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Benjamin Sherwood Hedrick:
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Ed. by Hamilton, Joseph Grégoire de Roulhac, 1878-1961


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Source Description:
(title page) Benjamin Sherwood Hedrick
(series title) The James Sprunt Historical Publications, Published under the Direction of The North Carolina Historical Society, J.G. de Roulhac Hamilton, Henry McGilbert Wagstaff, Editors, Vol. 10, No. 1
(running title) James Sprunt Historical Monographs
(running title) Benjamin Sherwood Hedrick
42 p.
Chapel Hill, N.C.
The University
1910

Call number Cp970 J28 v. 10 no. 1 (North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)



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THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA

The James Sprunt Historical Publications
PUBLISHED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF
The North Carolina Historical Society

J. G. DE ROULHAC HAMILTON
HENRY MCGILBERT WAGSTAFF Editors
VOL. 10 No. 1
CONTENTS

Benjamin Sherwood Hedrick

CHAPEL HILL, N. C.
PUBLISHED BY THE UNIVERSITY
1910


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THE UNIVERSITY PRESS
CHAPEL HILL, N.C.


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PREFACE

        The letters and documents bearing on the Hedrick case have been gathered by the author from various sources and are here printed with only such editorial additions as seemed necessary to preserve the connection and make the story clear. While the events narrated are part of the history of the University of North Carolina, they also seem to be so illustrative of typical Southern conditions in the late fifties as to be of interest to all students of the period.

        The author, or more properly, the editor, wishes to make grateful acknowledgment of the kindness of Mr. R. D. W. Connor, Secretary of the North Carolina Historical Commission, and Mr. H. M. Lydenberg, Reference Librarian of the Astor Library, in securing material for him.

Chapel Hill, N. C., December 14th, 1910.


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BENJAMIN SHERWOOD HEDRICK

        One of the greatest evils of the system of American slavery was the denial in the South of freedom of speech and of opinion in regard to it. As the question entered politics the evil became intensified until it was almost unbearable. This violation of one of the fundamental principles of American doctrine was indeed a late development and was largely the result of outside pressure. Washington, Jefferson, Clay, and a host of other distinguished sons of Southern States were frank in their opposition to the institution. The American Colonization Society had many members in the South and emancipation societies for many years throve mightily in the midst of slavery. One of these in North Carolina had more than thirty branches in various towns with a large and quite an influential membership. In North Carolina, indeed, considerable opposition was to be expected. Slavery was never so profitable there as in the neighboring States and the institution never established so firm a hold upon its people. The presence, too, of many of the Society of Friends and the influence exerted by them also contributed to arouse an active opposition. But with the growth of hostile abolition sentiment in the North and the consequent attacks upon the South, the expression of sentiments inimical to slavery became of rare occurrence and North Carolina like the other Southern States soon reached the point of refusing to tolerate any utterance of anti-slavery opinion.

        After 1850, however, it is apparent that opposition was growing. In the main it sprang from the small farmer and working man who saw in slavery a bar to progress for himself and his children. Thousands of such men left the State for the Northwest to build their lives anew and to hand down to their children an undying hatred of the institution which they regarded as a blight upon the land of their nativity. This opposition was not based upon moral grounds nor did solicitude for the negro have


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anything to do with it. The explanation of it was to be found only in economic and social conditions springing out of its existence. The wrong of slavery was not to the slave, but to the non-slaveholder,--to labor generally.

        This anti-slavery sentiment in the State found expression in 1857 in Hinton Rowan Helper's Impending Crisis, a most remarkable book and one entirely representative of a large body of opinion, unorganized, unconscious of its power, but slowly coming to a clear conception of the burden which slavery imposed upon the South and upon their own class in particular. But for John Brown's raid and the rapid progress of the States to civil war, North Carolina of the sixties would probably have been interesting as the scene of a fierce internal contest over slavery with the odds in favor of its gradual emancipation.

        One of the most interesting chapters in this unorganized anti-slavery movement is to be found in the case of Benjamin Sherwood Hedrick, Professor of Chemistry in the University of North Carolina.

        Mr. Hedrick was born near Salisbury, in what is now Davidson county, but was then a part of Rowan, on February 13, 1827. He was of German stock, his great-grandfather, Peter Hedrick, having come to the State in the German migration from Pennsylvania. His father, John Leonard Hedrick, was a farmer and builder who by energy and thrift had reached a position of prosperity and comfort. His mother was Elizabeth Sherwood.

        After going to school for some years in the neighborhood of his home, Hedrick went to Lexington, N. C., where he attended a school taught by the Rev. Jesse Rankin. Here he became much interested in his work and formed the determination to go to college. Entering the sophomore class of the University of North Carolina in 1848, he graduated in 1851 with first honors. He took an especially high stand in mathematical studies and was recommended by President Swain to ex-Governor William A. Graham, then Secretary of the Navy, who appointed him to a clerkship in the office of the Nautical Almanac. He was stationed at Cambridge, Massachusetts, and took


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advantage of this opportunity to take advanced work in chemistry and mathematics under Horsford and Peirce and also attended the lectures of Agassiz.

        In 1852 he was offered a position at Davidson College and at the same time President Swain wrote him that he was being considered for a new chair at the University. The department was Chemistry applied to Agriculture and the Arts. A letter to Governor Swain explains his motives in accepting the position.

B. S. Hedrick to D. L. Swain.

Cambridge, December 13, 1852.

My Dear Sir:--

        Yours of the 8th inst. was received this morning, and as you know most of the reasons which would induce me either to accept or decline the place you have in view, I can answer you in a few words. I am writing that you should use my name before the Trustees if they can offer a compensation which you believe I ought to accept. You know what they offer me at Davidson. My present employment will probably bring me as much money as any offer I have had, and offers as wide a field as the ambition of any one need desire. But it has been my intention from the first to return to Carolina as soon as I could have a fair opportunity.

        As I have never given any time to drawing and the practical parts of engineering I think I should not now change my course of study as much as would be necessary to qualify myself in these branches. I should prefer to teach Chemistry and Physics--would not object to any of the branches of Mathematical Science except those above mentioned.

        I have not had official notice of my election at Davidson, and am in no way committed to them. Though it is probable I shall accept there if I do not go to the University. For they seem disposed to do the best they can to obtain me, and as a Carolinian I cannot well refuse them. Tho' by no means assured that it would be doing the best for myself.

        Please let me know the result of the action of the Trustees as early as practicable.

Most respectfully yours,

B. S. Hedrick.

Hon. David L. Swain, Raleigh, N. C.


        Mr. Hedrick was brought up in a family and community in which anti-slavery feeling was common and his life at the North had tended to strengthen his belief that slavery was an evil. But when he entered upon his duties in 1854 he took no part in the constant discussions of the subject and devoted


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himself with great success to building up a strong department. The campaign of 1856 was one of intense excitement in North Carolina and feeling ran high. In politics, Mr. Hedrick had always been a Democrat and in the State elections in August he voted that ticket. Rumors, however, of his inclination towards the new and hated "black" Republican party went abroad and on September 17, the following editorial appeared in the North Carolina Standard, the organ of the Democratic party and easily the most influential paper in the State, whose editor, William W. Holden, was the leader of pro-slavery and secession sentiment in North Carolina.

FREMONT IN THE SOUTH

        Can it be possible that there are men in the South who prefer Fremont for the Presidency, or who would acquiesce in his election? The New York Herald boasts that there are already Electoral tickets in Virginia, Kentucky, and Maryland; and it adds, "Texas and North Carolina will probably soon follow suit." This is a vile slander on the Southern people. No Fremont Electoral ticket can be formed in North Carolina--mark that! It may be that there are traitors here and there, in this State, as there were tories in the Revolution, who would thus deliver up their native land to the fury of the fanatic and the torch of the incendiary; but they are few and far between. They do not number more than one in one hundred.

        The election of Fremont would inevitably lead to a separation of the States. Even if no overt or direct act of dissolution should take place, he could not carry on the government in the South. No true or decent Southern man would accept office under him; and our people would never submit to have their postoffices, custom houses and the like, filled with Fremont's Yankee abolitionists. We would not expect nor ask the Northern people to submit in a similar case--and we will not submit. Suppose, for example, the Southern people, having the power to elect a President, should nominate a candidate on sectional grounds, pledge to wield all the powers of the federal government to extend and propagate domestic slavery and pledge to measures of gross aggression, without regard to the Constitution, or the rights and property of the Northern people; and suppose they should elect such a candidate--what would the North do? They would resist it, and they ought to resist it. They would regard it as a vital dissolution of the Union, and would act accordingly. The Union can neither be administered nor can it exist on sectional grounds.

        If there be Fremont men among us, let them be silenced or required to leave. The expression of black Republican opinions in our midst, is incompatible with our honor and safety as a people. If at all necessary, we shall refer to this matter again. Let our schools and seminaries of learning be scrutinized; and if black Republicans be found in them, let them be driven out. That man is neither a fit nor a safe instructor of our young men, who even inclines to Fremont and black Republicanism.



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        On September 29th, the Standard published under the signature "An Alumnus" the following letter written by John A. Engelhard, a law student in the University who had been an honor graduate in 1854:

COMMUNICATIONS

FREMONT IN THE SOUTH

        Messrs. Editors:--We have noticed with pleasure that Southern fathers are beginning to feel the necessity of educating their sons south of Mason and Dixon's line. The catalogues of Yale and other Northern armories of Sharpe's rifles, have but few (shame upon those few) Southern names. The importance of emanicipating our young men from the baneful influences of the North--and no where is this influence more zealously exerted and powerfully felt than in Northern colleges and under black Republican teachers--has taken firm hold on our people; and we notice, with a high degree of gratitude to Bishop Polk of Louisiana, that the clergy and the church are in a fair way of taking concerted measures for more fully bringing about an object so much desired.* We have every reason to believe that unless the course of the North very materially changes--and we are forced to say, we see no immediate chance for such a result--there will be inaugurated at the South a system of education congenial to our institutions.

        We are proud of such names as Harvard and Yale; and feel that such benefactors of the human race should be held in everlasting remembrance by a grateful country. But their laudable objects are being frustrated by the fanatics that have obtained possession of the government of the schools their charity has founded, for the benefit equally of the slave owner and the slave hirer. At the former, the South is insulted by the dismissal of an instructor for performing his constitutional duty as judge; and at the latter the Southern young men see their professors and fellow students, in the name of the college--nay, of the very class of which they are members--buying religious rifles to shoot their own brothers that may be seeking honorable and profitable employment in Kansas. These colleges have been turned from their legitimate channels and been perverted into strongholds of fanaticism; and from being links of union between all parts of our country, have become hot-houses for the nurture of artificial statesmen of the Garrisonian school and manufactories of "bleeding Kansas" tragedies.

        Then, when our fathers and guardians see such a state of things it is not to be wondered at that our Southern colleges are so largely attended, and Southern seminaries of all grades full to overflowing.

        The cause is palpable--a determination to free ourselves from Northern thraldom and stop the revenue accruing to their abolition treasuries from the labor of Southern slaves. It is a praiseworthy object; and we glory to see this great reaction in the proportionate


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numbers of Northern and Southern schools.

        But the question occurs, are we entirely rid of Northern influence in the South? Can North Carolina tell the world that her seminaries of learning are free from the corrupting influences of black Republicanism, and Southerners can receive Southern education unmixed with instructions hostile to the feelings and opinions their parents have instilled into them? Nay, can the Trustees of our State University invite pupils to the institution under their charge with the assurance that this main stream of education contains no deadly poison at its fountain head? Can boys be taken from Northern colleges and transferred to our University with perfect security?

        We have been led to these considerations, Messrs. Editors, by an article headed "Fremont in the South" in a late issue of the Standard, and more particularly the following closing paragraph:

        "If there be Fremont men among us, let them be silenced or required to leave. The expression of black Republican opinions in our midst is incompatible with our honor and safety as a people.

        "If at all necessary we shall refer to this matter again. Let our schools and seminaries of learning be scrutinized; and if black Republicans be found in them let them be driven out. That man is neither a fit nor a safe instructor of our young men, who even inclines to Fremont and black Republicanism." We were very much gratified to notice this article in your paper at this particular time; for we have been reliably informed that a professor at our State University is an open and avowed supporter of Fremont, and declares his willingness--nay, his desire--to support the black Republican ticket; and the want of a Fremont electoral ticket in North Carolina is the only barrier to this Southern professor from carrying out his patriotic wishes. Is he a fit or safe instructor for our young men?

        If our information be entirely correct in regard to the political tendencies and Fremont bias of this professor, ought he not to be "required to leave", at least dismissed from a situation where his poisonous influence is so powerful, and his teachings so antagonistical to the "honor and safety" of the University and the State? Where is the creative power? To them we appeal. Have they no restrictive clause in the selection of instructors or limiting code in regard to their actions?

        If the Trustees or Faculty have no powers in regard to the matter in question, we think if a fit object of early legislation at the next meeting of our General Assembly. This ought and must be looked to. We must have certain security, under existing relations of North with South, that at State Universities at least we will have no canker worm preying at the very vitals of Southern institutions.

        Upon what ground can a Southern instructor relying for his support upon Southern money, selected to impart healthy instruction to the sons of Southern slave owners, and indebted for his situation to a Southern State, excuse his support of Fremont, with a platform which eschews the fathers of his pupils and the State from whose University he received his station and from whose treasury he supports his family?

        Does he tell the young men that he is in favor of a man for the Presidency, nominated by men whom their fathers could not nor would not sit in Convention with; placed upon a platform hostile to their every interest; its separate planks put together by the vilest Southern-haters of the North, upon which all the isms of Yankeedom find aid


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and comfort; whose Cabinet, in the event of his election, would be composed of such men as Speaker Banks, who is willing to "let the Union slide;" and Mr. "Niagara" Burlingame, who demands an "anti-slavery Bible and an anti-slavery God;" whose orators belch forth vile slanders upon the South under flags whose venomous folds reveal but sixteen stars, and whose torch-light processions do not "march under the flag nor keep step to the music of the Union"? Does he read the following extract taken from his candidate's letter accepting the nomination: "I am opposed to slavery in the abstract and upon principle, sustained and made habitual by long-settled convictions?" Are these the doctrines he advocates to young men, two-thirds of whose property consists in slaves?

        It cannot be denied by any person cognizant of college influences, that each professor has his quota of friends and admirers among the students, and their minds are to a certain degree, upon general subjects, merely daguerrotypes of his opinions. This is natural. The student is young, and the instructors are placed over them, in loco parentis, to guide them correctly; and the young graduate leaves with opinions moulded by his instructors that will cling to him through life.

        We ask, are we correctly informed concerning the political inclination and expressed opinions of this professor? If not, we hope to be corrected; and if we are, we call upon the proper authorities to take action, for the sake of the prosperity of our Alma Mater and the good of the State.

AN ALUMNUS.


        * This refers to the discussion then going on as to the establishment of the University of the South. The plan was carried out and the University founded at Sewanee, Tennessee. One of the main ideas of its founders, Bishops Polk of Louisiana and Otey of Tennessee, both alumni of the University of North Carolina, was that here some practical solution of the slavery problem might be worked out.


        It was plainly directed at Mr. Hedrick and he was of a spirit that could not endure to be attacked without making any reply. He considered the matter carefully and, although urged to let the matter stand, became convinced that he should answer the communication. He accordingly sent his "Defence" to the Standard, which on October 4th, published it with this editorial comment:

        "As a matter of justice to Mr. Hedrick, we publish today what he styles his "Defence" against the charge of being a black Republican. There is not a point made or presented in this Defence which could not be triumphantly met and exposed; but surely it cannot be expected of us, or of our correspondent, "An Alumnus," or any citizen of the State, to argue with a black Republican. The Professor closes his Defence with the opinion that "those who prefer to denounce" him "should at least support their charges with their names." The author of "An Alumnus" is a gentleman of high character, and entirely responsible for what he has said, or may say. He is a resident of this place, and his name can be found out if at all necessary.

        We adhere to our opinion recently expressed in the Standard. The expression of black Republican opinions in our midst is incompatible with our honor and safety as a people. That man is neither a fit nor a safe instructor of our young men, whoever inclines to befriend black Republicanism.

        This is a matter however, for the Trustees of the University. We take it for granted that Professor Hedrick will be promptly removed.


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PROFESSOR HEDRICK'S DEFENCE

        Messrs. Editors:--In the last "Standard," I see a communication, signed "Alumnus." Although my name is not mentioned therein, still I suppose there is little doubt that it was all intended for me. Now, politics not being my trade, I feel some hesitation in appearing before the public, especially at a time like this, when there seems to be a greater desire on the part of those who give direction to public opinion to stir up strife and hatred, than to cultivate feelings of respect and kindness. But, lest my silence be misinterpreted, I will reply, as briefly as possible to this, as it appears to me, uncalled-for attack on my politics.

        Then, to make the matter short, I say I am in favor of the election of Fremont to the Presidency; and these are my reasons for my preference:

        1st. Because I like the man. He was born and educated at the South. He has lived at the North and the West, and therefore has an opportunity of being acquainted with our people,--an advantage not possessed by his competitors. He is known and honored both at home and abroad. He has shown his love of his country by unwavering devotion to its interests. And whether teaching school for the support of his widowed mother, or exploring the wilds of the great West; whether enlarging the boundaries of science or acquiring for our country the "golden State"; whether establishing a constitution for this youngest daughter of the Union, or occupying a seat in the Senate of the Nation,--in every position, and under all circumstances,--whether demanding heroic daring or prudent council, he has always possessed the courage to undertake, and the wisdom to carry through. In reference to the value of his services in California, Mr. Buchanan says, "he bore a conspicuous part in the conquest of California, and in my opinion is better entitled to be called the conqueror of California than any other man." For such services and such ability, I love to do him honor. "Platforms" and principles are good enough in their places; but for the Presidential chair, the first requisite is the man.

        2nd. Because Fremont is on the right side of the great question which now disturbs the public peace. Opposition to slavery extension is neither a Northern nor a Southern sectional ism. It originated with the great Southern statesmen of the Revolution. Washington, Jefferson, Patrick Henry, Madison, and Randolph were all opposed to slavery in the abstract, and were all opposed to admitting it into new territory. One of the early acts of the patriots of the Revolution was to pass the ordinance of "87" by which slavery was excluded from all the territories we then possessed. This was going farther than the Republicans of the present day claim. Many of these great men were slaveholders; but they did not let self interest blind them to the evils of the system.

        Jefferson says that slavery exerts an evil influence both on the whites and the blacks; but he was opposed to the abolition of slavery, by which the slaves would be turned loose among the whites. In his autobiography he says: "Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate, than that these people are to be free; nor is it less certain that the two races, equally free, cannot live in the same government. Nature, habit, opinion, have drawn indelible lines between them." Among the evils which he says slavery brings upon the whites, is to make them tyrannical and idle. "With the morals of the people their industry also is destroyed. For in a warm climate no man will labor


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for himself who can make another labor for him. This is true, that of the proprietors of slaves a very small proportion indeed, are ever seen to labor." What was true in Jefferson's time is true now. I might go on and give "Alumnus" every week from now to the election, a column of good "black Republican" documents, all written by the most eminent Southern statesmen, beginning with Washington, and including nearly all of eminence for ability, virtue, and patriotism, and coming down to our own times. No longer ago than 1850, Henry Clay declared in the Senate--"I never can and never will vote, and no earthly power ever will make me vote to spread slavery over territory where it does not exist." At the same time that Clay was opposed to slavery, he was, like Fremont, opposed to the least interference by the general government, with slavery in the States where it does exist.

        Should there be any interference with subjects belonging to State policy, either by other States or by the federal government, no one will be more ready than myself, to defend the "good old North," my native State. But with Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Henry, Randolph, Clay, and Webster for political teachers, I cannot believe that slavery is preferable to freedom, or that slavery extension is one of the constitutional rights of the South. If "Alumnus" thinks that Calhoun, or any other, was a wiser statesman or better Southerner than either Washington or Jefferson, he is welcome to his opinion. I shall not attempt to abridge his liberty in the least. But my own opinions I will have, whether he is willing to grant me that right of every free man or not. I believe that I have had quite as good an opportunity as he has to form an opinion on the questions now to be settled. And when "Alumnus" talks of "driving me out" for sentiments once held by these great men, I cannot help thinking that he is becoming rather fanatical.

        For the information of "Alumnus" I will state that he has put himself to unnecessary trouble in blazoning this matter before the public. The whole subject belongs exclusively to the jurisdiction of the Trustees of the University. They are men of integrity and influence, and have at heart the best interests of the University. There is no difficulty in bringing this, or any other question relating to the Faculty or students, before them. "Alumnus" has also made another mistake, in supposing that the Faculty take upon themselves to influence the political opinions of the students. The students come to College generally, with their party politics already fixed; and it is exceedingly rare for them to change while here. It has, however, been often remarked that a very violent partizan at College, is pretty sure to "turn over" before he has left College long. I have been connected with our University, as student and Professor, for six years, and am free to say that I know no institution, North or South, from which partizan politics and sectarian religion are so entirely excluded. And yet we are too often attacked by the bigots of both. For my own part, I do not know the politics of more than one in a hundred of the students, except that I might infer to which party they belonged, from a knowledge of the politics of their fathers. And they would not have known my own predilections in the present contest, had not one of their number asked me which one of the candidates I preferred.

        But, if "Alumnus" would understand the state of things here


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correctly, he had better make a visit to the University. He would find each member of the Faculty busy teaching in his own department, whether of science or literature; and that party politics is one of the branches which we leave the student to study at some other place and time. If "Alumnus" does conclude to visit us, there is another matter to which I might direct his attention. The two societies here, to the one or the other of which all the students belong, have each a very good library, and in those libraries are to be found the "complete works" of many of our great statesmen.

        Now, for fear that the minds of the students may be "poisoned" by reading some of these staunch old patriots, would it be well for "Alumnus" to exert himself, through the Legislature or otherwise, to "drive" them out of the libraries? It is true the works of Calhoun are in the same case with those of Jefferson; but from appearances, the Virginian seems to be read pretty often, whilst the South Carolinian maintains a posture of "masterly inactivity." When I was a student in College, a few years ago, the young politicians used to debate in the "Halls" of the societies, the same questions which the old politicians were debating in the Halls of Congress. The side which opposed slavery in the abstract, generally had the books in their favor, and as the records of the societies will show, they had quite often "the best of the argument." So that when Col. Fremont said that he was "opposed to slavery in the abstract and upon principle, sustained and made habitual by long-settled convictions," he but uttered the sentiments of four-fifths of the best Southern patriots from the Revolution down to the present day; and I may add, of the majority of the people among whom I was born and educated. Of my neighbors, friends, and kindred, nearly one-half left the State since I was old enough to remember. Many is the time I have stood by the loaded emigrant wagon, and given the parting hand to those whose face I was never to look upon again. They were going to seek homes in the free West, knowing, as they did, that free and slave labor could not both exist and prosper in the same community. If any one thinks that I speak without knowledge, let him refer to the last census. He will here find, that in 1850, there were fifty-eight thousand native North Carolinians living in the free States of the West. Thirty-three thousand in Indiana alone. There were, at the same time, one hundred and eighty thousand Virginians living in free States. Now, if these people were so much in love with the "institution" why did they not remain where they could enjoy its blessings? It is not, however, my object to attack the institution of slavery. But even the most zealous defender of the patriarchial institution cannot shut his eyes to a few facts. One is, that in nearly all the slave States there is a deficiency of labor. Since the abolition of the African slave trade, there is no source for obtaining a supply, except from the natural increase. For this reason, among others, a gentleman of South Carolina, in an article published in BeBow's Review for August, 1856, advocates a dissolution of the Union in order that the African slave trade may be revived. From North Carolina and Virginia nearly the entire increase of the slave population during the last twenty years, has been sent off to the new States of the Southwest. In my boyhood I lived on one of the great thoroughfares of travel, (near Lock's Bridge on the Yadkin River) and have seen as many as two thousand in a single day, going South, mostly in the hands of speculators. Now, the loss of these two


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thousands did the State a greater injury than would the shipping off of a million dollars. I think I may ask any sensible man how we are to grow rich and prosper, while "driving out" a million dollars a day. I am glad, however, to say that the ruinous policy is not now carried on to such an extent as it has been. But there is still too much of it. I have very little doubt that if the slaves which are now scattered thinly over Tennessee, Kentucky, and Missouri, were back in Virginia and North Carolina, it would be better for all concerned. These old States could then go on and develop the immense wealth which must remain locked for many years to come. Whilst the new States, free from a system which degrades white labor, would become a land of Common schools, thrift and industry, equal if not superior to any in the Union. But letting that be as it may, still no one can deny that here in North Carolina we need more men, rather than more land. Then why go to war to make more slave States, when we have too much territory already, for the force we have to work it? Our fathers fought for freedom, and one of the tyrannical acts which they threw in the teeth of Great Britian was that she forced slavery upon the Colonies against their will. Now, the secessionists are trying to dissolve the Union because they are not permitted to establish slavery in the Territory of Kansas. If the institution of slavery is a good and desirable thing in itself, it is the easiest thing in the world for the people to vote for its introduction at any time after they have formed a Constitution and been admitted as a State. If it is not a thing good and desirable, it would be an act of great oppression to force it upon them. For, however any one may lament the evils of slavery, it is almost impossible to get rid of the system when once introduced. Nullify it by law if you will, still the evil remains, perhaps aggravated. But in a new State a few words in the Constitution may prevent the entire evil from entering.

        From my knowledge of the people of North Carolina, I believe that the majority of them who will go to Kansas during the next five years, would prefer that it should be a free State. I am sure that if I were to go there I should vote to exclude slavery. In doing so I believe that I should advance the best interest of Kansas, and at the same time benefit North Carolina and Virginia, by preventing the carrying of slaves who may be more profitably employed at home.

        Born in the "good old North State", I cherish a love for her and her people that I bear to no other State or people. It will ever be my sincere wish to advance her intrests. I love also the Union of the States, secured as it was by the blood of my ancestors; and whatever influence I possess, though small it may be, shall be exerted for its preservation. I do not claim infallibility for my opinions. Wiser and better men have been mistaken. But holding as I do the doctrines once advocated by Washington and Jefferson, I think I should be met by argument and not by denunciation. At any rate, those who prefer to denounce me should at least support their charges by their own name.

B. S. HEDRICK.

Chapel Hill, October 1st, 1856.

        The "Defence" caused such excitement that a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees was called at


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once to consider the case. Its proceedings will appear from the following letter from the Secretary of the Board of Trustees:

Charles Manly to David Lowrie Swain.

Raleigh, October 4th, 1856.

My dear Governor:

        The political essay of Professor Hedrick which appeared in the Standard yesterday has given great pain to the Trustees and Friends of the University. No apology nor justification has been heard in his defence. At the meeting of the Executive Committee today a resolution was offered requesting him to resign and in case of refusal to dismiss him peremptorily.

        But other counsels prevailed, the opinions and advice of other Trustees here, not members of the Committee, were heard, the resolution was withdrawn and it was finally agreed unanimously that you shall be requested to use your influence in persuading him to resign. Indeed, I was requested to go up to the Hill and to co-operate with you in bringing about this result. But my health is bad, I have little acquaintance with Mr. Hedrick and I can't see what I could do by going.

        If he has any sensibility or proper self-respect an intimation that it is the wish of the Trustees that he shall resign, will be sufficient; but if he wishes to be dismissed; that he may fly to Yankeedom as the great proscribed: and find refuge in the bosom of Black Republicans with the blood of martyrdom streaming from his skirts, then he will not resign but will wait to be kicked out. I hope therefore that you will put on your Diplomatic Cap and manage this thing right.

        If it were not so painful for me to sit up long and write, I would give you a full page on the utter want of tact, good taste, prudence and common sense in Hedrick's writing and publishing such an Essay on the eve of a heated political Campaign.

        He is without excuse and is bound to go overboard--but the thing is to do this with the least damage to him and with the least noise and damage to the Institution.

Faithfully your friend,

CHAS. MANLY.*


        * Charles Manly was a graduate of the University in the class of 1814. He was a lawyer by profession and had served one term, 1848 to 1850, as governor of the State. He was Secretary and Treasurer of the University from 1821 to 1848 and from 1851 to 1869. He died in 1871.


        On October 6, the Faculty of the University met to discuss the matter. The following is the record of their proceedings:

University of North Carolina.
Chapel Hill, Oct. 6, 1856.

        The Faculty met at 12 o'clock, M., under a summons from the President. Present, Hon. David L. Swain, President; Professors E. Mitchell,


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J. Phillips, M. Fetter, F. M. Hubbard, J. T. Wheat, A. M. Shipp, C. Phillips, B. S. Hedrick, A. G. Brown; Instructor, H. Herrissee; Tutors, S. Pool, J. B. Lucas, R. H. Battle and W. H. Wetmore.

        The President stated to the Faculty that he felt himself called upon to direct their attention to the publication of Prof. Hedrick, in the North Carolina Standard of Saturday. Very few remarks, he said, will suffice in relation to the present subject.

        In an institution sustained like this, by all denominations and parties, nothing should be permitted to be done, calculated to disturb the harmonious intercourse of those who support and those who direct and govern it. And this is well known to have been our policy and practice, during a long series of years. Mr. Hedrick's testimony that "as student and Professor" he has known "no institution, North or South, from which partizan politics and sectarian religion are so carefully excluded," will be received with perfect credence by our graduates and by all familiar with the state of things among us.

        To secure an end so essential to the reputation, prosperity, and usefulness of the University, cautious forbearance has been practiced by the Faculty, and enjoined upon the students, in relation to these subjects. The sermons, delivered on the Sabbath, in the College Chapel, have been confined to an exhibition of the leading doctrines of Christianity, with respect to which no difference of opinion exists among us; and no student, during the last twenty years, has been permitted to discuss upon the public stage any question of party politics. This course upon the part of all, has been regarded as not merely necessary to internal harmony and quiet--in unison with kind feeling and good taste, but as due to numbers of persons of different tenets and opinions, who honor us with their attendance upon our public exercises, and have a right to respectful consideration.

        On motion of Dr. Mitchell, seconded by Prof. Fetter, the President's communications was referred to a committee, consisting of Dr. Mitchell, Dr. Phillips and Prof. Hubbard, who reported the following resolutions:

        Resolved, That the course pursued by Prof. Hedrick, as set forth in his publication in the North Carolina Standard of the 4th inst., is not warranted by our usages; and the political opinions expressed, are not those entertained by any other member of this body.

        Resolved, That while we feel bound to declare our sentiments freely upon this occasion, we entertain none other than feelings of personal respect and kindness for the subject of them; and sincerely regret the indiscretion into which he seems, in this instance, to have fallen.

        After a brief discussion, the resolutions were adopted by the following vote: Ayes--Messrs. Mitchell, Phillips, Fetter, Hubbard, Wheat, Shipp, C. Phillips, Brown, Pool, Lucas, Battle, and Wetmore. Nay--Mr. Herrissee, who said that he voted in the negative, "simply on the ground that the Faculty is neither charged with black Republicanism, nor likely to be suspected of it."

        On motion of Dr. Wheat, seconded by Prof. Shipp, the Secretary was directed to transmit a copy of the foregoing proceedings of the Faculty to the Trustees of the University.



        * Standard, October 11, 1856.


        President Swain forwarded them to Charles Manly with the following letter:


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David L. Swain to Charles Manly.

Chapel Hill, 6 Oct., 1856.

My dear Sir:

        You will receive by the present mail, the proceedings of the Faculty in relation to the publication of Prof. Hedrick. It seems to me to be important that the opinion of the Faculty, on the subject to which the proceedings were advanced be placed before the public, without delay, and I would have had a copy sent to Mr. Holden at once if I had not supposed it would be more respectful to submit that to the Executive Committee in the first action.

        If a meeting of the Committee cannot be had immediately or whether it can or cannot, you may if you deem it proper send them to the Editor of the Standard forthwith.

        I somewhat feared an outbreak on the receipt of the Standard, condemning Prof. Hedrick's communication, and there was a noisy demonstration on Saturday night. It did not amount to much, however. I addressed the whole body of students on the subject Sunday morning and have reason to suppose that things will go on quietly. I perceive no symptoms of excitement at present.

Yours very sincerely,

D. L. SWAIN.

Gov. Manly.


        The resolutions were published in the Standard, which commented as follows:

Proceedings of the Faculty of the University*

        We publish today, by request of the Faculty and the Executive Committee of the Board of Trstees, the proceedings of the Faculty in relation to Mr. Hedrick.

        It is unquestionably true, as stated by Mr. Herrissee, that the "Faculty is neither charged with black Republicanism nor likely to be suspected of it,"--yet, it seems to us, they have adopted a course in this matter which is entirely proper, and which must receive general public approval.

        It was natural that the conduct of Mr. Hedrick should excite anxiety in the minds of the President and Faculty; and in promptly repudiating both his conduct and his dangerous and unconstitutional political opinions, they have not only guarded themselves in advance against the remotest suspicion of sympathizing with him in his views, but they have shown themselves faithful to the people of the State, whose University is their immediate charge, and have met, we doubt not, the expectations, as their proceedings will receive the unanimous approval of the Board of Trustees.

        Gov. Swain, in his communication to the Faculty, has stated nothing more nor less than the truth of history, in relation to the University and partizan politics and sectarian religion. The institution has habitually avoided both; and herein has it found one of the main elements of its prosperity and constantly increasing usefulness.

        Nothing remains now but to cut off, if it should be necessary, the


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offending member. Mr. Hedrick, it seems, was present at the meeting of the Faculty on the 6th; and it is not stated that he withdrew from the meeting. Almost anyone, it seems to us, would have resigned at once; but either he does not appreciate the delicacy of his situation, or he is waiting to be dismissed, so that he may become "a lion" at Cambridge, or in some other black Republican circle. It is obvious that his usefulness as a Professor in our University, is gone; and the sooner he leaves it, or is discharged from it, the better for the institution itself and for the character of the State.

        We learn from a young friend at Chapel Hill, that on Saturday night last Mr. Hedrick was burnt in effigy in the College Campus, and the bell was tolled until the effigy was consumed. Much indignation was excited on the receipt of the Standard containing his letter. We learn from the friend referred to, that Mr. Hedrick was of the opinion that we had some agency in this--that we urged the students to this course, furnished the materials for the effigy, etc. Nothing could be more unfounded than this imputation. We have had no communication with anyone in Chapel Hill, or elsewhere, in relation to Mr. Hedrick's conduct. We brought the charge against him of treason to his section and to the Constitution; and we published his "Defence". Our motto is, "Strike, but hear." His "Defence," though ingenious, impudent, and highly objectionable, is not seditious; and so as we had brought the charge against him, we allowed him a hearing. In this we did right. Yet, though all his arguments might have been easily answered, and all his Freesoil views dissipated by the touch of truth, we offered no reply, because we do not choose to argue with a black Republican. We argue with no man who proposes to degrade us, or who approaches us with hostile intent and deadly weapon. That is the reason we made no reply to Mr. Hedrick. But we studiously refrained from uttering anything calculated to excite the students against him; and we regret that they burnt him in effigy. We sympathize with them in their very natural and very just feelings of indignation; yet they are under authority now, as they may expect to be in authority hereafter, as men; and it is highly important that order and decorum should be preserved at the University. Besides, any violence which may be offered to Mr. Hedrick--every act, holding him up to public scorn, will only tend to his advantage and advancement among his black Republican associates of the free States. Let no young gentleman in the University conclude, for a moment, that we are attempting a lecture. That is neither our province nor our duty. We are only uttering our honest views as to the proper course to be observed. Let the Professor be, he feels acutely enough his indiscretion, his sin, without hisses and effigies. We feel confident, and so assure the students, that the Executive Committee will perform their whole duty. The stain will be wiped out--the University will not be injured, and peace and good feeling will be speedily restored.


        * Standard, October 11, 1856.


        The same day Mr. Hedrick wrote to Governor Bragg in explanation of the whole matter.

B. S. Hedrick to Thomas Bragg.

Chapel Hill, Oct. 6, 1856.

Dear Sir:--

        As the course which I have taken in publishing the letter which


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appeared in the Standard of the 4th inst. may appear to some, extraordinary, I hope a simple statement of the reasons which have induced me to take this step will be kindly received.

        At the State election in August I went to the polls to give my vote. One of the students (Mr. Cozart) was in the window at which the votes were taken, and over-looked my vote as I handed it in. Seeing it to agree with his own opinions in Politics (Democratic) he remarked "that is alright." While leaving the place of voting I was met by several students, who began to question me as to how I had voted, how I should vote for President, etc. I told them that I did not know that I should vote for President at all. One asked whether if there were a Fremont ticket I would support it. I said I would. Another (Mr. Mullens) asked whether in case the South were attacked by the North I would support the North. I said, no, I am of the South and for the South, that against any force from without the South would he a unit. About this time a returned Mexican volunteer came up, (he had been drinking evidently) and began to talk pretty loud. He said that if the rich folks got into a war about the negroes they might fight it out themselves. That when he volunteered to go to Mexico, a good many such men put their names down, and then took them off as soon as the Company was made up.

        I replied that such might have been the case in some instances but that I thought that all classes did their part well in Mexico. I mention these circumstances because a report was put into circulation here a few days afterwards, that I had advocated abolition doctrines, that I had made a speech to the poor classes of citizens to inflame them against the rich, etc. As soon as I heard of this report I straightened it out as well as I could, and had it contradicted. Gov. Manly seems to have heard something of the kind, and perhaps others in Raleigh. Dr. Jones said that he would write to Gov. M. about it, and I asked him to say, that if his (Dr. J.'s) statement were not sufficient I would write Gov. M. a letter which he could use as he thought proper. After this the whole subject seemed to have been forgotten, until about three weeks ago when the Standard's first editorial on the subject appeared, and even that was little noticed, although I heard a student remark that it was directed at me. I had supposed it would go no farther until a week ago, the statement signed "An Alumnus" appeared. From the spirit manifested in that article I thought the Standard was bent on agitation, and as rumor would be busy with her thousand tongues, it would be better, and more honest to come out openly and avow my sentiments. That would at least prevent misrepresentation, and as I gave the reasons for my opinions, the reading public would only judge of their soundness.

        I have not at any time endeavored to make converts to my doctrines among the students. Soon after the election I spoke to two of them (Mr. Cozart and Mr. Mullens) but only in answer to the question how as a Southerner I could oppose the extension of slavery into Kansas. There had been no excitement in College in relation to the matter until last Saturday night, and that was confined to a very small number of students. For about an hour and a half there were a good many students in the Campus, but soon after eleven o'clock they dispersed without any interference on the part of the Faculty. From various circumstances it is suspected that the preparations for


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this "spontaneous" demonstration were sent up from Raleigh.

        The opinion most current here is that the writer of the article signed "Alumnus" is Mr. Engelhardt of Raleigh. But I have no certain knowledge that he was the writer. At present the usual quiet prevails in College. In fact only a small part of the students have seen my article as there are but few copies of the Semi-Weekly Standard taken here.

        I have no means of knowing in what light this matter will be viewed by the Trustees. But as it is an important one, to me at least, I hope they will give it a careful consideration before coming to a decision. I cannot see that my letter to the Standard involves in any way the opinions of other members of the Faculty, at least it should not.

Very respectfully your obedient servant,

B. S. HEDRICK.

His Excellency Thomas Bragg,
Gov. of State of North Carolina, Raleigh, N. C.,
President of the Board of Trustees of the University.


        The matter by this time was one in which the whole state was interested and demands for Mr. Hedrick's resignation were general. Typical examples of these follow:

Resolutions*

        At a meeting of the citizens of Murfreesborough, N. C., on Monday, the 6th October, the following preamble and resolutions were unanimously adopted:

        Whereas, We believe that a crisis in the history of our country is upon us, when it becomes the imperative duty of every patriot and friend of the University to be vigilant and watchful for the preservation of its integrity--and when we believe that "expressions favorable to black Republicanism in our midst, are incompatible with our honor and our safety as a people," and

        Whereas, Principles and opinions subversive of and inimical to the true interests of our rights as a people are known to be entertained by Hedrick, a Professor in the University of North Carolina, and

        Whereas, The said Hedrick has sought to give notoriety to the same, by a letter written by him, and published through the press, and believing, as we do, that such sentiments are deserving of the sternest rebuke and should meet with the honest indignation of every Union loving man, therefore, be it unanimously.

        Resolved, That we, as citizens of Hertford county, in N. C., having sons for education at the University, feeling a deep interest in all that pertains to its welfare, feel it to be our imperative duty to express our opinions in regard to the course of the said Hedrick and of promptly denouncing the same.

        Resolved, 2nd, That we believe that our safety requires that any one who is living in our midst, and known to entertain opinions and principles dangerous to our institutions, should be held up to the scorn and indignation of all parties and friends of the Union.


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        Resolved, 3rd, That the foregoing preamble and resolutions be published in the "Murfreesborough Gazette," and the "North Carolina Standard" and "Raleigh Signal" be requested to copy the same.


        * Standard, October 11, 1856.


Mr. Hedrick of the University.

To the Editors of the Standard:

        Gentlemen:--I read with astonishment and regret, in your paper of Saturday last, what was called "Prof. Hedrick's Defence." Astonishment and regret that a man who calls himself a Professor of the University, should so undervalue the reputation and interest of that institution as to advertise himself the advocate of the sentiments he avows, filling the station he does. These sentiments, avowed by one of the professors, will sink the institution--now grown to giant size, and still increasing--unless the Trustees forthwith expel that traitor to all Southern interests from the seat he now so unworthily fills. He should be ordered away as a foul stain upon the escutcheon of the University, to show to the country that the institution is a sanctuary from such vile pollutions. It is the business of the Executive Committee to act in his case, and to act promptly; and from the high character of the gentlemen who compose it, a good result may be expected. If this man must prattle treason, let him do it ineffectually, not as the agent of the Trustees, as he now is.

        The Trustees of the University consist of sixty gentlemen, dispersed all over the State; and they are thus dispersed that they may have a wider range in advancing its interests. They have been selected by the General Assembly to manage the affairs of that institution, out of regard for their own high characters for learning, probity, and sound discretion; and the history of the University abundantly testifies to their success. And the Executive Committee have full power to transact all business of the Board of Trustees in their absence or recess. Be it said, however, as due to truth, and to the great credit of the Trustees, they have raised that institution from a poor estate to a high position; they have witnessed, under their superintending and anxious care, the education of some of the greatest men in the nation; and they see daily its benefits increasing, until it has become the great literary institution of the South, numbering upwards of four hundred students, sent by their friends to the guardianship of the Trustees and faculty. It is not, therefore, to be expected that the Trustees will fail to do their duty.

        My name, if desired, will be given to Mr. Hedrick, who I do not dignify with the appellation of Professor, and who as a Trustee I repudiate, in the beginning of the great harm he has set out ungratefully to do that institution--his Alma Mater.

A TRUSTEE OF THE UNIVERSITY.


        The Executive Committee met again on October 11. The following is the record of the meeting:

        The Executive Committee met. Present: His Excellency, Gov. Gov. Bragg,1 President; J. H. Bryan,2 D. W. Courts,3 C. L. Hinton,4 B. F. Moore,5 R. M. Saunders.6


Page 23

        The President laid before the Committee a political essay of Prof. B. S. Hedrick, published in the North Carolina Standard of the 4th instant together with sundry letters and papers relating thereto, whereupon.

        Resolved, That the Executive Committee have seen with great regret the publication of Prof. Hedrick in the Standard of the 4th inst., because it violates the established usage of the University which forbids any Professor to become an agitator in the exciting politics of the day; and is well calculated to injure the prosperity and usefulness of the institution.

        Resolved, That the prompt action of a majority of the Faculty of the University on the 6th inst., meets with the cordial approbation of this Committee.

        Resolved, That in the opinion of this Committee Mr. Hedrick has greatly, if not entirely destroyed his power to be of further benefit to the University in the Office which he now fills.

        Committee adjourned.


        1. Thomas Bragg was born in 1810 and educated in Middletown, Conn. He practiced law with great success in North Carolina and was also a member of the legislature for a number of terms. In 1854 he was elected governor and was re-elected in 1856. At the expiration of his term he was elected to the United States Senate where he served until the outbreak of the civil war. He was Attorney General of the Confederacy for a short time, resigning to return to the State. He died in 1872.


        2. John H. Bryan was a prominent lawyer who had served in the legislature and had been a member of Congress for several terms.


        3. Daniel W. Courts was a native of Virginia who was educated at the University of North Carolina, graduating in 1823. He had been a member of both houses of the State legislature, Consul to Matanzas, and was at this time State Treasurer. This office he had filled from 1836 to 1839, was re-elected in 1850 and served until 1862.


        4. Charles L. Hinton graduated at the University of North Carolina in 1814. He served in both houses of the State Legislature and was State Treasurer from 1839 to 1850. He had also been secretary to the Board of Trustees of the University from 1847 to 1851.


        5. Bartholomew Figures Moore was born in 1801 and graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1820. He had served frequently in the State Legislature and had been Attorney General of the State. He was one of the ablest members of the bar of the State and was of eminent character. He was one of the commissioners to revise the statute laws of the State. In 1861 he was opposed to secession and remained so throughout the war. He was the leading member of the convention of 1865-1866 and was one of the commission appointed to revise the statutes in regard to persons of color. This was done with a full recognition of the citizenship of the freedmen. He died in 1878.


        6. Romulus M. Saunders was born in 1791. He was a student at the University for two years when he was expelled. He studied law under Hugh L. White of Tennessee and was admitted to the bar in that State. Returning to North Carolina he entered political life and was many times a member of the Legislature and was twice speaker of the House of Commons. He served in Congress from 1821 to 1827 and from 1841 to 1845. In 1828 he was elected Attorney General, in 1833 United States Commissioner on the French Spoilation Claims, in 1835 Judge of the Superior Courts, and in 1840 was the Democratic candidate for governor but was defeated. From 1846 to 1850 he was minister to Spain but resigned and returning to the State was elected to the House in 1850 and was by that legislature elected a Superior Court Judge, which position he filled until his death in 1867. He was a man of intense prejudices in whom political considerations were always of highest importance. He had the reputation in the State of being a candidate for every vacant office.


        These resolutions were sent to the University to be laid before the Faculty but were not published.

        The students of the University were much aroused and in


Page 24

spite of the popularity which Mr. Hedrick had enjoyed made constant demonstrations against him. If no action had been taken elsewhere, it is scarcely to be doubted that they would have forced his resignition, so thoroughly were they excited.

        The Northern press naturally did not allow so striking an incident to escape them. The following are examples of editorial comment:

Editorial in N. Y. Times, Tuesday. October 14, 1856.

        A LIVE REPUBLICAN IN NORTH CAROLINA--The most remarkable letter that has been elicited by the present extraordinary political struggle is that of Professor Hedrick, of the University of North Carolina, which will be found elsewhere in our columns this morning. Professor Kedrick (sic) is a native of the State, and full of affection for the land of his birth; but he is thoroughly imbued with Republican sentiments, boldly avows his preference for Fremont, and appeals to Washington, Jefferson, Clay, and the honored fathers of the Republic, as the authors of the faith that is in him. There are a good many important facts in his letter, which will be read with profit at the North, as well as in the South. We have no doubt of there being thousands of similar men in the Southern states, who only lack an opportunity to proclaim their sentiments as boldly as this noble-minded patriot scholar has done, and his courageous example will not lack for followers. It is more than probable that the bold avowal of Republican sentiments by Professor Kedrick (sic) will cost him his professional chair in the University of North Carolina; and yet it seems scarcely credible that the Old North State will banish one of her own sons for avowing himself a disciple of Washington and Jefferson.


        The letter of Professor Hedrick in the Times is introduced by the following paragraph:

        Prof. B. S. Hedrick of the State University of North Carolina, has pronounced in favor of Fremont, and in consequence of that act has raised up bitter enemies, who denounce himself fiercely, and go so far as to demand his expulsion from the College, on the ground that his opinions render him unfit to be an instructor of youth. The Raleigh Standard (Buchanan) publishes a letter from the Professor, which is styled a "Defence" against certain articles in that paper over the signature of "Alumnus." The letter gives a new view of the practical workings of Slavery. It is introduced by the Standard in the following manner:* * * [Here follows the Defence.]

Editorial in Tribune of Tuesday, October 14, 1856.

        Notwithstanding the depotic rule of Jacobinical terrorism which just now holds fourteen states of this Union in the most abject servitude, it is not to be supposed that the fire of Liberty is entirely shut out at the South, or that the self-constituted thirty tyrants--be the number more or less--by which each one of those unhappy states is now governed, can long maintain their usurped authority. It is not credible that Washington, Henry, Jefferson, Madison, and the other patriots of the Revolution, can have left no descendants behind


Page 25

them. We speak not now of inheritors of their blood, but of inheritors of their sentiments, their ardent love of Liberty for others as well as for themselves, and their sincere faith in the rights of man. Though silenced for the moment by the furious and bloodthirsty clamor for the perpetuation and extension of Slavery, and for the dissolution of the Union as a means to promote those ends--a means as hateful as the ends to which it is to serve are detestable--it is impossible that there should not be at the South a strong cohort of those who do not bow the knee to the Baal of Slavery, and who are wistfully watching for the restoration of the true and ancient worship of their fathers.

        We in the North had, twenty years ago, a considerable dash of the same storm of insolent violence which comes down now with such tropical fury through the South--so heavy that scarce a friend of Freedom and Emancipation dares anywhere to show his head. We too had our mobs and self-constituted committees, which assailed the liberty of press and of speech, and which threatened and sometimes visited with personal violence those who ventured to avow opinions on the subject of Slavery not deemed orthodox. That attempt to suppress the freedom of opinion, though backed up by persons occupying the highest social and political positions--such as Edward Everett, for example, who, as Governor of Massachusetts, recommended legislative enactments to sustain it--proved a total failure; and many who at that time sympathized and even participated in it are now among the most strenuous opponents of any further concessions to the Slave Power.

        It is true that this attempted usurpation never reached, here at the North, anything like the hight (sic) of violence to which it has lately been carried in the Slave States. We have no recollection of any attempt ever made here to prevent the nomination and support of a Presidential ticket. In the midst of all the excitement of the Harrison campaign, the Liberty party, so called, was permitted freely to nominate and support a ticket of their own; and so afterward, in the great struggle between Clay and Polk, on which occasion the few thousand votes in this State drawn off from Clay by the Abolitionists gave New York to the Democratic party and secured the election of Polk. But if the friends of free political action in the South have a greater ferocity on the part of their opponents to encounter, so they must be supposed to have a much greater strength in themselves, both in regard to numbers and social position, than ever was the case with those here at the North who were made the objects of a similar violence. And they have, beside, another great advantage, in a powerful outside support. With the whole power of the Federal Government to sustain them in the vindication and exercise of their rights, in addition to the sympathy of the entire North, it is evident that they occupy an impregnable position; and the greater and more savage and depotic the violence which is now brought to bear upon them, the more speedy and decisive the reaction may be expected to be. He who contrasts the present political position of the North on the subject of Slavery with what it was twenty years ago, may find reasonable ground for anticipating that before many years Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina and other slave-holding states will revert again to the views of Washington and Jefferson, and instead


Page 26

of throwing their whole political weight in favor of the extension of slavery into new Territories from which it has once been formally and solemnly excluded, will rather be inviting the aid and co-operation of the North, in some scheme by which, with due regard to the rights and interests of all parties, those states, instead of giving new extension to this curse, may be able to rid themselves of it.

        That such ideas are not yet totally extinct at the South, that the crows have not yet succeeded in devouring all the good seed sown by the patriots of the Revolution, nor the great enemy of mankind in sowing tares enough entirely to choke out the wheat, is evident from a letter which we publish today, in which one of the professors of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill responds to an attack upon him by a Buchanan journal of that State as a Black Republican. If very few persons at the South have at this moment the intrepidity to confess, as Professor Hedrick does, their views on the subject of Slavery, it cannot be doubted that a large part of the best educated, most intelligent and most patriotic even of the slaveholders themselves fully sympathize with those views--a body of men to whom, in spite of the storm of Pro-Slavery fanaticism which now sweeps over the slaveholding states, we may look with hope for the return of those states to a better condition of intelligence and feeling, and for their ultimate deliverance from that terrible nightmare which hold them now in such a state at once of convulsive terror and paralytic helplessness.


        The following correspondence is self-explanatory:

David L. Swain to Charles Manly.

Chapel Hill, 7 Oct., 1856.

        My dear Sir:--Your note of the 4th by some oversight at the post-office did not reach me until yesterday morning and this morning brought me that of the 6th with Judge Saunder's letter enclosed.

        Hedrick has the courage of a lion and the obstinacy of a mule. He can neither be frightened, coaxed nor persuaded in anything. He rarely asks advice and never follows it. He consulted me as to the propriety of replying to Alumnus, and entered into the contest in opposition to the most earnest remonstrances. He communicated his determination to reply and exhibited his reply itself to no one but his wife. He will sit in his tracks without moving a muscle, and I am not sure he does not covet the crown of martyrdom. Has the Executive Committee the power of demotion? It has, if it can be conferred by ordinance. But can the Board delegate the power of appointment and removal to a committee? If it can, is decapitation expedient? "If twere well when done, twere well, twere done quickly." As the call was not taken at the first hop, will it not be better, to bring the resolutions of the Faculty to bear upon him at the present, and postpone the exercise of supreme authority, until the election is over, and the Board in session?

        If you award the crown of martyrdom, immediately, and Col. Fremont succeeds in the election, you make his fortune. He understands this too well to think for a moment of resignation. Sparing him at present will give the Freesoilers new strength at the South, while the charge of persecutions for opinion's sake, will add to the


Page 27

tempest of excitement which is sweeping over the North. If you proceed to extremes, at once, I would avoid a political issue, and second the action taken by the Faculty, and approved by the Trustees, in the Arch-Bishop case--a violation of the usages of the institution, not as a freesoiler, but as a partizan.

        The accompanying correspondence, you may show to Judge Saunders, to remind him of my arraignment before the Board of Trustees, by our friend, John D. Hawkins, twenty years ago, for permitting the late Perrin Busbee to advocate a dissolution of the Union on the public stage. In the mutation of parties, no one knows when and what issues may arise, and freedom of speech on religious and political matters, must be restrained, if restrained at all, very skillfully.

        The boys exhibited transparencies, hung and burnt in effigy Saturday night and again last night, but the affair was neither very noisy nor tempestuous, and the Faculty gave themselves no great trouble about it. Unless excited by foreign influences, I do not apprehend serious commotion.

        Herrissee was, as I remember, permitted by the Secretary to append some remarks to his reason. He is a great admirer of Hedrick, and has I fear written something foolish or worse. If so, and you publish, as the appendage ought not to be read, strike it out, and suffer him to illuminate the benighted world in a separate article. If you think proper to do so, you may publish a history of the proceedings of the Faculty, in such a manner as you think most advisable without confining yourself to the record.

        Let me know from day to day any thing that may be necessary to enlightened voters.

Yours sincerely,

D. L. SWAIN.

David L. Swain to Charles Manly.

Chapel Hill, 7 Oct., 1856.

My Dear Sir:--

        If there were not much better lawyers members of the Executive Committee than I am, I might be tempted to enter upon an analysis of the Charter and subsequent acts of the General Assembly in relation to the University and endeavor to show that the Committee has no power to remove a Professor. As it is, upon the presumption that "the sparrow may perceive what the eagle overlooks," I may be pardoned for a few observations and inquiries.

        The Executive Committee exists under an ordinance of the Trustees adopted 2nd January, 1856, consists of seven members of whom the Governor is one ex-officio, but not necessarily Chairman. I was President of the Board when the Committee first organized and declined the chair because I considered it incongruous for the Chairman of the Committee to rise at the annual meeting to present the report of the Committee to himself as President of the Board. Judge Cameron was the first Chairman and was succeeded by Gov. Dudley. The Executive Committee is a committee of seven clothed with extensive powers, but it is a committee simply, and not the Board of Trustees.


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        What are the powers of the Board in the Premises? By the 3rd section of the Charter (U. R. V. 426) the Trustees at a special meeting may "do any business except the appointment of a president, professor, etc.["]

        The 7th section provides "that the Trustees shall have the power of appointing a president of the University and such professors and tutors as to them shall appear necessary and proper, whom they may remove for misbehaviour, inability, or neglect of duty." By the act of 1807 of 431, it is competent for seven Trustees to hold an annual meeting and appoint "a president pre-tempore, in case of the death, resignation, absence, or indisposition of the Governor."

        The Board then at an annual meeting may appoint a professor, and the Board may remove him "for misbehaviour, inability, or neglect of duty."

        Ordinarily the power of appointment and demotion are the same. The power of the President to remove an officer appointed by and with the consent of the Senate without the consent of the Senate, if it were res integrae, would be more than questionable.

        The General Assembly has given no power of demotion to the Committee, but to a Board of Trustees particularly constituted and authorized to punish for specific causes, or set aside for inability.

        If the Executive Committee have the power, they may dismiss "any professor or tutor for such cause as they deem sufficient" though he may have been appointed but ten days before at an annual meeting by the unanimous vote of a full Board of Trustees (65) and though but four members of the committee, may be in attendance, of whom the Governor need not be one. Can it be that the power is legitimately vested in these persons?

        If the power is regarded as unquestionable, it seems to me the exercise of it may be forborne for many reasons when an annual meeting of the Board is so near at hand.

        The occasion does not include the President of the University and as a Trustee, I may discuss this in common with all the questions in relation to the general concern of the institution with the same freedom as other members of the Board. I am moreover willing to be tried before the Executive Committee and will not plead to the jurisdiction of any tribunal organized under their auspices. I think moreover that it is exceedingly desirable that a committee should come up, examine the records and look narrowly into my department. I am satisfied that such an investigation will be of great benefit, and especially tend to strengthen my hands.

        I have just received your kind note of yesterday and again tender my thanks for your repeated acts of kindness which I hope never to be able to repay because I hope it will never be your fortune to encounter such an ingrate. If it shall, I will be with you to the death. Dr. Mitchell has not yet returned. The New York Times published Hedrick's defence in extenso and pronounces it the most extraordinary letter that this excited contest has called forth and well calculated to interest and instruct, both at the North and the South. The Tribune of the same date (Tuesday) also contains it, with half a column of commentary.

        A professor must be removed not arbitarily or capriciously for mere difference of opinion, in religion or politics, which the Committee


Page 29

may deem sufficient, but for "misbehaviour, inability, or neglect of duty." Hedrick may be very properly arraigned for misbehaviour in departing from our established usages, and this should be the only count in the impeachment.

Yours very sincerely,

D. L. SWAIN.

Gov. Manly.

B. S. Hedrick to Charles Manly.

Chapel Hill, Oct. 8, 1856.

Gov. Manly:

        Dear Sir:--I wrote to Gov. Bragg day before yesterday. Mentioned to him a conversation which I had with Dr. Jones of this place a short time after you were here. Dr. Jones had stated to another friend of mine that a report was in circulation which would injure me. I therefore called to see him about it. I found that the report alluded to was a very exaggerated statement of what I had said at a certain time. I frankly told Dr. Jones what my views of the subject in question were, and contracted* what had given offence to some of my neighbors. I also learned from Dr. Jones that you had heard the same report which had attracted his attention. Dr. Jones said that he intended to write to you in a few days, and that he would mention the matter to you. I also asked him to say to you if what he (Dr. Jones) had said were not sufficient, I would write you a letter which you might use as you thought proper.

        I supposed that Dr. Jones had written, until yesterday, when I met him and asked him about it. He said the matter had slipped his memory at the time, and that afterward the whole subject seemed to have been forgotten and it never occurred to him again. He said however that he remembered perfectly well what I said to him about it. So that if Gov. Bragg mentions this part of my letter to you, if you think necessary, please give the explanation above.

        I have written this for fear a misapprehension might arise.

Yours respectfully and truly,

B. S. HEDRICK.


        * Contradicted?


Charles Manly to David Lowrie Swain.

Raleigh, Oct. 8, 1856.

My dear Governor:

        I received yesterday your note and a copy of the Faculty's proceedings in relation to Prof. Hedrick. Upon consultation with Gov. Bragg and Messrs. Courts and Bryan, all that relating to Bishop Hughes was expunged and the residue sent to the Standard for publication.

        The Governor also handed me a letter which he had received from Hedrick in explanation and exculpation of himself and letting him know that he was a good Democrat and had voted the Democratic ticket in August last.


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        Your suggestions are good and were approved by those gentlemen above named. Nothing will be done with him till after the election. If he does not resign the Board will take him up next winter and cut his head "clean off" but so as not to suffer the blood of martyrdom for opinion's sake to decorate and adorn his garments.

        He will be driven off as unworthy to hold an office in an institution whose usages and practices he has so grossly and injuriously violated.

        The Executive Committee will meet again on Saturday next (11th) by which time I shall hope to have the Faculty's answer to the "Red Republican" and the copy of the Journal which he complains of.

I am, Dear Sir,
Very truly yours.

CHAS. MANLY.

Dr. Wheat has withdrawn his notice of resignation, but I suppose you know that, of course. There is a report on the street that the students intend to tar and feather Hedrick. I hope and trust they will do no such thing. Their indignation meetings, burning in effigy, etc., is a sufficient demonstration. It would be dishonorable and cowardly to do him personal violence. It would be undignified and disgraceful to get up a College row and tumult. They would thereby injure themselves and no one else.

        Mr. Hedrick, as has been seen from his "Defence", was not the sort of man to allow matters to drift without an effort to save himself. The following able letter shows clearly his point of view and its soundness:

B. S. Hedrick to Charles Manly.

Chapel Hill, Oct. 14, 1856.

Dear Sir:

        I am glad that the Executive Committee did not yield to a popular clamor and remove me from my station here. For I believe that if I can have a full and fair hearing before the Trustees, the answer implied in the resolutions which you passed will be found to be more than my offence merited, though as matters now stand it was as little as I could expect.

        No one more than myself acknowledges the justness and propriety of the usage which prohibits members of the faculty from agitating topics relating to party politics. But there are times when it seems the usage may be disregarded. In fact about eight years ago one of the ablest and most learned professors in the University thought it incumbent upon himself to define his position upon the slavery question. But the principal circumstances which I would plead in extenuation of this breach of well known usage is the manner in which I was attacked. If members of the Faculty have their hands tied they should be shielded from assault. I am a citizen of the State, a native if there is any merit in that, and have always endeavored to be a faithful law abiding member of the community. But all at once I am


Page 31

assailed as an outlaw, a traitor, as a person fit to be driven from the State by mob violence, one whom every good citizen was bound to cast out by fair means or foul. This was more than I could bear. It seemed to me that I ought to resent it as a tyrannical interference with the rights of private opinion. So that in judging my case, it will be necessary to bear in mind the gross insults contained in "the charges brought against me in the Standard." What I had said here about voting for Fremont amounted to almost nothing, as no one expected an attempt to form an electoral ticket would be made. In fact I heard an influential citizen say that he would vote for Fremont himself if he thought that the electing him would bring about a dissolution of the Union, whilst I would vote for him to make the Union stronger.

        But the state of the case which comes home to the Trustees more directly than any other is the influence of my course will have upon the prosperity of the University. My own opinion is that if the newspapers will let the matter rest it will soon be forgotten. The election will soon be over, one of the candidates will probably be elected, and the others will soon cease to be talked of. What I said about slavery is neither fanatical, incendiary nor inflammatory. I have never held abolitionist views. If my reasons for keeping the increase of the slave population at home are good, of course no one will blame me for setting them forth. If my reasons are unsound I have erred in a question upon which there has always been, and probably always will be, an honest difference of opinion among thinking men. It is only a short time since I saw an article in a Virginia paper denouncing Professor Bledsoe of the University of Virginia, because he admitted in his book on Liberty and Slavery, that the interests and prosperity of the Territories where slavery does not exist, might be best advanced by excluding it. But for that opinion he was not treated as an outlaw, nor any attempt made to drive him from his Chair.

        But I am not disposed to find fault with the action of the Trustees. Some of the newspapers are pretending that I am only wishing to be dismissed in order to attain to profitable martyrdom. If I were base enough to resort to such a miserable trick my denying the charge would go for nothing. I do not believe however that any such charge will be made by anyone at all acquainted with the circumstances which placed me in my present position. I had not sought the election from the Trustees, and yet the appointment was most acceptable to me. When I graduated I took a subordinate position in one of the Scientific offices of the General Government, a place not at all subject to the proscriptions of party. My services were so far acceptable that I was promoted at the end of the first year, and at the time I resigned my position my salary was equal to that offered me by the Trustees. It was against the advice of some of my best friends that I made the exchange. I have always acted on the principle that a good citizen will serve his native State in preference to any other. And I thought the situation offered me by the Trustees was one in which I might find honorable and useful employment, and at the same time do something for the good of my native State. Whether my labors here have been successful I will leave for others to determine. In coming here I sacrificed all other prospects. I have been here only long enough to begin to take root, and to be driven out now when I have just fairly started seems hard. But I will not ask anything unreasonable from


Page 32

the Trustees. It is well known that my chair does not belong to the regular Academic course. My students are, first, those who enter for a scientific course. Of these I have had fourteen during the present session. Second, the regular academic students are during the Senior year permitted to substitute studies in my department for the regular course. Forty-four students have during this session "elected" studies in my department. If any one therefore is afraid for his son to recite to me, he has but to say that he wishes for him to take the "old course" in the Senior year.

        As I said before, I believe that all the trouble about politics will soon pass over. If it does not and it is apparent that my usefulness is lost or greatly impaired I will not ask to be retained any longer. The "scientific school" is a venture in which I have staked a great deal, and therefore respectfully ask that whatever final action the Board may take that they would act with caution and deliberation. For my own part I am sorry that I have been the occasion of trouble to the Committee. But I hope that when they come to know me better they will find me to be one not deserving to be driven from the State by hue and cry.

Very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,

B. S. Hedrick.

Hon. Charles Manly,
Sec. of the Board of Trustees
of the University of N. C.


        The pressure upon the Trustees grew from day to day and finally became so great that on October 18, the Executive Committee met again. The action taken by them was in excess of their legal powers as can be seen from the letter of President Swain quoted above.

        The following is the record of the meeting:

Raleigh, October 18, 1856.

        Executive Committee met. Present: His Excellency, Gov. Bragg, Pres.; John H. Bryan, Dan. W. Courts, Charles L. Hinton, Bat. F. Moore, R. M. Saunders.

        Judge Saunders presented the following resolutions which were read and adopted:

        Whereas, Professor B. S. Hedrick seems disposed to respect neither the opinions of the Faculty nor the Trustees of the University but persists in retaining his situation to the manifest injury of the University.

        Resolved, That for the causes set forth by this Committee on the 11th inst., he, the said Benj. S. Hedrick, be and is hereby dismissed as a Professor in the University and the Professorship which he now fills is hereby declared to be vacant.

        Resolved, That he be paid his full salary to the close of the present session.

        Resolved, That the Secretary notify him of this decision.

* * * * * * *

        Committee adjourned.



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        The result was communicated to President Swain by Charles Manly in the following letter:

Charles Manly to David Lowrie Swain.

Raleigh, Oct. 18, 1856.

My dear Governor:

        I send you herewith a copy of Minutes of Executive Committee of this day

* * * * * * *

        As to Hedrick, he is beheaded. I read your letter to the Committee on their power to dismiss. But to no purpose. The "outside pressure" was too great. Sundry letters had come up from Trustees (from Col. Steele among others) a public meeting held (I think) in Murfreesboro and the Southern press all demanding his instant removal, the Committee determined to take the responsibility. Saunder's Reson. was a long and violent one, mixed up with politics; we finally got it down to what it is. Moreover, it was stated that certain students who were here during the Fair declared that the danger of a College riot was imminent; that they were only waiting to see what the Executive Committee would do; and if they passed it over that violence and bloodshed would ensue. I placed very little confidence myself in this story.

        Please notify Mr. Hedrick of the decision.

* * * * * * *

Yours truly,

CHAS. MANLY.

Hon. D. L. Swain, Chapel Hill.


        The Standard's comment was as follows:

        Mr. Hedrick.--We learn that at a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina, held on Saturday last, it was resolved that Mr. Hedrick has ceased to be useful as a professor in the University; and the Secretary was directed to inform him of the fact. It is expected that, as a matter of course, he will at once resign. Should he refuse to do so, however, we have no doubt he will be removed.


Mr. Hedrick Dismissed.*

        We learn that at a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, held at the Governor's office on Saturday last, Mr. Hedrick was unanimously dismissed from his place as a professor in the University of this State.

        We make this announcement with much gratification, though we felt sure from the first that such would be the action of the Executive Committee.

        We have received a number of communications on the subject, and several from the Trustees of the University, the publication of which has been rendered unnecessary by this action of the Committee.

        Mr. Black Republican Hedrick may now turn for consolation and support to his abolition brethren of the free States. His whole conduct in this matter has been not only in direct opposition to the best interests of the University, but it is marked with the grossest ingratitude; and he has shown, by holding on to his place after he had been notified that his usefulness was gone, that he is insensible to those impulses


Page 34

and considerations which never fail to operate on a high-toned and honorable man. Informed that he had ceased to be useful, he begged for time, and at last had to be dismissed! Mr. Hedrick, we believe, is a beneficiary of the University; and he was sent to Cambridge on a salary, and sustained there while acquiring and perfecting his knowledge in Agricultural Chemistry. Warmed into life on the hearthstone of the University, the viper turned upon his Alma Mater and upon the State of his nativity with his envenomed fangs. But he has been cast out, and is now powerless for evil. If the abolitionists should take him up, the history of his conduct here will follow him; and they will know, as he will feel, that they have received to their bosom a dangerous, but congenial and ungrateful thing.


        * Standard, October 22, 1856.


        Later press comments are interesting:

For the Register*

        Mr. Editor:--In that delectable sheet, the Raleigh Standard, of the 8th of October, we find the following paragraph in reference to the letter of Prof. Hedrick, of the University of North Carolina, on his preference for Mr. Fremont for the Presidency. I will not attempt a justification of the position of the mutton-headed Professor on the subject of the Presidency; far be it from me. If I were to venture an opinion on the subject, it would be that the Professor evinced more zeal than judgment on the subject, and that the Lunatic Asylum might become a fit receptacle for all such characters, if, upon examination, they should be found to be monomaniacs on the subject of the Presidency.

        And judging from the dictatorial tone of the great Mogul of public opinion, as expressed in the North Carolina Standard, I would not be surprised if the astute Editor himself was not a little demented on the same subject.

        But to the paragraph in question: "We," says the Standard man, "adhere to our opinion recently expressed in the Standard. The expression of Black Republicanism in our midst is incompatible with our honor or safety as a people; that no man is a fit or safe instructor of our young men who even inclines to Fremont or Black Republicanism."

        Not content with an expression of opinion, as he had a right to on that subject, and let it pass for what it was worth before the public; but the august personage presumes to dictate to the Trustees of the University their duty. For, says he, "we take it for granted that Professor Hedrick will be promptly removed." What consummate presumption! What arrogance, that W. W. Holden and Co., the smallest of the small of the race of gentlemen, should presume to dictate to a body of honorable, high-minded gentlemen, in an official capacity as Trustees of the University, their duty in reference to a matter that would be too low a stoop for a scavenger to condescend to. If Professor Hedrick is a gentleman and finds his presence or opinions are obnoxious either to the Professors, with whom he is associated, or to the Trustees of the University, he will forthwith resign. But for the Trustees to be called upon to ostracise a man for the expression of an honest opinion is more than ever entered the head of any gentlemen of liberal views, who appreciates honesty either in word, thought or deed; and that, too, simply because the unfortunate Professor savours a little or too much (as the Standard man supposes) of Abolitionism. Now, let me


Page 35

ask, in all sincerity, what is the difference between teaching the same principle under different names if the effect when produced, is the same, whether it be under Fremontism or Buchananism. That Fremont is a wool-dyed Democrat abolitionist none will deny, and if I can prove from the political record of James Buchanan that he entertains views and opinions as obnoxious to the institutions of the South, the stability and perpetuity of this Union, Professor Hedrick at least will have the gratification to know that he is not alone in his views, on this vexed question. Let us now appeal to the law and the testimony in establishing the guilt or innocence of the Democratic party and Mr. Buchanan, their candidate for the Presidency.

Middle Creek, Johnston Co., Oct. 17, 1856.

        * Raleigh Register, October 22, 1856.


Mr. Hedrick Again.*

        We are informed by a friend, who deeply regrets and strongly disapproves Mr. Hedrick's conduct, that we are mistaken in our belief, expressed in our last, that he was a beneficiary of the University. We learn that he was in early life an apprentice to the trade of a brickmason; and that his father, having given him his choice of an education or his portion of his estate at his death, he chose an education, and thus paid his own way at the University. We learn also, that while at Cambridge he was sustained, not by the University, but by an office bestowed upon him by Gov. Graham, Secretary of the Navy at the time.

        We make these corrections cheerfully, as certainly we have no disposition to do injustice to, of to trample on, a prostrate adversary. His punishment is great enough, without the aggravation of unjust accusations.

        Some of the Know Nothing presses have referred to the fact that Mr. Hedrick was a Democrat. We knew that he had voted in August last for the Democratic ticket; and he has been for some time a subscriber to our semi-weekly paper. But what of that? Party is but "as small dust in the balance" when weighed against the honor and vital interests of North Carolina. He professed to be a Democrat; for Democracy maintains the equal rights of the State in the common Territories, and is the only great barrier in the way of the triumph of black Republicanism.

        Not the very least of the evils connected with Mr. Hedrick's conduct, was the dragging before the public a body of men--his associate Professors--to whom publicity is distasteful and unpleasant, if obtained elsewhere than in the pulpit and lecture room. He was solemnly admonished that he had no right to do this; yet here, as elsewhere, advice was disregarded. Nevertheless, the University has not been injured. On the contrary, it has been strengthened, if possible, in the confidence and respect of the Trustees and of the people of the State--strengthened, by the prompt action of the Faculty and of the Executive Committee. We say this as a citizen of the State and as a friend of the University--not as its champion or peculiar defender, for far be it from us to thrust ourselves forward in any other capacity than that of a friend to it, interested alike with all the people of the State in maintaining its high character, and in laboring, as best we may, to widen and enlarge the sphere of its usefulness. What we have done in this matter has been done solely from convictions of public duty; and these latter remarks are submitted, not as the result of suggestions from any


Page 36

quarter--for none have been made--but in justice to ourselves and to the course we have deemed it our duty to pursue.


        * Standard, October 29, 1856.


Mr. Hedrick.*

        Mr. Hedrick, it seems, attended the State Educational Convention at Salisbury; but he was soon given to understand that his presence there would not be tolerated. The Salisbury Watchman says:

        "Professor Hedrick was also in attendance on the first night of the Convention. He had been appointed by the senatus consultus of our University before his very extraordinary demonstration in politics. His appearance there was very embarrassing to many of the assemblage, and it is probable that some expression of disapprobation would have been called for if he had again attended the sessions; but a small crowd of beardless patriots took the thing in hand and saved the Convention all trouble on that score. By dint of a stuffed effigy, made of rags, which they hung before the door of the building, bedizzened with significant inscriptions, and by dint of cow-bells, tin-pans, and muttered threats of further visitations, this simpleton of a Professor, between the going down of the sun and the rising thereof, had quite absqualated; or as one of his own Fresh would be apt to say, "Abitt, excesitt, evasit, erupit."["]

        The Salisbury Herald says:

        "No sooner had the Convention assembled in the Presbyterian Church, on Tuesday night, than a rumor got afloat among the outsiders that Professor Hedrick, of the N. C. University, was in the Convention, either as a regularly drafted or as a volunteered delegate from the University. Crowds flocked in and around the door for the purpose of beholding the grim visage of the man who dared, on Carolina's soil, to publicly announce himself in favor of Fremont. Many a long and eager look was taken before a way was made for the next advancing corps, while ever and anon, some stripling who had never read the Standard, would worm his way into the thickest of the ranks, and call aloud to some older and wiser friend to point out to him John C. Fremont. Hedrick was soon known to all the elders,--the Juniors gazed as they supposed, upon Fremont, and thought he was "a dreadful little man to be the President." Meanwhile the cries of "Hedrick," "Fremont," and other expressions evinced that all was not right, and he began to conceal his face partly by the aid of his cloak, and manifest other not less symptoms of alarm. What were his feelings and his agony we know not; but leave him muffled in his cloak, listening to the call of the roll and the organization of the Convention, while we describe the outdoor arrangements.

        "Near the centre of the street facing the door of the said Church, an effigy was raised in honor of the Professor, and they named it Hedrick. In front of the effigy was a transparency bearing the inscription--Hedrick, leave or tar and feathers. So soon as the Convention was adjourned it was set on fire; and being composed of very combustible material, well saturated with spirits of turpentine, it required but a few moments to tell the sad tale of its ethereal and everlasting departure from this howling wilderness. Three groans for Hedrick, and all was over--the effigy was gone. He was followed by the crowd, some two or three hundred in number, to the house in which he lodged,


Page 37

where he was serenaded in "Calithumpian style." Three groans were ever and anon repeated, and the Professor ordered to leave without delay, or be subjected to an application of "juice of the pine and the hair of the goose." But for a faithful promise on the part of the Professor such would have been his lot. But before sunrise he was gone, we suppose never more to return. May our town never be visited with such another manifestation of indignation on the part of the citizens of the town and county. The circumstances and its origin are the more remarkable from the fact, that the Professor was raised in this community, and that his father is now a citizen of this county. We pity the man for his indiscretion and folly for having laid himself liable to the public indignation of those who were once his neighbors and friends."

        We learn that Mr. Hedrick passed through this City on Thursday last, on his way North.


        * Standard, November 1, 1856.


Mr. Hedrick Once More.*

        In an article on the dismissal of Prof. Hedrick published in the Standard of the 22d inst.., the writer says: "Mr. Hedrick, we believe, is a beneficiary of the University, and he was sent to Cambridge on a salary, and sustained there while perfecting his knowledge in agricultural chemistry;" and on the strength of these statements, Mr. Hedrick is charged with "the grossest ingratitude." The writer of that article was doubtless misinformed. The statements, above quoted, are not true, and the charge of "ingratitude" therefore fails. Enough indeed, has been said of late against Mr. Hedrick to make it unnecessary to employ allegations of doubtful, or of no authority.

        The fact is that Mr. Hedrick was never in any sense "a beneficiary of the University." All his College bills, from the beginning to the end of his College life, were duly paid by his father. The University has not, and has never had any claim on him on that score, other than it has on all who have ever enjoyed the advantages of an education there. Neither was he "sent to Cambridge on a salary" by the University, as is implied, or by any person connected with it. The facts are these: that about the time when Mr. Hedrick was graduated, the President of the University received from the then Secretary of the Navy a suggestion that a subordinate place in one of the scientific bureaus, connected with his department, was then vacant, and asking if there was among the recent graduates a good mathematician, competent to fill it. Mr. Hedrick received the nomination of the Faculty, and was appointed by the department, and ordered to reside in Cambridge. During the whole time of his residence there, he was supported by the salary which he earned from the U. S. government, and never received a dollar from the treasury of the University until he had actually entered on the discharge of his duties there, as Professor of Agricultural Chemistry. It may be added that the salary which he received at Cambridge was precisely the same as the one offered him when he was called to Chapel Hill, so that he could have hoped to gain by the change nothing more than the pleasure of making his home in his native State.

        The writer of these lines is in a condition to know the truth of the matters whereof he affirms, and could easily demonstrate it to one


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who would take a little trouble in the investigation. He may be allowed to express the hope that those who are inclined to speak or think ill of Mr. Hedrick, will do so only on clear evidence, and after some examination.

        The above communication was received in time, and should have appeared in our last, but was unavoidably crowded out. It is from a highly respectable source, and we cheerfully insert it.

        A writer in the last Register, after correcting some of the mistakes into which the Standard had fallen, and which the Standard itself had promptly corrected says:

        "It is due to the Standard to say that in its last issue the two above statements are withdrawn, but it also contains allegations which are no less erroneous."

        "Mr. Hedrick never was in early life nor at any time, an apprentice to the trade of a brick-mason or of any other trade.

        "His father never gave him his choice of an education or his portion of his estate at his death."

        It is due to the Standard to state, that the "allegations" here characterized as "erroneous" were made on unquestionable authority; which authority could be given, if at all necessary. They were made as a portion of the matter, the publication of which we deemed an act of justice to Mr. Hedrick--but surely they are most material statements. They amount to nothing if he had been apprenticed "to the trade of a brick-mason," and had learned and followed that trade. He might have been saved from the perils of that "much learning," and from that contact with abolitionism at Cambridge, which in his case has certainly produced "madness." But true men have gone through that contact, and have come out of it pure gold, because their hearts were right, and because they regarded the obligations of a Constitutional Union, and not the claims of sectionalism and the promptings of a sickly sentimentality. Our correspondent "An Alumnus," was at Cambridge, if we are not mistaken, when Judge Loring, one of the professors in the College, was removed by an abolition Legislature for having acted as United States' Commissioner, under a Constitutional law--the fugitive-slave law; and he forthwith left the institution and returned home, on account of that high-handed measure in relation to Judge Loring.

        But we have no disposition to dwell upon this matter; nor is it our wish to do any man injustice. We have already been chided by some of our friends, for allowing Mr. Hedrick a hearing in our columns. But he was called out by our correspondent--he was struck--he spoke for himself, and as he spoke no sedition, we gave him a hearing. On strict principles of justice as between man and man, we did right; but we knew, furthermore, that if refused a hearing here, he would have gone into Northern Journals, and a great cry would have been raised that the South had denied him freedom of speech. As it is, he was removed from his place, as we understand it, not because he had avowed himself for a geographical, disunion candidate for the Presidency, but because, having taken part publicly in politics, he had ceased to be useful as a Professor; and this part in politics he took by the publication of his so-called "Defence" in the Standard. That publication, therefore, was the cause of his removal.

        Our correspondent expresses the "hope that those who are inclined to speak or think ill of Mr. Hedrick, will do so only on clear evidence,


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and after some examination." We concur with him. We thought we had "clear evidence"--but when informed to the contrary, we were prompt to make the correction. That was all we could do. We are not only "inclined to speak ill" of Mr. Hedrick, but we denounce him as an enemy to North Carolina, to the Union of the States, and to the best hopes of man. We have aided to magnify him somewhat in the public eye, but that was one of the unavoidable incidents, and not the object. Our object was to rid the University and the State of an avowed Fremont man; and we have succeeded. And we now say, after due consideration, but with no purpose to make any special application of the remark, that no man who is avowedly for John C. Fremont for President, ought to be allowed to breathe the air or to tread the soil of North Carolina.

        While on this subject, we make the following extract from a letter recently received from one of the most intelligent and substantial gentlemen of Eastern Carolina, written before he had heard of Mr. Hedrick's removal:

        "The people of our State and of the South owe you a debt of gratitude, for bringing to public notice the abolition principles of one of our Professors at the University, Mr. Hedrick. The admirable manner in which you have handled him--giving him a hearing without stopping to argue with him, and then holding him up to public contempt and scorn--will doubtless meet the approbation of every patron of the institution. You assure your readers that he will be removed, if he does not resign. I hope this may be the case. If, however, he does not leave the College, I shall feel it to be my duty to withdraw my son, at the close of the present session, from any contact with the foul pollution."


        * Standard, November 5, 1856.


Mr. Black Republican Hedrick.*

        This person, we understand, was in this city on Thursday last.

        The press of the State has, with one voice, condemned his conduct, and expressed a wish for his dismissal. The abolition press of the free States is rejoicing over his treason to his section and to the Constitution.

        The last Wilmington Commercial says:

        "The press of this State is making quite a 'lion' of one Mr. Hedrick, a teacher in our University, who has owned himself a black republican. There is a disputation about whether he was a democrat or not in former times. This question is of no importance. What he is now is the inquiry, and he is certainly neither a democrat nor a whig. We do not see what can be done, unless the Faculty choose to send the fellow about his business as a mischief maker in a small way, and let him take up his bed and board with the northern enemies of the South and her institutions."


        * Weekly North Carolina Standard, October 22, 1856.


        Mr. Hedrick took his dismissal in a manly fashion as is indicated by the two letters which follow:

B. S. Hedrick to Charles Manly.

Chapel Hill, Oct. 28, 1856.

Gov. Manly,

        Dear Sir:--Accompanying this I send you a letter which I wrote before.


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visiting you in Raleigh I believe that I mentioned to you the fact that I had written it; certainly I mentioned it to some of the Board. When I came home from the Fair it was too late to send it during that week, and the speedy action of your Committee left no place for it afterwards. I send it to you now and for your private reading, and as giving me an opportunity to thank you for the uniform kindness you have always shown me. I would send it to the Committee as I as first intended, but for fear that it might come to Holden and thus give him another opportunity of accusing me of "begging."

        By Holden's having access to everything the Committee did, your first resolutions came to me in pretty much this shape, "Resign or be damned," and that is what Holden calls occupying a "delicate position!" very delicate indeed!! Something like giving you a delicate hint to leave by kicking you down stairs. I am sorry some members of your Board have such fine perception of delicacy.

        I thank you again for all your kindness. You helped cut off my head but I know you made the blow fall as light as you could.

Truly and sincerely yours,

B. S. HEDRICK.

B. S. Hedrick to Charles Manly.

New York City, March 21, 1857.

Dear Sir:

        Before the Executive Committee voted to turn me out of the University Gov. Swain wrote to them quite a long letter, in the shape of a legal opinion, in which he argued (and I think proved) that the Executive Committee had no power to remove any professor, such power belonging only to the trustees, and only to be exercised at the annual meeting. Now, although this letter of Gov. S's was altogether powerless with the Committee, still as part of the proceedings I wish to keep correct copy--in fact it is due to Gov. S. that he should stand correct on the record when the history of that disgraceful affair is written. And I think I also have a claim to its possession. There are a few other "documents" that I would be glad to have, but fear that I am already troubling you too much.

        With high regards and many thanks for your uniform kindness, I am

Yours truly,

B. S. HEDRICK.

Hon. Chas. Manly, Raleigh, N. C.


        This request was refused by Manly as is shown by the endorsement upon the letter in his writing. From the same source it is learned that the Trustees at their meeting of January 5, 1857 confirmed the action of the Executive Committee.

        Mr. Hedrick bore no malice against his colleagues and seems to have realized that even the Trustees could scarcely have avoided their action. Nor was his devotion to his native State


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altered. But his opposition to slavery was greatly strengthened and he left the State with a hatred of Mr. Holden that was undying.

        Remaining in the North for a few months, he returned to the State early in 1857 for a short stay. He then went to New York City where he obtained a clerkship in the Mayor's office. He also employed himself with lecturing and teaching. In 1861 he become an examiner in the Patent Office, as chief of the division of chemistry, metallurgy, and electricity. Later he was general chemical examiner. Here he was successful in instituting a number of needed reforms.

        In 1865 Mr. Hedrick was very close to President Johnson and was active in attempting to secure the speedy restoration of North Carolina to the Union. He believed that negro suffrage would be demanded by the North and was very anxious that the State should accept it as gracefully and speedily as possible for reasons of policy. In other respects he was in full accord with the dominant sentiment in the State. He was a close friend of Governor Jonathan Worth and his activity in behalf of the State during Worth's administration was unceasing as is shown by their correspondence.

        The foreging incident shows very plainly the effect of slavery upon free thought and free speech. Mr. Hedrick was a martyr for opinion's sake, though without any desire to occupy that position. Under existing circumstances, it was inevitable that his dismissal should take place, and, accepting conditions, the Trustees could scarcely be blamed for terminating his connection with the University. As Dr. Charles Phillips, a great friend of Hedrick said, "I take it as an axiom that when we wish to work for the people for the people's good, we are bound to consider their characteristics and not arouse their prejudices unnecessary, else they won't let us work for them." But his summary dismissal by the Executive Committee, without legal authority was unwarranted and is a fit cause for condemnation.

        Time has proved that Mr. Hedrick's view of slavery was correct


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and it is a cause for congratulation that its abolition put an end to the possibility of such persecution for opinion's sake, and has enabled the State and the University to recognize the worth and merit of a worthy son.

J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton


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