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Norwich University, 1819-1911; her history, her graduates, her roll of honor (Volume 1) online

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in this country to assist in promotingthe higher education of women.
During the time the " Academy' ' was located in Middletown,
Conn., he gave his active support in the management of a young
ladies' seminary in that city; in 1835 he founded a young ladies' semi-
nary in Norwich. We quote from the prospectus published in 1835 :

" The institution will be opened in the village of Norwich, the first Monday
in May, 1835, under the patronage of the University. All the branches of a
useful and ornamental education will be taught by able and experienced
teachers, and the young ladies will have the advantage of attending the lec-
tures given at the University.

" The institution will be under the immediate superintendence of a lady
in every respect well qualified to discharge the important duties of the same.

"The charge for tuition, board, etc., will be as moderate as at similar in-
stitutions of the fii'st order, of the United States.

" The location of the seminary at Norwich will enable parents who may
send their sons to the University to educate their daughters in their immediate
vicinity. For further information, application may be made to the President
or Vice-president of the University."


The seminary was continued for several years. Although
not strictly co-educational, yet we believe it served to encourage
the opening of other schools for the education of women. It
was nearly as closely connected with the University as Radcliffe
is with Harvard now.


President Ransom Assumes the Duties of President — Captain
Partridge Leases the University Property — New Location Secured in
Norwich — Settlement With Captain Partridge — Faculty — Attendance
— Course of Study — Text Books — Prep.\ratory Dep.\btment — Va-
cations — Marches — Societies — Expenses — Commencements — Old Uni-
versity Banner Presented — President Ransom Resigns — War With

President Ransom assumed the active duties of president
February 8, 1844. The first business that demanded his attention
was the settlement of Captain Partridge's claim on the University

After some negotiations, Captain Partridge leased the property
to the University trustees for the year. On September 21, 1844,
he gave the trustees notice that the lease would be terminated on
its expiration, A committee of sixteen was appointed to " corre-
spond with the people of Norwich and other towns on the east side
of the Green Mountains in regard to the location of the University
in a more favoral;)le place, "but no success came from this move-

On the expiration of the lease, Captain Partridge took the
property and in April, 1845, opened his school, the " A. L. S. & M.
University," which he conducted in the University buildings until
November, 1846.

The citizens of Norwich bought five acres of land with a
commodious brick louilding, which they conveyed to the Uni-
versity trustees for the use of the Institution; also moved to the
premises a frame building which was fitted up for recitation pur-
poses. On July 17, 1845, the trustees gave a vote of thanks to the
people of Norwich " for their generous aid in helping to place the
University on a better financial footing."

On November 3, 1846, Captain Partridge sold the original
University property to the Institution and on December 4th,
the same year, gave the deed. Thus was ended to the mutual
satisfaction of all concerned, an unfortunate incident in the history
of the University.



The faculty for the fall of 1844 was composed of Truman B.
Ransom, A. M., president and professor of Natural Philosoph}',
Practical and Military Science, Political Economy, Civil Engineer-
ing and Science of Government; Aaron Loveland, A. M., a gi'aduate
of Dartmouth, class of 1801, vice-president; Alonzo Jackman,
A. M., professor of Mathematics and Chemistry; Josiah Swett, '37
A. M., professor of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy, Natural
Theology and English Literature; Cadet Charles Edward Dennison,
tutor in Latin and Greek; Giuseppe Artoni, graduate of a French
L^niversity, instructor of French, Spanish and Italian Languages.

In 1845, Benjamin F. Marsh, A, M., ''35, a distinguished en-
gineer, was appointed professor of Mathematics and Civil Engineer-

Old Barracks at Norwich,

ing in place of Alonzo Jackman, resigned; Rev. James Davie
Butler, A. M., a graduate of Middlebury College of the class of
1836, was appointed professor of the Ancient Languages and
Literature; Charles E. Dennison, A. B., was advanced to the rank
of instructor in the Ancient Languages. In 1845, Professor
Artoni resigned and Professor Butler took his classes.

In 1846, Cadet Paul Raymond Kendall was appointed teacher
in the Preparatory Department and held the position until 1847.
On May 7, 1847, President Ransom resigned and Professor Butler
acted as president until March 23, 1847, when General Henry S.
Wheaton assumed the duties of that office. In 1847, Professor
Marsh also resigned and Professor Jackman was re-appointed
professor of Civil Engineering.

The attendance for the years 1843-46, was as follows: 1844,
graduates 1, non-graduates 16; 1845, gi'aduates 7, non-graduates
26; 1846, graduates 6, non-gi-aduates 26, a total of 14 graduates,


and 68 non-gi-aduates. The cadets were from the following states:
Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut,
New York, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Kentucky and Illinois.
During this period the degree of A. B. was conferred upon ten
cadets, and the degi'ee of A. M. in course on eight alumni. The
honorary degree of A. M. was conferred upon six persons, LLD.
on two, and D. D. on one. The degree of M. D. was given upon
examination to two applicants.

The course of study in 1844 was given in three departments,
Collegiate, Civil Engineering and Militar}-. We quote from the
catalogue published in 1844:


''This department embraces the following branches of edu-
cation, viz: Grammar, Arithmetic, Geogi'aphy, Algebra, Geo-
metry, Ancient and Modern Histor3% Logic, Rhetoric, Elocution,
Composition, Analytical Geometry, Navigation, Surveying, Civil
Engineering, INIilitary Science, Natural Philosophy, Astronomy,
Descriptive Geometry, Trigonometr}^ Mensuration, Fluxions,
Logarithms, Chemistry, Geology, Mineralogy, Moral Science,
Intellectual Philosophy, Natural and Political Law, Natural
Theology, Laws of Nations, Political Economy, Evidences of
Christianity, Constitution of the United States, Topographical
and Military Drawing, and the Latin or Greek Language.

"All the branches of the course are taught regularly once a year.
They are distributed in the several terms as follows: Fall term,
Algebra, Geometry, Analytical Geometry, Navigation, Surveying,
Engineering, Political Economy, Drawing, Military Science,
Intellectual Philosophy, English Grammar, Elocution, Compo-
sition, Natural Theology, Tactics, Latin Grammar and Reader,
Greek Grammar and Reader, Cicero's Select Orations, Homer's
Iliad (five books). Winter term, Algebra, Geometry, Grammar,
Engineering, Drawing and Political Economy, completed; Elocu-
tion, Composition, Geology, Mineralogy, Descriptive Geometry, Con-
stitution of the United States, Cesar's Commentaries, Cicero de Ora-
tore, Greek Testament and Thucydides. Spring term, Chemistry,
Natural Philosophy, Natural and Political Law, Laws of Nations,
Moral Science, Logic, Ancient History, Elocution, Composition,
Algebra, Geometry, Logarithms, Trigonometry,' Mensuration,
Virgil, (Georgics and BucoHcs), Livy, (four books) Greek Reader,
finished, Xenophon's Cyropoedia. Summer term, Evidences of


Christianity, Rhetoric, Modern History, Fhixions, Elocution, Com-
position, Virgil (^neid), Horace, Xenophon's Anabasis, Cyro-
poedia. Chemistry, Natm-al and Political Law, Laws of Nations,
Algebra, Geometry and Natm-al Philosophy finished.

''Exercises in Elocution and Composition are required through
the whole year and of every member of the Institution. "


"This department embraces the following branches, viz:
Algebra, Geometry, Logarithms, Trigonometry, Mensuration,
Surveying, Descriptive Geometry, Anah^tical Geometry, Fluxions,
Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, Geology, Mineralogy, Aixhitecture,
Construction of Common Roads, Railroads, Canals, Locks, Bridges
etc., also Geography, History, and the English Language."


" In addition to what is required in the department of Civil
Engineering, for a diploma in this department the student must be
correctly instructed in the elementary schools of the soldier, com-
pany and battalion; he must also possess a thorough knowledge of
the regular formation of military parades; the turning off,
mounting and relieving guard and sentinels; the duties of officers
of the guard, officers of the day, and adjutants; the making out
correctly of the different descriptions of military reports; per-
manent and field fortifications; the construction of Marine Bat-
teries; Artillery duty; the principles of Gunnery; the attack and
defense of fortified places; Castrametation; Ancient Fortifica-
tions; the ancient mode of attacking and defending fortified
places; Ancient Tactics, particularly those of the Greeks and
Romans, together with a description of the organization and dis-
cipline of the Phalanx and Legion."

"The French, Spanish and Italian Languages, Music and
Fencing are taught to those students who may desii-e to attend to
one or all of them; for each of which they are charged, extra, four
dollars per quarter.

"Annual courses of Lectures are given on the following subjects:
Chemistry, Geography, Constitution of the United States, INIilitary
Science, Geology, Histor}^, Moral Science, Grammar, ^lineralogy.
Political Economy, Natural Philosophy, including Astronomy,
Civil Engineering, National Defense, Physiology and Health."


The course of study as given above remained practically
unchanged until 1847.

The following list of text books was used during this period :


Andrew's and Stoddard's Grammar; Andrew's Reader;
Leverett's Lexicon; Cooper's \'irgil; Folsom's Cicero's Select
Orations; Cicero de Oratore; Livy; (Jlould's and Anthon's Horace;
Weisse's Tacitus; Adam's Koman Antiquities.


Buillion's Grammar; Jacob's Reader; Donogan's Lexicon;
Cleveland's Xenophon's Anabasis; German edition of ThucycUdes;
Homer's Iliad; Xenophon's Cyropoedia; Cleveland's Greek An-
tiquities; Lempriere's Classical Dictionary and Butler's Atlas


Swett's and Brown's Grammar; Whatley's Rhetoric.


Robbin's Ancient and iModern History; Rollin's Ancient
Histor}^; Furguson's Roman Republic; Gibbon's Rome; Russel's
Modern Europe; Standard Authors' United States History.


Davie's Mathematics; Fowler's and Church's Calculus;
Cambridge Topogi'aphy; Mahan's Civil Engineering.

Sciences Philosohpy and Law.

Enfield's Natural Philosophy; Bakewell's and Hitchcock's
Geology; Turner's Chemistry; floral Philosophy; Wayland's Polit-
ical Economy; and Moral Science; Abercrombie's Intellectual
Philosophy; Whatley's Logic; Paley's Natural Theology and
Evidences of Christianity; Story on the Constitution, Burlamaqui
and Chapmian on Natural and Political Law; Vattel's Law of


Ransom's Tactics; O'Connor on the Science of War and


A Preparatory department was conducted dluing 1845
and 1846. The studies were the same as those pursued in most
New England academies. The students in this department
were subject to the same regulations as the cadets in the regular
departments. They were allowed to attend without charge
the lectures given at the University, suited to their acquire-

The needs of the Library were carefully provided for by the
trustees. On December 9, 1845, it was voted that the executive
committee visit the Library semi-annually or oftener and report
its condition to the trustees. On July 8, 1846, the executive
committee made a report on the needs of the library. It was
voted that the library be open for the distribution of books on
Saturday afternoon of each week and that the librarian keep an
account of books loaned. Professor Jackman was appointed
librarian in 1845, and served until September 18, 1847.

Candidates for admission to the Scientific department were
required to pass examinations in Geography, Grammar, Arith-
metic, and Algebra as far as the simple equations. The candidates
for admission to the Classical department, in addition to the above,
were requii'ed to pass satisfactory examinations in Andrew's
and Stoddard's Latin Grammar, Andrew's Latin Reader, and
the first course in some standard Greek reader. The cadets were
permitted to joursue such studies as their attainments and abili-
ties might allow, or their plans for a future career required, and
on leaving the University, if a complete course had not been com-
pleted, a certificate signed by the president was given them stating
the work they had taken.

The cadets were permitted to progress as rapidly as possible
in their studies. It requii^ed from three to five years to complete
the regular course.

During 1843-45, the academic year was arranged in two
sessions of twenty-two weeks each, and each session into two
quarters of eleven weeks each. The fall term commenced on
the first Monday in September. In 1846 the academic year was
divided into three terms. Fall, Winter and Spring, of eleven
weeks each. The fall term began September 1.

During 1844-45, one public examination was given each year
beginning on the Monday of the week preceding Commence-
ment, and lasting the whole week. In 1845 and 1846 the public
examination was given on the Thursday preceding Commencement,
and lasted until Saturday. During 1844-45, Commencement was


held on the third Thursday in August. In 1846, the commence-
ment day was changed to tlie second Thursday in July.

During 1844-46, lectures were given for the benefit of the
State militia. On July 17, 1845, the trustees voted to give in-
struction gi-atuitously to the oflEicers of the Vermont and New
Hampshire militia. To what extent the officers availed themselves
of this instruction is not definitely known.

In 1845, a great rivalry existed between the Light Infantry
and the Artillery Companies of Woodstock, both celebrated
organizations in the early history of the Vermont militia. Cap-
tain James H. Murdoch, Lieutenant George Moulton and Porter
B. Southgate, officers of the Light Infantry Co., feeling the need
of military training, went to Norwich, and for two weeks or more
drilled with the cadets, and received the regular military work.
President Ransom refused to receive any pay for the instruction,
and wishing to make some acknowledgement of the kindness
shown them by the University authorities, the officers clubbed
together and had a seal of the University made in Boston, which
they presented to the University. The seal was used at the
University until August 1, 1866.

On July 9, 1846, it was voted to discontinue the granting of
the degree of M.D. During the years 1844-46, this degree was
conferred upon two persons.

The militar}' organization and the rules and regulations were
continued as in Chapter II. There was practically no change
in the uniform.

During 1842, 1843 and 1844, no military trips were taken,
but in June, 1845, the long anticipated march to Burlington, Vt.,
was taken.

Organized as a battalion, the corps of cadets under command
of President T. B. Ransom and General Jackman, and preceded
by their band under the leadership of Francis X. Chase, '47, left
Norwich, Monday a. m., June 31, 1845. They reached Quechee
at noon, Woodstock in the early afternoon, and Bridgewater in
the early evening, where they encamped that night, having march-
ed twenty-two miles. Several of the cadets, not caring to sleep
on the gi'ound, bunked in the village church. On Tuesday morn-
ing they continued theii' march over the main range of the Green
Mountains, between the Shrewsbury and Killington peaks to
Rutland, reaching that town in the early evening. A heavy
shower that night prevented an early start from Rutland the next
morning. They took dinner at Castleton. In the afternoon it


rained heavily, but the inarch was continued and Whitehall was
reached in the early evening. They bunked that night in a sail
loft near the wharf. The next morning at 6 a. m., they boarded
the Whitehall for Burlington, reaching that city in the after-
noon. They were met by Carlos Baxter, '24, and several prominent
citizens, who offered them entertainment; l)ut as the corps was
well supplied with rations, their kind hospitality was declined.
The corps encamped in the City Hall Square; several exhibition
drills were given that night.

On Friday, July 4, the corps took part in a ])arade in the fore-
noon and after dinner they visited the University of Vermont.
In the early afternoon cani]) was liroken and they proceeded to
Richmond, fifteen miles distant. It rained heavily in the after-
noon and the corps reached Richmond in a demoralized condition.
They bunked that night in the hay loft of the hotel barn. On
Saturday, July 5, they left Richmond and proceeded to Montpelier.
As the}' neared Middlesex, they met large wagons sent out by
the people of Montpelier to give them a "lift." This thought-
fulness was greatly appreciated by the cadets. They were bil-
letted with the inhabitants.

On Sunday, July 6, they attended the Episcopal church
in the morning, the Congregational in the afternoon, and the
Methodist in the evening. Early Monday morning they left
Montpelier for Chelsea, where they were hospitably entertained
by the people. They reached Strafford at noon the next day,
July 7, and were entertained by Judge Jedediah H. Harris, Hon.
Daniel Cobb, father of N. B. Cobb, one of the cadets, and Dr. A. Pierce,
father of John S. Pierce, one of the corps. A bountiful dinner
was served them on the veranda of General Smith's hotel. After
dinner several drills were given, also a concert by the band. The
corps reached Norwich in the early evening.

We give the following incident of the march in 1845, from the
pen of General George W. Balloch, '47.

"The corps left Burlington, Vt., en route for Montpelier, July 4th, at
3 p. M., our objective point being Richmond, fifteen miles distant. I was in
Co. A, commanded by Charles Dennison, and we were the rear guard. When
out a few miles, we were assailed in the rear by a couple of fellows loaded
to the muzzle with patriotism and cheap whiskey. The road was bordered
on either side by a stump fence, as formidable as a well constructed abatis.
When our bellicose friends had come pretty nearly up to us, quick as thought
came the command, 'Halt! Order Arms! Fix Bayonets! Shoulder Arms!
About Face! Charge Bayonet! Double Quick'! Away we went in fine
style, and away went the enemy over that stump fence; one of them leaving
his coat-tails on a projecting root, as a trophy of victory in our hands. I


iiovcr saw better ruiuiing than those fellows made, through a lield oi' growing
corn. I have seen several bayonet charges since, but none better executed
or more effective than that. Somehow the incident came to General Ran-
som's ears, and he had lots of fun out of it at our expense; compared us to
the Old Guard of Napoleon, and as a mark of distinction, on account of our
valor on this occasion, Comj)any A had the post of rear guard the rest of the

In June, 1846, General Ransom was invited to visit Boston
with his corps. The cadets, under command of General Ransom,
left Norwich in the early morning of June 10, 1846. They were
officered as follows : President Ransom in command; Professor
Alonzo Jackman, lieutenant colonel; S. M. Preston, '45, major;
Tutor C. E. Dennison, '45, adjutant. The march led through
Hanover, Lebanon, and the "Shaker Village" in Enfield, to
Canaan, where they ])itched their tents the first night, having
marched thirty miles. Their march through the country produced
great excitement. The ^Mexican War had l^roken out and the
people along the line of march imagined the cadets were soldiers
on the way to the war. They marched about twenty-five miles the
next day, and camped about five miles from Concord. They broke
camp the next morning. June 12, at 6 a. m., and proceeded to Con-
cord. They were met ]jy a militia company and escorted to the
State House yard, where they encamped. After dinner the corps
paraded through the streets of Concord, and then were marched to
one of the churches, where patriotic speeches were made in the
support of the Mexican War. Franklin Pierce, then a private in
one of the Concord companies, made the principal speech ; General
Ransom also made an eloquent address. A dress parade was given
that evening.

The next morning the corps gave exhibition drills liefore
several thousand spectators. They were invited to visit Manches-
ter as the guests of the Stark Guard of that cit}', and soon after
the drills took the cars for ^Manchester. This was a treat, as many
of the cadets had never seen a train before. They were received
in Manchester by the Stark Guard and escorted to the City Park
After the exhibition drills were given the corps was served an
elaborate dinner in one of the large halls of the city. In the after-
noon the}' proceeded to Nasiiua by train. Fiom now on and until
their retiu'n to Concord the trip was made by train. They were
received with great kintlness by the citizens of Nashua; ex-
hibition drills were given before large crowds. They reached
Lowell the next day, Saturday, June 14, and encamped on the
common. Sunday was spent in Lowell; the cadets were glad to


have a day of rest, and they attended one of the churches.
They proceeded to Boston June 16. and were escorted to Boston
Common, where they encamped. A banquet was given them in
the historic Faneuil Hall. The corps was somewhat demoralized
when the}' reached Boston; their constant exposure to the sun,
severe work and irregular meals, began to tell on the men. Their
band had "blown themselves out." as an old cadet expressed it, so
by the time they reached Boston they had to procure another.
Bond's celebrated band was hired, and furnished music during
their stay in that city.

On the night of the 16th a severe thunder storm came up;
their tents were blo^vn down and their clothing and bedding
drenched. The next day, June 17, the corps ^•isited the Bunker
Hill Monument, the Xavy Yai'd and several other places of interest.
In the afternoon thej' broke camp and took the train for Concord,
where they staid that night and, owing to the condition of their
camp equipment, were allowed to bunk in the North Church.
The}^ were hospitably entertained by the citizens of the city. The
next morning they began their march to Norwich and that day
proceeded thu'ty miles.

They reached the Universit}" in the early evening the next day,
June 19. On this trip the corps received much valuable military
experience which was in a brief time to be of advantage to several
of the cadets, who served in the war in Mexico.

In 1814, the expenses were as foUows; tuition, per quarter of
eleven weeks, SS, or S32 for the j'ear; room rent SS per year;
incidentals Si per quarter or S4 per year; board and washing
at the boarding haU or in private families Si per week; wood per
cord. Si. During 1845-46 the tuition was reduced to S6 per
quarter and the room rent to S6 per jeai. The tuition in the
primary department was S3 . 50 per term.

The number of regular studies was three for each cadet, but
the students were allowed to take more if capable of carrying their

During 1844—45, the charge for the instruction in the extra
studies — French, Spanish and Italian languages. Music and Fencing
was S4 per quarter. In 1846, the charge for each extra study
was one dollar per term, modern languages S2 per quarter, and
Music and Fencing S4 a course.

A '"commons" was conducted by the University, but the
cadets were not requu-ed to board there. Clubbing and self boarding
were practiced and it is stated : '' the expenses of those who live in


this manner, varied from fifty cents to one dollar per week; in no
case need they exceed one dollar. "

The cadets were required to attend church, and "the reading

Online LibraryWilliam Arba EllisNorwich University, 1819-1911; her history, her graduates, her roll of honor (Volume 1) → online text (page 11 of 61)