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Addition, 1817, to the William Moultrie Reid Papers
    A gift to SCL Manuscripts Division announced in 2007

| Manuscripts Gifts 2007 | Front Page 2007 | Previous Issues | Friends of the Library |

Letter, 1 March 1817, added to the South Caroliniana Library’s collection of the papers of William Moultrie Reid (1798-1884) was penned by [John] Berkley Grimball (1800-1893) from Princeton, New Jersey, and addresses “My Dear Moultrie” on the recent student agitation there. “You have, no doubt, heard of the unexpected…revolution which took place a few weeks since,” he writes. “I had often concieved of Rebellions but never saw one before & of all things I think this was the most terrible.”

The “revolt,” Grimball relates, had been sparked by the faculty having determined “to receive no money in payment but New-York bills.” With “money south of that city being below par,…this was very grievous to the major part of the Students, a number of whom had to pay upwards of 15 per cent discount on southern money.” Student indignation festered over this imposition until one day, when the “Junior Class happened to have a longer recitation…than usual, they…petitioned the Professor of Mathematics…to shorten it, but he refused.” Seeking to “be revenged on him,” certain members of the class “determined to salute his nasal organs with a very disagreeable smell; they accordingly procured the necessary means, brimstone & shoe leather & put them in the stove in the visitation room. The professor came in, smelt it & was very much enraged,” telling the class that he would discover the culprits and “have them sent off.”

More unrest ensued. “About 1 o’clock on Sunday morn,” the writer continued, “I was awakened…by the most dreadful yells that can be imagined - nothing was heard now but the breaking of window glasses & the reports of large crackers: after a little time I percieved the reflection of a strong light on the wall of my room & upon looking out of the window percieved the necessary House on fire, this was however soon extinguished….On Tuesday Evening about 14 fellows were dismissed…with this injunction that they should not enter the College & that the penalty of their so doing would be expulsion. They immediately marched up in a body & were therefore virtually expelled.” Other details of the incident, Grimball supposed, Reid might “have seen delineated in the News-Papers.”

| Manuscripts Gifts 2007 | Previous Issues | Endowments | Friends of the Library |

 

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