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Title: Letter from John Henderson to his father, Archibald Henderson, September 4, 1862 (In Which He Describes a Student Rebellion) : Electronic Edition.
Author: Henderson, John, fl. 1863
Funding from the University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill supported the electronic publication of this title.
Text transcribed by Bari Helms
Images scanned by Caitlin R. Donnelly
Text encoded by Caitlin R. Donnelly
First Edition, 2007
Size of electronic edition: ca. 16K
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2007
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text
The electronic edition is a part of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South.
Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2007-05-24, Caitlin R. Donnelly finished TEI/XML encoding.
Source(s):
Title of collection: John Steele Henderson Papers (#327), Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Title of document: Letter from John Henderson to his father, Archibald Henderson, September 4, 1862 (In Which He Describes a Student Rebellion)
Author: John
Description: 4 pages, 4 page images
Note: Call number 327 (Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Editorial practices
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Originals are in the Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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Letter from John Henderson to his father, Archibald Henderson, September 4, 1862 (In Which He Describes a Student Rebellion)
Henderson, John, fl. 1863



Page [1]
Chapel Hill N. C. Sept 4th 1862

My Dear Father

I write to you under circumstances, different from any, that I have been under since I have been in College. I have been engaged in a "Rebellion", which has turned, out differently from, what I anticipated. Two of our class were dismissed for devilling the "Fresh;" whereupon the class (a majority) meets and sends in a petition to the Faculty, requesting them to take the two young men back; the Faculty took no notice of our petition and we stopped all duties. That evening five more of our number were summoned before the Faculty and dismissed. Yesterday at half past three Oclock the rest of the "Rebels" nine in number were summoned before the Faculty. After some debate the Faculty came to the conclusion, "that if we did not attend recitations in the morning (this morning) we might consider ourselves dismissed. Last night the class had

Page [2]
a meeting and unanimously agreed, that, as they had pledged themselves to go off if those men were sent off, it was their duty, regardless of consequences, to leave the Hill. During the night however some of the members got scared and awoke all the others up before prayers to have another meeting. At this meeting it was concluded, as we were pressed for time, it was better to go in, which we did; but after breakfast having thought the matter seriously over we came to the conclusion that we could not possibly remain in college without violating our pledge. We therefore sent in a petition to the Faculty worded as follows,

Gentlemen of the Faculty
"We deliberated until very late last night and before prayers this morning, whether we could conscientiously return to our duties without violating our pledge, and being pressed for time we attended our morning duties; but since then we have carefully read over the pledge and find, that we must leave the Hill, if only for a very short time, in order to save our honour, we therefore beg you to consider our case

Page [3]
leniently, for we exceedingly regret the circumstances, which have brought us into such a disagreeable situation." We leave to day with much regret, hoping that you will consider our case in as fair a light as possible." Yours &c
I then packed up my trunk thinking certainly, that I would leave Chapel Hill to-day at two Oclock forever — for the Faculty told us, if we left, the dismissal would be final. Not long afterwards one of the Faculty, Dr Hubbard called on me and tried to persuade me, that a pledge given under such circumstances was not binding but with little effect. He then proposed to go and see Judge Battle and see what he thought of it. Judge thought it was not only not binding but, that if we carried it out, it would be committing a moral crime. Under these circumstances the class agreed to return to duty. Even now I dont feel right about it, I cant feel right about it, until I consult you. I hope, therefore, you will let me come home about the latter part of next week and converse with you on this subject.

Page [4]
From want of space I have barely given you a sinopsis. Somethings, I wish to speak to you about have been left out altogether. I can testify, that Governor Swain acted towards me with great kindness during the whole trial. He seems to take a great interest in me, more so than I could have any reason to expect. I suppose you will receive a letter from him in a few days, if you havent received one ere this. What glorious news! another great victory on the plains of Manassas, which rivals in magnitude and consequences, the one fought there a little more than a year ago. Would to God, we could capture Washington City and "carry the war into the heart of Africa." Dont judge the action, I took in regard to the rebellion, too harshly until you see me face to face, as I can not possibly inform you in a letter of the particulars. There is no doubt, the whole class acted wrong from the beginning, and perhaps towards the last, but however that might be, it was a disagreeable affair throughout.

Your son

John