University Archives

University of South Carolina Trivia Quiz

1. A. Calf-tailing was a popular student prank in which a burning camphene ball was tied to a calf's tail. The students then chased the calf across campus.

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2. B. James G. Adams and A. Govan Roach were best friends who reached for a plate of fish at the same time. Neither student would relinquish his hold on the plate, and challenged each other to a duel. Adams was severely wounded and died within a few hours. Roach never recovered from his wounds and died a few years later.

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3. B. Although Brooks was guilty of all three offenses, it was his attack on the Columbia police days before his graduation in 1839 that denied him his diploma. Brooks had heard an exaggerated story that his brother had been arrested and was being mistreated by the police. He loaded a pair of pistols, rushed to the jail, and threatened to shoot the police. He was disarmed, but this was the final straw for the school's trustees, and they expelled him.

image of Brooks

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4. C. For years, students had been complaining to the Board of Trus tees about the wormy biscuits and rancid meat they were served. The College regulations required students to eat at the Steward's Hall, and forbade them to eat anywhere else. Finally, in 1852, 109 students pledged to leave the school if the mandatory system was not abolished. The trustees saw this as an ultimatum and ordered the students to dissolve their "combination." The 109 students then quit the College. The mandatory system was abolished the following year.

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5. A. Although students performed all three pranks, the most popular one was stealing turkeys from the homes of professors and citizens of Columbia. Occasionally, the students would return the birds completely featherless. The "sport" reached such epidemic proportions that a brick wall was constructed around the campus in a largely unsuccessful effort to keep students from this and other "ungentlemanly" pursuits. The wall, though altered several times through the years, still stands around the Horseshoe.

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6. B. Thomas Cooper (1759-1839), who served as president of the university from 1820 to 1834.

A native of Westminster, England, this scientist and educator attended Oxford, and later immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1794. Prior to taking his position at South Carolina College, the out-spoken Cooper served as chair of chemistry at Carlisle (now Dickenson) College, 1811-1815; and professor of applied chemistry and mineralogy at University of Pennsylvania, 1816-1819.

image of cooper

William Henry Brown (1808-1883), author, and engineer, of Charleston, S.C., included this silhouette image of Cooper in his publication, Portrait gallery of distinguished American citizens : with biographical sketches, and fac-similes of original letters, (Hartford : E. B. and E. C. Kellogg, 1845).

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7. C. German-born Francis Lieber was a nationally renowned professor with a quick temper. On one occasion he asked a student what was the religion of the Jews; upon being answered "Mohammedanism," Lieber tried to have the boy expelled for stupidity. His students liked him for the most part, and nicknamed him "Old Bruin."

image of Lieber

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