Edwin L. (Edwin Luther) Green.

A history of the University of South Carolina online

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General Pierce M. Butler, distinguished in the Mexican War
as colonel of the Palmetto regiment, and who became gov-
ernor of South Carolina, agreed to act as second to one of
these young men. The other had as his adviser Mr. D. J.
McCord, a distinguished lawyer, a most eminent citizen,
a man of great talents, whose name lives in the judicial
records of the state as being the author of McCord and Nott's
reports. Here were two of the most prominent citizens of
South Carolina, each of them about forty years of age, aiding
and abetting duelling between two young men, neither of
them over twenty years of age.

"They fought at Lightwood Knot Springs, ten miles from

Columbia. They were both men of the coolest courage

They were to fight at ten paces. They were to fire at the


word 'one', raising their pistols When the word 'Fire'

was given, each started to raise his pistol; but each had on
a frock-coat, and the flap of Roach's coat caught on his arm,
and prevented his pistol from rising. When Adams saw that }
he lowered his pistol to the ground. The word was then
given a second time: 'Are you ready? Fire! One!' They
both shot simultaneously."

Both were wounded, Adams mortally; Roach recovered
after a long time.

In the early 50's there was a recrudescence of the practice.
A number of students were suspended or expelled. All
editions of the by-laws since 1835 have contained a section
against carrying a challenge, accepting a challenge, fighting
or taking part in any way in a duel. Difficulties have long
been settled by a fight with the fists, between two men or a
series of fights. In early days dirks and bowie knives were
employed, as the laws show. Even as late as 1837 a student
came to the college bringing a bowie knife, although he was
aware that he was violating the law. About this time a
certain student, Bryce by name, went with friends to a
circus having on the advice of another slipped a bowie knife
into his pocket. A common practice of the students was
to try to beat up the circus people. A fight taking place,
Bryce drew the knife and killed an Irishman, who it was
said was on the point of braining his companion. The
defence of Bryce by Hon. William C. Preston is noted in the
legal annals of the State. Bryce was acquitted and grad-

No duel with fire arms since the opening of the university
in 1866 is recorded. In the recollection of old students chal-
lenges have been sent ; but the matter was settled amicably.

Fire arms or any other kind of weapon have always been
forbidden in the rooms of the students; but it has never
been possible completely to banish them. At times the firing
of guns on the campus has grown to serious dimensions. A
quaint punishment in early days for two students firing a
gun outside the wall near Rocky Branch was fifty lines of


Suppers were much indulged in, especially wine suppers
in the days of the old college, when drinking was common.
They were given without the knowledge of the faculty.
Drunkenness was not uncommon; liquor brought on the
campus was freely indulged in at every riot. Lyon, Burk,
Suder, Ruppell, Hunt, "Billy" Maybin were keepers of
tippling shops to which students resorted. Dr. Marion
Simms praises the kindness to students of Lyon, who lent
to them without any security and never lost : he had himself
borrowed from Lyon the sum of $200, which he paid back
after he left college. "Billy" Maybin for many years kept
the Congaree Hotel on the site of the present Jerome Hotel.
In the 40's and 50's his place was the college resort. An old
student's memory placed Lyon's shop where the city hall now
stands. Hunt ran the United States Hotel diagonally across
the street from the Congaree Hotel. Dr. Samuel Green's
tavern figured in the early history of the college. This was
at the time he had the commons near where the Hampton
monument stands on the capitol square. An act of the legis-
lature in 1837 forbade the sale of wine, ardent spirits, goods,
wares or merchandise to students as minors. The South
Carolina College Temperance Society was formed in the
spring of 1845. Temperance pledges had been administered
to students by the faculty. The change of sentiment with
regard to drinking and the teaching of the evil influence of
liquor in the schools have brought about a radical change.

Many students have been made Christians by the personal
efforts and example of professors, notably Dr. Thornwell.
Professor Barnwell attempted prayer meeting. Dr. Joseph
LeConte conducted a Bible class. Since 1883 the catalogue
has called attention to the religious work among the stu-
dents; the Young Men's Christian Association is first men-
tioned in 1883. This association long held its meetings in
the chapel and on the west side of the lower floor of DeSaus-
sure College. It now has its headquarters in Flinn Hall.

Serenading was frequent, with the added zest that the
serenaders should be in their rooms and might be detected
by the professors as absent. If the young beau could not


play himself on some musical instrument, he would hire a
fiddler. Dr. Marion Simms relates a serenade of himself
and several friends at Barhamville, the famous school for
young ladies near Columbia, in which tin pans and horns
took the place of musical instruments. The principal,
Dr. Marks, fired at the students, who tried to return his fire,
but, fortunately, the musket failed to go off. Since the days
of athletics it has been a practice to repair to the College for
Women and to the Columbia College, as long as it was in
the city, when a victory has been won and call out the young
ladies with much cheering on both sides. College yells, or
cheers, belong to the last few decades and have now become
organized, especially at games, under a cheer leader, or chief
"rooter" with his lieutenants. Snow has always more or less
demoralized the students. Dr. Thornwell's biographer gives
an account of a snow storm in Dr. Cooper's days: "when
history and tradition informed us it had ever been the prac-
tice to disregard all college regulations, suspend all college
exercises, and take to hot punch and honey. Considering
the weather quite too inclement to permit the classes to
reach the recitation rooms, they marched 'up town' for the
materials for the punch; and returning, indulged in a wild

A "College Choir" existed in the 50's, the predecessor of
the Glee Club and Orchestra of the present day.

The seniors had the first choice of rooms. Rutledge has
long enjoyed the preference among the colleges. Each man
has always had to furnish his own room, so that individual
tastes and pocket books have governed the style of furnish-
ing. At the reorganization in 1835 a committee went over
the ground and decided that "fifty dollars is sufficient to
defray the expenses of outfit, and to establish a student
comfortably in his quarters. This expenditure is for beds,
bedding and room furniture of every description, and being
for permanent articles is not an annual expense." This same
committee was of the opinion that $50 was enough for pocket
money. Of course, some spent more, some less. For the
whole year the estimate was $350 "for the expense of tuition,


boarding, clothing, fire-wood, and all incidental expenses,
and includes an allowance for pocket-money during the Col-
lege year." During the 50's about f 400 sufficed to carry the
average student through a session. This estimate is that of
several alumni of that period. The allowance granted by
the legislature for the yearly support of one boy from the
poor house in Charleston at the South Carolina College was
at this time |400. If a student pays tuition and enters the
various activities of the campus life without overdoing it,
he still gets along on practically the same sum.

One great item of expense in the senior's account was his
share in the final or commencement ball. A senior of 1860,
writing home, says that he expects to be called on for $30.
This ball was the great social event of the year. It was the
"Coming Out" ball for the young debutantes of the State
just as in later years the State Ball during Fair Week.

May Day celebrations began very early, somewhere in the
30's. From them come the present "spring holiday" of one
day. In the words of a letter of a student in 1859 : "Smiling
sunny weather such as we dream of in the winter-time &
awake to regret; sights that gladden the soul as they meet
the eye, foliage that reminds one of lake banks, fleecy clouds
& mildly blue skies o'erhead, moonlit nights & airy breezes;
the pleasing chat & busy hum of the May party with all its
butterfly uncertainty, the sole of the foot reluctant to rest
in any one spot, when sweet little heads are nodding recog-
nition in the distance; the rapid transitions & incessant
mobility of the dancers impelled by the allurements of the
music, like flowers of various hue intermingling with gentle
undulations as they are stirred on a summer morn by some
mischievous zephyr bestridden by pleasant Puck or Ariel,
that 'tricksy sprite.' But oh, the grandest sight & the
grandest joy of all was the Tournament! 'Twas like a tale
of Orient & realized my finest conceptions of the poetical
capabilities of costume. Characters as various as the smiles
of women drew rein in front of the Judges' stand. Doublet,
jerkin, corslet, plaid, knee-breeches, trowsers, belt, cloak,
mantle, plumed cap, helm, morion, & in fine every variety of


costume of the richest and most resplendent colors & of the
finest materials, slashed, broidered & ribboned might be seen
on about thirty stalwart young men gallantly mounted &
bearing lances prettily painted with gilded points & adorned
with fluttering ribbons. A vast concourse of ladies adorned
the scene & bestowed their smiles & plaudits upon the suc-
cessful. The prizes were awarded for the foremost ranks in
the ring exercise & the best display of horsemanship. The
honor of crowning the Queen of Love & Beauty fell to young
Dr. Wallace of this place, who personated Don Quixote, who
signalized his discrimination as well as his gallantry &
chivalry by selecting Miss Sally Burroughs to fill that place
of high & notable distinction. The coronation was a fine
sight, both the fair Queen & the worthy Don being somewhat
embarrassed; but it passed off well, he managing to get
through a very short & courteous presentation speech, prom-
ising to maintain with his lance the selection which that
lance had enabled him to make. The two Haskells won the
second & third prizes, which gave them the privilege of
choosing the maids of honor. After these proceedings the
troop ran a race, raising a most noble cloud of dust & coming
up in the most romantic style as if they were about to charge
an enemy. Trezevant, another student, took the prize here,
which was a handsome silver cup ; so the College had a very
fair share of the honours, three of the prizes having been
borne away by her representatives. Last night they had a
fancy ball, & I should have very much liked to have seen the
costumes of the ladies, but could not get a chance. This
evening & tomorrow evening the May Exhibition comes off, &
I expect a very great pleasure in hearing Boggs' Speech,
which I hear very highly commended by those who have seen
it. He certainly has a wonderful command of language &
uses the richest, most expressive phraseology & fine imagery.
Word-painting is his forte. I attend ladies both nights & of
course need not be tormented by dry & adust elocutioners."
The old Hampton Race Track was often the scene of these
tournaments. May Day passed with the old college, leaving
it memorys in the "spring holiday." An effort is now being
made to hold a week of festivities just after Easter Week.


April 1, or April Fool's Day, has long been the occasion
of light pranks. Classes were not met. A story is told that
in Dr. Park's time (1806-1834) it was the practice not to
attend classes, and that the old man forgetting what day it
was started across the campus to his room. A student seeing
him called out: "April Fool!" "April Fool, yourself!" he
cried back. "I am not going to my classroom. I am going
uptown." When the roll was called at chapel, one form of
April Fool trick was to remain quiet without anybody's
answering to his name. At times not a student entered the
chapel. Occasionally, even at the present, a whole class
refuses to answer any question put by the professor and so
compels him to lecture. Carrying off the bell and other
similar pranks on April 1 have ceased for the most part.

As early as 1858 President Longstreet complained that the
annual fair in the fall was an annoyance. Students secured
permission from home to miss classes for one, two or three
days. "One student of age kindly permitted himself to
attend the Fair four days." There were numerous requests
"to be with fathers and mothers for a day or two while they
sojourned in town, to escort female relatives to the Fair who
were without a protector or an adequate number of pro-
tectors." The custom arose of giving one or two days during
"Fair Week" as holidays. The complaint of 1858 has become

Since the introduction of base ball into the first univer-
sity and of the Rugby foot ball in 1895 the interest of the
student life has centered largely on these two games. There
were sixty members in the first base ball club which was
organized in 1867. Charley Janney was catcher; A. H.
White, first base; John C. Sellers, second; W. A. E. Wilson,
third; "Jim" Thorn well, pitcher; Gil Wylie and "two or
three long legged fellows were the fielders." "Under the
rules the pitcher had to pitch the ball and in so doing his
hand was not to be above the level of his shoulder and his
right foot must not leave the plate. The one at the bat could
demand a high ball a medium ball or a low ball and if the
pitcher failed to put it where demanded a base was given to


the runner." This club played a game with a club from
Columbia winning after a nearly all day's game with the
score of 96 to 66. A challenge from the Federal garrison was
indignantly refused, which resulted in the dissolution of the
university club. The field of action has changed under the
influence of base ball and foot ball ; no longer are the games
limited to the campus, but other institutions are opponents,
so that athletics have become intercollegiate. The great
rivals to be defeated are Clemson College, especially in foot
ball, and the Citadel on Thanksgiving Day. In foot ball the
great game of the year is with Clemson at the Fair Grounds
on Thursday of Fair Week, and a victory over Clemson is an
event from which to date in athletics. After the victory in
1902 the athletic relations of the two institutions were
broken off for several years on account of the trouble arising
over the triumphal parade of the university students. A
parade up Main Street and to the College for Women, per-
haps to houses of professors where speeches can be obtained,
is an essential part of any notable victory. Athletics now
form a large part of the average student's life.

The feeling between the students and the citizens of the
town was long one of antagonism, so that the students and
the town marshals were often in conflict. Whenever a
student found that he was likely to be arrested, he had only
to cry "College", when the students came swarming. To put
a student in the guard house meant a riot. In consequence,
as soon as a student was confined, he was bailed or otherwise
released. In 1814 at the time of the riot that resulted in
the withdrawal of Professor Blackburn the militia came on
the campus and kept guard over his house until order was
restored; but for many years it has been understood that
the city police shall not come on the campus, perhaps never,
as there is no record of their appearance to arrest a student :
a riot would be precipitated. On the Sunday before com-
mencement in 1839 one of the students was arrested and hur-
ried to the guard house on account of a disturbance he had
made at a church. The cry of "College" reached the campus
and brought the students on a run, over the stick which


Professor Lieber interposed across the gateway. When they
arrived uptown they found that the intendant, Dr. R. W.
Gibbes, had already in anticipation of a rush of the students
arranged for bail and had secured the student's release. His
brother, a senior, armed himself with a pistol and made for
the guard house to rescue his brother and did not contain
himself when he was informed that he had already been
turned loose, but threatened the whole police force with
much flourishing of his pistol, the result being his expulsion,
although he had passed all of his examinations.

There is no doubt that some form of initiation or hazing
was practiced from the beginning. The first law against such
practice appears in the edition of the regulations published
in 1853 : "Any student crying 'Fresh' or 'Rat' to any other
student, or to applicants for College or any of them, or
employing any other ephithets to annoy or tease them, shall
be admonished or suspended at the discretion of the
Faculty." Blacking the face of the new men has been the
favorite form of introducing the freshmen to the life of the
campus, certainly since the 50's. At no time has hazing
been excessive.

The seniors have always been looked up to by the lower
classmen. They are the ones that have given the tone to the
institution. A strong senior class means good order. Often
in former days a senior took a freshman under his wing for
protection, the latter almost worshipping the older man.
Some distinctive dress has always marked the senior, a cane
at present ; the senior of the 50's is said to have worn a high
hat and a long tailed coat.

A vocabulary of the slang of the University of South
Carolina for the past century would be instructive reading;
but unfortunately from its very nature such language is
short lived. "Flash" was to answer unprepared when called
upon to recite; this gave way to "Flunk." To be "Trained"
before the faculty was to be summoned to appear before
the assembled professors. A professor might "Wool" a
student, that is, find out by questions that he knew nothing
about the lesson. "Bug" was a substitute for professor.


"Slaminade" was a tin pan serenade of an unpopular
president or professor. "Splurge" was to make a perfect
recitation. The last handbook of the Young Men's Christian
Association contains a page of present day slang. Among
the terms noted are : "bust" for fail ; "shoot" or "kill" a pro-
fessor for making a good mark ; "shoot the bull" for to talk
yet say nothing; "ram" or "shark" for one who excels in
some line ; "bone" or "dig" for hard work at one's studies.

The secret Greek letter fraternities were introduced into
the South Carolina College in 1850 with the arrival of the
Delta Psi. This, the Delta Kappa Epsilon (1852) and the
Beta Theta Pi (1858) existed until the outbreak of the war
in 1861 and were not afterwards renewed. Two others, Phi
Kappa Psi (1857) and Kappa Psi (1858) continued, the
former until 1892, the latter until 1897. Baird states in his
manual that the Kappa Alpha that was started at the Univer-
sity of North Carolina in 1859 had a chapter at the South
Carolina College. This fraternity had a short life. Since
1880 there have been the following fraternities at the Univer-
sity of South Carolina: Kappa Alpha (1880-1897), Sigma
Alpha Epsilon (1882-1897), Phi Theta Delta (1882-1893),
Alpha Tau Omega (1883-1897), Sigma Nu (1886-1897), Chi
Phi (1889-1897), Kappa Sigma (1890-1897), Pi Kappa
Alpha (1891-1897). The Phi Mu Omicron was founded at
the South Carolina College in 1858, says Baird, having as its
badge a monogram. According to the same authority there
was also at one time a local fraternity at this institution,
Epsilon Nu Delta. The Rainbow Society existed in the ante-
bellum college. It was founded, so it is said by an alumnus
of the period, by Ernest Walworth of Mississippi in 1859.

Opposed to the fraternities was a body of "Barbarians",
non-members. The feeling between the "frats" and the "non-
frats", who felt themselves socially ostracized, grew as the
years passed. Finally in 1897 the latter appealed to the leg-
islature of the State, which passed an act forbidding the
existence of fraternities in state supported institutions.

In the spring of 1851 during the agitation for secession a
Southern Eights Association was formed at the invitation of


a similar society at the University of Virginia. A constitu-
tion was adopted, and officers were elected for the ensuing
year. The preamble of the constitution read thus: "We,
the undersigned students of the South Carolina College,
feeling deeply the insults that have been offered to the South,
and knowing, as we do, that the spirit of the Constitution
of these United States has been grossly violated, have asso-
ciated ourselves for the purpose of forwarding, as far as we
are able, the cause of Southern Rights. In view of this end,
we have adopted the following." The constitution that fol-
lows fixes the officers and the meetings. At an extra meeting
held in the chapel, April 15, an "Address of the Southern
Rights Association, of the South Carolina College, to the
students in the Colleges and Universities, and to the Young
Men, Throughout the Southern States," which had been
previously prepared by a committee, was adopted, and four
thousand copies of the preamble, constitution and address
were ordered published in pamphlet form. The resolutions
of the association at the University of Virginia were added.
One hundred and ten students joined the association. The
president was B. W. Ball of Laurens.

There was opposition to the formation of a Southern
Rights Association in the college, to which these lines from a
poem sent to the Daily Telegraph (Columbia) perhaps refer:

"Nor is the College Clay's resigned booty,
Because no mad 'association' we."

"A junior of 1851" sent to the Telegraph a short communi-
cation which shows the political passion of the time as oper-
ating among the students:

"The students of the South Carolina College repudiate old
Clay and all his principles. Freesoilism and Abolitionism
cannot flourish on the soil irradiated by the genius of
Calhoun. We all bow with reverence and offer up our
humble devotion at the foot of the 'great Southern cross.'
The operation of the spirit there inculcates the independence
of the Southern States and fosters allegiance to South Caro-
lina ; and should she secede, her College claims a 'place in the
picture near the flashing of the guns.' "




A set of by-laws was adopted by the trustees at their
annual meeting in December, 1804, a month before the open-
ing of the college. The first section of the article on
"Rewards and Punishments" gives the general principle on
which the discipline of the new institution was to be founded :
"The rewards and punishments of this institution shall be
all addressed to the sense of duty, and the principles of
honor and shame."

The president of the college, Dr. Jonathan Maxcy, a native
of Massachusetts, was a member of the committee which
framed these by-laws and must have been influential in pre-
paring the sections relating to discipline. Of him Dr. Robert
Henry said in the eulogy delivered on the occasion of Dr.
Maxcy 's death (An Eulogy on Jonathan Maxcy, D. D.
Printed in Columbia, S. C., at the State Gazette Office,
1822) : "When Dr. Maxcy first entered upon his duties here,
the nature of a college and its requisite discipline were
almost wholly unknown. The youth of our country were
rarely committed to the care of teachers, before a strong
conviction of independence and a disposition to assert and
exercise it had sprung up in their minds. Dr. Maxcy had
too much good sense to attempt to extirpate this exalted
principle; he only sought to modify it. He appealed to the
honor of his pupils and required a faithful compliance with
conditions which they themselves had voluntarily under-
taken to perform. With generous minds, such appeals are
always powerful and most commonly successful. Such

Online LibraryEdwin L. (Edwin Luther) GreenA history of the University of South Carolina → online text (page 21 of 38)