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Page 13 text:
12 WILLIAMS COLLEGE CLASS BOOK
A history of the college of one hundred years ago can scarcely
close without at least mention of the individualities that in those
days as undergraduates gave evidence of their future fame.
The class of eighteen nine possessed the leaders of the great
Haystack movement. 'The names of james Richards, Harvey
Loomis and Samuel J. Mills as the founders of a world move-
ment have found places in the history of the religions of the
world. Ezra Fisk, a member of the same class, was later a
trustee of the college for ten years after 1823, and was then
offered the presidency of the College of Vermont.
Three members of the faculty were men of marked ability.
Professor Olds, a graduate of the class of eighteen one, men-
tioned above in this article, was a tutor at VV illiams from 1803 to
1805 and was then made professor, which office he held until
the time of the rebellion in 1808. Chester Dewey, an instructor
for two years after 1808, graduated with high standing from
VVilliams in 1806. In 1810, at the time of the installation of a
new faculty, he was made full professor. He filled this office
until 1827. I
Ebenezer Fitch, the first president of Williams college, devoted
himself with "much fidelity and with no ordinary success, as may
be seen by the fact that the number of graduates at Williaiiis
during its first half century considerably surpassed the number
of graduates at Yale during its first fifty years." As most of
the early administrators and teachers at the college, he was a
graduate of Yale. After twenty years of office President Fitch
gave way to Zephaniah Swift Moore, a man of less years, the
second president of the institution. In 1834 he died, and thirty
years later his remains were deposited by the side of the elegant
monument erected to his memory in tl1e college cemetery. Pro-
fessor Dewey once said of President Fitch, "He was a man of
fine personal appearance, of rather courtly manners and digni-
fied carriage, of the purest morals, of the most benevolent feel-
ings and the most exemplary religious character. As an instruc-
tor he had a high reputation. I-Ie was eminently a good man."
In these few pages the editors have endeavored to recall the
history of Williams college one hundred years ago. The charm
of the early events is, to members of the institution, decidedly
personal. The scantiest knowledge, however, of the history of
Page 12 text:
WILLIAMS COLLEGE CLASS BOOK I1
only for recitations, meals and prayers, for fear of being kid-
napped and thus causing a holiday. East, built in 1796, burned
down in 1841 and replaced by the present building of one less
floor, was not very much occupied at this time, containing but
two recitation rooms in use. Christmas lake still existed on the
old campus and close by this was the college spring, the source
of all the water supply. The students from West, with their
buckets in their hands, went through the meadows to fetch their
daily water. The path they followed is now called Spring street.
VVilliamstown was called NVest Hoosuch and in the histories of
these times we often read of Graylock and the Taghonic moun-
tains. No stage coach ever entered the town and the only quasi-
public means of communication with the outside world were the
three solitary messengers who rode into town about once a week
on horseback, over the mountains from Troy, Pittsfield and
During the senior year of the class of eighteen nine three
interesting actions were taken by the trustees. The faculty were
authorized to give the students leave of absence from their rooms
between 9 and IO P. M.: the faculty members were paid H3180
for supplying the pulpit thirty-six Sabbathsf and a committee
was appointed "to prevent the students' rooms from smoking."
It is probable that the class of eighteen nine inaugurated Chip
Day. The pL'll'pOSC of this holiday was to clean up the campus,
but the holiday was later abolished when the students introduced
hired labor for that purpose and used the holiday to leave town.
In the spring and summer of 1808 the second student rebellion
in the history of the college was promulgated. The sophomores,
in an endeavor to prevent the reappointment of several of the
instructors, petitioned the trustees for that purpose. Not more
than a half a dozen upperclassmen were closely connected with
this action. Upon the refusal of the trustees to take action,
Professor Olds, of the department of Natural Philosophy and
Mathematics. demanded a written apology from the students.
President Fitch refused to sustain the professor, and in conse-
quence found himself one morning to be the only member of the
Williams faculty. A recess of four weeks was then found
necessary to replenish the instructing force.
Page 14 text:
'WILLIAMS COLLEGE CLASS BOOK I3
the years when the class of eighteen nine was in college shows
that 1909 is merely another point on the same stream and not :L
point on another stream. The current has been sharp, defined.
It has cut a marked path through the hills of history. With the
same inherited effort to have the current deep, but in a narrow
channel, the college continues into the future.
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