THE HUNTING OF THE STAG OF \u0152NO\u00cb.
HAWTHORNE'S LAST SKETCH.
ON HOOSAC MOUNTAIN.
A VERITABLE TRADER.
LYDIA MARIA CHILD.
MYTH IN AMERICAN COINAGE.
AN INCIDENT OF PORT HUDSON.
INDEX TO MAGAZINE LITERATURE.
Williams College has something peculiar and romantic in its history, as well as in its site amid the beautiful
hills of Berkshire. It had its birth upon the very frontiers of civilization, and amid the throes of that struggle
which was to decide finally whether the control of this continent, and the permanent shaping of its institutions
and its destiny were to be French or English. The nascent colleges of Colorado, Dakota, and Oregon are
relatively to-day in the position held by Williams when it was founded.
to which we have alluded. He had been commissioned by the General Court of Massachusetts to construct and
command a line of forts along the northern border of settlements from the Connecticut River on the east to the
valley of the Hoosac on the west. This line coincided nearly with the northern boundary of Massachusetts; all
above, to the borders of Canada, being then a wilderness, through which the roaming savages often burst with
sudden violence upon the settlements of the English colonists. The westernmost of the line of forts was not far
from what is now the site of the college, and this, being the most exposed and most important, Williams
commanded in person.
After acting in this capacity for a time, and in a manner which[Pg 488] gained him much distinction in the
colony, he was placed in charge of a regiment of troops, designed to participate with other forces in an
expedition against the French; the special object being the capture of Crown Point, a fortress on Lake
Champlain. While on the way to Crown Point a French force was met, near the head of Lake George.
Williams, with a detachment of troops, was sent against it. The movement was successful. The French were
repulsed, but in the encounter Williams lost his life. A monument, erected in recent years by the alumni of the
college, marks the spot where he fell.
Copyright, 1881, by Harper & Brothers.
While engaged in his military duties on the frontier, Williams became much interested in the soldiers under
his command. Through his agency chiefly, two townships of land in the vicinity[Pg 489] of Fort
Massachusetts\u2014the name given to the most western fort in the valley of the Hoosac\ue000had been set off by
order of the Legislature, and lots in them had been disposed of to the soldiers on favorable terms. Williams
had also expressed the intention of still further benefiting his comrades in arms. While resting for a day or two
at Albany, on his way to Crown Point, he bethought him of his purpose, the execution of which had hitherto
been postponed. Accordingly, he made his will on the spot, by which he devised his property, after making
some bequests to relatives and friends, for the purpose of establishing what he termed a Free School.
Such was the beginning of Williams College, for the school took the name and form of a college in two or three years after its organization. It was noble in purpose from the outset, but humble, indeed, in pecuniary endowment. Some will smile, now that we think hundreds of thousands, not to say millions, necessary for the[Pg 490] establishment of a college, when they are informed that the executors of Williams' estate were obliged to allow the proceeds of it to accumulate for thirty years before they ventured to organize the school or erect a building for its use.
Copyright, 1881, by Harper & Brothers.
That it was to be something more than an ordinary school was insured from the beginning by the character of
the trustees who so patiently brooded over the work committed to them while the funds in their hands were
gaining the needful increase. They were among the most distinguished and intelligent citizens of the Colony.
Most of them were of collegiate training, and a large number graduates of Yale. They believed in the value of
a liberal education, not only to the person immediately concerned, but to the community of which he might be
a member. They believed in the importance of basing liberty upon sound education. Such men, at such a time,
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