previous next
My grandfather's farm was at Lebanon, on Connecticut River. Dartmouth College, in Hanover, N. H., where my father was educated, was only a few miles off, and he liked to visit both. My mother went with him, and so did I, beginning in 1802. But it was a very different thing to travel then, and in the interior of New England, from what it is now. The distance was hardly one hundred and twenty miles, but it was a hard week's work, with a carriage and a pair of horses,—the carriage being what used to be called a coachee. One day, I recollect, we made with difficulty thirteen miles, and the road was so rough and dangerous that my mother was put on horseback, and two men were hired to go on foot, with ropes to steady the carriage over the most difficult places. But we got through at last, and I enjoyed it very much, for it was all new, and full of strange adventure. I was eleven when I took this, my first journey.

At Dartmouth College (or rather Hanover), we stayed at President Wheelock's. His wife was a daughter of a Dutch gentleman, governor of the island of St. Thomas, and connected with the Boudinot family, of New Jersey. Some of the furniture of her house, which I suppose she brought with her, made a curious contrast with the life about her. I remember that the sheets on my bed were of delicate linen, and that the pillow-cases were trimmed with lace. There were no carpets on the floors, and the cookery was detestable. I remember how I hated to sit down to dinner.

Dr. Wheelock was stiff and stately. He read constantly, sat up late, and got up early. He talked very gravely and slow, with a falsetto voice. Mr. Webster could imitate him perfectly. He had been in England, he had had a finger in politics, and had been a lieutenant-colonel in the army of the Revolution; but there was not the least trace of either of these portions of his life, in his manners or conversation, at this time. He was one of the most formal men I ever knew. I saw a great deal of him, from 1802 to 1816, in his own house and my father's, but never felt the smallest degree of familiarity with him, nor do I believe that any of the students or young men did. They were generally very awkward, unused to the ways of the world. Many of them, when they went to the President on their little affairs, did not know when the time had come for them to get up and leave him: he, on the other hand, was very covetous of his time, and when the business was settled, and he had waited a little while, he would say, ‘Will you sit longer, sir, or will you go now?’ It was a recognized formula, and no young man—that I ever heard of—ever sat longer after hearing it.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)
hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Wheelock (2)
Ezekiel Webster (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1802 AD (2)
1816 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: