Edwin L. (Edwin Luther) Green.

A history of the University of South Carolina online

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on some subject bearing on equity ; the Roddey medal, offered
by Mr. John T. Roddey, is conferred on the best debater from
the literary societies on some public question; the Gonzales
medal for oratory, founded by Mr. Robert E. Gonzales, class
of 1910, is bestowed at an annual oratorical contest.

Wood was purchased in large quantities and stored by
the marshal, who delivered it to the students at their rooms.
Students purchased the wood from the marshal at one time
as they wanted it, later a certain fixed charge was made of
each man, and wood was furnished at the room as needed.
Naturally in the latter case more wood was burned. Presi-
dent McCay complained that the wood for one room holding
two students cost f 50, or |25 for each per session. He was
preparing to try grates at the time he was forced to retire.
The treasurer's report for 1852 shows that wood cost the
college $3.50 a cord ; in 1856 it cost f 4.50. In 1866 oak wood
was priced at $5 a cord, being always higher than pine.*

The college purchased its first slave in the time of Dr.
Maxcy. His name was Jack; he cost $900. He gave much
trouble and was put under the personal care of Dr. Cooper,
who could have him punished or hire him out to defray the
expenses of another servant. The minutes of the board for
1833 show another negro, Henry, who was sold, and that the
college owned two other slaves, Jim Ruffin and Jim Blue.
These were fed at the commons for their work as waiters.
In the 50's the college was hiring two servants : Henry and
Jack in 1856, and Henry and Tom in 1860. Students could
not hire other servants : only the college servants were to be
employed in or about the college, except by express permis-
sion of the marshal. The college servants were distinguished
by a badge worn conspicuously. From time to time mention

*The treasurer's report for 1864 shows a loss "by depreciation of $5
bills old issue, $121.61." Candles for trustees' meetings cost $30 in 1864.
In December of the same year two loads of wood for the library cost $68,
and sawing and storing of the same, $10.75. Houses rented at this time
in Columbia at the rate of $1,000 per room.


is made in the minutes of striking or otherwise illtreating
servants. As the testimony of a slave was not taken against
a white man, it was decided that the complaint of illtreat-
ment could come to the faculty only from the master or the
steward. Students were severely punished for injuring




In his letter on education written to Governor John L.
Manning in 1853 Dr. James H. Thornwell used these words :
"The South Carolina College has made South Carolina what
she is, has made her people what they are. . . Nothing is so
powerful as a common education and the thousand sweet
associations which spring from it and cluster around it to
cherish the holy brotherhood of men. Those who have walked
together in the same paths of science and taken sweet counsel
in the same halls of learning, who went arm in arm in that
hallowed season of life when the foundations of all excel-
lence are laid, who have wept with the same sorrows or
laughed with the same joys, who have been fired with the
same ambition, lured with the same hopes, and grieved at
the same disappointments these are not the men in after
years to stir up animosities or foment intestine feuds . . .
Would you make any commonwealth a unit? Educate its
sons together. This is the secret of the harmony which has
so long remarkably characterized our State. It was not the
influence of a single mind, great as that mind was ; it was no
tame submission to authoritative dictation. It was the com-
munity of thought, feeling and character, achieved by a com-
mon education within these walls. Here it was that heart
was knit to heart, mind to mind, and that a common char-
acter was formed."

"As to the past," said Hon. James L. Petigru in his oration
at the semicentennial in 1854, "there is much ground for grat-
ulation in the effect which this College has had in harmoniz-
ing and uniting the State. In 1804 sectional jealousies were
sharpened to bitterness and there was as little unity between
the upper and lower-country as between any rival States of
the Union. Although the suppression of such jealousies is in
part attributable to the removal of some anomalies in the


Constitution, much the largest share in the same good work
is due to the attractive force of a common education . . . and
if we compare the progress which the State has made since
1804 we shall have no reason to withhold our assent from
the conclusion that the hopes with which the College was
inaugurated have not been disappointed."

Again, Edward McCrady, Jr., the historian of South Caro-
lina, assigns to the South Carolina College a commanding
influence in the development of the State, for says he : "From
the commencement the College became to a large extent the
center not only of education but of political thought in the
State, and is doubtless the institution which has done most
to mold and influence the character of the people of the

As was stated in the early pages of this volume, the South
Carolina College was founded for a double purpose, the edu-
cation of the youth and the unification of the sections of the
State. The late Professor William J. Rivers was of the
opinion that the greatest contribution of the college in an
educational way was the raising of the standard of admis-
sion to so high a point that a large number of academies
of high standard was required to give the necessary instruc-
tion for entrance, which meant an excellent secondary educa-
tion for many who did not reach the college. These academies
were usually taught by men of ability educated in the best
colleges of this country and England. Many students entered
from them into the junior class. Every school boy looked for-
ward to becoming a student at the South Carolina College.
Especially in the middle and upper sections of the State were
these academies founded, in the region where they had been
most needed. The majority of the students at the College
went back home to become planters and to carry with them
the culture and learning they had acquired, so that at the
close of the first half century of the college's existence the
South Carolinian was a man of refinement and education.
One evidence of this was the large number of good private
libraries in every section of the State, not to mention
numerous public libraries sustained by societies.


Professor Charles Woodward Hutson (Sewanee Review,
1910), a graduate of the class of 1860, writing of the college
in his day says that the kind of education sought was that
calculated to produce a gentleman, trained in the subjects
of disciplinary value, not specialists. This kind of education
the college he thinks was most admirably effective in impart-
ing. In his unpublished autobiography, unfortunately not
completed, Hon. William C. Preston, who graduated from the
South Carolina College in 1812, states that at that time the
great road to honor and preferment was through oratory, in
consequence of which much effort was put forth by the
students to become good speakers. This remained true
throughout the ante-bellum period, and is indeed in a lesser
degree still true. "Every thing,' ' says Meriwether, "that
could give fluency and aptness of illustration was taught."
Rhetoric, the classics and government were specially stressed.
Practically every student belonged to one or the other of the
literary societies, which were training schools in the art of
speaking. What other institution, indeed, what other section
of the United States can boast of three orators of the renown
of William C. Preston, George McDuffie and Hugh S. Legare?
What the State thought of George McDuffie was expressed
by Judge Huger on the floor of the House shortly after
McDuffie had appeared in the legislature: "Mr. Speaker,"
said he, "if the South Carolina College had done nothing,
sir, but produce that man, she would have amply repaid the
State for every dollar that the State has ever expended, or
ever will expend, upon her."

The common table, the common dormitory and the close
association of young men from all parts of the State worked
the unification that had been desired by the founders of the
college. South Carolina became remarkably single in pur-
pose. John C. Calhoun, so long the controlling force, was
not a graduate of the South Carolina College; but in the
main the principles he stood for were those for which the
college had been standing. "Langdon Cheves, the younger,"
said General Youmans in his centennial oration on The His-
toric Signification of the South Carolina College, "so promi-


nent in civic and military life, late in 1860, when the question
of secession was so excitedly on the tapis, in a meeting in
St. Peter's parish, for the nomination of delegates to the
State Convention, spoke not of his illustrious father, nor
Calhoun, nor McDuffie, nor Hayne, but referred to and cited
the words of Dr. Cooper as first having given that bent to his
thought, which assured him of the soundness of his political
principles, his devotion to which he afterwards sealed with
his blood and life." The presidents of the college were men
of commanding position in the State and most of them
wielded powerful political influence. Dr. Thomas Cooper,
who was an ardent freetrader, had scarcely been elected to
the presidency of the college when he began to rouse the State
to the dangers of the tariff. He also championed state
sovereignty, and to him perhaps more than to any other
Nullification owes it origin, although that very thing, coupled
with his religious views, almost wrecked the college. After
Dr. Cooper freetrade was taught for the next twenty years by
the distinguished publicist, Francis Lieber. The succeeding
presidents, Robert W. Barnwell and William C. Preston,
were politicians, having served in the councils of the State
and nation. Dr. Thornwell was one of the best politicians
of the time. So the college naturally became a school of
politics, from which the students went out to practice their
teachings. "Gradually it came to be known," to use the
words of Meriwether, "and recognized that a young politician
was heavily handicapped if he received his education at
another institution. Many of the graduates of the State
institution were returned to the House of Representatives
within a short time after taking their degrees. In this body
they naturally formed a close corporation. They supported
each other and kept down outsiders. It was a vigorous organ-
ization, compact, and bold. They ruled the House, and
through that influenced the State. No measure they opposed
could become law. Hard struggles were made at times by
the outsiders, but the compact organization of the college
men usually succeeded. It was a system of promotion from


the college halls to the Legislature, and very often it took
place in the year of graduation."

"Nothing could be more strikingly significant," says Gen-
eral Youmans, "of the unrestricted dominance which the
principle of State sovereignty held over the men who had
been educated at the South Carolina College than their
heroic conduct shown on the fields of carnage, from the com-
mencement to the end of the War Between the States. Their
feeling of State loyalty was akin to that which in the old
world gives so chivalrous a tinge to loyalty to the crown.
It was not a mere theory or policy it was a creed, a religion.
This creed, this political religion, of the South was exempli-
fied in blood on every battle field. For it a life was offered for
every vote cast, and for it 12,000 sons of South Carolina laid
down their lives exultingly."

"Slavery is dead," to quote again from the same source,
"buried in a grave that does not give up its dead, and of the
unique old plantation life in the South which grew up under
its wing and flourished with it there does not exist even a
fossil specimen of their temples there is not left a stone.
Though now extinct, they were once factors of most potent
influence, which intertwined themselves with the very bone
and sinew, the very soul and marrow of Southern civilization.
Though like Troy they are no more, yet as there still remains
the tale of Troy divine, so their memory is forever embalmed
not only in history and tradition, but in verse, by the classic
pen of a student and alumnus of the College distinguished in
the political and literary world. Grayson, in his two charm-
ing poems, 'The Country/ and 'The Hireling and the Slave,'
aids to a proper understanding of that phase of the past of
the South which closed with the termination of the war for
State rights, as valuable adjuncts in their way to its thorough
comprehension, as a Southern atlas, or a chronological chart.
In the controversy which arose in the discussion of the sub-
ject of domestic African slavery in the South, very high place
must always be given to the spoken and written utterances
of the men who had been educated at the South Carolina
College without being invidious, notably to those of the


three of its alumni, Harper, Thornwell and Hammond. The
two letters written to Clarkson by James H. Hammond after
he was governor of, and before he was United States senator
from, South Carolina, elaborate, minute, exhaustive, have
and will ever have the very highest rank, as the defense, the
apology in its controversial sense, for the institution of
domestic African slavery in the Southern States."

South Carolina was one of the great emigrant states. The
new cotton-growing states of the Southwest drew from her
a large part of their population : "From 1820 to 1860," says
Francis A. Walker in his introduction to the census of 1860,
"South Carolina was a beehive from which swarms were con-
tinually going forth to populate" that section. From the
same source it is learned that two-fifths of the native born
population of South Carolina had emigrated and were
almost entirely in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana,
Florida and Texas. It was but natural, as the historian
McCrady has shown, that the Gulf states and the Southwest,
in fact all the lower South to the Pacific Ocean, should look
back to the mother state and be guided by her political
opinions, so that politically this whole region was a larger
South Carolina. From 1824 to 1860 the state that fashioned
the political opinion of the South was not Virginia but
South Carolina. The center from which radiated the teach-
ing that formed the politics of South Carolina and thus of
the South was the South Carolina College.

It was but natural that the sons of the men who had
migrated from South Carolina should come to the South
Carolina College to be educated. These going back often
became prominent in the affairs of their own states, thus
influencing political opinion and coloring it according to
the instruction they had received at the college. Many also
of the native South Carolina students emigrated to those
new states. The catalogue of 1848, the year of the largest
attendance at the ante-bellum college, shows thirty-six
students from other states, a little more than one-sixth of
the whole number. To quote again from General Youmans
concerning the students from outside states in his college


days: "Among others who afterwards distinguished them-
selves, the able George McPheeters from Mississippi; the
accomplished George Williamson, from Louisiana, who went
from that State to the United States Senate. At their grad-
uation they took the third and fourth highest places, and
were surpassed in this relative rank only by two of South
Carolina's best, the first honor man being James H. Eion,
and the second honor man being Robert W. Barnwell, after-
wards so distinguished in the church and as professor in
the College.

"From Mississippi were also the eloquent Goodman, whose
astonishing power of speech is still remembered; the after-
wards brigadier-generals in the Confederate Army, Govan
and Chalmers Chalmers, the dashing Chalmers, who added
to the laurels of the field those won in the Federal Congress
as representative from Mississippi, and who wrote, while a
Sophomore here, the famous revel song of the College, 'Billy
Maybin's O.' He took the second honor of his class, the first
being taken by a native South Carolinian, John H. Elliott,
afterwards so widely known as the able and eloquent divine
in the capital of the country. Memory recalls the strong
features of John Wharton of Texas, who took such high rank
as major-general in the Confederate Army; Jerry Williams,
from Alabama, who with such ability represented that State
in the House of Representatives in the Federal Congress ; the
two notable Georgians, the brothers Jones C. C. Jones,
afterwards author of the history of Georgia, and regarded as
of the highest authority in North America antiquities; and
Joseph Jones, who has achieved such high distinction in the
medical and scientific world."

Out of the wreck of war the University of South Carolina
rose to continue the work of the college, developing new
fields of activity to meet the needs of the State under the
new conditions. For three years it grew rapidly; but the
incubus of reconstruction deadened the enthusiasm with
which the University had been sent upon its way and
impaired its usefulness. After five years of hope and fear
the white people of the State in bitterness of heart saw their


SODS under the necessity of seeking elsewhere a collegiate
education, and for nearly a decade the young men of South
Carolina who entered college resorted to the denominational
institutions in the borders of the State or went to the univer-
sities and colleges of other states.

From the reopening of the college in 1880 to the close of
Dr. S. C. Mitchell's administration in 1913 is a period of
thirty-three years, during which the University has endured
bitter and prolonged opposition and been shaken to its foun-
dation. The decade from 1880 to 1890 saw the college
expand from a small agricultural and mechanical institution
to a university that bade fair to reach the magnitude and
power of our western universities. Certainly the alumni of
those ten years are not far wrong in regarding them as
among the most illustrious in the whole history of the insti-
tution. The alumni of this period are among the leaders in
the State and in the nation. When the catalogue of the
alumni is completed, their position can then be defined. Of
two men of Dr. McBryde's day, Mclver Williamson and
David R. Coker, it has been said that they have added to
the agricultural wealth of South Carolina in one year more
than the University has cost the State in its century and
more of existence or will cost for many decades. However,
it must be remembered that since 1865, with the exception
of the meager years of the first university, there has not been
opportunity for other alumni to show what they could do.

The denominational colleges had had for years a monopoly
of higher education. They fought the revived college; soon
there started a demand for a separate farmers' college; but
in spite of the opposition from these two sources the college
developed into the university, only, however, to have itself
torn asunder, to furnish another college, and to begin again
a troubled existence. The ten years from 1890 were a period
of silent and patient endurance against constant attack. The
college became isolated; the feeling on the campus was one
of aloofness, of existing by suffrance. But so deeply rooted
was the institution that it not only withstood all assault,
but it recovered lost ground, so that by 1901 there were as


many students in attendance as there had been at any time.
From the opening years of the present century a new era
dates, an increased spirit of hopefulness, a casting off of the
feeling of depression, a vision of service ever enlarging, of
the State as a greater campus. Conditions also improved in
the State: prosperity reached all sections and continued;
the people were more generally aroused to the need of edu-
cating. A more liberal support of the University permitted
it to reach out into new fields. Perhaps the most important
change for the growth of the University was the close touch
that it secured with the people, so that the cry once heard
that the college was for a class has disappeared. Its alumni
among the teachers in the public schools are numerous
enough to form an association. In all matters relating to
the advancement of the lower schools the University leads
as the head of the system of public education. Extension
work has been developed; good roads have been furthered,
the efforts of the health authorities to improve health con-
ditions have been seconded; public libraries have been the
subject of earnest endeavor. Wherever there has been an
opportunity for the University to serve the good of the
people, it has been ready as far as its means allowed. That
the State has recognized the value of the institution is shown
in the large increase in buildings and material equipment,
notably in the last eight years. "Animis Opibusque Parati"
is as truly the motto of the University as of the State.




Tutor in the South Carolina College, March 6, 1807, to
November 23, 1808.

(From the Diary of Edward Hooker, 1805-1808, in the
Keport of the Historical Manuscripts Commission of the
American Historical Association for 1896, pages 842-929.
Edited by Professor J. Franklin Jameson.)

Edward Hooker first came to Columbia in 1805. His visit
to the South Carolina College is recorded on pages 851 and
852 of the published "Diary of Edward Hooker, 1805-1808."
It is here transcribed.

"November 6th. (Wednesday) This forenoon, I called on
Mr. Hanford, and with him took a view of the college build-
ings which are erecting, on a pleasant rise of ground about
% of a mile southeast of the State House. The place though
so near the center of the town is very recluse; there being
no houses around, and even the lands being uncleared and
covered with lofty pines, and wild shrubs. The plan is to
have two buildings of perhaps 160 feet in length each, facing
each other at a distance of 160 feet apart. At right angles
to these, and facing the area inclosed between them, it is
proposed to place the President's house; and afterwards,
as occasion may require, other buildings, such as the dining
hall and professors' houses, are expected to be built fronting
each other, and ranging in a line with the first mentioned
long buildings. The buildings A and B are erected, and A


is finished except the central part, which is however
advanced so far as to be capa-
ble of use. The central parts p-j-j
are designed for the Chapel,
Library, Philosophical Cham-
ber, Recitation Rooms, &c.
the wings are designed for
scholars' mansion rooms C
is the site of the President's
house, D the place for a din-
ing hall, E for a professor's

house perhaps. That part of P>J LfJ

the work which is done is in

a handsome, though not all in a durable style. The chapel
occupies the two lower stories of the central building on the
right, and is in a beautiful style of workmanship both within
and without. The Library room above is supported by four
stately Tuscan columns, which rise from the area of the
chapel with considerable majesty, and give to the room an
appearance of grandeur. The galleries are supported by a
row of smaller pillars. The room is nearly or quite square.
The pulpit is surrounded by a semi-octagonal stage, on the
right and left sides of which are steps leading to the officer's
seats and thence are other steps to the pulpit. The upper
tiers of windows are semi-circular at the top, as in Episcopal
churches and have some neat ornamental work about them.
The stage, pulpit, staircases, bannisters, seats, &. are all
painted white, and make, now, a very chaste and pretty
appearance; but I question if they will long remain so.
There are but a few seats, and these are so arranged near
the outside of the room, as to leave a large area in the centre,
on the sides and in front of the stage. The wings are three
stories high, and are divided into 12 mansion rooms each,

Online LibraryEdwin L. (Edwin Luther) GreenA history of the University of South Carolina → online text (page 26 of 38)