Monthly Archives: January 2015

From the January 1915 Collegian–The Games We Played


You’re right, old man, when you say that the recreation hours at the College are dull and uninteresting. You cannot be censured for beating it from College in the afternoon, and hieing yourself away to the “Virginia” for a few happy restful moments with your favorite “movie” stars. But you should not be compelled to leave the campus to find diversion. There should be amusements here for you. It is miserable weather; the campus is a bottomless swamp, and you, of course, cannot enjoy out-door sports.

What you need, then, is in-door amusement. Well, perhaps this may be created. It will depend upon some man with mosquito pep to push this—not some wishy-washy fellow with no mind where his hat rests. If a “Chess and Checker Club” could be organized, under the direction of the Y. M. C. A., a number of men like yourself would not need to spend the old gentleman’s hard-earned kale in order to enjoy an afternoon.

This club could meet in the Y. M. C. A. room, in Section C of Dormitory No. 2—that is, if the Y. M. C. A. should sanction it. There would be no roll-call, no definite meeting hour. There would be pipes galore, and, if the weed-lovers should wish, several cans of the favorite tobacco. There you could loaf, chat, read, or play checkers. Anybody could belong, provided he loved the “Red and Blue.” That makes us all eligible, doesn’t it? This was suggested by a member of the Faculty, who is most interested in students and student life, as he has heretofore proven. It is an excellent idea. Do you [v]olunteer to start something? The gauntlet is at your feet.

–The Collegian, University of Richmond, No. 7.  29 January, 1915

Collegian Newspaper Archives at


“Southern Gallants, Hist a Moment”

More from the Collegian–100 years ago


Listen, you chivalrous Southern gentleman. Suppose some man should speak uncivilly to your mother or sister—or, perhaps, curse her—what would you do? Would you twiddle your thumbs and be unmoved? Would you respect the fellow? Hardly. Firstly, you’d hunt him up, give him a straight left to the jaw, then, standing over him, you’d call him some names seldom seen in the “Who’s Who” or even in the lowest tribe’s genealogy. You admit that, of course. You admit that a man who speaks disrespectfully to a lady—yes, even to a woman, any woman—is hardly a gentleman. Don’t you?

The telephone in Dormitory 2, Richmond College, is on the same line with the Westhampton College ‘phone. The Richmond College boys pay as much, and no more, for their ‘phone as the girls across the lake. Well, two or three times, perhaps more, a girl has been talking over the ‘phone. A “gentleman” of Richmond College has then asked her, in beautifully-phrased sentences, to hang up, embellishing his request sometimes with the proverbial cuss-word. She was somebody’s sister. Now, if her brother were to seek out the “gentleman,” make him eat dirst, bite off his ear—could he be harshly criticized? Would this brother consider his sister’s “oathy” adviser a gentleman? Think about it. Gentlemen, this must cease. What a name our College will acquire if this continues. If we can’t talk decently over a telephone, let’s either remove the instrument or cut out our larynxes. It is hardly due to a filthy, corrupt mentality, but rather to not thinking. It is best to think what we do, always. The lock-up is full of men who “didn’t think.”

The Collegian, University of Richmond, No. 6, 22 January, 1915.



A Christmas and New Year’s Present

Tucked away in the Galvin Rare Book Room is an unassuming book called “The Literary Souvenir, A Christmas and New Year’s Present.” [Galvin Rare Book Room PN6153.B8 1840] It is edited by William E. Burton who was an English actor, playwright, theater manager, and publisher, who relocated to the United States.

William E. Burton

William E. Burton

Mr. Burton intended to study for the ministry, but his father’s death called him home to take over his father’s printing business. His attempt to establish a monthly magazine failed, but gained him contacts in the theater, and set his sights there.

He intended to be a great tragedian since he was of a darker, more saturnine nature. But on stage he was one of the funniest people of his time. He gained some fame as an actor and also as a writer, one of his plays actually playing in five different theaters at the same time.

At the age of 30 (1834) with a failed marriage behind him he decided to relocate to the United States where he continued to act and manage theaters in New York City, Philadelphia and Baltimore. He established The Gentlemen’s Magazine in 1837, of which Edgar Allan Poe was the editor for some time. Though Burton disliked Poe’s harsh style of criticism, he gave him more and more responsibility. Nonetheless, the two quarreled and called each other names until Poe left the magazine.

Sometime in 1840, Mr. Burton published this Literary Souvenir with his own stories, and the

A Literary Souvenir.

A Literary Souvenir.

works of others. It doesn’t have a Christmas or New Year’s story in it, but it is lavishly illustrated and bound with pages edged in gold. And on the flyleaf is an inscription which

Presented to Miss Catrine Williams as a New Years gift by a friend for A. D. 1840.

Richmond 1st January.

Happy New Year!

With a new year we tend to look ahead, make promises and plans, and maybe wax a bit

Bridge across Westhampton Lake.

Bridge across Westhampton Lake. (

nostalgic.. Along those lines, we’ve been taking a look back at what was happening at the University of Richmond 100 years ago in 1915. The campus was still pretty new, but according to the minutes of the Committee on New Buildings [Galvin Rare Book Room LD4711.R392 B], there were already problems.

It seems that the heating in the men’s dormitories was “defective” and architects Cram and Ferguson were being contacted. The company in charge of the heating system determined that it could not be remedied at present and the committee agreed to withhold payment. Heating and cooling issues on campus are nothing new!

Also, less than perfect was the main sewer line. Dr. Boatwright reported that the re-laying of the line was in progress.

A deal was struck with the Virginia Railway and Power Company (an early iteration of Dominion Power) to provide a minimum of 50 thousand watts for the first year and 100 thousand watts a year for the following four years. They were simpler times.

Also, the old mill road near the head of the lake had a bridge that spanned the water. (This is where the Commons now stands.) It was in need of repair. The committee could not decide whether to authorize the repairs or have “the road marked Dangerous or Closed.”

Other issues involved roads, buses/streetcars, and housing for professors.  Not too radically different from today’s worries except for the price tag.