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The University of Delaware: A History

Published Work, Student Theses, and Duplicated Materials

The Land Grant College to 1914

For background on the land-grant colleges, see Benjamin F. Andrews, The Land Grant of 1862 and the Land-Grant Colleges (Washington, D.C., 1918), and Earl D. Ross, Democracy's College: The Land-Grant Movement in the Formative Stage (Ames, Iowa, 1942). Thomas Le Duc, "State Disposal of the Agricultural College Land Scrip," Agricultural History 28 (1954): 99-107, is a very valuable article for its explanation of the way in which Delaware utilized the land scrip it received; this article is reprinted in Vernon Carstensen, ed., The Public Lands: Studies in the History of the Public Domain (Madison, Wisc., 1963). Edward N. Vallandigham, Fifty Years of Delaware College, 1870-1920, already cited, deals exclusively with the early land-grant college period.

A thesis by Gloria M. D. Bockrath, "Student Recruitment at Delaware College During the Purnell Era, 1870-1885" (M.A. thesis, University of Delaware, 1977), is more comprehensive than its title implies, being practically a history of the college for fifteen years. The notable experiment of these years is also treated in another, briefer student paper by Stephanie Lashmet, "Coeducation at Delaware College, 1872-1885," published in the Blue Hen Messenger 1 (January 1978).

More information on the same period is to be found in George Morgan, "Sunny Days at Dear Old Delaware: What I Remember of My Experiences There in 1871-1875," Delaware Notes 8 (1934): 84-106; Edward N. Vallandigham, "Delaware in the Seventies," Alumni News, December 1916, 3-6, and "Some Reminiscences," Alumni News, October 1915, 5-11, as well as in John A. Munroe, "The Class of '77," University News 9 (June 1944): 4-5, 20. Mrs. Ernest Helfenstein, "The Frederick Female Seminary under the Management of Dr. William H. Purnell," is an undated typed paper provided by the kindness of Arthur H. Martin of the Hood College Library.

Purnell's successor, John H. Caldwell, published an account of his earlier career in Reminiscences of the Reconstruction of Church and State in Georgia (Wilmington, 1895), which can be supplemented by such Georgia studies as, particularly, Elizabeth S. Nathans, Losing the Peace: Georgia Republicans and Reconstruction, 1865-1871 (Baton Rouge, La., 1968). John F. Stover, "Colonel Henry S. McComb, Mississippi Railroad Adventurer," Journal of Mississippi History 17 (1955): 177-190, deals with an interesting portion of the career of a patron and board president of Delaware College. More information on McComb may be found in William C. Harris, The Day of the Carpetbagger: Republican Reconstruction in Mississippi (Baton Rouge, La., 1979).

For a slightly later period of Delaware College history, see John A. Munroe, "Albert Newton Raub and the Administration of Delaware College, 1888-1896," Delaware Notes 21 (1948): 1-18; Francis A. Cooch, "College Life, 1889-1893 " Alumni News, May 1934, 11-13, 16; Elisha Conover, "Delaware Then and Now," University News 3 (February 1938): 2-5; F.H. Robinson, Reminiscences of Delaware College (Newark, 1916); and a group of articles by George A. Harter, including "Early Commencements at Delaware College," Newark Post Commencement Supplement, June 13, 1923; "Fifty Years Is But a Short Time," University News 3 (January 1938): 1-3; and "Memories of Delaware," Delaware Notes 8(1934): 107-12.

Louise S. (Mrs. Everett) Johnson has left an interesting memoir that illumines the history of the town and the college at the turn of the century, "A Narrative of Many Memories, Several Detours and a Few Thoughts" (copy in University Archives). Two interesting student papers are Susan D. Bacon, "Perceptions of Main Street, Newark, Delaware, 1900-1920" (senior thesis, Vassar College, 1980), and Sally Pancoast, "Recitation Hall" (term paper, University of Delaware, 1959). They may be supplemented by Views of Delaware College (Newark, 1914) and [W. O. Sypherd] "Delaware College: The Highest Institution of Learning in the State," Wilmington Morning News, March 5, 1910.

Charles E. Rosenberg, "The Adams Act: Politics and the Cause of Scientific Research," Agricultural History 38 (1964): 3-12, is an excellent study of some federal legislation, while Alfred C. True, A History of Agricultural Education in the United States, 1785-1925 (reprint, New York, 1969) and A History of Agricultural Experimentation and Research in the United States, 1607-1925 (Washington, D.C., 1937) give a general background for the development of the College of Agricultural Sciences and the experiment station. The Delaware picture is supplied through two books by Joanne Passmore and collaborators, History of the Delaware State Grange and the State's Agriculture, 1875-1975 (1975) and Three Centuries of Delaware Agriculture (1978). The relations between Delaware farmers and the college may be seen in Proceedings of the Delaware State Grange, especially the volumes for 1901, 1903, 1906, and 1919. (The 1917 Proceedings contain a sketch of Dr. Arthur T. Neale by John C. Higgins .) The only known surviving issues of The Delaware Farmer, the first student agricultural periodical, beginning in January 1914, are in the Wilmington Public Library.

Victoria C. Worden, A History of the Delaware State Board of Health, 1879-1958 (Dover, Del., 1958), is pertinent because the State Board of Health once maintained its laboratory on the college campus. Mrs. William H. Beacom, "The Delaware State Federation of Women's Clubs," in Delaware: A History of the First State, ed. H. Clay Reed (New York, 1947), 2:729-36, and Alice L. B. Tanberg, History and Background of the Wilmington Branch, American Association of University Women, vol. 1 (Wilmington, 1944), aid in studying the history of the Women's College.