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Title: Letter from Cushings B. Hassell to Charles Manly, June 12, 1867 : Electronic Edition.
Author: Hassell, C. B.
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 Caitlin R. Donnelly
Text encoded by Caitlin R. Donnelly
First Edition, 2007
Size of electronic edition: ca. 16K
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:
2007-05-31, Caitlin R. Donnelly 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 Cushings B. Hassell to Charles Manly, June 12, 1867
Author: C. B. Hassell
Description: 4 pages, 4 page images
Note: Call number 40005 (University Archives, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
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Letter from Cushings B. Hassell to Charles Manly , June 12, 1867
Hassell, C. B.

Page [1]
Williamston N. C. 12th June 1867

Hon. Charles Manly .

Dear Sir

I had the privilege of attending Commencement last week at our University. I was disappointed in not seeing you there, but understood your health was poor. I was mortified to witness the languishing condition of the College, and discover the little interest that is felt in it by the Citizens of our State.
There were only seven trustees present, including the president of the faculty & Gov. Worth.
Nothing was done or proposed in regard to the prosperity of the Institution, and I could not understand that the cause of its languishing condition had been ascertained either by the trustees or the Committee appointed by the Legislature to investigate it.
Patronage is needed, without this the institution cannot survive. In order to obtain it is it not necessary to adopt such a course of studies & such grades of scholarship, as is maintained in some other Colleges, that are now drawing off the young men of North Carolina, to be educated without her borders.?

Page [2]
I do not know what is the matter, but I know that something is the matter and I feel deeply humiliated at the thought that our University has only about 100 students, while the University of Virginia is said to have 450 and the College at Lexington about 300. The mortification is increased by the information also imparted that many, very many of these 750 boys are from North Carolina.
Have we not reached that period in the existence of our noble Institution when we must either go on in accordance with the improvements made in similar institutions or go down?
An improved system of instruction rigidly enforced by the Trustees, would no doubt be sanctioned by the Faculty or at least a majority of them and give satisfaction to the public. If it turned out that any member of the Faculty was opposed to the change, he could retire & allow some one else to be appointed in his place who would sanction the new plan.
Giving diplomas to young men who did not merit them has no doubt damaged our University greatly.

Page [3]
If it was well known that no young man could graduate there unless he was thoroughly approved by every Professor in College, then he would be spurred on to greater diligence in his studies, and in the end merit the diploma which he received and take it home with him signed by every one of the Professors. For the want of this merit in the case, some of the Professors cannot conscientiously sign all the diplomas that are presented them and therefore in order to escape the individual responsibility of making an invidious distinction, they refuse to sign any.
Perhaps Gov. Graham may do something for us from the Peabody fund; perhaps the Legislature may give us additional endowments; perhaps Gov. Vance or some able advocate might go through the state and arouse the people to a heartfelt interest in behalf of the University if urged. So to do; but I seriously doubt whether either or all these measures will avail us much except there first be made a great change in affairs at the University itself

Page [4]
I am so ignorant as not to know whether this change lies in the power of the Executive Committee — a mere quorum of the board of Trustees at any time convened or the annual meeting of the Trustees. But if any thing could be done for the recuperation of the Institution, the present prospect indicates that it should be done at once.

I have the honor to remain

Yours very Respectfully

C B Hassell