September 26th, 1866

February 27, 2008

Made a long call on Mr. Burrall. Talked over matters about Mr. Fellows not subscribing to the College, and about the Chaplaincy.


September 23rd, 1866

February 27, 2008

Attend Divine Service in College morning and evening, and sit in the pew. Chapel unusually full in the evening. The evening sermon was extemporaneous and very pictorial. I doubt if such sermons do much good. They fix no principles in the mind. Before my recitation with the sophomores in Paley, I matriculated the class, thirteen at last, three not being present.

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.

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.

June 29, 1859

December 11, 2006

Thursday. 8 A.M. Service at Trinity Church – a public thanksgiving to Almighty God on account of the return of Bishop DeLancey, recently from Europe. I read the Te Deum. The Bishop spoke words of congratulation.

The Trustees then returned to the library in order to accept a marble bust placed in the library to serve always to the honor of Rev. Dr. Hale (the former President of this College), and in his memory. This bust was given by the Alpha Delta Phi Society to the College. Prof. Wheeler made the speech of presentation, — elegant and suitable. I answered extemporaneously for the Trustees.



A portion of Dr. Jackson’s address at the Presentation of Dr. Hale’s bust, by the Alpha Delta Phi.


The Rev. Dr, Jackson, on behalf of the Trustees, spoke in substance as follows, addressing Prof. Wheeler:

“I am requested to say, on behalf of the Trustees of this Institution, that they receive with sincere pleasure this token at once of your loyalty to Hobart College, and of your grateful appreciation of the distinguished services of its late President. They will take care that it be preserved amongst the sacred treasures of this Institution of Learning, that all future generations may learn to recognize the form and features of one who will always remember with reverence and gratitude within these classic Halls [capitalization, sic]. We know, indeed, that marble and brass are frail and perishable – that the only imperishable likeness is that of the mind itself – forma mentis aeterna est – that likeness, stamped on the minds of his loving pupils by him whose character you have just now portrayed with a hand at once so delicate and so faithful, will remain there forever. Nay, it will reproduce itself in more or fewer of its lineaments in other minds, and so, send out a widening circle of beneficent influences, whose remotest pulsation no human eye can reach far enough to see. Hobart College will ever cherish this marble so cunningly wrought, because it will serve to remind her children, of every generation, of one of their earliest and greatest benefactors.

We are reminded, sir, by this whole occasion, as well as by your special references, that this gift which we have accepted at your hands is the offering of a secret society. And, we here find ourselves in some sort drawn into a public recognition of one of the secret Fraternities of this Institution. We do not regret it. Your, sir, have brought the character of the body which you represent on this occasion distinctly to our notice; and, so doing, you have enunciated much that is both true and important. Secret societies are powers in college. Their existence and their influence for good or for evil are facts which cannot be overlooked or ignored. Doubtless they involve a mixture of both. And the wisest course to peruse in relation to them is to deal with them in a manner at once frank and friendly – to recognize their power for good – to endeavor, so far as we can, both by authority and discipline acting on individuals, and by the force of a sound public opinion in College acting on the members at large, those tendencies to evil which unhappily exist in such associations. I gladly recognize, as a fact attested by experience, that the young men who compose these societies have in general a high sense of character and are keenly stung by the reproach of misconduct in any of its members. It should then be our aim to cultivate in them a strong sentiment or admiration for all that is generous and elevated in character, and by friendly relations with them draw them to uphold rather than obstruct the government, and stimulate them to rescue for evil influences rather than to corrupt their members. I know that our efforts in this direction will not be in vain. Sometimes, unhappily, they are found in antagonism, and prove themselves obstructive to order and discipline. But I feel confident that if they meet with frank and impartial dealing at the hands of the government they will rarely fail to give it their active moral support. Prejudice or passion my blind them for a time, but they will presently do justice to the wise and well-considered action of those in authority.


The Rev. Dr. Hale, in his reply, also spoke of secret societies. He said that he had often found them very useful.



Dr. Hale spoke also, happily. The whole scene was impressive and delightful to all.

At the same hour the White Rhetorical prize speaking was going on. Vail carried off the prize.

At four p.m., Hon. J.D. Doolittle, U.S. Senator, gave an oration before the alumni on the Succession of Empires and a Universal Republic. Finally delivered. At 7:30, Hon. John Cochrane gave a address before the Sigma Phi’s on the Liberal Arts, and William Starke recited a poem in the Presbyterian Church. At the same hour O.S. Ackly gave an address in Linden Hall before the Hermean Society. Hindered by negotiations I do not advance.


Difficulty in the Hermean Society.

Certain persons having failed to carry out the election of a poet for Commencement in the Philopeuthian Society, considering that they have been unfairly used, applied for admission to the Hermean Society. One or two of those who sought admission into the Hermean Society had not been members of the Philopeuthian. It being perceived that they would, by their vote, strengthen the minority, and enable them to carry the election of the Orator for Commencement, (a sharply contested point), their admission was refused. Then the minority, having the president of the Society on their side, got notions of a special meeting for March 17th at eleven o’clock p.m. (!) and had the notices posted on the doors of the north and south buildings ten minutes before five p.m.; but it would seem as if they were immediately torn down, as no one of the majority ever saw them; and it was indeed admitted on both sides that they did not remain up. But no one could tell who took them down. It was admitted by the party calling the meeting that the other party, (majority) should know of the meeting. Accordingly no member of the majority was present. At this meeting certain persons were elected and inducted. At the regular meeting, March 19th, 1859, these persons, (six in number, I think) appeared. The majority objected that certain persons, not members, were present; which, according to a by-law, blocked up the meeting by those present. Accordingly nothing further was done except to adjourn. The Society continued blocked to the end of the term. Finally they agreed to what the Faculty recommended last term when the matter was brought before them by the majority, viz; to refer the whole matter to referees, whose decision should be final. They accordingly, by mutual consent, who decided as follows. (Wheeler and Van Deusen appeared for the majority, and Pringle and Gibson for the minority. The Committee met first on the 3rd of May and heard statements and arguments, and again on the 4th, and had their final meeting May 10th).


Report of Committee of Arbitration. Hermean Society.

Hobart College, May 10th, 1859.

The Committee of arbitration, considering of the four senior members of the Faculty, viz; Drs. Jackson, Wilson, Metcalf and Towler, to which was refereed the controversy between different parties in the Hermean Society, after due deliberation on the points at issue, decides as follows, viz; That the persons whose membership is in dispute are not members of the Society, because the Society being competent to decide on the legality of the meeting of March 17, at which certain persons were alleged to have been elected and initiated, and having decided that the meeting was illegal, their decision is final.

Three members of the Committee decide that the meeting of March 17th was illegal in itself for want of due and proper notice.

One member of the Committee deems it inexpedient for him to pronounce on the legality of that meeting without further investigation, but he considers it wrong and improper on moral grounds.

On behalf of the Committee,

A. Jackson,



April 8th, 1858

November 5, 2006

Summer term begins to-day. The Trustees of Hobart College met. Bishop DeLancey met me this morning and advised me not to be present at Morning Prayers, but at Evening Prayers, when I should be commended to the Faculty and students of the College by the Trustees publicly and with full authority. To this I readily assented. A little before five the Trustees went from the house of Dr. Hale, to the Chapel, Bishop DeLancey being with me, everyone rising at our entrance and standing until each was seated in his place — Bishop DeLancey at the right side of the altar, I at the left in the chancel, and the remainder of the Trustees in extra seats placed outside the chancel. The service was read by Dr. Metcalf. Prayers being finished, Bishop DeLancey rose and spoke in an able manner. First to the professors he introduced me as president, then to the students. On the other hand he urged upon me faithful care of these youths. He also read a short communication written by Dr. Hale (who did not venture to speak, by reason of physical infirmity), and addressed to the students, which bade them farewell in a manner full of kindness and good feeling, and also in a most friendly way commended them to me. The Bishop’s address being finished, I arose and in the Bishop’s order addressed the professors, the students, and Dr. Hale.
I hope that by the grace of God it may result to the good of the College. Bishop DeLancey’s suggestions were very kindly received. All the professors were present except Prof. Hamilton and Prof Wilson! Just as if he were not in the town! for a reason unknown to me, but which I think this:– I am less welcome to him because, so they say, he himself wished to be president and did not care for me. I, however, always treat him fairly and justly. More than that I cannot do.

March 24th, 1858

November 1, 2006

Yesterday my going away was discussed in Faculty Meeting.  Dr. Goodwin and others thought it better for me to enter on my new duties with the least delay – that it would be more easy for me to take up my work at Hobart College if I began soon than if I lingered when an opportunity to go was granted me.  Then I could come back or remain, as might seem best to me.  Truly this showed a generous spirit and true liberality toward me.  Dr. Goodwin said they would divide my duties among them.  He, himself, undertook to teach Intellectual and Moral Philosophy.  Prof. Eliot the Constitution of the United States, and Prof. Davis and Mr. Niles the Latin.  I am not able to agree to this division in this way unless they who teach my classes receive a part of my salary.  I consulted about this matter with Thomas Belknap and Bishop Brownell and Dr. Washburn, who all thought as I did.

March 18th, 1858

October 30, 2006

Talked much with Dr. Goodwin. He confessed that he could not see what I owed to Geneva. I was deeply moved. I consulted Bishop Brownell, Mr. Belknap and others. They did not hinder me, although they regretted my going.
Letter from Bishop DeLancey in which he answered my questions and satisfied me. While I was at Geneva Dr. Wilson spoke of the hindrances to Hobart College “which they ought to seek out from him set in charge, whoever he may be”. I inquired of what kind they were; but he refused to inform me. Then I asked Dr. Hale and Mr. W. B. Douglas what those hindrances were. They spoke with much gravity and earnestness. Dr. Hale said to me, “He, himself, is the only impediment”. I received the same reply from Bishop DeLancey of whom I asked the same question when he afterwards returned to Geneva. I asked Dr. Wilson what the impediments were. He asserted them to be the Training School of Bishop DeLancey, — that this stood in the way of collecting funds for the College. But Bishop DeLancey denies this.

March 15th, 1858

October 25, 2006

Reached Geneva. To my keen disappointment I found Bishop DeLancey absent. Mrs. DeLancey had sent me a telegram before my departure, but I did not receive it. I met Dr. Hale immediately. Dr. Wilson and Dr. Metcalf came in soon, and we talked everything over. Dr. Metcalf and Prof. Towler met me in the evening. About nine o’clock the College campus was bright. Dr. Metcalf exclaimed, “It is wonderful”. Dr. Towler went out to inquire the reason, and soon Dr. Metcalf followed. He came back immediately and said, “The College building is illuminated for you:. We therefore walked past the building. The students greeted the “new president” with much hand-clapping. They also lighted bonfires.
Talked much with Drs. Metcalf and Towler about the College. I asked many questions, all of which they answered in the most satisfactory manner.

March 13th, 1858

October 25, 2006

After Morning Prayers Dr. Goodwin and Prof. Pynchon inquired seriously about Geneva and Hobart College. I answered that I had heard nothing; but I remained talking with Pynchon of these things for some time. Found letters from Bishop DeLancey, Dr. Hale (late president), and W. B. Douglas from the trustees, informing me that I was unanimously elected president of Hobart College by the trustees, and asking me to send back an acceptance at once. Talked with Dr. Goodwin and Prof. Pynchon and afterwards with Prof. Eliot. I determined to set out immediately for Geneva for the sake of finding out everything about the College on the spot. Dr. Goodwin advised to the contrary. To him that was saying Yes. It would be going into the lion’s den. He thought that to go would seem a step to indicate that I might wish to accept this office. But to me it appears best to go. I also talked with Bishop Brownell, who said he would not give advice.

March 8th, 1858

October 23, 2006

President Goodwin had a letter from Payne asking him to write to Bishop DeLancey.  I likewise received a letter from Bishop DeLancey asking me to inform him whether it was true that I could not be drawn away from Trinity College.  If this should be the case then it was not necessary to propose to me that I should be made president of Hobart College.  I have replied that in that case I should not thus have written to Trinity College, – i.e. that I was not able to accept the proposed condition.  If he, with the trustees of Hobart College, thought so great an office was suitable, I should soon decide what it seemed best to do, looking to the glory of God and His Church.