Case 5: The Early Years

26. George-town and the City of Washington. Engraved by G. Cooke. London: Longman,
Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown, 1812

27. Rev. Robert Molyneux to Ignatius Fenwick, July 8, 1793

"Being out of Meat and finding none in our Great City, if it shd be convenient to you to kill a Calf, College will take what you can spare and with cr. for the same." This is the earliest letter we have by a Georgetown president written while in office.

28. Georgetown College in the District of Columbia [1829]

The first illustrated prospectus

29. Georgetown in the District of Columbia [1988]

The first illustrated prospectus, along with the most recent. Old North, which still stands, joined the original building in 1795. Note the large handball alley.

30. John Carroll to Rev. Charles Plowden, Baltimore, April 30, 1792

"The academy at Georgetown, which now is on foot, and acquires reputation, will be of great service hereafter, if well conducted."

31. [Rev. William DuBourg, S.S. third president of Georgetown] Albumen photograph
of a painting [after J.P. de Clorivière?]

32. College of George-town, (Potomack) in the State of Maryland, United States
of America [Georgetown] 1798

The first prospectus of Georgetown College, issued by President DuBourg on January 1, 1798. The prospectus was also available in French and Spanish. Fr. DuBourg was a native of Cape Francois on the island of Santo Domingo and a member of the congregation of St. Sulpice. He was the first Georgetown president to attempt to act on a broad scale, expanding the faculty, hiring fencing masters, buying silver and a piano. Unfortunately, his ability to raise money did not match his ability to spend it, and he was forced out in the face of rising debts.

Rev. Leonard Neale

33. [Rev. Leonard Neale] Engraving [after J.P. de Clorivière?]

34. Brother Joseph Mobberly, S.J. Memoirs [1825?]

"He [Fr. Leonard Neale] was a strict moralist, and during his presidency he preserved great order and discipline in the college... The students were never allowed access to the garden. He had planted two small cherry trees fronting the southern door of the old College, each of which after 2 or 3 years, produced about 8 or 10 cherries. He prized his cherries very highly and was so careful of them that he counted them every day. At length three or four of the cherries disappeared. He suspected the students. He took measure of the rogue's foot according to the track left under the tree and soon repaired to the study room where I was then presiding as Prefect...He then addressed the students dwelling emphatically on the 7th commandment...he never supposed a gentleman's son could be guilty of such meanness."

In commenting on the Neale administration, John Carroll remarked " Georgetown should not be run on the principles of a convent," and generations of our students have done their best to live up to the challenge.

35. Regulations for the students of Georgetown College, 1829

"All particular associations and private conversations are absolutely forbidden; no two or three therefore must be seen habitually conversing together for any considerable time in private."

The rules of 1829 were considered much more lenient than those of the Neale administration.

36. [Ledger A-1, Georgetown College] 1791-1796

"Mr. William Digges' Sukey hired at College at 10 per annum commencing March 27, 1792"

37. [Ledger A-3, Georgetown College] 1791-1796

"Justane in a/c with the College"

Old Georgetown hands are surprised to learn that there were women at the college in the earliest days. Justane Douat was hired as a nurse for the small boys. Note the entry to cash paid for the seal of the corporation. We believe that she was giving money to engrave the emblem displayed here. Sukey was one of a small number of slaves who worked at the college along with free blacks.

38. Engraved copper plate [bearing the emblem of the college] 1798

William Gaston and Georgetown

William Gaston of North Carolina entered Georgetown November 22, 1791, as the first student to enroll. Though health forced his transfer to Princeton, where he was placed in the third year of studies after a year and a half at Georgetown, Gaston remained close to the faculty throughout his long and distinguished life. He served in Congress, where he introduced the legislation chartering the college, and served as chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. He wrote the state song of North Carolina and the city of Gastonia is named in his honor.

39. William Gaston to Rev. Joseph Carbery, S.J., September 1, 1824

"I place my boy Augustus under the charge of the Rev. Joseph Carbery, to receive moral and religious instruction, to be taught an useful trade, and, when qualified to make a fit use of his freedom, to be emancipated."Gaston was a slave owner who looked forward to the day that slavery would be abolished.

40. William Gaston to Rev. John Grassi, S.J., September 16, 1816

Gaston married the daughter of the college physician in the parlor of the Worthington house, now the home of Senator and Mrs. Claiborne Pell. Fr. Grassi officiated at the ceremony.

41. William Gaston. Engraved by A. B. Durand after a painting by G. Cooke, 1834

42. Annals of the Congress of the United States. Thirteenth Congress, Third
Session, September 19, 1814-March 3, 1815. Vol. 3, Col. 1106. Washington: Gales and Seaton, 1854

"Mr. Gaston presented a petition of the President and Directors of the College of Georgetown, praying to be invested with authority and power to confer the usual academical honors..."

Next Segment
Return to Bicentennial Exhibit Menu
Return to Exhibits Menu