• Yale University President Woolsey Provides Teaching Instructions For Junior Class

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    THEODORE DWIGHT WOOLSEY (1801-1899) was president of Yale University from 1846-1871.  One page on bifolium, 8 x 10, ALS, September 26th, 1847, to Daniel P. Noyes, Tutor in Yale College, New Haven.


    “I shall not see you as I leave New Haven before the term opens, and therefore take this opportunity of giving you my views in regard to the instruction of the Junior Class. My plan is to have them study Sophocles’ Electra, and Plato’s Gorgias. Probably it will be best to study Electra first. They will not be able to read the whole of Gorgias and Electra with going at too rapid a rate, they may with advantage omit a part of Gorgias although indeed it is hard to say what can be omitted with advantage. Perhaps you could read to them some 20 pages in the latter part but the close is so exceedingly fine that ought to read it.


    “I know not that there is anything more to be suggested, but I have Anabasis, which I will thank you to convey to the teacher of Greek in the freshman class. Mr. Brace I believe takes that department. I have thought of putting the class into Arnold’s introduction to Greek prose composition, which may to some extent take the place of grammar lessons. This is an experiment and I am not sure that a far better task may not be made but if he is willing to take up this new book I shall be glad to have it done.


    “Mr. Dudley made some inquiries about my room for the next year, but did not see me.  I had already told Mr. Larned that one of the gentlemen could use it free of expense, taking care of course of my furniture as he would of his own. Mr. L. then asked if he could have it. I replied yes, all this transpired some weeks ago, and if Mr. L. wishes it he has the first claim.


    “My expectation is to return early in the summer and I shall be ready to do my unusual summer duties. But this and the arrangements to be made in regard to instruction are a thing of the future. Meanwhile hoping that you and the rest of the tutorial corps will be preserved in health, and requesting you to bid farewell for me to them all personally, I remain truly yours,

    “Theodore D. Woolsey


    “New Haven, Sept. 26, 1847”


    Woolsey graduated at Yale in 1820, studied law in Philadelphia for a year and theology in Princeton. From 1823 to 1825, he was a tutor at Yale. In 1825, he was licensed to preach and from 1827 until 1830, he studied the Greek language and literature in Germany, France and Italy. Returning to the United States, he was professor of Greek at Yale from 1831 until 1846, when he was appointed president. For several years, he was a regent of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.  His opinions are highly regarded in the area of international law.


    An excellent letter. Slight foxing to the right of his signature. Very clean address leaf.


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