In 1856 several Franklin and Marshall students were caught frequenting local taverns and bar-rooms during Commencement Week. A disturbed faculty and administrated preceded to interview suspected students and punish them accordingly. Apparently parties were held at a student's home where liqour and beer were consumed. The following is a record of the scandal, including statements provided by the students and the ultimate decisions made by the College concerning the fate of these students.
Raymond Hamway, '98
W.S. Ditto (of the present Sophomore Class) was not on of the revellers on Wednesday night, but was under the influence of liquor -- drank a little whiskey & more champagne -- did not drink in private always in public, both with students & others -- became sick but did not throw up -- has drank a few times before -- has not ???? the college laws -- has tasted liquor this term in a bar-room, has treated & been treated in turn -- regrets his course and will try to reform.
The examinations ended here and the faculty adj[ourne]d.
Thos. C. Porter, Secy.
October 1st 1856
Faculty met again at 8 PM -- Present: Gerhart, Nevin, Apple & Porter.
Minutes of former meeting read & adopted.
The cases of the students examined in the afternoon were considered & the following decisions made in regard to the punishments to be awarded:
Resolved, that Mr. D. C. Rentch be publicly reprimanded by the President in the presence of his fellow students, for participating in a carousal at Cooper's tavern on the night of last Commencement day, & for using intoxicating liquors and frequenting places, where such liquor is sold, and that his name be stricken from the matriculation book and a new signiture required.
Resolved, that Mr. G.W.Silvis be publicly reprimanded by the President in the presence of his fellow students, for partaking in a carousal at Cooper's tavern on the night of last Commencement day, & for using intoxicating liquors and frequenting places, where such liquor is sold, and that his name be stricken from the matriculation book and a new signiture required.
Resolved, That Mr. William Leaman be publicly reprimanded for the frequent use of strong liquors & for visiting places where such liquors are sold.
Resolved, that Messrs. J. Schnebly & J. J. Bridenbaugh be reprimanded in like manner.
Resolved, that, although Mr. W.S. Ditto has violated the laws of the College by visiting bar-rooms and becoming intoxicated,yet inasmuch as he had not been matriculated at the time & as this is his first offence, he be reprimanded by the President in the presence of the faculty.
Thos. C. Porter, Secy.
Present -- Gerhart, Nevin, Apple and Porter. On motion, Resolved that B. F. Fisher, Jacob Kehm and Henry Leaman Jr. have sustained their probation & that they be entered as regular members of the Sophomore Class.
Resolved, that Divine Service be held in the Chapel of the College every Sabbath morning during the present term.
The order of lectures & recitations was next revised.
Resolved also, That the Faculty hold its regular meeting every Wedesday afternoon at 3 o'clock, at the house of the secretary.
Thos C. Porter, Secy.
Wed. Sept. 24th 1856
Faculty met at 3 PM at the house of the Secretary.
Present -- Gerhart, Nevin, Apple & Porter.
The minutes of the last 2 meetings were read & approved.
After sustaining an examination H. N. Bittinger was admitted as irregular member of the Sophomore Class, being allowed to omit the study of Greek.
On motion, resolved, That the thanks of the Faculty of Franklin & Marshall College be tendered to the Consistory of the First German Reformed Church of the City [of] Lancaster for their kindness in granting the use of their church for college services during the past term.
Resolved, That the faculty of Franklin & Marshall College do hereby express their grateful acknowledgements to Messrs. H. L. & E. J. Zahm, Jewellers of Lancaster City for the handsome & valuable clock presented by them to the Institution.
Resolved, That in the opinion of the faculty the construction of a temporary walk at least from Charlotte St. to the College is absolutely necessary to meet the wants of the College during the winter.
Adj. Thos. C. Porter, Secy.
October 1st 1856
Faculty met at the house of the Secy. at 2 P.M.
Present -- Gerhart, Nevin, Apple and Porter.
The following young gentlemen being implicated in certain disorders such as participating in a carousal at the tavern of Frederick Cooper's [tavern] on the evening of last Commencement, to the great scandal of the College, were called to appear before the Faculty, & in answer to questions put testified thus:
D. C. Reutch (of the present Senior Class) denies being intoxicated at Cooper's Hotel on Wedesday evening, July 23d, & took part in the carousal -- champagne and other wines drank, but none of it obtained from the landlord -- drank wine on Tuesday & lager beer on the evening of the same day -- says that others were more under the influence of liquor than himself -- admits having said "If I was tight, Mr. Leaman was also tight" -- not in the party on Monday evening -- understood the President to approve (!) of the moderate use of wine & beer, at an interview held with him some time ago -- willing to abstain from frequenting beer shops and taverns_ -- Sorry and promises amendment -- admits that he swears sometimes.
J. J. Bridenbaugh (of the present Junior Class) came to the Railroad at 2 1/2 A.M. when he took one or two drinks of whiskey -- the only liquor drunk by him during Commencement Week -- has several times tasted lager beer but [is] not in the habit of using it -- was not in the party on Wedesday evening -- says he used no profane and vulgar language as reported -- Willing to cease visitiing taverns & lager beer shops altogether.
W. Seaman (of the present Senior Class) used brandy & wine during the Commencement week, but not at the party at Mr. Cooper's on Wedesday evening -- is not in the habit of drinking liquor -- drank with other students, but says he was not intoxicated -- in none of the parties at Cooper's -- regards taking liquor occasionally as a trifling matter, but thinks his father would not -- has drank once or twice during the present term -- willing to give his solemn promise to abstain from liquor as a beverage.
J. Schnebly (of the present Senior Class) says he was not at Cooper's neither on Monday nor on Wedesday evening -- not intoxicated during the Week of Commencement -- drank lager beer -- has drunk whiskey but not at that time -- says he saw no bottle in the cars -- willing to abstain wholly for the future.
G. W. Silvis (of the present Senior class) was at the carousal on Wedesday night & drank -- thinks he was not under the influence of liquor either then or during examination week -- used whiskey --goes to lager beer saloons -- has indulged once or twice during the present term -- says nothing was broken at the party on Wedesday night -- at Coopers on a previous evening -- saw a bottle of champagne among students at the Railroad, Wedesday 2 1/2 A.M.
Friday Oct. 10, 1856 Met at the house of the Secretary. Present -- Gerhart, Nevin, Apple and Porter.
Minutes read & approved.
On motion, the punishment awarded to Mr. Silvis was reconsidered & the erasure & resigning his name to the College laws remitted.
On motion, the punishment awarded to Mr. Bridenbaugh was reconsidered and commuted to reprimand before his Class.
On motion, the punishment awarded to Mr. Schnebly was reconsidered and commuted to reprimand before his class.
On motion, Resolved , that the thanks of the Faculty of Franklin & Marshall College be tendered to Spengler & Westhoffer, booksellers of Lancaster City for the handsome present of a Bible & Hymn Book for the use in the College Chapel.
On motion, resolved, that this acknowledgement and that to Messrs. H. L. & E. J. Zahm be published in the Inland Daily of Lancaster and the German Reformed Messenger of Chambersburg.
Thos. C. Porter, Secy.
Met at 3 P. M. -- Present Gerhart, Nevin & Porter.
Minutes read & adopted.
Mr. Ditto appeared before the Faculty, & the President administered the preprimand awarded at a former meeting.
Resolved, that the recitations of the forenoon be advanced an hour, so that the time of opening be hereafter at 10 o�clock instead of 9.
Thos. C. Porter, Secy.