The Story of Phillips Exeter

The Story of Phillips Exeter

The Story of Phillips Exeter

The Story of Phillips Exeter

Excerpt

It is the tradition that Judge Jeremiah Smith, before his death in 1842, had begun a history of the Phillips Exeter Academy. Not a trace of it can be found, and it is probable that the manuscript was lost in one of the several disastrous fires in Exeter. In 1860, fire destroyed the former residence of John Phillips on Water Street, and possibly the diary which he was known to have kept. If it had been removed to the Second Academy Building for safe-keeping, both it and the Smith history may have been burned in the fire which demolished that building in 1870. Many precious portraits were lost in the same fire. Certainly the burning of the Third Academy Building in 1914 made a clean sweep of nearly every contemporary record of the past.

For these reasons the present volume owes a great deal to earlier writers of Academy history and to chance letters and old diaries. I cannot hope to express suitable gratitude to each of the many graduates who have given time and thought to generous answers to questions, and so I shall not try to do so. I feel in particular debt, though, to Perley Gardner, '94; Clifford K. Shipton, Custodian of the University Archives at Harvard; Edward C. Lathem, of the Baker Library at Dartmouth; Miss Ruth Brown of the Davis Library at Exeter; Miss Gertrude E. Starks, Alumni Secretary of the Academy; and Percy C. Rogers of the Academy Faculty.

The chart Some Members of the Phillips Family is adapted from one in "An Old New England School" by Claude M. Fuess, who kindly gave me permission to make use of it.

Earlier historians of the Academy are Professor Joseph Gibson Hoyt in his essay The Phillips Family and the Phillips Exeter Academy in the North American Review for July 1858; Governor Charles H. Bell of New Hampshire in his Phillips Exeter Academy, A Historical Sketch, published by the News Letter Press in Exeter . . .

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