Francis Hall.

The Century, Volume 11 online

. (page 137 of 163)
Online LibraryFrancis HallThe Century, Volume 11 → online text (page 137 of 163)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

and Orientalist he was specially famous.
He wrote an entertaining but uncritical
treatise on King Charles's Judges in Amer-
ica. He pursued his Oriental studies with
the help of the learned Rabbi Haigim Isaac
Carigal, who had charge of the synagogue
at Newport. He was active in the contro-
versy between the colonies and the mother
country, and later in projects for the aboli-
tion of the slave trade. He pursued a more
liberal policy than President Clap, and it
was during his administration that the Hon.
James Hillhouse, Treasurer of the College,

Digitized by




originated the conciliatory measure by which,
in return for a grant from the State, the
Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, and six
senior Senators were made ex-officio mei.i-
bers of the Corporation. South College,
built in 1794, was named Union Hall, to
commemorate this union of Church and
State in the college government.

The successors of Dr. Stiles in the Presi-
dency have been Timothy Dwight (1795-
1817); Jeremiah Day (1817-1846); Theo-
dore Dwight Woolsey (1846-1871); and
Noah Porter, the present head of the College.

At the time of the Revolution there flour-
ished at New Haven a school of Yale poets
and patriots, who aided the cause of Inde-
pendence with sword and pen — ^Trumbull,
Dwight, Humphreys, and Barlow. They
wrote immense epics in rhyme; essays in
the style of "The Spectator;" satires and
epistles after the manner of Pope ; epigrams
against Tom Paine, Ethan Allen and Thomas
Jeflferson; and burlesques in imitation of
Hudibras. This galaxy of literati, together
with three Hartford wits, contributors to
" The American Mercury," formed a mutual
admiration society and were spoken of as
"The Seven Pleiades of Connecticut"
Their poems are little read nowadays, but
are historically interesting as the beginnings
of our national literature, and abundantly
filled with the spirit of '76. The two first
named, John Trumbull and Timothy Dwight,
were chosen tutors in the college in 1771.
Their influence served to broaden the course
of study by the introduction of the humani-
ties, — ^Trumbull's first satire, " The Progress
of Dullness," being directed in part against
the dry and unpractical character of the old
logical curriculum. TrumbulPs best poem
was " MTingal," a satirical account of the
war, which was very popular in its day.
Thirty pirated impressions were hawked
about by newsmongers and chapmen, and
the classical Marquis de Chastellux wrote
fix)m Paris complimenting Trumbull in good
critical form for having observed all the
rules of burlesque poetry obtaining since the
age of Homer. Could Dr. Johnson have
said more ?

Two or three couplets of " M'Fingal " still
circulate as proverbs generally credited to
Butler, e. g, :

'^No man e'er felt the halter draw
With good opinion of the law : "


"But optics sharp it needs, I ween,
To see what is not to be seen."

Trumbull afterward studied law in Job
Adams's oflice at Boston, and finally became
Judge of the Superior Court of ConnecdciL

Timothy Dwight is less known to pofiterkv
as a writer than as the vigorous scholar vfao,
as President of Yale College, impressed \n
strong personality upon every one of a go-
eration of students. Yet his conlnbutiois
to literature were by no means vahiekss.
Prominent among these were his " Tbeoi-
ogy," and his entertaining " Travels in Nev
England and New York," of which latter
Southey spoke with respect, though he made
game of his poems. Of diese, "The Coo-
quest of Canaan," finished at the age of
twenty-three, is the longest and most pie-
tentious. This is a scriptural epic in rhymed
heroics, which was favorably critictscd bj
Cowper in "The Analytical Review.** Tnan-
bull, " in allusion to the number of thiaider-
storms described in the portion of the poem
handed him to read, requested tiiat, wha
he sent in the remainder, a lightning-rod
might be included." Of this epic, with its
thunder-storms and Niagaras, its Irads and
Selimas, and the rest, one would wish to
speak warily as of the manes of the iDiis-
trious dead. Peace be with than!
Dwight's best poem is, perhaps, his ^ Gteeii-
field Hill," a rural idyl in the reflective and
descriptive vein of Goldsmith. His oocc
famous song, '' Columbia," was wntten distag
his chaplaincy in the Revolutionary annj.
and gave voice to the new feeling of Amer-
ican nationality. The psahn included in
most collections beginnmg, "I love Thy
kingdom. Lord," was written by Dwight.

TTie third star in this constellatioo was
Colonel David Humphreys, who was giado-
ated in 1771. He fought in the RevohitiosL
first as staff officer to General Putnam, and
afterward as one of Washington's aids, and
was presented with a sword by Con|;Tess for
gaUantry at Yorktown. He continued a
life-Ion^ fiiend of Washington, and a fre-
quent mmate at Mount Vernon. He w»
appointed Minister to Spain and introduced
into America the breed of Merino sheefi
From his woolen factory was fumished dbic
coat in which President Madison took bt«
oath of office. Colonel Humphreys' n»sc
was always patriotic, and, withal, sonsewhat
stately and monotonous.- He sung **Tbc
Happiness of America," " The Future Gkr?
of the United States," " Love of Country/
" The Death of General Wa^iington,** ml
"The Industry of the United Slates erf
America." He exchanged poetic epiaks
with Barlow, "whom Nature Ibnned her

Digitized by





loftiest poet," and with Dwi^ht, " that bard
sublime, the father of our epic song." His
poem, entitled " Address to the Armies of
the United States of America," was trans-
lated into French by the Marquis de Chas-
tellux. Humphreys was the patron saint
and one of the founders of the Brothers in
Unity Society, and, as such, his name has
come down in college song almost to the
present generation of undergraduates. An-
other Revolutionary hero, Nathan Hale, the
martyr spy, was the founder of the rival
society, Linonia.

Joel Barlow made his d^but as a poet on
his Commencement Day, in 1778, by the
delivery of a poem on the "Prospect of
Peace." Like Dwight, he served as chap-
lain in the Revolutionary army. When the
war was over, this knot of New Haven poets
turned their pens into the service of the
Federalist party. Barlow settled at Hartford
and wrote for the " Mercury," in connection
with Trumbull, Humphreys and Dr. Lemuel
Hopkins, a series of papers called "The
Anarchiad," in favor of a strong Constitu-
tion. But later, he strayed to Paris and
went after false gods, becoming a convert to
French democracy and taking part in the
struggles of the Revolution. He attacked
Burke in a pamphlet printed at London, and
wrote, among other rather wild things, a

famous song in praise of the guillotine to
the tune of " God Save the King." He
made a fortune abroad by speculation, and,
returning to America, after an absence of
seventeen years, built a residence near Wash-
ington, which he called Kalorama. He was
sent as Minister to France by Mr. Monroe,
and caught his death by exposure while
traveling through Poland to get an inter-
view with Napoleon, then engaged on his
Russian campaign. Barlow's best poem is
" Hasty Pudding," an excellent mock heroic
after the manner of Philip's " Cider." The

" E'en in thy native regions, how I blush
To hear the Pennsylvanians call thee iwjatA,"

is familiar, as, indeed, are other passages.
But Barlow's chief title to fame in his own
time was " The Columbiad," a sort of Fourth
of July epic in ten books, splendid with the ^
boom of cannon and the blaze of rockets,
with geographical surveys of the continent
from "hills of vision," accompanied with
remarks by guardian angels and geniuses
of America, and ending in a grand holo-
caust of ancient errors and superstitions.
This was published at Philadelphia in 1807,
with prints by the best English engravers,
and was the cosdiest book that had ever
been issued fix)m an American press. Many

Digitized by




of the pieces of this early school of Connec-
ticut poets were published in a volume of
"American Poems," at Litchfield, in 1793.
With the opening of the present century,
and the accession of President Dwight in
1795, the college entered upon a career of
development so rapid and manifold that,
from a school attended by scarcely more
than one hundred and thirty pupils, and
conducted by half a dozen teachers, it has
become a university of six separate faculties,
numbering some ninety officers of instruc-
tion and nearly eleven hundred students,

North College, in 182 1 ; the Old Chapd, in
1824, and Old Divinity, in 1835. The binki-
ings of this row are all standing, except the
last, which was pulled down in 1870, to
make room for Durfee Hall. The Lyceum
IS occupied by recitation-rooms. All ibesc
buildings are excessively plain, resembling
nothing so much as a line of red brick ^-
tories. The four dormitories are aimast
precisely alike. Each is four stories hi^
and has two entries ; each entry gives access
to sixteen rooms, four on a floor. Though
plain in appearance, they furnish comibct-


X. Skull and Bones.
Psi UpnJon. 3. Scroll and Keys.

4. Delta Kappa bpsilon.

and occupying about thirty buildings,
This development has been double : First,
an unfolding of the college in itself;
Secondly, a throwing off by the parent stem
of vigorous shoots in the shape of special
departments and technical schools.

The increase in the number of college
buildings may first be mentioned, as the
outward and visible sign of this progress.
The plan of the first builders was as simple
as their architecture — mere accretion in a
right line. Hence "the old brick row,"
comprising, besides the structures already
mentioned, the Lyceum, begun in 1800;

able lodgings. Two of them are heated bj
steam. All have water on the ground floor,
and gas in the entries and in some of tlie

These buildings are old without hemg
venerable ; yet sometimes, in the long suid-
mer vacation, when the yard is desoted,
their bricky fionts, with the shadows of the
elms playing quietly over them, take 00 1
mellow tone of age that appeals to one vitb
a certain pathos for recognition. The roons
in the older colleges have a faint arooa of
association. In many, list^ of former inmaie
are kept pasted on the closet doon» The

Digitized by




floors are uneven, the low ceilings are
crossed by beams, and there are old-fash-
ioned fire-places in the chimney, now chiefly
bricked or boarded up. Altogether, it is not
strange that so much sentimental opposition

1868 the paintings were removed to the
new art school, and the upper floor of Trum-
bull Gallery is now taken up by the rooms
of the President and Treasurer of the
college. On the lower floor are working-


was developed among the alumni when, a
few years since, it was proposed to move
the college ftom its present site.

Behind the main row stand three other
buildings irregularly placed — the Laboratory,
the Cabinet, and the Trumbull Gallery.
The first is a low brick edifice put up in
1782 for a commons hall and kitchen, but
used since 181^ for a chemical lecture-room,
laboratory, optical chamber, working-rooms,
etc. The cabinet is a large building covered
with dark stucco, constructed in 18 19. The
upper story is used as a cabinet of minerals;
the lower was occupied by a dining-hall
until the abolition of the commons in 1843,
but now by recitation-rooms and the " phil-
osophical chamber." The Trumbull Gal-
lery is a mausoleum-like affair erected in
1832, to hold the paintings presented by
Colonel John Trumbull, the historical painter
of the Revolution. Some of these pieces
are widely known by copies, as, " The Sign-
ing of the Declaration of Independence"
and "The Death of Montgomery." In
Vol. XI.— 50.

rooms for entomology, popularly known as
the " Bug Lab."

The most modem buildings are ranged
along the outer edge of the college square,
an area of some nine acres, facing inward.
They are designed in time to form a con-
tinuous quadrangle completely inclosing
this square. It is unfortunate that when
this arrangement was decided upon no
general plans were drawn for such a quad-
rangle. As it is, the new colleges, though in
some cases individually creditable, are of so
many materials and shapes, that it will be
impossible to harmonize them architecturally
in a close quadrangle. The first of these is
the Library, a graceful Gothic building of
rough-dressed Portland sandstone, begun in
1842. Here the books of the college at last
found permanent shelter after lodging succes-
sively in the upper stories of the Athenaeum,
the Lyceum, and the Chapel. Including the
consolidated libraries of the Linonia and
Brothers Societies in the north wing, the
college owns one hundred and eleven

Digitized by




thousand volumes, exclusive of pamph-

Alumni Hall,^ completed in 1853^ is a
s^quiat, castellated structure of red sandstone,*
built in that order of architecture known to
readers of " Cecil Dreeme " and the Bohemian
frequenters of "Chrysalis" as mock-Gothic,
The lower story is a large hall used for the
annual examinations and for Commence-
ment meetings of the Alumni. It is hung
around with portraits of college benefactors
and distinguished graduates. There are
two medieval-looking towers (with wooden
battlements), whose corkscrew staircases
conduct to the two handsome rooms on the
upper floor, once the rival debating halls of
Linonia and Brothers, but now used as

By far the most elaborate building on the
square is the Art School, completed in 1866
at a cost of $200,000 and upward. It is
buillf of smooth-dressed New Jersey sand-
stone, in the shape of an irregular H, and
has one entrance, through a tower, from the
college side, and another from Chapel
street through a fine porch with columns
of polished granite. The floors are of oak
and black wabiut, and the inside finish of
the halls and the handsome staircases of
chestnut. The second story contains two
large sky-light galleries, in one of which is
hung the Jarves collection of paintings illus-
trative of the history of Italian
art; in the other the Trumbull
collection and other paintings be-
longing to the college, conspicuous
among which is Allston*s " Jere-
miah." The school also owns a
well-chosen gallery of casts, col-
lections of photographs, etc. The
lower floor is devoted to studios
and lecture-rooms.

The only portion of the " quad "
at present closely built, is the
north-eastern comer, formed by
Famam, Durfee, and the new
chapel. Famam Hall was finished
in 1870. It is built of brick and
North River blue-stone, is four
stories high, and furnishes accom-
modation for 89 students. The
rooms are grouped on three stair-
cases. Durfee Hall, completed
in 187 1, is perhaps the most thoroughly
satisfactory to the eye of all the college
buildings. It is of rough-dressed New

• Much, in fact, like the cock's comb in Chaucer:

** redder than the fine coral,

Embattailed, as it were, a castle waL'*

Jersey sandstone, four stories high, and
accommodates 80 lodgers. The rooms aie
grouped on five staircases. Both of tbot
houses are heated by steam and lighted by
gas throughout, and have water on eadi
floor. Filling the space between Famam
and Durfee is the new chapel, not yet fin-
ished, a cruciform building with a rounded
apse at the eastern, and two towers at the
western end of the nave. Like Durfee, it
is of New Jersey sandstone with trimmings
of the light-colored Ohio sandstone. Two
scutcheons on the Elm street side present the
coats of arms of the college and the State,
with their respective legends : Lttx et Vrriigs
and Qtiitranstulit sustinei. The chapd wiD
seat 1,150 persons.

During the year 1868-9 the quesrion was
agitated whether it might not be well to
move the college into the suburbs, on ac-
count of the rise in the value of land firom
the rapid growth of the city. The proposed
new site was a lot of fifty acres near the
Observatory grounds, on the ridge bctwca
East and West Rocks, half a mile north of
the Old Hillhouse Place. The plan was
given up because of the impossibility of
raising money enough to equip the college
properly in a fresh location.

President Dwight inaugurated the poiky
of appointing to permanent professonh^
young men who had given promise as tntocs.


Among those first appointed were Jeremiah
Day, who succeeded Dr. Dwight in the Pies-
idency; Benjamin SiUiman and James L
Kingsley. A Professorship of Juri^fimckiicc.
the nucleus of a Law School, was foundc J is
1 80 1 ; of Chemistry, Mineralogy, and G<«i-

Digitized by




ogy in 1 802 ; of Ancient Languages ( Hebrew,
Greek and Latin) in 1805 \ of Rhetoric in
1 81 7. These chairs were afterward divided,
and others were added. At present the
teaching force of the college proper (or
Academual Department) consists
of the President, who is also the
Professor of Moral Philosophy
and Metaphysics; eleven Profes-
sors in the following subjects:
Natural Philosophy and Astron-
omy; Geology and Mineralogy;
Latin ; Mathematics ; Greek ;
Rhetoric and English Literature ;
History ; Chemistry and Molecu-
lar Physics; Modem Languages;
German ; and Political and Social
Science; three Assistant Professors
in Mathematics, Latin and English
Literature ; and ten tutors.

The first of the professional
schools in operation was the Med-
ical School, organized in 18 10
with assistance from the State
Medical Society, which retains the
right of choosing members of the
Examining Board. The Faculty consists
of seven Professors and a Demonstrator
in Anatomy. Since 1859 the School has
occupied a three-story brick building on
York street, about two blocks from the
college, containing a lecture-room, anatom-
ical museum, dissecting-rooms, offices, etc.
The catalogue of 1875 shows an attendance
of forty-two students.

In 1822 was organized the Divinity School,
developing in time into one of the most pros-
perous branches of the University. Instruc-
tion is in the hands of six permanent Pro-
fessors and several special lecturers. A
popular feature was added to the course of
study in 187 1, by the endowment of the
L)rman Beecher Lectureship on Preaching,
which has been held in successive years by
several eminent divines. Four volumes of
** Yale Lectures on Preaching" have already
issued from the pre^. The Divinity School
is quartered in two fine buildings opposite
the new Chapel and Durfee. These are
known as East and West Divinity Halls,
and were built respectively in 1870 and
1874. They are alike in appearance — each
five stories high, and furnish jointly rooms
for 150 students. The lower floors are
devoted to class-rooms, libraries, etc. Con-
nected with East Divinity is the small but
elegant Marquand Chapel. The number
of students at the Seminary averages 100.

The Law School was started in 1824 and

celebrated its semi-centennial in 1874; on
which occasion Chief-Justice Waite pre-
sided. The Hon. Edwards Pierrepont de-
livered an oration and ex-President Woolsey
an historical address. The School has been


located since 1873 in fine apartments, occu-
pying the entire third floor of the new
County Court House. Its efficiency has
increased greatly within the last decade, and
the number of its students has been nearly
trebled. On the last catalogue it stood 76.
The Law School has four regular Profes-
sors and seven or eight lecturers.

The most powerful department of the Uni-
versity, after the Academical, is the Sheffield
Scientific School. Although this has had
many benefactors, and although its success
has been due in great part to the exceptional
energy and ability of its Professors, yet it may
be regarded as mainly the work of one man,
Mr. Joseph E. Sheffield, of New Haven.
The School was started in 1847, but led a
struggling existence till i860, when Mr.
Sheffield bought the old Medical College at
the head of Co^ege street and presented it
to the School, after having refitted it, added
two wings, and furnished it with apparatus.
The building has received later additions ;
among others, two towers for astronomical
purposes. It is known as Sheffield Hall.
In 1873 the same generous patron built and
equipped a second building. North Sheffield
Hall, immediately north of the former. Both
are occupied by laboratories, collections,
drawing rooms, observatories, libraries, lec-
ture and recitation rooms and private rooms
for instructors. The large lecture-room in
North Sheffield seats 400. The known gifts

Digitized by




of Mr. Sheffield to the School exceed
$3So»ooo- But he has given much pri-
vately in addition.

The Faculty of the Sheffield School con-
sists of sixteen Professors, and thirteen
instructors and assistants. The number of


undergraduates is 224. Although the sphere
of the school is primarily the Natural Sci-
ences, it is by no means a mere professional
or technical institute. It secures a liberal
basis for special study by enforcing, in Fresh-
man year, a uniform course in mathematics,
physics, chemistry, botany, physical geog-
raphy, drawing, German, English and polit-
ical economy. Some knowledge of Latin is
required for admission. There is a " select
course," embracing linguistics, political econ-
omy, and history (under such instructors as
Professor William D. Whitney and General
Francis A. Walker), English language and
literature, German, French, and English

The Scientific School has, indeed, attained
the dimensions of a second and independent
college. It is not unlikely that, by an
enlargement of its courses in language and
history (adding perhaps the classical tongues),
the Academic Department in the meanwhile
gradually opening elective courses, and
increasing its facilities for the teaching of
natural science, the two may eventually come
to cover nearly the same ground.

Here may be mentioned the Peabody
Museum of Natural History, endowed by
Mr. George Peabody of London. This is a
handsome four-story building, just erected
on the comer of Elm and High streets,
opposite Alumni Hall. It contains lecture-

rooms, offices, and cabinets for coUectiaDsiB
zoology, geology, mineralogy, paleontologj,
and American archaeology. The valusiik
collections of fossils made by the amnal
Yale expedition in the West, under tfic lead-
ership of Professor Marsh, will be airanged
in the P^eabody Museum. The
building already erected is mod?
one wing of a larger structure which
will stretch from Elm to Libraiy

The Yale School of the Fine Ait$
is, like the Sheffield School, mainh
the creation of a single donor, Mr.
Augustus R. Street of New Haven,
whose gifts to the college have
amounted to $280,000, besides other
sums of unknown amount not yet
realized. The Faculty of the Art
School consists of a Professor of
Painting and Design, a Profcanr
of the History of Art, a Pr o fes so r of
Drawing, and an Instructor in Per-
spective. It has some diirty stu-
dents, and is open to both sexes.

These various departments, though
subject to the general govemmcot
of the University, — the original J^eadfniwtd
Fellows of Yale College^ — are pnurtically
independent in their internal discipline and
instruction. The President of the coflege is
ex officio President of each of the sch(X)is ;
but these have also a Dean, Chaiimaiiy or
Director, who acts as executive officer of his
department All degrees, of course, arc con-
ferred by the University.

One of the most encouraging symptoof
in the recent development of the Univenity
is the establishment of a school for the
advanced instruction of graduate students.
At present, however, this department has 00
separate organization, instruction being givca
by members of the undergraduate Facnltks
in the intervals of their other work. The
annual report by the Executive Committee
of the Society of the Alumni, published June
ist, 1875, says : " There have been this year
29 [graduate] students distributed in the
following classes : In History, 13 ; in Polii-
ical Science, 12; in Sanskrit and Gencnl
Philology, 9 ; in English Literature, 7 ; in
Greek, 7 ; in Hebrew, 6 ; in Mental Sdenx
4 ; in Mathematics, 3 ; in Latin, 2 ; in Godn;

Online LibraryFrancis HallThe Century, Volume 11 → online text (page 137 of 163)