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The University of Delaware: A History

Published Work, Student Theses, and Duplicated Materials

From the Revolution to the Civil War

Two articles by George H. Ryden study the perimeters of the life of the early college: "The Founding of the University of Delaware and Its First President, Dr. E. W. Gilbert," Delaware Notes 8 (1934): 31-39, and "The Suspension of Delaware College in 1859 and Early but Unsuccessful Attempts at Its Reorganization," Delaware Notes 8 (1934): 75-83. A recent publication by John A. Munroe surveys the entire period: Church us. State: The Early Struggle for Control of Delaware College (Newark, 1983).

Among the most useful studies dealing with aspects of college history in this period are Jane N. Garrett, "The Delaware College Lotteries, 1818-1845," Delaware History 7 (1957): 299-318; John H. Renshaw, "Lotteries in Delaware History Prior to 1826" (M.A. thesis, University of Delaware, 1966); Willa G. Cramton and Norman W. Moore, Jr., "A Forerunner to Delaware College and Its Popular Rejection," Delaware History 12 (1966): 121-46; H. Clay Reed, "Student Life at Delaware, 1834-1859," Delaware Notes 8 (1934): 40-74; Richard C. Quick, "Murder at Delaware College: The Death of John Edward Roach, March 30, 1858," Delaware Notes 31 (1958): 1-31; Jacqueline C. Meisel, "Old College: The First Building of the University of Delaware, Its Origins and Development" (M.A. thesis, University of Delaware, 1971); and Ernest J. Moyne, "Did Edgar Allan Poe Lecture at Newark Academy?" Delaware Notes 26 (1953):1-20.

Among contemporary reminiscences of the early, college that are in print, the most useful is Joseph Cleaver, Jr., "The Diary of a Student of Delaware College, August, 1853, to November, 1854," ed. William D. Lewis, Delaware Notes 24 (1951): 1-87. Others are Isaiah D. Clauson, Memoranda of My Life (Woodstown, N.J., 1877); William D. Hoyt, Jr., ed., "A Student's Impressions of Newark College 105 Years Ago," Delaware History 2 (1947): 134-37; and Epher Whitaker, "From the Oldest Alumnus," Alumni News, January 1915, 7-8. Other contemporaneous comments can be found in A Calendar of Ridgely Family Letters, 1742- 1899, in the Delaware State Archives, ed. Leon De Valinger, Jr., and Virginia E. Shaw, 3 vols. (Dover, Del., 1948-61); and The Diaries of Phoebe George Bradford, 1832-1839, ed. W. Emerson Wilson (Wilmington, 1976).

Information concerning early faculty is to be found in [Benjamin Wallace], "Dr. Gilbert," Presbyterian Quarterly Review 9 (1853): 353-83, as well as in a brief note by the same author, "Death of Dr. Gilbert," Presbyterian Quarterly Review 6 (also 1853): 351; and in Susan P. Lee, Memoirs of William Nelson Pendleton, D.D. (Philadelphia, 1893); William D. Mackey, "William S. Graham," Delaware College Review 1 (Sept. 1882): 3; George Allen, Remains of William S. Graham, with a Memoir (Philadelphia, 1849); Ernest J. Moyne, "August Fredrik Soldan: A Finnish Scholar at Delaware College in 1849-1850," Delaware Notes 23 (1950): 83-89; William D. Lewis, "Henry W. Lister," Delaware Notes 18 (1945): 11-21; Walter R. Bowie, The Master of the Hill: A Biography of John Meigs (for Matthew Meigs) (New York, 1917); Charles Henry Hart, Memoir of Samuel Stehman Haldeman, LL.D....(Philadelphia, 1881, reprinted from The Penn Monthly, August 1881).

Ruthanna Hindes, George Alfred Townsend (Wilmington, 1946), is a biography of a noted academy student of this period who had neighborly and familial connections with the college W. David Baird, Peter Pitchlynn: Chief of the Choctaws (Norman, Okla., 1972), and Angle Debo, The Rise and Fall of the Choctaw Republic. 2nd ed. (Norman, Okla., 1961), explain the background of the Indian students.

The history of competing institutions in Delaware may be found in E. Miriam Lewis, ed., "The Minutes of the Wilmington Academy, 1777-1802," Delaware History 3 (1949): 181-226; Thomas J. Peterman, "A History of Saint Mary's College, Wilmington, Delaware" (M.A. thesis, Villanova University, 1961); Louise M. Porter, "The Wesleyan Female College, Wilmington, Delaware, 1837-1855" (M.A. thesis, University of Delaware, 1958); B. Franklin Cooling III, "Delaware Military Academy, 1859-1862," Delaware History 12 (1966): 121-46; and C. A. Weslager, Brandywine Springs: The Rise and Fall of a Delaware Resort (Wilmington, 1949).

Pertinent speeches that have been published include the inaugural addresses by John Holmes Agnew (Philadelphia, 1834) and Richard S. Mason (Philadelphia, 1836), a commencement address to the literary societies by Willard Hall (Philadelphia, 1845), a valedictory address by Samuel M. Harrington, Jr. (Philadelphia, 1858), and the Speech of David Paul Brown, Delivered May 19, 1858, in the Case of the State of Delaware against Isaac N. Weaver, a Student in Delaware College...(Philadelphia, 1858), also published in Forensic Speeches of David Paul Brown (Philadelphia, 1873). See also George J. Porter, Historical Discourse Delivered in the First Presbyterian Church, Newark, Delaware, July 22, 1876 (Philadelphia, 1876).

On student societies in general a helpful article is James McLachlan, "The Choice of Hercules: American Student Societies in the Early 19th Century," in The University in Society, ed. Lawrence Stone, vol. 2: Europe, Scotland, and the United States from the 16th to the 20th Century (Princeton, N.J., 1974). Other useful works that have pertinence to the history of Delaware College in this period are George M. Marsden, The Evangelical Mind and the New School Presbyterian Experience: A Case Study of Thought and Theology in Nineteenth-Century America (New Haven, Conn., 1970), and David F. Allmendinger, Jr., Paupers and Scholars: The Transformation of Student Life in Nineteenth Century New England (New York, 1975). Among many alumni directories that were consulted, two were especially valuable: George L. Reed, ed., Alumni Record. Dickinson College (Carlisle, Pa., 1905), and University of Pennsylvania, Biographical Catalogue of Matriculates (Philadelphia, 1894).