June 20th, 1867

March 13, 2008

Hartford.

Bishop Williams and the Professors had requested the students to be in front of the College Chapel at five o’clock, when I was to be presented to them. We all went out from the Vestry and the Bishop presented me to the students in a very cordial speech. Prof. Brocklesby then spoke in like terms – commending me warmly to the students as one who was entirely worthy of their confidence – one who knew every rope of the ship – one who understood the whole structure of the College from turret to foundation. The students cheered heartily. When I ended speaking, they were presented to me individually by Prof. Brocklesby.

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June 16th, 1867

March 13, 2008

Received assurances from the Trinity Professors, and some of the Alumni, of warm support in my plans for the College.

June 15th, 1867

March 13, 2008

Strong expressions of regret and friendly appreciation from Dr. Schuyler.

I got Bishop Williams’ official notification of my election this morning. I got every vote on the first ballot. The feeling was strong, Bishop Williams said; no President had got so strong a vote since Bishop Williams’ own election in 1848. He wrote a most cordial private note, saying it was the fulfillment of the wish of his life. He asked me to meet him at Evening Prayers at Trinity College on Thursday, the 20th. inst. I telegraphed him I would do so.

I also wrote my official acceptance to take effect July 16th.

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.

May 24th, 1867

March 13, 2008

The Gospel Messenger came to hand to-day, saying I had accepted a call to the Presidency of Trinity College.  I saw Dr. Gibson at Waterloo. He told me it had gone in and could not be recalled. I was very sharp with him. I told him it was the third time he had done the same thing in reference to Trinity College. He had hear it talked of in Rochester as a settled matter, and supposed of course that it was true that I was elected. I had written him a letter begging him to say nothing on the subject, but all in vain, it seems.

May 23rd, 1867

March 13, 2008

Get a letter this morning from Bishop Williams saying that they could not get a full meeting of the trustees of Trinity College on the 22nd, and concluded to defer the meeting till the 11th. of June at the Convention at New Haven. They want, Bishop Williams writes, to give me a loud call. I am sorry for this delay. It keeps us from taking action here, and creates some surprise in my mind. Bishop Williams says the action of the Board will be unanimous.

Get a letter from Bishop Coxe in reply to mine, expressing strong and painful regret at my purpose. It made me feel very badly.

May 4th, 1867

March 13, 2008

Write to Bishop Williams, saying that after much consideration, I find it hard to say either yes or no, but that I see no reason to believe that I will fail to accept if they elect. This is an important act- fruitful in consequences. It severs me from Geneva in any event; for if now anything should happen to prevent my election, I would certainly feel bound in honor to resign my present position, and quit Geneva at the close of the present college year.  Having after long deliberation decided in favor of Trinity College against Hobart, I could not now consent to remain President of the latter. I should find some other sphere of labor. So that the determination to write the letter which has gone to-day, certainly carries me from Geneva. I cannot suffer myself to dwell on the thoughts which this prospect forces on me. Geneva must ever remain to me one of the dearest spots on earth.

Tell Dr. Rankine of my purpose. He deplores it; says he never was more hopeful of the College; that its internal condition was never so satisfactory; that public opinion in town and abroad was never so strong in its favor.

April 30th, 1867

March 12, 2008

Hartford.

Talked with Prof. Brocklesby, who asked me what I thought of coming here. I said there were some considerations in its favor – that it had seemed as if it would be pleasant to have the co-operations of old friends and pupils. He asked me if I had not had some trouble at Geneva. I replied, nothing that amounted to anything – that in the matter he referred to, the Trustees stood by me, and the thing was quite manageable. Called on Mrs. Brownell, who told me she had heard of the probability of my coming, and had cried over it for joy. She cried again over it while speaking of it to me. She has just entered her eighty-first year.

April 28th, 1867

March 12, 2008

I had considerable conversation with Bishop Williams last evening and to-day about the object of my visit- to look into the reasons for my taking the presidency of Trinity College.

April 28th, 1867

March 12, 2008

I had considerable conversation with Bishop Williams last evening and to-day about the object of my visit- to look into the reasons for my taking the presidency of Trinity College.

April 27th, 1867

March 12, 2008

New London.

Talked over very thoroughly the affairs of Trinity College with Huntington.

 

April 24th, 1867

March 12, 2008

Buffalo. Bishop Coxe talked with me earnestly about Trinity College. He said “We know not where to turn if you leave us”. “You are the College”. “Your influence in the Diocese is so great, you have won such a position”, and a great deal more. I said that nothing but the strongest conviction of duty would draw me away.

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.

April 17th, 1867

March 12, 2008

Wednesday. Ante-Communion, with sermon instead of morning prayers. I preach concerning the perfidy of Judas Iscariot.

I give the whole day to the senior examination in Moral Philosophy and Political Economy. Go into the junior examination in Greek. From two to three hear excuses for absences, and have the Register open.

I received a letter from the Bishop of Connecticut which informed me that all things pertaining to the office of president of Trinity College had advanced according to the decision; likewise asking that I would come there on my way to New London.

April 16th, 1867

March 12, 2008

After morning prayers seniors in Schlegal. My last recitation of this kind has terminated. At 11:30 I read service (Ante-Communion) and preach a sermon concerning the events and deeds of this day. Examine the seniors in Schlegal. I frequently think of the matter of Trinity College. May God direct me. May His will be done always in me.

College is most quiet since last Friday, — punishment being expected, and now imposed – six having been suspended.

April 10th, 1867

March 12, 2008

The Hartford matter is known to some besides those who have learned it from our home. D.S. Hall spoke to me to-day of this affair. Yesterday and to-day I have a calm mind. I am contented with my lot. I am less anxious concerning the future. May God direct and bless me.

I go to College and inquire concerning the bonfire two nights ago, and I give a punishment to those who were present looking on. I fine them a dollar each. The punishment was to be divided among all.

Mrs. — said that she had heard about Hartford. It was evident that she did not believe it.

April 9th, 1867

March 12, 2008

Letter from Prof. Huntington of Trinity College informing me of the true state of affairs. Prof. Pynchon says that he wishes for himself the office of president.  Hence his desire for delay. Prof. Brocklesby has performed this duty of president for $500 per annum. He urges me—persuades me to accept the office of president of Trinity College.

Students had bonfires in front of Trinity Hall, and kept them up till the middle of the night. I went out and forbade them, but in vain; for when I had gone away they renewed their fires. Horns were blown. The campus was restored to quiet several times.

April 8th, 1867

March 12, 2008

Somewhat weary in mind. May the greatest God grant me peace. A letter this morning from Bishop Williams, who will not give me up. He affirms that it is necessary for me to accept the office of president of Trinity College, Hartford. To all my questions concerning the affairs of that College he replies in a manner which pleases me. On account of this I was anxious the whole day. God direct me in the way of duty. I would do all things to the glory of God. Nine years to-day are finished from that day in which my office of president of Hobart College began. The greatest thanks to the best God for His tenderness towards me – His servant. Grant to me wisdom in this office in the future. I thrust in Him alone.

March 31st, 1867

March 11, 2008

It repents me of this Hartford business somewhat. Talk with —- concerning Hartford matters frequently, that is, concerning those whom I formerly knew in that city. I return to the best God great thanks for all His great kindness upon this day. May he grant to me and my wife, daughter, mother, friends, –to all, life and eternal happiness of His infinite goodness.

A letter from Prof. Pynchon. He said that nothing would be done at once concerning the election of a president. He thought the trustees would do something in a short time; but that he would be prepared to leave the college if the affair should not be carried on in a manner which satisfied him. It was plain that he urgently desired the honor for himself. Hence his manner of writing to me — otherwise inexplicable.

March 30th, 1867

March 11, 2008

The Hartford matter is still agitated. It is disturbing to me. I am not able to keep it out of my mind. It renders me uncertain what is about to be. I wish it may be wholly determined. Whatever my duty may be, I wish to do it. May God show me what may be my duty in this affair.

March 25th, 1867

March 11, 2008

Feast of the Annunciation. Ante-Communion. I preached concerning the Catholic faith, on The Word made Flesh. The students listened willingly.

Heard a debate at 10:30—Bridge and Neely. I struggle almost in vain to write a sermon concerning the Christian Church – a dissertation which I had agreed to deliver before the Society for the Promotion of Religion and Learning in New York.  Gave an hour after dinner to the official reports of the professors. Prof. Pynchon sent me a message that he would write me in a few days concerning college matters. Hence this Hartford matter will go on. I hoped it might be that this might rest in peace, but the fates decree otherwise. Talked with —- about Hartford and Trinity College matters, and the attempt to draw me there.

March 14th, 1867

March 11, 2008

Rochester

The Bishop talked with me for an hour and a half very earnestly about Hartford and Trinity College, dissuading me from going.

I said, and have said, and felt all through, that I only wished to know what was my duty in the matter, not my pleasure.

March 13th, 1867

March 11, 2008

Rochester

Walked and talked with Bishop Coxe. Much talk about the Trinity College movement. He had just come from Hartford, and he said the thing was really serious – that they were determined to secure me at Trinity, as President, if the thing were possible. He had determined not to interfere if I thought I could do better, or ought to go, but there was no one in the Diocese whom he could so ill spare – whose place would be so difficult to fill.

March 7th, 1867

March 11, 2008

Busy investigating disorders in College. I had a letter from Hartford, telling me that Bishop Coxe had expressed strong opposition to my going back to Trinity College and said he would rather lose his right hand than allow me to go.

March 5th, 1867

March 11, 2008

I cannot but think a good deal about Hartford.

March 4th, 1867

March 11, 2008

I felt a secret hope and desire that I might never hear more of the Trinity College matter. But I found in the office a letter from Bishop Williams, urging the matter on me, explaining at length why I was not elected when he retired, and when Goodwin retired, &c; saying that he himself always desired it. He does not wish the College to be refused again, but if I will consent to entertain the question, he will secure my unanimous election in two weeks’ time. The Trustees and Faculty would be equally unanimous. He would count it one of the most joyful circumstances of his Episcopate if he could see me at the head of the College. This is certainly bringing matters to a focus. It oppresses me with anxiety to know what I ought to do, and, if possibly, the decision should be to leave Geneva – then with many pangs of grief at the separation from the College and dear friends here. May God direct me aright.

            I wrote Bishop Williams a full letter, stating my willingness now to consider this question, though a year ago I was not willing even to think of it; that the work at Hartford had many attractions for me, and that there were some circumstances here, e.g. Bishop Coxe’s female school plan, which would interfere with the immediate enlargement of Hobart College by increasing the endowment, and cause things to go on for some time necessarily much as they are now. I was, therefore, for this and other reasons, willing to consider this question, if properly brought before me. I agreed with Bishop Williams that another election ought not to take place on an uncertainty, and therefore said if he would inform me about the finances of the College, the President’s house, whether the College would share the expense of moving with me, and allow me two or three months’ absence for a tour in Europe within a year or two, if I should give up my plan of going now for the sake of Trinity College; I would then consider the whole matter, and tell plainly whether I would accept if elected.

March 2nd, 1867

March 11, 2008

One of the students talked with me about the DeLancey Association – had fault to find. Bishop Coxe was with Bishop Williams yesterday. I think it not impossible that he may remonstrate so vigorously against any movement to make me President of Trinity College, as to stop it at once.

February 28th, 1867

March 7, 2008

Get a letter from Prof. Huntington saying he had shown my letter to Bishop Williams, who said there was no doubt of my election. I wrote a full letter to Prof. Huntington reaffirming that I was not indisposed to consider the question if directly brought before me, but I said that Bishop Coxe would be with Bishop Williams on Saturday, and after that interview, all thoughts on the subject might be put an end to.

February 13th, 1867

March 7, 2008

I got a letter this morning from Rev. Prof. John P. Huntington of Trinity College, asking me to say “yes” to the question whether I would take the Presidency of Trinity College, and I “would be unanimously elected by the Board of trustees”. I wrote to say I would consider the question kindly, if brought before me in any tangible form.

I was sorry that Huntington wrote to me on this subject of the Presidency of Trinity College, and I have felt disturbed and anxious about it. I really think it was impossible that I might be induced to accept that position. Sill I could not fairly address myself to the subject till it was put more authoritatively. What a change for me to go back to Hartford!

April 7th, 1866

February 15, 2008

The Bishop attended our morning Chapel service, and at the close announced that he would give early in June a course of lectures on English Literature to the students of the College.

We heard to-day of Rev. Dr. Gregory’s death. He died at Syracuse. He was the first student that ever graduated at Hobart College – a most excellent and worthy man and greatly useful in his day. I must try and go to his funeral.

Yesterday we read in the Messenger that Dr. Payne was elected President of Trinity College. I sat down last night and wrote him a letter of congratulations. To-day I learn that the statement is not true. How provoking!

Eight years to-day since I came to live in Geneva.