Edwin L. (Edwin Luther) Green.

A history of the University of South Carolina online

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their boots," the score standing 96 to 66 in our favor. Wasn't
that playing ball some? Gill Wylie (now Dr. Wylie) would
often knock the ball clear out of bounds, all the base run-
ners would come in, and he would make a home run. Jim
Thorn well (the late lamented Dr. Thorn well, son of former
President Thornwell) was pitcher. Charley Young was
catcher; A. H. White 1st base; I was on 2nd; W. R. Wilson
on 3rd ; while Gill Wylie and two or^three long legged fellows
were the fielders. Ah, me ! all dead except Wylie and myself.
The Yankee garrison was encamped on the green outside
the wall south of the campus, and they also had a club and
played ball. After our "walk over" of the Columbia boys
the garrison club sent us a challenge. The challenge came
to me as secretary of the club. I called a meeting of the
club and laid the challenge before them. After several fiery
speeches it was unanimously resolved to decline the chal-
lenge, and I was instructed to so inform the Yankee club.
I did so, and several spicy communications passed between
us. The upshot of the matter was we were reported to the
National Association of which all clubs were members, and
that put an end to our base ball career, and our club dis-
banded. It was near the close of the session of 1868 and
times were beginning to look squally. Up to this time we
had been living under a military government and there was
no state government at all. The reconstruction acts of
Congress including the 14th and 15th Amendments to the
constitution of the United States had been passed and the
"Ring Streaked and Striped" Convention met in Charleston
Jany, 1868, and in April of that year the Constitution was


adopted by a vote of the negroes and R. K. Scott was elected
Governor at the same time with a full set of State and
county officers. The day after we left the University in
June, 1868, at the close of the session, the negro House of
Representatives met in the chapel* and the Senate in the
library and began the plunder of the prostrate State till
they were driven out of power by Hampton in 1876. I think
I can say without fear of contradiction that the day we left
to go home June, 1868, was the darkest day in the history
of South Carolina.

The humiliation and helplessness of our position was
almost unbearable, yet all we could do was simply "grin
and bear it". I know whereof I speak, for in 1870, two years
after I left College, I was elected along with three old men
as one of the representatives from Marion county. I was
only 23 years old at the time, and perhaps the youngest man
in that body. Franklin J. Moses, afterwards known as the
robber Governor, and whose record for pardons has not
been beaten till B lease came in, was the speaker. There
were 80 negro members, 20 white scalawags and carpet-
baggers and 22 of us white Democrats, from Marion, Spar-
tanburg, Pickens, Oconee, Greenville and Horry. Anything
we would propose would be voted down without ceremony
or debate, and we could only look on while the stealing and
rascality were going on. Did you ever read Tom Dixon's
Clansman? His picture is not one whit overdrawn. The
half has never been told though Dixon and John Reynolds
have written so graphically about it. In June, 1873, Joe
Barn well and John T. Sloan, both of whom left College
when I did, and the distinguished Chancellor Johnson of
Marion were elected members of the House, but the stealing
went right on, and we got no relief till the whole gang was
cleaned out in 1876. Since then I have been a member of
the House and am fully prepared to note the contrast and
congratulate the State on the great improvement.

Sincerely yours, John C. Sellers.

*Note: The Reports and Resolutions of the House and Senate of
1868 give the place of meeting as Janney's Hall.



As has been said, the College reopened in 1866, the small
salaries paid being supplemented by fees from the students.
To give a more practical education, one more suited to the
impoverished condition of the State, it was reorganized on
the plan of the University of Virginia, with independent
schools and freedom of election. In connection with chem-
istry I had to give a course in pharmacy, and in connection
with geology one in agriculture. It was impossible, of
course, to do this fully, all I could do for pharmacy being to
enlarge in my chemical course on the preparation and prop-
erties of the substances used in medicine, and for agriculture
to give a course of six or eight lectures on the most funda-
mental principles underlying the science and the art. Meager,
very meager, certainly; almost useless, the reader may say.
Yet I have heard some of my students who afterward engaged
in agriculture refer to this short course with great satisfac-
tion as having been of decided benefit to them.


I never knew so much real social enjoyment in Columbia
as in the years 1866 and 1867; society was really gay, the
necessary result of the rebound from the agony and repres-
sion of the war. My daughters were then "in their teens,"
and for their sakes we entered heartily into the general
gaiety. As everybody was poor the gatherings were almost
wholly without expense, and therefore frequent; the hostess
simply furnished lemonade and cake and the young men a
negro fiddler.

The commandants of the post were changed from time to
time, five in all serving. The last two were really good fel-
lows, much disposed to fraternize with the people. The gen-
tlemen of Columbia were very cordial toward them, but the
ladies were inexorable. Nothing would induce them to rec-
ognize the officers, swimming daily during the summer with
them in "Rock Spring," a splendid place for the sport ; but I
could never induce my wife to invite one of the gentlemen to
the house for a social meal. We men exchanged visits, but
the friendship went no further.


There was an income tax of five per cent; my salary was
two thousand dollars, so I paid one hundred dollars; I sub-
sequently learned that I paid more tax than the whole legis-
lature put together. Think of such a legislature making

laws, and especially tax laws, for a State!


The College had been strongly reorgainzed as a university
with elective courses, and the faculty greatly strengthened
by the addition of Robert W. Barnwell as president and
General E. P. Alexander as professor of mathematics and
engineering. The former was a man of imposing appear-
ance, splendid ability, and strong personality, the highest
type of Southern gentleman and scholar. The latter, who
had been chief engineer in Lee's army, was a hearty, whole-
souled, enthusiastic friend and companion and a kind of
genius in mathematics, and especially in engineering.


The University of South Carolina opened in October, 1873,
with only Prof. Maximilian LaBorde of the old faculty
among the professors. He was elected chairman of the
faculty, succeeding Robert W. Barnwell. On October 7
Henry E. Hayne, a colored man, then secretary of state,
entered the medical school. Thereupon Prof. LaBorde and
Drs. Talley and Gibbes resigned. Prof. LaBorde called a
special meeting of the faculty on the 9th and told that body
of his action. He was scarcely able to speak for grief. A
month later Prof. LaBorde was borne to his last resting place
from the campus, which had been his home for 31 years. The
exercises of the University were suspended, the bell was
tolled, and the faculty attended the funeral as individuals.
The minutes of the faculty begin for this period from the
reorganization, November 1, 1873.

Prof. LaBorde's place was filled by the election of
Richard T. Greener, A. B., of Harvard, the only negro on the


faculty. The following constituted the faculty during the
period from November, 1873, to July, 1877: Rev. B. B.
Babbitt, A. M., chairman for two years and Professor of
Natural and Mechanical Philosophy and Astronomy;
A. M. Cummings, D. D., Professor of Mathematics and Civil
and Military Engineering and Construction ; T. N. Roberts,
M. D., Professor of History, Political Philosophy and Polit-
ical Economy; Henry J. Fox, A. M., D. D., Professor of
Rhetoric, Criticism, Elocution and English Language and
Literature; William Main, Jr., A. M., Professor of Chem-
istry, Pharmacy, Mineralogy and Geology; Fisk P. Brewer,
A. M., Professor of Ancient Languages and Literature;
R. T. Greener, A. B., Professor of Mental and Moral Phil-
osophy; R. Vampill, M. D., Professor of Modern Languages
and Literature. Judge C. D. Melton conducted the law
school until his death in 1875, when the chair was filled by
the election of Chief Justice Franklin J. Moses, Sr. After
the resignation of Drs. Talley and Gibbes from the medical
faculty, followed by the withdrawal of Dr. Watson, demon-
strator in Anatomy, Dr. John Lynch continued as the sole
professor in the chair of Physiology and Materia Medica.
After a year R. Vampill was succeeded by Rev. E. B.
Otheman, A. M., in the chair of Modern Languages. Rev.
Cummings succeeded Rev. Babbitt as chairman of the
faculty. The librarians were Maj. E. W. Everson, R. T.
Greener for a few months, and Louis G. Smith.*

The board of trustees was composed of "Franklin J. Moses,
Jr., native white (governor) ; Justus K. Jillson, white,
lately of Massachusetts ; Daniel C. Chamberlain, white, lately
of Massachusetts ; L. C. Northrup, native, white ; Samuel J.
Lee, native, negro ; James A. Bowley, negro, lately of Mary-
land; S. A. Swails, negro, lately of New York; William R.
Jervay, native, negro." When Daniel C. Chamberlain
became governor, B. F. Whittemore, carpetbagger, of Dar-
lington, was placed on the board.

The late John S. Reynolds in his "Reconstruction in South

*E. Von Fingerlin was a professor for at least the last three quarters,
the legislature appropriated money to pay his salary for that period.


Carolina," quotes from a distinguished son of the State, who
wrote shortly after the reorganization :

"The faculty had entered upon the work of building up
a university which, as the literary institution of the State,
should equal if not surpass the fame and usefulness of the
old college; and this work would have been accomplished
but for the egregious folly and wickedness of those who held
the control of the State. The old trustees, who had the con-
fidence of the people, were rudely set aside to make place
for adventurers who were unknown or known unfavorably.
In the mere wantonness of power, or for the satisfaction
which a rude nature takes in the humiliation of his superiors,
negroes were placed on the board of trustees. This act,
although less cruel than that which needlessly outraged the
sentiments of our people by thrusting negroes among the
regents of the lunatic asylum, was more pernicious in its
results. It excited suspicion of what ultimately followed
the attempt to mix the races in public education and kept
students away. But the professors, with the advice of
friends of the university, stood at their posts, hoping to save
the institution by averting a change which would prove its
degradation and ruin. In short, they wished to save the
university for the white sons of the State. A mixed school
was impracticable. The colored people neither needed nor
desired it. Claflin University, at Orangeburg, established
expressly for the education of their children, offered them
the facilities the means of varied culture obtainable at
the university of the State. But the trustees were bent on
a mixed school, and there were needy adventurers at hand
to aid them in their attempt. Supposing, correctly, that the
old professors would not lend themselves to the perpetration
of such an act of wanton injustice, they removed them and
conferred their places upon strangers, who, even if unknown,
or known only to be despised, as incompetent or immoral,
were yet more subservient to their views. The university
thus became, both in its officers and its matriculates, a
mixed school ; and a policy which a Republican congress has


since refused to adopt, and thus virtually repudiated, was
allowed to effect the ruin of that seat of learning."

A preparatory school was established, in which the univer-
sity professors were assigned classes as a part of their regu-
lar work. Prof. Fox, and later William H. Jackson, M. D.,
were the principals. The students of this school were housed
in Harper college. In 1876 there were 88 students rated as
"college students" and 97 in the preparatory school.

Rutledge college and the president's house were rented
to the regents of the State normal school for a period of 99
years. M. A. Warren was the principal of this school. In
some of the rooms of Rutledge are still to be seen remains
of the blackboards used by the colored normal students. The
lower part of the president's house served as a steward's
hall for at least a part of these same students. Being distinct
from the university, the normal school faculty and regents
kept minutes of their own, which are not in the university
archives. It was required of the university professors that
they should lecture before the normal students, mostly
negroes. This requirement was the ultimatum to the old
faculty, so many as were still holding on in 1873.

The rooms in DeSaussure college were assigned for the
residence of medical, law and special students. Legare col-
lege was given to the academic students.

There must have been very few men enrolled at the open-
ing in October, 1873, although no numbers have been pre-
served. Mr. Reynolds says that after the entrance of
Henry E. Hayne other students matriculated, among them
Mies G. Parker, State treasurer; H. C. Corwin, State senator
from Newberry ; George F. Mclntyre, senator from Colleton
all white; C. M. Wilder, postmaster at Columbia;
Joseph D. Boston, representative from Newberry ; Lawrence
Cain and Paris Simkins, representatives from Edgefield
all colored. These entered the law department. N. T.
Spencer (colored), representative from Charleston, entered
the school of medicine. "It was plain," says Mr. Reynolds,
'that each of these matriculations was at the time pretensive
only the purpose being to show the white people of South


Carolina that the negroes intended to dominate in the State
university and there enforce the social equality of the black
with the white race. Some of these new students, it may be
stated, did afterwards receive certificates of graduation.
Negroes now entered in large numbers apparently admitted
with little regard to previous preparation. The student body
was composed almost entirely of boys and men of the black
race." About 10 per cent, of the whole number was white.

A catalogue, with the reorganization, issued in 1874, shows
three courses in the college of science, literature and arts:
a literary and classical course, a philosophical and scientific
course, and an English course. Nominally there was a high
requirement for entrance. In the preparatory school there
were four forms, or years, each of two terms. The course
of study in the first form embraced arithmetic, geography,
history, reading (fourth reader), writing (book No. 3),
music, Latin, declamations and composition, grammar and
orthography, drawing, botany. There was no tuition or other
fees, the student having to pay only for his board and to
furnish his room. An act was passed by the general assem-
bly at its session of 1873->74 establishing 124 scholarships,
to last for four years, paying the recipient $200 a year. Great
indignation was caused by this procedure; it meant that
students were to be paid for coming. Strict examinations
were supposed to be held, but charges were often made that
the preparatory students had been given scholarships.

The appropriations were for the University in 1873-4,
$42,250 ($6,400 for scholarships) ; in 1874-5, $44,750 ($12,800
for scholarships) ; in 1875-6, $44,900 ($15,000 for scholar-
ships). The normal school received $600, $10,000 and $15,-
000 for the three years, amounts not included in the above
sums. For the last three quarters the legislature in 1877
appropriated $6,161.28. The total expenditures from Octo-
ber, 1873, to July 31, 1877, was $169,900.

In 1875 commencement exercises were set for December,
as they had been in the ante-bellum days. They were held
in the State House this year, but afterwards in the library.
Governor Hampton allowed exercises in June, 1877, the


last under this condition of affairs. The old salutatory and
valedictory addresses by graduating students were revived.
Several minutes of the faculty note that colored students
"had done as well as any of the great men of the old South
Carolina College." A law class graduated in June, 1874:
C. L. Anderson, Niles G. Parker, Edgar Caypless, Walter R.
Jones, C. W. Cummings . In 1875 degrees were not conferred
till December 21, when Thomas McCants Stewart received
the A. B. degree ; Charles Jacob Babbitt the Ph. B. degree ;
Henry Austin Fox, Henry Burton Johnson, Thomas McCants
Stewart, Joseph Henry Stuart, Mortimer Alanson Warren,
the LL.B. degree. At the commencement of December, 1876,
the degree of A. B. was conferred on William Myrtenello
Dart, John Miller Morris and Alonzo Gray Townsend; the
LL. B. was given to Charles Jacob Babbitt, Lawrence Cain,
Thomas Meredith Canton, Francis Louis Cardozo, Richard
Theodore Greener, Styles Linton Hutchins, Theophilus J.
Minton, Joseph White Morris and Paris Simkins. Chief
Justice Moses died in March, 1877, so that there was no one
in the law school on whom a degree might be conferred in
June of that year, when Governor Hampton and the board
of trustees caused the university to be closed. At 4 p. m. of
June 15 the last public exercises of the university were held
in the chapel. Olin Fisk Cummings, Thomas Alston McLean
and Cornelius Chapman Scott received the bachelor's degree.

At no time did the radical faculty or board confer many
honorary degrees.

Col. F. W. McMaster of Columbia is said to have carried
away the records of the Euphradian society and thus to have
preserved them. After the reorganization only one member
of this society was in the university. He tried in vain to
revive the society. In its place rose the Ciceronian society,
which seems to have had possession of only part of the rooms
of the old society. Several times report was made of dis-
orderly conduct on the part of the members of the Ciceronian
society. There were enough members of the Clariosophic
society to continue its existence. A circular of one of the
final celebrations is preserved, in which the order of pro-


cedure is the same as at the present day. The library of the
Euphradian society suffered greatly during this period ; that
of the Clariosophic society is nearly intact. The records
of the latter society are also almost complete from the foun-
dation in 1806.

Maj. Everson reported about the close of the first year of
the reorganization that the library had suffered greatly
from acts of vandalism. Stricter laws were passed which
seem to have stopped further mutilation of old and rare
books. R. T. Greener, being in charge of the library for a
few months, set up the busts now there. He worked on a
card catalogue. After the first injury the library was well
preserved. Professor Eivers, who passed through Columbia
and went to the library when Greener was acting as
librarian, found everything well kept.

The last meeting of the faculty was held July 31, 1877;
a meeting of the board of trustees had been held the day
before. Present at the faculty meeting were Professors
Cummings, Babbitt, Roberts and Brewer. The chairman
stated that Hon. R. W. Barnwell had been elected librarian
and treasurer of the university and secretary of the faculty.
On motion of Prof. Roberts it was ordered that Prof. Brewer,
secretary pro tern., as soon as he had official notice of the
election of Mr. Barnwell, should transfer to his keeping such
records of the faculty as may be in his hands.

Of this period of the university Mr. Reynolds says : "The
requirements for admission were so lax the regulations in
this matter were so flagrantly disregarded that the so-called
university soon became little more than a high school, whose
chief aim was to inculcate and illustrate the social equality
of the black race with the white. The establishment, taken
as a whole, was a fraud upon the taxpayers a fraud delib-
erately perpetrated in the name of progress and enlighten-
ment !"



JUNE 10, 1913.

I see, in fancy before me a set of boys, for boys you were,
men of 1880-1882, when I first met and came to know you,
thirty-odd years ago, on this hallowed old campus.

You are men now in the heyday of life; for you the sun
is at high noon; for me its setting rays shed a soft, tender
light upon the scenes of long ago, and even the shadows, from
their attenuation, have lost their gloom. It does my heart
good to be with you tonight, and I thank God that I am per-
mitted once more to look into your faces and to feel the pres-
sure of your hands.

Some days ago Professor A. C. Moore, the Dean of the
Faculty of the University, invited me to prepare a paper
giving an account of the opening of the South Carolina Col-
lege of Agriculture and Mechanics and its subsequent history
up to the year 1883, and in this invitation he told me that
you men of that period would be glad to meet me and hear
this paper read. So whatever the paper may turn out to
be, remember you are to hold him accountable for it and for
my presence here tonight. With this apology I proceed at
once to give you as briefly as may be consistent with accuracy
and comprehensiveness what I know about the events of that
period of the existence of the College.

The old institution has met with many ups and downs:
thrice it has borne the name of College, and now for the
third time it bears the well deserved name, University of
South Carolina. The War Between the States emptied the
halls of the old South Carolina College of its Professors
and students, and it was closed ; but a vital spark remained.
This spark, soon after the war was closed, was kindled into
a beneficent glow, and the University of South Carolina
came into existence : then came the dark days of reconstruc-
tion the days of Carpet-bag rule and under the infamous
rule of Governor R. K. Scott came the downfall of the Uni-
versity: a mongrel set of Carpet-bag Professors and negro
students replaced its able and distinguished Professors, and
white students abandoned its halls. The glorious days of


Hampton then followed : the vagabond set of Professors and
negro students was driven out, and nothing was left to the
University but the name, a Board of Trustees, its buildings,
its library, its beautiful campus and its vital spark which
continued to smoulder under the ruins.

To the earnest and wisely directed activity of the Board
of Trustees, 1878-1880, is due the honor of kindling into life
again that vital spark which, it seems, no disaster could

The names of this Board are here appended :

Gov. Wm. D. Simpson, ex-officio, President.

Hon. Hugh S. Thompson, Columbia.

Hon. J. H. Kinsler, Columbia.

Hon. Samuel Dibble, Orangeburg.

Gen. John S. Preston, Columbia.

Hon. C. H. Simonton, Charleston.

Col. J. D. Blanding, Sumter.

Col. James H. Rion, Winnsboro.

Col. R. W. Boyd, Darlington.

Hon. J. F. J. Caldwell, Newberry.

Hon. J. E. Bacon, Columbia.

Nathaniel B. Barnwell, Secretary.

To each one of these devoted men should be given highest
meed of praise.

At a meeting of this Board, held in Columbia, Decem-
ber 28th, 1878, a memorial to the General Assembly was
prepared and adopted praying that the Board of Trustees
of the South Carolina University should be permitted to
discharge the obligations of the State of South Carolina to
the United States which the State has assumed when it-
accepted from the United States the donation styled "The
Agricultural School Fund", and that the Board be put in
possession of the entire fund, and that it might be given such
other aid as might be deemed appropriate for establishing
an Agricultural College in Columbia.

This memorial to the General Assembly aroused the inter-

Online LibraryEdwin L. (Edwin Luther) GreenA history of the University of South Carolina → online text (page 34 of 38)