Diary of Thomas McClelland January-March 1861
January 1st 1861
Tuesday 1st-- If this beginning of a new year is noted for anything, it is for the beauty of the day--a pleasanter a--for the season, I never saw. My Journalizing, since vacation has commenced, has been postponed, not because I was in want of something to write, for if there is any reality in Christmas dinners and oyster suppers, I have not been at loss for them, but because it is vacation, and I am determined in enjoying it as well as circumstances will allow.
My time is divided something as follows--sleeping ten hours, eating one and a half hours, reading four hours, working three hours, the other seven and a half hours, I spend in loafing and doing nothing.
I was pretty lucky in getting to stay at Dr. Taggart's-yet if I had stayed in my own room, I would have done more in the literary department.
On the question for Public debate, I have done very little, and I fear I will find very little to do. The selection of a question was a poor one, if we get off a good debate I shall think we are lucky.
The political world is very much agitated now. The conduct of the Administration is most deplorable. President Buchanan has certainly acted the traitor to his country.
[More blacked out lines.]
Wednesday 2nd-- The familiar sound of the College bell again greeted our ear to-night at 5 o'clock, summoning all to prayers. I did not obey the summons on account of having work to do. I spent about three hours, this forenoon working in the room of the Preparatory Dept. in preparation for Mr. Fisk, to-morrow morning.
Thursday 3rd-- But few of the students appeared in their place this morning at prayers. Our first recitation was in Chaucer at 11 o'clock. But three members of the class were present---Hayden, Austin, and myself. The following is the programme of recitations for the term: Mathematics in the morning from 8 to 9 o'clock, Livy from 11 to 12 o'clock.
History from 4 to 5 o'clock. The President has not returned from the east yet. To-night I have amused myself in reading Alisson's essay on Madam De Stael. It is a fine piece of composition. The atmosphere is very cold to-night, with some snow. Another bill of costs for box rent and paper postage, I see in my box in the Post Office. I begin almost to despair to have to pay twenty five cents a quarter box rent, and not get more than the a half a dozen letters.
The Post Office Dept. in Beloit are enjoying the holidays "hugely". It is almost impossible to get into the office except in the evening when the eastern mail is being distributed.
Happy will be the day when Abe Lincoln is inaugurated president of the U.S. then we may look for some decent Post Masters!!
Saturday 5th-- Wrote a letter and mailed to-day to Bayard Taylor, asking for some information in regard to Poland, whether I will ever get an answer or not is to be told. [Another blacked out area.]
Dales made his appearance to-night.
Tuesday 8th-- The Sophomore class have been in Lewis's room all evening discussing, whether they shall go to Rockford to-morrow night to see the Seminary girls or not. From the key their voices are in I should think they did not agree very well. Have recited our second lesson in G reecian History to-day. I like history first-rate, I think I can hoe my own row in this Department, with ease.
I am making great progress in learning College songs. I can now repeat the words of "Shool"[probably German] and make a good attempt at the tune.
The Prep. Dept is increasing in numbers, daily. The seats on the Junior side of the Dept. are being filled rapidly.
The Freshman class are now going on nine members. Have done no miscellaneous reading to-day. If I do not get at my question soon I will not do much of it. The atmosphere is mild to-night. The Sophs break up their meeting by singing "Audiamus."
Wednesday 9th-- The first day for Rhetorical exercise of the term. N.L. Rood represented the Freshman class. He made a first rate speech, his subject, "Wilberforce."
To-night I have been hard at work copying off my composition for to-morrow. The Sophomore class, in defiance of the Faculty's commands have gone to Rockford to-night. The young gentlemen will be very apt to go home and see their mothers if the Faculty do their duty. Open rebellion ought to be punishable by expulsion. The night is peculiarly cold. The affairs of the government are becoming more and more complexed. Civil revolution I fear will be the ultimatum. It seems to me that it would be a providential act if the President would die and leave the affairs of state in more honest hands.
Thursday 10th-- This morning after prayers President Chapin requested the Sophomore class to remain after the other classes went to their recitations, when the sentence of suspension for an indefinite period was pronounced on all that went to Rockford last night. The class have spent the day in consultation and negotiation with the Faculty, who are unrelenting, commanding the boys to leave town before tomorrow night.
Friday 11th-- This morning the Junior class, part of the Senior class and all the Freshmen except Austin and Wright escorted the Sophs to the Rail Road station of the Galena and Chicago Union R.R. The brass band discoursed music for us from the Bushnell House66 to the cars. The procession was cheered by crowds on the side walk and many of the citizens followed to the depot. Upon arriving at the depot three cheers were given for the girls of Rockford Female Seminary girls and the Sophomore class. "Shool" and " Gaudiamus" were sung by the students. Ed Porter proposed three groans for the Faculty, but was not responded to very heartily by the students. When the cars started, bearing the class away, they were cheered by vigorous shouts from the assembled multitude.
The effect of the morning's frolic exhibited itself in the Latin recitation. In Latin Prose, I was not called and the rest of the class failed with the exception of Hayden.
Tuesday 15th-- Last night at two o'clock I was awakened by some one calling out in the College yard. Upon getting up and going to the window I saw a man enveloped in a cloak going from this M. College, to North College, bellowing for the boys to get up and go to their studies. I recognized his voice to be that of a man who was here some two years ago, and who styled himself a hermit. I called out to him to see what he would say. He wanted me to give him a Greek Testament and Lexicon, as he said he might get his lesson. The old fellow has been knocking around all day. This evening he went in with the Presidnet to prayers--took his seat with the Freshmen--sat for a little spell, then went back to the stove. The man is crazy, yet he has a good deal of wit.
I spent an hour in the library to-day, arranging the books, and in making myself acquainted with the position of the different books. I am very lucky in getting the appointment of librarian as I can have the entire library at my command to consult. I must do more composing. Until I get this public debate off my mind, I will be a prisoner, because I cannot banish one subject and take up another with profit.
I was surprised to learn the condition of the College Monthly. To-day the Editor for this month told me, he only had one essay presented and now it is time to have the February copy printed.
Wednesday 16th-- Our debate to-night was short and not very sweet. Both societies debated the question in reference to the right of a state seceding from the Union. It was decided in both societies that a state has no right to secede and that the U.S. has the power to force a state into submission.
Called into the Alethian, after the adjournment of the Delians and looked at them a spell. The President wanted to go "sparking"67 so when nine o'clock came he vacated the chair, after which a president pro tem was appointed to conclude the meeting.
Bradly resigned his position of Poet for next public meeting. No others elected to-night I believe.
Recieved a letter from mother this evening. No news of importance.
Cooper called to see me this afternoon. He is working hard preparing for the Public Debate.
Thursday 17th-- This morning we were introduced, by our worthy professor of Mathematics, to Sturm's Theorem, in Loomis' Algebra. It is needless to say that I came out of the class, as unacquainted with Sturm, as I was when I went in. The truth is, I am not very partial to Algebra, and when it comes along so hard a Sturm Theorem, I naturally detest it.
This afternoon I was so overcome with sleep that I could not get my history lesson, which fact my recitation confirmed.
Friday 18th-- Went to hear Dr. Jewett of Boston lecture on Temperance. The doctor is very pleasant man and lecturer. The subject of temperance he treats well. An occurrence happened which caused a good deal of disturbance at the beginning of his lecture. A crazy man who has been around the College several days, came in and took his seat near the pulpit immediately, under the speaker. Here he did not remain long. Jumping up he ran to the back part of the house and went up into the galleries, where he sat for some time quiet, but finally let out and began to abuse the speaker, telling him to go to Chicago and preach temperance, where the drink beer + c. Some of the citizens, after some difficulty, succeeded in taking him away. I am going to bed, and let Sturm rest until morning. Smith of the Junior class is in town. He has just returned from Nachez, where he was engaged in a Publishing house. He designs going on with his class.
Saturday 19th-- To-day I gave the library a good sweeping and dusting. I am in a good situation now to have the whole library to use when I wish. I have commenced to read Tom Paine's Age of Reason. I shall continue it from time to time during my spare moments in the library until I read it through. I cannot understand why a man, who possessed the intellectual culture of Paine and had the instruction of a Christian community, should be so devoid of all reverence for him, who is acknowledged by the almost entire educated class, to be the Mediator between God and man.
The world is bad enough with all the religion it possesses, what it would be if governed by the imbecile68 reason of man without some restraining influence, the Perfect can only tell.
Thursday 24th-- If there was such a thing in Beloit College as prizes for speaking, the First division of the Freshman would come in for a few for to-day's speaking. The following is an exact programme of the exercise. First, G.P. Davis, took the stage. After speaking about four or five words he got to laughing and forgot his piece, consequently he had to leave the stage. Next came G.R. Hayden. He got about one third of his oration off, when he forgot his piece, and began to extemporize. After extemporizing a little while, he run out of something to say, when Rood and I seized his manuscript and began to look for the place where he left off. After a diligent search of two minutes, we found the place and gave poor Hayden a boost. By continually boosting we got him through. Then I was called in. For the first two thirds of my piece I got along first rate. but at this juncture I caught the eye of C.P. Bascom and perceiving a peculiar twinkle in it, I lost my presence of mind, together with my speech, and had to haul out my notes. By referring to these twice I concluded my piece. A.M. May, the last speaker, took the stage and after speaking for four or five minutes--alas! He forgot his piece, and the worst of it was, upon referring to his manuscript could not find where he left off, and had to leave without concluding his piece.
Tis reason to believe, that we received no compliments from our worthy Prof.
Rooming in the same building with myself and others, is a Scotchman. His only peculiarity, I believe, is stinginess. He will spunge off his neighbors as much as he can, and when he does stay in his own room, he sits with all his coats on in order to save wood. At night, he either studies by his neighbor's lights or if compelled to use his own, he turns the blaze on so little that it is impossible for him to see, without hurting his eyes. To-day it was determined that he should be done a favor. At three o'clock he went to his recitation, and at the same hour, two persons went into his room, filled his stove with wood he had prepared, and set it on fire. Then they got two lamps, filled them with his oil, lighted them, and turned on the blaze, until there was danger of bursting the chimneys. The fire was kept burning until the room was insuferable hot, when the stove was filled full of wood and left to its fate.
For fear the fellow would take cold sleeping in such a warm room provision was made for his safety. A large snow ball found its way between his sheets. When all was done for the victim that could be, the unknown actors left the lamps burning, and also the fire in the stove, then returned to their rooms.
When the owner of the room returned and found his habitation so warm, and his lamps burning so brilliant, he was very wroth. To complete the programme, the following stanza got stuck to his door to-night. The verse is taken from the Icelandic, of Saemund. The poem is verbatim, spellatim, et punctuatim, except in the third line "Ralston" is put for "death", and in the same line "just" for "perhaps" also the two commas, one on each side of "perhaps" in the original, is omitted.
Let us live well, while life endures;
The hoarder lights a sparing fire;
But "Ralston" steals in just before
The gathered sticks are burnt to ashes.
The following wholesome piece of advice was attached to his door with paste. "Keep better fires after this, or the Vigilance Committee will have hold of you." Fifteen minutes after twelve, it is high time I was in bed. To-night is a "singer," emphatically the coldest night we have had.
Tuesday 29th-- To-morrow will complete the first month of this term, and I have done nothing towards preparing for the public debate. There is no alternative, I must begin to-morrow or else resign my appointment.
To-night is undoubtedly the coldest night we have had.
Thursday 31st-- To-morrow we take our first lesson in Logarithms, which is the last subject in Algebra. By taking only detached portions of Greek History we have got about halfthrough it already.
Mailed a letter to Bob to-day.
Friday 1st-- This morning I woke up to find nearly a foot of new snow on the ground, and it is still snowing. The day has been more like a December day than a February day. After prayers this evening, I went across the river to Winslow69's to see Erskin and get his door key. To-morrow I will occupy his room, with the purpose of preparing on my question for debate. I go to bed early to-night.
Professor Porter told me to-day that he thougth the Sophs would all be back next week. I called on Short to-night to get some of his argument, but he was not at home.
Saturday 2nd-- My speech for public debate got a small start to-day. After reciting in Algebra, I went into Erskin's room and there put in the whole day until 12 o'clock at night. I did not accomplish very much, yet made a beginning.
Wednesday 6th-- Attended a concert this evening in the chapel. The Director of the concert Prof. Nason, the singers were about fifty in number, all living in town. Seven or eight pieces constituted the evening's performance. It was a pleasant affair. The company have been practicing for some weeks in the chapel. They design giving a concert in one of the churches, during the term. Every will doubtless attend and pay the fee willingly. Dr. Nason is doing a great deal in promoting the interest of the College, and the Art enterprise of the city. May he live long and prosper in his good undertakings.
Thursday 7th-- Finished Algebra this morning and had a lesson assigned us in Geometry for to-morrow morning. I am much more pleased with Geometry, at least so far as I know anything about it, than Algebra.
Friday 8th-- Recited my first lesson in Geometry this morning. Recieved a letter from Aunt Lize this evening. The Sophs have nearly all returned.
Saturday 9th-- This afternoon I spent in arranging my room in South College, and in the Library. To-night I go to Cooper's room to compare notes with him, on the question for public debate. After prayers, the officers for Archaen Union were elected.
Monday 11th-- Rose this morning at 3 o'clock, went to S.C. built on my fires and began on my speech. Rehearsed at 2 o'clock. This re-hearsing is the greatest humbug propagated within the College walls. A person to go through college, and follow out the rhetorical instructions of his teacher, will inevitably come out a perfect parrot, a mimicer, not using his faculties in accordance with his own nature, but torturing them to suit the caprice of another. My idea of a Prof. of Education's duty, to point out faults, but not to institute a system which pleasing to themselves may be obnoxious to others.
Tuesday 12th-- Erskin called in and paid me two dollars and eighty five cents for ____________, which got for him last fall. Went to Heiney's to order a pair of pants, but as he had no cloth except what would make a pair of pants cost eight dollars, I resolved to do without any for the present. This has been a remarkable fine day.
Saturday 16th-- Miss Bodge, teacher of Latin in Rockford Female Seminary, and some misses students of the same seminary visited the library this afternoon. It is impossible for me to do anything on Weds. and Saturday afternoons owing to the care of the library. To-day we completed Geometry up to the sixteenth proposition, first book. On next Tuesday we have a review of all we have been over. I like Geometry better than Algebra, yet I have no especial love for Geometry. If I was a genius like Wright then the lessons would be no trouble to me. Composed some and copied some of my speech for public meeting, but have done not a solitary thing on my oration for next Thursday. I am sore displeased at Erskin for his littleness in regard to the debate. He being on the affirmative should give the heading of his arguments to the negative. Instead of that, I have given one of my chief points, and he refuses to give Cooper any. I see he designs using every subterfuge to secure a decision of the question in his favor---a mean grovelling ambition!! and what is worse he obtains his ends on dishonest grounds.
Received a letter from Bayard Taylor last night. Cooper will use it on the question. Taylor was not very explicit on the question, indeed he said as much for one side as for the other.
Monday 18th-- A box full of letters greeted my longing eyes when I entered the Post Office this evening. One from Crosby, Nichols, Lee & Co, in reference to Chaucer and Spencer. One from Newt. Edgrington containing no information, and one from Bob announcing his going to be married, unexpected news to me.
Wrote two letters to-night, one to Bob another to mother. Sat this afternoon with no fire, with thermometer at about 15 degrees below zero.
Tuesday 19th--In my recitations to-day, I made two complete "flunks", first in Geometry, then in Livy. O the shades of Pluto, if I didn't study harder, and abolish the plan of partnership studying, I must quit.
Dr. Bettleheim called into a Hist. recitation this afternoon, he also was in at prayers. I did not recognize the gentleman, until after he went away.
Thursday 21st-- President Chapin being away this afternoon, we had no recitation in History, consequently to-morrow we must take a double lesson. Made an end to my speech to-night.
Friday 22nd-- The birthday of George Washington. To-night Prof. Nason's concert. The Haymakers comes off. Fifty cents being the admittance fee, and my purse being affected with a chronic disease of long standing I stay at home. Ed. had gone, when he returns I will get posted. Wrote a letter to Newt. Edgington in answer to one I got from him the other day.
[More lines blacked out.]
Saturday 23rd--To-day the boys begun to pay in their money for their books. I fear I can't send for more than ten or twelve dollars worth. There seems to be no interest in the college in regard to purchasing books.
Wednesday 27th-- Sent to Harper & Bros for $19.25 worth of books to-day.
Thursday 28th-- The day of fasting and prayer for colleges. All the regular exercises, except morning and evening prayers, were omitted. Meeting for prayer and conference was held in the chapel at 10 o'clock A.M. and at the Presbyterian Church at 2 1/2 o'clock P.M. I did not go to the church this afternoon. The roads are very wet. Most all the snow gone. Completed my speech to-day. I now read the Daily Chicago Tribune. There is great commotion in the US now.
The councils of Unionists may prevail over the impetuosity of all parties. God grant it may be so! and that we may not be disgraced in the estimation of other nations, and condemed in our own consicences.
Friday 1st-- The friendly face of the Chicago Tribune made its appearance this evening after prayers. Nothing of very special importance from Washington. Lincoln is busy in preparing for his innaugural. News from the South say that General Twiggs70 was killed in a melee lately. If so, I look upon the circumstance as a judgement from God. His conduct, in surrendering U.S. property to the rebels, and acknowledging the traitorous actions of those engaged in the present secession movement, is worthy the rebuke of man and God.
The notorious actions of Jeff Davis, Tombs, Rhetts, and other nulifiers of the South are becoming disgusting even to their own constituents. Major Anderson71 still survives at Fort Sumpter. The peace Congress of the border States have concluded their sitting. The resolutions introduced by Franklin were accepted.
Saturday 2nd-- Tired, tired, tired. The week is ended, and I am nearly ended also. This studying is hard work. Ed. and I went out into the woods this afternoon and took some shots at a target wtih Davis' revolver. At the first fire I hit the mark in the center, afterward I did not hit the paper.
College Monthlys for March were out to-day. The contents for this months are nothing to brag of--and as for the editorial it is a disgrace to the college.
The weather is very warm. Rain falls frequently. Snow all gone.
Tuesday 5th--The Tribune of to-day contains an account of yesterday's proceedings in Washington. Lincoln was innaugurated without any opposition. His address contains nothing except an exposition of the present unsettled condition of the country. He expresses his determination to enforce the laws of the U.S. His first act will be to retake the forts in the South and collect the duties in southern ports. The cabinet is not complete yet. The administration goes out in disgrace. The affairs of our government will now be brought to an issue. May God and the right prevail.
A change in the atmosphere to-day. The wind blows cold. A new feature was added to the College prayer meeting to-night. Many of the citizens out of town attended. The meeting was held in the chapel. To-morrow we commence the second book of Geometry. I am not making very great headway in committing my speech.
Thursday 7th-- To-day I have not studied much. This morning our mathematical lesson was short, at noon we had Chaucer, which needs but little study, and this afternoon Pres. Chapin was absent consequently we had no lesson in history. News from Washington state that President Lincoln's Cabinet is complete. But few appointments have been made. Judd72 of Chicago will be minister to Berlin, C.M. Clay of Kentucky will doubtless go to England, and J.C. Freemont of California to France. No serious action is being taken by the seceding states. It would take a seer to tell the results.
I wrote to the Tribune office this morning to see how much we will have to pay for our Programmes, provided we get them at the Tribune Job office. I think will get a better article, and cheaper in Chicago, than in Beloit.
Received a note from Mother and another from Till this evening.
Professor Blaisdell made no corrections on my oration---wonderful to relate---but he chides me for taking, too broad a subject. I shall have to speak before the class on the day after the public meeting. Answered Mother's and Till's letters.
Saturday 9th-- Received a letter from Tribune Office containing sample copies of programmes. The programmes for the coming Public meeting will be printed in Chicago. We expect a nice job. This morning, Professor Kelsey being absent, we had a lesson in Livy.
Monday 11th-- Received two letters from Harper and Bros. One containing a bill of books--the other the draft I sent them, which the cashier did not sign. I sent them Nineteen dollars twenty five cents. My bill amounted to Eighteen dollars & thirty three cents. A balance of ninety two cents (92 cts).
President Chapin has not returned yet. We have missed
two or three lessons in History now by his absence. This morning I mailed a copy of our programmes to Chicago Tribune Office to have seven hundred printed. Tomorrow I will doubtlesss receive a proof sheet. Erskin and Short want the word "Hold" and the date stricken out of the Resolution. To this Cooper and I cannot comply--for if we do we will cut our own heads off.
I have not got my speech committed yet. A letter from Wm Cornwell Bookseller N.Y. came to me to-day in reference to Sheridan's speeches and Young's American Statesman. Sheridan 5 vols. cost $15.
Tuesday 12th-- To-day we resumed our recitations in history and recited our last advance lesson in mathematics for this term. One of the College girls could not sing on the night appointed for Public Meeting, so the Juniors postponed the meeting one week. The atmosphere changed cold this evening. I get no letter from home, whats the matter!
Wednesday 13th-- This has been a regular day for postponements. On account of the Juniors going off on their Geological excursion, there was not enough speakers left to make the Rhetorical exercise interesting consequently Prof. Blaisdell laid over the exercise of to-day until next Wednesday. After the students were dismissed part of the Delians got together and adjourned the meeting for to-night much to the chagrin of some who came at the ringing of the bell.
The evening's mail brought me a letter from the Tribune, Chicago with a proof sheet of our Programme. Erskine is very eager to have the word "Hold" stricken out of the resolution which will perfectly kill the question. Cooper unites with me in holding them to the question. Our opponents were the ones who made the question to suit themselves--they had choice of sides, and are now dissatisfied.
I have spent this afternoon in idleness. Wo unto me if I don't do better hereafter.
To-day I kicked the bottom out of our wash bowl. 50 cents out of pocket. Called over and chatted with Coolidge awhile this evening.
Friday 15th-- A scene occurred to-day in our College life, that added no honor to the actors. An old dirty Indian, who has been around the streets for two or three days, came up to the college, just at the ringing of the bell for evening prayers. In order to create a little sensation Young Fisher, at the instigation of several others enticed him into the chapel. When he came in he made directly for the desk where President Chapin sat. Just as he attempted to mount upon the stand the President turned him around and pointed him a seat. After sitting a few minutes the place got too warm for him, so he left. If this is a specimen of the American Indian, it would be a blessing on the Indians themselves to be exterminated.
This evening I wrote a letter to the Tribune Office, ordering our Programmes. All the Disputants became reconciled to the writing of the question before sending the order.
I sung a few college songs with Davis this evening.
Saturday 16th-- Our box of Books from Harper and Bros. came in to-day. All the books were safe. The cost of Exchange, Freight and Drayage was fifteen per cent. I have never paid more than seven percent before. After filling out my order there was a balance of 92 cents in my favor, additional discounts thrown of the books. I shall keep this for my own trouble.
Dock and I got a middling good bargain in stationery. For fifty cents they sent us ten bunches of envelopes, and for two dollars about a ream of paper.
The Juniors returned to-day from their Geological excursion. They are all in good spirits and say that they have had a good time. The Professor and many of the students brought back specimens of Lead, Zinc, and Copper.
The weather is very fine only a little too windy.
Sunday 17th-- Dr. Phelps preached his last forenoon sermon this morning. Next week he starts for San Francisco, California.
Monday 18th-- Between ten and eleven o'clock to-night our ears were greeted with the hymn "Silently the Shades of Evening" and upon looking out of the window discovered a couple of ladies and one gentleman under Prof. Kelsey's window and from these the music proceeded. I thought it would have been more to change the words to "Silently the Shades of Midnight."
Thursday 21st-- I must charge myself with indolence, neglect of duty, and ill-temper. To-day I had an appointment to speak along with the rest of the class. My piece I neglected to commit until this morning--this was indolence--I remained out of Mathematical recitation to get it and failed--this was neglect of duty--being chagrined at not being able to speak my piece, I exhibited a very bad temper--this was the worst of all. I must strive with myself and not permit my temper to get master of me. I owe my failure to-day to a great degree to May. Every time I go to speak he assumes such a contemptuous attitude and look, that when I am not complete master of my piece, I cannot go through with it with satisfaction. I shall always remember May. I have never injured him by look, word, or deed, and for him to treat me so indecent is disgraceful to himself.
The Professor kindly excuses me from writing another oration this term.
Mack is in town to-day. He struts around as big as ever. There is a good deal of pride in Mack, and not a little deceit and conceit. Davis joined the class this afternoon.
Saturday 23rd-- Have spent the bigger part of day in the library pasting tickets on the books, and dusting the cases. Our Programmes came along this morning. To-night I called in Bascom's room, Davis, Thompson, Short, and May were in during the evening and we had a rough time generally. At ten o'clock at night, Cooper and I went to the chapel and rehearsed our pieces for debate. At a special meeting of the Archaen Union this morning, the evening for the Public meeting was changed from Wednesday 27th to Tuesday 26th giving us one day less to make our preparations in.
Monday 25th-- O what a day. This afternoon has been spent in superscibing letters, making corrections on Programmes, as denoted by the copy on the opposite page, and distributing them around town. Had I not got to work this morning at half past two o'clock I would have accomplished nothing in my studies to-day. At this hour to-morrow night, Providence permitting, I will discuss on the opposite page the merits of the Archaen Union. Public meeting, Beloit College, Tuesday evening March 26 1861.
It rains. Porter has returned from Chicago. He and Gilbert start for California day after tomorrow. Heaven protect them on their journey.
Wednesday morning 27th-- The long looked for debate came of last night. The many times the evening was changed and the foulness of the weather worked against the Society and those who took part in the exercise of the evening. When the programmer were struck off we did not anticipate that Gilbert designed starting for California to-day, and for this reason we had to make a change in the time. The question discussed was restricted by the President to the effect the partition of Poland strengthened despotism at the time of the partition. This the Neg. admitted, but did not recognize that construction of the proposition, because in viewing in the sense of increase of territory at the time of the partition, no person could refute it. The evening was well spent by the whole assembly. All seemed to be well pleased. The Oration by Gilbert was a masterpiece. The poem
was a hoax and unworthy of the Society that it represented. According to Ed. Heath timing the result is marked on the programme. Short spoke deliberate. Erskine73 spoke very deliberate and well. My own speech I made three or four minutes by putting it through. Cooper done nobly.
After the exercise was over we adjourned to Cooper's room and had supper. Hayden and I looked out a few propositions in Geometry. At one o'clock I went to bed. About two o'clock I went to sleep.
The figures on the program denote the number of minutes consumed in each piece.
Wednesday evening 27th-- I have not felt good all day. This afternoon I have been in the Library. Mailed a letter to Bob, another to Aunt Lize and another to Charles S. Barton. Fitted up my room in South College and will have nothing to do in the morning except to put a match to the stove. Dr. Nason was in the Library this afternoon and some of the tardy ones in paying fines and Term bills found themselves attacked.
To-morrow we review the whole of Grecian Hist.
Saturday 30th-- "Cram, cram, cram," is the order of the times. Wo, the mortal eight Freshmen have to be examined on Monday Apr. 1st, at 11 o'clock in Grecian and Roman History, and if we do not "cram" every mother's son of us will "flunk."
The following is the order of examination of Freshman class on Monday at 9 o'clock. Greek Testament with the Juniors, in the Rhetorical room, Prof. Blaisdell. At 11 on Mond Hist. in Greek room to President Chapin. Tuesday at 11 o'clock. Livy to Prof. Porter, Greek room. At 4 o'clock in the afternoon of Tues, Mathematics to Prof. Kelsey, Mathematical room.
This evening I finished reviewing my Greek history, and Roman to Licinian Laws. In the way of politics, we hear that Fort Sumpter's evacuated, and Fort Pitkins74 in Florida reinforced. News from the South are joyful to every Union loving man. The chief traitors are living sumptuously, while the common soldiers are suffering very greatly. Discontent seems to pervade all ranks. A just God, it seems, is punishing the rebelling states, for the traitorous act committed in seceding. Indications seem to say, that in six months the stars and stripes will again float over the seceding states.
and the Palmetto with its bearers. Jeff Davis, Floyd, Rhett, Clement, Clay and many other revolutionists will be trodden underfoot.
The weather is very fine. I spent some time in the library to-day.
on to April-June 1861