Journals of the Chairman of the Faculty [manuscript], 1827-1864.


University of Virginia. Chairman of the Faculty. Journals of the Chairman of the Faculty [manuscript], 1827-1864.

Journals of the Chairman of the Faculty [manuscript], 1827-1864.

Earlier volumes discuss a variety of University business involving the Board of Visitors, proctors, janitors, patrons, and hotel keepers. The earliest contain verbatim transcripts of the chairman's correspondence, student petitions, etc. Later volumes focus on student affairs. The chairman recorded faculty resolutions, withdrawals, dismissals and leaves of absence for students; refunding of fees; dispersal of monies for student purchases; admonishments to individual students for poor academic work and improper behavior (drinking, gambling, swearing, chewing, flute and horn playing, lighting fire crackers, food throwing, brandishing pistols and knives, cock fighting, appearing out of uniform, keeping dogs, playing ball on the Sabbath, firing tar barrels on the Lawn, failing to rise early, etc); student disturbances and disciplinary measures; course changes; student complaints, chiefly concerning food and lodging; names of ministers invited to preach; disrepair of facilities; a bequest of books by Christian Bohn, 1838; and Jefferson birthday and 4th of July celebrations. Specific incidents of student disturbances include: shooting dogs, 1831; the stealing of horses from worshippers at the Baptist Church for a race; attacking a local bookseller, 1831; hazing of new matriculates and exploding gunpowder at a professors' window 1833; visiting a house of prostitution, 1833; an altercation involving future Congressman A. H. Buckner, 1833; averting a duel involving future C.S.A. general Louis Wigfall, 1835; the non-fatal shooting of a student following a drunken party, 1837; the horsewhipping of Gessner Harrison by two former students, 1839 and the subsequent shooting of one of the two by a constable; and the setting of a fire by an insane student, 1863. There are frequent mentions of students' and professors' "servants" [i.e. slaves] in the earlier volumes and occasional mention of "University hands" in the later ones. Some of the incidents recorded include the flogging of "Thornton" for stealing, 1829; an assault on a female slave of Professor Patterson's, 1830; a free black washerwoman of bad character, 1830; "Thornton" and "Albert" gambling, 1831; Lewis Commodore, the bell ringer, "having proved a most valuable servant " was purchased by the University after he was "exposed to public sale in Charlottesville," 1832; student Merrit M. Robinson's Jefferson's Birthday oration mentioning abolition viewed unfavorably by students and faculty, 1832; student mistreatment of slaves, 1835-36; slaves supplying alcohol to students, 1837; dispute over hotel slaves doing errands in town for students, 1837; the beating of Lewis [Commodore] during a student prank, 1837; illegal keeping of hogs, 1838; ill slave necessitated student making own fire and carrying own water, 1838; the beating of "Fielding" for insolence by three students who also restrained Professor Bonnycastle from interfering, 1839; and the removal from the grounds of "Jackson," who had a white wife. Topics of interest in the history of the University include the Mosby-Turpin affair, 1853; attendance at Presidential inaugurals, 1856, 1860; typhoid epidemics of 1829 and 1857; deaths and funerals of faculty, officers and board members; denial of public space for Clay and Jackson political rallies, 1832; selection of chaplains, 1833; brawl between students and wagoneers, 1833; efforts to shut down Keller's, a confectionary that sold liquor to students, 1835; objections to a Christmas recess and to allowing preaching by a Baptist minister, 1835; formation of a military company and student possession of firearms, followed by a general student "rebellion," 1836; a legislative committee's investigation of affairs at the University, particularly in regard to student riots, admission of students expelled elsewhere and the keeping of student money by the Patron, 1846; and the death of a student in a brawl during a wild animal show, 1846. Civil War events include students volunteering in defense of the state after John Brown's Harper's Ferry raid, 1859; formation of the "Sons of Liberty" and "Southern Guard," 1860; Professor Holcombe's resignation to serve in the Virginia Secession Convention, 1861; raising the Confederate flag over the Rotunda; the expedition to seize the arsenal at Harper's Ferry with a listing of the rolls of the Sons of Liberty and Southern Guard, 1861; granting of Rober E. Lee, Jr., permission to form a military company and later permission to withdraw; attending the inauguration of Jefferson Davis; granting of leave to students to volunteer in the Confederate Army; storm damage to roofs and inability to repair from lack of tin; Confederate companies occupying the East Range and Observatory Mountain; rumor of a Federal advance on Stuanton, 1862; interments of Turner Ashby and Carnot Posey in the University Cemetery; wounded from the battle of Port Republic; submitting to the Secretary of War, statistics on the age and military status of the 45 students on the grounds; and the unauthorized leave of disabled officer and student Everett W. Early with seven other students to participate in the battle of Spotsylvania, 1864.

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Related Entities

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Robinson, M. M. (Merritt M.), -1850 (person)

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Patterson, Robert M. (Robert Maskell), 1787-1854 (person)

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Tucker, George, 1775-1861 (person)

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University of Virginia (corporateBody)

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Davis, John A. G. (John Anthony Gardner), 1801-1840 (person)

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Maupin, S. 1808-1871. (person)

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