Friday, August 23, 2019

Greet the World from the Hill with a…Bell?

View of the Dartmouth Hall Belfry with bell rope, circa 1880
As we mentioned in a previous post, a visit to Dartmouth isn’t quite complete until you’ve heard the Alma Mater ringing across campus from the majestic bells of Baker Tower. Baker’s bells have served as the heartbeat of the College on the Hill for 91 years, chiming the hours and announcing other events on campus since the famous library was constructed in 1928. But long before the casting of Baker’s bells, an arguably more famous, or at least more notorious, bell greeted Dartmouth students, professors, and visitors from atop another iconic building on the eastern side of the Green - Dartmouth Hall.

The story of Dartmouth Hall’s bell begins with the initial founding of the College. Realizing the need to announce church services, meetings, and class periods in addition to instituting a “town clock” in the woods of New Hampshire, Eleazar Wheelock, Dartmouth’s first president, pleaded with his financial supporters in England to help him raise funds to purchase a bronze bell. At the time, quality bells (i.e., bells that did not crack under heavy use) were extremely expensive, and as such Eleazar was forced to rely upon a large conch shell, which he and undergraduate students blew into, to announce class periods and to call worshipers to prayer.

The first College bell was found to be broken upon its arrival from Whitefield, NH, in 1789, thus marking the beginning of the long line of short-lived Dartmouth Hall bells. On August 8, 1790, then Dartmouth senior William Eaton, who would later become famous Army General William Eaton and Consul General to Tunis during the First Barbary War, was dispatched by Dartmouth President John Wheelock to procure a bell cast at Messrs Doolittle and Goodyear in Hartford, CT, for commencement. The 282-pound bell was hung on August 24, 1790, in the new belfry of Dartmouth Hall, marking the beginning of 138 years of Dartmouth Hall bells ringing across campus. In 1819, during the famous Dartmouth College Case, Dartmouth College and Dartmouth University argued over ownership of the bell, given that its chiming symbolized control over class and religious service schedules. Eventually, the bell was appropriated along with other pieces of college property to the short-lived University, but was relinquished back to the College following Daniel Webster’s successful case.

In October 1819, the Dartmouth Hall bell broke and was replaced by a 299-pound Revere bell (one of only 398 bells produced by Paul Revere’s foundry between 1792 and 1828) brought from Boston. This bell was then traded for a larger 512-pound bell, also from Revere’s foundry, in February, 1821. In 1829, following renovations to Dartmouth Hall, a deeper-toned bell of 726 pounds was installed, where it rang for over 40 years until it cracked in 1867. During the 1850s-1880s, one of the favorite pranks of Dartmouth students was to “steal the clapper off the bell, or ring it before the recitation period was fully over” (pg. 20, A Social & Architectural History of Dartmouth Hall). By the 1870s, the eagerness of students to climb Dartmouth Hall to ring the largest bell before the end of class periods and before sunrise had grown problematic. To prevent this practice, the disgruntled faculty gradually boarded up entrances to the Dartmouth Hall belfry and even posted a guard. Many ingenious devices were thus invented to ring the bell from a distance, one sophomore going so far as to climb the lightning rod with a long stick in hand, having fastened a rope to the eaves as a means of escape. Unfortunately, the rope was discovered by faculty and cut off about 3 feet below the eaves, so that upon using it, the boy dropped three stories to the ground. Our records indicate that the student limped away before the faculty could catch him.

As both the size and reputation of Dartmouth College grew, so did the size and reputation of Dartmouth Hall’s bell. From 1867-1885, Dartmouth Hall went through a succession of four bells which had an uncanny tendency to break shortly after their warranty periods had expired, all the while more than doubling in size from 512 to 1,237 pounds. Despite their growth and the continued importance of Dartmouth Hall as a recitation hall, dormitory, chapel, library, and medical school, the building which supported the Dartmouth Hall bells had fallen into neglect. In 1887, President Bartlett praised the “harmony of the bell” which called him to work in the morning, but described Dartmouth Hall as a “menace” due to its dilapidated state and the infamous “bedbug alley” dorms which occupied the top-most floor. Renovations to the belfry proved short lived however, as the bells melted in the famous 1904 fire which consumed most of Dartmouth Hall.

Mass of melted bronze salvaged from the remains of the 1904 fire.
Dartmouth students and alumni had grown so fond of the Dartmouth Hall bells that after melted remnants of the bell were found amid the smoldering timbers following the 1904 fire, hundreds of small replica bells were made from the hunk of bronze. These small souvenir bells were used as watch fobs; given as gifts to alumni, trustees of the college, and local families, often labelled with the inscription: “made from fragments from the eight ancient bells of Dartmouth Hall which called the students together from 1786-1904.” Today, several of these beautiful Dartmouth Hall bell replicas can be heard chiming here at Rauner Special Collections Library, where they are housed in our realia room.
Small Dartmouth Hall replica bell owned by President William J. Tucker
After the 1904 fire, Joshua W. Pierce (class of 1905) gifted the college with a 1,184 pound bell also from Meneely & Co., which was installed on September 27, 1905. The bell continued chiming the hour and signaling class schedules until the construction of Baker Library in 1928, after its role in signaling church services had been passed in 1888 to Rollins Chapel. In a stroke of luck, the Dartmouth Hall bell survived the 1935 fire which consumed the roof of the building, but has remained largely unused.

Despite hanging in silence, Dartmouth Hall’s bell continued to make headlines when news broke in October of 1954 that a group of undergraduates had stolen the 70-pound clapper. The self-declared “Clapper-Nappers” left a ransom note with the college newspaper, stating:
Here are the facts on why the late bell doesn’t ring anymore. We have stolen the clapper from the top of Dartmouth Hall. It is now hidden within two miles of Hanover… we will return the clapper when Dartmouth becomes coeducational.
Aside from using the bell clapper heist as a gesture of frustration over the administration’s inability to move toward coeducation, the Clapper-Nappers also ended their ransom letter on a lighter note, saying “We hope unpunctual students... appreciate our efforts to revive the old College tradition (of stealing the Dartmouth Hall bell clapper).”

1935 New York Times article titled 'Dartmouth's Bell Rings, Surviving Fire in Old Hall"
Today, the bell remains atop Dartmouth Hall; now a silent reminder of Dartmouth’s past. “But can the bell still be rung?” you may ask. The answer appears to be yes and no, depending on to what lengths you are willing to go to ring it. A note in our collection from Dartmouth's events manager dated July 18, 1990, explains that the "Dartmouth Hall bell cannot be rung as there is no rope to pull it… (but) about 15 years ago students attached a rope to the bell and dropped it to the ground and rang the bell from the ground.” Perhaps after nearly 140 years of use and many mishaps, Dartmouth Hall’s bell deserves a well-earned rest.
To learn more about the Dartmouth Hall bells, ask for the vertical file "Dartmouth Hall - Bells", or ask to see our parts and replicas of the Dartmouth Hall bell by asking for Realia Box 26. More images of the various iterations of Dartmouth Hall and the Dartmouth Hall belfry can also be found in the photo file "Dartmouth Hall - Old."

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Vigilantism at Dartmouth: Dartmouth Women’s Response to Sexual Assault

Front page of "The Shit You Don't Hear About..." flyer
Twenty-two years ago, a flyer was posted all around Dartmouth’s campus with a shocking message. On the flyer, titled The Shit You Don’t Hear About, are articles airing out the transgressions of Dartmouth organizations and members of the community. The flyer was published anonymously, for fear of social and physical retaliation. Its biggest story is a poem performed at Beta Theta Pi (de-recognized by the College following this incident) in its fraternity meetings in the summer of 1995. The poem boasts about the sexual exploits of brothers of Beta Theta Pi. The poem includes racist comments against Native Americans, lewd objectification of the female body, body-shaming, and boasting about rape. Names of real Dartmouth students were used in the poem, as characters with dialogue and descriptions. The publishers of The Shit You Don’t Hear About redacted these names before posting the document. It also includes an article about Alpha Chi Alpha’s “Pledge Banquet Skit,” which features “mastectomy jokes, as well as material sure to be offensive to all women, and Asian/Asian-American students,” an article about intimidation and harassment tactics by the Alpha Delta Fraternity (de-recognized in 2015), and articles about the racist and sexist exploits of other members of the Dartmouth community.

Second page of the flyerWhile it is the only flyer (that I know of) published by this particular group, The Shit You Don’t Hear About does not stand alone. Dartmouth College has a history of women standing up when they feel the administration and community have failed them. Before the flyer went public, its publishers had littered the lawns of Alpha Chi Alpha and Beta Theta Phi with manure in retaliation. In 1989, a rally and campaign were held by an estimated 100 students in response to Dartmouth’s refusal to bring a male student, Kevin Acker, before the Committee on Standards after being accused by two female students of sexual assault. Posters were circulated with Acker’s face on it, warning students to stay away from him. (While not tried before the COS in relation to accusations from these two women, Acker was found guilty of “sexual misconduct” against a different woman at a later date.) In 1996, again posters of a student accused of sexual assault were again circulated around campus, this time anonymously.

In my research of sexual assault at Dartmouth College, again and again I have come across evidence of brave women who take justice in their own hands, not only to punish the accused, but to protect their fellow Dartmouth students. When Dartmouth denies a hearing with the Committee on Standards, or ignores a survivor’s report, or fails to adequately discipline those convicted, a sexual assaulter runs free and the Dartmouth community is put in danger. This type of vigilantism was an effort to curb that danger. Every person who saw one of those posters knew that the person depicted was not safe to hang around, and that sexual assault was not tolerated by this part of the community. That is an important and noble message, even and especially today.

It is sad that so many people, for good reason, have little faith in the judicial procedures concerning sexual assault on campus. It is, however, nice to know that even when Dartmouth does not step up, there are people on campus who do.

To look at the flyer, come to Special Collections and ask to see the Sexual Harassment Vertical File.

Posted for Faydra Richardson ’20, recipient of a Historical Accountability Student Research Fellowship for the 2019 Summer term. The Historical Accountability Student Research Fellowship provides full funding for a current Dartmouth student to conduct research with primary sources during an off-term on a topic related to issues of inclusivity and diversity in the college’s past. For more information, visit the fellowship's website.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Comic Almanacs

Last year we acquired a huge collection of 19th-century comic materials from the collector Joseph Rainone. With Joe's help, we have been busy digitizing an important batch of comic almanacs. Cheaply printed, and marketed to a middle and working-class audience, they supplemented practical information with pioneering comics. The results are a troubling mix of racism and misogyny typical of 19th-century humor, alongside moments of innovation in graphic story telling.

Within the almanacs, seemingly no ethnic group is spared, but the comics are particularly caustic toward African American, Irish, Chinese, and Jewish peoples. We recognize that digitizing these materials and making them widely available could potentially lead to their use in ways that are antithetical to our social and cultural values. We also recognize that making these available opens them to historical critique. While we are uncomfortable with some of the implications of digitizing these materials, we believe that a critical eye turned on the past creates insight that develops avenues for social change.

To judge for yourself, you can see the digital collection evolve at The Joseph Rainone Comic Collection. And, if you search the catalog, you can find them all for use in the Rauner Library reading room.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Eastward Ho!

Title page of Eastward Hoe
Here in Special Collections, Shakespeare gets a lot of attention. In particular, our copy of the First Folio is regularly retrieved from the stacks for visitors and students alike to gaze upon in awe and reverence. We've blogged before about how his later folios often get short shrift in comparison. Today, we want to show some love to a contemporary of Shakespeare's whose poetry actually appears in the First Folio. Ben Jonson was an English playwright who is most well-known for his scathingly satirical plays and the numerous masques that he wrote for the entertainment of the English court. Some have argued that he was the first poet laureate of England because of his receipt of a royal pension beginning in 1616. The period between 1605 and 1620 is often referred to as his most successful, when he enjoyed the patronage of the king and court.

However, before he enjoyed the pleasure of King James I, Jonson initially experienced His Majesty's displeasure. In 1605, Jonson collaborated with fellow playwrights John Marston and George Chapman to create a drama titled Eastward Hoe. The satirical comedy presented the exploits of a London goldsmith named Touchstone and his two apprentices; in the process, Jonson and his collaborators cleverly referenced and sometimes parodied numerous other popular plays of the time, such as Tamburlaine and Hamlet. Unfortunately for the men, though, they were also a bit too edgy for the king's liking. The play contains numerous satirical anti-Scottish comments, which ultimately caused a scandal and led to their arrest for insulting His Majesty. After several months in prison, spent furiously writing letters of supplication to various noble patrons, the men were released from jail.

Here at Rauner, we are fortunate to have an early edition (perhaps a first edition!) of the play that caused such a ruckus. To see it, come to Special Collections and ask to see Hickmott 160.

Friday, August 2, 2019

The Co-ed Committees: Bringing Women to Dartmouth

Trustee Study Committee organizational chartImmediately after beginning my research on Dartmouth’s road to coeducation as a Historical Accountability Student Research Fellow for the Summer 2019 term, I realized that I had greatly underestimated the complexity of the issue. The decision to go co-ed was about far more than whether the Trustees thought women were good enough for Dartmouth; it was about logistics. Before anyone could decide whether Dartmouth would go coeducational, they had to decide if it even could, and if it could, then how would they do it? Would they establish a coordinate college for women? An associate school? What would the costs be? Could Dartmouth predict and overcome a reduction in alumni donations? What of the issues of new facilities, greater numbers of women faculty, women’s athletics, housing? There was no immediately obvious answer to all of these questions.

To help sort out the issue, the Board of Trustees of Dartmouth College decided to establish a series of committees that would tackle specific questions. These committees would gather information and then report back to the Board with their recommendations. The first committee the Trustees established was the Trustee Study Committee (TSC), which was created to determine the general feasibility of coeducation at Dartmouth.

The TSC was established in the Spring of 1969 and held its first full meeting on October 1st of that same year. Two weeks later, it established its four subcommittees. These were the Subcommittee on Academic Models, the Subcommittee on Student Residence, the Subcommittee on Non-Academic Activities, and the Subcommittee on the Education of Women. Some of these subcommittees even had sub-subcommittees, so complex were the issues.

Page 11 from the TSC reportOver the next several months of meetings, the TSC brainstormed a handful of potential models for coeducation and questions that needed to be addressed. They investigated alumni, student, and faculty opinion polls on coeducation, the experiences of Yale and Princeton in going coeducational, projected financial impacts of coeducation, ways to increase enrollment without exceeding the college’s capacity, federal discrimination laws, and more.

The TSC continued holding regular gatherings for two years, with the final meeting on April 3, 1971. There, they unanimously voted on several recommendations to the Board of Trustees. These recommendations strongly encouraged the Trustees to vote in favor of coeducation in any form, advising that the College begin admitting women to either Dartmouth College, an associate school, or a coordinate college for women beginning fall of 1972. They suggested a goal of matriculating 800 women. The TSC also discouraged reducing the male population below 3,000 and advised against increasing the on-campus population to more than 3,150 students at a time. To make these contradictory recommendations possible, they suggested that Dartmouth make more effective use of the Summer term. This would allow Dartmouth to have a larger total enrollment without increasing the number of students on campus at any given time.

These recommendations, though fruitful, introduced another level of complexity to the issue of implementing coeducation. The TSC may have encouraged coeducation and provided a series of feasible models, but they hadn’t settled on one idea in particular. The recommendation of year-round operation through the use of the summer term also would require extensive research and discussion. In order to address these two major issues, the Board of Trustees established two more committees: the Joint Committee on the Associated School and the Committee on the Year-Round Operation of the College.

Page 12 from the TSC reportThe Joint Committee on the Associated School was created to explore the possibility of an Associated School for Women at Dartmouth. Of the several academic models proposed, this was initially perceived as the most attractive. There was already an existing framework for associated schools, given the presence of the Tuck Business School and the Geisel Medical School. This would also help prevent the ire of many of the older alums, because it would still provide some separation of men and women. Dartmouth had become the last all-male bastion in the Ivy League, and many wanted to preserve the heavily masculine atmosphere.

The Committee on the Year-Round Operation of the College was tasked with gauging the student and faculty reaction to a summer term. They also needed to examine whether the proposed summer term would be voluntary or mandatory, and if it were voluntary, how many students would participate?

After several more months of debate, these two committees submitted their formal recommendations to the Board of Trustees. The Joint Committee on the Associated School had ultimately decided that an Associated School for Women was not the most attractive option, given overwhelming student and faculty opposition. They suggested that, were the Board to vote in favor of coeducation, it should be a model in which female students were fully integrated members of Dartmouth College. The Committee on the Year-Round Operation of the College submitted a final report encouraging the implementation of a full-parity summer term. There would be a single mandatory summer term for each student, and it would be academically equivalent to the other three terms.

And so, the Board of Trustees finally had the specific recommendations they needed to make an informed decision about coeducation. At an extended meeting on November 21st and 22nd 1971, the Board of Trustees made the historic vote to commit the college to the Dartmouth Plan for Year-Round Operation, with the matriculation of female students at Dartmouth College in the fall of 1972. Dartmouth, which had just celebrated its 200th year of all-male education, would finally be coeducational. It certainly wasn’t an easy or simple process, given the number of people involved and questions to be answered, but the decision was finally made, and the college could move forward into a new, more inclusive, era.

To learn more, come to Special Collections and ask to see Box 7632 of the Dean of Faculty's records (DA-165).

Posted for Grace Hanselman ’20, recipient of a Historical Accountability Student Research Fellowship for the 2019 Summer term. The Historical Accountability Student Research Fellowship provides full funding for current Dartmouth students to conduct research with primary sources during an off-term on a topic related to issues of inclusivity and diversity in the college’s past. For more information, visit the fellowship's website.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

War-Time Reading

Green paper cover to Lady Audley's SecretWe have written before about our Confederate imprint of Lady Audley's Secret printed in Mobile, Alabama, in 1864 and bound in wallpaper. We just purchased a great companion piece: a Union counterpart from New York, also printed in the 1860s. Neither would have been authorized by the author, Mary Braddon: the absence of an international copyright law meant they were in the public domain in the United States (and the Confederate States). In both cases, these publishers were trying to feed a popular novel to the public on a budget.

The sensational story (it is a real page turner) excused the poor production standards. These were copies to be devoured--equally so in the North and the South. That they both survived the war and the subsequent years is a minor miracle.

You can take a look at the new addition to the collections by asking for Rare PR4989.M4L2 1860z.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Institutional Indifference and the Spirit of Dartmouth

Newspaper article related to the Redding Report
All is well for the minority students at Dartmouth College. That is, at least, what an official recruitment video from 2018 implies. Black and brown students are dappled throughout the advertisement: they write in notebooks, sit at oak tables with emeralite lamps, walk in graduation robes (an African sash draped over their shoulders), and sport goggles while peering at beakers. Here are people totally unencumbered by their racial background, freely pursuing an elite education. In the College’s words, this is “What Makes Dartmouth DARTMOUTH.”

And yet just months after this video was published the Student Assembly sent a campus-wide email denouncing a spate of racial incidents and the institution's quasi-apathetic response. The expression of racism varied: it was found in vicious emails, in slurs on dorm room doors, or in “the impersonation of current students.” The result remained the same: the Student Assembly held that “these hate crimes wound our sense of community.” Perhaps what makes Dartmouth what it is can be found in these occurrences too.

First page of the Redding ReportThere is an eerie resemblance between this email and the Redding Report published 44 years earlier. Formally titled “Institutional Racism and Student Life at Dartmouth College,” the document enumerates a long list of racial abuses suffered by the black population at the hands of the school. According to the authors, “various minority students have reported being told by a professor, before he had seen any of their work, that he knew they would not do well in his course because they were non-white.” They wrote of one episode in which a group of black students asked to use the Cohen-Bissell lounge to fraternize but were pointed in the direction of the Afro-American Society basement instead. They observed the coaches (only one of whom was black) poorly treating black athletes (of which there were several). They worried about the lack of nonwhite faces on committees--even on the one claiming students would be judged by a jury of their peers. They felt the alienation black students endure as a result of estrangement from the “Dartmouth family.”

Just as the 2019 email contended that racism “detract[s] from our individual and collective security,” denying a sense of emotional well-being to students, the 1974 report argues that the psychological problems afflicting some of Dartmouth’s black community was partially caused by a “traumatic cultural shock.”

Another disturbing parallel connecting the decades-wide gap between the institute of the 70s and the one of today is the College’s response. The students of the former remarked that “whenever Dartmouth College has been able to escape the issue (of racial inequality), it has tried to do so,” and when the school has acted its attempts were “incremental in nature or founded in insincerity.” In a similar vein, the Student Assembly writes “an insufficient reaction has been made by the further prevent intolerant individuals from acting against the well-being and unity of the Dartmouth community.”

Pessimism lingers in the conclusion of the Redding Report, with the authors anticipating that the
college won’t act on its own volition. Their cause for concern was later justified, as it took six months for the College to respond, and even then one author felt “that the Administration had not dealt directly with many of the allegations contained in the report, merely shifting responsibility for responding to these allegations to various committees.”

The writers charge the school with contradicting itself, repeatedly failing to guard its more vulnerable offspring all the while advertising itself as welcoming everyone into its family. In a prophetic voice whose sterness carries through more than forty years, one author offers both a way to resolve this paradox and an ultimatum: “The college can continue to take insufficient action against discrimination on the campus, but will have to be honest with the minority applicants and matriculating students.” It remains to be seen if any asterisks or daggers will appear, small but certainly present, when the school attempts to rally unity with phrases like “What Makes Dartmouth DARTMOUTH.”

To read the Redding Report, come to Rauner and ask for D.C. History LD1441 .C384.

Posted for Alexis Reaves ’20, recipient of a Historical Accountability Student Research Internship during the 2019-2020 academic year. The Historical Accountability Student Research Internship provides limited funding for Dartmouth students to conduct research with primary sources during the school year on topics related to issues of inclusivity and diversity in the college’s past. For more information, visit the Historical Accountability Program’s website.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

A Belated Burial

Photograph of Charles Stern in uniform
This past weekend, the remains of Charles M. Stern Jr., a member of the class of 1936, were brought back to his home town of Albany, NY, for reburial nearly seventy-eight years after his death. Stern had been one of many unidentified sailors who died upon the battleship USS Oklahoma when it was destroyed during the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Four hundred and twenty-nine crew members were killed by Japanese planes during the surprise attack that claimed the lives of 2,403 soldiers and civilians. Stern's remains had been interred in a cemetery in Hawaii until relatively recently, when efforts began to identify those who had previously been classified as "missing in action."

Newspaper article relating Joan Mayer Stern's experience during the attack on Pearl HarborAccording to a Dartmouth Alumni Magazine obituary in the February 1942 issue, Stern was the first Dartmouth man to lose his life in the war. He had been working in advertising ever since graduating from Dartmouth, but in 1940 had enlisted in the US Naval Reserve Midshipman's school in New York. Soon after, he was assigned to Honolulu. The following year, he married a hometown girl, Joan B. Mayer, who had only just graduated from Vassar College in June of 1941. Only few months later, he would die in service of his country while his new bride listened to the explosions from their apartment only fifteen miles away in Waikiki. After several days of waiting for some sign or message of Stern's survival, Joan accepted the worst and returned home to Albany. Soon after, she took a job at the Grumman aircraft factory on Long Island. In 1943, she was informed by the Navy that a new destroyer escort was to be named for her husband. The USS Stern launched on October 31, 1943, was stationed in the Pacific, and performed numerous roles while supporting US troops in the Philippines and during the battle of Iwo Jima before being decommissioned in 1946 with three battle stars.

To read more about Stern's life and death, come to Special Collections and ask to see his Alumni file.

Friday, July 19, 2019

A Rosetta By Any Other Name

cover of "Because a Little Bug went Ka-Choo!"
On this day in 1799, the discovery of the Rosetta Stone was formally reported by Michel Ange Lancret to the Institut D'Egypte, a newly formed scientific organization that had been created by Napoleon for the express purpose of conducting research during his campaign in Northern Africa. The stone was discovered near what is now the Egyptian port city of Rashid and has proved invaluable in the translation of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, which had been inscrutable to Western scholars until this moment. Sadly, here in Special Collections, we don't have access to this sort of linguistic miracle. However, we do have our own Rosetta Stone of sorts.

Biographical notes inside the front cover of Stone bookAmong the numerous volumes in our Alumni collection is a children's bookwritten by "Rosetta Stone" and illustrated by Michael Frith. The book, titled Because a Little Bug Went Ka-choo!, was printed in 1975 by Random House as a part of its Beginner Books imprint. So, why do we have a book by Ms. Stone in our Alumni collection? Well, Beginner Books was founded in 1957 by Phyllis Cerf, Ted Geisel '25, and Helen Palmer Geisel. The first book published under that imprint was The Cat in the Hat. Whenever Ted Geisel illustrated his own works, he went by the well-known pen name "Dr. Seuss." However, when he wrote the books but didn't draw them, he went by pseudonyms. Perhaps his best-known one is Theo LeSeig, under which he wrote no less than thirteen books. However, he also wrote a single book as Rosetta Stone, which we have here in Special Collections.

One of Geisel's early cartoons from the Jacko-O-Lantern attributed to "T. Seuss."
As we've mentioned before, Geisel's habit of using playful pseudonyms for his work began during his senior year here at Dartmouth. He had run into a spot of trouble with the administration over a bottle of gin that appeared at a party he was hosting, and was henceforth stripped of extracurricular privileges. At the time, Geisel was the editor-in-chief of the Jack-O-Lantern (the student satire magazine). He promptly disregarded the administrative proclamation and instead continued to contribute drawings and cartoons to the magazine under a variety of fanciful names that included the use of his middle name, Seuss.

To take a look at the only Rosetta Stone we'll ever own, and the only book ever authored by Geisel under that pen name, come to Special Collections and ask for Alumni G277bec. All of the issues of the Jack-O-Lantern are on the reference shelves in the Reading Room if you'd like to see his student illustrations.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Targeted Hate

Cover of "Long Live the Kaiser"When the United States entered World War I in 1917, the propaganda machines clicked on. Here is an interesting little example created by the American Press Humorists. Long Live the Kaiser! claims to "have no quarrel with the German people, or the American people of German birth or ancestry," in fact, they assert that they "love" the Germans, except for one exception: the Kaiser.

While you have to admire the gesture toward the German people, the violence directed toward the Kaiser is a bit disturbing. On the book jacket he is headed to a certain fate in hell, and it just gets more brutal inside with cartoons and doggerel verses which all manner of harm on Wilhelm II. To see for yourself ask for Val 817R543 S85.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Painted Covers

Cover of Hurrah for Anything hand painted by Kenneth PatchenIt is our week for thinking about book covers. We just blogged a mundane 19th-century book jacket--here is the polar opposite. Kenneth Patchen is famous for his hybrid poem/images. As he wrote, he would draw, and those drawings illustrated the poems (or maybe the poem was an ekphrastic manifestation of the drawing...). Anyway, his books are commonly picture/poem throughout.

Handwritten colophon for Kenneth Patchen's Hurrah for Anything
Patchen's love of drawing spills out onto the covers. Rather than issue separate fancy editions for his books, Patchen took one hundred copies of the regular trade editions of nine titles and turned them into limited editions by painting their covers and adding a handwritten colophon. The result is a limited edition of 100 copies, each unique! Here is our copy of Hurrah of Anything, 1957.

Come in and take a look by asking for Val817 P271 R6.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Keeping the Merchandise Clean

Plain book jacket for Lafcadio Hearn's YoumaIn about 1920, flashy book jackets became all the rage. Publishers recognized that a dust jacket could do more than simply protect a book in transit. They put cool pictures on the front and studded the back with catchy blurbs, and the book jacket become a powerful point-of-sale marketing tool--and a collector's item as well.

It wasn't always so glamorous. In the 19th century, book jackets were pretty plain. They listed the author and title, and sometimes the publisher, but were not enticing in the least. Their whole point was to protect the cover during distribution and sale. As soon as any self-respecting book buyer got home he or she would discard the jacket and enjoy the pristine cover, spared the ravages of shipping and handling.

Plain jacket removed from book so flaps are shown. There is no type except the title, author and publisher on spine.
All of that makes late-19th-century book jackets very rare. We are lucky to have a handful scattered in the collections. Lafcadio Hearn's Youma (New York: Scribner's, 1890) is a prime example. You can see it yourself by asking for Val 816 H35 Z5.

Friday, July 5, 2019


Faculty notes on Treadwell hearingOn June 23, 1828, John Treadwell of the Class of 1830 set off fireworks near Dartmouth Hall. That doesn't sound like that big of a deal but, in this circumstance, it was. On June 24th, a special meeting of the faculty was called to discuss his case and, on June 26th, the faculty meted out a ten-week suspension from Dartmouth.

We have a small clutch of hastily written notes from that week. It appears Treadwell had exhibited a pattern of bad behavior during his time at Dartmouth. The fireworks were merely the latest disturbance. It appears the faculty had had enough, and they interrogated Treadwell. During the meeting, he "stated several manifest falsehoods," as documented in notes and dispositions.

Letter from Rev. PerryHe was banished to the "care and instructing of the Rev. Joseph Perry in Thetford, Vt." In October, Perry wrote a not-very-enthusiastic report to the faculty about young Treadwell's progress. While he had not "been altogether as industrious as would have been desirable and perhaps upon the strict principle might fall under the charge of some indiscretions," the good Reverend believes that Treadwell's former bad habits were likely the result of "unhappy connections."

Hmmm--we are still not sure what all he did, but either the faculty opted not to readmit or he decided not to return: he never completed his degree.

To try to puzzle it out yourself, ask for MS 828374.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Money Talks

First page of "Satan Absolved"
One of our lesser-known book collections in Special Collections is the Wilfrid Scawen Blunt collection. It was given to the college in 1940 by legendary Dartmouth professor Herbert West, a member of the class of 1922. The Blunt collection contains seventy-seven volumes of first-edition works by the author, including presentation copies and other rare issuances of his work.

Born in Sussex, England, in 1840, Blunt was publicly known for his anti-imperialistic stance towards European global dominance. His scathing condemnation of European self-righteous expansion frequently emerges in his writing. In his work Satan Absolved, Blunt refers to the phrase, "White Man's Burden," which was a term coined by Rudyard Kipling in an 1899 poem published about the Philippine-American War. The phrase was seized upon by expansionists and imperialists as a justification for the often violent subjugation and subsequent financial exploitation of other nations and peoples, under the pretense of bringing to them the "gift"
Page of "Satan Absolved" that discusses White Man's Burden
of civilization. Blunt places this concept in the mouth of his character, The Lord God, in Satan Absolved, who says:

This Anglo-Saxon man hath a fair name with some.
He stands in brave repute, a priest of Christendom,
First in civility, so say the Angel host
Who speak of him with awe as one that merits most.

In response, Blunt's character Satan rails against this thinly-veiled notion of white supremacy: "Their poets... write big of the 'White Burden.' Trash! The White Man's Burden, Lord, is the burden of his cash."

Page of "Satan Absolved" that shows the "horse" correction to the proofIn addition to his anti-imperialism, Blunt also dallied with the Islamic faith, and wrote a book titled The Future of Islam. He and his wife, Lady Anne Noel Blunt, lived for a long time just outside of Cairo, where they established an Arabian horse-breeding farm that was partially responsible for saving the Arabian breed from extinction. Blunt's love of horses is evident in Satan Absolved. Here in Special Collections, we have a proof copy of the poem containing numerous manuscript corrections. In one of Satan's responses to The Lord God, he originally speaks of "Large hearted elephants, the wolf, the wolverine." However, in our version, Blunt has crossed out the wolf and the wolverine and instead substituted "the horse how near divine."

To examine his other corrections and emendations of his poem, or to read Satan's withering critique of imperialism in full, come to Rauner and ask to see Blunt 31, copy 2.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Students for Social Alternatives

Newspaper photo of table at registrationThis week marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in Greenwich Village. The mass demonstrations were a crucial turning point for the gay rights movement, leading to mobilization and advocacy and creating the foundations for today's LGBTQIA+ activism. The ripple effect hit some college campuses almost immediately, but took some time to reach Hanover. On January 2nd, 1978, Stuart Lewan '79 publicly asserted the presence of Dartmouth's gay community by pitching a table at Winter term registration for a new "Gay Student Support Group." A sign over his head proclaimed, "Get on Down and Party with the Students for Social Alternatives." 55 students signed up for the promised regular newsletter.

Lewan followed up with an editorial in the January 6th issue of The Dartmouth entitled "Helping gays adjust to Dartmouth." He starts with a nod to Stonewall by bemoaning, "So, about 10 years after most other colleges of similar prestige, Dartmouth is giving birth to its first gay student group. Why has it taken so long?" He then lists all of the things that gay people feared at Dartmouth and beyond, and calls for broad campus support of the community, but most importantly for Lewan, he calls for the gay community at Dartmouth to come out of the closet, claim its place on campus, and support each other to fight back against fear.

Helping gays adjust to Dartmouth editorial
There is a militant tone to his editorial--and it provoked some predictable backlash in the letters to the editor, but Lewan's work, along with that of fellow student leaders, helped begin the long process of opening the campus and making it someplace where more people could feel welcome. You can learn a lot more about Stuart Lewan by listening to his oral history on the Dartmouth SpeakOut site.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Commonwealth and Confederation

Front cover of Ronaghan's brochure, displaying the proposed Canadian flag
What could be more iconic than the Canadian national flag? With its bright stripes and large red maple leaf, the emblem of our neighbor to the north stands out in a field of national banners. It's hard to imagine the country having a different standard. Still, the Canadian flag as we know it is a relatively recent development. The flag was adopted in 1965 after a great amount of debate and deliberation. It's almost entirely based upon the flag of the Royal Military College of Canada and is only one of several official flags for the country; others include the Canadian Red Ensign flag and the Royal Union flag.

While looking through the Stefansson Correspondence collection, we discovered an earlier proposal
First page of Ronaghan's letter to Stefansson
for an official Canadian flag. In a letter written in January 8th, 1946, to Vilhjalmur Stefansson, an Allen Ronaghan of Islay, Alberta, suggests a different design to solve the "vital problem" of the lack of a distinctive national flag. Instead of using the Red Ensign flag, which he claims is racist because its coat of arms excludes numerous people groups, Ronaghan recommends instead a flag, presumably of his own design. Ronaghan's flag represents the theme of "Commonwealth and Confederation" and so stands in opposition to other flags which raise objectionable points, in his mind. His flag retains the Union Jack symbol in the upper left corner because, as he puts it, "A flag that ignored the Union Jack simply would not be acceptable to the entire Canadian people, regardless of what some ultra-nationalists may say on occasions when emotions run away with them."

Interior of brochure that explains the symbolism of the flag designHowever, instead of using a coat of arms, Ronaghan recommends the image of Ursa Major on a blue field. The Big Dipper is relevant and appropriate for many reasons, he says, because it's ubiquitous in Canadian skies at night. Also, it bears a "marked resemblance to Canadian confederation," with each star in the constellation representing a different province or territory. Finally, in a tactical move that was doubtless meant to appeal to Stefansson's interests, Ronaghan notes that the Big Dipper "points north" and that Canada must do the same if she is to become "truly great," ostensibly by developing its great stretches of northern wilderness. Stefansson, a world-famous Canadian arctic explorer, appears to be sympathetic to this argument; he has highlighted this portion of Ronaghan's letter.

To see Ronaghan's letter and the enclosed pamphlet that outlines the details of his flag design, come to Special Collections and ask to see MSS-196, Box 65, Folder 14, "Ronaghan."

Friday, June 21, 2019

Experiencing Black Theater in America

Experiencing Black Theater in America exhibit poster
This past spring, Associate Professor of Theater Monica Ndounou taught a class made possible through an experiential learning seed grant from the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning. Titled “The Making of 21st Century Exhibits: Curating a National Black Theater Museum/Institution,” the course was cross-listed with the Theater Department and African and African-American Studies Program. This class provided seventeen students an opportunity to learn about black theater history, scholarship and practice in the U.S. and abroad. In the process, students helped develop ideas and curated exhibits that represented a range of formats and platforms. As social media and academe become interdependent in the 21st-century digital era, the course enabled participants to imagine and implement exhibits for the museum as a digital and onsite space where national and international contributions to developing black theater can be shared with the larger public.

The current student-curated exhibit in Special Collections, “Experiencing Black Theater in America,” is one facet of the experiential learning component of the class, which also included a visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., the opportunity to work with the local community’s regional black theatre, JAG Productions, and a chance to attend events featuring choreographer Camille A. Brown during her spring 2019 Dartmouth residency.

The majority of the documents in this exhibit come from the papers of Theater Professor Errol Hill, the first African-American educator to receive tenure at Dartmouth College. A Trinidadian native, Hill joined the faculty of Dartmouth’s Drama Department in 1968 and worked tirelessly here for twenty-one years before retiring in 1989. Hill was a wellspring of productivity, whether as a scholar, a playwright, or a director: over the span of his career, he wrote eleven plays, authored or edited fifteen major books and periodicals, and wrote twenty-five major articles on drama and theater history. While at Dartmouth, he taught a portfolio of thirteen different courses on acting, directing, playwriting, and theater history, directed thirty-three full-length productions, and wrote numerous influential works including Shakespeare in Sable: A History of Black Shakespearean Actors (1986) and, with Professor James Hatch, A History of African American Theatre (2003). Professor Hill passed away in 2003 but his legacy endures.

The exhibit will be on display in Rauner Library's Class of 1965 Galleries in Webster Hall until September 6th. You can download a list of materials and read the exhibit text at the following website:

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Abraham Lincoln and His Generals

letter by James R. Doolittle with added approval by Lincoln
A while back we posted about a sheet of Abraham Lincoln's signatures on a piece of White House stationery that were authenticated by his personal secretary John Hay. Although it's hard to top that exciting find, we have another Lincoln-related item from the Codex collection that we think is also pretty amazing. In a book that has been beautifully bound in blue morocco leather with gold tooling, we have another treasure trove of autographs from the Civil War, including not only Lincoln's signature but numerous other important figures from the Union Army during that time.

The cover of the book reads, "Abraham Lincoln and His Generals | A Collection of Autographs | 1861-1865," and the contents do not disappoint. All told, there are twenty-seven pieces of correspondence or
Engraving of William T. Sherman
other paper that bear the signed names of many of the sixteenth president's generals during the war, along with engraved portraits of most of them. Most of the letters are fairly pedestrian and deal with day-to-day business or social courtesies; moreover, a lot of them were written decades after the conclusion of the war. Still, it's thrilling to see so many different hands by so many different Civil War military leaders in one place. My personal favorites are the letter signed by Lincoln, saying only "I so advise" in response to a subordinate's request for his approval (bringing our total number of Lincoln signatures up to twenty!); the pardon issued by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1872 for Jacob C. Clark, who apparently was arrested for selling liquor without a permit but didn't realize he was breaking the law, and the intimidating engraving of General William T. Sherman, who would go on to serve as the Commanding General of the Army (and briefly the Secretary of War) under President Grant.

To have a look through this Union gallery, come to Special Collections and ask for Codex 002120.

Friday, June 14, 2019

SpeakOut with Pride

Students laying on Green spelling out PRIDEIt's Pride Month, and to get in the spirit we have been pouring over SpeakOut interviews that are now available online. In collaboration with DGALA, Dartmouth’s LGBTQIA+ Alumni Association, SpeakOut is an oral history project dedicated to documenting the history of Dartmouth’s LGBTQIA+ community. There are many incredible stories. Check out Leandra Barrett's:

Leandra BarrettGrowing up in Alice, Texas, a small predominantly Mexican-American rural town on the border of Mexico, Leandra Barrett ’15 describes her hometown as being “what people picture when they imagine Texas.” The daughter of a middle-class Mexican-American mother and a working-class Anglo-Cajun father, she describes how her intersecting identities influenced her sense of self as a child and later how they shaped her time at Dartmouth.

Barrett explains that she was “so sure of [her] identity” when she arrived at Dartmouth. For Barrett, her coming out at Dartmouth “wasn’t like a tortured process.” Unlike her experience in high school, Barrett felt as though she could express her queer identity more freely and openly at Dartmouth. In high school she remembers “the very material risk of being thrown out of my house or being—you know, sent to conversion therapy…” Barrett describes living a double life between home and Dartmouth which was shattered when someone outed her to her parents. Barrett graciously shares how her relationship with her parents has evolved since that life altering moment her freshman year.

Rainbow arcing over Webster Hall
Barrett shares how she felt her Mexican-American identity was challenged as a student at Dartmouth. She struggled to have her Mexican-American identity feel validated not only because she was ethnically ambiguous and did not speak Spanish, but also because she inhabited an environment that was so “white” and where “so many Latinx students came from immigrant backgrounds.” Barrett explains how “a certain subjectivity was presumed when the university was constructed and that was not a queer Chicana girl from south Texas.”  Barrett goes on to say that “I don’t regret going to Dartmouth. I actually, really like it. [Chuckles.] I think my critiques come from a deep place of love, right? I wouldn’t have worked as an admissions officer if didn’t think it was a transformational educational space.”

We are thrilled that members of Dartmouth’s community continue to reach out to participate in SpeakOut. If you have a story you would like to add to the SpeakOut collection, please sign up here.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The Eagle has Landed

Photo of astronaut on MoonOn May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy called on the nation to “commit itself to… landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth.” Only a month earlier the USSR had succeeded to put the first human into space and Kennedy needed to trump that feat during the height of the Cold War.  On May 5, 1961, Alan Shepard, Jr.  became the first American in space when his Mercury capsule “Freedom 7” went suborbital.  Over the next three years, six more Mercury missions went up, followed by the Gemini program. Both Mercury and Gemini programs were designed to test and explore every step that would be needed to make Kennedy’s pledge possible. There were of course missteps some minor, some major and one, the tragedy of Apollo 1, fatal.

Apollo 11 launched from Cape Kennedy on July 16, 1969, with a crew of three, Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin. The crew had detailed objectives for this mission which included obtaining a variety of data on experiments including solar wind composition and seismic activity, collecting lunar samples and deploying a television camera to transmit signals to Earth. On July 20th, after 102 hours and 45 minutes of flight, the “Eagle” landed in the Sea of Tranquility.

Photo of astronaut on Moon with flag
Neil Armstrong was the first to descent the ladder to the moon surface because he was the commander and senior member of the crew and because his seat was closer to the “door.” Buzz Aldrin was next and for the next 2 hours and 31 minutes both men performed the required tasks before heading back to the “Eagle” for some rest and rendezvous with the Columbia in lunar orbit.

Columbia splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on July 24, 1969, and the crew was recovered by the USS Hornet. After a vigorous scrub down of each astronaut and his equipment, the crew was placed into a 21-day quarantine to prevent contamination from possible extra-terrestrial pathogens.

Apollo 11 was an all-around success and opened the door for 7 more missions to the Moon, with 6 of them successful. NASA was able to learn from the crew’s experiences and concerns and adept future missions accordingly. During the crew’s scientific debriefing on August 12, Armstrong had one regret:
In retrospect, the one thing that I felt was a real shortcoming of our planning was the fact we were unable, when we saw something of interest, to collect it at the time; we had to remember where that was and hope that we had time later to come back. I would recommend that in our future work, we not make that mistake and that we improve our ability to pick up samples of interest and record them at the time we see them.
Apollo 11 flight objectivesApollo 11 Flight Profile

Mission reports and photographs of the Apollo, Gemini and Mercury missions can be found in MS-1024, the papers of Richard Allenby, DC 1944 who was the director of the Manned Space Science Program at NASA.

Friday, June 7, 2019

"Women Cannot Band Together"

Cover of Gilder pamphlet
This week marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which legalized the inherent right of women to vote. We've blogged in the past about the suffragist movement and women's ongoing and infuriating struggle to be recognized as equals. Today, we thought we'd share more of the treasure trove of suffrage items in an attempt to present what we like to call a "usable past." Ideally, people's exposure to controversial documents from our collective past will encourage them to make better future decisions for society.

In this particular instance, we want to talk about the vigorous pamphlet war that cropped up during the suffragist movement in the early-20th century. Exhibit A is the reprint of an article published in Harper's Bazaar in 1894 and written by Jeannette L. Gilder, "founder of The Critic," a New York-based magazine of literary criticism. In the article, Gilder (a self-described "working-woman") says that "we cannot worship God and Mammon; neither can we be politicians and women. It is against nature, against reason." She concludes by stating that voting cannot help women, but it can hurt them, just a like a bomb that could "go off in her own hands, and work a mischief that she little dreams of."

cover of Sedgwick pamphletOther anti-suffragists quickly joined the fray. One William T. Sedgwick, "noted biologist" and M.I.T. Professor of Biology and Public Health, emphatically states that women are biologically different from men and therefore constitutionally incapable of the same sorts of intellectual and physical work of men. Essentially, Sedgwick claims the menstrual cycle is an insurmountable "handicap" that means women shouldn't vote. He believes that "the particular insane restlessness which is now affecting certain classes of women in America and England seems to be due to the comparative idleness from which they suffer through the gradual removal of the old domestic industries." So, in other words, technological innovations in the domestic sphere have resulted in women's boredom and so they are now "shrieking for 'liberty'".

Cover of Abbott and Breckenridge pamphlet
Thankfully, there are suffragist voices in print during this period as well. In response to an anti-suffrage pamphlet written in 1913 by Minnie Bronson, "formerly Special Agent, Bureau of Labor," two suffragettes published a devastating reply. Edith Abbott, Ph.D. in Economics and Law, and Sophonisba Breckenridge, Assistant Professor of Social Economy, both of the University of Chicago, dismantle Bronson's arguments in a brutal step-by-step fashion. Before they even begin, however, they undermine Bronson's claim to any authoritative position by revealing that her tenure as an employee of the Labor Department was fleeting; instead, her primary occupation was a high school math teacher and then a paid representative of anti-suffragists. This revelation is preceded by a blunt statement that, in arguing that suffrage will not lead to better treatment of women in industry, "Miss Minnie Bronson stands practically alone, opposed to the women who, as a result of long years of experience, are qualified to speak as to the conditions under which women work."

Other suffragists turn to humor and sarcasm instead of rhetorical rebuttals. Our personal favorite is a tongue-in-cheek rant by Marie Jenney Howe. Titled "An Anti-Suffrage Monologue," the pamphlet deftly skewers the hypocrisy and illogical positions of the anti-suffragist movement. Some choice excerpts:

"Many men call me an angel and I have a strong instinct which tells me it is true; that is why I am an anti, because 'I want to be an angel and with the angels stand.' And if you don't like that argument take this one. Women are depraved. They would introduce into politics a vicious element which would ruin our national life."

Cover of Howe pamphlet
"Women cannot band together. They are incapable of organization. No two women can even be friends. Women are cats. On the other hand, if women were enfranchised, we would have all the women banded together on one side, and all the men banded together on the other side, and there would follow a sex war which might end in bloody revolution."

These fascinating and occasionally amusing pamphlets (whether intentionally or not) are from the papers of Jesse Belle Hardy Stubbs MacKaye within the larger MacKaye Family Papers (ML-5). She was the president of the Milwaukee Women's Peace Society. To see this amazing collection of pamphlets, come to Special Collections and ask for Box 227 from the MacKaye Family Papers (ML-5).

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

A Coin Worth Impeachment

Letter from Teddy Roosevelt to Augustus Saint-Gaudens, 31 May 1901 We've alluded in the past to the artist Augustus Saint-Gaudens' commission from President Theodore Roosevelt to design a twenty-dollar gold coin. However, the actual letters between the two distinguished men deserve further comment. The context, too, is worth knowing. In the decade preceding the design of the coin, Saint-Gaudens had experienced several frustrating interactions with the United States Mint, including the rejection of his design for the official medal of the Chicago World's Fair in 1892. Instead, the directors went with a design submitted by the Mint's Chief Engraver, Charles Barber. Saint-Gaudens and Barber had both been on a silver coinage selection committee for the Mint in the previous year; after the committee failed to find a suitable artist, Barber had put himself forward as the only qualified candidate for the position (in his estimation). Saint-Gaudens disagreed and publicly criticized Barber's final product, saying that the work was inept and looked like the work of a sixteen-year-old beginner.

After these two experiences, Saint-Gaudens swore off working with the Mint in any capacity. True to his word, he rejected any and all commissions that might have any connection to the organization, no
Letter from Teddy Roosevelt to Augustus Saint-Gaudens, 6 November 1905
matter how tenuous. By 1904, President Teddy Roosevelt evidently felt the same way about the state of the nation's coinage. He reached out to Saint-Gaudens, with whom he had become friends, to see if the sculptor might be willing to help design some gold coins. Roosevelt, of course, had strong opinions about the appearance of the coinage. In a letter to Saint-Gaudens, written on November 6th, 1905, he says, "I was looking at some gold coins of Alexander the Great to-day, and I was struck by their high relief. Would it not be well to have our coins in high relief, and also to have the rims raised?"

Saint-Gaudens complied with the president's "suggestions" and ultimately produced model coins that delighted Roosevelt. In a letter to Saint-Gaudens dated December 20th, 1906, Roosevelt says, "These models are simply immense - if such a slang way of talking is permissible in reference to giving a modern nation one coinage at least which shall be as good as that of the ancient Greeks." He goes on to say that he has ordered the Mint to begin production immediately and hypothesizes that  he "shall be impeached for it in Congress" but that he "shall regard that as a very cheap payment!" Saint-Gaudens would never really see his final design reach fruition, however. He died of cancer in August of 1907, just a few months before production finally began on the coins.

Letter from Teddy Roosevelt to Augustus Saint-Gaudens, 20 December 1906Later this month, nearly a hundred and twelve years after his death, the Trustees of the Saint-Gaudens Memorial will award the Saint-Gaudens Medal to Dartmouth College Library in recognition of its care and preservation of the sculptor's papers. The Medal is being given to the library for its exemplary care and conservation of the collection of papers and artifacts relating to Augustus Saint-Gaudens, other artists of the Cornish Colony, and the Saint-Gaudens Memorial. Established in 1988, the Saint-Gaudens Medal is awarded, from time to time, by the Saint-Gaudens Memorial to such persons who, by their talents and beneficence, have made a distinguished contribution to the arts in America in the high tradition of Augustus Saint-Gaudens. The Saint-Gaudens Medal was designed in 1992 by sculptor Robert W. White (1921-2002), a long-time Trustee of the Memorial.

To read more about Dartmouth College Library's receipt of the medal, read the press release. To read the correspondence between Saint-Gaudens and Roosevelt, come to Special Collections and ask for the Saint-Gaudens Papers (ML-4), Box 16.