William T. Sherman to Ellen Sherman, February 10, 1860, in Walter L. Fleming, ed., General W. T. Sherman as College President... (Cleveland: Arthur H. Clark Co., 1912), 158-159.
Transcription adapted from General W. T. Sherman as College President (1912), edited by Walter L. Fleming
Adapted by Michael Blake, Dickinson College
The following transcript has been adapted from General W. T. Sherman as College President... (1912).
Seminary, February 10, 1860.
. . . I have now crossed the line and suppose I must rest satisfied with the title of the `Old Man,' the `cross old schoolmaster,' but time won't wait and we must rush on in the race to eternity. . .
We have just passed through a critical week, the struggle for mastery resulting in five boys being gone. It would take a volume to record it, but I am now rid of five noisy, insubordinate boys. Fifty-one still remain, not a recitation was missed, and I am fully supported. There can be but one master.
I was prepared for this resistance but it hardly gave me a moment's concern, but since, I learn from Dr. Smith in the legislature that it is doubtful whether Governor Wickliffe's bill will pass. Since old Brown has run out, Congress organized, Texas taken strong ground against secession, the Louisiana politicians have cooled down, and they are less zealous to build up a military school. Dr. Smith wrote me to let him know the least sum we needed from the state to carry us through the year. I have notified him that Governor Wickcliffe's sum is the least, that the institution must be sustained at the start, and that proper provision must be made for the professors in the way of buildings.
I wrote to General Graham telling him the outline of the London proposition and that I expected Roelofson daily, and that if I did not see in the proceedings of the legislature some signs of providing for the institution and for me personally, I should be forced to leave. I have just received a letter from him and he seems in great distress. He has worked so long and so hard to build up this college; he is so delighted at present management and prospects, and so impressed with the belief that I alone can manage its multifarious interests, that he says while he will not stand in the light of my interest, he will not lose my services to the state. . .
I see by the papers that John was defeated for speaker, but is likely to be prominent in the House, but he will be more careful hereafter in signing papers before he reads them. . .