Title: Letter from F. W. Harrison to Thomas Jones, April 10, 1824: Electronic Edition.
Author: Harrison, Frederick William
Editor: Erika Lindemann
Funding from the State Library of North Carolina supported the electronic publication of this title.
Text transcribed by Erika Lindemann and Lorena Russell
Images scanned by Mara E. Dabrishus
Text encoded by Brian Dietz
First Edition, 2005
Size of electronic edition: ca. 23K
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:
2005-05-10, Brian Dietz 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: Thomas Williamson Jones Papers (#3684) Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Title of document: Letter from F. W. Harrison to Thomas Jones, April 10, 1824
Author: F. W. Harrison
Description: 3 pages, 4 page images
Note: Call number 3684 (Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Topics covered:
Education/UNC Administration
Education/UNC Buildings and Grounds
Education/UNC Student Associations
Education/UNC Curriculum
Examples of Student Writing/Letters
Editorial practices
The text has been encoded using the recommendations for Level 5 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines.
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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Letters, words and passages marked as deleted or added in originals have been encoded accordingly.
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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

Harrison reports to former student Jones on the competition between the Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies for senior class honors; he also informs Jones that Pres. Joseph Caldwell will soon leave for Europe to purchase books and a philosophical apparatus.
Letter from F. W. Harrison to Thomas Jones , April 10, 18241
Harrison, Frederick William

Page 1
University of N. Carolina
April 10th 1824

Dear Sir

It is with sensible emotions of delight that I can avail myself of this suitable opportunity of communicating a few lines to you. My delinquency in the performance of our mutual agreement, in the support of a correspondence, I hope will be overlooked and pardoned, as it dose not procede from any intentional negligence, or disrespect. I should have written to you before this advanced period of the Session, but deffered it until about the time, the honerary speeches of the Senior Class were to be given. I therefore concluded not to write until I should hear the final result. I am concious, that there yet glows in your bosom, some remain of that Philanthropic ardour, which is generally the characteristic mark of all the members of the assotiation, that you yet sympathise with us, in our adversity, and rejoice in our prosperity. I am moreover aware that it will afford you some satisfactory pleasure to hear from us at any time, but more especially, when we are riseing superior to opposition

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and eclipseing with ease our emulous rivals. It is with ineffable pleasure that I can announce to you, that the Latin Salutetary, is awarded to a member of the Phis. which has caused no little disturbance and riot among the members of the other Society The report was handed to the students a few days past with the several grades given, the Latin to E. D. Sims of Brunswick, the Valedictory, and two othe Speeches to the nearly equal to the Latin, to three next best who were members of the Dialectic Society,2 and as it respects the Intermediate honors we rank equal to the Dis. in number. No report perhaps since the establishment of the College, has excited such discontent between the members of the two Societies. The Dis. who calculated on getting both the Latin, & Valedictory, being sadly disappointed, in their sanguine expectations, have attempted, almost to excite a rebelion. They have met and sent in a petition to the Faculty, to be exempted from speaking at commencement, which, more than probable will be granted to them. Being furthe dissatisfied, because some of their members were ranked before others who ought not to have been, they divided themselves into three distinct bodies for the support of their several favourites but finding this to be productive of too much [j]aring [and] party spirit among themselves, they at length

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held a Corcus, (which has become quite a common procedure in the U. States) and nominated the most popular candidate, whom they have resolved to support under all circumstances.3 But these means have finally proved abortive, and ineffectual, and they have become quieted and contented. Dr Caldwell sets out the 4th of May for Europe, he is to be furnished by the Trustees with 6, or 8 thousand Dollars for the purpose of purchaseing a Philosopical Apparatus and Books for the University Library, he intends visiting a good many of the principals to[wns] in England.4 The Phis. have been straining every nerve [unrecovered] as much money as possible, to send on by [f]or Books, and [I] expect we will be able to [unrecovered] a very ha[ndsome] sum. I shall flatter [my]self with the idea [of en]joying your presence, at commencement, and [hop]e you will not let any trivial occurence prevent y[our] comeing. You must write write me the news in Brun and let me hear from the ellection. Give [my be]st respects to Mrs Jones and Cousin Jack, [unrecovered] Binns, tell him he must write to me, that [I am] anxious to hear from Mr Babitt, and his sch[ool.]

I [am] yours most respectfully

F. W. Harrison

Envelope page


1. Thomas Williamson Jones Papers, SHC. The letter is addressed "Dr Thomas Jones /Percival,s Post Office/ Brunswick/ Va." "[Pr]Mail" appears in the lower left corner. The postage endorsement reads "Chapel Hill/April 12th} 18 1/2." The letter is written on the recto and verso of a single sheet of paper, folded to create an envelope. Several holes on the left side of the sheet make recovering some words in the last fourteen lines of Harrison's letter impossible.
Thomas Williamson Jones died shortly after receiving Harrison's letter. The Philanthropic Society minutes for July 28, 1824, record that "Mr Harrison introduced the following motion, viz. I move that the members of the Philanthropic Society be requested to wear crape on their left arm for three weeks in commemoration of their brother members— Will Twitty and Thomas Jones , which passed" (Vol. S-8, UA).

2. Battle reports, "The highest honor men of the class of 1824 were Edmund D. Sims , of Virginia; Matthias Evans Manly , Thomas Dews, and William Alexander Graham . . . . Sims spoke the Latin Salutatory, Manly the Valedictory, Dews the Mathematical Oration, and to Graham was assigned the Classical oration" (1:296). Manly , Dews, and Graham were members of the Dialectic Society; Sims , a member of the Philanthropic Society.

3. No report of these events appears in the faculty minutes or the minutes of the Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies. However, at the April 28, 1824, meeting of the Philanthropic Society, the following resolution was rejected:
Whereas it has been stated by a member of the Dialectic Society to a member of the Philanthropic Society that the members of the former body have conclusive evidence to believe that a letter or, letters have been written from the University stating 1st that the Dialectic Society as a body had resolved to oppose the report published by the Faculty of the University respecting the present Senior Class and 2nd that the Philanthropic Society were glorying in the disgrace of the Dialectic Society; And whereas these two assertions said to be contained in a letter written from the University, do not express the opinion or the feelings of the Society therefore I move that the following motions be adopted by the Philanthropic Society. 1st It is resolved by the Philanthropic Society, that the said Society does not believe that any measures have been taken or any resolutions adopted by the Dialectic Society to oppose the report relative to the present Senior Class lately published by the Faculty of the University.—II. It is resolved by the Philanthropic Society that if any unfortunate event had occurred to the Dialectic Society—the Philanthropic Society would deem it not only ungenerous but dishonorable to exult in any manner on the misfortune of the Dialectic Society, the members of the two societies being fellow Students of the same institution and for the most part natives of the same state. III. It is resolved by the Philanthropic Society, that it is due both to the Dialectic Society and to the feelings of the Philanthropic Society to disclose that the Philanthropic Society knows of no reason why the word (disgrace) should at all be applied to the Dialectic Society and that the Society disclaims all idea, or desire of so applying the word. (Vol. S-8, UA)
If the letter "written from the University" refers to Harrison's April 20th letter to Jones , then Harrison may have been an instigator of the flap over the commencement honors.

4. President Caldwell set out for Europe in Spring 1824 and was gone for almost a year. The trip was necessary because books were cheaper in England and on the Continent than in America. Caldwell also argued that overseeing personally the purchase of the philosophical apparatus—an astronomical clock, a transit instrument, an astronomical telescope, and other scientific equipment and supplies—would ensure that the best parts, for the best price, would be used. The trustees awarded him $6,000 for the purchase of books and scientific equipment. The apparatus cost $3,361, and the 979 books Caldwell purchased brought the total to $7,238.01. Caldwell paid the excess but the trustees reimbursed him (Battle 1:294).