I. THE EARLY YEARS
Appendix: The Constitution
THIS history of Phillips Academy is the first of four volumes to be published in connection with the 200th anniversary of the founding of the School and the 150th anniversary of the founding of Abbot Academy. There are good reasons for a number of publications, rather than one. When I was first asked to undertake the writing of the history of Phillips Academy, I was immediately concerned about the problem of including in one volume all the manifold activities of the School in recent years. When the Reverend William E. Park wrote his history for the Centennial of 1878, it was possible to cover the story in one account, for the institution had changed relatively little in its first century. When Claude M. Fuess wrote his excellent history of Andover---An Old New England School---in 1917, he tried to cover all the aspects of the School's past, and although he was generally successful, there were problems. For example, he had two separate chapters on athletics, including varsity athletics---"Some Baseball Stories" and "The Lure of the Game." By necessity these chapters had to be superficial, and, more important from my point of view, they were essentially digressions that interrupted the main story. The same was true of Dr. Fuess's treatment of alumni affairs. In one place, for example, there are two pages simply listing the names of important alumni who had graduated during a certain period in the School's history. (There is no record of the hurt feelings that such a list must have caused among those omitted, but the chances are that they were substantial.) Finally, when Phillips Academy merged with Abbot in 1973, it was clear that no one volume could include the history of both institutions.
As a result of these considerations, it was agreed to break the story of Phillips Academy into four parts, each dealing with one aspect of the past of the School. The history of Abbot Academy was a separate story in itself, and fortunately a highly qualified person was available to write it, my colleague Susan M. Lloyd, who was a member of the Abbot Faculty at the time of the merger and is now Instructor in History and Social Sciences at Phillips Academy. Her book, A Singular School: Abbot Academy 1829-1973, is in press. It was also decided to publish a separate volume on Andover athletics, especially varsity athletics; and again, fortunately, a highly qualified person, my colleague Fred H. Harrison, the most effective Director of Athletics in the history of the School and an Instructor in History and Social Sciences, agreed to undertake this study. His book will be published soon. Finally, during the twentieth century, the financial history of the School, including the work of various alumni organizations, has become so important and so complex as to deserve separate treatment. After Stanley King had retired as President of Amherst, he wrote two volumes on this aspect of Amherst's history---"The Consecrated Eminence": The Story of the Campus and Buildings of Amherst College (Amherst, Amherst College, 1952) and A History of the Endowment of Amherst College (Amherst, Amherst College, 1950). One might suppose that accounts of these subjects would be dull, but in fact King's are fascinating. Certainly the financial history of Phillips Academy is as rich as that of Amherst. Again it was fortunate that a highly qualified person, Roger M. Murray of the Class of 1928, Professor Emeritus at the Columbia University Business School, was willing to undertake this part of the story. His work should be published before too long. These decisions have allowed the present volume to concentrate on the story of Phillips Academy as an academic institution. It is concerned primarily with the Headmasters, Faculty, and undergraduates of the School---and to a lesser extent with the Trustees.
Just after I had begun work on the volume, I read a review of the history of a college in the course of which the reviewer remarked that at least the author had not divided his book into chapters according to the institution's various administrations, implying that this practice was beyond the historical pale. Whatever may be true of college presidents, the Headmasters of strong schools have nearly always been the most powerful single influence in the institution. It is hard to think of any famous American boarding school today without thinking at the same time of its Headmasters. In any event, I make no apology for my decision to center most of my chapters on the administrations of some very extraordinary men. Phillips Academy has always been noted for its great teachers, especially in the second century of its existence, and thus the Faculty deserves special treatment. One recognizes, nevertheless, that undergraduates are what the School is all about, and the book therefore includes a large number of passages from student letters and reminiscences, recording not only academic experiences, but also extracurricular activities. In the early days of the School the Trustees devoted themselves to matters that today would be in the province of the Headmaster and Faculty. One Trustee Committee reviewed discipline cases, for example, and another checked regularly on achievements of the students. With the founding of the Andover Theological Seminary in 1808, the Trustees, who were responsible for that institution as well as Phillips Academy, turned more and more of their attention to the Seminary, with the result that first the Headmaster alone and later the Headmaster and Faculty together assumed a large part of the running of the school. Since in the twentieth century the Trustees have more and more concerned themselves primarily with financial affairs, a large part of their activities rightfully belongs in Professor Murray's forthcoming study. To be sure, there were important exceptions, as in the part the Trustees played in choosing Headmasters, in dealing with the problem of the School's Secret Societies, and in bringing about coeducation. Yet for the most part they were engaged in drawing up the School budget, managing the endowment, and fund raising.
It was not long after I had begun working on the research for this book that I realized there had really been two Phillips Academies during the School's two-hundred-year existence. The first, which lasted for about a century, was essentially the creation of Eliphalet Pearson, the first "Preceptor." It was a rigid institution, concentrating on the study of the Classics, deeply concerned with inculcating in students the principles of Calvinist religion, and generally opposed to innovation. Almost everyone connected with the School during this first century subscribed wholeheartedly to the doctrine of the depravity of man. Samuel H. Taylor, Principal from 1837 to 1871, was almost a carbon copy of Pearson. There had been few modifications on Andover Hill during those hundred years. Parts I and Il---"The Early Years" and "Interlude"---deal with this period. Part III, the remainder of the book, focuses on the changes introduced by Cecil Bancroft after 1873. A more flexible curriculum, less rigidity in the religious program, the development of a strong teaching Faculty who played a major part in the running of the School, and a program to house the students in dormitories owned and supervised by the School---these were some of the principal elements in the Bancroft formula. Bancroft's successors---Stearns, Fuess, and Kemper---all pretty much followed the course he had laid out. It was not until the late 1960's and early 1970'S that revolutionary forces brought about a series of dramatic changes which made the School of today a very different place from what it was fifteen years ago.
Also when I first started working on this book, I was determined to relate developments at Phillips Academy to political, social, economic, and educational developments in New England in particular and in the country generally. I was convinced that too many so-called house histories were written as if the institution existed in a vacuum. As I proceeded, however, I found that realizing this aim was difficult, if not impossible, because Phillips Academy had existed in a vacuum---at least until well after World War II. A striking analogy that points up this situation comes from James S. Kunen, '66. He remembers that when the Great Northeast Power Blackout took place in the early 1960's, Phillips Academy, with its own power plant, continued unaffected. Only the absence of traffic lights on Main Street suggested that things were not perfectly normal. For Kunen this isolation from what was going on in the world of electric power was symbolic of the School's isolation from national events (see page 576). To be sure, the staff of the short-lived Teachers' Seminary in the 1830's were aware of new educational developments in the country, but they all left after a few years. To be sure, Cecil Bancroft sought the advice of school and college administrators in initiating his changes. Yet the evidence is overwhelming that when it came to setting educational policy, Phillips Academy "rolled its own" during most of its existence. The only clear-cut case of the School's adopting a program that another School had developed was Andover's joining the Washington Intern Program in the late 1960's ---a program started by Exeter. As a result of all this, the story of Phillips Academy that I have attempted to tell concentrates almost exclusively on events that occurred on Andover Hill.
Too many institutional histories are long paeans of praise for the institution studied. For example, there is a short history of the Pullman Company that makes almost no mention of the great Pullman Strike of 1894---without question the most important event in the history of the company. When I first undertook this assignment, I insisted that I be allowed to tell the story warts and all. This was readily agreed to, but I need not have bothered. Never during the five years that I have been working on this volume has anyone tried to tell me what to write, or vetoed something I had written. This confidence in me has been one of the most heart-warming things about the experience. Headmaster Theodore R. Sizer, in particular, has invariably urged me to include even warts I was doubtful about; the only time I can remember his suggesting any change in this area was when he opined that in one place I had more warts than were necessary to make my point and that the result was overkill, a judgment I concurred with completely. I have not, however, criticized frivolously. For example, I think it is important to record the School's anti-Semitic and anti-black admissions policy during the first forty years of this century. On the other hand I see no point in recounting various pieces of Faculty gossip about colleagues, some of it salacious.
One of the pleasantest recollections I have is of the contributions made by all segments of the Andover family---particularly by alumni and undergraduates. Early on, I wrote over two hundred alumni asking for their reminiscences about Andover. The list was chosen arbitrarily: in many cases they were old friends, in others they were people who I knew could write well, in still others they represented unusual types of undergraduates. The alumni responded magnificently with over one hundred letters and tapes, many of them of the highest literary quality. A general appeal for reminiscences that was inserted in the Andover Bulletin elicited more. I have been troubled by the problem of attribution in dealing with these letters, and finally decided, except in a few cases, to have no specific attribution at all but simply to say, "As one alumnus remembers it," and the like. There are two main reasons for this decision. First, the thought of corresponding with each alumnus to get a release, and to make sure the quotation was just as he would have it, was appalling, especially as by that time my deadline was rapidly approaching. A more important reason is that throughout the book I have been concerned with the undergraduate body as a whole rather than with particular individuals, and the decision not to attribute was consistent with that policy. I wrote the alumni who had written me and explained my proposal. Almost all agreed to leave the matter up to me. In a few cases an alumnus specifically asked to have his name included and at the same time absolved me from any responsibility for the quotation. I have complied with these requests and have also provided specific attribution for a few communications that were not really letters of reminiscence but rather polished essays, well worth publishing in their own right. At the end of this preface is a list of those who took the time and trouble to write me; to them all I shall always be grateful.
Any teacher welcomes an opportunity to demonstrate how able his students are, and one of my proudest satisfactions in writing this book has been the contributions made by former students. In 1970 I started a seminar in the history of Phillips Academy, for Seniors. The aim was to give the students a chance to work with archival documents---the raw material of history---and to produce papers that would be almost entirely their own creation. After the merger with Abbot, the history of that institution was included also. In the years since the course began, a substantial number of papers have been produced. Some have been disasters, but a high proportion have been true scholarly efforts, some well worth publication. By chance a few of these papers were on topics that I had not researched myself, and as source material for the book were invaluable. Full credit is given to the authors in the Notes, but I do want to salute with affection and admiration these students of mine who have contributed so importantly to the volume.
Throughout the book, in fact, I have been plagued with the problem of naming names. It soon became clear that any attempt to cite outstanding undergraduates at any particular time in the School's history would be unrealistic. I have made a very few exceptions in order to deal with special cases---for example, there is a short account of Humphrey Bogart's career at Andover. There are so many varying legends about his stay on the Hill that the record should be set straight. The problem of naming particular members of the Faculty was equally difficult. Until about 1960 I selected men who, I believed, were great teachers and presented them mainly through alumni reminiscences. Although I have no apologies to make about the ones chosen, I am sure that many alumni readers will regret the omission of a favorite teacher. Generally I have used as a yardstick the question, "Would the School have been the same if so-and-so had not been there?" The problem is compounded when it comes to dealing with teachers currently on the Faculty. I have adopted a flat policy of not naming any of them simply as teachers. Department heads, administrative officers, and people who have made important contributions to the School outside the classroom have occasionally been mentioned by name. Generally my policy with regard to names has been adopted in an effort to avoid hurt feelings, particularly among the present Faculty; but I am fully aware that in this area I cannot possibly win, and I fully expect my nose to be bloodied.
There are a few stylistic inconsistencies that should cause no problem. For example, the class designation " '35" sometimes appears as "PA '35" or "Class of 1935." Some repetition remains though much was deleted. I suppose that my repetition stems from some unconscious pedagogical urge to make sure that everybody gets the message. I am consoled by the thought that not many people will read the book from cover to cover, but will focus on the period they are most familiar with. In part because there is no bibliographical information of any kind in Dr. Fuess's history of Andover, I have annotated this volume very fully. This has meant citing every single source that I have used. To those who believe that a large number of notes is a vulgar display of would-be scholarship, my apologies.
Some friends believe that to include a long list of people who have helped in the preparation of a book is in bad taste. I do not agree. If someone has been kind enough to give me time, I would like to acknowledge it. In thanking all these good people, however, I want to make it clear that I absolve them completely from any mistakes of fact or interpretation that I may have made.
Three in particular have had a great deal to do with the preparation of the work for publication. Juliet Richardson Kellogg, Associate Archivist at Phillips Academy, has been co-worker and friend throughout the whole enterprise. She has searched the Archives indefatigably for material that I hoped was there, has read most of the chapters and made useful suggestions, has transcribed important material, and has preserved throughout this long haul a cheerfulness and an optimism that were contagious. Ruth Flick Quattlebaum, a trained researcher and the wife of Edwin G. Quattlebaum, III, '60, currently an Instructor in History and the Social Sciences at Phillips Academy, worked with the Stearns correspondence, read through and noted the entire run of close to one hundred years of Phillipians, did a similar job for the Phillips Bulletin, proved herself a true professional in hunting down pieces of information difficult to find, and finally read galley proofs with a sharp eye for both inaccuracies and stylistic infelicities. Her contribution to this volume has been substantial. Susan Lambiris, a student in my seminar in the Class of 1975, wrote an outstanding paper on the development of the Phillips Academy Curriculum. She then agreed to work as my research assistant during the following three summers. During that time she made a complete calendar of all the Bancroft correspondence and was turned loose on a variety of special topics, which she researched with rare thoroughness and imagination.
Also, Martha Larson of North Andover patiently worked her way through masses of Fuess and Kemper correspondence and spotted key documents. Her job was the more difficult because most of the official correspondence of these two gentlemen was pretty routine.
My editor and publisher, David Home, of the University Press of New England in Hanover, New Hampshire, has been all that one could ask of an editor. Indeed I want to say quite frankly that I was by no means certain of this book's outcome until we got him aboard. He has combined editorial skill with respect for an author's independence in bringing order out of the manuscript.
Two ladies that are dear to the whole Phillips Academy community have generously helped. Marjorie Stearns, the daughter of Headmaster Alfred E. Stearns, not only turned over to the School some very important private papers of her father but also talked with me most candidly about him and about their life as a family. Abby Castle Kemper, the widow of John Kemper, let me use the transcript of her husband's interview on tape for the Columbia Oral History Project, read the Kemper chapter and made some very useful suggestions, and talked with me frankly and objectively about the School that she knows so well.
C. Lloyd Thomas, '15, the present owner of the old Phillips Mansion in North Andover and the great-great-great grandson of Samuel Phillips, Jr., generously allowed me to reproduce two Phillips portraits in his possession and also made available to me some pertinent Phillips Papers.
My colleague Susan McIntosh Lloyd, whose history of Abbot Academy, A Singular School, is in press, as noted above, has read most if not all of this volume and made many incisive suggestions. Even more important, perhaps, she was always willing to commiserate with me about the agonies of authorship. Anyone who wishes a full picture of life on Andover Hill over the years should read her book in conjunction with mine.
My friend Bartlett H. Hayes, Jr., '22, not only accomplished with élan the difficult task of compiling the index, but in the process read galley and page proof with a sharp eye and saved me from many errors. Since he has lived in Andover almost his entire life, he is a gold mine of information about the past of the School.
In addition, a number of other people have read all or part of this book in its early stages and made helpful comments. Headmaster Theodore R. Sizer read it all, in manuscript or galley, and contributed very important points. More significant was his continuing support for the project since its inception. My friend and colleague William H. Brown, '34, until recently Head of the English Department at Phillips Academy, read chapters that he was particularly familiar with as an undergraduate and a member of the Faculty and reassured me that from his point of view that was the way it was. Principal Stephen G. Kurtz and Dean Donald B. Cole, both of the Phillips Exeter Academy and the latter a former pupil of mine, read the early chapters when I was just getting under way and gave me the benefit of their wide experience as editors. Harriet Ropes Cabot graciously gave me permission to quote from some of the letters of her father, James Hardy Ropes, President of the Board of Trustees at the end of Al Stearns's administration, and read over that part of the story. Three nonacademic members of the Phillips Academy staff---Frederic A. Stott, '36, Secretary of the Academy and Director of the Bicentennial Campaign; Ann Caldwell, his Associate in both these positions; and Susan McCaslin, Director of the Central Publications Office---all read parts of the book. I had more or less expected that they might view some of what I had said with alarm, but I received nothing but encouragement and helpful suggestions. Finally, two friends have read the book after it was in galley or page proof. Attorney Thomas D. Burns, '38, one of Boston's leading trial lawyers, checked my work for libel. He assured me that there was nothing libelous in iti---n large part because one cannot libel dead persons---but hastened to add that this was no guarantee against my being sued. My colleague Robert E. Lane of the Classics and Russian Departments, has given my book the benefit of his professional skill as a proof-reader and has saved me from many stylistic and mechanical errors.
Susan Lloyd has made extensive use of interviews for her book on Abbot Academy. I have depended much more on written communications. But I have conducted some interviews and am grateful to those with whom I talked for giving me their time. In addition to Marjorie Stearns and Abby Kemper, the following people have talked with me: Roscoe E. Dake, Instructor Emeritus in Chemistry; John S. Barss, Instructor Emeritus in Physics, and his wife Helen; A. Graham Baldwin, School Minister Emeritus, and his wife Kay; Robert E. Maynard, Instructor Emeritus in Mathematics; Mrs. Alfred Castle, now over one hundred years old, whose memories of the old Andover are as sharp and clear as ever; and Richard Hoyer, first Superintendent of the Moncrieff Cochran Sanctuary, whose recollections of Thomas Cochran added greatly to my understanding of the man.
J. Earl Thompson, Jr., Professor of Church History at the Andover-Newton Theological Seminary and the leading authority on the history of the Andover Theological Seminary, generously let me pick his brains for one whole afternoon and in addition gave me copies of the admirable articles that he had written on that institution.
A number of people have also helped with the illustrations. Gordon G. Bensley, '43, currently Instructor in Art at Phillips Academy, had done a great deal of work on pictures of the School in connection with the production of the magnificent slide tape entitled "Here's Andover." He generously shared his findings with me, made a number of useful suggestions, read the section entitled "Explosion in the Arts" in Chapter 18, and did the actual photographing of many of the illustrations. Juliet Kellogg and Helen Eccles, Director of Public Information, worked hard to make available the large collection of photographs in their files. Laura R. Allis drew a handsome map of Phillips Academy in 1790. Andrew Rutherford, 'Jr, has allowed me to use two of the cartoons from "A Cartoon History of Phillips Academy," which he drew in place of a term paper in American History. Finally, Anne Parks, the School's Graphic Designer, made two very effective overlays for a map of the School that she had already drawn, so as to show the buildings constructed during the Cochran era and also those built as a result of the Andover Program. I am fortunate to have had such imaginative assistance in this area.
No one can ever write a book of this kind without massive help from libraries, and my experience is no exception. Barbara McDonnell and the entire staff of the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library at Phillips Academy have endured me---that is the only word-for the past five years with rare patience and good humor. Not only did they put themselves out to get me material, but they excused my many breaches of their procedures---forgetting to sign out books and the like. Nancy Jacobson and the staff of the Memorial Hall Library in the Town of Andover were also of great assistance on many occasions, particularly in helping me to find my way around in various microfilmed town records and local newspaper files. Malcolm Freiberg, Editor of Publications at the Massachusetts Historical Society, did a splendid editorial job on my chapter on the Phillips Academy Centennial, which was first given as a paper before the Society in somewhat abbreviated form and later published in one of the Society's publications. And others of the staff of the MHS were helpful in numerous ways. Harley Holden, Harvard Archivist, made it easy for me to locate Phillips and Bancroft material in the University's Archives, as well as pertinent letters of Charles W. Eliot. The staff of the Yale University Library pointed my way among the Park Family Papers and arranged for the Xeroxing of a number of them.
Finally, I cannot close without acknowledging the tremendous debt I owe my family---my wife, Laura Reasor Allis, and my two stepdaughters, Frances Meriwether Hughes and Laura Hayden Hughes. For years these ladies put up with a husband and father who was either surly or abstracted, and did so with extraordinary good humor. Here's a toast to all three.
Andover, Massachusetts F.S.A., Jr.