Documenting the American South Logo
Title: Excerpts from the Diary of William B. Whitfield, April 3 and June 7, 1860: Electronic Edition.
Author: Whitfield, William Blackledge, 1842-1862
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 Amanda Page
First Edition, 2005
Size of electronic edition: ca. 21K
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:
2005-05-19, Amanda Page 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: William Blackledge Whitfield Letter and Diary (#4433-z), Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Title of document: Excerpts from the Diary of William B. Whitfield, April 3 and June 7, 1860
Author: Whitfield, William Blackledge, 1842-1862
Description: 6 pages, 6 page images
Note: Call number 4433-z (Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Topics covered:
Education/UNC Curriculum
Reading and Writing/Reading
Examples of Student Writing/Diary and Notebook Excerpts
Travel and Entertainment/Celebrations and Holidays
Editorial practices
The text has been encoded using the recommendations for Level 5 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines.
Originals are in the Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Original grammar, punctuation, and spelling have been preserved.
DocSouth staff created a 600 dpi uncompressed TIFF file for each image. The TIFF images were then saved as JPEG images at 100 dpi for web access.
Page images can be viewed and compared in parallel with the text.
Any hyphens occurring in line breaks have been removed, and the trailing part of a word has been joined to the preceding line.
Letters, words and passages marked as deleted or added in originals have been encoded accordingly.
All quotation marks, em dashes and ampersand have been transcribed as entity references.
All double right and left quotation marks are encoded as ".
All single right and left quotation marks are encoded as '.
All em dashes are encoded as —.
Indentation in lines has not been preserved.

For more information about transcription and other editorial decisions, see Dr. Erika Lindemann's explanation under the section Editorial Practices.

Document Summary

Whitfield's diary entry reports finding the benches in the chapel tarred. Prof. Andrew Hepburn read out several compositions. Whitfield also attended a recitation in ancient languages and a review lesson in modern languages; he discovered an April Fool's letter tied to his door knob. A second entry describes the 1860 commencement ceremonies, commencement ball, and 2:00 a.m. supper.
Excerpts from the Diary of William B. Whitfield , April 3 and June 7, 18601
Whitfield, William Blackledge, 1842-1862

Page 12

Tuesday April 3rd 1860.
Found all the benches in the Chapel tarred and just over the place where "Old Hub" [Fordyce Hubbard] sits was written in letters of tar

Page 13
the word "Fordyce" . The students stood in all parts of the Chapel regardless of Classess.2 Prof. [Andrew] Hepburn gave out that the 3rd Section would have him on Compositions immediately after prayers. Nearly all the Section had heard of it before but he had not given out the notice publicly and I did not carry my composition. He read out the compositions of W. Smith , Staton , Skinner 3 and two others, the authors of whom I do not know. He doesn't read out the authors' names but only the Compositions. Not taken up by Jackson . Read about 150 pages in "Grenada" 4; not having neglecting to read my task yesterday I had to make it up to day. I dont like it very much. Taken up by Mr. [Hildreth] Smith in the evening on the review lesson. I got off first rate. Took a walk to Piney Prospect after supper with L. Sykes & my chum.5 When we got back home we found a letter tied to the door knob and on opening it found it to to be—An April fool. We suspect Miss Fannie Durham 6 of putting

Page 14
it there. It was directed "To the Mr.Whitfield Boyes Chapelhill N.C." Before going to bed we fixed up a suitable answer and fastened it to her door. Got a letter from cousin Bryan. All well.

Page 95
Thursday June 7th1860(Commencement day)
Got up about 10 minutes before breakfast. Van7 wore my large [Dialectic Society] badge and I wore his small one. The procession formed

Page 96
at 10 o'clock an The first and second mites8 spoke this morning. Wooster ilson 9 spoke the Latin Salutatory. In the evening after two or three more speeches Old Bunk [Gov. Swain] read out the reports. He read me out third and ten abscenses sences from duties. There ought to have been only four. At night I slept until twelve and then went to the Ball. Joe Walker 10 gave his regalia to Miss Pool, Coffin his to Miss Wright (Josh's sister). Went to supper at 2 o'clock and had just as much as I wanted to eat. Chapel Hill was crowded all day long with countries11 and at night they had to be driven out off the supper room. Spent the rest of the night with Lanier . I haven't received my money yet so I cannot leave to-morrow with Mac.12 He says he will leave to-morrow if he feels better than he does to-night. Prudhomme , Hailey , Douglas and Smith and Watkins 13 got a

Page 97
diploma; also Walker Anderson , and Alexander (W. L.) . Old Bunk read out Fitzgerald third and Carter seems to be very much offended because they did not read him out. Weather quite pleasant.


1. William Blackledge Whitfield Papers, SHC. The transcription is based on a photocopy of a diary in private hands. The diary is inscribed "W. B. Whitfield / Chapel Hill./Mar 23rd 1860."Pages measure 4 7/8 by 7/38 inches. The earliest entry is dated March 26, 1860; the latest, June 9, 1860.

2. Students sat with their classes during services in Gerrard Hall, with the faculty and tutors seated among the students "To ensure proper inspection of the attitudes of the worshippers" (Battle 1:716).

3. Hubbard evidently read the compositions roughly in alphabetical order. "W. Smith" is probably William James Smith (b. 1837).

4. Washington Irving, A Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada (1829). Whitfield reported checking out the book on March 31 and finishing it on April 6.

5. Whitfield's "chum" or roommate was Anthony Dyer Whitfield (d. 1916)

6. Whitfield roomed at Mrs. Morrow's boarding house, which was also home to a Mrs. Durham and her daughter Fannie.

7. Probably William Blackshear Vanderveer (b. 1840).

8. "first and second mites": students earning first and second honors. In 1860 the students earning first honors were Junius C. Battle, George P. Bryan, Edward J. Hale, Charles C. Pool, Iowa M. Royster , Hugh Strong, George L. Wilson , and William A. Wooster . Second honors went to Lewis Bond, William M. Brooks, Thomas W. Cooper, William J. Headen , James Kelly, William J. King, Erasmus D. Scales, and Samuel P. Weir (Battle 1:711).

9. The Latin salutatory at the 1860 commencement went to Iowa Michigan Royster (1840-63), who was a tutor of ancient languages from 1860 to 1862 and who died of wounds sustained in the retreat after the Battle of Gettysburg. A contemporary observer claimed that Royster "spoke Latin so clearly and with such propriety of emphasis that people thought they understood his meaning" (Battle 1:710). George Lovick Wilson (b. 1840) of New Bern, NC, spoke on "Industry and Civilization."William Augustus Wooster (1839-62) of Wilmington, NC, spoke on the "Influence of Speculative Minds" he became a lawyer but was killed at the Battle of Malvern Hill. Wooster was a member of the Dialectic Society; Royster and Wilson belonged to the Philanthropic Society.

10. Possibly Joel Paton Walker (b. 1840).

11. "countries": country people.

12. Possibly Henry McMillan from Quincy, FL.

13. Whitfield names students who received BS instead of BA degrees at the 1860 Commencement.