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Title: Letter from R. A. Clement and Charles P. Hartwell to Edmund T. Wilkins, February 20, 1839: Electronic Edition.
Author: Clement, Ralph A.
Author: Hartwell, Charles P.
Editor: Erika Lindemann
Funding from the State Library of North Carolina supported the electronic publication of this title.
Text transcribed by Erika Lindemann and Lieselotte Pollvogt
Images scanned by Mara E. Dabrishus
Text encoded by Sarah Ficke
First Edition, 2005
Size of electronic edition: ca. 14K
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text
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: Edmonia Cabell Wilkins Papers (#2364), Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Title of document: Letter from R. A. Clement and Charles P. Hartwell to Edmund T. Wilkins, February 20, 1839
Author: R. A. Clement
Author: Charles P. Hartwell
Description: 1 pages, 2 page images
Note: Call number 2364 (Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Topics covered:
Education/UNC Buildings and Grounds
Education/UNC Student Associations
Examples of Student Writing/Letters and Letter Writing
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

Clement and Hartwell request of alumnus Wilkins a contribution toward the construction of a new dormitory housing halls for the Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies.
Letter from R. A. Clement and Charles P. Hartwell to Edmund T. Wilkins , February 20, 18391
Clement, Ralph A.
Hartwell, Charles P.

Page 1
University of N. Carolina Philanthropic Hall Feb 20th 1839

Dear Sir,

The increasing prosperity of the Philanthropic Society has obliged the members to take speedy measures toward the erection of a new and more commodious Hall.2 The trustees have bound themselves to furnish 2/3s of the sum requisite for that purpose; And the anxiety of the members, in regard to it, has induced them to pass a resolution, appealing to the generosity of their absent fellow-members to aid them in the undertaking.
We—the undersigned—have been appointed a committee to address you to this effect; And beleiving that your youthful partiality & devotion to Society have not all been lost by absense from us, we feel confident that our appeal will not be in vain. Pride, indeed—would have induced us to forgo the pleasure advantages of a new Hall—had we none to whom to apply but strangers; But when we recollect, that you were once members of the same Society—that you once guided her councils, and felt the same fond devotion we now do, we can not divest ourselves of the beleif, that you still remember us, and are ready, even now, to rally under our common motto ["Virtue, Liberty, and Science"]. Such being our sentiments, is all the apology we can give for the trouble we reluctantly inflict upon our absent distant members. But let it be recollected, that it is from the principles of Philanthropy, and in behalf of the cause of Science, we apply; For when the Hall shall be completed, few, if any, who now constitute the P. Society, will be members of the University. By a liberal contribution upon our own parts, and with what we can gather from our friends, we hope soon to be able to discharge our last duty to those who are to succeed us, in our Society affairs, in a manner worthy of those who fight under the banner of "Virtue—Liberty and Science". Whatever you contribute, will be thankfully received; and as the question must soon be decided we respectfully request an early answer.

Envelope page


1. Edmonia Cabell Wilkins Papers, SHC. The letter is addressed "Mr Edmund T. Wilkins / Greenville. C. House/ Virginia." A circular stamped postmark appears in the upper left corner; "CHAPELHILL N.C" appears inside the circumference of the circle and "FEB 21" in the center. The amount of postage, "18 3/4" cents, has been written in the upper right corner. The person addressing the envelope wrote "Mail" in the lower left corner. Below the fold forming the face of the envelope, written so that it would appear on the "back" of the sealed letter, is the following sentence: "If mr Wilkins is not a resident of the place-the p. master will ablige much by forwarding this where he can get it." On the right margin of the letter, a second hand has written "Philanthropic/Society, 1839./ Chapel Hill,/NCarolina."

2. In 1837 and 1838 the Philanthropic and Dialectic Societies offered to help underwrite the construction of "a new building estimated to cost $5,000" ( Henderson 134). The structure would house both societies and would provide better fire protection for their libraries, totalling some 7,000 books. The old debating halls in South Building, once vacated, would be converted into needed sleeping rooms for students. The Trustees agreed to the students' plans and promised to pay at least two-thirds of the cost "as soon as the funds of the University would permit" (Henderson 134). By 1844 the plan for a separate new building was abandoned in favor of a proposal to extend Old East and Old West to the north by one-half their former length at the cost of $9,360 ( Henderson 136). The enlarged buildings were completed by 1848. In allocating the space by lottery, Matt W. Ransom , president of the Philanthropic Society, chose Old East and the eastern half of the South Building for the Phis; the Dis occupied Old West and the western half of South Building. This apportioning of architectural geography mirrored the geographical origins of society members, as most Phis came from eastern North Carolina, and most Dis grew up in the western part of the state.