William Richards Castle William Roscoe Thayer.

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Compared with other universities Harvard ranks well in the number
of medallic rewards she offers for scholarly prowess, in most cases with
a substantial monetary prize as well. They are eight in number, the old-
est being the Bowdoin Prizes. Under the will of Gov. James Bowdoin,
1745, who died in 1790, £400 was gfiven to the " University of Gam-
bridge," the interest on which sum (increased by $15,000 in 1901 by his
descendant, George Sullivan Bowdoin) should be ^^ annually applied in
the way of premiums for the advancement of useful and polite literature
among the residents, as well graduates as undergraduates, of the Uni-
versity." At present there are five Bowdoin prize medals giYen to under-
graduates, in each case with $50 to $250 in addition ; and three to grad-
uate students, with $200 in addition. The Bowdoin medal is as follows :

MAiSS. OVB. (Anniger Academiae Amerioanae Praeses Socius Refiriae
Societatifl.) Boat to left. Below, NATVS A.D. MDCCXXVI/MOR-

Rx. In wreath of oak and lanrel SENATVS/ACADEMICVS/CANTA-
HAEG PRAEMIA/BENE MERENTI. (47mm. We have it in pew-
ter and copper gilt.)

In 1817 Ward Nicholas Boylston, merchant of Boston, founded the
Boylston prizes for elocution, in memory of his uncle, Nicholas Boylston,
who endowed the professorship of Oratory. At first there was, appar-
ently, no medal connected with the prizes, hut, although there is no ref-
erence to it in the Catalogue, it is evident that in his will (1828) Mr.
Boylston left further money to the College as the medal shows :


Bust to right. Signed MITCHELL So. Below, NAT. MDCCXLIV.




Legend ACTIO ORATIONIS LUMEN (38mm. White metal.)

Mr. Boylston also founded the Boylston Medical Prize (now of $300
and a medal) for the best dissertation on a question of medical science
proposed by the Boylston Medical Committee, of which the following is
the medal :

Digitized by


Medallic Harvard. [June,


Bait to left. Signed W. WYON. SC.
Rx. Blank. (45mxn. Bronze. Qilt. Tin.)

Although this medal was given for a time it was finally withdrawn
and not issued for many years, as it was felt that while fundator was
excellent Latin, implying '^ Benefactor/' it too forcibly suggested that he
was the actual founder of the Medical School. Hence in 1915 a new die
was prepared, exactly like the old one, but with the vfovAfavtor instead
oi fundator y and this medal is now awarded for dissertations of especial

Other University prizes are the Pasteur medal :

Ob. REPUBLIQUE FRANQAISE. Lanreated female bust to left. Signed


left a bundle of oak, palm and lanrel on which a tablet with 1808.

Ex. A DESAIDE EDIT 58mm. Silver.

^' In 1898 Baron Pierre de Coabertin founded a prize for debating in
the form of a medal to be awarded to the successful contestant in an an-
nual debate on a subject drawn from contemporary French politics."

The Coolidge Debating Medal: In 1899 Hon. T. Jefferson Coolidge
gave the University $5000, *^ the income of which shall be devoted to the
establishment of prizes for debating." In 1911 the Advisory Committee
of Debating voted to award, in addition to $100, a gold medal known as
the Coolidge Debating Medal to the participants in the Harvard-Yale
and Harvard-Princeton debates, and silver medals to the alternates.

Ob. A bnst to right inscribed on chest CICERO

Rx. Blank. 28mm. Irregular planchet. Gk)ld. Silver.

The Lloyd McEim Garrison Medal was founded by the Class of '88
in memory of their classmate who died in 1900. The prize consists of
SlOO and a silver medal for the best poem chosen by the Department of
English :

Ob. Between tall npright lighted lamps the seal of Harvard bonnd with ribbom
low, a tablet for name.

Rx. The Mnse of Poetry with lyre, inspired by rising mm. 64mm. Silver.
Rectangokr with ronnded top. By V. D. BRENNER ancnsed.)

An annual prize of $35, or a medal, is to be awarded according to
the beqaest of Charles J. Wister, to the student who passes examinations
with the highest combined average in mathematics and music. The dies
for this medal have not been made as yet.

In 1898 Julian W. Mack, LL.B. '87, estoblished the James Barr
Ames Prize Fund, with an award every four years of $400 or more and
a silver medal for a meritorious book or essay upon a legt^ subject. The

Digitized by


1916.] Medallic Harvard. 621

present Ames medal bears the bust of Sir Edward Coke. A new die is
being prepared with the head of Dean Ames.

This completes the list of the academic medals. They are all, be it
noted, the result of private munificence.

There is a little piece got up in connection with the 125th anniyersary
of Hollis Hall. I think, however, that this was not issued by the Univer-

Ob. In laurels a bnildins:. Below, HOLLIS HAI Ji.

Rx. In laurels a torch resting on ribbon inscribed 1763 1913.

HALL/lanrels. (39mm. Copper. By Whitehead Hoa« Co.)

A number of other Harvard buildings, such as Memorial Hall, Massa-
chusetts Hall, and various gates, have been commemorated upon medals.

Medals have been struck in honor of a number of professors and men
connected with Harvard in one capacity or another, among others those
of : Ames, J. B., Professor of Law ; Adams, J. Q., Professor of Rhet-
oric (6) ; Agassiz, L., Professor of Zoology (4) ; Amory, R., lecturer;
Beck, Charles, Professor of Latin (on a badge of Post b&y 6.A.R.) ;
Bowdoin, James, benefactor ; Boylston, W. N., benefactor ; Chadwick,
J. R., lecturer ; Child, F. J., Professor of English ; Channing, W. E., Fel-
low ; Davis, J., Fellow ; Eliot, C. W., President (5) ; Everett, E., Pro-
fessor of Greek (5) ; Emerson, R. W., Overseer, preacher; Eliot, Samuel,
Overseer ; Gray, Asa, Professor of Botany ; Green, S. A., Overseer ? Hall,
G. S., instiTictor ; Hancock, John, Treasurer ; Holmes, O. W., Professor
of Anatomy ; Lawrence, A., founder of Scientific School ; Lewis, Wins-
low, Overseer ; Longfellow, H. W., Professor of Belles-Lettres ; Lowell,
J. R., Professor of Belles-Lettres ; Norton, C E., Professor of History
of Art ; Paine, J. K., Professor of Music ; Parkman, F., Fellow ; Rim-
mer, Dr. W. L., lecturer ; Roosevelt, T., Overseer ; Rosenau, Dr. M. J.,
Professor ; Sargent, C. S., Professor of Arboricultare ; Sargent, D. A.,
Director Hemenway Gymnasium ; Storer, H. R., lecturer ; Sumner, C,
instiiictor ; Shurdefif, N. B., Overseer ; Warren, E. H., Professor of Law ;
Webster, Daniel, Overseer ; Wendell, B., Professor of English ; Whittier,
J. G., Overseer; Wolcott, R, Overseer. In the case of most of these
medals of Harvard Professors no connection with the University is ob-
vious : in others it is most emphatically so, as with those of Bowdoin and
Boylston, already described. Here, too, would come the medals of Presi-
dent Eliot:



Bast to left.
Rz. Main <«ate and buildings. At bottom seal of University dividing

L. DEoCHAMFS and MCMGU. (81mm. Bronze.)

Digitized by


622 Medallie Harvard. [June,

field, HARVARD UNIVE RSITY . Bust to left. On tmnoation, COPT-
RIGHT. 1903. BT W. H« WHITE (inonsed).

Rz. Plain (214mm. Bronze.)

Ob. Bast to left. To left, CI3UCG0/J • XVHIL To ri^ht, MDCCCL/


Rz. In doMd laurel wreath, CAROLO/GVILIELMO - ELIOT/ VNIVERSI-
CCCLXXXXUII/ALVMNI. At sides, torches on which acroU and
wreath. (9dmm. Bronze. Suppressed on aooonnt of the mistake in spell-

Ob. Bust to left.

Rz. Blank. (26mm. IrresnUtr planchet. White metal. By Whitehead Hoaff

Ob. Bast to left. To right a seal oyer 1912.

Rz. Blank. (190zl50mm. Oral. Plaster. By H. O. Dorr. Gilded.)

Another essentially Harvard medal is that of Prof. Gray :

Ob. ASA • GRAY /M.D.CCC.LXXXIV. Bast to left. Abore, in wreath of

flowers, the seal of Harrard.
Rz. Blank. (Rectangrnlar medallion at the Herbarinm. By St. GandeM.)

So too is that of Prof. J. E. Paine :

Ob. Bnst to left. Below on ribbon, JOHN ENOWLES PAINE.

Below, shield of Harrard crossed by bar of mnsio on scroll.
Rz. HARVARD MUSICAL CLUB/*1898* Laurel wreath. (43mm. Bronze.)

Or that of Prof. D. A. Sargent:



Bast to left. Behind, 1907. Signed R. TAIT MoEENZIE.
Rz. Fiye seals of the University in line. Above, A /RECOGNITION/BY


(50mm. Gilt bronze. On edge, bronze. Struck on the 25th anniyeraary of

his activity as teacher.)

Or this one of Prof. E. H. Warren :

Ob. Medal in shape of open book on which seal of Harvard between WARREN
and LAW CLUB (33z28mm. Bronze.)

Besides these medals of professors there are medals of some hnndred
gpraduates of Harvard, or men upon whom she has bestowed honorary
degrees. Specimens of most of these medals are in the College Library.
I have, of course, made no attempt to collect the many Harvard men who
have received the medals which might also be bestowed upon anybody by
various learned societies, etc.

Passing on to the medals more intimately connected with undergrad-
uate life we find that for the most part they are of various clubs and
societies, each member of which is supposed to own one ; and what more
suitable memento of college activity could one have than a medal in
Perennial Brass ! It is largely the somewhat fugitive character of these

Digitized by



Digitized by


Digitized by


1916.] MedalKc Harvard. 628

medals that has led me to attempt to get them together for permanent
preservation at the Massachusetts Historical Society. What could be
more tantalizing, for instance, than this piece that I picked up recently :

Ob. Upon the obrene of an old-f aahioned Urge cent a strnck diamond in which

a scroll ^th legend ARE and below HARVARD. In angles fonr stars.
I would give a good deal to know when and why this was struck. Possi-
bly some very old " Dickey '* man can tell me. It is the only specimen I
have ever seen and is very possibly unique.

The oldest Harvard club medal is very appropriately that of the Phi
Beta Kappa, which is, I believe, the only Harvard medal habitually
worn as a watch-charm.

Ob. S. P. SEPTEMBER 5/1781.

Rx. «BK. In npper left-hand comer a hand pointing at three stais. (16xl6inm.
Silver. All engraved.)
There are a number of Harvard Phi Beta Kappa medals with a varying
number of stars, described in Mr. Lane's Catalogue of the Harvard

Another old Harvard medal is that of the Porcellian Club, founded in
1789. This medal was not used, however, until 1800 :

Ob. A heart-shaped olver medal engraved PORCELUAN/ CLUB /INSTI-
TUTED/ 1789.

In 1831 the club adopted its present medal :

Ob. On crossed swords, DUM VIVIMUS VTVAMUS. In field, PORCEL-
LIAN /panel/ CLUB /1831.


In field, Greek letters over boar's head, clasped hands, and casqne.
Below on label, 1791 1806 (17min. Octagonal. SUver.)

The beautiful medal of the Hasty Pudding dates from about this time :

Ob. CONCORDIA DISCORS. Sphinx on wreath. Below, 1795.
Rx. H.P.C. Two hands helping themselves from pot. Below on ribbon,
SEQES TOTIS RESPONDET. (38mm. Octagonal. Sflver.)

I wonder whether Washington Allston, 1800, designed this medal. He

was secretary of the Pudding at about the time the medal was adopted

and the many sketches with which he embellished the records hint that

his artistic mind was already quite active.

Other early medals are those of the Pierian, '08, and that of the Med.

. Fac, '48.

Ob. A flagon on ribbon on which UN POUR TOUS ET TOUS POUR UN.
Rx. A chevron on which M 6 F Ex. 1848. (42X33nmi. Silver. Shield,

This was given us as being ihe medal of the mjrsterious ^'Med. Fac."

By far the greater part of the Harvard societies that have medals are
of comparatively recent date, and in many cases the medals were got up

Digitized by


624 Medallic Harvard. [June,

many yean after the date they hear, which is generally that of the foun-
dation of the society. Later on in life, with increased financial stability^
the dabs would go to the expense of a medaL Some of them are of de-
cided artistic valacy and others pretty poor. Among the better ones may
be mentioned those of the Iroquois Club, the S. K. Glub, and the Pen
and Brash Glab.

The Harvard papers have been qnite fortunate with their medals. The
oldest is that of the Advocate. For the device the Advocate is indebted to
Miss Ellen Day Hale. The die was engraved by Henry Mitchell in 1902.

Ob. THE HARVARD ADVOCATE. Pegasus to left, tethered to a Diotion-

arj. Below, 1866.
Rz. • VERITAS NIHIL ' VERETUR / Shield of Harraid. • DULCI •

ESTI • PERICULUM • Shield of Harvard. (SSmrn. Bronze.)

This medal took the place of an earlier one with plain reverse.

There are two medals of the Lampoon :

Ob. HAR/ VA/RD Lampy on Pegasus to left.
Rz. FUdn. (41nim. Bronse.)

Ob. HAR /VA/RD Lampy on Pegasus to left. Below, LAMPOON.
Rz. MDCCCLXXVI. Ibis holding shield markMi VA NI TAS on three open
books. (40inxn. Bronse.)

The medal of the Harvard Monthly is quite ambitious :

Ob. In monogram H M a shield of Harvard withas orest a sqnixtel holding pen.


Rz. On ribbon VERITATEM FORTTTER DIGERE (38mm. OetagooaL


The Harvard Crimson should also be mentioned:

Ob. Harrard seal ^th, below, lanrels, 1878, and pen and ink.
Rz. Plain. (38mm. Irregular. Silver.)

A number of classes have seen in medak an appropriate manner in
which to commemorate class anniversaries, etc. Such classes have been
'55, '89 (3), '90, '91, '94, '96, '98, '05, '10. The best of these seems to
be that of the Decennial of '05, designed by Fitch H. Haskell, '05 :

Ob. 1905»» HARVARD*^ 1915/ ••DECENNIAL**

John Harrard with aims ontstretehed in welcome, standing m front of the

'05 gate.
Rz. Plain. (36mm. Irregular. Bronse.)

Besides these there are a number of medals issued hj the Harvard

Athletic Association for prowess in rowing, etc., of which the following

may be taken as an example :



In lanrels a winged foot.
Rz. Plain. (34mm. Silver.)

I give a list of the Harvard medals as far as they are known to me :

there are doubtless many others, and any information about any Harvard

Digitized by



Medallic Harvard.


medals not given in this list would be highlj appreciated. Those marked
with a star are in the collection of the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Harvard Rifle and Pistol Glab, 1904.
Harrard Shooting Club, 1886.
•••Harvard Southern Club, 1888,
Harvard TraveUera Club.
Harvard Uni-versity Debating CoimoiL

••Harvard eeal

• Adams, J. Q., 1825, 1828.

• A. D. Club, 1859.

• Agassiz, L., 1872, 1873.

• Alpha Delta Phi.
Ames Prize Medal.
Beck, C.

• Bowdoin, J., 1790.

• Boylston, W. N., 1828.
Boylston Prize, an engrared medaL

• Cerele France, 1886.
Child, F. J.

• Circolo Italiano, 1903.

• Delta Kappa Epailon, 1852.

• Delta Kappa Theta, 1910.

• Delta Phi.
Delta Phi Pd.

• Delta Pai, 1860.

• Deutscher Verein, 1886.

• Digamma.

• Eliot, C. W.
Fly aub.
Garrison MedaL
Gray, A.

••Harvard Advocate.

• Harvard Athletic Association, rowing.
••Harvard Athletic Association, running.

• Harvard Banjo Gub.

• Harvard Bicycle Club.

• Harvard Camera Club.

• Harvard Chess Club.

• Harvard Cricket Club.

• Harvard Crimson.

• Harvard Dartmouth Dual Track Meet.

• Harvard Debating Society.

• Harvard Dramatic Club.

• Harvard Fencers.

• Harvard Fencing Club.

• Harvard Glee Club, 1858.

• Harvard Golf Club, 1808.

• Harvard Gymnastic Association.

• Harvard Hotchkiss Club, 1903.

• Harvard Intersoholastic Assodation,


• Harvard Lampoon,

• Harvard Lampoon, 1876.

• Harvard Laim Tennis Club.
Harvard Memorial Society, 1895.

• Harvard Monthly, 1885.

• Harvard Musical Club, 1898.

• Harvard Musical Oubs, 1868. (1915)
Harvard Natural History Society.

• Harvard Polo Club, 1883.

Harvard Tale Freshmen Meet.

Harvard Yale Track Meet, 1891.

Hasty Pudding, 1795.

Hollis Hall, 1913.

Lroquois Club.

Ivy, 1904.

Kalumet Club.

Kappa Gamma Chi, 1897.

Lawrence, A.

Longfellow, H. W.

Med. Fac, 1848.

Norton, C. £.

O. K., 1859.

Owl Qub,

Paine, J. K.

Pasteur Medal, 1898.

Patria Society, 1909.

Pen & Brush Club, 1894.

Phi Beta Kappa, 1781. (4)

Phcenix Club.
••Pierian Sodality, 1808.

Pi Eta.

Porcellian, 1789.

Poreellian, 1831.

Psi Upsilon.

Sargent, C. S.

Sargent, D. A.


S. K. Club.

Speakers' Oub, 1907.

Spec Club.

Sphinx Club.

Stylus Club.

Warren Law Club.

Wendell, B.

Western dub, 1908.

Zeta Zeta Gamma, 1901.
*55. 1875, Fourth DecenniaL
'89. 1899, Decennial.
*89. 1909, New York Dinner.
'89. 1912, Cbas Dinner.
'90. 1915, 25th Anniversary.
'91. 1911, New York Dinner.
'94. 1909, Quindecennial.
'95. 1905, Decennial.
'98. 1913, Quindecennial.
'05. 1915, Decennial.
'10. 1910, Class Day Committee.

Digitized by


626 David WiUiams Cheever. [June,

J. C. WARREN, 'es, Mo§ele9 Prof€9$or of Swr^ery, Emerkui.


When David Cheever came down from Portsmoathy N.H., to enter
Harvard he brought with him the tradition of seven generations of the
Cheever family, three of whom had already received a Harvard degree,
and four of whom had emb]*aced a professional career. He was the lin-
eal descendant of Ezekiel Cheever, who came from Canterbury, England,
in 1637 ; a man of much learning, first master of the Boston Latin
School and author of a book of the Latin tongue used by scholars of New
England for more than a century. Needless to say, a young man of such
antecedents did not venture beneath these classic shades without much
seriousness of purpose, and, judging from the man as we have known him
since, his Puritan ancestors could not have wished for a better represen-
tation of their line in the Class of 1852 than the young matriculant. We
know, indeed, that he always took the greatest pride in this family con-
nection with Harvard and that he was much given to the classics, read-
ing them with facility in the originaL

David Williams Cheever was born in Portsmouth, N.H., Nov. 30,
1831, and died in Boston, Dec. 27, 1916. He was educated in part at
home by his father and mother and partly at a public high school Later
he enjoyed the unusual privilege of reading Latin with the Bev. Andrew
P. Peabody, then the pastor of the family in Portsmouth. He entered
college at 16 years of age without conditions. As a student at Harvard
he had few intimates and was much devoted to books. Of the College Fa-
culty he thus writes : ^^This was the great privilege of my life. My teach-
ers were great men. I studied Italian with Longfellow who extemporized
Dante into English verse ; German with Bernard Rolker, whose sonorous
pronunciation and poetic temperament converted a dry recitation into an
inspiration of Schiller and Goethe ; Botany with Gray, never to be for-
gotten for his simplicity and purity ; Greek with Felton, genial and hu-
man ; Latin with Beck, a German critical scholar ; modem literature with
James Russell Lowell ; natural history with Agassia *, metaphysics with
James Walker, who had a great influence on my life."

Soon after David's graduation his father died and, although himself a
physician, his wish was that the son should not study medicine. After
spending the winter in settling his father's estate, he went abroad, on the
advice of his elder brother, to help him decide what his future vocation
should be. At the end of eighteen months, living most of the time in
Paris among art students and medical students, he then knew that he

Digitized by


DAVID WILLIAMS CHEEVER, A.B. '52, M.D. '58, LL.D. '94.
ProfesMr of Surgery, 1882-1893; Overaeer, 1896-1908.

Digitized by


Digitized by


1916.] . David Williams Cheecer. 627

wished to stady medicine, and retaming liome in 1854, at the age of 23
he entered the Harvard Medical SchooL

Of the composition of the medical Faculty he thus writes : ^^ There were
eight professors, of whom four were interesting to me. Ahove all, Anat-
omy as sach, and as charmingly taught by Oliver Wendell Holmes, fas-
cinated me. Dr. Bigelow's lectares (iu surgery) wera spectacular and
dramatic, a first-class lecturer, clear, logical, with a dry wit and a broad
metaphysical mind."

The winter term of lectures, which represented a year's work so far
as the Medical School was concerned, was a short one and the teaching
of the medical student of that day was supplemented by spring and sum-
mer courses conducted by some of the more ambitious spirits among the
younger members of the medical profession. The first year's course was,
therefore, rounded out by attendance at the '* Boylston Summer School,"
and the year following at the ^'Tremont Medical School." Clinical
facilities were limited, but a few fortunate students succeeded in obtain-
ing the position of house officer at the Massachusetts General Hospital, or
some of the city and state institutions. A feeling appears to have existed
that at the hospital there was favoritism in the selections, as the applicant
was expected to visit each Trustee and ask for a place. Cheever knew no
Trustee, and, as he expressed it, his too haughty soul rebelled and he de-
cided not to apply. .After passing a profitable and happy year at the
State Hospital at Rainsf ord Island, he returned to the School and grad-
uated iu March, 1858. Two years later he competed successfully for the
Boylston Prize and was appointed Demonstrator of Anatomy, an event
which, in his opinion, determined his whole professional career.

He was already married when the Civil War broke out and he did not
feel justified in joining with those who were to wear the button of the
Loyal Legion, but was at one time able to perform less conspicuous serv-
ice in Washington as an acting assistant surgeon. His medical career
which followed spanned an even half-century and bore a record of almost
continuous service. In 1868 he was appointed Adjunct Professor of Clin-
ical Surgery and in 1875 Professor of Clinical Surgery. On the retire-
ment of Dr. Bigelow in 1882 he became Professor of Surgery and was
made Professor Emeritus in 1893. The following year he received the
degree of LL.D. from his Alma Mater, whom he subsequently served for
twelve years as an Overseer. He was a member of many medical organ-
izations, of which may be mentioned the Massachusetts Medical Society
and the American Surgical Association, both of which organizations he
served as President. He was also an associate member of the Surgical
Society of Paris.

Dr. Cheever excelled not only as a teacher but as a writer. In the

Digitized by


628 David Williams Cheever. [June,

former capacity he joined enthosiaaticaUy with those who led the way
in a reform of medical education. As a writer he was possessed of a teno
and epigrammatical style and was the aathor of many papers and a text-
book on surgery, all of which enjoyed a literary style peculiarly their

In yielding to the importunities of friends to write reminiscences Dr.
Cheever says : **■ The dread of being garrulous and the examples of late
of posthumous writings, which have defamed rather tlian adorned the
character of the authors, has made me hesitate." The recollections, there-
fore, of such a man, who was one of the very few members of tlie pro-
fession who actually practised, or assisted in the practice, of three great
epoclis in medicine and surgery cannot fail to be interesting. The dispas-
sionate comments of a calm and judicial temperament give tliem en-
hanced value.

Of the early days Cheever thus comments : ^* A sombre picture, not
overdrawn ; and yet surgery was the only resort open ; and the anxious

Online LibraryWilliam Richards Castle William Roscoe ThayerThe Harvard graduates' magazine → online text (page 85 of 103)