Edwin L. (Edwin Luther) Green.

A history of the University of South Carolina online

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est of the friends of the University in the Legislature, and
gave to them the opportunity to open the fight for its re-es-

27 H. U.


tablishment ; and a hot fight it proved to be. Mr. Mem-
minger and Col. Simonton, both members from Charleston,
were conspicuously energetic advocates for the re-opening
of the College. In the up-country and among the patrons
of the several denominational colleges strong opposition was
developed, and representatives in the General Assembly
were made to feel the strength of this opposition. Eventually
an act authorizing the establishment of the South Carolina
College of Agriculture and Mechanics was passed and
approved, December 23rd, 1879.

One member from Anderson, and another from Abbeville
County, were especially and bitterly opposed to this meas-
ure. Their nagging of Mr. Memminger, who spoke and
worked earnestly for the passage of the bill, was so per-
sistent and so disagreeable that a colleague of the Anderson
member (so this colleague told me afterwards) took it upon
himself to warn these gentlemen of what they might expect
should they continue this nagging. He did it in these words :
"John (we will call him John, although that was not his
name), "John, you had better let that old man alone; he
will pick you up pretty soon and give you such a spanking
as you never can forget." Anderson and Abbeville, how-
ever, went on with their tactics until finally Mr. Memminger
did administer to each one of them, in turn, just such a
spanking as had been predicted: the nagging ceased, and
the bill was passed.

The act referred to in the previous paragraph that of
December 23rd, 1879 in its first section provided that the
University of South Carolina should consist of two branches,
one the College in Columbia, the other, Claflin College at
Orangeburg, both Colleges to be under one Board of Trustees
constituted as follows : the Governor of the State, ex officio,
President; the State Superintendent of Education; the
Chairman of the Senate Committee of Education ; the Chair-
man of the House Committee of Education ; and seven mem-
bers to be elected by the General Assembly. Another section
authorized the Board to establish the Agricultural College
in Columbia.


Now, as to the funds by means of which this establishment
was to be effected, this is to be said: In 1862 the United
States donated public lands to the several States and Terri-
tories which would provide Colleges for the benefit of Agri-
culture and the Mechanic Arts under certain specified con-
ditions: (1) The principal of the donation should be a
perpetual fund to be invested, at least at 5% interest, the
interest to be used solely for purpose named the establish-
ment and maintenance of the Agricultural and Mechanical
School or Schools; no part of it was to be used for the
buildings of the school. (2) The donee was bound to make
good all or any part of the fund which should in any way
be lost.

To the State accepting the donation under these con-
ditions land-scrip was issued by the United States.

The State of South Carolina, December 14, 1866, by legis-
lative act accepted the donation, and assented in general
terms to all conditions and provisions contained in the act
of Congress.

On July 22, 1868, after the adoption of its new Consti-
tution, the State, by legislative act, accepted the donation
a second time, assenting in general terms to the required
conditions and provisions.

On December 10, 1869, the State accepted a third time,
by legislative act, the donation, assenting, not only generally
but specifically also, to all of the conditions and required
provisions, and directed that the proceeds of the sales of
the landscrip should be invested in United States Bonds,
or in State Bonds, bearing 6% interest.

In 1870 the State government received the scrip, which
was sold for f 191,800, which, by the State's Financial Agent,
was invested in State 6% bonds with coupons attached for
the interest accruing after July 1, 1870. These bonds were
deposited by the Financial Agent in a box of the Safety
Deposit Company, in New York City, as the bonds of the
Agricultural College. The Financial Agent subsequently
withdrew these bonds from deposit and hypothecated them
to meet the demands of the State Treasurer and Financial


Board, and they were thus entirely lost to the Agricultural
College fund. (From Legislative Journals and Reports.)

On July 1st, 1879, the deficiency in interest on these bonds
amounted to |58,736.00.

Therefore, to keep, in good faith, its agreement with the
United States government, on July 1, 1879, the General
Assembly passed an act authorizing and requiring the State
Treasurer to issue to the Board of Trustees of the South
Carolina University a certificate of State Stock in the
amount of f 191,800, bearing interest at 6% per annum,
payable semi-annually, from July 1st, 1879. This was to
be held by the University as a perpetual fund, the interest
only to be used for Agricultural Collegiate purposes. (This
fund, the South Carolina College part of it, has since that
time been transferred to Clemson College.)

Section 2 of the same act authorized the Board of Trustees
to establish a College of Agriculture and Mechanics for the
benefit of the white students of the State, and to maintain
the College out of its share of the income of said fund,
(Claflin was to have a part of it), and to use the property
and grounds of the University in Columbia for this purpose.
With this authority and financial backing the Board pro-
ceeded to organize the Agricultural and Mechanical College.

Frequent meetings were held in 1879 and 1880. By invi-
tation I attended one of these meetings, November, 1879,
and sought to add one little stone, at least, to the edifice
which today has taken on such splendid proportions.

In February, 1880, four chairs were established:

1. Analytical and Agricultural Chemistry and Experi-
mental Agriculture.

2. Geology, Mineralogy, Botany and Zoology.

3. Mathematics, Natural Philosophy and Mechanics.

4. English Literature: Literature and Belles Lettres.
The positions of Foreman of the Farm and Foreman of

Mechanics were also established at this meeting.

In May, 1880, Wm. Porcher Miles was elected President
of the College and, also, to fill the 4th chair; Dr. Joseph


LeConte to fill the 2nd chair; Benjamin Sloan to fill the
3rd chair; Dr. Win. Burney to fill the 1st chair.

Mr. Jesse Jones of Charleston was elected Foreman of
the Shops.

The position of Foreman of the Farm was not filled at
this meeting, but at a subsequent meeting Mr. G. W. Connors
was elected to take the position.

Dr. Joseph LeConte having declined the chair offered him,
Dr. James Woodrow, August, 1880, was elected to fill that
chair, and upon notification accepted the position.

At this same meeting the Board gave to the College the
name South Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanics.
It was further ordered that the College should begin its first
session on Tuesday, October 5, 1880.

General Johnson Hagood having now succeeded the Hon.
Win D. Simpson as Governor, the Board of Trustees was as
follows :

His Excellency, Johnson Hagood, ew officio, President.

Ex officio Members:

Hon. Hugh S. Thompson, Superintendent of Education.

Hon. John H. Kinsler, Chairman Senate Committee on

Hon. Andrew Crawford, Chairman House Committee on

Members elected:

General John S. Preston, Columbia ( died during session ) .

Col. James H. Rion, Winnsboro.

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

Col. J. D. Blanding, Sumter.

Col. R. W. Boyd, Darlington.

Hon. Samuel Dibble, Orangeburg (resigned during ses-
sion ) .

Col. Chas. H. Simonton, Charleston.

Nathaniel B. Barnwell, Secretary.

Librarian and Treasurer, Robt. W. Barnwell.

Mr. Barnwell, former President of the University, was con-
fined at his home by illness, and the duties of Librarian and
Treasurer were performed jointly by his son, Nathaniel B.


Barnwell, and his daughter, Miss Eliza Barnwell. Miss
Barnwell was practically the Librarian, and admirably did
she perform the duties of that office.

Faculty :

Wm. Porcher Miles, LL. D., President, and Professor of
English Literature.

James Woodrow, Ph. D. (Heidelberg), D. D., Geology,
Mineralogy, Botany and Zoology.

Benjamin Sloan (West Point), Mathematics and Natural

Wm. Burney, Ph. D. (Heidelberg), Analytical and Agri-
cultural Chemistry and Experimental Agriculture.

Secretary of Faculty, Benjamin Sloan.

Foreman of Farm, G. W. Connors.

Foreman of the Shop, Jesse Jones.

The session began October 5, 1880, and closed Wednesday,
June 29, 1881. Total number of students, 66.

A Course of Study for three years was scheduled and the
classes styled Junior, Intermediate and Senior.

No student entered, at that time, a class higher than
Junior, and a majority of them spent the year in being pre-
pared to enter the Junior Class the following year, 1881-

The degrees offered were modest, viz. :

(1) That of Proficient, to be conferred for satisfactory
attainments in such departments of each school as the Fac-
ulty might designate and publish.

(2) That of Graduate in a School, conferred for satis-
factory attainment in the leading subjects of instruction in
the same.

Tuition was free to all, except in the department of
languages where students paid such fees as were agreed upon
with the Instructors.

Professors Faber and VonFingerlin were authorized to
give instruction in the modern and ancient languages. Each
one of these gentlemen was admirably qualified for this
purpose. An annual fee also of f 10 was required of each


The session of 1881-1882 opened Tuesday, October 4, 1881,
and closed Wednesday, June 28, 1882.

Col. F. W. McMaster filled the place on the Board of
Trustees made vacant by the death of General John S.
Preston, and the Hon. J. F. Izlar of Orangeburg took Mr.
Dibble's place. Otherwise the Board remained the same as
in 1880-1881. No changes were made in the Faculty. Mr.
E. S. Morrison was made Marshal. The number of students
this year was 72.

Intermediate Class 22

Junior Class 50


Nineteen members of the Intermediate Class came up
from the students of the previous year; three members of
this class were new men.

Of the 50 members of the Junior Class 37 were new men ;
13 came from the students of the previous year; so only 32
men out of the 66 of the previous year remained for a second
year at College practically 50% of the number failed in
their final examinations : I had better say, perhaps, fell out
of College because of a lack of preparation previous to their
entrance into the College. The lack of good schools, at that
time, in the State may account for this deficiency.

At the close of this session, 1881-1882, Mr. Miles withdrew
from the Presidency of the College. A bequest of large
estates in Louisiana to his daughters imperatively demanded
his presence in that State.

Now strongly impressed by the opportunities of the Col-
lege, the Board of Trustees eagerly sought for its further
development. Five new Professors were added to the Fac-
ulty: John M. McBryde, Professor of Agriculture and
Horticulture; Kev. Edmund L. Patton. LL. D., Professor
of Ancient Languages; Edward S. Joynes, M. A., LL. D.,
Professor of Modern Languages and English; Rev. Wm. J.
Alexander, A. M., Chaplain and Professor of Philosophy
and Belles Lettres; R. Means Davis, Professor of History
and Political Science.


A tutor in Mathematics, Meade Bolton, M. D., and a tutor
in Ancient and Modern Languages were also assigned to
duty with the Faculty.

The name of the College reverted to its original title,
South Carolina College, and the number of students this
year rose to 178.

The history of the South Carolina College of Agriculture
and Mechanics properly ends with the beginning of the ses-
sion of 1882-1883. Professor McBryde was made the Presi-
dent of the College, retaining his Professorship of Agricul-
ture and Horticulture.

Mr. Samuel I. Gaillard replaced Mr. G. W. Connors as
Superintendent of the Farm : The position, Foreman of the
Shops, was discontinued.

Under the masterful guidance of Dr. McBryde the Depart-
ment of Agriculture at once took on wonderful growth, and
year by year grew in ever increasing value to the College
and to the State. At the time of the transference of this
Department to Clemson College its work was magnificent.

Now, properly, my task as historian should end, but with
your permission I shall indulge in a few reminiscences.

Having been elected in May, 1880, to fill the chair of
Mathematics in the South Carolina College of Agriculture
and Mechanics, and having been notified to that effect by
the Secretary of the Board of Trustees, I made a short visit
from Walhalla to Columbia to notify the Secretary of my
acceptance of the position and to get my bearings for the
new work. At that time I occupied a similar position In
Adger College, Walhalla.

Later, in the summer, I returned to Columbia to look after
the work of rehabilitating the College buildings. Mr. Clark
Waring had the contract for making the necessary repairs.
His son, George Waring, who entered College at its opening,
superintended the work for his father. The dormitories,
because of their previous occupation by negro students, were
in a most disreputable condition.

Several of the Professors' homes were at that time occupied
by citizens of Columbia with their families. VonFingerlin,


later a licensed teacher of modern languages, was in Dr.
Burney's home; Hugh S. Thompson, then State Superin-
tendent of Education, formerly Principal and teacher of
the famous Thompson School of Columbia, afterwards the
Governor of the State, and always the courtly, genial gen-
tleman and scholar, occupied the two upper floors of the
home assigned to me. I retained bachelor quarters on its
first floor; Col. Thompson remained in the house up to the
time of his election to the office of Governor. I remember,
the night after his nomination by the State Convention, the
citizens of Columbia came down, en masse, to do him honor,
and the beautiful, stirring speech which he made to them on
that occasion was delivered from the little stoop in front of
this house (now occupied by Prof. Wauchope).

Mr. Stoney, Gen. Hagood's secretary, occupied the house
which is now Professor A. C. Moore's, and Gen. Bonham was
in Professor Rucker's house, adjoining Professor Moore's.
Mr. Robert W. Barnwell, librarian and treasurer, was in
the house now appropriated to the Y. M. C. A.

The Campus proper was encompassed by an ugly board
fence, and upon entering the grounds a feeling of discomfort
and loneliness took possession of one, and a College yell on
the Campus would have scared him with its echoes.

I remained in Columbia from the time I came down in the
summer, until the close of the first session, 1881.

Mr. Miles came to Columbia in the September preceding
the opening of the College, October 5th, 1880 ; Dr. Woodrow
resided in Columbia.

One day, late in September, I was in my class-room, Prof.
Colcock's old lecture room, superintending its preparation
for my expected classes, when a distinguished looking young
man with somewhat the air of a foreigner came in and made
the formal inquiry: "Might I ask where Professor Sloan
can be found?" My reply was: "I am he." That was my
introduction to Dr. Burney. From that day to this we have
been staunch friends, and I have reason to bless the day of
that first interview.

As soon as the four of us were on the grounds, we held a


conference to arrange affairs for the opening of the College.
Mr. Miles, upon looking us over, said : "Mr. Sloan, you are
the secretary of the Faculty", remarking: "To the youngest
belongs the labor" this in a sonorous Latin phrase. I
looked at Dr. Burney, but was so upset could say nothing.

I wish you would stand Burney by my side now, and then
tell me, if you can, how Mr. Miles could possibly have made
such a mistake. However, secretary I remained during Mr.
Miles' administration.

I must say for Mr. Miles that he did not seek for the
Presidency of the College; the office sought for him. He
left a lovely home at the "Old Sweet Springs" in Virginia
to take up the work in Columbia. Born and reared in South
Carolina, the reputation he left with the people of the State
singled him out as the man for the Presidency of the College.
He was a scholar and a courtly gentleman a manly man,
as indeed every true gentleman is. A bit of his history may
help us in our estimate of him. He had just begun the prac-
tice of law in Charleston, S. C., when a frightful scourge of
yellow fever swept over the city of Norfolk, Va. This fever
spared neither the high nor the low; a cry for nurses went
out from the stricken city. Mr. Miles closed his office ; went
at once to Norfolk; organized a band of nurses, and stood
faithfully at his post until the winter's frost drove the plague
from the city.

Afterwards he served the City of Charleston famously
well as its Mayor, and then his Congressional District in
Congress with high honor. I deem it a great privilege to
have been associated in College work with such a man.

The memory of Dr. Woodrow is fresh with you. His life
was a benefaction to the College and to the State. Through-
out our long term of service together he honored me with his
friendship, a boon of which I am very proud.

Dr. Burney we still have with us. Hundreds and hundreds
of his students can tell far better than I can how beneficent
has been his influence upon young men.

It was the custom of this small Faculty to meet in Mr.
Miles' lecture room Professor Joynes' old lecture room


once a week just after Chapel Service, 10 A. M. ; Dr. Wood-
row conducted services in the Chapel. These meetings were
ever harmonious, and to me, delightful and most illuminat-
ing, not only upon College matters, but upon a wide range of
other subjects.

Mr. Jesse Jones, Foreman of the Shops, was a skillful
mechanic, and doubtless could direct and handle admirably
a gang of other mechanics, but he was not adapted to
handling College boys: he had too little patience, and his
tongue was rather too nimble with "cuss words", and yet
the boys under him did turn out beautiful pieces of carpenter
and cabinet work. He always addressed the President, or
spoke of him, as Mr. Mayor. The Foreman of the Farm,
Mr. G. W. Connors, gentle and suave of manner, although
a skillful farmer, was too much hampered by a lack of
means and appliances to do a great deal in farm instruction
during his short stay, two years, at the College. He was suc-
ceeded 1882 by Mr. Samuel I. Gaillard.

From this time the Department of Agriculture, under Dr.
McBryde's masterful hand was splendidly managed. I can
name three men, graduates of that period, whose work since
ttey wont out into the world as farmers has been of far
greater value to the farmers of the State than many times
the money the State ever expended upon this Department
Coker, Williamson, Hamer.

Now may come the inquiry, What fruit in citizenship has
come from the enterprise of these planters in 1880? I have
not been able to keep in touch with all of the scions of that
period; I know enough, however, to answer promptly and
emphatically: abundant fruit clean, fair-skinned fruit
sound to the core.

I know one of these men who has become great in railway
management Albert Anderson : one of them is an expert in
textile work Beaty: another one has been wonderfully
successful in the great business of insurance E. G. Seibels :
another one is a County Superintendent of Education
Clarkson: I know of one successful College Professor
Clough Sims : another one, the son of G. W. Connors, Fore-


man of the Farm in 1880, is at the head of a great business
in Atlanta: the Mayor of the City of Columbia is one of
them We are all proud of him: His life is an open book
in which there is record of naught except of those things
which are of high and honorable repute. Many of these
men are farmers, and one of these farmers is the President
of the Farmers Union of the State Eugene Dabs.

I know ten lawyers all of them of the highest type one
of them served for years on the Board of Trustees of the
College and University Macfarlan.

One of the men of 1880-1882 is a State Senator Macbeth
Young. Six of them I know as physicians, each one of them
at the top in his profession, and as these, now, sedate physi-
cians pass, mentally, before me the vision of one of them
stands out with marked distinctness, for this one when a
student fairly reveled in mathematics in that much
maligned study. Think of this, you maligners of that study,
and remember were it not for the mathematicians who have
lived in the world we would still be groveling in the Stone
Age. Buchanan is the man referred to in this paragraph.

There was also another reveler in mathematics among
these boys: indeed in all of his studies he was one of the
brightest young men I have ever met unfortunately he died
before his College course was completed Little John.

This vision is succeeded by its antithesis an anti-reveler
in mathematics comes into view, he was also an anti-reveler
in strong drink and abhorred tobacco, but he was passion-
ately fond of horses, dogs and his gun; and adored game-
cocks ; I was told he kept one of these beautiful birds in his
room, and whenever he was reproved for the uncleanliness
of the custom he would reply: "I had rather risk the
uncleanliness of the gamecock than that of you boys who
chew and smoke tobacco." Now Ike, we will call him, when-
ever called upon to recite in mathematics would rise with
a bland smile upon his face, take up his way to the black-
board, smiling at me all the while, as much as to say : "Well,
this is a joke" : and that smile was all of his recitation : on



no occasion did he make other reply. Mathematics was away
beyond his ken.

The enumeration given in the preceding paragraphs by
no means exhausts the list of those boys of the historic period
1880-1882 who have won high distinction in the various
honorable callings in which they are to be found today:
doubtless there are others with whose histories I am not
familiar who deserve equally as high commendation as any
one of those there listed.

Indeed, were I to attempt to say all that could be said
of the College and its students of 1880-1882 the paper might
become wearisome to you, so at this point it seems best it
should be closed.

I feel, however crude and imperfect the paper may be,
that the work of these men since they have gone out from
the College into the world, and the powerful influence of
the University, as it stands today the fruit of a germ of
the 1880 planting in promoting the cause of education in
the State justify fully the action of the Board of Trustees
on that occasion, and forcibly demonstrate the wisdom of
that action. Surely, those gentlemen planted better than
they knew.


The class of 1846 held a meeting before the members parted
after commencement and determined that there should be a
reunion of the living graduates of 1846 at the college and
should "join in giving a class dinner." Each one present
was to give a sketch of his life since graduation and also of
any absent member with whose history he might be
acquainted. An orator was to be elected to address the meet-
ing. Similar resolutions were passed by the next succeeding
class. No other classes, so far as known, passed resolutions.
The class of 1846 held two reunions at intervals of five years ;
the third was interrupted by the war.

At the semicentennial in December, 1854, an alumni asso-
ciation was formed with Hon. John L. Manning as president.


"After the close of the war and while the old S. C. C. was
in the hands of carpet baggers and negroes, some of its
friends I may mention particularly Justice Mclver, A. S. J.
Perry and T. B. Fraser formed a plan to get the alumni
together and make an effort to redeem her from her abject
thraldom. They knowing what the class of 1846 had done
(Mclver and Perry being members of it) concluded to call
together as many of the class as they could communicate
with, to meet in Columbia. Fourteen responded, and we con-

Online LibraryEdwin L. (Edwin Luther) GreenA history of the University of South Carolina → online text (page 35 of 38)