Dickinson College President Herman Johnson Circular Letter, April 24, 1861, Carlisle, PA, Record Group 2/6, Office of the President, Herman Merrills Johnson, Archives and Special Collections, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA.
The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print. Spelling and typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.
SIR: - I am instructed by the Faculty to address you the following note: -
The excitement which has arisen from the sudden outbreak of the war has been fully shared by the students of the College. It was so considerable for two or three days as to threaten a serious interruption of their studies. Quite a number have gone home; some, at the call of their parents ; some, from a supposed necessity ; some, procuring the consent of their parents by a representation, prompted by the first hasty impulse and by an exaggerated estimate of impending danger; and some, embracing the pretext for relief from the tedium of study. Some also, volunteered for the war, but it now appears that the number of men offering has very far exceeded the demands of the State, and this cause will not call them from present duty.
We have reason to hope that all disturbing excitement is past. The classes are all going on regularly with their work, and all who wish to retain their places are expected to return as soon as practicable and resume their studies.
The apprehension which some felt that students from the South were not safe, is entirely unfounded. The citizens have never manifested a kindlier feeling towards the students than in the present crisis. The idle words of a few irresponsible youths have not been thought by them or us worthy of notice.
H. M. JOHNSON, President.
P.S. – Several who had left are already returning and the parents of others write to their sons to remain.