My youngest daughter went to her first college class yesterday morning (Spanish I). She moved into the dorms last week and has managed to survive four full days of new student orientation. I think I will send her J.L. Bell’s recent piece at Boston 1775 on Charles Adams’s move into the Harvard dorms in 1785.
Here is a taste:
Charles had been studying for the entrance exam with the Rev. John Shaw of Haverhill, an uncle by marriage. On 9 May Charles wrote to his cousin William Cranch: “we study in the bedroom as usual two young fellows from Bradford being added to our number, One of whom will be my chum if we get in and who I should be very glad to introduce to you.”
By “chum,” Charles meant a college roommate. That prospect was Samuel Walker (1768–1846). When Charles’s older brother John Quincy Adams visited that summer, he immediately assured their mother that Samuel was “a youth, whose thirst for knowledge is insatiable.”
Read the rest here.