William Arba Ellis.

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

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fuel 25 cents a week. In 1S54 the price of board and washing
was increased to $2. a week. In 1855 the tuition was $9.34
a term, room rent, $3.34 a term; incidentals, $1.G7 a term; lights
and fuel, 30 cents a week; board, not including washing, $2 to
$2.25 a week. In 1856, the price of board ranged from $1.75
to $2.25 a week, and in 1859 it was increased to $2 and $2.25
a week. In 1861, there was an increase of the expenses; tuition
was $14.50 a term; room rent $3.50 a term; board $2 to $2.50
a week; lights and fuel 30 cents a week. In 1864 the price of
board was increased to $3.25 and $4 a week and lights and
fuel to 50 cents a week. In 1865, the expenses were again in-
creased; tuition was $20 a term; room rent $5 a term; lights
and fuel 50 cents a week; board $3.25 to $4 a week.

During 1847-62 there was a small charge for instruction in
extra studies. Music and Fencing. In 1862, the charge for each
modern language was $5 a term, and for drawing $4 a term.

We give a description of the Old Barracks and Cadet Quarters,
from the ])cn of Col. H. 0. Kent, '54:

"The room on the right of the entrance, in front, was the hbrary, while those
in the rear were the cabinet and Professor Averill's recitation room. Pro-
fessor Jackman's room was on the second passage, immediately over the en-
trance. The large recitation room was over this, and in it were read morning
and evening prayers. The armory was the center front room of the fourth
passage. Roll calls were had in the second passage, the right resting on the
north. The rooms were practically alike; numerous chimneys provided each
pair of adjoining rooms with fireplaces or later with opportunity for stoves,
and the space between chimney, passage and outer wall being for closets,
thus offered one unbroken side to each apartment. These rooms were all
'whitewashed' with a tint, known by the cadets as 'brindle.' There were
no bedsteads, mattresses or carpets. A wooden bunk, three feet wide, with
slat bottom, held the blankets and sheets and the recumbent cadet, and was
turned up against the wall before morning inspection. Over the bunk was
the gun rack, with wooden pegs on which were suspended the musket and

The cadets were required to furnish their own rooms. For
some years during this period a "commons" was conducted by
the University but the cadets were not required to board there.

During this period, athletic sports began to gain prominence
in the college life. In 1860, the baseball club had a membership
of twenty. Nicholas Tanco was president, C. B. Stoughton,
vice-president; W. A. Phillips, treasurer and Josiah Hall, secretary.
The officers for 1861 were Charles F. Tillinghast, president; Charles
E. Steele, vice-president; R. L. Moses, secretary; Edward T.


Jones, treasurer; Charles H. Atwood, Albert Sabine and J. E.
Pillsbury, directors. The club numbered this year, twenty-
seven members. In 18G4, the club was known as the United
Base Ball Club, with a membership of forty-two. The officers
were Thomas J. Lasier, president; Ralph Metcalf, vice-president;
F. T. Bottomly, secretary and treasurer ;^William F.[Ladd, umpire.

A Parade Foot Ball 'Club wasj organized September 29,
1860, with a membership of thirty-six. The officers this year
were Charles A. Curtis, president; Edward T. Jones, secretary;
T. H. Kellogg, treasurer; C. B. Stoughton, J. B. Thompson and
J. W. Parsons, directors.

In 18G4, the corps supported a cricket club of twenty members.
The officers were Edward D. Adams, president; John C. Boyd,
vice-president; Edouard Chamier, secretary and Clayton E. Rich,

The Amethyteton Society was organized by the cadets
in 1847, to raise money to pay for the painting of a portrait of
President Truman B. Ransom. Several entertainments were
given by the society for the purpose. Jesse A. Gove served as presi-
dent and Charles Ensworth as treasurer. A Mr. Darling, a Ver-
mont artist, was secured to paint the portrait and on its comple-
tion it was given by the cadets to the University trustees.

hi 1866, the portrait was rescued from the flames that de-
stroyed the "Old South Barracks," by Frederick E. Ransom, son
of Gen. T. B. Ransom, '25, then a cadet, assisted by several mem-
bers of the Corp. For a number of years it was stored in a chamber
in Norwich, and later it was given by some one in Norwich to the
State of Vermont; about 1888 the State returned the portrait to
"N. U.," its rightful owner. It stood for a number of years in the
chapel in Dodge Hall, and is now placed in a room in the Carnegie

In 1852, the University Regulators was organized to correct
certain wrongs tolerated by the University authorities. The
society continued in existence until 1854. A full history of the
society is given in Chapter X.

In 1852, the original Friendship Club was organized for social
purposes. Each succeeding year clubs were formed until about
1857. Those clubs were pledged to meet on Norwich Plain in
1860. A full account of these clubs is given in Chapter X.

The Philomathic Association existed for a short time in the
fifties. The Parthenon Society was organized about 1859, for
literary purposes, and continued in existence until 1862, when it


was superceded by the Athenian and Platonian societies. These
societies were powerful factors for good in the institution. Their
meetings were held weekly, and many brilliant debates marked
their proceedings. Occasionally joint debates between the two
varied the exercises.

Two dX Fraternities, and the AITI, born so near together that
it has been a disputed question which was the older, afforded
vehicles for running the college poHtics, and handsome badges
to be worn on the breast of the dress coats. The first is the older
in organization, but the latter was the first to occupy a furnished
hall, use a fraternal ritual, and raise a first-class bucking goat. A
complete history of the " frats" given in Chapter X. Fraternal
rivalries were never bitter during this period. Room-mates were
frequently members of different "frats" and formed firm and last-
ing friendship.

The IIKA Freshman Fraternity was formed about 1858,
and continued in existence until 1866.

The cadets attended chapel service each morning, and were
also required to attend church.

So far as known the first publication to be issued by the cadets
was the University Regulator, in 1853. The paper was issued at
irregular intervals by the ''University Regulators," mentioned
above, and suspended about 1856. The University Owl was
published by the cadets during 1854-56. Its purpose was similar
to the Regulator — the correction of certain wrongs tolerated by
the authorities.

In 1861, the corps joined the association of colleges in the
publication of the University Quarterly. The editors, on the part
of the cadets, were Charles A. Curtis, '61, Edward T. Jones, '62,
and H. E. Alvord, '63. The editors for 1862 were Theodore H.
Kellogg, '62, Thomas J. Easier, '64, and W. H. Chaffin, '64. The
publication of this magazine was suspended in 1862.

A chess club was formed in 1859. The officers in 1860, were
S. W. Shattuck, president; Sumner T. Smith, vice-president and
Nathaniel Irish, secretary. In 1861, T. H. Kellogg, president;
L. D. Allen, vice-president; H. E. Alvord, secretary and treasurer.
In 1862, T. H. Kellogg, president; R. C. Lord, vice-president and
H. E. Alvord, secretary and treasurer. In 1863 and 1864, R. Met-
calf, president and R. C. Lord, secretary and treasurer.

According to the Reveille ^oi\SW,W\e corps supported a
"Navy," which consisted of the sloop Flying Cloud, C. B.
Stoughton, commander. The boat was twenty-two feet long, five


feet wide and had a draught of two feet. It carried a main
sail and jib.

When the "Navy "was organized the records do not show.
It continued in existence until 1863. Several minor clubs were
organized among the cadets, as the "A. A. 0. P. B./' Charles A.
Curtis, president; "Cormorants," "Our Mess," "Noblesse,"
"Lei Trigone" and the "Pi Tau Pi," but their life was of short

During this period a band was maintained most of the time.
In 1860, the members were S. T. Smith, E. C. Saltmarsh, E. A.
Chandler, E. F. Pierce and J. C. Cocroft.

In 1862, a Glee Club was organized with a membership of
nine. The officers were George A. Bailey, president, W. S. Vernam,
vice-president, Douglass Lee, secretary, W. S. Goodwin, treasurer,
George A. Folsom, director. In 1864, the officers were M. B.
Stebbins, leader, W. S. Smith, secretary, C. M. Reed, treasurer
and H. P. Davidson, prompter.

The history of this period would not be complete without the
mention of the warfare between "N. U." and Dartmouth. The
banks of the placid Connecticut were the scene of many encoun-
ters. The possession of the covered bridge across the river was
especially contended for. Many accounts of the periodic "scraps"
have been preserved.

Hon. Bela S. Buell, '55, gives the following account of a
"scrap" which occurred at the end of the Summer term of 1854:

"We were attending chapel one evening, toward the close of the Summer
term of 1854, when a cadet rushed in with the exciting news that some of the
boys were being stoned and insulted by the Dartmouth students on the river.
All was excitement! We rushed from the chapel en masse without leave or
license from President Bourns or General Jackman and sprinted for the scene
of the conflict. The corps at this time only numbered about twenty men,
as several had taken their examinations and had gone home. We reached
Hanover about 9 p. m., 'with blood in our eyes' ready to avenge the insult.
We secured a commanding position on a platform in front of one of the largest
stores. We were soon surrounded by the 'Darties' who tried to rush us from
our position. For a time we repelled the advance of the enemy, but at last,
being overwhelmed by superior numbers, we were driven from our position; but
not without loss on the part of the enemy. The valiant leader of the Dart-
mouth band got within striking distance of Tom Pickering, who promptly
knocked him down and out with a well directed blow from a club he had under
his coat. The enemy, from roofs and upper floors, from across the street,
pelted us with eggs— fortunately good ones. Many of our force had their
coats ripped up the back to the collar. The Dartmouth faculty soon appeared
on the scene, and succeeded, with some difficulty, in getting between us and


their warriors. Ttiey served as a guard to the river. Here our retreat was
cut off. The enemy had cut the rope that fastened our boat to the bank,
causing it to float down the river. Through the assistance of some of the
Norwich town boys we secured another boat and reached the parade about
12 o'clock. We were a sorry looking lot of warriors. Some of our force were
seriously wounded by kicks; we met the enemy and they failed to be ours;
yet we returned to Norwich feeling we had tried our best to avenge the in-
dignities given our men. It certainly showed a lot of gall on our part to invade
the enemy's stronghold, with a party of twenty men, and undertake to whip
a force of over 200 men. Trexy' and 'Old Jack' sustained us, and we re-
ceived no reprimand for breaking the Rules and Regulations.

"The most famous encounter was the battle of 'Torn Coats,' which oc-
curred in 1859. One of the cadets, venturing over to Hanover alone, was
seized by the belicose 'Darties' who ripped his dress coat up the back. The
next day the corps were marched to Hanover and after a severe fight a large
number of the Dartmouth men received the same treatment they accorded
the cadet the day before. A full account of this battle is given in Rev. Homer
White's novel, 'The Norwich Cadets.' "

Gen. J. J. Estey, '64, contributed the following reminiscence:

"I remember very distinctly that in the Spring of 1862, two of our cadets
were insulted, or thought they were, by some of the Dartmouth students
across the river, and one of our men. Bill Hayes, gave one of the Dartmouth
men a tremendous threshing, and it was rumored at Norwich that the Dart-
mouth students had threatened to come over in force and clean us out. I
happened to be Officer of the Day, and Tutor Shattuck was in command of
tlie South Barracks. He immediately gave orders that guards should be
posted at each of the first four doors of the first passage, and that the regular
guard duty should be performed during the night. I remember that the coun-
tersign was "Dartmouth." I did not sleep at all that night, and I think it
was the most anxious one I had ever passed up to that time, as I expected
at any moment, certainly up to midnight, to be notified of the approach of
the 'Darties.' The men on post declared afterward that I inspected guard
every fifteen minutes during the entire night, but day dawned without any at-
tack. For some time after that we were very cautious how we went to Han-
over, except in good-sized groups."

This was the last contention between the students of "N. U."
and Dartmouth. A unity of feeling was engendered by the Civil
War. The students of Dartmouth, a classical college, could not
understand why men should waste their time in useless drill and
sport a uniform. The great strife showed them that the educa-
tion obtained at Norwich was practical and prepared the cadets
for immediate service as officers. The Dartmouth men manfully
acknowledged the great work of the University. At a joint meet-
ing held in Hanover, one of the students of that institution stated
in a speech: "We must acknowledge that you are not only our
equals in classic and scientific attainments, but our superiors in


this, that you can buckle on the sword and lead men in this con-
flict, while we must shoulder the musket."

Thomas J. Lasier, '64, in a letter written in July, 1910, to
the compiler of this history, in which he gave much data on the
organization of the societies and clubs at the University, states
in regard to atldetics:

"The most exciting athletic exercise was the usual annual fracas between
'N. U.' and Dartmouth. The point of assembling being the bridge over the
Connecticut River between Norwich and Hanover. Not infrequently dear old
GeneralJackman headed the cadets and marched us direct to Hanover Village
prepared for any emergency. The 'N. U.' boys were always equal to the
occasion and though their powerful rivals mustered more men, our military
discipline enabled us to always prove the victors, and drive our opponents
into their quarters. Nothing exercised the Norwich boys so much as to have
one of the lunnber, when alone, cornered in Hanover and his buttons torn
or cut off by a crowd of Dartmouth students. It was on such occasions that
our old commander would take us to the enemy's stronghold and receive the
satisfaction we demanded. The writer recalls one event where we marched
to the residence of the Dartmouth president, submitted our grievance and
demanded reparation. Suffice it to say that we got what we went for."

Many reminiscences concerning the strife between "town and
gown" have been preserved.

William H. Hubbard, '52, furnished the following reminiscence
in 1897:

"President Bourns was a clergj^man and preached over in Hanover on
Sunday afternoons; withal he was painfully absent minded. It used to be told
of him that, upon a certain occasion he went into church with out his sermon.
Early discovering his dilemma, he called up a boy and charged him with the
duty of hurrying to the home at which he Avas entertained, and bringing the
important document. The ser\nice went on; the prayers were said; but still
the small boy came not. Finally, after the delay had become painful to the
congregation and ago lizing to the perspiring preacher, the youth came puffing
in. Eagerly grasjnng the manu.script, he unrolled it and annovmced his text,
which happened to be these most appropriate words: 'Ye did run well; who
did hinder you? Numberless pranks disturl>ed the equanimity of the faculty.
The effervescent spirits of the boys were constantly inventing surj)rises that
were distracting to conservators of discipline. The chui-ch bell that
hung .so temptinglj- near enjoyed but little peace. A string tied to its
tongue, with the other end anchored at a fourth story window, always en-
abled us to make night hideous with small danger of detection: it was so
easy to throw the ball out the window and jump into l)ed at the first sound of
approaching footsteps. ' '

Col. Henry O. Kent, '54, wrote in 1897;

"Commencement had been holden in the Congregational church, but in
lS.5;i difficulties l)etween Town and Gown culminated. The faculty were of
the Episcopal faith in an orthodox connnunity, and the church was refused us.


Old cadets will recall the delightful dell in the woods in the rear, just back of
the first crest. Here the platform was erected, draped with flags, and flanked
by the two shining cannon that year allotted to us, and drawn from the station
as is still told, by the squads with bri coles. A more pleasant commencement
was never holden than that one. A spirit of reprisal was engendered among
the cadets, evidenced by Frary's old white horse found by the sexton one Sun-
day morning in the main aisle of the church; by the village bier chained to the
elm in front of Benjamin Burton's, ■with the deacon's effigy suspended above,
and kindred pranks. A truce was called. Amity succeeded, and thereafter
the church was at the disposal of the University."

"Over the front door, and between the centre window and that next
to the south, were the cabalistic letters, scrawled in chalk, but somehow always
kept fresh, however often they were erased,

B. E. D.


E. M.

the first letter having at first been 'P,' then 'R' and finally, in our day,
'B,' and was understood by the initiated to mean; *Bourne (Partridge,
Ransom) Expels Devils and Educates Men;' although the cynics sometimes
reversed the translations so to provide for the 'education of devils, and the
expulsion of men.' "

The commencement of 1849 was held August 16. The fol-
io whig programme was given: Address before the trustees by the
Rev. James Davie Butler; Oration, "The Influence of Literature
on Society," Clinton S. Averill; Dissertation, "The Connection of
Poetry with the Spirit of the Age," J. M. Clark; Dissertation,
" Demagogism, " Charles F. Kingsbury; Dissertation, "True
System of Republican Education," R. S. Little; Oration, "Love
the Moving Principle of Progression," S. H. McCollister; Disser-
tation, "Solitude," C. J. F. Stone; Oration, "Mental Advance-
ment," WilUam Partridge; Oration, "Eulogy on Patrick Tracy
Jackson," J. P. Cxould.

In 1850, the exercises were held August 22. The commence-
ment address was delivered by the Rev. Cyrus H. Fay, '37, his
subject being "Principles better than Policy;" the following
orations were delivered : " The Dissemination of Scientific Knowl-
edge," F. M. Lincoln; "Results of Originality," J. P. Towne;
"The Dignity of Labor," Wilham S. Saben; Latin oration, "Im-
perii Romani Casus," L. W. Pierce; "An Allegory," Obed Foss;
"Wealth and Poverty," Royal L. Burge; Eulogy, "Robert De La
Salle," William D. Earle; " The Influence of Rank upon Example,' '
WilHam H. Blackburn; "The Life and Times of Louis XVI,"
F. W. Russell; ''The Past and Present," H. H. Gillum.


In 1852, commencement came August 19. The Rev. John H.
Hopkins of New York delivered the commencement address. The
Hon. Daniel P. Thompson of Montpelicr delivered an address
before the Philomathic Association and an address was also
delivered by the Rev. Henry N. Hudson of Boston. The following
orations were given by the cadets : " Liberal Principles/ ' Harvey
W. Emery; "Improvement of the Mind, the Primary Object of
Study/' Charles Y. Denniston; "Westward, the Star of Empire
Takes its Way," William H. Greenwood; "Hungary/' Henry H.
Howard; " Genius and Perseverance as Exhibited in the Student,"
William H. Hubbard; "Man Not a Progressive Being," Oscar H.
Leland; "Moral Culture/' S. Curtis Simonds; "The Responsi-
bilities of Educated Man,' ' John P. Towne.

The commencement of 1853 was held August 11. Rev. Alonzo
Ames Miner, '33, delivered an address before the Philomathic
Association, and Rev. A. C. Coxe of New Haven, Conn., gave the
commencement address. The following orations were delivered:
"The Inherent Right of Man to Liberty," James E. Ainsworth;
"Incitements to Mental Exertion," Thomas Gorman; "Genius,"
Egbert Phelps; "The American Militia System," Henry O. Kent;
"Romance of French History," Henry 0. Herrick; "Dignity of
Labor,' ' W^illiam S. Burton.

In 1854, the commencement exercises were held Thursday
morning, August 10. The orations were as follows: "The
Practical Scholar," Zephaniah Piatt; "Americans wholly Ameri-
can," Jonas H. Piatt; "Execution of Charles I.," W^illiam H.
Ensign;" Education of the Masses," Thomas S. Brownell; "Par-
tyism," Oscar E. Learnard; "True National Glory," Henry O.
Kent. In the afternoon Rev. Frederick W. Shelton of Mont-
pelier delivered the commencement address and William Stark.
Esq., of Nashua, N. H., read an original poem before the Philo-
mathic Association.

In 1855, the exercises began on Wednesday, August 8.
Bond's cornet band of Boston gave a concert in the evening, after
which a Battalion drill was given by torch light. On Thursday,
August 9, at 9:30 a. m. the graduating exercises were given in the
Congregational church. The orations were as follows : " The Edu-
cated Farmer/' Charles H. Long; "Moderation — True Wisdom,"
Samuel E. Briggs; " Political Necessity of War,' ' Charles H. Lewis;
"Natural Philosophy,'^ W. H. C. Strong; "National Pride,"
Brownell Granger; " The Mormons,' ' Arthur Chase; " The Rise and
Fall of Nations," Bela S. Buel; "The Problems of Life or the Ideal


and the Real," William S. Burton; "The Review," an original
poem, Delano F. Andruss. In the afternoon Samuel Elliott of
Boston delivered the commencement address, " Education —
Past and Present"; Rev. Orlando D. Miller, '45 of North Adams,
Mass., delivered an address before the Philomathic Association.
After this address President Bourns conferred the diplomas. In
the evening the president's reception took place; Bond's cornet
liand furnished the music.

In 1856, the commencement was held August 21. The corps
was paraded in front of the South Barracks and, headed by
Hall's celebrated cornet band, was marched to the Congregational
church, where the exercises were held. Orations were delivered
as follows : " The American's Privileges and Duties,' ' Frederick N.
Freeman; "Manifest Destiny," Lorenzo Potter; "The Atheist,"
George P. Buel; " Education,' ' Frederick H. Farrar; " Don Quixote:
the Ancient and Modern," Arthur Chase; "The True Success of
Natural Strenght," A. E. Smith; "Geology and the Bible," W. E.
Strong. Rev. Dr. Haight of New York delivered the commence-
ment address at 3 p. m. After the address Infantry, Artillery and
Fencing drills were given. In the evening a reception was given
by the president.

The commencement of 1859 was held August 18. In the fore-
noon orations were delivered as follows : " Phj'sical Education :
its Influence upon Society at Large," Cyrus M. Merriman; " Mili-
tar}^ Education,' ' John B. Lawrence; " The Perfect Ability of Man,'
C. T. Walcott; " Reminiscences of School Life," Charles A. Curtis;
" Improvement in the Art and Weapons of War,' ' Robert E. Hitch-
cock; "Ancient and Modern Art," Edgar Parker; "William,
Prince of Orange," Joseph Stedman. In the afternoon Rev.
J. H. Fames of Concord, N. H. delivered the address : " The Truly
Educated Man." John G. Saxe, the distinguished Vermont poet,
read his poem, "The Press." Mr. W. K. Strong of New York
city delivered an able address.

The commencement exercises in 1860 were held August 15-16.
On Wednesday afternoon, August 15, the cadets gave an exhibition
" Zouave Drill,' ' skirmish and bayonet drills. A concert was given
in the evening by the famous Gilmore's Band of Boston; after the
concert a torch light drill was given. The graduating exercises
were held Thursday, morning August 16. General L. S. Partridge,
the University Marshal, formed the corps of cadets and visitors
in line at the University and then marched the procession to the


Congregational church where the following program was given:
Oration, "Crusaders," Charles Morton; Oration, "Division of
Labor," George W. Field; Oration, "Hugh Miller," Sumner T.

Online LibraryWilliam Arba EllisNorwich University, 1819-1911; her history, her graduates, her roll of honor (Volume 1) → online text (page 14 of 61)