The Training of an American: The Earlier Life and Letters of Walter H. Page, 1855-1913

By Burton J. Hendrick | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
SOUTHERN COLLEGE LIFE IN THE SEVENTIES

I

ONE Saturday afternoon in the autumn of 1871," writes Mr. J. D. Hodges,1 of Mocksville, North Carolina, "I was in my room at Trinity College looking over my lessons for Monday. I heard inordinate laughter on the streets. I listened. I heard a boy say: 'He wouldn't take it. He fought like a tiger. He knocked one of the boys down.' I went to make inquiry. They said: 'A new boy came in a while ago and we tried to haze him, and he wouldn't have it.' When I was at Trinity there was no violent hazing. They would blindfold the new boy, make him walk on his all fours and with a clapboard spank him pretty vigorously. This they were trying to do to the new arrival.

"'Where is the new boy now?' I asked.

"'We left him down at Smoke Row' -- a row of small rooms where the college boys lived. I found him leaning his shoulder against one of the piazza posts of 'Smoke Row.' His face was calm, smooth, but angry. I tried to engage him in conversation, but he was exceedingly reticent. He evidently didn't care to talk. He might have thought I was another hazer. However, he was usually quiet in his demeanour. That might have been the result of his studious habits. He was a fine student, especially in Greek. Years afterward, when he was editor of a paper in Raleigh, he would have me and another friend spend the night with him. He was then very jolly and full of life and apparently

____________________
1
Personal communication to the author.

-42-

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