William Arba Ellis.

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

. (page 19 of 61)
Online LibraryWilliam Arba EllisNorwich University, 1819-1911; her history, her graduates, her roll of honor (Volume 1) → online text (page 19 of 61)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

letics — Reveille — Junior Exhibitions — Graduating Exercises — Drills
— Hops.

In 18S0; the financial affairs of the University were in a
critical condition. During the summer vacation a special effort
was made to get new students, but with very little success. On
the opening of the fall term on September 2d, the corps numbered
but a dozen. Professor Johnson writes :

"These were very trying times, for the University had no endowment nor
income of any kind, except about two hundred dollars a year from the militia
pay allowed hj the State; and the scanty fees collected from the cadets, a large
part of whom were either on scholarships or were town cadets, receiving reduced
rates. The professors paid the running expenses and divided the remainder
and got along as best they could through the fall term; but they all recognized
the fact that unless help was shortly received from some source, the glorious
old institution, with its wealth of military renown, must close its doors before
another term. An appeal was made to the alumni, but met with no response. "

The heroic work of the faculty, holding together in that
critical time and striving to keep the University alive, should
awaken in the breast of every alumnus and past cadet, the greatest

At this critical time Col. Charles H. Lewis of the class of
1855, then a successful business man in Boston, was appealed
to for aid, and he liberally responded. |[In the fall of 1884 several
of the trustees, feeling something must be done, secured the
passage of the following act by the state legislature changing the
name of the University to Lewis College in honor of Colonel Lewis.
The legislative act was as follows :

COLOXEL lewis' LETTER. 175

"An Act to Change the Name of the Norwich University.

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1. An act entitled 'An Act incorporating and establishing the
Norwich University at Norwich, in Windsor County,' passed November
6, 1834, is hereby so amended that said corporation shall be known and called
by the name of Lewis College.

Sec. 2. This act shall take effect and the same shall be accepted by
a vote of the Trustees of saiil Norwich University, at a meeting duly called
for that purpose.

Approved December 10, 1180."

On December 20, 1880, Colonel Lewis wrote the following
letter to Colonel Fred E. Smith, Secretary of the Board of Trustees :

Boston, December 20, 1880.
Col. Fred E. Smith,

Secretary, Norwich University,
Montpelier, Vermont.

Having caused to be made a thorough canvass of the New England
States and New York, for the raising of funds to move Norwich University
back to Norwich, Vermont, and not meeting with the success expected,
certainly means that the Alumni will not come to its rescue, and Norwich
University can only live as an institution of the past, a sad commentary
on the glorious old "N. U." Let it cease to exist, and not in its old age be-
come such a tramp, such were the feelings of some of her graduates who re-
quested me to join them taking its old charter and changing its name to
Lewis College. The legislature have just given the authority, subject to the
approval of the trustees of the University, who are to meet at Northfield,
Vermont, December 21, 1880. Should the change be ratified by the trustees,
I hereby agree to pay the professors and instructors not to exceed six in num-
ber, for a term of two years, and agree within six months from date
that there shall not be less than fifty paying cadets on the roll of the college.
Should we have more cadets than the present barracks will accommodate,
I will build another buikling equal to the one now built, conditioned that the
citizens of Northfield remove the encumbrance now upon the barracks built.
So soon as these two buildings are occupied, I will build a museum building
and place in it specimens of minerals and ores, from every state and territory in
the Union, and place a professor over the department of Mining and Metalurgj'.

When the number of cadets equal one hundred, I will give the college
twenty-five thousand dollars.

I intend at once to create a fund for the establishment of scholarshi|)s
that will make the college self-sustaining.

With your helpful co-operation, gentlemen, I feel confident that the
outgrowth from old "N. U." will grow to be one of the great institutions of
learning that we'll all feel proud of and that the mantle of old N. U. did
not fall on unworthy shoulders.

I am gentlemen, vcrj' respectfully.
Your Obedient Servant,

Charles 11. Lewis.


On December 21, 1880, Dr. George Nichols explained to the
trustees the advisability of changing the name of the University
and securing the aid offered by Colonel Lewis. After some dis-
cussion it was voted to adjourn until December 31. At this meet-
ing Dr. Nichols and other members of the board urged the accep-
tance of the change of the name of the Institution; and after a
prolonged discussion, the trustees voted to accept the act of the
legislature and secure the aid of Colonel Lewis.

This change of name was received b}^ the alumni and past
cadets with great disfavor. The board of trustees and Colonel
Lewis were severely criticised. It would doubtless have been
better, in the light of subsequent events, if the old name had re-
mained, even if Colonel Lewis had withdrawn his offer; but there is
no evidence to show that Colonel Lewis would have refused the aid
if the name of the University had not been changed. It was
doubtless the fact that the gentlemen who approached him for aid
offered to change the name of the University to Lewis College if he
would help the Institution. The reasons for the removal of the
University to Northfield were not fully understood by the alumni,
had they been, there is no doubt but their co-operation could easily
have been secured. As has been stated before, the people of Nor-
wich took very little interest in retaining the Institution in their
town and had it not been for the enterprise of the citizens' com-
mittee of Northfield, the University would in all probability have
ceased to exist. The criticism of the alumni was unjust; they had
been approached for aid and had refused to give it. The situation
was critical and something had to be done at once to keep the
Institution alive. Colonel Lewis was the only friend able or willing
to give assistance and instead of criticising him the alumni should
have aided him and given him all possible support.

Prof. Charles Dole, under title of Secretary of the Faculty,
became the virtual president, as President Lewis was only able to
be present at the University at irregular intervals.

President Lewis and his advisers made many improvements.
There was only one general course, the Scientific, which gave a fair
education in Civil Engineering, and general culture. Courses were
added in Mining Engineering, Chemistry and Physics, Metallurgy,
Science, Literature, and Arts. The Civil Engineering course was
greatly strengthened.

In 1882, occured several unpleasant incidents connected with
the Perley Belknap claim. As was stated in Chapter V., the Uni-
versity settled his claim by giving two mortgage notes. On Octo-


ber 1, 1877, a decree was rendered by court of chancery in his
foreclosure suit against the University; and on October 1, 1878, this
decree became absolute. From this time until 1882, Mr. Belknap
asserted his right to use the University property. The cadets of
1882 will remember with what vigor they dug up the potato patch
he had planted on the campus, and in other ways prevented the
turning of the beloved Parade into a garden. Mr. Belknap died on
August 30, 1882, and the matter rested until September 28, 1889,
when Dr. P. D. Bradford, as administrator of Mr. Belknap's estate,
deeded the University buildings and land to J. K. Egerton, George
Nichols and Frank Plumley. In the fall of 1882 the work of grad-
ing the hill was vigorously carried on.

In 1883, Colonel Lewis met with serious business reverses, and
was unable to carry out his plans for the advancement of the
University. He had, however, spent several thousand dollars in
the improvement of the grounds, barracks, and the payment of the
salaries of the professors. Professor Johnson writes :

"This caused much anxiety and suffering among the faculty, who were
all poor men with families to support. They were obliged once more to de-
pend upon the slender income of the college, and the share of each ran down
for about two years to the meager sum of $170. They manfully held to-
gether, however, and maintained the standard of the University to the best
of their ability. To their self-sacrifice during this Valley Forge of its existence,
the University now owes its very life.' '

Dr. Clarence L. Hathaway, '69, was elected vice-president,
December 31, 1880, and served until his resignation on June 20,
1883. He contributed much time and money in the interests of
the Institution.

In 1883, there was a move to change the name of the Uni-
versity back to its old name, and to seek a new location. At a
meeting of the alumni in New York, on March 28, of this year, a
committee of wliich General Dodge, '51, was chairman, was ap-
pointed to solicit funds from the alumni and past cadets.

Dr. C. L. Hathaway, '69, was appointed to see what Brattle-
boro, or some other towns in southern Vermont would give to aid
the University, pro\aded $25,000 was raised b}- the alumni. Vice-
president Hathaway wrote Col. George W. Hooker in regard to the
matter and considerable interest was shown in Brattleboro in
regard to securing the Institution. Thomas A. Edison became
interested in the proposition of founding an Electrical Depart-
ment. After some agitation, no definite conclusions were reached,
and the matter of a removal was dropped. Col. F. V. Randall of
Northfield, a distinguished officer of the Civil War, and an able


lawyer, was elected vice-president, June 20, 1883, and held the
position until his death March 1, 1885.

At the commencement of 1884, occurred the semi-centennial
anniversary of the incorporation of the University. On Wednes-
day, June 16, enthusiastic alumni meetings were held. An effort
was made to start an endowment fund. Professor Johnson
writes :

"A very healthy endowment boom was started at commencement, and
something might have been done had not the meeting called for the purpose
in the afternoon been literally talked out of existence by a cranky alumnus
from a distant state. Prominent friends with strong speeches and heavy
pocket-books were obliged to leave the hall before this filibuster could be
squelched, and so the much needed endowment movement ended for the time
in disgust."

In the fall of 1884, it was again determined to try to secure
aid from the state. The University had now become thoroughly
non-sectarian, and it was believed the legislature would look with
favor upon the Institution, that had done so much for the state
in the past. Dr. W. B. Mayo, who represented Northfield in the
liouse of representatives, ably assisted by Colonel Randall, Rev.
I. P. Booth, and others, secured the passage, on November 25,
1884, of an act by which the state pledged itself to pay the tuition
and room rent of one cadet, to be appointed by each senator from
his own county, when possible. This act by the legislature was
hailed with joy by the friends of the University all over the country,
as it was looked upon as a recognition by the state of its partial
debt to her for her iDrilliant war service, as well as a financial con-
tribution of substantial proportions. The University by this act be-
came a state institution. It was fully a year before the new act
became operative, but the friends of the University were buoyed
up by high hopes of a bright future.

On October 24, 1884, the old name of the University was
restored by the act of the legislature. On March 25, 1885, Dr.
George Nichols, was elected vice-president and served until July
18, 1895.

Professor Dole served during this period as professor of Rhet-
oric, History, English Literature and Political Economy. Pro-
fessor Rumbaugh served as professor of Drawing 1880-86, Civil
Engineering, 1880-82, Architecture, 1881-82, Topographical Engi-
neering, 1881-86 and commandant 1880-86. Professor Johnson
continued as the professor of Mathematics and Astronomy, Mining
Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering, 1881-83; Dr. Philander


D. Bradford continued as the professor of Physiology and Hygiene;
Rev. F. W. Bartlett, A. M., resigned as professor of Latin and Greek
on June 15, 1882. In 1881, Professor Frederick W. Grube, A. M., a
graduate of the Universities of Dublin, Bonn and Paris, was elected
professor of the Modern Languages, and held the position until
January, 1882, when he resigned. In 1883, Prof. Louis Habel, A.
M., Ph. D., a graduate of the University of Bonn, Germany, and
for some time a first assistant of the chemical laboratories of that
institution, was elected professor of Chemistry, Physics, Metallurgy
and the Modern Languages. He had taught for some time at the
University of Vienna, Austria. He proved a most capable in-
structor. He soon strengthened the chemical course and added
new equipment. The chemical laboratory was moved into the
large room on the first floor, of Jackman Hall, at the front of the
building, and east of the north and south hall. In 1880, Prof. Asa
Howe, of the class of 1843, a prominent civil engineer, was secured
as professor of Field Engineering. He did much to strengthen the
course and gave the cadets much practical work in the field. Rev.
I. P. Booth, A. M., pastor of the Universalist church in Northfield,
was elected professor of Latin and Greek, August 2, 1883. Vice-
president Hathaway, M. D., served as professor of Anatomy,
Physiology, and Hygiene from 1881 until his resignation in 1883.
He then continued as lecturer of H3^giene until 1886. Prof.
Hiram A. Cutting, the distinguished geologist, served as lecturer
on Natural Sciences and Geology during this period. Hon.
George N. Carpenter, A. M., a native of Northfield, served as lec-
turer on Commercial Ethics, during this period. Vice-president
Randall lectured on International and Military Law from 1883
until his death.

The attendance for the years 1881-84 was thirty-eight; of
this number seventeen were graduates. The following require-
ments for admission given in the catalogue of 1881-82, prac-
tically remained unchanged during the period:

"All candidates for admission to the college must be at least
fifteen years of age, and must present satisfactory evidence of
good moral character.

For the Courses in Science and Civil Engineering, Mining
Engineering, Chemistry and Physics, Metallurgy, Science and
Literature, candidates will be examined in the following studies:

Mathematics. Arithmetic; Algebra, through simple equa-
tions; Geometry, four books of Davie's Legendre, or its equiva-


English Language. Grammar; Composition, with special
attention to punctuation and the use of capitals.

Geography. Physical and Political Geography.

History. History of the United States.

Latin. Allen and Greenough's, or Harkness' Latin Gram-
mar, and Latin Prose Composition; Caesar's Commentaries,
books 1-3, or their equivalents, or, in place of Latin, the candidate
may offer:

French. Grammar; translation of French at sight; the
translation of English into French.

Or, German. Grammar; translation of German at sight;
the translation of English into German.

Or, Advanced Mathematics, such as may be acceptable
to the Faculty.

Graduates from high schools will be admitted without ex-
amination, and their ability to continue in the course they enter
will be determined by the examination at the close of the first

Candidates not fully prepared in all the requirements, may
be conditioned, and special assistance will be given them by the
professors in making up the deficiencies.

Course in Arts.

In addition to the examinations in Mathematics, English
Language, Geography and History, laid down for the courses
in Science, examinations for the course in Arts will be as follows :

Latin. Caesar's Commentaries, four books, or Sallust's
Cataline; Virgil's Aeneid, six books; Cicero, four orations.

Greek. Xenophon's Anabasis, four books or one hundred
pages Goodwin's Greek Reader; Homer's Iliad, two books.

Candidates for advanced standing will be examined in all
the previous studies of the course ; and if they come from another
institution, will present certificates of honorable dismission.

Candidates not applicants for a degree, will be allowed to
go into the classes for which they are fitted and pursue a special

courses of study. isl

Courses of Study, 1881-84.

Regular Courses.

First Year. (All Courses except in Arts); Algebra, Geo-
metry, Trigonometry, plane and spherical; General Chemistry;
French, German or Latin; Rhetoric; History, Greece and Rome;
Drawing, freehand and geometrical. Military Instruction — in-
fantry drill and sword and bayonet exercise.

Science and Civil Engineering.

Second Year. Analytic Geometry; Descriptive Geometry;
Differential Calculus; Surveying, theory and practice; Leveling,
field practice; Shades and Shadows, theory and drawing; Per-
spective and Topographical; French or German; Composition
and Elocution. JMilitary Instruction — infantry drill, sword and
bayonet exercise, and lectures on the customs of the service.

Third Year. Integral Calculus; Mechanics of solids, fluids,
gases and molecules, practical appliances; Geology, structural,
dynamical and historical; French or German; Logic; Commercial
Law; Constitutional History; Topography, field practice and
drawing; Lectures on Anatomy and Physiology. Military In-
struction — infantry and artillery drill, guard and outpost duty,
and lectures on military subjects.

Fourth Year. Natural Philosophy, acoustics and optics,
Astronomy, descriptive, physical and spherical; Hydrography,
machine drawing and structural drawing; Civil Engineering,
theory, roads, bridges, tunnels, canals, strength of material,
practical operations, use of level and theodolite, leveling for
section and working; Architecture, drawings; French or German;
Lectures on Hygiene; Political Economy, Constitutional Law;
Thesis Work. Military Instruction — infantry and artillery drill,
art of war and engineering.

Mining Engineering.

Second Year. Analytic Geometry; Descriptive Geometry;
Differential Calculus; Surveying, theory and practice; Drawing;
Perspective and Topographical; Physics, lectures; French or
German; Composition and Elocution; Physical Geography;
Qualitative and Quantitative Chemical Analysis, laboratory
work; , Blow-pipe analysis; Crystallography and Determinative


Third Year. Integral Calculus; Mechanics, statics, dyna-
mics and kinematics; Physics, lectures and laboratory work;
Geology and Lithology; Quantitative Chemical Analysis; Min-
ing Engineering; Assaying; Constitutional History; French or
German; Lectures on Anatomy and Physiology.

Fourth Year. Mechanics completed; Hydrography; ma-
chine drawing and structural drawing; Building Materials; Mining
Laboratory, work upon gold, silver, copper and other ores in
quantity; Quantitative Chemical Analysis; Metallurgy, lectures;
Ore-Dressing, lectures; Political Economy; Constitutional Law;
Thesis work; Lectures on Hygiene.

Military Instruction throughout this course the same as in
Course I.

Chemistry and Physics.

Second Year. Analytical Geometry; Descriptive Geometry;
Differential Calculus; Physics, lectures; Drawing; French or
German; Physical Geography; Qualitative and Quantitative
Analysis, lectures and laboratory work; Blow-Pipe Analysis;
Crystallography and Determinative Mineralogy; Composition
and Elocution.

Third Year. Integral Calculus; General Physics, optics
and acoustics; Chemical Philosophy; Quantitative Analysis,
laboratory work; Industrial Chemistry; Physical Laboratory;
French or German; Constitutional History; Lectures on Anatomy
and Physiology.

Fourth Year. Applied Mechanics; General Physics; Elec-
tricity; Acoustics and Optics; Organic Chemistry; Chemical
Laboratory, chemical application of physics; Metallurgy; Prin-
ciples of Scientific Investigation; Political Economy; Consti-
tutional Law; Thesis work; Lectures on Hygiene.

Military Instruction throughout this course the same as in
Course I.


Second Year. Analytical Geometry; Descriptive Geometry ;
Physics ; Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis; Blow-Pipe Analy-
sis; Crystallography and Determinative Mineralogy; Physical
Geography and Dynamical Geology; Drawing; French or German;
Composition and Elocution.

Third Year. Chemical Philosophy; Physics; Quantitative
Analysis; Industrial Chemistry; Lithology and Geology; His-



torical Geology; Assaying; Drawing; French or German; Con-
stitutional History; Lectures on Anatomy and Physiology.

Fourth Year. Metallurgy and Ore-Dressing; Metallur-
gical Laboratory, work upon gold, silver, copper and other ores
in quantity; Quantitative Analysis, laboratory work; Drawing;
Building Materials; Applied Physics; Political Economy; Thesis
work; Lectures on Hygiene.

Military Instruction throughout this course the same as in
Course L

Science and Literature.

Second Year. Analytic Geometry; Descriptive Geometry;
Surveying, theory and practice; German, French or Latin;
English History and Literature; Leveling, field practice; Draw-
ing; shades and shadows; Perspective and Topographical Draw-

Third Year. French or German; Logic; Constitutional
History; Geology; Commercial Law; International Law; His-
tory of the Roman Empire; Physics; Composition and Elocution;
Lectures on Anatomy and Physiology.

Fourth Year. French or German; Political Economy; Medi-
aeval and Modern History; Literature and Oratory; Constitu-
tional Law; History of Philosophy; Philosophy of History;
Thesis work; Lectures on Hygiene.

Military Instruction throughout this course the same as in
Course I.

Course in Arts.

First Year. Greek; Latin; Geometry; Algebra; Trigonom-
etry; General Chemistry; Freehand and Geometrical Drawing;
Composition and Elocution.

Second Year. Greek; Latin; Analytical Geometry; Sur-
veying, theory and practice; English History and Literature;
Leveling, field practice; Drawing, Perspective and Topographical.

Third Year. (Greek and Latin, Elective) ; French or Ger-
man; Geology; Logic; Physics; (elective studies, Constitutional
History, Commercial Law, International Law, History of the
Roman Empire); Composition and Elocution; Lectures on
Anatomy and Physiology.

Fourth Year. (Greek and Latin, elective) ; French or Ger-
man; Political Economy; Constitutional Law; (elective studies,
Literature and Oratory, Constitutional Law, Mediaeval and Mod-



ern History; History of Philosophy; Philosophy of History;)
Thesis Work; Lectures on Hygiene.

Military Instruction throughout this course the same as in
Course I.

The military organization was continued in this period practi-
cally in as 1878-80. There was no change in the uniform; during
this period the encampments were discontinued.

The entire University expense was $300 a year; if a cadet
roomed alone an additional charge of thirty dollars was made. The

University furnish-
ed the furniture,
/ but the cadets were

required to supply
themselves with the
necessary bedding.
Cadet • musicians
had their tuition
remitted. During
this period, Profes-
sor Charles Dole
continued his
boarding hall for
the cadets.

There was very
little attention paid
to athletics until
January 19, 1884,
when the Lewis Col-
lege Baseball As-
sociation was or-
ganized with the
following officers :
president, T. H.
Nickerson, '84; vice-president, C. K. Mellen, '84; secretary, F. R.
Belknap, '85; treasurer P. M. Fletcher, '87. A committee, consist-
ing of C. K. Mellen, F. R. Belknap and A. J. Ranney, was appointed
to draft a Constitution and By-laws. At the meeting of the Asso-
ciation held on April 17, 1885, the membership of the team was
selected as follows: C. K. Mellen, '84, captain; P. M. Fletcher,
'87, assistant captain; F. R. Belknap, '85, scorer; C. H. Nichols,
'86, umpire; P. M. Fletcher, '87, catcher; T. H. Nickerson, '84,
pitcher; C. K. Mellen, '84, 1st base; C. H. Nichols, '86, 2d base;

Artillery Drill in the Eighties.

Online LibraryWilliam Arba EllisNorwich University, 1819-1911; her history, her graduates, her roll of honor (Volume 1) → online text (page 19 of 61)