Chapter VI


  Friday, as it has always been at college, was the day to wait for. Recitations closed at noon, and already the boys were restless. An hour after dinner, dressed in their best jackets with a rose-three folds of silk ribbon-pinned on the left lapel, they climbed the steep stairway of Old Main. At the third floor landing they separated, Erodelphians with the red rose going into one door, members of the Miami Union wearing the white rose, into the other. The doors were closed. At the pound of the gavel the buzz of voices died. The Literary Halls came to order.
   Around the whitewashed room they sat, responding to roll call, hearing the minutes and the communications, casting their votes for new members, honorary members, library assessments, anniversary and exhibition speakers. Sunlight slanted in the tall south windows, glinting on the glass-front bookshelves, gleaming on the fluted columns that framed the president's rostrum, warming the classic bust in the archway under the carved motto "Scientia, Eloquentia et Amicitia." It was their room, their library, their incorporated Society.
   Friday afternoon was for the reading of compositions and declamations. For two hours the walls rang with Paul's Defense of Agrippa, The Roman Soldier, Apostrophe to Mont Blanc, The Trial of Warren Hastings, The Traveler at the Sources of the Nile. The room filled with distant times and places while shadows lengthened on the floor. As long as memory lasted the Hall would bring back pictures of the stately ruins of Rome, the strewn field at Waterloo, Napoleon in exile and Empedocles on the slopes of Etna. Following the criticism and summaries, the gavel rapped again. The Society was adjourned till early candlelight.
   Friday evening was for debate. Then the Hall was a spacious highcelled forum, the speakers' shadows moving on the walls and the room filled with disputation. Was Brutus Justified in Killing Caesar? Was the French Revolution Beneficial to Mankind? Should a Republic Support a Standing Army? Would Colonization Benefit the Negro? Should the Government Grant Public Lands to Railroads? Should Congress Assist in the Abolishing of Slavery?
   After the speeches and rebuttals, the summations and judgments, the candles were put out. In midnight darkness the members groped down the breakneck stairs. A scuffle of footsteps on the path, voices under the stars, then the doors banged in the old dorms. In cold rooms smelling of apples, wood and cowhide boots the debaters went to bed, their minds still burning with the great questions in the Hall.
   "No professor," said Henry Mitchell MacCracken, Miami 1857, chancellor of New York University, "was so valuable to many a student as was his Literary Society; no classroom was so attractive as his Literary Hall; no wit or humor more talked of than that which flashed out during the attrition of Society debates. No position was so sought as an appointment to be one of the four speakers at the annual Exhibition."
   These youths were preparing for careers in the law, the ministry, and teaching. The Literary Halls were their bench, their pulpit and their classroom.
   In 1825, the second year of Miami University's operation, the two societies were founded. On November 9th, in the second week of the term, thirteen students formed the Erodelphian Literary Society. The coined name shocked McGuffey's sense of linguistic rightness, but the organization got off to a fast start. Before November was past the society had inducted officers, begun the collecting of a library, heard the inaugural address of their first president, and held a debate on the question: "Is the reading of novels and romances productive of moral and intellectual improvement?" On December 14th another group of students, meeting in Professor Annan's classroom, organized the Union Literary Society "for the cultivation of the moral and intellectual faculties of the mind and for . . . mutual benefit." Robert C. Schenck, its first secretary, noted that Caleb Blood Smith was among the first petitioners for membership. Years later these two would be colleagues again, working for the nomination of Abraham Lincoln at the Republican convention in Chicago; soon afterwards Schenck was commissioned brigadier general in the Union army, and Smith served in Lincoln's cabinet as Secretary of the Interior.
   In the spring of 1826 President Bishop assigned permanent quarters to the societies, Erodelphians taking possession of the southwest room on the third floor of the Center Building and the Union moving into the southeast room. Both groups furnished their halls with carpeting, sturdy arm chairs, library cases and cabinets for the display of scientific collections. President Bishop encouraged them in the enlarging of their libraries, the publication of their periodicals, the celebrating of their anniversaries, and in their self-government.
   During the next decade the societies secured incorporation from the state, thus acquiring an independence which troubled certain of the trustees and the faculty. But Bishop reported in the uneasy year of 1836 that "the Societies have from the beginning been remarkably well conducted, and as a means of intellectual and moral improvement are equal to at least two professorships." By that time the societies had launched Miami's first literary periodicals, held annual public "Exhibitions" and acquired collections of books more extensive than that of the University library.
   Each year the two halls vied for new student members and also for honorary members from a distance. By 1835, the Erodelphian roster included the names of Washington Irving, John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, Andrew Jackson, Lyman Beecher, Daniel Webster, James Madison, and Robert Dale Owen. Honorary membership in the Union had been accepted by some of them same eminent men and many others.
   The furnishing of the halls was a matter of rivalry for many years, but the sharpest contest came when the societies were young. In 1830 the Union sprang a triumphant surprise, exhibiting on its wall a full-size oil portrait of President Bishop. With careful secrecy they had engaged Horace Harding, a western painter, and persuaded Bishop to sit for him. Now the craggy president, his strong and kindly features lighting a shadowed canvas, his hands holding an open book of logic, looked on at all the Union declamations and debates. It was a tribute to the man all Miami students revered, and triumph over the rival society.
   Week after week the Erodelphians discussed what they could do, and their unhappy decision was to engage the same artist to paint another portrait of the president. It was all but voted when little Charlie Anderson, a sophomore from Louisville, who would be governor of Ohio in years to come, took the floor. This, he declared, was a thing not to do--to have in all the University and town of Oxford but two oil paintings, and those two of the same subject, by the same artist, hanging in the same place in two halls parted by a narrow passage. The Erodelphians agreed; it was a poor idea. But what else?
   Then Charlie Anderson remembered something. Passing through Cincinnati on the way to Oxford he had been fascinated by the wax figures in D'Orfeuille's Western Museum on lower Main Street. The artist who had caught those images could make a life-like bust of President Bishop--a classic head to occupy the niche above the rostrum--"to be a witness of all our future proceedings." Anderson's proposal fired the spirits of the Erodelphians. Soon a committee of three boarded the stagecoach for Cincinnati. After a fresh look at D'Orfeuille wax figures they asked for the man who made them.
   The artist was Hiram Powers, and they found him in his studio on Fifth Street. As Governor Anderson recalled, fifty-five years later: "Powers himself met us in his muddy apron with his hands also clay-covered . . . I thought then and I think now that he was, taken all together, the handsomest man I ever saw. . . . We at once told him our business. Powers said in his modest manner that he would make our bust for molded into plaster for five dollars more. Although our subscription fund was only some twenty-five dollars we promptly closed the contract."
   The Presbyterian Synod convened that year in Cincinnati, with Robert Hamilton Bishop as moderator. Into its meetings slipped a dark-eyed, handsome man with lean strong hands and clay-caked fingernails. Hiram Powers sat through the long synod sessions, studying the subject of his first commissioned bust. Before the year was over the strong lean, kindly features of President Bishop looked down from between the fluted columns in the Erodelphian Hall.
   Fifteen years later Charles Anderson on a tour of Italy met Powers in his famous studio in Florence. When Anderson referred to the sculptor's first commission in frontier Cincinnati, Powers' dark eyes lighted. "What?" he said, "Dr. Bishop of Oxford. Were you of that committee of boys? Yes, to be sure. How could I forget you?"
   By that time another Powers figure, done in the Florentine studio, had found a place in an older college. The classical "Proserpine" occupied a niche at the entrance to the Christchurch College Library in Oxford, England.
   On his return from Italy, Anderson brought another artist to Oxford to make a mold of the Bishop bust. In the process the original was destroyed, but the bronze copy was returned to the Erodelphians. Almost a century later, when memories of the 1830's had faded at Miami, President Raymond M. Hughes led Dr. Robert Hamilton Bishop IV, Miami '03 and director of the Lakeside Hospital in Cleveland, up the long stairs to the third floor of the Main Building. There, decorated with a German mustache and serving as a doorstop, was the Bishop head, still arresting in its strength and dignity. Dr. Bishop took the battered bust to Cleveland and had it freshly cast by the artist Gorham. Now it occupies a window niche at the foot of a curved stairway in Constance Mather Bishop's home at Arrowhead Farm outside of Cleveland. Its duplicate, presented to Miami at the 1924 Commencement, rests over reference desk in the Library reading room, "a perpetual witness" to the changing stream of Miami students.
   Another rivalry between the Halls concerned the programs for their Exhibitions. In the fall of 1834 the Erodelphian Society, observing its ninth anniversary, was addressed by a Byronic-looking lawyer, orator and reformer from South Carolina. Thomas Smith Grimke spent a week in Oxford, with whole college gathering around him. Two weeks later, journeying to Columbus, he was stricken with cholera and died in a farmhouse on the way. In Oxford the Erodelphians wore bands of mourning and hung his portrait on their wall, and years after his death his Erodelphian address was read by millions. In 1843 Alexander McGuffey, compiling selections for the Rhetorical Guide, recalled the stirring oration he had heard ten years before in the Erodelphian Hall. In the Reader he used five paragraphs of Grimke's "The Natural and Moral Worlds," reprinted from the collected Erodelphian Lectures: "The same God is the author of the invisible and visible worlds. The moral grandeur and beauty of the world are equally the products of his wisdom and goodness, with the fair, the sublime, the wonderful of the physical creation. What indeed are those but the outward manifestations of his might, skill and benevolence? What are they but a glorious volume, forever speaking to the eye and ear of man, in the language of sight and sound, the praises of its author?" So the idealism that was kindling the minds of Emerson and Carlyle came to the schoolboy in the Fifth Reader, as it had come to the members of Erodelphian Hall.
   Other speakers at the societies' Exhibitions included Lyman Beecher, Alexander Campbell, Daniel Drake, Thomas Ewing, John J. McRae and Edward Deering Mansfield.
   In 1829 the Union Society announced that General William Henry Harrison would speak at its anniversary. Harrison was just back from his short term as United States minister to Colombia, and illness prevented his appearance. He sent regrets through his son, Carter Bassett Harrison, a leading member of the Union Hall.
   Among John Cleves Symmes' disappointments was the death of his two sons in infancy. But he saw five grandsons romping through the Harrison farmhouse at North Bend. Twelve years after his death the youngest of them, Carter Bassett Harrison, enrolled in the college created by Symmes' Purchase.
   Carter Harrison was a remote heir to Virginia aristocracy and a direct heir to the frontier West. He was born at Vincennes on the Wabash while his father was marching against the Indians at Tippecanoe. All the currents of the West washed around his boyhood. His oldest brother, John Cleves Symmes Harrison, was the federal land agent at Vincennes. His brother William Henry was married to Clarissa Pike, whose father had discovered the source of the Mississippi and had explored the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. His adventurous and wayward brother Benjamin(uncle of President Benjamin Harrison) went on a trapping expedition with old Jim Bridger to Big Horn mountains and was later captured by Mexicans in Texas. His sober brother John Scott Harrison ran a farm, like countless Western settlers, at North Bend, Ohio.
   In 1826, Carter Harrison came to Miami, which had not opened in time for his brothers. The next year his father was appointed minister to the Republic of Colombia, and young Carter, seventeen, packed up for a trip to South America as his private secretary. That Christmas they spent in the sleepy Venezuelan port of Maracaibo; then began a five-week trek by mule-train to the remote high capitol of Bogota. It was a year of revolution for Colombia for Carter Harrison.
   Recalled by President Jackson, Harrison came home to North Bend, with a pet macaw in a cage and some exotic shrubs to set out on the Ohio. In Cincinnati the general and his son were honored at a four-hour banquet in the fantastic hall of Mrs. Trollope's bazaar; that evening there was the first talk of Harrison for President of the United States.
   That fall Carter Harrison returned to college. He found a new dormitory on the campus and a student body of 130 men. Over a bushel of apples around a wood-burning stove, he had tales to tell--the capture of a privateer in the Leeward Islands, a diplomatic ball with girls from twenty nations, revolutionaries smuggling rifles from the Bogota arsenal, emerald mining in the high Andes, a swirling flatboats journey down the Magdelena River, spies and conspirators in the old walled town of Carthagena. Among all the voices that haunt Elliott Hall, Carter Harrison's is one to remember.
   Some of the lines in old General Harrison Face were put there by his sons. There of them were spendthrift and wayward and overfond of whisky. Carter was the youngest, the sunniest, the most promising. When he left Miami in 1833 he studied law in the Cincinnati office of Robert C. Schenck, his comrade in the Union Literary Society, and he helped his troubled father conduct the Court of Common Pleas. In 1836 he married a Hamilton girl and opened an office in Hamilton. But he never found the measure of his talents. Three years later, at twenty-eight, he died.
   One of his friends in the Union Society wrote his obituary, including a college attitude that has not changed. "He was not so much a student as a general reader, preferring the standard works of prose and poetry of ancient and modern times to technicalities and seeming uselessness of many of the class books. His mind was chaste and clear and richly stored with knowledge. While in college he sustained himself in the high rank to which he rose, and when we separated we foretold for him no common career."
  No common career was ahead of his friends in the Literary Halls. From them came a governor of Ohio, a governor of Iowa, a president of a Mississippi college, two founders of Wabash College, a mayor of Cincinnati, an editor of the Western Citizen, a railroad president, missionaries to Organ and Syria, and United States ministers to Brazil, Russia, and England. The ambassador to England was Robert C. Schenck--lawyer, congressman, general diplomat, and an author too; while in London he wrote a little book with a couplet on its title-page:

Put not your trust in Kings and Princes;
Three of a kind will take them both.

   His Rules of Playing Poker introduced an American card game to England and brought to upon him, General Schenck said, "the wrath and reprehension of many good people in America."
  No common career is what President Bishop foresaw for his students, and he supported all their mimic trials and combats in the Literary Halls. During the 1830's they enjoyed a heady freedom, and in that decade they had their greatest influence and distinction. With warm approval Bishop described the societies as "pure democracies. . . and miniature representation of the two Houses of Congress of the different state legislatures."
   But with President Junkin's arrival the atmosphere changed. On April 10, 1841, at the beginning of the spring term, a young Erodelphian named Charles Hardin, who would become governor of Missouri thirty-five years later, wrote a letter lamenting the death of the nation's president--William Henry Harrison--and noting the arrival of a new president at Miami. "Dr. Junkin comes to Oxford today or Monday. We look for something extra. Few new students have come in yet. The teachers in college number eight now. We have a professor who teaches all living languages from Indian to Chinese." The identity of this universal linguist is not clear, but the "something extra" which was looked for from Dr. Junkin, by the trustees at least, was an exercise of discipline.
   President George Junkin was a short, positive, strong-tempered man with a tight mouth and habitually-clenched hands. He disapproved of the free and easy ways of Miami undergraduates. In an evening chapel service he had a quarrel with an usher who was a member of one of the Literary Halls; when the fellow-members rushed in, President Junkin retreated barely in time to avoid a riot. In his first sermon in Oxford he denounced the Methodist Church for its crudities in logic and theology, starting a denominational quarrel in the village. The Western Christian Advocate editorialized: "Miami University is no place for Methodist students who desire to enjoy their religious privileges." and the University enrollment dwindled. On a summer evening in 1841 the students broke up a lecture on penmanship in the chapel--as Governor Hardin recalled," We cleared him so much that we 'inadvertently' broke all the lamps, disorganized all the benches and stoves, including the writing-master who departed through a window and has not been seen since." It was a restless college into which the new president was formally inaugurated on the 11th of August.
   On that warm summer day the academic procession marched from the college gate down the "slanting path" and past the Center Building to the grove where the Beta Bell Tower stands. There in the forest shade before "a vast concourse of people" President Junkin delivered his inaugural address. Its subject was " Obedience to Authority," and it proposed a strong rule in place of the paternal and democratic regime of the predecessor. "Every good School," the new president declared, "is a monarchy," and he promised an administration of firm discipline under moral law.
   Soon after this strong stand some Oxford joker sent to the United States Gazette in Philadelphia a report of Dr. Junkin's death. Before Junkin could protest, his family was receiving letters of condolence and two funeral sermons were prepared by clergymen who had been his former associates. He went on attacking Methodists and abolitionist, but he was already dead as an effective Miami president.
   In 1842 the Junkin regime adopted a set of "Laws of Miami University for the Government of the Faculty and Students." These rules, an expression of Junkin's belief in legislative morality, included some unrealistic provisions: "Every applicant for admission shall furnish written evidence to the Faculty that he sustains a good moral character, which shall be kept on file by the President. . . . Every student upon admission shall sign his name to the Matriculation Book under a written pledge to obey the laws of the Institution . . . . Ten hours per day (expect for Saturdays) shall be devoted to study and recitations. Their particular distribution shall be announced by the Faculty at the opening of each Session."
   The humorless rules for deportment of students have become humorous to later generations: "The students are to consider themselves as young gentlemen associated for the purpose of improvement. . . . They are to treat the President, Professors and the other instructors on all occasions with profound respect. . . . No student shall wear about his person pistol, dirk, stiletto or other dangerous weapons. . . . Every student shall be required to observe a religious and becoming deportment of the Lord's Day. . . . The Faculty are authorized and enjoined to break up any and every combination that may be found to resist the government of the College. . . . Any student who shall sent or accept a challenge to fight a duel . . . shall be immediately expelled from College. . . . No student shall during term engaged in putting off fireworks or other combustible matter on the College premises shall be punished according to the nature of his offense. . . . All behavior inconsistent with comfort and good order shall be considered as misdemeanors and visited with suitable penalty."
   Despite these laws, or because of them, the Miami of the 1840's was a restive place. The three Junkin daughters enjoyed a popularity with Miami men that did not touch their father; and though it is not necessary or important that a president be popular, he must be respected. "Our little warlike Dr.," Professor Scott called Junkin, and he added, "this same little Sir Hudibras is rather a hard case to get along with." The students found it so. They muttered about a "reign of terror," and resistance grew. In the spring of 1844 all the sophomores refused to attend class because of their dislike for a certain textbook. On a summer night after the fist mowing of the campus the chapel was filled with hay. In the spring while the students watched from the edges of the room President Junkin worked his way around to his desk and conducted the service as usual, except for a lengthy reference to "transgressors" in his prayer. When a returning student who had been in trouble with the president was placed on the Commencement program of the Miami Union, the faculty threatened to deny graduation to his sponsors. An apology saved them their degrees, but it was also a defiance , still questioning "whether the faculty had the right to interfere." The seniors talked of cutting the name of President Junkin from their diplomas.
   The monarchy had failed, and there was nor regret when Dr. Junkin left Oxford in the fall of 1844. He was no better liked by the townspeople than by the students. When Joel Collins fenced off the upper part of the campus to keep village cattle out of the college "commons," the villagers blamed Junkin. "The president is putting on airs," muttered one cattle-owner, who took his an ax, battered down the fence, and let his cow in to graze on the Miami grass.
   From Oxford President Junkin went back to the presidency of Lafayette College. Four years later he became president of Washington College at Lexington, Virginia. There he taught his classes and directed the college for thirteen uneasy years. He was still a fighter, equally opposed to abolition and to secession. In the tense April of 1861, he denounced states' rights and upheld the bonds of the Union. When he found a rebel flag over his classroom he dismissed his students and reigned from the college. Leaving a married daughter in Lexington(her husband would soon be known to the world as "Stonewall" Jackson) he drove his own carriage 350 miles through the border turmoil to Philadelphia. During the war he talked, condoled and prayed with wounded soldiers in the military hospitals. He was writing an exhaustive commentary on Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews when he died in 1868.
   To the Miami presidency in 1845 came Erasmus D. McMaster; he had been president of Hanover College in Indiana. A towering, white-haired bachelor with courtly manner and distant eyes, he was totally different from President Junkin. In political belief he was an ardent free-soil man. The divided trustees had chosen an abolitionist to succeed a defender of slavery; it was the opposition's turn.
   President McMaster had a prodigious learning and phenomenal memory. To the students his learning became a legend: he knew the whole of Butler's Analogy, every chapter, page and paragraph verbatim; he could take the place of any absent professor and without a textbook hear a recitation in conic sections or the Iliad; he never brought a book or paper into the classroom. Yet this long-haired scholar could not remember the names of Miami students or understand their natures.
   But he could not fail to see the growing contest between the Literary Halls and the faculty. In the middle of May, 1845, the Miami Union elected as its anniversary speaker Robert Dale Owen, educator, reformer, and member of Congress, from New Harmony, Indiana. At its next meeting the secretary read a letter form the University faculty, reminding the hall of the relation requiring the members to submit the names of speakers for all public occasions. The faculty would doubtless have approved of Congressman Owen; they were merely affirming a principle.
   Voices rose on the third floor. Both societies asserted their independence of the University. Their anniversaries, though now held during Commencement week, were not a University exercise; let the faculty direct the Commencement, the societies would conduct their own reunions. As the August Commencement approached the tension grew. Goaded by their alumni, the halls clung to their independence, while the faculty insisted on control of the college. In a meeting of faculty and society representatives the students were urged to submit the names of speakers for the approaching Commencement exhibitions, with assurance that they would be approved . For seven hours the members of the Miami Union argued the question, finally voting down the compromise. The Erodelphians made the same defiance. The deadlock lasted through three-years--the years of the Snow Rebellion and the growth of the sub rosa Greek letter fraternities.
   At last a new generation of students gave in to the adamant president and faculty. In the subdued, half-empty college after the Snow Rebellion of 1848 there was no more fighting spirit. Finally Ardivan Rodgers, secretary of Erodelphian and one of the founders of Phi Delta Theta, handed the president the name of a proposed speaker, asking for approval. The Union then submitted its names, and the long struggle was past. Everyone was relieved, except the alumni--who like all alumni wanted to preserve the college life, even the strife that they remembered.
   Past also was the full strength and influence of the Literary Halls. They would carry on for many years, but in the enlarging shadow of the new Greek letter societies--which the halls had prepared for. Certain touches of fraternity organization had marked the societies from the beginning: the wearing of the "rose," the pride in their meeting rooms, the secrecy of their constitutions and of "the proceedings of the Hall." Members had been recruited in the fraternity way. Three freshmen boarding the stagecoach for Oxford in the fall of 1839 found there a group of upper-class members of students of the Miami Union. Before they saw the college yard the new students had agreed to join the Union Society. In that year twenty members of the Union organized an eating club. Alumni members contributed to the society funds and returned to the society reunions. In and out of college the members felt bound by ties of the closest friendship. Amicitia was carved over the Erodelphian rostrum, and the inscription on the graves of three members buried in the student cemetery was Vale, mi frater.
   The Old Student Burring Ground was the far corner of the University land, half a mile through the forest from the college yard. It was a sylvan half-acre, on the present site of number eight green of the Miami golf course, where a broad white oak still shades the grassy knoll. Of the score of students buried there before 1850, several were members of Erodelphian and their graves were tended by the society.
   For students far from home in a time of little transportation, their comrades in the Literary Halls took the place of family. Like brothers they cared for them in illness, watched at their dying, arranged their funerals and placed monuments on their graves. In the spring of 1841, John Jamison of Ross County, Ohio died of measles. In the summer of 1844, John W. Smith, a freshman from Oxford, Mississippi, died of dysentery. In the winter of 1846, Joseph Little of Indiana, a high-ranking senior just a few weeks short of graduation, died of smallpox. These three were buries with Erodelphian monuments to mark their graves.
   In a remote small college a death touched them all. "No faculty meeting was held or other college business transacted in consequence of the death--" is a familiar minute in the faculty records. After a funeral service in the chapel, members of the literary societies formed a line and marched, with the faculty and other students, through sunlight and shadow to the burial ground. In summer there were wildflowers to cover the coffin, in winter only the frayed silk badge of the society.
   In 1852 the Oxford Cemetery was opened on the hill across Collins Run, and the students graves were moved to the University lot in that new burial ground. They stand there still, among the graves of Miami presidents and professors, three weathered obelisks bearing the Erodelphians seal and the inscriptions Vale, mi frater. For many years on Memorial Day in the radiant Oxford spring, the Erodelphians marched to the cemetery and left roses on the graves.
   In the 1830's, the literary societies were the only student organizations. By 1850 new activities were coming: a cricket club with the wicket fixed where Irvin Hall now stands, gymnastic exhibitions in a third floor room next to the Literary Halls, campus baseball teams--the "Moundbuilders" of present Stoddard Hall competing with a team from the North Dormitory. But Friday was still the climax of the week, with voices ringing in the third floor halls. When Old Miami closed its doors in 1873, the societies' records were stored in their library shelves; the shades were drawn, the doors locked, the keys entrusted to Professor McFarland until the college should open again.
   When New Miami began its first term in 1885, the literary societies reorganized. But things were not the same. The old halls were shabby, the pictures faded on the walls, the carpet mottled under the cracked and leaky ceiling. The sound of declamation and debate was lost in other voices--cries of class rivalry in the Tower Rush, cheering from the football field, the chanting of the black-robed Dekes carrying their coffin by torch-light through the grove, the midnight songs of the fraternities. The Greeks were dominant now, and up under the roof of few students patiently debated the questions of Chinese immigration, the eight-hour working day, and public ownership of the railroads.
   When the Alumni Library was opened in 1910, the societies transferred their books to the University and surrendered their halls for use as classrooms. For some years the organizations held on, encouraged by their alumni, but their time was past. In the 1920's they adjourned their final meetings and gave their bulky record books to the university librarian. The last Erodelphians were graduated in 1924, ninety-nine years after the society's founding. In 1928 a note in the Miami Student stated that the Miami Union was dissolved.
   Now the third floor is silent on Friday nights and no one visits the three worn gravestones on the hill. But the portrait of Bishop hangs in the Sesquicentennial office, his bust looks over the reading room in the Library, and some calf-bound books in the library stacks still carry the yellowed bookplates of the Literary Halls.
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