Yale University. Class of 1867.

Report of the trigintennial meeting with a biographical and statistical record online

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of the great paper known as the "Congregationalist," Morton Dexter, is with us.

Mr. Dexter : — I wish first to impress the fact, which has been already uttered once or
twice, but which has impressed me so profoundly that I would again reiterate it, that it is an
intense delight to meet the men whom we have not seen for thirty years. It is a delight to
meet all of you, but to come here and see those men whom I have not met for thirty years
has touched me deeply. I want you all to feel that the next five years will be happier and
stronger years for having met you here. Dunning gave me a message of love for you all,
and it was with the profoundest regret that he failed to be here. His doctor sent him away
for his health to the other side of the ocean, and so, with the greatest reluctance and regret,
he made up his mind to absent himself from this gathering. I am sure he is thinking of us
to-night, and if he were here he would tell you how warm his affection is for every one of
you. It has been my pleasure to be associated with him for a number of years past. Our
lives have been very closely connected during almost our whole career, with the exception of
a few years, and for the last eight or ten years we have been co-proprietors and editors of the
journal which has been named. I say that there are few men of us all who have met greater
success in life than he has met. He has made an international reputation, and is greatly
honored in England. As a preacher and administrator of one of our great benevolent so-
cieties, and lately as editor, he has made his mark in a way of which you would be
proud. His success is due to the fact that before he was an editor or anything elese he was
a man. He sent one of his sons here. His son is still in the University, in the capacity of an
instructor, and it is a fact of which the Class may well be proud. He is a very remarkable
young man, a wonderful fellow, and is going to make his mark in the world, and we all
may be proud of him. As for my=elf. my life has been a quiet one — the life of a directing


journalist. I have had some honors, but I will allude to but one, because mention has been
made of it in connection with some other men. Dunning had been President of the Boston
Alumni, and it was my fortune last winter to be honored by the same position. The fear has
been expressed here to-night that the old democratic spirit of Yale was passing away. A
short time ago I said, in talking to a friend, that the increasing luxury of Yale might de-
moralize that democratic spirit. He told me that his father was a day laborer here in New
Haven, and that everj'body in his Class knew him. He said that he had graduated this week,
and during all his time at College he had been known as a poor man, but that it had made
no difference to him, and that his position had been in every respect precisely what he could
have wished it to be. He said: "You need have no fear; the old college spirit in Yale is just
as strong as it ever was." I believe the Yale spirit will always linger. I know of no other
college where the democratic spirit — where the reliance on what is in a man — is so con-
trolling as here. I see a great deal of the Harvard men. I have a great affection for them,
as I nearly went there. I have many friends and some relatives in the Harvard faculty. My
relations are. and always have been, most cordial and pleasant, and yet I thank God that I
did not go to Harvard, but came here. The older I get the more enthusiastic I grow for Yale.
I have stolen five boys from Harvard and sent them here, and they never regretted it, and I
think we ought all to be enthusiasts for Yale, spreading the Yale spirit, not in any underhand
way, but simply holding up the tremendous advantages which this University presents.
We ought to do all we can to promote the interests of Yale, and I want to call your attention
here to the Yale Alumni fund. Some years ago President Dwight appointed me on the
board of directors, and that fund, which is intended to provide money for the general pur-
poses of the University, is not only exceedingly necessary, but is wonderfully useful. This
is not the place to speak on the subject, but I want to remind you of it, and to ask you to give
it your serious thought. ^ly heart is full of how glad I am to see you all, and how I hope
I may be spared to meet with \'ou again many and many a time, and that you will come to see
me if any of you are in Boston.

Mr. Fl.\xders: — It is unnecessary;, gentlemen, to introduce the next class-
mate, or to tell you what he has done. I present to you Wallace Bruce.

Mr. Bruce : — Classmates, in our Freshman year we had a class meeting, and we selected
at that time a Chairman. Thirty-four 3'ears have passed b}-, and now in 1897. under the old
banner of blue that bears the figures of our class, the man who was selected for that first
meeting presides, and we are all proud of Flanders of Milwaukee. Something has been
said by several speakers in reference to the old South Middle. It would be too bad to have
South Middle go; it is too bad to have it stay. (Voice: "Amen!") The Amen corner may
not respond so heartily when I get through with my prayer, for I have a suggestion that
perhaps might be worth while for the College to consider. It is in the way where it is. but


there are many sites where it would not be in the way, on some vacant lot where it might
be shaded by trees that might be ancestral. In some spot, not too remote, there might be
taken, brick by brick, old South Middle, and put up again from foundation to garret. I
believe that could be done, and it would be an honor to Yale to see old South Middle stand
again. South Middle means a great deal, not only to all members of this Class, but to every
Class that comes and follows in the long line. Many things have been said of the spirit of
old Yale, which brings men from across the sea and gathers them together in one great bond
of love and affection. I believe there is one word the key to it all. It was borne back, perhaps,
by Professor Goodyear. That one word is "Earnestness" and hearty purpose. I have a boy at
Yale in the Sophomore Class, and as I saw his face flush in that Freshman race, and as
I saw the pallor come over it when she lost the University, I felt that that quality of hearti-
ness and earnestness of purpose would last forever. There has been perhaps more to me in
this day than to anybody else here. This day represents more to me than any anniversary
of Yale: this is the anniversary of my wedding day. I do not know how many of the rest
of you have their wives here, but I know that I could not keep my wife home. Now, permit
me to say just one word for myself: perhaps most of you know that I have done as much
hard work, perhaps, from the time I came into the class of '67, as any man in this neighbor-
hood. I have put in a good hard struggle for what you might call a moderate success in life.
I believe in optimism, and I am so thoroughly impressed with it that there is not a bit of
my life but that has touched the roseate side. I have been living in a dream to-day, my
friends. It does not seem real at all. Old times have come back to me, and it has seemed
a sort of poem to me. My wife herself has seemed a poem. It seemed to me that New Haven
was a sort of a poem ; then the years when I studied law, it all seemed a poem ; and then the
years along the Hudson River, and in the City of Edinburgh — all seemed a poem.
(Mr. Bruce then read a poem.)


Suggested by the story of the phantom ship which appeared to the Rev. Mr. Daven-
port and the first settlers of New Haven — probably a mirage or reflection of some vessel far
out to sea. Written on the "Richard Peck." en route to New Haven for the Trigintennial
meeting of his Class, '67.

By Wallace Bruce.

Was it a vision or only a dream

That far off morn in New Haven Bay,
Or a vessel refracted in sunny gleam

Miraged afar and melting away.
Bringing no message across the deep

To dwellers beside Quinnipiac stream.
Where tide and current play hide and seek;

Was it a vision or only a dream?


Vision or dream, prophetic still

Of Memory's pier where we sit and wait
For landward breezes the sails to fill

Of absent brothers who voyage late ;
With flag at masthead they sailed away.

And pennon reflecting the morning beams,
Alas, beyond our hailing to-day,

Riding afar from the Harbor of Dreams.

Nay, not afar ! In the offing now

See a stately ship with gossamer sails,
With old-time captain upon the bow.

Whose locks are bleached by a hundred gales ;
Is this the ship that our fathers knew,

Whose legend athwart the century gleams,
Returning across the horizon blue

To anchor at last in the Harbor of Dreams?

And lo ! as we look, behold the Bay

Is filled with the craft of seventy years,
Piloted sure by the skipper gray

As up the channel he proudly steers.
Past Light House Point and Savin Rock

Onward the long procession sweeps.
To anchor beside the old Long Dock,

Where Time his sentinel fondly keeps.

And faces peer o'er the shadow-y rail

Of those we knew in the early prime,
While up from the waters the cry of Yale

Swells out in a chorus of olden time.
It cannot be but the scene is real.

As the echoes float from shore to shore.
And following close with steady keel.

Behold the banner of '24 !

All quiet, boys, the crew is asleep.

Only Silliman left at the wheel ;
Ulysses-like from the misty deep.

While over the wake the shadows steal.
Long may the flag-ship lead the line.

Stretching away to the century's rim.
And the sun of Nineteen Hundred shine.

Ere the figures of '24 grow dim !

Onward a proud flotilla of fame

By the ship that seems like a judge's stand,
Assigning a place to each by name.

Where they drop their anchors on either hand.
It somehow seems that the captain's face

Has an antique look, familiar and hale.
For the old-time skipper with =tately grace

Bears close resemblance to Elihu Yale.



So this was the vessel our fathers knew,

Prophetic of all the clays to be,
Waiting to pick from all the crew

The classes that ever shall "bear the gree."
Striving to sift the record well,

To know which bore Yale's truest leaven,
She listened to what the decades tell.

Then wrote the figures '67.

Ah. well, but the ships to-morrow will sail.
And the phantom vessel again put to sea;

The dream of the night the morrow shall pale.
The shadows may fall and sunshine will flee.

But up from the cares and burdens of life
A ray of bright promise in radiance streams,

Our happiest wish in the turmoil and strife.
To anchor again in the Harbor of Dreams.

Mk. Flanders: — Gentlemen, at the business meeting this morning, you
doubtless remember the motion which Mr. Bissell made, and which was somewhat
summarily disposed of, to the eflfect that the faculty should be brought in. That
motion was brought into consideration, and duly adopted, and the faculty are here
in the presence of Mr. ]\Iorse.

Mr. Morse then introduced the Faculty.

Mr. Flanders: — Gentlemen, if the Court was not quite as near as it is, I
would say that in our part of the country we have sometimes what ar<; called offi-
cers of the Court, and they are said to be the hands of the Court ; some-
times the hand is very large, sometimes it is very heavy, and some-
times it is very clumsy. We have had at least four hands of this Court
speaking for the Class of '67, and we have just seen one very skillful hand, that
of Mr. Morse, and we have recognized it in every item of our lives since we have
been here, and I believe that to two hands of the Court were committed the duty
of providing this banquet — George Adee and William B. Davenport. William
R. Davenport is here to-night, as he has always been heretofore, and fills an hon-
orable position in his profession in the City of Brooklyn, and is the Public Adminis-
trator of that City, and I should say that if he administers that office as well as he
has administered this dinner, it cannot be improved upon.

Mr. Davenport : — I am reminded of the story of the young man who, having made his
first trip abroad, in telling his relatives of its various incidents, among other things said : "I


stopped beside a yawning abyss." An old aunt asked him, "Was it yawning when j-ou got
there?" I fear that if I say anything you also may be yawning. The "Umbria" is plough-
ing her way eastward, bearing a classmate of ours. It was impossible for him to arrange to go
on the steamer next Sunday for lack of space, but he charged me that I should bear to you
the loving regards of Al Lamb and his sincere regrets at his inability to be here
to-night. Al Lamb is now the first jury lawyer of Brooklyn. For myself, in the five years since
I have been with you I have served in the Constitutional Convention of my State that re-
modeled the Constitution, and I have also had the high honor of becoming President of a suc-
cessful Alumni Association of Yale. We, all of us, I am sure, enjoy, as I enjoy, these meetings.
I share, I think, one-fifth of the honor of having been at every one of them. While time shall
run on, while this success that the members of this Class have been securing shall continue
to flow in, may we still remember that we are sons of old Yale, and members of the Class of
'67, and that this in a degree accounts for our success.

Mr. Fl.\xders : — Although Senator Wetmore was not permitted to be here, we
have a representative from httle Rhody in Andy Swan.

Mr. Sw-\x :- — Mr. President, I am not a natural orator, and I am rather surprised that
I was not called on before, as I was expecting to be called on, and had a speech all prepared,
but the other and wittier orators of the evening have stolen all my thunder. I will therefore
make a short speech by moving that we adjourn.

Mr. Flanders : — That motion is not in order.

Mr. Small : — Mr. Chairman, the question came up as to whether we should
hold our next meeting in 1901 or 1902. I would suggest that the gentlemen now
present decide upon that question.

Mr. Davenport : — In the year 1901 almost every son of the University will be
here to celebrate its two hundredth anniversary. I think that in view of the mul-
tiplicity of exercises, in the general interest and excitement that will take place at
the University, that it would be an error of judgment to attempt to hold the class
meeting, and I therefore move that we continue the regular course, and that the
next meeting be held in 1902.

Mr. W. H. Ixgham : — I would like to suggest that a number of our class-
mates who come from a distance would find it perhaps a very impossible thing for
them to come twice. Those who wish to come to a bi-centennial will not care to
come 2,000 miles or 3,000 miles, as the case may be, one year afterwards, and T
think it is due to them that we should hold the two meetings at one time.


Mr. Baldwin suggests the year 1902, but amends by suggesting that it be left
to Adee, Morse and Davenport.

Mr. Flanders : — Those of you in favor of the substitute as proposed by Mr.
Baldwin, say "Aye." Motion carried.

Mr. Flanders : — I understand the whole subject to have been left to this Com-
mittee, and I understand from what Mr. Morse tells me that prior to the com-
mencement of 1 90 1 the Committee will probably communicate with each member
of the class and ascertain from them how many are to be here at that time, and
with that end in view they can then determine what their action will be.

If this subject is now disposed of we will be glad to hear from Mr. Spellman.

Mr. Spellman : — A speech at this late hour, unless you have something to say, is an
imposition ; everything that can be said has been said, and it is best for me to say that every-
thing that has been said I repeat, and all the glories of Yale that have been recited I now
recite and adopt as my own. That I am glad that I am here my presence shows ; that I will
come again is .settled. This day last year, when my son took his degree, was the most
glorious day I ever spent. I did not take my degree here, and I did not realize then what I
lost. Last year when the degrees were given out and I saw my son take his, and I saw tht
assembly of honorable men that were there upon the platform, when I listened to what was
said, and when my ears heard the music of that glorious orchestra, it thrilled me so that the
tears ran down my cheeks. I thanked God that I was permitted to have a son, and that I was
permitted to send him to Yale. When anything comes from Yale I am interested in it —
standing as I did in the street waiting to hear from the boat race, standing there cheering
when I could cheer and feeling sorrowful when the result came. All of us were somewhat
interested in the silver campaign. Being a Democrat myself, I had some trouble in identify-
ing myself with anything this year, but I could imagine how the question of 16 to i could
have been illustrated in some parts of the country, and if I had been called upon to speak
upon free silver I am confident that my argument would have been adopted. I will borrow
this hat in order to illustrate it. It is free silver we want, and free silver we can have, if you
will only follow the proper method. Now, this room is full of silver. If you wish free
silver j-^ou can have as much as you want. I see before me money. It is here ; it is there
now. 1 put it in the hat. I see another piece there. It stands out on all sides. (Mr. Spell-
man does some juggling with the hat and 50-cent pieces.) That is an illustration of free
silver. (Applause.)

Mr. Flanders : — Mr. Spellman is evidently a money maker and very success-
ful, but he is entirely incorrect in one thing, in speaking of this as a late hour — it


is just the shank of the evening, and I desire now to present to you a man whom we
are always pleased to Hsten to — Dave Burrell.

Mr. Burrell: — I do want to say one thing, and that is that I have marked here to-night
a very manifest change in the basis of moral judgment among the boys of '67. I look back
on our earlier reunions, and I see that we have changed our basis of judgment as to men.
There are many here to-night who when they left College we judged from certain arti-
ficial standards as to what honors they got, what societies they belonged to. That was all
right, gentlemen, but we have found out since that some of the men who neither got honors
nor belonged to societies are the best men among us. We are beginning to see things very
clearlj', and seeing men as men, not measuring them by any artificial standards which we
made when boys. We are boys still, but we have grown in that particular way. We have
measured each other here to-night. I do not think a college prize or a college society has
been mentioned to-night. We have looked at each other to-night as men, and that is what it
ought to be. Now, Bob Alison started to make a humorous melancholy speech to-night.
Bob has come a good way, and I bless him for a word he said five years ago. In speaking of
two boys that are in college to-day he said: 'T told them to be Christian gentlemen in college.
I didn't lay down any rules aboiit card playing or anything else. I have found out one thing,
tjiat it is better to be a square man than to be a good fellow." I told him that was a tre-
mendous sermon, but that it was the truth. It is a good thing to be a good fellow, but it is a
better thing to be a square man. As I have listened to what you have been saying one by
one I have thought of what Tom Brown loved so well — Thomas Hughes of blessed memory,
the manly adviser of college men : —

" Who misses or who gains the prize.
Go lose or conquer if you can;
But if you fall, or if you rise,
Be each, pray God, a gentleman." (Applause.)

Mr, Flanders: — In the wild and woolly West we have come to know that
New York lawyers think there are not any lawyers outside of the City of New York,
and when we come in contact with them we are very apt to think that they are
right, and that we are not lawyers at all. Now, we have some of the representa-
tives of our profession here from the great City of New York, and we have one
who, having made a specialty of patent and trademark litigation, is known all over
the country, and that is our classmate, Coe.

Mr. Coe: — I am in the same position as Judge Showalter; I can speak from the record,
but I cannot make a social .speech. I have never enjoyed a few hours more than I have at
this reunion of our dear old class. I cannot say very much. For the last few years I have



been going along, trying to do my duty in the line of patent and trademark law, and have
made some moderate success. My classmates, you must take the will for the deed, for, as I
said before, I cannot make a social speech, and I cannot say anything except that I have en-
joyed myself immensely, and my heart has gone out to all of you one by one as I have heard
you speak.

Mr. Flanders : — In Freshman year Bob De Forest remarked in regard to a
classmate of ours, "Ira furor brevis est," a liberal translation of which is, "Anger
is a brief madness." Now, Ira Seymour Dodd is here, and he applied that term
to him, and from his proverbial good nature I am quite sure that it was not an
appropriate term to apply to him even in jest.

Mr. Dodd: — Well, classmates, after the brilliant display of wit, wisdom and oratory we
have heard here to-night, it is very hard for a plain preacher like me to talk, for although it is
our business to talk, there are some kinds of talking I cannot do. There are some sorts
of vegetables that grow quickly, but it takes a good while for an acorn to become an oak.
I have attended the three or four last meetings, and I have been thinking of the great change
in the standpoint of this class; I see that we are just about ceasing to become boys and are
beginning to be men. We look at life from another standpoint, and it has taken thirty years
to make the change. I have been doing my work in the usual way, and, I hope, with some
success. I have a boy who graduates to-morrow, and it is a happy time for me to be with
you, not only to see you all, but to see my son graduate. I went out in front of the New
Haven House last night, and I met three or four of the fellows, and I knew every one ex-
cept one, and I think they pla3'ed a mean trick on me, for they stood Flanders up there and
asked me who he was, and I did not know him, and, really, I cannot tell you how
badly I felt that I did not recognize Flanders, because he was one of the men whom I always
think of when I think of the Class of 1867. Classmates, I am glad to meet you here, and I
hope wc will have many more reunions. We are bald-headed some of us, but perhaps because
the hair is gone — I won't say that we can see into each other's heads more clearly, but we can
see each other's hearts.

Mr. Wilde said he had the proofs of the pictures taken this morning and
passed them around.

Mr. Flanders : — I have been trying, gentlemen, to decide between the clerg}-
men and the lawyers, but while the clergymen are getting used up the lawyers hold
out, and we have Carrington, of New York, whom I know we want to hear


Mr. Carringtox : — Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I do not know that I can add much to
what has been already said. I can say that Brother Showalter struck the keynote of the
lawyer speaking outside of his profession, as he said we have to speak from the record.
I can say that I have made before juries in New York some speeches which were very good,
but I had the evidence in the case before me. Now, on looking around on this Class, I can sim-
ply say. that your faces all show that you are men of experience, and that the thirty years' con-
tact with the world which j-ou have had has sharpened you up, and that you all seem to me to be
brighter and your wit to flow with more readiness than it did at previous meetings. It seems
to me. therefore, that this contact with the world has been improving us. We thought our-
selves pretty bright on leaving College, but I think we are brighter how. We stand here to-
day, gentlemen, after thirty years, and it seems to me that our judgment is founded upon the
experience of those thirty years. We see now what we have done in those thirty years, and it
was not what some of the men were expected to do. There was an individuality in the
Class of '67 which pervaded the whole Class, and I say that it is that individuality of character
which has been greatly developed, and we stand here to-day with a record, which is an

Online LibraryYale University. Class of 1867Report of the trigintennial meeting with a biographical and statistical record → online text (page 7 of 27)