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´╗┐Title: History of Randolph-Macon College, Virginia - The Oldest Incorporated Methodist College in America
Author: Irby, Richard, 1825-1902
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "History of Randolph-Macon College, Virginia - The Oldest Incorporated Methodist College in America" ***

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by Richard Irby (A. B. 1844)


The following resolution, adopted at the last annual meeting of the
Board of Trustees, will answer as a preface to what will be given as a
history of the oldest incorporated Methodist college in America now in
existence, and can be pleaded as an excuse, if any be needed, why one
so inexperienced in authorship should make this effort to rescue from
oblivion what is left of the records and information now obtainable in
regard to this, comparatively speaking, venerable college.

"On motion of J. J. Lafferty and W. H. Christian,

"_Resolved_, That the thanks of the Board be tendered to Richard Irby,
Esq., for his labors in the collection of material for a connected and
authentic historical account of this college, and that he be requested
to continue and perfect this work, and that all friends of the college
be requested to give him their cordial aid and co-operation."



JOHN WESLEY, the founder of Methodism, was in every sense a highly
educated man. His education began at the knee of one of the wisest and
most accomplished women that ever lived to bless the world. It was
continued at Oxford, but did not stop there; for he believed, and acted
on his belief, that a man's education should continue as long as his
intellectual energy survives.

The great business of Wesley was to spread scriptural holiness over the
world, beginning at his own home. To accomplish this great end he
sought and utilized every practicable agency. Early in the course of the
great movement he put in motion, he established the Kingswood School,
which he aimed to make as thorough, practically, as Oxford and
Cambridge, and free from the surroundings which hindered evangelical
believers in attendance on those schools, where he and his co-workers
had encountered so much opposition and ridicule. At this school were to
be allied in holy matrimony religion and learning, which godless hands
had sought to put asunder; for he valued education and learning severed
from, and unhallowed by, religion as worse than worthless.

Following the example of this great leader, Asbury, the "Pioneer Bishop
of America," sought at an early day to carry out the same plans. But the
difficulties he encountered were different from those Mr. Wesley met in
many respects. At the close of the Revolutionary War, he found a
continent over the broad area of which was spread a population of about
three million of people. These people had just come out of a war of
seven years, impoverished in every species of property except their
broad acres of forest land, worthless until subdued by the sturdy
husbandman. The currency of the country was well-nigh worthless and
irredeemable in gold and silver. The great and controlling idea of the
people was the restoration of wealth and material resources. This meant
and required hard and constant work, which pushed aside schools and all
other enterprises of the kind considered as of secondary importance. At
that time only about eight colleges were found in the States, and these
were slimly endowed, if endowed at all, and but poorly patronized.

But bold, and trusting in God, Asbury began the work of establishing
schools, hardly waiting for the clearing away of the smoke of battle. At
the time he was made General Superintendent, or Bishop, (1784), there
were in the United States 14,988 members in the Methodist Episcopal
Church. These were scattered broadcast over the States bordering on the
Atlantic Ocean, from New York to Georgia. The bulk of the membership was
found in the Southern States. The Minutes for that year give New York
City sixty members and Brunswick Circuit (Virginia) four hundred and
eighty-four, and other circuits in Virginia more.

In the year 1784 Dr. Cummings (in _Early Schools of Methodism_, New
York, 1886) thinks Bishop Asbury founded the first Methodist academy
ever established in America. It is reasonable, however, to put the date
a little later, say 1785, for his services as General Superintendent did
not begin till later, inasmuch as Mr. Wesley's letter appointing him to
the place bears date September 10, 1784. This school or academy was
located in Brunswick county, Virginia, on the road leading from
Petersburg to Boydton, at a point about midway between the two places.
He named it

[Illustration: EBENEZER ACADEMY]*

*The Ebenezer Academy building is still standing, but it has been
changed somewhat since it ceased to be used for school purposes. The cut
used here was made from a pencil sketch of it made by Mr. Short, who
lives near, and sent by Rev. J. Carson Watson, in whose circuit it is
located. The walls are of stone, one of which has become injured;
otherwise, the old house would be good for another century.

For a number of years this academy was controlled by trustees appointed
by the Bishop or by the Annual Conference, and enjoyed such supervision
as the Bishop was able to give, which, with such arduous labors as
demanded his energies, was of necessity but slight and occasional. On
this account, and other accounts incident to the times, the control of
the academy was lost to the Methodists, and went into the hands of the
county authorities, which control never was regained by the Church. But
it was kept up as an academy for many years, and at it many of the most
prominent men of the county and counties adjacent were educated wholly
or partly. In this way it did a good work for the people of its day, and
was the forerunner and prophecy of another school not far away, which,
under better auspices, though not without difficulties, has lived to
bless the Church and the world in this nineteenth century.

The first regularly incorporated Methodist college in the United States
was Cokesbury College. It was located near Baltimore, Md. It was in
operation only a few years. Augusta College, Kentucky, was the next.
That has long since ceased to exist. In the period preceding the
division of the Methodist Episcopal Church, there were thirty-one
literary institutions controlled by this Church, of which three were
exclusively for females and several, co-educational. Seventeen of these
were located in the Southern States. Of the thirty-one, only seven
colleges have survived, viz.: Randolph-Macon College, chartered February
3, 1830; Wesleyan University (Connecticut), chartered May, 1831; Emory
College (Georgia), 1837; Emory and Henry (Virginia), 1838; Wesleyan
Female College (Georgia), 1839. Dickinson College (Pennsylvania)
chartered in 1783, but did not become a Methodist college till 1833, and
was opened as a Methodist college September, 1834. Alleghany College
(Pennsylvania) was chartered in 1818, and came under the control of the
Methodist Church in 1833, and was opened as a Methodist college the same

It will thus be seen that all these male colleges which survived, were
opened under Methodist patronage, nearly simultaneously, viz.: Wesleyan
University, October, 1831; Randolph-Macon, January, 1832; Alleghany
College, November, 1833; Dickinson College, September, 1834. This point
of time thus became a marked starting-point in the history of Methodist
colleges. Since this turning-point was passed, the number of them has
increased as rapidly as the membership of the church, and can now be
counted by the hundreds, making the Methodist Church foremost in the
great work of Christian education.

It may be noted here that all of the above-named colleges succeeded to
buildings which had been used for school purposes, more or less
complete, while those of Randolph-Macon were built wholly out of new

It is probable that the idea and purpose moving Bishop Asbury to found
church schools, had never gone entirely out of the minds of the
Methodists of Virginia, notwithstanding all the failures and disasters
which had befallen the early enterprises. They found no school in the
Conference territory of high grade where they felt safe in sending their
sons. William and Mary College was under the control of the
Episcopalians, and its location was noted for excess in worldliness and
free-living, which did not invite Methodists, whose rules forbade such
customs. The atmosphere of the college and town was unsuited to
Methodists, and they were looked upon as unfit for the society of the
so-called best people. Hampden-Sidney College, originally non-sectarian,
had come under the control of the Presbyterians, with whom, in those
days, Arminian Methodists did not think it safe to let their sons remain
too long, lest they should become Calvinists. Washington College was
then a feeble school, and remote from the eastern portion of the State,
and outside the Virginia Conference. Under these circumstances, and for
what were esteemed good reasons, the Methodists of the Virginia
Conference, then composed of the eastern and middle portions of Virginia
and North Carolina, moved in the matter of establishing a college of
high grade.

A resolution, adopted by the General Conference of 1824, recommending
"that each Annual Conference establish a Seminary of learning under its
own regulations and patronage," had the effect to direct the attention
of the church throughout the connection to the subject of education. So
almost simultaneously the New York Conference, with the Virginia
Conference, moved towards the establishment of a college, as recommended
by the General Conference, the result of which was the founding of the
Wesleyan University at Middletown, Conn., and of Randolph-Macon College
at Boydton, Va., the two oldest Methodist colleges, originally
incorporated as such, now existing in America.

The credit of first planning or founding Randolph-Macon College has
been awarded to Rev. Hezekiah G. Leigh and Gabriel P. Disosway. The
former was a prominent minister in the Virginia Conference, and was
justly esteemed by his contemporaries as an orator second to but few, if
any, of his time. Dr. Bennett, in _Memorials of Methodism in Virginia_,
says: "Perhaps no man ever left a deeper impression on the hearts of the
people among whom he labored. In every city where he was stationed, in
every district, in every circuit, there are thrilling recollections of
his preaching.... He was not simply an eloquent preacher, he was a wise,
skillful, practical workman in the vineyard." Dr. W. A. Smith, third
President of Randolph-Macon College, said of him: "Dr. Leigh had few
equals in the pulpit. He filled a large space in public attention, and
wielded a wide and undisputed influence among his brethren in the
ministry." He was a native of Perquimans county, N. C., born November
23, 1795, but for many years prior to his death resided on his farm near
Boydton, Va.

Gabriel P. Disosway was a native of the city of New York, of Huguenot
ancestry, born December 6, 1799. He took his A.B. degree at Columbia
College, New York, in 1821. In early life he became a citizen of
Petersburg, Va., and married a Virginia lady. He was a pious and devoted
Methodist, and by his superior education and literary abilities exerted
a wide and salutary influence on the church circles of his town and day.
Having been a college-bred man, he may have suggested to Dr. Leigh the
founding of a college, or the latter may have sought the advice and
co-operation of Mr. Disosway, and thenceforth the two worked together as
co-laborers in this good cause. Dr. W. A. Smith inclined to the latter
view of the matter, for he says (_Funeral Discourse on Rev. H. G.
Leigh_), "Regarding all the circumstances, the prominent position held
by Dr. Leigh in originating all the preliminary measures, and his
personal activity in advancing them, we have always considered him in a
good sense the founder of Randolph-Macon College." Mr. Disosway
returned to New York in 1828, and thus the college ceased to have his
active co-operation with Dr. Leigh, which might, and doubtless would,
have been very acceptable and beneficial. He lived to an honorable old
age, giving much of his valuable time to the great interests of the
Church of his choice, and also to the great religious institutions of
his State and the country, with a number of which he was closely
identified as manager or director. He also wrote frequently for the
press, and was the author of several books, one of which particularly
was highly esteemed, viz. _The Old Churches of New York_."

The college, many years ago, recognized the claims of these co-founders
to the gratitude and remembrance of succeeding generations by placing on
the walls of the chapel marble tablets, suitably inscribed and dedicated
to their memory.

The enterprise of establishing a college in the Virginia Conference took
definite direction, and resulted in practical action at the session of
the Virginia Conference held at Oxford, N. C., March 2, 1825. In the
minutes is this entry: "After some discussion on the recommendation of
the General Conference (of 1824), 'That each Annual Conference establish
a Seminary of Learning, under its own regulations and patronage,' the
whole question was referred to a committee of twelve--six ministers and
six laymen--to consider and report the best method of establishing such
a Seminary with suitable constitutional principles." The following
constituted the committee ordered: John Early, Hezekiah G. Leigh, Caleb
Leach, Charles A. Cooley, William Compton and George M. Anderson, of the
Conference; and Gabriel P. Disosway, Joseph B. Littlejohn, John Nutall,
Lewis Taylor, Joseph Taylor and Jesse H. Cobb, of the laity.... "The
College bill, which was laid on the table, was taken up, and, after some
amendment, was adopted." It would appear from the constitution of the
committee, that John Early made the motion to appoint the committee, and
this was probably the case, because he was then, and for many years
afterwards, a leader in the business of the Conference, and, therefore,
the prime mover in the enterprise, had enlisted his active interest in
the matter. We shall see that this prominent position was held by him
for many years afterwards.

This was all that was done at this Conference. At the next Conference,
held in Portsmouth, Va., February, 1826, the committee was increased by
adding George W. Charlton and James Smith, ministers, and Robert A.
Armistead, Arthur Cooper, Jesse Nicholson, local preachers, and J. C.
Pegram, Cary Jennings, laymen. On the 20th the committee made a report,
and the report Was laid on the table. On the 22nd the College bill,
which was laid on the table, was taken up, and after some amendments it
was adopted. On the 23rd the "Select Committee," recommended in the bill
adopted on the days previous, was appointed, viz.: Hezekiah G. Leigh,
George W. Charlton, James Smith, John Early, Thomas Crowder, Ethelbert
Drake, ministers, and Gabriel P. Disosway, Robert A. Armistead, William
Clarke, John C. Pegram, laymen. This committee reported at the
succeeding Conference (1827) a "Constitution" for the College, which,
after some amendments, was adopted; and it was further "_Resolved_, that
every member take a subscription paper and use his influence and best
exertions to obtain subscriptions for the benefit of the College
contemplated to be founded within the bounds of this Conference."

At the Conference of 1828 a new committee of seven was appointed "to see
that all the preachers pay a due and diligent attention to every
regulation and matter appertaining to the establishment of the College
contemplated, and to employ an efficient agent to make collections and
obtain subscriptions for the same, and to maturely consider the
advantages of every place proposed for its site, and to report thereon
to the next Conference upon which the location of the College shall be


At the Conference of 1829 the committee appointed the year previous made
a report. The Committee had met at Zion Church, in Mecklenburg county.
The citizens of Brunswick offered $20,000 in subscriptions on condition
that the College be located at Physic Springs, about four miles from
Lawrenceville, the county seat, and not very far from the old Ebenezer
Academy. The citizens of Mecklenburg offered a parcel of land near
Boydton, the county seat, at a very low price, and $10,000 in
subscriptions, with some possible advantages from the Boydton Academy.
The location was fixed at or near Boydton, probably, mainly through the
influence of Rev.  Hezekiah G. Leigh, the prime mover in the College
enterprise, and Howell Taylor, a very influential Methodist of the
county, together with Hon.  William O. Goode and Col. William Townes,
men of great popularity. The site selected was also very near the line
dividing the States of Virginia and North Carolina, and probably more
accessible to the people of the two States at that time than any other
eligible location, and was considered healthful, as well as the centre
of a refined community. The county of Mecklenburg was one of the largest
and wealthiest in the State, and its people and the people of the
adjoining counties of North Carolina were friendly and homogeneous.

The report of the Committee was confirmed by the Conference, and the
Committee was authorized to apply to the General Assembly of Virginia
for a charter. This the Committee proceeded to do, and Mr. Goode, of
Mecklenburg, presented a bill to incorporate the "Trustees of Henry and
Macon College" Friday, January 15, 1830. After going through the
several readings required, and having several amendments made, on motion
of Mr. Alexander, of Mecklenburg, the title was changed, making it to
read, "An act to incorporate the 'Trustees of Randolph-Macon College.'"
The bill so amended was passed by both houses, and became a law February
3, 1830. The Act in part is as follows:

"1. _Be it enacted by the General Assembly_, That there be, and is
hereby erected and established, at or near Boydton, in the county of
Mecklenburg, in this Commonwealth, a seminary of learning for the
instruction of youth in the various branches of science and literature,
the useful arts, agriculture, and the learned and foreign languages.

"2. _And be it further enacted_, That the said seminary shall be known
and called by the name of Randolph-Macon College.

"3. _And be it further enacted_, That Hezekiah Leigh, John Early, Edward
Cannon, W. A. Smith, William I. Waller, Thomas Crowder, Moses Brock,
James Boyd, William Hammett, Caleb Leach, Matthew M. Dance, Lewis
Skidmore, Augustine Claiborne, Ethelbert Drake, Henry Fitts, John
Nutall, James Wyche, John P. Harrison, Grenville Penn, Walker
Timberlake, John G. Claiborne, Howell Taylor, James Smith, Joel
Blackwell, John Y. Mason, James Garland, Richard G. Morris, John W.
Lewis, William O. Goode, and Nathaniel Alexander be, and are hereby,
constituted and appointed trustees of said college, who and their
successors shall be a body politic and corporate by the name of the
'Trustees of Randolph-Macon College,' who shall have a perpetual
succession and a common seal, and by the name aforesaid they and their
successors shall be capable in law to possess, purchase, receive and
retain to them and their successors forever, any lands, tenements,
rents, goods, chattels or interests of any kind whatsoever, which may
have been already given, or by them purchased for the use of said
College; to dispose of the same in any way whatsoever they shall adjudge
most useful to the interests and legal purposes of the institution; and
by the same name to sue and implead, be sued and impleaded, answer and
be answered, in all courts of law and equity; and under their common
seal to make and establish, from time to time, such by-laws, rules and
ordinances, not contrary to the laws and constitution of this
Commonwealth, as shall by them be thought essential to the good order
and government of the professors, masters and students of said College."

It will appear above that thirty were constituted trustees. Of the
thirty, twelve were travelling preachers of the Virginia Annual
Conference, and eighteen were local preachers and laymen. The name of
Rev. Hezekiah G. Leigh heads the list, as, by courtesy, was proper. All
were members of the Methodist Church, except the following: Judge John
Y. Mason, John W. Lewis, William O. Goode, and Nathaniel Alexander, the
three latter prominent citizens of Mecklenburg county. Of these a number
lived to take an active part in the affairs of the college for many
years. The last to pass away was Judge Garland, of Lynchburg, who died a
few years since at a very advanced age.

It is well known for whom Randolph-Macon College was named--John
Randolph, of Roanoke, and Nathaniel Macon, of North Carolina. How it
came about that a Christian and Methodist college should have been named
for men who were not professed Christians, and who had never, so far as
is known, shown any preference or kindly interest for the Methodist
Church, has been a question of interest and speculation. The most
probable solution of the question is that the name was determined very
much by precedent. The oldest college in the State, William and Mary,
founded primarily and specially for educating "the savages" in
Christianity, was named for the King and Queen then on the throne.
Washington College was named for Washington, the hero of the day (1782);
Hampden-Sidney for the champions of liberty and human rights (1783), all
of them Christian colleges, but named for public men, representatives of
the sentiments of the periods uppermost when they were founded.
Following the precedents set by these colleges, the names then most
prominent in Virginia and North Carolina were selected, John Randolph,
of Roanoke, and Nathaniel Macon, one living on the south side of the
Roanoke River and the other on the north side. Neither of these men was
in any way connected with the College, nor did either, so far as is
recorded, ever manifest any interest in it by making a contribution to
it or otherwise, but both were very popular in their native State, in
whose service they literally spent their lives. John Randolph has been
called an infidel by some Northern writers, but those who knew him best
represent him as far from having been such, though he lived at a time
when infidelity was far from being uncommon among public men. At one
time, at least, he was a professed believer in Christ, and never gave up
his belief, however inconsistent in his life, at times, he may have

Hon. J. K. Paulding, a distinguished author and public man, in a letter
accepting membership in one of the literary societies of the College
soon after it was built, wrote of these men:

"Randolph-Macon combines the names of two very distinguished men, with
whom I was acquainted; with the former, long and intimately. Mr. Macon
was one of the wisest, most virtuous men I ever knew. His integrity as a
private man was only equalled by his devotion to his country and to the
great principles of liberty, of which he was a most faithful and devoted
advocate. Indeed, I may say, with perfect truth, that in the simplicity
of his habits and character, as well as in the purity of his principles,
he realized more than any man I ever knew the example of a steadfast,
stern, inflexible republican.

"With Mr. John Randolph I was on terms of intimacy for more than twenty
years. He was a very extraordinary man, whose life and character should
be delineated by one who could analyze them thoroughly and explain their
strange apparent inconsistency. To me it always appeared that but for
the weakness of his physical constitution and the almost perpetual
sufferings it entailed upon him, he would have been one of the highest
models of a high-minded gentleman, as well as one of the wisest, most
consistent statesmen of the age. But his physical infirmities and
sufferings impaired the vigor and consistency of his mind, while they
often soured his temper, and caused those sudden caprices, which lost
him many friends, and made his greatest admirers almost afraid to
indulge in the society of one the charm of whose conversation was
otherwise irresistible. This, however, I will say of him, that whatever
may have been the infirmities of his temper, his principles were of the
most high, and, indeed, lofty character. His integrity was exemplary,
and his devotion to the great principles of liberty consistent and

"The life and character of Mr. Macon young men may safely make the
objects of their imitation throughout, while Mr. Randolph is rather a
subject of admiration and wonder. Virginia should be proud of him as an
orator without an equal among his contemporaries and as a man who, with
all his faults, was possessed of many virtues of the very highest

Looking at the matter from our present standpoint, it seems strange that
a more suitable name was not selected more in accordance with the
special character of the object of the institution, the blending of the
highest culture of the mind with the elevation of Christian character.

[Illustration: REV. JOHN EARLY.  _First President (1832-1868) of the
Board of Trustees of Randolph-Macon College, and Bishop of the Methodist
Episcopal Church, South._]


The first meeting of the Board of Trustees appointed under the act of
incorporation, was held at Boydtown (so it reads), Mecklenburg county,
Va., April 9, 1830.

The following members were duly qualified and took their seats, viz.:
Rev. Hezekiah G. Leigh, Rev. John Early, Rev. William A. Smith, Rev.
William I. Waller, Rev. Moses Brock, Rev. James Boyd, Rev. Caleb Leach,
Rev. Matthew M. Dance, Rev. Lewis Skidmore (members of the Virginia
Conference), Rev. John G. Claiborne, Rev. James Smith (local ministers),
Jas. Wyche, Howell Taylor, J. W. Lewis, William O. Goode, and Nathaniel
Alexander, Esqs. Rev. John Early was elected chairman, and Rev. William
A. Smith secretary.

A committee was appointed to draft rules for the government of the
Board, and one to obtain drafts of buildings for the College. H. G.
Leigh, J. W. Lewis, James Boyd, and L. Skidmore constituted the latter

H. G. Leigh, who had been acting as Agent for the College in securing
subscriptions and funds for the College enterprise, under the
appointment of the Virginia Conference, was elected Agent to continue
the same work. A committee was also appointed to secure land for the
location of the College.

This was the work of the first day.

At the second session--the next day--Rev. H. G. Leigh, from the
Committee to Draft Rules, etc., reported the rules for the government of
the Board, which were adopted.

Rev. W. I. Waller submitted the following resolutions, which were

1. That a committee be appointed to prepare an address to the public
generally, and to the ministers and members of the Methodist Episcopal
Church particularly, requesting their aid and co-operation in procuring
funds for the establishment of Randolph-Macon College.

2. That a copy of the address be sent to each presiding elder and
preacher in charge of circuits and stations within the bounds of the
Virginia Annual Conference.

William A. Smith, Moses Brock, H. G. Leigh, and William I. Waller were
appointed on this committee.

It was further resolved that an additional Agent be appointed.

John W. Lewis was elected Treasurer of the Board.

H. G. Leigh, from the Committee to obtain drafts for the College
Building, reported three--one to cost $30,182, one $20,569, and one

The first resolutions adopted in the direction of building was to
appropriate $14,000 towards the purchase of land and the erection of a
College building.

It was also resolved "that it is expedient to establish a Preparatory
School to Randolph-Macon College as soon as the building can be prepared
for that purpose," and $1,500 was appropriated to its erection.

A "Committee on Building" was appointed to obtain the best model for the
College building, and contract for, and superintend the construction of,
the same, and also the building for the Preparatory School.

Rev. H. G. Leigh's salary as agent was fixed at "the usual salary of a
Methodist itinerant preacher."

The first financial report by the agent was made as follows:

  Monies subscribed, . . . . . . . . . . . $9,135 90
  Monies collected of this, . . . . . . . . . 399 79
  of this doubtful, $380.                  $8,736 11

The offer of the trustees of Boydton Academy to sell the same was not

The committee authorized to purchase land for the College made report,
and the committee was empowered to purchase land from several parties at
an average of about $5.50 per acre.

The agent reported that the subscription of Mecklenburg county was
$10,000. It was ordered that the subscription paper be deposited with
the Treasurer.

The first Building Committee appointed was as follows: Hezekiah G.
Leigh, John W. Lewis, James Smith, Matthew M. Dance, Moses Brock, and
John Early; and here the deliberations of the first meeting of the Board

With a subscription list of less than $20,000, including the county
subscription, a large portion of which, in those days, as in the
present, was uncollectable and worthless, this band of workers went
forward, "not knowing whither they were going," but, like Abraham,
trusting in the Lord, whose spirit had prompted the enterprise, that he
would bring about a successful issue. Could they have foreseen the
difficulties ahead, the work probably would never have been undertaken,
nor would Columbus ever have discovered a new world if he had foreseen
the difficulties which were before him.

It is not untimely to pause and dwell on some of the actors in this

The chairman, Rev. John Early, who was afterwards Bishop of the
Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was at this time in the prime of
life. He was not a college-bred man. He probably valued college
education as highly as he did because he felt so keenly the need of it.
He was, however, in the best sense, an educated man, and a man among
men. From his early manhood his brethren and fellow-citizens manifested
their appreciation of him by calling him to the highest positions in the
church and in the state. The latter, however, were not accepted by him.
It may be safely said that no man ever lived in Virginia who was more
intimately or more widely known than John Early. No man ever knew more
men. Few ever had more seals to their ministry. Not neglecting his own
peculiar work in the church, he was always foremost in everything that
he esteemed promotive of the good of the church and the state. From the
outset he threw into the college enterprise all his great energy, and
gave it the benefit of his large practical sense, because he felt that
the church, as well as the state, was in need of such an agency. Under
the charter, as subsequently amended, he was elected President of the
Board of Trustees, and retained that position for about forty years,
rarely ever failing to attend the annual meetings, when attendance
involved days of tedious and difficult travel over rough roads. When
over eighty years of age he was found at his place in the Board.
Doubtless his latest prayers were for the success of the cause to which
he gave many of the years of his manhood's prime. Randolph-Macon College
will never let the name of John Early be forgotten. His portrait adorns
the Trustees' room, and his eyes look down every June on his successors
in the Board of Trustees, who are laboring to carry forward the work
which he and his co-laborers commenced in 1825.

The first secretary, Rev. William Andrew Smith, was another man of
power, a self-made man, as such men are commonly called. He accepted the
"call from on high" to do great things. He was endowed with a
wonderfully fertile and active mind. When fully aroused in any cause his
heart espoused, he was a power with the people and with deliberative
bodies. Commencing active service for the College as Secretary of the
Board, he lived to become the President of the College from 1847 to
1865. When he took charge of it, the College was at the lowest condition
financially as well as in patronage, that it ever reached. Full of faith
and zeal himself, he infused new life into it and animated its friends
with fresh courage and zeal. Realizing that an endowment was absolutely
essential, in 1855 he undertook to raise $100,000 for it, and succeeded.
Of this endowment more will be said further on.

[Illustration: REV. LEWIS SKIDMORE.  _Original member of Board of

Another self-made man among the corporators present was Lewis Skidmore.
In native talent of a peculiar order, he was second to none of his
associates. He had, however, none of the ambition of some of the others.
For power of argumentation on any subject he took in hand, he was equal
to the foremost. He said once, when asked at what college he had
graduated, "I graduated at the anvil." When the hammer of his logic
struck it shaped or shivered the object it struck. As punctual as a
clock, the day before the Trustees were to meet, his rotund form would
be seen about the same hour rising over the western hill as the sun was
going down.

Space will not allow particular reference to the other members of the
Board. All of them were men of mark in their callings. Three of
them--laymen, citizens of Mecklenburg county--were not members of the
Methodist church.

William O. Goode was a representative man. He was a member of the
Legislature, and brought forward the College bill. He was a member of
the State Convention of 1829 and of the Congress of the United States
for several sessions.

Nathaniel Alexander was a wealthy planter and a man of fine education,
and represented his county in the Legislature more than once.

John W. Lewis was a lawyer of prominence, and served as Treasurer of the
College as long as he lived.

The fact that these men were on the Board will show that sectarian
bigotry was not so strong in olden times as some have been inclined to

Rev. John G. Claiborne served on the Board for many years faithfully and
efficiently, and outlived all of the original members.

At the second meeting of the Board of Trustees, held October 30, 1830
(Rev. John Early, chairman, presiding), the Building Committee reported
the plan for the main College building, with cost of erection. William
A. Howard and Dabney Cosby were the contractors. The plan embraced a
centre brick building fifty-two feet front by fifty-four deep, with
wings east and west sixty-seven and a half feet each, making a total
front of one hundred and eighty-seven feet, all four stories high. The
contract price for the same, except painting, tin roof, casement of the
library, and seats in the chapel, to be finished in "a plain,
workman-like manner, of the best materials," to be $14,137, and it was
to be ready for occupancy by the spring of 1832. The committee also
reported the purchase of two hundred and fifty-seven acres of land from
several parties, including previous purchase, the several tracts forming
a solid body.

Rev. H. G. Leigh, Agent, made report as to the finances, as follows:

  Monies collected to date, . . . . $   941 59
  Subscriptions deemed good, . . . . 27,762 70
  Total,. . . . . . . . . . . . . . $28,703 29

Rev. William Hammett, an eloquent Irish minister, was appointed agent
for soliciting additional funds.

Of the subscriptions made by citizens of Mecklenburg county, the name of
William Townes heads the list with $1,000, the largest subscription to
the College funds in early times. He was not a Methodist, nor a member
of any church, but he was one of the earliest and best friends of the

On the early subscription lists there were about five hundred names.
Next to the subscription of Col. Townes, there were none above $300.

The third meeting of the Board of Trustees was held April 15, 1831, Rev.
John Early, chairman, presiding. The following items of business
transacted are noted:

Rev. Thomas Adams, a local minister, of Lunenburg county, was elected in
place of Rev. James Smith, who resigned his membership.

A "Stewards' Hall" was authorized, the cost of the building of which was
not to exceed $4,000.

The chairman of the Board was authorized to advertise that the Board
would proceed to elect at the next meeting (in October, 1831) a
President, Professors, and Masters.

The salary of the President to be elected was fixed at $1,000 for the
first year; salaries of the Professors for the first year, $800.

The fourth meeting of the Board was held October 13, 1831, Rev. John
Early in the chair.

At this meeting Rev. H. G. Leigh, Agent, reported subscriptions
amounting to $9,873, and Rev. William Hammett, $13,047, in all $22,920.

The South Carolina Conference was formally invited to unite and
co-operate with the Board in the support of Randolph-Macon College, with
the proviso that should the Conference agree so to do, the Board would
elect six members Trustees from the bounds of that Conference.

Rev. Martin P. Parks was appointed the Agent to communicate with said
Conference and to solicit subscriptions.

The Building Committee reported the centre building walls up and covered
in and the wings well under way; also, the purchase of additional land.

The committee to whom was referred the matter of nominating a President
and Professors reported, and the following elections were made: Rev.
John Emory, D. D., of New York, President and Professor of Moral
Science; Rev. Martin P. Parks, of North Carolina, Professor of
Mathematics; Landon C. Garland, of Virginia, Professor of Natural
Science; Rev. Robert Emory, of New York, Professor of Languages.

Mr. William O. Goode, member of the Legislature, of Mecklenburg county,
was appointed to ask of the General Assembly of Virginia aid for the


A called meeting of the Board was held April 4, 1832.  At this meeting
letters were presented and read announcing the declination of Dr. John
Emory to accept the presidency of the College, and of Rev. Robert Emory
to accept the chair to which he was elected. The letters were as

New York, _February 17, 1832_.

"REV. AND DEAR SIR: My conviction of the importance of time to enable
you to make suitable arrangements for the opening of Randolph-Macon
College at the appointed period, induces me to avail myself of the
occasion of your assembling in Conference to communicate to you the
conclusion to which I have come, on mature reflection, in regard to the
high and honorable post to which you have kindly invited me in that

"I trust I need not repeat here how sincerely my best wishes attend your
exertions in the cause of education, nor the pleasure I should take in
contributing any small service in my power towards your success.

"Considering, however, the confinement which such a situation would
require of me, the studies to which it would oblige me to devote myself
in order to discharge its duties as I would wish, and the effect which
such a course would be likely to have upon my health, already needing
rather relief from the arduous duties of my present post, I am under the
necessity of declining the acceptance of your kind invitation, and beg
you for me to make this communication to the Board over which you

"Be pleased, at the same time, to accept for yourself personally, and to
convey to the members of the Board, the assurance of the deep sense I
entertain of the obligations you have laid me under, as well as in
behalf of my son as in my own; and that you may at all times command any
service which it may be in my power to render as friends of the
important institution under your care.

"Very respectfully, Rev. and dear sir, yours,


"_To the Rev. John Early_,

Chairman, etc.. of the Board of Trustees of Randolph-Macon College, Va."

"New York, November 3, 1831.

"REV. AND DEAR SIR: Yours of the 15th ultimo was duly received, and
would have elicited an earlier reply but for the absence of my father,
whom I wished to consult previously to communicating my own views of the

"I take, however, the earliest opportunity after his return to express
through you, to the Board of Trustees, the high sense which I entertain
of the flattering honor which they have been pleased to confer upon me,
and at the same time my regret for the necessity which I am under of
declining its acceptance.

"My anxiety to prosecute thoroughly and with an undivided attention the
study of a profession is such that neither my desire to promote the
interests of education, nor even the temptation of the honorable post
which you have offered me, and the agreeable society which I should
enjoy in Virginia, are sufficient to withdraw me from a course in which
my father has had the kindness to yield me his acquiescence. With the
best wishes for the prosperity of your institution, and a hope that you
may secure for it the services of one whose ability (though certainly
not his desire) to serve you will be far greater than mine, I remain
with great respect,

"Yours, &c., R. EMORY.

"_To the Rev. John Early_."

Prof. Landon C. Garland and Rev. Martin P. Parks accepted the chairs to
which they had been elected at the previous meeting. Their letters of
acceptance were as follows:


"WASHINGTON COLLEGE, December 13, 1831.

"DEAR SIR: Circumstances not altogether under my control have prevented
me from replying to your communication of October 15th as early as I
wished. Having given to its contents that mature deliberation which
their importance surely demanded, I feel myself prepared to give a final

"The only ambition of my life has been to devote all my time and talents
to the promotion and welfare and happiness of our common country; and
that situation which would enable me to do this _most efficiently_ I
have ever esteemed most eligible. Contemplating in this spirit the
important and extensive field of useful labor which Randolph-Macon
College presents, I have felt it a duty incumbent upon me to obey the
call which you so politely communicated in behalf of its Trustees. And
through you I beg leave to assure them that this discharge of duty
accords with every impulse of the heart; and I do trust that by a
vigorous and united exertion with those associated with me, we shall in
some humble measure redeem the pledge, which by our acceptance we make
both to that body and to the world.

"Yours very sincerely,


"_To the Rev. John Early_."


PETERSBURG, VA., _April 3, 1832_.

"REV. AND DEAR SIR: I hereby acknowledge the receipt of your official
letter informing me of my election to the professorship of mathematics
in Randolph-Macon College. My answer has been delayed until the present
that I might have an opportunity of consulting the Virginia Conference,
of which I am a member, before replying definitely to your
communication. The Conference at its last session having advised me to
the acceptance of the professorship tendered, it is hereby accepted. And
in accepting it, which I cannot do but with diffidence, in view of the
important duties and high responsibilities therewith connected, I beg
that you will present to the Board of Trustees my acknowledgements for
the favorable light in which they have been pleased to view my
qualifications for the department to which I am called.

"For the institution now growing under their auspices I cherish the
warmest regard, and so far as devotion to its interests can ensure
success, I hope not altogether to disappoint the expectations of the
Board. More, it is presumed, need not be promised; less could not be
required. Offering through you to the Board my most Christian regards, I
have the pleasure to subscribe myself, dear sir,

"Very respectfully yours,

"M. P. PARKS."

Dr. John Emory was subsequently elected Bishop of the Methodist
Episcopal Church, and was one of the most honored and beloved Bishops
that church ever had. It was soon called to mourn his sudden and
untimely death, which occurred while he was in the prime of life and in
the height of a most useful career. His name is made honorable by its
association with two colleges of the church--Emory College, Oxford,
Georgia, founded in 1837, and Emory and Henry College, Virginia, founded

His son, Rev. Robert Emory, was subsequently president of Dickinson
College, Pennsylvania, and was most highly esteemed by the church. His
name is known and repeated to this day as the christian name of children
whose fathers were under his care and tutelage at Dickinson College.

At this meeting the Board found the Preparatory School in operation. It
had been opened in January, 1832. The first principal, Rev. Lorenzo Lea,
A. M., was not able to take charge of it promptly because of a
previous engagement at Chapel Hill University, North Carolina. He did
commence his work, however, early in the year. His place was temporarily
supplied by Mr. Hugh A. Garland, brother of Prof. Landon C. Garland, a
graduate of Hampden-Sidney College, who afterwards was clerk of the
House of Representatives of the United States, and the author of "The
Life of John Randolph, of Roanoke."

The Preparatory School had during the first term a patronage of
thirty-eight. The Board ordered for this School an assistant teacher.

In order to extend the influence and patronage of the College, the Board
took steps to secure the cooperation of the Georgia Conference of the
Methodist Episcopal Church, offering a representation on the Board of
such as should be nominated to it by the Conference.


Rev. Martin P. Parks, professor-elect, requested by the Board at its
last meeting, appeared and delivered "a learned, eloquent, and patriotic
address" before the Board and the public.

The same gentleman, who had been appointed by the Board to visit the
South Carolina Conference to invite their cooperation in the College
enterprise, made a report of his mission, and laid before the Board the
response of the Conference, which was as follows: "The committee to whom
was referred the address and resolutions of the Board of Trustees of
Randolph-Macon College, report:

"That they have had the same under consideration, and been favored With
an interview With the esteemed agent of the Board, Brother Parks, and
from all that has been presented to them, and which they have duly
weighed and examined respecting the College, have come unanimously to
the conclusion that the Conference ought to regard it with favor, and
accordingly do recommend the following resolutions:

"_Resolved_, That the establishment of a well-endowed college, purely
literary and scientific, in a desirable place in the Southern Atlantic
States, and under the direction and control of a Faculty and Board of
Trustees, consisting, and perpetually to consist, of members and friends
of our church, is an object of first importance, vitally interesting to
our Zion, and deserving of the best wishes and assistance of all our

"_Resolved_, That Randolph-Macon College, of Virginia, instituted under
an ample charter, of the State of Virginia, and now shortly to be opened
under the auspices of the Virginia Conference, possesses every
reasonable prospect of soon becoming in all respects all that the
friends of literature and religion, and those of our own church,
especially, could desire, and is entitled to, and ought to receive, the
preference and patronage of this Conference.

"_Resolved_, That we earnestly recommend the Randolph-Macon College
aforesaid to all our brethren and friends of the South Carolina
Conference, and will cordially receive an agent and second his efforts
when such an one shall be sent to solicit aid for the College.

"_Resolved_, That we accept a share in the supervision of the College
approved by the Board of Trustees, and nominate six suitable persons of
the ministry and membership of the church indifferently within our
Conference limits to be elected into the Board of Trustees on our

"All of which is respectfully submitted.

"(Signed) W. CAPERS, _Chairman_.

"On motion, it was resolved unanimously that the above report he

"The Conference then proceeded to nominate the following Trustees, viz.:
Col. Thomas Williams, Major Alexander Speed, Rev. Dr. William Capers,
Rev. Wm. M. Kennedy, Rev. William M. Wightman, and Rev. William Holmes



"DARLINGTON, S. C., _January 30, 1832_."

The above nominees of the South Carolina Conference were elected members
of the Board.

George W. Jeffries, of North Carolina, was elected a trustee in place of
John Nuttall, deceased.

The Baltimore Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church was invited
to unite and co-operate with the Board on the same terms and conditions
offered the Georgia Conference. An agent was appointed to visit these
Conferences in order to secure their co-operation. John Early was
appointed to visit them.

The Holston Conference was likewise invited to cooperate with the Board,
and Rev. William Hammett was appointed to visit that Conference.

The Finance Committee reported the receipts and expenditures to date, as

  Receipts, . . . . . . $11,350 02
  Expenditures,. . . . . 10,516 26
  Balance on hand, . . . . $833 76

Appropriations for the first year (including salaries of agents of the
College, $300), $4,500.

A steward for the Boarding Hall was elected. The price of board of
students was fixed at six dollars per month at the Steward's Hall.

On motion of Rev. William Hammett, Rev. Stephen Olin, of Franklin
College, Georgia, was unanimously elected President of the College.

It was ordered that the College be opened for students on October 9,

Prof. Edward Dromgoole Sims, A. M., of LaGrange College, Alabama, was
elected Professor of Languages.

Dr. Olin and Prof. Sims subsequently accepted the positions to which
they were elected. Their letters of acceptance were as follows:

"_Rev. John Early_,

"DEAR SIR: I hereby announce to you, and through you to the Trustees of
Randolph-Macon College, that I accept the presidency of that
institution, as conferred upon me in July, 1832. I design to resign my
professorship in Franklin College as early as I can, consistently with
duty and propriety, and hope to be at Randolph-Macon at least as early
as the next commencement.

"Yours very respectfully,


"ATHENS, GA., _January 9, 1833_."

"LAGRANGE, ALA., _August 7, 1832_.

"DEAR SIR: Your letter communicating the result of the late election of
officers for Randolph-Macon College was received eight or ten days ago.

"In relation to the Professorship of Languages, to which the Trustees
have done me the honor to invite me, I have to say: In a previous letter
to you on this subject entire freedom to accept or decline was reserved
by me until I could procure more satisfactory information from Brother
Paine concerning the prospects of the institution. At this time there
exists no objection in my mind, and accordingly I now make known to you,
with pleasure, my acceptance of the appointment, and desire you to
communicate the same to the Board of Trustees.

"Please accept for yourself and them my sincere regard and best wishes.

"With brotherly love,  ED. D. SIMS.


The acceptance of Dr. Olin completed the Faculty, when it came, several
months after the College was opened. Rev. M. P. Parks, professor-elect,
acted as president until Dr. Olin entered on his duties. The first Board
of Instruction was as follows:

Rev. Stephen Olin, A. M., D. D. (Middlebury College, Vermont), President
and Professor of Moral Science.

Rev. Martin P. Parks, graduate West Point Academy, Professor of

Landon C. Garland, A. M., Hampden-Sidney College, Virginia, Professor of
Natural Science.

Rev. Edward D. Sims, A. M., Chapel Hill (N. C.  University), Professor
of Languages.

Rev. Lorenzo Lea, A. B., Chapel Hill (N. C. University), Principal of
Preparatory School.

It will be appropriate and interesting to give sketches at this point of
the men composing this first Faculty of the oldest Methodist College now
in existence in America by date of incorporation; not simply on that
account, but because they were mostly men of great ability, and made
their mark on the times in which they lived in a way and to an extent
that few others, if any, have ever done in the South.

Dr. Stephen Olin was a native of Vermont, as was Dr. Wilbur Fisk, who,
contemporaneously with him, was moving on a parallel line at the
Wesleyan University, in Connecticut. These names, Olin and Fisk, the
Church, and the alumni of the colleges they presided over will never let
die. Wherever the initials "S. O." and "W. F." are seen in any
catalogue, it will be readily understood that they respectively stand
for these names, and they are common now, over a half-century after the
principals ceased to live.

President Olin was a graduate of Middlebury College, Vermont. He took
the first honor in his class. From too much confinement and over-study
his health gave way. On this account he went to South Carolina, and took
charge of an academy at Cokesbury.

He was fortunate in casting his lot in a very religious community, whose
leading men, patrons of the academy, were pious Methodists. He had had
no acquaintance with Methodists. He was not only not a Christian, but he
had been much troubled in his religious belief, and was inclined to he
skeptical. His views were changed by reading Butler's _Analogy_ and
Paley's _Evidences_.

It was the rule and custom at the Cokesbury Academy to open the school
with the reading of the Scriptures and prayer. This requirement he had
to carry out. One day while engaged in prayer he was powerfully
convicted, and immediately sought pardon, and found peace in believing.
Very soon afterwards he felt called to preach, and entered the ministry,
and after a few years he joined the Conference, and was appointed to a
church in Charleston, S. C. His health, however, allowed him to remain
but a short time in the itinerancy. He accepted a professorship in
Franklin College, Athens, Ga., at which institution he remained till he
left to become President of Randolph-Macon College.

[Illustration: REV. STEPHEN OLIN, D. D., _First President of
Randolph-Macon College._]

Rev. Solomon Lea, who was associated with Dr. Olin during his presidency
at Randolph-Macon, gives the following points in regard to him:

"In his physique he had large frame and limbs, but was well
proportioned. He had dreamy eyes and sallow complexion, indicating deep
affliction. He never saw a well day, and yet he faithfully attended to
all his duties.  I have heard it said that he thanked God for his
affliction. Like Paul he could glory in his affliction. He preached but
seldom on account of his health. I shall never forget his sermons. The
impression made by them seemed to follow me day and night for weeks and
months. His style and manner were peculiar, differing from any other man
I ever heard. His language was simple, pure English, free from
technicalities and pompous words. His manner rather labored, not from
loudness of voice, nor from gesticulation, but his profound thoughts
elaborated in his giant mind seemed to struggle for utterance. There was
no attempt at what is called eloquence. I have heard most of the great
preachers of the day, some of them yery great, but I never heard the
equal of Olin."

Rev. Leroy M. Lee, D. D., long a member of the Virginia Conference, and
editor of the Conference paper, said of Dr. Olin: "He was the only truly
great man I have ever seen of whom I do not feel constrained to say, on
analyzing his character,

"'Tis distance lends enchantment to the view.'"

Rev. W. M. Lewis, D. D., of Missouri, who spent several years of college
life under him, said of him: "He was of large and majestic form, a
physical and intellectual giant, a paragon of moral and religious
excellence, a perfect model of a Christian gentleman and scholar and
pulpit orator. In my opinion the church has never had a better or
greater man."

Rev. W. B. Rowzie, long connected with the College as Financial Agent
and also as Chaplain, said: "He was a genial companion. No one could he
in his society without feeling that he was in the company of one of the
first men of the age, and yet he was modest and unassuming, as if
unconscious of his greatness."

Dr. John E. Edwards, who visited the College frequently in its early
history, wrote: "Dr. Olin's personal appearance impressed me as no other
man ever impressed me. The Greeks would have deified him as a god."

W. F. Samford, LL. D., of Alabama, who graduated at Randolph-Macon
College in June, 1837, wrote: "Physically, intellectually and morally,
Stephen Olin was a giant--as veritable a one as Og, king of Bashan. He
might well rank with the 'mighty men who were of old, men of renown'
_facile princeps_ among all the great men I have ever known. The
etymology of this word, by which I have designated him, _gigas_, suggests
its appropriateness--a man of violence and terror. Without the
restraints of divine grace his passions were volcanic, his ambition
boundless. He once told me that before his conversion to Christianity he
'would have bartered a crown in heaven for a seat in Congress.' How
humble, how patient, how loving he became as a disciple of Christ!
'Great, humble man!' exclaimed Dr. Leroy Lee, of Virginia, when he met
him at the Conference in Lynchburg in 1835. Olin had disclosed his whole
heart to Lee in a rebuke which he administered to him for a display of
untempered zeal in a debate on the Conference floor--'What business have
you with any feelings in the matter? A man of God should be gentle and
easy to be entreated.'"

It may be thought that the estimates of Dr. Olin above given were
partial, and hence not fully reliable. It is proper, therefore, to give
the opinion of Rev. Theo. L. Cuyler, D. D., one of the most
distinguished ministers of the Presbyterian Church, and one of the best
writers of the present century. He speaks of him as President of
Wesleyan University, Connecticut, about ten years after he left

"In physical, mental, and spiritual stature combined, no Methodist in
the last generation towered above Dr. Stephen Olin. He was a great
writer, a great educator, and preeminently a great preacher of the
glorious gospel. During the summer of 1845, While I was a student for
the ministry, I spent some time at Middletown, Conn. Dr. Olin was then
the President of the Wesleyan University, and was at the height of his
fame and usefulness. Like all great men, he was very simple and
unassuming in his manners; with his grand, logical head was coupled a
warm, loving heart. When his emotional nature was once kindled it was
like a Pennsylvania anthracite coal-mine on fire. These qualities of
argumentative power and intense spiritual zeal combined made him a
tremendous preacher. No one doubted that Stephen Olin had the baptism of
the Holy Spirit.

"In physical stature he was a king of men; above six feet in height, he
had a broad, gigantic frame and a lofty brow that resembled the brow of
Daniel Webster. The congregation of the principal Methodist Church in
Middletown always knew when Dr. Olin was going to preach; for the astral
lamps were moved off the pulpit to prevent their being smashed by the
sweep of his long arms. He was a vehement speaker, and threw his whole
man, from head to foot, into the tide of his impassioned oratory. In the
blending of logical power with heat of spiritual feeling and vigor of
declamation, he was unsurpassed by any American preacher of his time.
His printed discourses read well, but they lack the electricity of the
moment and the man. Thunder and lightning must be heard and seen: they
cannot be transferred to paper. As I recall Olin now (after the lapse of
five and forty years); as I see him again in the full flow of his
majestic eloquence, or when surrounded by his students in the
class-room, I do not wonder that the Middletown boys were ready to pit
him against any president or any preacher on the American soil. There
are old graduates of the University yet living who delight to think of
him and to speak of him, and to assert that

  "'Whoso had beheld him then.
  Had felt an awe and admiration without dread;
  And might have said,
  That sure he seemed to be the king of men.
  Less than the greatest that he could not be
  Who carried in his port such might and majesty.'

"In August, 1851, I paid a visit to Professor Smith, whose wife was my
kinswoman, and on my arrival I learned that the President of the
University was dangerously ill. The next morning my host startled me
with the announcement, 'Dr. Olin is dead!' He had fallen at the age of
fifty-four, when he was just in his splendid prime. There was great
mourning for him throughout the whole Methodist realm, for he was a
prince in their Israel, who held an imperial rank above any of his
contemporaries. He took a large life with him when he went home to
heaven; and valuable as were his writings, yet his imposing personality
was greater than any of his published productions."

Rev. Martin P. Parks, Professor of Mathematics, acted as President of
the College from its opening session, in October, 1832, until Dr. Olin
took the place, March, 1834. He was a minister in North Carolina when
elected professor. He had been educated at the United States Military
Academy at West Point, New York, where mathematics was taught more
thoroughly than at other schools of that day. He was a brilliant
preacher, and on that account he was put forward frequently, like his
contemporaries, Hammett and Maffitt, to advance the enterprises of the
church. Of his administration of the College not much can be said. His
military education had much to do with making the laws exacting and
minute. Rev. Solomon Lea (quoted above) said of Professor Parks:

"Professor Parks was a great and good man, a fine preacher, was of a
sad, morose temperament, arising, no doubt, mainly from his physical
condition, as he was a great dyspeptic, and the most nervous person I
ever met. He could not bear the crowing of a rooster or the bleating of
a calf; this, together with other considerations, had the tendency to
make him suspicious, cold, and envious, so much so that Dr. Olin
remarked to me that he had to go often once a month to Parks' house,
read a portion of the Bible, and then pray together, and part with
expressions of mutual love and kind feelings. This was often done by Dr.
Olin. Poor Brother Parks, great and good man as he was (for I never
doubted his piety), finally yielded so much to his temperament and
jealous feelings as to resign his position, withdrew from the Methodist
Church, and joined the Episcopalians."

Professor Landon Cabell Garland, first professor of Natural Philosophy,
Chemistry and Geology, was a native of Nelson county, Va., of which his
father was the clerk. He was born March 24, 1810. At the age of nineteen
he took his degree of A. B. at Hampden-Sidney College, Virginia.
Immediately afterward he was elected to the chair of Chemistry at
Washington College, Lexington, Va., where he continued till October,
1832, when he took charge of the same chair at Randolph-Macon. Bishop
Fitzgerald, in _Eminent Methodists_, says of him: "His change from
Washington College to Randolph-Macon was characteristic of Dr. Garland.
There was more money in the one place, but more usefulness in the other.
He was a Methodist, and he felt that Methodism had a paramount claim to
his services." This was indicated clearly in his letter of acceptance of
the place. Few men ever filled chairs at two colleges at an age just
past twenty-one. This will indicate what estimate was placed on him at
so early an age, and what was proven in this case to have been fully
correct, by his long service of sixty-five years as an educator. Nothing
but a most natural and remarkable modesty prevented him from becoming as
conspicuous as he was well entitled to be, unless it was that he spent
his long life in the South, the Nazareth of the nation, out of which few
"prophets can come," if we judge by _The Cyclopedia of Biography_, which
side-tracks such men as Garland and Duncan, whose names will shine
"forever and ever" when thousands of those given in full, with
portraits, shall have been forgotten, as if they never had lived.

If a man could be too modest and retiring Dr. Garland was such a man.
Notwithstanding this, he lived to become President of Randolph-Macon
College from 1836, after Dr. Olin left, till 1847, then Professor and
President of the University of Alabama, Professor in the University of
Mississippi, and finally Chancellor of the Vanderbilt University at
Nashville, Tenn. In all these high places he influenced for good
hundreds of young men whose praise is in all the churches and homes of
the land. When he died, in 1895, these multiplied hundreds rose up and
"called him blessed." If Virginia ever gave birth to a man who did more
real service to the manhood of the South, his name and place would be
hard to find.

Prof. Edward Dromgoole Sims was born in Brunswick county, Va., March 24,
1805. He was the grandson of Rev. Edward Dromgoole, one of the pioneer
Methodist preachers in the State of Virginia, and one of the trustees
appointed by Bishop Asbury for Ebenezer Academy, before referred to as
the first Methodist school of its kind in the State.* He was a man of
talents and great influence, and a member of the original Virginia
Conference. One of his sons, George C. Dromgoole, was a member of
Congress for many years, and was probably the most talented and
influential member of the Virginia delegation in his day.

* This school was established in 1796, instead of 1786, as the
Records of Brunswick County, recently found, show.

Prof. Sims took his A. B. degree at the University of North Carolina in
1824, and his A. M. degree in 1827, and was a tutor at that University
for three years. He was a Professor at LaGrange College, Alabama, at the
time he was elected Professor at Randolph-Macon. Like Dr. Olin his
personal appearance was very marked. He was a man of great dignity and
gentlemanly manner, and a most devoted Christian. Though not endowed by
nature with the mental power of others of his associates, he
nevertheless, by industrious application, became a fine scholar and a
model professor. He was the originator of the "English Course" in
colleges, of which more will be said further on. His department embraced
the "Ancient Languages."

The Preparatory Department was under the control of Rev. Lorenzo Lea, an
A. M. of the University of North Carolina, and a native of North
Carolina. His contemporaries spoke well of him as a man of fine
accomplishments and skill as a teacher. He also had been a tutor at his
_Alma Mater_.

Thus equipped, Randolph-Macon College entered on its career--a career
full of unforeseen trials and difficulties.  It was to a great extent a
new experiment, and the great need of the College, without which few, if
any, have ever lived beyond a sickly existence, that is, a proper
endowment, was a _desideratum_ unprovided for at this time.  The funds
on hand and subscriptions did not suffice to supply the buildings
necessary and other outfit. Other colleges of the Methodist Church in
distant States had entered on the same course. They had gone down or
were soon to go down. This one now to be launched, under the good
providence and blessing of God, was to survive the chill of poverty and
the disasters of war--cast down often, but not destroyed. After over a
half-century of struggle it was to anchor in a safe haven. Hope kindly
blinded the eyes of those who launched the ship and prophesied a
prosperous voyage. Faith sowed in tears ofttimes, and after many days
gathered in the precious harvest. It was to be indeed _Alma Mater_ to
many sons, and daughters, too, and a mother of many other Methodist
colleges, blessing every State in the South, some of them surpassing in
outfit and endowment the mother. As a loving mother rejoices with and in
her daughters, so does Randolph-Macon rejoice in the colleges of the
church she has lived to see grow and flourish.

Before proceeding further, let us look at the location and outfit of the
College at the opening day.

The first College building erected stood on gently rising ground, one
mile west of the village of Boydton, in the centre of what had been a
race-track. On the north was an "old field," once cultivated, but now
partially covered with pine and broom-sedge, a part seamed with gulleys.
One splendid sweet-gum tree fronted the west wing. On the south there
were small oaks of second growth, just large enough to furnish partial
shade. Outside of the campus further on were thickets on both sides of
the avenue leading to the Clarksville road. The campus contained about
four acres, and was enclosed by a heavy wooden fence. The style of the
building is shown on the opposite page.

[Illustration: RANDOLPH-MACON COLLEGE. _Main Building, 1832._]

The centre building contained the chapel on the north side--a room about
fifty-two feet by thirty-two, with galleries on all sides but one. The
other parts of this building were arranged for lecture-rooms, laboratory
and halls for the literary societies. The wings of the centre building
contained each twenty-four dormitories, each large enough for two
occupants. Until the Professors' houses were built there was not a
dwelling-house nearer than Boydton. Soon after the College was built, an
avenue was opened from it to Boydton, bringing the College building and
the village in sight of each other. Clarksville, a town of some
importance in the tobacco trade, was twelve miles distant. Here was a
bank and mercantile and tobacco houses.

The country around was such as was usual in the uplands of South-side
Virginia, fairly productive of tobacco and grain. Petersburg was the
nearest town of much size. To this town, about seventy miles away, much
of the products of the country was wagoned over a dirt road,
indifferently good in some seasons and almost impassible in others. The
people around the College were kind and hospitable, representative of
old Virginia in those days, not Methodist particularly in their
persuasion; the more wealthy inclined to the Episcopal Church. There
was an old Methodist Church in Boydton, but after the College was built
the chapel became the worshipping place for the Methodists of the

The Preparatory School, a building containing two school-rooms, stood
about a mile away from the College.  The "Steward's Hall," a two-story
brick building, fronted the College building on the north, intended to
afford board for the students. In "old Virginia" style, this was several
hundred yards distant from the College building.

The President's house stood about the same distance away. It was a plain
brick building of one story. To the south and southwest other
professors' houses were located, all with a sufficiency of land for
gardens and lawns.

"The Hotel" was built soon after the College was opened, about a quarter
of a mile to the south, on the Clarksville road. This had about a dozen
rooms in it, and was intended mainly for the boys at the Preparatory
School and to accommodate visitors.

It will be seen that the Building Committee had much to do before
suitable accommodations could be provided for the professors and
students. That many mistakes were made in this work, and in the location
of the buildings and other matters, was not to be wondered at. They were
the result of inexperience in the men in charge, not of any want of good
intention and effort on their part. When it is considered that all the
lumber for the buildings had to be sawed by the old-fashioned "pit-saw,"
and much of the other material had to be wagoned for seventy miles, we
must not wonder that two years were consumed in bringing the buildings
to partial completion.

As the buildings stood when completed, they were as good as those of any
other college in the State had, and possibly better. The University of
Virginia, opened in 1825, had better and more extensive ones.

The regular exercises of the College proper commenced on the day
appointed, October 9th, 1832, Prof. M. P. Parks acting as President, in
the absence of President Olin.

If any account of the opening-day exercises were published it has not
come down to us. The first schedule of expenses was as follows:

  Tuition fee for session of ten months, . . . . $30 00
  Board (meals only), . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 00
  Bedding and washing, . . . . . . . . . . . . .  20 00
  Fuel,. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 00
  Lights,. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 00
  Deposit fee, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 00
  Total, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$120 00

The first meeting of the Board of Trustees after the opening was held
February 5, 1833.

At this meeting the following communication from the Georgia Conference
Was received:


"We feel a deep interest in the success of Randolph-Macon College. We
have full confidence in its moral and literary character and prospects,
and we will recommend it to the patronage of all who may be disposed to
send their sons or wards beyond the limits of the State to be educated.

"We will appoint four Trustees agreeable to the proposal made by Brother
Early, the Agent of the College, who visited us. Whereupon the
Conference nominated the Rev. Ignatius Few and Rev. Lovick Pierce,
members of the Conference, and Seaborn Jones and John C. Poythress,
Esquires, for that purpose.

"_Resolved_, That the Trustees of Randolph-Macon College be invited
through their representative, the Rev. John Early, to send an agent,
whenever they may judge it most suitable, to obtain donations within the
Conference in aid of the institution; and that Brother Early be, and he
is hereby, invited to take up contributions.

"(Signed) JNO. HOWARD,

"_Sec'y Georgia Conference_."

The nominees named above were elected Trustees of the College.

Rev. I. A. Few and Rev. L. Pierce were, by resolution of the Board,
requested to act as agents for the College in the Boards of the Georgia
Conference for securing funds for the College.

Rev. Robert G. Loving, A. B., was elected assistant teacher in the
Preparatory School.

Rev. John Early was appointed Agent for the College in the place of Rev.
H. G. Leigh, resigned, and Rev. W. A. Smith was appointed Assistant
Agent in place of Rev. William Hammett who had signified his intention
to resign.

The salary of President Olin was fixed at $1,500.

The first report of the Faculty, made through its Secretary, Prof.
Garland, gave the following points of interest:

Though the session opened under many difficulties and embarrassments,
with buildings not entirely completed, still great satisfaction was
expressed at the success attained, and at the spirit and character of
the students who attended the first term. A number of these were from
the States of North and South Carolina and Georgia.  The progress made
in the College course had been marked and satisfactory. The main
drawback had been in some cases a want of preparation for the course.

The Faculty made a strong appeal for apparatus for the Natural Science
Department and for a library. In response to this appeal, the Board made
an appropriation of $2,600 to the former and $1,000 to the latter.

The first session closed July 4, 1833. At the close Rev. William M.
Wightman, one of the trustees from South Carolina, delivered the first
literary address before the students and the public, at the request of
the Washington Literary Society. This Society had been organized
February, 1833. As it has been one of the main features of the College,
along with its sister society, the Franklin, it will be interesting to
give the names of its officers and members from the original records:

  _President_, ROBERT T. MARSHALL, Virginia.
  _Vice-President_, THOMAS ADAMS, Virginia.
  _Secretary_, JOHN G. PARKS, Virginia.
  _Treasurer_, ADDISON LEA, North Carolina.
  _Collector_, ISAAC C. CROFT, South Carolina.
  _Censor_, J. G. BANKS, Virginia.


  ADAMS, R. E. G., . . . . Va.
  BAIRD, CHARLES W., . . . Va.
  COLEMAN, J. J.,  . . . . Va.
  GOODE, ROBERT S.,  . . . Va.
  HAMLIN, JOHN F., . . . . Va.
  INGRAM, ROBT. M.,  . . . N. C.
  ISBELL, THOMAS M., . . . Va.
  JONES, JAMES R., . . . . Va.
  JONES, ROBERT T.,  . . . Va.
  SOMERVILLE, R. B., . . . N. C.
  SMITH, WILLIAM B., . . . Va.
  TUCKER, JOHN E., . . . . Va.
  WATKINS, J. W.,. . . . . Va.
  WILLIAMS, JAMES M.,. . . Va.
  WINFIELD, JOHN O., . . . Va.
  WINFIELD, W. S., . . . . Va.

Immediately after the organization the following were introduced and
made members:

  BLAIN, GEO. W.,. . . . . Va.
  BURNEY, JAMES, . . . . . N. C.
  CALDWELL, JOHN H., . . . N. C.
  CUTLER, ROBERT E., . . . Va.
  DRINKARD, W. R., . . . . Va.
  DU PRE, WARREN,. . . . . S. C.
  GAYLE, ALEX. T., . . . . Va.
  GUNN, ALLEN M.,. . . . . N. C.
  JENNINGS, JONA. B.,. . . S. C.
  PERKINS, J. Q. A., . . . N. C.
  STEWART, THEO.,. . . . . Ga.
  STRATTON, R. B., . . . . Va.

To this Society was assigned the northeast room on the fourth floor of
the centre building. One of the first acts of the Society was the
formation of a library, which rapidly increased, and in ten years
numbered two thousand volumes.

Not only did the society rapidly accumulate a library, but the hall was
fitted up with a beautiful rostrum, president's chair, etc. A full
length portrait of Washington was purchased, which to this day is the
chief ornament of the hall.

Professor Warren Du Pre, class of 1836, one of the original members, who
was a member when this portrait was bought, wrote an account of the
inauguration of it to the author, which is worthy of preservation.


"ABINGDON, VA., _May 30 1877_.

"MY DEAR OLD COLLEGE FRIEND: I have forgotten the name of the artist, a
rising young man in New York, who copied it from a painting belonging to
a wealthy gentleman of that city. Dr. Olin was on a visit to New York,
and we put the matter in his hands. The artist was very highly
recommended to him by good judges. His price was $600, but when
informed by Dr. Olin that it was for a college literary society, he
agreed to deduct one half. The frame, I think, cost $60, and freight
about $20, making a total of $380.

"Dr. Olin scolded us for our extravagance, but when the portrait was
finished, moderated his wrath. The amount was raised by subscription,
altogether, among the members of the society--we numbered then over
sixty members, as well as I can recollect. I. C. Croft and myself were
on the committee, with one other, probably, J. O. Wingfield.

"When the portrait arrived and was placed in the hall, old John
Blackwell, with his _horse-collar_ legs (as Croft called them) was
appointed to unveil it and make a speech. This he did in his peculiar
style; and I think Old George was pleased with the eulogy delivered on

"Yours truly,


Rev. John Early, who had been appointed to visit the Baltimore Annual
Conference of the M. E. Church, reported to the Board that the
Conference had declined to cooperate in the College enterprise, with
kind expressions of interest in it. Dickinson College had recently been
made a Methodist College, and the Conference preferred to patronize
that, it being more accessible to their people.

The charter of the College having been amended, so that a president of
the Board could be elected by that body, Rev. John Early was elected

The following resolution was unanimously adopted by the Board:

"The Board take great pleasure in giving a cordial expression of their
thanks to the Faculty of this institution for the very able and faithful
manner in which they have discharged the duties of their several
stations. We consider them as having acted on the great principles on
which the College was founded, and upon the continuance of which its
prosperity in the future depends; and we have full confidence in their
ability and disposition to support these principles in their future
administration, and they are therefore worthy of the same confidence
from the numerous friends and patrons of the College and the warm
affection of the young gentlemen who may be placed under their care.

"It is the pleasure of the Board that these resolutions be read to the
students of the College."

The second session of the College opened September 4, 1833, under
favorable circumstances. A laboratory and library had been purchased,
and the latter had been increased by donations. Bishop J. O. Andrew had
donated forty-three volumes, and Judge A. B. Longstreet thirty.

A few days after the session opened another literary society was formed.
It was first styled the Union Literary Society, but on the 7th of
September, at the next meeting, the name was changed to Franklin. At the
organization George Stewart, of Georgia, presided, and William C.
Knight, of Virginia, acted as secretary. The following constituted its
first regular organization:

  _President_, JAMES L. BROWN, Virginia.
  _Vice-President_, JOHN A. TALLEY, Virginia.
  _Secretary_, GEORGE STEWART, Georgia.
  _Treasurer_, THOMAS S. JACOCKS, North Carolina.
  _Collector_, JOSEPH B. PANNILL, Virginia.
  _Censor_, FRANCIS W. BOYD, Virginia.


  BATTE, W. C.,. . . . . . Va.
  BETTS, WILLIAM S., . . . Va.
  BLAKE, CHARLES H., . . . Va.
  BLAND, WILLIAM R., . . . Va.
  BLUNT, WALTER F.,. . . . Va.
  CARROLL, JAMES . . . . . Va.
  CLAIBORNE, FIELD,. . . . Va.
  CLEGG, BAXTER, . . . . . N. C.
  DAVIS, ARTHUR, . . . . . Va.
  DORTCH, ISAAC F.,. . . . N. C.
  EVANS, AUGUSTUS C.,. . . N. C.
  HICKS, BENJAMIN L.,. . . Va.
  HITE, BENJAMIN W., . . . Va.
  JONES, ALBERT C.,. . . . Va.
  JONES, AMOS W.,. . . . . N. C.
  JONES, JOHN J.,. . . . . N. C.
  JONES, JOSEPH S.,. . . . N. C.
  KNIGHT, WILLIAM C.,. . . Va.
  MULLEN, FRANCES N.,. . . N. C.
  OLDS, LEWIS P.,. . . . . N. C.
  PERKINS, NATHAN, . . . . N. C.
  ROSE, GARLAND, . . . . . Va.
  STEDMAN, EDWARD, . . . . N. C.
  STOCKWELL, JOHN M.,. . . Va.
  TILLETT, JOHN, . . . . . N. C.

[Illustration: [Uncaptioned portrait of William C. Knight, inscribed
"Yours truly, W.C. Knight."]]

The Franklin Hall was immediately under the Washington, on the third
story. The rivalry between these societies was from the first strong,
but regulated by conventional rules. The membership took in every
student in the College at the beginning and for many years afterwards.
There was only one from Georgia for many years a member of the
Washington Society, and no one from South Carolina was ever a member of
the Franklin.  Students from the other States were divided about
equally. Robert E. Cutler, of Virginia, gave tone to the oratorical
style of the Washington, and William F. Samford, of Georgia, to the
Franklin. The difference was thought to be observable for thirty years,
until the year the societies were temporarily disbanded.

No catalogue of students was published in the early years of the
College. The only publication made was "_The Charter and Laws of
Randolph-Macon College, with the Names of the Trustees and Faculty, and
the Course of Studies_. Richmond: Printed by Nesbitt & Walker. 1833."
This prescribed four courses in the College, viz., Languages (Latin and
Greek), Mathematics, Natural Science, and Ethics. Upon the completion of
these four courses the degree of _Bachelor of Arts_ was conferred by the
Trustees, on the recommendation of the Faculty.  No A. M. degree course
was prescribed, but all A. B. men could claim A. M. degrees who could
show that they had continued their studies or pursued courses of
professional study for three years.

Dr. Stephen Olin, president-elect, gave up his place at Franklin
College, Georgia, December, 1833, and made his preparations to take the
presidency at Randolph-Macon. Of this move he wrote Bishop I. O. Andrew:

"Upon the whole, I trust the hand of God is in these indications, and
that our church will see and obey it. My vocation may have given a wrong
bias to my views, but I must regard the subject of education as the
highest after the living ministry; nor do I believe it possible for our
church to maintain its ground, to say nothing of its fulfilling its high
obligation to Christ and the world, without a great and immediate
reformation. I was never so convinced that we must educate our own youth
in our own schools, and there is no work to which I so desire to
consecrate myself." On his way to Virginia he visited the South Carolina
Conference at Charleston. Here he ably advocated the College and
secured a pledge from the Conference to endow a professorship, the first
we hear of endowment. The whole journey was made in his private
carriage, his wife accompanying him. To her he dictated his "Inaugural
Address," which she wrote out. Reaching the College after a long and
tedious journey, he delivered the address in the College chapel. This
address produced a profound impression on those who heard and on those
who read it. It was published in the journals of the day, and was highly
praised. Governor Tazewell said he had "never heard or read any similar
address of equal ability so well suited to such an occasion." It is well
worthy of republication in this history, but space will not permit. To
show its chief point, the following extracts are given:

"In proportion as virtue is more valuable than knowledge, pure and
enlightened morality will be regarded by every considerate father the
highest recommendation of a literary institution. The youth is withdrawn
from the salutary restraints of parental influence and authority and
committed to other guardians at a time of life most decisive of his
prospects and destinies. The period devoted to education usually
impresses its own character upon all his future history. Vigilant
supervision, employment and seclusion from all facilities and
temptations to vice are the ordinary and essential securities which
every institution of learning is bound to provide for the sacred
interests which are committed to its charge. But safeguards and negative
provisions are not sufficient. The tendencies of our nature are
retrograde, and they call for the interposition of positive remedial
influences.  The most perfect human society speedily degenerates if the
active agencies which were employed in its elevation are once withdrawn
or suspended. What, then, can be expected of inexperienced youth sent
forth from the atmosphere of domestic piety and left to the single
support of its own untested and unsettled principles in the midst of
circumstances which often prove fatal to the most practiced virtue! I
frankly confess that I see no safety but in the preaching of the cross
and in a clear and unfaltering exhibition of the doctrines and sanctions
of Christianity.... Christianity is our birthright. It is the richest
inheritance bequeathed us by our noble fathers. Are the guardians of
public education alone 'halting between two opinions'? Do they think
that, in fact and for practical purposes, the truth of Christianity is
still a debatable question? Is it still a question whether the
generations yet to rise up and occupy the wide domain of this great
empire, to be representatives of our name, our freedom, and our glory
before the nations of the earth, shall be a Christian or infidel people?
Can wise and practical men, who are engaged in rearing up a temple of
learning to form the character and destinies of their posterity, for a
moment hesitate to make 'Jesus Christ the chief corner-stone'?"

When President Olin took charge of the College he found the system of
departments somewhat elective. This was changed on his recommendation,
to a curriculum of four classes, by the unanimous vote of the Faculty.

At the annual meeting of the Board, June, 1834, an additional college
building was ordered to be built, a four story brick one, to contain
thirty-two dormitories, adjacent to the main building. This was to
supply rooms for the increased number of students.

The salaries of full professors was fixed at $1,000.  The following
resolution was adopted:

"That whereas the South Carolina and Georgia Conferences have manifested
a deep interest in the permanent establishment of Randolph-Macon College
by each agreeing to raise a sum sufficient to endow a professorship, and
in consideration of which professorships they ask the privilege of
sending, perpetually, the former Conference five and the latter seven
students, to be educated free of tuition fees; and whereas we highly
appreciate the generous spirit of said Conferences, therefore we hereby
agree to receive ten from each of these Conferences free of tuition

As further evidence of the interest felt by these Conferences, it was
noted that Rev. W. M. Wightman, of South Carolina, and Dr. Lovick Pierce
and Mr. E. Sinclair, of Georgia, attended the meeting of the Board at
this session.

At the annual meeting held June, 1835, Professor E. D. Sims was granted
leave to visit Europe to prosecute the study of Modern Languages, and
particularly Anglo-Saxon and Gothic, preparatory to the more thorough
teaching of the English language. This, so far as we know, was the first
move made by any college in America, and marks an epoch in that
department. Prof. J. B. Henneman, in the _Sewanee Review_, in a sketch
of the teaching of English, in American colleges, gives the credit of
inaugurating the English course to Randolph-Macon College.

A distinct and special effort was made at this meeting of the Board to
endow a professorship, and the President of the Board made a
subscription towards it of two hundred dollars. This was to be called
the Virginia Conference Scholarship.

To fill the vacancy caused by Prof. Sims' absence in Europe, Rev. George
F. Pierce, of Georgia, was elected Professor of Languages.

[Illustration: JOHN C. BLACKWELL, D. D., (A. B. 1835).]

At this commencement the first degree of A. B. was conferred. The
recipient was John C. Blackwell, of Lunenburg county. He was a typical
alumnus, the leader of a great host that followed him, who lived to
bless the world by their example and teaching. Beginning his active life
after graduation as a tutor in Randolph-Macon College, he continued to
teach until he became enfeebled by age. He founded the "Hinton Hill
Academy" in his native county, and taught there for nine years. He was
then, in 1848, elected President of the "Buckingham Female Institute," a
school for girls, founded by the Virginia Annual Conference, one of the
best, as it was the first, built by the church, in the State.  He was,
after this school was broken up by the war, made President of the
Petersburg Female College. This, too, was broken up by the war. After
the war he was elected Professor of Chemistry in Randolph-Macon College,
just prior to the removal of the College to Ashland. He closed a long
and useful life as President of the "Danville School for Young Ladies."
During all his active life he was a local minister of the Methodist
Episcopal church, and preached as he had opportunity. He received the
degree of Doctor of Divinity from his Alma Mater. The number of young
people brought into the church through his instruinentality have been
counted by the hundred. The first to receive a degree, he was the first
alumnus to have a son and a grandson to receive the same. He died
February 1, 1885. He was elected tutor in the College June, 1835.

Changes had occurred during the year. Fisher A. Foster had been elected
Principal of the Preparatory School in place of Lorenzo Lea. Rev. Jno.
A. Miller and Rev. John Kerr had been elected assistant agents in place
of Rev. W. A. Smith and Rev. Thos. Crowder. The Treasurer, John W.
Lewis, had died during the year: Beverly Sydnor was elected in his
place. Bishop J. O. Andrew was elected a Trustee in place of Major
Speer, of South Carolina: Hugh A. Harland in place of J. W. Lewis,
deceased, and M. M. Dance in place of Green Penn, resigned.

COLLEGE YEAR 1835-1836

This year was successful under the guidance of President Olin, who was
still in feeble health.

[Illustration:  REV. ALFRED T. MANN, A. B., D. D. _An Effective Minister
in the Georgia Conference Sixty Years Ago._]

Prof. M. P. Parks resigned at the close of the session; Prof. Garland
was transferred from the chair of Natural Science to fill the vacancy
thus made. Robert Tolfree, of New York, took Prof. Garland's chair. Rev.
Mr. Tomlinson was elected to the chair of English Literature.

The degree of A. B. was conferred June, 1836, on the following
graduates: John O. Winfield, Virginia; Addison Lea, North Carolina;
Robert S. Goode, Virginia; Charles W. Baird, Virginia; Alfred T. Mann,
Georgia; Thomas M. Isbell, Virginia.

So feeble had the health of Dr. Olin becoine that he asked, in June,
1836, leave of absence to visit Europe, which was granted with great
reluctance by the Board.

The following quotation from the _Life and Letters of President Olin_ is
given as a closing reference to his presidency. He saw the College for
the last time March, 1837:

"The last Commencement at which Dr. Olin presided during his connection
with Randolph-Macon College was in June, 1836....

"The conviction grew upon him, from many unmistakable indications, that
his health must rapidly break up, unless a year or two of retirement
from intellectual labor and all kinds of mental excitement, and devoted
to foreign travel, should, under the blessing of God, restore him. The
return of cool weather in the autumn and approaching winter failed to
recruit his shattered nerves or restore his health. His course was then
at once decided on. After making several ineffectual efforts to have his
place supplied, he consented, at the earnest wish of the Board of
Trustees, to retain at least a formal connection with the College while
in Europe, leaving the future, then so uncertain, open to the
indications of Providence. To supply the vacancy in the Faculty, an
additional officer was elected, and Professor Garland was appointed
chairman of the Faculty and president _pro tempore_....

"The day of his departure came. His last interview with the Faculty was
very touching. He was too feeble to sit up, but, reclining on a couch,
he spent some half-hour in conversation respecting the affairs of the
College. He felt satisfied, from the lengthened experiment he had made,
that there was little or no hope of his being able to do efficient labor
in a Southern climate, even though his health might be improved somewhat
by his contemplated voyage. Although the Board of Trustees had declined
to accept his resignation, and had given him as long a furlough as the
exigencies of his health might require, yet he was persuaded that the
time of his final departure from Randolph-Macon had come. It was very
doubtful whether he should ever again see the face of any of his
colleagues. His parting words had all the tenderness and dignity of a
Christian who bowed with uncomplaining submission to the will of God--of
a philosopher who looked calmly at the future, whatever its developments
might be, whether bright or dark--of a friend who was about to carry
with him the warm attachments of a heart alive to every generous
sentiment and affectionate impulse. At the close of the interview his
brother officers, with moistened eyes, knelt around his couch, and
Professor Wightman, at his request, offered up a fervent prayer to the
throne of the heavenly mercy, that God would graciously preserve in his
holy keeping the life of their brother and friend, restore his health,
and bring him back to his native land, prepared for greater usefulness
than ever to the church and cause of Christ.

"At the close of this affecting interview the doctor was supported to
his carriage, and left the College, never to see it again. His
presidency had been a brief but brilliant period in its fortunes. He had
manifested the highest adaptation to the responsible office which he
held there. His unrivaled judgment, his shining talents, his far-seeing
sagacity, his prudence in administration and firmness in government, his
masterly grasp of influence, wielded for the highest good of the young
men who came from far and near, attracted by the prestige of his name,
his genuine love of learning, and enthusiasm in communicating knowledge,
formed a combination of great qualities very rarely met with in men of
even the highest reputation. No student or graduate of the College who
enjoyed the benefits of a personal acquaintance with Dr. Olin will think
the foregoing estimate of his worth as a presiding officer strained or
overstated in the least particular."

Professor Hardy, of La Grange College, Alabama, who was a student at
Randolph-Macon College during Dr. Olin's administration, has retained
the following distinct remembrances of him:

"Dr. Olin left the College of Randolph-Macon in the spring of 1837, a
few months before the class of which I was a member took their first
degree. We waited on him in a body, and asked him to put his signature
to our diplomas, for we cherished for him a filial affection, and felt
that his name was indispensable. Many youthful hearts were sad the day
he left the College for his European tour. The students met in chapel,
adopted appropriate resolutions, and appointed two of their number to
attend him to the railroad, a distance of sixty miles. He was worn down
by disease, and we had no expectation of seeing his face again. He rode
in his carriage on a bed, and preferred to go with no one attending him
save his faithful, devoted wife. We bade him farewell, as children shake
the hand of their dying father, and we saw him no more."

This was the marked event in the history of the College for the fifth
year, 1836-'37.

Professor L. C. Garland was made President _pro tempore_. Rev. Mr.
Tomlinson having declined to accept the chair of English Literature,
Rev. William M. Wightman was elected to it, and accepted it. Professor
David Duncan was elected Professor of Languages in place of Rev. Geo. F.
Pierce who had declined to accept it.

[Illustration:  REV. W.M. WIGHTMAN, D. D.]

Professor William M. Wightman was an alumnus of Charleston College,
South Carolina, and a member of the South Carolina Conference. He took
the chair of English Literature and Rhetoric which Professor E. D. Sims
was expected to fill after his return from Europe. He was a man of
decided talent and culture, and was in the prime of life, and well
fitted for the work assigned him. He remained until Professor Sims
returned from Europe, and then returned to South Carolina. He filled
other very important and prominent positions in after years, viz.: The
editor's chair of the _South Carolina Christian Advocate_, the
Presidency of Wofford College, Spartanburg, S. C., and the Southern
University, Greensboro, Ala. While at the latter he was elected, in
1866, Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in which office
he served till his death, February 15, 1882. He received the degree of
D. D. from Randolph-Macon College.

[Illustration:  PROFESSOR DAVID DUNCAN, A. M.]

Professor David Duncan was a native of Ireland, and a graduate of
Glasgow University, Scotland. At the time of his election to the chair
of Ancient Languages he was conducting a flourishing classical school in
the city of Norfolk, Va. The whole of an extended manhood was spent in
teaching, the prime of it from 1837 to 1857. To his high scholarship was
added a singularly genuine character and gentlemanly and genial
deportment, which made him acceptable to his associates and popular with
his classes. He was brimming full always with wit and humor. He was the
father of Rev. J. A. Duncan, D. D., President of Randolph-Macon College,
1868-1877 and Bishop W. W. Duncan of the Methodist Episcopal Church,
South. He died at Wofford College, where he was Professor of Ancient
Languages, in 1881.

The year 1836-'37 was marked by the first report of the raising of a
considerable instalment of the proposed Virginia Conference endowment of
a Professorship. Rev. Jno. Early reported eighty-seven subscribers of
two hundred dollars each, making $17,400. It was also a prosperous and
satisfactory year in College work. The report of the Faculty made to the
Trustees referred with emphasis to the good deportment and studiousness
which had characterized the student body during the closing session.
Their report also for the first time indicated the distinctions in the
graduating class, which were as follows:

  1. JAMES W. HARDY, . . . . . . . . . . Georgia.
  2. FRANCIS N. MULLEN,. . . . . . . . . North Carolina.
  3. JUNIUS L. CLEMONS,. . . . . . . . . North Carolina.
  4. LEWIS W. CABELL,. . . . . . . . . . Virginia.
  5. ROBERT M. INGRAM, . . . . . . . . . Virginia.
  6. WARREN DU PRE,. . . . . . . . . . . South Carolina.
     ADAMS, RICHARD E. G., . . . . . . . Virginia.
     BEARD, CLOUGH S., . . . . . . . . . South Carolina.
     BLAIN, GEORGE W., . . . . . . . . . Virginia.
     CROFT, ISAAC C.,. . . . . . . . . . South Carolina
     GEE, JESSE, . . . . . . . . . . . . Virginia.
     HORSELEY, WILLIAM A., . . . . . . . Virginia.
     MONTGOMERY, HENRY T., . . . . . . . Virginia.
     SAMFORD, WILLIAM F.,. . . . . . . . Georgia.
     STEWART, THEOPHILUS,. . . . . . . . Georgia.
     WILLIAMSON, JAMES J., . . . . . . . Virginia.

In all sixteen.

The first-honor man pronounced the Valedictory Address; the second-honor
man, the Latin Salutatory; the third, the Philosophical.

[Illustration:  PROFESSOR WARREN DU PRE, A. M.  _Tutor at Randolph-Macon
College; Professor at Wofford College, South Carolina; President Martha
Washington Female College, Virginia._]

COLLEGE YEAR 1837-'38.

This year, under the presidency of Professor Landon C. Garland, acting
president, the college made good progress. In the annual report of the
Faculty made to the Trustees June, 1838, they say: "The past year has
been one of peculiar interest and pleasure on account of the highly
respectable conduct and praiseworthy diligence of the students
generally, the number of whom has amounted to one hundred and ten in the
College, and over fifty in the Preparatory School."

On the recommendation of the Faculty the following degrees were
conferred, viz.:

_Bachelor of Arts_.

  1. JOHN T. BRAME, . . . . . . . . . . . North Carolina.
  2. EDWARD H. MYERS, . . . . . . . . . . Florida.
  3. JAMES R. THOMAS, . . . . . . . . . . Georgia.
  4. EZEKIEL A. BLANCH, . . . . . . . . . Virginia.
  5. JOHN W. LEAK,. . . . . . . . . . . . North Carolina.
  6. FRANCIS A. CONNOR, . . . . . . . . . South Carolina.
     BAXTER CLEGG,. . . . . . . . . . . . North Carolina.
     GEORGE F. EPPES, . . . . . . . . . . South Carolina.
     JAMES M. FITTS,. . . . . . . . . . . North Carolina,
     CHRIS. D. HILL,. . . . . . . . . . . North Carolina.
     THOS. J. KOGER,. . . . . . . . . . . South Carolina.
     HENRY E. LOCKETT,. . . . . . . . . . Virginia.
     JOHN A. ORGAIN,. . . . . . . . . . . Virginia.
     THOS. B. RUSSELL,. . . . . . . . . . South Carolina.
     JAMES R. WASHINGTON, . . . . . . . . North Carolina.
     JAMES. W. WIGHTMAN,. . . . . . . . . South Carolina.

_Master of Arts: (Honorary)_.

   REV. GEORGE F. PIERCE, . . . . . . . Georgia.
   PROF. DAVID DUNCAN,. . . . . . . . . Virginia.
   GABRIEL P. DISOSWAY, . . . . . . . . New York.

_Doctor of Divinity_.

   REV. THOMAS JACKSON, . . . . . . . . England.

Steps were taken by the Board to endow the fourth professorship in the

[Illustration:  REV. JAMES R. THOMAS, LL. D., _President Emory College,

Rev. John Early, agent, reported that further efforts to endow a
professorship by the Georgia Conference would be suspended, that
Conference having resolved to establish a College in its bounds. The
amount reported as raised on said endowment was $16,000. He also
reported the amount of endowment raised in Virginia as $20,000.

At this meeting we have reported the first intimation of financial
embarrassment in the affairs of the College. Notwithstanding this the
salaries of the full professors were raised to $1200 per year. The
acting president, Landon C. Garland, was appointed to prepare an address
on the pecuniary condition of the College, the same to be published in
the papers.

Professor E. D. Sims having returned from Europe, Rev. William M.
Wightman, Professor of English Literature, tendered his resignation,
which was received with complimentary resolutions to him for his
efficient services. Prof. Wightman returned to his native State, South
Carolina, and to the itinerant ministry. The Faculty as reorganized for
the session of 1838-'39 was as follows, viz.:

  LANDON C. GARLAND, A. M., Professor of Mathematics, and Acting
  EDWARD D. SIMS, A. M., Professor of English Literature and Oriental
  DAVID DUNCAN, A. M., Professor of Ancient Languages.
  JAMES W. HARDY, A. B., Professor of Experimental Sciences.
  EZEKIEL A. BLANCH, A. B., Tutor.
  SOLOMON LEA, A. M., Principal of Preparatory School.

This college year was marked by the first serious rupture between the
Faculty and the students. The occasion was a requirement made on the
Senior Class to attend a recitation on the "Evidences of Christianity"
on Monday morning before breakfast. The result was the leaving of a
number of students involved in the contest.

At the close of the year, June, 1839, the annual report of the Faculty
made to the Board gave the following item: "The affairs of the College
for the session have proceeded with tolerable prosperity and quietness."
The following were recommended for the degree of A. B., June, 1839, and
the same received it:

  AMOS W. JONES, . . . . . . . . . North Carolina.
  CHARLES W. BURNLEY,. . . . . . . Virginia.
  JOSIAH F. ASKEW, . . . . . . . . Georgia.
  THOMAS H. GARNETT, . . . . . . . Virginia.
  JAMES F. SMITH,. . . . . . . . . South Carolina.
  WILLIAM H. BATTE,. . . . . . . . Virginia.

[Illustration:  REV. A.W. JONES, D. D., _For fifty years President of the
Memphis Conf. Female College._]

The resignation of President Stephen Olin, tendered in 1836, was
accepted at the meeting of the Board, all hope of his returning to the
College having been abandoned. Prof. Landon C. Garland was then elected
by unanimous vote President, and he accepted the office. Prof. David
Duncan was elected rector of the Preparatory School, and Amos W. Jones,
A. B., principal. William L. Harris was elected a tutor of the lower
classes in languages.

[Illustration:  LANDON CABELL GARLAND, LL. D.]

On motion of Rev. John Early, the following resolution was adopted:
"That, as soon as practicable, the trustees of Randolph-Macon College
will establish a Normal School as a department in the College, in which
a good and liberal education can be obtained, and which, in its
organization, shall be especially fitted to educate students for
common-school teachers, and that the Professor of English Literature be
the rector of said school."

This action of the Board, showing such remarkable foresight and wisdom,
ought to be emphasized. So far as the State of Virginia is concerned, it
is believed to have been the first move in the establishment of a normal
department for fitting teachers for their special work. Many years
afterward (1884) the State established such a school. The first
established in the United States was in the year 1839. This important
move was never fully and specifically carried into operation, for the
same reason which forbade other projects of the Board--that is, want of

Another important step taken at this meeting was the action in regard to
the issue of scholarships. At the previous annual meeting a resolution
was adopted providing that any person paying $600 into the treasury of
Randolph-Macon College shall be entitled to send one student free of
tuition fees so long as he shall live or have a son to educate; and any
minister who shall collect and pay into the treasury a like sum shall be
entitled to the like privilege. At the meeting in 1839 this action was
rescinded, and the following was enacted:

On motion of John Early,

"_Resolved_, That any person who shall pay into the hands of the
treasurer five hundred dollars, or any minister who shall collect and
pay into the hands of the treasurer five hundred dollars, shall be
entitled to a scholarship in Randolph-Macon College in perpetuity, and
all persons who have agreed to take scholarships at $600 shall be
entitled to the benefit of this resolution.

"_Resolved_, That any person who shall secure by bond or otherwise five
hundred dollars, the principal of which shall be paid within five years,
and who shall pay the interest semi-annually, shall be entitled to a
scholarship in perpetuity, but the certificate of scholarship shall not
be issued until the principal is paid."

This was an unfortunate move, because it never brought into the treasury
the amount it was expected to bring--not exceeding eight thousand
dollars. The evident intention that such scholarship should be
considered as an "heir-loom" in the family was in the years after the
war, never before, violated, and parties bought them on speculation,
getting money-rent for them, when such a course was never contemplated.
When they were issued, fees were $33 per session. Since the war fees
have been $75.

My readers will pardon me for here giving some personal recollections,
inasmuch as it was in 1839 I matriculated as a student of the College.

Mounted on my black filly, I, with several from my native county,
Nottoway, made the journey of forty miles to Boydton, where we were
guests of Col. George Rodgers, who then kept the Boydton Hotel. He was
then, and for years afterwards, a great friend and liberal benefactor to
the College.

The next morning I saw the belfry of the College in the distance for the
first time. The same day I took up my abode in "Texas," a portion of the
western building, so-called. To a boy not quite fourteen, the
experiences of matriculation, examination for entrance, and for the
first time coming into contact with young men from distant States, can
never be forgotten. "Hazing" was then unknown, though it was not
uncommon for some of the "green ones" to have a little fun poked at

We had four classes: Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, and Senior. To the
"Fresh," the "Seniors" looked very dignified, and the latter usually
felt their dignity, but generally bore it gracefully. The Seniors and
Juniors generally did most of the debating in the Society Halls, and
generally dealt most in "Calico."

The student body at this time was composed very largely of men from
States south of Virginia, the Senior class of that year having been
wholly from South Carolina and Georgia.

At this session Professor Landon C. Garland was inaugurated a full
President, after having acted as such since Dr. Olin left for Europe. We
looked up to him with marked reverence, though he was not quite thirty
years old. It was his dignity of character which caused us to do this.
Few men ever possessed more than he. No man ever trifled in President
Garland's lecture-room. The rules of discipline were felt rather than
seen. His familiar designation was "Old Landon."

President Sims was much like President Garland in his official character
and conduct. He was a high man in person and every way. Thoroughly
imbued with the love of his native English, he threw his heart and mind
into his teaching. Unable to get text-books in Anglo-Saxon, he wrote the
elementary exercises on the blackboard. Some of these are remembered to
this day. We did not realize nor appreciate the fact that our classes
were the first in a course which is now magnified in all the colleges
and universities in the land.

Professor Duncan was the genial, humor-loving Irishman. His shillalah
was ever ready for any exposed head, but he had no murderous intent, and
did not mind when the subject hit back, but rather enjoyed a repartee.
A broad smile always foretold his sally of wit, and sometimes it was so
slow coming that the victim would have time to "cut." Dear, dear "Old
Pad," as we called him, it was hard to say whether he enjoyed most his
fun with the boys or his ancient languages, with the love of which he
seemed to be fully saturated. A kinder heart never beat in human frame.

"Old Jim" (Hardy) presided in the Laboratory on the third story. He was
a third-story man every way. Though a young man, and the first alumnus
of the College made a full professor, his manner was austere, and hence
he had but little popularity with the students. Some excuse for his so
appearing was due to the fact that he had to study hard to keep up with
the expectations of his classes.

"Old Zeke" (Blanch) our tutor in mathematics, was a fine instructor and
bright every way. He, too, was fond of humor when out of his
lecture-room, but very strict while in it.

Oh! for a Dickens to picture Tutor Harris. Pardon me for taking up more
room with him than is given all the rest. But such a character is not
often found, and deserves the space he takes.

My first classical instructor was one of the tutors. He was the first
Virginia University man ever elected to fill a chair at the old College.
Deeply imbued with a love for his subjects, he looked upon the ancient
languages as having, potatoe-like, the best parts at the root. The
"particle" was his especial delight. So much absorbed was he in
discoursing on it, that he was not particular whether his pupils
listened or not. They might go to sleep or do anything, so they did not
break the thread of his lecture. It was amazing to see how many learned
authorities in the shape of books he would daily lug to the room.
Doubtless this digging at the root was very deep and thorough--too much
so for the average "fresh." Some of the most scholarly appreciated the
exercise, or pretended to do so. To the latter the tutor mainly directed
his attention.

Not only did the tutor pursue this absorbing search indoors, but it
seemed to monopolize all his thoughts, even while going to his meals and
returning. It made him oblivious to all else for the time being. He
would, while thus absorbed in thought, kick a chip before him for a
mile, and would not recognize the best friend he might meet in the way.
All he asked then was the full "right of way."

His abstraction or absent-mindedness was exhibited in many ways. Some
mischief-lover barred up his door one morning and thus made him tardy at
recitation hour, which gave occasion to the boys to "cut"--that is,
leave and miss recitation. He went to the President and said, "Sir! is
there any way to have a young man up, when you don't know who he is?"
The President was a great mathematician, but he could not solve that

"Sheep-ear" collars were in fashion in those days, just the reverse of
those now or lately fashionable--I mean those with turned-down points
and rising high at the back of the neck, making one look like he had on
a mustard-plaster. The "sheep-ear" collars had points with acutest
angles, which came up to the corners of a man's mouth. When starched and
stiffened they looked as if great danger would be incurred by a sudden
turn of the head. Now just picture to yourself a sober-looking man
coming into a parlor in the morning with these "sheep-ears" pointing to
the back of the neck instead of to the front, and you will realize how
very peculiar the tutor looked one morning when he came down. This I was
eye-witness of, and if I laughed I hope no one will accuse me of want of
due respect. It could not be helped, certainly by one who has been known
to enjoy a hearty spell at times.

The tutor was by no means a _pharisee_ in spirit, for he was one of the
"meek of the earth." But his inveterate habit made him liable to be
pronounced as pharisaic. When officiating at public prayers in the
chapel he would sometimes forget that after prayer came recitation or
lecture and then breakfast, and his prayer would seem to be
interminable. Knowing his absence of mind, one morning while thus
engaged some good-intentioned or irreverent fellow prompted him by a
hearty _amen!_ This brought the prayer to a speedy conclusion, but the
tutor was highly displeased--so much so that he sent for the most
mischievous one of the auditors, whom he naturally charged with the
offence, and said to him, "Mr. Blaze, I have sent for you, sir! to say
to you that _you shan't say amen_ to my prayers."

The tutor was very economical--some would say, penurious. Not so. He was
generous and warm-hearted--as much so as an old bachelor could be. A
true Christian, he felt it to be his duty to save every dime he could,
that he might have the more to meet the demands of charity. This
conviction caused him to discard pins as extravagant. In his room would
be seen what Adam and Eve used when their first garments were donned, to
furnish which conveniently he kept a thorn bush hung up behind his door.
This he kept up until he was convinced that the damage thus caused to
one's collar exceeded the cost of pins.

Candles being expensive, he thought the twilight sufficient to enable
him to make up his morning toilet. This economy, combined with his other
besetting habit, got him into a most ludicrous scrape. It happened thus:
In writing out his voluminous notes he used many quill pens, which from
time to time accumulated on his table. He took these--quite a
number--one night, just before retiring, and washed them in his bowl,
leaving the water in the bowl very much the color of the _blue_ ink he
was wont to use. The next morning in the dimness of twilight he failed
to observe this discolored fluid when he went to perform his ablutions;
when he finished he was blue--yes, very blue. Not taking time to look
into his glass, he went to the chapel and took his place on the rostrum
ready to officiate at the appointed hour, wholly unconscious of the very
remarkable visage he wore, and thus unprepared for the scene which was
to follow.

As the boys dropped in each one would stop, and look, and wonder, and
then break out into most uproarious laughter, as perfectly
uncontrollable as a storm in its fury. There was no use to attempt to be
devout that morning. How the tutor got through with the reading and the
prayer I can't say, but I fear he was not in a very devotional mood
himself. How could he be when every one was laughing, while he could not
see what was making them laugh. He was utterly disgusted with such
rudeness and irreverence.

But he did get through. When some one informed him of his cadaverous
appearance, he suddenly recollected the blue pens he had washed in his
bowl. Then it was his turn to laugh, and laugh he did with a vim.

But lest I weary you, I will here conclude this reminiscence of the
olden times by saying that with all the oddities of this old tutor I
still cherish the highest respect for his character as a good and deeply
pious man. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." I
doubt not that he will be of that number in the great day when the
jewels are counted.

[Illustration:  PROF. DAVID S. DOGGETT, A. M.]

These made the Faculty of 1839-1842. In the latter year Rev. David S.
Doggett succeeded Professor Sims in the English course. He was an
eloquent preacher, in the prime of life, a diligent student, and
dignified in his deportment. The pulpit was his place of power, and he
did not remain long away from it. He was afterwards a Bishop in the
church, after having served the church as editor of the _Methodist
Review_ for a number of years.

So much for the professors and tutors. What of the students under them?
Taking the men who received degrees during the five years 1840-1844, it
is pleasant, though it may seem invidious, to mention a part where it is
not possible to name all.

The first name in the roll of his class (1840), and the first in honor,
David Clopton, of Georgia, made his mark at College, and his after life
was what his college life predicted.

He represented the Montgomery (Alabama) District in the United States
Congress prior to the war, and the same district in the Confederate
States Congress. Afterwards he served for many years as Associate
Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama. He was also very prominent in
the church.

James F. Dowdell, of Georgia, was a member of the United States Congress
from Alabama prior to the war, and was a local preacher of the Methodist
Episcopal Church, South.

Tennent Lomax, of South Carolina, also moved to Alabama. He was editor,
soldier in the Mexican war, and was prominent in politics. He was killed
while leading his regiment into battle at Seven Pines, Virginia, May,
1862, just after having received a commission as brigadier-general.

James L. Pierce was an eloquent speaker, a Doctor of Divinity, and
President of Lagrange (Georgia) Female College.

In this connection it might be interesting to mention that Clopton's
roommate was Robert Lanier, of Macon, Ga., a member of the Sophomore
Class. He and Burwell Harrison, also of Georgia, married Virginia
ladies, whose acquaintance they formed while they were at College.
Lanier's son, Sidney, has been called the "poet laureate of the South."

Coming to the next class (1841), George B. Jones, first-honor man, was a
fine scholar, but turned from teaching to business life. He was killed
at Petersburg in 1864, while defending his city in Kautz's attack on it.

Thomas H. Campbell was a distinguished lawyer, served in both houses of
the General Assembly of Virginia, and was president of the Southside
Railroad Company.

Edward Wadsworth was a prominent minister in Virginia and Alabama, a
Doctor of Divinity, and President of the Southern University,
Greensboro, Ala.

In the class of 1842, Thomas C. Johnson, of Virginia, first-honor man,
became a prominent lawyer in St. Louis, Mo., and a member of the
Legislature of that State. After the war he served two years as
President of Randolph-Macon College (1866-'67, 1867-'68).

William G. Connor, D. D., of South Carolina, was for many years a
prominent minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in Texas.

Ira I. Crenshaw, of Virginia, was tutor in Randolph-Macon College
several years, and professor at the Female Institute, Buckingham, Va.,
and a minister of the Virginia Conference.

Dr. Samuel D. Saunders was professor at the Southwestern University.
Georgetown, Texas, for a number of years.

Of the class of 1843, George W. Benagh, of Virginia, first-honor man,
was a professor at the University of Alabama, succeeding Dr. Landon C.
Garland, his old preceptor. He died young by accidental drowning.

Edward S. Brown, of Virginia, an eminent lawyer and member of the
Virginia Legislature, is still an active, vigorous man (1897).

William H. Lawton was a faithful itinerant in the South Carolina
Conference for nearly fifty years.

Richard H. Powell was a prominent man in church and state for many years
in his State (Alabama).

A number of the members of this class died in early manhood.

Coming down to my own class (1844). This class in the Freshman year
numbered thirty-three. Of these only nine took degrees. Four others came
in after the opening year, making total graduates thirteen.

John Lyon, of Petersburg, was the first-honor man of this class. He
entered the class in the junior year, when he was in his sixteenth year.
Before his entrance there were several candidates for the first honor.
It was not long before their hopes began to fail. He was precocious, but
his precocity was not short-lived, as it so frequently is. Mathematics,
the great rock on which so many aspiring men were wrecked, was
apparently a pastime with him. President Garland, a natural-born
mathematician, had no mercy on men not like gifted with himself. His
course was beyond the power of nine out of ten. John Lyon was the one of
ten, and was head and shoulders above all the others in the class in
this course, while not equal to others in other courses, but high in
all. His brilliancy made him in after life a successful lawyer. He died
in Washington, November, 1897, aged seventy.

The second-honor man was William C. Doub, of North Carolina. He was an
untiring student, gifted especially in the acquisition of language. He
was a teacher all his life, having spent the most of it as professor in
Trinity College, North Carolina, and Greensboro Female College. He was
very prominent in the Methodist Church. He died in the high noon of

The third-honor man, William M. Cabell, of Virginia, was a man of
clear-cut intellect, and he had the power of concentration in a high
degree. This power was shown in his early life, and afterwards made him
distinguished and feared at the bar and in the Virginia Legislature. He
is still living (1897).

The fourth-honor man was Holland Nimmons McTyeire. Brought by his old
preceptor, James R. Thomas, to Randolph-Macon, when otherwise he might
have gone to a state school, he entered the Sophomore Class in 1841.
College life was no pastime for him. His ambition would make it a
stepping-stone to high position--as at first desired and designed--in
the State. Like Dr. Olin, no place lower than the highest would satisfy
his ambition. To attain to this, all the power of an iron will moving
the enginery of a somewhat slow but giant mind was bent and made
subject. Had not a change come to divert him from his original
intention, he would doubtless have become as notable in the councils and
courts of the State as he became in the church. When he first came to
College he appeared indifferent in church matters, though it was known
he was a member. Whether this was the result of a lapsed religious life,
or was the result of a struggle to still the promptings of conscience,
is not known. But the call to a higher life, heard, doubtless, before,
but a while unheeded, was emphasized in one of those sweeping revivals
which Dr. Olin valued more than laws of discipline, and which he
pronounced as indispensable in college work. Worldly ambition ceased to
be the mainspring of his action, and he began to seek to "have the mind
which was in Christ." But it was no easy work to bend such a will in a
new direction. It was like turning the mighty steamship on a different
course. The passion to rule men around him, the gift of so doing (and it
is the greatest gift with which man is endowed), was constantly
asserting itself. It probably was "strong in death," but it was tempered
and sanctified to other than selfish ends by that good Spirit which
subdued a Luther, a St. Paul, and a John Knox. What Randolph-Macon did
for McTyeire in strengthening his mental powers for what he was to
become as editor and bishop and builder of a great university, in
sobering and elevating his ambition and aspirations, and fitting him for
the work he was called to do in and for the church, cannot be computed.
He has made his mark as high as any son of his alma mater, possibly
higher than any other.

Space will not allow me to dwell upon the names of Thomas H. Rogers, of
Virginia, for a while a tutor in the College, afterwards M. D.; of
Richard S. Parham, of Virginia, a clever student and lawyer, who died in
the prime of life, in his adopted State, Tennessee; of "Judge" Fanning,
of Georgia, the frequent butt of Prof. Duncan's wit, who was said (poor
fellow) to have chewed his brains out along with his teeth; of B. F.
Simmons, a prominent young lawyer, who died prematurely, and of Willie
M. Person, a M. D., who also died young.

John Howard has been since early youth a prominent lawyer in Richmond,
ranking very high in his profession. He was noted when at College for
his love for, and proficiency in, English literature and composition.
He is still living (1897).

Of my most intimate friend in the class, Archibald Clark, I quote what
Bishop McTyeire wrote of him: "The most useful local preacher in
Southern Georgia, is what his presiding elder said of him."

Among those who were students with me at the College, but left without
taking degrees, the following were the most notable: William T. Howard,
of Virginia, who became a distinguished physician and professor in the
University of Maryland; Lucius I. Gartrell, of Georgia, who became one
of the foremost lawyers of his State, and a general in the Confederate
army; Chas. E. Hooker, of South Carolina, Attorney-General of the State
of Mississippi, colonel in the Confederate army, and for many years a
member of Congress; Colonel Joel B. Leftwich, of Virginia, for a number
of years a member of the General Assembly of Virginia; Smith W. Moore,
of North Carolina, a Doctor of Divinity in the Memphis Conference,
author of several books, and poet. He was associated with Bishop
McTyeire on the Board of Trust during the early years of the Vanderbilt
University. James N. Ramsey, of Georgia, colonel in the Confederate
army; Robert Ridgway, of Virginia, the brilliant editor of the _Richmond
Whig_, and member of Congress from Virginia; Walter L. Steele, of North
Carolina, a member of Congress, and prominent in business and state,
matters; W. L. Blanton, a minister of the Virginia Conference, eloquent
and zealous, who died in early manhood; James D. Crawley, a most
estimable man, and a local minister for many years; W. K. Blake, of
North Carolina, a prominent merchant in Spartanburg, S. C., and trustee
of Wofford College; John Wesley Williams, a member of the Virginia
Conference, whose useful life was early cut short by consumption.

Nearly all of my college-mates sleep in the dust of the earth. Many of
them were "wise, and shall shine as the brightness of the firmament,"
and some "turned many to righteousness," and shall "shine as the stars,
forever and ever."

[Illustration:  GEN. TENNENT LOMAX, CLASS 1840. _Killed at Seven Pines,
Va., 1862._]

We go back now and take up the record regularly. At the close of the
session of 1839-'40 the report of the Faculty notes the year as
successful, and makes mention of the introduction of Anglo-Saxon into
the course as the basis of the proper study of English. The Bible was
also recommended as a part of the course of study. At this meeting the
first legacy to the College, made by Rev. Robert C. Jones, of $3,000,
was reported.

[Illustration:  DAVID CLOPTON, LL. D.]

The following degrees were conferred June, 1840:

A. B.

  DAVID CLOPTON, of Georgia.
  JAMES F. DOWDELL, of Georgia.
  JAMES L. PIERCE, of Georgia.

A. M.

  R. E. G. ADAMS, of Virginia.
  J. W. HARDY, of Georgia.
  F. N. MULLEN, of N. C.
  JOHN TILLET, of North Carolina.

[Illustration:  D'ARCY PAUL]

The "Centennial of Methodism" occurred in 1839, and was celebrated by
the church. Considerable collections were taken up during the year to
increase the endowment of the College. This year a name, _clarum et
nobile_, appeared for the first time on the records of the Board, D'Arcy
Paul, of Petersburg. In the good providence of God, he was permitted to
act as trustee for many years, and to exert a great influence in saving
the College from financial wreck. At the time of his election he was a
leading Methodist in his city, and probably the most prominent layman in
the State. As a merchant, he had been very successful, and enjoyed the
unbounded confidence of the business world. His liberality towards all
church and benevolent enterprises was such as probably had never before
been witnessed in Virginia. He was by birth a native of Ireland, but his
whole life, except his early boyhood, had been spent in Virginia, and no
son "to the manner born" was more enthusiastic in pushing forward all
interests that enured to its welfare. When he accepted the place of
trustee his heart and hand and credit were put at the service of the
College. Taking the helm of the ship as Financial and Investing Agent,
he held it for nearly thirty years, and it is not going too far to say
that to him, more than to any other man, the College owes its
continuation to the day when age and feebleness forced him to turn over
to other hands the trust he had so long and faithfully borne on his
shoulders. If it had the means, it should erect a monument to perpetuate
his memory. Happy am I here to pay this feeble tribute to his worth, and
to give the portrait, faint representation, though it be, of one who is
worthy of all the honors that could be bestowed on him. His form was so
erect that age could not bend it. His character, which beamed forth in a
face of more than usual manly beauty, was still more true to the line of
truth and righteousness.

[Illustration:  EDWARD WADSWORTH, D. D., _President of the Southern
University, Ala._]

The report of the Faculty for the year ending June, 1840-'41, makes
favorable mention of the work of the session and of the conduct and
scholarship of the students. The financial condition of the College was
found to be such as to call for an address asking of the patronizing
Conferences needed relief.

The degrees conferred at the close of the year were:

A. B.

  GEORGE B. JONES, Virginia.
  THOMAS B. GORDON, Georgia.
  WILLIAM H. BASS, Virginia.
  THOS. S. ARTHUR, S. Carolina.
  THOS. H. CAMPBELL, Virginia.
  THOMAS H. JONES, Virginia.
  WM. W. HEREFORD, Mississippi
  SAMUEL B. SCOTT, Virginia.

A. M.

  CHARLES W. BAIRD, Virginia.
  JOHN T. BRAME, N. Carolina.
  EDWARD H. MYERS, Florida.
  JAMES M. FITTS, N. Carolina.
  HENRY E. LOCKETT, Virginia.
  JAMES R. THOMAS, Georgia.
  EZEKIEL A. BLANCH, Virginia.
  GEORGE W. BLAIN, Virginia.

YEAR 1841-'42.

At a called meeting of the Board held April, 1842, Prof. E. D. Sims
tendered his resignation. The law of Virginia at that time prohibited a
person from marrying the sister of his deceased wife. The Professor was
about to marry Miss Andrews, the sister of his former wife, daughter of
Prof. Andrews, author of Latin Grammar, and therefore was compelled to
leave the State to marry her.

The loss of a Professor so capable and eminent as Professor Sims was
much regretted by the trustees and the friends of the College. Under the
circumstances, it could not be remedied, for there was no one to take
his place in the special English course. He had been elected to take the
chair of English in the University of Alabama, which he accepted. At
this institution he formulated a course of instruction in English based
on Anglo-Saxon, similar to the one he had taught at Randolph-Macon. Here
he proceeded with the work on the Anglo-Saxon Grammar and Dictionary.
This work he was not long permitted to prosecute. He died in 1845. Forty
years after his death the manuscripts of his Anglo-Saxon works came to
Randolph-Macon in an unexpected way. Rev. Mr. Stephan, of Missouri,
found them at a second-hand bookstore in St. Louis, and noticing the
name of Professor Sims on the title-page, he purchased the lot,
embracing other papers, and sent them to the writer. Prof. Sims labored
faithfully, but "others have entered into his labors."

[Illustration:  SAMUEL D. SANDERS, A. M., M. D., _Professor Southwestern
University, Texas._]

Rev. Dr. Capers, of South Carolina, was elected to fill the vacancy, and
also president of the College, President Garland having tendered his

In the annual report in June, 1842, the Faculty say: "Our pecuniary
embarrassments are becoming serious, and unless effectually relieved, it
will be impossible to keep up the operations of the institution much
longer. The trustees cannot give this matter too much patient
reflection; and if it be practicable to sustain the institution in this
respect, we have no fears for its success in all others."

The reorganization of the Faculty was recommended, also some
modifications in the course of study; also, the establishment of a
"School of Law." This school was established, and Edward R. Chambers, an
eminent lawyer of Boydton, elected Professor.

The degrees conferred June, 1842, were:

A. B.

  THOMAS C. JOHNSON, Virginia.
  JOSEPH SUTTON, Virginia.
  ALEX. B. PIERCE, N. Carolina.
  IRA I. CRENSHAW, Virginia.
  THOMAS R. EPES, Virginia.
  JOSEPH T. REESE, Georgia.
  LUCIEN H. LOMAX, S. Carolina.
  GEO. E. WYCHE, N. Carolina.

A. M.

  ISAAC C. CROFT, S. Carolina.
  WILLIAM H. BATTE, Virginia.
  JOSIAH F. ASKEW, Georgia.
  AMOS W. JONES, N. Carolina.
  Rev. DAVID S. DOGGETT, Virginia (honorary).

Rev. David S. Doggett was elected to the chair vacated by the
resignation of Professor Sims.


This year the second decade of the College commenced. The year was
marked by great financial pressure, which was partially relieved by the
sale of some of the funds of the College. A part of the proceeds of the
sale was used to pay off a debt on building account and the rest for
current expenses. At the low rates of college fees, the current receipts
failed to meet salaries and other expenses.

In the annual report of the Faculty mention is made of a decrease in
patronage, caused by the financial condition of the country and the
establishment of colleges in other Southern Conferences; so that it was
again necessary to ask the Board to do something to increase the income
of the College.

This year a French course was introduced for the first time, and E. A.
Blanch was elected tutor of French.

At the annual meeting, June, 1843, a committee was appointed, consisting
of Messrs. Chambers, Rogers, Alexander, Leigh, and Early, to recommend a
plan for the relief of the College from financial embarrassment. This
committee reported as follows:

1. That it is absolutely necessary to raise a permanent fund of $20,000
to sustain the institution, and if we fail in doing so, _it must and
will go down_.

2. That the Agent be instructed to endeavor to obtain one hundred
subscribers of $500 in money or in bonds, the interest to be paid
annually at the sessions of the Virginia and North Carolina Conferences,
and the principal within a period not to exceed ten years, no
subscription to be binding until $10,000 shall have been subscribed, the
principal to be kept as a permanent fund.

The Faculty of the College showed their spirit of liberality and
self-denial by the following communication:

"The Faculty, with a view to contribute all in their power toward the
establishment of the College, propose to give to the Board of Trustees
the sum of five thousand dollars, the same to be paid in five years by a
relinquishment annually of $1,000 on their salaries upon the following
conditions, viz.:

"1. That the balance of their salaries be paid promptly.

"2. That the donation shall cease before the expiration of the five
years, unless the exigencies of the institution shall require it."

[Illustration:  GEORGE W. BENAGH, A. M., _Professor, University of

It being necessary to raise funds to pay the professors, Messrs. H. G.
Leigh, D'Arcy Paul, Dr. Archibald A. Campbell, George Rogers, and Edward
R. Chambers offered to loan the College $500 each, and Messrs. H.  B.
Cowles and Landon C. Garland $250 each, on the 25th of December next;
and Rev. W. B. Rowzie, Agent of the College, offered, that if the amount
of his collections should fall under $500, to make up the deficiency in
a loan.

[Illustration:  JUDGE EDWARD R. CHAMBERS, _Professor of Law 1842-'43.
Trustee of the College.  Judge Circuit Court.  Member of Virginia
Convention 1851 and 1861._]

The above record is given to show the great financial strait of the
College and to bring to mind the liberality of the members of the Board
and the Faculty. But for this liberal action the College would have
ceased its work, as so many others were forced to do.

Some steps were taken at this meeting to establish a Medical Department
in the College.

The following degrees were conferred, June, 1843:

A. B.

  GEORGE W. BENAGH, Virginia.
  EDWARD S. BROWN, Virginia.
  THOMAS E. MASSIE, Virginia.
  HENRY B. ELDRIDGE, Virginia.
  WALLER MASSIE, Virginia.
  JOHN F. RIVES, Mississippi.
  JOHN C. WALKER, Virginia.

A. M.

  JAMES F. SMITH, South Carolina.

D. D.

  Rev. ROBT. NEWTON, England.
  WILLIAM WINANS, Mississippi.
  WILLIAM A. SMITH, Virginia.


The dark cloud resting on the prospects of the College in June, 1843,
still hung over it the succeeding year, notwithstanding the efforts made
to relieve the embarrassment. Patronage continued to decrease. The
session opened with sixty matriculates in the College and thirty in the
Preparatory School, the smallest number in the history of the College up
to this year.

The President, in the annual report, alludes to the depression of
Faculty and patrons, neither of whom "could feel proper interest in an
institution _which might close its doors at any time_." This feeling of
despondency seemed to have pervaded also the members of the Board, for a
bare quorum were in attendance at the opening session. The president, in
his report, said: "We shall regard it as a calamity if you leave this
place without making some definite arrangement by which our future may
be relieved from all embarrassment."

[Illustration:  HOLLAND N. MCTYEIRE, A. M., D. D., _Bishop of the
Methodist Episcopal Church, South; Regent Vanderbilt University._]

That grand layman, D'Arcy Paul, in this dark hour, came to the relief of
the College by guaranteeing the salaries of the professors to the amount
of $5,000 on certain conditions. Thus, in the good providence of God,
the life of the College was prolonged.

[Illustration:  COL. WM. TOWNES, TRUSTEE.  _Elected 1844._]

The following received degrees June, 1844:

A. B.

  JOHN LYON, Virginia.
  WILLIAM M. CABELL, Virginia.
  THOMAS H. RODGERS, Virginia.
  JAMES G. FANNING, Georgia.
  JOHN HOWARD, Virginia.
  RICHARD IRBY, Virginia.
  RICHARD S. PARHAM, Virginia.
  J. L. GILLESPIE, Virginia.

A. M.

  THOMAS B. GORDON, Georgia.
  GEORGE B. JONES, Virginia.
  Rev. THOS. H. JONES, Virginia.
  WILLIAM H. BASS, Virginia.

Rev. Henry B. Cowles having declined to accept the office of Agent, to
which he had been previously elected, was again elected.

Warren DuPre resigned the tutorship, and Holland N. McTyeire was elected
to fill the place.

It would be an omission if, in describing and relating other matters,
the description of an old-time Annual Commencement should be left out.
These occasions were notable events in the first two decades of the
College. In those days preparations were begun four weeks before the
Commencement day by releasing the Seniors from regular daily exercises
so as to give them time to prepare their orations, which each one had to
write and commit to memory and rehearse before the Professor of English,
who was authorized to make corrections in matter, style, and also in
manner of delivery. The Commencement generally was held the third
Wednesday and Thursday of June. The Sunday previous a sermon was
preached by some eminent minister appropriate to the occasion. Selecting
one occasion that the writer witnessed as a specimen, that of 1842, the
following description is faithful: The visitors, in the main, began to
fill up the boarding-houses around the College and the hotels of Boydton
on Tuesday. The Board of Trustees assembled on Tuesday at an early hour,
holding their meeting, strictly private, during the day. Friends of the
graduates from Virginia and the Carolinas were largely in attendance on
Wednesday in time for the opening of the exercises in the chapel. On
this occasion the far-famed evangelist, Rev. John Newland Maffett, had
been selected to deliver the annual oration before the literary
societies. He arrived on Tuesday by private carriage, having travelled
over seventy miles. The Alumni Society orator had also arrived.

The exercises of Wednesday opened at 11 A. M. The band had been
discoursing musical selections for hours previous on the campus, and
continued in the gallery of the chapel, to which they and the crowd had
repaired. The chaplain invoked the blessing of God on the College and
the young men. The president introduced the alumni orator, who delivered
his address to the Society and the audience. The applause of the
auditors would have been prolonged but for their anxiety to hear the
silver-tongued orator, whose fame was as wide as the country. He was in
the prime of life. His dress was faultless; his black locks were
unruffled, as when he left the hair-dresser's shop an hour before, for
it was said he held his hat in his hand all the way from Boydton as he
rode in the carriage to the chapel. Be that as it may, every lock was in
perfect order. He was a native of the Emerald Isle, but was thoroughly
naturalized. His manner was well-nigh perfect, possibly a little too
dramatic; his voice musical, his enunciation rolling and faultless.

What was the theme memory cannot recall. All that is remembered is his
action, voice, and the general effect on the auditors. The house was
packed; the crowd outside was as great as that inside. The oration over,
all breathed naturally again; the boys applauded, the ladies waved their
handkerchiefs and fans, and the band struck up enlivening notes, and all
said, as the morning exercises closed, "We have heard an orator to-day."

In the afternoon the representatives of the Washington and Franklin
Societies--George Benagh and Felix Taylor of the former, and Marcellus
Stanley and Rives Waddill, of the latter--did their societies great
honor as their representatives by delivering in the chapel eloquent

At night the Societies held their annual meetings, at which the
presidents-elect, distinguished honorary members, presided and made
addresses. In the debates following the honorary members were expected
to take part. The Society medals and honors were delivered to graduate
members. These meetings were held in the halls, and were not open to the

At night the parlors of private houses and the hotels were radiant with
the wealth of beauty gathered mainly from the Old Dominion and the old
North State. If there were ever fairer and more lovely women since the
days of Helen this deponent never saw them.

The next day the graduating class made their last bows to a College
audience, having, according to custom, appeared three times before in
the last year of their course. It would be hard to decide which did
best, if the verdict had to be given by the fair auditors who heard

The "Latin Salutatory" came first, delivered by the second-honor man.
This was followed by the orations of others, without regard to grade.
The closing "Valedictory" was delivered by the first-honor man, who in
a manner represented the whole class. Then each graduate received his
"sheep-skin," delivered by the President, who, in Latin, said, "_Accepe
hoc diploma_," as he handed the diploma.

The graduating class was complimented by a "party" given in their honor
by the students at the Steward's Hall, which was largely attended. This
closed the Commencement.

So great was the interest in the Annual Commencements that parties came
for long distances, even as far as South Carolina. Some of them came in
coaches drawn by four horses with out-riders.

COLLEGE YEAR 1844-'45.

The tendency in patronage this year was still downward. The number of
students was smaller than ever before.

A movement was made to carry out the project to raise $20,000 for
endowment. The salaries of the Faculty were reduced, so that the
President only got $1,250; the professors, $1,000; Tutor, $600;
Principal of the Preparatory School, $600. This was done in the face of
the fact that the dues to the Faculty at this time amounted to $7,000.
This unfortunate condition of affairs was brought about and aggravated
by several causes. The poorly paid officers worked without hope of
remuneration. Students failed to attend because the impression was
becoming prevalent that the College would be forced to close its doors.
Besides, the farming community were receiving low prices for their
crops. In 1845 the severest drought prevailed in Virginia ever known
since 1816.

At the Commencement, June, 1845, a case of smallpox was reported on the
morning of the first day. This threatened the total suspension of the
exercises, and many visitors did return home. The exercises were held at
Boydton, and the address of Rev. Dr. William S. Plumer, one of the
greatest men of his day, served to put all in good humor and restore
quiet. The next day the services were held in the chapel.

[Illustration:  TURNER M. JONES, A. M., D. D., _President Greensboro
Female College, N.C._]

Degrees were conferred as follows:

A. B.


A. M.


At the close of this year I. I. Crenshaw and H. N. McTyeire resigned
their places as Tutors. The former went to the Buckingham Female
Institute, and the latter took work as an itinerant on a circuit till

[Illustration:  O. H. P. CORPREW, A. M., LL. D., _Professor in
Randolph-Macon College and Central College, Mo._]

Williams T. Davis was elected Principal of the Preparatory School.

COLLEGE YEAR 1845-'46.

The drought referred to continued till late in the summer. Many farmers
had to buy corn at one dollar per bushel, and in some cases had to go as
far as thirty miles to get meal.

At the close of the year in June, at the meeting of the Board, great
financial embarrassment was reported. A bond to be secured by mortgage
on the real estate of the College for $5,000 was authorized to raise
funds to meet pressing indebtedness.

The following received degrees June, 1846:

A. B.


A. M.

  JOHN F. RIVES, Miss.

D. D.

  Rev. W. M. WIGHTMAN, S. C.

The session of the College, 1846-'47, opened very inauspiciously. In
addition to (and probably in large measure growing out of) the financial
troubles which had been thickening for years past, a want of harmony and
co-operation between the President and some of the members of the
Faculty began to be shown. This led to disorder and insubordination
among the students. To inquire into the matter at issue a meeting of the
Trustees was called in September, 1846, at which, after reciting a
history of the troubles, President Garland tendered his resignation, and
requested the immediate acceptance of the same. This was followed by the
resignation of their positions by Professors D. S. Doggett and David
Duncan, and Tutor Thomas H. Rogers.

The resignation of the President was not accepted for prudential
reasons. That of Professor Doggett, to take effect at the close of the
session, was accepted, as was that of Tutor Rogers. Professor Duncan was
induced to withdraw his.

The Board then adjourned to meet in the succeeding November, at the
session of the Virginia Conference, which was to meet at the College.

At the adjourned meeting held November 13, 1846, the Board accepted the
resignation of President Garland. Rev. Wm. A. Smith, D. D., of the
Virginia Conference, was elected to fill the vacancy caused by the
resignation of President Garland. The Faculty, as re-organized, was as
follows, viz:

  REV. WM. A. SMITH (_President_), _Prof. Moral and Mental Philosophy_.
  REV. CHARLES F. DEEMS, A. M., Prof. _Latin and Belles Lettres_.
  EZEKIEL A. BLANCH, A. M., _Prof. Pure and Applied Mathematics_.
  DAVID DUNCAN, A. M., _Prof. Greek Language and Literature_.
  JAMES W. HARDY, _Prof. Experimental Science, Astronomy and Optics_.

The severance of President Garland from the College, after a service of
fourteen years in various capacities, was a source of great sorrow to
his old pupils and friends. However deficient he may have been in some
qualifications for the presidency, which from the first he not only did
not seek, but frequently declined, he preserved all along the
unqualified respect of all as an able professor and scholar. So devoted
was he to the prosecution of his favorite study, Astronomy, that he
generally broke himself down every year by attempting to perform the
arduous work of the president and also of full professor. Added to this
he was for years Treasurer. To a sensitive nature like his, the demands
of creditors made on him when he could not meet them was a burden of
itself heavy enough for any one to bear. If the College had had an
endowment fund large enough to pay the expenses as they were incurred,
and had allowed him to retain a professorship at a fair salary, with a
president taking on his shoulders the duties which in most colleges
devolved on the president, his valuable services could probably have
been retained--certainly if the dissension had not arisen in the
administration of the College. It is proper here to state that this
dissension was only with Professor Hardy, and was not participated in by
the other members of the Faculty, and did not lead to the resignation of
several of them.

President Garland accepted the Chair of Mathematics in the University of
Alabama, at Tuscaloosa. He never returned to his native State except on
visits. The whole of a long life was spent, first, at the University to
which he went, then at the University of Mississippi, from which he was
called to take the Chancellorship of the Vanderbilt University, at
Nashville, Tenn., which he accepted and filled for many years. Here in
connection with his old pupil, Bishop McTyeire, he did valuable work,
till age and feebleness forbade active work. Then he was made
_Chancellor emeritus_. He died suddenly, but not unprepared, at the
Vanderbilt University.

The closing years of President Garland's administration were the darkest
in, the history of the College. Many of its friends were hopeless of its
ever rallying again. Others gathered new hope, and their faith
"staggered not" in this dark hour. All the older Methodist colleges had
gone down, or were tottering to their fall. So much the greater faith
was needed at Randolph-Macon.

It was a fortunate circumstance that this re-organization took place at
the session of the Virginia Conference, which was held at the College,
and presided over by Bishop Capers.

[Illustration:  REV. WM. B. ROWZIE.]

Rev. W. B. Rowzie, who for many years had been Agent, resigned the
position. A better friend the College never had.

At the request of the Board, Rev. B. R. Duval and Rev. Nathaniel Thomas
were appointed Agents for the College. They were men of extraordinary
energy and zeal, and they at once entered on a thorough canvass of the
Conference in raising funds for the College. President Smith entered on
his duties with characteristic zeal. He was fortunately possessed of an
unconquerable will and a buoyancy of disposition, without which he would
have quailed under the discouragements under which he labored.

"Wm. A. Smith was born in Fredericksburg, Va., November 29, 1802. His
mother was a consistent member of the Methodist Church, and in death
prayed that her son might live to preach the glorious gospel. His father
was a man of honorable character and position. Both died when he was of
a tender age. For a time the orphan boy had rough usage; but he was
afterwards adopted and raised by Mr. Russell Hill, a friend of his
father, and a worthy merchant of Petersburg. When seventeen years old,
he was converted, and joined the M. E. Church. He had received a good
English education, and had commenced the study of the classics; but
feeling that he was called of God to the ministry, and not being able to
attend college as he desired, he studied privately one year at the home
of his uncle, Mr. Porter, in Orange county, and taught school two or
three years in Madison. In 1824 he travelled the Gloucester circuit
under the Presiding Elder; in February, 1825, he was admitted on trial
into the Virginia Conference. In 1833, while Agent for Randolph-Macon
College, then in its infancy, he met with a fearful accident: the
carriage which he was driving upset and fell on him, breaking his right
thigh and dislocating his left hip, and badly laming him for life. He
was a delegate to the General Conference of the M. E. Church every
session from 1832 to 1844, and occupied a high position in that great
council as an adviser and debater. In the memorable appeal case of
Harding, and in the yet more important extrajudicial trial of Bishop
Andrew, which led to the division of the church, he won a reputation
wide as the United States, and inferior to that of no minister of any
denomination, for the highest deliberative and forensic eloquence. He
was a member of the Louisville Convention which organized the M. E.
Church, South, and of all the General Conferences of this church to the
date of his death. He commanded universal respect and confidence among
his brethren by the sincerity of his zeal, the wisdom of his counsels,
and the power of his reasoning. His impress will long remain on the
legislation and institutions of Southern Methodism. In 1846 he was
called from the regular pastorate, by the urgency of the Trustees of
Randolph-Macon College, sanctioned by the Virginia Conference, to the
Presidency of this institution. He was selected for that place because
his courage, energy and strength of intellect seemed indispensable not
only to the prosperity, but even to the saving of this noble
institution. Twenty years of his life was consecrated to this
cause--years of self-sacrifice, of unremitting toil, of courageous
battling with difficulties and victory over them; of hope where others
desponded, of faith where others doubted, of resolution where others
wavered. He was diligent in his study, diligent in his lecture-room,
diligent in his travel through Virginia and North Carolina to collect
money and to arouse interest in behalf of the College. The number of
students steadily increased, the standard of scholarship was elevated,
and through the joint efforts of Dr. Smith and the agents of the College
an endowment fund of $100,000 was raised. Then came the terrible war,
which emptied those classic halls and swept away the funds which had
been gathered with so much toil. Yet not in vain had he labored. Scores
of ministers, hundreds of pious young men, educated under his care,
moulded by his influence, are this day in their several spheres carrying
on the same grand work to which he was devoted, and have learned, from
his teachings and example, never to surrender, never to despair of

"We have not spoken of Dr. Smith as a preacher and pastor. He soon rose
to eminence in the ministry, and stood with the foremost in the pulpit
and pastorate for faithfulness, ability and success. He had a deep,
distinct, happy, constant experience of the saving grace of God in
Christ Jesus. His zeal for the cause of religion was pure, steady,
consuming. He was fully consecrated to the work of the ministry. The
doctrines and polity of our church had no stronger, nobler expounder and
champion than he. His sermons were "logic on fire"--grand and solid
discussions of the leading truths of the gospel, animated with deep
emotion. Thousands were converted under his ministry; many of them
became preachers of the word in our own and other denominations; the
churches he served were ever edified and trained, not less by his
pastoral fidelity than by his luminous discourses.

"As a man, he was of marked character. Who that ever saw him could
forget that bold, frank, noble face and forehead, which revealed at a
glance the lofty attributes of his intellect, the loftier attributes of
his heart! Cunning and deceit he knew not; to fear he was a stranger;
his convictions he was ever ready to avow and maintain. Yet, with all
his courage and indomitable energy of will, he had a tender, sympathetic
heart, and much of a child-like spirit, simple, unselfish, trustful,
easy to be entreated." *

* Copied from Memoir in Virginia Conference Minutes.

Rev. C. F. Deems did not accept the chair of Latin, and O. H. P. Corprew
was elected professor _pro tempore_, and filled the place.

At a meeting of the Board held March 31, 1847, an effort was made to
establish a medical department of the College, but it never resulted in
any permanent success.

[Illustration:  BENNETT PURYEAR, A. M., LL. D., _Professor Chemistry
Randolph-Macon College; Chairman Faculty and Professor Chemistry,
Richmond College._]

At the meeting of the Board held June, 1847, President Smith reported
that the session had been pleasant and the prospects of the College
improving. The success of the Agents in their work gave promise of
better financial conditions. A committee was appointed to reorganize the
Preparatory School system, and it was proposed to establish one or more
at salient points.

[Illustration:  WM. A. SMITH, D. D., _President of Randolph-Macon
College, 1846-1866.  President Central College, Missouri._]

Professor J.W. Hardy tendered his resignation, which was accepted. He
had been elected President of La Grange College, Alabama, where he died
after a short service.

The following received degrees:

A. B.

  R. H. BEALE, Tenn.

A. M.

  W. C. DOUB, N. C.
  T. C. JOHNSON, Mo.

D. D.


At a meeting of the Board held at Charlottesville November 17, during
the session of the Virginia Conference, a further issue of
life-scholarships was authorized.

The committee on Preparatory Schools reported in favor of retaining the
old school at the College under certain rules, and the establishment of
one at Ridgway, N. C., under a contract with the Trustees of the Ridgway
Academy, with William C. Doub, A. M., as Principal; also of one at
Garysburg, N. C., with C. B. Stuart, A. M., as Principal.

At the close of the year, June, 1848, the President in the annual report
reported increased patronage, and a session marked by studiousness and
good order among the students. The number in the College and the
Preparatory School was about one hundred and forty.

The graduates receiving degrees June, 1848, were--

A. B.


A. M.

  J. W. SHELTON, N. C.
  WILLIAMS T. DAVIS (Hon'y), Va.
  BENJAMIN JENKINS (Honorary), Missionary M. E. Church, South, in China.

[Illustration:  JAMES R. BRANCH, A. M., _Colonel Artillery, C. S. A._]

D'Arcy Paul, Investing Agent and Chairman of the Finance Committee,
reported the probable income for coming year at about $3,500, $2,000 of
which amount to come from fees and the balance endowment dividends.

[Illustration:  JOHN C. GRANBERY, A. M., D. D.]

We pause again in this narrative to give a reminiscence of College life
as written in 1882 by a distinguished member of the class last named,
John C. Granbery, who delivered the valedictory as first-honor man. The
distinction then achieved was but a presage of his rank in the several
positions he has been called to fill--Pastor, Chaplain to the University
of Virginia, Chaplain in the Confederate army (in which service he was
severely wounded and taken prisoner), Professor in the Vanderbilt
University, Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South (elected
1882), and author of several works. At this writing he lives at Ashland,
and is the President of the Board of Trustees.

"As the earliest of the American Methodist Colleges now extant,
Randolph-Macon may be called venerable, if not ancient. But I use the
prefix _old_ in order to distinguish the College as it was at Boydton
from the College as it is at Ashland. The features of contrast are many
and important. In the old days slavery was, as we thought, a fixed and
lasting institution; civil strife had not swept away lives and fortunes,
and the South was proud, independent, fiery and enthusiastic, chivalrous
withal, generous, genial; now we are just beginning to adjust ourselves
to the new social and political conditions which have been imposed by a
disastrous war. Then there was a single degree, Bachelor of Arts, for
which the students strove, and the course of four years was prescribed,
with its regular gradations of Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and
Seniors; now the studies are eclectic, and the matriculates may select
any one of several degrees, or study without reference to graduation.
Then the lumbering stage brought up the tri-weekly, or perhaps daily,
mail and passengers, and the word of the driver rang forth cheerily, but
no shrill whistle of steam-engine or thunder of lightning trains
disturbed the silence of the classic groves, and the attractions and
distractions of the crowded, hurrying, clamorous city were out of
reach and out of thought; now the steam-car and the steam-press are
familiar objects, the capital is less than an hour's distance, and the
stage-coach is a tradition.

"A change has taken place in the manner and measure of collegiate
discipline. This is due not to the change of locality, but to the spirit
of the age. It has come to be a maxim that the best government is that
which governs least. We seek the minimum of restriction on liberty that
is compatible with the ends of government, viz., order, morality and
diligence. Formerly the dormitory system prevailed; students were
required to be in their rooms during certain hours of the day and night;
professors and tutors visited the buildings, seeking to surprise the
inmates, in order to ascertain whether the rule was observed; there were
many minute regulations which have since been abandoned. This continued
exercise of authority and plan of watching provoked insubordination and
evasion; the wits of the boys were set to work in order to deceive the
teachers, and to break the rules without detection, or, at least, with
impunity. The risk gave to mischief and lawlessness a relish they would
not otherwise have possessed. Unwholesome suppers were stealthily
brought to the rooms by negroes at late hours of the night; calathumps
aroused the neighborhood with most hideous music; blackboards were
greased; the bell-rope was cut, and old John had to blow his horn at
daybreak in every row of the buildings, as a call to prayers and
recitations. This provoked him greatly, and he used to say, 'If you
won't be rung up as gentlemen, I must blow you up as hogs.' How heartily
I have heard Dr. Smith laugh as he repeated the old negro's complaint at
such times, 'We have the worstest young men, and the mostest on 'em, I
ever seed!' Practical jokes, sometimes of a very disagreeable sort, were
played on professors in their nocturnal rounds of inspecting the
premises. Calves were hauled up into lecture-rooms, and other silly
tricks were perpetrated. I am glad that these follies have passed away,
that faculty and students treat each other as gentlemen and friends, and
that the public sentiment of the College would not tolerate any
rudeness, though disguised under the name of fun. It is well to appeal
to the conscience, gentlemanly propriety and honor, and generous and
kindly sentiments of young men, rather than resort to espionage and
multiplied restraints.

"I appreciate the arguments in favor of locating institutions of
learning on the great lines of travel, and in or near large towns. It
should be easy to get to them, and get away from them. The frequent mail
and the time-destroying telegraph are now indispensable where students
are a small minority of the population, and where there is a vigilant
and effective police many disorders are prevented, and faculties and
boards of trust are saved much trouble. Low vice is cheap, and will go
to the most secluded spot in search of victims; but the city presents
many refined pleasures which may serve to draw off ingenuous youth from
haunts of sin and projects of mischief. But there are advantages on the
side of the more quiet and retired situation. It favors concentration of
interest on books, lectures, and light collegiate exercises. The whole
life at the country college becomes student life. There is no division
of mind and heart. There is nothing to tempt the earnest youth from his
proper work. The _esprit du corps_ of old Randolph-Macon was very
strong. There were hospitable and cultivated homes in the neighborhood,
and most charming maidens; those who visited them found entangling
alliances for life, if the fair sex consented. But the number of young
ladies sufficiently near to be easily visited was small, and many of the
students were not, if I must use the modern slang which was unknown in
my day, calicoists. The two literary societies were centres of
enthusiasm. A new Randolph-Macon student can hardly understand the
intensity of devotion "Washs" and "Franks" had for their societies in
those times. All students were members of the one or of the other, and
were ready to brag for it, quarrel for it, and, if need be, fight for
it. They did not all attend regularly the meetings, or take part in
discussion and other literary exercises; their lack of presence or
performance was amply atoned for by the payment of their fines, for we
were always eager to replenish the treasury. But a number studied
carefully the questions of debate, reading largely, and thus, forming a
fondness for books and habit of reflection; they prepared their
speeches, and often waxed very warm. Indeed, bitterness and strife would
sometimes arise, but they soon passed away. A frequent and effective
debater of rather waspish and contemptuous temper alluded one day to the
arguments of his opponents as flimsy cobwebs, as he quoted one after
another, and answered it, 'I brush that cobweb away,' said he. A modest,
merry-hearted man on the other side--he is now one of Lee's one-armed
heroes--responded: 'The gentleman called my arguments cobwebs, and it
may be that they are; but to-day is not the first time that I have seen
a fly caught in a spider's web, and vainly struggling to get loose.'
Colonel R., an intelligent gentleman of the community, said to me more
than once, when he had been listening to a spirited debate, 'It is not
inferior to the best debates I have heard in the Legislature of
Virginia.' Some of the most skilled debaters in church and state would
give a large share of the credit for their power in deliberative
assemblies to the inspiration and training of those old Randolph-Macon
halls. Many foolish things were spoken there, I must admit. 'I don't
know I did the thing with which I am charged,' said an excited Frank;
'but if I did, I oughtn't to be fined, for I did it with malice
aforethought.' 'With malice aforethought!' responded the censor, who was
our honored and beloved Duncan; 'who ever heard before of that being an
excuse?' 'I said it, and I repeat it, that I did it with malice
aforethought; and if the gentleman doesn't understand, I will explain
that it is a law phrase, and means I didn't go to do it!'

"There were many traditions in my day of giants who had been at old
Randolph-Macon. They told how Dr. Olin, the first President, a man of
great head and heart, would send for an idle or offending student, place
his feet on the chair where the delinquent sat so as to hold him, a
close prisoner, and talk to him faithfully, yet tenderly, until with
burning cheeks and floods of tears the youth promised never again to
offend. It was a memorable event when the great man preached; solid
thought in vast masses was driven to the mark with resistless power.
There was a story of an eloquent and mighty sermon from Dr. Lovick
Pierce, of Georgia, from a text which astonished every listener: 'Let
him that stole steal no more; but rather let him labor, working with his
hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that
needeth.' There were glowing reports of the wonderful pathos and power
of Russell, of Georgia; how he melted the cold, stone hearts of the
Faculty, who were bent on sending him home, but they had all their
resolves converted into admiration and sympathy for the youth who
pleaded eloquently his own cause; how often he electrified his society.
It was my good fortune to see and hear him in the pulpit and on the
platform, when he visited the College as Commencement orator."

During the session of 1847-'48, a man of more than ordinary distinction
and talent became connected as Professor with the College, Rev. Charles
Force Deems. He was a native of New Jersey, and a graduate of Dickinson
College. In very early manhood he came to North Carolina to represent
the American Bible Society in that State. He was there only a short time
before he was elected to a chair at the University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill. When Dr. Smith was elected President in November, 1846, he
was elected Professor of Latin and Belles Lettres. He did not accept the
chair at that time. In December, 1847, he did accept another, and the
January following entered upon his duties as Professor of Chemistry. He
remained that year and then returned to North Carolina, and entered on
the regular work of an itinerant minister. It is not known why he so
soon severed his connection with the College, for which he always to his
latest day expressed an attachment, evidenced by more than one or two
acts of interest and generosity. It is probable that there was little
kindly feeling from some cause not known, or congeniality between him
and the President of the College. This doubtless was the root of the
bitter feud between him and Dr. Smith in after time, culminating in the
alienation of many friends from each other and the North Carolina
Conference from the College.

The portraits of the two now hang near together on the wall of the
Trustees' room in the library, and it is hoped that all "bitterness and
wrath" having been laid aside they together share the blessedness of

COLLEGE YEAR 1848-'49.

The report of the President and Faculty gives the following items for
the year 1848-'49:

Students in College proper, 61; in Preparatory Schools, viz.: at the
College, 51; Ridgway, N. C., 20; Garysburg, 40; Lowell, N. C., 21;
Richlands, N. C., 20; in all, 213.

"The schools in North Carolina from the last quarterly returns are in a
prosperous condition, and promise in reasonable time to operate as
valuable auxiliaries."

Professor Deems resigned the chair about December, 1848. The vacancy was
filled, or arranged to be filled, by Charles B. Stuart, of the class of
1845, with the privilege extended to him to spend about a year at
Yale College, where Agricultural and Analytical Chemistry were made
specialties. This arrangement was carried out.

At the meeting of the Board, June, 1849, a department of Agricultural
Chemistry was provided for, to be in charge of Professor Stuart.

[Illustration:  RICHARD W. LEIGH, _Major C. S. A.; killed at Murfreesboro,

The following degrees were conferred:

A. B.

  R.S.F. PEETE, Va.
  B. CRAVEN (Honorary), N. C.

A. M.


COLLEGE YEAR 1849-'50.

The attendance this year at the Home Schools was 134 (College, 62;
Preparatory, 72). Improvement reported in general morals and habits of

Great financial embarrassment reported, and urgent appeals for active
measures to secure needed relief.

[Illustration:  EDWIN E. PARHAM, A. M., _President of Warrenton,
Petersburg, and Hampton Female Colleges._]

Early in the session of 1849-'50, Professor E. A. Blanch resigned the
Chair of Mathematics on account of continued bad health. Professor John
C. Wills, a distinguished graduate of the Virginia Military Institute,
was elected to fill the vacancy, and entered on his duties. He was a
local minister in the Methodist Church, and a man of fine character and
an accomplished teacher. The College was fortunate in securing such a

The Faculty now consisted of the following; Dr. Smith, President;
Professors Duncan, Stuart, Wills, Corprew (Tutor), and Williams T. Davis
at the Preparatory School near the College.

In June, 1850, they reported the Preparatory School as having done well,
and the reception from it of twenty students for the next session, and
four from the Ridgway Preparatory School. The school at Garysburg, N.
C., had been discontinued. The schools at Lowell, N. C., and Richlands,
N. C., in successful operation and accomplishing much good.

From the above it will be seen that the establishment of academies as
feeders to the College was a fact accomplished before the late effort in
1889. They were all in North Carolina, and the subsequent alienation
carried them away from the College with whatever patronage they were
bringing to it.

Degrees were conferred as follows, June, 1850:

A. B.


A. M.

  REV. N. F. REID (Hon'y), N. C.

COLLEGE YEAR 1850-'51.

Number of students reported this year: In College, 91; in Preparatory
School, 62--total, 153.

The schools in North Carolina, except Ridgeway, prosperous.

The year was not satisfactory in the deportment of students generally,
nor in finances.

[Illustration:  PROF. WILLIAM T. DAVIS, _Principal Preparatory School._]

In June, 1851, the following degrees were conferred:

A. B.

  JOHN H. GUY, Va.

[Illustration:  WILLIAM MCK. ROBBINS, _Member of Congress from North

A. M.

  Rev. B. CRAVEN (Honorary), N. C. President Trinity College.

The Finance Committee reported to the Board that the sum of $57,000 had
been raised in subscriptions, bonds, etc., towards the endowment of the

COLLEGE YEAR 1851-'52.

A number of changes took place this year. Williams T. Davis, A. M., who
had for many years successfully conducted the Preparatory School,
retired to go to Petersburg, where he spent the balance of a useful life
in the education of young ladies. He was temporarily succeeded by W. G.
Foote, A. B., and later by James S. Kennedy, A. B., of Emory and Henry

O. H. P. Corprew, A. M., tutor, was succeeded by Rev. J. A. Dean.

The annual report mentions better financial condition; decrease in
patronage, due in part to changes of teachers; the introduction of the
"Demerit system," which is noted as having worked satisfactorily; also
the establishment of the degree of "Bachelor of English Literature and
Science," allowing a degree without taking classical studies.

The Preparatory School at Ridgway, N. C., was discontinued. The other
schools were reported as doing well, but no statistics as to numbers in
attendance were given. The first volume of the _Randolph-Macon
Magazine_, containing ten numbers and three hundred pages, was published
in 1851. The Editors' Table states that "the primary object of our
publication is the _enlargement of our Society libraries_."

The following is another extract from the Editors' Table: "The time is
at hand for us to throw off our dependence upon the North, and establish
an _independent Southern_ literature."

The old _Southern Literary Messenger_ was then published, and several
_Reviews_, more or less literary. None of permanent standing are
published now. Southern independence in government and literature seem
to have both surrendered at Appomattox. Some of these young men laid
down their lives for one, some have been too busy fighting "the wolf at
the door" to do much for the latter. While we lament their defeat, we
admire their pluck.

The following is the title-page of Volume I.:

[Transcribers' Note: In the printed book, the editors and agents are
listed in two parallel columns.  The left-hand column is headed "_From
F.L. Society._" and the right-hand column is headed "_From W.L.



"_Adeo in teneris consuescere, multum est_."


  _From F. L. Society._

  _From W. L. Society._

  _From F. L. Society_.

  _From W. L. Society_.


  _150 Main Street, Richmond Va._


The following degrees were conferred June, 1852:

A. B.


A. M.

  R.S.F. PEETE, N. C.


At the annual meeting, June, 1853, the report of the President and
Faculty was duly made, but, from some cause, it was not recorded.

[Illustration:  SAMUEL LANDER, D. D., _President Williamston Female
College, South Carolina._]

The following degrees were conferred:

A. B.


A. M.

  E. W. ADAMS, Va.
  Rev. JOHN E. EDWARDS, Va. (Honorary).

D. D.

  Rev. HEZEKIAH G. LEIGH, North Carolina Conference.
  Rev. CHARLES F. DEEMS, North Carolina Conference.

[Illustration:  REV. CHAS. H. HALL, _Of the Virginia Conference._]

COLLEGE YEAR 1853-'54.

There were in attendance this year 111 students in College and 43 in the
Preparatory School. Great gratification was expressed on account of the
good order of the session. The financial condition, however, was still
very embarrassing. The scholarships sold had added something to the
endowment fund, but the number of students paying tuition fees was
reduced, and thus the current receipts were not increased. This
embarrassed the officers of the College, because, while they preferred to
remain, higher salaries elsewhere invited them away. The President
stated that he visited the Virginia Legislature and made strenuous
efforts to induce the body to pass an act which would give all
incorporated Colleges $20,000 in State bonds for every $30,000 invested
by them in State bonds. Though the project seemed to meet with great
favor, nevertheless it failed, as all efforts to get the State to aid
denominational colleges have done.

Dr. Smith adds: "But if the hope of succeeding with this scheme be not
sufficient to justify you in making better provision for your officers,
and another should not present itself to your minds affording better
grounds of hope for success, it is respectfully submitted whether it be
not better to close your doors until such of the officers as you shall
deem proper to employ shall succeed in raising from the public an
endowment fund sufficient to meet the wants of the institution."

The venerable Professor David Duncan resigned the Chair of Ancient
Languages, September, 1853, to take effect June, 1854. So in June, after
a continuous faithful service of twenty-one years, he bade farewell to
Randolph-Macon, and went to Wofford, the scene of his labors to the end
of a long life.

Professor O. H. P. Corprew, A. M., was transferred from the Chair of
Natural Philosophy to fill the vacancy occasioned by Professor Duncan's
resignation. Professor Corprew had been elected to the Professorship of
Natural Philosophy in the previous December. H. G. Leigh, Jr., resigned
as Tutor of Languages, and was succeeded by T. H. L. Young, A. B.  Wm. H.
Bass resigned the place of Principal of the Preparatory School, and was
succeeded by John W. Stuart.

[Illustration:  THOMAS C. ELDER, A. M., _Of the Staunton, Va. Bar._]

John S. Moore, A. M., was elected to the Chair of Natural Philosophy,
vacated by the transfer of Professor Corprew.

At the annual meeting in June, 1854, the following received degrees:

A. B.

  JOHN G. S. BOYD, Va.
  L. O. RIVES, Tenn.

A. M.


B., Eng. Lit. and Science.

  W. H. SHAY.

D. D.

  REV. T. B. SARGENT, Balt. Conf.
  REV. ALFRED T. MANN, Ga. Conf.

At a called meeting held July 26, 1854, which was well attended, a
further effort was made to secure aid from the Legislature of Virginia.

At this session of the Board the following important action was taken:

Rev. Robert O. Burton offered the following resolutions:

1. That in view of still further elevating the institution and securing
its permanency we will endeavor to increase the endowment to $100,000.

2. That whenever the amount of $100,000 shall have been secured, or the
interest on the endowment fund shall amount to $6,000, this Board will
grant to the ministers of the Virginia and North Carolina Conferences
the right to educate their sons free of tuition fees for thirty years.

3. That one or more agents be appointed to raise the money, and that we
earnestly ask the co-operation of all the ministers of the Virginia and
North Carolina Conferences.

4. That subscriptions of $500 may be paid by the subscribers either
during their natural life or twelve months after death, with interest
from date, to be paid annually.

5. That Rev. H. B. Cowles be appointed agent, and that Dr. William A.
Smith be associated with him.

[Illustration:  REV. L. M. LEE, D. D., _Editor: Richmond Christian

These resolutions were adopted, and the agents appointed were requested
to make arrangements for the prosecution of the work as soon as
practicable. It could not be done at once, as the Agent elected had to
be assigned to the work by the Conference, which did not meet till
November. So it was arranged that the work should be commenced next

In the interval Dr. Leroy M. Lee, then editor of the _Richmond Christian
Advocate_, proceeded to write and publish from time to time a series of
articles on "Christian Education"--articles probably not surpassed in
force and pertinence by any ever written on the subject. He kept the
matter of the canvass which was to be inaugurated the coming year before
the Methodist public, and thus effectually paved the way for better

In May, 1855, the agent and president of the College began the active
field work to raise the amount to one hundred thousand dollars at
Crenshaw's Church, on the Nottoway circuit, near Blacks and Whites
station, on the the (then) Southside Railroad. At this church a
mass-meeting was held, lasting several days. There were present, in
addition to the leaders above named, Dr. Leroy M. Lee, editor, who was
much interested in the effort.

Dr. Smith was the chief speaker, and he never appeared to better
advantage, having the sympathy and interest of the audience with him
from the start. Dr. Lee followed him. Agent Cowles struck while the iron
was hot and took the subscription, which, in addition to what was
secured in the circuit in the next few days, amounted to five thousand
dollars. This gave the enterprise a good send-off, and was received and
accepted by the church at large as an augury of final success, which
proved to be true. The agents did not relax their efforts till the limit
was reached.

There were several circumstances which made this effort a success. The
men in charge were the right men. Dr. Smith was a great man before the
people. Few men who lived in the State ever equalled, fewer still ever
surpassed him. His colleague, while not deficient in public speaking (he
was a most excellent preacher), was gifted with good business address
and tact, well versed in reading and managing mankind in general, and
thorough in his business transactions, securing all the benefits which
were possible. Both were largely acquainted throughout the Conference.

The times were propitious. The decade beginning 1851 was the golden era
in the material prosperity of Virginia. The spirit of improvement in
lands, building railroads, and plank roads, and other roads was at its
height. Most of the great lines throughout the State were built during
this decade--the Richmond and Danville, the Southside (Petersburg and
Lynchburg), the Virginia and Tennessee (Lynchburg to Bristol), the
Orange and Alexandria (Lynchburg and Alexandria), and the Roanoke Valley
(Clarksville and Ridgway, N. C.), and others were built or projected.
The last named brought railway communication within twelve miles of the
College, and Keysville, on the Richmond and Danville, was within
thirty-five miles of the College. Besides these improvements, a plank
road was built from Petersburg to Clarksville, which was, as long as it
lasted, a great improvement. Another plank road from Blacks and Whites,
on the Southside Railroad, was built through Lunenburg in the direction
of Boydton, but its terminus was twenty miles short of reaching it.

The Crimean war, involving the great Powers of Europe, raised the price
of wheat to a price seldom, if ever, reached previously. It sold in
1853-'54 for $2.35 per bushel, and good prices were maintained for the
balance of the decade. Lands in the State, which had been low in price,
were increased in value one hundred per cent. and other property in
something like the same ratio. All this made people more ready to
contribute as well as more able.

COLLEGE YEAR 1854-'55.

This College year was marked by no special change or event. The
President's report notes: matriculates in College during the session,
134, 72 of whom were on scholarships.

[Illustration:  DAVID R. DUNCAN, _Major C. S. A.; Senator S. C.

Professor Samuel Lander, A. M., entered upon his duties as Adjunct
Professor of Languages, and W. A. Shepard was Assistant in the

At the annual meeting, June, 1855, degrees were conferred:

A. B.


A. M.

  SAM'L B. PAUL (Honorary) Va.

COLLEGE YEAR 1855-'56.

The celebrated trial of Deems vs. Smith took place at the Virginia
Conference held in Petersburg, November, 1855. The charges were
presented by Dr. C. F. Deems in person, and defence made by Dr. Smith.
The verdict was almost unanimous, finding Dr. Smith not guilty.

The result of this unfortunate affair was the resignation of quite a
number of the Trustees from the North Conference, that Conference having
espoused the cause of Dr. Deems by a very large majority.

At the meeting of the Trustees in June, 1856, Dr. Smith tendered his
resignation as President of the College. The Board refused to accept the
resignation, only two voting to receive it.

This year the first catalogue, as printed, comes to us. Others had been
printed, but no copies preserved.

Of the original charter members of the Board all had died or retired but
John Early, William A. Smith, Mathew M. Dance and John G. Claiborne. All
the original members of the Faculty had resigned. Students in College,
93; in Preparatory School, 36--total, 129.

We have no mention of the several Preparatory schools in North Carolina.
Thos. A. Gatch, A. B., was Principal of the Home School.

[Illustration: W. T. BAILEY, _Killed at Gettysburg; buried on the

A resolution was adopted by the Board asking the Legislature to
establish a school of "military tactics" in connection with the College,
but nothing ever came of it.

In January, 1856, a most remarkable fall of snow occurred, with a
temperature of ten degrees below zero. The snow was fifteen inches deep.

In June, 1856, the following received degrees:

A. B.

  W. T. BAILEY, Va.

A. M.


COLLEGE YEAR 1856-'57.

The changes in the Faculty this year were the resignation of Assistant
Professor Samuel Lander, whose place was not filled, and the
substitution of Charles W. Crawley, Principal of the Preparatory School
for Thomas A. Gatch, resigned.

In June, 1857, Professor Charles B. Stuart resigned the Chair of
Chemistry and Geology, and Professor N. T. Lupton succeeded him.
Professor O. H. P. Corprew at same time resigned the Chair of Ancient
Languages, and Professor William B. Carr succeeded him.

The degrees conferred June, 1857, were--

A. B.


A. M.

  L. O. RIVES, Tenn.
  THAD. L. H. YOUNG, Va.

Number of students during the session, 144, including those at the
Preparatory School (34).

The worst blizzard ever known in Virginia occurred in January, 1857;
thermometer ten degrees below zero. Some suffering in the College for
want of fuel.

COLLEGE YEAR 1857-'58.

This year was reasonably prosperous. Some dissatisfaction was expressed
in the president's annual report on account of salaries.

[Illustration: RICHARD W. JONES, A. M., LL. D., _Major C. S. A.;
President Mississippi Industrial Institute; Professor Mississippi
University and Randolph-Macon College._]

In June, 1858, Prof. Lupton resigned the chair of Chemistry and Geology,
which was subsequently supplied by the election of Prof. Bennett
Puryear, of Richmond College.

Dr. W. A. Smith again tendered his resignation, for reasons personal to
himself. At the urgent solicitation of the students, the Alumni Society,
and the Board, he withdrew his resignation.

[Illustration: REV. RICHARD FERGUSON, _Virginia; Adjutant Eighteenth
Va. Regiment._]

Degrees were conferred as follows:

A. B.


B. L. AND S.

WALTER M. IRBY, Virginia.

A. M.

Prof. JOHN C. WILLS (Honorary), Randolph-Macon College.

Students in College this session, 109; in Preparatory School, 16-total,


At a called meeting of the Board December 27, 1858, the following action
was taken:

"The Board, being satisfied, from an examination of the bonds and
subscriptions obtained by the agent, that the endowment fund of the
College, in bonds, cash, and valid subscriptions, has been raised to and
above one hundred thousand dollars; therefore be it

"_Resolved_, That the following notice be given through the newspapers
of the State, viz.: 'By order of the Board of Trustees of Randolph-Macon
College, at a meeting held this day, notice is hereby given to those
persons who have contributed by bonds and subscriptions to increase the
endowment of the College that the said fund has been raised to the
amount of one hundred thousand dollars in bonds, cash, and valid
subscriptions, that their obligations have become absolute, and it is
hoped that they will discharge them, in order that the money may be
invested in permanent form as soon as practicable.'"

The herculean task of raising the largest endowment fund ever
contributed to any college in Virginia or in the South up to this date
by public subscription was thus confirmed. When it is considered that
the larger part of this amount was contributed by individuals in sums
ranging from five to one thousand dollars (the latter sum the largest
contributed by one subscriber), the immense labor and difficulties of
the undertaking may be, to some extent, estimated. But the large number
of subscribers evidenced one gratifying fact, that after the subject of
education had been ventilated in mass-meetings, the people had become
interested in Christian education, and had given practical proof of that

[Illustration: HENRY B. COWLES, _Virginia Conference; Agent
Randolph-Macon College._]

The friends of the College were jubilant over this great event, which
seemed to insure new life and energy to the College, the subject of so
many hopes and prayers. The three great moving and active agents in
consummating the work--President W. A. Smith, Dr. Leroy M. Lee, and
Agent Rev. Henry B. Cowles--are worthy of all honor, and their names
should be handed down to succeeding generations as the benefactors of
their State and church.

At the commencement, June, 1859, there was a large re-union of the
Alumni of Randolph-Macon to rejoice over the endowment secured and to
consult together about the interests of the College. Prominent among
those present were Rev. President John C. Blackwell, the oldest alumnus;
Rev. Holland N. McTyeire, D. D., editor of the _Nashville Christian
Advocate_; Rev. James A. Duncan, Hon. Thomas H. Campbell, etc. A banquet
of the Society was held, which was attended by many of its members and
invited guests. The Society of Alumni adopted the following preamble and

"Whereas the Bible, as the word of God, contains the highest wisdom as
well as the highest truth; and whereas it is the oldest as well as the
best of books, and bears a vital relation to literature and civilization
as well as to religion; and whereas a knowledge of its teachings and the
history of those religious opinions and institutions which have
exercised a controlling influence upon the character and destiny of
mankind is necessary to a broad, liberal and complete education;

"_Resolved_, 1. That the Bible, as a text-book, ought to occupy a
central place in education, as it does in morals.

"2. That it is eminently proper for the church, in conducting education,
to give the Bible such a place and distinct recognition.

"3. That we, the alumni of Randolph-Macon College, recommend and
respectfully urge upon the Board of Trustees the creation of a _Chair of
Biblical Literature_, whose instruction shall be accessible to all
students of the College who shall desire to include them in their course
of study, and shall be extended free of charge to any young men who are
studying with a view to the Christian ministry.

"4. That we recommend that the Virginia Conference rand the friends and
patrons of the College everywhere take measures for speedily endowing a
_Chair of Biblical Literature_.



[Illustration: REV. WILLIAM S. DAVIS, _Of the North Carolina Conference;
General of Cavalry in the C. S. A._]

This was the most pleasant and cheering commencement occasion which had
occurred for many years. The catalogue showed the attendance to have
been: Students in College, 119; in Preparatory School, 22--total, 141.
This year the old curriculum of four years was abandoned, and the course
was made _elective_, with the following departments, viz.:

[Illustration: THOMAS J. JARVIS, LL. D., _Ex-Governor of North Carolina;
Senator in U. S. Congress; Minister to Brazil._]

  1. Ancient Languages,
  2. Mathematics,
  3. Chemistry and Natural Philosophy,
  4. Moral Philosophy,
  5. Modern Languages,
  6. Preparatory.

A. B. and A. M. courses for degrees were established.

Professor J. C. Wills resigned the Chair of Mathematics. He left much to
the regret of the Board and the Faculty to take a professorship at the
Southern University, Greensboro, Ala. Mr. Robert T. Massie was elected
to fill the vacancy. Robert S. Isbell was Principal of the Preparatory

The following degrees were conferred:

A. B.



  F. X. MILLER, N. C.

A. M.


D. D.

Prof. A. M. SHIPP, Wofford College, S. C.

COLLEGE YEAR 1859-'60.

This was the first year under the new system of instruction. At the
annual meeting of the Board of Trustees, the committee on "The course of
instruction and new system of government" reported very favorably on the
results, and advised continuance of the same, with some modifications.

The Preparatory School was abolished this year, after an unsuccessful
course generally, for about twenty-eight years. The number of students
in attendance this year was: in College, 149; in Preparatory School,
16--total, 165.

[Illustration: B. W. ARNOLD, A. M., _Professor of Vanderbilt University;
Member of the Virginia Legislature._]

Degrees conferred June, 1860, _under new course_:

 A. B.


A. M.


A. M., under the old course.


COLLEGE YEAR 1860-'61.

This College year reached into the first year of the civil war. The
matriculation at the opening was fairly good, but during the second term
many of the young men left to enter the military service. The
Commencement exercises were dispensed with, and the Board conferred only
a few degrees. Those receiving them were--

A. M.

  B. L. ARNOLD, Va.

A. B.


D. D

REV. JOHN C. BLACKWELL, A. M., Pres. Buckingham Female Inst.

Under the discouraging circumstances the Board determined to suspend the
exercises of the College--a very wise move, but unfortunately it was
countermanded at a subsequent meeting.

COLLEGE YEAR 1861-'62.

At a called meeting of the Board held August 29, 1861, the previous
action of the Board was rescinded, and it was resolved, "That the
College be opened at the usual time under a complete system of military
government, and Rev. Major William H. Wheelwright Was elected Professor
of Military Tactics."

At a subsequent meeting of the Board, Professor Lewis Turner was elected
to the Chair of Mathematics, vacated by the resignation of Professor
Massie, who had entered the military service; Professor W. A. Shepard
had also entered the service, but his place was not filled.

At a meeting held in Norfolk, Va., November 22, 1861, a committee was
appointed to secure a change in the charter, authorizing the military
feature proposed for the College.

At a meeting of the Board held January 20, 1862, J. E. Blankenship was
elected Professor in place of Major Wheelwright, who declined to accept
the position offered him. On the 20th February the military organization
was completed by the action of the Executive Committee. It was as
follows, viz.:

  REV. WM. A. SMITH, D. D., _Col. Commanding Corps Cadets_.
  J. E. BLANKENSHIP, Major, _Professor Mathematics and Military
  BENNETT PURYEAR, Captain. _Professor Chemistry_. WILLIAM B. CARR,
  Captain, _Professor Ancient Languages_.
  G. STAUBLY, Captain, _Professor Modern Languages_.

A long schedule of military rules was adopted--too long for their
insertion here, and much longer than their existence would have

Those who reversed the deliberate action of the Board at the annual
meeting, carried away with the excitement of the times, thought they
were doing the best, but, as we look at it now, it appears a solemn
farce. It was also an expensive one.

At the close of the year, June, 1862, the following received degrees:

A. M.

  J. E. BUTLER, Ark.
  R. A. COMPTON, Va.



A. B.

  B. L. ARNOLD, Va.

[Illustration: WILLIAM E. EDWARDS, D. D., _A. B., 1862._]

At the annual meeting, June, 1862, of the Trustees, the following
resolution was adopted:

"This Board, having the utmost confidence in the ability of the
Confederate States to maintain their independence, and that it is safe
to make investment in their stocks (bonds), is of the opinion that it
would be judicious to sell out our stocks which do not pay an interest
of more than six per cent., and to invest the same in Confederate States
bonds, bearing an interest of eight per cent. And that the President of
the College be requested to confer with our Investing Agent on the
subject, and that if the investing Agent concur with the Board in the
propriety of the exchance of stocks, that he proceed to make it."

Under the military _regime_ the session opened as usual in September,
1862. The number of students in attendance was small, as might have been

The board of students was fixed at $25 per month, with the following
bill of fare at the Mess Hall:

"_For breakfast_--Sugar, coffee (_or substitute_) or milk (_those using
the one will not be entitled to the other_), flour-bread, viz., loaf
bread and biscuit, and either batter-bread, waffles or muffins, butter,
cold or fried bacon, or hash.

"_For dinner_--Boiled bacon and cabbage, or other greens, and one of the
following kinds of meats, viz., beef, mutton, shoat or fowls, with the
vegetables of the season, and corn-bread.

"_For supper_--Sugar, coffee (_or a substitute_) or milk, as at
breakfast, flour-bread, viz., loaf-bread and biscuit, and either
batter-bread, waflles, muffins, or toast-bread and butter."

What soldier could not fight on such fare as this!

In October, 1862, Professor Staubly resigned, and soon afterwards went
to Petersburg, along with Professor W. B. Carr, to teach in the
Petersburg Female College. They were thus engaged till the 9th of June,
1864, when General Kautz attacked the Home Guards, under the command of
Major F. H. Archer. In this engagement Professors Carr and Staubly were
participants, and the latter was killed, along with Geo. B. Jones, a
Randolph-Macon alumnus.

At a called meeting of the Trustees held December 18, 1862, the
President presented to the consideration of the Board the condition of
the College, with an exhibit of receipts and disbursements.

After much deliberation, it was ordered that the operations of the
College be suspended from and after the 5th of February, 1863, to the
opening of the fall term, in September following.

"Dr. W. A. Smith was placed in charge of the property. At a meeting of
the Trustees held July 24, 1863, the President in his report in regard
to the closing term said:

"The College opened September, 1862, with about twenty students, which
number gradually increased to forty-four. The Conscript Act then went
into operation, and took nearly half that number.

Then, on motion, it was ordered that the exercises of the College be
suspended until otherwise ordered. The Virginia Conference of the M. E.
Church, South, held its annual session at Broad-street Methodist Church
November, 1863. At this Conference the following resolution was adopted:

"_Resolved_, That we recommend the Trustees of Randolph-Macon College to
remove it from its present site to some more eligible locality, and we
call their attention specially to the advantages presented by Lynchburg
as the place to which it should be transferred."

A meeting of the Trustees was called to consider the resolution of the
Conference, and the Trustees assembled at Broad-street Church November
26, 1863.

As there were only nine members in attendance, the Trustees adjourned to
meet in the city of Petersburg on the 20th of January, to consider the
recommendation of the Conference, and an order was made that notice of
the adjourned meeting be given in the newspapers of Richmond and

The Trustees of Randolph-Macon College met, pursuant to adjournment, at
the Washington-street M. E. Church, Petersburg, Va., on Wednesday,
January 20, 1864. There were present seventeen members. The chairman,
President Smith, presented the resolution of the Conference, given

After considerable discussion, the following was agreed upon as the
sense of the Board:

"_Resolved unanimously_, That while the Board of Trustees of
Randolph-Macon College are not prepared to take decisive action on the
resolution of the Virginia Conference in relation to the change of
location of said College, yet this Board so far concurs in the spirit of
their resolution as to appoint five members as a committee of the Board
to take immediate steps to ascertain the comparative advantages offered
by other localities with a view to its removal; and that the committee
be requested to perform their duty with dispatch, and report to an
adjourned meeting to be held in Petersburg, Va., on Wednesday, March 9,

The following were appointed said committee: Rev. W. A. Smith, chairman,
Rev. L. M. Lee, Rev. J. C. Blackwell, E. R. Chambers, and R. M. Smith;
and, on motion, Captain Richard Irby was added to the committee.

The Trustees met, pursuant to adjournment, in Washington-street M. E.
Church, Petersburg, Va., March 9, 1864.

The committee appointed at the meeting January 20 last made report, as

"The committee to whom were referred the comparative claims of the
different localities which have been spoken of as offering the most
encouraging prospects of success beg leave to submit, that such is the
unsettled state of public opinion as to the financial condition of the
country at this time, and for some time to come, that no enlightened
judgment can be reached by your committee as to the advantages offered
by other localities compared with the present location of the College,
we beg, therefore, to be relieved from the further consideration of the

"(Signed) WM. A. SMITH, _Chairman_."

The following order was adopted in regard to the report, viz.:

"_Resolved_, That the report of the committee be referred back to the
same committee, with instructions to take into consideration all the
subjects committed to them at the meeting held in Petersburg on the 20th
January last, and report to a subsequent meeting to be held in
Petersburg at the call of the President, or when he may be requested to
call a meeting by any five members of the Board of Trustees."

This meeting was never called. The committee never formulated any
further report. In a few weeks after the meeting was held, Petersburg
was invested by the Federal army, under General Grant. This investment
was continued until April, 1865, when General Lee's right wing was
turned, Petersburg and Richmond evacuated, and the final surrender at

The following reminiscences of the last days of the College before the
suspension are given by Rev. Dr. W. E. Edwards, who was at the College
till near the close:

"The years 1860-1862 were among the most memorable in the history of the
College. In 1860 the College, perhaps, had attained the climax of its
_ante-bellum_ prosperity. It had met difficulties and conquered them. It
had grown and developed into commanding importance. A future of great
promise opened up before it. Dr. William A. Smith was now at the zenith
of his great popularity as a college president and as an instructor in
Moral Philosophy.  The changes which from time to time he had introduced
in the management of affairs bore continually-increasing fruit in the
orderly conduct of students and in their closer application to books;
nay, more, his adaptation to the professorial duties which he had
assumed shone out conspicuously before the church and the state. He was
endowed with splendid abilities--an intellectual giant.  Especially was
he a born metaphysician. He possessed a power of introspection and an
aptness for the logical arrangement of truth that fall to the lot of
but few men in life; and now, by patient toil, he elaborated and
delivered to his classes a course of original lectures upon the various
subjects in his special department, which of itself would justly
entitle him to a high rank among the instructors of the country. It is
to be regretted that these lectures were never written out _in extenso_
and given to the public. No doubt, at certain points, they would
disclose a lack of thoroughness, due to the absence of large and general
reading; still, they would manifest a marked degree of original and
profound investigation, and would prove, what cannot be said of all that
today is taught in our colleges under the name of Moral Science,
exceedingly helpful in the proper culture and discipline of character.
In other words, the Doctor, in the plan and order of his talent, was
practical rather than speculative.

The dark cloud of civil war, so long anticipated and dreaded, now
appeared with threatening aspect upon the horizon. The presidential
nominees were made. Intense excitement pervaded every department of
society. Still the attendance of students upon the fall session of the
College for 1860 was not much abated. Of course, the storm without was
felt in the narrower circle of college life; all the circumstances of a
regular political campaign was here faithfully enacted. Parties were
formed; electors were chosen; speeches were made; votes were cast. The
majority upon which so important a decision was made (to the best of my
memory) was five, yet, in spite of this political strife, studies were
pursued with the zest and regularity of former years. A few months
passed by. The great American people, despite the students of
Randolph-Macon College, decided who should be the President of the
country, and declared in favor of Abraham Lincoln, 'the rail-splitter of
Illinois.' The College participated more and more in the effects of the
increasing excitement. Many students from the seceded States returned to
their homes. At length the 4th of March, 1861, arrived. Mr. Lincoln was
inducted into office. Immediately he called for seventy-five thousand
men to crush the 'rebellion.' Virginia, so long standing aloof, and
hoping against hope, now compelled to make a decision, unhesitatingly
cast her fortune with that of her Southern sisters. The wildest
enthusiasm prevailed among the students. Bondfires were kindled; a great
torchlight procession was formed; the different professors were visited,
and, after the most approved style, called on for speeches. Then the
march was continued to Boydton, to the manifest delight of the citizens
of that little town; and then, at a late hour of the night, the line was
broken, and every one was left to find his way as best he could back to
his room. It is a time long to be remembered.

"Soon students in large numbers left for their homes to prepare for war.
The country was converted into an immense camp. So great was the
depletion in the number of students, and so great was the excitement
that prevailed throughout the country, that the College authorities
deemed it inexpedient to hold the regular commencement exercises for
this year. So closed the term of 1860-'61.

"A word at this point: In those days it was not deemed improper or
unbecoming for ministers of the gospel to have decided views upon
questions of state. There were clerical Whigs and there were clerical
Democrats, and very stoutly did they maintain the cause of their
respective parties. Of course, they never entered the political arena,
but in private and around the fireside there was often no small war
waged by these 'gentlemen of the cloth' over the great issues of the
day. Dr. William A. Smith was a Democrat of the Calhoun stamp. He
believed implicitly in the right of secession, a sacred right guaranteed
by the constitution, and was not slow to give the reason for the opinion
which he cherished. Still, in the earlier part of 1861, he did not
recognize the necessity for the exercise of this right on the part of
the South. He thought that some compromise might be effected and the
Union saved; yet when Mr. Lincoln was inaugurated, and his policy
forecast in the call for seventy thousand men to crush the rebellion, he
no longer hesitated, but claimed rights which before he was willing to
ignore; and the South had no stauncher friend or more zealous advocate
than he during all those dark days of fratricidal strife, even to the
close, when drums ceased to beat and the battle-flags were furled.

"We start a new era. Vacation begins. The excitement in the land, if
possible, becomes more intense. There is volunteering for service,
drilling, hurrying on to the front. Everything is placed under
contribution to facilitate and render successful the mighty trial of
arms which is impending. The battle of Manassas is fought. The South is
the victor; yet the fruits are not what were desired and anticipated.
The war cloud, instead of vanishing, grows denser. The evidences of a
protracted and sanguinary conflict become manifest. The trustees of the
College, under existing circumstances, were embarrassed. They knew not
what to do; yet in the early part of July they declared against the
opening of the doors of the institution for the coming year. Later on,
however, they reversed this decision, and the College began its fall
session at the usual time. Several important changes are here to be
noticed. First, the number of students was perceptibly smaller than
usual; the whole body, perhaps, did not exceed sixty-five or seventy. A
few of these were manifestly parties desiring to shirk military service;
yet the great majority was composed of persons under the age of
conscription and of persons who were already far advanced in their
college course and looked forward to a speedy graduation.

"Again: there was a change in the complexion or membership of the
Faculty. Professor Massie resigned to accept a call to governmental work
in Richmond, and Professor Turner was elected to fill the Chair of
Mathematics. He, however, resigned at the close of the half session, and
Professor Blankenship was chosen as his successor. Professor Shepard
resigned, and entered upon active military service in the field. No one
was appointed to fill his place, as the exigencies of the case did not
demand it.

"Once more: the style of the College was changed from a purely literary
to a semi-military institution. A regular uniform was prescribed; drills
were daily observed, and other things of a similar character were
enjoined, all looking to the preparation of the student for the duties
that awaited him in defence of his country.

"The Commencement exercises for this year were exceedingly interesting
and for the times very largely attended. Dr. James A. Duncan delivered
the address before the two societies. His presence among the scenes of
his boyhood was a joy to his old acquaintances, and his address was
highly appreciated for its worth and for the sake of the man who
delivered it."

The record of the meeting held March 9, 1864, given above, closes the
official history of the College prior to the surrender.

We give the names of the trustees following those who were named in the
charter of February, 1830, with date of their election:

  NAME.                    STATE.                 YEAR.
  NATHANIEL MASON,. . . . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1833
  THOMAS ADAMS, . . . . . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1833
  THOMAS WILLIAMS,. . . . . South Carolina, . . . 1833
  ALEXANDER SPEAR,. . . . . Georgia,. . . . . . . 1834
  W. H. ELLISON,. . . . . . Georgia,. . . . . . . 1834
  Rev. WILLIAM CAPERS,. . . South Carolina, . . . 1834
  Rev. W. M. KENNEDY, . . . South Carolina, . . . 1834
  Rev. W. M. WIGHTMAN,. . . South Carolina, . . . 1834
  GEORGE W. JEFFRIES, . . . North Carolina, . . . 1834
  BEV. SYDNOR,. . . . . . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1834
  Rev. I. A. FEW, . . . . . Georgia,. . . . . . . 1834
  Rev. LOVICK PIERCE, . . . Georgia,. . . . . . . 1835
  SEABORN JONES,. . . . . . Georgia,. . . . . . . 1835
  J. C. POYTHRESS,. . . . . Georgia,. . . . . . . 1835
  Rev. JAMES McADEN,. . . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1835
  Rev. ABRAM PENN,. . . . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1835
  WILLIS LEA, . . . . . . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1835
  Bishop J. O. ANDREW,. . . Georgia,. . . . . . . 1835
  HUGH A. GARLAND,. . . . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1835
  Rev. STEPHEN OLIN,. . . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1835
  HORACE PALMER,. . . . . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1837
  Rev. JAMES JAMEISON,. . . North Carolina, . . . 1837
  Rev. B. T. BLAKE, . . . . North Carolina, . . . 1837
  M. M. MCPHERSON,. . . . . Georgia,. . . . . . . 1838
  THOMAS W. WILLIAMS, . . . South Carolina, . . . 1838
  S. K. HODGES, . . . . . . South Carolina, . . . 1838
  L. C. GARLAND,. . . . . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1840
  D'ARCY PAUL,. . . . . . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1840
  A. A. CAMPBELL, . . . . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1840
  Rev. D. S. DOGGETT,.. . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1841
  Rev. A. M. FORSTER, . . . South Carolina, . . . 1841
  Rev. HENRY B. COWLES, . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1842
  GEORGE ROGERS,. . . . . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1842
  EDWARD R. CHAMBERS, . . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1842
  WILLIAM TOWNES, . . . . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1844
  WESLEY YOUNG, . . . . . . North Carolina, . . . 1845
  Rev. R. O. BURTON,. . . . North Carolina, . . . 1845
  Rev. WILLIAM B. ROWZIE, . Virginia, . . . . . . 1845
  ELLIS MALONE, . . . . . . North Carolina, . . . 1846
  THOMAS BRANCH,. . . . . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1846
  Rev. L. M. LEE, . . . . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1846
  THOMAS W. HARRIS, . . . . North Carolina, . . . 1846
  RICHARD B. BAPTIST, . . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1846
  CHARLES R. EATON, . . . . North Carolina, . . . 1848
  MASON L. WIGGINS, . . . . North Carolina, . . . 1848
  CHARLES S. HUTCHESON, . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1848
  WILLIAM IRBY, . . . . . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1848
  JAMES J. DALY,. . . . . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1848
  Rev. R. I. CARSON,. . . . North Carolina, . . . 1848
  Rev. JAMES REID,. . . . . North Carolina, . . . 1848
  G. W. S. PARHAM,. . . . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1848
  GEORGE WILSON,. . . . . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1848
  GEORGE D. BASKERVILLE,. . North Carolina, . . . 1848
  Rev. ANTHONY DIBRELL, . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1849
  Rev. WILLIAM CLOSS, . . . North Carolina, . . . 1852
  Rev. THOMAS S. CAMPBELL,. North Carolina, . . . 1854
  THOMAS H. CAMPBELL, . . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1854
  RICHARD IRBY, . . . . . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1854
  CHARLES SKINNER,. . . . . North Carolina, . . . 1854
  Rev. GEORGE W. NOLLEY,. . Virginia, . . . . . . 1855
  JOHN G. BOYD, . . . . . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1855
  Rev. LEO ROSSER,. . . . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1855
  Rev. J. P. MOORE, . . . . North Carolina, . . . 1855
  Rev. R. E. G. ADAMS,. . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1855
  Rev. P. W. ARCHER,... . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1855
  Rev. N. F. REID,. . . . . North Carolina, . . . 1855
  Rev. WILLIAM CARTER,. . . North Carolina, . . . 1855
  Rev. J. E. EDWARDS, . . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1857
  N. MILAM, . . . . . . . . North Carolina, . . . 1857
  Rev. G. W. CARTER,. . . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1858
  RICHARD M. SMITH, . . . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1858
  Rev. JOHN C. BLACKWELL, . Virginia, . . . . . . 1858
  THOMAS P. JERMAN, . . . . North Carolina, . . . 1858
  LEROY M. WILSON,. . . . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1859
  O. H. P. CORPREW, . . . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1859
  WILLIAM A. SMITH, . . . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1860
  W. T. SUTHERLIN,  . . . . Virginia, . . . . . . 1860

_Secretaries of the Board._





  Rev. H. G. LEIGH,
  Rev. M. P. PARKS,
  Rev. S. S. BRYANT,
  Rev. R. O. BURTON,
  Rev. R. I. CARSON,
  Rev. N. THOMAS,

  Chairman Board of Trustees, 1831.
  President  "        "       1833 to 1872.

In the body of the history sufficient prominence has not been given to a
number of the Professors and Agents. They in many instances richly
deserved this prominence, but it seemed to be impossible to get
portraits of them. A search for some of them for years failed to secure

The good work, as agents, of Rev. B. R. Duval and Rev. N. Thomas, more
particularly the former, deserved a much more extended notice and


The war history of the College and its Professors and sons is and must
remain very imperfect. It is impossible for the writer to gather up the
scattered threads of this history. No approximate estimate can be given
of the number who went into military service, nor of the casualties
which befell them. That many of them were killed and wounded and many
died of sickness is well known.

Six Randolph-Macon men were enrolled in one company, and the casualties
which befell these are here given from actual data. Whether this is a
fair sample of the rest is not known with certainty. There is no reason
why it should not be assumed as a fair average.

In Company G, Eighteenth Virginia Regiment, Army Northern Virginia, the
following casualties occurred, viz.:

Richard Irby, class of 1844, first lieutenant and captain, wounded twice
at Second Manassas, 1862.

Samuel Hardy, class of 1846, first lieutenant, lost an arm and disabled
at Gaines' Mill, 1862.

Richard Ferguson, class of 1858, first lieutenant (and adjutant of the
regiment, 1863), wounded at Gaines' Mill, Frazier's Farm, Second
Manassas, and captured inside the cemetery wall at Gettysburg; in prison
to the close of the war.

Edward H. Muse, class of 1861, second lieutenant, wounded at Frazier's
farm, Gettysburg, and Sailor's Creek.

Anthony Dibrell Crenshaw, class of 1858, third lieutenant, killed at
Five Forks, 1865, and buried on the field.

Benjamin I. Scott, class of 1860, corporal, killed near Boonsboro, Md.,
1862, and left on the field.

The writer can give the history and portraits of these, because he had
the honor to command the company in which they served, and preserved
their records and portraits.

The College premises were occupied after the close of the war for some
time by the Federal forces. The main building was used as headquarters
of the Freedman's Bureau, and the rooms filled with the "wards of the
nation." The damage done to the property was assessed at about five
thousand dollars, which is unpaid to this day, and will doubtless so
remain to the end of time.

This closes the _ante-bellum_ record.

Captain Richard Irby. No. 2. Lieut. Richard Ferguson. No. 3. Lieut. S.
Hardy. No. 4. Lieut. E. H. Muse. No. 5. Lieut. A. D. Crenshaw. No. 6.
Corpl. B. I. Scott.]


BEFORE entering upon the subsequent history of the College, this writer
would take this occasion to refer to one of many omissions, which he has
noted in revising the pages already printed, a point of special interest
and importance. This is the religious element in Randolph-Macon College.

The College was the child of the Methodist Church, established, in large
measure, to educate young men for the ministry in accordance with the
ideas and usages of the church of that day. Religion was the first and
foremost consideration--religion as taught and emphasized by the
Methodist Church--religion allied with education. At the first opening
of the College a chaplain was appointed for it by the Conference, a man
who was as complete a model of the Methodist minister as could be found,
William B. Rowzie, a walking, living epistle of Christ, "known and read
of all men." One better than he could not have been found to inaugurate
the religious life of the College.

Never in the history of the church in Virginia has Methodism, in its
spirit and economy, been more thoroughly exemplified than it has been at
Randolph-Macon. The morning and evening sacrifice of prayer and praise
noted every day of work. Preaching in the chapel was had twice on
Sabbath and prayer service was held on Wednesday evenings. Students were
required to attend morning and evening prayer and Sunday morning
service. Besides this, the members of the church were organized into
classes with leaders, according to Methodist usage, and class-meetings
were regularly held once a week. Thus was exhibited a complete practical
example of Methodist economy as prescribed in the _Discipline_. The
result and fruit of this work was a high state of religious life. Every
year, or oftener, this life took the form of great religious activity,
and sweeping revivals occurred, bringing well-nigh all in the College
and many outside under spiritual influence, and many converts into the
church. There were few years, if any, when some such revival did not
take place. Of many it could be said, "This and that man was born
there"; many who not only became Christians themselves, but went forth
from the College to preach the gospel throughout the Southern land. Many
here were drilled in Methodist usages, and thus prepared to become
class leaders, stewards and Sunday-school teachers and superintendents
after they left College. A large proportion of these became presidents
of colleges and principals of high schools and academies, in which they
inaugurated the same system of "religion in earnest." These schools
shared the same benign and gracious influences, and in turn became
"fountains in the desert," from whence "streams broke out," reaching
even to the ends of the earth, "making glad the city of our God," and
causing "the wilderness to bloom and blossom as the rose."

It may be thought strange that fathers belonging to other churches and
others not religious were ever found sending their sons to a college
which was thus permeated with religious life as taught and practiced by
Methodists. But in many cases they did send them.

This writer, whose acquaintance with the College extends over a period
of nearly sixty years, makes bold to say that he has never known a
student to change his church membership during all that time and become
a Methodist. He has known class-leaders who had been at home
Presbyterians and Episcopalians, but after leaving College they resumed
their work in their fathers' churches, none the worse for having for a
time worked in "Methodist traces."

As to calculating the ultimate effects of all these causes and
influences in time and eternity, it were as vain to try to calculate or
measure them as it would be

  "To bind the sweet influences of the Pleiades
   Or loose the bands of Orion."


THE period immediately succeeding the surrender of the Confederate army
at Appomatox was one of the darkest and most discouraging that any
civilized people was ever called to face. Virginia had been for four
years the battle-ground over which great armies had marched and
counter-marched and fought. Every home had felt the torture that "tried
men's souls." Widows gathered their fatherless children around them to
share the last crust of bread together, not knowing whether even that
much could be found to-morrow. For miles along the highways over which
the armies had marched, the bare chimneys only, marked the sites where
comfortable houses had sheltered happy households. The farmer had his
land left--that could not be carried away; but few had any teams to
break the ground, and many had not the seed needed to sow the fields.
The last cow was in many cases driven away or killed. A noted Federal
general had boastfully reported to the general-in-chief that so
completely had he devastated the fairest and most fertile section of the
State that a crow could not travel over it without carrying his rations
with him.

Richmond, the capital city, after withstanding two sieges successfully,
had been, in large part, made a bank of ashes. Petersburg, beleaguered
so long, was a scarred and battered wreck. Fredericksburg, Winchester,
Norfolk, and many other towns, were little better off. Some of the
railroads were stripped of their rails--all of them in bad plight and
almost without any equipment for business, if any business were to be
found. The labor system, which had for centuries been used to cultivate
the land and gather the crops, had been at one stroke subverted, and
virtually destroyed. None had been found for months afterward to take
its place. With the people at large it was a struggle for existence and
a fight with famine.

One of the saddest scenes this writer ever witnessed was at Nottoway
courthouse. A few days after the surrender at Appomattoax, he was
summoned with other citizens of the county to attend a meeting called to
confer with the military officers as to the best plans to be devised to
prevent suffering among the people. Just as he entered the courthouse,
where a number of people were assembled, he saw a venerable man of more
than three-score years and ten standing before the officer, with tears
streaming down his furrowed cheeks, and heard him say: "Every scrap of
meat, every grain of corn, everything in the way of food I had, has been
taken from me. I know not where I shall get my meat or bread to-morrow."
This man had been for many years one of the foremost men in the county,
a Senator in the General Assembly of Virginia, and for many years a
Trustee of Randolph-Macon College.

But poverty and penury were not all. The people were humiliated and
despondent. Their State, "the mother of States and statesmen," had now
the tyrant's heel upon her neck, and was styled "District" (No. 1), a
"conquered province"--her governor, first a refugee, then a prisoner.
Military satraps filled the seats of judges and magistrates. The
ignorant slave was often shown more deference than his former cultured
master. Most of the flower of the manhood of the State had died by the
sword or disease. The boys and girls of the next generation were growing
up without the means of education, and helping to eak out a living for
their widowed mothers.

Such, in brief, was the condition of Virginia in the period succeeding
the close of the war.

What could the Trustees of the College do under such circumstances as
now surrounded them? The endowment gathered at such an expenditure of
time and labor was in large part lost. The investments made were in
bonds and stocks of more than uncertain value, some not worth the paper
on which they were printed. The College buildings, libraries and
laboratories had all been impaired and damaged by non-use or abuse.
There was no money in hand to repair and refit them. Our own people were
too poor to furnish it. Those who had devastated the property, and added
injury to insult, could not be expected to restore what they had

Nevertheless, it had been but a few months after the surrender before a
meeting of the Board was called to be held in Petersburg, August 23,

At this meeting a quorum was lacking, and the Board adjourned to meet on
September 13 following, at the residence of Richard Irby, in Nottoway.
This adjourned meeting was held, and a quorum was present.

One of the first matters attended to was the appointment of a committee
consisting of President W. A. Smith and four others "to estimate the
damage to the College incurred by the occupation of it by the United
States troops _after the surrender_, and in behalf of the Trustees to make
application to the proper authorities of the government for payment."

On motion of D'Arcy Paul it was--

_Resolved_, That all the Professor's chairs be declared vacant.

A provisional arrangement was made to open the College for school
purposes, but this arrangement was not carried out.

A further plan was provided for taking care of the College property, and
the Board adjourned.

The next meeting of the Board was held at the College July 11, 1866,
with eighteen members in attendance. The chairman of the committee
appointed at the last meeting to assess and press claim for damages to
College, reported that the committee had not been encouraged in their
efforts by the military authorities in Virginia.

Judge E. R. Chambers was appointed to prosecute the claim.

It may save time here to say, as has been said before, that this claim
was never recognized by the government.

The Finance Committee made a report of the Endowment fund and
liabilities of the College:

  Bonds of the city of Petersburg and interest, . . . . . . $19,000
  Bonds of the State of Virginia, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,000
  (Classed available),. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $22,000

  Bonds Southside Railroad Company, guaranteed
    by city of Petersburg,. . . . . . .$15,800
    Stock Petersburg Railroad Company,   8,000
  Private or personal Endowment bonds, . . . . . . . . . . .$24,900
  Legacy of W. B. Jones, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .500
  Confederate bonds, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  $37,000
  Confederate currency, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7,536

  Leaving out the Confederate bonds, which were worthless, the balance
  of available and possible assets were                     $71,200
  Liabilities as far as known, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8,854
  Net assets, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $62,346

This, under all the circumstances, might be considered a favorable
showing, and the credit of it is due to the faithful Investing Agent,
who also showed his skill and faithfulness by bringing through the war
the "Savings and Insurance Company," of which he was president, free
from wreck.

The resolution of the Virginia Conference in regard to the removal of
the College had been allowed to sleep since the committee's report, in
March, 1864. It was again brought forward by the following resolution,
offered by Richard M. Smith, Esq.:

"_Resolved_, That a committee of ------ be appointed to ascertain what
accommodations and on what terms and what inducements generally can be
obtained for transferring Randolph-Macon College to Petersburg,
Richmond, Lynchburg, or any other place, and also the earliest day at
which accommodations can be at command, and report to an adjourned
meeting of this Board."

This resolution was defeated by a vote of 12 to 6.

The following, offered by Judge E. R. Chambers, was then adopted:

"_Resolved_, That it is inexpedient and injudicious to change the
location of the College."

The ayes and noes on this were recorded, as follows:

_Ayes_.--William Townes, Sr., C. S. Hutcheson, W. B. Rowzie, William
Townes, Jr., William Carter, T. P. Jerman, R. B. Baptist, N. Head. J. P.
Moore, O. H. P. Corprew, N. Alexander, E. R. Chambers, L. M. Wilson--13.

_Noes_.--Richard Irby, D. S. Doggett, R. M. Smith, J. C. Granbery, T. S.
Campbell, J. C. Blackwell--6.

Dr. W. A. Smith, at his own request, was excused from voting.

It was resolved to take steps to re-open the College as soon as

The degree of A. M. was conferred, under the law, on the following:
Leroy S. Edwards, Thomas J. Overby, and J. Davidson Blackwell, A. B.'s
of former years.

Dr. William A. Smith tendered his resignation as President of the
College, to take effect at once. The resignation was accepted by the
Board, and resolutions were adopted expressing the high appreciation of
him and his work, which had extended over a period of nearly twenty

The Board resolved to adjourn to meet again on the 18th of August
following to elect a president and three professors. The salaries of
these were fixed--Guaranteed, to the President, $1,000; to the
professors, $750 each, and, in addition, the tuition fees of the
students in attendance.

At the adjourned meeting, August 15, 1866, the following elections were

RICHARD W. JONES, A. M., _Professor of Mathematics_.
O. H. P. CORPREW, A. M., _Professor of Ancient Languages_.
Rev. JOHN C. BLACKWELL, A. M., D. D., _Professor of Chemistry_.
ERNEST LA GARDE, _Professor of Modern Languages_.

The election of a President was postponed to an adjourned meeting, and
Dr. John C. Blackwell was appointed to act as President until a
president should be elected.

At an adjourned meeting held October 16, 1866, on the nomination of
William Townes, Sr., Col. Thomas Carter Johnson, A. M. (Class 1842), was
elected President and Professor of Moral Philosophy.

The Board then adjourned to meet at the session of the Virginia Annual
Conference, November 22, 1866. Colonel Johnson was then a citizen of
Montgomery, Ala., practicing law. He accepted the office tendered,
but did not take the position until near the close of the year.

At the adjourned meeting held at Norfolk, November 22, 1866, the Board,
on motion of Dr. William A. Smith, resolved to establish "The School of
Commercial Science" in the College. This was never done.

At this meeting a representative from Ashland, Hanover county, Va.,
presented a communication from owners of property in that town offering
to sell certain property in case the Board should determine to move the
College. A committee, consisting of D'Arcy Paul, R. M. Smith and D. S.
Doggett, were appointed to investigate and report in regard to the

At the adjourned meeting in December, held at the College,
President-elect Johnson appeared before the Board and was formally
inducted into office. He was requested to visit the Baltimore Conference
of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, which had recently adhered to
the Southern Church, and endeavor to secure the patronage and
co-operation of that Conference; also, to visit Baltimore and other
cities with a view to securing financial help for the College.

An overture was also made to the North Carolina Conference with a view
to the restoration of former relations and the securing of its

President Johnson subsequently reported the result of his visit to the
Baltimore Conference, and submitted the action of that body, which was
as follows:



"The Committee on Colleges submit the following report:

"_Resolved_, 1. That the Conference accepts the proposition of the Board
of Trustees of Randolph-Macon College to give its patronage to said
institution and to participate equally with the other patronizing
Conferences in its government and privileges, and we hereby nominate
four suitable persons to be elected Trustees from this Conference to
represent our interests on said Board.

"_Resolved_, 2. That when a Trustee shall locate, it shall be his duty
to resign.

"_Resolved_, 3. That we will give the full weight of our influence in
extending the patronage of Randolph-Macon College."

"(Signed) S. S. ROSZEL, _Chairman_."

These resolutions were adopted by the Conference March, 1867.

On the recommendation of the Baltimore Conference the following
gentlemen were elected Trustees of Randolph-Macon College, viz.: Rev. S.
S. Roszel, Rev. John Poisal, Rev. S. S. Register, and Rev. John

At the first annual meeting of the Trustees held at the College, June
25, 1867, after President Johnson had assumed control, eleven Trustees
were in attendance.

Ex-President W. A. Smith had gone to Central College, Fayette, Missouri,
of which he had been elected President.

The President's report stated that the attendance for the session of
1866-'67 had been in all forty-five students; a large proportion of them
were on scholarships. The net receipts from fees were necessarily very

The degree of D. D. was conferred on the following: Rev. Nelson Head,
Rev. John E. Edwards, and Rev. W. W. Bennett, of the Virginia
Conference; Rev. Samuel S. Register, Rev. S. S. Roszel, Rev. John
Poisal, and Rev. John S. Martin, of the Baltimore Conference; Bishop
Enoch M. Marvin, of the M. E. Church, South, and Rev. Smith W. Moore, of
the Tennessee Conference.

The degree of LL. D. was conferred on Bishop George F. Pierce, M. E.
Church, South, and Hon. James F. Dowdell and William F. Samford, of

The degree of A. M. was conferred on Thomas J. Jarvis, of North Carolina
(class of 1860).


The College year, 1867-68, was not a prosperous one. The financial
condition of the country was anything but favorable to a successful
year. The dissatisfaction with the location of the College had been
increasing since 1863. At the annual meeting in 1868 it was to
culminate. The President had become convinced that something must be
done or the College would have to close its doors. Some who had opposed
removal heretofore now favored it.

In the notice for the meeting a special request was made for a full
meeting, and the object was generally understood. The meeting commenced
its session June 24, 1868. There were present the following: Revs. James
Jamieson, H. B. Cowles, Robert O. Burton, W. B. Rowzie, L. M. Lee, T. S.
Campbell, Geo. W. Nolley, L. Rosser, J. P. Moore, Wm. Carter, John E.
Edwards, J. C. Blackwell, Nelson Head, J. C. Granbery, John Landstreet,
and Messrs. N. Alexander, D. Paul, E. R. Chambers, Wm. Townes, Sr.,
Thos. Branch, R. B. Baptist, J. J. Daly, R. Irby, R. M. Smith, T. P.
Jerman, T. M. Jones, T. C. Johnson, C. S. Hutcheson, W. Townes, Jr., and
O. H. P. Corprew--thirty in all.

President T. C. Johnson presided, and Professor Corprew was secretary.
The feeling prevailed generally that this meeting would decide the
question of removal. There was early skirmishing by the opposing sides,
and it was some time before the decisive vote was reached and taken.

Finally, the motion of Dr. J. E. Edwards, which was as follows:

"Resolved, That in the judgment of the Board of Trustees for the greater
prosperity of the institution, Randolph-Macon College should be removed
from its present to a more accessible and eligible location"--was
adopted by the following vote:

_Ayes_.--Paul, Cowles, Burton, Rowzie, Branch, Lee. T. S. Campbell,
Irby, Nolley, Rosser, Edwards, R. M. Smith, Jerman, Blackwell, Head,
Granbery, Jones, Johnson, and Landstreet--19.

_Noes_.--Alexander, Chambers, Townes, Sr., Baptist, Daly, Moore, Carter,
Townes, Jr., and Corprew--9.

[Illustration: REV. JOHN ELLIS EDWARDS, A. M., D. D., _Virginia
Conference, M.E. Church, South._]

On motion of D'Arcy Paul, the Board took steps to secure the authority
of the constituted authorities for the necessary change of the charter,
so as to allow the change of location.

On motion of Dr. J. E. Edwards it was--

"_Resolved_, That so soon as the gentlemen (Messrs. Branch, Irby, Snyder
and Watts) who have purchased the property and premises at Ashland are
prepared to make a tender of the same to the Trustees for the use of
Randolph-Macon College, free from any encumbrance as to title, and so
soon as the legal authority is secured for the transfer of the
institution, the Trustees bind and pledge themselves to make the
transfer and removal to Ashland; and also pledge themselves further to
open the next session of the College exercises at that place; provided
the above-named conditions are complied with in time to enable the
Trustees to carry out this pledge."

A committee, consisting of D. Paul, R. M. Smith, Drs. L. M. Lee, J. E.
Edwards and N. Head, were appointed to secure the legal authority to
remove the College to Ashland, and to secure proper title to the
property to be used for the location of the College.

The President was authorized to employ an Agent to have the furniture,
libraries, apparatus, etc., removed to Ashland.

Thus ended the struggle in regard to moving the College. The majority,
while taking this step, which they deemed absolutely necessary in order
to carry out the object sought in the establishment of the College, took
it with the greatest reluctance. They could not grieve so generous a
people as those living in the vicinity of the College without feelings
of the utmost regret and pain.

The minority could not see what had been the pride of the community and
section taken away, without feelings of sorrow. Many of them had for
many years been the strongest and warmest friends of the College, and
had often manifested their friendship by generous acts and steadfast
devotion to it in adversity and prosperity.

After transacting a few items of business, one of which was the
conferring the degree of D. D. on Rev. Robert S. Moran, of the North
Carolina Conference, the Board adjourned to meet again in Centenary
Church, Richmond, Va., July 29, 1868.

After the adjournment of the Board the opponents to the removal of the
College sued out an injunction restraining the Board from taking the
step contemplated.

When the adjourned meeting of the Board assembled in Centenary Church,
Richmond, July 29, 1868, this action was reported, "whereupon a motion
was adopted to appoint a committee to wait on General Stoneman, in
charge of the District."

This committee addressed the following communication to General

"RICHMOND, VA., _July 29, 1868_.

"_Major-Gen. Stoneman, Commanding General District No. 1_:

"SIR,--We are instructed by the Trustees of Randolph-Macon College, now
in adjourned session in this city, to acknowledge the receipt of your
letter of the 8th instant, addressed to a previous committee of this
Board, touching the interests of the College under their management.

"Since the communication on behalf of the Trustees, to which your letter
of the 8th instant was in reply, a contingency then contemplated has
arrived. A minority of the Trustees have sued out an injunction
restraining the Board from making the contemplated removal of the
College, the writ being returnable on the first Monday in August at
Charlotte Courthouse for hearing before Judge Marshall. We are advised
that the suit will prove very tedious as well as very expensive, and
will thus operate very disadvantageously to the interests of the College
whatever the decision. We therefore add to the former application made
to you in behalf of the Trustees, that you will issue an order
protecting us, both from obstruction and from delay, through these
appeals to the courts, until such time as the legislative authority of
the State, of which you are at present the sole representative, shall be
regularly organized and open to the application usual in such cases.

"Very respectfully yours,

(Signed) "J. EARLY, ETC., ETC.,


To this communication General Stoneman submitted the following reply:


"RICHMOND, VA., _July 29, 1868_.

"GENTLEMEN: I am directed by the commanding General to acknowledge the
receipt of your letter of this date in relation to the subject of the
removal of Randolph-Macon College, and in reply thereto, to inform you
that authority is hereby given to the Trustees of that College to remove
that institution, with all the appurtenances and fixtures thereunto
belonging, to such place and at such time as the majority of the
Trustees may think proper, this removal to be subject to the conditions
set forth in a former letter from these headquarters, dated the 8th

*This letter is not found in the record.

"I am, gentlemen, very respectfully,

(Signed) "S. F. CHALFIN,

"_Assistant Adjutant-General_"

"_To Messrs. John Early, D. S. Doggett, Richard Irby, R. M. Smith, and
others, Committee of the Trustees of Randolph-Macon College._"

The owners of the property at Ashland, who had purchased the same for
the Trustees, submitted the conditions on which they proposed to turn it
over to the Trustees, and the same were, on motion, accepted. This
property embraced all the buildings then standing on the thirteen acres,
now constituting the campus of the College at Ashland, with some other
lots adjacent. Thus the location was provided for the College with
accommodations for professors and students, and the way was cleared for
the removal of the College to it.

At this juncture President Johnson submitted the following

"RICHMOND, VA., _July 30, 1868_.

"_Gentlemen of the Board of Trustees of Randolph-Macon College:_

"The experiment upon which you are about to enter, with my aid and
approbation, seems to me to demand that you should have the widest field
for the choice of a man to fill the position I now hold. The general
troubled condition of the country, excluding many distinguished men from
the arena of politics, in which the talent of Virginia and the South has
heretofore been employed, and also the returning to this State of many
unemployed scholars and literary men, affords you a wide field of
selection for this purpose. I feel that in your straitened condition,
having to make a new appeal for students and for friends to re-endow
your College, you are entitled to every possible advantage in your
arduous undertaking. A son of the College, I love her too well, and the
church which has founded and supported her in the past, to stand in the
way of any possible effort that may give prestige to your labors to put
her once more on the high road to prosperity.

"With this view and the kindest wishes to every member of the Board, I
hereby resign the presidency of the College.

"Very truly, your obedient servant,


On motion of Rev. J. C. Granbery, the following resolution was
unanimously adopted:

"_Resolved_, That in accepting the resignation of President Johnson it
is due to ourselves as well as to him that we express the high esteem
which we feel for him as a Christian gentleman and our admiration of the
great zeal and fidelity with which he has discharged the duties of his
oflice at a most critical and embarrassing juncture in the history of
the College, also our warm appreciation of the disinterested and
generous motives which have prompted him to tender his resignation."

On motion of Dr. N. Head--

"_Resolved_, That in the absence of a Legislature having obtained
authority from General Stoneman to do so, the College be removed from
Mecklenburg county to Ashland, in Hanover county, Va., and that a
session of the College be opened at that place on the first day of
October next.

"_Resolved_, That in deciding to change the site of Randolph-Macon
College this Board has been actuated only by the solemn conviction that
it was imperatively demanded by the educational interests of the church
and community at large, and that the opposition which has been offered
to this action by a minority of the Trustees is deeply deplored by their
colleagues of the Board, who here now and hereby respectfully request
that those members will withdraw that opposition, as injurious to the
interests dear alike to all, this earnest and fraternal appeal being
prompted and encouraged by the very high esteem and respect entertained
for the gentlemen to whom it is addressed by their associates of the

On motion of Richard Irby--

"_Resolved_, That this Board holds itself in readiness to make such
arrangements as will secure to the county of Mecklenburg a High School
at the present site of Randolph-Macon College on terms such as may be
desired, said school to be a preparatory school to the College."

Preparatory steps were taken to have the College furniture, libraries,
etc., removed at once to Ashland.

The Board then proceeded to fill the place of President, vacated by the
resignation of President Johnson.

Dr. Landon C. Garland, of the University of Mississippi, was unanimously
elected President.

A committee of nine members was appointed, who were authorized, in
conjunction with Dr. Garland, to elect the professors of the College;
and in the event that Dr. Garland declines to accept the presidency,
then said committee shall be authorized to elect another man to be

The following were then, on nomination, elected to constitute said
committee, viz.: Bishop John Early, Bishop D. S. Doggett, Drs. N. Head,
L. M. Lee, J. E. Edwards, L. Rosser, Rev. H. B. Cowles, Rev. J. C.
Granbery, and Richard Irby.

Professors Corprew, Jones, Blackwell, and La Garde severally submitted
their resignations.

The duty of removing the College and preparing the buildings and
premises at Ashland, and making other necessary arrangements, was
devolved on the "Executive Committee, which consisted of Richard Irby,
Dr. N. Head, D'Arcy Paul, Thomas Branch, and Rev. T. S. Campbell.


In Memoriam.

Colonel Thomas C. Johnson was born near Lynchburg, Va., on the 22nd of
March, 1820. He was converted and joined the Methodist Church in his
seventeenth year. In 1842 he graduated with the highest honors of his
class at Randolph-Macon College. In the fall of the same year he was
married to Martha R. Scott, daughter of H. B. Scott, of Nelson county,
Va., and was soon after appointed Professor of Mathematics and Natural
Sciences in the Female Collegiate Institute in Buckingham county. This
position he filled ten months, when he removed to Potosi, Washington
county, Mo., whither the parents of his wife had preceded him. Here he
accepted a position in a classical school, in the meantime assiduously
prosecuting the study of law. He was soon after admitted to the bar, and
took a position with the foremost in the ranks of the profession in his
district. The year 1849 was an eventful one. He conceived the idea of
building the Iron Mountain railroad, and suggested it to the people of
the county. He was by them nominated and elected to the General Assembly
for the purpose of securing the passage of a bill for the establishment
of that road.

In June, 1849, the cholera raged in Potosi. He was stricken down, and,
while violently ill, his wife and infant daughter died of this disease.
The following winter he served in the Missouri Legislature, and secured
the passage of the bill for the Iron Mountain road. He was subsequently
largely concerned in developing and mapping the entire railroad system
in that State.

In 1851 he removed to St. Louis, and was appointed land agent and
attorney for the Pacific railroad. In the year 1853 he was married, the
second time, to Pattie B. Scott, eldest daughter of Rev. Robert Scott,
deceased, of the Virginia Conference. He was elected in 1858 a member of
the Missouri State Senate from the city of St. Louis. In this body he at
once took a prominent position, and was a member of nearly every
important committee of the body. In the session of 1860-'61 he was
chairman of the Committee on Federal Relations, at that time the most
important committee of the Senate.

He was decidedly conservative in his views, and anxious to secure the
preservation of the Union, if it could be done consistently with the
rights of the South; but when the Peace Congress proved a failure, the
Crittenden Compromise was rejected, and Virginia seceded, he became a
secessionist, and was heart and soul with the South throughout the
struggle. His position and opinions on the vexed question forced him to
leave Missouri. Without hesitation he sacrificed all for his principles,
left his family in St. Louis, and joined the forces under General
Sterling Price, on whose staff he served for two years as volunteer aid.
Being convinced that the many reverses in that department, at that
period, were due in a great measure to lack and inferiority of
transportation, he called the attention of the authorities at Richmond
to this point. He was soon after authorized to establish the Confederate
Transportation Works at Columbus, Ga. To this important interest he
directed his whole energies, and succeeded in establishing one of the
best arranged, most extensive and complete machine shops in the
Confederacy. This position he retained until the close of the War, when
he removed with his family to Montgomery, Ala., and returned to the
practice of law. While there he was elected to the Presidency of
Randolph-Macon College. On reaching Virginia and entering upon his
duties he found great difficulties in his path. But with characteristic
energy he at once addressed himself to the task of re-establishing the
College. Nearly two years of unremitted toil, under the most
discouraging circumstances, convinced him that success could never crown
his efforts at that location. He felt that to make the College a success
it must be removed to a more accessible point. Fortunately, just at this
juncture of affairs, the hotel property at Ashland was thrown upon the
market. With his quick foresight, Colonel Johnson realized the
importance of securing this eligible location.

It was not to be expected that the removal of the College would be
accomplished without strong opposition on the part of some of its
warmest friends. But in the midst of the contest Colonel Johnson bore
himself like a Christian gentleman. He could appreciate the views of
others, while he felt that the very existence of the institution
depended on its removal to a more suitable site. We believe, indeed we
have reason to know, that he entertained for those who opposed him in
his plans no other feelings than those of friendship and Christian
affection. To his particular friends, who were often indignant at the
hard speeches uttered against him, he would reply, "Never mind, I keep
my heart right before God." Believing that he was acting for the best he
went forward like a true and earnest man in what he regarded as the path
of duty.

Having seen the removal of the College determined upon, to relieve the
Trustees of all the embarrassment in the election of a Faculty, he
generously came forward and tendered his resignation, and soon after
started to the West, the scene of his early labors and successes. It was
while en route to St. Louis (on August 8, 1868,) that he met with the
terrible accident that in a few hours closed his noble and useful life.
The death of Colonel Johnson was a calamity to our church and to our
country. He had passed the period of life when men are seized by
ambition and borne off in pursuit of wealth or fame. He had gained both;
the former he had lost in standing for his native land and State rights;
the latter he still possessed in a more valuable form, as purified by
the power and faith of his religion. Repeatedly has he said to the
writer, "I only wish to live to do good." To the Christian education of
the young men of the South he was ardently devoted, and to this work we
know he wished to devote the energies of a manly and mature intellect.

The spontaneous tributes to the memory of this good man will best show
how he was appreciated by those who knew him.

In a letter now before us from Rev. Charles K. Marshall, D. D., of
Mississippi, to his bereaved family, that eminent minister says: "From
my first acquaintance to this hour my affections took to and clung
around him as one of the highest and noblest types of exalted manhood,
as a true, steadfast, appreciating friend; and as a brother in Christ
with whose inward spirit it was a joy to commune. Few men cherished so
high and sacred views of the dignity and ends of life. Usefulness was
the keynote of his being. Unselfish, wide-minded, spiritual,
transparent, pure, he was a living epistle known and read of all. His
life was hid in Christ, and the highest ambition of his soul was to live
to and for Christ."

Rev. Dr. Deems, of New York, says: "His abilities and virtues rendered
him one of the most useful men I have ever known. Every interview I have
had with him since our acquaintance began has served to deepen my
respect for the loftiness of his character."

Bishop McTyeire, who was a fellow-student with him at Randolph-Macon,
says: "In church and state it seemed to me he was just such an one as we
need now. With gratitude I remember his high Christian influence as a
student. Our meeting and reunion at Montgomery, twenty-five years after,
was one of the most pleasing events of my life. Who of us has not
coveted his gifts?"

Such is the testimony, voluntarily given, by this eminent minister.

We are enabled to give a more detailed account of this sad event from a
letter written by the proprietor of the hotel at Mattoon:

"When Mr. Johnson came out of the saloon of the sleeping car, the
conductor told him to 'hurry up.' Thinking he would be left if he did
not make haste, Mr. J. went quickly forward through the car, and was
just in the act of stepping across to the forward car when the cars
separated, and he fell on the track, and before he could recover himself
he was struck by the rear car and fatally injured. His right leg was
crushed in two places and his back broken. As soon as possible he was
taken from under the car. His first words were, 'My friends, my name is
Thomas C. Johnson, of Boydton, Va.; take your pencil and write it down.'
A stretcher was then procured, and he was brought to my house. We did
all we could for him. Doctors were at hand from the moment he was hurt
until he died. The injured leg was amputated; and on further examination
it was found that his back was broken. He was then told that he was
fatally injured and could live but a short time, and that any directions
he had to give must be given quickly. He then gave directions as to the
disposal of his body, requesting it to be sent to his friends in
Virginia. He was emphatic in saying that his death was caused by the
mismanagement of the railroad officials. Before his death, at his
request, a notary public was sent for, and his testimony as to the cause
of his death was legally taken. He was sensible to the last moment, and
spoke with deep feeling of the overwhelming effect the tidings of his
terrible and sudden death would have upon his family. I sat by his side
and heard every word he uttered. The general opinion of the public here
is that the railroad company is responsible for Mr. Johnson's death."

[Illustration: JUDGE W. J. KILBY, Trustee of College.]

[Illustration: PROF. MANSFIELD T. PEED, A. M., 1877.  _Prof. Emory
College, Ga._]

Such was the end of a most useful and devoted Christian. In the midst of
strangers, mangled, and bleeding, he died. By the grace of God he was
sustained and comforted. Calmly he surrendered his life into the hands
of his Creator. How wonderful are the ways of Providence! The workmen
die, but the work goes on. Is the doctrine of premonition true? We often
incline to the belief that it is. In many cases there appears to be a
conviction that the work of life is finished, and the soul feels itself
nearing the portals of eternity. Speaking of Colonel Johnson's
experience, one who knew him well says, "I can but think that the last
six months of his life was a period of preparation for eternity. I was
deeply impressed with his growth in grace, the fervor and earnestness of
his piety, and his forbearance and patience under severe trials."

The close of life was in happy accord with his previous religious
experience. A letter from Mattoon says: "He died in perfect peace. I
never saw a more peaceful expression than rested on his face after
death." He leaves to his family the priceless legacy of a pure and noble
Christian life. May they move on to the meeting and reunion in the house
of our Father in heaven.--W. W. BENNETT, in _Richmond Advocate_.

The committee of nine appointed to elect professors and a president (in
case of Dr. Garland's declination to accept) met August 7, 1868. Dr.
Garland having declined to accept the presidency, the committee, all
being present, elected Rev. James A. Duncan, of the Virginia Conference,
and an alumnus of the College (class of 1849), president, at a salary of
$2,500 per annum, and use of residence. Subsequently, on the first day
of September, the committee, all being present except Bishop Doggett, in
conjunction with the President-elect, Duncan, who had accepted the
presidency, proceeded to fill the chairs of instruction. Thomas R.
Price, M. A., was elected Professor of Ancient Languages; Harry Estill,
A. M., Professor of Mathematics; Richard M. Smith, Professor of Natural
Sciences. Their salaries were fixed at $2,000 per annum with houses of

[Illustration: PROF. THOMAS R. PRICE, M.A., LL. D., _Founder of the
School of English._]

[Illustration: REV. JAMES A. DUNCAN, D. D., _President Randolph-Macon
College, 1868-1877._]

Subsequently, at a meeting of the Board October 1, 1868, the chair of
Modern Languages was filled by the election of W. W. Valentine, of

The sudden and lamented death of the late President Johnson was
announced to the Board, and appropriate resolutions in regard to him
were adopted.

At a meeting of the Board, held November 20, 1868, Rev. Wm. B. Rowzie
was appointed Agent of the College in the bounds of the Virginia, and
Dr. Nelson Head Agent (till the succeeding Baltimore Conference), in the
latter Conference.

[Illustration: PROF. HARRY ESTILL, A. M., _Professor of Mathematics,

The College opened at Ashland, October 1, 1868.

With great labor and many embarrassments the College furniture,
laboratories and libraries had been transferred from Boydton to Ashland,
under the special superintendence of Rev. T. S. Campbell. The buildings
on the campus had been remodeled and repaired, and were in fair
condition for occupancy, and for the work and use to which they had been
converted. They had in former years been used for a summer resort, to
which many visitors annually repaired for health and dissipation. The
largest building was the hotel, which had several buildings attached. In
the centre of the grounds was the ball-room, flanked by dressing-rooms.
This building was converted into a chapel and society halls, while the
hotel became the main dormitory building. The bowling-alley and other
buildings also became dormitories. Three buildings were fitted up for
professor's houses. The rooms on the lower floors of the hotel were made
lecture-rooms. Though the buildings were extemporised, the whole
arrangement was comparatively convenient and comfortable. What was
defective and might have been complained of was more than compensated
by the superb Faculty of instruction provided for the students in
attendance. First and foremost was the President, Rev. James A. Duncan,
D. D. Of him we will let others who were associated with him speak. His
colleagues were Professor Thomas R. Price, M. A., Professor Harry
Estill, A. M., Professor Richard M. Smith, Professor W. W. Valentine.

[Illustration: PROF. RICHARD M. SMITH.]

[Illustration: MAIN COLLEGE BUILDING, ASHLAND, 1868-1875.]

Rarely has such a combination of teaching ability been found in any
college, or one which met the needs of the time more fully.

The name of the President had drawn from his far-away Southern home one
of the most original characters the College ever had among its
matriculates, John Hannon, of Montgomery, Ala.


"In the autumn of 1868 upon the train I first met Dr. James A. Duncan,
as I was going to Ashland. Full-orbed, approaching his zenith, this
pulpit star thus came into my sky. Though he has years since set behind
the grassy hills of Hollywood, the light of his great character still
lingers in the valleys and on the high places of my being.

"It is impossible in a sketch like this to give the full spectrum of a
character so rich as that of Dr. Duncan. There were X-rays, delicate
gleamings of light from his presence, that could be felt, but do not
photograph themselves upon the plates of a biography. He was not a man
easy to forget.

"There is a sense in which every man is a word of God, or a syllable of
the word. But in some the divine articulation is not so distinct.
Regarding humanity as a written word, such characters are what scholars
would call a 'disputed text.' Not so with James A. Duncan. Looking upon
him no man could doubt the authorship. The divine autograph was there in
capital letters. A look at him shook our faith in man as an evolution.
We felt that _that_ man was a creation.

"Would I had a presence,' said one of our brainiest men to me. A lady of
my congregation asked a friend in a Boston dining parlor who a certain
man was, remarking that she knew he must be a distinguished person, for
she said, 'He has a presence.' The man was Phillips Brooks.

"Dr. Duncan had a _presence_. Who will ever forget that Napoleonic
build? That physique, the very motion of which was silent music.

[Illustration: REV. J. W. COMPTON, R. M. C. 1867-'68--1868-'69. _Removed
with College from Boydton to Ashland. Pioneer preacher Pacific Coast for
twenty-three years._]

[Illustration: REV. W. WADSWORTH, D. D., _Author and Minister
North-Georgia Conference._]

"Tremendous was to be the draft on this superb physique during the ten
years that followed the day I first looked on it. The College with its
endowment had gone down amid the ruins of the Confederacy. The outlook
was gloomy; but it was resolved to remove the tree to Ashland. Here the
railway system of the South would renew its roots and make it bud and
bloom again. Jefferson Davis was thought of for the presidency, but in a
happy hour Dr. Duncan was chosen to lead the forlorn hope in its
rebuilding. Without funds, without laboratory, without proper buildings,
he addressed himself to the task. Providence came to his rescue. By one
of those flashes of common sense, which not always light up church
enterprises, a Faculty pre-eminently adapted to the work had been
chosen. Professor Thomas R. Price, a name synonymous now with
scholarship, was in the chair of Ancient Languages. Harry Estill filled
the chair of Mathematics. Professor Richard M. Smith brought the ripe
wisdom and experience of his distinguished life to the chair of Natural
Sciences. W. W. Valentine held the keys of the Modern Languages.

"It has been said that what a university needs is not so much an
endowment as a _man_. Randolph-Macon had men, and Dr. Duncan, a _man_
among _men_. The Faculty itself was an endowment. Good material gathered
around them as students. '_Facile princeps_' among these were Wm. W.
Smith, now LL. D., and President of the Randolph-Macon System of
Colleges and Schools; Charles Carroll, now a brilliant lawyer of the
Crescent city; Rhodes, since a judge in Baltimore; J. F. Twitty, of
blessed memory, and a number of others.

"Dr. Duncan, while not technically trained as a teacher, yet showed
himself a great teacher. What an inspiration he imparted to the band
that gathered around him! How he lit up every dreary field of text!
Blessed, yea, thrice blessed, was that school of young prophets. While
himself the finest of models, nothing was farther from his thought than
to make little 'Duncans' of every student. Bring up a boy in the way he
should go, according to his bent, this was his idea. He would never have
been guilty of putting the toga of Cicero upon Charles Spurgeon. With
him good 'pork and beans' was not to be made into bad 'quail on toast.'
'Sing your own song,' only let that song be the best possible to you.
Broad, Catholic-hearted Duncan!

"Making a great teacher did not spoil a great preacher in Duncan's case.
On a 'star-map' of the pulpits of that day, the pulpit in the old
ball-room chapel at Ashland would shine as a star of 'the first
magnitude.' His sermons were not like Robertson's eruptions of internal
volcanic fires lifting up new heights of thought; they were not Munsey's
great, gorgeous cathedrals of polished words; neither were they Keener's
cyclones filling the air with boulders of logic, cutting a pathway
through forests of prejudice as old as our being. His eloquence was not
the glacial magnificence of Wilson's great icebergs floating in polar
seas with grassy shores; it was not Galloway's mountain torrent with
'optimism,' that music of heaven in its splash and the swiftness of
redeeming love in its rush to the low places of earth. Very different
was it from Sam Jones' wild tanglewood of tropic forest of mingled fruit
and flowers and thorns. His sermons were the expression of what Carlyle
would style a healthy nature. There was nothing wild or abnormal. They
were like landscapes in a civilized land--great, like the movement of
the seasons, like the coming of the tides--as the processes of nature
are great; great as a summer day is great. The introduction was
morning!--sunrise! not striking, not surprising. The thoughts not larks
soaring heavenward, were rather sparrows on the sward. But we could see
great stretches of thought before us. Now the morning changes into high
noon. It is the sermon proper. We are now in the midst of vast
grain-fields of ripe thought. Divisions barely visible above the heads
of the choicest of the wheat waving now in the zephyrs of pathos. Shouts
at times among the listeners, as like reapers they garner ripe sheaves
into their bosoms; orchards now growing with ripe fruit.

"The peroration comes naturally, as evening follows noon. We hardly know
when it comes. A splendid sunset, often tears like the dewdrops in the
flowers of new resolves, now springing in the soul; solemn impressions,
like shadows, growing larger; a deep hush upon everything. The sermon
closes. It is night. But stars of hope are shining in the sky of the

"At Haslup's Grove, in the seventies, in a great sermon, the rush to the
altar was so great that the enclosure had to be torn down. It was

"I heard him on two great occasions. In 1876, along with Dr. Landon C.
Garland and Lovick Pierce, he was fraternal delegate from our church to
our sister Methodism at the General Conference in Baltimore. After years
of estrangement the two Methodisms were meeting again. It was an
occasion. You could feel it. The great building was thronged. When the
time came for Duncan to speak he threw his soul into the 'God speed
you!' of seven hundred thousand Southern Methodists. The audience for
awhile it seemed would go wild. The day was a great triumph.

"During that same Conference the princely 'Jeff. Magruder' organized a
great mass-meeting of the Sunday-schools of the Southern Methodist
churches in Baltimore. Bishop Vincent, Secretary of the Sunday-School
Board of the Methodist Episcopal Church, then in the prime of his
powers, General Clinton B. Fiske, and Dr. Duncan were to speak. The
speeches of Vincent and Fiske had been so superb that a gifted minister
remarked to me, 'I am sorry for Duncan.' I responded, 'I am sorry for
any man who has to follow two such speeches.' But I found that I did not
yet know him. He pulled out new organ stops in his great soul that
afternoon. His speech was a brilliant improvisation. The audience was
captured. Southern Methodists who gloried in the flesh were radiant.

"When going to New Orleans, in 1877, I met him going to Washington City
to preach the first sermon to the President-elect, R. B. Hayes. It was
not long before wires flashed to me the startling news of his death.
Duncan, Marvin, A. T. Bledsoe, Doggett, in a single year. Heaven was
drawing heavily upon our beloved church. Duncan's old pupil, President
Smith, took up the work he and the sainted Bennett laid down.

"The Randolph-Macon System of Schools and Colleges is a worthy monument
to the memory of our dead Duncan. May the graduates of these schools be
living stones in the living shaft, ever rising higher and higher to the
memory of Olin, Garland, Smith, and their successors, who spent their
best days for the advancement of Christian education at our alma mater."

The number of students matriculated the first session was 67. Under all
the embarrassments and difficulties of the situation, this number was as
great as could have been expected. The income from such a small number
was insufficient to meet the expenses, and here ensued the old trouble,
which had been such a clog in the past, that is, straitened finances.
The condition of the country was anything but favorable to any effort to
raise funds for the College. Various plans were proposed, some of which
were adopted, but none of them brought speedy relief, and the
embarrassment became very onerous and trying. By the efforts of the
Agent, Rev. W. B. Rowzie, and the securing of a loan by D'Arcy Paul,
Esq., the College was carried through the first session.

The first annual report of the President was made June 21, 1869. The
following synopsis is given:

Congratulates the Board on the increase of patronage; the zeal and
efficiency of the Faculty; the diligence and good order of the students;
the general healthfulness and pleasant harmony of all connected with the
institution, and the increased confidence of the public in the
permanency and success of Randolph-Macon College; expresses the
conviction that the only condition prerequisite to complete success,
under the providence of God, is a _determined_ and energetic purpose to
succeed; affirms that the demand for such an institution to secure
important interests of Methodism is imperative;.... refers to his visit
to the Baltimore and North Carolina Conferences and the cordial
reception given by these Conferences; recommends a fiscal secretary or
director, whose duty it shall be to take entire control of the financial
interests of the College, except as to matters in the hands of the
Proctor, and to do all he can by travelling and speaking for the

The following degrees were conferred, on the recommendation of the
Faculty, viz.: LL. D., on Professor Francis H. Smith, of the University
of Virginia; D. D., on Rev. James L. Pierce, of the Georgia Conference,
Rev. William G. Connor, of the Texas Conference, and Rev. John C.
Granbery, of the Virginia Conference. The commencement in June was well
attended, especially by visiting Trustees and others from the Baltimore

An excellent dwelling for the President had been erected by the liberal
aid of a friend in Richmond. At an adjourned meeting of the Board, held
in Richmond, Va., next November, there were several causes for
encouragement. The Agent reported subscriptions amounting to over
$13,000. Of this Samuel O. Moon, Esq., of Albemarle, gave $5,000 in
Virginia bonds; the Society of Alumni, $1,200; Major W. T. Sutherlin, of
Danville, $1,500 ($300 per annum for five years to meet current
expenses). But the most important action taken was on the suggestion of
Rev. W. H. Christian, an alumnus of the College (class of 1851.) In
response to this suggestion, the following resolutions were adopted:

"_Resolved_, That we request the Virginia Conference to order that the
deficiency in the yearly revenues of the College (which shall be
reported by the Board to each annual session of the Conference) shall be
divided among all the districts of the Conference, and sub-divided among
all the stations and circuits by the district stewards, as in case of
the Conference collection, and shall be raised by collections in every
congregation, and embraced in the annual report of the recording steward
of every charge to the Financial Board of the Conference.

"_Resolved_, That when the Virginia Conference shall have adopted the
plan proposed, all its ministers shall be entitled to send their sons of
proper age and acquirements to College without payment of tuition fees;
that the Baltimore Conference, by adopting the same plan, shall be
entitled to the same privilege, and that $2,500 be fixed as the amount
to be raised by each of these Conferences for the next year."

This action has been considered, and rightly so, to have been for the
time and under the embarrassments of the surroundings the most important
and efficient ever taken by the Board. With a small assessment of about
five cents on each member of the church in the two Conferences, the
annual income was in a short time increased by the sum of $4,000, which
was equal to the dividends on an endowment of about $70,000. The
Conferences adopted the plan, and have annually raised a large
percentage of the assessment, the Virginia Conference having in 1882
increased its assessment to $3,500.

[Illustration: REV. W. H. CHRISTIAN, D. D., _Virginia Conference._]

In looking back on the period since, nearly thirty years, it really
looks as if, without this action, the College could not have continued
its work. Certainly this work would have been greatly narrowed and
restricted. Great honor, therefore, should be bestowed on the name of
William H. Christian as the mover of this plan, and the friends of
Christian education in the State should render to the Conferences
grateful thanks for having, under the promptings of the good Spirit,
acted so promptly on the suggestion and carried it out for so many

[Illustration: JOHN HOWARD, A. M.]

The year 1869 was otherwise a notable year. In the latter part of the
year the first general election for State officers and a Legislature was
held since the close of the war. With the inauguration of the Governor
elected at this election and resumption of the legislative functions
by the General Assembly, the State resumed its normal condition, and
military rule ceased to exist.

At the meeting of this first Legislature, a committee, which had been
charged with that duty, appeared before the body and asked and obtained
the change of the charter, and the sanction to the removal of the
College from its original site to Ashland. The amended charter reads as

"[Section] I. That the removal of the aforesaid College is hereby
ratified and confirmed, and that there be, and is hereby, established at
Ashland, in the county of Hanover, in this Commonwealth, a seminary of
learning for the instruction of youth in the various branches of science
and literature, the useful arts, agriculture, and the learned and
foreign languages."

The suit which was instituted to enjoin the removal of the College never
came to an issue. It was ably defended on the part of the majority of
the Board by John Howard, Esq., of Richmond (class of 1844), and the
argument was printed. It is worthy of reprinting here, but space will
not permit.

The second session of the College had a larger attendance than the first
by fifty, of which number twenty-five were ministerial students.

About the close of the first term of the second session (1869-'70) one
of the professors was taken from the College by death--Richard M. Smith,
Professor of Natural Science. He was the oldest man of the Faculty.

The following preamble and resolutions, drafted by Professor Price and
adopted by the Faculty, was endorsed and adopted by the Trustees at an
adjourned meeting held in Richmond, February 23, 1870:

"Upon us as friends who loved and honored him, upon the College whose
faithful officer he was, upon the classes he taught with
self-sacrificing zeal, upon the community and the church in which his
virtues made him eminent, an overwhelming sorrow has, under God's will,
fallen in the death of our late colleague, Professor Richard M. Smith.
Even those who had not the pleasure of knowing, from intimate
association, the beauties of his private character, may from the
knowledge of his career form some conception of the vigor of his mind
and the unspotted virtue of his life. For us, who had in him the closer
and tenderer interests of a common work and an undisturbed friendship,
his sweet temper, his wise conversation and lofty unselfishness, will
ever be a source of blended sorrow and consolation; be it, therefore,

"_Resolved_, 1. That we tender, as a body, to the widow and family of
our dearly beloved colleague, our respectful sympathy in their

"2. That we request our President to publish this expression of our
heart-felt sorrow for the friend whom we have lost."

Professor Smith had been a prominent man in his native State, first as
an educator, then as editor of the _Alexandria Sentinel_, afterwards of
the _Richmond Enquirer_. He was the first Professor to die at his post.

[Illustration: PROF. WM. A. SHEPARD, A. M., _Class 1857; Major
Confederate States Army._]

The Board, after paying tribute to his memory, proceeded to supply the
vacant chair.

On the first ballot Professor William Arthur Shepard, of the Southern
Female College of Petersburg, was elected to the place. He was no
stranger to the College, having served as Professor prior to the war,
and having resigned his place to go into the service. Though a Northern
man by birth, he threw his heart and energies into the Southern cause,
and was so true and faithful that, after having been disabled for field
service by wounds, he was promoted to be Major and Assistant Commissary.

It would be safe to say that the College never had a warmer friend or a
truer man in its service than he proved himself to be for over thirty
years. He entered at once on the duties of his chair.

At a meeting of the Board held in Baltimore, March, 1870, at the session
of the Baltimore Conference, that Conference was requested to make an
assessment to aid the College, on the same plan as that adopted by the
Virginia Conference. This the Conference agreed to make.

At the annual meeting, June, 1870, the President made the annual report,
which gave the attendance as 110; total earnings from fees for the
session, $5,040. A preparatory school was recommended to take charge of
students unable to take College courses; recommended employment of
assistants in the departments of Mathematics and Ancient Languages,
particularly the latter, so that Prof. Price might initiate the School
of English, as described in the Catalogue. Reference was made to the old
trouble of financial embarrassment; also, to his efforts during the last
summer's vacation to arouse interest in the College, which efforts he
proposed to continue the coming summer as far as practicable.

[Illustration: JAMES M. BARROW, A. M., _Superintendent of Public
Schools, Columbus, Miss._]

The Executive Committee reported that they had appointed as instructor
in the Introductory Department, as authorized, Col. Henry W. Wingfield
(A. M. Randolph-Macon College), at a salary not to exceed $800.

The Finance Committee reported as follows: Liabilities, $26,475; assets
(outside of College buildings and lots), $31,375. On some of the bills
payable a discount of 12 per cent. had been charged.

At this meeting Rev. W. E. Munsey, D. D., was elected Financial
Secretary. This position Dr. Munsey declined to accept.

Dr. William W. Bennett resigned the place of Agent, and Rev. George W.
Nolley was elected in his place.

[Illustration: CHARLES CARROLL, A. M. 1872. _Washington Hall Builder._]

On the recommendation of the Faculty, the following degrees were
conferred: Master of Arts, on James M. Barrow, of Virginia; Doctor of
Divinity, on Rev. James W. Wightman, of Kentucky.

Rev. David Thomas was appointed as Agent to attend to subscriptions and
collections within the bounds of the Baltimore Conference.

Richard Irby resigned the office of Treasurer, which he had held for two
years, and William Willis, Jr., was elected in his stead.

[Illustration: H. C. PAULETT, _One of the builders of Library Hall._]

In the third session (1870-'71) the effort to build the Library building
for the halls and libraries of the two literary societies was
inaugurated. Up to this time the two societies had occupied the
ante-rooms attached to the chapel, which were very cramped and
inconvenient. Who was the first to suggest the building of the new
edifice is not known to this writer, but it is well known who the
parties were who did the main work in raising the funds. They were, on
the part of the Washington Society, Charles Carroll, of North Carolina,
and H. C. Paulett, of Virginia; and on the part of the Franklin Society,
William W. Smith and Jordan W. Lambert, of Virginia.

An old alumnus offered to give to the Society which should raise the
largest amount a copy of Audubon's _Birds of America_.

[Illustration: JORDAN W. LAMBERT, _Franklin Hall Builder._]

This enterprise was prosecuted with great zeal and skill, and the
building devised by the young men, let to contract by them, and paid for
by them (in most part), went on to completion. It was the first brick
building ever erected on the campus, and the first ever built in the
town. More will be said of this in due time.

At a called meeting of the Board, held in Richmond, February, 1871, the
committee appointed to make sale of the buildings and property near
Boydton reported the sale of the same to Henry G. McGonegal, of New York
city. The sum of the purchase money was $12,500. This included the claim
on the United States government, which was transferred with the property
to the purchaser.

This sale was a great sacrifice, embracing as it did the two large
College buildings, the Steward's Hall, Hotel, and President's residence,
all brick structures, and, in addition, the old Preparatory School
building (also brick), and three other dwellings, and several hundred
acres of land. But the pecuniary obligations of the College were heavy
and pressing, and the rate of interest, even on bonds secured by real
estate, ten per cent. Under these circumstances, the sale was ratified,
and the Board parted with the old premises, built, for the most part, in
1830-'32, at a cost largely over $50,000.

At the annual meeting in June, 1871, the President, in his report, spoke
in high terms of the studiousness and good deportment of the students.
The whole number in attendance was 142. The prospects for further
increase were encouraging.

Prof. W. W. Valentine resigned the chair of Modern Languages, chiefly on
account of delicate health. He was a faithful officer and a nice
gentleman; he enjoyed the respect and regard of his colleagues and the

Great embarrassment had been experienced on account of want of funds to
meet promptly the salaries of the Faculty.

The appointment of a "fiscal executive officer, competent to execute the
plans of the Board, and also to invent schemes of his own for obtaining
funds," was strongly pressed. This recommendation was promptly adopted,
and a committee appointed to define his duties and to nominate a
suitable man for the place.

During the session this committee made report, defining the duties of
the Financial Secretary, and placing all the business matters and
financial interests in the hands of said officer. He was also to travel
as much as practicable through the Conferences to influence patronage,
secure donations and bequests, and also to encourage the Conference
educational collections. The salary of the officer was fixed at $2,000
per annum.

[Illustration: REV. A. G. BROWN., D. D.]

To fill the office the committee nominated Rev. A. G. Brown, of the
Virginia Conference. He was not a stranger to the College, having served
as chaplain there in former years. He was duly elected, and a resolution
adopted asking the Virginia Conference to assign him to this work.

This was a fortunate appointment. The Financial Secretary, after
entering on his duties, proceeded promptly to adjust the matters of the
College, and soon got them into manageable shape.

Prof. Thomas R. Price appeared before the Board and explained his views
in regard to the "School of English."

On motion, it was--

_Resolved_, That the Faculty be, and they are hereby, authorized to
establish, if they find it possible, "a School of English and

This most important move was on the same general plan adopted in 1835,
and carried out for several years by Prof. E. D. Sims after his return
from Europe, where he had spent several years studying Anglo-Saxon and
other languages preparatory to this course.

It does not seem, however, that Prof. Price was aware that such a course
had been previously established, and it was as original with him as it
was with the first mover in it. Fortunately, in this second movement it
became a permanent course, and the influence of the move has spread far
and wide.

[Illustration: REV. W. W. ROYALL, D. D., (R. M. C., 1872-'75.)
_Missionary to China.  Member Virginia Conference, M. E. Church South._]



"_Capt. Richard Irby, Randolph-Macon College:_

"DEAR SIR,--The President and Trustees of Randolph-Macon College, in
1868-'70, deserve, I think, the credit of having made the boldest and
wisest move in education that has taken place in my time. Dr. Duncan,
above all, so great and wise in many directions, was, in my judgment,
the most deeply devoted and the most far-sighted friend of collegiate
education I have known. When made a member of his Faculty, in 1868, as
Professor of Greek and Latin, I had, with my large classes, to struggle
against great difficulties and grave discouragements. Amid all I had his
tender sympathy and wise and loving help. The fundamental difficulty of
all soon revealed itself to me. I was seeking, as all instructors of
Greek and Latin of that period were seeking, to give a knowledge of the
ancient languages to boys and young men that knew not enough of their
own language to receive it or apply it. It was irrational, absurd,
almost criminal, for example, to expect, a young man, whose knowledge of
English words and construction was scant and inexact, to put into
English a difficult thought of Plato or an involved period of Cicero.
Dr. Duncan, to whom I imparted my conviction, shared with me the sense
of the grave evil. Braver and more hopeful than I, he bade me not to
despair, but to cut at the root of the trouble by introducing the study
of English. His eloquence and radical good sense won the majority of the
Trustees, and the English school was founded. I had the honor, which I
prize highly, of having been made professor of English, giving up the
Latin to Dr. James A. Harrison. I had the duty laid on me, by the
Trustees, of drawing up the programme of the new course and of selecting
text-books and supplementing text-books by lectures. My plan was,
through the course of five years, to make the literary and historical
study of our great language go forward evenly balanced. I began with the
study of grammar and of easy texts in the preparatory section, and then,
year after year, thus formed in succession the four college classes up
to the Senior and graduation. I cannot give you the exact dates. The
struggle began, I think, in 1869, and it was carried on to full success
by 1873-'74. The catalogues of the College will give the work and
programme of each year.

"To Dr. Duncan, and to the good and wise men of the Trustees, I am
profoundly grateful for having used me to carry out the bold and noble
design. It was their own work--not suggested from the outside at all,
imitating nothing that existed, springing from their clear perception of
what education meant and from their sense of duty to their church and
their people.

"Yours very truly. THOMAS R. PRICE."


Prof. J. B. Henneman, of the University of Tennessee, writes as follows
in the _Sewanee Review_. It is gratitying that the good work done by
Randolph-Macon is so freely acknowledged:

"It was Randolph-Macon College, rather than the State University of
Virginia, though it was the work of one of her graduates, that was to
have the distinction of creating a School of English in the South which
should send forth apostles with all the fervor of converts and
enthusiasts. Randolph-Macon College would have deserved notice for
devoting a separate chair to English Literature as early as 1836, almost
from its inception; and Edward Dromgoole Sims, a Master of Arts of the
University of North Carolina, gave a course on Historical English in the
year 1839. He was installed in that year as Professor of English, after
a stay in Europe, where he heard lectures on Anglo-Saxon. Tradition
tells how, having no text-books, he used the blackboards for his
philological work. At the end of three years he removed to the
University of Alabama in consequence of having contracted a marriage not
then allowed under the laws of Virginia. He was preparing a series of
text-books in Old English, tradition again says, when he died, in 1845.
Had he accomplished his purpose, these works would have preceded
Klipstein's in point of time. (Other occupants of the chair of English
at Randolph-Macon were William M. Wightman and David S. Doggett, both
afterwards bishops in the Methodist Church, South.) It was again at
Randolph-Macon College (though now removed from Mecklenburg to Hanover
county) that, immediately after the war, there was founded a distinct
school of English, based on historic and scientific principles, and
productive of far-reaching results. I believe that I am but paying a
worthy tribute to one whom all his pupils have found a helpful guide and
inspiring instructor in making the statement that this movement was
mainly due to the inspiration and effort of one man--Thomas R. Price.

"The suggestion of the course of English at Randolph-Macon College
sprang from the study of the ancient languages. The feeling existed that
it was impossible to expect appreciation of idioms in a foreign language
when students knew nothing about those in their own tongue. To quote
from Professor Price's own words at the time: 'It was irrational,
absurd, almost criminal, for example, to expect a young man, whose
knowledge of English words and constructions was scant and inexact, to
put into English a difficult thought of Plato or an involved period of
Cicero.' The course pursued in consequence was entirely original in its
premises, and endeavored to meet these difficulties. Both the disease
and remedy were brought out by the conditions present; and to this, I
think, may be ascribed, in large measure, the success of the movement
and its value as a stimulus. The end set was to place, in the ordinary
college course, the study of English on an equal footing with that of
Latin or Greek, giving it the same time and attention, aiming at the
same thoroughness, and enforcing the same strictness of method. A
knowledge of the early forms of English was demanded, not as philology
pure and simple, constituting an end in itself, but as a means for
acquiring a true, appreciative knowledge of the mother tongue, and
thereby for understanding its literature and other literatures all the
more. It now seems almost incredible that it required so great an effort
at the time to take this step or that old traditions could become so
firmly crystallized.

"Professor Price's efforts succeeded all the more easily in that they
were seconded by his presiding officer, the Rev. Dr. James A. Duncan, a
man of singular breadth and sympathy of mind, who had grouped about him,
irrespective of church and denominational ties, a band of worthy
associates. Price, as Professor of Greek and Latin, gave up the latter
to his colleague, James A. Harrison, who had charge of the modern
languages, and taking control of the English, developed it side by side
with his Greek, so as to cover a course through four continuous years.
This was the result of the work of two sessions, 1868-'70. The movement
soon spread far and wide. Other institutions, impelled by the same
needs, either imitated it outright--some of them actually going so far
as always to unite the English department with the Greek, as if there
were some subtle virtue in the connection (building possibly even wiser
than they knew)--or developed out of their own necessities similar

"After the men at Randolph-Macon had been drilled in the rudiments and
given their primary inspiration, many of them were dispatched to Europe
for further training, and returned Doctors of Leipzig and fired with a
new zeal. In mere appearances, it should seem as if this Randolph-Macon
migration to Leipzig was the beginning of the attraction exerted by that
University on young Southern scholars, an attraction which has been
rivalled in recent years only by that of the neighboring Johns Hopkins.
The land lay open before these young men, and they proceeded to occupy
it. Robert Sharp returned Doctor from Leipzig, and was soon called to
Tulane; William M. Baskervill returned Doctor from Leipzig, and started
an impulse at Wofford College, South Carolina, which he broadened and
deepened after his transfer, in 1881, to Vanderbilt; Robert Emory
Blackwell returned from Leipzig and succeeded Professor Price in his
work at Randolph-Macon; Frank C. Woodward succeeded Baskervill at
Wofford in 1881, and removed to the South Carolina College in 1887; W.
A. Frantz has built up a following in Central College, Missouri; John R.
Ficklen, having followed Dr. Price to the State University, has become
associated with Sharp at Tulane. The English fever at Randolph-Macon
became epidemic. Dr. James A. Harrison accepted a call, in 1876, to
Washington and Lee as Professor of Modern Languages, and formed a new
Virginian centre for specialists. Even Price's successor in the Greek
chair at Randolph-Macon, Charles Morris, soon resigned to go to the
University of Georgia as Professor of English. Nor has the manufacture
of Randolph-Macon professors of English ever entirely ceased. Howard
Edwards, formerly of the University of Kansas; J. L. Armstrong, late of
Trinity College, North Carolina, and now of the Randolph-Macon Woman's
College; John D. Epes, of St. John's College, Maryland; John Lesslie
Hall, Ph. D. (Johns Hopkins), of William and Mary, are later accessions
to a list by no means complete.

"It is very curious to trace these various ramifications of mutual
influences, and to see them acting and interacting, crossing and
recrossing. Three main lines may be detected. Just as the University of
Virginia, through its graduates, became the pattern for many, especially
State institutions, and Hampden-Sidney, Davidson, Central, and,
particularly, Presbyterian colleges, felt the influence of the course at
Washington and Lee; so Randolph-Macon affected, among others, Wofford,
and then Vanderbilt, which, in turn, has become a new centre of

"The transmission of this spirit to Wofford College, and thence to
Vanderbilt University at Nashville, is peculiarly instructive. W. M.
Baskervill, trained under Price and Harrison, and in Leipzig, came to
Wofford in 1876, where he met with a sympathetic circle. The president,
Dr. James H. Carlisle, had always been interested in English work, and
was a close student of the history and meaning of words. Charles Foster
Smith was fellow-professor with Baskervill, and James H. Kirkland, first
an appreciative pupil, was afterwards colleague as Smith's successor.
All three of these young scholars ultimately took their degrees in
Leipzig, and were called to Vanderbilt University, of which Dr. Kirkland
is the newly-elected Chancellor. The English language and letters have
been steadily emphasized by the close sympathies uniting these three men
in their common work in the department of languages. Kirkland's Leipzig
dissertation was on an English subject, though he is now professor of
Latin; Smith, the professor of Greek, has been a constant contributor on
English points, and Baskervill is specifically professor in charge.
Through the standard which their fortunate circumstances allowed them to
set, a new centre of influence has been formed in Nashville.

[Illustration: REV. JOHN HANNON, A. M., D. D., _Ukiah, California._]

"It was this Wofford influence, if I may be personal for a space, that
had much to do with sending me to the University of Virginia to hear
Price in Greek. And I but echo the feeling of many in Professor Price's
class-room, that it was hard to know to which of the two languages his
class leaned the more, Greek or English, so intimately upon one another,
especially in the work of translating, did the two depend. At any rate,
it is singular that his pupils, stirred by the Greek, just as at
Randolph-Macon, have used this classical impulse to enter upon the
keener study of their native language and literature. I was privileged
to be in the last Greek class which Professor Price taught at the
University of Virginia; and contemporaneous with me at the University
were other pupils: Charles W. Kent, Ph. D., of Leipzig, just returned to
his _Alma Mater_ as Linden Kent Professor of English Literature; James
Douglas Bruce, of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and the editor of this
_Review_. Eventually Professor Price's strong predilections for English,
and the memory of the work wrought while at Randolph-Macon, led, in
1882, to his acceptance of a call to the chair of English in Columbia
College, New York, a change which, in the face of all he had
accomplished at the South, many of his old pupils were selfish enough to
regard with regret."

On the recommendation of the Faculty, the degree of A. M. was conferred
on John Hannon, of Alabama, and William Waugh Smith, of Virginia.

The vacant chair of Modern Languages was filled by the election of Mr.
James A. Harrison, of New Orleans. This officer proved to be a valuable
accession to the Faculty, and his success at Randolph-Macon was the
prophecy of further success at Washington and Lee University, and the
University of Virginia, where he is at this writing.

In regard to the enterprise referred to at the last annual meeting, the
Board adopted the following resolutions:

"Whereas suitable halls for the literary societies of this College are
imperatively necessary in the work of this institution; and whereas the
Washington and Franklin Literary Societies have taken this enterprise in
hand with commendable zeal and liberality: therefore,

"_Resolved_, I. That we gratefully recognize the efforts of the young
gentlemen in projecting and prosecuting this enterprise.

"II. That we consider the success which has already attended their
efforts as a gratifying evidence of the speedy completion of the work.

"III. That we commend this enterprise and the young gentlemen engaged in
it to the liberality of all the friends of this College and the cause of
liberal education.

"IV. That we pledge our hearty co-operation in this work in every way in
our power."

[Illustration: PROF. J. A. HARRISON, M. A., LL. D.]

At the close of the college year ending June, 1872, the following items
of interest were reported to the Board at the annual meeting:

The Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad Company conveyed to
the Board of Trustees a tract of land lying on the south of the line of
said railroad, near what was called the Club House, containing about
twenty acres, "on condition that the Trustees erect on the said land
permanent college buildings within fifteen years after the date of
conveyance, and that the deed shall contain the _prohibition of the sale
of ardent spirits without the written consent of said company_."

This was considered to have been a better location for college buildings
than the first occupied, and the project might have been carried out but
for want of means to erect the buildings.

The Financial Agent further reported the need of additional college
buildings on account of increased attendance of students. The number in
attendance the past session was 167, being 25 more than any previous
session at Ashland. Amount of fees, $7,652.30; amount remitted to
privileged students, $6,182.50; amount received from the Virginia and
Baltimore Conferences, $2,682.33. This was a gratifying result.

  Available assets, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  $58,729 65
  Assets not now available, . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24,603 67
  Total, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $83,333 32
  Liabilities, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23,216 49

Resolutions commending the Agent for his work were adopted, and pledging
the support of the Board to him in his work.

The absence of the two oldest members of the Board, viz., Bishop John
Early and D'Arcy Paul, Esq., on account of age and feebleness, were
noted by suitable resolutions.

[Illustration: LIBRARY HALL.--Built by the Washington and Franklin
Societies 1872.]

President Duncan, in his annual report, said: "It is specially
gratifying that I can congratulate the Board on the plan of fiscal
management adopted at your last meeting. The experience of the last
twelve months has demonstrated the wisdom of your action, and the same
illustrating your good fortune in securing an officer whose efficiency
in a most laborious task merits your high commendation.... The large
number of students have been generally studious and well behaved, a
large proportion of them are Christians, and thirty-two are candidates
for the ministry. During the year the reputation of the College has
extended, and its patronage steadily increased. Both the patronizing
Conferences manifest increasing interest in the College."

The degree of A. M., on recommendation of the Faculty, was conferred on
Charles Carroll, of North Carolina.

Mr. Jordan W. Lambert, on behalf of the Building Committee of the
Literary Societies, reported the Hall building as completed, at a cost
of $12,954.40, on which the committee had raised $7,093.30, leaving a
balance still due, $5,861.10.

A committee appointed to consider this report submitted the following:

"Your committee, after a full conference with the committee of the two
Societies, submit a proposition made by them to secure from the Board of
Trustees the necessary amount to discharge the existing obligations of
the Societies, which proposition is made the basis of this report, and
is most heartily recommended to the favorable consideration of the

"It may be proper to state, in connection with this report, that the
committee submitted in detail the accounts with the various persons from
whom they had secured material, both by donation and purchase, and also
the correspondence with various friends of education both North and
South, all of which was most gratifying to your committee, as they
exhibited on their face the evidence of great energy, system, and tact,
which not only reflects credit on themselves, but also on the Societies
represented by the committee as well as the College itself.

"In consideration of the foregoing facts, we offer for adoption the
following resolution:

"_Resolved_, That the proper officers of the College proceed at once to
raise $5,700, and if it be necessary, they be authorized to create a
lien upon the property referred to, to secure the payment of principal
and interest, and the Financial Secretary be instructed to pass over the
amount thus raised to the Building Committee, to be used by them in
liquidating the obligations created in the erection of the hall."

Accompanying this report was the following paper:

"ASHLAND, VA., _June 27, 1872_.

"In consideration of $5,700 to be advanced by the Board of Trustees of
Randolph-Macon College, the Washington and Franklin Societies will
undertake and pledge themselves to use their best efforts to pay $1,000
annually upon the principal until the whole amount is liquidated,
interest to be paid by the Board of Trustees. It is understood and
agreed that if the Board of Trustees should find it necessary to create
a lien upon the property to raise the amount so advanced, they will not
in any way bind the furniture of the two Societies.

[Transcribers' Note:  In the original text, the names of those belonging
to each society were bracketted, and "Committee F. L. S." and
"Committee, W. L. S." appeared on the right-hand side of the
page, beside their respective brackets.]

  _Committee F. L. S._


  _Committee W. L. S._

  "W. B. PAGE,

[Illustration: WASHINGTON HALL, Randolph-Macon College.]

[Illustration: FRANKLIN HALL, Randolph-Macon College.]

To show the appreciation of the work done by the Societies, the Board,
on motion of Rev. A. W. Wilson, adopted the following:

"_Resolved_, That the President be instructed to express in the chapel,
during the public exercises of the day, the Board's appreciation of the
energy and zeal of the Literary Societies in the erection of the Library
building, and that the Secretary furnish the Societies with a copy of
the action of the Board."

In the chapel the same day Maj. Sutherlin pledged the Board to a
subscription of $500 towards the Library Hall.

The above record in relation to this worthy and remarkable effort--one
that has found few, if any, parallels in the history of colleges--is
given at some length to show the spirit of the young men of the period
succeeding the war, and also to stimulate a like spirit in the young men
who are now filling these halls and others after them. Such an example
seems to be needed at this time to rekindle the interest in these most
worthy Societies, which is not as great as it formerly was, and as it
should be.

At this meeting Major William T. Sutherlin, of Danville, who had
manifested his interest in the College by agreeing to pay three hundred
dollars annually towards the current expenses of the College for five
years, submitted the following proposition:

"_To the Board of Trustees of Randolph-Macon College_:

"I propose to place in your hands good eight per cent. securities to the
amount of four hundred dollars ($400), the interest to be collected by
you, and invested in a suitable medal, to be presented at each annual
commencement to _the best orator_ connected with the college who shall
contend for the same, to be decided by three competent judges who have
no official connection with the College, to be selected by yourselves,
whose decision shall be final. The fund hereby donated shall be held by
you and appropriated to the above purpose in perpetuity, and to no
other. Respectfully,

(Signed) "W. T. SUTHERLIN."

On motion of Rev. A. W. Wilson--

"_Resolved_, That the proposition be accepted, and that the thanks of
the Board be returned to Major Sutherlin for the generous donation, and
that the medal be styled the _Sutherlin Prize Medal for Oratory_."

Rev. A. G. Brown, Financial Secretary, made the following review of the
financial operations of the year:

"1. That the current expenses of this session have been promptly and
fully paid to June 1st.

"2. That means are in hand to meet obligations to July 1st.

"3. That we rely principally upon the assessments and special donations
to the College for the succeeding three months.

"4. That the assets of the College have been improved in value and in
the amount of interest they yield.

"5. That the liabilities have been materially reduced.

"6. That the financial interests of the College are freed from legal or
legislative embarrassments.

"These are gratifying results. I mention them for your information and
encouragement. They are the sign of a better day. Let us consecrate
ourselves to this noble institution, and, with the blessing of God on
our duty faithfully performed, we may expect to see it what it ought to
be in the scope of its usefulness and the development of its resources,
a strictly first-class College.

(Signed) "A. G. BROWN,

"_Financial Secretary Randolph-Macon College_."

This gratifying report, the best that had been submitted for years,
caused the Trustees to adjourn in a cheerful mood.

[Illustration: G. E. M. WALTON, _Founder of the Walton Greek Library._]

[Illustration: MAJ. W. T. SUTHERLIN, ELECTED TRUSTEE, 1860. _Founder of
the Sutherlin Prize for Oratory._]

A called meeting of the Board was held in Richmond October 13, 1872. A
letter was presented from Prof. Thomas R. Price, which was as follows:

"_Rev. James A. Duncan, President_:

"DEAR SIR,--As Professor of Greek in our College, I feel great pleasure
in informing you, and through you the Board, of the noble act of
generosity by which Mr. George E. M. Walton, of Hanover county, Va., has
planned a lasting benefit to the School of Greek.

"Mr. Walton was, as you know, the father of Mr. Andrew Minor Walton,
who, with rare learning and diligence, discharged until his death, in
September, 1871, the duties of Assistant Greek Professor in
Randolph-Macon College. In order, then, to foster in the College the
studies that his son loved so well, and at the same time to keep alive
in the College history and traditions the memory of that son, Mr. Walton
has offered to give to Randolph-Macon College the sum of one thousand
dollars to create and endow what shall be called the _Walton Greek
Library_. This donation Mr. Walton desires to see, without delay, put
into the proper legal form. His own wishes and intentions, as given to
me in conversation, are:

"1. That the money shall, in consultation between him and the agents of
the College, be securely and permanently invested.

"2. That ten dollars of the annual income shall be used to buy, in the
shape of a valuable Greek book, or other appropriate gift, as the
Faculty may decide, a prize that shall be called the _Walton Greek
Prize_, and bestowed on the student that, in the judgment of the
Faculty, has made during the session the best progress in Greek studies.

"3. That the remainder of the income arising from the investment of the
fund shall be annually expended, under such regulations as the Board and
Faculty may establish, in the purchase of Greek books, including the
texts of Greek authors, Greek lexicons, Commentaries on Greek authors,
works on Greek history, Geography, Grammar, antiquities, etc., and all
direct auxiliaries to Greek study, to form a special and distinct
collection, to be called the _Walton Greek Library_.

"4. That this Library shall be carefully guarded by the College
authorities and secure adequate protection from theft and fire.

"There is visible in this act of Mr. Walton no less wisdom than of
generosity and tenderness. The helps to the successful carrying on of
Greek study are becoming year by year more numerous and more masterly,
but, unluckily, more costly, too. To use them is indeed necessary for
every earnest student, but to buy them is oft-times to the student
impossible. To meet this necessity is the object of Mr. Walton's gift,
while his prize will serve to stimulate and reward Greek study; in all
the classes of our school the Library will, year after year, as it
widens, open to students that are more advanced the treasures of Greek

"Being sure that you will feel the same pleasure that I feel in this
wisely-devised increase to our means of education, I ask you to make Mr.
Walton's purpose known to the Board, and to have the proper measures
taken for the consummation of the gift.

"With great respect, your obedient servant,


"_Professor of Greek._"

The donation of Mr. Walton was accepted with thanks, and an order was
made to carry out his intentions as speedily as possible.

It may be stated here that this fund was safely invested, and the annual
proceeds, from the year of its establishment, have been applied, as
directed, in annual prizes and the purchase of books, until, at this
writing, the collection has, become imposing and very valuable. The
first prize was awarded June, 1872, to R. E. Blackwell, of Virginia.

The College year 1872-'73 was remarkable in the patronage and financial
outcome. The number of students was 234, the largest in the history of
the College up to that year. The receipts for fees amounted to $11,220;
Conference educational collections, $3,411. The excess of current
receipts over current expenses reported, for the first time in the
history of the College, went towards needed improvements of the property
and reduction of debts of other years. Available assets were reported at
$74,610; liabilities, $26,377--net assets, $48,233. This exhibit, made
by Rev. A. G. Brown, Financial Secretary, was highly gratifying to the
Board, so long accustomed to discouraging reports.

Of the 234 students, 44 were studying with a view to the ministry, and
29 sons of ministers.

The honorary degree of D. D., on recommendation of the Faculty, was
conferred on the following: Rev. John C. Wills, president of Central
College, Missouri; Rev. Alpheus W. Wilson, of the Baltimore Conference;
Rev. John D. Blackwell, of the Virginia Conference.

The degree of A. M. was conferred on Franklin C. Woodward, of Virginia.

The "Sutherlin Medal for Oratory" was awarded Franklin C. Woodward, of

[Illustration: FRANKLIN C. WOODWARD, A. M., D. D., _Sutherlin Medalist,
1873; President South Carolina College._]

The "Walton Greek Prize" was awarded to Robert Sharp, of Virginia.

An educational convention to devise plans to increase the Endowment and
Building funds of the College was held in Richmond, April, 1874. The
following plan was adopted:

"I. That delegates shall be appointed (by the committee under item
III.), consisting of one layman and one preacher in each district, whose
duty it shall be to present the subject to the several District
Conferences at their meetings during the summer and fall of this year,
and take up collections for this object, and that the presiding elders
be requested to arrange the exercises of their district meetings so as
to secure _one whole day_ for the interests of Randolph-Macon College.

"II. That we earnestly solicit the co-operation of the presiding elders
in this great work, and request the appointment of meetings in the
several pastoral charges, in which this cause shall be presented and
collections taken.

[Illustration: PROF. W. M. BASKERVILLE, PH. D., _Vanderbilt

"III. That a committee be appointed, who shall attend these meetings,
take up collections, etc."

(_Committee_: Rev. J. A. Duncan, D. D., Rev. A. G. Brown, and Richard
Irby, Esq.)

It was resolved that a committee be appointed to mature a plan for the
further prosecution of this work, and report to an adjourned meeting at
Ashland in June, 1874.

It was resolved that any contributor of $20,000 shall have the privilege
of naming a professorship in the College.

It does not appear on the record that any direct and decided benefit
resulted from this convention, but it kept the subject before the
people, and doubtless bore good fruit in after times.

[Illustration: JOHN T. MOORE, _Of the Virginia Conference; Sutherlin
Medalist, 1874._]

At the annual meeting, June, 1874, it was found that, by inadvertence,
the amendment to the charter approved April 9, 1874, contained a clause
which read as follows:

"[Section] 14. That the said Board of Trustees shall never be less than
twenty-four nor more than forty-four, one of whom shall be elected by
the Board president thereof; provided, also, that no member of the
Faculty or Board of Instruction in the College shall be a member of the
Board of Trustees."

This vacated the office of the president of the Board, inasmuch as Dr.
Duncan was a member of the Faculty. Steps were taken to have the above
clause stricken out by the Legislature.

[Illustration: [Portrait of Thomas Branch, inscribed "Tho. Branch", and
captioned "_Trustee 1846  President Board of Trustees 1877._"]]

To the office thus vacated Thomas Branch, Esq., of Richmond, Va., was
elected. He was the only layman ever elected to that office.

Mr. Branch had been a trustee for thirty years. He was one of the most
zealous and constant friends the College had. His donations to the
College had been frequent and liberal. He had been largely instrumental
in having the College moved to Ashland. Recognizing the faithful service
and devotion of Mr. Branch to the College, the Board thus unanimously
elected him president. At the same time Rev. Alpheus W. Wilson, of the
Baltimore Conference, was unanimously elected vice-president.

[Illustration: GEORGE MERRITT NOLLEY, A. M.]

The attendance of students for the closing year had been 235, one in
excess of the previous year's number.

In the record of this year the regular report of the President and
Faculty is not found, though doubtless one was made.

On the recommendation of the Faculty, the following degrees were

A. M.--George Merritt Nolley, of Virginia; Robert Emory Blackwell, of

D. D.--Rev. C. Green Andrews, of Mississippi; Rev. William A. Harris,
President of the Wesleyan Female Institute, Staunton, Va.

On motion of Rev. J. C. Granbery, the following was adopted:

"Whereas, since the last annual meeting of the Board the venerated
Bishop John Early, for many years the president of the Board, has been
taken from us by death: therefore,

"_Resolved_, That in the death of Bishop John Early the College has lost
one of its most zealous, faithful and useful friends, and the Board of
Trustees one of its most honored and efficient members."

His term of service (1830-1874) was the longest on record.

The School of English, under Prof. Price, had shown great progress, and
had become the most popular of all in the College, evidenced by the fact
that out of 235 students, 191 took the English course.

The report of the Financial Secretary gave the following items:

  Assets, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $72,496 47
  Liabilities, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21,538 12
  Net balance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $50,958 35

This exhibit of the finances was particularly favorable and gratifying
when it is remembered that the country had in the past year passed
through one of the severest financial panics ever known, a panic whose
withering effects on business did not cease for many years. The College,
in common with all other enterprises requiring the use of money, felt
the effects of it, and it might be said that it felt it for nearly a
score of years.

A called meeting of the Board was held in Richmond during the session of
the Virginia Conference, November, 1874. This meeting was held to bring
the College more particularly to the attention of the Conference with a
view of enlisting its members in a hearty effort to raise $50,000, to be
used in increasing the facilities of the College, specially in buildings
and apparatus.

The action of the Trustees was laid before the Conference, and the
following action was taken thereon:

"1. That we will seek to raise within the bounds of the Virginia
Conference $50,000 for the College, to be expended in the erection of
suitable buildings under the direction of the Board.

"2. That the Joint Board of Finance apportion this amount among the
districts of the Conference.

"3. That all the preachers be solicited to do their utmost to secure the
full amounts apportioned to their respective districts."

At the annual meeting of the Board, held June, 1875, the announcement
was made of the death of two of its most useful and venerable members,
viz., D'Arcy Paul, of Petersburg, and Rev. Henry B. Cowles, of the
Virginia Conference.

It would be meet and right to give the tributes paid to these Trustees,
so worthy of them, if space allowed. The first had served most
faithfully for a period of thirty-five years, and the other

The annual report of the Financial Secretary was not so satisfactory as
to current receipts, the number of students at the College having fallen
down to 215, instead of 235. There had been deficiencies in other items.
All these deficiences were caused, in the main, by the financial
condition of the country, which was so sadly affected by the panic of
1873. There were some cheering signs, however, to offset these
deficiencies. The largest donation ever made to the College up to this
time had been received the past year. This was made by Mr. James B.
Pace, of Richmond, Va., viz., $10,000 in Virginia State bonds. This was
given to build the Pace Lecture Hall, a building so much needed, and
which is now, and will be for years to come, a monument to the liberal

[Illustration: JAMES B. PACE, _Trustee, and Founder of Pace Hall._]

[Illustration: RANDOLPH-MACON COLLEGE, 1880 to 1886.]

[Illustration: PACE HALL.]

Another donation of $5,000 was made by the old and fast friend of the
College, Thomas Branch, president of the Board; by others,
$808.50--total, $15,808.50.

The financial statement for this year is given in the comparative
statement furnished by the Financial Secretary in his annual report:

            Assets.      Liabilities.      Balance.
  1872, . . $58,729 65     $23,216 49      $35,513 16
  1873, . .  74.611 13      26,377 14       48,233 99
  1874, . .  72,496 47      31,538 12       50,958 35
  1875, . . .91,660 78      20,974 36       70,686 42
  Increase, 99-1/4 per cent.

The degree of Master of Arts was conferred on John W. Redd, of Virginia.

Rev. A. G. Brown reported the building by him as a private enterprise of
the hotel near the southwest corner of the campus. This was a
much-needed improvement.

Notwithstanding the increase in assets during the year,
the current receipts were not sufficient to meet current expenses.

At this meeting Rev. John C. Granbery, who had served the Board
faithfully as secretary since 1868, resigned the position, on account of
his having accepted a professorship at the Vanderbilt University. He
also resigned his place as Trustee of the College.

Rev. Paul Whitehead was elected to succeed him as trustee and secretary,
and he has been secretary of the Board from that meeting to the present
time (1898).

[Illustration: JOHN B. WARDLAW, _Of Georgia; Sutherlin Medalist, 1874._]

At a called meeting of the Board in October, 1875, President Duncan
informed the Board that the condition of his health was such that he
felt unable to do the heavy work devolved on him. An arrangement was
therefore made to lighten his duties, and he was requested to travel as
much as practicable in the interest of the College.

[Illustration: JOHN W. REDD, A. M., 1875. _Prof. Centre College, Ky._]

At an adjourned meeting of the Board, held November, 1875, Rev. A. G.
Brown, Financial Secretary, tendered his resignation. A portion of his
letter is here given, partly as history, and in justice to him:

"That my labors have not been more efficient, I deeply regret, yet in
what has been accomplished I am not without cause for gratitude to God,
to whose merciful kindness I am infinitely indebted.

[Illustration: REV. PAUL WHITEHEAD, D. D., _Secretary Board of Trustees,

"The assets of the College have been increased in value about one
hundred per cent.; nearly fifteen thousand dollars of its debt has been
paid; valuable additions and improvements have been made to the grounds
and buildings; the State stock owned by the College has been materially
increased in value; the annual deficit on account of current expenses,
ranging from twenty-five hundred to three thousand dollars a year, has
been provided for; all claims for interest on College debts, amounting
to about eighteen hundred dollars per annum, have been promptly paid;
the salaries of the professors and employees have been paid in full to
October 1st, as well as all bills on current account. In no instance has
the credit of the College been allowed to suffer. Its business has been
systematized so as to be easily understood. The patronage of the College
has been largely increased; its interests have been faithfully
represented in the patronizing Conferences.... I have never hesitated to
use my personal means and influence in financial circles whenever
exigencies required my so doing. Meanwhile the country has passed
through a period of unprecedented financial depression. The wisest
schemes have failed; the ample fortunes of wealthy citizens and
corporations have been swept away; the active industries of the country
have been fearfully impaired, and the shrinkage in the marketable value
of property of all descriptions has scarcely been less than one-third.
This sad condition of business, without a parallel in the history of
this country, has seriously hindered all our efforts in behalf of the
College. I have done what I could. That I have not accomplished more has
not resulted from any lack of love or zeal for the College, but is
mainly referable to the mysterious adversity which has come upon us.

"In resigning my office as Financial Secretary, I do not abate one jot
or tittle of my interest in the College. No! I love the College as I
love the church; and fidelity to the church enjoins upon me and upon all
fidelity to the interests of this institution. Be assured of my hearty
prayers and co-operation in the future as in the past. As a member of
this Board, I shall stand shoulder to shoulder with you to make
Randolph-Macon a permanent and ever-increasing blessing to church and

The following resolution, offered by Rev. Paul Whitehead, was then

"_Resolved_, That the resignation of Rev. A. G. Brown as Financial
Secretary be accepted, to take effect December 1, 1875, and that the
Board hereby express their appreciation of the fidelity, ability, and
integrity with which he has discharged the duties of his office."

This resolution was not any too flattering. It may be truly said that it
is doubtful whether any man in the Conference could have brought the
College through the trying period of the panic as well as the late
Financial Secretary.

It was "_Resolved_, That the presiding bishop be requested to appoint at
the ensuing Virginia Conference an agent for the College."

At an adjourned meeting held at Danville, November, 1875, the Board
abolished the office of Financial Secretary.

William Willis, Jr., of Richmond, was appointed Treasurer, and Prof.
William A. Shepard, Proctor.

At the request of the Board, the Bishop appointed Rev. Thomas A. Ware,

[Illustration: WALTER H. PAGE, _Of North Carolina; Sutherlin Medalist;
Editor Atlantic Monthly._]

At the annual meeting in June, 1876, the Building Committee reported the
Pace Lecture Hall as being about half completed, with funds on hand to
meet expenses of completion. This was the second brick building erected
on the campus.

The following received the degree of A. M.: John M. Burton, of Virginia;
Howard Edwards, of Virginia; Robert Sharp, of Virginia; R. Bascom
Smithey, of Virginia.

The President, in his annual report, does not give the statistics as to
the number of students in attendance, but the catalogue for the year
gives it as 167. He, evidently regarding this as the last he would make,
takes the occasion to speak in the kindest and most commendatory terms
of his associates of the Faculty. He was on the most cordial terms with
them, and his kindly regard was fully reciprocated. Referring to his
resignation, which he was about to tender, he said:

"And now I approach a matter which it gives me very great pain to
announce. Many reasons combine to make it best, however, that I take the
step now; but these reasons I do not propose to open for discussion,
because I have become satisfied and decided in my convictions.

"I have worked earnestly, in all good conscience, before God for eight
years to promote the cause of Christian education in connection with
Randolph-Macon College; nor have I spared myself till my health demanded
it. I have done what I could. Eight years ago, in a critical moment in
the history of the College, your flattering representations of the
service you believed I might render to Christian education induced me to
sacrifice my own inclinations and to accept the presidency of

"What has been done is too well known to you to make it necessary for me
to recount the familiar facts. My rejoicing in it all is the blessing
the College has been to our young men, and the fact that, by abundant
labors, I have also had a personal share in the rebuilding and
re-establishing an institution whose work is its best witness. In God's
providence these labors have, I trust, been blessed unto permanent good.

"But in the meanwhile I have found that to repeat or continue them would
be a tax on my health and strength too great for me to bear. I am fully
satisfied that the confining duties of College life are entirely
incompatible with my future health and consequent usefulness; but I
cannot consent to be a nominal president of an institution whose funds
are not sufficient for the support of all the active officers she needs.
When invitations to more lucrative positions were extended to me I have
not entertained them for a moment, simply because I could not allow my
duty, as a minister of Christ, in relation to this work to be governed
by monetary considerations. But now, when unembarrassed by any
invitations whatever, after calm reflection on all the reasons which
favor or oppose it, after careful and prayerful meditation upon it as a
question of duty as under God's guidance, I am fully persuaded that the
moment has come when I may and ought dutifully to return to the position
I formerly occupied as a preacher in the church of God. This conviction
is too firmly and clearly fixed for me to alter it at present.

"I hardly need to say that my devotion to the College is unchanged. My
readiness to do whatever I can to advance its welfare, I know you will
believe and appreciate. Therefore, most respectfully, with the warmest
wishes for your success personally and officially, I feel it my duty to
tender my resignation as President of Randolph-Macon College. This I
propose shall take effect at the beginning of the next session, or at
the meeting of the Virginia Conference.

"With many prayers for the prosperity of the great cause, which I must
now serve less efficiently, but not less earnestly, and with immutable
love for Randolph-Macon, I am, most respectfully and sincerely yours,


[Illustration: REV. JOHN D. BLACKWELL, D. D., _Vice-President Board of
Trustees, and President Elect, 1877._]

The resignation of President Duncan was most reluctantly accepted, with
resolutions of highest regard for him personally and commendation of his
great services to the College. It may be stated here that he continued
to act as president in the interval between the annual meeting and the
adjourned meeting, held in Richmond, July, 1876. At this meeting Rev.
John D. Blackwell, D. D., was elected President. He declined to accept
the office. At the adjourned meeting, in November, Dr. Duncan was
re-elected, and he consented to serve again, under the most pressing
solicitation of the Board and the evident urgency of the case.

It has been said that "coming events cast their shadows before." So this
resignation of Dr. Duncan, on account of the consciousness of failing
health, was a shadow, and a very dark one it was, of the event of the
coming year, which was to cause mourning in all Southern Methodism and
in regions beyond.

The annual meeting adjourned, in sadness and gloom, to meet again in
Richmond, July 25th.

The financial condition was not satisfactory, and the old embarrassment
of former years was again felt.

At the adjourned meeting, held in Richmond, Va., July 25, 1876, the
resignations of Professors Thomas R. Price and James A. Harrison were
tendered. Professor Price had been elected to the chair of Greek at the
University of Virginia, and Prof. Harrison to the chair of Latin at
Washington and Lee University.

[Illustration: PROF. R. E. BLACKWELL, A. M.]

Changes were made in the chairs to be filled, viz., one to be that of
English and Modern Languages, and the other that of Latin and Greek. To
fill the first Robert Emory Blackwell, A. M., was elected, and to the
other Prof. Charles Morris, M. A., of the University of Georgia. Prof.
Blackwell was in Europe at the time, taking a course at Leipzig. He took
his degree of Master of Arts in 1874. He had served as assistant in the
School of English under Prof. Price, and was recommended by him in the
highest terms. He was the first of Prof. Price's graduates, of a long
list, to be elected to a chair of English.

Prof. Morris was, when elected, Professor of Latin and Greek at the
University of Georgia. He, also, was highly commended to the Board by
Prof. Price, who was a fellow-student with him at the University of
Virginia. A more whole-souled, ingenuous man never lived than he, and
his character was beaming from his face. Though a member of the
Episcopal church, he threw his whole soul into the religious work of the
College, and no one would have known that he was not a member of the
Methodist church.

[Illustration: CHARLES MORRIS, M. A., _Professor of Greek and Latin,

The scale of salaries was changed. The salary of the President was fixed
at $2,000: of professors, $1,600. Dr. T. H. Bagwell was elected College
physician, in place of Dr. H. M. Houston, resigned.

In parting with Prof. Price, the Board expressed for him the kindest and
highest appreciation of his long and distinguished services.
Complimentary resolutions were also adopted in regard to Prof. Harrison.

As a part of a great educational advance, the following extract is given
from Professor Price's letter of resignation:

"You have used me to do one piece of work that was so bold, and timely,
and wise as to draw the attention of educated men throughout America to
our College, and to win for your system of education the hearty applause
of all that love the culture of our young men.

"In establishing the chair of English you have taken a bold step and
wise innovation. You have pushed the whole system of Virginia education
distinctly forward, and you have given to your system of collegiate
education a firm basis in the needs of our people. I have felt the
sweetest joy of my life to have been permitted to help in this great
work. I have seen the School of English, from session to session, bear
richer fruits in the development of our whole student class and in the
growing power of the College over the educated opinion of the State. I
beseech you now, in parting from you, to take the chair of English under
your fostering care, not only to uphold it, but to develop and expand it
as the characteristic and special glory of the College, and to bring it
to pass that every alumnus of Randolph-Macon College shall be, to his
own benefit and to your honor, as soundly and correctly educated as man
ought to be in the knowledge and use of his mother tongue."

At this meeting Dr. W. W. Bennett, chairman of the Building Committee,
announced to the Board the completion of the Pace Lecture building, at a
cost of about $11,000.

At the annual meeting of the Board of Trustees, held June, 1877, the
reports made by the President and Treasurer showed great embarrassment
in financial matters, which, as a matter of course, affected the prompt
payment of salaries to the members of the Faculty.

The patronage for the year was reported to be 132.

[Illustration: PROF. W. A. FRANTZ, A. M., _Prof. English, Central
College, Missouri._]

The degree of A. M. was conferred on William Abner Frantz, of Virginia.

At the June meeting, 1877, Thomas Branch, Esq., resigned the office of
president of the Board. Resolutions of regret at his action, and
expressive of the kind regard of the Trustees towards him, were adopted.

Dr. J. A. Duncan was elected to fill the vacancy.

William Willis, Jr., resigned the oflice of Treasurer of the Board on
account of ill-health and defective eyesight. This was accepted with
great reluctance by the Board, and resolutions of sympathy for him in
his afflictions and thanks for his faithful service were adopted.

Prof. W. A. Shepard was elected Treasurer _pro tempore_.

When the Board adjourned, it closed its last meeting in connection with
the president who had inaugurated the College at Ashland, and had
presided over it for nine years.

A few days after the opening of the session of 1877-1878 he passed away,
after a brief illness. The record of the journal made by the Secretary,
and enclosed in black lines, is as follows:

[Transcribers' note:  In the original book, the following paragraph is
also enclosed in black lines.]

On Monday, September 24, 1877, at 4 o'clock A. M., Rev. JAMES A. DUNCAN,
D. D., President of Randolph-Macon College, died at the President's
house, Ashland, Va., after a brief illness. On Tuesday, the 25th, a
brief funeral service was conducted in the College chapel by Rev. Leroy
M. Lee, D. D.; after which the corpse was conveyed by a special train to
Richmond. Funeral service conducted at Broad-Street Church by Bishop D.
S. Doggett, D. D.; a procession formed to Hollywood, and the body of
this faithful and illustrious servant of God buried there, in the hope
of a glorious resurrection.

"This writer was a student at Randolph-Macon when Dr. Duncan was a
little boy, not yet in his _teens_. He was then as full of fun and
mischief as a boy could be, which, with his sprightliness, made him an
uncommonly interesting boy. He was a scholar in the first Sunday-school
class he ever taught, and along with him were Dick and Gib Leigh and
Dick Manson. He was intimately associated with him in re-establishing
the College at Ashland, he beginning his presidency, with this writer as
treasurer and chairman of the Executive Committee. Then, from 1870 to
his last illness, he sat under his ministry in the old ball-room chapel,
whose walls echoed to the tones of his wondrous voice, such as
cathedrals rarely, if ever, have heard. This ought to render him
competent, in part, to write of this most gifted man.

[Illustration: WILBUR F. TILLETT, A. B., D. D., _Sutherlin Medalist,
1877; Dean Theological Faculty, Vanderbilt University._]

But others have written tributes so much better and worthier of the
subject that he will let them speak. The first tribute to him was given
by Prof. Thos. R. Price, LL. D., who has more than once expressed to
this writer the great remissness of the Methodist Church in not having
had prepared a memoir of one of its greatest preachers and wisest men.

The following is Prof. Price's sketch of Dr. James A. Duncan:


"The bitterest hour for them that mourn their dead is not when the
breath rattles in the throat nor when the clod rattles on the coffin. It
comes when, after all the stir and turmoil of death and funeral are
over, the family go back to the ravaged home, and grope their ways,
blinded with tears, through the rooms that the dead man has left forever
empty. Not even the sudden jar of the final separation strikes so deep a
wound as the growing sense of loss, as the accumulating despair of
unsatisfied longing. So, in all the many regions where Dr. Duncan, the
great apostle of Virginia, was known and loved, the deepest grief was
not felt when all those thousands followed the hearse and sobbed around
the open grave under the stars at Hollywood. A deeper sorrow comes to us
now, after taking up again the task of life, when we feel, amid our
pleasures and our business, that the great advocate of God, who lived
Christ among us as sublimely as he preached him, has been withdrawn
forever from among the potencies of our time; when we remember that, in
evil days, when many bad men are seeking to break down the honesty and
to dull the moral sense of the Virginia people, we are left without the
mighty aid of that one man who knew best of all how to stir the hearts
and to guide the acts of our people to good. Yet with the calmness of
the deeper sorrow comes, too, the calmness to think out the secret of
the dead man's power over the great masses of the Southern people, for
that power was one that reached far outside of his church and of all
churches deep down into the moral life of Virginia. Thus even for us
laymen, for us that have no right to preach and no theology to teach,
the character of this wonderful man has an abiding interest. It is worth
while for us all to know what were the means by which he worked. As his
life did such immense good to so many thousands of our people, the
contemplation, and, if possible, the understanding, of that life, can
hardly fail to do good to the great communities that are now mourning
for him.

"On the first meeting with Dr. Duncan, were it only a hurried talk at a
street-corner or a few minutes' conversation on a railway train, the
first impression that came to the stranger from his sweet eyes and
tender lips was the sense of a strange and overpowering love and
loveableness in the man. The face and voice stole their way to the heart
and mastered the affections. All the children were drawn to his
caressing hands by a charm that their little hearts could not withstand.
The negro servants in the houses that he visited could be seen to hang
upon his words and to strive to catch his smile. The belle of the
springs, on her way to the ball-room; the roughest mountaineer loafing
on the skirts of a camp-meeting; boys and old men, the ignorant and the
educated, had to yield themselves to the fascination of the fresh and
guileless love that emanated from his beaming eyes and tender,
penetrating voice. Whether he was moving with his exquisite grace,
smiling and talking, through a parlor, or standing all aglow in his
passionate eloquence beside his pulpit; whether he spoke to one man,
soul to soul, in the quiet of his study, or faced the thousands of eyes
that looked up to him from a great city church, or from the green
hillsides of a rustic amphitheatre, the power that went forth from him,
winning all hearts and softening all hardness, was the power of an
exquisitely loveable nature, giving love richly and pleading for love in
return. But as you listened to him, as you watched the play of his
mobile features, and took in the rich, sweet tones of his voice, this
first impression of the man's intense loveableness was deepened by the
impression of his marvellous intellectual power. The shrewdness of his
observation, the penetrating keenness of his intelligence, the splendid
precision of his thought and of his utterance, took instantaneous
possession of the hearer's mind. His knowledge of human character as men
moved before him, his ready insight into the tangled web of human
motives, was almost infallible. In spite of his boundless charity and
graciousness, he was a man that could not be deceived or cheated. He
took men in at a glance. The smile that curled around his lips, the
light that sparkled in his eyes, showed to the dullest, as to the
wiliest, that the secrets of their character were seen, that the very
depths of their soul lay unveiled before him. Thus, when you talked with
him, you were sure to feel that, while his love opened his heart to you,
his intellect opened yours to him. In managing men, above all, in
wielding the discipline of a college, the amazing quickness and
penetration of his intellect made him the fittest of all men to control
both character and conduct. The offender who came to hide his sin
beneath a lie, found the lie impossible, and flung himself with
passionate tears upon the love of the man that both understood and
pitied his weakness. Even in great audiences, when he spoke to thousands
of God and goodness, the veils of self-deception fell away before the
glances that he shot into the souls of men. In all the history of
Christianity no man ever pleaded for Christ before men with a mightier
control over the secrets of human hearts, with a sharper penetration
into the weakness and badness of each human soul. It was this union of
moral with intellectual force, this union of the attractive power of
love with the penetrative power of understanding, that gave to Dr.
Duncan his unrivalled and irresistible control over the heart and
intellect of the Virginia people. The world is so bad that we are apt to
confuse amiability with silliness, and to see a sign of intellectual
weakness in a good man's love and care for his fellow-men. But here, at
least, it was one man as strong as he was good, a man that joined to the
charm of a tenderly loving heart the power of a splendid genius and of
an incisive intelligence. Thus he rose on the hearts of men to be a
living power in our State and time. Thus to each man that saw much of
him, to every human being that was exposed for long to the influence of
his words and actions, the man, simple and kindly, and great in all his
deeds, shone forth as the revelation of a higher life, as the proof and
example of what Christ's teaching meant.

"The mystery both of the moral power and of the intellectual power of
this great man lay in his astounding unselfishness; for the egoistic
habit of mind is a hindrance not only to the moral but also to the
intellectual progress of the man. A selfish regard for one's own
interests, the bad trait of regarding all things and all men as
subordinate to one's own designs, not only deadens the moral
sensibility, but it even distorts and discolors all intellectual insight
into the world. If we fail to care for other men's good by being so busy
about our own, we fail equally to penetrate into their characters and to
see the good and evil that is in them by being unable to remove from our
intellectual vision the beam of our own desires and designs. From all
these obstacles, to noble acting and to accurate thinking, Dr. Duncan
was sublimely free. He had resigned himself so fully into the hands of
God that he had ceased absolutely to care for his own advantage or to be
perplexed by the contemplation of his own aims. Thus he moved through
the annual courses of his serene and glorious activity, preaching and
teaching and helping all good causes, with a mind unperverted from great
things by any care for little ones, with a soul ready for any sacrifice,
and, what is harder still, ready to throw itself into full and
instantaneous sympathy with any soul that opened to his approach. In all
his dealings with men, as friend with his friends, as preacher with his
congregations, as teacher with his pupils, the loveliness and warmth of
his affections were equalled only by the pliability and penetration of
his intellect, by his wisdom in advising, by his discretion in helping.

"All the ordinary temptations to self-seeking fell off powerless from
the supreme unselfishness of his nature. When the fame of his eloquence
spread over many States; when he was acknowledged as the greatest orator
of his church, and, perhaps, of his country; when the richest churches
of the greatest cities offered him vast salaries to leave the struggling
people and the impoverished college that he loved, he clung fast to
poverty, and put aside, without a struggle, the temptations of ease and
wealth. Even when temptation assailed him in craftier forms; when men
told him of the mighty congregations that New York or St. Louis or San
Francisco would pour forth to catch from him the words of life, he said
that 'he loved his own people best, and must stay to help Virginia
along.' Like his Master, he chose poverty rather than riches; like his
Master, he chose to work in a little village, among a small band of
disciples, rather than among the splendors and plaudits of cities; like
his Master, he made of life one long series of sweetly-borne
self-sacrifices. Before the spectacle of such sublime self-depression
all words of common praise are unseemly. But to them that lived with
him, who saw the great soul take up so bravely and bear so lovingly the
burthen of poverty, trouble, and suffering, the life he led was a
miracle of beauty and holiness, making the world brighter and nobler by
even the remembrance of him.

"In his preaching, as in his life, the same blending of love with
wisdom, of childlike simplicity with manly power, was revealed. There
was no fierceness, no affectation, no struggling after oratorical
effects; but, as the powers of his mind got into motion, as the thoughts
rolled on, clear and massive, the words and sentences grew rich and
lofty, the sweet voice swelled out into organ tones, the small and
graceful figure swayed to the pulsations of his thought, and the
beautiful face glowed with all the illumination of love. There was no
theology in his sermons, no polemical divinity in his conception of
divine truth. To love God, and to love men was for him, as Christ taught
him, the sum of all righteousness. This power of love was the agency
through which he did his work in the world. As the warmth of the sun
controls all the processes of nature and commands all the movements of
the universe, so warmth of love, as the central fact of God's moral
government, was for him the source of all power, the means of subduing
all wrong, and of bringing the world back into harmony with God's laws.

"No human life ever lived in this world of ours was attuned more fully
to a loftier harmony. As we think of all the good deeds he did, of all
the wise words he spoke, of his solemn yet tender warnings against evil,
of the love that charmed so many souls to do right, of the sublime
unselfishness that made his life a sacrifice to other men's good, we can
feel that to us, in our own State, born of our own stock, in full sight
of us all, a man has been given to live for our good, as nearly as man
may, up to the life-story of the Christ himself.

"_University of Virginia._  T. R. PRICE."

The following is taken from the Minutes of the Virginia Conference, and
was written by an old college mate, Dr. J. C. Granbery, now bishop:

"James Armstrong Duncan was born in Norfolk, Va., April 14, 1830. He was
dedicated to God from his birth and trained in piety by his father, the
venerable David Duncan, who has been prominent through two generations
in the education of the youth of the Southern States, and who accepted
the chair of Ancient Languages in Randolph-Macon College while James was
a child; and by his mother, a woman of saintly character, who preceded
her son by a few years to the heavenly land. In his boyhood he was a
universal favorite, and displayed the gifts of mind and genial spirit
and grace of manner which became so conspicuous in his riper years. We
may mention his overflowing humor and gaiety, tempered with a kind and
generous nature; and a wonderful power of mimicry, which furnished
unbounded amusement to his comrades, and, indeed, to persons of mature
age, but was never used to wound in feeling or reputation. In 1847,
during one of those gracious revivals with which our church has been
signally blessed year after year, he sought and found Jesus. In one of
his latest and most effective sermons, he has described his conversion
and affirmed that the vow of consecration then made had been the
controlling principle of his ministry and the motive of those labors
which his brethren sometimes thought excessive.

"He was licensed to preach probably the next year. The people of
Mecklenburg still speak of his first sermons, in which they saw the
prophecy of his future greatness. Having graduated in June, 1849, he was
immediately placed in charge of a society in Alexandria, which had just
organized in connection with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. From
that hour his popularity and success as a preacher and pastor began, and
they steadily waxed fuller and more lustrous until his death quenched a
star than which none shone with a purer and more brilliant radiance in
the whole firmament of Methodism. A great revival attended his labors
during the few months before the session of our Conference and the
prosperity of the church was secured. He was kept on our northern border
for nine years, in Fairfax, Leesburg, Alexandria and
Washington--everywhere beloved with enthusiasm, everywhere successful in
his ministry. Then followed nine years of faithful labor in the city of
Richmond. In 1857 he was sent to Trinity, one of our oldest and most
important stations. There had come a crisis in the history of that
church. Its prosperity was already impaired and seriously threatened by
the unfortunate location of the house of worship. The young pastor soon
had the building crowded with an eager congregation. The eloquence of
his discourses and the charm of his social manners were a theme of
general comment throughout the city. Two series of sermons to young men
and women proved peculiarly attractive, and resulted in extensive and
lasting benefit. He took front rank among the pulpit orators of the
land. All denominations flocked to hear him, and delighted in his
company and friendship. These honors he bore with modest dignity and
consecrated with godly simplicity to the service of the Master. A little
band from Trinity determined, under his leadership, to build a handsome
and commodious church on Broad street near the Capitol Square. In 1859
he was appointed to this new charge, and preached in a rented hall until
the church was completed. It was dedicated in March, 1861, and, with the
exception of two years, he continued in pastoral charge until the
Conference of 1866. All this time his influence widened and deepened. He
was a power in that city. When it became the capital of the Confederate
States, and was crowded with representatives from all parts of the
South, his faithful, spiritual, eloquent preaching entranced, edified,
encouraged, and impressed with a saving efficacy an untold multitude,
whose number eternity must reveal. No man in our day has accomplished
more for Methodism or for the cause of Christ in the capital of Virginia
than James A. Duncan.

"In addition to his pastorate, he edited the _Richmond Christian
Advocate_ from the fall of 1860 to the fall of 1866. With characteristic
generosity he did this work without money and price--a free-will
offering to the church, except the two years he devoted his whole time
to the paper. The readiness and versatility of his talents were
admirably shown in this office, for, with many other claims upon his
time, he wrote not only the editorials, but much of the most popular and
enjoyable correspondence with which the _Advocate_ was enriched during
those years. Great curiosity was aroused to find out the anonymous
authors of series of letters published in the paper; but few, if any,
suspected that they came from the fertile brain of the editor.

"Two years he was pastor of the Washington-Street Church, in Petersburg.
Such men as D'Arcy Paul loved to speak of the rich spiritual feasts on
which he fed them from the pulpit, and the no less precious influence of
his pastoral visits. In that city he suffered a severe spell of nervous
fever, his first illness since childhood.

"This brings us to a third era of nine years in his eventful life. After
the war Randolph-Macon College re-opened and feebly struggled for life.
Dr. Duncan was among the strongest advocates of its removal from Boydton
to Ashland. The Board of Trustees resolved on this critical movement in
the summer of 1868. The Faculty resigned, and an election was held to
fill the vacant places. Dr. Duncan was unanimously chosen President. He
signified promptly a disposition to accept the responsible post, but
demanded a few days in which to carry the question in private prayer to
the God whose he was and whom he served. Repeatedly and emphatically he
declared the singleness of purpose with which he entered on this office,
and that he would not remain one day in it if it were not for the
conviction that he was thereby serving most efficiently the church of

"No one who knew the man doubted his sincerity and simplicity of aim. He
never sought self. He was indifferent to wealth in a degree which some
even censured as extreme. He served not ambition. The esteem and
approval of good men he must have prized, but never, so far as we know,
did he exhibit any undue concern about such things. He belonged to
Christ, and to the church for Christ's sake. He went in the courage of
faith and the spirit of consecration to the College, and devoted himself
to the duties in the chair of Moral Philosophy and in the presidency.
The halls were filled with a larger number of students than had ever
sought its advantages in its palmiest days before the war. He governed
by his personal influence, by the love and confidence with which he
inspired the young men, and diligence and good behavior were the rule
with rare exceptions.

"The reputation of the institution for a high grade of scholarship and
thoroughness of culture was inferior to that of no other college in the
land. Young preachers, often numbering more than forty in a single
session, sat under his special lectures in theology, and were moulded by
his example and his teaching. With the authority of a prophet, with the
gentleness of a father, he preached to the students, week after week,
the word of life, and saw many of them accept with glad heart the yoke
and burden of Christ. In private they revealed to him all that was in
their hearts, and sought his sympathy and counsel. In public, whatever
the occasion on which he spoke, they hung breathless on his lips, and
received what he said as if from an angel of God. Those who have
attended the Commencements can bear witness to the outgushing of love,
the wise and noble utterances, the manly frankness and boldness, and the
tenderness, almost motherly, with which he bade those young men farewell
in unstudied words of genuine eloquence, and the beaming faces, the
streaming eyes, the thunders of applause with which they responded. Nor
were these his only labors. Often during the sessions he hurried off to
preach in city or country at the call of the churches of the Virginia
and Baltimore Conferences, or in order to raise money for the College.
The summer vacation was no rest to him, but his busiest period.
Incessantly he travelled through the two Conferences, speaking on
Christian education, and speaking at District Conferences, at protracted
and camp-meetings. He was in labors more abundant, not sparing himself,
never reluctant to help in any good work. Everywhere he was sought,
everywhere he was welcome. Thousands ascribe to him, under God, their
first impulse to serve Christ, their revival from a lukewarm and
languishing state, or their fuller consecration and seeking of a higher
spiritual life. We may safely affirm that no man of his own generation
has so powerfully impressed the religious character of an equal number
within the bounds of these two Conferences as James A. Duncan. He was
elected to the General Conferences of 1866, 1870, and 1874. That of 1870
he did not attend, his duties at the College not allowing his absence.
He lacked only a few votes to be chosen bishop at that session, several
delegates of this body, who held him in high admiration, and thought him
in every way worthy of the honor, withholding their votes because they
believed him essential to Randolph-Macon College. From that time the
mind of the whole church turned to him as the fittest person to be
elected to the episcopacy. In 1876 he attended the General Conference of
the Methodist Episcopal Church as one of three fraternal messengers from
our General Conference, and his address on that occasion was marked by
its catholic spirit, fervent love for Christ, and grand and thrilling

"In the summer of 1874, exhausted by ceaseless toil of travel and
preaching, and exposed to a malarial atmosphere at a camp-meeting, he
was seized with a fever, which took a typhoid phase, and he lay for
weeks at the point of death. For one year he was scarcely fit for any
work, and though he afterwards rallied and resumed his course of
untiring labors, the seeds of disease lurked in his system, and often
developed in severe spells of sickness; yet he worked on, cheerful,
energetic, consumed with zeal. The past summer he spoke and preached
with an ardor, power, and success equal to his happiest efforts in the
years of his vigorous health. Sunday, September the 9th, he was in
Baltimore, to preach at the re-opening of Trinity, and this he did, in
the forenoon with great power, despite intense physical pain. On his
return to Ashland it was found that his jawbone was decayed, and poison
diffused throughout his frame. Erysipelas attacked his face. His
sufferings were great, but borne with patience and sweetness. He sat up,
however, a part of each day, and seemed not to suspect that his end drew
near. Monday morning, the 24th, he fell asleep in Jesus.

"Oh! the surprise, the shock, the grief of heart, the sense of loss, the
feeling of desolation, which that news produced. Crowds attended his
funeral at Broad-Street Church, which, by a marble tablet, acknowledges
him its founder, and Bishop Doggett pronounced his eulogy. Memorial
services were held in Richmond, Petersburg, and Baltimore. Resolutions
of highest praise were passed by Quarterly Conferences and by the
faculties of colleges and universities. The secular and religious press
honored his memory with heartfelt tributes; but all these honors fell
far short of expressing the reverence and love with which he is
cherished in thousands of hearts and thousands of homes. We yield to our
sorrow of personal bereavement, and then chide ourselves for the
selfishness when we ought to be grieving over the loss to the church. We
think with sadness and almost with despondency of the bereavement of our
College, and Conference, and Church, and tears fill our eyes, and a
sword pierces our heart, at the unbidden suggestion of the void in our
own life which the death of this dear, this noble friend and brother has

"We have said little of his private life. He was early married to Miss
Twitty, of North Carolina, who for many years proved a companion and
helpmeet worthy of such a man, and passed away in 1870. He married in
1873, Miss Wade, a daughter of a minister of the Baltimore Conference,
who ministered to him and comforted him through the last years of his
life, years of comparative weakness and pain, and now mourns, yet in
resignation and trust, his death. He leaves four children of the first
and one of the second marriage. The widow and children have the deepest
sympathies and fervent prayers of this Conference.

"A few more words we must say about this loved brother. He was a natural
orator. Perhaps this remark should be changed, not to abate its force,
but to enlarge its application. He was a born talker, equally gifted in
conversation and in public discourse. He had every physical
advantage--grace of attitude and gesture, a voice which everybody
likened, in sweetness, richness, and compass, to the organ, and, we must
add, to the organ when struck by a master musician, for he had his voice
under perfect command, and moderated it to convey the fullest variety of
pure and worthy sentiment; a countenance on which one loved to gaze,
handsome in repose, lovely when lit up by the noble thoughts and
feelings of his great soul. He had every intellectual and moral
advantage; a ready flow of happy diction, which seemed perfectly
spontaneous, and yet exactly suited the thought; a playful humor, and,
when needed, keenness of wit and satire which added zest to his serious
speech, but detracted not from its weight; a quick insight into the
heart of a subject, judgment remarkably sound, the logical spirit
without slavery to logical forms, and an imagination which could sport
like a butterfly amid flowers, or soar like an eagle beyond the clouds;
sensibility delicate, deep, strong--acute sympathy with his fellow-man;
a response in his feelings to everything true, pure, generous, and
grand. Above all, he was full of the Holy Ghost, and could say, 'For the
love of Christ constraineth me.' His adaptation to all classes of
hearers, to all classes of circumstances, was marvellous. He could
interest and edify the child, the unlettered, the cultivated, the
scholar, with equal ease. Every variety of style came naturally to him,
from a familiar home talk, through all gradations of argument,
instruction and pathos, to the impassioned, sublime and overwhelming
appeal. The earnestness and simplicity of his soul were ever manifest;
that he preached not self, not philosophy, not human wisdom, not
excellency of speech, but Christ and him crucified, not for fame, but to
win souls.

"In his social and pastoral qualities he no less excelled. Others have
equalled, none surpassed him in diligence and fidelity; but who can
compare in charm, in breadth and tenderness of sympathy, in aptness to
guide and comfort, in power to draw forth trust and love? Place him in
any parlor, at any table, among the rich or poor, and he would be the
centre of attraction--every eye fixed on him, every ear attend his
voice. Let him sit by the bed of any invalid, though a stranger before
that hour, and soon he would soothe and cheer, and the heart would open
to his words as though he had been a life-long friend. The young and
old, men and women, the rude and the cultivated, felt free to confide to
him their troubles and ask his sympathy and aid; yet, in the narrower
circle of long-tried friendship and of home, never did there beat a
truer, more constant, more generous heart; so unselfish, so frank, so
forbearing, so trustful, so magnanimous, never giving up a friend,
though he may have strayed far, and long, and fallen low; never slow in
responding to any call for help.

"But we must close this sketch. He was our favorite and our ornament, we
might almost say our idol; but we glorify God in him. He has been taken
away in his prime, at the height of his usefulness, when we were leaning
on his counsel and strength, when we were rejoicing in the prospect of
many years of his company and service. But we thank God for his example,
his work, and his prayers. He rests from his labors, and his works do
follow him."

A meeting of the Board was called, to assemble at Broad-Street Church
October 4, 1877, to make provision for the College after the loss of
President Duncan. Dr. A. W. Wilson, vice-president, announced his death,
and a committee, consisting of Dr. W. W. Bennett, Dr. Samuel Rodgers,
and Hon. Wm. Milnes, Jr., was appointed to report suitable resolutions
to the Board, and they presented the following, which was unanimously

"_Resolved_, That, as the Board of Trustees of Randolph-Macon College,
we have the deepest sorrow in our hearts in announcing to our church and
people the great loss we have sustained in the death of Rev. James A.
Duncan, D. D., our late President. His devoted life as a Christian
minister and his constant and arduous labors for the past nine years in
behalf of Randolph-Macon College, and the high position to which he and
his co-laborers in the Faculty have brought the institution, demand that
our people should give some expression of their appreciation of this
work, which, in its widening influence, we trust shall abide for
generations to come. And in the judgment of this Board nothing can more
adequately express our conviction of the value of his life and work for
the College and the cause of Christian education than that the church
should determine to raise a 'memorial fund' of $100,000 for the
accomplishment of an earnest and often-expressed wish of our deceased
President, the permanent endowment of the College and the enlargement of
its sphere of usefulness."

The presidency of the Board having been made vacant by the death of
President Duncan, Rev. W. W. Bennett was elected to it.

To fill the presidency of the College, Rev. W. W. Duncan, brother of the
late President, was elected.

At an adjourned meeting, held in Lynchburg, Va., November 16, 1877,
Secretary Rev. Paul Whitehead presented a letter from the Rev. W. W.
Duncan, Professor in Wofford College, South Carolina, declining the
presidency, to which he had been elected in July last. This declination
and the financial embarrassment of the College elicited the hearty
interest of the Virginia Conference, then in session. A large committee
from that body was appointed to confer with the Board to concert
measures which would meet the serious condition of the affairs of the
College. The joint conference was held for several days.

After the joint conference was concluded, on the 19th of November, the
Board proceeded to elect a President of the College. The result of the
first ballot was: For R. N. Sledd, 6 votes; for W. W. Bennett, 6 votes.
Necessary to a choice, 7.

The second ballot resulted in the same vote.

The third ballot, other members having come in, resulted as follows: W.
W. Bennett, 9 votes; R. N. Sledd, 5 votes. Necessary to a choice, 8
votes. So Rev. W. W. Bennett, D. D., was declared elected.

[Illustration: BISHOP W. W. DUNCAN.  _Elected President 1877.--Declined
to accept._]

[Illustration: REV. W. W. BENNETT, D. D., _President of the Board of
Trustees, 1877; President of the College. 1877-1886._]

Resolutions respecting the death of William Willis, Jr., late treasurer
of the Board, who had died since the last meeting of the Board, were

At this meeting Rev. Thomas A. Ware resigned his place as Agent.

The new President, when elected, was the editor of the Richmond
_Christian Advocate_, of which he had been the proprietor, wholly or in
part, for ten years. He was a leading man in the Virginia Conference,
and largely acquainted with the ministers and people of the church in
Virginia and elsewhere, having been a member of the General Conference
for a number of sessions. He was in the full vigor of manhood. His
education had been secured at the University of Virginia. Having been an
active member of the Board for years, and frequently on important
committees of the Board, and having lived in Ashland for a number of
years, he was thoroughly conversant with the affairs of the College. He
felt and appreciated the great purposes of its establishment and the
capabilities which it might be endowed with by the action of the church.
He also knew what a burden he was about to take up and carry--a burden
which had taxed the energies and heart of his predecessor; but, hopeful
and sanguine, he probably did not appreciate the full weight of the
burden which was to test his heart and energies, in turn, to their
utmost strain. It was well that he was hopeful and trustful.

Dr. Bennett commenced his duties with the following colleagues in the
Faculty December 1, 1877: Robert Emory Blackwell, A. M., Professor of
English and Modern Languages; Harry Estill, A. M., Professor of
Mathematics; William A. Shepard, A. M., Professor of Chemistry; Charles
Morriss, M. A., Professor of Greek and Latin.

At a meeting of the Board, held in Baltimore, March, 1878, the Faculty
was increased by the election of William Waugh Smith, A. M., to the
chair of Moral and Mental Philosophy. Some time afterward he entered
upon his duties as professor, and his connection, in some capacity, has
continued to this day. Of his connection with the College more will be
recorded further on in this narrative.

[Illustration: GRAY CARROLL, _Sutherlin Medalist, 1878; District
Solicitor, Little Rock, Ark._]

At this meeting it was proposed to have published a memorial volume of
the late President Duncan. That it was not done promptly, and in a
manner worthy of him, is, and always will be, a source of regret to
those who knew and loved him. This affords another instance and example
of how little has been done to let the lives and labors of Virginia's
gifted men speak after they are dead. Surely he was worthy of a fitting

[Illustration: RICHARD B. DAVIS, A. B., 1862., _Member Board of

At the annual meeting, June, 1878, the President, in his annual report,
gave the number of students in attendance as 141, from twelve different
States. He reported a revival of religion as having occurred, with
twenty converts among the students.

[Illustration: FRANK NOLAND, _First "Pace" Medalist, 1878; Assistant
Editor "Landmark."_]

An effort has been made, with some success, to retire the floating debt
of the College, amounting to about $23,000, on some of which ten per
cent. interest was being paid, averaging eight per cent. The President
was hopeful of good patronage and retiring the debt.

The following, on recommendation of the Faculty, received degrees, viz.:
Henry A. Boyd, of North Carolina, A. M.;  Mansfield T. Peed, of
Virginia, A. M.; William J. Sebrell, of Virginia, A. B.; Wilbur Fisk
Tillett, of North Carolina, A. B.; M. P. Rice, B. S.

The "Sutherlin Medal for Oratory" was won by Gray Carroll, of Virginia.

The "Walton Greek Prize" went to Clarence Edwards, of Virginia.

[Illustration: PROF. R. BASCOM SMITHEY, A. M.]

The "Pace" medal for the best English essay was awarded to Frank Noland,
of Virginia, the first to win it. This medal was offered by Mr. James B.
Pace, of Richmond, Va.

Prof. Harry Estill resigned, July 8, 1878, the chair of Mathematics
after ten years' service. He was the last of President Duncan's Faculty
to leave. He went to the Washington and Lee University, and took the
same chair at that institution, his Alma Mater.

To the chair thus vacated Royal Bascom Smithey (A. M. 1876) was elected,
and he has filled it with great satisfaction to his pupils and the Board
to the present time (1898).

[Illustration: CLARENCE EDWARDS, A.M., _"Pace" Medalist, 1879;

The old chapel was consumed by fire March 12, 1879. Fortunately there
was nothing in it but the furniture, which was saved. It had a varied
history. Before the war it was a ball-room; during the war a hospital;
after the war a place for religious service for nearly eleven years. Its
walls had resounded with the eloquence of Duncan, Wightman, Guard, Ran.
Tucker, Rosser, Bennett, and others. In it many of Randolph-Macon's
brightest sons had received their diplomas; in it many had been "born
again" to a new life. Services were held afterwards in the Mathematical
lecture-room in the Pace building until the "Duncan Memorial" building,
with church and chapel, had been completed.

[Illustration: CHARLES W. TILLET, A. B., _Sutherlin Medalist, 1879;
Member of North Carolina Senate._]

Immediate steps were taken to erect the new building, and Rev. George W.
Nolley took an active and successful part in raising the funds for its
erection. The ladies of the church also did a good part in this work;
also the Faculty and the students.

In June, 1879, the Finance Committee reported that about one-half the
"floating debt" had been subscribed. Nevertheless, for want of
endowment, the current expenses of the year had exceeded the income.
They therefore recommended that the President be requested to devote his
time and attention specially to the raising of funds for retiring the

The following degrees were conferred, viz.:

A. M.

  T. E. CRENSHAW, Virginia.
  WM. J. SEBRELL, Virginia.

A. B.


Clarence Edwards won the "Pace" medal.

Charles W. Tillett won the "Sutherlin" medal. The number of students for
the session of 1878-'79 was 123.

The session of 1879-1880 was not marked by much that is worthy of

The President of the College devoted his time largely in raising funds
to discharge the debt of the College. In his annual report, June, 1880,
he announced the completion of the new College chapel, built in place of
the old chapel.

Although there was an increase of students, still the expenses exceeded
the income by over $3,300.

At the commencement, June, 1880, degrees were conferred as follows,

A. M.


A. B.

  W. W. SAWYER, Virginia.
  CHAS. W. TILLETT, N. Carolina.

D. D.

  Rev. ADOLPHUS W. MANGUM, A. M., Prof. University of North Carolina
(Class 1854).

At a called meeting of the Board, held at Danville, Va., November, 1880,
the announcement was made that the sum required to cancel the debt of
the College had been subscribed. This gratifying result was achieved by
the long and arduous labors of Dr. Bennett, President of the College.

[Illustration: DOCTOR M. JAMES, _Of West Virginia.  Sutherlin


The following received degrees at the annual commencement, June, 1881:

A. M.

  JOSEPH C. JONES, Virginia.
  JOHN B. CRENSHAW, Virginia.
  BASIL W. WATERS, Maryland.
  JAMES C. SHELTON, Virginia.
  ROBERT W. TOMLIN, Virginia.
  JAMES W. MORRIS, Virginia.

A. B.

  JOHN F. BLACKWELL, Virginia.
  JOSEPH C. TERRELL, Virginia.
  D. M. JAMES, West Virginia.
  WM. B. CRENSHAW, Kentucky.
  E. E. HARRELL, N. Carolina.

The following resolution was adopted by the Board, on motion of Dr. Paul

"_Resolved_, That the Rev. W. W. Bennett, D. D., President of this
College, deserves, and we hereby tender to him, the thanks of the
Trustees for the patient and indefatigable manner in which he has
performed the duty committed to him of raising, by subscription, the
amount necessary to pay the debt of the College, amid discouragements
and difficulties which have rendered the work at once thankless and

[Illustration: JESSE TALBOTT LITTLETON, _Prof. Emory and Henry College;
Pace Medalist, 1880._]

In the annual report of the President the following items are noted: The
number of students matriculated was 128. The debt of the College had
been considerably reduced by collection of subscriptions. The Finance
Committee reported that if the subscriptions were paid up the financial
condition of the College would be better than it had been at any period
of its recent history.

[Illustration: REV. BASIL W. WATERS, A.M., _Missionary to Japan._]

At the close of this session, after spending four years in College,
diplomas in Greek and Mathematics, and the Mathematical prize were
awarded to a young man whose subsequent career has marked him as one of
the first mathematical scholars of the age. This was David W. Taylor, of
Louisa county, Va. In September, 1881, he was second among one hundred
and fifty candidates for entrance as cadet engineer at the United States
Naval Academy. He graduated from the Naval Academy June, 1885, standing
first in his class each year; was ordered to the flagship of the
European station, under the command of (then) Captain Dewey; then sent
to the Royal Naval College at Greenwich, near London, England, taking at
that place a three-years' course in naval architecture and marine
engineering; graduated there in 1888 at the head of his class,
_receiving the highest marks ever obtained for the course by either an
English or foreign student_. He is now (1898) an assistant to Chief of
the Bureau of Construction and Repair, Washington, D. C.

[Illustration: REV. SAMUEL RODGERS, D. D., _Vice-President of the Board
of Trustees._]

[Illustration: JAMES W. MORRIS, A. M. _Sutherlin Medalist; Pace
Medalist, 1881; Missionary to Brazil._]


At the close of the year 1881-'82 the following received degrees:

A. M.

  R. E. L. HOLMES, Virginia.
  EDGAR A. POTTS, Virginia.
  EDMUND S. RUFFIN, Virginia.
  JOSEPH T. REESE, Georgia.

A. B.

  HUGH C. DAVIS, Virginia.
  J. P. MAUZY, Virginia.
  THOMAS N. POTTS, Virginia.

D. D.

  Rev. CHARLES B. STUART (Class 1845), Texas.

  _Sutherlin Medalist_.--SAMUEL M. GARLAND, of Virginia.
  _Pace Medalist_.--JOHN NEWTON MCCORMICK, of Maryland.

The number of students, by the President's report, was 100, a decrease
of 28.

[Illustration: DAVID W. TAYLOR, _Mathematical Prize, 1881; Naval
Constructor, U. S. Navy._]

[Illustration: BISHOP A. W. WILSON, _President Board of Trustees._]

The completion of the Duncan Memorial Church was announced. The credit
of this work was given to ladies of the congregation, who had worked
with great zeal and efficiency to raise the needed funds.

At the annual meeting President W. W. Bennett tendered his resignation
of the presidency of the Board of Trustees and of the College.

Bishop Alpheus W. Wilson was elected president of the Board, and Rev.
John D. Blackwell vice-president.

[Illustration: HUGH C. DAVIS, A. B., 1882, _Attorney-at-Law._]

The vacancy of the presidency of the College was not filled, but the
Board adjourned to meet in Centenary Church, Richmond, July 19, 1882, to
fill the office. Petitions were laid before the Board, sent by a number
of ministers and friends of the College, and also by a large number of
the students, asking the Board to re-elect Dr. Bennett to the presidency
of the College.

At the adjourned meeting, held July 19, 1882, Dr. Bennett was re-elected
President, almost unanimously, and he accepted the oflice. He stated
that he had labored under a wrong impression in regard to the sentiments
of the Board when he resigned the presidency.


At a called meeting, held in November, 1882, the resignation of Charles
Morris, Professor of Latin and French, was made known to the Board. This
resignation was accepted with expressions of the high appreciation by
the Board of the personal character and fidelity of Prof. Morris. He
accepted a professorship in the University of Georgia.

Prof. William W. Smith was elected to have charge of Latin and Greek.

At the Annual Conference, held in November, 1882, the annual assessment
made by the Conference for the College was increased by $500, making it
$3,500, which amount has been the assessment to this date, June, 1898.

[Illustration: CLAUDE A. SWANSON, _Sutherlin Medalist; Member of
Congress from Virginia._]


The degree men for the year ending June, 1883, were

A. M.

  JOHN F. BLACKWELL, Virginia.
  W. A. CRENSHAW, Virginia.
  JOHN MORRIS, Georgia.
  E. E. HARRELL, N. C.
  LEWIS MILLER, Massachusetts.

A. B.

  GEORGE B. DAVIS. Virginia.
  JOHN D. EPES, Virginia.
  THOMAS D. NEWSON, Virginia.
  SYDNEY B. WRIGHT, Virginia.

D. D.

  Rev. W. S. BLACK, of the North Carolina Conference.
  Rev. W. E. EDWARDS, of the Virginia Conference.
  Rev. P. H. WHISNER, of the Baltimore Conference.

  _Sutherlin Medalist_.--CLAUDE A. SWANSON, Virginia.
  _Pace Medalist_.--CHARLES EMORY KREGLOE, Virginia.

[Illustration: JOHN MORRIS, A. M., _Professor of English, University of

Thomas Branch, Esq., who had served on the Board for forty years,
tendered his resignation as a trustee. This was received, with a
resolution of the high appreciation of his services as president of the
Board and trustee, and his liberality and devotion to the College. He
was succeeded by his son, John P. Branch.

The President's report showed the attendance to be 114. In this report
the President recommended the system of co-education of males and
females for the first time. The recommendation of the President was not

The Board took steps to have erected new dormitories on the campus.

[Illustration: CHARLES EMORY KREGLOE, _Pace Medalist; Professor
Alleghany Institute._]


This year, the anniversary year of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the
United States, was to prove the turning point in the financial history
of the College. The movement towards the increase of the endowment was
not general, but it was in the right direction. The first subscription
was for $1,000, as in 1855; it was made by Mr. E. M. Tilley, of Berkley,
Va., a Northern man living in that town, not then a member of the
Methodist Church. The larger part of the funds raised was from the
Norfolk district, apart from the subscription made by members of the
Board at the annual meeting, June, 1884, which amounted to $9,000. From
this time forward the increase of the capital of the College has been
steady, and, at times, very material and gratifying.

[Illustration: JAMES A. DUNCAN, D. D., _Sutherlin Medalist; Holston

The Virginia and Baltimore Conferences had, at their last session,
directed that all funds raised this Centennial year should, unless
otherwise specially noted, go towards the endowment fund of the College.

At the annual meeting the following received degrees:

A. M.

  THOMAS D. NEWSON, Virginia.

A. B.

  R. H. BENNETT, Virginia.
  JAMES CANNON, Jr., Maryland.
  N. H. ROBERTSON, Virginia.
  THEODORE H. WHITE, Virginia.

James A. Duncan, of Virginia, won the Sutherlin medal. James Cannon,
Jr., of Maryland, won the Pace medal. The number of matriculates for the
session of 1883-'84 was 108.

[Illustration: JAMES CANNON, JR., _Of Maryland; Pace Medalist; President
Blackstone Institute._]


The session of 1884-'85 opened with 111 students. The President, in his
annual report, said it was one of the most satisfactory that had
occurred during his administration. Five new dormitories had been built
to take the place of old ones. Steps were taken to build new houses for
two Professors. He reported the acceptance of the chair of Greek and the
Oriental Languages by Dr. Richard M. Smith, to which he had been elected
at the last annual meeting.

[Illustration: DR. RICHARD M. SMITH, PH. D. (LEIPZIG), _Professor of
Greek and the Oriental Languages (1885-1896)._]

The following received degrees, June, 1885:

A. M.

  R. H. BENNETT, Virginia.
  JAMES M. PAGE, Virginia.

A. B.

  WM. H. BARLEY, Virginia.
  F. P. HAMMOND, Maryland.
  CLAUDE A. SWANSON, Virginia.

  _Sutherlin Medalist_.--THOMAS F. SHERRILL, of North Carolina.
  _Pace Medalist_.--JAMES M. PAGE, of Virginia.

At a called meeting, held in Centenary Church, Richmond, Va., May 19,
1886, the following letter of resignation was laid before the Board:

"Bishop A. W. Wilson, President of the Trustees of Randolph-Macon

"MY DEAR BROTHER,--The poor condition of my health through this entire
session thus far admonishes me that I cannot continue to hold the
presidency of the College. I am compelled, therefore, to hand you this,
my resignation of the office, to take effect on the 1st of September
next, which will give the Trustees a period of five months, though I am
sure they will not need so much time, in which to secure a suitable
person for my successor.

"It is a source of great gratification to me that I shall leave the
College in good condition in every respect.

"Yours very truly,


"ASHLAND, VA., _March_ 31, 1886."

[Illustration: RICHARD HEBER BENNETT, A. M., _Of the Virginia

[Illustration: THOMAS F. SHERRILL, OF N. C., _Sutherlin Medalist,

The resignation of Dr. Bennett was accepted, and a committee was
appointed to notify him of the action of the Board, and to express to
him the appreciation by the Board of the value of his services.

On motion, it was--

"Resolved, That at the annual meeting in June next the Board will
proceed to fill the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of Dr.

The President's annual report gave the attendance as 124 for the session
ending June, 1886.

[Illustration: JAMES M. PAGE, A. M., PH. D., OF VIRGINIA, _Pace
Medalist, 1885; Professor University of Virginia._]

On the recommendation of the Faculty, the following received degrees,

A. M.

  F. P. HAMMOND, Maryland.
  M. L. SHACKELFORD, Virginia.
  SYDNEY B. WRIGHT, Virginia.

A. B.

  THOMAS J. BARHAM, Virginia.
  JAMES S. CHAPMAN, Virginia.
  FRANK L. CROCKER, Virginia.
  ARTHUR K. DAVIS, Virginia.
  F. V. RUSSELL, Virginia.
  SAMUEL D. TURNER, Virginia.

D. D.

  Rev. WILBUR F. TILLETT, Vanderbilt University.
  Rev. H. MELVILLE JACKSON, Richmond, Va.

LL. D.

  Prof. JAMES A. HARRISON, Washington and Lee University.

  _Sutherlin Medalist_.--J. S. CHAPMAN, of Virginia.
  _Pace Medalist_.--LANGHORNE LEITCH, of Virginia.

[Illustration: JAMES S. CHAPMAN, _Sutherlin Medalist; Attorney-at-Law._]

The Endowment and Investment Committee made the following gratifying

"We respectfully report that there has been raised, through the
instrumentality of Prof. W. W. Smith, Dr. R. N. Sledd, and others,
$43,000, $25,000 of which is in the hands of the local committee at
Lynchburg, and the balance in the hands of Captain Richard Irby for

Special credit ought to be given here to the liberal citizens of
Lynchburg, who subscribed this amount of endowment, ever since kept
separate, and designated Lynchburg Endowment Fund. This has brought into
the current receipts each year about $1,500. It was the prophecy and
forecast of greater liberality in 1891. From this time the professors
and officers have always been paid their salaries promptly. The direct
and material aid thus afforded was of great benefit, but the influence
of such action on other communities and on individuals has been of far
greater value. Lynchburg, therefore, deserves, and should have, the
gratitude of every Randolph-Macon alumnus and friend.

[Illustration: LANGHORNE LEITCH, A. M., _Pace Medalist; Missionary to

In the election to fill the office of President the following
nominations were made:

  Rev. John D. Blackwell, D. D., by Paul Whitehead.
  Rev. Robert N. Sledd, D. D., by W. E. Judkins.
  Rev. Wilbur F. Tillett, by J. E. Edwards.
  Rev. John A. Kern, by W. T. Chandler.
  Rev. Paul Whitehead, D. D., by P. A. Peterson.
  Prof. Wm. W. Smith, A. M., by Richard Irby.

[Illustration: R. N. SLEDD, D. D., _Class of 1855; First Vice-President
of the Board._]

On the first ballot Prof. W. W. Smith received ten votes out of twenty.
On the second ballot he received twelve, and was declared elected.

Inasmuch as the history of the College has been so intimately linked
with the life of President Smith for so many years, it is not necessary
to say much of him just here. He was born in Fauquier county in 1848.
His father, Richard M. Smith, afterwards moved to Alexandria, where he
was associated with the celebrated Benjamin Hallowell in his school.
Afterwards he became editor of the _Alexandria Sentinel_, which was
removed to Richmond at the breaking out of hostilities, April, 1861. He
afterwards edited the _Enquirer_. At the early age of sixteen William
Waugh Smith volunteered in the Confederate service, in which he
continued to the close of the war. After the war he was associated with
his father in the publication of the _Enquirer_, which had been revived.
He attended the University of Virginia one session. When the College was
moved to Ashland, and his father became a Professor in it, he
matriculated at the College and took the degree of A. M., with John
Hannon, in 1873. After leaving College he became the assistant to his
uncle, Albert Smith, at Bethel Academy, near Warrenton, Va., which
rapidly grew into prominence as a school. Here he remained till 1882,
when he was elected Professor of Moral and Mental Science in
Randolph-Macon College. In 1885 he showed his great talent for raising
funds for the College, by securing the "Lynchburg Endowment," in
connection with Dr. R. N. Sledd and others. His energy and aptitude for
administration, in addition to the successful experience he had gained
at Bethel Academy, pointed him out as the man for the vacant position,
and subsequent events have justified the selection.

[Illustration: PRESIDENT WM. W. SMITH, A. M., LL. D.]


for Students 1893.]

[Illustration: [Five small pictures, displayed in a quincunx.  Pictures
are individually captioned, as follows: "REV. R.M. SAUNDERS, Chaplain",
ADAMS."  At the bottom of the page, the quincunx is captioned, "FACULTY

[Illustration: [Five more small pictures, displayed in a quincunx.
Pictures are individually captioned, as follows: "PRESIDENT SMITH.",
the bottom of the page, the quincunx is captioned, "FACULTY

[Illustration: [A third set of five small pictures, displayed in a
quincunx. Pictures are individually captioned, as follows: "PROF
TERRELL." At the bottom of the page, the quincunx is captioned, "FACULTY

On motion of John P. Branch (substitute for one offered by A. G. Brown),
it was

"_Resolved_, That Richard Irby be appointed Secretary and Treasurer, the
same to give half of his time to the business of the College."

His duties were defined as follows: To have charge of the financial and
business concerns of the College, and also of the library, grounds,
buildings, etc. This office was accepted, and he entered upon his duties
the first day of July following.

At the same session the Board proceeded to fill the chair of Moral and
Mental Science and Biblical Literature. Rev. John A. Kern, of the
Baltimore Conference, was elected to the chair, and he accepted the

Prof. Kern was a graduate of the University of Virginia. In 1866 he
entered the Baltimore Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church,
South. He had filled many of the most important appointments of that
Conference, and was then, as now, esteemed a man of talent, and growing
year by-year in ability and acceptability. The estimate placed on him by
his friends was not too high, as his subsequent career has proven.

The Board accepted the libraries which had been offered to it by the
Literary Societies, consisting of about four thousand volumes, and the
Librarian was directed to consolidate them with the College Library.
This was a much-needed and timely improvement, and became a nucleus for
a library which, in course of time, will be, it is hoped, a credit to
the College.

[Illustration: REV. JOHN A. KERN, D. D.  _Elected President of
Randolph-Macon College in 1897._]

The new President was requested to continue his efforts in raising funds
for the endowment, which had so far been attended with laudable success.
This he was not slow in heeding.

On account of failure to record the financial statement of 1886, the
exact amount of net assets of the College cannot here be given.

The retiring President served nine years, almost identically the same
period served by his predecessor, Dr. Duncan. His administration was
also, like Dr. Duncan's, marked by great financial embarrassment, which
had a depressing influence on a sensitive temperament like his was. That
his days were shortened by the constant burden of care, like his
predecessor's, can hardly be doubted. Both of them were, in a sense,
martyrs to the cause of Christian education.

Dr. Bennett never regained his health. He moved to his farm, in Louisa
county, and took work on the contiguous appointment at the Conference of
1886. While engaged in the work of his charge he gradually declined in
health, and died June 7, 1887.


"WILLIAM WALLACE BENNETT, son of Eli and Mary C. Bennett, was born in
the city of Richmond, February 24, 1821. He was reared under the
fostering care and social surroundings of Methodism, and was the subject
of religious impressions from an early period.

"In 1839, under the ministry of Rev. Gervas M. Keesee, he made a
profession of religion, and united with the Methodist Episcopal Church
in Portsmouth. Here, with the help of class-meetings and other social,
as well as the public means of grace, his religious experience had a
healthful beginning, that developed the elevated character and useful
life that our beloved brother has bequeathed to the church. Soon after
his conversion, he, and several others who were exercised about a call
to the ministry, met and conversed upon the subject, and prayed for
divine guidance, giving evidence that when he entered the itinerancy it
was no rash adventure. In the fall of 1841, he removed to Mecklenburg
county, where his brother, Rev. John R. Bennett, was in charge of the
circuit. There he pursued his studies, obtained license to preach, and
began his ministry, passing through what he conceived to be the crucial
test of his call to preach. Discouraged, as he informed the writer, by
what he conceived to be a failure in the pulpit before a large
congregation, he was tempted to give up the ministry; but falling in the
hands of an experienced and godly class-leader, who encouraged him by
his counsel and his prayers, he returned to his work with renewed
consecration, and a conviction too strong to be jostled again.

"From the best information obtained (the records of four years of this
Conference being lost) he was admitted on trial into the Virginia
Conference in 1842, and travelled as junior preacher on Louisa and
Bedford Circuits. In 1845-'46 he was in charge of Powhatan Circuit, and
in 1847 was stationed in Charlottesville, where he availed himself of
the educational advantages of the University of Virginia, and graduated
in several of the schools in 1850. At the Conference of this year he was
stationed in Washington city, organizing the first society of the M. E.
Church, South, at our national capital. In 1851 he was elected Chaplain
of the University of Virginia, but on account of sickness resigned the
position. He soon, however, regained his accustomed health, and in
1852-'53 travelled Loudoun Circuit with W. W. Berry and John C.
Granbery, respectively, as junior preachers. In 1854-'55-'56-'57 he was
Presiding Elder of the Washington District. While on this appointment he
was married, December 20, 1855, to Virginia Lee, daughter of Edward and
Mary Kendall Lee Sangster, of Alexandria. A wise and happy union. In
1858-'59 he was appointed to Union Station, Richmond, and in 1860-'61
was stationed at Centenary, in the same city.

"In 1862 he was appointed Chaplain in the Confederate Army, and assigned
to the superintendency of the Tract Association. Seeing the necessity of
a more generous distribution of Bibles and religious literature among
the troops, he arranged to go abroad for a supply, and during the last
winter of the war successfully 'ran the blockade.' He had scarcely,
however, entered upon the work in London when the war ended, and he
returned to Virginia.

"In 1865-'66 he travelled Nottoway circuit, and in November, 1866, was
appointed editor of the _Richmond Christian Advocate_. By judicious
management and editorial ability, this necessary and popular journal was
established on a promising basis. In 1874 Rev. J. J. Lafferty became his
associate, who, in 1877, by satisfactory negotiations, assumed control,
and was appointed editor of the paper. The motives influencing Dr.
Bennett in this change were characteristic of the man and the result of
thoughtful conversation. His successor well understood him, and tells
us, in his affecting notice of his death, that 'he made known to him his
uneasiness in conscience as to his position--that he was too stout in
health to be out of the regular ranks. With much emphasis, he declared
his wish to be found in the pastorate when God called him.' Before the
Conference met in Lynchburg Dr. Bennett had arranged to change his
position. It was then made to appear his duty to go to the college, and
he yielded. But there must have been a peculiar joy when the summons
came that he was in his loved employ--the shepherd of a flock.

"In 1877 he was elected President of Randolph-Macon College. This
position he held for nine years, during, perhaps, its most critical
history; but by able, kind, and impartial administration, with the
confidence of his brethren in the ministry, the active co-operation of
his professorial associates, and the affection of the students, the
College accomplished a noble work. By his activity in visiting
throughout the Baltimore and Virginia Conferences and elsewhere, and
under his stirring appeals, the number of students compared favorably
with other institutions, and a large amount of money was raised in the
interest of the College. The sentiments of a writer from the Pacific
coast, we are sure, find echo here, that 'Virginia Methodism owes Dr.
Bennett a great debt for the work done by him at Randolph-Macon at the
crucial period of its history.' He left the College an enduring monument
of his heroic devotion, but, as many think, at the cost of his life. At
the close of the session in 1886 his health was so impaired that he
resigned the presidency of the College, and secured a retired home near
Trevilian's, in Louisa county, hoping that relief from the burdens and
cares of college work and the quiet of the country might nurse him back
to health again. But, alas! his disease baffled the best medical skill
and the loving attentions of his family and friends. He was prevailed
upon during the summer to visit the mountains, and, with some slight
improvement, he was in his place at the last Conference, believing that
he could even then attend to the work on some fields that would be open,
but naming none. The change disease had wrought in his robust frame was
a subject of mournful remark by all that knew him, and grave
apprehensions were felt that he would never recuperate. From that
Conference he was sent to Gordonsville and Orange, where he gave for a
time pastoral care and pulpit work that was surprising to his friends.
But as the summer advanced, he was compelled to yield, and after a short
confinement to his bed, his earthly labors ended.

"Dr. Bennett, in health, will always be remembered by his acquaintances
as an incomparable specimen of physical manhood, with a face bearing the
lines of strong character. Indeed, he seemed moulded for any work or
position in Methodism. His mental endowments were of a high order. His
early advantages were such as to secure a good English education, with
some knowledge of Latin; and from our knowledge of the man, we may
safely conclude that his opportunities were well improved. A schoolmate
says of him: 'He was studious, with great grasp of intellect and
steadiness of purpose.' The writer, and others, perhaps, will remember
his modest reference to his fondness for reading while a boy, in using
'the first money he could command to subscribe for the _Richmond
Advocate_,' which he subsequently edited with so much ability. By
judicious reading and study, and by such collegiate helps as his
appointments favored, he became the peer of any. Ten years before he was
elected President of Randolph-Macon College he received from that
institution the degree of D. D., was a member of every General
Conference since 1858, and was a representative of our church at the
Ecumenical Conference in London in 1881. The opinion of the editor of
the _Richmond Christian Advocate_, no doubt, is the judgment of his
brethren, that 'he was the best-rooted man in the Conference in
theology, and saturated with church history, dogma, and doctrine.'

"As a preacher, he occupied the front rank in pulpit power, and his
discourses were such as lived in the memory and hearts of his hearers.
'His sermons,' says Bishop Granbery, 'were stately, elaborate, and
massive, mighty discussions of great truths, with wide range of thought,
lucid and forcible argument, earnest, solemn, and often impassioned
application.' Bishop Doggett says of him: 'Bennett, at times, is the
greatest preacher I ever heard. His sermon at the late camp-meeting, on
Matthew xxiii. 37, 38, surpassed anything I ever listened to from the
pulpit. His description of the desolate house I can never forget. I
remember,' says he, 'to have heard him at Charlottesville, on the flood,
when for more than an hour the congregation seemed dazed by the power of
his eloquence.'

"His character was differently analyzed by some of his friends, though
all accorded him unexceptionable integrity, a high order of piety, and a
noble, generous heart. His occasional serious expression and brusque
manner awakened the suspicion with some that he was wanting in sympathy,
but those who knew him best indulged no such estimate of him. With all
his firmness of conviction and stern independence, where was to be found
greater gentleness and consideration of the feelings of others? He was
emphatically the friend of the friendless, the persecuted and neglected,
and was unchanging in his friendships. He was slow to find fault, and
indulged in no depreciation of others. At any time it required a great
provocation, and something more than mere personal affront or injury, to
evoke rebuke; but when it did come, it was felt, but was more the
utterance of conscientious impulse than the ebullition of personal

"He was the head of a Christian household, where piety was fostered and
practised, and where Methodism was honored. He, with his devoted wife,
sought to make home attractive, and succeeded. While the proprieties of
religious training and filial respect were never relaxed, there was no
constraint on the freedom of social and religious intercourse, and no
lack of sympathy for such enjoyments as were proper, entertaining and
improving in a Christian home. He was looked up to by his family as a
practical and safe counsellor, and beyond whom there was rarely even the
desire to appeal. His brethren, I am sure, will endorse the sentiments
of his distinguished eulogist: 'His virtues were many, steadfast and
bright. The whole church will feel his loss. The Virginia Conference, as
one man, will cherish his memory with deep admiration and love.'

"After his confinement to bed the ravages of his rare disease were very
rapid and severe. He early sank into a comatose condition, yet
responding when spoken to. It will be gratifying to his brethren,
nevertheless, to know that his end was a great spiritual triumph. On
Monday, June 6th, at an early hour, with the family and a few friends
about him, fearful that he might pass away Without again rousing from
his lethargy, his wife, under her stress of grief, urged all to united
prayer. They knelt, and his eldest son led in prayer, expressing
assurance of the blessed result to the dying husband and father, yet
craving a lucid interval and some words of affectionate counsel. In a
few moments he asked to be turned on his back, and, opening his eyes, he
exclaimed, 'I am quickened up into a higher life!' When his wife
exulted in such an answer to prayer, he said: 'My dear, I have known for
more than forty years that God answers prayer.' Then, feeling his pulse,
and turning to Dr. Wills, his physician, he said: 'I suppose this thing
is steadily progressing to the end, is it not?' 'Yes,' said the doctor,
'but you have the Everlasting Arms around you.' 'Oh, yes,' he replied,
'and have had for more than forty years, and they have never failed me.
But I have much to say, and must speak slowly, so I wanted to know how
much time--a half hour?' 'Yes,' the doctor replied, 'perhaps several
hours.' He then called his family--but we must drop the curtain on a
scene in many respects too sacred and impossible to describe. With
affectionate counsel to each, he commended them to God. When one of the
family spoke of meeting him in heaven, he replied, 'And what a happy
meeting that will be!' He then asked his physician if he had shown any
signs of nervousness. When told he had not, with a tender consideration
for his loved ones, he said: 'I did not want to excite the family
unnecessarily, but I want you all to know that there is not a cloud, not
the semblance of a shadow, dark or small, between my Lord and me. All is
bright and clear.' He joined in singing that hymn of Christian triumph
commencing, 'How happy are they,' and when the family, by reason of
their emotions, were unable to sing, he carried the tune. He then sent
messages of love to his friends and brethren. 'Give my love,' said he,
'to the professors and students of Randolph-Macon College, and may the
blessing of God be upon them and their work forever.'

Then, with his heart going out to his brethren in the ministry, with
whom he had labored so long and so successfully, he said: 'Give my love
to the preachers--all of them. I am so weak my feelings would overcome
me. I can only give them my general blessing.' At intervals till he died
the expressions caught from his failing voice were, 'Hallelujah,' 'Glory
to God,' 'The portals on high,' 'Always the blood--saved by it,' and
almost with his expiring breath, and as if descriptive of his triumphant
passage from earth to heaven, he exclaimed, 'I am rising higher and
higher!' and at 1:15 o'clock P. M., June 7th, he passed away from his
family, a wife and six children, all one in Christ, who, though
desolated by their loss, are comforted in the blessed hope of meeting in

"His remains were carried to Randolph-Macon College, where solemn and
touching services were held. The next day they were conveyed to
Centenary Church, Richmond, one of his old charges, where, by request of
his family, Rev. S. S. Lambeth, assisted by Bishop Granbery and some of
the ministers of the city and vicinity, in the presence of a large
number of friends and acquaintances, held appropriate and affecting
services. His body was then carried to Hollywood cemetery and laid to
rest 'till Christ shall bid it rise.'"

[Illustration: REV. W. G. STARR, A. M., D. D., _Member Board of

[Illustration: MAJOR C. V. WINFREE, _Member Board of Trustees._]

This writer had intended to bring the History down to June, 1898. For
reasons satisfactory to himself, but not necessary to be given here, he
has concluded to discontinue the historical narration of events which
occurred during the twelve years from June, 1886, to 1898. The Appendix
will give some of the most important data, which may be interesting to
many, and may be used by the future historian.

He cannot close this narration of events without again expressing his
regret at the imperfections of this book, written and printed under many
interruptions and difficulties; but he trusts that the intrinsic
interest of the narrative will cause readers to overlook or forgive its
imperfections and defects.

Hoping that some more competent writer may in due time take the crude
materials given, along with others of like interest, and do full justice
to the oldest of Methodist Colleges in America, he lays down his pen.




SESSION 1886-1887.


A. M.

  Eugene H. Rawlings, Virginia.
  Arthur K. Davis, Virginia.

A. B.

  George C. Bidgood, Virginia.
  Edwin W. Bowen, Maryland.
  John L. Bruce, Virginia.
  Thomas E. Hunt, Virginia.
  James Lindsay Patton, Virginia.
  Henry R. Pemberton, Virginia.
  George Shipley, Maryland.

D. D.

  Rev. Peter Archer Peterson, Virginia Conference.


  _Sutherlin Medalist_.--W. H. H. Joyce, Maryland.
  _Pace Medalist_.--James C. Martin, Virginia.

[Illustration: REV. JOHN L. BRUCE, _Missionary to Brazil._]
[Illustration: REV. FRANK W. CROWDER, _East New York Conference._]

SESSION 1887-1888.


A. M.

  George Shipley, Maryland.
  James C. Martin, Virginia.

A. B.

  W. Douglas Macon, Virginia.
  Peyton B. Winfree, Virginia.
  Paul Pettit, Virginia.
  James W. Howell, Virginia.
  Carlton D. Harris, Virginia.
  James C. Dolley, Virginia.

  _Sutherlin Medalist_.--Frank W. Crowder, Maryland.
  _Pace Medalist_.--George Shipley, Maryland.

[Illustration: [A collage of three photographs arranged in a

[Illustration: REV. W. H. H. JOYCE, _Baltimore Conference._]

[Illustration: REV. JAMES LINDSAY PATTON, A. B., _Missionary Protestant
Episcopal Church to Japan._]

[Illustration: REV. WM. McGEE, TRUSTEE. _Founder McGee Endowment Fund._]

[Illustration: [A collage of four photographs arranged in a square,

[Illustration: JOHN P. PETTYJOHN. _Founder of Science Hall._]

SESSION 1888-1889.


A. M.

  Edwin W. Bowen, Maryland.
  Thomas W. Page, Virginia.

A. B.

  Charles D. Ragland, Virginia.
  J. Gilchrist Herndon, Virginia.

B. S.

  W. Alphonzo Murrill, Virginia.

  _Sutherlin Medalist_.--A. M. Hughlett, Virginia.
  _Pace Medalist_.--Jos. H. Riddick, Jr., Virginia.

D. D.

  Rev. A. P. Parker, Missionary to China.

[Illustration: PROF. JOHN L. BUCHANAN, LL. D., _Elected Professor of
Latin, 1889._]

SESSION OF 1889-1890.


A. M.

  J. Jordan Leake, Virginia.
  C. Dabney Ragland, Virginia.
  John S. Richardson, Virginia.
  W. Carroll Vaden, Virginia.

A. B.

  E. C. Armstrong, Maryland.
  W. B. Beauchamp, Virginia.
  W. Asbury Christian, Virginia.
  Wellford H. Cook, Virginia.
  C. C. Cunningham, Virginia.
  Samuel W. Eason, Virginia.
  W. Alphonzo Murrill, Virginia.
  W. Levi Old, Virginia.
  Marshall R. Peterson, Virginia.
  Jos. H. Riddick, Jr., Virginia.
  Samuel C. Starke. Virginia.
  H. M. Strickler, Virginia.
  Walter L. Turner, Virginia.
  Geo. W. Warren, Virginia.

D. D.

  Rev. W. E. Judkins, Virginia Conference.
  Rev. B. W. Bond, Baltimore Conference.

  _Sutherlin Medalist_.--Joseph H. Riddick. Jr., Virginia.
  _Murray Scholarship Medalist_.--A. R. Dudderar, Maryland.
  _Pace Medalist_.--Frank G. Newbill, Virginia.

SESSION 1890-'91.

A. M.

  Charles Hall Davis, Virginia,
  Samuel W. Eason, Virginia.
  De La Warr B. Easter, Virginia.
  W. Alphonzo Murrill, Virginia.
  D'Arcy Paul Parham, Virginia.
  Samuel C. Starke, Virginia.

A. B.

  Benj. W. Arnold, Jr., Virginia.
  George E. Barnett, Maryland.
  Benj. W, Beckham, Virginia.
  Henry D. Blackwell, Virginia.
  Major S. Colonna, Jr., Virginia.
  Charles Hall Davis, Virginia.
  Alfred R. Dudderar, Maryland.
  Gustavus W. Dyer, Virginia.
  Robert L. Fultz, Virginia.
  John Calvin Hawk, W. Va.
  Aretas M. Hughlett, Virginia.
  Walter R. Old, Virginia.
  George H. Ray, Jr., Virginia.
  Robert T. Webb, Jr., Virginia

LL. D.

  Prof. C. T. Winchester, of Wesleyan University, Connecticut.

D. D.

  Rev. Walter R. Lambuth, of Japan.
  Rev. James F. Twitty, Virginia Conference.
  Rev. Edward M. Peterson, Virginia Conference
  Rev. William E. Evans, Virginia Conference.

  _Sutherlin Medalist_.--Robert W. Patton, of Virginia

[Illustration: CLASS OF 1890.]


[Illustration: [Key to the illustration captioned, "CLASS OF 1890."
Names are given as follows:

   1. M. R. Peterson
   2. W. B. Beauchamp
   3. E. C. Armstrong
   4. W. L. Turner
   5. C. C. Cunningham
   6. W. A. Murrill
   7. Hon. J. W. Daniel, Orator.
   8. W. H. Cooke
   9. J. S. Richardson
  10. W. A. Christian
  11. G. W. Warren
  12. Prof. J. B. Crenshaw
  13. Prof. R. M. Smith
  14. Prof. J. L. Buchanan
  15. Prof. R. E. Blackwell
  16. Pres. W. W. Smith
  17. Prof. W. A. Shepard
  18. Prof. R. B. Smithey
  19. Prof. J. A. Kern
  20. W. C. Vaden
  21. D. B. Easter
  22. C. D. Ragland
  23. H. M. Strickler
  24. S. W. Eason
  25. J. H. Riddick, Jr.
  26. J. J. Leake
  27. S. C. Starke]]

[Illustration: FRANK G. NEWBILL, A.M., _Pace Medalist, 1890._]

[Illustration: A. R. DUDDERAR, A. B.]

[Illustration: REV. ROBERT W. PATTON, _Chaplain of 2nd Virginia Regiment

SESSION 1891-1892.

A. M.

  George Pilcher, Virginia.
  Charles L. Melton, Virginia

A. B.

  R. H. T. Adams, Jr., Virginia.
  Hall Canter, Virginia.
  Wm. Holmes Davis, Virginia.
  Thos. R. Freeman, Virginia.
  Willie D. Keene, Virginia.
  David H. Kern, W. Virginia
  Bolivar Clarke Nettles, Texas
  Scott Ray, Virginia.
  W. R. Smithwick, N. Carolina
  J. S. Zimmerman, Maryland
  Harry L. Moore, Maryland.

  _Sutherlin Medalist_.--I. W. Eason, Virginia.
  _Pace Medalist_.--Jos. N. Latham.
  _Murray Medals_.--Scholarship, Harry Ludwell Moore, Maryland;
  Proficiency, James Elliott Wamsley, Virginia.

[Illustration: HARRY LUDWELL MOORE, A. B., PH. D., _Instructor at Johns
Hopkins University; Professor Smith College, Massachusetts._]

SESSION 1892-1893.

A. M.

  C. C. Cunningham, Virginia.
  Geo. W. Russell, Virginia.
  Homer H. Sherman, Virginia.
  Wm. J. Whitesell, Virginia.

A. B.

  R. H. Hood, North Carolina.
  James T. Myers, Maryland.
  Alfred C. Ray, Virginia.
  Clarence H. Rector, Virginia.

B. S.

  Homer H. Sherman, Virginia.

D. D.

  Rev. W. T. Young, Virginia. Conference.

  _Sutherlin Medalist_.--Joseph Deming Langley, Virginia.
  _Murray Medalists_.--Scholarship, Homer H. Sherman, Virginia;
  Proficiency, Thomas M. Jones, Virginia.


[Illustration: JOS. N. LATHAM, _Pace Medalist, 1892._]

[Illustration: JAMES E. WAMSLEY, _Prof. Kentucky Wesleyan College.
Murray Medalist._]

[Illustration: [A collage of four photographs arranged in a square,

[Illustration: REV. JAMES T. MYERS, A. B., _Missionary to Japan._]

SESSION 1893-1894.

A. M.

  E. C. Armstrong, Maryland.
  B. W. Arnold, Jr., Virginia.
  *R. Ferguson, Sr., Virginia.
  R. Ferguson, Jr., Virginia.
  *John W. Jones, Idaho.
  Frank G. Newbill, Virginia.
  Andrew Sledd, Virginia.
  James E. Wamsley, Virginia.
  A. M. Hughlett, Virginia.

* Under the old law existing when his A. B. was taken.

A. B.

  W. M. Blanchard, N. Carolina.
  R. W. Buchanan, Virginia.
  H. M. Carter, Dist. Columbia.
  Evan A. Edwards, Maryland.
  W. T. A. Haynes, Virginia.
  Thos. M. Jones, Virginia.
  John L. Terrell, Texas.
  S. H. Turner, Virginia.
  Ernest Linwood Wright, Virginia.

D. D.

Rev. William H. Christian, Virginia Conference.

  _Sutherlin Medalist_.--Andrew Sledd, Virginia.

  _Murray Medalist_.--Scholarship, Thomas Madison Jones, Virginia;
  Proficiency, George Virgil Rector, Virginia.

[Illustration: JOS. D. LANGLEY, _Sutherlin Medalist--1893._]

[Illustration: CLASS OF 1895.]

[Illustration: [Key to the illustration captioned, "CLASS OF 1895."
Names are given as follows:

   1. D. T. Merritt.
   2. A. H. Whisner.
   3. C. M. Baggarly.
   4. J. T. Porter.
   5. E. L. Woolf.
   6. R. E. Leigh.
   7. C. E. Armentrout.
   8. H. Fletcher.
   9. I. H. Blackwell.
  10. Richard Irby, Sec'y and Treas.
  11. Prof. R. M. Smith.
  12. Prof. R. E. Blackwell.
  13. Pres. W. W. Smith.
  14. Prof. J. A. Kern.
  15. Prof. R. B. Smithey.
  16. Prof. E. W. Bowen.
  17. Prof. A. C. Wightman.
  18. C. G. Evans.
  19. B. M. Beckham.
  20. H. A. Christian.
  21. J. D. Hank, Jr.]]

SESSION 1894-1895.

A. M.

  Benj. M. Beckham, Virginia.
  Henry A. Christian, Virginia.
  C. G. Evans, North Carolina.
  Josiah D. Hank, Jr., Virginia.

A. B.

  C. E. Armentrout, Virginia.
  Carroll M. Baggarly, Virginia.
  Irving H. Blackwell, Virginia.
  Henry A. Christian, Virginia.
  C. G. Evans, North Carolina.
  Howard Fletcher, Virginia.
  Josiah D. Hank, Jr., Virginia.
  Ernest Lee Woolf, Virginia.
  John B. Henry, Maryland.
  Robert C. Howison, Virginia.
  Richard E. Leigh, Mississippi
  Daniel T. Merritt, Virginia.
  Benj. F. Montgomery, Virginia.
  James T. Porter, Maryland.
  A. H. Whisner, West Virginia.
  Ernest Lee Woolf, Virginia.

D. D.

  Rev. John C. Kilgo, President Trinity College, North Carolina.

  _Sutherlin Medalist_.---David Spence Hill, Missouri.
  _Murray Medalists_.--Proficiency, Marvin E. Smithey, Virginia;
Scholarship, Charles E. Armentrout, Virginia.

[Illustration: THOMAS MADISON JONES, _Murray Scholarship Medalist,

[Illustration: DAVID SPENCE HILL, _Sutherlin Medalist, 1895._]


[Illustration: [Key to the illustration captioned, "Faculty and
Officers and Class of 1896."  Names are given as follows:

   1. P. H. Drewry.
   2. H. O'B. Cooper.
   3. S. D. Boyd, Jr.
   4. J. S. Poindexter.
   5. J. Mullen.
   6. Prof. Knight.
   7. Prof. Blackwell.
   8. J. H. Robertson.
   9. P. H. Williams.
  10. F. W. Hilbert
  11. G. T. Tyler, Jr.
  12. A. S. Thompson, Ins. Ph. Cul.
  13. Prof. Bowen.
  14. Prof. Easter.
  15. Richard Irby, Sec'y and Treas.
  16. Prof. Kern.
  17. Pres. Smith.
  18. Prof. Smithey.
  19. Rev. W. E. Judkins, Chaplain.
  20. Prof. Wightman.
  21. M. E. Smithey.
  22. C. M. Kilby.
  23. C. W. Watts.
  24. S. H. Watts.
  and, unnumbered, at the bottom of the list, W. S. Anderson.]]

[Illustration: CLASS 1896-'97. [The names of the classmates are written
in staggered rows, corresponding to their places in the picture.  From
left to right and top to bottom, roughly, they are:  Wise, Dulin,
Blackwell, Litchfield, Scott, Dolly, Simpson, Colonna, Kilby, McCartney,
Campbell, Licklider, Blanchard, Carter, Tyler, Cooper.]]

[Illustration: [A collage of twelve photographs, arranged in a circle,

SESSION 1895-1896.

JUNE, 1896.


A. M.

  W. S. Anderson, West Virginia.
  Clinton M. Kilby, Virginia.
  N. H. Robertson, Virginia.
  Stephen H. Watts, Virginia.

A. B.

  John F. Blackwell, Virginia.
  Stephen D. Boyd, Jr., Virginia
  Henry O'B. Cooper, Virginia.
  Patrick H. Drewry, Virginia.
  John C. Granbery, Jr., Virginia.
  F. W. Hilbert, Maryland.
  James Mullen, Virginia.
  John S. Poindexter, Virginia.
  John H. Robertson, Virginia.
  Marvin E. Smithey, Virginia.
  John A. G. Shipley. Maryland.
  George T. Tyler, Jr., Virginia.
  Charles W. Watts, Virginia.
  P. H. Williams, North Carolina.

  _Sutherlin Medalist_.--Boyd Valentine Switzer, Virginia.
  _Pace Medalist_.--Walter Sewall Anderson, West Virginia.
  _Murray Medalists_.--Scholarship, Patrick H. Williams, North Carolina;
Proficiency, Frank Allen Simpson, Virginia.


A. M.

Emma E. Cheatham, Virginia.
E. B. Williams, North Carolina.

JUNE, 1897.


A. M.

  W. M. Blanchard, N. Carolina.
  Horace Campbell, Virginia.
  Hall Canter, Maryland.
  Henry O'B. Cooper, Virginia.
  Fred. W. Hilbert, Maryland.
  Bradford Kilby, Virginia.
  Albert H. Licklider, Virginia.
  G. V. Litchfield, Jr., Virginia.
  James E. McCartney, Virginia.
  George T. Tyler, Jr., Virginia.

A. B.

  William H. Best, Maryland.
  William Veitch Boyle, Maryland.
  Karl S. Blackwell, Virginia.
  William B. Colonna, Virginia.
  David Hough Dolly, Virginia.
  John Henry Dulin, Virginia.
  Neil Courtice Scott, Virginia.
  Frank A. Simpson, Virginia.
  Boyd Ashby Wise, Virginia.

D. D.

  Rev. Collins Denney, Baltimore Conference, Prof. Vanderbilt

  _Sutherlin Medalist_.--William Martin Blanchard, North Carolina.

  _Murray Medalists_.--Scholarship, Frank A. Simpson, Virginia;
Proficiency, George L. Bradford, Virginia.


A. M.

  Sallie Adams, Virginia.
  Martha A. Franklin, Virginia.
  Esten Holmes Jennings, West Virginia.

A. B.

  Celeste Alspaugh, N. Carolina.
  Edith S. Blackwell, Virginia.
  Martha McGavock, Virginia.

SESSION 1897-1898.

Randolph-Macon College, since June, 1886, has grown into a system of
colleges (female as well as male), and fitting schools for both sexes.
At the joint commencement, held at Lynchburg, Va., June 6-9, 1898, all
these schools were represented. The Lynchburg _Daily News_ gave the
report of the commencement, as follows:

"The big Randolph-Macon joint commencement was formally opened by a
reception tendered the visiting students, alumni, and friends of the
school at the Woman's College. An address of welcome was made by
Chancellor W. W. Smith. The night was beautiful, the skies being clear
and studded with glittering stars. An immense crowd was present, and the
profound silence that prevailed during the speech evidenced the deep
interest with which it was being received.

"The various trains yesterday brought the students and the visiting
alumni to the city. The Union station on their arrival presented an
animated scene. The young men and young ladies seemed determined to make
of the occasion a delightful excursion, and an experience worth carrying
in their memories for many years to come. Everybody remarked on the
personnel of the students, and their quiet demeanor. They made a fine
impression, and their sojourn in the city promises to be profitable to
all interested.

"Randolph-Macon College is represented by about ninety students; the
Front Royal Academy, by seventy; Bedford City Academy, by about eighty;
the Blackstone Female Institute,* by one hundred and thirty-five; and
the Danville Female Institute, by sixty. As there are at the
Randolph-Macon Woman's College, including the day scholars, two hundred
and twenty young ladies, the total number of students present is between
six and seven hundred.

*Not a school of the system, but present by special invitation.

"To adequately describe the appearance of the College with its elaborate
decorations would be a herculean task. All that artistic taste and
ingenuity of invention could suggest was abundantly in evidence. As the
street-cars moved rapidly over the hill at the base-ball park in the
direction of the College, the first glimpse of the building was
obtained. To the observer it looked like a light glimmering and glowing
in the night. As the car drew nearer it was seen that the large
structure, from one end to the other and all over the front, was alive
with varicolored Chinese and Japanese lanterns, which shed a soft and
pleasant radiance over the scene. On the big campus, hanging to the
branches of the trees and arranged in symmetrical lines on hundreds of
poles, were lanterns without end. Down to the left of the building,
where the ground slopes gently to a ravine, seats were placed in
comfortable positions. Everybody seemed to be there for the purpose of
spending a pleasant time and contributing to his neighbor's happiness.
Callers were received in the large and spacious parlor on the first
floor just to the left of the main entrance. To everyone was extended
such a warm, cordial welcome that he felt at once as if he were
perfectly at home and as if he were just where he ought to be.


"While the reception Monday night at the Woman's College may be said to
have opened the exercises of the Randolph-Macon joint commencement, yet
Tuesday morning the first regular programme was carried out in the
auditorium at Moorman's Warehouse, which, long before the time announced
for the first number, was crowded with a happy, well-dressed and
interested audience.

"In the bright sunlight of the pleasant morning the scene presented in
the auditorium was indeed good to look upon. The draping of the entire
edifice was most skillfully carried out; the ceiling covered with blue
and white cloth, while the sides of the building were hidden by artistic
folds of lemon and black.

"A well-built stage, extending the entire width of the spacious
auditorium, and decorated with potted plants and flowers, afforded
plenty of room for the speakers, visitors, and contestants for honors.
Arrangements were made to comfortably seat some two or three thousand
people, fully that many chairs being placed in regular rows, divided by
two aisles extending the length of the hall.

"The pupils of the different schools and colleges being among the first
to arrive, the spare time was utilized for a rehearsal of college songs,
interspersed with the different college yells of the system, some of
which occasioned hearty laughter.


"Upon the arrival of Chancellor Smith, the representatives of the
various schools of the system took their places upon the stage, as well
as those pupils who were to contest for the elocution and declaimer's
medals. After music by the band and prayer by Rev. Oscar Littleton, the
first number was announced, it being a contest for the declaimer's medal
of Randolph-Macon Academy, of Bedford City. Mr. J. K. Holman opened with
a humorous selection entitled 'Uncle Peter and the Trolly Car.' He was
followed by Mr. W. E. Wood, who declaimed an historical poem of the
revolutionary period, 'The Black Horse and His Rider.' Between this
contest and the next the pupils of the Bedford school, accompanied by
the band, rendered with much spirit an 'Academy' song, the words of
which were composed by Wirt Holloway, a pupil.

"A contest for the recitation medal of the Randolph-Macon Institute, of
Danville, followed, the first being Miss Janie Howard, who had chosen a
dialect story, 'Rubaiyat of Doc Sifers.' 'The Set of Turquoise' was
delivered by Miss Sue Bethel. The young ladies of the Danville Institute
then closed their part of the programme with their favorite song, 'The
Lemon and Black,' in the course of which they were assisted by the young
men of the system.

"J. William Kight came forward as a representative of the Academy at
Front Royal, and with a humorous description of a New England debating
society, in which he gave practical illustrations of the different
classes of village oratory.

"Mr. J. L. Humphrey, also of the Front Royal Academy, gave a declamation
entitled 'Laska.'

"The contest for the Woman's College medal was introduced by Miss Nellie
Underwood, whose subject was 'The Courtin' of T'Nowhead's Bell.'

"Miss Underwood was followed by Miss Hathryn P. Acree, whose subject was
'Parnassius and the Captive.'

"The rendition of the Woman's College song, 'Merry Girls of R. M. W.
C.,' was followed by the contest for the Woman's College Medal for best
address. The contestants were Miss Addie Taylor and Miss Sadie Jacobs.
Miss Taylor was the first speaker. Her subject was 'The Supremacy of the
Anglo-Saxon.' Miss Jacobs' subject was 'Demands of Our Civilization.'

"The closing exercise was the contest for the Sutherlin orator's medal
of the Randolph-Macon College, Ashland. The contestants were F. Raymond
Hill, B. A. Wise, E. K. Odell, and S. M. Janney.

"Mr. Hill opened the contest with an oration on 'The Price of Progress.'

"Mr. Janney's subject was 'What For?'

"'The Power of a Noble Example' was the subject of Mr. Wise's oration.

"Mr. Odell followed in an oration entitled, 'De Oratoribus.'

The exercises were closed with the singing of the Commencement Chorus.

"A feature of the morning's programme, which was of a decidedly
interesting character, was the calisthenic drill, under the direction of
Miss Alice Hargrove, of a number of young ladies of the Woman's College.


"Tuesday afternoon was devoted to field day exercises in the Rivermont
base-ball park. A sound mind in a sound body has for a long time been a
leading maxim in the Randolph-Macon system. Each institution has its
well-equipped gymnasium, under the instruction of an efficient
instructor, and during the unseasonable days of winter every student of
the system is required to go through an hour's drill in the gymnasium
three afternoons in the week.

The average man gets his idea of college athletics from the base-ball
and foot-ball teams, which generally tour the State annually.
Randolph-Macon recognizes the fact that base-ball and foot-ball are but
a small part of college athletics, and consequently every student is
encouraged to allot a portion of his time to the general training of his
body, and especially to athletic feats requiring more or less skill and
grace. In early spring, at each school in the system, a day known as
Field-Day is set aside for athletic exercises, for which prizes and
medals are offered as a special inducement, to ensure a large number of


"Tuesday night a concert was given at the Opera-House by the young
ladies of the Woman's College and the Danville Female Institute. Of the
character of the music of the programme the highest praise has been
spoken. In the instrumental and the chorus selections the participants
presented music of the highest perfection music that possessed a charm
and inspiration for every listener.


"About half-past nine o'clock Wednesday morning the students of the
several schools and colleges, together with the alumni, met at old St.
Paul's Church, on Church street, and there, after forming into a
procession and led by the band, marched to the auditorium. Here the
graduating class, in orthodox cap and gown, ascended the stage, where,
with the alumni, they were seated in chairs arranged in semi-circular
lines, forming altogether a pleasing and impressive picture.

"A few minutes were spent in rehearsing college songs. In this
connection it may be well to note that the Randolph-Macon system is rich
with songs suitable for commencement season, and written principally by
those who have studied within its classic halls. After prayer by Rev.
Dr. James A. Duncan, of Knoxville, Tenn., Mr. W. S. Bell, president of
the Class of '98, introduced Miss Blanche E. Cheatham, of Martinsville,
who delivered the salutatory address.

"The history of the Class of '98 and its twenty-nine members was told by
Mr. J. T. Porter, and as each name was called it was greeted with
applause, while the historian made a brief comment upon its owner. The
Class song of '98, composed by Mr. E. T. Adams, Jr., was next sung,
after which Miss Lily G. Egbert, of Atlee, Va., read the class poem, an
original composition entitled 'The Evolution of a Soul.'

"Mr. J. E. McCulloch, of Roanoke, delivered the class oration.

"The Hall song, evidently a favorite with the male students, was sung
with considerable spirit, especially the chorus, which eulogizes as 'the
very best of all' the two halls of the two rival literary societies,
those of Washington and Franklin. The president of the class next
introduced Miss Eloise Richardson, of Richmond, who read a class
prophecy, in which she drew vivid pictures of the bright futures
awaiting many of this year's class.

"Mr. Sydenstricker, of Loudoun, read a paper entitled 'Recommendations.'
In it he indicated, with a prescient knowledge of seemingly remarkable
accuracy, the future employments and professions of the members of the
graduating classes of Randolph-Macon College, Ashland, and the Woman's
College, Lynchburg.

"After singing 'Gaudeamus,' the last will and testament of the
graduating classes of the two institutions was read by Mr. F. C.
Campbell, of Ashland. Again was the audience treated to a series of
'hits' at the expense of certain members of the faculties, pupils, etc.,
of the two schools.

"The valedictory of Mr. F. R. Hill, of West Virginia, the next feature
of the programme, was an eloquent and interesting address, and in its
delivery made a deep impression on the large audience. Mr. Hill, unlike
the majority of college valedictorians, introduced into his composition
much originality of thought and feeling. His manner was marked by that
simplicity which always distinguishes the true orator, and which
invariably attracts and holds the closest attention of an audience.


"After singing 'The Randolph-Macon Roundelay,'the alumni address was
delivered by Hon. Charles W. Tillett, of North Carolina. This eloquent
speaker dwelt in feeling terms upon the great Randolph-Macon System. The
foundation, he declared, had been laid with enduring material, and
to-day all could unite in applauding the distinguished success of the
master hand. The occasion was one on which a little glorification was
pardonable, and every Randolph-Macon man and woman might well feel
proud of his or her alma mater, and particularly of the joint
commencement, which they all recognized as the grandest and most
successful commencement of Randolph-Macon's career.

"The exercises were brought to a close with the singing of the song,
'Alma Mater, O.'


"An immense crowd gathered at the park in the afternoon to witness the
ball game between the Bedford and the Front Royal Academies. The boys
from Bedford had the best of the contest from start to finish, and won
out by a score of 13 to 1."


"At night the exercises of the 'Frank' Hall were introduced with prayer
by Rev. W. H. Atwill. The declamations were: 'The Fireman's Prayer,' by
W. W. Wood, of Bedford; 'The Innocent Drummer,' by Miss Bethel, of
Danville, and 'The Village Schoolmaster,' by J. L. Humphrey. W. J.
Gills, of the College, delivered an oration on 'True Patriotism,' and
the exercises closed with an essay by Miss Lula B. Woolridge, of the
Woman's College, on 'Triumphant Life.' The Society medals were awarded
as follows: John Kilby, of Suffolk, for declamation; F. C. Campbell, of
Ashland, for debate, and Marvin E. Smithey, of Brunswick, for
improvement in debate.


"The annual banquet of the Alumni Association was held at the 'Carroll'
Wednesday night from 11 to 2 o'clock. After half an hour's feasting, the
remaining time was devoted to speeches of prominent members of the
Association. The following toasts were responded to: 'Randolph-Macon
College,' Dr. J. A. Kern; 'Randolph-Macon Woman's College,' Dr. N.
Knight; 'Randolph-Macon Academy' (Bedford), Principal E. Sumter Smith;
'Randolph-Macon Academy' (Front Royal), Dr. B. W. Arnold;
'Randolph-Macon Institute' (Danville), Miss Nellie Blackwell;
'Blackstone Female Institute,' Rev. James Cannon, Jr.; 'Board of
Trustees,' Dr. E. B. Prettyman; 'Randolph-Macon of 1898,' J. E.
McCulloch; 'The Alumni,' Charles W. Tillett; 'Glories of the Past,'
Captain Richard Irby; 'Randolph-Macon of the Future,' Dr. W. W. Smith."

[Illustration: EDWARD S. BROWN, A. B.]

The oldest alumnus present was Edward S. Brown (Class 1843), a prominent
and most estimable citizen of Lynchburg, who matriculated in 1837.

Letters were received from the oldest alumnus now living, and one of the
members of the graduating Class of 1839, who, with Thomas H. Garnett, of
Buckingham county, Va., of same class, still survives.

The oldest living alumnus, Dr. Theophilus S. Stewart, of Marietta, Ga.,
graduated in 1836. He accompanied Dr. Olin to Europe, and took his
degree of M. D. in Paris in 1839.

The letters of Dr. Stewart and Rev. James F. Smith, of Spartanburg, S.
C., referred in tenderest terms to the College.

[Illustration: DR. THEOPHILUS S. STEWART, A. B., (Class, 1836.)]

"Thursday. The opening prayer was made by Rev. Dr. Arnold, of North
Carolina, at the conclusion of which the Commencement hymn (No. 1) was
sung by the students to the air of 'America,' all standing. Bishop
Vincent, of Kansas, the speaker of the occasion, was then introduced by
the chancellor. The Bishop, who is a man of fine appearance, with a
pleasant voice, launched forth in these words: 'Notable days to the
individual, to associations, to state and to church, come into all
lives. This is an interesting day to the individual, to families, and to
the institution. It is a day of an ending and a day of a beginning. I
see a picture, as I stand in this place to-day, of closing doors and of
doors ajar, the end of complete or partial course of study and the
beginning of lessons in the great school of life. Here, with the
fragrance and flowers, under the spell of music, beneath these glorious
skies and amid these mountains of Virginia, we need not only to look
backward, but to look forward.'

"He closed his address as follows: 'Above all things, a man wants
character; for if you presented yourself at the gate of heaven without
the quality that would make you worthy to dwell there, you would find
the beauties and glories of the home of God uncongenial to you.  Live,
not that you may have your name in Washington with a big pension or
something of that kind, but in order that you may contribute to the
betterment of the environment of those about you.'

"To the students before him he said he would recommend the whole world
and the universe as a university in which to learn and in which to
strive to ascend to the university of the most high God.


"After a song, 'Columbia, the Pride of the Nation,' the distinguished
under-graduates were announced by printed sheets. Then followed the
awarding of prizes and medals, the Randolph-Macon Institute, of
Danville, being first, followed in regular order by the Randolph-Macon
Academy, Bedford City; Randolph-Macon Academy, Front Royal;
Randolph-Macon Woman's College, Lynchburg, and Randolph-Macon College,

"Diplomas in courses were awarded by President Kern, of the Randolph-
Macon College, and Vice-President Knight, of the Randolph-Macon Woman's


"Degrees were conferred on the following:


A. M.

  Karl S. Blackwell, Virginia.
  A. Judson Chalkley, Virginia.
  David Hough Dolly, Virginia.
  James C. Dolly, Kentucky.
  James T. Porter, Virginia.
  Raymond R. Ross, Virginia.
  Frank A. Simpson, Virginia.
  Marvin E. Smithey, Virginia.
  Boyd Ashby Wise, Virginia.

A. B.

  William Solon Bell, Virginia.
  William G. Burch, Virginia.
  F. C. Campbell, Virginia.
  Merrick Clements, Maryland.
  Carl Hall Davis, Virginia.
  F. B. Fitzpatrick, Virginia.
  Frank R. Hill, West Virginia.
  Edward B. Jones, Virginia. H.
  Alfred Allen Kern, Virginia.
  LeRoy E. Kern, Virginia.
  James E. McCulloch, Virginia.
  Geo. L. Neville, Jr., Virginia.
  Arthur V. Nunnally, Virginia.
  Robert H. Sheppe, Virginia.
  Hampden H. Smith, Virginia.
  H. Sydenstricker, W. Virginia.
  James T. Walker, Virginia.


A. B.

  Lily Garland Egbert, Virginia.
  Eloise Richardson, Virginia.
  Blanche E. Cheatham, Virginia.
  Cornelia Poindexter, Virginia.


  Sutherlin Medal. Samuel McPherson Janney, Virginia.
  Murray Medals. Proficiency Medal, Thomas Moody Campbell, Virginia;
  Scholarship Medal, George Lafayette Bradford, Virginia of
  Randolph-Macon College.

  Walton Greek Prize. David H. Dolly, Virginia.
  Medal for Best Essay. Sadie Jacobs, Virginia of Randolph-Macon Woman's


"With the excellent programme of the annual celebration of the
Washington Literary Society the exercises of the joint commencement of
the Randolph-Macon system of educational institutions were brought to a

"Prayer was offered by Bishop Granbery, after which Edwin B. Jones,
president of the society, welcomed those present, and introduced J. W.
Kight, of Front Royal, who entertained his hearers with a short,
humorous sketch. Miss Swanson, of the Danville Institute, followed with
a dialect recitation, entitled 'Writin' Back to the Home Folks.' 'Flying
Jim's Last Leap' was the declamation given by Mr. Taylor, of the Bedford
City Academy, and the next was an oration by F. Burke Fitzpatrick, of
Randolph-Macon College. His speech was devoted to prophesying as to the
future of Virginia, basing his remarks upon the record of the past.

"Miss Edith Cheatham's address was 'College Men and Women.'

"The programme was brought to a close by an oration, 'A Great Work; Our
Share in It,' delivered by Frank A. Simpson, of Richmond, Va.

"On behalf of the Washington Literary Society, Professor R. B. Smithey
presented three medals one to the best declaimer, D. R. Anderson; to the
best debater, F. R. Hill; to the best orator, S. R. Tyler.

"Dr. E. E. Hoss, of Nashville, the speaker of the evening, was then
introduced. His subject was 'The Forces that Make Character.' He
delivered a strong and thoughtful address, which would have been more
fully appreciated at an earlier hour."


[Transcribers' note:  In the original book, the Walton Greek Prize
recipients for each year are listed on the left-hand side of the page,
and the Mathematical Prize recipients on the right.  The note
(Discontinued) at the end of the Mathematical Prize column is faithfully
reproduced from the original text.]


  1872. R. E. Blackwell, Va.
  1873. Robert Sharp, Va.
  1874. Wm. A. Frantz, Va.
  1875. W. H. Page, N. C.
  1876. Cyrus Thompson, N. C.
  1877. M. T. Peed, Va.
  1878. Clarence Edwards, Va.
  1879. J. B. Crenshaw, Va.
  1880. R. E. L. Holmes, Va.
  1881. D. W. Taylor, Va.
  1882. R. E. L. Holmes, Va.
  1883. James M. Page, Va.
  1884. L. Leitch, Va.
  1885. Thos. W. Page, Va.
  1886. E. H. Rawlings, Va.
  1887. J. H. Riddick, Jr., Va.
  1888. J. Jordan Leake, Va.
  1889. De La Warre Easter, Va.
  1890. C. D. Ragland, Va.
  1891. E. C. Armstrong, Md.
  1892. Andrew Sledd, Va.
  1893. J. E. Wamsley, Va.
  1894. E. P. Dahl, Va.
  1895. C. E. Armentrout, Va.
  1896. Bradford Kilby, Va.
  1897. J. W. Lillaston, Va.
  1898. David H. Dolly, Va.


  1874. Howard Edwards, Va.
  1875. W. F. Tillett, N. C.
  1876. M. T. Peed, Va.
  1877  M. T. Peed, Va.
  1878. J. T. Littleton, Va.
  1879. J. B. Crenshaw, Va.
  1880. R. E. L. Holmes, Va.
  1881. D. W. Taylor, Va.
  1882. James H. Moss, Va.
  1883. Richard H. Bennett, Va.
  1884. James M. Page, Va.
  1885. Wm. H. Barley, Va.
  1886. George Shipley. Va.
  1887. J. Jordan Leake, Va.
  1888. A. M. Hughlett, Va.
  1889. E. W. Bowen, Md.
  1890. Andrew Sledd, Va.
  1891. H. H. Sherman, Va.
  1892. (Discontinued.)

[Transcribers' note:  In the original book, the Washington Literary
Society award-winners and judges for each year are listed on the
left-hand side of the page, and the Franklin Literary Society
award-winners and judges on the right.]


  1874. A. H. C. Russell, La.
  1875. J. B. McCabe, Va.
  1876. T.McN. Simpson, N.C.
  1877. Gray Carroll, N. C.
  1878. Jno. W. Carroll, Va.
  1879. W. W. Sawyer, N. C.
  1880. D. M. James, W. Va.
  1881. E. S. Ruffin, Va.


  1874. J. B. Powell, Ala.
  1875. W. F. Tillett, N. C.
  1876. [none listed]
  1877. W. J. Sebrell, Va.
  1878. Chas. W. Tillett, N. C.
  1879. H. A. Southall, Va.
  1880. Frank Thompson, N. C.



  1882. S. M. Garland, Va.
  1883. J. H. Light, Va.
  1884. C. A. Swanson, Va.
  1885. Jas. Cannon, Jr., Md.
  1886. T. W. Page, Jr., Va.
  1887. C. L. Bane, W. Va.
  1888. C. F. Sherrill, N. C.
  1889. W. H. H. Joyce, Va.
  1890. M. R. Peterson, Va.
  1891. I. W. Eason, Va.
  1892. J. N. Latham, Va.
  1893. D. H. Kern, W. Va.
  1894. S. C. Hatcher, Va.
  1895. J. H. Hatcher, Va.
  1896. B. V. Switzer, Va.
  1897. F. R. Hill, W. Va.
  1898. S. R. Tyler, Va.


  1882. Harry L. Stuart, Texas.
  1883. John Morris, Ga.
  1884. W. M. Lane, Va.
  1885. Thos. F. Sherrill, N. C.
  1886. E. H. Rawlings, Va.
  1887. Sherrard R. Tabb, Va.
  1888. A. M. Hughlett, Va.
  1889. W. A. Christian, Va.
  1890. W. B. Beauchamp, Va.
  1891. H. G. Buchanan, Va.
  1892. W. Stevens, W. Va.
  1893. R. H. Hood, N. C.
  1894. Andrew Sledd, Va.
  1895. P. H. Williams, N. C.
  1896. F. W. Hilbert, Md.
  1897. W. M. Blanchard, N. C.
  1898. F. C. Campbell, Va.

Transcribers' Notes:

We have corrected "presi-ident" to "president", p. 30.

We have let "Accepe hoc diploma," p. 98, stand as written (it should be

We have corrected "in o near large towns" to "in or near large towns,"
p. 114.

We have removed extraneous punctuation after "Trinity College," p. 121,
and after "Randolph-Macon College," p. 138.

We have corrected "peferred" to "preferred," and "greal" to "great," p.

We have added a period after B. in "A. B." on p. 135.

We have corrected "held it annual session" to "held its annual
session," p. 148.

We have let "Bondfires were kindled," p. 153, stand as written, though
we suspect that "Bonfires" was intended.

We have let the comma after "the bare chimneys only" stand on page 164.
The punctuation is odd, and we suspect it may be an error, but we can
think of reasons Irby might have chosen to use it.

We have let the spelling "eak" stand on p. 166.

We have let "Professor's" stand on p. 166.

We have corrected "compen-pensated" to "compensated" on p. 189.

We have corrected "FROF. W. A. FRANTZ" to "PROF. W. A. FRANTZ" in the
caption on p. 245.

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