University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame
Notre Dame: Foundations, 1842-1857 / by John Theodore Wack

Chapter IV
Interlude, 1848-1850


Near the end of the summer of 1848, two Sisters came to Notre Dame from Canada, announcing the imminent arrival at the college of Father Victor Drouelle, the official representative of Father Moreau. Drouelle was to conduct a "Visit," an examination of the spiritual and temporal state of the institution.{1} It had been obvious to the members of Holy Cross on both sides of the Atlantic that the existing state of affairs between the two Notre Dames needed some remedy. There was no longer as much trouble over the accounts of Notre Dame du Lac, for the recent financial records had been well kept,{2} but the case of St. Marys College had left areas of confusion and mistrust in both France and America in regard to each other's conduct in the affair. The same was true in the matter of Sorin's unapproved purchase of the land in Indianapolis.

Nothing had been done to improve this misunderstanding except to allow for the healing which often comes with the passage of time, but, in the meantime, the collapse of the foundation in Kentucky, despite the actions taken by Sorin and Moreau, had reawakened the problem of communication between the two. The petition which the Minor Chapter at Notre Dame du Lac had formulated the previous year had requested a system of administration which might have been helpful to the solution of the problem, but the men of the Chapter had been fearful of submitting this petition. All felt that the action most conducive to the settlement of the affair would be a trip by Father Moreau to America, that he might see first hand what the true situation was at Notre Dame du Lac and that he could taste the American environment and learn something of Sorin's predicament in regard to strict obedience to orders originating in France. But, while those at the college wished the visit of Moreau, they feared the visit of any other, feeling that such a one might provide only another middleman between the two Notre Dames instead of the direct confrontation which was desired. Rather than receive a person other than Moreau, the Minor Chapter preferred to send their own deputy to France.{3}

Indeed, Father Moreau had hoped to come to America, but the revolt of the Paris mob in February, 1848, caused all religious leaders in France to remain in close contact with the alarming situation in that country, for the revolution was fraught with anticlerical overtones. As a result, Moreau was forced to abandon his plans to visit Notre Dame du Lac.{4} In his place he appointed Father Drouelle as Visitor.

On the 1st of September, Drouelle arrived and was welcomed at Notre Dame.{5} Although Sorin must have received his friend and colleague with some apprehension, the Visit was a very rewarding one; once again relations between France and America were brought to a point where understanding and harmony were reestablished.{6} Father Drouelle was impressed by the progress which had been made at Notre Dame du Lac and elsewhere in the Diocese of Vincennes by Sorin and his colony.{7} For the first time, a representative from the Motherhouse could see the phenomenon of a college newly built in a recent wilderness. Drouelle began to grasp some of the difficulties which Sorin had faced and still faced, and he did his best to aid Sorin, even delivering an admonition to the Brothers, calling on them to cease their criticism of their Superior, an admonition particularly (although not expressly) aimed at Brother Gatian, who dutifully recorded the rebuke in his journal.{8} The admiration which Drouelle felt for Sorin and the pleasure which he took in the missions which he visited in America were reflected in his letters to Father Moreau, letters which praised Notre Dame du Lac and her Founder in terms which were unusually laudatory. In particular the Visitor reassured Moreau regarding the economic status of Notre Dame du Lac, a letter which must have brought comfort to the Superior General who had been so often concerned over the future of the mission in far-off Indiana.{9} Before continuing on his journey, Drouelle traveled to New York with Sorin to aid him in making arrangements with Bishop John Hughes for the establishment of a Brother's school in Brooklyn, the first such establishment outside of the Vincennes Diocese.{10} Father Drouelle remained at Notre Dame until November 22, 1848, when he made his final departure.{11} The success of his visit offered considerable support to the contention of Sorin that the basis of the difficulties between the two Notre Dames was not his personal shortcomings, but a problem of communication.

The visit of Father Drouelle began a period of harmony in the relationship between Sorin and the Motherhouse in LeMans, a rapprochement which, at least indirectly, helped to usher in a similar harmony in the course of events at Notre Dame du Lac. The next four years were relatively free from illnesses and were marked by an increase in the number of students, in the caliber of the faculty, and in the quality of the curriculum. These years also had their disasters and set-backs, but they are notable for their successes rather than for their failures.{12}

The new term which opened in the fall of 1848 found Father Drouelle still present as an admiring spectator -- admiring, that is, of the college and the campus, for he did not have much appreciation for the American students whom he found to be too independent and proud.{13} It was decided that fall to change the plan of the curriculum to one on the order of that pursued by St. Louis University,{14} but the new plan was not put into effect until the beginning of the next scholastic year.{15} There were at least two new faculty members to greet the students -- and there were many new students. Most notable among the new teachers was Maximilian E. Girac, L.L.D., Mus. Doc. This Frenchmen came to Notre Dame that fall with his son, Leon, who was enrolled as a student. Neither the father nor the son could speak English.{16} Girac was hired as a teacher of music but he also taught Latin and Greek in place of the Reverend Mr. Nightingale.{17} Girac was a recent immigrant from France, a distinguished musician and scholar, a graduate of the Paris Conservatory of Music.{18} He was to remain a valued member of the faculty for many years, both as a teacher of the classics and as a musician; he was associated with Notre Dame, although not continuously, until his death in 1869.{19} The other addition was not so outstanding. Of him, Brother Gatian wrote: "We have also acquired a new professor in Mr. Masterson who has been vice President at Mobile . . . -- He is however somewhat deranged. "{20}

The major surprise of the year, and it was a happy one, was the arrival of many new students. At the opening of the college some eighteen students returned to the campus from their summer vacations and were joined there by at least twenty-five new students. There had been just seven new boys the past September. Amazingly, the increase continued throughout the year; fifty-seven students were still enrolled in June, 1849.{21} This increase was probably a continuation of the rise in enrollment which had begun in the spring of the previous year, reflecting a return of public confidence in Notre Dame du Lac as the rumors of change and the reports of disease diminished.

Four of the new students who came that year were seminarians from the Diocese of Milwaukee, sent to Notre Dame by Bishop Henni, who had no seminary facilities in his diocese.{22} One further student almost appeared at the college; it was learned from Bishop Purcell of Cincinnati that a grand-nephew of George Washington was to enter the school as a boarder, however, he never arrived, despite their expectations.{23}

There is little record of the academic and social life of the college that year; the existing documents concern themselves with more functional matters. The priests' novitiate was opened that fall with nine candidates, two of them already ordained as secular priests who were now proposing to join the Priests of Holy Cross. The new novitiate, however, was merely a room set aside on the second floor of the college bui1ding.{24} Also in the fall of the year the newly completed church was formally blessed by Father Cointet in the presence of Father Drouelle.{25} The consecration of the church by the Bishop did not take place until the following year.

Much time was spent on financial matters and matters of local concern. There was still little ready money despite the increase in students. Many of the purchases of the institution were implemented by trade, and payments were often made in kind, using agricultural products, lime, marl, bricks, and even education as payment. In turn, payments were sometimes made to the college in kind: "Cattle will be taken from Mr. Woodworth as payment for his son's schooling, but, of course, not at an exorbitant price

Some such trade was made by the college to purchase fifty acres of wooded land on the Bertrand road.{27} This land was put to use in the proto-type of a land development scheme which was intended to add funds to the college treasury and settlers to the surrounding community. It should be remembered that hundreds of thousands of Irish and Germans were pouring into the American West, many of them Catholics. It was decided to develop some of the local land and sell or rent it to Catholic families. The Brothers from Notre Dame with carpentry skills, when not employed at the institution, were to build houses on lots acquired by Notre Dame the first such land to be developed was this new land on the Bertrand road.{28}

One practical program which was taken up this year was destined to fail, at least at this time. The marshy land between the two lakes was not only an unsightly nuisance, preventing ready access to the Brothers' novitiate and taking up valuable ground, but it also was considered a threat to health and a possible source of disease.{29} To Sorin's mind, the humid vapors and noxious odors of the marsh seemed to harbor the diseases which so often struck down those at Notre Dame.{30} Sorin was quite correct in pointing to the marsh as the source of the diseases; however, he had no way of knowing why the marsh was dangerous, that the mosquitos and flies which bred there in stagnant and contaminated water could carry the germs of malaria, asiatic cholera, and typhoid fever.

Sorin had long advocated the draining of the marsh. In 1845, when the novitiate was built, he had looked for a way to lower the level of the lake and to prevent the spring flood waters from annually recreating the marsh, but no such means could be found.{31} The major problem was the existence of a mill dam on a stream which served as an outlet from the lakes to the St. Joseph River. The dam prevented the natural run-off of surplus water from the lakes, causing them to periodically overflow into the lowlands between the two lakes, thus bringing about the marsh. Late in 1847 and again in 1848, the Minor Chapter of Notre Dame had attempted to force, by legal action, the owner of the mill dam to refrain from blocking the path of the stream in time of flood and heavy rain; a lawyer was offered twenty-five dollars if he could succeed in bringing about such an action.{32} However, the lawyer was unsuccessful, and they were forced to turn to other means to secure their end. The Chapter then proposed to the owner of the dam, a Mr. Rush (Roch in some accounts), that they be permitted to purchase the right to destroy his dam (which does not seem to have been in active use); if he refused, they would threaten him with a new law suit.{33} This ploy also failed. The following September they decided to take action on their own, and they began to dig a ditch to lower the later level of the lake,{34} but this also proved unsatisfactory, and the next year the Chapter set several of the Brothers to work for one hour every day in an attempt to fill in the marsh with dirt.{35} But this was also a failure; the dam still stood, and, in the meantime, the attacks of fever and cholera recurred almost yearly.

The solution to the problem of the disease-breeding marsh was not to be found for another five years, but it was a constant worry to Sorin. But that spring of 1849 Sorin had little time for such localized concerns. Once again, he was on the road, this time to Baltimore where the council of American bishops was meeting. Sorin journeyed to the meeting for the opportunity of coming together with several of the bishops in order to settle various items of business, to propagandize his institutions at Notre Dame du Lac, and "to remove some prejudices raised against our community,"{30} the result of the charges of Badin and the disastarous failure of St. Marys College in Kentucky.

In June, 1849, after the return of Sorin from Baltimore, the annual commencement ceremony was held, only this time with a notable difference from the ceremonies of preceding years. Not only was commencement held at a date earlier than usual, but it is possible that, for the first time, academic degrees were granted by the University of Notre Dame du Lac.{37} The Silver Jubilee history of Notre Dame indicates that the first Bachelor of Arts diplomas were presented to two young men,{38} Neal Gillespie, an American youth from Ohio, and Richard Shortis, a seminarian. Gillespie had been a student at Notre Dame since 1845; he would have been sixteen in 1849.{39} Shortis had not been a regular student{40} and was granted his degree after passing an examination.{41} Both Gillespie and Shortis went on to do yeoman work at Notre Dame; in later years both served terms as vice-presidents of the University. Shortis was ordained a Holy Cross priest in March of the following year,{42} while Gillespie continued his studies at the college. Gillespie's courses for 1849-1850, oddly enough, included Greek, Latin, French, Algebra, Geometry, Philosophy, and Chemistry, which, it will be noted, was essentially the course for the final year under the new curriculum which had been adopted that year.{43} In the following year, 1850-1851, he continued his studies as a type of graduate student and part-time teacher, pursuing Latin, Greek, and French (and playing in the school band), while paying for his tuition and board by teaching Arithmetic.{44} A major reason for this period of post-graduate study came from an intense love for contemplative learning. He wrote to his mother:

Tell me my dear Ma what ought I do when I quit studying? I have often been asked when I would finish my studies -- pshaw -- finish my studies! I could stay here, and study for full eight more years without finishing my studies, aye and study seventeen hours each day -- 0 I'll be sorry when I leave this place!{45}

Another reason for Gillespie's protracted stay at Notre Dame was a bit less idealistic; he was simply uncertain as to what form his future would take: business, the law, or the priesthood.{46} The priesthood won out and he entered the novitiate at Notre Dame in September, 1851{47}

By virtue of his degree, Gillespie was a student of the classics; he had studied under four men, Cointet, Shawe, Nightingale, and, possibly, Girac, if that man had then command enough of English to communicate with his pupil. Probably most of Gillespie's education came by private study and private tutoring by the faculty; much of his formal learning must also have come after his graduation. But Gillespie must have been a creditable student, for, in later years, he was sent to Rome to study theology, and there he was well regarded as a student.{40} Nevertheless, the reasons for his reception of a degree in June of 1849 (if indeed this was the date), remain lost in obscurity.{49} Whatever arguments may be advanced against the refinement of his education, It should be noted that, by the summer of 1849, Gillespie had been a student at Notre Dame for approximately four years, and that he had taken part in the old "Latin Course" of studies. Most probably he deserved his degree as much as most graduates of the rapidly-multiplying colleges of the American West.

In the summer of 1849, after the ceremony, preparations were made to introduce a new curriculum which was based on the plan of studies of St. Louis University. There is no copy extant of this curriculum at its introduction in September, 1849, but it must have been essentially the same as that which was first published in the Annual Catalogue of 1854-1855. St. Louis had defined its curriculum in 1838, modeling it on the Ratio Studiorum as revised in the year 1832. A committee at St. Louis University reported:

that the classical course shall comprehend a competent knowledge of Greek, Latin, and English languages; of geography, use of globes, ancient and modern history, logic and principles of moral philosophy, including ethics and metaphysics, of rhetoric and mathematics, including arithmetic, algebra, plane and solid geometry, trigonometry, surveying, mensuration, conic sections, and the principles of natural philosophy.{50}

The student who completed this program at St. Louis would be awarded the Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) degree; the degree of Master of Arts (A.M.) would go to the alunmus who had completed his Bachelor's degree and who had devoted two years to some literary pursuit.{51} This classical curriculum was to cover six years, two of which were preparatory. The first three years were designated "1st, 2nd, and 3rd Humanities," the fourth was called "Poetry," the fifth, "Rhetoric," and the last, "Philosophy."{52} This was not unlike the programs of other Catholic schools, and it war quite similar to the curriculums of the non-Catholic classical colleges.{53}

48 Nea1 H. Gillespie to his sister, Sister Mary of St. Angela (Eliza Gillespie), Rome, April 30, 1856, UNDA.

49 There is, of course, the distinct possibility that the Silver Jubilee account could be mistaken and that the graduation of Gillespie and Shortis did not take place until 1850 or even 1851. But there is no factual evidence 1850 was the date of graduation, and the date of 1849 does not seem to have been contradicted by Gillespie (or by anyone else) in later years; when the Silver Jubilee history was published, he was one of its major contributors.

The classical curriculum adopted at Notre Dame du Lac was an almost verbatim adoption of this curriculum of St. Louis, even down to the naming of the six years of study. Notre Dame, like St. Louis, had two departments; the first, called at Notre Dame the Junior Department, was a college preparatory course, and it included the first two years of Humanities. The second department, called the Senior Department, included the last year of Humanities, Poetry, Rhetoric, and Philosophy.{54}

The course of studies at Notre Dame as published in 1855; and presumably the same as that which was adopted in 1849, was composed in the following manner:

Junior Department:

First Year:
Latin grammar, Greek grammar, English grammar, Geography, Writing and Reading, Greek history, Sacred History, and History of the United States.

Second Year:
Latin grammar, Greek grammar, English grammar, Geography, Writing and Reading, Ancient History, Modern History, History of the United States, Arithmetic, and Book-keeping.

Senior Department:

I. Humanities:

First Session:
"Caesar or Sallust, or both, Virgil (Eclogues and Georgics), Lucian's Dialogues, Prosody of Latin and Greek Grammar analyzed, Rules for the formation of style, Exercises in three languages, Algebra and Geometry."

Second Session:
"Cicero, Virgil's Aeneid, Xenophon's Cyropaedia, Algebra and Geometry continued."

II. Poetry:

First Session:
"Livy, Virgil's Aeneid, and Horace's Art of Poetry explained and committed to memory, Homer's Illiad (4 first books), Trigonometry and Surveying."

Second Session:
"Cicero's Orations, Horace's Odes, Homer's Illiad cont., Mensuration and Analytical Geometry, Compositions in English and Latin; Descriptions, Letters and Narrations written after models. Analysis of approved specimens in prose and poetry."

III. Rhetoric:

First Session:
"Tacitus, Demosthenes, Homer's last book, Precepts of Rhetoric (Quintillian's Institutions), Study of Ancient and Modern Literature, Composition of Orations in English and Latin, Analysis of the most famous specimens of eloquence."

Second Session:
The same as the first except more emphasis was to be placed on Rhetoric, including the introduction of "debates on grave subjects."

IV. Philosophy:

Both Sessions:
"Study of Logic, Metaphysics and Ethics, Moral and Natural Philosophy, Astronomy and Chemistry, illustrated by lectures and experiments."

In addition, French, German, Spanish, and Italian were to be taught, as well as various forms of Music and Drawing, but these were extra-curriculars to be taken at an additional cost.{55}

There was, it may be noticed, some emphasis on courses in mathematics, and also there were embryo science courses in the last year (Natural Philosophy and Chemistry). Such course were finding an increased place in the curriculums of American Colleges. So To implement these courses, Sorin purchased a "scientific apparatus" in order to conduct demonstration experiments; in addition, the museum would aid scientific investigation, as would the recent acquisition of "Mr. T. Cawin's collection of 4,000 plants . . . "{57} It may also be noted that no religion or theology courses were included in the curriculum; these were also extra-curricular; religious exercises, of course, were held daily.

It may be valuable to pause here for a moment to comment on this curriculum, for it would be the basis for the classical course at Notre Dame du Lac for many years. First of all, it should be quickly and emphatically said that this curriculum was never exactly or completely followed, but served more as a model of what should be done. An examination of the qualifications of the members of the faculty in the early years leads one to the inescapable conclusion that the teachers who were then at the college could not have taught all of these courses nor have done justice to the teaching of more than a few of these subjects. For that matter, there were only a handful of students who might have enrolled in such a curriculum with any expectation of success.

The list of the faculty for the year 1849-1850 included:

Father Sorin: President and Professor of Moral and Religious Instruction.
Father William Masterson: Professor of Latin and English.
Mr. E. Dussaulx: Professor of Music, Penmanship, and Drawing.
Mr. M. Girac: Professor of Latin, Greek, French, and Music.
Mr. F.X. Byerley: Professor of Mathematics and English.
Brother Gatian: Professor of Bookkeeping and Arithmetic.
Brother Thomas: Professor of Arithmetic and the Preparatory Course of English.
Brothers Victor & Anselm: Prefects of Discipline.{58}

The only classics scholar, aside from Maxmillian Girac, who, after all, had Music as his primary avocation, was Father Cointet, who was not even listed as a faculty member, most probably because his time was spent out riding the missions.

If even the partial implementation of the curriculum did not become a reality for a few years, the plan of studies is interesting simply as a program for future action, as an academic goal for the new college. This plan reveals what Notre Dame intended to be, a model classical college. But this is not what she was destined to become, for the growing America would call for a new curriculum which would be raised to meet the standards and uses of the middle class American. The typical college of the period -- state, secular, or sectarian -- was a classical college where the curriculum revolved around a study of the works of the ancients.{59} Such a system had met with success in the colleges of New England and the East, but the rough life of the western pioneer was difficult to adapt to the niceties of the classics. In pride and optimism and religious fervor, the western communities called forth the colleges, but then they found the traditional classical college which they had desired to be of little practical use for the education of their sons -- or at least for the education of their sons as they understood it. The classical education was a gentleman's education, and the educational demands of the native Americans and European peasant immigrants who had moved to the Midwest required a course of studies more practical and utilitarian.{60} The classical curriculum, brought from the East by the educators and teachers who founded and staffed the western colleges, was unsatisfying, even when it was taught with inspiration, as it so rarely was.{61} Bluntly stated, the average inhabitant of the American Midwest desired an education for his son which would offer him a chance to rise in the democratic society, and this meant, for the most part, an education which would later "pay off" in hard cash. An Indiana historian has written that the classical curriculum was virtually an absurdity in pioneer Indiana: "One cannot be serious even yet thinking of a half score of brawny youths with huge bare feet and one suspender each, crooning over Greek paradigms while all the people of the state, beside, fought the equal battle with the primitive forest, swamps, and wild varmints."{62} He added, with less exaggeration, "The fact remains that as long as the colleges of Indiana offered only a 'liberal education' they were not crowded."{63}

Certainly Notre Dame had had little success in attracting many students of a caliber fitted for such a classical education; Moses and Louis Letourneau and John Williams were exceptions rather than the rule, and, even then, there is room for considerable doubt as to the level of education whIch they received. Just as the old curriculum had had an "English course" as well as a "Latin course," so the new curriculum provided a way out for the sutstantial number of students who had neither the desire nor the background for a classics course and who looked on the one or more years which they spent in college as a time for practical training in business methods. The catalogue stated that the potential student might enter the regular classical course,

or [he] may take if preferred a partial course, which to a student who already possesses a good knowledge of the common English branches and Latin grammar, may be completed in two years. This course however does not pretend to make of him a Classical scholar, but to give him a thorough English and Mathematical education, with that complete knowledge of Book-keeping, and that fund of general information indispensible to young merchants.{64}

The degree of Bachelor of Arts, of course, was reserved for the graduate of the full classical program. The Master of Arts at Notre Dame was to be given to those graduates who "pursued the study of Philosophy and Literature for three years after leaving college," and also was awarded to any graduate who was admitted to any of the learned professions.{65} A great majority of the students, however, failed to continue in the classical program for the years required for graduation or else they contented themselves with entering the shorter commercial course. Even then, only a few remained in the college longer than a term or two. Typical of the attitude of many of the parents is the following excerpt from a letter:

The children of Mr. Wolke have written to their father to know what he wanted them to study. Mr. Wolke does not intend his children to follow any of the learned professions, but wants for them a business instruction, English language, its grammar, composition, &c, Arithmetic, Elements of Algebra and Geometry, Modern Geography and as extensive religious instruction as practicable, is all he expects from them. Next year he may allow them to take an instrument of music, but for the present he thinks they have enough to learn.{66}

The classical, liberal education did not seem to be fitted either to the times or to the environment of the American Midwest.{67} The young American was to use his education to "get ahead," not to read the poetry of some long-dead Greek; there is something ludicrous in the application of the civilized "gentleman's education" to the rude, half-wild western youth. But perhaps the capitulation to the desires of the students and their parents was too complete, especially at schools like Notre Dame which felt that such an adjustment was necessary to survival. If the times were somewhat anti-intellectual, if the people themselves, narrowly and provincially confined, could see little practicality in a liberal education which promised a broadening and blossoming of the mind through contact with the great writers and philosophers of the past, was it admirable for the college, the intellectual citadel, to yield to the roar of the public? Many other colleges, both private and state-supported, held out with a fierce resistance to the attempts to change their classical curriculum; some of these went out of existence, others survived and later flourished. It can be argued that the classical curriculum was outmoded and unmeaningful to the new Americans, to the sons of pioneers and peasants; certainly some adjustment was necessary and was later forthcoming in the successful colleges. It can also be argued that if many of the colleges (and there were far too many colleges) had not capitulated to the anti-classical forces, they would have been forced to close their doors, for they would have found neither teachers nor students. This may well be an inescapable conclusion, but it must then be admitted that, during these years of capitulation, before a sufficient group of teachers and students could be found to initiate a legitimate liberal curriculum, these institutions are hardly deserving to be called colleges. Notre Dame, in its earliest years, was most emphatically one of these institutions.

The intention at Notre Dame du Lac was to form a classical Catholic college of the best sort; unfortunately, for many years the character of the enrollment and the quality of the faculty made such a course impracticable. But there was another factor which encouraged Notre Dame to the acceptance of a more "practical" curriculum than the liberal curriculum to which the catalogue aspIred. Father Sorin's ear for the mood of Western America, his incisive grasp of the desires of the pioneer community, held the school in good stead in the difficult years of foundation, but it also rendered him violable to the sacrifice of intellectuality for practicality. He had little personal Interest in the classics, or, for that matter, in a contemplative type of scholarship. His writings give evidence of no deep empathy with the academic character of the college; most of his concern was, understandably, with the workings of the administrative and physical functions of the college; financing, building, investing, and promoting. His contacts with the life of the student were nonacademic, involving either the discipline of the student or a discussion of his financial status. When he did face the students in a classroom, it was as a teacher of religion -- an indoctrinator rather than a teacher. Sorin's special concern with the academic life lay in his insistence that sound religious training be first of all provided for the student; it is significant that some of the early catalogues list him as "President and Professor of Moral and Religious Instruction."

This does not mean that Sorin opposed the liberal arts; on the contrary, he positively encouraged certain of them -- music, drama, oratory, and painting -- but these are the more active arts, those which give visual and/or audible display. These are also the arts most attractive to the new middle-class patron. Sorin's attitude toward the scholarly arts, toward the study of the classics, history, literature, poetry, and philosophy, is indicated by the virtual absence of mention of them in his private writings. He admired good scholarly work, he praised those who accomplished such work, and he accepted a curriculum designed to encourage such studies, but the academic life of the college was rarely able to exercise first place in his motives for action.

A striking example of this is to be found in Sorin's report of the adoption of the new curriculum in his "Chronicles." Here one might expect him to mention the intellectual benefits which would accrue to the college from the heightened potential for good scholarship, to admit that the college now had hopes to maintain higher standards, to at least suggest that the new curriculum was a step along a road which the college must travel -- but he merely notes that the new curriculum gave more liberty to the student, as a result of which he worked harder and was, at the same time, more contented: "This new plan presents a great advantage in the United States where everyone wants to be free to study what he likes. It pleases everybody."{69} In other words, the new curriculum gave him a more stable student body with less disciplinary problems. It was fortunate for Notre Dame du Lac that she housed, however briefly, a Cointet, a Shawe, a Girac, and many others in later years, as well as her Founder.

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