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(title page) A Record of the Proceedings of the Alumni Association of the University of North Carolina at the Centennial Celebration of the Act of Incorporation: Being an Account of the Alumni Banquet and the Alumni Class Reunions, June 5, 1889
(cover) University of North Carolina Charter Centennial 1889
(spine) U.N.C. Charter Centennial 1889
Published By The Alumni Association.
Call number C378 UT3 (North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
LC Subject Headings:
[Title Page Image]
[Title Page Verso Image]
Haec olim meminisse juvabit.
At the Annual Commencement of the University in June, 1888, a resolution was adopted by the Alumni Association to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the incorporation of the institution, and a committee was appointed to make suitable arrangements on the part of the Alumni for such celebration at the Commencement of 1889. The members of this Committee were Hon. Walter Clark, W. J. Peele, Esq., and Ernest Haywood, Esq.
Soon afterwards, a committee on the part of the Faculty, appointed to co-operate with the Alumni, was authorized to arrange all the details of the celebration, under the advice and direction of the Alumni Committee. Circular letters were sent to every alumnus whose address was known, and extensive advertisement was made through the press, to whom the committee feel much indebted for repeated courtesies.
This volume is a record of the proceedings of the Alumni at the celebration, and contains all the speeches, with one or two exceptions, made at the class reunions in Memorial Hall and at the Alumni Banquet in Gerrard Hall. It has been thought proper, also, to insert the Act of Incorporation. In addition to the proceedings published herein, the celebration was intended to include two orations by Hon. M. W. Ransom and Hon. Z. B. Vance, both Alumni of the University. Prostration from over-work made it impossible for Senator Vance to accept the invitation, although for several months he had hoped that it might be otherwise. Senator Ransom promptly accepted the invitation, but a few days before the celebration the breaking of his arm by an unfortunate fall prevented his attendance. The celebration was thus deprived of two of its most brilliant speakers. The committee regret their inability to obtain from Senator Ransom a copy of his oration for publication in this volume. Other speeches are omitted for similar reasons. The committee did not feel authorized to change, essentially, the phraseology or the sentiment
of the speeches herein published. Other historical matter, besides the proceedings of the Alumni, has been published, as a part of the centennial celebration, in a separate volume containing "Sketches of the History of the University, together with a Catalogue of the Officers and Students," from the beginning to 1889. Copies of that volume, as well as of this, may be obtained from the Bursar of the University.
GEORGE T. WINSTON,
F. P. VENABLE,
Committee of Publication.
WHEREAS, In all well regulated governments it is the indispensable duty of every Legislature to consult the happiness of a rising generation, and endeavor to fit them for an honorable discharge of the social duties of life by paying the strictest attention to their education; and
WHEREAS, A University, supported by permanent funds and well endowed, would have the most direct tendency to answer the above purpose:
I. Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That Samuel Johnston, James Iredell, Charles Johnson, Hugh Williamson, Stephen Cabarrus, Richard Dobbs Spaight, William Blount, Benjamin Williams, John Sitgreaves, Frederick Hargett, Robert W. Snead, Archibald Maclaine, Honorable Samuel Ashe, Robert Dixon, Benjamin Smith, Honorable Samuel Spencer, John Hay, James
Hogg, Henry William Harrington, William Barry Grove, Reverend Samuel McCorkle, Adlai Osborne, John Stokes, John Hamilton, Joseph Graham, Honorable John Williams, Thomas Person, Alfred Moore, Alexander Mebane, Joel Lane, Willie Jones, Benjamin Hawkins, John Haywood, senior, John Macon, William Richardson Davie, Joseph Dixon, William Lenoir, Joseph McDowell, James Holland, and William Porter, Esquires, shall be and they are hereby declared to be a body politic and corporate, to be known and distinguished by the name of "The Trustees of the University of North Carolina,"* and by that name shall have perpetual succession, and a common seal; and that they, the Trustees and their successors, by the name aforesaid, or a majority of them, shall be able and capable in law to take, demand, receive and possess all moneys, goods and chattels that shall be given them, for the use of the said University, and the same apply according to the will of the donors, and by gift, purchase or devise to take, have, receive, possess, enjoy and retain to them and their successors forever, any lands, rents, tenements and hereditaments, of what kind, nature or quality soever the same may be, in special trust and confidence, that the same or the profits thereof
* The corporate name has been changed to "The University of North Carolina."
* The corporate name has been changed to "The University of North Carolina."
shall be applied to and for the use and purposes of establishing and endowing the said University.
II. And be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the said Trustees and their successors, or a majority of them, by the name aforesaid, shall be able and capable in law to bargain, sell, grant, demise, alien or dispose of, and convey and assure to the purchasers, any such lands, rents, tenements and hereditaments aforesaid, when the condition of the grant to them, or the will of the devisor, does not forbid it. And further, that they, the said Trustees and their successors forever, or a majority of them, shall be able and capable in law, by the name aforesaid, to sue and implead, be sued and impleaded, answer and be answered, in all courts of record whatsoever; and they shall have power to open and receive subscriptions, and, in general, they shall and may do all such things as are usually done by bodies corporate and politic, or such as may be necessary for the promotion of learning and virtue.
III. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the said Trustees, in order to carry the present act into effect, shall meet at Fayetteville, on the third Monday in the session of the next General Assembly, at which time they shall choose a President and Secretary; and shall then fix the time of their next annual meeting; and at every annual
meeting of the Trustees the members present, with the President and Treasurer, shall be a quorum to do any business, or a majority of the members, without either of those officers, shall be a quorum; but at their first meeting, as above directed, there shall be at least fifteen of the above Trustees present in order to proceed to business; and the Trustees, at their annual meeting, may appoint special meetings within the year; or, in case unforeseen accidents shall render a meeting necessary, the Secretary, by order of the President and any two of the Trustees, signified to him in writing, shall, by particular notice to each Trustee, as well as by an advertisement in the State Gazette, convene the Trustees at the time proposed by the President; and the members thus convened shall be a quorum to do any business except the appointment of a President or professors in the University, or the disposal or appropriation of moneys; but in case of the death or resignation of the President or any Professor, the Trustees thus convened may supply the place until the next annual meeting of the Board of Trustees, and no longer; and the meeting at which the seat of the said University shall be fixed shall be advertised in the Gazette of this State at least six months, and notice in manner aforesaid to each of the Trustees of the object of the said meeting.
IV. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the Trustees shall elect and commission some person to be Treasurer for the said University during the term of two years: which Treasurer shall enter into bond with sufficient securities to the Governor, for the time being, in the sum of five thousand pounds, conditioned for the faithful discharge of his office and the trust reposed in him; and that all moneys and chattels belonging to the said corporation, that shall be in his hands at the expiration of his office, shall then be immediately paid and delivered into the hands of the succeeding Treasurer; and every Treasurer shall receive all moneys, donations, gifts, bequests, and charities, whatsoever, that may belong or accrue to the said University during his office, and at the expiration thereof shall account with the Trustees for the same, and the same pay and deliver over to the succeeding Treasurer; and on his neglect or refusal to pay and deliver as aforesaid, the same method of recovery may be had against him as is or may be provided for the recovery of moneys from Sheriffs or other persons chargeable with public moneys; and the Treasurer of the University shall cause annually to be published in the State Gazette, for the satisfaction of the subscribers and benefactors, a list of all moneys and other things by him received for the said University, either by
subscription, legacy, donation, or otherwise, under the penalty of one hundred pounds, to be recovered at the suit of the Attorney General, in the name of the Governor for the time being, in any court of record having cognizance thereof; and the moneys arising from such penalties shall be appropriated to the use of the said University.
V. Be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all moneys received by the Treasurer of the said University shall be annually paid by him to the Treasurer of the State, who is hereby authorized and ordered to give a receipt to the said Treasurer of the University, in behalf of the said Trustees, for all such sums by him received; and the said Treasurer shall pay annually unto the Treasurer of the said University six per cent. interest on all such sums received by him in the manner aforesaid; which amount of interest paid by the State Treasurer aforesaid shall be allowed to him in the settlement of his accounts: And the said Trustees shall, on no event or pretence whatsoever, appropriate or make use of the principal of the moneys by them received on subscription, but such principal shall be and remain as a permanent fund for the use and support of the said University forever.
VI. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That on the death, refusal to act, resignation,
or removal out of the State of any of the Trustees for the time being, it shall be lawful for the remaining Trustees, or any fifteen of them, and they are hereby authorized and required to elect and appoint one or more Trustees, in the place of such Trustee or Trustees dead, refusing to act, resigned or removed; which Trustee or Trustees so appointed shall be vested with the same powers, trust and authority as the Trustees are, by virtue of this act: Provided, nevertheless, that the Trustee or Trustees so appointed shall reside in the Superior Court district where the person or persons reside in whose room he or they shall be so elected.
VII. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That when the Trustees shall deem the funds of the said University adequate to the purchase of a necessary quantity of land and erecting the proper buildings, they shall direct a meeting of the said Trustees for the purpose of fixing on and purchasing a healthy and convenient situation, which shall not be situate within five miles of the permanent seat of government or any of the places of holding the courts of law or equity, which meeting shall be advertised at least six months in some gazette in this State, and at such Superior Courts as may happen within that time.
VIII. Be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the Trustees shall have the power of appointing a President of the University and such professors and tutors as to them shall appear necessary and proper, whom they may remove for misbehavior, inability, or neglect of duty; and they shall have the power to make all such laws and regulations for the government of the University and preservation of order and good morals therein as are usually made in such seminaries and as to them may appear necessary: Provided, the same are not contrary to the inalienable liberty of a citizen or to the laws of the State. And the Faculty of the University -- that is to say, the President and professors -- by and with the consent of the Trustees, shall have the power of conferring all such degrees, or marks of literary distinction, as are usually conferred in colleges or universities.
IX. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That every person who, within the term of five years, shall subscribe ten pounds towards this University, to be paid within five years at five equal annual payments, shall be entitled to have one student educated at the University free from any expense of tuition.
X. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the public hall of the library and four of
the colleges shall be called severally by the names of one or another of the six persons who shall, within four years, contribute the largest sums towards the funds of this University, the highest subscriber or donor having choice in the order of their respective donations. And a book shall be kept in the library of the University, in which shall be fairly entered the names and places of residence of every benefactor to this seminary, in order that posterity may be informed to whom they are indebted for the measure of learning and good morals that may prevail in the State.
On Wednesday of Commencement week, June 5, 1889, a large body of the Alumni of the University of North Carolina, together with many Trustees and the Faculty of the institution and invited guests, assembled in Gerrard Hall at 2 o'clock P. M. to celebrate a banquet in honor of the centennial anniversary of the incorporation of the University. There were present also the following representatives of other colleges and universities:
Professor Crawford H. Toy, LL.D., of Harvard University; Honorable W. N. H. Smith, LL.D., of Yale University; Colonel Charles S. Venable, LL.D., of the University of Virginia; President Henry E. Shepherd, LL.D., of Charleston College; Honorable J. L. M. Curry, LL.D., of Richmond College; Rev. J. B. Cheshire, Jr., of the University of the South; President Charles E. Taylor, D. D., of Wake Forest College; Professor W. G. Brown, M. S., of Washington and Lee University; Professor W. B. Burney, Ph. D., of the University of South Carolina; Professor F. C. Woodward, A. M., of the University of South Carolina; Professor A. W. Long, A. M., of Wofford College;
Professor George T. Winston, A. M., of Cornell University.
Many other colleges and universities sent congratulatory messages by mail or wire, and the representatives of several were detained by the floods, among them being Honorable D. C. Gilman, LL.D., President of the Johns Hopkins University.
Gerrard Hall had been cleared of its customary benches and on the lower floor tables were now spread for three hundred guests, while the galleries were filled with ladies and gentlemen, visitors at Commencement, representing all sections of North Carolina and other States.
The Alumni and guests being seated, at the request of the Hon. Walter L. Steele, President of the Alumni Association, the Rt. Rev. Theodore B. Lyman, Bishop of North Carolina, invoked the blessing of Almighty God. After an hour spent in enjoyment of the delicacies of the table, in social reunion and in college reminiscence, the President of the Association arose and said: "It is said that on a banquet occasion some years ago, Daniel Webster, knowing the peculiarities of his hearers, began his address in these words: 'Ye solid men of Boston, make no long orations! Ye solid men of Boston, take no strong potations!' I do not doubt that the advice was most excellent then, and surely it is now excellent at this centennial
gathering, I, therefore, most respectfully, but earnestly, suggest to the Alumni that there are abundant reasons at present existing why no one should indulge in a 'long oration.' Of course there is no necessity of a warning of any other character." He then read the first regular toast of the occasion, as follows:
Response was made by his Excellency Daniel G. Fowle, LL.D., Governor of North Carolina, and ex officio President of the Board of Trustees, as follows:
We have a right to be proud of our Revolutionary ancestors, for in the year 1776, with its varied fortunes, they were ever true to the great idea of American liberty. During that eventful year the Congress of the Patriots of North Carolina met twice at Halifax for the purpose of considering the condition of the country, once on the 4th of April, and again on the 12th of November. But very different were the auspices under which the Assembly held its different sessions.
In April North Carolina's great heart, always full of patriotism, was stirred to enthusiasm by the glad news which had recently been received from the Cape Fear section, that a few short weeks before (in
February) Lillington and Caswell had defeated, at Widow Moore's bridge, the most formidable army of the Tories which had ever been collected on her soil, and had taken prisoner General McDonald, their leader. Animated by this glorious victory, and feeling that liberty was within their grasp, with exultation and enthusiasm they passed the resolution directing the delegates from North Carolina in the Continental Congress to concur with the delegates from the other Colonies in declaring Independence.
But under what different auspices did they assemble on the 12th of November of that same year! General Washington had been so beset on Long Island that only by good fortune, which seemed almost like the interposition of Divine Providence, had he been able to reach the main-land, and, like a wounded lion, slowly retired before his too powerful enemy.
The great city of the Continent, to which we had looked for ammunition, stores and reinforcements, New York, had surrendered to the enemy, and the cause of liberty seemed nearly hopeless.
Did these fathers of ours give way to despondency? Far otherwise. With their keen vision they pierced the dark clouds which seemed to encircle them, and after expressing confidence in the result of the conflict, they showed their faith by providing in the
Constitution of the State that, when the war was over and independence secured, "A school or schools shall be established by the Legislature, and all useful learning shall be encouraged and promoted in one or more Universities." The greatness of these men cannot be overrated.
During the continuance of the war this mandate of the Constitution lay dormant, but when the war was over, its consideration again received their attention, and after the adoption of the Constitution of the United States, on the 21st of November, 1789, the Legislature, on the 11th of December, 1789, chartered this University by an act in which it was declared that it was "the indispensable duty of every Legislature to consult the happiness of a rising generation, and endeavor to fit them for an honorable discharge of the social duties of life," and that "a University, supported by permanent funds, and well endowed, will have the most direct tendency to answer the above purpose." Thus was its constitutional obligation discharged, and the result of its action is before us to-day.
The wisdom of our fathers has been illustrated by a long line of distinguished divines, professors, farmers, scientists, lawyers, physicians, soldiers and statesmen who have gone out from these walls.
And now there is a practical question for us to consider and determine. I commenced these remarks by saying that we had a right to be proud of our Revolutionary ancestors. The question for us to consider is: Will our descendants one hundred years hence have it in their power to use the same language as to us? Will they be proud of us, or will they enshroud us in a mantle of charitable silence? The constitutional obligation to foster the University is upon us, and we can gain the approval of posterity, and of every good man in our dear old State, by exerting ourselves in behalf of this institution, until the University of North Carolina shall become the synonym for all that is progressive in science or elevating in education.
The second toast was then announced:
Response was made by the Hon. Kemp P. Battle, LL.D., President of the University:
The legal, technical founders of the University of North Carolina were the early General Assemblies of the State, acting under the mandate of the Constitution. I am grieved to say that I cannot praise the majorities of those bodies for their beneficence. There were great men in the minorities, as Governor
Fowle has so eloquently shown, but their efforts for the infant institution were resisted by a dense mass of ignorance and prejudice, thundering "No!" on all questions of appropriations. Ten thousand dollars as a loan for building our first structure, the Old East, afterwards through assiduous importunities converted into a gift, was all the money ever granted from our State Treasury for the first seventy-five years of the University's life.
The State had, however, a claim to escheated land warrants, belonging to soldiers of the Revolution who had died without heirs. They were located in the western regions of Tennessee -- the home of bears and panthers and wild Indians. These land warrants, worthless to the State, were donated to the University. Tennessee claimed them by her right of sovereignty, and the University was only able by the skillful engineering of Judge Murphy to obtain one-third on the surrender of two-thirds. These lands, sold in 1835, were the foundation of the endowment of the University, coming to her aid when in direst stress, lifting her head above the water and causing nearly five hundred students from the Potomac to the Rio Grande to flock to her halls.
It is of pathetic interest to know that those unknown heroes who won our independence and made possible the most glorious republic of all the ages,
who in direst poverty, in hunger and thirst and cold and nakedness did their great work, were unintentionally laying the foundations of our institution, by whose influences have been reared up so many pillars of the government for which they fought. They built better than they knew--those "unnamed demi-gods of history."
Although the common soldiers were thus unintentionally the chief benefactors of our institution, the next to them were officers of the same noble army. There was Governor Smith, who donated 20,000 acres of Obion county lands, which, after being shaken up into lakes and hills by the most terrific earthquake which in historic times has ever visited America, realized a considerable sum. Poor old Governor Smith, Washington's aide-de-camp, wealthy and honored Governor of this great State, impulsive and too trustful of evil friends, spending his last days in querulous want! Quick in quarrel, when his body was moved from the grave-yard at Old Town, the bullet from Maurice Moore's pistol, shot in a duel, was found among his bones.
Then there was Thomas Person, who aided the construction of our Old Chapel, Person Hall, whose love of liberty placed him among the Regulators of 1771, as well as the Revolutionists of 1776. There was Charles Gerrard, who loved his blood-bought
lands so well that he requested the University never to sell them, which request the University found it impossible to grant, but honored his memory by giving his name to this hall, "Gerrard," not the spelling of the Philadelphia millionaire's name.
We should not forget the donors of the site of the University, nor the donors of smaller amounts in money and material and books and apparatus. Among the foremost of old days I find Richard Bennehan, grandfather of a benefactor of recent years, our venerable friend, Paul C. Cameron, who has given and lent, not only money, but months of valuable time, and a whole brain full of wise superintendence in the construction and repairs of our buildings, and in the beautiful trees of the avenue which we have named in his honor. Under these trees young men and maidens will delightedly stroll as long as sweet words shall be whispered into maidens' ears.
The ladies, too, made timely gifts. Among the archives of the University are the original autographs of fair ladies of Raleigh and New Berne, donating mathematical instruments, with the declaration that women, whether mothers or daughters, have peculiar interest in the education and refinement of young men. Their spirits have long ago flown to the spirit land. Their graceful forms are
no more seen among us. But they are not dead; they live in their beneficent work. Their noble qualities are found in their descendants by the laws of heredity, the true transmigration of souls. To this list must be added in recent years the ladies of Raleigh and Hillsboro and Louisburg, and especially the name of Mary Ruffin Smith, whose generosity and forgetfulness of self are proved by the bequest of a valuable fund, to be known, at her request, not by her own, but her brother's name.
Among the benefactors of recent years are conspicuous the great constitutional lawyer, Bartholomew F. Moore, Rev. John Calvin McNair, my classmate, and that eloquent divine and philanthropist, Dr. Charles F. Deems, whose fund, enlarged by Mr. W. H. Vanderbilt, has already aided to higher education over one hundred and twenty young men struggling upwards under financial difficulties.
There are numerous benefactors of small amounts in the old days for erecting our buildings, and in 1875, when we repaired them, after long years of neglect, but my time does not permit me to call the list.
The monuments of all donors to universities are more lasting than brass and granite. Centuries will come and go, families will grow great and be extinguished, fortunes will be made and fortunes lost,
office will be struggled for and ambitions realized, but the names of the victors will vanish as if written on the sea-shore sands. Reputations, blazing in pulpit or forum or legislative halls, will fade as rapidly as the meteors vanishing in the air. But the names of Smith and Person and Gerrard, of Moore and Deems and -- (who will be the next?) -- will live forever. In all the ages to come their works will go on. The successive swarms of young men who will have their mental panoply supplied from the University armory for life's varied conflicts will keep their memories in perennial freshness. As long as the University shall last their names shall be honored, and the University shall last forever.
The third toast was then read:
Response was made by W. N. Mebane, Esq.:
The General Assembly of 1789 gave to the University its being and rendered possible its history and its glories; but the University, as if impressed ab initio with the truth, has certainly exemplified in its career the principle of "Quisque suoe fortunæ faber."
Nevertheless, let us "render unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's."
We meet to-day to commemorate and celebrate the wise and enlightened statesmanship of the Assembly of 1789. Called into being in 1789, founded in 1795, the University grew and strengthened and waxed mighty in usefulness and renown; but when it had passed its threescore years and ten, what with war, what with poverty, what with the poisoned darts of party strife, what with the envenomed fangs of sectarian animosity, lingering it languished, and languishing it died; and the traveler who passed this way in the winter of 1874 and 1875 might have seen, as it were, in this deserted village, and beneath these grand old oaks, the corpse of our Alma Mater in full length along, laid out in state.
But hark! the chapel-bell in the Old South and the village bells in happy chorus ring aloud a merry peal. The wires have flashed the news that the General Assembly of 1875 has revived the University by restoring the interest on the land-scrip fund, $7,500. So it was, as our annals will truly tell. Yet vain it were to rouse the dead, if, for want of nourishment, the resurrected giant should be left to relapse into the open tomb.
That nourishment, that needed sustenance, was bravely furnished by the Legislature of 1881, which added $5,000 more of annual appropriation; and yet, to the lasting honor of the General Assembly of
1885 be it said, that, by its annual appropriation of $15,000 to the University, the stone was rolled athwart the open sepulchre; and the succeeding Assemblies, deaf to all the harsh cries of those who would throttle its life and still its mighty pulse, have sealed the stone, and the inscription on the seal, if we can interpret aright the sentiment of the "Old North State," is this: Universitas esto perpetua.
As to the action of Alumni who, as members of the General Assemblies of 1875, 1881 and 1885, contributed to the redemption and resuscitation of their Alma Mater, let them, one and all, be consoled with the thought that, like Nelson at Trafalgar, the University had a right to expect of all her children that they should do their duty. For such, all honor; and my limit of five minutes precludes special mention of those Alumni, but allow me, as a member of the Lower House of 1875 (and I know you will join me), to pay my grateful tribute to the wise, the patriotic, the efficient and courageous assistance rendered at that crisis of the University's fate by some who were not Alumni. Prominent among them were Sidney M. Finger, now at the head of our department of education; James C. McRae, the eloquent, the brave, who graces by his ability and learning the bench of our State; and last, but not least, Nereus Mendenhall, of Guilford, and H. A. Gudger, of Madison county, who honor and adorn the private station.
The glorious record of the old regime has been made. Our past is secure, and let us hope that the revival of the University, under the action of the Assemblies of 1875, 1881 and 1885, will be to her what the Renaissance was to art; and if there is aught that is ennobling and elevating and inspiring in this grand and venerable occasion, graced, as it is, by the beauty of Carolina's daughters and dignified by the wisdom of Carolina's sages, when standing upon the confines of two centuries we look back with pride upon the glories of her past and forward with hope to the yet greater glories of our University's future, which, though "dim-discovered, brighter far do seem than all her past hath been," then let us this libation pour, and in their legislative halls this legend write, that but for the enactments of the General Assemblies of 1875, 1881 and 1885 (equally as of the Act of 1789) it can be truly said we had not been here this grand centennial day to celebrate.
It was expected that the Hon. George V. Strong also would respond to the third toast, but he was detained at home by sickness.
The President then read the fourth toast:
Response was made by W. J. Peele:
The site of the University was chosen, in part, by casting lots. Judging from results it is a much better method than by ballot, and I commend it to the prayerful consideration of the Presidential Electors. The lot fell upon the country within fifteen miles of "Cyprett's Creek Bridge," in Chatham county. The committee, consisting of Frederick Hargett, chairman; James Hogg, Alexander Mebane and Wm. H. Hill, after scouring the country round for several days, chose the present site of the University, November 6th, 1792. Tradition says that while making this choice the committee stood under the old poplar which still stands near the center of the Forbidden Ground. Some years ago the lightning struck this tree, but it seems to have recovered from the shock; and some years ago the lightning struck this University, but you couldn't tell it now; it seems to have recovered also.
The original donors, nine in number, gave something over a thousand acres, or one thousand one hundred and eighty in all, and, be it said to their praise, the moving considerations mentioned in all their deeds were the advantages to their State and county. Not being a dancing man myself, I was sorry to see that the practice of dancing was affirmatively suggested in one of the deeds. After conveying twenty acres of the land whereon we now stand as a
gift to the University, and after binding himself and heirs to defend the title against all persons, we find the instrument signed, sealed and delivered by A. Piper, and witnessed by Sam'l Hopkins. I need hardly add that the gymnasium now stands on piper's ground.
But no matter how the site of the University was chosen, and no matter what were the vagaries of some of the donors, no one who has seen these grounds will ever forget them. Looking from the belfry of the South Building, or from the brow of the Hill eastward, the successive vistas stretch before you until it seems as if the lost eras of a past eternity had returned to earth again and old ocean had resumed her ancient sway over the homes of men. The geologists tell us that this great valley was once the bed of an arm of the sea, and long after the Atlantic had left these shores forever, its waters crept up this ancient bed as though the parting sea-god would fain to pay a tribute of respect to the future seat of this grand old institution by bathing the feet of her everlasting hills.
The fifth toast announced:
Hon. Paul C. Cameron, LL.D., responded:
I should fail in my duty to the living and the dead did I not respond to that sentiment--"Caldwell, the first President, his Faculty and the Trustees of his administration." My only regret is that I am not equal to the occasion or the duty, having been so long and so recently an invalid. I believe that I have not often failed in any duty when called to it in the interest of the University of North Carolina or the village of Chapel Hill.
These woods must ever call up the memory, form and characteristics of Joseph Caldwell, and will, as long as these walls by which we are surrounded shall stand, or this pleasant village is known as a seat of learning; and so long as the name of the University is on the map, it will be associated with that of the first President. To leave it out would be as if the topographer should present us with Switzerland without its profile of mountains, or old Egypt without its overflowing and fertilizing Nile, or our own vast North American Continent without the great Father of Waters, in his grand sweep from the lakes of the North to the Gulf of Mexico. The good man needs no eulogy at my hands, and no praise of mine can add a cubit to his stature. His early struggles in its behalf must stand alone in the building up of this institution. He came like Paul to plant, and then like Apollos to water with his tears,
prayers, benedictions and benefactions to the end of his days -- a continuous effort of thirty-one years.
I was first brought in contact with Dr. Caldwell at a very early age. In my father's home, in Orange county, he was ever a welcome visitor. As a teacher, he prompted us to our duty; in sorrow he visited our sick and buried our dead. Dr. Caldwell was brought to the attention of the Board of Trustees by Charles W. Harris, of Cabarrus county, who was educated at Princeton or Nassau Hall. He learned the merits of Caldwell, who was perhaps his instructor, and, so far as I am informed, was the sole indorser of Caldwell, our future and first President. He promptly accepted the call to come at our invitation, and though tempted to remain and take charge of wealthy congregations in the cities of the North, he hesitated not to keep his engagement with our infant University.
He commenced his duties at Chapel Hill about the first of January, 1796, becoming President in 1804. He was no doubt fully informed as to the actual condition of affairs at Chapel Hill, with accommodations for about fifty boys and two tutors and only one college building of two stories. If he suffered any disappointment it was never known; the climate charmed him, and he was pleased with such of the Board of Trustees as he had seen. All
promised well to his eye, and he was a busy and earnest worker, hopeful and cheerful, with no regrets, and so he worked on year after year. He came like a missionary, without incumbrance or wife. He finds a wife in the county of Anson, in a Miss Roane, of the Virginia family. He marries, and in three years he buries his wife and infant daughter. He yields to no despondency or despair. He works on with unyielding industry. Again he marries--a widow, born in Scotland, the daughter of a well-trained and intellectual family--a lady of tall and graceful figure, easy in her address and carriage, and all blended with a very becoming dignity; the mother of two sons--Mrs. William Hooper. In this alliance Dr. Caldwell connected himself with an honored name in North Carolina, associated as it is with our "Great Deed" of national liberty and independence. Mrs. Hooper brought with her to Chapel Hill William and Thomas, her sons, for education, and built the best house in the village, that became an historic house, in which Presidents and eminent men of all pursuits and professions have been entertained. It was a fortunate union for both parties--Mrs. Caldwell was a fit lady in the White House of Chapel Hill, and Dr. Caldwell gave her the control of domestic affairs while he assumed with great care the education of the two sons. They became the objects
of his most tender watchfulness. William, his life darkened by the accidental shooting of a dear little cousin in Judge William Norwood's office, near Hillsboro, was subsequently taken to Princeton, N. J., by Dr. Caldwell for education and medical care. He did not remain long. By the advice of an eminent physician he was brought home and placed under the controlling influence of his excellent mother, and the result was a general scholar and an ornament to the State.
Thomas Hooper entered a law office and became a resident lawyer at Fayetteville, and had hardly arrived to middle-age before he died. William, for a while, was first Professor of Languages at the University of North Carolina, then a clergyman of the Episcopal Church, and then, uniting himself with the Baptist Church, became eventually the President of Wake Forest College. He was previously, however, in charge of a theological school of that church in South Carolina, and then Professor of Languages in South Carolina College at Columbia.
Dr. Caldwell was eminently faithful in every office he assumed. Duty, fully performed, was the polestar of his life. The college advanced in popular favor with increasing confidence and numbers, but the continued strain and effort began to tell on his health and vigorous manhood, and the Trustees tendered
him a rest and freedom from his taxing labors, and proposed a trip to Europe for the purchase of chemical instruments for the laboratory and apparatus for the philosophical department and for the increase of the University library and that of both societies. A trip to Europe was not then a summer's jaunt of a few weeks, but caused his absence for nearly a year; and on his return to New York he announced his arrival to Professor Mitchell, the acting President of the University, and the probable day of his arrival at Chapel Hill. He was on time. The students of the University resolved on a welcome. A brilliant illumination -- the first and only one ever made in these buildings -- was resolved on, and it was an entire success. Well do I recall the splendors of that night and the procession of the students to his residence and his stepping out upon the floor of the back piazza -- the cheer after cheer that was given to the dear old man. Falling into line, the march back to the college was commenced, and on our arrival at the front-door of the South Building, the President was escorted to a stand near the well, from which he addressed the students and the entire village population with the affection of a long-absent father, for he was indeed full of feeling, and it was with difficulty he could give utterance to his words. He was escorted back to his modest home, and the
impression prevailed that it was the happiest day of his life -- the consummation of his supreme joy. His health again gave way under intense labor, and he added largely to his work by labored articles for the State press in urging increased educational advantages and improvements to be expected from better and more speedy transportation, especially in the construction of a grand trunk line from Beaufort to the Tennessee line. What progress we should have made had his counsels been followed! How we should have leaped ahead of all the States of the Union, for the first mile of a railroad had not then been built in the United States. A full half century elapsed before his desire was carried out, chiefly by one of his pupils--that big-headed and large-hearted man-of-all-work, John M. Morehead. Caldwell, the seedsman; Morehead, the harvester.
Time passes on, hard work and old age do their work -- his health again declines. The Trustees again become anxious for his health and the care of the University; he is urged to have an assistant appointed; he declines; they require, in tender care for him, that he should name an assistant; he consents, and at once names my friend and relative, Walker Anderson, who obeys the call and enters on the duty, and remains until Dr. Caldwell's death. A beautiful tribute to the declining President was paid
by his pupil, who afterwards became the Chief Justice of Florida. Day by day the good man declines, and in a moment of supreme agony he retires to his office, the little brick house in his yard, and, in the use of a metalic point he injures himself, inflamation follows, and after a few days of intense suffering the end comes to him, surrounded by a few sorrowing friends and his physician, Dr. James Webb. A dark night falls suddenly upon the State and the institution, and wise men look seriously into each other's faces and ask who can and will take his place.
It is a pleasant memory to the surviving Alumni to recall the steady devotion of good President Caldwell to this institution and his complete identification of himself with the citizens of the State in every interest. He made himself a freeholder and a slaveholder, and thought it no offence so to live and so to die, and to-day the chief servant of the institution is of his family of slaves. And so long as the great trunk line railroad from Morehead City shall increase the wealth and commerce of the State the name of Caldwell will be remembered as its first projector in the letters of "Carlton."
To Dr. Caldwell's associates in the Faculty, and to the Trustees of his administration, I can only give a moment. I will only speak of those known to me. It is believed that during the two years I was a member
of the Freshman and Sophomore classes it was a body of able and well-trained gentlemen and fully equal to their office and duties. In the chair of mathematics sat the genial and learned Dr. Elisha Mitchell, a favorite with the students and with the public at large, a graduate of Yale College, and a class-mate of our George E. Badger, the accomplished lawyer and advocate. Professor Denison Olmstead, a man of energy and zeal, a class-mate of Mitchell at Yale, occupied the chair of chemistry, made himself very acceptable to his pupils and was recalled to Yale to take the same chair in that institution. He made our first geological survey of the State of North Carolina. These two professors were introduced to the Board of Trustees by "that good man and great judge," William Gaston, growing out of a correspondence with a distinguished Senator of the State of Connecticut. Then came Professor E. A. Andrews, Professor of Languages, a graduate of Yale, and believed to have been introduced by Denison Olmstead, a man of gentle and pleasing manners and never in robust health. When his friend Olmstead left on his return to Yale, Professor Andrews went North and ultimately placed himself at the head of a large female school in the city of Boston, and enjoyed the patronage of its best population. The qualifications and capacity of such men are not
to be called into question. They enjoyed the respect and confidence of the President.
Next comes that learned scholar, the Rev. James Phillips, regarded both by his associates in the Faculty and those that he instructed as the equal of any one who had preceded him in the chair of mathematics, and who was able to leave a son so equal to the father as to succeed him in the same chair, and whose recent death so saddened the friends of the University and the entire State. Surely no father has sent his children into the world better trained for their life's work. Mitchell sleeps in the shade of the lofty firs of the Black Mountain, and Professor James Phillips, with his harness on, attending morning prayers, passes away on the rostrum in the presence of the assembled students.
During my college life at Chapel Hill my chief instructor was Joseph H. Saunders, then a tutor and a student of divinity for the Episcopal Church. A good and holy man, anxious to do his duty, faithful in his office, ever seeking to invite his pupils to their best efforts. He emigrated to Florida, located at Pensacola, where he served his people most acceptably, and where his life was cut short in a fearful epidemic of yellow fever, in which he ministered with the bravery of one who feared no evil.
Of Caldwell's first Board of Trustees forty names
stand on the charter-roll, all well-known men of the highest type of manhood, in social, civil or military life. At the head of the list stand the names of Governor Samuel Johnston, Judge James Iredell, the elder, General William R. Davie, General Joseph Graham and Colonel William Polk, the last surviving field-officer of the State line of the Revolution. A brilliant throng, leaders in peace and war, crowned with the favor and confidence of the people and approved by heaven.
It was expected that Hon. James Grant, LL.D., of Iowa, would respond likewise to this toast, but he was detained on his journey by the floods.
The sixth toast was:
Responses were made by Hon. R. P. Dick, LL.D., and Thomas W. Mason, Esq. Judge Dick said:
I certainly feel highly complimented by the action of the Alumni Association in selecting me to respond to the toast just announced, but they greatly overestimate my powers in supposing that I could condense such an interesting and suggestive theme into a five minutes' speech.
I will not attempt to accomplish an impossibility.
I would as soon undertake to compress the Black Mountains into a range of hills.
I can take only a general view of the subject, and speak of those noble men as I would speak of the great mountains when seen through the dimness of the distance in the beauty and grandeur of their sublime repose.
There have been many periods in the past when groups of great men exerted their combined influences in illuminating their magnificent age and in giving impetus to human progress. I will briefly refer to a few familiar historic periods made illustrious by deeds of heroism, patriotism and exalted genius. I will refer to the century ushered in by the reign of Pericles in Athens; to the Augustan age; to the Renaissance in Modern Europe; to the Elizabethan era; to the Protestant Reformation; to the Long Parliament, the Revolution of 1688, and the times of "Good Queen Anne"; to those days when Chatham, Burke, Fox, Pitt and their worthy associates exhibited the splendid resources of the English tongue, and the noble thoughts and emotions of the English mind and heart, and last I will refer to the greatest period of them all -- a period which we now celebrate with centennial rejoicing -- when the heroes, patriots and statesmen, sages of America, struggled for and established the principles
of constitutional freedom and founded our great Republic.
If I was requested to designate the greatest period of North Carolina's moral and intellectual greatness, I would select the period from 1840 to 1860. In those days there were many men of exalted intellects, refined culture, ardent patriotism, broad sympathies and noble virtues, whose achievements contributed greatly to our State progress and renown. I will not enumerate them, as their names are familiar to this audience, and most of them were Trustees of this University.
In referring to President Swain and the Faculty of his administration, I will not claim that they were more accomplished scholars and teachers than the present Faculty. My affectionate partiality for my old teachers will not induce me to do manifest injustice or misrepresent well-recognized facts.
In the last fifty years civilization has made more progress in moral and intellectual culture and development than in the five preceding centuries. The present Faculty have had all the advantages of this rapidly-advancing progress. They have kept in the van-guard, and they are -- and they ought to be -- more learned and skilful teachers and scholars than their predecessors of my college days.
But I will, now and ever, insist that my old teachers were grand Christian sages and philosophers,
and were eminent among the teachers of moral and intellectual progress in their day; and that in moral qualities and in nobility of nature and purpose, they are deservedly ranked with the highest types of mankind, and can never be surpassed in any succeeding age.
As the name of President Swain has been mentioned in the toast, I will briefly refer to him as a representative man of his associate Faculty and Trustees. Forgive me for calling him "Old Bunk," for that uncouth nickname touches the tenderest chords of my heart and awakens their sweetest melodies. It calls up memories of the "long-ago" -- hallowed memories which I have fondly cherished through many eventful years -- magical memories, which come so vividly now that my old heart thrills with the pure, generous and joyous emotions of my young life.
President Swain was a truly great man. He was highly intellectual, learned, faithful to duty, and noble-hearted. He was an eloquent lecturer. He had none of the graces of manner and little of the elegance of classic diction, but he had the eloquence of profound thought and rich learning, expressed in the strong, earnest language of sincere conviction and noble purpose. He was warmly attached to the constitutional Union of the States.
His love and devotion to North Carolina and this University was an ever-glowing enthusiasm. He had paternal affection for his boys -- even the bad boys were objects of his tender solicitude and forbearing care.
I wish the "boys" of his administration had been included in the toast. The old University array would then have been complete. I ask leave to make the amendment now. I can never forget my dear college comrades, for their images are photographed upon my heart forever. Time has cast no misty veil over their memories. Some of them are gray-haired now, and many are in the grave, but I remember with tender affection the genial, generous and warm-hearted friends of those far-off sunny days, and those rejuvenating memories and associations often make me wish that "I were a boy again."
The last time that I met President Swain was in Washington City, in May, 1865. Our old State had been overrun and devastated by conquering armies, and our distressed people were apprehensive of other and more direful disasters. Notwithstanding the inconveniences and dangers of travel in those disordered and lawless times, he went to Washington to plead for generosity and justice to his afflicted fellow-citizens. He had never contributed to the bitterness of feeling engendered by partisan strife.
He had not stood in the battle-line, where so many patriotic and gallant sons of North Carolina had fought and fallen, but he willingly placed himself in what he regarded a dreadful breach in the ramparts of constitutional government, and bravely breasted the inrolling billows of sectional prejudice and hatred, and heroically strove to stay the tides of civil injustice and wrong.
Brother Alumni, I have exhausted the time limit allowed me by your committee of invitation and arrangements; I have spoken of President Swain as a representative man of the University and I have alluded in general terms to his associate Faculty, but I feel that my duty of affection will be very incompletely performed on this occasion unless I refer with more particularity to my recollections and impressions of my old teachers, to whom I owe such a large debt of gratitude.
I claim your kind forbearance while I dwell for a few minutes more upon the pleasing memories of my college days.
I will forget for a moment the reverence due the memory of Professor Mitchell, and speak of him as "Old Mike." With the students this was not a name of derision, but was generally used in kindness and affection -- and it was not displeasing to him. In his social intercourse with the students he was cheerful
and companionable, and generally manifested paternal kindness. In the class-room he would sometimes tell illustrative anecdotes, and often indulge in playful witticism, and was never offended at good-natured repartee on the part of the boys.
His knowledge seemed to be almost universal, extending from the simplest affairs of every-day life to the sublimest moral truths and the most exalted theories and speculations of science.
I often heard the statement made that he was competent to fill, with credit, any professorship in the University.
His abundant stores of knowledge were a disadvantage to him as a popular preacher. He could never stick to his text. His inquisitive and discursive mind would go forth into the broad fields of learning and science, where he had diligently labored, and he would try to bring home to his hearers some of the golden sheaves of his former harvest.
His lectures and experiments in the laboratory were interesting and instructive to diligent and attentive students, but they made no lasting impression upon my mind. Such knowledge was too wonderful for me, and past finding out.
My most pleasant recollections of Professor Mitchell are those associated with the rambles which he sometimes made with the class through the woods
and over the hills. He would often pluck a wild flower, or pull up a forest plant, or break a rock with his hammer and eagerly endeavor to show, to rather inattentive boys, the wonders and beauties which they displayed. In them he could see the skilful handiwork of Divine power, and he would often speak earnestly and eloquently of the wisdom and goodness of the Creator. I sincerely regret that I could not share in his enthusiasm or comprehend the knowledge he tried to impart, for if I could have done so, I feel sure that I would have become a wiser and better man.
Professor Mitchell made extensive explorations for the purpose of acquiring knowledge of the geological formations and mineral resources of North Carolina. In these periodical investigations and researches he visited nearly every section of the State from the mountains to the sea.
Whenever I think of his many pedestrian journeys and his difficulties of travel, I am reminded of the old prophet Elisha in his frequent journeys from the valley of the Jordan over the blue mountains of Israel, among the green pastures and fruitful gardens of Carmel, and then up through the forest slopes to his solitary abode among the cliffs. Both of them were men of God and lovers of nature; both were fervid in their patriotism, and both labored continuously for the welfare of their fellow-men.
I will call Professor Mitchell "Old Mike" no more. The solemn circumstances of his death have followed his memory. At the time of the sad occurrence the people of North Carolina and the lovers of science everywhere deplored his loss with profound sorrow, but the manner and place of his death have added greatly to his fame. He has now a grand sepulchre and monument that will be as enduring as time. In the last awful hours of his mortal existence he had no human companions, but like Moses on the Pisgah summit of Abarim, he was with Jehovah and the angels, and from the dark mountains of earth his immortal spirit passed to the everlasting hills bright with ever resplendent lights and fragrant with the balmy odors of Paradise.
When I think of Professor Phillips, his image is before my mind in the dignity and majesty of advanced but still vigorous manhood, and his college name instinctively comes to my lips, dear, noble "Old Johnnie."
If he was a fair representative man of the English race, I am not surprised that they are a great people. His physical and mental structure were both sturdy, strong and full of energy and power, and his moral nature was adorned with all the Christian virtues. He was usually cordial and sincere in social intercourse, and whenever there was
apparent abruptness in his voice and manner it never amounted to rudeness, for there was a merry twinkle in his eyes and his honest face beamed with benevolence.
He had a well established reputation for ability and learning. I had a fair standing in my class, and usually obtained a good recitation mark, but the higher branches of mathematics were never so clear to me as the sunlight. I cannot speak with the confident assurance of personal knowledge as to Professor Phillips' proficiency in his department. I know positively that he was a good preacher. He was an earnest, eloquent and learned divine, and always made a profound impression on his hearers. His prayers were sometimes very long, but they were never wearisome to his congregation, for they felt that, in devout faith, he approached near the Mercy Seat and was pleading fervently for them. Every one acquainted with his blameless and holy Christian life feels well assured that he is now among the great multitude that stand before the throne where "the four and twenty elders" hold the golden vials.
Professor Fetter was too kind-hearted and too gentle in his nature for an efficient disciplinarian. He did not know how to scold. He sometimes endeavored to administer severe reproof, but he was very awkward in such attempts, and in a short time he
seemed to be sorry for what he had said. He was an accomplished Greek scholar, and seemed to fully appreciate the genius and richness of that harmonious and inimitable language. He was always delighted when he had the opportunity of explaining the significations of words and the structure of sentences, which the boys, with the aid of translations and lexicons, could not fully understand. The solution of difficulties and obscurities was to him the highest pleasure. He seemed to have a special fondness for the Greek particles, and would try to show their peculiar shades of meaning in the places where they were found. He was like a jeweler exhibiting precious gems and holding them in different positions in the light to make them reflect the delicate and exquisite beauties of their varying radiance. I am pleased to know that he had a long and honored life, and was a faithful and successful educator even in old age.
While in college I could never get near enough to Professor Hooper to become acquainted with his personal qualities. He was by no means companionable with the boys. He was the most rigid disciplinarian among the Faculty. He was always fair and just in his deportment, respectful and courteous in his intercourse, but he never allowed the slightest wilful disturbance or inattention in the class-room. He always
regarded himself as "master of the situation," and he asserted his authority with firmness. No student ever tested his incisive repartee and pungent reproof more than one time. His mind was as clear as a diamond, and he was quick in his perceptions. He seemed to read and understand the Latin with as much ease as if it was his mother-tongue. In my occasional association with him in after-life, I found him to be a genial and companionable Christian gentleman.
Professor Green was the most amiable man that I ever knew. I never saw him angry, or even manifest feelings of impatience. He was naturally good, and his character and deportment were softened by time and refined by intellectual culture and by the constant observance and practice of the Christian virtues. He was faithful and efficient in the performance of his duties as a professor, and in all the relations of life. As I remember him now, he seems to me to have possessed some of the spirit of St. John -- not in the times of his aroused and impulsive energy, when he was a Boanerges, but when he leaned his head upon his Master's bosom; when he stood, with sympathetic tenderness and emotion, by the cross, and when he wrote his gospel, pathetic with divine love. Bishop Green reached a very advanced age, and his holy life won the affectionate veneration of all denominations of Christians.
Professor Charles F. Deems came to Chapel Hill during my senior year. He was then quite a young man. My association with him was very pleasant, but I have no distinct recollection of his reputation as a scholar and teacher. He was a very attractive preacher, and I remember well the impression produced upon the students by the Twelve College Sermons which he afterwards published.
His style of composition was rich and elegant. His imagination was fertile and brilliant. His language fluent and rhythmical. His manner of delivery was easy and graceful, and his voice was well trained and musical. He has been an eminent and useful preacher, lecturer, Christian worker and educator for nearly fifty years. He has published many valuable books and magazine articles, and he is still in the active performance of duties to God and to his fellow-men. He is now pastor of "The Church of the Strangers," which he founded many years ago in New York City. He is justly regarded as a learned scholar and theologian and one of the most eloquent pulpit orators in America.
I cannot close this hasty sketch of my college reminiscences without referring to Professors Owen and Graves.
I never met them in the class-room. They were then tutors and had bed-rooms in the college. They
were expected to exercise vigilant supervision of the boys. They were rather inefficient in police duty. The boys always knew when they were about. They were not active and strategic in catching the boys in mischief. They seemed to prefer scaring them into quietude and good behavior. They were not anxious and ready to make reports to the Faculty. They were good scholars, faithful and instructive teachers and refined Christian gentlemen. They well deserve the honorable reputation which they acquired, and which has been perpetuated in the records of this University and in the educational history of the State.
As I now contemplate President Swain and his associate Trustees, Faculty and students, I rejoice that some of them still live--and some are here to-day--venerated patriots, grandly linking the prosperous and splendid present with the glorious past. As the noble army of the dead pass in solemn procession before the eye of my memory, I feel that no words can add to their well-merited fame. Their work on earth was nobly done. They have left a rich inheritance of virtue, truth and example to their country and mankind, and they have entered upon their reward and upon the everlasting rest.
Good men, great men, grand old men, I bid you hail, and farewell until we meet again in the eternal home.
Brave old man! As long as the principles of constiutional freedom shall control the destinies of North Carolina, his name will be honored and loved. As long as this University shall stand, he will have a worthy monument -- and may it endure forever -- and as century after century shall move by in the majestic march of the ages, may it be reared higher and higher amidst the effulgent lights of advancing knowledge and eternal truth.
Mr. Mason also spoke in response to the sixth toast:
I am heartily glad that you have, thus early at our banquet, given place to our old friends. I delight to think of them. I should be happy to call each one of them by name -- these faithful husbandmen in this vineyard of our Constitution. Not many of them will ever be present with us again. On the tenth of the last month, one of them, and an honored one, Rev. Charles Phillips, who wrought here through all the best years of his manhood, bade us good-by and soon passed forever from our longing eyes. And so, too, within a year past, have departed, in peace and honor, Professor Fetter and Dr. Hubbard, and earlier my honored instructor, Professor DeBerniere Hooper. Earlier still, from the circle of those whom many of us here present knew
intimately, have gone in their green old age Dr. Wheat and Dr. James Phillips, and that other great teacher who, by the light of truth and science, reared his monument upon our noblest mountain--Elisha Mitchell.
You have called one of these by name among his co-laborers, the Honorable David L. Swain, who was their type and leader through the years from 1835, when he became the President of the University, until the hand of war closed its portals, and soon thereafter death closed his mortal vision, troubled by the ruin about him. It was my good fortune to be almost a member of his household through the four years here from 1854 to 1858. What happy years they were, when we assembled here, more than four hundred in number, from half the States of our Union, and returning to our homes carried with us the impress of those who shaped and guided this institution, and who taught us, with whatever else we learned, how to be true citizens--true to the State and true to our fellow-man!
I saw Governor Swain daily, not as President and teacher only, but--I speak it with emotions of gratitude--as my friend. I am sure I knew something of the motives, the sympathies that moved him. His eye of sympathy and his heart of tenderness went with us here and everywhere, and into every
field of endeavor, rejoicing with us in our victories and sorrowing with us in our defeats. He never lost sight of a Chapel Hill boy! As his venerated form comes before me now, knowing him as I am sure I did, let me say to you, North Carolina had no child within her borders nearer to her heart than he, and none who felt with keener or more responsive sense her every throb of joy or of sorrow.
As I look back at these old friends, I am more and more persuaded that this broad sympathy of theirs, subjecting the drill and learning of the intellect to the behests of the State and the demands of social duty, drew the hearts of the people to this University and placed it, where it proudly stood, among the most cherished and influential literary institutions of our country. Not only was it the child of our Constitution, it was the very life and soul and genius of North Carolina, flying her colors always, followed by tender prayers and watched by eager, loving eyes, from all her shores, through the peaceful as well as the perilous seas of its voyage.
Can we ever forget these old friends? Their calm, heroic, generous spirit moving the life of our people has written some of the most beautiful and some of the most glorious chapters in the history of our country. The spirit -- the life they gave to us -- has made possible this re-union, ever to be remembered
by us whose forms and faces, fast fading from each other into the cold twilight of years, touched by its warm light, glow again with all the happy love of our brotherhood. That spirit, cherished as I know it is, assured by all that I have seen and felt here, will yet draw the hearts of our people to this seat of learning with that love and reverence we bear to those whom, Mr. President, you have named with honor and whom we delight to remember -- Hon. David L. Swain and the Faculty and Trustees of his administration.
The seventh toast was:
Responses were made by A. H. Eller and R. W. Winborne, Esqrs. Mr. Eller said:
One whose foot-prints have hardly faded from the threshold of his Alma Mater, and who is still within the shadow of the great preceptors and exemplars who have moulded his thought and shaped his intellectual life, cannot clearly analyze their characters or estimate their worth -- he equals such a task only after the lapse of years, when he views them in distant retrospection. I recall the thought of Chancellor Kent, who contemplated the works of the
greatest master of the common law "with admiration and despair," when I attempt a tribute to the life and labors of President Kemp P. Battle and the Faculty and Trustees of his administration. As stood Petrarch and his co-laborers and patrons to the Renaissance, so stand these men to the revival of learning in North Carolina. When these clustered edifices, which crown this far-famed Hill, had been nursed in the lap of war and left wrapped in dilapidation as bare and squalid as the woof and warp of ruin, who mantled them in new beauty and animated them to a life of more splendid usefulness than they had yet known? Who took up the traditions of a University, the antiquated methods and appliances of which had been abandoned by our generation, and with the foresight of genius readily adapted it to the wants of a new civilization and gave it a commanding influence in the South-east of our Republic? Who foresaw the ravages of time upon the sacred memories of our illustrious dead and perpetuated their mighty examples in a memorial building, which stands there the cynosure of all eyes, the pride of our State, an example to the world? Who grappled with the stubborn conservatism of successive Legislatures, foiled the thrust of jealousy aimed by imaginary rivalry between this and other institutions, and exploded the wide-spread
superstition that an immoral spirit, begot by the riotous youth of ante bellum days, still lurks and hides in the hallowed retreats about Chapel Hill? Who, with the chisel and mallet of truth, carved a way through these barriers and veered the stream of patronage, which flowed strong and steady to other States, back to its ancient home? Who, but President Kemp P. Battle and his worthy compeers?
Ours is an era of centennials -- occasions where popular acclaim greets the orators who laud the dead and criticise the living. I am not here to gainsay the wisdom or the justice of the people's voice in response to this sentiment at the National drama on the 30th of last April. But, on behalf of the Faculty and Trustees of the University of North Carolina, I invite both friend and foe to turn upon this administration the fiercest light, view it in the strong glare of criticism or the gentle glimmer of palliation, and I promise you a picture without a blot, an institution which represents a century's growth without a century's vices, -- one whose morale calls not for a Potter's sermon to "ring out like a fire-bell in the night."
Standing, as we do, on the golden threshold of a second century, filled with fond and tender memories of the past, with the sacred legends of liberty and the birth of famous institutions, it is easy for a
people imbued with peculiar reverence for the wisdom of the past to forget that among the living may be found their greatest benefactors. As long as coming generations shall gather at this temple of learning, as long as time shall last, may the examples set up by Presidents Caldwell and Swain never be forgotten: the one struggling to keep alive the Christian religion, the other to keep ablaze the torch of learning; the one against the furious thraldom of infidelity, the other against the fearful odds of war; the one with success as glorious as the dawn, the other still holding in his hand the flickering light when his own illustrious life went down like the sun sinking behind a mountain, kindling upon every peak a blaze of glory and pouring a flood of golden light upon the clouds which hung their solemn drapery about his dying couch. Such deeds need but the pen of genius to live amongst the grandest spectacles of which history keeps the record.
It were irreverent to compare the living with the dead. But, to my mind, the man who forsook the highest possibilities known to a learned and an honored profession; who flooded the feeble stream of our University's life with the strong current of his own; who, with the courage of a patriot, the fortitude of a martyr, the learning of a master, and the love of a father, has for fourteen years presided over
her destinies and wooed success when success fled before him as upon the wings of the morning -- that man has builded for himself a monument over-shadowed only by his own great and useful life; but when years have passed away, and the twilight has spread its soft folds about him, and the shadows of the past have gathered around his memory, its "lineaments will stand forth like the outlines of some distant mountain whose greatness we can only grasp when we view it from afar."
Mr. Winborne said, in response to the same toast:
Since the Apostle to the Gentiles sat at the feet of Gamaliel, the great luminaries of learning have held a higher place in the esteem of men. Through the beneficence of their lives they have become more and more the benefactors of their race. But from that hoary past to the present none have shone more brightly or merited more commendation than those who have nurtured the new life of our own Alma Mater.
Her present honored President and his coadjutors assumed control at a time when despotism and ignorance had exhausted her already depleted treasury and dismantled her proud altars. She was a seat of learning but in name. The glory of her former
prestige was hardly more than a memory, and it seemed as if her fountains of knowledge had forever run dry.
Under such inauspicious surroundings their noble work was begun. For fourteen years they have labored for her upbuilding and advancement. By their fostering care she has steadily grown stronger and better, until to-day, regenerated and redeemed, she stands forth once more as the pride of our State, and, arrayed in the panoply of her own merit, is fully equipped grandly to begin this her second century of usefulness to humanity and to God. All honor to such noble men! Let us sustain them and help them. But do our duty as they do theirs, and the effulgent light of knowledge, which streams from her re-kindled altars, will dissipate the last vestige of ignorance that beclouds our future, and hasten the dawning of that brighter day when the "Old North State," hearkening to the drum-beat of knowledge, shall stand among the foremost of her sisters in the grand march of progress and education.
The eighth toast was:
Response was made by Col. Thomas S. Kenan:
No eulogy that I could pronounce would increase
our respect for the memory of those who died in defence of the "Lost Cause."
No language at my command will excite us to a greater degree of appreciation of the character of the dutiful soldier. No words known to me can have the effect of kindling in our hearts a more ardent love for those whose response to authoritative call for service was so cheerfully and patriotically given. Men of the University constituted a conspicuous element in the grand army of the South--grand in the material composing it--grand in its achievements and reverses, and in all its history. They shared in the honors of victory and in the calamities of defeat. Some were commanders, while others yielded obedience--there were officers and privates among them; and all contributed to the renown which has been justly accorded to the "boys who wore the gray."
In nearly every department of the Confederate Government there was a representative of this Institution. Under almost all the circumstances and conditions of the Confederate soldier, whether adverse or propitious, might be found one whose name is upon the roll of Chapel Hill students. I remember that after I was wounded and captured at Gettysburg and taken to Johnson Island, in Lake Erie, I suggested to a fellow-prisoner and class-mate (Maj. Robert Bingham) the propriety of sending to Governor
Swain, then President of the University, the names of the prisoners of war at that place who had been students here; and he accordingly prepared a list which contained the names of thirty-five, and transmitted the same to Governor Swain. I was informed that this list was frequently read by him to the students, and commented on as an illustration of the fact that "Chapel Hill boys" could be found almost everywhere and taking a prominent part in the events of the day; that a number of them were then in Northern prisons, undergoing the privations incident thereto--overcome by the misfortunes of war--but all brought about in the discharge of duty and endured with heroic fortitude.
Two hunded and sixty of the Alumni were numbered among the Confederate dead at the close of the war, as shown by a list gotten up by Col. W. L. Saunders some years ago, and from which I have made the following classification: One Lieutenant General, four Brigadier Generals, eleven Colonels, eight Lieutenant Colonels, thirteen Majors, seventy-six Captains, fifty-six Lieutenants, fourteen Sergeants, three Corporals, sixty-eight Privates, two Color Sergeants, one Sergeant Major, one volunteer Aide-de-Camp, one Surgeon and one Assistant Surgeon.
Their names are recorded upon tablets in Memorial Hall, and among them may be found those of Lieutenant
General Leonidas Polk and Brigadier Generals Branch, Pettigrew, Garrott and George B. Anderson; and also of representatives of classes covering a period of forty-three years--beginning with General Polk, of the class of 1821, and ending with Lieutenant William H. G. Webb of the class of 1864.
Most of them enlisted as private soldiers, and the record shows that a very large number were subsequently promoted. This may be accounted for by the fact that many of the Alumni who entered the army were regarded as possessing the necessary qualifications to command, and the result proved that this was true. But when we praise the officer for ability to direct and courage to execute, let us at the same time remember that his reputation is grounded, in large measure, upon the faithfulness and devotion of the private soldier; for it was he who bore the brunt of battle; it was he who suffered most. I have seen, and others here to-day have seen, upon the battle-field, exhibitions of some of the most daring acts of bravery, coupled with an exercise of judgment and sagacity, on the part of noncommissioned officers and privates, within the sphere of pending operations, as would have done credit to one skilled in the art of war and trained in the profession of arms -- thus giving evidence that they were "men of war from their youth." In after-years,
when our thoughts recur to this occasion, and to the material which the University has contributed to the service of the country in its diversified requirements, let us not forget to do honor to the memory of the Confederate Dead, whose deeds, as native American soldiers, should stimulate every impulse of honor and patriotism.
The ninth toast was:
Hon. Hamilton C. Jones was prevented by illness from attending the banquet.
Hon. Joseph B. Batchelor spoke as follows:
The Trojan hero, immortalized by the greatest of Roman poets, flying from the ruins of his own city and shipwrecked by the anger of the gods, wandered to the city of the beautiful but unfortunate Dido.
Finding there pictures representing the heroic struggle of his people against the allied armies of Greece, he exclaimed:
"Quis jam locus, * * *
Quoe regio in terris, nostri non plena laboris?"
Thus speaks the University to-day. Gathering together those left of her children, who have been nurtured at her bosom for a century past, she exclaims: What state, what region of this our vast empire, has not tasted the fruit of my labors; has not shared in the rich harvest gathered from the seeds here planted!
In every field of labor, in every pursuit of life, in every department of science and learning, in every trade and profession, and in every clime, her children have lived lives and won honors of which she may well be proud. In no department is this more evident than in that to which your toast alludes. Passing by those who in other walks of life have won honor and deserved well of their fellow-men, and looking alone to those who have devoted themselves to the legal profession and worn out their lives as lawyers and judges, we are filled with astonishment and admiration at the long list of illustrious names to which the University may point with a pride greater even than that with which Cornelia pointed to her jewels. As citizens -- unknown to fame, yet
worthy of every honor -- statesmen, patriots, even heroes neglected, though their memories may be possibly forgotten save by a few, yet to-day they are living, speaking, controlling by the lessons which they have taught, the works which they have accomplished, the institutions which they founded, the principles of personal liberty, of national independence and individual manhood which they planted and nurtured.
In America, as in England, the history of the legal profession has been the history of the struggle for freedom. In no contest -- whether in the forum, in the halls of legislation, or on the field of battle when death-shots fell thick and fast -- have they shirked the responsibility of true manhood, but with self-sacrifice and devotion to principle they have rushed where duty called, and proved their faith by their works. Trained by their studies in "the perfect law of liberty," they have been the first to discover the approach of danger, and as faithful sentinels to sound the alarm. Every step in the slow but upward progress of human right is marked by a lawyer's sacrifice; not one stone in the Temple of Liberty, vast as that structure has grown, which is not hallowed by a lawyer's blood.
If time were not lacking, it would be a labor of love to call the roll of honor and to commune for a
moment with those whose lives and thoughts have illustrated the ages in which they lived, and whose silent and unseen influence is felt in the institutions around us--monuments which, though they speak not, yet, in language more powerful than words, testify of the glorious past.
The records of the legal profession are not found in the rolls of the courts alone. Important as these duties have been, they are but a small part of the work which it has accomplished for the elevation of man.
When, four thousand years ago, the sunset of life gave mystical lore to the Hebrew patriarch, he uttered the prophetic promise, "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a law-giver from between his feet until Shiloh come." In all the ages which have since passed, what man has approached the law-giver of Israel? Before the most enlightened nation of antiquity knew the use of letters, five centuries before Homer sang his songs in the streets of Grecian cities, a thousand years before the father of history was born, a thousand years before Confucius taught his rude superstitions to the people of China, he promulgated laws which have stood the test of over three thousand years of experience, have borne the blaze of light shed over them by near two thousand years of Christian civilization and progress,
and still stand as the highest rule of conduct of which man is capable.
From these earliest ages, through all the mutations of time, the lawyer and the law-giver have been honored among men. Pioneers of thought, teachers in the highest schools of civilization, their progress has but marked the progress of humanity. Advancing first with slow and hesitating steps, appealing to the power of reason alone, each newly discovered principle became the stepping-stone to higher realms of thought. With an energy which never tired, a devotion which never faltered, they have labored and suffered until, at last, hope ending in fruition, law, the universal power and goddess of their worship, stands forth in all the beauty of perfect symmetry and order -- the image and glory of the great Creator. Centuries may come and centuries may go; under the corroding touch of time dynasties have changed and dynasties will change; empires have sunk, and will sink, into decay; but time aims no dart at her. Exempt from mutability or decay, ages but add new beauty to her youth; the vast realms of creation her empire, her handmaidens Liberty, Justice and Truth; "her voice the harmony of the universe, her seat the bosom of God."
In response to the toast,
Judge Avery said: It is not strange that boys of the early days who had been subjected to severe mental drill and discipline at the rural academies of Dr. Caldwell of Guilford, the elder Bingham, or Wilson of Mecklenburg, should have mastered mathematics and metaphysics under the teaching of Ker of Dublin, Harris or President Caldwell, the pupil of Jonathan Edwards. Men taught in such thorough Scotch-Irish schools were content with nothing short of the clearest views of Coke, Bacon and Blackstone. It is not wonderful that the Alumni of a later date, who knew the big heart, the strong intellect, the boundless Christian charity and unselfish patriotism of David L. Swain, and sat at the feet of his faithful and learned associates, should have gone forth with a broad culture and a liberal catholic spirit that fitted them, in temperament and character, as well as in habits of patient research, for the exercise of judicial power and the decision of grave legal questions. Archibald Debow Murphey, of the class of 1799, was tutor, professor, and then Judge of the Superior Courts from 1818 to 1820; but Joseph J. Daniel, an
irregular of the next decade, selected a Judge of the Superior Court in 1816, had already begun a judicial career that culminated in making him one of the clearest, most concise and correct law-writers of his day. John R. Donnell, the first-honor man of the class of 1807, won distinction by a service of eighteen years on the bench. The polish of John D. Toomer, the power of Romulus M. Saunders, the scholarship of Edward Hall of Warren, and the versatile talent of the brilliant Willie P. Mangum bore evidence of the work of the University from 1810 to 1820. Mangum was twice a Circuit Judge and twice chosen a Senator. Measured either by the position he attained (that of acting Vice-President) or his influence over men, North Carolina has never produced his superior. The learning of Battle, the acumen of Pearson, the accuracy of Manly were her contributions to our highest court in the next decade. Judges Mitchell and Augustus Moore left these halls in the same period to preside in our Superior Courts, while John Bragg went forth to place himself as judge and advocate in the front rank of Alabama jurists, and Nicholson to preside as Chief Justice of Tennessee. Justices Ashe, Dillard and Rodman, and Judge J. W. Osborne, of the graduates between 1830 and 1840, honored their Alma Mater in winning distinction for themselves. That cultured Christian gentleman, Judge R. P. Dick, formerly one of our Justices and now an honored Federal Judge, and the late Justice Thomas Ruffin, one of the most powerful and accomplished jurists of this generation, went out almost abreast in the manly struggle for fortune and fame. Judges Barnes, Buxton, Meares and Shipp, now living, and Ellis, McKoy, Person and Shepherd, who fill honored graves, were taught in these halls between 1840 and 1850. They were all worthy sons of an honored mother. Of the class of 1850, the late Thomas Settle, twice chosen a Justice of our Supreme Court, and then appointed by President Grant District Judge for the District of Florida, won a well-deserved reputation in the State and nation as a courtly gentleman and learned lawyer. The living sons of this seat of learning, who have gone forth since 1850, must wait for mention till one of her Alumni, in response to the same sentiment, shall begin one hundred years hence, where I shall now close this cursory history. To the toast, Rev. Thomas E. Skinner, D. D., responded: This meeting reminds me of an old-fashioned revival among the Baptists. The brethren seem to be of one mind and to speak the same things, and good things, of the dear old Alma Mater. God bless her. The esprit de corps is truly animating, and that, too, without the aid (hindrance?) of eau de vie; and to this, as well as to dear Alma Mater, I say, esto perpetua. Being called on as a substitute for the regular appointee, the Rev. Dr. Huske, I fear that I can only represent the husk of what doubtless would have been some of the ripest grain shelled off on this occasion. I have had time only to recall a few of the distinguished Alumni of the ministry. Wm. Hooper, D. D., LL.D., was one of the most distinguished. He was a professor in the University of South Carolina, and also in this University, and one of the Presidents of Wake Forest College. He was in scholarship rare; in reading full; in knowledge varied and accurate; in spirit pure and heavenly-minded, so much so that no one could resist its magnetism, nor forget the aroma of its abiding presence. Few men have equaled the devotion of this sanctified mind to education and religion. He was truly a Baptist bishop. And here we notice the fecundity of our dear and venerated mother in supplying the bishops of the country. She is not satisfied unless she sends forth distinguished ministers, hence so many bishops. The names of Polk, Otey, Hawks (not Francis L., though no better timber out of which to make a bishop could have been found), and Davis and Green, and others, are enrolled upon her catalogue. The last-named was known by the students as Comfort Green, while professor here of rhetoric and belles-lettres, because he was so great a comfort to the students. He afterwards became Bishop of Mississippi. How well I remember his kind and fatherly attention to me when, in the beginning of my first session, he called to see me, and how he lifted my poor homesick soul, as it was clinging to home and mother, by inviting me to visit his family and to come often, placing in my hand at the same time a beautiful prayer-book. Doubtless, had it not have been foreordained from all eternity that I should be a Baptist bishop, why then -- I might have been an Episcopal bishop. As it is, certainly I am a bishop. Episkopos and Presbuteros mean an overseer -- an elder. He who has the care of souls is an Episkopos, and I am sure I am old enough to be a Presbuteros.
Now sir (bowing to Bishop Lyman, who graciously returned the salutation), you know that all admit that a pastor is a bishop: that is, an overseer of a flock; while many deny that any one man was ever made an ecclesiastical overseer -- that is, a bishop over other bishops or pastors. But, sir, I admit that you are a bishop, and in this admission I am only illustrating the broad-mindedness of that progressive people whom I represent, the Baptists, though in some things they may seem to others to be a little close. Brethren, this is a scene which none of us can ever forget. The hundreds of Alumni who are before me enjoying this delightful reunion will never meet on earth again. But we can, each of us, in our appointed sphere, work for our mother, and humbly beseech the Divine blessing upon her, that in the future she may prove even a greater blessing to humanity than she has been in the past. To the toast, George Gillett Thomas, M. D., responded: At such a gathering as this, to speak of the ailments of the human body, or of those whose lives
have been spent in alleviation of these bodily ills, were, measurably, to make myself take the part of the death's head, which, at great feasts, the ancients gave prominent place upon their tables to remind them of the mortal nature of man. But my loyalty to my calling, and the pride I have in its beneficent works, bid me congratulate our Alma Mater at this gracious moment for the aid she has extended to her sons in the medical profession. For, by the learning she has given them, many have gained renown and reward in their journey along the tedious pathway of medicine. And great indeed is that gift which helps man towards the accomplishment of the grandest of all human efforts--the prevention and cure of disease and the assuaging of human suffering. At no time since education was spread abroad have there been wanting the brave men to rush forth from the academies to do valiant service in that battle which is ever on -- the strife between man's intellect and benevolence and the great enemy of his kind, disease and its companion pain. And to these men education has brought no uncertain bounties. For its gentleness has softened the nature of the good physician, has purified his life, has ennobled his aims and ambitions, and has made him the student he must become, who seeks to unravel the secrets of that nature which is so many-sided, each
one with an ever-changing face. To call off the roll of our illustrious predecessors and contemporaries whose lives have been spent as the physician's should be, or to make memorial of those men whose minds were nourished here and who have cast their lot in the absorbing work of the doctor's world, would consume more than the time allotted me. Let me, however, ask your indulgence, that I may very briefly tell you of the life and death of an alumnus of this University. Dr. James Henry Dickson was graduated from this place with honor at the early age of seventeen years, and went immediately into preparation for the pursuit of his chosen profession. Possessed of a strong mind and studious habits, he as rapidly and thoroughly acquired the fundamental truths of medicine from the masters under whom he sat, as he had taken in the beauties of a classical and literary course from the teachers who have made this college illustrious. Coming to the practice of medicine thus doubly equipped, he secured, without delay, the confidence of the good people of Wilmington, among whom he located after a short stay in Fayetteville. It was in the latter place that he did, for the first time in the annals of surgery, the operation for the correction of the deformity known as club-foot, and the patient is living to-day, an attest to his surgeon's skill and bravery in undertaking
what the great masters of the art had then only hoped for. Since that time the same work has been done all over the civilized world, and great fame and greater riches have followed the labors of surgeons in this special line. But there was as complete absence of ostentation in Dr. Dickson as there was immense merit and all the sweetness of character that a love for letters naturally engenders. His mind was never at rest, and his reading covered intelligently all the ground that was open to him. The classics, both ancient and modern, were choice food for his mind's eager appetite, and its training gave him, happily, unusual powers of retaining with appreciation all that was worth his care. He gave to this college splendid evidence of his attainments in his address before the Alumni Association, delivered at the Commencement season of 1853. Fulfilling the measure of his appointed place, his days came gently down to the dreadful realities of the war between the States, and in the midst of the horrors of the time, filled as they were with the daily story of suffering and death, there came over his home a darker cloud, the epidemic of yellow fever that devastated Wilmington in 1862. Realizing the dangers that surrounded him, and knowing the enemy he now had to face, he put aside the books
which were such delightsome companions to him, and all the pursuits of a literary life, and, with the whole energy of his great mind and tender heart, went into the struggle with death along with his fellow-practitioners. His constitution, never a robust one, soon offered an easy victim to the terrible malady that he was seeking daily to avert from others. Sustained by his religion and the hope promised of a peaceful immortality to the souls of men whose lives had been spent in doing the Master's will, with the gentle kindness that is the marked feature of his life, with the calm dignity of a cultivated Christian gentleman, he laid himself down, stricken with the fever, and after a short sickness yielded up his life to his Maker. Beautiful as had been this life, honest and upright in all its dealings, serving his God and his fellowmen as best he knew how, seeking always the uplifting of the true, the beautiful and the good, and the repression of the dishonest, the vicious and the low, his calm and quiet passing away was a typical illustration of the refining influence alike of Christianity and education. "Blessed," says the Psalmist, "is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, and whose trust is in the Lord his God." Let this stand as an example of the beneficence of
education. And for the rest, suffice it to say, the sons of this University, in every department of medicine, have borne willing and ample testimony to the graces of learning given them here. Partaking, too generally it may be, of the modesty that is so characteristic of the good people of this Commonwealth, those of our Alumni who have made worthy records as physicians and surgeons, are remembered and known chiefly by grateful patients and admiring fellow-practitioners. But, along with the other professions, and very often, I am proud to believe, in advance of them, medicine has ever kept the steady step of progress; and in North Carolina, thanks to wise legislation in the laws regulating the practice of medicine, and the watchful care of the Board of Medical Examiners, we stand to-day without superiors in all this broad land in everything that goes to make the trustworthy doctor. From these halls went forth many of the men whose influence has shaped the course of education for the physicians coming to care for the lives of our people; and from here, too, have gone scores of others who, adding to the knowledge already obtained the technical learning of their profession, have freely dispensed the benefits of their art. Fearless of danger, because they were prompted by the noble instincts of their calling, they have stood calmly at their posts in times of wasting pestilence; kind and gentle in
the hours of sorrow, they have been the cherished friends of stricken households, carrying aid and comfort wherever there was suffering, forever bringing hope in the face of despair; as good citizens of the great republic of medicine, they have known no king save death, and deemed no one unworthy of their aid who belonged to the human family. Certainly, to such men, education is a grace of priceless value. To none of her sons do the memories of this gentle mother come with more tender thankfulness for the bestowal of her bounties than to those who are the true physicians. The tenth toast was: Responses:
The Alumni on the Bench,
The Alumni in the Ministry,
The Alumni as Physicians,
The Alumni Who have Promoted Education in Private or in Public Schools.
Judge Avery said:
It is not strange that boys of the early days who had been subjected to severe mental drill and discipline at the rural academies of Dr. Caldwell of Guilford, the elder Bingham, or Wilson of Mecklenburg, should have mastered mathematics and metaphysics under the teaching of Ker of Dublin, Harris or President Caldwell, the pupil of Jonathan Edwards. Men taught in such thorough Scotch-Irish schools were content with nothing short of the clearest views of Coke, Bacon and Blackstone.
It is not wonderful that the Alumni of a later date, who knew the big heart, the strong intellect, the boundless Christian charity and unselfish patriotism of David L. Swain, and sat at the feet of his faithful and learned associates, should have gone forth with a broad culture and a liberal catholic spirit that fitted them, in temperament and character, as well as in habits of patient research, for the exercise of judicial power and the decision of grave legal questions.
Archibald Debow Murphey, of the class of 1799, was tutor, professor, and then Judge of the Superior Courts from 1818 to 1820; but Joseph J. Daniel, an
irregular of the next decade, selected a Judge of the Superior Court in 1816, had already begun a judicial career that culminated in making him one of the clearest, most concise and correct law-writers of his day. John R. Donnell, the first-honor man of the class of 1807, won distinction by a service of eighteen years on the bench.
The polish of John D. Toomer, the power of Romulus M. Saunders, the scholarship of Edward Hall of Warren, and the versatile talent of the brilliant Willie P. Mangum bore evidence of the work of the University from 1810 to 1820. Mangum was twice a Circuit Judge and twice chosen a Senator. Measured either by the position he attained (that of acting Vice-President) or his influence over men, North Carolina has never produced his superior.
The learning of Battle, the acumen of Pearson, the accuracy of Manly were her contributions to our highest court in the next decade. Judges Mitchell and Augustus Moore left these halls in the same period to preside in our Superior Courts, while John Bragg went forth to place himself as judge and advocate in the front rank of Alabama jurists, and Nicholson to preside as Chief Justice of Tennessee.
Justices Ashe, Dillard and Rodman, and Judge J. W. Osborne, of the graduates between 1830 and 1840, honored their Alma Mater in winning distinction for themselves.
That cultured Christian gentleman, Judge R. P. Dick, formerly one of our Justices and now an honored Federal Judge, and the late Justice Thomas Ruffin, one of the most powerful and accomplished jurists of this generation, went out almost abreast in the manly struggle for fortune and fame. Judges Barnes, Buxton, Meares and Shipp, now living, and Ellis, McKoy, Person and Shepherd, who fill honored graves, were taught in these halls between 1840 and 1850. They were all worthy sons of an honored mother.
Of the class of 1850, the late Thomas Settle, twice chosen a Justice of our Supreme Court, and then appointed by President Grant District Judge for the District of Florida, won a well-deserved reputation in the State and nation as a courtly gentleman and learned lawyer.
The living sons of this seat of learning, who have gone forth since 1850, must wait for mention till one of her Alumni, in response to the same sentiment, shall begin one hundred years hence, where I shall now close this cursory history.
To the toast,
Rev. Thomas E. Skinner, D. D., responded:
This meeting reminds me of an old-fashioned revival among the Baptists.
The brethren seem to be of one mind and to speak the same things, and good things, of the dear old Alma Mater. God bless her.
The esprit de corps is truly animating, and that, too, without the aid (hindrance?) of eau de vie; and to this, as well as to dear Alma Mater, I say, esto perpetua.
Being called on as a substitute for the regular appointee, the Rev. Dr. Huske, I fear that I can only represent the husk of what doubtless would have been some of the ripest grain shelled off on this occasion.
I have had time only to recall a few of the distinguished Alumni of the ministry.
Wm. Hooper, D. D., LL.D., was one of the most distinguished. He was a professor in the University of South Carolina, and also in this University, and one of the Presidents of Wake Forest College. He was in scholarship rare; in reading full; in knowledge varied and accurate; in spirit pure and heavenly-minded, so much so that no one could resist its magnetism, nor forget the aroma of its abiding presence.
Few men have equaled the devotion of this sanctified mind to education and religion. He was truly a Baptist bishop.
And here we notice the fecundity of our dear and venerated mother in supplying the bishops of the country. She is not satisfied unless she sends forth distinguished ministers, hence so many bishops. The names of Polk, Otey, Hawks (not Francis L., though no better timber out of which to make a bishop could have been found), and Davis and Green, and others, are enrolled upon her catalogue.
The last-named was known by the students as Comfort Green, while professor here of rhetoric and belles-lettres, because he was so great a comfort to the students. He afterwards became Bishop of Mississippi.
How well I remember his kind and fatherly attention to me when, in the beginning of my first session, he called to see me, and how he lifted my poor homesick soul, as it was clinging to home and mother, by inviting me to visit his family and to come often, placing in my hand at the same time a beautiful prayer-book.
Doubtless, had it not have been foreordained from all eternity that I should be a Baptist bishop, why then -- I might have been an Episcopal bishop. As it is, certainly I am a bishop.
Episkopos and Presbuteros mean an overseer -- an elder. He who has the care of souls is an Episkopos, and I am sure I am old enough to be a Presbuteros.
Now sir (bowing to Bishop Lyman, who graciously returned the salutation), you know that all admit that a pastor is a bishop: that is, an overseer of a flock; while many deny that any one man was ever made an ecclesiastical overseer -- that is, a bishop over other bishops or pastors.
But, sir, I admit that you are a bishop, and in this admission I am only illustrating the broad-mindedness of that progressive people whom I represent, the Baptists, though in some things they may seem to others to be a little close.
Brethren, this is a scene which none of us can ever forget. The hundreds of Alumni who are before me enjoying this delightful reunion will never meet on earth again. But we can, each of us, in our appointed sphere, work for our mother, and humbly beseech the Divine blessing upon her, that in the future she may prove even a greater blessing to humanity than she has been in the past.
To the toast,
George Gillett Thomas, M. D., responded:
At such a gathering as this, to speak of the ailments of the human body, or of those whose lives
have been spent in alleviation of these bodily ills, were, measurably, to make myself take the part of the death's head, which, at great feasts, the ancients gave prominent place upon their tables to remind them of the mortal nature of man. But my loyalty to my calling, and the pride I have in its beneficent works, bid me congratulate our Alma Mater at this gracious moment for the aid she has extended to her sons in the medical profession. For, by the learning she has given them, many have gained renown and reward in their journey along the tedious pathway of medicine. And great indeed is that gift which helps man towards the accomplishment of the grandest of all human efforts--the prevention and cure of disease and the assuaging of human suffering.
At no time since education was spread abroad have there been wanting the brave men to rush forth from the academies to do valiant service in that battle which is ever on -- the strife between man's intellect and benevolence and the great enemy of his kind, disease and its companion pain. And to these men education has brought no uncertain bounties. For its gentleness has softened the nature of the good physician, has purified his life, has ennobled his aims and ambitions, and has made him the student he must become, who seeks to unravel the secrets of that nature which is so many-sided, each
one with an ever-changing face. To call off the roll of our illustrious predecessors and contemporaries whose lives have been spent as the physician's should be, or to make memorial of those men whose minds were nourished here and who have cast their lot in the absorbing work of the doctor's world, would consume more than the time allotted me. Let me, however, ask your indulgence, that I may very briefly tell you of the life and death of an alumnus of this University. Dr. James Henry Dickson was graduated from this place with honor at the early age of seventeen years, and went immediately into preparation for the pursuit of his chosen profession. Possessed of a strong mind and studious habits, he as rapidly and thoroughly acquired the fundamental truths of medicine from the masters under whom he sat, as he had taken in the beauties of a classical and literary course from the teachers who have made this college illustrious. Coming to the practice of medicine thus doubly equipped, he secured, without delay, the confidence of the good people of Wilmington, among whom he located after a short stay in Fayetteville. It was in the latter place that he did, for the first time in the annals of surgery, the operation for the correction of the deformity known as club-foot, and the patient is living to-day, an attest to his surgeon's skill and bravery in undertaking
what the great masters of the art had then only hoped for. Since that time the same work has been done all over the civilized world, and great fame and greater riches have followed the labors of surgeons in this special line.
But there was as complete absence of ostentation in Dr. Dickson as there was immense merit and all the sweetness of character that a love for letters naturally engenders. His mind was never at rest, and his reading covered intelligently all the ground that was open to him. The classics, both ancient and modern, were choice food for his mind's eager appetite, and its training gave him, happily, unusual powers of retaining with appreciation all that was worth his care. He gave to this college splendid evidence of his attainments in his address before the Alumni Association, delivered at the Commencement season of 1853.
Fulfilling the measure of his appointed place, his days came gently down to the dreadful realities of the war between the States, and in the midst of the horrors of the time, filled as they were with the daily story of suffering and death, there came over his home a darker cloud, the epidemic of yellow fever that devastated Wilmington in 1862. Realizing the dangers that surrounded him, and knowing the enemy he now had to face, he put aside the books
which were such delightsome companions to him, and all the pursuits of a literary life, and, with the whole energy of his great mind and tender heart, went into the struggle with death along with his fellow-practitioners. His constitution, never a robust one, soon offered an easy victim to the terrible malady that he was seeking daily to avert from others. Sustained by his religion and the hope promised of a peaceful immortality to the souls of men whose lives had been spent in doing the Master's will, with the gentle kindness that is the marked feature of his life, with the calm dignity of a cultivated Christian gentleman, he laid himself down, stricken with the fever, and after a short sickness yielded up his life to his Maker.
Beautiful as had been this life, honest and upright in all its dealings, serving his God and his fellowmen as best he knew how, seeking always the uplifting of the true, the beautiful and the good, and the repression of the dishonest, the vicious and the low, his calm and quiet passing away was a typical illustration of the refining influence alike of Christianity and education.
"Blessed," says the Psalmist, "is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, and whose trust is in the Lord his God."
Let this stand as an example of the beneficence of
education. And for the rest, suffice it to say, the sons of this University, in every department of medicine, have borne willing and ample testimony to the graces of learning given them here. Partaking, too generally it may be, of the modesty that is so characteristic of the good people of this Commonwealth, those of our Alumni who have made worthy records as physicians and surgeons, are remembered and known chiefly by grateful patients and admiring fellow-practitioners. But, along with the other professions, and very often, I am proud to believe, in advance of them, medicine has ever kept the steady step of progress; and in North Carolina, thanks to wise legislation in the laws regulating the practice of medicine, and the watchful care of the Board of Medical Examiners, we stand to-day without superiors in all this broad land in everything that goes to make the trustworthy doctor.
From these halls went forth many of the men whose influence has shaped the course of education for the physicians coming to care for the lives of our people; and from here, too, have gone scores of others who, adding to the knowledge already obtained the technical learning of their profession, have freely dispensed the benefits of their art. Fearless of danger, because they were prompted by the noble instincts of their calling, they have stood calmly at their posts in times of wasting pestilence; kind and gentle in
the hours of sorrow, they have been the cherished friends of stricken households, carrying aid and comfort wherever there was suffering, forever bringing hope in the face of despair; as good citizens of the great republic of medicine, they have known no king save death, and deemed no one unworthy of their aid who belonged to the human family. Certainly, to such men, education is a grace of priceless value. To none of her sons do the memories of this gentle mother come with more tender thankfulness for the bestowal of her bounties than to those who are the true physicians.
The tenth toast was:
Major Bingham said:
We have heard with unfeigned pleasure how the Alumni of the University have distinguished themselves, and honored their Alma Mater, in many lines of successful activity. An alumnus of this University
has sat in the chair of the Presidency of the United States. Our Alumni have been Cabinet officers. They have been Senators from many States. They have been Governors of many States. They have occupied the highest judicial positions in many States. They have been the most distinguished lawyers, the most distinguished orators, the most distinguished preachers in many States. And when war came, the sons of the University were the first to draw their sword and the last to sheath it. Indeed, the University seems to have endued her sons with some peculiar power, and to have given them some special inspiration, which enabled them to seize and to hold the leadership of political and forensic thought and action. But this very inspiration, being essentially political in its nature and results, disinclined them to the quiet and thoughtful life of the scholar and to the laborious and unremunerative life of the teacher. The history of the Alumni who have taught is, in most instances, short and pathetic. It is that of a noble army of martyrs, who have done much for others, but little for themselves. They have been comparatively unknown men. They worked hard, they lived hard, they died poor; and while their light was clear and steady, and a blessing to the few on whom it shone, the life of these faithful men was too obscure,
their work too hard and their pay too small, to attract into teaching boys in the private schools, those whose whole training tended chiefly to make them leaders of men in the field and on the forum; and so I can count on the fingers of my two hands all the Alumni of the University, who, as teachers of private schools, have achieved a reputation which, by reaching into other States, can be considered in any sense national. Among these modesty forbids me to do more than mention the names of my own father and brother, and truth and justice forbid me to do less. But the alumnus is with us to-day, who is the Nestor of the private school work in the State. He is a brilliant man in intellect, he is a kingly man in person, he is the most striking and effective teacher that I have ever seen in a class-room. It is he, of all others, who should respond to this toast, and you will not do justice to the man, to the private schools or to yourselves, if you do not on this auspicious day hear words of wisdom from James H. Horner of Oxford.
Following this handsome and well-merited compliment, and in response to long and earnest calls from the Alumni, Mr. Horner said:
I am much embarrassed by the high compliment of my friend. With due preparation, I should be
unequal to the task of making a suitable response to the toast. I am not in the habit of making extempore speeches, as is my friend, and I am taken too much by surprise.
I can only respond as a former pupil, the son of a distinguished gentleman now present, once responded to my associate in the school at Oxford, the late Mr. R. H. Graves.
The young gentleman, for some failure in his school duties, had been ordered by Mr. Graves, as a penalty, to come to his room on the following Saturday to make up his failure. The young gentleman did not obey the order. On the Sunday morning after, he was passing along the street in front of Mr. Graves' room. Mr. Graves happened to be at the gate on the street and accosted the young gentleman, by saying to him that he did not attend at his room on Saturday, as he had been required to do. "No," said the young gentleman, bowing politely, "that, sir, was not in my line of business," and walked on. He was, of course, notified on Monday morning that, for this conduct, he was excluded from the school. The young gentleman has since, I am glad to say, become quite distinguished as a scholar, and has made for himself a high reputation in his field of labor, and is now heartily sorry for his boyish misconduct.
In like manner I can only respond, in the words of the young gentleman, that this extempore speaking "is not in my line of business."
I will say, however, that whatever success I may have had as an educator is due entirely to the excellent training I received under the tuition of my friend's distinguished father.
Mr. E. A. Alderman responded to the toast,
We have honored, or shall honor, on this memorial occasion, those who, here nurtured and made strong, counted it a glory and a gladness to give up their lives for their country; those who have illustrated civic virtue in high places, or have held, with poised hand, the scales of justice; those who have alleviated human suffering, and from the pulpit, the bar, the press and the counting-house contributed to the sum of human happiness, and given impetus to the beauty and movement of our civilization. All honor has been accorded to the great Virginian, Thomas Jefferson, in State and nation, because, in the concrete pressure of a struggle for independence, he had the sagacity and foresight to embody in a merely revolutionary document an universal and sentimental truth, applicable to all men and to all
ages, "All men are created free and equal," there to remain embalmed forever a rebuke and a stumbling-block to tyranny and oppression; and because he declared that the earliest and latest concern of his life was the education of the people.
I would have equal honor paid here to-day, and paid forever, to the sons of this State and this institution, who, at a time when much was heard of governing classes and classes generally; when at public expense the sons of nobles made Latin verses at Eton and Winchester, and charity boys ran bare-headed and blue-coated through the streets of London, grasped, took to heart and taught these ideas: the people are made to rule and not to be ruled. They must be made fit for this sovereignty through training. The State, whose sore need it is, must give this training, and not leave it to passing whim or to charity. The public school is, therefore, an inspiration from God to enable a people dedicated to such principles to maintain them in the building up of their civilization.
The moving principle in the heart of Archibald Murphey -- the first and foremost of them all -- and of Joseph Caldwell and Calvin Wiley, in their struggles for popular education, was, it pleases me to believe, not philanthropy, but statesmanship; not the doing of a duty by the poor nor conferring, with
ostentatious charity, the burning badge of pauperism, but the granting of a right as sacred as the right to be free and to stand, unhindered, under the arch of the sky.
These men were civic heroes. Their deeds "smell sweet and blossom in the dust." The fruit of their thought and care will yet, under God, beautify and renovate our civilization. Let the schools of the State perpetuate their names. It is fitting that this idea should have been pushed, and this stone set in its place, by the sons of this institution, which is itself the head of the public school system, and the highest rung of the ladder which the builders intended should stretch from lowliness and ignorance to learning and power. I pray God that its younger sons may have strength to carry on the work, and be spared to see the cap-stone put on with shoutings, and every child in North Carolina, rich or poor, lowly born or gentle bred, be enabled to emancipate itself from the great, black empire of necessity and night, and to make out of itself, for the State's sake and its own, everything that can be made.
The eleventh toast was:
Mr. Carr said:
Horace it was, I think, if I misquote him not, who wrote, "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori." Now, gentlemen, in my college days my relations with this old paterfamilias of the Romans whom I presume to quote, were, I must confess, not of a character sufficiently familiar to justify my parading him before you on an occasion such as this; and again, it is embarrassing, for since I ceased to cultivate the limited acquaintance I had with the noblest of the old Roman poets, under that peerless teacher, polished scholar and eminent Christian gentleman, Rev. Dr. Fordyce M. Hubbard, whose immaculate spirit has lately quit this tenement of clay and gone home to glory, but whose precious memory will ever live in the sacred recollections of every old Chapel Hillian as sweet as the love of an angel and as green as the
myrtle leaf -- since, I say, the day I closed my Anthon's Latin Lexicon and left these delightful precincts, I have been reliably informed that a most decided spirit of innovation in pronunciation has so changed even the old landmarks, that most noble Horace himself would in all probability have to brush up to quote Latin correctly, or perhaps even be sent before Col. Walter Steele's Committee of Visitation in order to ascertain if he was a veritable Roman.
Be that as it may, while there is much truth in my Latin, there is a quotation in good old Anglo-Saxon that contains more truth, to-wit: It is sweeter to live for one's country. In living an honorable life and faithfully filling our station, there springs in the bosom of the majority of mankind a pardonable feeling of ambition. This one, by nature and the cultivation of his gifts, finds glory, it may be, in the law; and I have sometimes felt, as I have seen the multitude hang upon the words of the eloquent advocate at the bar, "what was more to be desired?" Or perhaps, it may be, the medical profession offers an opportunity unexcelled for making a name that will live like the stars and give unalloyed happiness; for what is better calculated to bring sweet sleep to the eyes and slumber to the eyelids and cradle the conscience upon a couch of roses, than to know that
by your skill you have been able to meet the grim monster death upon the field of his own choosing, and snatch, as it were, his victim from his very jaws and give him back to life? Or it may be the planter, as he views his cattle upon a thousand hills and his teeming fields yielding to the sturdy strokes of the reaper. Or the successful merchant or banker, who counts his successful and profitable investments by the thousands. And then there is the man of science or of letters, who bridles the very elements of the heavens and causes them to do his bidding, or walking among the stars calls Orion and Neptune by name, and who is as familiar with the stranger who, with long fiery train, spans the dome of the heavens, visiting this mundane sphere sometimes in a cycle of centuries, as we are with our old classmates. These, each in their sphere, by honorable, successful lives, make life worth living. But with all my admiration for these honorable callings, there remains yet one at whose shrine I yield my devotion, and to the success of which, with all the ability born and cultivated at this dear old University, I have devoted my life.
Truly he is a benefactor who causes two blades of grass to grow where only one grew before, and certainly this is the province of the manufacturer. Take, if you please, the roster of our dear old Alma
Mater, and see how much the State is due to her for the successful management of many of the different manufacturing enterprises within her borders. Beginning with my venerable friend, Col. Walter Steele, whose busy spindles at his beautiful factory upon the waters of the grand old Pee Dee, stand a lasting monument to his enterprise and industry and an honor to his State. Then count the Moreheads, the Holts, the Frieses, the Williamsons, and a score of others that time fails me to mention, and then, if you can, compute the influence of an institution that has not only graduated a President, United States Senators and Governors, but has given us successful manufacturers by the score.
Upon this the Centennial Anniversary of this our dear old Alma Mater, let us rejoice that she may, like the mother of the Gracchi, when asked for her jewels, point with joyous pride to the long list of her honorable sons; and I am greatly pleased that so many whose names are to be found upon the roll of honorable mention, are known as successful manufacturers.
My friends, it has been just a quarter of century since I, a beardless youth, quit the shades of these grand old oaks to join the forces of General Lee. Less than two-thirds of that time has been spent at a point that most of you knew in your college days
as scarcely deserving the name of a railroad turnout. Listen what manufacturing has done. With each rising sun the hum of the machinery in that quondam railroad hamlet is heard around the world, and cablegrams from Japan, the Straits of Malacca and Australia flash to that point in as much a matter-of-fact way as you would send a telegram from here to Raleigh; and representatives from that point, grip-sack in hand, visit every civilized and uncivilized country upon the globe, in the interest of the manufacturing industries of that community; and gentlemen in San Francisco or London close their ledgers and lock their vaults and visit this point, all brought hither by the reputation of her manufacturing enterprises. North Carolina, I am glad to say to you, is fast growing into prominence on account of her manufacturing industries, and I know you will join me in the wish that all our manufactories may prove successful, and especially those at the head of the management of which you can point to an old University boy.
In response to the toast,
Mr. J. Turner Morehead said:
The Alumni who left the University in its early years, found France and England the foremost
nations of the earth; Washington, Bonaparte and Wellington the heroes of mankind, the accepted exemplars of men. With these before them, did the Alumni who turned their energies to internal improvements choose wisely? Washington was an engineer, a projector, promoter and advocate of internal improvements. He lives in the hearts of his countrymen and his works do follow him.
Bonaparte, often exhibiting abilities second only to the omnipotent, often accomplishing results that were akin to miracles, and wielding a power unparalleled, did, during that leisure enforced by failure, say, "France has failed, England has succeeded; my mistake has been in not fostering ships, colonies and commerce."
The Duke of Wellington was present on September 15th, 1830, the day of the formal opening of the Manchester & Liverpool Railroad. But the half a million people there assembled hailed George Stephenson as the conquering hero, and the authorities of Manchester hurried Wellington from their city to prevent his carriage from being mobbed, and this only fifteen years after Waterloo. These facts answer for us that the Alumni chose the better part who followed the irrepressible prophecy of their genius, and who gave rein to an adventurous imagination, the poetry of a business life.
Facilities of intercourse and exchange, and education, mental and moral, are the corner-stones of civilization and all true progress. Then it is fitting that North Carolina's internal improvement hosts should be headed by a former President of this University, Dr. Joseph Caldwell. As the engineers, sooner or later, drift back to the Buffalo trails, so are we continually returning to and adopting the suggestions made by the unerring foresight of this great man.
Lack of time compels me to omit details, and refer by name only to a few Alumni. Mr. Cameron has referred to Dr. Caldwell as the sower and Governor Morehead as the reaper. Then came William A. Graham, Romulus Saunders, Ashe, Calvin Graves, Dr. Hawkins, Paul Cameron, Branch, Shepperd, Norwood, W. W. Avery, Ed. Stanley, William Johnston, Smith, Speight, H. M. Shorter, Walter L. Steele, who voted for the North Carolina Railroad charter when the road came not within ninety miles of him. Was their work necessary? Think of the dark days of 1840 to '48, when there was bickering, distrust and dissent, and there was a Pamlico section, a Roanoke section, a Cape Fear, Piedmont, mountain and trans-mountain section, without cohesive sympathy for each other. As the iron-worker straps in iron bands different pieces and welds them into a homogeneous ingot of improved quality, so these isolated communities
have disappeared, and are merged into one brotherhood, filled with State pride, prosperous now, confident of the future, self-reliant, appreciative and grateful.
Much has been accomplished. When the rays of the evening sun take their last gambol on the waves of the Atlantic, and the fisherman takes from this everreplenished store-house a good fish, ere the morrow's sun has bid good-night to the fir, balsam and laurel, five hundred miles away from and five thousand feet above the home of this denizen of the deep, the mountaineer will, at his evening meal, have thanked his Lord for this fish, and for the lives and labors of the Alumni that have made this possible, and have made the mountaineer and sea-faring man neighbors, friends and help-mates.
"Truths would you teach or save a sinking land,
All fear, none aid, few understand."
The undertakings of the Alumni aiding internal improvements were no holiday jobs, no taking a tide at its flood and being borne to success. Theirs were no fortuitous ventures, such as come
"In the lap of the new moon's boat,
The sunset stars above,
With ne'er a sail but the sail of hope,
And ne'er an oar but love."
They exhibited all the qualities of bold, sturdy, adroit manhood. Let us hold in grateful remembrance those who are dead; honor, help and God speed to those still in harness.
The twelfth toast was:
Responses were made by J. M. Leach, Jr. and James Thomas, Esq. Mr. Leach said:
The love a man has for his Alma Mater is as pure as that he cherishes for her to whom he owes his life. I say man, for I fancy this love is, in a sense, peculiar to man; for while a woman loves, in a general way, the school from which she graduates, I imagine she does not feel the same interest in it that a man does. At least she seldom visits her school after years have flown; after prattlers nestle at her knee, and new loves and deeper ones have weaned her from that girlish love for the college of her graduation. Not so with our sex. There are times when nothing can detain a man. He leaves home, mother, wife, business, everything, and takes a heart-holiday with only memory for a companion.
On such a day, though fifty years have flown since his graduation, he will wander back to the old college
and stroll again in old paths; or with moist eyes sit in Society Hall or recitation-room and call to himself in low tones the roll of his dead classmates; and like a chime of bells long forgotten and heard in a dream, does he hear the well-remembered voices, hushed for many a year. And as associations crowd upon his fancy, he smiles through his tears as he remembers the fond old day-dreams of his youthful ambition, so few of which have been realized.
Oh, the old man's love of his school is a real part of him; and if on some Commencement occasion you miss him, and, failing to guess the cause, make inquiry, you will find that he has only severed his connection with the Alumni here to step over the line which divides life from the Unknown, and has joined the larger Alumni Association.
Almost every alumnus before me feels a love for the University as warm and as lasting as that I have described; and our thoughts linger most fondly over the name of our society whenever we hear or see it. Our society! where we mingled in genial companionship with our friends, or struggled with our rivals for the mastery.
Dialectic Society! Those words bring fresh before me all the associations of four of the most happy and useful years of my life. I contracted a debt to my society during those years which I can never
hope to pay. She was ever most partial to me, and my deep gratitude will always be hers. When I entered her hall as a member, she became to me a mental Patmos. A new world opened to me. Not simply a change, but a new mental birth. For the first time the wonderful possibilities and dignity of life dawned upon me. As a theatre is a new world to each man when first seen by him, so in the debates upon vital questions and historical subjects (though I had read of many of them before), and in the reading incident and necessary to their proper preparation, I caught the first glimpse of the wonderful world of Dialectics. I have since learned that one of the marked characteristics of this century is to test all truth in the furnace and crucible of debate.
In the Dialectic Society I first saw the real meaning and apprehended the true philosophy of life, found and epitomized in her motto, "Love of Virtue and Science," which is at once the key to all real progress and worthy living. Coming into existence in the beginning of a century of transition and fermentation, she was happily named Dialectic; and her motto was not only a pledge of her success, but the principle it embodies has been the cause of that success.
In one of his beautiful allegories, Aiken makes
Virtue say: "Science may raise thee to eminence; I alone can guide thee to felicity."
But in addition to the fame attendant upon the labors of distinguished scientists, we are all familiar with the thousand contributions of science to man's daily felicity and welfare in this century of the greatest comfort and invention. But if one possess the greatest genius, and add thereto the wealth and power of greatest learning, he still needs virtue, integrity -- lofty and determined -- to give beauty and moral force to his character and life. Integrity! the crowning virtue; or, rather, the controlling principle which makes all virtues possible. Were all the young men of this generation "smit with love" of the principles that shine in the motto which my society has always kept before the eyes of her members, what a glorious future might be predicted for North Carolina!
I beg leave here to remind the Alumni that some of the brightest and most honored members of the "Di." Society were those whose early preparation for the college was obtained in the efficient common schools of our State. And here permit me to acknowledge and emphasize the great debt our literary societies, colleges and University owe the uncommon common schools and graded schools of our State. It is incalculable; and though pedagogy
has become a profession, and our teachers have been accused of "taking the State" (when they are justly entitled to "the earth"), I, for one, do not believe they are yet accorded the high position to which they are entitled -- a position above that of the lawyer or physician, since they mould the future; and I recall no other profession which is not confined, in the scope of its work, to the present, save that of the legislator. Let me assure the teachers who hear me that theirs is the noblest calling. And in this connection, pardon me for diverging to say, that the wonderful knowledge we possess of the principles of universal evolution, and the recent progress made in the sciences of astronomy, geology, psychology, philology and sociology are compelling us to re-write history. No less radical changes are obtaining in the moral world, and in consequence our ideals are fast outgrowing those of former times. In the future the hero will be not he who excels in physical beauty or prowess, nor he who attains loftiest mental heights, nor yet he who governs wisely or leads armies to victory, but he who is the wisest worker and most useful citizen will rank his fellows.
For a century to come the brightest American galaxy will be Washington, Lincoln and Grant; but when these "'gin to pale their ineffectual fires," the eyes of a posterity wiser than we will be turned to a
new quarter of the heavens, whence will stream the effulgent and steady light of those planetary names identified with the best influence of the century--the common school educational movement. Then it will be seen that in all our heavens there is no brighter name than that of Horace Mann; and among the bright particular stars that cluster around him, borrowing not a ray of his glory, will be Dr. McCorkle, founder of education in North Carolina; Dr. Braxton Craven and Dr. Calvin H. Wiley -- names conspicuous, illustrious, resplendent, immortal! To-day the Dialectic Society greets you with the salutation: Welcome back to your Alma Mater, and God speed you and her in your joint and noble work of elevating and uplifting!
Sirs, my heart warms and glows within me to-day at the pleasure of this reunion, and I hope to sit down with all of you at another "groaning table" a year from to-day.
It is said that one of the finest fountains in the world is Trevi, Rome. There is a legend that if a traveller go to the fountain at night and take seven sips of water (anything stronger dispels the charm) from a glass and then break the glass, he will return to Rome again before he dies. If drinking at the old well yonder would secure me a seat at the Alumni table a year hence, I would drink the water
and break the glass, though it were the finest product of the art in which the Bohemian excels.
It was said of Louis le Debonnaire, son of Charlemagne, that he expressed the desire to die where he could "hear the waves of the Rhine." Were Heaven pleased to grant my idle whim, I would wish, when the fading pageant of life is over for me, to fall asleep in Chapel Hill, under the majestic oaks that once shaded Polk, Caldwell, Swain, Davie, Moore, Murphey, Battle, Mangum, Badger, Morehead, Graham, Pettigrew, Ransom and Vance, and in sight of the Hall of the Dialectic Society, where my thoughts often fondly linger.
Mr. Thomas said in response to the toast,
Day before yesterday I was asked to respond to the toast, "The Philanthropic Society." I could not refuse.
A friend of the distinguished statesman Daniel Webster, knowing his keen relish for the products of the sea, sent him a large salmon.
The day on which the favorite fish was served, Mr. Webster invited some of his friends to dine with him, and in the course of the conversation at the table he said, in an unusual good humor: "I do not
know why you Southerners don't like me, for I am as fond of good eating and drinking as you are."
His compliment would have been complete if he had added how much they are actuated by a generous hospitality, and how much they delight to have others to partake of what they enjoy.
In one of the loveliest spots in this land of ours, on the banks of the Potomac river, there stands an unpretentious but attractive building. It was once the home of Washington, the centennial of whose inauguration has just attracted the attention of the civilized world, and is coeval with that of our own beloved Alma Mater.
I observed in that house, and it is a significant fact, but one characteristic of Southern life -- that the largest and best room was a banquet hall, in which that typical Virginian held social intercourse with friend after friend, and where prominent men of our own country, and those from across the water, were entertained in a princely manner. Aye, more than princely, because the entertainment was unconventional and sincere.
To-day, as Alumni of the University of North Carolina, we are gathered in this banquet hall at a common table, and I doubt not that many of the thoughts of each of us are thoughts in common.
Prominent among these thoughts are those which
are recalled by the memory of the pleasant hours spent in one of the societies, whose names are household words, especially all over the Old North State.
To me, next to home, around which ought to cluster the best affections of the human heart and the noblest impulses of the human soul, one of the few places worthy of the highest respect is the Philanthropic Society, where were created aspirations and hopes which are incentives to action and the inspiration of daily life.
During this season of festivity and reunion, there is a charm about the Philanthropic Society, a society not confined to yonder four walls, but which lives in its members wherever they are, whose name implies what its members should be -- lovers of their fellow-men; and whose motto, "Virtue, Liberty and Science," has been exemplified in the lives of hundreds who have gone forth from its hall.
To call the names of some of the long line of its illustrious men might seem invidious distinction. They are scattered all over the eastern section of this broad land; and, ever and anon, their thoughts and their ways lead to the sacred shrine of their boyhood days.
I know that when speakers at a Commencement begin to talk of classic halls and stately oaks, there is oftentimes awakened in college boys feelings of merriment.
I am conscious that many people seem to be unaffected by local associations, by which others are not only touched but deeply moved.
A party of young ladies and gentlemen traveling in Europe stopped on the field of Waterloo. They were talking and laughing the whole time about something foreign to the place and the occasion. And yet they stood upon a field in which all Europe was once intensely interested, and where was fought, by two of the greatest generals of modern times, a battle whose stake was universal empire.
On the other hand, how differently did the associations of place affect the most popular English poet of his day -- that poet whose warm and generous nature prompted him to give his only bed to a poor woman who, begging, knocked at his college door. When, after years of reckless dissipation, he returned impoverished to the scenes of his childhood, he gave to the world "The Deserted Village."
So, let the influence of place take hold of this society.
May the interest of its members in it increase as the collegiate years come and go.
May its future be a hundred-fold more prosperous than its past, and may the time be not far off when she and her sister society shall be crowded with intelligent and virtuous members, all determined to
make the University what it should be, the pride and hope of our State.
The thirteenth toast was:
Responses were made by Col. Charles S. Venable, LL.D., of the University of Virginia, and Rev. Charles E. Taylor, D. D., of Wake Forest College.
Colonel Venable said:
I am glad to be here and proud to respond to the toast "Our Sister Universities" on this auspicious occasion, and I thank you for your cordial greeting.
It has been the fashion of the orators in the late centennial celebrations of the adoption of the Constitution of the United States to dwell largely on the material prosperity and growth of the nation.
While the development of the material resources of our country is an essential factor of the advance of our people in civilization and refinement, I prefer to speak here of the progress of our Southern States in the provision made for the education of their sons since 1865. Those were dark days when, in the year immediately following, armed forces held the halls of this noble old University of North Carolina and of other sister State Universities.
True, some were unmolested, and to these came in considerable numbers superb young soldiers, fresh from the field--whose intellects were as bright as the sabres they had flashed in air in the battle's front, and whose aim as direct as when they had brought their rifles to bear upon the foe. It was indeed a privilege to guide and teach those noble fellows, some of whom I have the pleasure of greeting here to-day. But, when we looked over the whole Southern land, as I have said, it was a dark, dark day for the higher education of her sons.
Yet I would not dwell on those mighty sorrows of the past, even did time allow. Let us prefer to leap, in vision, across the quarter of a century and survey the work of our State and denominational universities and colleges in the higher education, and of our academies and schools--all pushing grandly forward, ever advancing, increasing in power and usefulness.
Could our grand leader, to whom the higher education of the youth of our land was the hope of the country, have foreseen this picture of to-day, even in the agony of the hour of the surrender at Appomattox he would have exclaimed, with the prophet bard, "Visions of glory! spare my aching sight!"
The reverend gentleman who sits beside you, Mr. President, has spoken of this anniversary as "a
revival"; let it prove a real revival, of which the sons of North Carolina may catch the enthusiasm, and go forth to labor earnestly in the cause of this old University, wisely founded by the fathers in the interest of the people.
You might as well attempt to place a candle in every man's cottage without the creative energy imparted by the sun in the heavens, as to undertake to establish an effective system of public secondary and primary instruction without a well-equipped and well-sustained State University at its head, to furnish the essential force of educated intellect.
The poet Coleridge, in writing to a friend, said to him: "There are three suns spoken of in the Scriptures: The sun of Hezekiah, which went back; the sun of Joshua, which stood still, and the sun of David -- and wishes that the sun of his prosperity may be this last sun."
This I bring as a greeting from the sister universities to the noble University of North Carolina. May the sun of her progress and power be this sun of the psalmist, which is as a bridegroom coming forth from his chamber, rejoicing like a strong man, to run a race.
The fourteenth toast was:
Response was made by J. L. M. Curry, LL.D.
The fifteenth toast was:
Responses were made by Henry E. Shepherd, LL.D., of Charleston College, and Crawford H. Toy, LL.D., of Harvard University.
Professor Shepherd spoke in place of President Gilman, of Johns Hopkins University, who was detained by the floods.
He began by deploring the unavoidable absence of Dr. Gilman, whose visit to the University had been expected on all sides with genuine pleasure. He scarcely felt himself a "guest" at Chapel Hill, a place consecrated by so many memories and hallowed by so many traditions. The Alma Mater of his father and his uncle, to say nothing of a long line of friends and kinsfolk, many of whom sleep in unrecorded Virginia graves; many of whom still subsist in the vigor of manhood, full of civic ardor, apt for heroic emprise, capable of lofty achievement. Though an alumnus of another University,
no one more heartily sympathized with the University of North Carolina in all her struggles, no one more cordially rejoiced in her expansions, in her increasing scholarly range, as, like the poet's ideal freedom,
"She broadens slowly down
From precedent to precedent."
The speaker expressed the hope that amid the festivities of this auspicious occasion, amid the tributes paid to material greatness, as embodied in wealth and commerce in all their complex forms, the Centennial should not pass without at least some recognition of the high and noble function performed by universities in fostering and developing the sentiment of culture, the conception of pure scholarship lifted above all thought of worldly aggrandizement into that serene atmosphere, that Arcadian home, which is the abode and the sanctuary of the ideal student. He discussed at some length the character of the true scholar, as distinguished from the man of information or mere acquisition, the man who possesses his knowledge and is not possessed by it. The speaker protested against the influence of that materialistic sentiment which threatens to efface the very idea of pure culture, by rendering it subservient to merely utilitarian ends. It was the Baconian
philosophy carried beyond all rational limits, for, as Whewell pointed out long ago, Bacon failed to appreciate adequately the ideal element in our knowledge. President Shepherd declared that a genuine scholar was a phenomenon and a prodigy, and that the scholarly instinct, the scholarly discernment was like the creative and prophetic genius of the poet, or the analytical faculty of the man of science. The true scholar is among the noblest benefactors of the race, he is a spiritual power, a concrete protest against that incoming wave of materialism, which threatens to subordinate, if not to subvert, all the holier and purer forces of our civilization. The inspiration communicated by the presence of great scholars was earnestly dwelt upon, and conspicuous illustrations were given, notably that of the younger Scaliger and his career at the University of Leyden. It is the peculiar glory of universities, the speaker insisted, to nurture the scholarly idea, to foster and stimulate scholarly aspirations, to mature and perfect scholarly character. In the attainment of this great desire, American colleges and universities have in large measure failed and come short. The speaker concluded by appealing to the students and Alumni to use all diligence in cherishing and developing that sentiment of scholarly yearning and aspiring, which is the perfected glory and the serene
splendor of universities in all ages and under all variations of administrative order or external form.
Professor Toy said, in response to the toast,
I am happy, on this pleasant occasion, to be the bearer of the greetings and congratulations of the Faculty of Harvard College to the University of North Carolina. We are bound to you by the ties of a common interest and a common hope and effort. The spirit of sympathy and co-operation which exists among the colleges of our country is one of the most encouraging signs for our future. United in the one great aim of fostering mental culture, of laying the foundations of a stronger and purer national and individual life, we gain, from our association with one another, freshening and broadening of ideas and stimulation to work. May the time soon come when there shall be a closer brotherhood of American colleges, a freer and more frequent interchange of thought and a larger and more effective co-operation.
With a record like that of the University of North Carolina, the present occasion cannot fail to be one of deep significance and happy omen. The life of the University began with that of the State whose fortunes it has faithfully shared, and we may confidently
hope that the increasing prosperity of the State will bring fresh vigor and more commanding influence to its highest school. The main direction of the educated thought of the State has been in the hands of its University. I shall not attempt to call the roll of its eminent presidents, instructors and trustees, and of its distinguished graduates who have occupied positions of honor and trust at home and abroad. It is rather the steady pressure which the University has exerted on the educated masses, the bone and sinew of the State, that I think of. Seventy years ago it was said of North Carolina that, in zeal for education, it was not outdone by any State in the Union. This is the sentiment that has leavened the population of the State, and has found its highest expression in the University. The fathers of the Revolution, says President Battle, knew that their children would not be capable of freedom without education. It is the indispensable duty of every Legislature -- so runs the preamble to the act for the establishment of the University a hundred years ago -- to consult the happiness of a rising generation, and endeavor to fit them for an honorable discharge of the social duties of life, by paying the strictest attention to their education.
No broader scheme for a university could be stated. The ultimate aim of education on the social side
is to teach men to live aright; on the reflective side it is the discovery of truth. To these ends all the energy of the University must be bent, and to these other considerations must be held subordinate. Libertas docendi, libertas discendi -- perfect freedom of thought, unfettered, unbiased by whatsoever surroundings, is the one absolutely essential condition of progress. Happily, it is one which is universally recognized in our country, one to which the people of North Carolina, by their experiences of a century ago, in their State Constitution, in the organic law of all their schools and colleges, have given no doubtful assent.
The question whether a university education is needed has been practically answered by our people in the affirmative. Whatever may be the ebbs and flows of sentiment, there is always a return to the position that nothing can atone for the absence of the material for broad culture which a university alone can supply. The existence of such an institution is assured by the deepest conviction of the people. It remains for the friends of university education to apply themselves to the task of giving it the best form. Nor need we fear the results of such an attempt. If it be true that our methods are now somewhat chaotic, this is an incident of our national youthfulness; we can learn only by experience.
But we have no small advantage in the existence of a number of universities in the different States, each of which is endeavoring to adapt itself to its public. From these varied experiences will arise permanent principles and methods; each university will learn from the others. We cannot merely copy the organizations of the European schools, though we may hold ourselves ready to adopt from them whatever shall appear to be useful for our purposes.
A university must be the creator of its own resources. It must shape a public opinion which shall supply the means of endowing instruction, and shall offer those rewards of honors and emoluments which shall induce young men to devote themselves to thorough literary, scientific and philosophical studies. The outlook in this regard is hopeful. Every graduating class is a new leavening power. With the increasing facilities and achievements of the University comes a new pride among her Alumni and among the citizens of the State, an increasing desire to link their names with hers by gifts which shall confer the highest benefits on the youth of the State for untold generations.
May the hope which the University of North Carolina reposes in her sons be amply and speedily fulfilled!
In conclusion, may I be permitted to read the following telegram, which I have just received from the President of Harvard University:
"Cambridge, Mass., June 5, 1889
"Harvard University congratulates the University of North Carolina on a centenary of usefulness and honor, and wishes it ever-increasing prosperity.
"CHARLES W. ELIOT."
The class of 1879 began its career with the revival of the University in 1875, and was, therefore, the first to graduate under the new regime, after a four years' course of study. It was a part of the plan of the Centennial Alumni Reunion to grant special places on the programme for special exercises to such classes as might make application therefor; and notice of this was given to each class. Application was made by the classes of 1879 and 1868, who, accordingly, held special exercises in Memorial Hall, as a part of the Centennial Reunion. It seems proper to give these special exercises the same prominence in print that they obtained on the occasion of the celebration.
The members of the class of 1879, having assembled on the rostrum, were called to order by the President, W. J. Peele, Esq. The Secretary called the roll, and the following answered to their names:*
* Besides these, there were present, but not on the stage, the following members of the class who were not graduates: Messrs. John C. Angier, Frank R. Borden and D. C. Stanback.
* Besides these, there were present, but not on the stage, the following members of the class who were not graduates: Messrs. John C. Angier, Frank R. Borden and D. C. Stanback.
Dr. K. P. Battle, Jr., Dr. R. B. Henderson, Dr. J. M. Manning, Mr. J. S. Manning, Mr. W. J. Peele, Rev. Robert Strange, Messrs. Francis D. Winston and Robert W. Winston and Dr. Isaac M. Taylor.
Mr. Francis D. Winston, the class historian, then presented to President Battle, in behalf of the class, a handsome pamphlet containing the class history.
Mr. Winston said:
This book contains a history of the class of 1879. It is the wish of the class that this copy be placed in the library of the institution. That wish, I am sure, is not prompted by the fact that it contains a picture of each member of the class, nor by the belief that the achievements of the class, as a whole, merit such distinction; but it proceeds from the desire to have others follow our example, so that the history of this institution, and of its sons, may be thus preserved and transmitted to posterity.
This occasion, sir, renews right spirits within us. We will carry home a warmer zeal for the University and a brighter hope for its future. It is a satisfaction to feel that the years since our graduation have been spent by the class of 1879 in such a manner as to reflect some credit on their Alma Mater.
Our paths in life are wide apart, but they all lead from this hallowed place, where memory and affection
cling with a fervor and a joy that will endure as long as life itself.
President Battle responded briefly, accepting the pamphlet.
Mr. W. J. Peele, the class president, now arose and said:
Ten years and about ten days ago, the class of '79 held a meeting and adopted a resolution to have a reunion at this Commencement, and award a cup to the first-born son in the class. At a meeting, held in Raleigh last December, it was ascertained and determined that James Horner Winston, son of Robert W. Winston, of Oxford, N. C., had the requisite priority of birth, and was entitled to the cup under the resolution.
It becomes my duty, therefore, as president of the class of '79, and in the name of the class, to present him this cup. I always knew, in a certain sort of a way, that he was going to get it. Taking prizes runs very much in families. His father before him took a prize over the other members, and it is not surprising that this boy takes one over the sons of the other members. It is very much a matter of habit and heredity, anyhow. I had a friend once who got into the habit of marrying rich, and
it wasn't much trouble to him. After he had married one or two rich girls, he never seemed to have any difficulty.
It has always been my fortune to give prizes -- I never got one; but I remember to have read somewhere that "it is more blessed to give than to receive," and I live in the hope that this applies to prizes as well as to advice.
A lady friend of the class has rather insinuatingly raised the question, why the prize was not offered for the first-born girl. I told her that, in looking over the census just prior to the meeting in '79, the class saw that there were more girls than boys in North Carolina, and that we wished to restore the equilibrium. This did not seem to suit her exactly, so I changed front a little and told her I had always regarded it as a condescension for a girl to come into this wicked old world, anyhow. And I will say now, that two additional reasons the class had for not giving the cup to the oldest girl, were that we didn't want to encourage our girls to be forward, and priority of age does not give any precedence to girls; they don't feel much complimented at being born first. I wish the same theories obtained among men. I would run against some gray-headed old sinner for office.
Bill Arp says that there is advice enough lying
around loose in this world to run about three the same size of it, and have some left over for a future life.
But, in the name of the class of '79, I want to say this much to the boy's father: Teach this boy to hate shams; they are walking the highways of this life in ghastly affectation of greatness. Teach him to be content with nothing less than genuine success. As I go further along the pathway of life, I find it strewn thicker and thicker with the wrecks of men who are almost successful -- just a little more faith, a little more courage, and a little more character, and all would have been well. Teach him to be in love with some great truth, tenderly to woo it, bravely to marry it, for better or for worse, and then faithfully to guard it as long life shall last. Teach him that, though we are poor here in North Carolina, we need men a thousand times more than we need money, and that we have the material here to make them out of. Teach him to be nothing in this life but true, to fear nothing but God, and to love nothing but virtue, truth and God.
Mr. Robert W. Winston said, in reply:
When the class of 1879 offered a prize cup to the first boy born to any of her members, it was doubtless thought that I was not likely to be of the number
from whom the choice would be made. For I was young of age, the youngest of the class, offish with the fair sex and not plethoric of purse -- the lack of the two first qualifications, at least, if not the last, being considered fatal to any man seeking a prize through the lottery of matrimony.
But the race, Mr. President, is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong; and so, when we come to-day to reckon up and to canvass the returns, with a view to seeking who is in the lead, no contest is reported from a single precinct. Your speaker has had a walk over the track; no Paris is called into requisition to dispose of the Golden Apple, aye, not even an electoral commission, with its fine eye for business, could find aught of flaw in the decision to-day, scan it never so critically.
But I opine, Mr. President, that you and Drs. Manning, Henderson and Battle, W. L. Hill and Springs, the recreant Benedicts of the class, will not envy me my honors, but will permit me, blushing, to bear them as they fall thick upon me, hugging to yourself, not a wife, but the delusive words of Lord Bacon: "He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune."
But, lest envy, that green-eyed monster "which doth mock the meat it feeds on," possess the soul of the married men of the class, exclaiming, "I would
have won the cup, had we started even in the race," I here now offer the following resolution: Resolved, that whichever member of the class of 1879 shall have his quiver fullest, shall not only be exempt from taxation forever, but have a golden cup.
Mr. President, in re-kindling the fires of that friendship, which all agree is purest and most lasting, laid in college association; in stopping the wheels of business and re-visiting this hallowed spot, where impetuous and generous youth for four years champed the bit, eager for the fray, we not only perform an important duty, but we cultivate that part of our nature -- often sadly neglected amidst the bustling practicality, not to say selfishness, of the day -- love of home, love of the law, love of truth. These things may not swell our bank account, but they will give us, individually, spotless reputation, the purest treasure mortal times afford, and collectively will make us men worthy to constitute even such a state as Sir William Jones graphically describes.
In thanking my class-mates for this beautiful cup. I do not deem it amiss to give expression to my idea of the controlling and underlying characteristic of our class. It is this: self-reliance within the law.
Doctor Oliver Wendell Holmes says that, if you will give him a man's controlling thought, he will guide him as he would a ship.
The mainspring of our class will be found to be respect for constituted authority and reliance on self. And I trust that it will be attributable to pardonable pride that I refer to the fact that this august Faculty, on more than one occasion, yielded a point and acceded to what our class considered its constitutional right. And yet, I would not have it understood that we were rigidly righteous, for we fully appreciated the fact that --
"The cleanest corn that ere was dight
May have some pyles of caffin,
So ne'er a fellow-creature slight,
For random fits o' daffin."
All honor to the self-reliant man, for, says Emerson, all history resolves itself very easily into the biographies of a few stout and earnest persons.
My class-mates, we have passed one decade in the pursuits of life. May the future have in store for each of us the fullest fruition of our hopes; but let us ever bear with us the consciousness that
"All Nature is but Art unknown to thee;
All chance, direction which thou canst not see;
All discord, harmony not understood;
All partial evil, universal good;
And spite of pride, in erring reason's spite,
One truth is clear--Whatever is, is Right."
But, Mr. President, the thought occurs to me that, perhaps, the acceptance of this cup should be by the recipient of it, so I now ask permission to file him as an exhibit in this cause, being the best evidence the nature of the case will admit of, and in the reply of Priscilla, the Puritan maiden, to John Alden, "Why don't you speak for yourself, John?"
Here, amid a storm of applause, Mr. Winston led his little four-year-old boy to the front, who said:
"If ever I have an eldest son,
And he's a little boy like me,
And doesn't know a single thing--
Not even A, B, C--
I hope he'll not get a silver cup,
For then, perhaps, I'd pull him up
Before this crowd to blush and bow,
And make a speech, when he doesn't know how."
After passing a resolution to meet again at the Commencement in June, 1899, the class adjourned, with a benediction by the Rev. Robert Strange.
The class of 1868 was the last to graduate under the presidency of David L. Swain. The birth of the class dates from the death of the "Old University." A special place on the programme of the Centennial Reunion was awarded the class at its request.
The following members were present, seated upon the rostrum: Colonel William H. S. Burgywn, A. W. Graham Esq., Hon I. R. Strayhorn, Charles E. Watson, Esq., and Dr. George Gillett Thomas.
In behalf of the class, Colonel William H. S. Burgwyn spoke as follows:
As I rise on behalf of the class of 1868, and think of the kind partiality of my class-mates, who have selected me to speak for them on this memorable occasion, passing by others more worthy of this honor -- those who have done their State distinguished service, and won for themselves enviable reputations, I ask leave to return them my grateful thanks.
What significance is there in an anniversary? Is one hundred years a long time in a nation's history? A few weeks since, an old man, full of years and of honor, died in the city of Boston. Just before his death he wrote to a friend this memorable statement: "Deacon Spooner died in 1818, aged 94. I saw him and talked with him. He talked with Elder Faunce, who was one of the Pilgrims, and, it is said, the one who pointed out the rock." The lives of these three men span the whole American history from the Pilgrim Fathers to the present. Brief as is the time, in the wonderful achievements of science, the development of material resources, the victories of the church, the enrichment, the uplifting, the ennobling of humanity, that these three lives saw, comprehend the best of the world's history since the time of Christ.
Will the story of the next one hundred years be as marvelous? Who of us here will deserve to be spoken of one hundred years hence?
It is not for me to invade the province of the historian, and dwell upon the greatness of the act of those men who, in the very throes of a revolution, incorporated in the fundamental law of their government this command: "All useful learning shall be duly encouraged and promoted in one or more universities." -- Clause XLI, Constitution of 1776.
It was a masterly stroke of statesmanship, the inspiration of a patriot, and evinced a sublime confidence in the future of their country.
As we are told by science that an impulse communicated by a sound to the air around us is felt through that medium to the utmost limit of our atmosphere; as a pebble dropped in the ocean sets up a movement among the particles of water, that, ever widening, continues until the opposite shores are reached; so, we may believe, a great thought, signaling itself by a memorable deed, is imperishable in its influence, and when, with a forecast truly prophetic, the Congress that convened at Halifax in 1776, builded as for a great future for their descendants in laying the injunction upon their successors to provide institutions for the higher education in the State, they established their claim to the lasting gratitude of posterity. All honor to these men!
But I am to speak of times more modern -- of a date so recent that most of us here can recall the period. It is of July, 1865, when the Sophomore class assembles to renew their studies at the University after the six weeks' vacation. An unwonted sight greets our eyes. The uniform of the commissioned officer of the victorious Federal army is met in these sequestered walks, where had only been seen the subdued mien and simple habit of the professor and student.
The rattle of the drum striking the reveille, the note of the bugle sounding the tattoo is heard instead of the old college bell, which, it was President Swain's boast, had never ceased, all during the four years of the civil war, to toll the hours for prayer and recitation. The old college bell! Will not some one rise up and in immortal verse embalm the memories of the old Chapel Hill college bell? Imagine it to speak. What scenes of mirth and sadness; of success and failure; of brilliant pageantry and mournful procession it could tell. What rude awakenings from delightful dreams; what hurryings to early chapel and recitation before breakfast. How anxiously its tones were awaited, as the trembling student stands before the remorseless professor, or momentarily expects to be called up to recite a lesson he has not prepared. We can imagine how joyously it pealed forth when the first exercises at the institution were inaugurated nearly a century ago. It has presided year after year since over the destinies of the college. What manly forms and beautiful women it has seen go in and out these well-worn halls -- some never to return. How sad it must have felt when its last note sounded the dispersion of the old Faculty the year we graduated. How rusty it grew in its years of silence, and how again, in 1875, it pealed rapturously forth for the re-opening, and to-day, the
one-hundredth anniversary of the granting of the charter of the University, how every fibre vibrates with emotion as it heralds forth the dawn of this memorable day. Yes, old bell,
"Ring out the old, ring in the new;
Ring out the false, ring in the true."
The Sophomore class of '65-'66 assembles. Some of them had passed their Freshman year at the University, and with a deserved confidence in their success, the offspring of their high record of the session passed, are eager for the next year's work. Others, tho' but boys in years are veterans in the art of all arts, having met the gleaming bayonets of their country's foes on many a crimson-stained field; but now, with firm resolve, but at great disadvantage in the race, nerve themselves to make up for lost time and opportunities denied.
What of our Faculty?
To the old student these buildings, these trees, these walks are eloquent with the memories of that Faculty. There were Swain, the elder and younger Phillips, Kerr, Hubbard, Fetter, Hepburn, Martin, Smith. Where are they now? Most of them dead. The first to go died in our very presence with his harness on. In the act of commending those under his care to the gracious favor of a merciful Saviour, Dr.
James Phillips fell on that rostrum, at the foot of that stand, from which for so many years his prayers had ascended to heaven, and then and there his spirit left its aged tenement of clay and winged its flight to heaven.
Not long remained behind his coadjutor in their life's work, and, as if to spare him from the pain and mortification reserved for the others, the venerable President of the University meets with an untimely accident, and, in a few weeks after we graduate, David L. Swain peacefully expires one lovely August morning, when all around him thought he was fast on the road to recovery. Who knows that it was not the melancholy outlook for the future of his beloved University that caused his great heart to faint? and, like the prophet of old, he turned his face to the wall to die, unwilling to live.
Long, weary years of separation, yes, dispersion, and, may I say, neglect, elapse; and, one day, on his knees in the attitude of prayer, after a brief illness, another aged member of the Faculty of our day is found dead in his room. With no one present to minister to his last needs, or to close his dying eye, he found, from other sources than human, the strength to bear the dread ordeal, and he passed through the valley of the shadow of death, doubtless to reach the heavenly habitations beyond.
Professor Fetter is soon called to follow Dr. Hubbard, and the love of his children prompts them to bring his remains from another State, where he died, back to the loved abode of his manhood's prime, so that, like the aged patriarch of old, his bones may rest by the side of his wife; and they now repose in yonder University grave-yard.
Scarcely have we heard the clods fall on his grave before another near it has to be dug, and we mournfully consign to his last resting-place the mortal remains of Charles Phillips.
Could we penetrate the veil that conceals the blessed abodes of the departed good, and catch a glimpse of that life beyond the grave, can we doubt in that existence there is some recognition between those who labored and loved while in their earthly state? And may we not believe that the pleasant intercourse, which death for a time interrupted, will be renewed in heaven; and when the disembodied spirits of Swain, the elder and younger Phillips, Kerr, Hooper, Fetter, Hubbard, left their earthly habitations and winged their flight to join their predecessors in the delights of Paradise, they found in that blessed abode the friends who had gone before?
And with what cordial greetings they welcome the long list of students whom they will remember as young men acquiring their education under their
tutelage! Yes, after the weary years have been endured and they sink to rest, they go not to a strange country, but to a home peopled with loving hearts and cherished friends.
"There is no death! what seems so is transition;
This life of mortal breath
Is but a suburb of the life elysian,
Whose portal we call death."
"The day is done, and the darkness
Falls from the wings of Night,
As a feather is wafted downward
From an eagle in his flight.
"And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares that infest the day
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away."
Here I beg leave to put on record, on behalf of my class, our deep sense of the inestimable value of the services rendered us by these able, conscientious and self-denying men.
They were not only our guides, our philosophers, but they were our friends as well; who, in season and out of season, in the class-room and out of it, when we were near and when we were away, labored and prayed for our well-being. Alexander the Great
felicitated himself more on having Aristotle as his preceptor, than that he was born heir to a throne. Was there ever a kindlier company of men? Did we ever go to them in our perplexities that they did not cheerfully point out the way? Did they not incite in their students a spirit of enquiry, of investigation and enthusiasm for their work that could not be surpassed? The influence for good that the old Faculty of the University exercised upon the youth of North Carolina and of the South generally can only be surmised, it cannot be calculated. That influence has been felt in the forum, on the hustings, in the pulpit, on the bench, in the professions, in the arts and sciences, in the halls of Congress, in the presidential chair of the United States.
What of the class of 1868?
From July, 1865, to June, 1868, we sat side by side in daily recitation; we grew to know and respect each other as few classes had been privileged. We were not many in numbers. We started in the race with thirty-three, but only nineteen graduated. This class, beginning its Freshman year in the closing scenes of the greatest war of modern times, was now ending its college course, and the class last to be graduated under the old regime. The old order of things was to give way to the new. We came upon the stage in critical times indeed. Our social system was
revolutionized. Our laws had to be remodeled to suit this changed condition of things. Negro suffrage was upon us with all its threatening consequences. Our courts were at sea how to interpret the new system of practice and procedure, and we were denied representation in the Congress of the United States.
Permit me to recall the scene of that Thursday night just twenty-one years ago -- the night of the day we graduated. We had spoken our graduating addresses. Our valedictorian, in words of touching pathos that will linger with us as long as memory itself, had bid us good-bye. The Governor of our State had delivered to us our diplomas. A distinguished son of Connecticut had come from his distant home to address us. The youth and beauty of the State were here to grace the occasion, and from all parts of North Carolina prominent representatives of all the professions and business interests had met once again, before it all should be changed, to revive the hallowed associations of their early days. The class of 1868 is no longer matriculate; we are Alumni. The last scene is the final grand ball. Can any of us ever forget that night? Dear to the memory of the old student is Smith Hall. There he went to be initiated in the graces of posture and step that prepared him for the Commencement gaieties. There he joined in the dignified cotillion and graceful
mazurka with his fair visitor, and there he exchanged with his lovely partner the honied accents of requited love.
"There was a sound of revelry that night;
And Carolina had gathered there
Her beauty and her chivalry; and bright
The lamps shone o'er fair women and brave men;
A thousand hearts beat happily: and when
Music arose with its voluptuous swell,
Soft eyes looked love to eyes which spake again,
And all went merry as a marriage bell."
On went the dance; joy was unconfined, and not till the beams of the morning sun, glancing through the windows, dimmed the light of the lamps, did that festive scene come to an end, and for twenty-one years we do not, as a class, meet again.
It will not be expected of me to intrench on the province of our historian; it will suffice to say that I do not know of one of our class who has been a failure. Thirteen became lawyers, five doctors, two teachers, two manufacturers, one an editor, one a banker, one a poet and one a merchant. Five have represented their counties in the State Legislature, and have shaped legislation for the well-being of their people. The legal department of the general government now receives the distinguished services of one of our class; the responsible position of State
Solicitor is filled by another; the diplomatic service has also been enriched by the labors of another; another holds a responsible office in the revenue department; others are distinguished members of the legal and medical professions; another bears to a large corporation the position of legal adviser and others are doing their duty in their respective vocations of life.
But all who were with us twenty years ago are not here to-day. But one cause could keep them away. Death has invaded our circle, and five of our comrades sleep their last sleep--Barlow, Fuller, Harper, Mallett and Morehead. To us all there come times when the realization of the loss we have sustained in the separation from loved ones seems inexpressibly great, and we feel as never before --
"Oh, for the touch of a vanished hand
And the sound of a voice that is still."
I cannot refrain from alluding here more than by mere name to one of this number. So recent has been his death; the sorrow for his loss is so fresh, and the State he loved so well and served so nobly is such a loser in his untimely taking-off, more than a passing word should be spoken of him.
"He, the young and strong, who cherished
Noble longings for the strife,
By the road-side fell and perished.
Weary with the march of life."
Just a year ago Eugene Morehead was here in attendance on Commencement. He was convalescent from what we all had feared was a mortal illness, and he was buoyed up with the hope of ultimate recovery. Though weak, he could not resist coming to a Chapel Hill Commencement, for this place was always in truth to him his Alma Mater.
You all know what a faithful student he was, sharing the highest honors of his class. Though of ample means, he was ambitious to do his State some service, and after a brief vacation spent in travel he actively engaged in business. That he made a success of it, was not surprising. Another (J. S. Carr, memorial address) has, in a manner which I cannot presume to equal, told us of his many virtues and of his extraordinary qualities of heart and mind; I will not attempt a repetition.
As I think over our three years of intimacy as class-mates, of the twenty years of friendship afterwards, and now realize that it is all buried in the grave, what would we not give for another sound of that voice and another grasp of that hand. That a man, so well equipped by gifts of mind, high character and trained intellect to serve his State and country, should be taken in his prime, and others left who can claim no such excellence, is indeed mysterious. Death ever loves a shining mark.
How cordially Eugene Morehead would have welcomed us here, and united with us in all the memories of this day.
The manifestation of universal sorrow at his death, so marked in the home of his adoption and pride, is a higher tribute to his worth than any eulogy from me. We can truthfully say of him: "Hic jacet, quem religio et scientia condecorare avebant."
And now, fellow class-mates, this day should not be wholly given up to retrospect, but there are duties ahead of us which this anniversary should incite us to perform. When the 200th anniversary shall be celebrated, most of us here will not be among the mentioned few. We will have been forgotten. But may we not do a simple thing, which will ever be associated with this anniversary?
A few weeks since I was walking through the beautiful city of the dead in the capital of our State. There my eye was attracted by a monument which, for beauty of design, richness of ornament and purity of material, was marked conspicuously over all the others. When I came to see in whose memory a tomb so costly had been reared, I thought of a monument which the dead man himself had erected; much nobler, more enduring and far grander than any structure of mere human ingenuity. In bequeathing five thousand dollars to the Trustees of
the University to be applied to paying the tuition of students, the Hon. Bartholomew F. Moore erected his own monument, and one which will last when marble and granite and brass and bronze shall have been resolved into the elements that gave them birth.
And when I think of that aged maiden woman who, in her solitary life and secluded home, cherished such noble longings for her country, and in bequeathing her property to be divided between her church and the State University, set us all such an example of patriotic love of country that we must blush if we fail to emulate it, I bow my head in profound homage to the name of Mary R. Smith.
Let us this centennial year derive inspiration from the thoughts this celebration gives rise to, and dedicate ourselves anew to the good of our State and country. If, twenty centuries ago, a Roman audience could receive with a burst of applause the noble sentiment of the heathen poet --
"Homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto."
how much more should we, in this nineteenth century of Christian civilization cherish, revere and strive to perpetuate the noble institutions of our country?
On Wednesday of Commencement week, June 5th, 1889, the Alumni of the University, together with many visitors from other States and universities and a large concourse of citizens of North Carolina, assembled in Memorial Hall, to celebrate the Centennial Anniversary of the incorporation of the institution.
The day was clear and pleasant, and by eleven o'clock the hall was filled to its full capacity. Seated on the stage were Governor D. G. Fowle, Chief Justice W. N. H. Smith, Justices Joseph J. Davis and A. C. Avery, Hon. Paul C. Cameron, Gen. Thomas L. Clingman, Gen. Rufus Barringer, Dr. A. J. DeRossett, Hon. Robert P. Dick, Hon. W. L. Steele, Hon. W. L. Saunders, Hon. S. M. Finger, Hon. Donald Bain, Rt. Rev. Theo. B. Lyman, Hon. Joseph B. Batchelor, Hon. G. W. Sanderlin, Hon. Thomas S. Kenan, Hon. John A. Gilmer, Hon. John W. Graham, Dr. Eugene Grissom, Hon. W. M. Shipp, Col. William Johnston, Col. H. R. Shorter, W. N.
Mebane, Esq., James H. Horner, Esq., Maj. Robert Bingham, Thomas W. Harriss, Esq., Hon. Thomas J. Jarvis, Hon. R. H. Battle, Col. A. B. Andrews, Dr. W. L. Stamps, Maj. J. Turner Morehead, Julian S. Carr, Esq., Charles A. Cook, Esq., R. H. Smith, Esq., Dr. L. C. Taylor, W. E. Hill, Esq., Rev. Dr. Thomas E. Skinner, Hon. Thomas W. Mason, A. H. Merritt, Esq., Col. F. A. Olds, H. A. London, Esq., Josephus Daniels, Esq., Dr. J. L. M. Curry, Dr. W. G. Brown, of Washington and Lee University; Dr. Crawford H. Toy, of Harvard University; Col. Charles S. Venable, of the University of Virginia; Dr. Henry E. Shepherd, of the College of Charleston; Dr. W. B. Burney and Dr. F. C. Woodward, of South Carolina University; President C. E. Taylor, of Wake Forest College; Prof. A. W. Long, of Wofford College, and the President and Faculty of the University of North Carolina. Hundreds of Alumni and other distinguished visitors were seated on the floor of the hall.
The President of the Alumni Association, Hon. Walter L. Steele, called the Association to order, and appointed Messrs. Henry A. London and Josephus Daniels to act as secretaries. In behalf of the Committee of Arrangements and of the University, the Hon. John Manning spoke as follows:
Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Alumni Association: It is due to the Alumni Committee and to General Ransom, that I should state that we had requested him, and he had consented, to deliver the address to the Association at this hour; but that, greatly to his regret and our disappointment, a painful accident -- an arm broken on last Saturday -- prevents this distinguished alumnus from being with us and compels a change of programme on our part.
I desire further to state on behalf of the Alumni Committee that, owing to unavoidable delays, the members of this Committee were not appointed until just before Christmas, 1888, and that the Committee could not enter upon the discharge of its duties until the month of January, 1889. Since that date we have been actively employed, and in response to our call the living sons of our venerable Alma Mater, with loving, loyal hearts, have gathered here from all over this great country, from Colorado in the North-west to Florida in the South-east, and from New York to Texas, to commemorate this centennial anniversary of the birth of the University of North Carolina. We are here to shake each other by the hand, to brush away the lichens and the moss from memory's tablet, to draw inspiration from the past and to gather hope and courage for the future.
Her dead sons, whose names are inscribed in marble on these memorial walls, in their lives filled
every office, from President of the United States to Consul, and illustrated in civil life the history of the State and of the nation, and these four tablets, containing the roll of our Confederate dead, from the Lieutenant General of the class of 1821 to the boy-lieutenant of 1865 (two hundred and sixty-four in all) demonstrate that, in peace and in war, the sons of our venerable mother are prompt to respond to the call of duty, and their eminent public services and private worth have immortalized the training received here in these halls of our fathers. May we not hope that the spirits of the dead are hovering over us, and as memory recalls their loved faces can we not feel the stir of their angel wings on our cheeks?
The delegates from our sister colleges of the State, and from Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Washington and Lee, the University of Virginia, Richmond College, the University of South Carolina, the College of Charleston and from Wofford College, are here to congratulate us on our past history and to bid us God speed for the future.
The distinguished gentleman who dispenses the great charity that has made the name of George Peabody the synonym of love and brotherhood throughout our South-land, is here to show his appreciation of university education, as the head of the public school system of the State.
The Governor, the Judges of the Supreme and of the Superior Courts and other State officers are here to do homage to the University as one of the most important factors in promoting the prosperity and happiness of the State. This immense concourse of the men and women of the State is here to show how deeply rooted in the hearts of the people is this nursing mother of our youth, without distinction as to class, rank or sect.
To one and all we extend a hearty welcome, and our united prayer is that this the oldest University of the South may be the greatest in energy and usefulness.
President Steele now stated that the roll of classes would be called by the years of graduation, and requested that the members of each class would come forward as called and assemble on the platform: as each class assembled, its representative would have an opportunity to address the class and the Association.* * The speeches made on this occasion were, as a rule, impromptu and not intended for publication Both the speakers and the committee of publication are aware that the interest which attached to many of them was mainly local and temporary; but the Alumni Association having ordered their publication, they are all herein inserted, essentially unaltered, as a part of the res gestoe of the occasion.
Secretary London called the roll of classes, and the first response was from the
* The speeches made on this occasion were, as a rule, impromptu and not intended for publication Both the speakers and the committee of publication are aware that the interest which attached to many of them was mainly local and temporary; but the Alumni Association having ordered their publication, they are all herein inserted, essentially unaltered, as a part of the res gestoe of the occasion.
The sole surviving graduate of this class was Dr. A. J. DeRossett, who was, therefore, the oldest alumnus present. On motion, it was unanimously resolved that Dr. DeRossett accept the chair as honorary President of the Association. Dr. DeRossett responded as follows:
Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Alumni Association: I shrink from the attempt to give expression to the feelings which crowd upon me on account of your kindness in tendering me the great honor of acting as honorary President of this meeting.
Knowing, however, that I have been selected for the position as the oldest graduate present of this honored institution -- and perhaps the oldest one living -- I ask you to allow me to take it with the frank avowal that I am unconscious of possessing any personal fitness or qualification for it, profoundly regretting that, in the order of Providence, the life of a Graham, a Manly, a Norwood, or some other distinguished member of my class (of 1824) has not been preserved to take part in this centennial anniversary. I therefore accept this chair with earnest wishes for the happiness and prosperity of each and every one of the members of this Association, and with intense interest in the future of this great University.
Was represented by Hon. Paul C. Cameron.
Was represented by Giles Mebane, Esq., who said:
A graduate under Dr. Joseph Caldwell, appearing before this large and intelligent audience, on this Centennial occasion, may be excused for submitting a few remarks as an humble tribute to the memory of that venerable and venerated man.
Called to preside over the College in its infancy, his administration proved the wisdom of the Trustees in the choice they had made, and in placing the right man in the right place. The success of a college with Southern boys in North Carolina was a doubtful experiment at that period of our history. Scholars came from slave-holding plantations and the aristocracy of towns and villages. To them submission to authority and discipline was uncongenial and irksome. Their loyalty to collegiate authority was not enhanced by the change of the luxuries of the domestic side-board and pantry for the dubious fare of a steward's hall. The gift of
needful strength for self-defence and the physical power of successful assault and battery were more esteemed by them than mental endowments. The temperance society being then unknown, the sale, manufacture and consumption of intoxicants went the even tenor of their way without let or hindrance. Young Americans of that day regarded themselves lords of creation, "born to command." I will illustrate by an example: An athlete came down from the mountains to join college and was matriculated. During the assembly of students and Faculty in the old Chapel for evening prayer, he inspected the Faculty with a critic's eye and said to his next neighbor: "Are these the Faculty? I can whip the whole of them myself."
Dr. Caldwell was of imposing presence, and always of scrupulously neat apparel; his moral courage was indomitable, his activity and bodily strength equal to any encounter, whether in the class-room or on the campus; no one ever touched his person in a rude and angry manner. His bearing towards the students was marked by that gentle politeness which springs from learning and from contact with the best society. The students, on their part, respected and revered him, and also feared him with that sort of fear which a dutiful son has for a respected father. The college increased in patronage and popularity,
and became a favorite institution with the South. Soon more buildings were required, and the South Building was erected, mainly through the personal efforts and influence of Dr. Caldwell.
We all well know that under the administration of the present executive and of his meritorious predecessor, Governor Swain, the institution has far surpassed the college left by Dr. Caldwell in educational equipment. So our great country has gone far beyond the prosperity and grandeur dreamed of in General Washington's philosophy. Yet we justly call him the "Father of his Country." Why should we not call Dr. Caldwell the "Father of the University," and place his tablet in the most conspicuous place in Memorial Hall?
The Doctor was not only first and foremost in establishing this institution of learning, but first and foremost to advocate internal improvements in North Carolina by the construction of a railroad from Beaufort to the mountains. He advocated the project in a series of articles published in the papers, under the signature of "Carlton," and by popular addresses. The first railroad meeting ever held in North Carolina was called by him in 1828, at Sandy Grove, in Chatham county, on the supposed line of his projected road; but, alas! North Carolina was then nick-named "Rip Van Winkle," a reproachful
term no longer deserved, and the Doctor was denounced in the Senate Chamber of the State as a clerical aristocrat by a gentleman who afterwards became Senator in Congress from Mississippi.
Dr. Caldwell, for his great knowledge of geometry and astronomy, was selected to establish the Western boundary of our State -- a work satisfactorily completed.
The Doctor's influence in the church to which he belonged was acknowledged in all courts of the church which he attended.
In conjunction with Dr. John Rice, he was actively instrumental in founding Union Seminary, in Prince Edward county, Virginia. He controlled the Synod of North Carolina, while Dr. Rice controlled that of Virginia.
Dr. Caldwell was the first President of the Board of Trustees of that institution, and that seminary has done more to promote the Southern branch of the Presbyterian Church than any other theological school, and is now well endowed and prosperous.
The Doctor, while deeply interested in high education and the general welfare of the State and the growth and prosperity of the Church, was not unmindful of the poor around him. He had his protégés, to whom he dispensed alms, and one (Jones by name) enjoyed so much of the Doctor's bounty
that his neighbors nick-named him Fillwell Jones, and another protégé of the Doctor complained to him that his bounties to Jones were excessive.
The Doctor spoke of this complaint to his stepson, Dr. William Hooper, who replied: "Why did you not say to Potts, 'Son, thou art ever with me, and all I have is thine?'"
Our University is the child of the State Constitution and had many god-fathers, chief of whom was General Davie, assisted by his compeers, the Scotch-Irish Presbyterians. Each legislator takes an oath to support the Constitution, and, consequently, to support every institution constitutionally established. I have said enough for an octogenarian. I take final leave of this splendid audience, in this magnificent hall, on this memorable occasion, the centennial of North Carolina's University. Long may she prosper and her shadow never grow less.
Hon. James Grant, of Davenport, Iowa, also a member of the class, was on his way to the celebration, but the unusual floods prevented his coming farther than Washington, D. C.
The following letter, received from him in response to an invitation to attend the celebration, deserves a place in the record of the proceedings:
Grant's Springs, Cal., March 12, 1889
John Manning, Esq., et al., Chapel Hill, N. C.:
DEAR SIRS: Your invitation to the centennial of the University has been forwarded to me from Davenport, my place of residence, to Grant's Springs, in California, where I stay most of my time, to prolong a life no longer useful but to me.
I belong to the class of 1827, which I joined in the Sophomore year in 1828, and which graduated in 1831. I expect that Giles Mebane, who was my room-mate at Dr. Caldwell's, is alive, and I have not heard of the Rev. W. W. Spear since 1878. Then nine of the graduating class of 1831 were alive. If Mebane and Spear are alive, we are the survivors. I am the youngest of that class, and I am in my 77th year.
In 1826 my father took me to Chapel Hill to join the Freshman class, but Dr. Caldwell looked down on me from under his shaggy eyebrows and said: "That boy is too young for college life, bring him two years hence and let him join the Sophomore."
I cannot, to-day, give you a promise to be at Chapel Hill, but if I can arrange my now small business so as to leave here, I shall be there, of which I will give you due notice.
Thompson was the only man of my class who attained political distinction and national reputation.
Calvin Jones was a Judge of the Superior Court in Tennessee; Mebane and Williamson went to the Legislature; Hooper was professor at Chapel Hill; Spear was a clergyman. I came to the Northwest, grew up with it, held office a little in early life, made a large fortune as a lawyer; have given away most of it, and own as large a library of law books as any man in England or America. It has cost me over forty thousand dollars.
At the advanced age of seventy-six I am cultivating an orchard and vineyard in an unknown place, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and keeping a tavern for parties who visit the wonder of the whole earth--the Yosemite Valley. My life has been a useful, though obscure one, and when I leave this world I shall not be in debt to it. All this of self might savor of egotism, if I were not writing as a child of the University of North Carolina, whose little units, scattered over this wide world, make it a great whole.
Your obedient servant,
Was represented by Gen. Thos. L. Clingman, R. H. Smith, Esq., and Thos. W. Harriss, Esq., who all made speeches.
Mr. Clingman said:
Mr. President, Gentlemen and Ladies: Ladies, if I refer to you last, it is on the principle on which I acted as a boy when I always saved my biggest and sweetest apple for the last. An incident occurred at the Commencement of 1832, which will give you an idea of the influence you ladies have on young gentlemen. Chapel Hill then had only about five single ladies in its population, and the boy who got a chance to walk with one of them to the chapel was said to have gallanted her. After I had been there a long while I got an opportunity to gallant one of the young ladies, and I felt as proud, perhaps, as one of our presidents does on the day of his inauguration.
Judge Gaston was the deliverer of the annual address on that occasion, and I, as the representative of the Dialectic Society, and Thomas S. Ashe, as the representative of the Philanthropic, were to march with him at the head of the column of students. The man who marched on the left of Gaston would be next to the chapel, and would be seen by the ladies who were looking out of the windows. Ashe said to me, "Clingman, as I am the handsomest man in college, you must let me march on the left of Gaston so that the ladies can see me." I disputed the point, and claimed my right as the receiver of
the first distinction, and marched next the ladies. After we ascended the stand we sat on either side of Gaston. I looked down proudly on many ladies. Immediately in my front, quite near, sat one whom I thought the most beautiful lady I had ever seen. I kept my eyes so much on her that she noticed me, and our interchange of glances attracted the attention of several persons. In the evening at the ball I was introduced to her, but I never afterwards met her. Such was the impression she made on me that I wrote some verses, which I showed to my classmate, John L. Hargrave, who thought so favorably of them that I consented to allow him to have them printed in a newspaper. I was afterwards told that the lady admired them very much. I will repeat a few lines to let you see what impression you ladies can make on young gentlemen:
"Thou dost not need a line from me
To blaze abroad thy beauty's fame;
The verse must catch its hue from thee,
That bears the signet of thy name.
On others I can coldly gaze,
And scan each feature fair or dark;
But thine seem one unclouded blaze
That mock my skill and power to mark.
Thy tresses, midnight, well I ween,
To others faintly may be taught:
By rainbow's tint and ivory's sheen,
Thy color changeful as the thought.
Thine eye had been as 'black as death,'
But that it casts a stream of light
To speed the gazer's failing breath,
And brighten up his changeless sight."
I will now refer to another case, which will tend to show what you can do on older persons, and which I regard as the most important of the two.
I did not become a member of a Christian church till I was considerably advanced in life. This, however, was not due to my being destitute of religious feeling. In fact, I remember that when the great phrenologist, Fowler, once examined my head, he expressed surprise at the size of my organ of spirituality and said, "You see ghosts." I answered, that though I had never seen one, I fully believed in the existence of spiritual beings. In fact, when I was a very small boy, and was throwing stones at the birds, I would kneel by a tree and pray that I might kill one. In fact, all through my life I was strongly under the influence of religious feelings, and constantly was hoping to feel able to become a member of one of the Christian churches. More than twenty years ago, not long after the close of the war, I was
at an evening party in the city of New York, and was introduced to a handsomely dressed young lady. After a little conversation I remarked that I did not feel much happiness in life. She instantly replied, "I can tell you the reason." I supposed she would say, as hundreds of people had done, "It is because you have never married." To my surprise, however, she said, "It is because you are not a member of any church." I admitted that I was not. She immediately began to talk to me in the most earnest manner, and her conversation made on me a far greater impression than any sermon that I had ever listened to. The earnest manner of that fashionably dressed young lady, in such an assembly, made so deep an impression on me that on the next morning I purchased a copy of the New Testament and determined to read at least one of the gospels every Sunday, and to attend church regularly. Not long afterwards I connected myself with the Episcopal Church.
The first of these cases shows the influence of you ladies over men in matters of this world of the flesh; the second shows what you may be able to do to influence their condition in the spiritual world of Heaven.
A good wife has more influence over her husband than anyone else can have. Husbands generally regard their wives as the best persons in the world.
I remember that an illiterate farmer once said to me, "Clingman, every man thinks that his wife is the best woman in the world, but I know mine is." If you ladies will try your best on your husbands, it will be that hereafter when I go up to the sacrament table, instead of my seeing six ladies and one gentleman, I may see them go up in equal numbers.
But, gentlemen, we will consider briefly the subject of the world's progress in certain matters during the last sixty years.
I well remember President Caldwell's discussion of the then new subject of railroads. If I had said to him, "In the new State of Ohio, I will travel with more than one thousand persons on a railroad train at a rate of more than a mile a minute, and more than sixty miles an hour," he would have expressed surprise; but if I had said to him, I expect to see the day when a man here in Chapel Hill can talk to another in New York as fast as he can write with a pen and ink, the Doctor would, perhaps, have said to me, "Young man, you have been reading the Arabian Nights lately." I might have gone on and said, "Doctor, I believe even the sound of a man's voice could be heard that far," and he would, perhaps, have said, "Sir, if you go on talking in this way, people will call you a crank." I could have replied, "Doctor, your use of the word crank brings another
thing to my mind. I believe a man will have a machine which he can turn with a crank, and if you were present and delivering one of your sermons, when you closed he would stop the machine with his crank, and then, after twenty years had been passed, he would turn his machine backward, and your sermon, with the sound of your voice, would all come out." The Doctor would, perhaps, have said, "Young man, no one will ever beat you in the expression of absurd ideas." And yet all these things can be done with the telegraph, telephone and phonograph. Even if a dozen years ago we had been told in Asheville that our streets were so steep that street cars would not be run on them except by electricity, we might, perhaps, have said, "Then our town must do without street cars"; and yet the system of street cars which we have running there by electricity is far superior to any cars which I have ever seen in New York or any other city.
But now let us consider North Carolina for a few moments.
Our State has fifty-two thousand square miles of territory, superior as a whole to any equal amount of contiguous territory in any part of the globe. Everything in the class of food for man or animal that could be produced in any one of the old thirteen States, can be profitably produced in some part of
North Carolina. Our South-eastern section furnishes abundantly the products of the warmer States, while our central and mountain regions give, in the greatest abundance, all the valuable productions of the Central and Northern States of our Union. I have said that if our people would, for a few years, labor as industriously and live as economically as they did during the war, they would make our State the richest and most prosperous in the world.
We have, too, an immense variety of minerals. Prof. Charles Upham Shepard, to whom long ago I used to send thousands of specimens, said there was a greater variety of minerals in a circle of fifty miles around Asheville than in any area of the same size on the globe that he knew of. I will refer to some of them, that you may see what individual exertion can do. I will give some cases. More than forty years ago I found corundum in large lumps, in what is now the Madison portion of old Buncombe. The pieces were so large and so handsome that even Prof. Shepard, to whom I sent some, could not at first believe they were corundum, but I had no difficulty in convincing him of the truth of the matter. I sent a fine specimen to London, and upon it can be seen, in the great British Museum, my name and Buncombe marked on it. Yet it did not, for a long time, come into use. After, the war, in 1867, I went
up to the Emery mine, at Chester, Mass., and spent a few days with Dr. Lucas, the manager, and he afterwards came to the Western part of our State, and began operations on the first corundum mine that, I think, has been operated on in the world, and large profits are being realized from that branch of business now. Long ago other interesting minerals were found in our region, and Prof. Shepard spoke of me as the discoverer of the diamond and platinum in North America.
When in New York, some twenty years ago, Mr. Trippell told me that he had paid eight dollars per pound for rather inferior mica. I thereupon made an arrangement with two New York gentlemen, Sloan & Mendon, who agreed to work every mica mine that I might find. I began my observations in Cleveland, and made observations from there through Rutherford, Burke, McDowell, Yancey and Mitchell. I believed that those last named counties would furnish the most and best. In fact, I had several hundred pounds taken out at the Silvers mine, in Mitchell. It is a singular fact, which may be attributed either to knowledge or good luck, that I, after an examination of less than one month, selected what have since been proven as the best three mines ever worked, being the Ray mine in Yancey county, and the Silvers and Buchanan mines, in Mitchell
county. Sloan & Mendon, however, declined to go into the business, but others took it up, and, at one time, it was reliably stated that these two counties furnished the greater part of the mica used in the world, and millions have been realized from the operations in this business.
We have in Western North Carolina another mineral which is likely to be of much value -- the zircon. This mineral was formerly one of the rarest known. As an evidence of this I may mention a fact. Fifty years ago, in the spring of 1839, the distinguished botanist, Prof. Nuttall, came to Asheville and told us, Dr. Hardy and myself, that he had traveled all the way from Philadelphia, half the way in a stage, to see the place in the southern part of Buncombe, now Henderson, where the zircons were found. In fact, they were regarded as such rare and curious minerals that large prices were paid for the crystals. Afterwards, I had them taken out on the Freeman place, and would send as many as fifty pounds to Prof. Shepard at Charleston. When, more than twenty years ago, electric lights began to be talked of, believing they could be advantageously used for that purpose, I had one thousand pounds taken out on the Freeman place, and had them sent to New York and different parts of Europe. After about twenty years' effort in this matter, at last there
began to be a demand for them, and more than fifty thousand pounds have been taken out of the Freeman mine, and some elsewhere. It now looks as though the debt Buncombe owes to the world can be paid. The great orators of the world have been for fifty years speaking to Buncombe to enlighten it, and now we can pay them back by furnishing the best light to the world.
Another subject may be properly referred to. No country excels North Carolina for good timber, but in the upper part of the State especially fine walnut and other good timber was allowed to rot in the fields or was rolled into heaps and burnt. Believing it could be put to valuable use with profit to us, I wrote and had published in the New York Sun, more than a dozen years ago, an article of several columns, in which I described the quantity and qualities of these timbers. The publication immediately caused a rush of speculators to this region, who began to purchase the right to the growing timber on the lands. As an amusing illustration of the extent to which the operation was carried, I will mention this incident. After the rush of speculators had been going on several months, I was sitting in the evening with three strangers from New York. One of them said: "We have come here for nothing." Another replied, "Yes, we have been deceived, and
may as well start back." I said to them: "Gentlemen, will you tell me what you came for?" "Why," they answered, "we came here to buy walnut timber." "Well," said I, "and do you not find plenty of timber here?" "Yes," they answered, "but it is all bought up." "Then," I replied, "your case is like mine. At the end of the war, being in want of money, I read there was a great deal of money on Wall Street, in the city of New York. Thereupon, I went there to get some. On arriving, I found it was true that there was a great deal of money there, but that a set of greedy fellows had gotten it, and I could not obtain it from them. So I was as unlucky as you have been." They being Wall Streeters, did not enjoy my joke. But millions of dollars have been brought into our State for the timber sold.
I am a believer in special Providence. If Columbus had landed in North America, our country might have been a Mexico, but the Anglo-Saxons have made the United States the first country on the globe. He gave America the Indian corn and the potato (miscalled Irish) to feed mankind, and the Tobacco Remedy to cure the world. When men learn how to use the last, at least nine-tenths of the bodily sufferings of humanity will disappear, and human life be greatly prolonged. Let us, then, fellow-countrymen of North Carolina, press forward
vigorously, and we can make our State the greatest in the world, and assist in giving our great and glorious Union of States the foremost position that humanity can have on the earth.
Mr. T. W. Harriss said:
The sons of North Carolina may proudly boast of the wisdom and patriotism of the fathers. The first to assert their independence -- to pledge their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor in defence of civil and religious liberty; the first to lead in the work of education -- to establish for their sons a State University. And it is matter of rejoicing, and we do rejoice to-day, in the privileges of this hour, a privilege that comes to the most fortunate but once in a life-time--but once in a hundred years.
And in coming up to this grand centennial jubilee of our beloved Alma Mater -- to this reunion of friends long separated--I am instinctively carried back to the days of my boyhood, and to the place where linger many of the pleasantest recollections of a life-time, "and to which is often cast one longing, lingering look behind." But in calling to mind the roll of that class to which I had the honor to belong; of that band of brothers, cemented by an attachment not unlike that felt by a Jonathan for a David -- for I
never chance to meet with any one of that number that I do not always feel that I am taking the warm hand of a brother -- in calling that roll to-day, I cannot repress a feeling of sadness to find so many absentees at this our last reunion here. Here are three, but where are the twenty missing ones? With, perhaps, one or two exceptions, all have passed beyond the river.
Brother Clingman and brother Smith, have you outlived the impressions made upon your boyhood minds, when, fifty-seven years ago, you and I, with brothers Clingman and Parker in the lead, and with the lamented missing ones, stood together here at the threshold of life? Have you outlived the impressions made by the warning voice (I had almost said prophetic words), as they fell burning from the lips of that Gamaliel of North Carolina, the venerated Gaston, when giving us in charge the duties and responsibilities soon to devolve upon us in reference to the future of our country? I am persuaded you have not forgotten them, but that the admonitions of that hour are as fresh and unfading upon the tablet of memory as the doings of yesterday -- for I very well remember that while I went away sorrowful, on account of the fears then expressed for the safety of my country, yet I went out into the world indulging the hope, in my youthful ardor, that too
serious a picture had been presented of the prospects then before us. But you and I, sirs, have lived to see the gloomiest forebodings of that "old man eloquent" more than realized in the history of our beloved country.
Our troubles came upon us, but not without premonition, for the voice of warning had been heard as far back as the days of the Father of his Country, when he bade his people beware of sectional jealousies and divisions based on geographical discriminations. But our troubles came, despite the teachings of the Father. And while I remember that, by their sudden and disruptive changes, you and I, in common with thousands, have been deprived of much of the little for which our fathers toiled, and that bankruptcy and ruin have been rife in the land, yet, it is not my purpose, on this occasion, to disinter the remains of dead issues, and to discuss, offensively or otherwise, questions settled by the arbitrament of the sword; nor do I come bringing up these, and recollections such as these, as reasons for listening to the suggestions of despondency, and for dreaming away life in useless complainings, but I come bringing up these, and remembrances such as these, as incentives to renewed effort and increased diligence, commanding us, in the strength of our manhood, by all the recollections of the past, as well as the hopes
of the future--by the obligations imposed by love, interest, philanthropy and religion--to go forward in the discharge of those duties that we owe to ourselves, to our children, to God and the country. To this end let us throw wide open all the channels of immigration, and extend a cordial welcome to all right-minded people from every country, and from every section of every country, with their capital, their energy, and their brain, to help us mend up our shattered fortunes, and to build up these waste places, and to this end "let by-gones be by-gones;" "let the dead bury their dead."
Carried back to the days before the introduction of railroads, when the sound of the whistle was not heard in all the land--when stage-coach travel was the style of locomotion, and among the places prominent en route from Raleigh to Chapel Hill, the little breakfast-house at Moring's station stood master of the situation, where now the hand of progress, I trow, has built the flourishing city of Durham--carried back to the days when the construction of a railroad, by many, was looked upon as a hazardous enterprise, costing more than it would profit; when the masterly and persistent efforts in this direction of a great and good man, by pen and tongue, in favor of the introduction of railroads as a necessity to the development of our State, and especially so to Western
North Carolina, on the part of that prince of educators, the then venerable President of the University of North Carolina, struck the uninitiated mind offensively, awakened ridicule, and were spoken of as nothing better than the impracticable hobby of a foolish old school-master. And I have thought that if our venerable preceptor could wake up from the tomb and see the extensive line of railroads, now reaching from the mountains to the seaboard (the very line mapped out by himself more than three-fourths of a century ago), that no living person would enjoy a higher sense of delight at the changes wrought in his adopted State than would the Rev. Dr. Joseph Caldwell.
Western North Carolina should build for him to-day a monument as high as her once inaccessible mountains -- yes, as high as that peak where sleeps his bosom friend and indefatigable co-laborer, and our grand old instructor, the adventurous and heroic Dr. Mitchell, who fell in his ramblings a martyr to the investigation of that branch of science in which he so much delighted, leaving to us, who knew him best and loved him most, the sad privilege to lament his fate and cherish his memory. Peace to his ashes.
Dick Smith, (I mean no disrespect to the brother, and am persuaded that this audience will allow the
familiarity, and self-indulgence on my part), when I tell you that we were born and raised in the same county, and, by the by, that the historic old county of Halifax, and, that for the last eight and a half years of our educational life, we were sent by our fathers, who were bosom friends before us, to the same schools, and were kept in the same classes; and more than that, if there were ever any feelings of unkindness between us, expressed in word or deed, it has no lodgment upon the tablet of this memory; and more than that, we gave our hearts to God at the same altar, right here at Chapel Hill, in a little prayer-meeting in the house of Dr. Caldwell; and, if allowed, more than that, (while unlike brother Smith and brother Clingman, I have lived but a laggard in usefulness to my country and my kind), I do indulge the hope that through the merits of the Crucified One, we may again stand together in the same class without an absentee, in a grand reunion above, reckoned among the number of glorified immortals. As an earnest of this prayer, allow me in this presence, to extend to you both the hand of a brother.
Mr. R. H. Smith said:
I do not rise to detain you long, but simply to acknowledge the greeting you have extended to me.
Fifty-seven years ago there was graduated from this University a class of twenty-three students. Of these, so far as I am informed, four are alive -- Thomas Clingman, Thomas Harriss and myself are here. Col. Cad. Jones is absent. Nineteen have passed through the valley of the shadow of death to that bourne from whence no traveler has returned. Many of them have been distinguished in the various vocations of life. Not one has disgraced his State or Alma Mater. All honor to their memory. Again returning thanks for the cordial reception you have given me, I give way to the class that follows.
Was represented by Dr. W. L. Stamps, who said:
Fifty-three years ago, to-day, the class of 1836 graduated -- the first to receive their diplomas in Gerrard Hall. It was a small class in numbers. Some have distinguished themselves in the legal profession, attaining the highest post in that line in the State. Others have sat and watched by the bed-side of the sick and suffering, while others have sought the more quiet lives of farmers. All, as far as I know, have lived honorable lives, and have been good and patriotic citizens.
Although we all must be more than seventy, yet, as far as is known by me, nearly half are alive to-day, and, like Caleb, may say that we are almost as strong to-day as then. As our strength then was, so it is almost to-day. But when I look around me, like Elisha, I feel days should speak and multitude of years should teach wisdom.
Was represented by Hon. W. M. Shipp and Col. William Johnston.
Colonel Johnston said:
Would that the duty assigned to me belonged to another. The class of 1840 numbered, in its first year, forty students, of whom thirty-two graduated. There were six or eight of its members well matured, ranging from twenty-five to forty years of age. Its increased number was owing to the great popularity of Governor Swain, who was elected President of the University the year before its matriculation. It was distinguished for its morality, industry and high scholarship. In these virtues, I do not think it was surpassed by any class that has preceded or followed it. Its good deportment and great attainments
induced an able and just Faculty to assign honorary distinction to more than one-third of its graduates. Of its prominent members, time will permit me to refer only to a few. There was Isham W. Garrott, a profound scholar; studied law, settled in Selma, Alabama; soon became eminent in his profession; raised a regiment in the inter-state war, and fell at Vicksburg gallantly leading the fight. Then there were the two Shipps, afterwards Rev. Dr. A. M. and William M. -- the former a great educator at Greensboro, Wofford, and Vanderbilt University -- the latter one of the ablest Judges in our State now on the bench. They were worthy representatives of old Lincoln county, which sent to the same class Charles C. Graham and your speaker. There was also the profound scholar and accomplished gentleman, Thomas H. Spruill. His career in after-life was brilliant but brief. Then came John A. Lillington, with a quick and penetrating intellect, a ripe scholar, of fine literary taste and culture, full of attic wit and social life; studied law, was eminent as a jurist, but in early life passed from earth.
The profound scholar and conversationalist, William Henderson, of Tennessee; Tod R. Caldwell, Governor of the State; Calvin H. Wiley, the able School Commissioner of the State; Francis H. Hawks, John W. Cameron, Judge David A. Barnes, Rev. Walter
W. Pharr, William Thompson, now of Mississippi; Jonn W. Cunningham, and many others whom I cannot now mention, filled with distinction the varied learned professions, public offices and private stations to which their taste or popularity invited them.
All but five or six of the class are gone forever. But their bright and genial spirits come back to us often, as if to invite the remaining few to join them on the other side of the river.
This University did a noble work when it equipped the class of 1840 and sent it forth to the country. Its members became identified with nearly all of the great interests of the South, and, almost without exception, they individually acted their part nobly and did their duty to their country and their God.
Was represented by Stephen Graham, Esq.
Was represented by Gen. R. Barringer and Dr. W. W. Harriss.
General Barringer said:
I thank Mr. Graham, of Duplin, of the class of '37-'41, for a short addition to my limited time. But I am surprised to see only one of that large and famous class here to-day. It was the "big-wild-class" of our day, led by Frank Blair and John Eastin. My class, that of '38-'42, was a small and unpretentious class, matriculating only thirty-four and graduating only thirty. But we matched the "Wild Sophs." with "Trip" Garland and John Manly. My friend, Dr. Harriss, of Wilmington, and myself are the only two present. He was the smallest of the class, and I unquestionably the ugliest.
So, between the regular "hazing" of the day, and the special tricks of the "Wild Sophs.," we had a tough time. He was nick-named "Nig" and I "Motz," after old John Motz, of Lincoln. Bill Shipp here (now a Judge) said I walked like old Motz. I was all Dutch--lame in one of my short legs, poorly prepared and very small every way. But "Nig" and "Motz" are here to-day--stand up "Nig" and show yourself (Dr. Harriss promptly rising). We'll do; won't we, Mr. President? Speak out, "Gum."
The Doctor and I have both had some success in life--all, too, the result of honest, hard work, pluck and persistence, showing the advantage of willpower
over mere intellect or culture. Neither of us was a regular "Mite" man. Oddly enough, my main success was in marrying three handsome women.
I am glad the day of "hazing" is past. It was the source of some cruel wrongs. But the great feature of our college life was the organization of the "secret fraternities." By a little incident (the placarding of some doggerel verses), I became, to some extent, the head of the opposition to this new movement, especially in my own society (the Di).*
* The verses referred to, and which so stirred up some of the Fresh. of '38, ran thus: November 5, 1838. D. D. V.
"The Fresh. who took down the former card,
For good manners had better have regard;
The chap that would do so mean a trick,
From her roost would pull a hen as quick.
Hark! ye fellows, mind what you're about,
And to another market haul your crout."
I was a great admirer of the regular college associations, and I was put forward as a Representative (as also a Senior speaker). The fight was a pretty hard one, but I can now look back on the warm and generous rivalries of those days as a source of real benefit to me all through a long, active and varied life. There is nothing like self-reliance, honest conviction, and the early struggle of mind with mind. Without this we never know ourselves. I soon came to know,
* The verses referred to, and which so stirred up some of the Fresh. of '38, ran thus:
November 5, 1838. D. D. V.
too, that there was far less harm than I supposed in the "fraternities." To my relief and surprise, I found in them several of my warmest friends. But the struggle fixed the faith and practice of my life: ever open to the new, but clinging unswervingly to the old -- the church, the State, and the home -- as the only divine institutions for reforming and saving the world.
Pardon, Mr. President, another personal allusion--small in itself, but interesting to the young. Both my home and scholastic training, especially my society duties here, made me somewhat methodical in my habits. I grew fond of recalling and reviewing the past. I kept no regular diary, usually so dull, but at occasional periods, and in important events, I would note down facts and feelings. I hold here (showing an old outside leaf of a copy-book) the last page of a college journal taken down at the time, the day of my class graduation, June 2d, 1842, forty-seven years ago!
I detain you with no details; in fact, possibly some things had better have been unsaid. But, to me, it is now a treasure no money could buy. It is, withal, both a picture and a prophecy of the class of '42. From it, I can faithfully recall the thoughts and feelings, the hopes and fears, of that eventful day. And with it, I will gladly make out a memorial
record of my beloved class-mates, and of the Chapel Hill of 1842.
Of course, too, I found myself a "Senior in love," and the ardor of youth is to-day again upon me. I feel ten years younger because of the memories of this dear old journal, and the delightful reminiscences of this joyous occasion. And with my whole heart I thank you, Mr. President, and the several authorities of the college, to whom the credit is due, for the great enjoyment we are having.
Was represented by Hon. R. P. Dick, R. H. Jones, Esq., and Dr. John L. Williamson.
Judge Dick spoke as follows:
I appear in obedience to your call, not as a speechmaker, but as a witness.
If I fail to observe my first announcement, you may well doubt my testimony. I am confident that my statements will be sustained by my friend and class-mate, Dr. John L. Williamson, who is now by my side, after a separation of many years.
The class of 1843 was an average one for good conduct, scholarship and ability. There was not a
single member who could be properly styled a genius. There were many men of intellect, who, by patient labor and persistent efforts, became fair scholars, and attained a reasonable measure of success and reputation in after-life.
There was not a mean-spirited boy among my class-mates. They were genial, kind-hearted and true gentlemen; and all of them had the qualities and capabilities which, with proper culture and exertion, would have enabled them to become good and valuable citizens. I regret to say that some failed to avail themselves of their opportunities and advantages, and a few were misled by temptation into irregular habits that diminished or destroyed their usefulness.
They were widely scattered throughout the country, and a large majority are dead. I cherish their memories, and I deeply sympathized in their disappointments, sorrows and misfortunes. I am sure that the living have a warm attachment and veneration for their Alma Mater; they earnestly desire her continued prosperity, and they will always readily rally to her support and defence--if assailed by prejudice, injustice or misfortune.
Was represented by Hon. W. L. Steele, James H. Horner, Esq., and A. G. Jones, Esq.
Colonel Steele said:
On the 6th of June, 1844, forty-three young men, "with hope elate," pushed their barks from the shore and began the voyage of life. Of these, but ten are upon the water -- "rari nantes in gurgite vasto" -- the others having gone down in the storms which beset them. Although but few ever reached much earthly distinction, I trust that all have "scattered some bread upon the waters," which has been "gathered," or will be "gathered" in due season, for the benefit of the human race. They who remain, and they who have gone, ever had in high esteem the institution of learning at which they were fitted for the duties which they were called upon to perform.
Upon this class has fallen an honor never before held, and which cannot be held again until a century has passed. One of its humblest members is the President of the Alumni Association, under whose auspices this celebration is held, and is the master of ceremonies at this interesting and unusual occasion. In the name of the class, I greet this large
assemblage, and invoke not only those who are present, but all the people of the State, to maintain and support the University, as one of the great factors in the moral and intellectual development of this age and the ages yet to come.
Was represented by Hon. Joseph B. Batchelor and Dr. L. C. Taylor.
Was represented by Col. William A. Faison and Dr. William B. Meares.
The regular call of the roll of classes was here suspended in order to give place for the special exercises of the class of 1879, the first to graduate after a four years' course under the new regime, and of the class of 1868, the last to graduate under Governor Swain's administration. For the exercises of these classes see the preceding pages. At the conclusion of these special class exercises, the Association adjourned to celebrate the centennial banquet in Gerrard Hall. An account of the banquet has already been given.
At about 8 o'clock, p. m. the Association re-assembled in Memorial Hall, with President Steele in the chair, and the roll-call of classes was continued.
Was represented by Rev. Thomas E. Skinner, D. D., Dr. R. H. Winborne, and Thomas Webb, Esq.
Dr. Skinner spoke as follows:
You have noticed that the class of '47 was called out of the regular order. After the class of '46, then that of '79 and '68 were called, and then came '47. The reason for this, it is supposed, is the contrast which necessarily would have followed, in as much as the class of '47 is the most distinguished that ever graduated at the University.
There are only three members of '47 present, out of the thirty-seven graduates -- Webb, Winborne and Skinner. The first, on account of severe affliction, is unable to speak. The second has spent his valuable life as a physician, and declines to talk, and the third, as has been his custom for nearly forty years, is compelled once more to follow the doctors.
We have looked anxiously for a Ransom, but none can be found. How glad we are that it was his arm, and not his neck, that is broken.
It is mainly to Ransom and the lamented Pettigrew that the class of '47 is indebted for the great distinction to which it attained. Alston, Haywood (Dr. E. B.), Hines, Kindred, Levy, Manly, Mebane, Pool, Sharp and Shober, with others, shared the under degrees. The names of some of these, with Pettigrew, Benbury and Sharp, are enrolled on yonder tablets of the Confederate heroes who gave their lives for the "lost cause."
Pettigrew's surpassing excellence in scholarship and universal lore, together with Ransom's pluck and victory in peace and in war, is the true secret of our unparalleled celebrity as a class.
Ransom is in his fourth term in the United States Senate, and to this nothing needs to be added. He fought bravely his way up to the high distinction of Major-General in the Confederate army.
North Carolina has honored him as she has no other citizen, and may Ransom live long to serve the noble old Commonwealth, and to be honored by her.
What shall we say of the lamented Pettigrew -- that amazing genius and expert in everything he undertook?
I was with him at the elder Bingham's in Hillsboro for three years, and at college we were intimate friends. At Bingham's I never knew him to be away
from the head of the class, save from sickness, and then, taking the foot, he would soon recover his accustomed and merited place--the head of the class.
So, you see, we had trip, head and foot in those days. And, more, we had ferule and hickory, well-seasoned and tough, but never did these fall upon the person of this unequaled child of genius and wonder.
The rest of us had to stand up and take it.
Pettigrew's distinction among his fellow-students arose, perhaps, more from his superiority in mathematics; though he was, in fact, fully as proficient in every department. Our class was the first to use Peirce's Course of Mathematics--the most intricate and abridged of all others. Some of us never saw day-light after the proposition to "construct the line A B," which we could only do as our friend Tom Polk, now Dr. Polk, of Mississippi, who, when required to find the center of a circle, drew an imaginary one, and stepping back advanced, with the chalk in front, and striking the bull's eye, exclaimed, "About there, sir; I should say."
While our class were struggling through Peirce's Differential Calculus, Mr. Pettigrew wrote out, in extenso, an integral calculus, after Mr. Peirce's plan
of his Differential, the author having not yet published his Integral Calculus.
The renowned and venerable Professor, Dr. James Phillips, hearing of this wonderful feat of his youthful pupil, James Johnston Pettigrew, called at my room on an evening after tea and inquired if it was true. I told him it was, and that I had seen the manuscript. He begged that I would go immediately to Mr. Pettigrew's room (N. W. corner, second story, old South), and, if possible, secure the loan of the manuscript for him.
Leaving the Professor in charge of my room-mate (the handsome Joseph Benjamin, brother of the distinguished late Judah P. Benjamin), he entertained him with a pipe well charged with oak leaves, dried and prepared very like tobacco, which was said to have been procured from a celebrated Petersburg firm. So delightful was the aroma which the smoke of this dried garment of the forest absorbed in passing through the mahogany-colored stem, that the Professor declared that he never before had smoked so mild and pleasant a weed. Before retiring with Pettigrew's manuscript, I completed the Professor's ecstatic joy by wrapping up a small parcel of the celebrated Petersburg tobacco, placing at the bottom a few of the large oak leaves, in an unmanufactured state.
I heard that on the Professor's reaching home, he told his son Charles (the late and distinguished emeritus Professor of Mathematics), that there was a fine sample of Petersburg tobacco, handed him by Mr. Skinner. Upon examination, it was revealed that it was nothing but "oak leaves." This rumor was doubtless correct, as my room-mate and I were surprised by being called out of time next morning, at the recitation before breakfast (think of that, young gentlemen), and he "rushed" us for sixty minutes with seemingly exquisite satisfaction.
How dear to us is the memory of this venerated man and his no less distinguished son, and his daughter, Mrs. Cornelia P. Spencer, the brightest illustration in the galaxy of North Carolina's distinguished women--a woman who could teach a nation.
I said that Pettigrew was an expert in all that he attempted. This is true, even in athletic sports. He entered college at the age of thirteen, and, consequently, was only seventeen when he received his diploma. He was prepared for the Freshman class at eleven years of age, but was kept back by Mr. Bingham; and at the age of thirty he finished his work, by yielding his sublime career as a sacrifice on the altar of his country's honor and glory.
I was seven years at school with him, knew him well, and loved his shadow even. He was as simple
as a child, as pure as a girl and as sublime as a hero, and a statesman. Mr. Bingham told me that he reproved him once and that he could not sleep that night. What an illustration of the loss of the South in the dreadful fratricidal conflict which must have occurred! How could a class with two such men as Ransom and Pettigrew fail to be distinguished above all others?
But please be tolerant with the other thirty-five of us. We were no small men.
Here is my friend Tom Webb, whom we knew only as Trust Webb, because he was so trustworthy. In this day of Trusts, is not that a distinction? He was once the President of the Western North Carolina Railroad; and if the hand of Providence did not lie heavily upon him, he would be the man talking to you now, and not I.
And here is my friend Bob Winborne, a distinguished physician of North Carolina, who ought to have been the preacher of the class. But God's ways are not our ways, that the glory may not be to man, but to God, to whom all glory belongs.
How can I better end this tirade than by telling you some funny things on my speechless brother, Tom Webb?
Bingham was not only an able, but also a sympathetic and genial teacher. Indeed, the father stood out
clearly, and in bold relief, in all the manipulations of his classes. And this, and more, may be said of his distinguished sons; of the two, only Major Robert now remaining with us.
I must be pardoned for speaking so plainly and personally as I have done, because I know that but for the elder William J. Bingham I would have been nothing, and less than nothing, notwithstanding my youthful resolve that if ever I became a man I would thrash him or die, not knowing what I said. He certainly taught the "idea how to shoot," and that is true teaching in this and all ages to come.
Well, I will conclude with two little reminiscences, which my friend Trust Webb will corroborate and enjoy. It was the custom of the elder Bingham, when any difficult passage occurred in the next lesson, to explain it to the class, with the distinct understanding that a miss on that point was grave, and involved a few in the hand with the leather ferule -- so like the latter end of a horse-trace. In Cæsar's Commentaries the phrase "factus certior" occurs frequently. "Now," said Mr. Bingham, "boys, remember to translate 'factus certior,' -- 'was informed,' and not 'made more certain.' Do you hear?" "All right." Next day dear old "Trust" came up to the front, and in the lines occurred the words "factus certior." Trust read: "Then Cæsar being made more certain
--" "What?" cried Bingham, "come up here, sir." Up came Trust. "Put out your hand, sir." Slam! went the leather; up went Trust's foot. Bang! goes the ferule; up again goes Trust's foot. He returns to his seat, not with his hands in his pocket, because they feel larger than a hundred pockets.
On another occasion, Trust was translating in Latin very nicely, and coming to the proper noun, Andromache, he made a slip, thoughtlessly, and called it Andrew Mickle, which was the name of a distinguished citizen, then of Hillsboro, and afterwards of Chapel Hill, and the Bursar of the college, I think. I never saw "Old Bill" (as the boys called our now venerated teacher) so full of laugh as he was then. It was so funny that Mr. Bingham, roaring with laughter, said: "You rascal; I can't whip you for that mistake." But, I have talked too long.
Grateful, indeed, do I feel that I have been permitted to be present at this Centennial Commencement of the University of North Carolina. Long may she live and be blessed, and a blessing more and more, is the prayer of the class of 1847.
Was represented by Captain N. A. Ramsey, who said:
I had hoped that this duty would have fallen upon another, but as I am the only representative of my class present on this most interesting occasion, I cheerfully accept the situation, and speak a few words for them as best I can.
The class of '48 was a fair average one, composed of twenty-nine members. As far as I have been able to ascertain, there are only ten living -- nineteen having passed over the river and "are now resting under the shade of the trees."
They were, as a rule, both living and dead, as noble a set of fellows as ever breathed the breath of life.
I have not time nor inclination, here, to speak of the dead, save one -- Willie Person Mangum, Jr., who died in the North of China in February, 1881, and his remains now rest in the Congressional Cemetery at Washington. A most interesting sketch of his life has been prepared at my request by his widow, now a resident at Washington City, which will be published in the University Magazine.
Of ten living, I will here mention only two, distinguished for the high and honorable positions they hold.
Oliver Pendleton Meares now presides, with credit to himself and honor to the State, as Judge of the Criminal Court of New Hanover and Mecklenburg
counties, and Victor Clay Barringer, with equal honor and dignity, presides as Judge of Appeals at the Consular Court of Alexandria, Egypt, having filled this position continuously since 1874, and I am glad to state that he is receiving a salary of $10,000 per annum.
I have been endeavoring to prepare a brief history of my class, both living and dead, and hoped to have it ready for this occasion, but I could not do so. I have the data of twenty-four, and hope soon to have some of the remaining five. When completed, it will afford me very great pleasure to furnish a copy to be filed in the archives of the University. God bless you all, and good-bye.
Was represented by Hon. Kemp P. Battle, Dr. P. E. Hines, W. E. Hill, Esq., and Dr. Bryan Whitfield.
Mr. Hill said:
Some persons contend that we are saved by faith, others by works; but I like to show my faith by my works, so I have manifested my love and loyalty to the University by sending four sons to be educated within its classic walls. If a majority of the Alumni
would send as many students to Chapel Hill as I have sent, the University would flourish and rank among the first institutions of the world.
The class of 1849 was quite a large class, and contained some good students. Many of them attained considerable eminence in after-life. Peter Hale, who sat near me during recitation hours, was an editor of marked ability. He published some political and literary works which exhibited very great research. T. J. Robinson, who stood well in the class, was a civil engineer of ability after he left college.
Dr. Haigh, of Fayetteville, and Dr. Peter Hines, of Raleigh, who also sat near me in the class, have been eminent in the medical profession.
There were three Whitfields in our class, who were good students. Two of them were killed fighting for the liberties of their country, and the other, Dr. Bryan Whitfield, of Alabama, has been a successful doctor and planter.
Among the different classes represented at this Centennial Commencement, our class, I believe, is the only one which has produced a President. Other classes have sent out Senators, Governors and statesmen, but the class of 1849 has the distinguished honor of a President. I allude to our friend and class-mate, President K. P. Battle, whose great usefulness
to the State of North Carolina is generally conceded.
I cannot close my remarks without reference to the very able Faculty at the University in 1849, particularly Dr. Elisha Mitchell, my especial friend. Dr. Mitchell sacrificed his useful life upon the altar of science. Truly can it be said that he died a martyr to the cause of the University. His remains were buried upon the summit of a lofty mountain, to which he has given a name which will continue to the end of time.
President Kemp P. Battle added a few words to the remarks of Mr. William E. Hill, who represented the class of 1849. He claimed for his class the honor of numbering among its members a benefactor of the University. It was Rev. John Calvin McNair, of Robeson county, who died while pursuing his theological studies in Edinburgh, bequeathing a valuable estate, after his mother's death, for the establishment of a lectureship on the harmony of Science and Religion. Although the bequest was mainly swallowed up in the great war-gulf, he set a noble example which others should follow.
Another of the class of 1849 deserves especial mention, Col. Edward Mallett, who passed unscathed through many battles and was killed at Bentonville,
leaving four small children, with their mother dying of consumption. His sword is on the walls of our Library, so deeply indented by two minie balls that it cannot be drawn from its scabbard. He was buried in his uniform in the Chapel Hill cemetery, and sleeps without a stone to mark his resting-place.
President Battle expressed his gratification in meeting his old class-mates, Hill, Hines and Bryan Whitfield, with whom he had entered the University forty-four years ago. He and Hill had a curious parallelism in regard to their children, each sending four sons simultaneously to the University since its reopening in 1875.
The following are the statistics of the class of 1849: fifty-four members were connected with it during its four years' course. Of these thirty-six graduated; thirty-four are dead; leaving twenty now living.
Was represented by Dr. J. F. Cain, Hon. J. J. Davis, J. W. Lewis, Esq., and Hon. John Manning.
Mr. Manning said:
The class at its graduation numbered twenty-four. Nine of these are alive, viz: Dr. James F. Cain, of Durham; E. C. Chambers, of Texas; Dr. Julius A.
Caldwell, of Salisbury; Madison Hawkins, of Henderson; W. H. Johnston, of Tarboro; Robert W. Lewis, of Raleigh; J. W. Lewis, of Milton; R. H. Whitfield, of Mississippi, and the speaker.
The first mite men in the class were John Hill, William H. Johnston and Washington C. Kerr. The class always regarded Johnston as the best scholar, and thought that he should have had the valedictory; it was, however, given to Hill. Johnston declined to speak the salutatory, and gave it to a second mite man, R. H. Hines.
The most distinguished members of the class were: Thomas Settle, Benjamin R. Huske, William H. Johnston and Washington C. Kerr.
Thomas Settle was Solicitor of the Hillsborough District, twice Judge of the Supreme Court of the State, Minister of the United States to Peru, President of the National Republican Convention of 1872, and United States District Judge for the State of Florida.
In 1875 he was the nominee of the Republican party of this State for Governor, and bore himself so well in the campaign with Governor Vance as to command the respect of the people, and prove himself the equal on the stump of his great opponent.
He was a man of commanding figure and exceedingly handsome--graceful in all his movements,
and eloquent and earnest as a speaker. Above all, he was a gallant and chivalrous gentleman, gentle as a woman, and yet as brave as any knight who fought at Crécy.
Washington C. Kerr became eminent as a geologist, and for many years had charge of the geological survey of the State. No man was better acquainted with North Carolina, her soils, minerals, stones, flora and waters, and no one of her citizens devoted his life more unselfishly or intelligently to the development of her material interests. He was a live man, up with the science of the day. The Museum at Raleigh is his work and his monument.
Benjamin R. Huske, of Fayetteville, came to the bar and rose rapidly in the profession. In fact, no young lawyer in the Cumberland circuit commanded a larger patronage or won more verdicts. He went to the war with the old Fayetteville company as one of its captains; was in the battle of Bethel, in the engagements on the Peninsula and around Richmond, and in the battle of Seven Pines was wounded, and died of his wounds in the hospital at Richmond. Had he lived he would have attained the highest rank in his profession.
William H. Johnston still lives, a prosperous gentleman, commanding the respect and love of his neighbors.
Joseph J. Davis was a law student, matriculating in 1847. The State of North Carolina knows and has honored honest Joe Davis -- captain in the war, member of Congress, and now a Justice of the Supreme Court.
Old friends, we have had our ups and downs, our joys and sorrows. We have lost most of our worldly goods, but, thank God, we have the old land yet, and our hearts are loyal and true to our Alma Mater and to our State.
Was represented by Peter E. Smith, Esq., who said:
I am the only member of the class of 1851 present, and I am thankful to be at this grand reunion of the Alumni. There were forty-one matriculates and thirty-four graduates in the class. Ten of these are now living. The class was an average in numbers and intellect, having furnished four members of the State Legislature, to-wit: David M. Carter, Giles Leitch, Claudius B. Sanders and Francis E. Shober -- the last also a member of Congress -- all of whom are dead except Francis E. Shober. One was a professor in the University, Benjamin S. Hedrick, who
also filled a prominent position in the Patent Office at Washington City up to the time of his death. One is now a Judge in California, Samuel A. Holmes. There were two distinguished lawyers, D. M. Carter and Bartholomew F. Fuller, both dead. Two colonels in the army, D. M. Carter and Thomas W. Garret, who was killed, at Spottsylvania (I think). The day he was killed, he told his friends he would come out of that fight a "Brigadier" or a dead Colonel. I am told that he won his laurels but died without knowing it. Another brave soldier and genial friend succumbed to the decrees of war, viz: John Thomas Wheat.
The large number of names on the tablets in this hall show that this class was not behind her sisters in the proportionate numbers slain in battle.
It is a sad retrospect to see that all of the old Faculty are dead, save one, the Rev. Dr. Charles F. Deems, now of New York, who will be remembered for all time to come as a benefactor to the youth of the State in procuring the "Deems" fund for educating deserving poor young men at the University.
Was represented by Dr. R. L. Beall, George A. Brett, Esq., Captain John R. Hutchins and Dr. R. H. Lewis.
Dr. Beall said:
Since this morning, when my class selected me to represent them, I have had no time, except amid the exciting and thrilling scenes of this and the banquet hall, in which to collect from the members present the statistics of my class. Of course this mere sketch is, in a measure, impromptu, and, therefore, imperfect.
The class of 1852 numbered, at graduation, forty-two. I find that twenty-one have "passed over to the great majority." Ours has always been a modest class and hardly passed for its worth, but, as honors go in this world, we have a fair share. I find on the roll five M. D.'s and several lawyers, but as lawyers and doctors are no exception in all the classes I need not mention them by name. We have one Doctor of Divinity, Rev. S. Milton Frost, of Davie County, now of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; one Judge, the late Hon. W. A. Moore; two distinguished civil engineers, Warner Lewis, of Virginia, and Maj. J. W.
Wilson, of Morganton, who was the projector of the great feat of engineering, the Western North Carolina Railroad across the Blue Ridge, and who received the high distinction of being selected by the Canadian government to judge the correctness of the engineering on her great Pacific railway. I find three distinguished educators of youth, Jere Slade, of Georgia, Rev. Dr. Frost, of Pennsylvania, and Dr. R. H. Lewis, of Kinston, North Carolina; and one distinguished Attorney General, Hon. William D. Barnes, of Florida. We can say what, perhaps, no other class of the University can say: one of our number has been a member of the Legislature of North Carolina, a member of the United States Congress before the war, a distinguished officer in the Confederate Army, three times Governor of North Carolina, and now a United States Senator. I mean Zebulon B. Vance, our "Zeb."
And now I have come to a class which I have left for the last--on the principle which governed General Clingman when to-day he addressed the ladies last -- last because best of all -- at least not inferior in dignity or importance. I mean our agricultural class.
Among our distinguished tillers of the soil I find John R. Hutchins, of Orange, and George A. Brett, of Hertford. In my travels over this broad land, from New York to New Orleans and from Morehead
City to St. Louis, I have not seen a more beautiful, well-arranged and scientifically cultivated farm than that of our class-mate, Hon. Thomas M. Holt.
At the banquet and reunion in Gerrard Hall this afternoon, my heart swelled with patriotic pride as I listened to the eloquent speeches detailing the triumphs of our Alumni on the battle-field, in public life, at the bar, on the bench, in the ministry and as physicians--their great services to the State as leaders in public and private education, in manufactures, internal improvements and trade. But a shade of disappointment came over the bright picture when the toast on Agriculture was called and not a single voice responded.*
* The Committee endeavored most faithfully, but unsuccessfully, to secure responses to the toasts to "Agriculture" and to "Trade," which were on the programme.
Mr. President, I know that our farmers are a modest class, shrinking from public notice and preferring to let their deeds speak for them. This omission ought not to have been. I know it was not the fault of the Committee of Arrangements. I know among our Alumni, farmers abundantly qualified to have set forth with ability and eloquence our achievements in this great field.
I listened with rapt attention to the speech of Dr. Curry, and my heart was filled with gratitude as he
enumerated the great philanthropists of the North who had so generously showered their treasures upon the educational institutions of the South. But, sir, you may have millions bestowed on your institutions invested in magnificent buildings and the very best of scientific apparatus; you may have a hundred professorships and every professorship endowed with thousands of dollars, and yet there might be one thing lacking, without which your institutions would be as "sounding brass," as nothing. I mean men to fill your chairs, and boys to fill your halls!
Where will you get them? I answer, mainly from the tillers of the soil, directly or indirectly. I venture the assertion, sir, that the majority of the distinguished men among you, in the liberal professions even, either tilled the soil themselves in their youth, or that their fathers or grandfathers did before them. Why, sir, in view of the enervating tendency of our modern civilization as manifested in our town, city and public life, I am tempted to think that the salt which is to save us from national degeneration must come from the farmers of the land.
Let a boy have his bones hardened and his muscles toughened by toil, his lungs expanded and his blood purified by the fresh air of the fields; let his powers of observation and reasoning be quickened by looking into the forests and fields and brooks and
at the varied forms of animal life he sees around him, and let the finer feelings of his nature be developed and his passions subdued by this intercourse with Nature, and I say, sir, you have the raw material out of which to manufacture a perfect model of an intellectual man. Mens sana in corpore sano was the classic model.
More than seven-tenths of our people are interested in agriculture, and, I repeat, it is mainly from this class that you must look for your patronage.
I live under the shadow of a great mountain, founded on everlasting granite, and lifting its peaks nearly six thousand feet above the waves of the sea, and to it are flowing people from every quarter of our country for health and pleasure and beauties of Nature. And now, sir, let us take this great mountain -- or, perhaps better still, the far grander mountain seen in prophetic vision, and to which flowed all nations of the earth -- let us take it as the symbol of this great University, founded on the strong affection and prayers of our people of all classes, and from this solid foundation let its domes tower heavenward, and there will flow to it "every people and kindred and tongue," from the wave-washed shores of Currituck to the thunder-riven peaks of Cherokee, and from this and future generations will go up, with a great shout and a mighty voice, "The
Old North State and her University; one and inseparable, now and forever!"
Was represented by Baldy A. Capehart, Esq., Prof. A. McIver, Col. John L. Morehead, Hon. Henry R. Shorter, Col. John D. Taylor and David G. Worth, Esq.
Colonel Shorter said:
In September, 1850, a light-haired, gray-eyed youth came here alone from Alabama, and after undergoing rigid examinations that nearly scared the life out of him he was permitted to enter the Sophomore class. During the next three years, short and eventful years, he knew the sunlight and the shadows of these classic groves. He loved the friends and companions of his youth, and parted with them in sorrow, when, at the end of his college course, he hied away to the gay savannas of his distant Alabama home.
And now, after thirty-six years of contact with life -- real hard, practical life, and all of its friction -- your humble speaker comes again to worship once more at the shrine of his beloved Alma Mater.
Although my lot in life has been cast in a different and distant section of our common country, yet, during these long years of absence I have never ceased to love this grand Old North State, and for my Alma Mater I have ever cherished an absolute affection. I have watched and admired all these years, with an intense pleasure, the splendid talent and manhood of your State, and God, who knows the secrets of our hearts, knows I have loved your women. I find in my heart an inexpressible happiness in being here to-day to unite with you in this centennial celebration. Over mountains and rivers, over hills and valleys, and over fields and forests I have come to be with you here, and now I salute you, my class-mates, companions and friends of my youth. Let us rejoice that we have met again; let us clap our hands together in joyful song over the memories of Auld Lang Syne.
My class-mates, those were the halcyon days of life. Friendships formed when the heart is fresh and pure, free from the canker of the world and the foul slime of worldly considerations, are the sweetest and most durable. We could not forget them if we would. Every gale of pleasure will waft the sweet memory to our souls. Every storm of sorrow will bring back the contrast of past pleasures. If we are filled with the world's joys, they will grow brightest and greenest
amid the loves of our hearts; if we are cast down by misfortune and disaster, they will rear themselves, in the desert of our affections, a fitting monument over the grave of dead and buried hopes. And now, after long years of our parting, how happy is the hour of our meeting.
"Oh, time is sweet, when roses meet
With Spring's soft breath around them,
And sweet the cost when hearts are lost,
If those we love have found them;
And sweet the mind that still can find
A star in darkest weather,
Yet, nought can be so sweet to see,
As old friends met together.
"Those days of old, when youth was bold,
And time stole wings to speed it,
And youth ne'er knew how fast time flew --
Or knowing, did not heed it;
Though cold each brow that meets us now,
For age brings wintry weather,
Yet, nought can be more sweet to see,
Than old friends met together."
And it is a happy hour with us that we have here met together; but vibrations of sorrow and sadness break across our hearts, as we learn from one another the names of the dead of the class of 1853.
Here we have wandered together through the campus and the grove as when we were boys. We
have looked in upon the same old college rooms in which we lived when we were students here. And those still, solemn, gray old walls have given back to us the whisperings of years long gone by. And when the college bell this morning awoke me from my slumbers, I felt that I should quickly spring from my couch and hasten to yonder old chapel to see again the strong and manly form of the venerable Dr. Charles Phillips standing on the rostrum, with pencil and book in hand, calling --
(The speaker here called the roll of his class from memory.)
Of the fifty-seven graduates of 1853, only six of us are here to-day. God be merciful and good to all the others wherever they may be! I well remember them all -- their happy faces and their manly forms. To you I tender a brother's greeting and a brother's love. May you in every thought bring back the past without a regret, gild the future with the brightest hope, and fill to overflowing your cups of happiness without a single drop of pain; and when in future memory reverts to your college days, may I be with you again and have a great big place in your hearts.
Mr. President, that wonderful State in which I live demands a constant work from me. The book of the future is closed against us. The future conditions of life may prevent, or forbid, my attending your commencements;
but if I am not here in person, I will be in spirit, and abide with you all in the sweetest meditations. Farewell--farewell, and may God be with you always.
Was represented by Richard H. Battle, Esq., David S. Cowan, Esq., Capt. E. Hayne Davis, Col. John M. Galloway, Capt. Richard B. Henderson, Capt. Robert B. Johnston, Capt. Oscar R. Rand, Col. William L. Saunders, John D. Shaw, Esq., Capt. William H. Thompson, and Rev. William R. Wetmore.
Mr. Richard H. Battle said:
The class of 1854 numbered eighty-eight members in all during the college course, and of them over sixty graduated; of these sixty, but twenty-six are now living. It was the largest class ever graduated up to that time and for two or three years thereafter. It was probably the youngest in the average of its members ever graduated from the institution, some eight or ten being only eighteen years old, only two as much as twenty-five, and the average not over twenty. It was also one of the most patriotic of classes. Nearly all of us volunteered at the call of
our State to arms in the late war. We furnished half a dozen or more field-officers and surgeons, about twenty captains and nearly as many lieutenants, while several others were content to serve as non-commissioned officers and privates. About fifteen per cent. fill heroes' graves, at least four of the bravest and best having been killed in the battles before Richmond in the summer of 1862. Two of our gallant captains (Davis and Johnston) stand before you with empty sleeves. That some of us have been mindful of our duty to the State since the war, appears from the fact that one of us now present has twelve living children, and another, who would have come but for sickness, has eleven.
The speaker for the class of 1847 has told you something of the introduction of Peirce's very difficult mathematics into the institution. Our class, with that ahead of us, while Sophomores and Juniors, respectively, aided in the exit of his higher mathematical books from the course of study here. Finding out that "Peirce's Analytics and Calculus," which were bound in one volume, were out of print, an informal meeting of some of both classes, who had become hopelessly lost in those studies, was held, and it was resolved that a holocaust of these books should be had. A committee was appointed to collect the condemned books, in any way that might be found effectual, and
the committee being successful in getting into their possession all but two or three, a great bonfire of these books was kindled one dark night in the rear of the campus, and in a few minutes only their ashes remained to tell the tale of their destruction. The next day, when their former owners were called up by the professors of mathematics to recite, they fessed, as the phrase then was, but with the excellent excuse that they had no books. The Faculty soon learned the true state of the facts, and, in view of the great temptation upon the boys to relieve themselves of a burden that seemed to them so grievous, they concluded to pass by the offence, and make the best of what they couldn't help, I do not mention this as to the credit of the classes of 1853 and 1854, but only as a contribution to history. On the whole, we were not bad boys, but were generally on the side of law and order.
I can hardly say more without trenching upon the time for hearing from other classes, and I will end my remarks upon the class of 1854 with a suggestion of a practical character, which was made to me to-day by a member of the class, and I now repeat it, in the hope that something may be made of it in the future. It is that, somehow, a voice should be given to the Alumni of this University, who, above all others, love it and desire its welfare, in the selection of at
least a part of the Board of Trustees. It is hoped that, before the next session of the General Assembly, a committee from the Alumni will consider and present some plan looking to this end, to the Legislature. What has worked so well in some of the great colleges at the North, ought to succeed as well here. We now give place to our friends of the class of 1855.
Was represented by N. A. Boyden, Esq., M. S. Davis, Esq., Dr. William J. Love and Rev. S. P. Watters.
Mr. Watters said:
The class of '55 greet their brethren of the Alumni on this auspicious occasion, the commemoration of the centennial of the founding of our honored Alma Mater.
Our class-history, in brief, is that fifty-five members were graduated as Bachelors of Arts. Of this number, perhaps one-half are living. During the war the class furnished a noble complement of patriots to the Southern cause, one of its members attaining the rank of Brigadier General.
To the learned professions the class has contributed its fair proportion. One of its members, a
former member of Congress in Louisiana; one, latterly, an honored Judge on the Superior Court bench of the State; one a distinguished physician in the city of New York; while the class has the exceptional distinction of contributing six of its members to the ministry of the Gospel. Wheresoever found, in their various vocations and pursuits, we believe they are sustaining the fair fame of our University.
We are happy to greet our brethren of the Alumni, reviving (as this reunion should) our loyalty to and our pride in our Alma Mater. We pledge our cooperation in any mode devised, in any work inaugurated, whose tendency shall be the building up of our honored University, fervently trusting that the traditional glories of her past may be enhanced by her grander history in the near and coming future.
Was represented by W. F. Alderman, Esq., William Burwell, Esq., Hon. Clement Dowd, A. H. Merritt, Esq., and Col. B. R. Moore.
Mr. Merritt said:
The class which I have the honor to represent before this audience consisted of fifty-six members,
and graduated thirty-three years ago. It contained no geniuses, but stood high in scholarship, and much above the average class in moral tone and correct deportment. Its history, since graduation, has been alike useful to society and creditable to the University. Various positions of trust and honor have been filled by its members, but no act that was not justified by honor has ever attached to any single member. At the bar, in the pulpit, at the teacher's desk, in the halls of legislation, in the editorial chair, upon the tented field, always and everywhere, the class of 1856 has borne itself bravely. But a sad mortality has followed it. More than seventy per cent. have passed over to the great majority. The death-roll contains many names of men of high intellect and noble promise, who, dying, have left records of lives of true manhood. Turn to these mural tablets, and read the names of such chivalrous men as Morrow and Owens, and you may know well some of the sacrifices made by this class on the altar of country and freedom. Go into the school-rooms, from Maine to California, and you will find what a rich and lasting legacy to the literature of the country William Bingham has made in his classical series.
Of the living members of this class--"rari nantesin gurgite vasto"--Dr. J. B. Killebrew stands prominent. No man, living or dead, has done so much as he to
elevate the agricultural interests and develop the resources of the great State of Tennessee. Others occupy prominent places at the bar, at the sacred desk, and in the various walks of high and honorable life.
Of these gentlemen who stand before you to-day, one has devoted a useful life to teaching, and is now a professor in one of our best colleges for young ladies; another has been worn bald by the honors heaped upon him in the National Congress; another has been touched lightly by time, and stands here in the pride of vigorous manhood, a representative of the legal profession; another is prominent as a farmer and as the father of thirteen children, and as such he deserves to be honored "maxima cum laude." Of the other member of the class present, perhaps the least said the better; but the temptation of a compliment to him is not to be resisted. He has shown, in one respect at least, more wisdom than Solomon, in that he has never married but one wife; and taking advantage of the privilege granted to all Benedicts when out of ear-shot of their drill-masters, it is declared that the world would be all the better if the woman whose husband he is were spared to celebrate the next centennial.
The class of 1856 bids the University and each brother alumnus hail! -- it bids them farewell!
Was represented by Hon. A. C. Avery, Maj. Robert Bingham, Dr. Daniel McL. Graham, Maj. John W. Graham, Col. Thomas S. Kenan, Dr. John M. Lawing, and William H. Williams, Esq.
Colonel Kenan presented the class in a few remarks.
Was represented by William Bonner, Esq., Hon. Lewis Hilliard, Col. John A. Gilmer, F. M. Johnson, Esq., Rev. R. H. Marsh, Thomas W. Mason, Esq., Col. A. C. McAlister, Dr. J. F. Miller, Col. James T. Morehead, James A. Walker, Esq.
Mr. Thomas W. Mason said:
Those of us present earnestly desired that our worthy class-mate, Judge Gilmer, should speak to you in our behalf, and represent the class of 1858. With his accustomed generosity he has insisted that I should be clothed with this honor, which, I am sure, I do not merit, but which I should greatly enjoy, if I felt that I could, without further time for thought, be just to the merits of the living and the memory of the dead.
On the third day of June, 1858, we went forth from Gerrard Hall, ninety-two in number, to our different homes: one to Arkansas, six to Alabama, two to Florida, two to Georgia, two to Louisiana, six to Mississippi, one to South Carolina, seven to Tennessee, three to Virginia and sixty-two to North Carolina. We have never met since. To-day, those of us present sat down on the steps of the old West Building and tried to recall our absent class-mates. The hand of time had scattered them far apart, and some of them we failed to trace.
We sadly believe that half our number have died. Many of these fell while in the military service for the South. Their names appear in quick succession upon these walls: William Adams, of Guilford; Robert Walker Anderson, of New Hanover; Jesse Sharpe Barnes, of Wilson; Edward Starkie Bell, of Alabama; Hugh Thomas Brown, of Wilkes; Thomas Cowan, of New Hanover; Robert Theodore Harris, of Alabama; Addison Harvey, of Mississippi; William Campbell Lord, of Rowan, one of our "first-honor" men; John Merritt Perry, another "first-honor" man, of Beaufort; David Jones Young, of Granville, afterwards, and at the time of his death, of Petersburg, Virginia. Their names are here; their lives have passed into glorious history. I would willingly speak to you of each one of these whom we so much cherish, but I
am reminded that the hours are passing by, and that many others than those of the class of 1858 are worthy to be remembered on this day, which we have dedicated to the memory of the past. I must ask you, and I am sure my class-mates will approve it, to let me pause and say one word of Robert Walker Anderson, who was one of our "first-honor" men with greatest distinction. I have never known a clearer, stronger intellect, exalted and ennobled by a simpler, purer, kinder, braver heart than his. Peace and honor to him!
We gave to the Southern army one General, Robert Daniel Johnston, of Lincoln, afterwards a lawyer of large practice in Mecklenburg, and now a citizen of Birmingham, Alabama. He was an efficient, dashing commander. It was my fortune to meet him once in the midst of a fierce conflict of arms, when he seized me by the hand, exclaiming, "Old friend, how glorious it is!" May success attend him in his new home.
Six of our number commanded regiments in the same service. I am happy to say three of these are with us to-day, and I now have the pleasure to introduce to you Col. John Alexander Gilmer, of Guilford; Col. James Turner Morehead, also of Guilford, who was another of our "first-honor" men, and who has always remained first with us; and Col. Alexander
Carey McAlister, of Randolph, with whom time seems to have dealt so gently that the bloom of youth has not faded from his brow, nor his eye lost its old-time merry light. You will observe that my friend Colonel Gilmer limps as he walks; but, thanks to a kind Providence, the bullet did not stop the beating of his noble heart, or take from us any of the sunshine of his kindly face. Two of this number, I regret to say, are not with us: Col. Hamilton Chamberlain Jones, of Rowan formerly, but now of Mecklenburg, and whom, if you please, we know best as our Ham Jones; and Richard W. Singleton, now living in Florida. The one remaining sleeps in an honored grave, Col. Leroy Mangum McAfee, of Cleveland, another "first-honor" man.
Of less rank than these in the military service were forty or more of our number as we were able to follow them. I have given you the names of some of these among our honored dead, and some are present with us, whom I shall presently have the honor to introduce to you. Of those who are absent, and whom I have not already named, let me recall the following: James Smith Baker, now living in Florida; Lemuel Creecy Benbury, of Chowan, who has died since the war; Wilkins Bruce, of Virginia; William Macon Coleman, of Cabarrus, gifted as a writer, formerly practising law in this State, but now residing
in Washington City; David Short Goodloe, of Mississippi, who lost an arm during the war, was afterwards a minister of the Gospel of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and is now dead; his brother, Winter Hooe Goodloe, of Mississippi; John Charles Goodman, of Gates, prosecuting his profession as a physician; William May Hammond, of Anson, another of our "first-honor" men, who served with distinction on the staff of the lamented General Junius Daniel, who has attained to success in his profession as a lawyer, and is now residing in the State of Georgia; James Stadler Hill, of Stokes, who is principal of a large school at Dalton, Ga.; William Washington Humphries, of Mississippi, a prominent and successful lawyer at Columbus; Stephen William Isler, of Wayne, a lawyer of large practice at Goldsboro; William Little, of Wake, prominent as a physician at Raleigh until his death; Thomas Noles Macartney, of Alabama, a well-known lawyer of Mobile; Rufus Brooks Mann, of Granville; James Alexander Marsh, of Randolph, who died while residing at Raleigh about ten years ago; Joseph Lucian McConnaughey, of Rowan, practising his profession as a physician; Frederick Philips, now the resident Judge of the Superior Court of the second judicial district; John McCrarey Richmond, of South Carolina, a physician in Missouri; James Turner Scales, of
Virginia; Benjamin Gordon Smith, of Halifax; William Thomas Sutton, of Bertie, now a physician of large practice in the city of Norfolk, Virginia; Caldwell Calhoun Swayze, of Louisiana, residing in Opelousas of that State; Edward Turner Sykes, of Mississippi, a successful lawyer of Columbus, recently a prominent member of the Legislature of Mississippi; Henry Humphreys Tate, of Mecklenburg, now engaged in farming; William Lewis Twitty, of Rutherford; Samuel Edward Westray, of Nash, now engaged in banking and a large planter; Joseph Mastris White, of Florida, now dead; Thomas Smith Whitted, of Bladen; Joseph Williams, of Yadkin, of whose death within a recent period I have learned; Julius Walker Wright, of New Hanover, who died in 1878; William Hamilton Young, of Granville, who was Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, a prominent lawyer, and who died at his home in the town of Henderson a few years ago.
I grieve to say, for lack of information, I can make no statement as to the remaining members of our class.
Sad to relate, not a few of our number died soon after graduation. Our valedictorian, William Carey Dowd, of Wake, with the shadow of death upon his pale brow when he bade us good-bye, lingered but a
few months thereafter. The gentle Nathaniel Pearson Lusher, of Tennessee, died at his home in Memphis in 1859. Handsome, genial Ambrose Davie, "Little Dutch," as we used to call him, perished, with his beautiful bride, in February, 1861, by the burning of the steamer "Charmer" on the Mississippi, above New Orleans. And so passed away early, my friends Samuel Mitchell Brinson, of Craven, and William John Foreman, of Pitt, with the latter of whom I had been associated for six years of my school life. And later than these, S. Dupuy Goza, of Louisiana; Samuel Turner Sykes, of Mississippi; Macon Tucker Dugger, of Warren; William Whitaker, of Halifax; William Murphy, of Rowan; John Webster Tate, of Gaston, and of still more recent date, Richard Caswell Swain, of Chapel Hill.
We gave to the bench of North Carolina three of our number. One of these, who has retired from official life, and is now engaged in the business of a cotton factor, is here with us from his home in the city of Norfolk, Virginia, and I now have the pleasure to introduce to you Judge Louis Hilliard. I am pleased to inform you that our late Colonel Gilmer is now before you as Judge Gilmer, wearing the ermine of the Judge as courageously as he did the stars of the Colonel. The other of these is now
absent in the active discharge of the duties of his commission, Judge Frederick Philips, of Edgecombe.
Ten of our class are present. One of these has come from his distant home in Tennessee to take another look at the old campus and drink again from the old college well, and I now present to you my class-mate, William Bonner, of Fayetteville, Tennessee. When he was here before, he was William Bonner, Jr., now he is William Bonner, Sr.; but, I am happy to note how gently the passing years have dealt with him.
And now let me enjoy the pleasure of presenting to you my other class-mates as they stand before you. Francis Marion Johnson, of Davie; Rev. Robert Henry Marsh, of Chatham; Dr. John Fullenwilder Miller, of Goldsboro, and James Alves Walker, of Wilmington. I am delighted to observe how very well my class-mates are looking. I believe we have all gained flesh since we reached old Chapel Hill. I know we have gained unspeakable happiness.
I wish to make a startling announcement before I close. Two of our number are still unmarried. I will not give you their names; I will only say that they are the very finest fellows in the world, and I now propose to my class-mates that we offer a cup of gold to the one of these that shall exhibit at our
next reunion the larger matrimonial progress. I have attempted this sketch of the class of 1858, unworthy of them, I know. We claim no merit or distinction over any of those who have gone before us, or who have come after us. We only desire this: that we yield to no other class in our devotion to the past history of our Alma Mater, in our deep and abiding interest in her present development, and our concern and our hopes for the future that lies before her.
Was represented by Hon. Mills L. Eure, John M. Fleming, Esq., Rev. S. H. Isler, Daniel P. McEachern, Esq., Marshall H. Pinnix, Esq., James P. Taylor, Esq., and Colonel E. B. Withers.
Judge Eure said:
In behalf of the class of 1859 we will speak briefly. It was one of the largest classes graduated at the University up to that date. The period at which we were graduated put us at the threshold of active life at the time when the people of the South believed that their equal rights under the Constitution of our country were in jeopardy. These rights they determined
to defend with their fortunes and their lives, and the appeal to arms was sounded throughout the land. Actuated by patriotism, and with a courage undaunted, our class, in solid phalanx, almost without exception, entered the contest; and in some capacity nearly every member of the class did service in the Confederate army. Our ranks were thinned by the casualties of war, and we stand before you here but few in number. From the best information I can obtain, more than twenty per cent of the class were killed in battle, died of wounds received in battle, or by disease during the war. The names of many of them are upon the memorial tablets on these walls. And while there is sadness and sorrow in our hearts at their loss so early in manhood, still we have the proud satisfaction of knowing that their memory is safe. Their gallant deeds in battle, and noble sacrifice of life, have enshrined their memories in the hearts of a grateful people, and these memories will ever remain fresh, so long as the people of this South-land shall remember to love virtue, practise justice, and have the courage to defend civil and religious liberty. Many of our class have attained high distinction in the learned professions, and we regret to say that the brightest of these have gone to premature graves. We call to mind an incident in our college life which deserves mention. During
our Senior year, we think, some students, possibly of the bad kind, like my friend Colonel Kenan's class, excited by some imaginary wrong done them by the Faculty, avenged themselves by burning the benches taken from the recitation rooms, and, I think, by burning the belfry. These outrages were condemned by the more orderly class of students, and through the efforts of our class in the literary societies measures were adopted to discourage the destruction of college property, and the disgraceful act was never repeated.
As to the future of our Alma Mater our classmates feel the most profound interest. There may be some objections to the University in some sections, arising from rivalry or slight prejudices, as there always have been. These must be met by her friends, and especially by the Alumni, with moderation and sound reason. The record of her Alumni for the past century; their great deeds in shaping the destiny of a great State; their efforts in promoting our entire educational system; the renown they have attained in every vocation in almost every State; the paramount necessity for sustaining, without stint, the broadest facilities for the highest possible educational attainments, must be presented to our people. When this is done, we have the abiding faith that the intelligence and patriotism of our citizens will
lead them to realize the necessity for a great University in North Carolina, and secure for it that support which will enable it to achieve even greater triumphs in the coming century than it has in the past. For the accomplishment of this our classmates pledge their most earnest efforts.
Was represented by Capt. W. T. Allen, A. S. Barbee, Esq., Capt. W. H. Borden, Col. E. J. Hardin and Capt. R. P. Howell.
Captain Allen said:
After an absence of twenty-nine most eventful years, we re-assemble to join with you on this centennial anniversary. Our class numbered one hundred and thirty-one matriculates, and represented every Southern and some of the Western States -- ninety-five of whom graduated.
Is it not surprising, out of so large a class, that there are only six of us present to enjoy this reunion and participate in these pleasant exercises? But look at these tablets, and you learn a sad story. Ours was the last to graduate before the war, and, before we could settle down to any special vocation, our
noble boys, true to the principles which they had, in a great measure, imbibed here, wanting to discharge the full duty of American citizens, regardless of any other consideration but that of duty, went forward as brave soldiers to sacrifice their young and promising lives upon the altar of their country. Our class furnished more soldiers and lost more lives, probably, than any other. While we do not boast, like some preceding classes, of furnishing the greatest number of men who have risen high in legal, scientific and political eminence, we can refer with pride to such men as E. J. Hale (who sends greeting to this body to-day by telegram from Manchester), and others, occupying high social and responsible positions, who are honored members of this class.
But on the list of the Confederate dead are the names of those who could have adorned any position to which they might have been called. First, you notice the name of Junius C. Battle, a brother of the honored President of this University, graduating with the first distinction, and possessing all the elements of success, and surrounded by every advantage and encouragement for promotion -- scarcely twenty years old. It looks too sad that a life of such promised usefulness should be lost on the threshold of its manhood. There are others, whom we can not enumerate, who would have honored society and
made the world better by their lives. But, old comrades, all of you, wherever you are, be you living or dead, we will always love every member of the class of 1860.
Was represented by Capt. Calvin Barnes, E. G. Brodie, Esq., Capt. George B. Bullock, Capt. John D. Currie, Hon. Thomas D. Johnston, Col. James G. Kenan, Col. J. Turner Morehead, James Parker, Esq., and Joshua G. Wright, Esq.
Hon. Thomas D. Johnston said:
The history of the class of 1861--which, by the partiality of its members now present, I am designated to represent on this occasion--up to the date of its graduation, is but a counterpart of the history of those preceding it.
We were actuated during our course at the University by the same ambitions; inspired by the same hopes; engaged in the same generous rivalry for the honors; had our proportion of disappointments, and enjoyed a due share of the pleasures incident to college life common to all the other classes; and the friendships then formed constitute the basis of the
great pleasure which this happy reunion has afforded to the few survivors who attend this centennial anniversary.
But from the date of its graduation in June, 1861, during the dark days of the history of the State and of the University, the history of the class is literally written in the blood of its members. It is essentially the war-class of the University. It forms, indeed, the key-stone of that glorious arch which spans the most trying epoch of our State, reaching from the time when our University was at the zenith of its prosperity to the date which marks its most gloomy period, and to-day stands as a monument to the undaunted valor of her devoted and patriotic sons. The echoes of the speeches of its eighty-seven graduates had not died away in yonder hallowed chapel, ere the thunderings from the belching cannon and rattling musketry from the battle-field of Bethel were wafted across the borders of our beloved State, and announced that the first victory of the late unfortunate war had been won by the bravery and steadfastness of North Carolina's devoted sons. In response to the call of their country, these eighty-seven young men, almost before the ink was dry upon the parchments which enrolled them as alumni of this University, were enrolled as volunteer soldiers of the Confederate army. Many of them did not reach their homes after graduating before they enlisted, and all, without a single exception,
so far as we can ascertain, promptly entered the ranks of the country's defenders, and from that date to the close of the war the history of their lives is indeed a bright and shining record of valor and heroism. It is so closely interwoven with the history of the State, the gallant deeds of whose brave sons illustrated on so many bloody fields, not alone Spartan valor, but indeed what is more, NORTH CAROLINA COURAGE, that the historian who truthfully portrays North Carolina's part in that dreadful struggle of four years, will, of necessity, write also the history of this class. On almost every battle-field, from the rolling plains of the first Manassas through the various bloody conflicts of Williamsburg, Seven Pines, Malvern Hill, Second Manassas, Sharpsburg, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, and the hundred other scenes of carnage which mark almost every spot of Virginia soil in the Eastern campaign, as well as the many equally fierce and glorious fields of the West, from disastrous Fishing Creek to Atlanta, the class of 1861 was represented by some of its members. But should I be asked for the evidence of the patriotism and courage of my class, I point with peculiar but mournful pride to the roll of honor of the two hundred and sixty alumni who gave their lives to their country, which adorns the walls of this Memorial Hall, where are enrolled the names of more than one-third of the
eighty-seven who left this rostrum in 1861 to do battle for their section. Upon that sacred roll is written the names of thirty of our class-mates, whose memories will ever be cherished by us, their survivors, and throughout the borders of our State will their examples of heroism be pointed to with pride by all coming generations. "Si quæris monumentum, circumspice." I will be pardoned if I specially mention the name of that brave and gallant soldier, Col. John Jones, of Caldwell county, who fell at the head of his regiment leading his equally brave comrades to the fierce struggle. Of him it was said by his commanding general, that he was "worth his weight in gold." His various deeds of daring and courage which made him conspicuous as a soldier and leader, will be recorded in his country's history. His career is but the counterpart of the career of all the other noble dead of our class.
But it is not alone, sir, to this roll of our dead class-mates--glorious and sacred as it is--that we point for evidence of our devotion to our State. It is with equal and just pride that I mention here the astounding fact that the ELEVEN men who stand before you the representatives of our class, bear upon their bodies the marks of TWENTY-FIVE honorable wounds, received in the battles of the late war. This is a living speaking evidence that the class of 1861 was,
indeed, the war-class of this institution. But, Mr. Chairman, it is not alone in war that this class has become memorable for its patriotic services. The remnant who survived the struggle returned to their devastated homes, and faithfully acted their part in building up the waste places of the State. Debarred for a number of years by the political situation which immediately succeeded the termination of hostilities, and which was forced upon them by a course of events over which they could exercise no control, they quietly, but manfully, performed their parts as citizens, sharing in the deep humiliation visited upon a prostrate and helpless section. As soon, however, as time brought about a better condition of affairs, and they were permitted to assist in shaping the policy of the State, they again came to her rescue, and in the civil positions of State and National legislators, judges, executive officers, &c., a due proportion of its members have received high honors at the hands of their fellow-citizens; and in these various positions they have all been found in the front rank, doing their full measure of duty.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, it is with becoming pride that we challenge comparison with any other class which has graduated from this University.
Was represented by Marsden Bellamy, Esq., Col. Joseph A. Haywood, Hon. Thomas G. Skinner and H. C. Wall, Esq.
Hon. Thomas G. Skinner presented the class in a few words.
Was represented by Rev. Dr. John L. Carroll, W. N. Mebane, Esq., and W. M. Watkins, Esq.
Dr. Carroll said:
The class of Alumni born to Alma Mater in 1863 was small in numbers. There were only eight of us. But let not the larger classes of preceding years look down with contempt upon us, for they must remember that '63 was not a good year for University boys. "Never in the tide of time," said Governor Swain in that year, "has there been such a cloud overhanging the University."
The class which had started in '59 with one hundred and thirty Freshmen, had dwindled down to
eight during the Senior year, and as I stood in the old chapel to-day, it did not require a stretch of my imagination to hear dear old Mr. Fetter calling the roll--"Argo, Broyles, Carr, Carroll, Hines, Marshall, Quarles, Watkins." Of this class there are six surviving. Hines sickened and died not long after the close of the war; Quarles, impersonation of modesty, gentleness and inoffensiveness, was stricken down in wanton violence, by a bully, upon the streets of Waco, Texas. Of the survivors, Argo is a popular lawyer in Raleigh; Broyles is said to be somewhere in Tennessee; Carr is a successful farmer and merchant in his native county of Pitt; Marshall is the popular pastor of Christ Church in Raleigh; and Watkins, who stands by my side, is a prosperous and happy tobacconist in his native town of Milton. He and I, as the representatives of the graduates of '63, and Mr. Mebane, who left the class at an earlier period for the war, tender to our Alma Mater our congratulations on this delightful reunion of her sons. We are in fullest sympathy with this centennial occasion; and join heartily in the rejoicings that are enkindled by the touching reminiscences of the past, and the inspiring hopes of the future. But recognizing the fact that the lateness of the hour forbids extended remarks, we restrain the disposition to indulge in them. We content ourselves with a
single word to those who came before us, and to those who come after us. We address ourselves to our seniors with assurances of our fraternal regards. We mark with tender solicitude their rapidly thinning ranks, their gradually whitening locks and stooping forms, and devoutly pray for them a green and happy old age, and an abundant entrance into the better land when the summons shall come for them to go hence.
To our juniors we turn with all the authority which seniority confers, and admonish them to double their diligence in the service of Alma Mater. Into their hands, in great part, her interests must be committed, and if she shall ever attain the distinction so earnestly coveted for her, it must be largely through their instrumentality. A sacred trust is passing into their keeping--one fraught with great honor to themselves and with incalculable good to North Carolina, and to the world at large. Let them guard it with undying devotion. And when, down the stream of time, disgorging its waters into the vast ocean of eternity, we all shall have floated and been forgotten, may larger and better classes of Alumni be born to Alma Mater year after year in the coming centuries--Alumni who shall promptly and gladly rise up and call her blessed, and by their devoted services gather around her head a halo of
glory which shall pale only in the reflected light of eternity.
Was represented by A. M. Boozer, Esq., Hon. Walter Clark, William A. Guthrie, Esq., W. R. Kenan, Esq., and Capt. Octavius A. Wiggins.
Mr. Guthrie presented the class briefly.
Was represented by Henry A. London, Esq., who said:
I much regret that I am the only representative present of the class of 1865, which may aptly be called the "war class," having been the first to matriculate after the beginning of the war, and the first to graduate after its close.
Just after the Confederate victory at Manassas, when the star of the young Confederacy had emerged with such brilliancy in the firmament of nations, about fifty youths of our State, buoyant with bright
hopes, and yet, fearful lest the war should close before they could take part therein, matriculated at the University and entered the Freshman class. The history of that class is similar to the history of the Confederate States, and is marked by the varying fortunes of war. As the war progressed, and the contending armies drew nearer, the members of that class, one after another, enlisted in the depleted ranks of their struggling countrymen, and, leaving the quiet shades of their Alma Mater, went forth like men (though only boys) to do and to die for "God and their native land" -- until finally, when the star of the Confederacy had forever sunk in the darkness of disaster and defeat, there remained only one member of that once buoyant band who had gone through the entire college curriculum.
The lateness of the hour and your exhausted patience will not permit my giving a detailed history of the class of 1865, or a mention of many of the exciting incidents of college life during the troublous and dark days of horrid war, a diary of which I kept at the time, and still have. The catalogue of 1863 and '64 shows that the number of students then enrolled was only seventy-nine. By the earnest appeals and persistent efforts of Governor Swain, the Confederate authorities exempted from conscription
until 1864 the few members of the two higher classes who were liable to military duty. He urged upon President Davis that "the seed-corn must not be ground up," and through the self-sacrificing efforts of himself and all the members of the Faculty, the University was kept open during the entire war, and even when Sherman's soldiers entered Chapel Hill in April, 1865, there were still some ten or twelve boys pursuing their studies. During all those days of bloodshed and carnage -- when in the distance might be heard the boom of cannon and the bursting of shells -- yonder old bell daily sounded its summons to recitations and prayers!
In the latter part of 1864 duty called me away from the quiet life of a college student to share the hardships and dangers of the "tented field"; and on my return home from Appomattox Court House, I and other members of the Senior class were notified by Governor Swain that he would grant us diplomas as regular graduates if we would return to the University and deliver orations at the approaching Commencement. Only four of the class appeared in response to this notification, and some of them under much difficulty--it falling to my lot to travel on foot the greater part of my journey to Chapel Hill. The audience to which our graduating addresses were
delivered, consisted chiefly of visitors from the North--soldiers of the Federal army.
Those four graduates are now scattered on two continents--one residing in the city of Paris, one in Montana Territory, one in the State of New York, and I here. Of that number two are ministers of the Gospel, so that the class of 1865 can boast that one-half of its graduates entered the sacred ministry!
In glancing over my college diary a few days ago, I found on the last page the following entry: "Thus ends, in all probability, my last day at the University of North Carolina, as I leave to-morrow, and in a few days 'off to the wars we'll go'"! and the very last words there recorded express a sentiment that has always animated the students of this university--one to which every heart here beats a warm and responsive throb--and one to which with sincere pleasure I now again, after the lapse of twenty-five years, give utterance--"Hurrah for Chapel Hill"!
It was now long after midnight, and the roll-call of classes ceased at this point.
On motion of W. J. Peele, Esq., it was
Resolved by the Alumni Association that a committee of twelve, with Col. W. L. Saunders as chairman, be appointed by the President to report to the next meeting of the Alumni a plan for establishing a Chair of History at this University.
On motion of Hon. John A. Gilmer, it was
Resolved that the President appoint a committee to arrange for annual alumni reunions on Wednesday of Commencement week.
On motion, the thanks of the Alumni Association were voted the Committee of Arrangements.
The Association then adjourned. Thus closed the Centennial Reunion, one of the most brilliant and delightful occasions in the history of the University.Quis est nostrum liberaliter educatus, cui non educatores, cui non magistri sui atque doctores, cui non locus ipse ille mutus, ubi alitus aut doctus est, cum grata recordatione in mente versetur?
The following list of Alumni present at the Reunion is published here, though not complete:
It is earnestly requested that the Alumni of each class will interest themselves in collecting material for a permanent and complete history of that class.
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