previous next
[178] Ticknor. He had inherited from this predecessor a sort of pioneer-ship in position relative to the elective system just on trial as an experiment in college. There exists an impression in some quarters that this system came in for the first time under President Walker about 1853; but it had been, as a matter of fact, tried much earlier,—twenty years, at least,—in the Modern Language Department under Ticknor, and had been extended much more widely in 1839 under President Quincy. The facts are well known to me, as I was in college at that period and enjoyed the beneficent effects of the change, since it placed the whole college, in some degree, for a time at least, on a university basis. The change took the form, first, of a discontinuance of mathematics as a required study after the first year, and then the wider application of the elective system in history, natural history, and the classics, this greater liberty being enjoyed, though with some reaction, under President Everett, and practically abolished about 1849 under President Sparks, when what may be called the High School system was temporarily restored. An illustration of this reactionary tendency may be found in a letter addressed by Longfellow to the President and Fellows, placing him distinctly on the side of freedom of choice. The circumstances are these: Students had for some time been

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)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

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.
George Ticknor (2)
James Walker (1)
Jared Sparks (1)
Josiah Quincy (1)
Henry W. Longfellow (1)
Alexander Everett (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.
1853 AD (1)
1849 AD (1)
1839 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: