The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 49, July 1945 - April, 1946 Page: 65
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Baylor University, 1851-1861
relations among the faculty were "unfounded" and at the same
time pledged the president, principal, and faculty "to do or say
nothing directly or indirectly to disturb the friendly and
peaceable relations between us as professors of the department
or the board of trustees." Dr. Burleson, Richard B. Burleson,
D. R. Wallace, O. H. Leland, and George W. Willric, of the
male department, and Clark and B. S. Fitzgerald, of the girls'
school, signed the pledge. The trustees were triumphantly
happy, for they "all joined in singing... and in extending to
each other the hand and shedding tears of joy."47
Eight weeks later, when the trustees reported to a called
meeting, the president of the board presented to that body
the formal notices of resignation from Baylor of Dr. Burleson
and of three of the four teachers in the male department,
Richard Burleson and Professors Leland and Wallace. The
board of trustees accepted these resignations effective June 27,
the end of that scholastic year.48
Dr. Burleson and the professors who resigned with him had
accepted positions in Waco University. It was naturally ex-
pected that they would fulfill their responsibilities at Independ-
ence until the conclusion of the commencement ceremonies of
that year. To the evident surprise of the trustees, however,
the regular examinations and commencement exercises of the
male department were not held in June. When the president of
the board inquired in writing of Dr. Burleson why the exercises
had been cancelled, Burleson gave the following reasons for
the action: "1. The Civil war which has suspended most of
the best endowed Colleges in the South. 2. A Local war was
threatened between some of the citizens of this place and our
students. 3. You advised me to adjourn the University rather
than have an outbreak so seriously threaten. 4. The Senior
Class, the largest we ever had, informed us in writing that they
had determined not to present themselves for Graduation, but
will apply for, and no doubt receive their Diplomas from Waco
University on the 4th. of Sept. 1861."49
This chapter in Baylor University's history came to an end
when the board of trustees met on July 17, 1861, and elected
a president and two teachers "to fill the vacated chairs of the
faculty of the Male Department."50
47Ibid., March 20, 21, 22, 1861; a copy of the statement pledging harmony
is in the Burleson Papers.
48Minutes of the Board of Trustees, May 15, 1861.
49Ibid., June 29, 1861.
5OIbid., July 17, 1861.
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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/m1/74/: accessed October 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.