Chapter 10: The End of an Age
Physically handicapped as he was, President Anderson asked his faculty colleagues in 1883 to draft a plan of administration to be applied in the event that he should become completely incapacitated or die. After protracted discussions, the professors, recommended--and seemingly the trustees approved--that in an emergency administrative and serious disciplinary questions should be handled by Lattimore, Gilmore, and Morey collectively. Instead of the long-established rule by paternalism, the scheme of professorial leadership more than hinted at a self-governing community of scholars.
In point of fact, the proposed plan was never invoked, for Anderson kept doggedly plugging along year after year. Far from relinquishing his grip, Anderson undertook in 1879 the chairmanship of a committee to add $200,000 to U. of R. productive funds. That old bugaboo, furtive or open competition with the Theological Seminary for potential donors, reappeared, but the financial campaign was carried to a successful conclusion in 1880. The endowment of the college which had been slow, very slow in hardening into backbone moved upward.
Approximately $260,000 were pledged, bringing the productive resources to about $450,000. Trustees Deane, Trevor, and Rathbone were the largest contributors, and John D. Rockefeller, Sr., already an important benefactor of the Theological Seminary, gave $25,000. Rochester names were conspicuously missing from the list of contributors, the biggest local gift amounting to only one hundred dollars. The trustees rejoiced that at long last the institution was "practically on a self-sustaining basis," and they voted modest advances in faculty compensation. The account books of 1881 showed an income of $33,507 (of which only about a sixth came from student fees) and expenses of $30,616, leaving a pleasing surplus in the treasury, a situation without precedent since 1852.
It was a matter of keen satisfaction to Treasurer Sage, who had co-operated harmoniously with Anderson for almost three decades, that not a dollar of University funds invested by him or on his recommendation had been lost and that many investments had appreciated in value by anywhere from five to twenty-five percent. A grateful Anderson wrote Sage, "I am constantly thankful that we have been able to work for a common cause so many [years] with so much harmony. I pray God that I may not outlive you."
Small sums kept flowing into the college treasury for specific academic purposes and the University was the recipient of several substantial bequests. For instance, Mrs. Caroline C. Fillmore, whose husband, Millard, was the thirteenth President of the United States, bequeathed $20,000. But relatives contested the will and when the controversy was settled the college obtained about $16,000. Under the will of Lewis Henry Morgan (probated in 1882), a well-to-do Rochester lawyer, often called "the father of American anthropology," perhaps the most eminent man ever to walk the streets of the Flower City, and a devoted friend of the college, the U. of R. received eventually in excess of $80,000. The wife of the donor and his son held a life interest in the estate. It was stipulated by Morgan that the legacy should be used for the higher education of women, a subject in which he had a lifelong interest; possibly he intended in this way to commemorate two daughters who died of scarlet fever in childhood. "I desire to use my estate for the purpose of female education of high grade in the City of Rochester," the relevant clause in the will stated, "and under the management of the Trustees of the University of Rochester, the said institution to be made a part of said University if the Trustees choose to make it such, or to be kept independent and subject to their management and control." At the time of Morgan's death the idea of providing higher learning for the feminine half of society was remote from the thought of U. of R. policymakers, though it was gathering momentum all across America. It was not until 1909 that the Morgan legacy became available to the University--nine years after the doors had been opened to women undergraduates.
From the Morgan estate the University also inherited a mass of manuscripts, including the original versions of his published writings, note books, diaries, and his extensive private library. These unique treasures would one day make the University Library a mecca for sociologists whose intellectual concerns paralleled those of Morgan. He also bequeathed to the U. of R. a collection of artifacts and minerals that he had accumulated. As a memorial to this benefactor, the University, beginning in 1963 initiated an annual Lewis Henry Morgan lectureship.
Owing to financial reverses, Trustee Deane was unable to pay his pledge of $100,000 to the endowment fund, and the managers of the University found themselves forced into hand-to-mouth financing again. As so often in the past, Anderson wracked his brains for means of balancing the annual budget. His mind turned once more to John D. Rockefeller, richest of Baptists, as a source of help. "How my heart goes out to God to give me strength and wisdom so that the cause for which I am exhausting myself shall not suffer," the "old-time" President wrote his wife just before calling on the multimillionaire oil magnate. The visit bore fruit, though probably not in the dimensions that Anderson had hoped for; a few years later Rockefeller began directing his educational philanthropy to reviving and then immensely expanding the University of Chicago. 1
Recurrently, Anderson pointed out to the trustees the desirability of additional financial resources to assist qualified but indigent young men in getting a college education and to establish a cluster of professional schools, especially for advanced training in theoretical and applied science. Properly impressed by the development of graduate study at the newly founded Johns Hopkins University, Anderson remarked, "Should the time come... when we have sufficient funds at our disposal" to imitate the Johns Hopkins, "nothing would give me greater pleasure than to devote myself to its organization..." However, this noble and exciting vision, reminiscent of Henry A. Ward's dream a full generation earlier, was not implemented. Yet there was reason for satisfaction when a civic-spirited Rochesterian, Mortimer F. Reynolds, came forward with money to erect a campus building devoted to teaching and research in chemistry.
This benefaction may have encouraged a second citizen of Rochester, Don Alonzo Watson, business partner of Hiram Sibley, to give the college $50,000 in 1887 to endow a professorship in history "and political and economical science" with the prescription that the chair should be occupied by Anderson so long as he was President. An equal amount of new money came in from other sources, Rockefeller donating $25,000. Anderson in his last appeal to the trustees begged for funds to publish lectures and learned papers produced by the faculty. "A large part of the original work of college officers is lost," he lamented, "for want of facilities for printing them."
More frequently than not the annual operating budget showed a deficit. It seemed to some minds that the solution of financial perplexities should be sought in the consolidation of the college and the Theological Seminary, which was in a relatively stronger position. A combined institution, it was argued, would have greater appeal to wealthy Baptists and might even attract large benefactions that would transform Rochester into a major center of higher learning. But this line of reasoning evoked little positive response. When Anderson resigned from the presidency in 1888, the productive funds of the U. of R. slightly exceeded half a million dollars and buildings and grounds were valued at somewhat less than that. 2
On January 8, 1887, the senate of the United Chapters of the Phi Beta Kappa Society issued a charter for a chapter at Rochester, to be known as the New York Iota. It was only the twenty-seventh chapter of the Society, to be authorized (seven of them in New York state), plain testimony to the excellence of the U. of R. as a seat of learning and to its high and growing prestige among the colleges of America. Founded in the memorable year of 1776 at William and Mary College as a secret organization, the Society had been converted into a fraternity for intellectually superior collegians as demonstrated in undergraduate studies. Election to Phi Beta Kappa, that is to say, indicated not only the ability but the will of a student to excel in the pursuit of knowledge and in the cultivation of the values of the mind and spirit. It implied, too, receptivity to originality and creativity in the world of learning.
The motto of the Society, "Philosophia Biou Kubernetes," may be freely translated as "The Love of Wisdom Ought to be the Guide of Life." As its badge of membership the Society adopted a key--once serviceable in winding a watch--containing a hand pointed to three stars, which suggested striving for the intellectual heights against all obstacles. Although Phi Beta Kappa abandoned secrecy in the 1830's when a wave of antagonism against secret organizations swept the United States, it retained a secret handclasp; in 1875 women were extended the privilege of membership.
The movement to secure a chapter at Rochester started in the 1870's. A writer to the undergraduate newspaper in a typical argument reasoned that Rochester could satisfy all requirements for admission and that membership would yield new and valuable bonds with intellectually able men of other good colleges. Election of an individual to the Society, he contended, would be equal to the distinction conferred by an honorary degree. Professors Gilmore and Webster, members of Phi Beta Kappa elsewhere, formally applied in 1883 for a charter, which the senate of the Society presently approved.
Organization of the New York Iota took place on April 20, 1887, probably in Gilmore's recitation room in Anderson Hall, Webster voting for Gilmore as president, and Gilmore, not to be outshone, casting a ballot for Webster as secretary. The founding-fathers promptly elected seven of their colleagues (all the faculty except Anderson, already a member) and seven top-ranking undergraduates to membership, and they rummaged through college records to find living alumni worthy of initiation; some 250 graduates were elected of whom about 145 were inducted by 1890 nunc pro nunc (now, thank goodness, now) in legal phraseology. Generosity reigned in inviting alumni to join, nearly half of the men of 1877 and of 1885, for example, being chosen; beginning with Andrew L. Freeman of the pioneer class of 1851, graduates were picked from virtually every class. As a general proposition, election in the future would be restricted to not more than one third of a graduating class. For alumni an initiation fee of ten dollars was set, for undergraduates five dollars, and Rochester professors entered free of charge. At the outset the badge of the Society cost six dollars (soon reduced to five and a quarter), and by the end of its first year, the Iota chapter boasted a bank account of $1,000!
In 1889 the New York Iota attracted wide public attention by bringing to Rochester Edward Everett Hale, patriotic author and noted Unitarian divine of Boston, whose address on ''America'' drew a capacity audience to the recently opened Lyceum Theater on South Clinton Avenue near Main Street. In the course of his remarks which were frequently interrupted by hearty applause, Hale contrasted European and American ways and tastes and recommended the foundation of a "professorship of America" at colleges; the holder of the chair would teach students "that the morals of [Emile] Zola and the dreams of [Count Leo Tolstoy] were utterly alien to the New World style of life. 3
For the benefit of prospective students and of the general public, it was freshly announced that the objective of the U. of R. was to furnish the "broad and generous culture... essential to the successful prosecution of any of the learned professions, and indisputably useful to the merchant, the farmer, or the mechanic." In terms of quality, the teaching staff wished to make the college so good "that wealthy Baptists; shall not be able to plead the lack of a college of their own which is fully up to the demands of the age, as an excuse for sending their sons to Yale or Harvard." The conventional three programs of study still prevailed, far the largest number of students enrolling for a classical education, the hallmark of social elegance, and earning a B.A. For that degree 2,260 class hours were prescribed, of which nearly one third were in the languages and history of Greece and Rome, one fifth in mathematics, and about as much in living languages and literature and the natural sciences; history, intellectual and moral philosophy and logic trailed along and a few hours were assigned to general jurisprudence, art, and philology. Study leading to the B.S. degree stressed the sciences and mathematics, modern languages and history, a little Latin, but no Greek. The third category of regular students, the eclectic group, concentrated on a single department of knowledge without any intention of seeking a degree.
By the 1880's the nationwide debate in academic communities over a required curriculum versus the elective philosophy had reached floodtide. On this vital subject Anderson informed (1882) the trustees that "the range of instruction is now fully double that which was given when I came here.... An American college is not a professional school. To attempt to make it a place where any man can pursue any course of study is to destroy its organization and defeat its real object."
Personally, the man from Maine was convinced that the order of priorities in American education should be the invigoration and strengthening of secondary schooling, more systematic, more thorough college training and gradual enlargement of its scope, "without introducing disproportion and one-sidedness," and, finally, the development of professional schools to equip teachers and research workers. "Our situation here," Anderson reaffirmed "is admirably adapted for the future development" of training for the learned professions which would "involve large and continuous additions to our endowment. An institution of learning is never finished," he sagely observed. " The instant it ceases to grow, it begins to die." He cast aspersions on the "Cornell system" of higher education in which only thirty-nine students in an undergraduate body of 361 were pursuing "a regular college course"--that is, a classical program. Equally, the tone of culture among most of the students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Anderson regarded as " very low. The majority of them are in no sense entitled to be thought educated men. " In the venerable President's judgment, "the extravagant increase of electives at Harvard" had "tended to injure the character of the education so given..."
However that might be, Rochester permitted upperclassmen a small range of electives. In keeping with the constant concern to raise the standard of attainment, students of low quality were more freely dismissed and honors work in addition to the normal curriculum, giving opportunity to individual student tastes and capacities, was initiated (1886). Undergraduates were admitted to honors study only if their grades in the previous year exceeded eighty-five percent and if the professor involved gave his assent; participants in honors work who attained a mark of eighty-five or more in an examination would be rewarded by honorable mention on the Commencement program and in the annual college catalogue.
During the decade of the eighties the offerings in chemistry and physics were broadened, and geology and natural history were set off (1881) as a separate department of learning. Similarly, it may be reiterated, a distinct department of history and political science was created (1883), well before many other reputable American colleges were willing to recognize this discipline (or disciplines) as an area of learning worthy of specialist instruction. Students protested that the apparatus for teaching physics was so scanty that experiments were ridiculously crude and the course "an unmitigated bore.''
The U. of R. boasted that its teaching staff contained neither tutors nor assistant professors, only experienced professors, that wide latitude of discussion prevailed in recitation rooms and that methods of discipline, as traditionally, resembled those of a family instead of a police station. A student of the time, comparing the merits of Rochester with sister colleges, emphasized the considerations mentioned above and added the intimacy prevailing between teachers and learners, faculty insistence upon originality in writing, the high ability of the president, and the well-stocked, and well-arranged library. For a second undergraduate the outstanding traits of the college were practicality and concern for citizen ship. "As is Theology to Amherst, so is Politics to Rochester," he thought, and he inquired, rhetorically, "Which is the better, to train a lad to be a good citizen or to become a kind of intellectual gymnast practising with the dumb-bells of Trinity and Unity, Election and Free-Will?"
A touch of smugness pervaded the last reports that Anderson addressed to the trustees; faculty and curriculum were the best ever and were steadily growing in breadth. And he also reverted to themes close to his heart and mind. Honors work could be--should be--expanded into graduate training for men who wished to become college teachers and research scholars. Moreover, the Rochester special industrial environment, he felt, furnished incentives to develop instruction on the post-graduate level in civil and mechanical engineering and in pharmacy. 4
Undoubtedly, the completion in 1887 of a campus structure in which chemistry would be taught and research conducted quickened the concern of the U. of R. authorities about science in general. In his annual report of 1881 Anderson told the trustees that a flood of special students in chemistry made the construction of a chemical laboratory an imperative necessity, and he carefully studied the plans of a building of that sort at Vassar. Treasurer Sage and Professor Lattimore spread the gospel among Rochester citizens of means, and to their great joy Mortimer F. Reynolds, as mentioned earlier promised to finance a laboratory. Having inherited a fortune which he enlarged by astute banking and industrial operations, Reynolds (who, incidentally, was the first white child born in the frontier village that grew into the city of Rochester) had established a reputation for civic benevolence by gifts for a superior community library that bore the family name.
He gave the Reynolds Laboratory to the U. of R. as a memorial to his deceased brother, William A., sometime a University trustee, and out of esteem for Lattimore. He hoped that the building might ''stand forever on the beautiful grounds of the University, an example of architectural solidity and harmony, an ornament to my native city..." To plan the layout, Lattimore was released from teaching responsibilities and he supervised the actual construction and equipment of the building. Oscar Knebel of Rochester was engaged as architect and contracts for the various phases of construction were awarded to Rochester firms. Ground was broken in October of 1885 and in January, 1887, the laboratory was available for teaching--a far swifter performance than in building Sibley Hall. Costing slightly less than $25,000, the building was constructed of reddish Albion stone in what was called Romanesque style with a tower in the center and dormer windows jutting out from the slate roof. It had two stories, a basement, an attic, and was heated by steam and was fireproof throughout. On the ground floor, whose hallway boasted a gay mosaic pavement, were two large laboratory rooms, a private laboratory for Lattimore, a library, an office, and a storeroom. Wrought iron stairways led up to lecture and apparatus rooms and cases of chemical exhibits on the second floor. The attic was assigned to experiments in photography, then an infant Rochester industry, while the basement had a workshop as well as a furnace and fuel storage bins. Regarded as a model structure with ''admirable facilities'' for instruction and scientific investigation, the Reynolds Laboratory was hailed as a monument to the practical talents of Lattimore "in its combination of economy of expenditure with perfection of arrangements." 5
Since Reynolds Laboratory released space in Anderson Hall, as had the removal of the Ward museum to Sibley Hall, student voices pleaded, as they had pleaded before and would plead again, that vacant rooms should be fitted up for student residence. The standard arguments for undergraduate living quarters on the campus were once more rehearsed, particularly that they would strengthen feelings of institutional loyalty, a responsibility borne as matters stood by the Greek letter fraternities almost exclusively.
Anderson remained, however, as invincibly opposed to a dormitory as he was to a gymnasium, another urgent necessity in undergraduate eyes. According to one student interpretation, "Our college is loath to supply this need for fear it will demoralize the scholarship of the 'grinds.' " Since no donor of a gymnasium had turned up, why not convert the basement of Sibley into an athletic hall, it was asked, with a bowling alley, a rowing machine, and other equipment; the transformation of the top floor of Anderson Hall into a gymnasium was also proposed. Actually, the trustees debated the desirability of having a center for recreational sports on the college grounds, but laid the proposition on the table. Anderson recommended that undergraduates who did not get sufficient exercise walking to and from the campus should make use of athletic facilities available in the city. The expensive gymnasium at the Theological Seminary was not much resorted to after the novelty of it had worn off, he pointed out; since the maintenance of a college athletic center and of a teacher there would be nearly as costly as a new academic chair, the "old-time" President imposed a decisive veto.
Trustee Deane offered to finance a University chapel, and a committee was appointed to select an appropriate site, but financial difficulties that overwhelmed Deane soon canceled the project. Undergraduates, whether in the nineteenth or the twentieth centuries, found much on the campus to criticize. For instance, coal gas escaping from a stove-pipe in an Anderson classroom, which "after various writhings and contortions disappears in the dim distance through a hole in the wall," produced severe headaches; the only remedies were to open the windows and shiver or to slip out of the recitation. When a professor protested that his classroom was cold, the janitor rectified the situation by moving the thermometer closer to the stove! To appease student tempers, steam heat, on the advice of Lattimore who had made a thorough investigation of the heating system at Cornell, was installed (1883) with pipes attached to the walls. Noise caused by steam escaping from pipes interrupted recitations and chapel exercises, and warmth was seldom adequate in the depth of winter--rooms were colder than a "country railway station," one youth stated. The rigors of January and February in Rochester inspired unlovely undergraduate verse, such as
Through the sno, through the sno,
Disgusted does the Senior go;
Through the snow, through the snow,
Daintily does the Junior plow.
Through the snough, through the snough,
Trods the hardy Soph' more tough;
Through the sneau, through the sneau,
Works the Fresh, with fur chapeau.
After entreaties from a student editor, unsanitary pails of drinking water were placed on each floor of Anderson--additional entreaties brought coolers labeled "ice water" as replacements for buckets. The installation of a compressed air device on the massive doors of Anderson Hall eliminated a prime source of noise; students complained about the meager toilet facilities, asked for better footpaths on the campus and more comfortable seats in recitation rooms. After describing the wooden settees, scarred with knife marks by generations of undergraduates, one protestant exclaimed, "If we can't have a gym; if we must freeze in chapel and breathe coal-gas everywhere else, give us, anyhow, new benches in the recitation rooms." When mischievous freshmen pulled down the wooden wall around a section of the college park, a cry went up for an iron fence to prevent wagons from driving across the campus; instead, the trustees besought the city authorities to furnish police protection of the grounds. Custodian Withall thoughtfully laid out a decorative flower garden to the west of Anderson Hall. 6
Student distaste for the style of college buildings--a perennial phenomenon of the undergraduate mind--elicited remarks that the Trevor Observatory exemplified the "beer-keg style of architecture," while Sibley Hall had the shape of an ''ordinary barn," It was a matter of grievance that Sibley had to be closed for a fortnight because ceilings cracked and pieces of molding came tumbling down. No great stir was caused when in 1883 the Ward geology and mineralogy cabinets were transferred from Anderson into handsome dust-proof cases on the upper level of Sibley, there to remain until 1930 when they were removed to the River Campus; undergraduate interest in these treasures was tepid at best until Professor Fairchild systematically rearranged (1890) the collections.
Library resources of about 19,000 volumes in 1879 grew at the rate of 1,000 to 1,500 a year, partly by purchase on recommendation of professors, partly by gifts. Former Professor Cutting, for example, presented a part of his excellent personal library, other donors gave books on special subjects and the United States Supreme Court Records. The Reverend Elias L. Magoon of Philadelphia, whom the college had honored with a doctorate in divinity, supplied the nucleus of an art library, and year after year he enriched the collection of etchings, engravings, and related art pieces which he had started early in the 'seventies as a mark of his esteem for President Anderson. Student spokesmen called for more works of fiction in Sibley--and for more heat. 7
Compared with the enrollment at the young Cornell University with its abundance of scholarships, specialized schools, and graduate training, the student body at Rochester remained small, though not out of line with sister colleges in Upstate New York. Advertising stratagems to attract more students, especially appeals to Baptist denominational loyalties, yielded little tangible result. More than once University officers expressed regret that sons of comfortably fixed Baptist families preferred better known, more fashionable institutions.
Year after year undergraduate registration hovered around the 150 mark, with anywhere from a dozen to over a score pursuing special studies in chemistry. In 1880, for instance, one hundred and sixty-one young men were on the campus, over two-thirds of them candidates for a B.A., and the rest almost equally divided between aspirants for a B.S., eclectics, and chemistry specials. Slightly more than a quarter were residents of Rochester, nearly double as many came from elsewhere in New York State, and the rest from states as far apart as Georgia and California. By 1888 student distribution was not much changed, yet young men from twenty-four states other than New York and from three foreign countries were in attendance.
A small undergraduate body perfectly harmonized with the basic educational philosophy of Anderson, who believed that "the proper work of an American College cannot be accomplished where there are in attendance over two hundred students." From his angle of vision a larger group of students was undesirable because it would be "impossible for a President to individualize [sic] a greater number than this--to give them personal advice--or to exert any moulding influence over moral and intellectual character." He flatly repudiated the theory favored by newspapers and the public at large that numbers alone reflected the quality of a college.
It is stated in the catalogue of 1884-1885 that youths from Baptist homes made up a majority of the undergraduates, but nearly as many professed other Protestant denominational ties and there were two men of the Roman Catholic and two of the Jewish faiths, evidence in itself of the non-sectarian nature of the U. of R. From the earliest years, these minority groups were represented in the student body, and Anderson displayed a special interest in Jewish youths. In chapel talks, he spoke out sharply against discrimination against Jewry in Europe, and he remarked that he had never observed "a scintilla of prejudice" against Jewish students in the college. He tried to obtain scholarship funds for sons of poor immigrant Jews who could not pay for "the higher education they crave." To level barriers between Jew and Gentile, the President recommended the former should engage in agriculture and the learned professions and thus "form a society which will embrace intelligent men of all creeds." If Jewish students joined a Greek letter fraternity, it was almost sure to be Delta Upsilon; one of them, Samuel M. Brickner, 1888, while an undergraduate helped to found a publication called The Jewish Tidings, an influential exponent of the adaptation of historic Judaism to the American environment.
Whereas originally nearly half of the students at the U. of R. intended to enter the ministry, by 1880 the pendulum had swung heavily to lay vocations. Incomplete statistics for the thirty-one men of the class of 1879 indicate that only seven planned to become Christian clergymen; law and medicine enlisted six and five, respectively. A questionnaire disclosed that twenty-two were church members (exactly half of them Baptists); seven acknowledged addiction to the smoking habit, sixteen liked to dance, and eighteen indulged in intoxicating beverages. In political orientation, twenty-three were Republicans, four Democrats, two independents, and one set himself down as a "liberal." In height the men of 1879 averaged five feet nine, in weight, 145 pounds. A comparable tabulation for the class of 1880, containing twenty-eight men, showed almost identical height and weight averages and similar inclinations in politics, though one professed to be a "Communist"--whatever that may then have meant. The ten embryonic lawyers in the class were twice as numerous as the prospective professional churchmen. Only twelve of the1880 group were affiliated with the Baptist denomination. 8
Disciplinary problems, which a college administrator of the mid-twentieth century would have dismissed as innocuous---or nearly that--vexed Anderson sorely. Even the student habit of manifesting appreciation of a given class session by stomping on the floor until the air was completely saturated with dust irritated "Prexy." He ascribed the increase in indiscipline to the malign example of eastern colleges and to the evil influence of the "sporting tendency,'' encouraged by the press and by betting. On the other side of the coin, collegians themselves--insofar as one may generalize from fragmentary evidence--attributed student restlessness to the absence of appropriate outlets for physical energies or to assignments that consumed too much effort, or to tormenting examinations (often set without reasonable advance notice or none at all), and to the faculty custom of keeping, grades closely guarded secrets. In response to this last criticism, the professors relented sufficiently to inform Seniors how and where they stood. That everlasting perplexity, cheating during examinations, held half the undergraduates in its grip despite professorial patrols, the student paper reported.
Although the religious atmosphere of the college was weakening, it was still pervasive. When attendance on chapel--the only occasion on which the under graduates came together as a unit--slumped, the faculty ordained compulsory attendance, which led annoyed students to protest that professorial chairs were frequently vacant and that obligatory attendance evoked more profanity than reverence. "The tone of the chapel is never really devotional, not even during the offering of prayer," a critically minded editor of the Campus wrote. "The exercises are constantly disturbed by applause, whispering, inattention or the entrance of late comers." Sophomores relieved themselves of the traditional chore of pumping the chapel organ by hiring a boy off the streets to do the job. The "Y," it is true, met for prayer each Saturday evening and there were periods when committed students held daily prayer meetings; many flocked into the city to hear the renowned evangelist, Dwight L. Moody. The day of prayer for colleges, conducted in cooperation with the Theological Seminary, remained an annual feature on the college calendar.
As was true of extracurricular diversions in general, musical interests depended very largely upon the tastes of natural leaders among the undergraduates. In the early 1880's concern for singing touched a low point, and the Glee Club ceased to function. Revival, however, soon set in, only to be followed by a second period of indifference, and then a second revival that lasted. Interest increased in fact to the point where an Opera Club was formed, which presented an original production, "Robin Hood," in Rochester's new Opera House. So successful was the performance that jubilant students celebrated by roaming the city streets yelling and singing college songs. For short intervals a Dramatics Club flourished and class debating societies reappeared. 9
Earlier historians of the U. of R. (as of some other colleges) invariably paid scant attention to the life of the undergraduates outside of the classroom, and in so doing they neglected a highly significant area of institutional affairs. Take the fraternities, for instance, in which undergraduates chose what they would do and, meeting in private, said what they thought, free from faculty supervision or prescription.
It is a dozen pities that the records of the Greek societies at Rochester are not more complete than they are, but the extant testimony speaks eloquently of the attachment of students to their particular fraternity and its doings. A typical utterance explains: "Brothers...it seems to me that... Delta Psi has been of more good to me than the college.... The order at chapter meetings is better than formerly but it will have to be improved still more to bring it up to the standard of some of the other chapters--attendance is good, finances are sound... literary exercises have been faithfully performed and of a high order... we need some books to fill the book cases... " The same source summoned the brothers to improve their academic achievement and "out of regard for Uncle Tony, endeavor to rid the chapter of the reputation...of being poor students."
Rampant factionalism and bickering between the Greek letter groups undoubtedly lowered the morale of the college body, it is true, and rivalry for student offices, as evidence of fraternity prestige, became so fierce that certain classes had two sets of officers, two class meetings and, separate parties. In the record book of Delta Psi may be read, "We may not be able to score a ten in every recitation, as is the boast of Alpha Delta Phi (a boast which comes largely from the imagination, by the way), nor perhaps we may not be able to roll as good a game of billiards as our Psi U friends or crib with the skill of a Galentine [William O., 1884, a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon], but when an election is pending, we all know that the good, honest wirepulling and the hard work, the work that counts, is done by the bearers of Uncle Tony's Cross. And how is Delta Psi represented this Fall? When a certain Psi U said the other day, 'you have gobbled everything this year,' he just expressed it. We have but two Freshmen but these two have... taken unto themselves Orator, and Poet. In '86 we are to have the Presidency. In '85 we have the President and Junior Bone-man. In '84 Orator and Musical Director for Class Day...the most important officers in the gift of the students of the University. There are three offices in connection with the Glee Club, each one of which is filled by a Delta Psi...."
By 1889 Alpha Delta Phi, Delta Kappa Epsilon, and Psi Upsilon had become affluent enough to rent or purchase an entire house, instead of mere lodge rooms, and Delta Upsilon had started to accumulate a fund to build a chapter house. Annual banquets with lots of speechmaking (often on Washington's Birthday) bound interested alumni to their Greek societies; and national conventions held in Rochester--Alpha Delta Phi for the second time in 1880, Delta Kappa Epsilon in 1884, Delta Upsilon for the fourth time in 1885, and Psi Upsilon in 1888 for the third--tended to extend knowledge of the Rochester institution in college circles across the country.
Responding to pressure from brothers residing in Rochester and to a petition by eleven U. of R. undergraduates, the well-known national fraternity, Chi Psi, granted a charter in 1884 for a Rochester chapter. A delegation from the Hamilton College "Alpha" initiated the original group. In spite of the zeal and energy displayed by the membership, competition from the established fraternities proved insuperable, and after five years of chequered existence, the Chi Psi charter was voluntarily surrendered. In the interpretation of the national body, the Rochester chapter was not "dead," merely dormant, awaiting a time when it could be resuscitated under more favorable circumstances--but that never came to pass.
A contingent of "neutrals" or unaffiliated students organized in 1884 a club known as the Photephian (Erstwhile) Literary Society, which as Phi Epsilon (1901) acquired the characteristic traits of a secret fraternity and a house; in the fullness of time entered the national society of Theta Chi (1920). Yet another organization, Alpha Sigma, was founded in 1880, but none of its records have been found. 10
Journalism played an increasingly important role in the life of the college and furnished a fuller and perhaps a better idea of the character of the institution than the somber and stereotyped official catalogues. As a mirror of undergraduate interests and sentiments, the student paper informed the "powers that be'' of undergraduate opinion, though it is never possible, of course, to determine whether an editorial or a letter expressed views representing a consensus among articulate undergraduates. Stories abridged from the student publications of other colleges tended to mold an intercollegiate body of opinion on matters both significant and inconsequential; by means of the college paper, moreover, Rochester alumni learned of what was happening on the campus and what other graduates (now and then graduates of the Theological Seminary too) were doing, and men on the editorial and business staffs of the paper secured experience that might lead into professional newspaper work.
The custom of publishing a paper in an institution of higher learning, it may be remarked, though not unknown in the older English universities, is in the main an American phenomenon; nothing even remotely similar existed at Continental European universities, The tone and content of the U. of R. paper, called simply the Campus from 1883 depended upon the talents and whims of the current staff and standards ranged from the dignified to the plebeian. On the whole, the topics considered were usually of contemporary interest; in some years literary pieces or book reviews, synopses of chapel talks, or bright and rollicking verse, or snatches of wit and humor appeared in the columns; infrequently, a table of contents was included.
Certain contributors made no bones about indulging in ludicrous burlesque or lampooning college officers. For example:
A remarkable person named "Prex:"
A sort of a little tin "Rex:"
From Senior to Fresh,
All quake in the flesh,
Whenever he lays down the "Lex."
Critics of undergraduate journalism begged to point out that the work that was involved consumed time that might better have been applied to Latin and mathematics and that the speed with which copy was prepared militated against good literary style and encouraged superficiality.
From time to time the format and the size of the Campus were changed; the Commencement issue of 1882 contained twenty pages. It appeared once a month from 1875 to 1880, ceased publication until 1882 (owing to dissension in the college body, it seems) and then was published biweekly into 1891. Censorial tongues pilloried editors for slack writing, printing "slop" and ill-thought-out judgments, and ignoring matters in which collegians had a decided interest. Constantly, the managers were plagued by money shortages and the danger of strangulation; heroic appeals to undergraduates to subscribe to the paper failed to strike fire. To balance the budget, more and more space was allocated to advertisements; a striking ad proclaimed the virtues of Favorite Cigarettes, "exquisite, dainty and delicious. Harmless, Refreshing, Captivating, Unrivalled for purity and excellence," manufactured by the William S. Kimball Company of Rochester, which boasted that over a hundred million smokes were sold in 1881.
Something akin to a feud developed between the Campus and the Interpres yearbook of the Junior class, which was published annually except in 1880. Straitened financially, the Interpres editors once more considered merging with the Campus or going out of existence entirely, but they managed somehow to struggle along. Greater use was made of textual materials, factual and humorous, cuts and satirical caricatures increased, and the number of pages was enlarged. Advertisements multiplied, an interesting ad of 1886 directed attention to "An Eastman Permanent Bromide Print." Eastman, who was experimenting with a new photographic process, produced a portrait of Professor Gilmore for the Interpres of 1887, one of the "Kodak King's" earliest contacts with the University.
The twenty-fifth, anniversary issue (1883) of the Interpres carried a short history of the publication, biographical notations on the faculty (an innovation that grew into a tradition), and pictures of the campus. One class had its Interpres bound in a luxurious imitation dark brown morocco cover, and the men of 1889 outdid all their predecessors with a volume that ran into 180 pages; it was printed with gay garnet ink on fine glazed paper and covered in what appeared to be white grained leather. A young artist-architect-philosopher, Claude F. Bragdon, one day to rank at the top of the cultural workers in the Flower City, was engaged to create original illustrations. 11
Although the unending undergraduate clamor for gymnastic facilities on the campus fell on deaf administrative ears, sports-minded students organized athletic contests of one sort and another. Baseball continued to be the most popular outdoor pastime, games being played between fraternities and classes, with Rochester city nines, and in time with other colleges. The U. of R. baseball club founded in 1879 prepared the way for entry the following year into a New York State Intercollegiate League. Cornell and Syracuse, Union and Hamilton, and Madison (later Colgate) were the other members. Rochester played its home games on the college grounds and in the first (and apparently the only) year of the League scored wins over Syracuse, Union, and Hamilton, losing to Hamilton and Madison. Intercollegiate schedules were quite fluid and occasionally a team booked to play never put in an appearance.
Since no rules on player eligibility existed, students unhesitatingly enlisted "ringers" drawn from the city to round out their teams. Among them were George ("Stump") Wiedman, a star performer on the mound who later became a professional player of renown, and Clarence S. McBurney, a fine third baseman, described as a good "Hessian" who "knew his onions." Search the official college records and you will not find their names, for although they were "matriculated they were not vaccinated or fumigated," a teammate remembered. Many years later in response to an inquiry from the office of the U. of R. president, McBurney confessed that he never was in fact a student, but enrolled simply to play baseball on the college team, "at the solicitation of the managers of the club, who were having some difficulty in securing the proper material. I...received financial remuneration for my time and services...."
Student enthusiasm for baseball fluctuated and in some years no intercollegiate games were played at all. But in 1883 the U. of R. nine, resplendent in gray pants, blue belts and stockings, round gray hats, and spiked shoes took the measure of Cornell and Hobart. And the next year, the State Intercollegiate Association was resurrected; at the organization meeting fevered arguments raged on the subject of eligibility and it was voted that only collegians with proper credentials might take part in games. This stipulation was written into a formal constitution and provision was made for the award of a pennant to the championship team; five colleges joined the Association, Syracuse being excluded on the grounds, it seems, that it wished non-college men to be allowed to compete. Rochester students agreed to pay a tax of one dollar to cover the expenses of their team, but when the club failed to meet its obligations to the Intercollegiate Association, it was suspended and not reinstated until contributions by undergraduates and professors liquidated the debt. Following the matriculation of the Shedd brothers--Kendrick P. and William A. of the class of 1889, both fine performers--the U. of R. came off well in diamond contests. 12
Field days had become standard annual events on the U. of R. athletic program and attracted large crowds to the grounds of the Hop Bitters Club or to Driving Park. Half the spectators, it was reported, were young ladies, who ''nerved the young athletes'' in the various contests. A one-mile bicycle race and a wheelbarrow race were added attractions of 1883, and prizes were awarded for the first time to the victors in each event. An Intercollegiate Field Day Association came into existence in 1885, though Rochester probably did not participate until the following year, and in 1888 the games were held in Rochester; wonder of wonders, the faculty agreed to suspend academic exercises for the day! Fifteen contests (and a baseball game) made up the program that year, athletes from Syracuse taking eight first prizes. The best Rochester could do was two second prizes; the representatives of Madison went home empty-handed.
Interested undergraduates organized a bicycle club, a hare-and hounds club for a race of more than eight miles, and a tennis club, which played on two campus courts, and joined an Intercollegiate Tennis Association (1886). For a few seasons there was a University Polo Club, which performed on roller skates and not only defeated a Rochester city team but won the championship in matches with nearby colleges (1885).
Except for utterly disorganized class "rushes" in front of Anderson Hall and helter-skelter scrimmages elsewhere on the campus, football counted for little until the end of the 1880's. It was felt that the game was too rough and dangerous, for local usage permitted "a man carrying the ball to be tripped or thrown or caught in any way." One commentator observed that "football is for colleges with more men and more money" than the U. of R. An alumnus of the decade remembered that his undergraduate mates indulged in too much "sedentary sport"--whist, poker, and loafing. 13
With certain students, dancing and sleighing parties were extremely popular. After an- enjoyable sleigh-ride with girls from the city as partners, an undergraduate was constrained to express his sentiments by penning a ribald parody on a famous hymn--Professor Gilmore's masterpiece.
He squeezeth me! Oh! blissful thought,
Oh words with tender feelings fraught;
Whate'er we do, where'er we be,
'Tis all the same, he squeezeth me.
He squeezeth,me! He squeezeth me!
With his own arms he squeezeth me;
His little darling I will be,
For with his arms he squeezeth me.
Rowdyish brawls and raucous singing, which repeatedly drew protests from city newspapers, were commonplace occurrences in connection with gum-shoe battles, the annual burial of calculus and cane-fights; and, after class suppers, the tradition of boisterous musical serenades before the homes of professors was kept up. Fun-loving youths occasionally brought dogs into the chapel, and Anderson was known to have booted some of the unwelcome guests down the steep wooden stairs. During Halloween razzmatazz, Trevor Observatory and the sphinxes before Sibley Hall were daubed with bright paint--a detestable practice that hardened into an annual nuisance. The puerile habit of hazing and indulgence in miscellaneous pranks and tricks often resulted in violence against persons as well as property.
Unsavory incidents in public reached a climax in 1882 when the Anglo-Irish man of letters, Oscar Wilde, came to Rochester to deliver a lecture. The foremost apostle of a cult known as the aesthetic movement, Wilde wore his hair long and shaggy, favored outlandish clothes and other oddities. His affectations had provoked exuberant student outbursts at England's Oxford--and now at Rochester. Undergraduates placed in the front row of the Opera House, in which Wilde was to speak, a janitor known as "N---r Pete," dressed in the exact fashion that Wilde liked--knee breeches, white vest and gloves--and a mammoth sunflower fastened to his coat lapel. When the lecturer stepped onto the stage, a furious and disorderly roar went up, but he gave the lecture as though nothing untoward had happened--and the audience heartily applauded him.
Now and then, a Rochester newspaper or an irate alumnus charged undergraduates with moral laxity--a misty concept in any case. True enough, the official college records speak of dismissals of students for immoral conduct, without disclosing the precise nature of the misbehavior. Whether the derelictions were anything more reprehensible than playing billiards, drinking, attending the theater more and the church less belongs in the speculative realm. The city press ridiculed one class of students which voted to wear "mortar board caps" as a badge of identity. When the youths appeared downtown with this 'fantastic headgear,' they "disgusted nervous people'' and provided a good deal of innocent amusement for others; a frolicsome wit decked out Pete with an academic cap and stationed him at the busiest street intersection of Rochester to furnish comedy for passersby.
It would seem that the student way of life made provision, as in the past, for attendance at lectures and addresses by nationally known personalities in downtown public places and for modest participation in ongoing national affairs. In 1884, to illustrate, a mock Republican presidential convention was staged, and after the political parties had selected their standard-bearers rival Blaine and Cleveland clubs popped up on the campus. After a good deal of undergraduate debate, a general Students Association, equipped with a constitution, made its debut in 1884, but its sphere of activity was narrowly circumscribed. 14
Student expenses went unchanged in the last decade of the Anderson administration. Meals could be had for two dollars and a half a week and a room for a dollar or a little more. Certain undergraduates found living quarters in the home for students attending the German department of the Theological Seminary. On paper at any rate, the U. of R. faculty maintained close watch over the places in which out-of-town students resided in order to see that sanitary facilities and the like were adequate. Tuition charges remained at seventy-five dollars for the academic year, and a Campus tabulation of 1885 showed $325 as the basic minimum cost, in addition to tuition, for a student from outside of Rochester: $210 for board and room, clothing $65, books and stationery, $30, laundry, $20. As in the past, many a man met his expenses in whole or part by work for remuneration. Tongue half in cheek, Gilmore wrote, "While due honor is paid to those who are struggling, in adverse circumstances of poverty and want, to secure an education... honor is paid also to those who are struggling in adverse circumstances of luxury and affluence for the same end." 15
Since Corinthian Hall was undergoing reconstruction in 1879, major Commencement affairs were shifted to the newly enlarged First Baptist Church and were held there for ten years. The program of the week had by now been firmly fixed, and the only alterations of substance were the omission of the colorful class day exercises in years when Seniors lacked interest and the introduction of fraternity reunions. Without interruption the annual messages of fatherly admonition to the graduating class by Anderson, lame and increasingly infirm, held first place in general interest; observers who had heard him on many occasions said he was never in finer form than in the "Socratic swan's song" he delivered in the year of his resignation--1888.
When a band of students petitioned that Senior speeches at graduation should be abolished, on the score that orations by "sixteen embryonic Websters" were much too much, the trustees responded with an uncompromising negative; it was agreed, however, that means should be devised to brighten up the commencement festivities and so lure more alumni back to their college home.
Samples of the oratorical fare offered by Seniors, as listed on the Order of Exercises at the Thirty-Fifth Annual Commencement on June 15, 1885, were "The Territorial Limitations of a Republic" (Eugene Van Voorhis), "The Higher Education of Woman" (Charles D. Young), "The Duty of the Hour" (William B. Hale), "Christianity and Civilization" (James R. Lynch), "The Solid South" (John F. Morse), "Newton's Work in Science" (William L. Baker), "French and German Colonization" (William C. Shepherd), and, oddly, "The Neglect of Oratory" (Adolph J. Rodenbeck). When it is remembered that President Anderson also spoke, it is no surprise to learn that many an auditor withdrew from the Commencement scene suffering from an acute attack of intellectual indigestion.
From the First Baptist; Church on Fitzhugh Street trustees, faculty, and alumni, accompanied by a band of music, traveled on open street cars to the Prince Street Campus where they partook of the yearly alumni dinner in the college chapel. This occasion had top billing in 1888 when graduates of all classes gathered to bid a fond farewell, as they imagined, to the "old-time" president. Save for the first public announcement that David Jayne Hill had been elected as the new chief executive, direct allusions at the dinner to the retirement of Anderson were conspicuously absent and not a mournful note was struck in any of the speeches. "...As loyal sons we will continue to respect him as our intellectual father, " declared an alumni resolution, "and strive to walk worthy of such noble parentage so long as we have minds to remember and wills to 'bring things to pass' " (an oft-reiterated phrase of the man from Maine).
After listening to laudatory remarks on his stewardship, Anderson characteristically replied, "...I have attempted to act out my own personality, and my successor will work out his....I have worked at the foundation--have worked. underground [another of his favorite terms]. My successor must be one to work on the superstructure.... Stand by him, and support him." 16
To supplement and reinforce the work of the alumni body, an association of graduates residing in the Rochester area was, established in 1880. A committee was to draft plans to encourage continuing intellectual growth by the graduates and to convene a dinner meeting in Rochester during the winter. Three years later it was decided to revive or set up regional alumni clubs in the larger American cities so as "to foster interest in the University and promote the cause of education," yet the results were slim. Each year the Anderson Alumni Fund came under extended discussion, and in 1887 a solicitation committee mailed over 800 circulars (the alumni body was smaller than 1,000) and more than 250 personal letters. This stratagem produced the desired results and in 1889 the long-sought goal of $25,000 was reached--even passed by more than $3,000. Two-thirds of the living alumni contributed, and the names of all but eight of the 173 graduates living in Rochester appeared on the roll of honor. Anderson himself had paid $500 into the fund, a sum that was returned to him with ten years of accumulated interest.17
"The only real success of an educational institution," Anderson once observed, "is found in the proportion of able and successful men it gives to the world...." By that test, the U. of R. in the last decade of the Anderson administration did impressively well. Gilmore summed up the evidence this way: "It is not alone in the learned professions that our graduates are found. They may be met with on the farm, at the counting-house, in the machine-shop, and wherever met they evince an independence of thought, a breadth of culture and an adaptation to the exigencies of practical life, which are equally essential, to success in secular and sacred callings." Statistics for the period 1881-1890 disclose that 264 men graduated, a ten per cent decline from the previous decade. Almost as many of the graduates chose the teaching and the legal professions as entered the ministry; business ranked only slightly below and medicine showed an increase.
Prominent among the professional scholars trained at the college in this period was Francis W. Kelsey, 1880, classicist, archaeologist, prolific author, and long-time professor at the University of Michigan; it has been written of him that he "loved work, never learned the purposes of play." Another respected savant was Charles A. Strong, 1884, philosopher and psychologist at Chicago and Columbia Universities and a major author. His classmate, Emory W. Hunt, found his lifework in the presidencies of Denison and Bucknell Universities, to both of which he made memorable contributions, and as a Baptist pastor. A third man of 1884, George A. Coe, was a noted professor of philosophy and religious education at several high-ranking universities. And in many respects the most influential of the lot was Walter Rauschenbusch, 1885, church historian at the Rochester Theological Seminary, and writer of seed volumes-- Christianity and the Social Crisis (1907) above all--on the social applications of Christianity. He has been hailed as the "modern Amos," "the prophet and spiritual leader of social Christianity" in America.
Rochester graduates were key personalities in the formative stage of what became the University of South Dakota. Louis E. Akeley, 1886, joined the faculty of the brand new institution on the frontier in 1887 as teacher of all the sciences, with mathematics and Latin as side-lines. He grew up with the University in the town of Vermillion, whose streets bore names like Dartmouth, Harvard, and Yale. When in 1908 a College of Engineering was created, Akeley was appointed dean and occupied that post with distinction until 1933 when the Great Depression forced the closing of the Engineering school. The greatly beloved patriarch of the University, Akeley lived a hundred years, dying in 1961.
Through Akeley's good offices, his classmate, William A. Scott, was assigned the chair of history and political science (shades of Morey!) at South Dakota in 1887. Since he and Akeley were Baptists (as was the University president), adherents of other sects protested that the embryonic institution was by way of being converted into a Baptist stronghold; that both men were alumni of the "little U. of R." contributed fuel to the flames of discontent. Subsequently, after graduate training at the Johns Hopkins University, Scott was named Director of the School of Commerce at Wisconsin, where he insisted that social and cultural subjects should receive decent attention in the curriculum. He and Akeley were given honorary doctorates by their Alma Mater.
In the summer of 1887, Akeley, Scott, and the University president met in Rochester and with some help from U. of R. professors reformed the curriculum and prepared a new catalogue for the South Dakota institution. To round out the portrait, Howard B. Grose, 1876, a Baptist pastor noted for florid eulogies at funerals, taught (in a vague sense) psychology and ethics and presided over the University from 1890 to 1892. Undergraduates rebelled when he introduced the Rochester tradition of student chapel orations. They and the faculty petitioned the University governing board to dismiss Grose on the score that he was incompetent both in the classroom and as an administrator. As the sequel, president and professor alike lost their positions--Akeley, who had gone to Germany for a year of study, escaped the axe. Grose found a new haven first on the University of Chicago faculty and subsequently in the editorial chair of a Baptist periodical. From the U. of R. into the service of the Christian church went Philip S. Moxom, 1879, brilliant and progressive minister in Cleveland, Boston, and Springfield, Massachusetts, frequent preacher at Harvard, Yale, and other colleges, and a pioneer in applying the institutional conception of the sphere of the church. William F. Faber, 1880, served as bishop of the Protestant Episcopalian diocese of Montana, and Homer DeW, Brookins, 1880, distinguished himself as the editor of a leading Baptist publication, The Examiner, and its successor, The Watchman-Examiner.
Alumni who had notable careers as lawyers included William R. Willcox, 1888, of New York City, for four years chairman of the Republican National Committee and an influential public official; John B. M. Stephens, 1884, Supreme Court Justice of New York state, and like Willcox the recipient of an honorary doctorate of laws from Alma Mater; and Jesse L. Rosenberger, 1888, Chicago attorney, best remembered as the foremost historian of the U. of R.-- Rochester and Colgate (1925) and Rochester: The Making of a University (1927); he also endowed a lectureship at the U. of R. and established annual undergraduate prizes for both a Junior-class man and woman, the latter in honor of his wife, Susan Colver Rosenberger. James M. E. O'Grady, 1885, a lawyer in Rochester, represented his community in the Congress of the United States, and his classmate, Adolph J. Rodenbeck, was the first U. of R. alumnus to serve as mayor of Rochester; subsequently he was elected to the Supreme Court of New York and as the dean of Rochester lawyers he was repeatedly mentioned as a possible candidate for governor. Kendall B. Castle, 1889, who by a curious academic quirk obtained a baccalaureate from the University of Toronto the same year, advanced to front rank among Rochester attorneys, and served long and loyally as a University trustee.
Among the alumni of the decade who succeeded remarkably well in business were Albert H. Harris, 1881, chairman of the board of directors of the New York Central Railroad, and James Sibley Watson, 1881, Rochester financier and patron of culture, who is said never to have attended a class at the University but passed examinations for a B.S. degree after study at home. A non-graduate of the class of 1882, Frederick Starr, excelled in anthropology and ethnology, especially of Korea, Japan, and Mexico, and held a professorship in the University of Chicago. Alma Mater rewarded James S. Stevens, 1885, physicist and dean at the University of Maine, with an honorary doctorate. Charles A. Hamilton, 1889, blazed new trails as superintendent of the State School for the Blind at Batavia, New York. Henry M. Reichenbach, ex-1884, an ingenious assistant of Professor Lattimore, took employment with the Eastman Kodak Company as a chemist and is believed to have been the first scientist in Rochester to devote himself to industrial research exclusively. His experiments to produce a transparent, flexible film turned out (1889) successfully, and he had several other significant discoveries to his credit before his connection with the young photographic firm ended. 18
At long last, on March 15, 1888, President Anderson reluctantly addressed a letter of resignation to the trustees, citing as reasons his advanced age and physical infirmities. He wished the resignation to go into effect at the end of the current academic year. To a newspaperman who inquired whether it was true in fact that he had resigned, the venerable executive replied, "It is and yet it is not. I have spoken to the trustees [t o whom he had often spoken in a similar sense] about securing somebody to take my place. They may do so six months from now, a year, two years, or three years."
Within the trustee board, some sentiment favored keeping Anderson on, but majority opinion endorsed the view of one member that " the Lord's supply of men is by no means exhausted," The resignation was formally accepted on June 18, 1888, to become effective on September 1, and Anderson was voted an annuity of $3,000. In his last report to the board he recurred to the financial perplexities he had encountered and expressed disappointment that his "hopes and reasonable expectations" had not been realized, yet he was sure that solid foundations had been laid on which his successor could rear a finer academic structure.
Under circumstances explained in the next chapter, the trustees, Anderson fully approving, elected David Jayne Hill as the second president. He accepted on the understanding that he would be granted a leave of absence for a year to engage in investigations in Europe in which he was interested. At the request of the trustees, Anderson agreed to carry on the administration for the first term of the next academic year; the college catalogue listed him as "acting president, and Watson Professor of political economy." On the eve of Christmas, 1888, he gave his farewell talk in chapel at a session charged with high emotion for both speaker and audience, and then went to Florida. A faculty committee of three under took the presidential duties, and, it was said, the U. of R. experienced "a sudden transition from a monarchy to a triumvirate."
Inasmuch as the illness of Hill's wife detained him in Europe, Anderson returned to Rochester to preside at the graduation exercises in 1889. In customary fashion in a clear and strong voice he admonished the departing scholars that execution of large projects involved a heap of drudgery. He urged upon them the value of the disciplined mind, paying his respects (or rather his disrespects) to the principle of elective studies as he proceeded; he pleaded for the cultivation of organizing and administrative powers, described morality as self-denial for the welfare of others, and extolled the virtues of patriotism and national defense. 19
After a delightful summer in New England, the Andersons took up in central winter quarters at Lake Helen , Florida, where the retired executive planned to prepare some of his addresses and papers for publication. Yet death overtook Mrs. Anderson on February 22, and Anderson passed away, with the words "All ready" on his lips, four days later. Glowing editorials and elaborate obituary notices crowded the columns of the Rochester and New York City press. Instruction at the University was suspended until after the funeral, though the students converged on the chapel daily to sing Anderson's favorite hymns and songs.
A double funeral was arranged, and the evening before the final obsequies the caskets were placed in an alcove across from the chapel in Anderson Hall. Long black banners streamed around the doorway of the building, the chapel door was draped in black, and a portrait of Anderson stood over it. Elegant floral displays flanked the coffins, and at the feet of the deceased pillows of white primroses had borders of lilies and forget-me-nots and in the center violets spelling out "U. of R." Undergraduates of each class took turns as guards of honor throughout the night.
On the morning of Tuesday, March 4, after a short service of prayer in the chapel, the bodies were removed to the Second Baptist Church, which the Andersons had attended. Students formed an escort of honor and leading men of the University family and of the Rochester community acted as pall bearers. The funeral procession was reported to have been the largest the Flower City had ever witnessed, and hundreds of mourners had to be turned away from the densely packed church.
In the course of a two-hour service, "He Leadeth Me" and other hymns of the faith that Anderson liked were sung and moving tributes were paid to the departed couple. The pastor of the church, the Reverend Frederick L. Anderson, remarked upon the religious life of the late President; speaking on his role as a public man, President Augustus H. Strong of the Theological Seminary called him "the foremost citizen of Rochester," while U. of R. President David Jayne Hill extolled his achievements as an educator who had "inspired students with the spirit of the age." 20
Back in 1852 the University authorities had acquired a large plot in Mt. Hope cemetery, and there in April the Anderson remains were interred. Three brown stone steps, suggestive of the approach to Anderson Hall, lead to the graves. Six granite posts, marked "U. of R." on the top, set in place soon after the burial of the Andersons, define the boundaries of the lot. At the east end, plain gravestone reads, "Martin B. Anderson, First President of the University of Rochester, Feb'y 26, 1890, AET. 75 years, and Elizabeth M. Anderson, wife of Martin B. Anderson, Feb'y 22, 1890, AET. 70 years." Carved symbolic leaves top the monument. Just beyond is "Martin Anderson (father of the President) born in Brunswick, Me., Dec. 3, 1789, died Rochester, N.Y., Dec. 8, 1875." On the opposite corner a simple brown granite memorial marks the resting place of Rush Rhees, third president of the University, and members of his family. At the rear of the plot stones, badly weathered, and one with an inscription in German, indicate the burial places of several young U. of R. collegians.
All manner of Rochester organizations adopted resolutions on the death of Anderson, and the annual alumni meeting on June 17, 1890, was converted into a commemorative service for him. Admiring graduates delivered filiopietistic eulogies and plans were set in motion to manifest affection and esteem for the late leader in tangible form. Endowments for a professorship or for scholarships were considered, a physics building or a chapel was talked of, but in the end a decision was taken to commission the internationally known sculptor, J. Guernsey Mitchell, to make a statue of Anderson. U. of R. graduates and friends of the late President contributed in about equal proportions to a fund of over $12,000 for the monument; the surplus was applied to paying for a bronze tablet in Anderson Hall and bronze letters over the entrance. In 1905 the work was unveiled; it was claimed to represent the "old-time" executive as he actually was, "a son of Anak, vigorous, self-reliant, and energetic." A pedestal ten feet high, resting on a massive red granite base, was surmounted by a bronze likeness of the first President, commanding and heroic in presence and garbed in academic apparel. For half a century the stately memorial stood in front of Anderson Hall and then was removed to a dormitory quadrangle on the River Campus. The public school authorities of Rochester assigned the name of Martin Brewer Anderson to an elementary school. 21
In the minds and hearts of hundreds of men who had sat at his feet was enshrined the largest legacy of the "old-time" President, who builded better than he knew and whose work extended far beyond his lifetime. For them the poet laureate of the U. of R., Thomas T. Swinburne, non-graduate 1892, evaluated the meaning of the man from Maine:
He stood like some old forest pine
The admiring woodman's blade had spared,
With her who had his labors shared
Through sun and storm, a sheltering vine.
The staff of age was in his hand,
But still he walked where duty led,
And mid-day on his path was shed
Along life's misty borderland.
No spectacle was more sublime
Than that old man who rose on high
Within a glowing sunset sky,
All covered with the snows of time.
He spoke as spake an oracle,
And on his words there seemed to be
The impress of divinity,
That moulded others to his will.
He had no child on whom to lean,
And yet how many proudly stand
The children of his heart and hand
To keep his noble memory green. 22
Footnotes to Chapter 10
- President's Report, 1880. Anderson Papers, Box XIII , 1881. Rhees Library Archives. M. B. Anderson to W. N. Sage, July 15, 1881. Sage Papers. Donald B. Gilchrist, ''Lewis Henry Morgan's Gifts to the U. of R.," RHSP, II (1923), 30-32, 79-80. Ibid., "Books and the Camera;" RAR, XIV (1936), no. 4,75. RAR, XXV (1962), no.2 15. M. B. Anderson to his wife, January 17, 1885. Anderson Papers, Box VI.
- President's Report, 1882, 1885, 1888. Anderson Papers, Box XIII. (Beginning in 1884, the annual reports are typewritten, which indicates that funds were at last available for occasional clerical assistance to the president.) J. Sloat Fassett, 1875, t o W. N. Sage, June 4, 1888. Sage Papers.
- Campus, V (June, 1879). Record Book of the New York Iota of Phi Beta Kappa. Rhees Library Archives. Harvey F. Morris, 1902, "A History of the Iota of New York Phi Beta Kappa," 1936, 1-9 Ibid. John R. Russell, "The Founding of Phi Beta Kappa" (1952), in manuscript. Rhees Library Archives.
- Cathcart, op. cit., II, 1002. William F. Peck, History of the City of Rochester (Syracuse, 1884), pp. 538, 548. President's Report, 1881, 1883, 1885, 1887,1888. Anderson Papers Box XIII. Campus, XI, Jan. 31, 1885. R U&A, Sept. 29, Dec. 3, 1886. Delta Psi Book, Jan.14, 1884. Rhees Library Archives.
- President's Report, 1881. Anderson Papers Box XIII. Trustee Records, II (1887), 188-189, 196-197. R U&A., Oct. 8, 19, 1885. Campus, XI, April 11, 1885. Ibid., XII, Oct. 24, 1885. Interpres, XXXIX (1897), 92.
- Campus, V, Feb. 1879; VII, Feb. 1880; VIII, June 21, 1882; IX, Dec. 16, 1882, Feb. 10, 24, 1883; X, Oct. 20, 1883; XI, Nov. 29, 1884; XII, Jan. 23, 1886. Trustee Records, II , 139, June 15, 1886, and 226. S. A. Lattimore to M. B. Anderson, Aug. 13, 1883. Anderson Papers Box V. President's Report, 1887. Ibid., Box XIII.
- R U&A, November 3, 10, 14, 24, 1879. Elias L. Magoon to M. B. Anderson, November 11, 18, 21, 1873. Anderson Papers, Box IV. Magoon to Anderson, September 5, October 7, 1879, October 20, November 14, 1881, February 22, March 16, October 20, 1882. Anderson Papers, Box V. Magoon's collection of contemporary paintings was, alas, sold to Trustee Matthew Vassar's new institution in Poughkeepsie, a tentative suggestion that it be purchased and presented to the U. of R. having come to naught. E. L. Magoon to Deacon William Phelps, November 20, 1860. Rhees Library Archives.
- M. B. Anderson to Rev. Dr. Samson, May 4, 1881. Anderson Papers, ' Box XII. President's Report, 1880, 1885. Ibid., Box XIII. Campus, V, Nov. 1878, Feb. 1879; XI, Feb. 24, 1883. [Rochester] Jewish Tidings, February 12, 1887. R U&A, February 19, 1887.
- President's Report, 1884. Anderson Papers Box XIII. Campus Jan. 22, 1887, and passim, 1879-88.
- Delta Psi Book, 1883, April 20, 1884. Rhees Library Archives. Campus, 1879-1888, passim. Interpres, LLV (1934), 175. William E. LeClere, national secretary of Chi Psi Fraternity, to A. J. May, July 28, 1966.
- Charles F. Thwing, "College Journalism," Scribner's Monthly, XVI (1878), 808-812. Campus, VIII, April 22, June 21, 1882. R U&A, December 6, 1879. Delta Psi Book, February 11, 1884. Rhees Library Archives. RAR, XVI (1938), no. 4, 22.
- Lewis W. Lansing 1880, "Pioneering in Rochester Athletics," RAR, II (1923-1924), no. 2, 31-32. Ibid., "Some More Historic Varsity Baseball," Ibid., VI (1928), no. 4, 111. Clarence S. McBurney to Rush Rhees, February 6, 1903. Rhees Papers. Certain aspects of the evolution of baseball in the nineteenth century may be of passing interest. The length of a regular game was fixed at nine innings (1857) and the size and weight of the ball as decided in 1860 became and remains standard. The practice of having an umpire to call strikes and balls started in 1863, though it, was not until 1889 that a batter was permitted to walk to first base on four balls. The rule of three strikes and out dates from 1887; beginning in 1895 a foul counted as a strike--limited seven years later to two. For years only the catcher had a glove--a small one and a mask, but swifter pitching and harder hitting soon made mitts a necessity for all players. Restrictions on the style of pitching were abolished (1884) and the present-day pitching distance of sixty feet six inches was fixed in 1893 and six years later the balk rule was introduced. After 1876 a bat alight not legally exceed forty-two inches.
- R U&A, May 30, 1879. Campus, VII, Oct. 1879, and passim, 1879-88. The Hop Bitters Baseball Club was another of Asa T. Soule's "philanthropies." See, loc. cit., The New ,Yorker, August 23, 1952. Mitchell Bronk, 1886, "An Old Fashioned Education," Scribner's Magazine, LXXIV (1923) 547-553.
- Campus, V, March, 1879, and passim, 1879-88. "Journal of Warren S. Gordis," 1888. Rhees Library Archives. Charles A, Hamilton, 1889, "Autobiography" (1944). Ibid. RHSP, XII (1933), 118. R U&A., June 27, 1881, Sept. 17, 1885.
- Campus, XI, March 14, 1885, Peck, op. cit., p. 547.
- Trustee Records, II, 1881, 129, 1882, 138, 1884, 155, 1886, 166. Alumni Minute Book, 1880-1889, 120. Rhees Library Archives. Rosenberger, Rochester, p. 230.
- R U&A, June 26, 1880. Alumni Minute Book, 1880-1889, passim, especially p. 125. R U&A, June 19, 1889.
- M. B. Anderson to the Rev. Mr. Samson, May 4, 1881. Anderson Papers, Box XII. Peck, op. cit., pp. 548-549. Bulletin of United States Education, 1912, no. 19, p. 22. DAB, X (1933), 313 (Kelsey); Ibid., XXII (Supplement 2), (1956), 638 (Strong). J. Orin Oliphant, The Rise of Bucknell University (New York, 1965), pp. 244-268. Campus, XLIX, March 28, 1924; Ibid., L, February 27, 1925; Ibid., LII, December 17, 1926. DAB, XV (1935), 392 (Rauschenbusch); Dolores R. Sharpe, Walter Rauschenbusch (New York, 1942). Louis E. Akeley, That is What We had in Mind (Vermillion, S.D., 1959), passim, and Edward P. Churchill, Three Thousand Coyotes and I (Vermillion, 1962), pp. 33-35. (It has been said that Carl Akeley, eminent explorer and naturalist and brother of Louis E., studied at the U. of R., but his name is not on the official records.) Curtis and Carstensen, op. cit., I, 511, 644, II, 342. DAB, XIII (1934), 301 (Moxom). Anon., "Homer DeWilton Brookins,'' RAR, I (1922-1923), no. 2, 28. Jesse L. Rosenberger, Through Three Centuries (Chicago, 1922), pp. 350-362. Anon., "James Sibley Watson," RAR, XII (1951), no. 4, 32. RHSP, XIV (1936), 207.
- M. B. Anderson to W. N. Sage, Feb. 26, 1888. Sage Papers. Rosenberger, Rochester, pp. 217-222. R U&A., Apr. 17, 1888, Edward Bright to M. B. Anderson, Mar. 27, 1888. Rhees Library Archives. R. S. MacArthur to W. N. Sage, May 26, 1888. Ibid. Campus, XV, June 24, 1889.
- R D&A., Feb. 23-28, Mar. 4-6, 1890. Campus, XVI (1890), no. 9, "Anderson Memorial Issue." New York Times, Feb. 27, March 5, 1890.
- U. of R. Alumni Proceedings, 1890, 23-419. R U&A, March 3, 1891. Campus, XXIX, April 20, June 15, 1904.
- Campus, XXVI, May 24, 1901.