The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 49, July 1945 - April, 1946 Page: 61
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Baylor University, 1851-1861
university regulations. It was announced in 1857 that at stated
times during the year the faculty would appoint a grand jury
of twelve students over eighteen years of age who were expected
to report to the faculty "every violation of the laws of the
University coming within their knowledge." Any student who
refused to discharge this assigned duty would be suspended,
and this same penalty was assessed against the student who
refused "to tell the truth and the whole truth" when questioned
by the faculty "as a witness" in any case involving alleged
violations of the university laws.37 It would be interesting to
know the attitude of the students toward such a system. There
is no reason to believe that boys of that day were greatly
different from boys of 1945. They sometimes gave their parents
and their teachers cause for anxiety; and doubtless many a boy
surprised his instructors by becoming a good citizen and a suc-
cessful man --perhaps even a professor or a college president.
The following statement, dated at Independence, February 15,
1860, was signed by eleven Baylor boys:
We whose names are undersigned do confess that on the 10 instant we
were guilty of disgraceful conduct in eating a turkey which had been stolen
from Mrs. G. W. Graves. We also confess that we deserve the severest
punishment and do hereby place ourselves wholly at the mercy of the
faculty and will submit without a murmer to whatever penalty they inflict.
But we do avow upon our honor that we are heartily ashamed of our
conduct and if the faculty will pardon us we will never again be guilty of
a similar crime.38
The greatest difficulties of the decade for Baylor, however,
arose not from student extravagance, student politics, or student
misdemeanors, but rather from personal antagonism between
the president of the university and the principal of the female
department. The controversy finally involved the faculty, the
students, and the trustees. The trustees, in attempting to effect
a settlement of the disagreement, asserted claims to broader
powers and assumed closer control over the internal affairs of
In December, 1857, acting upon a rumor "that an unpleasant
state of feeling is existing between Pres. Burleson and H. Clark,"
the trustees appointed a committee to investigate. At the same
37Sixth Catalogue ... of Baylor University for 1856 and 1857, pp. 23-24.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 49, July 1945 - April, 1946, periodical, 1946; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146056/m1/70/: accessed April 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.