 
Likewise Dr. Purser's subscription committee was having troubles of 
its own. The pledges had never been put in legal form, but merely jotted 
down as memoranda on loose sheets of paper, old envelopes, etc., and 
now subscribers showed a marked indifference toward keeping their 
promises to pay. The real estate boom was subsiding and financial 
stringency developing. 

The building committee, however, proceeded in great haste to erect 
the temporary buildings, and within six or eight weeks had completed 
the task. Among the old field pines and underbrush, on the site now 
occupied by Renfroe Hall, a huge two-story frame structure was 
erected, containing thirty-seven rooms, to serve as dormitory and mess 
hall. Directly across the campus, near the place where Montague Hall 
now stands, was erected a smaller two-story frame building, containing 
four or five recitation rooms upstairs and a chapel and president's office 
downstairs. This was called euphemistically the administration build- 
ing. Twenty or thirty steps northwest of the administration 
building stood the old building of the Ruhama Academy, the ownership 

Howard College Studies 121 

of which was at first, curiously enough, in dispute. In front of the 
academy building, running diagonally across the new campus from the 
west wing of the present Science Hall to the western end of Renfroe 
Hall, was an old road bed, which dropped below the level of the sur- 
rounding surface some three or four feet. Between this old road and 
Underwood Avenue was a considerable hillock sloping off toward the 
north into a frog pond. Such was the new site being prepared for 
Howard College in the summer of 1887, 

Outside the campus the village of East Lake had not yet shed 
the habilaments of a rural community. Though the artificial lake had 
already been excavated and the water impounded, the pavilion built 
and the park laid off, the new subdivision of the East Lake Land 
Company was hardly visible on the surface of the countryside. Under- 
wood Avenue was nothing more than a new country road ; between 
Underwood and First Avenue, Eightieth Street, then called Twelfth 
Street, had not been cleared of tree stumps ; and the only other street 
opened up was Seventy-Seventh, then called Ninth Street, which ran up 
from the station on the dummy line to Underwood Avenue, near Ru- 
hama church. Under the influence of the real estate boom, the brethren 
of Ruhama church had just completed, in 1886, a new church building, 
which stood in all its painted glory facing Underwood Avenue, and had 
called the wise and scholarly old Dr. E. B. Teague up from Wilsonville 
to be their pastor. This old church building still stands, sad and dilap- 
idated, though full of pleasant memories for the old Howard boys of 
the nineties and later. The membership deserted it in 192G for the com- 
modious brick building further up the avenue. 

The village communicated with the city, or was about to communi- 
cate with the city, by means of a dummy line along First Avenue. 
Every hour regular "puffing Billies" drew trains of small passenger 
coaches over the six mile stretch of ponds and woods from Birmingham 
to Ruhama Station, and thence on to the lake. The fare was five cents. 
The passenger descended to find no streets or sidewalks, just dirt roads 
and cow paths. The campus of the college sadly needed a board fence 
to keep off the cows and the pigs. 

The Ruhama Academy was established before the Civil War by 
the Canaan Baptist Association, and was probably older than Howard 
College itself. When the East Lake Land Company came with its sub- 
division, Robert J. Waldrop was principal of the academy and had es- 
tablished an enviable local reputation as an educator and manager of 
the boys. In August, 1887, he was added to the faculty of Howard 

122 Howard College Bulletin 

College, as we have seen, and no mistake was made by the addition. 
His sunny disposition, his fine Christian character, his forceful per- 
sonality, and his native wisdom, all united to make him the greatest 
teacher of youth the writer ever met. When the old Howard boys 
have forgotten all else learned in college, they will remember "Big Jud", 
as they affectionately called Professor Waldrop, and his noisy instruc- 
tion, his pointed jokes and repartees, and his fine personality. 

As soon as possible, the apparatus and equipment, and other mov- 
able property belonging to the college, were brought up from Marion 
and temporarily stored wherever space could be found. The great 
thousand-dollar telescope, over the possession of which Professor Noah 
K. Davis rejoiced in 1857, lay dismounted in Professor A. D. Smith's 
class room for years, until some one stole the lens and the rest of the 
instrument was eventually cast away as junk. The old civil war mus- 
kets, which Governor Houston had given to the college, were among 
the plunder, to be used again for military drill on the new campus, and 
the beautiful silk banner which the Judson girls gave to the Cadet Corps 
in 1878 was again to flutter in the breeze over a new terrain. Books, 
pictures and furniture came up in boxes or in crates. The portrait of 
Samuel S. Sherman, the first president of the college, which had been 
painted in 1886 and just received by Col. Murfee was, of course, 
brought along, too, and was eventually to find its place in the new How- 
ard College chapel, where it hangs today. Many of the old books, 
dusty, mouldy, and mutilated, may still be seen, if one chooses, in a 
separate collection on the shelves of the present library of the college. 
The old manuscript roll book, containing the names of all the students 
registered in the college from its beginning, has been preserved, be- 
cause it was in current use after the removal ; but what became of the 
other manuscript records — the minutes of the two literary societies and 
the minutes of the Board of Trustees — no one knows. In the general 
mix-up, they were probably one day swept into the junk heap. 

The college opened at its new location on October 3, 1887. At 
the first chapel exercises, about 65 students were in attendance and 85 
were enrolled during the day. All boys over ten years of age were 
admitted to the preparatory department, and all those over fourteen, 
who were competent, were admitted to the college classes. The two 
ranking professors were Dr. Thos. J. Dill and Professor A. D. Smith, 
the former having been on the faculty since 1869 and the latter since 
1881. Rev. B. F. Giles, of the class of '82, had already taught one year 
in the college at Marion as principal of the preparatory department, and 

Hozvard College Studies 123 

this position he now retained. Professor George W. Alacon, of the 
class of '84, had been elected in June, before the removal question was 
decided, as the successor of Col. Redd. He was to begin his professor- 
ship in the new location, with the title of Colonel by virtue of his posi- 
tion as commandant of the cadet corps. Professor Waldrop was to 
teach the lower branches of Mathematics. 

Many of the students followed the college from Marion, and many 
others came in to register for the first time. Though a few small boys 
came in from East Lake, the Birmingham patronage was all but nil. 
For the most part, the students were country boys, unused to the con- 
veniences of city life, and as a consequence they found the physical 
environment of the college and their society with each other not un- 
congenial. The absence of electric lights, lavatories, bathtubs, and fur- 
nace heating was not noticed, for these things were absent from their 
homes. An inch pipe brought water from a spring far up the moun- 
tainside, and a couple of hydrants stood ready at convenient points on 
the campus to fill the student's empty pail any time he cared for water. 
Kerosene lamps of various sizes and shapes furnished light in the 
rooms at night. To most of the students, greater conveniences would 
have been strange, bizarre, even embarrassing. 

On October 4, pursuant to adjournment, the Prudential Committee 
and the Board of Trustees met at the college to hear the reports of the 
local committees. To the profound surprise of the brethren who had 
come in from different parts of the State, Dr. D. I. Purser and other 
local brethren argued against the immediate erection of permanent build- 
ings, and urged that the existing ones would do for years to come. 
"It was now clearly manifest," writes Dr. B. F. Riley, one of the actors 
in the scene, "that a change had come over the dreams of those who 
were the most vociferous for removal. The tones that rang loudest 
at Union Springs the preceding July had now lapsed into a strange and 
suggestive silence. Now that the college was removed, the visions of 
grandeur had vanished. Those who talked most of 'magnificent build- 
ings becoming a great college' now spoke of some of the European uni- 
versities being domiciled in a few insignificant buildings. Dr. Hender- 
son insisted that it would be better to put money into lirains than into 
bricks, and told an illustrative anecdote of how he had spent his first 
money for a pocket book and had nothing left to put into it. Rev. J, P. 
Shaffer was very pronounced in saying in a deprecatory tone, 'Well, 
if I had known that we were not to have buildings, I should never have 
voted for removal.' 

134 Howard College Bulletin 

"A change had come over the spirit of the dreams of Birmingham. 
The college had reached the city at a most inopportune time — just as the 
bubble had burst. The hubbub which reigned for many months was 
lapsing into the quiet of the graveyard. A strange stillness filled the 

To Dr. Purser more than to any other man the removal of the col- 
lege was due. He was now asked by the Trustees to take the field as 
financial agent and raise money for the college, but he declined to do 
so. After months of delay and discussion, Rev. John P. Shaffer, of 
Roanoke, Alabama, one of the lesser lights of the denomination, took 
the field as financial agent on January 1, 1888. Born in 1841, Mr. 
Shaffer was ordained at the request of the church at Lineville, Ala- 
bama, in 1863, and at once entered upon his ministry. He founded the 
Lineville Academy in 1868 and organized Roanoke College in 1875, 
and for ten years was president of the latter. According to those who 
urged him for this difficult and delicate position, he was a man whose 
financial ability would equal such a crisis as now confronted Howard 

The new financial agent was embarrassed to find that confidence 
in the success of the college had greatly declined, even in Birmingham. 
Many of those who had been most active in the removal of the college 
now treated with icy indifference the efforts of Mr. Shaffer to enlist 
aid and sympathy in behalf of his work. He found it even difficult 
to raise sufficient money to tide the college over the current year. 
Dr. J. J. D. Renfroe and a few others were faithful and steadfast, but 
they were exceptional. 

Of a determined spirit, and aware of the expectations which had 
been aroused, Mr. Shaffer resolved in May, 1888, to call on the Bir- 
mingham Baptists to show their true colors. So a great rally was 
announced for the fourth Sunday of that month in Dr. Purser's 
church. What happened is thus described in the Alabama Baptist for 
May 31 : 

"Bro. Shaffer stated that Bro. R. H. Sterrett had been re- 
quested to state the condition of affairs, what promises Birming- 
ham through her representatives had made to the denomination 
and just what they lacked of fulfilling those promises; but sick- 
ness prevented the appointee from being present and Bro. Ren- 
froe had consented to make a statement for him. 

"It was apparent from the beginning of Bro. Renfroe's re- 
marks that he was quite unwell, and before he had proceeded far 

Howard College Studies 125 

had to be helped to a chair, from which after a moment's rest he 
completed his earnest talk. Briefly the speaker reviewed the mar- 
velous career of Howard College at Marion for forty-seven years, 
told how it had grown into the hearts of the Baptists of Alabama ; 
reminded his hearers that the subject of removal was first dis- 
cussed in Birmingham in July, 1886, and that so strong an effort 
did the city put forth, such flattering promises did she make, that 
she swept the field before every other competitor, that her offer 
of $200,000— $60,000 in cash and the balance in land— decided 
the Prudential Committee to select East Lake as a location rather 
than Anniston's liberal offer. The landed part of the promise 
was all right. 'We made as fair a promise to give $60,000 in 
cash', he said, 'as a man ever offered $125 for a horse.' He 
passed a noble eulogy upon the young men who had been so loyal 
to the college as to put up with inconveniences, and who were 
still willing to stand by the college as long as there was any hope. 

"His closing words were uttered with all the energy his feeble 
condition would admit. 'Back of this interest is a great denomi- 
nation, and this college is their educational idol, and it is my 
opinion that unless something is done speedily to fulfill our prom- 
ises this great denomination will turn in disgust from us.' 

"Bro. B. F. Riley, on behalf of the Prudential Committee, 
stated that the two strongest points which influenced the location 
of the college at East Lake were the greatness of Birmingham 
and the knowledge of the fact that she never failed in any par- 
ticular in carrying to success enterprises to which she set her 

"Bro. Shaffer's speech was a very solemn one. He asked 
the people to come to the rescue of a great Christian college. His 
hands had been tied since the first of January, and never freer 
hands were tied. Their promises to build and equip the college 
without calling on the denomination outside the Magic City had 
walled him in, and it would have been cowardly for him to have 
attempted to scale those walls. Birmingham stood successfully at 
the Convention, and it was now to be seen whether she still stood 
as a great city of influence. There were no 'ifs' and *ands' in 
their promises, but they said that they would furnish buildings. 
He did not appear as a critic of Birmingham ; she was still, mid 
all her misfortunes, the first city of the State; but whether she 
proposed to be the great center of education, of Christian thought, 

126 Hozvard College Bulletin 

remained to be seen. His hands had been tied as long as they 
could be, and now, cloud or no cloud, they must be released. 
Unless the help of Birmingham was given, the college was lost 
to them and lost to everybody else. He greatly praised the loca- 
tion of the college for both secular and ministerial students. We 
owe it to our college boys to give them a building, to put them 
in position to know how to meet the criticisms of the friends at 
home. He said if he could get the support of the college boys, he 
could be successful against any odds ; but we can't afford to ask 
the boys to put themselves forever in temporary quarters, or ex- 
pect them to be loyal to us who ourselves are not loyal. 

"In calling for contributions. Mr. Shaffer stated that he 
wanted no half notes. If they did not mean to give, he did not 
want their promises. He desired notes made payable at either of 
the banks. The contributions were to be given in three payments 
— 15th June, 15th September, 15th December. The time con- 
sumed in calling for money was most painful to those who had 
the college at all at heart. We sat among the cadets, and they 
with bated breath watched the progress of affairs. Five men 
or women were asked to give $1,000 each. The East Lake Land 
Company was the only one to respond. Then $500 was asked 
for and then $250, and no one said aye, until $100 was requested, 
when the speaker requested Eugene Enslen, the secretary, to put 
down $100 for Professor R. J. Waldrop. $50, $25, and $10 
were successively asked for and no one answered. At the sug- 
gestion of Bro. W. C. Ward, those who had already subscribed 
were asked to rise. Then somebody proposed a hat collection. 
After the battle was over, it was ascertained that $1,880 had 
been subscribed." 

The end of this day's business broke the heart of Dr. J. J. D. 
Renfroe, who retired to his sick bed never to rise again. 

In June, 1888, the first Commencement of Howard College in 
its new location was held at the pavilion, which still stands, on the 
border of East Lake. Seven young men received diplomas of gradua- 
tion. During the exercises of Commencement Day, Dr. M. B. Whar- 
ton exhibited to the audience a drawing of the proposed main building 
of the college, which was to be pushed to immediate completion at a 
cost of $50,000. The Trustees, at their meeting held some time dur- 
ing the week, elected Dr. John L. Johnson, Professor of English in 
the University of Mississippi, as President of Howard College. 
Whether he would accept the place or not remained to be seen. 

Hozvard College Studies 137 

The most important business before the Convention which met 
at Talladega in July was of course the condition of the college. On the 
afternoon of the first day of the session, Mr. Shaffer's report was 
read and found most enlightening. When he took office, he said: 

"The money subscriptions at my command amounted to 
$27,100, and payable in equal installments September 1st, 1887, 
September 1st, 1888, September 1st, 1889. The money subscrip- 
tion was less than I had supposed it was, and than it was gener- 
ally understood to be throughout the State. I find the discrep- 
ancy between general understanding and the actual facts as to 
the amount of the subscription comes mainly from receiving lands, 
and not money, on certain subscriptions which the Prudential 
Committee understood and reported as money subscriptions. This 
misunderstanding was very unfortunate, and gave birth to a vast 
amount of misunderstanding of the real situation throughout the 
State, making it appear that the proposition and promises of Bir- 
mingham were false, and had not been complied with. * * * 
After carefully investigating the financial condition of those from 
whom I could expect further subscriptions, I decided that it was 
not wise to make an attempt to enlarge our money subscription. 
* * * The East Lake and Walker Companies have granted 
us an extension of eighteen months in which to execute our orig- 
inal promise to erect $50,000 worth of buildings on the property 
donated to us. * * * j find that the city and community of Bir- 
mingham are warmer and firmer in their friendship for the college 
than ever before, and determined not only to fulfill the original 
promise of Birmingham and community — time excepted — but to 
more than do so." 

On motion, this report and the report of the Board of Trustees 
were referred to a committee of thirteen, with instructions to submit 
to the Convention at this session a plan of action. On the next day 
this committee made its report, the conclusion of which was as follows : 
"Because of the assurance conveyed to us from the Birming- 
ham brethren, that they intend and expect to redeem their prom- 
ises by raising a sufficient amount by September, 1889, to complete 
the erection of the main college building at East Lake, at a cost of 
$50,000, and because of the belief and hope that values will revive 
and that the landed property of the college will yet be of consider- 
able moneyed value, and because of the belief that the Baptists of 
Alabama will rise up as one man and build for God and the cause 

138 Howard College Bulletin 

of religious training a magnificent structure worthy of the name 
and the cause, we recommend: 

1. That the work be continued at the present location. 

2. That the Baptists of Alabama arrange at once for meeting 
the deficit of expenses for the president and faculty of the col- 
lege — the ways and means of this, of course, to be devised by the 

We recommend further that the Baptists of the State raise, 
just as soon as possible, the amount of $60,000 for building a dor- 
mitory at East Lake. This is a necessity, and to build now is 

This report was discussed at the sessions of Saturday afternoon 
and evening. The nature of the discussion is revealed in the following 
extracts taken from the Alabama Baptist of July 26 : 

"Hon. W. C. Ward, of Birmingham, said: He desired to 
apologize for Birmingham, not for himself ; that he felt grateful 
that the committee had reported to leave Howard College at Bir- 
mingham, for he felt that the question was now settled forever; 
that he regrets that the Baptists think of waiting for Birmingham 
to do anything ; that if they propose to wait until Birmingham does 
something, they will wait until it is too late. If you determine by 
your vote tonight that East Lake shall be the home of your col- 
lege, then bury tonight every disappointed, sore feeling forever; 
burn your bridges behind you ! Don't wait on Birmingham ! Go 
to work and endow your college ! Even if Birmingham has broken 
every pledge, the Baptists of Alabama should build their college 
right where it is. The speaker then gave a graphic description of 
Birmingham, her business, her prospects, and her resources ; then 
in thundering tones he added : 'How long will it take Howard Col- 
lege to be a grander institution of learning than you fill find in 
these glorious Southern States, situated, as it is, in that glorious 
valley?' He said Baptists were too slow to grasp an advantageous 
situation. Did they suppose the Methodists would wait? Wait 
until Birmingham would build the college? He said men didn't 
wait in Birmingham ; they must 'get up and git' to do anything in 
Birmingham. Birmingham waits for no man. Then in his grand 
style he said : 'Build it ! Build ! Build until it is the grandest college 
in the United States !' * * * 

"Dr. Purser said that Birmingham was sorry, very sorry, that 
she had not done what she had been expected to do; that there 

Howard College Studies 129 

was a falling off in the bid could be explained by the failure of 
the Board of Trustees to accept school property in Woodlawn ten- 
dered; that the balance which didn't turn up would be made up by 
private parties ; that the stringency of the money market caused 
it all. Birmingham asked for time, and that alone. Birmingham 
asked kindness at the hands of the Convention, and she would do 
what she had promised. Again the speaker said : 'Birmingham 
has not done what she could, but will do more.' * * * 

"Dr. Nunnally, of Montgomery, said that he felt like singing 
'Blest be the tie that binds', when the gentlemen from Birmingham 
got up and begged forgiveness ; that he thought more of Birming- 
ham tonight than ever before (Laughter). 'Let's forgive 'em, 
brethren', he said. * * * 

Dr. B. H. Crumpton said that he had waited for somebody to 
say something on the other side, but it appeared that every speaker 
had been on the same side ; that if Howard was back in Marion now 
it would be better ; that he never did think it should have been 
moved and didn't think so yet, but still he was for Howard Col- 
lege and the Baptist denomination always ; that he had been to Bir- 
mingham and had seen it ; that he had watched carefully, and that 
Birmingham had done all that she could do under the circumstances. 
Then in passionate language he begged the Baptists of Alabama 
to stand by the college. * * * 

Col. C. C. Huckabee, of Marion, said that Marion had a full 

school and that Marion people were all in good humor; that he 

had heard that some of the brethren wanted the college brought 

back to Marion. He wished to say that Marion didn't want the 

college brought back unless endowed ; that he wanted Birmingham 

to keep the college now that she had it. * * * 

At the conclusion of the discussion the Convention adopted the 

report of the committee of thirteen. Mr. Shaffer was now instructed 

to go out into the State and raise $60,000 for a dormitory. On motion 

of J. E. Chambliss, the first Sunday in October was set apart as the 

day for a special collection to cover any deficit that might appear in 

the current expenses of the college during the ensuing year. 

Professor John L. Johnson, President-elect of Howard College, 
was present at these discussions and took note of what was done. About 
the middle of August he telegraphed the Trustees that he could not 
accept the position tendered him. A meeting of the Board was at once 
called. Dr. B. H. Crumpton urged the claims of Rev. B. F. Riley, 
D.D., then a member of the Board and pastor of the church at Livings- 

130 Howard College Bulletin 

ton. Dr. Riley indicated a willingness to assume the duties of that re- 
sponsible office, and was elected. His election created no enthusiasm 
and aroused no confidence. It was generally regarded as a make- 
shift and a doubtful experiment. What capacities he brought to his 
office we shall soon see. 


Hoivard College Studies 131 


Buildings and Debts 

Benjamin Franklin Riley was born on July 16, 1849, near Pine- 
ville, Monroe county, Alabama. His educational advantages were very 
poor until he was nineteen years old. Then he asked his father to 
release him from work on the farm so that he might make his way to 
an education. Leaving home with $100 in his pocket, laboring and 
living hard, he worked his way through Erskine College, in South Caro- 
lina, and graduated in 1871 with credit. The first year after his 
graduation he taught school in Monroe county. In 1873 he was or- 
dained minister and entered the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary 
at Greenville, South Carolina, and later studied at Crozer Seminary, 
near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His first pastorate was at Carlow- 
ville, where he succeeded Dr. W. C. Cleveland. He next went to Al- 
bany, Georgia, then to Opelika, Alabama, and afterwards he was editor 
of the Alabama Baptist for one year. While engaged in this work he 
was called to Livingston, where he served as pastor until he was elected 
President of Howard College. He published in 1884 a "History of 
Conecuh County" and in 1888 a sort of guide-book entitled "Alabama 
As It Is." In 1885 the University of Alabama conferred upon him 
the degree of D. D., and the same degree was conferred upon him by 
Erskine College in 1887. 

The new president entered upon his duties in September, 1888, 
in the face of many adverse circumstances. Besides the demoralization 
arising from the incidents and conditions attending the recent removal 
of the college, yellow fever was reported at Decatur and other points, 
cutting off all possibility of canvassing for students. So rigid were 
the quarantine regulations that Dr. Riley was arrested in Birmingham 
after "running the blockade" to reach the city. Students, in their en- 
deavor to reach the college, were put off the trains and forced to make 
their way by private conveyance through the country. 

At the college the scene was anything but inviting. Two wooden 
buildings of hasty construction stood wide apart in a growth of old 
field pines. The surroundings were uncleared of underbrush, and the 
trees which had been felled more than a year before to make room for 
the buildings were still lying about the grounds. The remnants of the 
library were scattered and torn over the floor of an outhouse ; pictures 
and broken furniture were piled in the corners of the limited hallways ; 
the furniture of all the departments was old and rickety ; the bedding 
inferior and worn. 

132 Howard College Bulletin 

One of the first acts of the new president was to take possession 
of the old dilapidated building of the defunct Ruhama Academy, which 
stood on the campus, and transform it into a Mess Hall. Then he 
bought four good cows and established a small dairy on the hillside 
back of where Berry Athletic Field is now situated, and laid plans for a 
first-class garden. In this way milk and vegetables could be had for 
the Mess Hall at cost. 

Col. Macon had probably already done something toward the re- 
establishment of military drill at the college. The cadet corps was now 
fully organized, and Howard boys again carried Col. Murfee's old 
civil war muskets up and down the campus in obedience to the familiar 
words of command. To Mr. C. G. Elliott, the college adjutant, was 
partially due the excellent discipline that prevailed during the scholastic 

Early in the spring of 1889 Dr. Riley made a significant gesture, 
which needs here a word of explanation. 

In 1888, or thereabouts, a real estate boom developed at Florence, 
Alabama. Among other things that happened, an Educational Com- 
pany was formed, of which Dr. J. B. Hawthorne, who was on leave of 
absence from his pastorate in Atlanta, was made president and Judge 
Porter King, of Marion, first vice-president. Many others were con- 
nected with the movement, among whom was Capt. J. C. Featherstone, 
of Virginia. The main purpose of the Educational Company was to 
establish a Baptist college in the close vicinity of Florence and draw 
students from North Alabama and the neighboring States. On No- 
vember 24, 1888, the Judson building at Marion was burned down, and 
Judge King conceived the idea of putting up a building exactly like the 
Judson at Florence and of establishing there a Baptist school for girls. 
Naturally it did not require a very fertile brain to conceive the idea of 
moving Howard College up there too. 

"Well, after a little", says Dr. W. B. Crumpton, "it began to be 
talked about that Riley had been up to Florence, and after he had made 
a trip or two Shaffer said, 'You going to Florence again?' Riley said, 
'Yes.' Shaffer said, 'Well, I want to go, too.' So he went up there 
with Riley. Several times Riley was meeting with some committee or 
other, but Shaffer was not invited to meet with them. Shaffer got wind 
of it after a while and said, 'Well I am financial agent of Howard Col- 
lege and I think I ought to go and see what is being done.' So he 
pressed the matter and they had to invite him. They were making 
overtures right straight, intending to present them to the Convention in 
the fall, basing them upon the idea that Birmingham had not come 

Howard College Studies 133 

across with her money to put up the college buildings. W. C. Ward 
was president of the Board of Trustees at Howard. Shaffer told him 
what he had discovered. So Ward went to Riley and asked him what 
it all meant. Riley said, 'It means that I am going to put the people of 
Birmingham in the place where they will have to pay the money they 
promised at Union Springs'." 

That this gesture of Dr. Riley had a wholesome effect in Birming- 
ham may be judged by the fact that the Baptist leaders there began to 
rally to the college. On April 6, 1889, Dr. D. I. Purser, at last, con- 
sented to take Mr. Shaffer's place as financial agent and set out to 
raise the $40,000 necessary to complete the main building of the col- 
lege. Commenting on Dr. Purser's acceptance, the Age-Herald for 
April 10, says : "This augurs well for the success of Howard College, 
and causes a new wave of hope to rise in the breasts of its friends. 
It is a matter of giving. If the citizens come up to the necessities of 
the hour, then Howard College is a fixture as an institution in this 
community. If the work fails, then Florence goes before the next Bap- 
tist State Convention with her proposition. Dr. Hawthorne was at the 
Opera House Hotel last night, and was talking Florence to interested 
listeners. * * * He said they have no desire to interfere with Howard 
College at East Lake and hope the enterprise there will succeed. But 
if it does not, then Florence will be prepared to offer it an abiding 

When Dr. Purser took hold of the finances, the foundation of 
the Main Building had already been laid at a cost of $7,000 or more. 
This building, according to the plans, was to be only the core of a pile 
of buildings, including dormitory, dining hall and science building and 
covering four hundred feet front. The estimated cost of the pile was 
about $125,000. Needless to say that only the main building was ever 

The Commencement exercises of June, 1880, were again held in 
the pavilion at the lake. A class of six promising young men received 
degrees. At the close of the exercises on Commencement Day, says the 

Age-Herald of June 19, "Dr. Riley marched his boys back to their 
quarters, and bade them all an affectionate adieu, to which they re- 
sponded by wishing him much happiness during the summer and a col- 
lege full next session. * * * After the dismissal of the boys, the 
Trustees of the college had a meeting, which was very harmonious 
throughout. Every section of the State was represented. Resolutions 
were passed strongly condemning any agitation of the question of the 

134 Howard College Bulletin 

removal of the college from Birmingham, and every man present pledged 
himself to support both morally and financially." 

During the summer vacation, the old equipment of the dormitory 
was replaced by a new supply of bedding and furniture. Miss Annie 
Grace Tartt, of Livingston, raised a sufficient fund to purchase wrought 
iron bedsteads and wire woven mattresses, and the ladies throughout 
the State supplied the remaining furniture. 

On July 17, a reporter of the Weekly Age-Herald called on Dr. 
Purser and found him hard at work on the building fund of the col- 
lege, having raised up to date $17,000 of the $40,000 needed. The re- 
porter asked him how the work was progressing, "Slowly, sir, slowly. 
They are willing to give, but don't do it. There are seventy-five men 
in this city who say they will give, but they all want to be the last, and 
how to make the whole seventy-five last is a mathematical problem 
I have as yet been able to solve, after days of thinking and working. 
Some one of them has got to give in first, but they won't compromise. 
There are also a number of men in Birmingham who promised me that 
I took hold of this thing they would subscribe $1,000 each, and not a 
single dime have I received from any of them up to this hour." 

In November, the Convention met at Selma but held the second 
day's session in the new Judson building at Marion. Citizens of Marion 
met the delegates at the railroad station with carriages and conveyed 
them to the place of meeting, where great enthusiasm prevailed and 
$10,000 was raised in cash and pledges for the Judson. That afternoon 
the Convention returned to Selma and reassembled in the evening. 
Speeches were made for the Howard by Hon. W. C. Ward and Dr. 
D. I. Purser, which culminated in an appeal for money for the Howard 
buildings. The collection was engineered by Drs. Purser, Frost and 
Wharton, and resulted in a grand total in cash and subscriptions of 
$14,415.51, most of which was pledged by the brethren from South 
Alabama, Thenceforth harmony prevailed between the former oppo- 
nents and advocates of the removal of the college from Marion. The 
schism was healed and an era of good feeling inaugurated. 

The Selma Convention authorized and empowered W. C. Ward, as 
President of the Board of Trustees of Howard College, to sell and 
convey or mortgage any property donated to the Convention for the 
purpose of obtaining money to complete the main building. The Board 
of Trustees was also empowered to borrow money at any time, by the 
hypothecation of subscription notes, to carry on the work of completing 
the said building. 

Howard College Studies 135 

By virtue of this authority, the Board of Trustees executed the 
bonds of the college, payable at five years after April 1, 1890, interest 
payable semi-annually, at eight per cent, per annum, for the sum of 
$40,000 to the Union Trust Company of Philadelphia, and to secure 
the payment of the same hypothecated the subscription notes given to 
the Convention for the erection of the main building to the amount 
of $43,500, and mortgaged the land, sixty-four acres, donated by the 
East Lake Company and the Ruhama Academy. With this arrange- 
ment consummated. Dr. Purser resumed work on the main building 
early in 1890. In April of that year, the corner stone was laid with 
much speech-making by local celebrities. 

The graduating exercises of 1890 were held as usual in the pavilion 
at the lake. After Commencement, from the middle of June to the 
middle of July, a summer school for preachers was held in the college 
buildings under the auspices of Dr. L. I. Purser. The purpose was to 
afford the pastors of the State facilities for improvement by means of 
lectures upon topics of practical interest. Drs. Basil Manly, J. C. 
Hiden, E. B. Teague, Henry McDonald, W. H. Young and Rev. G. S. 
Anderson were the chief lecturers. The founding of this Preachers' 
Institute did much to re-instate Dr. Purser in the good graces of the 
Baptists of the State, and he was buoyantly hopeful that the Institute 
might become a permanent adjunct to the college ; but after three sum- 
mers the founder left the State, and with his departure perished the 

When the college opened in the fall of 1890, the students over- 
flowed the dormitory and made it necessary to rent five other houses 
adjacent to the campus. Thereupon Dr. Purser made arrangements 
for the erection of two small brick dormitories, one on each side of 
the campus near the main building, to care for the increasing numbers. 
These two little buildings were finished in the spring of 1891, as was 
also the main building. 

In his semi-annual report to the Trustees, in March, 1891, Dr. 
Riley said among other things: "In conference with Professor A. D. 
Smith, who, in addition to his professional duties, kindly aids me in 
many essential particulars in the various departments of the college. I 
determined at the beginning of the present session to establish a garden 
and a dairy in connection with the mess hall. * * * We have not suc- 
ceeded as well as we could have hoped; but after repeated efforts to 
procure a superintendent, we have at last in our employ a skilled dairy- 
man. Through the kindness of a few friends, I have been enabled to 

136 Howard College Bulletin 

erect necessary houses for the dairy. A neat barn has been erected 
and a pleasant residence together with sufficient fencing about the 
premises and the garden, without involving the college treasury in the 
expenditure of a cent. Our dairy is now beginning to pay us and a 
little later will prove quite a contributor to our economy." The "pleas- 
ant residence" is still standing on the hill back of Berry Field. 

In June, 1891, the Commencement exercises were held for the 
first time in the chapel of the Main Building — to the immense gratifica- 
tion of the faculty, students and friends of the college — when fourteen 
promising young men received degrees. At the close of the graduating 
exercise, Dr. Purser announced to the audience that the comfortable 
and tasteful opera chairs in the chapel, 550 in number, had been pre- 
sented by the church of Columbia, in Henry county. It was announced 
also that the total enrollment of students during the year had been 206, 
the largest in the history of the institution. 

During the summer vacation a number of improvements were pro- 
jected and carried out on the campus. The old dormitory, which the 
boys called "the barn", was repaired, repainted and made more comfort- 
able than it was when first built, and Dr. Purser set about the erection 
of two more small brick dormitories of the same dimensions as those 
first built. The old temporary administration building was altered and 
fitted up for a dining hall. The dilapidated old building of the Ruhama 
Academy was then abandoned as a mess hall, and was shortly after- 
wards demolished. 

A glimpse of the college at its opening in the fall of 1891 may be 
had through the eyes of Mr. J. J. Finklea, of Buena Vista, Alabama, 
who came up with his son for the opening day. "About 12 o'clock that 
night", he writes for the Alabama Baptist, "the East Lake dummy put 
us off near Howard College. When we walked up to the college 
grounds, I said: "My boy, how much farther? Are we not about at 
the place?" "Yes, Papa, this is the place." "But I didn't know, my 
boy, that you were camped here in the woods." He replied : "You 
can see better in the morning, and things will look entirely different 
when cleared off." The beautiful and large main brick building, and 
the new brick dormitories are back of the pines and oaks on a hill which 
gradually slopes off, and when nicely cleared off, graded and fenced, 
and the other new buildings finished, which are going up, it will present 
a beautiful appearance." 

"The college", writes Miss Lida B. Robertson of this year, "had 
no campus — just a rugged, rocky out-of-doors; and no conveyance to 

Howard College Studies 137 

haul the students' trunks from the station. I begged two generous 
Baptists to give the money to buy a horse, and they did so. One was 
my brother, Gaston, and the other a Texan, a ]\Ir. Patty. Dr. B. F. 
Riley, president of the college, bought the horse, and the boys dubbed 
the horse and wagon the 'trunk dummy.' The 'diner' was a rough plank 
one-room building about where Montague Hall now is, which the boys 
called 'grub house'." 

During 1891-93 Dr. Riley undertook to inaugurate a movement for 
the founding and fostering of Baptist secondary schools, or academies, 
in different parts of the State, as auxiliaries of the Howard and the 
Judson, in which he was ably sustained by Dr. W. C. Cleveland. But 
the plan was resisted on the plea that they would operate against the 
patronage of the two larger schools, which patronage was then urgently 
needed. The opponents of the plan urged with effect that the college 
needed concentration, while the proposed plan meant dissipation. The 
proposition was tabled at the Convention of 1892 and nothing more 
was heard of it. 

At the Commencement of 1892, the Semi-Centennial of Howard 
College was appropriately celebrated. The program was properly 
characterized by the fact that only those who had previously been con- 
nected with the college as officials or students participated. The col- 
lege welcomed to this jubilee those who were students when it was in 
its infancy, but had grown gray in usefulness, and who had achieved 
distinction in the different walks of life. The speakers chosen for the 
occasion were: Dr. J. B. Hawthorne, of Atlanta; Gen. George D. 
Johnston, of Washington, D. C. ; Dr. David G. Lyon, of Harvard Uni- 
versity; Mr. W. L. Sanford, of Sherman, Texas; and Hon. W. C. 
Ward, of Birmingham. The addresses were embodied in a memorial 
catalogue of the college. 

In October, 18!)3, Dr. D. I. Purser gave up his work as financial 
agent of Howard College and left the State to become missionary pas- 
tor of the Valence Street Church in New Orleans. Though he had 
been bitlcrly criticised in 1888 for his refusal to assume responsibilities 
in regard to the college that logically devolved upon him as the prime 
advocate of the removal project, he abundantly redeemed himself later 
by his able and invaluable services, and his heroic death during the 
yellow fever epidemic in New Orleans in 18!)T proved that he was by 
nature no shirker. 

Early in 1893 the University of Chicago, under the presidency of 
Dr. Harper, proposed the formation of an association of all the Bap- 

138 Howard College Bulletin 

tist colleges of the United States. Chicago was to fix the standard 
of instruction and scholarship, and provide for an exchange of profes- 
sors between Chicago and the various affiliated colleges ; but Chicago 
did not propose to give financial assistance. The arrangement was to be 
something like a standardizing agency. 

At the end of May, 1893, Dr. Riley visited Chicago to confer 
with President Harper and to inquire about the possibility of obtain- 
ing financial assistance. Though he did not obtain the assistance or 
the promise of it, he was greatly encouraged by his visit and enthu- 
siastic over the prospect of making Howard College an integral part 
of a great organization of Baptist colleges into which wealthy men, 
like the Rockefellers, might be expected to pour oceans of money. 

When the Trustees of Howard College met in June, Dr. Riley sub- 
mitted the result of his Chicago visit, and recommended that such ac- 
tion be taken as would secure the bonds of affiliation between the two 
institutions. The Board, unwilling to take the initiative in a matter so 
important, referred the whole question to the Convention, which was 
to meet in November. In the meantime the merits of the question were 
warmly discussed by Baptist leaders in the columns of the Alabama 
Baptist. Dr. A. J. Dickinson, of Selma, strongly advocated affiliation. 
His argument was that Howard College, without adequate resources, 
could only do the work of an academy. Affiliation with Chicago would 
raise the standards and probably increase the resources. Moreover, af- 
filiation would be conducive to higher scholarship, in that many stu- 
dents and professors would go to Chicago for graduate work. In any 
event, the experiment was harmless. "Not so", said the opponents. 
Chicago would reap all the benefits by attracting graduate students to 
her halls. Why should we help Chicago without benefit to ourselves? 
Moreover, and above all, the University of Chicago was not orthodox. 
This was the doctrinal danger. 

When the question came up in the Convention, it caused a breezy 
debate, and the settlement of it was referred to the next annual meet- 
ing. A year later all interest in it had vanished. 

At the annual meeting of the Board of Trustees in June, 1893, 
all the members of the faculty were re-elected and Professor A. B. 
Goodhue was added as Professor of Elocution. For years Professor 
Goodhue had been teaching at Gadsden, but losing his wife in 1887 
and being advanced in years, he gave up his work there and came to 
live with his son-in-law, Capt. W. C. Ward, in Birmingham. Like all 
elderly people who have led an active life, he wanted something to 
occupy his time. What more congenial task could be found than serv- 

Howard College Studies 139 

ice in the college of which he was well-nigh the founder? So without 
salary or other compensation, Professor Goodhue came back like a 
pleasant memory of yesteryears to train the Howard boys in public 
speaking. The writer remembers seeing him in the fall of 1899, sit- 
ting in the college chapel, a venerable figure, like the great law-giver of 

Shortly after the termination of the session of 1892-93, Dr. Riley 
resigned the presidency of the college to accept the professorship of 
English in the University of Georgia, and Rev. A. W. McGaha, D. D., 
pastor of Ruhama Church, was shortly afterwards elected to succeed 

Dr. Arthur Watkins McGaha was born in Marshall county, Ala- 
bama, on September 12, 1857. His father trained him to work on the 
farm, but when not thus engaged he was taught by his mother. He at- 
tended school but little until he was seventeen years old, when he entered 
Oxford College, Oxford, Alabama, then under the presidency of Pro- 
fessor A. B. Goodhue, where he spent eighteen months. Afterwards he 
was for a time clerk and book-keeper in a dry goods store. His health 
not being very good, he returned to the farm for a year. While on 
the farm he decided to accept the ministry as his life work. He entered 
Howard College in October, 1877, and graduated therefrom in June, 
1880. Then he spent two years in the Southern Baptist Seminary at 
Louisville. He was serving a church in Chattanooga, Tennessee, when 
he received the call to the pastorate at East Lake in September, 
1888. It was with reluctance that he left his pastoral duties to assume 
the administration of the college. His leading characteristic was lov- 
ableness and human kindness. 

The other members of the faculty were: Thomas John Dill, 
LL.D., Professor of Greek and Latin ; Albert Durant Smith, A. M., 
Professor of Applied Mathematics ; George Washington Macon, A. M., 
Ph. D., Professor of Chemistry, Natural History and Modern Lan- 
guages; Benjamin Franklin Giles, A. M., Professor of English; Rob- 
ert Judson Waldrop, A. M., Professor of Pure Mathematics; Amos 
Bailey Goodhue, A. M., Professor of Elocution ; and Willis Hillard 
Payne, A. B., Professor of the Sub-Collegiate Department. The last 
mentioned was the first honor man of the class of 1890 and had been 
added to the faculty to enable Professor Giles to become Professor of 

At the Convention in November, 1893, the bonded indebtedness 
of the college lay heavily upon the minds of the delegates. After mak- 

140 Howard College Bulletin 

ing a gloomy report on debts and deficits, Capt. W. C. Ward concluded : 
"The members of the Board of Trustees, like all public servants who 
serve a cause without reward, and in this case without honor, do not 
expect to escape criticism. The only satisfaction derived from the fact 
of criticism is that it shows the critics are concerned for the college. We 
ask, however, that your criticisms be so guarded as not to injure the 
college. Some recent strictures are not helpful. In all good faith and 
with all due respect, if there are any brethren who know how to build 
and operate a college without money, and one that is in debt, most 
gladly will we give back into the hands of the Convention the trust 
committed to us. In fact, it may be the wisest thing to discharge the 
old crew and put the institution in the hands of new men." 

Now that Dr. Purser was gone, there was no one in the field as 
financial agent. With characteristic zeal and courage. Miss Lida B. 
Robertson, of Mobile, granddaughter of Daniel P. Bestor, suggested 
that the Baptist women of Alabama be set the task of raising money 
for the endowment the college. This prompted Capt. Ward to offer 
the following resolution: 

"That the Alabama State Convention hereby commits to the 
Baptist Women of Alabama the work of raising the means to en- 
dow the chair of the President of the Faculty of Howard College, 
and that the duty of organizing for this work be entrusted to Miss 
Lida B. Robertson of Mobile, who, by pen and deed, has shown 
great zeal in behalf of the college." 

This resolution was adopted, but was shortly afterwards recon- 
sidered and Miss Robertson was assigned the task of raising funds 
for the erection of a hospital at the college. Then the Convention ad- 
vised the Board of Trustees to put a man in the field to work for the 
college at a stipulated salary. This agent was to give his full time to 
the work, collecting back notes, soliciting students, and raising $25,000 
for a permanent endowment of the President's chair. An impressive 
moment during the discussion was when J. B. Lovelace, of Marion, 
asked all the Howard boys present to stand. When a goodly array of 
gray-haired brethren and younger men arose, he said : "Let us resolve 
that Howard shall not die." A hearty '''Amen" was the response. 

At the close of the day's session, about twenty Howard alumni 
held a meeting and decided to recommend Rev. W. A. Whittle, of Bir- 
mingham, as a suitable man, who, with his illustrated lectures of the 
Holy Land, should travel over the State, giving the income of his 
lectures to the college, as well as taking subscriptions. The Howard 

Hozvard College Studies 141 

boys would pay his salary for twelve months, so that the public could 
feel that it did not come out of their pockets. A subscription was at 
once started, with John R. Sampey, L. O. Dawson, and P. T. Hale 
putting down $50 each, followed by others who gave liberally. Nearly 
half enough was raised there and then among the twenty to pay the 

On December 30, 1893, the Board of Trustees unanimously elected 
Rev. W. A. Whittle as Vice President and Financial Secretary of How- 
ard College, and sent him forth. 

President McGaha's administration is notable for two things, 
namely, the introduction of the Bible into the curriculum and the intro- 
duction of co-education. The first received much favorable comment 
among the brethren but the other created a ripple of discussion. In the 
Convention, which met in July, 189-4, Capt. Ward, Dr. Teague and 
others defended co-education on the grounds of justice and policy. 
"Auburn, Tuscaloosa and Greensboro", Capt. Ward pointed out, "have 
wheeled into line and Howard proposes to stand abreast of them." 
In the Alabama Baptist for July 19, the following editorial comment 
was made: "The 'woman craze' seems to be on us just now, and it 
must run its course. All the colleges are falling into line, only because 
it is the fashion, and not because there is any great demand for co- 
education. * * * Without claiming to be a prophet, we predict that 
in the South, at least, the time will never come when any considerable 
number of our young women will attend the male colleges which are 
throwing their doors open to them." In general the comment of the 
brethren was favorable to giving co-education a trial. 

"Immediately preceding the Commencement Exercises", reported 
the Trustees in July, 1894, "the students, learning that President Mc- 
Gaha desired the college grounds put in order, went to work of their 
own accord and removed all the pines, digging them up, and carrying 
trees and stumps outside the campus ; and graded and made walks. 
This was done cheerfully and largely because it was seen that it would 
give great pleasure to the President. Through the efforts of Rev. 
W. A. Whittle, some very necessary brick work has been done in front 
of the main building, making a beautiful terrace, and the wooden build- 
ings have been repaired and beautifully j^aintcd." 

On reading this account, one can but admire the spirit and the 
loyalty of the boys, but what a pity to destroy those pines. 

Rev. A. A. Hutto, who entered Howard College in 1892 and 
graduated in 189G, gives the writer the following account of life on the 
campus in his day: 

142 Howard College Bulletin 

"Dr. B. F. Riley was president during the first session of 
my student life at Howard. Then came Dr. A. W. McGaha, who 
filled the office three years. 

The college was under military regulations, and President 
Riley was insistent on every rule being observed. I remember 
going into his office one day. I thought I was very careful to 
assume a military position ; but to my amazement he looked me 
over and said, "Mr. Hutto, you are given three demerits for having 
your hands locked behind you." How humiliated I was ! I was 
doing my best, but in my awkward way had shown at about my 
worst. Later, on petition, the demerits were removed, but I had 
learned my lesson. 

Dr. Riley was a strict disciplinarian, and was proud of it. 
The boys were often just as determined to get by *Doc'. One 
night two boys decided they would break into the commissary and 
get a ham. They knew that 'Doc' might be around at any time. 
So they climbed a tree to the roof of a shed, raised a window, 
went in and got the ham, came out again on top of the shed, and 
looked out on the campus — and saw 'Doc' coming directly toward 
the tree. There was no other way down than by that tree. The 
two boys lay down on the roof. 'Doc' sat down at the root of the 
tree and tarried there for almost an hour. The boys dared not 
move and hardly dared to breathe. But finally 'Doc' moved away 
and disappeared, and the boys got away with the ham. 

The members of one of Dr. Dill's classes were warned that 
at a certain place in the course the Doctor always told a certain 
story. As a joke on the Doctor, the class entered into an agree- 
ment not to laugh when the story was sprung. The time came and 
the Doctor went into the story in great detail, and he could tell 
a story well. The class listened with apparent interest. But when 
the time came for all to laugh, no one laughed. Dr. Dill quickly 
caught the situation, and said in his quaint way: 'Well, I was a 
little afraid that story was too deep for you.' Then the class fairly 
exploded. The Doctor had the best of the joke. 

Professor Waldrop was known as 'Big Jud.' His knowledge 
of boys was perhaps due to his earlier experiences in conducting 
the Ruhama Academy. Usually when a Howard boy got into 
trouble he went to 'Big Jud' for counsel and help. A 'day rat' 
named Ralph failed for several days to answer to the roll call in 
his classes. Inquiry being made at his home, it was discovered 

Hozvard College Studies 143 

that Ralph had been 'playing hookie.' As a consequence of his 
absence from classes without permission, he was suspended from 
college. In his troubles he went to 'Big Jud' and said, 'Professor 
Waldrop, I have been playing hookie and am as mean as a dog.' 
'You surely are, Ralph.' 'I am not worthy of anybody's love and 
care.' 'That's so, Ralph.' 'I never will be worth killing.' 'I think 
you are right, Ralph.' 'But, Professor, what can I do?' Then the 
big kindly voice of Professor Waldrop assured the wayward youth 
that he could yet make a man if he would only try. Ralph prom- 
ised to try and was reinstated. Today he is doing well in his 
chosen profession. 

Before chapel, on April 1, 1895, some forty or fifty boys be- 
took themselves to the woods as an April's Fool joke. They ex- 
pected so few boys to remain behind that work must needs be sus- 
pended for the day. But on their return in the late afternoon, 
hungry and tired, they found that classes had been meeting as 
usual and that each of the absentees had received five demerits 
and a zero in each of his classes. They never played 'April fool' 

During the year 1894-95 the college enrolled two young ladies as 
students, and during the next year five. "We expected", says the 
Franklin Advocate for March, 1895, "that the girls' presence would 
put an end to Dr. Dill's bountiful flow of laughable anecdotes, that we 
thought only suitable for us ; but we find that he relates them as freely 
as ever, with the apology that he would tell them if the girls were not 
present. * * * We also anticipated that a wonderful change would 
be wrought in Prof. Smith's room. We looked forward with anxiety 
to the time when the soft and gentle words should take the place of 
those strong and forcible terms used heretofore ; but, to say the least of 
it, we 'got left.' There is no perceptible change. The last expres- 
sion of his, which seemed to leave an impression on my mind, was: 
'Well, young gentlemen, I see I'll have to draw the rein a little tighter'." 

At the Commencement of 1895, Col. G. W. Macon, who had been 
on the Howard faculty for eight years, resigned to accept a professor- 
ship in Mercer University. Professor W. H. Payne, who had been in 
charge of the preparatory department, was promoted to Col. Macon's 
former place. Mr. S. J. Ansley, first honor man of the class of '95, 
was associated with Dr. Dill as assistant in Latin and Greek. 

On March 6, 1895, the Board of Trustees held a meeting in Bir- 
mingham to see what could be done about the approaching maturity 

144 Howard College Bulletin 

of the mortgage debt due the Union Trust Company of Philadelphia. 
At this meeting Rev. W. A. Whittle made his report as financial agent 
of the college, which in substance was that he had accomplished nothing 
— nothing in collecting new subscriptions, nothing on the collection of 
old subscriptions. The impression seemed to have gotten abroad that 
it was useless to waste money on Howard College. Messrs. Ward, Ar- 
nold, Cabaniss and Enslen were appointed a committee to secure if pos- 
sible an extension of the mortgage debt. After considerable correspon- 
dence, the negotiations resulted in an extension of $30,000 of the debt 
for the term of three years from April 1, 1895 ; but payment of the back 
interest and the rest of the principal was required. The sequel showed 
that the Trustees could not meet even this requirement. Thereupon 
Capt. W. C. Ward, in great disappointment and bitterness of heart, 
resigned as president of the Board, and Rev. P. T, Hale, pastor of the 
Southside church, took his place. 

In due time foreclosure was seriously threatened; the property 
of Howard College was advertised for sale under mortgage on June 23, 
1896. In all hastes the Trustees summoned a meeting of the Directors 
of the Convention, and a frantic appeal was made to all the Baptists 
and friends of education in the State. Dr. B. D. Gray, pastor of the 
First Church; Dr. P. T. Hale, pastor of the Southside, and soon after- 
wards Rev. W. A. Hobson, pastor of Ruhama Church, took the field 
to raise what money they could for the pressing exigency. Within four 
months, notwithstanding the popular excitement over the Presidential 
campaign of that year, these brethren raised $8,000 in spot cash and 
the promise of more. Then the Union Trust Company agreed to remit 
all back interest due November 1, 1896, and deduct besides $1,000 from 
the principal. Thus the college was saved, for the time being, by the 
fact that its creditors had more hope of realization by waiting than 
they would have had if the school should come under the hammer of the 

Under the stress of the moment. President McGaha resigned and 
Professor A. D. Smith was made President. The latter had been 
Professor of Mathematics since 1881, and for eight years had been in 
charge of the buying and other financial duties connected with the in- 
ternal administration of the college. He was a good business man, 
thrifty when necessary, and always of a sound judgment. The Trus- 
tees turned the college over to the new president with the admonition to 
make it self-sustaining and to incur no debts. 

Howard College Studies 145 

Writing for the Alabama Baptist, June 1^, 1896, Rev. P. T. Hale 
said : "\\'hen, on Commencement Day, the announcement was made 
that Professor A. D. Smith had been elected President of the college, 
he received a perfect ovation from both the students and the entire au- 
dience. While a very strict disciplinarian, and the students dread his 
'^lath', he is respected and esteemed by all, and is a business man of 
the first order. Thus the people believe that his business and executive 
ability will do great things for the institution. Professor Smith assured 
the Board that his time and utmost abilities and energies would be 
given faithfully to the advancement of the college." 

At last, under the stress of the moment, Col. Jemison of the East 
Lake Land Company, agreed to donate to the college the row of lots 
fronting along UnderwooJ Avenue, and to fix the matter in legal 
shape at once. Thus a situation which had for eight years been very 
annoying was permanently remedied. During this summer, too, elec- 
tric cars, running every fifteen minutes, replaced the old dummies of 
former years. 

On entering upon the duties of the presidency in the summer of 
1896, Professor Smith gave the entire plant a thorough overhauling. 
Walks were laid nut in appropriate places ; the mess hall repaired, 
cleansed, and made more inviting; and everything else put in good con- 
dition. Finding that suitable arrangements could not well be made for 
the accommodation of young ladies as students in the college, co- 
education was abandoned. It had been in existence for two years, and 
less than half a dozen girl students had been enrolled. 

On August 20, 1896, President Smith issued through the Alabama 
Baptist the following proclamation, which smacks loudly of the days 
of Col. Murfee: 

"I desire to say to the patrons of Howard College, and to 
those who expect to patronize the school the coming fall, that it 
will be conducted on strict business principles ; that there will be 
a system and a method for everything and every man, and every- 
thing and every man must fit into its or his place, like each piece 
of a complete machine. In this we recognize the importance of 
that branch of an education by which young men learn that there 
should be a time for each duty, and that each duty should be per- 
formed at the proper time. 

Study hours will begin at 6 o'clock a. m. and continue until 7 ; 
from 7 a. m. to 8:15 will be allowed for breakfast and recreation. 
At 8:15 a. m. chapel assembly and prayer to 8:30; recitations 

146 Howard College Bulletin 

from 8 :30 to 13 :30. Release from 12 :30 to 2 :00 for dinner and 
rest. Recitations from 2 to 4; drill from 4 to 5. Release from 
5 to 7 for supper and rest. From 7 to 9 :30 p. m. students will 
be required to remain in their rooms at work ; from 9 :30 to 10> 
thirty minutes is allowed for preparation to retire; at 10 p. m. 
the bell taps, when all lights must be put out. During the hours 
of release above mentioned, students will not be allowed to leave 
the quiet little town of East Lake; in fact, they will be allowed to 
visit the city only once a week — from 8 to 12 a. m. on Saturdays. 
* * * 

Recognizing that the great principle in learning to obey is 
to learn to govern, our students are in turn appointed Officer of 
the Day, on which days the student is absolutely officer in charge, 
when his authority is unquestioned, being subordinate only to the 
President of the college. I find this to be a valuable part of a 
boy's education. * * * 

Secret societies are not tolerated, and those young men who 
have kept up these societies suh rosa need not return with the 
intention of doing so in the future." 

Testimony to Professor Smith's strict discipline is thus borne 
by a writer to the Alabama Baptist for October 29, 1896 : 

"I was in Professor Smith's office two mornings the past 
week, during his office hour. I was anxious to see how he man- 
aged the boys as they came in with their permits and excuses. I 
failed to find out. Instead of the great number of boys loitering 
around the President's office, one lonely lad came each morning. 
Every boy goes from chapel directly to his work. There is nothing 
but business through the whole day. Everything is done in system- 
atic order." 

For one year Professor Smith worked faithfully at the task of 
pulling the college out of the hole and making it self-sustaining. He 
put in a refrigerator, bought and butchered his own meat, and from his 
garden back of the main building he supplied the vegetables for the 
mess hall. By strict economy and close buying, he succeeded at his 
task; but in June, 1897, he resigned the presidency and entered into 
business, never again to be connected with the faculty. His interest in 
the college, , though, during the years that have passed since then, has 
never abated. 

Professor Smith was immediately succeeded by Professor F. M. 
Roof as president of the college. At the same time Professor Giles 

Howard College Studies 147 

was superseded by Professor Edwin H. Foster in the English Depart- 
ment, and Professor Payne was superseded by Professor Edgar P. 
Hogan, of the class of '93. Since Professor Roof's chief interest was 
in Psychology and Pedagogy, a professor of Mathematics was needed, 
and in the middle of the ensuing year. Professor Edward Brand was 
chosen as Professor of Applied Mathematics. 

Professor Francis Marion Roof, the new president, was a native 
of Kentucky. He came to Birmingham in 1887 as principal of the 
Henly high school. On entering upon his duties at Howard, he made 
the usual effort to clean up the campus and make improvements. In 
the old "barn building" he had a suite of bath rooms fitted up, and 
projected a movement for a gymnasium also — if the requisite money 
could be raised. He closed the first year of his administration with 
the report that excellent work had been done and that the college had 
been self-sustaining. 

The most notable occurrence of Professor Roof's administration 
was the liquidation of the total indebtedness of Howard College. The 
Convention which met at Opelika in November, 1898, realizing that 
something had to be done, and quickly, to prevent the sale of the college, 
resolved to inaugurate a State-wide "drive" for funds in January and 
to bring the campaign to a conclusion in October following. The in- 
debtedness was estimated at $38,000. 

Few of the delegates present at that Convention thought that any- 
thing would or could be done; but Dr. B. D. Gray, pastor of the First 
Church of Birmingham and now President of the Board of Tnistees, 
asked for and obtained a leave of absence from his pastoral duties to 
inaugurate the campaign. During February and March, 1899, the 
work of circulating literature and organizing forces was begun. After 
considerable headway had been made along these lines, a meeting of 
influential laymen and ministers from various parts of the State was 
held in Montgomery on April 25. About twenty were present, of whom 
fifteen were laymen. By agreement the indebtedness of the State 
Mission Board and that of the Board of Ministerial Education were 
included with the Howard College debt. In the enthusiasm of the 
moment $9,750 was subscribed on the spot. Then a committee, com- 
posed of Mr. D. L. Lewis of Sycamore, Dr. A. C. Davidson of the 
Southside Church in Birmingham, Professor F. M. Roof of Howard 
College, and Dr. B. D. Gray, with the last named as chairman and 
F. M. Roof as secretary, was appointed with instructions to push the 
work of collection as rapidly as possible. To the surprise of many, if 

148 Hozvard College Bulletin 

not of everybody, the campaign prospered abundantly. On July l4, 

1899, every dollar of the Howard College debt was paid, and the bonds 
and mortgages were rent in twain from top to bottom. The next strug- 
gle would be for an endowment. 

The next three years are not notable for anything in particular. 
On returning in the fall of 1899 the boys found the mess hall newly 
painted, frescoed and furnished with chairs, and a matron, Mrs. 
Helen Stone, in charge. As an instructor in athletics. Professor Harry 
Miles was employed for a few hours each week. 

On January 13, 1900, while the boys were at breakfast, the an- 
nouncement was made that one of the students rooming in the "barn 
building", Mr. W. R. Lambert of Monroe county, had smallpox. 
There was considerable excitement, and about a dozen boys left for 
home on the first trains ; but the rest remained and submitted to quar- 
antine on the campus. Mr. Lambert was isolated some distance from 
the campus and in due time was nursed back to health. The work of 
the college was scarcely interrupted by the incident. 

Dr. Dill had previously announced that because of advancing years 
and dimness of vision, he was going to resign in June, 1900. When 
the time came he laid the burden down, after having served the college 
faithfully through thirty-one years. As a token of their love and re- 
spect, the Trustees presented him on Commencement Day a gold- 
headed cane, and the beloved old professor spoke briefly and feelingly 
in response. At the alumni banquet that evening Dr. W. P. McAdory 
in a fitting speech in behalf of the Howard boys from 18 TO to 

1900, presented him a beautiful silver tea service. On January 31, 1901, 
Dr. Dill was dead. At the next alumni banquet the boys stood for a 
moment with bowed heads in his memory. 

Dr. Dill's work in the college was taken over by Professor Ansley, 
who had already been connected with the department for five years as 
Professor of Greek. In October, 1901, Professor Ansley's health gave 
way, and Mr. Allen J. Moon, first honor man of the class of '97, was 
called from his graduate studies in the University of Virginia to take his 
place. Professor Moon was to remain at the head of the Department of 
Latin and Greek for many years. 

In June, 1902, Professor Roof resigned the presidency of the col- 
lege, giving as his reason for doing so the meagerness of the salary. 
At once the Trustees unanimously elected Rev. L. O. Dawson, pastor of 
the church at Tuscaloosa, to the presidency. He was unwilling to have 
that action taken and protested against it, but the Trustees were deter- 

Hoivard College Studies 149 

mined to lay the burden upon him and have him decide the matter in 
the fear of God. Great pressure was brought to bear upon him also by 
brethren outside the Board of Trustees, but he steadfastly declined and 
in the end remained in his pastorate at Tuscaloosa. Twenty-two years 
later he was destined to come to Howard as Professor of the Bible and 
to be a great power for good in these latter days. 

Early in July the Trustees called the eminent President of Furman 
University, and to their great joy the call was at once accepted. Dr. 
Andrew Philip Montague was a man of scholarship, energy and per- 
sonality. With his entree en scene, Howard College entered upon a 
distinctly new era. 

150 Hozvard College Bulletin 


Student Activities 

1. Literary Societies. — No sooner had the Manual Labor Institute 
been organized at Greensboro in 1836 than the students organized a de- 
bating club and named it the Franklin Polemic Society. Its small 
library, after the establishment of Howard College, was transferred to 

The Howard boys soon organized two literary societies — the 
Franklin and the Adelphi. By 1849, if not earlier, the custom was es- 
tablished of inviting a speaker of some distinction to deliver the annual 
address before the two literary societies during Commencement week. 
This address was delivered by Mr. J. W. Taylor, of Eutaw, in 1849 ; 
by Rev. T. G. Keen, of Mobile, in 1850 ; by Professor Noah K. Davis, 
of Howard College, in 1853; and so on. In November, 1851, the 
Trustees reported to the Convention that, with funds contributed by 
the boys and their friends, each society had purchased about 600 vol- 
umes for a library. This library was, of course, totally destroyed by 
the fire of 1854. 

When erecting the new main building, which still stands at Marion, 
rooms were provided for the two literary societies on the second floor. 
In the announcement of the approaching Commencement of 1857, 
President Talbird included this item : "Dedication of the Hall of the 
Franklin Society. Address by William A. May, Esq., of Sumter 
county, June 23rd." 

The decrease in membership caused by the Civil War made it im- 
possible to sustain two societies, yet neither was willing to be ab- 
sorbed by the other. The result was the organization of a new society, 
under a new name, the Philomathic. After the war the Franklin So- 
ciety was reorganized, but the Adelphi was superseded by the Philo- 
mathic. In 1869, for the first time in the history of the college, the 
two societies are mentioned by name in the annual catalogue. Under 
Col. Murfee they reached the heyday of their activity. 

During the college session each society held a meeting every Satur- 
day evening and at other times if deemed advisable. At the hour ap- 
pointed for the opening of the meeting, the President and other officers 
of the society ascended the rostrum and took seats in a prescribed or- 
der. On the right and left of the President sat respectively the Coun- 
sellor and the Vice President; in front of the President sat the Sec- 
retary, and to the right and the left of the Secretary sat the Treasurer 

Howard College Studies 151 

and the Librarian. It was the duty of the Vice President to assist the 
President in keeping order, to take note of all persons who committed 
offenses during the meeting, and to make a verbal report of the same at 
such a time as was prescribed by the "Order of Business". The duty 
of the Counsellor was to keep the President posted on points of par- 
liamentary law. 

Having called the house to order, the President asked the Chap- 
lain to lead in prayer, and the Secretary to call the roll and read the 
minutes of the previous meeting. The next item in the "Order of 
Business" was the "Proposition for Membership." There were two 
sorts of members — active and honorary. In order to elect an active 
member, a unanimous vote of all the active members present was re- 
quired ; but this vote was never difficult to obtain, for there was keen 
rivalry between the two societies over the acquisition of members. 
When a boy's name was proposed for active membership there was 
loud applause and, at the request of the President, the applicant was 
escorted from the hall by the young gentlemen who had proposed his 
name, and the society proceeded to the election. The action being fa- 
vorable, as was always the case, the applicant was re-admitted to the 
hall and escorted to the rostrum amidst applause, where the President 
administered the following pledge of membership : "I do hereby pledge 
myself to support and obey the constitution and by-laws of this society." 
The initiation fee of a new member was two dollars a year, payable 
within one month. After the first year, a member's fee was fifty cents 
a semester. The honorary members paid no fees whatever, and their 
names were enrolled in a separate book. It was the custom of the boys 
to propose the names of their lady friends as honorary members, but 
by constitutional provision the number of ladies elected honorary mem- 
bers during any session was limited. 

The officers of a society were as follows: President, Vice Presi- 
dent, Counsellor, Secretary, Treasurer, Librarian, Chaplain, Critic, 
Monthly Orator, and Door Keeper. They held office for one month, 
except the Librarian, Counsellor and Chaplain, whose term of office 
was two months, and the Treasurer who continued in office during the 
semester. At the meeting preceding the expiration of these terms, new 
officers were elected for the ensuing term, by a majority of the votes 
cast by the members present. The outgoing President administered 
the pledge to the incoming President, who in turn administered it to 
all the other newly elected officers. There was always considerable 

153 Howard College Bulletin 

enthusiasm, genuine or feigned, manifested at these inauguration cere- 
monies as each officer came to the rostrum and acceded to the pledge, 

which was as follows : "Mr. you have been elected to the 

office of of this Society. Do you promise to discharge, to 

the best of your ability, the duties devolving upon you as -' ?" 

The duty of the Chaplain was to open the society with prayer; 
that of the Critic was to observe closely the speakers, while on the 
stand, and to render a report at the time designated in the "Order of 
Business" ; that of the Monthly Orator was to deliver an oration on the 
last Saturday evening of the month constituting his term; that of the 
Door Keeper was to perform the services of janitor in connection with 
the society hall. The President was required to deliver an inaugural ad- 
dress at the meeting following his election. 

Near the middle of the college session, that is, in January or 
February, each society held a public meeting called its Anniversary in 
celebration of its foundation as a society; and during the Commence- 
ment week a joint meeting was held by the two societies. On these oc- 
casions the societies put forth their best efforts and always attracted 
large audiences. 

The primary purpose of these societies was to afford an opportu- 
nity for the students to exercise their powers as orators and debaters. 
The program always provided for a declaimer who spoke an extract 
from some great masterpiece of prose or poetry. There was also 
provision for an extempore orator. This unhappy individual was ap- 
pointed by the President just before the beginning of the evening's 
debate and assigned a subject. He might retire from the hall for a few 
minutes, if he so desired, to prepare his oration; but at the time desig- 
nated in the "Order of Business" he must be ready with his offering 
sans notes, sans manuscript, sans everything. 

The debates were conducted in the usual manner, and the President 
decided the question according to the merits of the arguments produced. 

To regulate the conduct of the members while in the hall, there 
were numerous by-laws. Here are a few samples : 

"Any member who shall applaud with his feet shall be fined 10 

"Any member who shall spit on the floor shall be fined 10 cents." 

"Any member who shall use obscene language in the hall shall 
be fined 25 cents." 

"Any member who shall turn his back upon the President shall 
be fined 10 cents," 

Howard College Studies 153 

"Any member who shall be guilty of disrespect to any officer shall 
be fined 50 cents." 

"Any member who shall be guilty of disrespect to the President 
shall be reported to President of the College." 

It was customary, at the last meeting of a society each year, to 
present diplomas to the outgoing Seniors. A diploma of this nature 
was a testimony of regard and a certificate of faithful duty rendered 
to the society. A Junior handed out the diplomas with a feeling speech 
of farewell. In the nineties, however, little gold badges, like medals, 
superseded the diplomas. 

What a typical Anniversary program of one of these societies was 
like may be realized from the following, transcribed from the Marion 
Standard of March 1, 1883 : 

"The Chapel of Howard College was well filled Friday night 
with the elite of Marion society, to witness the Annual Celebration 
of the Philomathic Society. The exercises were opened with 
prayer by Dr. L. R. Gwaltney, followed by most delightful music 
from Mrs. Parker and Misses Lucy Fox and Augusta Lovelace. 
The opening piece was a Declamation of 'The Wounded Soldier,' 
by E. L. Thornton, in which the speaker showed thorough training 
in elocution. Oration by John R. Sampey. Subject : 'Stonewall 
Jackson, the Military Genius of the South.' Mr. Sampey is quite 
an orator, and his gesticulation was almost perfect. His oration 
was very touching, and carried us back to the scenes which he 
pictured so vividly and in which we were actors. The important 
event of the evening was the debate on the question : 'Was the 
banishment of Napoleon Bonaparte to St. Helena justifiable?' 
Affirmative: W. A. Whittle, Orr Haralson. Negative: B. F. 
Giles, L. G. Skipper. The question was ably and very ingeniously 
argued by both sides, but we think that the negative had much the 
advantage, and the question was decided in their favor by the com- 
mittee. Mr. Skipper, we think, was by far the best speaker of 
the occasion, and his speech would have done credit to a much 
older head. The exercises were interspersed with music by IMisses 
Fox and Lovelace and a song from Mrs. A. D. Smith, which added 
very materially to the pleasures of the occasion. * * * The de- 
signs used in the decorations were the handiwork of Miss Julia 
Murfee, and they were much admired for their beauty and ex- 
cellence, and for the tasteful and skillful style in which they were 

154 Howard College Bulletin 

What a typical Final Meeting was like may be realized from 
this breezy description penned by a student editor of the Franklin Ad- 
vocate : 

FrankHn Hall, May 30, 1885. 
J. E. Herring, President. 

At about 8 p. m. the people began to assemble, and in a way to 
thrill every Franklin boy and make him glad he was a 'Frank' at 
least for tonight. Down the walk toward the stile a long, dark col- 
umn was seen that moved steadily on, and then there was on the 
calm starlit air the whisper heard afloat, 'The Jud. is coming!' 

^ ^ ^ 

Our boys formed in column of twos below stairs, and marched 
up, led by the marshal. At the door came to right by file and thus 
proceeded up the aisle, one taking a seat at the right, the next at 
the left of the rostrum, and so on. 

The President called the house to order, and the exercises were 
opened with a short and appropriate prayer by Mr. L. O. Dawson. 

Then the President welcomed the people to our hall in an elo- 
quent yet brief manner, after which he called for the declaimers 
in regular order. They all did credit to themselves and added 
new honor to Franklin's name. There were eight declaimers in 
the arena, waving with eloquence and anxious for a medal, which 
the Society offers yearly to the man among the new members who 
acquits himself most honorably in the noblest of arts — oratory. 

Mr. Dawson then delivered the diplomas to the seniors, ac- 
companied with an appropriate and pointed speech, which was all 
the better for not being too long. In eloquent strains, mingled with 
pathos, he touched upon the fact that this is the last year that 
we are to enjoy the companionship of those noble men and that 
there he bade farewell to them, never to meet them again as 
brother 'Franks' in Franklin Hall. 

We then heard the parting words of the seniors, which were 
appropriate and full of feeling and advice, as they committed to 
our keeping the solemn charge of our Society. Now they lay the 
burden on us and are we not to bear it? 

Next the President, in a few and select words, presented the 
medal to Mr. J. W. McCollum as victor on the field of eloquence. 

Adjournment came after singing our annual song, 'Franklin 
Hymn', the words of which are as beautiful and appropriate as 
any that mark the course of a pen controlled by genius, in taste 
and beauty, and which was sung to the best of all airs, 'Home, 

Howard College Studies 155 

Sweet Home.' But that which thrilled us with emotions of pleas- 
ure and satisfaction, and fired us with a determination to move 
onward and upward in the cause in which we are engaged as a So- 
ciety was to see so many of the fair ones in the audience wearing 
our badges, showing that their hearts beat in sympathy with us 
as we toil on in the cause of letters. And when the closing hymn 
was called for, there on the two front rows of seats, occupied by 
our representatives among the Judson's fairest, we saw each, by 
some means, we care not what, produce the words of the 'Frank- 
lin Hymn', and as all rose and sang, the air seemed melted into 
liquid harmony, issuing from about twenty-five throats tuned to 
seraph-like sweetness, and we felt that it was not in vain that we 
had worked hard to make the night a success." 
From the Franklin Advocate of June, 1886, we cull the following : 
"The custom of our societies on the last night before the 
first final meeting is to assemble in joint session for the purpose 
of having a good time. This, called the 'jollification meeting', 
was held in the Franklin Hall on May the 15th. There was, of 
course, a good deal of levity at the beginning, and the boys had 
to laugh themselves hoarse before the President, Capt. R. F. 
Smith, could get order, and then speeches were made on the 
subject, 'The Ladies of Marion', by Messrs. Dawson and Gamble, 
and on 'The Societies', by Mr. W. G. Brown. After all the 
speeches were heard the boys gathered around the rostrum and 
sang, 'We Shall Gather at the River', in a most touching manner. 
It was a pretty sight — Philomathic and Franklin voices harmo- 
niously blending and swelling with joy up through the calm, 
peaceful night air. There was no discord there. All strike for 
the supremacy was forgotten. All were once again brothers. Soul 
of old Howard, whose benign countenance, we imagine, must have 
brightened while contemplating the lovely scene. 'Soon we'll reach 
the shining river', and as they sang it each heart seemed to realize 
that this was an earnest of the happy meeting in Paradise. Yes, 
we ivill reach the shining river, boys, and all discords that may 
have been here will be lost in the sweet refrain of the heavenly 
chorus. 'Three cheers for the work of '85 and 'd>Q) adjourned us. 
We went out, and in going some of us, alas, went out forever." 
Just a year before the college was removed to East Lake, lunh 
societies papered, carpeted, painted and decorated their halls at pri- 
vate expense and in a most beautiful manner. But all this had to be 

156 Howard College Bulletin 

given up. At East Lake, recitation rooms were used for ordinary- 
meetings, and Ruhama Church was pressed into service for public meet- 
ings and anniversaries, until the main building of the college was erected. 
In this building two society halls were provided. 

In March, 1890, Henry J. Willingham was the Secretary of the 
Philomathic Society and recorded the following minutes for the meet- 
ing of March 1. Little did the Secretary dream at the time that his 
record of that evening's business would ever reach the printer. But 
here it is : 

"Society was called to order by Pres. R. W. Huey. After 
roll call and prayer the minutes of last meeting were read and ap- 
proved. Under head of application for membership, Thompson, 
J., arose and in his happy manner proposed the name of Mr. R. E. 
Weaver, who was unanimously elected an active member of our 
Society and signed the pledge amid loud and continued applause. 
Barnes, J. E., then proposed the name of Miss Maude Hardy, who 
was unanimously elected as an honorary member of our Society. 
Excuses for fines were called for, and those of Thompson, J., 
and Barnes were received. Treasurer being absent, Harris, J. E., 
by instruction, made for him the following report: * * * 
Librarian absent, and no report by him. 

Next came the installation of officers and, in the absence of 
the Pres. elect, the following were installed by Pres. Huey, R., who 
presided throughout the evening : Vice President, Harris, J. E. ; 
Secretary, Willingham ; Critic, Lambert ; Chaplain, Thames ; Li- 
brarian, Barnes; Door Keeper, Huey, R. 

President then made the following appointments : Monthly 
Orator, R. B. Devine; Query Committee, Willingham, Still, and 
Rose ; Assistant Door Keepers, Miller, Starkey, Swindle, and 
WilHams, E. 

The debate was next in order and, on account of one speaker 
on the affirmative being absent, and the other acting in the ca- 
pacity of President, Nettles and Willingham were substituted in 
their respective places. After a somewhat lengthy discussion on 
the part of the debaters, and a most extraordinary Philippic by 
an irregular on the negative, the President decided in favor of the 
negative side. 

Under the head of new business, several members spoke of de- 
vising a means for averting the financial embarrassment which 
seems to threaten us in the near future. Definite action on the 

Howard College Studies 157 

matter, however, was postponed until our next meeting, when a 
fuller attendance is expected. 

Query committee then handed in the following as our pro- 
gram for next meeting: 'Resolved, That a student should not 
ride a jack'. Affirmative : Barnes and Devine. Negative : Huey, 
R., and Thompson, J. Declaimer, Thames. 

The Vice President handed in the following report : Martin, 
J. R., chewing; Bramer, Reeves, Williams, Spurlin and Barnes, 
moving to stove without permission ; Devine, speaking without 
permission ; Knight, the same ; Riley, E., laughing ; Devine, inter- 
rupting speaker without permission. 

There being no further business, the Society adjourned." 
Both societies moved into their new halls at the opening of college 
in the fall of 1891. Money had been collected and the halls partially 
furnished during the summer. Miss Eugenia Weatherly, one of the 
few co-eds, was Secretary of the Philomathic Society from February 
33 to March 30, 1895, and Vice President from March 7 to April 7, 
1896. At the Final Meeting of the Society in 1896, she was the pre- 
siding officer. About this time the custom was inaugurated of pre- 
senting Alumni Badges to the outgoing Seniors instead of diplomas. 

By 1902 interest in the literary societies was on the point of being 
supplanted by interest in athletic sports and other activities. 

2. Student Publicafions. — In the South Western Baptist for No- 
vember 25, 1852, appears the following : 

Hozvard College Magazine 

Is the title of a neat Magazine just issued from the office of 
Dennis Dykous, Marion, Ala., and edited by several young men 
of Howard College. The young men have the hearty concurrence 
of President Talbird, and other members of the Faculty in behalf 
of their effort; and judging from the matter in the issue before us, 
(October number), they have commenced under favorable auspices. 
Wishing everything connected with Howard College well, this 
handsome Magazine shall not be an exception. We trust the 
public will patronize it liberally, as it is now eminently deserving, 
and will be more so as it gets older. It is filled with most valuable 
matter and it is neatly printed. Here follows their prospectus: 

Prospectus of the Hozvard College Magazine 

The students of Howard College propose to issue a Magazine 
under the above title ; the editorial department being conducted 

158 Howard College Bulletin 

by a committee appointed from themselves. It will be published 
monthly for nine months in the year, and if they meet with suffi- 
cient encouragement from the friends of the enterprise, the first 
number will make its appearance on the 31st of October next. 
Each number will contain about thirty pages of reading matter, 
the greater portion of which will be original; contributed by the 
students of the College. 

No great pretension will be made to literary excellence, but it 
is hoped that the Magazine will not be entirely unworthy of pat- 
ronage. The friends of education, and all who may be willing to 
aid an effort on the part of young men to improve themselves, 
and to contribute to the entertainment of the public, are respectfully 
solicited to subscribe to the Magazine. 

Another object contemplated is to appropriate all surplus 
funds to the increase of the libraries of the Franklin and Adelphi 
Societies, connected with the College. * * * 

The terms of subscription are $1 ; payable on the reception of 
the first number." 

Whether the boys actually succeeded in publishing every month for 
nine months in the year, it is now impossible to ascertain ; but the South 
Western Baptist refers to its appearance in May, 1859, and again on 
April 11, 1861, in these terms: "The Howard College Magazine for 
March sustains its well earned reputation." This was in all probability 
its last issue, by reason of the outbreak of the war. A hiatus follows — 
the long period of war and reconstruction. 

On July 18, 1878, the Marion Commonwealth says: "The Howard 
Collegian for July is on our table. It is made up of interesting matter, 
and well printed." One year later, July 10, the same local paper an- 
nounces : "Cadet Howard Griggs, a young man of universally fine en- 
dowments, who has had charge of the Howard Collegian for some 
time since, left this week to spend a few weeks at his home in Tus- 
kegee." Thus about the middle of Col. Murfee's administration, the 
monthly publication had been revived, under another name. There are 
references to its appearance in June and December, 1882 ; and in Jan- 
uary and August, 1883. 

But boys will be Ijoys. The rivalry between the two literary 
societies was intense during the early eighties, and in order to outdo 
its rival, the Franklin Literary Society decided in a series of very se- 
cret sessions to spring a new publication upon the astonished Philo- 
mathic world. Accordingly the Franklin Advocate appeared suddenly 
in February, 1885. The personnel of the Editorial Staff was as fol- 

Howard College Studies 159 

lows: L. E. Thomas, L. O. Dawson, J. M. Mclver, J. E. Herring, 
and W. J. Elliott. The leading editorial was entitled "Salutatory", and 
begins thus: "The Franklin Literary Society of Howard College was 
organized in the year 1861." This is not an accurate statement, but we 
can easily forgive inaccuracy here because of the excellence of style and 
composition in the rest of the publication. An editorial entitled "The 
Noble Man" was signed by L. O. Dawson. 

Other issues of the Franklin Advocate appeared at monthly inter- 
vals, containing such material as original orations, original editorials, 
and original speeches delivered in debate. The Locals were usually 
spicy, full of puns, local hits, and references to the fair sex. For 
two years this department was under the editorial direction of L. O. 

The monthly oration required by the Society was often a good 
piece of school boy oratory. Here is a flowery one by R. M. Hunter, 
entitled "The Young Live Forward, the Old Live Backward in Mem- 
ory". A critic of the present day might be so ungracious as to find 
fault with this speech, but measured by the standards of 1885 it was 
a model of eloquence, metaphorical and dramatic. Here is a sample of 
it: "It was an orphan boy (Napoleon, I suppose) that wrenched the 
sceptre from a long line of kings, crumbled empires, set up dominions, 
leaped upon the throne and convulsed the world. (Splendid, if true.) 
It was the youthful mind of Franklin that flew to the sky, raced with 
the clouds through the heavens, caught the secret, conceived the plan, 
tore the fiery plume from the lightning's pinion, winged a thousand 
wires with flying messages, split the thunder-bolt to torches, and set the 
world aglow with electric lights." 

Here is another on the "Power of Thought", by J. M. Kailin, 
pitched only in a less lofty flight. "Shut down the power of thought", 
he says, "and the engine of civilization will stand still on the broad 
road of time." And much more of the same nature. Space forbids 
the presentation here of further specimens. 

Of course, the rival society could not stand idly by and be outdone. 
No sooner had the Franklin Advocate appeared than out came the 
Philomathian, and the two magazines ran neck and neck for a couple 
of years. Evidently, however, the financial strain proved too great, 
for in the spring of 1887 the Hotvard Collegian appeared again under 
an editorial staff composed of both Franklins and Philomathians. 

For more than a year after the removal of the college to East Lake, 
no student publication was issued. Then, in January, 1889, the Hoivard 

160 Howard College Bulletin 

Collegian appeared, and other numbers followed in February, March, 
May and June. The editors for this year were W. D. Hubbard and 
H. R. Dill for the Philomathic, and H. H. Shell and W. H. Owings for 
the Franklin Society. Among the editorials was one in opposition to 
"Co-Education of the Sexes", by H. R. Dill. 

But the two societies could not long work in harmony, and soon 
agreed to publish each its own magazine. In January, 1890, the 
Franklin Advocate re-appeared, appealing to the traditions of the 
past and to the loyalty of the old Franklins for support. The editors 
were H. H. Shell, S. J. Strock, W. H. Payne, and L. A. Smith; busi- 
ness manager, S. P. Lindsey. The Philomathic Society continued to 
publish the Collegian, but from their manuscript minutes one gathers 
that the Philos were having difficulty in financing it. 

In the fall of 1890, the Philomathic Society made overtures to the 
Franklin for joint publication of the college magazine; but no agree- 
ment was reached, and no publication appeared that year. In the fall 
of 1891, however, agreement was reached to publish the Howard Maga- 
zine. How many numbers appeared, it is impossible to ascertain. The 
writer has found no reference to any for the year 1891-92. In Decem- 
ber, 1892, however, one number appeared, and then publication seems 
to have ceased altogether for the rest of the year. Evidently these 
were discouraging times for the boys as well as for the Trustees. . 

In the spring of 1895, the societies were having their usual discord 
over the joint publication of a college magazine, when the Franklin 
Advocate suddenly appeared again. "Twice before in the history of 
the Franklin Society", wrote the editor, "she has seen fit to publish her 
own magazine. In 1890 the Advocate was regularly issued during the 
greater part of the session." Then he went on to say the Howard 
Magazine under the management of both societies had proved a fail- 

Of course the Philomathians now bestirred themselves and issued 
a publication of their own, which chanced to have the name of Howard 
Magazine. The Franklins complained of the name, but to no purpose. 
"It may be", taunted the editor of the Advocate, "that they are afraid 
to sail under the colors of their society and have, therefore, launched 
forth under the broader and more influential banner of the college." 

From 1897 to 1902 the Howard Collegian appeared about half a 
dozen times a year as the joint publication of the two societies. Neither 
society ever tried again to finance and publish its own magazine. 

3. Greek Letter Fraternities. — In the sense in which the term is 
used today, the first Greek letter fraternity in the United States was 

Howard College Studies 161 

Kappa Alpha, founded at Union College in 1825. The first fraternity 
to enter Alabama was Delta Kappa Epsilon, which established a chap- 
ter at the University in 1847. The next to enter was Alpha Delta Phi, 
in 1850. Sigma Alpha Epsilon was founded at the University in 1856 
by Noble Leslie DeVotie, who had been a student at Howard College 
during the academic year 1850-51. 

The first fraternity chapter established at Howard College was 
Mu of Phi Gamma Delta, 1856. It was closed because of the war and 
was never revived. 

The next was Alabama Beta Beta of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, 1870. 
Then came Pi chapter of Sigma Chi in 1872, Alpha Mu of Beta Theta 
Pi in 1872, and Iota of Sigma Nu in 1879. 

In 187G the college authorities at Howard ordered the fraternities 
to cease further initiation of members. This order was generally 
obeyed, and all the chapters disappeared except that of Sigma Nu, 
which continued to exist suh rosa. 

After the removal of the college to East Lake the suh rosa chap- 
ter of Sigma Nu gave the faculty and Trustees considerably annoyance, 
but drastic action was never resorted to. 

At the Commencement of 1899, a petition to the Board of Trus- 
tees was signed by a large number of students asking that Greek letter 
fraternities be permitted at Howard. After the graduating exercises 
of Commencement Day, Dr. B. D. Gray, President of the Board, an- 
nounced that the Trustees had decided to report adversely on the big 

How the Sigma Nus, while their chapter was suh rosa, some- 
times cloaked their activities in thus described by Mr. W. R. Hood : 

"About 1900 there appeared in the college an organization or 
association of students which was ostensibly an ordinary social club 
but which, to many observers, was in reality a cloak for Iota chap- 
ter of Sigma Nu. The club was called The Sixteenth Infantry 
and was composed of the entire membership of Iota chapter, sev- 
eral students of more or less prominence who were not fraternity 
men, and some ten or twelve young women residents of the town 
of East Lake. For the purpose of chaperoning, one or two ma- 
trons of the town were also included. The officers of the club 
were a colonel, a major, and subordinates, such as an adjutant; 
and some of the feminine contingent were made honorary 'cap- 
tains'. The Sixteenth Infantry was most active about the years 
1900-1 and 1901-2, and its organization and quality of membership 
continued substantially the same throughout this period. ♦ ♦ ♦ 

163 Hozvard College Bulletin 

That the Sixteenth Infantry was well adapted for cloaking the 
fraternity will be readily appreciated. Outwardly it was merely a 
social club, and its military name had no significance except pos- 
sibly to mystify. Its membership included girls, and everybody 
knew that these could not be members of Sigma Nu. Moreover, 
there were among the club's members certain men students who 
were generally known to be non-fraternity men, and some, be it 
said, were probably marked by the Sigma Nus as 'impossible' for 
real fraternity purposes. Add to these features that no non-fra- 
ternity member of the outer circle knew positively who were or 
were not members of the Sigma Nu inner circle, and you will have 
a fairly workable device for hiding the inner circle away from 
faculty scrutiny. This was the cleverest of all the various de- 
vices for keeping the sub rosa Iota chapter in concealment, and it, 
and its train of similar schemes, constituted a strong consideration 
when it was finally decided to open the college to Greek letter 
fraternities generally." 

At Commencement in 1902 the Trustees removed the ban on all fra- 
ternities, and the Sigma Nus straightway fitted up a "chapter hall" in 
the main building of the college. It was now only a matter of time 
before chapters of other fraternities would be established. 

4. College Sports. — When the soldiers returned from the Civil 
War, they brought baseball with them. The game grew rapidly in 
public favor and soon found a ready place in all the schools. The stu- 
dents of the University of Alabama were playing baseball as early as 
1872. The first reference to a game by Howard boys is the following 
from the Marion Commonwealth of April 11, 1878 : 

"A game of baseball was played last Saturday (April 6) be- 
tween a nine of the Howard College club and a nine of the South- 
ern University club, of Greensboro. The game was hotly con- 
tested and resulted in favor of the Howard College club by a 
score of 42 to 35." 

When it is remembered that the Southern University at Greens- 
boro was the progenitor of Birmingham-Southern, the Howard boys 
ought to appreciate this score. 

On April 23, 1884, the Marion Standard gives this interesting bit of 

"The Howard boys in a match game of baseball with a club 
from the Southern University at Greensboro last Saturday were 
victorious by a score of 27 to 26." 

Howard College Studies 163 

But, alas, in May, 1885, the Southern University defeated How- 
ard by a score of 29 to 13. The next spring L. O. Dawson wrote in 
the "Locals" of the Franklin Advocate: "Baseball is languishing at 
Howard College. The trouble is a bat can't be had for less than six 
bits." So it was lack of funds and not timidity that kept the Howard 
boys from giving the Methodists a thorough trouncing in 1886 ! 

After the removal of the college to East Lake, the boys played 
baseball in a desultory fashion every spring. Here is a choice clipping 
from the Howard Collegian for May, 1898 : 

"It seems that Howard cannot play ball a little bit this year, 
as we have recently had the misfortune to lose (sic) two games 
played with Massey's Business College. However, too great pro- 
ficiency in some lines is not altogether to be desired. * * * Base- 
ball is not Howard's strong point." 

Football, as the game is now played, came into vogue in the nine- 
ties. In all probability the first movement to introduce football into 
the colleges of Alabama is described in the following news item from 
the Age-Herald of January 11, 1891: 

"Representatives from the University of Alabama, the Agri- 
cultural and Mechanical College, and Howard College met in Bir- 
mingham yesterday and organized an intercollegiate association. 
Howard College was represented by Capt. Robt. W. Huey 
and Corporal C. N. White. The Agricultural and Mechanical Col- 
lege by Lieutenant J. C. Kimball and Sergeant Frank Peabody. 
The University by Cadet Burr Ferguson and Martin D. Sibert. 

The meeting was called to order by Cadet Frank Peabodly, 
and it was decided to adopt the American intercollegiate football 
rules. The officers for the year are as follows: President Martin 
D. Sibert of the University Law School ; Secretary, John C. Kim- 
ball of the Agricultural and Mechanical College; Treasurer, Robt. 
W. Huey of Howard College. 

The students of the different colleges are very anxious to 
make this association a success, as it will be both a pleasure and a 
benefit to them. 

The students fear, as this is a new move, that they will have 
opposition from some members of the different faculties; but as 
the leading colleges in the North favor such associations, they 
hope, by playing on holidays and Saturdays, to be allowed to pro- 
ceed. The first game will probably be played within the next 
month, and the boys hope to be encouraged by a large crowd to 
witness their first attempt." 

164 Howard College Bulletin 

Nothing more is heard of this association, but the football con- 
tagion was now seizing all the leading Southern colleges. The Uni- 
versity of Georgia, in the first game of its history, defeated Mercer 
University on January 30, 1893, and played the Auburn A. & M, on 
February 20 of the same year. At the University of Alabama, the 
Trustees, in February, 1892, formally permitted the students to play 
match games. 

At Howard College some of the boys may have been seen, at cer- 
tain seasons of the year, kicking a football about the campus; but no 
football team was organized at Howard until the fall of 1902. The first 
football coach at Howard was Houston Gwin, an old Auburn man, and 
the first intercollegiate game was played with the Marion Military 
Institute on October 26, in which Howard was victorious by a score 
of 6 to 0. 

Basket ball, unlike other sports, was not evolved into its present 
form through years of growth with gradual improvements, but leaped 
with one bound into its present position. It was invented in 1892 by 
Dr. James Naismith, physical instructor in the Y. M. C. A. at Spring- 
field, Mass. How it was received at Howard College may be realized 
from the following description in the Howard Collegian for March, 

"When it was announced two or three weeks ago that we 
would play our first game of basket ball on the next Thursday aft- 
ernoon, there was a visible stir in camp. What is it like? How 
many baskets ? How many balls ? was heard on every hand. Every 
man has his own basket, was the information volunteered by one 
who, no doubt, was better acquainted with picking cotton than with 
this new game. 

The memorable afternoon came and with it a great rush for 
the 'peanut gallery' in the gymnasium. Even our ever-attentive 
matron neglected to give Peter his daily scolding in order to get 
off in time to see this wonderful game. 

'Boys, I believe we could sell preserved seats to these games,' 
said a mercenary looking Freshman, as we crowded up the back 

Finally the instructor called out the chosen men to take their 
places, and the game began. 'I don't see any baskets', said several 
spectators ; and for quite a while it seemed that the players also 
failed to see the baskets. After much puffing and blowing and 
many fouls, one side succeeded in making a score. 

Howard College Studies 165 

But times change and we change with them. Today every 
citizen of East Lake understands the game thoroughly. Some of 
our young lady friends, who confess that baseball is not quite clear 
to their mind, and who have not ceased wondering why it takes 
the pitcher so long to hit the club in the batter's hands, tell us that 
for interest to spectators this is the master of games. In short, 
'it is too sweet for anything and is awful nice'." 
In May, 1902, a student writing to the Alabama Baptist thus 
summed up the athletic situation at Howard : 

"In athletics, of course, all are familiar with Howard's bas- 
ket ball record. Four out of the five inter-collegiate games were 
won by our enthusiastic team. As to baseball, this is our first 
season, and confidence hasn't yet been developed, but evidences are 
in' favor of future success. Three courts on the campus show how 
the boys like lawn tennis, and those who see the indoor athletic 
exhibition at Commencement will not regret their visit." 

166 Howard College Bulletin 


An Act 
To Incorporate the "Howard College" in Marion, Perry County. 

Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Represen- 
tatives of the State of Alabama in General Assembly convened, That 
E. D. King, H. C. Lea, O. G. Eiland, Jas. M. Massey, Wm. N. Wyatt, 
Walker Reynolds, D. P. Bestor, Ovid C. Eiland, Wm. C. Crane, Wm. 
P. Chilton, James H. DeVotie, Edward Baptist, Robt. J. Ware, L. Y. 
Tarrant and Langston Goree, and their successors in office, be, and 
they are hereby constituted a body croporate by the name and style of 
the Trustees of the Howard College ; and by that name shall have full 
power and authority to have and to use a common seal, and the same to 
break, alter and renew at pleasure ; to sue and be sued, plead and be 
impleaded, in all kinds of actions in law or equity, to receive donations 
and to purchase property, both real and personal, in value not exceeding 
two hundred thousand dollars; which shall enure to them and their 
successors forever ; and to sell, aliens and dispose of the same, and to 
pass all such by-laws, rules and regulations as the said corporation may 
deem expedient for the good government of the said institution and 
of their own proceedings ; the same not being repugnant to the consti- 
tution and laws of the United States or of this State. 

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted. That seven trustees shall con- 
stitute a quorum for the transaction of business, and shall have power to 
appoint a president, a secretary and a treasurer and such other officers 
as may be deemed necessary for said institution, and to prescribe the 
duties of each; to fill all vacancies that may occur in the Board of 
Trustees, from death or resignation ; to appoint all necessary committees, 
and to act and do all things whatever, in as ample a manner as any per- 
son or body politic or corporate can or may do by law, in conformity 
with the objects of this act. 

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That there shall be a stated 
meeting of the board of trustees in each year, at the time of conferring 
degrees, and that the President of said board of trustees shall have full 
power to call an occasional meeting of the board whenever it shall ap- 
pear to him necessary. 

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted. That the head of the institu- 
tion shall be styled the President, and the instructors thereof the pro- 
fessors ; and the president and professors or a majority of them, the 
faculty of Howard College, which faculty shall have the power of en- 
forcing the ordinances and by-laws adopted by the trustees for the gov- 
ernment of the students, by rewarding or censuring them, and finally by 
suspending them until a determination of the Board of Trustees can 
be had, but it shall be only in the power of the trustees to expell any 
student or students of the said institute. 

Sec. 5. And be it further enacted. That the trustees at their stated 
meetings, shall have full power by the principal or professors of the 
said institution, to grant or confer such degree or degrees in the arts 
and sciences, to any of the students of said institution or any person 

Hozvard College Studies 167 

by them thought worthy, as are usually granted and conferred in other 
colleges or universities, in the United States, and to give diplomas or 
certificates thereof signed by them, and sealed with the common seal 
of the trustees of the said institution, to authenticate and perpetuate the 
memory of such graduation. 

Sec. 6. And be it further enacted. That the trustees shall have 
the power of fixing the salaries of all the officers connected with the 
said institution and of removing them for neglect, incompetency or mis- 
conduct in office, a majority of the whole number of trustees concurring 
in said removal. 

Sec. 7. And be it further enacted. That the said trustees shall 
have power to define the rates of tuition, and the same to increase or 
diminish at pleasure ; to appoint the time of their own meetings, and to 
determine the place at which said institution shall be located ; which 
shall be in Marion, Perry County. 

Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That so long as the property, 
real and personal of said corporation shall be used for purposes of edu- 
cation, the same be exempt from taxation of any kind. 

Approved, December 29, 1841. 

(Acts of Alabama, 1838 to 1841.) 

July, 1923 
The Beginning of the French Revolution M. B. Garrett 

December, 1923 
The Custom of the Essay in the Poetic Contests of the College of 

Rhetoric at Toulouse John C. Dawson 

Dramatic Economy in "The Return of the Native" Percy P. Burns 

The Rise of Alabama Baptists James A. Hendricks 

The Convocation of the States General, July 5-September 25, 

1788 Mitchell B. Garrett 

Philosophy of Method in Teaching Wm. E. Bohannon 

May, 1924 
Hosea Holcombe and Early Alabama Baptists (Chapters 3 and 

4) James Albert Hendricks 

The Controversy Over the Composition of the States-General, 

September 25-November 6, 1788 Mitchell Bennett Garrett 

December, 1924 
Cromwell's Relations with Spain Virginia Holliman 

April, 1925 

A Critical Bibliography of the Pamphlet Literature Published in 

France between July o and December 27, 1788 

Mitchell Bennett Garrett 

Book Review Edward H. Reisner 

December, 1925 

Reversing the General Survey P. P. Burns 

The Philosophy of Aims in Education Wm. E. Bohannon 

A Study of Robert Herrick French Haynes 

October, 1926 

The Controversy over the Composition of the States General, 

November fi-28, 1788 Mitchell B. Garrett 

October, 1927 

Some Aspects of the Realism of Palacio Valdes ...H. M. Martin, Ph.D. 

The Pamphlet Crisis in France in 1788 .Mitchell B. Garrett. Ph.D. 

Some Phases of the Old South John Charles Dawson, Ph.D. 






^ SC GEN LD 2281,22 G3 1927 c,4 ABFj 

^H Garren, Mitche Sixty years of Howard College, 1842-1902 


1 1 00074655 

Special Collections 

LD C.4 



Sixty years of Howard