An Indiana College Boy in 1836: The Diary of Richard Henry Holman

Holman Hamilton


Indiana Magazine of History, Volume 49, Issue 3, pp 281-306

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An Indiana College Boy in 1836: The Diary of Richard Henry Holman

Edited, with an Introduction, by Holman Hamilton*

Richard Henry Holman was born February 24, 1817, at "Veraestau," near Aurora, Dearborn County, Indiana.1 His parents, Jesse Lynch and Elizabeth Masterson Holman, had come to Indiana Territory in 1811—the year after their marriage and also the year immediately following publication of Jesse Holman's novel, The Prisoners of Niagara.

Richard's father was a lawyer, politician, minister, and judge; he was one of the fourteen children of Henry Holeman [sic], who lost his life at the hands of hostile Indians in Kentucky when Jesse was a child. Richard's mother was the daughter of Richard Masterson, an early settler of Mason County, Kentucky. In Kentucky, the Mastersons were probably more prosperous and prominent than the Holmans, who seem to have been left almost destitute by the death of their breadwinner.2 Not unnaturally, Jesse and Elizabeth Holman named their eldest son in honor of his two grandfathers.

Since Richard Henry Holman was to die in 1841 at the age of twenty-four, he had no opportunity to realize the ambition of his college days, reflected in this diary. It may be of interest to note, however, that both his father and his brother were leading Hoosiers. Richard's younger brother, William s. Holman (1822-1897), was elected to Congress sixteen times—distinguishing himself in the House of Representatives, and setting a national record (since broken) for duration of service. Jesse L. Holman, less popular in politics, was defeated for the United States Senate but won a reputation for judicial ability in the courts of the territory, state, and nation.3

  • * Holman Hamilton is the author of Zachary Taylor: Soldier in the White House (Indianapolis, 1951). He is a doctoral candidate in history at the University of Kentucky, Lexington.
  • 1 Holman monument, Aurora Cemetery, Aurora, Indiana. Inscription secured through the courtesy of Cornelius O'Brien and John T. Gibson.
  • 2 I. George Blake, The Holmans of Veraestau (Oxford, Ohio, 1943), 1-7.
  • 3 William A. Robinson, "William Steele Holman," Dictionary of American Biography (20 vols., New York, 1943), IX, 168-159; Blake, Holmans of Veraestau, passim.

It may be illuminating, too, to recall the literary strain in the Holman line. Many members of the family have been great readers. Several of Richard's collateral descendants (notably Edith Hamilton, Alice Hamilton, and Holman Harvey) have distinguished themselves as authors. In his youth, Jesse Lynch Holman had literary aspirations. His novel, The Prisoners of Niagara, or Errors of Education, was a rather primitive effort if judged by modern standards. But the fact that it was published in Frankfort, Kentucky, in 1810, made him Kentucky's first native novelist. And, when he crossed the Ohio River to build his house on Indiana soil, he became Indiana's first resident novelist. Although The Prisoners of Niagara is by no means a great book or even a good one, a quirk of fate makes it widely sought today. Dear to Jesse Holman's heart was his association with the Baptist Church. Taking an active part in Baptist activities, and becoming a Baptist minister as well, Judge Holman decided that the writing of his young manhood did not square with his later conception of Christian precepts. Thereupon, he bought and burned all the copies he could find,4 with the result that only two are known to exist. In 1953, The Prisoners of Niagara is a collector's item, which many collectors wish they could acquire.

Deeply interested in education, Jesse Holman was a founder of Franklin College in Franklin, Indiana. He was also a founder and the original second vice-president of the Indiana Historical Society.5 He sent his son Richard to Indiana College for his formal education. Richard, a member of the Class of 1837, received his A.B. and A.M. degrees at Bloomington when Andrew Wylie was the college's president, and when the institution was barely beginning to grow into the great university it has become.6

Richard Holman wrote the diary, which follows, in 1836 and 1837. He was then nineteen, a college junior whose preparation had been obtained at the Aurora Seminary and the Rising Sun Seminary.7 In several respects he appears

  • 4 R. E. Banta (comp.) Indiana Authors and Their Books, 1816-1916… (Crawfordsville, 1949), 151-153.
  • 5 Blake, Holmans of Veraestau, 35, 39-41.
  • 6 Theophilus A. Wylie, Indiana University, Its History from 1820, When Founded, to 1890 (Indianapolis, 1890), 177-178. Indiana College became Indiana University in 1838.
  • 7Ibid., 177-178.
to have been a naif country youth—-at times humorous, and observant beyond his years, but often mirroring his own inexperience as well as the fads and foibles of his day.

Twentieth-century males are likely to find young Richard's interest in Miss Louisa Howe an understandable one, though he must have been hard up for feminine company to pay much attention to another girl, only thirteen years old. Occasionally, his comments on his teachers and fellow students (as well as Bloomington's belles) have a modern ring. The diarist's preoccupation with Indiana College's literary societies, the Athenian and the Philomathean, will surprise social historians less than some college juniors of twelve decades later—who channelize their own energies and enthusiasms through basketball, football, sororities, and fraternities.

The diary has presented certain problems. Richard Holman devoted most of the small, leather-spined volume8 to a running account of local news and personal observation. Other sections seem less worthy of preservation in print (notably, Holman's quotations from the fiction and poetry he fancied), and these are omitted here. It does appear germane, however, to mention that "Beauties of Waverley Novels" were emphasized by the Hoosier collegian on the first page of the unpublished portion. Sir Walter Scott's influence is clear elsewhere, his books being given third place (after the Bible and Shakespeare) on a roster of twenty-three books "to be purchased as soon as my circumstances will admit."

Similarly, researchers may find significant the following

"List of Scientific works recommended by Dr. Wylie":9 "Home Tookes diversions of Purley; Dr. Priestlys Lectures on History; Butler's Analogy of Religion; Brewsters Natural Magic; Read on the nervous affections; Watts on the Mind; Lelands view of Deistical writers; Campbell's dissertation on Miracles; Goods Book of Nature; Comparative Anatomy; Smith on Complexion; Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments; Natural History of Insects (Harper's family Library); Scott's demonology and Witchcraft; Jefferson on the tendency of

  • 8 The little book is 4 inches by 6 inches. The boards are covered with marbled paper.
  • 9 Spelling and capitalization errors in the original have been reproduced here. Neither italics nor title quotation marks have been added. Semicolons have been inserted, and the list otherwise altered only so as to appear in sentence form.
domestic slavery; Fedralist; Memoirs of La Raujacqueline;10 Smith's Wealth of Nations; Ricardo; Malthus on Population; Say's Political economy."11

Between the last item above and quotations from Hamlet, Holman sandwiched the membership rolls of the Philomatheans and Athenians as of July 2, 1836. Holman's own Philomatheans come first:

1 Armstrong, Edwin L. Hamilton Co. Ohio. Sophomore
2 Ballard, C. G. Bloomington, Ia. M.D.
3 Barwick, Joshua Brookville Ia. Preparatory D.
4 Clark, John M. Vincenes Ia. Do
5 Davis, Henry C. Lexington, Ky Do
6 Dodds, Jas F. Bloomington Ia. A.M.
7 Dunbar, John W. Natches, Miss. Freshman
8 Geiger, Samul L. Louisville Ky. Junior
9 Henderson, Benj L. Indianapolis Ia. Freshman
10 Hillis, William C. Madison Ia. Sophomore
11 Holman, Richard Henry Aurora, Ind. Junior
12 Laselle, James M. Logansport Ia. Jn'r Irreg
13 Leavenworth, S. M. Leavenworth Ia. Freshman
14 Mayes Robt Burns Lexington Ky. P.D.
15 Prester Joshua Missippi Sophomore
16 Stapp, Howard Madison, Ind'a Soph.
17 Thomas, Charles B. Lexington, Ky. Pre. Dep.
18 West George Indianapolis Ia. Soph
19 Willis William Boone Co. Ky. Junior
20 Wright, George G. K. Bloomington Ia. Freshman
21 Duncan, Charles B. Bowlingreene Ky. P.D.

Next, Holman listed the Athenians about whom he felt so strongly:

1 Barber, Orson Terra Haute Soph
2 Barwick Joseph Brookville "
3 Beaty, Davis S. Do F.
4 Campbell M.M. Louisville Ky. Senior
5 Clement Mr. Princeton F
6 Daily Rev. W.M. Everywhere Se
7 Fanning, Rev. Mr. south P.D.
8 Geiger Jon. S. Louisville Ky. F.
9 Hoge Mr. Princeton F.
10 Jones Wm. H. Bloomington Se
11 Lanier Alex. C. Madison F.
12 Lowe, Jesse W. Bloomington Se

  • 10 Probably Marie Louise Victoire, Marquise de La Rochejacquelein, whose Mémoires were published in 1815 and translated into English by Sir Walter Scott (Edinburgh, 1827).
  • 11 Holman enumerated other titles he desired, but did not identify them with President Wylie's recommendations.
13 McClurkin Jno. J. Illinois Se
14 McAfee, Geo. Kentucky Junior
15 Modesitt, W.M. Terra Haute J
16 Maxwell, Frank Bloomington So
17 Morrison, Mr. So
18 McCall, Wm. Terra Haute F.
19 Posey, Lloyd T. Corrydon Se
20 Parker, J.W.H. Accomac Va J.
21 Parks, Saml Bloomington so
22 Roache, A.L. Rockford Se
23 Serring J.G. Madison so
24 Sheets, Geo. S. Do Jun
25 Thixten, Andrew J. Corrydon Sen
26 Townsend, Jas. M. Putnam Co. so
27 Wylie Craig Bloomington so
28 Wright Lester Terra Haute P.D.
29 Nichols Joseph Bloomington J

Although the bulk of the diary was penned when Holman was a junior, the last two narrative entries were written in his senior year. Toward the end, he gave the names of the "Members of the Senior Class of Ind. College," as of December 29, 1836. This class roll postdates most of the diary proper, but due to the form in which it is presented, warrants inclusion at this point. At the bottom of the same page, incidentally, Holman made this further comment at an unknown time: "Poor Tom (McElrath) He is now no more— He died far from Home deprived of the soothing attention of a mother to her dying son." The asterisks after the names of Gorman, Millen, and Morrison indicate that they were irregular members:

John Dail Logansport Ia
Samuel L. Geiger Louisville Ky
Willis A. Gorman* Bloomington
Richd H Holman Aurora Ia
George McAfee Rural Plains Ky
E.D.C. McElrath Helena, Arkan
Thos. J. McElrath Do Do
S.C. Millen* Bloomington
W.M. Modesitt Terra Haute Ia
Jno Morrison* Illinois
Joseph F. Nichols Bloomington
Jno W.H. Parker Accomac Co. Va.
Hugh T. Read Liberty Ia
George S. Sheets Madison Ia
William Willis Boone Co. Ky

After completing his association with Indiana College, Richard Holman studied law at and near Aurora under his father who served as Federal District Judge by appointment of President Andrew Jackson from 1836 to 1842. "Within two years," wrote Theophilus A. Wylie, the young man "reached the front rank in his profession at the bar of the county seat of Dearborn County, then one of the ablest in the State. By his incessant labor he brought on the disease of which he died, in the 24th year of his age."12

Actually, Richard Henry Holman was nearly twenty-five when he passed away on December 27, 1841, following an "extended illness"13 which may have been tuberculosis. He never married. Instead of being handed down to "Posterity" through his non-existent "oldest son" as Richard Holman planned, his diary eventually came into possession of his sister's granddaughter, Miss Jessie Hamilton, who graciously presented it to me. It covers (with interruptions of varying lengths) the period from May 23 to September 23, 1536, and also August 9 and 11, 1837:

My own Meditations.

It's raining:—dull uncomfortable weather. I have nothing to read except the sublime pages of Mitchels chemistry. I can't walk out. I have no one to talk to. Beaty is as grum as an five years old bull, and is hamering away at his eis, mia, en.14 I'm hungry. "What in the name of all the Gods at once" makes supper so late. Our cook must have something to make her more lively— a little beech oil would have a beneficial effect. I'm misanthropic. A man is alway so when hungry. I then have good reason to be so, as I am not only hungry but I'm mad. I'm cold and wet and dry and thirsty. What, oh! what's keeps supper back. The bells have been ringing for an hour past. I'm mad, I'm hungry. Thank God supper is ready at last. I'll write no more till I'm in a better humor—May 23rd 1836[.]

  • 12 Louis B. Ewbank, "Judges of the Federal District Court of Indiana," Indiana Magazine of History (Bloomington, 1905), XXXV (1939), 373-375; Wylie, Indiana University, 177-178.
  • 13 Holman monument; Blake, Holmans of Veraestau, 42, 242.
  • 14 David S. Beaty of Brookville was Holman's roommate. The "eis, mia, en" reference is to the study of Greek grammar.

Monday May 30th 1836.

Read 36 pages of the sublime Mitchel. Part of it over twice. Just returned from electioneering for members for the "Philomathean Society" [.] Got several in a fine way. Received Presler No. 1 and Barwick on last evening.15 Society looking up. Want my supper. Had no letter from Home for five weeks. Wonder if they are all dead? satis est pro ten[.]

Diary for June—1836[.]

I visited Miss Louisa Howe.16 Spent an hour very pleasantly in her society. Engaged her to walk with me down to see Mrs. Thos. Wilson, an old sweat heart of mine, on Saturday next, day after tomorrow. Read fifteen pages in Mitchells Chemistry. Commenced reading Bulwers Eugene Aram. The sentiments of one of the characters in that work, a fatalist and Eugene Aram himself, I have copied down the 20th page of this book. There is notwithstanding its dark and gloomy sentiments, and such as are scarcely ever found to be the sentiments of any in this day, nothing original in it. But then its beauty deserves a place in this work.


I commenced this diary with the intention of keeping it regularly. But now nearly a week has passed without writing. Last Friday we received into the Society,17 Dunbar, Clark, Thomas and Duncan, making, in all nine, we have received since the commencement of the session. The members of the Athenian Society are getting scared. They curse me on every hand. Sheets passes coldly by me. Lowe and I understand each other. Dr Modisette is a hypocrite,8 he pretends to my face to be friendly, but showers his curses on me, when I am not present. Brown has just told me he

  • 15 Joshua Presler and Joshua Barwick. Holman misspelled Presler's family name in the Philomathean list.
  • 16 Miss Louisa Jane Howe (1819-1907) was the daughter of Joshua Owen and Lucinda Allison Howe. She married James Darwin Maxwell on July 6, 1843. For many years her father was an Indiana University trustee. Her husband practiced medicine in Bloomington nearly half a century. Lawrence Wheeler, "The Minutes of the Edgeworthalean Society, 1840-1844," Indiana Magazine of History, XLVI (1950), 180; Burton D. Myers, Trustees and Officers of Indiana University, 1820 to 1950 (Bloomington, 1951), 24, 255-257.
  • 17 "The Society" is the Philomathean Society, of which Holman was an ardent member. It was founded in 1831, and its Athenian rival in 1830. James A. Woodburn, History of Indiana University, 1890-1902 (Bloomington, 1940), 77.
  • 18 These were all Athenians.
intends joining the At. Society, but I shall not give him up, without another trial. Nil desperandum. Last evening I called upon Miss L.H.19 interesting as ever. I'm almost inclined to fall in love with her. I will not do, however— "Let the aspiring youth beware of love of the soft smooth smile beware—"

July 12th.

Since my last entry I have attended three times, "Frost, Heustis & CO'S" circus, which cost me 75 cents. Last Friday we received into Society, Mr. Armstrong,20 a member of the Sophomore Class from Miami University. He is a talented young man—The Athenians made every exertion to get him, but in vain. I, yesterday, called upon Miss Sarah Tupman. Almost in love with her, I must not call on her more than once in three weeks, or I may fall in love, which heaven prevent.

End of Diary for the time being, June 23rd ‘36


Went to church to hear the Rev. Wm. M. Daily21 preach, but was dissapointed A stranger occupied his place. A tolerable good sermon. Made a collection and I had not a cent to throw in. Getting pretty well through chemistry. Attended Jas. G. MacPheters22 and Clara Dunn's wedding, on last Thursday evening. Considered myself highly honored by an invitation. Spent the greater part of the evening in company of Miss Louisa J. Howe. Almost in love with her. A fine girl.


I took a walk to the grave of William Wylie, who died in April 1835.23 While standing by his grave, with a pencil and paper, I could not forbear committing the following reflection to paper :-

Here lie the mouldering remains of a brother Philomathean and one of my best friends. He died in April 1836. I

  • 19 Miss Louisa Howe.
  • 20 Edwin L. Armstrong.
  • 21 Dr. William M. Daily was both a Methodist minister and an Indiana College student in 1835-1836, graduating in the latter year. Later, he was president of Indiana University. Myers, Trustees and Officers of Indiana University, 455-460; Woodburn, History o Indiana University, passin., picture, opposite 135; Wylie, Indiana University, 96-97.
  • 22 This was Dr. Joseph Glass McPheeters, Class of 1834, who became a leading Bloomington physician and "was very active in the Alumni Association, and a constant worker and a devoted friend of the University." Woodburn, History of Indiana University, 329, 400.
  • 23 William Wylie, third child of President +drew Wylie, died. in 1835—not 1836, as Holman later states. Wylie, Indiana University, 462.
was sick, during his fatal illness, and consequently had not an opportunity of visiting him. The last night he spent. in health was spent at my bed side. I was then dangerously ill, many had given up all hopes of my recovery. but Oh! how anxious was I to hear from my dear friend William, who was lying but a few hundred yards from me. I was anxious to hear the steps of Dr. Maxwell our attending phisician24 more on account of hearing from William than for my own benefit. At last I heard of his death. My feelings cannot be described: My best friend among the students, had ceased to exist. The world was no more his dwelling place. His lamp of life had gone out. I was then through the mercies of a kind providence, recovering, and was able to walk to the window and see the funeral procession as it slowly proceded across the College Campus—-to the grave

William and myself belonged to the same society, oh! how every circumstance connected with him and that society now crowds upon my mind He always was my friend He always did me justice—more than justice. At one time the society was divided into two parties which threatened its dissolution. William and myself belonged to the same party, in opposition to Watts, McPheters & Co.

Wylie moved Watts’ expulsion I seconded the motion. We succeeded by a small majority.

William was unpopular among the students;—he was too aristocratic in his principles. He had but two intimates among the students, Parker Campbell and myself. Oh! he was a noble fellow! too noble to be spared to his friends. He is gone, my friend lies beneath my feet—His body lies mouldering beneath the clay. but his sould is indestructible, and in an endless eternity—in a world where death will no more enter. His memory is still fresh in my mind. My heart will forever cherish it! Never, William will the memory of your friendship—your virtues and your noble character, be forgotten by your surviving friend.


I took a surveying expedition with the other members of

  • 24 Dr. David H. Maxwell, at this time resident of the Indiana College Board of Trustees, was the father of fames D. Maxwell.
the Junior Class and old Dady Campbell.25 Elliott,26 chief Engineer. I was elevated to the responsible office of chain bearer. Got heartily tired of it before the "survey" was closed. Went home (Bennetts) and found that supper was not ready, which hurt my feelings very much. Got a glimpse of Miss Louisa to day. Received a day or two since a letter from G.A.W. Pope Esqr. of Bardstown, formerly a student of Ia. College and member of the Philomathean Society. He desires to continue a correspondence I have since written to him and will continue to correspond with him, if not prevented by some unforseen circumstance. He is a fine fellow, but had to leave this institution.… Mirabile dictu.


-Went to church on the 29 and brought home Miss Louisa Howe. Daddy Campbell took her there. It was prayre meeting, and after night.


I have just made a note of last evenings "scrape." I congratulate myself, on having finished "Mitchells Chemistry" to day. My pen is so bad, I'll write no more, but only to fill our the present page, to be able to; commence my Diary for July on a new page!!!!

July 2nd.

I have been melancholly, throughout the day. There is an evident coldness on the part of several of my Athenian friends, toward me. If I rightly conjecture the reason, it is because I am particularly friendly with Davis. Sheets’ coldness is most apparent. Davis is a young man of talent,27 and I will associate with him and treat him as my friend, if all my old pretended friends secede. Let them go. With some—

Friendship is but a name

A charm that lulls to rest:

A shade that follows wealth and fame

But leaves the wretch to weep

  • 25 Matthew M. Campbell, long the principal of the Preparatory Department. Woodburn, History of Indiana University, 84, picture, opposite 71.
  • 26 Ebenezer N. Elliott, professor of mathematics and physics at Indiana College from 1832 to 1836, subsequently, a well-known educator in the South and compiler and part author of Cotton is King, and Pro-Slavery Arguments… (Atlanta and Augusta, Georgia, 1860). Wylie, Indiana University, 105; Woodburn, History of Indiana University, 83, 98-101.
  • 27 Since the first names and middle initials of Henry C. Davis, George S. Sheets and other students appear in Philomathean, Athenian or Class of 1837 rosters, they will not be additionally identified in the footnotes.

Tis thus with them. Wrote to Harris, and commenced a letter to Pope.

July 5th.

I yesterday attended the celebration of American Independence. Dr. Foster, orater of the day,28 made a very good performance. I attended Miss L.H. during the day. &c &c I this day promise myself to abstain from the pleasure or dissipation of smoking, which I have for a considerable length of tim yielded to, untill the close of the present session of College. Shall I suceed? I am determined to. if I yield (which God preserve me from) the day and fact shall be inserted in this diary, which I intend preserving and give to my oldest son, and to be transmitted in like order to posterity, for ever, for all I care. I write for immortality


Old habits are hard to be rooted out. It is a thing almost impossible. I yesterday yielded to the dissipation mentioned in my diary of July 5th, but will do so no more till the close of the session. The Philomathean Society last evening elected the following speakers for the ensuing exhibition—Geiger Stapp, Davis, Armstrong Willis & myself. We'll try to beat the Athenians

July 20th.

I have lately found out one inportant fact—I have learned it by sad experience, that if a man wishes to keep a fact from being generally known, he must confine the knowledge of it to himself. Trust not intimate friends, especially if those friends are females[.] I have lately by confiding to some friends, been injured. I have confided the knowledge of some society affairs to some of my fellow members, and they became public. I have therefore come to this determination, never to trust a secret, the disclosure of which would injure me, to any one, unless nay own interest requires it, or I believe that circumstances render it necessary. This shall be my course through life. Bosen friends are not always to be trusted. Just returned from "calling" on Cousin Sarah Tupman,—a charming girl.


I am in love. By my soul I am—With whom? Must I disclose "the actual fact" with Miss Sarah A. Tupman—Yes. with Sarah A. Tupman. I cannot help it. She is worthy the love love and envy of everyone.

  • 28 Probably Dr. William C. Faster of Bloomington, President Wylie's b≖te noire. Woodburn, History of Indiana University, 119-120.


I have just eaten my dinner, and a most exelent one it was. Otherwise I should not mention it, in this journal which I am writing for the benefit of posterity. We had—what do you think? Why nothing but bread and milk (every day's fare) two finely broiled chickens, new potatoes and a dozen other luxuries. Oh! it was a glorious dinner—Mrs. Bennett is a good coock


I last evening visited Miss S.A.T. I love her: truly ardently love her—but as yet that love is not returned

It is the worst of pain

To love and not be loved again

I believe she is decidedly partial to Mr. Jno. S. Geiger a very clever fellow. Well, let her love him. On the whole it is best for me. I must not get involved in "love scrapes" for some years to come. Untill I have studied a proffession, and in a fair way for making a comfortable living for a family. I am not, either an individual, who will long "love and not be loved again" When I entirely give away my affections, I must have, in return, the warm, unadulterated love of the object of mine. "Amor" non "vincit omnia"

July 31st. Sunday.

I received on last evening a letter from E. Dumont, Esqr a young lawyer of Wilmington, Dearborn Co. Indiana. He professes great friendship for me. I wrote to him this morning and returned his sentiments toward me. It is best to make friends through life whenever, and wherever we can. There are several young men in this state who in a few years will be distinguished lawyers, with whom I am on remarkably friendly terms, whose friendship I shall cherish, and keep alive by every means in my power. There are Dumont, O'Neal & Harris. With the rest I am ‘too little acquainted to form a favorable opinion, and am by no means disposed to form an unfavorable one. O'Neal is an ambitious, selfish fellow, but he possesses talents. And I believe that it would be poor policy for me to treat him in any other, than a friendly manner. He and Dumont are not friends. Harris is a talented young man. His principles and moral character are unexceptionable. I esteem him highly, as one of my best friends. An aspiring young man, especially if he intends engaging in politicks, must make friends of all, especially of those whose friendship might benefit or whose enmity might injure him. This shall be my policy through life. I shall treat all (with obvious exceptions) in a friendly manner, and endeavor to gain the esteem and friendship of all with who I may come in contact.

August 3rd.

We have in the Philomathean Society, several members of very respectable talents. The principal of whom are Armstrong from Hamilton County Ohio[,] Davis, from LexingtonKy and Henderson from Indianapolis. I have no intimate friend among all my fellow members, and were it not for my eternal hatred for the Athenian Society, I would not continue my connexion with them.

I esteem Armstrong highly, but my acquaintance with his is short. I shall cultivate his friendship, as well as that of Davis and Henderson's for the reasons given in my last entry, in this erudite journal, which is to enlighten posterity.


"A man may smile, and smile, and be a villian." Shakespeare. The celebrated dramatist was undoubtedly correct when he composed the sentence which heads my "diary" for this day. I do not by any means wish to call the Junior of Indiana College, the delineation of whose character a page will be devoted, a villian, but he approximates to one, and very closely too. Dr. Welton M Modesitt is a classmate of mine and a zealous and efficient Athenian. He is the main hand at electioneering. He possesses some talents—and is a fine declaimer. Is remarkable affable and friendly with everyone, (i.e. all with whom he associates) and with none more so than with those, who he wishes to injure, or has injured. He pretends to be a mans friend, whilst he is actually injuring, or planning his injury. Thus has he served me. I have received an injury from him, which shall be remembered, and be unforgiven, untill ample atonement be made. He is unaware of my knowing the feelings which he has for me. But he is mistaken, and shall one day, if we both continue to reside in Indiana, know it. He in conjunction with some others, (their names shall be enrolled in this work) injured me deeply, when I was not present to defend myself. He shall have reason to repent it. Untill, however, he affords me an opportunity to retaliate, he shall remain ignorant of my feelings towards him. I shall continue to treat him in a friendly manner. It is a long time since I have heard from home. Mother, I believe is at Fort Wayne. I received the news, a short time since of the death of Allen Hamilton's29

  • 29 Allen Hamilton of Fort Wayne was the husband of Emerine Jane Holman, Richard Holman's sister.
daughter Eliza, an interesting girl of about 7 years old. Death is the common lot of mortals. It is Friday and as assistant critic of the Philomatheon Society, I have two erudite compositions, belonging to Jno. Clark and Seth M. Leavenworth, to criticise, before evening. Seth is a fine fellow a member of the Freshman class and will some day be distinguished.

August 7th. Sunday.

I yesterday called upon several of the young ladies of this stirring place and among others upon Misses Tupman and Louisa Howe. I prefer the former. I love the former. There is something irresistably attracting in her. She is young—remarkably young to be entitled to a seat among the ladies—not yet fourteen. She does not I believe return my deep feeling of love for her. Well, thus let it be. I'll hang myself for no girl. No young lady shall take such a hold of my affections, that, their being un-returned, my after years will, from that cause, be unhappy and miserable. Neither will I ever take the "lovers leap". There are more pretty and interesting girls in the world, "which is all before me" than the one who has for the last month or two held my affections

The present Junior class of Indiana College is composed of the following members. G.S. Sheets, W.M. Modisett. E.D.C. & T.J. McElrath. Wm. Willis. Geo. McAfee, Jos Nichols. J W H. Parker and myself. They are all Athenians but Willis and myself [,I Philomatheons[,] and the two McElraths, who do not belong to either society. I devoted to Modesitt a page or two, and now my friend Sheets shall receive the like compliment, differing however, in the character I shall give him. He is a young man of respectable talent. Unlike Modesitt, when he is an enemy to any one, he knows it. He does not pretend to conceal his enmity. He is independant. He is my friend, altho’ an Athenian, and altho’ we have on more than one occasion, passed unfriendly words. But the effect produced by them soon passed away.

When Modesitt in conjunction with his colleagues so deeply injured me Sheets took a stand in favor of his friend, and performed for me a service which will require many and strong injuries to cause to be forgotten, by the author of this Journal.

In looking over this "entré", I perceive several sentences which are not correctly constructed. I hope the individual, whoever he may be, who reads this Diary, will pardon them, when he hears that this is the first copy. I think I shall not go to church to day. It's raining. Daily is absent, and I do not wish to hear Holley preach or Old Andy, lecture.

I am waiting for my dinner, and although I am not in a very good humor (for I am hungry, and a hungry man is seldom in a pleasant humor) yet I will try and describe my friends Parker and Willis. The former is a tolerable smart fellow and an Athenian. The latter not very talented, but a Philomathean which makes up in a great degree for that defect. They are both well off, and will probably never study professions. Parker is from Allomoc Co. Virginia Willis from Boone Co. Kentucky. They are both my friends—not however, intimate friends, for of them I have few, but every day, passing, friends. I never expect to come in contact with them in after life. E.D.C. McElrath is undiscerving a notice in this journal. Of his brother Thomas I only say he is a clever fellow, but was never considered sufficiently smart to gain admission into either of the societies. He and his brother are residents of Arkansas. I have but two more of my classmates to dissect—McAfee of Kentucky and his cousin Nichols of this place. They are Athenians— and also, a rare circumstance, fine fellows. McAfee has a high opinion of his own powers and abilities. Nichols no confidence in himself. Neither of them possess talents. Nichols is much the best scholar. I do not think either of them will ever make much noise in the world, or that I shall ever come in contact with them. We are friendly—not intimate— I have written enoef for today, and unless some remarkable accident hap pens before night I shall add no more.

August 9th.

The Junior class of Indiana College are frequently gratified by an exhibition of Prof. Elliott's wit. He sometimes quotes poetry and pronounces it with cadence and emphasis. The class always laughs at him, seldom at his wit, as he supposes. Today in the recitation room he was speaking of the relative strength of the horse and man. He said one horse was equal to seven men, and that one ass was equal to two men. "But, said he with a smile of self approbation at his witticism "I have seen men who were equal to as many asses." The whole class laughed heartily, some at the wit and the rest at the perpetrator of it. I think this is worthy of being recorded, and that it entitles the name of Proffessor Elliott to a place in the heart of his countrymen, and a nitche in the "Temple of Fame". I ought to have written a preface to this work. Books nowadays are nothing without one, whatever may be their intrinsic exelence. But it is now too late. A preface never looks well in the middle of a book.

August 11th.

We have just finished the new Philomathean Hall, and will hold our next meeting in it, tomorrow evening. I intend devoting a few pages to the members’ benefit. A list of members may be found on page 22 of this work. On page 50 I made some remarks with regard to Armstrong, Davis and Henderson, and on the 55th page30 some with regard to Willis. I shall, consequently exclude them, from the remarks which follow. Ballard is a Phisician of this place, and is the only married man we have in society. He is a fine fellow, and takes a warm interest in the success of [the] society. I esteem him highly. Barwick, Joshua of Brookville. Oh for the spirit of poetry that I might do justice to the merits of this eminent member. He is a preparatory devil, but writes true poetry. Armstrong the Critic throws a damper over his genius with his severe criticisms on his compositions. I do not know whether he will ever make anything. Jno. M. Clark of Vincenes is a young lad of very considerable talent. He is yet however very young; and wild, and what is worse still is a member of the preparatory department. Is fond of the girls—of Miss Mann (who shall hereafter be described) in particular. He subscribed $10.00 for furnishing the Society's Hall, but has not yet paid it. Dr. Jas. F. Dodds, A. B. Graduate of Indiana College comes next. His character, or rather the delineation of it, should be drawn by an abler hand. He is a Presbyterian. Was once I believe a licensed preacher of that denomination. He has been connected with the society since its organization. Is as stingy as the Old Nick. Is remarkably fond of female society. Unfortunately, however, the females are not fond of his. He has been trying to get a—wife!! for a space of several years, but has not succeded. He courted Miss Elizabeth Howe,31 but was dislocated. He is about 26 years old and is studying Medicine with Dr. Ballard.

August 12th.

"That love is most to be valued, which cannot be easily won." Miss Sarah A. Tup—[Here part of the page

  • 30 The references are to pp. 22, 50 and 55 of Holman's manuscript diary.
  • 31 A note on an otherwise blank page of the diary says that "John S. Watts Esqr. and Miss E.A. Howe [were] married June 1837." According to Wylie, Indiana University, 174-175, the wedding was in May. The bridegroom became a prominent Indiana lawyer, as well as Chief Justice of New Mexico Territory. The bride was Miss Louisa Howe's elder sister.
is cut.] She is not fourteen and is remarkably wild. Her particular female friend is Miss Gorman


I proceed to sketch the characters of the members of the Philomathean Society. Duncan from Kentucky is an aspiring member of the preparatory department Is remarkably fond of reciting poetry, and make himself ridiculous by the manner in which he does it Of Dunbar of Missippi I will make no remark. He is beneath my notice. Samuel L. Geiger of Louisville Kentucky comes next on the carpet. He was once my room mate. He has been a member of the Society for a long time and by flattering the vanity of the [Here part of the page is cut.] of the society, and wishes to follow the old beaten track, which others have pointed out. This is one of the characteristicks of an inferior genius. He possesses no talents but a considerable degree of common sence. He is not the individual who I would select as an intimate friend. He is our present President.

Hillis, Wm. C. Son of David Hillis. Possesses no talent,— no common sence— Is led passively by the nose by Geiger. Has no standing among the girls, the students or his fellow members.

August 14th—

To proceed with the Philomathean character. Laselle[,] Jan[m?]es M. of Logansport, an irregular member of the Junior class is a young man of fine moral character and feelings, and I believe of some talent. He is a Catholic in principle. Is my friend. Will probably graduate. Robert Mayes of Lexington will some day be a distinguished man if he lives. He is very young and is in the preparatory department, but he possesses application and some talent. Presler, Joshua from one of the Southern states is a singular genius. He is a sophomore and is late from Miami University— He visited this institution last winter, and brought a letter of introduction from Harris to me. He had not then finally determined to leave M.U. but though [t] it highly probable that he would. I predjudiced him in favor of the Society, for I was pretty certain that he would join this Institution (the College) My dear Friend Jesse Lowe made a great effort to secure him to the Athenian Society, but we were enabled to succed in getting him into ours. His constitution is much injured from hard study He visits the South, next vacation, and will probably not return here. I do not think he is satisfied with the Institution.

Howard Stapp, a sophomore from Madison, will make a fine orator, but I am afraid he will never compose well. He is no shalar. He is a fine fellow and a friend of mine, but I am afraid does not possess much talent. Charles Thomas of Lexington is the youngest member in Society. I forbear to make any remarks at this time, as his extreme youth forbids it. George West of Indianapolis, will never make any thing more than a respectable scholar.

George Wright of this place read a stolen composition in society—which does not speak much to his praise. I believe however he possesses some talent. We are nothing more than simply acquainted with each other. Thus have my fellow members successively been described. They are a pretty set. Some clever talented fellows among them, but some directly the contrary. But such we will find it to be in almost every company we examine. The good and bad are strongly mixed— But I am in no mood for philosophising to day, so will conclude my remarks at another time. Heard the Rev. W.M. Daily preach. He is a clever fellow, and one of the best Methodist preachers I ever heared.

August 15.

(Pleggid bad pen) I have just finished for the second time James best production Darnley. I am much pleased with it, especially with the account of the interview between the monarchs Henry 8th of England and Francis 1st of France. I am a warm admirer of the character of Francis. It was so frank SQ unsuspicious (when the character of the people was so entirely different) that it should command universal admiration. Henry's character very much altered during the period which he governed England. During the first 10 or 12 years of his reign before discease and pain had enfebled his constitution, and rendered him peevish and fretful, he was a splendid monarch, and one that had the best interests of his subjects at heart. How different was it afterwards. Wolsey, the Cardinal always exercised an undue influence over him.

August 17.

With what eagerness posterity will read this work! With what rapture will they hang over its pages! What delight will be pictured on their countenances when they read the elegant precepts, laid down for their edification, and what a high and exalted place will the worthy and erudite author hold in their affections! His name will be immortal. His work will ever stand as a text book, for the inexperienced youth, who must guide his own footsteps. These are the reflections which cheer me, in my laborious occupation of writing for posterity for the good of those who are to come after me (especially my oldest son) I lay down precepts, which they are to treasure up. I place before them characters which they are to imitate (Sheets and a few others) and these Dr. Modsitt &c whose principles they are to hold in abhorrence. I have no doubt but that posterity will consider me as a public benefacter, and will erect a monument to perpetuate my memory. We authors have a hard time, but our reward is immortality

August 18.

The Senior class of Indiana College is composed of Wm. M. Daily, Jesse W. Lowe, Lloyd T. Posey, A. Locke Roach, A.J. Thexton, J.J. McClurkin, M.M. Campbell, and Wm. Harrison Jones.

Daily is a young Methodist preacher of considerable immagination and some native talent, of which he is well aware. He is a great enthusiast, and does his best to bring sinners into the fold of Christ, i.e. The Methodist church. I go and hear him preach once every Sunday, when it does not rain. He is an Athenian, and here I may as well remark that the whole class belong to that society.

Jesse Lowe. Against this individual I have sworn eternal vengeance.32 He leagued with Dr. Modesitt to injure me, and suceeded. He shall be repaid. I will be revenged.

For Lloyd T. Posey, I have the most unbounded esteem and regard. He is considered the most talented student at this institution, and is undoubtedly the best Orator. He is a noble, generous, manly fellow. He is Lowe's enemy, and when Lowe, Modesitt &c attempted and suceeded in injuring me deeply, he defended me, as far as was within his power. If Posey lives, and is not unfortunate, he will one day be eminent.

A.L. Roach also befriended me, and Campbell done me the same favor. They shall also be remembered. I never will forget their kindness. I will always remember them with affection and it will require many injuries to be committed by them, before their favors will be cancelled. They are both of very respectable talents. Campbell is an old student as well as an old man. He is familiarly called "Old Daddy Campbell" by all his acquaintance. He does not like the name, and nothing is more apt to enlist his ill will, than calling him by it. He is a Presbyterian. I understand that he has

  • 32 It is revealing to compare Holman's often caustic criticism of Bloomington girls and Indiana College youths with the more moderate remarks of John Henry Louden. Lawrence Wheeler, "A College Freshman in 1868," Indiana Magazine of History, XLVII (1951), 267-298.
accepted the appointment of book pedlar with a salary of $700.00 per annum. This is I expect the heighth of his ambition, and he will probably never rise higher.

Eodem die. I believe I will despatch the Senior class. None are left but McClurkin Thixton and Jones. The two latter are of congenial dispositions and are intimate, very intimate friends. Jones will probably (altho he does not now profess religion) come out a Methodist preacher. Thixton intends studdying Law, but I do not believe he will ever succed at the practice. His talents and acquirements are respectable, but not of such a nature as to insure his success at the Bar. I believe he will make a good judge of Law, but never a succesful practicioner. McClurkin is a Covenanter—a real bigotted covenanter and bitter enemy to the Catholic faith. He and myself had a very interesting and eddyfiing contest in the Hall, last session, concerning the treatment the Catholicks should receive from the denominations. The limits of this work will not permit me to give even an outline of the course we took in the debates on this all important subject. As I am well aware that the public will some day be anxious to read an account of it, I have preserved (and this shall accompany this work) all of the essays I read on the occasion, and a copy of the most important one of Mr. McClurkin's.

August 19th—

"What a piece of work is man" sais Shakspeare Hamlet—"What a piece of work is woman!!!" exclaims the worthy Author of this Journal. Oh! for the inspiration of a Scott, the immagination of a Cooper— or the pen of a Bulver, to describe what can rightly be described only by a man who is capable of describing the fairest and best of nature's works—Shall I attempt a description of a creature—worthy of being the Heroine of one of the inimitable productions of the Author of Waverley—I must. My duty calls upon me: Posterity requires it of me. Their hopes and expectations shall not be blasted. "Some angel guide my pencil, while I draw the picture of" Miss Catharine Gorman.33 Oh for the spirit of poesy that I might paint in characters of fire, the beauties of the fairest of Creation's works.

Miss G. is from Kentucky, and is now residing with her Brother W.A. Gorman,34 Esq Att and Con at Law, a very

  • 33 Daughter of David L. and Elizabeth Gorman of Kentucky.
  • 34 A native of Kentucky, and a Hoosier lawyer, Willis A. Gorman was appointed Governor of Minnesota Territory by President Franklin Pierce. "Seriously injured" at Buena Vista in the Mexican War he won promotion to a Union generalship for gallantry at Bull Run in the Civil War. In January, 1836, Gorman married Martha Stone of Bloomington, his first wife. Lester B. Shippee, "Willis Arnold Gorman," Dictionary of American Biography, VII, 435-436.
distinguished citizen of this state. She is now about 21 years of age. A very romantic age As to the balance that ought to be said of her, I find myself inadequate to do it justice. "It can be better imagined than described." And I leave the reader to immagine all about her which I have not said. "Alas poor Kate"


I find that I have been incorrect in dating the entries made for the last few days. They should all have been dated one day earlier. I visited Miss S.A. Tupman last evening, and promised to attend her to an astrononical lecture this evening.

Jno. W.H. Parker of the Old Dominion is an odd compound of odd materials. His countenance is indicative of a man of genius, (By the Bye, the countenance is not always a true index to the possessors character) and his whole bearing and deportment is that of one of talent. The limits of this journal forbid my entering into particulars, or I could en-numerate many conclusive proofs of his extraordinary powers and abilities. At the Exhibition of the Junior class, at the closer of last session, he made a spheech on the difficult subject of "The present condition of our country." His reasoning was so close, his argumentative powers so overpowering---his logic so good, and the whole supported by a continued burst of eloquence, convinced the whole assembly, (many of whom came there doubting) that the present condition of our country actually was. He is a great wit. Many of the students and young ladies consider him nearly as perfect as even the Author of this journal. He has had the honor of being twice introduced to His exelency N. Noble, Governor of India---35 The Governor, as well as my friend is an "old Virginian" and actually puffed up Parker with the belief that if he would visit him he would treat him with Old Virginia hospitality. Parker intends calling.

August 21; Sunday.

No meeting in town except Covenanter and the Rev. Mr. Jones, neither of which I feel disposed to honor with my presence. and must consequently stay at

  • 35 Noah Noble, Whig Governor of Indiana from 1831 to 1837, was born in Clark County, Virginia. He was succeeded by David Wallace, father of the author of Ben Hur, General Lew Wallace.
home "sweet home." In the Sophomore class I have one or two friends, Joseph Barwick, a Methodist licensed preacher, an Athenian and a poet. He possesses considerable talent. Writes very well, and sometimes very passable poetry. Is a particular friend of mine, and is dissatisfied with the Athenian Society. He only remains in it, because he is so remarkably bashful and afraid of hurting the feelings of some friends he has there, that her fears to ask an honorable dismissal. Were he out of it, he would connect himself with the Philomathean Society. He is a disagreeable speaker. This arises in a considerable degree from his uncommon bashfulness. He can scarcely look an audience in the face and even in common conversation, his eyes seldom meet those of the person with whom he is conversing. He is my friend, and a most estimable young man.

The Misses Howe (Elizabeth and Louisa) have for a long period stood at the head of the Belles of this village. E. is getting old, and unless Watts soon marries her (which I think is not unlikely)36 she will pass the Rubicon---she will be, awful fact!!! an old maid. She is a piece of affectation and nonsense---plays delightfully on the piano, and sings most melodiously.

Louisa, thank God, is made up of different materials. She is considerable younger than her sister, and has a hundred per cent more sence, good breading, humor and all of the qualities which render young women "so delightful." She was engaged (I believe) to George Cobb, a Senior of Ia. Col. who died last winter in Greensburgh. I have frequently been in love with her myself, and my friend Sheets is somewhat captivated at the present time. If I were going to marry, and Cousin Sarah was out of the way, I believe I would as soon have her as any young lady I ever met with. However as it is impossible for me to make her happy, I can only wish that she may get some equally clever fellow.


"Young Gentlemen" exclaimed Proffessor Elliott, this morning, directly after the Junior class had finished recitation "how many of you, do you think, had your lessons this morning?" The Junior class paid no attention to this insinuation. Prof. Elliott continued "Not one of you have your lesson as you should. Some of you know something about it, but there are others, who before you came into the room, knew not one thing about it." The Prof. was not far from

  • 36 See Note 31.
being correct. It is seldom that any class in college, are able to recite with credit a lesson on Monday morning. This is owing to various causes: principally to their having so much time to get it in. On Friday too, after the recitation, the members of the societies, are employed a considerable length of time in preparing for the exercises of the societies. On Saturday, they black their boots, visit the girls, and perform various other duties incumbent upon them. On Sunday, the Faculty recomend them to go to church, so that generally Monday rolls around without any preparation for the recitation room.


My friend Parker has just read, "his memoirs" on pages 79 and 80, and is not altogether satisfied with some of the historical facts therein related. He wishes to write a defence, and that it may descend to posterity, hand in hand with the "charges." I have offered him the next four pages of this work. Which he will fill with good sence. I bespeak from posterity, especially from my eldest son, a careful perusal of it---Parker altho’ he has some faults is worthy of immortality.

For continuation of my own journal, see page 91, where the same plan will still be kept in view, and the main object--- the good of posterity--- not lost sight of.

August 24;

The class was to have commenced opticks today but Prof. Elliott was not at the recitation mom. This learned Professor, yesterday, gave us a very learned and interesting lecture on the "Steam engine" in Sleepers shop where one was "being constructed." He explained the principles very clearly. Is a good lecturer, and undoubtedly a man of considerable scientific acquirements and talents. "Farther this deponent saith not" Met "cousin Sarah" A. Tupman, as I went to College this morning. "Beautiful as ever." "Charming" and conscious of her charms—


I have been sadly negligent of the interests of posterity for the last week. I must now, "as far as in me lies" retrieve my error. David S. Beaty is a member of the Freshman class---of the Athenian Society. And he is my room mate.37 He has a high opinion of his own powers. Indeed he is a young man of very considerable abilities, but is scarcely so talented as he supposes himself to be. He will

  • 31 A harrowing tale, involving Beaty and the Asiatic cholera in 1833, is attributed to A.L. Roache and set forth in Woodburn, History of Indiana University, 105.
some day become distinguished. He has some very aristocratic opinions. Sais he will never be a candidate for a seat in the lower House of the State Legislature. That in his path to the Temple of Fame, he will pass over that stepp. He proffesses to be very politically honest. Sais he always will be. We will see in a few years, if he lives up to his principles. He is a Van Buren man—formerly a Clay man.38


The habit or dissipation, mentioned in the Journal of July 9th, this evening again was yielded to. "Old habits" require the strongest resolutions to overcome them. Gradually, however, I hope to recover from this obnoxious habit entirel—

September 2nd.

Spent an evening delightfully in the company of Miss Sarah A. Tupman. She at my request permitted me to copy the following acrostic on her name, the production of Parker and Jno. S. Geiger.—

Sweet maid! You now but little dream

A Poets song you are the theme

Rich dreams in all their luster bright

Around thee flitter through the night---

Heavenly peace thy couch attend

An angels hand thy life defend---

Time swift with his unwearied wing

Unto thy life new pleasures bring.

Power to charm and grace to please

Make thy life a path of ease

A sad farewell we poets weep

Nor will profane thy tranquil sleep.

Verily most Exelent!! Well done "Parker & Co" "We poets"!!! Poets indeed, if the silly effusions of love! sick boys may be called poetry. The object should have inspired more poetical feelings than are breathed in the above verces. Poetry, ay Poetry indeed, and posterity shall acknowledge it, and half admire the poets!!!! Promised Miss T. that Miss L.J. Howe and myself would call on her tomorow three O'clock P.M.


I fulfilled my promise, and spent a remarkably pleasant evening with Misses Howe and Tupman, not as pleasant however as it would have been had one of them been in the vacative. Gave Mrs. Elliott a fine watermellon which

  • 38 Martin Van Buren was elected President of the United States in 1836.
cost me 50 cents. (Eodem die) Just had a conversation with George S. Sheets in relation to various matters We discussed them freely. George pretty much agrees with me in my opinions of Dr. Modisitt. I believe Sheets has many, very many honorable principles, deeply fixed in his noble heart--- My wish is that success in life may be commensurate with his merits---

6th September)

Some one has remarked that you might as well attempt to find your way in the Ocean without chart or compass, as to fathom the numerous windings of a womans heart. Verily it is true. [Here part of the page is cut.]


I have been reading Byron's Childe Harold. It is fine. Among many other exquisite, and I presume true thoughts I find the following:---

Not much, he kens, I ween, of womans breast,

Who thinks that wanton thing is won by sighs;

What careth she for hearts when once possessed?

Do proper homage to thine idol's eye;

But not too humbly, or she will despise

Thee and thy suit, though told in moving tropes:

Disguise ev'n tenderness, if thou art wise;

Brisk confidence still best with woman copes;

Pique her and soothe in turn, soon

passion crowns thy hopes.

[Here part of the page is cut.]


I am almost tempted to forsake the girls and cry with Tom Moore:---

"Away, Away, you're all the same

A smiling, jilting, fluttering throng.

Now by my soul I burn with shame

To think I've been your slave so long"

I'll wait awhile however. Have come to the determination to visit Duck Howe this afternoon---


I have to day visited Miss Lydia Ann Grant, a niece of Mrs. Elliotts. She is a lovely, interesting girl, and one with whom it would not be difficult for me to fall in love--- She lacks, however the shiners, and is connected with a family destitute of the influence, which my wifes family must possess---

Onson Barber, an irregular member of the Sophomore class is a young gentleman, whom I do not wish to forget shortly. He connected himself with Dr. Modisett & co, in their attempts (succesful) to injure me. And he shall share their fate, or it will be because I am unable so to have it---


The Junior class finished their course of studies to day as Juniors, and recited their last lesson to Prof. Elliott. Farewell, good old cock!!!! We have had many a squabble during the 18 months, in which I have been in your department. But they are all forgotten, or remembered only to be forgiven---

George S. Sheets decidedly the most talented member of the class, and also the finest, & & But it [is] needless here to recapitulate his many "good things"


Wednesday August 9th 1837---

1 am now nearly through my college course. But six weeks more I bid farewell to Indiana College where for nearly five years I have held converse with Egeria and dallied with the Muses. It is nearly a year since I made the preceding entries! How soon do we change!! In but one short year, I find by refering to my diary, that an almost total change has come over me. My sentiments are very often changed---my opinions on many matters differed from what they then were. I have acquired new friends, and discovered that with many whom I was often friendly are unworthy of the name---Friendship is but a name--- a delusive sound, a charm to lull the unsuspecting to rest or to lure men to destruction. Davis and Armstrong, for the first of whom I have sacrificed much, are to me now, as is the great herd of mankind. I remember their friendship as a thing that was---

Hugh T. Reid[.] There are some of my fellow students, ---the strength of whose affection I have experienced, and whose correct conduct I have witnessed---who I can never forget. The recolection of their friendship shall be as sunny spots on the cheerless waste of time. My hea[r]t will forever cherish it, and it and life must be extinguished together [.] Hugh T. Reid is a friend---not one who impelled by motives of interest has sought and obtained my friendship, but from the purest, holiest motives. Oh it is sweet, to turn from the cold and lifeless formalities of the world, or from the bitter and blasting feelings of enemies, and bask in the sunshine of the friendship of such a man as Reid. It is aa water to the thirsty panting soul---August 11th 1837

Published by the Indiana University Department of History.