for debate, “ Is a man justified in obeying a law of his country which he believes to be morally wrong?”
And “T. B. Fox, Jr. And H. W. Hall” are the regular disputants on the negative.
All the leading political questions of the day were discussed in this little lyceum. . . . . The majority of the members had a decided taste and no small talent for theatricals; but from first to last, debating and oratory were the main work of the society.
The lyceum, referred to in the above letter, led to the formation of the ‘Pickwick Club,’ an association of Dorchester
young men for mutual improvement.
Of this society Thomas
was an interested and active member.
One of the best of his juvenile performances was an oration on ‘The Youth of Great Men,’ delivered at the request of his associates, July 4, 1857.
The maturity of his thoughts, the chaste beauty of his diction, and his sincere eloquence impressed all who listened to him on that occasion.
The tone and spirit of this fraternal club, including, as it did, a majority not yet of age, may be inferred from these facts in its history.
Thirteen of the twenty-seven active members, and nine of the twenty-two honorary members, joined the Union
Four of the former and three of the latter died of wounds or sickness.
Among those who became soldiers were one lieutenant-colonel
, four captains, three adjutants, and one chaplain.
Two of these, as already intimated, have their names inscribed, with prefixed stars, on Harvard's roll of honor.
In 1856 Thomas
entered college, one of four graduates of the Dorchester High School who passed the examination unconditionally, and took foremost places in their Class.
Of this happy portion of his life, his most intimate daily associate from childhood and nearly to the hour of his death (Rev. C. A. Humphreys
) writes thus:—
You have asked me to give some account of Tom's college life.
How can I compress four years into as many pages, especially four such years, so full of experience and growth?
Our preparation for college was more broad than thorough; so in the first year we had no stock to fall back on, except a good will to work.
Tom took a good stand in the first year, but in the second he was sixth in rank; and in the third, he was second in his Class, and obtained