June 6th, 1864

January 2, 2008

Write a long letter to Mr. Neely about his resignation and the views of the Bishop and Mr. Douglas to the same.  They think he ought to resign at Commencement.  He proposes to hold on till October, when he enters on his duties in New York.


May 30th, 1864

December 14, 2007

Go to see Mr. Douglas about Mr. Neely, as to what answer I should return to his letter asking abut sending in his resignation. I have often been struck with a certain narrowness in Mr. Douglas and noted it to-day in reference to Mr. Neely. Mr. Douglas is very good, but not large in his views.

April 26th, 1864

December 12, 2007

The Board of Trustees met at four. We had a long discussion on Mr. Neely’s request of leave of absence from May 15th to September 15th, with substitution of Rev. Mr. Bush in his place. I think all the members of the Board would have readily agreed to it; but Mr. Douglas, with whom, and with the Bishop, lies the power of nomination to the Chaplaincy, opposed both the absence and the substitution. Finally he agreed to leave of absence till Commencement, but would on no account agree to Bush’s taking Neely’s place. We had to yield. I was sorry, and wished for a different result, and spoke for it.

The junior exhibition took place at Linden Hall at half past seven. Twelve speakers. They spoke well and showed the effect of Prof. Russell’s training, short as it had been – only three weeks, particularly in their easy and self-possessed carriage and bearing, and a certain gentlemanly manner and a noticeable correctness and good taste. Wells got the first and Richardson the second prize. The Judges were Doctors Rankine, Hull and Guion. The audience would have given the first prize to Crouchen.

April 6th, 1864

December 12, 2007

Talk with Mr. Douglas about Neely’s leaving and about his successor.

March 28th, 1864

December 7, 2007

This morning I met Mr. Douglas down town and he talked to me about the General Seminary- thinks it likely to fall through- thinks we ought to look forward to a provision here for educating our own candidates- suggested letting Dr. Rankine devote himself to St. Peter’s as a parish and getting Mr. Mahan at the head of the Training School.

March 12th, 1864

December 7, 2007

Mr. Neely and Mr. Darby called.  They had been up to see Mr. Douglas about some illumination for the paneling over the Altar in the Chapel, which Darby has been preparing;  But Mr. Douglas will assent to nothing till he can consult Mr. Upjohn, which makes it too late for Easter, by which time Mr. Neely hoped to have it completed.

February 17th, 1864

December 6, 2007

Thermometer three below zero: strong wind and snow flying.  Chapel only twenty-five degrees at Morning Prayer.  I asked Neely to shorten the service, and he merely read the prayers.  At Litany it was no better.  At six P.M. it was twenty-two degrees!

Mr. Douglas wrote me a note to-day saying he had been at the Chapel about eleven and found it too cold (!) and he thought the draft was good and that the ventilators in the windows were the source of the difficulty.  But both are the sources.

February 15th, 1864

December 6, 2007

Talk with Mr. Douglas of the heating of the Chapel and its difficulties;  proposed to close up the westerly opening of the chimney.  He agrees to do so.

The Board met to-night at Mr. Burrall’s, he not being able to come out.  Rankine, from the committee on class-day, reported a resolution against it, which was adopted, I think, unanimously.  Voted to hire Linden Hall for junior and sophomore exhibition, so as to relieve the students of the expense.

January 23rd, 1864

November 29, 2007

Saw Hurd this morning and engaged his house for Prof. Russell.  Talk with Mr. Douglas and we agree to continue John Noonan to blow the organ bellows for the whole year at $30, or seventy-five cents a week.  Mr. Douglas agrees to give $10 of this, taking $10 from the $25 which he agreed to give Graves.

January 20th, 1864

November 29, 2007

Order a weight for the Chapel door to keep out cold while the students are entering.

Go and see Rankine and have a long talk with him about class-day.  He desired to talk with me about it, being one of the committee to report on it.  Talk with Mr. Douglas in the evening and talk about the salaries of the professors to see if we cannot increase them.  He could not see any way.

December 16th, 1863

November 28, 2007

Meet Bishop DeLancey and Mr. Douglas as directors of the scholarships. In the evening attend meeting of the Board and unanimously elect Rev. F.T. Russell to the Chair of Rhetoric.

November 27th, 1863

November 27, 2007

Got a letter from Russell intimating that he might be open to a renewal of our offer of the Chair of Rhetoric. Write him to-day a strong letter of inducement, after consulting Bishop DeLancey and Mr. Douglas. I wrote Russell ten days ago proposing to renew the offer.

August 18th, 1863

November 16, 2007

Talk with Bishop DeLancey, Mr. Douglas, Mr. Neely and Dr. Metcalf about the consecration of the Chapel.

April 12th, 1862

September 28, 2007

The Committee on vacations, terms, &c. (the Bishop, Mr. Douglas and myself) concluded to place the spring vacation so late that the Holy Week and Easter would always fall in term time. Our object was to have the students under the influence of our religious system through the whole of Lent and not turn them loose at its most solemn and interesting crisis. If we sent our students away from our influence at both of the most solemn and impressive seasons of the Christian year (Christmas and Easter) we lost a chief means of sending home our teachings and making our training exert its full effect. Usage rendered it very difficult for us to refuse a holiday at Christmas. We therefore determined to keep them till after Easter and make the most of Passion Week. This is the first year that the new system has gone into operation. The Trustees directed that one of the morning recitations be replaced by the Service, &c. I felt anxious to have the thing start well. Dr. Wilson agreed to take his part, but has rheumatism and will not be able to do so. I do not think he has any sympathy with it. He strongly objected to it when first announced. When I, after I first came here, proposed to keep the students here through Passion Week and give them instruction suitable to the season during a part of that time, and for the rest keep on with their studies, he told me that the Church sentiment of Western New York would not tolerate such a thing. I replied that it was tolerated where the Church sentiment was quite as enlightened as in Western New York. When the new arrangement adopted by the Trustees was announced by me to the Faculty every member expressed himself strongly opposed to it; but Mr. Metcalf has since expressed himself in a friendly way towards it and entered into it cordially.
We have arranged to have the Morning Service next week as it is now; and at eleven o’clock (in place of the recitation) the Ante-Communion Service with lecture, and on Good Friday two full services, as on Sunday. We require Churchmen only to attend at eleven o’clock.

March 21st, 1862

September 27, 2007

Meeting of Board of Trustees. Just a quorum- Mr. Fellows being in town to supply the place of Mr. Ver Planck who is away. We directed that the Faculty do not recommend to us for A.B. students with debts which ought to be provided for, especially board and washing.
The Bishop was strongly opposed to the Board or the Faculty undertaking to regulate Commencement expenses. Thought it would be odious and difficult – that some freedom should be allowed the young men even if imprudent. Mr. Douglas agreed with him.
We had the Decree of the Court in our suit, before us. It provides expressly that bequests shall stand good towards making up our $40,000 and so will include the $15,000 from Mr. White’s estate. Mr. Smith procured it so drawn purposely. It looks very satisfactory now, if only the executors will not appeal.

February 4th, 1862

September 25, 2007

This afternoon got Mr. Swift’s letter containing certificates of two eminent brokers. They put the Cleveland and Toledo bonds at 84. I went to see Mr. Douglas thinking that as we had still the right today to act, we might deem it expedient to withdraw certain of the securities, as we had put in $1,000 more than was needed if the Cleveland & Toledo bonds are worth 84. Mr. Douglas, however, thought they could not be worth more than 70; so I did not care to disturb the matter if he did not. I felt pretty sure that 84 was the true figure. The $1,000 surplus counts for us equally whether it goes into the Professorship or the Chaplaincy. So it does not matter where it is placed.

February 3rd, 1862

September 25, 2007

At four get two telegrams from Mr. Swift setting the value on stock for today. So after seeing Mr. Douglas I went down at a quarter to six and placed the securities and subscriptions in Mr. Hurd’s hands as trustee.
I went down a second time to put the Prendergast mortgages into his hands – having gotten them from Mr. Hawley. Thus have we closed up this transaction and now we take our risk. I think we have exercised due care and diligence to make all sure.

January 31st, 1862

September 24, 2007

Meeting of the Board. We arranged matters in reference to Mr. Ayrault’s executors by appointing Mr. Douglas a committee to set apart securities to the amount of $40,000, including $6,753.70 of debt paid. I wrote to Mr. Swift this evening to let me know on Monday the value to act. Mr. Swift will get two leading brokers to certify the value on that day.

January 13th, 1862

September 24, 2007

Mr. Douglas agreed with me that I had better write Mr. Ballard and accept the securities for the Horace White Professorship, which he had informed me were placed in his hands for Hobart College. I have written to New York to Mr. Swift and got a broker’s estimate which makes the market value about $12,500. I accordingly wrote to Mr. Ballard, the agent of the executors of Mr. White, this evening. Rev. W. Ayrault called. We talked over matters relating to his Uncle’s will and estate, and the recent suit, &c. He said to my great satisfaction, that he now thought that the executors would divide the residuary heirs – postponing the division to the College and societies till a convenient season. He expressed distrust of investments in U.S. securities, and preferred bond and mortgage for his Uncle’s subscription and bequests – in which I agreed with him.

January 11th, 1862

September 24, 2007

I got the opinion of the Court upon our lawsuit from Mr. Smith yesterday. Took it to the Bishop in the afternoon and to Mr. Douglas in the evening. It is much more favorable than I expected. We are only required to have the $40,000 “in money or valid subscriptions,” before February 4th.

November 4th, 1861

August 13, 2007

Busy writing reports for the Board of Trustees. We met at three, but no quorum was present.  Adjourned till to-morrow; but Mr. Ayrault arriving, we made out a quorum and had a long session – adopt statute for Ayrault scholarships, institute White Professorship, adopt statutes for Chaplaincy.  Keen passages with Mr. Douglas.

October 21st, 1861

July 31, 2007

    I had proposed to Mr. Douglas to go with me to Syracuse, which he did.  We met Hamilton White and Prof. White and his brother.  I made out statement and exhibit.  Mr. Douglas threw in suggestions.  Prof. White said it had been his father’s idea that the estate should pay off indebtedness by its income.  Mr. Douglas explained that as they were to pay the income of the $15,000 quarterly to the College there would be no advantage in retaining their security, and some risk which by surrendering they would avoid.  They wanted time to consider and we agreed to meet them at noon.

When we met the executors again Prof. White said they had agreed to our proposition.  He said that though the will did not require it he supposed the wishes of the family might be regarded in the appointment.  Said his father’s idea was to have some person of high character appointed, &c.  He (Prof. White) had been afraid we might appoint some young graduate.  I said we should not appoint without consulting him, and that our idea would be to appoint a capable man.

September 16th, 1861

July 26, 2007

Met with Bishop DeLancey and Mr. W.B. Douglas as a committee to appoint scholars on the Ayrault foundation.  It was our first meeting.  We adopted rules for our government and for the scholars to observe.  We suspend Vielé and Smith for cropping of Comstock’s hair.  Fine Graves, G.R., Addoms, Vielé and Tremaine for boarding at a hotel.

September 13th, 1861

July 26, 2007

Called on Mr. Douglas and showed him a letter from Mr. Cone saying that the executors of Mr. Ayrault were now ready to pay over the $10,000 subscription.  Mr. Douglas spoke of beginning the Chapel in the spring.

July 31, 1861

July 18, 2007

Board met at eleven. We discussed the matter of arranging things with Mr. Swift and concluded not to do anything at present. Bishop DeLancey and others doubted if we had the right to let off Mr. Swift or any other subscriber from any portion of his subscription. The Board appointed a committee to consult with the Faculty about discipline. The Committee – Dr. Shelton, Rev. W. Ayrault and Mr. Douglas met Dr. Wilson, Dr. Towler, Prof. Bates and myself at my study in the evening and we had a long session.

July 8, 1861

July 18, 2007


Meet Dr. Fitzhugh and Rev. W. Ayrault, executors, &c. I laid before them, first; our cash or the evidence of it; second, our securities, railroad bonds; third, our notes of hand; fourth, our subscriptions; and all footed up over $62,000 and the executors said they were satisfied and would pay over Mr. Ayrault’s subscription of $10,000. Mr. Smith was called in counsel with us and we discussed several points of importance- Mr. Douglas now joining us, having been unable to come this morning;

            It was agreed that if we could have $40,000 of our $60,000 subscription not appropriated to special and other objects than the support of the professors, this would satisfy the clause of Mr. Ayrault’s will, which conditions his bequest of $20,000 on our raising $40,000 to endow two professorships and pay the debt of the College. further it was agreed that the term “raised” used in the will in reference to the $40,000 would be satisfied if we got this amount within one year from his decease into the shape of cash, approved securities at current value, bonds and mortgages or notes of hand not having a great length of time to run.  We also settled that what Mr. Ayrault had said in his letter to me about investing the $10,000 was merely in the way of suggestion and not binding.

June 1, 1861

July 12, 2007

In the afternoon I went to Mr. Douglas and urged him to subscript $1,000 more in addition to his $8,000, saying I would subscribe $2,000 for Mr. Duncan as he had authorized me, i.e. one-fifth of $10,000 or under $2,000 for myself, but I could not move him. About eleven P.M. he sent me a note with his final reasons. I then, after reflection, subscribed $1600 for myself, and $1800 – i.e. one-fifth of $9000 for Mr. Duncan. I trust I did right. I felt anxious and under high tension all day. I feared for Mr. Swift’s ultimate stability- perhaps without reason.

May 16, 1861

July 12, 2007


Mr. H. White very generously subscribed $1,000 – very kindly, too.  Came to Auburn.  Saw Mr. Chedell.  He had made up his mind that $500 was the utmost that he could or ought to give.  I argued the matter with him earnestly and finally he concluded to give me $1,000 and did so.  Found letter awaiting me at home containing $525 in subscriptions – $300 from Peter A. Porter – $200 from his sister and $25 from Charles Stebbins, of Cazenovia.  Go to Mr. Douglas’ and talk over matters.

April 25, 1861

July 10, 2007

Have committee wait on me in order to get a holiday for the rest of the day to raise a flag over the middle College. Bishop DeLancey called to learn what I had done for the endowment. Had a long talk with Mr. Douglas about the endowment and the Chapel.

Mr. Douglas came with me to the College to be present at the raising of the flag. After it was raised I introduced the exercises with prayer – The Lord’s Prayer, the Prayer in War and Tumults, and “Direct us,” with the benediction. Dr. Wilson was the first speaker, Prof. Wheeler the second, H.R. Gibson the third, S.W. Tuttle the fourth, Mussy the fifth, Bishop DeLancey the sixth, Colonel Murray, Seneca Falls, the seventh. Wheeler’s was the gem. Bishop DeLancey was for peace and settlement. It all passed off very finely. The members of the College have raised about $30 to pay for pole and flag. They could not get bunting, but made it of woolen stuff. It is large and handsome. Mrs. Towler made it, or it was made under her direction.

April 5, 1861

July 10, 2007

Go to see Mr. Douglas who to-day returns from New York.  Talk over College matters and the endowment.  He thinks people are more hopeful in New York.