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Title: Letter from Robert G. Allison of Charlotte to David L. Swain, February 25, 1856: Electronic Edition.
Author: Allison, Robert Grier, d. 1877
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 Sarah Ficke
First Edition, 2005
Size of electronic edition: ca. 13K
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:
2005-07-29, Sarah Ficke finished TEI/XML encoding.
Title of collection: David L. Swain Papers (#706), Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Title of document: Letter from Robert G. Allison of Charlotte to David L. Swain, February 25, 1856
Author: Robert G. Allison
Description: 3 pages, 3 page images
Note: Call number 706 (Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
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Letter from Robert G. Allison of Charlotte to David L. Swain , February 25, 1856
Allison, Robert Grier, d. 1877

Page 1
Charlotte, N.C., Feb. 25, 1856

My Dear Sir:

My attention has been called by the Editor of the N.C. Whig, a political newspaper published in this town, to a notice which was first announced in the Hillsborough Recorder, and afterwards copied into the Raleigh Register, stating that a committee of the Students appointed for that purpose, had elected Arch-Bishop Hughes, of New York, to deliver the valedictory sermon before the graduating class at the University of N.C., during the approaching commencement in June. I would not presume to inform you whose historical researches have been so various, extensive, and profound, that your ancestors, and mine, fled from religious persecution in the Eastern Hemisphere to enjoy the sacred immunity of humbly worshipping the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, according to the dictates of their own enlightened consciences, untrammeled by the persecution of cowled priests, or despotic hierarchs. Nor need I inform you, that Catholic rulers have in all ages of the world, since their existence, been on the side of despotism, and therefore opposed to popular government, that they rule their subjects with a rod of iron, that the Catholic; or, as her members call her, "Mother Church," is, in fact, a great political hierarchy, in which the temporal absorbs the spiritual power; and that Brownson, of "Brownson's Review," the avowed organ of Archbishop Hughes, has published to the world, that the territory of the United States belongs to the Pope of Rome by right of discovery and conquest, and that he is determined to have it. I have merely mentioned these truths on account of their important bearing in relation to the case now before us which has induced me to trouble you with this communication. Now, it cannot have escaped your observation, that the University of N.C. was founded, reared, cherished, and advanced to her present unexampled height of prosperity and renown, by Protestant influence alone.

Page 2
What, think you, will the sons of the venerable sires who founded our University, and who now have Protestant sons under her tutelage say when, instead of the peaceful doctrines of Christianity, which have hitherto been promulgated from her beautiful Chapel consecrated to Religion, Literature, and Science, they shall hear on the day of Commencement, the ominous thunder of the Vatican reverberating throughout its aisles. Depend upon it, they will leave you, and take away their sons. A number of gentlemen who are now, and still desire to be, devoted friends of the University, have requested me to write to you, and thus ascertain the facts of the case. Alternating, with tremulous anxiety, between hope and fear, they are awaiting the result. They most respectfully request you to reply to some considerable length, explaining your views fully and satisfactorily on this most important subject. Should Arch-Bishop Hughes deliver the valedictory sermon to the graduating class on the day of Commencement, in next June, I think the entire Protestant influence will drop from you; and our University, the beloved "Alma Mater" of us all, like some beautiful aromatic flower, which in the morning flourisheth and groweth up; but in the evening is cut down and withereth, would fade from earth; or what is worse sink into Catholicism. But your friends have yet full confidence in you; for they feel assured that you yourself are a Protestant; and that you have no views to conceal on this vital question: but will firmly meet the crisis, should it come.
And I feel the more encouraged to make this appeal to you now, because when, in April 1854, having read a statement in one of the Raleigh newspapers that Arch-Bishop Hughes had been elected to deliver the valedictory sermon before the graduating class, I addressed you on the subject by letter, you, promptly, with great civility and kindness, answered my letter, informing

Page 3
me that "the statement was founded upon entire misapprehension," and that Arch-Bishop Hughes was not expected there for any purpose. I do hope that the present report may prove to be "founded upon entire misapprehension." I conclude with the most sincere wishes for your health and happiness and for the welfare and still increasing prosperity of the University, which gratifying consummation will, I have no doubt be fully realized, through your wise, parental, and truly efficient supervision.
Present my best respects to the other members of the Faculty.

Yours, most respectfully,

Robert G. Allison