Tales of B^wdoin
Some Gathered Fragments and
Fancies of Undergraduate Life
in the Past and Present
TOLD BY BOWDOIN MEN
Collected and Published by
JOHN CIvAIR MINOT, '96
DONAI/D FRANCIS SNOW, '01
PRESS OF KENNEBEC JOURNAL
John Clair Minot
Donald Francis Snow
TO TH^ Ml^MORY OlP
A LOYAL AND RKVDRKD SON OF BOWDOIN^
ce:i,e;bratf,d his alma mati:r in story^
honored her by a lilpe of practical piety,
and won the hearts of her boys, his brethren,
is gratefully inscribed.
TO those in whose hearts Bowdoin College holds a place
the publication of this volume requires little excuse
or explanation. To others its existence can be but a matter
of small concern. We give it to its readers in the confident
hope that no Bowdoin man of any time can read its pages
without finding much to interest him, to stir the memories
of his own undergraduate days and to bind him closer to his
Alma Mater. Many of the contributions are truthful remi-
niscences; some are stories based upon actual happenings,
and a few are woven by the shuttle-play of the imagination
around scenes familiar and dear to us all. Some are long
and some are short ; some serious and others in lighter vein.
But all are tales of Bowdoin, with something of the college
color and something of the college atmosphere which can
only be fully appreciated by those who have known those
halls and campus paths and who have heard the whispering
of the pines.
It is not to be claimed that this book is complete or
exhaustive. Many and many a theme of great possibilities
is not touched upon in its pages and many a Bowdoin story-
teller is as worthy a place in such a work as are any of the
thirty whose contributions herein appear. It may be that
this volume is but a beginning, and that other collections of
Bowdoin tales will be published, finding a place in the
library of every Bowdoin man and giving pride and pleasure
to every Bowdoin heart.
TALES OP BOWDOIN
The collection of these stories and sketches and their
publication have been to us a source of much enjoyment.
Encouragement has met us on every hand and the most
sympathetic assistance uniformly has been ^ven us. We
take this opportunity to express our deep appreciation of the
generous interest taken in the work by those whose con-
tributions to its pages have made the volume what it is.
Only their loyal cooperation made its appearance possible.
And we wish to express our gratitude to the great body of
alumni and undergraduates and the many friends whose
cordial support made the undertaking a success. We wish
particularly to acknowledge our obligation to Roy Leon
Marston, '99, who drew the cover design which adds so
materially to the attractiveness of the volume.
John Clair Minot, '96,
Donald Francis Snow, '01,
June I, 1901.
Chums at Bowpoin i
Edward A. Rand, '57
The Borrowing of Pres. Cheney's Bust 19
A Phi Chi of '67
A Tale of Two Freshmen 29
Henry Smith Chapman, '91
St. Simeon Stylites 55
Kenneth C. M. Sills, '01
When the Self-Sender Walked Home 67
C. A. Stephens, '69
Told Again 81
Arlo Bates, '76
The Hazing of Stumpy Blair 95
Fred Raymond Marsh, '99
The May Training loi
Thoimas B. Reed, '60
Lost : Love's Labor iii
Wehb Donnell, '85
In the President's Room 127
Henry S. Webster, '67
The Story of a Bowdoin Story-Teller 139
IVilmot B. Mitchell, '90
The Education of Jacob Shaw 163
Franklin C. Robinson, '7Z
A Smoke Talk in No. 7 189
Clarence B. Burleigh, '87
How Triangle Won 207
Thomas LittleHeld Marble, '98
TALES OF BOWDOIN
At the Altar of Tradition 217
George Brinton Chandler, '90
Indian Pudding 229
John Alexander Pierce, '01
A History and tpie Reasons for it 2^7
Edzvard C. Plummer, '87
The Old Delta 249
Albert V/. Tolman, "88
Bowdoin Under Fire 261
Charles A. Curtis, '61
An Inquisition of 1835 275
James Plaisted Webber, '00
Random Recollections of 1871-5 281
Christopher H. Wells, '75
John Ferris, Graduate 297
Edgar O. Achorn, '81
Henry L. Chapman, '66
The Rival Fullbacks 317
Henry A. Wing, '80
Bowdoin's First Great Boat-Race 331
D. A. Robinson, '73
A College Girl's Belated Ideal 347
Frank Warren Hawthorne, '74
One Night in June 369
John Clair Minot, '96
The Central Path Frontispiece.
Phi Chi, '73 20
The Campus on a Winter Morning 38
Memorial Hall 57
The Summer Foliage 96
The Great American Traveler 128
Elijah Kellogg 157
The' Searles Science Building 171
The Interior of the Chapel 198
In the Fall of 1888 221
The Old Delta 252
Massachusetts Hall 277
The Abode of Diogenes 309
An End Play on the Whittier Field 320
A Class Race on the Androscoggin 337
The Walker Art Building 372
BOWDOIN College has been preeminent, not as a writer
of books ; not even as a trainer of scholars ; but as the
mother and maker of men : men of personality and power
and public leadership. The secret of this marvellous pro-
ductivity is not to be discovered in laboratory or library ; it
is not printed in the Catalogue, or published in the Presi-
dent's Report ; it was never formulated in a faculty vote, or
betrayed to the listener by the whispering pines. The story
of student life must tell it if it is ever told at all. The
college, therefore, welcomes the present volume as a revela-
tion of the spirit which here has been at work to make her
sons the men they have become. That spirit is the spirit
We have had two distinct theories of college life: one
that of Presidents McKeen, Appleton, Allen and Harris,
and the great Professors Packard, Smyth, Newman, Cleave-
land and Upham, which treated students as boys under
parental discipline. This theory was never an entire suc-
cess, according to the standards and expectations of its
advocates. The seven other devils, worse than the first,
were always forthcoming to occupy the chambers which
were swept and garnished by "the Executive Government."
Yet, these founders of our academic tradition builded bet-
ter than they knew; for in the grotesque aspect of police-
men, patrolling the campus by day and chasing miscreants
by night ; and in the more dubious role of detectives scent-
TAI,ES OF BOWDOIN
ing out deviltry in Sodom and Gomorrah, as the ends of
Winthrop Hall used to be called; sifting the evidence in
solemn conclave at Parker Cleaveland's study; and meting
out formal admonitions and protracted rustications to the
culprits; these grave professors were lending to mischief
just that dash of danger which served to keep the love of it
President Woods, whose administration was contempo-
raneous with the latter stages of this boisterous boyhood of
the college, was wise enough to appreciate the worth of this
then deprecated side of student life. In his mild and charit-
able eyes, robbed hen-roosts, translated live stock, greased
blackboards and tormented tutors, were indeed things to be
perfunctorily deplored; but they were not deemed speci-
mens of total depravity, or cases of unpardonable sin : nor
was he as insistent upon meting out a just recompense of
reward to the culprits, as his more strenuous colleagues
thought he ought to be. This mingling of austerity on the
part of the faculty which made mischief of this sort worth
doing, with extreme leniency on the part of the President,
which insured immunity from serious penalty, made the
college from 1839 to 1866 probably the best place there ever
was in the world for boys to be boys, and to indulge that
crude and lawless self assertion which was the only avail-
able approach which the colleges of that day afforded to
manly courage and ordered independence. With such a
stimulus, what wonder that here were reared Hawthorne,
Longfellow, Abbott, Pierce, Cheaver, Stowe, Prentiss, Ham-
lin, Bartol, Smith, Hale, Evans, Andrew, Abbott, Frye,
Fuller, Howard, Chamberlain, Smyth, Webb. Reed, Hub-
bard and Putnam. Elijah Kellogg was the consummate
flower of such a regime ; and "Phi Chi" gives it appropriate
immortality in song.
In later years, the improved laboratory facilities and
increasing use of the library ; the introduction of the elec-
tive system, and the advent of athletics; have given the
students a free life of their own. Hence the sphere of arti-
ficial freedom which they formerly carved out for them-
selves, and which all save the genial Woods so deeply
deplored, is no longer an educational and spiritual necessity
to them. The students to-day are as free as they ever were ;
but it is a freedom in the life of the college, rather than
against it. Resistance is as necessary to the development
of character, as friction to the motion of a railway train;
but the student now finds his resistance in the generous
rivalry of fraternities; in the difficulties of self-chosen and
congenial studies ; and the prowess of athletic teams from
Faculty and students now sing "Phi Chi" together, with a
common reverence for the boyhood of the college, and a
common consciousness that, for the most part, childish
things are put away. To be sure, the faculty still occasion-
ally is obliged to appeal from Philip drunk to Philip sober ;
from passing student caprice to the permanent student aims
and ideals. Yet, even in the rare cases where serious dis-
cipline is necessary, the student's class-mates or fraternity
friends are consulted ; and almost invariably their honest
judgment either modifies the faculty action, or else acqui-
esces in the faculty decision. Students have become more
mature and manly as a greater sphere of freedom has been
placed within their reach; and the professors, instead of
exercising lordship over their private affairs, are rather, as
St. Paul says, "helpers of their joy."
These stories happily bind together the old life and the
new by the common bonds of youthful enthusiasm, hearty
TALKS OF BOWDOIN
good fellowship, and true academic freedom, running
through them all.
As the graduates of former years here refresh their mem-
ory of what the college did for them, I am sure they will
offer anew the tribute of Henley's "Matri Dilectissimae
â€¢â€¢The stars shine as of old. The unchanging River,
Bent on his errand of immortal law,
Works his appointed way
To the immemorial sea.
And the brave truth comes overwhelmingly homer-
That she in us yet works and shines,
Lives and fulfils herself,
Unending as the river and the stars.
"Dearest, live on
In such an immortality
As we, thy sons,
Born of thy body and nursed
At those wild, faithful breasts.
Can giveâ€” of generous thoughts.
And honorable words, and deeds
That make men half in love with fate !
Live on, O bi-ave and true,
In us, thy children."
TALES or BOWDOIN
CHUMS AT BOWDOIN
Edward A. Rand, '57
CHUMS AT BOWDOIN
Chapte:r I. â€” In Coi.i.e:ge
WHAT a marvel was that night! It was a February
evening when Goodwin Smith, at the close of a win-
ter's school, reached the college yard again. The snow was
deep. One dead mass of white was before him. Down
upon it, the moon that seemed to be more than at the full,
poured a flood of silver. A "dead mass," did I say?
Where the moonlight fell, it kindled death into life. Upon
that silvery whiteness, all the trees had left the impress of
their forms as if in a wonderful rivalry of effort to get the
most distinct shadow possible. Not a twig but left its black
print upon the snow. Not a breath of wind stirred the
trees to confuse the fine tracery of these shadows. Over-
head, the stars had swung out their torches for their cus-
tomary procession, though not so vivid as on moonless
''There is Orion!" said Goodwin. Yes, the hunter was
out with his dogs, while timid Lepus was trying to shrink
away in the vivid moonlight. One almost expected to hear
a blast from the hunter's horn, and would Sirius bark in
faithful response, and Procyon bay in the distance? "There
is Regulus !" said Goodwin. This brilliant gem that for
centuries had been upon the handle of Leo's silver sickle,
was still faithfully ornamenting it. Not far away, the white
bees that Pliny watched, were clustered in Praesepe,
refusing to let go their ancient hold upon the ancient hive.
tai,e:s of bowdoin
Below this wonderful beauty, rose out of the snow in
prosaic stiffness the old college buildings, Massachusetts
Hall, Winthrop Hall, Maine Hall, Appleton Hall, so many
in their very name declaring that they were of a beloved
Massachusetts origin and so closely akin to Harvard. In
form, they were sugar-boxes, but whether their contents
were saccharine, time alone could show.
Box succeeded box, structures that were monotonous
masses of length, breadth and height, but what a breaking
of the stiff, prosy line there was in the upward cHmbing
roof, the upspringing, soaring towers of the new King
Chfcpel, that noble expression of Christian aspiration, that
strong symbol of a faith that has foundations.
"I must go there and stand on the Chapel steps !" thought
The slender, beshawled figure tugged along a big, old-
fashioned carpet bag that would bump against his slender
legs. He puffed by the motionless black shadows on the
white snow, each seeming to say, "Look this way!" No,
he wanted to see something else. He stood on the Chapel
steps and looked up.
Orion was still out in the silent, silver chase. Leo curved
his gemmed sickle, and around the hive in Cancer clustered
the white-winged bees. Between those starrv heights and
the snow, was the flow of glorious moonlight. The soul
of the student was thrilled. He shivered in the cold but
he could not leave the spot. He did not forp-et that behind
him was the Chapel of granite. He had never seen such
a structure before his student life at Bowdoin. He had
lately read Ruskin's ''Seven Lamps of Architecture," and
was never tired of an attempt to interpret the symbolism
of this Chapel of stone, whose towers pierced the infinite
blue and whose foundations went down to the Immutable.
CHUMS AT BOWDOIN
Some of the windows were pieces of brilliant shading. He
had been accustomed to the small squares of colorless glass
in the old New England meeting houses, and their only duty
was to stand as receivers and let the glare of the sunshine
through. These panes of rich staining, to his sensi-
tive imagination, not only received but flamed into scrolls of
fiery prophecy, or poetry, and they always had a message.
While not remarkable as pieces of art-work, they marked
him. His friend Paiseley Gore, the Sophomore, found him
one day in the college library facing a window of warm,
rich color, and he was saying over a bit of Keats' "Eve of
St. Agnes :"
"And diamonclecl with panes of quaint device,
Innumerable of stains and splendid dyes,
As on the tiger-motli's deep-damasked wings."
"You little booby!" said Paiseley the practical. "They
won't bring you bread."
Goodwin tried to say these lines that night out on the
Chapel steps, his teeth chattering away, but the "t-t-tiger-
moths" tripped him up.
Some one passed him, and a second student came up to
the first and called out, "Say, Tom, have you seen Goodwin
Smith? He expected to arrive about this time and I have
been hunting him up, this hour."
The big carpet bag on the Chapel steps stirred quickly
and the Freshman followed it. "Here I am, Paiseley!"
"There, there! So you be! Goody^ how are ye?"
The next moment, Goodwin felt gratefully the folds of
an immense shawl going about him. In those days, shawls
were included in men's furnishing goods. Every student
wore a shawl, generally of a light blue or gray shade. The
effect was peculiar when they flocked after prayers out of
the Chapel, their shawls fluttering in the wind. Had the
TAI,i;S Olf BOWDOIN
shawls been red, it would have seemed as if a lot of flam-
ingoes with flapping wings had been let loose into the college
yard. If Paiseley's shawl had been red that night, it could
not have been warmer.
"Let me take that bag ! There ! Let me have it â€” mind !
I'm so glad to see you !" Big Paiseley gave him a bear
hug. "I've been out twenty times looking for you."
"I â€” am ever so glad to see you. I â€” just wanted to get
the eitect on those steps â€” effect of the moonlight â€” "
"Oh, fiddlesticks ! Sentiment ! You'll die of it. It will
freeze you. Now you come to my room."
They vsat awhile before the open fire in one of those
hospitable Franklin stoves of a previous generation.
"I'll just thaw you out first, young man. I got your
letters all right. You liked your school."
"And the place where you boarded?"
"The Fellows', Deacon John Fellows? Oh, yes. They
were very kind to me, as to you when there last winter."
Paiseley wanted to ask about the deacon's daughter,
Mattie. His heart â€” this was the heart of Paiseley, not the
deacon â€” was a heart that was a locket carrying the image
of the deacon's daughter, a beautiful girl. He never had
confessed it to Goodwin. It v/as a locket that never had
seen the daylight. He did want to say one word about
He hesitated. He began. He stammered as if in the
cold he also stood on the Chapel steps. "Did M â€” M â€” Mat-
tie â€” " He stopped.
He began again and as he began, a warm, guilty blush
overspread his features.
"Did Mâ€” Mattie go toâ€” toâ€” school ?"
CHUMS AT BOWDOIN
His ears were also burning. The locket was now open
before the returned schoolmaster and Paiseley knew it.
"Oh, yes!" said Goodwin, and he too stammered. "And
she was a g-g-good scholar. I â€” I had a kind of f-fancy
she might like â€” ker â€” you !"
Goodwin was now blushing. The two guilty men lifted
their eyes and for a moment faced one another.
"What a botch I've made of it!" thought Goodwin.
"Paiseley loves that girl. How red he is !"
"He is dead in love with that girl," thought Paiseley,
eying the Freshman's heat. "Well, I won't interfere."
Paiseley was glad to rise, glad to drop the whole tribe
of "Fellerses," as people in that town called them, and he
said to Goodwin, "Now we will have a change. First, I'll
He went to the door and carefully sprung the lock. Then
he drew a big screen before the door. Thin indeed was
the screen, but it looked thick as the Chinese wall sketched
upon it, and the world seemed far away as the twentieth
century from Old Cathay. He went to the windows, and let
the heavy folds of the red curtains cover the old-fashioned
panes. He went to the wood-closet. Ah, what old time
treasures were in it!
"Goodwin," called out Paiseley, "I have a splendid bed
of red oak coals already there, and now will you have some
rock maple â€” sound to the core and heavy â€” or birch covered
with Californy gold?"
"It's a cold night. Bring out both kinds."
"There," said Paiseley, "I like to see it burn."
"Yes, the rock maple has white wings of flame and the
yellow birch wings of old gold, say a little tawny.'"
TALi:S OF BOWDOIN
"And it talks, an open wood fire does. The maple purrs
softly like a cat, and the red oak sobs and weeps like Niobe."
"Sentiment agin! You mean 'tis wet and it sizzles.
Now we'll have something practical. Have vou been to
"N-no. I've got some c-c-crackers." Goodwin was one
who sometimes for economy's sake "boarded himself." A
cracker looked more cheerful than a landlady's bill, or a
"Young man, if you say crackers again, I'll crack you.
See here! A little legerdemain! What will you have,
chicken for two? That means two chickens. Presto!"
He lifted a table cloth frorn a tin kitchen before the fire.
"There, I got my landlady to fix these for me, tender
and sweet, you know, and I've been trying to keep them
warm^ â€” just roasted â€” and I thought you never would
come â€” "
"Paiseley, the Magnificent, but â€” Paiseley! Did you
abstract these from a Bunganock roost?"
"No, sir ! We call that stealing at home, and it ought to
be called stealing in college. I believe in one code of obli-
gations for home and college, one code for man and woman,
one code for Sophomores and Freshmen, ^.A so we will
waive all class distinctions and eat together. And another
thing, young man, I want you to stay in Gomorrah to-night
and be my guest."
"Oh, I must go to my room. You know my fire is built,
as you kindly said you would build it."
"I â€” I â€” know I did, and I went round to Sodom and
looked into your room and it did look so cold â€” "
He might have added "so poor and bare and homesick."
Goodwin was poor, and he had not reached the level of
Montaigne's philosophy so as to appreciate any advantage
CHUMS AT BOWDOIN
from indigence. Life with him was Huxley's "struggle for
existence." It was evident in the scant furnishings of that
room. In comparison, how full of luxurious comfort was
Paiseley's room in the other end of the college, Gomorrah.
Paiseley was the son of a wealthy farmer and his furniture
had cost enough to equip half a dozen rooms like Good-
win's. Besides this, Freshman housekeeping is an experi-
ment. It never can equal the ease and comfort of the
Sophomore's furnishings that show a stage of completeness
always accompanying prolonged good housekeeping.
But Paiseley was speaking again and in reply to Good-
win's plea that he had no Livy with him and must go to
his room to study that classic and the time of recitation
would be that barbarism, the hour before breakfast.
"See here, young man ! Thoughtful as ever, I brought
your Livy over here. So you can get your lesson here.
Then in the morning, an agreeable surprise will be furnished
Uncle Tommy.* There will be a recitation from his prom-
ising pupil, Goodwin Smith â€” "
"No interrupting rem.arks, young man ! All out of place
here ! Let me smother that tongue with more chicken.
There! Now you keep quiet and be comfortable. You
will have a good night's rest and be up in time for prayers
before recitation. Old Dif will wake us."
"You have him now?"
"Yes, or he has me. He came in, this morning. He
built my fire and bowed his stovepipe hat to it as if wor-
shiping some Persian divinity. I was awake and saw him.
Thinking I was asleep, he came to wake me up, and tapped
*The beloved Prof. Thos. C. Uphara.
t Diogenes, the nick-name of Curtis, the gray haired hermit who served
TALES O^ BOWDOIN
on my bedpost with a bunch of keys and g"ot off a lot of
doggerel about a command from Neptune and his mermaids
to wake me up. I yawned and said I would throw my boots
at his stovepipe if he did not leave, which he did. Now see
how well everything will turn out if you stay here."
It was so good to be taken care of, to be warm, to have
a hearty supper, to go to rest in so luxurious a bed as
Paiseley's. Goodwin could see in the snug bedroom where
the oak coals hung over the furniture the drapery of their
Avarm, crimson glow. He heard the wind mildly purr and
mew like a cat anxious to get in, and the noise drowsily
diverted him and coaxed him down, down, down Slumber's
stairs into the chambers of forgetfulness. After a while,
the crimson drapery vanished from the furniture. The hot
coals sobered to ashes and went out.
In the yard, though, the light went on. The white moon
showered its sparkling pearls on the white snow. Orion
kept up the chase after Lepus all the while, and Praesepe's
bees hung poised and motionless on their white wings. The
winter night was so glorious in the old college yard. It
was such a silent glory unless interrupted bv the vigorous
singing " 'Tis the way we have at Old Bowdoin" by a party
of Sophomores from a secret society meeting, or the lacka-
daisical music of "Annie Laurie" from an old time Senior
just going into society and at an early hour strolling home
alone from a church sociable.
Chapter II. â€” Out oe College.
The cloud burst at last. As a threat it had been lying
upon the horizon of American life for long years. It might
be only a threat but it was not a thin mist today, to be blown
away tomorrow ; it lived on. It was not always of the same
CHUMS AT BOWDOIN
size. It might alarmingly tower one year and then would
subside, but it disappeared never. "The irrepressible con-
flict" was coming nearer. In i860, the cloud mounted the
sky again, black with threat. "War between the North and
the South is coming," said the watcher of the heavens.
The cloud darkened all the sky at last, and the red bolts