By Robert F. Pace
A robust confluence of younger energies and entrenched codes of honor enlivens Robert F. Pace’s examine the realm of male pupil university lifestyles within the antebellum South. via huge learn into files, letters, and diaries of scholars and college from greater than twenty associations, velocity creates a shiny portrait of adolescent rebelliousness suffering from the ethic to domesticate a public face of undefined, appreciate, and honesty. those destiny leaders faced authority figures, made buddies, studied, courted, hung out, drank, gambled, cheated, and dueled—all in the tested traditions in their southern tradition. For the sons of southern gentry, university existence awarded various demanding situations, together with enticing with northern professors and adjusting to residing clear of domestic and family members. The younger males prolonged the standard view of upper schooling as a bridge among early life and maturity, innovatively developing their very own global of honor that ready them for residing within the higher southern society. Failure to procure a superb schooling was once a grievous breach of honor for them, and velocity skillfully weaves jointly tales of scholar antics, trials, and triumphs in the broader male ethos of the previous South. whilst the Civil struggle erupted, many scholars left campus to develop into infantrymen, guard their households, and guard a life-style. through war’s finish, the code of honor had waned, altering the tradition of southern faculties and universities perpetually. Halls of Honor represents an important replace of E. Merton Coulter’s 1928 vintage paintings, collage lifestyles within the outdated South, which eager about the college of Georgia. Pace’s full of life examine will widen the dialogue of antebellum southern university lifestyles for many years to return.
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Extra info for Halls of Honor: College Men in the Old South
Recitation, oration, and public examinations all held within them the potential for glory or for shame. For these privileged students, failure did not mean that they would never have a career, as it might represent to students of a more modern age. Failure meant that their reputations as men of honor might come into question. These young, inexperienced men, therefore, chose to react to this overwhelming pressure in a variety of ways. Some studied, determined to master the curriculum through hard work.
Anderson was not pleased with this obligation, especially after he had paid the university prices, then later discovered he could have purchased the goods elsewhere for much less. The main target of his complaint against the university furnishings was the bed. ”13 Other students also complained about their furnishings. James Mercer Garnett of St. Mary’s College in Maryland had an experience similar to Anderson’s. ”14 A more urgent problem for some, however, was not the size of the bed, but the insects that accompanied it.
These were orations aimed at tickling the audience’s sense of humor. He reported: “Barrett’s [speech] was the best ‘funny’ that I ever heard. His subject was ‘A new study in our college course’ and in speaking he said that the ‘new study’ was Courtship. He was the last man that spoke and when he got through it ’s a ll a c ade mic 31 some of his classmates rode him out on their shoulders. ”52 So, despite the subject matter, Barrett had won acclaim because of his cleverness, and he had succeeded in the public arena as an honorable man should.
Halls of Honor: College Men in the Old South by Robert F. Pace