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The First Century of the First State University

A guide to images used in the "The First Century of the First State University" collection



University of North Carolina ball  Davie Peale Portrait  UNC seal   Column from Smith Hall
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  1. Decorative illustration on the invitation to the 1843 Commencement Ball, from the North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library. See larger image.


  2. Posthumous portrait of William Richardson Davie, painted by Charles Willson Peale in 1826. Portrait property of the Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies Foundation, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. See larger image.


  3. The original seal of the University of North Carolina, designed in 1791 by James Hogg, Alfred Moore, and John Haywood. Image from University of North Carolina Catalogue, 1893-'94, North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library. See larger image.


  4. One of the distinctive capitals on the columns of Smith Hall (now Playmakers Theatre). Detail from a photograph by Jerry Cotten, Collection P004, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Collection, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library. See larger image.


Person Hall 

Image for the Buildings Section

Person Hall, built 1796-1798, served as the College Chapel and unofficial meeting hall for the university and the town of Chapel Hill until Gerrard Hall was completed in 1837. Image from the North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library; copy of original photograph owned by the Chapel Hill Historical Society. See larger image.



Campus Silhouette 

Image for the Campus Section

This silhouette of the campus was created by Frances Jones Hooper, who came to Chapel Hill as a bride of sixteen in 1814. The Steward's Hall is on the left, a bell tower in the center, and the Main Building (now South Building) on the right. The date of the silhouette is often cited as 1814, but a much more likely date is mid-1820s. Silhouette from the Louis and Mildred Graves Papers (#4010) in the Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library. See larger image.



Blackboard 

Image for the Civil War and Reconstruction Section

After a four-year closure, the University of North Carolina reopened in 1875. Incoming students returned to a deteriorated and empty campus. One student, William Joseph Peele (Class of 1879), remembers seeing "written in chalk in one of the old recitation rooms a memorandum of the brief and disastrous attempt to continue the University after the death of Governor Swain by those unfamiliar with its traditions. It read: 'This old University has busted and gone to hell today'" (Recreation of inscription described in Peele's "Pen-Pictures of the Times of '75," Record [University of North Carolina (1793-1962)], Vol. 1, Number 2, Chapel Hill: The University, 1901-1902). See larger image.



View of Fayetteville, North Carolina 

Image for the Creation and Governance Section

In 1789, the North Carolina General Assembly passed an act to charter the University of North Carolina while meeting in Fayetteville. Image from Recollections of the Private Life of General Lafayette, M. Jules Cloquet (New York: Leavitte, Lord & Co., 1836). See larger image.



Brass Sextant 

Image for the Curriculum Section

This brass sextant was made in London in the nineteenth century. It is believed to be one of the pieces of scientific apparatus that Joseph Caldwell purchased for the university in 1824. The sextant is owned by the North Carolina Collection Gallery, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library. The books are The Application of Christianity to the Commercial and Ordinary Affairs of Life, Reverend Thomas Chalmers (Boston: Samuel T. Armstrong, 1821) and Davidson's Latin Grammar Revised, Improved and Enlarged, Hugh Maguire (Baltimore: F. Lucas, 1827). These books represent the emphases on the Greek and Latin classics and Christian piety that were prominent features of the university's curriculum in the 1820s. Both volumes part of the Old Library Collection, North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library. See larger image.



UNC Faculty Members  Solomon Pool Elisha Mitchell David Lowry Swain Benjamin S. Hedrick David Ker

Image for the Faculty Section

1. Solomon Pool (1832-1901) was a clergyman and educator. He was a graduate of the University of North Carolina (Class of 1849) and President of the university from 1869 to 1871. Image from the North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library; copied from an unknown book. See larger image.

2. Elisha Mitchell (1793-1857) was a clergyman, geologist and educator. He was a member of the faculty of the University of North Carolina from 1818 until his death in 1857. This portrait of Professor Mitchell was painted in 1848 by Nathaniel Jocelyn. Portrait property of the Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies Foundation, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. See larger image.

3. David Lowry Swain (1801-1868) was Governor of North Carolina from 1832 to 1835 and President of the University of North Carolina from 1835 until 1868. Image from a portrait by William G. Browne. Original portrait property of the Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies Foundation, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. See larger image.

4. Benjamin S. Hedrick (1827-1886) was a professor at the University of North Carolina from 1853 until he was fired for his unpopular political views in 1856. Portrait is a 1907 copy of a daguerreotype made in 1857; from the Benjamin Sherwood Hedrick Papers (#325), Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library. See larger image.

5. David Ker (1758-1805) was the first professor and first Presiding Professor of the University of North Carolina. He left the University in 1796 after disagreements with the trustees over administrative structure and student unrest. Though the identity of the artist is unknown, this portrait of Ker is thought to have been painted in 1795 or 1796. It is part of the David Ker and Mary B. Ker Portraits and Papers (#3371) in the Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library. See larger image.



Watch Fob for a Dialectic Society Member 

Image for the Student Life Section

Watch fob made for a Dialectic Society member, date unknown. North Carolina Collection Gallery, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library. See larger image.



Photograph of the Porch of Eagle Hotel 

Image for the Town and Gown Section

The Eagle Hotel, located on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, was a popular boarding house for students and for visitors. This image shows the annex of the hotel, which was constructed in 1847 to house President James K. Polk and his party, who came to Chapel Hill for commencement that year. The hotel burned down in 1921. Image from Album, University of North Carolina, University of North Carolina (Richmond, VA: Foster, 1892). North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library. See larger image.



Detail of a Map of North Carolina 

Image for the University in the Life of the State Section

Detail of North Carolina, engraved by Joseph Perkins, from A New General Atlas (Philadelphia: A. Finley, 1832). North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library. See larger image.



Photograph of Memorial Hall 

Image for the Epilogue

Memorial Hall was the first building erected after the university reopened in 1875. It was meant to honor the memory of notable men who created and supported the antebellum university, particularly David L. Swain, and to memorialize the sons of the university who had fought and died for the Confederate cause. Memorial Hall was designed by the architect Samuel Sloan. It was constructed in 1885 and demolished in 1930. This image was probably taken in 1929 by the Wootten-Moulton Studio of Chapel Hill. Image from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Collection, North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library. See larger image.



Detail of an Invitation to the Commencement Ball 

Image for the Timeline and Browse By pages

Detail of an invitation to the Commencement Ball, University of North Carolina, June 1861. North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library. See larger image.



Books and Spectacles 

Image for the Bibliography, About this Collection, Editorial Practices, and Acknowledgments pages

These books and spectacles belonged to Joseph Caldwell, who was presiding professor and president of the University of North Carolina from 1796 to 1797, 1799 to 1812, and 1816 to 1835. The spectacles are housed in the North Carolina Collection Gallery, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library. The books, which were Caldwell's, are The American Preacher, or, A Collection of Sermons From Some of the Most Eminent Preachers Now Living in the United States of Different Denominations in the Christian Church, Volume IV (New Haven, Conn.: A. Morse, 1793); Joan of Arc: An Epic Poem, Robert Southey (Boston: Manning & Loring, 1798); and The Elements of Natural or Experimental Philosophy, Tiberius Cavallo (Philadelphia: Thomas Dobson, 1813). See larger image.