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Title: Letter from Iveson L. Brookes to Jonathan Brookes, September 1816: Electronic Edition.
Author: Brookes, Iveson Lewis, 1793-1865
Editor: Erika Lindemann
Funding from the State Library of North Carolina supported the electronic publication of this title.
Text transcribed by Erika Lindemann
Images scanned by Mara E. Dabrishus
Text encoded by Sarah Ficke
First Edition, 2005
Size of electronic edition: ca. 17K
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
The electronic edition is a part of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South.
Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2005-03-15, Sarah Ficke finished TEI/XML encoding.
Part of a series:
This transcribed document is part of a digital collection, titled True and Candid Compositions: The Lives and Writings of Antebellum Students in North Carolina
written by Lindemann, Erika
Title of collection: Iveson Lewis Brookes Papers (#3249), Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Title of document: Letter from Iveson L. Brookes to Jonathan Brookes, September 1816
Author: Iveson Lewis Brookes
Description: 3 pages, 4 page images
Note: Call number 3249 (Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Topics covered:
Education/UNC Administration
Education/UNC Enrollments and Finances
Education/UNC Student Life
Examples of Student Writing/Letters and Letter Writing
Examples of Student Writing/Senior Speeches
Editorial practices
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Transcript of the personal correspondence. Originals are in the Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Original grammar, punctuation, and spelling have been preserved.
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For more information about transcription and other editorial decisions, see Dr. Erika Lindemann's explanation under the section Editorial Practices.

Document Summary

Brookes reports to his father that 27 students have been suspended following disorders in response to William B. Shepard's speech; he looks forward to going home in December and needs a new suit.
Letter from Iveson L. Brookes to Jonathan Brookes, September 18161
Brookes, Iveson Lewis, 1793-1865

Page 1
Chapel Hill Septr 1816

Dear Father

As a favorable opportunity of writing by Mr. Morehead, (who will pass by the neighborhood)2 offers unexpectedly, I cannot let it pass without giving you a few lines (though I have but a few minutes to write in) We have lately had a considerable commotion in college which has terminated in the suspension of 27 of the students. It origined from a speech3 delivered by one of the Senior Class4 which had been corrected by the president and the Student neglected the alterations made & persisted to speak it as he had composed it, after he was several times ordered to stop upon the publick stage. The students generally supposed the corrections on the speach were wrong & many of them at the close of it showed their approbation of the young man's conduct by clapping & making open plaudits in the publick Hall in the presence of the assembly in which were several stangers On the next morning they met at the Chapel for the purpose of consulting on some measure to shew their further contempt of the President in ordering the for the corrections on the speech5 & his conduct towards the Speaker

Page 2
In short many of them manifested a spirit of open rebellion if the Speaker should be sus punished for his disobeying the President The Faculty proceeded to ascertain those who were more particularly engaged in the tumult & suspended them for six months as they obstinately refused to make any concession; They then suspended the speaker Wm B. Sheppard & all who were concerned in the offence except those who made necessary concessions.6 The most of the Students are greatly irreconciled to Mr. Chapman & it is universally thought & no doubt is true that he put an erroneous construction on the meaning which Sheppard designed to convey in his speach & therefore made an improper correction Yet it was the student's duty to act the part of obedience—It will probably stir up much noise among the people & it is cordially hoped by the Students that it will cause the Trustees to put Mr Chapman out of his office.–7
I have been long anxious to hear from you. I wrote you a letter some time ago but know not whether you received it as no answer has come to hand. We have had dreadful accounts of the drought in the upper Country. I should be extremely glad to hear how crops are with you and neighbors

Page 3
The Session will end about the first of December at which time I shall want to go home. I am at present thro' mercy enjoying very good health and my studies are becoming some more easy tho' yet difficult. I hope hower to maintain a respectable standing with the class tho' I may not obtain any particular [dis]tinction. I feel more anxious daily to prosecute my studies, could I be fortunately favored the necessary funds. this place is very expensive; but with regard to dress the Students are plain. I should be glad if my mother could conveniently have [me a] suit of neat home spun yarn & coutton cloth double wove prepar[ed] for winter (of a blue or green colour) against I shall come home in December My expen[s]es for necessary things for a beginning here have been greater than I had expected in consequence of which the money brough[t] with me will be scarcely sufficient for me to make out with. If you could with [unrecovered] send me 5$ or 6$ by some person who may pass this way from the neighborhood you would much oblige me. I have nothing more at present please write to me as soon as possible Present my sincere respects to my mother & Brothers & all enquiring friends & accept the same yourself from yours &c.

Envelope page


1. Iveson Lewis Brookes Papers, SHC. The letter is addressed "Mr Jonathan Brookes/ Caswell County/N Carolina." To the left of the address appears "poli[t]eness of Mr Morehead." On the far left of the address leaf, Brookes evidently began his letter—"Dear Father September 18"—then realized that he was writing on the wrong side of the sheet. He turned the sheet over and began his letter again on the recto. To the far right of the address someone has written "1816/From Chapel Hill/recounting a college/rebellion 27 suspended."

3. Brookes corrected speach to speech by writing ee over ea.

4. Entering the University in 1813, William Biddle Shepard joined the Philanthropic Society but was expelled in 1816. Eventually he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, despite the faculty's resolution "that an account of suspension be forwarded to the different Colleges in the United States" (Faculty Minutes 2:59, UA).

5. Brookes corrected speach to speech by writing ee over ea.

6. Upon learning of his son's suspension, William Shepard, living in New Bern, wrote to Ebenezer Pettigrew on September 30, 1816: "I have just had the mortification to hear that William & 26 other students are suspended at Chapel Hill, I am not yet particularly informed of the cause, but the report is that William had composed a speech in which (according to the judgement of Mr. Chapman ) was contained a sentence casting a slur on religion, Mr. Chapman insisted on striking it out—the thing was submitted to some of the faculty who approved it, it was therefore delivered—In consequence William & his adherents 26 in number were suspended I hope before now an apology has been made & they are reinstated" (Lemmon 1:532). Though the faculty had merely suspended Shepard for six months, the board of trustees expelled him on December 17, 1816, for "disobedient and riotous conduct" (Trustees Minutes, Vol. 4, UA).

7. The students' "cordial hope" was realized on November 23, 1816, when President Chapman "in solemn form resigned his office as the President of this University; which was accordingly accepted by this Board" (Trustees Minutes, Vol. 4, UA). He was paid $800 (half a year's salary) and was allowed to occupy his house and lot rent free until the expiration of the Spring 1817 session. A month later the trustees reelected Joseph Caldwell president.