Robert E. Rogers to William B. Rogers (1)
February 3, 1861

Robert E. Rogers explains to his brother his efforts to preserve order among his students in spite of the tensions escalating between students from different parts of the country in early 1861.

February 3, 1861.

My Dear William,…Since the first of January I have been lecturing, often five times a week, and never less than four times, which, with the work of preparing the Catalogue and getting ready the notices for the candidates, has kept me much occupied….The past three or four weeks have been a period of very considerable anxiety on account of the feverish state of our class, growing out of the agitated condition of the country. It has required unusual vigilance on my part to prevent collisions between those coming from different sections. Two weeks ago, but for my being in the building and immediately presenting myself in their midst, and demanding that they should respect the University and in no way intrude their political quarrels into its halls, we should have had a desperate and general fight. The cause was, in the beginning, a most trivial one,—a mere passing word. But the excitement flashed throughout the class almost in an instant, just as Dr. Pepper was commencing his lecture. When quiet was restored and better reflections prevailed, I was called upon by friends from the two sides and assured that the scene should not recur….


Emma Savage Barton and William T. Sedgwick, eds., Life and Letters of William Barton Rogers, Vol. 2 (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1896), 66-67.