Meeting of the Faculty (November 9, 1836)


At a meeting on November 9, 1836, the University of Virginia faculty talks about student misconduct and how they should respond to the students who proposed to organize a military corps.


The Faculty met November the 9th, 1836. Present: The chairman, Professors Harrison, Magill, Warner, Emmet, Rogers, Blaettermann and Bonnycastle.

Resolved that the Examinations for Graduation in the following Schools take place as follows:

Natural Philosophy

1st examination December 22nd.

2nd ” February 21st.

3rd ” May 2nd.

4th ” June 23rd


June 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th

Anatomy and Surgery

1st Examination April 2nd

2nd ” June 26th

The Following students having failed to give in their names in due time as Candidates for graduation in Chemistry and Mat. Med. were at the instance of Dr. Emmet permitted to become candidates for graduation in that School: Elebred White, G.E. Hite, T. Dropay, A. C. Seigh, W. R. Hackett, Philip Hicky, M.N. Clark, William J. Robertson, and N. T. Soraby.

Application was made through the Chairman by Mr. Wm. Philips to leave the class of Materia Medica. A motion was made, seconded and passed that his application be fronted.

Dr. Harrison at the request of the Chairman testified that on Sunday last in returning from Charlottesville with his wife and sister was nearly accosted by a student unknown to him who used language disrespectful and profane. Dr. Harrison soon after leaving Mrs. Harrison and his sister wont to see the student who had accosted him; did not see him, but remarked in the presence of students that his conduct was that of a cowardly blackguard; shortly after Mr. Griggsby called a Dr. H’s home. The Dr. was not in, he was informed that his conduct was rude. Mr. Griggsby called again; he was evidently intoxicated when he demanded an explanation of Dr. Harrison’s language.

The next day Mr. Griggsby called again; he was then sober; his conduct was respectful, but he insisted on an explanation of Doctor Harrison’s language; he informed the Doctor that his own conduct was a consequence of intoxication. Dr. Harrison thereupon withdrew the epithets he had applied to him; then personally the matter was satisfactorily adjusted.

Dr. Harrison then withdrew.

Mr. Grigsby having been sent for appeared and said that he did not deny the facts; met a friend in Charlottesville, was invited by him to the tavern to drink drank several glassed of champagne; the consequence was intoxication; has nothing to offer in palliation, but throws himself on the liberality of the Faculty.

The Faculty, having duly considered the case of Mr. Grigsby, passed the following resolution proposed by Dr. Emmet and seconded.

It appearing that Mr. J.W. Grigsby on Sunday the 6th instant was guilty of intoxication and disorderly conduct.

Therefore, resolved, that he be suspended for two months, and during his suspension he reside at Bocock’s Tavern, or such other place as the Chairman may authorize.

The Chairman informed the Faculty that Mr. John Dodson was in Charlottesville on Monday (election day) having on a coar and pantaloons not uniform, and he had also reason to believe that Mr. Dodson was at Vowels Tavern on Sunday. Mr. Dodson was sent for and said that his uniform pantaloons were at the Tailor’s; he had on a borrowed pair which he supposed to be uniform. The Coat he regarded as an overcoat; he did not think it was a violation of the law to purchase it; he was at Mr. Vowles Tavern with Mr. Grigsby, but drank nothing.

The Faculty, after considering Mr. Dodson’s case, on motion made and seconded, passed the following resolution.

Resolved, that Mr. John Dodson for his violation of the laws in visiting Vowels Tavern on Sunday, the 6th instant, without leave, and being in Charlottesville on Monday, the 7th instant, without uniform coat and pantaloons, be suspended for two weeks, and that he reside at Bocock’s Tavern during his suspension.

Dr. Harrison resumed his seat and Dr. Blaettermann retired.

The Chairman informed the Faculty that Mr. John Pratt was in Charlottesville on Monday without Uniform Coat and pantaloons.

Mr. Pratt was sent for and said that his uniform pantaloons were at the tailors; he regarded his coat as an overcoat; he had a jacket under it.

On motion made and seconded, Resolved that Mr. John Pratt for violating the Enactments on Monday, the 7th instant, in going to Charlottesville without uniform coat and pantaloons, be reprimanded by the Chairman, that his parents be written to on the subject.

The Chairman informed the Faculty that Mr. Whiting had applied for permission to matriculate. More than six years ago he was a student at Washington Collage, Connecticut, but had not the certificate required by the Enactments.

On motion made and seconded, resolved that Mr. Whiting be permitted to Matriculate.

The Chairman informed the Faculty that Mr. Blakeley J. Williams had applied for leave of absence until April on account of ill health. A motion was made, seconded, and passed that his application be granted.

The Chairman informed the Faculty that Mr. John M. Sheppard was in Charlottesville on Monday having on pantaloons not uniform purchased since he was a student. Mr. Sheppard was sent for. His uniform pantaloons were torn; he supposed those he had on were uniform; was informed by the Merchant that they were uniform. On motion made and seconded. Resolved that Mr. John R. Sheppard be reprimanded by the Chairman for purchasing and wearing pantaloons not uniform.

The Chairman informed the Faculty that Mr. George W. Blaettermann was in Charlottesville on Monday without uniform, and likewise on yesterday. Mr. Blaettermann was sent for. His coat was too small and he had to send it back to the tailors; he went with Dr. Blaettermann and was led to the violation of the law by what he told him.

On motion made and seconded, Resolved that Mr. George W. Blaettermann be reprimanded by the Chairman for violating the uniform law.

The Chairman informed the Faculty that Mr. Harrison B. Tomlin applied for permission to be exempt from standing those examinations for graduation in Greek which he steed last session. A motion was made, seconded and passed that his application be refused.

The Chairman informed the Faculty that Messers J.B. Wilkinson, Bryant, McBoulware, A.H. Powell, W. P. Gorondes, G.R. Slaughter, W.R. McLaws, W.T. Early, C.F. Curtis, Richard R. Carter, M.T.C. Johnston and James Chapman went to Charlottesville on Monday and were out of uniform in the following particulars: Mr. Wilkinson’s pantaloons were not uniform, and the pantaloons worn on that occasion by Messers Bryant, Boulware, McLaws, Slaughter, Early Curtis, Carter, Johnston, and Chapman were not in uniform, and Mr. Loundes was without uniform entirely. The Chairman summoned those gentlemen before him, and Messers. Wilkinson, Bryant, Boulware, Rowell, Early, and Chapman had said severally that they supposed the pantaloons worn by them to be uniform; Mr. Wilkson was told by the Merchant that his were uniform and the Merchant told Mr. Boulware that a professor had informed him that the cloth of which his pantaloons were made was uniform. Mr. McLaws had no other pantaloons. Mr. Loundes supposed he was allowed a month to obtain his uniform. Mr. Slaughter’s pantaloons were old and he supposed he might wear them in Charlottesville were he resides. Mr. Curtis’ uniform pantaloons were torn and those he had on he supposed to be uniform. Mr. Carter made a like excuse; so also did Mr. Chapman.

A motion was made, seconded, and passed that Messers J. B. Wilkinson and all the other students mentioned in the above paragraph, be reprimanded by the Chairman for having violated the uniform law on Monday, the 7th instant.

The Chairman informed the Faculty that Mr. Mordeial Cook desired to appear before the Faculty in behalf of Samuel C. Stewart who was on the 7th instant suspended for the remainder of the session.

A motion was made seconded and passed that Mr. Cooke be admitted before the Faculty. Mr. Cooke appeared and said that Mr. Stewart’s case differed from that of Mr. Davis and Mr. Shannon in this, that he refused to say anything before the Faculty, not wishing to persist in the false-hood told by all three to the Chairman, whilst they persisted in falsehood before the Faculty. At Northern Colleges and particularly the one a which Mr. Stewart was a student, it was considered not ungentlemanly nor digracful to tell an untruth to avoid punishment. Mr. Stewart happened accidently at Mr. Davi’ room; one of the party pulled out an old and incomplete pack of cards and Mr. Stewart was prevailed upon to play and nothing was bet. Professor Rogers had had a conversation with Mr. Stewart, from which he was convinced that the reason Mr. Stewart preferred saying nothing before the Faculty, was that he did not wish to persist in an untruth.

Mr. Wortenbaker, Secretary, informed the Faculty that Mr. Davis told the yough men in NeW’s bookstore that he (Mr. Davis) had led Messers Shannon and Stewart to support him in as untruth he had told the Chairman.

Mr. Bonnycastle offered the following resolution:

“The Faculty having taken into consideration the extenuating circumstances alledged by Mr. Cooke to have existed in the case of Mr. Stewart, regret that whilst those circumstances have weight in regard to the views they take of Mr. Stewart’s conduct, they cannot perceive sufficient ground to justify their making any distinction between the sentence of Mr. Stewart and his companions, and at the same time they think it probable that in some part of the transaction Mr. Stewart was misled.

The question was put on Mr. Bonnycastle’s resolution and decided in the negative.

Mr. Tucker then moved as follows:

The Faculty having taken into due consideration the extenuating circumstances alledged by Mr. Cooke to have existed in the case of Mr. Stewart. Therefore, Resolved, that Mr. Stewart suspension be shortened to four months.










Mr. Tucker’s resolution was therefore passed.

Mr. Bonnycastle then offered the same resolution in behalf of Mr. Shannon, of which the motion to adopt was determined in the negative by the following vote:

affirmative: Bonnycastle; Negative: Davis, Tucker, Rogers, Harrison, Emmet, Warner.

The Chairman read to the Faculty the terms which under the authority of the Faculty had offered to the students who propose to organize a military corps.

A motion was made, seconded, and passed that Thomas H. Morris, captain of the proposed military corps be sent for.

Mr. Morris appeared and said that the company had neither agreed nor disagreed to the terms proposed by the Chairman. They did not consider them binding. No action had been taken on them; he further said that the conditions prescribed by the Faculty had been read to the Company, but not agreed to by them. On being asked the reason, he said that the company do not admit the right of the Faculty to prescribe terms of organization to the company, and that they do not intend acting until after the Faculty have acted.

Mr. Bonnycastle then proposed the following resolution which was seconded and passed unanimously:

A portion of the students having formed themselves into a military corps without the permission of the Faculty and their Captain having stated before that body the opinion of the aid students that they exist as a military company without the authority of the aforesaid Faculty, whose power to prescribe terms of organization they deny, Therefore,

Resolved, that the Chairman be requested to inform the body of the students aforesaid, that the proposed Military Corps does not exist, and that in consequence those having muskets in their possession and not immediately removing them, will be considered as violation the laws regarding the bringing and keeping fire arms within the precincts.

The Faculty then adjourned

J. A. G. Davis, Chairman

APA Citation:
Davis, John. Meeting of the Faculty (November 9, 1836). (2020, December 07). In Encyclopedia Virginia.
MLA Citation:
Davis, John. "Meeting of the Faculty (November 9, 1836)" Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, (07 Dec. 2020). Web. 19 Jul. 2024
Last updated: 2020, December 07
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