June 12th, 1867

March 13, 2008

Board of Trustees met at four. After some preliminary business of routine, I asked Bishop Coxe to take the Chair and I explained at some length the considerations which had led me to offer my resignation – my long and intimate connection with Trinity College (twenty-four years in all, four as a student, over twenty as an officer) my relations to the Alumni and friends of the College, and hence a peculiar ability to serve it.

The secretary read my resignation. Dr. Shelton, after a long pause, began to speak of my Presidency as having united all voices in and out of College in its praise, so I thought it best to retire, and I took quite a long walk. When I came back, I found the Trustees were on the organization of the College.

They finally appointed a committee of seven, with power to choose a president, and to make any changes in the College deemed advisable. They were evidently bent on radical measures – to make the College a unit. They accepted my resignation very kindly, and said all sorts of good things of me (as I was told by Bishop Coxe) during my absence.

The committee of seven- Bishop Coxe, Doctors Shelton and Schuyler, James C. Smith, and Mr. Douglas (Dr. Dix and Mr. Swift belong to this Committee) met at the close of our meeting, and met again in my study in the evening.


June 3rd, 1867

March 13, 2008

Mr. C— was emphatic in his regrets about my going away, and energetic in his disapproval of Mr. Douglas’ course.

April 20th, 1867

March 12, 2008

Mrs. DeLancey spoke with deep feeling of the warm regard which Bishop DeLancey had for me; how he regarded me as a companion, and confided in me. She could not endure that I should even entertain the thought of leaving the College and Geneva. She even spoke with tears of the possibility of my removal. She seemed to think that Mr. Douglas was responsible in good part, for my being willing to think of a removal.

February 9th, 1867

March 7, 2008

Finished directing catalogues to the Clergy of New York Diocese. Go to Syracuse and call on Judge Comstock and talk over the Law of Trusts with him, as it exists in this country. He said that Mr. Douglas’ idea that the founder could interpret statutes in case of disagreement, was no law of America, and could not be maintained here. He said that the statutes justified me in doing what I had done.

January 22nd, 1867

March 6, 2008

The Bishop took part in Morning Prayers and addressed the students on honesty, honor and truth. He spoke to the younger members especially.

Our Board of Trustees met at the Medical College at ten. We went through the usual routine business for the Medical College, and voted M.D. to eighteen students in course. The Chaplaincy business came up and occupied a good deal of time. Bishop Coxe opened the matter by referring to his correspondence with Mr. Douglas on the subject, and then stated his own views, both of the proper interpretation of the statutes for the Chaplaincy, and the relation required, by the nature of the case, to subsist between the President of the College and the Chaplain. He concurred in entirety and with great force of reason, in the view taken by the President, and in the action which he had taken accordance with those views. He thought the President had been exceedingly moderate in the exercise of a right clearly conferred on him by the statutes, as he (Bishop Coxe) understood them. He said if Mr. Douglas persisted in taking the view he had put forth on this subject, he saw no alternative but that we should refund and so release ourselves from an obligation which we not fulfill consistently with what the interests of the College would require. Mr. Douglas remarked that in that case he would devote the amount to Christian education on some other field “where it would be wanted.”

Mr. Douglas, when asked to state his views, read a paper containing what he had written to Bishop Coxe on the subject. Pretty long. Dr. Shelton expressed himself quite freely in concurrence with the Bishop. Mr. Ayrault also spoke in favor of Bishop Coxe’s view. No one sustained Mr. Douglas’ view. Finally it was resolved that the President be requested to put his own views of the proper relations between the President and the Chaplain, in writing, and submit them to the Board at its July meeting.

Mr. Douglas had expressed the opinion that with our present number of students, it did not matter about appointing a Chaplain – that things were going on well enough as they were. He said Mr. Swift had written to him, saying that he agreed with him that no appointment of Chaplain should be made until the relations between Chaplain and President were clearly defined.

Bishop Coxe, as Chairman of the Committee on Endowments, reported earlier in the day that the People’s College had providentially been thrown on his hands, and that he would require twenty thousand dollars to put it in working order, and that this must take precedence of the effort for the College. It was agreed that Bishop Coxe, as he proposed to do, should call attention to the wants of the College at the same time that he obtained money for the school.

But it thus becomes clear that our effort for the College must be deferred for a time – perhaps a year. And if at the end of that period I should engage in raising funds for the College, two or three years must elapse before I could ask leave of absence without detriment to its interests. I therefore determined to ask the Board for permission to be absent from College for about six weeks at the beginning of the next College year, in order to pay a visit to Europe immediately after commencement, which was very kindly granted – Dr. Shelton moving the resolution, and Mr. Douglas seconding it. I had always purposed, if God should spare my life, to go abroad at the end of ten years’ service to the College, and now I have been nearly nine years here, and at the ten years, as it now seems, it would not be convenient in view of the interests of the College, for me to go abroad.

            In the evening I attended the Commencement of Medical College at Linden Hall, and conferred the degrees. Dr. Towler gave the address on Life – quite spicy. The whole thing passed off quite well.

January 21st, 1867

March 6, 2008

Meet Bishop Coxe and Dr. Shelton, who have come to a meeting of our Board to-morrow night. I took Bishop Coxe to the Miss Bridges’ to tea, and to talk over his school plans with them.  He wishes them to take in hand a great school Havana for girls, in Charles Cook’s People’s College, which E.W. Cook, the chief heir to that property, has agreed to give Bishop Coxe for that end. I asked his reasons for introducing the occasional prayers before the General Thanksgiving. He said the ancient usage of New York, and the fitness of things – the case being a disputed one. Bishop Hobart always followed this practice. 

January 12th, 1867

March 6, 2008

Tell Mr. Douglas about our Committee meeting in Buffalo. Talk over Hodson’s case with him, in reference to getting aid from him in studying for the ministry.

December 1st, 1866

March 5, 2008

Bishop Coxe wrote me that he has an offer from Charles Cook’s heir of The People’s College for a female [sice] seminary – that and the Ch. And four acres of ground, all for twelve thousand dollars. He wants my opinion and wants me to consult Mr. Douglas. I went to see him immediately, but found him in Rochester.

November 24th, 1866

March 4, 2008

Go twice to the printing office and look over the press proof.

          I met Mr. Douglas in the street in his carriage to-day. He appears to be quite cordial.

November 21st, 1866

March 4, 2008

Spend most of the day on the report to the Regents. Went in the evening to D.S. Hall’s, and spent the rest of the evening with him looking over my College accounts. He was appointed to audit them.

November 7th, 1866

March 4, 2008

Spent most of my time over accounts of endowment fund – to report upon at the next meeting of the Board, or to enable Mr. Hall, as auditor, to do so.

September 17th, 1866

February 27, 2008

Go to Buffalo to see Bishop Coxe and Dr. Shelton about our endowment movement. We went to Bishop Coxe’s and talked over matters, particularly the endowment effort. Bishop Coxe agreed to preach a sermon in the Churches of Buffalo about New Years, and then we should go to work in earnest. We talked about Mr. Douglas and the Chaplaincy. Bishop Coxe thought it important to soothe Mr. Douglas, and keep matters quiet till after we have secured our hundred thousand dollars by the proposed effort. I said I was willing to let matters go on as they had gone – as if nothing had happened, or to have the Board agree what part I should take in Chapel service, or to leave it to the Bishop to determine. Beyond that I would not go.

September 12th, 1866

February 27, 2008

Judge Smith of Canandaigua, came over to see his son, and, in my study, I put before him the case between Mr. Douglas and myself, reading that portion of the statutes which is in dispute. He expressed no opinion, but took the statutes with him to the hotel to consider them. In the evening he informed me that he had carefully read and considered the statutes, and that he could not see how there was room for more than one interpretation of the passage in dispute, or of that taken in connection with the whole scope of the instrument, and that was the interpretation I had given, and acted on.

September 8th, 1866

February 27, 2008

Consult with Mr. Douglas about employing Mr. Russell to teach elocution.

September 7th, 1866

February 27, 2008

College is going into operation very quietly. I called on Mr. Williams to-day. He explained, at my request, his view as to what the President should do in the Chapel; it was this: to assist in the Holy Communion on Communion Sundays, to take part in the service at the opening of the term, on the occasion of the visit of the Bishop, and on any other extraordinary occasion. At all other times the Chaplain should be alone. He said he did not expect the Trustees to take any action on his request, contained in his report, and that he was very sorry he made the report; that it was “a blunder” on his part; that very likely he might, at another time, desire the President to officiate with him; and he might also desire to take part in the instruction, though in his report he had expressed his desire not to do so.

September 6th, 1866

February 27, 2008

Attend Chapel service at 10:30 and sit in my pew. I was really detained, so that it was inconvenient for me to get in in time to take part in the service; but I have made up my mind not to do so while Mr. Williams remains with us, (he leaves October 1st. to become rector of the Church of the Messiah in Boston – to succeed Bishop Randall!) and whilst the relations between the President and the Chaplain are subject to the consideration of a committee of the Board of Trustees, as is the case. I went into the vestry and spoke with Mr. Williams after the service. He said he expected me in to take part – that this was one of the occasions on which he expected me to take part. I told him, after his request put in to the Board of Trustees, to be allowed to officiated alone, I certainly would not officiate again till that question was settled.

August 24th, 1866

February 26, 2008

Talked with Mr. Douglas about the Chaplaincy. He stated his views, and I stated mine. He is very fixed in the idea that the Chaplain should alone perform the service, and that the President should take no part. Our conversation was perfectly friendly.

August 19th, 1866

February 26, 2008

Had a long talk with Bishop Coxe about College affairs, and Mr. Douglas’ position about the Chaplaincy.

July 12th, 1866

February 22, 2008

Commencement Day.

Was serenaded at half past three by the Sigs.  Up at five and in town to make various arrangements. Committee meeting at quarter to eight with Mr. Douglas and Bishop Coxe. The Board met a little after eight. We finished routine matter, and then came an earnest discussion about the Chaplain’s expressed wish. It was now after I had spoken, and Mr. Douglas, that Bishop Coxe expressed his views earnestly, supporting my view. The ringing of the Chapel bell for Prayers cut short the discussion, and it was referred to a committee for further consideration. Prayers had begun before we got in, and Mr. Williams read them alone – reading two lessons. We then formed in procession, the Bishop and Dr. Shelton walking together, and Dr. Hull going with me at the extreme rear. The procession was long, and appeared well. We reached the Hall at half past ten. There were fifteen speakers. The salutatory was fine, and the valedictory was super-excellent. Rogers covered himself with honor. It was the finest valedictory I ever listened to.

It was altogether the best commencement I ever was present at. We got through about half past one. As soon as the exercises were over I met with the Committee on Faculty Reports, especially the Chaplain. The discussion continued till after three, when we had a cold collation at the American Hotel. Ninety persons sat down.  I introduced the speaking with some remarks, and called out successively Dr. Haight, A.D. White, W.H. Bogart and Bishop Coxe. The speaking was quite brilliant. Bogart surpassed himself, which is saying much.

After this I attended a meeting of the Board at Mr. Burrall’s to elect officers, &c. We continued from six to half past seven. Levée from eight to quarter past eleven- a great crowd. The students’ reception at the Hall passed off pleasantly. I thought of going in for a few minutes, but felt rather weary for it – when it was not at all necessary.

There were but few clergyman present at this Commencement. However, a large number of the younger Alumni came.

July 11th, 1866

February 22, 2008

Preside at the speaking for White Rhetorical prize at Linden Hall. Seven speakers, all seniors but Blackwell.  Miller, Cowman, Knapp, Brush, Nicholas, Rice. Rice got the prize. Blackwell’s declamation was clearly the best. The Committee were Doctors Haight, Reed and Hull. Dr. Haight would have given the prize to Nicholas; and I think I should.

Met the committee of the Board on Faculty reports, and talked with them in the College Library.

Mr. Williams sent in his report as Chaplain, and said he would “wish hereafter to officiate alone in the service, except on rare occasions”. And the Committee reported to the Board, which met at half past five that Mr. Williams’ wish was in accordance with the statutes; from which I earnestly dissented, and said that it was expressly put in the statutes, at my suggestion, that the President may take part in the Chapel services, as well as direct how the Chaplain shall perform them; and that the language is explicit and unqualified – “May take part in the service”. It therefore depends on himself whether he will do so or not. It is at his option. Mr. Douglas urged the opposite view, and the matter was referred back to the Committee. Bishop Coxe took my view calmly, but earnestly at a later stage. He had not arrived in town when the matter first came up.

Prof. White made me an address before the Alumni in the evening on architecture.

Sat up late completing my lists of names, order of procession, &c. Wrote a prayer for Commencement.

July 10th, 1866

February 22, 2008

Trustees met at ten. We went very quietly through the usual routine of business. I read my two memorials, one to the Society for Promoting Religion and Learning in the State of New York; the other to Trinity Church. Both quite long. The Board met again at three. I was Chairman, and presided. We all attended Chapel at five, when Dr. J.M. Clarke, of Syracuse, preached a sermon commemorative of Rev. Dr. Hale, late President of Hobart College. The opening was very beautiful, and it was all in excellent feeling.

Class Day exercises at Linden Hall in the evening. Brush was the orator; Meek, the poet, and G.H. Watson made the Paddle speech. E.R. Brown, of the junior class, received it. Brown abounded with dry wit and spoke exceedingly well.

About midnight came the burial of the Free College, with fantastic dresses and rites, instead of the burial of a book. Sophomores and freshmen were in it together.

June 8th, 1866

February 21, 2008

The Bishop lectured again on the poets preceding, and on Spenser. Our committee to receive Prof. Russell’s resignation, and appoint someone in his place, met and acted. Bishop Coxe, Mr. Douglas and myself, the committee.

In the evening the Bishop lectured at Linden hall to a large and cultivated audience got together without public notice. He lectured on the formation of taste in literature.

May 8th, 1866

February 20, 2008

Study Hebrew. Write letters to Bishop Coxe, Dr. Van Rensselaer and Mr. Douglas, about Mr. Russell’s proposal to resign his professorship and take a parish at Ridgefield, Connecticut. He came and told me to-day that he had such a call, and that he felt that his health was suffering from the depressing influence of this climate on his nervous system, giving him most distressing headaches and disqualifying him for intellectual effort, and that the matters grows worse and worse. I said I would deeply regret his leaving us, but he must do what his health required; that I would never stand in the way of the true interest of a friend.

            I suggested to Dr. Metcalf to-day that the best thing we could do would be to qualify Lockwood (young as he is) for Russell’s post. He concurred in the suggestion.

April 17th, 1866

February 19, 2008

Go with Mr. Douglas and see about a place for a boat-house for the Sig’s Society boat.

March 7th, 1866

February 14, 2008

Mr. Douglas thought it best to expand my memorial so as to include our appeal for an increased endowment from Trinity Church.

February 24th, 1866

February 13, 2008

Mr. Douglas was greatly pleased with my memorial and said the Society could not refuse to grant what it asked. Williams and Russell both expressed great satisfaction over it.

February 22nd, 1866

February 13, 2008

Holiday in College. Worked on the memorial. Mr. Douglas called and read me an excellent letter which he had written to Dr. McVickar as superintendent of the Society.

Preside over the exercises in the evening. The reader was Hutchins; the orator, Coolbaugh; the poet, Graves. The Alpha Deltas, neutrals (part) and Theta Deltas went in for the celebration; the Sigma Phi’s and some of the neutrals stayed out. Coolbaugh spoke admirably. Graves had a good poem. The boys were very noisy and disorderly while he was speaking. We must take care of that another time.

February 21st, 1866

February 13, 2008

Work on memorial and read it over to Mr. Douglas, who is one of our committee, and get his suggestions, which are very good. I heard Coolbaugh yesterday read his oration for Washington’s birthday, and criticized it. He preferred to have my criticism rather than Prof. Russell’s, I know not why.

February 20th, 1866

February 13, 2008

Devote much of the day and evening to writing a memorial to be laid before the Trustees of the above named Society on behalf of the College.

January 27th, 1866

February 12, 2008

Spent much time yesterday and to-day in studying the question between the College and the Society for the Promotion of Religion and Learning.