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Title: Letter from William D. Moseley to Elisha Mitchell, August 15, 1853: Electronic Edition.
Author: Moseley, William D.
Funding from the University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill supported the electronic publication of this title.
Text transcribed by Bari Helms
Images scanned by Bari Helms
Text encoded by Amanda Page
First Edition, 2005
Size of electronic edition: ca. 19K
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:
2005-07-06, Amanda Page finished TEI/XML encoding.
Title of collection: University of North Carolina Papers (#40005), University Archives, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Title of document: Letter from William D. Moseley to Elisha Mitchell, August 15, 1853
Author: Wm. D. Moseley
Description: 6 pages, 6 page images
Note: Call number 40005 (University Archives, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
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Letter from William D. Moseley to Elisha Mitchell , August 15, 1853
Moseley, William D.

Page 1

Tallahassee, Fla. August 15th 1853

Dr Sir,

I have recently seen in the NCarolina Standard a graphic sketch of the late commencement at Chapel Hill. If it was drawn "in the life" (as I assume it was) then, as one of the alumni of that institution, and as a native of the good old north state ( God bless her), I feel proud of her as my alma mater; and congratulate the state & due statesmen as well as the trustees and finally of this institution for its elevated position among the literary institutions of the Union. You no doubt well remember that I was a member of the Senior Class, and the only tutor of the University, at the commencement of the year 1818. That great and good man the late Dr Caldwell [unrecovered] and myself at that time the only members of the Faculty then in charge of it. Mr Hooper , the professor of the ancient languages, was absent in a town to the south and you, who had recently been appointed professor of mathematics, did not arrive till some weeks after the commencement of the session; when all had arrived, and it was in full operation, our number consisted only of four — Dr Caldwell , yourself, Mr Hooper , and myself, with ninety two students, including myself, who was both student & tutor. In looking over some of my old papers, I have found a catalogue containing all the names who were then students with a memorandum of honors attached to the graduating class. I enclose a copy, which gives

Page 2
a contrast of the institution then and now. I have made a note against the names of those known to be dead. There are doubtless others, who have gone hence to be seen no more forever; of whose deaths I have not been apprised. Of the whole number, four only are residents of this state — Walker Anderson , Bryan Croom , Dr Philips , and myself. I know of no earthly pleasure which would afford me more heartfelt satisfaction than a short stay at that village; where I could again refresh my memory with a review of the places and things that still remain as mementos of days that are past; when the future was looked to with hopes, never to be realized.
I would like to look into the room occupied by President Polk and myself; where we spent many pleasant hours in reading together the Latin & Greek authors; and in demonstrating the proportions in Conic Sectors; and being the first class that ever studied that branch of mathematics. Our room was in the So West corner of the 3rd story of what was then called the new college. I would like too to see the libraries, and to take a stroll through the village, beginning at Nunn's and going eastwardly down the Main Street, first by Mrs. Mitchell's on the right; Trice's store on the left; then Major Henderson , then James Hogg's immediately opposite; then the tavern occupied by Hilliard ; then Tom Taylor's store then, on the left, the Edmund Pitt's dwelling, then Tom Taylor's,

Page 3
then (East of the Raleigh road) Dr Caldwell's residence, then, Mr Hooper's ; immediately opposite to the latter was Mrs. Puckett's. This was then the principal street. South from Mrs. Nunn's , was Wm Barbee's , then the President's house, occupied by yourself. Then So West was Pannell's and Watson's. These I believe were at that time the houses composing the village; with two college buildings; and Person Hall, Chapel.
I would like too to visit the graveyard, then containing some half dozen graves; and the Rock Spring, and the Twin Sisters, and the bath. I would like too to visit the Old Poplar, in the right of the path leading from the Chapel to Dr Caldwell's . Is it still living? But most of all, I would like to shake the hand of yourself with whom while there, I spent so many hours of happiness. I see Gov Swain is still at the head of the institution. Much of its present reputation is owing no doubt to his great abilities and untiring energy; to say nothing of the high reputation of his associates.
The last vote I ever gave, as a member of the board of trustees, was for him as President. I have seen no cause to regret that vote; but much to approve it. My children (six in number) are all grown, but one. Four of whom reside presently in New York; and two in Florida. They are making out pretty well. I live the life of a hermit, rarely see anybody; and am worn out with old age. Excuse this letter, it is intended to be entirely

Page 4
private. It is carelessly written. I would like once more to hear from you, before I go to the world of spirits.
Your old friend,

Wm. D. Moseley

Page 5

Senior Class graduating June 1818

Junior Class

Sophomore Class

Page 6

Freshman Class


1. Possibly Willis Monroe Lea .

2. Possibly James Knox Leetch .

4. Possibly Thomas E. Read .

6. Possibly George W. Sharpe .

7. Probably Thomas Bog Slade .

8. Possibly John Malone Starke .

11. Possibly Charles Sturdivant .

12. Possibly Anthony Hatch .

16. Possibly Anderson Mitchell .